Hartford Hawks March Around Campus In Wake of Rumors


Image Courtesy of Alex Ortiz

Alexander Ortiz, Editor In Chief

On Monday, April 19th, 2021, our Division I student-athletes organized a peaceful march around campus due to the rumors that President Gregory Woodward wants to move athletics down to Division III. The march began outside the Chase Reich Family Pavilion, where each team met each other. Once the clock struck noon, it was time to march around the entirety of campus. As the Editor in Chief, I had the opportunity to walk with our student-athletes in hope that the University of Hartford will stay at the Division I level for years to come. 

After walking with a few friends and a majority of the athletes, I had an opportunity to speak with different members of sports teams, who explained to me their stance on the current situation regarding athletics. A few members explained how they found it unfair, and that our athletes have helped to prove that we belong at the Division I level.

“The idea to organize a March was a department-wide decision. Every team has been hurt and left in the dark on decisions so we came to an agreement to March and had our SAAC Board organize it for us,” Danielle Rocheleau of the Hartford Hawks Softball Team explained to me. She also mentioned, “I am disgusted by this situation. The president has failed to act the way a leader of an institution should. He has cowardly stayed behind the notion this is what is best for the university but our presence is a huge part of the community. I believe what’s best for the community is a president capable of taking responsibility and accountability for his actions and resigning is what’s best for this community.” 

It is clear that many athletes and students in the Hartford community are very dissatisfied with the way that news has been brought to their attention. The allegations came as a shock to many around the community, especially after our Hartford Hawks Men’s Basketball Team punched their ticket to go dancing during the NCAA March Madness Tournament. Clearly, something needs to be done so that students and the Hartford community can come together to help us stay at the Division I level, where our student-athletes belong. 

“I think the recent acts are not enough. While it built our community stronger it wasn’t heard by the administration. President Woodward has proven it is his personal mission to destroy our athletics towards Division III and has stacked the board and department against us. I really hope people have heard our words and it was enough, but it is difficult to envision a brighter future,” Rocheleau shared. Our student-athletes want their voices to be heard, and they deserve to have a voice in this situation instead of being shut out and left behind in the dust.

Overall, time will tell whether we will hear more news about this ongoing situation as it continues to be the “hot talk” around campus. Student-athletes have worked hard and have outdone themselves to show to the Hartford community that these athletes deserve to stay at the Division I level. Hopefully, we will be able to continue covering Hartford Hawks Division I Athletics because these athletes will have their voices heard.

Here is a video below shot and edited by me, Alex Ortiz, Editor in Chief of The Informer: