The Student Senate held a Town Hall Meeting Thursday to discuss the potential move to Division II that the school faces this June. A panel featuring Benedictine Athletic Director Mark McHorney, Vice President of Student Life Marco Masini, and faculty member Patrick Polasek fielded questions from the students in attendance.
One of the major takeaways from the meeting is that if move to division II was to be approved, the University believes that athletic enrollment will increase by about 150 athletes. With the move to DII, the University believes that it will open up a new recruitment market which features a big emphasis on athletes from Kansas City, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Chicago.
The school also currently has no plans for adding new teams to the current list of sports which the university offers, but in the future it potentially could be something that they would be interested in exploring.
Another main point of the meeting was that the University believes that the move to DII will help retention rates of student athletes to rise. Currently, male athletes have a retention rate of around 50 percent according to the panel at the meeting. They believe that with athletic scholarships and stricter Division II academic requirements that this number will increase.
If the move was to take place, Benedictine would become one of five Division II schools in the state of Illinois. This would likely give them a slight advantage in recruiting, a difference from where the University currently is as a Division III school. There are currently 23 Division III schools in the state and many of those are in the Northern Illinois portion of the state.
The panel at the meeting stated that if the students have any questions on the potential move to Division II to please reach out to them and ask questions.