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Letter to the Editor: SAAC Stoles

In the most recent edition of The Meredith Herald, there was an article that discussed the potential of student athletes receiving special recognition at graduation in the form of stoles. Both of the interviews included in that article were in favor of the measure, so I thought that in the interest of fairness, The Herald might be interested in publishing an additional article showcasing the views of a student with a very different opinion.

I personally completed the survey that was sent out to students and was disappointed to see both my response and the responses of other students who may have taken issue with the proposal glossed over, both in the recent article and by the college itself. Response bias is always going to be an issue in surveys like this, and I doubt that I’m wrong in saying that the views of the majority of people who voluntarily chose to fill out the survey do not necessarily reflect the views of the majority of students.

First, I would like to clarify that I do not believe that stepping away from the precedent of recognizing only honor society memberships and academic achievements at graduation would be a bad thing. Rather, I am opposed to the exception being made only for student athletes. In one of the article interviews, a reference is made to the “tears, blood, sweat, and passion” given by the athletes to the athletic program as one reason they should be given special recognition. To the student who argued that, I would ask: Do you genuinely think that student athletes are the only people who dedicate their time and effort to this institution? Students who participate in the theatre, dance and music programs regularly spend multiple hours a day in rehearsals. Students involved in visual art spend hours in the studio perfecting their projects. Students involved in student government, campus publications and student advising (just to name a few) contribute greatly to their projects outside of class. None of these groups get special recognition at graduation, so why should student athletes?

It’s also worth noting that student athletes already get pins to wear at the graduation ceremony to distinguish themselves. The argument being made is that this, which is more than any of the groups I’ve listed above get, is somehow still not enough.

I strongly oppose the measure to give student athletes special recognition at graduation, not because I do not acknowledge their contributions, but because I believe it would be an undeniable sign of bias from the College to recognize them while ignoring a multitude of other students who put in equal amounts of time and effort for this school.


A fan of athletes, artists, writers, leaders and more


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