The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Letter to McCutcheon from student athletes

Note: The finalized version was not available at press time – this is a draft.


Dear Dr. McCutcheon,

Lafayette College Senior Student Athletes support the athletic department’s intent in regards to the disciplinary policy change in regards to alcohol consumption. Student Athletes and the Administration are united in our belief of providing a safe and nurturing environment for all students – the intent of the policy is a testament to that. Additionally, we acknowledge the hours of effort exerted by numerous members of the Lafayette community in drafting the current advice. It is with deep regrets, however, that we write to you to explain our reasoning for being unable to fully support the policy as stands.

We, Timothy Shaw, Brendan Gover and Lindsay Yang, were chosen by the Senior Student Athlete population to represent opinions formulated by that group. Our intention with the process is to introduce some widespread concerns with the policy overall. We agree there is a definite necessity for policy change in this respective area. However we as athletes feel uncomfortable supporting a policy that could, under extreme circumstances and imperfect information, be applied to athletes unfairly. Specifically, potential for such confusion appears possible through language such as:

In an e-mail sent out to all Student Athletes on September 5th : “If during your career at Lafayette you have already been found responsible for an alcohol or drug violation, being found responsible for an additional violation going forward will automatically trigger the 365-day suspension from the program.”

Taken from the policy itself: “Any student-athlete who is found responsible for a violation of the department’s drug and alcohol policy as a second time offender will be suspended from all team activities for 365 days and will have any and all athletically-related financial aid revoked immediately upon suspension.”

We as senior student athletes feel that the severity of punishment especially in relation to the utilization of the Good Samaritan Policy will inhibit athlete’s usage of that policy on one another.

As a potential alternative or addition to this policy, we have discussed the following modifications which we intend to propose for discussion and further consideration.

•We feel that athletes should be given a clean slate in terms of prior offenses. We are unclear of the procedures that pertain to a student athlete that currently has a second prior offense. We will seek further clarification during our discussion.

We feel that further clarification is needed in regards to the revocation of financial aid. Due to the fact that the policy covers previous conduct issues we feel that this particular aspect of the policy is severe.

We propose a Tiered Conduct Classification System that includes an additional level for alcohol related issues of questionable severity possibly resulting in a warning followed by Coaches discretion and Student Code of Conduct Policies.

In closing, Senior Student Athletes, on behalf of all athletes, supports the goals of this policy. We cannot, however, support the policy the way it is currently written. Thank you for allowing us to present our concerns and we hope you consider our opinions as you move forward.


Senior Athlete Representatives

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