To the Lafayette community,
The announcement of new drinking policies for Lafayette student-athletes was met with umbrage by many, if not most, students on campus. We at The Lafayette would like to make our position on the matter clear.
Student-athletes, as Athletic Director Bruce McCutcheon has freely admitted, are being held to a different standard than the rest of the community. This double standard is not baseless; athletes tend to be the most high-profile figures on campus. To the outside world (as in outside our Lafayette bubble), athletes represent the college. When some people think of Lafayette, they think of Mark Ross snagging a jump ball or Seth Hinrichs draining a three-pointer. It’s logical for the administration to try and curb bad press by doing everything they can to prevent players from landing in the hospital from overdrinking.
Some athletes attend Lafayette at least partially because of their athletic abilities. To ask them to take more time than the average student in evaluating a potentially dangerous decision is not too much.
However, this should not come at the expense of removing a safety measure from a school policy. It’s unreasonable and even naïve to believe that athletes, and students in general, are going to stop binge drinking due to a policy enacted by the school. It might make a dent in overall numbers, but all it takes is one overwhelmed freshman athlete to drink too much and need medical attention. Then we’re left with an ethical dilemma where a friend hesitates to call 911 because it might jeopardize the career of the endangered friend. Those moments of hesitation, and possible inaction, could make a world of difference.
To Bruce McCutcheon: rethink this policy. When it comes to athletes drinking, hope for the best but plan for the worst. In this case, the worst could entail another student-athlete death because your policy made their companions think twice about calling for medical assistance.
To student-athletes: fight this policy. Organize. Abstain from playing until the policy is changed back to a more reasonable and less dangerous form.
We here at The Lafayette support you.
The Lafayette editorial board