Fake Off: SU Dropping Studies For Sports?

This is satire and does not express real life in any way. – Web Editor

Crazy Fan - Courtesy of Lane Hill Sausage Factory

Point:

Written by Andrew Dornon

Dear readers: as many of you probably know, El Presidente, Jake Schrum, recently sent out an email to the student body about how Southwestern is going to respond to the financial crisis. Some of his points were to not hire any new professors and to cut the amount of visiting professors on staff. Noticeably not on the list of ideas: stopping watering the grass and concrete constantly. This concerned citizen found the list completely unacceptable. Thus, I set out on my own fact-finding mission, complete with numerous surveys, thousands of interviews and plenty of incomprehensibly-detailed statistical analysis.

The most significant thing I found about the inner workings of SU however was not found through this extensive research. I simply went to the SU website and looked at the number of full-time faculty members in different academic departments. I discovered that there are 18 full-time professors and instructors in the kinesiology department. This struck me as strange. It also angered me because I hate sports, and kinesiology is the study of how to become a coach. So I looked deeper into Southwestern’s secret love affair with sports. Turns out this number is justified because these instructors and professors are sometimes coaches. Others teach Fitness and Recreational Activity classes. So maybe it actually does make sense, but here’s the thing. I don’t care. SU isn’t trying to be a school where people come for the badass sports. If it is moving in that direction then someone should notify me because I have been misled. I came here because of the academic side of things and because SU doesn’t have a football team.

One could say that these things lead to our campus community being well-rounded. But in these trying economic times, well-roundedness takes a backseat. We shouldn’t get rid of actual academics who teach and do worthwhile research. Especially considering that according to a top Southwestern administrator, the university is considering removing the College Writing course requirement. Hmm, yeah, let’s get rid of a class that prepares freshman for every other college class they’ll take. An obviously more reasonable option would be to remove the FRA requirement. This would have little negative impact on the academic prowess of our beloved university, and I wouldn’t have to sign up for some ridiculous class like leisure sports. In no way would that class help me. Being able to write a good academic essay on the other hand would definitely help me.

And yes, I realize that maybe we would have to get rid of some sports or at least our teams wouldn’t be as good. But I don’t know if our sports teams are good as it is. I’ve never been to a sporting event here, and I don’t plan on it. Sure, sports can be fun, I guess, but they should in no way take precedence over scholarship and that appears to be what is happening at SU.

Even in such times of economic hardship and uncertainty, does this community really want to put literal games above academic discourse and progress? If the answer is yes, then I certainly misjudged what this university is about. If the answer is no, then I’ll be pleased because then I won’t have to fantasize about tripping the athletes in the Commons who get 12 glasses of Powerade at dinner.

Counter-Point:

Written by Remy Robertson

The financial email that President Schrum released was dead on. Andrew Dornon’s reaction, however, is not.

First of all, we all know that Southwestern really doesn’t care about sports at all. It’s not about athletics; it’s about competing with Trinity. Trinity and Southwestern have parallel academics, but why might fresh intellectuals in high school go to Trinity? They have a sports scene! Southwestern isn’t highly concerned with athletics; Southwestern’s concerned with attracting more students. That’s right: they want your money. Why is the tuition going up and the sports staying? So that students won’t be as inclined to choose sister-school Trinity over Southwestern because of some societal rave called “athletics.”

On a different note, to get rid of the kinesiology department, and all of Southwestern’s sports, is ludicrous. What my fellow writer does not understand is that having sports benefits him. Yes, he, and all of you other non-sporters out there, benefit from Southwestern’s athletics.

Because so many people at Southwestern are involved in the athletic arenas, they have less than half the time the rest of us do to get homework done. And we all know Southwestern’s a bitch when it comes to homework. Thus, because we sit next to these fellow athletes in class, we have such a better opportunity at scoring better grades with professors—especially in the subjective classes, where teachers get to decide what’s good and bad.

If a professor is only going to give, say, three As on a set of papers, non-athletes like Dornon have a much better chance at scoring for one of those three spots rather than athletes who have all of their time getting drained on the field or eating and making up for the calories they’ve lost while working out. Without these athletes in our class, the class gets much more competitive. Is that good? Sure. But do non-athletes really want to cut the kinesiology department? No, of course not: it helps their grades!

As for the college writing requirement, why not cut it? People (like both Dornon and I) didn’t have to take a college writing requirement. But who cares? Cut the requirement, and let those people into upper–level writing classes. I’d rather compete with classmates that haven’t taken a college writing class than those that have. Why? It makes my job easier. Those that really need college writing aren’t going to snatch an A from me. Give them the college writing class, and they might have a bit better shot. So cut the requirement and boost my GPA.

Are we sacrificing academic scholarship by allowing such a wide range of athletics? Maybe so. But frankly, it helps non-athletic scholars out by giving us a good break in the academic arena. It’s not to say that athletes are dumb (or is it?), but rather the fact that they don’t have the time (or will) to commit such a better job at scoring grades. Look around: they’re sleeping in class. Do I blame them? Neh—sports is a tough world to compete in. Rather, I’d just like to pat them on the shoulder and tell’em thanks for the extra points on my last essay.

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24 Responses to Fake Off: SU Dropping Studies For Sports?

  1. justin tijerina says:

    WOW! the first guy needs to chill, THIS IS TEXAS!!! SPORTS ARE KING DOWN HERE!!! and they always will be! Im all for the academic stuff, and the second person made a great argument about the sports ans acadmics….

  2. Ben says:

    First of all, kinesiology is the study of human movement, that goes a lot deeper than just sport. People out of this field go on to do research in various fields that support everyday life (that includes ignorant, self-proclaimed academic types that are “too good for sports”). One example is spinal cord injury research.
    You argue that the writing and critical thinking class should not be cut, which is very true, but it obviously did not work well for you as your critical thinking skills are lacking. There are two main professors in the kinesiology department, and a few coaches teach a couple classes. The main professors teach the core classes that involve the application of biology, physics, anatomy, and other scientific fields. Some notable professions from the field are Physical/Occupational Therapists, Nutritionists, Coaches, Exercise Physiologists, Personal Trainers, Researchers, and more. You should try taking a look at the research that is undertaken by the Kinesiology Departments at colleges such as UT or UH.

    For the thanks to athletes for being dumb and helping your chances, this is equally ridiculous. Some of the athletes are not the smartest, but its not safe to classify all of them this way. Also, not all athletes are Kinesiology majors and many of them excel in academics. If you think about it, it is much harder for athletes because on top of maintaining a gpa, they must go to practice, train, go on trips, miss important lectures, etc. Many teachers also disapprove of athletes and make it harder for them to balance everything.

  3. Mary says:

    First, each of these articles are poorly researched. Kinesiology is not the study of how to become a coach–an earlier commenter illuminated this for you. And athletes are not the “dumb ones” at Southwestern. As a group, athletes at SU have the highest GPA on campus. Not only are athletes smart, but they are forced to forego things like weekends and free time so that they can both travel with the team and pursue rigorous courseloads. I was not an athlete at Southwestern, but I avidly supported our athletic teams. We have an active athletic program because our students want it that way. The sports that people play are vital parts of their everyday lives, and they want to attend a university where they can continue to pursue that particular passion. I was one of those academic types who was not particularly excited about the FRA requirement–but I see the validity of such a requirement, if in fact SU is going to claim to be a liberal arts institution, promoting excellence of mind, body, and spirit. This article is a fairly shameful example of journalism at SU–and as an alum, I’m disappointed to read it.

  4. Jillie says:

    As an member of the class of ’07 and an ex-athlete, I am embarrassed and disgusted by both of these “editorials.” Both writers’ arguments are lacking in any actual fact and exhibit a kind of ignorance that I would not expect from an SU student. While the financial crisis is definitely something to be taken seriously, the opinions in these articles are nothing but a shameful attack on SU’s athletes and their hardworking coaches. Like Mary said, athletes at SU have the highest GPA on campus. Many of my past teammates are among the best students I have ever known. They have gone to medical school, PA school, PT school, and law school. They have gotten advanced degrees in economics and art history. They have graduated summa cum laude with a degree in math. An assertion that the only benefit of SU’s athletic program is to give non-athletes a better shot at an A is down-right offensive. As someone who worked myself ragged at SU and am now in law school on a full scholarship, I am personally offended. And why single out athletes? Drama students work just as hard and spend just as many hours, if not more, doing what they do. Are they unable to make good grades as well? Do they, too, lack the “will” to succeed? My suggestion to both authors is to actually talk to an SU athlete before you smear them in print. You might find that you are not so superior to them after all.

  5. Lane Hill says:

    I’d love to remind everyone that this is a humor article.

    As a result, this is not representative of our standard, real journalism.

    As a Web Editor, I humbly apologize if this was not made more clear, or if you were offended.

  6. Jameson says:

    I am simply dumbfounded at the libelous nature with which both of the writers treat one of the largest and hardest working groups on campus. As a 2007 alumnus and ex-captain of the SU cross-country team, I am incredibly offended that a fellow Pirate could dig up athletic stereotypes and publish them as if they were irrefutable fact. Athletes as a whole are no more or less “dumb” than non-athletes.

    My four best friends were also my teammates on the cross-country team. One manages one of the largest shoe stores in the DFW Metroplex, one is in law school, one got a Master’s in technical communication, and the last one is getting a Master’s in accounting. I double-majored in history and English and am currently working on my Master’s in information science. Are we to be considered dumb jocks because instead of rolling out of bed hungover like the “stereotypical” college student we woke up at 5:30 to go for a run?

    For that matter, both writers ignore the many benefits that the athletic program brings to the Southwestern community: basketball games, soccer matches, and swim meets provide cheap and safe activities for students to attend; the program fosters team-building and leadership skills in its participants; sports help increase interest in the university among donors as well as with incoming high school students. I know that if the athletic department did not express an interest in my attending, I would not have gone to college within 100 miles of Georgetown. I and most of my fellow athletes came to Southwestern so that we could get a balanced education which would enrich our minds as well as our bodies.

  7. Evan says:

    Could someone please explain how this is supposed to be funny in any way, shape or form? I understand that it’s supposed to be satire, but I still fail to see how this was intended to be humorous.

    My impression is quite the opposite. It appears to me that instead of attempting to be light-hearted in their pseudo-analysis, both authors wrote their pieces based off of their antipathy towards SU athletes. The fact that this was a “fake” article was a convenient excuse to exhibit their disrespect and disdain for athletes. If I’m mistaken, I sincerely apologize.

    As an ex-Pirate athlete, and proud 2007 alumnus, I have to opine that if this satirical article were written about any other group on campus, there would have been much more of an uproar. I suppose that because athletes are a minority on SU’s campus it feels more appropriate to chastise and demean, under the thin veil of comedy.

  8. Eryn says:

    I must agree that these articles are thoroughly embarrassing and reflect irresponsibility on the part of the writers. I understand the humorous intent but I hardly believe that these articles were well intended. Articles like these reinforce negative stereotypes that are ill-founded and hurtful to those of us who bust our asses in our studies and on the field. I would like to reiterate what has already been said about the academic success of Southwestern’s student-athletes. As a student-athlete myself, I know that my participation in collegiate sports has helped me to be a disciplined and successful student.

    Furthermore, it’s insulting to demean the majors of any of our students considering that our liberal arts educations require us to apply ourselves to several disciplines, and I guarantee there are GPA boosting classes in nearly ever major. Also, might I remind that FRA’s are pass-fail. They do not boost your GPA. If they are considering cutting College Writing, I sincerely doubt it’s to add more athletic courses or that it would benefit any absurdly competitive students in stepping over their classmates.

    As someone who has taken such pride in representing this university as an athlete I am deeply saddened to find such spiteful and misguided rants in this paper. Again, I understand that the intent might have been to garner a laugh, but that laugh cost some dignity. This may not be an example of your standards of “journalism” but, if this is what passes for humor, it’s lacking tact.

  9. I am a 2008 alumnus of Southwestern and played both basketball and lacrosse.

    These articles are clearly reflections of actual feeling the writers hold for the stereotyped athlete cowardly hidden behind satire. Seeing as how the other athletes who have responded to this have done what you failed to do and put together a coherent and forceful argument I will take a different route.

    Keep in mind this is designed to tear your article apart from a quality standpoint. As an angry alum I sincerely apologize if up to this point that was not made clear.

    Any minute amount of research beyond counting the numbers of kinesiology professors would have yielded some points about the glamorous life of the Southwestern athlete that could have been funny. But, as the article stands it is a lazy, gutless and clearly unfunny piece that goes as far as to celebrate the lack of research. Even in a satire you have to do some research.

    Perhaps, Andrew and Remy, if you knew that your main audience for a satirical piece are those who are the subjects of the satire you would have tried a tiny bit harder. In this sense your article was a horrible failure and clearly seen by the subjects as lacking any satirical aspects.

    The six rebuttals from Southwestern athletes posted before this one are all better pieces of writing, and all say exactly what they mean to say without hiding behind the “I was just kidding” defense. Dear editor, Op-ed pieces should be labeled as such and treated as such.

    I don’t think it is the athlete who needs the college writing requirement boys.

  10. Andrew Dornon says:

    According to the OED:
    Satire, noun: The employment, in speaking or writing, of sarcasm, irony, ridicule, etc. in exposing, denouncing, deriding, or ridiculing vice, folly, indecorum, abuses, or evils of any kind.

    The point of the article was to satirize and castigate the reaction of Jake Schrum and company to the current economic crisis. My point was not to attack athletes. I was merely commenting on the fact that SU will not be renewing the contracts of many, if not all, visiting professors, while we will be keeping all athletic and kinesiology staff. I feel that this reflects a lack of commitment to people who are valuable to our community. I was parodying the administration’s far too broad action against visiting faculty by suggesting a complete lay-off of athletic staff. I don’t want anyone to lose their jobs, that’s what I was satirizing. I took the actual proposal and parodied it with one of my own, that used “sarcasm, irony,[and] ridicule…in exposing, denouncing, deriding, or ridiculing vice, folly, indecorum, [and] abuses” which I see to be taking place at SU.

  11. Lane Hill says:

    Just wanted people to know that duplicate comments were deleted in this thread.

    -Web Editor

  12. James says:

    “The Megaphone is a complete waste of funding. If President Schrum wants to find ways to manage the budget he should consider cutting that of megaphone. There are 25+ people on staff (when only 25 papers are actually read, the rest are used for kindling), plus the cost of distribution of the paper, and other costs; if this program were to be cut the university could save a decent amount of money.”
    Oh don’t get offended this is just a satire and does not reflect the feelings or ideas of any one person, but it sure is entertaining isn’t it?
    I would have to agree with the people who have commented above, these articles do not sound satirical at all, instead, they sound like a tyrannical rant. Both of these arguments are ridiculous and unnecessary and it is the articles like this that make the Megaphone a joke of a paper.

  13. John says:

    If that is the best criticism that alumni of SU can supply, maybe I should transfer because I would hope to be more intelligent than that when I graduate college.

    The first couple of comments seem to completely disregard that the articles are satire at all and the following comments acknowledge it only in name. Check over your typos, make sure that what you’re saying should be in the article isn’t already there and realize that you’re fueling the exact stereotypes satirized in the article.

  14. Chris says:

    “I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

    I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

    I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.”

  15. Laura says:

    Yay for Jonathan Swift and his satirical funny bone (!).

  16. John says:

    What was the point of writing a giant excerpt of A Modest Proposal? You could’ve proven what you think satire is without being such an elitist bastard.

  17. Rob Connell says:

    I thought it was pretty funny.

    We all know us non-athletes are superior to the inferior, athletes of SU.

    Get a grip?

    -RC

  18. Remy Robertson says:

    We all need to lighten up a bit, m’thinks.

    I didn’t think the articles were out of line.

  19. Remy Robertson says:

    I wrote the comment under Rob Connell’s name. I didn’t press send, that was Andrew Dornon.

  20. Stacey says:

    This was neither funny, nor clever. Way to go guys. You represent the humanities so well!

    While I’m not a kinesiology major, I live with one. And I know that I would fail if I had to take her workload–anatomy, calculus, bio 1 & 2, chemistry, and physics, in addition to upper-level physiology classes. The day that either of you make an A or a B in these classes, you can make fun of kinesiology.

    Oh, and this may have been presented as satire, but I think we all know that much of it isn’t. Satire is supposed to be outlandish and extreme-this just sounded like people who got annoyed with high school jocks and decided to apply those stereotypes to SU athletes. Damn, I wish I had thought of that!

  21. Stacey says:

    Oh, and that last line was satirical. Judging by this article, you may have not been able to pick up on that.

  22. Patrick says:

    Come back with a better argument when you can vote

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