Volume 92, Issue 32

Friday, October 30, 1998

big money


The one-way verdict

Re: Admin throw flag on Mustang, Oct. 27

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, Oct. 27 it was reported that six sanctions were handed down to the Mustang football program by Western's intercollegiate athletics. Of these six sanctions, at least five of them are a direct result of alleged initiation procedures by our no. 1 ranked football team. These sanctions were presumably, but of course not necessarily, brought on by the Oct. 2 incident involving both a first-year member of the football team and a first-year engineer.

The reasoning for these sanctions was an alleged violation of codes of conduct, which served to "produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule." The point I would like to make is that the only mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule brought on to either Preston Haynes or Ian Munroe was a result of their own individual actions, for which they are responsible. This is voluntary action we are talking about, right?

Some would disagree. They would argue the behaviour of at least one of these two individuals was a result of involuntary actions, specifically peer pressure as a result of initiation traditions. So why, if the victim of this prankish behaviour acted on his own volition, is he not being forced to take any responsibility? Why was he there? What was he doing?

Peter Mercer, Western's VP-administration, suggested that the brass was "concerned that an incident occurred – it was prankish behaviour." If so, I would like to know what the prank was – running someone down? No. More likely, the prank was the situation in which this incident occurred. Now, we must shift the blame to those who are responsible for the situation in which this unfortunate incident occurred.

Mercer later admitted that the situation in question was a result of "a culture [that] has been embedded." Here, some questions need answering. Is this culture only embedded in the football program itself? Is there another organization involved? How did Ian Munroe get put in the situation in the first place? It seems that the investigation our red-tape bearers have initiated is only half done.

Both Preston Haynes and Ian Munroe found themselves at J.W. Little Stadium that night. These happen to be the two people which have found themselves involved in this embedded culture. Because of this, isn't it reasonable that both factions leading to this culture be punished for their roles?

What we have here is a one-sided verdict, one that will send a message to only one party of a joint culture and because of this only one party will learn the lesson the administration wants taught. The only way this investigation can be reasonably said to be complete is if both parties involved in the incident are held responsible.

Perhaps the only way this unapprehended faction will learn the lesson that our administration wants taught is by falling off the observatory roof. Take a look at the observatory after Halloween if you don't understand.

Levon Stevenson
Philosphy IV

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Copyright The Gazette 1998