After seeing controversy about COVID-19 mask policies and who deserves what on or off campus, we just want to take a moment to remind everyone that we are all entitled to the same treatment at SFA.
We understand the Athletics Department has no control over other campus events and guest limitations, but to hear people say the student athletes deserve to not have to wear masks or social distance is a little upsetting.
We are glad our athletes were able to be celebrated in their annual banquet. They work hard to represent our school. They deserve the recognition. However, they are not entitled to ignore the University protocols meant to keep us safe.
Plenty of other campus organizations deserve the same celebration. The theatre department is working around performing with masks, without the use of their regular building and while navigating livestream options. The band uses covers on instruments and practices outside every day to stay safe. Countless other organizations, including The Pine Log, have been navigating through the pandemic and safety procedures and given up the comforts they’re used to, yet no one else feels entitled to not follow procedure.
It’s not about vaccines or testing or whether someone has antibodies. It’s about feeling like you’re better than other organizations because you have resources they don’t. Using over 11 thousand tests on athletes since July while other students and faculty had limited access to the same treatment is wrong. Saying you’ve sacrificed more than someone else is wrong. Everyone has sacrificed something. Some people have sacrificed their loved ones. Their lives.
Getting tested every day might look like a sacrifice to an athlete, but to others it’s a luxury. It doesn’t mean you deserve to celebrate without limits; it means you have the privilege of not worrying about what will happen if you get sick. Put that “sacrifice” into the perspective of students who haven’t come back to campus in over a year because their classes moved to online formats or had to wait until after graduating to be offered the opportunity to walk the stage.
Sports are an important asset to the University, and no one is saying they aren’t, but when it comes down to compassion for other students, just remember everyone has given something up. Everyone is navigating the pandemic. We all need to be considerate of how our actions affect other people, regardless of our personal feelings.
The University gave us safety guidelines for a reason, let’s all do our part to be respectful of that.