Letters

In response to the story about student athletes having a dress code, I just want the readers to understand what we go through on a daily basis. Our goal is not just winning the game. We take heat from our coaches, from our teammates and from our peers. It’s not about getting a scholarship, getting drafted or making Sports Center. It’s a deep need in us that comes from the heart. We need to practice, play, to lift, to hustle, to sweat, to compete. We do it all for our teammates. We don’t lift weights with a future Olympic wrestler; we lift with a future doctor. We don’t run with a future Wimbledon champion; we run with a future CEO. It’s a bigger part of us than our friends and family can understand. Sometimes we play for 200,000 fans, sometimes for 25. You cheer for us because you know us. You know more than just our names. Like all of you, we are still students first. We don’t sign autographs for money. But we do sign graduate school applications, MCAT exams and student body petitions. When we miss a kick, or strike out, we don’t let down an entire state. We only let down our teammates, coaches and fans. But the hurt in our hearts is the same. We train hard. Lift, throw, run, kick, shoot, dribble and lift some more, and in the morning we go to class. Still the next day in class, we are nothing more than students. It’s about pride in us, in our school. It’s about our love and passion for the game. And when it’s all over, when we walk off that court or field for the last time, our hearts crumble … But deep down inside, we are very proud of ourselves. We will forever be what few can claim: college athletes. This is what we do everyday, we play to win first to accomplish the goals we set for the year. A dress code would be biased; we all represent Missouri Southern in some way. We are all together in this perception so we all play a role.

Mike Lang,

Junior

Marketing and Advertising Major

Friday morning, Nov. 11, after my first class, I was in line for coffee on the first floor of the Spiva Library when a friend of mine came up and showed me The Chart newspaper for this week. We both became outraged at the first article. It wasn’t until I had finished reading not just the first article, “Students question athletic dress codes”, but The Chart opinion section and the Campus Voice section that I resolved to write and tell you what a normal college student thinks about your articles on the athletic dress codes.

Throughout your articles, I had to agree with much of what the coaches were saying. Chris Willis was stated to have said, “I think our athletes are a representative of our student body on the athletic field.”

I completely agree with this statement. They do represent the student body every time one of them steps onto the field. Once they have stepped onto the field they are wearing uniforms, it does not matter if it is for track, football, cheerleading, or even choir. They are all wearing a dress code. So, when they aren’t in competition, why do they have to wear uniforms or a dress code? They maintain their scholarships by doing what is required of them during said event. If you have an academic scholarship you maintain your grades. The athletes perform their best during their practices and games. They are normal people just like you. Why do they have to dress differently all the time? Isn’t it enough that they have to wear specific items of clothing on game days or when they have an away game? The athletes of Missouri Southern are not the only ones who represent the school. There are other clubs and organizations. If the athletes have to wear a dress code then why shouldn’t the rest of the clubs and organizations? I encourage people’s freedom of choice. By instituting a dress code you are taking away our ability to choose and to be ourselves.

One of the quotes in the first article was talking about how the athletes look as though they have rolled out of bed and just gone to class. Who hasn’t just rolled out of bed and gone to class? If you have never done that I applaud you. Athletes work just as hard as the rest of us and they should be allowed the same choices as us.

Natalie Murray stated that, “If they want to go anywhere in life they have to look a little bit more professional.”

This said, I’m fairly sure that most of the student body knows that we need to look professional for our jobs. Most of our students have a job by now and many of us are required to dress up for it. So why can’t we enjoy the time when we do not have to dress up?

I personally would enjoy seeing more athletic clothing if it meant less sexually provocative clothing. I know many teachers and even more students who would rather have athletic clothing being worn than some of the clothing that girls can and do wear. When I walk into a class I don’t enjoy seeing some woman’s chest hanging out of her blouse. Now, if I walk into class and see the same person in athletic clothing I can focus more during class and not have to worry about not looking at that person. Athletic clothing at least covers up what many would prefer to show off.

The last point of irritation that I would like to write about is the fact that there are many more important things to be writing about and informing the student body about than an athletic dress code. There was one, one article about the Paris riots in Europe. There was an article dedicated to how people should learn to walk. Has the staff become that desperate for ideas? That is horrible. There were three articles dedicated to a stupid and silly argument that is more gossip than anything, while items that are more significant are either not written about or are barely written about. There was not a single mention in the paper about the elections or the new taxes that might come into play. I learn more about what is going on in Joplin, nationally, and internationally from my high school newspaper than I do reading The Chart. I believe that The Chart is nothing more than a gossip column and the editors and staff need to seriously re-think what they are writing about.

I encourage people’s freedom of choice. By instituting a dress code you are taking away our ability to choose and to be ourselves. I hope that I have helped you to re-think your article topics. Please make them more relevant to our lives.

Elizabeth Bartholet

Freshman

Music Education Major