COLUMN: Club hockey punishment is without merit
I bit into a bad apple once and haven’t done it since.
I learned from it.
The Central Michigan club hockey team bit into a bad apple also, but there’s a difference: they won’t have a chance to learn from it. Why?
They were suspended five years or until everybody on the team today will not have a chance to compete when the club is officially cleared to play in 2017.
In five years, nobody on the team today will be on the team when it can compete again. All new players will not have the learning experience of this mistake with which to ensure it won’t happen again. Let this year’s freshmen be able to compete as seniors, so they can use this experience to ensure a more responsible culture within the team, as opposed to a team full of rookies new to the college life and likely to bite into bad apples again.
While I applaud and respect the seriousness with which Central Michigan University handled alcohol and hazing violations against the university’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, there’s something that has to be pointed out.
Five years is an overreaction.
Not only that, but delivering a five-year punishment without rationale or explanation gives the feeling that CMU is simply too lazy to make sure the students learn from the mistake. Maybe CMU just wanted to deactivate the team and show the players the door before the team can play again, without really having to waste energy on making sure these players can grow and learn from the mistake. Where is the merit of a punishment like that?
The Office of Student Life feels it doesn’t have to answer questions and be accountable for poor judgment. The Office of Student Life told me that all inquiries about disciplinary action against the club hockey team were directed to Jen Nottingham, director of club sports.
Nottingham does not deal with the disciplinary measures of any club sport.
“(The Office of Student Life is) trying to not answer questions about the disciplinary process with the club hockey team,” Nottingham said.
The team didn’t cheat. The team didn’t steal. The team simply made a mistake. A five-year punishment isn’t giving the team an opportunity to learn from its mistake, it’s telling them they should have acted perfect to begin with.
The team appealed the suspension, but details about the rationale have not been released by the Office of Student Life.
What is the university looking for? An apology?
Well, sorry for party rockin’.
To the Office of Student Life and the university in large, if you haven’t realized this, young adults make mistakes. Some departments at the university account for this – it’s why students can return after a year if they have been academically dismissed. A university should advocate an environment that not only allows students to succeed, but allows them to make mistakes and grow from them.
Allow us to make mistakes here before they go out in the world not knowing how to grow. That would be a complete failure, especially if they are alums of this university, where they should be given a chance to grow from failures.
A five-year deactivation of the team is not a punishment, it’s delaying further mistakes until later.
That’s how bad apples grow.
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