UD Student Government elections spark conversation about student athlete integration

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Sports Petition. Photo by Francesca Normun

Due to discrepancies in the 2021-2022 Student Government elections, a new conversation about student athlete representation and integration on campus has been sparked. 

Student athletes, along with commuters and international students, were originally only able to vote for their respective representatives and not their class representatives. 

Much of the conversation was sparked by a petition entitled “Recall the Executive Committee of the UD Student Government for Voter Suppression,” which was started by senior politics major Spencer Magee, and has garnered 176 signatures at the time of writing. 

“I don’t think that we should punish people for choosing to be the best of themselves, for choosing to be physically fit. I don’t think we should punish people for choosing these extracurricular activities and that they get less of a say in Student Government because of that,” said Magee in an interview.

Though this discrepancy in voting was corrected by an email sent by Residence Coordinator Sarah Baker on Sept. 2, the conversation about athlete representation on campus still remains.

Many athletes feel there is a divide between them and the rest of the student body. 

“I do think that there’s a disintegration between student athletes and non-athlete students. I think this is a problem on both sides,” senior history major and UD women’s soccer player Monica O’Donnell said. “The support for athletics here at UD is very lacking from the student body and some professors. It’s not very often that you have student fans.”

O’Donnell suggested the student body “come out to support athletics, bring your friends, then go hangout after games!”

“I also think the administration could post on their social media more about teams and let the student body know when home games are happening,” she said.  

Former men’s lacrosse player and co-vice president of Blue Crew, Benjamin Simansky, said, “First semester freshman year I was going to the games, second semester I was in them.”

“Going to games is a chance to show support for your friends and school and simply be together. Many may not realize, but going to a game and cheering on your classmates isn’t just a fun activity, it’s appreciation for all our student athletes’ hard work and perseverance. It’s not easy going to class, running to daily practice, studying, fitting meals in between, and then getting to bed to do it all over the next day,” said Simanksy. 

Being a student is difficult. Being a student athlete is even more so. We should listen to our student athletes and actively support them. Talk to student athletes about their experiences, cheer on our teams, join an org

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