Letter From The Editor: Placing Blame Where It Belongs

Cecilia Levine, Managing Editor

It wasn’t easy for me to walk through Kessel when the lacrosse team jeered and booed at me, or to look into the News 12 cameras and tell them that I had no more information to provide despite the misinformation that Pace Athletics presented to the community, which I chose not to further explore.

When recent articles of failed drug tests, oil changes and fights were published I expected some hostility from students, but I never anticipated the backlash that I received from their adult administrators.

Out of respect for the athletes I withheld names and jersey numbers from the articles that I wrote while listening to my neighbors – some student-athletes whom I had otherwise been friendly with – call me spiteful names and shout threats in my direction.

While I could choose to play the victim like many of you have been doing – claiming that I ruined your lives, though you not once chose to defend yourselves on record despite being contacted on multiple occasions – I will continue to do what I’ve been doing all along and that is, present the facts.

And so, I will provide you with pertinent information that may help to answer some questions.

Athletics has been nothing short of uncooperative when it came to working with The Pace Chronicle. Officials and employees took weeks to respond and often failed to return phone calls or emails leaving them defenseless, only to protest that I was out to get them. One employee approached me and had the audacity to question my intentions shortly after the article about oil changes was published, though in the same breath acknowledged that he read my Letter to the Editor where I stated that I was merely presenting factual information – as I am doing now.

Not once did the athletic department deny any incident or make any effort to establish the innocence of the athletes in question. If you’ll notice in all of the articles written about the drug related incidents, Athletic Director Mark Brown was either unavailable for comment -which meant that phone calls were never returned – or attested to further investigation -which have yet to be carried out. More specifically, in the case of the aforementioned oil changes, the nursing department was eager to investigate the situation and to speak to me to attain the information that I possess while, in my opinion, athletics merely dismissed the incident sweeping it further under the rug.

Another instance of discrepancy is in the article that mentions the fights between the baseball team and residents of North Hall.

“’Due to an active investigation into this matter, we have no comment at this time until that process is completed by Pace Security,’ said Director of Athletics Mark Brown, although Executive Director of Pace Security Vincent Beatty said that the Mount Pleasant Police Department is conducting the investigation as the incident was reported by one of the involved students,” the article stated.

When Brown was contacted by The Pace Chronicle through a variety of mediums (two emails, a phone call and an in-person visit to athletic offices) for further comment in which he was encouraged to consider correcting his mistake, Brown never so much as declined to comment and returned no emails or phone calls. Failure to communicate is not only rude but it is unprofessional, though he once chided me for my own unprofessionalism when I wore leggings to an interview.

A mere speculation may be that Brown’s mistake might have been a deliberate attempt to undermine the situation by failing to acknowledge police involvement. However, as it is my job to report factual information, Brown may have been intentionally hindering me in doing so.

Allow me to reiterate – this is not an attack on athletics, rather an affirmation of my personal attempts to equally represent the department in The Pace Chronicle when opportunities presented themselves.

The newspaper isn’t my only job. I also work for the Goldstein Fitness Center in an office right below the athletics department and under the supervision of some of the coaches who have since accused me of ruining their reputations. I am one of the two undergraduate student-supervisors, and in prior months I have been applauded by those very coaches for handling situations with maturity beyond that of their own.

Like those employees of the athletic department, it is my responsibility also to protect one of the most developed buildings on campus, though I speculate that it may be falling apart at the seams from within.

The question begs as to how these individuals are expected to run an entire department, but I’ll leave you, Pace University, to answer that question.

It has been weeks since those events unfolded in the newspaper yet I am still receiving negative feedback from administrators and students that, I would venture to say, are still learning to take accountability for their own actions.

I can understand the vexing frustration of the athletes whose teams’ reputations have been tarnished, but then again, they’re the ones writing the stories as I merely transcribe them.

It’s not my job to create the news – it’s yours – nor is my responsibility to apologize to those who do.

That too, is yours.