March 1, 2021

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RE: “School Spirit Must Be Sacrificed for Public Safety”

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To the Editor:

The title of the article, “School Spirit Must Be Sacrificed for Public Safety” makes one major assumption about athletics at Cornell. Athletics do not equate to school spirit, in fact they represent much more than what spectators, fans and otherwise non-participatory parties see on the outside. 

Speaking on behalf of fellow athletes, most of us have worked hard our entire lives for an opportunity to put our abilities to the test at the highest levels of performance. Our personal journeys in athletics should not be reduced to something that is enjoyed primarily as entertainment.

With the cancellation of spring competition, the Ivy League has played with the heartstrings of

athletes across the country. We do not need to hear from people, mainly non-athletes and professors, constantly chiming in on the conversation about what athletes should think about having our seasons canceled. We hear every day how we cannot access facilities, talk to coaches, train consistently and finish our careers on a high note. I encourage people to take the route of empathy and compassion in times like these, where everyone is having opportunities seized from them in favor of the greater good.

I write this not to try to reverse any decisions, for those have been long made up. But I would

like non-athletes to consider this: What if you did something your whole life, something that

centered you, grounded you and then had it taken away from you? Where would that leave you? For most of us athletes, it left us in a state of confusion and oftentimes despair — feelings that are not just unique to us either. 

I urge for a better understanding of the athletes’ perspective, for right now we have an understanding that is very limited at Cornell, and in the Ivy League in general.

Sam Oravec ’21

Track and Field – Senior Captain