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Senate passes athletic-conduct resolution

By John Ashby

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 16 - January 16, 1997

The Faculty Senate passed an athletic-conduct resolution at its December meeting. The vote was recorded as 20 in favor, and 10 opposing.

Discussion on the resolution was related to expressing disapproval of the violent behavior of some athletes while noting the positive achievements of most student athletes, and the Athletic Department. Senator Hugh Munson questioned the need for the senate to make a statement about lawlessness. "Why is it necessary for us to decry lawlessness? Isn't that a given?" Munson said he would prefer to see a more positive emphasis on the educational programs now under way in the Athletic Department to deal with issues such as alcohol and gender relations.

Other senators said they didn't know what programs were under way in the Athletic Department, and would not feel justified in changing the resolution to add praise for these programs.

The resolution passed by the senate is as follows:

Whereas acts of violence, theft, or other forms of lawlessness have no place in the civil community of Virginia Tech;

whereas unlawful and destructive acts by student athletes bring disrepute to the university and reflect unfairly on the great majority of student athletes, whose classroom as well as athletic performance has in recent years been remarkably good;

whereas our athletes enjoy a privilege in representing the university in intercollegiate athletics; and

whereas as a voluntary association the university has the right to impose its own sanctions;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Faculty Senate of Virginia Tech condemns the use of violence and/or engaging in unlawful conduct by any member of the university community, including the faculty, staff, and students, and considers such conduct to be unacceptable;

Further be it resolved that the Faculty Senate of Virginia Tech is particularly disturbed with the recent pattern of violent and unlawful conduct associated with some members of university athletic teams and would endorse and support further severe measures imposed on players, teams or coaches and other administrators should these be necessary to prevent or address any further serious misconduct by student athletes.