The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Sudent-athletes speak out on Bryan Incident

As children we were taught that there are always two sides to every story. Recent events at Guilford College have silenced one of those sides. Thanks to a Jan. 22 athlete-directed forum open to students only, the student-athlete community had a chance to share their feelings about the Bryan incident.

According to community senate student-athlete representative and one of the coordinators of the forum Jeremy Bante, the forum was closed to press and adults because the press elevates the intensity. Bante didn’t want the press or faculty to influence what was intended to be an open-minded forum.

The hour-and-a-half forum brought in around 50 students and focused on what the student athletes in attendance could do to help the community heal.

According to a post-forum Q-and-A with Bante, the forum also discussed rumors of special athlete treatment. The rumors that were addressed involved fall athletes having separate AVANTI programs and recruited athletes get different tours than other prospective students.

Andrew McClannon is one of the student athletes that attended the forum, and he did not believe there was any truth to the rumors spreading. “The forum helped dispel the word-of-mouth rumors going on around campus about student athletes and non-athletes,” McClannon said.

First-year athletes that take part in the pre-Guilford activities in the AVANTI program have to do theirs a little earlier than regular students do because of practice and because they have games a few weeks after the AVANTI program.

As for tours, coaches can give recruited student athletes their own separate tour. Coaches are now encouraging their recruits to take the normal tour. Bante suggested giving tours for all students, both student athletes and traditional students, to bridge the gap between the two parties.

Uniting the divide was another major issue discussed at the forum.

Referring to the rumors, Bante said, “This is a time where more people notice the divide, but it is a great opportunity to do something about it.”

An idea suggested by senior Billie Pellerito was to implement a “do-what-you-don’t-week,” a week where all Guilford students can try activities they normally would not have time for. During such a week, a Guilford basketball player could try painting or sculpting, and a theatre studies major could play catch with a football.

Other members of the community, including head football coach Kevin Kiesel and Bante, feel the gap is artificial. “Athletes look like everyone else,” Bante said.

Kiesel trusts activities like the closed forum and the Guilford judicial system to help the healing process.

Prior to the forum, Kiesel and his players remained silent whenever the Bryan incident was mentioned.

Kiesel mentioned two reasons for the lack of comments on the incident: he wanted to protect the judicial system of the college, and he felt no need to grab the media’s attention.

“People today are very intelligent; they understand our news today,” Kiesel said. “President Kent Chabotar did a great job saying we will go through the process methodically.”

The forums, Kiesel said, show that all students care and that the school is very important to the entire student body – art major, business major, soccer player, or football player. Also according to Kiesel, it is important for the community as a whole to work for the healing process.

“Once we step back and let the community work,” Kiesel said, “this will all get back to normal.

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