Standing in the men’s locker room in the Acadia Athletic Complex, I found myself squeezed in between two fully nude men striking Captain Morgan poses without a shred of shame. I was wondering exactly what they were doing at the gym at such an hour. I know I wouldn’t be coming to work out at 11:30 at night if I were in my 70’s. Well, honestly I didn’t really find too much joy in doing it now in my 20’s. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have too much choice. I had already paid my chunk of my intramural basketball team’s $300 fee and didn’t plan on having that money go to waste, even if it meant having to drag myself to the Athletic Complex for an 11:30 game when I had class in nine hours.
As sweat dripped down my leg from the older gentlemen beside me’s privates, I began to get frustrated. Here I am, an avid student with strong academic ability and commitment in an academic institution, getting the short end of the stick, playing my 11:30, $300 basketball game, getting changed in the public changing room. Meanwhile, as I walk out of the changing room I am passed by a group of varsity athletes sauntering down the hallway from their team’s personal changing room after their prime practice time, enjoying their sizeable scholarships, free clothes, and free tutors. The discrepancy in treatment between varsity athletes and regular students is a perfect reflection of many of the most serious problem we have in the world. Physical attributes are being valued above intelligence, volunteerism, and academic commitment.
As a university, Acadia is an academic institution. The primary focus of Acadia should be to educate its students, create critical thinkers, and prepare them for their futures in the “real world”. If that was the case, then why does the C student with far-fetched dreams of playing in the CFL receive a scholarship twice the size of mine and eat up god knows what percentage of my tuition fees with the extensive privileges he or she gets to enjoy every day? Money. Acadia isn’t acting like an academic institution by continuing with these practices. As long as varsity sports continue to eat up the tuition of hard working students and community members, Acadia will remain nothing more than a business; taking from the many to benefit the few.