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Patriot Perspective: Student section must reconsider actions

Students+have+misused+a+prominent+student+section+at+the+men%27s+basketball+games+by+using+it+to+single+out+a+JC+student+as+well+as+chanting+derogatory+things.+It+is+imperative+that+students+reconsider+the+purpose+of+a+student+section+in+order+to+preserve+our+reputation+and+strengthen+our+sense+of+community.+
Students have misused a prominent student section at the men's basketball games by using it to single out a JC student as well as chanting derogatory things. It is imperative that students reconsider the purpose of a student section in order to preserve our reputation and strengthen our sense of community.

Students have misused a prominent student section at the men's basketball games by using it to single out a JC student as well as chanting derogatory things. It is imperative that students reconsider the purpose of a student section in order to preserve our reputation and strengthen our sense of community.

Grace Mottley

Grace Mottley

Students have misused a prominent student section at the men's basketball games by using it to single out a JC student as well as chanting derogatory things. It is imperative that students reconsider the purpose of a student section in order to preserve our reputation and strengthen our sense of community.

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As the ball rushes down the court, the student sections start with their back and forth banter. “SAT scores” and “You can’t do that” echo throughout the gym. Suddenly, the chants turn sour and students from the C. Milton Wright student section chant the name of a JC student. Rather than ignoring it, students from our student section feed into the verbal attack.

“We don’t claim her.”

Unfortunately, this was not the first time a JC student has been singled out during a sports event. During the game against Calvert Hall High School, Calvert Hall students chanted the same JC student’s name.

As a community of students who are supposed to support each other, we cannot accept and continue with this unnecessary, hateful chanting or any comparable action that continues to single out one of our own students. Although some of the student section sat down and were appalled by this chant, it is unacceptable that we have allowed this to happen in the first place.

We are not against chanting at basketball games and showing support for our classmates. In fact, the turnout for both of these games was phenomenal, and we encourage the student body to continue to show school spirit in all cases. However, there is a line that should not be crossed.

After the game had ended, the disrespect directed toward the student carried over to social media, showing up on Twitter. Students who did not attend the game soon heard all about the chanting due to numerous tweets, and even praised JC for their reckless and rude chants and claimed to be “the best student section in the game.” This overall support and encouragement on a public platform established the idea that our students were proud of this behavior.

It is crucial that the community maintains a good reputation with those outside of the school community. Once someone witnesses a JC student behaving inappropriately, that person will automatically generalize the rest of the student body as unprofessional.

It was well known that the University of Maryland Basketball Head Coach Mark Turgeon attended the game against CMW, along with coaches from Virginia Tech and La Salle University. These representatives witnessed the two school communities disrespect a student in an inappropriate manner and observed our school at one of our lowest points. As a community, we want everyone, especially those who are associated with colleges, to look at us with a positive perspective. However, this could be hindered by bad attitudes and rude actions.

With this in mind, a secondary source of disappointment surfaced from the lack of administration interference. Although the chant should have never happened, the administration should have taken the initiative to end it once it began. However, nothing was done to put it to an end, and the administration still has not publicly addressed the behavior.

Regardless of the intensity of the sporting event, it is imperative that our student section remembers that we are a community and must defend each other inside and outside of the classroom. The lack of reaction makes it appear that both students and faculty accepted the fact that we humiliated and belittled one of our own people in front of recruiting coaches, parents, and alumni.  

It is important that we reconsider what we say during these sporting events. Not only has it led to belittling a JC student, but it has caused our community to develop a reputation of recklessness. Chants such as “you’re going to work for us one day” and “sausage fest” are derogatory and inappropriate for a high school game. These chants take away from the positive environment that should be around sporting events and instead distract us from focusing on cheering on the players.

The point of a student section is to show support for our classmates and to encourage them to play their best during the game, not to be a public forum to tear down other students. When we mishandle the benefits of having a present student section at the games, it reflects negativity on the rest of the student body as a whole and damages our reputation.

The student section must steer away from those that are inappropriate and disparaging of a classmate, but rather emphasize the witty, more creative chants. The more creative students get with the designated theme of the night, for example, using props, the more unified we will be and the better school spirit we will have.

Athletes perform at their best with a loud, supportive crowd behind them. As a community who stresses the importance of acceptance and inclusion, the student section must keep in mind the repercussions of their actions and avoid inappropriate chants.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Patriot Perspective: Student section must reconsider actions”

  1. Gabriel Webster on January 24th, 2017 12:55 am

    This article will allow more people who may not have known this was happening to either “join the bandwagon” or constantly pressure “the student” as to what they did to make these chants occur. Both are not the business of the public at all, but now are making it visible for them to look in and observe.

    “The Patriot” is a nationally acclaimed newspaper. It seems as though the writer does not realize that allowing a community to know about this issue and writing about it will not do anything for the problem at hand. John Carroll’s Student Section was not the ones attacking “a student” in the first place. They might have responded incorrectly, but it is innapropriate to blame the student body/student section for the preliminary attack of Calvert Hall.

    School Rivalries are heated and seem to get out of control. But the athletes will tell you, the rowdier the crowd the more they feel as if they need to perform on the “next level.” As one of the students in the past who lead chants and student sections, I know this. I believe that there are right and wrong ways to go about the rivalries but chants “against” another school should not be reprimanded or even taken seriously in the way they currently are. Chants such as “sausage fest” is a comical way of saying a school is an all boys school and has been used literally for generations at high schools all around.

    Over the past few years there has been a “lackluster” turnout for many sporting events and games. Coaches and Athletic Directors have been heard publically complaining about this. I was very proud to see students turning out for games and participating in the themes that were decided. Publishing an article, reprimanding any school spirit at all will scare, discourage and make some students wary about returning to more games in the future. Especially the younger grade levels, which have become leaders in the student sections themselves.

    To remedy the attack on a student, it would be more logical to talk to the student who currently head the student section and give them ideas of how to remedy a “direct attack” to a student and how to respond to it with wit, proper timing and with controlled tempers. It seems to be unprofessional and not smart to publish an article speaking against the actions of a student or group before doing anything and everything to remedy the issue on a small personal scale first.

    Thank you

    Go Patriots!

    #jcupforever

    [Reply]

    Kathryn Deaver Reply:

    Gabe –

    Thank you for commenting and taking the time to add your perspective to this article. I know you’re not the only one who feels this way, and you express your opinions civilly. I hope you take this response as an equally civil counterargument!

    You acknowledged that JC’s student section “might have responded inappropriately.” It seems to me that any chant that singles out a specific player is inappropriate. I do not pretend to see inside the mind of individual players, but a team functions best when everyone works together. The negativity and cruelty of “We don’t claim her” has no place in that gym, and JC’s Student Section absolutely should be ashamed of sinking that low.

    As to your charge that this topic is “not the business of the public” – who exactly is it the business of? That game was a public event. Those chants were public. Every student or attendee who took videos on Snapchat and shared it on their story spread the message beyond the people in that gym. Isn’t that making it visible to people who weren’t there? Why shouldn’t the school newspaper be allowed to report on and comment on a school event?

    I understand your desire to handle issues on a personal level first, but that is not the job of the newspaper. The newspaper is there to report on events relevant to JC and – in opinion articles – put forth an opinion on them. The articles are not supposed to just take up space. Hopefully, they will generate a conversation (as this one did). By making people aware of what happened at this game, expressing concerns of students through the voice of the paper, and suggesting a solution (which is actually to continue chanting, just in a more positive way), this article has done its job thoroughly.

    Kathy Deaver
    Class of 2015

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Patriot Perspective: Student section must reconsider actions