By Brenna Everdale
The KU student body is deeply saddened by the incident that occurred near Bloomsburg University on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 that allegedly involved four KU football players.
Alicia Miller, a freshman on the Student Government Board, said, “I think it’s crazy. I don’t understand why it had to go that far.”
Miller and the rest of the board are pushing for expulsion of the four KU football players.
“I don’t think that they should be at this school, especially because they’re a huge part of KU pride, and that’s not KU pride. That makes us feel horrible.”
Elizabeth Stutenrot, a studio arts major, said, “I don’t know if they knew how hard they were hitting him or if it was intentional. I have no idea how twisted the story is, but there should be no reason for that kind of violence.”
Stutenrot is acquainted with Jackie Lithgow, one of the beating victims who is currently in a medically induced coma. She expressed sympathy for Lithgow’s family, saying, “I hope they can get through it. I think there’s a kid from our town trying to raise money for him.”
Students are also concerned about the effect this incident could have on the university’s reputation. Joe Koons, a junior, said, “It definitely damages our reputation, and it could definitely damage any future prospective football player’s choice to come here. Or even enrollment might be affected by the reputation that the football team has.” Mitch Lambert, a sophomore, said, “It’s damaging our already unstable reputation. We need something here to be known for in a positive light for a change, like Andre Reed got inducted to the NFL hall of fame. That’s awesome…We need more stuff like that.”
Many students are eager to identify the causes of this incident so that the student body can take steps towards a brighter future.
Christina Davies, a communications design major, said, “It seems like there’s this culture where they think they can get away with doing stuff that most people would not get away with. But because they’re in sports and they bring attention to the school, they feel like their actions won’t have as harsh consequences.”
Kev Scafidi, an electronic media major, said, “I don’t think the problem is the culture surrounding the football team, but male culture as a whole. For a lot of men, when they feel their masculinity is threatened, they think the only way to defend it is through violence. This is an immature and damaging way of thinking.”
Most students suggested that alcohol was most likely a factor.
Overall, the student body felt ashamed of the incident. However, they felt that until being proven guilty, suspension from the football team is the proper course of action.
If the students are proven guilty, they support the expulsion of the four football players from the university. They hope that in doing so, the school can reduce the effect the incident will have on its reputation and set a positive example for the future.