Overreacting to lax party

As some on campus begin a witch-hunt against members of the men’s lacrosse team, The Cynic would like to encourage everybody to take a few steps back.The party on 239 Main Street, hosted by members of the UVM men’s lacrosse team, and any of the evening’s subsequent injuries or citations, are in no way comparable to the sailing team’s hazing incident last year.However, the Student Government Association (SGA) is making this comparison.First, we must consider the two situations separately.In the case of the sailing team, a freshman member of a club sports team was found drunk to the point of hospitalization in the middle of the day.In the more recent incident, a few student athletes on the lacrosse team had a kegger and, as parties often do, it blew up as friends invited friends and random people on the street saw that there was fun to be had.There is no evidence that hazing occurred at the party and, while underage drinking may have taken place, it is unreasonable to speculate that this occurred against anybody’s will.After the party, a young student-athlete was found seriously injured in a quarry.She does not seem to have been targeted by the men’s lacrosse team nor is she a member of the men’s lacrosse team, thus relieving the suspicions of hazing.It is also unreasonable to assume that all the drinking that led up to the incident occured at the party, as oftentimes people come to house parties already drunk.Therefore, it is unclear how such stark comparisons can be drawn between an incident of new-member hazing and a college party where someone voluntarily drank too much.Yet, as we have seen, the kneejerk reaction to a story involving a men’s lacrosse team and a woman who ended up injured at the end of the night is overtly negative in a post-Duke era.All the more reason to make sure that we carefully consider the facts and call this what it really is:  a college kegger in a college town with drunk students doing dumb things.The fact that it was a group of student-athletes doesn’t change much.It is now the job of the athletic department to handle the situation in a manner that best reflects not only the alleged crime, but the application of the policies these student-athletes signed onto when they joined the UVM athletic community.So before we jump to conclusions, let’s take a step back and be reasonable.  The most important thing to learn from this is to stay safe and look out for our friends – the sports teams can do the same.