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Suspend and Remove Columbia Athletes who Perpetrate Bias and Discrimination

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We, the undersigned students of Columbia University, were angered by the e-mail sent out by Columbia Athletics earlier today. Although we acknowledge that athletics recognizes and respects the diversity of its student body and that such actions that have been profiled in the news are not reflective of all athletes, we are troubled by the fact that Athletics, as an institution, is not doing enough to remedy the actions of its players. 

 In the e-mail sent on May 9, 2013, Athletics wrote: "We are addressing this inexcusable behavior with the individuals involved. We will also address this with each of our 31 varsity teams." This is a commendable action, but it is not enough. Diversity education and programming is important and should already be a part of the resources available to all athletes, but the athletes responsible should be punished for their actions. 

The e-mail delivered to the student body, instead, should have read: "Players X, Y, and Z have been removed from the roster because of their despicable actions." That would have been a true testament to Athletic's commitment to diversity and progress.

It is also troubling that the head coach of the Football Team, Pete Mangurian, had access to a number of derogatory tweets written by his players. It may be possible that the head coach never read his twitter feed, but nonetheless, it is concerning that there is the possibility that the Head Coach of an NCAA Division I team could have read those statements and let them pass without recourse.

The expected solutions to the issue are unacceptable. This does not mean a reprimand or an official apology from them. This does not mean extra laps or physical punishments administered by the coaches and athletics staff. This does not mean sensitivity training. 

This means the suspension and removal of these athletes from the rosters of their respective teams and an announcement of such an action to the Columbia community. This also means the removal of awards and accolades presented to these athletes by Columbia Athletics.  

Our fear is that once this issue has passed and the athletes have been "addressed," they will again be permitted to play and represent our student body. They have shown and proven that they are incapable of doing so.


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