Progressive institutions rail against stereotyping people.

However, many people at Columbia seem fine with painting athletes as “dumb jocks”.

Chad Washington is is a Columbia College sophomore majoring in political science and statistics and a member of the varsity football team. In the Columbia Spectator, he says that Columbia students and faculty should be more informed about the athletic world.

…But at Columbia, teachers and professors are quick to judge and criticize athletes because they have never been athletes themselves. I marvel at Nathan Pilkington, the Lit Hum instructor who insisted that Columbia athletes are not Division I athletes and are on some sort of lower stage. I

looked him up: B.A. with highest honors from UNC-Chapel Hill, master’s from, of course, Columbia in history. It sounds like Nathan was almost made to be at Columbia. I’m guessing he does not share my passion for athletics, and that’s not a bad thing. But I would never question his accolades and achievements as a student. He has no right to question the authenticity of a Division I program. Columbia is a member of the Ivy League conference, and has one of the oldest NCAA football and athletic programs in the history of college sports. We play Division I football with Division I responsibilities, coaches, and competition.

I speak for all athletes when I say this: Do not question our authenticity of our status until you take the time to immerse yourself in the athletics of Columbia….

Most of my fellow students at Columbia feel so divided from athletes because, once again, sports have never been a part of their life. … As only 13 percent of all Columbia students, athletes are clearly in the minority. Columbia is nothing like a democracy, but at the same time, opinions reflect the manners of the majority.

In order for the lifestyle at Columbia to change, Columbia must change.  least Columbia students can do is engage in athletic events. Basketball Mania has been successful the past two years, but that’s just the beginning. Maybe we should think about incorporating a Homecoming rally during the week before the Homecoming football game.

Maybe we should set up a portion of NSOP where Columbia students are able to sit down with an athlete and ask them questions about what it means to play a sport in the Ivy League. Columbia student-athletes, and all Ivy League athletes, should be praised for their performance. The fact that Columbia athletes are able not only to excel and grow in their sports but also to pass classes consistently and make it through the curriculum of an Ivy league school is an incredible achievement.

On Columbia’s website, it states: Columbia is committed to creating and supporting a community diverse in every way: race, ethnicity, geography, religion, academic and extracurricular interest, family circumstance, sexual orientation, socio-economic background and more.

Perhaps its time to consider adding “athletic diversity”.