On Saturday night, Denison’s varsity athletes traded in their uniforms for suits and dresses and were bussed out to the Barn at the Backwoods to celebrate their hard work as well as the unity of all Denison sports. Athlete Formal is a chance for members of the sports community to relax and spend a night as a group rather than just members of their individual teams.
We at The Denisonian appreciate all of their hard work. Given the time commitment, playing Division III sports is basically a part time job, and they have done their part to positively represent our school everywhere they have traveled, which is a full time job. We commend all of the varsity athletes for the hours of hard work they put towards their sport and the event is a well deserved break for many.
However, we felt that some very important members of the Denison community were excluded from Saturday’s festivities: those who participate in Denison’s 29 club sports.
The event is colloquially known as “Athlete Formal.” While it is a wonderful opportunity for some, our issue is that it is not inclusive. The event is not open to students who participate in club sports. While it is true some club sports have their own formal or event in place of “Athlete Formal,” there should be one formal for all athletes to foster a more inclusive community that is not divided by “varsity” or “club” sports. This may seem like a minor issue for some, however, building a more inclusive campus is key toward moving this Denison University’s collective community forward.