Letter from the Editor: athletic issues

To be a good journalist, you have to sacrifice present comfort for higher ideals. You have to be willing to ask people, for whom you hold no ill will, difficult questions. This is why reporters get a bad rep with the general public. It's not our job to be polite. It’s our job to find out and report the news. This is not easy. Simply asking strangers questions, even easy ones for fluffy nothing pieces, can get your chest pounding like someone's doing a timpani roll on your breastplate. But we don't have a choice. We have to ask questions, especially the tough ones. We have to be confrontational when there’s something to be confronted, because if we aren’t, we fail.

Our job is to keep a watchful eye and hold people accountable, especially those in power. In return, we are also held accountable for every declarative statement we make and every mistake we print. And we’re human which makes us inherently susceptible to error.

But nonetheless we must remain diligent and point at the things that we consider important.

In this issue, our eye fixes itself on Corsair Field. While the field itself was fully renovated in 2008, the venerable athletic facility’s stands have been neglected and allowed to deteriorate.

Built in 1948, it has seldom received the attention it deserves and has now become a legitimate danger should an earthquake ever occur during a game or event when the bleachers are filled. The concrete is crumbling, the metal is rusting and the sign that says, “...a premier facility for everyone from students to world class athletes,” has become a delusional exaggeration.

Our Sports Editor Josh Shure digs beneath the surface to find that the school is complicit in the brushing aside of the potential danger that this could pose. He investigates the depth of this procrastination.

Along with the Corsair Field, the entire Athletic Program seems to be crumbling. Women’s Soccer coach Aaron Benditson was recently fired for recruiting violations which also resulted in an extension of the Athletic Department's current probation.

Benditson is the fourth SMC athletic coach to either leave or be let go in the past two months. With four coaching vacancies, one team on probation and an athletic facility that’s falling apart, serious questions about the future of the heretofore successful SMC Athletic Program have to be raised.

Also in this issue, our Opinion Editor Grace Gardner gets an interview with Tom Bibiyan, one of the men who was stabbed during the Klu Klux Klan protest in Anaheim in late February. The former SMC student and local Santa Monica resident recounts the hectic day, which for him, included two stab wounds and a night handcuffed to a hospital bed.

Our A&E Editor Jacob Hirsohn spent two and a half hours of his Saturday night watching the Theatre Department’s latest production “Once in a Lifetime.” The old Hollywood themed story sported some great design and costumes, but Jacob was less than pleased with the play itself. He offers up his conclusions in his usual pithy prose.

The Op-Ed Duel reaches the final relevant candidate in this year’s presidential race (sorry Kasich, we doubt you’ll make it until our next issue). Our News Editor Adam Thomas returns to the ring, this time offering up some supportive facts for The Donald. His challenger is Staff Writer Troy Barnes who looks to exposes Trump for the evil super villain that he is. Jacob Hirsohn throws in his two cents in a Twitter sidebar that makes me question my decision of having him on the staff.

On a somber note, long time SMC professor Jim Stramel died Thursday, March 17 after a short battle with leukemia. He was a well respected and much loved member of the SMC family and will be a missed presence on campus. We dedicated a full spread to kind things that students and faculty had to say about the late philosophy professor.

Alci Rengifo, former Editor-in-Chief of The Corsair, recalls a dispute that the professor and he once had and writes a piece that explores how you can maintain respect for someone even through intense conflict.

We’re taking a one week break after this issue so we’ve offered up some extra content to hold you over until the next one. We hope you enjoy it.