Relax, this is supposed to be fun
How I went from the lacrosse e-board to SA supporter
When I arrived on UB’s campus freshman year, I felt lost.
I had no place to go, nowhere to call home. I grew up playing sports and my teammates became my lifelong friends. But I had no place at UB and more importantly, I had no team.
A few weeks into my first semester, an old high school teammate sent me a message asking me to play goalie for the club lacrosse team. I went to practice the next day and just like that, I found my place.
Over the next three years I played over 1,680 minutes –– every second of every game for my team. I became team secretary my sophomore year and treasurer my junior year. I was one of two people who actually met our team’s participation rules, I attended every practice, meeting, fundraiser and SA event I could. Everyone always told me to relax; lax was supposed to be fun. I had a goal though: to follow in the footsteps of the team presidents I admired so much.
As treasurer and starting goalie, I helped lead the team to their first playoffs in ten years and I helped us get budget rollover for the first time since I’d been on the team. All I talked about was lacrosse; I spent classes dreaming about practice that night, and I spent my free time planning for the team. I was all in.
Then last year’s e-board election happened.
Like any large group, our team had cliques. I spent much of last season hanging out with the graduating seniors. My junior class was gone, and those below me had formed their own group. I joked that I was leaving along with the seniors. Those jokes turned into reality.
Rather than having a formal in-person election like we were supposed to per our team’s constitution, the election was held via email. That’s where the trouble started. I wasn’t involved in the vote counting, but I could tell something was wrong in the weeks leading up to the election result announcement.
At the end of the year pizza party, our president announced that I had won president, and I was relieved...But that relief didn’t last long. After the underclassmen left the party, they had their own afterparty elsewhere where they questioned the elections results.
I knew they were upset. I knew they wanted me out. I tried to bring us together, but it didn’t work.
We held another election, this time in-person. That’s when I found out about my team’s private Instagram. They requested to follow me and I did not accept because I knew SA would not approve of this account. Last year’s president and secretary and I discussed how this account was not acceptable. All three of us worked for SA. We were mandatory reporters and we knew their policy. Those that made the Instagram were asked to take it down, but instead of listening, they changed the name to a joking insult against our secretary.
That night I lost the new election. Between my loss and the private Instagram situation, I realized these were not the kind of people I wanted in my life.
Despite my desire for a home, for a place to save me from being lost, despite the time, energy and dedication I had put into the team, I knew I couldn’t be involved with these girls any more.
So I quit. I left the group message, deleted my former teammates’ numbers and tried to distance myself from this group that had once made me feel whole. I threw myself into my job at SA.
While I was in the midst of last year’s lacrosse chaos, I became a director for SA. I got involved with SA my junior year, thanks to the encouragement of some of my teammates. And what was once just the place I went to get things for lacrosse became another huge part of my life.
In the past, I stood up to SA for the lacrosse team. I’ve also been the person confronting a club on SA’s behalf. I know how frustrating SA’s rules can be and how frustrating clubs can be as well; I’ve seen it from both sides.
At the end of last semester, due to the harassment and hazing that occurred on the fake Instagram, the team was put on probation. They lost their budget and their ability to function as a club.
Lacrosse does deserve to know what that probation means exactly and what they can do to fix it, but SA deserves to have a club that is a welcoming place for all students; a club that’s free of harassment, free of scandal and free of private Instagrams.
SA is working to fix the situation legally and correctly, but the team needs to accept responsibility for what they’ve done. Last year, I worked hard to get them a budget rollover that this year’s e-board wants. I know what it takes to earn a rollover. They need to learn how to earn it back. Trying to place blame on one person isn’t what a team is about. They need to own their mistake and take the punishment that’s handed to them.
Lacrosse saved me my freshman year, and I want others to be able to find that solace like I did.
But in order for that to happen, serious changes need to be made.
Allison Staebell is the Co-Senior Multimedia Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org