MC athletic department launches Athletes for Change video

Larry Ervin is the director of cultural affairs at Maryville College. He is very passionate about the Athletes for Change video as well as changing the culture of Maryville College for the better. Photo Courtesy of Larry Ervin via Flickr.
Larry Ervin is the director of cultural affairs at Maryville College. He is very passionate about the Athletes for Change video as well as changing the culture of Maryville College for the better. Photo Courtesy of Larry Ervin via Flickr.

“You don’t judge a man by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.” This

quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is shown in the opening of Maryville College’s latest project

to promote equality among students, the Athletes for Change video, which can be found on the

Maryville College website as well as on youtube.com.

 

The video tackles the topic of prejudice regarding race, gender and sexual orientation through

statements made by various Maryville College student-athletes.

 

“Words can hurt, and just to say certain things without fully realizing the consequences of

those words can be extremely hurtful,” said Larry Ervin, who is the director of multicultural

affairs at Maryville College.

 

The movement to create the video was led by Mr. Ervin as well as athletic director Kandis

Shcram and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president Robbie Britt.

 

“We are designing ways to rid our school of prejudice and discriminatory acts,” said Ervin.

“It [the video] is the introduction to a longer, more in depth conversation that all of us need to

have with ourselves first and then with others.”

 

The directors of this project feel that including leaders of the school will strongly influence

the rest of the student body.

 

“It is not a secret that a large portion of the student body at MC is made up of student

athletes,” said Schram. “We all felt that because of that large percentage we had a wonderful

opportunity to discuss issues surrounding respect, acceptance, and bystander behavior.”

Monica Besbris is a member of the Lady Scots soccer team and is one of the many student

athletes featured in the film.

 

“This video, for me, is a way to lead by example,” said Monica. “We realize that these issues

are serious and are committed to ignite conversations for change,” she added.

 

“I see this as an effort to revitalize our covenant ideals,” said Mr. Ervin. He also emphasized

Maryville College principles, which include Scholarship, Integrity and Respect. “Whether

on or off the field, all of the Maryville College community should strive to live, grow, and

communicate through these golden rules.”

 

Students at Maryville College have responded to the video with enthusiasm.

 

“After watching the video, I realized that athletics dig deep into diversity at Maryville College

and it is not just about what happens on the field,” says freshman Trecy Rochelle.

Sophomore Ben Buell said, “I think that it is good that people recognize a need for diversity

of all kinds.”

 

All persons involved in Athletes for Change strive to influence the students of Maryville

College to treat all human beings with respect, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

“I hope it will help others listen and learn from each other,” said Schram.

 

Every student at Maryville College is encouraged to view and consider the Athletes for

Change video and its message.

 

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