Keep St. Thomas in the MIAC

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Keep St. Thomas in the MIAC

This petition had 2,644 supporters
Brendan Klein started this petition to President of the University St. Thomas Julie H. Sullivan and

Dear Presidents of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Members,

We, students and alumni of MIAC schools, request that you vote against proposed rule changes that would remove the University of St. Thomas from the MIAC. As liberal arts institutions that focus on the holistic benefits of higher education, we believe it to be short-sighted and against our values to remove a school due to their success in one aspect of the holistic college experience.

As current students and alumni, we came to MIAC schools to advance our education, to be change agents in our communities, and for some of us, to continue maturing as adult athletes as well. These experiences have been invaluable to the development of young men and women. As athletes will tell you, competition brings the best out of those willing to face it. A competitive MIAC makes all teams better, in all sports, even if the results do not go the way you wish. It is our belief that a competitive MIAC is one with the University of St. Thomas as a member.

As students and alumni we recognize that some institutions have advantages over others. If there was one superior advantage held by one school then naturally everyone would apply and enroll in only that school. It is reasonable for schools to be concerned about being at a permanent disadvantage. Yet history and the present are evidence to show that this is not the case. This is because each school holds something unique about them that prospective students find attractive that other schools have been unable or unwilling to replicate. Should schools with large endowments be removed since they can offer greater financial aid packages? Should there be separation between urban and rural colleges since schools located in the Twin Cities have geographical advantages in attracting out-of-state students? If the true aim of this vote is to keep the MIAC more "uniform" then all inequalities should be considered, not just one. So why is it that this vote is focused on one inequality and not all inequalities that exist in the MIAC? We find this selective view of considering only enrollment discrepancies a failure of the liberal arts education we all received or are receiving that teaches us to look at the whole picture, not just select portions of it.

We ask the Presidents of all MIAC schools to recognize how every school has strengths and weaknesses. But by putting one school's advantage superior to other forms of advantage within the MIAC, the President's will be stating that some aspects of the college experience are more important than others. While all schools should strive to be athletically competitive, this goal should not be held any higher than aiming for greater academic excellence, personal and spiritual development, and improvements in other integral aspects of a liberal arts experience. What should be a celebration of the diverse excellence within the MIAC schools is instead becoming a solemn fight over inequality in one sport.

Finally, we believe that membership in the MIAC should be based off a school's commitment to private, liberal arts education, not their enrollment size. If a school is able to provide this type of higher education experience to their undergraduate students, no matter the amount, they should always have a home in the MIAC if they choose. Distinction in membership should be a result of significant philosophical differences about higher education and the development of persons, not significant differences in school size.

We humbly ask that you consider our voice in this decision.

Sincerely,

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