Campus News

Seniors forced to choose between walking and running

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A scheduling conflict between Bethel College’s graduation ceremony and the NCCAA track championship is forcing senior members of the track and field team to choose whether to run their race or to walk the stage for their diploma. This is the second year that both of these events have coincided and some of the seniors are having a hard time choosing between the two. Senior Avante Newsome Gunn participates in the 100 and 200 meter races, the 4 x 400 meter relay, and long jump. Gunn will graduate at the end of the 2014 fall semester but spoke of how she believed it would affect her teammates. “We’ve all graduated high school before but track finals are a once in a lifetime opportunity," she said. "Who knows if we will ever be able to run competitively again? I’d rather do something I love.” Gunn isn’t the only one who feels this way. Cinnamon Green, senior at Bethel College and the first person in her family to graduate college, is a member of the track team and throws shot-put, hammer, and weights. Because she is a first generation graduate, this is an important choice for her. “It’s like having to choose from your track family and your actual family," said Green. "It’s a lose-lose situation.” However, Green has decided to participate in the track national finals. “It’s my last competition and I want to go out with a bang,” she said. Like Green, senior Tanner Foust will be a first generation graduate. He runs the 100 and 200 meter races, the 400 meter race, the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meter relay and competes in high jump. Foust has also chosen to run in the track finals rather than attend graduation. “I’m going to graduate school for physical therapy so it’s not the end of school for me," said Foust. "I’d rather finish my track career and compete.” Foust also said that some of the seniors had tried to remedy the problem by talking with Dr. Barb Bellefeuille, vice president of academic services. “We met with Barb Bellefeuille about a month ago,” Foust said. According to Bellefeuille, Bethel College is taking steps to try and remedy the situation. “We have already contacted the NCCAA and ask why they are holding finals on the day when most colleges in the nation will be holding graduation," Bellefeuille said. "The most important thing is that is that the seniors receive the honor that is due.” As of now, though, the graduation ceremony is still currently scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2015 and the NCCAA Championship is scheduled in Rome, Georgia from Thursday, April 30, 2015 to Saturday, May 2, 2015.
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