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Chuck B.

Colgate Men "Don't Do Enough" Community Service?

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Today I found myself reading a [URL="http://www.maroon-news.com/former-nfl-star-visits-colgate-offers-inspirational-message-1.1164952"]mostly positive report[/URL] by the [I]Colgate Maroon-News[/I] of a visit by former NFL RB Warwick Dunn to campus:

[QUOTE]At the start of the lecture, Dunn may have appeared as merely a successful athlete, but by the end, he had revealed himself to be not only an accomplished football player, but also a philanthropist who was motivated by the significant adversity he had overcome throughout his life. When Dunn was only 18, his mother, who was a police officer, was ambushed and murdered by armed robbers while escorting a businesswoman to make a night deposit. Not only did he lose whom he describes to be his “best friend” that day, but he also had to become the sole caregiver for his siblings, as his mother was a single parent.

Although Dunn was severely shaken by this incident, he was consequently moved by the situation to help others in need.

...

What resulted from this tragedy was his idea to start the organization “Homes for the Holidays,” which works to assist single parents become first-time homeowners. He was inspired to start such an organization because it had always been his mother’s dream to own a home. The organization is currently in its thirteenth year and has provided homes to 93 single parents.

And so, despite his success as a football player, Dunn emphasized that his propensity and desire to help others is what truly drives him.

“My life isn’t just about athletics,” Dunn said. “My life is really defined by how I handled the situation when I lost my mom. We will all have a moment where we define ourselves and make a decision about what to do with our lives, and I realized I was meant to help others.”[/QUOTE]

But it was a quote, down in the article, by Colgate assistant dean of multicultural affairs [B]Thomas Cruz-Soto[/B] that really caught my attention:

[QUOTE]“[B][I]Men at Colgate do not do enough community services and do not see the need to despite all the blessings that they have benefited from in order to receive a Colgate education. I believe hearing stories like Warrick Dunn’s can spark that interest in men and women to be more than just a star athlete or a straight A student, but to be a more complete man or women and give back to those in need.[/I][/B]”[/QUOTE]

Huh? I freely admit that the quote was a bit vague, not singling out any one sport, but it did seem to be targeted somewhat to athletes. Is it true that Colgate athletes don't do "enough" to help the community?

I can't speak for other Colgate teams, but I do know in the offseason last year Colgate athletes did do a couple of notable, underpublicized service projects that worthy of attention: [URL="http://www.gocolgateraiders.com/news/2009/2/24/FB_0224093137.aspx?path=football"]"Lift for Life"[/URL] and the [URL="http://www.gocolgateraiders.com/news/2009/4/2/FB_0402093204.aspx?path=football"]National Marrow Donor Program Registry[/URL] drive:

[QUOTE]Colgate football players are members of the Uplifting Athletes, Inc., an organization established to raise awareness for rare diseases. Other college football programs currently involved are Penn State, Ohio State and Maryland.

“It means the world to me and my family that the team would pick a disease that benefits my sister’s disease,” said Meyers, a senior quarterback. “It just shows you that a football team is truly a family, looking out for one another through the thick and the thin.”

“The football student-athletes at Colgate have been great to work with and have really embraced their ability to make a positive and lasting impact,” said Scott Shirley, Executive Director of Uplifting Athletes, Inc. “By choosing to benefit the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation, Colgate Football Uplifting Athletes is able to make the rare disease cause relevant to the team and make a significant impact with their efforts.”[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]The Colgate football team has joined Villanova and the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) in their effort to recruit 5,000 new members to the marrow registry.

Thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases depend on the NMDP Registry to find a match. Through the “Get in the Game, Save a Life” program, university faculty, staff and students and area residents can join the registry.

Donors with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds are especially critical as patients in need of a transplant are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity.

The NMDP facilitates unrelated marrow and cord blood transplants as a single point of access for a long-standing collaborative network of national and international leading medical facilities in marrow and cord blood transplantation. The NMDP connects patients, doctors, donors, and researchers to the resources they need to help more people live longer and healthier lives. [/QUOTE]

I think it's pretty clear that there are a lot of Colgate football players that give back in the form of fundraisers at a bare minimum. Is Mr. Dunn's story inspiring? Absolutely. Is it a good idea for Colgate students to perform community service? Absolutely; I do the same thing around my community.

Could they do even more? Possibly. But I don't think it's fair to characterize Colgate athletes as "not doing enough", just based on the efforts that the football team has publicly available on their own website..

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