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ISSUE 119 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/28/2005

Runner offers apology

By Will Mitchell
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 28, 2005

Editors’ note: The men’s cross-country team was banned from competition on Oct. 15 due to allegations that they streaked the Pause during a comedy performance on Sept. 28.

I must begin, good friends, by apologizing for my rough and uncouth mode of speech, for I have never attended the councils of our professors of English, nor have I studied rhetoric with our learned thespians, being by nature and training more inclined to numeracy. It is well that I cannot persuade you with a perspicacious performance of prosody, for you can be sure that, au contraire, I’ll speak truly and without disassembly, trusting that you will judge justly as befits persons of your stature.

The accusations against our men’s cross-country team are twofold: first, that we streaked the event in question; secondly, that by so doing we injured and corrupted the morals of youth.

In answer to the first charge, which is so frivolous that it hardly bears consideration in these dignified pages, I will invoke Socrates and say only that that man who knows that he knows nothing has attained the summit of all that is possible for mortal intellects.

Our opponents, in trying to establish the objective truth of such a questionable fact, demonstrate only their mortal hubris and arrogance.

The second charge, that by the alleged exposure of our entireties, we corrupted the morals of youth, is more serious. It is in defense of whoever did streak that night, if anyone, that I speak, even knowing that I may defend Carls.

There are two forms of damage that these streakers may arguably have caused: the damage done directly to spectators who witnessed the event, and the damage wrought indirectly by the interruption of the comedian and his audience. As anyone so unfortunate to be familiar with such jesters and goofs can attest, interruptions of any sort are always beneficial, not harmful.

But such consequences cannot but resound to the college’s well-developed sense of humility. The undraped human form, in addition to ameliorating all insecurities inflicted by fashionable raiment, is a source of pride and confidence, a sight of unearthly beauty, and to those with ears to hear, a call to simplicity and rationality. I ought also to mention that the “birthday suit” is among the most sustainable habiliments imaginable, the first and the best.

All these things combined with the original, even primal fitness or propriety of the motion of running make for a spectacle that any reasonable person should encourage, not censure. According to the Student Code of Conduct, “the responsibility to secure and respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community.” O fellow students, in this case it is not the offense but the punishment that takes away our freedom to learn!

I shall not debase myself by reminding you of the cold and arduous paths which we have trod in preparation for the race from which you propose to bar us, nor shall I mention the pain that you cause our aged parents and alumni. We shall humbly bear the abuses of slanderers and malefactors and continue our quest to prove the subservience of the body to the mind and soul. For unrighteousness and indolence are swifter runners than death and you ought to encourage us to contend against both of them while We are young and swift, as you will not easily find others to perform this office for you if we are removed from your society.

But I see my words are in vain. Very well: we shall go our separate ways, you to your labors, we to ours. Only God knows which is better.

Contributing writer Will Mitchell is a senior from Scandia, Minn. He majors in math.

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