State Rep. Dave Upthegrove took exception with our editorial this morning calling his bill to prohibit the UW from giving special exceptions to athletes during enrollment cutbacks a “revenge of the nerds” moment.
Let the record reflect that Upthegrove himself was a student athlete. And that college film class in which he was forced to make do with outdated equipment? Just an elective.
He also took issue with our description of his bill. He’s concerned that we made it sound like his legislation would apply retroactively to the students granted admission to UW’s spring quarter. It would not. We were using this year’s students as a case study for what might be the consequences of such a bill.
On 1/30/09 1:15 AM, “Upthegrove, Rep. Dave” wrote:
I appreciate your interest in my legislation, and am excited to see a public debate.
I know your editorial has been published, so my communication is too late, but I wanted to let you know a couple quick things about me and my motivations for the legislation. I was a two-sport varsity letterman in High School and still play in an organized weekly basketball league, and am a sports fan. I took a film class in school to fulfill some elective requirement, and used video equipment as one of several examples when pressed by the Seattle Times reporter.
I believe passionately in the value of athletics to our education system. I feel I have benefited greatly from my involvement in sports and wish more young people participated in athletics. Students who participate in athletics develop better teamwork and leadership skills and they, generally, perform better academically. I value athletics and student athletes. However, I also value all other students. I think all students should have the ability to compete equally for admission, regardless of whether or not they are athletes, or whether or not they are biologists, or whether or not they are in a teen running start program. I have pasted (below) an email from the family of the kind of students that I also wish had the chance to simply compete for the limited openings.
As for the bill:
The bill takes effect on July 1st and does not impact the Spring 2009 enrollment. So, none of the 7 athletes, or those other cohorts (teens, engineering students, etc.) would be impacted. It simply says that in the future, when there is an enrollment freeze, exemptions may not be made for categories of students, unless tied to high demand economic needs.
I just wanted to share a little bit with you about me and my motivations, and let you know that I think your description of the impact of the bill was factually incorrect.