It reads in part, “As we look at the rampant negligence and mistreatment of student-athletes in NCAA sports, it’s clear that colleges can not be trusted with policing themselves on any health recommendations passed down by state or local officials.”
Okay, UCLA Student Council, tell us what you really think.
All children believe they would live better lives without the intercession of adults who are not nearly as gifted in seeing the right path in every issue. Kids’ eyes are unclouded by experience, circumspection, or an understanding that actions bring consequences.
As they grow older and wiser, children become adults aware that life is more complicated than they thought – or wanted it to be. That’s why kids go to college – because they are not ready to understand how empathy and business intersect to drive decision-making.
Filled with righteous indignation and a penchant for strong language, the UCLA Student Council reminds us all – again – why children are not allowed to run for offices that convey real power to draft actual legislation. There is a reason Americans have to be 25 to serve in congress, 30 to serve in the senate, and 35 to be inaugurated as president. People who have yet to reach those thresholds view them as unfair. The rest of us understand.
There is a lot to unpack in the resolution, but nothing in it is worthy of the effort, unless it’s to embarrass the authors and those who endorse it. The paragraph I quoted earlier in this post would be maddening in its wrongheadedness and naïveté if it was taken seriously.
Two immediately recognizable problems:
- Student-athletes are neither neglected or mistreated. They are monetized, educated, fed, housed, and pampered.
- Many times it is the health recommendations passed down by state or local officials that can not be trusted, rather than school officials trusted to enforce them.
Here are some cruel truths members of the student council at UCLA will grow to embrace as they bank experiences and move from the cheap seats where they can carp about injustice into positions of actual responsibility:
- There is more to life than being right or wrong.
- Crafting change is rarely done by children who hit adults over their heads with verbal two-by-fours.
- In 30 years, the members of UCLA’s current student council will laugh at their brash ignorance, while ignoring a similarly passionate resolution authored by the 2050 student council.
That’s how life works. We walk out on skinny limbs because we don’t know they break. We process that information, and move forward toward thicker and less interesting positions while preparing another generation for the tedium of clinging to the trunk. We learn there are great reasons for the status quo despite its flaws.
Ideology is for children. Adults embrace pragmatism.
God bless the UCLA Student Council for being outraged. That’s what college students should be. Then they should get pissed off and yell at adults who appear impervious to their specific brand of logic. Maybe once in a great while they say something worth listening to.
Then they grow up to become the adults they used to yell at.
And so it goes.