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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, Dalhousie Tigers Women’s Varsity Hockey Team Forfeits Remainder of Season

Dear Daughters,

Hockey

I am not sure what happened at the Dalhousie women’s varsity hockey team’s house party in September but it must have been bad! The team captains were removed from their duties. Everyone on the team, except for the first year players, have been suspended from playing in the University league for the rest of the season. Since this does not leave them enough players to ice a team, the Dalhousie Tigers must forfeit all of their remaining games.

An investigation by University officials began after one of the player’s parents approached the team’s coach with concerns over the treatment of new players. Although no one was physically hurt at the September house party, officials deemed that excessive humiliation, intimidation and drinking occurred during a hazing ritual. Charles Crosby, Dalhousie University’s spokesperson, stated that many of the team’s players were “put in harm’s way” both physically and psychologically. The team will be educated on the University’s hazing policy and team members will be offered counselling services.

Obviously before I can come to any factual conclusions, I need facts. I do not have enough facts but I certainly do have lots of questions. The number one question that pops into my head is would this have happened to a men’s hockey team, in particular, the Dalhousie Tigers men’s hockey team? Or is this actually a case of here are the rules, you broke them, and it doesn’t matter who you are, here are the consequences. If it is the latter, then good for the University! The answer to my question would be, yes, it would have happened to the men’s team too and I would be content knowing the women’s team was not treated unfairly just because they are women.

And believe me, I want to believe that is the case. But based on my life experiences I have a hard time believing that the University would have come to the same conclusion regarding the men’s team. I believe the male players would have been punished. I believe the captains would have been stripped of their letters. Maybe the team would have been forced to forfeit a two or three games based on player suspensions, but I have a very hard time believing that due to player suspensions, the men’s team would have been forced to forfeit the rest of their season. I hope I am wrong and I know I could be. And if I am, I am happy – very, very happy. If the Dalhousie Women’s Hockey Team received the same punishment anyone else would have received for the same actions, then I am satisfied. This is what Dear Daughters is all about – not being treated differently just because we’re women.

For now, I am very disappointed that the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) has lost one of their Women’s hockey teams, and particularly disappointed that the AUS (Atlantic University Sport) Conference – which is the conference in which I played for the Saint Mary’s University Huskies Women’s Hockey team – has lost a team. The AUS began competing in the CIS for women’s hockey during the 1997-1998 season with only four teams – Saint Mary’s, Acadia, St. FX and UNB. With the loss of the Tigers, the AUS finishes its 15th season with six teams – St. FX, St. Thomas, Moncton, Saint Mary’s, UPEI, and Mount Allison. Hopefully this incident does not discourage current and potential new players from playing for the Dalhousie Tigers Women’s Hockey Team next year and may the Tigers return better than ever for the 2013 – 2014 season!

 

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