Many are unfair to cheerleaders

Cheerleading is a sport which requires not only physical but mental ability. A perfect addition to Williams College. I am a member of the team of thirteen dedicated students who have been practicing five to six days a week for the past few weeks. I would like to see some of you who have been criticizing and judging our efforts to attempt the synchronization of coordinating you body with memorized cheers. I have to say that those of us who have chosen to take part in the difficult debut of cheerleading on this campus did so willingly, with no sense of degradation to either the female or male sex.

Some people have been judging cheerleading as immature, cheapening, and involving a lack of intelligence or ability. I would now like to ask those people to ask themselves how immature or narrow-minded it is to make such generalized, typical assumptions. Certainly there are many sports to compete in on this campus – none of us has ever said that swimming was objectifying or soccer was disparaging. If we had wanted only physical development and challenge we would have joined one of those teams. If we had wanted grace in movement and an augmentation of strength we would have joined a dance team. Instead, the thirteen of us who are pridefully engaged in the sport of cheerleading wanted a well-blended medley of physical endurance, flexibility, fluid movement, and rhythm.

I would also like to add that the article printed on the cover page of the Williams Record on Oct. 10 exhibited a clear lack of impartiality. I know that three members of out team wrote in-depth responses to the questions asked by this student – none of which were printed. However, I did notice two references to the negative letter to the editor written about cheerleading the week prior. This article was closed with six paragraphs about negative student commentary on our efforts and goals. I believe that a news article should report the facts objectively. Here are mine. Our cheerleading squad seeks to challenge ourselves and our school to open themselves up to a new type of sport. We want to augment the spirit of this school, or if it has already reached its zenith, intensify it.