Frogs should lift their heads, press on after tough scrutiny

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    I woke up Wednesday morning possibly more proud of my school than I have ever been before. You see, Tuesday night I was at the men’s basketball game against UNLV.

    Surrounded by fellow Horned Frog fans, I stood in section G during overtime clapping, screaming and jumping up and down. I knew our basketball team could beat a ranked opponent and I was fervently hoping to see it happen.

    Moments later, students rushed the court. We hugged our friends, players and strangers. We chanted the Alma Mater. We were proud and victorious.

    I could hardly contain my excitement. I sent Chancellor Boschini an email calling for a new contract for head coach Jim Christian and I made my first ‘TCU Meme’ to commemorate the occasion.

    I fell asleep excited and woke up excited Wednesday morning to an email from Boschini, echoing my own emotions about the basketball game. I had a cup of coffee. I nailed my 8 a.m. test.

    I was on cloud nine when I got another email from the Chancellor. Two emails from the Chancellor, I thought, must mean it’s going to be a good day.

    Then cloud nine started raining.

    Warrants. Arrests. Press conferences. Marijuana. Ecstasy. Prescriptions. Rumors. Reputation. Facebook statuses. Twitter posts. Texts from family and friends. Prayer vigils. News cameras.

    Sixteen students were arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs. We all know the details, so I won’t expound them here.

    The entire university has been hurt this week. Students who chose not to live up to our mission and our values have misrepresented us in an incident that received nationwide attention.

    In the coming weeks, our community will be challenged. There will be vicious condemnations and tasteless jokes. We will see our school, our family, publicly disgraced. People will wonder how a university environment of such high character could sustain such ignoble activity.

    While our reputation may be tarnished in the coming weeks, let us not forget that our mission has not changed. The image we wish to uphold has not faded. The heart of this great university has not stopped pounding.

    We have learned from this experience that we, like all, are not perfect. We fail — sometimes miserably. We fall apart — but never irreparably.

    This investigation shows that the students, faculty and staff of this university and the community that surrounds us will not tolerate unethical or illegal behavior. Yes, as is the nature of these things, this investigation also shows that we are not where we would like to be.

    Our shortcomings, now publicized for the entire world to see, will not define who we are because we are leaders — not resigned to accept reality, but determined to change it. The temporary defilement of this great university should not waver your pride and commitment to the mighty Horned Frogs. 

    There is nothing particularly extraordinary about 16 students being arrested under suspicion of dealing in a community of almost 9,500. One could very easily excuse our defilements because “it’s college” and “these things happen all the time in universities around the country.”

    We are not just any university. We are not average; we are not ordinary. We are Horned Frogs, and Horned Frogs do not dismiss big problems as commonplace and unimportant.

    Students should commit to working with the university not to retroactively repair our reputation, but to proactively reduce drug use on campus. This is the imperative we face as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.

    Commit to being the university with the lowest drug usage rates in the country. It will not be easy — nothing worthwhile ever was — but “typical” and “average” are standards that don’t belong on this campus.

    Step up. Make suggestions. Talk to your friends. There are always failures to come, but that means there is progress to be made if we will only agree that anything less than perfect is completely unacceptable.

    Our reputation in our fight against drug use will not be earned by the constancy of our achievement, but by the altitude of our expectations.

    We’re in overtime against a ranked opponent, and I am fervently hoping to see my fellow students stepping up to lead this change, that soon we may celebrate together — proud and victorious once again.

    David Shaver is a sophomore journalism major from Canyon.