Letter to the Editor: I came to Whitman for skiing

Letter to the Editor

EDITOR,

I came to Whitman for the ski team.   I really wish it weren’t that simple, but it is.   In high school I was a fairly successful skier, I was a successful student too, but I really considered myself a skier.   When I started looking at schools I quickly realized that I was going to be forced to sacrifice one of my ideals.   I could go to one of the large universities with a varsity team, sacrificing my academic ideals to maybe make the ski team by the time I was a senior.   I could, as most of my skiing friends did, move across the country to attend a small liberal arts school with a varsity team.   Or I could sacrifice my dreams of racing as a varsity athlete in college and attend one of myriad schools with a club team.   When I discovered Whitman, the ONLY small school on the west coast with a varsity ski team, I thought I was in heaven.   I was so excited upon arriving on campus. I was positive I had found the perfect school for me. I had small, academically challenging classes, amazing fellow students who were (almost) as geeky as me, a beautiful campus, a wonderful dorm room, I was within twelve hours (driving) of home, I even found a cousin who was living in Walla Walla and a varsity ski team.   I have had a difficult year, I made the traveling team then promptly got sick barely recovering in time for our first races of the season. As a result, I did not have as good a season as I would have hoped.   What has always kept me happy during difficult and disappointing seasons before is the knowledge that I can refocus on my training over the summer and come back stronger than ever.   This year I don’t have that consolation; I won’t be able to make that comeback, Whitman won’t have a ski team anymore.   My family, like the college, is facing economic problems, and to stay here I will likely have to take out additional, most likely unsubsidized, loans.   Now that Whitman has cut the ski program, I am left in a quandary: can I afford to go even further into debt to stay at a school that doesn’t support me as a full person, student and athlete?
– Angela Raso ’12