Track changed the trajectory of my entire life. As a first generation--full PELL grant--college athlete, I felt immediate overwhelm when I began my college career at Brown. My tiny, rural high school had failed to prepare me for the rigor of a college education - and I found the guidance, support and accountability I needed to be successful within my Brown Track and Field family. My teammates taught me how to study, how to advocate for myself, and loved me through a period of extreme growth and transition. It is a love and grace that I carry with me today. It is part of the reason I chose to serve as a special education English teacher in West Baltimore. I’ve been incredibly privileged to gain access to a different way of life, and that is because of the members of the Brown Track and Field family.

The varsity men’s track and field program is a racially, socio-economically and geographically diverse team - its elimination will mean closing an important access point for student-athletes to gain admission to the Brown community. Additionally, this committee grossly misunderstands the dynamics of a shared varsity program. By eliminating the men’s track and field program, you are severely disabling the women’s program as well. This cut will mean a reduction in coaching staff, lack of access to a rigorous training environment, reduced equipment/resources, and loss of respect within our league.

I implore you to look beyond the spreadsheet. While cutting Men’s Track and Field will strike Title 9 athletics compliance on paper, in practice, you are perpetuating structures of inequity that will continue to harm female student-athletes and student-athletes of color. As a proud Brown alum, I know this cannot be what you and the university stand for. Please stand by your commitment to “building a stronger University community with a focus on affinity, pride and collegiate loyalty:” increase transparency, and therefore trust, within our Brown Track and Field Alumni family by releasing the specific data used to make this decision. Allow the team to respond in kind with a pathway for action to come into compliance with the new competitive standards in the athletics department.