By Kalyn Story | Staff Writer
Four Baylor freshmen said they were tired of only seeing negative things about Baylor in the media and wanted to share some things they love about Baylor.
“It’s shocking when I see the media trying to make these negative things our identity when it’s not,” Argyle freshman Britain Seago said. “It’s people who aren’t connected to Baylor that are always bashing us. We, as students, want to shine a light on the Baylor we know and love.”
To show that they love Baylor, these four freshman walked around campus asking students to finish the sentences “Baylor is…” and “I chose Baylor because…” By Thursday, around 6 p.m., they had recorded responses from more than 50 Baylor students.
They will be compiling the videos into a three or four minute video which they will give to the Student Activities Department in hopes that the video will be shared by Baylor online Friday morning.
The video will start with Seago reading a statement saying that Baylor stands in support of those who have been sexually abused and that she wants all student voices to be heard, but that the voices of abuse should not become the face of the university.
“I hope what you will begin to realize that regardless of what has happened at Baylor, it is not our identity. We are more than a football team. We are a family who has been incredibly gifted in academics, athletics and much more,” Seago said in her statement. “Baylor University is a place where voices will not go unheard and students will stand together to represent those who have been abused, hurt, labeled and defaced.”
The girls came up with the idea for the video after seeing an ESPN video where Stephen A. Smith called Baylor’s football program, “so corrupt, so vile, so corrosive,” and encouraged parents to say “there is no way my daughter is ever going to Baylor University.”
The Baylor We Know from Amy Zukoski on Vimeo.
Shreveport, La., freshman Callie Crandall said she was upset when she saw the ESPN video and that she immediately called her parents.
“I asked my mom ‘on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you that you sent me to Baylor?’ and she said an 11,” Crandall said. “Baylor is the only place I applied, and me and my parents wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Crandall said she understands that not everyone has had the perfect Baylor experience and said she doesn’t want to neglect the women that have been mistreated by Baylor, but she does want to give her support to the new administration and share her love for her university.
“Some women have experienced some bad things at Baylor, and I support them, but Baylor is getting better and growing, and I think the media should show that too,” Crandall said. “It is going to be hard to ever move past this and really be better if the media keeps bashing us and only showing the bad sides and not the great things about Baylor.”
Crandall said she wanted to make this video to stand up to the media and ensure her voice is heard too.
Dallas freshman Amy Zukoski said she decided to come to Baylor because it was the only college she felt truly at home. She said the sexual assault scandal did not make her second guess her decision. She was so confident that Baylor was the only college she applied to.
Zukoski said she recognizes that what happened at Baylor was bad, but that Baylor’s Christian mission has encouraged media outlets to be even harder on Baylor than they are of other universities with sexual assault problems.
“Baylor is a Christian university, and they stand by that, and it is in Christ that we believe in, and the devil doesn’t like that, and he’s going to do anything and everything to destroy what Baylor stands for,” Zukoski said. “If that is pulling out all the negatives that Baylor does because we are a broken and fallen people that do make mistakes and do crumble – that is what the devil is going to do. We see that first hand happening at our school, and it’s not that it’s not happening, but Baylor is so much more than that, and it’s just how it’s being portrayed right now.”