Letter sent in by: Lynn Phillips
Congratulations to the Rhodes Women’s A crew rowing team, who gained silverin the closest run final at the recent Boat Race weekend in Port Alfred.What a pity then, that their performance was marred by the behaviour of manyof the Rhodes “supporters”. As an Old Rhodian and a supporter of the rowingteams, I was shocked by the behaviour of those were there ostensibly tosupport their teams, but who in reality were only there3 for the party. Rhodes students, many of you were unbelievably drunk and were drivingvehicles in that state. That same night in Cape Town, a friend of mydaughter lost her brother to an 18-year-old drunk driver. That driver couldhave been one of you; it could have been your brother who died. When will you begin to understand when enough is enough? What is it goingto take before you come to your senses? Does another young person have todie first?
There are at least two of you who were lucky that some of us were able toprevent you harming yourselves and possibly others any further that night.Yet gratitude was not the most evident thing you showed afterwards. Andthat’s what really worries me. Too many of you are arrogant, unrepentantand completely ignorant of the seriousness of what you’re doing. I don’tget it. You’re a bright bunch, so why do you act so stupidly?
You appearto have absolutely no idea of how civilised human beings are meant tobehave. If this is how the future leaders of our country are preparingthemselves, then we have reason to be very worried. Don’t be surprised ifgreat sporting events such as Trivarsity are cancelled because anirresponsible minority has spoilt it for the majority.
Our university and our country need people with self-discipline, courage,and a high level of moral standards, not disrespect and dysfunction. Rhodesleaders, how are you going to teach that? For a start, are there any of youwho have the courage and the common sense NOT to go too far, and to bebuddies to your dangerously drunken friends? I’m sure there were some ofyou out there that weekend – you just weren’t enough.
I pray that in futurethere will be more of you who will be prepared to stand up and be counted,even if it makes you unpopular. Know that if you do, you will earn respectfrom others. You will very likely save someone’s life one day and inspire afew others to stand up too. And don’t think I don’t know what I’m talking about. I was once a dedicatedmember of the Lilies Club, so I know all about having a good time withalcohol. But no way did we reach the depths that some of you have sunk to.More importantly, we always looked out for each other, and to this day, westill do.
Rhodes students, learn to do the same. That’s what it *really* means tohave your blood run purple.
P.S. Well done to the Port Alfred police who handled the situation withextreme tolerance and a healthy sense of humour.