“Shocking and Disappointing”: Female Soccer Players Discuss National Team’s Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Despite being the most successful women’s soccer team in history, players for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, claim that they are not being paid fairly, are forced to play on fake turf while the men get real grass, and take commercial flights while their male counterparts fly charter, among countless other complaints. Their rancor has culminated in a lawsuit filed in March against the U.S. Soccer Administration alleging widespread gender discrimination.

Many members of Chapman’s Women’s soccer team hadn’t even heard of the lawsuit – but they had strong feelings about the conditions their professional sisters allegedly endured, and about discrimination in sports.

Jessica Roux, freshman software engineering major

Although Chapman is a Division III school, Roux wouldn’t consider herself “working any less hard than a Division I athlete or taking care of my body less.” Roux finds the vast pay discrepancy between male and female professional soccer players “shocking and disappointing.”

Jessica Roux believes women and men work equally hard in athletics and should be paid accordingly. Photo by Emilio Mejia

Alex Morgan is the highest paid female U.S. soccer player, earning $450,000 a year. Yet the highest paid U.S. male soccer player, Michael Bradley, makes a whopping $6 million not including revenue from endorsement deals. Yet, the most recent women’s world cup final was the most popular televised match in U.S. soccer history, attracting a total of 23 million viewers.

“Women work just as hard as men,” and go to just as much effort to train and stay in shape, Roux said.

Elly Aronson, junior news and documentary major

Gender discrimination “always stays in the back of my mind” said Aronson who described the the lawsuit allegations as “heartbreaking.” Yet, she’s grateful that unequal treatment of female athletes is in the news.

“I wish change was coming much faster, but I’m glad awareness is finally being brought to the national spotlight,” she added. Aronson won’t let discrimination discourage her, though: “I’ve always competed for myself” she affirms.

Madie Bigcas (left) and Elly Aronson (right) unite in their condemning of female athlete’s treatment. Photo by Emilio Mejia

Madie Bigcas, sophomore communication studies major

Madie Bigcas was dismayed by the comments of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, after being asked in 2015 how to increase viewership for women’s matches: “Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts… female players are pretty. If you forgive me for saying so.” Sepp Blatter is currently four years into a six-year ban from all FIFA related activities.

“It really puts things in perspective when someone that high up says something like that. You’re there for the game, not to see women’s butts,” Bigcas said.

“It’s hard to hear” the way that the national women’s team claims it is being treated, but Bigcas said, “I don’t let it get to me.”

The U.S. women’s team consistently draws more eyes and fills more seats than the men’s team. However, these numbers have not translated into financial incentives.

Bailee Cochran, junior business major

International women’s soccer games are commonly played on artificial turf, whereas men’s games are played on grass. The players have made their disapproval for this quite clear: playing on turf provides significantly more challenges than playing on grass. Often, the temperature of the turf can teach 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which results in painful, large burns on the player’s skin if they perform a slide tackle. In addition to injuries, there are questions about the correlation between long-term exposure to artificial turf and cancer clusters.

A photo of turf burn as a result of playing on artificial grass. Photo by Pavel on Adobe Stock

“I try not to expect things” Cochran when it comes to the double standards to which female athletes are subjected. “I focus on going out to play my hardest… if I love something, I’m going to give it my all” she adds, “I’m going to do the things I love and not think of anything else.”

Chapman Drop Deadline is April 12: Is the scarlet ‘W’ as bad as you think?

Should I stay or should I go?

The last day to withdraw from a class this semester is April 12. Some students are wondering if they
should cut their losses and withdraw from a class likely to drag down their grade point average.
The decision can be difficult. You’ve already invested so much time and effort! But what is the
likelihood you’ll be able to elevate a low grade so far into the semester? If you do drop, won’t a
“W” look bad on your transcript, dooming you from grad school or getting a job? Professors
who give little indication of your standing in the class don’t make the decision any easier. How
do you know whether to cut bait or stay the course? Read on…

The first thing to consider is whether you have enough credits to be considered a full-time
student. A university student needs to complete at least 12 credits per semester in order to be
considered full-time. If you do not have enough credits at the end of the semester, you will be
obligated to pay back both your financial aid to the government as well as lose any merit
scholarships you may have been awarded. If this is the case, you’re best off redoubling your
efforts in the class to pull out the best grade you can obtain.

The Scarlet ‘W’

There is a commonly held belief that a ‘W’ on your transcripts brands you as a quitter to
potential employers and grad school admissions committees. However, this isn’t always the
case – especially if you don’t habitually withdraw from classes. “One or two withdrawals
typically does not present much of an issue. However, a pattern of withdrawals will cause
schools to question your academic preparedness . . .to manage a demanding academic load,”
according to advice provided to pre-law students by Baylor Law School.

Graduate schools often allow students to explain the reason why they withdrew from a course
on their application and are “more likely to be forgiving of a drop that was caused by
unexpected circumstances…. than they would if you dropped a class simply because you did not
like the professor,” according to Baylor.

However, the stakes may be different if you’re dropping a class in a subject related to your
planned graduate area of study. “It is wise to consult with your academic advisor, your faculty
advisor, and the graduate/professional school you anticipate attending to make sure a ‘W’ on
you transcript will not adversely impact your admissions application,” as advised by Southern
Utah University.

 

Test your reality by talking to your teacher

Sophomore Benen Weir withdrew from an accounting class he hated last semester on the final
possible day. In a convo with his professor, he admitted to not even opening his textbook and was
told it was in his interest to drop the class. That helped him to realize he did not want to major
in business, anyway: He switched to Strategic and Corporate Communication. He recommends
talking to the professor of a class you’re failing to get a sense of whether you have a hope of
passing. “Office hours!” he crowed. Dropping allowed him to keep his 3.2 + GPA and to land a $20
an hour internship.

Ask the professor what your current grade is and how likely it is for you to improve it by the end
of the semester.

One or two withdrawals is always better than getting a D or F. Some students might even want
to consider dropping in order to avoid getting their first C.

Future Employers

Employers are similar to admission offices in that, having one or two W’s on your transcript
may not be a big deal, according to Southern Utah University.

However, it’s a smart move to never assume how your W may be perceived by a future
employer. “Some employers may request a copy of your transcript and evaluate it before
offering you a job. Having multiple ‘W’s on your transcript may lead them to question your
ability,” according to Southern Utah University.

It’s not a good idea to repeatedly withdraw from courses as a “GPA management” technique so
try to make sure when registering you’re in classes you are likely to successfually complete.

Beware of magic thinking

There are many instances in which students should withdraw from a class and yet refuse to
according to Ximena Pineda, a licensed cognitive behavioral therapist who specializes in
university students. Today’s college students may have a mentality of wanting to pass or obtain
a high grade while putting in the least amount of effort necessary: Such an attitude may not
reap the results they believe they will obtain. “Wishful thinking” and “falling victim to these
ideologies” is likely to result in remaining in a class one has little likelihood of passing. Be sure
to engage in regular reality checks with your professors.

Suck it up

For some students, withdrawing is unthinkable. They reorganize their lives to get the grades
they want. They plan for success early in the semester so withdrawal never becomes a
question.

Calista Lat and Aiyana Adams are freshmen and STEM majors who have never withdrawn from
a class and, yet, never received lower than a B+. They succeed, they said, by planning in
advance and devoting extra time to their most difficult classes. “I don’t procrastinate,” said Lat,
who said she studies two hours every week day and a bit less on weekends.

They key to doing well in school is “going into class and decide to learn by paying attention” so
that you don’t have to spend so much time studying, said Adams, who avails herself of tutoring
options and takes practice tests and quizzes on her own. “You just gotta do what you gotta
do,” Lat added.

10 Things That Happen When You Switch Your Major

Whether you are just starting, in the middle of it all, or nearing the cap and gown, you may have pondered the idea of completely switching gears and jumping to a different path in the map of career choices. You are not alone.

About 33 percent of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs will switch their major and 10 percent will change their major more than once, according to a 2017 study by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Now that you know that switching majors is no biggie, here are some things you can expect if you do end up changing career paths.

     1. You may feel a little confused, and stressed, and behind.

     2. But excited too of course! The world is now your oyster!

     3. You will feel so motivated to learn. You just let go of something that wasn’t right and freedom feels good!

     4. You may hit some stumps. Who knew learning about Communications required so much… communicating?

     5. You’ll realize that all majors require hard work, but in different forms.

     6. But if you like it, it’s not really work, right?

     7. You’ll make new friends.

     8. Don’t worry, if your old friends in your old major are real, they’ll keep in touch.

     9. You’ll think about switching majors again. It’s okay if you need to reevaluate.

     10. You’ll graduate! And maybe think about switching career paths again.