The Pilot Editorial

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

The snips of an amazing season

As Brian Van Haaften snipped away at the south net, handing out bits of string to a mob of children in tiny BVU yellow shirts, it dawns on me that we've seen something very unusual.

How often in one lifetime can we expect to see the same collegiate school win its conference tournaments for both men and women on the same night in the same home gym, after taking the floor as both the men's and women's conference season champions? And at a combined 50 wins, both headed with automatic high seeds into the national tourney?

Kids, hang onto those snips. The odds against such an achievement happening anywhere are pretty high. But those little hunks of twine just go to show that anything is possible.

Both these teams have many things in common. They have achieved their goals not with dominant superstar athletic ability or overpowering size, but with exceptional, unselfish, intelligent, tireless team play. The players have been classy all season - also a reflection of the coaching here that applies to life off the floor as well as on it.

Even the somewhat notorious BV student section - still wild as March hares - have taken on a more positive persona. Dirty chants have been replaced with "Please Miss" posters for opponents - well, at least they're polite. They were even kind enough to fashion duct tape bikinis for their inflatable females. A fun bunch.

We miss the band and the dance team, though - they add even more to the show for a big game.

As always, Storm Lake should be appreciative of the entertainment resource that Buena Vista University offers. It is one of the lifestyle advantages this community has over its competitors - in music, drama, newsmaker speakers shared with the public virtually every week - and certainly in quality collegiate sports.

Thank you, Buena Vista Beavers - women and men - for so many memorable moments this year, one that will go down in history as one of the most dominant seasons put on by any one school in the strong history of the IIAC.

And it isn't over yet. The Division III National Championship Tournaments are coming to Storm Lake - and the community should be there strong.

It says a lot to see the little kids packing that gym, sporting those yellow tees and looking up to the likes of Amy Meggers, Kelli Taylor, Scott Weber, Casey Pelzer.

For a long, long time, there's been a gap between town and gown. In the past several years, efforts to share the lives of students and community have chipped away at that wall. It's showing now in the basketball gym.

One little snippet at a time.

What a season!

Frankly, it's no big scandal if Buena Vista Regional Medical Center hosts a Wine and Roses event, or a Christmas party for adult employees with some cups of cheer available.

Such occasions are standard in the business community, and are apparently allowable enough under state law.

Is it a big deal? Probably not.

But now that a former medical center employee has raised the issue, and the board of trustees has taken up the discussion, it has been made an issue.

The board has little choice, we think, but to ban alcohol on the hospital campus.

As a public medical center, the facility deals regularly with the aftermath of alcohol abuse. Now, nobody is saying that a holiday party or a wine-tasting event is causing alcoholism, medical problems or accidents. Lots and lots of businesses do it - admittedly including the one issuing this editorial.

A hospital, however, is not an ordinary business. Being in the business of health and wellness, it is up to its facility and its officials to be leaders in the community, and to set the example.

Now that the question is out there, it will be their role to say that there really is no place for drinking inside our medical center. Parties there can simply be alcohol-free, or if drinking is such a must, can move to one of several establishments or facilities in Storm Lake where that belongs.

There are no fingers to be pointed, and no scandalous behavior to be exposed.

Just an opportunity now to do the best possible thing.