At a university where the motto of “Pro Humanitate” and the concept of an inclusive community are central to the campus values, the members of the Editorial Board at the Old Gold & Black strongly believe that every student should feel safe on campus.
If this university wants to truly promote an environment where individuals can flourish and grow, they need to ensure that the students first and foremost feel protected.
But this isn’t a one-way street.
This involves cooperation from all members of the Wake Forest community — including administrators, faculty, staff, students and coaches.
We as a university and community should encourage each other and not demoralize those around us.
This is not to downplay criticism. An aspect of learning is developing resilience and handling constructive critiques.
However there’s a difference in meaninful dialogue and intimidation.
In recent weeks, members of the women’s volleyball team have come forward expressing a stark reality: their sense of safety at this university has not only been shaken, it has been shattered.
This reality has been fractured, not by some outside force or event, but by an individual who is tasked with mentoring and leading them: their own coach.
And what’s worse, instead of being heard, these women have said they feel ignored by a university that has an obligation to have their best interests at heart.
Several current and former players on this team, some of whom have spoken out publicly, and others who have requested anonymity, have started to detail the patterns of abuse that has been taking place at the hands of coach Ken Murczek.
This behavior is entirely unacceptable, especially from someone entrusted with the mentoring and wellbeing of his players.
The Old Gold & Black has spent the past two months speaking with current and former players about Murczek’s emotional, psychological and verbal abuse.
The players and their parents shared numerous examples of cursing and threats directed at them during practice, as well as brutally harsh punishments for even the smallest mistakes.
They described a two-faced and manipulative man who would frequently threaten the girls’ scholarships, but act friendly and charming in front of the university’s administration.
The players feel helpless since their repeated attempts to contact the administration failed to yield results.
Instead of taking the concerns of the players seriously, the administration has tried to sweep this issue permanently under the rug.
It is our hope and plea that as these young women continue to share their stories, the university will investigate and take appropriate action.
We find it repugnant that indiviudals on our campus feel “scared.”
We challenge the Wake Forest administration to act in the name of the values they promote.