In Response to “Living Outside Westminster’s ‘Ski Culture’”

Jess Breda, a junior neuroscience major and chemistry minor, trained for her first Olympic Qualifier in 2013. Though the ski culture at Westminster College may seem big at first glance, Westminster student Annie Vreek said it's actually just a subculture. Photo by Jacob Smith.

Jess Breda, a junior neuroscience major and chemistry minor, trained for her first Olympic Qualifier in 2013. Though the ski culture at Westminster College may seem big at first glance, Westminster student Annie Vreek said it's actually just a subculture. Photo by Jacob Smith.

Editor's note: To preserve the intent of the piece, this article has been published as submitted by its author with no editorial changes from The Forum's team. To submit letters to the editor, please email forumeditor@westminstercollege.edu

On March 24, 2017 the forum posted an article titled “Living Outside Westminster’s ‘Ski Culture’.” This article seemed to state, that if you don’t ski or snowboard at Westminster, you don’t have an immediate place at the college; you’re an outsider. According to this article people at Westminster belong to just two classifications, skier/snowboarders or nerds. Well this just isn’t the case.

The great thing about Westminster is that you have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people that have similar interests to you. For instance, I am involved with outdoor recreation but I also really enjoy the theatre department and have several friends that are very involved with it. I am really interested in science and have many friends that share this interest with me. While I don’t ski or snowboard, and probably never will, I do have many friends that enjoy these activities. However, we easily find other things we both enjoy like making vegan dinners, hiking, volunteering, or even just working on homework. It isn’t always just about skiing or snowboarding.

The “Ski Culture” here at Westminster may seem big at first glance, but it is just a subculture. The article is essentially discussing the so-called “Snow Bro” phenomenon, which in all honesty, is such a small group at the college it’s not even significant. I challenge anyone at this college to find someone who solely skis/snowboards; I don’t think you could find that many people. From my experience skiers and snowboarders have many other interests outside of their winter activities. Some are nerds, involved in the community, interested in art, other forms of outdoor recreation, etc. This list can go on and on.

In contrast, this article clumps outdoor recreation and skiing/snowboarding together. This is definitely not the case—take me for example: I enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, and climbing, but I don’t ski. Similarly, the Outdoor Program here at Westminster offers many different outdoor recreation experiences. Trips provided by the Outdoor Program are open for people who have limited-to-no experience as well as those who have a lot. There are very few that require any form of previous knowledge.

In essence, this article views the campus from such a narrow mindset it’s difficult for the majority of people to relate. There are many different facets to people’s lives here, many of which don’t just encompass two categories. Likewise, outdoor recreation encompasses so many different things, even walking around a park. For anyone who is interested in exploring various outdoor activities, the Outdoor Program in HWAC is a great place to start.