ALUMNI GYMNASIUM, Amherst, MA — The Amherst Athletics Department, partnering with the Office of Student Affairs, has this week began an exciting new extension of the Amherst LEADS Program designed exclusively for non-athletes, entitled the PLEBES Program.
Joining the First-Year Initiative, Futures, and Captains Programs for athletes, the Amherst PLEBES (Peremptory Labor for Everyone Besides Elite Students) Program promises to “bring all the great benefits of our highly-successful LEADS program to those, uh, otherwise less suited for LEADS” announced director Justin Serpone.
The PLEBES Program is a rigorous subdivision of LEADS that builds character through volunteer opportunities in classrooms, dorms, and throughout the campus grounds. The program involves interactive experiences, such as hand-scrubbing the soccer suite’s bathroom, carrying football players to their classes, delivering hundreds of Econ textbooks to lacrosse players throughout the Social Quad, and much more.
PLEBES comes in response to harsh criticisms of the formerly athlete-only LEADS network.
“If the school is so dedicated to uniting students and bridging the athlete/non-athlete divide, why would they create a leadership program designed exclusively for athletes?” questioned one non-athlete, Alex Lemson ’17. “It isolates the rest of the student body and reinforces the idea that athletes run Amherst. Plus, maybe I want a free purple sweatshirt, too, okay?”
The administration hopes that the new program will help provide the same rewards as LEADS but in a way “better tailored to the skill-set” of those not previously involved in the program.
“By participating in the PLEBES Program, non-athletes will not be rewarded with monetary compensation, but with the appreciation of their superiors [athletes] and with the valuable tool set to become strong and productive members of society,” explained Athletic Director, Don Faulstick. “They will also finally have the chance to get in shape through strenuous activity, while learning about dedication and commitment.”
So far, the non-athlete community has responded well to the program.
“This is great. I finally feel worthy of leading my peers at Amherst and beyond,” commented Thomas Wiles ’16, as his back broke under the weight of Amherst’s starting linebacker.
“I am really looking forward to attending a LEADS workshop entitled, ‘Knowing your Place,’” stated Susan Rent ’18 as she wiped the grime of the Crossett floor off of her forehead and hands.
Updates on exciting new PLEBES symposia and speakers to follow.