CHARLES BENSON BEAR CENTER - Recently, the Grinnell College Athletics Department announced that they will slowly be phasing out the Beer CAFO programs and will allow athletes to consume substances other than alcohol. Beer CAFOs, or Concentrated Athlete Feeding Operations that utilize beer and other forms of alcohol, have been a mainstay on Grinnell College; however, huge backlash from the campus community has worn the administration down.
“The most well-known Beer CAFO on campus is probably the Tennis House,” explained Beer CAFO activist Shannon Chi ’16. “You can always hear them shrieking and whimpering from inside the building . . . Please, let them rest . . .” Beer CAFOs confine athletes in small, secluded areas for the entirety of the season where they are force fed a diet of varying concoctions of Natural Light, Keystone Light, and if the budget allows it, Rolling Rock. This process, it is argued, allows for the mass production of top tier athletes ready to compete in the “real world” of athletics.
The college has been highly resistant to the idea of dissembling the Beer CAFOs despite constant pressure to shut them down from students, professors, and government scientists. “There have been multiple studies that illustrate how destructive these practices are on the environment and the psyches of the students, but the college refuses to listen,” says Professor Grady Orstein, Biology. “Finally after we’ve proven that these Beer CAFOs may start hurting the college financially the college is starting to pull back.”
Indeed, the Athletic program is allowing previous Beer CAFO athletes to roam the campus and most surprisingly, drink water in ratios higher than one water:two alcoholic drinks. “It’s been so long . . . since I’ve actually been able to taste water and alcohol,” said George Murphy ’17. “The water here really isn’t that bad.”
Some athletes and scientists, however, are concerned what the implications of this will be in the long-term. “The college has explicitly been enforcing Beer CAFOs as a substitute for health practices and good mental health management,” said Professor Orstein. “As they begin to phase students out of these programs, what will happen after they realize there isn’t much of a support structure left for them?” For now, athletes and students alike are enjoying the time together, roaming the limits of Mac Field.