Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 22, 2009 7:26 AM

Friday classes won’t end drinking

There has been increased discussion among UI officials regarding the desire to implement more Friday classes for students. The reason behind this discussion is the university’s aspiration to limit binge drinking on Thursday nights. Individuals such as Associate Provost Tom Rocklin said research has suggested having classes on Friday greatly reduces binge drinking on Thursdays and with students overall. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences says it will give departments $20 for every student in each class on Fridays. An article published in the Wall Street Journal said only around 1,400 classes are held on Fridays, compared with approximately 2,400 on Mondays through Thursdays. Thus, the university plans to change this and get more students enrolled in more Friday classes.

As a student, I am greatly infuriated by this plan. I organize my class schedule so that I have a large number of classes Monday through Thursday and am then able to relax on Fridays. In doing this, students are able to take the classes they need and work harder during the week in order to keep up with school.

I see no problem in having an extra day to rest from the stress of classes. College students, especially at this university, are going to drink regardless of whether they have classes the next day. Of course, there will be some students who decide to stay in on Thursday nights as a result of Friday classes, but because the majority of their friends are going out on Thursday, they probably will, too. Many students go out on Wednesday nights, especially when bars offer specials such as punch-card night at One-Eyed Jakes, because these are the only nights they are able to get these deals. As a result of Friday classes, many students will undoubtedly go to classes hung-over, still drunk from the night before, and uninterested in the material presented in class. I hope more students become aware of this issue and realize the university is clearly being unreasonable.

As students, we have an obligation to do well in school, but it is also equally important that we have some fun.

Garrett Frey
UI student

Solid basketball team could drive in applicants

On Nov. 18, 1999, CBS signed an 11-year $6 billion contract to be able to show the games of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tourney. Half of that money goes to the conferences based on their performance in the six previous tournaments. The conference gets shares for each team that gets in, and it gets more shares if those teams win.

Where was the Hawkeye basketball team on Selection Sunday, when the teams hear if they have made the tournament and who they’ll play? One can only hope they were practicing with hopes of winning more games next year. Coach Todd Lickliter’s 15-17 team did not even reach the National Invitational Tournament, but great powerhouses of Duquesne, Tennessee-Martin, Niagara, and Weber State did. Although the Hawkeyes can be watched by many on the Big Ten Network, a Hawkeye fan can only hope that they’d play more on ESPN and CBS.

Sports on television bring national exposure. When high-school upperclassmen begin to make their college lists, they start by choosing the schools they know about. In order to draw more applicants from out of state and retain those from the state of Iowa, I propose that the university does everything to field a winning basketball team. Yes, the Hawkeye fans seem to enjoy football (and wrestling) more, but the national exposure that would come from solid basketball could boost applicants, enrollment, and prestige.

In these tough economic times, and after the devastating flood of 2008, it seems silly to start caring about basketball and increasing its budget to recruit more and find a better coach who the players trust and like. But if you don’t think it would help the school for the thousands if not millions of people that fill out a tournament bracket to see “Iowa,” you underestimate the power of sports on television.

David Wojcik
UI student

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