Last week, as the hype for the Super Bowl was reaching its crescendo, the University of Kansas Student Senate put out an interesting resolution. It recommended that Chancellor Douglas Girod cancel class the following Monday. If he did not, the resolution recommended the University provide barf bags to students because, in the words of Chief of Staff Zach Thomason, “We’re just being realistic.”
Sentiments like this aren’t uncommon. People have talked about a Super Bowl Monday holiday for years and this is merely the natural extension of that. Around 37% of American adults list football as their favorite sport to watch, according to a Gallup poll.That’s a pretty significant slice of the population, so why isn’t anything being done?
Groups have tried. A petition posted on the White House official website got up to 25,000 signatures in 2015, but that was well below the needed 100,000 signatures for White House recognition. And, if we step back, it would be ludicrous to expect congress to bow to the will of a sport controlled by an outside private business.
That would be like Apple asking Congress to make their annual Worldwide Developers Conference a national holiday; or Amazon asking for Cyber Monday off. If either of these happened, people would be up in arms about the private interference in our government, or they’d get laughed out of the room for suggesting something so ridiculous.
The situation with the NFL should be no different.
If the NFL really wanted to, it is fully able to move the Super Bowl to a time when people don’t have work the next day, like before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s day, or a truly revolutionary idea: moving the game to a Saturday.
So why should the University be any different?
We are all fully fledged adults attending college, from which most of us will then enter the normal workforce. You wouldn’t call your boss to cancel work or else give you a barf bag (at least you really shouldn’t). That would be incredibly unprofessional.
And going back to the statistics from earlier, only 37% of American adults are primarily football fans. While that’s quite a lot, that’s nowhere near a majority. For most students and employees, it was just another Monday.
An important difference, however, between us attending college and working a job is that we are paying to go to class. We’re paying quite a lot, in fact.
Sacrificing a day of class because a vocal group is hungover is detrimental to student fans, as well as those who were just having a normal Monday. It would be a small group of students sacrificing the entire student body’s long-term interests for a single night of partying.
Which brings me to my final point. Even if most students were watching the game, it ended at around 9:15 pm, which is way earlier than most college students normally go to bed. If you weren’t functioning enough to go to class in the morning, it is because of the decisions that you personally made. The University has zero responsibility to oblige students for their own poor decision making.
I’m not saying to never go out. But, when you’re going out and simply hoping the world shapes itself so you don’t have to deal with the fallout, that’s not a pattern of behavior that is sustainable or healthy.
Sometimes, for the sake of our own long-term interests, we have to take paths that don't instantaneously give us the maximum amount of fun. That’s life, and that’s what college should be preparing us for.
We’re at school to get an education. It’s our responsibility to act like it.
Jeffrey Birch is a senior from Wichita studying accounting.