Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Opinions should be more than fun and games

On Wednesday morning, while walking to my first class, I stopped by the Ferg to grab a copy of The CW, as I always do. I immediately opened to the opinions page, eager to read the views of other individuals at this university, individuals articulating positions on campus, state and national issues that generally arouse within me either enthusiastic support or intense disagreement. Rare is the article that brings forth internal apathy or ambivalence.

My eyes were immediately drawn to the witty anti-Ahmadinejad cartoon before drifting to the headline below: “Four square for UA unity.”

Surely, I thought, this column could not actually be discussing the very game dominating my playground days. Absolutely, I figured, Wesley Vaughn was not going to espouse the unifying precepts underlying the childish sport.

Alas, Capstonians, he had done so. And, by George, I actually read the entire piece.

Wesley, when you found it entirely necessary to criticize the very page for which you write two weeks ago, stating that the primary purpose of the opinions columnists should be the introduction of new ideas to improve student life and the mediation of debate for college-wide issues, I was, at the very least, intrigued. And I waited for you to be the beacon of light to show us the way toward the new and improved model for The CW that you had fathered.

Last week, you delivered to us a philippic against our gubernatorial candidates and encouraged us young voters to do something to change the political system here. How cliché.

So, this week, I was hopeful that your column would enlighten me in regards to a campus issue. I desired an alternative to some scourge on student life here at Bama.

And your solution? Four square. Four square? Really?

I tried to rationalize the so-called “benefits” that you cite as definite: Stress relief. Catharsis. Fitness. Happiness. Enjoyment.

I’m certain there are other activities from which my peers can derive enjoyment. In a campus of 30,000 students and with numerous organizations sponsoring lectures and social events, and with a national championship caliber football team (and other awesome athletic groups), I don’t think that students are at a loss for fun occurrences.

I’m not saying our student life is perfect, but I certainly don’t equate a nationally renowned musical group with performing a concert and a playground activity.

Additionally, with an amazing student recreation center, swimming facilities, a strong focus on intramural sports, and a plethora of one-credit KIN courses to keep students active, fitness shouldn’t be hard to maintain, if one truly seeks to remain in shape. Fifteen minutes of four square isn’t going to burn as many calories as a fifteen minute jog around the Quad.

Surely you are forgetting the detriments that cherry bombing a ball at friends can have. Imagine the black eyes and broken noses — the Student Health Center might become horribly overcrowded with the casualties of the noble sport. Hearken back to the hurt feelings you felt during your elementary school years, when a friend eliminated you from the game. The damage to one’s social life can be tremendous and permanent.

Finally, envision the traffic jams that would result from blocking the pathways that take students from dorm to Ferg to class. Some sidewalks simply aren’t wide enough to handle games of four square and passers-by. I hope you aren’t encouraging those of us who aren’t playing on the pavement to be playing in traffic instead.

But if you are truly passionate about this proposal, that red kickballs should roll merrily across campus, that giggling girls with ponytails should frolic freely, shirking their coursework and duties for the sake of “The Game,” then I encourage you to suggest this idea to any SGA senator, and gauge his or her reaction. But if I were you, I’d be wary, since your attack on the senate, its members and their High Tide Club initiative was not likely well received by the esteemed group, and it is highly improbable that the resolution would even make it into committee.

I do applaud you, Mr. Vaughn, for your often insightful and engaging opinions, whether I find myself siding with you or standing in vehement opposition. But, sir, in the future, I hope that you stay away from bizarre, baseless and batty proposals and stick to real campus issues. That, unlike playground games, would really help brighten my otherwise “dreary week.”

A.J. Collins is a junior majoring in economics and political science.

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