The bane of the football season has arrived. It’s the Thursday night game — something few love and many despise. I fall into the majority on this one, and I think that playing a football game in the Coliseum on a Thursday isn’t fair to the students or a good idea.
The Thursday night football game is a contradiction for a University that claims to put a great value on both academics and student life — this game makes students choose one or the other.
When I was a freshman, I remember thinking that it was really cool that we got to play on a Thursday night, but of course as I have gone deeper into my course work and gotten more involved with my extracurricular activities, a Thursday night game just cuts into the amount of time that I can spend studying and working without feeling like I’m missing out on something.
In an attempt to compromise, USC bans all tailgating on campus and on the Row for Thursday games, but that takes away a lot of the fun of going to a school where football is such a big deal. I’m not saying that the only way to enjoy a football game is to be blackout drunk before it happens, but there is a certain culture surrounding the games and many students, myself included, feel cheated out of one weekend of this experience when the game is held on a Thursday.
If the University were going to cancel all its classes on Thursdays to allow the game to fully take over, then there wouldn’t be this struggle for power. But it isn’t just Thursday or Thursday afternoon classes that would need to be considered — what about Friday?
I am one of the many who purposely schedules my classes so that I have a three-day weekend every week, but for many people, and nearly every science major, this luxury just isn’t a reality.
This semester I have a class that is from 4 p.m.- 5:40 p.m. on Thursday, and my professor canceled it. I have friends who don’t get out of class until 6 or 7 p.m. and their professors haven’t given them the day off. Now these students have to decide if they would rather attend the football game or their class, a decision that is utterly unfair for someone who is paying for both.
So then it comes to a tipping point. Would a student rather skip the game so that they can commit the necessary time to their schoolwork, something that costs roughly $33,000 this semester or go to the football game, something they also had to put out $185 for?
It doesn’t seem fair to force the students into this predicament every year. In an email to the student body, Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry addressed the many troubles that come with the Thursday night game.
“As a member of the Pac-12 Conference, USC will occasionally host home football games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on weekdays,” Carry wrote.
For the three years that I have been a student here, USC has hosted a Thursday night game. Even though “occasionally” may mean only once a semester, “occasionally” should mean once every few seasons. Spread the wealth!
Of course, on a Thursday night, USC has a greater chance of competing with the NFL for viewership than Oregon State does, but the conference should put its priority on its students and student-athletes instead of chasing down the dollars.
Now of course, USC would never say that they expect you to go to the football game instead of your classes. In fact, Carry even told the student body what is expected of them tonight.
“Classes will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27 and students will be expected to attend class in accordance with the syllabus set by their faculty instructor.”
I hope you have as understanding of a professor as I do.
Hailey Tucker is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Tucker Talks,” runs Thursdays.