Indiana Daily Student

Mellencamp show negates IU's goal

Administration contradicts message with blundered public relations move

John Mellencamp is a good samaritan indeed. He is obviously aware of who his fans are. Although he was half an hour late to his Bloomington show Aug. 30, and only played for a short time, it was a few moments of bliss for many Mellencamp fans. It was a rare sight to see students, faculty, Bloomington residents, young children and adults together cheering for the same person.\n Kudos to the IU administration, whose members thought this would be a great public relations move for the University. Many people were thrilled by the performance, and it seemed to be a good beginning to a new academic year.\n But it depends on how you look at it.\n John Mellencamp played at 1 p.m. in Woodlawn Field ' the very middle of the day in the very heart of campus.\n One can't help but wonder what the University would rather have students do with their day. It is somewhat hypocritical for a university to stand up and preach the importance of education and then allow a rock concert go on beneath a classroom's window. \n It is, in fact, a seriously blundered public relations move.\n It has been stated time and time again that the mission of this University is to educate and train students for the "real world." IU is a research institution that is supposed to take its progress very seriously.\nWhen students apply for jobs, it will be fortunate they can list IU, "where Mellencamp played a free concert and students and professors alike skipped classes," as their alma mater.\nUnion Board rightly respects the importance of classes and the mission of the University. It is rare the group will ever schedule an event in the middle of the day that would redirect students' attention from their classes.\nThe University won't give students on this campus a Labor Day vacation, yet it indirectly gave students an insignificant Wednesday off just to see John Mellencamp ' musician and philanthropist.\nIt is embarrassing, and it is a slap in the face to professors. They already have enough trouble fitting course material into one semester. \nStudents are here, first and foremost, to learn. The University should make it a priority not to distract students from that goal.

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