Archive for Thursday, October 2, 2008

KU’s steam whistle offers shorter blasts in compromise

Budget cuts threatened it and complaints from students and alumni brought it back. But the century-old steam whistle at KU isn't quite the same.

October 2, 2008


The Kansas University whistle has returned to campus, but it's lost a little steam.

Since the whistle was turned back on Sept. 8 - after not blowing since the semester began in August - its duration was reduced from five seconds to approximately 3.5 seconds.

Lynn Bretz, university spokeswoman, said the whistle sounding on top of Mount Oread, a decades-old campus tradition, was initially turned off this semester to save at least $7,000 in maintenance costs. After public outcry, it was turned back on, but the duration was reduced to reach a "compromise for those who love the whistle and those who aren't so keen on it, and it allows us to save a little bit," she said.

KU didn't provide the amount of savings from the reduction. Bretz also said the university has received "very little reaction" to the change.

The KU Endowment Association however, has received a positive response from the public to help fund the whistle. According to Lisa Scheller, senior editor for media relations, the association received $3,347 in donations since about Sept. 5 when the university asked those who offered to help fund the whistle to make a donation to a university maintenance fund.


LogicMan 9 years, 7 months ago

The shortened whistle-blast doesn't sound very good, unfortunately, IMHO.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe if they (KU) could manage to compy with EPA, KDHE disposal matters, they could really blow the whistle. NO.... that would to complex for KU.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 7 months ago

Vacuous, beyond belief. Why not just blow it out your....

chapdaddy 9 years, 7 months ago

The whistle needs to blow at KU forever.It is a tradition. Cut Lew's salary by 7K so it can blow. It was here way before him, and will be long after he croaks.Poor $ mgmt. by KU if they can't find 7K in the budget.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 7 months ago

This is wonder we can't trust those who "manage" our tax dollars.

Write2Know 9 years, 7 months ago

This seems to indicate that it was more about pandering to those who don't like the whistle as opposed to saving money.

Bud Stagg 9 years, 7 months ago

Don't you all see? This was never about the money. This was clearly about showing some whistle critics how important the whistle is. They were tired of listening to people bitch and had to prove to them how important the whistle was.

phoggyjay 9 years, 7 months ago

How cheap is this university! They get funding and they still cut the whistle by 1.5 seconds! Let it blow as it has for decades! We have morons running the show high up on the hill!

Camron Flanders 9 years, 7 months ago

Restore the whistle to it's original, longer (and better sounding) blast. For all the money that the Athletics department brings in every year, I think we can afford it. I know, I know, the Athletics department bank account isn't shared with the University (which is a whole other issue), but I'm sure we can find the pocket change somewhere to pay for this.It's really embarrassing that this is what KU has come to. One of these days those flags on Fraiser will need replaced, will that be a frivolous sight/tradition as well?

Phillbert 9 years, 7 months ago

I envy all of you. To have a life where my biggest concern is whether a steam whistle at some university sounds for 5 seconds or 3.5 seconds sounds great.And I'm glad that there isn't anything else going on the world - like two wars, an economic crisis or an election - so that the LJW can devote yet another front page story to this subject.

Tony Holladay 9 years, 7 months ago

Geeze what a crock. I wonder how many people that DONATED MONEY realized they were going to do this? Sounds like Don Steeples is still trying to cut the whistle out of his budget. He probably felt that since the Endowment Association only collected about half of what it cost to run per year that he'd trim some fat. How come you didn't cut it down to 2.5 seconds, Don? Sounds like we have a ferry boat on campus now.

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