Archive for Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blowing the whistle

September 10, 2008


To the editor:

It's time to "blow the whistle" on blowing the whistle. You won't find Lawrence's oldest source of noise pollution on the outskirts of town; it's not a factory that blows a whistle to summon workers. Instead, you'll find it on central campus; it's KU's whistle that blows throughout the day to signal the change of classes.

For those unfamiliar with KU's daily schedule, all class periods do not start and end at the same time. The whistle shrieks midway through many sessions - interrupting lectures and other KU activities - thus bringing the university's mission of teaching, research and service to a momentary but screeching halt.

Many of KU's faithful do have great affection for the whistle, feeling that it's a tradition, the "voice of the Jayhawks." But some traditions result from habits that should be reconsidered, especially if they reduce performance. If KU had never had a whistle, would the idea of building one today be taken seriously? Doesn't the Campanile tell us the time in a more pleasant and less intrusive manner?

Those of us at KU who did not miss the whistle think that there is more at stake than its cost of operation. It's the productivity we lose while waiting for the noise to end so that we can resume our work. To those who'd like to help KU by financing the return of the whistle: Thanks but please put the money toward KU's more pressing needs. Let's let the whistle rest in peace, so that we can concentrate without interruption on what we're here to do.

Robert R. Basow,


pace 9 years, 8 months ago

Robert wrote " the productivity we lose while waiting for the noise to end so that we can resume our work"Is he writing we? Because he is a conjoined twin? We need better staff if the whistle disrupts his concentration. We find this a stuffy and pettish letter. He probably sits in Strong hall if the campanile signals the time to him, I like both the whistle and the campanile. He has plans how people should spend their money. Good luck to him. His plea is not compelling.

mom_of_three 9 years, 8 months ago

I had a 90 minute class, and the whistle only interrupted it for a few seconds. It also let the professor know what time it was and if he needed to hurry more on the lecture. The whistle isn't that loud unless you are next to it. Obtrusive, not to me, and I work on campus.

Confrontation 9 years, 8 months ago

The whistle is very useful when you're a KU student. There are those long-winded professors who think they need to talk forever. Although most of those jerks will keep going past the whistle, it's still a reminder that they need to shut up.

gr 9 years, 8 months ago

"This guy probably moved into the neighborhood close to the whistle, and now he wants everyone else to accomodate his whims."Isn't that how Lawrence is? Just look at west 6th street and Wal-Mart moaners."The whistle is very useful when you're a KU student. There are those long-winded professors who think they need to talk forever. "Whatever happened to school bells?

kmat 9 years, 8 months ago

He needs to come work at a real business. You need to learn to concentrate so you can be productive. If I stopped working everytime people or equipment at my office were noisy, I'd never get anything accomplished.I know many people that work on campus and must say that campus employees are pretty spoiled and out of touch with most of the work force outside the university.Wanker is right!

InspectorJo 9 years, 8 months ago

What are KU's more pressing needs? More trees planted around the New practice field? KU without a whistle is like KU without Potters Lake. It just would not be KU anymore.

RKLOG 9 years, 8 months ago

I've lived here 23 years and love the whistle. Nothing wrong with the whistle. I agree, what a wanker!

Ragingbear 9 years, 8 months ago

Change it so that it blows every day at noon exactly, synched up with an atomic clock or something via computer. Not particularly hard, and will allow people to set their watches based on a single sound, instead of that annoying whistle that permeates throughout the entire town.

clyde_never_barks 9 years, 8 months ago

I thought Bob and Max were the "voice of the Jayhawks."

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 8 months ago

...damn kids and their damn whistles...won't get off my lawn....

jafs 9 years, 8 months ago

Just another example of skewed priorities at KU.Why on earth can't they find money to take care of maintenance?The basic function of a university is to educate, and funds should be allocated first for that purpose.As far as students "chatting" in class, if I were a teacher, that would be a problem to me. They're in class to learn - they can chat later, preferably not on a cell phone while they're driving.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 8 months ago

Of course, there is that more sinister aspect of the siren... wait for it... wait for it... almost two minutes in.... )

Janet Cinelli 9 years, 8 months ago

OMG, give me a break, a 10 second whistle every hour or so causes a loss in productivity? Next time, Robert, you need to gripe about how students chat too much in class or that the lines in the cafeteria are too long, and therefore causing a delay in getting back to one's studies. PLEASE! I live in the University Place neighborhood, and I am 15+ years past my KU degree; every time I hear the whistle, it beckens me back to my days at KU. But, please don't tell my boss. You see I work at home, and when I do hear the whistle, it always causes a 10-second delay in my work.

mom_of_three 9 years, 8 months ago

KU doesn't have bells, just the whistle and a clock.

Tony Kisner 9 years, 8 months ago

I need to have Bob come to my next cocktail party, sounds like a fun guy.

Alison Roberts 9 years, 8 months ago

Ummm its not that disruptive, just talk louder when it goes off. And its not like it goes off for 20 minutes. It brings nothing to a "screeching halt" Get over it.Isnt the writer a professor at KU? If so, I was in one of his classes and he was one of my teachers who would have kept on talking, had it not been for the whistle.

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