KU Student Senate wants vomit bags placed around campus if classes aren’t canceled day after Super Bowl

photo by: Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs fans hold signs after the NFL AFC Championship football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, MO. The Chiefs won 35-24 to advance to Super Bowl 54. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

University of Kansas students are appealing to their chancellor’s “medical expertise” in an attempt to get him to cancel classes on Monday, following Super Bowl LIV.

“The Student Senate calls upon the Chancellor, given his medical expertise, to consider the health implications of students attending classes and attempting course work less than 12 hours after the culmination of the Super Bowl and any celebrations that follow the game, should the Kansas City Chiefs emerge victorious,” bill 2020-305 reads. Chancellor Douglas Girod is a head-and-neck surgeon.

The bill is meant to be both serious and lighthearted. It’s “not a legislative hill we will die on,” said Zach Thomason, chief of staff of the Student Senate and one of the co-authors of the bill.

“We don’t expect (the chancellor) to make a blanket decision to cancel classes,” Thomason said in a phone interview Thursday, noting that the Senate understands that KU is an academic research institution.

But he said there are “absolute health and safety concerns that need to be addressed.”

“(There) are significant health and safety risks that will occur in the event of a Kansas City Chiefs victory” that would be exacerbated by classes being held the next morning, the bill says. “Be it further resolved that if classes are not cancelled there be EMESIS bags placed at various high traffic areas around campus.”

Emesis bags are a type of vomit bag.

While barf bags might sound “corny,” Thomason said some feedback and anecdotes from classmates regarding previous major sporting events have led the Student Senate to believe they might be necessary in certain high-traffic areas on Monday.

“Does that mean we’re endorsing drinking? Absolutely not,” Thomason noted. But he also said the fact that some students would be drinking Sunday night was a reality that needed to be appropriately addressed.

That’s why in the bill the Senate calls upon KU Transit to increase its SafeRide presence and hours on Sunday night. SafeRide is a KU ride service.

Thomason also said that while they don’t expect the chancellor to cancel classes, he hopes he will allow professors to make individual decisions regarding their Monday courses.

KU spokesman Joe Monaco did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the chancellor regarding the student bill.

In the bill, the Student Senate calls upon its right to represent students and provide input on university policy decisions.

The students also emphasize the historic nature of this Sunday’s game, calling the experience a “tent pole of the culture of this nation.” The Kansas City Chiefs, who will play the San Francisco 49ers, have not appeared in a Super Bowl since 1970.

The bill states that the “negative emotional toll the Chiefs’ historical playoff woes and unfathomable failures have had on members of the student body have the opportunity to become fully vindicated.”

While the Kansas City Chiefs are not associated with KU, the team represents nearly three-fourths of the geographic population of the university, the bill states.

Copies of the bill will be mailed to administrators and leaders of the university, members of the media, Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt, manager Brett Veach, head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.


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