Campus atmosphere mostly normal day after win


Students walk under the shade of the Architecture Building on Tuesday afternoon. Despite being the day after winning the national championship, campus life appeared normal.

MARVIN HALELAMIEN/Special to The Sun
Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 10:51 p.m.

Gator T-shirts may have been more in fashion, morning classes may have seen more empty seats and conversations may have been more narrowly focused on one topic.

On the first day after winning the BCS Championship, the University of Florida campus was subdued.

For every student whose arms overflowed with football merchandise at the University Bookstore, another was buying the last few books for the newly started spring semester. For every conversation on the Reitz Union lawn about Monday's victory, it seemed there was another about choosing a major or questions about class.

"There's a lot more orange and blue on campus," said Lauren Rickenbacker, a third-year psychology student reading near the Reitz Union pond. "But other than that everything's the same."

Rickenbacker said her classes, bus and campus in general seemed about as full as they should on any other day.

But other areas of campus were quieter.

Monday night, the Orange and Brew was packed, said Josh Nederveld, a journalism student working at the restaurant. Alumni and faculty piled into the eatery during the game, spraying champagne and beer across the room as victory seemed assured, said Nederveld, pointing to patches of dried alcohol that still adorned the ceiling.

But Tuesday afternoon, the Orange and Brew didn't see its typical afternoon crowd. The tables were empty and only a few people trickled through to buy coffee.

"Most of campus is probably sleeping off hangovers," Nederveld suggested.

Despite the previous night's festivities, which included a celebration in the streets of W. University Avenue, the campus and even the dorms were relatively clean.

"It was nice to come in and not have everything destroyed," said Brenda Frederickson, part of the custodial staff that cleans the Sledd Hall dormitory.

Some professors said attendance Tuesday wasn't much worse than they would have expected without the game.

Interim Dean of UF's College of Journalism and Communications John Wright was concerned enough about students playing hooky that he sent an e-mail reminding them they should go to class. Since classes started Monday, Wright said he was worried professors wouldn't be able to get an accurate idea of how many people they had in their classes or determine whether they could allow those on a waiting list in.

Wright, who got his Ph.D. from Ohio State, said he would have been happy to see the Buckeyes win, but it was exciting watching UF's students take the victory.

It was particularly impressive seeing "guys that you see walking around campus making tackles without helmets," Wright said.

Some said a certain degree of nonchalance on campus may be because the victory wasn't unexpected since the basketball team won its championship last year.

"It's weird with two championships in one year," said Whitney Salem, a third-year nursing student. "Maybe we're just used to it."

Of course, Salem added, that doesn't mean the teams shouldn't go for a repeat next year.

Jeff Adelson can be reached at 352-374-5095 or adelsoj@gvillesun.com

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