Productivity plummets with basketball buzz



Maria McGeary

Selection Sunday stretched the Villanova Room to its limits this past weekend as students, alumni, faculty, family members of players and, of course, the players themselves stood wall to wall, eagerly awaiting the announcement.  Every basketball school can attest to the heightened energy on campus during March Madness, and being a number 1 seed this year, Villanova is no exception. 

With the tournament beginning on Thursday night for the ‘Nova Nation, campus is gearing up to start the weekend early. 

This means campus will be stepping up its game as well.  According to one Public Safety officer, as the team advances closer to the Final Four, security will start bringing more people in. 

“It’s a very exciting time for the University,” he said, “but public safety really has to mind their p’s and q’s.  If they win, it’s mayhem.  People start doing things without thinking.”  

An RA in the quad echoed these sentiments, saying that he expects plans to be implemented closer to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8.  

“Since we lost to UConn so early last year, we didn’t do anything different.”  This year, however, he expects that more RAs will be put on duty in the coming weeks.

Paul Pugh, Dean of Students,  described the academic year as a series of cycles, with March Madness being one of those cycles.  The goal is “to find the balance between expecting the worst and being completely negligent,” he said of the increase in security.  

There are periods of the year that see more student activity like the first weeks of fall semester, Homecoming and basketball season.  He did not, however, express concern about student conduct for the upcoming tournament.  Villanova students have the “courage of their convictions,” he said, speaking like a proud father. 

“They know what it means to be Villanovans, and they listen to their peers.” Overall, Dean Pugh is confident in the Nova Nation’s ability to celebrate responsibly.

Campus Corner’s owner, John Iezzi, has a similar outlook, saying he is confident in the restaurant’s ability to serve the Nation in the upcoming tournament. “We might be a bit busier,” he said, “but it’s nothing we can’t handle.” 

With the majority of students unable to travel to games, Iezzi predicts the most noticeable increase will be in deliveries.  “Everyone and their mother will be watching, so we’ll sell a lot of wings and pizza.”

While the basketball team will hopefully be at their peak performance, it is predicted that the productivity on campus might leave something to be desired.  Students were mostly in consensus about their academic ambitions Thursday night, or lack thereof.  

A particularly enthusiastic student in the Connelly Center preferred to remain unnamed for the sake of his ACS grade as he declared, “If my professor wants a paper on Friday morning he’s just going to have to learn that there are more important things than ACS.  And Villanova Basketball is one of them.”

Sorry Saint Augustine. March just isn’t your month.