Unionology’s place in WU education

Rick Freienmuth

Editors Note: This article was originally published on Friday, March 16, 1962.

The memorial Union is operated by the University for the enjoyment of students and faculty – that means 600 eight cent cups of coffee, 1,290 ten cent cokes, and 2,580 five cent cokes sold each day.

J.J. Clancy, Union director, explained it takes 200 pounds of coffee and 172 gallons of Coke to satisfy Washburn’s thirst.

Education is expensive, particularly the education you get in the Union. So, have you ever thought how much you have learned during your Union hour? Probably not.

You might say that a cup of coffee or a coke and a cigarette is needed to acquire a complete education in “Unionology.” On the other hand maybe nothing is needed except your presence.

If you enjoy the Union’s food and can relax with the habitual drink or cigarette, then you might observe these things: you find law students busy with their cases for the day, or as your eyes wander over the room you might see a group of intellects studying, maybe for a coming test or just for the fun of it, that is if you can find anything more interesting than the study of “Unionology.” 

You can see a clique of sorority girls with all their Greek jewelry discussion what party is coming up and who might ask them out.

Sometimes you can learn the merits of the two political parties on campus being discussed; you could learn who is cutting whose throat in the game of political hopscotch.

Not only campus life and classes are discussed. Usually there is some talk of national government, and foreign policy, or something about our scientific achievements, such as Col. Glenn’s orbit.

Since you must eat to live, food is a necessity in the Union. As you watch, you might see a girl buying a sundae, even though she looks a though she doesn’t need it but to each his own weight! then again, it might be a metrical sundae.

No matter what you do in the Union you acquire knowledge, knowledge that does not come from books and can only be learned through close association with society.

Some things which only association can give you include: who is getting pinned; who is getting married; who broke up and what your chances of getting a date with them are.

You learn that TGIF is on Fridays and that it is held at the local bar. Of course if you work, Friday is the same as Monday except that it comes at the end of the week instead of the beginning.

The basement of the Union is comprised of the Trails End and the ping pong room. Don’t forget the book store – you may need to swipe a pencil or a pen or maybe even a note book. Here you can learn the simple rules of thievery.

Back to the Trails End with that pencil and listen to the words of a swinging song or maybe learn the intricacies of the game of bridge. Watch out for those swinging saloon doors. If you’ve never been in the Trails End, you may find one of them hitting you in the face.

If you don’t like the Trails End, you could be upstairs listening to the long hair music in the sound box or watching a western on TV during the noon break.

Be sure that while you are in the Union you stay away from the teacher dining room, because the teacher whose class you just cut may be there and make a mental note of seeing you. Of course you could pick up browning points there if you wanted to.

As you finish that last cup of coffee or coke and cigarette and walk out of the best educational environment on campus do you ever wonder what you have learned. What does it mean?

At any rate it means you get an education in “Unionology,” whether you break the ice in a coke or paddle the river of knowledge in a cup of coffee. It’s the place to go for the things you want to know.

Education is wonderful, isn’t it?