Tide Hop, August 1978

Tide Hop, August 1978

Photo Illustration / Kylie Cowden

Rebecca Rakowitz

For this week’s Tide Hop we are staying in the 70s, a CW Golden Age, if you will. The week of August 31,1978 was a busy one, and many of the topics they reported on are still relevant on campus today.

Block seating: Block seating, known at the time as “seat-saving,” was an unofficial practice that was causing problems amongst the student body.

“Seat-saving problem unsolved,” reads the page 2 headline. The story explains the process of seat-saving, whereby fraternity pledges save large blocks of seats in the prime viewing area of the student section, and how this has upset many other students since it denies them the ability to sit where they please.

Non-Greek students wanted this practice to end, but according to the article, fraternities claimed that mass seat-saving by their pledges was the only way for their members to sit together at games.

Many students were fed up with the practice, and the article said that in the fall of 1977, a group of students, most of them members of the Mallet Assembly, went to an SGA senate meeting and “saved all of the seats in the senate’s meeting room, forcing the senators to move to another room.”

The incident forced the SGA to create a commission to look into seat-saving and create a workable solution. The commission went nearly a full year without meeting.

In October of 1977 the idea of block seating was proposed – a practice continued to this day.

“Under the provisions of the proposal, all students would be able to purchase tickets individually … any group of 25 or more could request a block of seats from the commission and would trade in its tickets for block tickets prior to the game,” reads the article.

Block seating was located in the end zone and seats near midfield, and groups would rotate where their blocks were located.

And as is the norm today, the plan was met with pushback from students who objected to reserved seating for some students and not for others.

Editorials: In a bold editorial that goes against the current movement to end rape culture, the 1978 Academics Editor for The CW wrote a victim-blaming article simply titled “Rape.” 

She describes Tuscaloosa as a “playground for rapists,” a claim that she later said could be considered extreme. Nevertheless, she works to educate women on what to do to avoid rape, stating that being aware is very important.

“Women should be aware of the possibility of rape and take precautions to avoid it,” reads the article.

The article encourages women to read accounts of rape in order to gain knowledge of rapists’ habits, tells women not to let strangers into their apartments and tells women to report it if they are raped.

“True, most rape cases do not end in a conviction, but if everyone does their best to bring it to the attention of the judges and lawyers that women are sick and tired of being raped and taken advantage of, the attitudes will soon change. It just takes time and determination,” the article said.