“Vodka Sam” Redux: Why Hannah Horvath May End Up Attending the Iowa Writers Workshop but Never Actually Set Foot on the University of Iowa Campus


In an earlier post, “’Vodka Sam’ May Be a Symptom of a Problem but She Herself Is Not the Problem, Not Even the Public-Relations Problem” [http://academeblog.org/2013/09/11/vodka-sam-may-be-a-symptom-of-a-problem-but-she-herself-is-not-the-problem-not-even-the-public-relations-problem/], I wrote about the University of Iowa’s being named by Princeton Review as the Top Party School in the United States. Coincidentally, at around that same time, a female student at the university earned the dubious nickname “Vodka Sam” and somewhat more than “fifteen minutes” of digital notoriety for a video clip that showed her partying with a blood alcohol level of .341.

I argued that, beneath some very thin expressions of concern about the young woman’s well-being, the university administration seemed very intent on turning “Vodka Sam” into a sort of scapegoat, suggesting that her brief notoriety was somehow linked to an exaggerated broader perception of the university as a “party school.”

Somewhat later, the young woman compounded her notoriety by…

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