“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

ACADEME BLOG

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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