Drama 160 consistently has a high percentage of athletes

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Stagecraft or Drama 160 explores every facet of a theatrical production minus the acting. The class covers the technical processes used in stage and set design.

“The workload isn’t particularly heavy, and it’s just a good time of day for them,” said David Navalinsky, one of the primary professors for the course. “People just take the class, and the history of it was built well before I started here.”

Prior to 2006, the course was titled Drama 060 and had similar enrollment statistics.

“When I interviewed for this position, I was told there was a history of athletes taking the class,” Navalinsky said. “You throw a rock at Loudermilk, I guarantee you’re going to hit at least one athlete who’s taken 160.”

Navalinsky said while the numbers can be noticeable during athletic seasons, he remains relatively unconcerned about the clustering of athletes in the course and thinks it is a natural occurrence.

“I don’t really worry about it,” he said. “I bet if you looked at what parts of fraternities and sororities cluster, you’d find the same kind of things. People take the classes their friends take.”

Misleading percentages

Though the Department of Dramatic Art has a history of athletes enrolling in large numbers, dramatic arts chairman Adam Versenyi said these percentages can be misleading.

“If you look at things demographically there are different ways to slice that pie,” he said.

“If you just looked at the raw numbers, it would show up as a seemingly large number of athletes in the course, but they’re not all from the same teams or areas.”

Versenyi said athletic clustering in the drama department parallels how many members of the school’s faculty build their schedules with coworkers.

“We often rehearse eight hours a day, on top of teaching in all the different departments, so that means we socialize with one another,” he said.

“These are the people that we know, so we work with them. I don’t find it particularly surprising that you’d find students doing similarly.”

Measures taken

The University has increased its monitoring of student registration patterns to better track athletic enrollment since 2012. If student-athletes comprise more than 20 percent of a class’ enrollment, UNC Faculty Council’s Faculty Athletics Committee will determine if the course is following standard procedures and practices.

As of April 2013, the committee had reportedly found no significant clustering of student-athletes in specific classes or majors that was a cause for concern.

Other dramatic arts classes with histories of high athlete enrollment include Drama 120 — “Play Analysis” — and 116 — “Perspectives in the Theatre.”

Though some students say the ratio is noticeable, offensive tackle Bentley Spain, who took the course in the spring, said in his experience the class dynamic remained largely unaltered.

“It doesn’t really change too much because there are just so many kids,” Spain said.

“If (an athlete) wanted any kind of special treatment, they’d have to talk to the teacher like everyone else.”

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