UI’s All-Stars and All-Stiffs 2007: A semester to remember

By Paul Schmitt

2007 All-Stars:

Fighting Illini football & Ron Zook: Going into the season I was predicting six victories and praying for a seventh. Or, to succinctly rationalize this choice: ROSE BOWL!

Chief Illiniwek: From the grave he still is all the talk on campus, not to mention an inspiration for giving to the Frank Fools Crow Scholarship fund at Oglala Lakota College.

Illini Union Board Lecture Committee: It brings in a well-known, academically credible speaker that draws a good crowd at Foellinger Auditorium. Ben Stein delivers some valuable life tips and shuts down some snotty questions from the audience with class. Beats the heck out of Spike Lee.

U.S. military: Campus graced with three flyovers this semester-keeps the sacrifices of the men and women overseas fresh in the campus mind. God bless America.

Scott Green: One of the top two Thursday opinions columnists at The Daily Illini – makes up for Paul Schmitt’s lack of interesting material.

Honorable mention, Harold “Red” Grange: Out of everyone’s living memory and UI athletics still enshrines him as the most applicable and inspiring football tradition at Illinois.

2007 All-Stiffs:

University President B. Joseph White: Tells pro-Chief student senator and all pro-Chief students to “get over it,” when tact is needed on a divided campus. Bad University policies on cash-rent farming also show example of when shrewd business tactics hurt the local community. Saving grace: He means well and believes in Illinois.

Division of Intercollegiate Athletics: Football team proudly runs out with the stars and stripes only to toss them to the turf – so much for “Memorial” Stadium. New stadium construction puts students in North End Zone without a cut in ticket price – fans who aren’t students pay same amount to sit in Horseshoe, except they don’t pay more than $2.75 million in student fees to bail out UI athletics. Not only that, it orders construction during high school band invitational – classy.

Vice Chancellor Renee Romano: Holds another pointless campus forum to heal racial tensions on campus by pointing out everyone’s racial differences. What would happen if we were to treat students like humans (value them as individuals, at it were) instead of a coin collection?

Provost Linda Katehi: In coordination with Renee Romano, cuts “Illinites” from funding list – cheers! Also refuses to issue mass e-mail on behalf of graduate students planning UI Student Interdisciplinary Conference sponsored by her own office – “thanks, boss!”

Big Ten Network: Not only does it cut off local community’s access to Fighting Illini athletics, student residence halls just don’t get the dish. Guess students and local fans are just screwed – but good for the Chicago media market. To Legends!

U-C Senate: Wants to curtail UI-sponsored free speech on campus because it hates Chief Illiniwek and apparently is scared of Capitalism (pays salaries and grants) and Limited Government. How about putting the UI and students before your political agenda?

Academic Facilities Maintenance Funding Assessment Committee: Committee wants to spend $1 million to provide better lighting of library dome in Altgeld Hall. Report from committee notes: “What if project is not funded? The gallery space would continue to go unappreciated and the space would continue to see little use besides its function as an entrance to the (math) library.” Other projects on the docket for this committee: life safety corrections to DKH, handicapped accessibility to Gregory Hall, and decrepit Lincoln Hall Theater. And they say that I don’t have my priorities straight?

Honorable mention, Chancellor Richard Herman: Homecoming debacle with free speech and the cancelled/uncanceled/canceled/uncanceled parade warrant scrutiny for Mr. Herman. However, he is kept off the list by sticking up for Student Rights against the U-C Senate and a redeeming performance at Krannert in his role as Mother Ginger in “The Nutcracker.”

Honorable mention, FINALS: “Why didn’t I do my readings and pay attention in lecture?”- campus collectively bemoans.