Thursday, April 27, 2006

THE DI AGENDA

Like an angry teacher before an out-of-control classroom, the editorial board of the Daily Illini defensively reponds to criticism regarding the political leanings of its Opinions page. To clarify the issue, the editors define their agenda:

But in terms of an agenda, The Daily Illini has only one: to produce the best newspaper we can on a daily basis...

Sadly, I think they mean it. I think these folks are actually proud of their editorial work. Yet, the rubbish they generally produce has no place in a newspaper. Take Bam Bam's inability to get the name of the Unit 4 superintendent right. Where were the editors?

In fact, in this very same editorial, the person who penned the work writes "There are ways to go about expressing an opinion that does not waste the collective time of an entire city." Can you say subject-verb agreement? (One way does, several do. Duh.)

As if that weren't enough, in the next column we've got Renee Thessing making references to the officials of Unofficial. What is that? There are none! The only person claiming ownership of the event is Scott Cochrane. If you mean Scott Cochrane, say Scott Cochrane. What are you afraid of? And where did the UC Senate say it doesn't want students to enjoy a beer? Or two? It's the reckless bingefest they're attacking. (By the way, Renee, as much as you'd like to think that keeping Unofficial as it is will improve the academic standards at UIUC, you are sadly mistaken. No one wants a drunk professor, and your sarcastic remarks here undercut your argument. Your poor writing skills demonstrate that maybe the U of I shouldn't kick the academic expectations up any. You might be kicked out.)

The DI Board can define all of the agendas it wants. They'd be better off, however, spending more time crafting the opinions they express than trying to explain to their audience the purpose of an Opinions page.


11 Comments:

Anonymous reed said...

As if that weren't enough, in the next column we've got Renee Thessing making references to the officials of Unofficial. What is that? There are none! The only person claiming ownership of the event is Scott Cochrane. If you mean Scott Cochrane, say Scott Cochrane. What are you afraid of?

Scott Cochrane is hardly the sole bar owner-participant of Unofficial. It was awkward, however, in that "bar owners" would have been less cryptic.

By the way, Renee, as much as you'd like to think that keeping Unofficial as it is will improve the academic standards at UIUC, you are sadly mistaken.

I challenge you to find me the passage in which Renee states that keeping Unofficial will improve the academic standards at the University.

I think Renee was instead disputing the charge that Unofficial lowers the academic quality of the University.

Many opponents of Unofficial have stated that the campus has seen more partying in recent years. The fact you cannot comprehend such a simple article furthers the claim that, although there might have been less drinking on campus, the academic standards were certainly no higher when you attended.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Did I say she "said" that? No, I said she'd like to think that. I think that's a fair inference. Why? Because in the same column, she laments the fact that U of I is not considered a party school and argues that we need to make the academic standards higher.

The implication of her column is that she wants her cake and to eat it, too.

Ending Unofficial is about safety, the reputation of UIUC, and common sense in general.

By the way...

Thessing doesn't mention anything about the strategic plan, the reduction of the freshman class size, or the increased enrollment standards that prevented many "qualified" Illinois natives from gaining admittance to U of I. Those items seem to directly address the concerns she raises about U of I's standing.

So, her case that the UC Senate should be concerned with academics and not a night of partying seem moot.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous reed said...

That's not a fair inference. Fair inferences are not simply all those not specifically foreclosed by the author's words. The fair inference is that, despite not being a party school, our academic standards are not high.

The only policy recommendation she makes is to raise the academic standards through...well, higher standards. Not the prohibition of bar promotions.

And I'm less than convinced that the repuation of UIUC is at all implicated with Unofficial.

As far as the strategic plan, I see that as more of a manipulation of numbers. It will give an artificial look of higher standards without substantively improving departments.

And Renee is right - gen eds at this school are a joke.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Don said...

I don't disagree that gen eds need work. I also don't disagree that this, or any, university would benefit from strengthened academic standards.

However, connecting Unofficial to this issue seems a stretch to me. I don't think it's a good strategy. I mean, how can someone even sacrastically joke about wanting a drunk prof and advocate for higher teaching standards. It seems a bit ridiculous to me.

Renee would have done better to address the academic piece on its merits alone without muddying the issue with USPD issues.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous reed said...

I think the point was that she was (rightfully) offended when UIUC Senate members suggested that Unofficial harmed our academic standards (that was a principal reason for the resolution), and that was such a worthy goal to pass their resolution.

In my estimation, it's a red herring. If the University was serious about raising standards, there's much lower hanging fruit out there. And they have to know it, because it's so obvious.

I'd go further than Renee, and accuse the University of being disingenuous when it states its opposition to Unofficial stems from its goal to improve academics. It might come from some legitimate reason, but that's not it.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Don said...

I think, from a prof's point of view, when the drunks come into the classrooms en masse, it's fait to make the connection between the event and academic damage. However, to say Unofficial is the sole cause of academic woes at UIUC would be insane. A much better argument would be to cite safety concerns and cost to community.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Joe Dog said...

the DI is crap and we all know that so quit picking on these guys there doing there best to write stuff and take classes. why are you so mean?

2:41 PM  
Anonymous John Bambenek said...

DI is hiring for columnists... why don't you apply, genius?

We could all benefit from basking in your aura...

8:47 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Don't need the money or the headaches. Besides, why associate with low-rate publications?

9:59 PM  
Blogger a good fight said...

Don,
34 years old huh? What exactly is your interest in a college newspaper read by at most half the population of the University? Does picking on college kids give you a kick because you think you're smarter than them? Your inferences make absolutely no sense. Renee was simply commenting on the fact that to ban unofficial is not the way to demonstrate that the U of I is a prestigious university. So far of what I've read your blog is a disgrace. I suppose that's the danger of giving everyone a voice.

3:19 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Well, James, I have an inferiority complex that can be traced back to some issues I had with my parents back in the 70's. Working with a therapist didn't work. Seeking meaningful employment hasn't helped. Ruthlessly attacking poor writers posing as journalists has had an amazing impact. I am near fully recovered.

Thank you for your interest.

8:43 AM  

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