Thistles and Thorns

At the close of every year, the Tartan reassesses the year?s events. We present here a list of the people and happenings that are worthy of recognition. Thistles go to people and events that had a positive effect on the campus community; thorns go to those that have negatively impacted the campus.
A thistle to Finn Kydland and Edward Prescott for winning a Nobel Prize in Economics. Yinz guys are pretty smart, ?n?at. Congratulations.
A thorn to the University for once again raising the cost of attending CMU. From the technology fee to the laundry fee, students can?t move without being charged for something. Maybe if the University had an larger endowment, we wouldn?t be facing these kinds of problems.
A thorn to Kierra Wright, organizer of the Malik Zulu Shabazz lecture. Wright, when denied funds by Student Senate, inappropriately represented Shabazz to the campus community, including SPIRIT, not taking into account the risks of such an inflammatory speaker?s potential. The event was an unnecessary affront on campus and caused more harm than good.
A thistle to Student Senate for keeping student dollars from finding their way into the pockets of an anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist hatemonger. Too bad this was up for debate to begin with.
A thistle to Nick Scocozzo. For the last year, he has been one of the students crucial to keeping student government grounded. His dedication and objectivity will serve the students well when he becomes Student Body Vice-President for Finance.
A thorn to Student Senate for everything else. They throw good money after bad, funding nearly any organization that comes to them. Senators just show up and vote like sheep; it seems like they never do any research into what they?re funding.
A thorn to absentee Student Body President Erik Michaels-Ober for actively making himself invisible to the community. We elected you to focus on issues relevant and immediate to the student body rather than on pet projects.
A thorn to the Elections Committee for failing to do its job. With campaigns threatening lawsuits and others claiming slander, where was the Elections Committee and chair to step in and regulate? Where were they when there was inaccurate information on the ballots? Where were they when there were errors in the electoral process?
A thistle to the student body for being motivated and voting in the national Presidential election. It proved to the country we?re not completely apathetic. If only Carnegie had set up shop in Ohio...
A thistle to the newly founded Athletics Council, who put together a number of great events to raise school spirit, something that was long overdue. Go Tartans!
A thorn to the Student Dormitory Council for walking and talking like a student government organization ?? but throwing dorm parties, and running a buggy out of their (our) budget. The students would be better served if SDC resolved its identity crisis.
A thistle to cmuTV for their transformation into the television station this campus needs rather than the one they were barely willing to fund. Their Buggy coverage was stellar, as always, and their original programming continues to represent money better spent than it would be by almost any other organization.
A thorn to the Division of Student Affairs for doing nothing to correct a flawed judicial process. The University Committee on Discipline (UDC) system grossly violates the rights of those involved, giving the administration carte blanche to punish students, all in the name of ?privacy.?
A thistle to readme for recovering from more than a semester under Brian Leahy, its editor, who found racism, bigotry, and petty stereotypes funny. Finally it?s becoming humorous again, not just myopic and angry. Keep the jokes coming, guys.
A thorn to Mel Bochner for designing and building yet another architectural travesty on our campus: the Kraus Campo. A student sculpture garden, a small, tasteful park, or even a putting green would have been more pleasant than this debacle.
A thorn to the antiquated CMU website for not keeping up with the expectations of the top computer science school in the country. The site is difficult to navigate and visually unappealing; it reflects W eb design from five years ago.
A thorn to ?ber-shy University President Jared Cohon. While historically he?s been more accessible, this past year he always seemed to be out of town trying to rake in more money for the endowment while neglecting his duties as chief shepherd of the Carnegie Mellon flock.
A thistle to soon-to-be-former Dean of Student Affairs Michael Murphy. For years he has been students? closest link to Warner Hall. We hope he stays close to the students as he reaches ever greater heights in the University?s administrative ladder.
A thorn to the fraternities who make a bad name for the rest of the quad. This year alone, one house lost its charter and another looks to be kicked off the quad for at least a year. Even if a house is getting evicted, it?s never appropriate to post pornography on your website and sledgehammer the walls on your way out.
A thorn to Housing Services for not opening up the Greek vacancies to independent organizations. If Sigma Tau Gamma can be located in special interest housing, why can?t special interest groups at least place a bid for these locations?
A thistle to Summit, Roger Ma?s fifth-year scholar project that was well executed. The entire Summit staff pulled it off nicely and we hope these mini-enrichment courses become a regular institution at CMU.
A thistle to StuCo?s recognizing that it would better serve the students by becoming more democratic. We can?t push aside this rare opportunity for students to teach classes.
A thistle to The Thistle, our yearbook, which would have gone under without the persistent efforts of senior Joshua Chaise, its Editor-in-Chief. His optimism and dogged work-ethic made the yearbook?s recovery possible; we hope this momentum is sustained.
A thistle to UC administrator Stan Krowitz for being an uplifting, thoughtful, and compassionate keeper of the only space on campus that students can call their own. His school spirit is something we should all aspire to have.
A thistle to Central Property Services for cleaning up after The Tartan and the rest of the school. These people are among the many who work thanklessly to make this school run smoothly.