Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Torch Time

I think it's time to check in with my all-time favorite media publication, Valparaiso University's student newspaper, The Torch.

Let's start with the opinions section and Torch writer Robert Thompson. RT decided to drag up the never ending debate on whether or not the school should swap mascots to be less offensive with its Crusader. In full disclosure, I didn't read the full article. In fact, I rarely read full opinions articles because I generally don't care about opinions. I cease reading them when they stop being entertaining or, as in this case, they max out in the entertainment value early on.

I am for changing the mascot to one that would be a far greater symbol, and would ensure that no negative associations would be made with VU, be it through mascot or headline.

A panda.

There you have it. A panda would fit in nicely with UMKC's kangaroo, but unfortunately we are leaving the Mid-Con for the Horizon league where the more feared animals - panthers and bulldogs - roam. Though Youngstown State does have the penguin...

Next up we have a certain editor-in-chief alum (the pic worth the click) of The Torch making a guest appearance in the very popular (poll of me) Flicker section.

“Hault: U goes there? (I know, it’s a week old...but I’m subscribing from afar and didn’t get my Jan. 19 until today.)”
– Jan. 26

Before the birth of this blog, The Torch had a headline that spelled halt with a "u." I like it that The Torch can laugh at itself. Or, they have no idea what it references.

Elsewhere, Valpo point guard Jake Diebler played high school ball for his coach and has said that he wants to be a coach after his playing days are over. In the article titled "Snuffed by Huff" Josh Weinhold uses two quotes from Diebler and two from Homer Drew. See if you can tell which one said which.

“He just gave his heart and soul and everything.”

“Every game, there’s a different person that steps up to help us. That’s the strength of our team. If Shawn didn’t step up, someone else would have.”

“We were at a must-win in conference. This really builds our confidence.”

“I think Shawn displayed tonight the experience that he has. Don’t let him fool you. He’s a big leader on this team – not so much vocally, but he leads by example. He was due for a night like this.”

You can't tell can you? They are already speaking alike and it won't be long before Jake begins walking to center court trying to get a technical foul at the opportune time. (For the record, the first two quotes were Homer and the last two were Jake.)

Our final stop through the on-line pages of The Torch takes us to my always favorite piece: Student Senate! This week no one decided to put their name on the article, and probably wisely so.

Senate voted to move $10,000 out of its emergency fund to make up for budget cuts of allocated organizations.

So far so good. I was arguing about that for years. What is this emergency fund for, exactly? I was told that, in a relevant example, it was for a worst case scenario like the radio station burning down. I always figured that if Schnabel Hall burnt down (or Brandt Hall with the transmitter) we wouldn't be turning to Student Senate for rebuilding funds, but rather the University and its insurance policy, but that's neither here nor there. At least money is coming out of this emergency fund.

An additional $20,000 still remain in the emergency fund.

If someone at The Torch really wants to do a story, you could find out what happened to the six digit bank account that existed in 2004.

It also came out during the meeting that the fund had not been touched for at least three years making the use of the $10,000 a logical solution to the shortfall faced by allocated organizations.

Now we really have a story because if no one has touched it since my graduation there is a tremendous amount of money missing.

There were concerns during the meeting that such a large transfer of funds should not occur with about a third of the senate missing, as was the case Monday. But with the urgency surrounding the transfer and the fact that a quorum was present made these fears improper.

So where exactly was 1/3 of the Senate? Perhaps the attendance policy is a wee bit lax? I love the idea, though, of moving around large sums of money without a third of the group knowing or voting on it. It's probably that third that would have held it up, anyway. The last sentence, much like last week, is still a wee bit opinionated which is really what I love about this whole article. It's written with a biting view of Senate, not unlike my own, and hidden in the news section. Beautifully done.


CHCgirl said...

Your writing makes me laugh.
Just in case you were genuinely curious, the six figure rollover has been put in a bank investment--this was decided in a special committe the spring of my junior year (the same time as the election fun) made up of senators and representatives of major campus orgs-- a former GM was on the committee with me and believe me while it may not seem like a great idea, it was exponentially better than "Fun Day" and a giant statue of martin luther, both seriously discussed (seriously imagine "fun day"). The goal was to use the interest to supplement budgets while maintaining the 6 figure sum for the imminent rebuilding of Schnabel after that fire. The 6 figure sum is in some kind of account that allows us to get to it like once a month (in case of emergency) and 30,000 was kept out so should need the whole amount and not be able to get to it, the logic was 30,000 could buy us the time we need until we get to the rest of the money. It does sort of make you wonder what kind of emergency senate would save the day with... but you know. it's senate. It was created two years ago with a media rep on the committee (Ken--wow, that boy was connected haha) and then implemented starting last year. I guess it didn't get much press since both times there were bigger stories involving stolen elections and more ridiculous senate events.
This is a really long comment. I just wanted to defend the journalistic integrity of the Torch in that they haven't missed a major story and I'm sure your readers were curious about the fund.

CHCgirl said...

oops, i forgot to say that "fun day" was advocated for by the Union Board rep. Just in case you were trying to imagine "fun day" without large inflatables, I wanted to correct that.

lonewolf said...

Holy crap. There's so much to digest there, I may need some Tums (aisle 9 on the left).

This $30,000 is merely the tip of the ice berg, as I well knew. The unrest that existed from moving "so quickly" is completely unfounded knowing that a sum 10x greater is actually right around the corner. The plan to use interest to supplement the budgets clearly isn't working as people are talking about breaking up the MBAR funding system because people aren't receiving enough funds. I can make a ton of money in interest on an undiscolsed 6 figure number and wonder why it isn't enough for the minor organizations.

And who even knows that there is this secondary account? I cannot believe that the powers that be would continue to allow a system of student funds get so incredibly bloated that we have to put it in a form of an endowment every year to fund some emergency that is never going to happen.

This fiscal craziness is SO A TORCH STORY. JR, damn it, e-mail your people and get them on this. Screw it, I'm writing the article and guest submitting it under the pseduoname "Jesse Gibson."

Eli said...

I think any fun day has large inflatables.

JR said...

Hehe. Large inflatable.

JR said...

Oh yeah, also, that parenthetical attachment to "Hault, U goes there?" was not intended for publishing. I merely wanted the one-liner and the Torch staff to figure it out.

To balance, I also sent a congratulatory email because the Torch got flipping ALL-AMERICAN by the ACP and it looks good, too. So I sent a message to Weinhold that even if his editors cannot spell, they're doing a nice job.