Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Aaron Craft: The Myth of Genius

Considering how easy it is, I’m fairly impressed at how few sportswriters have resorted to a play on his surname to describe Aaron Craft. The lack of “Craft-y” puns*, however, does not make up for journalists’ overreliance on the “coach’s son” narrative to describe the Ohio State sophomore. A cursory reading of the literature available on Craft would leave one with the impression of him as some sort of basketball genius – Archimedes in Adidas or Newton in Nikes.**

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reaction Paper 2*

*This essay was written for my PubPol 754 class (hence the lousy title). It has been slightly modified for posting on the blog (or at the Michigan Daily**, “the Blog”) The ideas – save for one grammatical correction – remain my own, but the message has become even more salient in light of the Regents’ decision earlier this week to file an amicus curie brief supporting the overturn of a recently passed Michigan law banning grad student unionization. Universities file court briefs occasionally, but near as I (or anyone I spoke with) can tell, the governing body of any university taking a such strong stance on a strictly partisan procedural issue is unprecedented.

**Ignoring AP style since 1890. Also, meta alert: footnote within a footnote!

The most recent chapter in the saga of unionization at Michigan began last May when UM regents, against the advice of top university officials, voted to give Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRAs) the option to join the umbrella union for teaching assistants and other student employees. While this was a rare schism between the administration and BoR, it is a startling one. Not only did the board grossly overstep its authority, but vote tallies and quotes show that GSRA unionization was a strictly political question for the regents, with both sides toeing party lines and giving no indication that they had seriously considered how unionization would affect the university. As a partisan body (right now there are 6 Democrats and 2 Republicans), it makes sense for members act and vote in accordance with party dogma. The million dollar question is whether or not that makes sense for the university, its faculty, and its students.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Take me out to the ballpark

You can’t get much further apart than Miami and Minnesota. Lakes versus oceans, cabins versus night clubs, walleye versus dolphins, James, Wade, and Bosh versus this guy*. The Twins and the Marlins, however, have quite a bit more in common than you would think. Both clubs have two World Series championships. Both have spent the majority of the 2000’s as small market teams. And both have brand spanking new stadiums.