There are some issues that have plagued students on this campus for longer than the University administration, student government and even this page will admit. But recently, progress on some such issues has been unusually expedient, to the pleasant surprise of our campus’s many beloved critics – including us, of course.

Sarah Royce

Yielding to repeated complaints by University faculty and students, the society formerly known as Michigamua seems to finally be coming around. Rid of its infamous Native American rituals and artifacts, discrimination against women and secret member lists, the society about rounded out the completion of its critics’ demands last week by finally announcing a new name: The Order of Angell. Granted, it took the hallowed Angell name without the blessing of the family of former University President and Michigamua founder James Angell.

But progress is progress, and we look forward a more productive campus relationship with The Order of Angell than was had in recent years with Michigamua.

That shattering change would be quite an accomplishment for any week, but last week brought along another. LSA-Student Government also made some long-awaited strides, finally making good on that promise to revamp course registration – a flawed system that has plagued students for so long that we were sure student government had thrown in the towel. But come winter 2008, some punk sophomore will no longer be able to land an earlier registration time than a hardworking upperclassman.

The new system, though not yet fully fleshed out, will increase the number of credit brackets, which should work to the favor of those students caught in the borders of the old credit brackets. It will also group students strictly according to credit hours and dismantle the so-called “random loser phenomenon” that bumped students to a later time slot if their original slot happened to conflict with their class schedule. Talk about registration Russian roulette. Miraculously, LSA-SG has successfully sifted through the red tape and overcome the dense LSA bureaucracy to fix this perennial problem.

This page’s reputation for harsh criticism notwithstanding, this is one of those rare instances to bow to the facts and praise these groups for taking these steps.

But make no mistake, utopia isn’t exactly around the corner. Whether it’s called Michigamua or The Order of Angell, we still don’t know what goes on in those meetings or exactly what the group does for this campus. The society’s defense – that the other campus groups are more secretive – is simply na’ve. Those groups didn’t appropriate Native American artifacts for decades. You have to earn the right to privacy.

And in regards to the registration change, it is imperative that LSA-SG follow through. If winter 2008 comes and goes without change, online registration will be added to the long list of student issues that get lost somewhere between proposal and execution.

Despite these apprehensions, The Order of Angell and LSA-SG’s recent progress is a beacon of hope in the pattern stagnation that typically defines student action. It offers us wary editorial writers hope that one day, aging issues like textbook prices, student housing and public transportation will also be solved by old-fashioned elbow grease and pragmatic compromise.

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