Despite his message, Obama can’t realistically please everyone
I would like to thank Brandon Conradis for finally stating in his column yesterday what has been worrying me for a long time about Barack Obama (Will hope be enough?, 11/11/2008). I am not one to say I’m moving to Canada, or that Obama will necessarily even be a bad president, but I think it’s time for our president-elect to step out from behind the veil of “change” and “hope” and actually let the public know what he plans to do.
Obama has seemed all too happy to let people know that he’s on their side and coming to their rescue. The only problem is, he can’t be on everyone’s side at once, and he certainly won’t be
able to achieve half of the “change” he has promised without raising taxes on more than just the wealthy few. I’ve read Obama’s plan on his website and encourage others to do the same (specifically the portions about his economic policy and fiscal responsibility). When you do that, ask yourself from where all the money for Obama’s bailouts, tax cuts and stimulus packages is going to come.
Why Bo would have been against giving priority to student-athletes
When I first read Friday’s news story about the new registration priority for student-athletes (‘U’ gives athletes first pick of classes, 11/07/2008), I wasn’t immediately surprised or agitated by the matter. As the article mentioned, the student-athlete population is relatively small, and student-athletes do have rigid schedules. It was not until I came across a passage in “Bo’s Lasting Lessons,” a book written on leadership by Bo Schembechler and John U. Bacon, that the matter crossed from the realm of secular to sacred. If Schembechler was with us today, I’m not sure Michigan’s most revered football coach would agree with the University’s decision.
In his book, Bo said, “The fastest way to demoralize your entire team is to make exceptions for the stars.” Granted, Bo was referring to a literal team of only a hundred or so football players, but is the University with its tens of thousands of students not in some way a team? Though our ties are indirect and our interests vary, every member of this university is here to accomplish a goal and serves an important role in our institution’s success. However subtle or minute, inherent in the University’s decision to give student-athletes registration priority is the idea that an athlete deserves a privilege the general student body doesn’t.
If we want our greater team to truly succeed, is this the way to do it? To quote Bo once more, “If you’re going to build a team, a real team, you simply cannot have one standard for the stars and another standard for everyone else — no matter what it costs you, or them … I will not compromise my values or the team’s values to win a game. I refuse!”