An enormous cache of secret University documents was recently made available to the Daily and other award-winning publications, with the exception of The Michigan Review, and the controversial contents are only adding to the widespread unrest over yet another embarrassing women’s field hockey season.
Some have questioned the authenticity of these documents. This is, of course, a bit like questioning the authenticity of Jesus. The documents are almost certainly true, but even if they aren’t — and that’s a very small “but” — like maybe a 10-percent chance, is it really worth the risk of eternal damnation? Probably not. Well, maybe that argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. At any rate, if the documents do turn out to be false, please voice your concerns to: Jacob Smilovitz, Editor in Chief, 420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, United States of America, and demand that he get better columnists — or at the very least an e-mail address.
Now, I don’t have enough room to include every tidbit of information, so I’ll just list the most shocking details. You may want to sit down before reading these. Seriously. Are you sitting down? Okay, here we go:
Contrary to the two schools of thought concerning the future of Michigan football, the Athletic Department will neither fire Rich Rod NOR keep him as head coach. Rather, the Michigan football team will simply be dissolved next season. According to a leaked e-mail from Athletic Director David Brandon, dated Nov. 2, 2010, to each member of his Special Planning Committee, this unorthodox decision is “probably the best of both worlds. I think. I mean… maybe? I was the head of a pizza company, LOL (sic). But I want to see where this thing goes.”
The job of provost, currently held by Philip J. Hanlon and long suspected to be a fictional position, is a fictional position. Philip J. Hanlon is, however, a real person and belongs to the University’s custodial staff.
Multiple documents and e-mails link University President Mary Sue Coleman, and previous presidents before her, to the prolonged illegal ownership and captivity of a wolverine. We at the Daily possess a very authentic-looking letter from past University President Lee Bollinger, addressed to “Mary” in the year 2002, which includes the following paragraph: “Lastly, DON’T forget to feed Bitey (sic), who prefers live mice. You will find him in the basement (of the President’s House) on most days, unless he escapes. He’s been there since the Reagan administration (which was a complete failure, if you ask me).” If true, the animal would be the last known surviving wolverine in the state of Michigan, making the possession a federal offense.
Multiple documents reveal that Ted Kaczynski, or the “Unabomber,” wasn’t removed from the alumni mailing list until 2006 due to an embarrassing oversight.
A memo allegedly from the Board of Regents and dated Jul. 18, 2009 confirms widespread beliefs about the committee’s lack of touch with reality and its fondness for occult practices. The first half of the memo urged the University to offer $3.25 billion or roughly half of the current endowment, to the state of Michigan in return for the Upper Peninsula, citing the possible “research benefits.” The second half stated that after rolling “The Die of Knowledge” and getting a six that the tuition should increase by “about that many percentage points.” (Records show that tuition for fall 2009 increased by 5.6 percent for in-state residents.)
According to one document, the University of Michigan Press turned down the manuscript of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 1997 because it “failed to adequately explore the plight of Muggle-born wizards who apply to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and relate it to the University’s own beliefs about affirmative action.”
Aren’t you glad you sat down? And that’s just a few of the documents. There are many, many more — almost 200,000 in total. As more secrets come to light, as they undoubtedly will, there will be those who will denounce their publication by the press. But the press has a civic duty to enlighten the ignorant public. And most of the stuff the Daily publishes is just plain boring by comparison.
Yet those who will denounce this great university of ours, on the other hand, must be silenced by all means necessary besides murder. It’s a university that we all know and love. It’s a university for which we live and die. It’s more than a university. It’s the University of Michigan. It may have its share of dirty secrets but we must stand by it at all times, good or bad, rain or shine, even though, as multiple documents indicate, it’s planning to phase out financial aid by 2013.
Will Grundler is an assistant editorial page editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.