UMass taught a lesson.
At UMass people always have plenty to say. I mean everybody's got a point of view, especially about politics.
But should they get college credits for political campaigning? And for only one side? From this morning's UMass Collegian:
Chaplain Kent Higgins went to the University of Massachusetts' History Department and proposed an independent study that would feature students working with political groups to learn the ropes of the political process.
But the proposal did not include the fact that students would be working with Barack Obama's campaign.
In fact, state ethics laws prohibit the use of University resources to participate in partisan political campaigning. In this case, students would receive two University credits paid for by an anonymous donor in exchange for work done.
According to University spokesman Ed Blaguszewski, Higgins once ran an independent study in which students took an alternative spring break and worked with flood victims and Native Americans in the South. The course required physical and academic work in exchange for credits. But, Higgins next proposal drew the History Department's suspicion when an e-mail sent to students sounded particularly partisan.
"If you're scared about the prospects for this election, you're not alone. The most important way to make a difference in the outcome is to activate yourself," he wrote. "It would be just fine with McCain if Obama supporters just think about helping, then sleep in and stay home between now and Election Day."
Sheesh, your tax dollars at work! When news of this travesty hit the blogosphere, the people involved began to backtrack fast, sending a second email urging students who support John McCain to also participate. But the damage had been done, and the whole project had to be killed as it was a clear violation of campaign finance laws to use college students from a publicly funded institution working for credit in a partisan political campaign.
Though the matter is now settled, it is worth noting that the whole fuss originated with the blogosphere, who first alerted the mainstream media as to what was going on. Both the Springfield Republican and the Hampshire Gazette were caught flat-footed and unaware as the story broke nationally. The UMass Republicans under President Brad DeFlumeri were also instrumental in preventing the state university from being transformed into a taxpayer funded subsidiary of the Obama for President campaign. In all it was a great victory for fair play.
Meanwhile this morning at UMass was held the Alumni Association Pancake Breakfast.
Pancakes swimming in maple syrup and sausages and hot coffee were served in Memorial Hall at my favorite price - absolutely free.
UMass #1 fingers were used as table decorations.
Are you attending any pagan celebrations this weekend? Well the writing on this sidewalk at UMass invites you to an event this Sunday next to the library.
I am not a pagan, but my ex-boyfriend was. For the solstice one year we had a ceremony that he claimed was religious but which to me was just an orgy with religious pretensions.
Not that I'm complaining.
Here's a video of me en route to that sexy solstice celebration.
Why Gay Marriage is Meaningless:
"Here's the hard truth - if you are looking for a life partner the numbers are not in your favor. If you take the total number of gay men in your city, subtract the number you are not sexually compatible with, minus the ones who have deal-breaking habits, minus the guys you have nothing in common with, minus the pathological closet cases who play straight while playing around online, minus the ones who just plain annoy you - the universe of potential mates is remarkably limited."
Wayne Besen in The Rainbow Times.