EDITORIAL: On the right foot

Welcome back!

We’re feeling unusually complimentary and have put away our characteristic criticism this issue because it was refreshing to come back to class this semester and find that several pending items had been accomplished over the summer.

First order of praise goes to Student Government and the administration for fulfilling one of the SG President Vance Aloupis’ most ambitious (and frankly, seemingly least likely) campaign promises: getting free Napster for UM students. It’s encouraging to see SG aggressively taking on its objectives and succeeding in its negotiations with the administration; this augurs good things for the rest of SG’s term. Granted, there is an important glitch with Napster – it doesn’t work with Apple computers – but this is a technical problem understandably out of SG and the administration’s reach. While this gets solved, the fact that Napster is ready to go and available for both on-campus and commuter students is a lofty accomplishment in itself.

Another step forward is the University’s announcement that student tickets will be allocated for the Presidential Debate through an essay contest. We’re glad that a course of action regarding ticket distribution has finally been chosen. This system will by no means make all students happy, but that is an almost impossible task, given the strict security and few tickets available for the debate. An essay contest allows students to be creative and show their knowledge and interest; it is better than a simple lottery that might give tickets to indifferent students or an unfair, patronage-style “it depends on who you know” scenario.

In other news, a college-appropriate event was finally presented at the Convocation Center, the Beat Down concert. Of course, it took place over the summer, when fewer students were here, but it was a success and clearly an improvement over Bob the Builder. Next time, better scheduling would be nice.

Having said that, those who received our compliments should not get too comfortable. We still don’t see an improvement in the University’s efforts to recycle. The housing (and, by extension, parking) situation on campus is in urgent need of help. This semester will be packed with events that will show how prepared the faculty, the students, and particularly the administration, are to confront these logistical nightmares and all the last-minute problems they will entail. We wish them luck and hope it goes well.

If not, our criticism will be back.