Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Our Opinion: Fall 2000 Recap

With this, the 69th issue of volume 107 of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, we are officially ready to put the fall 2000 semester to bed. All that remains now are finals, and putting an exclamation point academically on a semester that has hopefully been a success for our readers.

The Collegian shifted into high gear this term, with new leadership and an array of changes to both the content and presentation of this publication. But none of that would matter without the stories themselves, and this semester has given us a wealth of memorable events that have kept us busy writing and all of you (hopefully) busy reading.

So here are, in no particular order, the biggest stories of fall 2000:

1.) Security cameras – Who could forget the “Big Brother” story from September? Even as the administration fought to keep a veil of secrecy over its Orwellian security measures in Southwest, we showed you exactly where the infamous camera was. Not that it stopped any of the residents there from rioting anyway.

2.) Corruption on campus – Mr. Coopee, if you would like the rotten joist from your porch back, we still have it. To the cheers of the underappreciated Physical Plant staff, we blew the lid off the type of abuse that allegedly goes on every day at UMass. Sadly, the University’s subsequent “investigation” into the incident revealed no wrongdoing. Oh well – that just means we’ll have to work twice as hard on the dozen or so corruption leads we’ve gotten since.

3.) The SGA, the American presidency and Ralph Nader – What else can be said about our beloved student government? Mr. Howe, Mr. Avakian et al have somehow managed to make our national election look completely legitimate. The Republican Club vandalism bit was an especially nice touch. And for any of you still lamenting about Nader putting George W. Bush in the White House, blame your fellow students who thought the Green Party had something to do with marijuana.

4.) The Southwest Olympics – “Cat football” was arguably the saddest story we have ever had the displeasure to report. Furniture burning and bottle throwing came in right behind, however. The Subway Series had the UMPD walking on eggshells, but somehow the postgame mob scenes just weren’t as volatile without Red Sox fans in them. At least the towers are still standing, and elevator surfing hasn’t made a comeback.

5.) Administrative merry-go-round – Javier Cevallos is apparently staying, despite rumors to the contrary and the best administrative quote of the term (“I almost lost my job over a six pack”). Chancellor Scott is apparently going, leaving behind a wake of controversy and more memorable quotes than Braveheart. President Bulger made a rare public appearance on campus in late September, if only to argue the economics of distance learning and give the runner-up for Quote of the Year (“You have a lot to say don’t you, boy wonder?”).

6.) Big sports teams go flat – Two years removed from a Division I-AA national title, UMass football finished 7-4 (5-3 in the Atlantic 10) and missed the playoffs for the first time under Head Coach Mark Whipple. Losses to Delaware and Hofstra at home and too-close-for-comfort victories over Division II New Haven and American International are big reasons why Whipple is rumored to be searching high and low for a new job. Men’s basketball, meanwhile, lost six of its first seven to crank up the heat under beleaguered coach James “Bruiser” Flint. That after tri-captain Monty Mack was nabbed for shoplifting DVD movies from the Hampshire Mall K-Mart. So much for bringing the pride back to UMass.

Of course, there was plenty of good news as well. The anniversary of last year’s campus rape crisis came and went without a sound, proving that peace makes for much better copy than fear. The Collegian and ALANA laid the foundation for a long-overdue bond that should increase diversity awareness campus-wide. The campus library added its three-millionth volume and remained upright.

So as we head into winter break, here’s to another semester in the proverbial books. To all of our readers, we offer our traditional promise: as long as you’ll keep reading and responding, we’ll keep working our hardest to bring you the best possible coverage. In a word, thanks.

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