Highs and Lows

Thumbs up to ASG …

… for voting down the Academic Bill of Rights.

This preposterous bill wouldn’t have done any good had it passed, so it’s a good thing senators gave it a resounding “no” on April 20.

Most of the bill’s provisions are statements of the obvious — that professors shouldn’t be hired or fired based on political leanings, that students shouldn’t be penalized for their political beliefs. These provisions are already guaranteed at every university.

Other provisions were a little scary — that class reading lists should “reflect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge.”

Anything that starts telling professors what to teach in their classes sure doesn’t sound like it’s guaranteeing freedom to anybody. In this way, and with similar provisions, the bill belies its ostensible purpose.

Members of College Republicans, the main student group backing the bill, have offered in the bill’s defense that it would have had no means of enforcement.

That’s not the issue It’s the disingenuous spirit of the bill that made us, and the rest of the campus, so leery.

Thumbs up North Carolina State students …

… for electing a guy named “The Pirate Captain” as president of their student government.

Seriously, the guy is a pirate, a la the character in “Dodgeball.” He talks like a pirate, dresses like a pirate, and has a crew of shipmates follow him around — also in character. Oh yeah, he won with 58 percent of the vote.

The thing is, despite the get-up, The Pirate Captain seems to take his new role seriously. He says he plans to engage students in their government with hard work and a dash of humor.

We make a big deal of Associated Student Government acting responsibly and in students’ interests. But we also think people need to lighten up once in a while.

Here’s to the scurvy scoundrels of ASG — let’s hope they use student booty not for themselves but for all us landlubbers. Arrrr you with us, matey?

Thumbs down to poor planning …

… for bringing so many great events to campus, but all at the same time.

In the past week, the following speakers and ensembles came to Northwestern: NU alumnus and former Rep. Dick Gephardt, School of Communication pride and joy Zach Braff, CNN anchor Judy Woodruff and the band Guster.

It’s great that students have had so many opportunities thrown at them. Heck, that’s what is great about a big university like NU — there’s always so much going on.

But many seem to be happening at nearly the same time, making it difficult for interested students to see them all.

In the future, we hope that student groups coordinate their efforts better so big-name events get spread out over weeks, not hours.

Thumbs up to Evanston leaders …

…for urging the Chicago Transit Authority to fix its funding rather than cut bus and train service in Evanston.

Mayor Lorraine H. Morton, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, State Rep. Julie Hamos and State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg joined with Evanston business leaders Monday for a rally outside the Davis Street El station. They said repeatedly that the city’s economy depends on cheap, frequent mass transit, and they’re right.

CTA funding is not distributed according to demand. Evanston has more mass transit than any Illinois city outside of Chicago. State legislators and the CTA need to solve their budget problems without dealing a long-term blow to Evanston businesses.

Highs and Lows reflects the opinion of The Daily’s editorial board.