We love Saberi, spring sports

Thumbs up to former Northwestern student Roxana Saberi’s release this week from Iranian prison, complete with a suspended sentence and flight out of the country.

Allegedly arrested for buying wine, then charged with reporting without press credentials and finally sentenced to eight years in prison for “espionage,” the young Iranian-American journalist’s story drew the attention of politicians and news sources around the world.

Saberi’s release is principally due to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s bid for reelection and internal pressures within the Iranian political system. However, the panoply of student protests and rallies, as well as pressure exerted by NU adminstrators including President Henry Bienen, formed an engaging portrait of how we will work to protect our own.

Hopefully we’ll all be seeing much more of Saberi in the future, perhaps at a commencement or graduation ceremony?

Thumbs up to Northwestern’s spring sports teams. In Evanston, April showers bring May sports powers.

Five of NU’s seven spring sorts teams – lacrosse, women’s tennis, men’s tennis, softball and men’s golf – made their respective postseason tournaments as we reach the middle of the month. Last weekend, men’s tennis, which had a plus-11 win differential from last season, bowed out in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Still, spring has been highlighted by top-ranked lacrosse’s 17-0 regular season and No. 1 women’s tennis’ one-loss regular season. Now, NU looks to end the month on a strong note. The regular season success has been nice, but it won’t mean anything unless they produce a national championship. Or two.

Thumbs up to A&O Productions for bringing comedian Daniel Tosh to NU next week.

A&O’s last few comedy picks have, pretty uniformly, rocked. While we might not all know Tosh’s name, the reputation for comedic excellence that A&O has built up over the last years with Sarah Silverman, Flight of the Conchords and Demetri Martin makes us want to jump right on to YouTube and check out what he has to offer.

Even more, we love that A&O is offering what kind of feels like a spring gift to the student body – like the warm weather? Don’t be stressed…come laugh! We’re excited both for the comedy and the pre-Dillo relaxation.Hopefully the production group will offer enough tickets that those students who were out late on Friday will get the chance to see Comedy Central’s newest star.

Translation: If the tickets sell out before noon…we might cry.

Neutral thumb to the students working with Kellogg School of Management’s Asset Management Practicum, who lost 33 percent of their holdings over the last year.

This 33 percent totals $1 million out of the $3 million they started with, or in layman’s terms, a whole ton of money that no one at NU has anymore.

However, we’re willing to admit the huge global recession that has taken the international economy by storm probably had something to do with the decrease in holdings. In the same fashion that we’re just grateful we have any endowment at all in the current economic crisis, we’re happy for the students that they managed to fight some pretty insane market forces in order to hold onto a good portion of their portfolio.

In addition, these Kellogg students who are “practicing” part-time with real stocks managed to do pretty well compared to national loss averages. This money, all donated by willing alumni who knew the potential risks of letting students handle an investment portfolio, is by and large still in NU’s hands.

Even more importantly, these hot-shots who somehow managed to lose less than the full-time professionals who invest other people’s money, have decided to take a step back until the market heals. Since the average loss for the S&P 500 collection of stocks nationwide was 38 percent during the same period, we’re proud the fund is in as good a shape as it turns out to be, and those who have been taking care of it know when the game has turned against them.