Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ah, the memories

I saw this article in the NYT today and had to share for the benefit of my Pacific Lutheran University friends. The University of Wisconsin-Madison was faced the other day with the question of whether they wanted President Obama to visit the campus. The article goes on to detail how (although they were thrilled, and ultimately accepted), the university struggled with the moral rectitude of offering the stage to someone who was clearly making a partisan political address.

In spring 2000, I was the editor-in-chief of the PLU Mooring Mast... and Senator John McCain, then running for president, decided he wanted to come speak in Olson Auditorium. The university gladly accepted. The problem with this was that PLU policy forbade political speeches on campus. Oops. I wrote an editorial that argued a) the policy should be changed, because it really was cool to see Sen. McCain but b) PLU broke the rules; it shouldn't have accepted the offer, on principle. This led to a note in my mailbox from the university president. Seems he wanted to see me. ASAP.

Evidently it was the first time in his several years of service that he had ever hauled the editor in for a talking-to. Ironic that it was me, the queen of non-confrontation. As it turns out, even when irked, he was an extremely nice guy -- we had a pleasant conversation and ended up talking about my future plans. (And I did it, Dr. Anderson! Ph.D. Now, for that full-time tenure-track position...)

Anyway: fun memories of the day I became a rebel against the system. Pleasantly, it didn't stop us from receiving a really nice place setting of dishware as a wedding gift from the Andersons a few months later...

Lutherans, y'know. We're all about the grace.

1 comment:

Thomas Eric Ruthford said...

You got dishware? I would have written something to really annoy him if I had thought it would have earned me some swag when I got married.

Despite all my work as a muck-raking journalist, I never did did manage to get a talking-to as the result of an article I put in the Mast. (I did, however, get lots of annoyed looks for questions I asked in the process of writing an article.)

Oh, one other random thing -- I have an obscure publisher in Massachusetts who wants to print my book. Although I doubt it will be as hard-hitting as the demise of the liberal wing of the Republican party... :-)

Glad to see you still posting. And I hope you get that tenure-track position soon!