Category Archives: Blogosphere

“Major Attack on Academic Freedom in Michigan”

Over at the blog “Academe Blog” comes “Major Attack on Academic Freedom in Michigan,” which is a post by Martin Kich. It’s a pretty short post, but here’s a quote:

In the Michigan Senate, the Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee included in its budget proposal a penalty against any public college or university that teaches a labor-related course or offers a labor-studies program.

and

Specifically, SB 768 prohibits “the encouragement or discouragement of union organizing of employees, including, but not limited to, participating with any business or union, or group of businesses or unions, in hosting, sponsoring, administering, or in any way facilitating an academy, seminar, class, course, conference, or program that provides instruction, in whole or in part, in techniques for encouraging or discouraging employees in regard to union organizing.”

Oh, and apparently Michigan Radio has a story about this too and how it would specifically impact Michigan State: “MSU could lose $500k for offering labor courses.” Seems like an oddly narrow law to impact a specific course like this.

PS: There’s this article in mLive too– I guess I missed all this earlier.

In basketball news…

First off, I find myself in the somewhat unlikely place of being in the lead of the annual EMUTalk NCAA Tourney. Go figure! Sure, it’s only a pool of five people, but a lead is a lead!

Second, there were a few end of the year articles/blog posts about the EMU men’s basketball team. mLive gives us “Eastern Michigan ends season with 69-56 loss to Columbia in second round of CIT.” The Emus finished a very respectable 22-15 for the season, the best since 1996-97. The Echo has a more philosophic/reflective piece, “5 Things to Take Away: EMU men’s basketball team’s season.”  I agree with four out of five– nothing good came from the CIT thing, IMO.

And the blog Damn Arbor posted “Today, We Are All Eagles” about the crappy attendance at the games generally and the CIT game specifically. It’s probably not rehashing all of that now, but I think the lousy fan support/attendance is something for the PR folks/athletic program folks to think about carefully. Basketball was pretty decent this year, so these attendance numbers should have been better; why weren’t they?

Two (and a half) for the road: CIT and a couple of Mark Maynard posts

I have to get out of town for this conference, but I had to mention two (and a half) other things/suggestions for further reading:

First, from our friends over at Eagle Totem comes “EMU Wins Basketball Game, Loses the Internet.” Basically, the Emus won it’s basketball game in the CIT last night in front of a crowd of 373 fans. One of the players sent out some negative and not well-worded “tweets” about the whole experience, and that appears to have received more attention than the game itself. mLive has the story here, too.

And what the hell is the “CIT?” And is this the sort of “post-season play” that is entitling Rob Murphy to a bonus this year? If you ask me, this is a waste of time and money on all fronts– zero to negative PR value/visibility issue for EMU, it takes students out of the classroom for no good reason, it costs us money we don’t have, etc., etc.

Second, Mark Maynard has two posts of interest: “EMU venturing into the community, making damn good videos,” which is about a video made by the office of Campus Life about the Ypsi Food Co-op, a video that I would agree is very well done.  The other post is “Participants in Thursday’s Wurst Challenge already raise $3,624 for Ypsilanti’s FLY Creativity Lab, aim for even more,” which is an update on the sausage eating contest that will feature EMU President Susan Martin. I’ll be out of town, but it looks like an event worth attending and/or donating to.

More on the EAA, or “GUEST POST: Students for an Ethical and Participatory Education respond to staged EAA “forum” at Eastern Michigan University”

Loyal EMUTalk.org reader and faculty member Steve Wellinski send me this useful link, “GUEST POST: Students for an Ethical and Participatory Education respond to staged EAA “forum” at Eastern Michigan University,” which is about the less than satisfying EAA forum on Wednesday. It’s a short memo, but the complaint is that this wasn’t really a forum to discuss the merits of the EAA at all since the only speakers were “pro” and the questions were limited to index cards.

I wonder if there isn’t some merit for these folks to organize a “counter” forum to air their views a bit more loudly?

Maynard challenges Martin to Sausage Eating Contest

Well, sort of at least.

As Mark Maynard noted on his blog, “Consuming 20 feet of meat is apparently newsworthy… Seattle and San Francisco take notice of the Wurst Challenge.”   The “Wurst Challenge” is actually a fundraiser for FLY, which is a “mobile” children’s art center that brings cool art making and DIY projects to kids in Ypsilanti and throughout Southeast Michigan. Here’s a quote from Maynard’s blog:

The Ann Arbor News ran a story about the event today, and it got picked up by the Associated Press. As of right now, it looks as though the story has been reprinted by about 20 different media outlets across the United States, from the CBS affiliate in Grand Rapids and WEMU, to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. One would hope that increased contributions for FLY’s downtown Creativity Lab might follow, but I haven’t seen today’s tally yet. As of last night, though, our nine participants had raised $886, which I think it is a pretty respectable start. (Our Mayor is currently in 5th place, having brought in $76 in pledges, well behind Jason “Knifebeard SausageHawk” Youngs, who leads the pack with $335.)

If you have a few dollars and want to support a worthy cause, just click here, choose your champion, and leave a contribution so that FLY can keep inspiring our kids at their downtown Ypsilanti Creativity Lab. And come to the Wurst Bar on the 20th to see these nine brave, sausage-loving philanthropists wolf down impossible amounts of meat.

In that mLive/Ann Arbor News article Maynard mentions, he specifically calls out EMU President Susan Martin to throw her hat (napkin?) into the ring and enter the contest. He writes about that a bit more on his blog, too:

For what it’s worth, I didn’t mean any disrespect by it. I do think, however, it would be awesome to have a representative from EMU sit alongside our Mayor and the various local luminaries we have joining us for the challenge. And, President Martin, if you’re reading this, you should know that, if you were to join us, you wouldn’t have to consume the entire 20 feet of meat. Even if you could only manage a few inches, we’d appreciate your effort. The important thing, from my perspective, is to help build that bridge between campus and the community, and I can’t imagine a better way than to have your support for FLY’s Creativity Lab. But, if you’re not a sausage fan, I’ve got two other suggestions for you to consider. One, you could appoint someone to eat in your place, like an art professor or regent. Or, two, you could contribute financially. Jesse Kranyak, the owner of the Wurst Bar, will be donating ten cents for every inch of sausage consumed by our nine contestants, and it would be awesome if you could match him. The kids of Ypsilanti would very much appreciate it.

Maybe a regent, but I don’t know any art professors who would have much of a chance in a sausage eating contest. In any event, a good and fun cause, and I hope Martin takes up Maynard on the challenge.

Take a look at and/or sign this petition about the EAA

Don’t forget that there’s a forum to discuss the EAA on Wednesday, March 12, at 11 am in the student center– I assume the auditorium? In the meantime, read about a petition put together by Stephen Wellinski asking for some answers from EMU about the EAA. Here’s a link to the EclectaBlog post “PETITION: Eastern Michigan University faculty and students continue push to sever relationship with the EAA.” It includes an impressive number of links about all of this. Or, if you feel ready to sign, go right to the petition itself on MoveOn.org.

Mark your calendars #2: Cary Nelson lecture on Monday, March 24, 7:30 PM

Announcement number two is this event sponsored by the Jewish Studies program here at EMU. I am interested in going because I’m interested in the “movement to boycott Israel” issue, at least as it relates to organizations like the Modern Language Association. I wrote about the controversy on my own blog here.

“With Snyder’s EAA going down in flames, the EMU community urges their administration to sever ties”

Local blogging phenomenon Mark Maynard has an interesting interview on his site with EMU professor Steve Cameron about the whole EAA mess, “With Snyder’s EAA going down in flames, the EMU community urges their administration to sever ties.” Check it out, and while you’re there, feel free to share info about the rally that took place today and sign this petition about EMU getting uninvolved with the EAA.

Chris Creighton named football coach

Well, we didn’t see this one coming. To quote from the press release:

Chris Creighton, the head football coach at Drake University for the past six years, has been named the new head football coach at Eastern Michigan University, Vice President/Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Heather Lyke announced today, Dec. 11. Creighton will be formally introduced to the EMU community Thursday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m. with a press conference inside the atrium of the Convocation Center. The press conference will be streamed live at EMUEagles.com.

The 44-year old Creighton has built the Bulldogs into a consistent power in the Pioneer Football League, sharing the conference crown during the 2011 and 2012 campaigns. During his 17-year head coaching career, he has accumulated eight conference titles and an all-time record of 139-46 (.764 winning percentage). He departs Drake with the highest winning percentage in school history (.667) after also posting 63 wins as the head coach at Wabash College and 32 at Ottawa University.

So there you have it. The only thing I know is about Drake (because I grew up in Iowa), which is a so-so private university in Des Monies with about 4,000 students. I’ve of course never heard of the Pioneer Football League.

Reed murder: search warrants, investigations, and where are we “safe?”

This is kind of a “three-fer” post:  First, from mlive comes “Demarius Reed homicide: 14 search warrants executed, 42 pieces of evidence seized, 50 people interviewed.”  Read the article of course, but most of what you need to know is in the headline. There’s some interesting comments, including one claiming to be from one of Reed’s former neighbors at University Green.

Also from The Michigan Journal (“the weekly student publication at the University of Michigan-Dearborn”) comes “Are we safe?” It’s really about safety at UM-Dearborn, but I thought this was an interesting passage:

Within the past week, two students were found dead on college campuses: one at Wayne State University and one at Eastern Michigan University. With the recent reports of increased crime at metro Detroit schools, it’s understandable that University of Michigan-Dearborn students may be concerned about their safety on campus.

As UM-Dearborn students and staff probably are aware, our Campus Safety officers maintain a heavy presence around campus to deter crime. But unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely prevent all potential criminals from acting. I spoke to Officer Rick Gordon, Chief of Police, to find out if the campus police are taking any extra measures to increase our on-campus safety and security in the wake of these recent crimes.

Good news: UM-Dearborn students actually don’t have much to fear—our university is statistically the safest public university in the state.

Finally, there’s this: “WMU’s P.J. Fleck on Eastern Michigan shooting death: There are more important things than football” in mLive. It’s kind of an obvious but still well-stated sentiment.