Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Summer Challenge

Nonsensical Nation. I have a summer challenge for you. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to name this student. This new "Best of College Freshman Meme" is making its way around the internets and it is quite apparent that it is a UNH student. It is true that he could have graduated, but either way, I feel it is my duty to find out who this is. See the link above for all of the different memes, but here are a few:

I have a few posts in store for these last few weeks of summer, including one on my travels to San Francisco and of course, the secret project is soon to be released. Follow me on twitter and "like" the blog on facebook for an up-and-coming sneak peak.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Update: Fake Huddleston Twitter "@PrezHuddleston" does work and finds him on Twitter 20 minutes later:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Huddleston Speaks on USNH State Funding Cuts

"We now have in New Hampshire the dubious distinction of having experienced the largest single cut to a public higher education system in the history of America, period. And there's not even anybody close to what we absorbed this year," said UNH President Huddleston in his recent interview with the Portsmouth Herald.

I am a US History major and I can tell you that this is not a historical achievement we should be proud of. In the interview, which was on the state budget cuts for USNH, President Huddleston provided startling facts and he let his emotions show.

The article continued by saying how the Senate "got lobbied really hard by private sector institutions and was persuaded to give funds Lynch intended for the USNH to private schools like Dartmouth College, Colby-Sawyer College and Southern New Hampshire University."

Really?! Really?!?!

So, if I'm reading that right (and since I go to a public state school I may not be edumaketed enough to interpret that quote) the New Hampshire Legislature cut funding to the PUBLIC schools and gave those funds to the PRIVATE schools. Oh yeah, because that makes sense. Does the New Hampshire state government understand what the difference is between "public" and "private"? This is a great, and local, example of how the government is being influenced by the private business sector all while hurting the general public. I don't mean to get so political, but this actually happened. Let me repeat that and really think about it for a moment: Private schools received state funding do to "pressure" from the private sector, while the public state schools received the largest cut to public education in the history of the country. If this doesn't prove how influential lobbyists can be towards legislators, I don't know what can.

If this interests you at all, especially if you are a UNH student or New Hampshire resident you should  read the entire article I linked to above. UNH really had no choice but to raise tuition this year. When you lose that much funding there isn't a choice. UNH froze salaries (when professors want more money), they had layoffs (Dear Senate, you cost more NH residents their jobs by cutting UNH funding, how'd you not see that coming?) and cut other expenses. The next few years or more could be very tough financially for UNH and our state is only making things worse.

This picture I took back in January says it all. First with a cheap goal in the Riverstone Cup and now with state funding, Huddleston and UNH get screwed by officials while Dartmouth benefits. 

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What's German for Pervert?

So we have all heard the story by now of Edward Larkin, a UNH German Professor, who was able to keep his job after a two year suspension for exposing his genitals to a 17 year old girl and her mother in a Market Basket parking lot off campus. I've been meaning to write on this since it first happened, but I didn't have a chance. The whole reason he can keep his job is because the teacher's union argued that he didn't do enough to break his contract and be fired. Personally, I think whipping your junk out in public (to a 17 year old or anyone) is a perfectly sound reason to be fired from any job. Especially when you're around 18-22 year olds all day. What girl (or anyone for that matter) would want to take a class with this guy? UNH acknowledged that issue and it seems as though he won't be teaching in classrooms, but what type of research do language professors do anyways?

 It's not like he got caught taking a leak in the woods behind the MUB or something, he thought to himself "I have a good idea, I'm gonna whip my genitals out. This definitely won't backfire."And the sad thing is, is that it didn't backfire. The guy got a vacation suspension, during which he was paid his full salary of $88,000 and now he's returning to campus. I'm not going to make this a political issue over unions like commenters on the Union Leader  because A) Unions have done great things for this country (you know like better working conditions, 8 hour work day, child labor laws, racial and gender issues) and B) because arguing about unions and liberals verses conservatives takes away from the what this guy actually did. Sure, if there wasn't a strong union he would be fired, but that's the way things work sometimes. Nothing is ever perfect.

UNH tried to fire him, but they couldn't so I think it's safe to say that they won't give him a new contract when his current one expires. Also, it might be a good idea to insert clauses into the new contracts that allow them to be broken over issues such as these. One of the main points of a union is protecting its members from unjust firings and technically Larkin didn't break his contract. Technicalities can be a real bitch and that's why contracts need to be very specific. The union was simply doing its job and on paper they did, but it's too bad it turned out this way. Personally, I think the arbitrator, not the union is the one to blame. The arbitrator is the one who made the decision that Larkin's crime was not “moral delinquency of a grave order." In court cases everyone has the right to an attorney, even when criminals commit crimes they get representation. The lawyer doesn't get blamed when a bad guy gets away with a crime, the jury does. The lawyer, while probably is a scumbag, was just doing his job. That is similar to this situation, the union had to fight for it's member. The arbitrator is the one who made the decision.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Update, July 6th:

The following passage is from the Union Leader:
Last week, numerous politicians, including Gov. John Lynch, blasted the arbitrator who ruled that Larkin should be suspended without pay for a semester, then allowed to return to campus.
“The governor believes the arbitrator's decision was wrong and that this professor does not belong in a classroom,” said Pamela Walsh, the governor's deputy chief of staff.
House Speaker William O'Brien said he was “profoundly disappointed with the result of this case.”
“How contemptuous of the students that an arbitrator would ever consider putting this man in front of them as a teacher and, therefore, a role model,” he said.
Larkin did not return calls for comment and it's unclear whether he will pursue a buyout.

The article says that Larkin is eligible for a $75,000 contract buyout since he is over 59 1/2 and has been at UNH for over 10 years, but it's not known if he'll pursue it or if UNH could accept it since they can only accept so many per term and they must take the most eligible who apply (the oldest and longest tenured).