When I was an undergrad I initially wanted to be a professional journalist. My first day at the University of Wyoming I got a job with the UW student newspaper, the Branding Iron. It was a great time with a lot of interesting experiences.
At some point I stopped wanting to be a journalist.
However I never really stopped writing. I started writing columns for the Branding Iron, and once I was at Indiana University, I started writing columns for the Indiana Daily Student, the university’s student newspaper.
I also wrote two columns for Student Discourse, which was a website that effectively syndicated student opinion columns from across the United States. The site no longer exists.
Dates indicated for these columns are approximate.
- The fence must go – The Dean of UW’s College of Business had a fence built to prevent people from walking through his parking lot.
- Libraries Share and Share Alike – A flood at Colorado State University damaged its library; UW shared.
- Grading UW’s athletic staff – UW had a new athletic director and new coaches. I review the current progress. The end of the column is eliminated; essentially youthful stupidity.
- A Collection of UW Problems – Ruminations on how to improve the quality of life at UW.
- Time to take a stand on nudity – The Laramie City Council wanted to pass an ordinance banning nudity-the ordinance was so vaguely written that it could make life miserable for plumbers and the art department. It looked like they were going to try and pass the ordinance while the students were out of town.
- New radio deal good for UW – The UW athletics department shifted how radio broadcasts were organized and networked.
- First come, first serve at ASUW trough – The student government found a pot of money-$2 million-and then decided to spend the money as fast as possible.
Indiana Daily Student
- IU not consumer-oriented – After experiencing the University of Wyoming’s registration system, I complain about how difficult it is to do everything at Indiana University.
- Traffic courtesy lacking – Everybody’s guilty of bad traffic courtesy: drivers, bikers, and walkers.
- New bus plan benefits all – IU’s student government comes up with a terrific idea: bus passes for all and for all bus routes, whether city and university run.
- Creating new traditions – Thanksgiving without my family, but with friends.
- Women found on sidelines – Women bow down to men at IU sporting events.
- Copy costs vary across campus – I discover why photocopiers have such radically different costs across campus.
- Handling learning disabilities – Students with learning disabilities need to get university support.
- Pick up your own trash – I witness somebody littering on IU’s campus and it annoys me.
- Indy airport plan stinks – I’m looking forward to the new Indianapolis airport terminal. Unfortunately the editors didn’t read my entire column before writing the headline.
- Nunn, God hurt by new law – Bloomington plans to get rid of billboards around town. The top two advertisers–Ken Nunn (attorney) and God (deity)–will be adversely affected.
- Lessons learned at IU – Comparing the University of Wyoming with Indiana University. Surprisingly few differences.
- Indy 500 should crash and burn – Auto racing is inherently boring. I’m the only person brave enough to make such a claim in Indiana
- Carding not the answer – Theaters are going to card for R-rated movies. What about banning kids from PG films and reducing prices at the concession stands?
- Reconnect with the actual world – Bloomington is vibrant; your dorm room is not: Get out and see the city.
- Recker jerseys for sale, cheap! – After IU basketball player Luke Recker transferred to escape Bobby Knight, IU Athletics Outfitters were left with a large supply of #4 jerseys.
- Homeowners’ complaints futile – People living in Bloomington near the IU campus complain about noise. However the university was there when they moved in, so there shouldn’t have been a surprise.
- Communities grieve in tragedy’s wake – Laramie, Denver, and Bloomington were all drug through the mud of horrid crimes. I lived in all 3 and I find this disturbing.
- Can eight minds think alike? – Bloomington Republicans running for city council run as one. All eight with the same answers for every problem.
- A discourse on cellular etiquette – Cell phones are popular. Too bad etiquette is lacking.
- Celebrate all holidays – IU picks and chooses which Federal Holidays to observe.
- The star power of the military – Ideas how to improve the US Military’s morale.
- Club sports full of action – The IU Club Hockey Team doesn’t get the attention it deserves; actually none of the club sport teams do.
- Elections without substance – Student government campaigns usually make promises they can’t keep on issues they cannot affect.
- Good service rare in Bloomington – After a restaurant took 1.5 hours to serve me dinner and didn’t try to keep my custom, I returned the favor.
- Campus activism refreshing – IU students are incredibly proactive-including the group that stopped a golf course from being built. Then there are the protesters outside Subway sandwich shops.
- Unsettling Bloomington – Thinking about things other than Bobby Knight.
- Flag not appropriate for carnival – The Fun Folic sells Confederate Flags. This is not appropriate for a family event.
- Moving thoughts – For the first time in years, I didn’t move over the summer.
- A Love Hate Relationship – I love Bloomington, but I hate the weather.
- Finding a Common Purpose – Bobby Knight and Herman B. Wells both depart IU; and the consequences for IU leadership.
- Television Imitating Life – Reviewing the CBS television program, That’s Life, and other reflections about non-traditional students.
- Ameritech and me – Ameritech, the Baby Bell in Indiana, was hands down the worst utility I’ve ever dealt. I didn’t trust them one iota.
- A win for the Democrats – The 2000 elections were pretty bad–at least from the perspective of 2000. I liked neither the Republican nor the Democratic candidate for president. I voted for Nader.
- Bye, bye Brand – Then IU-President Myles Brand damages himself beyond belief. I suggest its time for him to resign. He became head of the NCAA until his death from pancreatic cancer on 16 September 2009.
- An unlikely pair of Texas presidents – I visited Austin, Texas, over winter break-seeing President-Elect George W Bush, and visiting LBJ’s library.
- IUSA campaign season upon us again – IU’s student government is notorious for unethical campaigning, as well as campaigns that make unfulfillable promises.
- Get that camera out of my face – Too many CCTV cameras allow law enforcement to make rash judgments. I buy 10-inch grip-rite nails in order to confuse matters.
- Finding a new favorite radio station – WTTS-FM, a Bloomington-based radio station suddenly sounds like it’s based in Indianapolis. It disrupts my morning routine.
- IU must be held responsible – After thousands of social security numbers were poached over insecure network connections, it was time to assess the blame.
- Uniting the campus on all fronts – There’s a Graduate-Undergraduate student divide.
- Knight no longer news for Indiana – Bobby Knight was fired by IU, and judging from the media coverage, Bloomington was Texas Tech East.
- Hate should not be common practice – A review of some nasty conservative websites.
- The commencement address you won’t hear – A satire getting at what university leaders won’t explicitly say at commencement.
- A Naderite for Bush – This is a rewritten version of an IDS column, written after the 2000 election. In this I hope that Bush wins because I think Bush will be a one-termer. 9/11 intervened and I was horrifically wrong.
- Get that camera out of my face! – There are too many CCTVs and law enforcement uses the images it gathers all too easily. I review the case where an individual in Bloomington is prosecuted because of weak evidence.