Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Westmar 1984 Editorial

I consider the editorial below as one of the best on-side editorials written while I was editor-in-chief of the college student newspaper, The Gleam. Possibly one of the best in The Gleam during my four years at Westmar.

By spring semester 1984, it was obvious that Westmar was struggling financially. I didn't know how much longer it would last as a college [it closed in November 1997]. So the idea came about to write an editorial celebrating Westmar's birthday.  We stuck our cynical, tongue-in-cheek attitude in the line "Considering the Darwinist struggle in the field of higher education,..." to address what we saw as the survival of the fittest among higher educational institutions.

This issue of the paper came out Wednesday afternoon. The topic of the message that night during Chapel by the college president: Westmar and more birthdays. I think we struck a nerve, which is what a good editorial does.
Dwight Hunter

EditorialWritten by the Editorial Board [on-side editorial, The Gleam, March 7, 1984, p.2]

Happy Birthday, Westmar!

Not knowing when it is and afraid of missing it, this is a private celebration to wish Westmar a happy birthday! Considering the Darwinist struggle in the field of higher education, this birthday celebration is significant. Here then is a presentation of our 94 birthday wishes for the coming decade:

  1. A renovated Thoren Fine Arts Performing Center.
  2. Endowed faculty chair.
  3. A liberal arts college.
  4.  A renovated Thoren Fine Arts Performing Center.
  5. Generic textbooks.
  6. Lifesports-Industrial Education Complex.
  7. A liberal IRV policy.
  8. A Student Life Committee which studies the spectrum of student life.
  9. A copy of de Tocqueville's “Democracy in America" for all administrators.
  10. A consistent college motto.
  11. Consistent school colors.
  12.  Housing policies with the students in mind.
  13. A trip to Kansas City in mid-March.
  14. Fluorescent lights for the Richardson's house.
  15.  Incadescent lights for the dorms and classrooms.
  16. Wernli Hall.
  17. Ex-lax for the campus mail system.
  18. Kaopectate for the steam pipes.
  19. Taller students.
  20. Shorter students.
  21. Students.
  22. Presidential Winnebago for Art Richardson.
  23. Richard M. Nixon Division of Justice and Morals.
  24.  Ronald Wilson Reagan Division of Government and Performing Arts.
  25. An endowment which is more than what the federal government spends on paper clips.
  26. An endowment.
  27. Black students.
  28. Black professors.
  29. 40% of tuition and fees for instruction and academic expenses.
  30. Parking.
  31. A Commons serving more than food on a bun.
  32. A chicken with lips.
  33. Good looking men.
  34. Good looking women.
  35. Good looking students.
  36. Students.
  37. A REAL student newspaper.
  38. A REAL Board of Trustees.
  39. A REAL Student Guide.
  40. ASWC Senate not infested with group think.
  41. Candidates for student government elections.
  42. A non-flammable couch for Harnack.
  43. Double beds in dorms.
  44. Candy machines that put out.
  45. The ASWC's Publications Board.
  46. No 8:00 classes
  47. No classes on snowy days.
  48. No classes on warm, sunny days.
  49. No classes.
  50. Heat in the winter.
  51. Heat.
  52. Air conditioning in the summer.
  53. Discovery of oil in the Lifesports Center.
  54. Extermination of bugs.
  55. Calculators for ASWC budget-planners.
  56. An ASWC.
  57. Readers for The Gleam.
  58. Books for the library.
  59. Higher salaries for instructors.
  60. Lower salaries for administrators.
  61. ASWC Senate meetings that last 5 minutes.
  62. Faculty Senate meetings that last 2 minutes.
  63. Teaching requirements for administrators.
  64. More pigeons than squirrels.
  65. Meal tickets that can be used in the S.U. at reasonable hours.
  66. Yearbooks delivered on time.
  67. A cure for herpes.
  68. A male birth control pill.
  69. A Wind Ensemble that does not practice in a banquet room.
  70. Administrators in one building.
  71. A Muslim priest.
  72. Commercials that DO jog your mind.
  73. Vents over cooking stoves.
  74. A REAL alcohol policy.
  75. A REAL commitment to the student developmental vectors.
  76. Decrease in Briar Cliffs admissions standards.
  77. A college song.
  78. Sidewalks that run west to east.
  79. A college community.
  80. A college.
  81. Golf course, of course.
  82. Charmin in dorm bathroom stalls.
  83. Unemployment insurance for Westmar employees.
  84. Unemployment insurance for Westmar graduates.
  85. Unemployment insurance for Hunter . . . just in case.
  86. Westmar Master Plan that works.
  87. Emphasis on academics not brick and mortar.
  88. The Beatles (with Julian Lennon as Lennon's replacement) for the Spring Formal.
  89. Anybody but Spyro Gyra for the Spring Formal.
  90. The Who for the commencement speaker.
  91. A conscience.
  92. A justifiable, student-reviewed tuition increase.
  93. Shredded wheat in every room.
  94. A little luck and a lot more years . . . Happy Birthday Westmar!

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