Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Administration Pro-Hilltoppers Bias?

An alumnus sends us a copy of an e-mail that went out to an alumni mailing list today, and asks a question:
I received this evening the official MU email with the subject heading “HAVE YOU VOTED FOR MARQUETTE’S NEW NICKNAME?” Might this subject line be unfairly disposing voters to stand behind the “Hilltoppers” name, rather than “Golden Eagles,” since by voting for the latter, one would not, in fact, be voting for “Marquette’s New Nickname” but only for the existing nickname? The headline seems to be pro-Hilltoppers.
Interestingly, faculty and staff got a similar e-mail with the subject header “‘MU Voice’ Marquette nickname vote continues through June 24.”

It does make sense that the Administration would favor “Hilltoppers.” Golden Eagles is a nickname that failed, over eleven years and by the University’s own admission, to generate any enthusiasm.

If the vote favors “Hilltoppers” the Administration can crow that there is a new nickname and that everybody is going to get behind that and be delighted.

But we think the subject header on the e-mail is more likely to be an example of infelicitous prose than an attempt to bias the result.

What today’s e-mails do seem to indicate is that the voting participation is anemic, and very few people can summon any enthusiasm for either potential nickname.

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