Friday, June 17, 2005

Why the Administration Probably Wants “Hilltoppers”

An e-mail from an alumnus suggested that the Marquette Administration is trying to bias the results of the nickname poll in favor of “Hilltoppers.” We aren’t persuaded there is any overt attempt at manipulation, but an e-mail from a different alum outlines why the Administration may well want “Hilltoppers” to win:
Logically, in spite of all that has transpired with this nickname thing, especially the following:
1). Lack of enthusiasm for Golden Eagles
2). Flat-out blow-out of “Gold”
3). Board of Trustees and Administration unwillingness to listen to the real choice everyone selected (e.g., Warriors)
4). The collective need to distance themselves from Golden Eagles, Gold, and Warriors,

. . . I think the suggestion that there might be a pro-Hilltopper bias (albeit subtle) might have merit. Think about it, if after all this Golden Eagles is selected, Wild and the Board of Trustees are going to look awfully dumb when they announce: “The majority of our voters selected Golden Eagles. It obviously has strong support.” Can you hear the roofs popping off, as alumni go through the roof?

If they announce Hilltoppers as the selected new nickname, I think they take a “third way,” and actually, can somwhat put the DiUlio debacle behind them. How? 1) Many older alumns can live with and abide Hilltoppers; 2) the focus on the “new” nickname will generate fawning press stories, etc., from the media, and “buzz” will be generated by the creation of a new mascot. 3) the high school will be excited and will join the happy throng of media liberal elites in praising MU for “giving the stakeholders what they want.”

Of course, since there has been little to no logic in the board’s actions, if Golden Eagles remains, I will go through the roof, but not be really surprised.
We think this analysis is pretty solid, although if Golden Eagles wins the University will be spared the cost of changing all kind of insignia.

But the people doing the voting (which does not include us) may simply prefer Golden Eagles.

Further, if the Administration had really been opposed to Golden Eagles, they could have simply declared that it, like Warriors, would be “out of bounds.” Given the dismal image that the University’s survey showed “Golden Eagles” has among stakeholders, this would have met with very little opposition.

We think the University has done plenty of dumb things, but see little evidence of manipulation at this stage. When the University has been guilty of manipulation, it has been clumsy and entirely obvious.


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