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Editorial: For BU, year of ups and downs

May 2, 2008

Ben Humeniuk/Lariat Staff
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This last year has presented the Baylor community more than its share of highs and lows, in addition to plenty of surprises. Some of these happenings we liked, and some of them we didn't. Here's a rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly from the last two semesters.


-- More than one year after Student Senate passed a support resolution in favor of recognizing non-Baptist student groups on campus, the Baylor Board of Regents implemented their suggestion, allowing Christian, non-Baptist student groups to be given official charters. The Senate deserves praise for bringing this issue to the regents' attention, and we're also happy the regents finally took that step this semester.

-- In a year when so many other issues took the limelight, Baylor's faculty still managed to achieve impressive things in their respective fields. From researchers in the department of computer and electrical engineering working on non-invasive blood-sugar tests to environmental science researchers helping find a way to clean our water, Baylor's brightest keep making a name for our school on the academic level.

-- When it comes to athletics, Baylor's men's basketball team exceeded our expectations this year. The outstanding fan support was a natural response to the impressive season the Bears had, putting Baylor in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 20 years and giving us all something to cheer about. We hope Coach Drew's contract extension will bring about even greater accomplishments next year.

­­­-- After requesting an open dialogue with the administration last semester, we finally saw one this semester, with President Lilley holding a Q&A forum open to all faculty, and then another one open to the student body. Turnout to both was impressive.


-- Despite the positive step forward with the Q&A, one of the biggest issues it resolved was that of a logo. While the outcry from the Baylor community about the interlocking BU showed how much alumni care about their traditions, we wish similar outcries could be made (and heeded) over issues such as implementing a living wage.

-- Homecoming is one of everyone's favorite times of the year, but this fall it was marred by violence during the guarding of the Eternal Flame. Seeing the tradition closed out early soured the weekend a bit, but we hope the event returns in some form in the future.

--When Baylor academia made the news this fall, it was a shame the focus was on alleged denial of academic freedom. It focused on the removal of a Web site detailing research of Dr. Robert Marks, a distinguished professor of computer and electrical engineering. In the resulting hoopla (part of which was aggravated by the administration's equivocation on the matter), Baylor's real academic achievements were overshadowed.

--The recent spate of tenure denials also contributed to this unwelcome phenomenon. With an unusually high denial rate and miscommunication between the tenure committee and the administration, Baylor's academic circles again moved closer to infamy than fame.

Although this year, like any year, provided a mixed bag of positive and negative news about Baylor, we were glad to report it all and give you our opinions on it, and we hope that next year finds the Baylor community even stronger in its dedication to Christian and academic ideals.

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