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January 23, 2009

The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - Keep the Envelope, Please



You'll pardon me if I remain a bit skeptical about Washington State University president Elson S. Floyd's intentions. You see, Tuesday night at a Pullman City Council meeting, he symbolically tore apart an agreement between the university and the city regarding the formation of a university district on College Hill. The city of Pullman had balked at Floyd's proposal near the beginning of the academic year because of a lack of city involvement and fear of possible backlash from students and residents.

Floyd then placed an empty box on the table and said that this is where the proposal stands, empty as he wants the assistance of the city planning committee and city council. Floyd then went on to say that if nothing could be worked out to both the university and city's satisfaction, he will drop the issue.

Pullman's mayor/professor/PA announcer Glenn Johnson said the proposal will come to a final vote February 24th.


Why do I have a feeling Floyd is throwing up his hands in frustration and at this point, almost seems to be begging the city to give him what he wants? And why not beg, the benefits to getting what you want are incredible. Requiring parking passes for residences gives you desperately needed money and you can keep much closer tabs on those pesky fraternities and sororities (despite previous president V. Lane Rawlin's best efforts to get rid of them).

But what tearing up that little piece of paper hopefully did get rid of permanently was the most controversial part of the agreement: joint Pullman and WSU police patrols. Normally, such a patrol wouldn't raise quite as much suspicion. The problem lies with the ability of those patrols to conduct searches on homes and residences without prior complaint or a search warrant because those homesteads would be a part of the university district.

For example, on a normal Thursday, Friday, Saturday…..alright any night on College Hill… in order to search a residence, a prior complaint (i.e. a 911 call) must have occurred before a police officer was able to enter a residence but even then, if he saw no illegal activity within sight of the front door or windows, he couldn't come inside. Now, if the person answering the door was a minor holding a Busch Light tallboy the officer may invite himself inside. If the previous university district agreement had passed, the officer, including Pullman or WSU, could search a residence because, well, they felt like it.

A typical response to the students' misgivings with the proposal was the following, "Well, you shouldn't be doing anything illegal so you shouldn't have anything to hide." In theory, that statement is correct, but it's a matter of personal privacy. As long as they are disturbing me, I don't care if my next door neighbor drinks underage or smokes a little marijuana. If they aren't bothering anyone and doing it in the privacy of their own home, then, in my mind, it's just fine.

And for those of you who have been away from Pullman for a while, let us remember: WSU Police have absolutely nothing better to do than hand out tickets for an MIP or arrest kids accused of general humbuggery. The Pullman Police treat students, in general, fairly and like they are actual human beings and have better things to do than bust a kid who might be drunk in public but isn't hurting anyone.

I'll admit it: I've imbibed in alcoholic beverages. Most, if not all of us, during our time at WSU did the same. I've had the unique experience of actually watching my friend talk to a Pullman police officer while in a very spifflicated* state. Since my friend was having a polite conversation with him, he did little more than ask me if my friend would be able to get home safely and when I told him he would, he wished me a safe trip home. He even told my friend to remember to take an Advil before bed to prevent a hangover.

Had the officer been a member of the WSU police force, my buddy would still be paying court fees.


It sounds to me like Floyd is likely not get what he wants come the end of next month. Not only are students opposed to this, but also many members of the WSU faculty and Pullman residents. You'll pardon me for being a skeptic as this university already nickels and dimes students to death and their weeks are long and for many, incredibly arduous. Don't let the university take away our weekends as well, the one time we have to unwind all week.

If you take it away, the fraternity brothers will stop putting the vodka in a water bottle and taking it to class and just starting bringing the bottle.

[*Spifflicated: 1920s term for being very intoxicated]


PICKS:


Last Week: 6-4
Overall: 18-10

We're still playing non-conference games? Really? I mean, really? Alright, Arizona bounces right back.

Arizona 64, Houston 53


Yikes Oregon, no dice here for the Ducks. Going to the Bay to play arguably the best team in the conference. I'll enjoy this.

California 76, Oregon 55


Across the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge it's no easier for the visiting Beavers who go to a very difficult place to play in Maples Pavilion. The Beavers are coming on but this will just be a speed bump.

Stanford 67, Oregon State 60


UCLA's stout defense and good scoring offense faces a mediocre Husky defense who also score well. Huskies beat UCLA two years ago when the Bruins conference championship was a foregone conclusion, it won't happen again.

UCLA 67, Washington 60


USC is a streaky team. Lose to Oregon State, beat Arizona State, lose to Washington. Washington State is just as streaky but is at home for this one. Bets on when Tim Floyd earns his 3rd straight ejection in Pullman?

WSU 58, USC 50


More non-conference? That's it, I'm putting a stop to this next year.

Oregon State 67, Cal State Bakersfield 46

Now here's a nice match-up for Pauley Pavilion that will truly test the muster of the Golden Bears. Something tells me they don't pass.

UCLA 70, California 64


Stanford is a good team but going on the road to USC where the Trojans typically play isn't good news for the Mike Montgomery crew.

USC 73, Stanford 59


Something tells me this one comes down to Jamelle Horne fouling Brockman in what, beforehand is considered a stupid move until Brockman misses both free throws.

Arizona 72, Washington 71


The Cougars haven't lost in Tempe since I've been at school. Won't be quite the same this time around.

Arizona State 68, Washington State 56


Dunderhead of the Week: US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. You only have to read the Oath of Office once every four years, it's alright if you want to bring notes to remember what the words are. There is no shame, I would understand. But, you totally bungled it up. Next time: study before hand or were holding tryouts for who gets to read it next time. My vote goes to Morgan Freeman.

Dunderhead of the Week, Part 2: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button gets 13 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt) and Director (David Fincher). The movie Milk got a number of nods including Best Picture but The Dark Knight does not get a Best Picture nomination, the most notable one will be for Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger'sSean Penn win an Oscar, I'm going to their house, taking it from them, and giving it to Tom Hanks



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