Hey University of Michigan….Stop Whining

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Hey University of Michigan….Stop Whining

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I went to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI. I spent four years living in the shadow of the great University of Michigan (a painful thing for this Ohio State fan). Don’t get me wrong. I had many friends who attended U of M. I went to intramural hockey games at Yost.

My good friend wanted to play intramural hockey. Eastern did not have a team (actually they had just started a varsity team, but since we didn’t have a rink they played at U of M’s old rink the Ice Cube) , so he played on of their teams. I attended parties in Ann Arbor. One of our favorite clubs was on that side of Washtenaw county as well. We loved hanging out in the coffeehouses and the eclectic atmosphere the campus and the surrounding areas had.

I also saw the pretentiousness. You would tell someone you were and EMU student and suddenly it was like they felt sorry for you or you had lost value in their eyes. It wasn’t that way with all U of M students, but you knew many of them thought they were superior to non U of M students. They seemed to think that they were paying lots more money and doing much more work than us EMU remedial students. Okay fine you paid a lot more money. However, a good deal of that was for the prestige.

I was friends with Film students at U of M, and my course work was just as hard, and I may have even worked harder than they did. Yes, their school may have had more opportunities for their students in some arenas, but it didn’t make them a “better” school” or make UM students any better than us EMU students. I see similarities to my life now. I work at a community college. IUPUI, Indiana University and a like are the big kids on campus. Many of their students down grade and demean our students for coming here because it is “second rate” education. Yeah, not so much. Our instructors have to meet the same requirements that your teachers do,, so get over it.

In most cases we have built our curriculums so that our classes match up to ensure easier transfer options. The bigger schools have the big name and the prestige and the high price, but in the end our students get the same level of education they get in their ivory tower. Seriously, if you are going to be pretentious, do you homework and get your facts straight before you make ignorant statements.

I learned just to ignore it. My education may not have be as prestigious, but is was excellent. Did you know that back in the late 1990’s and even the early 2000’s their music school didn’t have the National Association of Schools of Music’s (NASM) accreditation? The school is North Central Association (NCA) accredited, but at that time did not have the additional accreditation. This may have changed, but I cannot find anything to confirm this. While this information is readily available on the Eastern Michigan site, I was unable to find it on University of Michigan’s site.

Actually, a search for any accreditation information came back with zero results. I was treated like a second class citizen by the marching band when we played U of M in the 1998 season. This was despite the fact that their color guard still had to count out loud on the field. Yeah, if you can’t count in your head and stay on beat that is the sign of a sub par guard. In the end, I really didn’t care. The people I was friends with were nice, and I wasn’t really concerned with the rest of them. I graduated and moved on, but now a new development has sparked that old rivalry in my heart again.

The University of Michigan is remodeling their football stadium. This wouldn’t be a big issue, but for whatever reason, it will not be done in time for the April Commencement Ceremony. Apparently (among the issues), the public restrooms and electricity will not be ready at that time. Was this poor planning on the school’s behalf? Yes.

I’m not saying it was all their fault. I don’t think they went into it thinking they wanted to screw up the commencement tradition. I’m guessing it was bad planning, timing and probably some contractor issues all rolled into one. U Of M could not find a venue on campus that would be big enough for the proceedings. Out of options, they accepted an invitation from Eastern to hold their commencement in Rynearson Stadium.

I can understand why the class of 2008 isn’t exactly happy. I mean when I went to Eastern, from about my sophomore year on (we used to graduate out of our old field house, the convocation center building did not start until my second year) I looked forward to the day I would walk across the stage in that building. There was this whole sense of pride and tradition. It was my big goal.

If we had to hold our graduation ceremony elsewhere I would have been disappointed. The students who have voiced anger and frustration along these lines are completely understandable. I have no qualms with them. Of course, you don’t identify with the stadium. No matter now they decorate or how much blue and maize they bring, it just won’t be the same. It isn’t where you spent you 4, 5, 6 or more years. Part of your dream was to graduate at the Big House. The dream is being withheld, and I understand why this would not make you happy.

My issue is with the people who are just outraged that U of M would expect them to walk at Eastern of all places. Why would they even want to attend a ceremony at a college where the students get a substandard education? The University of Michigan is the greatest school in the world and asking them to graduate at Eastern is the biggest insult they can have hurled at them. To those people: Get Over Your Self. Guess what, your school screwed up. Yeah, all mighty University of Michigan made a huge mistake and unfortunately you and your classmates have to pay the price. Even the “high end” schools mess up.

There are no other venues on your campus that will work, so Eastern is being kind enough to let you hold your ceremony at our Campus? We didn’t have to. We could have told to tough luck and then what would the school do. Eastern Michigan might not have the football team or the prestige or the ridiculous price…oh and you can live on campus for more than two years, but it is still an excellent school. It is an excellent school that is trying to be helpful and make it so you can still have a commencement.

If it really all that offense to you, then don’t walk. Don’t walk, but know the reason you did not walk at your commencement was not because of the choice to move to EMU. You did not walk because of your own stubbornness and prejudice.

Author’s Bio: 

Md Rasel is a professional blogger.

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