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Once again the city of Knoxville upheld its tradition as one of the most ridiculous cities in America. Finally, after 47 years of frustration, this town received what it had wanted more than anything. Instead of letting loose and allowing the fans, not fortunate enough to travel to the desert, to have some fun, our wonderful, power-hungry, overzealous, intimidating police force continued their reputation as abusers of power. Maybe the police should read the sides of their patrol cars, which read, "TO PROTECT AND SERVE." Since when are riot police needed when there is no riot? A cold chill ran down my spine and a sick feeling filled my stomach by the image of fans, outnumbered by police, forced to "move along" or not allowed to walk down the sidewalks. When did it become a crime to stand on the street and why are our police forbidding us from doing it? Maybe it was the weather, but I felt more like a comrade of the Soviet Union living in Siberia, rather than an American trying to celebrate a NATIONAL TITLE. So my hats off to the police force for maintaining order and stabilityif only George Orwell could see us now.
Amid the public and media rush to celebrate UT's national victory, Joe Sullivan's critical response ("Searching for Excellence," Vol. 9, No. 1) is appropriate and welcome. The State of Tennessee's commitment (or lack of it) to excellence in higher education should, indeed, be questioned. But other questions need to be posed as well. In light of the racial mix on the playing field, why isn't that mix as visible in UT's academic departments and administration? Shouldn't we be able to cheer for an African-American microbiologist or poet? While African-American presence on the UT campus is conspicuously minimal in academic departments, it is evident in janitorial and food servicesbut even there, we should insist that all of those workers have the same job security, pension, and health care benefits that Joe Johnson and his associates take for granted.