A welcome update for all students

Hey, y?all, welcome back. And to the newbies getting lost on their way to class this morning, I?m Collin, nice to meet ya. I hope I make you laugh and give you something to think about as you read this space every Tuesday.

Someone told me last year that all welcome back columns suck (this was, of course, after my column was printed), and I could kind of see the point. Anyway, I?ll let my compatriots handle the intros to our fine institution, and I?ll catch you up on what happened this summer here while you were at home with the folks sneaking in late (’cause after all, when you?re used to coming home after Ybor and Denny?s at 5 a.m., Dad?s curfew doesn?t quite seem reasonable anymore).

There are new people in charge of your education. The USF Board of Trustees is now up and running. Of the 13 members, we students picked one ? student body president Mike Griffin (a wonderful and fabulous human being ? and I?m not just saying that because I was his campaign manager). The other 12 members were directly appointed by the nation’s president?s brother, Gov. Jeb Bush. There hasn?t been a body so one-sided since the jury believed Mayella Ewell over Tom Robinson.

Those knighted from on high appear to have the best interests of the university at heart, and the couple whom I?ve met at other events around school seem to be good people. But make no mistake ? they are beholden to the governor?s mansion like Lassie to Timmy. The power they?ve been given is pretty much unfettered, regulating everything from academic standards to athletics, to the hiring and firing of our university president. Let?s all hope Griffin?s lone student advocate voice doesn?t fall on deaf ears.

And speaking of our minority president (minority because he got fewer votes), the other Bush up in D.C. is getting pretty much his way so far. The monster tax cut we can?t afford was passed (I?m investing my rebate check to help drill for oil off Clearwater Beach), and he?s only embarrassed himself overseas, not domestically yet. The stem cell decision was, to my utter surprise, politically savvy and well-intentioned. If the economy does pick up steam by the mid-term elections next year, and a patient Bill of Rights and legitimate campaign finance reform passes, the projected cakewalk for the Democrats in 2002 might not happen. By the way, if my Democratic brethren think running Janet Reno against Jeb next year is smart political thinking, somebody?s been raiding the DEA evidence closet in Miami. Bush would beat Reno like Sonny beat Carlo (or like Carlo beat Connie) in The Godfather.

Now on to what really matters ? varsity sports. Your USF Bulls football team should be better, but get jacked for the hoops teams. We?re playing Florida, FSU, Syracuse and California, not to mention the usual Conference USA wars. With seniors B.B. Waldon and Altron Jackson returning, anything less than the Big Dance will be a huge disappointment.

So welcome back everybody, and remember this space is for the students of this university (and only sometimes, like this week, my own amusement). Any time you want me to bring some attention to something that could be helpful to your fellow Bulls, drop me an e-mail. Have a great year. Later.

Collin Sherwin is a junior majoring in political science.usfcollin@yahoo.com<