I know this is primarily a sports blog, but the recent row between EMU President Susan Martin and the illustrious Board of Regents is screaming for further commentary and analysis, especially since, in my humble opinion, it points to a greater malady infecting our deteriorating society. People just aren’t allowed to be human anymore.
In case you aren’t intimate with the not-so-gory details, I’ll refer you to our friends at annarbor.com who have covered this story surprisingly well. I’ve sifted though the letters, the emails, and the hearsay, and I can state unequivocally that this is much ado about nothing. Idiocy and political correctness run rampant. If anyone needs a glass of wine, it is the collective body of the Board of Regents. Seriously, ya’ll need to chill…
From what I read, President Martin had a glass of wine or two at an alumni meeting in Washington DC., and got a little mouthy with one Mr. Michael Ferens, a graduate who is active in the alumni community. For starters, I’ve been to receptions like this and alcohol is always flowing freely. It’s part of the game, you drink a little, you schmooze a little, you eat canapés and wear uncomfortable shoes. If you are lucky, you get into a lively debate or conversation. Helps spice up an otherwise boring evening.
And this is Ms. Martin’s crime, getting animated with an alumnus after a few drinks. She may or may not have taken offense to a reference to the mascot change so many years ago. Or there may have been a mention of former EMU President John Fallon, someone that no EMU administrator wants to be associated with. All in all, is it really any of our business what they talked or argued about? They had some words, exchanged a few e-mails, and worked it out. All’s well that ends well, right?
Apparently not. The Board of Regents proceeded to send her a letter telling her that “such conduct must cease,” and that she may need “counseling and assistance.” Please. The woman had a glass of wine or two and got into a heated discussion. That is all. Now she has had to apologize, and get “counseling” for her sins? Spare me the phony outrage.
Dare I mention that if she were a man the outrage would have been less? Hear me out, because I can’t help but think this would have been written off as “boys will be boys” if two dudes were involved in an alcohol fueled debate. We celebrate the exploits of Don Draper when he gets loaded off one Old-Fashioned too many, but somehow when a woman has a glass of wine or two and doesn’t just demurely giggle at all that is said to her she isn’t ladylike. You may have come a long way, baby, but sadly there is still a loooong way to go.
Only Ms. Martin and those close to her know if she has a real problem with alcohol. I sure as hell will not be speculating on that. I do know that having drinks at an informal alumni function, and then getting into a lively debate with another partygoer DOES NOT qualify as anything close to resembling an alcohol problem. Sorry Board of Regents.
Sadly, the sterilization of society continues. No one can have fun, no one can make a joke that borders on inappropriate, and apparently you can’t even have a glass of wine and an argument without being cast as Nicolas Cage from Leaving Las Vegas. Save us all from the political correctness and pussification of society. Besides, there is already a place for super uptight people who can’t have fun and take themselves too seriously. Just drive six miles west down Washtenaw Avenue.