Rising — UT’s trinket budget
Last week UT’s new branding campaign, “Big Orange, Big Ideas” sparked a flurry of excitement, coupled with unique giveaways. Students and faculty received free orange T-shirts, buttons, lapel pins and pamphlets. There were even orange and white M&M’s. Members of the UT community enjoyed these fun and functional handouts, made possible by increases in tuition and fees put to excellent use. The festivities were enjoyed by one and all. In other news, Andy Holt rolled over in his grave.
Falling — Student trust in the administration
With the over-commercialization of UT’s education system, many students are left wondering not only what the value of their education will become, but also whether or not the administration running this university has a solid (and conceivable) plan of action to reach the Xanadu-esque idea of becoming a top-25 university. While T-shirts and M&M’s will certainly help feed and clothe the hungry and shirtless masses of UTK students, doubts still persist about how these sugary snacks and cotton undershirts will increase teacher salaries and graduation rates.
Rising — Pressures for summer plans
With the arrival of Spring Semester comes the need for summer plans. It seems like everyone is talking about what internship, job or study abroad program they will be shipping off for. While the pressure to impress with the time spent over summer is certainly high, it’s just as important to actually enjoy how you spend your time. It’s definitely not a good idea to burn out next school year because you spent your entire summer in a dark room reading and typing. Wherever your travels take you, be sure to build in some relaxation time. After all, how many commitment-free summers do we have left?
Falling — Student support of marketing
Sentiments on campus surrounding the new website and advertising campaign are mixed. No matter how catchy the slogan, many faculty and students are concerned about the substance behind its claims. Instead of wasting time fueling a “brand,” many university students would like to see a campaign that actually improves their educational experience. Rather than putting a new spin on an old system, everyone would like to see some real improvements to UT’s processes and policies. How’s that for a big idea?
Falling — Student stamina
Every student comes into class at the beginning of a new semester enthusiastic about the prospects of a fresh start. After the first month, most of that enthusiasm has been slowly choked off. Late nights, early mornings and too much assigned reading make it difficult to keep morale high. For some reason, a professor’s voice is much more lulling in February. Dreary weather doesn’t help. It’s getting harder not to think about Spring Break.
Falling — Faith in Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast abilities
On Feb. 2, 2012, the infamous groundhog “saw” his shadow, thus ushering in predictions of six more weeks of winter. While Phil’s abilities have usually been accurate, Knoxville’s current run of 60-degree weather has left many wondering whether or not it would be advisable to go to a non-rodent source for their meteorological needs.
Rising — McBee’s mustache mania
Following the recent on-the-court success of the UT men’s basketball team — which has won two out of its past three SEC games — the facial fuzz craze has gone into full effect for the Big Orange faithful. The trend, led by Skylar McBee, the lanky 6-foot-2 mustachioed shooting guard who has been averaging 8.3 points per game in the recent run, is starting to live up to the local hype that surrounded his arrival on campus three seasons ago. With the continued success of McBee’s upper-lip hair and deadly 3-point shooting, coupled with a resurgent effort from the entire bench, the Vols’ post-season chances look brighter with each passing day.
Our View: Rocky Tops and Bottoms
Rising — UT’s trinket budget