Saturday, November 15, 2003

Thanks for the Good Times
Alexander Marriott

This semester was to be my last working for the Rebel Yell simply because I will be entering my final year of undergraduate studies in the Spring and will be very busy working towards Graduate School. This will still be my last semester at the Yell, I’m just glad that it’s still my idea rather than someone else’s.

I’d like to thank everyone who made my employment at the Rebel Yell a fun experience for me, even recently. First of all, the man who hired me in the first place, Nick Mojave. Without him noticing and appreciating the points I made in a class he and I had together in the Fall of ’02, I might never have written for the Rebel Yell. He was also a great boss to work under, never giving me any problems about what I wrote and printing most of my articles, except for a piece I did on Jimmy Carter, but that was a little outdated so I won’t hold it against him.

Everyone who worked for the Yell during the Fall of ’02 and Spring of ’03 who I came in contact with was nothing but incredibly nice and gracious, even though I’m sure most of them disagreed with just about everything I wrote about.

This brings me to the transition between that administration to the new administration that took over in the Summer and Fall of ’03. One person who has always been a good friend between those two different “regimes” is Angela Flores, the webmaster, payroll chief, and part-time writer for the Yell. She is someone who certainly disagrees with most of my opinions but she has still been a good person to talk to about anything and usually sees through most of the crap that happens around here, especially in recent weeks.

Nick’s successor, Irene Marquette, was also a great boss and has become a good friend as well. Her defense of me in my recent situation was very greatly appreciated; I only hope I can return the favor someday. She was also good at going to bat for her writers in other situations as well though. A good example was the over-editing of columns at the beginning of the semester which she handled very well, as the practice was seemingly abandoned. It’s too bad the situation at the paper of late has made it so that opinion writers won’t be able to enjoy working under her tutelage any more.

There are others on the staff that have been nothing but kind and respectful including Justin Chomintra, Hubert Hensen, and Jeff Hoyt among others. Thank you all for the good times and supporting me in the not-so-good times. A very special thanks to Megan Lee who wrote an extremely beautiful and well reasoned article entitled, "UNLV Does Not Encourage Conflict," in the October 29th edition of the Rebel Yell which I advise all who haven't read it yet to get online and read immediately.

Of course there are also the readers of the Yell and my columns in particular. Most of the people who wrote Letters to the Editor did so in an immature fashion, but to everyone who took time to think out an argument, whether you agreed with me or not, thanks. I think anyone who appreciates reasoned debate can appreciate those who at least try to proffer logical arguments.

What farewell message would be complete without addressing the scandal that embroiled the Rebel Yell and I for a couple of weeks at the end of October? Not everyone who helped me that I’m about to thank agreed with my original article, in fact many of them explicitly disagreed with it, but the printing of my article wasn’t what went wrong at the Yell. Almost everyone quickly realized that no plagiarism took place and confronted the real issue, which was my unjust and fallacious firing and the continual drumbeat of totally bogus charges by the Yell against me (which the Yell has since apologized for).

Thanks are due to Brooke Ross of the Review-Journal and Jennifer Knight of the Las Vegas Sun for fairly covering the story as it developed.

More thanks to Thomas Mitchell, Editor of the Review-Journal, for defending me publicly and going through nasty and unfair attacks within the pages of the Rebel Yell.

I must thank Mary Hausch, the Rebel Yell’s faculty advisor, as well as the entire Rebel Yell Advisory Board for injecting some reason into this mess and trying to put the breaks on what seemed like a runaway train.

Of course, thanks are more than due to Dr. Michael Berliner for stepping in on my behalf even though some, like Cathy Scott, seemed to think (ridiculously) that someone would be “flattered” that their intellectual property was stolen. A related thank you is due to Sonya Healy, who was very helpful in getting me in contact with Dr. Berliner on extremely short notice.

How could I not thank Gary Peck and the Nevada ACLU for seeing an obvious attempt to stifle free speech and disregard any semblance of fairness and due process? His tireless efforts working on my behalf were very welcome and I’m indebted to him for that.

Dr. David Fott also needs to be thanked for going out of his way to offer me advice, suggesting the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) which, although they didn’t get directly involved since the ACLU was already working on it, was very interested to see that my situation was resolved successfully.

And I couldn’t forget Alan Stock and Heidi Harris, whose efforts in this entire mess were nothing short of heroic. Their radio program was greatly responsible for the immediate publicity of my firing, and the subsequent contact I was able to make with the ACLU. They are just two more people I can’t thank enough, but I can at least try.

And so, now that my run with the Yell is coming to a natural conclusion all I can say is that it was an overwhelmingly positive experience that provided me with all sorts of opportunities and a chance to develop my writing skills. I can only hope that it was a good experience for almost everyone else who was involved, either at the paper or among the student body. Thanks. If you still want to read my writing you’ll be able to see more articles in Capitalism Magazine (www.capmag.com). Goodbye.

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