Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: University names put politics on back burner, maybe

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Augusta-area politics took a back seat Friday after the Branding Consolidation Work Team Committee unleashed six proposed names for a consolidated GHSU/ASU on the community.

Actually, that’s not quite right Everything in Augusta is politics, especially something as important as naming a university. So let’s just say electioneering took a back seat Friday.

Immediate reactions to the names were shock and incredulity. Some people said it must be a joke. Others want the committee to start over. The only person I heard say he was happy was Commissioner Jerry Brigham, who tried two weeks ago to get his colleagues to adopt a resolution requesting that “Augusta” be in the new name.

“Augusta’s in three of them,” he said Friday afternoon – Augusta University, University of Augusta and Augusta Arsenal Univer­sity. The others are Arsenal Uni­versity, Bartram University and Noble University.

I don’t know what everybody expected. Something grander, I suppose.

As for me, I still like Deke U, as well as Georgia Arts Science Business Research and Philosophy (GASBURP) with I Feel Good as the alma mater.

Anyway, to commemorate the occasion and for your enjoyment, I wrote a play. The title is a knockoff, but the play is original.

The Bonfire of the Vanities
(A drama in one act)

Scene I

(Office of President R. ZZZZZ on the campus of the former Augusta State University, which, along with the former Medical College of Georgia and the former Georgia Health Sciences University, have been consolidated and renamed Arsenal University. The Assistant Vice President for Strategic Support and Other Important Matters rushes in, breathless.)

Assistant VP: Is the president in? I need to see him immediately about a very important matter.

Administrative assistant: I’ll let him know you’re here.

Assistant VP: I can’t wait! It’s an emergency! (Pushes past her and into the president’s office) Dr. ZZZZZ, the students are rioting! They’ve taken over the lobby downstairs!

President ZZZZZ: What? Why?

Assistant VP: The sign with the university’s new name that was put up at the campus main gate this morning. They don’t like it. They’re protesting.

President ZZZZZ: They don’t like Arsenal University? Well, call the campus police and have them removed.

Assistant VP: They’ve chained themselves to the radiators and stair rails.

President ZZZZZ: Radiators? We still have radiators here?

Assistant VP: I meant stair rails. I was just flashing back to the ’60s when I said radiators. There’s a crowd gathered by the main entrance, too. They’re demanding to speak to you and Chancellor Hucklebuck. They’re burning you both in effigy as we speak.

President ZZZZZ: Oh well. All right. Get me my bullhorn.

Scene II

(At the main gate a huge bonfire is burning)

President ZZZZZ: (Spea­king through the bullhorn) I know many of you are upset about the new name.

Crowd: Boo! Boo! Boo!

President ZZZZZ: You’re upset because the name is different from the name you’re accustomed to and represents change. But change is part and parcel of life, and learning to accept it is part of your education. Believe me, this is not the first change you’re going to face in your lifetime. You just have to adjust and go on about your business. Adjus­ting. That’s what life’s all about. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the name Arsenal University. The Branding Consolidation Work Team Committee spent countless hours going over thousands of suggestions for names.

Crowd: Boo! Boo! Boo!

President ZZZZZ: Can we have one person speak here?

(Student body president Angela Woo steps forward)

Woo: Sorry about the committee, but even an undergraduate knows a camel is a racehorse designed by a committee.

President ZZZZZ: What exactly is it you don’t like about Arsenal University?

Woo: First of all, it sounds like a military school, and secondly, in no time at all people will be calling it Arse U.

Crowd: Boo! Boo! Boo!

President ZZZZZ: The Board of Regents and Chan­cellor Hucklebuck made the final decision. What do you expect me to do?

Woo: Twenty years ago, another president stood at this gate and changed the name from Augusta College to Augusta State University. We’ve had enough. Presi­dent ZZZZZ. President ZZZZZ, tear down that sign!

Scene III

(The next morning, President ZZZZZ stands at a window of his office staring onto the campus below.)

Administrative assistant: Mr. President, the assistant vice president for strategic support is here.

Assistant VP: You wanted to see me?

President ZZZZZ: Yes. I’ve made an executive decision. I’m renaming the university.

VP: Really?

President ZZZZZ: Yes.

VP: To what?

President ZZZZZ: Geor­gia Health Sciences Univer­sity. I did it before, and I’m doing it again. Of course, I’ll have to put the word “Arts” in there somewhere.

ROCKIN’ AND ROLLING IN THE DOUGH: It’s not even the Fourth of July in Augusta, but the campaign trail is so hot it feels like it.

Young supporters of Democratic sheriff candidate Scott Peebles recently organized and promoted a “Rockin’ for Peebles” concert, featuring two bands: Playback with Tutu D’vyne and Funk You. An estimated 300 to 350 people attended the concert at the Legends Club on Washington Road.

“The event was put on by a group of guys and gals, mostly in their mid-20s, who wanted to get the message out to their peers to get involved in the voting process,” he said. “We raised several thousand dollars for the campaign through ticket sales and donations. We also registered about 25 people to vote. I think it’s the first concert put on in Augusta as a political fundraiser.”

On Monday, sheriff and judicial candidates had to rush from a 5:30 p.m. forum at Carrie Mays Community Center in Turpin Hill to a 7 p.m. forum at the Warren Road Community Center sponsored by the West Augus­ta Alliance.

I went to the 5:30 p.m. forum but didn’t hear anything new except clarification on the sheriff candidates’ ideas about community policing.

Juvenile Court Judge Willie Saunders, who is challenging Augusta Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Carlisle Overstreet, was a crowd favorite with his animated speeches about keeping kids out of jail and getting rid of one-time offenders’ criminal records.

Absent from the forum at Carrie Mays was Democratic sheriff candidate Richard Roundtree, who was at the board of elections meeting where the board considered a challenge to his candidacy because of unpaid taxes. He satisfied the board that he’d worked out a payment plan on federal tax liens and had paid state tax liens as of June 5. Whether the state taxes were paid May 23, the day he qualified, as the law requires is still a mystery as far as I know.

Friends of sheriff candidate Robbie Silas sponsored a meet and greet at the Hillcreek Subdivision community center last week, along with a well-attended fundraiser at Julian Smith barbecue pit.

FREE FOOD AND ENOUGH HOT AIR FOR THE HINDENBURG: Peebles and friends are holding a meet and greet at Julian Smith Casino on Monday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Everyone is invited, and it’s free.

“Food will be catered by seven local restaurants,” he said. “We’re encouraging folks to come have a free meal on us, get to know me and hear my vision for the sheriff’s office and Augusta.

Also, from 6-8 p.m. Monday the CSRA Republi­can Women’s Club is holding a meet and greet at the Columbia County Government Complex, Building A Auditorium, where 32 candidates or their representatives are expected to attend.

Comments (19)

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Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 06/16/12 - 10:06 pm
8
0

And they rejoiced

The committee announced the six finalists for the name of the new MCG take over of ASU....

And the sign companies rejoiced!

Riverman1
70573
Points
Riverman1 06/16/12 - 11:35 pm
3
0

Julian Smith BBQ Pit or Casino?

I'm curious, is it the Julian Smith BBQ Pit or Casino? Or does the event determine how it's described?

Riverman1
70573
Points
Riverman1 06/17/12 - 07:17 am
6
7

Things I heard this week about the Sheriff's election.

Things I heard this week about the Sheriff's election. There was a reliable poll that has Roundtree leading. Roundtree gained support after the attempts to keep him out of the election failed and he had positive TV interviews. Silas has the support of a large group of higher ranking officers in the RCSO who are now working with him. He also appears to be gaining strength.

Lastly, Peebles' supporters in the comments of the Chronicle went silent after some comments about contributions and a public official were made.

americafirst
958
Points
americafirst 06/17/12 - 08:05 am
5
0

RM1, the Pit and Casino are

RM1, the Pit and Casino are two different buildings.

Riverman1
70573
Points
Riverman1 06/17/12 - 08:18 am
2
1

Thanks, AmericaFirst

I really didn't know, but had an idea something like that was the case. I know the building you are referring to.

seenitB4
72687
Points
seenitB4 06/17/12 - 09:47 am
3
1

Freddie

Run Freddie run......:)

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 06/17/12 - 09:53 am
4
1

the play is missing the

the play is missing the interaction of couple dozen "administrators"

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/17/12 - 12:26 pm
3
1

Arsenal????

Why not Man U., Man City, Chelsea, etc.?

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/17/12 - 12:29 pm
9
2

Voter nulification.

I am a die-hard Republican, but my wife and I plan to cross-over in July and vote for Peebles in the Democratic Primary.

janderson1945
1694
Points
janderson1945 06/17/12 - 02:07 pm
8
2

Peebles has the support from

Peebles has the support from our family and we are republicans as well. After attending 2 forums with the candidates and some democratic friends, it was a very easy decision. Without advising anyone on how to vote, I would simply suggest you get involved and go to an event, debate or forum. Peebles plan of action for improving the agency and the area is the direction we need to move forward together as a community.

Riverman1
70573
Points
Riverman1 06/17/12 - 08:25 pm
3
1

I was thinking many white

I was thinking many white Richmond County Democrats may cross over and vote in the Congressional election to keep Columbia County's Lee Anderson out.

wildman
939
Points
wildman 06/18/12 - 05:20 am
0
0

New Name

South Carolina has it right, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Is it really that hard to name a University? I forget this is Augusta, try this for something simple. Medical University of Georgia at Augusta (MUGA), or some version of this. Simple makes to much sense, will not happen here.

Riverman1
70573
Points
Riverman1 06/18/12 - 06:23 am
0
0

Truthbetold said, "Riverman,

Truthbetold said, "Riverman, I don't know where you are getting your information from but Silas is not getting the support of the upper brass on the Sheriff's Office..."

I'll rephrase my comment because I don't know the exact breakdown of how many supporters, but at least a large group of officers mid to high level are coming around to supporting Silas. They have had meetings to plan their strategy. But it sounds like you know lots about the inner workings and I won't try to imply I know more than you do.

redapples
443
Points
redapples 06/18/12 - 07:01 am
0
0

The suggested names are

The suggested names are horrible. As the Medical College of Ga the name demanded immediate recognition. None of the suggested names suggest anything other than an institution that is just another state university - nothing special. Members of the committe DO need to scrap the suggested names and start over. Create a name that symbolizes the rich history of the institutions and commands respect.

Riverman1
70573
Points
Riverman1 06/18/12 - 07:41 am
0
0

A basic. Keep in mind ASU

A basic. Keep in mind ASU will be the flagship institution. It has other graduate programs. The medical school will be one more graduate program. Undergrad institutions don't use the name of their grad schools. I sincerely hope this helps because so many are confused.

jscott34
5
Points
jscott34 06/18/12 - 08:29 am
0
0

Name suggestions

should embrace rich history of the institutions. As a former student of Augusta State, I love the name Arsenal University. It absolutely embraces the local history. In time the name will grow to demand the respect it deserves. As it proves to provide quality education and consistently deliver students that prove themselves in the field, the respect will follow.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 06/18/12 - 09:57 am
3
0

Cabal U

How about Cabal U or U of Cabal?

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 06/18/12 - 11:55 am
3
2

I do not think Riverman said

Unpublished

I do not think Riverman said BRASS in his comment and he is 100% correct in his words that Silas IS getting more and more support from higher ranking officials both with RCSO and other area departments. You may want to research a little more before you put your foot in your mouth due to the fact that you probably were not at the last dinner for Silas and I KNOW you were not at the last meeting of higher ranking officials!!! Nice try to discredit though.

Riverman1
70573
Points
Riverman1 06/18/12 - 01:24 pm
0
0

Truthbetold's post

Truthbetold's post disappeared. Wonder why?

Truthbetold74
108
Points
Truthbetold74 06/18/12 - 06:48 pm
2
0

I to wonder why my post was

Unpublished

I too wonder why my post was pulled, I didn't do it. I bet if I left the comments out about Pebbles the Chronicle would have left it up.

Khan, since you "KNOW" I was not at the meeting I guess that means you were? I also noticed your only argument was with the support you say he is getting, not how he got promoted in the first place. My foot is not in my mouth, everything I wrote is correct.

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 06/18/12 - 07:48 pm
2
1

Truth Be ... maybe you can

Unpublished

Truth Be ... maybe you can tell us how the other candidates got promoted too or are you just implying that being the brother-in-law of the sheriff got him special favors? So do you think he cheated on the Lts test or possibly he got special bonus points added for made up crap? Just trying to understand your meaning.

And if we get on that topic I'm sure we can compile a list of promotions over the years that were not merited. But that is done not only in law enforcement but many, many other government and non-government places of employment. Remember the word "affirmative action"?

Truthbetold74
108
Points
Truthbetold74 06/18/12 - 11:49 pm
2
1

Khan, While I agree 110% on

Unpublished

Khan, While I agree 110% on statement of unmerited promotions especially because of affirmative action none of them are running for Sheriff in a public election which then puts all of the issues of the promotion out for legit public discussion. I'm sorry if talking about the qualifications of a person running for public office is offensive but if they don't want it out in public then don't run for office.

As for the other issues you mentioned, I didn't just imply anything. I thought I was pretty clear in saying he got special favors because of his brother-in-law and no I am not saying he cheated on the Lt's test but I am saying the results of said test did not dictate who got promoted.

Luckily in my business I don’t have to worry about people with less time, training, or experience passing me by, but I know a lot of people that have had to deal with it and it makes for some very unhappy workers.

Which brings be back to the original point of the 1st post that the Chronicle pulled, the Sheriff's Office needs serious change and needs a whole new way of dealing with the public from the top to the bottom. Like it or not that is the truth. I do not believe anybody currently on the Sheriff's Office will make the drastic change that is needed.

Khan'tB4Real
948
Points
Khan'tB4Real 06/19/12 - 09:21 am
2
0

Remind me again what all

Unpublished

Remind me again what all Godowns was written up for while with RCSO? And how selling insurance qualifies him to be Sheriff for RC?

Truthbetold74
108
Points
Truthbetold74 06/19/12 - 04:33 pm
2
0

While I can't speak on the

Unpublished

While I can't speak on the contents of his entire file the only thing I have heard or seen is 2 write ups for not filling out the correct paperwork, if there is more I have not seen or heard anything about it.

As far as selling insurance qualifying him to be Sheriff, it doesn't. It is the business ownership that I am interested in and my understanding, which has not been disputed, he has owned two. I don't know you or what you do, but if you have any administration experience then you know there is a huge difference between being an administrator and being a supervisor. An Administrator of a business has to handle personnel decisions, budgeting, deciding the direction of the business as whole, and how to best interact and please its customers (AKA Citizens of Richmond County). A supervisor (Which is all Silas & Pebbles are or ever have been) only has to figure out how to get the job done that the administrator has given them. I am especially concerned with the budget experience since we are talking about Richmond County, a place where money is tight even in good economic times and we are not in good times right now. What is the Sheriff's office budget, $50 million? Now I know it is only my opinion but I think a budget that size should be trusted to somebody who has more experience then balancing a check book on $30K a year. (Before you get all offended by that comment, it is from Silas’s mouth at the West Augusta Forum)

As far as other experience, I believe he has more Law Enforcement experience then Silas's main backer Charlie Webster did when he took office and it's a whole lot more current then Freddie's 30 years ago. Now if you would like to debate if Webster was a good Sheriff or not even with his limited Law Enforcement experience we can get into that.

Riverman1
70573
Points
Riverman1 06/21/12 - 03:31 pm
0
0

Scott Peebles Supports Obama or Not???

Let's cut to the chase here. I've heard lots of flak both ways about Scott Peebles' support of Obama. Some say it's not true. I'd like to ask, right now, once and for all, for anyone who can speak for Peebles or him, since he supported Obama in the past from his statements, does he or doesn't he support Obama now? Clear this up, once and for all.

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