Hahn, ‘we have a problem’


Sarah Lentz, Opinion Editor

hahnmageddon2Graphic by Laura Anderson

We’ve all seen the amazing piece of American cinema that is “Armageddon,” right? Of course, it’s amazing. It stars Bruce Willis as a rough-and-tumble oil driller who gets tapped by NASA to save the world by drilling into an asteroid, depositing a nuke into the center and blowing that rock to smithereens before it hits Earth and wipes out the entire planet. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got Ben Affleck, Steve Buscemi and Billy Bob Thornton helping him.

If you’re foggy on the finer plot points, there’s a series of tragedies that befall our heroes. First, they have to refuel at the Russian Space Station, but the technology isn’t up to snuff, so Affleck accidentally destroys it in a rocket fuel accident.

To make matters worse, debris takes out one of the two shuttles, causing Willis’ shuttle to overshoot its landing. And their communication links go down so they have no way to talk to an increasingly worried Thornton.


So why are we talking about the movie that got robbed of Best Picture in 1998?
Oddly enough, there are clear comparisons to be drawn between “Armageddon” and Wayne State College.


The drillers (Willis, Affleck, et al) are kind of like the administration. They’ve both got team members new to the task at hand. Where Willis and company are Earth-bound oil drillers before becoming space-conquering heroes, WSC has a brand new president and will soon have a brand new vice president of academic affairs.

The administration has to do what they think is best to get us through the year. Willis and his team have to do what they think is right to save humanity.
Finals week is approaching as fast as the asteroid that threatens to take out the planet.


Throughout the movie, Willis and his team aren’t alone.


They’ve got Thornton waiting on bated breath to find out if Earth will live to see another day. But, if you haven’t seen the movie, you might be wondering why NASA can’t talk to their own astronauts.
A little mishap occurs while the team is refueling their shuttles before they even make it to the asteroid. The group docks at the Russian Space Station, which can be a metaphor for WSC’s attitude towards technology.


The equipment in the space station is outdated. This causes a chain reaction that sets off the series of disasters that plague the protagonists. We’ve been noticing some increasing technological issues of our own.

If you look at our computer labs versus other colleges of our size, WSC looks a little shabby. Yes, we have the fancy new Papercut printers, but they have their own issues. Shabby is ok—we’re not asking for million-dollar facilities—but it’s something to keep in mind.

There is a definite aversion to the use of laptops in many of the classes on campus, thus keeping our educations in the academic days of yore. We’re coming on a time when most of the college freshmen coming into WSC will have had their own laptops furnished by their primary education providers all through high school, if not middle and elementary school as well.

If professors continue to ban laptops, those students will go from having a vital educational tool at their disposal to basically going back to the dark ages. We know the justification is that students may stop paying attention in class or distract their classmates, but we hate that excuse, and it’s one not used at other colleges and universities.

This is a higher level of education that demands more from the students. As students, if you don’t pay attention in class, that’s on you.

The same goes for not getting distracted by web browsing or your neighbor’s computer screen.

That leads us to believe that the only thing the powers-that-be really care about is that every student attains high grades and/or test scores so that WSC can claim to be an extremely academically-high achieving college.

Fair enough. That’s what we should be striving for anyway, but if laptops are being banned because they’re a “distraction,” then that is aiding in stripping any accountability from the students who are here to learn valuable lessons, like accountability, for instance. Or, it means WSC hasn’t embraced the 21st century. Neither one is excusable.

And finally, we have this new policy that the Financial Aid Office won’t take card payments on location or over the phone. We’re waiting to hear why that decision was made, and we’re sure there’s a good reason, but not being able to use cards in-office (cards being the new “normal” form of payment) is a technological step backwards, much like the Russian Space Station.


All of these setbacks in the film lead to poor Billy Bob stuck down on Earth with no one explaining what’s going on. There’s a time where he’s just blindly praying the team makes it to the asteroid and do the job.

If you remember, if Willis Drill Team is a metaphor for the administration, then the student body is Thornton. Come on Wildcats, who among us hasn’t compared themselves to Billy Bob Thornton before?


WSC is seeing a lot of major changes lately and we continue to see less communication from the administration than ever before, at least in all the years most of us have been here.


In “Armageddon,” eventually the communication lines open back up and NASA and asteroid team can once again work together to accomplish what needs to be done. They find it’s easier and more comforting when they’re communicating.

We’re hoping, just like in the movie, communication lines between the administration and the student body will open up again. We’ve been (in our opinion, wrongly) criticized in the past for targeting the “big-bad administration,” but that’s not our intention, nor has it ever been.

Our intention is to work with the administration to help ourselves and the student body to process the changes around us so we can crush our own asteroid that is this academic year.