Wow. What different viewpoints. Makes you wonder how that comes about. Are the differences because of different ideals about what AiKiDo should be about or different experiences with and understanding of favoritism.
I think you'll find similar viewpoints in the "Responsibilities: Teacher's or Students" thread, which may suggest that there are differences as what the responsibilities of a "teacher" are and what the responsibilities of a "student" are. I also suspect that different people have different ideas of what "favoritism" is, and as a result how serious or whimsical it is for an instructor to have favorites. Then, everyone has their own personal preferences about what works best for them to add into the mix.