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The Daily Free Press Year xliii. Volume lxxxiv. Issue XXII NEUTRAL ZONE GN BU continues to press for gender-neutral housing, page 3. [ Tuesday, February 26, 2013 The Independent Student Newspaper at Boston University WHATCHA DRINKIN’ Study examines popular alcoholic drinks of underage drinkers, page 5. ] CLINCHED WEATHER Women’s Hockey captures top spot in Hockey East, page 8. Today: Partly cloudy/High 42 Tonight: Light snow late/Low 35 Tomorrow: 41/39 Data Courtesy of Israel Peace Week kicks off with youth music concert After filing papers, Sean Bielat backs out of Senate race By Margaret Waterman Daily Free Press Staff To kick off 2013’s Israel Peace Week, members of Boston University Students for Israel hosted Heartbeat, an Israeli-Palestinian youth music community, Monday evening. About 90 students, professors and community members gathered at BU Central in the George Sherman Union to attend the group’s showing, which BUSI co-president Rachel DuShey said was a gathering of music and love. “The message of this group perfectly coincides with my personal message and the message of the series Israel Peace Week, which is coexistence,” she said. “We’re focusing on social efforts at coexistence and grassroots efforts as opposed to lofty political goals.” DuShey, a College of Communication junior, said while people often talk about a need for peace, it cannot exist unless it begins at a basic level. “People talk about local borders all the time, they talk about wrong moves that the Israeli government is making, wrong moves that the Palestinian governments are making,” she said. “But it’s all about the people in the end and what the people choose to do.” Leora Kaufman, BUSI co-president and COM junior, said she discovered Heartbeat during her gap year in Israel after high By Sophia Goldberg Daily Free Press Contributor not been met with full support across the state as legislators and state officials debate the urgency and lasting impact of the bill. Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement that minimum wage is not a current priority of his — as minimum wage is still above the federal minimum — but that he is still open to the bill. “I support the president,” he said. “We already have one of the highest minimum wages in state law, but I’m willing to look at that.” Ryan Kearney, general counsel at the Retail Association of Massachusetts, said raising the minimum wage could negatively impact small businesses by forcing them to pay more for labor, making it more difficult to stay active. “It puts Massachusetts at a competitive disadvantage,” Kearney said. “So if it has to be done, it should be done at a federal level so we can stay competitive with other states.” Kearney said Massachusetts already has After coming off two losses in previous Congressional elections, Republican businessman Sean Bielat bowed out of the special senate election race Wednesday, striking a blow to an already small republican field with few established candidates. “Over the past few weeks, I have given a lot of consideration and exploration towards running for the U.S. Senate in the Massachusetts special election, but I have made the decision not to run at this time,” Bielat said in a press release Wednesday. Bielat, who was originally reported to be running in the race for John Kerry’s senate seat, said another campaign within three years would be hard on his family. “Running a third campaign in a highprofile race in three years with a one and a two year-old would be particularly difficult on our family,” he said in the release. “The most compelling reason for me to run is for our country’s future and for our children’s futures, but at this point, I hope and I feel that I can do the most for our children simply by spending more time with them.” Bielat ran in the 2010 U.S. House of Representatives election and lost to incumbent Barney Frank. He ran for the seat again in 2012 against Joseph Kennedy III, but lost. Tim Buckley, communications director for the Massachusetts Republican Party, said even without Bielat in the race, there will be great Republican candidates on the ballot. “I don’t think Bielat’s decision not to run hurt the Republican Party at all,” he said. “We have three fantastic candidates, Gabriel Gomez, Michael Sullivan, and Dan Winslow. Three very solid candidates who will all very likely be on the ballot. And whoever emerges from the Republican side is going to be a breath of fresh air.” Mass. Rep. Daniel Winslow kicked off his campaign Feb. 8 as the first declared Republican candidate. Former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez announced Feb. 11 that he would run as well. Former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan said Feb. 14 that he was collecting the signatures needed to be included in the primary. Samantha Hooper, press secretary for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said the Minimum Wage, see page 4 Bielat, see page 2 SARAH FISHERDAILY FREE PRESS STAFF Heartbeat, an Israeli-Palestinian youth music group, performed at BU Central on its first American tour Monday school. “Coexistence through music is such a human thing,” she said. “That was really the highlight of the event, that we could get together and forget our political ideologies for a minute and just enjoy something.” Kaufman said Heartbeat’s membership is constantly in flux, but about half Israeli and half Palestinian. Although they were invited, BU Students for Justice in Palestine members did not make an appearance at the concert, Kaufman said. “I do wish that the Students for Justice in Palestine could have come because that would have really started some dialogue on our campus,” she said. “If we have a similar event in the future we’ll really put an emphasis on them coming. We did invite them, but they didn’t accept this time.” Israel, see page 2 Proposed minimum wage in Mass. to reach $11/hour By Jenna Lavin Daily Free Press Contributor Massachusetts legislators are considering a bill that, if passed, would gradually increase the minimum wage to $11/hour over the next three years — an even more ambitious wage increase than that proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama. Massachusetts’s minimum wage is one of the highest in the country, but state legislators are concerned that $8 is insufficient to cover the growing costs of living in the Northeast, particularly in the winter. Mass. Sen. Marc Pacheco is one of the leaders pushing for this wage increase — the first since 2008. “It needs to be fixed nationally,” he said in a statement Wednesday. “But we are long overdue to increase the minimum wage here in Massachusetts.” Massachusetts law already mandates that the state minimum wage must be at least 10 cents higher than the federal minimum due to the Commmonwealth’s high cost of living. This would ensure a wage increase should Obama’s $9 minimum be accepted. Massachusetts American Federation of Labor and Congress of International Organzations Legislative and Communications Director Tim Sullivan said a minimum wage raise is long overdue regardless of federal wage minimums. “A law [increasing the minimum wage] hasn’t been passed since 2006, and the cost of everything has continued to go up,” he said. “It is long past time for a raise in the minimum wage.” Sullivan said a wage increase could also be beneficial for businesses “We believe strongly that [the increased minimum wage] positively impacts small, local businesses,” he said. “The more money working class people have, the more money they have to spend in these small businesses.” The dramatic wage increase proposal has Student Government members voice support of later MBTA weekend hours By Rachel Riley Daily Free Press Staff MADISON FRANCOIS/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF College of Arts and Sciences freshman Saurabh Mahajan, director of advocacy for Student Government, fields questions about the proposal of extended MBTA hours at the SG meeting Monday night. Student Government members passed a proposal Monday stating the student body’s support of a section of a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority extension plan dealing with improvements to the T. The proposal urges Massachusetts legislators to consider funding an extension of T service hours on Friday and Saturday nights from midnight to 2 a.m., said SG Director of Advocacy and spokesman Saurabh Mahajan. “What we have in front of us is a plan from the Massachusetts State Governor [Deval Patrick]’s office, but it’s not a bill,” Mahajan, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman, said. SG’s proposal is essentially a statement of support of Patrick’s “The Way Forward: A 21st Century Transportation Plan,” specifically the “State of Good Repairs” section of the plan, which discusses improvements to Boston’s subway system, Mahajan said. Although the section does not specifically mention an extension of T hours, the proposal urges Massachusetts’s legislators to consider this as part of improvements. Mahajan said extension of T hours provides a necessary service for student safety. “The T is a safe, affordable and reliable way to get home for students,” he said. SG Vice President Lauren LaVelle said the transportation plan is an opportunity for SG to assist in improving the city of Boston. “We saw an opportunity to do something in the real world, to do something on a larger scale,” LaVelle, a School of Management junior, said. “We can leave a legacy here that has bigger implications than Boston University.” SG officials hope to work with student body governments at other universities to issue a similar statement from multiple supporters, including Harvard University and Simmons College, Mahajan said. “Fellow student governments in the Boston area, they are going to look at the same resolution and do what we just did today, and SG, see page 4

February 26th Daily Free Press

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