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The Daily Free Press Year xlii. Volume lxxxiii. Issue LV [ Wednesday, December 12, 2012 The Independent Student Newspaper at Boston University ] Frank leaves behind legacy of liberalism as term ends GNH petition gets hundreds of student signatures, support PHOTO BY ABIGAIL LIN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, pictured here speaking at the Boston Freedom Rally on Sep. 15, leaves behind a strong liberal legacy in Massachussetts. By Sydney L. Shea Daily Free Press Staff When Barney Frank joined Congress in 1981, he had still not openly come out as a gay man. In fact, equal marriage rights for LGBT citizens during the Reagan administration, or what political scientists call a conservative revolution, would not even begin to pass until after the turn of the century. Although there are still obstacles for liberal views on legal issues such as reproductive rights, marriage equality and equal-pay laws, Frank said people opposed to equal rights are dwindling. “I think we will establish complete equality for people,” he said in an interview with The Daily Free Press. “I believe strongly in personal freedom.” The U.S. Congressman, who represents Massachusetts’ fourth district, said he had first been inspired to enter the political arena as a young adult. “My civil rights activism started when I was in college,” Frank said. “I was supportive of all reproductive rights, gay rights and free speech.” He said he began his political career as an assistant to former Boston Mayor Kevin White, but when he entered Congress he became “very, very active again.” During his time on Capitol Hill, Frank’s accomplishments as a Democratic representative included his repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” economic policies such as the 2008 bailout during the U.S. financial crisis and the founding of the National Stonewall Democrats, an organization that advocates for LGBT rights. Although not all states agree on equal marriage rights, Frank said the U.S. has still been improving in terms of support for civil rights, noting the reelection of President Barack Obama, who endorsed such rights as same-sex marriage in May. “I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made,” he said. Frank, who married his partner Jim Ready in July, will be succeeded by another newlywed, Joe Kennedy III, in 2013. “For over three decades, Congressman Barney Frank has represented the fourth district of Massachusetts with skill, tenacity and an unparalleled commitment to his constituents,” he said in a statement to the Free Press. “He is a crusader for social justice, a tireless advocate for the people and businesses of this district, and a dear friend and mentor. I am honored to follow in his footsteps.” Political science professors at Boston University said that after Frank leaves Congress, certain liberal public sentiments will continue to increase among young voters, but challenges remain for equality in civil rights. Douglas Kriner, who teaches political science, said one of the most significant differences between Frank’s 1981 debut in Congress and 2012 has been a major nationwide shift toward LGBT support. “In the 1980s when Congressman Frank entered Congress, I can’t imagine anyone would really wonder about gay marriage or gay members of the military openly serving as such,” he awards. If the NIH cut its grants to BU by even a significant portion of the 8.2 percent cut it faces, BU would lose millions of dollars in research grant money. Leaders of various universities, hospitals, advocacy groups and other potentially affected parties are advocating a compromise be reached in D.C. BU President Robert Brown co-signed a letter to U.S. Sen. Scott Brown with other Massachusetts university presidents and medical center leaders on Nov. 14. In the letter, the leaders said it was important to the Commonwealth’s economy that research funding not be cut. “The federal dollars we receive have a return far beyond their initial investment, acting as a significant magnet for private sector dollars that spur job creation in Massachusetts and beyond,” the leaders wrote. Leaders cited statistics from the American Association for the Advancement of Science Hundreds of Boston University students are rallying behind Gender Neutral BU’s efforts to make gender-neutral housing a top priority for the administration for the 2012–13 academic year. More than 1,600 students signed an online petition on posted by Gender Neutral BU, an advocacy group recently created by students, as of Tuesday night. The petition implores the administration to make genderneutral housing an option for fall 2013. Student Government officials announced Sunday the BU administration indefinitely halted the gender-neutral housing initiative after it was approved for an unspecified future date. “This action represents a deliberate violation of the commitments made by administration officials to implement Gender Neutral Housing as an option for students by fall 2013,” the petition stated. Swanson Ninan, a representative of Gender Neutral BU, said the petition is a collaborative effort. “The petition came about Monday night at the open action planning meeting hosted by the CGSA,” Ninan, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said in an email. “Members of the CGSA, Student Government and many other non-affiliated students came together to write the petition as a way to demonstrate to the BU administration why the issue of Gender Neutral Housing should be a priority.” BU spokesman Colin Riley said there is great demand for proximity to campus and that housing for transfer students. These concerns are taking precedent over phasing in genderinclusive housing options for the 2012–13 academic year. Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore said in an interview Monday with The Daily Free Press that the gender-neutral housing proposal remains under review by the administration and that BU has to address a number of more pressing housing issues, including keeping freshmen out of Danielsen Hall, offering more housing options for transfer students and establishing Kilachand Hall. “What we had decided to do is to look at the important aspects about how we assign students here on campus and the room selection process,” Elmore said. Elmore said the administration’s support of the LGBTQA’s student population and the administration’s housing priorities are different issues. “We look a those in different ways,” he said. “We have to think of how we support our students. LGBTQA has one separate [set of] stu- Fiscal Cliff, see page 4 GNH, see page 4 Frank, see page 4 Looming ‘fiscal cliff’ threatens BU’s research funding, officials say By Chris Lisinski Daily Free Press Staff Should Congress fail to avoid going over the looming “fiscal cliff,” Boston University and other research institutions around the country will see significant negative repercussions, from cuts to federal research funding, BU officials said. The fiscal cliff threatens federal research funding, as this funding is discretionary spending, said Jennifer Grodsky, vice president for BU Federal Relations in D.C. “The way sequestration [scheduled funding cuts] works, financial aid funding like [Federal] Pell Grants are protected,” she said. “It’s discretionary funding that’s being threatened … The concern by BU and all research universities is that this fiscal cliff, which would have an across the board cut of about 8.2 percent, is going to impact all of those research grants as well.” A number of tax cuts are due to expire on Dec. 31, the same time spending cuts are to take place. If the government were to fail in reaching a compromise on new legislation, taxes would raise about $500 billion and spending would be cut about $200 billion. Grodsky said all federal agencies for discretionary funding, including those that give research grants to universities such as BU, would see an 8.2 percent cut were Congress not to reach a compromise by the Dec. 31 deadline. “The NIH [National Institutes of Health] itself, for example, its budget would drop by 8.2 percent and they’d have to decide how they’re going to do that,” Grodsky said. “Do they cut intramural programs out of the NIH, do they cut grants that have already gone out to universities, do they cut grants they intended to put out but haven’t yet? It’s unclear but those agencies will see an 8.2-percent cut.” BU receives research grants from a number of federal organizations, most notably the NIH, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy, Grodsky said. For the 2012 fiscal year, BU received $44,580,745 from 121 awards from NIH, according to NIH statistics. The BU Medical Campus received $116,030,729 from 241 By Chris Lisinski Daily Free Press Staff City officials, bike advocates seek increased bike safety throughout Boston By Zoe Roos Daily Free Press Staff PHOTO BY HEATHER GOLDIN/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF A number of advocates and city officials are calling for a safer biking environment in Boston. In response to a series of biking accidents that have taken place in 2012, city officials and local advocates seek to improve bike safety and education as Boston’s biking culture grows with initiatives such as Hubway and an increasing number of bike lanes. Dec. 6 marked the fifth biking fatality in the city, after 23-year-old Boston University first-year graduate student Christopher Weigl was struck and killed on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Saint Paul’s Street by a tractor-trailer truck. The accident follows another fatality in the BU community, in which BU student ChungWei Yang was killed in the Nov. 12 incident involving a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus. Both incidents are still under investigation, said Boston Police Department officer James Kenneally. City Councilor At-Large Felix Arroyo, of Jamaica Plain, expressed his condolences for the victims of accidents, and the need to improve the biking infrastructure throughout the city. “My thoughts and prayers have been with the family and friends of this young man [Christopher Weigl],” Arroyo said. “This tragedy re-emphasizes the importance of making our streets safe for cyclists. I look forward to continuing to work with Councilor Pressley and the administration to improve our infrastructure and make our streets safer.” City councilors discussed the tragedy at a previously scheduled bike safety hearing in city hall later on the same day Weigl was killed. City Councilors At-Large Ayanna Pressley, of Dorchester, and Arroyo called the hearing. During the hearing, Pressley said she has high hopes for improving biking in Boston. “We want Boston to be the safest bicycling city in the country,” she said in a recording “We SEE FULL STORY ONLINE


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