ROYAL PONCHOS hi 43° | lo THURSDAY 28° december 1, 2011 t h e i n de pe n de n t s t u de n t n e w spa pe r of s y r acuse , n e w yor k INSIDENEWS INSIDEOPINION INSIDEPULP INSIDESPORTS Backing Boeheim Students express support for Hick-up George Hicker, trustee and Too hot to handle Find out which kinds of hot Win or go home Syracuse looks to snap its four- coach Boeheim following Tuesday’s charged press conference.Page 3 former men’s basketball player, regrets offending anyone with his statements. Page 4 chocolate to warm up with this winter and which ones will leave you out in the cold. Pages 12-13 game losing streak and earn bowl eligibility on the road Saturday against Pittsburgh. Page 24 Urban affairs m e n ’s b a s k e t b a l l Judge may clear Melo after 1 year Lifelong educator to turn around struggling district By Jon Harris ASST. NEWS EDITOR Syracuse University sophomore center Fab Melo’s charge of fourthdegree criminal mischief will be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for one year, said City Court Judge Stephen Dougherty in domestic violence court Wednesday. Melo, 21, was accused of reaching through the driver’s side window of his then-girlfriend’s 2003 Chevrolet Impala and breaking the turn signal control arm during an argument on May 30 in the 300 block of Slocum Heights. The case had been postponed five times, dating back to when Melo made his first appearance in court June 29. The case was the first called when court convened at about 1:30 p.m. It took less than four minutes for the SEE MELO PAGE 8 Students hold protest against police brutality By Sarah Schuster STAFF WRITER Cries of “Hey ho, hey ho! Police brutality has to go!” could be heard from the steps of Hendricks Chapel on Wednesday afternoon as about 50 students, faculty and Syracuse residents rallied together to protest against police brutality. The demonstration was organized by three graduate students and the Syracuse Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition in response to a recent event at the University of California-Davis. Police officers used pepper spray at close range against a group of students during a peaceful Occupy UC Davis protest, sparking a SEE POLICE BRUTALITY PAGE 10 By Stephanie Bouvia I When he served as chair of the Student Life Committee, Casey made MayFest his personal project. He said one of his goals was to get the event to a point where they could pass it to University Union, as SA does not technically function as a programming body. “We’ve seen enormous success in the first two years of this program,” Casey said. “We’ve seen a great relationship built between the Student Association and University Union in creating that day. We’ve really strengthened a lot of relationships with administration on it and with the city of Syracuse.” Others in SA felt Casey’s greatest achievement was reaching 100 percent student representation in the general assembly. “I didn’t think that we would SEE CASEY PAGE 8 SEE CONTRERAS PAGE 7 brandon weight | staff photographer NEAL CASEY, outgoing Student Association president, counts reaching 100 percent student representation in the general assembly as one of his biggest accomplishments during the 55th session. Results are in Student Association president takes pride in turning organization into one based on growth By Casey Fabris W STAFF WRITER hen Neal Casey first began his campaign to become president of Student Association, he came with big ideas. They were as varied as making SA a more results-based organization to revamping MayFest. As his term comes to a close, SA cabinet members agree that, though Casey came in with big ideas, they were ones he was able to accomplish. “I’ve known Neal since freshman year, and he’s not a guy who likes to leave things unfinished,” said Jeff Rickert, SA comptroller. “One thing that I would say from working with him over the past year is that I think he set many goals that were ambitious but attainable, which is something that a lot of SA presidents haven’t done because it’s easy to get starry-eyed and set lofty goals.” Some of Casey’s biggest accomplishments include reaching 100 percent student representation in the general assembly, revamping MayFest and turning SA into an organization that measures itself based on results. But Casey came up short on the smoke-free campus initiative, which he spoke to SA about in March 2010. Casey said one of his accomplishments is the MayFest overhaul. In previous years, MayFest was a much smaller event that often caused tension between SU students, university administration and residents, as it functioned as more of a disorganized weekend of partying, said Jessica Cunnington, SA vice president. ASST. COPY EDITOR n the wake of her first 100 days on the job, Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras plans to implement reforms and revitalize a district that graduates 50 percent of its 21,000 students — 75 percent of whom are not proficient in English or math. Upon taking the new position, Contreras developed a 100-day entry plan that started July 1 and ended Monday. The plan mostly consisted of learning about the different challenges the district faces as well as the hopes and dreams of the district’s future, she said. “My first 100 days were about listening and learning,” Contreras said. To do this, Contreras said she reached out to Syracuse University, Syracuse Say Yes to Education, the Syracuse Board of Education, Syracuse commissioners, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and the New York State Department of Education, among others. Richard Strong, school board president, said the Syracuse City School District was revered for its student performance in the 1970s and 1980s. But now, the district is struggling with poor performance, poor staff management and low funding, he said. Strong said the district is a $400 million operation. “Compared to our suburbanite relatives, we are under funded,” he said. More than 90 percent of the students in the district are eligible for a reduced-price school lunch, Strong said. Strong described Syracuse as an “immigrant city.” The students in the district are made of more than 20 nationalities. Strong said 50 percent of the students are black, 38 percent are white and English is the second language for 8 to 10 percent of the students.