Page 1




M O N DA Y BREAKF AST: Acai bowl



LUNCH: Veggie tac o


n Hall)

DINNER: Veggie bu rger (Bert’s)

VOLUME 67 NO. 24



THE STRUGGLES OF A VEGAN LIFESTYLE ON CAMPUS Students express concerns over Campus Dining & Shops’ vegan options





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BR EA Oa KFAS tm T: e

ov a e r nor l s)


Bl LUN a ck b CH: (T ean i b u rge r ) oom

ffin R


(Be & J rts )



Cesar Ramirez went four years without consuming dairy. He believes the industry is destroying the planet and abusing cows. But after one week at UB, the freshman was eating cheese pizza. “There was a time when I realized that if I didn’t eat dairy, I was going to starve,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t see any other options at first. I started eating pizza for a bit, but at some point I did regain my strength and self-control to stop that.” Ramirez, a biochemical engineering major, became an ovo-vegetarian four years ago avoiding all animal products — except eggs — for most of high school. But that changed when he came to UB. He sacrificed his dietary lifestyle because of what he called the “lack of options” at UB’s Crossroads Culinary Center, or C3. “This shouldn’t happen at a school as big as UB,” Ramirez said. “They say this is a very diverse school and I’m sure they’re taking into account the number of people from various different ethnic backgrounds. But they’re not taking into account the people with various different diet needs. “What if there’s someone who can’t have any dairy due to allergies? What are they going to do when they walk into the dining hall and their only option is rice?” (Governors)

LUNCH: Tofu bowl

DINNER: Veggie burger

(Harriman Hall)

(Guac N’ Roll)


R: NE own DIN your ild asta s) p chio


H: p NC LU n sou ea s) 7 B (Bert


Ramirez isn’t the only one asking questions. Other vegan and vegetarian students are raising concerns about Campus Dining & Shops’ vegan options. Many students insist that UB’s dining halls lack substantial vegan choices, as UB does not offer an all-vegan station in any of the facilities. Several vegan students also believe that some products labeled vegan are not. UB students gave the campus a 33 percent student satisfaction rating on PETA’s Vegan Report Card website. UB has an overall letter grade of “A” on the website, which was either decided by Campus Dining & Shops or a UB student correspondent. Still, the lower student satisfaction rating indicated that students found the options unsatisfactory. This may mean students don’t like the taste or don’t find the option satisfactory to their lifestyle, said Hannah Kinder, a PETA College Outreach Coordinator. Kinder, who supervises the 1,400 schools PETA surveys, said when schools like UB are graded highly in terms of offerings, it’s still important to work to improve student satisfaction. “We are simply looking to see if the schools have vegan options available to students, we are not rating their tastiness; however, students are able to say they are unsatisfied with the options available,” Kinder said. “Both of these serve to help direct schools in a positive direction. If our grade is low, they know where they can work to improve. If our grade is high but student satisfaction is low, there is still work to be done.” Campus Dining & Shops still believes it has made “vast improvements” in vegan offerings, said Lori Bendersky, a registered dietician and the manager of Campus Dining & Shops’ Nutrition Program. Bendersky’s job entails providing guidance and education to students with special dietary needs. “Our chefs have focused on increasing the amount of vegan options on campus based on student feedback,” Bendersky said. Several vegan and vegetarian students are unsatisfied with these “improvements.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


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P E TA ’ S “ V E G A N R E P O RT C A R D ”


R: DINNE n : cor Hot boxzles) (Wrap

it U

: LUNCH PB & J p) (Berts

FAST: BREAK wl Acai bo)



UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO GRADED: A STUDENT SATISFACTION: 33% • Does not offer an all vegan station in dining halls.

SUNY NEW PALTZ GRADED: A+ STUDENT SATISFACTION: 89% • Offers an all vegan station in dining halls.

SUNY GENESEO GRADED: A+ STUDENT SATISFACTION: 83% • Offers an all vegan station in dining halls. COVER DESIGN / PIERCE STRUDLER


Page 2 | The Spectrum





Monday, November 20, 2015


Jesse Williams participates in Q&A session as part of UB Distinguished Speakers Series Williams discusses his acting career, social justice activism and the importance of self-care MADDY FOWLER EDITORIAL EDITOR

Jesse Williams has come a long way from the young man with a “superb” afro stringing together jobs in corporate law, acting in commercials and waiting tables to make ends meet. An energetic crowd packed Alumni Arena Saturday night, abuzz with chatter and letting out excited squeals even before Williams, an actor and activist best known for his portrayal of Jackson Avery on “Grey’s Anatomy,” stepped onto the stage. SA President Leslie Veloz introduced Williams and Nanette Coleman, Q&A moderator, UB alumna and SA’s first African American president. Veloz said the entire lecture would be in Q&A format in order to facilitate “difficult discussions” about race and social inequality. Williams never set out to be an actor. After college, he spent a lot of time “meandering” in different fields, trying to afford rent in New York City. He picked up a few roles in commercials and worked on student films as a way to make money. He never thought it would turn into a career. Williams planned to pursue a career in law. He studied and took the LSAT but decided to give acting a shot for 18 months to two years. If it didn’t work out for him, he would go to law school. His first serious acting job was a role in “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.” It didn’t pay well, and after going to glamourous premieres and being in a big time Hollywood film, Williams had nothing to show for it financially. In a humbling moment, he went


Actor and activist Jesse Williams spoke in Alumni Arena Saturday night as part of the 31st annual UB Distinguished Speakers series. He discussed his "meandering" journey into television acting and his experiences with social justice activism.

back to waiting tables to pay his bills. “I kept learning as a 20-something to juggle ego and expectations,” Williams said. Williams’ television acting career started with small roles on “Law and Order” before landing the role of Jackson Avery on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Williams was originally slated to appear for two episodes, but his performance was so strong he became a series regular. Williams discussed the role diversity plays in the show, and how it demonstrates the humanity and complexity of black, brown and LGBTQ people without being “preachy.” “I picked that show because people are able to be human beings,” Williams said. “Black, brown, LGBTQ folks are able to exist and not have to be demonstrably so,


not have to constantly be in a pageant or a trope, or either a thug or a hero.” Williams believes there’s a “big lie” in corporate America that films and television shows with white leads are more profitable. White industry moguls use this lie to cover up their racism by claiming their failure to cast diverse actors is a business decision, according to Williams. “But what’s proven to be true is the more diverse a movie is, the more money it makes. Full stop,” Williams said. “It’s a lie that movies need to be white. The more black and brown people you have in things, the more money it makes.” Activism has always been a part of Williams’ life. He grew up in an activist

household. Political organization meetings were held in his parents’ living room. Williams was raised to stand up for social equality. He started engaging in activism during his time at Temple University. While Williams is grateful to have a large platform to express his views and advocate for social justice, he does not think everyone with a large platform has a responsibility to speak out. “I don’t demand that of others, I don’t think that’s fair,” Williams said. “And sometimes people can do more harm than good by opening their mouth.” Williams also addressed the importance of self-care. He said it is something he still struggles with, especially after two bouts of getting “extremely burnt out.” He recently started transcendental meditation which he does twice a day and goes to therapy. “I love therapy,” Williams said. “It’s kind of an unusual way to describe it, but it’s like a hallucinogen. It opens up the world for me and allows me to work to my best potential.” He said the most powerful self-care tool he can use is simply saying “no.” “You know, saying no and not having to please other folks and just making some time for yourself,” Williams said. Williams is ultimately optimistic about the future of diversity in the entertainment industry, but that doesn’t mean he will stop advocating for what he believes in. “I absolutely feel hopeful and positive and I can do that while also being a button pusher and a disrupter and someone who holds their feet to the fire at every turn,” Williams said. The next speaker in this year’s 31st annual Distinguished Speaker Series will be Ambassador Susan Rice, former national security adviser for President Obama. She will present UB’s 42nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration keynote address on Feb. 28. email:

Start your week off right and go to Mass!

The Newman Center 495 Skinnersville Road Amherst, NY 14228 Saturdays: 5PM Sundays: 9AM, 10:30AM Student Mass: 6:30PM Daily Mass: Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays at 12PM

Free Dinners: Wednesday Night’s beginning at 6PM (Check the UB Newman Center Facebook for more information)

St. Joseph University Parish 3269 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14214 Saturdays: 4:30PM Sundays: 8:30AM, 10AM, 11:30AM Student Mass: 8PM


Daily Mass: 8:30AM (Parish Center Chapel)

Proud Supporter of UB Basketball


Monday, November 20, 2015

Editorial Board EDITOR IN CHIEF

Hannah Stein


David Tunis-Garcia Maggie Wilhelm EDITORIAL EDITOR


Dan McKeon, Chief Saqib Hossain Emma Medina NEWS EDITOR

Sarah Crowley, Senior FEATURES EDITOR

Max Kalnitz, Senior ARTS EDITORS

Benjamin Blanchet, Senior Brenton Blanchet SPORTS EDITORS

Thomas Zafonte, Senior Danny Petruccelli Jeremy Torres, Asst. MULTIMEDIA EDITORS

Troy Wachala, Senior Allison Staebell, Senior CREATIVE DIRECTORS

Pierce Strudler Arielle Channin, Asst. Alyssa Brouillet, Asst. CARTOONIST





The Spectrum | Page 3


UB should have a health facility on North Campus UB’s only student health care facility, Michael Hall, is located on South Campus. But six times as many students live on North Campus than South. South was UB’s original campus before North Campus was built. It would have been inconvenient to create a new facility on North Campus, so Health Services remains in Michael Hall, an outdated facility that does not have an elevator and is therefore not accessible for students with disabilities. North Campus residents who get sick have to either take a bus or drive to South Campus. But when you’re ill, you may not have the energy or even the ability to get yourself on a bus or drive. And students who have contagious illnesses could end up spreading their sickness to other students on the bus. Students usually don’t think about how they’re going to access healthcare until it’s too late and they’re already sick. Many students who have never lived on their own may not know how to take care

of themselves yet and may feel at a loss in terms of where to seek treatment. Is a cold worth a trip to the doctor? At what point are you sick enough where you have to go to urgent care or the ER? It would be helpful for Health Services to clarify what types of illness or injury are beyond their scope and what type of treatment would be appropriate, and then provide information on the closest urgent cares and hospitals as well as information on transportation to these facilities. MASH Urgent Care provides a shuttle from UB to one of their facilities. However, most Spectrum editors were unaware that this service is provided. One editor specifically tried to find if there was transportation available to urgent care, but ended up having to pay for a cab because a Google search and review of UB’s website did not yield any results. We have watched UB invest millions of dollars in aesthetic projects to impress donors and prospective students while the stu-

dents who are here now get their concerns swept under the rug. The TA stipend movement is a perfect example of this. The students who are already here should be UB’s priority. Students who don’t have other insurance have to pay $2,075 per semester for UB insurance. If students are paying that much, they should have access to a convenient, accessible, up-to-date facility. International students have to be on UB insurance and often don’t have cars; in most cases, they have no choice but to use Michael Hall. Vice President for Student Life Scott Weber said UB is going to solicit feedback from students about the lack of a health facility on North next semester. It is important for students to respond to this call for feedback. The fact that there isn’t a health facility on North Campus is partially on administration, but it’s also on students. While student healthcare should be a priority, we need to speak up on important issues if we ever want concrete changes to oc-

cur. If administrators don’t realize that students want a healthcare facility on North Campus, they aren’t going to invest money in it. Students get busy attending classes, studying, working and participating in extracurricular activities and probably don’t think about access to health care very often — until they get sick and have to deal with the massive inconvenience and at times impossibility of traveling to South Campus while ill. Then they get better and forget about this struggle. So let this serve as a reminder that this is an important issue, even if it doesn’t impact you personally. A healthcare facility on North Campus is long overdue. Students have a chance to make this happen if we speak up — so find that extra five minutes in your schedule to provide feedback next semester and tell administrators that having access to healthcare on North Campus is essential.

pension. It was money my mom needed to help raise us. But my dad never put the paperwork in her name. He was a procrastinator, like me. He left everything in his grandmother’s name. She was nearly 90 years old, fresh off the boat from Spain and the only family member my father truly cared about. He fought his family to keep her out of a home, so she lived with us when I was a kid. She died 10 years before my dad, but he never fixed the paperwork. Like everyone, he either thought he had plenty of time or more likely just never thought of it at all. The money went to her son, my grandfather. The man I would watch “Home Improvement” with at the foot of his La-Z-Boy, who could fix any broken action figure in his basement shop. We thought he and my grandmother would give it to us. That’s what my dad wanted, although he never acted on it. That’s what was fair. Instead, my grandmother hired a lawyer and kept it. With my dad gone and the money tensions looming, my brother and I started visiting my grandparents less. I didn’t know about the money at the time, but it felt natural. The purpose of the Monday dinners was to see our father. It was where we held a makeshift Wrestlemania in the guest bedroom, where I pinned my dad — one-two-three — to take home the World Heavyweight Championship. It’s where I would marvel at his ability to swim the length of the in-ground pool and back on one breath of air and I swore I’d be able to do the same. It was not where my brother and I would sit by ourselves in the basement, watching “Cash Cab” as my grandparents, aunt and uncle chatted upstairs over coffee. With my father gone, the visits felt empty and purposeless. Instead of changing the ritual or visiting us in our house, my grandmother began court proceedings to make visits mandatory. It was a bizarre and painful custody battle, one my father never even put us through. I could see the stress it caused my mother. She had protected us our whole lives from messes like these. Now my brother and I, 10 and 14 at the time, had to tell a law guardian why we didn’t want to see our grandparents anymore. It came to a head that Easter when my brother and I staged a sit-in and refused to take part in an Easter egg hunt. My grandmother

was furious and drove us home. After that, I did not see my grandmother for 10 years. Our only contact became an annual birthday card and Christmas ornaments sent to our house around the holidays. The birthday cards came with $25 checks, yearly reminders of what was taken from me. The ornaments became less relevant to my interests or anything going on in my life as the years passed, reminders that my grandparents had become veritable strangers. I don’t remember what this card said. Something generic about “best wishes” or “much love.” Things more suitable to a Hallmark card purchased for a coworker than your grandchild. What did she hope to accomplish with this empty gesture? I like to think it assuages her guilt to give that yearly pittance. And I couldn’t let her have that. I tore it up and left it on her windshield. I know it was mean. But I don’t feel bad. Not really. Perhaps if the adults around me – specifically my grandparents – had acted more thoughtfully when I was young, I wouldn’t have to resort to passive-aggressive guerilla war tactics to take out 10 years of pent up frustration and anger. I have not attended the annual Garcia-family reunion at Chestnut Ridge since my father died. But the card-rip heard ’round the world gave me a virtual reunion. One of my father’s sisters sent me several, long-winded messages on Facebook that day. My uncle’s wife messaged my sister and mother accusing them of tearing up the card. I immediately messaged her asking that she leave my family alone and stay out of our business. Last month, I was on a train from NYC. I had been at 30 Rockefeller Center pitching film ideas to executives as part of the Pitch NY program. It was a huge moment for me. I was riding high until I received messages from my uncle’s wife calling me “an ungrateful little boy.” She said my father would be ashamed of me and that I would never get any of his money. You know, the money I wasn’t seeing any of anyway. More recriminations came. Mostly my family wanted me to know what a disappointment I was, how sad my dad would be to know what I had become. I think about my dad. The man who gave me life and Johnny Cash. The man who attended the General Mills company picnic with my

mom, her sisters and brother-inlaw and said “if anybody asks, I’m the guy who puts the marshmallows in Lucky Charms.” The man who told my mom he wanted to die since he was 9-yearsold. I cannot say how he would feel about the card stunt. But I feel confident that he would understand. My dad would, I think, be horrified at the way his family has treated us. He’d be stunned that his mother took his money and kept it from his children. He’d be angry at his siblings for harassing rather than helping me. I have no plans to apologize. My grandparents decided 10 years ago that money mattered more than I did. My aunts and uncle decided placating my grandmother was more important than watching me grow up. They never called or tried to be a part of my life or imagined how I felt losing my dad. A part of me will always feel that hurt. But most of me has moved past it. I lack whatever tribal instinct seems to bind these people together. They say you don’t get to pick your family, but what they should say is you don’t get to pick who you are related to. Relatives are your cousins, aunts and uncles. Your family are the people you choose to spend your life with. They are the people who help you. People you can trust. You have to become more mercenary about your life. Take stock of the people who call you family. Ask yourself if they truly are. What do they add to your life? What do they take from you? If they are taking more than they add, then why are they still in your life? Relatives hold blood over your head, expecting you to stand by them for no other reason. Blood is their “get out of jail free card,” the ultimate defense against any issue you raise with them. If they slight you, you are supposed to forgive them. Even if they don’t apologize. Especially if they don’t apologize. They are “family.” I’ve had many family members over the years. Most of them not my blood. There is a word for a creature who latches onto blood and takes from you until there is nothing left. That word is not family. It is a parasite.


Ardi Digap


Helene Polley



Stephen Jean-Pierre Shawn Zhang, Asst.

F is for family Or David’s theory of relativity

THE SPECTRUM Monday, November 20, 2017 Volume 67 Number 24 Circulation 4,000

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I turned 23 this August and received a birthday card from my grandparents. I tore up the card and left it on the windshield of my grandmother’s car. Wait. Let me explain. My father died from alcoholism in the summer of 2007. I was 12-years-old, old enough to remember him kicking a basketballsized dent into my mom’s Ford Escort when we tried to leave the house one night. Old enough to remember watching him pass out face first into his mashed potatoes. Too young to connect any of this to the fact he smelled like the bar he took me and my brother to, waiting for a charter bus to take us to Fantasy Island for the afternoon. My father was a police officer, which partially explains — though not excuses — the drinking. I know he loved us in his way. On his nightly beat, he would drive his patrol car by our house and flash his red and blue lights in the bedroom window my brother and I shared. We would hop out of bed and wave until he passed by. We would sleep over at his house — my childhood home — on weekends. He would take us to the movie theater where I saw “Spider-Man” and “Spy Kids.” But unsupervised visitation became out of the question when my father had an episode while driving me, my brother and sister home one night. He pulled over, shaking and crying. My unlicensed sister had to drive him to the hospital. Our visitation became confined to dinner at my grandparents’ house every Monday. Like all cops, my dad had a


Page 4 | The Spectrum





Monday, November 20, 2015


Women’s Lacrosse team retains recognition SA Senate votes to recognize the team, defers probation status


After a motion to derecognize the Women’s Lacrosse team failed 7-5-4, the SA Senate decided to recognize the team at a meeting Friday night, but deferred the team’s probation status to SA’s Executive Board. An Instagram account linked to the team surfaced in May, resulting in the team’s probation and budget being set to $0. Former Executive Board Vice President Gina Nasca notified the team of their probation in an email May 14. SA Attorney Joshua Korman said he hadn’t seen the case’s evidence until the Senate meeting on Nov. 10. Korman said he spoke with members of last year’s team, including then-rookies and this year’s e-board. Korman felt that the team’s responses were highly positive and included no indication of hazing during the team’s rookie night. Korman couldn’t comment on the authenticity of these responses, but concluded that he had no new evidence to provide to the Senate. He presented his findings before the Senate’s vote. “Evidence was submitted that could potentially establish the following violations of SA rules by the club,” Korman said. “Without limitations to any other rules that might apply; hazing, harassment and unauthorized off the books club event(s) violating at a minimum SA’s policies concerning alcohol at SA’s events.” Korman felt that last year’s e-board acted accordingly by placing the team on probation and revoking their $8,000 budget. He explained that the evidence from the team’s Instagram account gave previous


SA Attorney Joshua Korman addresses members of SA Senate on Friday evening. At that meeting a motion to derecognize the Women’s Lacrosse team failed 7-5-4, the club is now recognized but still on probation pending evaluation from SA’s Executive Board.

leaders more than enough reason to take disciplinary action against the team. “It is my belief that those photos together with the accompanying captions could constitute a sufficient basis for the Senate to derecognize the club for violation of SA rules,” Korman said. “Likewise, I believe that those photos and accompanying captions could have constituted a sufficient basis for other student leaders to place the club on probation or suspension, freeze the club’s budget and/or disallow budget rollover.” Korman expressed that the Senate did not have to derecognize the club and that he left it up to their discretion to ultimately decide the fate of the club. During its meeting on Sept. 29, the Senate unanimously decided to not derecognize the team and with no new evidence, Korman did not feel that it was necessary to change that ruling. Although the team will retain their recognition, Nasca’s decision on their budget

and probation status will remain effective until the current e-board decides to remove them from probation. Janet Austin, senior exercise science major and SA executive board treasurer, explained why the decision is in the e-board’s hands after the Senate voted to recognize the club. “Since all motions by the SA Senate failed –– the motion to resolve Women’s [Lacrosse] of their status and the motion to derecognize –– SA Senate has effectively given the decision to the SA Executive Board,” Austin said. “When we feel it is appropriate we will bring the matter back to Senate to be resolved. Women’s Lacrosse can fully function as a club –– have meetings, events, etc. –– but as the original letter states they are still on probation.” Janet also stated that the club did not meet their 2-2-2-2 requirements from last year and did not qualify for their rollover money. All SA clubs are given the chance to appeal this decision, and if the lacrosse team chooses to, they can present evidence to argue this decision. “The club has a $0 [budget] that was determined and approved by last year’s

Emergency Powers Council,” Austin said. “Since only one track sheet was submitted for Women’s Lacrosse last year, it appears as though they did not meet the requirements to receive their rollover. I have given them the same opportunity as the other clubs to appeal their rollover decision.” Some of the team’s rollover money came from donations from club participants’ family members. Donations of up to $1,000 have been dispersed to other money lines within SA. Jamersin Redfern, SA vice president and senior psychology major, said SA is open to discussing reimbursement and re-donating the money to the current lacrosse team. “If [family members] reached out it would be something we would take care of,” Redfern said. “Basically, we would reimburse them, just because it’s the right thing to do.” The e-board decided the entire team must complete an anti-hazing workshop, reinforcing UB’s zero tolerance policy regarding hazing. After the team completes the course, the e-board will consider taking the team off probation. This will return the team to a normal status after seven months. “There is a culture of hazing with the team in years past and we want to make sure they have proper resources and education,” Austin said. Members of the lacrosse team are happy that the matter is finally coming to an end. Madeleine Carroll, a junior biomedical sciences major and vice president of the Women’s Lacrosse team, wants to put the matter in the past and looks forward to their spring season. “We appreciate both Senate and SA working together the last two weeks to help us work through the miscommunication and problems we were having getting the lacrosse team up and running,” Carroll said. “We are happy with their decision to let us remain an SA club and we look forward to working with SA to come out of this situation a better team overall.” email:

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Michael Hall currently houses Student Health Services on South Campus. The university has had tentative off and on plans to move the medical center to North Campus where most students live.

Michael overhaul Students say Health Services’ South Campus location proves problematic


Michael Hall houses UB’s Student Health Services, a full-service medical clinic available to any student of the university, but it’s located on South Campus, away from most of the on-campus student population. While there have been several plans in the past to move Student Health Services to North Campus, Michael Hall is still the primary medical clinic for many students. The long-proposed move has failed to overcome various budgeting and space issues. With roughly 6,000 students on North Campus and only 1,000 on South Campus, according to John Della Contrada, some feel the clinic would serve students better if located on North Campus. Some are also not satisfied with the quality of current services at Michael Hall. The administration is aware of these concerns. “The university remains committed to facilities on the North Campus that meet the health, wellness and recreation needs of our students,” said Scott Weber, vice president of Student Life in an email. “As we study various options and their funding models to move these ideas forward, we hope to present some options for student input later this academic year.” Director of Student Health Services Susan Snyder described a new medical center located along North Campus’s Academic Spine as a “dream.” UB called off a pro-

posed move to the Richmond Quad in 2011 due to financial concerns over necessary asbestos removal. Another proposed move to Richmond the following year looked more promising. “We looked into opening a location in the old Richmond dining hall space. We were very excited about the plan and we were hoping we could start to move in that direction, but the budget for that plan was very expensive,” Snyder said. “The initial price tag was about $13 million, which would have been a lot for a suboptimal location hidden away in the Ellicott Complex.” The physical structure of Michael Hall – a building Snyder describes as “landlocked” – also presents multiple problems. The building has no elevators, making it not handicap accessible. Most services are limited to the first floor. This restricts Student Health Services from expanding properly. “Ideally, we would expand the lab a little bit, maybe we could move the pharmacy up on to the first floor from the basement,” Snyder said. “We might be able to offer additional services but we are maxed out on space.” Snyder feels the administration understands how “largely beneficial for students” a new North Campus medical facility with space to grow would be. Students have mixed feelings on Michael Hall’s location and services. Ashley Pesano, a senior psychology and

communication major, made the trip down to South Campus after being bed-ridden for four days. She felt Student Health Services was “unfriendly and unhelpful.” “I finally took the bus down to South Campus, and the nurse just asked me like two questions and said ‘here, just get Mucinex D and you’ll be fine,’” Pesano said. “I tried to ask questions about it but no one was friendly and no one was helpful. They basically told me ‘just go to sleep and have chicken soup and orange juice,’ the kind of advice I’d tell a friend but not something you’d expect to hear from a professional.” Snyder has heard complaints similar to these and welcomes them. She explained that many students come looking for a “magic” cure but they often recommend more “self-care stuff.” “I get that that doesn’t feel great,” Snyder said. “You came in looking for something that would cure you.” Typical appointments with Student Health Services last roughly 20 minutes as part of an effort to “not waste the students’ time.” Snyder said that sometimes because of this, the patient education side of the visit may be “regrettably short changed.” Haleigh Morgan, a junior English major, said she appreciated the speediness of Michael Hall. “I called the morning I woke up feeling sick and they were able to get me an appointment scheduled a couple hours later,” Morgan said. “They didn’t make me wait very long or anything and they were all pretty nice.” Both Morgan and Pesano felt the South Campus location was detrimental to students, especially for the sick. “I don’t mind taking the bus, but when I’m sick, it’s definitely an inconvenience,” Morgan said. email:

The Spectrum | Page 5

UB donor to plead not guilty on federal charges centering on alleged opioid scheme University releases statement on latest development


UB has released a statement acknowledging the recent updates in the federal case against big-time donor John Kapoor. Kapoor was arrested Oct. 26, accused of leading his pharmaceutical company’s alleged nation-wide scheme to increase opioid sales. Kapoor’s company allegedly used bribes and kickbacks for employees to prescribe the drug to patients who didn’t need it. Kapoor’s attorney told reporters Thursday that they plan to fight the case and plead not guilty, following Kapoor’s arraignment. UB spokesperson John Della Contrada released a statement following the news on Thursday. The statement said UB is aware of the “very serious criminal allegations” against Kapoor and the “devastating effects of opioid addiction in this country. Kapoor, who earned his doctorate from UB in medicinal chemistry, donated $11 million to the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2011. The building, which houses the Pharmacy school, is currently named after Kapoor and his late wife, Editha. The university’s statement said it is currently reviewing policies pertaining to named buildings and will continue to monitor the developing legal proceedings. “The abuse of opioid medications is a severe national problem, one that the University at Buffalo is committed to combating everyday through our faculty research, patient care and community outreach and the training of highly skilled, compassionate healthcare professionals,” the statement reads. email:

**You have the opportunity to earn 3 MGT or ENG credits and/or commision. For more information, please e-mail Helene Polley at, or call 716-645-2152

Page 6 | The Spectrum





HARRIMAN HALL Veggie burger Veggie tacos Veggie burger(or hummus) wrap Salad Kettle chips Steamed broccoli Fruit salad

SIZZLES Salad Black bean burger Apple, banana, orange Weekly Hot Box options... Corn, rice, chana masala, mixed vegetables, edamame, spaghetti, Green beans

WRAP IT UP Almond / soy milk BYO Hummus sandwich / wrap PB&J sandwich Banana / apple / orange

THE BOWL Rice or tofu bowl Fruit salad

GUAC N’ ROLL Tofu wrap/bowl


PUTNAMS Black bean veggie burger Veggie burger Hummus wrap Veggie burger wrap Salad (with tofu) Champa sushi



SEASONS Hummus sandwich Oatmeal

GRAB N GO Veggie cup Salad Rice Hummus Fruitcups

TIFFIN ROOM Black bean veggie burger Veggie burger



ON-CAMPUS VEGAN OPTIONS PB&J Veggie burger Acai bowl Pancake syrup 7 Bean soup Taco with veggies Salad


Monday, November 20, 2015


Ramirez thinks that if Campus Dining & Shops expanded its vegan options, UB would attract more students of different backgrounds. “I’m sure UB could be made a lot better if we could just take into account those with different needs,” Ramirez said. “We all come here because of Buffalo’s positive energy and ‘leading the world into a more sustainable future.’ If UB gave better options to people like me who don’t eat meat, it would definitely be more popular to people in my community.” Allie Ambrosio, sophomore health and human sciences major, has been vegetarian for 10 years and is deeply disappointed in UB’s food. She took on veganism in January and found it difficult on a meal plan. Ambrosio now lives off campus and claims it’s a lot easier to cook her own meals. “I feel like on campus we don’t have a lot of both healthy and sustainable options. If you’re going to get a salad or a smoothie that only fills you for so long,” Ambrosio said. When Ambrosio lived on campus, she used her meal plan toward Moe’s, sushi and black bean burgers. She believes that being a vegan isn’t as difficult as critics claim, but that living on campus makes it harder. Ambrosio shares Ramirez’s concerns regarding C3. “When I would eat at C3, they had really great options sometimes,” Ambrosio. “Then other times it’s like ‘here’s a veggie burger with cheese on it already,’ ‘here’s grilled vegetables with parmesan on it,’ or ‘here’s plain pasta with cheese topped on it already.’” She believes that if cheese and dairy products were optional additions rather than included as a default, C3’s Strictly Vegetarian station would help vegans. Delaney Dupui, a junior exercise science major and vegan, agrees. “A lot of times it’s just the cheese,” Dupui said. “There’s this thing they’d do at C3 with potatoes. They’d roast potatoes but they’d put cheese all over it. Literally I would eat the potatoes but they’re smothered in cheese. Just take the cheese off and put it on the side and then whoever wants cheese can just put cheese on it. It’s really a simple fix.” When The Spectrum asked Campus Dining & Shops about consistency at C3 and brought up student concerns, Bendersky said she was open to the feedback. “Our goal is to provide a daily vegan option in each of our dining centers. I will share this feedback with our management team at C3 to see how we can be more consistent with our vegan offerings,” Bendersky said. Putting non-vegan ingredients on the side may be a short-term fix to what some vegan students perceive as a “lack of options,” but it’s not just a “lack of options” that is interfering with vegan lifestyles on campus. Some students question if items marked vegan really are. Makenzie Depetrillo, a senior health and human sciences major, made a New Year’s resolution to be vegan for environmental reasons. She feels some options on campus are misrepresented and mistaken as “vegan” when they “really are not.” Depetrillo uses Campus Dining & Shops’ NetNutrition website when ordering food on campus. The website provides users with the nutrition facts for each food item offered by Dining & Shops and also highlights which items apply to students with special dietary needs or lifestyle choices. The website uses color-coded stickers to highlight which items are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and “smart choice” products. Depetrillo is most concerned with the Stackers Grill inside Putnam’s in the Student Union. Stackers sells a veggie burger which is marketed as vegan. The burger is in fact vegan; however both bun options were not, according to the NetNutrition website on Oct. 27.


A veggie burger (top) compared to a non-vegan burger (bottom) from Putnam’s in the Student Union. The veggie burger was listed as vegan on UB’s NetNutrition website, although its bun options were not.


Unless the veggie burger is ordered without a bun, it is, or was, not vegan. Depetrillo finds this misleading. “[It would be better] even if they were like ‘vegan when ordered on a wrap,’ or ‘vegan when ordered on blank.’ Like you just shouldn’t label something as vegan if it’s going to come with something that isn’t. I feel like that’s just easy to fix.” Other vegan students, like Dupui, are also concerned over the non-vegan buns on their advertised-vegan burgers. Dupui thinks that not serving vegan buns with a vegan burger is “unfair.” “Marketing a veggie burger or a black bean burger as vegan is so misleading when it really isn’t with the bun,” Dupui said. “People just don’t know. I know some people really would be upset about that if they found out ‘oh, I ate this. Why’d they tell me it was vegan when it’s not?’ People do look at [UB’s vegan labels] and take them seriously. It’s really easy to just look at a big menu and see that little green circle to know what you can eat. They really should be more clear.” Campus Dining & Shops said it is aware of the concern. “Sourcing vegan bread for a large scale food service operation like ourselves can sometimes be a challenge. Certain ingredients in bread, such as dough conditioners, can be derived from animals,” said Bendersky, who is manager of the NetNutrition website. “The good news is that our distributer has recently switched suppliers who have verified that the hamburger roll does not contain any animal derived ingredients. This will soon be reflected on the NetNutrition website.” Campus Dining & Shops added a vegan bun option at Stackers and put a vegan

sticker on the new hamburger roll on the NetNutrition website sometime between Oct. 27 and Nov. 4. This was not updated until The Spectrum informed them of student concerns. Depetrillo is concerned about the legitimacy of other vegan foods as well. “I feel like it’s very easy to modify a lot of the food that they have here. Just an example is in Pistachio’s. They have the sandwiches which are vegan and the pasta which is vegan, but then they cook it with butter. That’s the default,” Depetrillo said. Depetrillo no longer visits Pistachio’s, as she “felt really bad” asking workers who she claimed were “annoyed” to use new pots when preparing her pasta. All pasta at Pistachio’s is listed as vegan on the NetNutrition website; however, Depetrillo said she is worried that workers incorporate butter when preparing dishes. Bendersky said Campus Dining & Shops uses margarine, and not butter, when preparing pasta. She did not mention if the ingredient included animal product. Depetrillo believes that if employees asked customers if they wanted possible non-vegan products in their pasta, the transaction would be smoother. “There’s just very [small] things that they could do to tweak it just a little bit,” Depetrillo said. “It would make it a lot easier asking if somebody doesn’t want butter on it. It’s kind of misleading. Some students are really busy [and may not notice].” Berdersky thinks that CDS staff is “very accommodating” and that students can request pasta without certain ingredients, although the pasta is already listed as a vegan product on the NetNutrition website. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8


Monday, November 20, 2015





The Spectrum | Page 7


Mental illness a growing problem among college students Factors such as sexual assault and academic pressures can lead to mental health problems MADDY FOWLER EDITORIAL EDITOR

Laura Aguilera’s depression came on slowly. She started waking up feeling very tired her sophomore year. This unshakeable fatigue gave way to a diminishing appetite and a lack of motivation. She wasn’t interested in anything and wanted to sleep all the time. Ninety-five percent of college counseling center directors surveyed said the number of students with “significant psychological problems” is a growing concern, according to an Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors survey of counseling center directors. Almost one third of all college students report having felt so depressed they had trouble functioning, according to Active Minds, a nonprofit dedicated to raising mental health awareness among college students. Active Minds states that mental health issues in the college student population, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders, are associated with lower grade-point averages and higher probability of dropping out of college. Sharon Mitchell, director of UB’s Counseling Center, believes it’s hard to single out just one factor that leads to high rates of mental illness among college students. She said common triggers include financial problems, cultural shock, family problems, physical illness, lack of adequate academic preparation and a lack of a sense of community or belonging.

95 percent of college counseling center directors surveyed said the number of students with “SIGNIFICANT PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS” is a growing concern, according to an Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors survey of counseling center directors

Top presenting concerns among college students 1





Relationship problems

41.6% 36.4% 35.8% 4


Suicidal ideation

Alcohol abuse

16.1% 9.9% 6


Sexual assault


On average,


of clients were taking psychiatric medications.

of directors report the availability of psychiatric services on their campus is inadequate.


Directors report that of counseling center students present with severe mental health concerns.


9.2% 8.9%

While another, present with mild mental health concerns.

40% 67%


Self injury


of students said Counseling Services helped with their academic performance.

Role of assault in mental illness among college students The summer after Aguilera’s freshman year, she experienced a sexual assault at a party. She feels that experience played a large role in triggering her depressive episode. “It relates to being a student because a lot of students experience sexual violence and it affects their mental health,” the senior global gender studies major said. Sexual violence in the college environment can be confusing as it often perpetrated by someone that the victim knows, according to Mitchell. “This reality can make it difficult to make sense of what happened or to even accurately label the experience as sexual assault,” Mitchell said. Senior Adrian Villanueva* feels her mental health took a turn for the worse in late January of her freshman year after the person she was dating sexually assaulted her when she tried to break up with him. “After saying no a lot, I realized it was just going to happen,” Villanueva said. “I got out of there as soon as I could and I was able to break it off after I got out of physical space with them.” Villanueva never reported the assault. It took her a long time to even understand that what happened to her was assault. And she blamed herself for what happened. “I thought, ‘oh you put yourself in that situation. If you hadn’t been seeing him it wouldn’t have happened,’” Villanueva said. Mitchell said this type of self-blaming and sense of shame is common. “Assault leads to disruption in the person’s sense of safety, sense of their judgment, a tendency to self-blame and feelings of shame,” Mitchell said. These feelings can lead to disruption in a student’s functioning, interpersonal relationships and academic performance. After the assault, Villanueva started drinking. She didn’t drink at all during her first semester, but she started going to parties and drinking heavily after the assault. “Social drinking is such an easy way to hide a problem,” Villanueva said. “Everyone thinks it’s okay because everyone is drinking.” But soon her “weekends slipped into weekdays,” and Villanueva was drinking on school nights to quiet her thoughts. “And that’s great until you stumble into bed at three in the morning and you still can’t sleep because of all you’re thinking about,” Villanueva said. Painful memories of the assault and intense anxiety kept her wide awake at night. She stopped attending classes. Her grades started slipping from As to Ds. She would often forget to eat, which she said was very easy to do when she was in class all day. “I think I went three days without eating



at one point,” she said. Villanueva finally realized something was seriously wrong when she started “going off with guys.” “Before I entered college I had a purity ring. [...] I was still a virgin when I was with that person, but very much not so afterward,” Villanueva said. She sought therapy from UB’s counseling services feeling that she needed to “fix herself ” before she couldn’t anymore. Therapy wasn’t a huge help at first, but Villanueva said that’s because she wasn’t addressing her assault, which she felt was the root of a lot of her problems. She still blamed herself and struggled to understand that what happened was, in fact, an assault. But once she started processing and opening up about the assault, therapy helped her work through it. “You can put yourself in a situation, but if you say no, that’s it. That’s clear as day,” Villanueva said. “But it takes you a while to get there to accept that and move past that for yourself.”

Depression, mania and psychosis After Aguilera’s assault, she stopped attending class, lost her motivation and often stayed in bed all day. She decided to seek help from a doctor from UB Health Services. He prescribed her an antidepressant and referred her to UB Counseling Services. Aguilera ended up leaving counseling after a few months because her therapist left. After being on the antidepressant for a few months she decided to stop taking it because she was having suicidal thoughts. Aguilera continued to struggle throughout her junior year and had to take incompletes during that spring semester. By the time senior year came around, she was still missing a lot of classes. She had to resign from several courses and sought help from a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist put her on a medication that triggered her first manic episode. Aguilera did not sleep for days at a time, lost her appetite and felt extremely energized, saying it was “worse than the depression.” The mania developed into psychosis. Aguilera locked herself in her room and stopped communicating with anyone for three days. She experienced delusions and felt paranoid, thinking people were out to get her. Most frighteningly, she experienced hallucinations that had her questioning what was real and what was not. After her mom didn’t hear from her for three days, she came to check on her and ended up taking her to a hospital in Rochester.

Psychiatric hospitalization When she was released from the hospital, the Conduct and Advocacy office contacted

her to see what they could do to help her get back on track in her classes. But she wasn’t sure what they could do to help her at that point. She became convinced her medication wasn’t helping so she stopped taking it and her psychosis came back. Her mom brought her back to the hospital, and this time she was admitted to the psychiatric unit. “Being in the psych ward was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life,” she said. “I felt like I was in jail. And people in the hospital had been previously incarcerated said it was like the same thing as jail. … There’s a strict schedule, doctors come in and out. It was terrible.” Aguilera’s hospital stay prevented her from graduating.

Academic withdrawal Aguilera spent the summer focused on recovery and is now back taking one class so she has time to focus on her mental health. However, she has faced difficulty pursuing an academic withdrawal from the spring semester when she was in the hospital. “The academic withdrawal process is stressful because you have to write an entire essay justifying why you want it,” Aguilera said. “You have to prove yourself and you shouldn’t have to prove that you’re suffering and need help.” She had to explain her mental health struggles to her academic adviser, who had previously been condescending and dismissive to Aguilera regarding her mental health. She struggled to articulate what happened to her, unable to recall all of the fragmented, traumatizing details.

Coping and recovery Aguilera said she has come to terms with the fact that she will be graduating a year later than she originally anticipated. “I realized that I’ve been brainwashed into thinking I have to follow this certain time frame,” she said. “Recovery and healing isn’t a linear process, so there’s no way I’m going to fit into a perfect time frame that somebody else expects of me.” Villanueva said she finally “woke up” when she received two Fs and lost her job. She dedicated the summer to getting better and putting her life back together. She took summer classes and attended weekly therapy sessions. Substance abuse stopped being an issue because her drug dealer was out of town. Villanueva’s junior year was “much better” overall. “I made sure I was socializing and actually getting interaction with people because sometimes I do isolate and not interact with people,” she said. “And then I just feel alone and miserable. I know once I’m with people I’ll feel better. And I was better with study-

ing and being on top of my grades and stuff like that.” She still suffered bouts of depression, but this time they only lasted two weeks at a time and only happened every once and awhile. She was able to “reign them in.” Her substance use decreased because she didn’t have a reason to be using anything. Villanueva said she got better at recognizing earlier when she was struggling. Whenever Villanueva started to feel depressed, her therapist encouraged write down what was happening when her negative thoughts occurred. “Intrusive thoughts were my biggest struggle,” Villanueva said. “These thoughts were like, ‘You’re a waste of space, you’re a f*ck up, you should slit your wrist.’ Those could be triggered by something like oversleeping and missing one class. And then I would get in a mood and miss a week’s worth of class and then it starts a cycle that’s hard to get out of.” Villanueva finds distracting herself from these thoughts to be most helpful. But now instead of using alcohol, drugs or self harm, she does arts and crafts, a paint by number page, a coloring book or a puzzle. Therapy also served as a huge help to Villanueva. She felt it was a space where she could be more open and honest about her feelings than she could be in her everyday life. “The hardest part about depression is you feel like you have to act like everything’s okay,” she said. “You feel like you have to go to class and put on a smile and hang out with friends. You feel like you can’t talk to anyone. And then you’re just left with your own thoughts.” Due to a demanding class schedule, Villanueva hasn’t been able to attend therapy this semester. She is in class or work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days, so there simply isn’t time to go to therapy, even though she wishes she could go. Aguilera said time has been a big factor in her recovery. “Time, just allowing time to take place, time can be a good thing for recovery,” Aguilera said. She has learned to be more patient with herself and has disability accommodations now. She finds meditation and drawing therapeutic.

Prevention Aguilera thinks people should be more aware of the early warning signs of mental illness. “I don’t think we’re taught how to keep an eye out for these kind of things,” Aguilera said. “I don’t know exactly how we should go about that, but I think there should be some sort of training or program where students can learn how to keep an eye out for different mental illness symptoms.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 9


Page 8 | The Spectrum





Monday, November 20, 2015




“There is a standard operating procedure when preparing pasta at Pistachio’s that includes adding margarine, vegetable stock, salt and pepper which helps the sauce better adhere to the noodles and for flavor. We can certainly explore revising this procedure or finding better ways of communicating this to our customers,” Bendersky said. Vegan and vegetarian students have also experienced meat accidentally winding up in their food products. Hours before speaking to The Spectrum, Cesar Ramirez ordered a rice bowl at Guac and Roll in Ellicott, and found a stray piece of meat inside. “I don’t want to point fingers because I understand that mistakes can be made. But I don’t get how in the world I ordered a rice bowl with no meat and I spot a piece of beef in it. It makes me feel bad. I feel like I’m cheating on myself, on my beliefs,” Ramirez said. But Ramirez’s main concerns have to do with dining halls. UB’s lack of an all-vegan station in any of its dining halls may contribute to its low student rating on PETA’s Vegan Report Card, Kinder said. In the past year, Kinder claims that vegan dining stations more than doubled nationwide and vegan options are “seeing a

massive increase.” Schools like SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY at Fredonia, and SUNY Buffalo State don’t offer all-vegan stations either, yet a few other neighboring schools do. SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Geneseo, and SUNY New Paltz all promote all-vegan stations at dining halls, according to PETA’s Vegan Report Card. New Paltz’s Hasbrouk Dining Hall offers “Simple Serving” options at a station that excludes milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and gluten. Its vegan station is separate from the vegetarian station. “We offer a full hot entree with two sides each day for lunch and dinner. We offer vegan breakfast items, both hot and cold items,” said Ryan Goodwin, general manager of dining services at New Paltz. “We feel that we can meet any student’s needs with both the stations and selections we provide.” UB currently does not have an all-vegan station at its dining halls, but it may be incorporating more vegan options in the future. UB is planning the Global Market Café, an international dining hall that will be used as a “front door” to North Campus near Capen Hall and Norton. The project is expected to be completed in the spring semester of 2020, and will feature an array of international foods for students to choose from.

“I am very excited for the Global Market

increase student involvement in the project. TROY WACHALA / THE SPECTRUM

Cesar Ramirez, a freshman bio-chemical engineering major and ovo-vegetarian, uses his own rice cooker on campus. Ramirez, along with many students, is unhappy with Campus Dining & Shops’ vegan options.

Café. It will be a new and unique food experience on campus,” Bendersky said. “With our new international offerings, we want to make sure that we are meeting the dietary needs of all students including those who are vegan and vegetarian.” SA President Leslie Veloz hopes that the project will incorporate more vegetarian and vegan options as well. Veloz is a member of the Global Market Café planning committee. “We [on the committee] constantly discuss how we will ensure that this new dining facility includes a wider range of vegan and vegetarian options,” Veloz said. “I have stressed the importance of having affordable and accommodating options for students. Students and staff reinforced that need in their surveys and at the feedback event Campus Dining & Shops held a few weeks ago. I am confident that this new dining facility will accommodate the needs of everyone on campus.” Veloz said over 600 surveys were filled out by students and staff at the event and others like it, and she’s hoping to find more ways to

“I constantly encourage students to get engaged with the campus so that they can ensure their voices are heard. The planning committee and I are working on creating more avenues where students can continue to get engaged with this project,” Veloz said. As for vegan options in general, Campus Dining & Shops is hoping to “cater to all students.” “I hope we can continue to provide excellent vegan cuisine that is easily accessible in all of our dining units. Campus Dining & Shops is always looking to improve and expand our vegan offerings,” Bendersky said. Still, PETA’s Kinder thinks that if students desire better vegan options on campus, then schools and students must work together. “Schools with high satisfaction ratings take time to create vegan menus, rather than offering steamed veggies and rice or pasta for every single meal,” Kinder said. “But this is often achieved from student vegan or animal rights groups pushing for these options to be better and actively pursuing change within dining. It’s definitely a group effort.” email:

Get a NU Start at Niagara University Your college experience should include challenging coursework, engaging interactions with your faculty, hands-on experiences to guide your learning, support throughout your academic career, and preparation for you to earn your degree in four years. Niagara University’s transformational education allows students to learn in a supportive educational environment with a focus on their career and their future. • Small class sizes and personal attention • A 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio • Research opportunities that surpass the national average • An exceptional four-year graduation rate • Generous transfer student scholarships Find out why Niagara University is known throughout the region as a preferred transfer institution. Contact Dina Martin (716.286.8729 or to learn more about The Power of Niagara University.

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Monday, November 20, 2015






The Spectrum | Page 9

GOP tax plan to cut savings for grad students by $65 billion over next decade, report shows Students concerned over House-backed tax plan which taxes tuition as income


The Graduate Student Association will vote on a resolution to voice opposition to the GOP tax plan, which has been criticized nationally for its rollback on tax benefits for graduate students and universities. Chris Rupert, a graduate student in biology, is drafting a resolution to present at the Dec. 6 Graduate Student Association Senate meeting. The report will ask UB administrators to commission an official report looking at how the tax plan, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, would impact UB specifically. Organizations across the country have criticized the Republican-backed tax plan for its elimination of student-related tax deductions and its provision that makes tuition waivers for graduate students taxable income. The bill also eliminates tax credits for students and parents of students. Since the House of Representatives passed the bill on Nov. 16, the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, the American Council on Education and the American Association of Universities have announced their opposition of provisions that hurt student loan borrowers and graduate students. The non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated the House version of the tax plan would reduce tax benefits and savings for all college students by $65 billion over the next decade.


(left) Tanja Aho sits in her office. Aho, president of the Graduate Student Association, is overseeing a resolution against the proposed tax reform plan. (right) Paul Ryan and the House of Representatives passed a tax plan on November 16th which eliminates student-related tax deductions gaining criticism from many organizations including UB’s GSA.

Meanwhile, the bill includes a $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations. Graham Hammill, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the graduate school, said the university is very concerned about the effect of the House tax bill on UB’s graduate students. UB will advocate for the removal of the provision that would tax graduate student tuition, Hammill said. President Satish Tripathi called local congressman Chris Collins (Rep-NY) to express his objection to the portion of the tax bill that taxes graduate student tuition, according to UB spokesperson John Della Contrada. Collins has endorsed the tax reform bill publicly. More than 1,490 graduate students receive tuition waivers in exchange for teaching or research, according to Della Contrada. The aver-

age scholarship award these students receive is roughly $10,870, according to Hammill. The tuition waiver repeal could leave graduate students paying up to $500 more in taxes, depending on the amount they receive in tuition. GSA President Tanja Aho calculated what this tax repeal would cost her, and found it would increase her taxes by about $1,000 if passed. “I make $14,000 as a TA,” Aho said. “But if my tuition waiver were to be counted as income –– as President Tripathi always likes to point out –– then I would suddenly be paying taxes as an international student on about $30,000. So instead of being reimbursed $500 from taxes which is what I usually get, instead I would be paying the government $500.” Aho said this tax plan will significantly hurt graduate and professional students,

Mental illness a growing problem among college students CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

New York State is the first in the country to mandate mental health education be taught in high school health classes, according to Mitchell. This mandate will go into place next year. Mitchell believes this will go

a long way to reducing stigma. Mitchell also feels failure needs to be normalized. “[Failure] should be viewed as an opportunity [for students] to learn something about themselves and their strengths,” Mitchell said. “Students can learn resilience and actu-

ally be even better as a result of overcoming or living through a setback.” Finally, Mitchell believes showing compassion for others and having self-compassion rather than judgment helps reduce stigma around mental illness. “This can be as simple as noticing changes

particularly non-traditional students who may already struggle with financial burdens like children or other dependents. “For a graduate student living off $14,000 a year, and especially an international graduate student who cannot have any other employment, that $500 is rent for a month, or its food for two months,” Aho said. “That’s significant.” Rupert said he hopes his resolution will start a conversation between the university and its graduate students. He thinks the tax plan will have a negative impact on UB’s ability to attract graduate and professional students. The tax plan will also make it more difficult for less wealthy students to pursue higher education, Rupert said. “It’s just not fair. I thought the entire point was that anyone who is good enough would be able to go to school,” Rupert said. “And from what I’ve been reading, essentially what this does is make it so you have to have money to go to grad school. I don’t know how many students would end up quitting or being forced out of programs, but that’s going to kill the school.” Hammill expressed similar concerns. He said UB believes taxing tuition scholarships would discourage graduate students from attending graduate school. “Taxing graduate students will prove to be a disincentive to completing graduate degrees,” Hamill said. “The overall effect will be a reduction in highly educated people in this country, which will affect our overall ability to be competitive as a society.” email:

in a person’s behavior or demeanor and saying, ‘Hey, you haven’t seemed like yourself lately. How are you doing?’” Mitchell said. *Name has been changed to protect the student’s privacy email:


Page 10 | The Spectrum





Monday, November 20, 2015


‘Who you gonna call?’ Stressbusters Students alleviate stress during stress management and prevention events


With finals just around the corner, overwhelmed students are finding peaceful ways to unwind through stress relieving workshops on campus. Every week, UB’s Wellness Education Services hold “Stressbusters” an event that provides students with a five-minute back rub and stress reduction techniques. Wellness Education Services holds 26 stress relief events throughout the course of the semester that take place across UB’s North and South Campuses. The Stressbusters are a team of student volunteers trained to alleviate stress by using various physical and conversational techniques. Volunteers go through a four-hour training session every semester, where they learn massages and self-wellness techniques. They also meet with Sharlynn Daun-Barnett, coordinator of the Stress Management Program, once a month to maintain proper techniques and discuss stress in their own lives. “If students need further support, we give them information about relaxation techniques, aromatherapy, meditation, as well as good eating and sleep habits,” Daun-Barnett said. “The goal is to show them how to physically, psychologically and emotionally manage their stress.” Daun-Barnett has been working with UB’s Wellness Education Services for 10 years. She explained how holistic coping methods are the most important tool for a person’s overall wellbeing.


Stressbusters, a group of student volunteers trained to alleviate students’ stress, travel between campuses every Monday. They offer massages, advice and information about destressing.

“Stress is always the number one thing that effects academic achievement,” Daun-Barnett said. “People tend to think that no matter where you are in the ebbs and flows of stress, you can’t get rid of it. Or in some cases, they believe taking one yoga class and studying right will fix it. This is why we employ comprehensive techniques for stress reduction.” In addition to back rubs, UB’s Wellness Education Services schedule dog therapy rooms, meditation lounges and crafts. During the events, students are provided with pamphlets containing other stress relief practices. Daun-Barnett knows a five-minute back rub is not going to completely fix students’ stresses. She encourages Stressbusters to spark conversation during the back rub, so they can assist them with further resources if needed. “One student who came to get a massage was extremely distraught because his girlfriend broke up with him the day before,” Daun-Barnett said. “I realized he needed more than just a few methods to help balance his emotions, so I referred him to UB’s

Winterim DECEMBER 11, 2017 - JANUARY 10, 2018


Counseling Services, where he would be able to talk to a counselor about his issues.” Patrick Ordonez, a senior biomedical science major, talked about the pressure his major puts on him. Ordonez said his busy schedule made it difficult to find time to cope with his stress. “On some days, I wouldn’t even have time to eat or sleep, which are my basic human needs,” Ordonez said. “It would become an unhealthy cycle. At times, I just accepted stress as a part of my life and never looked for ways to cope, which made me feel even more stressed and burned out.” During a Stressbuster event, Ordonez took a student self-assessment to rate and reflect his current self-care strategies. “The results of my self-assessment were embarrassing,” Ordonez said. “It really brought to light how rarely I engaged in activities that help manage or reduce my stress. Internally and externally, I had zero balance in maintaining my overall health and wellbeing.” Ordonez realized keeping his stresses bot-

tled up could have had a large impact on his grades. He asked a stressbuster for healthy methods to alleviate built up anxiety and stress. “[My stressbuster] immediately gave me a pamphlet which provided five simple mindful practices for daily life,” Ordonez said. “Start with a purpose, enjoy every mouthful, get your brain out of the fast lane, activate your mind and muscles and drive yourself calm, not crazy, in that order.” Included in the pamphlet were suggestions for healthy snacks, breathing techniques and mental health guidelines to help reach academic success. Allison McMahon, a senior business administration major, appreciates the time and effort the staff puts into the stress management workshops. “During my massage, the stressbuster told me she was concerned about the large knots in my back,” McMahon said. “She spent 10 extra minutes massaging my hands, arms, shoulders and pressure points.” After the massage, McMahon received a sheet of paper with different chair yoga exercises. Chair yoga is meant to stretch and lengthen the spine and is especially helpful for people who spend a long time studying or writing a paper. McMahon believes everyone should keep in mind the different students face that are not just academic. “Sometimes, there are deeper, more personal issues that can cause stress in all aspects of someone’s life,” McMahon said. “People who are a minority, have disabilities, experience death in the family, live with a clinical disorder can all have increased levels of stress. It’s important for students to be mindful of that, and know that UB provides us with resources like Stressbusters to enhance individual health and foster positive lifelong behaviors.” email:

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The Spectrum | Page 11


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Page 12 | The Spectrum





Monday, November 20, 2015



Junior forward Ikenna Smart slamming home a dunk for the Bulls.

‘Harder, better, faster, smart-er’ Ikenna Smart looks to come back strong after offseason back surgery


Sometimes injuries occur in a split-second. A nasty collision with a defender. A player goes up for the ball and comes down on their knee wrong. But sometimes injuries are built up over time. Players start with something that feels like a sore muscle, but continued exertion and the pride of wanting to be on the floor with their teammates eventually causes the problem to grow. Ikenna Smart suffered from the latter. The junior forward had soreness in his back that nagged him last season. Six feet 10 inches

and 241 pounds is a lot of body to support with a bad back. Smart had surgery on his back during the offseason and is expected to return to the court for the Bulls by the end of December. He plans on being better than he was a season ago now that he’s healthy. “I actually feel like I’m getting a lot stronger because I’ve been gaining a lot more strength in rehab,” Smart said. “I’m working on my legs, my back and my core so I’m getting a total body workout at the same time I’m rehabbing my back. So me taking this time and rehabbing my body with [men’s basketball athletic trainer] Andy [Bliz] and doing all this was good for me and it should pay off and impact the way I play when I come back.” Bliz has been with the Bulls since 2013 and was the trainer for both men’s MAC championship squads. He oversees Smart’s rehab process. Bliz developed the plan to get Smart back in basketball shape and make sure his back

is as strong as possible when he makes his return to the court. “It’s something that you start small,” Bliz said. “Fresh out of surgery you start with range of motion, pain management and muscle activation. Then just as it progresses you get into harder and more taxing exercises to really stress his back and get him stronger. Once the [doctor] clears him to start to get back into basketball, we start working with the coaches on planning different drills he can do to keep himself in shape and try to simulate as much as we can.” Smart had the surgery in late August. Bliz said Smart is on track with the timeline they initially planned for him. He’s been able to get back on the court recently and is running solo shooting and post-up drills. His movement in the drills is smooth and he hasn’t lost his touch from down low. Smart is currently entering the final phase of the rehab process. Barring any setbacks, Bliz and Smart will have their final meeting

Taste of

HISTORY New gallery in Buffalo History Museum shows rich history of Buffalo sports


Former Buffalo Bills player and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas spoke at the Buffalo History Museum Thursday. He debuted “Icons: The Makers and Moments of Buffalo Sports,” named “The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Gallery” due to a donation of $600,000 by the Wilson family. The gallery displays significant moments and athletes in Buffalo’s history. Members and media gathered in the State Court room to listen to Thomas, along with President Steven McCarville, Executive Director Melissa Brown and Collection Manager Greg D. Tranter. The gallery is the first step in the restoration of the museum. The museum is calling the capital project “Restore, Reactivate and Reconnect,” and is estimated to cost $1.43 million. The museum is being reconnected with Olmsted park as part of the plan. The gallery, located on the second floor of the museum, contains an assortment of memorabilia. The Buffalo community donated 95 percent of the half million artifacts. Artifacts include jerseys from the Buffalo Braves, –– the former NBA franchise that lasted from 1970-1978 –– O. J. Simpson


(bottom) Local Buffalo community members watching significant moments of Buffalo Bills history (left). Important Bills jersey displayed (right). (right) The opening display of the Ralph C. WIlson, Jr. gallery. The gallery contains significant artifacts of Buffalo sports history.

autographed memorabilia and the Gold Hall of Fame jacket of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. “What we tried to do is really pick out the marquee objects. We didn’t want to put mass-produced items,” said Anthony Greco, director of visitor experience at Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. “We wanted the one of one type things. … We really tried to pick and choose the most unique items you are not going to see anywhere else.” The displayed items were chosen via a survey the museum put out to the community. The survey asked for the most iconic figures, moments and venues in Buffalo history. An overwhelming number of responses came

back wanting Bills and Sabres artifacts. “We live and die by the success and failures of our sports teams,” Greco said. “Your day can be that much better if the Bills or Sabers win. For whatever reason, Buffalo’s fan base is so connected to the team. I’m not going to say it is better or worse than any other city because there are a lot of great fan bases.” Televisions display the sights and sounds of iconic moments throughout the museum. The infamous “Wide Right” kick from Super Bowl XXV is replayed on a screen, bringing back the emotions fans felt at the time. “[Scott Norwood] missed the kick,” Greco said. “In other cities, he may have

with the doctor in about three weeks. If all three feel confidently about his back, he will be cleared to fully return to action and start participating in practices with other members of the team. He will eventually return to game action. Smart said working with Bliz has been great and feels Bliz really helped his recovery process. “He’s a great guy, he pushes me and I think in this situation that’s what you need,” Smart said. “You don’t need someone who’s going to baby you all the time. You need someone trying to get the best out of you. … He pushes me to get better and I like his strategy, he puts time in it, he invests a lot of time in it and that makes me feel like I’m somebody.” Head coach Nate Oats is excited to have the team back at full strength in time for the game against Syracuse. “I think it will give us a big boost,” Oats said. “Hopefully [he’ll] be back by the Syracuse game and then we’ll our full 1 guys and really have some depth and can withstand some foul trouble.” Despite the injury, Smart still played an important role for the Bulls last year. He played just under 13 minutes a game but still averaged 3.6 rebounds and shot a teamhigh 66 percent from the floor. He also had 30 starts for the 2016 MAC championship squad. Smart is excited to get back on the floor. He will have to trust the work he did with Bliz when he gets back into game action. The post can be one of the most physical areas on the basketball court, but Smart knows Bliz will make sure he’s ready to handle it before he gets put back on the court. “I’m looking forward to it; I’ve been waiting for so long,” Smart said. “It’s been a long process but I’m happy everything has been working out fine. I’m just going to trust the work that Andy and I have done through this whole process. I believe in the system and we have done a lot of stuff to get me stronger so I’m just going to have confidence and go out there and play.” email:

been rejected but when they [Bills] came back we had the parade in Niagara square and the crowd was chanting ‘We want Scott’ to applaud him. … We really care about our players here.” Tranter is one of the collection’s major donors and a Bills fanatic. Last year, he painfully but happily donated his entire collection of Bills memorabilia. “When people see the artifacts, they light up and talk about something personal to them,” Tranter said. “I knew then that my collection belonged in Buffalo. To share it with the community and have part if it displayed in Icons is truly a dream come true for me.” The impact of Tranter’s donations not only affects the community but Buffalo athletes as well. “I’ve seen some of the stuff back there and [Tranter] really had to be on the road calling people and doing whatever it took to get some of those pieces,” Thomas said. “I’ve seen that Juicemobile. Even though I was born in Houston, I remember that. That’s probably the only one left.” There are other sports highlighted throughout the gallery. Former NBA MVP Bob McAdoo’s jersey is displayed. The first African-American Bison player, Luke Easter, is honored and the gloves and trousers of the once-top boxing heavyweight contender in the world, Joe Mesi, can be seen. Greco believes the collection is important to teach this generation about the history of sports in the area. “The people who are being born today or the past 15-20 years, … do they know our sports history?” Greco said. “We almost had a professional baseball team. We had a professional basketball team. The city was once much larger, and we can become that again. I think it offers hope to know what we were and what we can be.” email:

The Spectrum Vol. 67 No. 24  

The Spectrum, an independent student publication of the University at Buffalo