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September Magazine Generation
S T N E T CON 04 | Editor’s Letter
Josh Newman gives a special welcome to the students.
07 | Agenda | Hit or Bulls***
The good. The bad. The ugly. The funny.
08 | Interview with JoAnn Falletta
Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra answers our questions.
10 | UB 2020
Ally Balcerzak investigates.
17 | The Not-So-Ol’ Route 35
Porsche Jones tells us all about the useful new bus route.
12 | Photos of Move-In Day
We took photos of incoming students in the first day of their collegiate lives.
17 | Advice! Move-In Edition
In our new section, we graciously give advice to incoming students.
20 | Capitalism Realism: Is There No Alternative?
Seth Cosimini reads someone that really doesn’t dig capitalism.
19 | I Was Reading Fanny Howe Raïssa Huntley reviews a local poet.
23 | Parting Shots
Claire Brown hates HUB (who doesn’t?) and Erin gives a gift of sorts to John B. Simpson.
hen writing to the student body for the first issue, the editor must actually address two student bodies: the one that has been here already and the other that is incoming. The majority of students here fall into the former, so I’d just like to say to them: welcome (again). To those that have just arrived at UB and/ or Buffalo, I’d like to say: welcome, but beware: all ye who enter here.
I write “beware” because UB is going through some fundamental changes that threaten the very nature of student life and post-secondary education as a whole. Financial aid, for example, is so mismanaged and short-staffed that on the fourth day of classes students rallied in Founder’s Plaza to protest the ludicrous handling of scholarships, loans, and other financial aid. Jennifer Pollard, the interim director of financial aid, encountered a huge outcry when she said in an interview with The Spectrum that students use financial aid to “support their lifestyle.” The reaction against Pollard has been swift and critical, and in some cases borderline-hysterical. Though Pollard’s comment showed a total disregard and even a disdain for student life, she is not entirely wrong. An overwhelming majority of students obviously do need that money and use it properly. There are, however, some students that recklessly default on their loans, abscond with the money and drop out of school, or arbitrarily spend the money. Is it that hard to imagine that not every eighteen year-old kid is responsible with money? That and the fact that students have been harassing her poor, overworked staff all summer for things beyond their control and means makes me grant her a smidgen of sympathy. More discouraging than her views on student lifestyles are her views on the nature of financial aid itself. In the same interview she said that her office is “really here to supplement paying for their education…[we’re] not responsible for paying their education.” Forgive me for suspecting that Pollard has a more conservative stance on student funding than perhaps some of her counterparts. Yes. That’s right. The “C” word. In our era, the Tea-Party era, when potential presidential candidates like Governor Rick Perry or Congresswoman Michele Bachmann feel that people should fend for themselves and government should give jack squat to anything or anyone, the concept of government lending help to students seems economically callow. Congressman Ron Paul, the ultra-libertarian candidate who seems to think government itself is evil, shamelessly professed his desire to eliminate FEMA on the eve of Hurricane
Irene. Perry himself cut $5.5 billion from the Texas education budget this legislative year. “Life is hard,” they seem to think. “Buck up. You’d best put on your bootstraps and pay for your own damn education, ya hear? You’re lucky to get financial aid at all, so stop complaining and stop reaping the benefits of other peoples’ labor. Though I’m not suggesting Pollard reaches anywhere near the nuttiness of the three politicians I’ve just mentioned, her statements drive at the idea that students have no excuse for being unable to pay for their education, that any problems with financial aid is their fault, that education is a privilege, not a right. One commentator on The Spectrum’s website, a supposed financial aid officer from another school, said as much. “Financial aid is a privilege that comes with rules, regulations, and policies that must be followed, NOT AN ENTITLEMENT,” she wrote.“I say to disgruntled students: it’s a brave new world out there; suck it up, grow up, and for god’s sake GET REAL. Be resourceful, be creative, find a way to make it work if you want it bad enough. Nobody owes you an education.” Owe? This person, who conveniently posted the comment anonymously – note to college publications: remove the anonymous feature on your websites; it’s cowardly – doesn’t speak for Pollard. But she does reflect the mood, both locally and nationally, I find in a lot of explanations given about destitute students and underfunded programs. I disagree. It is a tough world out there but that doesn’t mean we should lay education on the sacrificial alter. Quite the contrary: school is needed to prepare young adults for the years beyond. Students are just that: students. They’re supposed to be in an environment where academic learning comes first. If people want students to “grow up,” then what’s the point of having a school, or even a government? Why not let them read Milton or figure out calculus by themselves? What I don’t understand about Pollard and other’s comments is the inherent attitude that institutions set up by people are not responsible to the people. If Perry, Bachmann, and Paul believe government is the problem, then why did they get involved in it? If Pollard and others believe that financial aid is inherently flawed, why bother having it? These are questions worth asking to the aforementioned. As for the answer – well, you know what you’ll get. But I supposed it could be worse. You could be in the real world.] Sincerely,
eneration Magazine Staff
Editor in Chief Josh Newman
Circulation Director Rashid Dakhil-Rivera
Managing Editor Ally Balcerzak
Contributing Staff Kimberly Brown Seth Cosimini Porsche Jones Jennifer Lynn Cayden Mak
Creative Director Bonnie Wan Copy Editor Erin Willis Associate Editors Claire Brown RaĂŻssa Huntley Catherine Prendergast
Business Manager Brian Kalish Ad Manager Jeremy Wolocki
Photo Editor Benny Higo Cover Photo by Benny Higo. Generation Magazine is owned by Sub-Board I, Inc., the student service corporation at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The Sub-Board I, Inc. Board of Directors grants editorial autonomy to the editorial board of Generation. Sub-Board I, Inc. (the publisher) provides funding through mandatory student activity fees and is in no way responsible for the editorial content, editorial structure or editorial policy of the magazine. Editorial and business offices for Generation are located in Suite 315 in the Student Union on North Campus. The telephone numbers are (716) 645-6131 or (716) 645-2674 (FAX). Address mail c/o Room 315 Student Union University at Buffalo, Amherst, NY 14260. Submissions to Generation Magazine should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1p.m. Tuesday, a week before each issueâ€™s publication. This publication and its contents are the property of the students of the State University of New York at Buffalo 2011 by Generation Magazine, all rights reserved. The first 10 copies of Generation Magazine are free. Each additional copy must be approved by the editor in chief. Requests for reprints should be directed to the editor in chief. Generation Magazine neither endorses nor takes responsibility for any claims made by our advertisers. Press run 5,000.
WHAT’S GOING ON
MOVIE | THE DEBT | AUGUST 31 Do you like the idea of three really, really good-looking Israeli agents infiltrating East Berlin to capture a Nazi war criminal? Do you like fast car chases and fight scenes that involve syringes? Do you like Helen Mirren? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then check out The Debt. It involves all the aforementioned, and as our Editor in Chief said in a brief flash of brilliance, “It’s like Munich but with girls in it.” Can’t get much better than that.
SPORTS | BILLS GAME | SEPTEMBER 11 Watch our beloved football team play the Kansas City Chiefs in their first away game this season. If there’s one thing we know about football, it’s that the Bills’ excruciating track record of embarrassment and defeat is unlikely to change much this season. But hey, the Sabres are playing this year, right?
MUSIC | ST. VINCENT’S MERCY | SEPTEMBER 13 Lead singer Annie Clark recorded her wonderful sophomore album entirely on her Mac using Garage Band. Strange Mercy, which was recorded in an actual studio this time, should only add brawn to her already impressive musical chops. Her mu sic is strange and lofty, as terrifying and invigorating as an out-of-body experience. Check out singles “Cruel” and “Surgeon,” which she released after a large response from her Twitter following.
HIT Kardashian’s Wedding Kim Kardashian couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. But that doesn’t matter in the slightest to us. Because goddamn it, she is entertaining. Intellectually, Keeping Up With The Kardashians is like watching four or five very beautiful toddlers drive around LA in Cadillac Escalades, buying enormous pieces of jewelry. It’s the best entertainment there is. So needless to say, we’re waiting with bated breath for Kim’s four-hour wedding special. We hope she and her giant husband will be very happy together..
Beyonce’s Baby Bump HOLY SHIT BEYONCE IS PREGNANT!!!!???!!!! Is this Destiny’s (actually) Child? Does this mean the baby is already slated to record with Kanye West? These questions, and millions more, have been swirling in fans’ minds since her announcement at the VMAs. “I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside me,” she told fans. We think we’ve found the name of her baby’s first single!
Judge Overturns Rick Perry’s Invasive Sonogram Law On September 1st, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks overturned legislation in Texas that would have required women to undergo sonogram-by-vaginal-probe, receive an anti-choice lecture from their doctor and then be sent home for 24 hours to rethink their decision before being able to access their right to the abortion. It was overturned because the judge read the law.
Michele Bachmann’s Face Okay, first of all, have you looked at a picture of this woman? She’s terrifying. This is not a jab at gender or women’s issues. This is also not a jab addressing the myriad questions surrounding her competency, political views, or religious persuasion. We don’t have enough room for that. This is a jab at Michele Bachmann’s face. The glassy, unfocused, synthetic blue eyes. The mouth with a jaw that looks as if it could detach itself and swallow you whole. We’re getting creeped out just thinking about it.
Syria’s Violenct Crackdown None of this summer’s news was quite as disturbing as President Assad’s authoritarian crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, which got exponentially worse. As details of torture, murder, and massive human rights violations broke, Western democracies responded with economic sanctions. The protests, sparked by the “Arab Spring,” aim to make Syria a more free and equal society; in response, Syria’s military has used excessive force on its own civilians. Protests continue, though, under the slogan “Death is better than humiliation.” Not to worry, exasperated demonstrators: the only one who will be humiliated is that turd Assad.
Pancreatic Cancer It’s trying to kill Steve Jobs. May we all be blessed with iMacs, iPhones, Apple TVs, and a set of fully functioning internal organs.
JoAnn Falletta by Josh Newman
We sat down with JoAnn Falletta, conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and talked about the economy, classical and popular music and why she really loves Buffalo.
Of all the things you have done here since 1999, what would you say you are most proud of? JF: Well, I guess some of the big moments were winning the Grammys [two in 2009], going to Carnegie Hall [in 2004], going on our first Florida tour last year…they were very big moments for us. Of course, the great thing about the orchestra is that every concert for us is special; a lot of wonderful memories of music and our audiences being a part of our family. It’s been a very good time here.
The economy is not great. How has the BPO been affected?
Do you ever get responses from audience members?
JF: Oh yes. Sometimes they write. Sometimes they call and ask to speak with someone. A lot of times we here surprise. That’s good. If we have a dialogue, if people feel comfortable enough to say, “Who was that composer?” it means that they’re interested. I notice that during intermission people are talking about the music. In other orchestras, they’re not. In the New York Philharmonic, you go into the lobby and the audience members are talking about their country homes or what they did for vacation last year but they’re not talking about the great piece they just heard. Our audience is much more invested in what we do.
JF: It’s a very difficult time for orchestras, so we are certainly experiencing that, but I think we have always been an orchestra that’s operated as sort of a lean-and-mean orchestra. We don’t have a lot of extra fluff in our organization. We are always looking for ways to be the best orchestra we can be but not the most expensive one. We believe that excellence doesn’t have everything to do with money. We’ve been always been an orchestra that has tried very hard to operate on the highest artistic level without the largest budget, so that’s helped us…That has keep us strong in this difficult time and the community has continued to support us. Buffalo is not a wealthy city by any means. It cares about the philharmonic and it wants it here. We feel lucky.
Tell me about the tug-of-war between popular pieces and more classical repertoire.
Can you give me an example of what you have done to cope with the economy?
JF: Every season, we try to have a big name like Bell or Renee Fleming or Yo Yo Ma. People like to see those people because they’re incredible; they’re like superstars. But we also include in every season a lot of younger people who aren’t necessarily known but whom we know are fantastic players. They play their hearts out because it’s a big opportunity for them. Again, it’s a mix.
JF: A lot of times we’ve cut back our budget. We’ve sometimes not hired staff members when we could have used them. The orchestra is working very hard. We’re careful on how much we spend on soloists and how much we spend on renting music. These are all little internal details that the audience doesn’t know but we’re constantly looking at them. On the other hand, we’re always looking for new audiences, new people to help us, to be partners with us.
How would you describe your audience? Is there a one person that regularly goes to concerts?
JF: I think we have the most extraordinary audience. It’s very diverse in terms of age and also economic background. Many of the larger orchestras see only audiences of a certain economic background. In Buffalo, it’s extremely diverse. It’s an incredibly loyal and supportive audience. I get the feeling that when they are there, they feel ownership of the orchestra. It’s theirs. They’re coming to see their orchestra…and it also enables us to take some chances. The audience is very open-minded. We introduce a new piece. The audience says, “We don’t know this composer but we trust the philharmonic.” That kind of dedication to our orchestra has enabled us to do some unusual things and take little risks here and there and they’re there for us.
JF: There are about two hundred pieces that people love – Bolero, Beethoven’s Fifth and Ninth, Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, etc. We tend to mix them in. We may have a program that has a piece everyone loves, and then we’ll have something from a Buffalo composer. I really believe in mixing things up and putting everything together. The orchestra is constantly growing, constantly evolving…so we have to be careful in mixing things together to have a good variety.
Joshua Bell is coming this season. How important is it to get big names like Bell?
Does the BPO have any relationships with schools around here?
JF: We absolutely do. We’re always trying to make those relationships stronger. With UB especially we’re trying to foster closer relationships. We like to share artists to perform and to give master classes. A lot of things are coming up. We love to interact with younger musicians. We like to think ourselves not only as an artistic resource but an educational resource as well.
What is it like being a female conductor in a maledominated profession?
JF: It’s still a small group. I don’t know why. Fifteen years ago I thought that they would have been more women conductors now. I mean, there are more women; it’s slowly changing. But when I started there was really no one. I have to give credit to Buffalo because it was very open-minded in 1999. They were very avant-garde. I think it’s going to change eventually but the classical-music world is very traditional. (continued on page 10)
(continued from page 9) Maybe it’s because we’re playing the same instruments from three hundred years ago and in some cases the same music! Our concerts are similar to the way they were. It’s been slow to change but we have seen more and more women in the orchestra itself and I think we’ll definitely see more women conductors in the future.
Why have women come kind of late in the conducting world? JF: A lot of people think of the image of the conductor as someone like Toscanini, who was an autocrat. Screaming at people, breaking batons, kicking people out, etc. The idea of a woman in that role, at least fifty years ago, was unimaginable. Our whole orchestral world is different now. This is probably true of corporate life in general in America. We now work more as a team. We collaborate and we create environments for excellence rather than berate people and act like tyrants. But that image of the conductor as freighting is still there. It is not, however, that way. It’s taken a long time to change.
What’s your philosophy on how you should direct an orchestra? Should the conductor be in total control or should it be loose?
JF: I have this feeling that the conductor has to create an environment where the orchestra can be great musicians. Not to squelch them or to totally control them but to create an environment where they have a certain freedom so that they can play using all of their personality, their musicianship, their background to make a great concert. It’s the orchestra’s concert, not the conductor’s concert. The conductor is the frame that helps enable the orchestra to play beautifully. So what I like is to see what’s individual about the Buffalo Philharmonic, what makes it special. Let that shine.
Every summer the Buffalo Philharmonic offers free concerts. How important are free concerts to orchestras?
JF: It’s very important because it gives people a chance to try classical music out. People tell me that they love to bring their kids as well. It’s important, in a way, because the Buffalo Philharmonic is part of the fabric of life in Buffalo, in the summers especially. We’re Buffalo’s orchestra, and that’s great.
You have lived in Buffalo for eleven years now. What do you like about Buffalo?
JF: I find everything about living here warm and open. I love the people; I love the ease of traveling around the city. I do a lot of traveling around the country and the world, so when I come back to Buffalo it’s like a sigh of relief for me. I’m back home in the neighborhood – in the city – where everything has a great feeling of warmth, community, and caring. And of course, the fact that the community cares about the philharmonic means a great deal to me.
: 0 2 0 2 B U The Begining of the End? by Ally Balcerzak photos by Benny Higo
he plans are drawn; it’s been approved by the state and they’ve already started building. UB 2020. It is happening, whether we want it to or not. Despite the array of opinions about UB 2020 – some good, some not so much – how many of us really understand what it even is? Since the idea’s inception in 2004, “UB 2020” has been thrown around all over campus and throughout Buffalo, but a full explanation has never really surfaced. Instead we would find out bits and pieces about different projects happening around campus, and UB 2020 would accompany them. So, what does it mean for us now?
What is UB 2020? According to the plan’s official website (www.buffalo.edu/ub2020), it is, “Our plan for enhancing educational opportunities for our students, advancing research discoveries that improve life for people throughout the world and increasing UB’s economi c
impact on our region and New York State. It is designed to help revitalize the BuffaloNiagara region by bringing more jobs to the area through university projects and to help shape Buffalo into one of the top medical research cities in the country. Part of UB 2020 is to relocate certain schools and programs. The medical school, which has primarily been on South Campus, will be the first school to change location. When the new Global Heart and Vascular Institute opens in the Medical Corridor of downtown Buffalo, it will be the first building that is part of the new Downtown Campus being built by the university. Eventually, UB 2020 calls for moving the dental, nursing, pharmacy, and public health schools all to the Downtown Campus, thus placing anything health related within walking distance of each other in the Medical Corridor. With the medical school leaving South Campus, there will be room to move the Law, Social Work, and Education Schools, along with the School of Management onto the campus where they will join the Architecture and Planning Schools. By moving these professional and graduate programs to South Campus, the university will be creating a “center for professional education” that they hope will foster further growth for the programs and attract top applicants to the area.
That leaves a majority of undergraduate and graduate programs on North Campus. The university’s goal for North Campus is to make it “warmer, livelier, more sociable and better connected with its neighborhoods and the community than ever before,” at least according to the UB 2020 website. Students can expect to see construction projects that will connect the Academic Spine to Lake LaSalle by a new public space called “The Oval,” along with more efforts to connect Ellicott with the main part of campus. The university also plans on making it easier to drive around campus by creating new roads connecting to the student neighborhoods, while also making campus more bike and alternative-transportation friendly. On the surface, this is just fine for the general public, but what does UB 2020 mean for the students on campus now? We’re the ones paying tuition while all of this construction is happening, and we’re the ones dealing with all the noise, debris, and displacement that occurs every time the university embarks on a new ill-timed project. Let’s start with this: UB 2020 will not be completed by the year 2020. It was never intended to be. The concept “2020” refers to 20/20 vision, not the year. Confusing. With that little known fact out of the way, allow me to explain what this “perfect” vision means for the rest of us.
Tuition increases and funding for UB 2020 UB 2020 does have its flaws. This past summer we have seen many bills go before the New York State Assembly that appeared to make UB less public and more private. Thankfully, the majority of the bills failed, but the memory of them will remain on campus for years to come,
especially as UB 2020 continues. Many students and groups question the university’s plan. Ashley Welsch, a senior Legal Studies major, thinks the plan is a cash cow.
obvious that it is all about making money. I wish the students luck throughout this whole process, and I hope it turns out for the best.”
“I think UB 2020 is a good idea in theory,” she said, “but I don’t believe that bettering students’ education is the motive behind it. Considering the failed bills wanting to turn UB pseudo-private, I think it’s pretty
One on-campus group speaking out against UB 2020 is the Defend Our Education Coalition. The group is made up of graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, and (continued on page 14)
(continued from page 13) community
members that have come together because they believe education is a basic right and are opposed to the privatization that has come with UB 2020. One vocal member of this group is media studies MFA candidate Cayden Mak. “I think that one of the important things about UB2020 for students is that it is a strategic plan that emphasizes research over teaching,” he said. “If you take a look
at all the job postings that are new, enabled by the NYSUNY2020 challenge grant, only six are professors in arts, humanities, and social sciences who might teach undergraduates. Only a handful more are support staff for student programs. I think that these subjects, in conjunction with hard sciences, form the essential core of an education required by today’s complex, globalized world. UB2020’s emphasis is not on us, the students. It’s on doing research and making money.”
It has yet to be seen whether UB 2020 will truly help the students in the end, and it won’t be seen for a few decades. Chances are, certain aspects of the plan will truly make UB a top tier university we can all be proud of while others will become punch lines of jokes.
Construction on Campus When it comes to the creation of the Downtown Campus and the movement of programs, there has been nothing but confusion for students. No one knows when things will be moving, and seeing construction to renovate the current building on South Campus has lead many students to wonder what the point is. Nick Filk, a P3 in the pharmacy school, is one of those students. “The new pharmacy school was built on South Campus because all the other health fields are currently there,” he said. “Supposedly, the medical school along with the other health care schools is now moving downtown. I guess that means we built a brand new building for nothing. We will probably move in a few years and abandon the beautiful new building on South Campus.” Once again, students have been misinformed, causing unnecessary student unrest over UB 2020. It is highly unlikely most of us will see anything move other than the pharmacy school heading to it’s new building on South Campus. The Downtown Campus is supported by Albany as a means to grow the university, thus leading to funding given to UB to build it. However, aside from the medical school gradually moving down there with the opening of the Vascular Institute, it is estimated that it will take almost 30 years to fully build the Downtown Campus and get all of the health science related schools down there. As for the construction being done on both North and South Cam-
puses, it will continue being done piece by piece. We have seen the completion and opening of Greiner Hall, which has been recognized as a “green building.” While the construction on the new engineering building, as well as the renovations to Red Jacket Dining Hall, should be completed by the end of this school year. It is important to point out, though, that the addition of Greiner Hall came less parking. Stephen Shapero, a senior RA in Greiner who is also involved on campus, said, “I believe that UB is attempting to expand but still getting many key things wrong. Parking, for example. They close the Quad and open Greiner Hall – a big plus – but that adds six hundred new students and probably about one hundred more cars to the Ellicott parking lots. Yet they don’t expand the parking lots to contain more space for vehicles. UB has great ideas. They just don’t know how to plan and execute them in a reasonable fashion that minimizes the impact on students.” Those living on South Campus will see that The Quads are finally being demolished to make way for new housing. Farber Hall is also being remodeled, leaving a good chunk of the campus covered in orange cones and dirt. If you dorm in Clement or Goodyear, you may want to invest in some earplugs so you’re not woken up at 7 o’clock in the morning. All of these projects and the ones to come are going to slowly transform the look of the
campuses. However, most of us won’t see the finished project unless we come back after graduation. Instead, we will continue to be displaced as things are shut down for construction, and we’ll have to live with more dust and debris as things get torn down and built.
Will UB 2020 help us in the end? Returning students are aware of the tuition increase this year, and while it has been blamed entirely on UB 2020, this isn’t in fact true. Part of the NYSUNY2020 bill passed last school year called for “rational” tuition increases to help structure tuition hikes so they come
across as being “less random” each year. The bill calls for a tuition increase of 5% per year for the next five years with university centers such as UB having the ability to petition for up to an 8% increase per year. Thankfully, the decision to increase tuition by more than 5% does not rest solely with SUNY trustees and university administrators but rather must pass before the state Legislature. The expectation that tuition could stay the same year after year isn’t realistic. The 5% a year increase, which equates to about $300 for this academic year, is practically just an adjustment for inflation and cost of living. On campus, the bill has received mixed reviews. There are students who oppose the bill and its tuition increases in their entirety because after five years, it is estimated that tuition will have increased by almost $3000. But there are students, such as Feren Johnson, a senior biology and psychology major, who believe the tuition increase will only benefit the university. “I personally don’t think it is a very big deal. UB, according to US News and World Report, is number 120 in the nation, that’s pretty good. So why shouldn’t we be bettering the school so it can grow and accommodate more people’s needs?” Returning students are aware of the tuition increase this year, and while it has been blamed entirely on UB 2020, this isn’t in fact true. Part of the NYSUNY2020 bill passed last school year called for “rational” tuition increases to help structure
tuition hikes so they come across as being “less random” each year. The bill calls for a tuition increase of 5% per year for the next five years with university centers such as UB having the ability to petition for up to an 8% increase per year. Thankfully, the decision to increase tuition by more than 5% does not rest solely with SUNY trustees and university administrators but rather must pass before the state Legislature. The expectation that tuition could stay the same year after year isn’t realistic. The 5% a year increase, which equ ates to about $300 for this academic year, is practically just an adjustment for inflation and cost of living. Yes, yearly tuition is increasing, but it does not directly fund UB 2020. In fact, the project is being funded by many different sources. The original funds to begin the project came from department budgets themselves. As UB 2020 was being prepared to start, the administration asked each department to give up a portion of their budget to put towards the project. Before one points out that the budgets are funded by our tuition, remember that this was just the initial endowment. After acquiring start-up money from the departments, the UB 2020 Foundation began supplementing the project’s budget. There was also money given to the university by the state, specifically for UB 2020. All of these sources combined make up the bulk of the funding for the project. It does not rely solely on student tuition. It never has.
Official UB 2020 website: www.buffalo.edu/ub2020Y2020 Defend Our Education Coalition website: www.buyindontsellout.org Important bills associated with UB 2020: NYSUNY2020, Public Education Empowerment and Innovation Act (PHEEIA)
The Not-So Ol’
he Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority #35 Sheridan bus is one of two city bus routes that depart from the Flint Circle in UB’s North Campus. Created during the system-wide changes in 2010, the newer line provides convenient transportation for students to access dozens of businesses along its route. “I’ve taken the 35 to work and to UB several times.” said Chris McKay, a regular rider. “It’s a dependable bus, but it could run more often.” On weekdays, #35 buses depart Flint Circle roughly every half hour, from 6:30am until the last bus leaves at 9:50pm. Riders can take the 35 from UB North Campus to get to the Boulevard Mall, IHOP, Tops, Save-a-Lot or Wegman’s grocery stores, Adventure Landing (arcade and mini-golf), Premier Wine and Spirits, Mighty Taco, and others. The bus also passes several banks, clothing shops, parks, and churches, as well as dozens of other restaurants. Connecting buses, such as the 20 Elmwood and the 25 Delaware, head downtown through cultural and historical districts. Maps and schedules of all city bus routes are available at http://metro.nfta.com/. In
addition, paper schedules are available in most transit stations. The timetable for the 35 is easy to read; it tells what time the bus departs from major intersections along the route. The 35 leaves from the same shelter as the Stampede bus to South Campus, and runs all the way to Vulcan Loop in Tonawanda. Riders can also call Metro at (716) 8557211. The automated system will announce the times when the bus arrives. Operators stand by at the customer care center from 6am to 6pm, Monday through Friday. The route 44 Lockport also stops at Flint circle and runs to the University station at south campus. The South Campus University Station is a stop for many lines, including the RAIL, the 8 Main, the 12 Utica, 13 Kensington, 34 Niagara Falls Boulevard, 19 Bailey, and the 48 Williamsville. Anyone can ride the bus and RAIL. Fare is $1.75 for one-way or $4.00 for an unlimited day pass. A day pass is helpful when connecting between multiple buses (such as, the 44 to the 19). You should make sure to bring exact fare! Operators do not give change. UB provides a limited number of free RAIL passes to qualified students. They cannot, however, be used on the bus. All metro vehicles and RAIL trains
text & photos by Porsche Jones
and stations are accessible to riders with disabilities. According to a report by Citizens for Regional Transit, Metro RAIL is powered by clean, renewable, hydroelectric power. “Metro Bus and RAIL saved western New York 1.7 million gallons of gasoline last year,” Mr. Hartmayer pointed out, reading a statistic from the NFTA website. “Every full bus means 40 fewer cars on the road.” There is a wealth of information available from the NFTA and the Citizens for Regional Transit on how public transportation is a cleaner, safer, less expensive way to travel. “Public transit eases traffic congestion, provides access to jobs, stimulates economic development and improves property values, and promotes walkable neighborhoods,” concludes one CRT report. “NFTA Metro employs over 1,100 people and is good for the Niagara region.” “In winter, when Buffalo weather has dumped a bunch of ice on your car, what could be easier than hopping on the bus?” noted Sarah Womack, a UB student. “It’s cheaper than driving, and I can read or text while I ride.” For more information, visit: http://metro.nfta.com/, http://www.citizenstransit.org/
! E C I V D A
Move-In EDITION by the Editors
My girlfriend is going to a different college. How can we maintain our relationship so far away? Did you ever see that movie Going the Distance? Neither did we. It looked terrible, and so does your relationship. We mean, if your girlfriend truly loved you she would have moved with you, right? Women should be subservient to men, according to that scary-looking congresswoman. For all you know your girlfriend could be with Snoop Dogg right now. We say dump the b and move on. It’s better that way…
I don’t have a car this semester. How can I get around outside campus? It depends where you’re living. If you live on North Campus, there’s really nowhere you’d want to go. If you live on South Campus, there’s really nowhere you can go without getting robbed. It’s a lose-lose situation. If you live off-campus and still don’t have a car, you can always take a brisk walk on Sweet Home Road or Millersport Highway. Ever consider Netflix? They jacked up their prices recently but it’s still a solid deal. Collateral is a good-ass movie.
I never really left the house before, I’m nervous living on my own. How should I cope with this? We could give you the obvious answers that only a jackass would suggest – you know, “start drinking heavily,” weed, etc. - but we’re a little classier than that. We suggest that you totally ignore reality. You should deep down in your heart ignore all of your pain and angst and stuff it into a ball, if you will, and then shove it into the back of your head and let it out later in your course papers. Don’t worry: graduate students do it all the time. Remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it. If you get the epistemological quality of that statement, then you really should start drinking.
With my limited budget, what kind of furniture should I get? Get the most expensive furniture you can find. Velvet pillows stuffed with velvet pillows. Leather couches made from endangered animals. A coffee table built by Jesus. Not only will the girls flock to your pad but you will also get mad street cred and a possible visit from Snoop Dogg. “How can I afford all of this?” you might ask. We dunno. Sell crack.
I’m really not sure what I want to study yet. How should I choose my major? Not sure what you want to study? Have no interests? One word: Communications.
I look really bad in blue and white but I want to show my school pride. What should I do? What colors would you rather have, red and yellow you fucking commie?
I want to do very well this semester. What study habits do you suggest? Read everything at least twice. Make sure you do your assignments well before they’re due. Make time to do revisions. Study at least a week before your test. Seek out the help and advice of tutors, peers, and professors…and donate your entire savings to the UB Foundation. This is not John B. Simpson, I swear.
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Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? By Seth Cosimini
ost of the readers, and the writers, of Generation cannot remember what Really Existing Socialism looked like. A mishmash of mustachioed tyrants and human rights atrocities, the examples from history show narratives of dark dystopias as if 1984 were historical fiction. Well, since the 2008 financial crisis, major international media organizations have (finally) caught on that capitalism is no endless breakfast buffet. And in this recent second wave of alarming numbers and analyses, economists are everywhere on the internet positing, “Marx was right!” Surely this can’t mean we must reconsider ration tickets and gulags? Mark Fisher’s compact mixture of revolutionary rhetoric and sprawling analysis Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? makes tangible that no alternative really exists. Rather than attempt to salvage communism, he presents a direct application of Marxist analysis, mostly standing on the shoulders of Slavoj Žižek and Fredric Jameson, to our contemporary moment, (re)diagnosing cultural ills in the West. Fisher’s ultimate drive is to define the term “capitalist real-
ism” in order to elucidate the reality of capitalism without an alternative and to demonstrate the implications of renaming postmodernism, or at least rebranding it, to give the almosttoo-easily-applicable term some direction under a new heading. Capitalist realism, Fisher outright states, is “a pervasive atmosphere, conditioning not only the production of culture but also the regulation of work and education” founded on the lack of any imaginable alternative. Do not be fooled by the weight of the project as I have described it here. Despite Fisher being a college lecturer and now a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, Capitalist Realism does not read like the critical book publication for his tenure dossier. Without bibliography, index, or proper citation style, the work is particularly unfriendly for researchers. No doubt, this structure is by design. But what may seem to have been Fisher’s intentions in alienating academic readership are not realized. So what are his intentions? I defer to the unique and ultracool publisher, Zero Books, and their mission statement printed in the back of the book. Zero Books explains that another kind of discourse exists that is
“intellectual without being academic, popular without being populist […] beyond the striplit malls of so-called mass media and the neurotically bureaucratic halls of the academy.” Stripping away conventions of academic writing to focus on the immediacy of his analysis, Fisher uses theorists and popular culture examples to justify and propel his alarmist writing. A particular favorite example of his rhetoric Capital is an abstract parasite, an insatiable vampire and zombie-maker; but the living flesh it converts into dead labor is ours, and the zombies it makes are us.”
Capitalist Reaslism: Is There No Alternative by Mark Fisher O’Books, 2009 81 pp., $14.95
But sacrifices certainly exist when dropping the tools of academic writing. Eighty-one pages is not much time to flesh out such a hefty thesis, but Fisher’s often violent rhetoric indicates he wishes to sacrifice none of the heft for sake of traditional structures of argument and persuasion—sometimes forgoing evidence at all, as in his claim that “many successful business people are dyslexic” and that perhaps causation exists in this (unproven) correlation.
shape his argument. Beginning with a discussion of the film adaptation Children of Men, Capitalist Realism moves in leaps and bounds to touch on failed liberal activism and its cousin apathetic youth, the education system, causes and exploitations of common mental health issues, and bureaucratic business models, while calling up examples from popular film, advertising, and major theorists along the way. Fisher presents a sensory overload of information that attempts to prove beyond a reasonable doubt while simultaneously undercutting his argument with the underdeveloped and yet-to-beunpacked claims.
Chapter breaks feel almost like checkpoints vaguely guiding Fisher’s intellectual travels than a logical progression to
He uses the education system as both an example of expansive complications and a site of specific (continued on page 21)
(continued from page 21)
alarm in capitalism’s pervasive infiltration and conversion: students’ widespread mental illness/difficulty comprehending material (boredom) and the arresting self-policing of ultra-bureaucracy in modern academia. Why, after Lacan and Foucault, do we only seem to view common mental health issues like depression or ADHD as solely bio-chemical after? Why do we think that public service, i.e. education, should be run with a for-profit business model or should at least be evaluated as
such? These offer convincing insights into the “abstract parasite” that disrupt the discourses found in popular media. These sites of capitalist realism’s influence in education are perhaps the most memorable because Fisher took time to expand and explain rather than force the assertion, evidence, and implication into a single sentence. Still an onslaught of examples, at-best-underdeveloped analyses, and citationless quotation, these chapters lu-
cidly demonstrate the palpable flexibility of capitalism with a litany of compelling observations for each specific point the author wishes to prove. Fisher hits his stride when forced to engage with specificity, which is not where the book ends up. Because of his decided divergence from academic writing, Fisher wants to peddle more than analysis—in the conclusion he starts the conversation of how we may intelligently challenge capitalism in the
political sphere. Admittedly, he only offers vague thoughts for possible direction in the anticapitalist left and an almost cliché notion of hope in our darkest hour: as if reminding us that the Chinese symbol for “chaos” is also “opportunity” or whatever Tazo teabags say. But the final chapter may be better taken as a direct stance against what he sees the academic community doing to combat a system it dedicates so much time to tearing apart analytically, which is nothing at all.
I Was Reading Fanny Howe By Raïssa Huntley
ndivisible is a short novel packaged with four others under the heading Radical Love, a title that bluntly describes the focus of Howe’s work. The novel is autobiographical in spirit, but not in detail. It’s narrator, Henny, is a wallflower of Boston’s 60’s activist/artist scene. She raises children who are not hers and raises other adults as if they were children. All of her own movements seem small and restricted while she supports those around her who are pushing into new territory in politics and consciousness. Howe herself was in Boston in the 60’s and her writing is informed by the cultural upheaval she witnessed. Witness is a key word in describing Indivisible; Henny seems to be a reporter with no one to report to. As her friends navigate racial politics and the
criminal justice system, and as her foster children accumulate from their miserable origins, Henny rubs these observations into her ongoing conversation with herself about the “exchange between matter and spirit,” which draws from a broad field of religious and philosophical ideas. “There is a kind of story [...] that glides along under everything else that is happening.”
Indivisible gives us a view of Boston in the 60’s that is metered out to us in small and non-continuous images introduced through Howe’s widereaching spiritual and philosophic views. Since it is so easy for the unsettled youth of my generation to idealize the social critics and artists of the sixties, who seemed to know the exact dimensions of their enemies, what is wonderful about Indivisible is its lack of clarity, its
uncertainty about exactly when a change takes place and where human will begins and ends. By giving new depth-of-field to an era we thought we had pegged, Howe helps us to pause in front of our current moment and broaden our interpretation. One of the personal projects I have set for myself during the two-odd years I will spend pursuing my MA in English at UB is to suss out my generation’s conception(s) of the writerly persona. Before arriving for orientation I was nervously ruminating on the ways my fellow classmates might play out their versions of this persona. Would there be a pack of Kerouacians who would leave their travel memoirs lying openfaced in study lounges? Would I have to become a smoker if I wanted to join my classmates’ conversations on Literary Existentialism? Will the other
Indivisible by Fanny Howe Semiotext(e), 2000 252 pp., $11.95 students assert that they have a prerogative as writers? What will that prerogative be? And upon amassing ourselves in this program, unable to ignore the list of infamies ongoing in this historical moment (including the assault on higher education, detailed in other pages of this publication), how will we refine that prerogative to fit our moment?
by Claire Brown
I’ll warn you right now, this is going to come off as crotchety, curmudgeonly, cantankerous, and a lot of other words beginning with “c” that mean “irritated or generally cranky” (I’ll give you a hint: one of them rhymes with “runty.” I know, I’m offending your delicate sensibilities.) As a matter of fact, I’m writing this on the eve of my 23rd birthday. That’s right. I bet you can smell the old lady perfume from here (Can you? Sorry about that.) Well, so be it. One of the greatest things about getting old (aside from reduced movie ticket prices) is the ability—nay, the right—to complain about anything and everything. And today I’ve got my sights set on something that is annoying almost everyone at UB right now. Gather around, kiddies! Time to rant about the HUB! Let me preface my complaints by saying that before coming to UB, I did my undergrad at a very, very small college in Central New York. We’re talking about 500 students. In total. My entire graduating class was probably the size of the average UB survey course. So when it comes to school stuff like registration, bill payment, class rosters, etc., I have very little experience with it being almost exclusively on the web. Back in my day (I told you I’d be crotchety), if we wanted to register for classes we’d get up at 7 in the morning and walk to the registrar’s office in our pajamas. In the snow. Uphill both ways. We didn’t even have shoes… Okay, so that’s a lie, but it’s still a whole lot different from what the HUB offers. And really, I might not have had shoes. I’m so old, I really can’t remember. Remembering is for little whippersnappers like yourselves. I’ve been on the HUB almost every day since enrolling at UB, and I’ve got to say it seems pretty impressive. You can view your class schedule, pay bills (which is never fun, but whatever), post classwork on UBlearns, and there’s even a nifty little place to receive campus
alerts. The problem is that I’ve been on the HUB countless times, and it hasn’t gotten any easier to navigate. It took me at least half an hour to figure out how to change my address and contact info in the Student Center. Apparently, I owe a few thousand dollars’ worth of tuition, even though I received tuition remission. And once I’m on the Student Center page, I can’t go back to the “MyUB” homepage without running into an error page (at least, I haven’t been able to figure out how to avoid it yet). Did I mention that since I also teach here, I can view my class roster and gradebook on the HUB? Sounds great, right? Yeah, except I can’t print out any of that information to take with me to class. I also can’t email attachments to my class individually or as a whole, so a lot of them get multiple emails from me during the day, since I have to shuttle back and forth between the HUB and my email account, depending on the subject matter. I’m sure my students just love seeing my name that many times in their inboxes. I don’t know what UB had in place before the HUB, but I’m starting to wonder why the switch to the HUB system was made in the first place. There’s apparently a website you can visit that will “train” you to use the HUB correctly. Sounds like a good idea, I suppose. Then again, complaining about it is fun, too.
Shots The Great UB Bonus
by Erin Willis
It was a nice summer for former President John B. Simpson, who reportedly earned a hefty $225,560 bonus before ditching Buffalo. According to articles published in Artvoice earlier this year (see “Take the Money and Run” and “The Great UB Heist”), the former president did pretty well for himself, earning 61% more than he had the previous year. Add to that a mansion downtown, a car, and a six-figure salary – all of which paid for by the school – and it seems that he made off like a bandit, robbing the school when academic “waste” is being cut and financial aid is being slaughtered. Even more disturbing is the fact that Simpson himself may have approved the bonus, with no oversight from other high-ranking administrators. According to these Artvoice articles, other top-level administrators made off before taking off, too, leaving nothing but a tax statement in their wake. Ultimately, the amount of money given out may top out at over $1,000,000. If we do the math, that $225,560 alone could have paid full in-state tuition for forty-two undergraduate students, half of the tuition for eightyfour, etc. It could have gone to other scholarships for things like study abroad, some of which have been cancelled since funds have been are drying up. Or perhaps it could have been used to save small departments like Gender and African-American studies, which are feeling the pressure of UB 2020’s research-obsessed goals. Maybe the university could have added a parking lot, since commuters are finding it more and more difficult to even get to class. Clearly, the money went somewhere it didn’t belong. And yet Simpson has been able take the money with almost no publicity. As our new president, Dr. Satish Tripathi, begins his inaugural year, I hope that he keeps the students – all of the students – in mind: indeed, it is they who will have to deal most directly with the (good and bad) consequences of UB 2020. I hope that this president will be much more open with the community about the money he makes, and I also hope he is wary to approve overzealous bonuses for himself and others. If the future of UB is to be successful, oversight is essential: it would be a shame for successes in research and academia to be overshadowed by corruption and greed.
STUDENT ASSOCIATION EVENTS COMING SOON
SA Giveaway Week September 6th-9th
First 500 undergrads each day who come to 350 SU with their UB ID will get a free giveaway!
UB Trippin’ To
Darien Lake &The Lion King
Darien Lake: 9/17/11-Rain Date 9/25/11 Leave SU at 12:00pm Leave Darien at 7:00pm Tickets available starting Sept 1st Price: $15 Provides: Admission to park & transportation. Note: During family FrightFest*
Lion King at Shea’s Performing Arts Center: 10/4-10/5 & 10/16 Leave SU 10/4-10/5 at 6:00pm and 10/16 at 11:30am Tickets available starting Sept 12th Price: $25
All tickets will be available at the SBI Ticket Office
You must take provided transportation to all UB trippin’ events in order to receive admission
STUDENTASSEMBLY & SENATE THE LEGISLATIVE BODIES OF THE STUDENT ASSOCIATION ALL UNDERGRADS ARE ELIGIBLE TO JOIN THE ASSEMBLY & SENATORS ARE ELECTED
Petitions are available between 9:00am-5:00pm starting Aug 29th in 350SU Senate Petitions Due 9/15 by 12:00pm Assembly Petitions Due 9/19 by 4:00pm Elections will take place September 21st-23rd in the SU Lobby
AVAILABLE IN 350 SU: DUE BY SEPTEMBER 16TH
Follow us on www.facebook.com/UBStudentAssociation Office: Suite 350 Student Union, Buffalo, NY 14260
Regular Hours: M-F 9:00am - 6:00pm Phone: (716) 645-2950