the Independent Student Publication of the University at Buffalo, Since 1950
The S pectrum ubspectrum.com
Volume 62 No. 53
Monday, February 18, 2013
Married Catholic priest is a sign of changing times Story on page 5
A night inside Buffalo’s new Helium Comedy Club Story on page 4
UB calendar may see big changes in fall 2013
Deciphering who gets what in the athletic department
Labor Day, Thanksgiving, winter break and Jewish holidays potentially affected
BEN TARHAN Sports Editor
ollege athletics is big money. Huge money. Even schools like UB, which take on the daunting task of competing with powerhouses like the University of Florida and University of Texas, try to build a brand and turn a profit through athletics. Texas has become one of the most successful college athletics programs in the country with a commitment to every single sport. “Whatever we do, we want to do it well,” said Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds in a USA Today article. “Whatever sport we have, we want it totally funded – I mean totally funded. We want it to be the right experience for every youngster on all of our teams. Whether it be travel or housing or whatever it is, we want it to be first class.” While schools with huge operating revenues can afford to fully fund a large number of sports, some smaller schools can afford to fund only a handful. Buffalo falls somewhere between those categories. The Bulls have the money to fully support the biggest teams on campus (i.e. football and basketball) but after that, other teams are awarded money from the school with inconsistency. Teams with more wins don’t necessarily get more money, and teams with more members don’t necessarily get more money, either. Although the Bulls do not have the athletic budget of Florida (in the 2010-11 academic year, Florida’s football team made $72.8 million by itself, while Buffalo’s whole athletic department made $26 million in 2011-12), they are still making a profit. Student fees account for a large fraction of money dispersed amongst Buffalo’s athletic teams. The fees accounted for $7.8 million of the total athletic budget revenue in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years. Buffalo can afford to give the football team first-class accommodations when it
SARA DINATALE Senior News Editor
Art by Jeanette chwan
travels around the country, chartering planes and reserving whole floors in hotels, but teams like volleyball and wrestling are forced to take 12-hour bus rides to Northern Illinois and the schools in Michigan. Buffalo does turn a profit athletically, even if just barely. The margin between the Bulls’ revenue and expenses in the 2011-12 academic year was $2,000 in the black. The most obvious measure of many teams’ success is on-the-field performance. But which teams get financed the most is not dictated by winning percentages. In the 2010-11 and 2011-12 years, the football team received the most direct institutional support ($4.9 million combined) and brought in the most revenue ($10.9 million
combined), despite posting a 5-19 record. Part of football’s larger revenue comes from ticket sales. The large UB Stadium, which can seat approximately 30,000 fans, gives the team the opportunity to sell more tickets than any other team on campus. The men’s swimming and diving team has posted a first- and second-place finish at the Mid-American Conference championship meet in the last two seasons. Its combined operating revenue from 2010-11 and 2011-12 was $723,779.69. That’s a gap of more than $10 million, though the swim team has been a MAC powerhouse in recent seasons and the football team has struggled to win games. Continued on page 2
UB’s Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage to become official department SHARON KAHN Staff Writer UB’s undergraduate Jewish studies major is scheduled to become a full-fledged department in fall 2013. Five years earlier, the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage became a multidisciplinary research and academic degreegranting program. Its mission is to foster knowledge, inquiry and scholarly excellence to better understand Judaism. The department will offer various degree options and courses. Dr. Richard Cohen, director of the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage, was one of the visionaries and creators of the program back in 2008. Eager to return back to his home on the East Coast after teaching Jewish Studies at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte for 14 years, he was hired to direct the new program at UB. According to Cohen, the program’s goal is to teach what Judaism is in an academic and scholarly context and to provide a better understanding of Judaism. “This is not just a program for Jews,” Cohen said. “We don’t identify our students by religion. Nobody does that at the university. It is simply to provide a more objective account of Judaism.”
Courtesy of The University at Buffalo / Douglas Levere
In the fall of 2013, the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage will become a full-fledged department with a mission to foster knowledge, inquiry and scholarly excellence to better understand Judaism. Dr. Richard Cohen (above) helped create the program in 2008.
Christianity was founded on many Jewish principles and the major Christian characters were originally Jewish, according to Cohen. He also said Islam was enormously influenced by Judaism, as Jews appear in the Quran. Marla Segol, undergraduate adviser for the institute and an associate professor in
UB’s Department of English, feels the program fits into the university’s notion of what liberal arts is and what it’s for. She agrees that students of all different backgrounds and beliefs can benefit from taking any of the courses offered in the program.
The Faculty Senate Executive Committee voted to have class sessions over winter break and hold classes on Labor Day and Jewish holidays. The proposals still have to go to President Tripathi before a final decision is made, and administration will likely set up a group to provide student input, according to Daniel Ovadia, the UB Council student representative. While some students see the benefits, others are upset by the prospects. The executive committee, which “shall act as the representative of the Senate and in an advisory capacity to the President,” is a faction of the Faculty Senate authorized to act between Senate meetings, according to Charter of the Faculty Senate. The committee met on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Faculty Senate met on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Currently, UB is the only SUNY University Center that does not hold winter intersession classes; University at Albany, University at Binghamton and Stony Brook University have classes over winter break. The benefits of winter sessions were discussed in a January committee meeting. Kara Saunders, university registrar, used Stony Brook as an example, stating 2,200 students taking three-credit courses would yield about $2 million, according to minutes from Jan. 23 provided by Edward Herman, secretary of the Faculty Senate. “Possible course offerings might include intensive language study, distance learning, internships, undergraduate research experiences, field research, and ‘boot camps’ – courses that would enable undergraduates who had difficulty in prerequisite courses during the fall semester to master the subject enabling them to continue in the spring,” according the January minutes. The committee also believes the courses would benefit international students who are already on campus during the winter intersession. Supong Ozukum, a senior geology major and an international student from India, usually spends his winter break “sitting at home and wasting time.” “If they offer classes, I’d like to take them,” Ozukum said. “It would help me get ahead for my graduation. It would help me stay ahead of the game.” Ozukum admits he enjoys having Jewish holidays off, but the committee voted to hold classes on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. “The reasoning is that one religion should not get favorable treatment over others in the academic calendar,” Herman said in an email. “For example, the vote took place on Ash Wednesday, a day when classes were held.” In Herman’s understanding of New York State law, he said professors cannot give exams, set due dates for projects or papers or mandate attendance on a religious holiday, or “interfere with religious observance in any other way harmful to student success.” Cortney Rosen, a senior communication major who is of Jewish faith, isn’t happy with the proposal.
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Opinion 3 Life, Arts & Entertainment 4-6 Classifieds & Daily Delights 7
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Continued from page 1: From major to masterâ€™s â€œIf you are interested in the history of religions, then this is a good place to start,â€? Segol said. â€œI have a number of Christian students taking my classes because they want to understand what happened before. They understand that the Bible is their book, and they think of the Hebrew Bible as their book, too, so they want to know it as well.â€? As of November, there have been three different majors established within the program. Some of the students involved with the start up of the program will graduate this spring with degrees in the majors provided, according to Segol, Students who choose to take part in any of the degree programs offered through the department can choose from a variety of courses that consist of various levels of Hebrew, History of Israel and Zionism, Modern Jewish Thought, American Jewish Experience, Jewish Mysticism and more. While the department offers a great number of courses, the program isnâ€™t extremely demanding. Many of the students do double major, according to Cohen Amy Feist, a senior psychology major, plans on graduating this spring with a minor in Jewish Studies. Feist believes the small-sized classes offered through the department provide students with an entirely different experience from the typical UB courses. â€œThe classes donâ€™t even seem like real classes,â€? Feist said. â€œItâ€™s not that normal NSC setting where youâ€™re bored out of your mind sitting alone staring at your professor. It seems more like hanging out with friends and having intellectual and deep conversations about some common thing youâ€™ve all taken a special interest in. The professors sit next to you and want to hear what you have to say. Itâ€™s such a laidback setting. You get so much more out of it all that way.â€? The department is eager to get more students involved and it has made sure to ensure that all students are aware that religion is not pushed on any student who chooses to take
Monday, February 18, 2013
Continued from page 1: UB calendar may see big changes in fall 2013
any of the courses offered through the department. Segol teaches her students there are two perspectives to studying any religion â€“ an emic and etic perspective. While an emic perspective is from an insiderâ€™s point of view, it is often studied so one can continue personal practice or give advice to others who practice it. An etic perspective, on the other hand, is an outsiderâ€™s perspective and one you donâ€™t have to be a part of to understand. â€œThe idea is that anybody with a reasoning mind, and anybody that is willing to put in the work can get fruitful results from studying this material,â€? Segol said. â€œWe teach from an etic perspective, and [students] are welcome to use this information any way they like.â€? The Hillel of Buffalo â€“ the campus center for Jewish life â€“ has partnered with the program to create an internship opportunity for students who are partaking in the courses. Students can work in the community by creating a companion course through the institute and Hillel, according to Segol. Cohen, along with the rest of the staff, sees a bright future for this new department. â€œI donâ€™t know if you can convey the excitement we have, being a new program,â€? Cohen said. â€œWhen there was only one person here, me, they could take just my classes. Then, we had two people here and we were then able to create a minor in Jewish Studies. Then, we had four people here and we were able to create a major in Jewish Studies.â€? The department has plans of establishing masterâ€™s and doctoral degree programs in the field of Jewish Studies, according to Segol. For students who are interested in learning more about the department or courses that are offered, information can be found at jewishstudies.buffalo.edu. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
â€œFor two of the most religious days of the year in the Jewish religion to not get off is not right,â€? Rosen said. â€œItâ€™s sacred and itâ€™s a day where we celebrate and a day we replenish our sins for the past year.â€? Rosen feels if UB holds classes those days, â€œhalf the student body wouldnâ€™t be attendingâ€? because Jewish students would be observing their religion. â€œItâ€™s a full day â€“ whereas Ash Wednesday, no one has a problem of attending work and or school and they just find time to go to church,â€? Rosen said.
Stony Brook and New Paltz recently implemented a policy to hold classes on Jewish holidays, according to Herman. Twenty-two of the 29 fouryear SUNY campuses do not cancel classes on Jewish holidays, according to Stony Brookâ€™s website. The committee also voted to hold classes on Labor Day and extend the days off for Thanksgiving to a full week. The committee felt Labor Day is very disruptive at the beginning of a semester, according to Herman.
â€œStudents who travel home for the holiday often miss more classes than those held on Labor Day,â€? Herman said. â€œOn the other hand, very few students are in town during Thanksgiving week when classes are canceled on Wednesday.Â The thought was to recognize this reality and make up the time during the week of Labor Day.â€? Rosen agrees it may make traveling for students easier but added, â€œstudents needs as many breaks as possible.â€? Email: email@example.com
Continued from page 1: Dollar Bulls Similarly, in the 2010 season, the womenâ€™s soccer team won just one game. Its operating revenue for that season was $662,316. In 2011, the team won 12 games and made it to the second round of the MAC Tournament. Its 2011 operating revenue was $652,517. The only constants are seemingly that the football and menâ€™s basketball teams are on top of these lists. The order in which other teams receive funds from the school varies. In 2010-11, the wrestling team received the third-most funds from the school; in 2011-12, it received the 12th most. Despite the variance in direct institutional support, the wrestling teamâ€™s total operating revenue actually jumped from $376,969 to $528,350. Itâ€™s easy to say the sports with the most visibility on campus receive the most funds, which would explain why the football and basketball teams are usually near the top, but one of the least visible teams on campus also has one of the highest total operating revenues. The rowing team received the fourth-most direct institutional support in 2010-11 and had the fourth-highest operating revenue. In 2011-12, it received the eighth-most direct institutional support but maintained the fourth-
highest operating revenue. This is most likely owed in part to the fact that the rowing team had 70 student-athletes in 2011-12, the second most behind only the football team, which had 104. Despite the strong example that Texas sets for schools like Buffalo that want to enjoy fiscal and athletic success, former Arizona President Peter Likins believes Texasâ€™ success can be a doubleedged sword. â€œAt Texas, it may be sustainable,â€? Likins said of athletics spending in a USA Today article. â€œBut think about the schools that are desperately struggling to stay in the game and are dramatically increasing the universityâ€™s subsidy of intercollegiate athletics and arenâ€™t succeeding in improving their financial position.â€? â€œTexas, in a certain sense, elevates the stakes of the game so that schools â€Ś are further motivated to make financial commitments to try to catch up.â€? While UB certainly has a bigtime overall budget (the university had a revenue of $1 billion last year and profited nearly $150 million), that money is being put into other aspects of the school. Some students are complaining about poor athletics teams, but the administration is putting fund-
ing into improved housing and engineering buildings and attempting to build a new medical campus. The entire athletic department received a total of $10.2 million in the 2011-12 academic year, a hundredth of the total operating revenue of the school in the same period. As UB continues to expand in the coming years, some sports will have to take a back burner to bigger issues on campus or find their own funding, something that Athletic Director Danny White has said he is committed to. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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