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Volume 63 No. 58
TOUGHNESS ENGRAVED Late high school coach’s perseverance, resilience live on in Sharkey TOM DINKI
Asst. Sports Editor
Adrenaline can usually get athletes through a game. The heart pumps blood harder, respiration opens up, muscles contract and perspiration streams. Adrenaline was pumping through Kristen Sharkey on Jan. 26, 2014, during the Buffalo women’s basketball team’s game against Ball State in Muncie, Ind. She was penetrating the lane, grabbing rebounds and scoring seemingly at will. She made 11 baskets that day. The rest of the team combined to make 12. Sharkey did not feel she even had a right to be tired. Throughout the game, her breath became labored. The ball felt heavier each time she went up and grabbed a rebound. But Sharkey didn’t quit. She never went to the bench for a breather and played every single minute of the game. Why would she stop? Her high school coach, Kathy Snyder, hadn’t stopped coaching the basketball and field hockey teams when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. Snyder was able to overcome cancer and go into remission. So, why wouldn’t Sharkey be able to beat a defender in the lane? Why would she take a break? “At field hockey she would go behind the dugout, throw up and come back and make sure no one saw her throw up,” said Sharkey, a junior forward. “So, a person like that made me think, ‘Who am I to get tired in a basketball game? Is this girl really going to stop me down low? Breast cancer couldn’t even stop [Snyder].’” Sharkey played the best game of her UB career against Ball State and finished with 36 points. Her adrenaline allowed her to finish the game, but her motivation to finish was that Snyder’s heart had stopped pumping a little more than 48 hours prior. Snyder died of a heart attack two days before the game against Ball State. Her toughness in overcoming cancer is now present in Sharkey, whose resolve is evident on the court; she has become a physical presence around the basket and a leader for the Bulls in what could be a historic year, as the women’s basketball team chases its first-ever conference title. It is that same fortitude that allowed her to play through Snyder’s death and come back from an anterior cruciate ligament (ALC) tear. *** Sharkey is a spark for the Bulls. Her teammates often call her ‘Spark’ or ‘Sparkey’ because she’s the one who jumpstarts the team when they need it. Her teammates rarely call her Kristen – they’ve given her more nicknames, like ‘Shark,’ ‘Diesel’ and ‘Big Lovely.’ Those nicknames would have been useful on the Southern Regional High School (SRHS) girls’ basketball team, on which three Sharkeys all played at the same time. Sharkey, her older sister Shannon and their cousin Meghan Sharkey were each separated by one class. At first, Shannon was jealous that her freshman sister was starting on the varsity team with her. That changed when Shannon realized how lethal her sister was on the court, and the pair became a one-two punch for SRHS. Shannon played guard while Sharkey played forward. Sharkey became her sister’s “go-to-girl,” according to Shannon, who credits Sharkey for getting her assists. The team’s offensive strategy was
Yusong Shi, The Spectrum
Kristen Sharkey is a skilled, physical post player for the Bulls. Her toughness comes from her former high school coach, Kathy Snyder, who coached through breast cancer and died of an unrelated heart attack Jan. 24.
“I saw this lady walk behind dugouts and throw up from her treatments while no one was looking ... I think her competiveness and toughness is something that’s going to be engraved in me forever.” -KRISTEN SHARKEY
to simply get the ball down low to Sharkey. Sharkey, Shannon and Meghan ran plays they designed themselves. Shannon said they “read each other’s minds” and each one of them knew where the other two were going to be on the court. Local papers called the trio ‘The Shark Attack’ and ‘The Sharkey Show.’ The Sharkeys developed their chemistry on the court from years of playing together on the court of Sharkey’s father’s church. Sharkey’s father, Patrick, is a pastor. He built a gym in the King of Kings church in Manahawkin, N.J. Shannon said she and Sharkey were playing with basketballs in the gym “before they could even walk.” Patrick said Sharkey was a “gym rat” growing up. She and Shannon would spend hours practicing in the gym, sometimes even after their high school games. Sharkey, who is the second-tallest player on the Bulls at 6-foot1, was always taller than both the girls and boys in her classes growing up. The nickname ‘Jolly Green Giant’ stuck with her until eighth grade. Her height gave her an advantage on the court from an early age. Before she left for her first day of kindergarten, Sharkey was in her backyard shooting baskets. Patrick said she made eight shots in a row her first day. Sharkey did not become the versatile post player she is today until Snyder became her coach at SRHS.
“[Snyder] literally made me who I am,” Sharkey said. “She was one of the toughest people you would ever meet. She just exuded confidence. She walked into a room and you knew that she was there. I think that helped me build confidence as a basketball player. She gave me the confidence to play college basketball and even be [at UB].” Snyder coached the SRHS girls for 35 seasons, accruing 857 wins between coaching the basketball and field hockey teams. Sharkey also played goalie for Snyder on the field hockey team. Snyder saw Sharkey had potential to be a college basketball player and spent extra time working with her. Snyder had assistant coach Candice Carmen play one-on-one with Sharkey. Carmen is an SRHS alumna who played forward at Georgia Tech from 1998 to 2000. “[Sharkey] reminded me a lot of myself when I played,” Carmen said. “Coach Snyder would throw me in the practice all the time just to kind of beat her up, which was the same thing they used to do when I used to practice.” Sharkey and Snyder’s relationship went beyond player and coach; they were also friends. They had known each other since Sharkey was young. Meghan’s mother, Sharkey’s aunt, was one of Snyder’s closest friends. Sharkey and Shannon used to go over to Snyder’s house for what they called “Snyder swim dates.” Snyder and Sharkey remained in touch after Sharkey graduated and came to UB. Snyder would call Sharkey on the phone to check in on her. During Sharkey’s freshman year, Snyder surprised her by bringing the entire SRHS girls basketball team on a bus to watch the Bulls’ game at Temple. Snyder was also her biggest critic. She yelled and screamed at her players. Sharkey was intimidated by Snyder during her freshman year and became even more nervous to play well when Snyder stopped her in the hallway and told her, “Just so you know, you’re playing varsity.” But Sharkey realized Snyder was intense to make her players better. “She was the type of coach who would yell at you, but it was because she wanted to get the best out of you,” Sharkey said. “She
was really hard on the outside, but when she needed to be soft, she was able to do that, too. She knew how to get the best out of people by pushing them.” Snyder was hard on Sharkey, but Sharkey says that is because she didn’t want to her fail. And even if she did fail, Snyder pushed her until she succeeded. During Sharkey’s freshman year of high school, Snyder was diagnosed with breast cancer. But Snyder never stopped coaching. She would go to her chemotherapy treatments during lunch breaks – Snyder also taught physical education at the high school – so she would not have to miss work. “It taught me that even in the hardest time I have, I need to just keep going because if she was able to go through this, I can go through anything,” Sharkey said. “She taught us all how to handle adversity and be powerful, strong women.” Snyder went in remission in 2007 and lived the rest of her life cancer free. Her resilience and ability to get past cancer has left a permanent mark on Sharkey. She embodies Snyder’s toughness when she’s attacking the rim and playing physical defense. “I saw this lady walk behind dugouts and throw up from her treatments while no one was looking,” Sharkey said. “I think her competiveness and toughness is something that’s going to be engraved in me forever.” *** Sharkey makes her impact for the Bulls in the paint. She maneuvers her way around large bodies, long arms and sharp elbows to fight for a rebound or get off a quick shot. She leads the team in rebounds (8.7) and has drawn the second most fouls on the team. She’s also averaging 14.8 points per game. She is successful because of her physicality, but it was a non-contact injury that ended her sophomore season. During a practice on Halloween 2011 – two days before the Bulls’ exhibition opener against Buffalo State – Sharkey’s knee buckled while she was catching a pass. She fell to the ground in pain and let out a scream that echoed around Alumni Arena’s Triple Gym. She couldn’t get up.
Sharkey’s injury had a particularly strong effect on one teammate: senior guard Margeaux Gupilan. Gupilan felt lost and behind the rest of the other girls on the team her freshman year. It was her classmate Sharkey who had encouraged her to keep going through practices. “I saw her go down and immediately, I just felt my heart get heavy,” Gupilan said. “At the time, it was three of us [in the same class] that came in as freshmen; that was a pack. If one of us went down, it felt like all of us did. When she went out, I felt like I lost a part of me.” Sharkey tore her ACL. The reality did not hit her at first – not until doctors told her she would miss the entire season. She knew ACL injuries were common, but she asked herself, “Why me?” Gupilan said Sharkey never complained about her injury. Sharkey stopped feeling sorry for herself and focused on rehabbing her knee and getting stronger every day. While the rest of the team practiced on the court, Sharkey was off to the side of the court or in the gym doing wall squats and leg raises. The injury didn’t get Sharkey down because Snyder had taught her how to be mentally tough. “In my mind, it already didn’t really affect me that much because I knew I was going to get back and it wouldn’t tear me down too much,” Sharkey said. “I already thought that way because of what [Snyder] taught me.” She first made it back onto the court was for a pickup game with her teammates in April 2012. It was only an hour of three-onthree, half-court basketball, but it was a big step to her. “I don’t think I was even supposed to be playing yet,” Sharkey said. “It was like the best feeling in the whole world.” Patrick, her father, came to see the injury as “a blessing.” By medically redshirting, Sharkey had three more seasons of eligibility at UB, and that meant three seasons to work with the Bulls’ new head coach. Former Buffalo head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald was fired at the end of the 2011-12 season after compiling a 75-137 record over SEE SHARKEY, PAGE 2
Friday, March 7, 2014
Continued from page 1: Sharkey seven seasons. New coach Felisha Legette-Jack’s arrival offered a new opportunity for Sharkey, but it also meant she would have to prove herself all over again. Legette-Jack did not know what kind of player Sharkey was before the ACL tear. Sharkey couldn’t be timid about getting to the basket because of her knee, because if she did, Legette-Jack might think she was a soft player. “It was nerve-wracking because I didn’t want her to think of me as a weak link and that being her first impression of me,” Sharkey said. “But I just worked every single day to make sure that that wasn’t going to be her thought process of me as a player.” Sharkey was unsure if she would be able to run and jump like she used to, but she fought through it to prove to Legette-Jack she belonged on the team. Legette-Jack never doubted Sharkey would recover. “I expected everything she had to offer,” Legette-Jack said. “It’s a situation where a kid that was eager for greatness met a coach that needed somebody to want that, so it was a great marriage.” Playing for a tough coach like Snyder prepared Sharkey to work with Legette-Jack, who has an intense personality herself. She often stands at the edge of the court yelling, “Hands up!” when the Bulls are on defense. Sharkey’s knee still held her back throughout her redshirt sophomore season in 2012-13. When she pivoted and attacked the rim, she was thinking about her knee. She averaged 8.9 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Courtesy of Kristen Sharkey
Sharkey does an interview with her high school coach, Kathy Snyder, after a Southern Regional High School girls’ basketball game.
In the Bulls’ biggest game of the season, though, she had her breakthrough. In the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals, she scored what was then a careerhigh 26 points and nearly led the Bulls to an upset victory over Akron. Sharkey’s performance delivered a clear message to the rest of the MAC: She was past her injury and ready to dominate. “I think that really just gave me confidence coming into this year,” Sharkey said. “In that I do have the ability to put up points for our team against one of the better teams in conference.” Sharkey no longer worries about her knee. She’s had seven games of 20 points or more this season. The black knee brace she wears every game is the only clue she has ever had a serious knee injury. “I think this year, she’s more sure of her body and more confident in her ability to make cuts and run up and down the floor,” said sophomore guard Mackenzie
Loesing. “She’s physically stronger this year, but mentally she’s overcome her injury more than last year.” Sharkey still rehabs her knee for an hour before every practice. *** Snyder passed away from an unexpected heart attack in her sleep on the morning of Jan. 24. Sharkey and the Bulls had just played at Northern Illinois the night before and were traveling to Ball State. The team is not allowed to have their cell phones on the road, so Shannon called the Bulls’ coaching staff to tell them to let Sharkey know about Snyder’s passing. Legette-Jack came into Sharkey’s hotel room to bring her the news, but Sharkey had already heard it. One of Sharkey’s cousins had messaged Sharkey’s iPad about Snyder’s death so she would not have to find out the news on social media. Sharkey’s teammates did their best to comfort her, but Sharkey was focused on the game.
“We were trying to console her, but it’s like consoling a bear,” Gupilan said. “We gave her the hugs, but she was trying to stay focused.” Legette-Jack said Sharkey is a private person and the team knew they had to give her space to grieve on her own. But the team did help Sharkey realize a way she could memorialize her coach. Loesing said the team reminded Sharkey that every game she plays is a testament to Snyder. Without Snyder, Sharkey might have never made it to Division I college basketball. “If you’re crying and being sad, is that the expectations your coach would want from you?” LegetteJack said. “Or do you go out there and celebrate her life by going out there and playing free?” Sharkey chose the latter. Just two days after Snyder’s death, Sharkey scored a careerhigh 36 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while playing every minute against Ball State. Sharkey sacrificed her body in the paint and got fouled seven times, toughness reminiscent of her former coach. When she got tired, she thought about Snyder. Sharkey went home to New Jersey for Snyder’s memorial service after the game. Just a few weeks later, during a Feb. 15 game against Northern Illinois, the Bulls held their annual ‘Play 4 Kay’ event at Alumni Arena. The purpose of the event: breast cancer awareness. The Bulls wore pink jerseys in honor of former North Carolina State women’s basketball head coach Kay Yow, who passed away
from breast cancer in 2009. Sharkey led the team with 21 points and was a key figure in the Bulls’ second-half comeback. “As a woman, it has meaning for all of us because it probably hits home for almost every single one of us on the team,” Sharkey said. “You definitely play a lot harder. There’s just more meaning to it.” Sharkey is in her senior academic year and is applying to UB’s Master of Business Administration program for next year. She wants to pursue sports marketing and management. She hopes to one day help women have the opportunity to play basketball overseas, similar to how Snyder helped her play Division I basketball. Sharkey appreciates every minute she logs because she knows what it’s like to watch from the sidelines. She gives her full effort because she knows she could be fighting a battle much harder than a basketball game. “[Snyder] gave me confidence to make something of myself,” Sharkey said. “It was her tough love and constant reminding that everything in life is hard work and no one is going to roll over and give you anything is what I think really drives me.” Sharkey’s toughness and resiliency on the court come from her former coach’s toughness and resiliency off of it. When Sharkey stands back up after getting fouled or elbowed – or even tearing an ACL – it’s Snyder’s toughness coming through her. It’s a permanent engraving. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR IN CHIEF Aaron Mansfield MANAGING EDITORS Lisa Khoury Sara DiNatale OPINION EDITOR Anthony Hilbert COPY EDITORS Tress Klassen, Chief Amanda Jowsey Samaya Abdus-Salaam
Pathway to prosperity includes some potholes President’s budget would affect Western New Yorkers in mixed ways
NEWS EDITORS Sam Fernando, Senior Amanda Low Madelaine Britt, Asst. FEATURES EDITORS Keren Baruch, Senior Anne Mulrooney, Asst. Brian Windschitl, Asst. Emma Janicki, Asst. ARTS EDITORS Joe Konze Jr., Senior Jordan Oscar Meg Weal, Asst.
ART BY AMBER SLITER, THE SPECTRUM
SPORTS EDITORS Ben Tarhan, Senior Owen O’Brien Tom Dinki, Asst. PHOTO EDITORS Aline Kobayashi, Senior Chad Cooper Juan David Pinzon, Asst. Yusong Shi, Asst. CARTOONIST Amber Sliter CREATIVE DIRECTORS Brian Keschinger Andres Santandreu, Asst. PROFESSIONAL STAFF OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Helene Polley ADVERTISING MANAGER Emma Callinan Drew Gaczewski, Asst. Chris Mirandi, Asst. ADVERTISING DESIGNER Ashlee Foster Tyler Harder, Asst. Jenna Bower, Asst.
Monday, March 7, 2014 Volume 63 Number 58 Circulation 7,000
The views expressed – both written and graphic – in the Feedback, Opinion, and Perspectives sections of The Spectrum do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board. Submit contributions for these pages to The Spectrum office at Suite 132 Student Union or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Spectrum reserves the right to edit these pieces for style and length. If a letter is not meant for publication, please mark it as such. All submissions must include the author’s name, daytime phone number, and email address. The Spectrum is represented for national advertising by MediaMate. For information on adverstising with The Spectrum, visit www.ubspectrum.com/advertising or call us directly at (716) 645-2452. The Spectrum offices are located in 132 Student Union, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 14260-2100
President Obama’s proposed budget works to provide a road to middle class jobs and development projects in Western New York, while ignoring environmental concerns and the most needy members of the community. The budget proposal, announced Tuesday, comes ahead of the mid-term elections in November. Though it stands no chance at congressional approval, it will be an effective political tool for Democrats looking to position themselves as progrowth advocates and middle class defenders. The budget itself – proposing more funds funneled to education and job programs on a national scale funded by cutting upper-class tax loop holes – is nothing beyond political posturing on the part of the president. This fact speaks to the political dysfunction the country faces today. But Obama put forth a preemptive strike against the criticism, saying, “A budget is about choices, it’s about our values.”
And the president’s values are clearly displayed in the budget, particularly in terms of its effect on Buffalo and the Western New York area. Beyond a generally populist tone and the rhetoric of “strengthening the middle class,” the budget’s realities are a bit more complex and mixed. The proposed $3.9 trillion budget does increase jobs in WNY. The plan would secure another 2,000 customs agent positions, expanding employment at the U.S.-Canada border. Additionally, the plan would increase funds for improving and repairing infrastructure in the area, providing construction jobs. It is important to note, however, that while these jobs would be welcome in the Buffalo community, they are hardly anything to build an economy around. The region, and much of the nation, is still in need of a true economic engine with manufacturing continuing to relocate overseas. The budget makes the New Market Tax Credit Program –
originally introduced in 2000 to provide tax incentives to developers building in lower-income areas – permanent. The program has been lauded as a force to revitalize Buffalo’s downtown. The reality is a bit more controversial, though, as most of the developments it incentivized were luxury lofts. These tall lofts, restricted to use by those wealthy enough to afford them, overshadow the realities of poverty on the ground. These boons to the Buffalo area, while themselves tepid benefits, are coming with serious costs. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides grants to help poor households pay for heating and cooling bills, was proposed to be cut by $625 million after being cut last year. The program is vital, particularly in Buffalo, where tens of thousands suffer from difficulties in paying high heating bills. The budget also proposes a $25 million cut to the Great
Lakes Restoration Initiative, which works to improve and remediate polluted areas around the Great Lakes. In Buffalo, the project cleans up toxins, combats invasive species and restores wetlands. In an age of austerity and a federal fiscal deficit (which has been rapidly falling in recent years), some cuts are expected and necessary to balance any budget, regardless of how unlikely it is to be passed. But as the president so cogently remarked, budgets reflect values. Obama’s budget, in the way it will impact WNY, ignores the poor and the environment, putting stock in temporary jobs and development projects with little proven success. This path to prosperity is being built atop environmental concerns and miles away from those that need it the most. email: email@example.com
War on antipoverty Ryan’s report on war on poverty lacks legitimacy, not ideology On Tuesday, Representative and House Budget Committee member Paul Ryan released a report attempting to discredit U.S. antipoverty programs. What he accomplished, however, was further solidifying himself as antipoor. It has been 50 years since the implementation of president Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty initiative. Ryan took it upon himself to honor the anniversary with a report on the progress of this nation’s antipoverty programs, masquerading as factual and objective. The former vice presidential candidate’s opinions on poverty programs (he doesn’t like them) are his own business to be interrogated by voters. Ryan has been cited in the past as claiming the war on poverty has “failed” and proposing that, instead of federally guaranteed programs, we “get our communities engaged” and address “fam-
ily breakdown.” His solutions to poverty have typically been voucher programs and “encouraging” civil community to do more. Essentially, he thinks the government should turn a blind eye to poverty and let the people around it deal with it. Ryan’s logic on poverty is broken, to be sure, and for an upand-coming Republican darling, that likely won’t change. But this report is more dangerous than just opinions. The report cites several studies on the efficacy of 92 U.S. antipoverty programs totaling just under $800 billion of federal spending in the 2012 fiscal year. The majority of the report speaks about antipoverty program failures, such as nutritional assistance programs and even Medicaid, attempting to legitimize these claims by citing other studies. The report has already been denounced for its overtly selec-
tive presentation of the data, including leaving out the two most successful years of the War on Poverty (1967-69). Jane Waldfogel, an author of one of the studies cited, said of the report that “it’s unfortunate because it really understates the progress we’ve made in reducing poverty.” Other cited researchers have come out against the report as well, claiming misrepresentation or misstating. The legitimacy, or illegitimacy, of the report is central – it’s the lynchpin to painting Ryan and his cronies’ views as backed by something objective and factual. This report is not meant to critically assess progress and make practical recommendations; the 204 pages offer little by way of substantive suggestions. This report is meant to give an air of factuality to Ryan’s otherwise unfounded, baseless vitriol against antipoverty programs. This report ignores facts in fa-
vor of tired objections to the government spending money on lessening the plight of the poor. This is not to say every federal program enacted because of or in the spirit of the war on poverty has been a great success. Abuses of the system exist and should be corrected. Money is, at times, misallocated and bureaucratic labyrinths can be overly complex. There are problems that need to be addressed, to be certain. But reviling against programs because of presuppositions and bolstering existing views is not addressing those problems. This report, with its obvious ideological bend and blatant distortions, has only one central finding: Paul Ryan does not like the war on poverty and doesn’t want voters to, either. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIFE, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Friday, March 7, 2014 ubspectrum.com
High schoolers ‘BAND’ against bullying at the CFA JOSE ESCOBAR
Curtis Vance didn’t want a solo performance in the “BAND Against Bullying” event at UB. In the spirit of the evening, he decided to include all his classmates who wanted to perform. Vance, whom his classmates call “Young World,” directed the choreography and act for Williamsville. He didn’t want to have an individual performer represent his school. “This is a great cause, so I decided to incorporate everyone into it,” Vance said. The act won. On Tuesday night, Vance and other local high school musicians gathered at the Center For the Arts and put on a competition aimed at raising community awareness against bullying. The second annual “BAND Against Bullying” event, a high school performing arts competition with a “dignity” theme, featured seven local high schools performing in front of seven judges to spread an anti-bullying message. The acts combined striking visuals with lyrics that embraced the theme of the night.
Juan D. Pinzon, The Spectrum
At the Center For the Arts on Tuesday night, students from local high schools came together to put on captivating musical performances. The competition was an effort to raise community awareness against bullying.
“There [are] not enough people who stand up against bullying,” said Vance, a senior at Williamsville East High School. “A lot of people see it and I know it goes on – everybody knows it goes on – but it’s about what you do when you see it. Not enough people are standing up.” Over 3.2 million students annually are victims of bullying, according to the National Association of School Psychologists. The association says: over twothirds of students think schools are not doing enough to prevent or reduce bullying attacks; one in four teachers don’t see anything wrong with bullying; and teach-
ers intervene 4 percent of the time. BAND Against Bullying was created in September 2012 through a collaboration between M&T Bank, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the UB Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention. “It was really important for us to give all the schools an opportunity to share their messages and raise awareness for the topic,” said Mike Bryant, founder of BAND Against Bullying. “A lot of the things that are related to bullying are always negative. This is a positive opportunity for the
schools to utilize a great university and allow themselves to be put in a position where they feel good about themselves.” The event began at 7 p.m. with an opening performance by Savannah King. Kiss 98.5’s Janet Snyder was the emcee of the evening and provided an uplifting energy to the crowd. Some of the themes highlighted at this year’s event were dignity, respect, individuality, the effects of bullying and prevention methods. Audience members were given the chance to participate in a raffle for VIP tickets to concerts featuring Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Gavin DeGraw and
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David Blaine. The schools that participated were: Amherst, Clarence, Kenmore West, Williamsville East, Williamsville North and Williamsville South high schools, as well as the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. The judges who participated at this year’s event included Dr. Amanda Nickerson from the Alberti Center; former Sabres player Andrew Peters; UB Vice President for University Life and Services Dennis Black; Ed Suk from the NCMEC; Dr. Lynn Boorady from Buffalo State College; former boxer ‘Baby’ Joe Mesi; and Nicholas Picholas from Kiss 98.5. Teams were judged on their originality, stage presentation, demonstration of the themes of dignity and awareness, collaboration and overall performance. Williamsville East won the event with its performance titled, “Young World featuring Swing Theory,” Vance’s group-band performance. Sponsors of the event included Hodgson Russ LLP, M&T Bank, Frey Electric Construction Company and Forbes Capretto Homes. email: email@example.com
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Wednesday’s abortion debate brings philosophical perspectives
Fluxus art movement comes to CFA in Yoko Ono Fan Club exhibition
Senior News Editor
Picture you and your friends are on a plane with Tony Stark from the comic book series Iron Man. Stark sees Pepper Potts making out with another man, becomes enraged and forces everyone out of the plane miles above of the earth. Wednesday’s “Abortion: is it Ethical?” discussion was filled with anecdotes and hypothetical scenarios like this as the two debaters attempted to debunk each other’s positions using philosophy as the basis of their arguments. “We can only ask people to leave once we’ve invited them to somewhere, not that we can kill them in order to remove them,” said Catherine Nolan, a Ph.D. student in philosophy who argued the anti-abortion side. “Even if someone does not have the right to be somewhere, you can’t kill or let them die.” Students packed Knox 20 to listen to Nolan and Stephan Kershnar, a professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at SUNY Fredonia who argued for abortion rights, debate the controversial topic of abortion. The event centered on the moral implications of abortion, rather than the legal or religious ones. “We believe the training and experience of philosophers rendered them well prepared to shed light on controversial issues,” said David Hershenov, chair of UB’s Philosophy Department and moderator of the debate. Nolan used the Tony Stark anecdote to respond to Kershnar’s claim that a host has the option to dismiss everyone at a party at his or her discretion. She said in the same way, a fetus, who is invited, cannot be “dismissed” from a woman’s womb at the discretion of that woman.
A different form of art
Jordan Oscar, The Spectrum
On Wednesday, students packed Knox 20 to watch the “Abortion: is it Ethical?” discussion. Catherine Nolan, a Ph.D. student in philosophy, argued the anti-abortion side, and Stephan Kershnar (standing), a professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at SUNY Fredonia, argued for abortion rights.
Kershnar centered his position on the thesis that abortion is morally permissible. At one point, Nolan suggested that abortion involved “killing” the fetus. Kershnar responded by asking whether the millions of abortions that have taken place should result in the mothers being arrested for murder. Kershnar used many hypothetical cases to demonstrate his points. In one case, he described a woman who opened her window, which had bars to prevent burglars, to let air into the room. Because the bars were defective, a burglar climbed into the window. Kershnar said it is illogical to claim the burglar has a right to be in the house because the bars were defective. In the same way, he said, it is absurd to claim a fetus has a right to be inside of a woman. He said if a fetus has no right to be inside a woman, then it may be removed with “proportionate force” – and abortion is that force. Nolan countered his point, claiming, “Even if someone does not have the right to be somewhere, you can’t kill or let them die.” Nolan addressed what she called a common abortion rights argument. She said many people justify legalizing abortion because it gives women a safe place to receive the procedure instead of “back-alley abortions.”
“People often argue that we need to agree on some type of behavior in order to control it – in order to help the people who engage in it because it’s going to happen regardless,” Nolan said. She said whether it is safe or not doesn’t change whether abortion is ethical. Nolan posed the analogy: If a professor teaches his or her students easy ways to plagiarize and cheat, it doesn’t justify plagiarizing or cheating. She said it would be ridiculous for a professor to make “something wrong” easily accessible for students. She added that instead of focusing attention on abortions, people should focus on the women. “We don’t actually care and want to ignore her problems,” she said. “Abortion is not a solution.” Last year’s abortion debate ended with abortion rights debaters leaving early; many people in the audience, on both sides of the argument, were shouting and dissatisfied. This year, however, the event proved that two people with different views could have a peaceful and logical discussion about the controversial issue. Giselle Lam contributed reporting to this story. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Priscilla Kabilamany, The Spectrum
Audience members took aim as they participated in a carnivalesque art installation at the Yoko Ono Fan Club Feb. 27 at the Center For the Arts. The exhibition thrives on audience participation and works to spread the ideas made popular by the Fluxus art movement.
Asst. Arts Editor
The man sitting open-legged on the small stool is eating noodles from a takeaway box. The stagnant and lingering smell fills the air and clings to the room. People circle around him; they write notes on strips of paper and place them in a brown paper bag that sits in front of him. He doesn’t try to spark conversation with his audience; he doesn’t nosily peek at what they’re writing – he eats his noodles. He is art. The audience is art. Everything is art. The Visual Arts Gallery in UB’s Center For the Arts has been transformed into an interactive playground of art. The “Yoko Ono Fan Club” exhibit has filled the space. The exhibition revolves around the Fluxus art movement. Created in the later 1950s, Fluxus is a movement that strives to be accessible and interactive for all – it consistently works for the audience, not against it. Fluxus chal-
lenges the perception of art and life within the movement; the two are connected undeniably and unbreakably. Julie Rozman, the curator of “Yoko Ono Fan Club”, believes that the exhibit is both visually and conceptually engaging. “The result is to raise questions about the boundary between art and not-art, to trouble the way we like to draw a line between art and life.” Rozman said. Despite the titling of the show, Yoko Ono is only one of the artists who contributed to the exhibition. Artists from around the world were invited to send their work to Buffalo to be put in front of the artistic jury. The best submissions are now on display, many of which hail from Western New York. One of the most captivating installations was “Wish Piece II (mending), after Yoko Ono” by Marissa Lehner, an artist working and teaching in Buffalo. SEE DIFFERENT ART, PAGE 6
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UB students work to end global violence against women through V-Day Campaign CLAUDIA ORNIS
V is for vagina. V is for voice. V is for victory. For Jasmine Gray, a sophomore English major, “V-Day,” a global movement to end violence against women and girls, encompasses the various meanings of “V.” At UB, SBI Health Education and students like Gray work to raise awareness and combat violence against women with the annual V-Day campaign. V-Day is a way to challenge students to be part of the solution and end this violence as a community, Gray said. The event, which runs Feb. 14 to April 30, involves film showings, panel discussions and fundraising sales. Rosalind Campbell, who is participating in the campaign alongside Gray, said she is passionate about VDay because many abused women are forced to suffer in silence due to social stigmas and community retaliation. On April 18 and 19, Gray and Campbell will perform with their fellow “vagina warriors” in UB’s annual Vagina Monologues performance. The play, written by Eve Ensler, an American playwright and feminism activist, is one of the main events of this year’s V-Day campaign. “The play shows that women can move past abuse and violence and be
Courtesy of SBI Health Education
Members of the V-Day Campaign are preparing for their biggest event, the Vagina Monologues. They hope their efforts help to stop violence against women.
comfortable with their sexuality and who they are as women,” Gray said. The first performance of the Vagina Monologues at UB was in 2008. Since then, it has become an annual tradition. The sense of community that comes with the V-Day campaign is what keeps Gray coming back for more each year. Bonding with her cast members and learning about the background of the Vagina Monologues allowed her to embrace the “life-altering stories” that surround the play and the message of V-Day as a whole. Each performance in the play is based on a true story. To write the play, Ensler conducted interviews
with women and produced monologues based on their responses. Gray attributes the Monologues’ effectiveness to its style: one that channels and balances the force of upsetting content and powerful performances. Jane Fischer, the director of SBI Health Education and producer of UB’s V-Day campaign, said the purpose of the play, and other events during the two months, is to foster a “now what?” feeling. She said the play includes stories that can be “risqué and funny” but also “very sad and heartbreaking.” “We’re conditioned sometimes in our culture to not create waves and to just cool out,” Fischer said. “But
there are things that happen in our communities and in the world as a whole, which quite frankly piss people off.” The V-Day campaign is intended to strike passion in students and motivate them to take action. But not everyone is inspired by the Monologues. “During last year’s performance, my friend came to the show and walked out before [it] was over, saying it was ‘too dirty,’” Campbell said in an email. “Even though I explained the campaign … she acted as if this was an overkill of information. I concluded that, for some people, dealing with reality is a bit too much.” Gray and Jaclyn Mathews – a library and information studies graduate student who has acted in the Vagina Monologues for three years and is currently directing the play – believe V-Day empowers women by emphasizing the power of the vagina. “The ‘V’ stands for vagina,” Gray said. “It is something only we [women] have, and I believe it’s our main source of power.” Matthews added the ‘V’ also stands for being “victorious” in “accepting yourself and in trying to foster change.” After acting in the play, Gray learned more about herself. She went to one audition and didn’t realize how much her perspective on life would change.
“My character is continually growing in the play and coming to accept herself, and I think she helped me to accept myself also,” Gray said. For Madeline Schlick, a senior fine arts major, the V-Day campaign has helped her become aware of the global injustices against women while giving her a voice in the struggle. “There was a time in my life when I thought that staying silent was the only option, that more minor acts of assault or abuse didn’t matter,” Schlick said. “Being a part of V-Day helped me to see that violence and abuse – in any degree – aren’t OK and need to be ended.” Fischer believes the campaign offers a platform in which every student’s voice can be heard and any idea can be used as a method to fuel change. The members of SBI who planned V-Day hope the events empower people to help make a difference, big or small. Members also hope to spark conversation about the violence that occurs all over the world to women and young girls, and ultimately contribute to a global solution. Keren Baruch contributed reporting to this story. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Continued from page 5: Different Art The audience walked around the hanging sculptures, mesmerized by the fine strings that connected them all. Audience members were encouraged to become part of the art by moving the strings that held the pieces together. Throughout the evening, certain elements of the work were isolated. The connections were then rebuilt again. “Fluxus is totally new to me,” Lehner said. “When I saw the call for work, I just started to research it a little bit and I immediately connected with this idea of a piece having an instruction or a baseline for which the audience or participants would become a part of the piece
and have a hand in that.” The velocity of the exhibition grew as the evening progressed. The audience members launched balloons across the room, they fixed gloves atop empty bottles on the snack tables and eventually, became the art itself. Mitchell Krumm, a freshman studying fine art, noted that exhibition filled the room. “I love how the whole room is used,” Krumm said “There’s no space, even though it’s a huge room. I just think every artist used the space from the ceiling down.” Among the scattered objects and the food-turned-art were substantial, pre-made pieces.
Located in the center of the room was a computer loaded with WChess 2000 Online, installed by the artist Devin Wilson; a sign read “Please play! Games are stored online, and may take a moment to load.” Behind Wilson’s installation stood a piece that resembled a carnival game – the audience was invited to take a water pistol and shoot down toys from a shelf. The room was an emblem of chaotic order. “Interaction is embedded in Fluxus,” Rozman said. “Being in a gallery and being invited to do something, touch something, can be a big surprise. You get engaged in a very immediate, corporeal way; you’re allowed to have fun…For this kind of art, the participation is meant to be-
come part of the piece.” The boundaries between art and non-art are being broken; Fluxus is serious, but its experience is fun. Although the exhibits were separate, the art and the artists created a room that worked together in unison. There was no standout piece, but the exhibition as a whole stood out from the mundane preconception of an art gallery. “Installations have some kind of lifespan to them,” Lehner said. “They go up and then they come down … I always love this idea that they’re like nature and they evolve.” The room evolved as one. “I like it as a space – you walk around and it’s informal,” said Chase Conatser, a senior English ma-
jor. “The artwork is at a conceptual and inviting level, so you can interact with the space how you’d like and enjoy it.” The exhibition will run in the CFA until March 29, when there will be a closing performance. Performances will include scores and work from Wooden Cities and BuffFluxus. Like the string that connects Lehner’s sculptures, each audience member will take a different course throughout the lifespan of the exhibition. Fluxus is there to be molded and played with – go play. email: email@example.com
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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) -- You may be at the center of something that you don't fully understand, but it can be quite enjoyable nonetheless. ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- Risks today may come in strange forms, and at strange times. You'll want to protect your head, of course, and your extremities. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- You may be going down a vey peculiar road, Taurus! It's a good day to consider the advice a loved one is giving you. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Your understanding of family history will serve you well, as you come up with unexpected answers to long-standing questions. CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- You may have to communicate in a clandestine way for part of the day, until you know your info has been imparted with no security leaks. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- You've been in the same place many times before, but this time it seems somehow different. Stick to the game plan. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- You may find yourself gravitating toward one who is doing things you have resisted doing in the past. Your perspective is changing. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) -- If it falls to you to lead others through difficult terrain, you can do so in a way that keeps everyone lighthearted and optimistic. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) -- You don't want to stop doing what you're doing until it yields the results you have been anticipating. Timing is important. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- You may encounter some resistance, but in the end you'll be able to persuade even the die-hards that you're in the right. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Your motives and methods may come under some scrutiny. You can point to the results you get, and your critics should back off. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) -- You're making a big mistake if you think that the ends truly justify the means; how you do things is very important right now.
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A race to the end More than just super fans Women’s basketball faces must-win game Saturday
Yusong Shi, The Spectrum
Sophomore guard Mackenzie Loesing puts up a floater during the women’s basketball team’s game Wednesday against Akron. Loesing finished with 18 points, but the Bulls fell, 79-71.
OWEN O’BRIEN Sports Editor
The fourth and final automatic spot to the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals remains up for grabs. With a Buffalo victory and Western Michigan (13-16, 8-9 MAC) loss, the Bulls would have punched their ticket to Cleveland, Ohio. Losses by both teams, however, keep Toledo (14-14, 9-8 MAC) and Ball State (13-15, 8-9 MAC) in the race. The Akron Zips (20-8, 14-3 MAC) defeated the Bulls (16-12, 9-8 MAC), 79-71, at Alumni Arena Wednesday night. The Bulls still control their own destiny for the No. 4 seed, but a loss Saturday would likely cost Buffalo this position. Saturday’s final matchup becomes about as “mustwin” as it gets. The top four teams have an automatic bye until at least Thursday in Cleveland. Every other team must play Monday at the better seed’s home court and Wednesday in Cleveland – forcing a team to win five games in one week to capture a MAC Championship, rather than just two (top two seeds) or three (seeds three and four). Head coach Felisha LegetteJack doesn’t want her team thinking about the rest of the conference. “If we stay locked into who we are and what we are trying to do, we don’t have to worry about nobody else,” Legette-Jack said. Akron entered the game as the MAC’s highest-scoring team (83.4 points per game) and is currently on a 13-game winning streak. Its offensive firepower was on display when the teams met in February, which resulted in a 101-92 Zips victory. The Bulls were able to slow down the Akron offense Wednesday, allowing only 79 points, but the Zips still shot 45.9 percent from the field. The Zips’ Rachel Tecca, the conference’s leading scorer, recorded 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Hanna Luburgh, who ranks second in the MAC in scoring, added 20. Akron held a distinct advantage on the boards, outrebounding Buffalo 48-31 in the game. The women’s basketball team has lost its last nine contests with Akron and its last victory came in 2011. It hasn’t defeated the Zips in Alumni Arena since 2009. The Zips knocked the Bulls out of the MAC Tournament in 2012 and 2013. “We are going to have our day soon,” Legette-Jack said. “We are going to remember all of these moments.”
Junior forward Kristen Sharkey had another impressive game against the Zips. After scoring 26 points against Akron in last year’s conference tournament and 30 points in the 101-92 loss, she totaled 20 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday. “I think it’s just playing to win, just being there for my teammates,” Sharkey said. “I know they have a big post presence in Rachel Tecca and we need to match that.” A missed free throw rarely proves to be a turning point with 13 minutes remaining, but the Bulls climbed back into the game because of such a play. Freshman forward Alexus Malone went to the foul line with the Bulls trailing 52-41. She made the first shot, but missed the second, and the rebound hit off an Akron player and rolled out of play. Buffalo’s offense capitalized and cut the lead to 52-48 less than a minute later. Buffalo’s momentum continued as it tied the game at 56 with 9:17 remaining. The Bulls gained their first lead of the second half after sophomore guard Mackenzie Loesing was fouled on a 3-pointer with 6:38 remaining. Loesing hit all three free throws to take a 61-59 lead and hit the game’s next points over a minute later to extend the lead to four. But a 3-pointer from Luburgh with 1:56 remaining reclaimed the Zips’ lead and they never lost it. Akron finished the game on a 12-4 run. Senior point guard Margeaux Gupilan had 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting and five assists. Loesing struggled beyond the arc – shooting 1 for 10 – but finished with 18 points. The Bulls’ final game falls on Senior Day for Gupilan, guard Jenna Rickan and forward Cherridy Thornton. “I feel like I’ve been here forever, but it’s just a great moment,” said Rickan, a first-year transfer who had seven points, five assists and three blocks in the loss. “I’ve experienced Senior Day once playing soccer [at Syracuse], but it’s just such a different atmosphere, such a different team and I’m just thankful to be here and finish up the season and go into post [season] play.” The Bulls host Kent State (7-21, 4-13 MAC) Saturday at Alumni Arena. Toledo, Western Michigan and Ball State also play Saturday. The Bulls’ game starts at noon, and the men’s game will follow. email: email@example.com
UB supporters in True Blue make noise away from the games, too OWEN O’BRIEN Sports Editor
What comes to mind when you hear “True Blue?” Rambunctious fans? The lunatics who harass you to stand up at games? Cowbells? They know they’re loud. They won’t try to argue that. But True Blue transcends some of its other stereotypes. “True Blue says we support athletics, and sometimes I don’t agree with that statement because I believe True Blue supports the University at Buffalo,” said senior secretary Tyler Bauer. Bauer, True Blue President Kyle Conte and board member David Daniels are three of the most passionate UB fans you’ll find on campus. The trio is part of the committee that runs True Blue. They are responsible for the advertisements, fundraising and everything else that goes into a club; they don’t just create clever chants and jump around on game day. Bauer can be spotted in the first row of nearly any UB sporting event with his puffy blueand-white wig. The Levittown, N.Y., native came to UB without even a visit. He decided he’d just “wing it” and see how he liked it. At orientation, he fell in love with True Blue and later the entire school. He posted Facebook pictures with his UB orientation gear. When football season came, he found his way to the middle of the True Blue pack and felt an instant connection. “When I came here, I felt like I could become a leader of a student section,” Bauer said. He has done just that. True Blue operates on a $7,500 budget from the Student Association. They’ve fundraised about $3,300 this season as well. The money goes toward the club’s needs, including promotions, advertising and road trips to UB games. True Blue rented a bus and traveled to Ohio State this season for the football team’s opening game. The tickets alone cost the club $90 apiece. They bought 56 tickets and raffled them away for $40. There are approximately 18,500 people on True Blue’s email list. The club does a promotional work as well as community service events like blood drives, polar plunges and volunteering as wait staff for Buffalo’s “Heart Ball.” They advertise both their club and upcoming games over social media constantly. Resident Advisers even turn to True Blue to help improve their events. “Yeah, we are those people who yell at sporting games, but we are more than that,” Bauer said. Like Bauer, Conte, the current True Blue president, wasn’t
Chad Cooper, The Spectrum
From left to right, True Blue members Tyler Connolly, Brandon Noga, Ashley Scott, Madison Loy and Steffanie Kortz cheer on the men’s basketball team during UB’s 84-63 win at Alumni Arena Jan. 29.
very involved in extracurricular activities in high school. Freshman orientation got him interested, and he went to a few football games and nearly every basketball game during his freshman year. That’s when he realized he wanted to be a club member for four years. “Knowing I could shape the way of how this was going to continue really kind of inspired me and piqued my interest, and I just felt like I could have done a better job than anybody else,” Conte said. He says the feeling at games is indescribable. The bigger games with the largest crowds are his favorite – the opposing basketball team struggles to concentrate at the foul line; the quarterback can’t relay his audibles to his team – these are the moments Conte and True Blue feed off. “At that moment, it’s like you have complete control over the game even though you have nothing to do with it at all,” Conte said. Athletic Director Danny White often tweets praises to @UBTrueBlue, True Blue’s Twitter, and stresses the importance of its support of UB Athletics toward overall success. White created the Tailgate Concert Series and gave True Blue a larger tailgate area for students only. Conte said a tailgate is “essential” in drawing a crowd for a football game. Daniels was introduced to True Blue as a freshman and is now a manager for the men’s basketball team as well. He grew up as a huge Texas University fan, but now supports a new pair of horns. His mother jokes how he “was born with burnt orange in his blood and then it turned blue.” Daniels says he sometimes struggles to keep calm on the Buffalo bench as a team manager. When he was in the bleachers the past two seasons, he could scream and yell all he wanted. On the bench, he must act professionally. The trio sometimes works 40 hours a week toward improving the university, not only its teams. They’ve been getting results. SA created “True Blue Days,” the university uses the True Blue
logo in advertisements and Perry’s Ice Cream in Buffalo created a flavor called “True to the blue” – consisting of vanilla ice cream, salty caramel swirls and blue pretzel balls – in recognition of the club. True Blue has only been around for eight years and it continues to expand. They now look for people with skills in video, advertising, marketing, finance, planning and artwork – not just dedicated fanatics. “If you would have told the people who created this list eight years ago that you would have 18,000 people to send emails to, they probably would have laughed at you,” Bauer said. Now, they’ve become a major force behind UB’s new attendance records. “Even last year to think about breaking football attendance records was crazy,” Conte said. “You would go to games, you’d have maybe 200 people before half then 10 people after the half.” Buffalo’s basketball program has one of the most important Saturdays in a long time coming up this weekend. The women’s basketball team is competing for the fourth seed in the Mid-American Conference – which would give it an automatic trip to Cleveland for the MAC Tournament. The men’s team is competing for the second seed – which would result in a bye straight to the conference semifinals. Both games are at Alumni Arena. True Blue will be in chaotic fan mode for both games, starting with the women’s noon tipoff. But when the games are over, they will return to the logistics of getting as many True Blue members to Cleveland for the tournament as possible. This includes arranging transportation, hotel rooms and tickets as cheaply as possible. If UB basketball makes history this season, Conte, Bauer, Daniels and dozens of other True Blue members will be just a few feet away.
Quick Hits Men’s hoops closes out regular season; wrestling, swimming & diving compete in MAC titles Men’s Basketball (18-9, 12-5 Mid-American Conference) After falling to Akron (19-11, 11-6), 83-71, Tuesday in Akron, Ohio, the Bulls return home for their final game in Alumni Arena before the MAC Tournament. The Bulls have locked up at least a top four seed, and they can clinch the No. 3 seed with a win against Bowling Green (1218, 6-10 MAC) Saturday. The Bulls will honor their seniors for Senior Day before the game. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Baseball (6-1) The Bulls will play in three games this weekend. Buffalo travels to Athens, Ga., for games at Georgia (7-6) Friday at 6 p.m., and then against Western Caroli-
na (8-2) Saturday and Northern Florida (4-6) Sunday. Men’s Tennis (6-2) The Bulls will be on the road this weekend for the third weekend in a row as they take on Bryant (8-4) Friday at 6 p.m., Brown (5-5) Saturday at 10 a.m. and Boston (4-5) on Sunday at noon. Women’s Tennis (7-1) The Bulls will host ASA College (2-0) Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Miller Tennis Center. Softball (9-7) The Bulls were scheduled to participate in the Coppin State Tournament this weekend but all of their games were canceled.
Swimming and Diving Senior Mike Dugan won the 50-yard freestyle in a school record time of 19.84 in the first day of the MAC Championships at Alumni Arena. The Bulls finished Thursday in third place. The meet continues Friday and Saturday. Wrestling (3-17, 0-8 MAC) The Bulls will compete in the MAC Wrestling Championships Saturday and Sunday at Kent State in Kent, Ohio. The Bulls’ highest-seeded wrestler is sophomore Tony Lock, who is the No. 5 seed in the 184-pound weight class. email: firstname.lastname@example.org