Top 2013-14 moments for UB senior athletes
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Volume 63 No. 76
Students for Life bring anti-abortion display to campus for second year MADELAINE BRITT Asst. News Editor
Directly outside the Student Union on Monday and Tuesday, students were greeted with a question: “What do you think about human rights?” Members of the UB Students for Life handed out pamphlets with photographs of aborted fetuses, mirroring the billboard display behind them. The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, a national organization that is anti-abortion, was asked to plan the event with Students for Life. The Center’s members refer to themselves as “Abortion Abolitionists.” This is the second year the protest was held on UB’s campus. Last year, a passionate debate took place around the scene, and many students held up sheets to block the billboards. Matt Ramsey, a junior economics and mathematics major and the president of Students for Life, spent the last few months orchestrating the event. Ramsey said his club decided to bring the event back because they had the right to voice their opinions. The pictures sparked counter protests as the afternoon continued Monday. Students were offended by an analogy found on one of the pictures, comparing the abortions that take place in America to genocide – many students described this as “disrespectful,” especially because Monday was National Holocaust Remembrance Day. Some students handed out condoms and chanted about
Chad Cooper, The Spectrum Students for Life held an anti-abortion event Monday and Tuesday for the second year in a row, stirring debate on campus. Monday afternoon, some students protested the abortion display outside of the Student Union.
their right to choose, while other groups were less serious and dressed up as wizards and protested the ban of Crystal Pepsi. Emma Frieh, a junior sociology major in support of abortion rights, was among the protesters. Frieh began protesting Monday morning, holding up a sign with “Abortion is not genocide” written on it. She said the abortion debate shouldn’t be an argument and that women should have the right to choose. She believes the displays had no place on UB’s campus. “Free speech is important, but this isn’t free speech. This is just disruptive and disrespectful to
From perpetual loneliness to the ‘peak of human happiness’ Aziz Ansari jokes about relationships, social media and technology
Brian Keschinger, The Spectrum UB welcomed Aziz Ansari to Alumni Arena on Monday night. Ansari is pictured with UB student Cletus Emokpae’s cellphone. Ansari recited a conversation that Emokpae had with a girl as part of his act.
Senior News Editor
Aziz Ansari made it clear Monday that 2014 is no place to be single. He said the world now – as opposed to years ago – is filled with awful people. And he is no exception. “We are all these people,” he said. “We are all terrible people.” Ansari performed his new standup routine to a packed crowd in Alumni Arena Monday as part of SA’s Comedy Series. The fast-talking comedian spent the evening talking about the role technology and social media play in relationships, even incorporating an interactive portion of the show. The 31-year-old star of Parks and Recreation addressed the lack of verbal communication among young adults, saying how the
ability to text is far more important than vocal communication now. He debunked the popular saying, “If she likes you, then she’ll like you,” by claiming, “Every single word you say matters” – even exclamation marks, emojis and the number of y’s you add to “Heyy.” He furthered his point by saying our interactions, for the most part, are documented in our phones. All we have to do is “scroll up.” You can see relationships live and die right in front of you, he said. Ansari called members of the audience up to the stage to prove his point. With their phones in his hand, he analyzed the text conversations two students had with people they had met recently. The first was a female student, who had met someone at SEE aziz, PAGE 2
those who have had abortions, who have been raped and people who have actually gone through real genocide,” she said. “My one friend said he can’t go in and eat after seeing those things. And I saw earlier a girl walking to class and she started crying. I can only imagine why it upset her so much but to have someone effected like that, it’s just unacceptable.” Christian Andzel, the 2012-13 Students for Life president, who graduated from UB in December with a degree in history and political science, was handing out pamphlets Tuesday afternoon. Under the pouring rain, he was among other volunteers in rain-
coats and plastic coverlets who approached students. “We’re out here to stand for human rights for all human beings,” he said. “The more the slaughter of human beings, the more we are driven to stand out here – no matter the weather … [They] want us to silence our voice. They want us to be secluded.” Andzel said the event had proven to be successful in producing public discourse. He felt they had successfully reached out to people in the “middle” – those who still had not decided their views on abortion. This type of “insightful con-
versation,” Ramsey said, is important to the protest. “It really matters about how you treat the people,” Ramsey said. “Two things we say are they are going to remember the pictures and how they were treated when they came here. How we come off as individuals, as prolifers and as pro-choicers, means a lot to how they will remember the experience of discussing abortion.” For Lily Ellis, however, the display was not a form of “insightful conversation.” The freshman English major thought it was wrong for the university to allow the demonstration to take place on campus without the student body having a say in it. Ellis, who is anti-abortion rights, said the display made her feel ashamed to be affiliated with that side of the issue. She thinks it is important for students’ concerns to be heard but felt the displays were inappropriate, given upcoming exams and the fact that it was held on National Holocaust Remembrance Day. “I don’t think abortion is right, however, this is bull****,” Ellis said. “The truck going around? We have a preschool on campus. Little children don’t need to be exposed to this. There is so much wrong with this, I can’t even begin.” Samantha Linnemann, the project manager and site coordinator of the Center, said the organization chooses college campuses because this age group is not only the most likely to have SEE DISPLAY, PAGE 2
UB’s Peaceful Warrior Mike Burke turned to baseball as an outlet. Now it’s a way of life. JORDAN GROSSMAN
On April 6, senior pitcher/infielder Mike Burke hurled a complete game for the baseball team, allowing only two earned runs and striking out five to improve his season record to 4-2. When he left the mound after the ninth inning, the Bulls’ coaching staff had surprising news for him: he had set a new school record with 18 wins. Many athletes would soak up the moment and celebrate their historic feat. Not Burke. “I had no idea I set the record,” Burke said. “After I won the game, I was approached by the pitching coach [Steve Ziroli] and he told me. But I didn’t care. I was excited, but I was focused on getting better for next week.” Burke’s quiet demeanor can be misleading. He is Buffalo’s silent leader. Burke doesn’t have to say much to get his point across to his teammates. “It’s a quiet confidence,” said Buffalo head coach Ron Torgalski. “He doesn’t say two words, but when he steps onto the diamond, he has more confidence than anyone on the field.” Before developing his confidence and dominance on the mound, Burke had to overcome his shyness as a child. “He was painfully shy as a child,” said his mother, Christine Burke. “He was very quiet, especially around adults, and it was really a concern for us.” His parents searched for an
Chad Cooper, The Spectrum Senior pitcher/infielder Mike Burke’s quiet demeanor can be misleading. He is Buffalo’s silent leader.
outlet for the young Burke. After multiple attempts to find the right fit, it was evident Burke found his outlet when he first picked up a baseball glove at 4 years old. “He was a natural,” Christine said. “We just knew the field was his place to shine.” Burke fell in love with the game instantly. He yearned to play every second of the day. He would stay outside for eight hours a day throwing a ball against the side of his Cleveland, Ohio, house. “When there were rainouts, he would look out the window in full uniform and be mad at [me] because he couldn’t play that day,” said his father, Mike Burke Sr. As Burke aged, he established a comfort zone on the baseball diamond. Whether it was in his backyard or on a travel team, he emerged out of his shell as long he had a bat or glove in hand. When Burke was 9, he joined the Diamond Sports Saints travel team in Cleveland and played
baseball nearly all year long. Burke went into that season as a third baseman. He left with a newfound talent: pitching. “When he was on the travel team, he was playing only third base,” Mike Sr. said. “[Burke] was playing a 10/11-year-old team and our pitcher couldn’t throw a strike. The coach threw Mikey on the mound just to see what he could do. He walked the first batter then struck out the side for two straight innings.” After that season, Burke worked on multiple aspects of his game, including his pitching. No matter what position Burke was playing, he never trained for pride or glory. He trained to be the best athlete possible. Motivation Burke doesn’t live the stereotypical life for a Division I athlete, or many college students for that matter. He lives a straightedge lifestyle, free from any alcohol or drugs. SEE BURKE, PAGE 14
Continued from page 1: Display abortions, but is the future of policymaking and abortion law. “College students are the future of America, the future politicians, future lawmakers and future voting citizens,” Linnemann said. In response to student criticism about the display occurring the same day as National Holocaust Remembrance Day, Linnemann said the organization did not realize the matching day. She also said the campus daycare was alerted prematurely about the displays to prepare families for the graphic imagery on campus. For Linnemann, sharing the images is essential to the abortion debate. “The images are disgusting because abortion is disgusting. If abortion should be legal, why should we not be able to see it?” Linnemann said. “Why would anyone be afraid to show it?” Frieh disagreed. “They have their own moral values, but I have my own as well,” Frieh said. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Continued from page 1: Aziz a bus stop. She invited him to a “No-tops-or-no-bottoms” party at South Lake Village, which confused Ansari. “South Lake sounds sketchy as s**t,” he said. Danielle Natman, a senior junior health and human services, and Rachel Rabinowitz, a psychology major, threw that party last weekend at their South Lake apartment. Natman and Rabinowitz attended the show. “What were the chances that would happen?” Rabinowitz said. “I immediately looked over to my roommates and everyone around me was making comments about it.” Cletus Emokpae was Ansari’s next victim. Ansari read aloud his conversation, which started as playful flirting, him asking the girl if they wanted to watch a Disney movie and “maybe cuddle.” Ansari joked that the “maybe” implied Emokpae might not want to cuddle if she came over. The conversation went back and forth and ended with Emokpae, or “Bowtie,” as Ansari called him, asking, “How was the party?” to which the girl never responded. Ansari took matters into his own hands and asked what Emokpae’s favorite Disney movie was. When Emokpae responded with Hercules, Ansari decided to send the girl a text. It read, “I got this Hercules DVD and I could use someone to cuddle with.” Emokpae felt Ansari was a “chill” guy and thought the text message was funny. Overall, Emokpae was impressed with the content of the Ansari’s show.
“There is no purpose in entertaining someone if you aren’t going to educate them about something,” Emokpae said. “He was talking about real stuff that is important and things we all go through. I actually took some things from the show.” Samar Fawaz, a master’s student in chemical engineering, thought the interactive portion of the evening was original. She has seen all of Ansari’s stand-up routines on Netflix and was jealous of the students who met him. Ansari’s insight into relationships and the single life had the audience laughing consistently throughout the evening. Nino Panepinto, a junior communication major, thinks it’s more than Ansari’s material that caused the laughter. “His voice and the way he talks is what really makes him funny,” Panepinto said. “I am not familiar with his stand-up, but I watch his TV show. [His routine] really stacked up well to that.” Ansari called young people of today the “flakiest” generation ever. No one can commit to anything anymore because people are afraid of missing something better, he said. He thinks technology has changed our most basic interactions, noting that due to text messaging, people are quick to cancel plans for trivial reasons at the last minute. Years ago when landlines were the prime source of communication, people couldn’t do that. If you made plans, and the other person didn’t show up, he joked that you would have to presume they
were dead. He continued the bit, saying the phenomenon can really mess with single people. Because we are constantly connected, the only way to avoid awkward interactions, like ones with the opposite sex you aren’t interested in, is to pretend to be indefinitely busy. “Why risk someone’s feelings when you can create an alternate reality where scheduling is the problem?” he asked. Ansari then took the time to analyze the idea of marriage. He said he has close friends who were recently divorced; he had no idea anything was wrong in their relationship. He looked to the audience to prove his point. He looked around the room and said, on the surface, everyone seems happy. They came to a comedy show, and they are all laughing. But because of the large sample size, some people must be miserable. “Someone here has to be going through some dark s**t right now,” he said. “Someone here has a body they don’t know what to do with.” Ansari highlighted how difficult it is to find and maintain a relationship – a notion that echoed his opening act. Though Ansari introduced his opener as the creator and star of That’s So Raven who also acted in The Cosby Show, it was not Raven-Symoné, but Moshe Kasher. Natman felt Kasher set the tone for the evening and enjoyed his timely material. She thought his jokes about the abortion display, which was outside the Student Union this week, were especially creative. Ansari feels that people aren’t meant for monogamy. And technology doesn’t make staying faithful any easier because of the “24hour singles bar in our pocket.”
He said it is much more difficult to find the right relationship today because there are many more options than there were years ago. And more options actually make it more difficult to find someone and be satisfied, he said. He claimed women cheat for deep reasons, when the relationship is not working, whereas men cheat when they see “the girl in the pink shorts,” for example. To elaborate, Ansari equipped a simple analogy. He compared meaningless relationships to Skittles. If the candy is in a different room, he said, men won’t want Skittles, but if they are right in front of their face, they are going to want Skittles. Instead, women want a nutritious salad, or a healthy relationship in Ansari’s analogy. But a man, after days, weeks, months of nutritious salads, is eventually going to want Skittles. The crowd roared with laughter. “I think a lot of college kids start to see their friends pairing off into serious relationships, especially as the years go by,” Natman said. “So Aziz’s material on relationships was definitely applicable to college kids and super relatable. I’m sure we’ve all been in situations similar to the ones he described.” In an ironic twist, Ansari revealed he is currently in a relationship toward the end of the show. He was afraid of becoming that “boring guy.” Ansari let the audience in on a little secret. He said to “hold someone you love and watch an entire season of a critically-acclaimed drama” is “the peak of human happiness.” email: email@example.com
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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 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 Megan Weal, Asst. 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. Jenna Bower, 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.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Volume 63 Number 76 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
From cheering to jeering Buffalo Jills file lawsuit against Bills for low pay, mistreatment The Buffalo Jills have been less cheery following a lawsuit and suspension of all activities last week. Stejon Productions, the company that runs the squad, suspended all activities for the Jills, cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills, following a lawsuit filed against the Bills and company by five former Jills. The lawsuit, filed with the New York State Supreme Court, alleges wage theft, low pay and degrading treatment by the Bills and managing company for the Jills. The lawsuit follows a precedent of related cases. This is the third case this year alone brought against NFL teams by cheerleaders – the Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals are both roiled in lawsuits over treatment and pay to cheerleaders. The national pattern is distressing, particularly in that the issue has taken root in Buffalo. Low pay and degrading treatment to cheerleaders is hardly anything new, as reported by Slate. Recent litigation over it, however, is. The Jills claim they were paid far under the legal minimum wage in New York of $8 per hour and suffered unlawful takings of gratuities. Further, the former Jills claim they had to endure poor treatment including having their bodies “scrutinized” as they did jumping jacks. If “physical standards” weren’t met, offenders would be “penalized, suspended or dismissed,” according to complaint documents. The treatment is nothing short of objectifying and the abhorrently low pay and outright wage theft are reprehensible. The crux of the suit lies in the requirement of cheerleaders to sign contracts as “independent contractors,” which changes le-
Artwork by Amber Sliter
gal pay requirements. That such visible participants for a team and organization have makes innumerable millions each year, such low pay is inexcusable. The Buffalo Jills Alumni As-
sociation has railed against the lawsuit as “petty” and “self-serving,” according to Chris Polito, the chairwoman for the group. Cheerleading itself has moved out of favor for some fans, seen
as an anachronism many would not mind losing. The cheerleading that accompanies athletic events often borders on objectification. If cheerleading at NFL games is going to continue, however, those hired to perform are entitled to decent treatment and reasonable wages from the organization that profits so richly off their labor. Jills were required to purchase their own uniforms and travel to out-of-town events, which may not have been as blameworthy if squad members were paid a legal wage to begin with. Certainly the former Jills bringing the lawsuit had some advanced knowledge of what their signature entailed. The position is hardly known for its feminist sensibilities; NFL-style cheerleading is not among the most empowering jobs. But members of cheerleading squads across the country are as entitled as anyone else to receive just compensation for their labor and time, particularly as part of such a profitable industry. If the market for cheerleaders exists and they continued to be employed, lawful remuneration is justified, as well as decent treatment. The former Jills may have brought the lawsuit itself for less than altruistic or ideological reasons, as the Alumni Association and others have suggested. The fact remains, however, that if members were subjected to the conditions alleged, a change is in order – both in Buffalo and nationally. If cheerleading is to be a continued institution, those participating at least deserve fair treatment and pay. email: email@example.com
Long overdue justice for nonviolent drug offenders DOJ announces potential clemency for thousands of federal prisoners Thousands of nonviolent, low-level drug offenders will be applying for clemency – presidential pardons – following an announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ). U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced a significant policy shift last week. The DOJ will expand the criteria for federal inmates to receive clemency. The announcement is a major change for the department and those imprisoned under War on Drugs policies, likely to result in thousands of applications for pardons from prison sentences. The Obama administration initiative will result in long-delayed justice for thousands of Americans convicted under out-ofdate, often overtly prejudicial, laws. For a nation plagued by an indefensibly vast prison population and countless communities wracked by unconscionable imprisonment rates over the past decades, the announcement is a first step toward a department that actually defends justice.
Cole laid out six criteria for prisoners to be eligible, including a nonviolent record, previous good conduct in prisons and a minimum of 10 years already served in a federal facility. The generally reasonable restrictions ensure those granted clemency would have already served a fair sentence. Civil rights groups have lauded the policy change as a step in the right direction, though it is far from a final solution in reversing decades of prejudicial drug charges and prison sentences. Those most affected by the change are expected to be citizens sentenced before the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act. The act significantly reduced the 100:1 sentencing ratio between those convicted on crack cocaine as opposed to powdered cocaine charges. The glaring disparity, long criticized as unwarranted, was implemented under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. The potential clemency extended last week will effective-
ly correct the injustice served to some of those charged under the 1986 law, cutting otherwise overly arduous sentences. The clemency was meant to correct injustices due to “out-of-date laws” that “no longer seem appropriate,” according to Cole. Indeed, in addition to the crack cocaine sentencing disparity, the treatment many of these potentially pardoned prisoners received was far from fair or just. Nonviolent, low-level drug offenses should not trigger decades-long imprisonments. The announcement is long overdue, from a president that has handed down fewer pardons than any other modern president. It begins to correct the burden our society carries, established by laws that are no longer aligned with current laws. This pardon, however, will make more powerful headlines than it will substantive change. The precedent is dramatic and certainly attention grabbing, but the efficacy of it can scarcely be
assessed until the first prisoner is pardoned. Beyond this, the policy is little more than a first step toward the structural change necessary to reform our over-crowded prisons and broken War on Drugs era legal code regarding controlled substances. The type of change needed will take more than pardoning criminals – it will require fundamentally changing how drugs charges are written and handled. The ruling has brought greater visibility to an issue affecting a population too often left unseen. The plight of those wronged by former sentencing requirements is locked away from public visibility; this announcement has thrust the issue onto front pages. The DOJ and administration should be applauded for beginning to correct these injustices, so long as this announcement is only a beginning.
their eggs and young. When you approach them, they don’t know whether you’re just trying to get to your destination or if you’re a threat, so they become protective. Is it really such a big deal to walk a few feet around the geese to give them a little space? The geese we see here today are descendants of those who raised their young here when UB North Campus was just wetlands – no buildings, no people. Generation after generation, they re-
turn to their birthplace to nest. Despite changing conditions, they try to make the best of it. As more and more land is developed for human purposes here and elsewhere, we take over animal habitats and so we do encounter them more. The earth is home to more living beings than just humans; we share this planet with all living things, so let’s be understanding, respectful and kind neighbors to wildlife!
Letter to the Editor I am responding to The Spectrum’s April 23 article titled “Let’s talk about geese babies.” When I first saw the headline, I was pleased, thinking it was an article meant to: inform people that geese are protected by federal law, create understanding that this is a time when geese are especially protective of their young and state what people can do to avoid aggression. Though one may glean some of that from the article, I was disappointed and surprised by all the
harsh negativity which accompanied it; people describing the geese as “malicious,” “a nuisance” and “vicious.” I’d like to respond to some of the negativity with a different point of view, which I think many likely share with me. I work in the Ellicott Complex and consider myself lucky to be in an environment that has so much nature around it. These are beautiful animals who are living their own lives and doing what’s instinctive to them. I am touched by their care and dedication to
– Sonia Marinaccio
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UB seniors share goals, dreams and plans upon graduation KEREN BARUCH
Senior Features Editor
Tal Kissos, a senior media study major, is willing to work in a mailroom in Los Angeles for 10 years if that’s what it takes to make it big in the film business. Kissos is ready to walk in May’s commencement ceremony. He’s graduating from UB with the ultimate desire to “break into the film industry and direct feature films and television,” he said. Students are preparing for life after graduation – with only three weeks until commencement, students have varying goals, ranging from finding a job to attending graduate school. This summer, Kissos plans on saving $5,000 to $6,000 working on a variety of local film gigs to fund his first move to Los Angeles in September. “I’ve been at UB for four years,” Kissos said. “So I’m pumped to leave finally and start my life.” Kissos is going to travel to Los Angeles with his mother. Together they plan on staying in a hotel while scoping out different towns and apartments. He’s currently looking into Wilshire, Burbank and West Hollywood as top places for his future home. Kissos is fearless about his future. He believes success in the film industry depends entirely on how well one can network and has confidence in his abilities to do just that. He said he’s a natural at networking and meeting people – it’s what he thrives on. With his technical and creative
Chad Cooper, The Spectrum Tal Kissos, a senior media study major, plans on moving to Los Angeles in September to pursue his passion for the film and media industry. He has faith he can make it big, even if it takes 10 years working in a mailroom.
skills supplementing his ability to network, Kissos thinks he will be “just fine” in Los Angeles. “I know enough people in L.A. where I would be OK, workwise,” Kissos said. “I might work in a production company at first. Maybe I’ll intern at an agency.” Kissos knows he’ll be on the lookout for others in his position to create films with. This semester, he’s working on several short films, which he’s going to wrap up this summer and send to film festivals in an attempt to get his name out in the industry and gain exposure.
He does not know where he is going to end up or exactly how his journey will pan out, “but that’s the most exciting thing about the film business,” Kissos said. “You just don’t know what is going to happen or where your next job is going to come from.” Kissos enjoys living his life in the “fast lane” – he does not believe he needs further schooling to reach his dream. Megan Rosen, a senior biological science major, plans on taking a more traditional route upon graduating from UB, she said. To pursue her dream of be-
coming a veterinarian, Rosen will begin her studies at the Ross
University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, an island in the West Indies. Her emotions are a mix of nervousness and excitement – though she has faith in herself to succeed in veterinary school, her biggest fear is failing. But she believes UB has prepared her for next year. “Being a student at UB, I was given the opportunity to take courses such as Comparative Primate Anatomy and Microbiology, which are class-
es I have to take in my first semester of vet school,” Rosen said. “I was also given an opportunity to hold two internship positions at the Buffalo Zoo, which I feel gave my vet application a competitive edge.” Before moving to a new country, Rosen will take this summer to travel to Israel on Birthright’s trip with one of her closest friends. Then, she’ll work as a head lifeguard at a yacht club for her fifth and final season. She looks forward to life outside of New York and embracing a new culture while pursuing her dreams, she said. Other seniors are taking time after graduation to reflect on what they truly want to pursue. Alexa Serin, a senior communication major, plans on spending a few months after graduation to “find herself.” She is not pressuring herself to find a job that she may not enjoy right away. Serin is traveling to Israel and Greece for approximately a month and a half this summer. She hopes to figure out where she wants to see her future during her trip. She does not believe everyone should expect to know exactly what they want to do forever immediately after graduation. So when she gets home from her summer abroad, she will begin her focus on finding a job. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Where is your money going? Students pay more than $2,000 each year in additional fees SAM FERNANDO
Senior News Editor
If you’ve been at UB the past four years, you’ve paid the university more than $8,000 on top of your tuition. Some students are paying for services they’ve never used. And many don’t realize it. The money is part of UB’s Comprehensive Fee. Where does this money go? And have you gotten your money’s worth? UB’s website states, “The Comprehensive Fee is a consolidation of campus-required fees which support several University services. The Comprehensive Fee is paid by all students at the University at Buffalo, unless they meet fee waiver requirements.” This year, the funds totaled $48,721,000. The Comprehensive Fee is broken down into seven parts: the Athletic Fee, Campus Life Fee, College Fee, Health Service Fee, Technology Fee, Transcript Fee and Transportation Fee. Feb. 15, Provost Charles Zukoski and Vice President of University Life and Services Dennis Black announced a new initiative via email that will increase the Comprehensive Fee by 3 percent each year until the 2018-19 academic year. Currently, students are paying $2,139. But in five years the fee will be $2,433.50 – and will total about $56,480,992. Fees are reduced for part-time students. Even if students don’t use facilities like the gym, use all of their printer queue, go to sporting events or use career or personal counseling on campus, they’re still paying. Dan Haugeto, a senior occupational therapy major, understands the reasons for the various fees, but he still finds some aspects excessive. He, like most others, is paying $509 for the Athletic Fee, for example. The money is split up amongst athletic scholarships, facilities, trainers, equipment and more – none of which Haugeto uses. He said he could instead go to a gym off campus for $10. Students like Throsby Wells feel like with the 3 percent increase, students in the future are going to be spending a lot
in addition to tuition. “It seems like $2,400 is a lot. It does seem like that’s a big number considering how many students presumably pay that fee,” said the sophomore linguistics major. “Dollar for dollar, I’m not really sure … But I think it’s important that I support other students in that sense.” Portions of the Comprehensive Fee may be waived if students fit certain criteria. To be eligible for the partial waiver, students must prove that “study takes place outside of the University at Buffalo grounds” and “the student DOES NOT have a current UB parking permit,” according the waiver form. The only fees that can be waived are the Athletic Fee, Campus Life Fee, Health Services Fee and Transportation Fee. “[The Comprehensive Fee] does include a lot,” said Joseph Evans, a freshman biology major. “It’s a good value if you use it. It differs per person. I go to the concerts, to a lot of the speakers, the gym and play basketball. I know a lot of people who don’t and they should give you some sort of choice.” The Technology Fee cannot be waived because it “supports licensing in student labs and is paid for per head count of students on campus per our contract,” according to UB Spokesman John Della Contrada. He said the Transcript Fee “allows students access to a lifetime service associated with printed transcript and is approved as such.” The College Fee cannot be waived because it is SUNY policy. Thirteen percent of the Comprehensive Fee is allocated for the general university service fee (GUSF). The fee is collected to offset administrative costs of services used by the public. The UB Foundation, the private organization that handles all donations to the university, and other entities process some of the GUSF. Other fees you may notice on your tuition bill, outside of the Comprehensive Fee, include the Academic Excellence and Success Fee ($225), Mandatory Undergraduate Student Activity Fee ($189.50), New Student Transfer Fee ($120) and New Student Freshman Fee ($225).
UB obtains $48,721,000 per year from the comprehensive fee. Here is how that total breaks down: *All numbers are from UB’s Student Accounts website
Technology Fee: $18,021,000 Athletic Fee: $8,819,000 Transportation Fee: $8,560,000 Health Service Fee: $7,347,000 Campus Life Fee: $5,232,000 College Fee: $611,000 Transcript Fee: $131,000 Each student pays $2,139 per year. The breakdown for this total, along with explanations of the fees, are on the next page.
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Technology Fee: $728.50 Each year, undergraduates pay $728.50 in the Technology Fee. This year, the fund totaled $18,021,000. “The Technology Fee is used to address specific technology needs such as computing and information technology, library automation, connectivity and mobility, public IT service sites, and student system automation,” according to UB’s website. The Technology Fee is allocated into five initiatives. The digital library initiative ($6,077,553) helps continue to increase the number of electronic resources. It also funds facility services and 24-hour-a-day access to online catalogs. The educational technology initiative ($1,282,000) aims to improve facilities, services, labs, software and training for instructors. It also helps maintain computing labs on North and South Campus. Student Services ($980,000) provides support for student systems and service areas. It helps maintain multiple web-based service options, including career-planning services. It also goes toward technical support of Student Affairs facilities and services. UBit ($8,809,000) provides web-based student services, like the HUB Student Center, MyUB, UBlearns and others. It also provides and maintains public printing services, network connectivity on campus, campus-licensed software, CIT Help Desk and others. The money from this fee also goes toward updating and maintaining technology in classrooms ($873,000).
Athletic Fee: $509.00 Each year, undergraduates pay $509 toward the Athletic Fee. This year, this fund totaled $8,819,000 – split between Recreation and Intramural Services (7 percent) and Intercollegiate Athletics (93 percent). UB emphasizes the fee “enhances the quality of life” and puts “UB in the national spotlight, which helps in the recruitment and retention of students,” according to its website. The money allocated for Recreation and Intramurals Services is split between student employment ($464,625) and infrastructure ($154,875), which goes toward programs like intramurals, aquatics, CPR and more. The money for intercollegiate athletics goes toward student payroll ($359,380) like tutoring and mentoring services for athletes and grants-in-aid for women ($3,527,562) in Title IX initiatives, including scholarships. Money is also distributed to men’s and women’s sports ($3,408,498), which helps fund recruiting, team travel, equipment and Title IX initiatives. Infrastructure funds ($904,060) go toward academic services, training and equipment rooms, trainers and more.
Transportation Fee: College $360.00 Fee: $25.00
Each year, undergraduates pay $360 toward the Transportation Fee. This year, the fund totaled $8,560,000. The money from this fee is split into two parts: Transportation Services ($6,505,600) and Parking Services ($2,054,400). Transportation Services provides 28 Stampede buses, 16 shuttles, the Bikeshare program and more. Parking Services accounts for “sufficient, convenient and safe parking for students, faculty, staff and visitors,” according to UB’s website.
Each year, undergraduates pay $25 toward the College Fee. In 2013-14 fund totaled $611,000. The money allocated goes to the University Police ($387,300) and the “Academic Mission of the University” ($223,700).
Transcript Health Service Fee: Fee: $295.00 $10.00
Each year, undergraduates pay $295 toward the Health Service Fee. This year, the fund totaled $7,347,000. Many of the programs and services provided by this fee are free or “cost effective.” The money helps fund: Health Services ($3,283,000), Counseling Services ($2,596,000), Accessibility Resources ($368,000) and Wellness Education Services ($1,100,000).
Each year, undergraduates pay $10 toward the Transcript Fee. This year, it totaled $131,000. This fee provides unlimited official transcripts to students and alumni.
Campus Life Fee: $211.50 Undergraduate students pay $211.50 yearly toward the Campus Life Fee. This year, this fund totaled $5,232,000. The fee covers campus life programs and services that “support student academic success and personal development” and “recruiting and retaining top students,” according to UB’s website. The university says the fee “assists UB in recruiting and retaining top students, positioning them for life success after graduation and nurturing a connectedness to UB, resulting in enhanced alumni relations.” This fee is split up into five expenditures: academic and co-curricular personal development ($2,197,640), standards and safety ($399,714), student engagement ($1,016,646), undergraduate experience ($1,072,000) and “the Heart of the Campus” initiative ($546,000). The academic and co-curricular personal development component goes toward various leadership programs on campus, the UB 101 class, the many orientations UB has, Career Services, the Collegiate Readership Program and the marching band. Student engagement initiatives help fund late night programming, the Intercultural and Diversity Center, fraternities and sororities, veteran services, Student Union operations and more. The undergraduate experience portion of the money funds Student Affairs ($478,000). It also goes toward undergraduate education initiatives ($594,000), like seminars, the Academies, special events and more. “The Heart of the Campus” initiative funds renewing, upgrading and renovating buildings.
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UB alumni share what they feared before graduation, where they are now KEREN BARUCH
Senior Features Editor
Network. It’s the most important piece of advice Danielle Marmel, who graduated from UB in 2013, gives to this year’s graduating class. There are more than 220,000 UB alumni across the globe, according to UB’s commencement website. Some recent graduates find themselves pursuing their dream careers by either working or attending graduate schools. Others place a greater importance in taking time off before making the decision of what to do after graduation. During a time when numerous graduates aren’t finding jobs immediately after college – 53 percent of college graduates under the age of 25 who graduated from liberal arts colleges are jobless or underemployed, according to The Atlantic, and nearly 1.74 million students nationwide enrolled in graduate schools in fall 2012, according to The CounCourtesy of Danielle Marmel cil of Graduate Schools – Marmel Danielle Marmel, a UB alumna, was featured on the stressed how far networking has Today Show wearing a red-carpet inspired dress, gotten her. during her time working for Shadow PR. She, like Marmel is currently an account many other former UB students, has found life after college is not as frightening as she expected. coordinator at Shadow PR, a public relations, fashion and beauty, hospitality and lifestyle firm based in New York City. about the industry I’m passion- during the summer after her seThe internship programs UB of- ate about and led me to meeting nior year to go on vacation with fered helped her network during my current boss, who saw poten- her family and celebrate. Marmel said the scariest part her undergraduate career – she tial in me during my internship believes networking helped her and hired me once I graduated.” of leaving UB was not knowMarmel’s entry-level position ing if she was entering a job she attain her current position. “UB’s internship program is a dream job for many current wanted for the rest of her life. “And I’m still not 100 percent helped me apply for and re- communication majors – she ceive an internship at Chanel was featured on the Today Show positive this is what I will be doand then Shadow PR,” Marm- wearing a “red-carpet inspired” ing for the rest of my life, but it’s el said. “I will carry the contacts gown for a fashion segment dur- been a learning process,” Marmel said. “And now I know I’m on I made during these two expe- ing her first year of work. She knew she would be enter- the right track.” riences with me throughout my Marmel believes it’s imporentire career. These two intern- ing the work world after graduation, soAM shePage took1 some time off tant to take some time off before SCCC_Summer14_Buffalo_Layout 1 2/28/14 10:41 ships have allowed me to learn
diving into a job. She took time to research Shadow PR before working there. She spent about a month familiarizing herself with her future clients so she would be prepared. Justin Neuwirt, a 2013 alum who served as Student Association treasurer, did not take time off between graduation and work. He graduated on May 15 and started working on May 20 for Gerstein Fisher, a wealth management firm located in Midtown Manhattan.
Like Marmel, Neuwirt interned at the company as an undergraduate. During the summer before his sophomore year, Neuwirt volunteered at Gerstein Fisher and continued to do research for the firm throughout his college career. He is now a client adviser and works with individuals and families to help them reach their financial goals. Neuwirt believes he was hired because of his work ethic and networking skills. “There are many college graduates all looking for positions across all industries so you need to network, speak to as many people from all different backgrounds,” Neuwirt said. “You never know who will land you your dream job or introduce you to someone who will. And then once you get that first job – dream or not – you need to work hard to stand out.” Neuwirt currently has an apartment in New York City and believes he is living at least the beginning of his dream. But not everyone leaves UB and lands a job. Some students choose to further their education. Ashley Fertig, who graduated from UB in 2012, is now a second-year law student. While at UB, she was most afraid of the “unknown” after graduation, she said. “I knew that leaving college meant beginning the next chapter in my life,” Fertig said. “But no matter how much you plan, you never know what it can bring.” Four months after commencement, Fertig began studying at Brooklyn Law School. “It’s true what they say that the first year is very hard – everything is new and it’s probably the most competitive year,” FerSEE FEARED, PAGE 11
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The art of the job hunt Looking back
one last time
Director of internships in communication department offers advice on job searching KEREN BARUCH
Senior Features Editor
Unemployment after college remains a fear in the eyes of many soon-to-be graduates, as students begin to face the pressures of the dreaded process of finding a job. Undoubtedly, joblessness and underemployment is an unfortunate reality for many new graduates. The Labor Department reported the unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates was 10.9 percent, according to the Dallas News. Dr. Vivian Williams, the director of internships in the communication department, shared advice and strategies for students who are graduating. Focused job search Williams believes one of the biggest challenges for students after graduation is organizing and sustaining a focused job search. “It isn’t merely a matter of what you’d like to do, where you’d like to do it, or for whom you’d like to work,” Williams said in an email. “But in preparing yourself for the job search.” Williams said a well-run job search is a lot of work – in fact, she believes it’s a full-time job – and too often, new graduates are “taken aback at the scope of the challenge.” Williams urges students to turn to multiple strategies in finding a job. There are many useful resources available at UB’s Career Services. From interviewing skills to salary negotiation, the center can help students carry out a suc-
cessful job search. “Students should use those resources before they graduate,” Williams said. Résumés and interviews “Your résumé, the most financially important document that you’ll ever write, needs to be in top form,” Williams said. She encourages students to reach out to career services while creating their résumés. More goes into these documents than lists of skills, previous jobs and internships and years each position was held. A résumé is ultimately what earns an applicant an interview. And when one gets an interview, Williams recommends going in prepared. She said there are different types of interviews, and each kind requires listening carefully and responding appropriately. “Read about interviewing in its various forms: face-to-face, Skype, telephone and ‘pre-packaged’ online screening interviews,” Williams said. “Practice your interview skills for the various interview types because different skills are used in each. For example, you need to enunciate clearly and put more energy in your voice for a telephone interview so standing up and smiling as you speak can help you to communicate more effectively.” Researching and learning about the company before an interview is vital. l. Some of the most simple, dayto-day things students do may negatively affect their chances of getting a job. For instance, saying “yeah” in casual conversation
Senior Nirosh Jayakumar reflects on experience at UB
is acceptable, but not in an interview. Williams calls it the “fourletter Y-word,” that may cause a business professional to decide against hiring an applicant. “It’s important that job candidates look and sound polished and professional,” Wiliams said. Online profiles and networking Williams cautions students that companies search for online profiles – so students should make sure their online presence is appropriate. Some of Williams’ students told her they were surprised upon entering a job interview and seeing their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts on the interviewer’s computer screen. Lastly, Williams’ places great importance in developing and using networks. “Let your friends, relatives, neighbors, classmates and LinkedIn connections know that you are looking for a particular kind of job,” Williams said. “Also, be sure to share with others information about jobs you’ve found (but in which you have no interest) in the hope that you can help someone else. Becoming a professional means that you look out for others as well as your own needs.” Job-hunting can be a time-consuming and emotionally draining task, but keeping these strategies in mind can help relieve some of the inevitable anxiety that accompanies applying and interviewing for jobs. “And remember, you only need one firm to say ‘yes’ to you, so never give up,” Williams said. email: email@example.com
Yusong Shi, The Spectrum Nirosh Jayakumar, a senior cultural anthropology major, reflects on his four years at UB just weeks before graduation.
Asst. Features Editor
The movement from one stage of life into another can be a complex, confusing process. For many, the change is terrifying. Nirosh Jayakumar, a senior cultural anthropology major, looks to the future without fear – at least not entirely. For Jayakumar, facing the end of his undergraduate career brings excitement and joy but also a strange feeling of finality. Graduation looming on the horizon brings a varying range of emotions. Some will be going on to graduate school while others move onto post-graduation jobs. In this fast-paced, momentous time, Jayakumar is one of the many seniors reflecting on his four-year tenure at UB. Jayakumar looks back on his own undergraduate career with an air of nostalgic amusement. The Sri Lanka native has been to several educational institutions, starting at SUNY Purchase and having a brief stint at Erie Community College before landing at UB.
“The journey getting here and all of the camaraderie that has been built basically kept me sane during college,” Jayakumar said. “The people I have met and the things I have done to get from position A to B are the best things I have experienced in my years here.” Doug Henderson, a senior finance major, has been friends with Jayakumar for over nine years. Henderson remembers his wild adventures with him, the foremost of which was their backpacking trip across Puerto Rico. Their travels took them from tours of the Camuy caves to getting free drinks at a rum distillery. “My friendship with Nirosh has made me much more open to exploring different opportunities that may have been outside my comfort zone – had I not been with Nirosh,” Henderson said. Jayakumar wasn’t always “ready” for graduation. Even now, his future is uncertain. But Jayakumar remembers going into school as a freshman and wanting to choose from a SEE LOOKING BACK, PAGE 11
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The great graduate debate Students contemplate going to graduate school or straight to workforce AMANDA LOW News Editor
Every year, graduating seniors debate between two options as a stepping-stone into their futures: going straight to graduate school or pursuing a job. Questions of finances and potential unemployment weigh heavily in the minds of many soon-to-be UB graduates as they debate lunging into the professional world or continuing higher education. Students are faced with difficult choices, trying to decide whether the cost of a master’s will be worth it once they enter their fields. David Murphy-Longhini, a senior finance and management information systems major, originally had plans to attend graduate school at UB through a scholarship. The Information and Cyber Security Scholarship would have given him $25,000 a year to attend, and after completing the program, he would take a government job for two years. Murphy-Longhini, however, was given two job offers – one from Tata Consultancy Services and the other from Ingram Micro – both prominent technology companies. He decided to take the offer from Ingram Micro as a business analyst. “People are scared about putting themselves into that chasm given that they always hear about so many people not getting jobs,” Murphy-Longhini said. The unemployment rate for recent college graduates in 2011 was 12.6 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Murphy-Longhini doesn’t believe the same philosophy applies to all majors. He said he was told in the business world, someone going straight to graduate school is
Yusong Shi, The Spectrum SA Vice President Judy Mai, a senior health and human services major, was recently accepted into Stony Brook’s higher education master’s program. The opportunity will allow her to work while obtaining the degree, which is entirely online.
“putting [their] money into more school before [they’ve] had business experience.” A study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce in May 2013 reported architecture students have the highest unemployment rate with 12.8 percent. Students who studied elementary education, agriculture and health sciences had more promising statistics with less than 5 percent unemployment. SA Vice President Judy Mai, a senior health and human services major, did not plan to attend
graduate school but found a program that fit into her needs. She was accepted into Stony Brook’s higher education master’s program. The program is fully online and allows Mai to have a job while working toward the degree. “This, for me, is the best of both worlds,” Mai said. Mai said she wanted a change from the educational world. She said the online aspect of the program allows her to work on her degree from any location while giving her the chance to work toward getting a job in a university setting.
Some students want to defer going to graduate school. Babita Persaud, a senior communication design and psychology major, said she couldn’t see herself going to graduate school right after graduation. “It’s a different commitment in grad school,” Persaud said. “You can’t just … change your major every semester as we can in undergrad. In grad school, it’s two years of intense work, and you have to be committed to what you want to do.” She wants to apply to different sets of jobs to have a variety of
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experiences before eventually applying to graduate school. If a student knows exactly what he or she wants to do in graduate school, it would save a lot of time in the future, she said. In a report from the Council of Graduate Schools, applications for admission to U.S. graduate schools increased 3.9 percent between fall 2011 and fall 2012. Longhini said the choice depends on the kind of job offer, too. If someone would be able to make more connections after getting a master’s degree and also have a better job offer afterward, he believes it is a better situation than staying at a less rewarding job for two years. Persaud said the cost of graduate school was also a large factor in her decision. The average amount of debt for those graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2012 was $29,400, according to the Institute for College Access & Success. Longhini took the job at Ingram Micro because the salary will wind up being more than the scholarship for which he was applying. He said he does, however, want to go to graduate school sometime in the future and see if a company is willing to send him to a school. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Continued from Page 8: Feared tig said. “But once you’re an upperclassman, you get to pick the classes, the extracurricular activities and the internship or clinic that you want. It’s all about learning the art of time management, and if you do it right, you still have time for a social life.” As she finishes her second year of law school, she said she has learned life after college is not as scary as many fear it may be. Fertig said she owes some of her success to her time at UB. She learned great study habits and joined activities and organizations where she met new people and ventured out of her comfort zone. “I certainly think all of it has helped me navigate law school a bit better,” Fertig said. “I also gained an amazing group of friends at UB that is as supportive and strong as it was two years ago when we graduated.” Fertig’s biggest piece of advice to aspiring lawyers: do not attend law school unless you really want to.
“Law school is a serious commitment and it’s not always clear right out of college if it’s something you want to do,” Fertig said. “Don’t be afraid to take time off from school to think about it. But if it is for you, it’s definitely an incredibly rewarding experience and can show you what you’re truly made of.” As seniors prepare to graduate in a few weeks and look toward the future, Fertig urges them to “soak up every minute … because you never know what you have until it’s gone.” Fertig, Marmel and Neuwirt are pleased with where they have ended up and look forward to continuing their education and careers. They urge UB seniors to enjoy their final days as undergrads before entering life after college. email: email@example.com
Continued from page 9: Looking Back handful of majors that he was passionate about. Eventually, Jayakumar decided on cultural anthropology because of his skills as a “people person.” “I chose cultural studies because I felt that I needed to understand our race to adapt to the changing physical and social landscape of today,” he said. Beyond choosing a major, Jayakumar felt his biggest challenge was keeping up with the schoolwork. He said the work was a blessing and a curse because as much as Jayakumar truly loves learning, he said he hates “drilling facts into my head” just as much. For upcoming seniors, Jayakumar offers one piece of advice: “Don’t slack off.” “Be sure to keep up with your work for the final leg of college,” Jayakumar said. “Find time to balance your schedule and stay busy with a balanced schedule.” He stresses the importance of picking a field one loves with peers one loves. This is what will
help students stay focused and enjoy what they do, Jayakumar said. Learning is but one of Jayakumar’s diverse passions. Jayakumar also owns an art collective, called The Roasty Art Collective. This group is a collection of young artists living in Buffalo. The collective will be hosting summer projects downtown including art markets, gallery openings, rock shows and collaborative art pieces to promote its work and help build the Buffalo community. “This is what I do for fun,” Jayakumar said. The Sri Lankan native fell in love with Buffalo when he first moved here in as a young child. “There’s something about the people, the sports, the atmosphere, the women, the art – the fact that there is a potential for greatness,” he said. That’s probably why Jayakumar is sticking around. He plans to open his own freelance advertising agency and simultaneous-
ly help his mother with her business, a wellness clinic on Sweet Home Road. Manny Woerner, a senior legal studies and political science major, has played with Jayakumar on an intramural soccer team for two years now. Woerner says he believes Jayakumar will be fine after graduation. “He is very open-minded,” said Woerner. “He has his future planned out and is already taking steps to fulfill his dreams.” But before all that grown-up stuff, Jayakumar still has one last summer for youthful revelry. He wants to make this summer a memorable one. “I’m still at an age where it is socially acceptable to make a fool of yourself and get away with it,” Jayakumar said, laughing. “A summer of friends, family, books, music, traveling and the outdoors will all be celebration enough. I will never experience something like this again.” email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspiration, not idolization
Asst. Arts Editor
Who do you want to be when you grow up? When I was 4, I wanted to be a Disney princess. I didn’t really mind which one; any of them would have satisfied my naïve little mind.
Then when I was 9, I wanted to be Mary-Kate Olsen (or Ashley, I’m still not entirely sure). At 13 it was Shakira, and at 15 it was Miley Cyrus. Did you see anything wrong in that first question? I said who, not what. Ever since pop culture started infiltrating my life at a young age, I wanted to be someone else. I didn’t want to embody their characteristics or the values that they stood for. I wanted to be them. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. But then I started college and realized that it’s not right. Our idols shouldn’t be people who we want to actually be, but people who hold characteristics that we want to try and emulate to make us better people.
There’s a difference between inspiration and idolization. That may be an obvious statement, but it took me until the end of my time at UB to totally understand that distinction. It’s an important one. Let’s take Beyoncé as an example. She’s beautiful and talented, but she is no more than a woman. And yet society idolizes her as royalty, christening her as Queen Bey and appointing her as the figurehead for a religion. Yes, The National Church of Beyoncé is a real thing – a registered, official non-profit religion. There are many stellar qualities that Beyoncé possesses. She’s a powerful female, with a healthy physique and an educated social stance. She’s controversial, but she picks her battles. But these are qualities that you need to em-
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ulate within yourself. To dream of being another person is futile – college is emblematic of this. We are taught to better ourselves continuously. In order to get to take the next step, to achieve a promotion or to graduate, we need to prove that we have something that others don’t. Believe that. Last Thursday, Beyoncé released the accompanying music video to her powerful song “Pretty Hurts.” The video follows Beyoncé as she poses as a beauty pageant contestant, desperate to distort her body until it fits into society’s “pretty” mold. She’s unhappy, depressed and dangerous. The message rings throughout the video loud and clear: Stop trying to distort yourself. That message is worth emulat-
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ing, much more than the woman saying it. The word “anxiety” is thrown around in blissful ignorance far too often. But by idolizing those who are deemed to be superior, we are contributing to a society with an ever-growing anxiety to be our idols. So with commencement on the horizon and the vastness of a new reality before you, it’s time to define yourself as someone from whom others can take inspiration. Because you will never be Beyonce, Kanye or Kobe. But your characteristics could be even better if you embrace them. email: email@example.com
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Playlist: Let graduation commence Songs to help you appreciate four years of memories portant to hold onto them.
Senior News Editor
My Chemical Romance – “Sing” The future is an interesting thing. I am excited for it, but I am also scared s***less thinking about it. My Chemical Romance’s “Sing” addresses the future and how to make your mark on the world. “Boy, you’ve got to see what tomorrow brings / Sing it out / Girl, you’ve got to be what tomorrow needs.” Take notes.
As the end of this academic year approaches, with graduation right around the corner for us seniors, we are inevitably going to be filled with emotions. Excitement, sadness, fear and maybe even a sense of accomplishment will dictate our last few days at UB. And with the end comes music. We have all heard the clichéd graduation songs every May. But it isn’t until we are in a position for those songs to hold any sort of significance or meaning that we can actually appreciate them. I have compiled a list of the aforementioned clichéd songs mixed with a couple others that could make the final weeks easier (or sadder). Third Eye Blind – “Graduate” We’ve all been there – reaching our boiling point, wanting it all to be over, screaming to the academic gods, “Can I just graduate already?” In this song, Third Eye Blind captures the frustration of being so close to our educational end, but still having to put in the hard work to get there. Screaming, “Can I graduate?” over and over to this track might be the release you were seeking. Matchbox Twenty – “How Far We’ve Come” Reminiscing is a large part of the weeks leading up to graduation. We may feel like our lives as we know them are ending as we enter the professional world, but it is important to see “How Far We’ve Come.” Matchbox Twenty might not have been talking about graduation per se, but it still applies.
Courtesy of Elektra/Warner Music Group
Green Day – “Good Riddance” “Good Riddance” during graduation is the cliché of all clichés. And to be honest, every time I heard this song in a commencement setting, I’d almost start to get nauseous. But now that I’m there, if someone makes a slideshow featuring me and my friends set to this Green Day classic, tears will be shed. Lots of tears. Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten “Drench yourself in words unspoken / Live your life with arms wide open / Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten.” Enough said. Vitamin C – “Graduation Song (Friends Forever)” I’ve always hated this song, but any graduation playlist isn’t complete without this 2000 classic. And considering graduation is closing in, it has grown on me. A little.
Semisonic – “Closing Time” Most college careers could be summed up in two words: relationships and alcohol. “Closing Time” handles a little bit of both. Though the lyrics may literally mean the bar is closing and it’s time to leave, if we dig deeper it suggests the end of something and the start of something else. “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Excuse me while I cry. Foo Fighters – “Times Like These” Cherishing the moments becomes increasingly significant as the semester rolls by. The time we have in college with our friends is important to hold onto. “It’s times like these you learn to live again / It’s times like these you give and give again / It’s times like these you learn to love again / It’s times like these time and time again.” But now that those times are coming to an end, it’s even more im-
Rembrandts – “I’ll Be There For You” The theme song from Friends sums up the close friendships you make during your college career. I mean, you might not have the cookie-cutter post-college life like Chandler and Phoebe, but promising to stay close to your friends after college is something we all are going to go through. Eve 6 – “Here’s to the Night” That realization that the last four years (or more) are over now may be slow, or it might hit you like a brick wall. But that moment inevitably comes, and you can either sulk in the memories or cherish them as you reminisce. “Here’s to the nights we felt alive / Here’s to the tears you knew you’d cry / Here’s to goodbye / Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon.” Rascal Flatts – “My Wish” The lyrics say it all: “My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to / Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small / You never need to carry more than you can hold / And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to / I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too / Yeah, this, is my wish.”
Simple Minds – “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” Everyone and their mother remembers this classic from the hit ’80s classic The Breakfast Club. I, for one, am going to hold my fist in the air like I just got a kiss and diamond earring from Molly Ringwald at least once on graduation day. And to my friends, please “Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t you forget about me.” The Script – “Live Like We’re Dying” While some might be heading into our post-undergraduate academic career, others are heading into a full-time job. So the next few weeks – after finals, of course (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) – are going to be party central. This summer might be the last time to actually do the things you’ve always wanted to do without a career getting in the way. This Script song reminds us to seize this time and to “Live Like We’re Dying.” Kanye West – “Good Life” Any playlist – no matter the theme – is incomplete without a Kanye song. Bottom line. Though this song really doesn’t have any direct correlation with Commencement Week, it does appear on Kanye’s album entitled Graduation. Plus, you’ll be living the “Good Life” when you cross that stage and finally graduate. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Wednesday, April 30, 2014
A selfie is worth a thousand words Student discusses experience in a fish tank with David Blaine JOE KONZE JR
Senior Arts Editor
On Saturday evening at Alumni Arena, senior industrial engineering major Peter Morgis took a selfie with world-renowned magician David Blaine, fulfilling a lifelong dream of meeting one of his favorite celebrities. The Spectrum sat down with Morgis to talk about his experience. The Spectrum: How were you selected? Peter Morgis: When I saw he was coming, I immediately went to Sam McMahon [the Student Association President] and I’m always in there, too, because I’m the president of the UB men’s tennis club. So, I went into his office when I was doing some errands and I asked him if it would be possible for me to just meet [Blaine], I just want to shake his hand or something … Before Sanjay Gupta came, [McMahon said] all right, come to me after Sanjay Gupta and we will have some opportunities for you for sure. So, I came back after Sanjay Gupta and I was waiting and [McMahon said], ‘Keep an eye on the SA page for notifications.’ They came out with one that if you submitted a magic video, a David Blaine inspired act, and you’d get to go on stage with him. And I saw this on my computer and I was like, Oh God, I can’t pass this up. So, I was thinking about a trick to do – I’m not the greatest magician – so I needed to figure something out that I could do that I could learn pretty quick, but also [one] that I could get people with. I found one where I made a tennis ball disappear. Originally, they used a coin in a video, but I used a tennis ball to make it more relevant to our tennis practice, which is where I filmed it … and
Courtesy of Peter Morgis
I submitted it online and it was like the longest week ever when I would find out. I got picked and I got a phone call. TS: What was your reaction to the phone call? PM: I was like, “Really? Me?” and then I said, “Where and when should I meet you guys? I’m ready.” So, I got notified Thursday. And then I discussed it with the people in SA, who put out the offer. And then I got a call from Bill Regan – the director of the Office of Special Events – and he called me and he told me when I should be there on Friday and he spoke to David Blaine. It was finally at that point it was setti ng in that, Oh my God. I’m actually going to meet the world’s greatest magician. He told me to bring a bathing suit and flipflops. I didn’t know the extent to what I was going to be doing in the tank, but I went there to the rehearsal. TS: Did you come up with the selfie idea? Or was it David Blaine? PM: Well I had an underwater camera and that was the great-
est investment I could have ever made, I think, because without that I wouldn’t have had the idea to take the underwater selfie. So, I had it with me. And I was just bringing the underwater camera just to take photos of me being with him. I didn’t know that I would be using it in a tank with him. So, when I found out I was going in the tank, I said, ‘I’ll take a selfie with you with my underwater camera.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah.’ He liked the idea and he laughed. TS: What was it like looking out in the crowd, if you could see anything? PM: I wasn’t looking out. I was focused on making sure I didn’t mess up and step on David Blaine or the fish, or I didn’t unplug any lights or something. I didn’t want to mess anything up. So, I wasn’t even looking at the crowd. What was going through my mind was, when I was right next to the tank, I was looking in the water and David Blaine was underneath there. It was almost unreal seeing a human being in water in there for nine minutes already. I had to be quick – he’s probably running out of breath
Aline Kobayashi, The Spectrum Senior industrial engineering major Peter Morgis was UB’s lucky winner to participate in David Blaine’s act on Saturday night. Morgis chose to take a selfie with Blaine with his personal underwater camera.
at this point. I got to get my selfie; I got to make sure this goes right here. So when I first got in, I see David Blaine there and I was having trouble, the water was very buoyant. I couldn’t really sink. So, I took a short breath and I didn’t really sink far enough. So I had to take another one. I kind of pushed myself along the wall to
get underneath to get on his level. And at that point he was holding me down. And then I took the selfie. TS: Are we going to see you in a fish tank at graduation? PM: Will you put one there? Will David Blaine be there? email: email@example.com
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Continued from Burke, Page 1 “It has been a lifelong thing for me,” Burke said. “I don’t have any enemies if people choose to [use drugs or alcohol], but it has been a lifestyle that has not only worked for me, but changed my life as well.” Before Burke entered high school, he shaped his lifestyle around what he learned growing up. Burke takes advice from any source he can find. If he learns something that helps him improve, he sees no reason not to use it. Burke found his inspiration in an unusual way: through a movie. The film is Peaceful Warrior. Based on a true story, the 2006 film portrays the life of Dan Millman, a college gymnast who had it all: looks, talent and confidence. Millman meets a man he calls “Socrates” at a gas station who changes his perspective on life. While training for nationals, Millman suffers a devastating leg injury and his return seems impossible. With guidance from Socrates, though, Millman goes through a spiritual journey and eventually works his way back to the national stage. Throughout the course of the movie, Millman’s demeanor shifts from arrogance to humble dedication. The story changed Burke’s life. “It’s more than just a movie,” Burke said. “Ever since I saw it freshman year in high school, it has had a huge impact on my life. Everything in the movie is how you should go about your athletics. You do it because you love it, not for the glory.” Before he saw Peaceful Warrior, Burke did not know how to act mentally and physically on the field. “The movie took out a lot of garbage in my mind,” Burke said. “It made me realize that baseball will always bring happiness to me.” Burke’s tireless work ethic was unparalleled, according to his high school baseball coach, Brad Ganor. With the right mindset and motivation, Burke was ready
Courtesy of the Burke family Burke poses in his little league jersey. When he wasn’t playing in a little league game, he would practice at his home in Cleveland.
for his biggest competition to date: St. Ignatius High School baseball. The prestigious baseball program in Cleveland, Ohio, witnessed many professional athletes pass through its ranks, including former Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Matt Kata and Miami Marlins infielder Derek Dietrich, along with current Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer. Hoyer still holds the school record with 18 career home runs. In high school, Burke wanted to prove himself as a ball player while learning from Ganor. Despite Burke’s quiet demeanor, Ganor recognized his abilities. Eventually, he was legitimized as
one of the best baseball players to walk through the halls of the school. As a junior, Burke broke the school batting record with a .573 average. Ganor said Burke was one of his favorite players to coach. If Ganor wanted Burke at shortstop, he was there. If he needed to pull Burke from his infield position to pitch out of the bullpen, Burke was ready. “He just did it,” Ganor said. “Those are the types of players I admire. I use Mike as an example for my players now.” By the end of his senior year of high school, Burke had earned back-to-back first-team
All-Cuyahoga River Conference honors, three sectional championships and two district championships. After high school, he was offered the opportunity to continue his baseball career. One school stood out above all the rest for Burke: UB. Many athletes face a dilemma when choosing a university. For Burke, it was a simple choice. He wanted a school that allowed him to play every day, as he did in high school. “When I went to visit other schools, they only wanted me as a pitcher,” Burke said. “UB recruited me as a position player and I transitioned into a pitcher as time went on.” The opportunity to play immediately also appealed to Burke. Buffalo was graduating 12 senior players from the season before. He didn’t care which position he was placed at – he just wanted to play. Burke made a defining impact in his first game as a Bull, when he delivered two hits and a home run. He has played in at least 50 games in each of his first three seasons and hit .272 during that span. But Burke is a pitcher. He has known this since he was 9. He has the ability to control a game, and it is no surprise that Torgalski views Burke as the workhorse of the rotation and his “Sunday go-to” starting pitcher – typically the strongest pitcher on a college staff. “He has gotten better every season,” Torgalski said. “I have never coached a guy more focused than Mike. He wants an opportunity to pitch at the next level and at this rate, I can see that happening.” The Future Burke is 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA so far in the 2014 season – his last season of college baseball. He is not ready to leave the game he loves. “I want to get drafted,” Burke said. “I am going to do anything I can to achieve my dream.”
If you were in a room with Burke, you may not realize his presence for a few moments. But when you see him on the baseball diamond, you will notice him instantly. Burke is not one to brag about his level of play. Instead, he notices the errors in his game and strives to correct them. “He wants to make good moments,” Mike Sr. said. “He likes to bring up good memories, but he doesn’t like to dwell on them because he knows tomorrow is coming.” His father taught Burke work ethic. The game taught him confidence. Peaceful Warrior taught him how to be himself. “The film taught me you can’t live life in regret just because you didn’t make it,” Burke said. “You just have to keep looking forward. Life is a wonderful journey and do what you love.” The baseball team has 12 regular season games remaining. That leaves 12 games for Burke to make an even bigger impact on the program than he already has. But he’s not satisfied with 12 more games. The Bulls are looking for a deep postseason run. “I’ve been with some of these guys for four years,” Burke said. “Walking out of the season with a ring would mean the world to me.” When the season is over, Torgalski and the rest of the coaching staff must succumb to the obvious yet devastating reality: Burke and the rest of the senior class are set to trade in their uniforms for commencement robes in a few short weeks. Torgalski is grateful for the effort and leadership Burke instilled in the team. “[Burke] will always give it all he’s got,” Torgalski said. “When you enter the heat of battle, he’s the guy you want on your team. I wish I had a player like that to coach every year.” email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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DAILY DELIGHTS sponsored by buffalostudenthousing.com Crossword of the Day Wednesday, April 30, 2014 FROM UNIVERSAL UCLICK
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- You can slip something past the powers that be and enjoy both expected and unexpected rewards. You're not really breaking the rules! GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Someone with whom you were competing closely only a short time ago may now be the person you have to answer to on the job. CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- Just because everyone has already done a thing doesn't mean you shouldn't do it as well. In fact, you may actually do it better than most! LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- You may not be feeling entirely up to snuff, but you can get things done notwithstanding. Be sure to eat right and get rest. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- You may have to ask someone in charge for one or two special privileges before the day is out. Indeed, something unusual is going on. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) -- You'll be asked to support a current hypothesis, but you needn't fear the result. Ultimately, your ideas will receive approval. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) -- What appears on the horizon appears not only to you, but to others as well -- very soon, the race will be on. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- You may be distracted by something going on behind your back, but take care that you don't let yourself be drawn too far off track. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- You've not been getting the rest you really need. Today, you may be afforded the opportunity to decompress. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) -- You know how to do what you are asked to do at this time, but you may be more interested in coming up with a new way of doing it. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) -- You may be paired with someone who proves a good match for you in every way. The work you do together can lead to a major success. ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- You do not want to repeat yourself, but today you may be asked to do something that everyone knows you do well.
50 Beige hue 51 Busy insect 52 Colgate and Crest 1 Chose (with “for”) 59 Prickly seed casing 6 Do finger painting 60 Provide, as with a quality 11 Masseuse employer 14 Jumped to one’s feet 61 Christopher of “Super15 ___-cochere (carriage man” 62 “___ none of your busientrance) ness” 16 Horse’s morsel 63 Overhauled 17 Spans for pedestri64 Baby boobook ans only 19 Lennon’s wife 20 “... in ___-horse open sleigh” 21 Communion plate 1 Churl 23 Braque and Picasso 2 Con’s counterpart 27 Carnal 3 Also 29 Makes amends 4 What means the most at 30 Scottish bays the end? 31 Lowly, unskilled 5 Lowers in dignity workers 6 Rotates 32 Word before “face” 7 Pie a la ___ or “time” 8 A little energy 34 Slithery Egyptian 9 Broke a fast 37 Dinner scraps 10 Aretha Franklin classic 38 Photo session 11 Fortune-tellers 39 Little kid 12 “Doonesbury” segment 40 Zilch 13 Lack of muscle tone 41 Got to one’s feet 42 Actor Charlie or Mar- 18 Decays 22 Burning remnant tin 23 Dinner fowl, sometimes 43 Type of alcohol 24 Where humans evolve? 45 Like a wasteland 25 Prohibition flouters 46 Cause of hay fever 26 Weary travelers’ stop48 Masters locale 49 Bright star in Perseus overs
Edited by Timothy E. Parker April 30, 2014 GIVE A HOOT By Rob Lee
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27 Noah’s challenge 28 See 1-Down 32 Get ___ of (obtain), slangily 33 Hiss alternative 35 Clay target 36 Philadelphia’s state (Abbr.) 38 Eyelid problem 39 Drive-___ window 41 Refuge from a storm 42 Giant cactus 44 Love-seat capacity 45 Pat on the back, as a baby 46 Bar mitzvah presider 47 Alaska native 48 Felt sore 50 Fancy little purse 53 Sawbuck fraction 54 Peculiar 55 Baste 56 ___ Aviv 57 Holiday brink 58 Complete collection
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 ubspectrum.com
No. 5: of the D1 ERA Desi Green TOP 10
Despite not competing senior year, Green set bar for UB wrestling
JOE KONZE JR
Senior Arts Editor
When Rush-Henrietta wrestling coach Mickey Marlowe was coaching his first year of middle school football, he noticed a kid on the field who was small but had serious grit and toughness. Marlowe watched as the seventh grader sprinted around the field making tackles and didn’t back down from anyone. As a wrestling coach first, Marlowe saw the raw qualities of a wrestler: athleticism, quickness and confidence. “I would just watch him tackle and I thought he’d be a decent football player,” Marlowe said. “But with his size and athleticism, he could probably make a run at the sport of wrestling. I liked his attitude; he had a little swagger to him even though he was small.” That kid was Desi Green (2008-11). Marlowe knew Green was also a basketball player and getting him to switch from the hardwood and football field to the wrestling mat would be a tough task. For support, he turned to Green’s best friend, Mike Mancari, who was already on the wrestling team. “[Mike] told me, ‘Just come out to wrestling and try it. If you like it, then we’ll go from there,’” Green said. “I went to one practice and I got to run around and dive around and basically fight all practice. It was just kind of cool.” And in ninth grade, when Marlowe offered Green a spot on the varsity wrestling team, Green jumped at the opportunity. He didn’t think about playing basketball or football anymore; he was a wrestler. Green was a dominant force on the mat for the Bulls. In three seasons, he posted an overall record of 102-23 and became the quickest in school history to reach 100 wins. He is the program’s leader in takedowns in a single season (71) and is second in career takedowns (181).
Spectrum File Photo Desi Green posted an overall record of 102-23 in three seasons for the Bulls. He is the program’s leader in takedowns in a single season (71) and is second in career takedowns (181).
Green grew from a football and basketball player to a polished wrestler at the “Lion’s Den” – the wrestling room at Rush-Henrietta High School. In fours years for the Royal Comets, Green compiled more than 140 wins overall and won a New York State Championship and an Empire State Championship. “Honestly, I would compare him to a race horse that was just in the zone,” Marlowe said. “He just did his thing. [The coaches] taught him a few things but really it was like riding a horse. I just steered him a bit. But he did all the work.” Green earned a scholarship at UB, where he wasted no time getting to work. He earned a Mid-American Conference Championship during the 2009-10 season, was a runner-up in 2008 and was a three-time Division I NCAA qualifier. He had the secondmost wins in a season (40), one
behind the single-season leader, Kyle Cerminara (2001-06). Though Cerminara holds many individual program records, Green had superior dual meet statistics and was on pace to top those individual marks before being dismissed from the team before his senior year. He finished 35 wins shy of Cerminara’s career record (137) and was five shy of Cerminara’s takedown record (186). Green also holds a better winning percentage in both individual meets and dual meets. “I had my teammates just push me throughout the week in practice,” Green said. “They said, ‘Hey, make sure you’re doing this, make sure you’re doing that’ constantly, so that helped. [Also] I’m really competitive. I just hate to lose, but at the end of the day when I’m out there, it’s me versus him.” Before his last season of eligibility, Green was let go from the
team for violating program rules. He told The Spectrum in Oct. 2011 that it was because of drug use. Green said he appreciates this recognition for what he did at Buffalo. “It makes everything better,” Green said. “It kind of puts some band-aids over some wounds. It feels good for [people] to appreciate and acknowledge my work. I did learn a lot of my work ethic at UB.” Marlowe touched on Green’s time at UB and said that although he didn’t finish his last year of wrestling, he did finish what he started in the classroom. “I know he didn’t fully finish his career [at UB]; he had one year left of eligibility,” Marlowe said. “But he was going to make sure that he graduated. He has his degree. I remember him saying to me, ‘I want to do this MMA thing and I want to see how good I can get at it. And obviously if it doesn’t go well, I have my degree later on.’” Green, now 24, fights Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for Bellator MMA – a professional promotion industry. He uses his background of wrestling during fights. “A lot of times when I talk to some of my teammates now that are on my fighting team and other fighters, they always say, ‘Oh man, you’re lucky that you have that Division I wrestling background,’” Green said. “Wrestling is kind of closely tied with fighting hand in hand. It’s three different periods and it’s one guy and another guy and a referee.” Green – known as Desmond “The Predator” Green in MMA circles – currently trains in Ithaca, N.Y., for Team Bombsquad. He holds an 11-2 professional MMA record and is set to fight in the Bellator Featherweight tournament final against Daniel Weichel (33-8) May 9 at 9 p.m. “Basically, when he told me he was going to do something, he did it,” Marlowe said. “And it usually always came to fruition.”
No. 10: Branden Oliver Football 2010-14
No. 9: Kourtney Brown Basketball 2006-11
No. 8: Stacey Evans Softball 2002-05
No. 7: Jonathan Jones Track 2012-14
No. 6: Turner Battle Basketball 2001-05
Senior athletes look forward to life after graduation SPORTS EDITORS Tori Speckman Senior pitcher Tori Speckman is leaving Buffalo in style. She tossed the school’s third no-hitter in program history earlier in the season and now holds the single-season and all-time wins records for UB softball. The health and human services major will return to her native state of Texas after the semester. Speckman initially came to Buffalo with intentions of becoming a nurse. After taking a few classes, she knew she’d be unable to balance the large workload of a nursing student with being a Division I athlete. She was torn between the possibilities of becoming a nurse or a teacher. The health and human services major provided the foundation for both. She wants to be a nurse, but isn’t ready to look beyond her senior year quite yet. “I’m too sad right now to think about the future,” Speckman said. “I know I need to, I know I need to be a real adult, but I’m just focusing on the games right now.” Despite loving her independence of living away from home, Speckman wants to return to Alvin, Texas, to be around fami-
ly. She plans to take classes at a local college before applying to nursing schools in Texas. Speckman is excited to be with family and her family feels the same way. “My mom keeps calling me every day like, ‘I’m so ready for you to be back,’” Speckman said. The highlights of her senior year include the opportunity to play for Buffalo head coach Trena Peel, the team’s opening 6-0 weekend in Louisiana and her no-hitter. One thing she won’t miss is the snow. She’s ready to return to the warmth and beaches of Texas. “The snow is here too long,” Speckman said. Jimmy Topps Senior outfielder Jimmy Topps hopes to continue his playing career after graduation, but is unsure if he will have the opportunity to. He plans on returning home to his native Chicago for the summer to spend time with his family and friends, whom he has not had the opportunity to hang out with since he’s been in Buffalo. He wants to relax and let his body recover “from being banged up from playing,” he said. If Topps does not get drafted by a major league team, he may
not continue playing baseball, as he questions whether playing in an independent baseball league would be worth it. “A lot of players play five to 10 years in independent ball and then nothing ever happens,” Topps said. “You wonder if it’s a waste of time.” Topps said it has been “overwhelming” coming to the realization his baseball career may be at its end, but he is also ready for whatever comes next. “[Baseball has] molded me into the character I am and the man I’ve become,” Topps said. “It’s tough to see it go, but sometimes you just got to move on and be ready to take on any other obstacles or challenges and I think I’m ready for that, to start my life and career, wherever that is. Whatever I’ll be doing, I’ll be happy.” If he cannot continue playing, one of Topps’ future careers might be in the dugout. He would like to coach baseball at either the high school or college level because he wants to “pass on the knowledge not only on the field but off the field” and he believes the sport helps young boys become men. “Everyone has got one thing they’re good at,” Topps said. “Baseball is mine, so I don’t see why I would ever want to stop
playing or coaching it.” Alex Dennison When former tight end Alex Dennison leaves Buffalo this summer after five years, he won’t be moving on to the NFL or a white-collar job. Instead, he will be on the sidelines at Illinois Wesleyan University as a graduate assistant and wide receivers coach. Dennison is planning to pursue a graduate degree in recreation administration at Illinois State while coaching. He became interested in coaching after experiencing a coaching change when Turner Gill left Buffalo for Kansas following Dennison’s true freshman year. “Just seeing the relationships that can be developed with coaches and how they can affect someone’s life in a positive or negative way by the time that they graduate and how you can have someone ready and prepared to get into the real world whenever they graduate college,” Dennison said. Through college, Dennison realized the large role coaches play in their players’ lives. The ages of 18 to 23 are integral to becoming a good man, Dennison said, and because many football players leave home to go to school, coaches take on a paternal role in
their lives. In order to pursue a coaching position, Dennison attended the American Football Coaches Association Convention – an event that attracts thousands of coaches – in January of this year, where he came across head coach Jeff Quinn. Quinn introduced him to Illinois Wesleyan head coach Norm Eash. Dennison and Eash exchanged information, and at the end of February, Eash invited Dennison to campus for an interview. A week and a half later, Dennison found out he got the job. Dennison said Quinn was instrumental in helping him get the position, something that plays into Dennison’s views on a coach’s role in his players’ lives. “You kind of realize that it’s more than the football part of it; you really have to be an outlet and an asset to help your players,” Dennison said. “And I think that’s another way of getting your players to want to play for you more. If they know that you are going to be there for them in any other situation other than football, they’re going to do whatever it takes to satisfy you on the field.” email: firstname.lastname@example.org