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BLACK STUDENT UNION

POETIC PROBLEM-SOLVER

STUDENT RAPPER


NEWS

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Black Student Union e-board to use history to enrich the present edgeably about black history during general body meetings as well as BSU’s community impact, including rallies and statements members made to past UB presidents. “I feel like it’s really important that we BENJAMIN BLANCHET carry on that same type of spirit, and it’s ENGAGEMENT EDITOR really important that we touch the African American community on this campus,” Ayeni said. One of the ways she hopes to do that is through being an advocate for mental health, like through her Creative Minds event in New York City which she organized in June. She recognizes that mental health is an important aspect of students’ daily lives, something she saw firsthand with her brother who has schizophrenia. On top of her work as a student leader, Ayeni is an entrepreneur who oversees a numBENJAMIN BLANCHET | THE SPECTRUM The 2019-20 Black Student Union e-board. ber of different organizations, including Go With The Flo, The Black Student Union is UB’s largest which has campaigned against African minority club and one of its oldest. American teenagers being victims of gun With thousands of students taking part violence. over its 50-plus year history, BSU’s incom-

Introducing the students leading BSU for the 201920 academic year

ing e-board hopes to both retain and grow its reach in the year ahead. The Spectrum sat down with its four student leaders to discuss what’s ahead, why they joined and the value of their organization in 2019. Florence Ayeni BSU president Senior, health and human services major Ayeni admits that when she initially joined BSU, she did not know the organization had such a prominent role on campus. When she ran for publicity coordinator during her freshman year, she wore jeans and flats. It didn’t work in her favor. But she said she needed the experience, even if it was an awkward way to start. “Even after that, when people get denied a position, usually they stop supporting the club but for me, it was about gaining more insight, more information and knowledge from such a club and relating to them,” Ayeni said. She stuck with the club, drawing closer to BSU thanks to members like former BSU president Samirra Felix. Ayeni was inspired by members speaking knowl-

Glenn Brown BSU vice president Junior, political science major It’s important to Brown that he continues BSU’s legacy. One of his goals as the organization’s vice president is for students to recognize their cultural history as well as BSU’s history. “Next year, we want to give people that visual thinking of, ‘how do we make the next steps happen,’” Brown said. “One key is to give them a context of what we were able to do in the past, give them a context of how they can be more active as an individual rather than just speaking about it. That is what BSU was founded on and that’s what we want to carry on as well.” Part of this drive for Brown is so he, too, can analyze and speak about his own history. “Growing up, my parents always taught me or sat me down to just speak about my history of being black ...” Brown said. “But it’s hard to be able to get somewhere if you’re not able to see it in yourself, so BSU is that ability to do that. We have alumni we could use to show where you could be

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and how you could do that as well.” He said he doesn’t just want his club to target black students, but students of other races to “analyze the history.” “We’ve always been taught the struggle of being black, period, and not about the aspect of the empowerment or how you could be able to take that struggle and lead it to something else,” Brown said. “We don’t want to move backward, we want to move forward, and that’s the key we want to [use] next year.” Awa Magassouba BSU treasurer Sophomore, psychology, sociology, criminology major Magassouba is in her second year and, in the future, wants to help people with mental illnesses, as she sees problems in the way the medical industry treats them. She said her decision to run for an eboard position came “out of nowhere.” But after “ups and downs” during the club’s election process, she discovered the uplifting nature of the club throughout its history is something she also stands for. “I’m always looking to help someone, I’m always looking to have unity, I don’t like segregation or anyone not being welcome,” Magassouba said. “I joined because I feel like this is a really good organization and I would love to add on to the legacy that it has. I’d love to be able to shed light on the problems that we face now in today’s society and what we faced previously. Like Flo and Glenn said, the history is the most important aspect of BSU because without the history, there would be no BSU.” She recognizes that BSU plays a big role at UB and wants to take part in the club’s efforts to educate the student body. “I’m a person that believes every day you should learn something new and I honestly feel like there’s a lack of education in terms of diversity on this campus,” Magassouba said. “I feel like if people don’t know about it, we can’t really be upset but more so we should educate them for the future.” Varnel Fleurisma BSU secretary Fifth year senior, public health major Fleurisma has explored UB’s BSU archives on the fourth floor of Capen Hall. And history has stood out to him. He recalls discovering a file that described a BSU president walking to campus in the ‘70s. The student, Fleurisma said, was stopped by campus police who asked for his ID. The student didn’t pro-

vide it to officers, who later arrested the student on the grounds that he either resisted arrest or attacked officers. Fleurisma said the charges were dropped at the time but he drew parallels to the situation in the ‘70s to arrests by police officers happening today. “This is being seen more because of social media. … It’s things like that where I feel [like] law enforcement takes advantage of that authority and there’s no repercussions for it,” Fleurisma said. “Every day on Twitter, I see another black male or a minority being abused by law enforcement, they’re the people that are supposed to protect us but we’re afraid of them at the same time.” He said the archive took him back to Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012, where the justice system and law enforcement personally failed him. Fleurisma said UPD hasn’t really been a problem for the community but if an arrest or tragedy were to happen at UB, he recognizes the power BSU has to be that voice just as it was in the ‘70s. “I feel like that’s something we all can be, I feel like every person on the e-board has a strong, powerful voice as an individual and when we come together, we can be heard,” Fleurisma said. Fleurisma is also passionate about spreading awareness for various resources and departments on campus. He said he feels like a lot of resources on campus are “word of mouth,” like International Student Services or the Academic Resource Center. “Yes, [these resources are] posted in a pamphlet somewhere or it’s in a packet during orientation but, let’s be honest, how many people read that little pamphlet or a page your RA gives you?” Fleurisma said. He said he’s inspired by African American Studies professors such as James Pappas and Y.G. Lulat and sees the way they harvest history in their classrooms. “I kind of find it funny that during Black History Month, UB [was not] marketing the African American Studies [program], why is that not something that’s being done?” Fleurisma said. He said UB needs to do more for its programs, but it’s up to students to put the pressure on it to do more. The Spectrum’s full discussion with the BSU e-board can be heard on our SoundCloud : https://soundcloud.com/ thespectrumub Email: benjamin.blanchet@ubspectrum.com Twitter: @BenjaminUBSpec

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Sunday Night Student Masses


OPINION

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THE SPECTRUM

Letter from the Editor: Write our future

Monday, July 1, 2019 Volume 69 Number 01 Circulation: 4,000

EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Brenton J. Blanchet MANAGING EDITOR Jacklyn Walters Lauryn King, Asst.

BRENTON J. BLANCHET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

CREATIVE DIRECTORS Caitlyn Di Vita Grace Klak Jessica Sutton WEB EDITORS Savanna Caldwell Cassi Enderle Reilly Mullen, Asst. Nicole Waddington, Asst.

NEWS EDITORS Brittany Gorny, Senior Alexandra Moyen, Asst.

FEATURES EDITORS Samantha Vargas, Senior

ARTS EDITORS Julianna Tracey, Senior Anastasia Wilds, Asst.

ENGAGEMENT EDITOR Benjamin Blanchet MULTIMEDIA EDITORS Shubh Jain, Senior Davila Tarakinikini, Asst. Vindhya Burugupalli, Photo Isabella Nurt, Video

PROFESSIONAL STAFF OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Helene Polley ADVERTISING MANAGER Nathan Stutz GRAPHIC DESIGN MANAGER Nicholas Meurer

ABOUT THE SPECTRUM The views expressed – both written and graphic – in the Opinion section 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 news@ ubspectrum.com. 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.

For information on adverstising with The Spectrum: VISIT: www.ubspectrum.com/advertising CALL US: 716-645-2152 The Spectrum offices are located in 132 Student Union, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 14260-2100

JOIN OUR STAFF Do you have an interest in journalism, graphic design, photography, social media, advertising, cartoons or copy editing? The Spectrum is always looking for enthusiastic students who want to be part of our team. Join our 45-time award winning independent student newspaper for hands-on, real-world experience in your field. Anyone interested in joining The Spectrum’s editorial staff can email Brenton J. Blanchet at: eic@ubspectrum.com. Anyone interested in joining The Spectrum’s professional staff or advertising team can email Helene Polley at: hapolley@buffalo.edu.

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Hi class of 2023, welcome to my crib. I mean, welcome to your student newspaper. This is The Spectrum. And for the next four years of your life, you’re going to pick it up to find out more about what’s happening on campus, what’s happening in Buffalo and which rising pop stars are worth your listen (you’re welcome). This paper really becomes what the students on our staff want it to become. And I want you to help shape it. But before asking you to get involved with this newspaper, I want to tell you how I found myself on this campus, starting with my orientation. It was 2016. I was an 18-yearold Bieber boy with a bleachblonde buzzcut, walking around UB in checkered vans (very much before their time) and baggy jean shorts (still questionable). Nobody put me in check all weekend for whatever mess I was wearing and only three people

called me “Eminem” throughout the experience. I quickly realized I found the perfect school in UB. Until it wasn’t so perfect. At the start of the fall semester, I noticed that not everyone is as eager to make friends after orientation. I was lonely. My only orientation friend never talked to me again, my roommate had a weird way of expressing his short temper, so much so that he kicked a toilet until it broke, and overall, I was an introvert. I had no will to continue at UB. I could’ve sworn I went to the wrong school, chose the wrong major in communication and would never find a group that I connected with on campus. The only thing keeping me around, besides a spring-semester Ariana Grande concert, was my older brother Ben, who told me I should contribute to the student newspaper. So I did. My writing skills were subpar to say the least and I barely got anything published. I’d write about music each week, in an effort to score my dream job at Rolling Stone, but my articles never saw the light of day. The one thing I liked about UB was too hard for me. I just wasn’t ready yet. Instead of giving up, I saw what The Spectrum could offer me, joined for another semester and learned very quickly that this was my calling. I got countless stories published and soon applied to be

an editor at our paper. When I started as an arts editor, I realized that I could bring something unique that the paper had never seen before. I always wanted to interview musicians,and noticed that when The Spectrum did, it wasn’t that often. I found an interview in our archives with *NSYNC’s JC Chasez (underrated icon), but not much since. I also wanted to cover larger concerts in the area, but saw The Spectrum usually kept coverage closer to UB. I was young and eager, and I tasked myself with reinventing music coverage for our student newspaper. With the help of Ben, I started religiously reaching out to musicians touring Buffalo and Toronto. I probably sent five emails each day to press contacts, and paid very close attention to new artists coming to the area by constantly checking BandsInTown. It worked. In just a couple years, I interviewed Billie Eilish, Snoh Aalegra, Ally and AJ, Duckwrth, several Ariana Grande collaborators and loads of other musicians just for The Spectrum and just because I put the effort in. My peers here have since interviewed Greta Van Fleet and reviewed their new album before anyone else. And even in this Orientation Issue, you’ll see my coverage of Governors Ball, where your student newspaper was sitting next to Rolling Stone and MTV, wondering how it even happened.

This is not normal for a college paper. But The Spectrum does a lot of things that aren’t normal. We’ve had editors and writers go on to work at ESPN, Complex, CNN, The Chicago Tribune, UFC, The Washington Post, MLB, Spotify and essentially anywhere else you could name. The opportunities are endless. Editors have profiled Khalil Mack when he was a student, dug into the complex histories of the people UB names buildings after, broken news about a bookstore roof flying off the top of the building and have even told the stories of a few student drag queens. I started here as an unsure freshman and I will leave with an almost guaranteed future in music journalism. This newspaper has given me so much and I can’t wait for you to benefit, too. To write or take photos for us, enroll in ENG 394 (our staff writer class) or send me an email or tweet. And stay up to date with us on Twitter for information on our upcoming ask-me-anything livestreams. I can’t wait to see you impact the future of this paper. Email: Brenton.Blanchet@ubspectrum. com Twitter: @BrentonBlanchet

‘Girls get assaulted all the time’ The global conversation on rape culture has only scratched the surface

JACKLYN WALTERS MANAGING EDITOR

Note: This column contains sensitive content about sexual assault which may be triggering. Taylor sat in the front seat of her mom’s car, singing her heart out. The radio wasn’t even playing, she was just genuinely happy. This was the first time her mother, Leslie Camp, had seen this side of Taylor in months. Taylor just graduated from Niagara Wheatfield High School, where she cheered for the football and basketball teams for four years. But she didn’t spend her senior year cutting classes and making memories. Instead, she was forced to sit through classes every day, knowing that her rapist was just down the hall. Elias Dowdy was also a senior at NWHS. He played lacrosse and was a star athlete, a starter. In fact, Dowdy started most of his team’s games, even after he pleaded guilty to raping Taylor. Taylor was assaulted last summer and has an order of protection against Dowdy. Leslie said

her high school’s administrators knew about the order of protection, as well as the court case which was ongoing throughout the school year. Despite knowing this, Leslie said administration did nothing all year to ensure Taylor’s comfort or safety on campus. The assault and NWHS’ response are both horrific reminders of how far we still have to go to create a society where women –– and all victims –– can feel safe. Let me preface this discussion by saying that I don’t hate men. I understand that “not all men” are dangerous, and many are allies and victims themselves. But I also believe that the patriarchal foundation of our society has systematically permitted male aggression to be swept under the rug while women suffer the consequences. And I’m f-----g fed up. I’m fed up with Alabama’s abortion laws that force women to carry their rapists’ babies to term. I’m fed up with everyone who stands by Donald Trump, three years after the release of his “grab ‘em by the p---y” remarks. And I’m fed up with the constant ridicule and aggression that sexual assault victims face, regardless of whether they report the abuse. Taylor did choose to report, and she faced a year of torment because of it. NWHS Principal Michael Mann and Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich refused to suspend Dowdy or place him in one of the school’s alternate programs to ensure Tayor’s safety. Mann even put Taylor in in-school suspension for a day “so she would feel safe.” Classmates sent her snapchats

of Dowdy with captions like “Your boyfriend” and “How was Eli?” When Taylor missed a cheer practice to go to the District Attorney’s office for her case, she was forced to sit out the first game of the season. Leslie explained the situation to Taylor’s coach, to which Leslie said the coach responded, “Girls get assaulted all the time, this is nothing new.” But that’s the exact problem. Girls get assaulted all the time. This is nothing new. And the adults in charge of Taylor’s school –– the place where teenagers spend the majority of their time –– did nothing to stop the daily abuse Taylor faced. NWHS students staged a walkout in support of Taylor on June 4. Principal Mann suspended the kids involved before expelling Dowdy –– who, at this point, was a convicted rapist and present on school grounds. So what is it that women need to do for their experiences to be believed and validated? We’ve reported the crimes. We’ve taken the rape kits. We’ve started an entire social media movement. But at the end of the day, victims’ stories still don’t matter to the men in charge. The problem at hand is that people lack empathy. And it can be hard to put yourself in the shoes of a rape victim. But we need to. We need to grasp the life-altering consequences victims of rape face, because sexual crimes are deeper than just being physically hurt. Sexual crimes come with baggage. They make you feel like

your body isn’t your own. They can be alienating, especially when your voice isn’t being heard. Niagara Wheatfield High School administrators should be ashamed and embarrassed. Principal Mann’s “administrative leave” should be a permanent termination and Superintendent Ljiljanich should face repercussions for his complacency. And every student who stood by Dowdy and mocked Taylor needs to reevaluate their moral compass. We need to do better as students, as a community and as a society. Because we can’t keep blaming victims, we can’t keep pacifying rapists. And Leslie said it better than I ever could. “We can’t have another Taylor.” Thank you, Taylor and Leslie, for allowing me to tell your story. If you or someone you know fear or have experienced sexual assault, there are a number of local resources. Students can make an anonymous report on UB’s website, through the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (716-645-2266), Crisis Services of Erie County (716-834-3131) and UPD (716645-2222). For off-campus emergencies call 911, Amherst PD (716-689-1311), Buffalo PD (716-851-4444) or the New York State police 24/7 sexual assault hotline for college campuses (1-844-845-7269). Email: Jacklyn.Walters@ubspectrum. com Twitter: @JacklynUBSpec


NEWS

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Fashion-forward student-first

to use their platform to advocate for an increase in black faculty, accessibility and disability rights awareness and implement Get to know 2019-20 mandatory sexual violence training for all student athletes and Inter-Greek Council SA President Yousouf members. Amolegbe also hopes to use his position Amolegbe to bring awareness to sexual violence and mental health on campus, as conversation of these topics only recently began in NiALEXANDRA MOYEN geria. ASST. NEWS EDITOR “Initially, sexual violence was not something that was spoken about at all in my h o m e t o w n ,” Amolegbe said. “I know that Nigeria still has a lot of work to do when it comes to sexual violence.” Ever since high school, Amolegbe has VINDHYA BURUGUPALLI | THE SPECTRUM advocated for 2019-20 Student Association President Yousouf Amogiving a voice legbe stands in front of the SA office to the voiceless. “I went to boarding school in Nigeria Yousouf Amolegbe made his way where the students had no rights,” Amothrough the Student Union between meet- legbe said. “Whatever [the teachers] told ings wearing a simple outfit: a black bomb- us to do, we had to do, and I was always er jacket, blue shirt, camo pants and black the kid to say, ‘No, that’s wrong.’” sneakers. Amolegbe now plans to translate this It was a rare occasion where he wasn’t experience to his position in SA. decked out in the latest fashion. He said he wants to be able to “speak up Though he wasn’t always the best for students” and he feels like there are a dressed, today Amolegbe is known to lot of things he can fight for joining SA. show off his “Nigerian-influenced” and As SA president, Amolegbe plans to “eccentric” style. advocate for an increase in black faculty. Amolegbe, a senior aerospace engineer- Amolegbe attended an African and Afriing student from Nigeria, took office as the can American Studies protest earlier this 2019-20 Student Association president on year to advocate for the faculty increase May 20, making him the first Nigerian SA and more support for the AAS departpresident and fifth black president in UB ment. SA history. He wants to bring his experiAmolegbe has only had one black proence from home to the role. In America, fessor as an engineering major and didn’t he has been involved at UB as SA’s event have a black professor in his AAS class. manager during the 2018-19 academic year Although he enjoyed having a non-black and runs his own media company, RAGE professor with an interest in African culBoyz. As SA president, Amolegbe is in ture, he said students are more eager to charge of roughly 21,000 undergraduate learn when they have professors who look students and $4.5 million in student fees. like them. Amolegbe and his e-board members plan “It is important for students [to] have

One World Café construction to continue through fall semester Construction expected to impact inside traffic of Knox, Capen and Norton Halls

ALEXANDRA MOYEN, JACKLYN WALTERS ASST. NEWS EDITOR, MANAGING EDITOR

After two years of planning, construction for the One World Café began on May 20. The roughly $20 million project is expected to be completed by August 2021. UB hired CannonDesign, a Buffalo-based design firm, to handle construction for the over 50,000-square-foot cafe. The cafe will be between Capen Hall and Norton Hall on North Campus, which could impact students’ travel between the buildings

starting in the fall. Graham Hammill, vice provost for educational affairs and dean of the graduate school, said construction will be a “large” and “marginalizing” process, as it will affect a large part of North Campus. Once completed, One World Café will feature at least five international food stations and will seat over 500 people. “The international cafe will provide more food service areas, space for informal studying and promote UB’s mission as an international university,” Hammill said. Peter McCarthy, an architect of CannonDesign, said the cafe is a complex initiative and one of the university’s goals is to re-engage unutilized spaces. To prevent traffic, construction will not take place during the day to prevent traffic. There will be both evening and overnight construction crews doing most of the heavy lifting and crane operations af-

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representation of people who look like them in school,” Amolegbe said. “The best way to motivate students is to have mentors and people in leadership positions that look like them to set an example for them.” Amolegbe also feels SA and student groups could increase their diversity. “I feel like a lot of opportunities aren’t as obvious for students of color on campus,” Amolegbe said. “People like them aren’t getting involved in these things.” Amolegbe said he believes his experience as an international student will help foster open-mindedness of different cultures. Coming into UB, Amolegbe faced adversity and remembers being asked regularly if he speaks English. “People expressed closed-mindedness to my culture, and since I know how it feels, it helps me avoid being closed-minded to others,” Amolegbe said. “I would never want anyone to go through what I went through.” Since coming to America, Amolegbe has also embraced his sense of style, and his Instagram is full of his Nigerian-influenced outfits. Chelsea Chibuzor, a biological sciences major, said Amolegbe used to be “funny” to watch because he wasn’t always the best dressed. “When I first met Yousouf, he would wear big baggy shorts and jeans,” Chibuzor said. “Then as time came by, he learned a sense of fashion and started to look decent.” Chibuzor called his “traditional Nigerian attire” the best she’s seen in Buffalo. But it’s not all about the looks for Amolegbe. Chibuzor said Amolegbe is one of the most hardworking people she knows. “When he has a vision, he really sets his mind to it. I’ve never seen a more hardworking and determined person than him,” Chibuzor said. Amolegbe decided to pursue aerospace engineering because of his love of math, physics and challenging himself. He was even known as the “human calculator” back home. “They call me the ‘human calculator’ because I can do math in my head,” Amolegbe said. “As a young boy I’d be getting scolded by my mom and crying, but as I was crying I was solving math.” He initially had no intention of attending UB, as he wanted to attend the Univer-

sity of Michigan, one of the top schools for aerospace engineering. Amolegbe chose UB after Michigan rejected him. After further reflection, Amolegbe decided UB was the “perfect option” for him. “I wanted to be in New York State because I have a lot of family here,” Amolegbe said. “UB happened to have the second-best aerospace engineering program [in the state], after Cornell.” Another vision Amolegbe has set his mind to is organizing parties that students of color can relate to. Amolegbe’s self-managed media company, RAGE Boyz, hosts parties focused on black culture. RAGE Boyz started after Amolegbe and his colleague threw a Nigerian Independence Day celebration at a house near Buffalo State College. “We decided to do a couple more house parties since a lot of people liked coming to them,” Amolegbe said. “Later on, we decided we wanted to do [events] on a much larger scale, so we booked an actual venue and held our first official event as RAGE Boyz in 2016.” RAGE Boyz has hosted events in cities including Miami and New York City, although Erie Community College is their main base. Fanta Dabo, vice president of African SA, said RAGE Boyz events give her a sense of “familiarity” that she hasn’t found elsewhere in Buffalo. “The Afrobeats, reggae and soca music played makes me feel like I am right in New York City,” Dabo said. Dabo said Amolegbe is always motivated to go above and beyond and take on jobs not required of him. “During my time as activities coordinator, he would often do calculations for the price of venues on his own, even though that isn’t part of his job,” Dabo said. Amolegbe attributed this work ethic to his belief that there is no reason to be satisfied with where you are and that you should always aim higher and better yourself. “I guess that's the mentality I've always had,” said Amolegbe. “Whatever I do, I'm always thinking about how I can do it better or where I can go to make things better.”

ter 3 p.m. Construction workers created a border surrounding the site for pedestrians’ safe navigation. McCarthy said there will be a slight bend to navigate around Bonner Hall on the north side, but walkways outside of the construction site will be largely unchanged. “The outside border for the limit on the construction activity will allow construction vehicles and material movement to take place, but also provide a safe border for pedestrians to navigate around the area,” McCarthy said. However, the construction crew will close entrances to Capen Hall and Norton Hall under the arcade and the entrance to Norton Hall from the plaza side. The crew will also remove the elevator and staircase in Knox Hall, but will eventually replace it as the project goes on.

CannonDesign kept elevators open on the north and south sides of Capen and Norton to allow pedestrians to bypass construction, but they will no longer have direct access from the ground floor of Norton into Capen. “There was really no way for us to safely allow pedestrians to cross [Capen to or from Norton] during the construction time period, so we isolated that,” McCarthy said. The corridor on the second floor between the buildings will also be cut off. McCarthy said CannonDesign is taking on parts of the project one at a time to minimize disturbances on campus. All fire exits will remain open and unblocked for the duration of construction.

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NEWS

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Free menstrual products now available in UB bathrooms Pilot program provides free products in 20 bathrooms across three campuses BRITTANY GORNY SENIOR NEWS EDITOR

Free menstrual products are now available in 20 bathrooms, seven in the Student Union and 13 other gender-neutral bathrooms, across UB’s three campuses, as of June 1. Sharon Nolan-Weiss, the director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, led a subgroup along with the Student Association 2018-19 executive board to start the pilot program. The goal of the program is to measure how often students use the products. Menstrual product company Aunt Flow provided the products and funds for the product came from SA and the Office of Inclusive Excellence funded the products, which company Aunt Flow provided. UB is modeling the program after the University at Washington, one of the first universities to implement a free menstrual product program. “The goal is to have the products always available in dispensaries people can access at any time,” Nolan-Weiss said. “We want to start small, gauge usage and eventually expand it.” Nolan-Weiss said men historically made decisions on women’s bathroom needs and often didn’t think of making menstrual products available for free like other toiletries. “Everyone walks into a restroom and expects to have toilet paper, soap and paper towels,” Nolan-Weiss said. “It makes sense to pay attention to women-specific bathroom needs too.” Aside from the Student Union, the men-

strual products –– which include organic tampons and pads –– are available in some gender-neutral bathrooms in O’Brian Hall, Furnas Hall and Baldy Hall on North Campus as well as Sherman Hall and Diefendorf Hall on South Campus. Allison Rusinski, a senior political science major, said she doesn’t think the program is necessary, but still feels it is “valuable” and “worthwhile.” “I think the pilot program is finally a step in the right direction to give more respect and dignity towards women, especially in today’s society,” Rusinski said. The subgroup who started the program, led by Nolan-Weiss, was comprised of Despina Stratigakos, the vice provost for the Office of Inclusive Excellence, Chris Donacik, the assistant director of facilities operations and Lisa Mclaughlin, the delivery service coordinator of University Libraries. Each dispenser features a phone number students can call if the products need to be replenished. The only problem Nolan-Weiss currently foresees is replacing the product, because administrators are relying heavily on students taking only what they need. She said UB has a “good community” and believes students will be respectful. There is typically an influx in the first three months the free menstrual products are offered, according to Aunt Flow’s website. But after people realize the products will always be available if they need it, the influx dies down. Rusinski said she hopes her peers will approach the program with gratefulness and not misuse the products. “Over-usage will always be a concern, but I have faith in people on this campus that they won’t ruin this for everyone,” Rusinski said. Rusinski said, along with the Student

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Union, she would like to see the products in “largely populated” halls such as Knox Hall and the Natural Sciences Complex. Paige Burkard, a graduate public health student, said it can be “stressful” to run into that time of the month and not have any menstrual products with her. “I will definitely make use of the free products,”

Burkard said. “I’m often someone who doesn’t have enough menstrual products on me and don’t want to ask someone else.” Email: brittany.gorny@ubspectrum.com Twitter: @BrittanyUBSpec

BRITTANY GORNY | THE SPECTRUM A menstrual product dispenser in Student Union 251.


6 | Monday, July 1, 2019

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QUEEN OF UB

POETIC PROBLEM-SOLVER

STUDENT ARTIST AND ATHLETE


8 | Monday, July 1, 2019

Queen of UB: Daphne York Climbing to the top of the Buffalo drag scene TANVEEN VOHRA SPECTRUM ALUM

Matthew Groff pouts into a vanity mirror in his bedroom, admiring his jawline and fixing his already-perfect hair. A 10foot rack stands next to him, housing over 15 wigs and enough fake jewelry and form-fitting outfits to satisfy a production of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” The clean-shaven Groff has already prepped and moisturized his flawless skin prior to our meeting. He sits around waiting for us to set up, practicing his angles and initiating a shy flirtation with the camera. “I’m an enigma. What can I say?” Groff laughs, as he begins to put on his makeup. For the last year and a half, the UB alum has been perfecting Daphne W. York — the “W” stands for w---e — his drag persona. Daphne, a Gen-Z drag queen, emulates the ambition and vanity of a selfassured go-getter, as she plans to rise to the top of the game. But Groff ’s journey has taken a lot of work, self-reflection and money. His YouTube channel archives all of his performances, documenting all the bumps in the road — and tumbles on stage — that got him to where he currently is: on his way to the top of Buffalo’s drag scene. “I’ve grown so much. I have only been doing [drag] for a year and a half and where I am now is above queens who have been doing it for more years than me,” Groff said.

the making of a queen Groff says he doesn’t have many interests outside of drag but a cursory look

FEATURES around his room uncovers a myriad — Khaled Hosseini books, K-POP albums and an obsession with organization and cleanliness, as exhibited by boxes of Clorox wipes and boards filled with schedules. In the words of his “drag mom,” Veronica Lace, Groff has “much more” to him than he leads on. He attended UB from 2014-2017, coming in as a biology major with aspirations of being a dentist for entirely aesthetic purposes. “Because my dentist was hot and I was like, ‘I want to do that,’” Groff said. “I wanted to be ‘Dr. Groff ’ like that’s so sexy and I wanted to wear a white coat which is pretty hot.” He decided to switch to psychology after struggling with physics and organic chemistry in his sophomore year. “I said ‘f--k this.’ I was taking psychology at the time, so I switched,” Groff said. He wasn’t particularly drawn to the subject but decided it was the “easiest one” because he just wanted to “get out of school” at that point. That’s when he started performing in drag — something he never imagined would become his main priority. “I just feel so me and just so fabulous,” Groff said. “It’s the only thing that I’ve ever done that has felt like it’s supposed to be done.” By his own admission, Groff wasn’t that great at drag when he first started out. He could barely walk in heels, had to “learn his face” before doing makeup and needed to refine his stage presence. Groff truly embraced drag in the fall of his senior year, when he began preparing for a drag competition in December. “I said to myself, ‘We are not going on that stage busted, we are not having a hog body, we are not gonna be able to not walk in heels,’” Groff said. He spent four months preparing, improving his makeup skills every weekend and wearing heels “obnoxiously” around his apartment to perfect his walk. The hard work paid off. Groff made it to the finals and came in second place. He began to do drag more regularly and con-

tinued to book shows well after graduating. But he wasn’t satisfied. He felt something was still lacking and decided to change up his drag after a performance he deemed particularly subpar. “[On] Sept. 21 I did a song with my makeup f----d up. Like it was f----d up,” Groff said. “I was like, ‘I’m f--king changing this shit.’” He learned to perfect his makeup and worked on his stage presence. He began wearing a corset to cinch his waist for a more feminine form during performances and solidified his trademark dance moves. Groff finally felt “the pieces click.” “You can’t just storm out in six-inch heels and be the same person,” Groff said. “It changes you.” Groff advised Spectrum reporters to don a pair of six-inch heels and walk to SU. “You will be new, brand new. I promise.” Last fall, Groff came back to UB to perform at a daytime drag show in the Student Union. He deep-throated a dildo to a mashup of “Ho Ho Ho Ho” by Willam and Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me,” to deafening cheers and wild applause. In an interview after the show, Groff said he was ecstatic to be paid to perform at the school he attended for four years. “Like, I’m not back here because I have to go to school. I’m back here because you booked me, honey,” Groff said, snapping his fingers. Groff ’s father was present at the show, cheering him on and taking videos, Groff said his parents often drive hundreds of miles just to watch him perform. His parents have always been supportive of his drag, Groff said, “not that their opinion really mattered.” “I love my parents, but I don’t need their approval for anything,” Groff said. “And I never have.” When Groff first started doing drag, he noticed some of his friends beginning to distance themselves from him. But again, their opinion didn’t really matter either. “It wasn’t anyone important I guess,” Groff said. “It’s water off a duck’s back … I’m not going to force anyone to be

ubspectrum.com my friend.”

daphne york There is no line between Matthew Groff and Daphne York; each bleeds into the other. Groff said that while many drag queens tend to create drag personas that are “basically the opposite of who they are,” he chose not to. Instead, he wanted Daphne to be an extension of himself, rather than her own character. “Daphne is something that I did create, but that’s me. Like it’s different than me, but it’s me,” Groff said. “I never wanted Daphne to be a character … I didn’t want to be the opposite of me because I’d be boring as f--k and I’m not doing that.” Groff ’s personality can be self-effacing one moment, and pompous the next, almost comically so. He spends hours in front of the mirror, paying careful attention to imperfections while also admiring his jawline and bone structure. Groff believes Daphne’s blasé attitude sets her apart. “I’m a bad b---h. I don’t give a f--k. I do whatever I want, I look pretty,” Groff said. “Nobody here is pretty except me. And Veronica.” Lace was admittedly “taken aback” by Daphne’s hunger and ambition to make a name for herself in Buffalo’s drag scene, initially finding her to be an “annoying individual.” The annoyance must have bred some degree of intrigue, as Lace decided to become Daphne’s “drag mom,” giving her business and etiquette advice and helping her book more shows. “Ever since, she’s been crushing it and making a real name for herself and transforming the scene in Buffalo,” Lace said. “She has really turned out such a great style of drag that I could not be more proud of.” Groff ’s performances are exactly what one would expect from a new-age drag queen: naughty and provocative with welltimed beats and spontaneous splits that seem to fit perfectly into the song. Groff doesn’t practice his performancSEE PAGE 9

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ubspectrum.com es before going on stage, he mostly just “wings it,” but he invests a lot of money into Daphne’s aesthetic, especially her wigs — which cost about $50 per head. “I style them, but even s--t like that — you need clips, hairspray, brushes, pens and then the wig stand,” Groff said. “Holy s--t it’s just so expensive. It’s ridiculous. Insanity.” Those aren’t the only drag expenses. “F--k tights. They’re like $20 a pair and I wear four at a time,” Groff said. “I always bust holes in them when I do my split.” Groff said his pads, which give his hips shape, cost upwards of $200 and he spends $175 on face makeup alone. The expenses added up, putting Groff in debt, which is ironic, considering Groff ’s day job as a student loan debt collector. Although Groff only started performing a year and a half ago, he is already a force to be reckoned with. Troy Meaz, Groff ’s friend, would attend Groff ’s performances when he was just starting out and had no following. So Meaz was surprised when he’d go out for lunch with Groff only to have Groff ’s fans coming up to greet them. “His first shows, he had a few friends there to support him, but now people go to watch him,” Meaz said. “He’s people’s favorite drag queen now.” Meaz believes a big reason for Groff ’s success is his use of social media, namely YouTube and Instagram, where Groff posts videos of all his performances and advertises his shows. Groff said his focus on marketing his events to Buffalo’s LGBTQ community has helped him find early success in his career, something he doesn’t think other Buffalo drag queens do enough. “Most of my friends and my fans are gay people between like 21 and like 25,” Groff said. “You have to know, those are the people coming to your shows and buying tickets to your [drag] brunch.” Groff ’s coworkers think it’s fascinating that he is a drag queen, but Groff never intended for his drag to “spill over” into his work life. “I would like to keep things separate,

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but [it] doesn’t work,” Groff laughed. “Because I’m so mouthy. And I want to tell everybody everything.” And that’s exactly it, Groff ’s energy is unable to contain itself. Daphne isn’t just an extension of Groff, she’s an outlet for unapologetic flamboyancy, a manifestation of his ambition. Daphne York isn’t just looking to put on a good show, she’s young, hungry and the future of Buffalo drag.

Email: Tanveen.Vohra@ubspectrum.com Twitter: @Tanveen_Vohra

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VINDHYA BURUGUPALLI | THE SPECTRUM

UB alum Matthew Groff puts on his makeup and wig. Groff has been changing the Buffalo drag scene ever since stepping on to it just a year and a half ago.


10 | Monday, July 1, 2019

Former mathematics professor Dr. Scott Williams fills life with prose, artistic subsets BENJAMIN BLANCHET ENGAGEMENT EDITOR

Dr. Scott Williams has mastered just about everything he’s set his mind to. Blacksmithing. Poetry. Mathematics. When it comes to his craft, Williams embraces it. But Williams laughs at the idea of being a renaissance man. “My ego would get too big if I was,” Williams said. Williams is a professor emeritus in UB’s mathematics department, joining the university in 1971 and retiring in 2013. Aside from his four decades as an awardwinning research professor, Williams has navigated life’s maze and embraced teach-

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Chudyniv, a Russian immigrant who Williams worked with on non-associative algebraic research. “The desire to learn surely came from my parents. However, by introducing [me] to advanced mathematics in my early teens, Bohun-Chudyniv stimulated deep logical processes,” Williams said. Williams also studied under passionate mentors at Morgan State, such as Dr. Clarence Stephens. Stephens is known for his popular teaching style, which increased the number of graduating mathematics majors at SUNY Potsdam by 20 times the national average, according to SUNY Potsdam’s website. After Morgan State, Williams earned a Ph.D. at Lehigh University in 1969. He went to Penn State for his post-doctorate and then applied for jobs at over 60 schools, including UB. He said five of the schools were interested in him, including Harvard, Princeton and Yale. UB heard about the competition and made Williams an offer.

Courtesy of Dr. Scott Williams Williams reads in the Pure Ink poetry slam at Buffalo’s Gypsy Parlor. Friends of Williams said his readings are one of a kind and unlike anything they’ve heard before.

ings of philosophy, art and craftsmanship. It’s all built into his career as a poet, a craft best seen during his Second Stage Writers series, a series he helped found that embraces a myriad of readers regardless of their identity. And this love for the arts and sciences has no boundaries. It was built in his DNA. His mother, Beryl, was the first African American to graduate with a degree in mathematics from the University of Maine. His father, Roger, was one of the first African Americans to earn a Ph.D. in psychology at Pennsylvania State University. While growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, Williams’ family exposed him to the arts and mathematics. Williams said he would play arithmetic games with his uncle as a child and always loved the field. In the late ‘50s, he attended high school at Baltimore City College. But, Williams said he had teachers who tried to undercut his intellect while in school. “When I got 156 on an IQ exam, they didn’t believe it was possible,” Williams said. So he took the test again. “I got a 164,” Williams said. Williams continued onward with his early-founded passion in mathematics after high school at Baltimore’s Morgan State University. He learned from Dr. Volodymir Bohun-

But faculty and staff, he said, still doubted him because UB hired him through its Affirmative Action plan. “I came here and people originally had low expectations, so they were shocked after my work on the famous problem,” Williams said. In the ‘70s, Williams worked on the Box Product Problem, a problem that has historically gone unsolved by mathematicians. Williams was the first to use the notion of scales to the problem, which is on his “Million Buck Problems” list. Williams’ list values problems at $1 million or more to the field of mathematics. In 1981, Williams won the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for an instructor in the SUNY system. Williams said some of the “best memories of his life” took place with former UB faculty members, too. He said he, alongside Stephen Schanuel and Samuel Schack, would look at “some of the world’s greatest mathematics problems” and have lengthy discussions at a local coffee shop toward the latter part of his UB career. In addition to his time at UB, Williams’ research on everything from topology to dynamics led to lecture invites from universities around the world. Williams lectured through a 1986-87 Fulbright fellowship in Prague, Czechoslovakia and taught

Courtesy of Dr. Scott Williams Dr. Scott Williams taught at UB from 1971 through 2013.

at Beijing Teacher’s College in China from 1988-91. Dr. Judith Roitman, a former mathematician and professor at the University of Kansas and friend and colleague of Williams, attended a number of conferences with Williams around the world from Toronto to Europe. Roitman said Williams’ character stands out, despite the racism he faced in his field. “In the early ‘70s, we were at a conference and someone who invited him to be a speaker gave him an introduction. He said something like ‘He’s a negro, but he’s a good mathematician anyways,’ and then he had to stand up and give his talk,” Roitman said. “But he just gave his talk after. I was just saying to myself, ‘If that was me I would start crying.’ So he had to deal with all these incredible things in [his field].” Williams has gone above and beyond to show the work of black achievements in academia. In 1995, he designed his site Mathematicians of the African Diaspora. The site displays black academic achievements in mathematics and also covers philosophy and black history. Williams created the site after he noticed another site on African American achievements lacking mathematical representation. “Some of the greatest mathematicians I knew, African American mathematicians, weren’t on that site. So I said I’ve got to change this, and that’s how that whole website started,” Williams said. Williams also lives a life set by philosopher George Gurdjieff. The philosophy, Williams said, is a mixture of Eastern methods and science. He said he began following the lifestyle in the 1970s, around the same time he came to UB. By chance, he joined a nearby school that practiced Gurdjieff ’s teachings –– the Rochester Folk Art Guild, a craftsman’s

ubspectrum.com guild. It was there where Williams learned under Louise Goepfert March, one of Gurdjieff ’s students. At the craftsman’s guild, Williams took on work as an artist-blacksmith from 197283 while at UB. Williams is still a member of the guild and said some of his projects have been featured around the nation, including at the Smithsonian Gallery. Today, he holds meetings for a group inspired by Gurdjieff ’s teachings. “Gurdjieff ’s teachings emphasized an interior balance of the mental, emotional and the physical, it is this balance that has played directly into my person,” Williams said. The craftsmanship isn’t the only art form Williams has explored. Along with his poetry readings, Williams wrote a number of chapbooks, including “Bonvibre Haiku” as well as an anthology of flash fiction and speculative poetry: “A Flash of Dark.” Williams said the first poet he ever read was Harlem Renaissance poet Jean Toomer, also a student of Gurdjieff. Aside from black revolutionaries like Buffalo’s Ishmael Reed and ghazal writers like Robert Bly, Rochester writer Martha Heyneman’s past 15 years of poetry teachings have also influenced Williams. David Landrey, a local poet, said Williams’ readings are unique and there’s no one writing quite like him. “He has an ear that is different from the rest of us, he’s hearing sounds that the rest of us don’t hear,” Landrey said. “He was a metalworker at one point, he recreates the sounds in his poems, the ‘wamp, wamp, ding, ding, ding ding.’ You’re there in the studio with him doing his work, but it feels like you’ve been transported.” Landrey said during a conversation, Williams said he had to “turn his emotions off completely” in mathematics whereas poetry “unleashes” his emotions. As Williams attended more poetry events after retirement, he noticed three kinds of events in the area. One crowd included African Americans, another included people over 40 years old and another included people under 40 years old. Williams then made a list, citing the minorities, genders and ages he wanted to see included at poetry events. “I set out to create a venue, where one of each of these people would be there,” Williams said. “Some of the people [at the event] would satisfy two of these categories like a young gay person or an older black person. What I’ve done, very carefully, is set it up so all these conditions are satisfied.” The program he helped create, Second Stage Writers, is an inclusive set of poetry readings that has not repeated any readers since its creation in 2017, Williams said. Williams said he doesn’t expect any repeating readers for another year and a half. Second Stage Writers takes place on the second Friday of every month at Grindhaus Cafe on Allen Street. More information on the series’ upcoming events can be found on Second Stage Writers’ Facebook page. Email: benjamin.blanchet@ubspectrum.com Twitter: @BenjaminUBSpec

Courtesy of Dr. Scott Williams Williams was a blacksmith at the Rochester Folk Arts Guild during his early years at UB.


ubspectrum.com

Gianna Damico, UB’s renaissance woman SAMANTHA VARGAS SENIOR FEATURES EDITOR

Gianna Damico never plans on wasting time. For her, life is about making the most of competition, physical exercise, academic pursuits, painting, graphic design and more. Between school, sports and her passion for photo-realistic portraits, Damico is one of UB’s budding renaissance women. In fact, the junior fine arts and anthropology double major relies on her rigorous multi-tasking skills in order to balance her intense, eclectic schedule. Damico is a member of UB’s track team and an up-and-coming commissions artist. She is also a member of UB’s honors college, the graphic designer for Blackstone LaunchPad and Patient Pattern, the student assistant graphic designer for UB admissions and an intern for the Jacobs Institute. This many commitments may seem daunting to some, but this balancing gives Damico some added determination. “I would like to be known for my work ethic and determination,” Damico said. “It can be both a good and bad thing. If I get my mind set on something, I will do anything I possibly can to make it happen.” Such an intense schedule can take an

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emotional and physical toll. Damico said best of my ability. It’s hard, you’ve just got [Gianna] is one of the hardest working while her workload will be beneficial for to take an L sometimes.” people on this campus,” said Matthews. Despite the sacrifices Damico has made, “People should look at her for leadership. her future career, it can also inhibit parts she is currently one of the 20 recipients of They should look at her as a shining examof her life right now. “Obviously, [working hard] can be the Honors College Presidential Scholar- ple of a hard-working student. Someone great for trying to get internships they could certainly learn from.” and other opportunities, but at the Damico said her art has helped her same time it can be kind of cripjump into other opportunities too, pling,” Damico said. “I can get so such as providing sketches for disset on something and block certain sections and cadavers for some of things out to where things suffer or her classes. people around me suffer.” Although she began studying art Aside from her rigorous course in eighth grade, her skills have flourload and projects, Damico also ished throughout her time in college. trains throughout the semester Her skills have even allowed her to with her track team. She only bepursue commission work, using gan training to join the varsity track these opportunities to try a variety team when she began college and of styles and mediums. Damico has created roughly 30 discovered her interest in pole vaulting. She attributes her athletic commissioned works –– from tattoo inspiration to her younger sister, designs to murals to paintings that Olivia, and her passion for soccer. have been auctioned off overseas. Damico prioritizes her sleep Through her struggle to find a schedule to help to prepare for earbalance between all of her pursuits, ly morning workouts, which can be Damico inspires the people around difficult given her coursework and her. Karyn St. George, administraCOURTESY OF GIANA DAMICO tive director for the Honors College, art interests. She would often have Gianna Damico came to UB unsure about what she wanted to to choose between her own health pursue. Now between balancing academics, athletics and art, has witnessed Damico’s “impressive” she’s unsure about what to pursue first. and coursework. work ethic first hand. “My body would be so exhausted “As an incredibly gifted artist, top that I would sit down and try to do academic scholar and talented athwork and it was just beyond me. That was ship with a cumulative GPA of 3.924. lete, Gianna is remarkable,” St. George definitely something I had to work on this Timothy Matthews, assistant director said. “Her diverse skills and talents, compast year,” Damico said. “ I got in a pret- for the Honors College, said Damico is a bined with her hard work and determinaty good groove of it, but here and there great role model for other students. tion, allow Gianna to truly maximize her some things did have to suffer a little bit “I always encourage students to get in- undergraduate experience. What is most to make sure I was doing everything to the volved on campus while they are here and amazing is that she does everything with a smile, and the bigger the challenge the brighter the smile.” Damico prides herself on her ability to push herself and her willingness to try new things. She said these traits have helped in all of her life endeavors, whether artistic, athletic or educational. “I’d like to be seen as open-minded and well-rounded. I want people to see that I am open to try new things and new ideas. “famous stopping place” since 1827 Artistically, it would be new mediums and hearty fare & warm hearth for all new projects, things that I haven’t really explored before,” Damico said. “Just being to push myself in whatever I choose Open 7 Days - Lunch, Dinner Parties able to focus on. Just being the best that I can Offering Traditional American Fare really be.”

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The 1975, Tyler, the Creator finish on top at Governors Ball 2019

BRENTON J. BLANCHET | THE SPECTRUM Jorja Smith

First two days of festival turn Randall’s Island Park into hotbed for indie talent and music superstars BRENTON J. BLANCHET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

New York City — The biggest artist to show his face at Governors Ball is fairly new to the game. In fact, nobody, not even the thousands who gathered around the Main Stage, heard of him until a week before. But he already had the No. 1 album in the country. IGOR, decked out in a Mary J. Blige wig and a neon green suit, put on a first show of a lifetime. He drew in thousands, played through tracks like “I Think” and “New Magic Wand,” and then the wig came off. The crowd went silent for a minute. Then Tyler, the Creator rose on a platform, wearing his usual button up and camp hat. Tyler and IGOR are the same person, actually. But Tyler’s playful charismatic alter ego had never showed his face on a public stage before, and this was probably the biggest show he’ll see until he signs onto a stadium tour. Although Tyler’s set proved to be a highlight of the May 31-June 2 weekend, the mere sight of how many R&B, indie, pop and rock acts shined at Gov Ball will make any music fan drool. Friday featured powerful sets from comeback kids BROCKHAMPTON and R&B singer Jorja Smith, who should have been on vocal rest but rose above despite a cold. Saturday’s bestset honors went to The 1975 and frontman Matty Healy, whose energy was incomparable to any act all weekend. A thunderstorm may have won over Sunday with an evacuation, which The Spectrum wasn’t there to cover, but the first two days, and the artwork displayed across Randall’s Island Park, were enough to bring fans back next year. BROCKHAMPTON fans already came back for a second year in a row, this time seeing their favorite collective grace the

Main Stage. The group’s set featured hits from the “Saturation” trilogy and “Iridescence” album, and while this was the most recent performance in months for the boyband with still no new music in sight, the guys still brought something new to New York: the silver jumpsuits. Any festival dweller would think they stumbled across the Backstreet Boys’ “Millenium Tour,” but Kevin Abstract and gang weren’t playing games with any hearts on Friday. Even when audience members had to throw up and regroup, Abstract still demanded they form mosh pits to tracks like “Boogie” and “Bump,” a strenuous task for the younger, mainly early-teen crowd. But at the same time, just a few thousand feet away, Jorja Smith was putting on a very, very different set. Her smooth and sensual soul music lit up the Honda Stage Friday despite her obvious vocal strain and sickness. Smith still delivered. The singer, dripped out in shiny orange pants and massive hoop earrings, powerfully worked through hits from her debut album “Lost and Found” and sounded angelic even with a cold and her rhaspy chops. During closing track “On My Mind,” the singer, who kept unnecessarily apologizing for her condition, invited the crowd to help her finish her set with her vocal chords in tact. Smith and the audience went back and forth with lyrics. The smile on her face at the end of the set was hard to miss. Fans still sang along as they walked away from the stage after her set, proving that her angelic voice, strain or not, has an impact. Friday also featured performances from Lil Wayne, Blood Orange, The Internet –– featuring Steve Lacy fresh off his “Apollo XXI” release –– and Jessie Reyez, but Tyler owned the show. Even with “IGOR” being the hottest album in the country, he still sprinkled his setlist with tracks from previous al-

BRENTON J. BLANCHET | THE SPECTRUM Tyler, the Creator

BRENTON J. BLANCHET | THE SPECTRUM Tyler, the Creator

BRENTON J. BLANCHET | THE SPECTRUM Blood Orange

bums like “911” and “Yonkers.” He even changed out of the neon suit to crack a few jokes when he needed to. At one point, he even walked to the right side of the stage and poked fun at audience members who were in the “worst spot.” “Enjoy these next five seconds because I’m going back over there,” Tyler said. On Saturday, however, one performer stayed on that side of the stage for a while. He even jumped off and accidentally took some stage lighting down with him. The 1975’s Healy, with a cigarette in one hand and cocktail in another, was the day’s most energetic performer, with Elvis-like gyrations and full-fledged choreography featuring his backup singers. Watching Healy was watching an icon. His smoothness was undeniable, and as The 1975 continued deeper into its setlist, Healy continued to let loose and do whatever dances came to his mind. Tracks off the band’s latest critically-acclaimed album “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” got the crowd amped up despite Vince Staples playing just across the park at the same time. Healy brought out his electric guitar during “It’s Not Living If It’s Not With You” and swayed along with his group, and he pulled out the acoustic during more intimate tracks like “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes).” The group closed with smash hits “Chocolate” and “The Sound” as criticisms of the group flashed on the stage, reading things like “I only heard ‘Chocolate’ once but I hated it.” But the group embraced criticism, as

BRENTON J. BLANCHET | THE SPECTRUM Governor’s Ball was packed with fans throughout its first two days

Healy, with all of his on-stage outbursts and bizzare dance moves, didn’t seem to care at all. Right before Healy won over the crowd, country star Kacey Musgraves celebrated the first day of Pride Month by waving a rainbow flag and bringing a few beach balls with her. Audience members, decked out in cowboy hats, waved their own rainbow flags as the Album of the Year Grammy winner played tracks like “Space Cowboy” and “Rainbow,” an ode to better days. The self-proclaimed yeehaw OG may have been the only country act of the festival, but her performance was just as colorful and vibrant as the flag she was waving. Earlier that day, R&B singer Ravyn Lenae brought her Minnie Riperton-esque vocals to the Bacardi Stage and played through some highlight tracks off her “Crush” EP. While her audience was a bit smaller, her voice and unique register could be heard throughout Randall’s Island Park, which was decked out with artwork, including mass amounts of balloons, see-through colored glass and a giant mural of late rapper Mac Miller. The first two days of the festival were legendary, and even though Sunday –– which The Spectrum didn’t attend –– ended in thunderstorms and evacuations, Governors Ball 2020 should already be on your calendar. Email: Brenton.Blanchet@ubspectrum.com Twitter: @BrentonBlanchet


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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Coming hard with bars

Monday, July 1, 2019 | 15

Student rapper Marc Mighty rhymes from the heart

Graphic by Grace Klak JULIANNA TRACEY SENIOR ARTS EDITOR

At the age of six, Marc Duqueney moved from Haiti to America with his family. He soon struggled with making friends, because of the language barrier. He became a self-described “bad kid.” Duqueney remembers getting into verbal confrontations during his school years and being put in the corner for bad behavior during church services. Now, Duqueney, better known by his stage name Marc Mighty, channels his emotions through rap music. The student rapper, a senior communication and sociology major, creates his own tracks and posts them on SoundCloud and YouTube for his new audience, with songs soon to be on Spotify and Apple Music. Mighty used music as a way to process his struggles growing up. “I was like, ‘Okay, I need to do something,’” Mighty said, “I found myself writing music and drawing. It was a way for me to feel as though I’m not completely alone in a sea of faces of random different people I do not know, speaking a language I do not know.” Mighty became more involved in his school’s band club, playing the tuba and becoming interested in jazz music. He even took up dancing. “Originally, I wanted to be like a Miles Davis kind of thing.” Mighty said, “I was extremely into jazz and blues music and I used to be in musicals. I used to do a lot.” Through his jazz education, Mighty found himself becoming connected to music and the emotions behind it. He found rap through his brother, when the

two would listen to music together in their basement. His brother introduced him to rappers like Nas and Stack Bundles. “Some of the rappers like Nas had a lot of jazz in the background,” Mighty said, “So I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s some jazz here,’ and that sort of meshed it together.” Mighty became inspired by these artists and tried to emulate their sounds. He began to write raps that introduced himself and where he was from, like the rappers he looked up to. Mighty still tries to emulate the performers he looks up to. He even based his majors, communication and sociology, off of J. Cole. “One of my favorite rappers is J. Cole. What he did was communication and business as his backup thing.” Mighty said, “So I was like ‘Oh, let me just follow the model of J. Cole!’” Mighty has his own process when it comes to writing music. He starts by listening to an instrumental track. Depending on how the track makes him feel, he connects the piece to a memory or story. Many of his songs relate to his family, like his song “Mother’s Interlude.” “My mom is extremely caring and she understood me, unlike how other people may have. So, when people saw a bad kid, she would see someone who was lost, somebody who wanted some avenue to express themselves.” Mighty said. “Where people just saw an angry kid, who would amount to nothing, she would always be there and be like, ‘No, you’re gonna be somebody.’ She always supported any dream I had.” Since coming to Buffalo for school, Mighty has collaborated with Long Islandbased rapper Clinton Bailey. The pair has

worked on two songs, “4 Da Homiez” and what they’re doing, how they’re delivering “24K.” their punchlines and their model of how Bailey said he enjoys working with they are as a person.” Mighty because of his dedication to music. Mighty hopes that listeners can relate to “Working with him is always fun and the truth behind his music. mesmerizing because you can see the hard “I’m not big on like bling or all that work he puts into the craft.” Bailey said, money, because I don’t have it. That wasn’t “He is on his way to master his flow and my life.” Mighty said, “When people hear find his sound.” me, I want them to be able to relate to me Bailey was impressed with Mighty’s abil- and sort of be like ‘Okay. I understand ities and said he always brings his best in where you’re coming from because I’ve his collaboration tracks with Mighty. gone through that myself.’ We can sort “I always find myself trying to come of foster community, where we can be all hard on the track whenever I work with going through the same thing, but we got him. He’s definitely gifted. Like on “4 Da each other’s backs.” Homiez,” I had to stay on my toes ‘cause Email: julianna.tracey@ubspectrum.com he was coming hard with bars.” Twitter: @JTraceySpec Mighty wants to find places in Buffalo to perform and eventually tour his music. The student rapper is also working on his first official mixtape. “[Buffalo] in a way influenced my range of topics.” Mighty said, “ T h e r e ’s some Buffalo rappers COURTESY OF MARC MIGHTY that I like Student rapper Marc Mighty performs at a show.

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going on tour in support of the album. “Happiness Begins” features hit songs like “Sucker,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Cool.” Fans are truly “Burnin’ Up” through the summer, waiting to see the brothers perform live together again.

Your summer collection of Buffalo’s sonic selections JULIANNA TRACEY SENIOR ARTS EDITOR

The Jonas Brothers, Nas, Wiz Khalifa: The biggest comeback story in pop this year, a hip-hop legend and a slightly-pasthis-prime rapper are just a few of the many acts taking the stage in Buffalo this summer. Just because students can finally take a break doesn’t mean Buffalo’s music scene needs to. The Spectrum compiled a list of some of the hot music events coming up during the warm summer months. Thomas Rhett- Darien Lake Friday, July 19 Country music fans can be excited for Thomas Rhett’s 2019 “Very Hot Summer Tour.” The singer-songwriter is making his way to the Darien Lake Amphitheater to celebrate the summer this July. The tour

will also include country singers Dustin Lynch, Russell Dickerson and Rhett’s own father, Rhett Atkins. Rhett’s most recent album, “Life Changes,” was released two years before the tour took off and features songs like “Marry Me,” “Craving You” and “Drink a Little Beer.” Rhett is also known for his hit songs “Die A Happy Man” and “T-Shirt.” Wiz Khalifa- Darien Lake Sunday, July 21 Wiz Khalifa announced his 2019 North American summer tour, “The Decent Exposure,” during his set at weekend two of Coachella 2019. The rapper’s Buffalo fans can rejoice because the tour will stop at the Darien Lake Amphitheater in July. The performance will also feature special guests French Montana, Playboi Carti, Moneybagg Yo, Chevy Woods and DJ Drama. Khalifa, UB’s 2017 Spring Fest headliner, is known for songs like “Black and Yellow,” “Young, Wild & Free,” “Roll Up” and “See You Again.” On April 20, Khalifa released his newest mixtape “Fly Times Vol. 1: The Good Fly Young,” featuring artists like Problem, Curren$y, THEMXXNLIGHT, Ty Dolla $ign, Chevy Woods, Young Deji and Sosamann.

ANGELA BARCA | THE SPECTRUM Wiz Khalifa performs at Spring Fest 2017

Brit Floyd - Pink Floyd Tribute Shea’s Performing

Nas - Canalside Friday, Aug. 30

Arts Center Tuesday, July 30 Tribute bands can also bring out entertaining performances this summer. Brit Floyd, a Pink Floyd tribute band, will be performing at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in late July. The live show tries to emulate the sights and sounds of an actual Pink Floyd gig. The band formed in 2011 in Liverpool, United Kingdom under Damian Darlington. Darlington had been a part of “The Australian Pink Floyd Show” for 17 years, but wanted to create a show that paid more attention to the details and emotion behind Pink Floyd’s performances. The show features covers of Pink Floyd’s hits like “Another Brick In the Wall (Part I),” “Another Brick In the Wall (Part II),” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)” and “Comfortably Numb.”

The genius behind 1994’s “Illmatic” is taking the album’s 25th-anniversary tour to Buffalo’s Canalside on the first week of classes. Nas, one of hip hop’s greats, is touring after last summer’s “Nasir” album dropped, exclusively produced by Kanye West. While the show will be geared more toward older fans, as Nas will play through ‘94 hits like “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” and “The World is Yours,” fans may be able to catch a few tracks from the new record. Nasty Nas has some tough concert-week competition in the Jo Bros, but regardless of who you plan on seeing, Buffalo has some pretty solid shows this summer. Email: julianna.tracey@ubspectrum.com Twitter: @JTraceySpec

Jonas Brothers - KeyBank Center Tuesday, Aug. 27 Though this concert is technically on the second day of classes, it would be a crime to ignore one of the most highly anticipated events in Buffalo. After reuniting six years after their 2013 split, the Jo bros released their new album “Happiness Begins,” COURTSEY OF FLICKR USER SHELBY CASSANOVA their first in ten years. The Jonas Brothers come to Buffalo on Aug. 27 Now, the brothers are

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Monday, July 1, 2019 | 17

UB-exclusive app to help students with daily tasks Equilli App creators plan to ease students’ workload ANASTASIA WILDS ASST. ARTS EDITOR

College students have apps for everything. They have Top Hat for classes, Instagram for their social lives and Google Calendars to balance it all. But with students’ notoriously busy schedules, they often struggle to find time for chores. But now there’s an app for that, too. Starting this fall, the Equilli App will become exclusively available to the UB community. Co-founded by UB alumni Halton Bagley and Greg Albanese, the Equilli App allows users to outsource their chores. To sign up, new users only need their .edu email address to immediately receive free “tokens.” Instead of paying money, all tokens –– besides initial free tokens –– are obtained by doing other app users’ chores. Users then use earned tokens to pay other users to do their chores. Bagley studied business administration with a finance concentration and graduated from the UB School of Management in 2016. Albanese studied computer science and graduated from the program in 2013. Bagley believes their expertise makes for “quite a good mix of business and technical skills.” The founders’ connections with the university –– along with the roughly 30,000-student population –– made UB “the perfect place to start” introducing their app. The co-founders drafted the app in December 2018, wanting to create a platform

where people could help each other with no money involved. The Equilli App creates a cycle of service where everyone is part of the process to make life easier. “There is a lot of divisiveness in America and the world right now,” Bagley said. The income inequality gap is widening at an ever-increasing pace. We want to provide people with more accessibility to fulfill their basic needs in life. Not everything has to be about money. There are so many people who are just scraping by.” The founders also hope the app will bring people together from various groups and communities on campus. After being members of Pi Lambda Phi, they said they understand students don’t typically interact with people beyond their social circles. They believe the app can help break these barriers between communities to harvest friendships. To make the app a reality, Bagley said they surveyed hundreds of local college students on their needs at school and their willingness to participate in the app. The results were positive, and the UB alumni have been working on the project ever since. They hope to have the app ready for testing in July and to align their launch time with back-to-school season in the fall. The founders have been trying various ways to advertise their new product to the UB community. One major way being through social media, specifically Instagram. Jacqueline Cole-Conroy, a graduate assistant at the UB Department of Postdoctoral Scholars, discovered the app through Instagram. “They followed me on Instagram after I posted pictures of the Pride Parade on

campus, and since they said they were coming to UB in the fall, I figured I’d follow them to see what they were about,” Cole-Conroy said. “It’s an interesting concept, the trading of chores. I’m not sure if I’d ever use it, but it seems like a nice app that could help build the sense of community in UB and let people get to know one another.” While the app still has some time before its launch, Bagley said he believes it will be beneficial to the UB community at large. “We have larger-scale goals in mind for this mission but we see helping college students as a wonderful incubator to making it ‘cool’ to help people,” Bagley said. “We believe the trust, familiarity and highly localized geography that a college campus provides is a nice catalyst to jumpstarting this vision.” Albanese said he, too, is anticipating the release and hopes the app will greatly benefit students’ college experience. “Equilli has been a challenging and exciting project to work on,” Albanese said. “I can’t wait to see how it grows and the impact it will have on student’s lives.” Email: anastasia.wilds@ubspectrum. com


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SPORTS

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GAMES TO WATCH

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Graphic by Jessica Sutton


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SPORTS

Monday, July 1, 2019 | 21

Top games to watch this fall season The best chances to see $35 million of state money put to use THOMAS ZAFONE SPECTRUM ALUM

Sports, the personification of human struggle, triumph and defeat, have kept people entertained for generations. And they’ve been pretty successful here at UB in the last few years. Think you’re too good for sports? Think that a Netflix series that makes you cry is really going to make you a better person? Get off your high horse and check out one of these UB fall games you already paid for. Volleyball hosts the UB Invite (Aug. 30 - Sept. 1) The Bulls start the season with plenty of staff changes, but still have a core of returning players. That will help, as they are scheduled to play in a tough home tournament to start the season. Buffalo will start with a game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. The game offers an early chance for the team to pick up a big conference win. The tournament will wrap up with games against the Marist Red Foxes and the Colgate Raiders. Both teams held winning records in their conferences last season, so expect them to be on their A-game early. The invite will give the team a chance to gauge where it stands early in the season. Football @ The Penn State Nittany Lions (Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m.) Now, as far as The Spectrum is concerned, we always want to see our teams succeed. But this is going to be rough. This is like any indie band guitarist having to outperform Prince. It can’t happen. Penn State has been on the rise since

bouncing back from one of the worst scandals in NCAA history. The team scored 63 points on the Kent State Golden Flashes last year and Buffalo will be lucky to keep that number under 40. So get on your knees and pray to whichever god or person you call upon whenever you fail in life and need to be bailed out. Soccer vs. The UAlbany Great Danes (Sept. 8, 12 p.m.) In less depressing Bulls coverage, the soccer team will start on Aug. 22 and will be four games into the season come the in-state matchup. UAlbany had a strong season last year and should make for a good non-conference matchup. There’s nothing like rooting against a team that represents the city housing the 31st best state government, according to an MSN 2018 listicle. Cross Country holds Stampede Invite (Sept. 13, 11 a.m.) This year’s Stampede Invite marks your best chance to see some sweet running action at UB after the Bulls’ seventh-place regional finish. Despite cross country not being known as the most exciting spectator sport, it’s always good to root for your student athletes. It is also the only time the team competes at home all year, so check it out if you have time. Football vs. The Temple Owls (Sept. 21, TBA) Now we’re talking about a quality opponent matchup the Bulls can win in. Last year, Buffalo earned a murky win for the season against Temple. Now marks another chance for the Bulls to win big, this time at home. If the Bulls can beat Temple, it would be a strong statement for a team that isn’t looking to go back to having a losing record.

JACK LI | THE SPECTRUM UB fans pack into Alumni Arena during a game last fall.

Soccer @ The Oregon Ducks (Sept. 22, 8 p.m.) This will be one of the bigger games for UB sports all year despite the distance. The Ducks have a big-name program and there’s a great chance Buffalo can earn a big-name win against them. Still, it won’t be easy. Oregon has been strong in nonconference play in the past and will look to get a hot start to the season at the Bulls’ expense. Volleyball vs. The Akron Zips (Sept. 26, 6 p.m.) The start of Mid-American Conference play is big for any MAC school and starting against the rival Zips only make it bigger. The MAC is a tough conference in volleyball as almost every team tends to be on equal footing. Buffalo has had flashes of looking like a consistent conference winner, but this fall is the season to make an impact with so many players graduating in 2020. Soccer vs. The Miami RedHawks (Oct. 4, 7 p.m.) Despite being the third game of the conference season, this marks Buffalo’s first MAC home game. This game will be big

for the Bulls as they only have 11 games to decide MAC tournament seeding and will need early wins to secure a top-four seed. It will also mark the team’s return home after an almost-three-week road trip. Football vs. The Ohio Bobcats (Oct. 5, 3:30 p.m.) As the Black Keys once wrote, “Whoa, oo-whoa, oo-whoa, oo-whoa, oo-whoa hi-oh, hi-oh.” It’s some profound stuff –– stuff that personifies the budding rivalry Buffalo has had with the Bobcats these past two seasons. The teams are at one win a piece, after the Bobcats had a statement 52-17 win against the historic ten-win Bulls team of 2018. But Oct. 5 is not a day to think of the past, it is a day for the future. And there is no better time to forget about past failures than to rewrite them with new triumphs. So watch out “oowhoa, oo-whoa hi-oh,” because Buffalo is coming and hopefully with the momentum to get some redemption for last year. Email: sports@ubspectrum.com Twitter: @UBSpecSports


SPORTS

22 | Monday, July 1, 2019

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UB fall sports season predictions an otherwise historic season, the Bulls lost back-to-back championship games in the MAC Championship and the Dollar General Bowl. Now, with many of last season’s best players like Anthony Johnson and Tyree Jackson off to the NFL, head coach Lance Leipold and company will have to build a new team. Though the odds they reach the height of last season are pretty slim, Leipold’s staff has shown an ability to both recruit and develop solid talent. It is far too early to say who could have a breakout season, but multiple players will have to come into their own if the team is to be a top program in the MAC. If Buffalo can rebuild its high-octane offense from last season, then it will most likely have a winning record. If not, this might be the first year of another program rebuild. At least the coaching staff will still be in place from the last successful UB season. Hopefully UB cashes in and makes its own “trust the process” T-shirt. Best case,

Oh those fighting Bulls attempt to answer the call again THOMAS ZAFONE SPECTRUM ALUM

New year, new Bulls. The new semester marks another chance for Buffalo to finally bring home some titles in the fall. After coming close and seeming like contenders last year, all three teams came back in a state of flux. With key player transfers and graduations, all of UB’s team sports will have multiple questions to answer come the end of August. Still, with solid staff on every team, Buffalo looks to build off momentum from last year. Football (Last season: 10-4, Mid-American Conference 7-1) In what was a heartbreaking ending to

the Bulls go 8-4 and make it to a consecutive Dollar General Bowl. Worst case, UB Stadium goes back to holding games for a 3-9 team again. Soccer (11-8, MAC 5-6) Following last year’s trend of UB seasons with incredibly promising beginnings, Buffalo started the season 9-2 and looked to the program’s second MAC Championship. Sadly, star player Carissima Cutrona went down with a season-ending injury at the end of September. The Bulls finished the season going 2-6 and lost in the quarterfinals of the MAC Championship. Buffalo was never able to recapture its offensive ability and it showed quickly. But head coach Shawn Burke has proven that his staff can make a top-tier defense year in and year out. With key players like sophomore goalkeeper Emily Kelly and junior midfielder Marcy Barberic returning, the Bulls have the pieces to make another championship push. Kelly will be key in reestablishing a defense that lost some players to graduation last year. But the Bulls’ main issue every year is their goal production. Cutrona was arguably the best forward in the conference and will be sorely missed. Barberic is a great offensive tool who sets players up well, but needs a stronger primary scoring option to help be used most effectively. Burke has tried integrating incoming players into the offense before

with mixed results. However, Buffalo will always be able to make it competitive with its defense. Expect the team to experiment and be playing its best soccer come October. Best case, the offense comes to life and UB can aim for a second shield for the program, 14-3-1. Worst case, the Bulls fall back on their defense and have to play more close games than they would like, 6-9-3. Volleyball (18-11, 10-6 MAC) The volleyball team has been on an upward trajectory, improving from its 4-25 record in 2016. The program came a long way under then-head coach Blair Brown Lipsitz. Sadly, Brown Lipsitz stepped away from the position this past offseason. Team staff member Scott Smith was promoted to head coach after being a key part in the team’s success these past few seasons. Despite losing some key offensive players, the team will have plenty of experience heading into 2019. The Bulls showed last season they have what it takes to string victories together when it matters most. The problem, one that has hurt the team the past two seasons, is not getting the job done in the MAC Championship. Senior outside hitter Polina Prokudina will have to be a consistent scoring option all season for that to happen. The Bulls have a lot of chemistry and talent, now they’ll just have to make the most of it. Worst case, Buffalo trades wins and losses while never finding that key option on offense, 12-16. Best case, the team’s group of seniors brings the program together while becoming a top team in the MAC, 21-7. Email: sports@ubspectrum.com Twitter: @UBSpecSports

JACK LI | THE SPECTRUM Running back Jaret Paterson in action during a game last fall

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The Spectrum Vol.69 No.01  

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

The Spectrum Vol.69 No.01  

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

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