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THE SPECTRUM VOL. 68 NO. 37 | MARCH 11, 2019



A PERFECT SENDOFF: Buffalo’s five seniors lead Bulls to win in final home game of season


F--K ME RIGHT OR F--KING LEAVE: How to make sure your needs are a priority




Korean SA wins International Fiesta

This is where International Fiesta coverage would have been. We will provide an explanation in our March 14 paper.

Former UB student Hannah Christensen arraigned Friday morning

JACKLYN WALTERS | THE SPECTRUM Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn discussed former UB student Hannah Christensen’s arraignment Friday. He said he has no plans to offer Christensen a plea deal.

Christensen faces felony charge; could face up to four years in prison HANNAH STEIN, JACKLYN WALTERS EDITORIAL STAFF

Erie County Supreme Court released former UB student Hannah Christensen from her second arraignment Friday morning before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns. Christensen faces one count of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, which resulted in a serious physical injury, a class “E” Felony, according to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn. Christensen pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Christensen faces up to four years in prison. Paul Glascott, Chief of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Christensen was allegedly driving on Nov. 1 in front of Hadley Village when she hit UB student Renuka Ramanadhan, > SEE CHRISTENSEN | PAGE 4

UBCon takes over the Student Union

Community members come together during Buffalo Women’s March

Women’s march continues to push for change

Annual event fills campus with games, contests and characters


Strong winds and cold temperatures didn’t deter the 500 Buffalo community members who gathered in Niagara Square for the Women’s March on Sunday. Twelve speakers advocated for issues relating to women’s rights at a demonstration before the beginning of the march. Community members chanted “United we will

BRITTANY GORNY | THE SPECTRUM Community members participate in Sunday’s Women’s March in Niagara Square.

never be defeated” and “More power for working class women” as they walked through downtown Buffalo. The march, organized by the Western New York Peace Center, took place two days after International Women’s Day, celebrating women and advocating for their rights. Community members celebrated the second year of the march, which motivates activists to engage with their local communities to elicit change. Participants held up signs saying, “Make Her-story,” “Let’s Start a Revolution” and “No One is Free While Others are Oppressed.” Jenn Flick, of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York, spoke at the > SEE MARCH | PAGE 4



the X, like the double helix in DNA.” Heldwein said SARPA couldn’t tell exact attendance numbers, but said ticket sales surpassed 2,200 for the weekend. “In the first few years, [UBCon] was maybe only a couple hundred people, and it’s grown ever since,” Heldwein said. Crowds assembled as early as Friday for registration, with various attendees and vendors extending up the stairs of the Student Union to prepare for the event. The Student Union was the de-facto event hub, while events and cosplayers extended toward Baldy Hall, O’Brian Hall and Knox Hall. Vendors occupied various locations throughout the Student Union, making use of both the first and second floor for various displays of anime and cosplay-related displays for viewing and products for purchase. Delyn Hart, a local vendor in UBCon’s Artist Alley –– where vendors displayed and sold a variety of work –– said she found the allotted space as a positive change from last year and a way to engage

The Student Union was bustling with cosplayers by 12 p.m. on Saturday. This year’s UBCon had something for everyone, from different takes on Marvel and DC characters like Harley Quinn and the X-Men to movie characters and pop-culture references. UB’s Strategists and Role Players Association planned the event, which began on Friday and ran through Sunday. This year’s convention, titled UBCon XXX, followed the theme “A Lasting Legacy” and celebrated the greater Buffalo fandom community’s 30year growth. “Each year, we have a different theme,” said Lucas Heldwein, vice president of SARPA and convention director for UBCon. “This HAO WANG | THE SPECTRUM Students filled the Student Union for this year’s UBCon beginning on year, since it’s our 30th Friday. The fandom community gathered for a weekend of games, artistic anniversary, it’s ‘A Last- Showings and vendors. ing Legacy.’ We have > SEE UBCON | PAGE 4


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‘Misconceptions:’ Panelists discuss First Amendment rights for athletes NATHANIEL MENDELSON, JACKLYN WALTERS EDITORIAL STAFF

Public universities can’t punish student athletes for protesting or speaking with the press, according to professional athletes, lawyers and professors who spoke at a Capen Hall panel on Thursday. Roughly 50 students, faculty and staff attended the event, Freedom of Expression: The First Amendment and Athletics, organized by Helen Drew, director of the Center for the Advancement of Sport. Panelists discussed First Amendment rights for athletes, focusing largely on former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s demonstrations. Panelists discussed the distinction between his rights as an American citizen and his rights as an employee of a private organization –– the NFL. Panelists Lorenzo Alexander, linebacker for the Buffalo Bills, former professional baseball player Shane Costa, local attorney Paul Cambria and law professor Lucinda Finley, weighed in on Kaepernick’s experience and discussed the legality of athletes speaking out. Finley, a First Amendment attorney, said UB student athletes have more freedom to speak out than professional athletes because UB is a state school and organizations like the NFL are private. “According to the NCAA and the university, college athletes are students first,” Finley said. “Therefore they have the same first amendment rights as any other student.” A sports information director joins athletes when speaking to the media to help

“craft a message that best reflects them backlash. move and do and say things based on who and the university.” Finley said this does Alexander kneeled for the national an- they are and leverage,” Alexander said. “So not infringe upon students’ rights because them during Bills games. He said the a guy like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgthey are not being censored. Bills’ ownership and coaching staff was ers, names like that, they have a little bit Alexander said this is similar to his expe- willing to have “open and honest discus- more freedom than some other guys. But rience in the NFL, where a public relations sions about the issues,” which clarified there’s also strength in numbers, too, beteam attends all press events. PR represen- what players were allowed to do, including cause you can’t cut everybody.” tatives, while they don’t censor athletes in kneeling. real time, ensure athletes’ comments do Alexander said NFL players with “more Email: not negatively affect the team or organiza- power” have more freedom to express tion. their views, but said movements have Cambria, a nationally recognized First more of an impact when players stand –– Amendment attorney, said people have or kneel –– together. “misconceptions” about what the First “At the end of the day, guys are able to Amendment covers. He said there are exceptions to the First Amendment–– within private organizations, for example. He called Kaepernick’s demonstration a “legitimate protest” within a “private club,” which is why NFL teams could legally refuse to sign him. Alexander said the NFL didn’t necessarily care about Kaepernick’s actions, but cared about the demonstration’s effects on its “economics.” This, Alexander said, is when teams disassociated themselves from Kaepernick. “All 32 owners, because they have an antitrust exemption, they cannot collude,” Alexander said. “[But] they can individually make a decision not to sign a guy.” Cambria said “speech comes JACKLYN WALTERS | THE SPECTRUM with consequences” and that, (Left to right) Panelists Lucinda Finley, Paul Cambria, Lorenzo Alexander and Shane Costa discussed First Amendalthough someone may not face ment rights Friday. Their conversation focused on Colin Kaepernick’s demonstrations as well as First Amendment legal repercussions for their rights for UB student athletes. words or actions, they may face






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THE SPECTRUM Monday, March 11, 2019 Volume 68 Number 37 Circulation: 4,000

EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hannah Stein MANAGING EDITOR Brenton J. Blanchet CREATIVE DIRECTORS Caitlyn Di Vita Grace Klak COPY EDITORS Savanna Caldwell Cassi Enderle Lauryn King Cherie Jacobs, Asst. NEWS EDITORS Tanveen Vohra, Co-Senior Jacklyn Walters, Co-senior FEATURES EDITORS Thomas Zafonte, Senior Isabella Nurt, Asst.

ARTS EDITORS Brian Evans, Senior Samantha Vargas, Asst. Julianna Tracey, Asst. SPORTS EDITOR Nathaniel Mendelson, Senior

EDITORIAL EDITOR Benjamin Blanchet MULTIMEDIA EDITORS Shubh Jain, Senior Davila Tarakinikini, Asst. CARTOONISTS Ardi Digap


F––k me right or f––king leave How to make sure your needs are a priority CHARLOTTE VALENTINE

We’ve all been there –– you start seeing someone new and everything is great. You really just click. Then you have sex for the first time and you don’t click at all. You’re devastated. You thought they were really great. But seven minutes? How can someone be so selfish? Were you lying about your experience? Did you even try to find my clit? When we started dating, I don’t think my ex even knew what a female orgasm was. And despite all the shitty things Christian did, one thing he –– eventually –– did right was make me cum. But it wasn’t without me asking first. After my 30-minute crash course on “what buttons to push and when,” the entire dynamic of our relationship changed. I was happier because I was finally getting what I needed. And he was happier because he finally knew how to deal with my attitude problem. We aren’t alone in these disappointing, mediocre experiences –– 69 percent of Gen-Z women reported they aren’t satisfied in the bedroom.

For information on adverstising with The Spectrum: VISIT: 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 Hannah Stein at: Anyone interested in joining The Spectrum’s professional staff or advertising team can email Helene Polley at:

Thirty-two percent even said they crave “amazing sex” over food. In an era of sexual liberation, open conversations about sex have become increasingly common. So why is it still so hard to ask for what you want in bed? There are a lot of different reasons you might want to talk about things happening in the bedroom, and each reason comes with the potential for an awkward conversation. But it is important to be open and honest with any kind of intimate concern. Sometimes we’re hesitant to give advice because we don’t want to point out someone’s shortcomings. But if the sex is short and you haven’t been cumming, you should say something. Try approaching the situation as more of a learning experience than a sexual criticism session. Instead of listing all of the things they do wrong, list the things you prefer. Rather than bashing their sexual experiences — or lack thereof — say “I like when you do this and you should try doing this too.” If you want to try something that you’re embarrassed to talk about, there are ways to go about that conversation too. I made my boyfriend take a BDSM test to see how compatible our kinks are. When I saw that each of our highest results were “vanilla” ––

his at 59 percent and mine at 73 –– I found out what I already knew. Even though I wasted 30 minutes of our time, it opened up discussion about new things we would like to try. Every so often, someone will try something new and it’s just not a hit. When your partner does something and you aren’t into it, open communication is critical. And, pro tip: don’t spring your weird kinks on someone without warning, that’s not cool. Some people are into things that others aren’t and that’s OK, but making sure you’re on the same page moving forward is key to ensure sex remains consensual and positive for everyone involved. While it can be nerve-wracking to tell someone that you didn’t like “that thing they did when they tried to tie you up like a pretzel without warning,” unless you want them to think you were into it, you have to make your boundaries clear. Maybe that means no more mid-sex surprises, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. If you’ve tried talking with your partner about your needs, likes or dislikes and they aren’t responsive, it’s time for a new conversation. The “it’s not me, it’s you” conversation. Because someone who doesn’t

respect your boundaries, especially sexual ones, does not have a place in your life. Everyone deserves to have relationships –– platonic, romantic or sexual –– with people who listen to their concerns and respond accordingly. And if you feel too uncomfortable to talk with your partner about these things, that’s a sign things aren’t working out. These conversations aren’t easy, but they’re important. And if someone is willing to eat you out, they should be willing to hear you out, too. 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 seual assault hotline for college campuses (1-844-845-7269). Email:

Stay tuned for another sex column by Charlotte Valentine on March 25.

‘Leaving Neverland’ unpacks 20 years of Michael Jackson’s molestation allegations

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@ 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.

Monday, March 11, 2019 | 3


Michael Jackson is best described as an enigma. Riches, fame and notoriety all surrounded Jackson’s 30-year career. The crowned “King of Pop” fostered a legacy imprinted in the musical history books but extended beyond the confines of a record as well. Jackson’s clash with creativity crossed over to the public as fame grew. His personal relationships showed. The introverted Jackson, while not restraining himself from flexing both his fortune and fame, seemingly looked for something he lacked. With Wade Robson and James Safechuck, he found comfort and a connection that would span a decade. That time revolved around abuse and deception, as HBO’s recent documentary “Leaving Neverland” discloses. Both Robson and Safechuck detail a relationship with Jackson consisting of intimacy and sexual abuse beginning as early as age 7 for Robson and age 10 for Safechuck. Jackson’s actions, according to Safechuck and Robson, went over their parents’ heads. Jackson worked his way into both families, even becoming a “son” to Safechuck’s mother. But “Finding Neverland”

makes clear that Jackson, while maintaining a facade of innocence toward both families, took both relationships sexual as soon as he could. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of “Leaving Neverland” is Jackson’s coaching of both Robson and Safechuck and essentially conditioning both boys and their families to rely on Jackson as if he were a vital part of the family. And of course, financial incentives and dependence. In the era of the “#MeToo” movement, what does “Leaving Neverland” mean for Jackson’s monumental legacy? Jackson’s recovered notes to both Safechuck and Robson, as well as voicemails, are subject to a grandiose reimagination in “Leaving Neverland.” The film pushes back against his longrunning facade of innocence and child-like nature, imploring the audience instead that Jackson was calculated and manipulative beyond the realm of public acceptance. It’s the biggest take away from “Leaving Neverland.” The evidence was there for 20 years. Jackson, like any master manipulator, played his cards to such strength that allegations and even civil cases often went brushed under the rug. Jackson, who died in 2009, already has a swarm of support and defense from fans and supporters across the globe. Most have denounced the documentary as a facade which plays loose with facts, and an almost unilateral point to both Safechuck’s and Robson’s previous testimonies as a hit to their credibility. The Jackson family and estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO, claiming breach of a contract against any negative comments toward Jackson.


“Leaving Neverland” pushes back on Michael Jackson’s legacy, and seeks to unravel allegations stemming back to the ‘90s.

“Leaving Neverland” presents a narrative in which Jackson maintains, and later brushes off, relationships with both Safechuck and Robson that grew sexual as the years went on. Jackson moves on from Robson to Safechuck and vice versa, later enlisting new would-be companions like Macaulay Culkin. To this day, Culkin vehemently denies any abuse from Jackson, something “Leaving Neverland” makes clear. “Leaving Neverland” spends ample time building up the awe and romanticism behind Jackson’s wooing of both families with his status. Robson throws around “larger than life” on several occasions as he tries to explain his childhood and adolescent infatuation with Jackson. But there was more. Both men claim to have been in love with Jackson. Safechuck describes a makeshift wedding between himself and Jackson, even displaying the ring Jackson bought for the occasion. It’s a lot to unpack. Director Dan Reed takes two cases of allegations and brings them to life over four hours. The second half of “Leaving Neverland,” however, changes the narrative. It focuses on a

then-adolescent and now-adult Robson and Safechuck. The film pushes toward the lasting effects of how Safechuck and Robson’s encounters with Jackson have shaped their lives. For Jackson’s family and fans alike, “Leaving Neverland” presents a perspective on the famed singer that went long ignored. Jackson always seemed to fall between the cracks of a full-blown ousting in popular culture and society. Instead, as allegations grew in the ‘90s and continued into the early ‘00s, Jackson fell back on a growing self-portrayal of innocence that brought him waves of defense. “Leaving Neverland” asks fans to, if not completely alter, seriously re-evaluate their relationship and view of Michael Jackson. If Robson and Safechuck are to be believed, Jackson’s legacy is under severe scrutiny. Behind the talent, millions of records and hit singles, was, according to the film, a serious pattern of reeling in young boys to eventually get them alone behind closed doors. “Leaving Neverland” blows those doors open for the first time. Email:


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CHRISTENSEN who was walking in the crosswalk. Christensen fled the scene and drove to a nearby parking lot where she watched emergency responders treat the victim, according to Flynn’s press release. The victim was hospitalized for “a significant period of time” with a traumatic head injury. She is now out of the hospital and attending school again, according to Flynn.

Christensen was a sophomore biological sciences student at the time of the hit-andrun. UB officials declined to comment on her enrollment, but confirmed she is no longer a student. Christensen never reported the incident and University Police arrested her on Nov. 16. Flynn said Christensen would not face criminal charges if she had reported the

incident. He said he has no plans to offer Christensen a plea deal. “Ms. Christensen is a 20-year-old UB student who never got in trouble in her life before and she just made a terrible decision here,” Flynn said. “These decisions on most of these hit-and-runs are panic decisions where you know you’ve done something, you know you’ve hit somebody, but

you make a critical error in judgment. You don’t think about the consequences and you leave the scene and now she’s facing a felony charge.” Christensen’s third arraignment is scheduled for April 9 for a pre-trial report.


fair pay, full respect and safe working conditions. “So today let us join together to ensure that we strive for a future where there is equality for all women in the workplace,” Duarte said. UB students also came out to show their support. Juman Aref, Muslim Public Affairs Council member and UB biomedical science major, said people enter the world with limitless potential. “Sometime around the emergence of our strengths and our abilities, society attempts to subdue these things. This is the common theme many of us share here to-

day,” Aref said. Aref alluded to how diverse the crowd was in support of women’s rights. “It’s nice to see how many different backgrounds we can bring together for such an important cause,” Aref said. Long-time community activist, Betty Jean Grant, called 2019 “the year of the woman,” while Ellen Grant from WNY Women’s Foundation said women are “striving, thriving, believing and achieving.” She spoke specifically about how a large number of elected officials tend to be men, and said that must change. “Women are needed. Women need to

represent in all levels of government,” Grant said. Hannah Lewiston, a D’Youville student, said people need to “lift each other up” in order to encourage change. The WNY Resistance Revival Chorus sang and stomped to songs like “The Rich Man’s House” by Anne Feeney after the march’s conclusion. “We are all here to stand up for ourselves, for each other and oppose to all forms of oppression,” a WNY Peace Corps volunteer said.

UBCon also featured several guest appearances from the Buffalo cosplay community, such as Ian Sinclair and David Schwartz. Sinclair, a 15-year veteran in the anime world, has directed and lent voice acting to works like “Dragon Ball Super,” “One Piece” and “Black Clover.” Sinclair works with production companies Funimation and Sentai Filmworks, while Schwartz has been a member of the UBCon planning board since 2002 as well running his own improv show, according to SARPA. Arthur Wilson, a high school junior and attendee, found this year’s UBCon to be more wide-ranging and inclusive than past years. “This is my third year at UBCon. … My favorite part of the weekend is definitely the cosplay contest,” Wilson said. “Even if you’re not competing, it’s fun to watch

and see the work everyone puts into their cosplay.” Previous attendees returned this year with some coming back to Buffalo just for the event. Jordan Quiñones Walker, a Daemen College graduate and cosplayer, said he sees UBCon as a vehicle to stay connected with friends. HAO WANG | THE SPECTRUM “It’s interesting because UBCon attendees participate in role playing during I have ‘con-friends’ that I the annual convention. engagement this year, and if not, next year only get to see when I attend cons across the country. I came back we’re hoping to grow that even further, to to Buffalo from Indiana to get to see some make sure people on campus know exactly what UBCon is.” of those friends.” Heldwein, at the beginning of the event, credited the Student Association with Email: helping to grow this year’s UBCon. “We are really hoping for more student


march and said women’s sovereignty over their bodies is important. “Nobody else. It is our decisions, our discretions that need to be protected,” Flick said. She also discussed health disparities between men and women, which disproportionately affect women of color. Alessandra Duarte, of the West Side Youth Development Coalition, spoke about women’s rights to equality in business organization and the workplace. She said it’s important for women to receive



attendees with her art. “I actually learned about UBCon online [and] from friends,” Hart said. “When I first attended two years ago, it was a lot more cramped. Since last year, I’ve had a table in the Artist Alley, and the income from that has been really helpful. The art that I’m tabling is the product of over two years of work.” Erik Romig, a vendor and attendee, showed off handmade plushes, cosplay kimono dresses and Pokémon ears at the event. “I definitely enjoy seeing everybody in their costumes, Romig said. “That’s like one of the biggest reasons I come to conventions. Selling at conventions also helps me pay for my own costumes.”





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‘Zodiaque Dances On’ marks 45 years for touchstone of UB dance department

SHUBH JAIN | THE SPECTRUM The Zodiaque Dance company performed their spring show, ‘Zodiaque Dances On’ this weekend in the CFA Drama Theater. The performance incorporated jazz, hip-hop and modern dance styles, in keeping with their message of ‘versatility matters.’

Spring performance includes new pieces, some holdovers from fall show JULIANNA TRACEY ASST. ARTS EDITOR

Contemporary dance stylings were on full display in the Center for the Arts Drama Theatre for the Zodiaque Dance Company’s spring performance on Thursday. The dance company, an elite group of UB dancers known for its diverse use of dance styles and artistic numbers, held its spring performance March 7-10, incorporating jazz, hip-hop and modern dance styles while performing new and old pieces. The company celebrated its 45th year at UB.

Students audition each year for a spot, a competitive process that historically accepts roughly a third of UB dance students. Artistic director Kerry Ring said Zodiaque strives to make the group’s dancers versatile performers. “The overarching theme of the program and of Zodiaque is ‘versatility matters,’ so that sort of embraces all of the different ideas that a choreographer might bring, all the different styles of dance,” Ring said. “So that’s really sort of like our platform or mission statement is to bring diversity in styles and dance to the stage.” Audience members were captivated by the contemporary piece “Crosswise.” Dancers held a white silk cloth across the stage, tangling themselves within it as the number progressed.

The dance was meant to embody the struggle of getting through the work week, according to Ring. “The material across the stage is just like a regular work week, and how much work and effort it is to just keep yourself moving forward along that flat line,” Ring said. Kaleigh Fralix, a psychology major who attended the event, said she was impressed by the level of skill the group displayed in the number. “Using props is so hard,” Fralix said. “The fact that they did it and did it so seamlessly is amazing. They made it look so easy.” Another stand-out number entitled, “The End of Loneliness,” choreographed by guest artist Kimberly Bartosik, created a feeling of intimacy within the audience. The house lights remained up throughout the dance, so the audience was aware of the people around them. The piece made full use of the stage and made a point of exposing the brick at the back of the stage by removing the curtains. A jazz-inspired piece commenting on the wage gap between men and women in the workforce received an emotional response from the audience. Danielle Sheather, who choreographed the piece called, “NEVER, the less,” said she was shocked to learn that women in dance, too, are often paid less than their male colleagues. Performers dressed in business attire danced and balanced on the set-piece to an arrangement of soul music like, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” “I Put A Spell On You” and “Feeling Good.” “I love soul music and I love jazz music

Monday, March 11, 2019 | 5 and so these three pieces really spoke to me,” Sheather said. The performance featured numbers previously featured in the dance company’s fall show. “Conscious Conscience” received positive attention in the fall and was featured in this performance. Choreographed by ’07 alum Richard Ashworth, the number featured exciting body percussion. Ring said the decision to include the number into “Zodiaque Dances On” was a “no brainer.” She saw the piece as a learning opportunity for the dancers in the company. “When we think about the versatility of what the dancers can do, that piece has that rhythmic tap component … plus the diffusion of hip-hop dance, which is another style that our dancers are good at,” Ring said. “It was a really solid, strong piece that highlights our dancers in a really positive way.” Audience members said they were impressed with the colorful lighting within the piece. Donovan Newkirk, a political science major in the audience, said he thought the show’s lighting, designed by Matvey Kitchen, was “spectacular.” Newkirk thought the quick transitions and the variety of colors used added to the emotional intensity of each dance number. Ring said she hopes the performance gave the UB community a new appreciation for dance. “There is great dance on UB’s campus, and we have a great resource for all of the students in the UB community and also for Buffalo to come see some really amazing dancers,” Ring said. “I hope that [the audience’s] definition of dance broadened with it.” Email: Twitter: @JTraceySpec

Jewish Community Center prepares to hold 34th annual Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival

Festival brings critically acclaimed international films to Buffalo ISABELLA NURT ASST. FEATURES EDITOR

The 34th annual Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival — the longest-running film festival in Buffalo — will take place March 22-28. The Jewish Community Center-run festival will feature critically acclaimed documentaries and dramas

from around the world. The festival includes a lineup of events with various producer and filmmaker panels. “We’re small, but we have a lot of history,” festival chairman Michael Silverman said. Silverman is responsible for researching and recruiting films from around the world. This year the BIJFF is featuring 11 films. “The first thing I look for is quality,” Silverman said. “The second is films that deal with societal issues.” Tickets for any of the screenings are $10 and can be purchased online or at the theater. Silverman said the festival still draws crowds despite movies being available for streaming. The average audience count last year was 57 for a screening and the Saturday night screening usually sells out, Silverman said. “Seeing movies on the big screen in a theater is always more exciting, engaging and enjoyable than watching at home,” Silverman said. “Then, too, are the ‘extras’ that often come with festivals; the expert presentations, directors, producers and other special events such as we try to provide.” Matthew Shoychet, a Toronto-based director, will be leading the discussion for the screening of his documentary, “The Account of Auschwitz,” on Sunday March 23. “The Account of Auschwitz” follows the 94-year-old former Nazi, Oskar Gröning, as he faced trial in Germany for the murder of roughly 300,000 Jewish people in the Holocaust. Gröning made international headlines at the time of his trial. “He’s such an interesting character because he was so old, he was 94 at the time, so [the film] is talking about the passage of time, and how far does complicitness go,” Shoychet said. Shoychet said the responses from the audience have been overwhelmingly moving. The film considers how and why society holds war criminals accountable and the importance of preserving history, according to Shoychet. “As we move forward in time we’re losing all the holocaust survivors,” Shoychet said. “We’re losing all the veterans, we’re losing all Nazis and the people who were

there to witness it. So it’s important to film them and capture the stories. This happens to be in the context of justice.” The film had its world premiere at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto and won second place for the audience award. The film has been featured in different festivals around the world including Poland, Jerusalem, London and New Mexico. Silverman said he thinks films like “The Account of Auschwitz” are likely to draw more young people to the festival. “I think that college students might find some of the dramatic documentaries particularly engaging and relevant, such as ‘The Waldheim Waltz,’ ‘The Accountant Of Auschwitz’ and ‘93Queen,’” Silverman said. The BIJFF is also holding a speaker night featuring Hollywood producer Linda Reisman. The producer of “The Danish Girl” and “Leave No Trace” will be speaking at the JCC Benderson Family Building on March 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $36 with proceeds benefiting the BIJFF. Alexander Shapiro, a junior mechanical engineering major and president of the Jewish Student Union, said he thinks the event is important for students to know about. “I think that the Buffalo Jewish community, the JCC, could do a better job of trying to advertise to students, but we shouldn’t blame them,” Shapiro said. “We as the Jewish Student Union should be doing a better job of keeping tabs on what’s happening in the Buffalo Jewish community.” Shapiro said students aren’t aware of the festival and events like it in Buffalo. He is looking forward to attending the festival this year after recently learning about it. “There’s at least one film I’m really excited to see,” Shapiro said. “[“The Accountant of Auschwitz”] highlights the recentness of the Holocaust in the grand scheme of history and the historical trauma that is deeply embedded in the Jewish community, as well as how we balance the values of justice and forgiveness.” Email: Twitter: @Nurt_Spectrum

6 | Monday, March 11, 2019


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a perfect send-off Buffalo’s five seniors lead Bulls to win in final home game of season NATHANIEL MENDELSON SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR

For the first time this season, men’s basketball head coach Nate Oats had a different starting lineup. Seniors Dontay Caruthers, CJ Massinburg, Jeremy Harris, Nick Perkins and Montell McRae started the final home game of their careers together. The Bulls defeated Bowling Green 8473 in front of the largest crowd at Alumni Arena this season of 6,709. Buffalo already clinched the Mid-American Conference regular season title but used the night to celebrate the program’s legacy and the final games of the seniors’ careers. “I think it’s really cool going out the way we did,” said senior guard CJ Massinburg. “We haven’t lost a game here since December of last year. That’s one thing that no one can ever take away from us. We protect the home court. I give credit to you guys and the fans. You guys bring the energy and it’s just amazing. I really appreciate Buffalo.” Massinburg’s story is well known by now. The senior, who had only one Division-I offer coming out of high school, was almost given a red-shirt his first year on campus and has now become one of the best players in school history. The senior guard scored 15 points Friday, passing Rasaun Young for secondmost points all-time with 1,910 points. Young’s number 11 jersey was retired at halftime. He is also one of the only players in the nation with at least 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 300 assists and 100 steals in his career. Massinburg and senior forward Nick Perkins are the only two seniors to play all four years in Buffalo. In their time on cam-

pus, they increased the win total in conference play each year and have accumulated 92 total wins, the most in any four-year span of the program. On Friday, they set a new record for wins in a season. “It’s great to win 28 and it’s still the regular season,” Oats said. “It’s pretty incredible what these guys have done. These seniors have taken this program to unbelievable heights.” HAO WANG | THE SPECTRUM Massinburg has Senior guard CJ Massinburg addresses the crowd after the Bulls’ senior night victory over Bowling Green. Massinburg passed Rasaun Young to be the number two all-time been the star, but scorer in school history. Perkins has been no slouch himself. He won back-to-back bunch since transferring last year but has Tennessee. The streak is guaranteed to last MAC Sixth Man of the Year awards and been one of the most efficient players in until at least September without a home is on his way towards a third this season. the NCAA this season. McRae is a large game until next season. Perkins added 22 points and surpassed presence in the locker room as he keeps Buffalo has its eyes set on the MAC the 1,700-point mark for his career. He everybody loose, according to Oats. tournament title, which will begin on and Massinburg are each in the top-five Caruthers is the only Western New York Wednesday and conclude on Saturday. scorers in school history. native of the group, after playing at East The Bulls have guaranteed themselves an Buffalo celebrated the careers of Harris, High. Caruthers spent a year under cur- NCAA tournament bid and most likely Caruthers and McRae as well. The three rent assistant coach Bryan Hodgson at have at least four games left this season. haven’t spent their whole college careers at Midland Community College until both When the final buzzer sounds during UB but are each integral to the growth and came to UB. the NCAA tournament, the greatest sesuccess these past two years. Caruthers has been named the MAC de- nior class and greatest year in UB men’s Harris shocked family and friends when fensive player of the year and he hopes to basketball history will end. They said until he decided to transfer from Gulf Coast win it a second time this season. then, they’re going to enjoy the ride. State College. “It’s been a great three years,” Caruthers “The next couple weeks is the things “When I first came here, everyone al- said. “You took me in like a family mem- that we’ll remember for the rest of our ways asked me, ‘Why Buffalo,’” Harris ber here. You guys give me the energy to life,” Massinburg said. “It’s the most imsaid. “They would always say, ‘You’re from play like I do. I just wanted to say thank portant part.” North Carolina, it’s cold up there.’ But you and I appreciate you from the bottom look at me now.” of my heart.” Email: Fans will remember Harris for torching The five seniors combined for 65 of the Twitter: @NateMendelson first overall pick in the NBA draft, DeAn- team’s 84 points of the night. The Bulls dre Ayton, in the NCAA tournament last are currently tied for the longest homeyear. winning streak in the nation at 25 with McRae has been the quietest of the

‘If you haven’t seen Cierra play yet, shame on you’ Star senior and coach prepare for end of season NATHANIEL MENDELSON SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR

The women’s basketball team celebrated senior day on March 2, but the team’s final home game wasn’t until March 6. It was the last time for fans not traveling to Cleveland for the Mid-American Conference tournament to see senior guard Cierra Dillard. Dillard came to UB three years ago from UMass-Amherst. Dillard led the Minutewomen in points and steals before transferring and returning closer to home in Buffalo. She sat out a year due to transfer rules and when that year was up, she became the Bulls’ best player.

She walked off the court as possibly the greatest player in UB history. “If you haven’t seen Cierra play yet, shame on you,” head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. “Because I’ve been telling you guys all year, especially since I’ve been doing this for 30 years, when I tell you this kid is different than most people I’ve ever been around, she’s different.” Legette-Jack graduated from Syracuse in 1989 as the all-time leader in points at 1,526. Dillard has accumulated 1,299 in her time at UB alone and has scored over 2,000 points in her collegiate career. But Dillard is more than just a dynamic scoring threat to Legette-Jack. “She cares and she is humble. She gives back and is in the community,” LegetteJack said “We are not going to have a Cierra Dillard, male or female, to come through these doors again. She’s just dif-

ferent and I love her.” Dillard played all but 12 seconds in her final game at Alumni Arena. She walked off the court to a standing ovation and Legette-Jack immediately hugged her on the sidelines. Dillard took over in her final game. She shot the ball 30 times that night. Dillard only made six but managed to finish with 27 points. Her performance gave her the most points in a single season. The Bulls capped off Dillard’s final home game with a 75-61 win against Bowling Green. Dillard had her own special cheering section with the members of Rochester’s Gates-Chili High School girls basketball team there to support. Dillard graduated from Gates-Chili as the top scorer of all time. But nobody is a bigger fan than Dillard’s mother.

NATHANIEL MENDELSON | THE SPECTRUM Senior guard Cierra Dillard embraces head coach Felisha Legette-Jack as Dillard walks off the floor of Alumni Arena one final time last Wednesday.

Dillard grew up with a single mother and she thought she was going to have to make it on her own. Legette-Jack came to her and told her that she has a whole team and they can do things together. “You guys don’t understand where we come from,” Legette-Jack said. “The sacrifices her mother [has] made, and the sacrifices her brothers make. We went to Ohio last year in a snowstorm, we had one fan. It was Cierra Dillard’s mother. She drove through a snowstorm to see her child because her child struggled at her last institution. She just wants to be around her daughter.” Dillard asked Legette-Jack not to get emotional, but her coach did. “To be a part of this and see this young lady evolve into the most special character that I have ever been around, I am overwhelmed, I am grateful and I am humbled,” Legette-Jack said. Dillard is now in her last month of playing college basketball and may only have one game left in a Bulls uniform if they lose in the quarterfinals of the MAC tournament. Dillard is humbled but loves her impact on Buffalo. She said her biggest joy is serving as a role model for her community. Dillard said her “mother-daughter” relationship with Legette-Jack is a friendship like no other. “When you have someone who understands you, who’s been where you are, and also you want to be where they are,” Dillard said. “The accolades that [LegetteJack] has in Syracuse and being a Western New York kid, she did it right at home too, so I can as well,” Twitter: @NateMendelson

Profile for The Spectrum Student Periodical

The Spectrum Vol. 68 No.37  

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

The Spectrum Vol. 68 No.37  

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