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PAGE 4 Drag queens work it for National Coming Out Week LGBTA Club holds annual drag show

Proposed University of Wisconsin policy egregious breach of First Amendment rights So-called ‘free speech’ policy inhibits speech, sets dangerous precedent

The bones of Buffalo: Human remains offer insight into the Queen City’s forgotten past A decade of anthropologic study commences with respectful memorial service SARAH CROWLEY SENIOR NEWS EDITOR

Their names were Michael and Frederica. Michael was an Irish immigrant who worked on the docks unloading lumber, before an injury rendered his leg useless and his family impoverished. Frederica was the wife of an alcoholic, who beat her and cursed her every time he drank. UB researchers called these people Michael and Frederica, but even tireless community research efforts were not able to name the 372 people whose remains were discovered in unmarked graves on UB’s South Campus. They learned how these people lived and died; how they hurt, how they loved, what lengths they went to to provide for their family. And so they called them Michael and Frederica. On Wednesday morning, the Department of Anthropology culminated nearly a decade of research to honor these individuals with a memorial service. This was a chance to tell their story one more time before respectfully laying them to rest. The

VOLUME 67 NO. 13

ceremony was held at the Newman Center near UB’s North Campus on Skinnersville Road. Co-lead and SUNY Distinguished Professor Joyce Sirianni gave a eulogy in her colleague’s absence, clinical assistant professor, and co-lead, Douglas Perrelli. Sirianni, joined by many of her students, was visibly tearful, at this final, poignant moment spent with the people whose lives they had worked diligently to remember. “I’ve spent decades trying to reconstruct lives of past human populations and believe me, I’ve never met a skeleton that didn’t have a story to tell,” Sirianni said. Although researchers were unable to name the rest of the men, women and children buried in the former Erie County poorhouse cemetery, they were able to learn some of their stories. Many of the individuals buried in the poorhouse cemetery were poor or middle-class who had lost their jobs and needed refuge. They were laborers, clergy-members, watch-makers; the men, women and children who immigrated from Ireland and Germany to build Buffalo and make it what it is today. Many were battered, forgotten, sick and neglected by friends and family.


PAGE 8 Rugby Recovery UB Rugby team emphasizes well-being and recovery

Global Market Café planning committee holds community feedback event Interactive event lets students, faculty and staff weigh-in on new dining hall


Students had the opportunity to offer feedback on a new global-inspired dining location at 228 SU on Wednesday.


Rainy Liu is excited about the Global Market Café because she thinks it will give international students a taste of home. More than 1,200 students, faculty and staff participated in four different focus groups in SU 228 Wednesday. Participants sampled global-inspired dishes that reflect potential menu options for the Global Market Café. After enjoying their food samples, participants had the option of completing a survey about the cafe, its design and potential menu options. Graham Hammill, vice

UB students hold candlelight vigil for Las Vegas shooting victims Muslim Student Association organizes vigil to honor victims SENIOR FEATURES EDITOR


UB to revoke Harvey Weinstein’s honorary degree The school awarded the recently disgraced Hollywood mogul an honorary doctorate in 2000


Students gathered Tuesday night outside the Student Union for a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival. On Oct. 1, a shooter opened fire on concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. At least 58 people were killed and close to 500 were injured before the gunman shot and killed himself. The attack is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. modern history, according to CNN. UB’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) organized the vigil and members wrote the names of the victims on posters on the tables. Students passing by signed their names in honor of the victims. Mohammed Siddiqi, a junior psychology major and president of MSA explained the importance of holding a vigil for victims in Buffalo, far from the horror of the Vegas massacre. “We want to show our support of this event, no one is alone during a time like this,” Siddiqi said. “We’re unified and together, just because one person is struggling doesn’t mean we all don’t feel the struggle. This may have happened so far from Buffalo, but some events transcend distance.” Siddiqi also hopes that MSA sets a positive example for Muslims in the media and other students on campus. “As Muslims, we have a lot of scrutiny and our problem is the negative portrayal of us in the media,” Siddiqi said. “We’re asking people to show their support, but we’re all brothers and sisters, someone’s daughter or son. We all share a human connection; race, religion and skin color don’t matter, but hu-

provost for Graduate Education and project director for the Global Market Café said 646 surveys were completed. The Global Market Café is a new dining hall currently in the design phase. The project is expected to be completed in March 2020. The cafe will be a diverse dining location, not just in terms of the cuisine offered, but also in terms of its unique, multifaceted layout. The cafe will offer quiet areas, group areas, team areas as well as outdoor seating and landscaping, according to Peter McCarthy, an architect working on the project.


mass shootings become a societal norm. He was proud of his club’s efforts to raise awareness of the event. “We just want to shed light on the horrors that have been happening, these are just regular people attending a concert, but ended up dead. People should be allowed to enjoy concerts without worrying about being shot,” Aamir said. Aamir and other members of the MSA feel that it is their personal mission to make sure these victims aren’t forgotten. “There’s been so much horror lately. It’s part of our job to shed light on this,” Aamir said. “So many people died and it already feels so long ago, we can’t just forget about this. We don’t want this to be a normal thing.” MSA is continuing their support for those in need on Friday Oct. 13 during their event Walk With Us, a walk from North to South Campus to raise awareness for Rohingya Muslims in Burma. The walk starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Capen Loop.

UB will revoke the honorary doctorate it awarded Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in 2000, after an investigation by The New York Times revealed Weinstein had settled multiple sexual harassment charges over the course of his career. Female actresses, reporters and employees of Weinstein told the Times he had a practice of cornering women under the guise of “business meetings,” then making unwanted sexual advances. “The university is well aware of the allegations involving Mr. Weinstein,” said spokesperson John Della Contrada in an official statement. “The university has initiated the process, pursuant to the SUNY Board of Trustees policy, for the revocation of a SUNY honorary degree.” Weinstein attended UB in the 1970s before starting his career in Buffalo. The Weinstein Company board has since fired Weinstein, who maintained many of the claims are false. UB said Weinstein never personally made a gift to the university. “In 2004 and 2005, Disney, on behalf of Miramax, gave a total of $22,750 to support a media study scholarship at the university. The scholarships were awarded to students in 2005, expending all of the funding from the gift,” Della Contrada said.




The Muslim Student Association organized a candlelight vigil outside the Student Union Tuesday night. Students honored the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting.

man emotion to one another does.” Those who stopped by and lit a candle saw the importance and significance of the vigil. Arvin Ramjanam, a junior finance major, thinks it’s important for students to come together especially during a time of tragedy. “It was obviously a major event that happened. There’s not a lot we can do, but by signing this it shows we’re aware and supporting those in need,” Ramjanam said. “We’re just students and we have our opinions, we can’t do much but every small action of love can spark a bigger movement.” Ramjanam wishes more students stopped by to sign posters or light candles but acknowledged less students are passing through the union when the vigil began at 6:00 p.m. People across the country have held similar vigils to mourn the death of victims and send their condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones. This was a small-scale event, but members of the MSA believe students should help and raise awareness. Hamza Aamir, a junior psychology major and member of MSA, doesn’t want to see






Thursday, October 12, 2017


The bones of Buffalo: human remains offer insight into the Queen City’s forgotten past

Global Market Café planning committee holds community feedback event CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1


The unearthed remains of 372 people found on South Campus were re-buried Wednesday morning after a memorial service at the Newman Center.


“Well, my dear friends, we’ve tried our very best. We’ve tried and we listened to your stories. And I promise you, we will continue to tell your stories,” Sirianni said. “You’ve become part of our very being, every one of you. You have taught us that circumstances beyond our control can change the quality of our lives forever. For that insight, we are grateful.” Vice President of Finance Laura Hubbard spoke briefly at Wednesday’s ceremony. She thanked the Department of Anthropology and the various community members who helped restore this part of Buffalo’s history. “We know that in life, they helped build and enrich the place that we call home. And in life’s afterglow, they have informed our research, educated our students and contributed to our culture,” Hubbard said. Reverend Patrick Keleher ended the ceremony with a closing prayer from the poet Edwin Arlington Robinson. “No songs are ended that are ever sung, no names are dead names, when we write men’s names on proud marble or on the sand, we write them forever,” Keleher recited. Hunter Kane, a second year graduate student in the anthropology department, said the ceremony was an emotional end to the journey of unearthing, researching and

coming to know these people. “Just seeing the trauma many of them experienced, as part of this marginalized community, was really eye-opening,” Kane said. “This was a really nice way to commemorate their lives.” Through their research, the anthropology department has produced graduate and doctoral research, enabled community outreach and will continue to produce work commemorating their lives. After the closing prayer, Danne Farrell, a bagpiper, played the song “Going Home,” as graduate students who spent years studying the lives of the 372 deceased people, now acted as their pallbearers. The group reconvened at a private committal service at Assumption Cemetery in Grand Island. Stone Art Memorial donated a monument that reads, “In respectful memory of the men, women and children of the Erie County Poorhouse 1851-1913. A temporary shelter for some, a much-needed home for others. The remains of the deceased in the former poorhouse cemetery were moved to this site from the grounds of what is now the University at Buffalo South Campus. May this permanent resting place bring the peace they sought in life.” email:

Another goal of the cafe is to help students find their way around campus. Luke Johnson, an architect for the project and UB alum, said he struggled to find the entrance to Capen Hall during his freshman year. The Global Market Café aims to eliminate this confusion and provide a clear entrance not just to Capen, but the campus at large. The architects touted it as the “front door” to North Campus. Siddharth Sharma, a graduate student in computer science, was impressed by the chicken biryani, a traditional Indian dish and one of the food samples offered. Sharma is from India and he felt the dish was authentically prepared. “The kind of rice and spice level, I feel like it is really the authentic flavor,” Sharma said. “There are other places on campus that have the chicken biryani but they don’t have the proper rice or they don’t follow the proper procedure when they make it.” He thinks the Global Market Café will be a good addition to campus because it will give international students a taste of food they would have at home. “If you’re feeling homesick you can go have your favorite food. People can have their food from their home,” Sharma said. Ralph Jeune, a sophomore intended pharmacy student, tried the open faced carnitas with arbol sauce. “It’s like bread and pork chop with lots of onion on top,” Jeune said. He said he’s never had anything like it before, but he liked it because it reminded him of the type of food his Puerto Rican aunt cooks for him. Jeune is from Haiti and would like to see Caribbean-inspired dishes at the Global Market Café. “Rice and beans with chicken and goat sauce is the main kind of food we like in the Caribbean,” Jeune said. “And the way

we make mac and cheese is like way different. We use mayo sometimes, goat cheese, for a variety.” While Jeune hopes to see menu options from his culture, he is also excited about having more food options in general. “Pretty much all you see on campus is like pizza, and I’m tired of that. I would like food that tastes good and is maybe even from my culture,” Jeune said. Liu, a freshman international studies major, enjoys sushi but doesn’t go to the campus sushi places because the lines are too long. She hopes the introduction of a sushi option at the Global Market Café will reduce some of the congestion at the other sushi places on campus so she can get her favorite dish without having to stand in long lines. “I like the idea of having different country’s food because there’s a lot of people at UB from all different places around the world,” Liu said. “So I feel like it would be good for them to have a taste of home.” Hammill was pleased with the turnout of the event. “Faculty, staff and students came and gave their input, and that’s exactly what we wanted so I couldn’t be happier,” Hammill said. “People have been really thoughtful about food choice and about design and the kinds of ways that they would want to use the facility and the space.” email:

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Thursday, October 12, 2017


Editorial Board EDITOR IN CHIEF

Hannah Stein


David Tunis-Garcia Maggie Wilhelm COPY EDITORS

Saqib Hossain Dan McKeon Emma Medina NEWS EDITORS

Sarah Crowley, Senior Maddy Fowler FEATURES EDITORS

Max Kalnitz, Senior Lindsay Gilder, Asst. ARTS EDITORS

Benjamin Blanchet, Senior Brenton Blanchet, Asst. SPORTS EDITORS

Danny Petruccelli, Senior Thomas Zafonte, Senior Jeremy Torres, Asst. MULTIMEDIA EDITORS

Troy Wachala, Senior Allison Staebell, Senior CREATIVE DIRECTORS

Pierce Strudler Arielle Channin, Asst. Alyssa Brouillet, Asst.


Helene Polley



Stephen Jean-Pierre Shawn Zhang, Asst.

THE SPECTRUM Thursday, October 12, 2017 Volume 67 Number 13 Circulation 4,000 The views expressed – both written and graphic – in the Feedback, Opinion and Perspectives sections of The Spectrum do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board. Submit contributions for these pages to The Spectrum office at Suite 132 Student Union or 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 or call us directly at 716-645-2152 The Spectrum offices are located in 132 Student Union, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 142602100

Proposed University of Wisconsin policy egregious breach of First Amendment rights So-called ‘free speech’ policy inhibits speech, sets dangerous precedent Leaders from the University of Wisconsin approved a policy on Friday that suspends and expels students who participate in protests on campus. The object of the so-called “free speech” policy is to encourage a free and open exchange of ideas by punishing students who disrupt speakers in protest. Students who engage in violence “or other disorderly conduct” that “disrupts others’ free speech” two times would be suspended. After a third violation, students would be permanently expelled from the university, according to The Chicago Tribune. First and foremost, this policy is clearly a massive violation of students’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Ironically, the policy is called a free speech policy, but it is actually limiting speech in its supposed effort to create a more open dialogue. The policy comes after recent controversies surrounding rightwing speakers invited to speak on campuses. These speeches are often protested heavily. When former Breitbart editor and conservative columnist Ben Shapiro spoke at University of Wisconsin-Madison, students shouted down and exchanged “obscene gestures” with Shapiro. Similar scenarios have occurred at UB, too; last semester, students shouted and and swore over Richard Spencer, a self-proclaimed expert on “radical Islam.” The policy effectively privileges invited speakers’ right to free speech over students’ right to free speech. It sends the message that student voices and views aren’t valuable unless they are expressed in a manner that the university sees fit. But it is not a university’s place


to determine what is and is not acceptable speech, and the fact that the administration is stepping into this territory is downright frightening. The purpose of freedom of speech is to protect all speech and that includes disruptive, disrespectful shouting just as much as it protects a far right speaker espousing bigoted views. The proposed policy is also incredibly vague. What exactly counts as “interference” with speech? Booing? Asking a question of the speaker in a certain tone of voice? Would a student who tweets something rude at the speaker be suspended? Where is the line drawn? The proposed policy will leave students feeling like they are walking on eggshells, terrified to say the wrong thing for fear of expulsion. It’s a frighteningly Orwellian picture. The administrators at University of Wisconsin certainly have a noble goal in encouraging open and respectful dialogue. But infringing upon students’ First Amendment

Toothless A look at health, both dental and mental


I’m scared that I’m losing my teeth. I don’t mean that in a dream logic, “losing teeth means you’re having money problems” or whatever else. Even though I take good care of my teeth – brushing two to three times a day, using mouthwash, flossing most nights – I go about my day concerned that a cavity has started to form in my formerly pristine pearly whites. I have a sneaking suspicion that my still-present wisdom teeth have begun to stray off their God-given course,

slowly but surely rendering my grill jacked up. And still I have yet to see a dentist. It has been a few years since my last visit, a result of going without health insurance for a time, but I am now fully covered so I no longer have that excuse. I don’t even fear or particularly dislike visiting the dentist. I actually enjoy it, always leaving the office feeling 10 pounds lighter, not devoid of all the plaque and tartar that had accumulated over the standard six month gap between visits. And I still have yet to go. I tried to make an appointment a few weeks ago, finding a place with good reviews near my work even going so far as to fill out their questionnaire online with my available hours and inquiring if they accepted my insurance. They did. The office secretary called me the next morning to ask when I would like to come in. I was driving so I told her I would call back later in the day. I didn’t.

rights and literally threatening to revoke their education for trying to exercise those rights is absolutely not the proper approach. The university can look into ways to control crowds via police presence or extra security. They can hold events that discuss the importance of a calm, respectful exchange of ideas. The University of Wisconsin System’s president also claimed that it is a university’s job to teach students how to “engage and to listen to those from whom they differ.” This mindset is condescending and paternalistic. University students are adults who can make their own decisions. They do not need administrators acting as nannies to hold their hand and tell them to mind their manners. Encouraging civil discourse is a noble goal, but students will be in for a rude awakening when they graduate to find a harsh political reality. What universities should do is prepare students for success in the real world. And disruptive protests

happen in the real world. And that’s usually the point. That’s how oppressed groups can gain a voice and draw attention to their concerns. No civil rights advances were made because people asked nicely to be given equal rights. As a state university system, it is especially unsettling that administrators could so carelessly trample on students’ fundamental federal rights. And if this policy passes in Wisconsin, what’s to say it can’t happen at other state university systems like SUNY? The policy will not go into effect until the University of Wisconsin writes administrative rules to implement it and the Wisconsin governor signs off on them, which could take several months. But the fact that it was proposed in the first place sets an unsettling precedent.

This has become something of a recurring theme in my life. “I should fill out this application.” The deadline arrives. The deadline passes. The blank application still sits in my folder. “I should fill out that direct deposit form,” I say every other Friday as I pick up my check from work. “I should text Saeed, see if he wants to hang,” as I approach two months without talking to one of my closest friends. I’ve always been a procrastinator. My papers are always written the night before. I sleep until the last possible minute to ensure I have just enough time to shower and make it to work or school, but not workout or eat breakfast. But it’s been fine because I usually got an A and I could always sneak in a workout at 11 p.m. before bed. But I don’t have the same luxury with my teeth. I can’t turn around the structural integrity of my chompers the night before like I can pound out a term paper. They won’t hear an excuse that I’ve just been really busy lately and pick up right where we left off when I do shoot them that text like a good, low-maintenance friend. You’ve only got the one set and when they’re gone, they are gone. No second chances. No

do-overs. There are some things in life that you just can’t let slip or get lax on. Relationships. Opportunities. Teeth. You wake up one day to discover that they’re crooked, rotting or worse: gone. You spend the rest of your life, lips pursed to hide the shame, knowing that if you had just done something sooner everything would still be ok. You’d have that thing to be proud of. You wander through life, gumming at the things you used to be able to sink your teeth into. They mash around in your soft mouth for a bit before you give up and spit them out. Soon you don’t even bother trying to masticate. You stick to soft foods, puddings and applesauce meant for infants and the elderly: things you know you can handle easily enough. You’ve lost your bite. Don’t let it get that far. Take responsibility for your life. Text your friend. Apologize to your partner. Apply for that position. Make that appointment. Otherwise, you’ll end up toothless.


Note: at the time of publication, the writer has still not made that dentist appointment. email:



Thursday, October 12, 2017


Drag queens work it for National Coming Out Week LGBTA Club holds annual drag show MAX KALNITZ SENIOR FEATURES EDITOR

Acceptance and encouragement filled the Student Union Wednesday afternoon as students screamed in excitement while being dazzled by an array of dancers. Dressed head to toe in glammed out dresses and body suits, drag queens attracted a large crowd of curious and excited students. The LGBTA Club partnered with the Intercultural and Diversity Center (IDC) to celebrate National Coming Out Day and put on their annual drag show in the SU foyer. The event featured dancers from Club Marcella, Buffalo’s only 18+ gay nightclub. The club has held the event for over 15 years and continues to draw larger crowds with each new school year. Roughly 150 students filled the SU lobby and walkway connecting the Commons and the SU to watch the dancers. Many more students also caught a glimpse of the performance while they walked through the SU. Alexander Brewer, a sophomore philosophy major and LGBTA president, explained the importance of holding their drag show in a populated area like the SU. “Exposure is key. When it comes to changing, agitating or introducing a culture to an area that they may be closed off from, getting people talking is a good first step,” Brewer said. “When [students] talk, it pushes progress forward in terms of trans acceptance and puts the issue on the table.” Brewer realizes there are students who are still facing challenges coming out or coming to terms with their sexual or gender identity. His club presented the show during National Coming Out Week to show unity amongst the LGBTQ community on campus. The club is a safe place for people to express themselves freely and discuss any difficulties they may be encountering. “Coming Out Day is super important because we’re celebrating the struggle of any-


The LGBTA and IDC held their annual drag show on National Coming Out Day. Students passing through the SU curiously and eagerly watched dancers’ routines.

one that falls under our spectrum of figuring out who they are,” Brewer said. “Sometimes, they don’t understand who they are. You need to come out to yourself and after that, your parents, friends and society. We hope to give people who are still in the closet and people that already came out a reason to feel safe on campus.” Brewer was thankful for the support his club received while planning the events this week. “We’re grateful for the IDC reaching out to us and wanting to work with us,” Brewer said. “We’re coexisting but we want to team up in the future to include a more accepting, inclusive campus for everyone.” Jayme Coxx, a dancer from Club Marcella, preformed and emceed the event. Coxx, dressed in a cheetah print dress with black high heels, danced to a remix of Adele’s “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).” This was Coxx’s 10th year hosting the show, a milestone for the advancement of LGBTQ acceptance at UB and across West-

ern New York. “No matter if you’re gay or straight, it shows there are people living their life to the fullest and we’re not afraid of who we are,” Coxx said. “There’s people here to tell you not to be afraid and to accept yourself; you’re not alone.” There are events and drag shows similar to Wednesday’s event happening locally and across the country to celebrate National Coming Out Week. Coxx encourages students to seek out these opportunities to learn more about the LGBTQ community. Coxx loves coming to UB every year because of the students that share their stories with her and other dancers. Every year they receive a warm welcome from students eager to watch their performance and learn more about drag culture. “[Performing here] is amazing,” Coxx said. “Afterwards, students want pictures with the dancers and ask about Marcella. Students have reached out to us on social media, some say ‘drag queens helped save

my life.’ Knowing that we can help people like that is an amazing feeling.” Coxx said she is appreciative of UB for hosting them every year and thanks the university for being so supportive of the LGBTQ community. Students attending the event had nothing but praise for the local LGBTQ community’s efforts to spread awareness of coming out. Mahmoud Gabr, a junior communication major, has been to Club Marcella before and is happy to see them perform at UB every year. “I enjoy their performances a lot. I’ve had my fair share of seeing drag shows. I like the music and the showmanship,” Gabr said. “I’m glad there was such a good turnout.” Gabr hadn’t seen a drag show before he came to college but now enjoys attending them. These shows may be foreign to most students, but Gabr hopes that more will go out and support local drag queens after Wednesday’s event. “I feel like students are not used to watching these shows. It’s real exposure seeing a new culture,” Gabr said. “Being more aware of the LGBT community is the first step to being comfortable and understanding. It’s great we have club like that in Buffalo. More cities need to venture out and include LGBT clubs.” For other students, this was the first drag show they have attended. Seeing dancers in an environment familiar to them debunked some of the unfamiliarity around the shows and caught students’ attention. Rachel Plunkett, a freshman accounting major, said she would be more inclined to go to a drag show after seeing how much fun they can be. “It’s really cool to see something different like this on campus,” Plunkett said. “I’ve never seen one before. It was a really cool experience. I’m happy I walked through the SU and was able to catch part of it.” Plunkett praised the IDC and LGBTA club for bringing drag to campus. “I think it’s a really good thing that [the LGBTA club] held this event,” Plunkett said. “I know people who are interested but it might be frowned upon where they’re from. It’s a really cool thing to watch.” email:

Coates’ We Were Eight Years in Power examines Obama presidency, his own writing Author surveys recent political past through essays in profound new book BENJAMIN BLANCHET SENIOR ARTS EDITOR

Book: “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates Publisher: One World Release Date: Oct. 3 Grade: AAuthor Ta-Nehisi Coates draws parallels between the end of the Reconstruction era and the Obama administration right off the bat. “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” begins when Coates quotes South Carolina congressman Thomas Miller and his 1895 address to S.C.’s constitutional convention. “We were eight years in power. ... We had reconstructed the State and placed it upon the road to prosperity,” Miller said. The reason for the conclusion to an economic rise for black people, Coates explains, is the way Reconstruction “undermined white supremacy.” The author quotes W.E.B. Du Bois and his understanding that “good Negro government” was fearsome during Reconstruction, comparable to the fear of Obama’s presidency leading to the election of Donald J. Trump. The book’s heavy introduction leads to a 360-plus page retrospect of the Obama presidency in the form of eight essays. Each essay, all of which were initially published in The Atlantic, examines not just issues related to race and politics but also Coates’ career during the time. The first essay, “This Is How We Lost To The White Man,” is admittedly a failure for Coates but he begins the book with it anyways. The essay centers around Bill Cosby and

his views on black America as expressed in his infamous “Pound Cake” speech. In his address, Cosby mocks the names of black youth and preaches self-reliance. Coates goes on to deconstruct Cosby’s notion of “black conservatism,” particularly how it “flattens history and smooths over the wrinkles that have characterized black America since its inception.” In his analysis – which doesn’t go all out in denouncing Cosby’s speech – Coates seems to fail in dismantling it, admitting that he “fell prey” to the speech’s contents when writing his essay. “American Girl,” the essay that follows, the author profiles Michelle Obama and what he calls her “Americanness.” Coates examines her early life: a speech she made at a Wisconsin rally and how it’s relative to her understanding of race. “She was merely expressing the hope [in the speech] that the world could be as it was in South Shore,” Coates writes regarding where Michelle grew up. He explains that she holds “blackness as more than the losing end of racism” and that wishing for a world where race is more than the “other” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Following “American Girl,” the book pushes to modern understandings of race and politics in America. In a note prior to “Why Do So Few Blacks Study The Civil War?” the author explains how America’s problematic past and present crept up on him. It did so after Obama acknowledged the history of racism in law enforcement. “What I sensed was a country trying to skip out on a bill, trying to stave off a terrible accounting,” Coates writes of the “post-racial” American aesthetic created after the Civil War.

The note precedes an essay unpacking the war that divided a country, which Coates explains is a story for white people where “blacks feature strictly as stock characters and props.” He asks for a burden to be lifted for black people, one where the “Civil War” is considered to be their own. The essay reflects on current discussions surrounding archiving the Confederacy and how it should be portrayed, whether through statues or other means. Coates makes the claim that America under Obama is Malcolm X’s to take ownership of. The author considers the civil rights leader’s fight in “The Legacy of Malcolm X” and references his presence in the victory of Barack Obama. “As surely as 2008 was made possible by black people’s long fight to be publicly American, it was also made possible by those same Americans’ long fight to be publicly black,” Coates writes about Malcolm X’s pride in his race. It’s not until the second half of the collection that Coates truly shines as an intellectual, perhaps due to his development as an author in Obama’s America. In essays like “Fear of a Black President” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” Coates touches on the “price of a black president” and the drastic effects which can come as a result of a loved one being locked behind bars. The star piece of the book and perhaps the author’s career, “The Case For Reparations,” is also featured in “We Were Eight Years In Power.” Coates calls the reactions to his “critique of respectability politics” disturbing in the essay’s preceding notes but also something he’s proud to have achieved with The Atlantic. The book’s epilogue is where Coates as a writer is most powerful.


Ta Nehisi-Coates, author and writer for The Atlantic, released his latest book “We Were Eight Years In Power” last week. The book takes a look back at essays penned during the Obama administration and includes personally-inclined notes from the author.

In “The First White President,” the author makes the argument that whiteness for Trump is “neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power.” “But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies,” Coates explains. For Coates and others, there is nothing surprising about Trump’s election and it’s certainly not the “end of history.” Yet the author finds hope for the resistance against the various ‘–isms’ that Trump conjures up. The book concludes on a note which escapes the feeling fueled by the election of Obama, instead a contrasting feeling is offered. Through his retrospectives, Coates fuses his views together prominently and his notes provide a deeper insight to his already transformative powers at The Atlantic. email:



Thursday, October 12, 2017


UB Theatre and Dance prepares for production of American Idiot


Students, like leads Bobby MacDonell and Alex McArthur, are preparing for their roles in the fall production of “American Idiot.” The show opens Nov. 16 at the Center for the Arts.


Bobby MacDonell attended a narcotics anonymous meeting. The performer didn’t need help with an addiction; he went to prepare for the lead role in an upcoming musical. MacDonell, a senior music theater major, is working hard to develop his characterization for the UB Theatre and Dance production of Green Day’s “American Idiot” musical. MacDonell is playing Johnny, a guitarist and songwriter in search of meaning in post-9/11 America. The character is into heavy drug use, so MacDonell met with, studied and tried to understand those in rehab to prepare for the role. “Like any role, this especially, if I encounter a character that does some pretty extreme things and pretty extreme drugs, I would resort to research instead of just ‘oh, let me try to do it so I know how it feels,’” MacDonell said. “I actually attended a nar-

cotics anonymous meeting. It was really awesome hearing these people’s stories, watching them recover and [seeing] their desire to share their stories. The meeting, books, readings, pamphlets, interviewing and talking to people were super helpful in my characterization for the show,” MacDonell said. The rock opera follows the lives of three childhood friends looking for belonging. The friends, Johnny, Tunny and Will, express themselves through selections from Green Day’s greatest hits, as the musical is based off the punk band’s 2004 album, “American Idiot.” The musical is unlike other productions of today. The three leading men are all guitarists and shred along to the punk tracks throughout the show. Each track almost immediately follows another, giving the musical very little dialogue and a massive reliance on the cast’s vocal talent. Leading a major production such as this is no small task. MacDonell and his co-stars have taken steps to make sure that they can

find the reality in the over-the-top theatrics that come with the rock opera territory. William Hin, a senior music theater and dance double major, took a similar route to prepare for his role. Hin plays St. Jimmy, an antagonist and Johnny’s alter-ego. St. Jimmy convinces Johnny to shoot up heroin and partake in unsolicited sex. “I’m researching into, weird enough, how to do different drugs. Don’t look on my Google search because it’s going to look like I’m a drug addict,” Hin said. MacDonell compared “American Idiot” to a rock concert, befitting a production that had its beginnings as a punk rock album by one of the word’s biggest bands. He claimed there’s going to be times when “the house comes down.” Alexandra McArthur, a senior music theater and vocal performance double major, is playing the lead female role of Whatshername. She thinks the energy of the show sets it apart from other musicals.

“You can go to a Green Day concert or a big rock concert and you’ll see people on stage having a great time, rocking out and going crazy,” McArthur said. “But what I like about this show is that you take that sort of energy that’s very constant throughout the entire show, but you have to make it mean something and have an actual story rather than just standing there and moving around.” McArthur believes the musical touches on topics that other shows don’t address. “I like the show because it talks about things that a lot of people are really scared to just be up front about, like drugs. You learn about it when you’re in middle school but as you grow up it’s like ‘okay, this is just a bad thing. We’re not going to talk about it.’” McArthur said. Nathan Matthews, UB Director of Music Theatre, is the show’s music director. Matthews is responsible for advising the singing on stage, the band and all other musical attributes of the show. Matthews thinks the musical is “more topical today” than when it was first written. “The show is political and it makes pretty strong statements. When you have a character standing on stage screaming ‘Sieg Heil to the president gasman,’ you got something going on,” Matthews said. Taylor Burrows, a junior music theatre major, plays the role of Heather in the musical. She thinks “American Idiot” is unlike anything she’s worked on before. “I’ve never been in a musical like ‘American Idiot.’ This is very much rebelling, antigovernment and not as traditional as shows I’m used to being cast in,” Burrows said. “I think it’s turning out to be one of my favorite productions that I’ve been in. It’s just so different and allows me to tap into something that’s not who I am.” “American Idiot” will hit the Center for the Arts stage from Nov. 16 to Dec. 3. Tickets are available at the CFA box office and on email:

Filmmaker Korey Green explores black experience with “The Blackness Project” Local director’s upcoming film sparks open conversations on race BENJAMIN BLANCHET SENIOR ARTS EDITOR

Korey Green wants to open up a racial dialogue with his latest film “The Blackness Project.” The film, slated for release later this year, takes a comprehensive look at the opinions and conversations of the black population in the United States. Green, the film’s director and head of the Buffalo-based Black Rose Production House, has travelled around the country for the film, which centers around conversations on topics like racism, slavery and the N-word. The film started gaining ground after Green, along with the film’s producer Peter Johnson, began having conversations about 2014’s “The Whiteness Project,” a film documenting experiences of white people in Buffalo, New York. “I think sometimes it would be uncomfortable for certain races to give their prejudices or how they feel about certain situations because it could end up in some form of argument or not a good way,” Green said. “So what I want to do is create that forum with the film to get the dialogue going and understand both perspectives on how people feel about certain things.” The film runs on a series of interviews where interviewees are “given time to ‘speak their mind’ in an open and truthful [manner],” according to its website. It’s an unscripted concept, allowing for conversations that are opinionated yet embrace understanding. “There’s no right or wrong answer, this is how people feel, how they were raised and their beliefs,” Green said. “So it’s interesting seeing the difference even within the African-American community, just how one [person] thinks so different from the other.” “The Blackness Project” features inter-

views with actor Stephen Henderson, Mayor Byron Brown and others that take place in the Manhattan streets. Recently, Green helped submit the film to Sundance Film Festival, a move he hopes pays off. Green is no stranger to big films sparking a discourse in his native city. He began his career with 2006’s “The Forgotten City,” working alongside fellow Buffalo filmmaker Addison Henderson. After the death of Henderson’s friend, Jermaine Cross, in 2001, Green, a friend of the Cross’ murderer, worked with Henderson to create a film exploring stories of inner city Buffalo. Green said making “The Forgotten City” with Henderson helped him learn a lot, not just technically but emotionally, as well. “Sometimes it can be painful telling our stories, especially truthful ones on where I come from, the East Side of Buffalo,” Green said. “I didn’t want to cut any corners so it was a lot of tough things we left in the film that are depressing but I have to fight through that if I want to be genuine. People wouldn’t have gotten a true understanding [of Buffalo] if I sugar coated it so I had to learn through dealing with it that the response from the community was tremendous.” The film made waves at festivals throughout the country. It took home a grand jury prize at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival and played at the Starz Denver Film Festival and American Black Film Festival. Addison, a filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles, thinks co-directing “The Forgotten City” with Green exposed him to a much bigger story than they conceptualized. “There was a story of hope, a story which we could tell and give to the city,” Addison said. “We wanted to tell our personal story because we realized that if you don’t then


Korey Green, a local filmmaker and head of Black Rose Production House, is gearing up for the release of his film “The Blackness Project.” The film, expected for a late 2017 release, looks at the breadth of the black experience and features interviews from Buffalo & around the country.

the film might not have the same impact. We wanted to change people’s lives and as cliché as it sounds, [changing the lives of] one or two people, that’s good.” Addison still gets emails about the film as people discover inspiration in his product. Since the film, Addison has also worked with Green on their project “The Experience.” He believes Green is a natural creative while he prepares for the release of “The Blackness Project.” Dr.Henry Louis Taylor Jr., director of UB Center for Urban Studies, is the narrator of “The Blackness Project.” Taylor said Green’s films, like “The Blackness Project” and “The Forgotten City,” get people to see the things they don’t want to see. “I think the great significance of ‘The Blackness Project’ is that in this country,

white people want to desperately believe that we are moving on from race, that we’re living in some sort of post-racial age,” Taylor said. “The film screams out that it’s wrong, it’s black people intruding into the space of white people and us blasting forward our misery and pain. I think one of the powerful utilizations in that film of the radio as the place of narration are in a lot of ways symbolizing invisibility but the way we break into, out of nowhere, your space, forcing you to think about things you don’t want to think about.” Green said the story for “The Blackness Project” is locked and is currently in its final editing stages. email:



Thursday, October 12, 2017

News Briefs


Terra cotta mailboxes, winning design in-house competition, installed in Hayes Hall

UB set up a series of architectural competitions for students in an effort to “further beautify” the space with student designs following the reopening of the newly renovated Hayes Hall last semester, according to UB Now. The most recent effort was a faculty mailbox redesign. “The mailbox competition, with the visionary partnership of Boston Valley Terra Cotta, is an emphatic opening statement of what’s possible when you combine teaching with practice,” Robert Shibley, Dean of Architecture and Planning told UB Now. The winning mailbox design is called “Bibelot,” the French word for small trinket or object. The mailboxes are made out of multicolored terra cotta and were installed in late August. UB receives nearly 2 million to expand WNY behavioral health workforce

The Health Resources and Services Administration has given UB a 1.92 million dollar grant to grow the behavioral health workforce in traditionally underserved areas in Western New York in an effort to combat the opioid crisis. The grant will admit up to 22 new graduate students into the HRSA Behavioral Health/Substance Use Disorder Scholars Program every year for the next four years. Opioid overdoses, hospitalizations and deaths are at higher rates in Erie and Niagara County than any other county in the state.





M&T Bank subsidiary to pay $60 million settlement

California wildfires leave 17 dead, more missing

Spain’s Prime Minister asks Catalan leader to clarify position

M&T Bank subsidiary Wilmington Trust will pay $60 million dollars to settle claims of false loan distribution. The allegations precede M&T’s purchase of Wilmington in 2011, so the charges do not affect M&T. Prosecutors alleged the bank illegally concealed hundreds of millions of dollars in bad loans to developers from investors, bank examiners and the federal TARP bailout program, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Wilmington Trust believes resolving this matter now is in the best interest of the company,” M&T said in a statement.

Wildfires in California have stretched along most of the state since blazes erupted Sunday. The fires continued into Tuesday, the two most destructive fires ravaging much of northern California’s wine country. Seventeen people are confirmed dead with hundreds more hospitalized; alongside an estimated 3,500 buildings destroyed or damaged, according to The New York Times. An estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated to escape damages. The toll is expected to rise; with many people still unaccounted for and out of first responders’ reach.

Women charged with robbing food delivery person in Niagara Falls

In Puerto Rico, Maria aftermath poses major challenge to health care system

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy accused Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont of creating “deliberate confusion” over whether the region had declared its independence, according to the BBC. Rajoy sought to clarify Catalan’s position and said his government asked the Catalan leader to clarify if the regional government had declared independence or not. This is seen as Rajoy’s first step toward imposing direct rule over Catalonia. Puigdemont spoke Tuesday night and urged the international community to recognize Catalonia’s independence. The European Union has said Catalonia will not be allowed within the EU if it splits from the region.

Three Niagara Falls women are charged with second-degree robbery. The women robbed a delivery driver from a Hyde Park Boulevard Monday at 7:15 p.m. The incident took place outside of a Jordan Gardens apartment. The delivery driver brought a burger and fries to a man in the apartment building when the three suspects emerged from the building. They stole the victim’s wallet from her car, and one woman punched the delivery driver in the face before all three suspects fled the scene. The three women were stopped by police shortly after at Niagara Avenue and 11th Street.

Sick people are among the most vulnerable in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath. The hospitals with power are struggling to match demand as they take over for many of the island’s destroyed hospitals. Dialysis patients have had their treatment hours cut by 25 percent because hospitals don’t have the access to diesel needed to run their machines, according to The New York Times. Many facilities are short on necessary supplies. The confirmed death toll is 45 and is expected to rise.

India rules sex with child bride is rape

India’s Supreme Court struck down a legal clause which said sexual intercourse between man and wife was allowed as long as she was over 15 years old, three years younger than India’s age of consent, 18. Prior to this verdict, marital rape was not considered an offense. Women’s rights and humanitarian groups have celebrated the verdict; but officials said the issue will be enforcing the law. BBC correspondent Geeta Pandey said courts and police cannot monitor bedrooms. In a country where child marriage is widespread, it will be difficult to expect the girls to file a case against their husband, Pandey said. email:

Mark Your Calendar Take a closer look at our Communication Sciences and Disorders master’s program. Attend our open house on Saturday, Oct. 21. • • • •

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Thursday, October 12, 2017




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Thursday, October 12, 2017


Th eS un

UB soccer team looks to close year strong despite consistency issues

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Sophomore defender Gurjenna Jandu trying to get ball control from the other team. The Bulls are looking to finish the season strong in their final five games.


The Bulls (5-6-1, 3-2-1 MAC) have had a busy three weeks, playing twice a week since the start of the conference season but have a reoccurring issue of losing on Sundays. The Bulls have gone goalless and 0-21 over the past three Sunday games. With the final five games of the conference season ahead, it is up to the Bulls to fix their issues if they hope to have home field for the MAC championship playoffs. “From just the one loss last Sunday, we just went from being in the top three to being in a three-way tie for fifth; that is how good this conference is. If we are not up for it, we will be at the bottom,” said head coach Shawn Burke. “It is about limiting

mistakes because for some reason we seem to be paying for all of them.” But the Bulls have found success on the other days of the week. They are 3-0 in conference play on any day that isn’t Sunday. The Bulls, 3-2-1 in the MAC, are in a prime position to finish in the top four of the MAC conference and earn a home playoff game. A top four spot remains a goal for this team; the Bulls have never lost a home playoff game under Burke. But if the Bulls are to make the most of their last five games, the Sunday issue has to be fixed, Burke said. “It definitely is an issue of consistency but fatigue is a factor. They just aren’t the same team they normally are come Sunday,” Burke said. “It is on both sides of the ball but going three Sundays in a row without scoring, that

rugby recovery Specialists emphasize injury prevention for Rugby team JEREMY TORRES ASST. SPORTS EDITOR

No helmet, no shoulder pads and immense force of impact: Rugby team athletes are prone to injuries. Maintaining the body is crucial when athletes are pushed to their limits for 10 weeks. UB Rugby teamed up two years ago with strength and conditioning specialist Dr. Dave Hostler, the UB chair of exercise and nutrition science, and his wife Deanna Colburn-Hostler, a physical therapist and member of the rehabilitation sciences department, who help oversee the players’ wellbeing. They provide insight to the team on injury, self-maintenance, food choices, the importance of body health and the benefit of sleep in the recovery process. Dr. Hostler gives the athletes a fitness program during the offseason to lift to gain mass four days a week and stresses the importance of healthy eating. Exercise science majors can also work with the Hostlers to complete independent studies. “Fitness is critically important for rugby,” Hostler said. “It’s a collision sport without pads or helmets. If you are not fit, you will not be able to recover quickly and stay healthy for the season.” Players lift and practice multiple times a week altogether. They also have a runthrough Friday, a game on Saturday and “a film session and yoga” on Monday, according to senior club president Jake Oppenheim. The Hostlers regularly check on the players during the season to see how injuries are happening. The Hostlers noticed a trend in shoulder injuries and started a program to prevent the reoccurring issues. Shoulder injuries are almost nonexistent among the Bulls in recent seasons. “My philosophy is to train the weaknesses first,” Hostler said. “Once you understand your players’ capabilities, you know where they need to improve to optimize performance and recovery.”

Athletes reported feeling physically better as a result of the Hostlers’ teachings. “[They] reflect some of their knowledge on us and try to get our recovery going as fast as possible so we can get back on the field,” said Zach Walleshauser, a senior mechanical engineering. “It definitely helped more so this year, especially because I’ve been injured in the past and I kind of would just brush it off and now we have all that assistance with us. It’s nice to have them.” The Hostlers’ program also combats offseason deconditioning. Oppenheim was unable to play his sophomore and junior year due to shoulder injuries that he thinks could have been avoided with help from the Hostlers. Oppenheim said he didn’t take enough care of his shoulders in the offseason. These injuries impact the players physically, emotionally and academically. A healthy

is clearly an issue we got to address.” Offensively, the Bulls have been hot and cold all year. Just last week the Bulls went from a 2-1 win against the Ohio Bobcats (67-1, 3-2-1 MAC) on Thursday to a Sunday 1-0 loss to the Kent State Golden Flashes (9-4-1, 5-1-0 MAC) with no shots on goal. Junior forward Carissima Cutrona is the leading scorer for the team and has seen consistency issues in both herself and the entire offensive line. “We settle for a shot before it is open but we have so much skill as a team, we can hold the ball a little more to make quality chances,” Cutrona said. Cutrona sees improvement within the team each week. She also feels the team is close to playing at the level needed for the MAC

body translates to a quicker transition to the classroom. The rugby team encourages excellence on and off the field. “One thing we stress on the team a lot is school comes first,” said sophomore vice president Owen Lawther. “The best players make time for rugby… . It is a time commitment which makes school harder, but we also provide a lot of resources.” The Hostlers aid Lawther academically.

championship. For Cutrona, that means a team capable of putting in full 90-minute performances in all of their games. “We need to come out and fulfill our roles and be patient,” Cutrona said. “Our chemistry keeps getting better and as long as we go out there together we should be able to accomplish our goals for the end of the season.” The defense is a different story. The Bulls defense looks impressive, rarely giving up shots or scoring opportunities, even on Sundays. “The four of us have just started playing together as a backline this year so I think we mesh together really well,” said sophomore defender Gurjenna Jandu. But mistakes are holding back the team. The Bulls rarely give up scoring opportunities but when they do, the other team takes advantage. This has led to many games where the Bulls controlled both ball possession and outshot the opposition yet still lost. “Our backline needs to always be talking and be on the same page… . As long as we stay steady in the back, we can help our teammates out and move forward,” Jandu said. Burke believes if more players step up, the team can snap out of the slump. The team is in need of more game changing players that would allow more frequent substitutions. The substitutions would allow the starters more time to rest during the game, combating fatigue. “We need people to be dialed in and step up,” Burke said. “It is playoff mode for us. We believe we are a top four team in this conference but there are a lot of other teams that really want to prove us wrong.” The Bulls need to win both games of their road doubleheader this weekend to clinch the top playoff spot. They face the Bowling Green Falcons (85-0, 3-3-0 MAC) on Friday at 7 p.m. and a game against the Toledo Rockets (6-5-3, 3-1-2 MAC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. email:

The specialists help him learn beyond the classroom and he said they help him see what he could be doing as an exercise science major post-graduation. “It is definitely taxing on both your body and your mind,” Lawther said. “But if you want it bad enough, you will make it work.” email:


The men’s rugby team comes together before the start of their game. The Bulls look to keep improving and establish themselves as a premier team in the country.

The Spectrum Vol. 67 No. 13  
The Spectrum Vol. 67 No. 13  

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