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UBSPECTRUM.COM

THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2017

VOLUME 66 NO. 40

BREAKDOWN OF 2017-18 ACTION PARTY

SA EBOARD CANDIDATES

INITIATIVE PARTY

full story on pg.6

FACEVALUE INTEGRITY PARTY

AK PARTY

UB uses students’ images without asking

MAX KALNITZ SENIOR ARTS EDITOR

Matt Vanderwerf is the UB Stay Longer poster boy, smiling down at UB students from the walkway connecting Clemens Hall and Lockwood Library. There is just one problem: Vanderwerf dropped out his freshman year. Angel Cardona’s face graces the cover of the transfer student orientation booklet and transfer students have asked him for advice or about his experiences. He can’t help them because he is not a transfer student. UB snapped and used his image – along with dozens of other images of students who decorate the campus and advertise for student experiences – without his permission. It’s all perfectly legal, said Jeffery Smith, the associate vice president for Marketing and Digital Communications. UB is a public institution and legally doesn’t have to tell students when pictures snapped on campus will be used for branding and ad campaigns. The university can use whatever image it wants for whatever purpose. And it does. Vanderwerf was a UB student long enough for a UB photographer to snap him decked out in UB paraphernalia, including a

ANGELA BARCA, THE SPECTRUM

Matt Rivera stands inside the second floor Capen Hall elevator featuring his face on it. The poster is part of a new initiative promoting double majors.

hoodie and hat, and flanked by two laughing female students. The photo, Vanderwerf says, was taken at the UB orientation. He transferred to ECC after two weeks on campus. “It was just too big,” Vanderwerf said. “The class sizes were too big, too many people, it just wasn’t a good fit for me and my learning style.” The photo appeared as a banner on the

walkway well after he left in 2012. “I actually didn’t know about the banner. A friend sent me a Snapchat that said, ‘Isn’t that you?’ and soon after that all my friends were sending me pictures of my face on the banner,” he said. Cardona, a junior communication major, said a student recently pointed out his face on the transfer student orientation booklet. The photo was taken during his freshman orientation and

VOC PARTY

he didn’t know his photo was being used. “This girl said ‘oh I saw you on my transfer student packet!’ and I guess they’ve started spreading out and using my picture for all the orientation books,” Cardona said. Cardona describes himself as a private person. He doesn’t think the photo used is a flattering image and said he’s selective about which pictures he posts to social media. “I only release pictures that I choose to release and it really annoys me and makes me uncomfortable because people recognize me more on campus now,” Cardona said. “It’s uncomfortable since [UB] posted without my consent.” Cardona feels that the university has violated his personal preferences. But Cardona and Vanderwerf aren’t the only students whose photos have been published without permission. Take Eileen Diih. She graduated as a nursing major in May, but a life-sized photo of her still fills the elevator doors of Capen Hall. Her face literally splits open every time the doors open. “I was not told my picture was going to be used on an elevator,” she said. “I was actually doing a photoshoot for the UB Undergraduate Viewbook,” Diih said. Diih said her image has attracted a lot of attention and she feels weird about the way people are talking about her. “It was a total surprise, I started receiving a bunch of snaps on Snapchat, emails from professors and Facebook posts of my friends taking a picture with my face splitting in two,” Diih said. Although UB does not have to tell students it will use their images on banners, elevators, bus stops, dining hall walls and brochures, many students feel UB representatives should call them out of courtesy. Smith disagreed and said no one has ever complained or issued a formal complaint about the practice. On the contrary, he said, most students say they are pleased to have a moment of college campus fame. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

WEATHERING THE STORM UB cancels classes Tuesday amid winter storm, reopens Wednesday ASHLEY INKUMSAH SENIOR NEWS EDITOR

Theresa Rubi drove to North Campus from her apartment on Minnesota Avenue on Wednesday morning “slipping at every turn.” “The weather Tuesday was bearable compared to this,” Rubi, a senior biological sciences major, said. “I think school should have closed on Wednesday for the safety of students, professors and staff.” For years, UB students have been frustrated with the university’s decision to stay open amid harsh winter storms and even started petitions for school to close. On Tuesday, students got their wish. UB canceled classes Tuesday, after over two years of staying open during severe

winter storms. The university hasn’t canceled classes for inclement weather since the historic “Snowvember” storm in 2014. But some students feel the snow was worse on Wednesday and were shocked that the university chose to hold classes. By Tuesday night, UB students were glued to their phones waiting for an alert on whether the university would remain closed on Wednesday. At 5:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, UB Spokesperson John Della Contrada said the university decided to reopen. Tuesday’s Winter Storm Stella brought several feet of snow to Western New York and snowfall continued through Wednesday night. As of Wednesday afternoon, 18.4 inches of snow hit Amherst alone. Gov. Cuomo declared a state of emergency beginning

ubspectrum.com

ANGELA BARCA, THE SPECTRUM

Students walk to classes on North Campus on Wednesday. Many UB students felt classes should have been canceled on Wednesday.

at midnight Tuesday across New York State. UB sent out an alert to students on Monday night saying all classes on Tuesday were canceled due to severe weather conditions

fb.com/ubspectrum

forecasted for the region. The alert also stated that non-essential UB employees should not report to work. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

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OPINION

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE SPECTRUM

Editorial Board EDITOR IN CHIEF

Gabriela Julia

MANAGING EDITOR

Tori Roseman COPY EDITORS

Saqib Hossain Emma Medina Margaret Wilhelm Grace Trimper NEWS EDITORS

Hannah Stein, Senior Ashley Inkumsah, Senior Maddy Fowler, Asst. FEATURES EDITORS

Sarah Crowley, Senior Lindsay Gilder, Asst. ARTS EDITORS

Max Kaltnitz, Senior David Tunis-Garcia Benjamin Blanchet, Asst. SPORTS EDITORS

Michael Akelson, Senior Daniel Petruccelli, Asst. Thomas Zafonte, Asst. PHOTO EDITORS

Kainan Guo, Senior Angela Barca Troy Wachala, Asst. CREATIVE DIRECTORS

Pierce Strudler Martina LaVallo, Asst.

Professional Staff OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Helene Polley

ADVERTISING MANAGERS

Priyanshi Soni ADVERTISING DESIGNERS

Alexa Capozzi Casey Ridings

THE SPECTRUM Thursday, March 16, 2017 Volume 66 Number 40 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 news@ubspectrum.com. The Spectrum reserves the right to edit these pieces for style and length. If a letter is not meant for publication, please mark it as such. All submissions must include the author’s name, daytime phone number, and email address. For information on adverstising with The Spectrum, visit www.ubspectrum.com/advertising or call us directly at 716-645-2152 The Spectrum offices are located in 132 Student Union, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 142602100

Spectrum endorses Peter Pranata as treasurer, torn between three presidents and vice presidents This is the first year many Spectrum editors have seen a competitive Student Association e-board election. This year, our editorial board had a difficult time coming to a conclusion on who we will endorse. That’s because we feel multiple students are experienced and well-qualified for the president and vice president positions. However, our editorial board came to a unanimous decision on the treasurer position and we are endorsing Peter Pranata. Our reason is simple – Pranata has the most experience with finances. The treasurer is responsible for the disbursement of the SA budget and revenue. The treasurer oversees all financial transactions and must be sure money is handled accordingly. Yes, the treasurer must have a working relationship with SA clubs, but his or her main objective is to properly handle $4 million. Pranata is a SA bookkeeper and has worked as secretary and president of Indonesian SA. He’s been a part of SA long enough to understand the recurring problems in the office. He is extremely wellspoken and exudes confidence. Here is how we feel about the other candidates for treasurer: Janet Austin, who is a part of the Initiative party, said she wasn’t the typical finance candidate. She has experience with clubs and is no stranger to student advocacy. We respect that Austin says she is still learning, but her speech was not very compelling. Aishat Keshiro, who is a part of the VOC party, didn’t mention her experience dealing with finances, even though she is the activities coordinator for the African Student Association. She said she has “done research,” but did not discuss her experience dealing with money specifically. Ali Kaba, who is running alone in the AK party, also has little experience with finances and spent most of his speech talking about his childhood in Africa. When our reporters asked him why he wanted to be a treasurer, he told them

that they can trust him and he will fulfill his duties. Overall, we feel most confident in Pranata’s experience and knowledge of SA finances. We found that it was much more difficult to endorse a single party for president and vice president. Our editorial board came to the conclusion that we all will be voting for different parties. We’ve discussed why we are confident/not confident in each party and will leave it up to the readers to make a decision. INTEGRITY PARTY - Riley Oates (President), Angie Quilla (Vice President)

Our editorial board agreed we have little confidence in the Integrity Party. Quilla has the least amount of SA experience compared to the other vice president candidates. She stressed the importance of putting tampons and sanitary napkins in women’s bathroom, but didn’t say how much money would go into these products and how feasible it would be. She said she hasn’t given any thought into changing the Fall Fest and Spring Fest ticket policy and said she has thought about holding town hall meetings for students to voice their concerns, but did not say how she plans to encourage students to come. Our biggest concern with Oates is that he admitted he didn’t know what the SA president’s responsibilities are. He has experience working with SA Senate, but since he ran alone, we aren’t sure how he will work with other people. He said he wants to help administer the “No Smoking” policy, but only offered putting out more ashtrays as a solution. He has good ideas, such as changing the ticket policies and giving clubs grants, but we are unsure of the execution. As a side note, Oates showed up to the Spectrum office 45 minutes late to give his speech. When his partner, Quilla, had to give her speech first, she looked extremely nervous and told us she did not want to continue in the campaign. After recollecting herself for 10

minutes, she came back in to speak. Overall, Oates and Quilla don’t seem to be the most communicative duo. ACTION PARTY - Alexis Ogra (President), Alicia Stepniewski (Vice President)

The action party, which Pranata is a part of, seems like the go-to choice for this election. All three members have a lot of SA experience and our staff feels their speech was informative. Ogra announced her plan to cut down SA spending – something our entire staff agrees with. She said SA’s $8,000 spending on apparel and camping trips is unnecessary. She mentioned wanting to solve parking and commuter problems, but did not give any specifics as to how her e-board will work with the university in doing do. Our editorial board also felt Ogra lacked presence. Although she is experienced, she might not have the personality to appeal to most students. However, what Ogra lacks, Stepniewski has. Stepniewski is extremely welcoming and friendly. She has been involved in SA for years and we can see why her party is the “Action” party. She has already written a letter of dissent regarding UB’s decision to increase the Academic Excellence and Success fee and has held meetings with athletic and recreation directors to discuss the limited access for recreational sports. We are confident that she will be a voice for students and take action. VOC PARTY - Leslie Veloz (President), Jamersin Redfern (Vice President)

Many students will gravitate toward the VOC candidates. Veloz is the vice president of the Black Student Union and Redfern is the president of the Latin American Student Association – two prominent clubs on campus. They are welcoming and sincere in their words, and we are confident that they know how to connect to students. As vice president of BSU, Ve-

loz has had to manage the largest SA club budget on campus. She has advocated for inclusion and more women and people of color in leadership positions at UB. Redfern is heavily involved in the Buffalo community and emphasizes creating the American experience for students of different ethnicities. However, some people on our editorial board question how Veloz and Redfern will manage a $4 million budget and how they will handle allocating funds in different areas such as sports and other, more niche clubs. INITIATIVE PARTY Devashish Agarwal (President), Peter Jowdy (Vice President)

Our editorial board was impressed with Agarwal’s speech. He is very involved and extremely experienced. We are confident that he will make an impact diversifying SA. He organized UB’s first ever Tedx talk and has already taken action and met with UB officials to solve parking problems. Since Agarwal is an international student who once felt isolated, he is a perfect example of how to become integrated into SA. When asked about the relationship between SA and The Spectrum, Agarwal was the only presidential candidate to say that a student newspaper is needed on campus to critique the student government and “keep them in check.” As for Jowdy, he compliments Agarwal. He is knowledgeable of the vice president role and emphasized the needed relationship between the vice president and SA clubs. However, Jowdy left little impact on our staff once he left. We hope students take the opportunity to hear from each candidate and think carefully about who they will elect to administer $4 million of student money. email: eic@ubspectrum.com

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: The Spectrum’s apology for printing transphobic slur Our paper made an inexcusable mistake on March 9. We printed an insensitive, transphobic slur that rightfully upset many students. I apologize profusely for the error; we made it out of ignorance and quickly corrected it online. But the damage remains in our printed paper. I wish we could take it back, I wish I had known a few days ago what I know now. When the first complaints came in, I quickly tried to change the wording online. I dedicated the editor’s meeting and writer’s class on Monday to educating my staff about diversity and teaching them to be more sensitive. Now, with hindsight, I can’t believe I was so naive and that my ignorance caused so much hurt. It’s a warning to us all and a lesson I won’t forget.

Journalism is a scary endeavor because your mistakes are public and widely shared. Today, I feel the burden and the shame of my own ignorance. I can’t change what happened, but I hope I have changed the future. We will all work harder to be more open-minded and, when faced with a word or phrase we are uncertain about, we will ask people with more experience or knowledge for advice. Let me explain. In our coverage of the International Women’s Day rally, we printed a quote from a protester and we did not modify or censor the word “tra**y” from his quote. Again, our own inexperience doomed us. Neither the writer nor I – nor our copy editors flagged it as of-

fensive. Only after the full word was printed, we realized it was a hurtful and inexcusable mistake. We know how important language use is and would never want students to feel unsafe or threatened reading our paper. Printing the full word downplays its violent meaning and normalizes the slur. It recreates traumatic experiences that some of our trans students have faced, which is why we deeply regret printing it. We admit it was careless and ignorant, but our intent was in no way malicious. The Spectrum works to represent all UB students and ironically, this year we have tried hard to write about issues trans students face because we felt they were not well represented in our past coverage. We’ve had staff discussions on changing our newspaper’s style guide to include “they” and “their” as singular pronouns, which is what some students pre-

fer. We’ve written profiles on trans students, covered rallies and protests organized by trans students, published an editorial on why UB should have gender-neutral bathrooms and columns on why trans rights are human rights. We corrected the error online as soon as we became aware of it. This, too, led to confusion when the staff member who made the change did not acknowledge the correction at the bottom of the article, as is our custom. Again, this was not done to hide our mistake or to pretend we didn’t make it. The editor had never done an online correction before and misunderstood the protocol. We want to be a voice for all UB students and we want trans students to feel safe sharing their stories with us. We are deeply sorry for and humbled by our careless mistake. email: gabriela.julia@ubspectrum.com


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FACE VALUE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Caleb Vaughn, a business major and 2015 graduate, who served as an orientation leader in 2013, was shocked to see his face adorning the 2013-14 student planner. The university gives the planner to 4,000-5,000 freshmen and any other interested students in the first weeks of school. The university sent an email saying orientation images might be used, but no one ever told him his image had been selected. After he saw the images, Vaughn was

THE SPECTRUM

angry. In summer 2013, he wrote a series of outraged comments on social media insisting UB should have paid him for his photos. He’s calmer now. “I think at the end of the day it’s cool to have my image on things,” Vaughn said. “Now it doesn›t anger me to be featured on all these posters and planners. I just think getting a notification should be given, but it›s not a huge deal. I wonder how long after my graduation the pictures will continue to be used.”

The faces of UB “As new faces appear on campus every year, the UB photo database is continuously updated,” Smith said. He added that his office cares more about the message the image evokes than the status of the student featured. Vaughn recognizes that UB is an international school with lots of different cultures, but he did feel like he was being targeted – because he is a minority – to market the school’s message. “I do think that the school’s marketing gives somewhat of a false advertisement to

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prospective students,” Vaughn said. “People see that the school is hugely diverse as a lot of these images of students are of minority backgrounds but UB has a student population of mostly white students.” Vaughn’s sister is on the cover of this year’s student planner. Just like Vaughn, his sister’s photo was taken during orientation and she had no idea the photo would be used. “There are no rules or regulations that require UB to alert students if their picture is being taken, or if it will be used for any future advertising,” Smith said. “We don’t typically notify students when their picture will be used, but in many instances, students are the featured part of the use (e.g. a profile on that student) in which case they are fully aware that they will be photographed and their photo[s] will be used.” This is what happened to current SA president and senior business and musical theater major, Matt Rivera. His face opens and closes on a Capen elevator as a part of UB’s new rebranding campaign, which also promotes double majoring at UB. “I allowed my picture to be featured on

the elevator because I was asked,” Rivera said. “It wasn’t a paid gig. The university was using a wide array of students from many disciplines and backgrounds to help represent the true nature of the student body – an effort that I highly commend UB for reaching towards.” The response has been mainly positive for Rivera and students who see the poster as they pass through Capen every day. “My friends usually send me a picture or a Snapchat of my face. I have had people send me videos pretending to talk to me, pretending to feed me and many more creative things,” Rivera said. “People also ask about my dual degree, too. A professor reached out to ask me questions about doing two very separate programs and what the experience has been like.” Rivera said he believes his picture will be removed after he graduates in May, but that may not be the case. Despite the fact that Diih graduated last spring, her photo is still displayed on the elevator. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT THE SPECTRUM

FACE VALUE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4

Capturing diversity Unlike other New York State public schools, UB doesn’t require students to fill out a photo waiver allowing the school to use their pictures. If a student has been photographed but doesn’t wish to let the school use a picture, or does not want to be photographed at all, the student can get an exemption from UB’s Student Affairs office. “The office advises that photographs of university events and members of the campus community are regularly taken and subsequently displayed depicting the vitality of UB,” Smith said. “If you do not want your picture used in this manner, please advise the photographer.” Most UB websites host slideshows of smiling students of mixed ethnicities and highlight the university’s diversity. Approximately 48 percent of undergraduate UB students are white, 7 percent are black, 6 percent are Hispanic, 14 percent are Asian, 17 percent are international and 8 percent are “other,” according to UB’s 2015 demographic statistics. Douglas Levere, the university’s photographer, declined to comment on the photos he shoots for UB. However, Jeffery Smith, his boss, reassured The Spectrum that Levere attends many events on campus and attempts to accurately portray university life. “[Levere] shoots a myriad of events and an integral part of his shooting is to capture an authentic snap-shot of campus life, showing the breadth of activities the university has to offer and the diversity of our stuAd-UBSpectrum"Fish" 2/23/17 10:47 AM Page 1 dent body,” Smith said.

ANGELA BARCA, THE SPECTRUM

Eileen Diih, a nursing major who graduated in May 2016 still has her picture featured on the Capen elevators despite her graduation last year. She was unaware her picture was going to be used.

While UB has never received a complaint about taking a student’s picture, other schools have encountered issues with trying to play up the school’s diversity through photos. Ken Chamberlain, a photographer for Ohio State University (OSU), said he and OSU follow similar guidelines to UB’s, but he has received some backlash for his attempts to highlight the school’s diversity. In his 10 years of working for the school, Chamberlain has only had one student complain about a photo he’d taken. “She was a student from Egypt, she was Muslim wearing her hajib and I took a picture of her at a school event,” he said. “She complained because she thought I was taking a picture of the token Muslim student to show the school’s diversity. Besides her, usually students are happy to have their picture taken.” Similar to UB, there is no photo waiver

form that OSU students need to fill out. Once matriculated, students give the school the right to take pictures of them. “The campus is public property and we can take pictures of whoever and whatever we want,” Chamberlain said.

Marketing moments Indranil Goswami, an assistant professor in the marketing department, explained that given the large student body, the university probably had no idea about the backstory of each student they photograph. “It’s a public space and if the students know they’re being photographed and as a result of being at a UB event they are probably implicitly giving the university permission to use their picture,” Goswami said. “When organizations invest money in certain events they would also like to promote those events, so they take pictures.”

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Smith defended UB’s policies and emphasized that UB rarely uses stock images and only relies on them as a last resort. “When we need to illustrate an abstract concept, or perhaps a message that depicts a sensitive situation (e.g. mental health services) we’ll use stock images,” Smith said. “Those are the only cases where it wouldn’t be appropriate to use a photo or composition of an actual UB student.” Goswami believes Student Affairs could market its office better and let students know they have an option to change their photo preferences. “As a principle, as long as the particular person is aware of this type of interaction, I think it’s fine. I think it should probably be said in some type of student brochure that there’s an option to voice your concerns with the university using your picture.” Goswami said. “Although Levere is UB’s main photographer, the university occasionally hires freelance photographers and companies to illustrate graphics or assist in additional photography,” Smith said. Laura Sargent, owner of 12 Grain Studio in Lockport, works closely with UB and provides the university with graphic illustrations for marketing campaigns. Sargent’s company has been providing UB with graphics for over two and a half years. She said illustrations are usually charts or informational facts next to a student’s face. But not all students are comfortable with their faces being used for marketing. Cardona, the student whose face is on the transfer student orientation booklet, said if the university had asked him to use his photo, he would have declined. He didn’t ask for the photo to be removed because it was already in use. “Everyone sees themselves differently and everyone knows what they want themselves to look like. This is a public space so they’re entitled to take students’ pictures, but I don’t think that our identity should be used without our consent,” Cardona said. “I know it’s hard with so many students and in many cases, they don’t know who the pictured student is, but it’d be nice if we were asked first.” email: max.kalnitz@ubspectrum.com

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6

NEWS

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE SPECTRUM

MEET THE CANDIDATES:

SA PRESIDENT , VICE PRESIDENT & TREASURER

ASHLEY INKUMSAH, HANNAH STEIN, SARAH CROWLEY SENIOR NEWS EDITORS AND SENIOR FEATURES EDITOR

The Student Association executive board controls roughly $4 million of student money collected through the mandatory student activity fee of $104.75 per semester. Elections will take place from March 28-30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Union Theater. Four parties are running for executive board positions. One student is running for treasurer independently. Here is a breakdown of the candidates:

Integrity Party President

Name: Riley Oates Year: Junior Major: Economics and political science Current SA Position: Senator Riley Oates was elected as a Student Association Senator (SA) last semester, after running alone on the Integrity ticket. Oates said he considers himself the “outsider candidate” and said he is happy to sit alone on “one side of an issue.” Oates joined the UB Model European Union during his first semester at UB and later co-founded the UB Debate Society. Although he has less SA experience than the other candidates, Oates said his experience with successfully creating a club sets him apart from the other candidates. His platform’s primary goal is to bring integrity back to SA by holding members accountable for their job’s duties. By holding club coordinators accountable for working with clubs and helping them receive grants, Oates said he hopes to make it easier for clubs to thrive at UB. “The SA president, the vice president, treasurer, they work 20 hours a week and get a 15 grand stipend for the entire year, meanwhile these club presidents are putting 15, 20 hours a week into their clubs and spending $100 of their own money so their clubs can have things,” Oates said. “I think that’s what we need to work on, we need to make sure that we’re not just allowing clubs to be here but that we’re allowing them to prosper and thrive.” Oates said he also hopes to improve Fall Fest by pushing harder for it to be held outside and to bring “better artists.” If elected, Oates said he and his e-board will hold biweekly town hall-style meetings for students to air their grievances.

Vice President

Name: Angie Quilla Year: Junior Major: Geography Current SA Position: N/A Angie Quilla has been involved with the

UB Debate Society since it was founded, as one of four members involved. A year later, she became treasurer and worked to build the group that now has 30 regular members, according to Quilla. She has also been involved in the So Fem club for the last year. Quilla laid out three main goals for her vice-presidency. Her first goal is to add fundraising brackets to make it easier for clubs with large budgets to fundraise. Currently, the rollover system only allows clubs to keep the money they’ve fundraised if they can match half their budget, which is more difficult for clubs like the Japanese Student Association, whose budget is $3,500, according to Quilla. “A lot of clubs struggle to find community service and it just becomes another thing that they have to work for when they could be using that time for better events for their club,” Quilla said. She said she wants SA to host four to six campus-wide community service events per semester to make it easier for clubs to complete their community service requirement. Quilla added that this also helps the UB and Buffalo community at large. Her last goal is to improve student advocacy. Her first specific plan is to provide free tampons and sanitary napkins for all women’s bathrooms on-campus. Quilla said this project can be provided with funds from the $104 mandatory student activity fee and plans to work with Health Services and other organizations.

Action Party President

Name: Alexis Ogra Year: Junior Major: History Current SA Position: Special Interest Coordinator Alexis Ogra served as president of UB College Republicans last year and served as secretary of the club her freshmen year. Last year, Ogra was the ethics chair for Sub-Board I, Inc’s Board of Directors and served on SA Senate for two years. Ogra said she has been able to voice student clubs’ opinions to SA “very effectively” as the current Special Interest Coordinato and thinks that can be easily translated into representing students’ opinions to UB administration. As SA president, Ogra looks to tackle issues such as how SA spends student money, how SA reaches students and the lack of parking on campus. “I think really that the Student Association bureaucracy itself, maybe not the clubs, have been using money wastefully and I think we need to really cut down and eliminate wasteful spending so that money can be given out to clubs,” Ogra said. Ogra said she noticed how wastefully SA spends money while on staff. She said SA embarked on a camping trip for staff orientation that cost about $4,000 and students in staff wear L.L. Bean Jackets, which cost about $4,000. She feels expenditures like this should be cut down so more money will be available for clubs and SA programs. Ogra also does not think the ticket poli-

cies for Fall Fest, Spring Fest and the Comedy Series were rolled out effectively “There was a lot of miscommunication between us and the student body,” she said. “We weren’t prepared for it to be implemented and that really led to lower attendance at our events when we could have been at our maximum capacity.” Ogra wants to improve the ticket policy so more students would attend SA events. As a commuter student, Ogra said she has had to decide between risking getting a ticket, skipping class or being late to class because she could not find parking. “Especially in the winter [parking] is not something students should have to deal with. The university at this point doesnt’t even acknowledge that it’s a problem and we need to be able to voice our opinion to them in a more effective way so that our university can expand,” Ogra said.

Vice President

Name: Alicia Stepniewski Year: Junior Major: Accounting Current SA Position: Bookkeeper Alicia Stepniewski is a first-generation immigrant from Poland. She first got involved in SA when she joined the Polish Student Association and Mock Trial her freshman year. As a bookkeeper for SA, she said she has built a relationship with SA clubs and understands the issues each club faces. “I want clubs to know that the sky’s the limit with their club and by helping them know what’s available to them within SA and within UB, I hope to help them make their club events better and also help them get more students involved,” Stepniewski said. As vice president, Stepniewski wants to advocate for students and help them find their home on campus. Stepniewski wrote a letter of dissent against the increase in academic excellence fee to UB administration. All seven student governments backed Stepniewski’s letter. “[This] is ridiculous because students don’t even know where this fee is going towards and sometimes $100 is like a few weeks of groceries for students,” Stepniewski said. “We’re all in debt so I don’t want to increase the debt of students.” Stepniewski wants to hold UB administration accountable for their actions and she also wants SA to be held accountable by having anonymous surveys for students and SA staff members to fill out voicing their concerns with SA and her performance. Stepniewski also wants to change the club orientation process to make it more active. Stepniewski wants to educate the executive board about new accounting software. She wants to have the president and treasurer work together to learn more about the new accounting software and have the vice president and secretary work together to learn about track sheets and how to reserve a room. Stepniewski also wants to have an “opendoor policy,” where students can voice their concerns on a post-it on her door at any time.

Treasurer

Name: Peter Pranata Year: Junior Major: Industrial Engineering Current SA Position: Finance Bookkeeper, President of Indonesian Student Association Peter Pranata is an international student from Indonesia. He has been involved in SA for roughly two years, starting in his sophomore year as a secretary for the Indonesian Student Association. He eventually became the president of the club. He believes each of these positions have given him a better understanding of how finances work in SA. “If I were elected as a treasurer, I would have the judgment when making tough decisions, especially when tough financial problems arise,” he said. Pranata also worked in International Admissions and served as an international ambassador for UB. Pranata looks to enhance the rollover requirements introduced by former SA treasurer Joe Pace and the 2-2-2 requirements of current treasurer Dan Emmons. Pranata wants clubs to be able to ask for a certain amount of money as a form of reimbursement at the beginning of the semester. He said it currently it take about three to five days for this reimbursement to get approved and he wants clubs to be able to call him under emergency situations so they can buy the items. Any money that is not used will go back into the clubs’ account. Pranata also looks to expand SA clubs’ vendor partnership. “As of right now, we only have a partnership with Red Roof Inn, which can cause a lot of problems,” Pranata said. “Red Roof Inn is cheap but at the same time it’s not always located at a prime location so when clubs go to competitions or conferences, they have a hard time finding a close hotel or a close Red Roof Inn.” He said for this reason, clubs often end up needing reimbursement. As treasurer, Pranata wants clubs to be able to propose to the treasurer, vice president or president of SA for a maximum of $300 to sponsor the events. They will have 10-20 minutes to present and the SA e-board will approve or reject the proposal on the spot. Pranata also wants to go through financial activities with clubs during orientation.

Initiative Party President

CONTINUED ON PAGE 7


7

NEWS

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE SPECTRUM

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

Name: Devashish Agarwal Year: Junior Major: Computer Science Current SA Position: Treasurer of Mock Trial, Vice President of Consulting Club Agarwal is no stranger to SA. He believes SA should start taking initiative and listening to students. “Initiative does not only mean thinking about policies but also doing them,” Agarwal said. “They are made by the students and talking to them.” Agarwal said he has been talking to students in the Student Union for the past few weeks about the “unfair” meal gap policy. He also wants to restructure the ticketing policy. “Student policies are not made inside a room,” Agarwal said. “They are made by talking to the students and listening to them.” Agarwal wants to better publicize SA, increase campus visibility and get more students involved. “The whole idea is that when we are saying we are trying to do something, we are actually doing something about it,” he said. “We’re not doing this just to say, we actually have a history of doing it. When we say we take initiative, we mean it.” Agarwal said coming to UB as an international student, he didn’t know how America and UB worked. He said he had to put in so much work and time just to get involved. Agarwal wants to work to diversify SA. “The amount of time and energy I put in is not something any student should be putting in to do that,” Agarwal said. “The student government should be coming to the students not students going to the student government.” Agarwal wants to have a 45-day feedback service to speak with students to hear their comments and see if they are benefitting from SA. He also wants to have a texting policy where students can text SA their concerns and input.

Vice President

Treasurer

Name: Janet Austin Year: Junior Major: Exercise Science Current SA Position: Head Outreach Coordinator Janet Austin said she knows about money from when she first got a job in high school and comes from a club perspective financially. She is the secretary of the Exercise Science club, a former Orientation Leader, field hockey member and UB 101 Peer Mentor. She said the finance department of SA lacks the club perspective. She wants to change the club orientation to be more interactive for the students. She also wants to expand the rollover policy. “If a club misses their 2-2-2 requirement from the fall or the spring, but they make it up to have a sum total of four for the entire year, then they should be eligible for 50 percent of the rollover,” Austin said. Austin said the finance department is changing to a new online system called Altice. She said no one will know how to use it, so she would like to create documentation of how to use it and post it on the SA website. Austin wants to add a processing checklist so they can see what is exactly needed from them when they are for instance filling out a P.O. She also wants to add a processing feature so any club can see the status of a P.O. Austin wants to emphasize she isn’t a stereotypical finance candidate. “I’m coming from the club perspective because I know the pain that the clubs have to go through with the lack of communication they have with the finance department,” Austin said. “I am here to help with the 20,000 undergraduate students and offer the skills and communications I have.”

Voice of Change Party President

Name: Peter Jowdy Year: Junior Major: Pharmacology and toxicology Current position: Hobby Council Coordinator, SA Senator Jowdy has spent the last three years working with SA clubs. He’s a Finance Committee member, former Assistant Club Services director and former SA Club Services mentee. Jowdy believes a lot of the errors SA makes lie within SA administration. Jowdy said club problems stem from a lacking vice president/coordinator relationship, an “arbitrary” club services department and temporary club recognition policies. He said coordinators are often “thrown into” their position and he wants to train them and maintain a strong connection by having bi-weekly meetings with them. After working in the club services department, Jowdy wants to give the people in the department more defined roles. He wants the department to be in charge of club fairs, club inventory and community service drives. Jowdy wants to change the temporary club policy and “speed up the process” by giving them one semester to meet three credits of each of its requirements and the following semester, the club would be permanent on probation. “This would be a good way to still test the performance power of the clubs, giving the benefits of a permanent club quicker while also testing the longevity of the club,” Jowdy said.

Name: Leslie Veloz Year: Junior Major: Psychology and English Current SA Position: Black Student Union Vice President Veloz said the most important issue to her is providing student advocacy, beginning with creating a diverse and inclusive campus. “One of the biggest parts of our agenda is making sure that all of our students feel welcomed here and represented, that they have someone who will listen no matter how small the issue we are here for you and we will address whatever concerns or changes you would like to see at this university,” Veloz said. Veloz said her party plans to work with administration to push for more female and minority faculty members. Veloz said her party’s experience on the other side of SA, as members of the student body, is what sets them apart from the rest of the candidates. “I’m the VP of the largest minority club, he is in an international group, just we’ve all been supporting and been involved and on the receiving end of the student experience so we can really relate and we already have a relationship with our student body so now we want to advocate for them on an administrative level,” Veloz said. Veloz plans to hold more annual school spirit and community service events to bring together multicultural groups. Veloz said it’s also important for her to be visible to students on campus and not just

a “mystical” person who students don’t recognize or feel comfortable talking to. “We want to make sure that SA officials, if elected, we’re more incorporated into the student body’s life, that we’re more involved with everything and continue to support clubs, being visible, making sure the student body is able to speak with us and speak with us at all times,” Veloz said. Veloz said she thinks student activism is important and wants to make sure students are trained to know what they can and cannot do to ensure they won’t be derecognized. “As officials of SA, if we were elected, we have to be nonpartisan but we would want to make sure that our students have the support and know the resources they would need in order to continue their activism work,” Veloz said.

Vice President

Name: Jamersin Redfern Year: Junior Major: Psychology and history Current SA Position: Latin American Student Association (LASA) Vice President Redfern transferred to UB from Buffalo State College after he visited friends on campus and “fell in love” with the school. Since his time at UB, Redfern has served as vice president for the Latin American Student Association. He said he wants to give students a forum to express concerns and discuss changes they would like to see on campus. “I don’t think that any of the other platforms are putting themselves out there for other people to feel comfortable on campus, making it a big issue, as we say we want to make the community a better place,” Redfern said. If elected, Redfern said he would work to ensure club leaders receive proper training to reduce mistakes made by inexperienced clubs that can lead to clubs being derecognized. In his own experience, Redfern said he and his e-board had to teach themselves how to use various programs like SAFE and Listserv and he understands the frustration of improper training. Redfern said he also hopes to follow through on campaign promises, a problem he sees with the current SA administration. He will also work to create more awareness and access to events around Buffalo. “Buffalo’s one of the best cities in New York, but a lot of students don’t get to see it that often,” Redfern said. “Today right now we’re having a St. Patrick’s Day parade, we feel that should be advertised for students to go to, we’re the biggest university in Buffalo, so we should be involved in the area as well as other things.” Redfern said he also hopes to address safety on and near South Campus. He said he will work to provide more safety shuttles and push for more police on watch for students walking back from campus.

Treasurer Name: Aishat Keshiro

Year: Junior Major: Biological sciences Current SA Position: Activities Coordinator for the African Student Association Keshiro does not have any direct experience handling finances, but said she will research and work closely with the other fi-

nance departments in SA to make up for any lack of experience. “We don’t want to drastically change anything, we think that there’s a solid foundation here in SA, we just want to make sure the execution of it is really implemented,” Keshiro said. “It’s one thing to say ‘we have these rules’ but we want people to feel like these things are really happening and energy is being put in the right places.” Keshiro said she hopes to implement a sense of versatility, organization and communication that she felt wasn’t always present in the current SA administration. “I feel as though the past members in my position specifically haven’t been able to be versatile enough in dealing with the clubs,” Keshiro said. “Sometimes you really have to be able to sit down with people and understand where they’re coming from – from larger issues to very little issues. Being able to just move with the flow.” Keshiro said she plans to communicate regularly with the SA Finance department and sub-board to ensure organization. “The lack of organization has led to so many downfalls and people feeling as though they’re not getting what they asked for out of their mandatory fees, so we really want to be an organized front,” Keshiro said. “Also, having that fundamental key of open dialogue which I feel hasn’t been really seen through the SA office.” Keshiro plans to reserve the Student Union Theater (SU) twice a month to promote a dialogue between students and SA officials.

AK Party Treasurer Name: Ali Kaba

Year: Junior Major: Political Science Current SA Position: Student Association Assembly member, Muslim Student Association member Ali Kaba is running independently for treasurer. When Kaba lived in the Ivory Coast for 10 years, his interest in politics piqued. Kaba has no background in finance at UB, but he was a part of the finance committee in his previous college. He said although he has no prior background in finance and doesn’t have all the necessary skills, he plans to “learn by experience.” Kaba said if he gets elected he wants to implement club hours. Club hours will be a certain time during the school day twice a week where there will be no classes and students can engage in club activities. Although he admits it will be tough to compel the university to stop classes for a few hours a day, he believes club hours are a “feasible” plan. “I feel like we are paying all these mandatory fees but at the end of the day we don’t have time to get engaged,” Kaba said. Kaba wants to be transparent and keep in touch with each SA club. He said he will use his “power” if any suspicious activities occur within SA. But he said he isn’t running on power, he’s running on “passion.” Kaba also wants to end the current meal plan time gaps and increase the attendance to SA meetings. Kaba has yet to familiarize himself with the role of treasurer but plans “to do his research.” Kaba feels his diverse background sets him apart from the other treasurer candidates. emails: news@ubspectrum.com features@ubspectrum.com


8 WEATHERING THE STORM

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Thursday, March 16, 2017

ANGELA BARCA, THE SPECTRUM

UB students stand outside Hadley Village during Wednesday’s snow storm.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

D’Youville College, Erie Community College, Medaille College and SUNY Buffalo State also closed Tuesday due to the storm. The decision to cancel classes on Tuesday was made based on current and predicted weather conditions, as well as a mandate from the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations asking non-essential state employees to not report to work, Della Contrada said. Della Contrada said the university reopened because weather forecasts predicted the snow would lessen throughout the morning and regional weather and road conditions had become “manageable” for most of Buffalo. He said UB Facilities crews

were able to clear campus lots and roadways overnight and worked “diligently” around the clock to make conditions safe and accessible on UB’s campuses. The State Office of Employee Relations did not issue a warning mandating non-essential state employees to stay home from work on Wednesday, Della Contrada said, which was another reason the university reopened on Wednesday. Despite school reopening, many students decided to take the day off from classes on Wednesday. Emily Li, a senior psychology major decided it was too dangerous to try to walk to the nearest bus stop from her Amherst

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Manor apartment. “Along with the unplowed sidewalks and icy roads, going to class might have been threatening to my life,” Li said. “UB should have closed school on Wednesday because the weather got worse overnight and it’s not suitable for traveling, especially for those of us who don’t live on campus or live far out in Buffalo.” Students who went to class had to dig their cars out of the snow, drive on slippery roads and struggle to make it to campus on Wednesday. “It was disastrous,” said Alvin Samuel, a junior environmental engineering major. “It took me [more than 10] minutes just getting to the bus stop from my apartment in the Villas

THE SPECTRUM

on Chestnut, and when I got to campus nothing was shoveled properly so I slipped twice.” By the time Samuel struggled his way through the snow, his class was already over. “You can’t have a mandatory class and expect full attendance on a day like this,” he said. “UB needs to get it together instead of saying they’re ‘monitoring the situation.’ If it’s difficult to get out then ya’ll should just say that.” Della Contrada said it’s not fair to say the university never cancels classes. He said UB has chosen whether or not to cancel classes over the years based on predicted forecasts and sometimes the forecasts were accurate, inaccurate or more concentrated in local areas. “There are many factors that go into the decision making. The safety of the UB community is always the main concern when making these decisions and we also make accommodations to those who can’t travel to campus because of weather conditions,” Della Contrada said. Della Contrada said the university recognizes some parts of Western New York are more impacted by the storm than others. He said this is why the university provided students and employees with information on what they should do if weather conditions in their area prevent them from travelling to campuses. He said the sidewalks and roads are being continually plowed and crews are working around parked cars. Some UB students didn’t let the bad weather stop them from going out. Rishabh Bhandawat, a first year industrial engineering graduate student, drove from his apartment in Creekside Village all the way to downtown Buffalo during the storm on Tuesday. “I was terribly scared because I had never driven in this much snow,” he said. “But I was happy to have the day off and to not have to turn in a single assignment.” email: news@ubspectrum.com


9

FEATURES

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE SPECTRUM

A judgement-free zone

DANA CASULLO, THE SPECTRUM Angela Kunz (pictured) opened Grateful Grind Coffee with her husband in early March. The coffee shop is located in the University Heights on Main Street.

DANA CASULLO FEATURE WRITER

Beetroot lattes. Nitro-infused coffee. Tacos. After working for 20 years as a coach and mentor, Angela Kunz is looking to shake things up with her new coffee shop, Grateful Grind Coffee. Kunz constantly told people to live their lives to the fullest when she worked for the non-profit organization, People Inc. She couldn’t help but wonder if she was doing the same for herself. Kunz took her own advice and fulfilled a dream she’d long wondered if she would ever get around to. She and her husband, Tom Kunz, opened their coffee shop in early March. Grateful Grind Coffee is located in the heart of the University Heights at 3225 Main St. They

offer unique twists on coffee-shop classics in an atmosphere that Kunz aims to make “inclusive for everyone of all ages, gender and race.” Melanie Kehoe, a senior exercise science major, said she heard about the coffee shop from some of her friends and thought it would be a great addition to the area. “There are lot of college students that live in this neighborhood, so many of them, including myself could be seen studying here as well as just hanging out with some friends and grabbing a drink,” Kehoe said. The shop’s staple is nitro coffee, a coldbrewed espresso infused with nitrogen gas. The nitrogen changes the flavor, giving it a smoother, silkier texture. The drink pours like a Guinness rather than a coffee, cascading instead of flowing. Kunz said the drink doesn’t need cream

or sugar, which makes it a healthier alternative to some prepared coffee beverages. Grateful Grind also offers Kombucha, a fermented tea widely known for its health benefits and distinct vinegar-like taste. They offer a citrus-ginger blend, which Kunz said is filled with probiotics and vitamins. Grateful Grind’s tea is also nitrogen-infused and comes in a black lemon flavor. The beetroot latte is a dairy-free and coffee-free alternative – arguably their most unique drink on the menu. The drink is a latte in-name-only and doesn’t have any espresso but is made with beetroot powder and almond milk. Like the Italian classic it’s modeled after, this drink can be served iced or warm. The beetroot helps with circulation and is packed with amino acids, according to Kunz. The taste is similar to strawberry milk.

Grateful Grind also offers light dining options ranging from breakfast sandwiches and cinnamon rolls to tacos. Kunz’s husband, a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, helped design the menu and works closely with the staff on food preparation – placing emphasis on both taste and aesthetic. “They aren’t just learning how to make burgers, they are learning how to plate the food and create tacos,” Kunz said. “Students have come in here and said, ‘this is the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had. We wouldn’t serve anything to eat or drink that we couldn’t give to our family or loved ones.” The menu is prepared with college students in mind, with a little nod to the New Yorkers. “The bagels are from Bagel Jay’s, I had to get good bagels because there are a lot of students from Long Island,” Kunz said. The Kunz’s hope their shop will be a safe alternative to the local bar and party scene for students who live in the Heights. The building has a green-space in the back and plans to incorporate live music and patio seating for the summer. Kunz said her philosophy isn’t about the “almighty dollar.” Grateful Grind’s motto is, “May you love your life, follow your dreams and always, always be grateful.” Signs scatter throughout the shop’s interior reading “no judgement zone.” “It’s really important for me to have the customers and the people who walk through our door have a better experience,” Kunz said. “To feel better about themselves essentially than when they came to us.” The coffee shop isn’t meant for one “type” of customer, explained Kunz. She and her husband want all people to feel comfortable – whether they’re doing business, studying, or meeting their mother for lunch. Grateful Grind Coffee is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. email: features@ubspectrum.com

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12

SPORTS

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE SPECTRUM

RACING TO THE OLYMPICS Record-breaking UB sprinter Ryan Billian looks to achieve his Olympic Dream JEREMY TORRES

STAFF WRITER

When Ryan Billian was younger, his mom used to tell him he was wasting his talent. Billian played a ton of sports when he was younger, excelling at them all but never specialized in one. He played soccer, track, baseball, bowling, archery, football, tennis, golf and volleyball. Now, Billian is determined to maximize his own potential in just one sport: track and field. Billian is one of the most decorated athletes at UB. He holds records in the indoor 60-meter hurdles and long jump. In outdoor, he has records in the 100-meter dash, is tied for the 200-meter dash, the 110-meter hurdles, long jump and the 4x100-meter relay. He has been running track for 17 years and now he only wants one thing: to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in the 100-meter dash. The USA track and field standards to qualify for the Olympic Trials in 2016 was 10.15. Billian’s current best time in the event is a 10.35, and he is hoping to get his time down to a 10 flat by this year. “My grandma is already learning Japanese,” Billian said in reference to the 2020 Olympics taking place in Tokyo, Japan. Billian’s family believes in him. The Olympics are nothing more than a dream for most people. But for Billian, the Olympics are an obtainable goal. A solid support system is crucial and having teammates and coaches willing to help obtain his aspirations is necessary. “He is definitely going to be a professional athlete in one of his events if not all of them,” said senior captain and polevaulter Dan Normoyle. “The sky is the limit really… the Olympics, there is no cap. It just depends on the situation he gets put in with the right coach and right environment.” Billian is willing to put in the work needed to get to the Olympics. While most other UB track athletes only train twice a day, Billian trains three times. “I had Olympic aspirations the last cycle [2016],” Billian said. “2020 Tokyo definitely… My expectations for myself are high. So I definitely have aspirations that are high and I want to accomplish everything my

COURTESY OF PAUL HOKANSON, UB ATHLETICS

Senior Ryan Billian warms up before a meet. Billian has broken several records in his UB career and is hoping to make a run at the 2020 Olympics.

body can possibly accomplish… I want to be at the highest level at one time.” Coming in as a freshman, Billian was an underdog. He was eager to prove himself but it took time for him to become one of the team’s leaders. “I had people that were near me or better than me in a lot of my events so that helped push me to get ahead of them and then once I was among the fastest or among the furthest jumper, then it’s really about internalizing introspecting and figuring out what tweaks I have to make in order to perform better,” Billian said. With the weather and facilities at UB, it is not easy being an athlete. Being “gritty” is a part of being a Division-I athlete.

“I live life in second place; you have to live life in second place. You can’t be complacent,” Billian said. “You can be satisfied at times with your achievements but there is always that hunger. You always want more for yourself… the environment of Buffalo really forces you to clench your teeth together and get through what you are getting through. You’ve been through worse before.” There aren’t top-notch facilities at UB. Although Billian says the coaches are great, he knows they are Olympic caliber coaches. Billian is aware of this and uses it as a chip on his shoulder to work harder. “The combination of the facilities we have here, the coaching, the environment, all

Putting his name on the map UB wrestler Bryan Lantry looks to continue his success at NCAA Championships

COURTESY OF PAUL HOKANSON, UB ATHLETICS

Sophomore Bryan Lantry wrestles an opponent. Lantry will wrestle at NCAA Championships this weekend.

DANIEL PETRUCCELLI ASST. SPORTS EDITOR

When UB wrestlers first enter the program, John Stutzman tells each of them that they have to find their “edge.” Sophomore Bryan Lantry did not have a hard time finding his. He was 120 pounds in high school and under recruited, despite winning a New York State title. For Lantry, being overlooked has always been that edge. “So he comes here and wants to prove that not only is he the best guy in the country but that a lot of people overlooked him,”

Stutzman said. So far in his UB career, Lantry has already put his name on the map. Last year, he qualified for NCAA Championships as a freshman. This season, he has already defeated five ranked wrestlers and earned a silver medal at the MidAmerican Conference Championships. But he’s still not satisfied. “In my mind, I failed,” Lantry said. Lantry only wanted gold. Stutzman likes Lantry’s competitive nature and praises his “ornery” attitude. This weekend, he will compete again in NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the No. 11 seeded wrestler in

the 133-pound weight class and has his sights set on becoming an All-American by finishing in the top eight. Lantry has been competitive since he was a kid. Stutzman said Lantry is always the most aggressive when the wrestling team plays dodgeball. His family notices it to. “He has two brothers and a sister and he always has to be number one in everything they do,” said Lantry’s father, Ron Stramonine. “Between spikeball in the backyard, to volleyball, to swimming laps in the pool, he has to be first in everything.” Lantry had a successful career before coming to Buffalo. He managed to place in the

that it is not the greatest set up,” Billian said “But it is where I am, it is where I chose to be, it is who brought me in. There are times when I have gotten pissed. People in Texas, Florida, Arkansas, California, Oregon, they have a better situation than I have.” Billian has to look past the wooden track and having legs so powerful that the ground moves when he explodes off the blocks. “There have been times where I have said that is not fair,” Billian said. “I’m pushing myself to get past the bulls**t. Screw the environment. Screw the facilities and screw the situation that I’m in.” That attitude of self-motivation and thinking out of the box allows there to be endless growth. Billian plans on moving after college to train for the 2020 Olympics. He feels once he takes his work ethic to a different environment, he will make tremendous strides. “We are flowers growing out of concrete.” Billian said. In order to reach a goal, an athlete must make sacrifices. Billian is aware of this and so is head coach Vicki Mitchell. “Some will call it sacrifices, I call it a lifestyle.” Mitchell said. “If you want to be the lifestyle of an excellent Division-I athlete, you are going to have to make those adaptations, those adjustments to what you do on a daily basis to be great and Ryan does that.” One sacrifice Billian does not make is with his diet. He eats pepperoni pizza, cinnamon toast crunch, chicken and pasta. On his recruiting trip to Buffalo, his love for pizza became apparent right away. “When I was on my recruiting trip we [my coach and mom] went to Wegmans and [the coach] had given me money to get food.” Billian said. “I came back with a frozen DiGiorno pizza. My coach and mom were just hysterical and my mom kept apologizing for me, and coach said ‘you know I meant something fresh we can eat right now?’ and he loves to bring that story up.” Billian knows 10 seconds in the 100-meter dash is what will get him to the Olympics. Without Buffalo, he recognizes he would not be where he is today. “At the end of the day, there is not a question in my mind I wouldn’t pay respect to Buffalo,” Billain said. “They played a fiveyear part in the reasoning of why I am where I am. So I really feel like there is an inevitable respect that has to be paid because that is where I found my aspiration to become an Olympic athlete.” email: sports@ubspectrum.com

top five of the state tournament during his sophomore and junior season at Wayne High School. But that wasn’t what he wanted. In his senior year, he was able to achieve his goal when he captured a New York State title. But in his mind, he felt like that moment should have come sooner. “I didn’t have that special moment that a lot of other athletes get after winning state titles,” Lantry said. “I won the state title and it was more like, why didn’t I do this two or three times?” UB was one of the programs that invested time in recruiting him. Lantry connected with his attitude and the plans he had for Buffalo wrestling. Although Lantry is out on the mat alone, he knows he represents more than just himself. He wants to represent his coach and university just as badly as himself and his family. “That’s what you go to the national tournament to do, to earn respect for yourself and the university,” Lantry said. “I want people to be afraid to wrestle someone that’s wearing a Buffalo singlet.” Lantry is the kind of wrestler that can make people fear the Buffalo singlet. His relentless style can cause havoc for his opponents. He likes to wear out his opponents in the first period so he can capitalize in the later periods. He sees the match as a chance to push people to their breaking point. “I want to dominate my opponents,” Lantry said. “I don’t want close matches anymore, I want to go out there and I want to mentally break every single opponent.” Lantry will have two more years to make his mark. The way he sees it, a national championship is a matter of when, not if. “He’s a tough SOB and he could go down here as one of the greatest UB wrestlers of all time,” Stutzman said. email: daniel.petruccelli@ubspectrum.com

The Spectrum Vol. 66 No. 40  

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

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