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THE SPECTRUM VOL. 67 NO. 45 | APRIL 16, 2018



Juuls at school: Vaping prohibited on campus, policy not enforced

SA hosts fourth annual Buffalo Untapped food festival

Splash and Burn: Swimmer Megan Burns reflects on recordbreaking career at UB




SUNY audit recommends 29 changes to UB Foundation finance, management operations

GSA organizes living stipend rally on Accepted Students Day

The report found the foundation ‘substantially complied’ with SUNY guidelines and procedures SARAH CROWLEY

A foundation board member served simultaneously on the board of a health insurance provider to which the foundation made 74 payments totaling nearly $3.8 million in 2014-15 and 105 payments totaling $4.9 million in 2015-16.”


In SUNY’s first-ever audit of the UB Foundation, officials recommended 29 changes to the financial and management policies the private nonprofit has in place to oversee the university’s $1 billion endowment. The report revealed foundation board members failed to disclose conflicts of interest, and on several occasions, voted on official business without quorum. Although SUNY officials found the foundation had “substantially complied” with state guidelines and had “many” necessary financial controls in place, the report recommended university and foundation officials review a number of questionable practices, some clearly at odds with SUNY guidelines and New York state law. > SEE

Student wants changes to Engineering Council constitution



Students and faculty march and hold up signs in the Academic Spine during Sunday’s living stipend rally. The rally was organized by the Graduate Student Association to be during this year’s Accepted Students Day.

UB community gathers to protest against low graduate student stipends at UB ANNA SAVCHENKO HARUKA KOSUGI ASST. NEWS EDITORS

Roughly 30 UB graduate students, faculty and community members gathered in the Student Union on UB’s Accepted

Students Day to participate in the rally to fight for higher wages and lower fees for graduate students. The protest was organized by the Graduate Student Association, and is the fourth demonstration on the issue of livable wages for graduate students since last fall. The number of prospective students and their families from the largest incoming freshman class on campus made Sunday the most visible protest yet. > SEE


Restrooms at UB lack menstrual product dispensers

Proposed SA amendment to better include transfer students GRAPHIC | PIERCE STRUDLER

SUNY resolution reveals push for campus-wide access to menstrual products WANLY CHEN ASST. FEATURES EDITOR BENJAMIN BLANCHET | THE SPECTRUM,

Engineering Council requires prospective coordinators to be a club e-board member. Omran Albarazanchi is proposing an amendment to the council’s constitution.


A transfer student has proposed changes to a Student Association policy that he said denies undergraduates who come to UB from other schools the ability to serve as Engineering Council coordinator. Omran Albarazanchi, a junior chemical engineering major, said current Student Association election rules discriminate against transfer students. He is advocating for an amendment that is up for an SA vote Monday at 7 p.m. > SEE


UB students, faculty and staff don’t have enough access to on-campus menstrual products. Products like tampons and pads are accessible in some off-campus public restrooms for purchase through a vending dispenser. These vending dispensers are seen in some UB restrooms, but are no longer in use. The vending dispensers haven’t been filled for over a decade, according to Michael Walker, director of campus custodial services. Walker said he could not provide the exact year the university stopped the service, but has never supplied products for the dispensers in his 13 years at UB. The university stopped offering the service due to student vandalism and costs to supply products, according to Walker.

He said CVS and the convenience store in the Ellicott Complex are on-campus locations where people can purchase menstrual products. The products are also available for free at Wellness Education Services, Health Services and the Student Association office. “The cost is where it’s very prohibitive. We are a very large campus and [dispensers] can cost anywhere from $300 to $500 a piece,” Walker said. “There’s the whole process of maintaining them and buying the products, as well.” An average box containing 18 tampons is roughly $6 at CVS. An average woman will spend $1,773 in her lifetime on buying tampons, according to The Huffington Post. Joanna George, a freshman biological sciences major, said she feels these oncampus stores are too expensive for purchasing menstrual products. “There aren’t that many places on campus where you can purchase [menstrual] products, and CVS is just overpriced,” George said. In October, the SUNY Faculty Senate proposed a resolution to provide students

on SUNY campuses with free menstrual products in all campus restrooms. SUNY Faculty Senate resolutions are submitted to Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson for support, according Domenic Licata, UB Professional Staff Senate chair. Licata said UB’s Professional Staff Senate endorsed the resolution this past December. Licata said if Johnson promotes the resolution to the campuses, the directive would identify funding sources or leave funding up to the campuses. He said the UB Professional Staff Senate has not received a statement from the chancellor as of April 7, but an update could come during the SUNY Faculty Senate meeting from April 19 to 21. “The decision whether or not to install the dispensers in the restrooms, and how they will be paid for, is expected to be made by the president,” Licata said. President Satish Tripathi received a report of the five resolutions last week, according to Licata. Licata said he has not yet received a response on Tripathi’s decision. > SEE RESTROOMS | PAGE 5

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AUDIT Auditors looked at financial practices in place from 2014-16 and identified at least four instances where UBF board members failed to disclose conflicts of interest. A foundation board member served simultaneously on the board of a health insurance provider to which the foundation made 74 payments totaling nearly $3.8 million in 2014-15 and 105 payments totaling $4.9 million in 2015-16. The report also found two foundation board members served on the board of a research and innovation center associated with UB. The foundation made payments totaling $8.7 million to the center during the audit’s two-year period. Although the audit did not find evidence that trustees participated in decisions or votes related to any of the transactions, it said the relationships should have been disclosed, and recommended foundation officials “proactively assist board members with identifying actual or potential conflicts of interest.” The report also questioned the use of foundation bank accounts for money generated through the Center for the Arts, athletics camps, continuing education programs and other campus activities. Money generated from state resources and state facilities should be managed in separate accounts in compliance with New York state law, according to the report. Board members also violated foundation bylaws several times over the twoyear period by voting on official matters without the required number of members present. Foundation bylaws require a majority of the board to be present for quorum, but in at least four instances, boards voted on official business with only half the

NEWS members present. In one instance, foundation board members voted on an investment transaction without the required number of members present. Auditors also recommended a number of changes regarding payroll and procurement policies. The report found that although the foundation established written policies for almost all other key business functions, it does not have a written policy regarding payroll. Among the recommendations, auditors said the foundation needs to reassess how it reports employee salaries on forms it’s required to file with the IRS to maintain its tax-exempt status. The foundation reported nearly $40 million in salaries for “non-employees,” despite providing the employees with health and fringe benefits and foundation-issued tax forms. Auditors questioned the classification, and said it should be reassessed in its next tax filing. Although university guidelines require campus officials to show at least three quotes for purchases over $50,000, the foundation does not follow up on disbursements to ensure goods and services are competitively bid on. In one instance, Campus Living employees spent more than $317,000 on bathroom flooring for foundation-run housing complexes, and the purchases were not properly documented. UBF executive director Ed Schneider thanked audit officials in a letter, writing, “UBF takes great pride in the work it has done over the years, and this audit and the many other reviews done over the years would seem to reinforce that point of view. … Thanks for your good work, thoughtful report and related recommendations.” Schneider also said he would work with SUNY and UB officials to address each of the report’s recommendations.

UB spokesperson John Della Contrada released an official statement that said the university is pleased the audit found the foundation to be “substantially compliant” with SUNY guidelines and the foundation operates with a “high degree of transparency, providing the public with information that is above and beyond what other campus-related foundations publicly disclose.” Twice since 2011, UB has successfully fought efforts in court to subject the foundation to open government laws. In 2012, UB spent thousands of dollars on lobbying while the state legislature considered a bipartisan bill that would subject campus-affiliated foundations to freedom-of-information laws, state records show. Separately, the foundation paid a lobbying firm $20,000 to represent its interests in Albany during the same period. The transparency bill was also on the UBF’s radar, according to state records. Della Contrada’s statement also said the university would help the foundation improve its practices and operations when appropriate. The audit comes almost a year later than SUNY auditor Michael Abbott originally told trustees it would be released. An arguably more critical audit from the State Comptroller’s office in February questioned whether current SUNY guidelines provided sufficient oversight for the state system’s 30 campus foundations. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recommended increased oversight and transparency of the private nonprofits, including regular audits. email: twitter: @crowleyspectrum. WRITER | DAVID TUNIS-GARCIA ARTIST | TAJ TAYLOR


THE THESSPECTRUM PECTRUM Monday, April 16, 2018 Volume 67 Number 45 Circulation: 4,000

EDITORIAL BOARD Editor in Chief Hannah Stein

Managing Editor David Tunis-Garcia

Creative Director Pierce Strudler

Copy Editors Dan McKeon, Chief Emma Medina Cassi Enderle, Asst. Lauryn King, Asst. Savanna Caldwell, Asst.

News Editors Sarah Crowley, Senior Max Kalnitz Haruka Lucas Kosugi, Asst. Anna Savchenko, Asst.

Features Editors Benjamin Blanchet, Senior Erik Tingue, Asst. Wanly Chen, Asst.

Monday, April 16, 2018 | 3

We should be welcoming Syrian refugees, not dropping bombs Attack comes too late, escalates problems EDITORIAL BOARD

On Friday night, the U.S. bombed Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in a Damascus suburb. But after more than 50 alleged chemical attacks during the Bashar al-Assad regime over the past seven years, it does not make sense to act now. If the U.S. was going to attack Syria, it should have happened during former President Barack Obama’s administration. But as a nation, we were reticent to act after what happened in Iraq. The time to intervene was five years ago. Now, the damage has already been done. The civil war in Syria is one of the worst humanitarian crises of all time, and Assad’s likely use of chemical weapons is inexcusable.

The U.S. should take steps to help alleviate the crisis, but at this point, military action is not the answer. The most effective action we can take to help Syria is accepting more refugees. The U.S. has only taken in 11 refugees this year. Last year, we took in over 3,000. European, North African and Middle Eastern countries, by comparison, have accepted millions. President Donald Trump’s decision to attack Syria is also at odds with his “America First” policy and has alienated some of his supporters as a result. The U.S. is often criticized for its tendency to act as a global police force, and this interventionist stance needs to stop. We pay defense contractors millions of dollars to bomb countries 6,000 miles away, but cannot support universal healthcare,

education, pay teachers adequate wages or fix crumbling infrastructure on our own soil. Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water. Our priorities as a nation are skewed and it is not only embarrassing, but also dangerous. It is not our job to police other countries. The U.S. interloping in other countries has become normalized, but if the situation were reversed, the morality of this philosophy becomes obvious. At this point, intervening will not accomplish much, and if anything, could cause more destruction than it would prevent. Other governments in the Middle East are condemning the attack. Trump’s decision to bomb Syria could encourage the rise of more terrorism, the Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement. While the U.K. and France, two of our closest allies, also decided to intervene in Syria, and it is generally within our best inter-

est to follow suit with our allies, not all of our allies are choosing to intervene in Syria. In fact, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would not participate in an attack on Syria. She said she believes a “full spectrum” of measures to address the Syrian conflict should be considered. That means supporting the work of the United Nations Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition Chemical Weapons, she added. The U.S. should take action to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria, but it should first focus its efforts on fixing its own problems. Any action in Syria at this point should be diplomatic, and all developed countries have a moral responsibility to accept Syrian refugees. The fact that our president thinks bombing rather than hospitality is the answer is disturbing and disappointing.

A$AP Ferg comes from the current biggest group in hip-hop if we don’t count Migos. His last record is full of peak trap hits, too. I’m personally not a huge fan, but I do know many who are. Ty Dolla $ign is the veteran in the lineup. He’s been in the game for a long time –– at least to a 19-year-old music fan’s standards. “Paranoid” and “Or Nah” kept us rocking a few years back, and his features will do the same. He’s the mainstream guy of the bunch, as well. As for this year’s opening act, SA picked one of my favorite rising stars in R&B. Daniel Caesar is known for his soulful love songs and slow jams, but most Spring Fest attendees are looking for something a little more energized. I’m concerned that students may just show up late, or they’ll spend his set scrolling through Instagram and wondering when Ty Dolla $ign is coming out. Well, they’d surely be missing out. His music may not be as lively as that of Ty or Ferg, but Caesar is going to put on an incredible show for students who make it to the festival early. This is the same guy who sold out five consecutive shows at the Danforth in Toronto this past winter, so there’s no need to brush him off. When SA announced Caesar, students flooded the replies with “who” and dissatisfied memes of that sort. But for students who’ve never heard of him, one spin of “Freudian” should make you a fan. Those who are familiar know

he’s a killer songwriter, has a stunning voice and can keep a crowd mesmerized. I honestly can’t wait to see him on that stage, even if I am the only one singing along. Last year, there were plenty of student complaints about Wiz Khalifa headlining Spring Fest. Before the show, I heard complaints that he fell off and was past his prime. Yet I remember walking away from Alumni after the show and hearing nothing but praise about his performance. Dolla $ign should offer the same amount of recent-throwback excitement on stage. The singer/rapper may not have many current solo hits, but older jams and his popular features should be enough to keep us engaged. Even with a rising R&B star and a man who’s been in the game a while, it’s nice to have A$AP Ferg as this year’s cherry on top. But let’s not forget the DJs and local talent that SA is bringing in for the show. Getting there early is a must, as supporting local talent is just as important, if not more, than catching the headliners. As students, we often underestimate the talent of the opening acts at our festivals. Ferg may get the crowd hyped with “Plain Jane” and Ty may keep our eyes glued to the stage with “Paranoid,” but Caesar’s “Best Part” will be the best part of the show for me. And yes, there will be tears.


Arts Editors Brenton Blanchet, Senior Brian Evans, Asst.

Sports Editors Thomas Zafonte, Senior

Editorial Editor Maddy Fowler

Multimedia Editors Allison Staebell, Senior Jack Li, Asst. Elijah Pike, Asst.

The best of the fests Why this year’s Spring Fest lineup soars compared to previous lineups BRENTON J. BLANCHET SENIOR ARTS EDITOR

Cartoonist Ardi Digap

PROFESSIONAL STAFF Office Administrator Helene Polley

Advertising Manager Ayesha Kazi

Graphic Design Managers Stephen Jean-Pierre JuYung Hong, Asst.

ABOUT THE SPECTRUM 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@ 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.

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I was a little upset when I found out Spring Fest fell on May 5, the same day as another concert I was planning on going to. I was even more upset, and slightly concerned, when I decided to sell my tickets to my show to attend this year’s fest without even knowing the lineup. In years past, SA has been hit or miss when it comes to booking talent at UB’s festivals and I really didn’t want to sacrifice my seats for the breathtaking Jorja Smith -– emphasis on breathtaking –– and wind up seeing some hot rapper I’ll forget in a few months. But my trade may not be so one-sided after all. This year’s Spring Fest lineup is as good as it’s been in recent history and it’s certainly the best festival lineup I’ve seen since starting at UB last fall. Even though I’ve seen the likes of Travis Scott, Zara Larsson and Rae Sremmurd hit the stage at UB’s festivals, this semester’s lineup is my favorite yet.

A$AP Ferg is preparing to take over hip-hop, Ty Dolla $ign has a string of unforgettable classics and Daniel Caesar is the best opening act money can buy. All three of these guys are the real deal. We didn’t get hit with any of the novelty acts I was worried about. We didn’t get stuck with Lil-anyone –– no offense to Wayne. We got a lineup of real talent in rap and R&B. SA absolutely killed it with this one. They gave me exactly what I wanted. I’d much rather see a lineup that appeals to students who have different rap-centric music tastes. I wanted to see artists who will be remembered down the line. And it looks like we got just that this year. Of course, SA’s survey results inspired them to book hip-hop and R&B acts, but the association still managed to find three from different branches of the two genres. And that made me realize something –– even with hundreds of student surveys to skim through and the same genres being requested every year, students were still upset about the lineup announcement. At this point, SA could pick Frank Ocean and Beyoncé and there still will be at least one student who isn’t happy.

Staying afloat with depression in college The grounding of unconventional emotional support animals SAMANTHA VARGAS STAFF WRITER

I spent the entirety of my freshman year locked in my dorm room. I would travel back and forth from Rochester every weekend and passed all of my free time in bed. My roommate became emotionally abusive towards the end of the fall semester, and to cope, I threw myself into different hobbies. Fast-forward almost a year and I have found fulfillment through my pets.

Seasonal affective disorder affects upwards of three million people per year, and living in one of the cloudiest city in the U.S. only furthers the effects. November through March is always hard. If I wasn’t spending days in bed, I was compulsively coping with food or excessive exercise. UB offers counseling for students with mental health issues, but I found that talking about depression doesn’t lessen the symptoms. Counselors would often recommend expensive light therapy or supplements that might not even work. Over the next summer, I decided to try and establish a pas-

sionate hobby that couldn’t be brushed aside during bouts of depressive episodes. Although I owned fish throughout high school, I never considered bringing them to college because of how arduous maintenance can be. Aside from daily feeding, an aquarium requires weekly cleaning and chemical balancing. It can also require upwards of hundreds of dollars in equipment. Despite all of this, I knew the benefits would outweigh any of the physical and financial burdens. I spent weeks looking into the specificities that go into the hobby. I had to learn the biology of water conditions and how to balance out ammonia. I realized that throwing a fish into a half-gallon bowl and feeding it the cheapest food was irresponsible and wrong.

email: twitter: @BrentBlanchSpec

UB’s dorm policy only allows a ten-gallon aquarium, which doesn’t give residents many options. I looked into studies about the negligence of fish owners and how to choose the best species for my circumstances. I decided on the African dwarf frog. African dwarf frogs are fully aquatic frogs that can grow up to three inches long. They’re very sensitive to the environment and require very particular care. I found them to be very personable. Everybody has opinions on how to deal with depression and other mental health issues, but drinking water and going on a hike isn’t the cure. Shifting your lifestyle choices may not help at all. I completely changed my diet and cut out anything that could be remotely considered unhealthy for months with little change. > SEE OPINION | PAGE 6


4 | Monday, April 16, 2018

Juuls at school Vaping prohibited on campus, policy not enforced MAX KALNITZ NEWS EDITOR

Jeremy Rodriguez sits in the back corner of his documentary class, where he stealthily hits his Juul –– a compact e-cigarette that resembles a USB stick more than a tobacco product. His professor doesn’t seem to notice the thin cloud of smoke, which immediately dissipates after Rodriguez exhales. New York state law prohibits vaping indoors in public and e-cigarettes are prohibited on campus under UB’s smoke-free policy. Rodriguez, a sophomore media study major, doesn’t care that he’s breaking UB policy because he knows he can get away with it. “I can use my Juul anywhere. Professors never notice if I take a quick puff in class,” Rodriguez said. “If I have a craving, I can’t always pull out a cigarette on campus or in a building, so these are perfect.” Vapes are currently not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration nor considered an approved device to help quit smoking. There are opposing schools of thought about whether the devices are a gateway to traditional cigarette use or serve as a cessation device, or both. Researchers have been fighting for stronger guidelines to warn potential users of the chemicals in e-liquids and the dangers of vaping. In 2017, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that banned using e-cigarettes and vapes indoors, and SUNY’s website says, “The university would seek to have e-cigarettes included [in the smoke-free policy] as there is no FDA approval to use [them] as a cessation device.” Rodriguez isn’t alone. Across the country, thousands of college students are using Juuls and other vapes to get their nico-



L .


tine fix and vaporize herbs, like marijuana. A 2016 report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 201314, nearly 36 percent of adults ages 18-24 had used e-cigarettes and almost 14 percent were regular users. The study also says e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes in 2014. Forty percent of users had never smoked cigarettes before. The statistics are problematic for Nancy Campbell-Heider, an associate professor in the nursing school, who recently published research on teens’ use of e-cigarettes. She said vape smoke is still harmful to the environment and humans. “People who vape somehow think they’re not contaminating the environment or anyone around them,” Campbell-Heider said. “Secondhand vape [is] just like cigarettes. If you’re sitting at the airport or bar, or even in your class, and someone next to you is vaping, it’s not regulated, so you’re subject to that secondhand smoke.” Erica Dombrowski, a senior political science major, hates when students vape during class. She finds the scent repulsive and is concerned about the health effects from secondhand smoke. “I think vaping inside is absolutely unnecessary,” Dombrowski said. “It’s totally fine outside, but there’s this obsessive need to do [it] in class, which is scary. There’s no enforcement.” Juuls require a small pod, containing nicotine and chemicals for flavoring. According to the company’s website, smoking one pod delivers the same amount of nicotine as smoking one pack of cigarettes. In New York, a four-pack of pods costs $15.99. By comparison, an average pack of cigarettes




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A student smokes his vape outside Lockwood Library next to a smoke-free sign. Vaping is prohibited under UB’s smoke-free policy. Students and faculty feel the university doesn’t do a good job enforcing its policy.

costs $10.50, according to Time. Students said pods may be more expensive, but the devices are inconspicuous, easily available and have a variety of flavors. Those factors, mixed with the university’s lackadaisical enforcement of the smoke-free policy, makes students feel comfortable vaping indoors, according to interviews. Rodriguez realizes he’s more addicted to his Juul than he was to cigarettes. He knows the Juul is bad for his health, but when he compares it to the 4,000 chemicals found in cigarettes, he said he feels better about vaping. “I’m way beyond hooked on this thing. It’s insane,” Rodriguez said. “I smoke my Juul way more than I smoked cigarettes. I go through a pod a day. If I smoked cigarettes the way I smoked my Juul, I’d easily go through more than a pack a day.” Faculty Senate chair Phil Glick said UB doesn’t know how to enforce its smokefree policy. President Tripathi recently rejected the Senate’s “Breathe Free UB” campaign, which would have implemented stronger regulations for smoking on campus. He didn’t specify a reason for the rejection, according to Glick. “The bottom line is that there’s a smokefree policy at UB right now that should be enforced. That’s official. It’s disappointing to me as a doctor. I know how bad smoking is,” Glick said. “As a faculty member who sees staff bringing their children to campus, I’m disappointed. I’m sure students are disappointed arriving on campus and seeing that no one is enforcing this. UB could do a better job enforcing what we’re trying to do: creating [a] safe environment for students to learn at, and that includes safe air.” Other students use Juuls in an attempt to quit smoking. Adam Shumaker, a senior marketing major, said he’s a social smoker. At parties he occasionally enjoyed a cigarette, but has never smoked them regularly. He wanted to stop buying cigarettes altogether, so a friend suggested he buy a Juul. “I still mainly vape when I’m drunk or have a buzz going,” Shumaker said. “I know some guys who have more traditional vape rigs and they’ll blow $500 or $600 on that s––t. I know they’re still unhealthy, but I feel like it’s better than smoking the occasional cigarette.” Research has proven there’s a discon-

nect between people who vape and smoke cigarettes. Lynn Kozlowski, a psychology professor at UB, co-authored a paper examining smoking and vaping trends. His research found evidence that people who vape don’t necessarily smoke cigarettes. “People who have tried cigarettes are likely to have also tried vaping,” Kozlowski said in an email. “[But] to date, the evidence is that very few people who have tried vaping –– but not cigarettes –– go on to become regular, daily smokers of cigarettes, although they may try a few cigarettes.” Kozlowski said much of the current data on cigarette smokers is skewed by individuals who have only smoked once or twice. Many people who vape wanted to compare it to cigarettes and may have only tried one for the taste. “It’s important to know whether someone has tried more than a few cigarettes or smokes only occasionally. Daily smoking of cigarettes has become a key measure of risks,” Kozlowski said. “While vaping should not be viewed as harmless, it is clear that smoking cigarettes is much more harmful than vaping.” Campbell-Heider is encouraged by this research, but believes e-cigarettes are still a gateway drug for kids to move onto smoking traditional cigarettes. Her own grandson started vaping and now smokes cigarettes. In 2016, more than 2 million middle and high schoolers said they used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days in response to a survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The respondents who said they recently vaped reflected roughly 4 percent of middle schoolers and 11 percent of high schoolers. Campbell-Heider said vaping will be a large issue for generations to come. “What we need is more research to pinpoint vapes’ dangers,” Campbell-Heider said. “These companies are misleading kids. Their brains can’t handle an addiction like an adult. They get that high and they want to have that high and then they’re addicted. Most kids don’t start with cigarettes. They start with e-cigs and then they want a bigger buzz.” email: twitter: @Max_Kalnitz


Monday, April 16, 2018 | 5

SA hosts fourth annual Buffalo Untapped food festival Food, beer and wine attract hundreds to Alumni Arena BENJAMIN BLANCHET, WANLY CHEN, ERIK TINGUE FEATURES EDITORS

Cold temperatures didn’t stop over 1,000 people from enjoying food and beverages outside on Sunday. SA hosted their fourth annual Buffalo Untapped event in the Lasalle Lot at Alumni Arena. The food festival featured five different breweries and wineries along with eight food trucks. Undergraduate and graduate students received $5 worth of food vouchers, and students 21 and older received five beverage vouchers as well. Matt Cosmai, SA entertainment director, said the number of vendors decreased from last year’s event because of Sunday’s weather. “A few people dropped out and unfortunately we had to cancel Battle of the Bands because they couldn’t play outside,” Cosmai said. “My hopes for this event are that accepted students can come by, since it’s Accepted Students Day, and they can have a good time. They can learn more about UB, but as always we want to bring the Buffalo community, like local vendors and businesses, to campus through [Untapped].” Food trucks lined the outer rim of the parking lot. Vendors like Lloyd Tacos, Macarollin’ and The Cheesy Chick brought students everything from burritos to grilled cheese. Chris Rowan, a vendor from The Cheesy Chick, said he participated in Untapped to provide students with quick, FROM PAGE 1

RESTROOMS Licata said the SUNY Faculty Senate recognizes products may be needed by people who identify as male, female or genderqueer and UB would need to accommodate them in whichever facility they choose to use. He said the resolution is in line with a previous proposal for campuses to provide gender-neutral facilities. After the resolution is presented to UB administration, it will be discussed and considered for implementation, according to university spokesperson John Della Contrada. The resolution follows the state’s current plan to provide free menstrual products for students in grades six to 12. The measure will go into effect on July 1. In a 2013 national study by Free The Tampon Foundation, 86 percent of women reported unexpectedly starting their period in public without proper products. More than half of these women said they didn’t have products because they forgot FROM PAGE 1

ENGINEERING The Engineering Council constitution says only students currently on a council-affiliated engineering club e-board can be elected coordinator. The coordinator is responsible for convening club council meetings and coordinating all activities within their council, according to SA’s constitution. Coordinators are a member of the SA senate, as well. Albarazanchi is currently not a member of an engineering council e-board, so he can not become coordinator under the current constitution. Albarazanchi said the policy prevents students transferring to UB as juniors from serving on the council. They can’t serve on a club e-board until their senior year unless someone on the e-board steps down, according to Albarazanchi. Albarazanchi transferred last fall from Monroe Community College, where he served as Engineering Leadership Council president. Albarazanchi was one of 438 transfer students enrolled in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences last semester. The amendment faces an uphill battle,


Students braved the cold to taste poutine, kabobs and mac and cheese at SA’s annual Buffalo Untapped.

on-the-go food. “My sister created the idea of The Cheesy Chick food truck about six years ago. We have been trying to get involved with as many events as possible,” Rowan said. Hannah Phearsdorf, Four Mile Brewing promoter, said the event was a good opportunity to bring the brewing industry together. “It’s pretty cool because we pretty much know each other,” Phearsdorf said. “We know what each other are bringing most of the time, and we work together which is the coolest part of the brewing industry.” Phearsdorf said events like Untapped are important for breweries in order to connect with students. She said these events are valuable for the company since it is not a brewery in the Buffalo region. “For us, we’re an hour and a half from [Buffalo], unlike the other ones here that are local,” Phearsdorf said. “This is a really good way for us to get our names out there and get people to know and recognize us.”

Cosmai said five bands were scheduled to perform at the event’s Battle of the Bands competition, which would have cost $350. The winner of the competition would have received $200. “I am disappointed it got cancelled, though, that’s not a lot of money for the students to work on that for so long and then they can’t even play,” Cosmai said. “But we have to do what we have to do for safety reasons.” Amber Palmer, senior pharmacology and toxicology major, said she enjoyed the bands’ previous performances in past years. “I’ve come in the past and the performances were really fun,” Palmer said. “I feel a little sad, but I know it would have really been hard to play in the cold.” Adam Behrendt, senior industrial engineering major, said he attended the event for the first time this year. He said the event was important for him as a senior, but was disappointed to find the performance canceled.

“I’m honestly not too happy about the Battle of the Bands being canceled,” Behrendt said. “I know some local bands were supposed to perform that my friends are in, but I guess it didn’t work out.” Despite the cancelation, hundreds of students braved the weather to enjoy the rare variety of food trucks, which are typically not allowed on campus. Palmer said she enjoyed the food options offered and would like UB to consider bringing more food trucks on campus. “I feel like it’s a little inconvenient that there aren’t more food trucks on campus,” Palmer said. “There are a lot of different options for food trucks, and it would be good to have more options available for students.” SA will look into rescheduling Battle of the Bands this spring, according to Cosmai. If a new date doesn’t work out, Cosmai said the event could be scheduled for the fall.

to carry them in their bags. Students told The Spectrum they’ve paid 25 cents to $1 for menstrual products from dispensers. George said despite the cost, she would feel safer if there were access to products in every on-campus bathroom. “Sometime [the products] are hard to find and I need it. If I didn’t have anything with me and I looked in the bathrooms, I would probably freak out because there [might] be none there,” George said. In response to the lack of accessibility to these products, students and staff have contributed their own menstrual products in a few bathrooms on campus. The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is the only UB academic department to provide the products in all of its restrooms. The practice started 18 months ago and is paid for by the engineering school, according to the school’s dean Liesl Folks. “It is common in tech-sector workplaces for such products to be provided to employees, so we felt that it was in keeping with the cultural norms for our com-

munity,” Folks said. A few engineering students said the baskets helped them in emergency situations. Marlee Shaffer said she directs her friends to the engineering buildings when they need a product. “I feel like there’s a wide variety of places where you can find them [in the engineering buildings], and I find that really helpful because I don’t have to worry about it if something happens,” said Shaffer, a sophomore environmental engineering major. Shaffer said she believes the practice should be incorporated throughout campus to make it convenient for students looking to use the products. The Wellness center and Health Services are two of at least three places students can receive free menstrual products, according to Wellness Education Services. Some students said while having these centers is helpful for getting menstrual products, they feel having them available in bathrooms would be better. Laura Zu, a freshman biological sciences

major, said having easy access to menstrual products is necessary for students. “UB needs to have [menstrual products] in restrooms for emergencies,” Zu said. “They need to be in more common places like bathrooms –– that just makes more sense.” Student Association President Leslie Veloz said SA addresses the need for such products by offering free menstrual products in its office. Veloz said menstrual products in all bathrooms would be ideal. “I think having access to free [menstrual] products is important and should be a priority for the UB community,” Veloz said. Walker acknowledged the issue, but said he hasn’t been approached by UB about any future plans as of April 6. “I don’t have a problem with providing these things, but we obviously need to have that coordination on how that will be done,” Walker said. “I have never been approached by anybody or a UB administrator to provide [products], so I don’t know where it sits.”

Albarazanchi said, with perhaps as many as 33 percent of the current council in opposition to the proposal. “I hope it gets a majority vote, but then I wouldn’t know why one third of the [council] would be so against it,” Albarazanchi said. “Would they tell their members that transfer students don’t have the same rights as a regular student? We all go to UB, so I just can’t see how they would tell [that] to their own members –– especially engineers. There are so many transfer students.” Tanahiry Escamilla, the SA Engineering Council coordinator, said the constitution does not discriminate against students. “Any undergraduate student is welcome to be a part of any undergraduate club, including engineering clubs,” Escamilla said. “In the future, I would like to see the council bring up that if an e-board member of their club thinks a club member is capable of being coordinator, that could be an option.” Escamilla said the amendment is worded in a way that includes transfer students and excludes freshmen who want to run for coordinator. Engineering Council is not the only council in SA that requires students to be e-board members. International Council and Hob-

by Council prioritize e-board experience in elections, but elections are opened up when no e-board members run for coordinator. In SA general e-board elections, there are no eboard requirements. Jacob Brown, SA elections and credentials coordinator, said each council is responsible for voting on and amending its own constitution. Brown said policies like those in the Engineering Council constitution are to ensure experience on the council level. On April 9, the council held an emergency meeting and approved a motion allowing Albarazanchi to run. Escamilla, Brown, SA vice president Ben Harper and SA president Leslie Veloz then met with Albarazanchi to discuss how the amendment couldn’t pass in its current state. Escamilla said there is a lot to her position, from working with the School of Engineering and arranging Engineering Week. Escamilla’s role also requires knowing who to reach out to and what has worked for clubs in the past. “The coordinator is supposed to be the one who helps clubs, especially the ones who are elected for next year. A lot of the council is in their first year being elected to this position. So that’s also a concern,” Es-

camilla said. “From what I’ve seen, we just go based on SA experience, dealing with engineering clubs and students.” Brown said the proposed amendment needs to be revised in order to pass. Brown said the proposed amendment does not specify what article in the engineering council constitution it will replace. He said he wants to work with Albarazanchi to open up elections. “I think it’s a great idea to allow more people to run, to get more diversity instead of an exclusive group,” Brown said. “As for this amendment, it’d be tough to know where it’d fit into the constitution.” The amendment needs a two-thirds vote from the council and approval from the SA office to pass. If the amendment passes, it has to be tabled again for at least a week before it can be finalized, according to Brown. Escamilla said the pro-staff and administration within the engineering school have been updated on the amendment proposal. She said the school is confident engineering clubs will make a reasonable decision on Monday.


email: twitter: @wanly_chen

email: twitter: @BenjaminUBSpec


6 | Monday, April 16, 2018 FROM PAGE 1

STIPEND Nicole Lowman, a leader of the living stipend movement, said she thought Accepted Students Day was an ideal time to get the attention of UB officials. “We thought that this would be the place where UB administration was trying to make themselves look as great as possible,” said Lowman, a graduate student in the English department. “They’re trying to really draw people here and we know that they get tuition dollars from them, and we thought the people here who are considering whether they want to come to UB or send their children here should know about the exploitative practices of the university.” The average stipend across all graduate departments was $17,343 in the 2016-17 academic year, according to UB’s Office of Institutional Analysis. Graduate students pay over $2,500 in fees, leaving less than $15,000 a year. The MIT living wage calculator approximates the standard livable income for a Buffalo resident to be $24,072. The protesters took their signs from the Student Union to 1Capen and back chanting, “UB works because we do,” “Waive the fees” and “Here is how, fair pay now.” After reconvening in the SU, professors and students used the moment to give speeches about stipends. The chants were aimed at the UB administration, which released an official statement earlier in the morning of the protest saying that “graduate assistants at


OPINION Even though I still feel the fatigue, my frogs push me to keep going. I feel driven to take care of them because they’re unable to take care of themselves; knowing that they would die without my constant maintenance is the extra boost I needed. There are some hardships that I have to face occasionally –– traveling for ex-

UB today receive a total funding package of about $38,000.” Lowman said even the most liberal estimates of the financial package she receives from UB amounts to around $31,000 and questions the discrepancy. “I would really like them to delineate what the hell they’re talking about with that number,” Lowman said. Botan Dolun, a third-year teaching assistant in the philosophy department, said he receives a stipend of around $13,000 a year, before taxes. Dolun said he cannot survive on his current stipend without the financial support of his family. “Without it, I really couldn’t survive in Buffalo as a grad student, and my major problem is being dependent on my family,” Dolun said. When asked their thoughts, most prospective students and parents seemed indifferent to the rally, and a few said the demonstration left them with a slightly negative impression. Prospective nursing student Natalie Sherwood said she heard chants while shopping for UB apparel in the SU and thought the rally was inappropriate. “It was different. I feel like there is a time and place, and this wasn’t either one,” Sherwood said. SUNY Student Association President Marc Cohen also attended the rally to support the protesters. Cohen, who’s currently running for New York State Assembly, said as a graduate student at SUNY Albany, he understands the pressure to choose

between “books and food.” Faculty Senate Chair Philip Glick said he felt strongly about the poor financial situation many graduate students find themselves in. “If there are graduate students here who are going to bed hungry, for five out of seven nights a week, it’s unconscionable,” Glick said. “Graduate students need to be able to eat good breakfasts, and have a good dinner so they go to sleep satiated and wake up energized before they go to work, because otherwise this is like a third world country.” A recent National College Health Assessment report showed that 25 percent of UB students experience some degree of food insecurity. On March 12, the GSA passed a resolution urging UB administrators to take “immediate action” to raise graduate stipends to living wage levels and highlighted the student’s vulnerabilities to financial hardships. The proposed resolution also asked President Satish Tripathi to establish a committee to study competitive minimum stipend levels and make recommendations on how change should be implemented. Lowman said that the resolution was sent to UB administrators, and GSA received a response from provost Charles F. Zukoski saying students should communicate with the deans of their departments. “They work with their budgets to set stipend levels,” Lowman said. “But at the end of the day, we know that the reality is that the budgets that the deans get come from the officials. We’re really tired of the

tended breaks and treating the occasional illness. These kinds of problems happen when owning any kind of animal. It probably even applies to people who just own plants. When you care about something, it doesn’t matter what obstacles are in the way. I could register my frogs as emotional service animals for as little as $54, according to the National Service Animal Registry. This would require any future land-

lords to permit them within the residence. It isn’t necessary now, but knowing that there are government regulations in place is relieving. Obviously, frogs and fish are not the stereotypical service animal. They probably don’t make service vests that small. I found that they are a great alternative to the thousands of dollars that go into training and caring for service dogs. They’re also one of the few options avail-

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English Professor Jim Holstun stands in the center of the living stipend rally to voice support for graduate students asking for livable wages. Roughly 30 UB community members attended the rally, which took place Sunday on Accepted Students Day.

buck being passed.” UB recently announced a four-year plan that will increase new graduate students’ base stipends within the English department’s doctoral program from $15,000 to $18,000 in the first two years, starting next fall. Under the plan, the English department will reduce its enrollment by 15 students, eventually bringing its total doctoral enrollment to 50. Lowman credits the movement in the English department to how vocal English graduate students are. She feels the next step UB officials should take is to waive the $2,000 student fee. email:

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Swimmer Megan Burns reflects on record-breaking career at UB

Megan Burns didn’t want to swim in college. During her senior year of high school, Megan said she was lazy, unmotivated and unwilling to put effort into swimming and academics. She got into fights with her mom and coaches as they pushed her toward the pool. Megan’s mother, Kim, had to constantly step in to encourage her not to quit. One year later, she competed at the 2015 Mid-American Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. Megan raced in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events. She won both. “I will break records,” then-freshman swimmer Megan Burns told The Spectrum in 2015. “And I will try to be better than any swimmer before I graduate.” She doesn’t remember saying that, but the record books do. With seven school records to her name, she firmly planted herself as one of, if not the best swimmers in school history.

“As a younger kid, you always want to be better than your brother or sister,” Bashor said. “As an older kid, yeah not yet, maybe later. It’s a really good dynamic that they have.” Megan excelled in the classroom, making the academic All-MAC team in two consecutive seasons. In order to qualify, student athletes must maintain a 3.2 GPA and compete in over half of their events. Megan made it with a 3.46 and 3.53 GPA as a nursing major in her junior and senior seasons, respectively. “I don’t think our team gave her enough kudos for doing nursing and swimming at the same time,” Katelyn said. “It has definitely inspired some of the girls on our team to take on things like that too. She set a really great example of that, even for myself. She has given me something great to look up to.” Megan began her nursing clinicals a few weeks before the MAC Championships this year. She’s successfully balanced being a top athlete while being a top student. Bashor said he will always know Megan as “the fastest girl to ever come out of the MAC.”



“That’s nice,” Megan said in response to that title. “Based off the times, I’m the best sprinter. I don’t think in history,” she said. “I guess I’m the best sprinter so far.” UB swimming and diving coach Andy Bashor can list her other qualifications. “In terms of overall accomplishments, she is a two-time UB student athlete of the year, one-time MAC swimmer of the year. She’s won the 50 and 100 free all four years, the 200 free last year,” Bashor said. “So, she has nine individual titles, school records on relays in the 50 and 100. She has had a tremendous impact. She was an Olympic trial qualifier.” Megan holds seven total school record times. Individually, she holds the records in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle. She shares the record for the 200 and 400-yard medley relay and the 200, 400 and 800yard freestyle relay with other teammates. According to Megan’s younger sister and teammate sophomore swimmer Katelyn Burns, former UB swimmer Mallory Morell inspired Megan. Morell and Megan went to the same high school and were good friends. Morell formerly held the records in the 50-yard freestyle and the 200free relay, until Megan broke them. While on the same team, the sisters said they are not competitive. Katelyn looks up to Megan and uses that as motivation to get faster. With a career best time of 23.19 seconds in the 50, Katelyn still has time to reach her sister’s record time of 22.04 seconds.

Megan began swimming competitively at eight years old. Even then, she felt like it was a hassle. “I really didn’t want to swim,” Megan said. “My coach and my mom convinced me, saying ‘Don’t waste it. You might end up liking it.’ And I did.” She claims to have never put in her best effort before UB. At Rush-Henrietta Sperry High School, Megan was named to the All-Greater Rochester team four years in a row and won sportsman of the year at the state championships her senior year. With all of her accolades, Megan still wasn’t sure about swimming until an open camp where she met her new teammates and Bashor. “I didn’t really start having fun until I met my friends here at UB,” Megan said. “My friends keep me interested in the sport. I love them all. They’re like my sisters.” In her freshman year, she swam to an undefeated record of 52-0 in meets and earned team best times in the 50 and 100yard freestyle events. Bashor’s guidance was a constant for all four of Megan’s seasons. “We understood her background, knowing that it’s limited in training, knowing that she didn’t train all year,” Bashor said. “She had a certain skill set –– a good stroke –– everything there that if she really bought into what we were doing and really bought into being an elite student athlete that she could become that. She did it.” Megan feels great about the success. “I never tried very hard before and nev-



(top) Megan Burns swims in her lane. (bottom) Megan Burns celebrates winning the 50-yard freestyle with teammate Eve Kosten.

er did as well as I wanted,” she said. “Now that I’ve seen my results at UB, I know that I can go farther.” Megan competed at Olympic trials the following season. Although she didn’t make the Olympic team, she successfully defended her MAC titles in the 50 and 100 freestyle as a sophomore. In her junior year, she would break all seven of her current school records.

VICTORY DESPITE CUTS In April 2017, UB Athletics announced it was cutting four Division I sports teams including the men’s swimming and diving team. Bashor coached the team and the cuts severed the family atmosphere he created. “It was really sad at first,” Megan said. “I was so dramatic. I was like, ‘Oh, it’s not going to be the same, like, this is over. This is going to suck.’” For the first time in her career, Megan was not swimming alongside a competitive men’s team. There was a lot of uncertainty coming from a team that just saw half of its community cut. “Honestly, when it actually came around and school started, the freshman class was awesome,” Megan said. “This sounds terrible, but I didn’t really notice. We were going to practice, you’re working hard and there’s more focus on us. We missed the guys for sure, but it sucks for them. There was less drama. It was hard, but we can do it.” The team completed its best season in school history this year. The women’s swimming and diving team went undefeated and placed third overall at the MAC Championships in February, tying their best finish at the event. Since the cuts, Bashor had to change his mentality towards the team and coaching. “We’re not going to remember the times we swam. We’re going to remember the friendships,” Bashor said. “They’re going to remember these moments; to me that’s what college athletics is all about.”

LEAVING THE POOL In one word, Megan described her whole

career as “unexpected,” in both swimming and nursing. Even her mom didn’t think Megan would get into nursing. She made it to the NCAA Championships her sophomore and junior year while only missing out her freshman year by .016 seconds. Megan didn’t go into either event expecting to win. “When you get to [NCAA Championships] you’re just like, ‘OK, there’s a lot of fast people and they’re faster than you,’” Megan said. “Olympic trials was just cool because I wasn’t trying to score there, but you got to see all the Olympians swim. I’m never going to go to the Olympics to watch, but I got to see them anyways.” At the MAC Championships, she won gold in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle being the first ever MAC swimmer to win those events four years in a row. Megan did not meet the time requirement and missed out on NCAA Championships this season. “I was kind of upset, but also kind of relieved,” she said. “School and swimming was getting to be too much. I wanted to go to watch, but I didn’t want to swim. It was sad, but I needed to be done. I was getting too stressed with swimming and school. It would have been nice to go, but I would’ve had to go alone.” Going alone is something Megan never enjoyed. Without her teammates, she would never have been motivated to get to the point she’s at today. She’s stood atop the podium by herself enough times in her career that she’s gotten used to it. Other than her personal best times, she reminisces on her teammates’ successes. “Last year, when we won the 200 free relay, I didn’t think we were going to and it was really close,” Megan said. “It’s mostly just remembering when my friends did well, because it’s really awesome when you see someone working hard and they finally get it.” Although Megan doesn’t see herself living in Buffalo after college, she hopes her records stay here for a while. She knew she was not very fast before coming to UB and people have asked her why she didn’t go to a bigger school. Megan said she is thankful for Bashor for recruiting her. “I don’t have any regrets,” Megan said. “It was a perfect fit.” email:

The Spectrum Vol. 67 No. 45  
The Spectrum Vol. 67 No. 45  

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