Letter to the editor


When my girlfriend showed me the letter from the editor of the Spectrum to its readership regarding its blank cover, I read it and said to her, “Here we go again.” 

A couple of Undergraduate Student Association officials decided not to let a Spectrum editor into the International Student Fiesta. The reason: A senior arts editor forgot to apply for a press pass before the event. Thus, the officials at the door of the crowded CFA made the decision to not let the editor into the room. 

Should the editor have had a press pass? Yes. Should the SA official have let the editor in? Yes. 

Is that what matters about the story? No. 

My initial reaction was not about the arts editor’s mistake, the Spectrum’s coverage or the narrow view of the SA official who didn’t let the only independent and student run newspaper into the event, here’s why. 

The Faculty Senate Executive Council in February voted on a resolution which asked the administration of UB to fund a living stipend for all graduate students without simultaneously cutting the amount of graduate student teaching assistants, as these workers have become essential to the university’s teaching mission. The committee voted 8-3-4 in favor of the resolution, and the votes were public. Two weeks later, after Provost Zukoski gave a speech about the “difficult” financial situation at UB, a seemingly different group of faculty senators voted on what was essentially the same resolution. It was staunchly voted down in private ballot 3-12. 

The answers about the African American Studies department and about systematic racism at the university are increasingly unspecific and underwhelming. When the spokesperson for the university says of EOP, “We are extremely proud of the program and advocate for its ongoing support,” it would help if the money being funneled into the program relayed that same message.

At the last UB Council Meeting, the Council illegally went into executive session after refusing to listen to graduate students’ response to the Provost’s presentation from the previous December meeting. Mind you, this presentation largely scapegoated CAS, individual departments, and its message seemed to be “get over it.” As a reminder, Michael Jones –– the student representative on the Council –– suggested at the December meeting that UB Council have at least some room for open forum. This suggestion seems to have been totally ignored. 

The Music Library, one of the cornerstones of the arts at UB, has a totally uncertain future. The planning for the library space has gone on completely behind closed doors. This is meant literally. The only information we have is that the university is only tallying when you go out of the door and not when you go in. The Spectrum article on the music library is only filled with non-answers from higher-ups. 

So when The Spectrum, the only independent journalistic outlet on campus, isn’t let into the International Student Fiesta - an event which will be plastered all over promotional materials –– you can’t blame me for saying, “Here we go again.” Anti-transparency just seems to be standard operating procedure here at UB. 

--Mike Montoro 

Ph.D. math student