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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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UB students vandalize property in professor’s YouTube video

A university spokesperson said UB believes the students are not currently living at the residence near South Campus

<p>The video was filmed over the course of five months in University Heights. That neighborhood, located around UB's South Campus, is home to multiple Greek life houses and other UB students.&nbsp;</p>

The video was filmed over the course of five months in University Heights. That neighborhood, located around UB's South Campus, is home to multiple Greek life houses and other UB students. 

On March 18, a more-than-nine-minute video chronicling vandalism committed by UB students in a neighborhood near South Campus was uploaded to YouTube. 

The video shows the college-aged residents and guests of 67 Englewood Ave. throwing a microwave into their next door neighbor’s garage, attempting to (sometimes successfully) break down the fence separating their backyard from a neighbor’s, throwing a partially full beer can at a neighbor’s window, and hitting a neighbor’s garage with boards and other objects. One of the video’s many captions says the “hooliganism” occurs “every weekend with rare exception.” 

The video is composed mostly of footage from a Ring camera pointing at the students’ backyard from the second floor of an adjacent house. It was filmed between November 2023 and last March, according to a video caption. 

Evidence suggests the video was created by Y.G. Lulat, a UB professor in the Department of Africana and American Studies. Records from the City of Buffalo property viewer and Erie County Real Property Tax Services list Lulat as the owner of the only home behind 67 Englewood Ave. The video was posted to the YouTube channel “The Elegant Brain,” which uses the name and logo as a website used by Lulat to share class materials with his students. The video’s author also identifies themself as a faculty member in a video caption. 

“It goes without saying that this recurrent weekly hooliganism, which constitutes a form of harassment, is creating among neighbors great stress,” one video caption reads. “I have been in this area for more than 40 years, and I have never seen or experienced anything like this before.” 

Lulat, who is on sabbatical, did not respond to several requests for comment from The Spectrum in time for publication. 

WIVB reported on the incidents days later, on March 22, but did not identify the video’s creator. A Buffalo Police spokesperson told WIVB that the police haven’t been called to the property since October 2023, but police regularly break up parties in University Heights on the weekends. 

One video caption appeared to indicate that Lulat had called the police on prior occasions.

“If you were in our shoes what would you do?” it reads. “No, calling the police has not helped. When they arrive the hooligans become quiet and disappear into the basement of their house, and the police simply drive on.”

UB spokesperson John Della Contrada said in a statement that UB is aware of the YouTube video and have identified the undergraduate students who they suspect were in the video.

UB worked with the Buffalo Police E-District to hold the residents and other individuals involved accountable for their behavior,” the statement reads. “We also reached out to the neighborhood resident affected by the behavior to indicate that the university is taking action, in collaboration with the Buffalo Police Department, to stop the disruptions.” 

Della Contrada says UB believes the students are not currently living at the residence. He added that UB has developed a low-tolerance policy for students who disrupt the neighborhoods they live in. Students who are found to have violated that policy could face consequences — including “long-term suspension and expulsion from the university” — through the student-conduct process or the legal system.

Sarah Owusu is an assistant news editor and can be reached at sarah.owusu@ubspectrum.com

Alisha Allison is an assistant news editor and can be reached at alisha.allison@ubspectrum.com

Grant Ashley is the editor in chief and can be reached at grant.ashley@ubspectrum.com 


GRANT ASHLEY
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Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 


SARAH OWUSU
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Sarah Owusu is an assistant news editor at The Spectrum. In her free time she enjoys reading, baking, music and talking politics (yes, shockingly). She'll also be her own hairdresser when she needs a change. 

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