about the author

Benjamin Blanchet is the senior engagement editor for The Spectrum. His words have been seen in The Buffalo News (Gusto) and The Sun newspapers of Western New York. Loves cryptoquip and double-doubles.


And now, the end is near
Eighteen-year-old eyes. A future in business. It was all the luggage I needed for Grandpa’s 2005 Kia. And close to 300 miles later, some of the first mist I got on that luggage came from exiting that old car, too. 
UB Provost A. Scott Weber navigates ‘unprecedented territory’ of COVID-19 situation
UB Provost A. Scott Weber recognizes this “changing” situation (before our interview, the housing refund news was hours away). He talked to The Spectrum via phone Tuesday as UB adjusts to a new reality: the coronavirus/COVID-19 global health pandemic has caused UB to shift to a “distance-learning” model effective March 23.
Students face limited on-campus dining options during first spring-break weekend
After university officials announced Wednesday that “dining will be open for students who remain on campus” given a “distance-learning” shift at UB, students woke up to the contrary on Saturday. Security gates shut down popular on-campus food establishments Saturday and the only places open on campus were in The Commons, which does not accept student dining plans.
‘Mr. Brown can woo’
Kane Brown, one of the biggest artists in country music, touched down at the KeyBank Center Saturday as he secured another accolade: his song “Homesick” had just hit No. 1 on country radio. The song, dedicated to members of the armed forces, is a country ballad at its finest.
Students remember, reflect on friend through march to UB Stadium
Students, faculty and staff gathered for a march to remember their friend, fellow band member and peer, who died on campus Wednesday.  The gathering came a day after the 20-year-old male undergraduate student died in what university officials believe to be a suicide. The march and reflection on the student*, a member of the Thunder of the East Marching Band, allowed community members to come together, grieve and show their support for one another.
'Les Misérables' moves through pain, redemption and range during Buffalo stop
“Les Misérables,” the classic French novel turned musical, brought both emotion and precision during its opening night Tuesday at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.  The musical, which runs downtown through Sunday, is based around the redemptive tale of prisoner-turned-mayor Jean Valjean, the heartwarming story of young lovers Cosette and Marius and a student uprising that turns deadly.
A. Scott Weber emphasizes student retention, minority faculty growth in pitch to be next provost
UB has narrowed down its search for a new provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.  On Wednesday, UB’s provost search committee began a string of public forums, which end Dec. 11, for the five finalists for UB’s provost position. The forums will feature remarks from finalists and Q&A sessions for UB community members to speak with the potential second-ranking administrator at UB. Provost finalist A. Scott Weber, current interim provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, talked about the student government fiscal agent transition, budget models and hiring more minority faculty in the Buffalo Room on Wednesday.
Hot up in the six: UB basketball defeats Harvard in Toronto
  UB's trip to Toronto was a chance for the NCAA to showcase some of its brightest to an up-north crowd. While the trip up Queen Elizabeth Way wasn’t a long one for the men's basketball team, UB’s guards helped put an extra stamp on their passport Saturday: a big “W” against Harvard.
‘Center for the Trap:’ Gunna, DaBaby turn Fall Fest into Trap Fest
When UB built the Center for the Arts in 1994, Jonathan Kirk was three years old. He was just a baby.
Contractor’s Confederate Flag display causes student concern
Matthew Thornton typically walks by the Center for the Arts on his way to class. He’s well aware of the ongoing CFA construction project, which has fenced off part of the sidewalk between Alumni Arena and the Student Union.