The Other Queen City
Sociologists call them "toxic neighborhoods," communities where the confluence of chronic poverty, drug trafficking, unemployment, violent crime and low educational levels create and sustain a perpetual underclass.Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, where I and 30 other students from UB's Newman Center spent our spring break, is a textbook case study of such a community.The neighborhood made headlines last April as the epicenter of the city's three-day race riots, sparked by the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white cop.
"Student Association, Inc."
The Student Association's preamble, mirroring the eloquent flourishes and idealistic goals of our nation's Constitution, outlines SA's duty to "exercise the fundamental responsibilities and rights of a democratic society."Despite the lofty professed intentions, essential components of a democratic government are compromised by SA's administration, both structurally and in practice.
Justice Scalia Sticks to the Classics
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia shared his rule of thumb for constitutional interpretation with a crowd of lawyers, law students and faculty from the UB Law School Wednesday afternoon: the Shakespeare principle.The principle, courtesy not of a legal scholar or a jurist but of a high school English teacher, came when a "sophomoric" classmate took issue with the Bard's famous tragedy, "Hamlet.""Mista," Father Tom Matthews told the student, "When you read Shakespeare, Shakespeare's not on trial, you are."Society's long-established traditions, Scalia said, are to the judge as Shakespeare is to the English student.As an "originalist," Scalia believes judicial opinion should be based on strict interpretation of the words of the Constitution or, when the text is ambiguous, it should be interpreted as it was when the text was written."When I'm called upon to say what the text means . I look to what people have said for hundreds of years."The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, for example, "could mean that the Constitution requires you to draft women into combat or unisex toilets," Scalia said.
Uprooting the Money Tree
Politicians - and their loyal brigade of lawyers, consultants, advisors and spin doctors - are experts at locating loopholes in even the most tightly-constructed regulations, particularly when the stakes are high.Campaign finance legislation, where the stakes are hundreds of millions of dollars and those sitting in Congress have the most to gain from maintaining the status quo of complex and ineffective stipulations, is certainly no exception.In such a climate, the passage of the Shays-Meehan bill by the U.S.
Daddy Took the T-Bird Away
Yesterday, as I angled my car between a Pontiac Aztek and a Lexus SUV in one of UB's student lots, I thought to myself, "There's something very wrong with this picture."The Aztek, a $21,500 "sport recreation vehicle" costs more than the price of my entire education here at UB.
"A Beautiful Heart, A Diseased Mind"
"A Beautiful Mind" is a beautiful movie. Growing up with an older sister who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and manic depression, I saw echoes of my family's own experience in the onscreen hardships of mathematical genius and schizophrenic John Forbes Nash Jr.
As a second-year columnist I have become accustomed to angry criticism levied from those at odds with my opinions.
Regional Culture Pulled Out of New York State Museum Storage
While multitudes of eager bargain hunters crowded stores in search of stocking stuffers and after-Thanksgiving steals on Black Friday, the New York State Museum unveiled its latest exhibit showcasing the diverse terrain and regional cultures found within the state's borders.Over 9,000 people visited the museum last weekend, foregoing the film debut of Harry Potter and the enticement of the malls to view the museum's most ambitious undertaking in recent years.The $4 million project boasts a caf?
Facelift Planned for Ellicott Food Service
Amidst all the attention focused on apartment expansion plans and the university's grand vision for a Lee Road complex, the Faculty Student Association has been quietly planning a $5 million renovation of the Ellicott complex food service operations, with construction slated to begin this spring.The area surrounding the Student Club, which has remained essentially unchanged since the complex's construction in the 1970s, is in desperate need of a facelift according to FSA Director Mitch Green."The facilities in Ellicott require updating to better serve the students," Green stated in an e-mail.