about the author

Julian Roberts-Grmela is the senior news editor at The Spectrum


The Spectrum’s exclusive interview with Yusef Salaam of the ‘Exonerated 5’
Yusef Salaam and the four other members of the ‘Exonerated 5’ did not receive compensation until 12 years after the Daily News declared ‘We got the wrong kids’ on Oct. 11, 2002.  Over a decade earlier, the ‘Exonerated 5’ were wrongfully accused of raping ‘The Central Park Jogger.’ Salaam was imprisoned for nearly seven years for a crime he did not commit. 
UB introducing paper bags to comply with plastic bag ban
Campus Dining and Shops and other businesses around campus will stop offering single-use plastic bags as part of the state-wide plastic bag ban beginning March 1.  New York State created the law to reduce waste and other negative environmental impacts. All businesses required to collect NYS sales tax will be banned from distributing plastic bags, even during tax-exempt sales. Businesses are not required to provide alternative bags, like paper bags, so NYS encourages consumers to carry reusable bags with them.
Students urge UB Foundation to ‘divest’ from fossil fuels
UB Divest conducted a phone-banking drive on Wednesday, urging the UB Foundation (UBF) to “completely divest” from all investments related to the fossil fuel industry.
Quarantined students worry they may lose visa statuses, won’t graduate on time
Emily Mingxia’s* sophomore year at UB came to a halt when she was quarantined in Wuhan, China before she could return to Buffalo.  Mingxia said UB was unable to offer solutions to her predicament, as she said she may graduate later than expected and might lose her student visa as a result. 
Student Association president’s fate in limbo after six-hour meeting, board of directors planning meeting to further discuss
The Student Association Board of Directors spent six hours Tuesday night discussing the suspension of SA President Yousouf Amolegbe and voted against lifting his suspension. Close to 80 students –– many of whom came in support of Amolegbe –– watched, spoke and shared their thoughts during and after the meeting, which lasted from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 12 a.m. Wednesday.
SA president suspended due to deal with rapper, according to board of directors member
A member of the Student Association Board of Directors (BOD) told The Spectrum, on the condition of anonymity, the primary reason for SA President Yousouf Amolegbe’s suspension is that Amolegbe planned to host rapper Fivio Foreign at SA’s Trap Fest on the same night he planned to host the rapper for an event hosted by RAGE Boyz Entertainment, a company he is co-CEO of.  Under Amolegbe’s deal, SA would have paid Fivio Foreign $9,500, which would cover his transportation to Buffalo and enable RAGE Boyz to book him for “much cheaper,” according to the BOD member. The deal was stopped before it was finalized. The BOD member said SA and university professional staff stopped the deal, while other officials said Amolegbe stopped the deal.
Committee confirms Student Association president suspended for potential conflict-of-interest violations
The Student Association Board of Directors (BOD) will keep documents which led to SA President Yousouf Amolegbe’s suspension private until at least next Tuesday, 11 days after the vote to suspend him.  But students say they want answers now.
Friday crash leaves five students injured, two critically injured, as of Saturday
Five students were injured, two critically injured, as of Saturday morning following a Friday night car accident on Sheridan Drive near Sweet Home Road, according to Amherst Police.  A 20-year-old student from Centereach, NY was driving a 2012 Chevrolet when the vehicle and Amherst Police vehicle collided shortly before midnight, according to the Amherst Police. UB spokesperson Cory Nealon says Amherst Police is investigating the collision.
Iranian students fear immigration hardships may amplify during political tension
Graduate student Gheysar Jebelli* tries to avoid news stories about his home country, Iran. They upset him and distract him from his academic studies.    But when his friend texted him on Jan. 8 that Iran had fired missiles at an Iraqi airbase housing U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S.’ assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, Jebelli became distressed. He kept his eyes glued to the headlines.
Students express concerns, difficulties despite ‘low’ local risk of coronavirus
Bella Chen* notices when people glare at the surgical mask she started wearing after her trip to the Hubei province in China this winter. She says the looks are hurtful and add to what is already a stressful situation.