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Tuesday, July 05, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

SHANE FALLON


OPINION

The end of the beginning

Well, here we are. My series finale, last episode, conclusion, end, fin. It's hard to describe the feelings that have been going through my head the last few weeks, and the flood of emotions that have been contained by a force weaker than New Orleans' levees. There is no doubt in my mind that the person who drove up to UB in a blue '05 Ford Escape three summers ago is not the same lanky, scruffy-haired kid with a somewhat overbearing personality who will be walking across the stage May 9. Nope, there have been more than a few detours and bumps in the road to get to this point. I've found myself, lost myself and found myself again. I've embraced my passion, pushed it away and gone crawling back to it like an unfaithful lover. I fell in love (twice), lust a thousand and one times more than that, and in chocolate a million times more when none of the above worked out. I've learned what it means to be a friend, and what it means for someone to be a friend to you. I've embraced the joy that comes with being around people that love you and truly care as well as the miseries of friendships that are one-sided, shallow and superficial. That being said, I am grateful today to be completely surrounded by the former. It has been a privilege to have worked with some of the best professors in English academia today – my thanks and regards go out to Professors Young and Bono in particular, and Professors Milletti and Antastasopoulos for the invaluable help with making me a better writer. It's also been a privilege to work at the best darn student publication on this campus – The Spectrum. A place I thought in the beginning would be a dreary obligation has become my rock, my home and my anchor. The beautiful, impassioned, intelligent and witty women I have had the pleasure of working closest with have given me some of the most memorable of good days, and gotten me through more than a few of the terribly bad ones. It would be a sin for me to bid UB and Buffalo farewell without giving recognition to the extremely unique living situations I've found myself in during my time here. To all of you crazy people I have had the pleasure of cohabitating with, thanks for the memories – and the stories. Don't be surprised if you see a few in the novel I plan to write one of these days. And of course, what kind of graduate would I be if I didn't give a shoutout to my most constant companion, my bipolar, temperamental dearest of dears and the most consistent woman in my life … the city of Buffalo. It's true we've been on and off more than Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, but I think in our time together we've grown quite fond of each other. Sure, she's not the prettiest girl on the block, or the most sophisticated, but Buffalo is without a doubt a place with heart. Ask any of the wonderful people I've met who grew up here and wouldn't live anywhere else. The winters may be cruel and certain parts of the city a little scary, but an afternoon on Elmwood Avenue gorging yourself at one of the local restaurants is an experience that is second to none. Looking through my volumes of diaries and pages of Facebook photo albums over the past three years, I realize that despite my rocky beginning and miserably dramatic middle, I have, in the end, managed to have a pretty good life here at UB. I'm leaving this university happier than I've ever been before and looking forward to a wonderful future full of many opportunities. There can never be enough words to express how grateful I am to this campus for giving me a real start in life; it makes all the years I lived in darkness almost worth it. Now, however, it's time to make the change, move on and recreate myself for the next chapter. Some people seem to think that college graduation means the end of something great, a meaningless milestone between high school, marriage and death. I disagree. For me, graduation is only the beginning of something greater. I don't know about anyone else, but I fully intend on having fun, enjoying life and staying fabulous, whether I'm travelling the world, earning my Ph.D. or raising a gaggle of children. All of which is on the agenda, in due time, of course. The end is near, everyone. And I'm ready for the next step. E-mail: shane.fallon@ubspectrum.com


OPINION

The end of the beginning

Well, here we are. My series finale, last episode, conclusion, end, fin. It's hard to describe the feelings that have been going through my head the last few weeks, and the flood of emotions that have been contained by a force weaker than New Orleans' levees. There is no doubt in my mind that the person who drove up to UB in a blue '05 Ford Escape three summers ago is not the same lanky, scruffy-haired kid with a somewhat overbearing personality who will be walking across the stage May 9. Nope, there have been more than a few detours and bumps in the road to get to this point. I've found myself, lost myself and found myself again. I've embraced my passion, pushed it away and gone crawling back to it like an unfaithful lover. I fell in love (twice), lust a thousand and one times more than that, and in chocolate a million times more when none of the above worked out. I've learned what it means to be a friend, and what it means for someone to be a friend to you. I've embraced the joy that comes with being around people that love you and truly care as well as the miseries of friendships that are one-sided, shallow and superficial. That being said, I am grateful today to be completely surrounded by the former. It has been a privilege to have worked with some of the best professors in English academia today – my thanks and regards go out to Professors Young and Bono in particular, and Professors Milletti and Antastasopoulos for the invaluable help with making me a better writer. It's also been a privilege to work at the best darn student publication on this campus – The Spectrum. A place I thought in the beginning would be a dreary obligation has become my rock, my home and my anchor. The beautiful, impassioned, intelligent and witty women I have had the pleasure of working closest with have given me some of the most memorable of good days, and gotten me through more than a few of the terribly bad ones. It would be a sin for me to bid UB and Buffalo farewell without giving recognition to the extremely unique living situations I've found myself in during my time here. To all of you crazy people I have had the pleasure of cohabitating with, thanks for the memories – and the stories. Don't be surprised if you see a few in the novel I plan to write one of these days. And of course, what kind of graduate would I be if I didn't give a shoutout to my most constant companion, my bipolar, temperamental dearest of dears and the most consistent woman in my life … the city of Buffalo. It's true we've been on and off more than Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, but I think in our time together we've grown quite fond of each other. Sure, she's not the prettiest girl on the block, or the most sophisticated, but Buffalo is without a doubt a place with heart. Ask any of the wonderful people I've met who grew up here and wouldn't live anywhere else. The winters may be cruel and certain parts of the city a little scary, but an afternoon on Elmwood Avenue gorging yourself at one of the local restaurants is an experience that is second to none. Looking through my volumes of diaries and pages of Facebook photo albums over the past three years, I realize that despite my rocky beginning and miserably dramatic middle, I have, in the end, managed to have a pretty good life here at UB. I'm leaving this university happier than I've ever been before and looking forward to a wonderful future full of many opportunities. There can never be enough words to express how grateful I am to this campus for giving me a real start in life; it makes all the years I lived in darkness almost worth it. Now, however, it's time to make the change, move on and recreate myself for the next chapter. Some people seem to think that college graduation means the end of something great, a meaningless milestone between high school, marriage and death. I disagree. For me, graduation is only the beginning of something greater. I don't know about anyone else, but I fully intend on having fun, enjoying life and staying fabulous, whether I'm travelling the world, earning my Ph.D. or raising a gaggle of children. All of which is on the agenda, in due time, of course. The end is near, everyone. And I'm ready for the next step. E-mail: shane.fallon@ubspectrum.com


FEATURES

Summer of love- and books

Once final exams have been taken, final papers handed in, and the stress of the semester has become a memory, the sacred ritual of summer reading can begin.


OPINION

Appealing to the English gods above

I'm an English major. It is part personal choice, part lifestyle and part destiny. Since as long as I can remember, I have eaten, breathed and pooped books. If it were possible to have literature pumped into my veins, I would be first in line to do it. Since I arrived at UB in the fall of 2007, there was never any question of what my major would be. My working relationship with the English Department and its staff at the University at Buffalo has been second to none. I believe from the bottom of my soul that UB has one of the most distinguished and brilliant English staffs, which has inspired and showed me how to become the teacher and writer I want to be. That being said, here are a few constructive ideas and suggestions for the UB English department, for both the course selection and the major requirement itself. Number one: Make more English courses, especially prerequisites, exclusive to English majors. Right now, there is only one course that is solely available to those registered for the major: ENG 301, Criticism. The wide availability for any student, ranging in majors from communication to mechanical engineering, to register in upper-level English classes is silly. These classes are usually very small and required by English majors for graduation, and unnecessary lack of seat availability causes a lot of drama and panic every semester for those who want to graduate on time. Number two: Expand the infamous Earlier Literature and Author courses into two course sequences. At the moment, the only course offering a two-part sequence is Shakespeare, taught by the incomparable Barbara Bono. Many students cringe at the thought of having to take other literature courses before 1830 on authors such as Chaucer or Milton, due to the excessive amount of reading, which leaves people more resentful than appreciative of the material. Personally, I loved my Milton course with Professor Hammill, but would have appreciated the content a lot more if we had had more time to discuss the author's work over another semester. This same suggestion goes for author courses on such literary leviathans as James Joyce. A semester of Joyce's earlier work, followed by another semester focusing on solely Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, would be divine. Number three: Diversify the course offerings and the curriculum. Milton, Shakespeare, and the Bible are great, but what about the international lovelies and giants of literature? Where is The Tale of Genji, a Japanese work thought to be the world's first novel, in UB's whole English catalog? Where is a course on the fabulous Russian writers, with an author's course on Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy? What about the delightful Thousand and One Arabian Nights? the fairy tales of Hans Christan Andersen? the fables of Aesop? Number four: Please offer more creative writing classes. The creative writing workshops currently offered by UB, usually taught by husband-wife team Professors Milletti and Anastasopoulos, are fabulous, but they are offered once a week and usually in the evening. I took courses with them both and had a great time, but would have loved it if more writing courses were offered at different times and different days of the week. With that in mind, I'm ready to take the next step in both my personal and academic life. The last thing I hoped to do when I wrote this column was discourage anyone from pursuing an English degree; I'm simply offering my hopes to the department for future generations. E-mail: shane.fallon@ubspectrum.com


News

Taking out the trash

Student volunteers were scattered across the University Heights area Saturday morning for the bi-annual event UB Gettin' Dirty. The event, run by the Student Association, involved dedicated students picking up garbage and other litter spread around the South Campus region. Jennifer Harb, a staff writer for The Spectrum and community engagement liaison to the Student Association, coordinated the event. "UB Gettin' Dirty is a [bi-annual] event to clean up University Heights, and this was the first year it was held [in the] spring semester," Harb said. "[The event] started at 9:30 a.m. Students signed in at the Main St. Circle and spread out in opposite directions from Main St. to Bailey Ave … to Kenmore Ave." Chad Burlee, a junior political science major and club services coordinator, explained UB Gettin' Dirty's working method. "We supplied garbage bags and gloves and worked to pick up the trash for about two and a half hours," Burlee said. Harb explained that the trash-gathering volunteers covered locations such as Englewood and Winspear Aves, as well as Heath, Flower and Tyler Streets. "We wanted to expand [the event] to new places this year," Harb said. "[So] we contacted Minnesota block clubs and worked with them, along with Buffalo Reuse, the United Way and the Center for Student Leadership & Community Engagement." Harb was very pleased with UB Gettin' Dirty and the efforts by UB students and community to make the South Campus neighborhood more beautiful. "I thought we were very successful – we had a great turnout and the clubs are always very enthusiastic about participating in [the event]," Harb said. Harb estimated that some 150 to 200 volunteers turned out for this year's grimy work, and hopes the numbers will only increase when the event is held in the future. "It really served our purpose to see [the 150 volunteers] working together – it was great," Burlee said. Even though the number of student turnouts this semester was considerable, Burlee admitted that having UB Gettin' Dirty scheduled the morning after SA's Spring Gala might have affected attendance. "This is the second time I have been involved in this event, and you can see the difference with [the number of] people showing up, when compared with the Gala schedule," Burlee said. Mary Monahan, a sophomore business and international studies major and intern for Student Affairs, agreed. "There was reduced attendance because of the busy event schedule [such as Gala and the Nick Orrange run], but it was still inspiring to see kids help out around the Heights," Monahan said. Despite the reduced attendance when compared to other semesters, Burlee was pleased with what UB Gettin' Dirty stands for and the benefits it brings to the city of Buffalo. "I was really [happy] with things and how it turned out. It's really great to work for a good cause and give back to the community," Burlee said. To reward their hard work, SA provided volunteers with free pizza and T-shirts to commemorate the event. Harb hopes that the ideals promoted in the UB Gettin' Dirty campaign will continue and that it will be an event student volunteers can look forward to in the future. "I hope [that UB Gettin' Dirty] will become a mainstay on campus and that participation remains [high]," Harb said. E-mail: features@ubspectrum.com


FEATURES

Uniting for a common goal

Students and faculty alike gathered in the Student Union Thursday to bring awareness and raise money for Haiti. The event, called Carnival for a Cause, was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SU lobby. Proceeds made will go towards the Haiti Relief Fund, which is run through the American Red Cross. The carnival portion featured a combo slide, a jousting ring, popcorn and pizza, all of which could be enjoyed after purchasing a certain number of tickets. Participants and passersby could hear the yelps of mirthful jousters, blaring of fun music, and crunching of popcorn across the SU. The Campus Ministry Association was the sponsor of the event. The CMA incorporates all recognized religious chapters on campus including Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Jehovah's Witness. "Our goal of the event is to benefit all students. All proceeds [we raise] will go to Haiti relief," said Joe Davis, Co-convener of CMA and Director of the Hillel chapter on campus. For a campus that usually appears so divided, the community and camaraderie of so many different faiths working together towards a common goal was both refreshing and inspiring. The CMA attempted to draw students into the event by displaying graphic images of the devastation in Haiti, and the great deal of assistance the small island still needs. Many attending the event were inquisitive as to why an event aiding Haiti would be held now, a considerable amount of time after the earthquake. Tim Stewart, the campus director for campus ambassadors, explained why. "We want to raise awareness, because Haiti has [recently] fallen below the radar. The situation is just as bad as it was, if not worse," Stewart said. "We want to make [their situation] known as best we can." The students that were enjoying the festivities and visiting the concessions appeared to have no complaints. Others, however, disagreed with certain aspects of the event and the entertainment costs not equating with the poor turnout. "[I think] it is an irresponsible waste of money," said Jennifer Thompson, a freshmen English major. "The cost to rent everything [the rides, games, and supplies] won't even out with all the money they raise. I know it's for a good cause, but with the [recent University at Buffalo] budget cuts, I don't know how they can want to spend and raise all this money that doesn't really affect myself or UB." Tim Lewis, a freshmen nuclear medicine technology major, agreed with Thompson's views to a point, but considered a different angle. "I do see [this event] as a bit of a waste, but it's important to help [Haiti] out. After the earthquakes in Chile, Taiwan, Thailand, and Mexico, as well as the volcano eruption in Iceland, [Haiti] has gone out of focus," Lewis said. "[I didn't see] a lot of people participating, and [from the looks of it] there are going to be a lot of leftover supplies and food." Lewis explained that he has donated some $50 to Haiti and the other recent disasters through separate on campus events, most notably the Latin American Student Association. "I don't always see college students being active or donating [to international charity relief]," Lewis said. "It's always the same people from the same clubs on campus, that's probably why this event didn't take off." Despite the criticism it garnered, some students, such as Mark Shehata, a freshmen biomedical science major, took the event for what it was and had a genuinely enjoyable time. "[The carnival] was a lot of fun. It's for [an important] cause, and that's always good," Shehata said. E-mail: features@ubspectrum.com


FEATURES

Getting around town

Students relying on public transportation to get around will be pleased with the new opportunities offered by the University at Buffalo. The UB Stampede, which until recently travelled only between North and South Campus, is expanding its route to include features in the surrounding suburbs. The infamous Mall Bus, which operates Wednesdays and Saturdays and stops at Tops on Maple Road, Wegmans, and the Boulevard Mall, will soon include the Walden Galleria. The bus will run every 15 minutes and can be recognized by the market and mall signs on the bus's exterior. Maria Wallace, director of Parking and Transportation Services, is pleased with the Stampede's new transportation routes. "We've had these plans in motion for a long time, but we wanted it to be a surprise for the students. I know how boring North Campus can be, and without a car I understand how students sometimes need to get out and go somewhere," Wallace said. In addition, the Anti-Rape Task Force safety shuttle will be expanding its services to include any and all destinations in Amherst, the city of Buffalo and Canada, as far as the Toronto city limit. This new travel plan is a vast improvement over the old rules, which limited eager travelers to destinations in a 1.5 mile radius from South Campus. Jane Fischer, director of SBI Health Services, which runs the ARTF shuttle, spearheaded the new transportation plans. "[The ARTF van] is famous around campus, but we get a lot of complaints about not being able to take students as far as they want to go. By expanding the range of the van, we can please a lot more of the student body, as well as promote safety," Fischer said. PTS and Health Services have come up with an efficient way of making this new program run cohesively, without too much money coming out of UB's budget. "With the money that came from [Methods of Inquiry] being shut down, UB had a surplus, and it was handed over to us. We thought, ‘What's better to do with our money than help students get from party to party, bar to bar, safely?'" Fischer said. Understandably, student response to the new transportation opportunities on campus has been very positive. "That sounds really great. I used to take the Stampede to the Boulevard Mall all the time when I was a freshman and thought it was totally lame. The Galleria is so much better, but since I don't have a car, it's pretty hard for me to get there. It's a great improvement; the Galleria has a much better selection of corsets and petticoats than the Boulevard," said Jane Austen, a junior English major. Courtney Thompson, a senior communications major, liked the new Stampede and ARTF routes because of the easier accessibility to UB and Buffalo's party scenes. "That [stuff] is hot," Thompson said. "You don't know how many times my girls and I will be partying it up and all of a sudden we're like, ‘We have to call the rape van, but they don't come that far.' Then we need to call all these random guys we never talk to and hope they'll come get us at 3 a.m. and all this annoying [stuff]." Many UB students are eager to embrace the new ARTF shuttle route in order to become better acquainted with Canada, UB's neighbor to the north. "It'll be so nice to get to know Canada. They have such a rich history and culture, and the citizens aren't annoying at all," said Carol Atwood, a sophomore mechanical engineering major. "I love Toronto, and if UB is getting me there on their dime, why shouldn't I take advantage of it?" Additional funds for these new bus and shuttle routes have been said to come from the School of Nursing, the school library budget and the charter from Generation magazine. The new routes for the Stampede and ARTF shuttle should go into effect sometime after the apocalypse of 2012. UB students are urged not to seek more information on this transportation change. E-mail: features@ubspectrum.com


FEATURES

Victory for vaginas

The V-Day Campaign at the University at Buffalo continued this week with the annual performance of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.


NEWS

A sit-down with Canada's finest

Margaret Atwood has cemented her reputation as one of the foremost authors of our time. From her riveting fictions, exceptional poetry and biting criticism, her list of accomplishments is equal only to her consistency as an artist. Ms. Atwood sat down with The Spectrum before her speech and answered a few questions about her distinguished career.


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