Body cameras alone will not stymie police brutality

Though it's been rampant for years, police brutality has been all over the news recently. Between the New York Police Department's killing of Eric Garner to Michael Brown’s untimely death in Ferguson, Missouri, the vagåueness of detåails in these cases can make it difficult to know what really happened. Victims’ claims often contradict those of the police, leaving the public confused. Often, the victims aren’t alive to give their side of the story, which leaves the question of what really happened on the minds of many.

Given the publicity of these cases, a number of United States cities including New York, Denver and Rialto, California have begun experimenting with body cameras for police officers to ensure proper conduct. The idea is that since the officers will be monitored, they will be less inclined to violate citizens’ rights, such as by using stop-and-frisk when it is uncalled for.

The flaw in this plan, however, is that there is nobody actually standing with the officer and monitoring their actions. There is no assurance that the officer will not simply turn off their camera while acting unlawfully and then make excuses for the camera’s failure to record.

Human rights lawyer Chaumtoli Huq was arrested during a pro-Palestinian rally on July 19 for allegedly obstructing traffic on the sidewalk of a crowded New York City block in Times Square. Police officers reportedly instructed her to keep walking so she would not block traffic, but she refused because she was waiting for her husband and children to return from using the restroom.

Anybody who has ever been to or lived in New York City knows that there is hardly an hour when the streets surrounding Times Square are not crowded. Is it even possible to not obstruct traffic in a city like that?

Huq believes that she has been racially profiled for being Muslim, but once again we come to a point where the truth is unclear whether she was really approached under legitimate circumstances, or if she was being targeted because of the color of her skin.

Even if the act is caught on camera, what happens then? The recording would be shown to the police chief of the department, but there is no guarantee that the chief would release the recording to the public or to a higher authority. No chief would want to admit that his or her officers are stepping out of line. That would be a poor reflection on his or her lack of command.

It is the same concept as a doctor who has the ability to prescribe medication. These prescriptions are allegedly “heavily monitored,” but it is all too easy for the doctors to tamper with them and prescribe pills without justifiable cause.

Likewise, body cameras only ensure that acts of brutality can be recorded if and only if the officer does not turn them off. Even then, the police chief has the ability to tamper with the recordings even if the officers are under such restrictions. It is time for the police departments to step up their game, as it is clear that cameras will not be enough to ensure public safety from police brutality.

Residence Life working to de-triple over 150 students

According to Associate Director of Residence Life Kevin Hahn, the unexpectedly high number of first-year students enrolling in the fall 2014 semester resulted in 321 students being put into three-person rooms. Before Move-In Day, however, Residece Life was able to de-triple 51 rooms––153 students––bringing the number of tripled freshmen down to 168. The class of 2018 has over 100 more students enrolled than the class of 2017 did. Converted triples have been placed in Onondaga, Steuben and Niagara Halls.

Freshman Rosemary Carey currently resides in a tripled room in Niagara.

“I was already nervous about coming to college, so to have another obstacle in my way just made it all the more anxiety-provoking,” Carey said.

Hahn explained the reasoning behind choosing Onondaga, Niagara and Steuben to host tripled rooms.

“Students are tripled and that’s not good, but at least they are with other first-year students and that is typically what people want,” he said.

Although Residence Life is making an effort to de-triple students, the spaces left are not considered to be ideal for first-years.

“A lot of [the spaces] are in Allegany, Erie and Genesee, where there maybe aren’t a whole lot of first-year students,” Hahn said.

According to Hahn, students who are tripled for more than three weeks into the semester will be receiving a $187.50 discount.

“It’s not a lot of money but it’s something,” Hahn said. “If people are not de-tripled until after week nine of the semester, then they actually get another $187.50. So, [there is a] $375 refund that [students] could get off of their housing.”

Residence Life tripled students based on the order that they sent in their housing deposits.

“There are some concerns [from parents and students]; a lot of them revolve around people not necessarily knowing there was a relationship between housing deposit date and room status, so that’s also something we are going to try to communicate in multiple ways,” Hahn said. “That’s always been the process because there needs to be a way to determine priority and that’s what we’ve done historically.”

Carey said that even if notified, the opportunity to put down a housing deposit earlier would not have been possible.

“I wasn’t sure that I was going to go to Geneseo and there were a lot of different factors that interfered with my decision making, so it wouldn’t have crossed my mind to think about [the housing deposit],” she said.

Hahn explains that although he believes the situation is bleak, there are also many positives associated with living in a triple.

“Some of the positives to tripling are the great locations, meeting two potential connections and learning a lot of compromise and communication skills that can help later on in life as far as negotiating with other people––that is all heightened in triple rooms,” he said.

Although this wasn’t her ideal situation, Carey acknowledged that there are benefits to the living situation.

“I was expecting [the room] to be more cramped, actually. [Another benefit is that] you get to meet more people,” she said. “If one roommate doesn’t work out, you may like the other one.”

“I didn’t know what to expect because it’s been four or five years since we’ve had triples like this,” Hahn said “People have been great and super understanding for the most part.”

A call for compromise between Obama administration, Assad threat of ISIS warrants international cooperation

Much of the media attention surrounding the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—commonly known as ISIS––has focused on their sweeping and brutal attacks in Iraq. In response to the Islamic State’s streak of violence, President Barack Obama authorized a series of airstrikes in Iraq in order to help local military forces combat ISIS.

The problem with this strategy is that the heart of ISIS operations is located in Syria, not Iraq. Since the beginning of their attacks on Iraq, the Islamic State has been working out of Raqqa, Syria and other communities in the eastern part of the country. The Obama administration publicly ruled out the possibility of coordinating airstrikes with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Aug. 27. I believe this decision was made in error.

If the United States aims to play a serious role in defeating the militant group, it is imperative that the Obama administration cooperates with Assad. The Islamic State cannot be effectively combated without taking action against their large numbers in Syria. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey emphasized this point, stating that the ISIS cannot be defeated unless its faction in Syria is taken care of.

From an ideological standpoint, the U.S. has every reason not to cooperate with Assad. Unfortunately, war is not the time for idealism. The situation brings to mind an old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Assad needs us, but we also need him. Even though U.S.-Syrian relations have been strained since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, the two nations are in a unique position to collaborate.

The Islamic State is currently Assad’s biggest problem and the Obama administration is concerned about the real potential for an ISIS attack on American soil. Obama’s concerns about a homeland attack are not unfounded. According to the Los Angeles Times, as many as 3,000 Islamic State fighters hold European or Western passports and up to 100 may hold U.S. passports. This means that the ISIS could soon pose as much of a threat to the West as it does to Syria and Iraq. Coordinating a series of airstrikes with Assad’s government would be the lesser of two evils. Failure to do so would allow the Islamic State to continue to operate inside Syria and other neighboring countries without reprieve.

Assad is an unsavory figure, but the U.S. government is taking a “holier-than-thou” attitude by refusing to cooperate with him. It’s not as if we have never committed morally questionable acts during times of war. In the past, the U.S. has not shied away from aiding opposing governments in times of war. During World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt publicly condemned Joseph Stalin’s Soviet dictatorship but ultimately realized that Nazi Germany constituted the greatest threat to world peace. When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the U.S. sent aid and entered the war as an ally of the U.S.S.R. despite the two nations’ ideological differences.

This is not the time for the Obama administration to take a moral stance; this is a time for decisive action and cooperation. If the U.S. is serious about uprooting the Islamic State’s grip on Iraq and Syria, it is imperative that we look past our differences for the time being and ally with those who may be able to help.

Residence Life reforms sexual assault policy

The Department of Residence Life changed the policy for reporting sexual assault this year, its main goal being to decrease the number of people required to read such a confidential report.Residence Assistants are a primary resource for students who find themselves victims of sexual assault and would like to discuss it.

Director of Residence Life Celia Easton explained that the first step is for the RA to make sure the victim is okay emotionally and physically. If the victim chooses to file a report, he or she is presented with a “Victim’s Option Form.” This form explains the different options and people available to share the report with. “If you decide something now, you can still make different decisions later,” Easton said. Options on this form include: speaking with someone but not filing a report, filing a report with Administrative Director of Student Health and Counseling Melinda DuBois, filing a report through the school’s conduct system or filing a police report.

These reports filed within the conduct system are transmitted through the incident report system. Here, only three people will see the reports: DuBois, Assistant Dean of Students for Student Conduct and Community Standards Tamara Kenney and Director of Affirmative Action Adrienne Collier. “The thing that’s changing is that fewer people have access to reports. In the past, when an RA wrote an incident report, that incident report would have been read by the building director and by me,” Easton said. “Now if a student comes to an RA and says ‘I want to report a sexual assault,’ there is a new kind of incident report for sexual assaults and only three people read it.” According to Easton, the three aforementioned women were chosen to read the incident reports because they are the people responsible for the educational climate issues on campus.

With this new system, the only member of Residence Life to see the report is the RA who wrote it. Easton explained that national mistakes influenced the current changes in policy. “At Geneseo, there hasn’t been a backlash. But looking nationally, we could see that a lot of mistakes going on at campuses involved loose information––someone who is victimized shares something that’s very traumatic to them and then finds out there’s all kinds of people talking about it,” she said. Easton said that although the chain of people viewing the report has changed, the philosophy behind the process has not. She explained a major component of this process is making sure the victim is in control of the process of reporting the incident, not to make them feel like they are still being victimized.

According to the national 2012 Student Opinion Survey, in which Geneseo is ranked with other four-year SUNY schools, Geneseo was ranked second for their educational efforts for sexual assault prevention. “Geneseo is committed to making sure that someone who is a victim of sexual assault–– whether they are male or female––has their needs addressed,” Easton said.

Another SUNYAC title for Blue Wave

The Geneseo Blue Wave swimming and diving teams are champions – yet again. The men and women added another trophy to their ever-growing mantle on Saturday Feb. 22. Entering the year, head coach Paul Dotterweich had a vision of both of his teams winning the SUNYAC championships. Without waning on his goals, Dotterweich saw his dream, and the dream of the athletes, come to fruition.

“It feels great, particularly when the athletes perform as well as they did,” he said. “We had 100 percent improvement on our in-season swims, and everyone on the team had at least one personal best swim with many having personal bests in all their events. It was awesome.”

Dotterweich was named the SUNYAC Women’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season and the fourth time in the last seven years. He was also named the SUNYAC Men’s Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his 14-year career with Blue Wave.

For the women, junior Abby Max was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer after leading Geneseo to its seventh straight and 22nd overall team title at the SUNYAC championships.

Junior John Nasky led the men’s side and was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer in the conference championship. The victory was the 21st title in program history and the 15th in the last 16 years.

Geneseo didn’t just win – they blew the competition out of the water. The men won with a score of 808 points while second place SUNY Oneonta earned 464. Similarly, the women topped the field with 880 points ahead of runner-up SUNY Cortland with 573.

There are over three weeks to prepare for the NCAA championships, but Dotterweich said they are “tricky” to train his teams for.

So far, six swimmers have been invited to participate in nationals. Nasky and Max will be joined by senior Lauren Boyce, junior Stephanie Wilcoxen and sophomore Kala Wilkins and Julie Holloway. Divers look to qualify for nationals at the NCAA Division III Region Four Diving Championships on Friday Feb. 28.

Today in Olympic hockey: Feb. 13

No Bobby Ryan? No Keith Yandle? No Kyle Okposo? No problem for the Americans in Sochi after they stomped Slovakia in the men’s hockey opener, 7-1. Paul Stastny scored twice in the second period, as the Americans scored on four consecutive shots, chasing Slovakian goaltender Jaroslav Halak in the process.

A young U.S. defense – that was a major question mark entering the tournament – was never truly tested and neither was goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Saturday morning on Feb. 15, however, will be different: USA vs. Russia. The combination of James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel on Olympic ice looks lethal, which is good news for the Americans.

Speaking of Russia, the host country opened the tournament with a 5-2 win over Slovenia, but perhaps not as easily as they had anticipated.

In Slovenia’s first Olympic appearance, the Russians jumped to a 2-0 lead with goals from Alex Ovechkin and Yevgeni Malkin. Ilya Kovalchuk, the NHL’s most notable defect for the Russian KHL, also found twine for the Russians, but two goals from Ziga Jeglic pulled the Slovenians within a goal heading into the third period.

Eighteen-year-old phenom Valeri Nichushkin of the Dallas Stars gave Russia the boost it needed to get over the hump. His coast-to-coast goal in the third period gave Russia a 4-2 lead.   The Russians would hold on for their first win of the tournament but just know that the Slovenians are no slouch, folks.

Sweden and Finland both won on Wednesday Feb. 12. Sweden topped the Czech Republic on the strength of two goals from Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators. The Czech’s roster includes 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr (good idea) and 42-year-old Petr Nedved (bad idea) but doesn’t have goalscorers Radim Vrbata or Jiri Hudler.

In addition, Ondrej Pavelec, the nation’s only NHL goaltender, is in street clothes in the stands. Something fishy is going on here. Czech blunders aside, the Swedish NHLers proved yesterday why they will be a gold-medal favorite.

To be frank, the Finnish roster is old. Nonetheless, this was not a factor in the 8-4 win over Austria. The Finns unloaded 52 shots on the Austrians, with two goals apiece from Jarkko Immonen and the Minnesota Wild’s Mikael Granlund. Blueliners Sami Lepisto and Olli Maatta, playing in his first Olympics, also found the back of the net for Finland.

Austria had good contributions from its few NHLers, including a hat trick from Michael Grabner in his first Olympic game, but it was hardly enough.

Keep an eye on Finland as an outside medal contender. They aren’t as flashy as other rosters in this tournament, but easily have the deepest goaltending. They’ve medaled in four of the past five Olympics.

Defending nation Canada took on Norway today, winning 3-1. Being the national champions, it might be cause for alarm that the sports creator couldn’t net as many goals as the other winners today.

In the slow first period, Canada killed a couple power plays but couldn’t generate much offense. The buzz around the game was that Norway may have a chance, heading into the first intermission.

Any remaining buzz once the athletes got back on the ice was squandered as defenseman Shea Weber blasted a shot from at least 30 feet out. This made the statement that Canada was not to be messed with. Nine minutes later, the Mounties did it again, this time from forward Jamie Benn off an assist from forward Patrice Bergeron.

The teams headed into the locker room with Canada up 2-0. Norway had zero – zerrooo – shots in the second period. Yikes.

Twenty-two seconds into the third, however, Norwegian forward Patrick Thoresen scored a power-play goal to put his team down one. There seemed to be hope.

The hope was short-lived as Canada, just 1 minutes, 25 seconds later, scored its third and final goal and went on to win 3-1.

Is this a reason to panic? Canada, the clear favorite, only scored three goals. Short answer is no. They’re Canada. They know what they’re doing. There is still a lot of tournament left and a lot of opportunities. This is still anyone’s game.

SUNY Geneseo hires interim Police Chief, short term plans in place

Geneseo students and faculty have welcomed Thomas Kilcullen, the interim chief of the University Police, to the community. After three years of service, former Chief of Police Sal Simonetti resigned for a promotional opportunity elsewhere. State University of New York Police Commissioner Bruce McBride contacted Kilcullen regarding the need for a replacement in December 2013. He arrived Jan. 13 to officially begin his new position.

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Halloween Amusements

For Halloween in 1994, my mom sewed me a Lamb Chop costume that pretty accurately mimicked the childhood puppet favorite, minus Shari Lewis’ hand and voice controlling my every move. The full-fleece body suit was cozy and, in my opinion, pretty funny. Needless to say, I looked and felt pretty good.

But to wear a Lamb Chop costume today for a college-aged woman is different; it would have to be a sexy or a dominatrix lamb because a costume without either of those qualities deems me both unattractive and homely, naturally. Since we live under an unyielding gaze that fools us into thinking that it’s wrong to do otherwise, some of us feel trapped in the cycle of animal ears and sex-ridden, unfunny and unspooky outfits that transform an ancient celebration into a glorified orgy, if you will.

In the attempt to grasp the blurred line between sexy and awesome, Halloween is now more overwhelming than anyone ever wanted, at least for some of us.

I’m not sure if the topic is incidental, or even amusing, especially on a broader level, but since it’s Halloween I thought I’d scare some readers into inspiration. Now, I’m not undermining the empowering sexiness that can come with a righteous Halloween costume. I’m all for being, feeling and living sexy.

But dressing hotly for anyone but you and for the wrong reasons only sustains the grip that society has on us, and it makes an appearance every Halloween. It’s one thing to dress as awesome Lara Croft and threaten people with a whip that you made yourself; it’s another thing to buy the “Naughty Little Red” costume from Party City that is made of felt and tissue paper for $49.99 and sits next to “Mile High Captain.”

See what I mean? Just don’t shop at Party City, for one thing. But the other thing is that there’s so much more to Halloween than those shitty costumes that allow us to be pornified, year after year. Book characters, puns, metaphors, TV role models: The list goes on, as does the potential for wittiness, humor and downright awesomeness.

While some of us are expected to wear petite onesies, football jerseys without pants, and ass-bearing miniskirts, I see Halloween as a chance for us to be anyone in the world, and the world is a lot to work with that goes beyond using yourself as something to sexify, only because you’re told to do so by places like Party City.

I encourage all of us to aim for hilarity over skimpy, scary over submissive and smart over stupid. All of those together make for a sexiness that carries itself past Halloween throughout the year – maybe you won’t even need a costume this time around.

Internationalization expert visits campus, offers advice

During her two-day visit to campus, Senior Associate for Internationalization Barbara Hill of the American Council on Education discussed Geneseo’s custom “stamp” and how it can help develop the college’s participation in the ACE internationalization laboratory. Since 2003, ACE has helped 79 institutions with their internationalization efforts. From the get-go, Hill has been involved in the ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement that heads the laboratory. She said she knows all of the problems that Geneseo will most likely run into. Hill made it clear, however, that she will “never expect [Geneseo] to just do what others have done.”

Rather, she encourages every institution to “put its personal stamp on whatever it does,” she said. As for Geneseo, the “stamp” is placed upon liberal arts education and student success, Hill said.

Another lies within service learning by “strengthening engagement that promotes the application of knowledge,” Hill said. She recognized the multi-departmental efforts surrounding the service learning in El Sauce, Nicaragua.

Hill said she will provide adaptations and improvements for Geneseo, but similarly, she wants the college to recognize its vision and reflect upon its progress over the years in order to celebrate it and develop it further.

At this point, only a couple months into the 16 to 20-month program, the administration and faculty are just beginning to “develop a capacity, capability and strategy for comprehensive internationalization,” Hill said.

Hill additionally met with Interim President Carol Long, Interim Provost David Gordon and all vice presidents within the college between Tuesday Oct. 22 and Wednesday Oct. 23.

The leadership council and its team will begin to collect data through the fall 2013 semester before analyzing it in the spring 2014 semester.

The team is directed under the leadership council – comprised of co-chairs associate professor of communication Meredith Harrigan and Distinguished Teaching Professor of English Ron Herzman, in addition to Gordon and Assistant Provost for International Programs Becky Lewis.

Incidental Amusements

It’s not unusual to see overtired or overcaffeinated students frantically writing papers, reviewing flashcards or reading over PowerPoints at this time of year. Maybe you’ll even see someone yelling at their friends because they asked, “How are you doing?” Now these people aren’t doing this for their health; my friends, midterms are upon us.

While midterm literally means the middle of the term, I think it is safe to proclaim that October is midterm month or “the month from Hell.” My friends at other colleges have just one week when they have to worry about their imminent failure and stress, but Geneseo so kindly decided to give us one whole month of sleepless nights to worry about these tests and papers that decide the fate of our oh-so-precious GPAs.

Why are we so stressed about these tests anyway? How professors calculated that we should be studying two to three hours for every hour spent in class is beyond my mathematical expertise. But there just aren’t enough hours in the day if you want to study for all five of your classes, participate in “activities” on the weekends and even get a somewhat decent night’s sleep.

Let’s not forget about the audacity that professors have to even make us remember all the way back to what we discussed in class on the first day of the course in August. If they wanted us to remember back to that insignificant day, they should just repeat themselves every single day until the midterm to make it stick in our brains.

If you failed your midterm or paper, there are a few possibilities that factor into this unfortunate outcome, but none of them are your fault.

One of the reasons you failed might be because, quite simply, your professor didn’t teach the material that was on the midterm. Maybe they went on too many tangents or screwed you over by adding the miniscule details in the textbook that you weren’t supposed to read but regardless neglected to enlighten you with the riveting test material.

If you failed a paper, it’s probably because your professor didn’t like your thesis, didn’t agree with it or didn’t give you enough time to write the paper; when professors grade papers, they obviously only grade subjectively rather than objectively. They clearly just love to use their pens to mark up your paper and tell you how much you don’t know compared to their omnipotent knowledge.

Let’s face it, my fellow peers: We just can’t succeed in the month of October. No matter how many hours we spend in the library or how many people read over our paper, we are just set up for failure, and there’s nothing we can do about it; it’s simply out of our control. I wish I could do more to give you advice, but I’m out of words. The only thing I can say is, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Geneseo Valley Conservancy's colorful hike celebrates fall

Cool mists came down over the valley, screening the fall foliage and creating a yellowish blush through the fog during the Genesee Valley Conservancy's Autumn Colors Walk on Saturday Oct. 5. Members of the Geneseo community - children, adults and students - met at the bridge on Nations Road just past the old stone wall.

As we filed past a livestock gate, we strode up the hill to glance over the valley. Big Genesee skies were quiet with cloud cover while sheep floated in the distance like vapors as the valley was laid out in front of us.

GVC Executive Director Ben Gajewski led the group on the tour of one of the properties the organization has worked to preserve - what he calls a fundamental part to any nature walk.

“We have relationships with many of these landowners because either we've worked with them on the protection process or they have since bought the property, and then we've been working with them since they owned it to protect the habitat or farmland,” Gajewski said.

Among the sites showcased on the tour included a waterfall, horse pastures and a serving of oak trees, among other types, that the Genesee Valley is renowned for.

While there was not much red present in the foliage, burnt yellows and oranges alongside browns spotted sweeping vistas of fields and plaintive forests.

“We have protected 14,400 acres of land, so there are certainly a lot of choices to find some fall colors,” Gajewski said. “The harder thing is coordinating the weather … the fall colors walk is tough because you want to hit the colors right.”

GVC coordinates many seasonal excursions in its jurisdiction to allow nature enthusiasts access to otherwise privately held trails as well as to familiarize participants with the organization.

“We work in the Genesee River Watershed. That is primarily Allegany County … Livingston County and then the eastern half of Wyoming and western half of Ontario County. Pretty much anything draining into the Genesee is where we're focused,” Gajewski said.

While many walks take place over the summer, the GVC does hold several throughout the academic year while students are present, most notably the Bluebell walk in the spring. While much of the work takes place on privately-held land, Gajewski said landowners usually open their property for the walk.

“One of the downsides to what we do is a lot of the conservation work is on private land so people don't have access to these special places any time they want,” he said. “Landowners recognize that so they let us organize a walk or two to show off the work we have been doing.”

Incidental Amusements

When I first applied to Geneseo, everyone who thought they knew a thing or two about Geneseo always commented about one thing: the weather. They told me, “Get ready for the cold,” and “You’ll see a lot of snow.” People even warned me about how I would barely see spring-like weather until I left for summer. These so called “Geneseo experts” neglected to warn me about the weather mood swings that I would encounter in the next few years! A warning would’ve been nice for my wardrobe, especially in regard to what to bring at the beginning of the semester. When I first packed for Geneseo, I made sure to have all of my cozy sweaters and my oh-so-warm and fashionable Ugg boots ready to go for September, leaving behind my denim shorts and overworn flip flops. But during my first year, I learned that Geneseo actually experiences summer until late September, so I continued to bring more shorts and less warmth.

That plan screwed me over this semester when it was cold during the second week of classes, and I only had one hoodie to spare; as a busy college junior navigating academics and cocurricular activities, I spent many days chilled as I walked through the valley because I didn’t have time to do my laundry. Do I blame my lack of time management or my inability to realize when I have too much going on? Absolutely not. I blame my so-called “friends” who told me about the weather in the first place.

While on the topic of clothing, I’d also like to point out how I was not told in advance about the weather changes within the same day. When I wake up in the morning, I always make sure to consult my all-knowing iPhone 4 for the day’s weather. If I see it’s going to be 54 degrees, I’m automatically going to throw on a pair of jeans or sweatpants and a sweatshirt. As I go through the day, the temperature goes up 20 degrees or so; this leaves me to sweat all the calories I consumed the day before.

Another thing I would’ve liked to know is how the weather would affect my academics. No one ever told me – until I got here, of course – how hot Welles Hall gets when it’s hot out or when the heat is turned on. You’ll find yourself sitting in the middle of a political science lecture or a literature discussion, and all of a sudden you’re overcome with so much sweat and heat that you can no longer focus on the class. How am I supposed to pass when all I can think about is getting out of that sauna?

As I lament over my qualms of the rollercoaster that is the Geneseo weather, I wonder why I chose this school in the first place. Had anyone warned me about the weather, I might’ve considered another school where all four season are present 25 percent of the year. But I guess it’s too late to transfer now, so instead I will remain angry at all those fools who had no clue about the Geneseo weather.

New professorship encourages entrepreneurial spirit

Geneseo appointed Judith Albers as the first Charles L. “Bud” VanArsdale Endowed Chair for Entrepreneurship. This is the first endowed professorship in Geneseo’s 142-year history. The Victor, N.Y., resident is co-founder of Pre-Seed Workshops, as well as co-founder and managing partner of its umbrella organization, Networks LLC. Pre-Seed provides “build a company” events that utilizes community resources to create commercial opportunities in potential companies, according to a Geneseo press release. She is an expert in entrepreneurial training with a focus on commercialization of university-based research.

Albers was part of an entrepreneurship community that brought her from Washington to Rochester 14 years ago.

“I started some programs that started in Rochester and then spread to Buffalo, Syracuse, New York City and Long Island. We started working outside of New York State and got some programs in Indiana at the University at Notre Dame. We even started working in Switzerland and the University of Geneva,” Albers said.

Albers said she recognizes the increasing pressure that especially smaller college campuses face in regards to providing entrepreneurship opportunities to students.

“There’s a movement across the country regarding entrepreneurship,” Albers said. “There’s a lot of excitement about entrepreneurship now, and it’s sort of hitting every college campus.

“We can’t rely on Kodak or Xerox or General Electric, some of the big corporations, as we did in the past,” she said. “It’s now about small businesses. That’s where the new growth is.”

The VanArsdale Chair for Entrepreneurship was created with a $2.5 million donation by VanArsdale, former president of the Bank of Castile. He also served as a director of Geneseo’s Small Business Development Center.

“VanArsdale worked with the folks over in advancement and the president and provost and basically said that he’d like to endow this chair and have them bring somebody on board that can fulfill his vision,” Albers said. “I’m privileged enough to have been selected, and I’m really humbled and honored.”

Albers discussed her plans as entrepreneurship chair, emphasizing her desire to work with students and faculty alike to help turn their business ideas into realities.

“My job will to get the conversation going about entrepreneurship in a variety of ways,” Albers explained. “I want to introduce curriculum, introduce programs and get better networking with Rochester and Buffalo and the entrepreneurship communities there.

“I’ll be working in conjunction with a lot of folks on campus and in the community to see any ideas we have here and see if we can take those ideas and really create those businesses,” she said.

“I think this is, in many ways, like a dream job. Working in the entrepreneurship community, I was a closet academic, always writing papers and doing research. It is a lot to do ‘on the side,’ so to get the opportunity to do that full time is a gift,” she said.

She explained that while she is using this semester to plan and get adjusted, come January she plans to be working on implementing up to six innovative entrepreneurial ideas. These ideas don’t have to come from students within the business school.

“Any students and/or faculty members that have a business idea that’s been in the back of their mind for a long time and they’ve been kind of mulling it over, I would love to talk to them. This is an open invitation to send me an email or stop by my office,” Albers said.

Oklahoma State football under siege of drug and sex allegations

The Oklahoma State Cowboys improved to 3-0 Saturday Sept. 14 by beating the Lamar Cardinals 59-3. Nevertheless, no one in Stillwater, Okla. was thinking about the offensive explosion or the Cowboys shutdown defense. Instead, the focus was on a Sports Illustrated expose revealing that football players had been receiving illegal benefits from Oklahoma State for more than 10 years. Illegal benefit allegations happen in almost every major college football program at some point. Despite this, the degree to which these benefits were given out, combined with the rampant drug use, is something that the NCAA has never seen before.

According to former members of the Oklahoma State football program, players received several hundred dollars after games they played well in. It could range from $200 to nearly $1,000.

This “bonus system” is a direct violation of NCAA rules that forbids paying student-athletes for their performances on the field. The money came from the coaches and more notably the boosters. Boosters are people - usually alumni - who provide money to a specific program at a school.

To cover up the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were exchanged, the university “hired” players for jobs that they never completed or grossly overpaid them for menial tasks. Most of these jobs were related to renovating their football stadium. This alone could warrant a huge punishment from the NCAA. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, that’s not even half of the story.

Former head coach of Oklahoma State Les Miles had a “grades first” mantra. For the most part, players stayed in good academic standing. How ethically they did so is a different issue. During Miles’ time as head coach, 2001-04, and current coach Mike Gundy’s reign from 2005 to present, players were rarely treated like normal students. Often times, tutors or university staff members would complete assignments. Some players admitted to receiving exam answers days before a test.

On an even more concerning level, players take easy majors and classes with relaxed professors without their knowledge. For example, a star player who wanted to study engineering would be placed in low-level communication classes in order to maintain his eligibility.

This has probably been going on longer than the report investigates. In 1989, NFL defensive end and former OSU Cowboy Dexter Manley admitted that he could not read above a second grade level. This is a man who completed four years of college.

Remember a few years ago when you were visiting college and an undergrad showed you around campus? Oklahoma State decided to take this to a new level when showing its football recruits around. Orange Pride, the OSU organization that, according to the university website, “donates their time and efforts to assist with Recruiting for Oklahoma State and the Football Program” allegedly sent two attractive females, who asked to remain anonymous, to give a football recruit a tour of the college. Before dinner, however, the ladies said they needed to make a “stop.” Before he knew it, the recruit was having sex with both students.

Although Miles said he was “not aware of this ever happening and am quite sure that no staff member was aware,” it appears that some administrator directed the women to sleep with the recruits.

It’s no secret that many college students use marijuana. College athletes are just a segment of this population. Unlike most people, however, the football players at Oklahoma State did not have to keep their drug use quiet. It was even a well-known fact that several players would smoke before games. The coaches were not just turning a blind eye. Gundy reportedly jokes about his players’ drug use with them. Beyond being grossly irresponsible, it gives the NCAA another piece to add to its case against the Cowboys.

Now Oklahoma State has to wait. The NCAA is the only body with the power to punish the Cowboys. If all of these allegations are true, the NCAA could hand down the infamous “death penalty,” which entails banishment from a certain sport for at least one season. Regardless of what the NCAA chooses to do, it may take years to gather all of the evidence. Until then, the Cowboys can continue their football season, but the NCAA will be watching closely.

Incidental Amusements

As college students at Geneseo, we often have a lot on our plates that tear us in all different directions. When you add the end-of-semester workload, however, the stress levels go from about a three to an eight in a matter of days, depending on the severity of the workload and outside activities. Everyone deals with stress differently, but it’s important that they combat it in a healthy way. Nothing is worse for someone than bottling up their stress and not managing it properly. As a resident assistant, I often give my residents advice on ways to de-stress, such as taking a nap, watching something on Netflix or getting ice cream.

One form of de-stressing common to the college student is venting, commonly referred to as ranting. Each person takes ranting into their own hands and can either be harmless or annoying to everyone that comes into contact with the person.

Some ranting is beneficial to the individual in terms of stress relief. This is a time at which the person ranting describes their current struggles in hopes that they can find a way to get past them or to blow off some steam to later return to the struggle.

In this situation, the person ranting is sincere in their motives because they are asking their friend or audience for their suggestions or just to lend an ear. If a person is close to the stressed individual, they are invested in what is being said and want to give advice to help the person in need.

The next category is the “woe is me” rant, or ranting just for the hell of it. We all know someone who loves to go on Facebook or Twitter and write an extensive list of all the problems in their life. These are usually done for attention and don’t receive the anticipated sympathy. Typical responses include, “Seriously?” or “They’re at it again!” This ranting style is not socially acceptable unless it is humorous in the sense of schadenfreude, if you’re into that.

Speaking of schadenfreude, some rants that are truly meant to humor their audience often get confused with the “woe is me” rant. These people often mimic the “woe is me” rant to be sarcastic and satirical. These are the rants that, when posted on Facebook, get the most likes. With these rants, you must know the person well enough to differentiate between the satire and the woe.

Now I’m not saying that ranting should be your last resort to de-stress. If that’s what works for you, do it up! My point is that, as a collective, we should be mindful of our ranting craft and be mindful to the ears and eyes that must endure our rants.

Incidental Amusements

The inhabitants of the quiet section in Milne Library are notorious for somehow producing the most miniscule annoyances. The guy on speed in the cubicle next to you is tapping to his electronic dance music “Milne Grind” playlist while someone is snacking on Food Should Taste Good sweet potato tortilla chips from Books and Bytes. French tips girl is furiously and unnecessarily clicking her nails on her keyboard.

Cool hunters on the search for the latest beats should observe carefully, though. One of the most common noisemakers in Milne is the avid In Between patron, who is an indispensible resource. The first sign is some combination of fleece, cotton and footwear probably purchased at an overpriced sporting goods stores.

The dead giveaway is the music blaring from their ear buds. When Carly Rae Jepsen’s forceful anthem first came out, we could rely on this demographic to broadcast its addictive siren song through the quiet section’s air space on repeat. Lately, Icona Pop’s “I Love It” has been all the rage.

Before making any assumptions on the character of our fellow quiet sectioners, it may be observed that they are on to something. While at the IB, we churn out our physical interpretations of the catchy music being played. If you’re like me, this usually involves defining dancing as being in spasm.

Either way, whether you’re putting out epic hip gyrations or arguing about the Socratic definition of justice in an essay, pop music has a way of making you productive. Its fast, driving rhythm and dimwitted lyrics get your heart rate going with minimal distraction, plus it offers the option to tune out the person gnawing on an apple – and the Greek yelling at you to get off their risers. Best, however, is the humor it brings to tasks that are otherwise mundane, no matter the weekly ritual. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face while listening to the lyrics “kitten heels, lingerie, panty hose, foreplay.”

There is a line, however. If you find that you are listening to “Heads Will Roll – A Trak Radio Edit” in the quiet section for the 10th time in under an hour, you may have a problem. Bad taste in music and being repetitive in your song choice go hand-in-hand. “Call Me Maybe” on repeat is only cute after the first five minutes. After that, it’s kind of like making your profile picture a picture of someone else. The first few times it’s funny and endearing; past that it’s like telling a bad joke twice.

It’s not to say that there are strict rules for this sort of stuff. I completely understand the novelty in frivolous choices in music and default pictures. All I am saying is be mindful. People can hear your music blasting. They have to share that experience too.

Incidental Amusements

I’ve always prided myself on my personal sense of style and have always been the person that dresses up to make myself feel better. Everyone, however, makes mistakes when they’re younger when it comes to wardrobe, haircuts and other beauty choices. I have made plenty and hope to share what I’ve learned from some of my regrettable fashion decisions. In high school, for whatever reason, I thought it was cool to wear monochrome outfits. For classic colors like black, maybe even grey, this could be chic and edgy. Purple is not the color with which to do this look. I know from personal experience. Purple pants are sweet, but matched with a purple shirt, purple boots and a purple headband, it can be a bit overwhelming. I mean, it was perfect for school spirit day but I’m sad to say I brought the all-purple-everything look back out a few times before a close friend kindly told me I looked like Ronald McDonald’s friend Grimace. Also on the do-not-wear list: battery operated light-up Hello Kitty shirts and arm socks.

Another tip: Try not to cut your own bangs because a hip girl did it in a commercial and it looked empowering. Especially if you have unsteady hands and have been bad with scissors your whole life and had to ask your mother to cut things out for you until you were in college. Two big uneven snips and I gave myself blunt bangs that were supposed to be at least a little curved but instead had 1,000 pieces of short straight hair plastered to my forehead. I remember being upset that my American Girl doll had better bangs than me. On top of that, when I made this fringed mistake, my forehead acne got exponentially worse. So that was awesome.

Please, for the love of all bodily hair removal, do not try and clean up your eyebrow area with the same razor you use to shave your legs. This blunder I made in the past might also have to do with the fact that I have unsteady hands, but I still would advise you to go to a professional or at least use a special razor or maybe, I don’t know … tweezers? Desi women are known for our naturally impeccable eyebrow shape starting so close to the middle of a forehead that sometimes even a unibrow can form. But I have now forever ruined that contour by shaving off part of my left eyebrow in an attempt to clean stray hairs. There is nothing that can be done. Please try not to make this mistake twice in one year, especially using an electric razor the second time, because that hair really might never come back – not that I would know from personal experience or anything.

These are just a few of the many, many fashion and beauty mistakes I made during my blissfully ignorant high school career. At the end of the day, though, if you’re really feeling a change and just want to go for something new in the looks department, I’d say just do it. Even if you mess up or don’t get the result you wanted, remember that tomorrow is a new day and almost all the hair on your body can grow back.u

Incidental Amusements

There is one thing that always annoys me, interrupting my walks around campus. It’s not the students who walk too slow or even those who stop to stare at the wildlife as if they’d never seen a squirrel before. It’s this wacky “Humans vs. Zombies” campus affliction. 

You can identify a Humans vs. Zombies player by the orange bandanas they wear: headbands for zombies and armbands for humans. The zombies attack the humans with the intent of infecting them and turning them into zombies. The humans have Nerf guns they can shoot the zombies with to protect themselves. Yes, this is all as bizarre as it sounds.

You know when you watch a TV show, and it’s so embarrassing to watch that you have to look away? That can sometimes be Humans vs. Zombies. Every time I see a human shoot a zombie in the face with a Nerf gun or see a zombie try to attack a human, but then trip and fall on them, I wince. I can’t help it, and yet I frustratingly can’t escape the sight of it.

This isn’t even taking into account the inherent absurdity of it all. I’m all for quirky hobbies, doing your own thing and marching to the beat of your own drum, but please keep it out of the public space. If I have to take a different route around campus than my usual one because I don’t want to get hit by a barrage of Nerf gun darts, there might be some sort of problem.

I propose all those who wish to play this game just book the Kuhl Gymnasium one Sunday night, so they can all run around shooting and attacking each other in a safe space. This way, they can get these urges out of their system quickly and easily. Also, it has the added benefit of me not having to witness this oftentimes-maddening game. 

This shouldn’t be read as an indictment of the game. I support the right of the Humans vs. Zombies players to play the game how they see fit. Maybe I just don’t “get” it. Maybe I’m missing out when I could be having a lot of fun. Still, from the perspective of the nonplayer, Humans vs. Zombies is a casual campus annoyance we all might be better off without.

Incidental Amusements

Beginning my senior year, I started working two jobs that required me to be in uniform. The entire concept of being required to wear something specific was initially confusing to me. I have grown so accustomed to wearing whatever I want – no matter how unflattering it may be. Yet, I must begrudgingly admit that I have learned to appreciate my uniforms.

Before accepting these jobs, my day-to-day outfits consisted of clothing normally worn by patients in the psych ward of a hospital. This mostly stems from the fact that when I wake up in the morning, I’m so groggy and disoriented that I just throw on any random assortment of shirts, pants and sometimes socks in my attempt to be on time for class.  

Unsurprisingly, most school days I end up looking either deranged or like an amnesiac hipster. Freshman and sophomore year, I would often stroll into class with a pasta sauce-stained sweatshirt and pajama pants clearly made for the tallest person in the world. Needless to say, people were begging to be my friend.

As a junior, I joined the Geneseo Fire Department as a volunteer EMT. It wasn’t until my senior year, however, that I got my uniform, which consists of a pristine pale-blue shirt, a heavy black belt with the largest buckle imaginable and strangely sexy ebony boots.   

I also recently took a job in the emergency room of a local hospital. My specific position requires me to wear dark purple scrubs. If you’ve never seen or worn scrubs, they are essentially glorified pajamas.

Oscillating between my formal EMT uniform, my casual scrubs and whatever unflattering clothing I happen to wear to class has caused me to have somewhat of an identity crisis, partly because each outfit elicits vastly different reactions.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I look like a total badass when I’m on duty and wearing my EMT uniform. One time I was walking down Main Street and a passerby whispered to her friend, “Is that a cop?” I found this particularly amusing, since I have the build of an awkward, prepubescent teenager. Hearing their exchange gave me a sense of heightened authority.

Compared to the authoritative appearance of my EMT uniform, my scrubs are almost too casual. While no one really questions the aesthetics of scrubs in a hospital, if I ever happen to wander outside of the hospital premises, I get very strange looks. I will admit, the baggy, purple pants definitely give off an “I’m a clown on some sort of illicit drug” vibe, but they are really comfortable and, sometimes, I don’t feel like changing after work.

Despite the wide range of responses I get from my different uniforms, I have learned that these outfits don’t need to be at odds with my everyday attire. One of my go to outfits now consists of my purple scrub pants, an amorphous, dirty sweatshirt and my fire department hat. Not only does it incorporate each aspect of my life, it also gives off the impression that I set fires for pleasure.

Incidental Faceoff: Who Wore It Best? - Cruela de Vil

Seductive. Vicious. Feral. Dinosaur. Fashion. All of these words should bring to mind Glenn Close’s portrayal of Cruella de Vil. If you’re looking for a movie about evil, but fashionable divas, stick with 1996’s 101 Dalmatians. There wasn’t a sequel or animated version of The Devil Wears Prada, after all. If there was, let me know as soon as possible. 

In films about the world of fashion, it becomes clear that to be successful one needs to be cunning, vicious, a bit unbalanced and - of course - beautiful. While Miranda Priestly may fit the bill, she simply lacks the determination and bark that puts de Vil at the top of the femme fatale list.

De Vil is both the CEO of her own fashion line and its only model. She manages to acquire the money and respect to have an entire skyscraper of people dedicated to appeasing her chic tastes and clothing her with the best the animal kingdom has to offer.

Priestly certainly has the aptitude and wit to deserve her prominent place in the fashion scene. She comes very close to being replaced, however, almost losing her entire way of life. De Vil’s vast wealth would never allow for that.  

Also, de Vil, unlike Priestly, attempts to do the job herself when her underlings fail her. Even if it does end with her getting arrested and falling into a bath of molasses, hay and dung, she still tries to capture all 99 puppies. When Priestly’s secretaries do not meet her standards, she fires them knowing that their replacements will be just as incompetent.

Most importantly, de Vil always keeps true to her values and is never dishonest, albeit malicious in other ways. When she wants the puppies she doesn’t hide it one bit. Anita “Dahling” knows who she is working for, knows de Vil wants the litter and knows she is capable of taking them. Can de Vil be blamed for simply snatching at opportunity?

Anyone who has seen The Devil Wears Prada knows that backroom negotiations and emotionless insults are Priestly’s trade. Priestly’s cold stare is more life threatening than anything she’s ever said.

When the credits roll for both movies, it’s clear that Cruella de Vil, harvester of poor puppy souls and star of her own song, is miles above Priestly in the best modern villainess category. Honestly, if she had targeted a less beloved animal, like snakes or octopi, de Vil would be considered a role model for her accomplishments in the fashion world.