New SUNY fund allocation fails to address actual issues, jeopardizes academic integrity

The Writearound

Opinion Editor Ben Cosman said he wouldn't cast a ballot for known and alleged performance-enhancing drugs users, such as Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa if he could vote in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Creative Ads Manager Joe Schwartz and Assistant Sports Editors David Schantz and Victor Wang join in on the discussion.  

Schwartz: The sport traditionalist in me wants to say no, but I appreciate the stats far too much to turn them down. 

Schantz: I would. These players have played an important role in our national pastime and deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. That being said, I do not think that they belong in the same class as others. Perhaps a special section could be put up or a note in their plaque stating they used. 

Schwartz: To go along with what Schantz is saying, it is important to keep in mind that while Bonds is linked with steroids, so is Clemens, a pitcher who faced Bonds. Thus these guys, both hitters and pitchers, were going against other guys who were juicing, leaving the field. There were dozens and dozens of players using PEDs and only Bonds emerged as the all-time homerun king. 

Schantz: If a steroid-using pitcher faces a steroid-using batter, I would say the playing field has been leveled. 

Wang: I agree with Schantz. These players have revolutionized some aspect of the game. While steroids improve strength, it still takes skill to swing a bat. To connect on a 90-mile-per-hour ball thrown at you is a testament to skill, not strength, and these players had skills that would get them to the Hall of Fame.

Cosman: It's about setting a precedent. Keeping Bonds, Clemens, etc. out of the Hall of Fame is a message to current players that steroid use will not be tolerated. If they're allowed in, what incentive is there for players now to do it without performance enhancers? 

Schantz: But admittance to the Hall of Fame is not the only goal for a major league player. These players have been shunned by players and fans alike, and admitting them to the Hall of Fame under special circumstances could provide a teachable moment for young players today. 

Wang: Let's say that there will be a section for steroid users, why would any player want to be known for that? Kind of like a wall of shame. 

Schwartz: But you have to acknowledge their unparalleled accomplishments, regardless of PED use. As has already been mentioned, the playing field was relatively leveled. Plus, like Wang said, having a steroid section would give them their recognition in a backhanded way. You must acknowledge these accomplishments, while still somewhat condemning their means of obtaining them. 

Cosman: Allowing known steroid-users into the Hall is passively condoning steroid use. It's saying that MLB is going to turn the other cheek when looking back on a player's career.  

Wang: But what if their accomplishment was asterisked or put in a separate section? The player's Hall of Fame reputation won't be one of fame but one in infamy.  

Cosman: The voters should be voting [for] whether or not a player deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, not whether or not they believe the player used PED, or the accomplishments are great enough for admittance in spite of PED use. The matter, for clarity, needs to be kept black and white.

Schwartz: So you are saying proven users have no place in the Hall of Fame and alleged users should be up to the voters?  

Cosman: Yes. 

Wang: I'm just wondering what the description under the name would be? “Mike Piazza: Alleged PED user” still bears a stigma to it.  

Schantz: I would not agree with the Hall if they did that. If there is no real evidence, then it would be unjust to put such a distinction on the player's plaque. 

Schantz: Bonds, Sosa and Clemens are all Hall of Fame-caliber players. Their known steroid use should be noted in some way, whether with an asterisk or some other distinction. 


Rape education ineffective, reform needed

“Don’t wear headphones. Stay in well-populated areas. Don’t dress seductively.”

Declarations such as these may seem like helpful ways to prevent rape, when in all honesty, they merely create a false sense of security, as well as a means to unfairly blame a victim. They are tips on how avoid rape, which perpetuates the notion that victims are in some way responsible for what happens to them. Our society must stop fighting over “legitimate rape,” stop blaming the victims and work on actually combating this disgusting crime.

I recently asked a few friends, male and female, if their parents ever taught them that they should not steal or lie. They all said yes. I then asked them if their parents had ever told them, “Do not rape,” to which all but one said no. One stated that such talk was “not necessary.” The idea that rape does not need to be talked about is not unusual; we would like to believe that the people we know and the kids we raise would never rape someone, but this simply is not true.

A rapist can be a man or a woman; a victim can be a man or a woman. A rapist can be a stranger, a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend or a husband or wife. There is not a single outfit in the world that will turn a normal respectable citizen into a rapist. If a person gave consent and later changed their mind and said no, it’s rape. There is no action committed, no outfit worn, no drink had, that can ever be used to blame a victim of rape. Rape is rape.

Such statements are constantly overshadowed by the stereotypes and myths of rape. The only way to combat destructive notions is to teach people, starting at a young age and throughout their lives, the facts about rape, and explain why myths are not only false, but also damaging and dangerous. It is not a black and white subject; the discussions must be in-depth and factual.

While some may say talking about rape with children is uncomfortable, it cannot be called unnecessary. With society pushing myths down our throats, we need parents, teachers and leaders to combat false notions by giving kids a proper factual foundation. We cannot simply hope that everyone will suddenly realize what constitutes rape and know everything there is to know about it. If everyone really did have a fully comprehensive, inherent understanding of rape, it would not be occurring at the rate it is.

In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study called National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which consisted of telephone surveys of a nationally representative sample of 16,507 adults. In 2011, CDC released its findings; out of the women surveyed one in five said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point in their life time. Out of the men surveyed, one in seven have experienced severe violence at the hands of an intimate partner and one in 71 had been raped.

No matter what stereotypes are out there, the numbers do not lie. The issue of rape must be tackled head on, in an accurate manner, with the use of education. Myths must be exposed and destroyed.

Men’s basketball breaks Cortland streak, avenges SUNYAC elimination

The men’s basketball team completed its final preseason competition in the Wendy’s College Classic on Friday Nov. 30 and Saturday Dec. 1 before winning its home and conference opener against SUNY Cortland. 

The Knights finished the Wendy’s College Classic 1-2, placing seventh. Geneseo fell to Nazareth College and Roberts Wesleyan College and defeated the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“Well anybody that you play in this tournament is going to be tough. It’s got a reputation for the tournament … for the history of it and for the longevity of it,” head coach Steve Minton said. “I don’t think enough is said about the quality of the teams. I think that most years there’s eight teams in it and any one can win.”

Roberts Wesleyan escaped with a 76-73 victory over the Knights in the second game. Junior Connor Fedge posted 16 points, four assists and eight rebounds. Sophomore Gordon Lyons and junior Matt Curry added 15 and 12 points, respectively. 

Geneseo placed seventh above RIT, defeating the Tigers 67-58. Sophomore duo Andy Drescher and Devon Anderson combined for 33 points in their first career starts. Drescher scored a career-high 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while Anderson added 13 points. The pair collected four rebounds apiece. 

Minton cited rebounding as a weakness that brought the Knights down against their competitors.

“A lot of that is effort and toughness and we were outmanned a little bit in both of those areas in the two losses,” Minton said. He added that free throw shooting and keeping opponents off the line will be keys to defeating Cortland. 

On Tuesday Dec. 4, the Knights sought revenge against the Red Dragons, the team that eliminated Geneseo from the SUNYAC championship playoffs on Feb. 24 last season.  

Geneseo prevailed 70-66, defeating the previously undefeated Cortland. 

Senior Jeremy Smith – who scored nine 3-pointers in his 37 points against Geneseo in the 2012 SUNYAC playoffs – leads the Red Dragons in scoring so far in the 2012-2013 season. 

“We’ve got to take a little bit of a focus off of that because while he is capable of doing that, there’s three other guys that they have that are capable of doing that too, so we can’t put too much of a focus on him and we have to understand there are other guys that need to be guarded,” Minton said. 

The Knights limited Smith to seven points on Tuesday, but couldn’t stop sophomore Kevin McMahon from scoring 22. 

Curry led the Knights with 17 points in his fourth double-digit scoring effort in five games. Senior Ryan Riefenhauser posted eight points – six during a 14-2 Geneseo run with three minutes, 35 seconds remaining. Riefenhauser also grabbed nine rebounds, helping the Knights outrebound the Red Dragons 34-29. 

The Knights – who stand in fourth in SUNYAC– test seventh and 10th-place conference competitors SUNY Oneonta and SUNY New Paltz, on Dec. 7 and 8, respectively.


Enrollment-based fund allocation fair, critics misguided

The new SUNY model for resource allocation, which was unveiled to the SUNY Student Assembly on Nov. 27 and which relies heavily on enrollment-based distribution, is the fairest way to distribute the $787 million in funding. While the majority of SUNY’s four-year liberal arts colleges will indeed see a decrease in funding, there simply is no better way to allocate the funds, and any critics who suggest otherwise are blinded by their own bias.

According to the model, 87 percent of the $787 million will be allocated according to school enrollment. Vice Chancellor for Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer for SUNY Brian Hutzley put it best: “The more students you have, probably the more money you’re going to get.”

In a situation where the SUNY system has a finite amount of funds to distribute, the enrollment-based approach is the only fair way to distribute. Frankly, it is surprising that funding wasn’t already being distributed based on student enrollment. Hutzley’s statement makes perfect sense – if a school has more students, then clearly it needs more funding. 

Vice President of Administration and Finance Jim Milroy believes a model where “everybody in the system is getting the same amount of money to educate people … drives mediocrity,” and “doesn’t fund excellence.” It’s difficult to see that as a legitimate critique.

It comes down to Geneseo’s preoccupation with its own “excellence.” 

Sure, it’s easy for Geneseo students and faculty to believe the school deserves a greater share of funding simply because our admission SAT scores are higher than most of SUNY’s other schools. How could it possibly be fair that SUNY New Paltz is going to see a 5 percent increase in funding when Geneseo is trying its damnedest to become an honors college?

According to a Nov. 29 article published in The Lamron, Student Association President Carly Annable said she hopes that SUNY will “re-evaluate the way [it’s] setting up the resource allocation model.” But with its limited resources, there is no better way for SUNY to allocate funding. 

If SUNY distributes the funds using a different model that leads to an increase in funding for Geneseo, how is that fair to SUNY Albany or SUNY Brockport? What does SUNY tell those schools when it gives more funding to Geneseo?

The air of superiority in Milroy’s comment that “Our view is that people come to Geneseo because Geneseo offers a certain kind of education. If you want excellence, you need to fund excellence,” is baffling. There is only a certain amount of funds; if SUNY funds “excellence” at Geneseo, what does it say to other schools? Tough luck that its students don’t score 1300 on their SATs?

Enrollment-based education is the only objective way for SUNY to allocate funding. Any other model heads toward the subjective – and the subsequent rat’s nest of which school deserves more.

There is good reason to be upset that Geneseo is seeing a decrease in funding. But SUNY is not the one to take to task for that. They are doing their best with “optimization of limited resources.” Even the state isn’t the problem; they too have limited funding available and must balance their budget. It is the despicable lack of education funding from the federal government that leads us to SUNY’s new allocation model. 

Geneseo has not achieved its deservedly great reputation by complaining about insufficient funding. We’re a public university – insufficient funding is part of the nature of public education, and it’s not going to go away any time soon. Geneseo is the school it is because it exemplifies greatness no matter the funding it receives.