Students show solidarity for those affected by executive order

By Bryce Spadafora

Members of the St. Bonaventure University community gathered on the front steps of Plassmann Hall today to show solidarity for those affected by President Donald Trump’s recent executive order.

The executive order, released last Friday, restricts citizens from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq from entering the country. News outlets have reported that some United States citizens have also been denied entrance into the country.

According to the executive order, its purpose is to, “protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States.”

Opponents of the order have argued that it targets groups of people who have never committed terror attacks in the United States and are of very little threat to national security.

Continue reading “Students show solidarity for those affected by executive order”

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SGA proposes amendments to constitution

By Bryce Spadafora

The Student Government Association at St. Bonaventure University met to propose amendments to its constitution today. The amendments, drafted by SGA’s Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC), cover a range of topics from election of class officers to clarifying the language of the current constitution.

One amendment, proposed to Article VII, modifies the language surrounding who is eligible to hold an SGA position. Section 2 of the article currently states that, “Anyone seeking office in the SGA must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.” The proposed amendment changes the requirement from a minimum GPA of 2.0 to “good academic standing,” a quality determined by the university, not SGA.

Further amendments propose a change in the length of terms for future Judicial Branch members. If ratified, Judicial Branch members can serve for a maximum of four years or until fall semester of the member’s graduating year. The CRC reasoned that, under the amendment, “Justices are allowed to make tough decisions without facing political pressure that could influence their decision.”

SGA will vote on the proposed amendments Feb. 23 before holding a student vote via my.sbu. The amendments will then be passed on to Richard Trietley, vice president for student affairs, and Sister Margaret Carney, university president, who will have the final say on which amendments are ratified.

The complete list of proposed amendments can be found below.

Amendments to SGA Constitution with Rationales

Spring Weekend 2015 Preview

By Bryce Spadafora 

[Image courtesy of wsbufm.com]

This is it. The event that all of St. Bonaventure has been waiting for: Spring Weekend.

The Campus Activities Board has been actively preparing for the event by planning activities, performances and games for the past several months. Students patiently wait for this time of year, and it has finally arrived. This weekend, students will have the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull, compete in an inflatable obstacle course, have their picture taken in a photo booth and be drawn by a caricature artist on both Friday and Saturday. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even ride a zip line on Saturday. ASIA will be sponsoring Henna Tattoos from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The popular carnival game “I Got It” can be played from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday. Cody Didas, president of CAB, is excited for the game’s return to Bonas.

“I am excited at the opportunity for CAB to be able to bring the game back this year,” said Didas. “First Year Experience was able to help out last year to bring it to Spring Weekend, and it was a large success.”

Teams of students will compete in the annual kickball tournament. Students who are not playing can watch the games and cheer on their friends.

Spring Weekend wouldn’t be complete without music—several musicians will be performing on Friday and Saturday.

St. Bonaventure’s radio station The Buzz will be kicking off Spring Weekend on Friday at 4 p.m. They are currently sponsoring a DJ competition, and you can vote for your favorite show to open Spring Weekend.

“We start planning for Spring Weekend months in advance because it’s such a huge deal for the station,” said assistant promotions director at WSBU Elyse Breeze. “There is going to be plenty of giveaways, games and music to get everyone pumped up. I’m excited to see how everything pans out!”

Two-man DJ team BADVERB will be present, followed by a Lip Sync Battle in the Skeller. Madeleine Faircloth, CAB’s Co-PR Chair, encouraged students to compete in the Lip Sync Battle.

“It’s Friday starting at 9! You come and lip-sync your heart out,” Faircloth said. “It’s something new, and I think it’ll be less scary than karaoke, seeing the actual singing part is taken care of.”

Students will have a chance to win a prize if they attend. CAB is giving away 125 Spring Weekend t-shirts in the Skeller each night of the event.

On Saturday the Joe Moorhead Band will kick off the day and bring tropical vibes to campus with their beach-themed jams. After the performance, students who are feeling brave can sing karaoke with their friends.

DJ Gary Rogers will perform in the afternoon. Gary Johnson, a one-man band who takes song requests from students, will follow. Weston, a rapper, is expected to perform as well. DJ Ed Bysiek will close the night in the Skeller.

All of the activities and musicians are chosen by CAB’s Spring Weekend committee.

According to Faircloth, “We have a Spring Weekend committee, which is mainly the General Board, and they present ideas to us and we present some back and we base it off the budget we are given.”

“We always take input from our General Board to see what they would like to have at Spring Weekend,” Didas said. “Many of the performers come from conferences that we attend… We try to appeal to as many students as possible with our decisions.”

Various students have found the schedule of activities exciting. Freshman accounting major Joyce Tristan said she was looking forward to Spring Weekend.

“I’m excited for the zip line and henna tats because I’m feeling wild and fun,” Tristan said.

Freshman journalism and mass communication major Stefanie Podosek has events she is anticipating too.

“I can’t wait for the zip line, the obstacle course and I Got It. Bounce house courses are always so much fun,” Podosek said.

Other students are anticipating one last fun weekend with their friends. Junior communications major Zachary Buckwald is one of those students.

“[Spring Weekend] is that last weekend you get to enjoy all your friends being together before you start worrying about finals,” Buckwald said. “It’s the last time you can truly release.”

Didas and Faircloth explained that finals are one of the reasons CAB organizes Spring Weekend.

“Spring Weekend happens as a way to have a fun weekend because everyone knows that finals is a stressful time for everyone,” Didas said. “The event could be looked at as sort of a ‘hoorah’ for the end of the year.”

“We want to provide students with a fun time before finals begin and everyone separates for summer vacation,” Faircloth said. “It’s fun for all and we could all use a good dose of fried dough and kickball.”

The Humane League criticizes Aramark for its use of battery-cage egg products

Aramark has faced scrutiny recently due to the use of battery-cage eggs in its products. The company provides food service solutions to several institutions including St Bonaventure.

The Humane Society describes battery cages as cages that allow hens 67 square inches of space, which is less than the size of a sheet of letter-sized paper. Hens confined to these cages spend their entire life without enough room to spread their wings. Caged hens are also denied access to natural instincts like nesting, perching and dust bathing.

The Humane League, an activist group dedicated to reducing farm animal cruelty, was the leader of a campaign aimed at ending Aramark’s use of battery cages. According to The Humane League’s Director of Campaigns Aaron Ross, the first step towards change was alerting Aramark’s clients about the situation.

“When we reached out to Aramark’s clients to inform them about the cruelty involved in battery-cage egg production, we got an overwhelming response,” Ross said. “Their own clients wanted to see this change happen and to move toward less cruel and more sustainable practices.”

A press release by the Humane League credits the campaign’s success to a “grass-roots” approach. College students were encouraged to petition their school administrators to stop supporting Aramark.

Further aid for the cause came from people who signed online petitions and Twitter users who raised awareness.

Aramark acknowledged The Humane League’s campaign, but was reluctant to change their policy.

“Aramark initially tried stalling and kept claiming it would take up to 90 days to start addressing the issue,” Ross said. “So we kept up our outreach efforts, and Aramark released a statement in under two weeks.”

The statement, released by Aramark’s Director of Corporate Communications Karen Cutler, announced Aramark’s plans to move away from using battery-cage hens in its products. According to the news release, it will take Aramark’s suppliers three years to change their production methods to cage-free. Aramark claimed the reason for the lengthy transition is their unwillingness to sacrifice food safety and quality for faster results.

The statement mentioned Aramark’s partnership with The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) as well. Aramark plans to, “release a comprehensive animal welfare policy with HSUS that will address a broad spectrum of issues impacting the treatment of animals for pork, veal, beef, poultry and dairy production.”

“We have taken a number of steps in the area of animal welfare over the last several years, including sourcing 30 million cage-free shell eggs this year and purchasing only gestation crate-free pork by 2017,” Cutler said.

The Humane League is confident Aramark will follow through with their plans to transition to cage-fee eggs by their predicted date.

“Aramark made a public commitment to move away from this inhumane practice,” said Ross. “We are confident that they will live up to their commitment to phase out the archaic practice of confining hens in tiny barren wire cages.  We will check in with them for updates periodically.”