Apr 19, 2004
Campus Center Grooves to Food

It’s 8:05 PM in the UAlbany Campus Center. That may not seems significant, but it is. At 8:00 PM meal swipes begin, which means Burger King, Zepps, and Au Bon Pain have lines around the corner. Students look as if this is their last chance to eat other-than-cafeteria food.

Throughout the whole food court the constant murmur of laughing; snippets of conversations, music, and the rustle of feet becomes one low drone; the theme song of the Campus Center.

Sbarros on the other hand has no meal swipes and only one person on line. One student named Shawn said that’s because it’s not good pizza. Outside of Sbarros the TV’s blair BET (Black Entertainment Television), while Chartwells workers occasionally peer out to glance at the latest music video.

A group of sorority girls in their letters clutter and giggle together on the Zepps line. While others on the line clutch their cups like Oliver Twist, anticipating the overly juicy cold cuts Zepps offer.

Ritazza, the college coffee spot is closed. One worker said it’s because they’re under staffed. The earth-toned walls of dark orange and burgundy, give it a unique smooth feel that seems to draw students. The tables outside of Ritazza are full though.

Those who enjoy a more quiet atmosphere and intimacy sit by Babbs, a cafeteria that is usually closed during the evenings. A small study group quietly discusses a project while a slightly larger group softly converse.

More groups of hungry students begin to trickle into the campus Center and the theme song grows louder.

Posted at 11:26 pm by Erineve
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Apr 13, 2004
Spring Break

   I usually don't go anywhere for spring break, but enough is enough. My booncoon (bestfriend) Lola and I decided to go on a little road trip to Maryland. Which was the only thing within our budget. I hadn't been to Maryland in a while, and we were lucky because it was cherry blossom season. The downtown streets of Baltimore are very beautiful, lined with earthy-toned brown stones and white or pink trees.
   The neighborhoods in Baltimore change rapidly. One minute you're in what looks like a Greenwich Village in New York City, and the next it looks like the crack infested streets of Brooklyn in the eighties.
   Obviously the government in Baltimore is trying to change this around with all the recent development in the area, like the newly improved Harbor. One interesting thing was the "BELIEVE" signs posted everywhere. On almost every school or governmental building the black and white sign was posted, in an attempt to uplift the mentality of the city's youth.
  We had a lot of fun shopping and site seeing and visiting family. We also visited the ultra-suburban communities outside of Baltimore. It's a great city, I could definitly see myself working there.

Posted at 02:59 pm by Erineve
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Mar 30, 2004
Poor Baby

The whole abortion issue is pretty interesting. It’s amazing to me that someone would get an abortion in her second and third trimesters of pregnancy. An article in the Timesunion  by Larry Neumeister, discussed the three court battle over the abortion law.

Judges in New York, Lincoln, Neb. and San Francisco refuse to enforce the law saying it is unconstitutional. Many feel congress did not thoroughly research the proposal before they passed it.

I think the U.S. Government is hypocritical to pass a law saying “late-term” abortion is wrong. If you’re going to ban one type of an abortion, you might as well ban them all. At what point, exactly, during the time a child is in the womb does it actually become human? It’s like the government is deciding that fact for us.

It is also the same thing in court cases, such as the Lacey Peterson case, where she and her unborn child were murdered. Now the perpetrator is being charged of two murders. I got it now, if a fetus is wanted and is killed, it is a murder; but if it is unwanted it’s just an abortion. Twisted.

The procedure done during these abortions are called “intact dilation and extraction.”  It consists of the partial delivery of the fetus, and the skull being punctured. This just sounds wrong to me. Imagine “getting rid” of a live fetus, a baby, after six months of carrying the child, feeling it move inside of you and grow, as well as going through all that bodily stress. In my case, something better come out alive and kicking. You could always give a child up for adoption, there are many people longing for children who are unable to procreate.

The truth is I really don’t feel people are educated on the repercussions of abortion or what they are actually doing. It is taken very lightly, I know because I used to take it very lightly. Before women go through with the procedure, it should be explained to them in great detail, what they are about to do. Although, some know and still do it. There are cases where it is a matter of life or death for a woman, but that’s a whole other issue that I can’t touch right now.




Posted at 12:26 am by Erineve
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Mar 21, 2004
Whoa History

My roommates as well as my friends and myself were having a conversation one night. We were discussing hateful events that have happened in the past that opened eyes and change current social conditions. One of the topics we discussed was the murder of Emmit Till in 1955. It was a powerful, yet tragic, catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement. My friend, who happens to be an Africana Studies major, told us all the account of Till’s death, a story I hadn’t heard in a long time. All of us were so amazed at the ignorance and hate that was accepted back then (which has not completely disappeared).

So I visited a site at PBS.org and read an article written in Look magazine called A shocking story of approved killing in Mississippi. It was an account given by a man who interviewed Till’s murderers. First I was amazed at how free they were with admitting what they did to Till. Hearing how they could justify such an act showed me how little I knew about these widespread sentiments. We seem to forget how fortunate we are now, even though there are always things that can be changed. The interesting things were the notes to the editor about the story, that’s what really got me. People were justifying the acts of the murderers. There were also comments from Civil Rights activists such as Roy Wilkins, and other members of the NAACP. Reading the mind sets of people back then was a valuable lesson for me. I tend to want to believe that people always have the best intentions in mind. But that’s not always the case. I must admit; taking what people say with a grain of salt is something I have to work on.

We really need to pay more attention to history, it’s important. In junior high and high school, teachers glossed over issues, leaving out the gory details, as if trying to save us from the horrible truth. But it’s important to see all the facts so that we see were we’ve come from. Learning from history and its cycles makes it easier to prevent things from happening in the future.   

Posted at 11:50 pm by Erineve
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Mar 15, 2004
Interesting Photo Galleries

I  was really touched by this website because it really shows what it’s like in Malawi. People tend to think that every other country is on the same page as the U.S. It helps to put my own life into perspective so that I don’t get so caught up in things that I feel are so important. The only thing I disapprove of is the title, “The Fourth World” seems a bit arrogant, but I see the point.


This is the student photography gallery at the Maryland Institute College of Art. I just thought the pictures were cool. My cousin goes to the school and my aunt is an administrator. 


This site, The American Museum of Photography, puts into perspective how the state of the country was for African Americans during slavery, as well as immediately after. 


This is another great gallery at New York Newsday.com, because it captures better than words could, what is really going on in Iraq. It awakens consciousness. (Click on “Award winning photos by Moises Saman”)


The last gallery which I must mention is the gallery I made last semester of my family and friends on my personal site…yes it is a little corny and I eventually plan on including more pictures. But the site is full of people I love so…check it out.  

Posted at 08:18 pm by Erineve
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Mar 9, 2004
Not a comparison

A pet peeve I happen to have about the whole same-sex marriage issue is the constant comparison of the Gay rights struggle to the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s and 70s. First we must clear up what oppression really is. To oppress according to the Microsoft Encarta Dictionary, means; to dominate harshly, to subject a person or people to harsh or cruel domination.

            Yes there is discrimination and prejudice towards the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, but it can in no way be compared to what was endured by African-Americans in this country or to Jews being forced to live in ghettos.

            In a legislative hearing, on March 3rd, held by Senator Thomas Duane, one of the few openly gay NY legislators, there were testimonies given advocating same-sex marriages. Almost everyone who I spoke mentioned something about this being one of the greatest civil rights battles, putting it up there with women’s rights and the Black civil rights issues.

            I’m sorry, but I beg to differ. There are many homosexuals in power positions, such as Senator Duane. Homosexuals are not forced to sit in the back of the bus; they’re not forced to live in their own little towns. Homosexuals were not banned from certain schools. Actually, Gay rights activists have a lot of power. Just look at that school for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students in lower Manhattan. That does not seem like oppression to me. Now there have been lynching and beatings of openly gay people, but it is not a wide spread accepted way of treatment. It is wrong to beat, kill, or harass anyone for their lifestyle and who they are.

It is a civil rights battle, but to me it seems more like semantics. In Vermont a civil union has all the same basic rights as a marriage. There are some exceptions in different states, but why is the term Marriage so important? Is it just about proving a point?


Posted at 12:11 am by Erineve
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Feb 24, 2004
Hearing Both Sides: Gay Marriage

For Gay Marriages:

-Last Tuesday (2/17) a proposed constitutional amendment in Massachusetts’s government banning gay marriages did not procure the necessary votes to pass.

-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom sanctioned lesbian and gay marriages although it is against state law. Over 3,000 gay same-sex couples have been married there since Feb. 12. San Francisco has until March 29 to explain its actions.

-Believe that same-sex partners should have the privilege to use the term marriage because it is “meaningful and politically effective,” and ensures that everybody has the “rights and responsibilities associated with marriage.” –Million for Marriage.org 

-"Because marriage is a basic human right and an individual personal choice, the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and share fully an equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment of civil marriage." (The Marriage Resolution, by the Marriage Project of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.)

-Believe that separate is seldom ever equal, as the history in this country goes, and that is why same-sex couples should be given the same rights as heterosexual couples. –Planet Out

- It is easier for gay couples to adopt if they are legally married.

Against Gay Marriages:

- Advocates of gay marriage were unable to obtain a majority vote on four proposed measures.   NYBlade Online

- Although the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages was not passed, the Massachusetts legislature plans to reconvene on March 11th.

- Those opposed to gay marriages feel “The media's reflexive labeling of doubts about gay marriage as homophobia has made it almost impossible to debate the social effects of this reform.” -The Weekly Standard  

-Social effects such as:

- Factions of gay rights advocates, gaining influence, that favor gay marriage as a step toward the abolition of the whole marriage institution.

- If we scramble our definition of marriage, it will soon embrace relationships that will involve more than two persons. -ChristianityToday


- “The concept of marriage necessarily includes the idea of a man and woman committing themselves to each other. Any other arrangement contradicts the basic definition.”                  


-  “Gay marriage can only be imposed by activist judges, not by the democratic will of the people. The vast majority of people define marriage as the life-long union of a man and a woman.” -ChristianityToday




-In a poll done by the Boston Globe (In Mass. only):

            -Opposition to gay marriage jumped 10% since a poll taken just after the Nov. 18 ruling legalizing gay marriages.

            -35% support gay marriages and 53% oppose. (Margin error of plus or minus 5 percentage points)

-         A significant majority wanted voters to define marriage.

-         60% supported Vermont influenced civil unions for gay couples.

-Newsday Online




Posted at 01:52 am by Erineve
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Feb 10, 2004
Martha coverage

Martha Stewart seems to be a pretty popular story this past year, and why not? Stewart is the owner of a $372 million company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and has set many trends for women of her age.

            Depending on the form of media and the consumers they cater to, the angle of the story is different. In an article in TIME magazines Feb. 9th issue, they took the approach of emphasizing on her celebrity, focusing on what she was wearing and on how happy she looked. Eventually the article goes on to describe exactly what is going on with the trial and the not so happy outcome if Stewart is convicted; but that doesn’t come until the third paragraph.

            USA Today’s approach in Thursday’s issue was a straight news lead. There were no references to her style of dress or cute anecdotes about her demeanor. One interesting plus that was included around the photo used of Stewart was an information box outlining; the facts of the case, the explanation, the charges, and the damage done. This was very helpful especially for me, because I have not been following the case very closely.

            I found an article about Stewart in an online magazine called Stuff. It is a New Zealand based magazine. The writer(s) of the article also took the celebrity approach with more of an entertainment feel: “Wearing a brown jacket, brown blouse and coordinating pants, the famous trendsetter appeared as calm as she turned to glance at reporters.” This New Zealand ezine also had a more dramatic, narrative approach to their story. The Nut graph didn’t appear until the third paragraph. Article is from 1/21/04.

            In a CNBC online  article, the editors decided to take the entertainment angle in the first paragraph, but immediately get to the point by the second graph. They probably wanted to make the story seem more interesting because it’s no longer breaking news. The article focuses on the jury process, and how difficult it is to find someone who has not heard about the Stewart case. CNBC includes interesting non-linear features to their article as well. There is a “select a broker” option, a link to check out how well Martha Stewart’s company is doing, a fact file about “the house that Martha built,” and a box about more corporate scandals highlighting “stewart lawyers set for star witness.” (1/21/04           

I also read a Feb. 9th article on Newsday.com, it was similar to the USA Today approach, just straight news, and because it is primarily a newspaper and not an online newspaper, the article did not have any interesting add-ons. (www.newsday.com) 


Posted at 11:42 am by Erineve
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Gamblingwith education

I know this is a fairly old topic, but it still bothers me. Especially after I attended a budget hearing on Mental Hygiene last Wednesday.

On January 20th 2004 Governor George Pataki announced his 2004-05-budget proposal for the state of New York. 

I understand that New York has a huge deficit, especially due to all the repercussions of 9/11, but there’s got to be another way to find money other than high taxes and video lottery terminal parlors.

            Gambling may be a fun pass time for many people but it is an extremely unpredictable source of funding, especially for education. Our children deserve better effort than that. Schools are starting to increase alcohol awareness, STD awareness, obesity awareness, and the list goes on. What kind of message are we sending children by using the money from a potentially very financially dangerous pastime to fund their education?

            I’ve known too many people addicted to gambling, not to say that the problem doesn’t lie with them, but our government should not be a channel for the problem. Who is going to occupy all of those seemingly harmless VLT parlors? Not the financially stable businessmen of Wall Street. It’s the people who just want a chance at having more money than they need; they’re the ones who’ll be emptying their pockets in these parlors. We can’t gamble with education.

            Another interesting fact is that the New York State Offices of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) stated in a recent budget hearing on Feb. 4th, that they would begin treatment for gambling addicts within in this year. Commissioner Gorman of OASAS stated “it just made sense to include gambling” since the OASAS facilities already deal with addictive and compulsive diseases. Which is also convenient if the VLT proposal is accepted, who knows there might be a growth in the need for such services.


Posted at 01:16 am by Erineve
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Feb 2, 2004

My name is Erin and this is my blog for JRL364.

The ongoing debate over whether access to violent video games should be restricted for minors seems to be never-ending. But truthfully, the bottom line is, it’s up to the parents.

Lawmakers want to pass bills that regulate the distribution of “harmful matter” to minors, limiting sales and they want to require that the most violent games be placed on the highest shelves. Recently an ordinance in North Miami Florida says retailers must get a written parental approval before selling or renting any violent games to minors (anyone under 17 years of age). But if a child wants to play a game bad enough they’ll find a way. How many of you forged a letter or two when you were young? Society always places the blame on something, or someone else. Some parents, political officials, and child psychologists say that violent games prompt children to behave violently. Well, if parents  monitor their children’s activities they should have a pretty good idea of what their children are consuming.

By the government trying to control what we watch, they are taking away a right. What will be the next thing?

I personally think that the games are degrading and violent, but like Bo Anderson, president of the Video Software Dealers Association said in a USA Today article, “What you have is the government trying to step in and take control of what is a parental responsibility.” 

If it were up to me there would be guidelines on what software makers could put in games, that’s were it starts. But once it’s out and available to the public, kids will find a way. So that’s why parents need to step it up a notch.


Posted at 06:21 pm by Erineve
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