April 8, 2013

April 8,  2013
Vol. 3, Issue 8

A Preview of Daemen's Thirteenth Annual Academic Festival

Academic Festival Logo

By Emily Stoll

Most students know Academic Festival as an event that gets us out of classes for a day, but it’s a lot more than that. This festival, which will take place on Wednesday, April 17, marks thirteen years of educational fun.

It will all kick off with the poster session at 9 a.m. and the President’s Welcome at 9:30 a.m. – both in the Lumsden Gymnasium. There are also a lot of cool presentations, performances, and exhibits to look forward to.

Popular performances like the Festival Musicale and the Musical Jam will return this year, as will Entrepreneurship in Action and The Haberman Gacioch Center for Visual and Performing Arts Senior Exhibit. Moot Court is also back, this time as a criminal trial for “homicide by negligent handling of fire,” and will be joined by a Model U.N. Simulation on nuclear armament of North Korea.

Special this year is the Geppetto Festival in the Visual and Performing Arts Center. This event consists of several puppetry-related presentations and performances and will run for most of the day. Many guest puppeteers have been invited to participate, including Michele Costa, Franklin LaVoie, Christine Dempsey, Chase Woolner, Broderick Jones and Matthew Laird. Daemen student Cameron Garrity, who organized these events with Dr. Waterhouse, will go into the roots of puppetry in Hands Up for Puppetry: Fighting the Devolution (it isn’t just for kids!). The whole event will finish off with a Puppetry Slam (think poetry slam, but with puppets).

Other events include senior presentations from various departments, discussions of volunteer experiences, and discussions of overseas experiences, such as the Hope for Tomorrow Armenian Medical Mission Trip.

So rather than using the day off to sit around like any old weekend, why not check out the Academic Festival? It’s a mix of education and fun – what more could you want?

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Getting Involved in your Community: Big Brothers Big Sisters

By Annie Rose

Many students search for ways to become involved in their local community during their college career. Some do this by joining an organization called Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides mentoring services to youths ages 6 to 16 by pairing them with a volunteer who acts as a big “brother” or “sister.” On campus, Assistant Financial Aid Director Sandy Looker, M.Ed., is a recruiter for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

Last May, Daemen College began a scholarship program for graduating seniors who were “Littles” (Little Brothers or Sisters). Daemen College is currently the only school in the Buffalo area to do this, offering $250 for one semester or $500 for a year without a limit to the number of students per year. Looker says the scholarship program helps the Littles “advocate [for] their own education.”

Every June, Big Brothers Big Sisters has a celebration for the graduating seniors in the program, and Looker is proud to point out they have a 100% graduation rate. She hopes that one day, perhaps as soon as next year, Daemen could sponsor a club day on campus to bring prospective Bigs and Littles together to interact, do activities, explore Daemen and see what the on-campus clubs have to offer.

So how does one go about getting involved? There are two ways to volunteer, Looker said. You can either be matched one on one with a young person, or participate in a site-based program. The site-based program is a group environment at a school where students and volunteers interact, play games and do activities together. The group program is perfect for students who lack access to their own transportation or are limited on time and other resources.

There is a constant pool of 200 future Littles, Looker said, and there is always a long waiting list. Especially hard to come by are Big Brothers, since there are more female volunteers than male. Littles start at the age of 6 and come from all areas and backgrounds in Buffalo. If you aren’t sure you want to join the one on one program or the group set up, you can always volunteer your time in other ways. Looker did a financial aid night for the high school kids. Perhaps you have a talent and would be interested in helping out occasionally – maybe as a writing coach, for example, if you have strong writing skills.

Some of the requirements in becoming a Big are pretty standard. You must be 18 years or older and, for one on one volunteers, willing and able to commit to two to three visits with your Little per month. Prospective volunteers will fill out paperwork and submit to an interview before being accepted into the program. To ensure the safety of both the volunteer and the family, it is customary to go through a background check and in-depth character questions. It’s not a scary process – they just want to make sure everyone is the right fit and is there for the right reasons. They will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. “You’ll feel good knowing that parents know you’re trustworthy,” Looker said.

Once you are through the process you will be paired based on common interests: sports, arts, music, etc. You'll also be assigned a caseworker for support, someone you can call anytime to discuss issues or ask questions. They provide training on how to deal with situations such as poverty, abuse, and racism. These trainings are not mandatory but are definitely useful to take advantage of. Your case worker checks in with you monthly to ensure success and your happiness. This program only works if everyone is happy.

It’s important to remember many of these children are neglected or left to their own devices by parents who work odd shifts, like the parents of Looker’s Little. Looker reminds us that many of these children have never colored Easter eggs or trick or treated, and having a Big gives them those opportunities. Looker’s own Little Sister, who is 8, had never colored eggs and really enjoyed the activity. Looker proudly displays the colored eggs on her desk, and a calendar hanging on the wall features pictures of her Little Sister.

The organization emphasizes to the parents that they will have no monetary responsibility. As a Big you don’t have to spend a ton of money out of your own pocket. Looker says many organizations donate tickets to local events, like Bisons Baseball. There are also plenty of free activities around Buffalo, such as Shakespeare in the Park and free-admission museum days. Walking around a park in the spring or driving up to the falls can be a significant adventure, since these children don’t have those opportunities any other way.

Looker promotes the benefits of joining the organization for both the Big and the Little. Not only does this look great on your college resume, but it also gives you a sense of purpose. You'll be able to “mentor someone, and it’s nice to share what you know,” said Looker. You teach them something and watch them grow, and in turn they teach you something as well. As Looker reminded us, it’s “rewarding because you watch them have fun and experience new things.” Also, Looker points out how this is a great opportunity to network with other Bigs who come from various backgrounds and companies. During their get together you might meet a lawyer, teacher, or CEO of a big company.

We all know that as college students we have many demands on our time and resources. Big Brothers Big Sisters asks for a one-year commitment. That will give you a chance to try it out and see if it’s a good fit for you. They also encourage people to call and find out more information. Many people find that it may not be right for them at that moment, but it might be later on. If you live in another town or another state, you can always get involved there as well. You don’t have to limit yourself strictly to the Buffalo area; check out opportunities in your area!

To find out more information you can contact Sandy Looker on campus, or look online for national organizations and to find one in your hometown. Or visit their local site. You’ll find a volunteer link which will give you more information, including the local number to call for more information and to start the interview process.

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Comic Relief by Mark Poblocki

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Restaurant Review: Buffalo Brewpub

By Emily Wilwol

Among all the hustle and bustle at the corner of Main Street and Transit Road, it’s still hard to miss Buffalo Brewpub’s giant copper buffalo and giant mug of beer on the building’s overhang.

As soon as customers walk through the doors, they’re greeted by the old-style pub feel, down to the empty peanut shells scattered across the floor.  The Brewpub’s casual environment and six flat-screen TVs are great for watching the Sabres, the Bills or any baseball and basketball games during their respective seasons.  A pop of color is added to the restaurant by the large fish tank in the back of the room, which acts as a landmark for patrons to find unlimited peanuts and popcorn. 

Great service is hard to find, unless you’re at the Buffalo Brewpub.  Not only are the servers polite and accommodating, but the food is great, too – and that, of course, is what it’s all ultimately about.  From the appetizers to the wraps to the salads, everything satisfies the taste buds.  The only thing the chicken wing dip lacks is enough chips to scoop it all up. 

But don’t fill up on your appetizer or else you will not be able to fully enjoy your entree, like the chicken fajita wrap or Santa Fe salad.  At any other restaurant, these choices could be considered “bird food,” but at the Buffalo Brewpub they are more than enough to satisfy most appetites.  The cooks at the Buffalo Brewpub perfectly wrap the chicken fajita wrap so that every bite, down to the very last one, is filled with a perfect combination of chicken, peppers, onions, and cheese without having a mouth full of just tortilla. 

And they’re not kidding when they say the Santa Fe Salad’s chicken is smothered in barbeque sauce.  In fact, the chicken isn’t the only thing smothered – the entire salad is.  It comes with your choice of dressing, but the barbeque sauce acts as a dressing itself. No need for anything extra.

Put simply, the dining experience at Buffalo Brewpub is fantastic.  It’s a great place to go with friends or family, have a couple drinks, watch a game or two, have great food, and just have fun.

Location: 6861 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221

Phone Number: (716) 632-0552

Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. -12:00 a.m.
  • Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m. -1:00 a.m.
  • Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

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TV Review: 'Pretty Little Liars'

By Ryane Crawford

“Pretty Little Liars,” the popular teen TV drama first introduced to the public in 2010, has captured a wide audience of women from young to old.

Just the eeriness of the theme song, “Secret” by The Pierces, draws you in. “Pretty Little Liars” (PLL) is one of the most popular shows on the ABC Family network – so popular, in fact, that it is internationally broadcast in over 38 countries.

This mysterious thriller is based around four friends: Emily Fields, Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin, and Spencer Hastings. They’re searching for the murderer of their friend Alison DiLaurentis, who’s been missing for a year, and soon realize that some secrets are better left buried. Their lives are forever changed when a person known only as “A” starts to turn their world upside down. No one knows who “A” is, but she or he is always watching.

“A” is untraceable, though, and shows by mysterious text messages how serious it is to dig up buried secrets. She or he has taken control over the girls’ lives, using personal and family secrets around them. They are terrorized and put into hard and dangerous situations where they are forced to make decisions.

As they get closer to the truth they experience a series of life-threatening events. The suspense is endless, and the ending of each episode has you wanting more and anticipating next week’s continuation. PLL is unlike any other show on any network. It is filled with romance, heartbreak, friendships, betrayal, and deceit, creating a heart-stopping series.

Girls of all ages are shown what true loyalty is and that true friendship can withstand any obstacle.  Trusting anyone is a hard thing to do when put under the stress that the four main girls go through. They are tested, and someone is out to get even. Girls worldwide have become engrossed in the world of our four pretty little liars.

If you aren’t watching, you should be; you’re missing out on a huge mystery that everyone is dying to solve.

If this isn’t proof enough that you should be watching PLL, then you need to step into Rosewood and see if you can find out who “A” really is.

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Music Review: Lupe Fiasco’s 'The Cool'

By Kazeem Adetunji

“I like Yohji Yamamoto and I might roll solo, Leather Gucci belts and Guilty Brotherhood polos, I like Mont Blanc pens and Moleskins paper, I like go-yard bags and green Now-n-Laters” – Lupe Fiasco’s “God Watch,” where he reflects on the things that he likes and enjoys.

Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, better known by the stage name Lupe Fiasco, is a Chicago native and rapper whose critically acclaimed debut album, “Food & Liquor” (2006) has brought him to fame.

“Food & Liquor” received high praise from fans, blogs, and Fiasco’s hip-hop peers, such as Kanye West and Jay-Z. Fiasco has a style that’s incomparable to his peers with one-of-a-kind lyricism; he can flip his style at the drop of a dime and has a unique capability to tell stories that capture fans’ interest. Fiasco’s talent is so far ahead of the game that it may be difficult for the average person to understand some of the things he raps about.

“The Cool,” his sophomore album, will let fans and music enthusiasts finally understand his musical vision. Its 20 amazing tracks showcase Fiasco’s ability to switch up his style, and his talent flows through each track on the album. “The Cool” is the follow-up of one of the standout tracks on “Food & Liquor,” which Fiasco used as the concept to create this album. The album encompasses many topics hip-hop artists talk about, such as fashion, money, and the finer things, with tracks like “Superstar,” “Gold Watch,” and “Paris, Tokyo.”

The album does not solely focus on the finer things that rappers enjoy, but also his personal life with the track, “Hip-Hop Saved My Life.” Fiasco goes into a story about a rapper from Chicago trying to make it out of his circumstances through hip-hop music. He explains in the song that hip-hop music has become the outlet for becoming better and making it out of the bad neighborhood to provide for his family:

“He turns down the beat writer’s block impedes, crying from the next room a baby in need, of some Pampers and some food and a place to sleep, that plus a black Cadillac on D’s is what keep him on track to be a great MC.”

Fiasco uses rhymes, such as the one above, to create a vision for his listeners to truly feel and visualize what the character in the song is going through. “Dumb it Down,” the lead single for the album, does exactly what the title says – breaks down things that are too lyrical to understand or that go over the heads of some critics and listeners. It's an incredible song that Fiasco uses to reach the doubters and individuals who may not understand his music.

“I’m fearless, now hear this. I’m earless and I’m peerless. That means I’m eyeless which means I’m tearless which means my iris resides where my ears is, which means I’m blinded.” These lyrics from “Dumb it Down” showcase the style that Fiasco uses to reach his fans and listeners, helping them better understand what he wants them to envision while he’s rapping.

Overall, “The Cool” was a great sophomore effort from Fiasco which showcases his many skills, including his ability to entertain listeners through creative word play and lyrics that create visually captivating images. The album cannot be compared to his previous work, which some critics dubbed a classic. But it proves that “Food & Liquor” was no accident, and it’s quite possible that the best is yet to come.

We can only hope that his next album will send Fiasco into the hip-hop books as one of the greatest lyricists that has ever graced our presence.

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Book Review: '50 Shades of Grey'

By Crystallynn McNutt

With the sexual tension, the red room of pain, countless incidents of rolling eyes, and the “contract,” "50 Shades of Grey" has left many readers wanting more.

For many -- mainly women – the 50 Shades trilogy was a quick read, mainly because it was extremely difficult to put the books down. Personally, it was one of the best romance stories I’ve read to this day. Author E.L. James made a huge success for herself out of this trilogy.  Notable for its detailed erotic scenes and its deepening plot, this trilogy has taken away the number-one selling spot for books from the Harry Potter epic series.

Many reviews of this great love story have focused on the sexual aspect of the story; however, it is truly an epic love story. The struggles which main character Christian Grey must overcome and the growing up of Anastasia Steele are remarkable. 

It isn’t long before readers are introduced to the narrator, Anastasia (Ana) Steele. Ana is a naïve 21-year-old student at Washington University. After her best friend Kate Kavanagh becomes ill, Ana is forced into an interview with a young, self-employed 27-year-old Christian Grey. Christian is described as the tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, and mysterious type. Immediately readers get the feeling of the attraction between the two, and there is no way to prepare them for what comes next.

With Christian’s dark past of being “loved” by his mother’s friend and his witnessing of his birth mother’s death, it is to no one’s surprise that he has become the dominant in his relationships. He felt that Ana would make a perfect submissive for him. However, much to his surprise, she resists most of his rules.

Many readers wonder why such an intelligent girl would approve such rules detailed in the contract Christian presented to her. Throughout James’ graphic sex scenes in the entire trilogy, there is nothing left for the reader to wonder about, except whether there’s going to be more. In Christian’s red room of pain, nothing is off limits. It’s all free game, with handcuffs, gags, “toys,” St. Albert’s cross, whips and canes – provided the “safe word” is respected.

One big fan, Dustie Francis of Lancaster, said she read all three books in a matter of just two days. “It was like a perfect escape from my reality of two kids and being a good wife,” she explains. For many women, that’s just it – an escape. It makes one think that women actually want a man like Christian Grey. If readers can get past the graphic sex scenes, they would be able to see the deep love story unfolding before their eyes. It's not every day that you walk into an office to meet your soul-mate, the one person who can change you for the better.  James took this fantasy and in a way put a spin of reality on it.

This book is not for everyone, but it sure has commanded the attention of millions across the world. 50 Shades has become so popular that a movie is on many people’s minds, and a musical comedy stage production, titled “Spank: The Fifty Shades Parody,” is already playing around the country.

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Letters to The Insight

Regarding the March 25, 2013 issue of The Insight:

WOW!

Love the article, Corbin, on the Career Fair. You really caught the essence of what is important. Thank you for taking the time to interview the employers and others and write the story.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Maureen Millane

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We Need Reporters, Photographers & More!

The INSIGHT still needs you!

Want to get your news or feature stories published? Your photographs? Maybe you're a humor or political cartoonist seeking a forum for your creative expressions? Or perhaps a columnist with opinions and observations yearning to see print? Even a business major looking for some ad coordinating and selling experience?

The INSIGHT is your answer! This is our call for reporters...photographers...cartoonists...idea people...student journalists of every description and distinction. And if you've got interesting story ideas, we're always on the prowl for those.

Please contact either the editor, Emily Stoll, at: emily.stoll@daemen.edu, or faculty mentor, Prof. Paul Chimera, at: pchimera@daemen.edu. Remember: working for your college newspaper looks priceless on a resume; plays well in job interviews -- and is good, clean fun to boot!

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Editor: Emily Stoll

Faculty Adviser: Prof. Paul Chimera

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Student Profiles

Feifei - Global Business

Global Business

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In Daemen, I took ESL classes to improve my English. I worked at Canavan Desk and made a lot of friends over there. I participated in a Business dinner with my professors. I was invited to join a family party by my professors. During the weekends, I often take the school shuttle to the shopping mall. These experiences helped me to ease into the American-style of study, life, and business.