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The Collegian News Blog

145 years young

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Founders day is upon us at the University of Massachusetts and the campus is gearing up to celebrate 145 years of existence.

Check out tomorrow's Daily Collegian for your blast from the past, but in the meantime, here's today's commemorative itenerary (courtesy UMass.edu):





10:00 Music & Dance
11:30 Barbeque Luncheon and entertainment
12:15 UMass Amherst Marching Band arrives
12:20 Remarks by UMass President Jack Wilson and Governor Deval Patrick
12:40 Ceremonial cutting of the birthday cake
11:30 – 1:30 University Historical Exhibit





Stay tuned to the Daily Collegian online for more multimedia coverage of the festivities.

These photographs are from the Department of Special Collections and University Archives of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Visit their Web site at www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/. Please do not reproduce these images without their permission.
posted by Derrick Perkins, 12:12 AM | link | 0 comments |

UHS computer sniffles turns into campus epidemic

Monday, April 28, 2008

According to University Spokesman Ed Blaguszewski, the Office of Information Technology is reporting that 120 out of the 150 workstations in University Health Services shut down after an electronic intrusion two weeks ago are now back up and operational.

UHS wasn't the only section of campus to take a hit from the electronic intrusion; some 40 workstations across campus - including some at the offices of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian - suffered from a virus that significantly slowed down infected computers.

According to OIT, the attacks on computers outside UHS retained the same distinctive elements as those within health services. According to OIT officials it appears that the individual or individuals responsible may have wanted to use the computers to illegally download movies or music.

OIT is assessing if the affected campus computers suffered a data breech, as they are at UHS.

All of the machines are currently being repaired and brought back online.
posted by Derrick Perkins, 12:36 PM | link | 0 comments |

Grad students strike a contract with administration

Thursday, April 24, 2008

University officials have just announced the tentative agreement between the administration and the Graduate Employment Office for a tentative 14-month contract.
While GEO has ratified the agreement, the contract must now be approved by the Board of Trustees.

"We’re happy to have negotiating wrapped up after 15 months of bargaining," said Aaron Winslow, vice president of GEO in a statement. "The GEO leadership and bargaining committee were very pleased to bring this contract to our members for ratification."

The contract covers from July 1, 2007 to August 30, 2008 and includes a stipend increase of 2.5 percent - taking effect on August 13, 2008 and covers the entire 2008 fiscal year - and funds set aside to raise the lowest school and college minimum stipends for graduate employees. The agreement further includes a $400 signing bonus for those graduate student employees eligible.

"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with our graduate student employees who play an important role in the success of our academic community," said University Spokesman Ed Blaguszewski in a statement.

Negotiations for a new contract have been ongoing since the last contract expired on June 30, 2007. GEO has held several rallies to put pressure on the University throughout the academic year as negotiations for a new contract have drawn on for almost a year.

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posted by Derrick Perkins, 2:11 PM | link | 1 comments |

Extrava-related fun lands three in court

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Amherst Police Department is reporting that only three arrests came out of this weekends 4/20 celebrations - namely the Extravaganja held last Saturday on the town common.
Here's the roll call:

Ross Jackson, 21
1602 JQA, UMass
Amherst, MA
Possession of a Class D substance (marijuana)

James M. Perry, 20
1186 Mary Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska
Possession of a Class D Substance (marijuana)

Scott J. Sousa, 21
186 College Street
Amherst, MA
Violation of a town by-law, open container of alcohol.

No major disturbances occurred and the police busied themselves mostly with traffic and parking problems.

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posted by Derrick Perkins, 3:26 PM | link | 0 comments |

RSU takes to the Student Union steps

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


With a judicial hearing scheduled for this Friday that will potentially leave the future of the Radical Student Union in doubt, members of the RSU plan to rally tomorrow at noon on the steps of the Student Union.

According to the RSU, after refusing to comply with University officials calls for the removal of a safe-sex pamphlet graphically depicting two men engaging in sexual relations, the registered student organization was charged with unauthorized use of university property and disobeying an administrator under the student code of conduct.

ACLU attorney Bill Nueman will speak at the event, called - in reference, no doubt, to the Republican Club rally earlier this semester - a "Rally for Public Decency."

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posted by Derrick Perkins, 3:43 PM | link | 0 comments |

Candidates for Chancellor advance to semifinals

The University of Massachusetts Chancellor Search Committee - in charge of finding a replacement after former Chancellor John Lombardi moved to Louisiana State University after the end of the last academic year - has selected four finalists for the position.

Here's the breakdown of the Chancellor Search Semifinalists:

Martin Hall: deputy vice chancellor of the University of Cape Town

Robert C. Holub: provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee

Harris Pastides: vice president for research and health sciences at the University of South Carolina and executive director of the University of South Carolina Research Foundation

Satish K. Tripathi: provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

The Chancellor Search Committee, consisting of 25 members and including representatives from the graduate and undergraduate student bodies, has spent much of the last year weeding through applicants and candidates for the position now held by Interim Chancellor Thomas Cole.

"We were truly pleased to see candidates of the highest caliber step forward and enter this selection process. The quality of the candidate field is a testament to the way UMass Amherst is viewed across the country and throughout academia," said Jennifer Braceras, a 1989 graduate of UMass Amherst currently on the University Board of Trustees. "Because this field was so strong, the committee was able to designate outstanding finalists who are able to inspire and are ready to lead."

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posted by Derrick Perkins, 11:19 AM | link | 0 comments |

Rowdy weekend for Amherst PD

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Amherst Police Department reported an unusually high level of activity from weekend revelers the past few days this morning.

According to the APD, officers responded to 173 calls for service, including fights, large disturbances, weapons calls, and traffic accidents.

At the weekend's end, a total of 34 people had been arrested for what the APD describes as "varying offenses."

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posted by Derrick Perkins, 12:36 PM | link | 0 comments |

Chinese community reacts to free Tibet movement

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Members of the Chinese community on campus are currently rallying against the violence in Tibet and in support of the 2008 Beijing Olympics on the steps of the Student Union.

Chanting "One China," and "One World, One Dream," and waving a Chinese flag participants are handing out what they described as educational flyers depicting the truth about Tibet.

Approximatly a hundred Chinese students gathered outside the Student Union at 11 a.m. this morning and the numbers increased throughout the event, as participants spread out towards the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, waving placards and chanting.
posted by Derrick Perkins, 12:31 PM | link | 3 comments |

Death ruled a suicide

Monday, April 7, 2008


Investigators have determined the death of UMass student Liam O'Donnelly, media sources are currently reporting.

According to the Springfield Republican, O'Donnelly died of multiple trauma - determined after officials conducted an autopsy on his body.

Both campus and state police investigated the University sophomores tragic fall from the 17th floor of the John Quincy Adams tower at approximately 3:30 a.m. last Friday.
Photo credit Michael Phillis

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posted by Collegian Staff, 9:20 PM | link | 0 comments |

Violence, crime and alcohol at UMass

Today marked the first in a series of articles examining the relationship between drinking and violence on the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst.

With a semester so far marked with extreme cases of violence and crime involving students and student athletes, both on campus and in the surrounding community, reporters and editors at the Daily Collegian have sought to explore the correlation between the two, and if any such relationship exists.

Let us know what you think, either by commenting below, responding to one of our stories or even e-mailing the news section. Share your experiences and tell your own stories, or give us some well-deserved criticism. No matter what your opinion, stay tuned all week for updates examing University policy regarding drinking and crime, drunk driving on and off campus, and how crime statistics are gathered at both UMass and other private institutions.

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posted by Derrick Perkins, 12:25 PM | link | 0 comments |

JQA hosts community meeting following death of student

Friday, April 4, 2008


In response to the tragic death of UMass student Liam O'Donnelly this morning, a community meeting will be held inside the John Quincy Adams tower at 4:30 this afternoon.


Representatives from the dean of students office, residential life and the UMass Police Department will be on hand to share information surrounding O'Donnelly's death and offer resources to students.


"We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends," wrote Jo-Anne Vinn, dean of students, in a campus wide e-mail sent out earlier today.


The University is encouraging members of the campus community seeking support to speak with their residence hall staff, or to call either the dean of students office (413 545 - 2684) or University Mental Health Services (413 545 - 2337).

Photo credit Jeromie Whalen




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posted by Derrick Perkins, 4:00 PM | link | 0 comments |

Coincidence?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

In an almost ironic twist of fate, the day after University of Massachusetts football player Spencer Sinclair Ridenhour for lewd behavior -- including exposing himself to a female jogger, sexually assaulting a Smith College student, and masturbating in a car -- the Pennsylvania State Daily Collegian is reporting similar charges being pressed against a Penn State basketball player for his lewd behavior.

"Penn State Police filed charges yesterday against Penn State basketball player Stanley Pringle in connection with an incident involving public masturbation that occurred last Thursday in Pattee Library," Lauren Boyer reported yesterday for the (Penn State) Daily Collegian.

According to the (Penn State) Daily Collegian, "in the original incident report, police said the offender sat behind a woman in the stacks section of the library, attempted to start a conversation with her and then began masturbating. The investigation, including interviews with the victim, yielded a description detailing a college-aged black man with a medium build, about 6-feet-2-inches tall, and wearing a gray sweatshirt"

Oddly enough, Ridenhour -- a 22 year-old transfer student -- originally came to UMass from Penn State.

On a side note, the (Penn State) Daily Collegian is reporting that Pringle is not being investigated as a suspect in an ongoing investigation of "serial masturbation" on campus.
posted by Derrick Perkins, 5:59 PM | link | 0 comments |

The Tibet debate

After publishing an article covering a local reaction to the unrest in Tibet, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian received a fair amount of ire from students with connections to China who felt the reporter had misinterpreted the events across the Pacific from Amherst. Here is a sampling of the e-mails we received in the news section:

"Free Tibet -- they know not what they doWhenever people start to talk about “Free Tibet” in the United States, I am always stunned by the ignorance that they are so eager to show about the subject of their monologue. Your Monday (March 31) news article Pamela Lawn on Tibet is just another piece in that line. Apparently, some people just love to kid themselves by acting as if Tibet had been a “free” and “peaceful” place before 1950. No one seems to care that Dalai Lama had been the leader of a slave system before he left Tibet, under whose “leadership” 5% of the Tibetan population had absolute control over 100% of the resources, while the rest 95% lived in poverty and serfdom, and there had been no freedom of religion (come on, there was only one religion, what do you want me to say?), no separation between the religious and political power(or shall I say between the Church and the State?), and no access to education for the people. Now, poor Tibetans, they cannot represent themselves, they must be represented. But, while taking the moral high ground by trying to represent the Tibetans in the self-claimed righteous cause of “Free Tibet,” you might want to ask yourself whether you know what life has been like for Tibetans in the past and at present, whether you know anything about the changes that has happened to people’s life in general in China? Do you really know, or do you simply not care?Some probably would think that I have been brainwashed by the Communist government in China. Well, the apparently brain-washed one seems to have access to more diverse and accurate information about Tibet then citizensof “the free world.” In the case of this protest on March 14 (by the way, show some professionalism by getting the dates correct), what I have seen here in the U.S. is simply horrible journalism. When mainstream media like CNN and NewYork Times talk about the violence of Chinese police against “peaceful” Tibetan protesters, they couldn’t even show the right pictures and the right videos – either pictures were cropped to skip details that might favor the Chinese government, or the pictures and videos shown were not even taken in China but in Nipal or India (one of the numerous examples of such intentional distortion and manipulation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13fz9HIrJpQ). Obviously, most people are simply assuming that the violence and deaths were caused by the Chinese police. I mean, give me a break, this is a digital age, the lack of access to Tibet by foreign reporters does not mean the lack of evidence sent out from within Tibet, by Chinese, Tibetans, or foreign tourists((http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhjCX4KIz4Q ). And – I can’t believe I’m saying this – the rejection of foreign journalists by the Chinese government does not mean that you should sacrifice journalist conscience and simply makeup stories. I understand that this is a free country where people have the right to express themselves, and I have no intention to shut anyone up. All I’m saying is, you are having a college education, please take it seriously – do some research on Tibet, learn its history, use your brain, and stop kidding yourself, or your readers like me. Sincerely yours,

--Zixu(George) Liu"

"Recently, I read an article about Tibet in your 3/31 daily collegian. I am very surprised about what you wrote on the report. After finishing the whole news, I really want to ask you: Do you really know what happens in Tibet? If you just obtain the information from you local media, I think that one old Chinese aphorism may be useful for you: "listen to both sides and you will be enlightened; heed only one side and you will be benighted". The whole Tibetan violence is caused by several rioters, not by the Chinese Government. Dalai Lama should take the whole responsibility for it, who always says that they will use peaceful method, not force. Accurately, the riot in Lhasa this time proves that he is just a rabble rouser and a political liar who just always some beautiful things and do some dirty things below the table. A handful of Tibetan, who are stirred up, first attached the innocent peoples and rape the shops. That is why the Chinese Government sent the policeman to army to stop the chaos."

"Dear editor:

I am writing to response to the news about Tibet that appeared on yourpaper on 3/31/2008. I am very disappointed that your report lack a balanced view of what happened in Lhasa during the past several weeks. It was nothing wrong in putting out a riot that caused enormous destruction in the city, as described by reports from Economist and other eye witness reports from other sources. I believe your paper has set a bad example of journalism that you reported the event happened in Lhasa in a way to support your presumed political view. Namely everything that happened between government and citizen are related to human right. China has a political system and governing ideology that is vastly different from the western counterpart. Therefore before rushing to interpret every event according to modern western views, which is doom to fail to understand the rest of the world fairly, please take time to gather witness reports from other sources instead of "Free Tibet" groups, such as tourists, reporters that happened to be there and citizens that are not related to activist groups, as well as unprocessed photos. Yes, professionalism takes time, and writing a balanced report requires a lot of hard works. But I believe it would ultimately improve the quality of your paper and benefit the readers.

Sincrerely,

Chiu Tai Andrew Wong"

How did we do covering the events in Tibet from a local angle? Let us know by sounding off below.
posted by Derrick Perkins, 5:25 PM | link | 1 comments |

UMass athletics office has strange day

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

On the same day the Massachusetts basketball team won its biggest game in approximately 10 years, a UMass football player stole some of the headlines -- and not in the most positive of ways.

According to Northampton police, junior reserve defensive back Spencer Ridenhour is facing charges of open and gross lewdness following an incident reported near Smith College last Tuesday.

Furthermore, according to Northampton police, Ridenhour was also arrested earlier in the day after a separate, but similar incident.

The Daily Collegian's Frank Vitale has the full story.

Ridenhour has been suspended indefinitely from the team, according to UMass Athletic Department spokesperson Jason Yellin.

To see Ridenhour's player page on umassathletics.com, click HERE.


posted by Eli Rosenswaike
posted by Daily Collegian Sports Blog, 3:32 PM | link | 0 comments |

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