Two UAlbany The lax stars going contenders

Two UAlbany
lax stars going
to the pros
for this
lenm on
University at Albany police are
continuing to investigate an altercation that
occured on a CDTA bus early Saturday
According to a police report filed, three
female students boarded the No. 11 bus
early Saturday and went to sit in the back.
Eye-witness reports said that a verbal
argument broke out between the three
women, who were black, and a number
of other students (approximately 10-12,
according to reports) on the bus, who were
white. After the bus drove onto campus,
the arguement became physical, said the
eyewitnesses. During the fight, one of the
women recalled a group of white males
standing over her and kicking and punching
her repeatedly while she was on the floor of
the bus, according to the police report. The
alleged victims claimed that nobody on the
vehicle attempted to intervene to stop the
fight, and that the attackers used racial slurs
towards them.
Eventually, the bus stopped at the Social
Sciences bus stop, and two of the women
who were assaulted were taken to Albany
Medical Center for evaluation. Both had
“minor abrasions on their faces,” according
to the police report. The third female in the
party opted to not seek medical attention.
As earlier reported by the Albany Times
Union, CDTA bus drivers are trained to call
the dispatch center if an attack occurs on a
bus. The dispatch center then would notify
Albany police and the university police
are investigating the incident by going
over the CDTA bus video footage. Law
enforcement also has received additional
video footage of the incident that other bus
riders took on their cellphones. UAlbany
President Robert J. Jones issued the
following statement on Saturday.
“Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Early this morning, three of our students
were harassed and assaulted while riding on
a CDTA bus on Western Ave. in Albany.
The students, who are Black women,
stated that racial slurs were used by the
perpetrators, whom they described as a
Jonathan Peters / Albany Student Press
The No. 11 CDTA bus as it stops to pick up students at the Social Sciences bus stop on campus.
group of 10 to 12 white males and females.
I am deeply concerned, saddened and
angry about this incident. There is no place
in the UAlbany community for violence, no
place for racial intolerance and no place for
gender violence.
I am out of town today. I have decided
to cut my trip short and will be returning
to Albany as soon as I can to address this
In the meantime, I have been in direct
contact with the Provost and executive
leadership team and have directed that the
University respond rapidly and forcefully.
Our police, our student affairs personnel
and our Office of Diversity and Inclusion
staff are working together to support our
young women.
We are working closely with the Albany
Police Department to identify the persons
responsible. If those individuals are
UAlbany students, we will hold them fully
accountable for their behavior.
I call upon all members of the University
at Albany to unite. We must show the world
that we stand for inclusiveness and stand
against bias, violence and hatred.
Our annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
celebration will be held on the evening
of Monday, Feb. 1. As we reflect on the
principles and values that Dr. King stood
for, let us come together in solidarity to
reaffirm our values.
Now is the time to recommit to our
principles of inclusivity and diversity and
send a strong message that we will not
tolerate bias, hatred and violence in our
Robert J. Jones
Student entrepreneurship hub opens up shop
heers from a crowd of over 100
people boomed in the Campus
Center by the small fountain
on Jan. 27 as University at Albany
officials cut the ribbons off of the
Blackstone LaunchPad.
The sleek glass enclosure, decked out with customized
tablet stands, a big-screen TV and other smart-room
appliances has been labeled an “entrepreneurship hub” by
both the university and the multimillion dollar investors
from The Blackstone Charitable Foundation.
The Foundation is a not-for-profit offshoot of the
Blackstone Group, described by The New York Times as
“the largest alternative investment firm in the world.” Its
assets under management are worth over $300 billion.
“Blackstone LaunchPad is a critical part of a key strategy
that you’ve only heard us talk about over the last year,”
President Robert J. Jones said at the press conference. “It’s a
key part of our strategy and our commitment to enhance the
undergraduate experience.”
The LaunchPad opening marks a step towards a more
profit-oriented environment for students of any discipline,
coming off the heels of a $4.5 million shared investment
into five New York schools including UAlbany. University
and Blackstone officials said the program has the potential
to create 4,000 new ventures and 6,000 new jobs across the
state over the next five years.
“Blackstone is a leading global asset management firm,”
said UAlbany ’83 graduate Michael Nash, now executive
chairman of Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies. “We
invest capital on behalf of literally millions of public
pensioners worldwide. Because buying and improving
companies is a core part of what we do, you can imagine
that entrepreneurship is a critical and crucial element of our
culture within our firm and our business.”
“When seeking out investment opportunities, we aim to
bring our financial and intellectual capital to bear in a way
that helps businesses succeed and grow,” Nash added at the
press conference.
One university official emphasized the Blackstone Group
as a separate entity from the Blackstone not-for-profit, as
reported in a previous ASP article. The for-profit, which
employs Nash, has been in the sights of federal regulatory
agencies and the media for years. On Oct. 7, 2015, or
roughly three weeks before the LaunchPad partnership was
announced, Blackstone settled with the SEC for $39 million
Please see LAUNCH page 3
Brittany Gregory / Albany Student Press
The new LaunchPad is stocked with tablets, computers
and a big-screen televsion.
[email protected]
The latest about UAlbany’s mobile app additions
Kassie Parisi / Albany Student Press
UAlbany’s mobile app was originally made by students, one of whom
still works on updates.
The University at Albany
has released the second
version of its official mobile
application after the app’s
first release in 2014. The new
version of the app contains
numerous upgrades to the
system, along with many of
the original features.
The app’s redesign
comes from a collaboration
between UAlbany’s Office
of Communication and
Marketing and the Information
Technology Services. The
most prominent new feature is
access to MyUAlbany within
the app.
“It started with the
MyUAlbany integration
request and we had surveyed
a bunch of students in the
campus center,” Shivam
Parikh, the original developer
for the app, said.
The app’s integration with
MyUAlbany allows students
to check if they have any
holds on their account, look
at their grades, or check up on
their class schedule.
“We’ve talked to students
and they’ve taken pictures of
their schedule for their first
week,” Brian Smith, the web
developer manager at the
Office of Communications,
said. “Well, hopefully this
beats that.”
The developers of the app
sat down with focus groups
to find out what they liked or
disliked about the redesign.
They also took opinions
directly from students to
incorporate its new features.
“One of the most
convenient things for us
for testing was going to the
Campus Center,” Smith
said. “The Campus Center is
awesome because students
are just sitting there and they
already have their phones
The app includes previous
favorites like Laundry View,
SUNY Card updates, and
events that are occurring
around campus. They also
improved the transit times
as the previous app had
inconsistent times for the bus.
The developers said that
the support and leadership
from their directors along with
the freedom to work without
interruption on the app
allowed the two departments
to work closely together on
all facets of the design and
development of the app.
Jeff Goodwin is one of
the app developers from IT
“IT Services focused on the
selection and implementation
of the technologies to
modernize the application
and enable seamless
integration with MyUAlbany,”
Goodwin said, “which
enabled Communication
and Marketing to focus on
enhancing the design and
content for the application.”
The user interface has been
completely redone. Instead
of icons covering the entire
home screen, a single picture
of the University’s fountain is
center, with drop-down menus
to view.
“I think when kids come
to campus the first thing they
notice about it is the iconic
fountain,” said Parikh. “It’s
the fountain that is on the
SUNYcard and it’s the place
for everyone to be.”
The developers stress the
use of the push notification
function because it will only
be activated for emergency
purposes. Around two-thirds
of students don’t have the
emergency notifications
enabled on the app, according
to Smith.
“We don’t use it for things
like to promote any events,
just because it will drag people
off. It’s for emergencies only,”
Parikh said.
Please see APP page 3
Petit Larceny
Colonial Quad
Report of money stolen
from wallet.
Unlawful Possession
of Marijuana
Colonial Quad
Three male students
found to be in
possession of marijuana
and paraphernalia.
Referrals were made.
PE Complex
Report of items stolen
from Racquet Ball Court
in SEFCU Arena.
Grand Larceny
Indian Quad
Report of a stolen
Criminal Possession
of Marijuana
Colonial Quad
A male student
was found to be
in possession of
marijuana. Referred and
arrested for same.
Unlawful Possession
of Marijuana
Empire Commons
Two male students
were found to be
in possession of
marijuana. A referral and
arrest were made for
Petit Larceny
State Quad
Report of money stolen
from dorm room.
Possession of Forged
Dutch Quad
A male student
was found to be in
possession of marijuana
and a forged ID. An
arrest and referral was
Unlicensed Operation
of a Motor Vehicle
Report of a male
subject was found
to be operating a
motor vehicle with a
suspended license. An
arrest was made.
Criminal Mischief
PE Complex
Report of damage to
store door in SEFCU
Criminal Possession
of Controlled
A male student
was found to be
in possession of a
controlled substance. An
arrest and referral were
Incapacitated Person
Taken for Emergency
University Hall
Report of male student
found to be highly
intoxicated. Transported
to hospital by 5 Quad.
Unlawful Possession
of Marijuana
Alumni Quad
A male student
was found to be in
possession of marijuana
and referred for same.
Unlawful Possession
of Marijuana
Colonial Quad
A male student
was found to be in
possession of marijuana
and referred for same.
Unlawful Possession
of Marijuana
Indian Quad
A male student
was found to be in
possession of marijuana
and referred for same.
Unlawful Possession
of Marijuana
State Quad
A male student
was found to be in
possession of marijuana
and paraphernalia. A
referral was made.
Criminal Trespassing
Indian Quad
Report of a male
student and female
student involved in
altercation and referred
for the same.
Grand Larceny
PE Complex
Report of a stolen cell
Criminal Mischief
Report of property
damage to a vehicle by
unknown subject.
Petit Larceny
Indian Quad
Report of a stolen cell
Grand Larceny
Indian Quad
Report of a stolen cell
Grand Larceny
Science Library
Report of stolen laptops
by unknown subject.
SUNY professor speaks about inequality,
oppression, and culture on college campuses
The Collaborative
Transformation Project, a
group that strives to lessen the
oppression that can happen
in professional spaces and
especially universities, hosted a
conference to start the year off
on campus last week.
The keynote speakers at the
event, which was on Jan. 28
in the Standish Room, were
Dr. Betty Wambui, chair of
the Department of Africana
and Latino Studies at SUNY
Oneonta, and Dr. Kathleen
O’Mara, a graduate from
Columbia University and a
researcher of African and Near
Eastern history. Unfortunately,
Dr. O’Mara was unable to
attend the conference due to an
unseen hospitalization, so only
Dr. Wambui spoke that night
to what started as a group of 30
or so of her fellow colleagues
and peers, but branched into a
gathering of almost double that
number, faculty and students
Dr. Wambui, after an
introduction by Oscar
Williams, a professor here at
the University at Albany in
the Africana department, went
on to explain her thoughts
and ideas on marginalized
groups, how they are perceived
and treated in university
spaces, and what can be
done to advance equality.
Using indigenous people as
an example for most of her
presentation, she went on to
portray a scene of how these
marginalized people are treated
in universities.
Wambui said that many
marginalized groups at
universities often cannot speak
their mind or talk about their
negative experiences. This is
out of fear of a professional
attack, which could possibly
lead to them being shunned,
or even get them fired,
according to Wambui. Many
marginalized groups do not
have a platform to speak from
in the first place, such as a
She also spoke about
inequality on a more global
scale. Wambui said in
reference to the sorghum plant,
“You cannot just look at it, and
see a plant. You need to see all
the woman that worked to keep
it alive, and how it wouldn’t
exist without their culture.”
She said that many cultures
and marginalized groups have
valuable experiences, but are
ignored because they are not
considered important by their
colonizers. This sorghum
example is only one.
Many cultures have their
own traditions, be it the
food they cook or traditional
medicines that are forgotten
because they do not have
enough time to pass it
down to future generations.
Marginalized groups also do
not have enough time and this
harms them more, according to
Wambui. By trying to fit into
the Center (center being her
word for the “non-marginalized
groups”), those who are
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privileged (and in other ways
trying to survive) do not have
any time left for preservation
of their cultures.
One of Wambui’s final
statements was that UAlbany
should try to realize what an
effect it can have on these
marginalized groups and
should speak up more. She is
convinced that with enough
time and effort, radical change
can happen.
Wambui closed her talk
by emphasizing how the
marginalized groups should
not lose themselves and should
avoid trying to become the
Center, and instead stand in
the Center while retaining their
own experiences and cultures.
after “they
failed to
fully inform
Continued from Page 1
benefits that the advisers obtained from
accelerated monitoring fees and discounts
on legal fees.”
From that amount a reported $10
million was paid in a fine and $29 million
awarded to affected fund investors, which
ended the SEC’s probing.
“This SEC matter arose from the
absence of express disclosure in
marketing documents, 10 or more years
ago, about the possible acceleration of
monitoring fees,” Blackstone said. The
practice has been reported as common in
the industry, although the SEC has been
“Full transparency of fees and conflicts
of interest is critical in the private
equity industry and we will continue
taking action against advisers that do
not adequately disclose their fees and
expenses, as Blackstone did here,”
Andrew J. Ceresney, director of the SEC’s
Division of Enforcement, said in their
2015 press release.
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation
reported in 2013 tax filings that its parent
company and four of its subsidiaries
shared $400,000 with the not-forprofit, or roughly over 20 percent of the
Foundation’s value at the time.
University spokesperson Karl Luntta
said there was a written agreement
between UAlbany and the Foundation, but
refused to state whether the contract was
private or public information.
Multiple Blackstone spokespeople have
refused multiple requests for comment.
After the LaunchPad press conference,
a reception with refreshments was held
with university and Blackstone officials
on hand to give a tour of the business
center. It also served to get students
acquainted with LaunchPad employees,
some of which were students
themselves. One of these employees,
UAlbany Graduate of ’87 Jan T.
Woodcock, will be executive director
of the program.
“My role is to facilitate the goal of
the Blackstone LaunchPad, which is
really to help all students understand
what it takes to start a business,”
Woodcock said. He explained that
if students worked through his staff
with a viable business idea, they could
eventually obtain funding for their
venture through the LaunchPad’s
Woodcock previously worked for
one of the “Big Four” independent
auditors Deloitte, a distinction shared
by Nash, and has been an advisory
board member for the university since
“I am on the board of the business
school,” Woodcock added. “I’ve had
student intern teams work for me in the
past, and I’ve been a judge on a lot of
the business case competitions, so I’ve
been involved in the university.”
One feature of the LaunchPad
this year is a Student Business Plan
Competition, which again stresses
that students from all disciplines and
departments can enter. Thirty-three
prizes totaling $50,000 will be given
out after tax day in 2016, although a
one-page Executive Summary must
meet the Feb. 12 nomination deadline
and be selected by the competition
Questions regarding the competition
can be forwarded to Sanjay Goel,
the principal investigator for the
Blackstone LaunchPad Project, or at
the email [email protected]
To read the original Blackstone
LaunchPad announcement report,
please refer to our website at www.
And now, a word
from our predecessors
(From Feb. 2, 1962,
to be exact)
[email protected]
Brittany Gregory / Albany Student Press
Students and faculty gathered to see the unveiling of the Blackstone LaunchPad,
UAlbany’s latest initiative to spur student innovation.
Continued from Page 2
Two students at UAlbany
created the original version of
the app back in 2014. Parikh
and his friend Matthew Gilliland
were computer science majors
and decided to develop the app
during their final semester at the
university. Over one year later,
Parikh is still working on the
development of the app.
“We were excited to receive
positive feedback from students
about the new user interface and
integrations with MyUAlbany,”
Goodwin said.
The new version of the UAlbany
app is available to download for
free on Apple iOS and Android
The Albany Student
Source : Albany Student Press archives
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Pictured above is the flag that represents the LGBTQ community. India has been trying to push a bill that would decriminalize gay sex in the country. The bill has not been
passed since the last time it was proposed, but it will be proposed again sometime in the spring.
Small steps to giant leaps:
India’s push for LGBTQ rights
ndia is beginning to take progressive
steps towards equality with its
elected officials pushing for LGBTQ
rights in the country.
Journalist Raghu Karnad of The
New York Times recently reported that
Parliament member Shashi Tharoor
proposed a bill to “decriminalize gay
sex.” And while the final tally was 24-71
against Tharoor’s bill, the country is still
making great strides for inclusion.
“Mr. Tharoor intends to change
Section 377 of India’s penal code, a
Victorian-era provision that punishes
‘whoever voluntarily has carnal
intercourse against the order of nature
with any man, woman or animal’ with
life imprisonment,” Karnad said.
Karnad reported that actual
convictions are few, but the law is used to
blackmail and harass gay and transgender
people in India.
It is almost easy to assume, from the
perspective of an American, that all other
countries have made a steady progression
toward equality for all sexualities and
genders. America is proving that to be
very true just by the recent Supreme
Court decision to legalize gay marriage
nationwide. In a country where equality
is growing, albeit at a gradual pace, it is
a hard pill to swallow to know that there
are other democratic countries like India
that have yet to grant equality to all.
“Section 377 remains for now,
and as Mr. Tharoor learned, India’s
dysfunctional Parliament is still some
way from changing it,” Karnad said.
“But the gradual accretion of support
for reform from politicians of various
persuasions is creating what a wise
judicial decision might well have preempted.”
Like the point that Karnad makes,
a decision to radically change societal
standards hasn’t been made, but the
conversation surrounding the bill and gay
rights is growing. It is sparking a national
debate, or perhaps a re-questioning of the
culture that has existed for centuries.
Clearly, one stark decision that would
have drastically changed these laws
would not have changed how the public
perceives the law.
In the article, Karnad said, “it would
have done relatively little to change the
social stigma and institutional hostility
faced by sexual minorities.”
This will have to be a lifelong struggle.
The “sexual minorities” will, for a long
time, have to adjust to the ever-changing
Rationally, the integration of “sexual
minorities” does not have to be such a
daunting task. I am a firm believer in
accepting a person despite whom they
choose to love, and in a perfect world,
gay people, straight people and everyone
else who falls on the spectrum can live
harmoniously together. I don’t see why it
cannot function this way in India as well.
And, while it is unfortunate that
Tharoor’s bill did not pass this time, I am
enlightened to hear that he will attempt to
pass this bill again in the spring.
Karnad said, “[Tharoor] hopes that a
full discussion in Parliament will be an
opportunity to broadcast that L.G.B.T.
rights are ‘not about sex but about
I fully support Tharoor and I see it as
my responsibility to spread this message
of equality that he is calling for in India
on any platform available, as this existing
law needs to be refuted.
And yes, the bill that he will propose
will most likely have the same outcome
as the last time he brought it up, but at
least he is resilient enough to continue to
fight for this. This fight is undoubtedly
going to continue and it’ll be a long fight
that will, in due time, gain momentum
and a following that will drive the Indian
Parliament to make the right decision the
next time around.
The entirety of the social realm in
India would change just to include these
groups of people, but in order to change
this society, this bill will have to be that
first step.
Masculinity and ‘Meninism’: Fragility at its finest
n order to speak “like a man,” one must bring up hid
lust for women, and do so casually. There must be
a constant reminder to others that they are men and
they have to exert “machismo” behavior and withhold
Being a man, apparently, is proving to others that one
is not gay or a woman. Being called either would be an
insult to a real man. Being a man equates to nothing more
than the hormone in a man’s body: testosterone.
What’s so bad with being gay and a woman?
There have been many things that gay people and
women have done that surpass being a man. Being a man
dictates that to have a lack of masculinity is a problem.
If someone identifies as a man, then that’s it.
Nothing can define them as less than a man, or better
for that matter. Social and gender norms cast overt
heterosexuality and surplus masculinity as integral parts
of being a male. Society should no longer abide by that
social construct.
A social norm for men is to be dominant over women.
That concept is out of the scope of today’s times. We are
trying to establish that no gender is more dominant than
the other.
Although men try to suppress their sensitivity, they
often fail to do so.
Just as a reminder, not all men do this, but most do.
Does it really matter if a guy likes the color pink? And
who are these people to define what makes someone gay
and a woman?
Women aren’t always frail and dainty, and
homosexuals aren’t always colorful and feminine.
Why is it impossible for men to say “fabulous?” Is the
existence of “meninism” truly necessary?
“Meninism” is men’s rights centered movement that
has surfaced as a sort of counter to feminism. But,
contrary to belief, “meninism” isn’t even a male version
of feminism. The people involved with this movement
are the ones who condone male dominance, which is
the complete opposite of feminism. Feminism is the
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enforcement of equality of the sexes. “Meninism” is
based on people changing the too feminine prefix to fit
masculine standards.
Did a “manly man” give women the right to vote?
While a man with less power is not considered a man,
a man with equal power isn’t considered to be a man
either. Fortunately, that’s beyond wrong.
If masculinity wasn’t so fragile, people wouldn’t
need to defend it. Every time an assertion is made that
masculinity isn’t fragile, it serves to enforce its inherent
And for those who will try to explain why men have to
be masculine, don’t bother. Masculinity is a descriptor,
not a necessity. It can vary in levels, and yes, no matter
how masculine someone is, they are still a man.
Men who constantly feel the need to defend their
masculinity should overcome their egos and realize that
they are not hot shit. They are like everyone else and
they are letting a simple word rule their lives.
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Source: Paul Miller
The new courses being offered at UAlbany will open many doors for its students, providing a broader curriculum that not only sounds interesting, but also promising.
A wider range of courses to prepare students
he University at Albany is now
incorporating current and relevant social
issues into its new Spring 2016 course
listing. This semester is featuring courses dealing
with cybersecurity and sustainability, among
According to UAlbany’s
news center, historian and
professor of the new course
“History and Future” David
Hochfelder said, “Our students
will inhabit the future, a world
that will present very different
challenges and opportunities
from today’s world.”
Hochfelder makes a very
good point. The world is
changing and as it does
universities nationally and
internationally (UAlbany
included) need to make the
proper adjustments to their
courses and the information
that they feed to
students in the current society
to prepare for the world that
they will encounter. It is
no longer enough to teach
students what is only relevant
for today’s standards. If
students are the future, then
they need to learn about
the future just as much as
anything from the past.
A 21-year-old senior and
human biology major at
UAlbany, who requested to
remain anonymous, said, “I
do agree that opening these
courses is the right thing to
do.” She explained that it
shows “the school is thinking
This semester will also
feature a new course revolving
around the hot topic of
climate change. The course,
based on its description,
will primarily focus on the
scientific reasoning of the
changing climate and the
social understandings and
conversations surrounding it
both locally and globally.
“It culminates with the
Power Dialog, an organized
public meeting including top
state government officials
discussing how to meet the
goals of the Paris agreement,
the national Clean Power Plan
and New York’s commitment
to clean energy,” according
to the UAlbany news center
Another course that the
university is implementing
this semester is one based
on cybersecurity titled, “The
Threat Within.” The course
will explore real life cases of
the cybersecurity challenge.
“As the Edward Snowden
case, one of the largest and
most damaging data breaches
in U.S. government history
has taught us, insider threats
can surface at the strategic,
operational and tactical
layers of an organization,
and require a solution that is
comprehensive, logical, and
balanced,” the UAlbany news
center wrote.
The university is making
some important decisions
about the necessity of
knowledge for its students.
And never could I imagine
that these topics would be
relevant to UAlbany students
in 1950. It is important that
we touch on these issues now,
because they are based on
cases that students today are
witnessing first-hand.
Students at the university
are being properly prepared
for the changing landscape
for the world that they will
inevitably face. UAlbany is
looking past the standard of
courses that was set centuries
ago and is evolving with the
changing culture that we are
now living in. Of course, it
could have been very easy
to keep the same practices
that have been in place thus
far, but then there would no
growth for the university or
for its students.
If college is supposed to
prepare students to face the
real world, then right now
UAlbany is doing a good
enough job and making sure
that its students know what
to face when they leave the
confines of this campus.
And all the while, these
courses seem engaging and
refreshing. I’m sure that they
will have a long life at the
university and get some great
reviews from the students who
have chosen to pursue them.
Stacey Dash is still clueless
espite many noteworthy
films with minority actors
and actresses, the Oscars this
year had an extreme lack of
representation of people of color.
All Stacey Dash, actress and Fox News
correspondent of mixed race, had to
say about the situation was that “Black
History Month and BET shouldn’t exist,
since they further divide us. I feel like
it’s hypocritical to say that we’re all the
same, but then to self-segregate into little
enclaves of society. Also, I think the
#OscarsSoWhite controversy is lame,
because black people should not demand
that every segment of society who
watches movies be reflected in the number
of Oscars given to actors and actresses.”
Dash has once again proven herself to
be the poster child for internalized racism.
While it is true that division and
exclusion between races in terms of
media outlets does not work towards
equality, the fundamental point of Black
History Month and Black Entertainment
Television seems to have flown right over
Dash’s head. People of color, specifically
black people, are underrepresented in
history, media and politics.
Black History Month is a necessity in
our culture, for it seems as though that’s
the only time people hear about black
history other than the period between
the Triangle-Slave-Trade and the Voting
Right’s Act of 1965.
History, especially in public high
schools, is whitewashed. Only the
struggles, as well as the history of
Europeans who enslaved and exploited the
vast majority of the world, are taught. Our
country was built by Europeans’ genocide
Gilles Toucas /
Stacey Dash disregards the significance of Black History Month and BET, saying in
order to for different races to socially integrate we must eliminate these things.
of the natives and the exploitation of
Africans - that is what our culture has
been founded on.
But Dash is correct. Black people
should not expect to see the amount of
awards and recognition proportional to the
amount of effort and achievement their
works deserve. “That’s just not how the
world works,” according to Dash.
Racism, by definition, is experienced
by the marginalized group at the hands
of the race with institutional and
systematic power. But people of color
can internalize that racism and project it
onto themselves and their worldly views.
Internalized racism attacks any other
marginalized group being oppressed and
underrepresented in this unspoken social
caste system created to keep those at the
bottom forever at the bottom.
Internalized racism is a tactic used by
oppressors to keep the marginalized from
joining together and overthrowing the
unjust and unbearable system never made
for minorities.
It is not BET or Black History Month
that is keeping us divided as a society, but
rather the deep-rooted racial injustices
in all of the aspects of American culture,
from our political structure to the way
banks are run, the way home loans are
given, and even our Oscars.
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Actor Nate Parker plays the role of historical rebellion leader Nat Turner in the 2016 Sundance film “The Birth of a Nation.”
Big sales amid streaming service takeover
The Oscars? Those are old news, friend.
With the Sundance Film Festival in Park
City, Utah, concluded, the biggest and most
interesting films that the indie scene has
to offer for the next year and beyond have
had their time in the spotlight, vying for
the attention of film-lovers and distributors
alike. It is far from hyperbole to call this
a huge year for the festival, with recordshattering sales and big moves by exciting
new kids on the block, all of which teases
an exciting near future at the movies.
The biggest success story of this
year’s festival – and, indeed, of the entire
history of Sundance – was “The Birth of
a Nation,” starring, written, and directed
by rapidly rising star, Nate Parker (“The
Great Debaters,” “Beyond the Lights”).
Based on the well-known slave uprising,
the provocatively-titled film tells the story
of Nat Turner (Parker), the man who led his
fellow slaves in rebellion against plantation
owners in 19th Century Virginia. After the
premiere, critics enthusiastically praised the
film for its impactful brutality and its strong
sense of urgency, though some offered
a more measured critique of the film as
Perhaps further propelled by the recent
#OscarsSoWhite controversy, studios were
quick to start the bidding war for the rights
to distribute the acclaimed film. Nearly
every studio in Hollywood was in the mix,
including Sony, Universal, Warner Bros.,
Paramount, and Lionsgate, according to
Deadline. Eventually, Fox Searchlight won
the rights with a staggering $17.5 million
bid, the largest in Sundance history, after
Searchlight’s own $12 million bid for “Me
and Earl and the Dying Girl” in 2015.
Streaming giant Netflix bid as high
as $20 million, but it was decided that
Searchlight, the distributor of films like
“12 Years a Slave” and “Birdman,” was
more suited to push the film for awards, in
contrast to the less experienced streaming
service, whose first original film, “Beasts of
No Nation,” was completely shut out at the
Oscars this year. No firm release date has
been set, but Searchlight is expected to give
“The Birth of a Nation” an awards-friendly
fall 2016 release.
It was not just the size of the deals that
shook things up at this year’s festival, it
was also who was making them. Ramping
up their original content pushes, Amazon
Studios and Netflix made big waves with a
wide variety of distribution deals, including
some very high-profile films.
Amazon scored the biggest get, nabbing
early critical darling “Manchester by
the Sea” to the tune of $10 million. The
film, a rare new release from celebrated
director Kenneth Lonergan (“Margaret”),
sees a man (Casey Affleck) forced to
move back to his hometown and take legal
guardianship of his nephew after the death
of his brother.
Along with praise for Lonergan’s
expectedly exceptional sense of human
drama, “Manchester by the Sea” has also
drawn praise for what sounds like a career
best performance from Casey Affleck.
Amazon is expected to reteam with its
“Chi-Raq” distribution partner, Roadside
Attractions, to give the film a strong awards
push this fall.
Beyond that, Amazon also bought the
rights to films like the well-received Jane
Austen adaptation, “Love & Friendship,”
and the rights to “Weiner-Dog,” the latest
from provocative auteur Todd Solondz.
While certainly making their presence
known, Netflix came away with some
less than exciting acquisitions, including
the Ellen Page drama, “Tallulah,” and the
Paul Rudd-Selena Gomez vehicle, “The
Fundamentals of Caring.” While certainly
liked by some, those films overall had much
more muted receptions.
Beyond all of the big, headline-grabbing
events were the many other interesting
films seeking exposure at the festival.
“Swiss Army Man” put a dark spin on
the “Cast Away” story, with Paul Dano
as a stranded man who befriends a corpse
played by Daniel Radcliffe. “Southside
with You” took a “Before Sunrise”-inspired
look at Barack and Michelle Obama’s
first date back in 1989. “Sleight” offered
a sci-fi-tinged tale about a young street
magician trying to use his talents to provide
for his family. The list goes on, and anyone
with an interest in independent cinema,
or cinema in general, is certain to find
something that peaks their interest in the
Sundance 2016 catalogue.
Free show at The Low Beat
confirms Albany scene is thriving
It was about 35 degrees on the
night of Jan. 28, but a cascade
of warm air and geniality surged
through the tiny dive bar The Low
Beat as friends, bandmates, and
strangers alike crammed together.
The occasion? A mixed bill of four
local musical acts performing for free.
And although it was announced less
than a week prior, the show managed
to draw roughly 70 people, which
easily feels like 100 in the small
confines of the venue. Whether the
strong attendance was attributed to
the nonexistent entrance fee or the
tremendous variety of styles between
the performers, it was a great night for
underground music in Albany.
Pinesheets kicked off the show
with an avant-garde selection of
experimental synth pop. Armed
with just a series of samples and
a microphone strapped with an
echo-like, distorted effect, the oneman act had the room questioning
whether they should bop their heads
or focus all of their brainpower into
dissecting the many sonic layers. The
mediocre sound system most likely
contributed, but nearly every lyric
was indistinguishable. However, that
didn’t seem to matter because the
focus was more on the atmosphere it
evoked rather than specific thoughts.
Concert attendee Jaran Chance
said, “This is next level indie,”
meaning that it definitely didn’t
appeal to everyone.
Although Pinesheets’ “zone-out”
tunes didn’t transfer particularly well
in the live setting, it is thoughtful
music worthy of a second chance via
Hill Haints followed with a stark
juxtaposition of loud, garage-esque,
rock and roll that never once slowed
down. Featuring an odd range of
ages within the band—the whitehaired vocalist/guitarist and balding
drummer looked to be twice as old as
the bassist—the four-piece cranked
out powerful, albeit repetitive, rock
riffs coupled with screeching solos
reminiscent of California stoner
rockers Fu Manchu. The sudden
increase in energy inspired numerous
attendees to start jumping around up
front and the temperature of the room
seemed to increase by five degrees.
Although not as fast-paced, the
even noisier Scum Couch took the
stage next and were thoroughly
intriguing. Their heavily distorted
blend of droning, rhythmic alt-rock
with deranged experimental sections
Please see FREE SHOW page 7
Source: Facebook event page
Each of the four bands/artists who played are
completely different styles of music, which helped bring
together different groups of fans and unite the scene.
[email protected]
Continued from Page 6
without feeling pasted
together. Vocalist and
drummer Mark O’Brien
was captivating to watch
as he simultaneously
wailed on his kit and into
his mic, the latter of which
used an effect to make it
sound like a megaphone,
before finishing the set by
walloping up and down
a keyboard positioned
directly behind his drums.
Despite performing for
only 15 minutes, Scum
Couch were magnificent
and would have been the
highlight of the night. But
then Throat Culture went
on. Currently revered as
one of Albany’s best upand-coming local bands,
Throat Culture played
a unique style of loud,
groovy hardcore music
that’s easiest to compare
to another fantastic
Albany hardcore band,
Drug Church. However,
Throat Culture has its own
individual sound that differs
from the more traditional,
hardcore of their Albany
contemporaries Born Low
and Trife Life.
In fact, Throat Culture
does not have a single
mosh-part in any of their
songs, instead focusing on
bouncy rhythms and savory
grooves. Nevertheless,
their lack of china cymbal
smacks didn’t stop the
place from opening up
into a chaotic pit that
embodied the ’80s style
of “slam-dancing” rather
than modern “hardcore
dancing.” Bodies were
being thrown about and
the tame, drinks-in-hand
ambience of the previous
set was instantly wiped
from existence. However,
no blood was shed during
the ruckus and the only
apparent victim was one
of the other bands’ bass
drum that multiple people
got chucked into. Vocalist
Seth Eggleston continued
with the evening’s theme
of vocal distortion, as his
frantic yells were channeled
through some sort of
reverby effect pedal.
Throat Culture was the
perfect cap to an excellent
night for the Albany scene.
The 88th Academy Awards will be hosted
by Chris Rock on Sunday, Feb. 28, meaning
there is a month to speculate as to who will
win. There are some phenomenal actors in the
line-up this year, so the competition is running
For Best Picture, nominations include “The
Big Short,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The
Martian,” “Spotlight,” “Bridge of Spies,”
“The Revenant,” and “Room.”
“The Revenant” is about explorer Hugh
Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) surviving in the
wilderness to find his way home, injured and
alone, in the early 1800s. “Bridge of Spies” is
about an exchange of prisoners between the
USSR and the United States during the Cold
War, orchestrated by lawyer James Donovan
(Tom Hanks) in order to secure the release
of U.S. pilot Francis Gary, played by Austin
Stowell. “Room” is about a young woman
(Brie Larson) and her son (Jacob Tremblay)
escaping from captivity and discovering the
outside world. These three movies received
rave reviews, and are only three out of eight
contenders for the award.
For Best Actor in a Leading Role, nominees
include Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”), Eddie
Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”), Michael
Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”), Matt Damon (“The
Martian”) and, of course, Leonardo DiCaprio
(“The Revenant”). Eddie Redmayne, a British
actor from Westminster, won this category
last year for his role as Stephen Hawking in
“The Theory of Everything.” He is also wellknown for his stunning performance in “Les
Miserables,” and he has been chosen to play
Newt Scamander in the upcoming “Fantastic
Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Michael Fassbender, a German and
Irish born actor, is most well-known for his
role as a young Magneto in “X-Men”. He
is also known for his roles in “Macbeth,”
“Prometheus,” “12 Years a Slave,”
“Inglorious Bastards,” among others. With the
wide variety of his roles and many excellent
performances, he definitely deserves to be up
there with Redmayne and DiCaprio.
Speaking of DiCaprio, this is his fifth
nomination for this category, and “The
Revenant” was nominated in 12 categories.
The American actor is well-known for
his roles in “Titanic,” “The Wolf of Wall
Street,” “Inception,” and “The Great
Gatsby.” DiCaprio, despite his previous four
nominations, has yet to win an Oscar, so many
fans are rooting for him this year. With so
many great films and so many nominations
this year, none of the five nominees in this
category are guaranteed the award.
For Actress in a Leading Role, we have
Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”), Kate Blanchett
(“Carol”), Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”),
Brie Larson (“Room”), and Saoirse Ronan
An American actress, Lawrence is wellknown for her roles in “The Hunger Games,”
“Silver Linings Playbook,” “American
Hustle,” and the “X-Men” franchise.
Rampling, an English actress, played Kate
Mercer in “45 Years,” Frances in “London
Spy” and Lady Spencer in “The Duchess.”
Ronan is an Irish-American actress,
nominated for her role as Eilis Lacey in
“Brooklyn.” The 21-year-old actress already
has quite an impressive resume, starring in
leading roles for films including “Hanna,”
“Atonement,” and “The Grand Budapest
There has been a lot of controversy
concerning the diversity of the Oscars,
especially for this year’s selection. The
membership at the Academy, starting after the
2016 Awards, will be based on active work
and award winnings. Membership will be
renewed every 10 years, so long as the actor
in question has remained active. Lifetime
memberships will be given to those who
maintain three 10 year memberships, or if they
have been nominated or won an Award.
For those who do not maintain the 10 year
activity requirement, they will still maintain
“emeritus status,” but will be unable to
vote. Also, three new governing seats will
be created, and those seats will be filled by
nominations from current President Cheryl
Boone Isaacs, for three-year terms.
The 88th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 28.
Rihanna strikes again
with new album ‘Anti’
After years of teasing fans and
withholding all information on her
next studio album, Rihanna’s “ANTI”
was finally released last Wednesday
exclusively on Tidal, the music
streaming service she has co-ownership
With a struggling marketing
campaign backing the album, it
originally leaked through Tidal last
Wednesday evening. It was quickly
removed after 20 minutes, but fans still
had a chance to download it and tracks
were then leaked online. The album
was officially released later that night.
Tidal also offered a limited number
of fans a free download of the album,
regardless of whether they were a Tidal
After taking a hiatus from music for
the past three years, Rihanna released
three singles last year from the album.
In the end, none of them made it to the
final track list. Numerous speculative
release dates had been made leading up
to the release of the album.
Rihanna also promoted the album
through Samsung, releasing cryptic
videos entitled “ANTIdiary” leading
up to it’s release. Samsung will also
promote her upcoming Anti World
Tour, which kicks off at the end of this
Sound-wise, “ANTI” is very
different compared to her previous
works. Rihanna is known for her
bangers and chart-toppers, but “ANTI”
is relatively clear of those kinds of
songs. The most club-worthy song is
“Work,” featuring frequent collaborator
Drake. The song was released last
Wednesday as the first official single
from the album.
The rest of the album is very antiRihanna, in a good way. She moves
away from her dance-vibe to become
a more chill and relaxed singer. The
album isn’t a party-album, but instead
has more of a relaxed tone, with a hint
of a stoner vibe.
Rihanna begins the album
confidently with “Consideration,”
where she says “I got to do things my
own way darling,” delivered in her
Barbadian accent. In a way this line
shows her approach to the entire album:
it’s music she created for herself instead
of her fans.
The album moves onto “James
Joint,” the bad girls ode to her love
of marijuana. Next on the track list is
“Kiss It Better,” a groovy power ballad
infused with ‘80s vibes. The single
“Work” is next, which has a reggae-pop
vibe to it.
The album then transitions into a
slower-style, filled with many ballads
beautifully sung by the songstress.
This is perhaps Rihanna’s best vocal
work on an album so far. She pushes
the limit to her voice on many songs,
in particular “Higher,” where Rihanna
croons for a lover late at night. Her
voice breaks as she belts out the chorus,
which brings a certain realism to the
pop star.
On “Same Ol’ Mistakes,” she teams
up with Kevin Parker of Tame Impala
to cover the bands psychedelic rock
song of the same name. The song
contains the same production as the
original song and the same lyrics,
except all sang by Rihanna in a woozy,
aloof way.
“Love on the Brain” is another pop
balled inspired by ‘50s music. Her
vocals again shine on this track, which
has a very Amy-Winehouse-vibe to
it. She closes her album with another
vocal standout, where she sings “Close
To You,” a jazzy slow piano ballad.
Overall, the album has many strong
songs that push Rihanna’s vocals to her
brink. The album is not your typical
Rihanna album, but pushes Rihanna
away from being the hit-maker to more
of a serious artist.
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Albany Students: Take the next step at Plattsburgh!
Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S. or C.A.S.)
School Psychology (M.A./C.A.S.)
Speech Language Pathology (M.A.)
Student Affairs and Higher Education (M.S.)
Other programs are rolling admission.
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or 1-800-723-9515
Email Russell at [email protected] for more information or to pitch story ideas.
The ASP will also have a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in our office, CC326, for
those interested in writing news articles.
We have our own list of ideas, but feel free to come with your own!
[email protected]
Maloney and Riorden to play
professionally after season
Two seniors of the University at
Albany men’s lacrosse team, co-captains
John Maloney and Blaze Riorden, were
selected in the Major League Lacrosse
(MLL) Collegiate Draft that took place
in Baltimore on Jan. 22.
Maloney was selected with the 22nd
pick by the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
He will join UAlbany alum Matthew
Bertrams, who played for the Great
Danes from 2012-15. Riorden, the
goalkeeper most famous for his coastto-coast goal scored against Cornell last
season, was chosen by his hometown
Rochester Rattlers with the 51st pick
overall. Ty Thompson, cousin of former
lacrosse stars Lyle and Miles Thompson,
also plays for the Rattlers.
Both Maloney and Riorden have
played lacrosse for more than a dozen
years. Maloney started to play organized
lacrosse when he was 6 years old, while
Riorden began at the age of 4.
“I always dreamed of being able to
play professionally,” Maloney said. “It
was definitely a goal of mine, but you
never know if you’ll get the chance.”
Riorden, a three-time America East
Player of the Week in 2015, agreed. “I
play this game because it’s a passion of
mine and to be able to continue to play
competitively after college is an honor,”
he said.
Maloney said he found out about
his selection in the draft when he was
with his friends. “There was a lot of
excitement,” Maloney said. “Not only
did I get drafted, but my best friend
and housemate Blaze Riorden was also
picked, so there was a lot of celebrating.”
Maloney’s family was extremely
happy and proud of him - the day in
general was “pretty crazy” with all of the
congratulatory text messages and phone
calls pouring in. “It was really humbling
to see all the people who went out of
their way to congratulate me,”
Maloney said.
Maloney said he is looking
forward to competing against
some of the best players in the
world and having the chance
to play alongside his childhood
Riorden, who hails from the
village of Fairport, N.Y. (about
nine miles east of Rochester), was
just as happy about his selection.
When he heard his name called
by the Rattlers, it felt especially
awesome because of his ties to
the Rochester area. “I grew up
watching them play so it was a
dream come true,” Riorden said.
The senior goalie is also
looking forward to being a
positive role model for the
Rochester community.
Riorden said his mother is
excited because she will be able
to cook for him again since
he’ll be so close to home. His
father, who is yet to miss one
of Riorden’s college games, is
relieved because it means less
travel for the family.
But before the UAlbany seniors
can start thinking about the
Source: UAlbany Athletics
pros, they have some unfinished
business to take care of this
John Maloney (left) and Blaze Riorden were picked up by MLL teams in 2016 draft.
season. UAlbany won its thirdstraight America East Conference
Maloney and Riorden will be eligible
championship last year, but were unable
to play in the MLL once UAlbany’s
“I love this team and we have very
to make it past the second round of the
season concludes at the end of the
high expectations for this season,”
NCAA tournament, falling to Notre
Maloney said. “So, until this season
Dame, 14-10.
UAlbany’s first game of the 2016
is over, I will put the pros in the
For the first couple of hours after
season will take place at the Carrier
background and lead our team as far as
Maloney found out, it was hard to
Dome on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m.
we can go, and then start thinking about
focus on the here and now. He said
They will face Syracuse, a team that beat
my future.”
he was excited and actually had the
the Great Danes in 2015 and finished
Riorden agreed.
chance to talk with his future coach
the season at the number four position
“I am a Great Dane right now and
and some teammates. But by the next
in Inside Lacrosse magazine’s end-ofthat’s all I’m focused on. I owe it to my
day, Maloney said he was back and
season rankings.
teammates and coaches to give it my all“100 percent” focused on the upcoming
-day in, day out,” Riorden said.
A different sport to watch this winter
The University at Albany track and field team is one
of the school’s hidden gems. The men’s team is ranked
fourth in the Northeast, while the women claim the
eleventh spot, according to the U.S. Track & Field and
Cross Country Coaches Association poll, which was
released on Jan. 25. Because track and field is not a
popular sport on campus in comparison to basketball and
football, it is easy for UAlbany’s track and field stars to
get lost in the shuffle.
Jonathan Eustache, a junior thrower from Rosedale,
N.Y., won the men’s weight throw at the Upstate
Challenge hosted by Cornell University on the weekend
of Jan. 22. He won with a mark of 66’ 11.5’’ a score
that placed him second overall in the America East and
21st in the nation. He was named America East Field
Performer of the Week with his performance at the
Upstate Challenge. His throw broke the 65’ 6.25” school
record set by Wilfredo De Jesus Elias back in 2011.
Eustache said his day starts at 6:30 a.m. He lifts with
the team first thing in the morning followed by practice,
class, and more practice. In the track and field event of
throwing, the athlete is responsible for seeing how far
he or she can throw a 16-pound ball that is attached to a
handle with a 4-foot long chain. So to be successful in
this sport, a big portion of Eustache’s success must be
built in the weight room. For Eustache, his time is split
between the varsity weight room and the PE gym where
his team practices
All of the time
is geared toward
accomplishing a
singular goal this
“To go to
Eustache said. “For
the weight throw
and nothing else.
It’s possible and
close and we’ll see
how it goes,”
Eustache said
he commits every
single day to his
Source: UAlbany Athletics long-term goal
Jonathan Eustache is a juniorof qualifying for
thrower on the team
Nationals. To get
there, he said the most important part of being
a thrower is trusting and understanding one’s
UAlbany had another athlete rise to the
challenge tournament at Cornell. Jordan
Crump-King, a transfer junior (Hartford)
holds the highest score in the northeast in the
triple jump event after the Upstate Challenge
meet where he achieved a distance of 50’ 9”.
Like Eustache, Crump-King wakes up
early to start his day with a team lift. He
receives treatment for any physical ailments
from the UAlbany trainers, and then heads to
practice, and class afterward.
Crump-King also stressed the importance
of taking care of one’s body.
“Lately after lifts, I’ve been doing my after
treatment downstairs in the training room and
working on my hamstrings to recover a bit
quicker,” Crump-King said.
Keeping the body healthy is essential in
any sport. But in track and field, athletes
exhaust the same muscle groups every day,
so athletes like Crump-King understand
receiving proper treatment from the training
staff can go a long way.
Also like Eustache, Crump-King puts a lot
of pressure on himself to become the best at
his craft.
“I just want to make my friends, family,
and coaches proud and everyone happy,”
Crump-King said. “To me it’s not much about
me but more for the people I represent -- my
school, coaches, and their hard work and
And for the rest of the student-athletes at
UAlbany, Crump-King has a message:
“Give your all, anything that has your
name attached to it,” advises Crump-King.
“Label yourself as hard working, never to
give up. I know that sounds so cliché but
appreciate the process, the journey.”
“Stay motivated and optimistic throughout
every competition and every practice. It’s
important because you’re building character.
Somewhere along the lines, you’ll become a
Source: UAlbany Athletics
Jordan Crump-King preparing for the triple-jump
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UAlbany’s varsity weight room
Celia Balf / Albany Student Press
The varsity weight room. A gym used exclusively for the training of student athletes, this is where coaches push athletes to train harder in preparation for the next game.
There are several gyms throughout the University
at Albany campus, however one is specifically for the
varsity athletes. When walking over to SEFCU Arena,
it is common to hear anything from Taylor Swift to
Fetty Wap blasting through the upstairs windows of
the PE Building— that would be the weight room. It
is open from as early as 6 a.m. to as late as the weight
coaches decide to turn the lights off— it’s the space
that never sleeps. The weight room is used for team
lifts, individual lifts and is open to the athletic staff.
It is rarely empty, nor quiet— the sound of weights
pounding into the ground are accompanied with the
strength and conditioning voices yelling and echoing
throughout the two rooms.
The strength and conditioning coaches are Connor
Hughes (Director of Football and Men’s Basketball
Strength and Conditioning), Tony Tullock (Assistant
Director of Athletic Performance) and Bridget Pryal
(Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach) and AJ
Levy (Strength and Conditioning Coach). Between the
four of them they split up the different varsity teams
they train:
Connor Hughes: Football and Men’s Basketball
Aj Levy: Track and Field, Baseball and Golf.
Bridget Pryal: Women’s Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Lacrosse, Softball, Volleyball, Cheerleading and Dance.
Tony Tullock : Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s Soccer, Tennis and Women’s Track.
All varsity team’s participate in some lifting
program, however each team and sport differs. Many
teams lift more off-season in preparation for their
regular season. It is more difficult to schedule lifting
times in the sport’s main season because often times the
athlete’s are playing in multiple games a week.
The importance of strength and conditioning is
continuing to grow in terms of importance because it is
now not just about becoming strong and powerful, but
also about injury prevention.
The Strength and Conditioning program at Albany’s
mission statement is as follows:
“The University at Albany Strength and Conditioning
department is committed to improving athletic
performance on the individual and team levels. The
department focuses on the proper development and
combination of strength, power, speed, agility, mobility,
conditioning and body composition to enhance
performance in all athletic arenas.”
It is important to note that most freshman studentathletes come into college with no prior experience in
lifting. It is always clear who the freshman are on teams
because of the scrawny builds matched up against the
upperclassman who put in multiple hours a week on
building their muscle and fitness up.
Bridget Pryal, who is responsible for coaching
several of the women’s teams at UAlbany says that
her main focus is making sure the athletes are staying
injury free and strong all year round. With this in mind
she says that her workouts are more or less the same
throughout all the team’s she coaches.
“Honestly I do the same exact stuff with all my
athletes and teams. Total body exercises like squats,
hang cleans and single leg stuff,” Pryal said.
Because Pryal mainly coaches the female teams
she puts extra emphasis on firing certain muscles like
hamstrings in particular. “With female athletes they
have wider hips so are more susceptible to knee injuries
so I try to build up those muscles with them,” Pryal
says. However she says if she were to coach a men’s
team she really wouldn’t change the workout routine
much at all.
Connor Hughes is the voice you often hear the
most when entering the weight room— it’s loud, it’s
demanding of attention and it’s just what is needed to
train a football team year-round. Hughes said when the
football team moved up a division to the CAA he didn’t
change one thing about his program. The only thing that
changed was the type of athlete the program brought in,
which as a result just made the weight room numbers
The football team goes into the weight room multiple
times a week, it is organized by position for when
certain guys come in— because the weight room
wouldn’t be able to fit everyone at once. Before “Spring
Ball” the team is tested on their squat, hang clean,
bench, vertical jump, 40-yd-dash and pro-agility which
is 5-10-5 sprint test.
These basic tests are used throughout most of the
sports teams, however as you can imagine certain
numbers should be higher than others depending on the
sport and gender.
weight room that separates them from their opponents.
When she motivates a team that is having a winning
season she says, “Everybody is looking to get you,
to beat you, you have to work harder than everybody
else.” For a team that is having a losing season she
tells her athletes to “forget about what just happened
and focus on the next thing, the next task at hand. Push
yourself today, because that little bit will help with the
next competition.”
These strength and conditioning coaches aren’t just
Celia Balf / Albany Student Press
Strength and conditioning Coach Aj Levy demonstrates a power clean.
The testing period in the weight room is used as a
starting mark for an upcoming season, and an ending
mark going into the summer where athletes are expected
to keep up with their lifting routine.
The weight room is an environment that not many
people can picture— it’s run similar to a practice, the
team is there and it is run by a coach, and in this case
the strength and conditioning coach. For Pryal, she said
she hopes that by showing the team’s she’s training that
she is motivated and cares then eventually she hopes
her athletes will buy in and see the importance of lifting
like she does.
For many athletes lifting can seem like a drag— it’s
not the sport they fell in love with when they were
younger and often it leave you sore with torn up and
calloused hands.
“When athletes start to see it all come together, I
think that’s when they start buying into me and how
important it is,” Pryal says.
Granted, coming together for one athlete could
mean finding more success on the field, or a winning
season— whereas for another it could be reaching that
squat number that he or she never thought they would
Pryal believes that it’s what these teams do in the
there to tell the student-athletes to carbo load and throw
around weights—they are also life coaches, inspiring
these athletes to constantly better themselves.
Throughout the weight room banners of
championships won by the UAlbany teams circle
around the room, along with motivating quotes,
nutrition tips, and daily tips. It could be seen as this: a
reminder that what you accomplished is great, but there
is always more to go after. So enjoy the championship
banners but don’t ever get caught up—focus on the next
task, the next year, the next weight.
Pryal says she enjoys training all of her teams, and
said her job stemmed from just being a college athlete
interested in fitness. Through her internships and
volunteer work she began to realize she didn’t just love
her job because of the working out part, but also how
she was helping people every single day.
A good team puts in the work behind-the scenes,
and the weight room in the PE Building is where much
of this after-hour work is put in. It’s sweaty, it’s often
times defeating but it’s where it is okay to drop weights
and fail—because the next time you will hit the rep, and
you may be hanging a championship banner.