NYU Local http://nyulocal.com The Blog of New York University Fri, 27 Mar 2015 23:49:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 University Senate Committee Recommends Against Divestment From Fossil Fuels http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/27/university-senate-recommends-against-divestment-from-fossil-fuels/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/27/university-senate-recommends-against-divestment-from-fossil-fuels/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:30:26 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130326 climate change fossil fuelsA Senate Financial Affairs Subcommittee unanimously recommended against divestment in their report presented yesterday at a University Senate meeting. The eight-member Fossil Fuel Divestment Working Group said it was not prudent for the school to withdraw its assets from what are called “commingled accounts.”Commingled accounts are investment funds containing assets from different customer and brokerage accounts. Since the portfolio is not managed individually with NYU, according to the group, ...

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climate change fossil fuels

A Senate Financial Affairs Subcommittee unanimously recommended against divestment in their report presented yesterday at a University Senate meeting. The eight-member Fossil Fuel Divestment Working Group said it was not prudent for the school to withdraw its assets from what are called “commingled accounts.”

Commingled accounts are investment funds containing assets from different customer and brokerage accounts. Since the portfolio is not managed individually with NYU, according to the group, the move would require the university to “fire” 39 managers who manage 38 percent (or $1.3 billion) of the endowment, and reinvest that money in different funds.

The claim that the school would have to dismiss the managers was later challenged by several professors in a debate following the presentation on the grounds of lack of evidence. NYU Divest made the same objection after the meeting.

The group did make known that the university could withdraw its investments from individually named accounts with little to no adverse effects. A minority of the subcommittee recommended that these funds, valued at approximately $700,000, be divested.

According to Sophie Lasoff, founder of NYU Divest and Gallatin junior, the facts presented by the group about the university’s investments were misleading.

“We think that first off we should divest those named accounts,” she said. On the supposed inflexibility of the commingled accounts she added: “We trust that they’ve done their research in good faith, but we’re also skeptical of the finality of how they argued it. There have been plenty of institutions that have divested commingled funds. They failed to mention that screening is a viable option in commingled accounts.”

Screening in this context would mandate brokers to avoid fossil fuel stocks.

NYU has undertaken divestment in the past to protest genocide in Darfur and apartheid in South Africa. However, the group said climate change was not a comparable situation and does not warrant similar an action. Additionally, they said divestment did not align with NYU’s mission and values on academic freedom.

“Direct political action or speech by the University has not been part of the NYU mission” read the report. “A direct statement by the University in support of a public policy issue could be interpreted as having a chilling effect on the academic freedom of those in the community who have chosen to research, write or advocate for a different point of view.”

Lasoff said that this statement was a direct contradiction. She pointed out that the Working Group recognized in their report that, “mitigation of the use of fossil fuels is in our best interest and consistent with the University’s mission,” and yet, she stated, “shortly thereafter, they said there’s still room for debate if climate change is or is not an issue, and we don’t want to shut down that debate in the scholarly community.”

At the Senate meeting, David Backus, Stern professor of finance and economics who sat on the subcommittee, said he supported the group’s resolution because divestment could not make a significant difference. 

“It’s really an empty gesture. We’re not going to have any effect on China. We’re not going to have any effect on India. It just seems to me a bit futile.”

In fact, the U.S. is second largest emitter of carbon dioxide, only behind China, in 2013.

Olivia Rich, a member NYU Divest and Liberal Studies freshman, disagreed with Backus.

“This is what we’ve been hearing from people saying we can’t act on climate for years. It just doesn’t make any sense. We in the U.S. have to set an example. We can’t simply let this crisis escalate because another country isn’t acting.”

Rich also responded to a university-wide email circulated by subcommittee shortly after the meeting, informing the community of its recommendations.

“I think it led a lot of people to believe divestment has been settled. We really want the university administration and the university at large to know divestment isn’t settled.”

The number of faculty members who have signed the letter sent to President Sexton calling for the phasing out of fossil fuel assets has grown from 138 to 161 as of 9 p.m. on Thursday.

There will be a vote on divestment at the next Senate meeting on April 30 2015. If passed, the motion will send a proposal up to the board of trustees.

In anticipation, Lasoff said to look towards a big demonstration by NYU Divest in the coming weeks.

[Image via]

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Does Anyone Else Miss The Days When World Leaders Wrestled Each Other? http://nyulocal.com/national/2015/03/27/does-anyone-else-miss-the-days-when-world-leaders-wrestled-each-other/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2015/03/27/does-anyone-else-miss-the-days-when-world-leaders-wrestled-each-other/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:45:01 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130200 Barack Obama, Prince Charles   Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, visited the U.S. recently. Because, you know, holidays are fun.During this visit he, inexplicably, had a chance to sit down with President Obama. It transpires that Obama claimed to Charles that the Prince of Wales was more popular than himself.Now, regardless of whether this is true or whether 82% of the American population actually think the Queen is super swell, what is ...

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Barack Obama, Prince Charles

 

 

 

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, visited the U.S. recently. Because, you know, holidays are fun.

During this visit he, inexplicably, had a chance to sit down with President Obama. It transpires that Obama claimed to Charles that the Prince of Wales was more popular than himself.

Now, regardless of whether this is true or whether 82% of the American population actually think the Queen is super swell, what is most fascinating is the idea that the U.S. population actually thinks about the British Royal Family at all.

Look at it this way, who’s the Prime Minister of the U.K.? David Cameron, well done. Now name any other British politician. Hah, got you. You don’t even know about British people who actually do things. Americans have a reputation as being proudly ignorant of everything outside of the U.S. and I think that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. Why make an exception for people who don’t even do anything?

Even the British don’t think about the Royal Family. The Queen has an outrageously high opinion rating in Britain because no one there can even muster sufficient interest in the Royal Family to object to their existence. The strongest emotion the British populace feels for the Royal Family is lukewarm apathy. At most.

For further proof, let’s take me as an example (I’m English, for the record):

  1. I didn’t even realize Prince Charles had visited the U.S. until my American friend told me to write about it.
  2. I was not aware that a new one (I write ‘one’ because I’m genuinely not sure what his name is and couldn’t summon enough of a sex word to google it, it’s probably George or Henry, that’s what they’re all called) had been born until another American friend of mine asked whether I’d seen the new baby photos. This was a year after he’d been born.

I know what you’re thinking: there’s no way I have that many friends. But my point still stands. Why do Americans care more than me? Wasn’t there a war or something so Americans didn’t have to care?

Let’s be clear, though. I’m not against royalty as a concept. I, like every other English son, who was borne and suckled at the bosom of England’s green and pleasant pastures and her gently lapping shores, would die for Queen and Country. (Not King, though, he’s a man, he should fight his own dumb battles.) What I am against, however, is royalty that does nothing.

Let’s play a little spot the difference. Here’s one:

henryviii

Here’s the other:

PrinceCharles

One of these is not like the other.

One of these is rocking a sweet codpiece.

One of these told the Pope to go suck himself and started a new religion because he wanted to bang a woman who would later be depicted by Natalie Dormer in a ropey, period drama.

One of these wrestled the King of France at an event called the Field of the Cloth of Gold. I imagine that they were almost certainly greased and naked. Henry lost, by the way, two rounds to one.

One of these massacred so many Scots on the battlefield in a campaign later dubbed ‘the Rough Wooing’ just because he wanted to invade France.

One of these ate so much that he was covered in pus-filled boils and mechanical devices had to be invented to move him.

One of these is a King. The other is a drain on taxpayers.

[Image 1 ViaImage 2 ViaImage 3 Via]

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‘Mapping Brooklyn’ Tracks History, Experience, And Imagination In The Borough http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/03/27/mapping-brooklyn-tracks-history-experience-and-imagination-in-the-borough/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/03/27/mapping-brooklyn-tracks-history-experience-and-imagination-in-the-borough/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:00:09 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130319 mappbrooklyn-suburbs-nyplWalking through downtown Brooklyn, you can see quite a bit of construction. Cranes, drilling sounds, and cringe-worthy catcalling construction workers are ever-present in a city that is constantly changing. Stepping into the BRIC House on a Wednesday afternoon for the space’s Mapping Brooklyn exhibit felt little different than the streets of Brooklyn itself. Patrons of BRIC’s cafe, the Hungry Ghost, sit at tables, sipping coffee and conversing. Down some steps is the ...

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Walking through downtown Brooklyn, you can see quite a bit of construction. Cranes, drilling sounds, and cringe-worthy catcalling construction workers are ever-present in a city that is constantly changing. Stepping into the BRIC House on a Wednesday afternoon for the space’s Mapping Brooklyn exhibit felt little different than the streets of Brooklyn itself. Patrons of BRIC’s cafe, the Hungry Ghost, sit at tables, sipping coffee and conversing. Down some steps is the exhibit itself, and right next to it (one might even say in the middle of it) lay all the familiar signs of construction: scaffolding, caution tape, men barking orders at each other from ladders. Surely the space just needed maintenance, but it was a happy accident that Mapping Brooklyn, an exhibit that “juxtapose[s] the work of contemporary artists working with historic maps, with examples of maps themselves” would remain open while the space around it was being altered.

Maps are traditionally just pieces of paper, so unsurprisingly most of the work in the exhibit was traditional artwork mounted on the wall. However, the content of the art itself was far from conventional.

First up is the much-talked about 71 Square Miles by Jennifer Maravillas: a map of Brooklyn assembled from pieces of paper trash found on every single block in the borough. It’s massive, spanning ten feet and glimmering with a myriad of colors, textures, and languages. It does a fine job of portraying Brooklyn as a multicultural pieced-together cohesive jumble. The piece has been placed alongside three maps depicting “Negroes As A Percentage of Total Population” in New York from 1910-1960, a number that grows significantly both in concentration and scope over time.

Some maps became less accurate depictions of geography and more idealized or imagined versions of these things. Patricia Smith’s dreamy and surreal drawings depicting the shape of Brooklyn and some of its aspects such as the G and L train lines paired with swirling lines and labels such as “future based nostalgia” and Christine Gedeon’s colorful and soft thread-and-fabric pieces inspired by the idealism of urban renewal plans remind us that a map can lead to anything we dream of.

Around the corner is Jan Rothuzien’s many cartoonlike paper drawings, taking us into the real. Using parts of Dutch explorer Jasper Danckearts’ travel journals from when he visited Brooklyn in 1679, Rothuzien, who is Dutch himself, creates hyperdetailed yet simple stories. One piece takes a drawing Danckearts did of the land that he saw, and draws over it what that same land looks like today. We see robust and unexplored earth, but we also see the tall and congested skyscrapers imposed over it. Rothuzien also crafts some travels journals himself; an AA meeting room, a Puerto Rican Bed-Stuy resident’s kitchen, but most significant is that of Williamsburg. The artist writes that he lived on Driggs and North 7th 20 years ago, and obsessively catalogues and comments on each building and street in that area today and how they changed, including the truth-heavy retort “in another twenty years this will look like Times Square in a bohemian kind of way.” It has a sense of humor and penchant for fun, but its jovial tone almost makes it all the sadder—there’s nothing we can do to prevent these things, so we might as well laugh.

Similar is Bundith Phunsombatlert’s The Journey as Graffiti (Bushwick Version), overlaying streets of Bushwick with street art from the area and Simonetta Moro’s Room with a View: The Last of Bed Stuy. Moro’s piece feels relevant despite being from 2009, considering the neighborhood is one of the most recent to begin rapidly and notably gentrifying.

However, not all works were 2D pieces on walls. Katarina Jerinic’s Visitor Center for Erratic Monuments is a floor-mounted display of several erratics found in Brooklyn, with arrows pointing to their pinned locations on a map and a free pamphlet offering more erractics locations. Erratics are “rocks carried great distances by glacial movement.” I happen to walk by one each time I walk home from the Morgan L, and had always wondered why there was a random rock sitting on a sidewalk. It’s humorously placed alongside a 1903 map indicating which streets in the borough were not paved with cobblestone.

Unmissable is Joyce Kozloff’s Targets. Made in 2000, it is a huge wooden globe. The inside is coated with various maps of places that were “bombed by the US between 1945 and 2000.” The room is echo-filled and disorienting, with images of every color going every which way. Perhaps it echos how one feels when they realize all the violence their country has done. Its lack of focus on Brooklyn feels a bit confusing, but is a powerful piece nonetheless.

The Historical Society maps chosen by each artist, aside from one 1995 map, are interestingly situated rather far in the past. This creates a bit of a gap between these far-off accounts of the borough and the artist’s idealized, fictionalized, or sometimes all-too-real accounts. However, in making a piece of art one inevitably brings past experiences into it; this invisible presence acts to bridge this gap, as the old and the new converse.

Mapping Brooklyn succeeds in bringing a great many perspectives about the borough, and not just in content and opinions within the work: the majority of artists are female, one is Syrian, one Dutch, Italian, Thai, even Bermudan. The amount of diversity is refreshing, and helps bring a freshness and vitality to the exhibit as a whole.

Here, you can get your history lesson and culture all in one place. And with the rate Brooklyn is gentrifying, you might want to get there sooner rather than later.

Mapping Brooklyn is on view at BRIC House at 647 Fulton Street until May 3. Additional works on view at the Brooklyn Historical Society at 128 Pierrepont Street until September 6.

[Image via]

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East Village Shop Leaves A Lasting Impression http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/03/27/east-village-shop-leaves-a-lasting-impression/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/03/27/east-village-shop-leaves-a-lasting-impression/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:15:30 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130260 150326_StampShop_Local_0014New York is a city known for its shopping, but with all of the distractions caused by inferior pursuits such as clothing and food, you may have forgotten to look into the one thing that you really need: rubber stamps. Fortunately, Casey’s Rubber Stamps on 11th Street (between First and Second Avenues) has everything you could possibly need (as far as rubber stamps go).150326_StampShop_Local_0043The ...

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New York is a city known for its shopping, but with all of the distractions caused by inferior pursuits such as clothing and food, you may have forgotten to look into the one thing that you really need: rubber stamps. Fortunately, Casey’s Rubber Stamps on 11th Street (between First and Second Avenues) has everything you could possibly need (as far as rubber stamps go).

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The sheer multitude of stamps lining the walls and shelves in Casey’s Rubber Stamps is highly impressive to anyone who ever thought that stamps were just for grandmas who needed a break from their knitting. Stamps with images of skulls, snakes, human teeth, works of art, intricately decorated letters, and catchy slogans such as “Eat Shit” line the shelves of the small store, and fill up tall stacks of boxes on the floor.

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John Casey, the shop’s founder and owner for the thirty (on and off) years that it’s been around, says that he initially got into the stamp businesses primarily because of “bad luck,” as well as a longstanding interest in stamps and coins. While the shop has moved back and forth between New York and Europe, now it fits perfectly well in the East Village, surrounded by other specialty shops and cafes. Although there are other specialty stamp stores in New York, the old-fashioned and community-oriented vibe of this outpost marks it as a must visit New York destination, and not only for its wares: a while spent perusing the vast sea of creative stamps and a chat with the owner are well worth the trip.

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Their online catalogue features over one thousand stamp designs, with more being added each week. If that’s still not enough to satisfy your mad urge for stamps, Casey’s Rubber Stamps specializes in custom stamps designed to each customer’s specifications. Whether you need a stamp for a business logo or would like a design of an original piece of art, you can send your image to the shop via e-mail as PDF, EPS, AI or a 1200 dpi JPEG. The submission information, along with pricing for custom stamps, is listed on the shop’s custom order page. All stamps are mounted on maple wood, and are made out of real red rubber (instead of that “horrible plastic material”).

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Custom ordered stamps are handmade right in a small studio right in the back of the eleventh street shop, so you can guarantee that your order will be both high quality and unique. The design you send is first made into a negative image, and is then transferred to a plate. From there, the rubber is heated and pressed into a mold to become your stamp. While Mr. Casey himself has no permanent favorite stamp, I personally find the New York City bedbug stamp to be uniquely charming (it’s available at the store for only $3, and is a reasonable alternative to actual bedbugs).

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Even if you’re not a stamp collector or an avid arts and crafts kind of person, you’d be surprised how many uses there are for a good old rubber stamp. Go ahead: beautify those molskine notebooks (we know you’re not taking notes in them), test out some tattoos before you commit, pass out classy favors at your graduation/housewarming/birthday party, and emblazon all of the adequately porous surfaces in your life with intricate, rubber designs pressed in one of dozens of colors. Casey’s Rubber Stamps, being “fairly old school,” is a cash only store, and keeps “East Village artistic hours” (opening after 1pm every day).

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[Photos by Em Watson]

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Hamilton To Inherit NYU’s Drama and Controversy http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/27/hamilton-to-inherit-nyus-drama-and-controversy/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/27/hamilton-to-inherit-nyus-drama-and-controversy/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:10:21 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130219 Hamilton_Andrew-225_tcm18-126745Professor Andrew Hamilton has been announced as NYU’s 16th president, and the Oxford head will take over our university in a tumultuous time, to say the least. Outgoing President John Sexton is the subject of much controversy, and the trajectory he has put the school on has received a great deal of scrutiny, not just on campus, but around the globe.Aggressive expansion policies, labor abuses, and high executive compensation have given NYU’s leadership a ...

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Professor Andrew Hamilton has been announced as NYU’s 16th president, and the Oxford head will take over our university in a tumultuous time, to say the least. Outgoing President John Sexton is the subject of much controversy, and the trajectory he has put the school on has received a great deal of scrutiny, not just on campus, but around the globe.

Aggressive expansion policies, labor abuses, and high executive compensation have given NYU’s leadership a business-like reputation. One might expect that NYU would be eager to replace leaders with a different perspective, but The Board of Trustees did not show sympathy to this view when they appointed billionaire and private student loans profiteer William Berkley as the head of the Board last year. But selecting a president, a much more public figure, could be a different case.

Writer Malcom Gladwell discussed this idea with Sony CEO Michael Lynton in a leaked email. Gladwell stressed his understanding to Lynton that to win support of the NYU community: “the crucial thing is helping them see you as the nurturer and protector of creative types NOT the corporate empire builder, which they have all had enough of with Sexton.”

So where does Hamilton’s record show he is likely to stand on hot-topic issues at NYU, like expansion, tuition, and compensation of executives?

Hamilton has faced “substantial student criticism” for his salary at his post in Oxford, according to The Oxford Student. His £339,000 salary is the third-highest of any English Vice-Chancellor. Student organizations at Oxford have brought attention to Hamilton’s high pay, noting that “he earns more money in two weeks than the University’s lowest-paid full-time employee earns in an entire year.”

Hamilton earns his generous salary while advocating for tuition hikes at Oxford. In England, the state plays a much more supportive role in funding education, and therefore tuition is lower. But when the funding from the state decreased in 2013, Hamilton expressed his wish for the £9,000 national cap on university fees to be raised to £16,000.

In his oration calling for tuition cap increases, Hamilton stated, “Excellence in most walks of life does not come cheap. And unless we can offer the best we can’t expect to get the best.” He also expressed his wish that English universities act more on principles of market competition.

Oxford has justified Hamilton’s pay by expressing their understanding that the university “must remain globally competitive” and that “its Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration needs to reflect that.”

NYU has declined to release what Hamilton’s salary will be. Based on President Sexton’s current $1.5 million salary, it’s fair to guess that Hamilton will be making significantly more than he did at Oxford.

The future NYU president is no stranger to expansion. Yale Daily News says one of Hamilton’s “largest contributions to Yale during his time as provost included the acquisition of Yale’s West Campus.” He oversaw expansion at Oxford as well, but nothing on the scale of the $6 billion NYU 2031 expansion plan.

Hamilton has also earned a reputation at Oxford as a leading fundraiser. In 2009, the year he joined Oxford, the university doubled its previous year’s fundraising total by bringing in £240 million. Fundraising campaigns he led are among the largest in European history, according to Oxford.

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Twitter Proves To Be No Exception To Gender Discrimination In The Tech Industry http://nyulocal.com/national/2015/03/27/twitter-proves-to-be-no-exception-to-gender-discrimination-in-the-tech-industry/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2015/03/27/twitter-proves-to-be-no-exception-to-gender-discrimination-in-the-tech-industry/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:05:17 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130256 twitter-in-a-cage-300x300There have been countless moments in recent media when we’ve been inspired by a very necessary call to equality for women in our nation and around the world. Whether we’re referring to Patricia Arquette’s impassioned acceptance speech at this year’s Oscars ceremony or even Beyonce’s unexpected, powerful 2014 VMA statue-like pose in front of a 50 ft. “Feminist” jumbo-tron, it seems like (for the most part) the media has been on our ...

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There have been countless moments in recent media when we’ve been inspired by a very necessary call to equality for women in our nation and around the world. Whether we’re referring to Patricia Arquette’s impassioned acceptance speech at this year’s Oscars ceremony or even Beyonce’s unexpected, powerful 2014 VMA statue-like pose in front of a 50 ft. “Feminist” jumbo-tron, it seems like (for the most part) the media has been on our side.

What both of these instances have in common, isn’t their obvious bold and platform-raising qualities, but their use of the media as a call-to-action for all; it hasn’t been until recently that we’ve began to associate the feminist movement as something that is both applicable to men and women!

Apparently, though, Twitter’s memo must’ve been lost in transition, translation, or wherever it landed other than into the social media company’s morals.

In a major upset that disturbs even the most social-savvy tech lover like myself, Twitter has found itself caught in the crossfire of a huge media let-down.

Employed by Twitter from 2009 to 2012, Software Engineer Tina Huang was a vital piece of the Twitter workforce, and in contributing as such for three years, she expected the promotion to Senior Staff Engineer when the position became available. The issue? Huang claims that in the “tech ladder” that is the opaque, promotional system within the company, there is no room for female promotions. Her claim is that:

Promotion into Twitter’s senior technical positions is based on subjective judgments, by committees that are comprised of and dependent on upper management at Twitter, and predominantly male. These judgments are tainted with conscious or unconscious prejudices and gender-based stereotypes, which explains why so few women employees at Twitter advance to senior and leadership positions.

After not receiving the promotion (and others before and after it), and seeing no logical reason as to why that was considering she had very well earned it, Huang chose to approach her administrators to make a formal complaint, via email to Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo. In the email she voiced her concerns about the promotion process, its “shoulder tap” methods and her sincere frustration with the lack of equality. Their response? To put Huang on leave for three months, subsequently pressuring her out of the company.

Although representatives from the company deny the fact that she was ever technically fired, we’re thinking that isn’t the point of the story here, Twitter. In her attempt to file a class action suit, Huang has made claims that include Twitter’s “failure to follow a uniform job posting procedure to guarantee that all employees have notice of openings…” and their “establishing and maintaining arbitrary and subjective requirements for promotions which have the effect of excluding qualified women and which have not been shown to have any significant relationship to job performance or to be necessary to the safe and efficient conduct of Twitter’s business. Basically, the fight that women have been facing forever (literally, forever) is in its prime stretch here in the States, and what Huang is describing is what so many other women today face in the workforce.

In her suit, the astounding facts are laid out: Only 30% of Twitter’s overall global workers are women, and in terms of technical jobs, that number drops to 10%. Leadership stats, you ask? Almost 80% of Twitter’s leadership team is male, and when the first woman to be appointed to its board of directors was brought on, it was mysteriously in the wake of high criticism for lack of women leaders. Hmmm…

So why, amongst the plenty of other examples of workforce inequality, should we pay close attention to Huang’s attempt at a class action? If she gets this approved, this potentially taking up to one year’s time, Silicon Valley and everything that it touches will have no choice but to change for the better. Twitter specifically affects Americans, never mind citizens of this world, everyday and if Huang’s suit passes through, we’ll see much more than an organizational change in Twitter; we could potentially see true revolution in the tech world.

Think about it.

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So Long Zayn, And Thanks For All The Feels http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2015/03/27/so-long-zayn-and-thanks-for-all-the-feels/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2015/03/27/so-long-zayn-and-thanks-for-all-the-feels/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:51:14 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130245 zayn leaves 1DWhen I pitched this story last weekend, Zayn Malik was still a member–for many, the most important member–of our favorite group of young, nubile pop-princes, One Direction. As most of you know, he is no longer with us (read: the band).When I pitched this story last weekend, it was about Zayn’s taking a break mid-tour, about him citing “stress,” what the word “stress” might really mean, and how we’re glad he ...

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zayn leaves 1D

When I pitched this story last weekend, Zayn Malik was still a member–for many, the most important member–of our favorite group of young, nubile pop-princes, One Direction. As most of you know, he is no longer with us (read: the band).

When I pitched this story last weekend, it was about Zayn’s taking a break mid-tour, about him citing “stress,” what the word “stress” might really mean, and how we’re glad he “admits” it so publicly. It’s still about that, but also about how we’ll miss him.

A few facts: I am a lesbian madly in love with Zayn Malik, because, who isn’t (in love with Zayn Malik–I concede that there are a good many people out there who are not lesbians)? I spent my formative years asking God to 1) make me a man and 2) then proceed to make me look like Zayn Malik. Possibly, this was a bit of a tall order, as neither wish was granted–but I’m ok with that. I spent much of my sophomore year in the throes of a manic episode, devouring all of One Direction’s music in a state of “who the fuck am I, to be above One Direction? 1D is life.” I love that stuff, and I love Zayn, and let’s be real, we all kind of do, to some extent. Thus, it’s only natural we care deeply about what has become of his poor, beautiful brain.

The 22-year-old been in the spotlight a lot recently, between rumors he cheated on fianceé Perrie Edwards (of that equally young/nubile/British girl-group, Little Mix) and that nasty business with Philippine “weed bonds.” It seems he didn’t like it. Fame is hard, especially when you’re falling to shit–just ask Amanda, Lindsay or Britney. Jetlag is also hard. All things considered, we’re lucky he’s just “stressed,” and as CAS junior Mi-Anne Chan so aptly put it, “He just wants to be a real boy! #leaveZaynalone”

But is he–just stressed, that is? Because really, if bandmate/bffl Harry Styles is crying on stage, something deeper is going on. Maybe he’s a bit more than “stressed.” That’s what publicists tend to say when drugs are involved. We live in a world where “stress” is used to mean “drug stuff,” social media can drive a pop-star into hiding just by calling him an “adulterer,” and “crazy” explains away murder-suicide. But for sanity’s sake, I’m not going to dwell on that–if Zayn says stress, Zayn means stress. And if he means stress, I’m really glad he said it.

Stress is as real as jetlag and public breakdowns. All of us feel it some of the time, some of us more than others, some of us entirely too much. That someone so high profile can admit that “hey, life does get a little tough sometimes,” and care enough about themselves to take a break, sets a wonderful example for the legions of angsty teens (and angsty adults) who might not know what to do with their stress or sad.

If you haven’t encountered it elsewhere, you can find the official statement on One Direction’s Facebook page. Hear from the band and Simon Cowell (who put them together on 2010’s X Factor) but most importantly, Zayn himself, “I’d like to apologise [apologISE!] to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.” Tears.

Admittedly a few fans are let down, considering someone’s been calling Perrie Edwards “Yoko Ono 2.0,” and others are worried grieving devotees might do something rash.

Functionality is moot, and if Zayn felt like he couldn’t function under heavy public scrutiny, that’s absolutely ok. It’s similarly completely fine if things get tough for you, too. The first step is admitting shit is shitty. Say as much–let someone know. Then you can go about fixing it. Take a Zayn break.

And should you need to talk to someone about Zayn’s leaving his best mates/about anything at all, the NYU Wellness Exchange is there to listen at 212.443.9999.

[image by Patrick King]

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A Step By Step Guide To Getting Access To Your NYU Admissions Records http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/27/a-step-by-step-guide-to-getting-access-to-your-nyu-admissions-records/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/27/a-step-by-step-guide-to-getting-access-to-your-nyu-admissions-records/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:17:03 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130250 Vote ACCEPTEDWhen CAS Sophomore Hannah Weverka read an article on Buzzfeed by Stanford Students titled “Here’s How to See What College Admissions Officers Wrote About You” she decided there was no reason not to try it at NYU. She wrote about her experience and decided to write a guide for NYU which she originally published on her website. The method is simple but effective. By requesting access under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, ...

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When CAS Sophomore Hannah Weverka read an article on Buzzfeed by Stanford Students titled “Here’s How to See What College Admissions Officers Wrote About You” she decided there was no reason not to try it at NYU. She wrote about her experience and decided to write a guide for NYU which she originally published on her website. The method is simple but effective. By requesting access under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, students can mandate that their school provide access to their educational records.

Below is an extract from Hannah’s fantastic guide which you can read in its entirety here.

“So the first thing you’ll want to do is send an email to the admissions office at your university. At NYU, this is going to be a woman named Kayla Whitaker, whose email is here. If you’re not at NYU, you can probably find the contact information for your admissions office on your college’s website. The email is going to request access to your admissions file, and it should look like this:

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g), I write to request access to and a copy of all documents held by the New York University Office of Undergraduate Admissions, including without limitation a complete copy of any admissions records kept in my name in any and all university offices, including the Undergraduate Admission Workcard and all associated content (including without limitation the qualitative and quantitative assessments of any ‘readers’, demographics data, interview records) ; any e-mails, notes, memoranda, video, audio, or other documentary material maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

FERPA prohibits the imposition of a fee to review documents (per 34 CFR Sec. 99.11(b)).

If you choose to redact any portion of any documents responsive to this request, please provide a written explanation for the redaction including a reference to the specific statutory exemption(s) upon which you rely. Also, please provide all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. I understand that I may have previously waived FERPA rights pertaining to recommendations provided through the Common Application. Be advised that, if selected, this waiver pertains solely to recommendations provided through the Common Application system.

As per 34 CFR Sec. 99.10(b), these records must be made available for my inspection within 45 days of this request.

I look forward to receiving a full response within 45 calendar days.

Best,

Your Name Here

This is obviously quite a lot of legalese. What’s relevant to you right now: that you can get your admissions records; that you can get all your admissions records (except your letters of recommendation from your teachers, which you probably already waived the right to when you applied); that you do not have to pay to read the records; and that they have to get these records to you within 45 days of the email.

A few days after my sending this email, I got this response:

Dear Hannah,

Your request for your student records under the auspices of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) has been sent to the Office of the Associate Provost which, per New York University Guidelines, is responsible for administering compliance with FERPA. In the interest of protecting student privacy, NYU requires that any student seeking access to their records verify their identity by submitting a formal record review request upon presentation of a photo ID at the Office of the Associate Provost, 194 Mercer Street, room 403F. The office is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

If you are unable to visit the office in person, you may complete the attached record review request form, including the bottom portion with your signature attested to by a notary that you are the person you claim to be. Completed forms may be returned as a PDF to me at krw270@nyu.edu. Requests should be specific as to the records you wish to see (i.e. “admissions records”, “disciplinary records,” “bursar records”).

For more information on FERPA policies and procedures at NYU, please consult the University’s FERPA site here.

I opted to head down to 194 Mercer and present my photo ID; I was given a form to sign and requested to get my admissions records specifically.

If you can’t do this — say, if you’re studying abroad, as many at NYU are — there will be a form attached to the email that you can fill out. You will have to get a notary to attest that you’re the person you claim to be; this will cost money (the specific amount of money will depend on where you are). It’s clearly easier to do this when you’re physically at the main campus, as I was.

I went home and circled March 9, 2015 on the calendar, which was the date by which NYU was required to present me with the forms.

Fortunately, it didn’t take NYU quite that long. On February 10, I got a call from Kayla Whitaker, who told me that I could come down to 194 Mercer again and look at the records whenever I liked. (I was initially promised that they would be emailed to me, but was later told that due to a recent rule change, sending them via email would no longer be possible. This is probably a good thing, given what we know about privacy and the Internet, etc, etc.)

I was allowed to have copies made of my records, at 10 cents a page. The file was about 20 or 30 pages long, and most of it was stuff I’d already seen: my college essay, my high school transcript, etc. But there were two pages that contained what I was looking for: the comments made about my application by admissions officers.

I had both of these pages copied — Kayla Whitaker kindly waived the $0.20 fee — and took them home for my perusal. They were very interesting; there were some lovely compliments, some cutting but accurate comments about my high school grades, and the final result: that I was “probably fine to take.”

Obviously, an extremely glamorous and flattering result! And, I think, worth the relatively minor amount of trouble I went to in order to get it.

If nothing else, this is worthwhile not just for the result but also for the process: using the law carefully and correctly in order to make something happen that wouldn’t have happened otherwise is, firstly, a surprisingly empowering feeling, and secondly, good practice for the future. If you’re at college right now, I’d recommend it.”

Published with permission from Hannah Waverka

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The Debate To Raise The Legal Age For Buying Tobacco Products Is Back http://nyulocal.com/national/2015/03/27/the-debate-to-raise-the-legal-age-for-buying-tobacco-products-is-back/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2015/03/27/the-debate-to-raise-the-legal-age-for-buying-tobacco-products-is-back/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:42:46 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130291 2012_10$thumbimg105_Oct_2012_085925909-llIn the year 2015 forty-two millions of Americans are still smoking cigarettes. Although our country has improved smoking rates due to education programs, changed social attitudes, and added higher tobacco taxes, there is still large room for improvement. Recently, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released an idea for a new approach on cracking down on tobacco. The IOM believes smoking rates will significantly decline in the future if the US raises ...

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In the year 2015 forty-two millions of Americans are still smoking cigarettes. Although our country has improved smoking rates due to education programs, changed social attitudes, and added higher tobacco taxes, there is still large room for improvement. Recently, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released an idea for a new approach on cracking down on tobacco. The IOM believes smoking rates will significantly decline in the future if the US raises the age people can legally buy tobacco products from age 18 to 21 or possibly even 25.

Currently, to legally buy tobacco products in the US you must be at least of 18 years of age. Four of the country’s states require citizens to be 19 years of age, and several cities including New York City have raised the age to 21. Several years back Congress did not find it necessary to put this policy into place, but it did order that a report be made. The Institute of Medicine found that increasing the legal purchasing age to 21 will reduce the amount of national smokers by 12%. The IOM found significantly smaller effects for raising the age limit to 19 years of age and an insignificant amount of bigger results if the country increased the tobacco purchasing age to 25.

Although the three years between 18 and 21 might seem insignificant, statistics have shown otherwise. Addictions have statistically shown to be more common amongst those who have experimented at a young age. The American Lung Association states that 85 percent of current smokers began before the age of 21 years old. The majority of these underage tobacco users get products from their friends and acquaintances. The IOM believes that by raising the legal purchasing age, young adolescents will be isolated from any connections enabling them to gain access to tobacco products. The IOM also predicts that raising the legal age will further alter social standards for teenage smoking, the same for consumption of alcohol.

The IOM understands that the health benefits projected from the raise would take years for the public to recognize, but they would be of importance. In their article “Raise The Smoking Age to 21” The Washington Post found the following:

“There would be 249,000 fewer premature deaths, 45,000 fewer lung cancer deaths and 4.2 million fewer total years of life lost among those born between 2000 and 2019.”

The Post also goes on to report that not only will benefits be projected onto smokers (and potential smokers) themselves, but such a decline in smoking will greatly reduce the rate of premature babies and secondhand smoke on children:

“The benefits wouldn’t end with smokers themselves: Between now and 2100, 286,000 fewer babies would be born prematurely , and the effects of secondhand smoke on children would diminish.”

So with all of these health benefits, one might ask why the government doesn’t just go ahead with a plan to raise the legal smoking age. The biggest case against the IOM and their plea for the government to initiate the raise is the debate as to whether or not the government should respect the decisions of young adults who can rightfully choose to drink, smoke, fight, or vote, therefore leaving such decisions in the hands of each individual.

So being amongst a community of the major players affected by this widely debated age-raise, we decided to get feedback from our own NYU students on the matter. After conducting a student survey we found that the majority of students who participated stood against the age raise. One student claimed:

“I just think the government needs to butt out and stop imposing on people’s personal choices.”- Hira Rahman, NYU Junior

Although responsible for providing the statistics, The Institute of Medicine has stated the following:

The public health impact of raising the MLA for tobacco products depends on the degree to which local and state governments change their policies. These decisions will depend on each state’s or locality’s balance between personal interests and the privacy of young adults to make their own choices versus society’s legitimate concerns about protecting public health.

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Billions Of Dollars Needed To Repair Local Libraries http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/03/27/billions-of-dollars-needed-to-repair-local-libraries/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/03/27/billions-of-dollars-needed-to-repair-local-libraries/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:08:09 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130252 2014-10-20-GBB3-thumbStanding outside the George Bruce Library in Harlem at 10:55, locals wait patiently for the building doors to open. With no delay, a librarian greets visitors good morning as they march inside from the light drizzle of the Thursday morning.The George Bruce Library is a community center. The walls are decorated with drawings from the youngest readers; posters for upcoming poetry readings and talent shows can be found on all floors. By ...

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Standing outside the George Bruce Library in Harlem at 10:55, locals wait patiently for the building doors to open. With no delay, a librarian greets visitors good morning as they march inside from the light drizzle of the Thursday morning.

The George Bruce Library is a community center. The walls are decorated with drawings from the youngest readers; posters for upcoming poetry readings and talent shows can be found on all floors. By 11:15 the library was already buzzing with activity. Parents lead children by hand inside, some patrons find a table to set down their backpack to do work while others make their way to the circulation desk to ask about the services at the library.

It should come as alarm that these foundations of NYC community are falling apart and in need of repair, around 1.1 billion dollars worth. A report from The Center for Urban Future revealed that repairs like heating, air conditioning and roofing are needed in several branches in the city.

The report suggests that the current funding system, based on discretionary funds, is no longer sufficient to maintain all the branches.

“It gets pretty busy in here, we get a lot of foot traffic,” one librarian in the children’s room of the George Bruce Library stated. “We are especially busy when school gets out.” The children’s room is filled with bright decoration and cut outs of book characters. In the corner a sign says “Snack Area” with a picture of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, a marker of childhood snack times everywhere.

The lack of funding has hit some neighboring libraries harder than others. According to a report by NY Daily News the 125th St location, just a few blocks away from the George Bruce Library, is on the top of the list for locations in need.

“Nearly all the libraries on that list serve minority communities, and many are in poor neighborhoods,”  the NY Daily News wrote.

With Major de Blasio there might be hope for reimagining funding and repairing the public libraries. “In his first capital budget, Mr. de Blasio increased library capital funding for fiscal 2015 to $229 million from $205 million the previous year” reports WSJ.

To find out what part the NYPL’s play in the lives of New Yorkers, visit a local branch. What you may find is a place for readers and writers, performers and students, anyone in the community wanting to learn more. If libraries like George Bruce don’t have the funds to keep opening their doors at 11, New Yorkers take a hit.

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East Village Building Collapses, Causing NYU Evacuations [PHOTOS] http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/27/east-village-building-collapses-causing-nyu-evacuations-photos/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/27/east-village-building-collapses-causing-nyu-evacuations-photos/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:02:35 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130259 Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 10.15.30 PMAn explosion on Second Avenue and 7th Street resulted in the collapse of two buildings and a fire in two others Thursday afternoon, leaving at least twelve people injured, three in critical condition.The blast occurred around 3:15 p.m. In a press conference Thursday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that early evidence pointed to a “gas-related explosion.” The original explosion occurred at 121 Second Avenue, resulting in the fire that destroyed the building. ...

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An explosion on Second Avenue and 7th Street resulted in the collapse of two buildings and a fire in two others Thursday afternoon, leaving at least twelve people injured, three in critical condition.

The blast occurred around 3:15 p.m. In a press conference Thursday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that early evidence pointed to a “gas-related explosion.” The original explosion occurred at 121 Second Avenue, resulting in the fire that destroyed the building. 123 Second Avenue, the home of NYU favorite Pomme Frites, also collapsed. The fire affected 119 and 125 Second Avenue as well.

During de Blasio’s press conference, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said, “I would say it is a seventh alarm and there are approximately 250 of our members here on the scene.” Nigro reported that the first call came in at 3:17 Thursday afternoon and when FDNY members arrived, they saw that the front of 121 had been blown across the street.

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NYU evacuated its 7th Street dormitory, saying that any students displaced from 7th Street will be accommodated at Palladium Hall. Meal plan vouchers are available at the Kimmel Center for any residents displaced by the fire. It also closed the Second Avenue Tisch Building, which is between East 6th and 7th Streets, and the Barney Building located at 34 Stuyvesant Street.

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NYU Local editor Maryna Prykhodko reported that she could smell smoke from the fire on the 20th floor of the office building where she works in midtown. As with many tragedies, speculation abounded post-blast. Another NYU Local writer, Atalie Gimmel, reported that a fellow intern at her office in midtown got a call from a friend who was on his lunch break. “The kid was shaken up,” she said in an email. “[He] saw two guys run in, run out and then the explosion happened. I don’t personally know the kid but my coworker thinks it’s reliable.”

So far, however, all reported evidence points to a gas leak. According to the de Blasio press conference, Con Ed was in the building around 2 p.m. evaluating meter service, which did not pass Con Ed inspection, meaning it was not ready for gas hook up. “We are praying that no other individuals are found injured and that there are no fatalties,” de Blasio said, “but that is an ongoing effort that FDNY and all other first responders are involved in.”Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 10.31.30 PM

Top image via Sophie Lilla, images 2 and 3 via Em Watson, image 4 and 5 via Taylor Nemetz.

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The Gays’ Gaze: Jennifer Hudson, Courtney Love, and Raven-Symoné Walk Into a Bar http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2015/03/26/the-gays-gaze-jennifer-hudson-courtney-love-and-raven-symone-walk-into-a-bar/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2015/03/26/the-gays-gaze-jennifer-hudson-courtney-love-and-raven-symone-walk-into-a-bar/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 17:18:05 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130234 JamalEmpire2The Gays’ Gaze is queer entertainment column- the most NYU (but not the most Gallatin) thing to ever happen. In the first episode of Empire, one of the characters asks, “Is this King Lear?” He’s not far from the truth. The show opens with Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) receiving a medical diagnosis for ALS, and facing the fact that he will have to decide which of his children will become the new ...

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The Gays’ Gaze is queer entertainment column- the most NYU (but not the most Gallatin) thing to ever happen.

In the first episode of Empire, one of the characters asks, “Is this King Lear?” He’s not far from the truth. The show opens with Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) receiving a medical diagnosis for ALS, and facing the fact that he will have to decide which of his children will become the new Empire Records CEO.

Unlike its Shakespeare counterpart though, Lucious Lyon is looking to give up the throne of his music empire to one of his three sons, and not one of his three daughters. Would we have preferred a show with three daughters? Yes. Would we have liked Nicki Minaj to be one of them? Yes. Should she be on the show anyway? Definitely. But as of now, there haven’t been any Nicki sightings, and hardly any women sightings either (besides Cookie). It’s a frustratingly male dominated show and most of the women on it serve as buzz grabbing guest stars.

But since you brought up Cookie (Tarajj P. Henson) let’s talk about Cookie. At the start of the show, Lucious’ ex-wife has just got out of serving seventeen years in prison. We’d like to think that this means she’ll be guest staring on Orange is the New Black next season, but it’s unlikely.

Although a female character that could be read as “bossy,” what’s different from Cookie and other “bossy, annoying” female characters is that we still love her. She benefits from being bossy and sympathetic, and enjoys the patience that we give to many terrible straight white boy characters (Don Draper, Walter White) and avoids the side eye given to Betty Draper and Skyler White.

While gender isn’t the shows best trick in the hat, it does tackle a lot of issues that you don’t see on TV everyday. Race, class, and queerness all come into play throughout the show. For Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is Lucious’s middle child, who while talented, cannot take over Empire because he’s gay.

We love Jamal, but the lyrics they make that boy sing are a border-line hate crime: “Everyone has a closet / In the night, they wear disguises / In the dark, they hide from the truth / In the end, they lie to you.” The show deals with queer issues in a very over-reductive, love-is-love way, and it can come off a little cheesy.

This might be because the show is executive produced by our dear friend, Ilene Chaiken, the Sapphic mastermind behind the L Word. So that explains why Jamal comes off so heavy-handed. While we cannot speak to the experience of being a queer person of color and do not intend to (as any other white and/or straight media critics should), Jamal’s queerness speaks to the tumultuous conflict of intersecting marginalized identities.

When one identifies as a marginalized identity, it can be a source of recognition and validation to become part of a collective. But the tension arises when one feels they have to legitimize their role in it by repressing other parts of their identity. Jamal is not just a powerful representation of a gay man on television, or a black man on television, but lies in the complexity of being both of them fully.

While maybe there could’ve been more ladies, and Jamal’s lyrics could read more like lyrics and less like a pride chant, overall Empire is fun. With barely any white people, a few queer characters, and even Raven Symone- it is exactly the dramatic soap opera you want it to be. And a great show to binge watch while you put off adjusting to your post-spring break routine.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5 Ellen Heads

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Subscription Boxes Are Cooler Than The Care Packages Your Mom Sends You http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/26/subscription-boxes/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/26/subscription-boxes/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:31:58 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130197 A-partial-group-of-subscription-boxes-weve-runYou can’t fit a square into a circle (fine wisdom via Hilary Duff) but you can fit it into a box. Read on.When you’re sent off to college it can be easy to disassociate from home. For some of us that can be a breath of fresh air, while for others, it’s terrifying. Truth be told, even the most independent feel the desire to indulge in a taste of home.If that taste is close ...

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You can’t fit a square into a circle (fine wisdom via Hilary Duff) but you can fit it into a box. Read on.

When you’re sent off to college it can be easy to disassociate from home. For some of us that can be a breath of fresh air, while for others, it’s terrifying. Truth be told, even the most independent feel the desire to indulge in a taste of home.

If that taste is close to free and consists of cool stuff, you know we’re down. Sometimes besides some serious TLC, a little bit of home can go far, and subscription boxes are the go-to solution.

“Care Packages” have an ancient sound to them and we’re all about keeping things current. Think of it like signing up to get your favorite weekly magazine (or more appropriately, e-newsletter), only with a subscription box you’re getting a box full of awesome, new and hand-picked products from a company that professionalizes in making sure you get what you like. I repeat: a box full of stuff you are guaranteed to like.

The box subscription movement is on the rise and I got the chance to speak with some badass startup companies that want to bring people like you and me a box full o’wonders. Whether your box is composed around a specific product (like a box of hand picked tasting wines) or it’s a melting pot of curated items that match your taste, take a look at these subscriptions for any and all inspirations on which box should be your first (or first few)!

For a box that claims to “deliver love,” PijonBox has got the subscription-box-business down to a science with their currently-available College Care Packages. Pijon chose to cut the BS with empty-feeling care packages and decided to put some “good for goodness sake” into their boxes. Every month, you can select to receive a Male, Female or Neutral box containing handpicked items that the Pijon team knows you’ll love. Co-Founder Adam Saynuk gave us some insight on the company which, BTW, contributes to Project Night Night for every box sold.

Local: In 140 characters or less, how would you describe Pijon Box?

Pijon: Pijon helps loved ones stay connected. We send a monthly care pack of snacks, grooming & beauty items, useful essentials & fun gifts.

Local: How do you hand-pick what goes into a Pijon Box?

Pijon: We theme boxes based on what’s generally happening in the college school year, and work with brand partners to curate a care package students will love!

Want to make your experience a little more… free? PINCHme is the next go-to. Founder and Chairman Jeremy Reid, gave us the low-down on exactly how this catch-free, free box subscription might be your key to sampling-heaven.

Local: In 140 characters or less, how would you describe PINCHme?

PINCHme: PinchMEallows members to try new products for free, every month, with no subscription costs attached. All they ask is that you tell them what you think!

Local: So, if I received a PINCHme box right now, what products do you think I might enjoy the most?

PINCHme: If you sign up now, on our next sample release date, which is April 14th, you will be able to claim: Playtex tampons and liners, Method laundry detergent, Pez Heds new soft candy chews, Nutro cat for cat owners, Gevalia coffee, Orchard Valley Harvest’s new Cranberry Almond Cashew mix [and] ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid.

You had me at ZzzQuil. All you have to do is choose a product and tell PINCHme where to send it. When you’re done tasting, touching or using, you leave your feedback. Did I mention it’s free?

For my accessory lovers in the house, this next one’s for you. If you’ve ever almost purchased that adorable layering necklace but never gone through with it, RocksBox has got your ultimate solution. After signing up and taking a style survey, RocksBox will set you up with the perfect jewels until you want to trade, buy, or send back whenever you’re ready!

Local: In 140 characters or less, how would you describe Rocksbox?

RocksBox: For a monthly fee, Rocksbox provides a highly curated box of designer gems with the option to borrow, buy or swap at any time

Local: How do you hand-pick what goes into a Rocksbox box?

RocksBox: Two main ways: You take a Style Survey when you create an account. This survey informs our Stylist team, which works to create the perfect box for you. It is a mix of art and science. OR via the items you #wishlist on our Instagram and Pinterest.

For $25 a month you can receive boxes that are priced at up to $200, and that my friends, is how you can arrive in style.

Finally, as a gift from me to you I bring you your official right of passage into the post-college (actually 21+) drinking world: Tasting Room. If there was a way to refine your drinking habits, this is definitely it. Sign up, receive your vinos with an initial tasting kit and the rest will be Tasting Room history. To better clear up the innovative, yet complex process behind every TR box we spoke with a representative from the TR team!

Local: In 140 characters or less, how would you describe Tasting Room?

TR: The only wine service that selects bottles that suit your personal, individual tastes.

Local: How do you hand-pick what goes into a Tasting Room box?

TR: It’s an exhaustive – and exhausting – process. We have a team of wine experts, mainly former sommeliers, who work with wineries around the world that they know and trust to deliver selections of excellent quality at the best possible prices. Even with that, we reject 90% of the wines offered to us. That’s the easy explanation.

Tasting Room is so innovative, that even the mini-bottles of wine are patented AKA no other wine club can give their customers this exclusive chance to taste, then buy. Basically, if you want to find a way into someones’ heart, this is the way to do it.

To be boxed or not to be is no longer our question today, because we know we’re going to be busy filling out profiles and preferences. Subscription boxes, here we come!

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Warm Waters Wash Sea Lion Pups Ashore http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/26/warm-waters-wash-sea-lion-pups-ashore/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/26/warm-waters-wash-sea-lion-pups-ashore/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:14:19 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130186 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAimrsUnfortunately for the ecosystem, sea lion population, and anyone with a heart, lion pups have hit a crisis point.Thousands of sea sion pups have been washing up on the shores of California from San Diego to San Francisco. Pups have been washing up in record numbers since 2013, but this years’ number is already five times greater than 2013’s final total.The pups ...

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Unfortunately for the ecosystem, sea lion population, and anyone with a heart, lion pups have hit a crisis point.

Thousands of sea sion pups have been washing up on the shores of California from San Diego to San Francisco. Pups have been washing up in record numbers since 2013, but this years’ number is already five times greater than 2013’s final total.

The pups are being cared for in marine centers throughout California, including the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro. SeaWorld San Diego announced that their “Sea Lions LIVE” show would be suspended indefinitely to allow their trainers to lend their expertise to the care of the sea lions.

According to marine animal experts, the warmer water is to blame. The ocean is a record five degrees warmer than average off the west coast. As a result, sea lion prey–squid, sardines–venture further out toward cooler waters.

6a00d8341c630a53ef017d415291fe970c-640wiFood becomes scarce. The lion mothers venture further for food and leave their nursing pups before they are weaned. Hungry, exhausted, and too young to care for themselves, the pups wash ashore.

Another theory, reported by the LA Times, is that the Sea Lion population has swelled to the point where their food sources cannot sustain them.

Pups are being treated in centers for starvation, though many are being euthanized.

Caretakers are being forced to make judgment calls on the prognosis of the sea lions: to give them care or to end their lives. Peter Wallerstein, director of Marine Animal Rescue in Los Angeles County, said: “The rehab center is so full. We had to leave some adults on the beach.”

There are approximately 300,00 Sea Lions living along the West Coast; as of March 21, 2015, 1,800 Sea Lions had washed ashore.

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NYU Faculty Demands Divestment From Fossil Fuels http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/25/nyu-faculty-demands-divestment-from-fossil-fuels/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/03/25/nyu-faculty-demands-divestment-from-fossil-fuels/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 19:43:23 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=130169 shutterstock_226073734Yesterday morning, faculty members demanded NYU divest its fossil fuel holdings in a letter delivered to President Sexton. The letter, with 138 signatures, comes as the Fossil Fuel Divestment Working Group is set to present its findings at tomorrow’s University Senate meeting. The university has approximately four percent (or $139 million) of its $3.4 billion endowment invested in fossil fuels.The letter warns that the continued use of fossil fuels endangers the commitment made by ...

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shutterstock_226073734Yesterday morning, faculty members demanded NYU divest its fossil fuel holdings in a letter delivered to President Sexton. The letter, with 138 signatures, comes as the Fossil Fuel Divestment Working Group is set to present its findings at tomorrow’s University Senate meeting. The university has approximately four percent (or $139 million) of its $3.4 billion endowment invested in fossil fuels.

The letter warns that the continued use of fossil fuels endangers the commitment made by members of the international community to keep Earth’s temperature rise at a maximum of two degrees Celsius. In addition, it cites findings by the International Energy Agency, which found that 70% of global greenhouse emissions are a result of burning fossil fuels.

“Keeping carbon dioxide concentrations, therefore, as the IPCC Report states, will require phasing out fossil fuel power generation by the end of this century,” the letter reads. “Avoiding climate catastrophe requires a different global investment landscape. It requires shifting hundreds of billions of dollars to low-carbon ventures, stranding investments left in fossil fuels.

Julianne Warren, former NYU Liberal Studies faculty member who played a large role in drafting the letter, said the school has an obligation to protect itself from the threat of climate change by divesting.

Being a global network university means that global climate change threatens the health and safety of its core operations everywhere, its whole world of members–including present generations and future ones,” she said. “Who has more call to be a leader in the global fossil fuel divestment movement, in doing everything possible to mitigate global climate change and promote global climate justice, than a premier global network university?”

Over 180 institutions and local governments have abandoned their fossil fuel investments, the letter states. Among the other institutions that have committed to divest are the Church of Christ, the British Medical Association, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The faculty also cited studies to show that the move can be sound financially, and also that divestment would indeed have a significant in combating climate change.

“Historically, divestment strategies have been successful in transforming corporate behavior, influencing investors, lowering values of stock and pressuring government legislation that would not otherwise have happened.”

The letter did praise the university’s past efforts on combating climate change—which included signing onto sustainability initiatives set forth by Mayor Bloomberg and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

NYU spokesperson John Beckman released a statement referring to these efforts and how the university has achieved its goal of reducing energy consumption by 30% set forth by the Bloomberg initiative six years ahead of schedule. Beckman also said that the school plans to reduce its greenhouse gas use by 50 percent by 2017.

“We appreciate this group of faculty members sharing their views with us in advance of the report coming later this week from a working group of the University Senate Financial Affairs Committee that is charged with reviewing the issue of endowment investments in fossil fuel companies,” he added.

It is unclear whether the Senate will vote on or propose any resolutions to the Board of Trustees on divestment at tomorrow’s meeting.

In the case that the Senate rejects divestment, Charles Martin, a member of NYU Divest and Tisch senior, said the group will only intensify its efforts.

“We’ve had a moderately amicable relationship with the administration thus far and we’ve complied with the bureaucratic channels we’ve been instructed to navigate, but a rejection on Thursday will result in a distinct shift in how we engage with the university. If the bureaucratic channels fail us then we will have to find alternative methods for seeing that our goals are met, because we will not accept ‘no’ for an answer.”

[Image viaVLADJ55/Shutterstock.com]

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