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What is happening on Alumni Quad at the University at Albany


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May Day, a celebration of Alumni Quad at UAlbany

The Month of May

The month of May can be a bittersweet time of year for students studying at the University at Albany, or any university. May is often viewed as a great month because it means the end of academic work, the weather becomes warm and students begin to get ready for summer vacation. However, it is sometimes viewed as a sad time for students because it means final exams are approaching, which can cause major stress. Also, students begin to miss all the memories they made with their fellow friends throughout the school year. May is definitely viewed as a sad time for myself, because I will miss all of my experiences I encountered the past year.

Last year on Alumni Quad

Students on Alumni whether they are transfer, international, sophomore or upperclassmen, most of them will not be living on Alumni Quad next year. They have options to live on uptown quads, uptown apartments or off-campus apartments, and many choose these different options for next year. Also, many international students will be returning to their country to finish their college education, since they are studying abroad at the University at Albany. In order to celebrate the residents on Alumni Quad, and de-stress before final exams, the Department of Residential Life’s Spring Bash Committee spent the majority of this semester planning May Day 2014.

This flyer was posted across Alumni Quad before to May 2nd to advertise May Day 2014.

This flyer was posted across Alumni Quad before to May 2nd to advertise May Day 2014. 

 

May Day 2014 Facebook Page was created by the Spring Bash committee to advertise it on social media.

May Day 2014 Facebook Page was created by the Spring Bash committee to advertise it on social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAY DAY 2014

May Day occurred on May 2nd, 2014 in the courtyard of Alumni Quad. May 2nd was the date chosen because it was a Friday, and before the last week of classes. Food was catered from the dining hall services, Sodexo. Along with the food from Sodexo, there was a table serving cotton candy, and fresh popcorn.

Students enjoying popcorn and cotton candy.

Students enjoying popcorn and cotton candy. (Photo Credit: Melissa Bala)

Line of students waiting for food served by Sodexo dining services.

Line of students waiting for food served by Sodexo dining services. (Photo Credit: Melissa Bala)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the field of the courtyard, there were different activities for students to participate in. Towards the right side of the courtyard there was the jousting pin, mechanical bull and bungee-cord racing. All these areas were set up inflatable, and included protective head gear so students could enjoy themselves without getting hurt.

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Towards the left side of the courtyard there was a water slide, and dunk tank. The weather was in the high 50’s, and at times cloudy, which is why students at first did not want to go on the slide or dunk tank. However, as more people arrived to May Day more students began to go on the water slide, and even the dunk tank. Also, there was a net set up on the field for students to play volleyball. 

Ready to fall into the water on the dunk tank. (Photo Credit: Melissa Ambala)

Ready to fall into the water on the dunk tank. (Photo Credit: Melissa Bala)

 

Students in motion during a game of volleyball. (Photo credit: Melissa Ambala)

Students in motion during a game of volleyball. (Photo credit: Melissa Bala)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The basement of Sayles Hall was transformed into a casino setting with card games, roulette and dealers at each station. There was also a photo booth so students would take pictures with each other. In front of the Sayles basement casino there was free Henna tattoo, as well as a DJ playing music.

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Impact of May Day

May Day went above, and beyond as most students on Alumni spent their evening on May 2nd in the courtyard having a good time with each other. So Hyeun Cho, a Resident Assistant, and international student on Alumni Quad was happy to see everyone participating in events, as well as international students interacting with others.

“I found it great to see the international students, enjoying their time with students from the United States. May Day really brought the Alumni Quad community together,” Cho said.

International students and Waterbury Resident Director Ema Buca (far right) enjoying their time at May Day. (Photo Credit: Melissa Ambala)

International students and Waterbury Resident Director Ema Buco (far right) enjoying their time at May Day. (Photo Credit: Melissa Bala)

Students were left with a great memory after May Day, and as this academic year ends it will be something that will help define their year spent on Alumni quad. Alumni Quad strives each day towards building a community amongst its residents, especially since it is such a diverse population.

May Day created a atmosphere of enjoyment, and brightness so students could interact with others through all these activities, without judgment of someone else. Students were able to take time away from academic work, and de-stress before finals week. It was one of the biggest programs of the year on Alumni Quad so everyone could celebrate the end of the school year, but more importantly their time on Alumni Quad. 

 

 

 


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International Court Cases of Internet Defamation

Dow Jones & Co. Inc. v. Gutnick is a notable internet defamation case, in international decisions. Barron’s Online is a weekly newspaper that is owned by Dow Jones & Company in the United States. On October 28th, 2000 they published an article titled, “Unholy Gains”. The article was by William Alpert, and it explained how Australian businessman Joseph Gutnik is involved in questionable business dealings. It included that Gutnik was involved with tax evader Nachum Goldberg. The article was posted online, and read by many in the United States and Australia. Gutnik filed a suit alleging that the online article falsely portrayed him as a con-artist. The australian court ruled that an australian citizen may sue a U.S. company in Australia for allegedly defamatory remarks in an online publication. The Dow Jones’ argued that the article was published in New York, and intended for a U.S. audience. The court noted that, “Dow Jones could have limited the distribution of its online publication to U.S. readers in an attempt to protect itself.”

This case was one of the first international legal cases involving defamation on the internet. I found it very interesting, as the article was written by a United States company, but the filed suit was by the Gutnik who lives in Australia. There are many arguments whether Gutnik should have won this case because the article was intended for the United States audience. I believe that the case was ruled correctly, because of the clear defamation written in the article about Gutnik. It is important that journalists thoroughly read through the information they publish, so it is accurate. Once anything is posted onto the internet, anyone has the access to view it, so having accurate information is key for a professional journalist.

Godfrey v. Demon Internet Ltd. is a major court case in the United Kingdom. On January 17th, 1997 Laurence Godfrey a physics lecturer contacted Demon Internet a major internet service provider in the U.K, to inform them about a forged message by an unknown source in their news server. Demon Internet declined to remove the message, which led to Godfrey suing them for libel. The court held that under the UK Defamation Act of 1996, Demon Internet was not the publisher of the statement but could still be liable because it knew about the posting but chose not to remove it from its server. The case settled on appeal in 2001, with Demon Internet agreeing to pay approximately $25,000 in damages plus Godfrey’s costs and fees.

This court case has similarities, and differences compared to the Dow Jones & Co. Inc. v. Gutnik court case. It is similar because it involves internet defamation, but Godfrey v. Demon Internet Ltd. is involving defamation within the United Kingdom. I believe the United Kingdom court system made the correct decision because the message posted on their news server was not by Godfrey, so they should have agreed to remove it from the news server. Even though the source of the message was unknown, Demon Internet still has to abide by the rules that is stated under the UK Defamation Act of 1996.


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How the MSA can open opportunities for new students on Alumni Quad

International, and transfer students living on Alumni Quad have a much different college lifestyle than students who live on campus or have lived on campus at the University at Albany. Anyone that has enrolled at the University at Albany beginning their freshman year as a non-commuter student, has lived at least a year or two on the dormitory quads at this University.

When living on uptown dormitories such as Indian, State, Colonial or Dutch quad; students become exposed to the variety of options the campus has to offer. The University at Albany offers a numerous amount of student organizations for students to become involved in. It is very accessible to attend organizations activities such as meetings, events, programs, planning and more.

Alumni Quad is the downtown campus that is approximately 3 miles from uptown campus. It can take 20 to 45 minutes for a student to get to uptown campus even though the bus ride takes 10 minutes. This occurs because of the time it takes a student to get ready, the time spent waiting for the bus, and then finally reaching uptown campus.

This is a aerial view of Alumni Quad the downtown campus. It is located between Partridge Street, and Ontario Street on Western Avenue.

This is an aerial view of Alumni Quad the downtown campus. It is located between Partridge Street, and Ontario Street on Western Avenue.

For new international students, and transfer students who are placed to live on Alumni, this process can be uncomfortable since they are new to the school. This is why many spend the semester just going to uptown campus for class, and then going back to their room on Alumni. As a result many do not become involved on campus, during their time on Alumni Quad.

Benjamin Clarke is an international student from England, studying at the University at Albany only for this year as a part of his universities study abroad program. Many international students are studying here as part of their study abroad program. I asked Clarke if he has joined any student organization, and he said, “besides playing intramural soccer, not really because I am here for one year.”

Clarke should not be judged as it is not necessary for a student to join a student organization because each student is entitled to their opinions and choices. However, joining a student organization can help meet new people, and develop friendships, even if a student will only be studying at the University at Albany for a short period of time. Involvement in any organization looks great on a resume as it shows initiative and leadership.

The Muslim Students Association (MSA) is a student organization that promote’s awareness of Islam on campus through events, programs and social gatherings. The organization is open to all students, and it has done a magnificent job the past two years in creating events for students to become involved. Any student should join the MSA, especially new international, and transfer students.

The MSA begins each semester with many social events for people to interact with each other such as game nights, movie nights and more. For instance on February 1st, the MSA had an event of Ice Skating at a ice rink in the city of Albany. They offered carpooling at Collins Circle that day, and the event was a success.

Above are students who went Ice Skating, through the MSA's event on Saturday, February 1st.

Above are students who went Ice Skating, through the MSA’s event on Saturday, February 1st.

Also, the MSA has many informative programs that discuss various topics regarding Islam. For any student who want’s to voice their opinions, these programs are great. The programs are a judgment free zone, so no one should feel ashamed.

"Islam 101" was a discussion that occurred on Monday, April 7th, and it was about learning the basics of Islam. Arabic Professor at the University at Albany Sohaib Chekima led the discussion.

“Islam 101” was a discussion that occurred on Monday, April 7th, and it was about learning the basics of Islam. Arabic Professor at the University at Albany Sohaib Chekima led the discussion.

Community service is a major importance for the MSA, which is why the organization is involved in many community service initiatives. For any student who wishes to help the community or just needs community service hours, they can help the MSA.

On Wednesday, April 9th the MSA held a unique community service event at the Interfaith center called "Sandwich Off Competition". Two teams were set up to compete on who could make the most turkey sandwiches. All the sandwiches made is on the top left, and it was donated to a local soup kitchen.

On Wednesday, April 9th the MSA held a unique community service event at the Interfaith center called “Sandwich Off Competition”. Two teams were set up to compete on who could make the most turkey sandwiches. All the sandwiches made is on the top left, and it was donated to a local soup kitchen.

Ali Malik has been President of MSA this past academic year. He has done an excellent job this year in the success of the organization. “For a new student at Albany, the MSA is great for meeting new people, and becoming involved in the community,” Malik said.

On the far right of the table is Malik. He is with MSA members Nurat Ayinke (left), and Aneesa Hussain (middle) during the Student Association Block Party in September, 2013.

On the far right of the table is Malik. He is with MSA members Nurat Ayinke (left), and Aneesa Hussain (middle) during the Student Association Block Party in September 2013.

Kwaesi Laguer is a transfer student, living his first year at the University at Albany on Alumni quad. Laguer has taken steps to become very involved with MSA. Laguer had no intentions of joining the MSA entering this academic year, but after attending the general mass meeting in September he was interested. This has led him to attend many events throughout the year, whether it has been social, informative or community service initiatives. Laguer has close friendships now through MSA, and he even converted to Islam.

“I found God in a place I never thought I would have, college, ” Laguer said.

Laguer is enjoying his time at the social event Chai Night, which occurred at the end of the Fall, 2013 semester.

Laguer is enjoying his time at the social event Chai Night, which occurred at the end of the Fall 2013 semester.

Living on Alumni can definitely be a struggle for new international and transfer students at the University at Albany, but it does not stop the opportunity to become involved. The University at Albany has a variety of student organizations, and new students on Alumni should definitely consider joining the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

For international students, any amount of experience with the MSA can help them in numerous ways such as their resume, meeting new people and developing friendships. For transfer students, it can begin a nice experience at a new college, and Laguer is a great example of showing how a transfer student on Alumni has become involved with MSA.

Below is video I produced, that shows many of the events that have occurred by the MSA throughout the year, and it promotes the MSA extremely well. Enjoy!

 


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Resident Assistant (RA) on Alumni Quad

A Resident Assistant (RA) is an student-staff position for the Department of Residential Life, and each housing dormitory at the University at Albany has RA’s to build community amongst residents in their section. Along with working with residents, RA’s have administrative responsibilities of being on duty, working with other student-staff members, going on rounds, and other various tasks. I am an RA on Alumni Quad, so I want to highlight through pictures and words the main responsibilities of an RA.

Below is Ricky Grimes. Grimes is a RA on Alumni Quad, and performs the tasks of the position extremely well.

RA Ricky is on duty, and answering a call from the duty phone. When an RA is on duty they must answer the phone whenever it rings. Many calls come from the Director on Duty (DOD), Quad Information Center (QIC), and the other RA's on duty.

Grimes is on duty, and answering a call from the duty phone. Every night there are three RA’s on duty. An RA on duty has to keep the duty phone with them throughout the entire time they are on duty, while answering it whenever it rings.

When RA's are scheduled to work they are "on duty". When they are on duty they get the duty phone above. The purpose of the duty phone is to receive and make calls from and to the Director on Duty (DOD), the other RA's on duty, and the Quad Information Center (QIC).

The purpose of the duty phone is to only receive and make calls from and to the Director on Duty (DOD), the other RA’s on duty, and the Quad Information Center (QIC). Above, Grimes is about to make a call.

RA's have to go on rounds at least once when they are on duty. This involves walking through all the floors, and buildings on Alumni Quad. The purpose is to make sure nothing wrong is happening, and to address any concerns that arise. Above, RA Grimes is walking through the basement of Waterbury Hall.

RA’s have to go on rounds at least once when they are on duty. This involves walking through all the floors, and buildings on Alumni Quad. The purpose is to make sure nothing wrong is happening, and to address any concerns that arise. Above, Grimes is walking through the basement of Waterbury Hall.

RA's on rounds have to occasionally post new flyers throughout each hall. Flyers are usually about upcoming events, programs, initiatives, helpful tips to students, and more. Above, RA Grimes is posting a flyer.

RA’s on rounds have to occasionally post new fliers throughout each hall. Fliers are usually about upcoming events, programs, initiatives, helpful tips to students, and more. Above, Grimes is posting a flier about a upcoming contest available to students.

RA's are not the only student-staff members for the Department of Residential Life, as their are other student staff positions. Student Assistants (SA) work in the Quad Information Center, and answer the main office phone. RA's on duty have to work with the SA, regarding any calls that are coming to the office. Calls to the office can include students being locked-out, conflicts occurring on the quad, and many more concerns. Above, is RA Grimes talking to SA Freisi Alfonseca.

RA’s are not the only student-staff members for the Department of Residential Life, as there are other student staff positions. Student Assistants (SA) work in the Quad Information Center (QIC), and answer the main office phone. RA’s on duty have to work with the SA, regarding any calls that are coming into the office. Calls into the office can include students being locked-out, conflicts occurring on the quad, and many more concerns. Above, Grimes is talking to SA Freisi Alfonseca in the Quad Information Center (QIC).


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Author Paul Grondaul: His story in words and pictures

Paul Grondahl is an award-winning journalist and author. Grondahl has been a staff writer at the Albany Times Union since 1984, where his assignments have taken him from the Arctic to Antarctica; from Northern Ireland to Africa; from New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina and Haiti after its catastrophic earthquake in 2010; and across New York State, from Ground Zero on 9/11 to the Adirondack wilderness.

Grondahl interviews bellman Claude Long on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at the Hilton Albany in Albany, N.Y. Long won the 2014 outstanding bellman of the year award sponsored by the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association.

Grondahl interviews bellman Claude Long on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at the Hilton Albany in Albany, N.Y. Long won the 2014 outstanding bellman of the year award sponsored by the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association.

Racing against the clock, Grondahl must finish his story before 2:30 p.m., so he can attend another assignment. The busy author continues to devote time to writing workshops, ranging from elementary school to college. He is also an adjunct professor in the Africana Studies Department at the University at Albany.

Racing against the clock, Grondahl must finish his story before 2:30 p.m., so he can attend another assignment. The busy author continues to devote time to writing workshops, ranging from elementary school to college. He is also an adjunct professor in the Africana Studies Department at the University at Albany.

With thousands of stories published in the Times Union, Grondahl has written in-depth newspaper projects on domestic violence, death and dying, mental illness in state prisons and the problems facing sub-Saharan Africa have won a number of local, state and national journalism awards.

With thousands of stories published in the Times Union, Grondahl has written in-depth newspaper projects on domestic violence, death and dying, mental illness in state prisons and the problems facing sub-Saharan Africa have won a number of local, state and national journalism awards.

Readers flock to the Times Union for the “These Exalted Acres” book signing by Paul Grondahl Friday afternoon, Dec. 13, 2013, in Colonie, N.Y. The book, which chronicles the history of Albany Rural Cemetery, has been an unqualified success and we’ve sold more than 1,000 copies in the first month.

Readers flock to the Times Union for the “These Exalted Acres” book signing by Paul Grondahl Friday afternoon, Dec. 13, 2013, in Colonie, N.Y. The book, which chronicles the history of Albany Rural Cemetery, has been an unqualified success and we’ve sold more than 1,000 copies in the first month.

Paul Grondahl is an award-winning journalist and author. Grondahl has ben a staff writer at the Albany Times Union since 1984, where his assignments have taken him from the Arctic to Antarctica; from Northern Ireland to Africa; from New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina and Haiti after its catastrophic earthquake in 2010; and across New York State, from Ground Zero on 9/11 to the Adirondack wilderness.


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First Project Proposal

Students living on Alumni quad often do not know about the various organization and clubs they can get involved at this school, this is especially true for many of the international and transfer students. The reason for this is that since it is the downtown campus, most international and transfer students are away from the uptown campus atmosphere. International students may find it hard to join student organizations since they are from a different country, while transfer students are in their first year at the University at Albany so being away from uptown campus can prevent them from joining student organizations.

For my first project I plan to make a news, and promotional video of the Muslim Students Association (MSA). I am an active member of MSA, and I have seen how MSA holds many events throughout the year from social events, community service opportunities, and educational programs. MSA is open to all students, and we have many diverse students attend our events, which is great to see. By showing the benefits of MSA through writing, photos, and a video; students on Alumni will be able to learn about the organization. Not only can they learn, but they will see the benefits of joining a student organization on campus such as the MSA.

In my writing, I plan to discuss the how students on Alumni can benefit from learning about Islam, and attend events from the MSA. I will discuss how joining a student organization is helpful for students, because it gives them a way to meet new people, and lead them to new opportunities.

I will talk to members of MSA, such as the President and Vice President so I can include quotes into my writing. Also, I will ask students on Alumni various questions about the MSA, and what they think of getting involved at this school. I will include those quotes as well.

I will add photo stills in between my writing of events MSA has held throughout this year, and discuss in depth each one. The explanation of the events with the photo stills, will provide information to students so they can understand the MSA.

Finally, in my video I will portray MSA in a positive way. I want to edit the video so students see that MSA is fun to join, and they will be excited to attend the events. Overall, the purpose of the video will be providing information of the organization, but edited so it engages the viewer.

Here is the link to the MSA website.

Muslim Students Association (MSA) Website

Ali Basrai