Posts Tagged ‘Brysan Brown’

This winter break provides many opportunities to do things you have never done before. So instead of just hanging out with friends from high school, I suggest you take in the sights and landmarks of your hometown. For instance, visit your local Occupy movement. I know many of the encampments have been torn down by local authorities, but in many cities there is a small residual force screaming at the top of their lungs about being the 99 percent.

Last year I visited my old high school, with the wrong intentions. This year I am going to do a complete 180. I will visit my old stomping grounds but not on such a  happy note; this time I will really let my school administration know how little they prepared me for college. This will of course get me removed from school property by the two obese security guards that only move when they go outside to smoke cigarettes across the street from the school entrance alongside the wannabe beatniks.

As every workplace prepares their holiday party, crash the one at your parents’ office by spiking the really cheap holiday punch. Not only will you get a kick out of this but so will your parents because they would love to tell their jackass boss how much they hate him or her without the fear of their boss actually remembering it.  This way there will be no repercussions following their tirade. Whatever you do over the break, have a good time. You do not have to attend lectures or recitations and I think that is a break we all deserve.

Let Jerk know what your plans are for winter break!

-Brysan Brown

As I have been locked up in my dorm studying for final exams and writing unreasonably long papers that professors will only read half of, I have also been listening to some my favorite albums. I find that good music can help counteract writing a tedious paper or studying for a final exam. But there are certain albums that need to be listened to for certain classes and subjects.

Last semester while studying for my Human Sexuality final, I found that any Prince album helped me stay focused. I suggest either “Purple Rain” or “1999.” For history papers focusing on the 1980s, the Reagan administration and what really went down back then, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” is always a good pick.  If you can’t decipher his lyrics on your own, I’ll let you in on a secret: It is not an endorsement of Reagan. For chemistry tests, I would recommend “The Velvet Underground & Nico” because if you are studying chemistry, at some point, you’re going to need a little heroin. (Just kidding. Kids, that shit will melt your brain.)

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Syracuse is known for three things: Syracuse University, snow and the Carousel Mall. I’d choose a day of classes with the obstacle of trudging through three feet of snow on the ground any day than another trip to the mall, but let’s not go there. Last year, The Daily Beast named Syracuse the snowiest city in the country with our neighbors to the north, Rochester and Buffalo, coming in second and third, respectively. So, the biggest spectacle in Upstate New York besides watching another losing season by the Buffalo Bills is seeing your house being buried in snow.

But by living in Syracuse the past few weeks you would not even know it’s winter, let alone Christmas time; we have had temperatures reach the mid fifties. But not everyone is complaining–the walk of shame has been less rigorous and it is less dangerous to cross Comstock than it was this time last year. Unless it snows within the next few weeks, Al Gore will be seeking out every global warming skeptic within five miles of the quad saying, “Told ya so.”

The snow this time last December made me reconsider my choosing Syracuse over the University of Denver. But the snow provides Syracuse students with many opportunities, or better yet, excuses. Let’s be honest, some professors do use it as a reason to cancel classes even though they may say otherwise. And for those that live off-campus or in my case last year, Dellpain, it is justification for missing class.

-Brysan Brown

The cover of USA Today featured a story comparing the sexual abuse scandals at Penn State and Syracuse, with a picture of Jim Boeheim beneath the headline. I did not even bother to read the article. In my eyes–and in the eyes of many–there can be no comparison between the two scandals.

While Jim Boeheim definitely acted insensitively by dismissing Bernie Fine’s accusers as liars seeking money, there has been no proof that he was actually informed by anyone that may have witnessed Fine behaving inappropriately with children as was the case with Penn State and Joe Paterno.

Boehiem took a step in the right direction on Friday  by apologizing for his initial remarks about the scandal and saying, “I believe I misspoke very badly about the accusations that have been made. I regret any harm that I caused.”

As Chancellor Nancy Cantor and the university administration stand behind Boeheim, they are also defending the university’s reputation. From our knowledge, the university conducted its own investigation several years ago and today are fully cooperating with the authorities. Understandably, every SU student hopes that no university official had proof of any of the illegal activities Fine has been accused of committed. It would mean that a child has suffered and no one did anything to find that child justice. But that is one of the distinguishing factors that makes the case at Syracuse different from Penn State.

The media has every right to cover this story but should exercise caution when comparing this situation to the one at Penn State. It seems as though everyday a new event surrounding this case is unfolding. A friend of mine that goes to college in Boston recently asked me what is going on in Syracuse, and I told her everyone at SU is asking the same question.

– Brysan Brown

Photo by Mary O’Brien

For all those complaining about the lack of a winter wonderland, you’re going to miss this when it does eventually hit us.

-Brysan Brown

The recent scandal at Syracuse regarding assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine is not welcome news for students, faculty, alumni and the school administration, especially in wake of the debacle at Penn State University. These allegations are extremely serious and the actions taken by the university cannot be compared to those by officials at Penn State. It does not seem as though the accusing victims told officials about this nor does it appear as though any university officials witnessed any inappropriate behaviors by coach Fine. The police contacted the university and subsequently conducted their own investigation and found no wrongdoing on the part of the coach.

The difference between the allegations regarding Jeff Sandusky and the allegations concerning Bernie Fine is that school employees at Penn State actually saw Sandusky abusing children, did not report it to police and sought to cover up the crime. The accusations regarding Bernie Fine are extremely serious and have been taken as such by the university. Chancellor Nancy Cantor in her letter to the university is correct that the school has an obligation to ensure that the allegations are true and that Fine is not being falsely accused. Placing Fine on administrative leave does not conclude that he is guilty, but allows for his presence not to be a distraction for the university or basketball team.

The accusations, if true, would be detrimental not just for the university, but would mean that innocent children were victimized. But we do not have all the answers and should let the police conduct its investigation. It is important that the university fully cooperates even if the investigation sheds a harsh light on the university.

Do you think the university is handling the scandal properly?

-Brysan Brown

Congrats to Dylan Lustig and Taylor Carr for running two great campaigns. Dylan Lusig won the election, and it was hard not to know that he was running for the presidency of Student Association. While reaching for a napkin at Ernie Davis last month, I saw Lustig’s face on the side of the napkin dispenser and my newsfeed on Facebook has been flooded with reminders to vote for him.

His campaign did bring a lot of attention to Student Association, but after attending a SA meeting last week, I was left disappointed by our school’s student governing body. Last Monday, the association debated for nearly 45 minutes about allowing a student cultural society to hold an event entirely in Mandarin. SA has even denied JERK its funding because of a human error concerning scheduling.

Neal Casey, the current Student association president seems to be in love with his gavel, having banged it several times when he was not happy about the direction the debate was going. At one point I turned to a person sitting next to me and said, “This is intense, man.”

This is only one meeting that I attended and cannot say that this is how all the group’s meetings take place, but it was disappointing to see the high school style atmosphere. In my interview with Dylan Lustig last month he said there was not much interaction between the group and the student body and one can see why. I hope Lustig accomplishes all of his goals and brings the changes he wants to SA, but I will not call him “Mr. President.”

-Brysan Brown

Just this past Friday I attended an alumni panel for my major. While I was encouraged that my major was making an effort to allow me to meet people that have gone through the same academic process that I am going through now, I was left slightly disappointed.

The alumni panel consisted of three participants, one who is currently a grad student in Newhouse, a young man now working in the ITS Department here at Syracuse University and an author who graduated from Syracuse in 1985 that has published books on eating disorders and has appeared on CNN and NBC’s “Today Show.” I felt that only the alumnus that graduated from SU 20 plus years ago could really offer me information on what it’s  like to work outside of Syracuse. I often speak to upperclassmen about life here at SU and pick their brains on a variety of subjects, but I do not seek their advice on careers unless they have substantial experience outside of the university.

This alumni panel reminded me a lot of freshman orientation. While freshman orientation prepares us for life at SU, such as trudging through the snow, not walking into Thornden Park past sunset and not walking up the steps to get into Carnegie, I do not wish to obtain that information at a career panel of alumni. At this point in my education when graduation is not all that far away, I want advice on how to network, obtain internships and what classes within my major will be beneficial to my career. I did gain some of that information from that event but from only one person out of the three. My advice to Orange Central: Stop
collaborating with the orientation committee.

-Brysan Brown

I will safely assume that no one has lived under a rock the last few days and has at least heard about the scandal in Penn State, if not been following it closely. Whether one agrees on whether Joe Paterno or “JoePa,” as Penn State students like to call him, should have been fired or not, you should agree that he and the other employees of Penn State should have reported the sexual abuse against children to the authorities immediately after the crime was witnessed.

As I hear each new development in this case, I  cringe.  What happened to those children was and will always be a disgrace. Penn State has a lot of damage control to do, but the violence and destruction that took place in University Park following Paterno’s firing only adds another black eye to the university. I do not know if I agree with the argument by many that the way Paterno was fired was disrespectful, but I can understand it.

However, I find it disturbing that many Penn State students who actually agreed with the firing of Paterno were too afraid to voice their opinions. And who can blame them when their peers were turning over news vans and smashing car windows? The destruction that occurred and the damage that was done does nothing to help Joe Paterno, Penn State and, more importantly, the dozens of victims of the suspect Jeff Sandusky.

On Friday night, Penn State students took a huge step in the right direction when an estimated ten thousand students came out for a candlelight vigil held not only for those victimized in this particular case, but for all victims of sexual abuse worldwide.

-Brysan Brown

If you’re looking for a different perspective on the humorous side of American politics, you have to visit the video blog Red State Update. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s take on American politics is funny, but these two self-proclaimed rednecks give a beneath the Mason-Dixon line view on politics.

The featured commentators on the blog are Jonathan Shockley and Travis Harmon and their patriotic themed video blog takes on the political issues of the day. Surrounded by Budweiser and Jim Bean, they hilariously perpetuate negative stereotypes of southern whites. The closed-minded senior Jackie Boyles, played by Travis Harmon, is placed next to the young Dunlap, played by Jonathan Shockley, who dons a Lynyrd Skynyrd cap and either an American flag t-shirt or sweater. Their comedy pokes fun at the Republican Party, presidential politics, Obama and practically anything in the political arena.

I suggest anyone trying to gain knowledge on American politics visit this blog instead of MSNBC, CNN or FOX. This blog consciously analyzes the American political climate in ways that none of the major cable news networks do. It is a fair and balanced form of media (I know you’ve heard that before, but it really is). You would think that these two would only take aim at Obama or liberals but hearing these guys go on about Mitt Romeny’s books or Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is beyond hysterical.

This is not another spin on Blue Collar TV, it is more of a countrified version of Meet the Press minus the Congressmen, modern graphics and roundtable.

-Brysan Brown