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Trevor Christian

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When Senator Olympia Snowe announced her retirement, I was disappointed, but in no way surprised. The problems that have driven her from the upper and more dysfunctional house of Congress are easy to see, and anger just about anyone who follows politics. It’s obvious why Snowe might be frustrated enough to walk away. But at the same time, her decision is infuriating. Her leaving will make the Senate’s most serious problems—brinksmanship and gridlock—that much worse. I’ll miss Senator Snowe. Her opinions on legislation were almost always more nuanced than those of her colleagues. She asked for relevant changes to bills instead of writing alternate, radically-partisan versions or demanding amendments to the constitution in exchange for passing a routine budget. Her constituents were the people of Maine, not the just the Republicans of Maine, something evidenced by the 74 percent of the vote she won in 2006. In a Senate where…

Barbara Chernow has been promoted to be the Senior Vice President for Administration, a new position created to encompass both Financial and Human Resource Services as well as the responsibilities of her old job as the Vice President of Facilities and Services. Chernow started at Stony Brook 14 years ago as a special assistant to former president Shirley Strum Kenny. In addition to her position in administration, she also serves as the president of the university’s Faculty Student Association. “It’s not a short list,” Chernow said of the departments, programs and projects she’s currently involved in at an administrative level. In both her current and former position, Chernow has played a role in overseeing the non-stop construction going on around campus. A large 3-D model of the university’s proposed Facilities Master Plan, a project Chernow has been an “integral” part of, according to a University Public Relations press release, stood…

Comedian Jeff Kreisler’s résumé reads like a best-of list for left-leaning comedy consumers. His coverage of the 2008 election included blogging for Comedy Central’s “Indecision” and ObamaGirl’s YouTube Channel. He wrote for the Upright Citizens Brigade, was executive editor of a spoof of The Wall Street Journal and penned the popular Get Rich Cheating, an attack on the practices of the financial industry. His résumé now includes a performance at Stony Brook University, though it certainly wasn’t a career highlight. Many of his jokes, especially those that pushed the envelope, fell short in front of the small crowd. Still, he often had the entire crowd laughing by poking fun at politicians. For example, he said that he hoped political parties would come to new conclusions regarding women. “Women are such a great resource. We’ve got to tap that.” The show that was held Wednesday night in the Student Activities Center…

Clubs applying for their budgets this semester will be introduced to draft budgets and Campusvine, an upgraded version of Allocate, Undergraduate Student Government Treasurer Thomas Kirnbauer announced Saturday. Because of the two changes, the budget allocation process will look significantly different this year than in years past. Kirnbauer told a Student Activities Center auditorium half-full of club officers that the new processes would give them “more of an opportunity to have [their voices] heard.” First, Kirnbauer explained, clubs will submit a spreadsheet containing a detailed account of how much money they’ll need for the next academic year and how they intend to spend it. They’ll then receive a draft budget from the treasurer’s office in mid-March. That process used to take place at the budget hearings. This year, the hearings will be used as a forum to discuss the draft budgets. “By no means is it going to be the final…

Courage Wolf, move on over. Advice Dog, step aside. Wolfie, Stony Brook’s mascot, is now by far the most popular canine-based meme on campus. SBU Memes, a Facebook fan page that was launched on Wednesday, has become an instant Stony Brook phenomenon. By the time SBU Memes had been on Facebook for a day, it had already amassed 1,000 likes. A week later, the number was just shy of 3,500. The memes are typically shared by scores of students and seen by hundreds of their friends. Jess, the creator of SBU Memes, said she was inspired by Boston University’s meme page. She asked that we not disclose her last name because she is applying for jobs. “I honestly wasn’t into memes before I made this page,” she said, adding how shocked she was that it became so popular. “I didn’t expect it to blow up that quickly at all.” This…

When should a girl start having sex? According to 35 of 100 surveyed Stony Brook males, as soon as possible. Fifty-five of them said that the best way for a woman to keep a man in a relationship would be to perform sexual acts. At “Two Can Play That Game,” a Family Feud-style game show hosted by Black Womyn’s Weekend, a women’s group on campus, and MALIK Fraternity, Inc., two teams attempted to guess what 100 Stony Brook students would have to say about dating. The answers were often surprising, funny and occasionally infuriating. The show even took a romantic turn when Pascal Messavussu, the president of MALIK, was serenaded by a sorority and presented with a gift and a valentine in front of everyone. “I feel loved,” he said, shrinking back into his chair and giggling. The purpose of the show was to expose the often differing expectations males…

Five clubs picked up a combined $5,617 in Special Services Council funding and three clubs that had their line budget statuses restored last week regained all but five percent of their original funding. Also at the meeting, five other clubs regained their line budget statuses after being defunded for not holding any events during the fall semester. They will be able to reapply for funding next week. The Meteorology Club, Animated Perspectives, and the Kumdo Club met with the USG Budget Committee this week to discuss what they needed for their budgets and the findings were presented to the Senate. “We brought them all roughly up to where they were to begin with,” said Treasurer Thomas Kirnbauer of the budgets. The Meteorology Club gained $40 after the review. Senator David Adams objected to this, saying that he was uncomfortable rewarding the clubs for not following the rules, even if it…

Even after more than a decade,  it’s difficult to know how to approach to the events of September 11th, 2001. As Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close demonstrates, many aren’t ready to see the tragedy as the backdrop to a fantasy or, for that matter, as Oscar bait. The star-studded film, based on the (far superior) novel by Jonathan Safran Foer and directed by Stephen Daldry, awkwardly switches between a talented cast at the top of their game reacting to an unexpected loss and an implausible, coincidence-driven treasure hunt plot line that wouldn’t even be satisfying in a children’s movie. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close tells the story of Oskar (Thomas Horn), a boy on a desperate search for a piece of his father (Tom Hanks), who died when the north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Believing that a key labeled “Black” that he found in his father’s closet…

By the time Undergraduate Student Government President Mark Maloof issued an executive order calling for the new financial bylaws to be placed under review, fifteen of Stony Brook’s clubs had been defunded, including the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The clubs were defunded on January 16 after being found in violation of a section of the new bylaws that states that clubs that don’t use USG funding to host at least one event during the course of a semester will lose their funding pending a senate appeal. Maloof, however, says that the idea of revising the financial bylaws had been in the works before then. “I think when you have clubs being unhappy for an entire semester that’s unacceptable,” he said. The current financial bylaws, a set of rules and regulations that dictates how Stony Brook’s more than 200 USG-recognized clubs can spend their money, were written over the…