Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa Gnarlz, please come to Durham!

If only UNH's problems could be solved with an extra big Santa bag...

For President Huddleston:
A couple money trees to plant around campus. As a bonus, they produce more money when drunk students pee on them! Take that Concord, you're budget cuts mean nothing now!

For Hockey coach Dick Umile:
Team defense: A team that plays both ways for three full periods! I'm sorry, but they have let up way too many easy goals and it's not all on the goalies. I love the team, but they need something to change going into the second half of the season.

For football coach Sean McDonnell:
Wider field goal posts! (Too soon/harsh?) Okay, okay, how about that new stadium they drew plans for years ago?
For the Whittemore Center:

Earmuffs! What you don't hear, won't hurt you.

For Dean of the Business School Dan Innis:
Acela Train tickets! No more slumming it like the rest of us! (Probably one person gets this...)

For the new business school:
The indoor waterfall from Trump Plaza. You only deserve the best! 

For Hamilton-Smith and Nesmith Hall:
Even Santa doesn't care about you.

Basketball coach Bill Herrion:
Okay, maybe not the Ray Allen, but someone who can hit a free throw now and again would be nice.

For the dining halls:
Salt shakers on every table! Imagine the possibilities!

For ATO brothers:
Also a hammer and nails. Maybe they can borrow some duct tape from Ham-Smith too...

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and have a great New Years,
from The New Hampshirite. Stay classy, not UMassy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Foster's: Does UNH Have a Drinking Problem? Me: No

DURHAM — Beat the clock, kick the keg, knotty trivia, wheel o'deals. If you're a UNH student over 21, your Facebook inbox has probably seen these messages from the four bars on Main Street, advertising daily drinking specials that sound more like games. While the catchy titles and low drink prices do their job in attracting customers, some, such as Durham Police Chief Dave Kurz, are concerned that students are drinking more than ever. "Three years ago, the drink special at every bar was three dollars, for a beer or a well drink," said Ryan Wambolt, owner of The Knot Irish Pub... Wambolt has owned The Knot for the last six years and said that the daily drink specials are a recent trend... Joanne Stella, Legal Services Attorney at UNH, acknowledged a recent trend of hard alcohol consumption, calling it dangerous. In the past, she said the university has seen similar cycles with other risky "fads" such as students at fraternities purposely drinking to the point of throwing up... Kurz has a sense that students' interest in getting "hammered" is becoming the norm over more casual drinking, and the students he speaks with seem to share his opinion. "When I say this to students, I can see nods in agreement as if they have the same understanding," Kurz said in an email. "Routinely we encounter highly intoxicated folks, but the incidents seem higher than past years. More calls for ambulances for 'ETOH,' the code for alcohol poisoning, only serve to affirm my hunch." "I agree," said UNH Police Chief Paul Dean. "We are seeing more intoxicated people and more use of prescription drug abuse with alcohol. They are all good people who are making poor choices." "The difference now is that everyone is getting drunk earlier," Wambolt said. "All the bar specials pretty much end at 11 [p.m.], so people are milling around Main Street because it's too early to go home."

A few days ago, Fosters ran this article (click the link for the entire, uncut piece) and I just wanted to post some of my reactions to it. First of all, no, UNH does not have a drinking problem, it's just a college town in New Hampshire. I don't have any hard facts in front of me, but I would like to offer a few opinions to this piece. First of all, this article only speaks of the bar scene in Durham. Not too long ago, but before our seniors were enrolled, UNH was considered one of the top party schools in the country. Then, with a combined effort of the UNH administration, housing, residential life, and the UNH and Durham PD, UNH parties became less and less of a problem for the authorities. Now, there are still awesome parties any given Thursday through Saturday night at UNH, but it is not what it used to be. Around the same time UNH began cracking down on parties (about 6 years ago) the bar scene started offering more specials and the 21+ crowds began flocking downtown on party nights. The bars are open until 1AM and it's completely legal partying. Scorps and Libby's have dance floors and you don't have to worry about "accidentally" hooking up with a freshman. Sure, the bar crowds are on the rise, but the party scene is on the decline.

Secondly, this is not a problem limited to UNH. I read my dad part of the article and he cut me off saying, "UNH doesn't have a drinking problem. College has a drinking problem." He's right. I may not call it a problem, but this isn't some significant event only occurring at UNH, but at universities across the country. Heck, I believe the University of Wisconsin has something like two bars in it's student center. What do you think kids do at colleges in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest? At least we have the beaches, mountains and lakes nearby and some decent off campus places like downtown Portsmouth and even Boston isn't too far away.

Also, I wouldn't call "hard alcohol" a fad. Personally, I buy hard alcohol because $20 of it lasts much longer than $20 worth of beer. And I like whiskey. On that topic, if fraternities were "purposely drinking until the point of throwing up," I believe that is called hazing because no one in their right mind would actually want to do that. That is not a cool, hip "fad" that is the upperclassmen being pricks to the pledges.

Another thing that strikes me as odd is that the bar owners and police admit to having to call more ambulances for alcohol poisoning than in years past. But with an increased bar population, wouldn't that be expected? The more people you have drinking, the greater chance that someone will need help. I have no idea if these two numbers are proportional or not, but it does at least raise the question. Also, I think people have become more aware of the dangers of alcohol as of late and are more likely to call for help, especially in a public area, as opposed to the privacy of your dorm, house or apartment. Calling an ambulance isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if it really is needed. Many people get away with puking all night and passing out in the bathroom, but many of those occasions would also be suitable for an ambulance ride.

In short, I don't think that UNH has a new drinking problem. For decades binge drinking has been commonplace at colleges, but it is just becoming more visible. Honestly, things have probably settled down in recent years, but the crowds are moving from apartments to the bars downtown where there is more supervision (in the form of police, bouncers and bartenders) to crack down.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Finals Countdown

Well UNH, we have made it to yet another finals week. This is my second to last time I'll be taking finals as an undergrad and from what I can remember it might be the only time I've had a final in all of my classes. Although, two those are papers so I only have two exams.

It has been one hell of a semester. Late night drinks and late night research sessions is probably the best way to describe it for me. Stumbling home from the bars and stumbling home from Dimond Library... although I did most of my research in the comfort of my room. Got to love the online data bases. EBSCO and JStor (among dozens of others): the ultimate tools for lazy students.

I can honestly say this has probably been the fastest semester of my UNH career and I'll admit the blog was lacking at times. I had a hard time staying on top of all things UNH and for once it took a back seat to my work load. That being said, I think it was a decent semester of blog posts and columns and I look forward to rejuvenating the blog after break. I have a few surprises in store and others in the works, one of which is sure to shock campus. Muhahaha.

But for now, good luck on your finals, study hard and have a great break. I'll see you in January. As usual I will try to post at least once a week during break, so don't be a stranger.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shamless Plug: Project UNH Hoops takes a step forward

Remember the other day how I pleaded for more students to support the basketball team? Yeah, I wasn't kidding. I actually ended up being interviewed by "Unranked America East" the best (and only?) fan blog dedicated to America East Basketball. I've been following their blog for a few weeks now and they do a great job. Check out my interview and their site regularly for all the America East Basketball info you need.

And yes, that video has nothing to do with UNH or America East and I absolutely hate Ohio State, but I was a big fan of the "Club Trillion" blog when Titus was still in college. Basically he was a walk on who never played and he wrote a hilarious blog.

BU's New Theme Song

So if you haven't heard by now, a few days ago a BU professor was busted for running a meth lab. Real life Breaking Bad shit right here. UNH hockey takes on BU in this year's Blue Out game at the Whit tonight, so I'm expected a few one liners and signs about meth. You know, because we're classy like that.

UNH is desperate for a win right now. The team has obviously struggled this year and they really need some momentum to build off heading into winter break. BU has had our number this year so a win would be huge. It's a Thursday so start you're thirstiness early and I'll see you at the bars after the game. Hopefully drinking in celebration and not in misery.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reflecting on my column

So my column yesterday seemed to have stirred up some mixed reactions among readers. I was expecting that and I do enjoy when people critique my stuff because that makes me a better writer and thinker than a simple "I agree" or "you're stupid." That being said, I am not happy with how the piece turned out. I'm not one to make excuses, but I had written an entirely different piece and scrapped it about an hour before my deadline and wrote a new one. I meant what I said, but I don't think I said it in the right way. Honestly, it was probably irresponsible of me to rush a column like that, but what's done is done.

Looking back I should have saved it for another time so I could have spent more time working with the idea and specific wordings. When I first wrote it I really liked it, but after submitting it I began having some regrets because I knew what type of criticism was going to come and it wasn't the point I wanted to make.

I want to be clear: I do not hate college. I love my education, I love the education that UNH has provided me with and I am forever thankful for the things I have learned here. I am not taking this experience for granted. For example, next semester is my final one and I could take any four classes I want to graduate, I just need the credit. I'm not doing that though, I'm taking two high level courses within my major and only one other that is considered an easy A. I'm doing that because I am truly interested in my major and I want to learn as much as I can while I'm here. I'll be looking at my grad school options over winter break because I want to learn more.

The idea I had about much of college being "bullshit" was more about the way people, including myself at times, treat it. I was using my past choices as an example. I've made some poor choices, but I've also maintained a 3.4 GPA. Nothing really to brag about, but it could be a lot worse. One commenter said it right: "you get out what you put in." At times I've done that, I pushed myself really hard and I know I've written great papers. One of the proudest moments was my sophomore year when a professor approached me outside of class to tell me how much she enjoyed my paper. I am very proud of my colloquium I am currently writing. But at other times, I've done the minimum to get by, BS my way through low level courses to get the A- or B+. I'm sure most of you have done the same. Not all, but most.

The main point I wanted to make was that college is more than just the facts. It's learning how to apply them, learning how to think. I ended the column with "Use your mind – it can be a beautiful thing if you know how." That was my way of saying "you get out what you put it." Use your mind to go beyond the facts, see the bigger picture, analyze the situation and make connections. To me, that is the most important thing I've learned at UNH. It probably is major specific, but I think most people can say college has taught them to think differently. I'm sorry for the confusion and I hope this made things more clear.

As always, thanks for your comments, I get something out of all of them.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's my degree for again?

In a couple of months, I'll be sitting at my college graduation commencement with my graduating class.

We'll be sitting out on Memorial Field listening to someone talk about how it is our turn to make a difference in this world. They'll say something like "sure the economy isn't great right now, but you can still be successful. Be the change that you want. Make the world a better place."

A few months after that, I'll receive my degree in the mail and it will say "History." But what it should say is "bullsh*t."

One of my favorite musicians is the witty singer-songwriter Todd Snider. In his song "Statistician's Blues" he sings, "Seventy-four percent of what you learn in college is a bunch of bullsh*t you'll never need." I used to think that was the case more about high school, but sitting where I am today, I'd say Mr. Snider hit the nail on the head. And he didn't even have to go to college to know that.

I'll admit I've spent some nights at the bar when I should have been in Dimond Library doing work, but I also know I've spent many nights in the library when I should have just gone to the bar. Is it a lack of motivation? Probably. But at the same time I can get away with it, and it's not because I am particularly smart either.

A few weeks ago one of my professors went on a brief rant about the education system today. He's been around for a while and has experienced it from many different sides.

He quipped that the content of courses and the expectations and quality of work done by students and even professors has worsened over the years. A couple classes later, I handed in a 10-page rough draft of a research paper to him. When we sat down to discuss it, he said that I'm doing really well with it and he could tell I put a lot of time into the research and writing process. He even used my draft as an example to the class. I wrote the entire thing and did most of the research the day before I turned it in. Pot, kettle, black.

If the education system really isn't what it used to be, who is to blame and how can it be improved? I don't really know, but I do know this: here at UNH (and probably at the majority of public schools in the country) it definitely relates with the school's budget. When schools are short on money, big, broad lectures become more common because those classes are cheaper and easier to run. This is exactly what President Huddleston complained about to Concord when the budget cuts were being discussed last year. Experienced professors are pressured into early retirement and lecturers who haven't become professors yet and who are much cheaper replace them. President Huddleston makes about 10 times more a year than the lowest salaried lecturers at UNH.

In May of 1970, three well-known protestors from Chicago appeared at UNH. The most famous among them was Abbie Hoffman.

It was the day after the Kent State shootings, and the three men were originally scheduled to speak on the Vietnam War, but when the school's board of trustees tried to shut it down in fear of possible riots, their speeches became more focused on the freedom of speech and the university system.

One of Hoffman's partners, Jerry Rubin, stole the show.

He shouts "school is just an advanced form of toilet training! That's what school is! And taking an examination is just like taking a shit! That's what it's like! You know you gather it all in and gather it all in and you wait for the right moment when your fucking professor tells ya 'this is the moment' and then the moment comes along, you been conditioned and then you let it pour out, you just flush the toilet. All the shit comes out and boom it's over and you feel so good afterwards! It's got nothing to do with education."

I think he had a pretty valid point.

After the rally, UNH went on strike, the last two weeks of classes became voluntary workshops and finals were cancelled. UNH denies the strike ever happened.

I think it is important to really examine everything you have learned in college and think about what is really important. You can know all the names and dates and formulas you want, but if you can't actually learn from them and apply them to life and critical thinking, then it doesn't matter at all.

The most important thing I've learned at UNH is how to think. I've learned to pay attention to the things around me – the news, politics and life in general. Names, dates and formulas are for the textbooks Google. Use your mind – it can be a beautiful thing if you know how.

Stay classy, not UMassy

Monday, December 5, 2011

NEWD Films "BIRDIES" Premeir

The NEWD Films crew (White & Ghetto, V-Card) have a new 30 minute short that will be showing in the MUB Theater II tomorrow (Tuesday the 6th) night at 8PM. Their clips are always good for a few laughs and this one shouldn't disappoint. I'm expecting it to be entertaining like all their stuff and it's good to support some local and UNH alums. Many scenes take place right here on campus. Who knows, maybe you'll get some BGP (back ground props. Oh high school skateboard lingo...)

Anyway, here is the trailer and check it out if you think you might be interested. They describe the film as a slacker comedy that follows three groups of friends on their quest for love on the final Saturday of spring semester.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Project Basketball: UNH Hoops

Alright I'm gonna be quick here. UNH basketball is nearly nonexistent and our fan base is even scarcer. But Wildcat Army is looking to change all of that. The team has made some major improvements over the last few seasons and is a dark horse in America East this year. All it takes is getting hot late in the season, winning the American East tournament and our Wildcats could be facing Ohio State or UConn on CBS come March. This year's team is as talented as a team as Durham (New Hampshire that is) has seen in some time, if not ever. Ferg Myrick and Alvin Abreu are both coming off injury shortened seasons and they are trying to prove that they are back and healthy. Chandler Rhoads has greatly improved during his career and Brian Benson is a rebounding machine. "Springy" is an understatement. The kid has ups. Period. Transfer Patrick Konan can bang the boards and shoot the long ball and Jordan Bronner has great ball skills. If America East isn't ready, this team could really surprise some people.

Because of that Wildcat Army is preparing to attend as many home game as possible to ignite a new fan base for the team. Lundholm is tiny, as a New Hampshire native I've seen high school crowds make the place rock, so we should be able too. What do you say?

Be there tonight at 7 to see the team take on instate rival Dartmouth. I know it's last minute, but what else are you gonna do? It's a Wednesday for crying out loud. Hopefully we'll see you there.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Senior Gift Ideas

Monday morning the new UNH Twitter account, @UofNH, submitted the following tweet: "Attn #UNH Seniors! What would you like to leave as your Senior Gift? Let us know your ideas! Please use hashtag #UNHSeniorGift." UNH Class of 2012, this is our chance to leave our mark on this fine institution.

For the past four years, or more for the super and super, super seniors, UNH has provided us with an education to be successful in this devastating and depressing economy. Or at least they have convinced us that we can find jobs out there.

Personally, I'm not so sure. But hey, that's what graduate school is for, right? Delaying the inevitable for another couple years – or however long it takes. There's always mom and dad's basement and managerial positions at McDonalds. How do you say "would you like fries with that" in Spanish?

Anyway, back on topic: The 2012 UNH senior gift. Personally, I don't want to be remembered for a little granite bench or simply contributing to the new Peter T. Paul business school.

I'm a dreamer and I want our gift to be something that we can be proud of, that our state can be proud of and that the university can be proud of. Of course, that might be tough. The state obviously isn't very proud of us at all – I mean, they already cut our funding in half, and I'm willing to bet that the largest newspaper in the state has never written a positive article on UNH.

So what are the major things that UNH is known for? Well, if you read the papers we're known for being a party school, buying lots of beer, having high arrest numbers, disruptive concert crowds, not getting along well with the town of Durham, having poor diversity and race relations, a Greek system that loses a charter seemingly every week, and we have a pretty decent hockey team.

Out of all of those things that UNH is known for, our hockey team and particularly the state-of-the-art Whittemore Center, which is one of the very few Olympic sized rinks in the country, is something to truly be proud of. However, for the Whitt to be truly labeled "state-of-the-art" I believe that it is missing one key feature: a video replay scoreboard. I mean even the decrepit old Alfond Arena up in Orono, Maine, has a video board. Think of how much easier it will be to harass our favorite referees like the Hanson brothers when we have video evidence on our side.
Listen, the orange light bright scoreboard is unique to the Whitt, but it just doesn't do a good enough job. Sure the stick figures are entertaining, but player pictures are basically undecipherable and its technology sophistication is that of a 5-year-old's play toy.

You're probably thinking to yourself, how would this benefit the university as a whole? Well, let me put it this way: what other aspect of UNH draws more attention? The hockey program is nationally known, regularly sells out home games, makes TV appearances, and draws students from across the country as well as internationally. And while a video board may be expensive, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a new football stadium. A replay board could also serve as a visual component to concerts, trade shows and other events held at the Whittemore Center.

If you're not yet sold on the idea of a video replay board there are many other options for the class of 2012's senior gift. This is our chance to come together and give something back to the community for a change. Another common idea could be setting up a scholarship fund for future students from tough economic backgrounds – in this economy and with rising tuition costs, cases like that will only become more likely. Other ideas could be murals, memorials, database subscriptions, specific renovations, and sustainability upgrades such as solar panels.

Bike racks and benches have been done numerous times – lets leave a gift unique to UNH and unique to the class of 2012.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Boarding for Boobies!

On Saturday December 3rd there will be a Boarding for Breast Cancer snowboard and ski rail jam on Boulder Field from 4 to 8pm. There will be artificial snow and a handful of different rails and boxes set up and prizes for the winners. It is sponsered by several different board shops and dozens of students have already registered to compete. It is $5 for students and $10 for non-students to compete. Check out their Facebook Event page for all the details.

It is open to all levels of ability, but you should probably be better than my friend:

See you there and I hope to see some people throwing down. I don't think I'll be competing, but I'll definitely stop by to watch and maybe snag a few pictures or videos to throw up on the blog.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Behavior not Unique to UNH

For the past several weeks, the UNH campus had been buzzing with anticipation for the Avicii concert, which finally took place this past Saturday. As expected, many UNH students and other concert attendees were "hydrated" as Tom Brady might put it, but it is important to note that behavior like this is not unique to the UNH campus.

UNH police announced that 34 arrests were made at the concert. Many of the arrests were related to drugs and alcohol, which should be expected not because this is UNH, but because it was A) a concert and B) it was located at a college campus. It is also important to note that due to New Hampshire's internal possession law, arrest numbers are often higher than at schools located in other states. For example, when SCOPE brought rapper Wiz Khalifa to UNH last year, there were 48 arrests made on campus that night, as opposed to only two at the same show the night before at the University of Rhode Island.

These statistics are misleading. While one may argue that they show UNH has more disruptive and out of control students, the statistics actually reflect more on New Hampshire's strict alcohol consumption laws. An internal possession violation in New Hampshire will result in an arrest, while it would only result in a citation in other states.

This misleading stat is similar to the "study" done by The Daily Beast last year that ranked UNH as the "Druggiest School in the Country." The Daily Beast used the number of arrests related to drugs as their major statistic. High arrest numbers can also be attributed to UNH's zero tolerance policy and New Hampshire's drug laws. For example, possession of certain amounts of marijuana in Massachusetts or Vermont will only result in a citation, while any amount results in an arrest in New Hampshire.

While that means UNH has more arrests for marijuana than other schools, it does not mean that UNH students are using drugs more than others. UNH students simply get in more trouble for it.

If that study were to be done accurately, it would need to include citations issued for drug use along with the arrest numbers. In a way, it is kind of amusing because UNH is only being labeled as a top drug school because our policy is so strict. It is also important to note that the arrest numbers do not separate UNH students from non-students. Many of the biggest party weekends at UNH, including Homecoming, Halloween and Spring Climax, are also the biggest weekends for non-UNH students to come to our campus.

In fact, if you compare the statistics provided by The Daily Beast with statistics from UNH Health Services, UNH students actually use marijuana at a lower rate than the statewide average for 18-25 year olds. The Daily Beast listed New Hampshire's statewide average as 29.21 percent for the month prior to the survey and 41.54 percent for the year prior. Last year, UNH Health Services said that only 27 percent of UNH students admitted to using marijuana on the Housing surveys.

You are probably wondering by now why I am bringing all of this up. I feel that whenever stories break about UNH and illegal activities, it only dampens our school's reputation.

Following the announcement that 34 people were arrested (Update: of which only 14 were UNH students) at the Avicii concert, many local papers, including Foster's Daily Democrat, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Nashua Telegraph, and even ran brief stories. (Then again, has the Union Leader ever written anything positive about UNH?) Many of these write-ups also mentioned the fire at the salt shed as if there is evidence that the two were connected. While this is possible, it seems highly unlikely because the fire was called in at 7:30 p.m., when the concert was already underway.

When large concerts and events come to college campuses you should expect students and non-students to be arrested for drugs and alcohol – those come with the territory. However, we should not allow the few people who went too far, who may or may not even be UNH students, to hurt the reputation of this campus. UNH is already known as a party school, but once you attend it, you realize that it really isn't any different than most schools, especially public state schools for that matter.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fire on Campus

Yikes, I have been really crapping out on the blog lately. I just had a super busy couple of weeks so I haven't had time to pay attention to all things UNH. I have a few posts lined up, but will return to regular blogging after Thanksgiving break.

A few notes: Last night as I was on the way back from the bars I was walking through A-lot. I passed by some kid passing out on top of his (or someone's) car. I tried helping him out and told him to at least crash in the back seat, but he wouldn't listen and reassured me he was okay. A few minutes later I turned around and am about 95% sure there was a cop there, most likely arresting him. Oh well, I tried.

As you may have heard by now, there was a fire last night at the salt shed behind the SERCs. It is actually being investigated as a possible arson. Here is a picture someone sent me taken from one of the SERC buildings:

Looks like it was actually pretty big, but it was contained and under control pretty quickly. 

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is this real life?

Seriously? What happened to the water bottles in the back of the school bus? Things were so much simpler in my days...
(In reference to the bit starting just after 1 minute)

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Battling Senioritis

As finals week rapidly approaches here at UNH, seniors are facing one of the greatest challenges of our college careers: the dreaded senioritis. It is an infectious disease that spreads rapidly among roommates, friends, neighbors, and classmates, debilitating one's academic motivation and promoting one's ability to procrastinate or ultimately skip assignments. Bar hopping replaces studying as legitimate weeknight activities and our beds become more comfortable every morning.

I had a brief scare last week as some symptoms began to emerge. Luckily I was able to identify them and have made a quick recovery. I realized that skipping class to get caught up on Dexter and putting papers off until hours before their deadline is not sustainable or healthy.

I feel that senioritis hit me harder and much earlier than four years ago when I was finishing up high school. I began to wonder why, and soon the answer became very clear.

Four years ago the high school senioritis bug did not infect me at all, but here I am in November and it is already showing signs. When I was preparing to graduate high school things were looking up. There was a strong feeling that Obama would take the presidency later that year and it seemed to invigorate the young people of America.

Playing baseball in the spring forced me to keep my grades up, not that it was ever a concern of mine in high school, and I was also looking forward to the new personal freedoms of college. But here we are four years later and for the first time in my life I'm not exactly the happy-go-lucky optimistic character my peers know me to be.

Obama has not quite lived up to the expectations of my generation. At the same time the Republican candidates scare me more than when I stayed up to watch Stephen King's "IT" in elementary school. I couldn't sleep for a week. Let's face it whether you are a liberal or a conservative, the man who many consider the top GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, hasn't even been the true "favorite" yet, and one of his main competitors, Herman Cain, was the CEO a pizza company and has absolutely no idea how to handle foreign policy. Then there's Rick Perry. He is incompetent, can't finish a thought (let alone a sentence) and, well uh something else I can't think of right now. Oops.

The economy is not doing well, the biggest movement in years is taking place on Wall Street and across the country in response to economic inequality and here I am months away from entering the work force. Why would anyone want to graduate right now? It is like an unconscious subliminal message telling us to stay here as long as we can. This year's senioritis is not caused by carefree attitudes, but because there may very well be nothing out there for us once we receive our diplomas.

But attitudes like that are not healthy. The generation I grew up with has been through some good and hard times like any other American generation. We grew up with constant wars in the Middle East, the biggest attack on American soil in history and now the crisis in the jobs market. But we have also been privileged to live in a time and place where we have the ability to make things better. It can be hard and a long process, but it can be done. The future of our country relies on the new generations entering the work force. We are now about to become responsible for things like improving the American economy and promoting human rights around the world. Will it be easy? Not at all. Can it be done? Definitely yes.

Ask anyone from the generations before us if 50 years ago they thought there would be an African-American President. Do not forget that the Civil Rights movement was only 40 to 50 years ago, which is not a very long time. The people of that generation made sacrifices for our generation. Now it is up to us to do the same thing.

Let the prospect of creating a better country, a better world for that matter, be your motivation to finish out the year strong. But remember, we are still in college. We can't do or fix everything already. Our time will come and when we receive our diplomas we have a chance to do great things. Oh, wait, my diploma is going to say "History." Oh crap.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Welcome to College Moment

It was mid-October of my freshmen year and my college career wasn't even two months old, but I thought I had a pretty good idea of how things worked on campus.

The Red Sox were in the middle of a playoff series with Tampa Bay (remember those days, Red Sox making the playoffs?) and it was a Thursday night at UNH. It may have been over three years ago, but I remember all the details so well. The Red Sox, trailing 7-0 in the eighth inning, would come back to win 8-7.

This turn of events called for celebration shots of cheap vodka chased by Diet Coke. I still cringe at the thought of the taste.

I was with my roommate and another friend from high school. "Let's go for a walk," one of us suggested. "Find a party or at least hit up DHOP." Ah, those were the days, thinking that we could just show up at a party or rely on entertainment by drunker kids downtown.

We threw the half-empty handle of vodka into my roommate's backpack and took off to see what we could find. I want to note, most of the vodka had been consumed on previous occasions; we had barely had a drink each before we left. But the smell of vodka lingered on our breath.

After a loop around campus we began to head back for Williamson. We had given up on finding a place to party, but we didn't really care. We took a shortcut, walking down a path near Stillings Dining Hall, one of the paved trails through the woods. We didn't even notice the cop approaching until he was right in front of us.

"You boys mind if I talk to you for a minute?" My heart sank, paranoia struck in. "Does he know I drank tonight? Can he smell my breath? I am going to end up on that busted at UNH SCAN-TV show?"
His flashlight shined brightly into our eyes and then the questioning set in. "Students like to drink beer in the woods here, is that what you're up to?" For what seemed like an eternity, but was probably more like 10 minutes he grilled us. He wanted to look in my friend's bag where the half-empty handle of vodka was hidden.

He accused my other friend's keychain of being a bowl and wanted to know if we had "dope" on us. The questions seemed never-ending, he said our eyes looked glossy and could smell beer on us. Clearly it became apparent that he was grasping for anything to nail us on. I could taste blood from biting the inside of my lip. I wondered if the cop noticed that.

He then said, "Just tell me what you were doing and I'll let you go. I just want to know." This was clearly a trick, but we held our ground. Eventually, he let us go, but warned that he "wouldn't be so easy on us next time."

Luckily for me there never has been a "next time," but I know for a fact dozens of other students may not have walked away from that incident.

The cop relentlessly tried to trick us into admitting things we did and did not do. He said he "knew what we did and lying would only make it worse," even going so far as to say that we wouldn't get in trouble if we came clean. That was his way of saying, "I have no proof of any wrong doings, let's see if I can trick these freshmen into a possibly false admission."

This makes me wonder, what are the cop's true priorities on campus and how many arrests are made with illegal tactics because students don't know their rights? It is not so much as getting away with a crime as knowing your rights defined by the Constitution. He tried to illegally search a bag, trick us into admitting things we didn't do and confuse us with the way he worded his questions.

The last thing you want is your name showing up in a police log when it could have been prevented. Obviously, the easiest way to prevent that is to not drink. But in reality, college students are going to drink, there is no denying that. It is a part of the college culture. If you do frequent parties or drink underage, be safe and smart about it, but most importantly learn your rights.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

ATO Busted... again...

For the second time in a couple months the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at UNH has been busted. Shortly after receiving a 5 year ban they are in hot water again after 11 members were arrested for drug related charges that came from a search following an alleged sexual assault case. The house has also been ruled to unsafe to live in after fire violations, health code violations and life safety violations were found. Talk about a rough stretch for UNH fraternities, huh? This is way beyond double secret probation.

When I first came to UNH I heard about all the Greek life stereotypes, sayings or one liners. These aren't mine and I'm not saying they are true, but I learned them early and I'm sure most of you have heard them too. There was "A-Chi-Hoe," "Kattle Delta", "It always snows at ATO" and of course how Zeta was known for roofies. The articles I read only mentioned marijuana and prescription drugs (and others sent to labs to be tested) being found at ATO, so no word yet if "snow" was found.

I can't say this comes as a surprise at all, but hopefully this is the end of major busts at UNH. We don't exactly have the best reputation when it comes to this sort of stuff and our Greek life system doesn't look to good right now. Believe it or not, but having a strong Greek life is important to big universities. For a lot of the crap we hear about, they do get a lot of fundraising and volunteer work done (not to undermine other student orgs that do those things without all the "extracurricular" activities.)

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Videos For the Weekend

One a.m. quiet hours in the Gables and Woodsides again? Check.

Secured hockey tickets from a secret source (cough UNH player cough)? Check.

Lastly, in the latest Main Street Magazine @PrezHuddleston claimed he has as much influence as me without ever having to write more than two sentences. I like @PrezHuddleston, I like his style and I like his messages. But let's be serious for a second: Coming up with the term "Hallowcoming" or being responsible for restoring apartment quiet hours? I'm not trying to start anything, just stating facts. 

I plan on beating the quiet hours thing to death. It is my greatest accomplishment since I've been at UNH. National History Honors Society? Pah, that's nothing compared to this.

Have a great weekend. It's homecoming part II. See you at the hockey games, bars, tailgate, football game and parties. And if you find yourself at the Gables or Woodsides raging past midnight, you're welcome. I did it all for you.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Well that was actually pretty easy

I didn't even need to make a petition! Effective tonight the Gables and Woodsides quiet hours will be restored to 11PM Sunday-Thursday and 1AM Friday and Saturday. You're welcome UNH. You see what just a little effort can accomplish? Words can't describe how happy am about this. By far the most satisfying thing this blog has ever done. Who's ready to party like it's 2010? I'll gladly except all thank you gifts in alcohol form. Just taking over UNH one step at a time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Music Options Aren't Limited to UNH Orgs

Do you go to UNH? Do you like music? Do you not like Two Door Cinema Club or don't want to pay $45 for Avicii tickets? Well I have a few ideas for you to help with your music monkey.

There is one option that I really don't care about, but have been contacted by many people involved, including one of my syndicates so I'll give it quick shout out. On November 11th Scorps is hosting a few rappers including Timeflies whose album reached #11 on iTunes. Tickets are $20 and available here, but if you register with SumoSkinny and enter the campus code: gp_unh you are entered to win two free tickets. Since it is at Scorp's it is 21+, but they will have $2 drinks all night. To be clear, I'm not endorsing the show (it's called "Swagfest", I'm sorry but that's not my style...) but seeing as it is a UNH music event and I know a lot of student are into this stuff I feel obligated to at least mention it.

However, there is something I will definitely endorse. Last night I went to Bluegrass Tuesday at the Stone Church in Newmarket and I had a blast. No cover charge, $2 PBR's all night an some good old bluegrass music. Or as we call it, "white people dancing music." That's right. I love bluegrass and I am proud of it. The Stone Church is a gem, they frequently have great acts and nightly themes (including electronic nights). Of course, almost all their stuff is 21+, but it's nice because once you're in you don't have to keep getting carded, which makes for shorter non-drinking periods. My roommates, friends and I will definitely be making to more bluegrass Tuesdays throughout the year so hopefully I'll see some of you there. Nothing beats good, fun music (by very talented musicians) and cheap beer. They play all types of traditional bluegrass music so you're bound to hear a few songs you know if you grew up with it like I did.

No, I won't be at Two Door Cinema Club, I won't be at Avicii, I won't be at Swagfest, but I'll be at the Stone Church for bluegrass Tuesday from 9 to midnight. I may be in the minority here, but I don't care. I know what I like and I'll never get sick of stuff like this:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Students should pay more attention UNH's fiscal problems

Over the summer I wrote down a short list of generalizations I had about the UNH student body, including myself. I did this because going into my senior year I wanted to pay more attention to the news and the happenings of the university system, especially due to the budget crisis. I wanted to look at what types of things the student body, including myself were passionate about and what things we shrugged off. We are now about a quarter of the way through the year and I thought it might be appropriate to revisit a few items on that list I wrote down.

I went on record last year saying many times that I believe our student body is far too inactive and passive. The evidence I used for those claims were the lack of votes cast in the Student Body Elections and the fact that students rarely truly stand up for what they believe in here. UNH is one the most expensive publics schools for instate tuition in the country. To be exact, we were number ranked fourth before the most recent tuition hike. But never once has there ever been any type of organized student attempt to challenge the hikes.

When state officials in Concord cut the budget by 45 to 50% we sat back and said “that sucks… where’s the party tonight?” I never did anything about it either, but I wish I did. That is why I met with housing over the apartment quiet hours issue. Sure, it is nowhere near the importance level of tuition or state funding, but at least it is a start and it is something that many students did actually care about.

So, to speak in extreme generalizations, if we don’t care about funding or tuition apart from a short conversation or editorial from time to time, what do the students care about? Well, this past few days provides some perfect examples. We care about SCOPE and their choice of concerts and hockey. Which to me is perfectly fine. We’re in college and want to see our favorite forms of entertainment, especially when other schools are getting famous artists and we want our teams to do well. I’m as big of a UNH hockey fan as there is. Check out SCOPE’s facebook wall after their shows were announced. An outpouring of truly hateful and disrespectful comments for one show and then mass approval for the next, with a few comments in the reverse direction as well.

The line for tickets to the UNH-Maine hockey team was over 200 students at 4:30 am Monday morning and all the student tickets were gone around 7:30, just a half-hour after the box office opened. I think that is fantastic and I would have been there with them if I weren’t battling off a cold. But it drives me to ask is: where is that kind of support or passion for the actual school that is being torn apart by our state representatives in Concord?

UNH is in panic mode right now. The state slashed our budget, meanwhile we’re trying to build a $50 million business school and our professors want higher salaries. Usually, I would side with the professors but at this time they are demanding a 16% salary increase over the next four years and have only agreed to a fraction of the benefit changes offered by the administration. President Huddleston sent out a statement saying that the AAUP and UNH are at in impasse and a mediator will have to be brought in to finish the process. At this time is it really sustainable for the faculty to have such strong demands when the university has faced such huge budget cuts?

Personally, I blame Concord for the whole situation. UNH has a great faculty and they produce some fantastic and groundbreaking research, but due to the budget cuts there is no money available to give. Annual salaries increases are very common, this isn’t a situation unique to UNH, but due to the decisions made in Concord it has become a much more drastic situation.

This is an issue that students should care about because it could cause some major changes with how this school and the entire University System of New Hampshire is operated. The privatization of UNH could very well happen in the near future. While that has pros and cons in both directions, it could drastically influence the curriculum, hiring and application processes.

Stay classy, not UMassy

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hallowcoming: In Review

Well that was one quite interesting weekend to say the least. Two awesome hockey games, one great football (although I never did leave the tailgate area... whoops) reuniting with old friends, awesome costumes and parties and helluva lot of alcohol. (Helluva. See what I did there?)

In preparation for the weekend I purchased some moonshine. I really don't feel I need to elaborate on that statement. Moonshine. Use your imagination.

Anyways, it was awesome to see the hockey team rebound with two awesome wins. I tweeted this the other night, but, I have been going to UNH games since 1999 (all hail Jason Krog, Ty Conklin and Darren Haydar) and the Northeastern game will go down as one of the most memorable games I've ever attended. It will be up there with the first game I attended, a 9-4 trouncing of Providence featuring a multi-goal game from Hobey Baker winner Jason Krog, the 5-5 tie against Miami a few years ago that featured a 9 goal second period and last year's Maine game where Paul Thompson netted the winner with 17 seconds left after Maine's Gustav Nyquist dodged a diving DiGi and missed an empty net.

 The other night wasn't a super close game, a big upset or a last second thriller, but everything that happened made it one to remember. UNH jumps out, the crowd - although it was smaller than usual- was loud and then Northeastern made it interesting. It was 3-2 with about 18 minutes left when the lights went out in the Whit for a third time. Most of the crowd left, but the majority of the student section remained. After 47 minutes of delays (which was 15 minutes longer than how fast the Maine tickets sold out today) the game resumed. The only thing was Northeastern never showed up after the power resumed and UNH netted three more goals to finish the game off with a 5-2 win. Being in the student section for that game was a great experience and it was nice to see so many students stay. I know (via twitter) the players really appreciate it and they were also excited to see how fast tickets went for next weekend. Hopefully next weekend will feature some great games too... oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the huge 2-1 upset of Union the night before for the first win of the year.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

MTV True Life contacted me... wait, what?

 I got out of class today, hit up the dining hall and then Store 24 for some weekend provisions. I got back to my apartment to see this email in my blog's inbox:

Dear University of Nonsensical Happenings,

My name is Laura Desmond and I'm helping to produce an episode of MTV's Emmy award-winning documentary series, "True Life." We are currently making an episode about young people who are addicted to marijuana. I am reaching out to you to see if your blog can help us spread the word about this episode and connect with young people interested in sharing their stories.

"True Life" has been on MTV for over ten years, and it covers important social and personal issues for young people in a straightforward, empathic style that respects its participants and its impressionable viewers. Our style allows the young people to tell their own stories, in their own voices, without a reporter or narrator. We simply follow them through their lives, without affecting their choices in any way, and we capture real life as it happens.

Our goal, as with all episodes of True Life, is to put young people across the country in our subjects’ shoes. We hope that, by portraying the most intimate moments of our subjects’ lives, we will help young people understand complex personal and social issues. We have no moral, religious, or political agendas, and aim only to objectively tell the story from our subject’s perspective.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions! Thank you for your time and consideration.

So that is a real email I received today from a production assistant from Punched in the Head Productions, the company that runs MTV True Life. She left her name, company position and phone number and it all checks out with their website, so as far as I know this is actually real and not spam. I mean they had to of searched for college blogs, found this and my email under the contact tab so it's not like a generated bot.  I guess if you're interested, email me and I can send you their contact info. I don't really expect any of you to reply, but I had to post this because I think this is actually pretty hilarious and kind of cool... Although I'm not sure whether I should be excited or depressed. Maybe I'd be more supportive if MTV (Music Television) actually played music. Zing!

Have a nice Hallowcoming weekend.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Registering my final time...

As a senior I am about to register for classes one final time. Unless I go to grad school, but this is my last time registering as an undergrad. After this semester I will have completed my major and I already have all my gen ed requirements, which means I only have to get the credits I need to graduate. Needless to say, I'm planning on making the best possible schedule. I was going to take all 400's but then I stumbled across this class:

HMGT 771 - Beverage Management/International Wines Credits: 4.00
Class description: Examination of purchasing, evaluation, storage, service, and control of alcoholic beverages. Emphasizes wines, although beer, ale, distilled spirits, liqueurs, and mixed drinks are examined. Enrolled students must be at least 21 years old. Prereq: permission.

Well, I guess I can take three 400 levels. I don't care how challenging this course is, I am going to take it and I already can't wait. Hospitality Management sounds quite interesting and I think it could complement my history degree quite well. I feel that I could be very hospitable and I really like alcohol. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Are You Ready?

Shh, can you hear it? That eerie silence? The calm before the storm? The anticipation for possibly the greatest weekend in UNH history is growing and Friday is just a few days away.

Since the administration announced the move of Homecoming weekend to the same weekend of Halloween, the UNH campus and community has been buzzing with excitement. It's been dubbed "Hallowcoming" and it is going to be one heck of a weekend: two hockey games, tailgating, homecoming football, parade, fireworks, Halloween costume parties, volleyball senior day and potentially great memories. I say potentially, because quite honestly, we might not actually remember all of it.

The stars have aligned and two of the best, craziest and outrageous college weekends have been combined into one. However, this also means that the two weekends that usually average the most arrests, apart from maybe Spring Climax, are also combined. Arrest numbers will most likely exceed the 48 we saw last year leading up to and following the Wiz Khalifa concert.

This weekend poses two huge questions: what do I wear for Halloween? And how do I not get arrested? Have no fear, for I am going to share some of my senior wisdom that will hopefully help provide answers to both.

First on the table is the question of what to wear for your ever-important Halloween costume. The first tip I have is to wear something that can be comfortable in a variety of temperatures, or at least wear layers so you can adjust appropriately. Sure it may be 80 degrees in that dirty basement, but when the cops break up that party a mile off campus and you have to walk back, that "cat" costume may be a bit light for a New Hampshire fall night. This happened to me sophomore year, but luckily my full Celtics warm-up jumpsuit was suitable for the warm and cold. Also, you want it to be comfortable – you're going to be wearing all night, or all weekend if you're dedicated, so be sure to take that into account.

The second tip I have for a costume is to be original, but not too obscure that you will have to be explaining yourself all night. I have a feeling we'll see about 25 Lady Gagas and even more Nicki Minajs this weekend.

Personally, I would love to be Chuck Testa, but only three people would probably get it. Last year my Jagerbomb costume was borderline too obscure. It was definitely creative, but only about a third to half the people who saw me got it. Those who got it loved it, but those who didn't thought I was just some weirdo with deer antlers and a fake bomb taped to my stomach.

As for the arrest problem, there are a few things to take into consideration. The most common arrest at UNH is underage intoxication. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times and it is no secret that underage college students drink.

I did it, you probably did it and thousands of you will do it this weekend. For those of us who are 21, we only have to worry about public intoxication, but the tips for both situations are similar. Don't attract attention to yourself and don't cause a scene and you will probably be fine.

One of the problems about drinking is that it usually throws common sense out the window and the only thing it really takes to avoid an arrest is common sense. Be respectful to the police, be smart about your decisions and chances are, they won't bother you.

On big party weekends like this one, the police are looking to control the crowds and keep people safe. They will not single out random students from a crowd and ask for their ID, but if you're calling attention to yourself, they probably will. Stay together in groups, watch out for hotdog costumes and mind your own business. There is no reason you can't have fun and partake in various college nightlife activities and still stay out of trouble or harm's way.

The biggest tip I have for you this weekend is to be safe, but still have as much fun as humanly possible. You are only in college once, and believe me, it goes by way too fast. So enjoy yourself and your time here, but be smart, stay safe and most of all:

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

SCOPE's Fall Show is...

Two Door Cinema. Can't say I've heard of them, but apparently they were highly requested. Student tickets are just $10 and go on sale at the Whit Box office November 7th.

Not really impressed and I sense an unhappy student body. I'll give them a few listens, but I don't think I'll be going.

A PSA from President Huddleston

Is it Friday yet?

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Colonial Clash Part II

This weekend I'll be heading down to Gillette for the UNH-UMass game with my family for my dad's birthday. He is a UMass alum, but he cheers for UNH because between my two older brothers and I, he's paid a hell of a lot more money to UNH than UMass. I can't really blame him there. Plus, he gets to root for the better team.

 I've haven't seen any of them for more than a few minutes since school began so I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone. But I realized something today. I can't wait to tailgate with them all, last year I wasn't 21 yet so I didn't want to risk anything. Last year was a blast while sober, so this year should be even better. Last year's Colonial Clash was one of the best afternoons of the school year and it's nice to see people get excited for UNH football. UNH is playing well this year and UMass is preparing to move up a level so it should be a good game. UNH has already sold out their student tickets, twice, so hopefully we have the bigger crowd again this year.

Hopefully this will get more people excited for the remaining home games UNH has, especially homecoming. Or should I say Hallowcoming, as it is being called around campus. The anticipation is killing me!

Stay classy, not UMassy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When skipping classes is okay...

So today I thought of how whenever I have one class canceled it instantly makes me about 90 times more likely to skip my other classes that day. I then began thinking of a post, "when it's okay to skip"and began making a list thinking of it as a meme. I didn't feel like making a bunch of memes, so I just made the first one. I also didn't feel like finding the perfect picture for it so I just used the classic John Belushi image. In short, I am very lazy.

Anyways, here is my remaining list of when it is okay to skip classes. Feel free to comment all the ones I forgot...
  • Have an exam in afternoon, skip morning class to study sleep in.
  • Have an exam in the morning. Skip afternoon class to reward yourself for doing well drink sorrows away.
  • Raining.
  • Snowing.
  • Too cold.
  • Too hot.
  • Too humid.
  • Professor doesn't take attendence.
  • "He'll never give us a pop quiz two classes in a row..."
  • Too hungover.
  • Still drunk.
  • Bed is too comfortable.
  • "It's only a level 400"
  • It is a Friday...
  • According to the syllabus, we're watching a documentary.
  • Only two levels left...
  • History class? That's why we have the History Channel. Ancient Aliens marathon. Sweet.
  • Environmental Conservation? Gets high and watches Planet Earth.
  • Poly Sci? I watch the Daily Show every night!
  • Intro to Music? I love music. (Turns up Ke$ha).
Stay classy, not UMassy

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Quiet Hours Survey

    Attention residents of the Gables and Woodsides, please be aware that an email has been sent out with a brief (3-4 question) survey regarding quiet hours. In the email housing says that the change was in hope of reducing the cost of damages. However, they fail to mention that they have seen no change in damage bills so far this semester. (Their direct quote to me was "very little difference" but didn't say in which direction). Please take this survey to show them that they were out of line by changing the quiet hours without any student feedback. They used the fact that 22% of students polled said it wasn't always quiet enough when they wanted to study or sleep, which is nowhere near the majority of apartment residents. My roommates and I all selected the "10pm weekday and 1am weekend" option, I hope you do the same.

    In other news, I just received a tweet saying that ATO has now lost recognition. Anyone have any details on this? UNH fraternities are dropping like flies.

    Stay classy, not UMassy.

    A Message to UNH Hockey Fans

    This is my TNH column for the week. It basically expands on what I said last week, but I wanted it to get a bigger audience.

    Despite what you may think, I do not always write about partying, barhopping, and being generally awkward. This is college and college life is so much more than those things, especially here at UNH.

    For example, there is also hockey. If you are an ill-advised freshman or an upperclassmen who has been living in a box during your time in Durham, hockey is a major part of UNH culture. Our fans live, breathe and die Wildcat hockey.

    Friday and Saturday afternoon activities in the fall and winter consist of body painting and sign making. I grew up about a half hour drive from campus, and ever since I attended my first game as a 9-year-old, I looked forward to the day I could stand in the student section.

    For the past three seasons, I have only missed a handful of home games and some of my favorite memories of my time at UNH relate to hockey games. If you do not get that excited feeling in your stomach this time of year or irresistibly smile every Monday morning when you pick up your student ticket, you are not a true UNH hockey fan.

    UNH hockey fans are our own breed. We are proud of our school, our team and our classmates who make up the team. We may not know the players on a personal level, but you would never know that by the way we support them through good times and bad.

    While every student has the right to get tickets and stand in the student section, UNH games are for the most dedicated students. There is a reason why the student section sells out, usually as well as the rest of the arena, for every game. UNH hockey games are for those true UNH hockey fans, not just the students who show up to games just because it is the thing to do.

    The season is underway and so far things have been shaky for the team on the ice. They lost a lot last year, but they also return many key players and will be looking for younger players to step up. For the dedicated fans, the slow start has not been too much of a surprise, but we fully expect the team to improve throughout the season and transform into a true contender.

    Have faith, because we have Wildcat blood running through out veins and the season is still very young.

    Those of you who attended Saturday night's game against Boston College probably noticed a few changes among the crowd.

    Namely, the super-fans who have led the student section for years have moved on and passed the cowbell down to current students. This has given us a great opportunity to create new traditions as well as carrying on the old classic ones that make the Whittemore Center one of the best college hockey arenas in the country.

    The Wildcat Army, the name the new student leaders have taken up, has brainstormed new cheers, chants and songs. They can be found on Facebook and Twitter by searching their name if you want to learn more. Flyers and cheer sheets are in the process of being made.

    Nothing annoys me more, apart from terrible refereeing (cough Hanson brothers), than students who show up to games and don't participate in the cheers. Or even worse, they mock their fellow students who work hard to make the Whitt the intimidating arena that it is. The irony of a kid wearing a "we are the 6th man" t-shirt leaving the game halfway through the third period kills me.

    It may take a few more home games for the crowd to return to its normal rowdiness because of the transition, but we believe that this is for the better and will help current students create a better bond with the team. While hockey is, always has been and probably always will be UNH's top sport, we shouldn't forget about our other student athletes who wear Wildcat colors.

    While schoolwork may take priority over some games, it is important to try and show your Wildcat pride for all the different sports. Football, both soccer teams, volleyball and field hockey all have a handful of home games left and the basketball and winter sports season is just around the corner. Try to make it to a few of those games to show your Wildcat pride, because college is the last chance you have to really have a connection with the athletes you cheer for.

    Stay classy, not UMassy.

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Hungover Hockey Thoughts: A PSA to the fans

    I haven't got out of bed yet, but here are some very quick thoughts on the hockey team so far. They are obviously off to a slow start, but I have no fear. We have a very young team and it is going to take some time for them to all get on the same page. That being said, I expect nothing to change for the home opener. In fact, I think we need to be louder and rowdier. Top ranked BC is coming off a 4-2 loss to number 3 Denver and UNH is in dire need of a win; or a goal for that matter.  We need to get the Whitt rocking tonight and show the team that we still fully support them. We have the best home crowd in the country and let us prove that again tonight.

    The superfans of old have moved on and it is now time for the students, and The Wildcat Army to take over. We have a few new cheers ready to unleash. One of the biggest things is that we are looking to keep the student section noisy without too many silent pauses. Hockey games are for the hockey fans, not students who just show up because it is the thing to do. Participate in all the chants and wear white.

    Here is an Adobe link for some of the new cheers and for the old one's check out my Hockey Chant tab at the top of the blog.


    Oh yeah, The Dude hates the Eagles too. Fuck 'em up, fuck 'em up, BC sucks!

    Stay classy, not UMassy.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Hey SCOPE, we're waiting...

    Nonsensical Nation, it has been a while. How are you? I have been beyond busy lately, I seriously read an entire book yesterday. Like 272 pages in one sitting. I'm not complaining though, this is college and there are some weeks that kick your ass and others that you can go out every night without worrying. That being said, I have will not have time to start gathering signatures until maybe tomorrow morning, but the weekend seems more likely. Sorry, but for now my colloquium and other work comes first. Usually I'm not that way when it comes to blog stuff, but I know nothing will be done until housing releases their new survey and all the data is collected. Like they said, it won't be an overnight knee-jerk reaction.

    Now, I do have a bone to pick with another group on campus. I hate to say this, but SCOPE, you are officially on the New Hampshirite's hot seat. Something I just made up while halfway through typing that sentence.

    A few days ago SCOPE began inviting people to their annual Homecoming fireworks they put on with CAB. However, the invitation lacked one key feature. The Homecoming comedian. Umm, what's up with that? The Homecoming comedian is a big tradition at UNH and we haven't heard a peep from SCOPE. They haven't even announced the date for the day they release their first show announcement. Homecoming is even later than usual this year and they still couldn't get anything done.

    Listen, SCOPE takes a lot of heat from the student body, but for the last two years I have stood by their side, even when I don't like a particular artist. I understand that they are trying to please all types of music fans and that they are also students. They are not professional show hosts or promoters. They are students just like you and me. That being said, there really shouldn't be any excuse for them not having a Homecoming comedian or even a single peep of a show announcement.

    So SCOPE, before I take this too far, what's going on? I've heard rumors that you are unorganized and unprepared. I hope those aren't true because this is my senior year and I am hoping for some awesome concerts on campus. Who knows, maybe they're purposely doing things differently this year. Saving up for fewer and bigger shows instead of 3 or 4 average level concerts. Until they make a move, we're just going to have to play the waiting game.

    Stay classy, not UMassy.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Notes on my meeting with Housing

    So I just got out of an hour long meeting with UNH Housing Director Kathy Irla-Chesney and Director of UNH apartments Michael Saputo to discuss quiet hours at the Gables. It went pretty well and I think that there is some room for progress.

    Right off the bat they said the quiet hours are NOT set in stone, however they do not want to have a knee-jerk reaction. They want more student feedback just to be sure that this is something that the majority of Gables residents actually want. I obviously can't prove that without a petition or a survey, but I will be knocking on doors this week looking for signatures and asking for any additional feedback.

    As for their reasoning, this is where things get really interesting. The first thing I asked was what exactly the survey asked and what the responses were. Michael had the numbers on him and showed me. The first few questions were like "do you like living in the Gables?" and "would you recommend them to a friend?" and those had positive responses in the 93-95% range. The three questions he had highlighted included "are you able to sleep and study with the noise levels" and "do you feel respect from those in your building/community?" Those had positive results at 78% and 72%. Still strongly positive, but not necessarily a call for alarm. Michael said about 50% of Gables students filled out the survey, which is enough to get a good idea of how students feel. However, this is not directly related to quiet hours. Obviously no one is doing homework from 12-1 on Friday and Saturdays.

    They will be issuing a new survey sometime in October that addresses quiet hours more directly. This will be very important for determining what course of action they are going to take.

    However, this survey was not the only reasons they provided. Over the summer they met and discussed how the Gables buildings had accumulated more than twice the amount in damages then any other dorm.  Both parties agreed that while the damages are usually done by non-residents or those who live in other dorms. No one is going to trash their own building when they have to pay for it. However, I made the point that while Gables residents are responsible for their guests, students travel from the other dorms on their own and it is usually out of control for the host and it kind of seems like the Gables residents are being punished for actions done by students from the dorms. They both admitted to not thinking of that and made notes of it. They believed that over the last few years many students had been traveling to the Gables because of the extra hour around 11:30 and they thought moving up the quiet hours would cut down on the student traffic to the Gables and prevent damages. However, this is just an observation and not a fact.

    When I asked if they could tell a difference in the damages so far this year compared to last year, they admitted there wasn't much of a difference at all. I think that is important to note.

    They admitted looking back on the decision that they wish they got feedback from the students first and this is something they want to improve.

    Moving forward they are hoping to hear more from students on this and other issues. There are currently no Gables residents on the student council so that can make it more difficult to communicate with the residents. The most important thing moving on is to take the upcoming survey and let your opinion be known. They really are taking this seriously and are willing to work with the students.

    One other possible option they brought up is about registering events. Gables residents have the option to register an "event" (party), which allows 22-24 people to be in an apartment as opposed to 13. So far this year not one Gables event has been registered and they said one option would be allowing registered events to remain until 1 a.m. while unregistered events would end at midnight. This is a possible solution and will be mentioned on the survey. Registering an event does not attract more attention, let's face it, if you're having a party, they will hear it anyways. It does ask that you inform your neighbors and have them sign off that you told them about it.

    That pretty much hits on everything we discussed. So for now wait for me to come around with a petition and be ready to take their survey. If I can get around half of the Gables to sign off there is a very good chance we can make this happen.

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Fire at North Tower

    Earlier today a fire was started in the Gables North Tower, where I happen to live. From what I was able to observe and gather, in a sixth floor apartment a girl had incense burning. Apparently she thought it was out and threw it in her desk where it caught papers on fire. It must have spread pretty quickly because a ladder truck was used to access the room and possibly to get the residents out of the building.

    Oh yeah, the girl with the incense had already been written up by fire safety a few days ago.

    Only that one apartment had fire damage, but the room below it had water damage. Five towns responded with fire trucks including Durham, Lee, Dover, Newmarket and Exeter.

    No one was injured, although there were paramedics on scene. Residents were kept out of the building for at least an hour before being allowed to return to their rooms.

    There is a reason why we're not supposed to have incense and luckily no one was injured because of that apartment's ignorance and carelessness.

    That is all I know for now, here are a few pictures I snagged with my really crappy camera phone:

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Quiet Hours Update

    I received a second email from David May today. It read: I copied Kathy Irla-chesney, Director of Housing on the email. She is very interested in working with you to make the right decision for all the residents at the Gables. Kathy said-“Her goal is to provide a living community that allows students to socialize while maintaining an atmosphere where those who want to sleep or study at night can do so. There are many ways we can gather feedback and ideas and move this in a positive direction. In fact it might strengthen the community.” This beings said, she would very much like to work with you to make the right decision for the Gables Community. I am hoping you could find time to meet and help us. 

     That sounds pretty good to me... for now. I am extremely busy right now, but I am hoping to squeeze in a meeting with them sometime next week. Please let me know what you think, especially if you are Gables or Woodsides resident. I want to present something respectable and reasonable. I am taking my time out of my schedule because I believe that 1 a.m. quiet hours on Friday and Saturday nights at the campus apartments are what most students want. I'll keep you posted as I learn and go through more.

    Stay classy, not UMassy.

    Update: I will be meeting with the director of housing and the director of UNH apartments next week to discuss the new quiet hours. Please let me know what you think of the situation. I am your representative on this situation, not the student senate. I will be asking for 1 a.m. weekend quiet hours to be reestablished.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    So Walking is Hard...

    Earlier today I was sitting in the library reading for about three hours. It was a book I need to read for my colloquium and I can always focus better at the library than at my apartment. After about an hour I had to go to the bathroom. I was in the big reading room on the fifth floor and sitting on the couch in the corner. I stood up and shuffled between the couch and then I took my first step only to realize that my entire right leg was asleep. My knee buckled and I almost fell. Almost. I regained my balance and did that foot stomp move. I continued toward the door, but did that weird limping thing the whole way there. The entire time I could hear people trying not to laugh. So if you were there, yeah, that was me. So smooth...

    In other news, if you didn't see below, the Mast Road cat was found and returned. Well done people.

    Also, I just got back to my room for the first time since this morning and I had a message from Chad, the editor at TNH. Apparently David May (Vice President of Business Affairs I believe) wants to talk with me about my last column. I know he was involved with the energy drink situation, but my last column mostly focused on the new quiet hours at the Gables and Woodsides. I'm emailed him and will run updates about the situation. I'm very interested in hearing what he has to say, but the last time something like this happened it began the on-going two year war with Dining.

    Stay classy, not UMassy.

    Update: Already heard back from David May. He said "I just wanted to get a better understanding of the issues at the Gables." I replied: "The only issue is that many students are upset by the earlier quiet hours at the Gables and Woodsides (especially on the weekends) that were put into effect this semester. I believe that the majority of students would prefer the one a.m. quiet hour as opposed to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. I am hoping to write a respectful petition for the former quiet hours to be restored in a timely manner and will circulate it to gather signatures and show that I have support. Thank you and let me know if you have any further questions."

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Infamous Mast Road Cat Stolen

    If you or one of your friends parks a car in Mast Lot then you have probably met the Mast Road cat. It is probably one of the friendliest cats in the world and follows students up and down Mast Road by the UNH Equine center. According the the message I got on facebook he was last seen crossing the Dairy Bar bridge headed into campus, in the arms of two girls. He is wearing a blue collar with a bell on it. The UNH Equine Facility and his owners greatly miss him. So two girls apparently stole one of the few cats I actually like. I'm a dog person, I love dogs. Cats are creepy, but not this one. So if you know anything please call one of the numbers above. And if you're one of the thieves then you should be a ashamed. Seriously, who steals a cat?

    Update: He was reportedly seen in the SERC area over the weekend.
    Update 2 (Wednesday morning) The cat has been found and returned. Nice job people.

    Like a Pro: Doing Nothing Accomplishes Nothing

    Maybe it is my obsession with the American Revolution, the counterculture or that fact that I read the Declaration of Independence and the Port Huron Statement for fun or frequently listen to Bob Dylan, but I love when the people fight for what they believe in.

    This is why last week when UNH Dining declared that it would be halting the sale of energy drinks on campus, I was so furious, and when President Huddleston denied the ban, I rejoiced. Listen, I understand that getting worked up over energy drinks is silly, especially when they are much cheaper downtown, but it was the principle of the situation that bothered me the most.

    Where do you draw the line? What is the next thing that they will take from us?

    President Huddleston reversing dining's decision was a minor victory for the student body over the administration, which is something that really doesn't happen at UNH too often — especially with our mostly passive student body. Many people told me I was overreacting through comments and tweets, but it was clear that they did not see the bigger picture.

    It wasn't about the energy drinks to me; it was about responsibility and the freedom of choice.

    On Twitter, I half-jokingly tweeted "no taxation without representation" because of how dining made the decision without discussing options with its meal plan-paying customers. People said I took my comments too far and blew the situation out of proportion. But the majority of the students who still wanted to pay for overpriced Red Bulls at the library got their way. If people didn't complain, then come January, UNH Dining services would have been energy drink free.

    Doing or saying nothing accomplishes nothing.

    It was a small victory for the students. We didn't lower tuition or convince UNH to renovate Hamilton-Smith, but like President Huddleston said, the administration listened to the students. They may have all the power, but we have the vast majority. Students can make a difference on this campus if we care enough to try. We won't always succeed, but we definitely won't if we don't try.

    That is why I have decided to do something about another UNH decision that has bothered me this year.

    I mentioned it briefly last week, and after discussing it with many students, I have decided it is worth a shot. I will personally be writing a respectful petition and circulating it around the Gables asking that Friday and Saturday night quiet hours be restored to 1 a.m. Like President Huddleston said about the energy drink situation, the administration wants us students to make our own decisions. If we fail miserably, so what? At least we tried. If we don't try we have already failed.

    If the majority of Gables residents are willing to sign the petition, they have to at least listen to us. UNH might not be a democracy, but America is, and the majority usually wins. I say usually because we all remember the 2000 presidential election.

    Is this a major problem on this campus? No, it isn't. But it is a start and something that many students care about, and you need to start somewhere. The one-hour makes a huge difference. The bonus features such as more freedom, responsibility and independence of the Gables and Woodsides are what make them special to the students and worth the extra money. The reason for the change in quiet hours was that housing cited a survey where students complained about noise levels, but I believe the majority of students would prefer the 1 a.m. quiet hours.

    During the week, 10 p.m. is understandable, but on the weekends very few students are ready to go to bed or quiet down at midnight. This is not even an issue of being able to party later, but much like the energy drink situation, what comes next? Will there be CAs on every floor like the RAs in the dorms? You may think that will never happen, but did you expect the quiet hours to change without warning?

    Many students, such as myself, were annoyed that the change was not announced until after the room selection process was completed and we would have lost our deposit if we sought to live elsewhere. The new quiet hours are not the end of the world, but it is a matter of responsibility.

    Obviously, students will not get everything we ask for all the time, but I believe it is worth a shot.

    Stay classy, not UMassy