Author: Matthew A. Jonassaint

New Construction An Unnecessary Nightmare

I wish the planners for the new construction on campus were as good at layout as they are good at being sneaky. Not a single student I’ve spoken with had any idea that, as soon as traffic let up through the new science building, nearly the entirety of campus would quickly thereafter be blocked off. I’m not even just talking about the lots. The other day, I stepped out one door of the Student Center to realize there was a fence sitting on the sidewalk. Why? Who knows. There doesn’t seem to be a very good reason for blocking off both the entrances and the exits to every stairwell. This means I was trapped in the construction zone, and I had to climb over four fences, over a railing, and into a window sill, in order to escape. In my new pair of red PF Flyers, too. These fences are not only unnecessary, and were a huge waste of my time, but they are also a legitimate obstacle for students and faculty. A couple of weeks ago, a former custodian in the Student Center told me the dumpster he usually uses is now blocked off, and he had to take an extra twenty minutes to walk all the trash in the building to the nearest dumpster: it had been moved, of all places, to the LA building parking lot....

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Movie Reviews with Matthew Jonassaint

I’ve been waiting for Daniel Radcliffe. He’s had a mostly flat and easy character; as a friend recently told me, Harry Potter is only interesting because everyone else around him is. But I believe Radcliffe’s got it in him to work with a complex character, and I’ve been hoping he gets his chance.   “The Woman in Black” isn’t that chance. Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a widower and lawyer who’s last chance to keep his job lies with settling the affairs of Alice Drablow, who recently died alone in her house. The town is hushed and hostile, and Arthur...

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The whitest black kid you’ve ever met

“Are you black?”   Entertaining as it’s been to just watch, Joey’s argument with his friend about racism has brought up Darwin, The Velvet Underground and a beer or two, and now he means to bring me up as well.   But Joey, a former UVU student who was born in Memphis, means to shake things up a bit for his friend, who so far has been referring to racism as if it only ever makes white people guilty of something.   “Are you black, Matthew?”   See, it’s a trick question.   “How many Mexicans do you think...

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Abnormal readings caused Friday morning alarm

According to campus authorities, a natural gas leak was likely not the cause of the odors that prompted police to activate building alarms. Last Friday morning, many students were confused regard conflicting messages on the LA building evacuations from both campus sources and state media outlets. According to Officer Rockwood, there was no gas leak found. According to Campus Police Chief John Brewer, even though Orem City Fire Department found unclear readings, there was nothing hazardous detected once the gas was turned back on. Some students were alerted via Opt-In, the campus text messaging system, that classes were canceled. Other students were confused as the building reopened for the remainder of the day. Campus Publications and Marketing Director Brad Plothow explained the reason for the confusion was in part due to uncertainty about the actual cause of the alarm: students reporting strange odors. The chronology of events Friday morning is as follows: some students in the LA building began smelling odors that appeared to cause constricted breathing and itchy eyes. At least two students sought transportation to a hospital for treatment. Due to these student complaints, the campus police were alerted and turned on the fire alarms in order to evacuate the building. Orem City Fire Department was then contacted and once they arrived, they detected readings of something in the building at near-combustible levels. Consequently, the gas was...

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Peaceful hands made unclean

Why opposing “don’t ask, don’t tell” is picking the wrong battle Since the ’90s, a ghostly siren has been calling the mainstream gay rights movement. The siren itself has gained the trappings of a wealthy, white, married male. For the past decade, this figure has been the magic Disney prince gay activists are fighting to be legalized into existence – ignoring, of course, that white patriarchal capitalism is the magic prince who makes our modern Western world spin. Now, the prince also stands at attention – to the American flag, that is. Today’s gay men and women fight for the right … to fight. As gay rights activists regain their bearings after Republicans successfully blockaded a bill that could have ended “don’t ask, don’t tell,” they may do well to remember their pacifist roots. In 1923, the War Resisters League was formed in opposition to World War I – one of the first antiwar organizations in America. Two women named Tracy Mygatt and Frances Witherspoon lived in a romantic friendship and helped found the league. During World War II, Bayard Rustin was a gay black man who served more than two years in prison for ignoring a draft summons. Rustin would later help Dr. Martin Luther King organize the famous 1963 march on Washington. During the hot Southern California days of the 1950s, a man named Harry Hay walked...

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