Week in Review

Week in Review

From the News Editors Desk

Sept. 9 A state panel finalized a second draft for a program to create a medical marijuana inudustry in Maryland. The so-called Medical Marijuana Commission would include a digital registration for certified medical marijuana recipients and a ban on growing within Baltimore City boundaries.


Sept. 10 The Maryland State Attorney’s office announced that it will join Baltimore City’s Inspector General to investigate the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology. The MOIY is under investigation for allegedly paying contractual employees for unperformed work.


Sept. 11 Governor Martin O’Malley helped commemorate the anniversary of the March of the Defenders, the name given to the six-mile march by Maryland militia to counter the British advance against Baltimore on this day in 1814. An American flag was also displayed at the Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.


Sept. 12 A former corrections officer was sentenced to 28 months in prison for assisting the Black Guerilla Family gang in drug smuggling and racketing operations from inside the Baltimore City Detention Center. The officer helped smuggle the prescription medication Percocet, marijuana and tobacco into the facility to BGF members from 2011 to 2013.


Sept. 13 Thousands of spectators observed the Blue Angels aerial show in the Inner Harbor. The show was conducted in honor of the national anthem’s 200th birthday.


Sept. 14 Thirty countries have pledged to help Iraq fight Islamic State militants “by all means necessary”. A joint statement by foreign officials taking part in a major conference in Paris said support would include “appropriate military assistance”. The talks had been organized to agree on a strategy to combat the terror group, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Sept.15 After facing criticism for not doing enough in the fight against the spread of Ebola in West Africa, President Obama has announced an intensified campaign which heavily involves the United States military.

Studying abroad won’t break the bank!

Financial aid and scholarships can help students see the world

Brittany Meyer

Staff Writer


Summary: UMBC’s Study Abroad Office offered financial tips to students interested in studying abroad in a meeting last week.

    For students considering studying abroad but who are hesitant because of the prohibitive cost, UMBC’s Study Abroad Office held an information session about financial aid and scholarships for study abroad programs.

Stephen Moore, a Study Abroad Office coordinator, encouraged the students who came to Wednesday’s meeting by sharing his experiences studying abroad in Swansea, Wales.

While providing information about the overall program, Moore couldn’t help but reflect on his memories. “There was just something about sitting in a classroom and all you could see is ocean,” said Moore.

The faculty at UMBC want their students to gain a global outlook and expand their horizons through international travel. According to the study abroad website, a global outlook and cross-cultural skills learned during study abroad programs are necessary in today’s diverse world. The Study Abroad Office doesn’t want expense to get in the way of UMBC students who wish to study abroad.

At the meeting, students learned about scholarships to apply for as well as financial aid to help pay for their personal excursion. For more information about these opportunities, Moore advised the students to contact Brian Souders or Katherine Hierd and to visit studyabroad.umbc.edu.

Other discounts are also provided. By visiting studentuniverse.com, students are eligible to receive discount flight tickets.

Studying abroad is offered all year round. Winter and spring applications are due Oct. 10 and summer and fall applications are needed by March 10.

There are two types of programs. Exchange programs have UMBC students swap with a student from a foreign university. Affiliate programs are far more structured and organized by the university or group outside of UMBC. Applicants just have to figure out which one they would prefer.

Why would studying abroad be something to consider? Not only will participants earn college credit, but also they will grow as a person while living in and learning about another culture!

Moore drove his point home by explaining how he handled living in the city. Being more of a country and small town person, living in the city put him in spots that were quite challenging but not impossible. Throwing himself out there and getting out of his comfort zone was quite the growing experience. He wouldn’t have done it any other way.

He encourages future students to not just study abroad for the credits and to make their resumes more competitive, but also venture out of their comfort zones. Studying abroad will change students as people and expand their horizons, and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune.

Rage Creates Outrage for Viewers

A bad movie made worse with another acting attempt from Nicolas Cage

Holly Vogtman

Staff Writer


Summary: Rage is a film that centers on ex-mob member, Paul McGuire (Nicolas Cage), when he discovers his daughter has been murdered by presumed members of the Russian Mob and begins a killing rampage full of rage to find the culprit.

After not being in theatres for very long, Rage is recently released to DVD for good reason. Its plot, acting and overall creation as a movie fall far below par.

Paul McGuire (Nicolas Cage) has washed his hands of the mob life. He has attempted to make himself a proper citizen with a prominent role in local government. He has a new wife not associated with his crime life and a teenage daughter in high school.

However, after a night out with his wife, Paul comes home to find that his house has been ransacked. His daughter’s friends have been left beaten, but most importantly his daughter has been taken.

After his daughter is found dead in a nearby river the next morning, Paul goes into full rage mode. He deviates back to his old ways and calls his loyal mob cronies to help find the culprits.

Because of Paul’s mob history, both he and police presume that the rival Russian mob is the source of the murder. Paul and his bumbling group of mobsters revert to their past and begin to kill everyone and everything that gets in their way.

This film is truly terrible because none of the methods the ex-mobsters use to find the killer are useful or make any sense.

The plot is full of holes. The audience will find itself completely lost as they try to decipher the reasoning behind a change in scene. Just when the viewer believes they have a grasp on what is happening, the audience is thrown for a loop, but not in a good way.

On top of almost all of the scenes being broken and full of nonsense, the acting of nearly every character was extremely poor.

Not only did Nicolas Cage disappoint, but his character’s friends, played by Michael McGrady and Peter Stomare, provided no support.

It is difficult to blame the fall of the movie completely on the acting because there was truly not much to work with between the script and storyline.Although the movie is classified as an action drama, it can really be described as more of a comedy than anything.

I found myself laughing and becoming annoyed more than anything else due to the movie’s multiple one-liners and comical acting situations.This movie is not recommended, however there is a disappointing plot twist at the end that you will just have to see to believe.

Rage receives a ½ of a paw.

Build and Race with UMBC Racing

A Student Organization on Campus

Jamie Heathcote

Staff Writer


Summary: UMBC Racing has remained in the top 10 global ranking since 2009 and they hope to continue that momentum while maintaining a strong team of members from diverse backgrounds. During the team’s first meeting of the semester, Eugene Morgunov spoke to current and potential members.

Attendees of UMBC’s Fall Involvement Fest may have noticed an interesting vehicle on display. Not only is this a student-made vehicle from UMBC Racing, but it is also a strong competitor in the Baja SAE competitions.

The Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) is an international collegiate competition. It provides students with the chance to design, fabricate, test and race their single-seat vehicle in off-road competitions. UMBC Racing prepares carefully for these competitions.

Josh Taggart, a junior mechanical engineering major and a proud member since this past February, is always eager to share what UMBC Racing is all about and how anyone, regardless of their major, is more than welcome to join in constructing and racing these well-built speedy machines.

In the United States, competitions contain about 100 to 120 teams from across the country as well as teams from Canada, Mexico and South America. Along with Taggart, Eugene Morgunov, who is the team captainof UMBC Racing and a graduate student studying mechanical engineering, spoke during the team’s first meeting of the semester on Wednesday Sept. 10.

It is important to remember that this team isn’t solely made up of mechanical engineering majors, as Taggart has mentioned. In fact, the team is also comprised of physics and computer science majors. Morgunov said, “We are also in need of graphic design majors,” making it known that diverse backgrounds and majors are encouraged among members.

As for achievements, Morgunov said, “We have been in the top 10 in the North American Baja SAE Championship every year since 2009. In that time, we have had two podium finishes with a second and third place finish in 2011 and 2012.” Considering the fact that this is an international design series, their top 10 ranking is global.

The Mike Schmidt Iron Team Award is awarded to those who competed in all three Baja SAE events in the United States and Canada and has the highest standardized point total in all three events. UMBC Racing received the second place Mike Schmidt Iron Team Award in 2011 and third place in 2012.

Addressing the room full of senior and potential team members, Morgunov said “We design based on the data we collect. We do more tire testing than many teams, which is why we’re so successful.” The team focuses on working together and making changes to improve.

With a vehicle still under construction, preparing for a race in Churchville, Maryland in May 2015, UMBC Racing is still welcoming anyone who is interested in joining, and as their motto goes, “Engineering the future. Engineering to win.”

Parking Change and Pocket Change

The days of fishing for quarters to pay for parking meters are over. At least, for UMBC visitors they are.

Megan Delaney

Contributing Writer


    As of Wednesday, Sept. 10, the new “pay and display” project was installed in the visitor parking lots on the UMBC campus. The parking garages being affected are the Commons Garage, Walker Avenue Garage, Lot 7 and the Administration Garage — the lattermost of which will be completed at the same time as the Gateway Project.

This new technology rids visitors the pain of inserting coins and cranking knobs. Instead, MasterCard and Visa cards as well as dollar bills can be used to pay. This new system is also now accessible to those with disabilities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Another change is the increased price. The new system charges $2.00 per hour compared to the 25 cents per 15 minutes ($1 per hour) of the crank machines. Although it is an increased price for the UMBC campus, it is still lower compared to University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University’s rates of $3.00 per hour.

Paul Dillon, Deputy Chief of the UMBC Police Department, said, “We found that $2 per hour was on the low end and $3 per hour was on the high end. We chose to be on the low end.”

On the topic of the price change, Sophomore Dana Pirzchalski, biology and INDS major, said, “It’s impractical to pay that much. Over the summer, I used the visitor parking for a lab, and with this new price it would’ve been $10.00 per day for me. With the general financial stance of most students, that is not convenient.”

The new meters also give prepaid codes to visitors before they arrive on campus. Instead of paying, visitors with codes will punch them into the machine and then be given a parking pass for that day. This feature will not be available until the Administration Garage is finished.

There were multiple reasons behind the push for this new system. One was that the crank meters were old and easily broken, and forced someone to collect and count the coins from them. The parts of the crank machines have also stopped being sold, making it even harder to fix broken machines.

Another reason was that, with card use on the rise, it is easier for the school to process transactions. There is also the anticipation that meter violations will decrease now that there are multiple methods of payment.

Dillon said, “These types of (crank) meters are on their way out of the industry, and in the upcoming years you will see them as much as you see a pay phone.”

Exams not available for victimized students

Rape Kit Exams not being given on campuses to Baltimore-area students

By Noel Bader

Contributing Writer


Unfortunately, there’s no question that sexual assaults occur on college campuses across our country. However, it may come as a surprise to many that UMBC — along with several other Baltimore-area schools — do not have rape kit exams available to students.

Rape Kit Exams are a process of collecting data and evidence from victims no later than 120 hours after their attack, and compiling that information into a report that can be used in a court of law. Although these are usually performed in hospitals, many universities are beginning to implement them on campuses.

Why doesn’t UMBC have these exams for students? Director of University Health Services, Jennifer Lepus, puts it simply, “From the criminal involvement standpoint, we just don’t have all the equipment to do it the way it needs to be done.” Professionals at hospitals perform these exams very frequently, whereas trained personnel on campus would be much less experienced because of the lower frequency of reports.

In addition, unlike nearby hospitals, UHS is only open from 8am to 5pm, and time is of the essence when it comes to reporting sexual assaults. The faster victims get the exam done, the more evidence there will be that can be used against an attacker.

This doesn’t mean that UMBC is ignoring victims; UHS is actually helping them more than ever. Lepus adds, “We do everything … free STD testing, free counseling and free cab vouchers for transportation to hospitals.” Students who contact UHS after an assault can also be provided with an advocate to accompany them to Greater Baltimore Medical Center or Mercy Hospital to have the exam done.

UHS even recently implemented Haven, an online course that teaches the students and staff required to take it about prevention and intervention when it comes to sexual assault, along with a wide variety of other topics having to do with relationships.

Voices Against Violence Program Coordinator Rina Rhyne believes offering rape kit exams would increase their availability to students. “If it were offered on campus, students wouldn’t have to go to great lengths to get it done,” she said. However, she also agrees that the argument that students would be less likely to report because they have to go to a hospital is becoming obsolete.

Although victims may be hesitant to report due to privacy, UMBC’s goal is to make students feel as safe and comfortable as possible when going to the hospitals and through the report process. “We have a team of trained professionals to connect victims with resources and walk them through all the options they have,” said Mickey Irrizary, Health Education Coordinator.

While all three UHS representatives agree that in the future they are open to having on-campus exams, as of now it just makes more sense that victims go to hospitals where professionally trained doctors and nurses can take care of them.