UMBC Homecoming Big Prize Poetry Slam (10/10)

The time has arrived once again for one of UMBC’s premiere arts events this year. The annual UMBC Homecoming Big Prize Poetry Slam will be held on Friday, October 10, 2014, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Peforming Arts & Humanities Building (PAHB) first-floor atrium. Come enjoy a night of fun and poetry while cheering on the fantastic student and alumni poets as they compete for big prizes, enjoy wonderful free food, and even win door prizes. We look forward to seeing you there!

The event is presented by the English department, Bartleby, and the UMBC Homecoming Committee.

Maurice Berger, CADVC, Latest “Race Story” in The New York Times

In the latest essay for his Race Stories column in The New York Times, Maurice Berger, research professor at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, shares his views on Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood, a new book by a Toronto-based photographer and physician, Zun Lee. While the book’s images of African-American  fathers may at first seem ordinary — for example, a man feeding his baby as his other children play nearby — Berger notes that the photographs “are in one sense unusual: Their subjects are black and counter mainstream media that typically depict African-American fatherhood as a wasteland of dysfunction and irresponsibility.”

Read “Black Fathers, Present and Accountable” and view the photographs at The New York Times Lens blog.

Berger’s Race Stories column, which appears monthly on The New York Times website, is “a continuing exploration of the relationship of race to photographic portrayals of race.”

Important Information About 2015 Benefit Plans

There will be several changes in the benefit plans offered by the State for 2015. Please take a moment to review the USM Benefit Fact Sheet, which outlines all of the changes in greater detail.

If you have any questions about the plan options, you can attend the upcoming Health Benefits Fair on Thursday, Sept. 25 or one of the special Information Sessions scheduled for later in the open enrollment period.

Note: The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system will not be available this year. All changes must be made on the appropriate open enrollment forms distributed by the State.

Contact Zahira Meyers or Rochelle Sanders if you have any questions about the process for making changes during open enrollment or if you have general benefit inquiries.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun

In his latest column in the Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller writes about his views on the American justice system in the wake of the Michael Brown and Ray Rice news stories in recent weeks.

Tom SchallerIn the column, Schaller notes, “we remain far from the perfect union to which our Constitution aspires. To get there, we must demand a justice system that’s blind not only to gender, race and socioeconomic status, but also the advantages conferred to some Americans by virtue of their affiliation with powerful institutions.”

To read the complete op-ed titled, “Yet another social bias: institution-based privilege,” click here.

Felipe Filomeno, Political Science, Participates in United Nations Association Consultation with UMBC Students

Filomeno with students

Felipe Filomeno, Aaron Kennet, and Benjamin Fosbaugh pictured with Ed Elmendorf, former president of the UN Association.

Felipe Filomeno, an assistant professor of political science, participated in a United Nations Association consultation in Baltimore on Wednesday, September 17 at the Johns Hopkins offices in Fells Point. Filomeno, along with UMBC students and political science majors Aaron Kennett and Benjamin Fosbaugh, participated in a consultation along with representatives of other organizations (local government and NGOs) to provide input for the post-2015 global development agenda of the UN, considering the needs and interests of Baltimore. The meeting will be followed by a broader event to take place at the JHU Homewood Campus on Nov 11, in which Filomeno will serve as a moderator and other UMBC students will also participate.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, on WJZ 13 and in the Baltimore Sun

Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was in the news this past week analyzing the race for Maryland governor. As the campaign gains steam, Norris was interviewed by WJZ Channel 13 and the Baltimore Sun.

Donald Norris UMBC

As more negative campaign ads emerge between Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Republican opponent Larry Hogan, Norris told WJZ that, “attack ads we know three or four things about. One of them is they work, which is why candidates and their campaigns use them,” said Norris. He also discussed the ads as a potential way to drive more voter turnout: “I know that both camps are trying to get as much turnout as they can. Whether they’re going to be successful or not, I don’t know,” Norris said.

Norris was interviewed by the Baltimore Sun about Larry Hogan accusing Anthony Brown of “blatant lies” and “disgraceful” attack ads, saying Hogan’s complaints could backfire: “Anthony Brown is a real likable guy,” said Norris. “Calling him a liar can just inflame his supporters, and that means higher turnout. It also makes [Hogan] look awfully thin-skinned. Politics, after all, is a combat sport.”

In a Baltimore Sun article focusing on differences on transportation issues between the two candidates, Norris said Brown and Hogan are “polar opposites” on transportation issues as they vie for the support of Maryland voters. Their divergent views matter because Maryland’s governor has the budgetary authority to decide whether a major transportation project goes forward — or not. “Voters have got a really, really clear choice in this election,” Norris said.

Complete coverage can be found below:
Attack Ads Continue as Election Day Nears (WJZ)
Hogan accuses Brown of ‘blatant lies’ and ‘disgraceful’ attack ads (Baltimore Sun)
Governor candidates are on separate tracks (Baltimore Sun)

Roy Meyers, Political Science, in the Herald-Mail

An article published September 13 in the Herald-Mail examines Question 1 on the November 4 Election Day ballot for Maryland voters. The legislatively referred constitutional amendment seeks to ensure money from the state’s transportation fund will be used for transportation-related bond payments and for the construction and repair of highways. If approved, the measure would prevent money from the transportation fund being transferred to the state’s general fund or any non-transportation projects.

Roy Meyers (UMBC)

Political Science Professor Roy Meyers was interviewed for the article and discussed his views on the measure: “I think that if the state had a bad year, it should be allowed to transfer money,” Meyers said. “The state should have flexibility during a crisis.”

“During bad times, why should transportation go on spending merrily while spending is cut in other areas?” he asked. Meyers said that he understands the desire to keep faith with Marylanders who are paying the gas tax: “But the best way of doing that is for the state to have a long-run transportation strategy that promotes mobility at an acceptable cost while protecting the environment. The provision in this referendum doesn’t contribute significantly to that goal,” he said.

To read the full article, click here.