Let’s Talk Change URI

June 24, 2015 in Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

 It’s a bit unrealistic to like everything about your college and its campus, right? Well, the University of Rhode Island is no exception to that. From the hassle of selling back your old textbooks  to limited parking spaces and even the off-campus social scene,there are a few things I would change about URI and here’s why:

URI Bookstore

URI Bookstore

One thing I would change about URI would have to be the inconvenience of the bookstore. Every semester, thousands of students purchase books for their classes, some of them are never even used while others are used once or twice during the entire course. Not only is this unfair, but when it comes to the end of the school year, selling back your books to the URI Bookstore is horrifying. I’ve had instances where I’ve purchased a hardcover textbook for over $60 and have received $5-10 back. This just doesn’t seem fair especially because students cannot afford to be buying such expensive books. I remember as I freshmen, I was willing to purchase an expensive book because I was told I could sell it back to the URI Bookstore, but after realizing they would only pay me for a fraction of the original price, I stopped purchasing my books from them. Now, I use other alternatives allowing me to rent books and mail them back without any additional cost.
A URI Parking Lot

A URI Parking Lot

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you how difficult it is to find on-campus parking. It usually starts off with an angry tone then a few dirty looks followed by one or two heavy breathes of frustration. These are the immediate responses of URI students when parking is mentioned. There’s always construction, which means heavy duty machinery is most likely blocking parking spots. With an increase in student body each year, you would think the school would add more parking spots conveniently near dorm buildings or even the library, but no. That’s the least of their worries and as you can see from the image above, some parking lots have massive potholes preventing students from pulling into spaces. If you ask me, some of these holes seem unsafe and could damage a student, faculty member or vehicle. For now, URI continues to expand its departments and programs by adding to the campus without taking into consideration the lack of parking spaces available.
South Kingstown Police

South Kingstown Police

The last thing thing that makes the University of Rhode Island difficult to stand is the off-campus social scene. Being a dry campus has arguably ruined URI’s reputation as being a party school. It’s difficult to even have friends over in your dorm room because the Residential Assistant (RA) may consider it to be a party. With that being said, most parties and friendly gatherings are ‘down the line’ in Narragansett and South Kingstown, where most upperclassmen live. This is about a twenty minute ride off campus, making the commute to hang out with friends a dreaded trip. In recent years, the parties off-campus have resulted in a lot of issues with local police. This has started a parking ban in off-campus residential neighborhoods throughout evenings and into the night. Students are now unable to get together with their friends because of transportation issues as well as disagreements with town police. What ever happened to having fun while in college?
It’s an unfortunate situation when the college or university you attend seems to make decisions without the student body in mind. In my opinion, these are changes that the University of Rhode Island should take into consideration and potentially change in order to be have a more positive effect on students. Although URI has been my home for the past three years, those in charge may need pay closer attention to its Rhody students and their desires for change. 

Hey Man. Where’s the Party at?

December 27, 2013 in Campus Life, Colleges

Red Solo Cup

Whenever someone is deciding on  a college the party scene is always a question that comes up. Where are the best parties? Are they safe? How strict are the campus police? These are all questions that are typically asked by incoming students. Many people say that they even make decisions based on the popular Im Shmacked videos. Im Shmacked is a group of guys who go around to colleges and video tape the parties. It has become a full business and kids love seeing what they parties are like at different colleges.

At Butler University, there definitely is a party scene. It is not quite as big as a large university, such as Arizona State, but it isn’t a Division 3 party school either. There is always plenty to do. At the beginning of the year, the places to go are senior houses. Fraternities and sororities don’t allow freshman in until past Labor Day, so senior houses is all that is left. This is where I personally went for the first few weeks of school. They were all a great time and they typically all had a party theme. As a freshman who was new to the college party experience, it was exactly what I was hoping for.

Once Labor Day is over, it is all about the fraternities. Butler is definitely greek driven, so the frats are a hit. Every day during the weekend, there are multiple houses open throughout campus. They all have their positives and negatives, and is really is personal opinion for which ones are better. I personally have a couple frats I always go to, but my roommate would completely disagree with me. So it is just what fits you best.

Frats will have specific parties, and everyone goes to those. There is one house that always has a halloween party called Voodoo, and another house typically has a black and white themed party. These parties are tradition at the houses and everyone makes sure not to miss those special ones. But one thing is for sure that the frats are definitely where the parties are at.

Butler Beer Pong Table

But what are the cops like? Do kids get in trouble a lot? Surprisingly, no. Now I’m not saying the Butler Police aren’t doing their job, just their main goal isn’t to get us in trouble. The police are there for our best interest and safety. I know of countless times when a cop could have potentially busted someone, but instead made sure the student was okay and helped the student get home. Sometimes when parties do get a bit too wild, they will end a party. This usually happens at the senior houses. But when they do that, they aren’t checking the entire house for underage drinkers. They let everybody leave, but just shut down the party. I feel this is a very fair way to treat the party situation and I personally am a big fan of the Campus Police at Butler.

I have had no problems with the party scene at Butler. For a school only 4,600 kids, I wasn’t expecting much, but that quickly changed. There really is something for everyone to do, and I never feel pressured to drink or not to drink. If you want to, go right ahead, but if you want a night off and just enjoy your time, that is completely okay as well. I have never seen anyone get pressured into drinking. Everybody respects each other too much to really pressure different kids to drink and get hammered. I have had a great time so far at Butler parties and if my first semester has any indication to what the rest of college has in store, I am not going to leave disappointed.

Injustice needs Justice: Campus-Local Safety

December 9, 2013 in Alive Campus, Career, Colleges

Are students really safe?

Robert C. Redus has been shot by a campus police officer at a traffic light due to a lack of gun control by the officer. Is this a result of Texas’s gun policies? I have not seen any weapon to the extent of a gun on Centenary’s security but it is worth checking the local authorities protecting your area and/or school grounds. No one wants any accident taking a life away.

Are people really safe?

I’m talking about anywhere in America. Guns are excuses for individuals to not workout. I have been thinking of an army of physically strong individuals against a group of out of shape individuals interacting over a seemingly criminal situation. The physically fit members will win the battle.

Why does it matter?

Guns are the excuse not to work out. They are the overkill on the field of conflict. People will fight less hand to hand because of their fear of losing face to face. Yet bullets are the excuse to never see a person’s face in a society that embraces accidents and recovering from them.

Lives are at risk with the unknown access individuals have to dangerous tools. Fear is a reason behind accidental shootings while individuals gaining a sense of empowerment behind a gun can be another reason for a shooting to occur. Guns are an excuse for laziness.

Who has the primary jurisdiction over guns?

Law enforcers, hunters and those residing in states with gun licenses or parameters set for residents to equip guns on their person(s). Remember the saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Everyone knows cops aren’t perfect but I am expecting their level of responsibility with a weapon to be much higher than the average user. Individuals should not be dying by law enforcement but taken into custody.

Just Us Peace Officer Injust Un

Injustice needs Justice!

Robert Cameron Redus is dead; shot by a campus police officer at a traffic light. Everyone knows the officer will get off not guilty from the case. Cops don’t go to jail for being criminals. They just get a lot of homework as punishment. It’s unfair to the injustice pervading across our nation. Cops will ticket and trail an individual because of false intuitions or prejudice suspicions (unless you are clearly violating the law). They don’t get in trouble for discrimination.

Robert C. Redus is a college student set for graduation in May. He will not even be able to experience the benefits of his efforts through the grueling college years. He could have been spending his time living a completely different lifestyle but he is dead because of a cop’s lack of responsibility.

Cops get away with murder every week. Citizens should not find government by uniforms with guns but by uniforms with civil communication. The law should be the law. Jails are accessible as threat enough to criminals despite their system being as unjust as those maintaining them. Robert C. Redus will not be able to write a report to save his life despite him doing them all these years to graduate to live a better life. The campus police offer will have a story to tell that will shave the bottom of his boots clean. He doesn’t need to stand as tall as long as he can slide underneath the bar of incarceration.

I worry about the individuals that have to deal with cops again and again. The traditional ways of policing are not dead. There is a silent government in America that attempts to control the local masses with lawful fear. Their empowerment is their weapon by their side, their rulebook, and their inclination toward power. You can only be safe from a self-pardoning criminal by staying away from confrontation including them and their laws.

I hope Robert C. Redus’s family is well. I hope that less corruption runs rampant behind the scenes of the media portraying the momentary heroic act of officers. I hope gun control will mean a weapon lock away unless necessary to the extent that military personnel need to involve their selves in a situation. I hope for the better of the world and the return o fist fights over gunplay. I hope for a better world.

That’s a lot of hope in people.

-Kevin Dufresne