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NY Senate Approves Gay Marriage

Sara Azoulay, Asst. News Editor

On Friday, June 24th, the New York Senate passed a bill approving gay marriage, marking a historic moment in U.S legislation. The decision followed the June 15th  state assembly that approved the marriage equality bill.

While overwhelming uncertainty for the marriage bill left citizens unsure of the ultimate outcome,  the vote came down to a win for gay marriage supporters—33 votes to 29. Four Republicans were in favor of the bill, Stephen M. Saland, Roy J. McDonald, James S. Alesi, and Mark J. Grisanti .  Senator Mark J. Grisanti of Buffalo, a Republican among the four said before voting,

 “I apologize for those who feel offended, I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”

 All democrats present in the Senate but one voted yes to the bill. Democrat Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx voted no to the bill stating,

“God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage, a long time ago.”

  The bill was signed at 11:15 p.m. Friday night by Governor Andrew Cuomo and will take effect in thirty days. New York joins the ranks of Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut in allowing same sex marriage and is currently the largest state to do so.While the decision marks a huge victory for the gay community, others feel that it comprises the traditional structure of families. 

The bill was passed just in time for the Gay Pride Parade in New York City. The pridefest, the LGBT street fair, was held on Sunday, June 25, 2011 on Hudson Street. Many supporters came out to celebrate gay pride and the new passing of the marriage equality bill.

Start Saving Those Collegiate Pennies: Financial Aid is on the Decline!

December 9, 2010 2 comments

Fatima Shabbir

Is it me or did everyone else’s financial aid plummet for no reason?

I received an email from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) the other day stating that “New York State Budget authorized the reduction of certain payments,” which included TAP – financial aid. And in so doing, my award “has been reduced by $12 as a result of an actual shortfall.” What in the world is “an actual shortfall?” What does that even mean?

OK, maybe $12 isn’t a big deal to one person – even if I didn’t have it, I probably could scrape it up some way or another. Whether it was by scraping pennies out of the Columbus Circle water fountain or by becoming an entertainer on the train ride home, I would have made sure I had it some way or another. But, the point is – it isn’t just one person, chances are if it happened to me – it probably happened to the rest of us at Fordham who are already struggling to make ends meet in these hard times!

If bureaucrats want to reduce the budget to save money and reduce local and national deficits – yadda, yadda, yadda – and whatever nonsense they talk about in Congress all day, why not take it out of things that don’t matter?  That we can survive without?  Like the National Parks fund – they can just NOT clean a couple of parks for one day, I’m sure no animals or children will die. Or the “Protect the Mayor fund” – I’m sure five bodyguards instead of seven would be enough to suppress a threat on his life.  Should money really be taken out from education budgets for American students?

Aren’t we supposed to be the future? What will happen when those $12 become hundreds and thousands? What future will we have then?

We Are The Next Generation; GET INVOLVED

November 18, 2010 3 comments

Stefanie Wheeler, online editor

My freshman year I had to make a slightly conscious effort to follow current events in the news. I was brought up in a political environment so I was always naturally drawn to politics and news, but as a young college student sleeping past noon any day I had the chance to, reading or watching the news didn’t always make top priority in my day-to-day routine. I mean, I had five page papers to write last minute. I was too busy frantically typing my topic into Google to quote a sentence from that “5th source” that so many professors required.

Then my sophomore year came around, and with the Obama vs. McCain media frenzy, I found myself glued to the television. This was history in the making and I certainly didn’t want to miss a beat. But why weren’t my peers just as interested as I was? Maybe they didn’t care about politics? I would think EVERYONE should at least stay in tune with a presidential race…. I mean, the winner IS going to be running our country for at least the next four years. Everybody seemed to be jumping on either the Obama or McCain bandwagon, but very few people that I spoke to could even name one thing on their political agendas. Taking on a certain political affiliation became a trend, but with very little behind it.

Throughout my junior year I found myself making Google Alerts for everything that seemed important and I set my homepage to http://www.nytimes.com so that every time I opened a browser to go on Facebook, I’d be greeted with the latest headlines first.

Now I’m in my senior year and I’ve become my mother. The news is constantly on my television and on my computer, I e-mail my friends links to articles that I find interesting, and I call my parents pretty frequently to rant about something stupid the government is doing.

Often times, I get into heated debates with other students in class over politics, news, or pretty much anything anyone wants to disagree with me about. I find that a lot of these debates are essentially a waste of my time. Why don’t students know what’s going on in our world? We are the next generation to do something big. We have all of the doors opened for us and the opportunities are endless. It’s scary knowing that as college students and the next generation of politicians, educators, business men and women, doctors, philosophers, and lawyers, some of us didn’t even know who was running in the midterm election Nov 2nd or that Juan Williams was fired from NPR–or even what NPR is.

This may seem over-dramatic or over-generalized. I admit, not ALL college students are in complete and utter darkness about our nation and world, but to the ones who are: GET INVOLVED and care about what’s going on. Stay up to date, voice your opinions, and listen to others. Bounce thoughts and ideas around with your friends. This is the most influential times of our lives. Let’s make it worth something.

Stand Up! Global Stand Against Poverty Comes to Lincoln Center

September 17, 2010 3 comments

Malaya V. Saldana

Stand-Up ILO UNDP 2009

Photo courtesy of standagainstpoverty.org.

Lincoln Center is a place of expression; it is a place where the voices of artists and influential figures resonate to a worldwide audience. Now, Lincoln Center has a chance to take expression from the level of exhibition to actuality.

On Sunday, September 19th, 2010 Lincoln Center is hosting a powerful global event: STAND UP Take Action Against Poverty. Josie Robertson Plaza, Lincoln Center and many other venues across the globe are standing up to express the voice of the mute; the voice of the millions of people living in poverty.

Stand Up Take Action Against poverty is the largest social mobilization the world has seen, it aims to remind world leaders to honor their millennium goals to end poverty and inequality by 2015.

The timing of this event is perfect: on September 20-22, 192 world leaders will meet in New York to discuss the MDGs. This is OUR chance as students, as citizens, to make a sincere difference. To demand that leaders remember who they are truly representing.

So, what can we do?

Visit this website to see in-depth details of what students have the power to do. We have that 1 in a million chance to give voice to the millions of people who are silenced by poverty and disease.

There will be activists from across the globe, media coverage, guest speakers, and musical entertainment.

We can realize these lofty goals by 2015 if we have the guts to walk down the block and stand up for something that is undeniably right.

So attend, and if you’re up to it volunteer. Stand up & Speak Up. Who knows maybe just a quick walk down the street can impact the lives of millions. Hey, it might even change the way you look at yours.

Where?

September 19 · 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Josie Robertson Plaza (Lincoln Center)

70 Lincoln Center Plaza

New York, NY

To learn more, check out this video:

Be sure to look out for more ways to volunteer, to be passionate about positive change and to earn some great friends, experiences and karma points along the way on the Observatory!