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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

News Briefs

COMPILED BY MASS MEDIA STAFF

MAKE SOME ROOM

In an effort to encourage student activity in the Campus Center, new plans to facilitate student organization use of the building’s space have taken effect this spring semester. The announcement was made during a Campus Center breakfast reception hosted by the Campus Center Governance Committee before the start of classes. According to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Charlie Titus, student groups will have access to the streets of the Campus Center on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. for events and activities without amplification.

Further, the Campus Center Ballroom will be available to student-run organizations, without incurring charges for the use of the room, on six dates throughout each semester. The events must be student sponsored and for student attendance, and attendant charges will not be waived.These opportunities for space will be administered by the Office of Student Affairs.”We are…committed to ongoing evaluations of the Campus Center and its use relative to direct student activities,” says Titus.

SNOW BUSINESS With a total of roughly thirty-six to forty inches falling in the past weeks, the Grounds Department has had a lot of work to do to make the University accessible again. The grounds crew is responsible for making sure the campus, including the perimeter roads, are safe for people to use. This isn’t an easy job says David Lanchester, a 15-year veteran of the grounds department. “We get called the minute the snow falls…we’re here the entire time throughout the storm.” UMass Boston’s grounds services not only handle plowing responsibilities, but also remove the snow from parking lots and roadways. For this task they employ the use of a backhoe to take the snow from the north and south parking facilities and relocate it to the grassy areas behind the lots. Snow mounds in back of the Clark Athletic Center reach as high as 30 feet, and the areas surrounding the south lot make it nearly impossible to see inside the lot.

The job of the grounds crew doesn’t end with snow removal. Walkways and stairways are checked daily to assess safety issues, and sand and salt are applied when deemed necessary.”It’s an ongoing thing and it’s just something we have to deal with as it comes up,” Lanchester says.

Lanchester continues that the department’s crew worked at sixteen-hour increments to prepare UMB for automobile and pedestrian traffic.The job was complicated by high winds, whiteout conditions, and the use of older equipment, as most of the machinery dates back to the early nineties.

The facilities department did not respond to requests for information regarding the cost of the snow removal to the university.However, with the total amount of snow that fell, the grounds department put in many hours of over time to prepare the campus for reopening.”[I’ve] been in the grounds department for 15 years and I think this is one of the worst storms we’ve ever had,” says Lanchester.

MEDSCHOOL TO DEVELOP MALE PILL

According to the Associated Press, the UMass Medical School is partnering with a Norwegian company to develop research that could yield a male birth control pill.

AP reports that Oslo-based SpermaTech signed a licensing agreement with the Worcester campus and announced the deal this past Monday.

The new research will focus on targeting a protein only found in sperm cells as a way to disrupt the fertilization process.According to researchers at the medical school and elsewhere, this method holds less risk than previous attempts at male contraception that sought to alter men’s hormones.

Representatives from SpermaTech say development of the drug could take up to ten years. If produced, the drug could assume pill, patch, or gel form.