UA in the News: June 27, 2012
June 27, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
What does the Arizona Immigration Law Ruling mean for Alabama?
WBHM.org – June 26
State Senator Scott Beason’s phone has been ringing off the hook. “Everybody calls and says have you read the opinion yet and my answer is always, ‘no’ been on the phone constantly since…” Beason sponsored the Alabama law. The Republican stands outside the Gardendale Civic Center, north of Birmingham, as a couple of reporters line up. Beason says the ruling is a mixed bag. He’s happy the so-called “show me your papers” provision was upheld. Not so happy three others were overturned. And he feels the court’s reasoning isn’t clear. “Because of their ambiguity in the decision, it’s entirely possible that Alabama could fly and do very, very well.” Or he says, it may not. Alabama’s speaker of the house says the court left the “teeth” of the Arizona law in effect and that’s a victory. The Southern Poverty Law Center is among the groups which challenged the Alabama bill. Legal director Mary Bauer says while it’s not a perfect ruling it’s a strong blow to anti-immigrant laws. She says the ruling – in general — makes clear a state cannot enact its own immigration policy. “And I think that means that much of Alabama’s law is sort of dead in the water.” In addition to Alabama — Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah have similar immigration laws with legal challenges on hold. University of Alabama law professor Paul Horwitz says yesterday’s ruling on Arizona, does not make these other cases a forgone conclusion. Courts will weigh provisions not in Arizona’s law. Judges may find wiggle room in the ruling. What it does, he says, is offer guidance. “The Supreme Court often acts as a kind of traffic signal and it’s steering the traffic in a particular direction now.”
NBC’s Ebersol adviser for Olympics telecasts
Associated Press – June 26
The way American television viewers experience the Olympics is largely the vision of producer Dick Ebersol, and this summer’s London Games will be the first in two decades on NBC without the veteran executive running the show. He won’t be forgotten, given the loyalties of NBC Sports brass, and isn’t really gone — NBC employs him as an adviser. But London will test the abilities of a new team for the company that owns Olympics TV rights through 2020. Ebersol, 65, unexpectedly quit as NBC Sports chairman last year when negotiations for a new contract broke down. Best known to many outside the industry as actress Susan St. James’ husband and for being injured in a 2004 plane crash that killed his son, Ebersol broke into TV in 1967 as an Olympics researcher for ABC, working for the legendary producer Roone Arledge. While he’s held other jobs, mostly notably as “Saturday Night Live” producer between Lorne Michaels’ two tenures, the Olympics were his chief focus since before the Barcelona Games in 1992 and for seven Olympics after. He produced the prime-time Olympics telecast with an eye on personalities, the peculiarities of the host country and a focus on American athletes competing in a limited number of marquee sports. In the summer, that’s track & field, swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball. “He’s a storyteller,” said Andrew Billings, a sports media professor at the University of Alabama and author of “Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television. “The Olympics had already been about creating a narrative, but he streamlined the narratives and found a way to integrate them into the broadcast.”
Play to show at UA before heading to Big Apple
Crimson White – June 27
University of Alabama theater professor Seth Panitch is taking his most recent production, “Hell: Paradise Found,” to an Off-Broadway stage in New York City. However, before he and his cast depart for the Big Apple, there will be three performances on campus starting July 2. Panitch’s play tells the story of a young lawyer who died and missed his “defining moment” in life, a moment in which he chooses heaven or hell. Panitch’s idea of heaven and hell is quite different than the traditional religious views held by Christians. He came up with the idea for “Hell: Paradise Found” while researching a play on Shakespeare, and discovered Puritans believed performing was a sin. “It reminded me of all the figures, many that we celebrate today, that for one reason or another had been labeled ‘sinners’ or ‘heretics’ simply for offering a different interpretation or of altering a status quo,” Panitch said. “I wondered assuming the Puritans and others like them were right—and that Shakespeare, Galileo, Joan of Arc, etcetera, were all sent to hell, who would wind up in heaven under those conditions?” In the play, heaven is reserved for those who have not only made the right choices their entire life, but also for those who never questioned authority or rules. Hell is a place for people who are not necessarily bad, but may have taken a stand for what they believed in, even if it was considered the wrong choice.
Camp prevents ‘brain drain’ in local students
Crimson White – June 27
Children and teenagers participating in the Summer Food and Fun Project will be diligently preventing “brain drain” this summer by learning healthy eating and lifestyle habits. The summer enrichment program, which provides free meals to participants, will be held at the McDonald Hughes Community Center, operating from Tuesday to Thursday, 9-11 a.m. The six-week program, which started earlier this month and ends in mid-July, stems from the State Perinatal Program, initially implemented to decrease infant morbidity and mortality, said Sharon Bradford, Region Two perinatal director for the Alabama Department of Public Health. “The program encourages cooperative relationships among healthcare providers and institutions to ensure medically effective and cost efficient perinatal care and to raise awareness regarding infant morbidity and mortality,” Bradford said. Rashad Cole, University of Alabama graduate student and director of the Summer Food and Fun Project, said this program is not a typical summer camp. During summer vacation, most students forget a large portion of what they learned during the school year, Cole said. “Our goal is to reduce the amount of students that go back to school with brain drain,” he said. “We want them to go back to school and be able to use what they learn here.” The Summer Food and Fun Project, sponsored by the Region Two Perinatal Community Action Team, offers arts and crafts, wellness and life skills, reading and creative writing to youth between the ages of three and 18. Financial planning is also offered to the teenagers. “This summer we had a church to implement their summer program in with ours, so now the youth in their summer program come here,” Cole said. “It has been a great accomplishment.”
University Club offers students employment experience
Crimson White – June 27
Students interested in hotel and restaurant management can now get experience in everything from bartending to managing catered events through the College of Human and Environmental Sciences work with The University Club. The club, which has a history that extends as far back as the mid-1800s, has served as a family home, a Tuscaloosa Service Center for soldier entertainment during World War II, a social center for University of Alabama faculty and a coed dormitory. In 1946, the University officially opened the building as the University Club. Roy Maize, director of restaurant, hotel and meetings management, said CHES has been in charge of the club since April 1, and it has since been a great place for students to work. “It’s a living, breathing organization where students can gain real-world experience but where we still have some control,” he said. “It’s a great way for students to get a feel for what’s going on.” Maize said right now students have internship and employment opportunities, but in the future, the primary focus will be to integrate experience into the classroom. “We hope to be able to use the club for labs and practicums with our classes, such as our catering class, where we could have the students cater events as part of their coursework,” he said. Senior restaurant and hospitality management major Corey Brannon has been working at the University Club since May and said he’s always busy. “I do pretty much everything,” he said. “I wait tables, I bartend, I manage catering events, I answer the phone – it’s been a great opportunity.”
State and county unemployment rates rise
Crimson White – June 27
A new report by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations shows that, for the first time this year, unemployment both on a state level and in Tuscaloosa County has increased. The seasonally adjusted data, which takes into account different economic phenomena, shows that unemployment for May 2012 is at 7.4 percent, up from 7.2 percent in April 2012. This rate is the highest since March. One seasonal component that has contributed to this new rise in unemployment is the increase in the civilian labor force. According to the same report, the size of the labor force jumped from 2,137,043 in April to 2,143,105 in May. According to Ahmad Ijaz, the director of economic forecasting at the University of Alabama, one contributing factor to this increase in May – a common one, he asserts – is the introduction of high school and college students into the work force, seeking either summer or permanent employment. State and local economic trends, however, are reflective of those both national and abroad. Bob Brooks, the chair of financial management at UA, highlighted the many causes of the current financial state of the state and country. “The trauma in Europe and regulatory ambiguity coming out of Washington are contributing to unemployment problems in Tuscaloosa County and Alabama,” Brooks said. “For example, there’s a lot of regulatory uncertainty in the banking industry, particularly in the form of the Dodd-Frank Bill.”
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.