Why I Love UAlbany's Architecture

Why I Love UAlbany's Architecture

The purpose to the unique design of this campus.
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Yes, I have heard the complaints about the architecture here. I have noticed how everything looks the same and how it gets repetitive after a while. I am aware that the campus is all gray and white which means that when the skies turn gray and the ground turns white, it will be completely colorless. And yes, I have been here in the winter. It’s windy and it’s cold. But despite these occasional complaints about the architecture of the University at Albany’s uptown campus, I still love it for many reasons.

For those of you who haven’t been on campus, it is certainly as far from the typical collegiate ivy-covered brick building look as you can get. The uptown campus, designed by Edward Durell Stone and built in the mid-1960’s, is almost completely symmetrical, made of concrete, has 1,248 columns, dramatic colonnades, and all thirteen buildings on the academic podium are connected under a single roof.

Edward Durell Stone designed the campus as an example of postmodern architecture, emphasizing repeating patterns and creation of a unique sense of space. But there is a function to the form as well. To me, the design symbolizes information connectivity.

While walking around the inside of the podium, you can clearly discern one building from the other by noticing the space that separates them. Furthermore, each building corresponds to a certain division of information, with labels such as “Physics,” “Fine Arts,” and “Humanities” on the exterior walls. In these ways, the buildings are all separated and classified differently. But looking at the campus from an aerial view, you cannot discern buildings - they are all connected underneath one giant overarching roof. This design seems to symbolize how all types of different knowledge and information can be connected into one grand and beautiful structure.

I am of the opinion that it important not to just learn a lot about one specific division of information, but to expand and diversify your knowledge. Having high diversity and large quantity in the things you learn will allow you to see patterns and connections between very different divisions of information.

Understanding this information connectivity creates a holistic understanding of the workings of the world. It allows you to see how there are certain structures, systems, and models used to understand one division of information that mirrors those from a very different one, exemplifying how everything in the universe is structurally connected.

The design of UAlbany’s uptown campus visualizes this connectivity in a very physical way. It takes all of these different schools and divisions of information and connects them all to each other under one roof, into one structure.

Secondly, the design of the campus also parallels forms found in nature. Each one of the 1,248 columns opens up at the top into small arches that resemble branches. Walking under the podium is not unlike walking through a forest with trees that open up into branches at the top to form a single canopy. The courtyards and gardens in the podium are like coming upon clearings in the woods, and the fountain in the middle is not too much unlike a beach on a lake, with people reading, relaxing, and even tanning on all warm and sunny days.

The symmetry of the design is one that places enormous emphasis on the life within it. In a symmetrical and colorless structure, the people are the ones who create motion, music, variety, and color within the confines of the colossal concrete campus.

The starkness and uniformity acts as a canvas for the trees and flowers planted throughout it. The campus is designed in a way that catches the light in the most beautiful way at sunset, painting the tops of the columns orange, and snatching it up and displaying it like an art installation on its expansive concrete walls. The shape of the campus mirrors forms found in nature and makes the campus an ecosystem—where people move through by specializing their skills, expanding their minds, and constructing their view of the world.

Ultimately, I think the design of UAlbany’s uptown campus is beautiful. Not only does it embody the interconnectedness of information, but it mirrors forms found in nature. The architecture is symmetrical, balanced, and graceful, but ultimately places the most emphasis on the person moving through it - the observer, the colorful and complex work of art displayed on a blank wall.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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The Crimes And Misdemeanors Of A Sitting President

Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is: Can this nation survive any more division?

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Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is; can this nation survive any more division? Is Nancy correct in her comment, "He's just not worth it?" Impeachment should not be used as a political tool to remove an unwanted government official out of office. Its purpose is to bring charges against a government official and once the official is impeached then the legislative body can impose judgment which could ultimately remove the official from office.

Moreover, in the past, this country has impeached two sitting presidents and neither ended with his removal. According to www.merriam-webster.com, the definition of impeaching is "(a) to charge with a crime or misdemeanor, specifically: to charge a public official before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office. (b) to remove from office especially for misconduct, and (c) to bring an accusation against."

So how many cases of impeachment has the United States experienced with sitting presidents? According to www.History.com, eight U.S. presidents have faced impeachment, but with very different results. John Tyler was the first president to face impeachment proceedings in 1843. Representative John Botts of Virginia filed claimed Tyler conduct of the U.S. Treasury although the House of Representatives voted Botts' claim down.

Andrew Johnson was the second sitting president to have impeachment proceedings filed against him. In 1868 President Johnson dismissed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and according to Congress, the president violated the Tenure of Office Act. Even though Johnson was impeached the Senate would not confirm his removal from office and he finished his term.

With the exception of Grover Cleveland, the twentieth century gave way for many calls for impeachment beginning with Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, and ending with George H.W. Bush. None of these presidents were subjected to the process as the claims never had the votes to call for a hearing on the committees.

There were three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, however, he resigned in 1974 before any of the proceedings could take place. In 1998 Bill Clinton was impeached over allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice relating to the Monica Lewinsky case. In Clinton's case, the Senate acquitted, and he finished his term in office just like Andrew Johnson.

President Trump is under scrutiny for some of the very reason's other presidents have had impeachment proceedings. He has proven to most American's that he is a danger to our democracy. Trump has snubbed his nose at the foreign emolument clause, creating an open way for foreign powers to pressure our president to stray from his constitutional obligation to the United States. The firing of the FBI Director James Comey and fulling admitting on national television to Lester Holt that he did because of "this Russia thing." This is "obstruction of justice," and other presidents have been charged with this article of impeachment. However, Nixon resigned, and Clinton was acquitted.

So why is he not worth it? First the truth, he won the election. Unless there is proven evidence that he colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 presidential election reversing this fact will drive this new faction of voters back to the polls to elect another under-qualified candidate. In addition, the Republican Party will use the impeachment as a platform in the upcoming election. Citing the Democrats stole the White House from them.

Second, is the nation ready for even one year of Mike Pence as president? His record as Governor of Indiana is the only evidence needed. He banned Syrian refugees, he reinstated mandatory minimum sentences and authored a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. He doesn't take to Twitter, has the political knowledge, and is waiting his turn to strike like an incurable virus.

Third and even more disturbing is the Republican Party and their efforts to gloss over his crimes and misdemeanors and cite the economy, and jobs. Many won't vote against Trump because of his base; cannot afford to have to explain their decisions to his base voters in 2020. Most fear they will have to go through a primary. Even though if they removed Trump and put Pence in his place they could have during their two-year reign and most American's civil liberties would be a thing of the past.

The voters gave their voice in 2018 and Congress is working, unlike the previous Congress. They have a lot of work to do and spinning their wheels debating the crimes and misdemeanors of the sitting president is counter-productive. History will repeat itself and he will be acquitted.

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