Tag Archives: Featured

Jezioro: The Bills’ Big Offseason

With the NFL Draft approaching, the Buffalo Bills do not have a first round pick as of right now. That’s because they made a blockbuster trade that reverberated around the league, acquiring one of the best receivers in the league. Let’s take a look at that trade and the other moves the team has made so far.

Stefon Diggs

This is the biggest acquisition in the offseason for the Bills. Buffalo finally got what they desperately needed, a true number one wide receiver. Last season, Diggs had a great year with the Minnesota Vikings. He had 63 receptions, caught six touchdown passes and recorded 1,130 yards. To get Diggs, the Bills gave up their first, fifth, and sixth round pick in this years draft. They also gave up their seventh round pick in 2020 and a fourth round pick in 2021. While it was a haul, I think it’s worth it. You have a proven talented receiver in Diggs and on top of that, a good wide receiver core. Along with John Brown and Cole Beasley, quarterback Josh Allen has an amazing opportunity to prove that he is the franchise QB for Buffalo. The speed that Diggs has is amazing and I can’t wait for him to utilize it as a Bill.

Josh Norman

I like this deal for the team. It’s a one year deal for the former Redskins cornerback and if he can play like the shutdown corner he was in Carolina, this signing is a home run for Bills General Manager Brandon Beane. Last season, Norman had only one interception. I have a feeling that he will have a better season with the Bills playing opposite Pro-Bowler Tre’Davious White as the starting corner. Buffalo also has a much more talented core than Washington. I feel like Norman won’t have to feel pressured considering he doesn’t have to cover the best receiver on the opposing team every single play during a game.

Mario Addison

I absolutely love this signing by the Bills. The defensive end had 34 tackles and 9.5 sacks with the Carolina Panthers last year. With Buffalo losing defensive end Shaq Lawson in free agency, Addison is a great replacement for Lawson. He can also play linebacker but I think he’ll spend most of his time playing DE. Adding to an already dangerous defensive line, this is a good signing.

Quinton Spain

Bringing back Spain was a great decision by Beane. Last year, he did not allow a single sack all season. That is unheard of in a league full of great defensive players who can get to the QB. The offensive line was inconsistent last season but Spain was fantastic and I’m pumped the Bills brought him back.

The time is now for the Bills to not only win the division, but finally win a playoff game. They had a great chance to win against the Texans in last year’s wildcard game, but it didn’t end up the way they wanted to. As for Allen, no excuses. He has some dangerous weapons and Diggs should help him out.

All stats are from NFL.com and the details from the Diggs trade is credited to WGR550.com.

Hilbert Community Mourns Student

The Hilbert community has been in mourning over the death of sophomore Brittnay Summers. The criminal justice major passed away in a car accident on March 31st, and her sudden death has left a shock to those at Hilbert who knew her.

“She had a smile, and was just so fun,” said her advisor, English professor Megan Witzleben. “She found her way in class, and I think embraced the idea of always striving and looking for opportunities to better herself.”

Witzleben served both as Brittnay’s advisor, as well as her English 102 professor.

“There was a unit on the British romantics, and she thought it was too far removed from her life,” Witzleben said. “But then I pointed out to her that these were people who took common speech and made it poetic. And suddenly, she loved that idea; she always had her own spin on the material, and it made it fun for all of us.”

Brittnay was always proud of her work as a security guard, holding positions both at New Era Field, and at Canalside. Brittnay had aspirations of furthering a law enforcement career either here in New York, or down south in Florida.

In a time where students are not physically together, mourning and remembering Brittany has to take a different approach for now.

“Certainly writing about her,” said Witzleben. “Writing, in a way, keeps people alive. For example with poetry, they think about how you memorialize those who have passed on through writing about them, telling stories about them, and remembering that they count and they matter. Whether they are here with us physically, or with their spirit.”

Students have been taking to writing, with junior Danny Ostroski writing the following on the tribute wall on Brittnay’s obituary page:

“I wish I was able to get to know you better. I was really looking forward to going back to school and seeing your beautiful and radiant smile that brightened my day by so much every day. You were so so sweet and a literal angel, and you always ever looked happy when I passed you in the hallways. Rest easy sweetheart, you will forever be in my heart and on my mind. We’ll miss you so much.”

Hilbert College President, Michael Brophy, told The Scribe that once campus activities resume following the COVID-19 pandemic, the school has plans to more formally memorialize her.

“The college was represented at her memorial, but only two folks could go as only ten total are allowed to be there with the virus going around,” said Brophy. “But we did promise her parents that once everything is back up and normal, we’ll have a proper memorial on campus. [The family] also requested that we plant a tree on campus in her memory, and we’ll be really happy to do that as well.”

As the community continues to mourn from afar, Margaret Smith, vice president for mission integration and campus ministry, offers some wise words.

“It’s tempting to get swept away by fear and darkness when so many things seem to be falling apart around us,” Smith said. “This is where our faith kicks in. Christian hope isn’t an emotion: it’s a virtue that takes practice and hard work. It is a decision, made over and over again, to turn to light and to trust in God when things are difficult.”

Scholarships Available for Returning Students

Hilbert College is offering some financial relief to returning students in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has upended lives across the globe.

The school, which converted all classes to distance learning through the summer in an effort slow the spread of the virus, is offering $1,000 scholarships to any returning students who register for the fall semester by April 15.

“We recognize the financial hardship this unprecedented situation has caused throughout the nation.” said Matt Heidt, Hilbert’s Director of Marketing and Communications.“We are trying to do everything we can to help our current students continue their education.”

Hiedt said that reimbursements will be automattically applied to fall semester tuition bills.

“No extra paperwork or application is required,” he said.

While students say they are appreciative of the money, some feel it isn’t enough.

Dylan Timmel, a junior going into his senior year at Hilbert College, has already registered for next semester.

“It helps a little but personally I feel students need more than $1,000,” he said.

Timmel said the amount just doesn’t make up for what he has lost.

“I feel the online classes are not offering me the full experience of the face to face classes which I had paid for,” he said.

In response to student’s concerns about the scholarship amount, Hilbert’s president, Dr. Michael Brophy, said they are continuing to ask students what they need to deal with the drastic changes brought on by the pandemic.

“We will work with all students returning if they need additional help for sure,” Brophy said. “We have to make sure it all adds up for students and the College.”

Heidt said students who are concerned about being able to afford next semester should contact the financial aid office for additional support.

“Our financial aid office is open and here to help,” Heidt said. “Please reach out to financialaid@hilbert.edu to explore all the options available to you.”

Advice: How to avoid the back pack blues

We live in an era when technology and the internet are gradually replacing actual books. However, textbooks are still prevalent and with them, book bags.

The heavy textbooks, laptop and loads of paper, all shoved into one backpack weighing on your back all day can make for an exhausting experience and cause pain.

Hilbert freshman Heather Gerken said she endures back pain on a daily basis.

She has started to visit a chiropractor due to back pain caused by the backpack she carries throughout the day.

“Backpacks hurt your shoulders,” Gerken said. “I feel like I’m very hunched. I feel like I slouch, but I also feel like I’m hunched all the time. It’s just heavy and it just like pulls your shoulders down.”

Gerken said that she had to carry a backpack in high school also, but not as much as she does now.

“For college I was like no way am I spending like $60 on a nice backpack,” she said. “I’ve had this since like sophomore year and actually it’s okay, but oh my god it’s really thin and it pulls on you.”

Gerken said she wishes she spent more money on a better backpack.

“I would definitely try some stretches at home to prevent my pain,” she added.

Lauren Orynawka, who has earned her doctorate in physical therapy, said backpacks cause problems for many of her patients.

“A heavy backpack pushes down on the shoulders and shoulder blades putting them in an incorrect postural position that can lead to scapular winging, spine curve known as thoracic kyphosis and the improper use of certain musculature,” Orynawka said.

The cause of this pain is the poor posture students have as a result, she added.

“Poor posture leads to the tendons, muscles and ligaments to be overused causing pain,” Orynawka said.

Orynawka treats patients with back pain almost every day and knows exactly how to prevent and treat it.

“A person who is suffering from back pain needs to learn how to properly stretch and strengthen,” she said. “Modifying how often you carry the backpack or even the weight of it can decrease back pain.”

Jezioro: AFC East Predictions

With NFL free agency underway, the focus now shifts to the NFL Draft taking place in April. The Buffalo Bills have already made some moves signing free agents, but the biggest acquisition they made was trading for wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. The following day was even better when Bills killer Tom Brady left the New England Patriots after 20 years of dominance, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Besides Brady, the Patriots lost some key pieces on defense, but the mastermind of Bill Belichick is still there. The head coach is without Brady for the first time in two decades, giving the Bills a realistic chance to take over as division winners. However, there are a couple of things that need to happen in order for them to accomplish that goal.

First up is better play from quarterback Josh Allen. Last season, Allen showed some signs of being a good quarterback, but he struggled in some situations. It’s expected to have a second year player to struggle. It’s going to happen. However, there were times where Allen was just awful. This year, he needs to step it up. Buffalo’s passing offense was not good last season, despite having some good receivers (John Brown and Cole Beasley). Now that Diggs is a Bill, there are hopes that the passing offense will be top ten in the league. No excuses, Allen needs to take it to the next level this upcoming season.

Next up is the offensive line. They need to protect Allen better so he doesn’t have to escape the pocket every single play. If they can give him good protection for a good part of each game, then Allen will be successful. They can’t be perfect every play but for the majority of each game will be ideal. A good example is the game against the Dallas Cowboys last season on Thanksgiving. There was a play where the offensive line blocked so well that Allen just stood perfectly still like a statue for two or three seconds, but it seemed like ten seconds. That’s how much time Allen had to find an open receiver and throw the ball. If they can play good consistently, then it will be really good for the team and Allen.

Lastly, sophomore running back Devin Singletary needs to do a better job of protecting the ball. As a rookie he dropped the ball four times. He has the speed to be a good running back but if he can just fix up his ball handling, then he’s all set to go.

Staying healthy and winning the most games in the AFC East also needs to happen but that’s common sense. The most important thing is Allen improving, that’s the number one thing in my opinion. There are other scenarios that need to happen but it is critical that Josh gets better. With the improvements made in the offseason, it is very possible the Bills could win the AFC East for the first time in a long time.

Withdrawal Date Extended

Hilbert College has announced that they will be extending the withdrawal date for courses until April 3rd in light of “recent hardships” students could be facing as a result of the shift to online learning.

In an email to students, registrar Katelyn Letiza stressed the importance for students to still go through the proper withdrawal process, albeit online.

“Students are still required to work with their advisor or the Director of Student Success and Retention to understand their options and implications of withdrawal,” said Letiza. “All withdrawals will be processed online through e-mail request, with approval from both the student and the advisor/Director of Student Success and Retention being sent to studentrecords@hilbert.edu.”

Hilbert President Dr. Michael Brophy said the administration will continue to evaluate changes that need to be made to help students adjust to distance learning measures.

“The recent changes are meant to help students navigate the online learning environment that we all have been thrust into.” Brophy said. “They provide more time to make decisions about withdrawing and pass or fail grades.”

The school is committed to helping students who are planning on continuing their education at Hilbert College in the Fall, Brophy said. “We put in place $1,000 scholarships for students who register for the fall by Wednesday April 15th.”

The original deadline to withdraw without penalty was March 23rd.

Rosalie Constable contributed to this report.

Hilbert Moves to Online Instruction

Hilbert College announced a suspension of all academic, residential, and student life/athletic programing effective March 15 as a result of the growing COVID-19 health pandemic affecting countries around the world. Hilbert will start their transition to online and virtual instruction until at least March 30.

“This was not an easy decision,” Hilbert President Michael Brophy said in a press release.  “We realize this will create some challenges for our Hilbert campus community. However, we are taking this action in a proactive effort to safeguard the health and wellness of our students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire Western New York community.”

Residential students will be required to move off-campus by March 14 at 5 p.m. and are instructed to bring any critical items with them, including personal effects. School organizations who have events planned with external speakers or groups between March 10 and March 30 will need to postpone, cancel or conduct virtual versions of those events, according to the release.

Students who have specific accessibility needs on campus during the break should work with academic affairs, academic services or student life to resolve those issues, Hilbert’s executive director of marketing and communications Matt Heidt said in an email to the Scribe.

More details on residential life, campus events and student expenses related to the developments will be forthcoming, he added.

As athletic programs, including all practices and workouts, are suspended, Hilbert’s baseball, softball, and lacrosse teams futures remain uncertain for the 2020 spring season.

As far as business operations at Hilbert, those are expected to continue, as the campus will remain open in an administrative capacity, with updated work-from-home policies forthcoming.

So far there are no confirmed cases of new-coronavirus in Western New York, but in downstate cities like New Rochelle the virus is spreading quickly. The area has become the largest epicenter of the virus in the United States, according to the New York Times. State officials there have designated a one-mile zone as a “containment area,” where health officials say the outbreak in the Westchester County city may have started.

The Hilbert announcement comes on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement to close down normal operations of all SUNY and CUNY institutions, which are also shifting to distance learning starting March 19.

Hilbert community members can check this website for updates.

Q&A: The Bandits’ Chase Fraser

Chase Fraser, the third-year forward for the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits, is having a great season. In only eight games played this season, Fraser has 16 goals and 10 assists. The Bandits are looking to win it all this year after losing to the Calgary Roughnecks. At this moment, the Bandits are currently sitting in second place in the North Division and have the second-best record in their division (7-4). With a very lethal offense, the team has a great chance to get back into the finals this season. Recently, the Scribe’s Zach Jezioro had a chance to interview the star forward.

The Scribe: What made you want to become a lacrosse player?

Chase Fraser: I was watching a game and I saw a huge brawl break out. I said to myself “I want to be in that.” Also, my brother plays lacrosse as well

TS: Who inspires you the most?

CF: My uncle.

TS: Why did you choose the number 95?

CF: It was the year I was born.

TS: After a disappointing finish last season, what’s motivating the team to win it all this year?

CF: Having a gritty attitude and also having a stronger mentality.

TS: Is there any atmosphere like Banditland?

CF: Not even close, nothing compares to it.

TS: What do you hope to achieve by the end of your career?

CF: Winning a championship with whatever team I play for, finishing top ten in points, and winning the MVP.

TS: What’s it like playing with this group of players?

CF: It’s great. We always make sure we’re on the same page and we always motivate each other.

TS: What’s it like playing for John Tavares?

CF: It’s awesome, he brings so much knowledge and it really benefits me and the rest of the team.

Journalists Visit Hilbert

Hilbert College students heard from a panel of three journalists this week, part of the school’s annual communications career week.

Kyle Mackie of WBFO, Caitlin Dewey of The Buffalo News and Casey Bortnick of Spectrum News covered a wide range of topics during the talk, offering insights into the challenges of rewards of pursuing a career in journalism.

: Bortnick, who discovered his passion for journalism at SUNY Brockport after being recruited to play football for the school, said he believes there will always be an opportunity for journalists, even as the business model has made for a challenging professional environment.

Is there a direct quote from him we can use here?

Mackie, who has worked internationally for major news outlets like the New York Times and WNYC, described the many challenges she has faced in her career despite having a master’s degree in journalism and clips in highly regarded publications.

“If you want to make it into this industry you have to believe in yourself,” she said.

Dewey, whose employer faces new uncertainties after it was announced that The Buffalo News will be sold to a newspaper conglomerate, acknowledged the many challenges that students should consider when deciding to pursue journalism, but also talked about how much she loves the work.

“It’s the Purest form of mental desire with working with words and massaging words and coming up with the best way to frame or to tell a story is ultimately the best way,” she said.

Then something fun to close: The panelists all offered some of their most interesting or exciting experiences to close, describing how rewarding the profession can be. Mackie recounted a lunch with a Palestinian family outside of Nazareth. Dewey described a trip to Wisconsin to help a dairy farmer with his daily work. And Bortnick talked about his experiences chasing Ralph “Bucky” Phillips, the escaped convict who spent the summer of 2006 on the run in Chautauqua County.

Bortnick got a little too close to the action once, being told by officers in pursuit of Phillips to duck behind the engine block of his car as the sound of gunfire rang out, he said.

“That is the closest I will ever get to a war zone,” Bortnick said.

Tea Leaf Cafe Continues to Impress

Tea Leaf Café, one of Buffalo’s favorite cafes, resides right here in Blasdell, just minutes from Hilbert College. Well known for their bubble tea with over 25 different flavors and endless possibilities, the Tea Leaf Café is a great place to study and get some work done while enjoying a delicious beverage.

The Scribe asked a customer at the Amherst location, what they think about Tea Leaf Café.

“I started coming here because my friend brought me to try a bubble tea; and now I’m hooked. We have a class together at ECC and started coming here to study and work on our homework. This is my favorite place to get work done when I’m tired of sitting at home doing it.” Kendall said. “My favorite drink is the strawberry bubble tea smoothie with the passion fruit boba.”

The dining area in the café has plenty of room to come in with a group of friends to just hang out or even have a study group. The café has a positive atmosphere with friendly staff that are extremely helpful with answering any questions you have about their menu.

They are open until 11 PM every day and 1AM on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate your late night crave. They have two locations, one near the McKinley Mall in Blasdell and the other is in Amherst near the AMC theater.