Local scholar on human rights in China

BOSTON–Hurst Hannum is a professor of international law at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University. At Tufts, Hannum has studied human rights in China for the last decade and recently spent 2 ½ years in Hong Kong studying the oldest culture in the world. On Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008, as part of the Barbara and Richard M. Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies, Hannum came to Suffolk University to speak about his findings on human rights in China.hannum.jpgWearing a gray suit and blue tie, Hannum spoke to a packed house inside Sargent Hall at the Suffolk Law School. He first gave listeners background information on human rights in China and how people are treated. “China has the largest population in the world with 1.3 billion people,” he said, “but they have very little say on what goes on in their country.” He explained that much of China is uninhabitable so most of the population is crowded in small areas. Therefore, the government can control the population from outside these areas in comfortable, less congested living quarters. Continue reading

Boston proposes new bike sharing plan

BOSTON – Following in the footsteps of Paris, Portland, and D.C., city officials in Boston will evaluate a new initiative to bring a bike sharing program to the city during the coming months. The plan will offer riders a convenient way to rent bikes by the hour, and return them to any of terminals in the downtown Boston.

londonbikeshare2.jpgOf the dozens of proposed bike rental stations in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill areas, one will be placed outside Suffolk University’s own Ridgeway building where new bike racks were installed in early November.

The initiative has already been gaining momentum among the city’s environmentally conscious commuters. The plan comes on the heel of Boston’s “bean town to green town” initiative, a program that has put Boston on the edge of eco-friendly living. Continue reading

Barack Obama gives the speech of his life at Chicago’s Grant Park

BOSTON–On Nov. 4, 2008, history was made when Barack Obama became the first African American President of the United States of America. President-elect Obama gave the speech of his life that night, which will forever be remembered as the start of trying to mend this great nation.

When Obama stepped onto the stage at Chicago’s Grant Park, the unending crowd that had gathered to listen was screaming so loud with applause, it was hard for Obama to even begin.

When the crowd finally settled and Obama began, you could have heard a pin drop. Nobody wanted to interrupt this historic moment. Continue reading

Ballots and buses at Curtis Guild Elementary

EAST BOSTON, Mass.–The scene outside Curtis Guild Elementary School on election day was very similar to outside Fenway Park after a Red Sox game. Leyden Street was flooded with people, walking in every direction and bumping into each other often. The placement of the school could not make for a more interesting atmosphere, located on a side street directly in the heart of Orient Heights, East Boston.guild1.gifThe street is narrow, putting the school within 30 feet of the houses in the neighborhood. Residents have no choice but to deal with loud groups of supporters from both parties. Voters held signs encouraging others to vote for either Barack Obama or John McCain.

The usual neighborhood noise of birds and school buses at 8 a.m. was replaced with chants for Barack Obama. This tiny neighborhood suddenly had hundreds of voters, who after casting their ballot, did not go home. Local residents knew what to expect, they’ve been through this chaos many times.

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Suffolk students get ready for November 4

BOSTON — As the calendar inches closer to Nov. 4, American citizens are preparing themselves for a historical presidential election. With such diversity amongst the candidates and their running mates, college students are getting more involved than ever. In Boston, Mass., students at Suffolk University are finding new and unique ways to participate in this year’s campaigns and elections.

Suffolk University’s government department offers students several opportunities to become involved with the presidential election. One opportunity in particular is the University Pollworkers Project (UPP) directed by Rachael Cobb, professor of government. The UPP has teamed up with MassVote and Boston area schools to recruit students to serve as poll workers for the upcoming election. Continue reading

The greatest election party

mccain-obama.jpgBOSTON–On Nov. 4, 2008, people of all shapes and sizes ventured to The Greatest Bar to turn their attention away from athletic events for the evening to focus on politics.

“This is such a historical time,” said Holly Peterson, a junior at Northeastern University. “Either way the country is going to be unlike it ever has before. I’m honored to be a part of it and excited to watch the election on the big screen (television),” she laughed.

The Greatest Bar election party began at 7 p.m. with the early arrival of patrons. Each of the seven televisions played a different channel ranging from CNN to Jon Stewart. Specialized drink menus were created for the event, highlighting three politically themed concoctions. Profiled beverages included a red-hued drink called “The Maverick” intended for Republican enthusiasts, a bright blue “ObamaRama” and for those who can’t make up their mind, a purple “Undecided.” Guests sipped their drinks, celebrating and shaking their heads in disbelief as they watched the historical election. Continue reading

The great debate

Candidates at the debateOXFORD, Miss.–After much deliberation, the first debate of the presidential elections took place Friday evening, Sept. 26, 2008 at the University of Mississippi.

The intended topic was foreign policy, however the threat of a $700 billion government bailout earlier in the day refocused the candidates’ thoughts on the economy. While early predictions called for Sen. McCain to lead Sen. Obama on the issues of national security and foreign policy, the debate produced no clear winner.

Much of the first half of the debate was dedicated to the looming financial crisis facing the nation. The crisis, which almost postponed the debate due to the temporary suspension of McCain’s campaign, produced similar views from both candidates. Each agreed to cuts in government spending to balance the national deficit. McCain promoted his qualifications by criticizing Obama’s inexperience and inconsistent voting records. Obama appealed to “Main Street America” by stressing the ideas of his tax reforms and tying McCain to President Bush’s big business economic policies. Continue reading

“Change has come to America”

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 became a day marked in American history; a day when people stood together for change and elected their first black President, Barack Obama.

barack.jpgObama stood in front of the entire world on Tuesday night and watched as he won a presidential election like no other. Obama stands for change and this election alone shows that change is coming to America, as more people voted than ever before, and younger generations got involved, realizing that their voices can be heard.

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,” stated Obama during his acceptance speech.

These words lifted American spirits across the country, giving people hope for the change the United States needs during such dark times. Continue reading