fact check

Police Chief: The Greatest Racial Disparity in the city of Milwaukee is getting Shot and Killed

Milwaukee police chief Edward Flynn was verbally attacked by protestors, angry with police for shooting a suspect that authorities say assaulted an officer.

Flynn fired back, saying that police doing their jobs are not the problem. Take a look:

Flynn also had harsh words for some of the protestors: “They know all about the last three people who have been killed by the Milwaukee Police Department in the course of the last several years. There’s not one of them that can name one of the last three homicide victims we’ve had in this city.”

By Cole Ellenbogen


You’re So Vain You Probably Think This Post Is About You

A friend sent me a comment that someone else posted about my open letter to the chancellor, earlier today. This commenter insinuated that I am a bigot that wants to stamp out ethnic diversity at Syracuse because I disagree with THE General Body.

Interestingly enough, they also claimed they tried to reach me for comment on Facebook but couldn’t find me because I’m, “conveniently enough, not searchable.”

The elusive and deceptive Cole Ellenbogen, trying to hide from public scrutiny by concealing his identity on the internet.

The elusive and deceptive Cole Ellenbogen, trying to hide from public scrutiny by concealing his identity on the internet.

Did you try Google? I’m really not that difficult to find: the entire first page of search results for Cole Ellenbogen is entirely comprised of things I’ve written, or things written about me, as well as twitter, g-mail, and pictures. I’m sure you could’ve figured out a way to get in touch with me with all that.

Commenter, either you’re just bad at the Internet, or didn’t look at all.

I digress.

This person’s accused me of lacking factual evidence and being somehow motivated by racism, which is odd because most of my arguments were about finances.

But I’m not petty, and I can take a little heckling. The reason I bring all this up is because this person brought something up that could cause confusion amongst students.

The commenter suggested that the university has 1.08 billion dollars from a fundraiser that the Chancellor is trying to keep under wraps, which is now just laying around collecting dust.

Syracuse University's alleged cash-stash, probably hidden in the Chancellor's office. Photo Credit: Business Insider

Syracuse University’s alleged cash-stash, probably hidden in the Chancellor’s office.
Photo Credit: Business Insider

To those who are under the impression that the university does have this lump sum just sitting around, completely understand if you’re frustrated with the administration. But, I would like to take the opportunity to dispel some of the mystery surrounding this donation that you may or may not have heard about.

Over the course of a few years, the university did raise over 1.08 billion dollars. Here’s the breakdown.

  1. This money did not come from an annual fundraiser. This was an ongoing affair, and it took seven years to accomplish. The effort began in 2005 and ended in 2012.
  2. To reiterate, this effort has been over for two years. Since then we’ve remodeled Newhouse II, built Newhouse III, built an entirely new law school, and finished the life sciences complex – and that’s just naming a few off the top of my head.
  3. The commenter also claimed the funds were never allocated and kept a secret, but the allocation of the funds was disclosed two years ago, before the fundraising was completed.

a. 177 million dollars went directly to adding scholarships “for students of merit who demonstrate financial need.”

b. At the time of the fundraiser’s completion, 28 million – roughly 2 percent of the total donation was not allocated.

c. If you still have a problem with lack of transparency about where the money goes, you’re complaining about the wrong chancellor: Nancy Cantor was the one that handled the disclosure of the donations, not Kent Syverud.

  1. Again, this was a long-term effort. Syracuse does not receive annual donations of over one billion dollars every year.

All of those stats can be found here, and again, this was two years ago. The money has been allocated and most likely spent. A good chunk was actually spent on some of the same things THE General Body was complaining about: expansion of scholarships for students who would be otherwise unable to afford a college education, and attracting top professors who could help diversify the campus.

As of last year Syracuse University was 400 million dollars in debt, larger than average for a university its size. I’m a firm believer in the fact that money doesn’t appear out of thin air, and the mindset that one can just willfully throw money around because that they can always borrow more is both damaging and unsustainable.

To wrap up: we’re in debt; we don’t actually have 1.08 billion dollars to fix all of our problems. Most of our budget comes from student tuition, so the assumption that student tuition will rise if we continue renovating buildings, adding programs, and reversing budget cuts is not only realistic, but also fairly logical.

And if you still think my arguments are “shallow banter,” as this heckler suggested, I would implore the rest of the readers to take caution in taking advice from anyone who uses the phrase, “but like, also no,” in a serious written piece, or one who digresses from their point to talk about their horoscope. You know who you are.

By Cole Ellenbogen



Speak For Yourself: A Petition Against THE General Body and the Consequences Their Actions Have on the University

If you do not agree with the actions of THE General Body sign this petition.

Although THE General body calls for increased diversity, they attack their fellow students because they are “privileged” because they’re white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled.  All things they did not choose to be.  They purport that they are speaking for those “who can’t” on campus, meanwhile bashing their fellow students for being things they can’t help…

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Syracuse Student Ben Castaneda refutes THE General Body’s idea that only white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled students can disagree with them.

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Student Conner Renaud explains he is at Syracuse because of his hard work, even though THE General Body says it’s because he is privileged.

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Syracuse Student Keelan Erhard informs a THE General Body supporter about diversity.

THE General Body even admits they do not represent the entire population saying “WE DONT SPEAK FOR YOU” referring to those members of the university that are white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled.

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Sierra Lee posts admitting THE General Body does not represent ALL the students at Syracuse.

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Student Kevin Spectre notes that THE General Body contradicts itself by demanding diversity, yet condemning the privileged.

THE General Body is making demand as if the university were a democracy, even though it isn’t.  I would like to remind students of THE General Body that they choose to come to school here fully knowing the level of diversity, and accessibility.

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THE General Body supporter Kareese Kirby complains about going to a school she CHOOSE to go to, because it’s “not diverse enough”.

Yet supporters of THE General Body protest as if it is their right to be able to change the school they choose to go for and are paying a service for. Even though it is a private university- AKA a corporation.

Students confused about the meaning of "corporation" take a break from patting themselves on the back to wave a poorly painted banner. Photo Credit: THE General Body

THE General body is clearly confused about the meaning of “corporation” .
Photo Credit: THE General Body

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Student Sarah Mikal understands the meaning of a private university, and explains to THE General Body coming to Syracuse was a choice.

Next thing you know they’ll be camping out in Macy’s and Target saying there is not enough diversity, and demanding that the store force customers to also buy culturally diverse attire. Then they’ll protest and refuse to leave because the store reduced a sale from 30% off everything to only 20% off everything.

Sounds a bit ridiculous doesn’t it?

But this is exactly what THE General Body is fighting so hard for.

They want to force other students customers of the university to pay for services they don’t want diversity classes. They’re mad the university the private corporation cut back one of the many scholarships sales they graciously provided.

Theres nothing wrong with wanting change. But lets put an end to this ridiculous protesting and go through appropriate channels. Join the Syracuse Student Association. Their mission is “to represent and be the defender of the students.”

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Hmm now this might just be me… but doesn’t it seem like a better idea to go through the Student Association instead of camping out in the administrative building with an outrageously long list of demands, protesting that immediate change be made (which is unrealistic), even though as students we really have no say because it is a PRIVATE university. In case you’re unsure, the answer to that question is YES,  it is a better idea to go through the Student Association! 

Please stop this protest so that the productive members of this university, including Chancellor Kent and his administration, can get back to work.

By Kyra Azzato

What Makes You Qualified to Define a Hero?

Since 1983 November 11th has been celebrated as a day to honor those who have served in the military. Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors, veterans who dedicated their lives to selfless service are all hailed as American Heroes.

However some people disagree saying that  “Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy.”

The author of this article applies what I like to refer to as the “everyone wins, so no one wins” philosophy, or in this case the “no one can be a hero because there are some people who are called heroes that don’t deserve it” philosophy.

This same concept can be applied to mothers and fathers. Why bother celebrating Mothers or Fathers Day when there are so many terrible parents. Every day social workers have to remove children from their homes because they are abused both mentally and physically. What about teachers? Teacher appreciation day should be immediately be stopped because of crimes committed by Mark Berndt.

Former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt who was arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids.  Photocred: Ap Photo/ LA Police Dept.

Former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt who was arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids. Photocred: Ap Photo/ LA Police Dept.

It’s obvious we should determine teacher appreciation day based off this guy.

If I were to suggest that mothers and fathers, or even teachers should all be judged based on the actions of the mothers who abandon their children or fathers that abuse their children, I would be called ridiculous. It doesn’t make sense to judge all mothers or fathers based on the actions of others. Nor does it make sense to stop celebrating Mother or Fathers day based on those judgements. So why is it okay to judge the military as a whole based on the actions of a few? Why is it okay to suggest that Americans should stop honoring and calling people in the military heroes?

By no means am I suggesting that people who commit terrible crimes should be considered heroes. Actually I’m suggesting that why not for one day, November 11th we dedicate to those who deserve it. The real heroes. The men and women who dedicate their lives to service. Cant we just have one day we don’t focus on the few who ruin it for everyone?

And yes; I mean few.  I’m not really sure why so many people feel that the number of sexual assaults that occur in the military is so egregious. Of course even one assault is too many, but being a realist I think we should speak comparatively and examine the national averages.

A comparative look at percentages of sexual assaults.  Source: The Department of Defense, and The Center for Disease Control.

A comparative look at percentages of sexual assaults.  Source: The Department of Defense, and The Center for Disease Control


We should be careful to fact check things we read. It’s easy to formulate opinions based on fictional or one sided information.  Suggesting that practically everyone in the military commits sexual assault crimes, or that we are no longer fighting for our freedom, or that the only real heroes are those who oppose war is obnoxious and ill informed.

Lieutenant Hal Moore once said “Hate war, but love the American warrior.”  Today at a Veterans day speech the speaker said ” Military personal are A-political, they’re just following orders.” I don’t care how much you hate the President, or the government, or what is happening in the Middle East, I actually encourage dissonance, however these are not reasons to strip the members of the military of their title of a hero.

God Bless America

Oh and feel free to weigh in on the discussion by taking our poll.

By Kyra Azzato