Revolution Against Rape Hosts UConn Sexual Assault Forum to Discuss Removal of Summer Orientation VAWPP

A “scheduling change” and an aim to expand overall programming around sexual assault are responsible for the replacement of the Violence Against Women Prevention Program’s summer orientation, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Gilbert.

Discussions led by the Office of Wellness and Prevention will replace the orientation.

Many students who attended the UConn and Sexual Assault Forum, hosted by the student organization Revolution Against Rape on Monday, did not agree that the change would have a positive effect.

During the forum, Gilbert said students need to take issues regarding sexual assault seriously, and he mentioned that information about consent, lodging a formal complaint, seeking an investigation and using campus resources would be presented during the discussions. Gilbert explained he wants to extend what the VAWPP program has done well, giving a nod to their “social justice and feminist perspective.”

Some members of RAR argued this feminist perspective was what made the VAWPP program more powerful. One member explained that feminists are experts on gender equality and expressed frustration over gender-based crime being rerouted to health and wellness. This member was also concerned students would not be receiving the feminist perspective early on through orientation.

Gilbert noted discussions would continue through the Weekend of Welcome, the First Year Experience classes and through a possible online program for upper-division classes.

“Being redundant and being ongoing really matters,” Gilbert said.

Some students pointed out that neither Weekend of Welcome presentations or FYE classes are mandatory, whereas orientation is. Kate Metzer, a fourth-semester physiology and neurobiology major, said many students leave high school without a clear understanding of consent.

“Their idea of assault and rape is about saying no, where it’s really about saying yes,” Metzer said.

Metzer explained that if all students learn about consent at orientation, students couldn’t claim ignorance. “They come here with the knowledge of what assault is,” she said.

Both Gilbert and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Ellie Dougherty affirmed that affirmative consent would still be taught at the orientation program, although it would be from a different group.

One graduate student in attendance spoke on the importance of peer education in establishing a less hierarchical division between the facilitators and students. Gilbert agreed that peer education is a powerful tool. “I’m hoping that it’s something that we would sustain with the program,” Gilbert said.

The forum discussed a number of other issues pertaining to sexual assault, including confidentiality and the ongoing struggle with campus civility.

When one student asked why the Women’s Center cannot be a confidential resource for students, Gilbert explained that the university values “the benefits of reporting formally within the university’s structure,” and formally reporting knowledge of any sexual violence were priorities in ensuring that the university meets its “moral and legalistic responsibilities.”

Another student at the forum asked why, after meetings about hazing and campus civility, the university had not established a task force. Gilbert responded that the Undergraduate Student Government created a task force to look at matters of civility. The student asked why the task force was led by students instead of faculty or staff, to which Gilbert responded: “it’s not my job to tell students, ‘no, you can’t lead.’”

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Regional Champions Heading to Final Four

The no. 1 seed UConn Huskies overcame a halftime deficit for the first time this season to defeat no. 7 seed Dayton 91-70 to advance to the Final Four.

UConn senior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led all scorers with 27 points including seven made 3-point field goals that made her the NCAA leader in all-time made 3-point field goals.

“It makes it more special just because of the atmosphere of the game and what this game meant for our team and making it to the Final Four,” Mosqueda-Lewis said. “More than anything I’m just proud of the way my teammates were able to come back from trailing at half facing something that we haven’t face yet this year and being able to band together and overcome it.”

The Huskies will head to the Final Four for the eighth straight season and the sixteenth time in program history.

Senior forward Ally Malott was the leading scorer for Dayton with 14 points.

The game started out as a back and forth affair as two fast paced teams battled to gain control in the early going. Led by six points from Malott and five from Andrea Hoover, Dayton found themselves in a game tied at 13 after five minutes.

Dayton continued to gain confidence as the half went on as they answered every punch from Connecticut. When a pair of 3-pointers from Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis gave UConn a 25-22 lead, Dayton’s Kelley Austria responded with a 3-pointer of her own to tie the game.

When a pair of Breanna Stewart free throws gave UConn a 43-38 lead with 3:15 to go in the half, their largest lead of the half, Dayton once again responded.

Dayton went on a 6-0 run to end the half with a 44-43 lead and a shift in the momentum as they headed into the break, clinging on to upset hopes.

Dayton shot 51 percent in the first half from the field, including 7-for-10 from 3-point range, which allowed them to stay with UConn for an entire half. The seven seed continued to play with confidence after knocking off both Kentucky and Louisville to set up their biggest test of the season.

“We talked about how we can’t let the name on the jersey effect our mental aspect of the game,” Malott said. “I think we all did a good job of not backing down and just going in and doing what we do. I think we did a good job of that in the first half.”

As UConn headed into halftime trailing, they embraced the opportunity to avoid becoming Dayton’s latest upset victims. Stewart, who finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks wanted to help set the tone in the second half.

“You want to make sure you continue to stay confident as a team,” Stewart said. “We really wanted to get on a run. We hadn’t had a chance to get on a run in the first half and we did that in the second half.”

To start the second half, UConn clearly came out energized. A hook shot from Breanna Stewart gave UConn a 45-44 lead and they never looked back. A pair of layups from Morgan Tuck and a 3-pointer from Mosqueda-Lewis capped off a 9-0 run.

Dayton tried to hang around in the second half but shots that were falling in the first half were no longer dropping. When Mosqueda-Lewis hit her fifth 3-pointer of the game, it not only set the NCAA record it gave the Huskies a 62-49 lead and all the momentum.

Although Dayton went cold in the second half, shooting just 37 percent in the half while being outscored 48-26, they gained the respect of UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.

“I can’t say enough great things about the kids from Dayton and they way they competed tonight,” Auriemma said. “We knew going in this was going to be really difficult and nothing that they did really surprised us. That’s probably one of the best teams we’ve played in the last five years.”

Mosqueda-Lewis also moved into fifth place on UConn’s all time scoring list with a 2159 career after passing Rebecca Lobo (2133 points), Kara Wolters (2141) and Diana Turasi (2156).

 

NFL should consider more rule changes to fix game

During the NFL’s annual league meetings earlier this month, a few changes were made to the rulebook. Concussion protocol is now tighter, officials can change the game clock and Bill Belichick will find new ways to make use of the rulebook. It’s a good start but there are still some rules that could use tweaking. The NFL might not be broken but tune-ups could still be in order.

In an ideal world, NFL kickoffs never should have left. But increasing awareness over injuries forced the league to neuter one of the most exciting plays of the game. Since moving the kickoff up five yards to the 35-yard line the kickoff has become just more time to use the bathroom. Almost every kick is a touchback and electric returns are few and far between now.

To keep kickers from just booting the ball as far as they can and eliminating the return, the receiving team should start their drive at the 30-yard line if the ball ends up sailing out the back of the end zone. This would put a renewed focus on the kicking game. At the very least, it will keep butts in the seat.

The NFL is a passing league and that is never going to change. Offense sells tickets, and the league has been generating more and more money since 1978. The rules definitely favor the passing game, probably too much so. It is time to give at least some power back to the defensive backs. Minimal contact shouldn’t warrant an automatic first down and a march halfway down the field.

College football currently has defensive pass interference as a 15-yard penalty. I would take it one step further and have there be two different kinds of pass interference. Like basketball, there can be “flagrant” pass interference and “non-flagrant.” Each one would give the offense different yardage and would at least give some help defensive backs across the league.

Another (less likely) option is to give corners 10 yards of contact to jostle with receivers instead of the current five yards. This could be a win-win for both the league’s wallets and fans. It would reintroduce physicality into the passing game and more teams would be prompted to go for the deep ball, which the league loves.

One of the NFL’s biggest missed opportunities happens at the end of games. Too many times there will be two minutes left on the clock, but because the leading team has the ball and the defense is out of timeouts, the game is essentially over. In order to have teams play until the final whistle and give us more exciting finishes, it should be a requirement that to stop the clock the ball has to make forward progress.

How are the Boston Bruins still in this playoff race?

It seems a weird question to ask of a team with 89 points and six games to play. It seems weirder when Boston’s recent history of success is taken into account. But it is a genuine question.

How in the world are the Bruins still in this thing?

Blame the Ottawa Senators.

Ottawa, are you serious? When you beat San Jose last Monday, it put you in a spot you had been chasing for weeks, months, years even – you finally overtook the Bruins.

That was it. You got to the home stretch of the season. The Bruins have been terrible for long stretches this year. Even if they somehow figured it out, you had the edge.

You blew it.

Since that win over the Sharks, you have lost three straight games, picking up one point in the process. You did not deserve that point, either. Ottawa, you were beating Toronto 2-0 after the second period. They were your playthings.

Then you let Tyler Bozak score three times in the third. Lucky you got that power play goal to force overtime and get the point, especially since the Bruins look competent again.

It makes it so much worse when you look at all the chances you had to save yourselves. You are one-for-12 on the power play during this losing streak, and you have given up three goals on eight power plays. Seriously?

After losing six games in a row – three in overtime – to surrender their hold on eighth place to Ottawa, the Bruins clicked into gear over the weekend. After destroying Henrik Lundqvist in his return to the Rangers, the Bruins went to Carolina and picked up two massive points in overtime.

Four points in two games has put Boston back in eight, now by three points with six games left for the Bruins. Ottawa has seven.

And if Ottawa cannot handle late-season games against Toronto and Florida, how are the Senators supposed to handle these final seven, which include games against the Rangers, Red Wings, Lightning and Penguins?

The Bruins are a little better off. With that three-point edge and what looks to be a shred of confidence, Boston will face Florida twice and Toronto once. Fifty percent of the Bruins’ remaining schedules should provide six guaranteed points. The rest of the schedule – road games at Detroit, Washington and Tampa Bay – could be tough. However, the Bruins have taken 10 of 14 possible points from the Red Wings and Lightning this year. It also helps the Bruins that they have a knack for picking up the cheap points, going to overtime in 35 percent of their games this season.

Everything is lining up for the Bruins to make the playoffs, and it exceeds belief.

When Daenerys Targaryen seeks help to save Drogo in “Game of Thrones,” she is warned that “only death may pay for life” by Mirri Maz Duur.

The death of the Senators has paid for the life of Bruins.

UConn Baseball Prepares for Home Opener against BC

After a weekend in which they took two out of three against Tulane, the UConn baseball team returns to the Northeast to take on Boston College in their home opener. Due to unplayable field conditions at J.O. Christian Field, the game will be played at the New England Baseball Complex in Massachusetts rather than the Huskies’ home field in Connecticut.

UConn swiped their weekend series from Tulane, their first American Athletic Conference series of the year, with a ninth-inning rally in the rubber game Sunday. The Huskies entered the frame trailing 3-2, but a solo home run from Max McDowell knotted the score to lead off the inning. Then, UConn scored two more runs to grab a 5-3 lead that Patrick Ruotolo would preserve in the bottom of the inning to seal the win. The Huskies have won 11 of their last 14 games.

Huskies pitcher Carson Cross was named American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week for the third time in 2015 after his brilliant performance against Tulane on Friday. Cross fired seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits and recording seven strikeouts as UConn picked up a 6-0 win. Cross now boasts a 6-1 record with a 1.49 earned run average over 48.1 innings this season. Vinny Siena also picked up his second weekly honor roll nod of the year after notching 11 hits and nine runs batted in last week. Siena is currently riding a 17-game hitting streak.

UConn (17-9) will now look ahead to Boston College, a team that has been playing similarly great baseball lately. The Golden Eagles (11-13) struggled early, enduring both a five-game and six-game losing streak, but have won five straight. Boston College thumped regional rival Northeastern 22-1 on March 24 and completed a sweep of Duke this past weekend to improve their conference record to 4-7.

The Golden Eagles’ lineup is powered by slugger Chris Shaw, who leads the team with seven home runs and 31 runs batted in. Shaw has shown his power lately, with three home runs in his last six games. Stephen Sauter and Donovan Casey have provided excellent hitting for Boston College, with a combined 34 hits in 100 at-bats this season.

First pitch between UConn and Boston College is set for 3 p.m. in Northborough, Mass. The Huskies will remain the home team for the game.

Dropping Dimes, Setting Records

ALBANY, N.Y. — There wasn’t any doubt that Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was going to break the all-time record for most 3-pointers made heading into the NCAA tournament.

It was just a matter of when.

The special moment came for Mosqueda-Lewis in the Elite Eight on Monday night, as UConn defeated No. 7 Dayton 91-70 to reach the programs eighth straight Final Four.

Mosqueda-Lewis cashed in seven threes on Monday night and finished with a team-high 27 points (9 of 18 shooting, 7 of 10 from three). She now sits alone at the top of the record books with 394 made threes.

Coming into the game she needed just four threes to break the record of 392 that was previously held by Kansas State’s Laurie Kohn and UT Martin’s Heather Butler.

“I don’t remember the moment itself, but I remember the moment of knocking in a couple and knowing, ‘OK I’m done, I’m finished and now we can just focus on playing and being with my team.’”

The moment for Mosqueda-Lewis came in the second half with UConn ahead by 10 points. The Huskies had just notched its first double-digit lead two possessions earlier and they was trying to fend off a gritty Dayton team determined to keep its magical run through the tournament going.

UConn (36-1) called on its senior to give them some separation.

The senior from Anaheim Hills, California trailed the play, as she often does, and patiently waited. She picked her spot behind the line and waited for the ball to be delivered. Moriah Jefferson led the fast break, and within seconds she found herself blocked by two Dayton defenders in the opposing paint. With nowhere to go, she knew where to go with the ball.

Jefferson kicked the ball out to Mosqueda-Lewis, who caught the ball, and without hesitation, fired a three. Perfect form. Perfect stroke. Swish. She had the record.

Her 3-pointer put the Huskies up 62-49, and the Huskies were able to control the rest of the game.

“It made it that much more special, just that atmosphere that it was in and the kind of game that it was tonight,” Mosqueda-Lewis said.

 

Nearing playoffs, Warriors still on top

Aside from the eighth seed in each conference, the playoff picture looks set. Awards races are in full swing and we’re seeing teams fully committing to tanking for lottery positions. The playoffs can’t get here soon enough.

  • Golden State Warriors (60-13) – It’s starting to look like the Warriors will be the NBA’s only team with 60-plus wins this season. Fans need to find a way to watch them on League Pass every night; it is a truly special bunch. According to Marc Stein at ESPN.com, Golden State is a staggering 40-0 when giving up less than 100 points and are five home wins away from tying a handful of teams for the best home record of all time at 39-2.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (4827) – Like the Warriors, the Cavs have been utterly dominant at home. They’ve won their last 16 games in a row at Quiken Loans Arena and have a chance to clinch home court advantage in the first round this week. Since the All Star break, they’ve had a stronghold on the Eastern Conference.
  • San Antonio Spurs (4726) – A year ago, the Spurs rode their lineup of Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter to a championship. This season, injuries have ravaged that group. Yet, when they’re together, the Spurs are 17-5. They’ve been healthy lately and are peaking at just the right time.
  • Houston Rockets (5023) – Guess who’s back? Tell a friend. Dwight is back. With their star center back in the fold, the Rockets serve as the West’s best underdog to knockoff the Spurs and Warriors. Howard offers a much needed defensive presence. On the offensive end, he’s been vocal about accepting a reduced role to accommodate James Harden. Look out for the Rox.
  • Atlanta Hawks (5518) – Since Feb. 1, the Hawks are just 6-6 against teams with a record of .500 or better. Good news: in the first round, they will not have to play a team with a .500 record. Perks of being in the East. Still, questions remain about the Hawks ability to reach another gear come playoff time.