Women find empowerment

Queen Latifah and a host of powerful artists wooed the crowd at the seventh annual Women’s Empowerment and Networking 2001, March 10 at the Raleigh Convention Center. This event helps women network for one day with different vendors, companies and entertainment artists. This was the biggest turnout yet for Women’s Empowerment – in fact, many women were disappointed to learn that there were no seats left even though they had tickets. Artist, author, producer and actress Queen Latifah was the keynote speaker. She touched on issues such as young women dressing in clothes that are not appropriate for school, how she has been blessed through God for her career. Latifah also talked about how women should start networking and help each other out. Several artists performed for the musical portion of women’s empowerment. Jaheim performed the hit song “Could It Be” and threw roses to the crowd while singing various songs from his new album. Then the crowd received a treat from the soulful India Arie when she sang her new song “Video.” She told the crowd that it was a blessing to be singing for women’s empowerment because last year she was singing in the park. Koffee Brown still performed even though one of the members was not feeling well. Avant came out and wooed the crowd with “My First Love” and even took an audience member and danced with her on stage. Avant gave a big shoutout to North Carolina during an interview backstage. Jon B was the ladies pleasure when he came out on stage. The crowd went wild when he sung “Are You Still Down,” “They Don’t Know” and his new song, “Don’t Talk.” Speaking of his new album, “Pleasures You Like,” Jon B talked about how it will be different from “Cool Relax” and “Bonafide.” “Well, I have a lot of hot collabs on this one,” he said. “The last one I had Tupac Shakur. I wanted to keep the collaboration tradition going so I got with Nas, Faith, Cuban Link, AZ. So go check it out, definitely cop that.” Seminars were set up for people to walk around and network with companies in the area. Silk Productions put on a fashion show with elaborate furs and sequined outfits. Women’s Empowerment was sponsored by Radio One. Gail Hurd and Cy Young hosted the event.

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Justice wasn’t served for Lionel Tate

For a society that was founded on the inalienable rights that ensure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…somewhere we have missed the mark. And, racism has become the malignant cancer that kills us slowly from the inside out. If the truth be told, racism has become as American as apple pie.On Friday, March 9, 2001, racism showed up in a Florida courtroom and sentenced Lionel Tate, a 14-year-old African-American male to life in prison for a child’s play that went too far. Tate was convicted of killing a 6-year-old girl while imitating wrestling moves. The punishment does not fit the crime. I am led to believe that it is a violation of his constitutional rights and should be deemed “cruel and unusual punishment.”Tate was being kept in a maxium security prison for the duration of his trial as if he were a real “menace to society.” The only “menace” to society is society itself. In the same week of Tate’s sentencing, Charles “Andy” William’s, purposely, went on a shooting spree at Santana High School in San Diego, Calif., killing two people and wounding several others. For his crime, he was sent to a juvenile detention center. He will probably use the “insanity plea” and face a light slap on the wrist for his actions.Two different scenarios, two different outcomes. Justice wasn’t served for Tate. Could it be that America still views the African-American male as 3/5 of a man? There should have been a big indicator that this sentencing was cruel and unusual punishment when prosecutors joined forces with the defense attorneys to seek clemency on the child’s behalf.The underlying issue is that justice went wrong and instead of being fair and impartial, it was malicious and excessive.If clemency is not granted by Gov. Jeb Bush, than Tate will be faced with a mandatory life sentence for an innocent mistake. Only God can deliver us from the tactics of our adversary, which is simply divide and conquer.

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Baseball team makes good on promise

The N.C. A&T baseball team vowed to have a better season this year and so far, so good. Their offense has been special this season, and it was no different as they swept a three-game series at War Memorial Stadium over the previous weekend, beating the Spartans of UNCG and Norfolk State. In game one, the Aggies fell behind 9-0 before scoring 15 runs over the final three innings in a 15-10 win over Norfolk State. Eric Jones’ grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning began the triumphant rally. In the second game, the Aggies’ Travis Scott pitched a beautiful complete game shutout, giving up only three hits and striking out 10 in the 1-0 victory over UNCG. Kevin Allen’s sacrifice fly produced the only run in the game, propelling the Aggies to victory. In the finale of the three-game sweep, Adonis Smith and Austin Love combined to go 5 for 8 to lead the Aggies to an 11-2 victory over conference foe Norfolk State. “These kids are playing hard and we’re trying to improve more daily,” said Aggie fifth-year head coach Keith Shumate. “Beating Bruce Miller yesterday was a big deal. We got good pitching this weekend.” The wins improved the Aggies to 11-15 overall and 2-0 in the MEAC.

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Cardio lab offers convenience to Aggies

As temperatures begin to rise with the arrival of spring, the need to be physically fit has also become a hot topic in the Moore Gymnasium’s Cardio Lab. Open Monday through Friday, the Cardio lab serves N.C. A&T’s physical fitness needs with a wide array of state-of-the-art workout equipment. The Cardio Lab is open to faculty from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for students. During school hours, the lab is used for fitness and weight training classes.While some students and faculty opt to use the local YMCA for their physical fitness needs, many choose the more economical route and stay on campus. For example, the average cost for membership per semester at YMCA is $35 for students, while the Cardio Lab on campus is free to students and faculty. The Cardio Lab is staffed by A&T students Belinda Goodson, Patrice Smith and Fred Sellars. The lab is used by an average of 160 people per day, and the numbers can exceed 200 on a busy day. The atmosphere in the lab welcomes the spirit of physical fitness with five televisions that broadcast a national news program and new music videos. The lab comfortably accommodates 25 people at a time, which ensures easy access to all equipment. Men and women share the lab, and according to Sellars, there have been no real incidents of harassment of either men or women. “I feel comfortable working out at the Cardio Lab because I am guaranteed to get a good workout, and I always leave feeling better than when I came,” said A&T student Jose Barros. “I am training for next year’s track season, so I’m in here on average of three or four days a week.”Most people that use the facility work out in groups or with partners. One of the advantages of having three people on staff is someone is always around to offer any assistance that may be needed. “Whenever needed, our staff is prepared to make a workout schedule that is tailor made for an individual, and if necessary, we will show you how to do a particular exercise,” Sellars said.With all of the improvements taking place around campus, the question of the Cardio Lab’s size has also become an important issue. According to the staff, there are plans to turn Holt Hall into a new fitness facility. With recent improvements and plans for future ones, the lab is the hot spot for all your cardiovascular needs. “Most people are very friendly, and they enjoy the relaxed atmosphere,” Goodson said.

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Tear ’em down; build ’em up: Housing

The land has been marked, the buildings are being built and N.C. A&T students will have new student housing for the 2001-2002 school year.Student housing construction is among the 40 projects university officials have begun since the passing of the state bond issue that gave $153.8 million to A&T.David Hoard, vice chancellor, development and relations, said that all those projects including housing should be complete within seven years.”We project that all student housing as well as all the other projects will be complete within a five- to seven-year period,” said Hoard. “If you really look at all the university is doing, that’s a pretty short time to get everything done. But we’re going to do it.”The university’s main priority at this time is student housing, said Hoard. “When the chancellor came in, that was one of the first things he wanted to address. He wanted students to not just have a place to stay, but a nice place to stay,” said Hoard. “With the chancellor’s vision and his aggressiveness, things are getting done.”In its entirety, the private housing projects and the renovations to each dorm will cost A&T about $41 million. Renovations will begin this summer with the tearing down of Haley Hall. The A&T Oaks will no longer be in service to students. University officials decided not to renew the three-year contract due to the new privatized housing provided by the foundation. The Aggie Suites, which will be able to house up to 804 students, will be available by the beginning of August. The Aggie Inn will remain open until its contract expires in three years, and all dorms will remain open until the summer of 2002 when Scott Hall and Curtis Hall will be renovated completely.So who is responsible for all the privatized housing being built? They’re called the North Carolina A&T Foundation Inc., composed of six university officials who are separate from the university, but are here to support the university. The foundation is in its 45th year of its existence, and its main objective is to provide the university with support financially or in any other way needed.Hoard, who is also the executive director of the foundation, said that the foundation is responsible for the new privatized housing on campus. He also says that they are really trying to suit the needs of the students.”We (the foundation) are here for the students, just as the university is here for the students,” said Hoard. “We saw that there was a need for student housing so we decided that we would hire a few private contractors to build what you see behind Holt Hall, Aggie Suites.”The foundation strictly gets its money from donations and investments. No state funds are allocated to the foundation.”We’re part of the university but we’re separate,” said Hoard. “We’re here to support them in any way we can.”Hoard and the foundation have more than done that by raising half a million dollars for next summer’s project, the renovation of Scott Hall. They have also raised money to build more privatized housing.”The completion of the housing project will include five new housing units, and renovations of all the dorms on campus,” said Hoard. “The special thing about the new privatized housing is that it’s not just a place where students will rest until the end of the year, but it’s a place where they can stay their entire four years at A&T. “They are fully furnished, with a computer lab for everyone, and there are no extra costs. The price to stay in these housing units include phone, cable, free Internet access, utilities — so students are really getting a bargain and we’re making them affordable to any student who wishes to stay in them.”The foundation has also help raise almost $20 million for university uses other than housing this year — a number that has almost quadrupled from previous fundraising efforts.The new projects begun by university officials and the foundation have students pretty excited about what the university will look like when it’s all said and done.Tyvon Petway, a senior business economics major, says that it’s great to see the university evolve into something really great.”Students should be excited about what’s going on, and the fact that what we actually asked for the university is doing,” said Petway. “The chancellor has really done what he said he was going to do, and that pleases me as well as students. I wish I could be here to see it all come together, but that’s okay I’ll see it when I come back a few years later for Homecoming.”Though the university has made moves in revolutionizing the campus, the goal is still far from being reached, said Andrew Perkins, interim vice chancellor for facilities.”The renovation process of each dorm is going to take some time, but we’re going to reach our goal. It’s just going to take some patience on everyone’s part,” said Perkins.Perkins, who is now in his second year at A&T, said that a main objective for the renovating of campus dorms and buildings is to make the campus pedestrian-friendly.”We’re really trying to get students not to drive so much, but have everything easily available to students,” said Perkins. “I also think that the parents of the students would like that so they won’t be pressured in buying cars for their children, and when parents learn what the dorms provide for students they’ll really be convinced that A&T is working to meet the needs of its students.”

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Jazz fest brings diversity to A&T

So, you’re tired of hearing all the hip-hop and R&B around campus and you want to hear something different. Well, through the efforts of Chancellor James Renick, the first Piedmont Jazz Festival is just around the corner. Cosponsored with Black Enterprise magazine, this event serves as a host for seminars and jazz sets that are sure to make you appreciate the art form. “As a native of the area, I am thankful that we, the university, are such a big part of bringing something to the community that helps revitalize the Greensboro area and provide an outlet of family entertainment for all agegroups,” says S.G.A. President Nikkita Mitchell.”I am just as proud that Aggies are in the forefront of these efforts.” Festivities start Wednesday, April 4, with the following:*10 a.m.: A panel discussion on “The Business of Jazz” in Harrison Auditorium. * 3 p.m.: A Big Band showcase will be in the Student Union Ballroom featuring A&T, UNC-G, and area high school big band performances.

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Looking for help?

If you have been experiencing problems with your Internet access or obtaining your school e-mail account, the Aggie Help Desk, located in the IRC building, can help.This department provides free Internet access and e-mail accounts, and on/off campus telephone support about computer problems, for all students and faculty members.Five consultants work at the help desk, which serves well over 5,000 students and faculty. “During the fall semester we received anywhere from a 120-150 calls a day. It has been a challenge being short-staffed in the number of consultants,” said manager David Weaver, adding that the Help Desk was hoping to catch up over spring break. A study was done to find out the number of consultants that the Aggie Help Desk should have, Weaver said. The results found that nine would be the appropriate number.Despite the small number of employees, the Help Desk still manages to get around to serve everybody. Weaver believes that good customer service is a must. Khan Munstair is a part-time consultant who is also enrolled as a full-time student majoring computer science. Since working at the desk, he has been getting hands-on experience for his major. He helps do configurations for the various computer systems and trouble-shooting. Munstair also assist students in their computer needs, which sometimes include setting up their own web pages through a free service offered by the Help Desk.The Aggie Help Desk is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students and faculty can get help with their computer troubles or needs by visiting the office in the lower level of the IRC building or calling 334-7195.

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His Airness back in the NBA?

Another year…another game…more talk. Could Michael Jordan, the world’s most celebrated athlete, be making a return to do what he loves the most? Depending on who you ask, it’s very possible as rumors have been surfacing now for several weeks, and Jordan has been seen practicing with the Wizards. Also, it would seem to make a little bit of sense especially since the Wizards are in dire need of help. Just before the NBA trading deadline approached, Jordan freed up a lot of cap room by unloading underachieving, yet greedy forward Juwan Howard and a few other players. And with the development of guard Richard “RIP” Hamilton, a player whom Jordan says will be great one day, why not put the greatest player ever to play the game beside him to help him mature? Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly reported that Jordan is about 90 percent committed to making a comeback in a Wizards uniform next season. He’s been working with the Wizards not only in practice but also privately in a gym up to six hours a day to get back into playing shape. Former Bulls and current Lakers head coach Phil Jackson was quoted as saying this about the rumor: “Michael was a great player and a great psychologist. He knows how to get into your mind, and he’s probably using these rumors to motivate his team. He’s a competitor and if he does happen to come back, then so be it. More power to him, and he should also know that I have a slot on my roster for him as well.”A return to the NBA by Jordan would probably increase the ratings drastically but would probably hurt his status as a player. When asked about a possible comeback, Jordan said, “I’ll never say never ’cause anything is possible.” For most of our lives, Jordan spoiled us because of his greatness. There is definitely no one near his status, and there may never be one. When Jordan was on the court, we expected the unexpected, accepted the unacceptable and predicted the unpredictable. If he makes a return to the NBA now, all of us, including him, will realize just how much he meant to the league. Sure he has lost a step or two, but as one would say, never underestimate the heart of a champion. But why would Michael Jordan want to return? When Jordan retired in 1998, he left at the absolute top. No one could even write a movie with an ending as great as that. First, he hits a tough soaring lay up down the lane to pull the Bulls within one at 86-85 with 25 seconds remaining in the 1998 NBA Finals. Then, comes down court and steals the ball from Karl Malone with 17 seconds remaining to set up the storybook ending.Instead of calling time out, the Bulls clear out for Jordan. With the clock ticking down, Jordan crossed up Byron Russell and sank the title-clinching shot with 5.2 seconds left in one of the most memorable moments in NBA history. So why return now after five league MVP titles, six NBA titles, and six NBA Finals MVP’s? Maybe it’s just Jordan’s competitive nature. It would be to his delight to one day compete again but if he does, there will be one of two things. He’ll either be good or mediocre. There’s no bad in Jordan’s game …old man or not. He’s still the most feared player in the game and he’s retired! But in all reality, this is the Wizards and not the Bulls. Scottie, Dennis and Phil have moved on to newer places and Mike really needs “winners” around him. Not “just players.”

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Football players get down to business

Last week marked the beginning of spring practice, and the A&T football team looks to take care of the problems that haunted it last year. With a defense that ranked in the top five in the country, the Aggies’ problem seemed to be an offense that had trouble scoring. But with a wealth of talent returning, the N.C. A&T football team will try to gain the chemistry that will enable them to put up points against teams that are far less talented.”Talent definitely wasn’t the problem,” said senior running back Adrian Parks. “We’ve just got to learn to play together and believe in the system.”The offense will be lead this year by running back Maurice Hicks. Hicks led the Aggies in rushing last year with 1,400 yards. He, along with Parks, gives the Aggies a 1-2 punch that opposing defenses have to account for. With the return of bruising fullback Eric Farmer, who sat out last year due to academic trouble, the Aggies will have one of the most talented backfields in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Qasim Mitchell, who at 350 pounds ran a 4.9-second 40 this spring, returns to lead the offensive line.Steve Shipp and Derrick Becton are just two of the receivers who look to lessen the loss of Chris Caldwell, Ramondo North and Darius Helton. With last year’s starting quarterback Jason Battle helping A&T’s baseball team to victory, Keith Matkins looks to be the one to lead the offense during spring drills.”We have all of the talent, just wait until we gel as a group,” says sophomore running back Cornelius Parks. The fall season is set to open Sept. 2, with the Aggie-Eagle Classic in Raleigh against N.C. Central.

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Results are in; Drumwright S.G.A. president

Students have cast their votes and the new members of the Student Government Association are beginning preparations for their upcoming year in office. All day Wednesday, March 21, students voted for S.G.A. candidates in the Memorial Student Union, using a computerized voting process. After 9:15 p.m., the Board of Elections tallied the votes and the results were then announced after 10 the same night. The new officers include Gregory Drumwright, S.G.A. president; Chester Williams, S.G.A. vice president of external affairs; William Dudley Jr., S.G.A. vice president of internal affairs; Jeanelle Feimster, Miss A&T; Latarsha Casterlow, S.G.A attorney general; Mia Ross, S.G.A. secretary; and Wanda Hunter, S.G.A. treasurer.Drumwright, S.G.A president-elect, was satisfied with the victory.”I am more than honored to have the opportunity to serve my fellow students and also put into action the vision I have for students of the university,” said Drumwright.The vision Drumwright speaks of is one he hopes will make leaders out of all Aggies.”My vision is to reinstate the initiative, fostering future leaders and responsible Aggies,” he explained.Voter turnout was one of the greatest things in this year’s election, said Rosalyn Parker, secretary for student activities.”Voter turnout was excellent. It was also an improvement over past years,” she said.Wanda Hunter, S.G.A. treasurer-elect, agreed with Parker.”I think the election turnout was wonderful and I feel that student involvement has increased,” she said. Hunter went on to say that she was very excited about the upcoming school year. “It is a pleasure to represent A&T and it was a goal of mine,” said Hunter. “I am pleased to be able to achieve it. “I look forward to safeguarding the students’ money and seeing that the students get the benefits that they deserve,” she continued. An awards banquet at 5 p.m. on April 1 will be conducted by the S.G.A., and an induction ceremony will follow at a later date.

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Aggies Talk Back!!

Kedric Simms – senior, broadcast production – “I feel that A&T is a good university, but the professors can do a better job, altogether, of helping students.”

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