February One prep begins

    The A&T Four is a fundamental part of Aggie history and there are some annual events being held this week to commemorate their historic accomplishments. On Feb. 1, 1960 four freshmen, Ezell Blair, Jr. (Jibreel Khazan), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond went to F.D. Woolworth store and demonstrated a sit-in that helped sparked the sit-ins of the civil rights movement.    There will be a reception in the Memorial Room of the Student Union today from 5-9 p.m. On Friday, a breakfast will be held in Williams Cafeteria from 6-9 a.m., featuring guest speaker, the Honorable Julian bond, NAACP chairman. The breakfast will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the A&T Four statue at 8:45 am. A round-table discussion that includes a panel featuring the three surviving members (Blair, McCain, and McNeil) will be held from 2-4 p.m. in Stallings Ballroom.     Saturday Jan. 31, there is a tentative march scheduled at 2 p.m. from the A&T statue to F.D. Woolworth. There will not be any events held on Feb. 1 because it is a Sunday.     “I am looking forward to the events because this is my first year experiencing the anniversary of the A&T Four,” said Trumaine McCaskill a freshman History Education major from Clayton, N.C. “It’s historic and will be moving, especially for freshmen.”    Last year the anniversary of the march was held on a rainy day, but students walked with matching t-shirts, led by student government association e-board.     Walking the distance the A&T Four once walked, gives students an opportunity to envision the journey they took.    “Last year the march gave me a little more awareness of the actual events,” said Sargent Nelson, a sophomore architectural engineering major from Villa Rica, G.A. “It was a solemn march, but very powerful. I know this year will be just as great.”    In previous years, students from Bennett College for Women have joined A&T students in the march. The events that took place on Feb. 1, 1960 not only affected A&T, but also other HBCU’s as well.     “I feel very proud to be an Aggie,” commented industrial engineering major, Stephen Wynn from Fayetteville, N.C. “Those events not only mark our history, but also kick off black history month.”

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Our last goodbyes to Dennis Hayle

It is such a tragedy to lose a great advocate of Aggie Pride this past weekend and it’s a great loss to A&T. I didn’t know him that well, but what I did know is that he had an uplifting spirit that touched many students. Dennis Hayle has made such an impact on A&T’s campus that he will not be forgotten. He made his presence known on campus by being an active student. Hayle was remembered for his bright smile, his dimples, and of course his sense of humor. He was not just one of the brother’s of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity or Mr. Long Island to the NY/NJ club, but a friend; a good person. He made a strong impression on campus and for that he will always be remembered.It is unfortunate how Hayle lost his life but like students said during his Memorial service in GCB’s auditorium, let his death be a lesson learned. We must not take any minute of life for granted because it’s never promised. Each time I see a new day, I think of it as a blessing because I, too, could lose my life at any given moment just like Dennis Hayle. For that, I appreciate today and I pray for tomorrow. I take in every moment of my life and I say thank you, especially for those who came in and out of my world. When I walked into the service for Dennis Hayle, every chair was filled up in the auditorium, people were stacked against the wall, the stairs and floor space were all covered with people. The crowd grew so large that people were extended out into the hallway on both ends of the doors. During the program, it was so beautiful to hear the student’s connections with Hayle. Laughs were shared and people were smiling. Listening to their stories made me realized that people always remember the littlest thing about a person, because that is what touched them the most. Life is a vast cycle of small and simple moments and each one can make an impact in someone else’s life. Throughout the service people were congregated around the second floor of GCB calling loved ones, grieving to their friends with teary eyes. I knew right then, what Aggie Pride feels like and how powerful it is. People were connected to Dennis Hayle through A&T. He was a part of our Aggie family and for that he brought us all together in one night. Even through death, Hayle has made his presence and touched all of us once again. To my fellow Aggies, let’s keep the Hayle family in our prayers and all who felt connected to him. So let’s continue our Aggie Pride by looking out for one another and being there for each other because we are a family here at A&T.

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Aggies batter rams before dogbite

North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team saw victory on the road for the first time this season with a 73-60 win over the Winston Salem State Rams Saturday night at Lawrence Joel Coliseum. Saturday’s game marked the 86th meeting of the Aggies and the Rams; the Aggies now lead the all time series 49-37 over the Rams.Four of the Aggies starters ended the game in double digits; Tavarus Alston would lead the Aggies with 15 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals, Ed Jones added 11 points and 9 rebounds, and Thomas Coleman ended the game with 10 points. Robert Johnson added 12 points and Nicholas Wilson added 11 off the bench. The Aggies ended the game shooting 50 percent while holding the Rams to a shooting percentage of 36.4.In the 1st half of the game, both teams proved to have an offensive presence. There were two ties and three lead changes; the Aggies would come off on top shooting 51.6 percent from the field while the Rams would shoot 41.9 percent. The Aggies defensive pressure, which would prove to be too much, held their opponent to only 14 points in the paint and would hold the Rams to scoring no fast break points in the 1st half.The Aggies defense was the key to the 1st half and the game, but it was the intensity from Julian McClurkin that shocked the fans. At the 5:17 mark in the first half, Aggie Center Julian McClurkin would gain his first points with an explosive dunk.”People have not seen Julian McClurkin and that dunk, the team had been waiting for this all year,” said Eaves. “Julian McClurkin is the best athlete in the conference, there’s no question about that”.After McClurkin’s dunk, the Aggies would lead the Rams 30-26 and would hold on ending the half 39-34. Ram Forward Jamal Durham would go into the half leading all scorers with 12 points. Nicholas Wilson would lead the Aggies with 9 while Tavarus Alston added 7 points and 3 assists.To start the half, Julian McClurkin added two points with his second explosive dunk of the night; he would end the game with eight points.”We’re going to get after people and pressure people the entire game and see if it just wears people down,” said Eaves.And that’s just what they did. The Aggies came with a full court press; it was too much for the Rams to handle. They would turn the ball over in six of their 1st eight possessions. The Aggies would take advantage and go on a 12-2 run to open the half.  The Aggies would watch their lead of 15 dwindle and with 3:19 left in the game the Rams would cut the lead to seven. With multiple chances the Rams missed free throws and layups that could have potentially got them back in the game. At the 1:28 mark, Rams forward McIntoche Alcius committed an offensive foul that sealed the victory for the Aggies. The Aggies ended the half scoring six un-answered points.A&T ended the game with 42 points in the paint and adding 18 fast break points. Their defense would hold the Rams to 30 points in the paint and only 2 fast break points. The Aggies forced 22 turnovers and blocked 5 shots; they also had 8 steals that led to their 73-60 victory over the Rams.”It’s about making though plays and we didn’t do that tonight,” said Rams Coach Bobby Collins. “North Carolina A&T made all the tough plays”.

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University to create enhancement plan for accreditation

Every ten years, North Carolina A&T State University must get reaccredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in a process called reaffirmation of accreditation. Accreditation is key to admission into graduate school, federal financial aid as well as the overall achievement of an institution’s students.  Graphic Communication Systems and Tech Studies professor, Dr. Vincent Childress, is playing a key role in making sure that A&T is ready to be evaluated by taking part in the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee. “In the current cycle, we have to be ready to be reaccredited for 2010,” Childress said. “This time, the QEP is being added to the reaccredidation process, which represents a philosophy about what A&T can do in the future.”    A Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a new SACS requirement in which A&T demonstrates that it can take input from the broader university community, existing data, the university’s strategic plan and mission, and develop and implement a project aimed at improving some specific aspect of student achievement, of learning outcomes or improve something about the learning environment.    “Looking at data from the past is probably not as good of a way of demonstrating the university’s commitment to ongoing improvement. So, they came up with the QEP,” Childress added.    The 2007 Handbook for Reaffirmation of Accreditation supplies institutions with the step-by-step process of developing, organizing and carrying out a successful plan for submission to SACS. According to the handbook, “Institutions report that the QEP ‘has caused [them] to become much more intentional and focused about an important element of [their] mission’ and ‘helped put in motion [their] creativity.”    The QEP is a plan that looks more at what a university can do for the future more so than what they’ve done in the past. According to Dr. Childress the QEP Committee, last year, conducted group meetings with all the schools and colleges of A&T in order to gain faculty, staff and administrative input. Focus groups involving students and staff, took part in student surveys where more than 400 faculty, staff, and administrators participated and more than 700 students provided input.    The surveys given to students serve as an “Importance-Performance” rating assessment in which students are asked to rate the importance of about 20 faculty and staff ideas for improvement in terms of importance on a scale from 1-6. Then, students are asked to rate how well those issues are addressed on a scale of 1-6. Childress further describes it as a graph. If both variables, the importance of the ideas and how they are addressed, increase that means the university is doing well in those areas. However, if the importance goes up, but how well they are addressed goes down, those are things that will be possibly be included in the QEP to improve “student achievement of learning outcomes.””When you go to a class, the first thing you go over with a professor is the syllabus and on the syllabus are the specific things that you’ve got to accomplish during that class,” explained Childress. “Those things are what they mean by student achievement of learning outcomes.”The handbook also asks that institutions specify “realistic, measurable student learning outcomes appropriate for their focused topic.” Starting in the summer of 2010, the university has five years to carry out the plan after it has been evaluated and approved by SACS.Groups that have participated in student focus groups include the School of Education, School of Technology, School of Engineering and recently, the student senate.     To get involved in the enhancement plan by participating in an “Importance-Performance” rating assessment, student organizations, faculty and staff can email Dr. Childress at childres@ncat.edu and invite him to a meeting.  

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15 years later, Civil Rights museum still in planning

February 1, 1960 will forever be remembered as the day that Aggie freshmen Ezell Blair, Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain entered the F.W. Woolworth store and sat at the whites-only counter.They subsequently sparked a protest movement of segregated public restaurants and inequality for black people across the United States. In honor of this event, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum is under construction in the original F.W. Woolworth building. The collection of multi-media presentations and preserved artifacts are being put together to commemorate the role that Greensboro. played in the civil rights movement.    A spokesperson could not be reached in time for this article, however the museum’s website, Sitinmovement.org, offers and interactive tour including a video presentation and floor plans.     In 1993, the Woolworth’s store closed and County Commissioner Melvin “Skip” Alston and City Councilman Earl Jones proposed to buy the site and turn it into a museum.  The two founded Sit-in Movement, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to the museum. The group purchased the property and is currently renovating it. Sit-in Movement Inc. and A&T announced a partnership in an attempt to facilitate the museum’s construction in 2001.      The central site and signature artifact in the museum will be the actual lunch counter where the A&T Four sat. Visitors will be able to imagine those events with sounds, sights and emotions that help visualize the Greensboro sit-ins and the larger civil rights movement.     The museum is designed to surround the visitor, as well as bring about a response and comprehension of the social context of the events and what it took to take part in them. Fourteen installations provide a unique experience that is created through historic video footage, artistic graphic renderings and authentic artifacts.     The International Civil Rights Center & Museum also carries the story forward beyond Feb. 1, highlighting the events over the next days, weeks and months of this non-violent protest. White and black students alike were seen filling the lunch counter seats, quietly sitting on lunch counter stools, while protesting angry crowds. They made the evening news, while others were hurling insults behind them and beside police. The story of the A&T Four and the sit-in goes beyond Greensboro. Visitors can explore the day-to-day events and milestones of the 1960’s. They can witness the events of the spring and summer of 1960, as the movement spread throughout the south, across the nation and the world.    The museum is facing financial difficulties, despite donations from various supporters of the project. According to the website, nearly $19 million will be needed to complete the project. A request made to the City of Greensboro for $1.5 million was rejected and Greensboro residents voted down two bond referendums to provide money for the project. The International Civil Rights Center has no opening date scheduled.

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New exhibit features several A&T artists

The University Galleries are unveiling a new exhibit entitled “Coming by Force, Overcoming by Choice,” opening Friday in the Dudley building. An opening reception hosted by the University Galleries will take place in the Multipurpose Room on the first floor of the Dudley building from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The exhibit will be available for viewing in the Henry Clinton Taylor Gallery.     It will showcase artwork from instructors, professors, and administrators of HBCUs from across the nation. Originally organized by The National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (NAAHBCU) and the APEX Museum in Atlanta, GA, members and exhibition participants include A&T Professors LeAnder Canady, Willie Hooker, and Brenda Faison from the Visual and Performing Arts Department of North Carolina A&T State University.     The reception will include dance and musical performances from members of the North Carolina A & T Visual and Performing Arts Department. The exhibition will be on view from January 30- March 6, 2009. A special gallery walkthrough led by Harris, will take place on Saturday, February 7, 2009 from 1:00 to 2:15 pm.      The theme of the exhibition is New World slavery, which is a painful reminder of United States history that has been chronicled by many artists.  “Visitors should not see this as an exhibition which focuses on enslavement, but instead how each artist meditates on the insistence of humanity through consistent struggle, against the odds,” Shawnya Harris, Director of University Galleries said. “The purpose of the exhibit is to offer a response to slavery from the artists. You can expect to see a deeper perspective of the events, such as the aftermath of slavery and subsequent events like the civil rights movement. Our goal is to change the perception of slavery versus the actually happens and to make a connection between the two.”      The NAAHBCU, founded in 2000 on the campus of Morris Brown College boasts over 60 member artists, educators, historians, collectors and friends of the arts. The H.C. Taylor Gallery was established in 1956, by the first chair of the Visual Arts program at A&T. It was originally set up to display graphic-plaster works of African American artists.

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Letter from the SGA President

Aggie Family, It is with a heavy heart and somber minds, that we acknowledge the passing of Mr. Dennis Stuart Hayle, a 22 year-old senior here at the university. Dennis warmed our hearts with his huge smile and endearing laugh. We are comforted by our many fond memories of his life. We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Hayle family during this most difficult time. Whenever our creator chooses to remove an Aggie from our midst, we are reminded of the depth of our community and the binds that unite each of us. We are Aggies. We are family. We are united through the blue and gold blood that runs through each of our veins. Today, we stand committed to protecting our community and continuing to love each other more and more each day. Dennis challenged each of us to live and become better individuals, on a daily basis. His smile warmed our hearts and his spirit lifted our minds, as we were allowed the opportunity simply to know him. Dennis’ legacy of love for all men and his commitment to treating everyone as friends embody the memory that we will carry with us, for all eternity. Those who knew him understood his love for A&T and Omega Psi Phi. He personified the mission and purpose of his fraternity. He carried its legacy wherever he went, and he never wavered in his commitment to serve those within his community, both near and far. It is with this sentiment, that we also offer condolences to the Mu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The Student Government Association is purposed to support and serve the entire student body. Today, we stand in solidarity and love with the entire university family, as we begin the process of remembering our beloved Dennis.  Please accept our heartfelt sentiments. May we now live in such a way, that the world may see the life, legacy and smile of our friend and brother Dennis Stuart Hayle. In the Essence of Aggie Pride, Marcus R. Bass, President Student Government Association North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

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Lady Aggies remain unbeaten in conferences

Seniors Amber Bland and Brittanie Taylor-James continued to lead the Lady Aggies though the MEAC conference as they soundly defeated Winston-Salem State in Joel Coliseum on Saturday.     The guards clicked and scored 53 points on 20-34 combined shooting as A&T won easily against WSSU, 73-40. Bland led the team with 29 points and 12 rebounds, while Taylor-James added 24 points and seven rebounds.     “This is it for us,” said Taylor-James. “We’re seniors and we want to win a championship. We have to get along with each other because of that.”    In the first half, Bland scored 17 points of the Lady Aggies first 26, and they took a 26-10 lead. Taylor-James added 6 of their last 11 to take them into halftime with a 37-18 lead. The two took over the game in the 2nd half as well, opening up the lead to 49-20.     The team did not have trouble against SC State either, extending their undefeated MEAC run in a 90-61 in Orangeburg. They took a lesson from last week’s come-from-behind victory at home against Delaware State. All five starters scored in double-figures, and Lamona Smalley got her 10th career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Bland led the team again with 23 points and five rebounds. Other starters Jaleesa Sams, Ta’Wauna Cook, and Brittanie Taylor-James scored 13 points, 11 points, and 12 points, respectively.     Bland got off to a good start again and the Aggies got out to a 22-4 lead early in the first half. Their defense held the Bulldogs to 18.5 percent in the first half. They held the MEAC field goal shooting leader, Marie Reid, to just 3 points and 12.5 percent from the floor.     The Lady Aggies are now 6-0 in the MEAC, and won their 5th game in a row away from Corbett Sports Center. They travel to Washington, DC on Saturday to face Howard, and then go up against Hampton on February 2nd. Hampton gave the Aggies their only conference loss last year, and they are looking to avenge that crushing defeat.

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When will it end?

Going to bed this past Saturday, tired from a long and hectic week, I didn’t really have a lot on my mind for once. It had been a week like many others, full of meetings, deadlines, homework and trivial things. You know, business as usual. It was almost as if people were just going through the motions, falling into their patterns of behavior and doing whatever it is they do best.    But when I woke up on Sunday, the world was a different place. Not fully knowing what I would wake up into, I again started going through the usual Sunday morning routine: shower, Facebook, cartoons.  But as I started reading all my friends status updates, my heart sank, and time stood still.     Another Aggie was taken too soon. It’s been this way every year that I have been at A&T, and it makes me wonder, when will it end? There is so much going on in the world today, and as difficult as it is to get by with life’s usual ups and downs, no one needs anything else to worry about.    People shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can walk home at night, or wonder if the Police will actually respond to their calls when the station is only about two blocks away.     Why is shooting someone the new form of conflict resolution? What gives anyone the right to end another life, just because of a disagreement? Was it really that serious? Can you live with yourself knowing that this is all your fault?    I was touched by the huge turnout we had on Monday at the memorial service, it was probably the largest we’ve ever had. But it shouldn’t take tragedy for us to get together. And if we can assemble in masses to remember someone, can we not do the same to prevent this from happening to anyone else?    When will we stop tearing ourselves apart Aggies? Everyone thinks they live in their own little bubble, isolated from the world. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.    We need to come together, and find some way to end these senseless acts of violence. At the end of the day, what have you proved by shooting someone? All you’ve managed to do is make things worse, and further deepen the gap that divides us all.    Dennis said that life was like a box of chocolates, and he was right in every way. You never know what you will get out of your day, and you never know when things will be out of your hands, or what you will walk into as you stroll through the hallways and classrooms.    But the good thing about a box of chocolate is that no matter which piece you pick up, it’s still chocolate. I lost a good friend, and I will never understand why. But I will turn this loss into a motivator to find an end to these crimes, and I encourage you to do the same.

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REMEMBERING DENNIS

A smile.For all of those who had ever met Dennis Stuart Hayle, a smile was remembered. A smile that people seemingly couldn’t keep from their faces while talking with him, and yet he apparently couldn’t keep from his face when interacting with others. His smile was the first hint to the type of person he was.”I just keep thinking about his smile and the last conversation we had with each other,” said Eugene Banks, a senior business management major and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. “It still feels like he’s gonna call me or text me to go to the café. It kinda hit me on my way to class [Monday].  I wanted to call Dennis and I can’t because he just ain’t here no more. I just keep having conversations talking in his voice to myself and responding to it. I don’t know how to really deal with it right now. I just wish he was still here.”Hayle, a 22-year-old senior at A&T majoring in political science and criminal justice and native of Hempstead, N.Y., was shot and killed Sunday morning at 805 Homeland Avenue in the Campus Courtyard Apartment complex. Police found Hayle after responding to a phone call of a shooting at 3:35 a.m. Sunday, according to Greensboro police reports. An ongoing investigation regarding this case is being conducted by the Greensboro Police Department.”The University is heartbroken as the result of what occurred with Dennis Hayle,” said Chancellor Stanley Battle in a statement. “We will provide counseling and other support for all of our students, as well as his family. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family of Dennis Hayle.”Hayle, who crossed the Mu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated in the spring of 2008, has been described in unanimously as having the type of personality that could mend a broken heart. His vibrant character, both inside and outside of the classroom, exuded the very best in what A&T had to offer. He had been involved in a wide range of campus life activities from working in the Student Union to a being an active and valuable member of the Model United Nations.”It’s an emotional time in our department,” said Samuel Moseley, chairman of the political science and criminal justice department. “Because of recent political events and a renewed spirit and vigor that I’ve found in many students, he told me that he wanted to go to D.C. after he graduated in May. He had spoken with many of the faculty about looking at areas of legislative politics, but also at the idea of lobbying. He would want us to use this to motivate students. Motivate them to make the very best of their college education. Motivate them and carry out the kind of spirit that you found in him.”That spirit resonated throughout the people he touched. It was made obvious at the ‘Let’s Talk About Dennis’ event held Monday in the General Classroom Building’s auditorium. Every seat in the entire room was filled. After that happened, people lined the stairs and the walkways, both at the top of the auditorium and on the floor. When the entire floor was filled, people lined the doorways on both sides. But even more impressive than the hundreds of people, were the incredible stories they had to tell.  Anecdotes centered around everything from the classroom to women to bowtie’s. People’s stories had everyone laughing at one moment and crying at the very next.”Just being at the service last night, you could tell that people from his fraternity brothers to people who met him once, that he had a tangible impact on everybody that he came across,” said Jonathan McCoy, a senior mechanical engineering major. “It’s a shame it takes an event like this to bring people together and cause people to really reevaluate their perspectives on things.  But hopefully this will hit really close to people and they will not forget how important it is to cherish those around you and the opportunities you have in life every day at every moment.”It took very few moments since the bad news broke for his Facebook wall to begin being filled with posts ranging from simple rest in peace wishes to more detailed messages regarding more personal memories. Hundreds of status updates and profile pictures reflected the sentiments of the campus. “His smile warmed our hearts and his spirit lifted our minds,” said SGA President Marcus Bass. “Dennis challenges us, each of us, to become better individuals on a daily basis. Those who knew him understood his love for A&T and Omega Psi Phi. He personified the mission and purpose of his fraternity and he carried his legacy wherever he went.”

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N.C. A&T student killed by gunfire

GREENSBORO – Blood stained the concrete in the corridor of the Campus Courtyard apartments, where police found 22-year-old Dennis Hayle shot to death Sunday morning.

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Inauguration 2009

Dexter Mullins gives us an inside look at the Inauguration from the Capitol Mall.

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