Valentines: Con

Well, the most “wonderful” time of the year is approaching us. Yeah, break out the candy, roses, and the sappy and corny Hallmark cards because Valentine’s Day is here in all of its glory. In two days, this campus will be full of other girls carrying red roses, magnetic kissing teddy bears, among other trinkets their “lovers” bought them in hopes of something in return. As another Valentine’s day approaches, I came to realize that the idea of Feb. 14 being a day where lovers to show their true feelings of love and affection for one another is a lie.In reality, Valentines Day one of those days when Hallmark and other sentimental corporations make a healthy profit. Unfortunately, many are blind to the fact that they are wasting their money buying a bunch of roses and heart-shaped candy. They are wasting their money because like my opponent says, we should show our love and appreciation for our loved ones every day and you do not necessary have to buy a sappy and lame card or a dozen roses that will rot in a week.Another realization comes to mind, while talking about this pseudo-holiday, is the fact that many engage in this day for the wrong reasons. Ladies, most of you might think your man really loves you and cares about you. But you are all wrong, because some of these trifling, shiftless dogs that you call boyfriends don’t care about you, period. Some of these guys that are stocking up on sentimental garbage are not doing this for you, but doing this for their self-serving needs and no guy on this campus can tell me anything different.A few weeks ago, I engaged into a conversation with my opponent and my editor about true love and if it exists. I said that I think that there are no good guys on this campus. My editor thinks that I have not found him yet. I know he exists but, the chances of finding him on this campus is zero to zilch.Hey, I have self-love. I have been working hard trying to obtain my print-journalism degree and I have the GPA to show for it. On the personal side, I am trying to get myself together to make myself appealing but I am confused on how to do that. I think that I look decent and there is room for improvement, so I don’t know what my problem is.Maybe the fact that I am not “open” is what’s holding me back. I disagree with my opponent when she says that we must be willing to let our guard down and know when to let someone in, for what, more pain and drama? Why be vulnerable and defenseless and end up being hurt when you can take the attitude of better him than me?Besides, I have an idea about what I want in a mate and if I follow this ideal, I can be open, vulnerable and satisfied. No one on this campus can match my picture of my ideal mate anyway. What’s wrong with having romance, ambition, adventure, a man with sensitivity, caramel complexion, neatly kept goatee or beard, athletic build, non-smoker as a mate? I am not lowering my standards for anyone. I refuse to sell myself short for the sake of amour.

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Health experts warn of a hidden hazard

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, with as many as 24 million Americans infected. Scientists have identified more than 60 types of HPV. Low-risk types of HPV cause genital warts, the most recognizable sign of genital HPV infection. Other high-risk types of HPV cause cervical and other genital cancers. About one-third of the HPV types spread through sexual contact and live only in genital tissue. Like many sexually transmitted organisms, HPV usually cause no visible symptoms. One study sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reported that almost half of the women infected had no obvious symptoms. Because the viral infection persists, individuals may not be aware of their infection or the potential risk of transmission to others and of developing complications. Genital warts are caused by only a few of the many types of HPV. Warts are spread by sexual-contact with an infected partner and are very contagious. Approximately two-thirds of people who have sexual contact with a partner with genital warts will develop warts, usually within three months of contact. Scientists estimate that as many as one million new cases of genital warts are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. A doctor usually can diagnose HPV by performing a Pap smear. Women with abnormal Pap results should be examined further to detect and treat cervical problems. The only way to prevent HPV infection is to avoid direct contact with the virus, which is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. For more information, contact the American Social Health Association, P.O Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709 or call the National STD Hotline at 1-800-227-8922.

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Black History Month Q&A

Dr. Millicent Ellison Brown was the chief plaintiff in the Brown v. School District 20, which desegregated schools in South Carolina. A longtime civil rights activist, she is now a teacher at N.C. A&T.

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Police make arrests in connection with fake $20 bills

N.C. A&T police may have solved the mystery of the counterfeit $20 bills that have been floating around campus.Police said Brandon Worthy, 18, was arrested and charged with obtaining property by false pretenses, and Vincent Kelly, 18, of 5965 Brittains Dr., Belews Creek, was arrested and charged with first-degree trespassing. Police said Worthy and Kelly were found passing out counterfeit 20s in Scott Hall on Jan. 25. Police say that Worthy, a student at A&T, and Kelly, a non-student, were making the bills on Worthy’s computer in his dorm room.Sgt. Marty Tillery made the arrests. He said authorities are not sure if they had anything to do with counterfeit 20s found earlier in the Aggie Den.”We don’t yet have the serial numbers to the money that was found earlier,” said Tillery. “Right now we don’t want to make any assumptions, but it’s a relief that we caught them before things really got out of hand.”Earlier in the week, three reports had been filed about vendors receiving counterfeit money from students. No one had been arrested, however, because the students who were found with the money said they didn’t know it was counterfeit. Campus police then began a thorough investigation. On the night of Jan. 25, the puzzle was solved by a delivery guy from Vinnie’s Pizza. After delivering the pizza and returning to the restaurant the delivery gut noticed that the money he was given by Worthy was real. “At that point the delivery man called A&T campus police and informed us about what happened,” said Tillery. Campus police went to Scott Hall and asked the resident assistant if he knew of anyone that just bought some food from Vinnie’s Pizza. The resident assistant said he did and gave the officers the name and room number of Worthy.Police then apprehended Worthy and Kelly, who was in the room.Bail was set at $2,500 for each of the men and both remained in jail at deadline.The case is now in the hands of the U.S. Secret Service.

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Housing ads hit chord with students

TV and radio ads urging Aggies to live on campus must have worked.”Attention all A&T Aggies! Housing is available now for Spring Semester!” These ads were thrust into the minds of students and parents throughout the month of December, and the response has been solid.Over 180 students have registered for campus housing since the advertisements debuted. The Department of Housing and Residence Life reports that 2,821 students live on campus. The number will greatly increase next fall as new housing opens and improvements are made to the existing structures. The goal of this whole campaign was simple. “We hoped more than anything else that students and parents understand the wonderful opportunities available by living on campus,” said Mable Scott, assistant vice chancellor of university relations.A key factor in the campaign’s success is timeliness. “Getting good and timely information to the students was the biggest and the most beneficial thing we can do,” said Auxiliary Services Director Todd Johnson.The campus housing situation will get some relief beginning next fall. On the corner of Booker Street, new apartment-style housing is being built. Four hundred of the eventual 800 two-bedroom, two-bathroom suites will be open to students. While this was built with private funds, Vice Chancellor of Development David Hoard will set the rent based on the apartment prices in the area.As far as the existing buildings on campus, help is on the way. First of all, Johnson has been listening to students’ ideas to improve life on campus. Decent cable television is a popular item of discussion and there are plans to upgrade the cable system.Improvements to existing buildings will begin as early as next fall with the renovation of Haley Hall. In the fall of 2002, Cooper Hall will be renovated, and $26 million from the bond referendum will go to Scott Hall for its updates.Although the process of improving campus life is long and slow, Johnson and Scott say the goal is clear. “We are definitely working on meeting expectations of students with the quality of housing,” Johnson said.

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Campus Buzzing about McNair progam

The fifteenth anniversary of the Challenger explosion was celebrated quietly on the campus of N.C. A&T.The tragedy claimed the lives of all seven members of its crew, including N.C. A&T graduate, Ronald McNair.However, McNair’s Alma Mater cancelled its annual program for this year. Instead, the university honored the astronaut by holding a physics lecture on campus and including other smaller activities to remember McNair. The cancellation of such a significant event has many students, faculty and members of the community not only disappointed, but puzzled as well. Tony Reames, a junior civil engineer major from Bishopville, South Carolina shares in the confusion. “I heard that the program had been rescheduled for a different day due to it falling on Super Bowl Sunday, and because the chancellor wanted maximum participation from the students,” said Reames. “I’ve attended the program for the past two years and I was disappointed.” Lance Joyner, a history major from Greensboro and an A&T graduate said he had been to a couple of a the Ronald McNair programs before, and was really looking forward to this year’s program.”I went to a couple of the programs when I was a student and I was looking forward to attending this years’ since I still live in Greensboro,” said Joyner. “It’s kind of embarrassing to think that his own school isn’t showing him as much love as in previous years”. However, Tenika Porteru, a senior psychology major from Charlotte, has a different opinion. “I heard that the plans for the program weren’t organized very well, and I agree that out of respect it should have been cancelled, rather then just throwing something together at the last minute,” said Porteru.Rumors explaining the cancellation have been circulating around campus. Some students have their own ideas, while others continue to blame university officials, particularly Chancellor Renick. Whether it was a matter of cutting costs, inadequate planning, lack of student participation, university politics or even competition from this year’s SuperBowl, remains to be seen and the fact remains that the program was still cancelled.Dr. Roselle Wilson, vice-chancellor of Student Affairs, was involved closely in the matter. “The real reason for the cancellation is that there was some very poor planning in terms of the event itself,” said Wilson. Wilson went on to say that a sufficient budget for the event had not been presented and that funds for the program had not been properly secured. “There are two essential pieces for any program and you have to know what you’re going to do and how much it’s going to cost and then you can plan,” said Wilson. “We did not want any last minute haphazard planning. At the time we were not convinced that we were going to have a successful event.” When asked about the date of the program coinciding with SuperBowl Sunday, Wilson agreed that the game was a factor, but not a major one. “There’s a always a risk that you take when you plan certain events but that’s part of the planning process. You certainly can’t ignore the fact that something else is going on in the world and that people’s attention might be averted,” said Wilson. In turn, the decision to cancel the program was made by several of the executive officers of the university, including Wilson. “We were all equally concerned, and when certain details for the program were not available, one week beforehand, that sounded the alarm,” said Wilson.A committee made up of students and faculty is in charge of planning these types of events, including the McNair program. Members of the committee include SGA president Nikkita Mitchell, Director for Student Activities, Marva Watlington and Associate vice-chancellor for Student Development Dr. Dorothy Harris. Members of the committee were asked to give their thoughts on the issue. Committee members Mitchell and Watlington referred the issue to Dr. Dorothy Harris, who could not be reached for comment.The Wilson and other university officials are looking into the overall planning process that is required to prepare for events, like the McNair program. Wilson also says that the university is looking into developing a university calendar that would contain the dates for annual events and programs. This in an effort to prevent something like this cancellation, from happening again. The focus of the Ronald McNair program is also expected to change too. “We’re looking at a new program, one in memory of his life, rather then his death,” said Wilson. Wilson also urged students to seek out answers to any questions that they may have concerning campus issues; “The best way to communicate is to ask questions.”

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41 years and counting

N.C. A&T and the Greensboro community came together Feb. 1 to celebrate 41 years of the Sit-In Movement, and to mark the unveiling of the university’s civil rights medal. As the triumphant voice of civil rights leader Dr. Franklin McCain rang through the Williams Cafeteria Annex, students, faculty and the community of Greensboro listened attentively. “Feb. 1st was the call to mount up, ride up, and meet the adversary head on,” said McCain. McCain was one of the four N.C. A&T freshmen, better known as The Greensboro Four, who sat-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter and refused to leave until they were served. David L. Richmond, Joseph McNeil and Ezell Blair Jr., later known as Jibreel Khazan, were the others. McCain was the only one who could be present to speak of the experience and of what students need to be doing today to ensure that civil rights isn’t a thing of the past. “You don’t need an army like Napoleon’s, you don’t need 100,000 people or four people to change what’s wrong,” said McCain. “Vision is all you need and it only takes one person with a vision to change things that have been wrong for years.” McCain went on to say that some of the same battles that were fought when he was a student are the ones student need to be fighting now. He mentioned the higher education bond issue and how money was allocated. “Do you know that 50 percent of the bond money went to two schools, and I bet those schools weren’t A&T or N.C. Central,” said McCain. “We received big crumbs, while these other universities received the real stuff. I’m not saying that I am not grateful for what we have, because I am grateful. I am grateful that Hines Hall is going to be rebuilt; it needed rebuilding when I was here. I’m very grateful, but I’m not satisfied.” Inequality and changes in this new century are other things that McCain addressed. McCain says that inequality still exists and that it’s more blatant today than ever. “You don’t have to leave campus to face the inequalities of this society, it’s right here on this campus,” said McCain. “We cannot tolerate it! Don’t assume that we have overcome. Things have gotten better, but we have not overcome.” Chancellor James Renick, following McCain’s powerful speech, introduced the Human Rights Medal Design contest winner and the Human Rights Medal recipient. This was the first year for the medal presentations. Charles Watkins, senior visual arts major, won first place in the medal design contest, with a design featuring the Greensboro Four. Lewis A. Brandon, a 1960 alumnus, was awarded the Human Rights Medal for his ongoing struggle for political, social and economic justice. “The struggle for human rights is not over, as we’ve heard this morning from Dr. McCain,” said Renick. “It was their protest that changed this country.” Renick also presented awards to the daughter of David Richmond, and to the mother of Joseph McNeil. Students had the opportunity to address the group with questions. The first question came from Joseph Frierson, president of the Henry Frye Pre-law Society, who asked, “Where can young people find the power to bring forth change?” A member of the audience decided to answer the question and summed it up in three words. “Knowledge is power,” she said. “Students have to read, read, read and listen to what’s being said.” Frierson agreed. “I’m a firm believer in God and in the Bible the Lord says, ‘My people perish from a lack of knowledge.’ So it’s very important that we take the initiative to learn and to read,” said Frierson. “We need to empower ourselves.” McCain stated earlier in the program that one of the evils carried over from the past century to the 21st is ignorance. “There are certain things that carried over from the past century, among them is ignorance,” said McCain. “It’s time that students become familiar with the issues that are affecting their lives.” The morning program was followed by a panel discussion in the afternoon and a speech by Brandon in the evening.

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Best is yet to come if you step up to the challenge

How do we erase the bad memories of the past that linger through our minds every day?What river must we cross to get past all the negative that life brings so that we can live each day to the fullest?College is that place or that next level where most of us thought we’d escape the petty girlfriend, boyfriend drama, or get the opportunity to find out what it is God has planned for our lives.The question has been posed time and time again. Who are you? In one word, describe who you are?You are fidelity. You are loyal African American students who see the prize that Dr. King spoke of, who see the light at the end of the tunnel, who sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us.Take a look around you and bask in what God has given you and made you to be. No he’s not complete yet and that’s the great thing about it. The crazy thing about college, or life for that matter, is that when you get to a place where you really want to be it’s never as good as the place where you never thought you’d be but you’re there because God wants you to be.For many of us, college looked bleak, life looked bleak. But there’s a reason why you are here. That reason is the challenge that has been issued to us by our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. That challenge is to be better than what they were. That challenge is to keep going and never get complacent. Never get to the point where you feel there’s nothing left for you to do, for there’s always something that needs to be done.This generation, you and I, have been accused of being so nonchalant and so non-caring that we’d forget the history of our forefathers just for a party or a drink. For a moment I ask you to forget the cars, the girls, the guys, the clothes and the money. Forget all the materialistic stuff. We all know that material items can be replaced, but the words of your mother and father cannot. Hang on to those words. Accept the challenge they have laid before you. Find out why the caged bird sings. Truly the sky is the limit. I’ve accepted the challenged lain before me. It’s time to right the wrong, to change the face of politics. Adversity you’re going to face, and adversity you will overcome. I’d hate to think that the reason I didn’t cross the Jordan was because I didn’t care to. I’d hate to think that A&T students didn’t cross the Jordan because a car or a party was more important.A land flowing with milk and honey awaits you after you leave this place, and the only way you’ll ever obtain what’s in that land is if you accept the challenge to get to the land. Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few find it.

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Museum leaders say project on schedule despite setbacks

On Feb. 1,1960, four black freshmen from N.C. A&T who sat down at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter and refused to leave started the sit-in movement, which spread globally. Forty-one years later, the International Civil Rights Museum at 134 S. Elm St., which commemorates the four freshmen and the sit-in movement, is nearing completion despite failure of a bond issue last fall by a narrow 49-51 margin. Even though the $3 million museum bond was rejected last November, Jones says that it has not halted the museum’s progress. “The bond was unanticipated. It would have accelerated the project, but it was unanticipated as far as the original plans,” said Earl Jones, who serves as vice president of Sit-In Movement Inc.Jones says that the board, in its eighth year of the museum project, is following the model of the museum in Memphis, Tenn. completed in 12 years and in Birmingham, Ala. completed in 14 years. On its current track, the museum will open in four to five years. “We’re on schedule and we’re sticking to the original plan,” said Jones.According to Jones, the International Civil Rights museum is entering the second phase, with help from the AFL-CIO, of a three-stage project. The first stage was to pay off the mortgage of the Woolworth building as well as operating expenses. Guilford County, the City of Greensboro, The National Trust of Historical Preservation, the State of North Carolina and 15 other corporations and individuals have made that stage successful by raising approximately $2.5 million. The second phase calls for the $3.1 million renovation of the 72-year-old Woolworth building. The final stage will consist of the drafting of the four major exhibits and learning center. Though the building is not complete, the museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. McArthur Davis, executive director for the museum, says that it has had over 5,000 visitors last year. The museum staff passes out brochures to visitors and shows them the lunch counter where the four freshmen sat. Davis says that more money will be generated from fund-raisers such as the annual Sit-In Movement banquet, a golf tournament, a walk-a-thon, art collection and from donations. La-Z-Boy recently donated $10,000 and other individuals have contributed.Jones says that A&T, which launched the movement, can help by supporting various fund-raising events and providing volunteers.Brian Johnson, vice president of internal affairs for SGA, says that A&T should be more involved with the museum. “I feel that A&T as a university should take a more active role in this fight for the museum because so much has been done here at this university,” said Johnson.Ed Fort, former chancellor for A&T and a member of the 15-member executive board of Sit-In Movement Inc., says the board is focusing on selecting an advisory board, which will provide ideas, suggestions and support for the construction of the building. “The board supports the concept (of an advisory board) and has received letters from a number of people who want to work on it,” said Fort.Fort is confident that the museum project will be successful. “It has to be something that the community supports, and I think the community supports it. It’s important that we continue to keep the community informed,” said Fort.Some in the community have criticized the pace of the project and failure of the bond, linking them to the leadership of President Skip Alston and Jones.Tom Phillips, a Greensboro city council member says that Alston’s and Jones’ “politics alienates people.” “I’m a conservative and I have yet to see someone that doesn’t want it (the museum),” says Phillips. He adds that the concern around the community is that Alston and Jones need to accept a “lesser role” so that money can be raised and the politics in the matter can be eliminated.Jones blames the News & Record for causing this controversy. “The Greensboro Four who sat at the counter 41 years ago were not celebrated by the established institutions, they were castigated,” said Jones. “Today, the leadership is not celebrated by institutional control. As much as things change, they still stay the same.”Alston was contacted, but he was unavailable for comments.Claudette-Burroughs White, a Greensboro city councilwoman, disagrees with both sides. “I’m not saying that the concerns are legitimate from either side. None of it is as important as the museum that commemorates our history. It commemorates one of the greatest things that happened in this state,” said White.Henry Isaacson, executive board member and attorney, said, “I’m not bothered by any controversy. This museum to commemorate the Sit-In movement is too important to pass up. We need to see it through and make it a reality. It needs to be remembered. Fifty years from now people need to say, ‘Let’s go see it.'”

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