by Nick Zanetti
While I was doing interviews for my story about the changes to SUB this week, I was surprised to learn how much work and planning goes into every SUB event. There are dozens of people involved in the organization. They had a bustling office when I visited them. PIT crew members now undergo weeks of training where they learn to work every type of event, although their hard work is invisible to most students.
The SUB team seemed like a fun group of people to be around, and I’d highly recommend joining to anyone interested in event planning. One of SUB’s biggest annual events is the spring concert.
I was interested in hearing from Amanda Long, the president of SUB, about the changes to the voting that students participate in to determine who the spring show will be. She said Elon students were upset when SUB wasn’t able to book the specific artist that a lot of students vote for.
Not surprisingly, booking a big name artist to do a show is no easy task. The people in SUB have to work for months in advance to book an artist. This year the surveys for the spring show just asked students what genre they would like to have. The next time you are at a SUB event, remember that there are a lot of people working behind the scenes to make it a great experience.
Want more information about SUB? Check out Nick’s article in the upcoming issue of The Pendulum.
by Grace Elkus
After writing my article about the stipends Elon University’s School of Law provides for students doing summer internships, I learned more from law student Jason Senges about how the program works and am excited to share this information on The Pendulum blog. The Public Interest Law Society (PILS) stipend only goes to a student that is doing public interest work. Last year’s recipients worked in a public defender’s office and with Guardian and Litern. The stipends for the Leadership Fellows benefit non-profit and public interest practices by enabling them to have interns work for them because the interns can work for free. As Senges explained, had it not been for the stipend, he would not have been able to work for the entirety of the summer. The stipends are a way the law students can give back to the communities, according to Senges. If Elon wanted to give similar stipends to undergraduates, they would be for students working over the summer in programs that benefit the community and potentially change lives. Senges suggested the undergraduate Leadership Fellows would be a good organization to start fundraising for student stipends.
Although I do think the School of Communications or the Love School of Business could benefit from a stipend program, which I mentioned in the article, I now understand the nature of the internships the law students were participating in. I think a stipend that not only helps a student but also the organization for which they are interning is a very intriguing and worthy concept.
Want to know more? Check out Grace’s original article.
Under a proposed plan, a new School of Communications would be constructed in the current McMichael Parking Lot. Photo by Tracy Raetz.
Seeing construction projects is nothing out of the ordinary for students at Elon. Every year, the university is working on new projects, both large and small, to grow, beautify and update the campus. The construction is often inconvenient and the noise of machinery gets old, but once the projects are finished, there are rarely any complaints from students.
Such might be the case in a few years when (or if, rather) the university begins construction on a new School of Communications, which most likely will be located in the current McMichael parking lot. That’s 82,000 square feet of communications building, and a project that is expected to take at least two years. Two years. What will it be like having a construction zone smack in the middle of campus for years on end? The answer is that it will probably be really annoying. Some students will probably hate having to park all the way behind the Francis Center and having to take a shuttle to campus. Commuter students and those who live on the southwest part of campus will lose a parking lot that already used to fill up everyday. It will probably be inconvenient.
But it will be a great addition to the university, which has been in a state of change for decades. All of these changes have made this institution the place it is today. The beautiful green lawn in front of Alamance that surrounds the brick area and fountain used to be a parking lot. Students and faculty could park right in front of the building. Pretty convenient, right? But in the grand scheme of things, our cars’ close proximity to buildings was no match for a beautiful landscape and pedestrian area for students. And campus adapted. And it grew. And people love it. It seems like one generation of students endures construction for the next. And usually, it’s worth it. We’ll all come back to visit in a decade and be proud of the place we spent our college careers (and our tuition dollars).
For more information about the planned construction projects, read Natalie’s story.
by Grace Elkus
This week, I spoke with Nathan Thomas, a senior at Elon and the lead male mentor for Elon Academy’s summer program. The Elon Academy is a program for high school students from the Alamance-Burlington School System who will be first-generation college students. Participants attend a four week summer session at Elon, where they work with Elon student mentors who help them strengthen their academic skills as well as assist them in college application process.
Although the summer portion is the biggest part of Elon Academy, students also come to campus on various Saturday’s during the year, Thomas said. Furthermore, representatives from the Academy visit the students at their respective colleges after they graduate from the program. This ensures they still feel connected to the Academy and the relationship stays strong.
Thomas explained the role of the mentor as a cross between a camp counselor and a TA. The mentors get to know the students on a personal level but also know their goal is to fulfill the academic mission of the Academy. Elon students who are interested in becoming mentors can attend the program’s information sessions, which will provide more information about what it’s really like to be a mentor, the types of students they will be working with and the ins and outs of the job.
For more information about Elon Academy and the role of mentors, look for Grace’s story in an upcoming issue of The Pendulum.
by Nick Zanetti
According to an informal poll by Elon professor Tony Crider, one of every 10 astronomy students do not believe the moon landing ever happened.
While talking to Tony Crider, chair of the physics department, this week about the National Science Foundation grant Elon University recently received, he was telling me about how the United States has fallen behind in science and math education. He went so far as to say that the United States is one of the most scientifically illiterate countries in the modern world. Then he told me an astonishing statistic: Over the course of about five years, he had found that one of every 10 students in his astronomy classes believed the moon landing had never occurred.
This profoundly shocked me. We have all heard about how the United States is falling behind in math and science, but a statistic like the one Crider gave me changed my view of this phenomenon. The scientific illiteracy of the United States became not just white noise in the media, but rather something very real that could have significant consequences. We live in a society that depends so much on science, math and technology, and we are increasingly ignorant of theses things. Science education might be more important than ever, and I am proud that Elon has been given so much money for a cause that is more pertinent than ever.
For more information about the NSF research grant, pick up a copy of The Pendulum next week.
According to insidehighered.com, a recent study focused on the research papers of first-year college students at 15 different schools and found many students “simply copy chunks of text from the sources they cite without truly grasping the underlying argument, quality or context.”
As a service to students and faculty alike, the Writing Center’s purpose is to help students improve their writing techniques and develop strategies and practices that will make them be more effective writers in any situation.
But how helpful is the Center, in reality?
Paula Patch, English lecturer and college writing professor, said she believes the Writing Center is beneficial for students because writers are forced to compile more than one draft after visiting with a consultant. She said she thinks students also feel more comfortable talking about and critiquing their writing samples after visiting.
To find out what Elon students and other faculty members think about the effectiveness of the Writing Center, pick up this week’s issue of the Pendulum, out on May 11.
-Sam Parker, senior reporter
While the Blog had some exciting international news this week, I am going to turn the focus back to Elon and Student Government Association. Throughout the semester, The Pendulum has tried to cover SGA more closely to ensure that we are fulfilling our duty as watchdog of the government. News publications, throughout history, have been charged with the responsibility of educating the people about government policies in order to protect the people from potential government abuse and hold politicians accountable for their actions.
Nevertheless, with the rise in social media and the Internet, the government is able to communicate directly with the people. This is not to say that newspapers are no longer necessary, but it does transfer some of that “watchdog” responsibility to the people.
Elon is no exception in this trend. Matt Campbell, senior class vice president, redesigned the Facebook fanpage for SGA in order to better communicate with the student body. The new page will include photos, a page titled “Meet the Execs,” and links to twitter, Elon’s main page, YouTube, FunFund and recent Elon related videos. Campbell said he wants to have 25 percent of the student body be a “fan” before Christmas break.
Continuing with SGA’s efforts to remain transparent, Neima Abdulahi coordinates PR for the organization. She created a video about the four executive positions and said she hopes to create six more videos next year to better communicate with the student body. Abdulahi also challenged the senators to interact with other organizations more regularly.
While it is important for SGA to utilize more modern methods of communication, this also means that students must assume responsibility for their own knowledge concerning SGA. The “watchdog” role is no longer restricted to reporters and media. All members of the Elon community can participate in conversations about student government.
-Melissa Kansky, assistant news editor