Oct. 3 Sweep

Don’t have time to read in-depth reports on the major news stories of the moment? Not to fear! Check the News Blog every week for a run-down of the top stories that matter to you and where to find out more. 

Occupy Wall Street

Day 13 of Occupy Wall Street begins with a march through the streets of lower Manhattan, at around the time the bell rings on Wall Street on September 29, 2011. The protesters in the "leaderless resistance movement" have gained traction, but are short on specific demands or a long-term strategy. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

A movement that started Sept. 17 by a group of activists claiming to stand against the United States’ crippling debt and greedy corporate officials has gone viral as more protests pop up across the nation. As reported by the New York Times, the idea behind the movement was to camp out for weeks or even months to replicate the scale of protests in Egypt earlier this year.  On Oct. 1, New York police arrested about 700 participants as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, as some claim they were coerced onto the bridge and subsequently arrested. Similar groups are now planning to march in areas of North Carolina.

Want to know more?
*Read a column from the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof.
*Watch a video that claims to prove police entrapment of the 700 arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge.
*Check out the group’s website, which describes participants as “the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.”

Look for a report on Elon students and alums involved in the movement in an upcoming issue of The Pendulum.

Anwar al-Awlaki killed

ANWAR AL-AWLAKI. Photo courtesy of Reuters.

In the months following the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda operative and American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki remained a close second target. He was killed in a drone attack Friday, Sept. 30 in Yemen and while his death is a huge blow to al-Qaeda’s ability to function, many are questioning Obama’s decision to deny a citizen the Constitutional rights to a fair and speedy trial and to be innocent before proven guilty by due process of law.
The U.S. State Department has issued travel warnings in anticipation of potential anti-American attacks fueled by al-Awlaki’s death.
Want to know more?

*Read an article in the Wall Street Journal about al-Awlaki’s importance.
*Read an article in the Atlantic about violating al-Awlakis’s rights as an American.

Amanda Knox freed

Amanda Knox, right, spent four years in an Italian prison before being released Monday. Photo courtesy of Time.

Amanda Knox, an American student jailed for the alleged murder of her roommate while studying abroad in Italy in 2007, was released Monday. Knox plead innocent and spent four years in an Italian jail before being sent home to Seattle and would have faced more than 25 years in prison had she been convicted. Knox’s family is said to have incurred debt well over $1 million because of the cost of lawyers, legal fees, international travel to Italy and other expenses, and multiple organizations have been started to fundraise for Knox’s family.
Want to know more?

*Read a column from the Chicago Tribune on why Knox being wrongly targeted as the perpetrator
*Watch the appeals verdict

Debate over the Jobs Act

President Barack Obama deliveres remarks at the Brent Spence Bridge in Ohio Sept. 22, urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Since announcing his plan to put America back to work in a joint session of Congress Sept. 8, President Barack Obama has traveled the country pitching the plan, boiling the complicated proposal into two simple meanings:- putting people back to work and putting money back in their pockets. Included in the plan is tax cuts for businesses who hire new employees, $4.4 trillion deficit reduction and the expansion of job opportunities. While many doubt the Republicans will support the plan, members of the president’s own party are balking at the bill, proposing it be broken down into smaller chunks, making it easier to pass through Congress.

Want to know more?
*Check out a graphic from the New York Times about the reality of the American Jobs Act.
*Read a transcript of President Obama’s speech to Congress announcing the Act.
*Watch Obama’s Oct. 1 weekly address speaking in support of his plan.

Look for a report on the Jobs Act and what it means for students in this week’s issue of The Pendulum.

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An Inspirational Interview

Grace Elkus
Senior Reporter 

I am so glad I had the chance to interview Stacey Crutchfield, an Elon sophomore who is also an Elon Academy scholar.   Stacey has lived in Burlington her whole life, and both sets of her grandparents are from Alamance County.  None of Stacey’s grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles or older cousins attended college, so she never seriously considered applying.

Stacey told me she wasn’t motivated to try very hard in her classes her freshman year of high school.  But when she heard about Elon Academy, she decided to fill out the application. She was one of 26 students accepted into the program.   It was there she realized that college was more than just some “far off idea.”  She began doing better in class and challenging herself in harder courses.  She was also happy that the Academy included her family in some of the meetings, so they could understand how the program could help her apply to college and for grants and scholarships.

Stacey had never been interested in attending Elon because it was so close to her home.  But when she was offered the Odyssey scholarship, which provided her with generous academic and social support, she knew she could not pass up the opportunity. Now that she’s a student at Elon, Stacey works with the Academy to coordinate the summer program and works with the younger scholars.

I was truly inspired by Stacey.  She is extremely self-motivated and made me realize that so many of us take going to college for granted – an obvious next step after high school.  I look forward to writing more articles for the Pendulum that allow me interview such motivated and passionate people.

Look for Grace’s story about the Elon Academy in this week’s issue of The Pendulum.

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Sunday Sweep

Don’t have time to read in-depth reports on the major news stories of the moment? Don’t fear! Check the News Blog every Sunday afternoon for a run-down of the top stories that matter to you and where to find out more information. 

Saudi women earn the right to vote
Saudi Arabian women were granted the right to vote Sunday by King Abdullah in a move many say was prompted by the Arab Spring. Saudi women are not allowed to drive and do not have equal rights with men, but Abduallah’s decision also allows women to run for public office. It is unclear how many women will take advantage of their new freedoms, as they legally could be denied the opportunities by the men in their lives. The new law will take effect during the next nationwide local elections — in 2015.

Palestine applies for statehood
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas applied for Palestinian statehood and United Nations membership earlier this week amid cheers from many established UN members, despite the United States’ past promises to veto. Abbas said he wants Israel and Palestine to go back to the 1967 borders, but the Israeli government has not accepted the proposal.

Bullfighting banned in Catalonia
Sunday marked the last bullfight ever in Spain’s Catalonia region. While it is not banned in every region of Spain, many have protested, saying it is an attack on liberty. Anti-bullfight activists celebrated at the final fight, and Spain’s leading broadcaster already declared several months ago it would no longer air live bullfights because of the violence it demonstrated to children.
Check back at elonpendulum.com this week to see a photo story about bullfighting in Madrid, Spain, by international correspondent Will Anderson.

American hikers released from Iranian prison
Two American hikers have finally returned to New York on Sunday after two years of detention in an Iranian prison. The two men, Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer, were hiking in Iraq in July 2009 when they were detained by Iranian officials for illegally entering the country. Fellow hiker Sarah Shourd was also arrested, but was released last year. The two men were recently convicted of espionage on behalf of the American government, but they have claimed they were detained specifically because of their nationality and Iran’s poor relationship with the United States government. Both Fattal and Bauer have maintained claims of innocence, saying they never intended to cross the border, and did not do so, but will never know for sure whether they actually did.

Slavery footprint
Made in a Free World has just released an iPhone app for individuals to track the amount of slave labor they support through their daily purchases. The app works based on lifestyle survey that takes inventory of an individual’s belongings and breaks each item down by the materials needed to make it.

Photo courtesy Made in a Free Wold

A pair of sneakers, for example, involves not only labor to put the product together but also labor to produce the cloth, plastic, rubber, metal and other raw materials used in manufacturing. The app is free in the iTunes store and so many people have attempted to access the site and take the survey that the organization’s servers have crashed, and are currently being upgraded to fifty times their size.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and look out for our next issue, hitting campus at a newsstand near you this Wednesday.

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Filed under International, Sunday Sweep, World News

Elon Academy Mentorship Program

by Grace Elkus
Senior Reporter

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. 

 

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Scientific Illiteracy: A National Problem, Localized

by Nick Zanetti
Senior Reporter

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.

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Correspondent’s Corner

Last week’s issue of The Pendulum did not have an International section because of spatial constraints from our Sept. 11 coverage. Check online throughout this week for additional international coverage. This week, read our correspondents’ experiences as they reflected on the Sept. 11 attacks from foreign countries.

Chelsea Vollrath
BEIJING—On the evening of Sept. 11, I made a point of going to the Catholic mass held in the basement of my dorm building to commemorate the lives lost 10 years ago and pray for the families affected.

There was a common feeling of solemnity when I walked in the room, which was only exacerbated by the priest’s homily later on in the service. He spoke of the violence and terrorism that plagues the world and then began to address the events of Sept. 11 specifically. In an open forum, he asked us to share where we were and how we felt when we heard of the attacks. There were a lot of international students present at the mass, and it was very interesting to hear their perspective on the event.

Although I wouldn’t assume that they wouldn’t have been affected in any way, I was surprised to hear how many people had still lost someone they knew and how their families had been impacted. This world is more connected than I had ever realized: the global community often discussed at Elon really does exist.

Carlton Logan
BARCELONA, SPAIN—While most of you spent last Sunday commemorating the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City, here in Barcelona another event was being commemorated in a slightly different fashion. The region of Catalonia celebrated its National Day, which recognizes the 1714 Siege of Barcelona defeat during the Spanish Succession.

In a city that seems to come alive at night and can party like noother, this past Sunday in Barcelona was nothing short of electric. As I sat down for dinner with my new Catalan family, we conversed in their tongue about some of the events of their National Day. Amongst the loud music and streets flooded with Catalonians of all different backgrounds there were speeches, ceremonies, performances, and parties of every kind. Markets of all kinds were in full force and various local events took place. In virtually every square, plaza or park you could see the national Catalan flag and an abundance of Barcelona natives, tourists and visitors. The noise of celebration began at sunrise and ended well after sunset.

We all remember where we were on the day of the Sept. 11 attacks. I, for example, remember my dad telling me when the World Trade Center had been attacked. He was picking me up from school but I was too young to know what it meant, and I was living in Jamaica at the time. But it is interesting to note how differently another group can view a day such as Sept. 11. The two sentiments were at almost opposite ends of the spectrum and I was puzzled to be present in a country where this day brought about the highest of pride, while knowing all along the mourning back home. I leave with a sense of remembrance for the victims of Sept. 11 and an appreciation of the Catalan culture.

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Get to know your SGA representatives

by Grace Elkus
Senior Reporter

SGA elections for the freshman class took place last week, and I got the chance to interview the new president and vice-president.  Not only are they excited to get started, but they are also eager to meet the rest of the SGA council and voice their opinions.

Joe Incorvia from Harwinton, Conn., was elected president and is adamant about creating class unity.  He admitted that most people knew who he was before school even started because they had watched the video he posted on the class of 2015 Facebook group.

He told me the video was “philosophical,” and in it he asked his peers how they wanted to be remembered as a class.  He admits that sometimes it’s creepy because people he’s never met know his name, but that also it was helpful when he ran for the SGA position.

Sarah Paille Jansa from Atlanta was elected vice-president.  Although she has no experience in student government, she is looking forward to learning from the other officers and trying something new.  She says the process of writing a speech and getting signatures for her petition was a “whirlwind,” but it was definitely worth it.

The class senators include Robert Iachenauer, Joe Duncan and Kristopher Jiles.  Adrienne Euler is the class secretary, and Ciera Martinez is the class treasurer.  Martinez, who was president of her high school’s student council, is excited to be involved in the college level.

“My goals are to make our freshman year memorable!” she said.  “I’m looking forward to being a member of a team that will make significant changes.  Being a member of something bigger than yourself.”

The freshman class should be excited about their new leaders and what they will bring to their class and to the Elon community.

Look for Grace’s story in this week’s issue of The Pendulum, on newsstands and online Sept. 14.

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