Tag Archives: pendulum news blog

A Campus in Transition

Natalie Allison
Senior Reporter

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. 

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The Pendulum Goes Abroad: Ecuador – Fact or fiction?

This semester, The Pendulum will be working with a select group of international correspondents in study abroad programs all around the world to bring you first-hand accounts of the stories you would otherwise only find in major newspapers. From stories investigating culture and hard-news articles to photo stories of life abroad and the correspondents’ thoughts about their experiences, we’ll have you covered. We’ll even bring you the best recipes. Once a week until school starts, check back here at the News Blog to see the thoughts of a new correspondent as he or she gets ready to embark on a new adventure.

This week, read the story of Katie Moran, a music theatre major headed to Quito, Ecuador Aug. 16.

Katie Moran. Photo courtesy of Moran.

Ecuador is not your average travel destination among college students and those wishing to study abroad. In fact, more often than not, people give me puzzled looks or ask me to repeat myself when I tell them I’m spending my next semester in Quito.

So why did I choose Ecuador of all places?

To be honest, I don’t know. Before applying to the program, I had no previous knowledge of the country aside from the fact that they speak Spanish. But that’s the beauty of studying abroad in my opinion. I wanted to go someplace that I could have no preconceived notions about, and Ecuador is full of mysteries to me.

Having the summer to plan and prepare for the upcoming semester has proved both exciting and detrimental to my sanity. With all the free time at home, my imagination and curiosity has run wild at the thought of my new host family, the university, taking all my classes in Spanish and the culture shock that comes with living abroad. To say that I am nervous is an understatement. But I fully believe that we must do things that scare us. For me, it’s studying abroad and trying to communicate in a foreign language. For others, it may be sky-diving or eating alligator. I think it’s so important to have as many adventures and experiences as possible in order to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, which is why I welcome this next semester as an exciting change of scenery and point of view.

Luckily, I am no stranger to travel, as my family moved to England when I was twelve. But the idea of going to the equator alone is definitely scary. Thankfully, one other Elon student is also venturing there as well, but since the program is small, I feel confident we will get an authentic experience far different from my days in jolly old England.

I’m so intrigued by the differences and similarities in culture and relationships. While I’m in Quito, I want to write about the relevance and importance of family, the experience of holidays, celebrations and traditions and how Ecuador views the United States in terms of our politics and reputation–they are the only country in South America that uses the U.S. dollar, and I’m interested in learning more about the relationship between the two countries.

Overall, I plan to relay the essence of Ecuadorian life through my articles during the next few months, and I could not be more excited. I hope my accounts inspire others to seek that which they are intrigued and afraid of. I hope there are fascinating parallels between Ecuadorian students and ourselves and I hope Quito is as wildly enticing to you as it is to me.

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From the Trenches: Tales from the Capital

by Adam Portoghese
Intern with mCapitol Management – Washington, D.C.

This summer, the Pendulum News Blog will bring you reports “From the Trenches:Reflections on Interning” for Elon University Students to share their experiences interning in various professional industries. Spending the summer working in an unfamiliar environment can be frightening, challenging, overwhelming but, very often, incredibly rewarding. We want to share YOUR stories of overcoming fear and achieving success. 

If I have not told you, I love my job. After clearing out an office we, the interns at mCapitol Management, ransacked all of the art work and decorations and put them in our office area. I now have a plane, which I am currently trying to suspend from the ceiling, and several vases in addition to an easel for any future art activities. A plethora of African artwork and sculptures now surrounds me as if I am working at a Smithsonian Museum, but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

But make no mistake–I have come to DC to learn. I am currently doing what Elon affectionately calls “experiential learning.” Through Elon’s partnership with The Washington Center, I was assigned an internship based on my specific interests. Being a Political Science and History major, I wanted to work with the government or something associated with the government process. After several interviews I selected mCapitol Management, which is a government relations firm.

For those of you who do not know what “government relations” means, it is basically the nicest way possible to say lobbyist. At mCapitol, I assist in research focusing on defense programs and surface transportation. I attend committee hearings and write up reports for the legislative assistants at my office which are then forwarded onto clients or higher-ups. I have, on occasion, preformed the typical tasks of the intern, such as getting coffee, making copies, or making deliveries around DC. But the experience has been wonderful. I could not have lucked out more with my internship, and not only because of the amount I have learned, but because of the people I have met. I am confident that this experience will help with my career search after Elon, and if I am allowed to offer advice it would be to get to DC as soon as you can.

Adam Portoghese is a senior at Elon University and is double majoring in International Political Science and History, with a focus on American Military History. He is president of Alpha Phi Omega and is a  officer for Elon’s Men Club Volleyball team.

Do you have any interesting internship stories you’d like to share? The Pendulum News Blog is looking to share YOUR experiences, from within any professional industry, with the Elon community. Send an email to Caitlin O’Donnell (caitlinod319@gmail.com) & Kassondra Cloos (kcloos@elon.edu) to find out how to become involved. 

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