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Fall 2006

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Family Fashion Technology Money Home Lifestyle Food

a Mthe Grkaing de

Campus life survival guide

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Making the Grade The long days of summer are never Always travel in groups. Never carry long enough. Before you can find just large sums of money. These are just a the right bathing suit or the perfect few of the tips Leonard Sparks includes place for vacation, the days are already in his article on campus safety. getting shorter and signs of fall begin And then, on the lighter side, no pun to descend. But for some, the end of intended, Blair Adams, in the “Freshsummer serves as a continuation of man 15,” writes about the extra pounds excitement. freshmen tend to gain All summer you’ve when they leave home been thinking about and no longer have the leaving home for the “Veggie Police” on their first time; wondering case. who’s going to share Tyra Williams visited your dorm room; the fashionable Katimagining life without walk boutique and lays your siblings listening out “what’s hot” on in on your phone calls campus this year, and or your dad checking Whitney James suggests your curfew. the best places to make This issue of Trends “Decorating Cents.” is specifically for you. You’ll want to read this It’s a compendium edition of Trends and of what you need to take it on campus with make the grade acayou. Or you’ll want to demically, financially, pass it on to your favorphysically and stylistically. ite freshman as you give them a good It’s not the first time we’ve done a sort sendoff to one of the most exciting of back to school edition, but the twist times in their lives. with “Making the Grade” is that we’ve assembled an able bodied panel of college students as our resident experts. They not only share their favorite, funniest, worst and most exhilaratJohn J. Oliver Jr. ing experiences, but they also serve as Chairman/Publisher resources in many of the Trends stories this time. We looked all around for the best in advice, support and encouragement for students going to college for the first time, to equip you with information and to give parents a sense of calm about your ability to navigate campus life. Terry McMillan wrote some sage adDorothy Boulware, Baltimore Editor, AFRO vice for her son and published it for all freshmen. Zenitha Prince does a review of It’s OK If You’re Clueless. It’s typical Terry McMillan style; sassy and brazen, and while parents might not agree with every premise, it’s still a good, short read. Our technology guru, Talibah Chikwendu, recommends a PDA that will Zenitha Prince, Leonard Sparks, help students make the grade if used Baltimore Assistant Staff Writer Editor, AFRO efficiently. It’s a little pricey, but it’ll get the job done. One of the biggest hurdles students have to clear is avoiding getting sucked into the credit card maze. Zenitha Prince gives clear pointers so students won’t be so quick to accept every credit Talibah Chikwendu, Whitney James, offer without understanding the reDirector, Operations Afro Intern sponsibility that goes with it. Integration, AFRO

African-American News and Lifestyle

A perfect combination

Volume 114 No. 44 www.afro.com 50 CENTS

JULY 1, 2006 - JULY 7, 2006

80-year-old shootin suspect denied bail g

Editor

By Leonard Sparks AFRO Staff Writer

The 80-year-old man charged with first-degr murder in the shooting ee death of the 66-year-old desk at an apartment buildingclerk for

Clyde Lewis is accused of killing Thomas Batty on June 26 in the

Photo

This West Baltimo by Leonard Sparks ment building is re apartwhere 80year-old Clyde Lewis allegedly shot and killed 66-year-old Thomas Batty on June 26.

Summer 2006

A publica

erican Newspa tion of the Afro-Am

pers

■ Family ■ Fashion ■ Technology ■ Money ■ Home ■ Lifestyle ■ Food

Trends fall 2006.indd 3

lobby…

senior citizens was denied head. Batty was pronounc bail on June 27 and ed will dead at the scene. remain at the Baltimor e City Lewis, meanwhile, Detention Center. was found sitting in the Clyde Lewis is accused of courtyard holding building’s killing Thomas Batty the handgun, said police spokesma June 26 in the lobby on n Troy Harris. Arrested Memorial Apartmen of without ts in incident, West Baltimore, days he later admitted after shooting Batty because they allegedly had of an a The building, locateddispute. at 301 Continued on A4

Voting Rights Act remai ns

ent Violent discrimpertin inatory action still exists

Volume 114 No. 49 By Julian Bond Special to the AFRO

Julian Bond a p

Courtesy of AP

t

Act. Julian Bond, a former Georgia state senator, If murderers would is a pronot to murder again, promise fessor at American Universit we could y and the Universit eliminate all our y of laws against and since 1998 has Virginia unlawful killing. been chairNo man of the NAACP against murder — laws Board of no murders. Directors. That is analogous We may have done argument made by to the some in the past, they say, wrong Republicans against but we reauthorizing the 1965 Voting Rights Continued on A4

www.afro.com 50 CENTS

Th ‘R

Ninety-six murders

Contributors

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

McMechen St., is where both men lived. According to court documents, Lewis, who lived on the fourth floor of the ing, entered the lobby, buildpulled out a .357-caliber handgun and shot Batty once in the

JULY 22, 2006 - JULY 28, 2006

in D.C. since beginn

Cops struggling wing of 2006 ith increased crim e

By Valencia Moham AFRO Staff Writer med

The suspects in Montgo range from a 15-year- mery old Hispanic male The District of to a Columbia has declared a “state-o Asian male. The 53-year-old diversity of gency” in response f-emerthe suspects reflects to the recent ulation of the poprise in homicid of Montgomery es. County, although murder Meanwhile, according to police. rates George’s and Montgo in Prince While Montgomery mery does not counties appear offer a five-yea to have r plan to lower declined during its murder rate, the the the year, Montgo first half of established measurecounty has mery — with 10 murders so far the rise in violent s to address this year, has the lowest rate occurring across crimes seen in the region. the country. “The police departm ent has

created a Police Commu Action Team (P-CAT nity ) program which allows for quick response to a spike in criminal activity in any neighborhood

throughout the country,” said Sonia Pruitt, public officer in Montgo information mery’s police media services. “We have a centraliz ed gang

unit, and our robbery section has recently been with the addition expanded of several new detectives. Additional officers have been approved by the

County Executiv e Council to completand County Spring and Wheato e the Silver n Safety Continued on A3

NAACP Commerce and Industry Show

President to speak

on commonalities

Ribbon cutting Rev. Dr. Morris of the Commerce and Industr Felton Page, Shearin Sr., chairman, 2006 y Show grand opening Office of Equal with Bruce Gordon Photo by Edgar host committee, Brookins man; and Sheryl Opportunity and Civil Rights Roslyn Brock, vice chairm , NAACP president, the See highlights Lee Ralph, actress. The an, board ceremony was , National Guard Bureau on A7. ; Julian Bond, of directors; one of severa NAACP l highlights of the NAACP conven chairtion.

with organization

Bush to finally ad

Squabble

between County Execu tive and Coun dress NAACP Prince George’s cil settled

5/23/06

Trends Summer

2006.indd 1

WASHINGTON — President Bush chairman of the plans to speak civil rights to the NAACP for the first time group publicly urged him to since he was a attend. candidate, with the White House The president had announcing declined the appearance invitations to the days after the NAACP’s annual meeting 7:37:13 PM for five years

Alphas to converge

on

Nation’s first Bl D.C. kG

in a row, and has often been criticized in speeche s by the group’s leaders. But NAACP Presiden under new t Bruce S. Continued on A3

expansion moveshotel forward

By Alafaka Opuiyo AFRO Staff Writer C

Despite earlier

conflict P i

training resident s for the new jobs created at the county’s that will be National Harbor “The r dbl

Subscribe to the Afro-American Newspaper and get a subscription to Trends Magazine! Subscribe today! Call 1-800-AFRO-892 or visit www.afro.com Trends 3

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A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers The Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper 2519 N. Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218 (410) 554-8200

ak i n g M the

Grade

The Washington Afro-American Newspaper 1612 14th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20009 (202) 332-0080 John J. Oliver Jr. Chairman/Publisher Director of Marketing Ammanuel Moore Director of Advertising Susan Warshaw Sales Robert Blount Monica Brooks Vetta Ridgeway-Fulks Eric Gaines Marquise Goodwin Michele Hopkins Gregg Mosso Jessie Murphy Lee Randolph Editor Rev. Dorothy Boulware Contributing Writers Blair Adams Talibah Chikwendu Whitney James Zenitha Prince Leonard Sparks Tyra Williams Proofreader Aisha Brantley Photographer Travis Barnes Graphic Designer Jessica Gorham

Been There, Done That ..... page 6

Fashion ....................................page 12

Leonard Sparks compiled responses of other panel members to questions about campus life, past and present.

A few tips on what to wear and where to buy it.

Campus Safety ..................... page 8 It’s not all fun and games at school. Keeping safe requires vigilance and wisdom.

Avoiding the Freshman 15 ........................ page 10 Those cute tank tops and low cut jeans lose their edge when the tummy imposes its girth. Watch it.

Relationships for Life ...... page 11

Decorating Cents .............. page 14 Everyone wants to live in a chic apartment or dorm room but squeezing the pennies makes good sense.

Credit Card Scams ........... page 16 If it sounds too good to be true…

Technology........................... page 18 This gadget is more than meets the eye.

Clueless .................................page 20 Terry McMillan says it’s OK.

Some friends are for a season, but others last a lifetime.

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

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Been there Our panel of college students share the experiences that made college a time to remember. What was the biggest surprise when you arrived on campus? Amy: Tia Green, my friend from high school, called me and told me that she was down the hall. I didn’t recognize her voice or her number at first, so I walked down the hallway unsure of who had called me. Then she opened the door and I screamed, “Tia!” because I was so surprised to see her. Blair: My biggest surprise on campus was that teachers didn’t care if you came to class or not. You are truly treated like grown ups. I actually raised my hand in one class to see if I could go to the bathroom. Tyra: The biggest surprise was that my parents were not there. Whitney: My biggest surprise was the importance of time management. I thought I had the time to do any and everything... I was SO wrong.

What was your worst experience? In class or out of class? Amy: My worst experience was when I turned in a paper I thought was really good but ended up getting a very low grade. I was so devastated! Blair: My worst “in class” experience was not knowing what a syllabus was. The week after class started I noticed everyone turning in papers, so I asked them, “How did you know there was a paper due?” Everyone said they saw it on the syllabus. I failed to look at the papers that were handed to me in the beginning. Tyra: Cooking … how many ways can you prepare Ramen noodles and hot dogs? Whitney: I was speaking during my Media Research class and I dropped my note cards. I thought my speech was ruined. Luckily I had memorized most of it so I was OK. My worst “out of class” experience happened when the school shuttle that was supposed to pick us up from the mall one rainy day never came. I had to walk about 15 minutes in the rain — on Valentine’s Day — back to campus. I was sooo upset.

Favorite college story? Favorite dorm life story? Amy: The housekeepers at my school didn’t do such a great job at housekeeping, so my suitemates and I were up at 2 o’clock in the morning, and we dumped bleach and cleaner on the floor. Everyone had mops, 6 Trends

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DONE that

and we were mopping and singing while we cleaned. Then, we stood on top of towels and danced to dry up the floors!

I didn’t have a choice. She didn’t like athletes or anyone who didn’t major in political science so I had a double disadvantage ... It was the WORST!

Blair: My favorite college story was meeting my best Favorite extracurricular friend. I value friendship, so when I see someone activity? who I think I could befriend, I want to talk to them. Amy: Writing for The Spectrum newspaper, and the Sophomore year I had a class with this girl and we school’s yearbook, The Bulldog. would always talk during class, but afterwards we went our separate ways. So I said to myself, “Why Tyra: Eating books … is this girl speaking to me in class but not afterwards?” One day after class I started talking to her Whitney: Soccer Team ... I love the trips we took about anything and she would start walking out of and the times we spent together. the classroom and I’d keep talking; then we started walking together. Finally we started having lunch Favorite administration story? together. My best friend and I still laugh about it Amy: At HBCUs, there is a problem with admintoday. She says that I stalked her and she felt sorry istration. It takes your entire life to get something for me. What a pity. I guess it benefited her because accomplished. My first year, I needed an override in I’m an excellent friend! order to get into one of my classes, and one of the employees very arrogantly told me that I needed an Tyra: In college I was stone-faced and mean — no override. She then looked at me as if to say, “Good funny stories to tell. luck.” I got my override from the chairman, and went back, Whitney: Aside from the Wal-Mart trips my roomsmiling confidently. I told her that I had an override, mate and best friend took, my fav college story has and she looked at me with much attitude. I kept to be my soccer trip to Utah. Although our team smiling, and she told me to go sit down and she didn’t win, the team really bonded and from that would get to me when she could, but then another experience I was able to see a whole different side of worker came right out and told me that she would my teammates. A few of us stayed up and talked for help me, and to come in the back. I smiled, triumhours about life, love, school ... It was great. phantly, and went to schedule my class. Fav dorm life story would have to be the day my roommate, best friend and teammates played tag Blair: Besides me being annoying! Sometimes I can and nic-knock in the hallways of the apartment. We be a little, “Magoo.” This particular semester I don’t were acting like little kids but we had good times. know what I was thinking, but I registered for all

Best professor? Worst professor? Amy: My best professor was Sabrina Dames, my oral communications teacher. She’s a real educator, who made me appreciate the art of teaching. Another favorite of mine was Geoffrey Palmer, my freshman seminar teacher. He made class interesting, and he always had a listening ear for his students. Tyra: Professor Ann Cobb. There was a certain regal air about her; and she was an excellent instructor. All the professors at Coppin were great. Whitney: Best professor was Nicole Dye-Anderson. She taught me soo much ... how to network, how to create a career plan and execute it. Because of her teaching, she helped me land my first journalism internship. Don’t have a worst but the most difficult was my political science professor. She was the professor everyone told me NOT TO TAKE. Unfortunately,

the wrong classes and didn’t realize it until after the semester started and my advisor and I had to beg the instructors to let me in their already full classes. Whitney: Luckily I didn’t have problems with administration.

Craziest job while in school? Amy: I’ve never had a crazy job, but I worked at Karibu Books in the Bowie Town Center. Blair: I’ve actually had pretty good jobs while attending college. The craziest part was that I had to work. If I could do it all over I wouldn’t work while in school. Whitney: Working as the news editor for my school newspaper ... I NEVER GOT PAID ON TIME!!! I did so much running around and editing for the paper and my paycheck was always late. One month I didn’t get paid for two weeks straight. When I threatened to step down, things changed ... It’s a shame I had to take it there but it worked. A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

8/9/06 11:07:31 AM


Our panel: Left, Tyra Williams is a 2003 graduate of Coppin State University and the AFRO layout editor. Leonard Sparks is an AFRO staff writer and a full-time student at Morgan State University. Blair Adams is a graduate of Villa Julie College. She freelances for the AFRO and in her spare time, enjoys fishing and theater. Amy L. Perkins is a third year student in transition. After two years at Bowie State University, she begins Howard University this fall. She is a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity’s Sweetheart Auxillary. Whitney James (not shown) is a junior at Morgan State University and served an intership at the AFRO for the summer.

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

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Playing it By Leonard Sparks

For the millions of excited and starry-eyed freshmen flooding college campuses this fall, the harried beginning to their undergraduate years will not only center on registering for classes, but moving into dormitory rooms and enduring long lines at college bookstores too. During pre-semester lectures and in mandatory orientation classes, many colleges will impress upon neophyte college students — away from home for the first time and anxious to explore unfamiliar cities — the importance of on-campus and off-campus safety, even as national statistics show a decrease in campus-related crime from 2001 to 2003. “The memory of your college days should be good memories. They should not be bad memories,” said Ronald B. Collins, director of public safety at Coppin State University. “You should develop a loving relationship with your alma mater. And you can only do that if it’s a good, safe, wholesome environment. That’s what we try to promote.” According to U.S. Department of Education statistics compiled from over 6,000 public and private four-year and two-year colleges, there were 8,214 campus-related aggravated assaults reported in 2003, down from 17,500 in 2001. The number of burglaries, robberies and sex offenses also decreased nationwide from 2001 to 2003, with burglaries falling from 56,539 to 41,651; forcible sex offenses from 4,125 to 3,704 and robberies from 11,659 to 6,368. At Coppin, keeping students safe is complicated by the neighborhood surrounding the West Baltimore university, where, from June 16 to July 15, according to Baltimore City Police Department statistics, two murders, 11 aggravated assaults, 11 vehicle larcenies, five robberies and 19 vehicle thefts occurred within a half-mile of the school. Like other colleges, the school emphasizes public safety during firstsemester orientation classes that all freshmen are required to take. Collins said his department makes a 45-minute presentation during the class about “common sense” strategies students can use to keep themselves safe. 8 Trends

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safe

“My best effort in the world is no good if they do stupid things,” Collins said. “That’s one of the overall themes that we have with all of our students. Just do common sense kind of things.” Among the steps that students can take on campus, Collins said, is having their keys in hand when going to their car, having somebody accompany them in poorly lit areas and being particular about who they allow in their dormitory rooms. Coppin has also installed 11 emergency call boxes around campus over the last year and a half, Collins said. Each box is fitted with an emergency light and some have cameras that are activated when the phone is used. Those that don’t have a camera installed, Collins said, are near building-mounted security cameras.

“Taking a late class … don’t hang around after class and talk to your professor. Talk to them during their office hours or talk to them over the telephone.” “So we get some visual and some recording as to who’s at the call box,” Collins said. “And, of course, we can see if they’re in some sort of problem right there.” Coppin’s public safety department also provides escorts for faculty, staff and students when needed. And because the national trend shows that student-related crime is shifting off campus, Collins said he and his officers emphasize to students the importance of being more cautious in environments where drugs and alcohol are being used. He also said he encourages students

Photo by John Moore

to apply extra scrutiny to people Collins said. they’ve just met and to avoid going Jasmine Hazel, a junior at Morgan blindly into unfamiliar neighborhoods. State University who is a residence “You have to keep in mind that a lot assistant for Harper-Tubman House, of these young people are away from which houses female honors students, home for the first time, and the decisaid she doesn’t walk alone after dark sions that Momma and Daddy and and always makes sure that she parks probably older siblings would either near her dormitory. make for them or help them make, Continued on page 22 now they have to make on their own,” A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

8/9/06 11:08:17 AM


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www.MitchellBestHomes.com A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

Trends fall 2006.indd 9

Trends 9

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By Blair Adams For freshmen, college can be a veritable feast of new experiences. Students gorge themselves on the thrills of making new acquaintances, sororities, fraternities, dorm living, new classes and the cafeteria. Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? However, this is often the birth of the “freshman 15,” a plague that affects a lot of stu-

dents. Wonder what makes freshman students gain so much weight? Freedom is the culprit. There’s no one telling them what foods to eat and when to eat and so they rely on their own sense of nutritional wellness. As a result, good eating habits give way to freedom of unhealthy choices. Tour different college cafeterias and

you will discover that many adhere to a buffet style service, which makes food virtually unlimited. Fat-drenched, sugar-laden foods outweigh the fruits and vegetable offerings at these cafeterias. Automatically, after years of hearing “eat your vegetables,” new college students are lured to the good looking, mouth drooling smell of delicious but unhealthy food choices that contribute to the “freshman 15.” It doesn’t help that college often requires a radical change in students’ daily schedules. Late night studying and cramming are almost a must, and there really is nothing that fuels a late night studying session like some Doritos, Papa John’s pizza and the caffeine rush of a cola. And then there is alcohol; it also plays a major role in those newly found

Late night studying and cramming are almost a must, and there really is nothing that fuels a late night studying session like some Doritos, Papa John’s pizza and the caffeine rush of a cola.

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pounds. Many people don’t know that an integral component to alcohol is sugar. Sugar, of course is packed with calories and we all know calories contribute to weight gain. “Freedom from being away from parents provides a lot of college students with the opportunity to indulge in alcohol for the first time,” says Chris Atkins, a freshman at Villa Julie College. So with all these temptations and obstacles stacked up against them, can freshmen avoid the dreaded “freshmen 15” or is it inevitable? No, there is hope

but it takes willingness and moderation on the part of students. For example, while students may feel the need for release of tension that alcohol can provide, there is no need to get rip-roaring drunk. “If you must indulge in alcoholic beverages, make sure that your intake is at its lowest amount,” Atkins suggested. Exercising is also a must. “Students who generally gain the ‘freshman 15’ aren’t eating properly, nor are they exercising,” said Clifton Harcum, a former University of Maryland student. “Getting involved in any physical activity will boost your metabolism and minimize your weight gain.” Getting up early and running may actually prove to be less of a challenge than maintaining a proper diet. For one thing, college students are usually broke, and healthy food equals more money. “Even with a wide variety of food choices, healthier foods are more expensive,” said Amy Barnes, a graduate of Villa Julie College Still, it may be worth the risk, because though preparing your own food is costly, it allows you to have a close eye on your caloric intake. And to avoid weight gain, it is essential that students take proactive measures in monitoring their food intake daily, and more importantly, late at night. In addition, college cafeterias are not totally bereft of healthy food choices, they are there, and they are inexpensive. So, with the cafeteria at your convenience, who says you can’t enjoy a healthy meal away from home?

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

8/9/06 11:08:46 AM


All dressed up, everywhere to go

Back to school college fashion

burgundy, purple and chocolate,” continues Toni.

WHERE TO SHOP “Shop at places like Wal-Mart and Target,” says James. “Shop at places like thrift stores too.” “Look for quality, function and detail. You should be able to use one piece with several other pieces in your closet,” advises Toni. While fashion and style are important, especially for a new college student, it is important not to lose focus on the demands and then ultimate reward of a college education. “Focus on your work, not your outfit,” says James. Katwalk boutique is located 243 W. Read St. 410-669-0600

By Tyra E. Williams When high school microcosms disperse like oxygen escaping helium balloons, and students tread the proverbial road to college, it can be the airiest of feelings. Maybe it’s the idea of moving to a new place, meeting new people or being introduced to new things. After all, high school was all about fitting in with the crowd. But now, it’s the first semester of college and as some vacillate between cliques and self-identity, perhaps others find a common ground in fashion. The fashion ground can resemble several things; a catwalk or a race track — as students rush off to class and eagerly pursue their educational dreams in style. But for someone who’s never embarked on this path before, 12 Trends

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the question remains: What should I wear? “Don’t feel like you have to be on the runway,” says Toni James, co-owner of Katwalk boutique in Baltimore, business woman, educator, longstanding fashion guru and graduate of Johns Hopkins University Master’s in Special Education Program. “Be true to yourself,” says a smiling James as her lavender eye shadow highlights her face. “Don’t look at other people’s clothing and make their ideals fit you.” “Fashion is a big part of school,” says Grey Butler, a 22-year-old freshman Information Systems major at Morgan State University. “In college, you feel like you don’t have to fit in,” continues Butler. “I’m not too influenced by what I see other people wear.”

For those who are influenced by what they see and want to develop and cultivate their own personal style, Toni suggests pouring through foreign magazines to see what kids and adults are wearing in other countries. “Pull pieces together, but most importantly — be original,” says James. Katwalk fashion boutique was established some nine years ago by Toni and her husband, Justin. Katwalk’s target demographics consist of women between the ages of 23-45. New fashion store, Girlfriends,which is slated to open late August in Security Square Mall, will be located directly across from Old Navy. Girlfriends, a trend oriented store will target young women between the ages of 14-30. “I wanted to open a mainstream store that had a lower price point and that offered qual-

ity clothing,” says James. Clothing at Girlfriends will range between $5-$40, making quality clothing affordable for all, especially college students. Guys don’t fret; the James duo is opening a male fashion boutique called Kaos, a male version of Katwalk in the fall. Toni James, who seemed to first develop her flair for fashion when she saw Mahogany as a young girl, continues to select trends and fashionforward designs that are far ahead of her time. “I select the trend that will occur two years from now,” says James. For back to school fashion, here’s what James predicts and suggests:

style)), cab style), cable knit tights and three-quarter le ength corduroy pants,” says Toni. length Stapl le clothing clot Staple items for fall wardrobe: • 5 pair pairs of jeans ((aa goo good pair of Levi’s)) • 3 swe sweatshirts • 2 T-sh T-shirts • 1 or 2 clothing items beyo ond beyond bbudget udge

THE CLOTHES “Cargo pants, zip-up sweaters, fitted sweaters, hoodies (pullover and shirt

THE COLORS “Black is really strong,” says Toni. Other hot colors are “green, metallics,

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

THE ACCESSORIES “Accessories really make your outfit stand out, but don’t overdo it,” says James. “Pack easy and wear comfortable shoes or boots. Use a nice, fun oversized bag for fashion or to carry books in.”

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

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8/9/06 11:35:43 AM


Decorating Cents Just when you thought summer would last just a little

longer, you realize that school will be starting in about a month! That’s right. Before you know it, school will be back in session. But before you head back, have you decided how you’re going to decorate your dorm room this school year? By Whitney N. James Whether it’s your first year in school or your third, you need to make your college dorm room your

M

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such as Bright Young Things, Flights of Fancy and my favorite, Prep Cool. These collections offer three different looks for your room. However, there are other options to choose from in stores that may

ake your dorm room

home away from home. So where do you begin? Let’s take a look at the reasonably priced and stylish items that a few stores have to offer. First there’s Target. Known for its affordable necessities, this is one

14 Trends

of the best places to give your room a homey feeling, but still keep it looking trendy and cute. The bedin-a-bag sets range in price from $59.99 to $134.99. If you feel like accessorizing even more, Target

a home away from home

also has lighting, candles and bean bags as well. All are at an affordable price. If you want to look elsewhere, there is yet another great store to find your dorm room must-haves. Wal-Mart offers different collections

grab your attention because these collections may only be available online. The price of the collections ranges from $24.88 to $44.84, depending on if you want the whole set or just the sheets. Wal-Mart

also carries the accessories (clocks, shower curtains, etc.) for a perfect room. In keeping with the online theme, JCPenney is yet another great spot to hook up your dorm room. When

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

8/9/06 11:10:08 AM


shopping at jcpenney.com you can click on “college shop,” choose your gender and start shopping for room decor! It’s that simple. Their Web site offers collections from American Cowgirl, to Pretty in Pink and many more. My personal favorite is the Flea Market Collection. The pattern is vintage and busy and it gives the room a classy yet trendy look. This collection is only available in twin size and the price for the comforter set is $65.98. The last stop is Bed, Bath and Beyond. This store has so many great items that it’s almost overwhelming. The bed sets range from $59.99 to $129.99. Unlike the other retailers, there are no specific collections at Bed, Bath and Beyond. But don’t let that discourage you. This store has

Trends fall 2006.indd 15

college sections that include kitchen necessities, luggage and storage, cleaning supply holders and the list goes on. They have laundry bags from as low as $9.99 and hampers and irons go from $8.99 to $39.99. This store is definitely a favorite of mine because not only can you find comforter sets and sheets but you can find everything in between! And for such a reasonable

Jcpenney.com offers collections from American Cowgirl, to Pretty in Pink and many more. My personal favorite is the Flea Market Collection. and affordable price. Now that you know where to shop and what to look for, hurry out to these stores or click online to get the best deals before it’s too late. Shopping at these locations will surely make your room a home away from home.

8/9/06 11:10:21 AM


refund. • Free Seminars: You may receive a letter that invites you to a free financial aid seminar, but they often turn out to be “high pressures sales pitches” for financial aid consulting services and the like, Krantrowitz said. • Scholarship Checks: In this relatively new scam, the swindlers send an officiallooking scholarship approval, complete with a signed check. However, when the check is deposited, it gives the company the ability to deduct money from your checking account for an unspecified period of time. • Online Survey: These scams require students to fill out a never ending online survey, promising a scholarship at its completion. However, before you can get the scholarship, you often have to sign up for services from several vendors. Even if you do get the scholarship at the completion of these offers, you may have paid more in fees than you obtained from the scholarship.

punk-proof advice So now that you know what these scams look like, here’s how you can avoid falling into their traps: 1. Trust your instincts. People can usually sense when something seems a bit “phishy.” If it’s too good to be true, it usually is. 2. Don’t expect unrealistic credit offers. If you’re just building your credit, major credit companies would hardly give you a huge line of credit at small average percent rates. So be wary of easy credit offers. 3. If in doubt about a credit or bank card query, call your credit card company or bank directly. 4. Always read the fine print on all credit card and other offers.

WE GIVE YO U M O R E !

5. “A general rule of thumb is if you have to pay money to get money, it’s probably a scam,” Kantrowitz said. In the case of federal loans, applications are usually free or the fee is deducted from the disbursement. 6. You shouldn’t have to pay for financial aid consulting or finding services. There are free scholarship search sites like www.fastweb.com, www.petersons.com or http://apps.collegeboard.com/cbsearch_ss/welcome. jsp. 7. If an organization claiming to be a foundation or another philanthropic entity offers you a scholarship that raises your antenna, check out the viability of the organization online at www.irs.gov (Publication 78). 8. Established institutions do not have unlisted numbers. So if the correspondence does not have a phone number, plug in the company’s name and address in an online search engine or an online phone directory like switchboard.com. If you can’t find a phone number, be wary of accepting the offer. 9. Don’t think it will never happen to you. “College students are at that point when they think they know everything,” Ashe said, “but the crooks are a lot more clever.” So be aware, monitor your credit card and bank statements for irregularities and report such findings immediately and educate yourself by going to sites like www.onguardonline.gov.

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Trends 17

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Technology for Living

C O P P I N S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

PPC-6700:

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It is also compatible with the evolutiondata optimized (EV-DO) technology (offered by Sprint and Verizon) that provides high-speed Internet access and downloading over the wireless network. It can be used as a modem for a notebook computer or as a standalone Internet browser. The functionality of the personal computer part of the device is exceptional. In addition to coming with a PPC version of the Microsoft Office Suite already loaded (Outlook Mobile, Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and PowerPoint Mobile), it comes with the active sync software needed to move documents from your personal computer to the device. Up to the capacity of the system’s memory, you can take e-mails, tasks, contacts and notes on the go with you. Using any one of your carrier’s data access methods, you can then retrieve e-mail directly from the mail server to the device. Want to see if your friend e-mailed the information on the book you need while you’re still in the library? With

Right now everyone is gearing up for the new school year, stocking up on everything necessary for ‘making the grade.’ Well high school and college students should add the UTStarcom PPC-6700 to their lists. This device is a cellular phone (offered on the Sprint and Verizon networks) with the combined functionality of a pocket personal computer (PPC). It runs the newest mobile operating system from Microsoft, Windows Mobile 5.0, and its features and options are a collection of the most popular available. It includes a mini-SD expansion slot for extending the storage capacity up to 2 GB and allows for connection to other devices via infrared, Bluetooth, wireless and USB. It is a digital recorder, a 1.4 mp digital still camera with a flash, a video recorder, a digital music player supporting several formats and has television capability (special services offered by Sprint and Verizon).

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Trends fall 2006.indd 18

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the PPC-6700, that is not a problem. Data input on the PPC is also very cool. Along with the on-screen touchpad keyboard and ‘graffiti’-type language, there is transcriber, an excellent handwriting translator that converts your handwriting to very accurate type and a full QWERTY keyboard for two-thumb operation. For those who do not find the screen too small for long stretches of work, $100 gets you a full-size keyboard with a stand. With this device, you are never without a computer. Don’t want to take that notebook everywhere? With the PPC-6700 you don’t have to. So of course, it was a natural progression and a wonderful idea to add telephone functionality to this device. The phone does what it is supposed to do — allow you to talk to people. It interfaces with your Outlook contacts, so you can call from the contact listing. You can assign photos and special ringers for Caller

ID purposes. It connects easily to Bluetooth wireless headsets and the sound on the speaker phone is good. It has the standard set of ringer options including vibrate and silent. But for me, this device loses points as a phone. In order to do voice dialing through the headset or speaker, you must purchase additional software. This functionality should have been built in. The device defaults to PPC mode and there is no way to switch that; it kept going into standby and I couldn’t tell whether it was on or off and if I would miss a call. The neat keyboard makes you want to send text messages, but the process is not straightforward. The device makes it easier to send e-mail than text messages. I like the PPC-6700 because it is an evolutionary step forward for the technology. For the student, especially the student on the go — lots of extracurricular activities, job, etc. — this device is a communications blessing. If you want to ‘make the grade,’ this is the device you will need.

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

Trends fall 2006.indd 19

Trends 19

8/9/06 11:11:12 AM


The Perfect College Handbook By Zenitha Prince Don’t listen to your parents. Of course they mean well, but you can’t live out their dreams, you have to find your own. If for whatever reason they don’t like the path you chose, tough nuggies. It’s your turn to live your life. They already chose theirs. So, if dad always hoped you’d be a lawyer (like he is) or mom always wanted you to be the first lawyer in the family but you want to make music videos or drive a race car or paint or be a makeup artist or crunch numbers – then go for it. — Excerpt from It’s OK if You’re Clueless and 23 More Tips for the College Bound College can be an intimidating thing. It’s like a plank walk, really — you walk away from the smooth sailing security of your parents’ care, hoping to land in smooth waters but often falling into the

20 Trends

Trends fall 2006.indd 20

choppy waves of financial responsibility, all sorts of temptations and let’s face it, more mental work than you’ve ever wanted to do. Thankfully, there are books like Terry McMillan’s It’s OK if You’re Clueless and 23 More Tips for the College Bound to help you along. And this one offers especially pithy advice, delivered in the author’s trademark bold and sassy style. McMillan said she wrote this book for her son when he was going off to college, which is, perhaps, why the book has a sort of one-one-one conversational style that will set the reader at ease. And unlike other advice books, McMillan does not deliver “Thou shalt nots” in a heavy, pedantic style; rather, she makes suggestions, pointing out why you should follow the suggestions but not dictating either. College students will love that. For example, in tip number 23, If You Drink Try Not to Get Sloppy Drunk, and if You Can, Avoid Doing Drugs, McMillan says: “Now it’s a suggestion, but try not to do any drugs if at all possible.” She does point out that getting stoned solves none of your problems, however, and for those who think that getting rip

roaring drunk is a sign of independence and maturity, she says, “But it’s not. It’s stupid.” So, for parents who worry that this book simply panders to your teenager’s whims, it doesn’t. Remember this is a fellow parent offering this advice. Of course, the ideas are, in some cases, pretty unorthodox. “Don’t listen to your parents,” “Beg for money” and “Bring your dirty laundry home” are hardly what you would expect a fellow parent to tell a child and yet, it doesn’t take the reader long to see the wisdom behind the words, which speak to, not only the student’s needs but those of his or her parents, friends and others as well. Really, this book offers the sort of “I wish I had known” advice that many parents wished they had had to avoid falling into the pitfalls of college; advice like not worrying about not having a major, or grasping opportunities to travel or eating your vegetables. This way, your kids get a head start on you. As for students, don’t worry that this book will add to your already considerable reading load. At 43 pages, It’s OK if You’re Clueless is an easy read. And while at $12.95 the price of this book is relatively inexpensive; the capacity of this book to literally change your life makes it priceless.

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

8/9/06 11:11:29 AM


Forming relationships in college Continued from page 11

Still, while some may eschew social entanglements, forming relationships in college is a must. Firstly, socializing is a part of human nature, we herd, and that’s just what we do. Also, forming relationships can protect you from physical danger, can provide companionship as you explore a new environment and can help you maintain your sanity. It’s also a good substitute for the support base that students, mostly out-of-state students, leave behind. “For many kids, it’s not just about being cut off from their social circle but you also have that emotional gap,” Sparks said. “You need friends to vent to about classes, boyfriends, girlfriends and financial aid headaches.” While relationships are important they can be challenging to create and maintain. International students have found this to be especially true. Colleges are

“melting pots” of many races, ethnicities and nationalities and those cultural and social differences can prove very difficult to mount. “You don’t know where the common ground is,” said Renato Marshall, a Morgan graduate from the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, “and sometimes you’re not willing to go through the headache of finding that common ground.” Combating the stereotypes can also be a problem. “The only problem is in initiating the opening contact or icebreaker because when you see people from different cultures in the media, you see a lot of stereotypes and when you meet these people and realize the stereotypes are not true, you lose your point of reference,” said Lyndon Cornwall, another West Indian. The key to building these relation-

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

Trends fall 2006.indd 21

ships is in keeping an open mind, Batty said. “You have to remain open-minded because everyone is different,” she said. Conflicting class schedules or workstudy hours can also make forming and maintaining college relationships a little difficult. But even in that, you have to be open to and looking for opportunities to form relationships. “You meet a lot of people through your work study,” says Kyla Jefferson, graduate of Roanoke College. “If you are involved with a college work-study program, you acclimate yourself with college staff and students with different backgrounds. It also gives you the opportunity to participate in all activities around college.” In fact, some of the very things that may prove detrimental to forming relationships — dissimilar interests, goals, values, races, cultures and nationali-

ties — can be turned into the gel that brings people together but it takes willingness and effort and a basis of mutual respect and trust. “You have to put forth initiative to make friends as well as allowing someone new to enter your life, said Nina Awausm, a Drexel University student from the African country of Cameroon. Still, why is it so important to put all this effort into building these relationships? The main reason is that for many people, the relationships formed in college can last a lifetime. “You can form romantic relationships that tend to blossom into marriage but you also meet friends that are going to be friends for the rest of your life,” Sparks said. Besides, without any friends, who will be your bridesmaids or groomsmen?

Trends 21

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Playing it safe Continued from page 8

“Basically, I just make sure that you always inform someone [about] where you’re going, and you make sure that you don’t go anywhere by yourself, and you’re pretty much covered,� said the 18-year-old communications major. Hazel said she also uses caution when attending evening and night classes during the winter months, when it is usually dark by 5 p.m. Having taken classes that ended as late as 8 p.m., Hazel said she always phones in her movements to another student, sometimes continuing the conversation while she walks back to her dormitory. “What I would advise students to do if they were taking a late class is don’t hang around after class and talk to your professor. Talk to them during their office hours or talk to them over the telephone,� she said. “When everybody’s leaving, then you leave as well.� As an extreme precaution, Hazel said, she carries no more than $10 in cash — usually in $1 bills — when she goes out, also taking her debit card if she needs to purchase something that

costs more. However, she said, “I won’t walk around with empty pockets, because that can make somebody upset — they just went through all that trouble of robbing you and you don’t have anything for them,� she said. In addition to increasing the number of campus police officers and improving lighting on campus, Hazel said Morgan also brought R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense), a program of selfdefense techniques, to campus. The sessions are taught by campus police officers at Morgan’s Hill Field House and open to anyone. Collins said he is hoping to bring the program to Coppin. “It’s a very, very popular program, and it’s a very, very effective program,� he said. “Hopefully, I can do that this year.� Ultimately, he said, it is the students who have the most responsibility for their safety. “The whole key to this thing is just use common sense,� he said. “If something in your head tells you this doesn’t seem right, in all probability, it’s not right.�

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AFRO Trends Fall 2006  

Afro American Newspaper Trends Magazine Fall 2006

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