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Symposium explores the experience and culture of the African diaspora

Legendary “Black Girls Rock!” rocks NCCU stage Thursday, as part of Lyceum series

The LeRoy T. Walker/ Lee Calhoun Track and Field Invitational makes it way to NCCU.

Missed Midnight Madness? We have all the shots in case you weren’t there!

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Campus Echo

Japan’s tragedy One family's ordeal through Japan’s procession of calamities


Kazuhisa Takeuchi was badly shaken, but unhurt, when the massive quake hit. Over the coming days, however, his family would be touched by the temblor and by the tsunami and nuclear crisis that would follow.

Government officials walk down a recently-ccleared roadway on Thursday, March 17, in Kesennuma, Japan, where the earthquakespawned tsunami caused a massive fuel spill and fire further consuming the Japanese coastal town, famous for its tuna fishing fleet. BRIAN


Reporting from Kesennuma, Japan — Kazuhisa Takeuchi was taking advantage of a rare moment of calm between the afternoon and evening shifts at his Sendai dialysis clinic, chatting on the telephone with a colleague about a patient, when he felt himself lifted from his chair by a force immediately recognizable to anybody who grew up in this part of Japan. “Earthquake, bye,” the 55-year-old doctor said, slamming down the receiver. When the unearthly shaking had ended, everything in his office was on the floor — the computer and printer, the microbiology textbooks and French art books that had lined his bookcases —

but he was unharmed. He rushed down the staircase to check on the patients. They were OK too. “We’re so lucky,” Takeuchi told himself. But like so many emotional aftershocks, the coming days would rob him of his luck. His wife’s mother lived 70 miles up the coast in Kesennuma, which was hard hit by the tsunami that followed the earthquake. She suffocated when the ventilator clearing her lungs stopped because of a power outage. His wife’s father was missing, swept out to sea, it was feared, by the 45-foot wave that crashed through the nearby nursing home where he was being treated for a stroke. His own elderly parents, along with his sister and her family, lived 50 miles south of him, in Fukushima prefecture. Their area had been spared the worst ravages of the earthquake, but the tsunami hit the seaside nuclear plant, leading to

BRUG/Los Angeles Times (MCT)

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No decision GEC might need overhaul Some students say they want more diverse offernings, black history yet on Pell cuts


With the recent defeat of House Resolution 1 by the U.S. Senate, N.C. Central University students may have dodged a bullet. The resolution proposed a string of budget cuts amounting to $30 billion, $5.6 billion of which would have come from the Pell Grant Program. The question that looms for students dependent on financial support: Will the

proposed Pell Grant cuts remain in the final budget? “This proposal would literally wipe out access for many of the students we serve,” Chancellor Charlie Nelms told the Herald Sun. “It would just decimate the whole notion of access and opportunity. We cannot afford to go backward.” The proposed cuts are leaving many students feeling stranded. “I feel like if I’m going to

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Tough love New 1.9 GPA deadline looming BY APRIL SIMON ECHO STAFF REPORTER

Imagine what the campus of N.C. Central University would look like if 14 percent of the student body were gone overnight. To give an idea of what that number looks like, add the entire population of both Baynes Residential Hall and Eagle Landing — that is the number of students currently at risk of dismissal from the University. An announcement from the provost send via e-mail on Dec. 1 stated that poorly performing students must raise their grade point averages by the end of this semester or be barred from re-enrolling in the fall. The new policy states

that students may face dismissal from the University if they do not achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 1.9 before the 2011-2012 school year. In accordance with Chancellor Nelms’s proposal, this number is set to be raised to 2.0 before fall of 2012. This policy replaces the old standard, which was based on a sliding scale equation according to how many credit hours had been attempted versus GPA earned. “We’re doing away with the range and having across the board GPA requirement for all students,” said University Registrar

n See GPA Page 2


Every semester we hear the moans and groans of students complaining about the General Education Curriculum required at N.C. Central University. The GEC is characterized by four interrelated themes: communications, global awareness, critical and analytical thinking, and professional development. Completing the GEC absorbs 32 percent of each student’s academic fouryear plan. The requirements consist of 12–16 hours of mathematics and science, nine to 15 hours of communications in English and foreign language, six hours of social sciences, five to six

Instructor Brenda Womble prepares Twanda Andrews, business finance sophomore, Nikicia Brodie, public health junior, and Brandon Addison, accounting freshman, for a mock job interview in the GEC required course Elements of Speech. ZEVANDAH BARNES/Echo staff photographer

hours of arts and humanities, two hours of social and career enhancement/devel-

opment, and both fitness and health. But some students say

that NCCU would benefit

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Alphas take top spot, again BY ASHLEY GRIFFIN ECHO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Mukhtar Raqib, Tomasi Larry, Kent Williams, Dwayne Johnson and Reggie McCrimmon have all been elected student body president at N.C. Central University. Beyond holding the SGA’s top spot, they all share a deeper connection as members of the same fraternity. For the past six years Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. has dominated the SGA president spot and in this year’s election the trend

continues. “It is a privilege, more like an honor,” said newly elected SGA president Reggie McCrimmon Reggie of his posiMcCrimmon tion. “I feel like I have a lot to live up to.” The freshman and sophomore class played a critical role in the more recent election. McCrimmon dominated both classes, win-

ning 60 percent of the votes against his opponent, Bishari Cooper. “I made an effort with the freshman class to connect with them,” said McCrimmon. “I didn’t just hand out flyers, but I connected with them, I understood the importance of the class.” Cooper received 58 percent of the votes in the junior class and 48 percent of the votes in the senior class. “I felt [Cooper] was more qualified and she knew more about what was going

on campus,” said mass communication junior Chris Marable. Members of Alpha Phi Alpha feel the leadership trend is nothing out the ordinary because one of the focuses of their organization is leadership. Alpha Phi Alpha has had a long involvement in public service and influential political figures Martin Luther King Jr. and Supreme Court judge Thurgood Marshall as mem-

n See ALPHAS Page 3

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Campus A R O L I N A


Breaking it down New book de-mystifies technology for classroom



Where’s the Wi-Fi? IT working to address campus wireless deficiencies BY JEROME BROWN




Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman come from different backgrounds and have different ideals, but they’re all superheroes that people look up to. Not all superheroes have superpowers. N.C. Central University’s College of Liberal Arts and School of Education have teamed up to bring new ways of using technology in the classroom. Sandra Vavra, of NCCU’s Department of English and Mass Communications, and Sharon L. Spencer, of the School of Education, have compiled and edited a book called “CLASH! : Superheroic Yet Sensible Strategies for Teaching The New Literacies Despite the Status Quo.” The book is a collection of essays which impart strategies for incorporating digital media into the 21st century classroom. Fifteen submissions were approved for the book, six of them from NCCU. They include four professors from NCCU’s Department of English and Mass Communication: Lisa Carl, Stephanie Frigo, Carolyn Fulford, and Rachelle Gold; and two professors from the School of Education: Tom Scheft and Doris Tyler. “It’s a step toward breaking out of your comfort zone,” said Vavra. “It’s important that we make this change. It would be educational malpractice if we don’t.”


Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011

Gold’s chapter, “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?,” discusses how old technology, such as the radio, can be used in a new way. “Students [now] can express beliefs and opinions in more complex ways with technology today,” said Gold. She chose this title because she believes it links the present with the past. The cover, designed by Vavra’s daughter, Jess Vavra, a student at the Art Institute of RaleighDurham, could be mistaken for a comic book or graphic novel. The woman on the cover represents the “Super Teacher,” eager to intro-

duce digital technologies into the classroom. The exact publishing date for CLASH! has not yet been determined, but the book might be on shelves by April 2011. Many teachers frown upon using technological devices in their classes, viewing them as distractions. Some are also be intimidated by the media itself, knowing that their students are more knowledgeable of how it will work. “Sometimes, I feel a little stretched because students do tend to know more, but it is necessary to have a fusion of technology into classrooms today,” said Fulford.

The major inconvenience known as N.C. Central University’s wireless network has angered many in the recent months, but improvements are on the horizon. Students and instructors say they are dissatisfied with the wireless Internet on campus, citing slow connection speed or no connection at all as the main issues. Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections. Students have expressed the hassles the spotty network has caused. “I can’t connect to the Internet wirelessly in Eagleson [dorm],” said freshman nursing major Jolesa Deloatch. “I ended up missing an online test last week because I wasn’t able to access the Internet,” added education junior Jarrod Horsey. NCCU’s original wire-

less network was deployed during the 2005-06 academic year. What is the problem with the wireless connection? According to Joel Faison, director of Network Services & Telecommunications, the network was not deployed properly during its initial launch. In all, he said, 220 wireless access points were deployed and placed in residence halls and academic buildings, but the incorrect launch is the root of the problem. Currently, academic buildings and residence halls on campus, such as Farrison-Newton C o m m u n i c a t i o n s Building, have only two wireless access points per floor. “Access points were placed at two locations in a building. Interference and other factors were not taken into account,” said Faison. The remedy On Feb. 14, Information Technology Services began to convert buildings

to the new network. Currently the highest priority is residence halls, followed by academic buildings, administrative buildings and social hangout areas. “We want to prepare campus for true wireless networking,” said Faison. In addition to laptops, all mobile devices will be supported with the refresh of the network. “We’re building our network to be robust enough to accommodate all mobile devices,” said Faison. The future of NCCU wireless Equipment for network improvements is already purchased and installation and site surveys are next. At the completion of the project ITS hopes to have 1,400 access points on campus. Some buildings will go from as few as eight to upwards of 60 access points. Chidley North Residence Hall, which opens in the fall, will have more than 100 wireless points.


Freshman Sophomore










1.9 or less











Number of students, by classification, that must increase their GPA or face dismissal by Fall 2012.


Freshman Sophomore

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 school and doing the right thing, why would they cut my education?” said Devyn Shaw, nursing sophomore. Pell Grant is money that doesn’t require repayment and is given to students according to their financial need. The maximum amount allotted is $5,550. The cuts proposed in HR-1 would slash 15 percent, or about $850, from each student’s yearly grant. Currently more than nine million students nationwide receive Pell Grant support. A t NCCU, more than 60 percent of undergraduate students use Pell Grants to fund their college education. “For the 2010-11 academic year, 4,388 students

received a total of $18,492,973 in Pell Grants,” said Sharon Oliver, NCCU’s director of financial aid. If proposed cuts go into effect, students receiving the full $5,500 would receive $4,650 and students receiving $850 would receive no funding at all. “Being that the U.S. is one of the richer countries in the world, you would think cutting education would be the last resort,” said Ceslie Covington, social work sophomore. But some Republicans, including Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, from North Carolina’s 5th district, dismiss student concerns over the cuts. “It’s hardly a devastating cut when you are cutting such a small amount,” said

Foxx, who chairs the C o n g r e s s i o n a l Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. “We’re cutting entire programs in lots of cases,” said Foxx. Some students expressed outrage over her comments. “They don’t know how much financial aid I need. “I need my $850,” said Shaw. In response to the proposed cuts, about 85 NCCU students attended a March 3 rally at the state capitol in Raleigh. “It is going to affect grades, and being that it is a state-funded school, you must meet certain criteria,” said Covington. “More work, less devotion to school.”










1.8 or less











Number of students, by classification, that must increase their GPA by the end of this semester. Goodwin. Students may feel the effects of the new grade point average policy as early as this month. Academic advisors are gearing up to deal with the 519 students who may be facing expulsion this semester, as well as an additional 288 by next year, if they do not quickly pull their grades out of the dumps. Students and advisers have been instructed to work together to create individualized strategies and plans to ensure that

student grades comply with the new standards. Deans and department chairs are expected to help advisers develop procedures for counseling students. Over the next few months, students will be meeting with faculty and others to discuss ways to build, or rebuild, their GPAs. Some of the strategies that students may be instructed to employ may be increasing hours spent in study, meeting regularly with academic advisers,

seeking outside tutoring, reducing work hours if employed, and seeking help for family issues or child care that may be affecting their performance. Should these tactics fail, and the student faces dismissal, there is still recourse. Students may appeal a suspension. This would entail going before the administration and convincing them, with a concrete plan that would acknowledge their short-

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GEC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 from the diverse GEC course selection offered by other universities. “Even though it is my senior year, I feel like I might be missing some valuable information that Central did not teach me within the foundation courses,” said criminal justice senior Philip Henry. Some students say that NCCU should require more courses that explore the African-American experience. “I wish that Central had an African-American requirement like Howard,” said business administration senior Jeremiah Anderson. Howard University has a required African-American cluster. “I think that it’s important for us to know where and what great people we came from and what exact-

ly we need to do as a people to get to where we need to go,” said Anderson. NCCU does offer a GEC course called The Black Experience to 1865, but it is only an option, not a requirement. Other students say they would like to see more language offerings. “Maybe I’d be more interested in foreign language if there were other choices besides the usual suspects: Spanish, French, and German,” said criminal justice junior Tay Jackson. The GEC got its last major overhaul in 2005. “The program is under constant review,” said GEC director and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Carlton Wilson. “Members of the faculty and academic units may propose program revisions,” said Wilson.

Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011




Campus A R O L I N A





Africans out of Africa Symposium examines the history, culture and struggles of the African diaspora BY ZEVANDAH BARNES ECHO STAFF REPORTER

Diaspora. It’s a word that refers to the dispersion of an originally homogenous people. Africans now inhabit all corners of the world. Their experience and cultural transformation was explored this weekend at N.C. Central University’s “African Diaspora Studies Symposium.” “The purpose of this symposium is to blend the voices of students, scholars, artists and activists to converge on topics that engage

the diaspora,” said former NCCU history graduate student Youssef Carter, a symposium co-chair. The symposium, the third such gathering held at NCCU, included 17 sessions, with more than 40 speakers and presenters from as far away as London, Germany, Mexico and Canada. They explored the experience of Africans in Europe, Latin America, the United States and other regions. The symposium’s theme was “Conspicuously

Unseen: Invisibility and Denial in Diasporic Communities.” Symposium sessions included topics such as “Empowering Diasporic Identities in Latin America,” “Blackness at Point Zero: Beauty on the Other Side of Loss,” and “Shifts in the Construction of Black Identities.” “Having such a forum at an HBCU is particularly important,” said Joshua Nadel, assistant history professor and program co-chair. “It exposes NCCU students to different ways of

thinking about — and talking about — the diaspora.” Keynote speaker for the symposium was professor Marika Sherwood. Sherwood, a native of Hungary who has published several books and articles on the history of black people in the United Kingdom. She is an honorary senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and co-founder and chair of the Black and Asian Studies Association The symposium is funded at the department of history

and the University Honors Program. Other support comes from the College of Liberal Arts and the Global Studies Program. According to Nadel, the symposium is a great example of how University departments can work with students to enhance research and develop programs. Criminal justice sophomore Michael Taliefero said this year was the first time he attended the diaspora symposium. “It’s been pretty enlightening,” he said.

America’s black mosaic examined Do black immigrants and African Americans feel connected? BY PURITY KIMAIYO ECHO STAFF REPORTER

Widespread immigration of blacks from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America raises an interesting question: Will black immigrants eventually move away from their ethnic identities and acquire the racial identity of African Americans? And what processes might lead black immigrants to embrace or reject a shared racial identity with African Americans? In her presentation, “Black Mosaic: Black Immigrant and African American Racial Identities,” Candis Watts posed these questions after showing a brief clip from The Colbert Report. In the clip, Debra Dickerson, author of “End of Blackness,” states that Barack Obama, since his father is Kenyan, is not truly African American, but rather African African-American.

Candis Watts discusses ethnic diversity and racial identity at NCCU’s Diaspora Symposium. RAY TYLER/Echo staff photographer

Or, as Stephen Colbert put it “nouveau black.” Watts, a political science Ph.D. candidate at Duke University, gave her talk in Sunday’s panel session “Shifts in the Construction of Black Identities,” at NCCU’s Third African Diaspora Studies Symposium. She said she got interested

in the issue when a friend asked her to trace her roots. “I was born in Chicago and my grandparents lived in Mississippi, that’s the furthest I could go,” answered Watts. She also said an article in the New York Times sparked her interest. The article questioned the eligibility of first generation Africans to receive affirmative action scholarships to elite universities. Ethnic and racial identities constantly change, argues Watts in her paper, which she summarized as a theory of diasporic consciousness. “Diasporic consciousness would lead African Americans and Black immigrants to become cognizant of ethnic differences but also realize that racially Black people share a rung in America’s racial hierarchy,” writes Watts. “This mutual recognition has the potential of fostering a sense of connectedness among Black people of vari-

ous ethnicities, consequently broadening both African Americans’ and Black immigrants’ conceptualization of who belongs within their ingroup’s boundaries.” Watts’ study, which relies on data from the National Survey of American Life and interviews with black immigrants, finds that secondgeneration black immigrants are likely to acquire a stronger sense of racial, not ethnic, identity as a result of discrimination. Watts suggests that while black immigrants have a different relationship to American’s racial history, minor and major acts of racial discrimination lead second-generation black immigrants to begin to feel more connected to African Americans and psychologically attached to black racial identity. One Nigerian Watts interviewed captures the richness of the black immigrant

experience: “I think that’s my personal dilemma as a Nigerian immigrant in the United States .. [I’m] presumed most of the time to be just Black, ... but then there’s this like ambivalence because I feel part of me is an immigrant, and that’s a particular identity. ... And a part of me is American ... so there are multiple things ... I identify ... with those three different things.” But if Watts’ thesis is accurate, his children, should he decide to raise them in the United States, might think differently. They might see their experience in a more racialized manner. They might, in response to their experience of discrimination, acquire a stronger sense of connectedness to African Americans. They might, in other words, acquire a self-image, or identity, similar to those of African Americans.

ALPHAS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 bers. According to its mission statement, “Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.” Alpha member and mass communication senior Rod Howell said, “Since Martin Luther King, Alpha has prided itself in being political leaders. “That is what we focus

on, being leaders for groups and other organizations.” In the last five years, two SGA presidents have run unopposed. Former 2008-2009 SGA president Kent Williams, an Alpha Phi Alpha member who ran unopposed, believes there should be more competition for the SGA president slot. “I was frustrated that I ran unopposed,” said Williams. “Students need to step it

up. This should be the most heated race on campus.” Some NCCU students agree. “The Alpha are putting themselves in a position to have their opinions heard,” said music education junior Patrick Jones. “And if no one is really stepping up and doing it, then it is what it is.” Other students feel that the Alpha trend should change. “It’s kind of redundant —

Mukhtar Raqib

Tomasi Larry



you can’t have too much of the same thing for long,” said physical education junior Gregory Black.

Kent Williams

Dwayne Johnson



“We’ve only got one life to life to live. Give someone else a chance.”



In 2001 a survey of about 300 NCCU students revealed that a large majority of students were sexually active, but that fewer than half used protection half the time or less, and that fewer than half thought they were at risk for HIV or STIs. The survey also indicated that a mentoring approach to promoting safe sex appealed to students. That led to the birth of Project SAFE — Save A Fellow Eagle. The organization is now celebrating its ten-year anniversary with “Project Safe Week” March 21-26, with events geared toward HIV education and prevention. “Project SAFE’s mission is to educate NCCU students and the Durham community on HIV/STI awareness and to prevent the spread of HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases on campus,” said Shawn Swinnie, president of Project SAFE. Yesterday free iTests for HIV and STIs were given at Baynes Residential Hall. Future tests will be provided throughout April in residential halls and at Campus Crossings. On Saturday, Wade Banner of K97.5 will host a “Sex Ed” party. HIV is a leading cause of death for African Americans. African Americans account for only 13 percent of the U.S. population, but they account for about half of all people living with HIV/AIDS, according to the Web site Kaletra. “African American rates are so much higher because of the lack of access to health care and education,” said Denechia Powell, Project SAFE adviser and administrative support associate in the department of student health and counseling services. She said people who don’t know they are infected are in danger of spreading the disease. More information is available at

CITY Research Study • Do you want to lose weight? • Are you between the ages of 18 and 35? • Do you currrently use a cell phone and have Verizon as a service provider? To find out more about the study and to see if you might qualify, • Visit our website: • Email: • Call: (919) 681-CITY / (919) 681-2489 Duke University Medical Center Protocol # 00024782

Campus Echo Online No kidding: Free classified ads for anyone with an @nccu e-m mail account.


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Roots run deep

‘Sugar of the Crop’ author discusses book at NCCU




Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011


Queen Kelsey Charlotte native wants to boost school spirit


Sana Butler talks with NCCU students at the Edmonds Classroom Building last Thursday. CORLISS PAULING/Echo staff photographer


Last Thursday N.C. Central University opened its arms and welcomed free-lance journalist Sana Butler author of “Sugar of the Crop.” The author talked to NCCU students about her journey to find children of slaves and interview them about they way their par-

ents selflessy raised them after the Civil War. “These parents ... gave their children hopes, dreams, and possibilities for a better future,” said Butler. Butler was in town as the guest speaker for the Central Carolina Diversity council’s black history month program led by Autrice Campbell, vice

president and community development manager for Sun Trust bank in Durham. “Because of our wonderful relationship and Ms. Campbell we were given the opportunity to have Ms. Butler come and speak to our students while she was in town,” said Starla Tanner NCCU’s director of government and community relations.

GPA “By increasing our academic standards, it’s a good thing, for the student, for the institution,” he said. “It sends a very positive message to the community at large, and to employers. When they see that we are very serious about increasing our standards, they are now more motivated to go after our students.” It is undeniable that there are schools that have reputations for enforcing academic rigor, and that graduates from those universities are highly sought after in the job market. But is raising the cut-off point for student grades the only factor in success? “Enhancing student academic success entails more than raising expectations and making structural changes,” Nelms stated in his 2008 Installation Address. “We must improve the quality of student life,” he said. “NCCU students deserve a more comprehensive array of cultural,

Kelsey Elizabeth Hargrove, Miss NCCU 2011-2 2012 CORLISS PAULING/Echo staff photographer

Even with all these initiatives, she feels that the University needs more school spirit. She wants to listen to students ideas and create things that will boost school spirit such as not always requiring students to wear business attire to certain events, but requiring them to wear school paraphernalia. “Having Kelsey as Miss NCCU gives it a different look and she knows what the students want,” said computer information science senior, Shanel Parsons. “She showed students

what life on campus would be like if she was their Miss NCCU.” Hargrove wants everyone to know that she not just a queen, but also a student. “I’m easy to talk to, not judgmental and if anyone needs anything they can come to me” Hargrove wants to thank God, #teamKELSEY, Ms. Gloria, Jonathan Leach, Kent Williams, Minnie FortBrown and Gregory Pait. “The most enjoying thing was not only winning, but for the first time really seeing the campaign bring the school together,” said Pait.

‘All pull together’

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 comings and specifically outline ways the student will improve his or her performance. With the dean’s permission the student may be allowed to continue at NCCU, with a close supervision. Students who do not provide adequate evidence that they will be able to bring their GPAs up in a timely manner, and are facing expulsion, may be counseled to leave the University. This may take a variety of shapes, but one option for students may be to transfer to a community college for a year or two, in order to allow greater flexibility and improve their grades. After reaching the required transfer GPA, they would be allowed to reapply and potentially reenroll. Though those who face the grim reality of being suspended from the University may not see it this way, Goodwin stresses that the institutional policy will have a positive effect on NCCU.

Versatility. Humble. Fun. Social. These four things represent the new Miss NCCU 2011-2012, Kelsey Elizabeth Hargrove. A Charlotte native, Hargrove is a psychology major who wants to work as a high school counselor. “I knew I wanted to help people and I want to be in a career that I will enjoy,” says Hargrove. Hargrove has been involved with various organizations such as Eagle C.O.R.E., Bon Vivant Fashion Society, Alpha Lambda Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Marching Sound Machine Auxiliary Squad. “Since I’ve been here, this University has offered me a lot in these organizations, so why not give back to the University and become their Miss NCCU.” Throughout her campaign, she was known as #teamKELSEY for the first time since 2005, she was voted as Miss NCCU without winning the Miss NCCU pageant. “It made me feel like I was the people’s choice and they wanted me to be their queen even after the pageant results.” Hargrove’s platform has three initiatives: the Relay for Life Walk, Student African-American Sisterhood and the Council of Queens, which is designed for all queens to come together and have various programs twice a month.

intellectual, social and leadership opportunities.” Now that the changes have been made, some Eagles will be left scrambling. But many students, though, don’t see raising GPA requirements as an insurmountable feat. “It might be hard if someone had something major come up,” says Rosalina Ramirez, Spanish education junior, “but it shouldn’t be that difficult if they just do their work.” The University maintains that raising the bar for students will push them to attain their goals — not just now, but throughout their lives. “We don’t want to get rid of anybody — this is good, tough love,” said Goodwin, smiling broadly as he swept his arms as though embracing the campus. “I know our students can do better. I know they can and I tell them they are great. “All we need to do is help pull that greatness out of them.”

African students organize week of activities, April 11-16

NCCU African students during a play at last year’s African Night. Top row: McSwain Forkoh, business administration senior from Liberia, Belinda Biney, business administration graduate student from Ghana, Frank Mansaray, sociology junior from Sierra Leone, Eyram Ofori, pharmaceutical sciences graduate from Ghana. Front row: Ellorm Ofori, political science graduate from Ghana. WILLIE PACE/Echo staff photographer


The Association of Students for a Better Africa will hold its annual African Week on April 11-16. The theme of the event, which is free and open to the public, is “Harambee” — Swahili for “all pull together.” The association, which was founded in 2006 and has 30 members, coordinates its activities with other area Africa organizations from Duke, UNC Greensboro, East Carolina and N.C. State universities. Events will include daily quizzes on African history, traditional dance and music, and panel discussions featuring key issues affecting Africa today. One panel will discuss recent developments in North Africa, including Egypt, where the struggle for women’s rights prevails. The event will feature skits to highlight commonly held stereotypes about

Africans and their continent. African Week events conclude Saturday with a fashion show featuring traditional dress and a free dinner featuring traditional cuisine at B.N. Duke Auditorium. McSwain Forkoh, ASFABA president, said the association’s mission is to increase awareness of Africa at N.C. Central University and across the Triangle. According to Forkoh, about 300 people attended last year’s event. “We want to exhibit the cultures of our fathers in order to educate our fellow students on the campus of NCCU,” said Forkoh, who came from Liberia to study business administration at NCCU. “We also want to aid African countries in the areas of health, education, and living.” The association’s adviser, Masila Mutisya, said he took

up the position because he loved what the organization stands for. “It is important to have an intercultural, intracultural and cross cultural understanding of your culture as an African,” said Mutisya. “ASFABA gives international students a sense of belonging when they feel alienated.” In addition to promoting awareness of Africa, the association raises funds and accepts donations to support African organizations. Last year ASFABA donated books to an elementary school in Ghana. This year they are raising funds to donate mosquito nets to help prevent the spread of malaria. “It is great to be a member of ASFABA. It is wonderful to be able to share African stories with people who can relate to it,” said business administration junior William Osoro, a Kenyan.


Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011









Hip hop, politics explored The Beast emcee brings first-hand hip hop experience to his special topics course BY JORASHAE GRADDICK

Symposium will showcase attainment


If you walk into the special topics in political science course, Hip Hop Music and Politics, you might be surprised to find a professor who looks a lot like a typical college student. It will be Pierce Freelon, adjunct professor of political science and local hiphop emcee, standing in front of the class bobbing his head to Bob Marley and the Wailers’ album, “Catch a Fire,” waiting for class to begin. Or he might be performing a freestyle poem pertaining to the day’s discussion on the origins of hip hop music. Freelon says his class is designed to help students learn the value of self-determination and begin to choose their own reality. Freelon said the political science department at N.C. Central University was particularly active in the community when he was an undergraduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill. “I identified with their grassroots activism and it’s been an awesome partnership thus far,” said Freelon, who teaches a similar course, “Blacks in Popular Culture,” at UNC-Chapel Hill. Freelon studied African and African-American studies at UNC and he earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University in panAfrican studies and the diaspora.


The event is being organized by a diverse committee of students, faculty and administrators. “Chancellor Nelms has set aside $100,000 for the purpose of implementing a new program or enhancing an existing program or service on campus which focuses on supporting and sustaining a culture of student success,” said Frances Graham, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs and the lead facilitator of the event. The students involved are being selected because they have shown stellar student leadership by participating in student organizations, such as the SGA, fraternities and sororities, the student activities board, and the honors program. According to Williams, the symposium is open to “any student of NCCU who can attest to student success.” The activities and events will be held at various campus locations and is open to anyone with an NCCU affiliation. To register for the event go online to


Pierce Freelon promotes self-d determination in his special topics course “Hip Hop Music and Politics.” ZEVANDAH BARNES/Echo staff photographer

But at the end of the day as he hangs up his professor jacket and puts on an emcee jacket. “An emcee is a part of something larger, a cultural, social, and political movement of hip hop,” said Freelon, who refers to himself as an emcee, not a rapper. Freelon is the lead vocalist in “The Beast,” a jazz, soul and Afrocuban influenced hip hop group that is active in the the Triangle.

Freelon says his inspirations include his parents Phillip G. Freelon, the award-winning architect who designed NCCU’s BRITE building and his mother, Nnenna Freelon, a Grammynominated jazz singer. Other inspirations include Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Angela Davis, Micere Mugo, Ama Ata Aidoo, Cornel West, and Freelon’s brother-in-law, M.K. Asante, Jr.

Service emphasized Quality Service Initiative seeks input from University BY AARON SAUNDERS ECHO STAFF REPORTER

N.C. Central University may notice better customer service as they enter the 2011-12 school year as the schools Quality Service Initiative is being revised and improved to better serve students, faculty, and staff. The goal of the initiative, which began in the Fall of 2007, is to provide, training for faculty and staff to advance customer service. “Dr. Nelms felt like there was a need to improve our customer service for all of our constituents to include students, staff, and alumni,” said Norma Petway director, training and organization development & QSI. Petway and her team, which includes human resource training consultants Earlinda Albritton and Tammy Jones, have been working diligently. They have been attempting identify the opinions of students and faculty on customer service. “From students ... we need their feedback, we need to know their suggestions,” said Albritton. NCCU faculty have also been invited to participate in “Lunch and Learn Series.” The series consist of sessions during the months March and April designed to provide all employees with information that can be used for personal growth and overall knowledge. “We anticipate full engagement from faculty and staff that will allow them to participate in training and development programs to enhance quality of service,” said Jones. The QSI crew encourage students to put their comments in the QSI boxes located around campus. QSI boxes are located in the Hoey Administration, Hubbard-Totten, Michaux Education, Student Health, Student services and William Jones buildings as well as the McDougal House, Pearson Cafeteria, Shepard Library and

Student success shout out

It’s clear from his students that Freelon’s personal connection to hip hop brings about an interesting vibe in the classroom. “Professor Freelon — being a real emcee — adds spice to the class,” said political science junior Kentoura Gilmore. “He contributes real hip hop,” The Beast, performs at Jack Sprat Cafe in Chapel Hill every second and fourth Tuesday.

Student Affairs will host its inaugural Student Success Symposium April 8-9. The symposium will honor and showcase student successes with student presentations, guest speakers, panel discussions and workshops. “This event will help NCCU students because they get to share and collaborate with other fellow students ... to talk about student success — a common subject for all NCCU students, regardless of classification,” said sophomore class president Jasmine Williams, a member of the organizing committee. Williams is putting together a panel of students from the University Honors Program to explain their idea of student success and how they achieved their own success. “Four honor students will answer a series of questions talking about their experience in the Honors Program,” she said.

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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011


Give $12, save a life Students, neighborhood church fight malaria with nets BY KIARA BENNERMAN ECHO STAFF REPORTER

Five students in an administrative leadership and ethics class in N.C. Central University’s masters of public administration program have a plan. The students are teaming up with nearby St. Titus Episcopal Church to help that church “increase community awareness about and generate funds from the public for NetsforLife.” “I wanted to afford my students with the opportunity to engage in leadership roles as well as assist others 7,000 miles away,” said Donnell Scott, the course instructor and NCCU’s director of Public

Administration NetsforLife is an organization that works with corporations, foundations and faith-based organizations to provide mosquito nets to malaria-infected countries located primarily in subSahara Africa. According to Shawn Pratt, a student in the course, the group will assist the church with a fundraising letter, the creation of public service announcements and developing a system for tracking donations. Over 3 billion people live in malaria-infected regions. The disease, which is spread by mosquito bites, kills nearly one million people every

year, mostly children under the age of five. According to NetsforLife, an umbrella organization that promotes and coordinates, the distribution of mosquito nets in sub-Sahara Africa, the nets can cut malaria transmission by 50 percent and cut child deaths by 20 percent. Research shows that the mosquito population drops by as much as 90 percent with widespread net use in a community. Each net cost only $12 and can cover three children. The nets are treated with long-lasting insecticides that repel and kill the infection carrying mosquitoes. According to Marguerite

Peebles, director of the NetsforLife campaign at St. Titus, their effort is in response to a challenge issued by N.C. Episcopal Diocese Bishop Michael Curry to raise funds to purchase 40,000 nets. “The NCCU students are very helpful, professional, and knowledgeable,” she said. “They have wonderful ideas that are leading to an increase in community awareness which will result in the advancement of St. Titus’s donations to the NetsforLife organization.” For more information call St. Titus Episcopal Churchs at (919) 682-5504. The church is located at 400 Moline St.

A week for awareness

Lunch & Learn Series promotes disability awareness

Tiffany Hayes, English senior, and Shannon Garner, elementary education junior, speak to students, faculty and staff about their experiences on campus. MORGAN CRUTCHFIELD/Echo staff


A NetsforLife launch in Zambia, Africa, April 26, 2006. Each year about one million people dies from malaria, mostly children younger than five years old. Photo by courtesy of Harvey Wang, Episcopal Releif & Developoment

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Last week, N.C. Central University’s Office of Student Support Services and the Center for University Teaching & Learning co-sponsored a three-day event, the “Lunch & Learn Series,” to spread awareness of students with disabilities on campus. The series was held to show support for the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and demonstrate how the ADA affects the Eagle community. Kesha Lee, director of Student Support Services and Gary Brown, assistant dean of students and assistant director of Student Support Services, coordinated the event. More than 300 NCCU students are registered with Student Support Services. “We had the event so the NCCU faculty and staff can learn to manage students inclusively because the ADA requires faculty to make reasonable accommodations for students with learning disabilities,” said Lee. For the series, several panels were held to address a specific issue students face. Tuesday’s presenter, Nancy Mamlin, NCCU’s learning disabilities coordinator, hosted the session “Teaching Students With Learning Challenges.” In her session, Mamlin discussed ways teachers

can learn to teach students who have challenges. Jim Kessler, director of disabilities services at UNC-Chapel Hill, conducted the session “Accessibility 101: Accessibility And Higher Education.” Kessler spoke about ways professors can make their courses accessible, accommodating specific needs of students. Friday’s event, “A Day in the Life,” was a presentation by Students With Disabilities (SWD) at the A.E Student Union in room 146. This session allowed faculty, staff and students to “experience” a day in the lives of students who have disabilities. Armetrice Brannon, family and consumer science junior, moderated the session. “This was a good event to get an outlook on students, to learn from us,” said Brannon. “No matter what your difference is, we are all human.” Lee said this event was a team effort and was happy it was successful. “We plan to do more events like this at least once a semester in the future,” she said. “The success of our students is our No. 1 priority.” Students interested in finding out more about Student Support Services and how to apply for help can contact Kesha Lee at 919-530-6325 or

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Beyond NCCU

Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011










JAPAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 radioactive leaks. On Tuesday night, four days after the quake, his 81year-old father died at a small hospital in Fukushima where he’d been bedridden the last two years with Alzheimer’s. Whether the hospital had lost electricity or medical supplies in the earthquake or tsunami, or whether personnel had left because of the threat of radiation, Takeuchi has been unable to determine. To describe the terrible cascade of disasters that began to strike Japan at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, the Japanese have adopted a term they coined for the Sept. 11 attacks: douji tahatsu tero, which literally means “multiple simultaneous terrors.” The Takeuchi family would be left untouched by none of them. Today, Takeuchi’s mood flits from gloom to euphoria as he tries to make philosophical sense of what happened when his country was hit by an earthquake, by a tsunami and by a nuclear disaster. “That my mother-in-law and my father should die under almost the same circumstances, I think that was not a coincidence,” he says. “I think maybe in this crisis, the old people understood that the dying would have to die and the living would have to live.” His real worry, he says, lowering his voice, is the younger generation, especially his two daughters, 21 and 25. ***** “I’m a doctor, I know. The effect of the radiation could increase cancer and damage genes. The effect could last more than a generation.” Takeuchi’s eyes are weary from working almost round the clock, trying to find hardto-get supplies like saline solution for the dialysis machines and gasoline to transfer patients from another dialysis center up the coast that was destroyed by the tsunami. Although he wears a casual turtleneck under his white doctor’s coat, he conveys a certain elegance with silver hair combed smartly back. He speaks a rusty, but stilleloquent English from three years he spent doing postgraduate work at Harvard. He and his wife were small-town kids made good through their academic performance. Takeuchi was born in Shirakawa, part of Fukushima, and was the son of a junior high school teacher. He graduated from medical school in Sendai, the largest city on the northeastern coast, and, after his stint at Harvard, settled there. His wife, Yuriko, had graduated with a degree in French literature from prestigious Tokyo University. She

bursts of laughter and happy tears as the family members retold Tadashi’s story. “It was miraculous!” “What a strong man.” “He had such a will to live,” they exclaimed. The old man was lying in a bed in the next room. Though it was warm in the house, he was swaddled in thick quilts and padded clothing to help him recover from his ordeal on the roof. He greeted visitors, with a wide, dimpled smile through missing teeth, though he couldn’t believe himself that he was alive. The mourners were relatively few. With Japan in the throes of gasoline shortages, people couldn’t make the trip from Kesennuma.

Yuriko Takeuchi, wife of Kazuhisa Takeuchi, holds a photograph of her parents, father Tadashi Onodera, middle, who survived the earthquake/tsunami on a mattress, and mother Tomiko Onodera, who died in the town of Kesennuma, Japan. CAROLYN COLE/Los Angeles Times (MCT)

came from Kesennuma, which had a modest claim to fame as the leading exporter of shark fins to China. Yuriko’s father, Tadashi Onodera, had retired as the station master of the railroad station. He lived on a bluff overlooking Kesennuma’s pretty bay. Two years ago, next to the family’s traditional two-story wooden house, he’d built a modern ranch house with a concrete foundation that could better withstand earthquakes and had a ramp to accommodate the wheelchair needed by his ailing wife, Tomiko. The afternoon of March 11, Tomiko was home in bed, being cared for by Hideo Sasaki, one of her sons-inlaw. The bluff above the bay afforded a graphic view of the calamity following the earthquake, something nobody could have imagined happening because the bay was set back far from the open sea. But as the tsunami wave roared inland, the narrowing of the channel only increased its height and ferocity. Among the ships in the bay was a tanker that burst into flames, spewing burning oil as it slammed into shore. “I could see the big wave covering the town below me. All the houses were like toys under the great power of nature,” recalled Sasaki, a dapper retiree in his early 60s. “On the top of the wave, there was fire. You would think that the water would put it out, but instead it rode into shore and then everything caught fire.” The house on the bluff was just high enough to be spared the fire — visited a week afterward, laundry hung untouched on the clothesline. But the electricity

knocked out by the disaster cut off the respirator. Tomiko’s lungs filled up with phlegm and she suffocated. She died at midnight. Meanwhile, her husband, 81, was missing. He had been under treatment for a minor stroke at a nursing home near the waterfront that had been knocked down by the wave. “The wave was so big. We were sure that Tadashi had died,” Sasaki said. After all, 50 others in the nursing home had been killed. The family was mourning him along with his wife, when on Monday, three days after the quake, a neighbor breathlessly ran up to tell Sasaki that his father-in-law

had been spotted in one of the shelters set up in the local school. The electricity was out, so nobody had been able to telephone. Against all odds, his mattress has been swept off the bed by the tsunami waves and carried him like a magic carpet to a stairwell that led to the roof. He’d waited there for 48 hours before he was rescued and, despite the cold, was in good enough shape to go directly to the shelter rather than the hospital. ***** Tomiko Onodera’s funeral was held Saturday in the snow-choked mountains inland from the coast, rela-

tively unscathed by the calamity. Beforehand, they held a wake at the home of a relative. Her body was laid out in an open coffin draped in white satin, with her portrait propped up front with a modest spray of fresh flowers. On a small offering table was a bowl of rice with upright chopsticks, a traditional symbol of death. In keeping with Buddhist custom, each guest knelt in front of the coffin, lit an incense stick, tapped three times on an urn and three times on a wooden mokugyo, a small percussion instrument shaped like a fish. Despite the solemnity, the occasion was leavened by

***** The funeral of Takeuchi’s father, Katsuo, was an even simpler affair. Held a day earlier at his sister’s house 50 miles from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear compound, it was outside the 12-mile radius that had been evacuated by the Japanese government. But it was still too close for comfort. Many relatives and friends much farther away had already decided to leave. Even Takeuchi considered missing the funeral. “We have to work through our fears,” he says. Skipping the funeral, he decided, would be tantamount to admitting defeat. For just a moment he dropped his composure and allowed the tears to fill his eyes as he contemplated what his father, back when he was of sound mind, might have advised: Have dignity. Never give up. Even in the face of douji tahatsu tero.

March Midnight Madness W







, MA



23, 2011




Photography by Chi Brown, Neka Jones and Morgan Crutchfield. Story by Neka Jones

NCCU police officer enjoys conversation with participants of Midnight Madness activites. MORGAN CRUTCHFIELD/Echo staff photographer

Dunk contest winner Michael Burgess poses for the camera as he slams one home.

The chaos begins as students try to defend themselves during the Ultimate Dodgeball challenge.

NEKA JONES/Echo staff photographer

NEKA JONES/Echo staff photographer

Regina Glover demostrates what it takes to be a real peacock.

Students partake in friendly gambling during Casino Night.

NEKA JONES/Echo staff photographer

CHI BROWN/Echo staff photographer

Alpha Phi Alpha member Matthew King defends Kappa Alpha Psi member Anthony Wilson in the 3-o on-3 3 basketball challenge.

NCCU students get down on the floor during the dance battle.

Michael English also known as DJ MicCheck spins on the 1s and 2s.

CHI BROWN/Echo staff photographer

CHI BROWN/Echo staff photographer

NEKA JONES/Echo staff photographer

Campus Recreation selects students from the crowd at random to participate in a hula hoop relay.


idnight Madness, a concept combining March Madness and the All-Star games, continues to flourish with the student body and faculty. After a couple glitches in its first official year, the Recreation students can call their second annual event a success. Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s student count totaled to 1,200 students but this year the department was able to rally together 1,500 students. The purpose of Midnight Madness is to bring the student body together as a whole and introduce the campus to the intramural program.

MORGAN CRUTCHFIELD/Echo staff photographer

The event consisted of the Pan-Hellenic Greek Council 3 -on-3 Challenge, mini basketball games featuring the NCCU womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extramural team vs. Duke, two of the male teams from the intramural season, faculty Horse game, Ultimate Dodge Ball Showdown, dance and step team performances, a dunk contest, 3point shootout, dance battle, and DJ showcase. At no point were students forced to sit in their seats. It was encouraged for everyone in attendance to join the excitement that surround-

ed them. Event coordinator, Erica Dixon, said that this year they wanted to accommodate the student crowd. Last year they received complaints about the basketball games being too long and which led to a lack of interest. Adding the other contest served as incentives to keep the students coming back for years to come. Although Midnight Madness brings the intramural season to a close, it opens many relationships among the NCCU family.


Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011

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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011

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Campus Echo


NCCU’s student newspaper landed a record 20 national and state awards for its work in 2010. Sixteen of these awards came from the 2011 HBCU Excellence in Journalism Contest. This included six 1st place awards and seven 2nd place awards. This contest was judged by industry professionals from news organizations including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press. An additional four awards were given by the NC College Media Association. 2010 HBCU EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM, PRESENTED BY THE BLACK COLLEGE COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION, FEB. 12, 2011 1st Place – Best Overall Design, Broadsheet Category 1st Place – Best Online Video Story, James Hines for “Hair to Stay” 1st Place – Best Individual Page Design, Ashley Griffin 1st Place – Best Individual Photograph, Chi Brown for “Monday Night Jazz” 1st Place – Best Headline Writer, Aaron Saunders 1st Place – Best Sports Game Story, Aaron Saunders for “Eagles Stumble in Boone” 2nd Place – Best Informational Graphic/News Illustration, Steven Brown 2nd Place – Best Sports News Story, Jonathan Alexander for “Eagles scratch Seattle” 2nd Place – Best Investigation or In-Depth Reporting, Echo staff 2nd Place – Best News Coverage, Echo staff 2nd Place – Best Online Site, David Fitts and Echo staff 2nd Place – Best Individual Page Design, Carlton Koonce 2nd Place – Best Online Video Reporting, Echo staff 3rd Place – Best Online Multimedia Package, Echo staff 3rd Place – Best Student Newspaper (Bi-weekly category) 3rd Place – Best Spot News Story, Jonathan Alexander for “Democratic Party stalwart speaks at Lyceum” Honorable Mention Best Photo Essay, April Simon for “Harvest of Dignity”



2nd Place – News Writing, Chris Hess and Carlton Koonce, for “Business School blues” Honorable Mention – Sport Writing, Aaron Saunders, for “Rison era ends abruptly” Honorable Mention – Photography, Chi Brown, for “Residents of Soweto” Honorable Mention – Feature Writing, Carlton Koonce, for “Echoes of NCCU, Durham history


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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011



All of N.C. Central University’s ladies will be replacing Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock” with the “Black Girl Rock.” In support of Women’s History Month, non-profit organization Black Girls Rock! will come to NCCU will come Thursday at 10:40 a.m. to the McDougaldMcLendon Gymnasium. Black Girls Rock! was founded in 2006 by Beverly Bond, a former model and renowned disc jockey. Bond mentors young black females by promoting and encouraging discussion of the ways women of color are depicted in the media. In November 2010, BGR collaborated with BET to celebrate the organization’s annual awards show. The program honored the many contributions and accomplishments of black women who “rock,” while celebrities such as Jill Scott, Ruby Dee, Raven Simone, Missy Elliot, Keke Palmer,

Founder Beverly Bond and her first love, the turntable, rep BGR. Photo courtesy of Black Girls Rock Inc

host Nia Long and more showed their appreciation. Some students are excited about the uplifting movement touching down at NCCU.

“Contemporary mentorship is long overdue when it comes to the advancement of urban women,” said Kiara Bennerman, history senior.

Some say the the female majority will not be interested in the event. “Unfortunately I go to school with a lot of catty girls and they’re too cute for anything,” said Brielle McCaden, mass communication senior. “If it’s not modeling or Greek, they don’t care.” Women are not the only ones excited about BGR coming to NCCU. “It’s one of the greatest organizations that impact black women,” said Houston Brown, history sophomore. “It reminds black women that they have more power than what they are actually aware of.” Though not sure what their getting into, some know what they don’t want to get into during BGR’s visit. "I don’t want to hear about the relaxed versus natural hair debate, instead I would like to see more black women coming together to discuss issues,” said McCaden.

Western Swag: Do you have ‘True Grit’? B Y DAVID F ITTS ECHO ONLINE EDITOR

Who has true grit? Do you? It’s what John Wayne, Kim Darby and Glen Campbell had in the original cinematic version of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis, known as “True Grit,” debuted in theaters in 1969 under the direction of Henry Hathaway. Following the heels of its predecessor, Joel and Ethan Coen retooled the masterpiece and brought it to life for a new audience in 2010. The Coen Brothers are known as "the two-headed director” in the film industry due to their similar vision. They are known for their work in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” in 2000, and “No Country for Old Men,” in 2007. With the talents of Jeff

Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, and Matt Damon now holding the reins, Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, Mattie Ross, and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf are brought back to life to show the new millennium what it means to have “grit.” The story follows 14year-old farm girl Mattie Ross who is searching for her father’s murderer, Tom Chaney, to bring to justice. In order to find Chaney, Ross hires U.S. Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn because she believes him to have “true grit.” She believes he will bring Chaney to justice so he will pay for his crimes. In order to ensure that Cogburn does his job, Ross insists on following him despite his drinking. The two discover they are not alone in wanting to bring Chaney

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to justice. Texas Ranger LaBoeuf wants to take Chaney in because he is wanted for murdering a senator and his dog in Texas. Their reasons aside for wanting Chaney, the three travel to Indian Territory to bring him in for his crimes. With the two films having different directors, there are some minor and major differences. In the 1969 version, audiences are able to see Ross interact with her family before her father is murdered. They also get to see her father get killed by Chaney at pointblank range. During the 2010 version, the audience doesn’t see who Chaney is from the start. This adds a sense of mystery as to who this person is. Both films follow the novel and take their own liberties on what is and is not seen; however, the 2010 version sticks more to the novel.

The 2010 adaptation has religious overtones including Bible verses and songs. Although the 1969 version did have religious hints, they were subtle. Each film stands on its own, especially with Wayne and Bridges playing lead roles. “True Grit” would be greater if elements of both versions were put into one ultimate package. Despite differences, both should be watched and enjoyed. The Coen brothers’ “True Grit” is still being shown in some theatres and should be experienced on the big screen while it is available. If you want to wait to watch it on your own, it will be riding over to DVD soon. It does not matter if you’re a Wayne or Bridges fan. Check them both out to see if you have “True Grit.” You won’t be sorry, pardner.

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4out of 5 on the black hand side The anticipated album from Chris Brown, “F.A.M.E.,” which can stand for “Fans Are My Everything” or “Forgive All My Enemies,” has hit stores and has already hit as the No. 1 downloaded album on iTunes. His first two albums were very successful and his career was going great until the domestic violence incident with thengirlfriend and pop artist Rihanna. His career has been shaky ever since and his previous comeback album, “Graffiti,” flopped. It was blacked-balled in certain stores, debuted at No. 7 on U.S. Billboard charts and also received a lot of negative reviews. This is was obviously the fallout from the Rihanna incident. However, Brown’s mixtape, “Fan of a Fan,” received great reviews from fans and it showed through radio play. Tracks such as “Deuces” and “No Bulls**t,” which are also on F.A.M.E.,were the two leading singles from his mixtape. “Deuces” was No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip

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Atlantic Records

2 out of 5 on the black hand side “Lasers” suffered its share of setbacks prior to its release and has been in the making for the past three years. Delays from Atlantic Records led Lupe’s fans to petition to have the album released. Then shortly before the release of the album, in a February interview with Complex magazine, Fiasco said, “I love and hate this album,” leaving fans and anxious listeners wondering what they would receive. What they received was a 12-track album filled with pop-sounding hooks and uninspiring lyrics. This album is a far cry from the rugged lyricism on his debut, “Food & Liquor,” and the conceptualism of his second album, “The Cool.”

Hop Songs and received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. F.A.M.E. is Brown’s second attempt to give his fans a No. 1 album. Producers featured on this album include The Underdogs, The Messengers and Free School. The album also features productions from Tha Bizness, who are responsible for “No Bulls**t,” as well as other well-known party producers, Diplo and Benny Benassi. Free School produced one of my favorites of the album, “She Ain’t You.” “She Ain’t You” samples Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” and used it very well. This is Brown’s next anticipated single. The album also features Ludacris, Justin Bieber, and Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, who are featured on his current single “Look At Me Now.” I would have been satisfied without “No Bulls**t” and “Deuces,” because they were on the mixtape, which was released last summer. This album also gives you a little techno feel, but not a full R&B album. However, I also feel that his album will receive a lot of radio play, especially with “She Ain’t You’” and “All Back,” which are winners. I believe that Brown will sell his 1 million The songs that featured Trey Songz and John Legend appeared appetizing on the tracklist, but turned out to be forced attempts at chart-topping singles. Outside of the labelfueled tracks, Lupe did voice his opinion on songs such as “Words I Never Said,” where he talks about politics and controversial current events. In his hit single, “The Show Goes On” he even stepped out of his comfort zone as he slickly threw jabs at his label. Lupe Fiasco has some of the most dedicated fans in hip hop and it showed in album sales, as the album sold 204,000 copies in its first week, earning a spot at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. May not seem like much, but that’s stunningly great these days. Could the monumental first week sales be a bad omen for his next album, “Food & Liquor 2”? That remains to be seen. —Jerome Brown Jr.


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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011










NCCU takes on SXSW Campus Echo A&E Editor road trips to Austin for annual music festival

Erykah Badu sways the crowd, tells them to shake a tail feather DIANE VARNIE/Echo staff photographer

Erykah Badu aka DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown shows her scratching skills on the turntables 1s and 2s. DIANE VARNIE/Echo staff photographer


Duo makes rhythms with traditional African instruments

You may not have known what the letters stood for, but indeed it was flooding your Twitter timeline. Any music lover was lost in misery, staying off favorite blogs until the

weekend was over. After 20 hours of riding in a 15passenger van, I touched down in Austin for the 25th anniversary of the SXSW Music and Media Conference. The streets of Austin were covered in all things awesome and the venues

were taken over by music lovers and modern-day hippies. I was privileged to be there. I witnessed more drunken hot people dancing to the rhythms of the street’s drum, as well as some of today’s most cherished acts.

DIANE VARNIE/Echo staff photographer

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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011



Track meet back home Sat. BY



Senior right fielder Edward Pegues takes a hack in Saturday’s game vs. University of Buffalo Saturday afternoon. AARON SAUNDERS/Echo sports assitant editor

Bulls ground Eagles 11-6 NCCU pitchers have a rough day on the mound




The N.C. Central University baseball team’s strong offensive efforts were not enough to match University of Buffalo’s (411) Tom Murphy’s three home runs as they fell short in the latter innings 11-6. With strong hitting and flawless defensive effort, the Eagles pound out 11 hits and commit no errors. However the effort was thwarted by poor pitching, which has been the Achilles heel for the Eagles so far

this season. The Bulls hit five home runs total, three of which came from Murphy’s bat in innings five, six and eight. “He won’t get any more home runs the rest of the series. I promise you that,” said Head Coach Henry White. The Eagles kept the game close by answering the Bulls whenever they scored, with big hits from freshmen third baseman Troy Marrow and designated hitter Carter Williamson, who combined for five hits and three RBIs. The Eagles soon met

their doom when Murphy hit his second home run of the day in the 6th inning, ushering in a three-run inning and putting the game out of reach. The Eagles offense was only able to manufacture one run the final three innings. While the offense was impressive, White believes there is always room for improvement. “We got to score runs, There were too many runners left on base,” he said. The Eagles, led by Junior Centerfielder Akeem Hood, who went 3 for 5 with two

doubles. “I was really seeing the ball well. I was being patient and waiting on the right pitch,” said Hood. Hood has 24 hits on the season and is batting .369 with five stolen bases; he recognizes that the team has talent. Overall the team is hitting .295 this season, a dramatic improvement over last season, which saw the Eagles hit .251. “We’re playing good ball — we have to have that swagger and desire to want to win.” Hood says the future

looks bright for him and his teammates. “We have talent. We’ll get there,” said Hood. According to White, the team’s hitting and fielding are getting better every game. The only problem is pitching. “We’re only getting done two out of three phases right.” While the Eagles are only 1-19, they have improved as the season has progressed. “It was one of our better performances. They’re playing hard out there every game and that’s all I can ask for,” said White.

More than a man’s game BY


For years, football has been known as a man’s game, a sport of contact, hard hits and huge guys running down the field to score touchdowns. However, all that changed when the nationally recognized Independent Women’s Football League was formed. Now football is showing women love too. More than 1,600 women play for the IWFL’s 51 teams.

They extend from Southern California to Montreal and Washington to Florida with consistent expansion into new markets. Danita Horton, a former N.C. Central University graduate, plays in the IWFL for the Carolina Phoenix in Durham County. “I gained an interest in playing football about three years ago when I was asked by a friend to join their women’s flag football team through Durham’s Parks and Rec league,” Horton said.

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After two years of playing flag football, she was asked by one of her teammates to come out for the women’s tackle league. Horton, a former member of the NCCU Sound Machine, credits the band with her success on the field. “The NCCU Sound Machine marching band helped me with discipline, to be on time and follow individual directions inside a bigger scheme for us all to accomplish one goal,” she said. The Carolina Phoenix

will be playing at the Durham County Stadium this year. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children under 12. Military personnel and senior citizens pay $5. “We take our game just as serious, and in our opinion play better because we have something to prove every time we put our pads on or advertise,” said Horton. The Carolina Phoenix has been a part of the IWFL for five years, seven years after the league was formed. “The IWFL was started by two former female play-


ers that just wanted to create a safe place for women to play back in 1999,” said Timothy Holmes, head coach of the Carolina Phoenix. The NFL rules and IWFL are similar, but with subtle differences. “The IWFL regulation football is smaller than a regulation NFL football to allow for smaller female hands,” said Holmes. “Also in our league we have banned blocking below the waist in any form, as women tend to be prone to ACL injuries.”

After a brief pause, N.C. Central University welcomes back the Leroy T. Walker/Lee Calhoun invitational. The annual track meets combine the names of two of NCCU’s legendary track and field figures and members of the Alex Rivera Hall of Fame for the first time. Walker, a former NCCU chancellor and NCCU head track and field coach, is perhaps best known as the first African-American president of USA Track & Field, the national governing body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking. Calhoun, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in 1956, 1960 and USA Track & Field Hall of Famer is arguably the most prolific sprinter in school history. “Those two names mean a lot to NCCU track and field,” said head coach Michael Lawson. “Dr. Walker did a lot of great things through track and Calhoun was a track and field giant.” In previous years the college meet was named after Walker while the High school meet was named after Calhoun. Saturday’s all-day event will be the 19th college meet hosted by NCCU in Walker’s honor and the 18th high school Calhoun meet on campus. This is the only time this season that the NCCU students will compete at home. “Every team in this area has a meet every week, so it would be hard to put on another meet,” said Lawson. The meet will bring together local high school talent and some MEAC competitors. “The meet is in place to bring local talent together on our campus and provide an opportunity for collegiate and high school athletes to compete,” said Lawson. He said conducting a successful track meet takes careful planning and a little luck. “We have to wish for good weather and make sure all of our manpower and facilities are together,” he said. “I am looking forward to this growing and into a big event and everyone will know there is one major meet on this campus,” said Lawson.

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Opinions A R O L I N A





Letters Very Frustrated Dear Campus Echo: I write this in frustration, frustrated over people not being able to think for themselves. North Carolina Central University has the motto, “Truth and Service,” but currently, students are only required to do the latter. Students are required to do community service, about one fifteenth (120 hours of service per 1860 hours in class) of all the required hours to get a degree MUST be spent doing service. How much time are students required to spend on the other half of the motto? The study of truth is the subject of philosophy. Philosophy translates to “love of knowledge.” Philosophy class teaches one how to obtain knowledge, through observation and reason. This is basically the scientific method, the way students are taught to obtain knowledge in all sciences, the way to obtain truth. I have personally come across far too many students that don't possess the basic skill of reason. One is too many, the dozens I've seen far exceed that. The chancellor has shown an interest in raising the intellectual level of the campus. I’m not sure what he means by that, but I'm for it if he it means that students actually learn to speak English, and learn basic reason. An example of basic reason: If “all men are created equal,” and you are a man, then you are equal to every other man. I would think that basic reason would be especially important to an HBC. Here is an example from actual experience that makes me concerned: Assume a device was created that allows you to send and receive items. New terminology is developed to describe the functions of the device. To “Downzap” means to receive items. What is the most likely meaning of the word, “Upzap?” Does this seem like a simple question to you? This type of simple reasoning question used to be on the SATs, which is one reason it surprises me that a person can get into college without having basic reasoning skills. My day-to-day duties include spoon-feeding information to both students and faculty that do not have such basic reasoning skills. If the chancellor really wants to raise the intellectual level of the campus, he should increase the requirements of the students to include passing a basic reason class with an “A.” Right now philosophy class is optional, one of 22 possible choices to fulfill an “Arts and Humanities” requirement. I believe the class is miss-categorized, the study of reason being no more an humanity than the study of physics, the ability to think clearly being no more an art than the ability to do mathematics. Maybe the school’s motto should be changed to, “Service, Truth optional.” For your reference, the following are course descriptions from the course catalog. Please notice the goal of

PHIL 2000 and ask yourself why this is not the FIRST class that students are required to take. Philosophy Course Descriptions: PHIL 1000. Introduction to Philosophy – An investigation of the methods and goals of philosophy as a distinctive mode of inquiry. The primary goals of the course are to enable the student to gain an under-

standing of what is involved in the philosophical search for truth and to provide the student with an opportunity to develop the capacity for philosophical thinking. PHIL 2000. Critical Thinking – An introduction to basic rules and principles of critical thinking through an examination of the nature and structure of different kinds of argument. The goal of the course is to enhance the student's ability to think clearly and rationally. PHIL 2300. Logic – A study of deductive arguments, problems with ordinary language, logical fallacies, modern symbolic logic, and inductive logic and scientific method. Sincerely, Frustrated

Gay is ‘new black’ challenged Dear Campus Echo: While I appreciate Mr. Hicks’ position, I believe it is inappropriate to say that gay is the new black; the implication behind such a statement is that the issues of the black community take a back seat to the issues of the gay community. The black struggle is not over, racism is not dead, and America is a far crueler and more dangerous place for blacks than it is for gays. Mr. Hicks states that you never have to 'come out' as being black, which is wholly untrue. Such a statement ignores a large segment of the black community: those with one parent of a different race. As the child of a white mother and a black father, I myself have experienced pressure to make a choice, and I know that I am not alone. Though my skin is white, I have always identified myself as black. To my great dismay, at times my mother and even my sisters (both of whom are also half black) have been offended by my choice. By embracing black culture, I have been accused of rejecting the other half of my heritage, though neither one of my sisters will admit to rejecting their black heritage. I ‘came out’ as black, as many people of biracial heritage are forced to do. Mr. Hicks lamented a lack of pro-homosexual institutions. What about G.L.A.A.D.? What about C.O.L.A.G.E? What about organizations such as COLORS?

These are more than mere ‘clubs’. Yes, there are many churches that bash gays and spew vitriolic anti-gay rhetoric like the Westboro Baptist Church, but there are also churches and religious organizations such as DignityUSA and IntegrityUSA. There are many safe havens for homosexuals in America as well as internationally. The gay community is most certainly under siege in America, but we must not forget that African Americans face a greater threat in this country: genocide. The United Nations defines genocide as, “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group, as such: A. killing members of the group; B. causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; C. deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; D. imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” A. Killing members of the group – African Americans make up 41% of all death row inmates. Many black death row inmates are convicted of crimes against white women. Conversely, very few white death row inmates are convicted of crimes against black women. Governor Ryan of Illinois commuted the death sentences of everyone on the row in his state, because after an investigation he discovered that in at least 50% of the cases, the inmate could be proven not guilty. B. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group – Two words: police brutality. Amadou Diallo, Rodney King, Abner Louima, Oscar Grant, Chad Holley ... C. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part – Blacks make up nearly 50 percent of the prison popu-

lation, but only 13 percent of the country's population. We are sentenced to [and serve] 10 percent more time than whites who commit the same crimes. Let’s not forget that felons lose the right to vote. This disproportionately affects the black community, and as a result, our political voice is hampered. Add to that racial profiling, job discrimination and piss poor public schools; a grim picture of life is beginning to emerge, is it not? D. Imposing measures intended to prevent births

within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group – Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger as a eugenics effort, which is a nice way of saying that she was a virulent racist and wanted to spread birth control in black communities to slow the black population growth rate. It should come as no surprise that Planned Parenthood operates chiefly in regions where poor, nonwhite people are the majority. There is no ‘new’ black; black is still black, and we are still on the bottom

rung. The lesson we must all draw from this, however, is not to go tit for tat as to who has suffered more, but that discrimination and hatred have a chokehold on more than one community, and that there is no such thing as equality when it only applies to some. We should not seek to isolate our struggles, but to fight TOGETHER against them. Sincerely, Susan Creary

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Campus Echo WEDNESDAY,MARCH 23, 2011


Is black beautiful? Or not? A

recent Allure magazine survey revealed that 64 percent of 2,000 American men and women surveyed believe that mixed-race women represent the epitome of beauty. Mainstream artists like Lil Wayne, Chris Brown or even reggae artists like Buju Banton glorify lightTommia skinned women. Hayes Caribbeans call this“browning,” meaning complementing a black person’s light skin and good complexion. This makes me question whether I am beautiful. Also if our men don’t glorify us, who will? In “Right Above It” Lil Wayne raps, “Beautiful black women, I bet that b**** look better red.” Why isn’t she beautiful just being black? Why does she look better red? In “Every Girl,”Wayne says, “I like ‘em long hair thick red bone.” In Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” he mentions a “yellow model chick.” Why couldn’t his

The comment that people make that really upsets me is, “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl.”

lyric be, “A bad model chick” or maybe something more clever. Even in Caribbean songs like “Love me Browning,” Buju Banton says, “but most of all, me love me browning.” Why most of all you love a browning girl? These questions haunt me every day as I listen to music. And don’t get me started with television shows and music videos. In Wale’s “Pretty Girls” music video, where are the dark women? If this song is supposed to be glorifying all the pretty girls, why doesn’t he? In a 2008 interview, Yung Berg said “I’m kind of racist … I don’t really like dark butts too much … It’s rare that I do dark butts.” In a more recent incident, Lil Wayne said that since his daughter is a dark-skinned millionaire, she gets a pass. So that means your daughter is beautiful because she has money? What type of message is that

sending to your daughter, and most of all to other impressionable young men and women around the world? So your daughter is only valuable because of her money? Because Wayne, that is basically what you’re saying. Also, you married Toya. Was she beautiful or did she get a pass? Because she was not a millionaire when you guys first met. I believe that Lil Wayne and men like him perpetuate selfhate, pushing their insecurities on others. The comment that people make that really upsets me is, “You’re pretty for a dark skin girl.” My best friend replies, “Why am I pretty for a dark skinned girl, why can’t I just be pretty?” I’m used to the fact that the mainstream media likes the “European” look — but what about black-owned media? Why do black men and black media make the darker women feel less beautiful? It’s because of videos and

songs like these that make young men have the opinions they do. It is a sad day when you see beautiful women like Lil Kim and Beyoncé becoming lighter and lighter as their careers progress. This does not send a good message to young women in America. I talked to some dark-skinned women on this campus. They said they are sick of the media making it seem like they are not beautiful enough or they would be prettier if they were light. All I want to do is make people aware of this growing issue and say, we need to stop! Open everyone’s eyes and minds. Truly realize you are beautiful and start uplifting each other. You see how more white women in the industry are trying to become voluptuous like black women. So why are we trying to become slimmer like them? This is the 21st century and this skin complex needs to stop in our community. If it doesn’t, more women are going to try and change who they truly are, or even worse, harm themselves.

drawing by Rashaun Rucker

Question: How do you feel about an Alpha becoming SGA President for six years in a row? “The Alphas are putting themselves in positions to have their opinions heard.” — Patrick Jones

Rep. Brandon: Operation 100% O

ver spring break I spoke with N.C. Rep. Marcus Brandon (D), a freshman representative from High-Point and Greensboro. Brandon made history last November when he became the first openly gay African-American male elected to the N.C. General Assembly. He did this in the midst of the General Brandon Assembly’s “tea Hicks party” takeover. I was extremely excited to talk with him. We talked about everything from high school graduation rates to discriminatory bans on same-sex unions. I left the conversation wanting to move to Greensboro, just so I could vote for him. One of the first questions I asked was whether he knew that only 47 percent of black

We talked about everything from high school graduation rates to discriminatory bans on same-sex unions.

males in North Carolina graduate from high school. He quickly replied, “I am aware! It is something that I talk about every day.” “People are oblivious to this, as if it is not the case, but it is the case.” He went on to say that the problem of black males not graduating needs a “community fix.” Brandon described an initiative, “Operation 100% Can,” a partnership with schools, churches, and community organizations to help improve black male graduation rates. I asked Brandon about his commitment to funding higher

education. “We need to be very careful when we try to make cuts,” he said. “Our higher education is one of the reasons that we’ve done so well with our economic development.” He reminded me that he currently attends NC A&T, where he is working toward an undergraduate degree in political science. I took that as more evidence that he realizes the importance of funding North Carolina colleges and universities. When I asked Brandon how he felt about being the first openly gay male and first openly gay African-American elect-

ed to the General Assembly his response was modest. “I am very excited and mindful about the milestone, for other folks,” he said. “It allows people to see that you can do anything.” Brandon and I also discussed Senate Bill 106, which would constitutionally ban same-sex unions in North Carolina. “This bill is totally designed to drive turnout among conservatives,” Brandon said. “I would remind Republicans of their platform of less government and government get out of my life. I don’t want the government in my life any more than they want it in theirs.” It is rare for people to meet your expectations. It is even rarer when they exceed them. I really enjoyed my conversation with Brandon. In my book he rates right under Obama.

“As long as the Alphas carry themselves as leaders,then they will keep the position of SGA President.” — Ladarius Bryant

“It’s kind of rendundant. It’s time for a change.You cannot have too much of the same thing for too long.” — Gregory Black

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