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CHANGE HAS COME

Volume 50, Issue 1

E H T TO

BLUE BANNER

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blue Banner The

www.thebluebanner.net

University of North Carolina Asheville

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Welcome to the age of

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Comics, Etc... Thursday, January 29, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

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Find and circle all of the Radiohead songs that are hidden in the grid. The remaining letters spell an additional song by Radiohead.

cartoons and videos in the Comics, Etc

see more

section online at

www.thebluebanner.net

AIRBAG ALL I NEED BLACK STAR BLOW OUT BODYSNATCHERS BONES CREEP ELECTIONEERING FAUST ARP FITTER HAPPIER HIGH AND DRY HUNTING BEARS IN LIMBO

JUST KARMA POLICE KID A KNIVES OUT LET DOWN LUCKY LURGEE MORNING BELL MY IRON LUNG NICE DREAM NO SURPRISES NUDE OPTIMISTIC

PARANOID ANDROID PLANET TELEX PROVE YOURSELF PYRAMID SONG RECKONER RIPCORD SULK THE BENDS THE TOURIST TREEFINGERS VEGETABLE VIDEOTAPE

Puzzle answers published in the

comics, etc

online section weekly at

thebluebanner.net


News Thursday, January 29, 2009

No smoking, new cooling page 5

{The Blue Banner}

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Students pause for historic moment By Lorin Mallorie Staff Writer

lmmallor@unca.edu

UNC Asheville came to a standstill at noon last Tuesday as America marked the historic inauguration of its first black president. Two students witnessed the ceremony in Washington, D.C. “Anyone who traveled to the inauguration had a lot invested in the campaign,” said junior political science student Bradley Hardy, 21, former vice president of the North Carolina Federation of College Democrats. “More Bradley Hardy than being unified, there was just this sense of overwhelming gratification and relief just knowing that all our hard work had actually produced something.” Inauguration activities kicked off Sunday leading up to the swearing in of Barack Obama, the nation’s 44th president. Nearly two million people gathered outside for Tuesday’s events. Hardy, a political science major obtaining a teacher licensure, said he continually works on various political campaigns throughout the state, keeping busy in the political off-season. Hardy arrived in Washington on Saturday. “More than anything it was just a celebration,” Hardy said. “Most of us who have been involved with politics in the Democratic Party here are not used to our folks actually winning. All those long hours really did pay off.” Sarah Slaughter and Rhey Haggerty, both 18, also went to the Capitol for the event. The students are members of The Obama Club, an organization formed during Obama’s campaign to register voters. Traveling with them was Matthew Hutton, current vice president of the North Carolina Teen Democrats, and Andrea Gottschalk, both first-time voters and fellow club members. Gottschalk came to UNCA last semester from Querétaro, Mexico.

Like Hardy, the students arrived in Washington Saturday night, and attended the “We are One: Opening Inaugural Celebration” at the Lincoln Memorial Sunday afternoon. Despite the cold, Hardy said he arrived at the event around 6:30 a.m., getting a front-row standing position. “It was amazing,” Hardy said. “It was an opportunity to hear a lot of great musicians who, if you had gone to their separate concerts, you would have paid a fortune. But, we got to see them all together, for free.” The Obama Club students also attended the concert on Sunday, watching from the National Mall. According to Slaughter and Haggerty, despite the massive amount of people, the excited crowd was nice, happy and patient. During the next two days of events, the concert was replayed on giant video screens throughout the city, which kept everyone’s spirits lifted during the many hours of waiting, Gottschalk said. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is traditionally known as a National Day of Service. Students said the crowd seemed really motivated to volunteer this year. The Obama Club students wanted to participate in the citywide trash collection, but when they arrived to help out, most of the garbage was already cleared away, said Hutton. According to Hardy, one of the main planks of Obama’s campaign was civic engagement. “The spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and the spirit of Barack Obama has always been service to your community,” he said. In accordance with constitutional law, Chief Justice John Roberts swore Obama

Jonathan Walczak - Managing Editor

Top, UNCA students in Highsmith Student Union cheer as President Barack Obama is sworn in Jan. 20 at noon. Bottom, freshman chemistry student Jade Masssanga watches coverage of the inauguration with her boyfriend, sophomore mass communication student Dylan Auman.

in as the president at noon on Tuesday. Hardy and the Obama Club watched the inauguration live in Washington, while many UNCA students watched at the Grotto, Alumni Hall or in their classrooms.

“It was a speech I think every American can be proud of; there was something for everyone,” Hardy said. “It was more of a unification speech than anything else.” See Obama Page 5


Thursday, January 29, 2009

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UNCA buys $3 million tract of land New tuition By Michelle Peck Staff Writer

mwpeck@unca.edu

The Rhoades family sold ten acres of forested land adjacent to campus at a $3 million discount to UNC Asheville, which may use the parcel to house future university facilities. Appraisers valued the property, located at the corner of Merrimon Avenue and W.T. Weaver Boulevard, at $6 million, making the discounted sale one of the largest gifts in university history. Vice Chancellor for Alumni and Development William Massey has been working on the gift of the property for four years and says the university community is lucky to have the support of the Rhoades family. Celeste Shadoan - Staff Photographer “Asheville is a very fortunate univerCampus officials purchased the 10-acre piece of land on the corner of sity and community in that there are many Merrimon Avenue and W.T. Weaver Boulevard for $3 million. people in this community without whom the university would not exist today and be touched in the future by builders.” students could concertainly the Rhoades family is one of The perimeter of the land that borders duct research and them,” Massey said. Merrimon Avenue will be untouched by investigate more Approximately 20 years ago, the development. sustainable ways of Rhoades family said it was in their interA large part of the property will be de- living, such as vegest for the property to one day become a voted to gardens and lawns as well, ac- etable gardens and part of UNCA. cording to Massey. permaculture exhibIt is now campus property, thanks to “It serves from Merrimon Avenue as its, especially bethe late Verne Rhoades Jr. and his wife, a main entry way into the university and cause we are trying William Rhoades Sally, and William Rhoades and his wife, we will preserve that,” Massey said. “We to reduce our use of Betty. Kitti Reynolds, professor of envi- also will need in the future, and the future vehicles to take sturonmental studies, says the new land will is probably now, additional student hous- dents on field trips,” Reynolds said. benefit the Asheville area. ing, additional facilities for certain centers Quality Forwards and Buncombe “That natural space is very limited in and programs in the university and the op- County designated the property as a TreaAsheville, and thus this property is very portunity to host alumni and have a center sured Tree Preserve. welcome by the environmental commu- that can be useful for them.” “The property is just a wonderful labonity,” Reynolds said. Long-term possibilities may include a ratory of plant life and native species and According to Massey, the Rhoades “live-learn” eco-village for students and historic trees, all of which means that there don’t want high-rise facilities, athletic fa- faculty. There are no specific plans as of is a wonderful laboratory for all sorts of cilities or any large paved parking lots on now for building. However, Massey pre- classes to use for short term as well as lonthe property. UNCA shares the Rhoades dicts it may be within the next 10 years. gitudinal studies that is only a walk down family’s goal of preservation, Massey “As the university’s needs require the road,” Massey said. said. these new facilities and as the funds are It is still undecided if an older, unoc“The family has expressed some very available to build them, then the coming cupied house on the property will be used, specific values which are consonant with together of those two things would indi- Massey said. the university’s values,” Massey said. cate the new buildings,” Massey said. “The ultimate environmental benefits “They wanted to make sure that the green According to Phillips, the land is in a of this property as green space include space that fronts Merrimon Avenue and convenient location for all students and cleaner air, as the vegetation absorbs carthen wraps around to W.T. Weaver Bou- especially for her exercise routine. bon dioxide and air pollutants from traflevard would remain as a green space; we “I run as an escape. It is peaceful for fic, and providing a quiet spot next to busy want that as well.” me. It is especially nice that I can just run Merrimon Avenue,” Reynolds said. Mary Johnson Phillips, a sophomore right through campus instead of driving The Rhoades family resisted offers political science major, said she is excited somewhere else,” Phillips said. from developers for years due to the propthat UNCA has secured the green space. Reynolds said she is excited about the erty’s proximity to Merrimon Avenue. “It is a breath a fresh air to see at least possibilities the land could provide for “We are all very excited about the posone space not being taken over by a store students. sibilities it could provide for all of our stuor a Walgreen’s or something,” Phillips “Our department is always happy to dents and extremely grateful to the family said. “It is comforting to know it will not have more areas close to campus where and UNCA folks who made the purchase

payment plan offered By David Milton Staff Writer

demilton@unca.edu

As the costs of attending college for UNC Asheville students rise in a turbulent economy, the university attempts to keep student costs manageable, several UNCA officials said. “Our goal is to get costs for students as low as we possibly can,” said David Perkins, director of auxiliary services at UNCA. Perkins, the head of operations at the campus bookstore, has worked at UNCA for 14 years. The bookstore, both university-owned and a non-profit institution, pays its operational costs then invests residual projects back into the university, Perkins said. “Everything goes back to the university,” Perkins said. “It goes to scholarships and it goes to an administrative fee that is used to fund positions and programs on campus that otherwise would probably be reflected in higher student fees.” Increasing textbook prices contribute significantly to students’ regular expenses. This increase, combined with campus bookstore profits that lower tuition and fees, puts Perkins in a tough position. “The publishers do set the price, and we have our margin that goes on that. Their initial price to us just grows,” Perkins said. “There was a study done by the Government Accountability Office in 2006 that showed the publisher’s rate of increasing textbook prices was something like six times the rate of inflation.” In response to greater textbook costs, the campus bookstore focused heavily on two aspects of lowering student costs: the book buyback program, which allows students to sell their textbooks back to the campus bookstore, and an increased availability of used textbooks. The national percentage of used textbooks in bookstores was 25 percent this academic year, and in UNCA’s campus bookstore 59 percent last fall and 63 percent this spring, Perkins said. Some students still struggle with textbook expenses, despite efforts of the campus bookstore. Alternative sources, particularly Web sites selling books at lower prices detract See Tuition Page 5


Thursday, January 29, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

Campus changes make students Tuition and environment healthier

Continued

By Rhys Baker Staff Writer

rdbaker@unca.edu

Students returned this semester to changed campus policies intended to improve the health of both students and the environment. Smoking Ban New signs on campus direct smokers to designated smoking areas. Sophomore Jules Larsen doesn’t smoke, and said the gazebo being designated as a smoking area upsets her. “It was a nice place to go between classes, but now it is a smoky area,” Larsen said. The new policy has created areas around campus that are uncomfortable for non-smokers, but the policy will reduce non-smokers’ exposure to second-hand smoke. “Asheville wants to be a health and wellness campus,” said James Price, the co-chairperson of the Student Affairs Committee. The smoking ban is a move to create an environment that emphasizes health promotion in support of the construction of the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness. Sophomore art education major and smoker, Emily Ellison, said the designated smoking areas are out of the way. “It’s a hassle. You have to plan your day a bit more,” Ellison said. “It is horrible that smokers can’t smoke in their five minutes between class.” According to Price, most of the members in Student Government Association don’t smoke. The measures the administration is taking to protect nonsmokers’ rights are restricting smokers’ rights, Price said. “As the Student Government Association, we’re protecting students’

rights,” Price said. The original bill only allocated designated smoking areas around residence halls, restricting smokers’ ability to smoke during breaks between classes. “Some member of the faculty were even complaining about it,” Price said. Price’s committee proposed a bill designating smoking areas on the academic side of campus. They recommended the Quad, a field in front of Zagier Hall and an area around Owen Hall. The bill resulted in the addition of designated smoking areas at the gazebo, around Zagier Hall and Owen Hall that are reasonably accessible to staff, students and faculty between classes. “The administration didn’t consult us about their changes to our bill,” Price said. “There was almost no student advocacy for the smoking ban. We feel like the administration isn’t listening to us.” Geothermal Heating A new geothermal heating and cooling system will reduce the energy consumption of Rhoades Hall and Rhoades Tower. The current construction on the Quad is for two geothermal testwells that were installed over winter break. The test-wells go 500 feet into the ground to where they reach a constant temperature that is used to heat or cool water that runs through the wells in pipes. Alan Kind, facilities mechanical engineer said that the results from the test-wells show that the Quad will make an excellent well field. The Sam Millar building, the facilities department’s head quarters, has the most renewable energy features of any building on campus. The building has solar panels, a geothermal heating and cooling system, waterless urinals and a rainwater reclamation system. T h e new geothermal heating and cooling system will take UNCA one step closer to a sustainable campus.

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business from the campus bookstore, Perkins said. “I bought most of my textbooks from friends who have taken the class before,” UNCA student Michelle Barbeau said. Barbeau, 21, a literature major, said she also had trouble covering other expenses this semester. “I don’t have the money for it,” she said, in reference to tuition costs. “I have to take out a lot of loans.” Tuition and fees at UNCA increased from the 2007-2008 school year to the 2008-2009 year, creating another financial hurdle for those paying for college. Tuition has increased every academic year since 2002-2003 according to data from the UNCA Controller’s Office Web site. “Our proposed tuition increase of $75 for undergraduate resident tuition gets us to an undergraduate resident tuition of $2,414 per year,” said John Pierce, the vice chancellor of finance and campus operations. “With mandatory fees, it comes to $4,354 per year.” UNCA faculty generally earn lower salaries than those of peer institutions, and UNCA also faces anticipated budget costs in state appropriations. Increases in tuition and fees minimize the effect of such cuts on faculty salaries, Pierce said. Ranked third-best value of public colleges in the U.S. in the 2008 edition of Princeton Review’s Best Value Public Colleges, UNCA established a reputation for affordability. In addition, 55 percent of the student body receives some form of financial aid, and 43 percent of the student body receives need-based aid, according to the Office of Financial Aid. Still, more students turn to alternative payment options, like Tuition Management Systems, to pay their tuition and fees. “Tuition Management Systems is an outside company that basically specializes in providing universities across the country with a monthly payment option,” said Philip Turbyfill, UNCA Bursar. “We had 250 to 300 students that were on the program from last semester and another 40 signed up for the spring semester, which is a little higher than we had last year.” UNCA works with TMS to offer students the alternative payment plan. According to Turbyfill, TMS is a better fit to take on suck a task because the company has more resources.

Obama

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Hutton and his friends watched the speech on the National Mall. People were dancing and laughing while they waited for Obama’s speech, according to Hutton. Hutton said he was surprised at the speech’s nationalistic tone, but liked how Obama also reached out to the rest of the world. Some groups on the Mall booed George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the students said.

Corrections

In November, The Blue Banner incorrectly printed a rumor that Pastimes, a comic store in Asheville, was going out of business. Pastimes has no plans to close its doors and has been in operation since 1980. The Blue Banner apologizes for any inconvenience.

•Where can I learn more• about Christo and Jeanne Claude A service of the Office of Cultural & Special Events www.unca.edu/culturalarts

Artist Lecture campus discount tickets: Thur, Feb 5 • 7pm Highsmith Union Thomas Wolfe Auditorium Box Office (street level) more info: 828.251.6991

In partnership with the Asheville Art Museum’s SmARTspeak artists’ series.

Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude are celebrated for their very large-scale artworks and installations that reflect and reinterpret rural and urban environments. They will present a visual history of their ground-breaking work. Drawing from architecture, sculpture and urban-planning practices, this husband and wife team creates art that tends to disrupt the mundane qualities of life, encouraging inquiry about the spaces we live in.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

UNCA plans $42 million fitness center

Page 6

Weather

compiled by Morgan Weeks and Sarah Jessop

By Heide Penner Staff Writer

bmpenner@unca.edu

If all goes smoothly, the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness will open its doors by fall 2011. “We will start to see walls going up by the end of this semester,” said Keith Ray, director of the center and associate professor of health and wellness at UNC Asheville. The state granted the university $35 million to build the center. An additional $7 million from private donors will equip the building. The popularity of the project attracted numerous bidders, but the price for construction is still undergoing negotiations. “Because the economy is bad, the bids came in very low, which saves our university a lot of money and ensures that we’re able to get everything that should be in that building in there,” said Janet Cone, UNCA director of athletics and program coordinator of the project. “We’re thrilled that we’re going to get a lot more bang for our buck than we would’ve had 18 months ago.” The new center will provide an unprecedented and holistic approach to wellness. “For the first time, our university will have a very large, multipurpose facility,” Cone said. “It gives us an unbelievable opportunity for the university to have a space Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville to do a lot of different things.” Three areas of focus for the center are Plans for North Carolina Health and Wellness Center, set to open in 2011. childhood obesity, senior wellness and “Ultimately, what the center is about of all ages,” he said. workplace wellness. is creating a national community campus “We will also have a multipurpose area “We’re going to be looked as a national partnership model,” he said. “In other in this new building that will seat roughly leader in the area of health and wellness,” words, how does a public, undergradu- 3,800 to 4,000 people,” Ray said. she said. “It’s not just good for our univer- ate liberal arts university partner with the This area, the Kimmel Arena, will prosity, it’s good for the community and for community to make a measurable differ- vide space for commencement ceremonies, the state of North Carolina.” ence in the quality of people’s lives and conferences and basketball. Alongside research labs, the building health?” Due to Asheville’s green reputation, will house the entire health and wellness Partnerships with existing programs in the ecological impacts of the construction department, the fastest growing major at the community such as the Mountain Area stand out. UNCA. Health Education Center and the Healthy “We, from the very beginning, intended One of the main goals of the new center Buncombe Coalition will also be a large to make this as sustainable as possible givis to educate people on healthy habits to part of the facility. en the amount of money we had and what make it easier to lead a fit lifestyle. “We want to recognize, celebrate and our needs were,” Ray said. “It’s about creating a climate and struc- support the work of different agencies Although the progression of the center ture that encourages and provides incen- around the community in the area of health is not yet widely known, students are extives for faculty and students across dis- and wellness,” Ray said. pressing their anticipation. ciplines to be involved in the work of the The importance of the center lies in in“Though I haven’t heard that much center,” Ray said. “We want the center to spiring people to think more health con- about the new center, I’m excited about the belong to the entire university.” sciously. prospect of a place that will be important The money from donors will allow stu“Our mission says that we are a lead- not only to the university but to the comdents and faculty from all departments to ing catalyst for prevention of chronic munity as well,” said Sara Holland, senior participate in research conducted at the health conditions through the promotion art history student and captain of the womcenter. of healthy living among North Carolinians en’s soccer team at UNCA.

THURSDAY

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FRIDAY 40 21 SATURDAY

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Arts & Features

Inauguration gala entertains, inspires Thursday, January 29, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

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Local music and free food please a sell-out crowd at the Orange Peel By Erin McWhorter Staff Writer emmmcwhor@unca.edu

The Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club hosted an Inauguration gala on Jan. 20, bringing together Asheville’s citizens and celebrating the historic inauguration of the 44th president of the United States. “I don’t have great expectations for Obama,” said Frederic Kahler, a new resident of Buncombe County and an artist who came to the inauguration event dressed in Obama-themed attire. “Just that fact that he is our president, I think it’s going to inspire a lot of people who are homeless, going to lose their homes or who have kids to take care of.” The Orange Peel opened its doors at 7 p.m., serving hors d’oeuvres provided by several of Asheville’s independent restaurants alongside other sponsors such as the YMI Cultural Center and The Revolution 880 AM radio station. Vice Mayor Jan Davis commented on the historic occasion and introduced Pastor Keith Ogden of the Hill Street Baptist Church for the invocation. “Obama is so centered and so respectful of everybody that I really feel America has a new face,” Kahler said. At 8 p.m., the Orange Peel’s two projection screens aired the previously recorded Inauguration ceremony. After the Inauguration clip, two commemorative photographs from Obama’s visit to Asheville High School earlier this year were auctioned to the crowd. Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction benefit Mountain Housing Opportunities, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina and Project Share’s heating assistance program through Eblen Charities, according to Michelle Rogers, an advisory council member for Big Brothers Big Sisters. “The portion that Big Brothers Big Sisters will receive we will use to help recruit and support mentors in our community,” said Jay Clarkson, development director for Big Brothers Big Sisters. “(Obama)

“The way it’s turned out, I think, is perfect. At this time in history, with the way things are going, it’s the right person at the right time,” Allen said. Allen still celebrates Obama’s success on Inauguration Day, even though he supported Hillary Clinton for president and Obama as her vice-presidential running mate during the primaries. “He kind of instills a confidence in people, so people automatically feel like it’s going to work out,” he said. “He’s a pretty intelligent and amazing guy. He’s going to do well for us.” At the gala, the first of two local musical acts to take the stage was the Jonathon Scales Fourchestra. Embracing a unique variety of musical styles, the Fourchestra features a progressive take on steel drum and jazz, according to its frontman, Jonathon Scales. “It was cool how there was an emphasis on the entire band, rather than just the steel drum playing,” said Jonah Freedman, UNC Asheville junior. Ian Shannon - Staff Photographer The last act of the event Top, Asheville residents Bryan Evans, Ashton Evans, Dominique Hixon and Michael Hixon enjoy was the Josh Phillips Folk free food at the Orange Peel Inauguration gala. Bottom, Jonathon Scales Fourchestra plays. Festival. “It was great that they has already, even before he became presi“We’re really ecstatic to see him out brought in two bands that kind of define dent, participated in a call to service espe- there and encouraging people to be in- the different sides of Asheville,” said cially when it comes to national mentoring volved with their communities and get Freedman, bass player in the local bluemonth which is January.” involved in mentoring because it’s very grass band Bear Down Easy. “I thought According to Clarkson, the Big Broth- important to the next generation,” he said. it was also really representative of a lot ers Big Sisters share of the proceeds is Dana Allen, an artist and composer who of people’s different musical tastes, so it aims at training volunteers for the mentor recently relocated to the Asheville area, brought people together to celebrate a hisprogram, as well as advertising and mar- said he originally believed it was time for toric event.” keting the program. the first female president.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

POPAsheville

{The Blue Banner}

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amid frigid weather

Thirty bands, three venues and a 40-foot purple bus provided entertainment for the second annual event By Dylan Schepps Arts & Features Editor dcschepp@unca.edu

High-energy live music blared from the sound system as people stood shoulder-toshoulder adorned in costumes and wacky attire vying for a better position to view the entertainment; and all while traveling 35 miles per hour in a 40-foot purple bus. The LaZoom bus was just one of the many facets of this year’s POPAsheville festival that made it such a huge success, according to Stephanie Morgan, event director and lead singer of stephaniesîd. “I’m happy that so many people were able to take advantage of (the event),” Morgan said. “We had tons of video, tons of photography and people from all kinds of disciplines were around to exchange ideas, exchange information and make these connections that I think needed to be stirred up a little bit.” The weekend festival finished its second year under the banner POPAsheville Jan. 15-18 and featured 30 local and regional bands at three venues, with discussions, workshops, parties and the LaZoom bus, all included in the $15 admission to the event. The festival, originally called Idfest, is intended as a massive gig swap for local and regionally touring acts that gives bands an opportunity to network with industry professionals, while providing fans a chance to see a lot of music for an affordable price, according to Morgan. “This year was the first time the event penetrated more deeply,” Morgan said. “More people knew about it and more people took advantage of what there was to offer, like the workshops and the keynote and all the collaborations from the different artists.” Molly Kummerle, lead singer of Asheville band Ruby Slippers, participating organizer of the event and member of the band selection committee, says POPAsheville is not genre specific, but they do look for likeminded acts to benefit from the exposure and interactions provided. “We look for bands with a strong Internet presence, a Myspace with songs that actually play,” said Kummerle, a native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. “And we look for bands who are gigging regionally, who can really bring something to the gigLydia See - Contributing Photographer swapping concept.” Top, Michael Libramento and Stephanie Morgan of stephaniesîd perform at the Grey Eagle during POPAsheville. Left, Molly Kummerle of Ruby Slippers sings at the Rocket Club. Top right, Stu Baker of the Baker Family Band performs at the Grey Eagle. Jon Reid of Jar-E and Stephanie Morgan perform at the Rocket Club. See FESTIVAL Page 10


Thursday, January 29, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

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Torrent download policy ‘Gadgets Aren’t Just enforced across WNC schools for Geeks’ kicks off

TGIF series at Reuter By Sulkiro Song Staff Photographer

sulkiro.song@unca.edu

Nick Robinson - Staff Photographer

Freshman Shaun Barrick uses Vuze, a popular torrent download program.

UNCA, ASU, WNC students punished for Internet piracy By Nick Robinson Staff Writer nhrobins@unca.edu

Ben Kimsey was initially confused when his Internet access was cut off in his UNC Asheville dorm. He was even more startled to discover that someone had pirated music using his Internet connection. “I didn’t realize it had stopped working at first. Then my suitemate told me that he got an e-mail saying that one of us had violated copyright law,” Kimsey said. “I was only 50 percent certain it was my fault because both me and my roommate downloaded music. My roommate was mad at first because he thought it was him it had happened to. Neither of us do it anymore.” While school Internet policy forbids the use of Internet access for the illegal downloading of music, many students do it anyway. Others choose to wait until they return home on breaks to download music, movies and other content, which they then bring back to campus and enjoy. “I went kind of Torrent-crazy over Thanksgiving break,” admitted freshman Miranda Payseur. BitTorrent is a software program that facilitates downloads of large files, such

as music, movies or other documents, without any one download location needed. University Librarian and Copyright Infringement Officer Jim Kulhman sent out a campus-wide e-mail in September to all students with the heaeding, “Important Information about Downloading on campus.” This e-mail reminded students of both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and of UNCA policy No. 80, both of which explicitly forbid illegal downloading. The e-mail said that over the past 18 months, Kulhman had only received a handful of complaints of illegal downloads on campus from the music industry. However, the e-mail stated that in the previous two weeks, they had received 30 such complaints. Other Western North Carolina universities have similar policies in place. “I pirated a [lot] back in college,” said Matthew Barrett, a graduate of Western Carolina University. “[The universities] don’t care that much unless they get a call from the Internet service provider,” Barrett said. WCU’s policy is relatively hands-off, according to Barrett.

See TORRENTS Page 10

Those intimidated by modern devices that most people use in their everyday lives can attend an introduction to useful gadgets taught by Mike Honeycutt, technology support specialist at the NC Center for Creative Retirement. Honeycutt will teach this week’s program, Gadgets Aren’t Just For Geeks, as part of NCCCR’s TGIF Lunch & Learn series this Friday at the Reuter Center. “Gadgets are something that you don’t need in your life, but if you have them, they make your lives easier,” Honeycutt said. Honeycutt, who calls himself “the computer guy,” will feature devices like smart phones, robot vacuum cleaners, digital cameras, FM transmitters and mp3 players, to name a few. He will demonstrate the features of different gadgets and answer questions from the audience. “This is definitely not a sales talk,” he said. “I will tell the pros and cons as I see them, my opinions of why this is a good thing, or why this is not for everyone.” The smart phone, one of Honeycutt’s favorite gadgets will be used to assist Honeycutt in interfacing with a video projector to be used in the presentation of other gadgets. “It simply has my life in there,” he said. “It has all of my nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays – this is dumb – it has the presidential successions. I must have 150 notes in there on just everything from my insurance information for my car to the last time I rented a condo from somebody that I really liked.”  Honeycutt’s smart phone, different from a regular cell phone, has Microsoft Word, voice record, digital camera and video camera included.  “It would be much more traumatic for me to lose that smart phone than it would be to lose the computer on my desk because my life lives there. I love my smart phone,” he said.  Not all smart phones are iPhones by Apple, and not all mp3 players are Apple

iPods, Honeycutt said. He will show people other options available in the market that may be cheaper or more appropriate for different individuals. “There are other options available for you that are cheaper, or perhaps have a few more features that you might be interested in,” Honeycutt said.  For people and college students on a tight budget, he will share his knowledge of other brands. Honeycutt will also talk about “the joys of eBay,” where he bought one of his smart phones. Cullum Norman, 75, retired and a member of the Reuter Center, identifies himself as “primitive” when it comes to new gadgets. He plans on attending this Friday’s program so that he can feel “more tech-savvy.”  “I won’t feel ostracized since most of the people who will attend do not know much about today’s technologies,” Norman said.  One of the more popular gadgets among the NCCCR members may be the robot vacuum cleaner because of the age of the people who have memberships to NCCCR, Honeycutt said. Most of the people with memberships are above the age of 66.  “I’m interested in learning about gadgets,” Norman said. “It would help me become more knowledgeable about all these new technologies. I don’t even have a computer or a cell phone.”  The robot vacuum cleaner can vacuum a house without a person guiding the device. Robot vacuum cleaners, depending on their features and setting, can detect dust and debris, clean even if the owner may be away and navigate well on their own around the house.  Honeycutt said his mother, 83, has a robot vacuum cleaner (Roomba). “She just loves it,” Honeycutt said. “It allows her to be independent as she grows older. That (product) is probably going to be a hit.”  College students may be more interested in the FM transmitter, according to Honeycutt. Students can purchase the FM See GADGETS Page 10


{The Blue Banner}

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Festival

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Mountain Recording Studios’ new building space on Patton Avenue, according to Morgan. The workshops ranged from how to write pop song charts to music law for the indie musician to a speech by Wayne Robins, copy editor of Billboard magazine and author of “A Brief History of Rock.” Getting Robins to speak was somewhat Lydia See - Contributing Photographer of a fluke, said Morgan. Elizabeth Baker sings with the Baker “Jessica (Tomasin) of Echo Mountain Family Band at the Grey Eagle. was trying to get Wayne Robins from the The gig-swapping concept generated Hellsayers to do a panel, and somehow the idea for the initial event three years she contacted the copy editor of Billboard ago. without really knowing it was him,” Mor“The original reason for the festival gan said. “The Wayne Robins she talked to is basically so stephaniesîd can pay back happened to love Asheville and she lured other bands,” Morgan said of the giant him down here to speak at the event.” gig swap. “We put every band in front of This story is just one of many that coma crowd and show them a good time, and bine to make this grassroots, communitywe hope that they will do the same for us driven event a bigger success every year, when we come to their city.” according to Kummerle. Local Asheville band Jar-E performed “Being involved with the creation and at the Rocket Club in West Asheville on evolution of this festival is extremely fulFriday night with Stephanie Morgan ac- filling to me because it also really allows companying on vocals. me to connect myself with all the aspects Jon Reid is lead singer and frontman that I love about the music world like perof Jar-E, currently on tour with Toubab formance, industry, organization, behind Krewe, and plays regularly with stepha- the scenes stuff and of course the stage,” niesîd. Kummerle said. “I thought (POPAsheville) was great,” Whether you are a starving musician said Reid, a graduate of Warren Wilson looking for the connections and exposure College said. “This was the second year to spread your craft, an industry profeswe’ve done it, and it just keeps getting bet- sional looking to spread your voice, or ter.” simply a fan looking for a crazy time on a In addition to a multitude of new musi- purple bus, POPAsheville is an event that cal talent, the fest featured tours of record- brings it all to the table. ing studios in Asheville. Industry profes“It’s all about the bus, man,” Reid said sionals led various workshops at Echo laughing. “We love the bus.”

Gadgets

transmitter cheaply and can have a device that plays mp3 files safely in their car without the worry of theft, Honeycutt said. “There’s going to be one or two items we’ll display that students, I promise you, have not seen, unless they’re über-geek,” he said.  Honeycutt even has a surprise for a few of the attendees.  “I think this particular one will be interesting,” said NCCCR assistant director, Denise Snodgrass. “He [Honeycutt] is very knowledgeable about all the different gadgets.”  Honeycutt has been working at UNCA for 26 years. Though the topic would interest the

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Torrents

“They don’t actively try to find downloaders, but the ports are blocked,” Barrett said. “Torrents and gaming both get blocked on the student network.” Kasean Kitson, a freshman at Appalachian State University, said that if a student is caught at ASU, officials take away their Internet the first time. “I’m really good at it. I’m doing it right now,” Kitson said while interviewed over the computer. “I don’t really have any money in case I do get caught, so I’m definitely scared.” At UNCA, Kimsey avoided trouble for downloading any music on campus. “It was a song that I had liked for over a year,” Kimsey said. “How they caught me was I was sharing my music. I just didn’t bother to turn off the sharing.” UNCA ultimately restored Kimsey’s Internet access, but not right away. “They just made me sign a piece of paper saying I wouldn’t do it again, and they warned me if I did do it again they’d permanently shut off my Internet as long as I was a student here at UNCA,” Kimsey

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Page 9

members of the Reuter Center, TGIF Lunch & Learn series welcomes people from all communities, including students and UNCA faculty members, Snodgrass said. “It’s designed for the members up here,” Honeycutt said. “But it’s open to anyone who wants to walk up the hill.”  TGIF Lunch & Learn series offers eclectic programs, according to Snodgrass, with a whole variety of topics open to the campus community.  Gadgets Aren’t Just For Geeks will be from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in the Chestnut Room 102A at the Reuter Center. Those attending can have lunch at the Reuter Café.

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said. “I’m just not going to download on campus anymore.” Karis Roberts, a sophomore at UNCA, said that some school officials are not so lenient. “I have gotten caught twice,” Roberts said. “They had my Internet shut off and I had to sign paperwork saying I would not do it anymore. Then I got caught again.” After a second downloading infraction at UNCA, the punishment is more severe, according to Roberts. “I have to go in front of the school council, and they will decide if I get my Internet next semester,” Roberts said. “I begged the right person, so I currently have [Internet access] for finals.” Sam Witherspoon, a junior at UNCA, said he gets most of his music from music blogs and is not afraid of getting caught. “I’m not scared because the music I download is usually extremely obscure,” Witherspoon said. “It’s usually someone who has the record, and they just make a recording of it or stuff like that for other people to have.”

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Sports Thursday,

January 29, 2009

Birth of “The Dog

Pound”

see page 12 {The Blue Banner}

Bulldogs rally past Presbyterian By Randi Kitts Staff Writer

rjkitts@unca.edu

UNC Asheville advanced to 9-11 overall and 5-4 in the Big South Conference with a 68-58 victory over Presbyterian College (8-12, 5-4) in front of a full Justice Center crowd. “We played great as a team the other night,” freshman guard Chris Stephenson said. “If we continue to play to the best of our ability, we could definitely cause a lot of trouble for our opposing teams in the Big South Tournament.” Sophomore forward John Williams and senior forward Reid Augst led the Bulldogs in scoring with 15 points each. Williams also dominated defensively, finishing with eight boards and five blocked shots. Travis Sligh and Bryan Bostic led the Blue Hose with 16 and 15 points respectively. Presbyterian center Al’Lonzo Coleman added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the game, his eighth of the season. “We kept a lot of pressure on the ball and were able to negate inside passes,” UNCA freshman forward Quinard Jackson said. “The team performed well enough to get the win, and that’s what is most important.” The home team scored the first seven points of the game, and held Presbyterian to just 14 before the Blue Hose went on a 14-3 run that cut the lead to four at the half. “We always allow teams to make runs on us towards the end of the first half,” freshman guard John Primm said. “That’s one thing that our team can definitely improve on.” Only down 32-28, Presbyterian came out strong in the second half as they went on a 9-0 run ending with a three-pointer from Bostic. “We missed a few rotations defensively, and gave them the opportunity to get back in the game after we had taken a big lead early,” junior guard Sean Smith said. Presbyterian found its rhythm as Sligh scored all 16 of his points in the second

Page 11

Sports Calendar Jan. 31 Men’s Basketball at Liberty Women’s Basketball v. Winthrop Tennis at ECU Track and Field at ETSU Feb. 1 Tennis v. Appalachian

Susan Terry -Staff Photographer

half. Sligh led Presbyterian as they went up 53-46 with less than eight minutes of play. “We could stand to be a bit more consistent throughout our games, because we had numerous chances to gain larger leads and, instead, we relaxed and continued to allow the other team to catch up or come close to coming back,” Jackson said. Ian Shannon - Staff Photographer UNC Asheville answered Top, forward John Williams glides through the air back with a 22-5 run to end past Blue Hose defenders for a dunk. Bottom, Wilthe game. The Bulldogs liams hovers for a block in the second half. also took advantage of free throws as they shot 90 percent from the straight contests starting on Feb. 7 with charity stripe and made their last six free a homecoming game against Charleston throw attempts. Southern. UNC Asheville junior forward Jason “With most of our upcoming games Ridenhour slammed a dunk to seal the being at home, I am relatively confident victory with 44 seconds left. that we will pull out some wins, because “If we continue to play hard and keep a it is hard for us to lose at home,” Stephenpositive attitude, as a whole, then we will son said. continue to win games,” Primm said. UNCA goes on the road for its next The Bulldogs face Liberty University two games but will come home for three Saturday at 7 p.m. in Lynchburg, Va.

Feb. 2 Men’s Basketball at VMI Feb. 7 HOMECOMING Men’s and Women’s Basketball v. Charleston Southern Tennis v. Kennesaw State Feb. 8 Tennis at Furman Feb. 9 Women’s Basketball v. Coastal Carolina Feb. 11 Men’s Basketball v. Gardner-Webb Tennis v. Wofford Feb. 12 Tennis at Western Carolina


Bulldogs enter a new era with energized fanbase Thursday, January, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

Page 12

By Ryan Burtner Staff Writer

rrburtne@unca.edu

“The Dog Pound”, one of the loudest sections at the Justice Center, fills to capacity these days. According to John “Frog” Schumacher, a UNC Asheville alumnus, that wasn’t always true, even after his freshman year in 2003. “My freshman year, we won the Big South tournament and went to the NCAA tournament, but the next two seasons were down years for the team and there were hardly any people going to the games,” Schumacher said. “I decided that we needed to support our school with school spirit because we didn’t have any, and I came up with the idea of starting a group focused on that called ‘The Dog Pound’.” The group attends home games and makes it a priority to attend away games as well, he said. “We always went to Winthrop and High Point and would travel as far as Liberty and Coastal,” he said. “We really just try and support the players because school spirit is very important for athletics.” He said having a good team last year helped raise fan support. “I don’t want to say I started the spike in crowd attendance, but I think if you put a good team on the court, fans are going to show up,” Schumacher said. “All the fan support now is a result of how the team played last year and even this year.” He said the athletics department also helped in the turn around when it labeled the student section “The Dog Pound.” “I’ll take any and all support from athletics, the school and anybody,” he said. “The main thing is home court advantage, because it’s so important. Do what you have to do and whatever it takes to fill those seats and be loud and rowdy.” Schumacher said center Kenny George, who is out this season with a foot injury, also contributed to the fan turnout. “Kenny George is a good friend of mine; I think he had a lot to do with it,” Schumacher said. “I was sad to hear what happened to him; we all miss him. But we can definitely attribute a lot of the support and rise in fan base last year to Kenny and because we were good.” Other star players, such as former guards K.J. Garland and Bryan Smithson, also played a big role, he said.

“Watching those three together was amazing and to witness that, I think anyone would pay,” he said. “That’s why we sold out every game last year.” Joe Phillips, a senior atmospheric sciences student, said he attended his first basketball game three and a half years ago because of Schumacher. He said he’s been going ever since. “I was hooked,” Phillips said. “From then on, I invited some people and it went from there.” He said that he helped start “The Dog Pound”, also known as Delta Phi. “We just wanted to go to basketball games and yell, and it eventually progressed into more people joining us, including the athletics department,” Phillips said. He said getting students to come to games is tough because UNCA is known more for their academics than athletics. “Asheville’s not really a sports-oriented school,” he said. “It’s based more on academics. But last year, we had a great season and more people started to show up. There was more involvement with the athletics department to get people to show up, and it was more entertaining because we were winning. But we were there in the beginning, when we weren’t winning very much.” Alex Seebeck, a senior environmental studies student, said he saw “The Dog Pound” as a chance to be more involved with the university. After joining, he felt more at home.

“I was a freshman when I met Frog and was really excited to get more involved with the school,” Seebeck said. “I felt more at home here and part of the university and all it had to offer.” He said that he noticed something was lacking from the games in those years. “You could show up to the games late and there would still be front row seats,” Seebeck said. “So we felt that we needed to be a part of it. We would get groups of people together, paint ourselves and just go Photos by Ian Shannon-Staff Photographer anywhere to support “The Dog Pound”erupts at a recent basketball game. the team.” He said that they their crowd acts,” Seebeck said. “Somemade it a point to attend all UNCA sports. times, if we can really get going, we can “We would go to baseball games, tennis silence a home court.” games, all the basketball games and even He said one of his most memorable mosoccer games,” Seebeck said. “We just ments traveling last year was at Winthrop. wanted to show them that they have stu“It was incredible and one of the most dents who support them and really enjoy jaw dropping experiences for me,” Seecoming out.” beck said. “Chanting ‘this is our house’ Seebeck said he loves traveling to visit during their homecoming is something I the stadiums from opposing schools. won’t forget. It’s fun because we always “I love going to other teams’ stadiums take the same intensity that we have at and seeing their environment, and how home games with us on the road.”


Campus Voice Thursday, January 29, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

Inflated grades sink education By Tom McLean Staff Writer

tjmclean@unca.edu

Students want the highest grades in school, but when students receive high grades without earning them, everyone loses. Grade inflation, as the name implies, results when professors inflate students’ grades for work not measuring up to standards. Data exists for private and public universities and their respective GPAs. Since the mid-1980s, a steady increase in GPAs exists in both types of schools, according to Stuart Rojstaczer, retired professor of Duke University and grade-inflation recorder. The main problem with grade inflation is that, while the student may receive high marks, they lack an actual education. A good education structures the mind in such a way that it can think critically, objectively and with purpose. College places the responsibility of education on the student rather than the instructor, so the student develops into a self-directed learner. If a student receives a higher grade than they deserved for their work, they certainly didn’t achieve their full potential. Higher grades motivate some students while others embrace complacency. Universities benefit from grade inflation because it makes the school appear more competitive than other schools. The higher grade places the student into a graduate school of their choice or lands the student a decent job. Do students attend college just for employment? If college represents nothing more than a requirement to earn a salary higher than a high-school graduate, then perhaps universities should continue grade inflation. But grade inflation must rise slowly so no one catches on.

Grade inflation not only hurts students getting an education, but it also covers up the best students. When grade inflation occurs, grades lump together on one side of the bell curve, according to Harvey C. Mansfield, professor at Harvard University. Exceptional students cannot be differentiated from poor students. Another problem with grade inflation centers on professors, according to Mansfield. Instead of having criteria for student performance, Mansfield argues professors care more about student evaluations. Some professors approach teaching from what students expect rather than having their own standards for the class. Grade inflation rests on more than one person’s shoulders. It resides in the collective consciousness of a people reaching for success in a difficult world. Economist E.F. Schumacher called education “the greatest resource.” If we arbitrarily inflate our resources, we are not using them efficiently. Truly excellent talent will go unutilized. A C grade represents average work. Because of our challenging world, students avoid a C at all costs. Let’s not forget about the dreadful D and F as well. Students avoid these grades because they limit options for graduate school and careers. Below-average grades sometimes bring out the best in students. A little failure goes a long way in showing students what they can accomplish, what they cannot and how much work a decent grade requires. If a student fails one assignment and passes the next, surely they learned something along the way. Instead of inflating a C to a B and a B to an A, which promotes complacency, giving a student the grade earned pushes

students into learning the material. Because grade inflation detracts from everyone’s education, recommendations exist for combating grade inflation. One way to fight grade inflation involves the faculty raising current standards for courses so students try harder in class, according to Consolacion L. Fajardo, professor of accounting at National University in California. Fajardo completed a study on grade inflation in 2004. Certainly this recommendation pushes students toward the goal of striving for education. Ending grade inflation also includes more communication between professors and departments, according to Fajardo. This open communication should include discussion about raising standards and grading policies. By looking at both grades and raised standards, professors see what separates excellence from average, which creates a fair grading system. With a fair grading system, students see their true potential. In deflating grades at National University, faculty met once a month for meetings and focused on standards in the classroom, according to Fajardo. The school also focused on higher standards by creating smaller class sizes. Employers can see who measures up best for a job by looking at a student’s actual grades, creating a stronger workforce. Students striving for success with professors who challenge them increase everyone’s potential. Everyone appreciates receiving an A for course work. But if we didn’t learn as much as possible or really earn the grade, then what’s the point? Maybe we want recognition for hard work, but we must remember true education never needs validation with a grade.

A good education structures the mind in such a way that it can think critically, objectively and with purpose.

Page 13

Questioning smokers is a real drag By Aaron Dahlstrom Editor-in-Chief

ardahlst@unca.edu

Over the Christmas break, a friend of mine posted an open question to smokers in a note on Facebook. The friend, a nonsmoker, wanted to know why, in light of the undeniable evidence of smoking’s health effects, young people still decided to light up. It’s a fair question. At 158,000 deaths a year, lung cancer kills more Americans than breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They estimate smoking causes about 90 percent of these deaths. And that’s just the lungs. Smoking ups the risk for cancer in nearly every organ of the body. Non-fatal risks include infertility, lower bone density in women and those yucky nicotine stains on your fingers. With the cards stacked so high against smoking, why would anyone play? Obvious answers abound. Peer pressure. Growing up in a smoking home. Rebellion. If only it were that simple. The question, “Why do you smoke if you know it can kill you?” misses the point. It narrows the psychological criterion for smoking to simple absolutes. Humans rarely make decisions based on absolutes. We like choices; we like to be individuals. The decision to become a smoker, or even take that first puff, it not arrived at lightly. Few New Year’s resolutions go, “This year is a good one to start smoking.” Yes, smoking kills. But a lot of things do. You could substitute “eat fast food,” “drive too fast,” or “have unprotected sex” in place of smoking, and the answer will probably be the same: all of these things CAN kill you, but probably won’t. At least not before something else does. The better question is “Why do people enjoy dangerous behavior?” Some people smoke their whole lives and never get cancer. Others never smoke a day in their lives and get cancer at 30.

See Smoking Page 14


Thursday, January 29, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

Page 14

U.S. firearm regulations gunning for trouble

Current gun laws need tightening to prevent further shootings By Patrick Zarcone Staff Writer

pwzarcon@unca.edu

The meaning of the Second Amendment has been one of the most bitterly debated issues for years. Many individuals claim the Second Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to own firearms. Others claim it is outdated, referring mainly the right of Americans to bear arms when forming a militia, something no longer relevant in this country. The actual text of the amendment states, “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Regardless of which interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution you prefer, and considering that the Land of the Sky Gun Show recently left town after a two-day stint at the Asheville Civic Center, there is one question that many people should ask themselves: Is it too easy to obtain firearms and ammunition in this country? While a variety of state and federal laws restrict who can purchase firearms and ammunition, as well as which kinds, these laws leave much room for improvement. It is extremely easy to buy guns and ammunition on the Internet, pawnshops and at events like gun shows.

Smoking

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Even in 2009, there remains a lot we don’t know about cancer. To many, it seems an unbeatable foe, like climate change, that is easier to accept or deny than to face. As we get older we discover a lot of what we learned in grade school was dubious, at best. Marijuana will ruin your life. The United States is always right. Not so. But at least we learned to take our vitamins and get plenty of exercise. That seemed like a good idea, until the results of a 10-year study published in the New York Times revealed vitamins C and E

There are literally hundreds of Web sites zmierczak to acquire a Glock 9 mm, Sig where visitors can purchase anything from Sauer .380, Hi-Point .380 and a Reming9 mm handguns to semiautomatic, assault- ton 12-gauge shotgun. He used them to style weapons like the AK-47 or AR-15. kill five students and wound another 18 at While these Web sites do not exist in or- Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ilder to make it easy for guns to get into the linois on Feb. 14. wrong hands, they do. According to a recent Esquire article, Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech stu- Kazmierczak spent time in a group home dent who gunned down 32 of his fellow for those with mental illnesses and spent students, perpetrated the worst mass killing most of his teenage years on various antiby a single gunman in depressants, even American history by The standard, “10 minutes!” attempting suicide purchasing two semitwice. automatic pistols, a you get from the local Chinese He also falsified Glock 19 and Walther restaurant when you call in an his Army applicaP22, from an online tion and spent time order should not also be the receiving weapons broker and a local gun shop. According to answer to the question, “So how training from the The Washington Post, military before oflong before I can walk out of ficials found out Cho is believed to have purchased the Walther this store with my new AK-47?” about his past isP22 online and picked sues and kicked it up at a pawnshop him out. near the campus. According to the article, since KazmiercThis occurred despite the fact that the zak had been out of the mental health system state of Virginia determined Cho to be men- for five years, he was able to successfully tally ill. A loophole present in Virginia law, apply for his firearms permit in Illinois. His and one that has since been closed, allowed background check came back clean. him to pick up the Walther P22 after a simBesides the mental health loopholes, ple background check at the pawnshop. He many states also have what is called the was also able to acquire the Glock a month “gun show loophole.” later at another weapons store. Gun shows, such as the Land of the Sky The problem in this instance was that Gun Show, only require background checks there was no state law requiring the gun for customers who are buying from Federal seller to confirm whether a customer had Firearms Licensed dealers. There is a loopbeen “adjudicated mentally defective,” the hole in the National Instant Criminal Backtechnical term contained in many state laws ground Check System that says no backmeant to prevent people like Cho from pur- ground check is required for those buying chasing weapons. guns from someone that does not have an A similar loophole allowed Steven Ka- FFL.

There are generally many people at gun shows who are prive traders and do not own a weapons business or an FFL and therefore do not need to perform checks on those who buy firearms from them. So, while someone with a criminal record or someone who has been institutionalized cannot legally buy a gun from an FFL dealer, they can easily make a purchase from a private seller at a gun show with no questions asked. Such occurrences should not happen. The existing mental health loopholes need to be closed and in addition, there should be background checks for all gun show purchases and the adoption of a one week (at least) waiting period when firearms purchases are made so that a thorough check can be performed. Although some might see this as a hindrance to their Second Amendment rights, the small inconvenience of waiting a week or so for a gun does not seem that huge when compared to the possibility of avoiding yet another tragedy. Any job seeker knows the background check an employer performs usually takes three to five days to complete. Why should someone making your Whopper or the person working the register at Ingles have had a more thorough background check than the person who just spent $800 on a rifle and a hundred rounds of ammunition? Americans have the right to own guns and it is a right that will not soon be taken away, nor should it. The right to own firearms, though, does not mean that purchasing them should be as easy as ordering takeout Chinese food or going through the drive-through at a fast food restaurant.

have no measurable effects on preventing cancer or heart disease. Vitamin A actually caused a nearly 50 percent increase in the risk for hip fractures according to a Harvard study, and multivitamins didn’t help the elderly avoid infections or visits to the doctor. Exercise isn’t even as healthy as it used to be. Again, the New York Times reported this month on federal studies producing evidence that exercise isn’t as effective in lowering blood pressure or cholesterol as once thought. Maybe we would all be healthier if we stopped reading the New York Times. Still, if the health benefits of vitamins and exercise have been oversold, couldn’t it be possible the health hazards of ciga-

Students can still load up on dessert at the cafeteria and buy 44-oz. soft drinks (with unlimited refills) from Highsmith, where the selection of healthy snacks is virtually non-existent. A true emphasis on student health would not only address these issues, but give students more information and choices. In the case of smoking, the health center should offer tobacco cessation products at a discounted rate so students could make their own decisions about smoking, with the university ready to lend a helping hand. It shouldn’t be the reasons people choose to smoke we concern ourselves with, but rather how can we help others, and ourselves, live happier and healthier.

rettes have, as well? Probably not, but the idea is feasible. Smoking should be illegal inside every public building and even a reasonable distance from the entrances. It should probably even be prohibited in most outdoor parks and recreation areas because of the lazy individuals who simply throw cigarette butts on the ground rather than throw them away. When the university decided to ban smoking on most of the campus, they acted out of genuine concern for student health. But by removing the choice of the individual, are they really promoting a healthy lifestyle? At some point, shouldn’t the student take responsibility?


Thursday, January 29, 2009

{The Blue Banner}

The Blue Banner’s View

New and improved The Blue Banner gets a facelift This semester marks a new era for The Blue Banner as we switch to a more compact tabloid format. As a result of reader feedback, the design change is intended to make the Banner more reader-friendly. A staff of more than 40 students will provide comprehensive campus coverage with an increased amount of supplementary stories, photos and videos available online at www.thebluebanner.net. Whether a student picks up a copy of the paper on the way to class or an alumnus reads the university news online, the Banner aims to be the primary forum for campus discussion and the premier portal for breaking news and in-depth reporting on news events, sports and the arts for the community. As always, the Banner encourages and

The

welcomes reader feedback. Readers questions, comments and concerns drove this semester’s changes in both design and coverage of campus events. The Banner, while objectively covering the news, also aims, through its editorial pages, to provide a balanced view of controversial issues surrounding campus and beyond. Whether conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, pro-business or pro-environment, all opinions have a place in this publication. In rocky economic times, a changing media landscape and a bright but uncertain future for UNC Asheville, the Banner aims to both reliably provide unrivaled campus coverage and promote critical discussion as UNCA and the community brave, new territory.

Blue Banner Editorial Board

Karpen Hall 019 (828) 251-6586 banner@unca.edu www.thebluebanner.net Aaron Dahlstrom, Editor-in-Chief

Emily Gray, Business Manager

Jonathan Walczak, Managing Editor

Cassidy Culbertson, Photo Editor

Pam Stringer, News Editor

Cassady Sharp, Assistant News Editor

Dylan Schepps, Arts&Features Editor Sam Hunt, Assistant Arts&Features Editor Greg Hicks, Sports Editor

Matt Starkey, Assistant Web Editor

s em t I Michael Gouge, Faculty u Adviser en ggs M E ic an ange g r R l/O publish e The Blue Banner is UNC Asheville’s student newspaper.caWe each Thursday re Lo F

Jason Herring, Design&Web Editor

Page 15

Changes in the new year bring changes from SGA Last semester the Student Government committed to several projects. This semester a few of the longer-term projects are still in the works, but many more will be taken on, and we, your Student Government Association, hope to make as big a difference as possible. As a member of the Student Affairs Committee, I can reliably speak about our specific projects and goals, but as a Senator, I can tell all of you that many people worked tirelessly on many different student concerns. Committees are kind of a work-horse for most of the things that we do; these committees meet weekly so that SGA stays up to date on the most important current affairs. In the Student Affairs Committee last semester we dealt with one such affair: the new smoking policy instituted in January. Originally, smoking would have been banned almost everywhere on campus except for the few designated areas next to the residence halls and outside of the University Heights loop. Petitions were gathered, meetings were held, and just when we thought we’d have to take it a step further, several members of SGA were invited to meet with the administration. According to Dr. Haggard, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, the change in the stance of this administration policy was “unprecedented.” Yet we now have the policy that is in place; people can smoke in the gazebo and in a few other areas around campus which were once banned. Although this compromise is something we are grateful for, it is not everything we asked. The work of Student Government ultimately affects all students. Whether it

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awbumgar@unca.edu

is smoking, tuition fee increases, official policy or a few special events, we cannot do our jobs without student support and input. The students who were willing to consider our petition made a large difference. Even though everyone’s busy, I encourage all students to take a moment and reflect on your UNCA experience. What do you want done differently? Are there any issues that deserve more attention? Do you have any ideas that would help other students, now or sometime in the future? There can be no change if no one is willing to stand up and fight for their rights or their beliefs. This community is a special one, and in order to preserve UNCA’s unique character, I urge all of you, no matter what opinion you may have, to speak out, participate and to be more than the great number of voices drowned out by the winds of apathy. Student Government is not simply those individuals who were elected into office; it is as it says a government of the students. To contact student government: www.unca.edu/sga Highsmith Student Union Room 249 sga@unca.edu 828-251-6685

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• Free Range Eggs except during summer sessions, finals week and holiday breaks. Our office is located in • 10% off with UNCA ID Karpen Hall 019. • Juice/Smoothie Bar The Blue Banner is a designated forum for free speech and welcomes letters to the editor, considering them on basis of interest, space and timeliness. Letters and articles should be e-mailed to banner@unca.edu. They should be signed with the writer’s name, followed by year in school, major or other relationship to UNCA. Include a telephone 640 Merrimon Ave, Suite 102 • www.risenshinecafe.com • 828-254-4122 number to aid in verification. All articles are subject to editing. Open Monday - Saturday, 7:30am – 2:00pm, Open Sunday, 9am-2pm


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The Blue Banner  

The first redesign issue of The Blue Banner, the newspaper for The University of North Carolina Asheville.

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