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Letter from the editor

Elon Edge Staff executive staff

Our campus, our generation has finally found its voice. The youth has spearheaded protests and riots in Egypt, London, New York and here on Elon University’s campus. The people in this newsroom have spent a lot of time talking about how it seems the campus has become noisier in the past semester, with new organizations starting, students speaking up about injustices on campus and the university hosting regular open discussions on diversity and student policy.

rebecca smith elon edge editor

While many people on this campus have made their voice heard, there are still many people

“My New Year’s resolution is to not be jobless and homeless by this time next year.”

who need help finding their voice. It is a responsibility of this community to help people outside Elon’s brick walls. The Centre for New North Carolinians has three locations in Greensboro where refugees live and are offered services to help them acclimate to the United States so they can find a place they feel at home. The Immigration Clinic at the Elon School of Law also provides services for local refugees. Law students give voices to families that have been torn apart by war and civil unrest. Taking a moment to help someone else find their voice is important. It does not matter if you agree with their opinion, but it is vital that as many people as possible are confident enough to demand what is right. It is not just people fleeing their home country who need help finding

kristen case design chief

their voice, the Elon community is also being silenced. A recent charge against a student for a comment that was published in The Pendulum has led this organization to wonder why the

“My New Year’s resolution is definitely to sleep more. I need that.”

university feels the need to limit the open dialogue provided by campus media. As the new year begins, this organization has one New Year’s resolution — for everyone to have the right to find their own voice and to feel safe sharing it with the community. Elon has always called itself a family, but without a sense of safety and comfort, can that really be true?

Rebecca Smith heather cassano photo editor

“My New Year’s resolution is to travel everywhere I want, but keep my budget.”

About Elon Edge Sometimes a new outlet is needed on campus, Elon Edge is an opportunity for the staff of The Pendulum to create a different avenue for students’ voices to be heard. It aims to bring the best photography, design and writing together in one magazine. While it sits inside the The Pendulum, it is not a newspaper. With a varied student population, there needs to be varied ways to learn about the happenings of this campus and the local community. The Swing, The Pendulum’s webcast, and Elon Edge, help transform The Pendulum to be more than a newspaper, but a news organization.

eva hill copy chief

With a new year, there will be many new editions of Elon Edge. If you are interested in working for this publication contact the new Special Projects Editor, Kate Riley, at

“My New Year’s resolution is to be more alternative.”


wednesday, december 7, 2011

Elon Edge Staff


copy editors edith veremu rebecca iannucci

Bringing a voice and holiday cheer.................................... pg. 4-5

kate riley

Student Profile...................................................................... pg. 6

katy steele

Do’s & Don’ts....................................................................... pg. 7

contributing writers

Fleeing Home.................................................................... pg. 8-9

julia sayers

Wishing in the New Year..................................................... pg. 10

eric dinkins

Four Fashionable Styles for 2012.................................. pg. 11-15 It Could Be Worse.............................................................. pg. 16 Four Your Consideration: Holiday Survival........................... pg. 16

kristin martin audrey horwitz jessica petrocchi rebecca smith photographers alexandra johnston julia sayers kaitlyn winston michelle wilco models alison ryncarz elizabeth amonette kacey stark

pg. 4-5

pg. 7

lauren hansen sergio ingato

anna johnson editor-in-chief

pg. 10

pg. 16

“My New Year’s resolution is to interview a warlord.”

wednesday, december 7, 2011


er e h c y a d i , hol e c i o v julia sayers a g n i g n i Br

When most people think of the holidays, they think of the smell of gingerbread, brightly

wrapped presents and quality time with family. While not everyone has the same traditions, people from all different cultures gather to celebrate the season together. The Center for New North Carolinians in Greensboro is a center with three locations for refugees: Avalon, Glen Haven and Oakwood. This is one way volunteers, including Elon University students, are helping the local community find a home and a voice, just in time for the holidays.

Glen Haven The main cultures represented at Glen Haven are Bhutanese, Nepalese,

Burmese and Vietnamese. The center holds an annual Christmas party. René Haile, Glen Haven Community Center coordinator, said the purpose of the

party is to celebrate the season, thank the volunteers who helped during the semester and give the children at the center a present.

“This year at Glen Haven, we are doing stockings for the kids so we can

give them both necessities, like toothbrushes, and wants, like marbles and small gift cards,” Haile said.

Guilford College provides and stuffs the stockings. At the party, pizza,

snacks and hot chocolate are served, by a church group that supports the center. All volunteers also receive a thank-you gift for their service.

To prepare for the holiday season and party, the kids of the center make

Christmas decorations on Fun Fridays, a program offered by Glen Haven where kids can do arts and crafts.

“We also try to attend the various cultural celebrations that are held

around this time, such as the Karen (an ethnic group of Burma) church’s Christmas program,” Haile said.

There are many different religious groups represented

at Glen Haven, which in�luences how each group celebrates the holidays. In Burma, the main religion is Buddhism, but

Christianity and Islam are also popular. In Burma, Christmas is called Hkarissamat nei. Traditionally,

Buddhists do not celebrate Christmas. The

Karen ethnic group is Christian and attends

church on Christmas. In Greensboro, there is a Karen Christian church which many Glen Haven members attend, Haile said.


wednesday, december 7, 2011


Oakwood The Oakwood center is predominately Hispanic. Volunteers are involved in every

aspect from tutoring the children and educating the adults to planning fun activities like Christmas celebrations.

“The volunteer program brings the Oakwood community together; it’s just such a

great relationship to have volunteers that come in from schools, to help underprivileged people and the volunteers learn, and the underprivileged people learn, and they’re

able to form a relationship over it,” said Jason Straus, AmeriCorps Volunteer. “Without

programs like this, a lot of families would be on their own. It just kind of brings everyone

together and that’s just a great experience to be a part of. The families gain so much from the help of volunteers because it allows the refugees to �ind themselves. ”

These volunteers work to help refugees follow their own holiday traditions and

keep a sense of home. Most Mexican Catholic children don’t believe in Santa, but instead

believe that the Three Wise Men bring their gifts. They get a present from each wise man

on January 6. They also attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, having a Christmas feast and exchanging gifts, according to

It is also important for the volunteers help refugees acclimate to North Carolina. One

service provided is teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) educational classes. ESL classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday.

“It helps moms want to go out into the community more,” said Kat Chesney, ESL

volunteer teacher. “When there is such a language barrier, I feel like they want to stay in their safety net, within the trailer park. This is important to help them gain con�idence


and a voice.”

Countries represented at Avalon are the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia. While many people have their own cultural

celebrations, those at Avalon tend to also celebrate the way Americans do.

“Their understanding of American holidays is very minimal, but by nature of trying to inculcate American culture, they’ll try to celebrate Christmas however

they can,” Haile said.

Part of this may be because of the in�luence the American schools have on the refugee children. Haile said the children are taught about the holidays and

traditions at the schools they attend in the United States.

For example, the volunteers help the refugees celebrate the American New Year and their own New Years. Many countries have a different new year, which

doesn’t fall on Jan. 1.

There are several volunteers at Avalon. Chad Camp leads English for Speaking of Other Languages (ESOL) class at Avalon, which he has taught for three years.

Students, many of them older adults, gather to learn English and American culture twice a week. The goal of the this program, just like all of the

programs, are to create a sense of self-suf�iciency.

“Seeing people �ind jobs and be self-

suf�icient, which is the goal, seeing

them take control is the greatest

reward,” Camp said. “You see so much

growth. They’re the best students in the


wednesday, december 7, 2011


llen u M n h o J

Two different career paths, one distinct voice, future

eric dinkins


Mullen found his passion in two different majors: music performance and education.

John Mullen began his Elon

University career like most of us

do: a freshman with an undeclared major and uncertainty about what he wanted to accomplish in the

following four years. That lasted for about a week.

Mullen is pursuing a double

major in music performance and

education. These two majors helped him �ind his voice, especially music,

Other majors that Mullen had

considered were architecture and

music just like anyone else.

“We have a good business school,

Mullen said. “But if you’re a musician

But that was before he talked to

performing, he enjoys listening to Some of Mullen’s favorite

Mullen claims that it’s not only

Chili Peppers.

Mullen’s favorite type of

experience as well.

music is constantly changing.

you have these experiences and

you’re playing at the time,”

opportunities, and it changes who

you are,” Mullen said. “All you are is a

“I think it’s always the one

he said.

Mullen isn’t focused

to talk about drum sets, when

who represented the United States

wednesday, december 7, 2011

the music itself.

“Being a part of an ensemble,

way of connecting,” Mullen said.

passions of music and

out of his Global Experiene class to

whether they are with the people or

Stones, Reel Big Fish and the Red Hot

Buddy Rich, The Beatles, The Rolling

groups touring across Europe, one of

instruments. Mullen was even pulled

take from music are the connections,

yourself, and it’s really beautiful.”

something, it’s a big way to express

jazz vibraphone player.

they started working with other

the most important things you can

being apart of a group of people — in

solely on music. He has

Mullen sat down with Metzger

But Mullen said he believes that

musicians include Milt Jackson,

culmination of your experiences.”

music here at Elon, and a professional

right in.”

you have the chance to make

“If you work hard enough

Jon Metzger, an associate professor of

When Mullen isn’t in the

so I thought about majoring in that”

before college, and jazz, but I wanted Mullen said.

universal,” Mullen said.

practice room or traveling the globe

about the music, but it’s about the

to learn more about Mallet stuff,”

to each other, but the music is


where he found a universal language. “I played a lot of rock drum set


partake in Jazz ensemble.

Mullen has traveled with two

those being the Elon Jazz Ensemble, by performing at the American consulate in Germany.

“We couldn’t speak one word

plans to combine his two teaching.

“I want the experience

of playing so that I can

apply it to my teaching,”

he said. “I don’t want to just jump

a classroom or in a band — is just a

Winter Term do’s&don’ts

audrey horwitz


Students take the Polar Bear Plunge into Lake Mary Nell.



Get to know the people in your class You’ll be with the for three hours, �ive days a week, so you might as well make some friends.

Spend money that could be used for your future — or vacation Santa probably forgot some things on your wish list, but don’t spend all your money at once. Fake break trips are expensive.

Make the most of your free time Fall and spring semesters can be overwhelming, but Winter Term is a bit of a reprieve from all the hustle. So go see a $3 movie at Graham Cinema. Go ice skating. Take a road trip.

Waste your time missing your friends who are abroad They’ll be back in a month, go to lunch with the friends you make in your class instead of bemoaning your lack of a lunch-buddy.

Have a snowball �ight Treat each snow day like a holiday. When else do you get a Smith Jackson email that makes you smile?

Sleep all day If you have a class at 1:30 p.m., don’t roll out of bed 15 minutes before it starts. If you’re hibernating for too long, you may spark the next ‘missing student’ email and social media craze.

Take the Polar Bear Plunge in Lake Mary Nell This is the only time you’re allowed in the lake, so you might as well take advantage of it. One piece of advice, though — don’t think too hard about what’s in the lake.

Miss out on Winter Term’s unique intramurals Winter Term is great for lazy days spent eating, but try a new sport like dodgeball, arena football, kickball or bowling, which are only offered for three weeks. You may just �ind a hidden talent.

Help someone else Use your extra holiday cash for the charity you’ve always admired, it may just give someone a new voice.

Forget to celebrate the new year According to the ancient Mayan prophecy, Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of the world. Better make this year count.

wednesday, december 7, 2011


Fleeing home

Elon volunteers give a voice to refugees and help reunite familes rebecca smith

Not far from campus there are people who are fighting to see their family members again and trying to prove to the American government that they are legally married to their spouse without speaking any English. Students at the Elon School of Law have been volunteering with a clinic in Greensboro to provide a voice for these refugees. It has been years since they have seen

each other, but they aren’t strangers. They are a family: a wife, a husband, a son or a

daughter. They have been separated because

of a con�lict, a war or a poltiical disagreement. After uncertainty about when and if they

would ever be able to reunite again, they are hugging and planning their future together. Reunions like these happen because of

students and professors who volunteer at Elon


wednesday, december 7, 2011

Law’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic. A local family reunites

Recently, Victor and Louis Messan, a

Goldsboro couple, were reunited with their six children after being separated for four years. The Messans lived in the Togo, a country in

West Africa, before civil unrest started. While the parents worked with the immigration

clinic, the children stayed in Benin, a

neighboring country, until their visas were approved.

Andrew Haile, the Humanitarian Law

Clinic’s immigration counselor, has worked on the case for the last two years.

“Victor was the petitioner in this situation

and he was a political refugee that had been

prosecuted by the Togolese government,” Haile said.

Victor and Louise

moved to the United

States with the promise they could �ile and

bring over their kids, Haile said.

“They didn’t

speak English or

“It was my �irst time seeing a family being

reunited,” Gosney said. “He just seemed so

happy to be back together with his family. It was a really inspiring moment.”

Working to bring families home “One of the most unfortunate facts of life

know anything about

for refugees is that they get separated from

getting some sort of

that they are in, but they have to leave their

immigration law,” Haile said. “This is where

legal representation

is so important. Elon

did an admirable job of stepping up and �illing the void of low cost

immigration services for refugees.”

The case was

originally �iled with Lutheran Family

Services, a non-pro�it in the triangle. When

the Greensboro of�ice closed, Elon brought

several of the workers from LFS to it’s law

school’s immigration clinic. The Messan

case lasted two years. The case was held up because of �iles being misplaced, Haile said. “In this particular case the law students

didn’t really have a big role,” Haile said. “The

case had already been �iled and the request for evidence had been taken care of by the time we got to the new clinic. We didn’t get this

case to the students, but we have lots of other cases where the students do interviews with clients, �ile petitions and handle requests for evidence.”

Two Elon Law students, Kat Gosney and

Lion To, who volunteer at the immigration

clinic were present when the Messan family

family members along the way,” Haile said.

“They are able to escape the horrible situation family members behind.”

Under United States immigration law,

refugees and those under political asylum can �ile a petition during the �irst two years for their spouse and children under 21.

Once a refugee �iles a petition, it normally

takes a couple months for immigration

to process it and then issue a request for

evidence. At that point people at clinics, like

the immigration clinic at Elon School of Law,

will sit down with the client and brainstorm as much evidence as possible.

“Immigration cases are really needy and

involved,” Haile said. “You have to show a

marriage certi�icate and birth certi�icates

and photographs and religious records. The challenging thing is many of these refugees �led the country without these.”

Some types of evidence that the clinic

tries to �ind are money transfers, receipts and

photographs of them together. The workers at the immigration clinic also try to �ind people

in America to �ill out a sworn af�idavit, where they promise that this couple was married. The fastest case Haile has seen is nine

months and the cases can last for two or three years. There is a spread sheet devoted to

Family Reuni�ication that lists 85 bene�iciaries, which is upwards of 30 families, who are

being represented by the clinic right now. Most of these families are from an African country.

Many of the workers at the clinic are from

the Elon School of Law. There are 10 students who regularly volunteer, two full-time

paralegals and one full-time attorney at the clinic.

“The immigration is part of the law school

and students can choose to work there as

part of their courseload,” Gosney said. “We get credit for volunteering here. We get to work

on family reuni�ication cases, as well as other

cases like adjustment of status paperwork and citizenship. I wanted a chance to work in a

real clinic, I wanted to get to work with people and it is amazing to see what the clinic can do, for example, what happened with the Messan family.”

Ethiopia Chad Sudan Democratic Republic of Congo Cuba Cote D’Ivoire Uganda Ghana Kenya Burma Yemen Countries served by Elon School of Law Immigration Clinic Nepal South Africa


wednesday, december 7, 2011


Wishing in the New Year There are high hopes for the coming year – faculty, staff and students shared their wishes for Elon and their personal New Year’s resolutions. What is your New Year’s wish for Elon this year? “My wish for Elon is that our reputation will continue to grow nationwide even as we take care to hold onto what has made us a unique community all along: a place where faculty encounter students not just as minds to inform but also hearts to inspire.”

“That the university becomes an even more progressive and diverse place, and where an integrative General Studies curriculum might flourish.” – Ken Hassell ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ART


“My New Year’s wish for Elon is twofold: a very successful year for our two basketball teams and a safe and happy experience for all of our students who travel abroad this year.”

“As dean of Admissions, my professional New Year’s wish is always the same – and that is for a full freshman class!” – Greg Zaiser DEAN OF ADMISSIONS


What is your New Year’s resolution for yourself? “To play tennis at least once a week and improve my skill level.” – Jana Lynn Patterson ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT LIFE

“My youngest child is graduating from high school in 2013, and my parents are in their 80s. I feel time flying like never before. My resolution is to make this year as special as possible for my immediate family while continuing to expand my circle of connections globally and locally and sharing high-value interactions.”



wednesday, december 7, 2011

“For my New Year’s resolution, I will learn to play a Rolling Stones song on the mandolin and I am open to suggestions...” – Max Negin ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

“My New Year’s resolution for myself is to enjoy the rest of my time at Elon and create as many new memories as possible before graduation.” – Sam Warren SGA EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT

kristin martin

Four Fashionable Styles for 2012

Start 2012 off right with a gold or black sparkly number that will keep all eyes on you for the night.

The safari look is going to be big in the new year. Neutral colors in highly stuctured fabrics with lots of buttons, collars and layering are a must.

Tone down your look this spring by pairing pastels with light colored neutrals, such as cream and beige.

Don ’t varia be afraid tions t of te o mix o xture r , col al prints or an t d pa his sprin g. ttern is en Playing cour w aged ith .

Styled by Alexandra Johnston. Photos by Alexandra Johnston and Kaitlyn Winston. Models: Alison Ryncarz, Elizabeth Amonette, Kacey Stark, Lauren Hansen and Sergio Ingato.

it could be worse Than bailing on all social events and studying rebecca smith ... because the 25 Days of Christmas, including all the Harry Potter movies, is on TV. Than looking like a homeless person in order to stay warm. Bring on the Uggs, leggings and extra large sweatshirts, especially if you have an 8 a.m. Winter Term class.

Than having to pretend to talk on the phone to avoid being harassed by people at the Moseley tables ... just remember that moment, when people do the same to you.

{ {


Than giving up on your New Year’s resolutions before 2012 even starts - let’s be real, you were never going to give up Acorn cookies.


Than making fun of reality TV stars on a regular basis ... and then rushing home to see the latest episode of Kim and Kourtney Take New York.

Than being more concerned with planning your future wedding on Pintrest, than going out and finding your future groom. If your wedding is perfect, who looks at the groom anyway?

Than having yourself featured on @OnlyAtElon #OnlyAtElon #sorrynotsorry #firstworldproblems



your consideration

Remember when you were little and holidays were simple? That is no longer the case, but here are tips for surivival jessica petrocchi

Dealing with family

Eating too much

What is your major? What will you be doing this summer? Are you dating anybody? These are all questions any college student will be asked. Whether you have an internship lined up, the best boyfriend or girlfriend in the world or you are still undeclared and can’t remember what it’s like to go on a date, just be confident. If you’re happy they’ll be happy for you, even if you haven’t quite figured out your life yet.

Seeing your high school friends For some, this is a huge reason for stress, but it shouldn’t be. College can change people. It is not always for the best, but often times it is. People at college come back home and understand there is so much more out there than that small group of friends they used to have, especially during their freshman year. While it’s not true for everyone, most people gain a sense of maturity in college that carries over into their home life — take advantage of that. Ask your friend from junior year who you had a falling out with to have lunch and catch up. You might be pleasantly surprised.


Candy canes, eggnog, ham, sweet potato pie, cranberry sauce and hot chocolate are just a few of the treats you’ll be given over break. The holiday are the best time overeat because the selection is top-notch, and the food is just too tempting to pass up. But remember that old gym you used to work out in during high school? There couldn’t be a more perfect time to revisit those high school sports memories.

Buying gifts for everyone.

Being in college often goes hand in hand with having very little money, unless you are one of the lucky few with a job. You have brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, aunts, boyfrieds, girlfriends and regular friends to buy gifts for, not to mention those three different Secret Santa groups you were pulled in to. This is why holiday sales will be your best friend, especially online. Also, here at Elon, there are so many discount stores and craft supply stores, that you can piece together cheap and creative gifts. Your friends and family will never know you got your gifts for so little.

Elon Edge, Issue 6  

Elon Edge: Raise Your Voice

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