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VOL. 59, I SSUE 6

War in Iraq to end in near future



President Obama shakes hands with America’s soldiers. Credit: Associated Press By

Keona Prude

Mounting over eight years, more than $1.3 trillion spent, over 4,400 military members killed and 32,000 plus soldiers wounded, President Barack Obama declared that the US troops “will definitely be home for the holidays,” and the war in Iraq will be over by the end of the year. “…our troops in Iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home,” Obama said. Sophomore journalism major Anthony Irabor is excited to know that his cousin will be home for the holidays after a full tour ,1 year, in Iraq, and his aunt after serving three years of her

life in Iraq. “I feel like it’s been a long time coming,” Irabor said. “After we realized that the war was irrelevant, finding out that the troops are coming home erases the dark cloud that was over our heads.” The announcement has been made and will be followed with pulling out nearly 40,000 troops and bring them home. Among 150-200 troops left in Iraq as part of embassy security is the Defense Attaché’s Office and Office of Security Cooperation. Although a common practice, it is still a threat to American troops as bombings and other violent acts are expected to occur.

The US occupied Iraq in March of 2003after reports that Iraq was mounting weapons of mass destruction, which has since been discredited. Since the invasion, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and more recently, Moammar Gadhafi have been executed. All in all, Americans can feel a sense of relief knowing that the soldiers in Iraq will be coming home. “The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing the American people stand united in our support for our troops,” Obama said.

Blacks develop high blood pressure faster than whites Keona Prude

African-Americans with prehypertension (blood pressure ranging between 120/80 mm Hg and139/89 mm Hg) can develop high blood pressure faster than Caucasians by one year, according to research report the Journal of the American heart Association. According to health records of 18,865 adults, blacks with prehypertension have a 35 percent



greater chance of progressing to high blood pressure than whites. “The fact that African-Americans progress faster to hypertension has a direct link to the higher prevalence of hypertension and its complications, such as stroke and kidney disease, in blacks than whites,” Anbesaw Selassie, Dr.P.H., lead researcher and an - Story continued on p. 3


Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Cheryl Benton visited Norfolk State to inform students about the Bureau of Public Affairs and how it affects students and young people directly. “Our mission is to communicate the foreign policy priorities of the president and the secretary as well as the secretary’s initiatives,” said Benton. Benton’s role in State Department is that of domestic outreach and educating citizens. She has a public liaison group that conducts foreign policy briefings and brings students and society members into the State Department to brief them on their priorities. “What I set out to do in my agenda was to bring in those segments of the community that are our natural allies but we’ve never reached out to them,” said Benton. “If we want to connect as the government or as leaders then we have to meet people where they are.” Benton made it a priority to have four major press conferences to reach out to diaspora communities. They have now doubled that amount and continue to have more conferences. An annual conference reaches out to HBCU’s. Last year, 350 students attended a conference where they discussed policy priorities from around the globe, including Africa and China. Benton also expressed her concern about students being aware of how - Story continued on p. 3

SPARTAN ECHO • Norfolk State University • 700 Park Ave • Norfolk, VA 23504 • NEWSROOM: 757.823.8562 • E-MAIL:

Spartan Opinion


editors Keshara cox Editor-in-Chief

Bethany cartwright Managing Editor

Keona prude News Editor

Troy Muenzer Sports Editor

Anthony gordon Multimedia Editor

QuamĂŠ Hamlin Entertainment Editor

Andre B. Tillman Graphic Design / Layout Editor


3 foreign policy

Spartan News



- Continued from p. 1


foreign policy affects their everyday lives. “We are at the mercy of the global market,” said Benton. “What happens in another country’s economy does affect our own.” She believes that if students want an advantage in a global economy, they should consider having a more multicultural experience such as studying abroad and foreign exchange. In Nov. 2009, President Barack Obama initiated the “100,000 Strong” initiative, which encourages students to study abroad in China. According to Benton, the Economic and Cultural Affairs Bureau organizes 90% of student exchanges.

• Reduce the amount of salt in your food. • Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. • Be physically active (after talking with your doctor). Local pharmacies have testing machines to check the status of your blood pressure. Credit: Anthony Gordon

BLOOD PRESSURE, continued from pg 1 epidemiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston said in a press release. Previous research has shown a higher more prevalent relation between coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure with blacks as opposed to whites. “From my observations, black people are more into fat-fast food as opposed to white people, who are more concerned about health and well-being,” said junior electronics technology major Derron McDuffie. Other factors, such as systolic blood pressure (130-139), age and weight are


strongly associated with a quicker conversion to high blood pressure. Also, having type-2 diabetes can be a factor. Edward D. Frohlich, M.D., Alton Ochsner Distinguished Scientist at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, La., believes the greater dietary intake of salt of African-Americans may be an explanation for the high blood pressure prevalence. Lifestyle changes are important to reduce the risk of high blood pressure for people with prehypertension. The report stated changes such as “physical activity, a diet high in fruits and vegetables but low in salt and fat

and moderate alcohol consumption.” “I believe that not only are our diets a major factor, but our economic situations can lead us to high blood pressure as well,” said senior health service management major Brittany Parker. The study proposes a tough need for more “aggressive early interventions” and changes in lifestyle for blacks with hypertension. “I firmly believe that without early therapeutic interventions such as medication, we cannot narrow the gap between blacks and whites on these outcomes,” said Selassie.

• Quit smoking (and avoid other people’s smoke). • Maintain normal blood sugar levels. • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels. • Limit alcohol intake. source:

Virginia improves high school graduation rates

By Keona Prude

Virginia schools have increased their graduation rates again. According to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) 2011 statistics reports, the on-time graduation rate for Virginia high schools rose to 86.6 percent, one point higher than last year. This could mean a spike in applications and enrollment for institutions of higher learning like Norfolk State University. The on-time graduation rate is the percentage of students who began the ninth grade during the 2007-2008 school-year and received their Board of Education-approved diploma in the four years. “A one-point increase in the graduation rate means that nearly 1,000 more young Virginians are beginning their adult lives with the diploma they need to pursue further education

Overall, Lake Tyler High School anticipates a 21.2 percent graduation rate Credit: Anthony Gordon

and training or entry-level job,” said Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“I believe the rates have improved because graduates have gone back to their high schools and motivated the students and have been a support system for them,” said senior English major Kamilah Rose. Since 2008, the on-time graduation rate has increased by 4.5 points, and in 2011, 55 percent of graduates received advanced studies diplomas. Junior business marketing major, Chenese Brickhouse said “… more teachers are trying to be more hands on and involved by helping students overcome academic obstacles.” Since 2008, the on-time graduation rate for African-American students has risen 6.3 points. “It seems like African-American students

are breaking the barrier,” said senior music education major Brittany Simmons. “More of us are actually letting the world know that we can do it, too.” Dropout rates have declined statewide by a one point decrease. “I feel like it’s a great thing [that] more students are graduating from high school [ontime] because it shows that students are starting to realize the seriousness of education,” said Simmons. “The Board of Education will continue to hold high schools accountable for graduation as the commonwealth implements even more rigorous standards in English and mathematics designed to increase collegeand-career readiness,” said Board President Eleanor B. Saslaw.


Spartan Sports


Men’S croSS-coUnTry WinS THeir 4TH STrAigHT MeAc By Troy MuenZer

Credit: Jerry Altares

SpArTAn BASKeTBAll TipS off MeAc plAy THiS WeeKenD By Troy MuenZer

Credit: Jerry Altares

The Norfolk State men’s cross country team raced through the MEAC championships at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for their fourth straight MEAC title. The Spartans won their 11th title in 12 years as they posted 30 points to defend their title as champions. Led by senior Joesef Tessema, six Spartans finished among the top 15 competitors as the team averaged 26:18.80 on the 8K course. Tessema was the first to cross the finish line out of 88 runners to win the race in a time of 25:24.73 to carry the Spartans to victory. For his efforts, he earned “Outstanding Performer” accolades, while head coach Kenneth Giles earned “Men’s Cross Country Outstanding Coaching” honors for the 11th time in his career. Tessema spent his summer training hard in Ethiopia to prepare for his last

cross-country season, but throughout the season has battled through an iliotibial band injury, a common injury to the thigh and generally associated with running. Other All-MEAC finishers include first-year sophomore Nathnael Meseret (26:22.49) who finished in fifth place, junior Vincent Rono (26:25.75) in sixth place, senior Amos Kipkosgei (26:32.74) in eighth place, and senior Philemon Kimutai (26:48.55) who finished in tenth place to round out the top 10. Sophomore Damtew Adnew (26:48.55) crossed the finish line in thirteenth place. “We have been doing great as a team this season. Everybody came back this fall in good shape and that is what has helped us to do well,” said Tessema. “We still need to work really hard to do better at regionals and hopefully make it to the NCAA championships.”

Norfolk State University men’s and women’s basketball teams have home games this week before hosting conference foes Dec. 3 and 5 in Joseph Echols Hall. The Spartan women host William & Mary at 6 p.m. on Nov. 28, looking to pick up a win going into conference play this weekend. Norfolk State will tip-off against MEAC foes Savannah State and South Carolina State Friday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 5 in Joseph G. Echols Hall. On Friday, the game starts at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday. The Spartans were selected to finish 13th in the preseason conference poll, released in October, while Savannah State was selected to finish 11th and South Carolina State to finish ninth. “Our team can improve in every aspect of the game. We are really focusing on becoming a defensive threat and improving our different defenses to stop other teams, ” said Trice. On the men’s side, the Spartans will host Elizabeth City State on Nov. 30 at

7 p.m. in Joseph G. Echols hall before opening up MEAC play after the women on December 3 to take on Savannah State. Norfolk State began their season with a tough road game at Marquette and a home game versus Randolph College before playing in the 2011 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The Spartans returned to Norfolk for a match up with Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 27. The Spartan men have been preseason ranked fourth in the MEAC, but have higher expectations with a returning veteran team to go after the MEAC championship title. Senior center Kyle O’Quinn was selected as the MEAC men’s basketball “Preseason Player of the Year” Both the men and women’s basketball teams will be on the road next weekend for games on Dec. 11, when the men take on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg at 4 p.m. and the women take on Longwood in Farmville at 2 p.m.


Spartan Sports

SpArTAnS looKing for reVenge AT UMeS on friDAy


The team huddles around Assistant Bowling coach Aundary Darden to establish their formations as they head into the 2011-12 season ranked 15th in the preseason National Tenpin Coaches Association.


By Troy MuenZer The Norfolk State Women’s Bowling team will be competing at the MEAC Southern Divisional on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 at 8 a.m. in Sumter, South Carolina as they seek to defend last year’s title. The Spartans will have to conquer five other teams, including North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State to win the title. Sophomore Thea Aspiras is looking to lead the team to victory again this year. Aspiras has been bowling since she was five years old and attributes her success to be the support from family. “My parents have always been there for me, pushing me through my limits,” said Aspiras. Aspiras immediately impacted the team as a freshman, as she became Norfolk State’s first ever All-American athlete and one of only three freshmen nationally to win All-American accolades. “I expect us as a team to finish first at

the finals and all of the tournaments that are coming and make another great history for Norfolk State University,” said Aspiras. Senior Chelsea Krall returns as last year’s “Most Improved Playe”r and a member of the MEAC All-Academic Team. Krall has helped contribute to the team’s success tremendously and hoped to bring home the MEAC Southern Divisional title this weekend. “Physically we are becoming a stronger team,” said Krall. “I believe that as team we are our toughest competition. We have the skill level to beat any team in the nation. We just need to believe we can.” The MEAC Southern Divisional will be the last time the Spartans compete in 2011. The Spartans will return to action at the Lady Bulldog Classic on Jan. 20 in Laurel, Maryland at 9 a.m.

Sophomore Thea Aspiras earns a spot on the preseason MEAC allconference team. Credit: Jerry Altares


1/9/2012 1/24/2012

South Carolina State 8 p.m. Long Island 7 p.m. Maryland Eastern Shore 6 p.m. Howard 8 p.m. Morehead State 7 p.m.


Morgan State 6 p.m.


Coppin State 8 p.m.


Hampton 6 p.m.


Delaware State 7:30 p.m.


Longwood 7 p.m.


Spartan Student Life



FIRST FEMALE TO WIN BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION By Keona Prude For the first time in NSU history, a female won the Ernest M. Hodge Center for Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition, which is held annually to motivate and produce excellent entrepreneurs. The finalists, Nicole St. Ann, senior early childhood education major and James Brown, senior entrepreneurship major, presented their plans to a panel of judges. After careful consideration, St. Ann was selected as the first place winner, receiving $2,000 to start her own small business venture. St. Ann took the win with pride and shock. “The fact that I even made history at NSU as the first black woman to win this annual business plan competition is beyond words,” she said said. Loosely titled “United Military First Family Agency,” St. Ann’s plan is a long-term, but temporary in-home guardian and childcare program for military families.

Nicole St. Ann is the first female to win the Ernest M. Hodge Center for Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition. Credit: Sherrel Malone The program would “alleviate the childcare crises within the military community by providing a more flexible, long-term, and safer option for military parents whose family care plan are unstable,” St. Ann said. St. Ann developed the plan as she had issues with being in the army and need for childcare.

“This idea came to me as a struggling single parent trying to make it as an Army ROTC Cadet and student here at NSU,” said St. Ann. “The more I thought about it the more I felt compelled to help others that too struggle with childcare.” It is a wonder that no other female

cAMpUS SAfeTy 101: nSU eDiTion By Jordan CraWFord Safety at NSU is no laughing matter when considering the welfare of the faculty, staff and students that work and study here. For many students, Norfolk State is home for nine months each year. NSU is a public campus making it accessible to pretty much anyone, and it has some individuals questioning their security. Junior nursing student Hope Dawson said, “I do not feel secure with NSU being an open campus, because anyone can walk or drive on. With that, there is an increase in crime, mystery or misunderstanding.” Many students express concerns about the lack of lighting on-campus during the night. Lieutenant Kevin Genwright said that when students are out at night, they

should walk in groups, be aware of their surroundings and if they see something suspicious, report it. Dahlia Rose, a junior fine arts major said, “Students should not take rides from anyone, even if you have seen them oncampus; the people we see often may be the ones trying to harm us.” There are outdoor “Blue Light” emergency call boxes strategically placed throughout the campus that are directly connected to the NSU police station. These boxes are used to locate a student, and a NSU police officer will be sent to escort a student to their destination. Junior computer science major Julius Payne suggests that students simply be sure their valuables are securely locked up. This prevents unauthorized hands

has won this competition in the past since, statistically, female business majors often out-number males as students in HBCUs. Junior marketing major Cecily Houston said,“We feel we need to get more behind our name because men don’t have to work as hard to work in business.” Showing no signs of slowing down, St. Ann continues to work hard as well as she puts her plan to action. “My plan is to keep moving forward until I perfect my business plan and make it into a reality,” St. Ann said. “I am calling all faculty and staff of the NSU Entrepreneurship Dept. and Business Dept. to help make my dream to become a reality.”

from accessing them. If students wish to report a non-emergency, they can call 823-8102. For an emergency, students can call 823-9000. However, there are other helpful venues such as the Office of the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, located in the New Student Center to help students in reporting serious crimes as well as the Office of Human Resources, in Harrison B. Wilson Hall for NSU employees.

“...i figUreD if i JUST pUT iT All on one BoDy of WorK, iT WoUlD Be eASier for people To grASp.” -pusha T, pg 8

Spartan Student Life




As a college student, music is essential to surviving daily life. We use it to make the long walks across campus easier, to help tune out loud students in computer labs and to party on the weekends. With so much music in our lives, what does it really say about us? In my opinion, music is a great representation of our personality. My iTunes, for example, is composed of over 7,000 songs, features commercial and underground artists and has every genre that you can imagine. I feel that this shows I am able to adapt to different situations, and it is easy for me to connect with diverse groups of people. Others (a great number of my peers), do not share my opinion of music’s value as an assessment of personality. Apparently, to them rap music is meant for hood black guys, pop is the music of teenage white girls and classical is reserved for the middleaged upper class. As free-spirited as music is, it creates great division, but why? I can appreciate the artistry of Tay-

Credit: Andre Tillman lor Swift’s original, self-written country albums, but then confess to anyone that Kanye West is my favorite artist. I can ask why Britney Spears hardly ever has any writing credits on her albums, but writes hit after hit for other artists. Finally, I am still in search of what singers from the U.K.

are drinking to give them such huge voices. I wonder why we box ourselves into a corner when it comes to music… or any topic for that matter. Music is universal. It could be the selfish nature of Americans. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, but the average

U.S. citizen could not tell you a thing about Manchester United. Similarly, the average student could fire off DJ Drama’s complete Gangsta Grillz discography, but would not know any of the classic albums of the world’s most popular DJ, David Guetta. My generation may be the last that has to deal with stereotypes caused by the music that one listens to; therefore, understanding and accepting something as diverse as music is necessary and a key to growth. It is a small step on the road to becoming Renaissance men and women, so just try broadening your horizons about music. It will lead to open-minded thoughts about more serious issues. To those who are open to various genres, you are well on your way.

perSonAliTy profile: HoW Are yoU SpenDing WinTer BreAK? Credit: Anthony Gordon Michaela Wiinfrey Sophomore

Nelson Nobles Senior-Health Services Managment “I’ll probably go back home to Chicago. I’m excited because I didn’t get to go home last year.”

Masalva Ihorca Freshman-Mass Communications

“I’m going to be chillin’ with my home boys and watching football.”

Indigo Williams Junior-Kinesiology “I’m going home to Portugal to be with family and friends.”

“My family just moved back to the Cayman islands, so I’ll be spending my time there with them. Then I’m going to Jamaica, and then Cuba.”

Spartan Entertainment



“I’m still trying to achieve more and still trying to make a way,” said G.O.O.D. Music artist, Virginia native and former Norfolk State student,

Pusha T in an interview with the Spartan Echo. Fear of God was the artist’s first effort outside of rap duo, The Clipse, he is in with his brother. The mixtape, released last winter, had great reviews. He recently released Fear of God II, solidifying Pusha’s position as a solo artist. “Fear of God was never really supposed to be a part two,” said Pusha. “I was going to just release them, but I figured if I just put it all on one body of work, it would be easier for people to grasp.” Re l e a s i n g the body of work as an EP turned out to be a great idea,

but even with that out of the way, Pusha T is not taking a break. Up next is the G.O.O.D. Music collaborative album. “I [have] worked on four of the records thus far. I don’t know how many are going to be up there and I don’t know how Kanye is going to maestro all of the participants and pick [...], but it’s a talented bunch man.” The G.O.O.D. Music record has a roster of a hip-hop heavyweights like Common and Mos Def, newcomers Big Sean and Cyhi Da Prynce and an alternative power in Kid Cudi. As Pusha works with some of the greatest talent, he remains humble, offering advice to his fans and assuring them that “it’s all possible.” “When I was at Norfolk State, I couldn’t have told you that I was going to be a store owner, be rapping in the game for so many odd years and traveling the world three times and doing all the things I’ve done,” said Pusha T. The list will continue to grow as Pusha strives to pursue his dreams musically and as an entrepreneur. Fear of God II is now available on Amazon, while the G.O.O.D. Music project is scheduled to be released next spring.

Credit: Andre Tillman



Tyra Banks | Dec 4 | 28

Jay-Z | Dec 4 | 42

Nicki Minaj | Dec 8 | 29 Taylor Swift | Dec 13 | 22

Brad Pitt | Dec 18 | 48

latest album, Under the Mistletoe may be the perfect album to fit all of your holiday needs. Bieber performs all of your past Christmas favorites with an impressive list of helpers. Usher, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Busta Rhymes and The Band Perry are all featured on the project. Under the Mistletoe is definitely worth to a spark up your holiday.

LeBron James | Dec 30 | 27

Once Thanksgiving is over, all attention turns to Christmas. To help capture the pure essence of Christmas, the perfect tunes are key. This year, take a break from your mom and pop’s holiday music and add a little edge to your holiday tradition. “Beliebe” it, or not Justin Bieber’s


TRENDING TOPICS: #HoMeforTHeHoliDAyS You always have to watch Home Alone 2 when you go #homefortheholidays Being #homefortheholidays > @LILBTHEBASEDGOD I know I’m not the only one who was ever #homefortheholidays and got upset about not having Soul Food Thursdays. I put the tree up when I went #homefortheholidays, and mom waited until I came home for spring break to make me take it down. The worst part about going #homefortheholidays is waking up to 30 “Merry Christmas!” texts that morning. Going #homefortheholidays means that it’s time to catch up on WSHH. If only we could go #homefortheholidays and turn back into little kids… it was more fun then. #tobehonest, @JColeNC inspired this #TT . #np #homefortheholidays @KimKardashian got married when she went #homefortheholidays , but got divorced by the start of second semester.

Spartan Echo Vol. 59 Issue 6  
Spartan Echo Vol. 59 Issue 6  

The student newspaper of Norfolk State University