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Spartan Echo The Voice of the Spartan Community

Vol. 61, I ssue 2


Stories Inside

The university’s Office of Housing and Residence Life seeks to enhance the residential experience. Photo courtesy of Norfolk State University residence life website www. residence-life. See page 3.

Sexually active students should be aware of the 4Hs of sexually transmitted diseases. Photo by Jules Dean. See page 6. | 700 Park Avenue. Norfolk, Va. 23504


Addressing enrollment concerns at NSU By Melissa Rawls Amid the controversy and rumors surrounding the dismissal of former NSU President Tony Atwater, concerns have been at an all-time high regarding the current status of enrollment at Norfolk State University. Since its establishment in 2005, Enrollment Management has been responsible for both recruiting and enrolling qualified students. In doing so, they have recently released a fall 2013 enrollment update. Of the information provided, ample detail is included concerning the history and future of Norfolk State University, student admissions and matriculation. Enrollment since 2005 has grown 16% according to Terricita Sass, the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management. This is due to recruitment and retention by the entire campus. However, fall enrollment is projected to decline 500 students. “Since that time in the mid 1990s, you will see an 18% decline over that 20-22 years,” said Sass. “That is not reflective of an enrollment decline when the institution actually

The above referenced chart depicts the number of enrolled students from 2000 to 2013. This chart is following the implementation of university admission standards in 2005. Graphic credit: NSU Office of Enrollment Management.

made the decision that more numbers were not better. When we implemented admission standards we actually took enrollment hits for several years.” According to Sass, in order to meet the enrollment at the university, it has been established

that there must be people who qualify to attend school, people who want to go to school and people that can afford to pay for school. “If your goal is to retain and graduate students, you may have to say ‘We’re going to

stay even, or we’re not going to grow but so much because we need to focus on maximizing the students that we have to See Addressing enrollment. page 2

NSU celebrates U.S. Constitution Day Norfolk State University welcomes Entertainment Alliance. Photo courtesy of See page 8.

This year’s “United States Constitution Day” theme is “The New Health Care Law: What It Means to You.” It highlights the revision of “The Affordable Health Care Act, 2014” and what it means for uninsured citizens, which certainly gives every student a reason to attend this campus-wide program. September, 18, 2013 -- 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., SC 138B, Health Fair: “Reducing Health Disparities, One Step at a Time” conducted by the Nursing and Allied Health Department. September 19, 2013 -- 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., L. Douglas Wilder Center, Speaker: Dr. Karen Remley, Founding Director of M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health.

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Spartan News


Know your financial student rights By Danielle Kirsh A number of students have had misunderstandings with their financial aid. Student loans are being accepted on their behalf by the university without the student or parent signing for it. According to the NSU Financial Aid Student Loan Terms webpage, “In federal programs the money for Federal PLUS loans will be sent to the university, but the student (or parent) must sign for it.” In order to get a loan, the student has to sign a master promissory note saying they agree to the terms and conditions of the loan. The master promissory note is found at studentloans. gov and is required to be signed by anyone who is accepting a loan. It can then be used to make one or more loans for the academic years that a loan is needed. Director of Financial Aid Kevin Burns said that the university has an established process for setting up financial aid and student loans. See financial student rights page 3

Is the Echo crazy? Not really Our readers are wondering. Why did the Aug. 28 issue of the Spartan Echo look like Dr. Atwater was still the president of Norfolk State University? Well, we didn’t have much of a choice. That paper had already been printed, boxed and shipped before the Board of Visitors’ actions on Friday, Aug. 23. When it showed up on our doorstep Monday, we had some tough questions. Do we scrap this and reprint another issue or do we distribute what we have? Budgets being as tight as they are, we decided to distribute the paper “as is.” We hope this issue gives you what you may have been looking for in that last issue: the real “Voice of the Spartan Community.”This is an opportunity to point out, however, that we do publish up-to-the-minute news and information on our website,, and we put it out 24-7. Spartanecho. org even has links to our Twitter and Facebook accounts and we encourage everyone to “follow” us and “friend” us. In fact, our Twitter followers and Facebook friends knew as much on that Friday night as almost anyone…and they knew it accurately. So while we’re grateful you picked up a copy of our printed newspaper, we also look forward to meeting you in cyberspace…where the information is instant.


NSU Board of Visitors terminates President Tony Atwater’s contract By Danielle Kirsh After two years as president of Norfolk State University, Dr. Tony Atwater was released from his contract on Friday, August 23. The Board of Visitors elected to terminate Dr. Atwater’s contract in a 7-to-4 vote. Dr. Atwater became president of NSU on July 1, 2011, following tenure at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. During his presidency, Norfolk State failed to prove the

university’s financial strength in the audits that were supposed to be submitted. This is rumored to be one of the main reasons behind his dismissal. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sandra DeLoatch was named acting president until an interim president could be found. An interim president will serve until the permanent president is selected. Despite financial woes, Dr.

DeLoatch is committed to continuing, during her time as acting president, Dr. Atwater’s agenda. “Nothing is going to stop. We will continue,” said Dr. DeLoatch. With ten months left in his contract, Dr. Atwater will still receive his paycheck of $295,000 and his tenured professorship through June 14, 2014.

Addressing enrollment ■Continued from front page make them successful,’” said Sass. Sass said the university’s main goal is not to gain students for the sake of being a larger university. NSU wants to accumulate students who will stay and make a difference at the institution. “The university is getting

ready to make some even bigger decisions,” said Sass. “We are going to be better. Our focus is not on being bigger and that is not going to help with a lot of students being happy because it will tighten up on who will come and who can stay.”

Just days after delivering the State of the University Address, the Board of Visitors terminated Dr. Atwater’s contact. Photo courtesy of Norfolk State University Office of Marketing and Communications.

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Spartan News


financial student rights ■Continued from page 2

“We consider students for all types of financial aid,” said Burns. Burns also said students have to complete entrance counseling through in order to be able to obtain a loan. Then the university receives the results. From this point, a letter will be sent to the student telling them they have the right to cancel their loan. If they do not respond to that letter, their loans will be dispersed. The terms and conditions of financial award letters states, “Grants, scholarships, and loans administered by the Financial Aid Office are first applied directly to your University student account to pay charges for tuition, fees, room, board, and other University charges. Financial aid awarded for a specific term can only pay for charges for that same term.” Burns said that if the loan is dispersed, and the student has a problem with paying it, the student should consult the Department of Education or whomever they are receiving the loan from.

Interested in joining the Spartan Echo team? We meet every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Center, Rm. 344. ALL majors welcome!

Both Babette Smith North and South are first year residential halls and are one of the more notable sights on campus. Currently, this hall provides housing and services to incoming freshman students. Photo courtesy of Norfolk State University residence life website

Office of Housing and Residential Life releases 20 year master plan By Melissa Rawls In an effort to enhance the residential experience for students, the university’s Office of Housing and Residence Life is looking to redefine what it means to “live on campus.” Housing staff have been steadfast in their efforts to actively involve students in the overall decision making process. In doing so, students will have the opportunity to assist in developing what Execu-

tive Director of Housing and Residential Life refers to as the “Spartan Residential Experience.” A master plan for building and renovating the current residence halls that spans to 2020 is now underway. In a statement by the Executive Director for Housing and Residence Life, the future of on-campus living at NSU has been outlined as follows:

“New housing will consist of suites and apartment-style housing with academic centers and dining areas. Students will have bathrooms within their units and be able to enjoy classes, programming and study opportunities within multi-purpose areas in their building,” said the director. The outline includes plans to add housing for 1,000 students on campus. The first

building will house a mix of 600 students in a housing facility which will be located at the site of the former Norfolk Community Hospital during the 2014-2015 school year. It is the university’s hope that by involving more students in the direct establishment of better living communities, a greater sense of inclusivity, scholarship and integrity will emerge.

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Spartan Sports


NSU’s men’s track and field ineligible for postseason competition


NSU Volleyball strives to take care of unfinished business By Melissa Rawls

By Melissa Rawls For the first time since the 1999 arrival of track and field director Kenneth Giles, Norfolk State University’s men’s indoor/outdoor track and field teams are ineligible for postseason competition. Following a 2011-2012 review of the team’s academic progress rate (APR), the NCAA determined that both the indoor and outdoor track teams were below the minimum standard of academic progression. Consequently, a ban was issued prohibiting the team from competing in any postseason NCAA or MEAC championship competitions for the 2013-2014 season. According to a statement made by NSU Athletics Director Marty L. Miller, “Several student athletes departed the track program before graduating and it reflected in the track program’s overall APR score for 2011-12.” When a student makes the decision to leave school for whatever reason, there is an increased likelihood of it negatively impacting a team’s NCAA standing. Other major contributors include, but are

not limited to, retention rates, academic progress and graduation rates for student-athletes. Norfolk State is making additional efforts to keep its student-athletes on track for graduation. With the implementation of additional academic support and resources, the athletic department seems confident in its ability to meet the NCAA APR target score. “We’ll learn from this; we’ll move forward, and we’ll exceed the expectations set forth,” said Coach Giles. Other NSU programs facing APR penalties for the 20132014 season include women’s indoor/outdoor track and field and the women’s volleyball team. Both teams are currently facing level one penalties, which in accordance with NCAA regulations reduce weekly practice by four hours and one day. In place of the restricted practice hours, student athletes are required to focus on academic development. Upon passing the upcoming NCAA review this fall, the men’s track and field team will be eligible for postseason competition in the spring of 2015.

Norfolk State University middle hitter Goda Jankauskaite faces off against well known rival, Hampton University. Photo courtesy of

Returning from a 14-20 overall record last year, interim head coach Brandon Duvall has recently recruited four new additions to the NSU women’s volleyball team: Dominique Parker, Victoria “Tori” Tulensru, Sydney Dailey and Monique Gatling. Despite the team’s overall restructuring, the anticipated level of competition and the general desire to ensure a successful season has remained unchanged. “We still have the same goal; we want to win the conference this year,” said senior middle hitter Goda Jankauskaite. After losing five essential players from last season, the lady Spartans are relying on its

remaining seniors to really set the tone and prepare the team to for what has the potential to be a very defining season. “The seniors this year are really pushing, they’re working hard on getting us, the freshman, to really interact --because college is a whole different level that we need to be introduced to,” said Tulensru. Feeling the pressure, the returning four seniors anticipate having to really perform in order to stand a chance against upcoming opponents like former conference winners University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Also on this season’s schedule are conference rivals Hampton University and Howard University.

“What we’re trying to do this season is take care of unfinished business. We hope that doing so will lead us to the conference this year. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to step up and show the same leadership that the seniors before us did,” said Jankauskaite. The season starts with three tournaments for the lady Spartans before they start conference play. The first will be at Appalachian State University, followed by West Virginia University and then they’ll come home to host the Spartan Classic. Hopefully, the squad will find form early and use to the momentum to have a successful season.

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Spartan Sports


Walk-on athletes The British serve vital Invasion function returns with soccer Melissa Rawls

For a number of players, not being recruited out of high school is the end-all and be-all of their collegiate sports ambitions. Here at NSU, walk-on athletes are given ample opportunity to further their athletic careers. For example, when it comes to football, the recruiting coaches only have 63 available scholarships a year. As a result, walk-on athletes get to play an

essential role in helping to fill positions on a team that would be otherwise neglected. “50 percent of our football team that are seniors right now, they were probably walk-ons when they got here,” said running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Paul Macklin. So what does it take to become a walk-on Spartan? Both coaches and student athletes agree that there has to be a

Sophomore Omari Timmons readies a throw during a scrimmage. Photo by Jules Dean.

combination of good grades, superb athletic ability and a solid attitude. In order to be able to compete on a Division I level, students have to understand that although the road isn’t easy, with commitment and hard work, it can be both rewarding and fulfilling. “Really it’s just about dedication. I just hung in there as long as I could, played as hard as I could. Once they realize that you’re committed and that you want to be a player, then they do anything in their power to help you become that,” said senior Marcus Simmons, a former walk-on cornerback for the Spartans. Most of the university’s athletics teams have a formal process that they use to recruit students interested in earning the chance to play on a collegiate level. Be advised that as a Division I school, the recruitment process here at NSU, even for walk-ons is no easy task. “Don’t be afraid just because you weren’t recruited out of high school. Don’t let that lead you to believe that you aren’t good enough to achieve the goals you’ve set out for yourself. Just go at it with a full head of steam and be aggressive,” said redshirt sophomore quarterback Omari Timmons.

By Dan Adu-Gyamfi Sixty years after pop and rock artists from England infiltrated America with the British Invasion, a new wave intends to make its presence known among sports fans. On Aug. 17, the Barclays Premier League made their debut with NBC and its other networks to solid numbers. NBC Sports reports that more than 3.4 million U.S. viewers watched seven Premier League telecasts on Saturday and Sunday across three networks: NBC, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and, their Hispanic network, mun2. When Swansea City hosted Manchester United, the 0.8 overnight rating was the highest for a Premier League opening weekend match ever in the U.S. England’s Barclays Premier League is considered by many pundits to be the best and most competitive soccer league in the world and to have the telecast present in the U.S. displays the rising popularity of the sport. Even though Fox lost the U.S. rights to broadcast the

Premier League, they still have the coverage access of the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League which is a tournament where all the best teams in Europe compete. The Champions League trophy is the most prestigious award in club football and the final is the most watched sporting event in the world every year. With Fox making a new sports network, they plan to increase knowledge of the competition here. ESPN has even joined the party and made a daily soccer show called ESPN FC that shows highlights of matches and covers the news of the sport using talent from all over the world. With the World Cup in Brazil coming up next year, we’ll see how more soccer coverage will impact the popularity of the sport in the U.S. While it may never be the most popular game here, with more content available, maybe Americans will see why the world is so fanatical for the beautiful game.

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NSU students study abroad in India and Italy


By Destiny Spence Junior biology major, Liara Vinson, and senior political science major, Myita Davis, took advantage of Norfolk State’s International Studies and Service Learning Program in the summer of 2013. Vinson lived in Jaipur, Rajasthan, for the summer where she studied Hindi, an official language of India. She was very interested in Middle Eastern culture and found the Mid-Atlantic Consortium-Center for Excellence Cultural Emerging program, which offered an all-expense paid trip. Vinson admitted studying abroad in India brought challenges. “It was a huge adjustment for me,” said Vinson. “The lack of sanitation was the hardest thing to get used to.” Davis, who studied in Italy, was allowed to enroll in two courses that offered six transferable credits. She studied Language and Culture and European Public Policy. Davis studied abroad via the International Studies Abroad program based out of Austin,

Texas, through NSU. Both students were grateful for the opportunities given to them. They felt that international studies would help prepare students for the real world and make them more thankful for what they have in their own country. “I would recommend studying abroad. There is more in the world than Norfolk State,” Davis said. “I came back with a new look on the country and I appreciate America a lot more. I learned a lot in my European Policy class comparing our government. I learned how to be culturally diverse.” Vinson noted she learned valuable life lessons during her experience. “They didn’t have much but they still found happiness,” said Vinson. “Through any life circumstance, you can have happiness. For more information on study abroad programs, students can visit the Norfolk State International Studies and Service Learning Office in room 115 of the Bowser Building.

Junior biology major Liara Vinson and senior political science major Myita Davis return to NSU after studying abroad. Both students heard about the abroad progam from Norfolk State’s International Studies and Service Learning Program. Photo by Tykhari Coles.


4-H club: The STD version By Destiny Spence

The chart above is a comparison of the four viral sexually transmitted diseases. Image by Destiny Spence.

Herpes, Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus are incurable viral sexually transmitted diseases known as the four H’s. Everyone who is sexually active should be aware of these diseases as an alarming amount of sexually active people will be exposed to them in their lifetime. According to the CDC, “Anyone who is having (or has ever had) sex can get HPV. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it

at some point in their lives. This is true even for people who only have sex with one person in their lifetime.” Condoms are not very reliable in preventing herpes and HPV, but they provide reliable protection against HIV and Hepatitis B. Of all four viruses, herpes is the most common, and most people infected are not aware that they are infected. “Unfortunately, condoms do not do an adequate job of protecting against human papilloma or herpes simplex virus infections,” said Dr. Ricky Pollycove, an OB/

GYN at the California Pacific Medical Center. “Women diagnosed with HPV are often mystified and frustrated, having been ‘super careful’ or picky in choosing intimate partners and faithfully using condoms for all intercourse.” Ways to reduce transmission of these viral diseases: • Use condoms that are intact. Do not store them in hot cars or wallets. • Reduce your amount of sexual partners. • Seek immunizations. • Become educated about STDs. • Get tested regularly.

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Freshmen tip of the month: Invest in cloud memory


editors Brittany Elmore Editor-inChief

By Destiny Spence In order to free up memory on flash drives, external hard drives and laptops, many techsavvy students have resorted to using cloud memory, a method of saving data to an off-site storage system. Cloud memory is a quick fix for students with easily misplaced flash drives and laptops

or tablets with limited amounts of memory. As college courses begin to pick up in the middle of the fall, many syllabi, homework assignments, notes, resumes and other important documents get lost or left unsaved because of a lack of space. It is important for students to

have these files at their disposal at any time in order to be able to view, update or print them at any given moment. Cloud memory can provide an unlimited amount storage, making all of a student’s data available from any internetaccessible device. Two of the most dominant

cloud memory websites used by Norfolk State students are Google Docs and Dropbox, however, a host of other options like Microsoft Cloud and are available as well.

Professor spotlight:

Danielle Kirsh News Editor

Destiny Spence Lifestyle Editor

Dan Adu-Gyamfi Sports Editor

Dr. Arthur Bowman

DeVanique Riley Graphic Design/ Layout Editor

By Cora Nixon Dr. Arthur Bowman, the department head of Biology, is a professor who believes in education readiness. It is his hope that students get in the real world and succeed. Dr. Bowman noted that he wants his students to know life will not always be smooth sailing. He wants them to rise to the occasion and overcome it. The various tips he offered for success in college while preparing for the real world included being aware of pre-

Krysta Ricks Online/ Managing Editor

requisites, understanding the sequence of your major, setting goals that are realistic and being tech-savvy. Dr. Bowman became a department head because he knows he can directly impact his students’ lives in a positive way by being a second opinion in decision-making. “I took it as a role to change lives, to be a consultant,” said Bowman.

Jules Dean Multimedia Editor

Dr. Arthur Bowman, professor and department head of Biology in Woods Science building. Photo by Cora Nixon.

Kyna Uwaeme Entertainment Editor

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Spartan Entertainment


9.18.13 Entertainment Alliance gives students exposure and experience

Drake releases “Nothing Was the Same” By Kyna Uwaeme Toronto native recording artist Drake releases his third studio album “Nothing Was the Same.” It follows his Grammyaward winning sophomore album “Take Care” which sold 631,466 copies its first week, outselling Jay Z and Kanye’s “Watch the Throne” and selling over 2 million copies worldwide. The 26-year old rapper teamed up with his longtime engineer and producer Noah “40” Shebib, to produce the album he describes as his most clear concise thoughts and his best recollection of them. “I found a way to get all my thoughts across within 15

By Trenton Fouche’

A child version of Drake stares at himself in an oil painting by Kadir Nelson for the “Nothing Was the Same”. Album art courtesy of

songs, which I’m very proud of. Take Care was, look, here is everything I have. I don’t think I had the time towards the end to be like, let me get rid of this but add this piece to this so you can still get a piece of this… I feel like with this project I’ve created a new artist. I’ve played it for people and people have been like, ‘Who’s rapping?’” Drake said in an in-

terview with XXL Mag. In his verse on Migo’s “Versace” remix he raps, “I think I’m sellin’ a million first week/ man I guess I’m an optimist.” It may not be a tough goal to tackle with his lead single, “Started From the Bottom” going platinum its first two months, peaking at No.6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and nominated “Best Hip Hop Video” at the VMA Awards. He recently released

his latest single off the album, a pop-infused track “Hold On We’re Going Home” featuring vocalist Majid Jordin, where he sings over a disco beat. Thus far, the album is listed to include collaborations with Jay Z, Hudson Mohawke, Lil Wayne, 2 Chains and his dad, Dennis Graham, who rediscovered his passion for music. The album is set to release Sept. 24.

Michele Obama releases a rap album By Kyna Uwaeme Michelle Obama highlighting the importance of physical activity for kids at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. First-lady Michele Obama is releasing a hip hop album titled “Songs for a Healthier America,” as part of her plan to fight childhood obesity through her “Let’s Move!” campaign. She teamed up with Partnership for a Healthier America and the Hip Hop Public Health Foundation to produce the 19-track album, featuring songs with titles like, “We like Vegetables,” “Wanna Jump,” “Get Up Sit Up” and “Let’s Move,” all geared toward encouraging kids to think about exercise, health and diet. “We believe that music built on cultural cues can

inspire kids and families to make healthy choices… Throughout history, music has been a great teacher and motivator, from ABC’s and nursery rhymes to religious hymns and national anthems,” said The Hip Hop Doc and Founder of Hip Hop Public Health Dr. Olajide Williams at his appearance on the “Dr. Oz show.” The songs will feature vocals from contributing artists such as hip hop legends Run DMC and Doug E. Fresh, R & B songstress Ashanti and many others. Unfortunately, we won’t be hearing Mrs. Obama lay down any verses on the album; although, she will make cameos for the album’s singles. Mrs. Obama recently appeared in the first of 10 singles set to release, “Everybody” featuring Jordin Sparks, Doug E. Fresh and Dr. Oz, in which she briefly spoke about the campaign’s

Michelle Obama highlighting the importance of physical activity for kids at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. Photo by The Associated Press.

beginnings. “It’s hard to believe that almost exactly one year ago, we launched a nationwide campaign called ‘Let’s Move’ to help solve the problem of childhood obesity in this country. Back when we first decided to take on the issue of childhood obesity, a lot of people wondered, could we actually make a difference,” said Mrs. Obama over the beat. This isn’t the first of Mrs. Obama’s efforts to raise

awareness on childhood obesity across America. Back in 2011 she teamed up with superstar Beyoncé, to remake her hit single “Get Me Bodied” into a youthful, work-out video routine titled “Move Your Body.” The album will be distributed first to schools in New York City, and then major cities will follow. It will be available for free download Sept. 30 at

Norfolk State University welcomes Entertainment Alliance, a student-led organizational record label on campus, that gives NSU students an opportunity to showcase their talents and network with one another throughout the Hampton Roads area and abroad. Sophomores Emoni Mathews and Johnnie Watkin came up with the idea during their freshman year at NSU. As music media majors and passionate poets and songwriters, they wanted to gain hands on experience and bring intern opportunities to the school. “It’s all about originality and uniqueness. As far as music artists, we are looking for driven and talented students,” said Matthews, director of Entertainment Alliance. Not only has the organization focused on honing talent, but they have also hired a committed staff of 23 students within different majors. NSU students are getting an opportunity to utilize their skills from the classroom and apply them outside in the working field. “Our main goal is to bring internship experience without students having to go out and look for it,” said Matthews.

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61.2 Spartan Echo  

The Spartan Echo is the student newspaper of Norfolk State University.