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Volume 53, Issue 3

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Parking frustrations shift into overdrive page 2


Governors Village ready for upgrade page 4

Arts & Features Shakespeareans perform at Bard-a-thon page 10

Sports UNCA Cycling Club pedals to the top page 17

Photo by Megan Dombroski

News Page 2

{The Blue Banner}

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On-campus parking frustrates students and faculty

Completion of N.C. Center for Health and Wellness will offer more spaces Katherine Walker, Jess Peete,

assistant news editor, staff writer

Approximately 20 nonresidential student parking spaces and 33 faculty parking spaces in lot four have been eliminated due to construction on Rhodes-Robinson, according to campus Chief of Police, Eric Boyce. “When the new North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness building was starting to be built, we lost a lot of parking. That’s just been this year and last year, and I think that’s really made parking feel a lot more crazy here. I know that if I try to come on campus any time after 9 a.m., it’s very difficult to find a faculty or staff spot,” associate professor of health and wellness Amy Lanou said. Although the new parking deck will add many parking spaces, who will be allowed to park there has not been decided, Boyce said. “The parking for the health and wellness center hasn’t been designated yet. That will require further meetings and evaluations as to what the actual needs for that center are and then a determination will be made as to how that parking is designated,” Boyce said. Lanou said she thinks the parking situation will be relieved hugely when the new parking deck is completed. “We’ll basically go back to something similar, if not more parking than we had before that project,” she said. According to elementary education student Codi Edenfield, she’s seen cars parked in places that aren’t parking spaces because they are the only places available. “I know there are rules, but it seems like people would be more understanding when there’s no where else to park and students are trying to get to class,” she said. According to Boyce, student complaints about tickets they received when there was no free parking hasn’t been an issue. Edenfield said she hasn’t received a ticket this semester, but is very careful

Katie Saylors/assistant photography editor

Dennis Thompson of Campus Police gives out tickets to students parked illegally. Students said they park illegally due to lack of open spaces when they arrive to campus even if they arrive early.

about where she parks. “I’m sure more students have gotten tickets this semester, though. It seems like campus police officers are patrolling the parking areas a lot more this semester,” she said. Edenfield said she has to park far

away from the buildings her classes are in. “Sometimes I’m lucky and get something relatively close. But most of the time, I have to park wherever I can find an open parking spot,” she said. Lanou said she’s had some students

come to class late complaining they couldn’t find a parking space. “It seems to me at the beginning of the semesters it happens for a while, then people work it out,” she said. Lanou said she had the hardest time finding a parking space this semester when there weren’t even any spaces in free parking lots. Lanou, who worked at Isca College and Cornell University before she came to UNC Asheville, said parking here is much better than Cornell University and other larger universities. “Any really big school, pretty much, it’s very hard to have parking on campus at all, and if you do it’s very expensive, like in the hundreds of dollars range. So in my perspective, the cost of parking here is very reasonable,” she said. According to Lanou, the fact that students can park within walking distance for free is remarkable compared to other schools. “I do realize people get frustrated with parking here, but I think in general, we don’t have it as bad as Chapel Hill, for example. There’s just no where to park on campus at Chapel Hill,” she said. Lanou said she carpools with another professor to decrease their hassle of trying to find a spot. “I think we as a community need to do more of that–figuring out ways to deal with the amount of space we have to (park) cars by taking public transportation, using the free parking and car pooling,” she said. According to Boyce, freshmen are allowed to park on campus only if they receive a waiver for certain criteria that the vice chancellor of student affairs reviews. Those criteria include physical or medical conditions, classes that require transportation, being on an athletic team and employment. The parking lot off Vivian Street was recently modified, and any students, not just freshmen can park there. This lot added 116 spaces to the total of around 2,070 spaces on campus.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On the Quad

What do you think about Asheville being named the top small town speed trap?

Chloe Decamara French student

“There’s that one spot on 40 where it goes from 75 to 50 without really any warning, and one of my best friends, one of the first times she came to visit me, was on her way back to Boone and immediately got a ticket within probably 5 minutes. I think it’s just a speed trap for money.” “I live close to Patton

Avenue off Leicester Highway, and there’s a big hill that you have to go down and at the bottom of the hill there’s always a cop waiting in the parking lot of Ingles.” Lauren Deboer French student

“I’ve just never seen a lot of people pulled over compared to other places I’ve been. But we’re still beer city USA.”

Cindy Pumphrey Environmental studies student

Asheville named top small town speed trap

{The Blue Banner}

Jeremiah Reed

staff writer

For some local drivers, a lead foot could lead to a light wallet. According to a report released Sept. 2 by the group, Asheville was named the worst speed trap city with a population less than 100,000 in North Carolina. operates the National Speed Trap Exchange. The site provides an online forum where users can pick from all 50 states and most of Canada, and find speed trap locations in virtually any city or town. According to the National Motorist Association, which sponsors, the data used to determine which cities to name as the worst speed traps came directly from the National Speed Trap Exchange. The worst speed trap city overall in North Carolina, according to the exchange, is Raleigh. However, local law enforcement defended their patrol tactics against this title. Melissa Williams, spokeswoman for the Asheville Police Department, said unlike speed traps, Asheville patrol officers write speeding tickets to save lives, not to increase profits. “We’re out there enforcing speeding from a public safety standpoint,” Williams said. “As far as revenue, that’s not even on the table because we don’t get revenue. If you get a speeding ticket, the department doesn’t make any money from that.” Sgt. Curtis Jones of the APD’s traffic safety unit said he felt perception had a great deal to do with Asheville’s image as a speed trap city. Jones said once a month the police force conducts radar training and radar calibrations on sections of Merrimon Avenue and I-240. However, officers are not allowed to pull drivers over during these tests. Jones said he thinks people misinterpret these training exercises as speed traps. “The illusion that we’re conducting speed traps is actually radar training where officers are not permitted to do any enforcement activities,” Jones said. Williams said these locations were used because they offer straight roadways for officers to test their equipment.

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They also give officers a safe place for training. “It’s a good gathering place for law enforcement. It’s a safe roadway to sit beside and get the training they need, but they do not enforce,” Williams said. Summer Sprouse, UNC Asheville junior political science student, recently got her first two speeding tickets in the past few months. She said she felt a greater police presence on the roads recently. “I think they are patrolling a lot more. Gene Williamson I’ve seen multiple officers sitting on both sides of 240 recently,” she said. Jones said I-240 is a prime location to make sure radars are correctly calibrated before they do the official radar training on Merrimon Avenue. Trooper Gene Williamson, a traffic safety officer for the N.C. Highway Patrol, said he deals with speeders every day, but doesn’t view Asheville as a speed trap. “I’m a little surprised,” Williamson said. “I didn’t know that we’d had that honor, if you can call it that. Speeding is one of the leading factors we see in collisions, so in that respect I guess I wasn’t surprised.” Williamson said speeding is defined as going over the speed limit, but other factors often affect an officer’s decision to take enforcement action against a driver. “We don’t have a set number over the limit where we start writing tickets. Each officer has their own threshold based on traffic volume, weather, road conditions and other factors,” Williamson said. He also said construction zones were given extra protection against speeding and that officers patrol those areas heavily, even if workers are not in plain sight. Jones said although he understood that getting a ticket was never fun, Asheville patrol officers were out to prevent tragedies, not ruin a person’s day. “Do people like getting tickets? Of course not, but we’re out there to change driving behaviors, which hopefully will reduce motor vehicle crashes and potentially save lives,” he said.

Governors Village renovations begin next semester Page 4

{The Blue Banner}

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Officials offer students who live in Village one-semester contracts Kendall Brooks

investigative reporter

UNC Asheville housing officials attempt to accommodate students living in Governors Village, though only a semester remains before renovations begin and the halls close for spring semester. “It’s a tricky balance of fitting 1,150 students in 1,050 beds,” said Vollie Barnwell, director of housing operations at UNCA. Barnwell said officials informed students of the housing situation in advance and gave them time to plan for a one-semester contract in Governors Village or find other housing options. “Student room sign-up for returning students was back in March, so we had to make a decision back in March that we were going to go with one-semester contracts,” he said. “We told students then that if they signed up for Governors Village it was just a one-semester contract.” According to Barnwell, many students preferred a one-semester contract, such as December graduates and people wanting to find off-campus housing in the spring. “We did have some students who wanted to live in Governors for the last semester it’s open, but that didn’t mean they didn’t want to be on campus in the spring,” he said. “What we’ve told those students is we’ll work with them to get housing in the spring, but we just can’t guarantee it.” According to Matthew Randazzo, a sophomore transfer student from Campbell University, he learned of the one-semester term from friends ahead of time and again during orientation. He said the university sent him a notice in the mail earlier this year as well. “I did get something that said I’m not guaranteed housing for the fall, but I thought that might have been every student because transfers are lower priority than freshmen,” he said. “So I thought it was because of incoming freshmen that I might not be guaranteed a room. Overall, I’m not really upset.” Randazzo said having his own room ranks high in his housing priorities and he plans to save money and get a room in Governors Hall next semester if possible.

Megan Dombroski/photography editor

UNCA student and Governors Village resident Matt Randazzo makes tally marks on the wall of his room every day he lives in the residence hall. Officials said renovations on Governors Village will begin next semester and residents can move to another residence hall or move off campus.

“It’s a tricky balance of fitting 1,150 students in 1,050 beds.” – Vollie Barnwell, director of housing operations “With the refund I’ll be getting from not having to pay for housing next semester, which I planned on, I’ll try and get an apartment if I can’t get something on campus,” he said. According to Barnwell, housing officials plan to hold focus groups for residents of Governors Village, al-

lowing them time to discuss options for the spring and update them on the process. “The other piece of that is we had told people who lived in the Village that they would have some input in the Village renovation,” he said. “The final part of that is we told students that because they lived in the Village with a one-semester contract, because that is unusual, that we would give them first shot at next fall for reserving a room in the Village.” According to Randazzo, most of his suite mates remain calm concerning the lack of housing in the spring and have plans for next semester already. “Everyone’s pretty relaxed about it so far,” he said. “We do get e-mails every once in a while, just telling us that they are working on something, and in about a month they’re going to open up a listing of available rooms for the spring.”

Randazzo said officials allow students living in Governors Village more freedom when it comes to their rooms, allowing them to paint the walls and decorate them as they wish. Randazzo currently keeps tally marks counting the days since he moved into the dorms on his wall. “How the RA put it, we’re exceptionally privileged to be living there, because any damage to infrastructure is totally forgiven because they’re tearing it all down anyway,” he said. “The room, I really can’t complain about. It’s got enough space for me to do everything I need,” he said. Many students already made arrangements for the spring semester, according to Barnwell. “There are some who said they don’t know what they’re going to do. They want to live on campus and don’t


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

{The Blue Banner}

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Environmental department receives honor Freshmen senators join SGA Trevor Metcalfe

staff writer

The Fiske Guide to Colleges recently listed UNC Asheville’s environmental studies program as a pre-professional program with unusual strength in preparing students for careers. “We all kind of collectively think about what kinds of things we think our students will need to have a career,” said J. W. Miller, professor and head of UNCA’s environmental studies department. Environmental studies includes, among others, the scientific areas of ecology, botany, zoology and geology, according to Miller. “If you think about it, you’ve got environmental issues in just about any kind of job today,” Miller said. Miller said almost all areas of the economy contain environmental sectors, leading to broad and numerous job opportunities. Government projects like the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, in addition to nonprofits and industrial companies, all seek out applicants with experience in environmental studies, according to Miller. Miller said his department faculty

Renee Bindewald staff writer

Kimala Bougha-Burklow/staff photographer

UNCA students Alex Neidermeier, John Nagel and Sallie Gaillard study different types of rocks in their environmental lab.

reflects this diversity, which includes soil scientists and specialists in stream ecology and water chemistry. “It’s a myriad of people, and a myriad of expertise,” Miller said. Junior Carl Larson, an environmental studies student with a concentration in earth science, said he decided on his current major partly out

of necessity. Larson said he first enrolled in a joint environmental engineering program between UNCA and North Carolina State University. However, due to UNCA’s lack of a local environmental engineering department and a

our area was this group that we had been working with at UNCC created a similar model for the Charlotte area,” he said. “We were really interested in taking that model and expanding it to include Western North Carolina.” Bridget O’Hara, NEMAC science delivery specialist, said the center works to put together the information in a way that is uniform and easy to understand. “We don’t create the data,” O’Hara said. “We gather it from reliable sources such as the forest services, the federal government and the local and state government. We then compile the information and create a standard scale and format for all of the maps so that people can compare them.” Dobson said UNCA students helped compile the information. “We have had student interns working with us throughout the process,” he said. “One in particular has been working with us to take this data from

UNCC and integrate it with the rest of WNC.” Dobson said NEMAC works on many projects similar to this one. “We have several projects that are related,” he said. “We also do a lot of work on invasive species and threats to forests.” Porter said she enjoys working with NEMAC on different projects. “I’m currently working on the WNC Report Card on Forest Sustainability,” she said. “It is a collaboration with NEMAC and the U.S. Forest Service. We’ve been working to collect data and conduct research on areas in which our region has improved in sustainable forest management and on areas we still need to work on.” According to O’Hara, it is important to not only bring attention to important data people may not know about, but also to create and under-

See FISKE Page 8

WNC land increases 568 percent since 1976 Teresa Linn staff writer

The National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center staff is working with UNC Asheville students to spread information on Western North Carolina’s rapid development by 568 percent since 1976, according to UNC Asheville student and NEMAC intern Beth Porter. “The work NEMAC does has a significant impact on the way we help share information on this very unique and special region of our state,” she said. “The staff at NEMAC is constantly creating new, dynamic ways to display data and inform the general public on a wide range of knowledge.” According to NEMAC research associate Greg Dobson, the urban growth research is a process they’ve been working on with UNC Charlotte for about a year. “Specifically, what got it started for


Freshmen senator elections for SGA ended on Friday with Sam Moser, Armon Mirian and Ben Judge winning at the polls. The three newly elected senators are very different from each other except when it comes to their readiness to dive in and work.. Moser, from Davie County, said he chose to run for SGA because it puts him in a position to be a part of campus change. He said he likes feedback from students. “I like transparency between the student government and the students,” Moser said. Mirian, from Pine Hurst, said he hopes to bring diversity and leadership to SGA. Mirian is an Eagle Scout and said he wants to help make UNC Asheville a better place for everyone. Mirian has a busy semester ahead of him between joining SGA, College Democrats, Sigma Nu and the climbing club. Judge is a prospective political science student. In his statement of candidacy for the election, Judge said, “The reason I want to run for a student government office is very simple. I love to help people, and I want to improve this school in any way I can.” Judge is not only adjusting to the new world of living away from home for the first time, he is taking 17 credit hours this semester as well as entering his candidate semester for Sigma Nu, and it doesn’t end there. Judge also participates in the Ambassador Program and plays ultimate Frisbee. During the debates on Wednesday, Judge said his biggest weakness is organization. “I think I can balance both because I have good time management,” Judge said. “And as long as I don’t psyche myself out, I think I will be able to fulfill my duty in all of these roles.” As the new semester starts and eager new faces appear, SGA will be losing

See SGA Page 7

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{The Blue Banner}

Key Center sponsors campus food drive Jessie Lovelace staff writer

The Key Center for Community and Service Learning held a food drive last week as part of a statewide hunger campaign and in honor of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. “The governor sent out a statewide call for all groups that are involved with community service, volunteering, that kind of thing, to honor the national service day by addressing the theme of hunger,” said Co-associate Director of the Key Center Cori Anderson. The food drive benefited the Emma Family Resource Center, an organization in West Asheville that supplies families in need with a wide variety of services, including a food pantry. According to Jodi Ford, the assistant of marketing and Development of Children First, nearly 80 percent of families in the Emma community live in poverty, and there is a growing demand for food assistance. “The Family Resource Center incorporates services and support for many risk factors in the Emma community— poverty, lack of education, single parenthood, child abuse, school dropout, unemployment, lack of safe, affordable housing and early academic difficulties,” Ford said. Anderson said Emma Family Resource Center usually buys food for its pantry from MANNA FoodBank. “By donating food directly to them, we’re helping them. Not only with building up their food bank, but they’re also saving money,” she said. Co-associate Director of the Key Center, Laura Furey, said the Key Center works with students who are interested in both service learning and co-curricular service. It also works with faculty who are interested in incorporating service learning into their classes and community agencies looking for volunteers. “In previous years, there’s only been a part-time person in here, so this is the first year that we’ve had a couple of full-time people,” Anderson said. The Key Center is planning upcoming service opportunities, such as an alternative spring break and NC-ACTS, an AmeriCorps program that offers five students a professional experience outside of the classroom. “Students do 300 hours of service, and included in that service is some

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Management speaker gives tips on success Jess Peete staff writer

Dustin Stuart/staff photographer

Laura Furey, co-director of UNCA’s Key Center shows the food that had been donated during last week’s food drive.

professional development. They have the opportunity to go to a student service conference,” Furey said. “They’ll work at a community agency and at the end of their 300 hours they get an $1,100 grant that will go directly toward current or future education expenses.” In addition, they are designing a new website. “Our goal within the next couple of months is to advertise those opportunities well on our new website, once that gets up and running, and really develop the culture of service on campus,” Furey said. “We’re really working to build things up and build partnerships with the community so that we have some long-term partnerships going on.” The Key Center stresses the importance of community service within higher education as a worthwhile

learning experience. “Getting students out there and incorporating service into their classroom work helps bring the theory that you’re learning about to life, and you can see how what you’re learning really applies once you leave here,” Furey said. “In a lot of the literature on higher education, it’s more than just getting a degree and moving on. One of the goals is to become civically engaged and a responsible citizen, and we know from literature that service learning helps with that,” she said. Students who are interested in learning more about the Key Center’s service opportunities may visit the website or stop by their office in the Highsmith University Union. “We’re really interested in building that culture of service and community engagement here,” Furey said.

UNC Asheville’s Student Management Association began a series of motivational speakers on Sept. 19 with a presentation on “The Essence of Success” in the Owen Hall Conference Center. Chip Madera, an executive coach and certified speaking professional, addressed the many notions of success that influence today’s society. Many people see success as having lots of money and being able to buy fancy things, but Madera said he sees it as something else entirely. “To me, success is engaging in the daily disciplines that help me fulfill my ultimate potential,” he said. Madera said it is not a good idea to base a definition of success on money and possessions because no matter what happens, the hunger for more will always arise. “If you focus on those kinds of material goals, you’re never going to be truly happy,” he said. As part of his presentation, Madera asked those in the room to think of a number between one and 10 that described their ultimate potential. While he did not ask anyone in the room to reveal their number, he made observations about everyone’s number. Madera said no one is at their number right now and the only way to go is up. “You don’t have any idea of the greatness that’s within you,” he said. In order to discover one’s ultimate potential, Madera said that the key is finding a valuable attribute: confidence. “Your confidence comes from knowing who you are, what makes you significant and the essence of your true values,” Madera said. True success comes from living passionately and with purpose, ac-

See SPEAKER Page 8


know what they will do, and those are the students we’re going to try to work with who really need some guidance,” he said. According to Barnwell, communication between students and housing officials allows for smooth transitions and less surprise issues at the end of the semester. “We have a lot of information about what’s available off campus, and we have good relationships with a lot of the off-campus apartments,” he said. “We hesitate to really refer people, or tell them, ‘This is the place to go to,’ because we don’t know their situation. I’m a lot more comfortable helping students find housing on campus.” Officials plan to begin renovations in January and finalize construction documents this month, according to Don Gordon, director of design and construction at UNCA. A new residence hall, holding 300 rooms, should begin breaking ground next year as well. “The architects are working on construction documents, and we’re supposed to get those later this month,” he said. “And from that time until we go out to bid is time for review.” According to Gordon, sustainable features have high priority in the design process, and officials greatly value student input through the process. “We’ve had students on our committee that have been working through the design process,” he said. “We’ve been trying our best to get as many sustainable features in the building as our budget will allow. The biggest one is that we’re not demolishing the build-


stand. “I try to find things that are hidden in a list of data and bring them out with imagery,” she said. “We try to bring it all to a level that anybody, whatever their profession is, can sit down and gather what is going to be relevant to their decision making.” Dobson said there are many ways students can get involved in NEMAC’s work. “A lot of projects combine a lot of skill sets that students learn here on campus,” he said. “It’s not necessarily just environmental studies. We have a lot of positions that involve Web programming, digital media and Web de-


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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 Continued


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ings, and that’s, for me, the biggest home run we can hit as far as sustainable features.” According to Nancy Yeager, director of student affairs, planning and assessment, designers on the project researched many sustainable features and currently are evaluating geothermal designs for the new residence hall. “One of the cool things that we’re looking into, it still hasn’t been finalized, but we’re looking to have solar panels on the roof of the new residence hall,” she said. Yeager said it may provide solar hot water for both Governors Village and Governors Hall. According to Gordon, the new residence hall provides the university with a unique opportunity to experiment with sustainable features. Gordon said the renovations and the new residence hall offer students more sustainable living options and cut down on wasted energy with lights that automatically turn off when a room is unoccupied. All rooms will be air conditioned but will allow students to open their windows for natural ventilation. “You’ll still be able to open your windows and use natural ventilation once that takes place,” he said. “We’ll have a feature where, when a student opens a window, it will shut off the air conditioning so you’re not wasting it.” University officials do not allow freshmen to live in Governors Village, and housing officials did not assign students rooms in Governors Village unless they requested them.



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to really work to the best of their ability as a senator. He said this is why he stepped down. “I want to maintain a legacy of commitment to excellence,” Hill said. “I want to go out strong.” As with any organization, it can be hard for SGA to communicate with all facets of campus, which leaves some students wondering exactly what SGA does. “I know people are spending a lot of time in SGA, but I have no idea what they are doing,” sophomore Claudia Yokum said. Last year, SGA lobbied to have student fees include free sexually transmitted infection testing at the Student Health Center. They also helped Information Technology Services get enough money in the budget to begin implementing wireless access in the academic buildings. During the summer, SGA members also worked closely with campus administrators to keep tuition increases from increasing more than they did. Psychology student Janey Weller said, “I think that students don’t give

Peace Corps on campus Today’s Peace Corps is growing and has thousands of new volunteer jobs available for 2011! Apply now for programs departing next year.

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sign. We are in need of a diverse skill set from students.” Porter said she gets a lot out of being involved with NEMAC. “I’ve learned so much more than I could have expected,” Porter said. “The staff at NEMAC are all amazing individuals who are open and always able to make time for the interns. I’ve learned about conducting research on a wide range of topics, creating graphs and charts and so much more.” O’Hara said the students are very important to the work they do. “We couldn’t do what we do without the students,” she said. “They take care of so many of the details.”


one very familiar face from each senate meeting. Paul “McKayne” Hill, a senior classics student, submitted a bill for his resignation from his office as a residential senator. Hill was appointed to SGA in the fall of 2009. He said he got involved with SGA as an opportunity to serve the community in a very unique way. “There’s a lot of respect that goes in the SGA that resonates with faculty and staff across campus,” Hill said. Before this semester, Hill said, balancing his workload was never really a problem. Last year, he was in SGA, a resident assistant in West Ridge where he was an active member in his residence hall council and a member of the Classical Society. Hill said this year is different. “I guess I balanced (time) before because it was easier,” Hill said. “I didn’t have really large projects. To be a senior and be on SGA, I feel like that is biting off more than you can chew.” Hill said he did not think it would be possible for him or any senior working on their thesis or capstone

Peace Corps.


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Learn how you can use your degree and experience to impact the lives of others. ..and your own.

Wednesday, September 22 Life is calling. How far will you go?

Information Table Highsmith University Union 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 23


Information Session Highsmith University Union, Room 235 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Janet Schuhl at 202.692.1053 or

Speaker Page 8

cording to Madera. He said that passion is an emotion that is deeply stirring and ungovernable. “You’ve got to get up every day and do something ungovernable,” he said. He said that success is found in effortless living. This, according to Madera, is an extension of living passionately. “When you’ve lived passionately, you learn to live effortlessly,” he said. Madera said in living purposefully, we should strive for significance rather than importance. “Being significant trumps, by miles, being important,” he said. Madera said that it is important to figure out individual purpose, no matter how long it takes. “If you wake up every day without knowing the answer to the question, ‘What is my purpose?’ you’re going to be very frustrated,” he said. Accounting student Brent Allison said the presentation pleasantly surprised him. “I expected it to be more like an info-


lack of interest in the program, Larson decided to switch majors. “I wanted to stay here and I didn’t really want to go to State,” Larson said. Larson said he now would like to pursue a career in environmental restoration, particularly the restoration of wetlands. Government-sponsored and private construction jobs must participate, sometimes by law, in restoration projects, according to Larson. “That’s where a lot of the work comes from,” Larson said. “Also, they tend to contract it out to private companies.” Larson currently prepares for his potential future career by interning with the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center, located on the UNCA campus. The center researches data in weather, climate, forest health, water resources and other resources. The project also supports undergraduate research and employs several students, such as Larson, as interns. Interning is a requirement for students in the environmental students program. Miller, whose background includes testing water quality for a mining com-

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 Continued

mercial. Madera offered some lessons for life that can’t really be taught in the classroom,” he said. Allison said he plans to attend most, if not all, of the presentations this semester. “I recently returned to school and I want to give it 110 percent this time. I think going to hear these speakers will really help with that,” he said. Management and accounting professor Linda Nelms agreed with Madera that success is something personal that should not be defined by society. Nelms said it is important for students to learn to define success for themselves. “It’s just laziness to let society define success for you,” she said. Nelms said that especially with a liberal arts education, self-definition plays a huge role in students’ lives during school and after graduation. “We can help, as faculty, with insights, but ultimately the definition of success is up to the student,” she said. “Success needs to be self-defined or



you’re not really successful,” she said. Nelms said that for some students, self-definition comes easily, but for others it is a process. “When our students graduate, some people really know what they want to do with their lives. Others experiment with different options and experiences,” she said. While success should certainly be self-defined, Nelms offered tips for students who might need guidance in finding their own definition of success. She said that it doesn’t do any good to transfer from one job to another if unhappiness ensues. Nelms recommended the book What Color is Your Parachute? by Dick Bolles for students and graduates who are possibly unsure of what career would really make them happy. According to Nelms, a helpful exercise in the book is to make a list of all the jobs they’ve ever had that made them money and write down every aspect they loved and every one they

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pany in New Jersey, said professors also consider the futures of students when selecting new faculty. He said the faculty discusses which areas of expertise are most needed then chooses applicants with similar specialties. “Just bringing in those people with those points of view will help prepare our students,” Miller said. Sophomore John Hansen, a music student, said his choice of major afGet 10% off all entrees fords him several career opportunities. These include recording music in a with UNCA Student ID! studio, setting up live sound and designing the architecture of music ven- Sunday, Sept. 19th 2:00 ues, according to Hansen. “It’s about sound engineering and to 3:30PM Ethical Society more of the physical side of music,” of Asheville meeting: “EthHansen said. “It’s actually not an arts ics & Sin - When Good degree, it’s a science degree.” Hansen also plays electric guitar, People Do Bad Things” though he does not intend to make it a full-time job. He noted that a diplo- Botanical Gardens bldg. ma in music might lead to a graduate 687-7759 degree in music education, another potential career option. Miller, who ethicalsocietyasheville@ specializes in the area of istry, said while some graduates in his department pursue further education, others receive jobs right out of school.


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hated. “It’s important to find what intrigues you,” she said. “See if you can find patterns about yourself from these lists. It will help you see things about yourself that you might have never noticed.” Nelms said everyone should have an idea of what would make them feel successful. While having an idea is important, students should be prepared to revisit and revise their plan. “At different stages of your life, you should be analyzing success differently. What makes you extremely successful in your 20s will probably be very different than what makes you extremely successful in your 50s,” she said. While the definition of success will be different from person to person, and even change throughout the years for an individual, it is important to remember each person has a purpose. Madera said that every person’s purpose is important. “There are two great days in a man’s life. The day he is born and the day he discovers why,” he said.

Arts & Features

Local artist emphasizes nature in paintings Wednesday, September 15, 2010

{The Blue Banner}

Page 9

Caitlin Halloran staff writer

When artist Robert Johnson travels, he carries a small hardback notebook with him. As he hikes and wanders to different locations, he stops, experiences the nature around him and sketches. “I come home with a whole mess of these notebook pages,” he said. “I come back and feel pregnant and feel ready to give birth to all these paintings I’ve thought about.” Illustrations in his notebook include close-ups of flowers, the way a leaf curled, or a bird he saw along a path. Johnson said he places emphasis on nature in his paintings and also in his life. “I do a lot of reading about how humans relate to natural environment. That’s the core issue of our time,” he said. “All other issues are superimposed on top of that.” In front of an audience of 15 people, Johnson spoke about the relationship between humans and nature and about his own paintings at the UNC Asheville Meet the Maker lecture series on Sept. 9. Director Brent Skidmore, who organizes the Meet the Maker events, said the panel works with surrounding art communities to coordinate a give-and-take relationship with the artists. Skidmore said they were able to recommend Johnson to an undergraduate symposium in Asheville for the day after his lecture. Johnson created “Eight Views of Mt. Pigsah,” the painting that hangs above the reference desk in the D. Hiden Ramsey Library. S. Tucker Cooke and a faculty panel commissioned the mural in 1997, which reflects the view from the library steps looking out at the mountain’s silhouette. In the foreground of “Eight Views of Mt. Pigsah” are eight bubbles of possibility for the future of the mountain. Perspec-

See Maker Page 11

Sally Garner/staff photographer

Robert Johnson sketches a yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly near his Burnsville, N.C. studio. Johnson is the artist of the painting “Eight Views of Mt. Pigsah,” which hangs above the reference desk in D. Hiden Ramsey Library.

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{The Blue Banner}

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Katie Saylors/assistant photography editor

Volunteers from all over the Asheville community perform Shakespeare nonstop for the third annual N.C. Stage Bard-a-thon last weekend.

Forty eight hours of Shakespeare raises almost $10,000 Sarah Hinson staff writer

Sleep-deprived yet animated, barefoot performers danced around a small stage and read lines from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” laughing at their occasional mistakes as part of the N.C. Stage Company’s third annual Bard-a-thon fundraiser last weekend. “I think this is a fun fundraiser,” said Amanda Leslie, managing director of the N.C. Stage Company. “It’s like a 5K for charity, except instead of donating $1 per mile, people can donate a dollar per play.” Actors and actresses ranging from middle school children to middle-aged professors performed 12 Shakespeare plays in 48 hours last weekend during the fundraiser. Leslie said the company raised more than $6,000 last year, so the new goal of $7,000 seemed possible. Half the goal was reached before the performances began,

according to Leslie. During the Bard-a-thon, spectators wandered in and out, some donating money to the nonprofit downtown theater. Viewers at home could watch live streaming videos of the plays online. Kirstin Daniel, a drama teacher at A.C. Reynolds High School, participated in the Bard-a-thon for the first time, reading roles for plays such as “Julius Caesar” and “Troilus and Cressida.” A Boston native, Daniel said she was worried about finding quality theaters in the South until she was introduced to the N.C. Stage Company in Asheville. “N.C. Stage is very exciting and dynamic,” Daniel said. “I want to support them because I get to bring my students here for really cheap, and it’s a good way to get to know people.” Actors in the Bard-a-thon were able to form teams with friends and co-workers or work individually. Some dedicated people, Leslie said, performed a role in every play. Teams from Warren Wilson

College consisting of faculty members and students have been involved the past three years. Hannah Jacobs, a student at Warren Wilson, manned the front desk at the entrance of the theater. “I’ve volunteered for the Bard-a-thon before,” Jacobs said. “Warren Wilson is building a lot of connections through N.C. Stage. I think this event is great because it gives people in the community a chance to be involved and give to the arts in a very unique way. I don’t know any other theater that does something like this.” The Bard-a-thon was not only unique in that it showcased nonstop Shakespeare plays, but also because it featured many of his less familiar works. “We are reading a lot of less frequently produced Shakespeare plays that are more obscure and not as popular,” Leslie said. “If folks are real Shakespeare buffs, it’s a chance for them to come out and see what you normally wouldn’t see performed. When you just read Shakespeare on the page, you only get about 30 percent of the

meaning. You need to see it performed.” One of the first-time attendees of the Bard-a-thon, UNC Asheville literature student Mitch Grooms, watched “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Saturday evening. “I quite liked the one I saw,” Grooms said. “It’s a fantastic play, of course, and the production was so fun.” Grooms said the event seemed like a success because the participants had many pledges. “I mean, the audiences got to see Shakespeare and they got money, so that’s sort of a success all around,” Grooms said. Daniel said she participated in the Barda-thon because she loves Shakespeare and wanted to meet other people who share her interest, but she also hopes the event will increase interest in the N.C. Stage Company. “Hopefully, what it will do is bring people to come see the shows so next year we will have more people donating and participating,” she said.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

tive scenes include a capitalistic future, government-run land, a religious apocalyptic interpretation and a preserved ecosystem buried beneath city grime. Johnson said his paintings range from the hypothetical and close to home, like his mural of Mount Pisgah, to the fartraveled hiking stories of New Zealand, when he lived in a van for three months and traveled the coast. “What I’m trying to do is represent my subjective experience of the place,” the painter said. “It’s not a photograph.” Described as a visual storyteller, Johnson articulates the feeling of a location and shares experiences he had while visiting. “When I go out and experience a place, a landscape, I’ll see a flower, pick it up and experience it,” he said. His paintings are not literal depictions of a particular location, but a feeling. He described the hypothetical flower, and said it may only have been a little flower in a big setting, but it was important to his understanding, so it may play a bigger and more vital role in the artwork. It takes Johnson three months to feel comfortable leaving with his backpack full of visual memories, and staying longer usually makes the images blend and age in his mind, he said. Upon return-

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ing, he holes himself up, hides from distraction, paints for about a year and then presents his collection. “I feel like I wear blinders. All these beautiful things are happening, but I can’t get distracted,” he said. Amy Wolf, an art student and teaching fellow, said she relates to the hideaway feeling of creating a collection. The 21-year-old spends her spare time tucked away in a makeshift studio in Carmichael Hall. As a student and an artist, she said she must squeeze several time-consuming tasks into one day. “I have 80 hours of work and three days to do it,” she said. “I don’t really consider the physical or personal consequences like food or sleep or sanity.” Alumna Sam Woods, who graduated in December 2009, said she understands the intensity of artistic legacy and rushing to complete a deadline. A former resident assistant in Founders Hall, Woods suggested to the community director at the time they do something to set the building apart from other residence halls. Woods brainstormed 10 different mural ideas before the housing office settled on the current design. The picture uses the same view from the library steps of Mount Pisgah that Johnson used.


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Sally Garner/staff photographer

Robert Johnson draws inspiration from nature in his artwork and sketches. Johnson said it takes him about a year before he feels comfortable enough to showcase his latest artwork.

Fashioning Asheville Male fashion sense lacks direction but can change Chris Kane staff writer

Most men don’t read Vogue, or watch “What Not to Wear,” or know the difference between Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano. It’s not realistic to assume that males (to make a generalization) care much about fashion or whether lapis lazuli or cerulean looks better with their complexion. But for men whose ritual dressing involves finding something stain-free and fresh smelling, there are some easy ways to look less Kevin Federline and more GQ. This is not to say that every man should be a carbon copy of the Hollywood metrosexual. However, avoiding a major faux pas is important, because people notice. “I think that my European style is attractive to girls,” said UNC Asheville junior Jonas Brobeck, a native of Sweden. “I think it’s because Europeans wear bet-

“There are some easy ways to look less Kevin Federline and more GQ.” ter shoes.” En route to the cafeteria, I came across Taylor Orr, whose ensemble consisted of a black graphic tee under a plaid buttondown shirt paired with camouflage cargo shorts. Many men don’t realize that the combination of two different prints usually clashes. It is better to chose one item of clothing with a print as a “statement piece.” Orr’s plaid shirt would have complimented a pair of charcoal grey shorts better if tucked in with a belt. He could also safely wear it with denim. Underneath the shirt, he could have opted for a plain white T-shirt, which would have been less distracting. Another common mistake that men

make is wearing ill-fitting, oversized clothing. While this look was propagated by designers such as Giorgio Armani in the ‘80s and by Marc Jacobs and the grunge fashions of the ‘90s, it now looks outdated in the context of the fitted menswear of recent runway presentations. A good way to judge whether a shirt fits well is to determine where the shoulder seam falls; if it hits the upper arm, the shirt is too big. Pants and jeans should fit such that two fingers can fit side-by-side in the waistband. By keeping summer and winter clothes separate, men can avoid another common fashion faux pas—combining two different fabrics that shouldn’t be worn together.

Hair is another trap. Here is where less fashion-conscious guys have an advantage. More common mistakes occur when men’s hair is overstyled with too much product. “I am so tired of seeing guys with ‘Jersey Shore’ hair, full of gel or hairspray,” said Robert Wells, who studies cosmetology at A-B Tech. “Hair isn’t supposed to be cemented into place. The natural look is very in right now, and it looks better anyway.” American men tend to dress too casually. This has been the subject of many articles in men’s fashion magazines. Why wear sweatpants when jeans are a comfortable alternative? And on the subject of jeans, dark denim is always preferable. Plain v-necks are fashionable and casual, a better alternative to crew neck T-shirts. Men, you may not be interested in runway shows or trend forecasting, but look to fashion designer Vivienne Westwood for wisdom. “Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.”

Study Abroad/Away opportunities provide cultural understanding Page 12



Students at UNC Asheville have oncein-a-lifetime opportunities for a learning experience through the university’s Study Abroad/Away program. “I think it’s probably the easiest time to go abroad when you don’t have the ties of the full-time job or limited vacation time,” said Study Abroad/Away Director Bonnie Parker. “It’s also a great time to do a lot of exploring, self-reflection and learning about the world.” Program Specialist Diane Royer said studying abroad in college leads to friends that will last a lifetime and creates travel opportunities in the future. Some of the more popular places that students travel include Europe and Latin America. According to Royer, since UNCA offers French, Spanish and German classes, many students enjoy traveling to countries where they have some familiarity with the language. During the 2009-10 academic year, 34 students studied in Europe, 34 in Latin America, five in Asia, three in the Pacific Oceania and one spent a semester at sea, according to Parker. Study Abroad Advisor Cara Gilpin and Parker are working to increase the number of students interested in studying abroad at one of the three exchange programs in Asia. Gilpin said a diverse curriculum is one of the many advantages of traveling internationally. “There are going to be courses that you can take overseas, perhaps a specialty that you’re interested in. Some of the things that you can witness and do, they allow you to be very creative with your education,” she said. Each graduating class at UNCA has a study abroad rate of 15 percent of the student body, which Parker said is actually pretty high. On average, 150 students from UNCA participate in domestic and international study abroad programs and shortterm programs during the summer and spring breaks. “In terms of places that you can go it’s pretty wide open,” Gilpin said. Past service-learning and short-term trips abroad include places such as Bolivia, Italy and Honduras. Destinations for the 2010 short-term summer programs include Greece, Turkey and Ghana. “It brings in critical thinking skills and it kind of forces you to look at your own culture from a different view,” Parker said. For the domestic Study Away program, six UNCA students chose to study at other universities as part of the National Student Exchange program, which includes 180 universities across the United States and in Canada. “I think the benefits are great because a


lot of students want to explore places in the U.S. they haven’t been or are thinking about moving to for grad schools and jobs,” Parker said. Participating in a Study Abroad/ Away program, according to Parker, is the perfect complement to UNCA’s liberal arts education. “It really expands the student’s education because they bring back something that they may not have gotten that global perspective on here,” Royer said. Students entering the job market can also include their international experiences on their resumes. “Employers see that and they know the set of skills that come from doing something like that,” Parker said. “They know that that person has learned or had to be adaptable to different situations and be flexible and maybe learn to be more open-minded. Things like that that can translate to the work place as a positive skills.” The university and students also benefit from the Study Abroad/Away program due to the increased population of international students. According to Parker, students who spend a semester or academic year abroad free up space for international students to come to UNCA for their study abroad experience. A total of 46 international students chose to study at UNCA for both semester-long and academic-year programs. Parker said what she enjoys most about her job is the feedback from students who have traveled abroad. “What I get, overall, is the sense that students have a stronger sense of selfconfidence and independence having gone through something that takes them out of their comfort zone,” she said. “Sometimes, depending on where they go, they have language skills that they’ve acquired. Most times, though, they feel like they come back with a global perspective, when they may have left with a very localized kind of viewpoint.” Gilpin and Parker said students planning to study abroad for a semester or academic year should begin the process, ideally, one year in advance in order to research and ensure qualification in the program. According to Royer, students planning to study abroad must receive permission from their faculty advisor, enroll in courses that will count toward their major, and receive approval from the registrar’s office. She said academic credit is given to students as both transfer and study abroad credit on their transcripts, which will count toward their graduation requirements. The Study Abroad/Away office will no longer hold informational sessions, but students can drop by the office in the university’s OneStop office to receive information and begin planning their Study Abroad/ Away experience. The Study Abroad/Away fair is scheduled for Sept. 22 in Alumni Hall.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Student Travelogues

Page 13

Reflections on a year abroad By Gillian Scruggs


Photo courtesy of Jonathan Gach UNCA student Jonathan Gach visited the Great Wall of China during his study abroad experience in Hong Kong.

Chinese customs and heritage By Jonathan Gach


he opportunity to experience Hong Kong through casual observation and formal structured introduction has provided me insight into meaningful aspects of Chinese heritage. With limited knowledge about China before arriving in Hong Kong, while here I have sought to confirm those admirable Western perceptions of the Chinese. During my visit to the walled village of the Tang clan in Ping Shan and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin, I acknowledged important aspects contributing to Chinese heritage: family, education, aesthetics and pride. The structural and social design of the Ping Shan walled village is conducive to family relations. Observing the structural design indicated that family is strongly integrated into the Chinese way of life, as descendants stay in the same community in order to contribute to the responsibili-

ties of village life and the success of future generations. Respect for one’s ancestors and the custom of providing land to males born into the clan emphasize a sense of family. Combined, the structural and social design permit adequate care for each generation and enduring success of the Tang clan. The joint efforts of the village ancestral hall and those successful members’ monetary contributions to the village study hall confirmed a sincere emphasis on education and shared prosperity. To dedicate one’s time to academic studies suggests the support and consensus on the importance of education. Rigorous studies required significant time from each student, who might otherwise be contributing to domestic or agricultural operations. It required the support of everyone so that through education and qualifying for government positions , they might further the clan’s success and name.

Aesthetic value of Chinese heritage is simply awe inspiring in its authenticity, craftsmanship and history. What might otherwise appear to be a simple wood, stone and tile structure upon closer observation becomes full of detail with hundreds of years of history and strong ties to the ever important feng shui. Full, vivid, colorful adornments to these structures are carried out through other aspects of heritage, including the Cantonese Opera, performing arts and religious worship. Above all, the tactful and mysteriously humble tradition of pride is evident throughout Chinese heritage. It is also conveyed through restoration works, documentation of the past and concern for protecting the future of Chinese heritage. It speaks highly of the Chinese to manage the delicate balance of respect and pride.

nstead of taking a traditional semester to study abroad, I decided to expand my time to a year, leaving the second semester open for adventure. I left for Chile in August last year with a general outline of what my year abroad would entail. I was to study at the Universidad de Viña del Mar in Viña del Mar, Chile, until December, then hop over to Argentina to work on an organic farm and finally finish up my year teaching English as a foreign language. Because I left my travel plans open, I had the fortune of traveling to Machu Picchu in Peru and to Montevideo, Uruguay. I probably wouldn’t have been able to make these trips happen if I hadn’t taken some travel time for myself. Although studying abroad was great fun, I know that my real immersion experience took place when I went out into Argentina by myself and had no English-speaking allies to help me get around or express myself. In February, after studying in Chile and working on a farm in Argentina, I moved to Laboulaye, a very small city in the south of the province of Córdoba, Argentina, to work as an English teacher and to “got mitzvah” myself into adulthood. Laboulaye is one of those cities where you can’t walk downtown without seeing absolutely everyone you know. My second day there I was interviewed for the local news channel about my teaching position at the local English institute. I stumbled through the interview, putting myself to shame as a teacher while grinning and nodding with an upset stomach. The next day I was lunching with the headmistress, Claudia, when my bite of chicken was interrupted by my face appearing on the TV screen. My eyes rolled around in my head as I nodded too frequently to what the news anchor was saying. “Ella es Jeelian EsScrum,” he said, pronouncing my name as eloquently as he knew how. A grin was stretched almost painfully across my face as I was jabbering in terrible Spanish, and to my horror, mimicking for my audience a typical American Southern accent. I could have died. But what’s worse is that in a tiny town full of people who all watch News Channel 2 during their lunch at 1 p.m., everybody saw it. I was recognized by all, yet I knew no one. People passed me on the street on motorbikes and actual bikes and said loudly, “That’s her, that’s that girl.” I was even recognized and blessed by a nun. But when you’re the only North American in a town of 20,000 Argentineans, I guess it’s hard to hide. Teaching English was like giving your toddler big-girl pants just a little bit before she knows what big-girl pants are all about. All of a sudden, my days are full of lesson plans and games, and all the while I’m not really certain how to teach. It’s one thing to teach something that you’ve been taught. When I teach someone to tie a climbing knot, I visualize the method that other instructors have taught me. But language is one of those things that you are learning before you can even walk. Imagine trying to explain to someone how to not just pee one’s pants. You just don’t. You know not to. And if you do, you suffer the consequences. We grow without learning complicated, man-created structures for basic, conversational language. We don’t learn rules for when you’d use “I’ll” versus “I’m going to.” I really struggled with having to re-teach myself my native language. I started teaching a 5-year-old beginners class, but that was quickly given to a different teacher. Here’s how the second day

Photo courtesy of Gillian Scruggs Gillian Scruggs visited Mach Picchu during her year-long study abroad experience in South America.

of this class went. We spent 10 minutes copying the date on the board. I blame myself. Never underestimate the excitement of a 5-year-old to actually be able to copy something off a board. Also, never underestimate the amount of time that activity can take. And then, after it’s all said and done, they’ve written “Viernes” instead of “Friday,” which is what the board says. Then, we spent 30 minutes of me saying “Findddddd red!” and various other colors, and then all of us thundered around the tiny room, knocking over metal pencil boxes, jumping up and down on chairs, and searching for yellow when we were supposed to be looking for red. Then, a note came through that we needed to copy down the new schedule, and it took another 30 minutes to write “Miércoles y Jueves, 6:15-7:15 p.m.” Man, was that hard, especially when we didn’t like how it was written and erased it every time our hand managed to scrawl out the letters. And then we got our foot stuck in the chair. And then we knocked over our pencil case. And then we made our grandmother, in the taxi downstairs, wait for us for 15 minutes while we ferociously colored a picture of a pear orange. What? It wasn’t a pumpkin? Teaching English was definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve ever attempted. I’m so glad I took the time to remind myself how much easier it is to be a student than a teacher. I returned to the United States in July, ready to return home to my family and friends, and thankful for having allowed myself to be truly immersed and steeped in another culture.

To read additional student travelogues submitted to The Blue Banner, visit

Play defines the meaning of living and dying in the South Page 14

{The Blue Banner}

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hali Ledford assistant arts and features editor

Dressed in men’s clothing and speaking with a thick Southern drawl, Elisabeth Gray played the part of William Ernest Fells, a heartbroken man delivering his dead wife’s eulogy after she electrocuted herself with a curling iron. Gray wrote “Southern (dis)Comfort,” the one-woman show she performed Thursday at Carol Belk Theater. The show combines the monologues of six different characters, including Fells, living and dying in the South. “The question at the root of all the pieces is, ‘How do people experience loneliness and how do hearts break? And is there particularly a Southern way to be lonely and is there a Southern way to have your heart break?’” Gray said. “There is something different about Southern people. I felt it but I didn’t really understand it until I left the South. What makes us different, and is there something that unites us Southerners? What does the tow truck driver have in common with the society lady?” Gray teamed up with the UNC Asheville Foundation to raise money for scholarships and her new Asheville-based, multidisciplinary arts nonprofit organization, New Umbrella Inc. “We had an opportunity to work alongside the UNCA Foundation and raise money for the UNCA Foundation and scholarships,” Gray said. A volunteer board of directors made up of community and alumni lead the UNCA Foundation, which works as a separate, tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation, according to Julie Heinitsh, the development office director of development. “The Foundation, through the development office, receives gifts for the university and solicits donations from alumni, parents, friends, businesses and foundations,” Heinitsh said. “The Foundation also manages the gifts they receive, and then makes sure that the funds are distributed and used as they were intended. We are raising money for scholarships, programming, equipment, things like that.” New Umbrella Inc. strives to create and promote multidisciplinary works of art that enrich the mind and engage the spirit, according to Gray. “It’s not specifically a theater company and it’s not a dance company and it’s not a film production house and it’s not an art gallery,” Gray said. “Hopefully, it’s artists from across all disciplines being able to come together and work together and collaborate, and also create an umbrella for various organizations and individual artists to organize in a functional and efficient way.” Gray said the entire production of “Southern (dis)Comfort” came together in pieces.” After she won an award for the first piece she wrote, “Crooked,” the the-

Photos courtesy of Elisabeth Gray

Elisabeth Gray plays a tow truck driver, above, and William Ernest Fells, below, in her one-woman show. ater that hosted the competition asked if she could create her one-woman show. “I am known for my procrastination, so what came together was I did that piece, “Crooked,” and I did a couple of other improvisations and then I read a lot of Southern literature,” Gray said. “The feedback from that show was, ‘Wow, the Southern literature you read was really boring. Maybe you could try doing some more of these Southern characters and bring them together.’” With that piece of advice, Gray wrote the remaining parts to “Southern (dis)Comfort” during the course of nine months, and based it off people she met while traveling through the South. “The effort is just to be true to these people, because they are real people, and not judge them,” Gray said. “Every human life is special. I think we honor that instead of stereotypes. The South is notoriously stereotyped and Southerners are stereotyped, and we say ‘Here’s a stereotype. Let’s unravel it and find the dimensionality behind that.’” Gray’s production appealed to many Southerners, including Alabama native Franklin Ellis, who said he has a natural

leaning to Southern things. When he saw the title “Southern (dis)Comfort,” he said he knew he had to see it. Ellis said Gray did a great job capturing the essence of Southerners with her thick accent. “There were quite a few scenes that rang a bell with me,” he said. UNCA mathematics faculty member Dot Sulock said she enjoyed Gray’s production, calling it unbelievable and excellent. “She wove a tapestry of humor and sadness that really worked to wrench the emotions,” said Sulock, who has lived in the South for 34 years. “I have hardly been so engrossed in any production.” Gray grew up in South Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia before moving to North Carolina. She graduated from Asheville High School in 2002 and continued her education at Oxford University in England. Gray has been traveling, acting, writing and producing since she graduated from Oxford in 2005. She plans to come back to UNCA later in the year to teach a workshop. “I do it because if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have a reason to be here. It sounds cheesy to say, but I feel like it’s my

vocation. When I write, when I act, when I’m creating, I feel purpose,” Gray said. “I’ve been a gypsy now for five years and that’s why I love to be back in Asheville. It’s good to be home.”

{The Blue Banner}

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Page 15

Campus Spotlight

UNCA student encourages community biking Alyssa Spencer managing editor

Royce Breckon said he was never interested in bicycles until he came to UNC Asheville. Now, he competes in bicycle races, is the president of the Cycling Club and is supervisor of the Bike Shop. “My dad was a motorcycle road racer when I was growing up, so I’ve always been into motorcycles,” said Breckon, a senior management student.  “I had my first motorcycle when I was 5.  When I began at UNCA, I started asking around for some good trails to ride motorcycles on, and there weren’t any.  But everyone was into this whole mountain bike thing.  So I got into bikes my freshman year.” Breckon said he became active in the Cycling Club his sophomore year.  He has been an officer since the beginning of his involvement, although this is his first year as president. “There has been a bike club on campus for a long time, but Neal Beckett and Corey Sheip resurrected the club a few years ago,” the Florida native said.  “We have road rides Mondays and Wednesdays at 4 p.m., a mountain bike ride at 4:30 on Fridays and we’ll go out on rides throughout the week, too.  If someone wants to go on a ride, we’ll send out an e-mail and try to get some people together.” The Cycling Club and the Bike Shop are components of campus recreation.  Encouraging community involvement is a goal for both organizations, according to Breckon. “One of our favorite events is International Mountain Biking Association’s ‘Take your kid mountain biking day,’ which is a bunch of youths getting out there on mountain bikes and tearing up the trails.  They have mini races set up for them.  They help referee it and ride next to them,” Breckon said.  Juggling classes, the Cycling Club and the Bike Shop is a challenge, Breckon said.  He acknowledged two faculty members who help him keep the biking organizations running smoothly. “Our club coach is Nolan LaVoie, the assistant director of campus recreation,” Breckon said.  “He comes from a very extensive background of mountain biking, both as a coach and as a rider.  Our faculty advisor is Dave Peifer, the chair of the math department.  Dave has been around since the beginning of the club.  He knows every trail.  We are super fortunate to have them both.  It takes a decent amount of am-

bition and hard work behind closed doors to maintain an active club.” Breckon said many of the Cycling Club members take their bikes to the Bike Shop for service. He stressed that the Bike Shop is a facility for learning and not just a place that gives quick fixes on broken bike parts. “This shop is not like some other places where you just bring your bike in, drop it off and then come back the next day,” Breckon said.  “We show you how to maintain your bike.  A pretty big portion of the students here commute by bike, so it’s important for them to know how to work on their stuff and know we are here as a resource.” Breckon said he wants to share his passion for biking with others and encourage riders of all skill levels to participate in the Cycling Club. “Our weekly rides have a no-drop policy, which means no matter your skill level, we won’t just leave you and run off.  We want to work with you, get you more interested in biking and help you to become a better rider,” he said.  Drew Cistola, a third-year Bike Shop employee, said Breckon is a good boss because he is trustworthy. “Royce has been my supervisor for a year and a half,” the senior literature student said.  “He has a lot of natural leadership qualities in terms of taking responsibility and helping others.  He’s able to bring a lot to the table.” According to Breckon, the Cycling Club competes in races, and he participates in a race almost every weekend.  He said he has never had any broken bones or gotten a concussion while on a trail. “The biggest injury I’ve had happened two weekends ago,” he said.  “I came down wrong on a four cross race and rolled my ankle off the pedal, which caused the pedal to come around and grab ahold of my shin.  But you just get used to injuries.  You take care of yourself, and it heals.” After he graduates in May, Breckon said he would like to continue to work in the bicycle industry.  His ideal jobs include working in research or as project manager of a bicycle firm. “Royce is a good fit for the biking industry because he is knowledgeable and he dedicates himself to the sport,” said Neal Beckett, vice president of the Cycling Club. Encouraging riders to have fun is one thing Breckon always strives to do. “Most people starting out are intimidated,” he said.  “We say, ‘Please don’t be.’  Our motto is ‘Ride bikes.’  We just want people to come out and enjoy themselves.”

Courtney Metz/contributing photographer

Senior Royce Breckon competes at the 4X race at East Tennessee State University, the first race of the season, Aug. 28 and 29. Breckon is the president of the Cycling Club and works as supervisor of the Bike Shop.

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Photo Corner

Flash mob surprises students one dance move at a time

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Campus Events Meet the Maker: Victoria Hyatt Sowers Highsmith Union 114 Thursday, 7 p.m. George H. Atkinson speaks at 13th annual S. Dexter Squibb Lecture Series Robinson Hall 125 and Zeis 014 Thursday and Friday, 7:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Music Under the Stars Open Mic Night The Quad Thursday, 10 p.m.

photos by Megan Dombroski/ photography editor

When Daft Punk’s “Technologic” started playing at noon last weekend in the Highsmith Union, 10 students performed a choreographed dance in unison. There were no announcements. There was no indication of a performance before noon. It was just a part of the plan for George Martinat, top right, the mastermind of the flash mob. “As a theater person, I see it as a way to take theater outside of traditional theater space and allow what we do to become part of the accessible audience. Bring art into real life,” said Lisa Kloppel, assistant professor of drama at UNC Asheville. Juniors Peter Clausen and Leah Shapiro in the Highsmith Union played a board game minutes before they participate in a flash mob as a part of Project Limelight.

Symphony Talk with Daniel Meyer The Manheimer Room Friday, 3 p.m. Blue Echo Launch Party Highsmith Grotto Friday, 8 p.m. For more campus activities, visit:

Sports Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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Bulldog soccer looks forward to next game Amari Clements staff writer

Ashley Doty/ contributing photographer

A member of the Cycling Club shows his moves at a mountain biking event the club competed in last year.

UNCA’s Cycling Club kicks off season Justin Stewart staff writer

Several UNC Asheville Cycling Club members started their fall race schedule at a rain-soaked mountain biking competition at Lees-McRae College last weekend. The squad represented UNCA on the rugged cross-country course at the host school’s campus in the highlands of Banner Elk, N.C. The campus also features technical dual slalom and high-speed short tracks, although no members raced in those events. “The cross-country course at LeesMcRae is insane,” said Ashley Doty, a health and wellness and math student. He has been with the Cycling Club at UNCA since transferring from Georgia last year. In addition to Doty, fellow cross-country biker Royce Breckon participated in the men’s expert cross-country race, but the final results for the meet won’t be available until next week. “It went really well,” Breckon said. “I was really pleased with it. I’d raced before in wet conditions but it was difficult trying to stay in control.”

Club riders Tim Koerber and Neal Beckett also represented UNCA in the pro-level men’s downhill event despite soggy course conditions atop nearby Beech Mountain on Saturday afternoon. Koerber also participated in the Men’s Pro-level cross-country event. “I just tried not to think about the conditions and realized it was going to be slick,” Koerber said about his events. “I tried to go a little slower to keep my bike upright.” More riders were planning on competing, but according to Doty, the conditions were too dangerous. “They were doing crazy downhill events in the rain all weekend, although some that were planning on racing backed out,” Doty said. “The rain just made the course too dangerous.” Despite not having a full team and the dangerous conditions, Koerber said he was pleased with the races. “Not everybody raced, but overall, it was a good weekend,” he said. The next competition on the schedule for UNCA’s mountain biking outfit is at Clemson University on Sept. 25, followed by a date at Georgia Tech on Oct. 2. The Atlanta-area venue is the team’s fi-

nal destination before the national competitions in Nevada on Oct. 15. Doty said the team hopes to finish strong this year. “The mountain biking team is looking to increase our points to make it to nationals,” Doty said. UNCA’s road racing schedule is set to begin in February, but the club’s road cycling team is constantly training in the offseason. The club regularly hosts rides and meetings in addition to their scheduled intercollegiate competitions. “We simply enjoy getting out and riding bikes, all while getting an amazingly fun workout,” Doty said. “We greatly desire everyone who rides, and encourage both road and mountain bikers to come out and join us.” The Cycling Club is a student club, not a school-sponsored athletic program, but the team regularly pedals against varsity cycling and mountain biking teams. They recently became members of the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference. The SECCC is one of the 11 conferences that competes within the National Collegiate Cycling Association, which is recognized as a standing committee of U.S. Cycling.

In soccer action last week, the men’s team stormed to victory while the women lost a tough battle. But the coaches for both teams said the Bulldogs are playing well. As the women’s team warmed up for its fifth game of the season Sunday afternoon, the players could only hope their losing streak would come to an end. However, Wofford College had other ideas. They scored an undefended goal in the first minute of the game. “We have to work a little bit harder on marking our men in the box,” said No. 12 Leilani Halkiotis, a junior midfielder. Fighting back from the 1-0 deficit, UNCA got on the board in the last five minutes of the first half.  From 20 yards out, Halkiotis sent a free kick into the box to sophomore forward Chloe McClearySmith, who found the back of the net, marking her first of the season. The energy was Leilani Halkiotis high after McClearySmith scored the first goal, which led them to score yet another point.  The second goal came from Halkiotis in the first few minutes of the second half. It is her second of the season. “I think we gave it our all,” she said.   With the score 2-1 Asheville, the Bulldogs came close to snatching their first win, but then disaster struck. At the 70-minute marker, Wofford came back with two goals in quick succession to win the game 3-2. The Bulldogs are now 0-5-0. “We had momentum in the second half. We went up on them, but we got too comfortable because we thought we had the

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Sports Profile

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Junior Morrow brothers lead the way for UNCA soccer Justin Greenwood staff writer

Mixing siblings and sports usually results in sibling rivalry; think the Williams sisters. But UNC Asheville soccer brothers Eli and J.J. Morrow never let that affect them. “When you’re on a team with your brother, you are always pushed to do your best,” Eli Morrow said. From a recreational league to the college level, Eli and J.J. Morrow have been playing soccer together practically their whole lives. “We started playing before I can even remember, maybe 5 or 6,” Eli Morrow said. “Our family has always been supportive of playing sports.” Although the brothers are currently dominating the soccer field, they grew up playing a variety of sports, including basketball and baseball, before they settled on soccer. “Other sports are just too slow, especially baseball,” Eli Morrow said. Hailing from Pittsboro, the duo started their soccer careers in recreational leagues around the age of 8 and moved up to the top level at age 11. As teammates, they played for the same team from age 11 all the way through high school, helping it go from worst to first in their state championships. While playing at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, Eli Morrow earned all conference and regional honors as a senior. He said his favorite thing about soccer is not just honors and championships, but the team and the game. “I love playing with the team,” Eli Morrow said. “Everyone is always so excited to get out there and play.” J.J. Morrow also loves the game, but he said it is because of the physical aspect. “My favorite thing is crushing people and getting into tackles,” J.J. Morrow said. “It’s not as physical as football or hockey, but it is just as much fun.”

Robin Singer/ staff photographer

The Morrow brothers practice their game face at practice last week. Luckily for him, his 6-foot-3-inch stature allows him to use his size to his advantage and he is considered a vital part of the defense in his third season as a Bulldog. After starting the past two seasons and making the Big South Rookie Team his freshman year, J.J. Morrow said he also tries to contribute to the team as a leader

on the field. “I feel like I’m responsible for keeping people out of slumps,” he said. “It’s so easy to hang your head when things aren’t going your way, and I try to keep them positive.” Eli Morrow said he tries to have a working attitude, whether it’s during practice or

a game, and he tries to contribute that to the team. Aside from J.J. Morrow, Eli Morrow said he feels like he has multiple brothers in his teammates. “When you’re on the field, everybody is your brother,” he said. Although he has solidified his status at UNCA as an athlete, his journey to Asheville was originally more academic than athletic. “I had an academic scholarship to UNCA,” he said. “J.J. got recruited to play soccer, and I asked the coach if I could walk on, and I made the team.” Eli Morrow played his first season as a midfielder in 2009 and started 14 out of 18 games. He scored his first goal against the University of South Carolina Upstate. Recruited in 2008, J.J. Morrow said he was already very familiar with the school and area, thanks to his older brother and Bulldog soccer star Alex Morrow. “Every week he would call home excited about what was going on,” J.J. Morrow said. “He would bring us up here to visit and that was kind of like how we got recruited.” As freshmen, J.J. and Eli Morrow even had a chance to play with their older brother. Like most younger brothers, they looked up to him not only as a role model, but also as a fellow soccer player. “Even before college, we talked to him and asked for advice,” Eli Morrow said. “We asked him things like what we should do outside of practice to get better.” After college, Eli Morrow said soccer would just be a thing of the past even though it is a big part of his life. “I’m going to try to become a medical doctor after college, so after this, I’m done playing soccer,” he said. J.J. Morrow, on the other hand, said he wants his soccer career after UNCA to continue. “I want to play for the Raleigh RailHawks and go to graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill,” he said.

Bulldog athletes juggle good grades and top statistics Rush Masten staff writer

Two and a half hours of soccer practice a day combined with homework, classes and games sounds like lots of work. But Bulldog athletes find time during the school week to do it all. To explain the demands of an in-season UNC Asheville athlete, freshman soccer player Sam Rossabi details his student ath-

lete life. “I definitely think it’s worth it being a student athlete,” Rossabi said. “It’s a lot of fun to be on the team and definitely worth the extra work.” Athletes like Rossabi, who are currently in season, are not only expected to perform on the field, but they are also required to meet certain criteria in the classroom and in everyday life. To help them win games and get straight A’s, UNCA has a strict code of conduct

that all Bulldogs must follow. “It’s not unmanageable to be a student athlete, but it’s tough,” Rossabi said. “It’s probably harder because you spend a lot of time at practice that you could spend studying.” Academic success is a necessity for UNCA’s athletes because they will not be allowed to perform otherwise.  Informing teachers of absences because of away games and turning in assignments on time are the responsibilities of the stu-

dent athlete. “It’s on you to make sure you keep up with your classes because if you don’t, you can’t play,” Rossabi said.  “You  also have to let your teachers know a couple of days in advance when we go on road trips.” Aside from academic responsibilities, good sportsmanship is something the athletics department insists all its student athletes have. 

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


lead,” McCleary-Smith said. According to Assistant Coach Mary Casey, the loss occurred due to minor errors. “I think it came down to little mistakes here and there. We will learn from it and go further from there. Although we are 0 and 5, we are not losing faith, we are getting there,” Casey said. Goal scorer McCleary-Smith said she agrees. “It was a great game, although we struggled a little bit. We put forth the effort the whole game, and that’s big,” she said. The Bulldogs play tonight against Furman at 7 p.m. According to Casey, they will continue to play hard no matter what the scoreboard says. “We need to continue to build on what we’ve been doing. Next game, I want it to be a little cleaner, less mistakes. We are improving. I think we just need to build off this game,” she said. Casey and Head Coach Michelle Demko said they are confident in the team’s future. “This is a team Michelle and I both feel good about,” Casey said. Another coach feeling good about the team is Matt Kern, head coach of the men’s team. “We played well enough to win. They just need to be unselfish in the final third,” he said. The win came against the Brevard College Hurricanes last Wednesday with a 3-0 blow-out. They now have a two-game winning streak.  Bryan Bartels, No. 23, scored the first goal in the first 15 minutes. No. 20 Jake Hagedorn and No. 17 Connor Holzinger were the other scorers. Holzinger’s penalty kick was his first goal of the season. “It’s not very easy to play well after you have already played well in one game, but I thought we did pretty good,”  Holzinger said. Asheville’s goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen made six saves to earn his second straight shutout.  Junior midfielder Hagedorn said he is



Page 17

Bulldog Scorecard Men’s soccer Wednesday vs. Brevard College 3-0 (W)

Women’s soccer Thursday vs. Elon 0-2 (L) Sunday vs. Wofford 2-3 (L)


Frankie Camacho/ staff photographer

Junior defender Carolyn O’Brien strikes the ball against Wofford.

hopeful for the rest of the season. “If we continue to play well, we should make a good run in the Big South this year,” he said. Last year, the men were sixth in the Big South Conference. With such a great start this season, they said they all have higher

Bulldog “Working hard and respecting the rules of the game is important,” Rossabi said. In addition,  UNCA’s athletic code of conduct requires all athletes to become responsible citizens.  Being a responsible citizen entails following state and federal laws and exercising good judgment.  “If we aren’t responsible citizens, we will have punishments like extra fitness, being kicked off the team or something like that,” Rossabi said.  

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expectations. They are 2-1-0 this season, and their next game will be participating in the Lipscomb Classic in Nashville, Tenn. “We play 17 games this season and I want to win more games than I lose,” Kern said.


The fun doesn’t stop for UNCA’s student athletes on the road, where they must deal with lights-out rules and behavior checks. “We must be in our beds by 10:30,” Rossabi said. On the road, student athletes are examples of typical UNCA students and are required to dress appropriately. At school, the dress code is clear, according to Rossabi. “As a team, we wear khaki shorts and T-shirts with the Asheville logo,” he said.


Friday vs. UNC Greensboro 1-3 (L) Saturday vs. Austin Peay 0-3 (L) vs. ETSU 1-3 (L)

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“We also have a ‘no hats in class’ rule.” Health and hygiene are important for student athletes because good grades and good performances are hard to come by with an empty stomach and fleas.  Rossabi said athletes must take care of themselves and make good decisions. “We must shower before class, eat well, take care of ourselves and make good decisions,” Rossabi said.  Rossabi and his team are in action this weekend in Nashville, Tenn.

Chloe McCleary-Small

Women’s soccer player Chloe McCleary-Smith scored her season’s first goal Sunday vs. Wofford.

Campus Voice Page 20


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Expensive schools value luxury instead of education Jessica Yee JHYEE@UNCA.EDU COPY DESK CHIEF

Barbie and Ken did nothing to earn their dream house. Likewise, the low-performing Los Angeles Unified School District did not deserve to build the most expensive public school complex in the country. “My elementary school looked like a jail and I turned out fine,” said senior health and wellness student Katherine Mullen. “It doesn’t matter about the building, it’s the teachers in it.” The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, which cost $578 million to construct, opened on Monday. Talking benches, a state-of-the-art swimming pool, a 10-acre park and faculty dining rooms are only some of the campus’s luxurious amenities. “That’s just mind-boggling. Talking benches? You just don’t need talking benches,” said Pat O’Cain, UNC Asheville honors program assistant. “That just doesn’t make sense to me as an educational enhancement.” During the past two years, the district laid off 3,000 teachers. It seems administrators consider the talking benches, which recount the history of the campus when one sits on them, adequate substitutes for actual teachers. According to the California Department of Education, a $640 million deficit waits to confront LAUSD. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger already cut almost $12 billion from the state’s education budget, which eliminated summer school and most sports and music programs. Elementary grade levels will now have up to 36 students per classroom. “Who’s going to teach the kids? My elementary school was dingy, but we had teacher aides. We had a couple of teachers in our classroom,” said Spanish student Brandi Henrickson. “They should be spending money on programs and opportunities for all kids.” To build the six schools in the complex, LAUSD spent more than

“That’s the problem with Americans today. They work on the exterior and not the interior.” – Katherine Mullen, UNCA senior $137,000 per student while boasting a 35 percent dropout rate. The national dropout rate in 2008 was only 8 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The RFK complex simply reflects the country’s disturbingly prevalent tendency to throw money at a problem and expect things to change. “You’ve got to start with the students, not build something,” Mullen said. “That’s the problem with Americans today. They work on the exterior and not the interior.” LA administrators obviously do not realize that a school without teachers, adequate programs or extracurricular activities is like a designer outfit for a dog. Yes, it may be cute and oddly mesmerizing in its utter lavishness, but it is simply a waste of money. Schools across the country spend enormous amounts of money on unnecessary facilities. The Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, also located in LA, cost $377 million, and Newton North High School in Newtonville, Mass., cost $200 million. Supporters of the extravagant California compound claim students perform better in more pleasant environments, but luxuries fit for Donald Trump or the Hilton sisters are certainly not vital elements of a quality

The five most expensive educational facilities in the U.S. • Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Los Angeles - $578 million • Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, Los Angeles - $377 million • Central No. 9 Visual and Performing Arts High School, Los Angeles - $232 million • Newton North High School Newtonville, Mass. - $200 million • New Brunswick High School New Brunswick, NJ - $185 million education. According to Henrickson, who is working toward her teaching licensure, an energetic and excited teacher is the most important part of an education. “Some kids might need to have a relationship with someone other than their parents,” she said. “They need someone to push them. Some people don’t have that at home.” UNCA does not spend nearly as much as other schools, but the $42 million North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness will open in March. It will house the Kimmel Arena and feature amenities similar to those in LA, including new dance and aerobic studios, an incubator space and a teaching kitchen. “I think it’ll be great to have a facility where we can hold graduation on campus, but I would also like to see faculty get raises,” O’Cain said. “These are Ph.D.s teaching, they are not TAs.” There is no evidence that expensive environments produce intellectually

superior students. Perhaps California should look to the Jordan school district in Utah, which, in 2007, produced a graduation rate of 79.3 percent while spending a mere $5,100 per student. “Technology may enhance a teacher’s ability to teach, but a teacher can still teach, no matter what,” Mullen said. As administrators in LAUSD clearly do not value dedicated and qualified teachers, they might as well employ Barbie and Ken. After all, those two would feel right at home in an extravagant complex where students learn to value material wealth and luxury instead of educational growth and human interaction. Developing relationships within the academic community is the best way to ensure a quality education. “The relationship you establish with professors and the sense of community those professors cultivate is the most important,” O’Cain said. “It’s all about relationships, and not necessarily personal relationships but learning relationships. It makes all the difference.”

Confident students earn cash gambling on grades Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alicia Adcox staff writer

In grade school, young children often get rewards from their parents for getting straight A’s. In college, however, students are now taking it to a whole new level by betting on their grades. Recently, Jeremy Gelbart and Steven Wolf launched a website called that allows students to bet on their grades. “About three years ago, Steven Wolf and I were hanging out on a Sunday afternoon. I was in college at the time. I had an exam the next day and I didn’t want to study. He said, ‘If you get an A on the exam I’ll give you $100, and if you don’t get an A on the exam you have to give me $20,’” said Gelbart, president of “So I said, ‘OK’ and I went and studied for my exam, got an A, and got $100. And we realized at that point ‘Wow, this is a great incentive. how can we bring this incentive to every student?’ We worked about two years

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until we first launched, and now were here,” he said. The website, named because it is an “ulterior motivation that produces intrinsic love of knowledge,” is only available to limited campuses. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for some students, UNC Asheville is one of them. The company is in development, but, according to Gelbart, it has been successful so far. “The last I checked we had more than 6,500 users on the site from the 36 schools. Last year, we paid out more than we took in,” Gelbart said. “The success rate obviously depends on the types of incentives that students create.” Through the site, students can create several different goals and incentives. They can choose goals for individual courses, multiple courses, the entire semester or for a 4.0 GPA. Could this really be a good idea? Students at UNCA seem torn. “I think it would work very well for some students, but it wouldn’t work for everyone,” said UNCA sopho-

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“Last year, we paid out more than we took in.” – Jeremy Gelbart, president of more Hannah Orr. “I would like to try to do it so I could get the money, but I don’t know that I would fulfill my end of the bargain and get the grade.” Students should spend time considering the consequences before deciding to use this radical new learning incentive. “I probably wouldn’t (use Ultrinsic. com) because I’d feel even worse if I got a bad grade,” said UNCA psychology student Suzanne Lutsky. “It’s helpful in a way, but it’s not the healthiest method of getting good grades. I’d rather just study hard on my own.”

Sometimes, it isn’t always as simple as studying hard enough to make the grade. Other circumstances can interfere with a student’s courses. Maybe a student spent most of their semester in bed with mononucleosis, or maybe they had to deal with the death of a close friend or relative. The point is, things happen that cannot be planned for and they can have major consequences on a student’s grade. And if a student has made a gamble on their grades but does not make the cut, not only do they have a bad grade but they lost money too. With Ultrinsic. com, confident students can turn good grades into money.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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Letter to the Editor Proposed NYC interfaith learning center often mislabled

I want to first say that I am not angry at the writer of the most recent letter to the editor for their views on the subject of the planned Park51 project in Lower Manhattan. I’m extremely proud of the level of discourse this issue has inspired in our citizens. Debate of this level is the product of a literate and socially aware society. My issue with this most recent letter of opinion is the chosen wording and the blind ignorance to the facts of the situation. The most blaringly obvious example of this ignorance, disregarding of the antiquated use of the alternative spelling for Muslim, is the fact that the Park51 project is neither a mosque nor an Islamic center. Park51 is, according to its own vision statement as well as public statements made by Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf, the founding member of the proposed project, an interfaith center with Muslim

prayer rooms and a memorial to those who died in the 9/11 attacks. This is disregarding my opinions, the opinions of the writers of the previous letters to the editor about the project, or the views of any politicians or religious leaders associated with either side of the issue. If anyone is going to offer their opinions, either on the Park51 project or those who are for or against it, it’s necessary to get the facts straight. Park51 is not a center for Muslims, it’s an interfaith learning center. The whole concept behind any interfaith association or center is to promote dialogue and understanding between faiths and religious traditions. To call this project an Islamic center or mosque completely misses the purpose of what the Cordoba House, the developer of the project under Imam Abdul-Rauf, is intending to do there. My opinions are obviously swayed

If anyone is going to offer their opinions, either on the Park51 project or those who are for or against it, it’s necessary to get the facts straight. – Noor Ali-Sibai by my “Islamic roots,” though I don’t identify as a Muslim. But the issue I take is not with the opinions of the aforementioned letter writers, but with their use of the overused, incorrect rhetoric that has for too long characterized this debate. Before writing against the Park51 project, which is indeed a short walk from Ground

Zero, I beseech the writers to first do their research. -UNCA student Noor Ali-Sibai in response to the Letter to the Editor “Mosque proposal in NYC ignores residents’ emotional concerns” printed in Issue 2 on Sept. 8.

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The Blue Banner’s View America not included in top 10 places to live

Last month, Newsweek published a list of the 100 best countries in the world and one historically boastful nation was absent from the top 10: the United States. The ranking system, based on education, health, economy, quality of life and political environment, placed the United States at 11. Finland placed first in Newsweek’s list with Sweden, Switzerland, Australia and Luxembourg finishing in the top five. Granted, it is difficult to rank the social and political infrastructure of all nations in comparison to another, but the list highlights a stark reality for Americans. The country is declining. “Today we have flat-lined, while other countries have passed us by,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan in a recent press conference. The No Child Left Behind model failed a generation of children, and its harsh emphasis on standardized test scores and academic conformity did not work. Where the United States was ahead, it is now behind. The United States spends 5.3 percent of its gross domestic product on education, and 4.06 percent on its military branches, according to the CIA World Factbook. On the surface, this fact in-

“Today we have flat-lined, while other countries have passed us by.” - Arne Duncan, U.S. Education Secretary dicates the priority system values education more than the military, but compared to other countries, the United States spends a higher percentage on the military and less on education. American health is deplorable. The Factbook placed the United States at 49 in the world for life expectancy, six places behind Bosnia. In a Forbes magazine list of the world’s fattest countries, the United States appeared in ninth place with 74.1 percent of the population older than age 15 considered overweight. American health reflects the sad American health care system. The American health care system, which placed 37 in the world 10 years ago, according to the World Health Organization, reflects the broken American political system.

In March, a Democrat-controlled Congress passed an unprecedented health care reform bill. The bill is so excellently crafted that Democrat politicians up for re-election don’t defend it, and some even condemn it. A full year of endless broadcasted bickering yielded a tarnished garble of future policies. American politics exist now as a shouting match, in which those who yell louder fare better. Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech broadcast consistently ranks first among all talk radio programs. The American economy, although still an undeniable world leader, continues to tank in all directions. According to Fareed Zakaria’s book, The Post American World, the 20 fastest growing cities in the world are all in China.

The Blue Banner Editorial Board Karpen Hall 019

(828) 251-6586

Erin McWhorter, Editor-in-Chief

Anna Kiser, Design Editor, Business Manager

Alyssa Spencer, Managing Editor

Nicolas Robinson, Web Editor

Ashleigh Joyner, News Editor

Caitlin Byrd, Arts & Features Editor

Natalie Pearson, Sports Editor

Jacob Yancey, Campus Voice Editor

Megan Dombroski, Photography Editor

Isabel Maxwell, Advertising Director

Kendall Brooks, Investigative Reporter Jessica Yee, Copy Desk Chief Katherine Walker, Assistant News Editor Hali Ledford, Assistant Arts & Features Editor Katie Saylors, Assistant Photography Editor Jordan Paris, Assistant Web Editor Michael Gouge, Faculty Adviser

China also continues to grow at rates faster than the United States. The most pertinent long-term economic problems for the United States include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, quickly rising medical costs, budget and trade deficits and low-income families with stagnate salaries, according to the CIA World Factbook. American banks and automaker corporations hemorrhage borrowed government money, American families can’t afford the homes they live in and the national unemployment rate of 9.3 percent ranked 110 in the world in 2009. Just two years ago, the estimated unemployment rate in the United Stgates was 5.8 percent. The American quality of life inarguably spirals downward in conjunction with weakened social, political and economic infrastructure. The inevitable rise and fall of empires creates the course of history. Amid great growth, the United States experienced severe domestic setbacks, most notably the Great Depression. These current failures may or may not mark the end of the American dynasty, but any clear means to stop this decline are well hidden.

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send to The Blue Banner is UNC Asheville’s student newspaper. We publish each Wednesday except during summer sessions, finals week and holiday breaks. Our office is located in Karpen Hall 019. 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 the editor-in-chief or the appropriate section editor. Letters should include the writer’s name, year in school, and major or other relationship to UNCA. Include a telephone number to aid in verification. All articles are subject to editing.

Bulldog Bargains

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Serve your community Earn money for your education Apply to be a 2010-2011 NC-ACTS! AmeriCorps Fellow For more information and to download an application, visit our website, or stop by our office, HU 248

Application Deadline: September 20th, 2010

UNC Asheville Key Center for Community Citizenship and Service Learning

Serve 300 hours at a non-profit (one you already know or one that we help you identify) Attend team meetings every other Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. (these count towards your 300 hours) Have the chance to go to a student conference in Charlotte (expenses paid) Earn an $1132 education grant

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The Blue Banner  

Volume 53, Issue 3