WVSU Yellow Jacket
Volume 69 Number 6
MARCHING TOWARD JUSTICE
In This Issue:
-Marching Toward Justice Page 4 -Flemming Hall Renovation Page 5 - Get ready for the Baseball and Softball Season Page 12
First Copy Free
February 21, 2011
Ye l l o w Jacket
Editor-in-Chief William Oldani Jr. Managing Editor Stephanie Ann Barnett Executive Editor Kris Casdorph Design Editor/Photographer Katheryne Hawkins Design Apprentice/Photographer Mark Talbert Design Apprentice Jessica Martin Campus Editor Victoria Wright News Editor Darin Drane Editorial Editor Mark Talbert Sports Editor Scott Waggener Entertainment Editor Nicholas Casto Opinion Editor Christie Linger Senior Copy Editor Michelle Miller Ad Manager Kris Casdorph Faculty Advisor Dr. Robin Broughton
Dear Yellow Jacket readers, This issue of the Yellow Jacket hails an exciting look into many of the events that are happening here on campus. Fleming Hall will be getting a face lift, a cultural event happening in the Davis Fine Arts building, and upcoming news on sports will all be found in this spectacular issue. There are also many wonderful stories focusing around Black History Month that I am sure all of our readers will enjoy. Thank you for being dedicated readers to our paper and be on the lookout for the next issue which will have many more excellent stories. Sincerely, William E. Oldani Jr Editor-in-Chief
On The Cover:
Panel from the Marching Toward Justice Exhibit in the Della Brown Taylor Hardman Gallery in the Davis Fine Arts Building. Photo by Katheryne Hawkins
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Cinematographer David Russell will be Deeply Missed by Victoria Wright David Russell, a Communications major at West Virginia State University, died at the age of 40 on February 9, 2011, from a massive stroke. Russell, along with his roommate, long time friend and former WVSU student, Eamon Hardiman, created films together. Russell started out making props for the films, doing lighting and grip work, and then went on to become the Director of Photography for one of their latest films “Zombie Babies.” “Dave had plenty of enthusiasm and great work ethic. It was a perfect fit. He had an eye for lighting and composition. Just watching him was amazing,” Hardiman said. According to Hardiman, Russell wanted to learn every part of the business. Most of his experience came from working on film sets. “I am proud, and I know he would be proud that his work and legacy will be around forever in the films that he helped create. We definitely would not have been able to accomplish anything without him,” Hardiman said. Russell will be missed by his family, friends and his peers. Dr. Robin Broughton’s Media Law 461 and 561 classes, of which Russell was a student, had nice things to say about him. “Dave was a wonderful guy; I’ll miss seeing his smiling face.” -Ashley Moyers. “May God rest his soul. Our love and prayers go out to his family and friends.” -Sandrea Coleman. “I had him in my filmmaking class last year, he was an excellent student.” -Mike Ramsey
WVSU Black History Month Events Good News from the Board of Governors
by Michelle Miller February marks the beginning of Black History Month, and to get things started West Virginia State University (WVSU) has held several events to commemorate this celebration. On Feb. 1, WVSU Multicultural Affairs hosted a Human Rights Conference in the Wilson Student Union from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Later in the afternoon in the Fannin S. Belcher Theatre, Davis Fine Arts Building, Greg Smith gave a presentation entitled “The Strength Coach,” which focused on facing adversity in society. Another great event that is being held for students is the Marching Towards Justice exhibit. The exhibit was created by the Damon J. Keith collection, and is meant to inform the public of the importance of the 14th Amendment and equality. The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1886 and was initiated to protect and offer newly emancipated slaves equal rights. Students can view the collection from Feb. 14 through April 14 in the Della Brown Taylor-Hardman Gallery, Davis Fine Arts Building. In addition to the other scheduled events, WVSU had their annual Black History Month Convocation featuring keynote speaker, Tobias Brown. Following suit on Feb. 23, students had the opportunity to attend Black History Open Mic Night, also hosted by WVSU Multicultural Affairs, at 7:30 p.m. “I strongly support and encourage participation in Black History Month activities on this campus,” said John Rogers, the Pre-Nursing/Supervisor with the Student Success Center. “I have and will continue to promote this type of recognition.” For those that are interested in a challenge, Student Support Services will be hosting a Black History Bowl next month. Each team must consist of 4 members, and an alternate. More information is still on the way in regards to this event.
by Kris Casdorph The rehabilitation center adjacent to our campus has been a concern for not only our university, but the Institute community in the recent past. Long time Yellow Jacket readers will remember that former governor Joe Manchin had attempted to reopen this facility as a halfway house for nonviolent criminals last year. Public outrage against having a halfway house so close to our campus was one of the reasons the halfway house did not open. The rehabilitation center has now been gifted to WVSU. The WVSU Board of Governors accepted the gift at their January meeting, ensuring that control over this controversial piece of real estate remains with the university. The residents of Institute will no longer have to worry about recently released criminals walking their streets. The Board of Governors does not have any plan to reopen the facility as a halfway house. While the debate continues over what will become of the rehabilitation center, the most distasteful of options for this property will now no longer be on the table. The meeting was also a time to celebrate a recent fifty thousand dollar donation by Dow to our university. Board of Governors Chairman, Eric Coleman, accepted the generous gift on behalf of the university. This gift will help to empower our endowment and provide funds for immediate needs. Both of these events are tremendous news for our university and the community. By taking control of the rehabilitation center, the university has helped to ensure a safer environment in Institute.
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Marching Toward Justice Exhibit Comes to WVSU by Victoria Wright West Virginia State University will proudly host the “Marching Toward Justice Exhibit” from Feb. 14 through April 15, 2011. It will be on display in the Della Brown TaylorHardman Art Gallery of the Davis Fine Arts Building. The exhibit is the inaugural exhibition of the Damon J. Keith Law Collection of African American Legal History. Judge Keith, a native of Detroit, is an alumnus of West Virginia State University, class of 1943. Keith went on to study law at Howard University and at Wayne State University. He has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Viewers explore the exhibit after the opening reception. Photo by Katheryne Hawkins since 1977. The exhibit tells the story of those and enforcement of the 14th Amend- states to provide equal protection of the who were committed to the creation ment, ratified in 1868, which required laws. “Marching Toward Justice” be-
gins in 1619 with the arrival of captive Africans in English colonial America, and ends in 1957 with the admittance of nine African American Students to Central High in Little Rock Arkansas. “I invite you to “march toward justice” so that we all may learn more about the influence of African American lawyers and other concerned citizens on our nation’s efforts to realize its ideals,” Keith writes. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday from Feb. 14 through April 15. For additional information about Judge Keith and the Exhibit go to http://keithcollection.wayne.edu/ marching/index.htm
Art Exhibit Shines Light on Black History Student Activities Needs some Student Input
by L. Christie Linger The month of February is Black History Month. As a historically black college, it comes as no surprise that West Virginia State University has many events planned to celebrate this month. One event that students may be interested in attending is the Marching Toward Justice Exhibit. The exhibit has been constantly traveling from site to site for the past six years, and will now be housed for a limited time at WVSU as a way to help the school celebrate Black History Month. The exhibit will be held in the Della Brown Taylor-Hardman Gallery located in the Davis Fine Arts Building. The display will be open for viewing Feb. 14 through April 15. The gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. “It’s good that WVSU is providing us with activities that engage us in the true meanings behind Black History Month,” said Deja Ross, Psychology Senior. The exhibit was created by the Damon J. Keith Collection as a way to inform the public of the importance of the 14th Amendment in a different medium than is usually used. The exhibit details the history of Africans who were moved to North America in 1619, and ends with the 1957 admittance of nine African-American students into Central High in Arkansas. The exhibits’ ending can be paralleled to WVSU’s 1954 integration allowing white students to attend school in an institution that had previously been set aside for African Americans. The Marching Toward Justice Exhibit will not only give insight into how the 14th Amendment has impacted our country, but will also give insight into WVSU’s past.
“I’m glad State is bringing an exhibit that will help illuminate our school’s history.”
- Amber Henson, Business Management Senior
by Jessica Martin Many students are wondering why the Office of Student Activities has stopped their monthly movie ticket giveaways. There is a lot of money invested to have different events on campus for the students. “More than half of the events that are hosted by the Student Activities Council are a waste of time because only a few people show up,” says Belinda Fuller, Student Activities Coordinator. “Not only is it a waste of time, but it is also a waste of a lot of money.” Events could cost around $1,500 dollars or more. Movie tickets cost $750.00 each month for the first 100 students to receive a ticket with a valid ID. Temporarily the Student Activities office stopped the giveaways to hopefully find out what students are interested in. If you have a Facebook account, you can add the Office of Student Activities at WVSU Student Activities. There is a survey to complete on the Facebook page that will help the Office of Student Activities evaluate the activities brought to campus. All activities will be advertised on the page as well so that everyone will be aware of campus events. Movie ticket giveaways the first Friday of each month with go back in effect once 250 students have fully completed the survey. “Although we do not advertise about the movie tickets, we never have a problem with students participating in the giveaways. When we advertise for other events, people are not interested or say they were not informed about the events,” says Fuller. The Office of Student Activities would really like to hear what the students are interested in so that they can bring events that students will actually participate in and enjoy. They are here for the students and want to please as many students as possible.
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Fleming Hall Scheduled to Undergo Renovations
by Darin Drane Once again, West Virginia State University (WVSU) has the community buzzing! The long-overdue renovations on Fleming Hall are the source of the excitement. “It will be the social epicenter of the campus,” Sean Loyd, interim Athletic Director said. WVSU has been approved 15 million dollars to renovate the aged facility. Fleming was first opened in 1941, and has not been changed since. “There are six options we have, but we want to narrow it down to one or two,” Loyd said. The renovation will run perpendicular to the current building and go back towards the tennis courts. Currently the gym holds roughly 1,500 people. With the upcoming improvements, there will be room for 2,000 people because of the new seating arrangement. New plans include seating on both sides of the court and at one end. This is a drastic difference
completed, WVSU will again be able to hold graduation on campus, which draws students and staff closer to each other and the campus. However, with any pros there are cons. One of which is the status of games and activities when the construction is being done. Having to play basketball and volleyball games away from home for a season is a real possibility. Although this is something that many people do not want to see happen, this must be done now so that WVSU may enjoy the facility for years to come. Another con is the timing. There isn’t a definite time line that Loyd feels comfortable releasing. He does say that Inside the gymnasium at Flemming Hall. Photo by Mark Talbert students will notice change when the from the current two ends and one side resources. construction begins. arrangement. “Instead of holding 15-30 stu“Dr. Carter has been a key player, Along with the improved gym- dents, we could hold 35-50 students his leadership is amazing,” said Loyd. nasium come improved classrooms. in one class,” A.D. Loyd said. Yet we “We desperately needed this new faThese classrooms will hopefully have not covered the most important cility. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere include better technology and more aspect of this new facility. When else.”
Kappa Delta Pi Promotes Literacy in the Classroom
by L. Christie Linger With video games and computer lingo taking over, reading comprehension skills are taking a dive. Gone are the times when people pick up a book because they are bored, and here are the days when people flip on the television. Luckily an organization on campus has seen fit to tackle the cause of literacy. The Lambda Zeta chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, WVSU’s student education honor society, is sponsoring a Scholastic Book Fair Feb. 21st through Feb. 25th. The fair will be held in Wallace Hall room 128, and will be open Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. All WVSU students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend the event. The book fair is acting as a fund raiser for the student run organization. “A portion of the proceeds will go towards a ‘Literacy Alive’ community service project in which Kappa will purchase books for classrooms,” says Joanna Webb, an English Education Senior and Kappa member. Along with purchasing books, members of the organization read books to classrooms throughout the area and engage students in fun activities that enhance their reading. The book fair is a way that Kappa is able to promote literacy in all age groups. Kappa is not only hoping to help the young students they will be reading to, but also encourage leisure reading on State’s campus. “Our book fair is geared toward all ages,” said Emily Brown, a junior elementary Education major. This will make sure that students will be able to purchase books not only for children, but books that will appeal to them as well, and they will be able to shop without the inconvenience of finding time to get to a bookstore. “I think the book fair is a great idea. With all the time I spend on campus I do not have time to visit a bookstore,” says Michelle Miller, a WVSU Social Work Junior.
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Educational Poster’s Motivation Creates Controversy by L. Christie Linger The office of Natalie Tennant, West Virginia Secretary of State, recently released an “educational” poster that has caused a stir among legislators. The poster was meant to be used as an educational tool to help aid civics students in learning about state officials. The poster is made up of small, equal sized thumbnails of the members of the Board of Public Works, and the West Virginia House, Senate, Supreme Court and Congressional delegation. Tennant is pictured with the members of the Board of Public Works. That, however, is not what is causing controversy. In the top right-hand corner of the poster Tennant is pictured again. This time, the picture is double the size of every other picture that appears on the poster. Why is Tennant pictured twice?
education or self-promotion? “It seems to me that it is propaganda disguised as educational material distributed to the new voting pool in the high schools,” said Melissa Hines, Board of Regents Senior. It is evident that the feelings across campus seem to be as mixed as the feelings at the Capitol this week. One thing is for sure, timing and perception is everything. And only time will tell if the public’s perception of Tennant’s “educational” poster will have any effect on her chances of being elected as governor. “Maybe it is just the optimist in Poster released from the office of WV Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. me, but I think it is just bad timing. I Furthermore, why is Tennant’s picture main reason Tennant is under fire. The would like to think that a person in a so prominent that one looking at it poster was released right after she an- position of power like Tennant would would assume she is more important nounced her bid for governor in the not take advantage of our students and than even the governor? upcoming special election. This raises our educational system,” said Brittany The position of governor is the another question. Is the poster about Smith, English Education Senior.
Writing Center Provides Students Students Plan for Future Success by Michelle Miller a Useful Resource After an extended Christmas break, another semester has begun. For
by Mark Talbert West Virginia State University opened the Writing Center on the third floor of Ferrell Hall during the spring semester of 2010. It is an area where students bring their writing in to have it proof read and the trained tutors offer advice and suggestions to help the student improve upon their work. The center is free to use and is run by a qualified staff. Cat Pleska, lecturer of English and director of the Writing Center, joined the faculty of WVSU during the fall semester of 2010 to help run the Writing Center and to teach classes. She trains each of her tutors. All the tutors go through 20 hours of training before they are eligible to work for the Writing Center. “I am blessed to have an excellent staff. My tutors are the best and very personable. We try to keep this an open, friendly place,” says Pleska. All tutors attend WVSU or have graduated from WVSU. There are currently six tutors: four student tutors and two AmeriCorps tutors. The Writing Center works primarily with students enrolled in 100 level English courses, but that is not the only students they work with. Pleska says the tutors can help with any writing project. “We have students from other classes come in, sociology, political science,” says Shayn Davis, secondary English Education major and Writing Center tutor. The Writing Center is not there to do the students work for them. The tutors help students in proof reading, generating ideas, drafting, formatting, and organizing their papers. Pleska has had positive feedback from fellow faculty members. According to Pleska, an English teacher required her 101 students to attend regular sessions with the tutors in the Writing Center. Those who attended passed her class while those who did not attend and did not turn in their work did not pass. The lab is open Monday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., and Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Writing Center asks all students to bring their assignment, their writing, and their ideas. 6
some of us, getting back into the routine of attending class and studying can be challenging. Today’s college student is required to balance multiple roles. For example, a person may have a full time job coupled with parenting responsibilities. When you add a full class schedule to the mix, things can get hectic. The following tips may prove to be helpful when starting a new semester: -Try and get an early start to the day, if possible. Arriving to campus early will allow more time to prep for homework and exams. -Set a clear and concise plan for each class. Get familiar with the syllabus. Also, get acquainted with your professors, as this may help ease the anxiety of the new semester. -Purchasing a daily planner can be very helpful with time management, especially for those of us that have other obligations. This allows the opportunity to keep track of assignments and other scheduled appointments. -Starting early on future projects and papers will permit more free time on the weekends, which we all look forward to. “Every semester I start thinking of how I can improve on my study habits. This semester I have decided to take more notes during lectures and outline the chapters,” said Jason Duncan, a WVSU student. Beginning a new semester can be tricky, but if you plan accordingly, getting back into the swing of things will be a breeze. “After holiday or summer break I plan out every hour of the day making sure that priorities get accomplished, leaving free time,”said Christie Linger, WVSU graduate.
Kanawha Review Showcases Students and Alumni by Mark Talbert The Kanawha Review is an annual magazine that the students and staff publish at West Virginia State University that features students’ poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, essays, and artwork. The Kanawha Review is run by a group of students with Senior Editor, Dr. Robert Wallace, professor at WVSU. Although Wallace is listed as an editor, he leaves it up to the other editors to select the work that will get published because it allows them to get experience with the editing process, but he is still there to advise. The Kanawha Review run under Wallace has the same mission statement as it did in when it first began in 1969: to provide an outlet for students’ creative expression. However, the types of work that are submitted have changed over the years. “We’re now publishing more creative non-fiction,” says Wallace. Although Wallace has asked art students to submit their work to The Kanawha Review, art submissions are rare. The Kanawha Review is still mainly a publication that features writing even though the purpose statement is to provide an opportunity for all mediums. This year, according to Editor-in-Chief Betsy Allen, the Kanawha Review is now taking graphic narrative submissions. The dream of Allen for the future of the Kanawha Review is to get the entire magazine published online. She believes it will broaden the range of audience for the Kanawha Review. The feedback of The Kanawha Review has been positive during the 5 years Wallace has been an editor, but no publication is perfect. “Sometimes people ask why they haven’t been selected and that’s negative,” says Wallace. His advice for those students who want to get published is to “read the magazine and take creative writing classes on campus.” The Kanawha Review Kanawha Review 2010 Edition cover by Justin Litton will be published middle to late spring semester 2011.
Photo by Stephanie Curry
What to Remember to Keep Synthetic Cocaine No Longer Your Promise Scholarship Available in Local Stores by Mark Talbert Many students are only able to go to college because they earn the Promise Scholarship, but not all students know what is required to keep it. The Promise has renewal requirements that students must meet to be eligible to keep the award. The Promise is automatically renewed each year, and students are not required to apply for the scholarship each year. Students seeking an associate’s degree are only eligible for the Promise four semesters. All students must complete a minimum of 30 hours college credit a year. If the student fails to meet the required 30 hours, students are allowed to take summer school classes to make up for the deficit. However, The Promise will not cover the cost of the summer school classes. All students must retain a GPA of 2.75 during their first year of college, and a 3.0 for the remaining three years. The Promise Scholarship is only good for one degree, and students graduating before their fourth year are not eligible to receive the Promise. Although the Promise used to cover all tuition costs, the Promise now has a cap on the amount of money awarded each year. The student is now given $4,750 towards tuition at a private or public institution. With the Promise, students are expected to attend college each semester during the four years of the award, but some students are eligible to receive the Promise after a leave of absence. The renewal is at the discretion of the institution in which the student is currently enrolled. Sometimes leaves of absence are granted to students with extreme financial hardships, volunteering or service responsibilities and studying abroad.
by Darin Drane The streets are safer now that cocaine is off the shelf. Yes, you read it right, synthetic cocaine was on the shelves of some of our local grocery stores. Thanks to a new law passed on Feb. 2, all stores carrying any form of synthetic cocaine have 30 days to get the substance off the shelves. Similar to K2, also known as synthetic weed, synthetic cocaine made its way into several of our community stores. K2 was typically sold as incense or potpourri, until a law passed early in 2010 made it illegal to sell the product effective January 1st, 2011. Synthetic cocaine or MDPV (methylendioxyprovalerone) could be found in several products sold as bath salts. Two of these are Ivory White and Ocean Snow. The problem is consumers were not using the product for its intended purpose. The products contain a prescription drug used for cardiac patients, and can be used in anesthesia. MDPV has similar affects to cocaine when snorted, smoked or injected. The effects of the drug include rapid heart rate, increase in blood pressure, anxiety and heavy sweating. Many of these side effects can last 3 to 4 hours. It is ridiculous to think that the authorities have to worry about drugs on our streets and drugs on our grocery store shelves. Thanks to this law, they can get to what is important and concentrate on making our streets safer for everybody.
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MARCHING TOWARD JUSTICE
Isy India Geronimo was the guest speaker at the opening reception.
The Marching Toward Justice exhibition is an installation from Wayne State University Exhibit telling of the struggle that made the 14th amendment necessary and the continuation of that struggle that made the 14th amendment effective. The Exhibition will remain in the Della Brown Taylor-Hardman Gallery in the Davis Fine Arts Building until April 15, 2011. The Gallery Hours of operation are 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.
Photos by Katheryne Hawkins
WVSU Celebrating 120 Years
Dr. Carter and Mrs. Carter pose with guest speakers and Board of Governors members.
Viewers enjoy the exhibition after the opening.
Men’s Basketball Team on Point this Season by Scott Waggener The West Virginia State University men’s basketball team is 15-7 with a 14-4 record in the WVIAC. They are sitting comfortably in second place behind undefeated West Liberty. WVSU is the reigning conference tournament champions and they knew this season would not be easy. “We have a target on our back. When you’re at the top, everyone wants to take you down. I think in this conference, crowd plays a big key in games,” senior guard Todd Hutchinson said. “Our home games, when we get it live in the Pit and we get that crowd rockin, it seems like other teams just shut down. We feed off of our crowd and so do the other teams in this conference.” They started the season with a grueling non-conference schedule. They played Bellarmine University twice in their first ten games of the season. Bellarmine was ranked #1 in Division II when they played, and WVSU dropped both games. The first match up was at Flemming Hall when Bellarmine snapped a 27 game home winning streak at the Pit. The second was in Louisville, KY where WVSU faced #1 Bellarmine and #6 Southern Indiana in back to back days. Meanwhile they took care of business in their first five WVIAC games, and beat Virginia State from the CIAA in the Charleston Civic Center. On Dec. 18, WVSU was set to play their last game before Christmas break. They went on the road to face Glenville State College. Glenville had the lead for much of the game, but WVSU came roaring back in the final minutes. With 16 seconds left on the clock, WVSU scored a basket to cut Glenville’s lead to one. On the ensuing inbounds play, Fred Harris stole the ball at mid-court and threw down a break-away dunk to give WVSU a 71-70 victory. They returned from break with a 6-0 WVIAC record. Before classes started back up, they won a close game at Davis and Elkins, and then faced Pitt-Johnstown in Flemming Hall. WVSU struggled out of the gate and UPJ took advantage. With just a few 10
“Everybody is starting to make plays and we’re starting to trust each other a lot more. Our success is going to continue as long as we keep doing that,” Junior forward Bo King said. After January, WVSU found themselves ranked 8th in the region, behind two teams that were behind them in the WVIAC standings. They had the opportunity to play two of those teams in back to back games at home. They defeated Alderson-Broaddus and Fairmont State in the Pit to boost their ranking up to 5th in the Atlantic region. “We needed some quality wins. You got to beat the team ahead of you. The conference is good and we want to try to win the conference,” Coach Poore said. “Being in second place is great, but you really need to be in that top five or six in the regional rankings. In case you don’t win the conference tournament, you still have a chance to get in the NCAA tournament.” The wins gave WVSU an 8-game win streak, and they were just two games behind the undefeated West Liberty Hilltoppers in the conference standings. They climbed to number five in the region before the Yellow Jackets went on the road to play Concord, a team they defeated at home earlier in the year. Concord handled the full court pressure very well and defeated WVSU 93-90. Senior guard Will Collins had an opportunity to tie the game after Cookie Miller intentionally missed a free throw. The rebound bounced around and it dropped into Will’s hands, but his shot rolled off the rim. WVSU dropped its first WVIAC Bo King #31 and Cookie Miller #2 play against Shepherd University. Photo by Stephanie Curry game in over a month. minutes to play, UPJ had an 18 point solidifying themselves as one of the The most recent game was at lead. WVSU, led by their full court elite teams in the WVIAC. January home against Bluefield State, who the pressure, turned the game into frenzy, included a win over hated rival, the Yellow Jackets defeated 91-64 in Bluebefore tying the game and sending it University of Charleston, a game in field earlier in the year. It turned into a into overtime with a free throw by se- which they controlled from beginning defensive battle and WVSU struggled nior forward Will Thomas. UPJ scored to end. The team’s main focus was get- from the field, shooting just 28% in the first five points in overtime, and ting everyone on the same page. The the game. Bluefield took advantage WVSU never recovered to drop its first returning members from the 2009-10 of the poor shooting by the Yellow conference loss of the season. season had to adjust to a new line up Jackets and won the game 66-59. The After the Pitt-Johnstown game, and help the new guys along. The loss was the just the second for the WVSU started clicking. They finished month of January went a long way to Yellow Jackets it their last 32 games January on a six game winning streak, helping their cause. -ON POINT Continued on Page 12
Women’s Basketball Working for a Good Finish
by Scott Waggener The West Virginia State University women’s basketball team is 9-15 overall, and 7-11 in conference play. They are in 10th place with four games left before the WVIAC tournament. They started the season 2-7 in their first nine games, mostly because a very difficult non-conference schedule. They lost games on the road versus Shaw, Winston Salem State, Kentucky State, and Eastern Kentucky (Division I). The Lady Yellow Jackets faced Winston Salem State for a second time and defeated them 75-65 at home to avenge one of those losses. They went to Christmas break 3-8 and 1-3 in the WVIAC. After the break, WVSU went on the road to face a very strong Shepherd team and lost. Then they reeled off three victories in a row. During the win streak they beat Davis & Elkins, Pitt-Johnstown, and Bluefield State. At that point they were sitting at 4-5 in the conference and had climbed up in the standings. Over there next several games they played a very tough conference schedule. They lost four in a row to opponents near the top of the WVIAC standings. They bounced back with an important win at home versus Shepherd. Coach Bostic was very pleased with her team’s performance. “We have a lot of good individual players. We are all great players when we play together as a team,” Coach Bostic said. “I think we got a total team effort against Shepherd. From the person who gets the least minutes on our team, to the person that gets the most minutes. Everybody came in with an attitude that we were going to play as a team and we were going to do whatever we needed to do. Just be tough and make sacrifices for the greater good.” The Shepherd game was the beginning of a stretch of great defensive performances. The Lady Yellow Jackets held Shepherd to just 49 points. Their next game they only gave up 50 to Alderson-Broaddus in a loss. After the A-B game, WVSU responded with a victory at home over Fairmont State, who is sitting at eighth place in the WVIAC. The win was due, in large part, to three freshman forwards that have played a lot of minutes for WVSU this season. “We’re really excited for our three freshmen to be such assets to us early in their careers,” said Coach Bostic. “They all have different niches for our team. Janelle Williams is our biggest post player. She’s a huge factor and when she Avery Hale #21 and Asia Greenleaf # 34 during the Shepherd Game. Photo by Stephanie Curry gets going, it’s just hard to stop her. Asia Greenleaf is a very smart player. She does a lot of things that don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet, but in all of our successes, she has played a pivotal role. Without question Chelsea Davis has been a tremendous player for us down the stretch. Players are focusing on her, so she takes the heat off of our other two post players because when she’s in, she’s commanding double and triple teams.” Chelsea Davis averages 14.8 points per game, 8.8 rebounds, and is the team leader in blocked shots. Asia Greenleaf is the team leader in steals with 53, and is second on the team in blocks. She also averages six rebounds per game. Janelle Williams has often been had a big impact while averaging 6.3 points and 5 rebounds per game. The Yellow Jackets are led by seniors Melissa Ford, Avery Hale, and Sharena Atkinson. Melissa has been versatile this season, making the transition from a post player last season to an important ball handler for Coach Bostic. She is the leading scorer for the Lady Yellow Jackets and also usually guards the other team’s best player. Avery has been the x-factor for the team, as she is the primary ball handler and a go-to scorer down the stretch. Atkinson is always a consistent player, averaging six points and 3 rebounds while shooting 40% from three point range this season. WVSU is facing a difficult schedule to close out the season, but has been playing their best basketball towards the end of the season. “We’re just picking it up in practice with more intensity,” said senior forward Melissa Ford. “I think everybody is getting on the same page and we’re just working hard.” The last four games are against teams in the top six of the WVIAC standings. They play West Liberty #1, Pitt-Johnstown #6, Glenville State #3, and finish the regular season at Charleston #2.
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Get Ready for Baseball and Softball
by Scott Waggener SOFTBALL The softball team, coached by Bob Allen, was 34-23 overall last season, and 20-11 in the WVIAC. They have already started their season by travelling to North Carolina for a double header against Shaw University. They won both games in five innings, 14-1 and 15-0. They were picked in the pre-season WVIAC poll to finish 4th in the conference. They return their top 7 hitters from a year ago, including WVIAC player of the year, Brittany Hyatt. The Lady Yellow Jackets did not lose anyone from the pitching staff. Their next game will be in Greenville, TN in the Tusculum Power Classic on February 26 and 27. The conference season starts March 15 at West Liberty. BASEBALL The WVIAC coaches released their pre-season polls, and WVSU was selected as the winner of the conference. The conference is split into a North and South division. WVSU was selected to win the North. Defending conference tournament champions, Seton Hill, was selected to win the South. Outfielder Bo Darby and Pitcher Evan Kendall highlight numerous returners to last year’s conference runners up. Darby and Kindle were both selected to the pre-season all-region squad. WVSU will start the season at 4th in the regional rankings. The season started for the Yellow Jackets at Seton Hill on March 1, which is a rematch of last year’s conference championship game.
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versus Bluefield State. On Thursday, Feb. 17 WVSU hits the road to take on the number one ranked team in the WVIAC and all of Division II, West Liberty. State holds the advantage lately, winning each of their previous three matchups by one point each time. The most recent of those three wins was the WVIAC conference championship game last season. They Yellow Jackets are paced by Cookie Miller, who is averaging 22.7 points per game. Guards Bo King and Will Collins average 14.7 and 11.6 points per game. The starting forwards, Fred Harris and Will Thomas put in 9.2 and 8.9 points per game. Senior night was Wednesday, Feb. 23. The Yellow Jackets host Glenville State in the rematch of the one point victory for WVSU on Dec. 18. The seniors for WVSU are Josh “Cookie” Miller, Will Collins, Fred Harris, Will Thomas, Todd Hutchinson and Greg Giddings. The first round of the WVIAC Tournament began March 1. The first round games are played on the higher seed’s campus site. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship game are held at the Charleston Civic Center in downtown Charleston, WV.
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Another Smash Hit for the Coen Brothers by Scott Waggener
True Grit hit theaters on Dec. 22. It is the latest film from brothers’ Joel and Ethan Coen and is an adaptation of a book written by Charles Portis in 1968. In 1969 it was made into a movie in which John Wayne won the Oscar for best actor for his role as the marshal, Rooster Cogburn. The story focuses on a 14 year old girl, Mattie Ross, who sets out on a journey of vengeance after her father is killed in cold blood by the coward Tom Chaney. Mattie hires a Marshal, known for his “grit,” to accompany her. They are joined by a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf, who is also hunting her father’s murderer for a separate crime. They are on horseback and encounter many obstacles on their path. The characters each have their own individual goals in tracking down Chaney, played by Josh Brolin, which leads trouble within the three. The setting is in southeast Amer12
Hailee Steinfelf, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin
ica during the 1870s. The three characters, played by Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, and Matt Damon, set off into Indian Territory after the fugitive. The acting and visuals stand out
the most. This is Hailee Steinfeld’s first film and her performance was outstanding. The reigning Academy Award winner for best actor, Jeff Bridges, puts together another terrific
performance as Rooster Cogburn, in which he was also nominated for an Academy Award. “True Grit” has received many accolades, including 10 Academy Award Nominations. The nominations include: Best Picture, Best Director (Joel and Ethan Coen), Best Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Supporting Actress (Hailee Steinfeld), Best Adapted Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Art Direction, and Cinematography. The Coens are known for their amazing ability to collaborate. Several members of their production staff have worked on their previous films. Previous Coen brothers’ films include: Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn’t There, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading, and A Serious Man.
Super Bowl Halftime Shows Going Downhill by Scott Waggener From 2005 to 2010 (post Janet’s wardrobe malfunction), the Super Bowl Halftime Shows were pretty good. It started with Paul McCartney. Paul then passed the torch on to some other great bands: The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and The Who. Then there were The Black Eyed Peas. The overall performance was at best, unwatchable. The audio was the worst part. Not being able to hear a singer because their microphone was not turned on is one thing. However, the best part of the show was Slash (guitarist from Guns N’ Roses) playing “Sweet Child Of Mine.” The problem was after Fergie choked through the vocals, Slash’s guitar was barely turned up and his solo went unnoticed before he was rushed off stage. Instead of allowing real fans to surround the stage as in previous years, it was professional dancers prancing in sync, donning illuminated suits.
couldn’t care less about the band playing at halftime. They just want to get the game started as soon as possible, making the longer halftime excruciating. I tend to fall in that category. I miss the great performances, such as: the tribute to Duke Ellington by Mercer Ellington and the Grambling State marching band in Super Bowl IX, or the salute to the 1960’s and Motown in Super Bowl XVI. It started going downhill after 1993. During Super Bowl XXVII, Michael Jackson’s halftime performance boosted the ratings up higher than the game itself. Since then, there has been an effort to get bands that attract much broader audiences. So just as every other problem It made me wonder. How does a bad is a big factor. The main goal for the halftime show affect the game? It can teams playing is to treat the Super in professional sports, the cause was be a major distraction. Bowl as if it were “just another game.” someone trying to make an extra buck. First there are the players. The They do that to prevent playing un- My prediction for next year: Dave halftime of the Super Bowl is longer characteristically because of nerves or Matthews Band, Aerosmith, and the than the halftime of any NFL game the tension. The halftime show makes that Jonas Brothers. rest of the season. In any sport, routine almost impossible. The football purist
Brilliant Portrayals Make The Fighter Don Cheadle Exudes Powerful Act by Scott Waggener
The Fighter is a triumphant true story about boxer Mickey Ward’s rise to becoming WBU welterweight champion. Mickey Ward is played by Mark Walberg who also produced the film. The finest component of the film is the portrayal of Ward’s half-brother, Dicky Ecklund, played by Christian Bale. Ecklund is a former boxer himself that fell on hard times due to crack addiction. Bale shows his versatility as an actor and the relationship between the two brothers is the sub plot of the film. Directed by David O. Russell, The Fighter takes you on an emotional roller coaster as you follow Mickey’s rigorous path to glory. Music played a big part in the film as it seems to hit the perfect note to match the tone in each scene. It’s such an emotional high that you will be walking out of the theater grinning from ear to ear. The acting was the big story of The Fighter. Mark Walberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo all recreated the characters in spectacular fashion. The family is from the small town of Lowell, Massachusetts. The Fighter earned seven Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (David O. Russell), Actor in a Supporting Role (Christian Bale), Actress in a Supporting Role (Amy Adams), Actress in a Supporting Role (Melissa Leo), Original Screenplay, and Best Editing.
by Nick Casto Hotel Rwanda tells the story of one of the worst events in recent history. The Hutu extremists of Rwanda began a terrifying campaign of genocide, killing thousands of minority Tutsis who were left in charge by the Belgians who colonized Rwanda, while the rest of the world looked on and did nothing. Don Cheadle stars as Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager at the Fancy Les Milles Collines hotel in Kigali. Paul, a Hutu and a very successful businessman, is the main character in Hotel Rwanda. His wife, Tatiana, played by Sophie Okonedo, is a Tutsi. Tatiana begs Paul to use his influence to help local Tutsis, who are being harassed and beaten with increasing frequency, but Paul will only use his power to help his own family, if and when they need it. Soon enough the violence escalates, and the Hutus begin their genocide on the Tutsis. Guests and staff at the hotel, those that are not Rwandan, are flown out of the country and Paul is left in charge. Paul finds that his conscience will not allow him to watch as the innocent are slaughtered, and before long, the hotel has become a refugee camp for Tutsi and Hutu refugees. Some of Paul’s former friends and business partners see him as a traitor, putting his life and the life of his family in danger. A rare find indeed, Hotel Rwanda will make you cry about the story of one of the least media covered mass slaughters in recent history.
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Facebook and YouTube ban lifted in Syria
by L. Christie Linger As a culture that is overrun with Facebook and YouTube, we are used to hearing phrases such as “Facebook me” and “YouTube it.” It is difficult for us to wrap our heads around the idea of not being allowed to access social networking sites anytime we want. In the past, there has even been controversy about these sites being banned from computers in high schools. In Syria, denied access to web sites such as Facebook and You Tube has been the norm for many years. For readers who are unaware, Syria is a country that monitors and filters internet usage closely. Syria’s media is primarily owned and controlled by the government; citizens are denied access to certain materials and are forbidden to criticize
direction for the rights of Syrian citizens. Now that Syrians have access to these social networking sites it raises a question; how will it affect the lives of the people? At WVSU, Social networking sites have already had an impact on classrooms. In some classrooms YouTube videos are used as teaching aids, and certain professors use Facebook instead of WebCT as a way to hold classroom discussions and communicate with students. As evidenced by our own camFacebook world map tracking friendship connections in 2010. pus, social networking sites inevitably the government with the threat of jail The bonds of censorship began have an impact on society. If these time. This form of censorship leaves to loosen during the first two weeks sites have influenced us enough that the citizens of Syria highly oppressed of February and citizens of Syria we have brought them into the realm and lacking freedom of expression, started reporting the ability to use the of esteemed academia, we can be sure human rights, and the ability to have social networking sites Facebook and to bet that they will have an effect on political opposition. YouTube. This is a step in the right Syria if the ban remains lifted.
Tomblin Becomes Governor Obama Rebuked by Voters by Kris Casdorph With the recent victory of Governor Joe Manchin against Republican challenger John Raese in the special election for Senator Byrd’s remaining term, changes will be made to more than our senatorial delegation. Since the victor was the serving governor of our state, he must resign his current position to serve as our senator. The next person in line for the governorship of West Virginia is the president of the West Virginia Senate, a position currently occupied by long time politician Earl Ray Tomblin. Tomblin joined the West Virginia Legislature in 1974, joining the West Virginia Senate in 1980. While many political observers felt that a speedy election for Senator Byrd’s vacated seat in our nation’s highest legislative body was necessary to reflect the will of the people of West Virginia, no such controversy exists for the remainder of Joe Manchin’s term as governor. When Senator Byrd passed away, the Attorney General of West Virginia and the Secretary of State’s office both released legal opinions regarding the timeliness of an election for the remainder of his term. Governor Manchin also expressed the opinion that a speedy election would be the only way to fairly represent the state. There has been no such official fervor for the will of West Virginia residents to be expressed in regards to their new governor. As a veteran of West Virginia’s political scene, Earl Ray Tomblin is certainly qualified to take the lead as our governor. However, one is left to ask if West Virginians would desire a different person to hold the seat that Governor Tomblin will occupy until 2012.
by Kris Casdorph The recent mid-term elections have been portrayed by the national media as a referendum on the leadership of President Obama and his policies. Such a phrase certainly shows the ineptitude of our national media in regards to the terminology of politics. A referendum is a ballot initiative that is sponsored not by our political leadership, but by our fellow citizens. California had an actual referendum this election; California citizens grouped together in mass, signing a petition to have the right to vote on the decriminalization of marijuana. Although the proposed measure, Proposition 19, failed, it reignited the debate about states’ rights in regards to federal law. Despite earlier comments by the Obama administration that the passage of such a law would be respected by the federal government, one month prior to the election Eric Holder, the United States Attorney General (the head of the Justice Department), stated that the federal government would continue to enforce the current controlled substance law regardless of the outcome of Proposition 19. Proposition 19 failed on Election Day. It was not the only significant failure of the evening. Despite the bastardization of the term “referendum”, the Obama administration will find itself without support in the House of Representatives in 2011. The lack of legislative support for the president will make it nigh to impossible to pass a budget, or any strong legislation for the next two years. The president will need to regain the broad base support it enjoyed at the beginning of 2009.
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Momma Howard is More Than Just a Greeter
by Victoria Wright Ms. Brenda Howard, better known to students as “Momma Howard” has worked as a greeter for AVI, concierge and mentor to students on the campus of WVSU since 2008. She is a retired teacher who served 36 years in Kanawha County Schools, the last 28 years a special education teacher. Momma Howard, a West Virginia State University graduate, has earned an Associate’s Degree in Education, Bachelors of Science in Education and Masters Degree in Special Education. She has also earned a number of Counseling Certificates. Howard raised five children, cared for her husband who was Director of Physical Facilities here at WVSU for over 30 years and worked as a teacher’s aide through her college years. Even after all of her years of teaching, Howard was not finished. She came to the campus with an offer that could not be refused. “I saw the need for a greeter and someone to assist the students,” says Howard. She wanted to be a service to new students who were learning their way around the cafeteria and the campus. Her goal is to make students feel comfortable and let them know she cares and is concerned about them. Together Ms. Howard and AVI created her position as a greeter. Ms. Howard is a true motivator and a supporter of the campus, especially sports games. She always encourages the students to go to games and support their school activities and she does so as well. She even tries to remember the names of as many students as she can. “The most beautiful word you can ever hear is your own name; it builds your self esteem when someone knows your Mrs. Brenda Howard name,” says Howard.
Media Maniac Amy Trent
by Victoria Wright Trent has been an instructor at West Virginia State University since 2001. She has earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Masters Degree in Media Studies and is currently working on her Masters in Fine Arts. She teaches a number of Communications courses including Filmmaking, Speech, TV and Advanced TV Production. Aside from being a teacher, Trent also makes films. As of now, she has produced a total of 15 films from documentaries to animated films. Trent has won a total of 11 awards. “Sock it to Me” won first place for Producer in the Silent Film competition for FestivALL and “The Bells of Prague” earned 2008 Winner WV International Film Festival and was also shown in the Czech Republic. She is also one of the six top female filmmakers in West Virginia. At WVSU, Trent is the Executive Producer of Campus Connection, a show that she started back in 2006 which airs biweekly on PBS. This show also functions as a tool for Comm. 360 and 461 to give students hands-on training to prepare them for site work. She is also Executive Producer for The Coaches Corner which is airs on Suddenlink channel 22. “For my Filmmaking students, I want them to leave here with the ability to create successful films,” says Trent. “ And for my TV Production students, I would like them to be able to walk into any TV station and be knowledgeable and able to hold their own.” Anyone who knows Amy knows she is one tough cookie. She knows her job and she gets it done no matter what.
Photo by Stephanie Curry
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