Elon University has an emergency system in place if an event like Virginia Tech’s 2007 disaster happened at Elon. Virginia Tech’s 2007 on-campus gunman who killed 33 people including him affected other college campuses and their emergency response strategies. “After Virginia Tech we got a little more serious about how we’d notify the campus,” Dan Anderson, vice president of university communications, said as he outlined the procedures Elon would take if there were an emergency.
Elon is prepared for events such as tornadoes, train derailments, a gunman on campus and snowstorms. Measures already in place include E-Alert, warning sirens, campus-wide emails and phone speakers, and messages on E-Net, ESTV and WSOE radio.
“It’s very difficult to get word out to approximately, on any given day, six or 7,000 people,” Anderson said. Elon has outdoor sirens, which alert students within earshot, by looping pre-recorded commands. On-campus telephones will broadcast warnings so offices will be notified in addition to campus-wide emails.
If parent’s are not notified by their children, the Elon website will display an emergency banner on all webpages and telephone hotlines will be implemented. Robin Riggins, coordinator of the admissions welcome desk, greets students and parents when they first visit Elon. “We definitely point out the blue lights and emergency lights,” Riggins said about tour groups walking around campus.
E-Alert notifies students by text messaging when there is a weather or security warning. “I know about E-Alert. I get messages sent to my phone so what’s in place is good,” Sarah Paterson, a freshman, knows about E-Alert and remembers hearing the siren earlier this fall. Paterson also receives the Smith Jackson emails, which in addition to alerting students about important incidents they become topics of conversation.
“If I’m going to get the emails I don’t see the need to receive texts,” Robert Davis, freshman, said about the E-Alert text messaging notification system. Davis receives the Smith Jackson emails but didn’t sign up for the additional messaging service. Students must sign-up on their own so some do and some don’t.
Shane Lau, sophomore, didn’t hear about how to sign up for the text messaging service Elon offers but he did hear the loud sirens that were tested earlier this semester in conjunction with a college coffee. “People don’t want to make the same mistakes. Universities have taken more measures to be safe,” Lau said about Elon’s emergency precautions.
Anderson states that Elon has a multi-layered system in place. “We maybe not get to every single person but get to enough people that the word of mouth will share it around,” Anderson said. Elon’s most recent test was this semester and “every time we do a test we find things that didn’t work as well as we would have liked to so we get a little better every time,” Anderson said. The new freshman class, a quarter of the student population, poses a problem each year because the university must inform them of the emergency communications system in place.
Broadcasting the available resources Elon has for emergency response and alerts is the next challenge. “I think we are way more prepared than we were before the first Virginia Tech incident,” Anderson said. Elon may have the resources in place for campus-wide notification but not until a real emergency strikes will the university know if the campus is ready.
By Julia Murphy
Donate new toys to Toys for Tots in boxes around campus. Don’t worry about wrapping them!
A non-profit organization that shares the Spirit of Christmas with underprivileged children and elderly. Stop by their local office in downtown Burlington to adopt a family or adult.
Donate new or gently used items such as clothing, toys or furniture. Look for Santa or a representative from Salvation Army outside your local grocery store or Walmart.
Gather friends, family, classmates or neighbors and cook a hot meal for the families staying at a local Ronald McDonald House. If you aren’t able to cook, the RMH appreciates groups willing to clean or tidy the house.
5. Write thank-you cards for support staff
Take a few minutes out of your day to write a thank-you card to your colleagues, the woman behind the help desk or the man generously fixing your sink.
6. Donate food
Go through your pantry and gather some cans of soup, beans or fruit and donate them to your local area food bank or Loaves and Fishes.
You and your friends can go caroling around the neighborhood. It’s a fun group activity but it also brings joy to others.
8. Give a friend a candy cane with a smile
Simple acts of kindness are great year-round but during the holidays doing it with candy canes is better.
9. Volunteer to decorate your faith-based organization
Decorations put everyone in the holiday spirit. Donate your time, tape, scissors or hammer and give a hand decorating.
Those without close family would enjoy a visit or homemade cookies. Make a visit at your local assisted living community and trade stories.
NCAA Division I college athletes receive scholarships for playing the sport they love, but unlike professional athletes, college athletes don’t receive a paycheck. They attend classes, write papers, take tests in addition to sports practice and working out at the gym, sometimes on a daily basis.
The long-debated issue, whether college athletes should be paid in addition to receiving a scholarship, has gained interest recently after 300 current football and men’s basketball players sent a petition to the NCAA asking for part of the TV revenue. The NCAA refused but did approve a measure on Oct. 27 to allow schools in conferences to boost scholarships by $2,000.
“Our name is being used for the university,” Jerrell Armstrong, a freshman football player at Elon University, said about athletes being paid in addition to receiving a scholarship.
“I think college is a time to explore and get experience and that’s what the professional sporting is for,” Jessica Elizando, a junior, said about professional athletes getting paid rather than student athletes. She supports athletes receiving scholarships but not in addition to a paycheck.
“More scholarship money is more acceptable and receiving benefits, but athletes shouldn’t get paid cold-hard cash,” Jack Rodenfels, a sports writer for the Pendulum said. Athletes receive either a full ride or partial ride to attend Elon in addition to receiving benefits such as access to tutors and extra help outside the classroom, which isn’t available to all non-athlete students.
“The scholarship is payment, those who work jobs on campus are getting paid,” Jeff Flitter, a sophomore at Elon University, compares participating in a sport to working an on-campus job.
“It depends on if they are well-known athletes,” Bryan Miner said. This raises another question, whether athletes should be paid on their performance on the field, court, in the pool or in the stadium.
In order to pay college athletes, schools would need to cut their own expenses. The issue questions whether an athlete should be awarded additional money from sports revenue or receives a college education for little to no cost.
Jerrell Armstrong comments on the long-debated issue about college athletes receiving money and scholarships.
DO: help your family make dinner
Offer to give your mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt or uncle a hand preparing for the big family dinner. Shredding potatoes, apples or cutting onions and carrots are easy and sometimes monotonous steps that a busy chef wouldn’t mind delegating to relatives.
DO: decorate the day before Thanksgiving
Save time and energy on the big day by decorating the house and setting the table the day before.
DO: go for a walk
After an filling dinner go for a walk around the block and enjoy the fall colors before digging into the pie.
DO: buy local ingredients
When possible, use local ingredients. Visit your neighborhood co-op to buy vegetables, a free-range turkey, and locally made bread, cheese or wine.
DON’T: skip meals in anticipation of the big meal
Instead of skipping meals Thanksgiving Day before sitting down with the family, eat a hearty breakfast and a light lunch. Don’t forget to save room for dessert!
Thanksgiving is a time of the year to enjoy moments with friends and family. Have fun cooking with relatives of all ages. Everything will get done and everything will be delicious!
DON’T: forget to thank everyone
Thanksgiving and the holidays are the great opportunities to thank friends and family for visiting, spending time with each other and for simply being around
By Julia Murphy
Time, rate and distance are important to include in articles because it helps the reader better understand the story’s impact.
Speed: measures how fast an object moves
Velocity: indicates the object’s direction
Mass: measures amount (stays the same regardless of gravity)
Weight: a measure of the force of gravity pulling on the object
Momentum: the force necessary to stop a moving object
Momentum= mass X velocity
There are two ways to describe area, by using analogies or simple accurate numbers.
Square or rectangle:
Perimeter = (2 x length) + (2 x width)
Area= length x width
Area= .5 base x height
Circumference= 2π x radius
Area= π x radius2
Knowing the measure device is important when reporting on goods sold in volume.
2 tablespoons = 1 fluid ounce
8 ounce = 1 cup
32 ounces= 1 quart
2 quarts= ½ gallon
Cord: firewood is sold in cords. A standard cord is 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 4 feet high.
Ton: there are three kinds
Short ton= 2,000 pounds
Long ton= 2,240 pounds
Metric ton= 2,204.62 pounds
The Metric System
Although the U.S. does not use the metric system it’s important for journalists to know how to use it and convert it when reporting international stories.
length: meter (m) = 39.5 inches
mass: gram (g) = weight of a paper clip
volume: liter (L) = 1.2 ounces
There are enthusiasts, hoarders and fans, and then there are collectors. Most people enjoy gathering objects they find interesting: stamps, toy cars or stuffed animals. But collectors find a deeper meaning in what they collect. They are curious, ambitious, creative and dedicated to finding or making the next addition to their collection.
Schools, individuals or communities gather collections. Each has a different purpose. Schools often keep collections only when they were once important to the foundation of the school or will be valuable information for future generations. When there is no apparent need for them they are returned to the owner, sold or destroyed. Joe and Sylvia Gray, Clyde Jones and Marvin Johnson collected objects because they enjoyed the process. The community is always involved, whether as supporters of the collection or contributors to the collection.
Collectibles to art supplies
In 1937, Joe and Sylvia Gray opened a furniture store in downtown Greensboro, N.C. That furniture store became a surplus store during World War II, then an upholstery store and eventually a thrift store with a boarding house above and a warehouse across the street. After her husband died in 1955, Sylvia kept the store running until 1997, when she died. The store slowly closed, boarding up the warehouse, boarding house and finally the retail store. By the time the store saw its last customer she collected thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, of items that served no purpose other than to her.
In 2003, Sylvia’s grandson, George Scheer, graduated from college and moved to Greensboro with a few friends to reopen his grandmother’s business. They renamed it Elsewhere. There, things, objects, items and whatchamacallits would find a new purpose, as part of art. Unlike a thrift store, items in Elsewhere are not for sale.
After a year of organizing and sifting through Sylvia’s collection, Elsewhere became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. In 2005, Scheer and his business partners opened an artist residency program and invited artists to Greensboro to create art from Sylvia’s decades worth of collecting. Elsewhere is an example of a collection that isn’t growing in size, rather its shared owners are redefining what the collection is.
Walls are completely covered with stacks of toys, board games and books. Instead of linen curtains, the windows are covered with neatly folded paper squares dipped in wax, with broken pieces inside, strung together. A nook in the back room houses older sewing machines, and on the opposite wall, approximately 15-feet-high, there are color-coordinated stacks of fabric. Stuffed animals are not thrown on a child’s bed or strewn across the floor; instead a resident artist made them into a stuffed animal chandelier. Rebecca Bowers works at Elsewhere and learned about it from two friends who completed a residency at Elsewhere, one of whom made the stuffed animal chandelier. “I had heard about it but I had no idea the magnitude of the amount of things, so when I first came here, physically, it was almost overwhelming,” Bowers said.
The Elsewhere collection is more than a building filled with unwanted objects. “I think she saw value in a lot of things that a lot of people who visit can relate to, the idea of collecting. Hoarding, perhaps, is more like ‘Oh, I want this for almost no reason’ or obsession, but collecting you see the value in something, the usefulness of it,” Bowers said about Sylvia’s legacy.
There are still plenty of objects ready to be put to use by the artists. What the Grays initially collected and what Sylvia continued to collect gave their grandson the opportunity to create art and start a new collection. The passion that drove Scheer to reuse his odd and abundant inheritance is inspiring artists and forming a community.
More than a piece of fruit
Marvin Johnson of Angier collected approximately 900 gourds during his lifetime. A gourd is a type of fruit with a hard skin, grown outside and when dried it can be made into various objects. He had gourds used as pitchers and bowls and gourds shaped like animals, instruments, lamps and ornaments. He had international gourds from Ecuador and Africa, and Native American Indian gourds dating back to the 1920s.
Johnson collected gourds all his life until his wife finally had had enough. She put her foot down when there were too many gourds inside the house and not enough room for people. Johnson built a small shed behind his house called “The Mary and Marvin Johnson Gourd Museum.” It was free and open to the public as long as the last visitor turned off the lights and shut the door.
Johnson grew approximately 200 of the 900 gourds. The rest were gifts from other gourd collectors. Johnson was part of the North Carolina Gourd Society, a group of gourd crafters that meet four times a year. The society began meeting in Cary in 1937 and continues to dedicate its work to the heritage of gourds in America.
Johnson died in 2003, leaving his collection to Kennebec Baptist Church, north of Angier. Since the church wanted the public to enjoy the collection, leaders of the Town of Angier decided to display the gourds in the town municipal building.
Wanda Gregory was town mayor at the time and is now considered the keeper of the gourds. “I spent many hours moving, cleaning, and arranging the gourds,” Gregory said. The town didn’t want the collection to disappear or be tossed aside. It took responsibility of the collection. The town’s display is aimed at spreading the interest in gourds and the enthusiasm for community involvement.
Critters of nature
Walk into the woods and you will see trees, fallen and rotting, leaves, birds, deer or vines. Clyde Jones, a retired logger, sees wooden animals. He takes the fallen trees, cuts them up and makes critters. “I do what’s in my head,” Jones said about his collection of wooden animals. He was born and raised in Bynum, N.C. His house is nestled between two houses painted a subtle shade of beige. The sides of his house are painted with vibrant colors and representations of his animals. His porch is covered with photos of his critters and their new owners. Dozens of his critters stand where lawn ornaments typically would be. He has giraffes, alligators, deer, elephants, pigs, porcupines, snakes, donkeys and many more.
His work is art. He makes each critter with wood, a chainsaw and painted with bright colors. They are not for sale and never will be. Instead, he makes them and donates them to his neighbors, children, visitors, and foundations.
Locals and people from different countries have his work. “The earthiness of his work appeals to a big audience,” Martha Collins said about his wide-range of recipients. Collins met Jones when she was 10 years old and she too was born and raised in Bynum. She has several critters and so do her grandkids. “I guess he ‘saw’ something more than just a stick of wood for burning. He thoroughly enjoys making his ‘critters’ and exploring what could come out of the wood,” Collins said about Jones.
Jones has a big presence in his small town. Driving through the neighborhood streets, there are red, blue, pink or yellow deer, pigs, or snakes standing in the front yards of most houses. Jones doesn’t own a computer, car or license so he relies on his orange tractor. He is the “community watch” and keeps a lookout for everyone. Chatham Arts sponsors ClydeFest in the spring at the Bynum baseball field, around the corner from Jones’ home. The event invites the entire community and neighboring ones to meet Clyde Jones, paint his critters, participate in local activities and enter for a chance to win a piece of Jones’ collection.
Parts of Jones’ collection can be seen at the North Carolina Governor’s Mansion, museums in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and overseas. “I take the nature to the public,” Jones said about his work. His favorite part is building a critter and seeing a child’s smile. He visits schools and shows them how he combines his imagination and love of nature and turns it into a bright and fun collection for all to enjoy.
In 2001, two women owned a traveling trunk museum. They worked hard, wrote grants and asked for help. Three years later, they bought a building in Glencoe, named it the Textile Heritage Museum and the rest is history.
Jerrie Hall and Kathy Barry started collecting historical items and facts about the Glencoe Cotton Mill and the textile history in neighboring towns. “We are the only textile museum in North Carolina,” Barry said about the museum.
There are four donated looms in the two-room museum. Copeland Mills, a Burlington textile company, donated the curtains that hang in the museum. There are time booklets that once belonged to the employees and samples of fabric the companies produced. In the back there are collections of medicine bottles and food containers, which were part of the original Glencoe Company Store, dating back to the early 20th century. They once belonged to a Glencoe townsman who donated them to the store and to be showcased behind glass cabinets.
The museum is an example of a historical collection. “We have the same passion,” Hall said about her business partner and friend. Glencoe is a small community and the museum educates visitors about its past.
Elon University has its own collection. It doesn’t collect gourds or one-of-a-kind artwork; rather it collects its own history. The Elon Archives Center collects documents, artifacts, manuscripts, digital files, photographs and audio and video files. Katie Nash, the special collections librarian and archivist, handles all collections: the University Archives, Special Collections, Artifact Collection and Audio and Video collection. The University Archives and the Audio and Video collection document daily activity at Elon, for example, the provost’s papers or a video recording of a commencement. Special Collections includes manuscripts and books faculty or staff wrote. The Artifact Collection consists of bricks from the original buildings or beanie caps from older school uniforms.
Nash’s job entails acquiring items, accessioning, or registering an item in the archives’ catalogs, and appraisal. “If someone donates materials it’s left up to the discretion of the archivist to decide whether it will be added to the collection or not,” Nash said.
If someone donated a photo it must be examined, documented, added to the photo collection and stored in the collection. The Archives Center is located in Belk Library but overflow and unorganized material is sent to the Arts West facility. It’s approximately the size of a 12-car garageand is 95 percent full.
“If there is anything that doesn’t match our mission or doesn’t need to be added to the collection we will get rid of it or we can return it,” Nash said about the collections terms of de-accessioning, or deleting the item from the catalog. The donor can ask for it to be returned but, if not, it goes to the recycling bin, shredder or trash can. Occasionally there are objects that can be sent to other schools or a different home but most times objects are thrown away.
“It’s part of being an archivist, you have be able to throw things away. You can’t keep everything, there’s no space. You can’t accept everything that nobody wants to keep anymore,” Nash said.
Part of the collection is on view for visitors in Johnston Hall or is available by appointment. Some items include Elon president Leo Lambert’s suit from his 2001 inauguration, a brick dating to the 1923 fire and a bottle of Phoenix shower gel, to wash the ashes off. The collection also includes files from the president’s desk, previous school handbooks, documents from alumni who donated notes, books and objects, sport uniforms and signed copies of published works. Elon is still growing and pieces from everyday life are collected so future students can marvel at what today’s students were like.
There are communities of collectors and there are collectors that are part of a community. Wikicollecting.org is an example of a community of collectors. It offers information about other collectors and their collections and provides forums for collectors to discuss about similar collections. Museums are located around the world and offer visitors pieces of larger collections. The National Museum of American History collects pieces of history on a larger scale and preserves them in order to educate others and future visitors about the past.
A collection is more than objects and collecting is more than finding similar objects and putting them together. A collection does not have to become a museum, like the Mary and Marvin Johnson Gourd Museum or the Textile Heritage Museum, but museums have collections. A collector dedicates his or her life to a collection. It may start small, sparked by a hobby or interest, and grow into a tangible and shared passion.
By Julia Murphy
Polls and Surveys
Polls and surveys represent public opinion on a single topic or question. Polls are typically used in politics.
Margin of Error: the degree of accuracy of the research based on standard norms and expressed as a percentage
Confidence Level: percentage that researchers have confidence in their results
Businesses produce press releases, quarterly earnings reports, and annual reports.
Profit and Loss: most important document, also known as (P&L)
Gross Margin = selling price – cost of goods sold
Balance Sheet: written financial statement of assets, liabilities and equity
Stocks and Bonds
Stocks: corporations sell stocks to make money and people buy stocks as investments. A stock is a share in the company and represents a tiny portion of the company.
Bonds: corporations and governments sell bonds to raise money. The “face value” is the amount the owner will receive at maturity.
Current yield = (interest rate X face value) / price
Market Indexes: track prices of certain stock groups for investors
Example #1: Dow Jones Industrial Average
Example #2: NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations)
Property taxes are the largest source of income for local government. It’s determined by the total amount of money and dividing it among the owners.
Appraisal Value: based on…
- property’s use (residential, business, vacant land, farm business, commercial)
- location, size, exterior wall type, age, quality of construction
- current market conditions
- visual inspection
Assessed Value = appraisal value X rate
Elon students, faculty and staff wrote heart-felt thank-you cards for donors at the campaign’s kick-off at College Coffee Tuesday morning. Elon challenges the community to write 1,000 thank-you notes by the end of the week.
“A Thousand Thanks” asked participants to write a quick thank-you card to various donors. The event’s hosts handed out slips of paper to participants with sponsor’s names. Afterwards, they were eligible to enter into door prize drawings and complimentary candy.
The campaign continues tonight in Belk Library, room 102, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Other available times to write thank-you cards:
Wednesday Nov. 9
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Moseley Center, Hearth Lounge
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Lindner Hall lobby
Thursday Nov. 10
10:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Koury Business Center, Burbridge Atrium
By Julia Murphy
Language of Numbers
Everyone uses numbers and numbers are part of everyday life. Journalists use numbers to strengthen facts or an argument. Using numbers in a news article is a sign of professionalism because readers understand facts and figures more than only using words.
Number Styling and Writing Tips
- spell out single digit numbers. (ex. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine)
- spell out fractions less than one. (ex. one-third, three-quarters)
- numerals are always used for addresses, dates, speeds, temperatures, highway destinations, percentages, times and weight.
- Try to limit the number of numbers in each paragraph to two.
- Write out numbers used in slang expressions. (ex. Thanks a million).
There are four common usages of percentages:
Percentage increase and percentage decrease
example: salary increase or decrease
(new figure – old figure) / old figure
Percentage of a whole
example: part of a budget
subgroup / whole group
example: 7.4% – 5.6% = 1.8 percentage points
Principal: the amount of money borrowed
Interest: money paid for the use of money
Rate: percent changed for the use of money
principal X rate (as a decimal) X time (in years)= interest
Statistics are used to report rates, average cost of food or school test scores. Understanding statistics will help journalists evaluate surveys and studies.
Mean: (also commonly known as average) the sum of all figures divided by the total number of figures.
Median: (the middle number) the midpoint of a group of numbers
Mode: the number appearing most frequently in a group of numbers
Percentile: A number that represents the percentage of scores that are below or at the designated score. (Ex. 75th percentile knows that 75% of those who took the test scored the same or lower than he did)
Standard Deviation: how much a group of figures varies from the norm. A small number means the figures are grouped around the mean.
Probability: A number calculating the likelihood of an event
Journalists use statistics, provided by the government, in stories to back up facts or for comparison. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides current unemployment and consumer price index statistics. The Bureau of Economic Analysis provides GDP and trade balance figures.
Unemployment Formula: (unemployed / labor force) X 100
Monthly Inflation Rate: (current CPI- prior month CPI) / prior month CPI X 100
GDP: C= consumer spending on goods and services I= investment spending G= government spending NX= net exports
C + I + G + NX = gross domestic product
Trade Balance: exports – imports
Typically in news stories the writer’s opinion and thoughts are excluded from the story but in editorial columns, opinions and persuasion reach the surface. The column is a distraction from the everyday new stories about politics, everyday life and culture. It speaks to every reader in a clever, whimsical and unconventional way.
Murray Kempton wrote for Newsday and was the oldest ASNE award winner at the age of 67. He wrote for the next generation of writers and used abstraction and literary allusion. He combined reporting skills with historical references and metaphors to create a deep and applicable story for his audience, leaving the best in the last three paragraphs.
Richard Aregood wrote for The Philadelphia Daily News and won the ASNE award three times plus a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. He uses his position and passion to create a story with concrete information and delivers a strong impact.
Donna Britt is a columnist for The Washington Post and writes about the extraordinary lives of black Americans. She writes about everyday experiences and turns them into gold. Like Kempton, Britt uses her investigative reporting skills to find a story and write about the facts. She looks at her own opinion and analyzes them to create a deeper and more honest conversation with her readers.
Bailey Thomson wrote for the Mobile Register about the two sides of Alabama. He frames the images of seven neglected social problems. He continued what he was good at and got behind the wheel of his truck to hunt down a story and find the facts.
Cynthia Tucker is the editorial page editor of The Atlanta Constitution, historically one of the most influential jobs in American journalism. She combines her reporting experience, tough language, persuasive use of evidence, editorial voice, humor, seriousness and personal experience to reach her readers and deliver a strong message.
Andrew H. Malcolm wrote for The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He wrote about politics and was not afraid of stating his obvious opinions. He conducted interviews and combined reflection and analysis to find the deeper story. He used playful language and an unconventional approach. He wrote short columns and said, “ Less is more.”
Leonard Pitts wrote for The Miami Herald. He was not afraid to include and examine his own beliefs in his column. He continuously edited his work in order to create an honest, intellectual and emotional story for his readers.
Three Additional Award-Winning Examples:
1. Joseph Rago
The Wall Street Journal
2011- Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing
2. Tom Philp
The Sacramento Bee
2005- Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing
3. David Moats
Rutland Herald, VT
2001- Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing