Category Archives: Opinion

Bench-Warmers Without a Bench: N.C. Should Fund All K-12 Sports

By Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

Every day between the hours of seven and nine, my 16-year-old brother practices his extra craft: playing varsity football for his school. He plays because he loves the sport. The activity provides him structure, balance, and, most importantly, something to do.

I can remember when he first started playing when he was in fifth grade. A nosy family member asked one day after his practice, “Why do you spend all this time on this? What’s the point?”

Another relative replied, “Well, you must start somewhere.”

While his school, Cuthbertson High School, has dozens of sports and activities, another school in the same county, Monroe High School (A school located in a poorer part of the county), doesn’t even have a baseball field. Students who play must share a field with another school nearby.

While sports at Monroe are bound and plentiful, some may be cancelled due to no adult volunteer to coach the team. Compared with other schools in the area, Monroe has an average of 25 percent less athletic opportunities than the top three schools in Union County.

The lack of funding schools like Monroe receive for athletics and extracurriculars is no secret. According to Union County Public School’s 2017 Individual School Financial Statements, Cuthbertson had a receipt of $212,944 for their athletic programs, while Monroe had a significantly less receipt of $159,286 for their programs.

When a school has less funding for sports, what happens to kids in places like Monroe? Students are left without equipment, volunteers, and without an activity. Activities can be essential in an adolescent or child’s development and can even predict whether that child is going to graduate high school or go to college.

This point is discussed heavily in Robert Putnam’s book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Putnam’s research points to the impact sports and activities have for developing social skills, a child’s community involvement, and even their future economic success.

Putnam argues that important adult mentors from outside a child’s family come directly from sports, as these ‘have nots’–which Putnam defines as kids who come from lower income areas that struggle with providing extracurriculars–can be excluded from experiences that kids at more wealthy schools are given on an almost daily basis.

My brother gets to play football just by participating in a local fundraiser and paying for his jersey. This may not be the same for the students at Monroe High School. What are the consequences of such experiences for these students? When a kid wants to play lacrosse and is simply told, “We don’t have a coach or the money.”

A few weeks ago, teachers from around the state of North Carolina gathered in Raleigh to demand more funding for education. Last week, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the state budget due to small proposed increases education saw in this budget. Just two days ago, the NC General Assembly voted to override his veto as the new budget passed.

But, there is still time to talk about what goes into a future state budget. Just as teachers have become fed up with being underpaid and underappreciated, perhaps this is an opportunity to look at those who have been underfunded and overlooked.

Our state budget shouldn’t just increase teacher pay and funding for their curriculum. The budget should go beyond the classroom and allow the kids who want to play to do so.

This would increase graduation rates, get kids in poor areas off the streets, and allow talented student athletes to shine regardless of their location. Putnam’s ‘have nots’ can have a lot if we choose to help them.

The kids in Monroe deserve a fighting chance. North Carolina should fund all K-12 sports for the same reason they should buy more textbooks: You must start somewhere.

Edited by: Rachael Robinson

Wingate athlete compares Division I, Division II experiences

By Emarius Logan, Staff Writer 

Every high school basketball player dreams of playing basketball at the highest collegiate level when they graduate. The goal for many is to get that big-time Division I offer to play at the next level.

I’ve had the opportunity to play at both the Division I and the Division II level. I played at Division I Appalachian State University in Boone for two years before deciding to transfer and finish up at Wingate.

There are some major differences, two being in the financial benefits and the off-season program.

Basketball programs at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level of Division I benefit tremendously from their school’s participation at that level. Schools at the Division I level offer 13 full basketball scholarships while at the Division II level they offer only 10 full scholarships.

At App State you were allowed to get refund checks back from your financial aid as well as to receive a cost-of-attendance stipend from the athletic department. App State is in a lower-level FBS conference (Sun Belt), so the stipend was not as large as at some bigger programs. You could receive anywhere from $3,500 to $9,500 for the year depending on your financial aid refund.

Any financial aid received at Wingate is applied to tuition, room and board so the only way to get a cash refund is to take out a student loan.

The other major difference is in the rules as they relate to offseason workouts and practice. Division I schools are allowed six full-time assistant coaches as compared to two at the Division II level. So off-season as well as in-season workouts are more intense and in-depth due to the more limited individual contact with a coach.

At App State, players could work out six hours a week with a coach — two hours of individual workouts, two hours of team practice and two hours of weight training. At Wingate, you’re not allowed to work out with coaches at all during the off-season, including summer.

All your development as a player during that time has to come on your own, because the rules don’t allow this to happen.

Emarius Logan will be a senior on the Wingate University men’s basketball team during the 2018-19 season. He is from Columbia, S.C. 

 

 

 

Opinion: “#WalkUpNotOut” hashtag points fingers at the wrong people

Sarah Thurman, Staff Writer

Instead of walking out of class, walk up to a student who is isolated and be nice to them. While this seems like a good idea at first, when it is looked deeper into it, this is victim blaming.

The entire point of the walk out was for students to take a stand as they feel that the Government is not doing their job of taking care of this situation. After the shooting on February 14th in Parkland, Florida, students have begun to demand better reform on gun laws and for people in control to stand up.

Instead of helping the students, people are choosing to call out students. Telling them to walk up instead of out is such a typical thing for today’s conservative Americans who like to ignore real everyday situations.

The youth of today is trying to stand for something they believe in and are asking for support from the American community only for them to be told that they are in the wrong.

It’s not unusual for people to try and change a movement to become inclusive to all. For example, “All lives matter!”, which was used to combat the “exclusive” political stand of “Black lives matter.”

They chose to ignore the problems at hand and make them into something that will bring less attention. Once students began to express that they were going to walk out and protest gun violence people on social media began to tell them how the idea was wrong. Telling students to walk up, not out began to spread on social media and soon enough everyone was posting about it trying to ignore the real problem at hand.

Is walking up going to show the government that we need reforms on guns or that the students are sick of being ignored and told they are too young to have opinions? Walking out is something that allows them to protest and make headlines.

Walking up is victim-blaming. Yes, it wouldn’t hurt kids to be nicer, but telling them that they are the cause of school shootings is wrong. Walking up is suggesting that the kids who have died in these shootings would have lived if they had been “nicer.”

This is also making kids across America feel more excluded and seemingly like an outcast even more. The logic of a walk up is telling students to walk up to the kids that they feel like would be the ones to bring a gun to school.

Imagine being one of those misjudged kids to get on social media and see that the kids only came up to you because they fear that you would kill them. This hashtag is telling students that it is their fault that school shootings are happening. This entire trend is taking away from the fact that the problem we face is an epidemic of gun violence and is placing the blame on students.

They act as if the entire problem of gun violence can be solved by just being nicer to people.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Opinion: Internships should be a Graduation Requirement

Sydney Taylor, Staff Writer

It’s common knowledge that when applying for a job, employers like to see that an applicant has had some prior experience working in that field. That’s what makes internships so great. Students get the experience employers like and they also learn things that they wouldn’t in a regular classroom setting.

Given how much of an impact an internship can have on obtaining a job, they are something that every student should actively purse. In order to ensure that this is happening, schools should make internships a graduation requirement.

By making internships a graduation requirement, students will be motivated to search for opportunities sooner rather than later. The earlier a student can obtain an internship, the earlier they can start learning outside of the classroom.

This also means that students can quickly figure out if they are headed down the right track regarding their major. An internship will help them determine what they do and don’t like, what their strengths and weaknesses are and what’s the best fit for them.

Making internships a graduation requirement also ensures that after graduation students will find quality jobs quickly.

According to poll conducted by Gallup, “Recent graduates (those who graduated from 2002-2016) who had a relevant job or internship while in school were more than twice as likely to acquire a good job immediately after graduation.”

The poll also notes that not only are those jobs good and acquired within a timely manner, but they are also related to the student’s area of study.

One of the biggest concerns about internships is that in order to obtain credit from their school, students have to pay tuition. Many opponents of internships as a graduation requirement feel that this is a concern that isn’t properly addressed, especially given that certain internships are unpaid.

According to Looksharp’s 2016 State of Millennial Hiring Report, “55 percent of internships were paid, up from 52.5 percent in 2015.”

Given that paid internships are on the rise, students no longer have to worry as much about paying the tuition for their internships and being able to receive credit.

Internships are key to a student’s success in obtaining a job after graduation. If schools are not willing to immediately implement an internship requirement, it’s important that they still emphasize the important of internships to their students and keep them well informed about internship opportunities.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Opinion: Wingate’s lack of emergency planning during the school lockdown

Ryan McKeel, Staff Writer

Shortly before Spring Break, Wingate University was put on lockdown on what was supposed to be just a normal Monday. In the middle of the day, law enforcement responded to a report of a shooting on Jerome Street south of US 74 across from the Wingate campus.

Members of the Wingate community were shocked to learn that while campus safety did their best to protect students, several problems at the institution existed that counteracted any successful measure by the team.

During the lockdown, several professors and staff members continued class, rehearsal, and practice within well-lit rooms with open blinds and propped-open doors as if to say “Hey! I’m in here, Mr. Gunman,” while forcing students to stay seated with their phones in their pockets and their eyes dead ahead. These professors either did not know what to do during a lockdown or seemingly did not care enough to follow procedures.

During the lockdown, some faculty members kept pursuing their lifelong mission of sharing trigonometry with disengaged students. They allowed their own selfish desire for control to override their position of authority, that commands them to protect their classroom community.

There were, however, countless reports of professors, some even near retirement, barricading doors with desks and chairs in an effort to protect themselves and the students with them. These employees followed protocol and attempted to do everything in their power to help the students they serve.

Only one problem existed above those helpful students and teachers: many of the doors on this campus do not lock.

Less than a month after the lockdown, University officials began to order and install locks on the door that could easily protect students during a lockdown, but why did it take a threatening situation to make this happen? Who decided to keep building gyms and dorms while doors could not yet lock? Why is it that this institution is seemingly so invested in what the campus looks like yet when it came down to protecting students most, we were left to barricade classrooms while some instructors who had no idea what to do?

The University needs to install systems of training required of all community members, including faculty, staff and students that actively prepare individuals for dangerous situations. All rooms on this campus should be prepared to protect its inhabitants, should students and faculty find themselves in it during a threatening scenario.

University employees who refuse to take matters like this seriously and would rather follow their own hidden agenda, should be fired.

It is easy to blame millennials for complaining, but students pay more in annual tuition and fees to this institution than some employees make in a year, yet it took a potentially life threatening day to start hearing their voices.

The community got lucky this time, but in a world that seemingly thrives off of school shootings, it is imperative that the Wingate community listens to the shouts of the angered and does something serious about protecting those who work, study and live on this campus. We will be the idiots the next time this happens, if we are not prepared.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Opinion: Changing Americans’ Attitudes on Drug Policy

Amanda Alling, Staff Writer

The problem to be discussed here is one that requires a radical shift in not only foreign and domestic policy, but more specifically a deviation in perception of substance abuse. For far too long, we as Americans have viewed the consumption of drugs in a negative light – as a vice. And while undoubtedly drugs can, and often do, weaken societal structures and ruin the lives of individuals, they are also powerless until they enter the bloodstream.

The issue in our current American drug crises is one of not only supply from places such as Latin American, but also – and this is a topic that we as Americans tend to ignore or attempt to wish away – a problem of domestic demand.

The United States is currently the largest consumer of narcotics in the world, and regardless of what the current administration believes, symbolically shunning our neighbors to the south via the construction of some wall along the southern border will not solve our current ills.

So what do we do? How do we “solve” this? There are three current strategies used domestically: prevention, treatment, and enforcement.

Prevention programs typically target elementary aged children, but studies show the methods are largely ineffective. Treatment programs are after-the-fact mechanisms, and have been proven to be the most efficient tool for combating substance abuse. The last element to current domestic drug policy is that of enforcement – targeting users and sellers. However, increased incarceration has not stopped the illegal flow of narcotics.

Leaders of Latin American countries are urging the United States to change the attitude about consumption. In the 2011 report provided by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso suggested that there be a shift in global drug policy to treat “drug addiction as a health issue, reducing drug demand through educational initiatives and legally regulating rather than criminalizing.”

The argument for legal regulation maintains that the elimination of the “illicit” term that precedes “substance” would help to reduce cartel related violence by replacing criminal markets with formal ones. However, that in and of itself would not “end” or “solve” our drug crisis– the consumption of hard drugs would still remain an issue.

Decriminalization may end some stigmatization that comes with substance abuse, and governments who try such policies could see an increase in abusers seeking effective treatment.

For the last thirty years, the United States has spent, on average, about two thirds of its anti-drug resources on the supply-side, focusing the war on drugs inside of Latin America rather than domestically. And here’s the kicker: while the budget for supply-side solutions continues to grow every year, demand-side drug policy expenditures have essentially remained stagnant.

There are no easy answers, but at the very least we should rethink our strategy here. It’s halftime in the war on drugs, and our coaches need to make adjustments.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Greek life springs into second semester with more recruitment events

Caitlin Bailey, Staff Writer

Why Spring Recruitment? Bryon Ecker, a brother of Kappa Alpha, went through Spring Recruitment last year. He has a special perspective on the process this year. He says, “Spring Recruitment can be an untapped market because you’ve got freshman coming in the fall who said no to Greek life but regretted it, or you have people who transfer in.”

Unlike last year,  all four sororities of the National Panhellenic Conference on campus had recruitment events this year. Pi Kappa Phi and KA also held events. Needless to say, Greek life is expanding on campus for 2018.

The first event for Wingate’s Greek life was on Jan. 16th. It was an IFC Info Night Dinner at Laverne where potential new members could meet both fraternities.

The next day on Jan. 17th, Pi Kapp held a dodgeball tournament in McGee. KA had a video game night on the 18th in the DPC. Some of the games they played were Call of Duty and Mario Kart.

Pi Kapp also had a video game night but in their apartment on the 22nd, and they played Call of Duty as well, along with other games. On Jan. 23, KA played capture the flag and football at Campus Lake. On Jan. 24, Pi Kapp had volleyball game planned but due to weather changed it to basketball in McGee.

KA ended their events with a bonfire at Campus Lake on Jan. 25, where they had hamburgers and hotdogs and a bid dinner on the 30th. According to Bryon, KA should know who their bids are on Feb. 5th. After Pi Kapp has their bid dinner, they will vote on who they want to give bids to.

The first event for the sororities was Alpha Xi Delta’s Sip & See on Jan. 18. It was originally scheduled to be in the Fellowship Hall but was moved to Hayes 209 due to weather.

Alpha Omicron Pi had the next event which was on Jan. 24. It was a spa night. Chloe Wellins, a sister of AOPi, said “We talked with the girls, showed our sisterhood video, and sisters talked about their experience in Greek life.” They also had desserts. AOPi gave out four bids on Jan. 29 and will be giving two more out.

Chi Omega had Coffee with the Chi O’s on Jan. 29 in Hayes 113.

The last event was Sigma Simga Sigma’s Donut You Want to be a Sigma. Tri Sigma’s Recruitment Director Kaley Geer said, “I’m very proud of our chapter for putting on a successful recruitment event and can’t wait to welcome our new sisters!” Tri Sigma will hold another recruitment event on Feb. 9.

Wingate’s Greek life definitely stepped up this spring semester and showed potential new members what it has to offer. New members got to see what each organization had to offer in a more relaxed setting than Fall Recruitment. Each new member will add something special to each organization. The future of Greek life at Wingate looks bright.

Edited by: Brea Childs