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QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: Campus lockdown, student housing and more

The COM 220 News Writing class put together this week’s “Question of the Week” which is actually several questions, mostly related to events on campus this year.

Class members Caitlin Bailey and Zasha Barrett asked senior Marissa Vittorio of East Haven, Conn., “Do you feel safe on campus after the recent lockdown and shooting incident?”

marissavittorio

Her answer: “I felt safe because I was in the McGee Center and they have a safety plan that they went by. I heard stories from other students about how some classroom doors wouldn’t lock and some professors kept teaching class. Other professors were more nervous than the students which made the situation worse. I probably would have been scared, but because of where I was, I felt very safe.”

Class members Hunter Pearson and Mariah Anderson talked with Communication faculty member Barbara Pann about “the best thing to happen to you this school year”:

The housing signup period for students is about to begin and Shane Rich and Keyana Daye asked student Kelly Manning  about her opinion of the process. Shane and Keyana report that not many students they asked seemed to know much about it.

And one more:

Class member Tanya Crump wanted to find out what it was like for Wingate staff members over Spring Break. She talked wth Dining Hall Supervisor Shemikka Henry, who said, “We had to stay here and work on break, but the nice thing was that our lunch periods were shorter and that was my favorite thing. Usually we don’t shut down during the day but we were able to, which made cleaning much easier. It was fun!”

(Shemikka didn’t want to be photographed or appear on video, and we honored that request.)

Wounded veteran runs 29th marathon in Charlotte

Katlyn Batts, Staff Writer

A former Marine who lost his legs in combat, Rob Jones, ran his 29th marathon out of 31 in Charlotte this past Thursday as a part of his Month of Marathons journey.

“Plenty of Americans want to help veterans and that’s one thing I want to prove doing this,” said Jones.

According to Pam Jones, Rob’s wife, Charlotte was the largest crowd they have had on their journey thus far. Veterans, Queens University track and field team, military supporters, all the way to a 7-week-old baby girl were at the race to support or run beside Rob.

“We are just really inspired by this story and coming up on Veterans Day we felt it was very important to support Jones and veterans,” 14 year-old runner Jake Honeycutt said. Honeycutt has never run a marathon, but planned to run the first loop with his father.

A lot of preparation went into this journey and Jones’ wife and mother both helped him every step of the way.

“I drive the RV and coordinate with the media now, but before we started I did meal-prep and planned the month ahead… all Rob has to focus on is running, eating, sleeping, and talking to the cameras,” said Pam.

Coordinating with the media is extremely important, according to Pam. Every time Rob is seen on television there is a massive boost in donations, and raising money for wounded veterans is one of his goals on this journey and in life.

“Currently he has raised about $120,000. He has set a goal to raise $1 million in his lifetime,” said Pam.

His mother also joined him on his journey as his personal massage therapist.

“It has been a real privilege… it is important not to be negative for him. I try and let him do his thing even if I am sitting back here nervous,” said Rob’s mother, Carol Miller.

Rob has been an athlete since he was discharged from the Marines. Just two years after he lost his legs, he won a bronze medal in rowing at the Paralympics in London. He competed in the World Rowing Championship the following year, where he placed fourth. Also in that year he biked 5,180 miles across the United States. Rob also completed the Nation’s Triathlon.

Everyday 22 veterans commit suicide. Rob wants to puts a positive spin on his circumstance and be a light to other wounded veterans.

He says, “Thank God it happened to me and not to someone who could not cope with it,” said Pam.

Rob knows he can be a beacon of light to other veterans and he does not take this opportunity lightly, but every day this forces him to get up and be excited, happy and joyful about life so he can inspire others.

“Instead of seeing tragedy or hardship as something that is blocking your path or getting in your way, seeing it as an opportunity to grow stronger, something that you can use to make yourself better,” said Rob.

His journey has received national attention and he has received letters from the Department of Veterans Affairs and state representatives of support for his journey. Some mayors have even come out to his events, although no state or city representatives attended in Charlotte. Rob and his wife hope to have many people and military leaders at the run on Veterans Day in Washington, D.C.

Rob and his wife are currently building a house in Loudoun County, Va., and plan to take a few months off, but according to his wife, Rob hopes to try out for the Invictus games in the future. They are taking donations on their website. 

 

Edited by: Cierra Smith and Ryan MacKintosh 

Mental health problems facing college students all around

Aleah Cady, Staff Writer

College can be an exciting, enriching experience. For most young adults, college is their first step into the world of “adulthood”- that may mean living away from home, having a job, paying bills for the first time, and taking on the responsibilities of college-level courses.

College is a different experience for each student, but unfortunately for some, the fun parts of school such as making new friends, or having more freedom, are overshadowed by situations which can be stressful, and make school feel like a burden.

It can be pretty shocking to transition from four years of high school and living at home, and suddenly adapt to a faster-paced, unfamiliar environment which may mean living in a new city, state or even country; moving away from your friends and family, taking six or seven classes at a time, being responsible for student loans or bills, struggling to decide on a major, etc.

These experiences can be especially hard for students with mental illness, or those who struggle with stress. For these students, college can be less of a fun experience, and more of a contributor to their stress and worries. Sadly, the stress of college can often lead to heightened anxiety and depression, sleeping problems, poor school performance, or more serious issues including drug or alcohol abuse.

Some students even drop out of school entirely. According to a 2011 study from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 62% of students who withdrew from college before graduation did so because of poor mental health.

With the increasing prevalence of anxiety among young adults, mental health is being discussed more than ever before on campuses across the nation. Schools are making changes to accommodate students with mental illness, and help them succeed despite their differences.

Luckily at Wingate University, there are a variety of resources available to help students cope with their problems and be successful. One resource is the counseling services. Students can email the counseling department to set up an appointment to meet with a counselor that fits their schedule.

Students are welcome to discuss a variety of concerns from school, to grades, to social life, and beyond. You are meeting with a trained professional who can listen to your concerns, and help you understand your options.

Other helpful resources include the ARC, or Academic Resource Center. ARC offers tutoring services to all Wingate students, free of charge. You can receive help with studying or doing your homework, which can help improve your grades and give you more confidence in school.

If you are a student with a disability, you can turn to Disability Support Services for accommodations in concern to housing, testing, or other specific services that can help you. There are options to make school more comfortable for you, despite what challenges you may be facing.

If you’re a student struggling with mental illness or stress, you are not alone.In addition to reaching out and talking to a professional, you can also make small lifestyle changes to better your mental state.

  • Try to get enough sleep. It’s really hard when you have classes all day, and work and assignments to do at night, but try and get a twenty or thirty minute nap into your day, or take advantage of the weekends and get some rest.
  • Eat healthy foods, drink water, and exercise. Again, this may require changing your schedule up a bit, but take a few extra minutes a day to think about foods and drinks you’re putting into your body. Also, many studies show that light exercise such as going for a walk, or biking, can reduce stress levels, and improve your grades.
  • Avoid taking on too many responsibilities at once. You are at school to learn. Between academics, clubs, sports, work, homework, studying, and a social life, you can easily become overwhelmed. Evaluate what is really important to you, and try and cut out tasks or activities that stress you out. It’s okay to be human, and have weaknesses. Everybody needs a break sometimes.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol in excess. They may feel like a temporary way to relax, but overusing drugs and alcohol use can increase stress levels, and result in more problems to face.
  • Know when to ask for help. It can be hard in such a fast-paced society to stop and say “I need help.” However, if you are struggling with self-harm, suicidal thoughts, or any other problems which may threaten your safety, it is important to get help immediately. Listed below are the phone numbers to contact Campus Safety, or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. However, always call 911 in an emergency situation.
  • Remember that it’s okay to be stressed and worried. You aren’t alone, and it’s okay to cut yourself some slack every now and then. Take time to do things that make you happy, and try to cut out negative situations or people who may bring you down.

If you need help with a situation in which counseling services or any of the other resources mentioned above may not be able to help, here are a list of other resources you may turn to, especially if your safety is at risk:

➔ In an emergency situation, always call 911.

➔ Wingate Police (Non-emergency) (704)–233–5657

➔ Campus Safety (704)–233–8999

➔ National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800)-273-8255

Edited by: Brea Childs

 Photo from: Google Images

WU Alum First to Receive MASM Award

By Adam Riley II, Staff Writer

Wingate alum, Callie Phillips, was presented with the first Master of Arts in Sport Management Distinguished Alumni Award during an expert panel discussing Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence in College Athletics in Austin Auditorium last week.

“No one has to do everything, but everyone can do something to help stop sexual assault and domestic violence,” Phillips said.

She graduated from Wingate in 2013 with her master’s in sport administration and she is the current head volleyball coach at Johnson & Wales University.

Edited By Harrison Taylor, Dustin Kiggins, and Cierra Smith

 

Local ministry prepares community for threat of war

Gabriela Cabrera, Staff Writer

MONROE –

The threat of war with North Korea is becoming increasingly real and a local thrift store in Monroe, NC is starting preparations to help the community by gathering clothing and farming materials needed if panic should arise.

Crystal Oliver, manager of Good Steward Ministries (GSM), sat down with her six employees at their monthly meeting, held Wednesday, Oct. 4, to discuss the possibility of North Korea invading U.S. soil and how they should plan.

“War seems almost inevitable and we want to be prepared,” she said. “We want the community to know that if something were to happen they can rely on Good Steward to help provide clothing and equipment needed to survive.”

Run mostly off of donated goods, the store is well-known for helping locals by offering an assortment of clothing, houseware items, books and shoes for an affordable price. Oliver wants to go one step further by making sure their supplies will last for the rush of people who may panic if North Korea invades the U.S.

Recently, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump have exchanged heated words, causing worry in the U.S. that a war may break out. President Trump tweeted last weekend that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time trying to negotiate” with Kim Jong-un.

The employees listened carefully to Oliver’s plan of slowly setting aside clothes in their storage rooms. GSM’s mission is to have clothing and farming material ready to be provided when other stores run out.

Oliver said that she knows that many people don’t want second-hand things, but when the time around she believes people will accept it.

“I think it’s great that Good Steward wants to look out for the community,” Raphaela Moore said. “We are family.”

This mindset in some of the employees sparked conversations and game plans for preparation.

Other employees, however, were more skeptical.

“There is no reason to prepare,” said employee Patrick Love. “America is completely equipped to stop any attack before it reaches our home.”

While the employees may be split on whether a war with North Korea may happen, they are still working together to prepare GSM for helping the community.

 Edited By: Cierra Smith and Harrison Taylor

Wingate’s Pep band prepares to bring more excitement to the new athletic season

Ryan McKeel, Staff Writer

Wingate University’s Pep Band gears up for the first home game of the 2017 season on Saturday, September 16 at 6:00 PM at Irwin Belk Stadium.

The Pep Band, Wingate’s premiere athletic performing ensemble, has been under the direction of Dr. Dawn Price, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Wingate University, for ten years.

With performances at select Volleyball games as well as all home Football games, the Pep Band strives to bring Wingate spirit to any game they attend. “My favorite Pep Band activity, besides playing music, is helping engage the crowd in cheering on the sports teams,” said Junior Dariyhn Lee.

A common theme in both rehearsals and games amongst the band members is the excitement for the game. With their music ready to go and instruments in hand, the band members are often the loudest ones in the stands cheering on their fellow bulldogs.

The band hasn’t always dominated a section in the stadiums, says Dr. Price. “The band has grown from 17 members in 2008 to now 47 members. The overall ability of the group has improved as well.”

Dr. Price strives to give every band member an opportunity to gain something from their time in the stadiums. “[Pep Band] gives students, both music majors and non-majors, an opportunity to play their instruments in sports and entertainment events,” she said. “The band also provides a wide variety of music intended to promote spirit at the various athletic events at which we play.”

Other key game day members have noted the, no pun intended, pep that the band brings. Head Football Coach, Joe Reich commented on the “special energy” that the band provides. “That is college football, having the band playing and the crowd cheering. That’s good stuff.”

The Pep Bands partner in crime, The Wingate University Cheerleader’s, have built a bond based on excitement and cheer with the musicians. “I think that the cheerleaders and pep band have been growing a relationship over the past few years,” said head cheer coach Kelly Sheppard. “We love the energy that the band gives us… I literally have to tell the girls to stay calm when the band starts up.”

Several of the Pep Band members have commented on the importance of their halftime shows.“I love performing for the people in the stands and hearing them sing along,” said junior Taylor Eudy. “It is exciting to be out there on that field and give the folks in the stand a chance to hear some tunes that they are familiar with.”

Other students in the stands have also felt the excitement that the band brings when their on the field. “It kind of stops you in your tracks. You can’t help but turn around and watch their show,” said senior Naomi Askew.

Athletes at games always find a way to show their support to the band members. Whether it’s a salute or shouted “Thanks!” from the football players celebrating a victory on the field, or a line of volleyball players after their win inside Cuddy Arena, most come together in some way to thank the band either at the stadium or in passing on campus.

When asked about their favorite tune, 12 of the 15 respondents listed Mark Ronson’s & Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Photo credit: Wingate University Athletics

Bulldogs hope summer program lifts 8-3 football season in ’16 to higher level

By Adam Riley II, Staff Writer

 The Wingate University football program looks to build off of  a successful 2016 season, finishing 8-3 overall and 5-2 in South Atlantic Conference play. All that begins in the summer.

Over the course of an eight-week period during the months of June and July, the Bulldogs have what they call the “Dog Days of Summer”. This is a period where players come back to campus to conduct the bulk of their preparation for the upcoming season.

The Bulldogs train at 6 a.m. four mornings a week.

“Certain days we’re running then lifting, specifically doing speed and power development, other days we lift and then run afterwards for our conditioning work. And that final 4-week build up until camp starts it’s a big push to get everybody geared and ready to go.” said WU head strength and conditioning coordinator Will Hayes.

Head coach Joe Reich’s Bulldogs eclipsed another 7-game winning record last season, which earned them a shot at the SAC championship in the last game of the regular season at Newberry.  They fell just shy of claiming their first title since 2010 in a 27-22 loss.  The Bulldogs finished second in the league, tying with rival Catawba, which had won the conference the previous year.

“We played with great effort last season, I want us to carry that over into next season.”  Reich says. “From a league perspective, we got ourselves in the championship conversation last season.”

Training camp officially starts on Aug. 7 and Reich and his Bulldogs enter the 2017 season with high hopes and expectations.

Redshirt senior linebacker  Zack Singleton, one of the team’s captains, said:  “I’m really looking forward to it. We have a lot of athletes coming in, probably the most athletes we’ve ever had on the team.”

Reich said,  “One of our main focuses going in Aug. 7 is to stay healthy throughout camp.”

The Bulldogs were hit drastically by the injury bug last season, losing starting safety Kameron Johnson, a redshirt sophomore, due to a season ending foot injury in camp. In addition, the Bulldogs suffered  two more critical blows with injuries to running back Lawrence Pittman and receiver/return specialist Adam  Riley. Both Bulldogs suffered season-ending ankle injuries just one week apart. Pittman was leading all NCAA football players in touchdowns scored when he was sidelined for the season.

And three-year starting quarterback Kyle Johnson suffered an injury to his throwing arm on the opening drive of the season-ending game against Newberry, in which he did not return.

The Bulldogs lost a number of key seniors from this past season on both sides of the ball. They include: defenseive end and SAC Defensive Player of the Year Ray Edwards; first team all-SAC defensive end Andre Foulks; and four-year starter at cornerback Cornell Cheron. 

On offense, most notably  notably the Bulldogs will lose All-Conference Receiver and four-year starter in Jordan Berry, as well as fellow starting receiver Joe Wallace, in addition to quarterback Johnson.

KEY RETURNERS:

Defense:

Zack Singleton (LB)

Kameron Johnson (DB)

Josh Shelton (DB)

Robbie Wallace (LB)

James Basham (DE)

Tim Longmire (DB)

Jabari Foster (DB)

Joseph Kelly (DB)

Christopher Biroses (P)

Offense:

Blake Hayes (RB)

Lawrence Pittman (RB)

The entire OL

Jake Jensen (TE)

B.J. Muckelvene (WR)

Malik Bledsoe (WR)

Jay Hood (WR)

J.T. Stokes (WR)

Adam Riley II (WR/PR)

The Bulldogs will play seven night games in a 10-game season, four of which will be at home for the first time in the school’s history.

“We are looking forward to Saturday Night Lights! Playing seven of 10 games at night this year will be a different experience for us.” Reich said in a previous interview. “I like the idea of the new reality, playing at night and I think it will really get all of our guys fired up.”

The Bulldogs’ season begins at 6 p.m. on Sept. 2, as they travel to Charlotte to face off against the Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith University. Wingate’s first home game is on Sept. 16 against conference opponent Carson-Newman, with kickoff at 6 p.m. at Irwin Belk Stadium.