Like roughly 5,000 of the rest of you, I am a senior about to jump off the pier of graduation on May 13.
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Like roughly 5,000 of the rest of you, I am a senior about to jump off the pier of graduation on May 13.
On Jan. 20, the iconic blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll singer Etta James passed away at the age of 73. And to be honest, nobody really said that much.
How much of my morning routine is thanks to Steve Jobs? Unfolding a Mac, pulling up iTunes, charging my iPod, wishing I had an iPad.
In 1971 three students who needed to fill a P.E. credit at Dartmouth College enrolled in a dance class.
“Speech and Debate” promises to be a juicy high school play, full of sexual intrigue, blackmail and shameless ambition.As director Andrew Slater joked, it’s more like “Notes on a Scandal” than the happy halls of “Saved by the Bell.”In the play, one student creates a blog relating a sex scandal between another student and a teacher. A reporter stumbles upon it and tries to turn it into a media explosion.
Every Tuesday night, rain or calm, a group of women gather at the UNC ROTC armory building to clap, stomp and move in unison at the command of their director, Lindsey Jefferies.“Alright ladies, let’s do it again!”They are members of the stepping squad born2step, the University’s only official, independent squad. UNC also has several step teams associated with the Greek system.Kiva Moore, a freshman communication studies major and member of born2step, said stepping could be called dance, but there’s greater freedom to it than other dance types. “You can use music, but you don’t have to,” Moore said. “We use our hands and feet as the music and rhythm.”Jefferies founded born2step in October 2009 when she couldn’t find an outlet for stepping outside of the Greek system. “I would have done it through a sorority, but they’re not stepping all the time. I would’ve been mad,” she said.Jefferies, a sophomore who has been stepping since she was five, credits her mother as her inspiration. “My mom had a community group, and I would step here and there, in my church and high school,” she said.The summer after her first year at UNC, she undertook the project of forming an officially recognized step squad. An older group, called breaknpoint, had lost recognition.Brittany Nichols, secretary of the Lambda Psi chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., said stepping in the Greek system is not only fun, but a source of pride.“The Greek aspect changes it. That’s where it originated,” Nichols said.Nichols also said the tradition of step in sororities and fraternities within the historically black National Pan-Hellenic Council allows them to have signature moves within their organizations.Moves are passed on from class to class, becoming traditional steps.The Lambda Psi chapter has passed down the tradition of using canes in their routines, and they are the only sorority to do so.Born2step also has signature steps that Jefferies developed so that the group could learn something together. After that, she wanted the choreography to be group-oriented, with everyone contributing to the routine.“We’re always in the brainstorming stage, like, ‘What should we do now, patty cake?’” Jefferies said.Moore joined the group with no experience, but was eager to learn. “I love it. We get together and just have a good time thinking about what will look cool,” Moore said.Born2step now has a membership of 10 women, and anyone is welcome to join, regardless of experience. There are only women in the group currently, but it is open to all.Jefferies says her main goal is to create a low-stress environment, but that the mission of the group is to entertain others purely through step.While the Greek steppers have other activities within their organizations aside from purely stepping, Nichols says it’s an important part of their community.“You bond within the sorority. It’s our tradition and part of our history.”Contact the Arts Editor at email@example.com.
A cappella powerhouses the Clef Hangers and Harmonyx are teaming up for a night of song, all in support of a good cause. The two groups, along with the performance art group EROT, will perform at 7 p.m. tonight at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for a fundraising concert for the Black Student Movement’s alternative spring break project. Harmonyx and EROT are both subgroups of BSM. For the trip, 8 to 10 students will travel to Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta, an underprivileged area with low graduation rates. Alexis Dennis, a junior and Robertson scholar, traveled to the area the summer after her first year at UNC through the Sunflower County Freedom Project. The organization, now the partner project for BSM’s trip, is a nonprofit program that sponsors Saturday school and summer school for rural, underprivileged 7th to 12th graders. Dennis said she hopes the spring break trip will further expand the program to educate the students on issues they encounter outside the classroom, such as sexual education. The idea for the concert line-up was born in Dennis’ dorm room while she was brainstorming fundraising ideas with her roommate. This is the second year the benefit concert has been held to raise money for the trip. “We were talking about how we love both groups but how we had never seen them perform together,” Dennis said. “We decided to pursue the collaboration, and it really works!” Last spring was the first time both the concert and the trip to the Delta took place. Tonight’s concert is one of the few on-campus fundraisers that BSM does for the trip, and also one of their biggest. “This year we hope to raise about $500,” said Erica Everett, fundraising chairwoman for the trip. Last year’s concert, which did not feature EROT, raised about $450. James Malloy, director of Harmonyx, said they will focus on R&B and soul music for this year’s event. “We had a great time seeing the others perform last year,” Malloy said. The Clef Hangers were contacted by Everett to perform again this year and were happy to return. “We like to branch out to support people raising money for good causes,” said Adam Brawley, business manager for the Clef Hangers. In light of the success of last year and the anticipation for tonight’s concert, Dennis said she hopes to see both the trip and the concert become annual events. Another performance is also in the works for the spring break project. For the first time this year, some students from Sunflower County will visit the UNC-CH campus the week after spring break and perform a Civil War play. Tickets are $5 and are available at the Union Box Office and at the door tonight. Doors open at the Stone Center at 6:30 p.m. and the performance starts at 7 p.m. Contact the Arts Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors to the Ackland Art Museum Thursday night had the chance to merge art and literature with a program connecting poetry from the Civil War to Jacob Lawrence’s exhibition “The Legend of John Brown.”At the event, Leslie Balkany, the museum educator who facilitated the evening’s program, associated poetry from “Poets of the Civil War,” a collection of poems from the Civil War era compiled by J.D. McClatchy, with the Lawrence art installation about the famous abolitionist John Brown.She gave the participants a verse from a Civil War poem and asked them to match it with a print that they thought represented the writing visually. When examining the matches made, Balkany took the opportunity to elaborate on Lawrence’s works. While many of the matches were a matter of interpretation, some had stronger links to the images.One of Walt Whitman’s poems featured in the collection describes the hanging of Brown, which is also depicted in one of Lawrence’s prints. The art and literature program takes place every three months, and Balkany said she chooses the literature based on what the Ackland is currently displaying.At each session, there is also a co-facilitator who is a UNC faculty member. Thursday night featured Eliza Richards, an associate professor in the English and comparative literature department and an adjunct associate professor in the American studies department.The discussion drew an intimate group of visitors with an interest in poetry, art and the war. They talked about some of the poets included in the collection, such as Herman Melville, Walt Whitman and Richards’ favorite, Emily Dickinson. Richards pointed out that though the Civil War was a great event in American history, a singular great piece of art didn’t emerge. The collection of poetry was intended to include great works produced at this pivotal time in America’s history, but Richards doesn’t think it captures the scope of the poetry in that era. “There are thousands of poems from the Civil War,” Richards said. “I don’t think we should stop here.” Balkany wasn’t completely taken by the poetry either, but for different reasons. “I’m not a poetry person, I only do this for the group. I want to give you diversity,” Balkany jokingly said.Balkany is retiring in June, but she will continue to facilitate Ackland’s discussion series as a volunteer, to the pleasure of the participants. “Mrs. Balkany is a very inspirational lady,” said Polly Devany, a regular at the discussions.Contact the Arts Editor at email@example.com.
During the Civil War, Ella Swain, daughter of the president of UNC, caused a scandal when she fell in love with a Yankee general.Now her great-great-granddaughter, Suzy Barile, has chronicled Swain’s history in her book “Undaunted Heart.”Barile, a UNC and N.C. State alumna, came to the Bulls Head Bookshop on Wednesday for a brief reading and Q-and-A session for her recently published book.Barile opened the reading with the beginning of the book. Raleigh had fallen to the Unionists, and Chapel Hill was about to come under Yankee control.Swain, the 18-year-old daughter of the prominent UNC president David Swain, was gathering shoes for the barefooted Confederate soldiers.But when Yankee General Smith Atkins was invited into the Swain parlour, Ella entered the room and met her future husband.Cornelia Phillips Spencer, a friend of the Swain family, was there that fateful day and recorded the event in her writings.Swain married the general four months after they met and moved to Freeport, Ill.The couple would spend their winters in Raleigh with Ella’s mother, who refused to sit at the table with a Yankee general.Atkins would often bring dinner to his mother-in-law in her room and sit with her there, which was acceptable.In writing “Undaunted Heart,” Barile used only primary sources, including Swain’s letters and Spencer’s records.“It wasn’t until I read her letters that I learned about her life,” Barile said.Swain’s letters came from a cardboard folder found in the attic after Barile’s mother’s death. They contained Swain’s correspondence with her family after she moved to Illinois.Intimate details of the atmosphere and townspeople, such as the University’s telescope being used to hide watches, make the village of Chapel Hill from almost 200 years ago more vivid.The Wednesday reading drew an intimate crowd interested in the hidden history of Chapel Hill during the Civil War and a love story shrouded in lore.Stephanie Willen Brown, director of the Park Library in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication said she was curious to learn about the story. Originally from the North, Brown said the Civil War does not create a strong emotional response for her.“We didn’t really learn about the Civil War, I’m embarrassed to say,” Brown said. “I’m curious to see why this marriage was so controversial.”Contact the Arts Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two distinct artists took the stage Wednesday at Memorial Hall, but they combined their different styles of art to create one experience.“Pictures Reframed” forced viewers to approach the art in a different way, as they were engaged both musically and visually, without one overwhelming the other.The stage was set up like a pentagon, with screens hanging above and around the piano.In the final piece, an 1874 work by Modest Mussorgsky called “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Leif Ove Andsnes played piano while Robin Rhode provided images.Mussorgsky intended to create a tribute to his late friend, artist and architect Victor Hartmann, by using some of Hartmann’s art as inspiration for a corresponding musical narrative. This subsequently produced some of the most innovative and renowned compositions in Russian classical music.One of the interesting aspects of reinterpreting Mussorgsky’s work is the fact that Andsnes and Rhode worked in reverse of the original.They already had the music. It was the application of contemporary art and the addition or subtraction of different musical pieces that redefined this performance.The concert had a definite infusion of childlike playfulness, typical of Rhode’s artwork that worked well with the unpredictable movement of the music.The energy vacillated between languid and hyperactive. Light-hearted images drawn by Rhode, such as children on bicycles or piloting chalk planes, contrasted with more serious illustrations.The serious episodes involved abstract images that had an almost violent tone. The music became more chaotic when a keyboard made of chalk pieces appeared, played by disembodied hands. It later fell apart, leaving a chalky mess in its wake.Throughout the show, the music determined the tone of the images, not vice-versa.The performance had a clever layout. It began with an exclusively musical act and no corresponding visual element.Though it was difficult not to view the show as a movie, the initial musical focus engaged the auditory senses foremost.The dramatic feel of the show was brought to a resounding conclusion during the performances’ final episode — a drowning piano.Contact the Arts Editor at email@example.com.
Alumni who still consider their musical skills the pride of the Atlantic Coast Conference will have the opportunity to rejoin The Marching Tar Heels at this Saturday’s Homecoming football game.The reunion, organized in conjunction with the General Alumni Association, invites past band members to return and once again be part of the experience with a pregame dinner and an invitation to play part of the halftime show.“The reunion has been in place since before I came in as director in 1975,” said Jeffrey Fuchs, director of UNC bands.Rejoining the marching band for the night is an experience that many alumni relish.El Fisseha, the administrative assistant of UNC bands, said that in past years, between 70 and 100 alumni returned and that they included representatives from many graduating classes.“The oldest year I saw this year was around 1960,” Fisseha said about the roster for Saturday.The reunion involves the alumni in the band wherever possible.“They do everything their section of instrument does,” Fisseha said.“They might not do exactly what they did when they were here, but they follow what the band does now.”Current marching band members said they find the event beneficial.Lauren Hallyburton, a clarinet player for the Marching Tar Heels, said the reunion is a good way to promote continuity.“I like it because now I know I can always come back to something that is a really big part of my college career,” Hallyburton said. Alumni can register beforehand or on the day of the football game and can participate in one of two ways: marching or nonmarching.Both roles invite the alumni to Top of Lenoir for the pregame meal. But only the marchers go with the band to Kenan Stadium and participate in the halftime show.The non-marchers are invited to sit in the GAA section for the game.Contact the Arts Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When the sun goes down, improv and slam poetry will come out for a night of laughs and drama.The Chapel Hill Players, CHiPs, and Ebony Readers/Onyx Theatre, EROT, will unite to perform “Expressions After Dark.”The annual event, part of UNC’s Race Relations Week, pairs the two popular groups and draws fans from across campus.Instead of alternating their performances as they have in the past, the two groups will perform the entire act together as a fluid unit.This means that CHiPs will find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of slam poetry.“Certainly for me I’m not very adept at anything like that,” said senior Alex Whittington, co-artistic director of CHiPs.While EROT members may be less familiar with comedy, they are no strangers to improvisation. “The transition was pretty easy,” said senior Tre Flintroy, co-vice president of EROT. “We also do theater and we do our own sketches, so everyone has experience.”The two groups work with contrasting performance material. CHiPs deals with lighthearted affairs while EROT’s work tends toward more complicated, dramatic issues.Whittington said that EROT’s set of talents makes their transition easier.“EROT have such a mastery of their art,” he said. “But the groups are aligned through our experience with performance.”This alignment is expected to attract a large audience and create a dynamic show.“We don’t plug the show very hard, but it’s the biggest crowd we’ll draw all year,” Flintroy said.“Everyone is down to earth but crazy; we have a really good time.”Neither of the groups would disclose the night’s overall theme, but they worked together to brainstorm outlines for sketches and games.Whittington said there is some direction, even with improv.“Everyone gets together just to see what the other group’s mission statement is and plan what games we’ll do,” Whittington said.One of the trickier parts was incorporating slam poetry into the sketch formula.“Most of the games are improv ones, but we’ve also got slam poetry ones,” said senior Robert Stephens, director of CHiPs.“We chose the ones that work well with a large group of people.”Both groups said they enjoyed getting the chance to work with each other.“We have a really good thing going this year,” Flintroy said.ATTEND THE PERFORMANCETime: 7:45 p.m. todayLocation: Hanes Art CenterInfo: chipsimprov.blogspot.comContact the Arts Editor at email@example.com.
Actors and musicians have often worked together on performances, but tonight the actors of PlayMakers Repertory Company will pull double duty — they will play musicians.For the production of Michael Hollinger’s “Opus,” the actors are learning to relate to a new kind of performing art, through their portrayal of a string quartet.The play follows four musicians in a fictional string quartet and the trials that come with preparing to perform at the White House.Premiering tonight in the Paul Green Theatre, the production is PlayMakers’ Mainstage season opener.Brendon Fox, director of the play, said you don’t need to know anything about classical music to enjoy the show because the heart of the play is a story about a family. “One of the four members of the quartet is brilliant but unstable and has disappeared,” Fox said. “It’s difficult for Grace, the new member, to adjust to the unkempt rehearsals of a family of musicians who sometimes get on each others’ nerves.”He said the show will provide a spectacle entwining humor, family tribulation and lovely music.While only one of the actors has any musical training, all of the “musicians” will appear to be playing the instruments of the quartet.A musical illusion is created by soaking actual bows in water, allowing the stringed-instruments to be “played” without sound.“There’s no resin on the bow which allows us to actually place the bow on the strings,” said Ray Dooley, who plays Dorian and is also a UNC drama professor. “Our right hand moves the bow as closely as possible to the recorded music, but our left hand is not fingering the notes.” In order to imitate actual musicians as closely as possible, professor Richard Luby, assistant chairman of the music department, was brought in to give instruction on how to hold a violin and bow. Marianne Miller, who plays Grace in the production and is a member of the company’s graduate student program, is also a trained violinist and helped with instruction.“The interesting thing was having to learn to mime how to play instruments,” Fox said. “It was like making a classical music video.” While blending these contemporary techniques, the play exercises a much older feature of theater — no intermission. This idea dates back to ancient Greek dramas. “It allows for 90 minutes of action that switches back and forth in time,” Dooley said. “It is one act of about 15 scenes leading to a climax.”The play itself has been around for a few years, but this will be its regional premiere.All actors in the show are repertory company members.
When Fridays on the Front Porch began at the Carolina Inn in 2003, the free event quickly garnered popularity among bluegrass enthusiasts and those looking for outdoor summer music.This season looks to be no exception, as the crowd is bigger than ever, said Laurence Bézy, marketing manager for the Carolina Inn.With the advent of the 2009 football season, organizers have decided to continue Tailgate Party on the Front Porch, an event they began last year.The tailgate program also features live music just as Fridays on the Front Porch does. But it takes place on home game days and begins three hours prior to each football game.Both events offer food and beverages for purchase from the bar.“If you like Fridays on the Front Porch, you will definitely like it,” Bezy said of the tailgate series.The performances this season will feature mostly recognizable local bands, such as Big Fat Gap and the Gravy Boys. The organizers also are looking to introduce a few new groups.“Most of the bands are local, but we have two new bands from the Asheville area,” Bézy said.But for regulars of the event who have picked their favorites, don’t fear: they will return.“The ones that come back every year are the local bands, and they will be back again for this season,” she said.Local favorites the Gravy Boys will perform at Saturday’s tailgate.The band has been a staple at the Carolina Inn for the past two years.Steve Celestini, the lead vocalist, said the series is one of the group’s absolute favorite events to play.“From the three-year-olds kickin’ up dirt and dancing to college kids and local folks with a few years on them — it’s a great atmosphere,” he said.Celestini described the music of the Gravy Boys as “acoustic Americana.”With bluegrass infusions, twangs of country and covers of musicians such as Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, the Gravy Boys cater to a variety of tastes.“We take a lot of pride in our crowd rapport and engaging in what the fans call shenanigans,” he said.Today’s show will feature event-regulars Big Fat Gap, who play strictly Carolina bluegrass.Lead singer Miles Andrews said that in recent years the concerts have become packed events. “It’s such a great venue with a large lawn where you can sit up close for the music or hang around the back for socializing and soak it in,” he said.If you go:Fridays on the Front Porch: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays through Oct. 9.Tailgate Party on the Front Porch: Saturdays of home football games, 3 hours before kickoff.
Small businesses in the local area are feeling the burden of expensive employee health insurance.The fear for many companies and employees is that eventually it will become more practical to simply cut health insurance out of their staff expenses.""Health insurance provides a significant chunk of expenses" particularly for small businesses trying to stay afloat" said Dub Gulley, the director of the Small Business Center Network for North Carolina.Already, Gulley estimated that about a third of the Triangle's small businesses have cut health insurance. He said providing health insurance for employees has been a latent problem for businesses for decades.But with the current economic recession, companies are now finding it necessary to make larger cuts from more areas of the their expenses in order to compensate for the cost of health insurance plans. It's been a difficult year for small businesses. Just look at Franklin Street and the amount of businesses that haven't made it in the past year"" he said.Gulley explained that businesses are unwilling to make cuts in marketing or staff because both areas bring in revenue. Health care is the next greatest expense for many businesses.Gov. Bev Perdue recently announced her desire to help small businesses at the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Day at the Capitol, in the wake of her forum on health insurance at request of the White House a month ago.The only way to significantly combat rising costs is for the federal government to reform the health care financing system"" Perdue said at the event.At the conference she added that she plans to continue pushing for a more regulated health care system.Patty Briguglio, president and chief executive officer of MMI Associates, a small public relations firm based in Raleigh, said she supported Perdue's efforts to help small businesses.Thus far, Briguglio has not had to make any cuts to her staff's health insurance.I have been very impressed with Perdue's stance with regard to helping small businesses"" Briguglio said. Health care is the most onerous expense for small business people.""But Jim Anthony" chief executive officer for Anthony & Co. a development and consulting business in the Triangle said he didn't believe that more regulations and laws were the way forward but wants health insurance to be an affordable personal expense" so people are free to move between jobs.""Of course I think some sort of reform is necessary" but I don't want the government running the health care system anymore" he said. We'll probably have to make cuts in the future. We may have to raise the deductible so that the employee pays more.""But Gulley maintained that federal health insurance is more secure"" even though it still requires a revamp in services.""What needs to happen is for the government to find a way to rein in costs but also provide a better service" he said.It's no different than before in that people aren't getting the service for what they're paying. It's just that now" it's a lot more difficult to pay it at all.""Contact the State & National Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UNC Association of Student Governments will end the fiscal year with a budget surplus.The association comprises representatives from student governments from the UNC system's 17 campuses.ASG will have $47166 left over from the 2008-09 fiscal year which ends June 30 according to the budget posted Thursday.ASG spent the approximately $199"000 they received through the $1 fees paid by each student in the UNC system.But there is still flexibility in their budget due to an inheritance from a previous ASG government that didn't maximize their budget.""We began with $99"218.12 from last year alone" said Greg Doucette, president of ASG.Plans to spend the extra money are already in place and include $4,000 for improving the computers in the ASG offices, $1,000 for office renovations and $17,000 for special projects, Doucette said. Despite this surplus, Doucette said he doesn't think that the money will go to waste.Next year we are budgeted to spend all of our funds" he said. Leadership in past years didn't do anything. If ASG is doing what ASG is meant to be doing" there shouldn't be that much flexibility.""However" some unforeseen obstacles arose in January when Gov. Bev Perdue issued an executive order mandating that state agencies reduce unnecessary spending.ASG is not a state-funded agency because all of its funding comes from student fees but it is still considered to be a part of the UNC General Administration. Since ASG is recognized as separate from the universities and the Board of Governors they have to abide by the same orders as the UNC system.The executive order therefore had jurisdiction over ASG Doucette said.The cuts were incorporated into the ASG budget by cutting back on unnecessary travel expenditures.Jason Smith chief financial officer of ASG" said cutting travel could have been destructive to the work of ASG.""Most of what we do is travel to campuses in the system on outreach programs" he said. Fortunately" a lot of our travel is very necessary.""One way in which ASG was able to reduce travel was by developing more efficient communication between campuses" including more usage of e-mail Smith said.Despite the restrictions on travel Doucette said" ASG fulfilled their goals this year. ""The one dollar they gave us this year was already spent in service"" he said. The cuts didn't prevent us fulfilling that mission this year."" Contact the State & National Editor at email@example.com.
Grandfather Mountain is now a state park of North Carolina. Gov. Bev Perdue signed a law Tuesday that finalizes the purchase of the park and implements new protection rights to the area. Crae Morton president of Grandfather Mountain said changes will primarily affect the structure and future of the park" not the visitors.""Where visitors are concerned" there are very minimal changes — and that's the point" Morton said, The goal with the arrangements is to prevent any major expansion or development.""The Morton family has owned the mountain since 1952.Morton said he hopes to see this area benefit from the added resources the purchase will bring" such as new hiking trails grants and donations.Visitors will also benefit because the trails will no longer have the $5 fee currently in place Morton said but will be free.While the trails are changing" the current staff will remain as it is.""That was an important part to the arrangement of the bill"" Morton said, We tried to keep things as similar as possible.""Rep. Cullie Tarleton" D-Watagua" said the state bought the land for $12 million.""The actual value of the land is around $22 million" Tarleton said.Morton said it was an easy decision to make.The decision to sell wasn't as difficult as you might think" Morton said. It's the best thing for the mountain.""Both Morton and Tarleton said the ultimate mission of the park was to preserve the mountain.The purchase was financed by the N.C. Natural Heritage Trust Fund and the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.Charles Peek" spokesman for the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation" said the bill was introduced because both the Morton family and Peek's department were willing to consider the creation of the state park. ""We desired it"" and the Morton family desired to do the best for the mountain — protection from development and expansion in the future.""Morton said the only place he expects to see expansion is in the numbers visiting the mountain and the ability to facilitate them.""We anticipate an increase in visitation to the back country and also we hope to enhance the educational facilities.""But he maintains that the most important part to the park is the natural beauty of the mountain itself.""With Grandfather Mountain"" less is more. It's a state — a national — jewel.""Contact the State & National Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A UNC study commission decided Thursday to finalize the pieces of a systemwide policy on hate crimes.The UNC Study Commission to Review Student Codes of Conduct as They Relate to Hate Crimes voted to recommend the policy to UNC-system President Erskine Bowles.If finalized the policy will be implemented in all UNC-system schools said Harold Martin senior vice president for academic affairs. He said that because the issue deals with defining accepted behavioral conduct it is important to have consistency within the system.Administrators at the meeting emphasized the importance of a systemwide standard as opposed to individual university rules" though the policy will still need to be implemented on individual campuses.Administrators originally began developing a policy in response to a November incident at N.C. State University when racially motivated threats against President Barack Obama were painted in the Free Expression Tunnel on campus.Martin said these slurs were protected under freedom of speech. ""We need to try and still permit free and open expression" although be mindful of how this expression can be hurtful" said Terri Houston, director of recruitment and multicultural programs in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at UNC.The protection of freedom of speech was explicitly emphasized in the committee's recommendation, said Judith Wegner, a professor at the UNC School of Law and chairwoman of the UNC-system Faculty Assembly.We endorse the right of freedom of expression to the point that it does not create hostility"" said Archie Ervin, director of diversity and multicultural affairs at UNC. Commission recommendations on hate crime:University's value statement: All students shall be responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that helps to enhance an environment of learning in which the rights" dignity" worth and freedom of each member of the academic community are respected.""Possible policy elements for consideration:1. Statement of University's commitment to constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech. 2. Prohibiting conduct characterized as a ""hate crime"" under federal or state laws" which are subject to change. Student codes should base illegal conduct on state statute" rather than on a prohibition of ""hate crimes"" per se. 3. Prohibiting infliction or threat of bodily harm.4. Prohibiting behavior that meets legal definition of harassment leading to hostile environment.5. A specific statement that implies a violation to the student conduct code when any campus or University policy is violated" or any federal state or local law is broken.6. All student conduct codes should be modified to reflect the University value statement.Contact the State & National Editor at email@example.com.
A bill to amend the state constitution and ban marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples has been introduced in the N.C. General Assembly every year since 2005.Marriages in North Carolina between same-sex couples already are not valid according to state law. Supporters of the bill which was filed Monday" argue that the strength of the current law is vulnerable without a constitutional amendment.""The protection of the family cannot be eroded by the whim of the General Assembly"" said Sen. Peter Brunstetter, R-Forsyth, a cosponsor of the bill. We are moving protection from the (General Assembly) to the people of North Carolina.""Brunstetter said the active gay rights movement had continued to attack the present law while pushing for marriage recognition.Terri Phoenix" director of the UNC Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer Center" said N.C. law already is restrictive without the bill.""It lubricates something that already exists" she said. There are over 1000 rights benefits and privileges that are only accessible through marriage" Phoenix said.Despite repeatedly introducing the proposed amendment, there is very little chance that it will pass, Brunstetter said.The bill has never moved out of committee to be debated on the floor of the legislature.This year I would not be extremely optimistic"" Brunstetter said.In order for the bill to become a constitutional amendment, three-fifths of each chamber must vote to submit the proposed amendment to referendum. The public then must approve the proposed amendment by simple majority.North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.The constitution is to give rights" not to take away" said Sen. Ellie Kinnaird of Orange County. It is effectively writing discrimination into the North Carolina Constitution.""Brunstetter said the bill has never failed"" but rather the Democrats have buried it — it's never emerged from committee for a full vote.""The Democrats are afraid of it"" Brunstetter said. They are afraid to alienate their constituents.""Kinnaird said it becomes increasingly more difficult for Democrats to strike down the bill each year.""I think it's going to be a struggle this year"" she said.Phoenix said there was a large number of people opposed to the bill, including the LGBTQ community on campus and Equality N.C., a gay rights lobbying group.But Brunstetter said there might not be many people outside of the N.C. LGBTQ community who would oppose it.It tells you something terrible about the state of democracy in North Carolina"" he said. There are 70 to 80 percent of people who would like to vote upon it yet two to three people in a corner office prevent that.""Contact the State & National Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.