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A growing negative perception of fraternity life has prompted Greek leaders to push for reforms to improve their relationship with the University and highlight the benefits of their system.It is these leaders’ hopes that their efforts will allow the positive aspects of the system to become the focus of public attention.Administrators have indicated that they have reached the end of their tolerance and that chapters will need to change their ways if they want to survive. Greek leaders have responded with a willingness to meet the University halfway. Delta Kappa Epsilon co-president Patrick Fleming, also a member of The Daily Tar Heel’s editorial board, released a statement Monday indicating his fraternity’s desire to be leaders of reform within the system.“We realize that a serious disconnect has developed between the Greek community and the University in recent years,” he wrote. “The brothers of DKE want to be leaders in helping to bridge that divide and foster a more positive and constructive relationship with the University.”Brent Blonkvist, vice president for internal affairs for the Interfraternity Council, said the Greek system is changing.“I think you can see that we want more of a real relationship,” he said. “We have a desire to start taking responsibility for our actions.”In recent years, the system has received negative attention for incidents of hazing, underage drinking, drug and alcohol abuse and safety violations. Incidents this semester have further exacerbated existing tensions.Winston Crisp, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, said that misconduct by a small part of the Greek system overshadows the positive aspects of the organization.“There are 28,000 students on campus, and the vast majority are not endangering themselves or others,” he said. “And it’s the same with the Greek community. It’s a small minority who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be.”Crisp also said the public’s tolerance of misconduct is decreasing.“We are now in a climate where there is an absolute expectation that aspects of Greek life must and need to change,” he said. “Right now, there is more attention and less tolerance from the community in general.”Fraternity members said they have been frustrated by the negative press surrounding the system.“It’s unfortunate that so many eyes are on us because of the negative,” Blonkvist said. “This is an opportunity for us to show the positive, that we are working.”But he said he does not want the system’s relationship with the University to be characterized as one that is just now being formed.IFC President Charlie Winn also said the relationship is sound. “It’s been a tough first semester, but it’s a system that’s been working, and we want it to continue working,” he said.Jenny Levering, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority life, said her office has not altered its relationship with the chapters.Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
The University’s relationship with fraternities has reached an all-time low, and it is time for the system to shape up, a UNC administrator told pledges Sunday.“If you don’t, times are changing, and the organizations are either going to change with them or not survive,” he said.In a passionate speech to a group of new fraternity members about hazing and substance abuse, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp said his office would no longer tolerate destructive fraternity behavior. Crisp told pledges that the future of Greek life at UNC was up to them. He said the Greek system needs to meet the school halfway. “You need to understand that the Board of Trustees and the administration are perfectly willing to shut your doors,” he said. “The days when my office is willing to stand in the breach is over. I’m tired of looking like a damn idiot. I’m tired of standing up for you and having you spit in my face.”The Greek community has come under increased scrutiny this semester. The University is investigating a party that happened the night of Delta Kappa Epsilon president Courtland Smith’s death, and police arrested five current or former students, some affiliated with Greek organizations, for cocaine use.“The tolerance of the community has reached its endpoint,” Crisp said. “The tolerance of the University of cleaning up disasters on a weekly basis is over.”He said that while some of the negative perception of the community is unfounded, and that the system does a lot of good for UNC, there is some basis to the public perception.“We don’t have a weekend that goes by without a report of alcohol and drug and sexual abuse,” he said. “We know it’s not all connected with Greek life, but by and large, the perception is that it’s connected.”Crisp later said he could not speak for the trustees or the chancellor. He said the speech contained some hyperbole and was intended to be dramatic to make a point.“But generally, I think the notion that binge drinking and drug abuse have serious consequences for students is one that is now very widespread,” he said after the speech. Interfraternity Council President Charlie Winn said he has worked closely with Crisp and invited him to speak Sunday. Winn said he was glad Crisp said what he did.“Dean Crisp does a great job going to bat for us,” he told the pledges. “Don’t take that lightly.”When asked if she thought the Greek system had a problem with drug and alcohol abuse, Jenny Levering, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority life, said she would prefer not to comment.Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pulizer Prize-winning journalist, UNC alumnus and former Daily TarHeel editor Horace Carter died Wednesday in Tabor City. He was 88.
Chapel Hill police arrested five people, all of whom are or have been UNC students, after finding them with 197.6 grams of cocaine Tuesday night. The bust at 211 Church St. came as part of an investigation by the police narcotics division into drug use in the town of Chapel Hill.Jonathan Ray Plymale, 22, of Greensboro, and Eliza McQuail Vaughan, 21, of Nags Head, were arrested and charged with trafficking and cocaine possession with the intent to distribute.Plymale was scheduled to graduate in May 2009. Vaughan is a junior.Both were also charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, maintaining a dwelling to keep drugs, and misdemeanor counts of drug paraphernalia. Julianne Kornegay Howard, 19, a sophomore from Greensboro, and Hugh Graham Jones, 22, of Chapel Hill, were arrested and charged with felony possession of less than two grams of cocaine.Howard’s address is listed as 313 E. Franklin St. — the location of the Chi Omega sorority house.Benjamin Thomas Nash, 24, of Elizabeth City, was charged with felony possession of less than one gram of cocaine and a misdemeanor for possession of four grams of marijuana. He told police that he is a UNC student.Texts provided to The Daily Tar Heel indicate that at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, Vaughan sent a text message to a large number of people saying “im straight on fire,” a slang way to indicate that drugs are available for purchase. At 10 p.m., the five were arrested.Plymale and Vaughan were both arrested and brought to the Orange County Jail on Wednesday morning. Their bonds of $15,000 each were both secured, and they were released the same day.Because they had smaller amounts of drugs, Howard, Jones, and Nash were not taken to jail. Sgt. Tommy Crawford of the Orange County Jail, said individuals charged with possession of smaller amounts of drugs are usually given a ticket or taken to the magistrate’s office to sign themselves out. Flora Parrish, records supervisor for Chapel Hill police, said the amount of cocaine the police discovered was unusually large.“Usually we get point-something. This is 100-point-something. That’s a lot.”Plymale and Vaughan are listed on Facebook as in a relationship with each other. Plymale’s Facebook page also lists his involvement with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He worked for the Chapel Hill law firm Massengale & Ozer for three months in the summer of 2008, but is no longer employed there. Members of Chi Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon have been instructed not to talk.Lt. Kevin Gunter, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the investigation is ongoing.Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
Carolina Ballet dancer Elena Shapiro was killed Friday evening when her car was rear-ended in Raleigh by UNC assistant professor Raymond Cook, who was driving drunk.Cook, who has subsequently been suspended from his work based at WakeMed, was charged with death by motor vehicle, driving under the influence, failure to reduce speed and careless and reckless driving. Shapiro was driving on Strickland Road in Raleigh at about 8:35 p.m. when her Hyundai was hit by Cook’s Mercedes Benz, which was traveling about 85 mph.Cook, 40, is an assistant professor of head and neck surgery at UNC, where he earned $288,577 for the 2008-09 school year. He was contracted to work at WakeMed.He graduated from UNC’s School of Medicine with honors in 1997 and completed his residency in head and neck surgery at Duke University Medical Center in 2002. He began working for UNC in 2003.A spokesperson from WakeMed said Cook has been suspended pending further investigation, meaning he will not be permitted to practice medicine at the hospital until further notice.Shapiro, 20, grew up in Winston-Salem and began training at the age of 10 with the N.C. School of the Arts preparatory program, where she attended high school. She trained with ballet companies in Hungary, Houston, Miami and New York City.She joined the Carolina Ballet in 2008, where she was a trainee.“She really contributed a huge amount to the company and her loss is enormous to us,” said Elizabeth Parker, communications manager and assistant to the director of Carolina Ballet.“She was only 20 years old and she was a really lovely young girl. “She was always just delightful and just had a very almost innocent young way about her. She was also just perfectly beautiful.”Parker said the ballet is upset about Shapiro’s death and the fact it was caused by a drunken driver.“It’s a tragedy,” she said. “For someone’s life to be snuffed out like that at 20 years old is just the worst thing you could imagine.”Shapiro’s family will hold a memorial service in Winston-Salem on Tuesday at the Wake Chapel at Wake Forest University. The Carolina Ballet also plans to dedicate a performance of the ballet Swan Lake to her memory.
The list of potential candidates for UNC’s No. 2 administrative job is already more than 100 names long, and it won’t stop there.In the next few months, a search committee of 17 students, faculty, staff and administrators will work to select the executive vice chancellor and provost position — UNC’s top academic officer. At a meeting Wednesday, committee members set an ambitious schedule, discussed qualities they will look for in the new provost and reviewed their progress so far. Members also hinted that the next provost might not come from within UNC’s walls, a departure from recent high-level searches.After recruiting during the next few weeks, the committee will narrow the field down to three finalists and submit those to Chancellor Holden Thorp, who plans to hire the provost by early February.To aid the selection process, UNC hired R. William Funk & Associates, a consulting group that helped select Thorp as chancellor in 2008. The firm was paid $100,000 for the chancellor search.Bill Funk, the firm’s lead consultant, said his team has identified about 75 percent of the expected total candidate pool.Bernadette Gray-Little held the provost role from 2006-09 before she was named chancellor at the University of Kansas.Shelton Earp, director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and chairman of the search committee, said past committees have been encouraged to look for candidates with strong ties to the University. He said that this search might be different.“We asked the chancellor that exact question, whether he had a feeling that this should be internal or external, and he said it doesn’t matter, and we should get the best person for the job,” Earp said.“People have been taken to task for not having enough Carolina people involved, but Holden is so decorated in Carolina blue he will shine through. We’re enjoying getting to look for the best person, both inside and outside the University.”Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends and family remembered Courtland Benjamin Smith as a strong leader, a loyal friend and a passionate kayaker and outdoorsman at a memorial service Wednesday.The Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, where the service took place, was packed to the brim, with people in every pew and many standing in the back.Those who spoke at the service described Smith as a determined, driven and compassionate friend.“To everyone here today, I wish you could have gotten to know him longer, because you all would have been a little better for it,” said junior James Glenn, Smiths’ roommate and fellow fraternity member. Smith served as president of the UNC chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. The junior biology major from Houston was shot and killed by police on Sunday.“My life is, was, and will always be better off having known Courtland. I felt like I knew him my entire life,” said Glenn, who met Smith at UNC. “He always tried his hardest to cheer me up, and he had incredible passion and determination in everything in his life.”Throughout the service, friends recounted stories of Smith’s passion for life and loyalty to his friends.“Courtland always had a plan,” said Thomas Ewing, Smith’s childhood friend who attended Camp Mondamin with him since they were 10 years old. “I would call my mom and dad and say, ‘Don’t worry, everything’s okay, Courtland’s with me.’”Smith’s friends also spoke of his intelligence and drive, notably his desire to attend medical school and become a cardiovascular surgeon.“When he was 13 years old he talked about wanting to be a doctor and spoke of his dream to go to UNC,” Ewing said.“We became more than friends. We became brothers. He was the only person I knew I’d trust my life with.”Glenn reminded Smith’s friends and family that they could honor Smith’s life by living their own lives with honor and dignity.“We need to remember that Courtland is and will always be a Tar Heel,” Glenn said.The Loreleis, a female a cappella group at UNC, performed Daniel Gawthrop’s “Sing Me to Heaven,” and the Reverend Tambria E. Lee from Chapel of the Cross gave the sermon. Friends and family returned to the fraternity house for a private reception after the service.A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston. In a statement, 30 members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity said they are attending the service.Smith’s family has asked for contributions to be made to UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences Scholarship Fund or Camp Mondamin’s Frank and Calla Bell Scholarship Foundation.Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
The freshmen who entered Murphey 204 on Monday were bursting with enthusiasm to discuss the summer reading book, Paul Cuadros’ “A Home on the Field.” They brought annotated, dog-eared copies of books, lists of questions and strong opinions on the book’s topic of immigration. And lucky for them, Cuadros was in the room. This year, for the first time, the summer reading book committee chose a work written by a UNC professor. The book looks at immigration issues in a small town in North Carolina where a large influx of Latino immigrants has caused tension among residents.The book profiles Cuadros’ three years coaching “Los Jets,” the varsity soccer team at Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City, which won the state championship in the final year chronicled in the book.Cuadros, an award-winning reporter who has focused on issues of race and poverty, is currently a freelance reporter for Time magazine and a UNC journalism professor.In addition to leading a discussion Monday, Cuadros delivered a lecture in Memorial Hall on immigration. Former members of his soccer team were also present and shared their experiences.In his three years living in Siler City and his time as a reporter, Cuadros saw firsthand the impact of illegal immigration.“It is a fact that the current immigration system is broken. It exploits people and dispossesses them,” he said. “The situation is so polarized we cannot arrive at conclusions. Thousands of kids are suffering under the weight of the stalemate. They are caught in a limbo for which they are blameless.”Cuadros said it is difficult to prescribe a solution to immigration issues, as things are often more complicated than people would like to believe.“I’m no Dumbledore, but I can see the question facing our country. We need to decide between what is right and what is easy,” Cuadros said. Cuadros said he hopes more students will be allowed to reach their full potential, as his players were.“The boys in ‘A Home on the Field’ face terrible obstacles in their lives. They dream of participating in our society. When you give these kids a level playing field and let them rise to their full potential, they become champions,” he said.He said he was impressed by a comment made by a student in his discussion group, who suggested that his generation take ownership of immigration issues. Cuadros said this will prove essential if the United States is to succeed.“What I’m really asking you to consider is to choose between fear and hope. It’s easy to choose fear, but I believe it’s much harder to choose hope.”Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The smell of 2,000 free barbecue sandwiches wafted through Sunday’s humid night air. People jostled for space in a crowd of about 20,000 revelers on South Road.
New students will spend their first few days on campus finding things to do, free food and dozens of campus leaders in blue-striped shirts.With more than 75 events occurring on campus between last Wednesday and Saturday as part of the Week of Welcome, new students will have their hands full.April Mann, director of the Office of New Student and Carolina Parent Programs, which puts on the week, was stumped when asked which events would make the cut if she could only pick three. “There’s just so much,” she said, laughing.But at the top of Mann’s list is a new program called “Where’s Waldo at Carolina.” Taking place Wednesday, the event will have 100 student leaders dressing up in striped shirts akin to those worn by the character in the popular children’s book, “Where’s Waldo.”Freshmen will be encouraged to approach the Waldos and ask them about their leadership roles or community involvement. The volunteers will represent all aspects of campus life, including athletics, student government, dance groups and the Honor Court.Freshmen will try to get Waldos to sign sheets similar to bingo cards included in their Week of Welcome folders. When they get four signatures in a row, they can turn in the card to a tent in front of Wilson Library to be entered to win a prize.Candice Powell, a graduate student in the new student office who coordinated the activity, said the event will show students that leadership can come in many forms. “Plus, how awesome is it to look for a Waldo at Carolina?” she said.The Week of Welcome is a concept that has evolved over the past few years, but has remained an effort to get new students involved and entertained from the moment they arrive on campus. “Students want to connect with peers when they first arrive, and this is just a great way for them to do that,” Mann said.Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
There's no doubt that Student Body President Jasmin Jones has spunk.""Her smile is just infectious"" said Student Congress Speaker Joe Levin-Manning. All it takes is a smile from her and you realize you're doing this because it's something that you love.""It will take more than smiles from Jones to run a student government organization of hundreds of students next year" but the newly elected president's personality will be a significant factor in helping her accomplish her goals. In the face of budget shortfalls" Jones will use her motivational leadership style to focus on connecting students to resources and opportunities the University already offers.""She is the quintessential motivator"" said 2008-09 Vice President Todd Dalrymple. She can really rally the troops like none other.""Jones will need to put this ability to work fairly quickly.While fees funding student government will remain constant"" the University will have less money to partner with students on initiatives. Vice President David Bevevino said this will provide an additional challenge.""Especially in a time where the University has limited resources" it's time to find out everything that we have here at UNC that makes this school so great" he said.As to how her administration will differ from former Student Body President J.J. Raynor's, Jones said she will work to make their work more prominent on campus. We are going to be just as policy-savvy" but we are also going to be very responsive to students" she said. We're going to be visible.""It's great if student government makes positive changes" but students need to know that the changes have occurred" Jones said.""A lot was done last year in the office and the meeting rooms"" but it needs to go farther than that.""To publicize its initiatives"" the administration is working to create a public relations team. The team would collect data and market programs and events to students.Student Body Secretary Jonathan Tugman said the new president will face a significant learning curve.""She's expected to know everything about everything that's going on on campus"" he said. It's going to take her a little time to fully figure everything out.""But Senior Adviser Elinor Benami said Jones has proven a fast learner.""When things die down on campus" she heads to the student government suite and gets down to work she said.And as for the legacy Jones hopes to leave?That's a long way off she said. But if I could think of one thing" I would hope when we leave there would be an understanding that we need each other to make things happen.""Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Graduate School overspent $3.5 million this year a mistake that will force the school to offer less student financial aid for the next five years.The discrepancy occurred when the Graduate School underestimated the number of students who would apply for tuition remissions a type of financial aid awarded to out-of-state students that reduces their tuition to in-state levels.In the 2007-08 school year the Graduate School distributed about $17.3 million in tuition remissions" and it based this year's budget on that number.But the Graduate School ended up spending about 20 percent more — making up the $3.5 million loss.""We went to the budget committee and asked them for help"" Graduate School Dean Steve Matson said.The UNC system awarded the school some money to cover the difference, and an unexpected grant from a private donor in November accounted for the rest.But in exchange for money from the system, Matson said the school now will have to reduce the amount of student aid over the next five years to the lower levels distributed before this year.He said at last week's Board of Trustees meeting that the financial shortfall arose for two different reasons. UNC enrolled 8,275 graduate students this year, about a 2 percent increase from last year — increasing the number eligible for tuition remissions.Matson also said the school better publicized the availability of tuition remission money.In years past, the school ended up with a surplus of aid, Matson said. The program ran out of money when more students applied for the tuition support.Adding to the problem, out-of-state graduate tuition increased more than in-state graduate tuition last year, Matson said.In response to the budget issue, the Graduate School now has a representative on the Tuition and Fee Advisory Task Force to try to ensure that in-state and out-of-state tuition increase at the same rate in the future.Trustee Rusty Carter said in an e-mail that he would like everyone to have a better understanding of how graduate students are funded, and why more money is needed to support them.The irony is that the funding needed to transform grad student award packages is really quite small relative to most University agendas" while the return is enormous" he said.We must create a comprehensive understanding of how this works and how the benefit flows to our critical needs in such a direct pathway.""Sandi Chapman" a second-year doctoral candidate in political science" said she hopes the University does not choose to accept fewer graduate students because of such financial concerns.""How the University chooses to deal with a funding shortfall for graduate students will have an impact on the quality of instruction and the value of advanced degree programs at UNC" she said.Contact the University Editor at
For senior journalism major Deborah Neffa" getting a graduate degree has always been a personal goal.But with the country in a recession" Neffa's move to grad school is coming at a time when finding a job is proving difficult for many seniors entering the market.""I'm hoping that at least a big part of the panic will have subsided by the time I graduate" she said. Ideally" there will be more opportunities for jobs and more entry-level jobs available.""Neffa isn't alone in her hope that graduate school will help her weather the economic storm. Applications to UNC's graduate degree programs are up 8 percent compared to last year" and 14 percent compared to two years ago. But while demand is increasing budget constraints are forcing the school to accept fewer applicants making it harder to get in and driving up the class' quality said Graduate School Dean Steven Matson.As of March 18 UNC had offered admission to 2436 applicants a 10 percent decrease from last year" but some departments are still accepting applications.""I can tell you that the number of applications have increased"" Matson said. I can also say that several departments have said — from their perspective — the overall quality of the pool of applicants has been higher this year than in years past.""For many like Neffa" the decision to head back to school is fueled by a desire to improve academic credentials and marketability" said Provost Bernadette Gray-Little. ""It's sort of a finding or pattern that when the job market is poor" people who might otherwise have taken a job realize that this is the time to get that advanced degree they'd been thinking about" she said. They want to do something to put themselves ahead once the economic downturn has abated."" Tim Carter" chairman of the music department" said he has seen both the number and quality of graduate applicants increase this year.""These are probably the best students we've ever seen"" he said.Carter pointed out that for seniors facing a difficult job market, graduate school provides good living conditions, which might drive them back to school.You get a stipend" you can survive and you can prepare for future employment" he said. Lisa Beisser, associate director of the Master of Business Administration admissions at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, said while overall applications are down about 5 percent, the number of U.S. applicants is comparable to last year.This is mostly driven by international applications" who are worried about employment in the U.S. after graduation which is usually how they pay back their business school loans" she said.Matson said the Graduate School will do all it can within its financial constraints to continue to attract the best applicants.The school recently received a $2 million grant that will provide five-year scholarships for 20 students, which Matson said will make a big difference in recruiting.Neffa pointed out that for many of her friends who are graduating this year, the economic crisis emerged too late for them to apply to graduate school. She said she thinks applications will increase again next year.I feel that maybe students are still a little more hopeful now about the economy than they will be next year.""Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
Graduate School officials have announced that they will delay implementing the proposed continuous enrollment policy in response to negative feedback.Graduate School Dean Steve Matson said he made the decision last week after consulting with Provost Bernadette Gray-Little.""We will revisit some of the current University constraints in order for the revised policy to ensure equitable implementation while also meeting the needs of all graduate students and faculty"" Matson said.The policy would require graduate students to remain enrolled at UNC and pay tuition and fees while doing off-campus research. The policy in place now is similar but rarely enforced, meaning students can drop out and reenroll without major consequences.The policy originally was going to be up for approval in April and implemented the following year, but Matson said administrators will not likely meet the April deadline.He said they will assemble a group composed of students, faculty and administrators to revise the proposed policy.The policy was developed during the last two years, but students have only learned about it recently. Administrators say the new policy would allow students to retain benefits, qualify for health insurance and continue to defer student loans.Some students expressed support for the program but most were worried about how they would pay the additional tuition.While Matson worked with a small task force of students to develop the plan, graduate students said they wanted greater input in the decision-making process.Second-year history doctoral student Patrick Tobin said he is cautiously optimistic about the decision but wants to know what it means for graduate students.We hope that this will mean a greater place for the graduate students in the drafting process"" he said. We support the overall goal of the CEP policy but we feel it hasn't been imposed well.""Sandi Chapman" a doctoral candidate in political science" said she hopes the delay means that the administration will be open to revision of the policy.""I don't know if they're going to reopen a more democratic process for creating the policy or whether they're still going to do what they're going to do" just at a different time" she said.Chapman said the policy was based on a report that states that continuous enrollment can help graduate students get their degrees sooner, but only when accompanied by financial support.It has to have both parts"" she said. They only took the one that will make the University money and take grad student tuition.""Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate students are skeptical of a proposed revision to enrollment procedures publicized last week.UNC administrators have proposed a plan that would require graduate students to remain enrolled in the University and pay tuition while researching off campus.Such research is highly suggested or required for some degree programs.But some students are confused by the policy revision and are questioning their ability to pay University tuition during that time.""You're asking a population without a lot of money to begin with to finance their education for even longer"" said sixth-year Russian history doctoral candidate Marko Dumancic.He added that he doesn't think students are necessarily opposed to changes, but are worried financially.The policy currently allows graduate students to unenroll from the University while conducting research away from campus or overseas.Graduate School Dean Steve Matson and other administrators have proposed that graduate students apply for money from the existing graduate tuition incentive scholarship to help pay University tuition and fees.Matson said there are no immediate plans to enlarge that fund, but administrators won't rule out the possibility of future expansion.We would certainly make every effort to expand it if that became necessary"" he said.Dumancic said some students, who refer to the tuition incentive program as the phantom fund"" wonder who will provide more money for the program's expansion.A potential expansion could come from state money or private donations, Matson said.Another issue for graduate students with the policy change has to do with tuition remissions granted by the state.Most doctoral students are only allowed to receive state funding for their education for 10 semesters, Matson said. A typical doctoral program takes 16 semesters, he said.If the tuition incentive fund is boosted by state money under the new policy, students who use that money will have to count research time as part of their 10 semesters.The whole thing is just really complicated" and no one's sure how it will affect them" said second-year history doctoral student Patrick Tobin. They're just creating problems for themselves to solve.""Chancellor Holden Thorp and Matson explained the proposed changes at an open house Thursday" which more than 50 graduate students attended.Despite some students' concerns Matson said continued enrollment will benefit students by allowing them to defer student loans longer" qualify for health insurance and use University services such as library resources.""I think they're all for it"" he said. I think they're just worried about how they're going to pay for it.""The proposal has been in the works for two years and has been approved by the Faculty Council's education policy committee.Matson said he expects it will be approved by graduate school administrators in April. The proposal would then go to Provost Bernadette Gray-Little" and if approved" would take effect in 2010.""Whenever you ask someone to pay for something that they haven't been paying for in the past" they're going to ask questions" he said. But I really think they'll see it's in everyone's best interests.""The exact proposal has not yet been published. It is expected to be posted online this week"" at which point students will be able to better articulate their specific concerns.""Our actual concrete complaints are up in the air right now" said second-year sociology doctoral student Emily Danforth. At this point" we just don't know what's going on.""Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
Juniors Thomas Edwards and Jasmin Jones nabbed the top two spots in the student body president election Tuesday and will now compete in a runoff election Feb. 17.Edwards won 41 percent of the vote and Jones earned 21 percent in the election with the highest voter turnout in University history. The results are contingent on final certification by the Board of Elections which will review the candidates' submitted financial statements by this afternoon.A total of 8736 students cast ballots 17 percent more than in any other election. Since neither won a majority of the vote they will face each other again in a runoff for which they will receive an additional $100 in campaign money.Edwards and Jones beat out the other four candidates: Ron Bilbao Michael Betts Ashley Klein and Matt Wohlford.Edwards who produced the longest campaign platform and gathered the most signatures in the petition-gathering period said he's delighted to compete in the runoff" although he understands the challenges ahead.""I'm just going to try to catch up on my sleep" he said. My campaign will probably take a day off" and then we'll be back out there in the Pit trying to get out the vote.""When the Board of Elections announced that there would be a runoff"" Jones jumped in the air and began screaming along with her supporters in the audience.Jones said she was thrilled to be allowed the chance to participate in the runoff and is excited for next week.""We don't care about the vote disparity" we're just happy to be in the runoff she said.Jones said she is also prepared for the challenge and ready to work hard over the next week of campaigning.We're going to really have to rev up the team and come up with some new and creative ideas she said. She added that she might try to re-evaluate some of her platform points.Edwards said he expected the race to end in a runoff and that his goal was to be one of the two left standing.We were expecting it with six candidates running he said. That was our goal" to be in the runoff.""But Edwards said that he had not expected to be one of the two in the runoff and that he was elated.Edwards said he thinks students responded positively to the thoughtful preparation he put into his platform and extensive campaigning.""I really think it's a good platform" he said. You know everyone knocks it for being long but it hits on all the points. It's not just student interests" it's everything that matters.""Edwards said he will try to get the endorsements and support of the other candidates who did not advance to the runoff election.""We've spent almost every night together over the last three weeks" and I've heard some great ideas" he said. They have great ideas for Carolina and we're going to try to get their support.""Jones was overwhelmed with emotion and said she was appreciative of everyone's support.""I want to thank everyone who got out and voted" even if wasn't for me" she said.The Board of Elections announced the results of the race around 11 p.m. on Tuesday. Board of Elections Chairman Ryan Morgan prefaced the announcement with a recognition of the hard work each campaign had put in.Those not involved don't know how much work it is to run a campaign.""Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's not up to the student body president to ensure that the dining halls have organic food. Nor is it his or her job to create renewable energy projects on campus.When it comes to environmental issues the president serves not as a policy setter but as a key promoter of ongoing initiatives.With more than 18 passionate and knowledgeable environmental groups on campus the president's job is to facilitate and advocate for others' projects not to initiate new programs.Though the next president won't be counted on to come up with new ideas" his or her support is vital for an idea's success.""The SBP doesn't need to be totally hands-on"" said environmental affairs committee co-chairman Bill Bobbitt, who also works for Thomas Edwards' campaign.The environmental affairs committee is the expert" and if the SBP feels like they know what's best for the community" they should just give them full steam ahead.""Director of Sustainability Cindy Shea said that she has talked with many of the candidates about their platforms and that she welcomes their help in promoting a green lifestyle.""It's always a process of getting better" she said. If student government wants to work with the staff to improve our performance and reduce our environmental impact" we will gladly partner with them.""The president's closest adviser on sustainability issues is the environmental affairs committee. Though the chairman is picked by the student body president" committee membership is open and composed of members of many active environmental groups.Brock Phillips the committee's co-chairman last year" said student body presidents come to office with different levels of interest and experience with environmental issues. They often consult with the committee to execute their platform.""I definitely think it's a strength that the EAC has people who are in so many groups"" he said. Everyone is much more knowledgeable about issues on campus. It helps to speed things up a little and connect people."" The committee members' extensive knowledge will allow them to connect the next president with groups already working on the initiatives they propose"" and put him or her in touch with groups who can get new ideas off the ground.""The EAC does work to carry out the goals of the platform" or they're charged with finding other groups that can do it more effectively" Phillips said. A lot of things that the candidates propose are already happening."" One of the best examples of this interaction is with Fair" Local and Organic Food a group that advocates for sustainable dining options. This year all the candidates committed to supporting all of FLO's ongoing initiatives. FLO members meet with Carolina Dining Services every other week and have been instrumental in getting cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef in the dining halls.Scott Myers director of food and vending" said the president can provide a public face for existing initiatives.The president has the ability to promote to a wider audience issues that environmental groups are already working on.""I think (the president) validated some of the issues that FLO food has been working with us on sustainable food"" Myers said.He said current president J.J. Raynor was key in getting reusable to-go containers in the dining halls.In light of the current economic situation, most of the candidates are emphasizing small, inexpensive changes that can be accomplished in one term.Although the campus as a whole is facing severe budget cuts, it may not necessarily have a negative impact on environmental initiatives.Shea pointed out that improving energy efficiency on campus may actually reduce expenses at a time when money is tight.There are two approaches to take" she said. You can say ‘economy's in the tank and we have no money' or you can say ‘the economy's in the tank and (energy costs of) $72 million is a huge share of the campus budget" so we need to be more proactive in trying to reduce that amount.'""Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
The renewable energy student fee is up for renewal.Students will determine whether to renew a $4 student fee used to fund environmental projects on campus — if Student Congress votes next week to place the referendum on the Feb. 10 ballot.The fund raises almost $200000 a year for environmentally sustainable projects such as the solar panels on the roof of Morrison Residence Hall the use of biodiesel in P2P buses and geothermal wells under the N.C. Botanical Gardens.Originally instituted in 2003 the fee was renewed in 2005 with 85 percent of the vote. The renewable energy special projects committee determines which projects to fund. Students gain a better understanding of environmental issues by putting their fees toward tangible projects on campus said Cindy Shea" director of the sustainability office.""It helps people see firsthand benefits"" she said. It renews the message to students that we need to work quickly and aggressively to mitigate the effects of climate change.""The rules and judiciary committee of Student Congress met Tuesday night and gave the fee initial approval. Next week" the full Congress will vote on whether the measure will appear on the ballot.Student Body Vice President Todd Dalrymple said he thinks because the group is not requesting a fee increase" Congress will most likely approve the measure.""There's no increase" so I don't anticipate a whole lot of resistance he said. If there was an increase" that might be a different story. I'd be pretty surprised if it didn't make it to the ballot.""In addition to the fee renewal" the renewable projects committee is requesting a broader interpretation of its oversight and responsibility. Currently the committee's primary purpose is to fund renewable energy projects but committee chairwoman Shannon Mentock said the group hopes to expand to cover energy efficiency projects" environmental education and general advocacy.""We're collecting fees every year"" so to see more immediate results we want to include efficiency because it will give us cheaper short-term projects that will have a big impact.""One of the biggest problems we've run into is that these projects take such a long time to be completed" she said. The Morrison project took four years" so students who started it were gone by the time it was finished.""Shea said the fee is a small price to pay for the benefits it produces.""Students investing $4 a semester can help to stimulate markets for renewable energy technology and help raise awareness about the benefits of reducing climate change.""Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An innovative research study begun in October by the University's School of Social Work aims to give students with mental illness greater control over their well-being.But the program is still having a hard time getting students to sign up.Anna Scheyett associate dean of academic affairs at the School of Social Work" said the advanced directives research project allows students with mental illnesses to identify how they should be treated should their conditions intensify.She said the program is the first of its kind at an American university.""An advanced directive is a legal document used throughout the country that allows a person with a mental illness who knows they might have some symptoms come up to write down things that might help later"" Scheyett said.Interested students can work with a trained mental health professional in the School of Social Work to create a plan for what should happen to them when they get sick. The document is witnessed, notarized and filed.Students can identify signs or symptoms that would alert others to their illness, list medicines that could help them, provide contact information for their doctor or request help communicating with professors or landlords. This idea kind of builds a safety net for people" so the University and folks around them can step in before it gets to the point where they get really really sick. Ideally it can help avoid tragedy" Scheyett said.Scheyett said the program has had positive effects when tested at local mental health centers, but that it's been difficult to get students to participate. An estimated 15 percent of students experience mental illness in college, but these illnesses often go undiagnosed. Scheyett said college students are often not convinced that they have a mental health problem.When you're young" you may not have had a lot of depressive episodes yet Scheyett said. You may say ‘Oh" I just broke up with my boyfriend or I was having a tough time at school.' You may not be ready to recognize that you have a chronic disorder.""Scheyett said she hopes to work with students who have experienced mental illness to improve the project.Jim Kessler" director of disability services" said he thinks the benefit of the test program is that it gives greater control to the patient.""I think it really gives people real ownership of their well-being. You have more control over what happens to you" and that's really kind of nice" he said.A grant was provided for the program by the Armfield-Reeves Innovations Fund established by Billy and Janie Armfield and Sam and Betsy Reeves. How to participateTo find out if you are a good candidate, e-mail your contact information to ADMH@unc.edu. Let program officials know how you would like to be contacted" by e-mail or phone. If the phone isn't answered the message would say" ""Please call the School of Social Work at 962-4372 at your earliest convenience.""Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
Students playing football in McIver Residence Hall broke a fire sprinkler head Monday afternoon causing flooding and water damage to the first and second floors.The second floor — where the sprinkler was broken — suffered damage to the hallways. Water pooled on the carpeted floors there and leaked down into first-floor residences and the main parlor which have hardwood floors. Water also leaked into the electrical system" which had to be restarted.""It leaked down into the community director apartment and two student rooms on the first floor"" said Rick Bradley, assistant director for housing. Other than that"" there doesn't appear to be any significant damage.""Plans were made to relocate students whose rooms were affected" but Bradley said only students who specifically asked to be removed would be given alternative lodging. They would likely be moved to other dorms in the Kenan community.Students were told that clothes might be wet and water might be in the closets said sophomore Ashlee Conti a first-floor resident.The student who threw the football at the sprinkler would have to pay for the damage caused to the residence hall Bradley said. No estimate for cleanup costs has been made" but one should be finalized by today.""If you hit one of those things and it pops out of the ceiling" then water will come out and it did" Bradley said.Fire alarms sounded at 3 p.m., and the fire department came soon afterward. Residents were forced to evacuate for at least an hour while workers removed the water and assessed the damage.Have you seen water gushing out of pipes?"" said sophomore Josh Miles. ""That's what it looked like.""About 25 residents chose to wait outside in the light rain or play Twister in the Kenan Residence Hall parlor — disrupting some students preparing for final exams.""I was just about to do my first studying of the month" when we heard the fire alarm go off" said sophomore McIver resident Phi Nicholson. We figured that was a good time to leave.""Kenan Community is the only one with hardwood floors" and Bradley said housing officials would assess any long-term damage as cleanup progressed. McIver was renovated four years ago. The hall was brought up to current fire safety and accessibility standards. The bathrooms were redone and new windows and furniture were put in. New air conditioning plumbing and electrical systems also were installed and the walls floors and ceilings were refinished. Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.