Month: January 2014

Elon’s second annual TEDx offers practical solutions to change

ELON — Elon University’s second-annual TEDx pushed the ideal that changing the world starts with the individual. Nearly 125 students, faculty, staff and community members gathered in Yeager Hall Feb. 22 as six speakers presented ideas on a range of topics pertaining to this year’s theme, “Waiting on the World to Change.” The event, directed by Elon students Johanna Rosen and Meredith Berk, was organized to bring TED’s mission of “ideas worth spreading” to Elon. “We live in a society where so much change is either not happening at all or is happening much too slowly,” Rosen said. “So I felt having a wide variety of speakers address some of these issues would make a powerful statement. And if you ask me, it definitely did.” The afternoon’s first speaker, Jennifer Thompson, a New York Times best-selling author and judicial reform advocate, recounted the story of her brutal rape as an Elon senior nearly 30 years ago. The man Thompson accused — Ronald Cotton — was tried, convicted and jailed. Ten years later, DNA proved Cotton …

Author, Wall Street veteran talks importance of career prep in college

Ben Carpenter, author, entrepreneur and finance-industry CEO, visited Elon University Tuesday to share with students his tips for success: be aggressive, do what you’re good at and stay happy. His talk was hosted by the Student Professional Development Center, in conjunction with Greek organizations Delta Upsilon, Sigma Kappa and Alpha Omicron Pi. Carpenter’s recently published book “The Bigs: The Secrets Nobody Tells Students and Young Professionals,” is about his journey to finding the right career path, the people he encountered along the way and his best advice for students approaching college graduation. “You don’t have to get a job; you get to get a job,” he said. Carpenter has publicly advocated for proper career training for students in The New York Times and through a series of events at colleges around the country. At Elon’s event, 125 students received a complimentary copy of his book. His daughter Avery inspired the book. After graduating from Vanderbilt University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and English, she was living back at home and struggling …

Holding onto hope

A rush of emotion washed over Becky’s face as I described the Better Alamance mission: to strengthen community involvement in Alamance County. Including raising awareness about poverty and hunger. “Let me just say…I have a different story than a lot. I live in an apartment and I have two teenage boys, 13 and 15. We aren’t homeless,” says Becky, a client at Allied Churches food pantry. Without hesitation, Becky opens up. “Drinking and driving and drugs got me here, to the bottom of the totem pole,” said Becky, looking around, in reference to the food pantry. A brace squeezes her left ankle and calf together. A scar from a drunk driving accident years ago, she says, unabashedly. “At the time, I was high on the world,” Becky says. “But I’m not 18 anymore.” Despite her hardships, Becky’s attitude remains hopeful. Her demeanor is evident of a hard working, fatigued, mother of two. Her articulateness a rarity among the chaos. Becky says she’s thankful for the food pantry’s generosity. It takes a lot to feed teenage …

‘A Path Appears’: A push to end poverty

ELON – America’s leading advocacy journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn visited Elon University Thursday as part of Fall Convocation’s Baird Pulitzer Prize Lecture Series. Their visit rides on the heels of the release of their new book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, in which they hope to encourage readers that everyone has the capacity to make a difference in the world, WuDunn told an audience of students, faculty, staff and community members. The husband-and-wife pair, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for their coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests, provided numerous examples of the ways in which a small act of generosity can change lives. The ripple effect is one of the easiest ways to give back, Kristof said. For example, because of the generosity and goodwill of a grade school librarian, he said, a student was able to use literature to learn, and later become one of the first African American lawyers in Arkansas and a champion of the civil rights movement. “The greatest inequality isn’t in money, it’s in opportunity,” …

Restoring a sense of community

Walking, biking, chatting, eating, shopping, chilling. In civic space brimming with green grass, shoppers will savor good eats and cool retail shops.  This is the charming portrait that a new master plan offers for downtown Elon. It’s a far cry from its current state — and a vision that many Elon students embrace. Over the years, the Town of Elon’s main attraction has been the university’s exquisite campus. A botanical garden, in fact. Yet, as students routinely note, the drab streetscape of the surrounding town lack the same personality. “You know what would be cool for Elon? Something like King’s Street in Charleston!” said Marissa Russo, an Elon junior. Town leaders advanced a revitalization plan recently for the eight-block area near the McEwen Communications School, known as downtown Elon.  Under this proposal, the new downtown would consist of boutiques, restaurants, offices and apartments— and much needed parking. A project aimed at redefining the community at the center of the 5,500-student campus and a handful of residential neighborhoods. The plan is to make the structures sharp, chic and inviting. An …

National climate change affects local budgets

On Thursday, February 12, 2014 Elon University experienced its first school-wide snow day in as few as three years. Students were excited for a class-free day until many realized the snow, and bitter cold, was inhibiting them from leaving their apartments and dorms. This was only the beginning of a series of snowy days, ice storms and uncharacteristically severe winter weather for the area. The impending issue of climate change is one that the typical American tends to shy away from, its scientific statistics and facts often too complex too decipher. Despite not confronting climate change, it is happening everywhere from the fields of Pennsylvania to the coastal regions of California to Elon’s campus. The weather has been unpredictable this year, leaving workers and residents stung with confusion. Of course, there’s a major factor at play here—weather. There’s also a major player at work that often gets overlooked. Cleanup crews and maintenance workers are left performing damage control after storms, often for weeks or months. In addition, city and college campus boards are responsible for …