Tolerance Level

Posted December 1, 2008 by hobie2515
Categories: Uncategorized

A look at the recent alcohol related policies and how they’re affecting the Elon community

 

By Daniel Temple

The cold night air penetrates through my multiple layers of clothing, as I stand shivering outside the Elon Police Department.  It’s Friday night, and I’m about to spend the next 3 hours riding along with a member of the Elon police department in order to witness first hand the enforcement that affects so many students at Elon. 

Although the town of Elon doesn’t interfere with school judicial policies, the two sides work with one another in an effort to cut back on underage and high risk drinking amongst students.  It is often through the town of Elon Police that students are reported to the University’s judicial affairs. 

The police car drives up and officer B.K Roof comes out to greet me.  After I briefly explain the purpose of my article, we get in the car, buckle up, and head out to patrol the area. 

The issue of alcohol

            In January of 2007, Elon President Leo Lambert appointed a task force to address the issue of student drinking.  As a result, a number of policies were implemented and revised in order to reflect Elon’s updated stance on the issue alcohol. 

            While school officials maintain that the student’s best interests were in mind with the recent policies, a number of students can’t help but feel frustrated.  They claim that Elon’s new position on alcohol is overly aggressive, and that the school is making serious encroachments into their social life. 

            The school on the other hand feels that it is imperative that they take a sincere approach to the issue, in order to ensure the safety of the students, as well as to maintain a certain level of academic and social integrity. 

            Still however, the debate rages on.

The student’s response

 

            One of the biggest complaints from students is that the school has become too involved in the private lives of its students. 

            “These new policies are ridiculous,” said Ryan Davis, a junior at Elon.  “The school is basically trying to control how we party, which they shouldn’t have the power to do.”

            Drinking has always been a visible part of the Elon community.  In fact, the most recent CORE data (2007) shows that Elon students drink almost twice the amount of alcohol per week as students nationally (10.4 vs. 5.4 drinks). 

            “It’s kind of hard not to drink here at Elon,” said Lindsay Collins, a freshman from Boston, Massachusetts.  “It seems like nearly everyone is drinking at the bar, parties or tail gate events.” 

            It’s this kind of atmosphere that Elon is trying to cut down on.  However, the increased sanctions for alcohol violations, along with a greater enforcement presence have certainly caught the attention of the student body. 

graphic11

            “Elon has just taken this whole alcohol thing and gone over-the-top,” said Davis.  “They’ve really gotten out of control.” 

            Many students come to Elon and hear stories about how the school used to turn a blind eye to such behavior.  A few graduates recalled the social atmosphere when they came to Elon as freshman.

 

            “When I first came to school, you didn’t see as many people being written up like you do now,” said Justin Ellis, a 2007 graduate.  “Alcohol had a much bigger presence back then, and the school was definitely a lot more lenient.”

            Many students and graduates agree that the school has changed, not just in its policies, but in the way students are partying.  They feel as if the policies have taken away some of the fun at Elon, as current students are hesitant to engage in drinking and risk possible sanctions. 

            “These new policies have certainly detracted from the overall social atmosphere at Elon,” said Bill Campbell, a 2004 graduate.  “Everyone is just too wound up over an issue that really isn’t that big of a deal.”

The school’s officials speak out

            While many students feel as if the school is intruding on their personal freedoms, Elon officials say that the revised policies and position was done to protect the students, rather than limit their social activities. 

            “The ultimate goal for the new policies here at Elon is to clarify our position on alcohol, as well as to educate students on the dangers of high risk drinking,” said Jeff Clark, a math professor and faculty co-chair on the task force on alcohol.  “We want students to know that this sort of behavior is detrimental to themselves and to the university, and must be dealt with accordingly.”

            Clark said that he believes the changes that have been made are good ones.  He wants students to excel, and doesn’t want to see students handicap themselves by participating in dangerous, high risk drinking. 

            “We really tried to approach this issue from all angles,” said Clark.  “We certainly didn’t want to lead a witch hunt, but it was imperative that we got the message across to the students.” 

            Interestingly enough, since the inception of the new policies, although the number of judicial reports concerning alcohol violations have increased, the number of violations has actually gone down. 

From June 2006 to June 2007 there were a total of 1118 reported incidents with 623 violations.  From June 2007 to June 2008 there were 1204 reported incidents with only 554 violations. 

graph1

graph21

Essentially this means that the school is taking a more aggressive approach by reporting every incident, but is still exercising discretion in how the situation is dealt with. 

            “I think that our whole attitude reflects a nationwide sentiment,” said Whitney Pack-Gregory, assistant director of judicial affairs.  “We can no longer just turn away, we must respond, but at the same time we’re going to look at every incident carefully with a certain level of sensitivity.”

            Both Jeff Clark and Whitney Pack-Gregory believe that Elon is more or less on the same level as other schools regarding its policies toward alcohol and drinking.  Each said that a number of other schools were looked at when revisions were being made, particularly those that share similarities with Elon as an institution. 

            “We spent a lot of time looking at how other schools such as Duke, handled their own issues with student drinking,” said Clark. 

            “We feel that our policies are essentially the same as other schools,” said Pack-Gregory.  “The differences come from how much enforcement is being utilized.”

The Enforcers, perspective from the Elon Police

            It’s a cold night outside, but the heat inside the police car makes it seem almost cozy.  As Officer Roof begins making his rounds, it’s interesting to see how expansive the town of Elon actually is.

            “Most students don’t actually realize this but the town of Elon itself is actually around 5 square miles,” says Roof.  “We actually deal with a lot more than just the school and its students.”

            In fact, as we circle around and patrol the area, much of the time is spent driving through neighborhoods and back roads, and not through the campus. 

            “Some students think that we focus primarily on their behavior,” says Roof.  “But we treat them just like we would every other citizen of the town.”

Roof has been working in the Elon area since 1998, and so he has a lot of experience of dealing with students and drinking.  He talked about the kinds of things he looked for when dealing with students and illegal drinking.  

“A lot of the time I’ll notice non verbal cues that indicate that the student is doing something wrong,” says Roof.  “Location also factors into the equation, it’s known that there are certain places around Elon where drinking is most likely to occur.” 

Roof agrees that over the last 10 years, as the town and school have begun to crack down on drinking, students have in turn become more conscientious of their behavior.

He says that the progression has been a steady one, and while parties still occur, they are more structured and controlled than in the past.

“Of course you still have parties that go on, we know that it’s difficult to stop that in a college town,” says Roof.  “However it appears to me that the parties have gradually become less rowdy and students are becoming safer and more aware.”

Roof says that while underage and high risk drinking should be taken seriously, it can’t be the primary focus of the town’s enforcement. 

“When that happens, you lose sight of some really serious issues such as assaults and burglaries,” says Roof.  “It’s all about balance and discretion.”  

Town of Elon Police Car (Photo courtesy of www.usacops.com)

Town of Elon Police Car (Photo courtesy of http://www.usacops.com)

Discretion, according to Roof, is perhaps the most important tool and officer can have.  On a given night, Roof says that he’ll receive a variety of calls, and so it’s extremely important to exercise discretion

“Discretion is so important in police work, whether you’re dealing with a couple different situations or just one in particular,” says Roof. “You have to be able to asses the scene and act in a corresponding manner.” 

On this particular Friday night, Officer Roof isn’t called to shut down any parties nor does he issue any citations.  About the only trouble is a wild deer that was hit by a car, hardly a criminal matter. 

“As a member of the Elon police, I’m not trying to zero in or focus solely on student drinking,” says Roof.  “However at the same time it’s still the law and I am required to enforce it.”

Working together for the future

            Although the initial period following the policies was met with a bit of friction, it appears that students are slowly beginning to accept the new environment.

            “I think that right now we’re still in kind of in an awkward adolescence stage with these policies,” said Pack-Gregory.  “But with time, we’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t, and in the mean time students will become used to way things are.”

            “It’s still too early to tell how effective these policies are,” said Clark.  “But initial results indicate that the system is working, and of course we’re always open to student input regarding the situation.”

The school demonstrated this willingness to cooperate with students after they acquired Lighthouse Bar earlier this year. Officials decided to maintain the building as a bar, in order to provide a university run place where students of legal age can drink responsibly. 

            “I mean it’s not perfect,” said Collins.  “But it shows the school is willing to work with students on the issue, and that they’re not completely against drinking.”

           

           

 

Math Tools for Journalists Chapters 5-8

Posted November 24, 2008 by hobie2515
Categories: Uncategorized

Chapters 5-8

 

 

            This chapter deals with business and some of the numbers one might see when dealing with business reporting.  Some of the kinds of business reporting that you usually see include; press releases, quarterly earnings reports and annual reports.

            6.1- Financial Statements

            Financial statements, as defined by Wickham, are formal documents available to shareholders, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders interested in a company’s performance.  They come in many different forms but they generally include a profit and loss report and a balance sheet. 

            6.2- Profit and Loss

            A profit and loss statement basically shows whether or not the company is making money.  Different businesses present the information with different methods.  Some important terms to know about profit and loss include “cost of goods sold” which is the direct expense a company incurs in making or buying its products (Wickham) and “overhead” which is the expenses not directly related to the product being made (Wickham).  An important term to know is EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization)  which figures out how much cash a company is earning without regard to items unrelated to current business (interest payments, taxes, depreciation, and amortization need to be accounted for no matter how a company is doing). 

 

Formulas

 

  • Gross Margin= Selling Price – Cost of Goods Sold
  • Gross Profit= Gross Margin x Number of Item Sold
  • Net Profit= Gross Margin – Overhead
  • Assets= Liabilities + Equity

 

6.4 Ratio Analysis

Ratios are important because the give the company a better idea of where they stand in their respective field.  They examine trends in a company’s life and are often used to compare companies in the same field (Wickham). 

 

Formulas

 

  • Current Ratio= Current Assets / Current Liabilities
  • Quick Ratio= Cash / Current Liabilities
  • Debt-to-Asset Ratio= Total Debt / Total Assets
  • Debt-to-Equity= Total Debt / Equity
  • Return on Assets= Net Income / Total Assets
  • Return on Equity= Net Income / Equity
  • Price Earnings= Market Price/Share   /   Earnings/Share

 

 

Practice Questions

 

  1. Q:  You own pie stand in a carnival and you sell pies for $3 per pie.  Each pie cost $1 to make.  What is the overall gross margin?

A: $2

 

  1.  Q:  With that same example, today your pie stand sold 25 blueberry pies, 35 apple pies and 5 pumpkin pies.  Calculate the overall gross margin.

A: $130

 

  1. Q: Unfortunately, in order to run the pie stand, the carnival charges vendors a daily fee of $15.  What is the net profit after overhead?

A: $115

 

  1. Q: After a week’s worth of selling, your pie stand has made $800.  However a local baker offers you $1,200 for the use and rights of your pie stand.  However you still owe the carnival for 6 days use.  Calculate your assets.

A: $490

 

 

 

Skill Drill Answers

 

  1. $990
  2. $229
  3. a.  610,766…614,908…877,370…673,514
    1. 1999…2000
    2. 19%…24%…
    3. Property, the same is true in 2000. 
  4. a.  about 10%
    1. Newspapers
    2. 22%
    3. 228,287 in 1999 and 275,550 in 2000
    4. Not really, even though they made a good amount of money they also spent a lot so their net income wasn’t that high.  In 1999 they had a smaller parentage of loss. 

Micro-blogging, the Internet’s newest craze, doesn’t leave everyone a-Twitter

Posted November 21, 2008 by hobie2515
Categories: Uncategorized

By Daniel Temple

 

            11/21/08- It seems these days we just can’t get things fast enough.  Five minutes for fast food?  Too slow.  Six minutes to write an email? Gotta be faster than that.  Seven minutes to connect to the web and read the news? Pshh, please. 

            That’s where micro-blogging and Twitter come into the picture.  Founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, Twitter is a free social-networking service that allows users to micro-blog up to 140 characters. 

            It would seem that Twitter is a great resource for news on the go.  People can instantly “tweet” and respond to others all across the world.  Information is now attainable in a matter of seconds, condensed down and filtered so that it contains only the 5 W’s: who, what, when where and why. 

            But is Twitter really worth all the hype?  I recently joined the Twitter network and I must say, I think it leaves a lot to be desired. 

              First off, the site makes it extremely difficult to connect to other people you already know.  You can search for people through your email but only if you use Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, MSN or Gmail.  There is a search option where you can look for  screen names, but it’s located at the bottom of the home page and there are no directions that would lead you to do this. 

            It also took me a while to figure out how to reply to people once I had begun to “follow” them.  It seems that the site could do with some organizing so that new users, especially those that aren’t tech proficient, can navigate around with ease. 

            It’s also the idea of micro-blogging that’s a bit worrisome.  While some Twitter updates are helpful and informational, it seems as if the majority of Twitter updates are pointless insights into the lives of people that have no influence whatsoever on the public sphere. 

            I can certainly see if there was a major event how something like Twitter could be useful, but if it’s just an ordinary day then I really could care less if Summerdaydreams- “Found a graduation dress and shoes!” or if Keshaun- “Really wants to go sledding, skiing or snowboarding.” 

            Unfortunately this seems to be a trend in our current society.  Just because everyone has the resources, doesn’t mean that they are able to do the job.  I’m sorry but I still view journalism as a field that requires years of study and practice.  You have to know how to process information and then relay that in a manner that is interesting, accessible and comprehensible. 

            I really don’t like this shift where we as a society are emphasizing the me in media.  I appreciate that people have things to say and want to be heard, that’s perfectly understandable.  But when actual news organizations with trained professionals are downsizing in part because people are turning to places like Twitter, then something is definitely wrong. 

            And if regular blogging wasn’t bad enough, Twitter uses the concept of micro-blogging, essentially limiting the user to 140 characters or less.  This is fine for weather updates or to perhaps break a story, but when people want to know what exactly is going on, 140 characters is just not going to do the trick.

            So maybe I like waiting 5 minutes for a couple of hamburgers.  Perhaps it’s better to spend some time drafting an email, or (god forbid) a hand written note.  And even though news blogs and micro-blogging becomes more and more popular everyday, I think I’ll just stick to my regular, staff written, edited, content driven, time consuming, average, every day news.  Sure beats reading Citywoof- Got a date tonight with a cutie. Delts hurt from shoulder.”  Wow, stop the presses on that one. 

           

Copy editor for the Austin American-Statesman, Amy Zerba, speaks to communications class about multiplatform journalism

Posted November 17, 2008 by hobie2515
Categories: Uncategorized

By Daniel Temple

Nov. 16, 2008- Amy Zerba, a copy editor, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas-Austin and journalism researcher was in town Friday to talk with communication students about the public interest in multiplatform journalism. 

Amy Zerba speaks to communication students about multiplatform journalism

Amy Zerba speaks to communication students about multiplatform journalism

 

            Prior to Friday’s discussion, Zerba administered a survey to the class in which she asked students why they think multiplatform journalism is so popular.  The most common student response she said was interest. 

 

Public Interest in multimedia journalism

           

“That’s the word that appeared the most in your responses,” she said.  “I wrote my thesis on why people click on multimedia links and the biggest contributing factor had to be that people found these links more interesting than your traditional news sources.”

            Zerba attributed this public interest to a number of reasons, including the basic desire to learn and curiosity.  Zerba believes that multimedia news is a fairly new and exciting component of today’s media.  Many people, who are unfamiliar with multimedia features, are intrigued by the possibilities, and thus are extremely willing to click and learn more.

            “I think that main thing is people are still learning, and they’re willing to explore the process and continue to learn,” Zerba said.  “People are curious because it’s cool right now, but what’s the next cool factor going to be?”

            Zerba also explored possible reasons as to why people don’t click on multimedia links, citing technological difficulties as the usual explanation. 

            “Usually you’ll find people avoid multimedia links because of plug-ins or loading troubles,” Zerba stated.  “You’ll also see some people that avoid them because of bad past experiences when dealing with multimedia links.” 

 

Business and financial reporting

 

            Going back to the survey, Zerba reported that the most popular news subjects students were interested in were weather (93%) and entertainment (83%).  On the flip side of things, 82% of students said that business and finance was the least interesting subject in the news. 

            Zerba then began a class discussion on why students believe business and financial reporting is the least interesting of news topics.  In response, students said that the stories were “too dense” and “contained too many numbers”. 

            “Business and finance certainly takes a little more effort than other genres,” Zerba said.  “You have to really try and make it more comprehensible and definitely more interesting.” 

            Students were then asked to visit the New York Times online site to read and respond to a business article discussing the bail out plans for the U.S automotive industry.  Zerba asked each student to write down questions they had concerning the article as well as improvements or changes they would have

made. 

Zerba leads a class discussion on business and financial reporting

Zerba leads a class discussion on business and financial reporting

 

            Many students said that the article failed to inform the reader as to why the automotive industry was failing.  Others were confused with undefined terms such as “lame duck” and “the Big 3 of the automotive industry”. 

            The class also had a number of ideas as to how the article could be improved.  These ranged from implementing a more human side to the story, to creating visual graphics that would entertain and inform the reader about the issue. 

            “The question you have to ask yourself is how do you tell this story differently?” said Zerba.  “How would you present this so that it’s more appealing visually?”

            Zerba concluded her discussion with some advice for the students.  She said reporters must always try and think like the reader, so as to write in a way that the average, every day citizen would want to read it.  Zerba also said that a good reporter must answer the big questions, and always try and use the best medium possible to explain their story.

            “Good public reporting takes effort,” Zerba said.  “You have to know your readers and stories and figure out a way to bring them together.  That’s the beauty of the Internet.  You get these multiplatform sites that allow you to grab the reader’s interest and bring them into stories they wouldn’t normally look at. 

Investigative reporter Matt Belanger speaks to a communications class about life as a broadcast journalist

Posted November 11, 2008 by hobie2515
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

By Daniel Temple

Nov. 11, 2008- Matt Belanger, an investigative reporter for WGAL in Lancaster, Pennsylvania spoke to communication students on Monday about the investigative work he has done over the years, as well as some key advice for students interested in pursuing his line of work.

“You have to really love your craft as well as your job,” Belanger said. “”Because believe me, the excitement of being on TV or seeing your byline in the paper wears off pretty quickly.”

Matt Balenger talks about his work as an investigative reporter

Matt Belenger talks about his work as an investigative reporter

Belanger, who graduated from Elon several years ago, said that he got his start while at school, when he worked for both print news and television organizations. Belanger commented that a good communications student should be able to work in both fields, and be able to relate the skills and techniques required by each.

“You can’t be a good broadcast writer until you understand the basic, fundamental aspect of print writing,” he said. “Broadcast is its own monster, but you’re not going to be successful unless you have some sort of background with basic print media.”

Armed with a seemingly endless supply of energy, Belanger entertained students with a collection of a few of his news stories he’s completed over the years. These clips showed students the range of topics reporters sometimes have to cover, as well as the depth of reporting that is required by news organizations.

“I’m literally working at all hours of the day, if I’m not writing on my computer, I’m writing in my head,” said Belanger. “At the same time though, I’m blessed because I have the opportunity to work on special stories from weeks to months at a time.”

Balenger energetically teaches students about professional journalism

Belenger energetically teaches students about professional journalism

Belanger said that for a lot of his work, he uses government online records from public information Web sites. He said that this information would not be attainable without a competent understanding of the Internet.

“A key aspect of working in today’s media is to have knowledge and a powerful command of the Internet,” Belanger said. “But it’s important at all times to take into account the validity and reliability of the information you’re getting.

On the same topic, Belanger cited YouTube as an example of information that can sometimes be skewed or inaccurate. He expressed his disgust at the amount of people who take in this information as perceive it as factual and unbiased.

“I hate, hate, hate YouTube,” Belanger insisted. “Much of the information is just completely wrong or opinionated, and people just believe it because it’s out there.”

Belanger then delved into what he believes is one of the most important parts of working in a journalism field; an established trust basis with the people you work with and interview. He outlined his personal approach to build trust, in order to maximize interviews and subsequently the amount of information that can be obtained.

“You have to maintain an air of professionalism, but still be human and act like one” he said. “Don’t be a hard ass or over the top, just be a real person. If you’re nice, chances are they’re going to be nice as well.”

Belanger said that he sometimes likes to poke fun at himself, in order to put the interview subject at ease. Above all else though he stated that you need to find a way to be memorable, and then take the information they give you and present it fairly and unbiased.

Belanger finished his talk with what he calls “the Holy Trinity” of today’s reporting; video, sounds and words. Each one he said, plays a key role in grabbing the audience’s attention, and then conveying the necessary information.

“You can’t just focus on one of them and expect to be effective in you’re reporting,” he said. “When I first started out, my biggest flaw was that I was too caught up in the statistics. I didn’t concentrate enough on the story as a whole.”

As for the future of media, Belanger reiterated that today’s journalists must be able to write, as well as work with video and pictures.

“Everything today is merging and coming together,” he said. “The tectonic plates of media are coming together. You have to be able to do it all.”

 

Tolerance Level

Posted November 10, 2008 by hobie2515
Categories: Uncategorized

A look at the recent alcohol related policies and how they’re affecting the Elon community

By Daniel Temple

For many, college is a time of new opportunities and experiences. Often times, many of these experiences will inevitably be coupled with the use and abuse of alcohol.

In January of 2007, Elon President Leo Lambert appointed a task force to address the issue of student drinking. As a result, a number of policies were implemented in order to reflect Elon’s updated stance on the issue alcohol.

While school officials maintain that the student’s best interests were in mind with the recent policies, a number of students can’t help but feel frustrated. They claim that Elon’s new position on alcohol is overly aggressive, and that the school is making serious encroachments into their social life.

The school on the other hand feels that it is imperative that they take a sincere approach to the issue, in order to ensure the safety of the students, as well as to maintain a certain level of academic and social integrity.

Still however, the debate rages on…

The student’s response

One of the biggest complaints from students is that the school has become too involved in the private lives of its students.

“These new policies are ridiculous,” said Ryan Davis, a junior at Elon. “The school is basically trying to control how we party, which they shouldn’t have the power to do.”

Drinking has always been a visible part of the Elon community. In fact, the most recent CORE data (2007) shows that Elon students drink almost twice the amount of alcohol per week as students nationally (10.4 vs. 5.4 drinks).

“It’s kind of hard not to drink here at Elon,” said Lindsay Collins, a freshman from Boston, Massachusetts. “It seems like nearly everyone is drinking at the bar, parties or tail gate events.”

It’s this kind of atmosphere that Elon is trying to cut down on. However, the increased sanctions for alcohol violations, along with a greater enforcement presence have certainly caught the attention of the student body.

“Elon has just taken this whole alcohol thing and gone over-the-top,” said Davis. “They’ve really gotten out of control.”

Many students come to Elon and hear stories about how the school used to turn a blind eye to such behavior. A few graduates recalled the social atmosphere when they came to Elon as freshman.

“When I first came to school, you didn’t see as many people being written up like you do now,” said Justin Ellis, a 2007 graduate. “Alcohol had a much bigger presence back then, and the school was definitely a lot more lenient.”

Many students and graduates agree that the school has changed, not just in its policies, but in the way students are partying. They feel as if the policies have taken away some of the fun at Elon, as current students are hesitant to engage in drinking and risk possible sanctions.

“These new policies have certainly detracted from the overall social atmosphere at Elon,” said Bill Campbell, a 2004 graduate. “Everyone is just too wound up over an issue that really isn’t that big of a deal.”

The school’s officials speak out

While many students feel as if the school is intruding on their personal freedoms, Elon officials assert that the revised policies and position was done to protect the students, rather than limit their social activities.

“The ultimate goal for the new policies here at Elon is to clarify our position on alcohol, as well as to educate students on the dangers of high risk drinking,” said Jeff Clark, a math professor and faculty co-chair on the task force on alcohol. “We want students to know that this sort of behavior is detrimental to themselves and to the university, and must be dealt with accordingly.”

Clark said that he believes the changes that have been made are good ones. He wants students to excel, and doesn’t want to see students handicap themselves by participating in dangerous, high risk drinking.

“We really tried to approach this issue from all angles,” said Clark. “We certainly didn’t want to lead a witch hunt, but it was imperative that we got the message across to the students.”

Interestingly enough, since the inception of the new policies, although the number of judicial reports concerning alcohol violations have increased, the number of violations has actually gone down.

From June 2006 to June 2007 there were a total of 1118 reported incidents with 623 violations. From June 2007 to June 2008 there were 1204 reported incidents with only 554 violations.

Essentially this means that the school is taking a more aggressive approach by reporting every incident, but is still exercising discretion in how the situation is dealt with.

“I think that our whole attitude reflects a nationwide sentiment,” said Assistant Director of Judicial Affairs, Whitney Pack-Gregory. “We can no longer just turn away, we must respond, but at the same time we’re going to look at every incident carefully with a certain level of sensitivity.”

Both Jeff Clark and Whitney Pack-Gregory believe that Elon is more or less on the same level as other schools regarding its policies toward alcohol and drinking. Each said that a number of other schools were looked at when revisions were being made, particularly those that share similarities with Elon as an institution.

“We spent a lot of time looking at how other schools such as Duke, handled their own issues with student drinking,” said Clark.

“We feel that our policies are essentially the same as other schools,” said Pack-Gregory. “The differences come from how much enforcement is being utilized.”

Working together for the future

Although the initial period following the policies was met with a bit of friction, it appears that students are slowly beginning to accept the new environment.

“I think that right now we’re still in kind of in an awkward adolescence stage with these policies,” said Pack-Gregory. “But with time, we’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t, and in the mean time students will become used to way things are.”

“It’s still too early to tell how effective these policies are,” said Clark. “But initial results indicate that the system is working, and of course we’re always open to student input regarding the situation.”

The school demonstrated this willingness to cooperate with students after they acquired Lighthouse Bar earlier this year. Officials decided to maintain the building as a bar, in order to provide a university run place where students of legal age can drink responsibly.

“I mean it’s not perfect,” said Collins. “But it shows the school is willing to work with students on the issue, and that they’re not completely against drinking.”

Students and residents of Elon who didn’t vote in the 2008 Presidential Election talk about their decision

Posted November 5, 2008 by hobie2515
Categories: Uncategorized

By Daniel Temple

Nov. 4, 2008- In this 2008 election, voters have turned out in record numbers. Major news organizations such as CNN and MSNBC.com are reporting that voters are turning out in numbers unprecedented since women were given the right to vote in 1920.

At Elon, measures were taken to ensure that as many students possible voted. For weeks, flyers and signs were made visible to encourage students to get out and vote. On Election Day, free shuttles were provided to take students to and from the polls.

However there are still some who opted not to vote in this election, citing a number of reasons, ranging from lack of interest, to the inclement weather.

“I’m registered in Massachusetts which is predominantly pro-Obama,” said Sarah Tucker, a sophomore at Elon. “They’re more than likely going to vote for him so what does it matter if I send in my absentee ballot?”

Knowledge of Candidates

Unfortunately, another reason why many students at Elon kept themselves from voting was that they felt they didn’t know enough about the candidates to make a decision. Although they weren’t opposed to voting in general, it felt wrong in a sense to cast a ballot on people and issues they really knew very little about.

“My main reason for not voting was that I knew nothing about where each candidate stood on certain issues,” said Mark Taylor, a freshman at Elon. “I know it’s my fault for not doing any research but I just don’t want to vote for the sake of voting.”

However for others, it was after they looked into each candidate that they decided not to vote. After reviewing each candidates plans and listening to what each person wanted to accomplish, some students felt it was better to keep their vote to themselves, rather than pick a candidate they didn’t even want.

“To be honest I just was not that enthusiastic about John McCain,” said Currie Bell, a junior at Elon. “On the other hand I really detest Barack Obama and so I wasn’t about to vote for him either.”

The Voting Process- Confusion and Time Consuming

For some, it wasn’t the candidates or the election, but the voting process that kept them participating. Some students said they were confused at how to approach the process of registration and submitting absentee ballots.

“The reason I didn’t vote was I because I was unfamiliar with the process of absentee ballots,” said Thomas Daddio, a junior at Elon. “By the time I became aware of the situation and the steps I needed to take, it was too late.”

Due to the record number of voter turn outs, unusually long lines formed outside polling stations across the United States. News of these lines and delays certainly played a part in keeping people from voting.

“I understand how important it is to vote, I really do,” said Kathy Duvall, a local Elon resident. “But I also know I’m going to have to stand in line for at least half an hour, and between my kids and errands, there just isn’t enough time.”

In the Future…

Many however, feel that even though they didn’t participate in this election, it doesn’t mean they won’t vote in future elections. In fact many students, after seeing how the election process is such a major event, are excited about getting the chance to vote in future elections.

“I mean with the rain and the amount of work I have today, it just feels like too much to go down and cast a single vote,” said Taylor. “But after seeing how important it is to so many people, I will definitely make more of an effort and certainly be a part of the 2012 election.”

“Being new to voting, I really thought that the process was confusing,” said Daddio. “Voting is important though and I’m disappointed I didn’t take part in this historical event.”