Archive for March 2012
By David Hodges
Dennis Franks, a deputy chief of police in Pekin, Ill., was named Elon University’s new director of Campus Safety and Police. Franks will be taking over for Chuck Gantos, who held the position for 15 years. Franks said he has big shoes to fill but that he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“I know I speak for myself and my family when I say we’re very excited about this opportunity,” Franks said. “And really my police philosophy is kind of a boots to the ground philosophy. I like to get out and develop relationships and get to know people.”
Franks said he worked with students as an adjunct professor before but not much as an officer. He said he will approach issues like underage drinking in his own unique way.
“I believe in alternative solutions to problems,” Franks said. “Making arrests is not always the best solution.”
Franks has also dealt with drive-by racial slurs, similar to what happened in Elon in September and said he takes the issue seriously.
“When we do have a hate crime issue come up, if we can make an arrest we make an arrest,” Franks said. “Those are the types of issues that I think have to be dealt with quickly and as effectively or efficiently as possible.”
However, the selection of Franks came at the end of some conflict during the search process. One Elon student wrote an email expressing opposition to the university potentially hiring current campus investigator Dan Ingle because of his voting record in the state legislature. Ingle voted against the School Violence Prevention Act, which aimed to prevent bullying of students based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The Elon student who wrote the opposition email asked others to forward the email onto Gerald Whittington, who headed the hiring process.
But Whittington said the decision was made before he received the many emails. When asked if Representative Ingle’s legislative history made an impact on the hiring decision, Whittington said said he couldn’t comment on those kinds of personnel issues.
Current Campus Police Chief Chuck Gantos did have this to say about Franks, who will be taking over his job.
“I had an opportunity to spend sometime several hours with him,” Gantos said. “[I'm] very impressed with the young man. He’s got great credentials, but I think his people skills are just outstanding.”
By Brandon Marshall
The Service Learning Community held a clothes swap event in the Oaks for students on Sunday. Senior Mary Yost sees donating and reusing clothes as a great way of living in today’s economy.
“You can pay a whole month of rent that you would save if you actually wore just the clothes that you needed,” Yost said.
Yost believes that the majority of clothes that she wears daily makes up about a tenth of all the clothes she owns.
“If you really think about it,” Yost said, “you kind of wear the same outfits over and over.”
Yost lives in the Oaks where she pays $610 a month for her 12-month lease. In addition, she believes the closet in her room is difficult to fill up; other students may disagree.
Yost believes shopping at thrift stores is a great way to save money and said she will continue supporting local American stores.
Following the event, more than 200 clothing items were donated to CrossRoads, a domestic violence women’s shelter in Burlington, and the Salvation Army.
By Brian Mezerski
Students in the Colonnades residence halls have been concerned about inconsistent water temperature, the water pressure when toilets are flushed and odd pulsing of shower-heads.
Freshman Taylor Davis said she noticed at the beginning of the year that there was something unusual about the wall next to her bed.
“There was a banging sound anytime someone flushed the toiled,” Davis said. “It kind of sounded like a canon going off next to my head. It rattled my bed and it woke me up when I slept with earplugs. It was really loud and it echoed through my room.”
Davis and other residents of the Harper building in Colonnades filed out multiple work requests to Physical Plant throughout the year, prompting Physical Plant to perform water tests which meant shutting off the water supply to the building for short periods of time.
“There are, and were, no health risks involved with the new Colonnade’s facilities in regards to the water testing that the physical plant recently performed on Colonnade’s C, D & E [sic],” Curiazza said.
According to Physical Plant Plumbing Supervisor Jimmy Curiazza, Physical Plant performed two water tests, and after the second test, Curiazza said that there were erratic pressure fluctuations during times of multiple toilet flushes within the building.
Curiazza said that because of these fluctuations, the hot water valve would not stay locked, which explained the inconsistent hot water temperature and
pressure problems with shower heads. Because of this, Physical Plant installed a new water pressure tank, which solved the problems.
However, the banging pipes continued to be a problem for Davis.
“As the months went by, it got so aggravating,” Davis said. “I started hitting the wall back. This was affecting how stressed that I was when I was doing work and how much sleep I was getting. It was affecting my academic performance.”
But since the problem has been fixed, Davis does not have to hear any more banging pipes.
“It feels so good,” Davis said, “I’m so happy that it’s gone.”
Since Physical Plant did have to look into the issue, Curiazza said the water testing and research in Colonnades has proven invaluable for the consideration and design of future buildings.
And Director of Residence Life, Elaine Turner, said that Residence Life does not want any problems to be an annoyance. She said that students should submit work requests no matter what the problem is in their residence building in order to increase the quality of all current buildings on campus.
“Residence life would rather have multiple requests of the same thing than nothing at all,” Turner said.
Turner said if students feel like they have a real issue with something in their residence building, they should fill out the online FixIt work request form at www.elon.edu/fixit.