By Monica Yantosh
The most recent viral video on the web is a movie made by non-profit, global humanitarian aid organization Invisible Children. It was made by one of the founders and focuses on Joseph Kony, a Ugandan guerrilla group leader. The wide success of the movie has sparked a campaign called Kony 2012 whose goal is to bring attention to the issue and raise support for Kony’s arrest.
The Elon Chapter of Invisible Children, led by Co-President Katie Salerno, is working to bring awareness to the situations in Africa.
“I really like the video,” Salerno said. “I think if you aren’t aware of the issue before hand, it’s really easy to get confused.”
However, after the video was posted, critics were quick to say the movie doesn’t give enough information about the situation. Junior Christopher Bosak watched to video, and took time after watching to further research the issue.
“Yes, this dictator seems like a bad guy,” Bosak said. “I certainly don’t like any body who goes out and kidnaps children, but I feel like this is too simple a way to look at it. This seems like a very complex issue and it’s just being glazed over.”
Salerno also agrees that just watching the video is not enough.
“I think that you really need to do your research before because it’s not meant to be informative,” Salerno said. “It meant to promote this idea that this person known, and if you don’t know who this man is you need to go back and look at your facts.”
With attention now on Invisible Children, people are more aware of where the organization spends their money.
Here’s their expense breakdown according to the 2011 annual report: almost 50 percent of donations goes to raising awareness. Thirty-seven percent goes to Central Africa programs. The rest pays for general expenses.
Salerno said the money does go to raise awareness, which is a cause she thinks is just as helpful.
“What people don’t realize is that their money is going to this awareness which is indirectly going into their programs on the ground,” Salerno said. “You can’t have these programs without having people aware of it.”
More than 70 million people have seen the video on YouTube since it was posted March 5.
To get involved with Invisible Children, find them on Facebook. The group will also be hosting a profit share at Mellow Mushroom on Tuesday, March 13 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., an event called “Cover the Night” on Friday, April 20 and a screening of “Kony 2012” on Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m.
The following is Invisible Children’s video response to criticism the group received following the release of the viral video about Joseph Kony.
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 Neima Abdulahi
Gary Bailey is a counselor at Elon University’s health center, but started off soothing people’s hearts in a different way – with love ballads and rhythmic funk music.
In 1970, Bailey formed the R&B group “Brief Encounter” with his brothers. This passion stemmed from their father, who bought Bailey his first guitar and supported the band from the time they started playing together.
“It was genetically endowed,” he said. “It was predetermined almost that we would be in music.”
As they started to fill studio times and practice schedules, their hardwork began to pay off with filled venues.
“We would pack clubs,” Bailey said. “You look out in the audience and its standing room only.”
The band also got to share the stage with big acts like KC & The Sunshine Band and the legendary singer James Brown.
“To see that gentleman (Brown) play was absolutely phenomenal,” he said.
Brief Encounter gained enough buzz to receive a record deal from Capitol Records. This accomplishment was a representation of their dedication to their passion.
“To hear people throughout the world and realize that we have impacted people worldwide from a little state like North Carolina, particularly from my hometown Wilesboro, [and] we’ve had an influence on the world in terms of musically? It’s a good feeling,” Bailey said. “Matter fact, it’s a great feeling.”
The records he hasn’t touched in so long have recently been in high demand. Fans placed $400 bids on eBay for hopes to own the rare original recordings, and the highest purchase sold for more than $2,500.
Every now and then, Gary Bailey said he reunites with his brothers and friends to perform their old hits and also create music. Bailey is planning a performance in April with his brothers and friends.
By Mallory Lane
Elon Bridges is the newest program helping recent graduates make the transition from life in the Elon “bubble” to life in the real world.
Career Services Fellow and New York Program Facilitator Ashley Pinney, said the program is helpful to graduates hoping to make the move to a big city.
“In cities like New York and Los Angeles where it can be competitive, we want to help our students kind of bring them to the next level and make them more competitive applicants,” Pinney said.
Senior Rebecca Smith is one of the eight soon-to-be-graduates participating in the New York Bridges program, and she said it’s more than just a chance to land that dream job.
“I don’t know if it will actually help get the job as much,” Smith said. “I think it will help make New York a home.”
The overall cost of the program is $4,200. That covers housing, one credit of tuition, seminars on personal finance and programming costs like sports and theatre.
“When I first heard about it, I was like oh my gosh, I need to do this,” Smith said. “Then I started looking at the price tag and I was like, ‘Uh maybe.’”
But she said that ‘maybe’ has turned into a definite ‘yes.’ Smith was accepted to the program and plans to head to New York after graduation.
“I’m hoping to build a community, a support system, in New York in those first few weeks so I’m comfortable,” Smith said. “From then on out and I can truly go be on my own but still know who to turn to if I need help with something.”
By Nicole Chadwick
When prospective families visit Elon, one thing they look for is the campus shop.
“We feel like people who are visiting schools, it’s very nostalgic to come to the campus shop,” said Kathy Scarborough, manager of the Elon Campus Shop.
Scarborough thinks business has changed for the Barnes & Noble affiliated store in downtown Elon.
“We have a different clientele of traffic,” she said. “We also welcome the community into the store much more so than when we were in Moseley.”
The store moved across campus in the fall of 2011 to the new facility, and ever since, they’ve been welcoming more Town of Elon and Burlington residents in the store.
Students still are the targeted clients, but Sarah Turner Wells, who works in the bookstore and as a tour guide, says parents are the biggest buyers
According to Wells, the number of people visiting Elon’s campus is significantly larger in the spring than in the fall, bringing even more people to the campus shop, even though it is no longer located next to the admissions welcome center. And she and Scarborough agree they’re seeing a bigger variety of people walking through the doors.
And despite the move last fall, Scarborough is confident that they haven’t missed a beat, or a book.
Campus Shop Hours:
Monday – Thursday 8:30 AM-7:00 PM
Friday 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Saturday 11:00 AM-5:00 PM
By Brian Mezerski
Elon Dining Services said it listens to Elon students.
“We do take all inquires very seriously,” said Kate Nelson, marketing manager for Elon Dining Services. “We work through the university to try to get all of your changes made.”
Freshman Eliza Williams talked to Dining Services about serving breakfast earlier in dining halls on the weekend. Williams voiced her opinion to the office and Dining Services worked to accommodate her need.
Williams said it is a responsibility of the students to voice their opinions to Dining Services.
“Without our opinions, it’s impossible for the administration, and staff and dining services to get an idea of what we want,” Williams said.
Nelson said he encourages feedback and thought that it’s important for it to come from students.
“If we don’t hear the information directly,” Nelson said, “then we don’t know what’s going on, and we can’t make effective changes and make the dining experience the best it can be here.”
Recent changes that were made because of student feedback include: McEwen Dining Hall opening at 9 a.m. for continental breakfast on the weekends, Varsity Sports Grill opening a soup and salad bar, a fruit and yogurt station being added to Colonnades Dining Hall, and better menu options at dining halls.
Nelson said Dining Services is listening to student suggestions and is trying to provide more ways for students to give feedback.
Students can participate in the Dining Services’ online survey, which is found on its Facebook page. However, Nelson says the best way for students to voice their opinions is through the ‘Contact Us’ page on the Dining Services website.
Nelson said Dining Services does encourage having meetings with all students to discuss any concerns or suggestions they may have. Students can stop into their office on first floor Colonnades.
Executive president candidate speeches
It’s been 42 years since the first African American woman graduated Elon, and today, Gail Fonville lives with her husband in Graham, N.C.
Fonville said she is humbled by the recognition, yet remembers that it wasn’t easy being the first.
“I don’t think about it a lot unless I’m reminded,” Fonville said, “but then I think…and I say to you young people, ‘You really have it made compared to when I was a student.’”
Growing up with her six siblings in Green Level, N.C., Fonville said her parents inspired her to set her mind towards anything and accomplish it. She did just that when she decided to attend Elon.
Fonville was the second in her family to attend college and she said she valued her education as a student.
In 1966, the summer before her first year, Fonville and her roommate contacted each other. It would be Fonville’s first time sharing a room with a white female. While she was excited to attend college, Fonville said her first year didn’t go as she hoped.
“The room that had been selected for me was the ironing room with one window that overlooked the parking lot,” she said. “No bed, so you got to put a cot in there for this young freshman to sleep on.” Fonville reminisced.
Fonville commuted as a freshman after her mother expressed her disappointment.
Fonville said it was easier to gain respect from students who were from the North. As for North Carolinians, Fonville had to work harder to fit in socially.
She persevered through discrimination during the era of Aretha Franklin’s famous song, “Respect,” and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination – moments in history that Fonville said were important to her.
Fonville has opened doors for African American students today here at Elon University. Elon’s Black Alumni committee has renamed the Distinguished Alumni award in Fonville’s honor. But even with the recognition, Fonville said she doesn’t worry about any special praise within the community.
“I just do what God has given me the ability to do,” she said.