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April 6, 2000
The Banner -
As the war continues to rage over Elian Gonzalez’s extended
stay in Miami, Fla., any remaining drops of sanity in the
situation have evaporated in the political mess his story has
Regardless of our democracy-bred, high-minded beliefs about
the state of life in Cuba, the boy belongs with his father. Who
are we, way up here in our privileged middle-class existence, to
say that the boy would automatically be better off here in the
United States? With all this election-year focus on family, one
would think Elian would have long ago been reunited with his
.As trained as we are to believe that our ever-upstanding
democracy is the be-all and end-all of world societies, we often
forget that billions of people do not live under our rules of
right and wrong. The rest of the world survives every day
without the extravagant luxuries we take for granted in our
materialistic and ultimately free lives. Fifty bucks says that very
few of them ever think about our way of life, just as few of us
consider theirs. That is, until it is forced iqto our social con
sciousness by the untimely death of a mother and the miracu
lous survival of her son.
It is not our right to make the morally weighty decision that
Elian would be happier here. To do so would be a leap of
This seemingly simple debate has turned into a mad-house of
fighting relatives, protesters, press and government officials. In
the middle sits a young boy who seems to have been forgotten
in the whirlwind of social and political upheaval.
Is anyone actually concerned with the well-being of the child,
or is everyone just arguing a cause? Even the newspapers are
getting tired of writing this story.
So as Elian’s father arrives in the United States March 6, we
hope the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services will
grant immediate custody, and allow Elian to return home and
get on with his life. It seems that grieving the death of his
mother would be enough for a six-year-old boy to handle
without turning his tragedy into a circus.
Maybe that's something
A new federal program will begin cautioning parents con
cerning the administering of Ritalin and other psychiatric
drugs to preschool children.
From 1991 to 1995, the use of ritalin increased 150 percent
among preschoolers, while antidepressants such as Prozac
increased over 200 percent, according to the Journal of the
American Medical Assosciation.
Will the future generations become drugged zombies simply
because parents either do not know the ramifications of such
drugs or because they prefer to have a sedated child instead of
a rambunctious one?
There are far too many prescription drugs floating around
that are easily attainable for all ages. Ritalin is intended for
children with attention-deficit disorder, which is a small
percentage of the population, not for any excitable child. In
addition to children using these drugs, many are also having to
take clonidine, a blood pressure drug that alleviates sleeping
problems caused by drugs like Prozac.
Some authorities worry that these drugs are replacing behav-
ior-modification and family therapies, according to CNN.
These drugs are often the easy solution to many of the
children prescribed. Parents and doctors should look for other
solutions besides an easily administered pill.
It might take longer to work through a child’s problems, but
in the long run it would be healthier and more complete.
Is the answer to any problem a pill? Delving beneath child
hood idiosyncrasies to find the root of the problem should be
more of an emphasis than a prescription.
Who's got the keys?
Just a reminder: every time you log on to buy a product, hear
a song, research a project or e-mail a friend, you are giving any
other Internet user access to your private information.
Though sometimes it might be nice to know how many
crimes everyone in your neighborhood has committed, realize
also that criminals can just as easily obtain your personal
history and present whereabouts.
Be aware of any security warnings given on sites. They are
required by law, so they do serve a purpose. The right to
information applies to everyone, not just the good guys. So
look both ways before changing lanes on the information
A few suggestions to promote A
cleanliness on our campus
board by putting up multiple flyers First off, stop using the walls. Use
on the corkboards, and by spread- the boards which have been pro-
ing the areas where such flyers may vided for you by the school. I know
beviewed. Namely, putting up such that you feel that your advertise-
I hate clutter. No, really. I know it
sounds somewhat odd, coming
from someone whose desk currently
hosts a family of boll weevils and an
escaped Indian elephant, but I re
ally dislike messes.
That is why 1 am so disturbed by
the aesthetic aspect of our campus.
Here we are, a clean, tree-hugging
community, and when you get right
down to it, we are pretty trashy
First, I do applaud the existence of
a recycling program here. 1 am glad
that UNCA has made allotments
and given encouragement for a
greener Terra mostly Firma. Not
only is there recycling, but I have
noticed a healthy trend of reuse of
rnaterials as well. All that excess
paper generated by the computer
labs is generally gathered as scrap
paper for the various areas that need
Yes, some professors still insist on
printing handouts for every day of
class, of which the material content
of the handouts could perhaps be
better expressed in a Web page. But
I think that there are enough people
and faculty who use electronic me
dia rather than paper. The paperless
office is here, but not enough people
are willing to look for it.
But this campus is getting messy.
First, there are the animals. I love
animals. Cats, dogs, ferrets, mar
mosets, even Republicans. But step
ping in their messes is not my idea
of a good time.
People, I do not mind your pets
being on campus. I doubt if anyone
here does mind a wet nose and
begging eye now and then. But
clean up after them. If you have to
leave, tie them up somewhere, and
then clean that area when you get
back. Remember, a carnivore’s stool
is not conducive to being fertilizer.
Not that pets are the only prob
lem. I know that you all are nature
lovers, enjoying the sight of squir
rels and what-nots. Well, enjoy
those squirrels and birds, but please
do not leave out seed for them,
because it will get wet and rot,
making quite an unattractive mess.
But I still must praise the stu
dents. The outdoors are thankfully
devoid of trash and discarded items.
This does show that people do care
about the condition of this campus.
The interior of these buildings,
however, does not strike me as even
close to the beaver-like industri
ousness of groundskeeping. First
item of note are the corkboards.
These boards were put up on cam
pus to alert students of events. Now,
they have become collages of pretty
colors, but not much else. Every
thing from ENIAC sales to politi
cal propaganda to “Action Jack
son” posters decorate these boards.
So, no current information can be
gleaned from these boards, as all
that appears to the observer is old,
But, there are solutions. Yes, there
are still ways to attract the attention
of passers-by. These methods in
clude covering more area of the
advertisements on places other than
So, of these two alternatives, let us
examine the first. This takes up
quite a bit of paper, and is made
even more inefficient due to the
fact that said paper is usually col
ored. Not to mention that the more
of one kind of ad that a person sees,
the more in-
dined they are
As for plac
ing these ads
up in places
other than the
action is de
go buy a dic-
There is a rea
son ^ why
place their ad
up on the bul
Not only do
limit the space
of such an-
Why is it so im
portant to destroy
scratch out faces
and change the
words on an
anyone at the col
legiate level still
gets off on de
needs to take a se
rious look at who
they are admitting.
but they also help protect the walls
As any painter could tell you, tape
is very destructive to interior paint.
So, when some industrious student
decides to tape up their fliers about
campus, they end up peeling off the
paint job of the walls.
Not to mention the fact that these
pieces of paper thrown up every
where are quite ugly. Seeing paper
after paper after paper is more than
just a little annoying.
So, what can we do about this?
More than a little, I can assure you.
light get missed amongst
the many other notices. Well, that
brings me to the second point.
Keep these things updated. Stu
dents will not pay attention to the
boards if they still have old informa
tion on them that is irrelevant.
Maybe a student organization
could sponsor the upkeep of these
On the note of
that the drama
that: the drama
They are not for
dents. Ifyou \
Now, one last
issue of campus
Why? Why is it
faces and change
the words I
level still gets off
things, then admissions needs
takeaserious lookatwhom they are
Give your campus some credit,
people. So, when you see a item of
trash, or someone defacing the
school or even a stray dog, take
little initiative and do something
about it. Presenting a boorish front
to the prospective students'
Take note of the under’Dogs
You know, I really think the
amount of sports coverage con
tained within our school’s newspa
per, The Banner, is impressive.
While I am not much of a sports
fan, I realize that in many ways
athletics is a very important part of
any university, a sort of glue that
binds the community together.
So, I find it quite heartening that
every week we can read about our
various teams and their successes.
We can see how well the baseball
team has done, how good our ten
nis players are and the astounding
achievements of the track team.
Oh, wait. We never really hear
about the track team. Well, maybe
there’s not much to tell. Maybe we
don’t have a track team of any size
or value. Then who are all those
people I see running around in biker
shorts and sports bras? Surely they
are not just random fitness fanatics.
Well, no. The fact of the matter is
that we do have a very strong track
team, and they are all but ignored
in this campus community. I would
not have known a thing about our
track team, even that we had one, if
not for the efforts of Molly
Demattos, who has been trying to
single-handedly advertise the
strengths of her peers. And I feel
that it’s high time we saw more
about the track team, one of the
largest and hardest working ath
letic teams on our campus.
According to Demattos, the track
team is far from weak. In fact, the
team is very strong in distance and
field events. During every meet
practically everyone breaks a per
sonal record, and some even break
school records. Recendy, Michelle
Ray, a senior, broke a school record
in the hammer. And Clint Bardon,
a freshman, broke the school record
in the discus throw. Also a fresh
man, Crystal Goure, who competes
in high jump, pole vault, javeline,
discus and shot put, regularly places
in four out of those five.
Far be it from me to spend a
thousand words criticizing the very
people who have given me a venue
to air my gripes, but this needs to be
said. In fairness to the Banner stsif,
it is not entirely their fault that the
track team is often ignored.
I know little about how our jour
nalists decide what sports events to
cover, but I assume they decide
based on their knowledge of up
coming sporting events. There is a
little bulletin board in the gym
which advertises whatever is hap
pening through a given week or
weekend. Track events don’t make
it to that board. In their place fits
baseball, basketball, tennis,
women’s volleyball. But no track.
And it is not just the Banner that
forgets to cover the track team’s
wide successes. During basketball
season, I received string of mass e-
mails from the chancellor’s office
giving practically a blow by blow
coverage of the basketball team’s
successes, demonstrating pity for
their losses, and asking us to come
out and support our team and our
campus as a whole. But I have yet to
receive a single e-mail supporting
our track team and their efforts.
And it is not as though there have
not been opportunities. Track is a
year-round sport. According to
Demattos, there is not a single time
during the year when the track team
is not active. They have their pre
season, two seasons through the
spring and fall during which they
have meets all the time, and then
They work nonstop ^t their sport,
trying to perfect it. It is practically
a full-time job to be on the trade
team, and their eflbrts pay off. They
go to meets and compete with
world-championship athletes, of
ten times holding their own very
So, why does the track team, who
works so hard to perfect their sport,
their art, get all but ignored in our
campus media? Molly suggested
that people think track is a “partici
pation sport,” meaning that just
about anyone can get into track.
They do not realize j ust how hard it
is to be on the team and the level of
effort that the team puts in.
“It’s a lack of respect, and it
really annoying,” said Demattos.
“It’s like if you worked for months
to put on a play and then nobody
bothered to advertise it or give it
coverage in a paper. Nobody would
show, and you be like, ‘What the,
The track team is just as much an
integral component of our campus
community as any other sport. I
think it’s high time we supported
them in their efforts. So, on April
21 and 22, the team will be com
peting for the conference champi
onship. If they gain no support and
nobody showsi they will likely lose
the bid for further conferences. In i
school which is trying so hard tc
gain respect through sports, it would
be a shame for apathy to stifle a
team’s chance to grow. Please sup