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The Blue Banner
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Alternative commuting to change transportation needs
nn enuironmentdl uiewpoint
The time has come to curb the
growing tide of cars on our campus.
Commuting students can testify
to the long, sometimes fruitless
search for a single spot to park prior
to class. Overflow lots designated
for resident students’ cars, to be
used in extreme cases and emergen
cies, have become the norm as op
posed to the occasion.
With 500 freshmen and their cars,
space is just about completely ex
As gas prices rise, this means stu
dents’ budgets will take more of a
cut to fuel transportation. The time
it takes to find parking contributes
to being rushed and sometimes late
for class. And as students, the last
addition we need to our lives is
stress — the stress of driving, traf
fic, financial burdens and parking.
Asheville has been preserved to be
a compact, easily-traveled city. With
downtown but a mile or so from
campus, UNCA is blessed to be in
an area where alternative transpor
tation is given a high priority.
Although the Asheville alterna
tive transportation climate could
use some further investment, it can
serve as an incentive for which
UNCA can strive to emulate.
I propose we make alternative ways
of commuting a forefront priority.
A triad of alternative commuting
routes can be employed with no
additional costs and become effec
tive as soon as students decide to
take the initiative to do so —
carpooling, biking and riding the
With such a high concentration
of students living off campus,
carpooling seems like a key first
step. Simple to arrange, carpooling
divides gas money a great deal. In
addition to some extra money saved
from contributions, beginning each
school day with company can en
hance anyone’s morning.
Secondly, for those students who
live within a five or so mile radius,
hop on a bike! Biking to school can
offer numerous advantages —
cheaper maintenance, no gas fees,
immediate parking and improved
Advantages also include height
ened concentration in classes and
elsewhere, and the ability to avoid
traffic. Traveling via bicycle gives
access to an entire cycling commu
nity in Asheville, one of mutual
respect and courtesy.
As cyclist numbers increase, auto
mobile courtesy will also. Plus, as
more people choose to bike, bike
retailers and bike-friendly businesses
will grow in options and
Starting each day with a bicycle
commute is one of the best ways to
prepare for class and improve your
health. Likewise, there isn’t anything
that would cut air pollution as dras
tically as drivers-turned-bikers.
Finally, the city bus is another
option for those who do not live
near any other students, do not
wish to bike, do not^own a bike, etc.
Although not enough, money is
invested into the public bus system
each year to serve city-wide com
muters. For a city of Asheville’s size
to have the type of system that we
do is a rarity, yet a true asset to those
who choose to utilize it.
A bus ride to school gives leeway
for last-minute homework, reading
or relaxing before class. This year, a
new bus stop and improved bus
services are offered to UNCA stu
With air quality in Western North
Carolina agraveconcern, thesimple
choice to pedal, carpool or ride the
bus to class can have an enormous
impact on Asheville air quality.
In combination with added de
mands and lowered traffic counts,
not only the air pollution, but the
noise and scenery pollution would
All over the United States, more
and more consumers are opting to
drive than any other form of trans
portation. In accordance with this
way of thinking, more roads are the
More roads typically equates with
more cars, even if the newer roads
were constructed to alleviate traf
Comparable to this national trend,
expansion to meet traffic needs
could become an issue our campus
faces in the future. The growing
automobile demands on our cam
pus have the potential to escalate to
the point of expansion.
Should students choose not to
Letters to the Editor
Knowledge to be
Upon reading last week’s article,
“Students journey to Ghana,” and
viewing the attached picture, I am
filled with a confused, saddened
and frustrated feeling.
I am one of the “two Caucasian
students” that was mentioned, and
I am upset that I was not contacted
to contribute to this article, seeing
as how I have much to contribute to
the knowledge to be shared with
the student body about this great
Let me recapitulate a line or two
for those who did not read the
article. “The two Caucasian stu
dents came back with an attitude
that the trip was great fun. By com
parison, the five African American
students were busy identifying with
Africa and a particular connection
with Africa, according to Jenkins-
Implied in this sentence, and ob
vious from the picture chosen to
print (there were others taken of
the entire UNCA group that would
have better suited the need), is that
us white kids got nothing more out
of Africa than “great fun,” and this
is simply a fallacy.
A serious division has been made
concerning me, and I was allowed
no say whatsoever in making it. By
printing my name and indirectly
quoting me without my consent,
those involved in constructing this
article are assuming I agree with
their comments. And I don’t.
Just because I am white does not
mean that I cannot find a connec
tion with Africa, and to imply so is
“All people be African people,”
said Dr. Craig C. Brookins on the
first day of his psychology lecture in
As a side note, the form of the verb
‘be’ is not used as incorrect gram
mar, but so as to exclude time limi
tations on the statement. You ‘be’
all the time; no ‘is’, ‘was’, or ‘will
be’s about it. This exemplifies a
mentality of great understanding
and perspective, one that I observed
in many of the Africans that I met.
We are living in a globalized world,
and we are constantly being bom
barded with images and ideas of the
“others,” however silent they are in
our lives. We always have the right
to our opinions, but when these
opinions become actions, they can
also become weapons.
I went to Africa to discover, once
again, that we are all basically the
same. Our least common denomi
nator, being human and being alive.
is a powerful one, and I know it is
common ground enough for simple
Race relations are especially pow
erful forces in this country, but they
are only as powerful as we create
them to be. We must remember
that there is freedom beyond these
prison walls of our mind, be we
open and willing enough to go there.
From James Baldwin’s Native Son,
“...the bitterness was folly. It was
necessary to hold onto the things
that mattered. The dead man mat
tered, the new life mattered; black
ness and whiteness did not matter;
to believe that they did was to ac
quiesce to one’s own destruction.
Hatred, which could destroy so
much, never failed to destroy the
man who hated and this was an
Senior, Psychology major
rich and full
First, I would like to thank T^e
Blue Bannerfoi this space to submit
reflections and comments. I also
appreciate the university attention
given to the story concerning the
study abroad trip to Ghana.
Ms. Alton was a wonderful inter
viewer as well as a great reporter,
but there were a few misconcep
tions. The reporter did use correct
quotations, but she did not include
my complete thoughts.
My dear friend Ms. Alton began
by misspelling my name, which is
Joseph. My nickname is “J,” not
“Jay,” as Ms. Alton put it.
Secondly, Ms Alton used partial
quotes that presented the purpose
ofmy trip as wholly materialistic. I
did not go to Ghana to get tailored
shoes and clothes. The comment
about the shoes was an aside while
I was explaining the skill and precise
workmanship of the trade workers.
This included basket-weavers,
bread-makers, wood-carvers and
potters, as well as tailors and shoe
makers. By Ms. Alton isolating the
quote and not explaining the con
text in which the quote was made.
she forfeits the real meaning of the
Moreover, she presented me as a
person whom, despite the wealth of
cultural insight, concentrated only
on shoes and clothing. I do not
As for the comments about my
biggest experience while in Ghana,
I did make the statement about the
family and the brother, but I was
not emphasizing the conflict be
tween he (my brother) and I.
I was commenting on the fact that
I do not have a biological brother,
and how meaningful it was to have
had normal conflict and disagree
ment with a brother-type while in
My brother and I did not agree all
the time (actually, it was rare for us
to agree), but the time we spent
together was priceless. I can almost
remember our conversations and
arguments word-for-word, and I
will not tolerate our relationship
being taken out of context.
In closing, I will restate that my
Ghanaian experience was more than
amazing. Because ofmy experience,
I can better understand myself as an
African in America. I am different,
and it’s okay to be different.
apathy in voting
The morning was as every other
morning. 1 take a daily stroll to the
computer lab and check my e-mail
while waiting for the dining hall to
open to get some breakfast.
However, this morning was not
like any other, because I was gaining
strength to run in the Freshman Sena
tor elections on Sept. 12 and 13.
While I was walking, I turned my
f head slowly and there in the trash
can, to my dismay, was the un
abashed destruction of a poster I
had put up.
This confused me, so I checked on
the other posters, and they too had
been torn down and ripped apart
like Ahab tearing into the skin of
the white whale.
Anger engulfed me, and it lead me
to think, “Are college students this
apathetic to our own student gov
ernment and candidates for such
I could see the apathy towards the
federal and state governments, but
not toward our own student gov
ernment, the participants of which
do not have the ability to sell out with
the chance of money or glory, since
none are granted to such people.
More and more, I saw other post
ers of the other candidates torn
down, and I heard a story of how
they, too, were desecrated with filth
and humiliating remarks.
To take care of this hatred and
apathy, we must start at the lower
levels and work our way up.
By the time this is read, the elec
tions are over and my future as a
candidate will be determined. How
ever, by then I will have just re
placed the old poster with a new
Letters to the edi
tor should be sub
mitted to Karpen
244 or e-mailed to
The Blue Banner at
For more Informa
tion, call 251-6586
and leave a mes
adopt a new way of commuting,
expansion could mean even more
of a car-crowded campus, which in
turn would create the need for more
As opposed to newer roads lead
ing into campus, we could choose
to cut down our use of cars to satisfy
our transportation needs. If the stu
dent body were to initiate a strong
alternative-commute presence, new
demands would be made, perhaps
I propose front and center park
ing spaces reserved for four or more
student passengers on school days.
I propose discounted parking
stickers if traffic counts were to
decline. To show clear progress in
decreasing cars on campus would
open doors to many financial as
sets, both personal and university-
I propose campus bike lanes and
sheltered bike racks. This would
enhance safety, promote biking for
non-students, and elongate the lives
of student bicycles.
I propose lowered student bus fares
for regular commuters. If the com
mute were cheaper, perhaps more
students would opt to ride the
bus, providing incentive for more
And of course, it doesn’t have to
stop with our commute. The stu
dents have the power to improve
and change almost any existing re
ality pertaining to our education.
It is, in fact, the entity that has
changed a great deal already.
In order to cut the impact of cars
on campus in our daily lives, we
must make an alternate, positive
impact with not only our com
mutes, but with all of our choices.
ne Blue Bdnner Stdff
Asst. Online Editor
Kay Alton, Amanda Anderson, Casey Blankenship,
Patrick Braswell, Annie Crandall, Rachel Crumpler, Kristina
Elliot, Ben Ezell, Walter Fyler, Sachie Godwin,
Anthony Greco, Seth Horner, Luke Knox,
John Locke, Justin Meckes, Angela Nantz,
Bridgette Odom, Lauren Owens, Sanna Raza,
Edward Ruschmann, Rebecca Travers, Justin Wolf
SeanClancy, Kay Alton,
Kevin Rollins, Summer Starling
Mark West, faculty advisor
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