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March 29,2000 • the Seahawk
After Hurricane Floyd, locals urged to remain vigilant
hv Al l .ISON BIGGAR w _ W
by ALLISON BIGGAR
Dr. Steve Lyons, hurricane expert with the
Weather Channel, presented a lecture on “Caro
lina Hurricanes” last Tuesday in Cameron Audi
torium. During the lecture, Lyons emphasized the
importance of being prepared for hurricanes so
that North Carolina residents can to avoid the level
of damage the state has experienced during re
“What we're seeing is that there is a lot more
to damage today,” Lyons said. “The damage can
be worse than what you have seen in the nineties
and they can be worse than Fran.”
Huiricane Fran, a Category 3 on the SafEir-
Simpson scale, did $3.2 billion worth of damage
to the Carolinas.
Lyons also warned audience members not to
think that since there has been so many hurricanes
lately the next hurricane season will be calm, a
common misconception. He compared the prob
ability of being hit by a hurricane to the same
random elements of chance in flipping a coin.
‘What happened in the past is past,” Lyons
hurricanes in this next season as we did last sea
Lyons stressed the importance of being pre
pared for a hurricane and not taking warnings
The people that try to fool them^lves into
thinking that they are not going to be hit are fool
ing themselves...because it's inevitable that sooner
or later another cyclone will visit North Carolina,”
Lyons advised people to be prepared for a
hurricane by taking their most valuable posses
“You can replace a couch but you can not re
place a picture at your wedding,” he said.
Humcane Floyd was the most damaging storm
in North Carolina history.
The inland flooding liom the stomi did sub
stantial damage to the homes and possessions of
many who did not live near the coast Forty-nine
deaths were attributed to Floyd's flooding.
‘ “Most people die from water, not from wind,”
Hurricane flooding is dependent on tropical
cyclone size, speed, topography, pre-existing rain,
percolation and mn-olT rale.
Hurricane expert, Dr. Steve Lyons of
the Weather Channel delievers lec
ture on Carolina hurricanes.
Lyons said wind speed typically begins at 50
miles per hour and is often locally unpredictable
due to damage cascade and flying debris. He
emphasized the damage that trees can cause dur
ing a storm. Many buildings are reinforced agaiast
storms, but they are not protected from objects
such as trees falling on top of them.
“It’s really sad becau.se fa huiricanel can re-
ally change the picture of a neighborhtxxl very
quickly." Lyons said when showing slides of a
Miami neighborlwod devastated by falling uves
during a hurricane.
Many audieiKC nK'nibers expre.s.sed gratitude
tor Lyons lecture, since the Cape Fear region has
been hit by so many storms in the recent past.
“I enjoyed the lecture bcxau.se I am a resident
of Wilmington, so hurricanes that come here have
always affected me and my life,” said freshman
Mary Sims. “I am uying to decide (whether cr
not] I am going to live at tlie beach next year, and
hurricanes play a big factor in that decision."
Lyons's areas of expertise include marine
meteorology, tropical meteorology, satellite me
teorology, aiKd southern hemi.sphere metawlogy.
He has a doctoral degree fiuni the University of
Hawaii and has held distinguished positions with
the National Hurricane Center, National Weather
Service, and the Joint Institute for Marine and At
mospheric Re.search. Lyoas has served as the
Weather Channel's tropical program manager
The UNCW Graduate Student As.sociation
sponsored the lecture.
Faculty Senate hears Biology Department complaints on writing
by TODD VOLKSTORF
The Faculty Senate recenfly rejected a reso
lution from the biology department that was criti
cal of student writing proficiency. The resolu
tion, aimed specifically at the English Department
and UNCW administration, focused on the Bi
ology department's view that a laige percentage
of UNCW undergraduates have unacceptable
The resolution said: “...it is the responsibility
of the English Department to teach proper gram
mar, punctuation, and spelling in required com
The biology department also charged that each
academic department should stress more writ
ing assignments and “promote proper grammar,
punctuation and spelling.” The resolution also
said that the English Department should “assess
the proficiency of all freshmen and transfer stu
dents in written English,” and prescribe additional
courses as needed.
“What I have noticed over the years is that a
substantial percentage of my students cannot write
in a manner that would be considered literate,”
said biology professor Joe Pawlik.
Pawlik said that earlier efforts to seek impove-
ment from the English department were unsuc
cessful, and the issue needed to be brought to the
Faculty Senate's attention.
“I think it (the original resolution) was a very
fair and clear delineation of the problem,” he said.
English department Chairman Dick Veit said
the nssolution, “didn't take into account the larger
picture of the need for writing across the curricu
The biology department didn't talk to any
members of the English department before they
submitted the motion,
‘The English department certainly felt that it
[the biology department] wasn't completely in
formed.” Veit said.
After the resolution failed, the English depart
ment made an alternative motion regarding the
problem. The motion, which passed, called for a
Senate-appointed committee to examine writing
programs at other institutions, which will aUow
UNCW to develop a similar plan.
According to the Senate minutes, “there was
considerable, sometimes strained, discussion on
these motions.” Members of the English and bi
ology departments discussed who is having prob
lems, and whether or not UNCW students know
how to write when they graduate. Both sides agree
that there is no easy fix to the problem and that it
may take some time to implement a successful
solution. They also agree that students should write
more in their respective disciplines.
Pawlik expressed a willingness to work with
other departments to solve the problem.
“We're willing to step up to the plate and work
on this because we perceive a problem" he said.
Veit said he was fhistrated at the suddenness
of the issue's introduction.
“Generally in universities when things like this
[resolution] are done, there is consultation, and
there was no consultation on this one,” he said.
As a result of the discussion, there may even
tually be a ‘writing across the curriculum pro
gram'at UNCW. Students would be required to
take a certain number of “writing intensive”
courses as a graduation requirement, Veit said.
“We used to have an asse.ssment policy and
as it turned out. very few students were at an ex
tremely low level,” he said.
Pawlik, though, believes that an assesment
policy is an important part of the solution.
‘There needs to be an assessment process
headed by the English Department.” he said.
“Without one, we're not going to get anybody to
get better with this. How do you know if a stu
dent needs help without as.sessing his abilities?”
Meet the Candidates
Wednesday, March 29 at 7 PM in the University Union Roonn 100
Come meet the candidates for Student
Government and ask them your questions.
Find out how they feel about the issues that
are important to you.
Voice Your Choice: SGA Eiections 2000