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October 31, 2008
NORTH CAROLINA WESLEYAN COLLEGE, ROCKY MOUNT. NORTH CAROLINA 27804
NCWC Professor: McCain Will Win
NC, Obama the National Election
Following the final presidential debate on October 15, the Decree staff conducted an email interview with Dr Cameron
Matthews, assistant professor of political science at NC Wesleyan.
Q. What are your general impressions A. A lot. With the exception of 1980,
of the campaign so far? voters tend to vote Democratic when the
A. It has been nasty. I think there is economy is bad. I think that is a great
a certain amount of animosity between
Senators McCain and Obama that has
spilled into the campaign. There also
might be some fatigue on the part of the
public by this point in the campaign. It
has been a long, long road to get here and
voters, I think, are ready to move on.
Q. In what ways have the presidential
and vice-presidential debates helped
A. I think the debates have only
marginally helped Obama. Post-debate
polls have all had him “winning”, which
is, of course, better than losing. But to
the extent to which the debates help
people choose who to vote for, I don’t
think they help a great deal. A voter
who is still undecided at this point in the
campaign will probably remain so until
Election Day. Also, the word “debate”
implies, well, a debate. These are more
like join press conferences. In the famous
Lincoln/Douglas debates, the first
candidate to speak had an hour to talk,
not a few minutes. The man rebutting
had 90 minutes. That is a debate.
Q. McCain criticized Obama for
declining federal campaign matching
funds. Looking back, was that a prudent
move by Obama? Why?
A. Money is the mother’s milk of
politics, so while is was a blatantly politi
cal move it was also a prudent move.
Senator Obama can raise a great deal of
money. He can out-raise Senator McCain
and then outspend him, which he has
done to great effect.
Q. Many were impressed with
McCain’s selection of Sarah Pal in when
it was first announced over the summer.
What are your thoughts on it now?
A. I still think it was a good move.
Her numbers have dropped since her
announcement, but that was to be
expected since she was such an unknown
nationally. She remains a good choice
because the conservatives are very
excited about her and are more likely to
vote on November 4 because she’s on
the ticket. Since Senator McCain needs
the conservatives and because she can
deliver them, she’s a good pick. Also,
unlike other favorite candidates of the
conservatives, she can draw 50,000 to
her public appearances. Anyone who can
do that is not a drain on the ticket.
Q. McCain abandoned Michigan in
early October. What does that suggest to
you about his overall campaign?
A. It suggests he’ll lose Michigan.
It also suggests that Senator McCain
is in a position where he has to use his
resources as strategically as possible. He
is not as privileged as Senator Obama
in terms of campaign spending, so he
has to spend what he has where it can
do the most good. The polls must have
indicated Michigan was not a good place
to spend money.
Q. How much will Obama’s associa
tions with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and
William Ayers, the so-called “Domestic
Terrorist,” hurt him?
A. Voters are already aware of these
since they came out in the primary
(where I think they did some damage),
so it won’t be new, which reduces their
impact. Some people will not vote for
Senator Obama because of such associa
tions, but I think they were unlikely to
vote for him anyway.
Q. How successful has Obama been at
tying McCain to the Bush presidency?
A. I won’t know that until I see some
exit polling, but it is certainly a major
theme of his campaign. He keeps repeat
ing it, which tells me that the Obama
campaign thinks it’s working.
Q. To what extent will being a
Republican at a time of economic crisis
part of FDR’s legacy.
Q. In the final analysis, how much will
race, gender, and age come into play as
voter’s cast their ballots?
A. Some, I think. There is some part of
Senator Obama’s support that is only on
■ paper. Minority and women candidates
generally under-perform on Election
Day. In other words, they receive less of
the vote on the day of the election than
polls predict they’ll receive. This happens
because some poll respondents will say
they are going to vote for the female or
non-white candidate because that’s what
they feel they should say. It’s called
“social desirability” and, I think, it is
making Obama’s numbers soft.
Q. Predict the winners in some of the
A. It will be McCain in Indiana and
Missouri, and Obama in Florida, Ohio,
Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia and
New Mexico. I reserve the right to
change these before November 4.
Q. Where else might McCain and
Obama pick up surprise wins?
A. I don’t think McCain will pick up
anything we can call a surprise. Obama
might pick up West Virginia and North
Dakota, which would be unusual.
Q. How will North Carolina vote?
A. North Carolina is a bit too close
to call, but I'll predict McCain if only
because of the state’s recent history in
presidential voting. I’m as likely to be
wrong as I am right on this, though.
Q. Who will win the election and why?
A. Obama. He has the pull of
history behind him, which we should
not underestimate. It is also a very, very
Democratic year. The public is not happy
and the president and his party usually
get blamed. The financial mess was the
final nail in the coffin for McCain. He
just has too many factors working against
him to win. Something can happen to
change this, of course.
Q. Regardless of who wins, do you
think this is a good time to be president?
A. Yes, I do and no, I don’t. The next
president will face many great challenges
early. That provides opportunity. If he
can take advantage of that, he’ll go down
as one of the best. If he can’t, well, he
Christine Finein displays a turtle used in a Biology 314 (Vertebrate Zoology) project.
The professor, Dr. John Temple, explained the student research: "We placed
radio-transmitters on two eastern box turtles, which we had released in a field
near Leggett. Two weeks later we went and located them. The transmitters sent
temperature data, while providing a means of locating the turtles. The goal was to
study the thermoregulatory patterns of the turtles in the wild." Photo by c. Thomas
Students Adjust to New Life
D.. • * i_
Lacrosse Team Returns
After Suit Is Threatened
By Decree Sports Staff
Women's lacrosse is back at North
Carolina Wesleyan, after a Title IX law
suit was threatened against the college.
“I’m thrilled that the team has been
reinstated,” said junior Kathleen Penrod,
a Texas native who was recruited to play
lacrosse at Wesleyan. “I’m happy and
relieved that the school has agreed to do
the right thing.”
Penrod was among a group of athletes
who decided to fight Wesleyan’s decision
to drop the two-year-old lacrosse program
last fall in what has been described ■
as a budget-easing move. The group
contended that Wesleyan was not provid
ing sufficient opportunities for female
athletes, putting it in violation of Title IX,
a federal law.
The college has agreed that the team
will compete as a club sport in the spring
and as a varsity sport in 2010. Penrod
said that the team intends to begin
practices in November.
“After almost a year of working to
get lacrosse reinstated, it was great to
finally see it happen,” said senior Mikey
Case. “I'm disappointed that I’ll only be
able to play at the club level but I'm glad
that some of the girls will be able to play
again as a varsity team in 2010.”
See LACROSSE on page 3
By Joyce Collins
Decree News Editor
Choosifig the right college is a grueling
and stressful process. There are several
factors that go into finding the school that
is best for you. You have to consider the
cost of attendance, the majors offered, the
athletic programs, campus and Greek life
and, most importantly, the location. While
for most students the obvious choice is to
stay close to home, for others it may be
What if you find that perfect school but
it’s in an entirely different country? What
if you chose a school that has an ocean be
tween you and the only home that you have
ever known? This is the reality for some of
NC Wesleyan’s ever-growing international
student population. Students coming from
countries like Sweden, Germany, and
Sierra Leone have to not only deal with the
academic pressure of college life but also
the ever-changing American culture.
With enrollment being up this year, there
has been a significant growth in numbers for
international students. This year there are 31
‘The Murder of Emmett Till’ Exhibited at Wesleyan
By Jessica A. Smith
Decree Senior Editor
“The Murder of Emmett Till” Photo
exhibit is currently on display in the Civic
Gallery of the Dunn Center. The exhibit
features photos, letters, newspaper articles,
and other documents concerning the
murder trial, the events that preceded it, its
participants, and its aftermath. The major
ity of the exhibit, however, is dependent
upon the newspaper articles and letters
from 1955. They take a little time to wade
through, but are worth the effort, for they
tell a story that must be shared,
In 1955, Emmett Till was a 14-year-
old African American boy from Chicago.
He was visiting relatives that summer
in Mississippi, where he whistled at a
white woman, and soon after was brutally
murdered. The case was brought to trial,
but after the all-male, all-white jury
deliberated for a mere 67 minutes, the
accused men were acquitted.
Recently, the Justice Department
reopened the case to be sure that anyone
involved was prosecuted to the fullest extent
of the law. According to Dean John Thomell,
no one that could be charged could be found.
By the time the case reopened, the killers
were deceased. The Justice Department
closed the case for good in 2004.
Lynchings of African Americans,
such as Emmett’s murder, had been
occurring for decades. What made Till’s
fill Trial Uptm At i
Cainaen Hannah takes in the Emmett Till exhibit in the Civic Gallery of the Dunn Center.
Photo by C. Thomas
case unique was the public outrage and
national attention it attracted. “The Em
mett Till Case did not change anything
in and of itself. After all, the killers
were acquitted. Rather, the case was an
indicator of a change that had already
occurred,” Dr. Jonathon Sarris, associate
professor of history, said in a recent
interview. Till’s murder made national
headlines, the accused were brought to
trial, and most important, several African
Americans were willing to testify in open
court. Given the social atmosphere of
the 1950s, the public reaction to the case
was a drastic change from the blind eye
usually turned on such tragedies.
It could be argued that Till’s murder
was a major contributing factor to the
start of the larger Civil Rights Movement.
“There was a definite progression of
events after the Till murder, including the
Montgomery Bus Boycott the year after,
culminating in Martin Luther King’s
famous T Have a Dream’ speech in 1963
and the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights
Bill and the Voting Rights Act of 1965,”
Dean Thomell explained.
It is important for people to have an
understanding of history, to examine
history through the first-person point of
view of those actually involved. The Till
exhibit provides one such opportunity.
“The Murder of Emmett Till” exhibit
was developed at Delta State University
of Mississippi, where Dean Thomell
had been the vice president of academic
affairs and a professor of history. The
exhibit tours colleges throughout the
country, and is headed for New York
state, shortly after leaving NCWC.
See TILL on page 4
new internationals, compared to 9 last year.
Because of this recent increase, I became
curious as to how some of the internationals
heard about Wesleyan. What made some of
these internationals choose Wesleyan out of
any other college in the world? Wiat have
been some of their toughest challenges? And
how have they adapted to life in America?
Sophomore Kingsley Okyereh from
Ghana, West Africa said that he learned
about Wesleyan through a friend. “A friend
of mine went here,” said Okyereh. “I came
here because of sports.” Like Okyereh,
senior Ali Kargbo a native of Sierra Leone,
West Africa, also came to NCWC for athlet
ics. “I came here for education, of course,
but I really wanted to play soccer,” he said.
Taiwanese student Joy Chen said she
learned about Wesleyan through a relative.
“My aunt introduced me to (the college).
Before I came here I knew nothing alwut
Wesleyan,” said Chen. “I came because I
wanted to improve my English and Wes
leyan is better than other private colleges.”
When asked about their biggest hurdles,
some internationals pointed to the different
teaching styles here in America. Freshman
Hlynur Hauksson, of Iceland, said, “The
most difficult thing since 1 came here was
the course material. I didn’t understand it
but now it is getting better.”
Kargbo agreed that his biggest transition
from Africa to the U.S. was adapfing to the
new educational system. “In Africa, we have
only one final exam in school each year. Fifty
percent is a passing mark, but to get 50 is
very hard,” said Kargbo. “The final exam is
comprehensive; it covers from the first day of
class to the last. In the U.S., they give a lot of
quizzes and tests throughout the school year.”
Owen White, of England, said that he
has had to adjust to the drinking age. “In
England you can drink at the age of 18,” he
said, “but here you’ve got to be 21.”
Okyereh said that he has had to struggle
with becoming independent. “You have
to work and live on your own here, but in
Africa your parents give you everything
until you’re like 24 because people are
usually done with school by then,” he said.
For some international students, the
language barrier has been a problem. Okyereh,
whose native language is Twi, said that he
learned English in Africa, but that writing has
been a challenge. “It’s hard when you are taking
an English class because you have to write it,
and it’s easier to speak than to write,” he said.
Chen found English difficult to compre
hend. “There are some words I do not know
how to spell and it’s hard to understand
when (Americans) talk fast,” said Chen.
With intemational students being so far
from their countries, it is easy to believe
they long for home. But Hauksson does
not feel that way “No, I can’t say I'm
homesick,” he said, “because 1 like it here
and every one has been quite nice. I'll just
visit around Christmas and in the summer.”
See INTERNATIONAL on page 4