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February 19, 2010
NORTH CAROLINA WESLEYAN COLLEGE, ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA 27804
Wesleyan Takes Steps to Fight Crime, Improve Campus Life
By Jarad Brown
Most students walk around the cam-
• pus of NCWC fully aware of things
they would like to see improved or
simply changed. Those same students
also have the opinion that those ideas
are just that, ideas.
Thanks to President James Gray,
that opinion might be changing.
Gray sat down with the staff of The
Decree and talked about changes he has
made, is currently making, as well as ideas
for the future of the Wesleyan campus.
One of the easiest ways to change
students’ opinions of their campus
would be to give it a facelift and Gray
has already started doing just that.
“We have to make the campus
appeal to students,” Gray said. “Resi
dence life has needed to and continues
to need to work to allow students to
enjoy living on campus.”
Changes President Gray has already
performed include the termination
of the director of residence life, and
the shuffling of resident directors and
resident assistants to different dorms.
He reported that Dean of Students
Randy Williams is directing residence
life on an interim basis while the col
lege conducts a major search for a new
director to succeed Davon Davis.
“Our system in residence life wasn’t
working very well,” the president said,
“and we needed to make changes.”
Recent upgrades have been made to
the Hartness Center. It has received a
new paint job, both the foozeball and
ping-pong tables were refurbished and
upon the conclusion of spring break
the grill will officially be moved to the
kitchen area of the Hartness center.
“We knew we needed to make
the student center more appealing to
students,” President Gray said. “Every
great college seems to have a great
Work doesn’t stop with material items
on campus for President Gray. He also has
plans to resuscitate Greek life at NCWC.
Talks are under way to bring
multiple fraternities and sororities
where Wesleyan students can have
the opportunity to pledge. These
will, however, come with GPA
requirements, a recognition and
de-recognition policy and a mandatory
commitment to diversity.
“We want to foster, nurture and
rebuild the Greek system here at
Wesleyan,” President Gray said.
“While we want this to take place, we
have to go carefully, slowly and have
control moving forward.”
While upgrading Wesleyan’s campus
is certainly one of the administration’s
priorities^ protecting what is already
available at NCWC has also been
thrust to the top of the “to-do” list.
President Gray mentioned the
“reluctant” introduction of security
cameras in Petteway Hall, as well
as new covers for fire alarms to
help prevent false alarms, a serious
problem around campus last semester.
These covers would make it more
difficult for students to pull the alarm
as a prank and get away with it, the
“We‘re not cracking down on trivial
matters,” Gray said. “I’m confident the
days of someone being able to pull false
alarms is quickly coming to an end.”
The integration of freshmen across
the campus as opposed to placing
them all in one living quarter was also
mentioned. President Gray’s hope is
by spreading freshmen around campus,
that upper-classmen will have a posi
tive “big brother” effect on them.
While a focus has been placed on
current improvements and protecting
those improvements, crimes from
the fall semester have been neither
forgiven nor forgotten.
One student has already been
apprehended and charged with a
misdemeanor in connection with the
campus bookstore theft that resulted
in $350 in cash as well as $4,000 in
books being stolen, Gray said. The
thefts occurred as members of the
football team were getting sized for
their USA South championship rings.
“Trust ee, that will never happen
again,” Gray said. “And trust we will
find the others involved with the crime.”
The thefts were one reason that
the bookstore has created a new store
layout and instituted new policies.
Beyond the bookstore incident, eight
other students have either been suspended
or expelled Irom campus for various
transgressions. President Gray said.
One of the eight students was
expelled for a pre-existing criminal
background that was “overlooked”
during his original admission.
“We’re taking a no-tdaanoe stance oi crime,”
Gray said ‘ When the majority are bothered by
a few, we’re going to get rid of those few.”
The adminislration is also wraldng with the
slucfait govemment association to create a new,
shorter and more visible honcr code. “All great
schools have a great honcr code,’ ’ Gray said.
Despite all of the changes President Gray
has already implemented, he does have long-
The college is investigating the torching of a banner in the Hartness
Center hallway last month. Here, a student looks at the burn marks left
after the removal of the banner, made and hung by Student Activities
Director Adia Daniels the Sunday before classes began. The two-by-
three-feet banner said: "Hartness Grand Reopening." Photobyl whitiey
NC Wesleyan; Building Brighter Entertainment
By Bristy Parker
Decree Staff Writer
The Hartness Center is “too far,”
“there’s not enough games,” “there
should be food served” and “there
should be more room” are some of
the complaints that have been floating
around associated to the under-use of
the college’s recreational facility.
The administration has heard student
opinions and has taken steps increase
usage, including the retum of the grille
to the Hartness Center, to entice students
to use this facility more. Already the
college had purcha.sed a Wii system,
replaced the ping pong table, and added
very popular among the students.
Since the Wii has been added,
Daniels noticed that there have been
more students in the Hartness. She’s
eager to tabulate the number of visitors in
February, the first full month of the new
semester. “But from what I’ve noticed, a
lot more people are coming,” she said.
Other additions that have brought in
more students are the air hockey game
and an additional TV area as well.
Freshman Erin Augspurger is pleased
with the changes but thinks the college
can do even more. She feels that there
is nothing to do in the Hartness Center
Students enjoy new game equipment in Hartness Center.
Photo by C. Thomas
new board games, among other changes,
in the game room.
Adia Daniels, director of student activi
ties, described how some of the changes
and improvements in the Hartness Center
came about. She said that .she and Dean
of Students Randy Williams saw that the
building was underutilized and, to start
solving the problem, they did formal and
informal polling about what the students
wanted. “There wasn’t a lot to do,”
Daniels said. “There was a TV. and two
pool tables. It is also a building that is out
of the way and there was no ‘draw’ to
bring students in here.”
Daniels believes more activities
should be an incentive to get students to
the Hartness in their free time. The Nin
tendo Wii was recently added, which is
but to play pool and watch TV. “Usually
when I go in there,” she said, “it’s always
a big group of guys at the pool table,
which can be kind of discouraging. There
should be a wider variety of activities for
both genders.” She suggested that the
Hartness Center host weekly game nights.
But freshman Tyler Payne, a frequent
Hartness Center visitor, thinks it is a
pretty “chill” place. Payne feels that it
provides a good distraction from school
work. “Now that they have added more
activities, I will definitely be here even
more than I was,” said Payne. He also
expressed that the center was not used
a lot because no one heard about it, and
now that there are more activities there
will not be any crowding at the pool
tables because it’s the only fun thing to
do. Someone can play air hockey while
someone plays ping pong, while someone
plays Wii, he said.
Avid pool player Tory Turner says he
goes to the Hartness Center to play every
chance he gets. He also hkes the improve
ments and says he will come more often.
SGA Vice President Juliana Richardson
and Marcus Ribbenstedt agree that they
like the changes in the game room.
Ribbenstedt said, “It’s better than before. I
go to the Hartness Center a lot more now
because of ping pong and pool.”
Richardson said that the grille
should be back at the Hartness after
spring break. Now that the grill is
coming back, Daniels feels that this
will also bring in more students.
The menu has still not been decided,
but she said they are pushing to have
the grill stay open later, perhaps until
11:00 p.m. It may also benefit athletes
when they are arriving to campus late
from away competitions and they want
By Jolin Kostet
Decree Staff Writer
The new International Student Services '
and Admission Center (ISSAC) is prepar
ing for an increase of foreign students
next fall as NC Wesleyan College takes
part in a Chinese exchange program.
“We have created a unique, diverse
niche here at Wesleyan, not only
racially but ethnically,” Vice President
of Enrollment Gary Sherman said.
There are 25 countries represented
by 70 students right now and China
would become the 26th country on the
Wesleyan world map. “We have a lack
of Asian students here and I’m glad we
can fill that gap this fall,” Sherman said.
In 1998 a group of Chinese-
American professors, scientists and
engineers created an institute called
InfoTech & Telecom Engineering
Institute (ITTECOM). It was located
in the so called “Dulles Technology
Corridor” of Maryland and Virginia.
Together with the International
Consortium for University Exchanges
a satisfying meal without having to
go off campus and spend additional
money. Daniels believes that the card
swiping method will still be used.
President James Gray mentioned
that the grill will be a great way to
hang out and a good way to make the
student center attractive.
But a possible downside could be
the money used to enhance the center
“I’m not sure about how much it is
going to cost to bring the grill back,”
Daniels said, adding that new games
and other improvements cost $2,200. It
was $600 to refurbish the pool tables.
“I would like to see the grill here
because it benefits me rather than going
off campus after hours for food,” Payne
said. “It will help me save time and
Turner thinks the grill will be
interesting to see, and it will definitely
bring in a lot more students.
Delayed until Fall
(ICUE), it formed a team to recruit
qualified students with strong language
skills from China to study at American
In the beginning most of the Chinese
students attended the University of
Maryland. But after a few years, they
expanded their college experience to
smaller U.S. schools such as High
Point University, and Marymount
University in Virginia, and McMurry
University in Texas. Lastly they con
tracted with NC Wesleyan.
The Chinese students - as many as
20 - were supposed to attend Wesleyan this
semester, but due to both adminisu^tive
issues and the celebration of the Chinese
New Year, their arrival was postponed until
next fall. “Apparently it means bad luck in
China to leave loved ones before celebrat
ing the New Year,” Sherman explained.
The admissions office created
ISSAC prior to the school start in
August to provide extra attention and
administration to international students.
see CHINESE on pg 4
term goals that are cunently uniealized
Gray hopes to increase traditional day
program enrollment to 1,000 students
and build a new dormitory as well as
another classroom building to accom
modate this increase. Another priority
is construction of a sports complex that
would include a football stadium.
“I want to make Wesleyan the best
possible college it can be,” Gray said,
noting that, besides increasing enroll
ment, he would like to see improvement
in the academic level of the student
body. “Wesleyan is a place we should
all be able to take pride in,” he said.
Freshmen To Be
By Rodney Holley
Decree Staff Writer
Student reaction was mixed to a
proposal to integrate freshmen into more of
the NCWC residence halls.
Dean of Students Randy Williams stated
that the proposal was made in response to the
mischief and theft that occurred last sem&ster
Much of it has occurred in Petteway, a male-
only dorm that hoases mostly fiieshmen.
Many may ask why firahmen were
grouped together in the first place? According
to Williams, having fiEshmen room together
is a “long-standing tradition” and a chance to
“create camaraderie amongst the ckss.”
Williams has heard student reaction to the
proposal and stated that “any type of change
is going to have an effect on people.”
Williams added that “students will still
be able to select their housing.” He said
that under one option being considered, the
residence halls would be divided so that one
end is reserved for fieshmen and the other
end for upperclassmen. Williams said another
option would be a floor plan that altemates
fieshmen and upperclassmen, room by room.
Anthony Tyus, a senior, reacted to the
proposal by saying “it’ll be better because
freshmen won’t be concentrated together.”
He said they would face less influence and
pressure from their freshman peers. Tyus
went on to say that it should cut down on
the trouble and “place a limit on die noise
and playing around.”
Devon Whitaker, a junior, is not opposed to
the integration and stated that “eveiybody can
be around each other and build a better bond.”
But not all students are receptive to integration.
James Detm) .said that fieshrren hing too
mudi drama to the damitoies and that he was
“not too aa^ about having fieshmm in my domi”
Freshmen Tervonence Lancaster and
Nash Carter chose Nash Hall over Petteway
because they felt tiiat freshmen were too
immature. Lancaster .said “all that rackus
(in Petteway) is too much for Nash.” Carter
agreed and said tiiat “I tiiink it’s best (for
the majority of freshmen males) to stay in
Petteway for at least tiieir first year.”
President James Gray said that, as the
college formulates it plan, it is coasidering
input fi«m upperclassmen. “I’m well aware
that many upperclassmen do not want
freshmen in tiieir dorms,” he said.
Responding to opponents of Ireshmen
integration. Dean Williams pointed out that
“in a sense we’re already integrated.” He
noted tiiat some upperclas.smen already live
in Edgecombe and Petteway.
President Gray, noting that there were mcm;
than lOinstances of false fire alanuslastsemesler,
said that this had a “real life impact” Fire alarms
were pulled during exams last .semester and
students lost sleq) and couldn’t study.
The fscsidait said that there were too many
instances of theft in the damitories. He added
te the adminisliatiai has taken actioi to prevail
fijrtha instances. The colle^ had already
expelled one student in the wake of the thefts,
While Gray hopes that the integration will
detff false fire alarms and theft, he believes
that students will have to take responsibility to
protect the NCWC community. Gray said that
the coll^ had provided an anonymoas tip line:
Dean Williams said tiiat tiie college has
yet to determine when it will implement the