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Photos by Tevin Stinson
Students hold a sign representing the class of 2020 during Ramdition, a week-long orientation for incoming students at WSSU. Last weekend 950 students, the
most since 2008, kicked off their college journey during move-in day.
class since 2008
Incoming students first to
enter university under new
BY TEVIN STINSON
When Greensboro native Oshiana
Simmons was making out her list of poten
tial colleges, it began and ended with one
school: Winston-Salem State University
Simmons, a nursing major, is one of
950 freshman students that make up the
largest incoming class since 2008.
Simmons said although it's closer to
home, she never even considered that
other HBCU (Historic Black College and
Berg-Jones UniverJsitI) U1 thaj
wears dark blue and
"There is no place I'd rather be," she
said. "In my opinion, Winston-Salem State
is the best HBCU; not just in North
Carolina but the country."
When asked how it felt to be part of
one of the largest groups of incoming stu
dents in WSSU history, Simmons said,
"It's very excising to be a part of such a
large class offreshmen. I know the class of
2020 is going to do some great things."
As if being the largest incoming class
in nearly a decade isn't enough added
excitement, the class of 2020 is also the
first class to enter the university under the
new strategic plan that was adopted earlier
The strategic plan has two main pur
The first is to advance the focus of lib
eral arts to a more comprehensive liberal
education approach, one that builds
knowledge and strengthens intellectual
and interpersonal skills.
The second is to give students opportu
nities to engage important questions with
in their discipline, community and society
at large. Chancellor Elwood Robinson said
the plan aims to make WSSU a first
choice university among potential students
in N.C. He said under the new plan, every
freshman will have at least one internship
experience before they graduate.
"I want this university to be the first
school students and parents think about"
he continued. "That process begins with
carving out academic excellence, and I
know we have done that.
"We have moved the needle in so
many ways when it comes to academic
outcomes. The word is really getting out,
and our message is starting to resonate
with people across the state."
As part of the rebranding process, the
university also unveiled a new logo. The
logo, which includes the Winston-Salem
skyline seen through the archways on
campus that were built in 1930, reflects
the faculty and staff's commitment to
advocating for students and providing
them a safe and supportive environment to
Dursue their education.
Robinson said, "We're trying to send a
message that everything we do matters and
"We have the strategic plan and this
grand vision about the type of education
experience you want your students to
have, then you have to market that plan,"
he continued. "The new logo is about
branding the university to reflect the kind
of experience you want to have."
Last Saturday, Aug. 13, WSSU offi
cially welcomed the newest additions to
the Ram family during move-in day. To
help students transition into the college
life, the class of 2020 has been participat
ing in a week-long orientation. Better
known as Ramdition, the week of wel
come is an annual tradition.
Ramdition will end with a "Through
the Archway" rite of passage ceremony on
Saturday, Aug. 20. The first official day of
class for WSSU is set for Monday, Aug.
While scavenger hunts, classroom ses
sions and campus workshops are still on
the list of scheduled events, the 2016 edi
tion has an added twist. To reflect
thechanges at the university, students are
also getting involved in the community.
According to a press release, each stu
dent has been assigned to one of 15 com
munity service projects.
During a phone interview with The
Chronicle earlier this week, Robinson
said, it is important that students under-'
stand the importance of serving the com
munity as soon as they step foot on cam
pus. He said, "At WSSU we are looking to
shape people that will someday change the
"We are looking to educate the whole
student and extend the classroom to the
campus, the community and the world,"
Although the start of the college jour
ney can be frightening, a number of stu
dents said they are ready for the voyage
and ready to change the world. A native of
Goldsboro, N.C., Jeriq Bryant said
although it was hard to say good-bye to his
parents, he is ready to see what the future
"I've been waiting for this all summer.
I'm ready to get started," he said.
After piecing a giant puzzle together
with her fellow classmates inside C.G.
O'Kelly Library, Khadijah Smith from
Lilllington, N.C., said she is confident that
WSSU will make her a better person.
"When I'm a senior and I look back on
my four years spent here at WSSU, I know
I will be a better person than I am today,"
She continued. "That should be everyone's
goal, to become a better person, and I
know the faculty and students here at
WSSU will help me do that."
A group of incoming freshmen work together to complete a scavenger hunt on
Tuesday, Aug. 16 on the campus of Winston-Salem State University. The scav
enger hunt was part of Ramdition, a weeklong freshman orientation for incom
ing students. This year WSSU welcomed 950freshmen.
from page Al .
ing, Goler CDC President
Michael Suggs said that
Goler has been focused on .
real estate development in
the past, with projects like
Goler Lofts. He told coun
cil members that the CDC
found other needs in the
community involving jobs
and health that it wanted to
address. After the City
approved the measure,
Suggs said Goler was glad
to have the city behind the
"I'm excited to see the
city take a stand to address
an issue that has been very
prevalent in a lot of our
community, which is a lot
.of our citizens just don't
have access to fresh food,
fruits and vegetables," said
The new facility will be
in the North Ward, which
City Council Member
Denise "D.D." Adams rep
resents. Adams said that
the city hasn't been able to
get grocery chains to go
into certain parts of the city
where food deserts exist.
She said the project pro
vides an innovative solu
tion to that problem.
"We can duplicate,
replicate and move this
into other areas of the city
if it's successful," said
Also during the meet
ing, the city approved
changing its incentive deal
with Caterpillar. It changed
the minimum number of
jobs from 196 to 100 that
the local facility has to
have in order to not pay
back the millions its
received so far in incen
tives. Caterpillar sub
sidiary Progress Rail,
which makes train parts,
was also added to the deal.
Caterpillar, whose local
ity makes axels for mining
trucks, is facing a world
wide downturn in the min
ing industry and has
reduced its workforce. It
plans to bring Progress
Rail to the facility to bol
ster the jobs there, and
wanted the change in the
deal so it wouldn't go
below the minimum job
level during the facility's
Jo Ann Allen, who is
running as a write-in may
oral candidate, said during
the public hearing that if
the council changes an
ment with Caterpillar, then
other companies will want
The City Council defended
the deal, saying that it
allows the facility to stay
open and continue employ
ing workers. City Council
member James Taylor
described altering the deal
as turning lemons into
The city also allocated
the additional $50,000
added to this year's budget
for Successful Outcomes
After Release (SOAR),
which gives grants to pro
grams that assist at-risk
populations like ex-offend
ers and at-risk youth.
Grants were awarded to
Silver Lining Youth
Services, My Brother's
Second Chance, Southside
Rides, the YWCA's
New Start, The Josh
Hoops4LYi\E and How Is
Your Heart Project for a
Beating Up Bad Habits
summer boxing camp.
During the public com
ment period, residents
from Rolling Hills
Apartments spoke about
the substandard conditions
there that violate city hous
ing codes. Carlice Robeits
Braddy decried the "patch
work" way management
has dealt with the problems
and praised those who have
helped the residents by
providing food and water.
"We have tears that
won't dry, hearts that won't
heal, frowns that never go
away and questions that
can never be answered,"
Director Ritchie Brooks
said that repair orders have
been issued at the complex,
some of which have been
complied with and some
are still open with some
civil penalty fines that are
voiced concerns about the
cleanliness of the water in
their apartments. Brooks
said that the water was test
ed in one apartment in each
building of the complex
and those tests concluded
the water was not contami