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Vol.l Circulation 2,000 ELIZABETH CITY STATE UNIVERSITY'S AWARDWINNING NEWSPAPER September 2009 No. 48
ADMISSION NUMBERS RISE
FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW
By: Michael Dew
This fall Elizabeth City State University will hit a historic milestone by welcom
ing the largest freshmen class in its 208 years of history. According to university of
ficials, ECSU will welcome as many as 812 new freshmen and 229 transfer students.
The students, a majority of whom hail from within the state and surrounding areas,
also span from as far south as Florida and Connecticut.
What incentive would a prospective student from the bottom of the map, who
may have never crossed the North Carolina border, gain from attending ECSU?
“There’s something special about ECSU,” said Grady Deese, Jr., director of admis
sions. Deese also said that parents feel more comfortable sending their students
here after visiting and experiencing the family-like environment. “We also have a lot
of students [who are] referred by alumni who want their family members to enjoy
the same experience they had [at ECSU].” Nonetheless Deese is quick to admit the
times have changed.
The new freshmen enrollment and academic numbers, SAT scores, based on math
and reading portions of the test, have risen from last year’s average of 861 to almost
900 this year. Deese says the average student has a 2.8 to 2.9 GPA coming from high
school. Such a large class invites students from a wide range of backgrounds which
will add to the diverse culture of the university, according to Deese. “We want stu
dents to be well-rounded; so, they can deal better in a social setting,” said Deese,
“We try to look at what a student can bring to the university.”
This boom in the student population will also help to give a boost to participa
tion in student activities, clubs, and organizations. According to director of student
activities, Carlas White, and clubs and organizations coordinator, Janelle Simpson,
Club Day will be held earlier this year to display to incoming students different in
terest groups the university provides. This will give students a deeper look into what
the college experience can offer.
When recruiting students to attend a historically black college/university, it is
important to properly inform students about the college lifestyle. On a recruiting
trip to Philadelphia, PA, Deese mentioned paying special attention to inner-city
prospects and first generation college students. “I’ve noticed that the students there
are hungry and seem to be focused on learning, and I’m looking forward to seeing
them grow from adverse backgrounds,” said Deese, “Our main goal is to make sure
students are on the right track as far as classes and requirements. The first year is
'G,etron the right trackVwi|b’
'0 \\ —
Dining Home of
the IVIighty Vikings
Bj: Keegan Ramjohn
Welcome to Bedell Hall, also known by most
of the students and faculty as the cafe. The cafe
serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to more
than 4000 students here at Elizabeth City State
University. Most who visit the cafe will find a
very modern, clean and efficient place to eat.
Students eating in the cafe have a selection of
different choices of what they may wish to eat
on a given day: three buffet style lines. Students
can choose from a salad bar, burgers, pizza
(which seems to be the most popular), or other
assorted dishes. The cafe also has three televi
sions, located in different dining areas that stu
dents chose from while they enjoy their meal
but, I have found most just use the time to talk
and socialize with their fellow classmates.
The cafe has gone through a big transforma
tion in the past four years. It was remodeled in
200S from the small one assembly line style caf
eteria to the larger three lines all you can eat
style we have today. I sat with the director of
food services to find out what goes into the op
eration of the cafeteria. Sabrina R. Williams is
our food service director, and also in charge of
Checkers Restaurant, and the catering service
here on campus. She has 80 hourly employees
and 7 managers that she oversees. Williams
and her staff feed 600 students per meal; that’s
breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I asked Williams
what new things we can expect to see in the cafe
this fall. She says “We are looking at new menu
options to try and improve the variety and give
the students more of a choice.” She knows that
they can never replace a home cooked meal;
Nevertheless, she trys to give students some-
thing that’s healthy and tasty, “which is some
times a difficult task,” Williams says. Williams
also says there will be a lot of vegetarian dishes
added to the menu this fall she says” due to the
large number of vegan students that will be at
tending ECSU this fall we want to have some
thing for every one”, says Williams.
Concluding my interview with Sabrina Wil
liams, I asked her where the cafe is headed for
the future. She told me that the cafe is always
looking at new menu ideas. With the growing
enrollment sizes, she plans to enhance the size of
the cafe again. In addition, there will be a stron
ger focus on a healthy diet with a new healthy
eating category added to the menu called Bal
anced Choices that will focus on vegetarian
dishes, more pasta meals, and new items for the
salad bar. Bedell Hall aka the cafe is headed in
a positive direction. However, some students
may complain about the food; the staff is work
ing hard to make things better for the majority.
Talking to many people while putting this story
together helped me realize our cafeteria staff
is helpful; most employees genuinely like their
jobs. Shoenta Pettus is definitely one of those
people. Pettus has been working in the cafe for
6 years. Pettus feeds around 800 students a day
with a smile and still says she loves her job. Pet
tus says, “the students are great in all the years
I have worked here. I’ve never had a problem”.
The cafe is getting better. 1 think with a staff
dedicated to improving the quality of our food.
Bedell Hall will be a place were everyone will
find something to eat.
The office of Caceer Services is a compreiiensive career counseling and resource
center tlnat provides ongoing career counseling and career related services to students
and alumni in a ethical professional manner.
Phone: 252-335-3287 | Fax: 252-335-3692 | Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.