In route to a photo shoot in his
hometown of Charlotte. North
Carolina. Elizabeth City State
University student Mandrell Flowers
stopped to tali to The Compass
staff. Known at ECSU as “Hitman
Da Prince.” Flowers is a talented
and down-to-earth young gentleman.
Below is the correspondence between
Flowers and The Compass:
Q: When did you first start writing
A: I was a singer up until middle
school, and / hi! puberty and un
voice changed. I had a lot to say so
/ started rapping a that was the only
nwr / could express myself without
getting into trouble.
Q: What got you Interested in
A: My family. My mom is a singer
and my stepfather is a rapper in New
York. I have always been around
Q; What inspired you to start
writing in the first place?
A: This girl. I was tiying to get with
her, hut /'/;/ to shy. So I wrote a poem
that [ turned into a song and made
the track and gave it to her.
Q: Did you get the girl?
A: No, she had a man but her friends
fell in love with me.
Q: Did your writing stem from
A: Mostly eveiything I say is poetic,
but I flip eveiything.
Q; Do you write poetry, or is it
A: Actually, 1 work with all geiwes.
I also create songs for other artists.
Now, I’m not going to rap for you. but
a song is something different.
Q: What's your favorite song that
you have written?
.1: It would have to be "I Tried,"
because it s dedicated to my mom. I
put her through a lot of stuff growing
up -well, I put my whole family
through a lot of stuff growing up.
It means that if I don't accomplish
evcrvthing I want to, that basically I
tried. It s also a shot at my real father
Q: Is this just a hobby or a carcer?
A: This is a full blow career I'm
barely at school because I'm CEO of
GBM (Grown Man Busine.ss), and I
also model for them. / also have a
clothing line called King Dynasty
0: So how do you feel about getting
voted New Artist of the Year at the
Underground Music Awards?
A: It came so unexpectedly. I'm
excited, but I know this is Jusi the
beginning because I plan on gening
back up there and getting more
Q: Where do you see yourself in ten
A: I will be 30, kids running around
(laughs). But .seriously, I will he SO.
/going to feel so old then. But I
don't know: / just want to be healthy
and happy I’m going to
Refunding Your Future
Refund checks prove to be a great asset in
funding equiptment for future careers and projects
By Barbara Miller
The University of North Caro
lina system faces another year
of stiff budget cuts. StruggHng
to absorb around 620 milHon
in lost ftinds over the last four
years, many administrative posi
tions were eliminated. The newly
elected Republican controlled
legislature is calling for an ad
ditional 15% budget reduction.
Additional cuts will directly im
pact the quality of the UNC edu
cational experience. “It is simply
impossible to absorb further bud
get cuts without adversely affect
ing the quality of the academic
experience for our students.” said
UNC President Tom Ross.
Governor Beverly Purdue
released her proposed budget,
which includes a 6 percent cut for
the UNC system. It is lower than
her 7 to 15 percent budget reduc
tion aimed at other state agencies.
Governor Purdue aims to cut
10,000 jobs from state agencies,
with UNC losing about 1,450 po
UNC President Tom Ross ex
pects these cuts to impact students.
Cuts could come from course of
ferings, campus library hours, tu
toring and advising. “With fewer
faculty, staff and course sections,
many more students would not
be able to obtain the courses and
academic services they need to
graduate on time,” Ross added.
Ross also ordered a study to
locate duplications in academic
programs. Campuses could lose
programs that are the same as an
other location. Similar programs
at campuses that are near to each
other may be combined at one
institution. A continued budget
crisis could lead to the elimina
tion of some degree programs.
UNC School of the Arts chancel
lor, John Mauceri, is considering
shutting down the film school in
the face of drastic cuts.
Governor Purdue has included
an early retirement plan for Uni
versity and community college
workers. Her plan includes half
the requested amount for enroll
ment growth, $23 million. At
present UNC enrolls 215,000
students across the state, and ex
pects over two thousand next
fall. Chairwoman of the UNC
system’s Board of Governors,
Hannah Gage, said, “system and
campus leaders may not oppose
slowing enrollment growth a bit.”
Also expect tuition and fees to
continue to rise.
UNC President Tom Ross feels
that harsh cuts may hinder North
Carolina’s ability to advance.
“As our state struggles to work its
way out of this recession, afford
able access to higher education
has never been more important to
North Carolina’s economic recov
ery and long-term competitive
ness,” Ross said.
ThlnMng of the Future
ECSU hosts career fair to help students
plan for their future after College
emment agencies, school systems
and graduate school representa
tives to help them land full-time
jobs, co-op jobs and internships
“I love going to the career fair.
I always bring my business cards
By Jeanri Miller
The Career Fair hosted by Eliz
abeth City State University Ca
reer Services was held February and just network. As an under-
17th from 9am to 2pm in the R. L. graduate student, it’s important to
Vaughan Center. get your face out there, especially
“I don’t think undergraduates with this economy. Jobs are hard
realize how much they can benefit to come by nowadays and, for the
from a career fair. When I was a past 4 years, I have met someone
senior in college, I met my future at the career fair who can possibly
boss at my first career fair,” said help me have a secure job when
Karen Walker, ECSU alumni. I graduate in May,” said Juanita
Every year, Career Services Jackson, ECSU senior,
strives to help undergraduate All students are encouraged to
students secure a job once they attend all networking functions to
graduate. Students are able to prepare for their futures. After all
meet business organizations, gov- college is all about the future.
By Barbara Miller
Refund checks arrived on Feb
ruary 9th for many Elizabeth City
State University students. The
excited chatter about spending re-
fiind money infused every comer
of the school. Plans to purchase
clothes, see movies, have parties
were among the most popular.
But some students need to use
their refund checks for rent and
other living expenses. Another
group intends to invest its money
in their futures. Spending money
is fun, but part of the refund mon
ey a student receives may come
from loans. All loan money will
have to be paid back some day, so
use that refund thoughtfully.
Using refiind money to pay
living expenses allows some stu
dents a way to attend college.
Without the money, they might
not be able to afford the loss of
work time, Michelle Portakalian,
a non-traditional student, is a sin
gle mother. She works part-time
and uses her refund to pay several
months of rent at a time. “With
out it I don’t think I could manage
to stay in school, financially” Por
takalian said. Off campus students
can use refund money to help off
set travel expenses, driven by the
rising cost of gas.
Refiind money can also be used
to expand future opportunities.
Many internships do not pay stu
dents or supply living expenses.
Saving refund money and using
it to finance an important intern
ship can improve future job op
portunities. Money can also be
spent on equipment or supplies
required by a student’s future
field. Music students need in
struments, recording devices and
programs, professional headshots
and representation. Art students
need equipment, art supplies, an
excellent portfolio and these days
a computer. Professor Pellum in
the Art Department recommends
students buy software and equip
ment with refund money. “Take
advantage of student discounts
while you can” suggests Pellum.
Mass Communications students
need special items that vary with
their concentration. Journalists
need a computer, subscriptions to
news sources and memberships to
professional organizations. Tele
vision students need cameras,
lights, editing software and com
Some schools require students
to purchase a laptop and particu
lar software to attend the school,
Fullsail University in Florida, an
entertainment industry special
ist school, provides students with
special deals from Apple and sev
eral software companies. North
Carolina School of the Arts and
Ithaca College in New York also
require laptops with special pro
grams. Ithaca College has de
partmental requirements listed on
their website so students can ar
rive at school with the right equip
ment and ready to leam.
College is about building for
the future. In today’s difficult
economy every additional skill a
student acquires serves to expand
his or her potential. So why not
spend that refund check on a bet
ter fiiture? Plan each purchase
and make that refiind check work
Photo submitted by
A representative from Walgreens speaks with two ECSU
students at the Career Fair held on February 17, in the
R.L. Vaughan Center.