WSSU track and
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The News Argus
Winston-Salem State University’s Student Newspaper
April 16, 2007
Students express their feelings
about weapons in unique way
Steven J. Gaither
It all started with a quilt.
In response to the Red
Rooster nightclub shoot
ing in March, which led to
the death of a Winston-
Salem police officer and
subsequent arrest of a
University student, art pro
fessor Katherine Houle
brought a quilt to class that
she had made in 1991.
"At the was kind
of worried about my
nephews," Houle said. "I
was concerned with the
accessibility to guns."
Her quilt contained the
phrase, "out of the guns
shot flowers instead of bul
lets." She said she always
had the vision of guns with
flowers coming out of
them. She shared the quilt
with students in her
Introduction to Art class
and they decided to make
She then had her stu
dents bring in toy guns and
drill holes and put the
flowers in between them.
Some of her students who
had loved ones killed by
guns posted comments in
honor of them.
On April 3, a ceremony
took place in front of the
Fine Arts building to mark
the opening of the display.
The Burke Singers per
formed "Amazing Grace,"
students handed out flow
ers, and Ebony Benman
read a poem about how
African-Americans need to
help each other and stop
killing one another.
Benman said that Houle's
quilt inspired her to read
"It opened my eyes to the
fact that we need to get
involved," she said.
Many students stopped
by and left comments
about guns or in honor of
loved ones who had been
killed by them.
Photos by Sharrod Patterson
ABOVE: Student artists’ responses to gun-control issues inspired passers-by to record their own com
BELOW; The idea for the art installation came from a handmade quilt containing a phrase about guns
Houle said that she con
siders the project a success.
"One of my student's
brothers died a few months
ago; just helping her put
that in is enough for me,"
Houle said she hopes
that in the future, her stu
dents will see that they
have to be leaders.
"If there is something
that they feel strongly
about," she said, "just do
Commission meets; sets agenda, deadUne Afro-Flow comes to
town with a message
The Chancellor's Commission on
Campus and Community Safety, a
recently formed committee established
by Interim Chancellor Michelle
Howard-Vital, is taking a closer look at
the safety of Winston-Salem State
University's students, both on and off
That investigation officially began on
March 19, when the committee held its
first meeting, which was open to the
public. The committee is chaired by
WSSU Police Chief Willie Bell and Dr.
Melody Pierce, vice chancellor of
Student Affairs, and made up of WSSU
faculty, staff, and students as well as
Bell and Pierce also sat on a six-
member panel that Monday morning
which included Mayor Allen Joines,
Winston-Salem Chief of Police Pat
Norris, WSSU's Dr. Pedro MarHnez,
and Jennifer Martin, the representative
for the District Attorney of Forsyth
"Our first priority is the safety of our
students and the community. If we
have problems on our campus, or if
our campus safety is compromised by
negative outside influences, these
issues must be addressed," said
Howard-Vital in a press release from
Howard-Vital was unable to attend
the meeting on March 19 due to illness.
Dr. Pedro Martinez, who represented
her in her absence, explained the
Commission's purpose to those pres
"This committee was formed in
order to examine the campus climate
at Winston-Salem State University, and
Erin 0. Perkins
Photo by Steven J. Gaither
IVIayor Allen Joines, left, and WSSU Police Chief Willie Bell discuss safety.
identify areas where changes are
needed," the provost said.
This goal will be accomplished by
subcommittees that will examine sepa
rate aspects of safety on WSSU's cam
pus and the 15 other campuses that
make up the UNC system.
"There's one that will address the
policies and practices that promote
public safety on and off campus," said
Martinez. "Other subcommittees will
deal with the patterns in the data for
students who received judicial sen
tences, public safety investigations, or
investigations by law enforcement.
"Another one of the subcommittees
dealing with law enforcement will look
at WSSU's policies and rules and
whether or not they are enforced
appropriately," he said.
At the end of their allotted time peri
od, each subcommittee will "report its
findings, recommendations and imple
The time the committee has been
given to fulfill its goals? Ninety days.
"We have an aggressive timetable to
get our homework done," said Pierce
in regard to their June 30 deadline.
"Sometimes these commissions take
six months, and we didn't get that,"
Nonetheless, he is very optimistic
about what the Commission will be
able to do in the next three months
because of the experience he has had
sitting on previous task forces.
The prevalence of smoking has been historically higher
among African-Americans. As a matter of fact, 50 percent
are more likely to develop lung cancer than whites.
A one-year study found that
three major African-American
publications — Ebony, Jet and
Essence — received proportion
ately higher profits from cigarette
advertisements than other maga
zines, according to the American
Lung Association. The attorney
general reported that,many of
these ads advertise menthol
brands such as Newport, Kool,
and Salem, which were marketed
specifically to African-
Americans. This puts young
people in the African-American
Community at a higher risk for
In response to the critical condition of tobacco addiction
among the African-American community and others, the
American Cancer Society (ACS) sponsored the "Afro-Flow
Tour" with spoken word performer, Mike-E, turntable mas
ter DJ Invisible, African percussionist Sowande Keita, ris
ing vocalist Kenny Watson and the live band hot sauce. The
concert event was held on March 26 in the Dillard
The Afro-Flow Tour group is traveling across campuses
nationwide to create awareness about tobacco prevention
through spoken word, hip-hop and live music, which is
what hip-hop pioneer KRS-One coined as "edutainment,"
a term that refers to bringing education and entertainment
into one entity. One of black culture's rising spoken word
artists, Mike-e, takes on the role as a musical and poetic
"We are not preaching, we just want to inform and
See AFRO-FLOW, page 3