«K>MEN'8 CLUB SOCCER
Athletes find joy in the
game of soccer without
ultimate comraitment toj
are the winners
of the Lip Sync
i- iest'.men W:;i
Andei son, David
Gwynn. Dan Enclers
ana Greg Gsntile
perform an original song
PAGE 19 AND ONLINE
PAGE 18 AND
Riverside Dairy Farm
Local farm faces economic struggles
ELON, NORTH CAROLINA | WEDNESDAY. MARCH 10, 2010 | VOLUME 36, EDITION 7
Multi-billion dollar deficit may stop USPS
Weather may not be able to stop the
United States' postal workers, but a $10
billion debt could halt deliveries on
Saturdays. The change would mean job
reductions on both a national and local
The Postal Service has not escaped
the reach of the economic recession. As
businesses began to feel the weight of the
recession bear down on revenue, mailing
costs became one of the budget casualties.
Online communication and bill payment
are also cutting into the agency's revenue
source. As a result, Saturday shipping
could be dumped.
“If we stop the cost of operation one day
a week there would be a tremendous cost
reduction," said Carl Walton, Greensboro
district communications coordinator.
The Postal Service projects more than
$3 billion in savings.
But locally, post offices are finding
different ways to pick up the slack. The
Elon University Mail Center is also seeing a
sharp decline in mail pieces, from 90,000
to 60,000 pieces over the past few years.
The number of package arrivals has
increased by 15 percent.
The post office branch on South
Williamson Avenue may not receive as
many mailed-in bills as previously, but
Elon students flood the office for passports
needed to study abroad.
Rodney Justice works at the Williamson
branch and said he hasn’t noticed any
decline in business in his 15 years of
“Not a lot of people are going to switch
over their bill payments (to online),"
Justice said. “I’d say it's about one-third of
the people will change their ways."
As Justice offered that estimate, a
female senior citizen across the counter
volunteered that she has started paying
her bills online. In fact, she said she began
making most of her transactions online.
It’s a trend that’s beginning to take a toll
on the postal service.
Regardless of local success, the Elon
University Mail Center would follow in
cutbacks if Saturday delivery were to
stop. Saturday positions would have to be
eliminated, according to Chuck Sparks,
the university mail supervisor .
“If there’s no mail for people to pick up,
than there’s no use in us being here,” he
The mail center could save more than
$10,000 a year if it were to cut Saturday
work hours, Sparks said. One to two staff
members and four students pick up the
Saturday shift. These employees would
not lose their jobs, but their Saturday work
hours would be reduced.
Although mail may not be delivered on
Saturdays, volume will not decrease. Many
people across the nation are worried about
jamming six days of work into five.
“We have to try and not stop efficiency,"
Walton said.“We have a pilot model of how
to make this work, and if Congress was to
pass the plan, we hope to implement it in
Congress would have to approve the
hour reduction that USPS is considering.
Because of the current pressure on
health care reform, postal workers aren't
expecting anyjpossible changes tg Saturday
delivery for at least a year.
“I’ve heard this rumor for more than 20
years, since 1986, and they’ve never taken
it all the way to Congress,” Sparks said.
“Who knows when it’ll come out."
But Sparks has been a witness to
other cost-saving strategies. Increases
in technology have eliminated positions
previously necessary to sort mail.
USPS combined courier routes to make
mail delivery more efficient and less
In an effort to operate in the black,
streamlining has been the answer to the
postal service's economic woes, according
to Walton. Eliminating Saturday deliveries
could just be part of the process for USPS.
JUSTINE-, SCHULERUO | Pf»oo tdttor
Mail services supervisor Chuck Sparks runs mail for the university on Saturday. The economic
recession could lead to mall not being delivered on Saturdays any longer.
Elon releases budget, lowest
tuition increase in 12 years
Assistant News Editor
The Elon University Board of
Trustees approved the 2010-2011
fiscal year budget, placing emphasis
on maintaining an affordable tuition
and funding the priorities of the Elon
Early last week, the board approved a
5.2 percent increase in total tuition, the
smallest increase since 1998, setting
undergraduate tuition at $26,827 and
typical room and board at $8,648. Last
year, tuition cost students $25,489 and
room and board cost $8,236.
“In recognition of the global
economic situation, we knew that we had
to keep the percentage increase as low
as possible,” said Gerald Whittington,
senior vice president for business,
finance and technology.
According to an E-Net report, the
cost of attending Elon next year is 5.4
percent below the national average for
private universities and 13.6 percent
below the average cost for top private
schools in the South.
The university is also recognized as a
top-value education. This is determined
by both the school itself and other
publications, including Newsweek and
the Princeton Review.
“There are different ways to
determine this," Whittington said. “We
look at where Elon ranks compared to
national universities as well as those
within our region of the country, but
outside publications do their own
Whittington explained that to keep
tuition reasonable, not all proposals
could be funded.
“There were lots of great ideas
submitted from every possible program
in the school," he said. “But we just
weren’t able to provide money for
What the board did prioritize was
the objectives of the Elon Commitment,
a strategic plan for the university
implemented in December 2009.
“The biggest factor in building the
budget is funding what you said you
are going to do,” Whittington said.
“Ninety-five percent of everything in
the budget relates directly back to the
This included increasing available
scholarships and financial aid as well as
See BUDGET I PAGE 4
Burlington water rates to increase
15 percent during the next 3 years
Water rates in Burlington are
expected to increase 15 percent in the
next three years because of new state
rules for Jordan Lake in Raleigh. Rate
increases for Burlington would also
mean increases for the Town of Elon.
Mike Dula, Elon’s town manager,
said the Town of Elon would be
affected by the new rules.
“We’re a small town, and we buy all
our water from Burlington, send (the
water) back and pay them fees,” Dula
According to the City of Burlington
web site, the current water rate in
Burlington is $2.85 per 1,000 gallons
of water. The current sewer rate is
$3.57 for every 1,000 gallons.
Local water is supplied from Lake
Macintosh to the Burlington Water
Plant, which is then sold to other
towns, including the Town of Elon,
Gibsonville, Greensboro and other
According to Frank Hope,
administrative services director,
cities that purchase water services
from Burlington, including Elon, will
be required to add their own expenses
for maintaining lines to the base water
The cost of a good drink:
Projected rates per 1,000
First five years: $2.99
Next five years: $3.14
Last five years: $3.29
Dula also commented on the
normality of the rate increase.
“This is a normal thing. If you
compare this change with previous
years, (water rates) have been lower.
See WATER | PAGE 3