QJlje Daily (Ear Hppl
*. ANNE FAWCETT
Leader and Kid
Thin, but Clear
What kind of line must a stu
dent leader walk between
being a college kid and an
effective representative? Too often,
that line seems to have blurred for the
president of the UNC Association of
Student Governments, who also serves
as the only student representative on
the Board of Governors.
First there was Nick Mirisis, ASG
president for the 1999-2000 school
year, who plagiarized a paper and had
to resign from his position. Now this
year’s president, Cliff Webster, alleged
ly'stole two benches from East Carolina
University’s campus during his tenure
as ECU student body president.
Both of these men have been
described by BOG member Helen
Rhyne Marvin as “models of decorum
and responsibility” during their short
times associated with the board.
But obviously they led different
lives when the suits came off.
To college students, the bench-theft
looks like a fraternity prank. To BOG
members (and the police) it’s much
more serious. “A felony is not a prank,”
said BOG member John Sanders.
And the BOG has zero tolerance
for wrongdoing by its members, what
ever their age. “Students can have a
different social life, be louder at foot
ball games and stay out later, but they
should be responsible members of
society,” said member Ray Farris.
Anything less damages their stand
ing on the BOG. “If by personal con
duct (the ASG president) destroys his
credibility, he or she will not be an
effective spokesperson on the board,”
But student officers need not seclude
themselves in the library. They should
be able to party and play like the rest of
us, while also exercising good judgment
.Jeff Nieman, ASG president for
1998-2000, said he never felt that he
loft touch with being a regular student,
wjthin certain limits. He was elected
ASG president for a second term after
Mirisis stepped down. “I did the same
fun, dumb stuff that other students do,
but there was a line I didn’t cross,”
Nieman said. “That’s a line almost all
students feel they shouldn’t cross, but I
knew if I did I’d have to see the mis
take played out in a public forum.”
'.Nieman’s predecessor, John Dervin,
sajd he thinks it’s unfair that student
leaders are held to a different level of
scrutiny than other young people.
“\ye’re all human,” he said. “We all
The difference is that the ASG
leader must struggle to be accepted as
a credible, responsible grown-up by his
orher adult counterparts on the BOG.
In March 1999, as the BOG deliber
ated over Nieman’s efforts to have a
voting presence, BOG member Frank
Grainger questioned the maturity and
lift experience of a student representa
tive who would only serve one year.
Nevertheless, the BOG supported
Nieman and passed the resolution to
the N.C. General Assembly where it
died in committee.
Since then, two ASG presidents
with terrible judgment have seemingly
proven Grainger right. Or have they?
Nieman and Dervin hope not.
“I hope people recognize that this
was an individual error of these two
gendemen,” Nieman said. “It’s not
indicative of their character or the
character of thousands of leaders that
serve across the university.”
Public opinion of the ASG should
come from its reaction to crises,
Dervin said. “The important thing
when you have these setbacks is the
way the ASG responds,” he said. “It’ll
be important in the next few weeks to
see who the ASG puts into place.”
Marvin said she hopes the BOG
will be fair to future student represen
tatives. “If (Webster) is guilty, the
board would be most unhappy,” she
said. “But they wouldn’t put blame on
the system. I think they’d think these
things happen. They happen to elected
officials, even the president.”
Mistakes do happen. But the episodes
of the last two years should make it very
clear to future ASG leaders that they will
be held to a higher standard than other
students. Now it’s time for the ASG to
select anew president with integrity as
soon as possible and move on.
Columnist Anne Fawcett can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.C. Students' SAT Scores
Still Lag, Despite Increase
Bv Alicia Gaddy
North Carolina’s class of 2000 scored
an average of two points higher on the
SAT than its 1999 counterpart, accord
ing to a state Department of Public
Instruction report released Tuesday.
The report cited 988 as the average
composite test score for this year’s class.
Despite this improvement, N.C. stu
dents still lag 31 points behind the
national average of 1019, a statistic many
attribute to an uneven distribution of
wealth across the state.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
returned the state’s highest mean score
at 1175, nearly 200 points above the
■w ■ A
Hk fjh ' HP
; m - j§ JL
• •*/ * "K .... J®
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY KELLY CAMPBELL
UNC graduate and award-winning writer David Payne is touring local bookstores this week
to promote his fourth novel, the critically acclaimed "Gravesend Light."
Aldermen Accept Plan
For New Water Source
By Kellie Dixon
Assistant City Editor
The Carrboro Board of Aldermen
decided 4-3 to give the go-ahead for the
Orange Water and Sewer Authority to
use a future rock quarry as a reservoir.
Alderman Diana McDuffee said the
proposal for OWASAto acquire the
quarry from American Stone Company
will be passed on to the Orange County
Board of Commissioners.
“It now moves on to the commis
sioners so they can put in some of the
recommendations made both by our
board and by the Chapel Hill Town
Council,” she said.
Most of those recommendations
came from Alderman Allen Spalt,
including a request for the town to con
sider relocating Bethel Hickory Grove
Teacher Inspires Future Colleagues
By Karey Wiitkowski
Assistant University Editor
UNC alumna and 2000 N.C. Teacher
of the Year Laura Bilbro-Berry told
future educators Tuesday night they
have quite a task ahead of them.
“A truth is that you will not be pre
pared going in,” she said. “But when I
look back, I’m glad for how hard it was.”
Bilbro-Berry graduated from the
University in 1992 and was part of the
Teaching Fellow program’s first class.
She returned Tuesday to the Hanes Art
Center auditorium to address anew gen
eration of UNC Teaching Fellows.
Bilbro-Berry told the audience that
getting to know the students makes the
profession satisfying. Mimicking her stu
dents’ actions, she told of her favorites,
from the drooling boy with a mischie
vous grin and a heart of gold to the boy
state average. This was up from 1160 in
the 1998-99 school year.
DPI spokeswoman Vanessajeter said
North Carolina’s average SAT scores
have risen significandy and have been
creeping toward the national average
Over the past 10 years, North
Carolina’s average SAT score has
moved 22 points closer to the national
Jeter said students in areas with high
er wealth and more opportunities for
early high school test preparation con
sistently scored higher on SATs.
“I think that you can see that the
Triangle area has high scores,” she said.
“The College Board has, over the years,
Church Road for
this is the most log
ical plan for
Carrboro. “It is an
good way to supply
good, clean water,”
she said. “We have
to weigh the good
of the community
versus what is
desirable by a few
who grew up in
voted against the
quarry, but said it
would work out in
the long run.
Carrboro, remembers droughts of years
past. “If we don’t build the quarry we’re
See QUARRY, Page 6
who defined symmetry as “the place
where they bury dead people.”
“They make it worthwhile,” she said.
For the past five years, Bilbro-Berry
has taught second-grade in the At-Risk
Program at John C. Tayloe Elementary
in Beaufort County and has loved it. But
last year brought her to a crossroads.
“If I had not been teacher of the year,
I probably would have quit at Christmas.”
She said stresses from pursuing her
graduate degree, administrative troubles
and the strains of badly behaved students
made her question her career.
“I realized over Christmas that I
needed to re-examine why I was there
and what I was doing,” she said.
“Learning should be fun.”
Bilbro-Berry dared the audience to
have fun in the classroom. She said her
favorite time is the beginning of the year
when she creates themes like lizards and
shown that economic status has great
effects on tests scores.”
This might have helped Chapel Hill-
Carrboro City Schools’ students score
highest in the state.
“In general, the children of parents
who have more education, who have a
higher socioeconomic level, tend to
have higher scores on all types of tests,”
said Kim Hoke, spokeswoman for
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
“There are three main things that
give us consistently high scores: the
motivation of our students to perform
academically, the caliber of our staff and
the support of our community,” Hoke
See SCORES, Page 6
UNC Alumnus Promotes
4th Book at Area Stores
By Karen Whichard
Award-winning author David Payne is making a
victory lap around his alma mater this week, cele
brating the success of his new novel.
Payne, a UNC graduate and native of
Henderson, will appear at several bookstores in the
Triangle area, discussing his critically acclaimed
fourth work, “Gravesend Light.”
Before his writing career began, Payne graduat
ed from the University in 1977. Although his years
at UNC were an exciting homecoming after
attending boarding school in the North, Payne said
he followed a different calling than the rest of the
“I was a little out of pace
with the rest of the student
body,” he said. “But I had
great professors and tons of
Instead of continuing his
studies at graduate school,
Payne worked on scallop
boats on the Outer Banks fol
lowing graduation. Payne said
the rugged fishermen risked
their lives daily offshore, and
he expressed compassion for their lifestyle. “I
worked a year on scallop boats. It’s a gritty, brutal
world -very dangerous,” he said.
This rugged setting eventually provided inspi
ration for his latest work. “Gravesend Light” con
tinues a series he began seven years ago with “Ruin
Creek.” The novel follows Joe Madden, an anthro
pologist from Duke University, as he studies the
local fishing population while falling in love with
Payne won the Houghton Mifflin Literary
Campus Sites Facilitate Voting
Student leaders are trying
to boost voting by shuttling
students to election sites
and handing out fliers.
By Jennifer Hagin
With a presidential election and the
$3.1 billion university bond referendum
on the November ballot, student govern
ments and elections boards around North
Carolina are cooperating to make voting
easier for college students.
This year’s ballot asks voters to consid
er a referendum that, if passed, will pay for
capital improvements across the UNC
system. UNC-Chapel Hill will receive
nearly SSOO million for classroom reno
vation and construction.
Catilla Everette, student vote coordina
tor for the N.C. Democratic Coordinated
She also dared the audience to keep
abreast of current issues in education,
especially the impending teacher short
age in North Carolina. “The teacher
shortage is coming to a crisis situation,”
she said. “In the next five years, a large
portion of teachers in the classrooms are
retiring and there’s not enough of you.”
She urged students to stay informed
of the November elections because of its
large impact on the school systems.
“Governor (Jim) Hunt has been very
good to us educators,” she said. “Your
local elections are very important as well.”
With an expression of concern,
Bilbro-Berry also told the students to be
aware of the growing number of stu
dents with diverse and special needs.
She said one girl in her class was bom
See TEACHER, Page 6
Students, put your pencils down.
North Carolina's average SAT score increased two points this year, but some regions of the
state still lag behind others.
1000 in ~
Chapel Hill- Jones County Wake County Durham County
SOURCE N.C DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION DTH/CAROUNE COBBLE
“He’s done very well, and we’re
very happy he’s here. We’re
looking forward to getting
to know him again. ”
Creative Writing Professor
Campaign, said many county elections
boards have talked with schools about
placing polling sites on campuses.
“This is a window of opportunity to
really get students involved in the political
process,” Everette said.
Pearlean Revels, director of the
Robeson County Board of Elections, said
the board will place a polling site in the
library on UNC-Pembroke’s campus,
costing the county about $3,100.
Ryan Bolick, Appalachian State
University student body president, said he
spoke to the Watuaga County Board of
Elections about placing a polling site on
campus, but he said his request was
denied because of lack of funds.
Bolick said he is trying to raise aware
ness by hanging posters, giving speeches
and organizing a shuttle system to get stu
dents to their assigned voting sites.
“(The board) won’t bring the site to us,
so we’ll bring them to it,” he said.
But the Watuaga County Board of
_ v n M|T w %
DTH KATHERINE LAKER
Laura Bilbro-Berry, the N.C. Teacher of the Year, speaks
to students in the Teaching Fellows program Tuesday night.
Wednesday, August 30, 2000
Fellowship Award for his first novel, “Confessions
of a Taoist on Wall Street.”
His new novel has also received critical success.
“Gravesend Light” received favorable reviews in
publications ranging from the Charlotte Observer
to the Boston Globe both for its storyline and for
Payne’s writing style.
In addition to gaining critics’ glowing responses,
Payne said “Gravesend Light” is also selling well,
with the first printing selling out within two weeks.
“The sales rankings are going through the roof. It’s
a pretty good sign,” he said.
Creative writing Professor Bland Simpson said
the Department of English is proud that one of its
students created a successful career for himself.
“He’s done very well, and we’re very happy
he’s here,” Simpson said.
“We’re looking forward to
getting to know him again.”
After finishing his promo
tional tour of the novel,
Payne will move closer to
UNC, exchanging Vermont
for Hillsborough in the fall.
While other projects might
emerge following this move,
Payne promises the final edi
tion of the trilogy.
“I think there will be a third book,” he said.
“There is a child about to be bom at the end of this
one, and I may feature her prominendy in the next
Payne will appear at the New Hope Commons
Barnes & Noble Booksellers from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30
p.m. today and at Mclntyre’s Fine Books and
Bookends at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached
Elections Director Jane Hodges said the
request is still being considered.
“We’re looking into the situation further
before we make a decision,” said Hodges,
who cited a SIO,OOO price tag for staff and
the need for anew voting machine as
major stumbling blocks.
N.C. Agricultural & Technical
University also plans to shutde students to
the two precincts located in the student
union and at the local YMCA.
Kimberly Jones, voter registration
chairwoman at N.C. A&T, said a one-stop
voting site Would increase the voters at a
school traditionally known for a high voter
One-stop or “no excuse” voting polls
allow registered voters to cast their ballots
without an absentee ballot. These sites
will be open this year from Oct. 16
through Nov. 3.
The State & National Editor can be
reached at email@example.com.