Monthly Archives: March 2011

Elon in the rain

There is something special about Elon all the time. Special good, special bad, call it what you want, but it’s undeniable each day has something unique about it.

Now, there’s no doubt that Elon in the warm glow of an early spring day is something to marvel at. The trees sway with the ruffle of tiny leaves, tulips and daffodils stand straight as soldiers in flowerbeds lining buildings and the ducks and geese on Lake Mary Nell will soon be followed by parades of little balls of fuzz, chirping and cheeping as they learn how to walk, swim and fly.

But rainy days at Elon offer their own uniqueness. People stay inside. Dorm rooms become movie theatres for Star Wars marathons, Acorn becomes a place to sit and enjoy the company of friends instead of grab-and-go spot and all construction sounds come to a halt. There is peace on campus, and stillness, save for the falling of raindrops, aimless rippling of puddles and the occasional student darting from one building to another under a hood or umbrella.

Rainy days are nice. They’re lazy and quiet and make sofas and slippers seem much more amiable companions than sundresses and lectures.

Plus, it’s keeping the yellow cloud of pollen down, which is also very much appreciated.

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We’re one big entity

Wednesday means a fresh copy of The Pendulum is at newsstands all over campus and online at Issuu.com.

This week’s front page story is about the controversy surrounding the recent tenure appointments (or lack thereof). Loyal followers will note that last week, the Opinions section published a submitted cartoon on the topic and the week before, we ran a letter to the editor about it. This week, we ran another letter to the editor, about the tenure process in another way.

What is great about this integration is that the paper is truly existing as a reflection of the community that it exists to serve. It’s rewarding and exciting to see that what The Pendulum feels is important is also what is having an impact on students and other members of the Elon world.

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One more thing…

Don’t forget to check out the Pendulum Resolution Project blog and read news editor Caitlin O’Donnell’s latest post.┬áMaybe it will inspire you to do something for others over your Spring Break!

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Why we love letters to the editor

In this week’s Pendulum, we were fortunate enough to run our FOURTH (!!!) letter to the editor of the year. The first was a student praising an editorial, the second was a reader from off campus praising a reporter, last week’s was a letter to the administration protesting a tenure decision and this week’s was actually a cartoon about the same tenure issue.

Letters to the editor are wonderful for many reasons. First, it means people are reading and responding. Second, it means people think of the paper as an outlet through which they can share a message, meaning they value its role in this community. And thirdly, it is so much fun to get new and fresh opinions in the section, unhindered by assignments and deadlines.

These writers (and cartoonists, as the case may be) feel passionate enough about something to share it with us and our readers, and that is just awesome.

If you haven’t picked up a copy or read it on Issuu.com, I recommend you do. Every section is so strong this week and each week we learn a little more. In the Opinions section particularly, we have that cartoon to the editor and an editorial about cultural events on campus, complimented by a picture drawn by our newest staff cartoonist, copy chief Eva Hill. There’s also an editorial about the Westboro Baptist Church Supreme Court decision and a bonus editorial online only about the new meal plan system.

There’s three columns in print: two about differing views on Greek Life at Elon by Robert Wohner and copy editor Lindsay Kimble, and one on the health care bill by news editor Caitlin O’Donnell. Robert Wohner has another column online as well, about the BYU Honor Code.

So grab a Pendulum today! And keep reading!

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Let’s really commit to this green thing, OK, Elon?

Last week, I went into the McEwen School of Communications around 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday, to print something. The large flat screen TV inset in the wall in the foyer was on, flashing its usual images advertising workshops, speakers and the like. And in the main lobby, the other large flat screen TV was blasting CNN at its full volume and image level. I ask, who is standing in the McEwen lobby watching CNN at 7:30 on a Saturday morning.

This afternoon, I crossed through the first floor of Alamance to get out of the rain for a few minutes around 6:30 p.m. The small TV screen in Alamance was on, again with CNN, although granted it was muted. I ask, who is EVER standing in the center of Alamance watching that TV on a Sunday evening. Or ever, really.

These two events illustrate a phenomenon on Elon’s campus: while crowing about a commitment to energy savings and efficiency across campus, the university is not fully doing its job practicing what it preaches. TV’s are on at all hours of the day and night. Eerie blue lights shine from windows in various academic buildings whenever it is dark out, indicating a projector on, although I doubt students are watching any sort of presentation at 3 a.m. Computers in labs undoubtedly sit on far more often than they’re actually in use.

And what is the point of all this? To save the 30 seconds it takes to fire these devices up again? Before Elon continues in its never-ending quest for energy-efficiency in new construction, it should take a good look at the wasteful use occurring in its existing facilities.

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Freedom of speech…for all?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that members of the Westboro Baptist Church have the right to protest at the funeral of vetrans.

The church believes that the wars in the Middle East are the work of God punishing Americans for the sins of homosexuality. Members show up outside churches and funeral homes across the nation with signs like “God hates f-gs” and “Pray for more dead soldiers.” Initially, a lower court ruled that the church had to pay damages to the family of a soldier killed in action for protesting, but that ruling has been overturned.

Is it right that people can use other people’s funeral as a soapbox for their own radical ideas? Probably not. But is it right that the Supreme Court is sticking up for the citizens of the United States and their right to say whatever they’d like to say?

Stick with The Pendulum, and pick up next week’s issue to read our staff editorial on this issue.

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Tomorrow, you’re always a day away

But on Tuesday, tomorrow is even more exciting because it means Wednesday is coming, and with it, a fresh edition of The Pendulum!

You can see this week’s print issue here, but I hope you pick up a print copy, too! It’s hard to do the crossword on a screen.

Our staff ed this week is about some of Elon’s oldest residents…the beautiful trees that dot the campus landscape, many of whom will be torn down in the next few months to make way for new construction projects. There’s a very nice photo by Tracy Raetz, staff photographer, and another great cartoon by Libby McGuire.

Why only one staff ed, you say? Well, we had a letter to the editor come in at the last minute. Now, we don’t post that online anywhere, so if you want to read a moving letter about a pressing topic, hunt down a copy of the paper anywhere on campus.

There are three columns about extremely important topics. Kassondra Cloos writes about gun laws on campus, accompanying Anna Johnson’s news article on the same topic. Ashley Jobe and Alexa Johnson both address the issue of abortion, with Ms. Jobe writing about the black population and Ms. Johnson attacking the federal cuts to the funding of Planned Parenthood.

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