Category Archives: Elon

Running just to catch myself: Life at Elon

Elon University students are busy people, there’s no doubt about that. If you’re someone who isn’t heavily involved in at least one extra-curricular organization, if not more, then you are in the minority. We like to bite off giant chunks (some of which are bigger than we can chew) and devote ourselves to everything and anything, making time to go to events, speakers, performances and, of course, social gatherings commonly referred to as “parties.”

And then there’s, oh yeah, homework. The reason we’re all in college.

But college isn’t just about those pesky classes, papers and exams. Its about exploring your passions, which may or may not directly fall under your field of study. Maybe you’re a biology student who’s a devout Catholic. Maybe your economics major doesn’t offer many chances for service, but you like to spend your afternoons at the Boys and Girls club. Maybe you study history but you have a secret desire to be a photographer for National Geographic.

In college, and specifically at Elon, it’s about striking the right balance between maintaining an academic standing that pleases you and fulfilling your commitments to your other pursuits and, of course, having a life. For many of us, that last part might be the most difficult one to squeeze in, and for others, it may be the one we should really cut back on. No matter how you do it, make sure you’re doing it on your own terms. Don’t participate in organizations because you feel like you’re supposed to because that will only lead to resentment. Don’t neglect your classes because you’re trying to get your money’s worth here. And, don’t schedule yourself into a black hole.

You never get to live these four years over again. So, too busy or not, make it count.

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Going into a mini-break, focus, Elon, focus!

The next week at Elon will be fairly hectic. Tomorrow, it’s a safe bet that at least the campus will empty out with people heading home or to friends’ for ¬†Easter break. Not that it’s much of a break. It’s one day tacked on to a regular weekend, but then again, Fall Break is only two days tacked on to a weekend, so why not celebrate this, too?

It’s also probably a good bet that a decent number of those that are leaving will not come back until Wednesday, when classes are cancelled once again for SURF Day. On Thursday, we have our Wednesday schedule, though, and then Friday, life resumes as normal except for the fact that it’s, well, Friday, and spring fever is running rampant all over campus.

But it isn’t time to go clicking our heels just yet. Sure, enjoy your chocolate bunnies and attending presentations on SURF Day (or sleeping). Just remember though, this is the home stretch. There’s something easier about hunkering down in the library to prepare for finals when it’s December. Its an entirely different matter when the outdoors is begging you to come spend time with it and all you can think about is packing up your dorm or apartment to move on to summer plans.

It is the end of the semester nonetheless, though. It’s time for final papers, projects and exams. The calendar and weather may be making it easier for us to forget the seriousness of the situation, giving us a few days to flirt with the concept of vacation, but it isn’t time to pack up and move on just yet.

Give it another three weeks. And give it one last good push before its time to move out.

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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

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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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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It has begun…with a bang

At just after 8 a.m. this morning, a steady pounding began, rattling windows, distracting students and signaling to everyone that construction on the Elon Town Center has officially begun. This is a picture from just a few weeks ago:

And here we are in the same spot today (pardon the finger):


Thus far, the only problems posed have been pedestrian safety. But if this excessive hammering sound continues, making chairs jump and pencils roll from desks, we may have a bit more to complain about.

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Filed under Elon, Pendulum

A look to Wednesday

Production night at The Pendulum is in full swing, and we’re all chugging along, preparing the Feb. 23 edition of the paper.

This week, if you pick up the paper, as you all should, you’ve got some interesting content to look forward to throughout, although I can really only speak to the Opinions section specifically.

The lovely staff over here has tackled two important topics in the Editorial section this week: the Student Government Association, whose elections are this week, and the proposed federal budget cuts that may effect Elon University students. Design editor-turned cartoonist Libby McGuire takes another turn at penning a great cartoon for us. She’s been a wonderful addition to the section in the last few weeks.

There’s also a letter from a reader (not local), commending a reporter for his efforts.

And finally, the columns. Kyra Gemberling tackles the emotions felt as Elon turns its attention to the incoming class instead of the current freshmen. And Ryan Maas and Neima Abdulahi, accompanied by the graphic work of Mark Capozolla, take on the crisis in the Middle East and North Africa.

So, pick up The Pendulum this Wednesday! Leave a comment here, on the website, or drop us an e-mail. We’d love to publish your comments. Happy reading!

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