Category Archives: Pendulum

Where were you on September 11?

In this post, several Elon students share their experiences in around 100 words. As you read, stop to think: Where was I on Sept. 11? How did I feel? You’ll probably find your story isn’t much different than these….

I remember when my teacher walked back into the classroom after our principal pulled her. She gave all of us the same look my mom did back at my house later that day. I didn’t understand what was going on, even as F-15 planes flew right over our house. I was ignorant to the fact that ground zero was a mere 35 miles away from me. My parents were out of the house often, going to church for funerals and memorials. I didn’t know how to be upset because I didn’t believe this disaster was real. In my 4th grade mind, it was impossible.

-Stephanie Butzer

On September 11, 2001, I was in my English class when I first heard the news about the attack on the World Trade Centers. We later saw the images on TV of the smoking towers. Over the next class period, students were picked up by their parents. My brother and I both went to the same school in D.C. and our mom, a teacher, came to take us to her school, only 15 minutes away. I remember watching TV and seeing more coverage of the Towers in one of the classrooms while the younger students played around me as I sat on a desk. Then I started thinking about the victims and their families and friends who were affected and began to cry.

-Megan Murray

I remember when my mom came to the playground during recess, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. She asked me how my day was going and if I was okay. “Of course I am!” I said to her, confused. Seeing, I guess, that I was happy, she left. But I remember the solemn look on her face – it was the same face that so many of my teachers wore that day. But I didn’t understand, not yet at least. I didn’t understand even when my math teacher explained what had happened to my class, tears streaming down her cheeks. I thought, “It will be fixed by tomorrow.” It wasn’t until I got home and saw the images on CNN of a plane smashing through a building that I started to understand that America was had been attacked, and that everything had changed.

-Kate Riley

 On my fifth grade field trip to the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service museum (JAARS), I learned more than I wanted to know about airplanes. Before my class field trip I really only knew airplanes as the way I got to Cancun with my family last spring break,  the two men on the popcorn box, or the back of a North Carolina license plate. At the JAARS museum I saw how missionaries used their planes to take Bibles to Papua New Guinea and Brazil. But on the bus ride back, my eleven-year-old self learned that bad men could fly planes full of people into the biggest, most important buildings in New York City, and how that could change my teacher’s face.

-Justine Vadini

I was a sixth grader living in South Carolina at the time and I first heard about it in Miss Dowling’s Pre-Algebra class.  But all they told us then was that there was a plane crash.  No further details.  After lunch, I was in Miss Owens’ Social Studies class when I learned everything.  We watched the news for the entire period.  I still didn’t believe it could be terrorists.  Why would somebody do such a thing like that?  My mom wasn’t happy about my disbelief.  I had to write sentences saying something like “Terrorists are responsible for this terrible tragedy.” It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I finally accepted what had happened.

-Adam Lawson

For lots more on Sept. 11 remembrance at Elon, visit


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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, 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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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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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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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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Transparency would be a welcome change

In the last few weeks, The Pendulum and Elon’s SGA have been at odds. But this is nothing new. Government and the press have been at odds for as long as the two have existed. And even we, in our little collegiate bubble, are not immune.

But at last week’s SGA debate, one of the main issues discussed was transparency, and that is a movement we at The Pendulum can definitely stand behind. A democratically-elected government makes decisions for its constituents, and the press, at its most basic function, serves a gatekeeper function, filtering and diffusing information, revealing what needs to be revealed and reminding both sides where the limits of power exist.

So get out there and vote this week. Vote for our new student government officials this week. And vote for transparency in government. If they uphold their end of the bargain, we will certainly uphold ours. And if they don’t, we will still work tirelessly to shoulder both burdens.

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