Wingate makes changes to the safety protocol in reaction to the campus lockdown

Mariah Anderson, Staff Writer

“Wingate University has issued immediate lock-down procedures for the main campus. Please lock all doors and windows and await further instruction.” With this 11:35 a.m. text, Wingate University instituted a lockdown on Monday, February 26, 2018.

Rumors of an active shooter on campus caused students in the dining hall to race to their dorms since they had no place to hide in the open hall.

Students and faculty in classrooms immediately moved to lock the doors, but some rooms had no locks. The people in these rooms used chairs and tables to barricade the entryway as they awaited further instructions and details from the university staff.

During the lockdown, students and faculty were notified that the shooting had happened across the street from campus on Jerome Street earlier that morning. However, Wingate took precaution and placed the campus on lockdown to ensure student safety.

After the lockdown, the question at hand became: Was Wingate University prepared for a lockdown, and how could they better prepare for similar events in the future?

One possible way to prepare for the future would be to ensure that proper communication occurs with everyone: faculty, staff, students, and parents. Professor Karen Dunn stated that she was unaware that there was a lockdown until a student told her because she was busy teaching when the message was sent out, and the alarm was not audible from the classroom.

Another professor, Dr Jim Coon, stated that he did not receive the text alerts because he had mistakenly subscribed to the weather alerts.

Both professors were uncertain about what procedures to follow, with Professor Dunn stating, “As a professor, I felt that I should have known what to do, but I didn’t know what to do.” In fact, she found herself asking her students, “What should we do?”

The students and professor jumped into action, but overall the classroom felt unprepared for such an emergency, suggesting that one area of improvement Wingate might pursue would be to have mandatory training for faculty and staff on how to handle emergency protocols.

Some parents expressed reservations at the lack of communication in place, with one parent stating, “I think they could have been a little more forthcoming with the fact that the students were following safety protocol. It was not until I was contacted by my daughter that I found out that a safety protocol was not in place or worse had not been previously practiced by Staff and Students.”

One student, Cameron Smetak, criticized the amount of time it took to alert the students, “We should have been informed that there were shots fired across the highway right when it happened, not an hour later like we did.” An immediate alert system in the future might save lives.

Wingate University has already started instituting changes. A recent email to the campus community stated that the university was working on the doors without locks, posting lockdown guidelines in each room, improving communication with Union County, planning to conduct drills for each emergency, and adding additional sirens on campus.

However, this email was not sent to parents of students, so some parents are unaware of these upcoming changes, with one parent stating that he was “not aware of any improvements since the incident.”

However, students have noted that Wingate University is already implementing the promised changes, with new deadbolts being installed on doors that previously lacked them.

The faculty have noted positive changes as well. Dr. Coon stated, “We have gotten a couple of emails as faculty and staff, they are going through all of the procedures and looking at what worked and what didn’t. They’ve gotten feedback from lots of people, too.”

Although the recent lockdown was frightening for the campus community, it helped Wingate identify strengths and weaknesses in its emergency system. One parent, commenting on the success of this lockdown, suggested, “Simply have a plan. Practice it as well. The campus is a simple one that makes security in such an event more possible.”

With the improvements in place, Wingate will become a safer community, one that is fully prepared for emergencies and able to respond in a timely fashion in order to prevent tragedy.

Wingate University is advising all students to update their contact information on WUSync so that future alert systems can reach the entire campus community.

Edited by: Brea Childs


QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: Campus lockdown, student housing and more

The COM 220 News Writing class put together this week’s “Question of the Week” which is actually several questions, mostly related to events on campus this year.

Class members Caitlin Bailey and Zasha Barrett asked senior Marissa Vittorio of East Haven, Conn., “Do you feel safe on campus after the recent lockdown and shooting incident?”


Her answer: “I felt safe because I was in the McGee Center and they have a safety plan that they went by. I heard stories from other students about how some classroom doors wouldn’t lock and some professors kept teaching class. Other professors were more nervous than the students which made the situation worse. I probably would have been scared, but because of where I was, I felt very safe.”

Class members Hunter Pearson and Mariah Anderson talked with Communication faculty member Barbara Pann about “the best thing to happen to you this school year”:


Collegiate Curls Club emerges on Wingate’s campus

L’Dajha Harris, Staff Writer

A brand-new club has emerged on Wingate’s campus under the name Collegiate Curls of WU. Learning about this new hair club, it was an instantly intriguing as woman of color whose hair is naturally curly, to find out more about it and who started the club. Campus Collaboration Chairwoman, Alina Siler took the time to speak on behalf of the club and the goal behind creating it for WU’s campus.

“I try to collaborate and connect our organization with community and on-campus resources and organizations.” Siler discussed her role in the club before explaining the reason behind making this club into what it is becoming today. “We wanted young black women and men on campus to embrace their natural hair, skin, and body. We’d like to promote unity and self-love across this growing campus. We want this organization to be a comfortable space for people to love and take care of themselves in hopes that everyone can accept them for who they are.”

Alina hopes that by the time she graduates, the club will have over 40 members. They continuously have events throughout the semester and those events tend to be posted on their Instagram, collegiatecurlsofwu, as well as posters along campus!

They’re latest events included:

March 14th- 7:00 pm | Collegiate Curls Meeting | Hayes 223

April 17th – Hair Masque (DIY Hair Masque. Food, Drinks & more)

The club meets on Tuesday night.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate Women’s Golf Recap

Philip Harris, Staff Writer

The Wingate University Women’s Golf team has been the model of consistency this season, earning their way to No. 11 in the Golf Stat NCAA Division II rankings. The team came in fourth in the Battle at Old South at UNC-Pembroke, their first tournament of the season; they finished with a score of 598.

The second tournament for the Bulldogs resulted in their best finish of the season when the team took first place in the Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate. The Bulldogs were able to win with 611 points, managing to fight off conference rivals Tusculum and Lenoir-Rhyne. Both of them were one stroke behind.

In the Flagler Fall Slam at Flagler University, the third tournament of the season, the Lady Bulldogs finished third with a score of 592. The team finished second in both the Newberry Invitational and the Barton Invitational; posting scores of 617 and 622, respectively. The Bulldogs finished in third in both the LMU Spring Invitational and the Low Country Invitational; putting up scores of 608 and 624 for both events.

Wingate has gotten solid contributions from sophomore Diana McDonald, who set a program record shooting four-under-par on the second day of the Battle at Old South Tournament. McDonald also earned medals and all-tournament honors in four of the teams tournaments.

The Bulldogs look to continue their consistent season when they compete in the Wingate Challenge at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Monroe, N.C. on March 19.


Edited by Brendan Shriver

Res Life opens the door to new housing changes

Caitlin Bailey, Staff Writer

Housing sign-ups is one of the most dreaded times of the year for students. Friend groups are split up as students scramble to find who they are rooming with. This is not a decision to be taken lightly either.

Decisions made can determine where you will live for a year. Sure, students can change housing at the beginning of the semester, if things don’t go well, but the alternative may not be as ideal if  they would have just gone with another friend to begin with. These decisions require thought, but housing sign-ups sneaks up on students before they know it.

This dreaded time is currently going on. However, this year has been unlike any other. This year brought a few changes to housing. One of them being that the housing process is being done online.

This started with students signing up to get their rank on Feb 20. After students got their rank, they could talk with their friends and decide who they want to live with. The deadline to select roommates or get matched with one is March 21.

After this, the group will get their rank number and selection time slot. Then the group will sign up for housing and get confirmation that the housing selection has been completed.

Another change coming in this fall is the new housing buildings. These new buildings will be called Wilson Halls East and West. Hilltop which opened in fall of 2017 will no longer be for freshman. Starting in fall, it will be for returning students. Also in the fall, Helms Hall is going to be for first-year students.

Wilson Halls East and West
Wilson Halls East and West

The most surprising changes is the co-gender housing. Co-gender housing was tested out this school year in Alumni Hall. Freshman, Courtney Finley is currently living there. Speaking of her experience this year, “ I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s not for everyone. I like having guys on the hall because it helps me feel a little more safe, and we all get along pretty well. I would recommend co-ed housing.”

Starting in the fall, co-ed housing will be offered in Beam Hall in Watson Village, Rushing Hall in South Village, and half of Bridges Hall.

In order to help with the housing process, the Office of Residence Life sent out instructional videos of how to go through the process. They also offered eight housing sign-up information sessions.
The first one was held on Feb 20, and the last one will be on Mar 14 in Helms Hall Lobby with Roommate Mixer at 6 p.m. However, even with these tools students found the housing process still a little complicated. Sophomore, Reiley Richardson said, “I feel like they need better communication on where to find all of the links, and a better way to get to them rather than through email.”

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate dominates Newberry in Women’s Basketball SAC Tournament Quarterfinals

Rachael Robinson, Staff Writer

The Wingate University Women’s Basketball team, ranked #21, (24-4) took an early lead against the Newberry Wolves (16-12) as Danasia Witherspoon scored for the Bulldogs within the first 30 seconds of play.

The Bulldogs would never relinquish their lead, winning 65-42.

At the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs found their way to a 17-6 lead against Newberry. By the end of the first half they had increased their lead to 30-17. The third quarter was controlled by Wingate again and their lead grew to 43-25 and In the fourth quarter, Newberry try to mount a comeback, but it was too late.

Wingate’s leading scorer on the season, Marta Miscenko, was locked down by the Wolves’ defense and held to four points during the game. Caroline Averette, Danasia WItherspoon, and Courtney Robinson were there to pick up the slack. Each was able to make it into double digits during the game as Averette lead the scoring  for Wingate with 15 points and Witherspoon lead the Bulldogs in rebounds with 13.

Head Coach Ann Hancock said the game was easy on her. She wasn’t worried about the lead possession by possession.  “I think they came out with a sense of urgency.”

Wingate came into this tournament after winning the last two SAC Championship Tournaments. Both teams were playing for a chance to play in the semifinals on Saturday.

“This is what we’ve worked for all season, to advance and go for the championship.” said Hancock.

Wingate ended the game with a total of 53 rebounds. Coach Hancock said, “It’s something we’ve been talking about.” She referred to the old saying and how her team uses it when describing their games, “O sells tickets, D wins games and Rs win championships.”

The next step toward the championship will be Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Furman University against Anderson University.

When asked about what the future holds Hancock said, “Anderson will be ready for us, and we’ll be fired up for them.”

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Wingate Men’s Basketball rallies to beat Coker in overtime on Logan’s jumper

Brendan Shriver, Staff Writer

In a wild game that featured 10 ties and 15 lead changes, Wingate (15-14) won their home SAC Tournament quarterfinal game Wednesday  against the Coker Cobras (12-17), rallying from an 11-point second half deficit and winning in overtime 76-75 on a jumper with 20 seconds left by Emarius Logan.

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, with Devarious Christian leading Wingate with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Jeremy Williams scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Neico Robinson also had 13 points and five rebounds and Logan had 11 points and four assists. Finally, Marco Haskins and Kendrick Tucker had good contributions for Wingate, with Haskins recording seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals and Tucker posted six points, four rebounds and three steals.

Khalil Halls lead the visitors with 27 points on 10-of-22 shooting, including five three-pointers. Donte Samuels scored 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Demarco Jackson also had 12 points for the Cobras.

For the game, Wingate shot 41.9 percent from the field while Coker shot 41 percent from the floor. But the most crucial statistics were the turnovers and rebounds. Coker out-rebounded Wingate 47-34 and the Bulldogs scored 22 points off of 18 Coker turnovers.  

In the first half, Wingate’s largest lead was six. However, Coker rallied to tie it with a minute left but a Quantra Taylor layup at the buzzer sent Wingate into the locker room up 35-33.

In the second half, Wingate took a four-point lead, but Coker went on a 12-0 run to take a 45-37 lead with 16 minutes left. The Cobras then extended their lead to 11 on a Halls three-pointer. But the rest of the game was a back-and-forth affair, with each team going on multiple runs.

Wingate then cut it to six, only to have Coker extend it back to nine. However, Wingate went on a 7-0 run to get within two at 55-53 with nine minutes left. Coker then countered with a 10-2 run to take a 65-57 lead with six minutes left but Wingate quickly rallied to tie the game.

In the last minute, Christian gave the Bulldogs the lead on two free throws but a Halls tip-in in the dying seconds sent it to overtime at 69.

The extra period was marked by answer after answer, eventually with Logan hitting the game-winner and after two turnovers in the last 15 seconds, a Halls missed jumper and defensive rebound by Taylor gave Wingate the victory.

Wingate Head Coach Brian Good said, “Our bench was so important tonight, with us being short-handed.” “I thought it was a gritty, tough-nosed win. Really proud of the winning plays that our guys made with the game on the line late in regulation and in overtime.”

Wingate moves on to the SAC Tournament semifinals and will face #1 Lincoln Memorial (28-1) on Saturday in Greenville, S.C. while Coker ends its season at 12-17 overall. LMU swept the regular-season series against Wingate, going 20-0 in SAC play.

Edited by Brendan Shriver