BIGG helps transform Heritage Trail

Celestia Randolph, Staff Writer

 

Last Friday evening, Bulldogs Into Going Green (BIGG) members assisted Carol Larrimore, master gardener and chief director of the Heritage Project, in her efforts to transform the Heritage Trail into a place for locals to enjoy.

Started roughly two years ago, the Heritage Trail Project, located at the Union County Agricultural Center,  is the concerted result of multiple Union County Boy Scouts of America chapters and Wingate’s Master Gardener’s Association. Its purpose is to educate North Carolinians about their state’s unique ecological systems.

Along the trail, which is cooled by the shade of white oak, pecan, and black walnut trees, are native plants such as wild violets and orange honeysuckle and medicinal plant species including black cohosh and goldenseal.

This recreation of North Carolina’s native ecosystem has provided an educational setting for local elementary schools, and other groups of ecologically minded youth. “All of the plants along the trail were labeled.”  Molly Hutson, BIGG president, related. “It’s really cool to learn what the plants we see everyday are called, and it’s also important to know which invasive plant species threaten them.

“The potential of the Agricultural Center’s additional acreage was recognized by a local gardener years ago,” said Larrimore. “When she moved out of state, I was eager to take to this project.”  Larrimore wishes, more than ever, to involve volunteer and student organizations in her project.

BIGG was grateful to be a part of such a valuable asset to the Wingate area. If any Wingate students are interested in lending a hand to the project, links will be available on the BIGG Facebook page.

Edited By Dustin Kiggins and Rachael Robinson

 

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Dreamers of Wingate share their stories 

Savanna Harris, Staff Writer

DACA has been a hot news topic in recent weeks since the Trump Administration announced that the policy will be allowed to expire. But, what exactly is DACA?

Simply put, DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a program that was put into place by President Barack Obama in 2012 to protect children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

It also allows them to acquire important documents, such as work permits and driver’s licenses. Not only that, DACA is the reason that many of these children, who have been dubbed “dreamers,” are able to attend college. This includes students right here at Wingate, who are currently faced with possibly having to return to their birth countries in the midst of obtaining a  college education.

Affected students on campus knew that more people needed to be made aware of what is happening to them and many others, so the Latino Club sponsored a Lyceum last Wednesday, appropriately named, “Dreamers of Wingate.” The event also was supported by the Modern Languages and History and Political Science departments.

At the event, political science faculty member Dr. Steven Hyland, who was the host; the pastor of a local church; an immigration lawyer; and three of our DACA students all came together to tell their stories.

Father Benjamin Roberts, pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Monroe, began by giving an emotional perspective. He said, “We want to maintain a vision of people, not numbers,” in reference to many viewpoints on immigration being based on the number of people who come here instead of why they come here. His speech paved the way for the informational portion of the program.

Following Father Roberts, Cynthia Aziz, an immigration lawyer who works out of Charlotte, provided details about the specific conditions and requirements of DACA, and gave insight into how it is being handled in Washington D.C. “DACA has become a political football, and it shouldn’t have. It was meant to be a humanitarian act,” she said.

She also went on to say that she has clients from places all over the world, such as Canada and even Lebanon, contrary to the stereotype that most or all of DACA recipients come from Central America or Mexico. The audience listened with great interest, but when the students began to recount their own personal experiences, all eyes were on them.

Alicia Rubio Gomez, sophomore, was the first of the students to speak. She described in great detail how it constantly feels as though she is up against a great opposition. “Regardless of the support, the thing that hangs in the backs of our minds are those who hate us,” said Alicia, whose parents brought her to this country from Mexico and settled in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Despite her struggles, the main one being unable to apply for colleges in Georgia, Gomez was able to come here thanks to a full scholarship designed specifically for DACA students.

Cristo Carrasco, from Charlotte, shared a similar experience, and said it has pushed him to do better. “DACA has personally influenced me to work harder, because I have been forced to carry the weight of being a ‘dreamer’ on my shoulders,” he said.

Maria Perez, freshman from Gainesville, Ga., closed out the Lyceum with the heartbreaking story of her father being deported, and went on to say that ultimately, she was not discouraged even through the heartbreak. “We will fight for a permanent solution,” she said.

Dr. Hyland said that recent polls indicate that a great majority of Americans support the right for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to become legal residents.

He said  he was pleased with the turnout of about 320 people for the event, which included students, faculty, staff and community members.“I think it was an important display of interest in DACA and its impact on Wingate and of solidarity on the part of our students for their fellow classmates and peers,” he said.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate’s Pep band prepares to bring more excitement to the new athletic season

Ryan McKeel, Staff Writer

Wingate University’s Pep Band gears up for the first home game of the 2017 season on Saturday, September 16 at 6:00 PM at Irwin Belk Stadium.

The Pep Band, Wingate’s premiere athletic performing ensemble, has been under the direction of Dr. Dawn Price, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Wingate University, for ten years.

With performances at select Volleyball games as well as all home Football games, the Pep Band strives to bring Wingate spirit to any game they attend. “My favorite Pep Band activity, besides playing music, is helping engage the crowd in cheering on the sports teams,” said Junior Dariyhn Lee.

A common theme in both rehearsals and games amongst the band members is the excitement for the game. With their music ready to go and instruments in hand, the band members are often the loudest ones in the stands cheering on their fellow bulldogs.

The band hasn’t always dominated a section in the stadiums, says Dr. Price. “The band has grown from 17 members in 2008 to now 47 members. The overall ability of the group has improved as well.”

Dr. Price strives to give every band member an opportunity to gain something from their time in the stadiums. “[Pep Band] gives students, both music majors and non-majors, an opportunity to play their instruments in sports and entertainment events,” she said. “The band also provides a wide variety of music intended to promote spirit at the various athletic events at which we play.”

Other key game day members have noted the, no pun intended, pep that the band brings. Head Football Coach, Joe Reich commented on the “special energy” that the band provides. “That is college football, having the band playing and the crowd cheering. That’s good stuff.”

The Pep Bands partner in crime, The Wingate University Cheerleader’s, have built a bond based on excitement and cheer with the musicians. “I think that the cheerleaders and pep band have been growing a relationship over the past few years,” said head cheer coach Kelly Sheppard. “We love the energy that the band gives us… I literally have to tell the girls to stay calm when the band starts up.”

Several of the Pep Band members have commented on the importance of their halftime shows.“I love performing for the people in the stands and hearing them sing along,” said junior Taylor Eudy. “It is exciting to be out there on that field and give the folks in the stand a chance to hear some tunes that they are familiar with.”

Other students in the stands have also felt the excitement that the band brings when their on the field. “It kind of stops you in your tracks. You can’t help but turn around and watch their show,” said senior Naomi Askew.

Athletes at games always find a way to show their support to the band members. Whether it’s a salute or shouted “Thanks!” from the football players celebrating a victory on the field, or a line of volleyball players after their win inside Cuddy Arena, most come together in some way to thank the band either at the stadium or in passing on campus.

When asked about their favorite tune, 12 of the 15 respondents listed Mark Ronson’s & Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Photo credit: Wingate University Athletics

Jim Wand Returns to Wingate As New Semester Begins

Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

Dr. Jim Wand arrived on Wingate’s campus this past Tuesday to hypnotize students once again. Wand, a hypnotist, has been coming to Wingate for decades, and is currently on a college tour spanning nearly 200 shows in just a year.

Students lined up over an hour beforehand outside Austin Auditorium, as the seating was first come, first serve. “My friends and I got here as early as we could,” said junior Cameron Walser, a Marketing Major. “There was no way we were missing this.”

Backstage, Dr. Wand went over his notes half an hour before the show’s start. He tells some of the Batte Center crew a couple of jokes he has planned for the night, before going over a sound check with his sound technician.

Wand goes into extreme detail when asked what he can and cannot do. While the earlier 8 p.m. show is typically PG, the later show at 10 p.m. has been known to be a lot raunchier. The adult themes explored in the 10 p.m. make the show more popular than its predecessor, which is why some students do whatever they can to see both shows.

“It’s definitely worth the wait,” said senior Kamery Reynolds. “It’s one of my favorite things to happen on campus.”

In the beginning of the show, Dr. Wand calls up students, then points out which students have been hypnotized. He quickly hypnotizes them, then he works on hypnotizing the new volunteers.

During the show, Wand poked fun at Wingate rivals such as Queens and Catawba. He also asked students to do various stunts, such as making up new dance moves to pop songs or belting out any song that comes to their mind.

The hypnotist show was a good final end to welcome week as Wingate has welcomed its first largest freshmen class of over 1,200 new students.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Hurricane Harvey hits close to home for some Wingate students

Savanna Harris, Staff Writer

It’s unlikely that, sometime throughout the past few days, you haven’t heard something about Hurricane Harvey. With coverage on every mass media outlet from TV to radio, news about what is being called the worst storm to hit the United States in over a decade, is being heard far and wide.

Making landfall last Friday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph, Harvey has relentlessly battered the Texas coastline. Although it has since been downgraded to a tropical depression and is moving inland, a record-breaking 50+ inches of rain have fallen in some areas.

Storm surge and flooding remain as imminent threats, and officials are worried the floodwaters may not begin to recede for days. The death toll has already exceeded 30 and is expected to rise further.

When a natural disaster strikes somewhere far away, we often don’t think about the possibility of it having an impact on the people who live on campus. But, students on campus who call Texas home have suddenly found themselves in this situation.

Treslyn Ortiz, a sophmore and resident of Texas City and Katie Bludau, a senior and residents of Seabrook which are both located in the Houston area both play volleyball here at Wingate and are feeling the effects of Harvey firsthand.

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Treslyn Ortiz, photo by: Savanna Harris
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Katie Bludau, photo by: Savanna Harris

Both girls, who have been keeping in constant contact with family and friends back home, expressed very much concern, as well as fear, based on news from their loved ones.

“I’m worried for the people who have lost everything,” said Bludau. “The community is strong and it’s good to see them coming together. But, I’m scared and heartbroken for those who no longer have a home.”

Thankfully, neither of their homes were directly hit or badly damaged. However, having close relationships with people who weren’t as fortunate is taking its toll.  “I have a cousin whose son has diabetes but wasn’t able to be taken to the hospital,” Ortiz said. “I’m scared for them and how others are being affected as well.”

She also has an aunt whose home was flooded with 7 inches of water, but even among the devastation, her family is graciously going out and rescuing people by boat.

With everything that’s unfolding, the two girls can’t help but feel the urge to return home. According to Bludau, “I won’t be able to go home until Christmas break because of volleyball, but I’d be there in a heartbeat if I could.” But, since Wingate remains their home away from home for now, they are donating money and clothes to those in need, as well as sending good thoughts to Texas.

Edited by: Brea Childs