Category Archives: Politics

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

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My Vantage Point of History: The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump, 2017

Nick Vaughn, Staff Writer

Washington, D.C.- inauguration_1Last Friday was not your average day. Normally, Fridays at school would include me attending classes or having a grilled cheese at lunch with my friends or if I am at home you could catch me simply going about my daily activities.

Last Friday, however, was not that kind of Friday, because I had the honor of attending the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. As I woke up that Friday morning and I looked out my window to see a cloudy and rainy Washington, D.C., I couldn’t believe that I was actually there.

One moment I will never forget was walking from the metro and seeing the beautiful Capitol dome get closer and closer. As my friends and I were going through the gates, pass security, and then to our seats, it hit me. We had a front row vantage point to history.

I was sitting there thinking while the Marine Band played and as the former Presidents and First Ladies walked out onto the Inaugural platform, “How am I here?”

During that moment, I began to reflect on my last year. I had felt pretty lucky. Lucky to be able to not just watch history on television like I have done for years which inspired me to get involved in the first place but to witness history first hand. To live the history that would be talked about centuries from now.

In the past year I had the opportunities to attend a Presidential Debate in the primaries; the Republican National Convention; where the now President accepted the nomination; and now on January 20, the Inauguration.

One of the most vivid moments of my experience was when President-Elect Trump was announced and walked out on the platform, then all you could hear was the voices and cheers of Americans from all walks of life, backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, and religions behind me. It felt like there was a heavy force against my back, that kept me from standing still.

The swearing-in and speech was absolutely incredible to see and hear. Plus, to have friends beside me, and all around me, made it all the more incredible.

The line in President Trump’s speech that I loved the most was, “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” In order to produce results for our country and we will, we must work together.

At the close of what was a beautiful ceremony with a few drops of “good luck” rain, we ended by praying for our country. Afterwards, it was time to head back and prepare for the Inaugural Ball that evening.

It wasn’t until we arrived at the ball, that I realized how massive the crowd actually was. The Ball was absolutely spectacular. It was everything I thought it would be and more. I met many journalists, celebrities, and politicians. It was also special to see old friends there and make some new ones as well. My favorite run-in of the night had to be meeting CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper. As a matter of fact, we took a selfie that absolutely made my night.

Another great moment was when the band played “Hail to the Chief” and the President and the First Lady emerged, the huge crowd was electrified. I remember being so close and seeing all those phones in the air taking pictures and videos, mine included and thinking to myself, “just enjoy the moment.” So for two minutes I completely put the phone away and took in the moment of history before me. As the President and the First Lady danced to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, my all time favorite song coincidentally, I felt so honored to be there.

On a personal note, I learned a lot this weekend. About myself and the future, things I knew before, but needed reminding of in some way. I was reminded that if you work hard and keep pushing through hard times, as we have all experienced, it will look up and things will turn around. As for now I’m going to enjoy the moment.

In closing, I ask of my fellow students and Americans who are not supportive of this President a simple task: Give the President a chance, because he is our President. Support him when you think he’s right and fight back when you think he’s wrong. Pick up the mantle of leadership. Get involved in either party you agree with and try to change things for the better however you view.

Always remember America’s best days are ahead of us.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Students get opportunity to learn more about upcoming election

Columnist John Fund visits Wingate University, many students still undecided.

Nick Vaughn, Staff Writer

John Fund, a National Affairs Columnist for National Review magazine and a frequent contributor to Fox News, CNBC, and CNN spoke at Wingate University on October 24 to discuss the upcoming presidential election.

This event was in conjunction with the BB&T Lecture Series and was sponsored by the Jesse Helms Center. The basis of conversation in the Batte Center Recital Hall was on the topic of the Executive Branch Power Expanded Under President Obama.

The question that was focused on was post election, “What Can We Expect from Hillary or Trump?”

The event was a lyceum credit for students who attended. Junior Caitlin Villela attended the lyceum. “I found the lyceum very interesting. It really gave us an insight at how the two candidates for President would serve,” Villela stated.

In Fund’s lecture he talked about the differences between the two candidates and what their attitudes would be like as President when it came to certain decisions made by the Supreme Court or through executive orders.

“With a Clinton presidency you will see Supreme Court Justices appointed that will overturn decisions like Citizens United,” Fund said.

“A Trump presidency will see the repeal of Obama’s executive orders,” Fund added.

Many students and millennials in general are less than impressed by the choices that we have when it comes to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Randel Caldwell, a junior at Wingate University, considers herself one of those individuals. “This lecture and the speaker did not give me much more insight than I already had.” Caldwell said.

Caldwell has followed this election very closely for the past year. “I’m still unlikely to give my vote to either one of these candidates,” Caldwell added.

This election is now in the final few days, with many citizens still undecided and puzzled at this election cycle, the choice will soon be made.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Clinton Visits NC, Talks Stakes of Election

Presidential Candidate comes to Charlotte, NC

Nick Vaughn, Staff Writer

          The Queen City has once again been host to a presidential candidate. Democratic candidate for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton was in Charlotte on September 8 to talk about the high stakes about the choice North Carolina voters face in a short 61 days.

Who will be the next President of the United States. Donald J. Trump? Or Hillary Clinton? North Carolina has been a swing state in the last 3 election cycles. Barack Obama turned the state blue in 2008 for the first time since Jimmy Carter’s win in 1976.

Four years later Mitt Romney turned the state back to its’ roots, going red in 2012. Polls have shown Clinton leading as of late. Visiting Johnson C. Smith University, Clinton emphasized the importance this election has for young voters. Clinton continues to emphasize; “This election has such high stakes — the highest stakes are for young people.”

Clinton focused much of her speech on college affordability and what her plan means for voters. “We need a lot of opportunities for young people everywhere, it shouldn’t matter what you look like, where you’re from, or who you love, you deserve to be in college if that is your choice.” Clinton added to a room filled with supporters.

One of those young individuals was a Junior here at Wingate University, Randel Caldwell. “I have been to several rallies over the course of this election cycle, and I feel it is important, as an interested voter, to see what each side has to say,” Caldwell said.

College affordability was key in Clinton’s visit to the state, harping on an appeal to young people that President Obama has decisively carried in the last two cycles. Young voters, 18-35, will be key in this election. Both candidates want that block of voters. In Charlotte, the room had an exciting and exhilarating tone and feeling.

Supporters can only hope that election night, only 61 days from now, will have that feeling in the Clinton Headquarters. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump are expected to be in the state often throughout the rest of the campaign.

Edited by: Sara Gunter