Ciera Choate

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Twitter: @andcierasaid Personal email: cierachoate@gmail.com

Whiskey River adds full kitchen to venue

 

Photo courtesy of WhirlWind Creative

When I walked into Whiskey River, 210 East Trade St, for their media day where they were letting us try their new menu I wasn’t expecting much.  I’ve never been much of a fan of bar food, and in my mind, Whiskey River wasn’t going to change that.

Here’s the thing, the food served at Whiskey River isn’t bar food. I was at a restaurant with some of the best food I have had at a restaurant in the EpiCentre, and as a food addict that’s saying a lot.

We started with appetizers, all which were good.  From the jalapeno poppers to the Buffalo shrimp everything they brought out left me wanting more.

In my opinion, the best part didn’t come until the General Manager, Eric Flanigan, put the barbeque spud in front of me. A baked potato, bacon, sour cream, cheese and any kind of meat I wanted piled on one plate.  It was all of my favorite foods right in front of me.

Flanigan says I liked the spuds because they were “his idea.”

Oh, and you can’t forget the barbeque sauce.  Flanigan knew he wasn’t out to have the best barbeque, but he knows Whiskey River is going to be the place to be.

“We’re not really trying to win competitions. We’re not trying to be barbeque pit masters.  Our idea is beer, wings and barbeque, so if someone else’s barbeque down the street is better than ours that’s fine.  You’re going to have more fun coming in here,” Flanigan said.

And he’s right.  Where else can you go to eat good food, drink good beer and watch someone embarrass themselves on the bull after they have had too many drinks?

And if you haven’t ever tried a good fried candy bar, you don’t have to wait until the fair comes around again.  They switch out the candy bar every month, and to start them off they are using Milky Ways.  Whiskey River’s friend candy bar was my first, and it definitely won’t be my last.

If fried candy bars aren’t your thing the apple crumble pie is delicious, as well as the funnel fries, which are like a funnel cake in French fry form.

With the addition of a full restaurant, Whiskey River doesn’t look much different.  It still has the same bar-feel, they just added about 175 seats.  At night when nightlife picks up bar seating will still be available with a late-night menu.

I know the thought of eating lunch or dinner at Whiskey River seems a little off, but take my advice when I tell you to at least give it a try.  I know I was surprised when I took my first bit of food until I walked out of the bar, and I can guarantee you will be too.

It may not be the best barbeque in the South, but what fun is good barbeque if you aren’t having a good time?

 

Why you should care about Domestic Violence Awareness Month

It’s easy to see the t-shirts when you’re walking to Atkins Library or see the posters about Domestic Violence Awareness Month and brush it off.  It’s not like it affects you, right?

I understand why those who have not been affected by any kind of abuse, physical or emotional, can be complacent.  It’s easy to think that it doesn’t happen very often, and it’s often heard that those women or men in abusive relationships should just leave, that maybe they are bringing this upon themselves.

Growing up with an abusive father, I can tell you it happens more than you think, and there are people all around you who are affected on a daily basis.  It doesn’t matter whether or not someone is still in or around an abusive relationship – the things they have experienced stay with them forever.

My father never hit me, and some would say I was too young to remember anything going on with my parents when I was that young, but I can say without a doubt you are wrong.  Nightmares of things I saw and heard still haunt me today.

When I was younger I convinced myself I was the only one who had experienced something like that at my young age.  Never would I have thought there were others like me.  I also had no idea that one day when I knew girls in abusive relationships I could be there to help them.

Most women in abusive relationships don’t leave when they should.  There are many reasons for this, but for my mom it was me.  She didn’t want her little girl to grow up without a daddy.  I understand that, but one day a counselor told her if she didn’t leave I would end up with someone like him.  The next day she left.

I think when girls in relationships like my mom and dad’s see how leaving changed not only my mom’s life but mine as well it shows that things do get better.

It may have taken almost 18 years for me to work through all of my “daddy issues,” but here I am stronger and happier than I ever thought was possible.  I’m not saying the nightmares and the memories are gone, those will never leave.  I’m saying there are more good days than bad to remind me how lucky I was to get out.

So this month, or from now on, when you see someone trying to bring awareness to domestic violence, listen and pay attention.  There are more women, and girls, out there who are affected by abuse than you realize.  While some may not be physically abusive, emotional abuse often does lead to physical violence.

I am almost sure that we all know someone affected by some form of abuse, so don’t turn your head when you see the signs.  Watch, listen and pay attention because you never know when someone’s life is on the line.

Parents and families unite on campus for the 2012 Family Weekend

Family Weekend provides activities geared towards all ages, young and old/ File photo

Every year in addition to International Festival (IFest) the Office of Parent and Family Services hosts Family Weekend Friday, Sept. 28, to Sunday, Sept. 30.

“[Family Weekend] is an opportunity for parents and family members to come back and visit with their student as well as engage in activities from all across campus. Parents and family members can now experience and feel a part of the UNC Charlotte spirit. They also can really see the university from a global perspective,” the Assistant Director for Parent and Family Services Kesha Williams said.

Parents and Family Services plans the weekend around IFest so parents and students can be engage and entertained by the cultural celebration that takes over UNC Charlotte.  While there are many other events taking place over the weekend, IFest draws in the largest crowd.

IFest has been a part of UNC Charlotte for over 30 years, so with the food, dancing and more Williams feels that the event shows how the university connects with the community, locally and internationally.

The weekend will kick off with movies in the Student Union Movie Theatre and a parent reception with Chancellor Philip Dubois and his wife, Lisa, Friday at 6 p.m. on the Student Union Patio.

Shortly after the reception Niners on the Weekend will hold one of their many Student Union Takeovers that will occur over the school year.

“This is a very popular event with students. There will be a hypnotist show featuring Mike Angel, music food and giveaways and green screen photos,” Williams said.

Those interested in giving back to the community can also take part in Operation Sandwich from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Student Union Rotunda.  This weekend’s goal is to package and donate over 800 sandwiches that will be donated to the Urban Ministry Center in uptown Charlotte.

There will be two shifts for Operation Sandwich with 25 volunteers per shift.  All volunteers will need to sign a consent form to participate.

While many events taking place during Family Weekend, like Operation Sandwich, have taken place in past years a new addition for this year is the Second City Sketch Comedy Act on Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Student Union Multipurpose Room.

“Second City is a nice addition. We have never had a performance by them on this campus,” Williams said.  “Interestingly enough many of the Saturday Night Live alumni members like James Belushi started their careers with this comedic troop.”

UNC Charlotte students can attend the show free of charge but parents and family members must pay $5.  Registration for the comedy show can be done when registering for Family Weekend, and tickets can be picked up on the second floor of the Student Union in the Leadership Office.

Students and their families can register on campus on the first floor of the Student Union Friday, Sept. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Those who registered online can pick up their packets in the same locations at the same times.

UNC Charlotte students take advantage of convention opportunities

Time Warner Cable Arena in uptown Charlotte, where the majority of convention activities will be held. Photo by Barry Falls

Almost a year ago those living in Charlotte, N.C. learned that the Democratic National Convention (DNC) would take over their city from Monday, Sept. 3, through Thursday, Sept. 6.  Now UNC Charlotte students are gearing up to volunteer for the convention that has been described by the Democratic Party as, “the most open and accessible in history.”

In addition to working at the DNC one UNC Charlotte student, Daniel Rufty, along with some others traveled to Tampa Bay, Fla. to take part in the Republican National Convention (RNC) last week.

Many other members of the College Republicans would have attended the RNC if possible, but they are making the most here in Charlotte by knocking on doors of people in the community and working phone banks.

Most students involved in volunteer activities for both conventions worked with UNC Charlotte through the 49er Democratic Experience, a program that set students up with internships and volunteer opportunities.

“UNC Charlotte maintains a particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health, and social needs of the greater Charlotte region; the 49er Democracy Experience is an expression of that commitment,” Joan Lorden, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, said according to the 49er Democratic Experience website.

Democratic National Convention

UNC Charlotte’s Center City campus is in the DNC’s “red zone,” the area of uptown Charlotte that will be closed off to the general public during the convention’s span. Students taking classes in the Center City building during the convention will be relocated to rooms on UNC Charlotte’s main campus. Other locations in uptown Charlotte will be occupied by various aspects of the DNC, including Bank of America Stadium, where President Barack Obama will speak on Sept. 6, and Time Warner Cable Arena, where the bulk of the convention will be hosted. Graphic by Christain Billings

For over a year the City of Charlotte has been doing it’s best to prepare the city for the coming DNC, including training volunteers for media, political and many other jobs.

UNC Charlotte senior, Ashleigh Thornton, signed up to participate in a job shadow with AT&T and Bloomberg Press through the 49er Democratic Experience and hopes to use this opportunity to network with members of the Democratic Party.  To receive her position at the DNC Thornton had to apply and compete with many other students for the two spots available.

“I hope to gain networking opportunities and that’s good because it’s just like business and politics it’s about who you know.  It’s not always what you know. I really believe in the Obama campaign and everything they stand for and are trying to accomplish,” Thornton, a Marketing major, said.

One day she hopes to work in politics and is also a member of the Democratic Women of Mecklenburg County where she plans to become a board member in the near future.

While many students participating are there for political reasons and have aligning beliefs with the Democratic Party there are some participants working for media organizations, helping set up the convention and even working as drivers for those attending the convention.

Republican National Convention
There may not be nearly as many UNC Charlotte students traveling to the RNC, but there will still be many students doing what they can to influence the coming election.

“Those of us who were not able to make it to Tampa are busy with phone calls at the Victory offices, and door knocking around the community. Also, we have U.S. Representative Tim Scott coming to speak to our chapter on Sept. 4, and Herman Cain will be speaking Sept. 13, on behalf of his College Truth Tour,” Regi Simpson, the president of College Republicans, said.

Those who did travel to the RNC are participating in many roles, such as Rufty, who is a RNC Delegate for N.C.

Open Volunteer Opportunities
Many students have their jobs for the DNC set in place, but for those who were unaware of the 49er Democratic Experience still have the chance to sign up and participate in the convention.

Green Team Charlotte will be working to recycle and compost materials from the DNC Sept. 3, through Sept. 6.  Everyone who signs up to volunteer must work two shifts.  To sign up students can go to DemocracyExperience.com.
The publishers of “The Atlantic,” the National Journal Group, also have volunteer openings for UNC Charlotte students.  Volunteers will be working as Brand Ambassadors at the DNC and other events related to the convention. Open shifts are Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 2 to 7 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon and noon to 4 p.m.; Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon.

To sign up to work with the National Journal Group email lcorvo@nationaljournal.com and should meet at 721 N Tryon Street in the McColl Center for their shifts.

Grassroots organization, ONE, is also still accepting volunteer applicants to help at the convention.  Shifts will last Monday to Thursday from 6 to 9 a.m. at the EpiCentre in uptown Charlotte.  To register students should go to http://act.one.org/event/generalevent_attend/10365.

Those who want to participate in the DNC but do not necessary want to take on a partisan role will get their chance with Americans for Prosperity who will be at the convention educating those attending of economic policy.  Those interested in this opportunity should email sbilly@afphq.org.

Campus tests food trucks as new dining options for students

A student purchases food from the Herban Legend truck, located near Prospector. Photo by Barry Falls Jr.

As UNC Charlotte students scrambled to find their new classes this past week they may have noticed a new addition to the food options on campus – food trucks.

These new trucks are a test run for what Auxiliary Services hopes will be a successful addition of multiple food trucks, large and small, all over campus.

“The university has been planning for a while to introduce food carts to help deal with the increase in students on campus, especially in the fall semester.

Right now we have a couple of food carts on campus as a pilot to see and work out any of the details and menus before we invest into the equipment and trucks,” Ray Galleno with Auxiliary Services said.

Currently there are three trucks on campus located by the Denny Building, East Deck and Prospector.

The food truck located by Denny sells food from Outtakes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the truck located by East Deck serves breakfast from Outtakes from 8 to 10 a.m.; and the truck located by Prospector, Herban Legend, is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The two larger carts located by Denny and Prospector are equipped to take cash, credit and declining balance (DB) while the cart located by the East Deck is cash only.

“One of the problems we had with the smaller carts is that they couldn’t take credit cards or DB.  We worked it out so that the larger carts can take debit and DB. We are working on making it so you can use DB on them,” Galleno said.

Although the hot dog carts students saw on campus in previous semesters were not successful, Auxiliary Services hopes the convenience of using credit and DB will increase the use of the food trucks.

The university hopes to have more food trucks built and ready to go in the next couple of weeks, but before determining their permanent location they will move around campus to see where the trucks fit best.

Although the food trucks are a “bit of an investment” UNC Charlotte feels like they have received a positive response so far and plans for that to improve as students get settled with their classes and have more time to stop by and try one out.

“I think we have had a good response.  We have gotten positive mentions on Facebook and Twitter,” said Galleno.

“The numbers haven’t been overwhelming, but it’s new and people are just figuring it out and when would be a good time to stop and try one.”

Get to know: SGA

Student Body President Conor Dugan. Photo by Cody Brown

 

In high school or your previous college student government may not have played a huge role in your experience, but coming to UNC Charlotte it’s definitely something to consider.

If you take part in the Student Government Association (SGA) while on campus you will learn how to write legislation, listen to student concerns, be the voice of the Niners and much more.

Freshmen are not the only students who will have an opportunity to join SGA when coming to UNC Charlotte, there are also open seats for sophomores, juniors and seniors for the taking.

There are currently two open seats in the College of Arts and Architecture, three open seats in the College of Education and two open seats in the University College, which is the college for students with undeclared majors.

In order to fill these seats students must be nominated by a current member of SGA and then approved by a vote during a General Assembly meeting.

In addition to Student Senate seats there will be class president elections, as well as elections for the four At-Large Senator seats and the four Freshman At-Large Senator seats.

Nominations will open Monday, Aug. 20 at 8 a.m. and close Friday, Aug. 31 at noon.  Elections will be held September 18 and 19 for all At-Large seats, Freshmen At-Large seats and class presidents.

For all questions students should speak to the SGA Administrative Assistant Quincey Hinson in the Student Organizations Complex in the Student Union on the second floor or through email at qhinson@uncc.edu.

Student Body President Conor Dugan

Conor Dugan began his career at UNC Charlotte as a business major, and now almost four years later has transitioned to International Studies and Latin American Studies with a minor in Spanish.  The New Jersey native originally planned on going to college in New York City but in the end decided to come to UNC Charlotte.

“I wanted to go somewhere urban.  I wanted to go to a city school.  Charlotte was closer and more affordable, and I liked the programs it was offering because I wanted to be a business major originally,” he said.

During his last year in Charlotte, Dugan will be taking office as Student Body President after a four-week campaign this past spring semester where he and Loren Fouts beat out the Stephen Belle Isle and Matthew Best campaign by 354 votes, with a 6.5 percent voter turnout.

While he may not be from Charlotte, Dugan feels a deep connection to the university and hopes to make campus a more communal place for students during his time as Student Body President.

“I would like to sort of bring [students] together more and establish more community with students, which with football coming along I think that’s going to happen as a byproduct.  I would like to establish that before that happens,” said Dugan.

To make this a reality he plans to educate students and organizations more on the money they have access to and make the process of obtaining that money easier.

The more money organizations have the more events they will host, which will engage students more and encourage them to hang out around campus, he said.

While this community aspect of his campaign was a large focus, Dugan found that while talking to students one of the biggest concerns that was raised was the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) on campus.

“That’s a big thing I was talking to students about, and every time I brought it up it was the biggest thing students said they wanted to see handled,” he said.  “I want to work on getting that running more efficiently and get it on time.”

Dugan’s work with the CATS line is all part of his plan to make sure students are “getting what they voted for.”

Another concern students voice often is rising tuition, so to delay the process of tuition increasing even more Dugan plans to advocate for the improvement of facilities already on campus instead of building new buildings on campus.

He feels the addition of new facilities should only be done after current facilities are at peak performance.

“[During the campaign] I said a lot about working with what we have and improving that so it’s not something that we have to throw more money at.  I think the best solution right now is to work with access to facilities that we already have,” he said.

Get to know the Student Health Center

Student Health Center
The Student Health Center is located on the northeastern part of campus at the intersection of Mary Alexander Road and Cameron Boulevard. Photo by Haley Twist

In the midst of all of the paper, handouts and emails you have been thrown ever since your child has been accepted to UNC Charlotte, the information about insurance and the Student Health Center (SHC) may have been lost in the jumble.

If a student is not covered under their parent’s insurance or they don’t have their own it is a requirement that the pay for the health insurance provided by the university.

The SHC is located on campus and provides all of the basic physical and mental health needs of UNC Charlotte students.

The SHC also has their own pharmacy where any student can get a prescription filled.

They request that all students either call and schedule an appointment, make an appointment in person or do so at Online Student Health before coming to the SHC, but they do except walk-ins if they have time slots available and assist according to urgency.

Even without student insurance all students are welcome at the SHC, which accepts many difference forms of insurance.  For more information visit studenthealth.uncc.edu.

UNC Charlotte’s health center offers the following benefits:

• $100,000 maximum per sickness/in jury per policy

• $200 deductible per policy year

• $2,000 out-of-pocket maximum per policy year

• 100% coverage of eligible expenses at SHC

• $150 copay for emergency room visits

• $20 office visit copay outside of SHC

• $20 copay for x-rays, laboratory tests and procedures outside of SHC

• $10 copay per 30-day supply for generic/brand prescriptions purchased at SHC Pharmacy

• $10 copay + 20% per 30-day supply for generic prescriptions purchased outside of SHC Pharmacy

• $25 copay + 20% per 30-day supply for brand prescriptions purchased outside of SHC Pharmacy

• $1,000 prescription maximum benefit per policy year

• $500 injection/immunization maximum benefit per policy year

• $500 wellness benefit per policy year

• $3,000 intercolligiate sports maximum benefit per policy year

• $200 vision maximum reimbursement benefit per policy year

Services provided by the health center:

• Primary Medical Care

• Women’s Health

• HIV Testing

• Sports Medicine

• Nurse Clinic

• Laboratory/Digital X-ray

• Psychiatric Care

• Immunizations

• Travel Medicine

• Allergy Injections

• Nutrition Counseling

• Physical Therapy

Chair of Department of Dance retires after 35 years

Pamela Sofras. Photo courtesy of Pamela Sofras

After working for UNC Charlotte 35 years the Chair of the Department of Dance, Pamela Sofras, will hang up her dance shoes as she moves into a life of retirement.

“I have illnesses in my family.  I have an older husband, and I have a son who is quite ill.  I am also taking care of my elderly mother, and that’s a lot of people.  What happens is being the Chair of the Dance Department you need time, and I just have too many people I have to care for,” she said.

“I think you feel when it’s time to [retire].”

Sofras began her career at the university back in 1976 when there was no Department of Dance, only the Department of Creative Arts.  She was one of two dance professors for the following 10 years as the Department of Creative Arts began breaking into different sections.

“The department has taken many shapes,” said Sofras.  In 2008 the Department of Dance finally became it’s own department.

While being Chair, Sofras has taught at least one class a semester to ensure that she knows all of the students going through the program.

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Before coming to UNC Charlotte Sofras worked as a performer and worked with choreographers like Jose Limon, Mary Vigmon and Martha Graham.  She began studying dance when she was 10-years-old and feels like she came into the field at the right time giving her the opportunity to work with some of the developers in the modern world.

“I had first hand experience with most of the developers of the new modern dance in America,” she said.  “I also was on the faculty of the American Dance Festival which moved to North Carolina in 1978, and the American Dance Festival has been the center of American modern dance in the country since 1934.”

Sofras says she will miss many aspects and people in the Department of Dance but plans to still attend shows and keep in touch with those close to her at the university.

PRIDE hosts Amendment One rally

Tuesday, May 8, North Carolina voters will have the chance to share their views on the proposed Amendment 1, which will limit all domestic partnerships recognized by the state to just the marriage of one man and one woman.

To inform and prepare students for Election Day People Recognizing Individuals, Diversity and Equality (PRIDE) will host a rally by the Belk Tower from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday, April 19.  The organization opposes the proposed amendment and hopes to rally students against the changes that could come if it is put in place.

“It’s always important to vote. Voting is one of the few constitutional rights that almost all of us can still enjoy, it’s an exercise of our freedom and power. Its one of, if not the most effective way to let your politicians know what you need from them, especially on an issue like this,” said the President of PRIDE Bonnie Green.

“On May 8th, we need everyone in North Carolina out at the polls to vote against the Amendment to show our state government that we won’t tolerate bigotry in this state, and we don’t support an Amendment that will only infringe on others rights, benefiting no one.”

UNC Charlotte’s Student Government Association (SGA) did their part to educate students on the new amendment as well with the resolution enacted, Thursday, March 29.  It was called The Truth About Amendment One Resolution and outlined the changes that will come with the new legislation.  PRIDE publically supports the new resolution passed by SGA, according to Green.

The rally held on April 19 is free to anyone who wants to attend.

For more information about the event or Amendment One students can attend the weekly PRIDE meetings Mondays at 5 p.m. in the Student Union room 340D or contact Green at BGreen44@uncc.edu.

Organization raising blood for locals in need

UNC Charlotte students at the 2012 49ers for Life Blood Drive that collected over 800 units of blood, breaking the university’s personal record. FILE PHOTO

UNC Charlotte will have the opportunity to participate in another blood drive Thursday, April 12, in the Student Activities Center (SAC) from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  This will be the second time the Health Communications Club is hosting the blood drive.

With hopes of drawing in more participants, the organization will host vendors such as the Great Harvest Bread Company, Farley’s Pizza and Rita’s Italian Ice.  All vendors will be set up outside of the food court at the SAC.

There are also some UNC Charlotte professors who work in the Communications Department offering extra credit to their students that donate blood, according to Michael DeBetta, the president of the Health Communications Club.

The organization aims to bring out about 100 donors.  “While we were planning it I just said let’s make this the biggest blood drive we have ever seen.  UNC Charlotte usually has really small blood drives that no one ever hears about,” said DeBetta.

At the beginning of this semester the American Red Cross 49ers for Life Blood Drive surpassed the school record with 874 units of blood collected.  UNC Charlotte currently holds the record for fourth largest blood drive held by a UNC school.

Radio stations 95.1 and 103.7 will be playing music and broadcasting live from the event.

All blood collected will go to the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, which is an organization that uses all blood for local patients.

“We want to make sure we’re saving the life of somebody local.  Whether it’s a friend or relative of somebody in the area I think it’s a great idea to give back that way,” said DeBetta.

Meet the new Student Body President: Conor Dugan

Conor Dugan began his career at UNC Charlotte as a business major, and now almost four years later has transitioned to International Studies and Latin American Studies with a minor in Spanish.  The New Jersey native originally planned on going to college in New York City but in the end decided to come to UNC Charlotte.

“I wanted to go somewhere urban.  I wanted to go to a city school.  Charlotte was closer and more affordable, and I liked the programs it was offering because I wanted to be a business major originally,” he said.

During his last year in Charlotte, Dugan will be taking office as Student Body President after a four-week campaign where he and Loren Fouts beat out the Stephen Belle Isle and Matthew Best campaign by 354 votes, with a 6.5 percent voter turnout.

While he may not be from Charlotte Dugan feels a deep connection to the university and hopes to make campus a more communal place for students during his time as Student Body President.

“I would like to sort of bring [students] together more and establish more community with students, which with football coming along I think that’s going to happen as a byproduct.  I would like to establish that before that happens,” said Dugan.

To make this a reality he plans to educate students and organizations more on the money they have access to and make the process of obtaining that money easier.  The more money organizations have the more events they will host, which will engage students more and encourage them to hang out around campus, he said.

While this community aspect of his campaign was a large focus, Dugan found that while talking to students one of the biggest concerns that was raised was the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) on campus.

“That’s a big thing I was talking to students about, and every time I brought it up it was the biggest thing students said they wanted to see handled,” he said.  “I want to work on getting that running more efficiently and get it on time.”

Dugan’s work with the CATS line is all part of his plan to make sure students are “getting what they voted for.”

Another concern students voice often is rising tuition, so to delay the process of tuition increasing even more Dugan plans to advocate for the improvement of facilities already on campus instead of building new buildings on campus.

He feels the addition of new facilities should only be done after current facilities are at peak performance.

“[During the campaign] I said a lot about working with what we have and improving that so it’s not something that we have to throw more money at.  I think the best solution right now is to work with access to facilities that we already have,” he said.

Dugan and Fouts’ inauguration will be help Thursday, April 12, when they will officially take office.

New Amendment One legislation passed in SGA after Craven vetoes oppostion

After the Opposition to Amendment One Resolution passed in the Student Senate Thursday, March 22, Student Body President Dave Craven vetoed the legislation less than a week later.

After the veto Craven worked with some students who supported the original resolution to make new legislation that served a more educational purpose, rather than opposition.

“I feel that this newly written legislation is something that all of UNC Charlotte can proudly stand behind,” he said.

This new legislation, called the Truth About Amendment One Act, was brought before the Student Senate Thursday, March 29.

The Student Government Association (SGA) felt their job was to education students on the proposed Amendment One, which will limit domestic partnerships recognized by the state of North Carolina to the legal marriage of one man and one woman.  Amendment One will be on the North Carolina primary ballot Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

“We can now begin to focus our time and energy on encouraging fellow students to try and understand the full implications to Amendment One, and be sure that our student body gets out and votes on this issue when it comes in May,” said Craven.

A vote to override Craven’s veto was taken at the most recent senate meeting and failed 11-to-11. A two-thirds majority would have been needed to override the veto.

The Truth About Amendment One Act was read at the same meeting and Senator Nauman Panjwani, who wrote both the old and new resolutions on Amendment One, moved for the new legislation to be fast tracked.

This means that instead of Student Senate waiting until the week after a piece of legislation is read to vote, they vote that week. The new act was then passed by the Student Senate.

Although many people who spoke on the issue strongly opposed Amendment One, like stated in the Opposition to Amendment One Resolution, some now stand behind the new legislation and it’s role in getting students out to vote while others oppose the new amendment because of it’s neutrality.

“PRIDE [People Recognizing Individual, Diversity and Equality] publically supports the new resolution,” said Bonnie Green, the president of PRIDE.

“The argument today is about the new resolution.  This new resolution makes it so that SGA helps us educate the student body on the new amendment and get students out to vote on May 8.”

UNC Charlotte SGA Senate passes Anti-Amendment One Resolution, 13-8

Students and faculty signed a petition to vote against Amendment One before the SGA General Assembly Meeting. Photo by Corbin Peters

UNC Charlotte’s Student Government Association’s general meeting reached maximum capacity as over 100 people sat in the meeting, as well as outside, while the Student Senate debated the Opposition to Amendment One Resolution, written by Senator Nauman Panjwani.

After over an hour of debate and comments from the gallery the resolution passed with a vote of 13-to-8. Duke University, East Carolina University, Guilford College, UNC Asheville, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Greensboro, North Carolina Central University and North Carolina State have passed similar resolutions or released statements standing against Amendment One, according to Protect All NC Families, an organization created to stop the passing of Amendment One.

North Carolinians will have a chance Tuesday, May 8, to vote for or against Amendment One, which states only marriages between one man and one woman will be recognized by N.C. as a domestic relationship. [singlepic id=50 w=320 h=240 float=right]

Speakers from the College Democrats, People Recognizing Individual Diversity and Equality (PRIDE), the Feminist Union, Amnesty International and UNC Charlotte against Amendment One attempted to convince the senators present to vote in favor of the resolution.

The focus of their argument was not the LGBT community in N.C., but all civil unions and domestic partnerships with both heterosexual and homosexual couples living in the state.

“It’s about the children of the parents who are not married, the child that can receive healthcare, the child with leukemia whose mother’s boyfriend is paying for the treatment with his healthcare. If this legislation passes that child will no longer be able to receive healthcare benefits from the boyfriend. That to me is enough to make it ridiculous in my eyes,” said the President of PRIDE, Bonnie Green.

UNC Charlotte faculty also spoke for the resolution against Amendment One. Dr. Cindy Combs, a Distinguished Professor of Teaching in the Political Science Department attended the Student Senate meeting to talk on the subject she felt “affected too many people not to get involved.”

“There are a lot of different cultures and a lot of people who think and believe differently. You don’t have to agree you just have the step back and understand. Accept that they are different and that’s fine. You in fact benefit from the fact that they’re different,” she said. Combs also encouraged senators to vote how the students that elected them feel, not based on their personal beliefs.

Supporters of the Opposition to Amendment One Resolution added that the effects on children with parents who are not married is not the only issue with the proposed amendment.

A lawyer who works with domestic violence cases in N.C. also spoke at the meeting and explained that this amendment could make filing domestic violence cases much more difficult for his clients. “By defining a domestic relationship as a marriage between a man and a woman what we’re effectively doing is we’re denying the rights of the people who live in domestic relationships who aren’t married to go to court and protect themselves from harm and in any other matter of abuse,” he said.

Some senators who opposed to the resolution were concerned with the validity of the statistics written into the legislation, which states, “Nearly 80 percent of polled college-aged voters are opposed to Amendment One.” They also argued that it is not the job of Student Senate to take a side on the issue or encourage students to vote either way.

“I think the main concern on the negative standpoint is how can we say that 25,000 students are against this when 85 are represented in this room? I just don’t get how you can see the university as a whole and judge that we are completely against this when there’s only 100 or so people that feel extremely strongly about it,” said William States E. Lee College of Engineering Senator Evan Wardrop.

Prior to the Student Senate general meeting, Student Body President Dave Craven said he would not sign the legislation, regardless of the outcome at the meeting.

“What I would like to have seen done and what I want to request of Senate is, I would be happy to support a resolution that would be of neutral stance stating that this is a very important vote coming up in regards to however you feel here are facts about both sides of the issue, and we should be supporting people going to vote. We should not be supporting one side of this,” said Craven

Craven has five days to sign or veto the resolution. If he does not sign or veto the resolution automatically goes into effect.

He has made no comments since the passing of the Opposition to Amendment One Resolution, but a group organized by Green and other UNC Charlotte students has come together to do whatever they can to ensure the passing of this resolution.

SGA votes in favor of Opposition to Amendment One Resolution

Bonnie Green, the president of PRIDE, speaking in favor of the Opposition to Amendment One Resolution.

After a vote of 13-to-8 the UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) passed the Opposition to Amendment One Resolution, which stands against the amendment coming to vote in North Carolina in May.

Over 100 UNC Charlotte students, senators and administrators gathered at the General Assembly Meeting for the Student Senate to stand up against the upcoming amendment to the North Carolina State Constitution stating that the only legal domestic relationships are those between a married man and woman and support Senator Nauman Panjwani’s resolution to oppose the amendment.

“I had a group of students who came up to me and asked me to write it.  Simple as that,” said Panjwani.  “I feel like tonight went really well.  There was a lot of debate and there was a lot of people who showed up, which really strengthened our cause.  The people who were opposed to it stated their opinions, and we refuted it.  They got their voice out, and we got our voice.  It passed so it went pretty well.”

Supporters for the resolution came together and cheered as the senate voted in favor of the resolution.  Although the Opposition to Amendment One Resolution is not yet formally enacted, the groups in support for the resolution will work to ensure it is approved.

“We will get it passed through in the end,” said Panjwani.