Corbin Peters

200 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

UNC Charlotte Faculty Council creates student scholarships

With student-loan debt reaching $1 trillion dollars in the United States and student need constantly growing, the UNC Charlotte Faculty Council has unanimously approved a voluntary faculty scholarship fund to ease the pressures of student debt.

The Faculty Legacy Scholarship is aimed at meeting all UNC Charlotte students’ financial needs. Starting with small donations from faculty that accumulate over time, the fund’s goal is to eventually pay tuition and fees for all UNC Charlotte students.

“The vision is to the point where students, all students who are attending or want to attend the university, who have need, will in fact have the need covered,” said Al Maisto a Bonnie Cone Distinguished Psychology Professor who helped design the fund.

Starting this fall, faculty will have the option to give monthly or per-paycheck donations to the scholarship fund.

According to Maisto and Michael Green, current UNC Charlotte Faculty President, in its early years the scholarship fund will award a limited number of scholarships to the students with the most financial hardship.

During this time the scholarship fund is designed to spend 30 percent of the fund on scholarships and place the remaining 70 percent in an endowment. With time they hope that the endowment and its interest will grow to support the scholarship’s greater vision of paying for every UNC Charlotte student.

Assuming that at least half of the faculty donates $20 of each of their paychecks Green and Maisto estimate the scholarship fund could grow to $120,000 the first year and $30 million dollars after 20 years.

“Now your talking about spending not just the 30 percent, we will start pulling the interest off of this thing which is a few million dollars a year,” said Maisto.

Maisto and Green said the faculty has shown an unusual amount of enthusiasm about the scholarship fund compared to its typical legislation. An ad-hoc committee drafted the scholarship fund in only six weeks.

“Many people would not see it so clearly because normally you spend your first month just trying to schedule a meeting, and then some come. This was the case of ‘we’ve got to get it done in six weeks who can come?’ Well everybody came,”said Maisto.

The faculty’s enthusiasm surprised Maisto and Green considering UNC Charlotte professors have not received a raise in four years. They said this is evidence of the faculty’s passion for giving students access to affordable education.

“This is something the faculty are doing for the students,” said Maisto. “It’s not something we are doing for the University. That line we have been rather clear in drawing.”

Both professors said the faculty feels a need to leave a legacy with the UNC Charlotte community once they retire. They want the fund to become a measurable way for faculty to give back.

“If you look around there are a lot of faculty who retire and go away and they are moderately pissed because they don’t feel highly valued by administration or even by their colleagues anymore. They look around and there is no real measurable change in this University that they helped build.”

Green hopes students become a catalyst to increase faculty donations. He says one simple questions from students to their professors can drive donations.

“‘Are you participating in the Faculty Legacy Scholarship?’ And if the answer is ‘no,’ then follow up is ‘why not?’ And if the faculty member says ‘yes,’ the students say, ‘thank you’,” said Green.

Maisto and Green know that their goal of paying for every student is a lofty one, but they think given time and faculty cooperation this scholarship fund can reach its vision.

“We can’t fix it in a week, we can’t fix it in a decade, we may be can fix it in 50 years, but the idea is to give it a start,” said Maisto.

UNC Charlotte Homecoming 2012 [Photo Slideshow]

Find yourself in the Niner Times Homecoming 2012 Photo Slideshow. The 50 photos take you through the entire day starting at Saturday morning’s parade all the way to halftime of the men’s basketball game where the student body announced Jessica Simpson and Matthew Murrow Homecoming Queen and King.

UNC Charlotte approves student bus to Hoover, Ala. for Men’s Soccer College Cup

Charlotte 49ers Athletics released a statement on its official Facebook page Tuesday night (Dec. 6, 2011) announcing the approval of a bus trip to Hoover, Ala. for the Charlotte Men’s Soccer Team’s College Cup match against Creighton Friday.

Reservations for the trip begin on a first come first serve basis Wed., Dec. 7, 2011 at 8 a.m. in the Athletic Ticket Office located in the Barnhardt Student Activity Center. Students wanting to make the trip must pay $20 to reserve their admission to the game, seat on the bus and Chartwell’s prepared boxed lunch.

The bus will depart for Hoover at 8 a.m. Friday and will return to campus the same night following the game.

According to the same Facebook post, UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) is paying for travel accommodations.

Reservations for Sunday’s potential Championship match will also be Wednesday. Tickets for Sunday’s match are $15 and money will be collected at the bus before departure. The deadline for both reservations will  be Wed. Dec. 7, 2011 at 1 p.m.

UNC Charlotte SGA requests $9000 for three buses to Men’s Soccer NCAA College Cup

UNC Charlotte students requesting buses to Hoover, Ala. at Chancellor Phillip Dubois' doorstep late Sunday night. Photo / Corbin Peters

UNC Charlotte Student Government Association (SGA) submitted an “urgent” request Tue. Dec. 6, 2011 for $9,000 from the Student Activity Fees Commission (SAFC) Reserve Fund in order to pay for transportation of a group of  students to the Charlotte Men’s Soccer Team’s Final Four match against Creighton this weekend.

The reserve request form drafted by SGA Treasurer Eliza Hernandez asked for one bus Friday to transport 55 students to the game and “hopefully” two buses to transport 110 students to Sunday’s National Championship game assuming a UNC Charlotte victory against Creighton in Hoover, Ala.

According § VII: 4. a. of SAFC Statutes reserve fund allocation approval requires majority vote of a “quorum consisting of the five at-large members, one of which is the non-voting Chair, and four area representatives”.

SAFC Chariman Catie Bishop stated in an email sent to SAFC board members that, upon approval of the funds, students wishing to attend the game will have to pay $20 for their ticket and seat on  the bus. Reservations will be made through the Athletics Office on a first come first serve basis. The email also asked SAFC members to vote for approval via email as quickly as possible.

Attached to SGA’s request was a quote from Coach America pricing each bus at $3,000. It also noted that each bus will return to UNC Charlotte’s campus directly after each game.

Occupy UNC Charlotte works with administration to begin protest

UNC Charlotte "occupiers" meeting at a general assembly meeting on Nov. 9, 2011. Photos / Corbin Peters

A group of student protesters claiming to be the Occupy UNC Charlotte movement sought university approval early this week to transform Belk Tower Plaza into its own tent-filled version of Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park.

Occupy UNC Charlotte’s immediate goal as stated on its Facebook page is to fill the Belk Tower Plaza with tents, at least 20 overnight protesters and around- the-clock information table starting Nov. 13, 2011.

The plan to occupy Belk Tower Plaza with overnight protesters was decided at the group’s second organizational meeting Wednesday night after the assembly was informally approved by the campus reservations office and police.

 

Senior political science major and Occupy UNC Charlotte organizer Brett Hogan contacted the university reservations office seeking approval of the protest early this week, but learned free assembly in any of the university’s “plazas” is protected by university policy.

“There were some levels of approval for this but policy 21 states that students are allowed to assemble at Belk Tower without a reservation,” said Lucian Willhelm assistant director of Reservations & Event Services.

Section VII of University Policy 21 qualifies Belk Tower Plaza as an area that does not require reservations or approvals for assembly. Any form of assembly may take place in the plazas as long as they do not involve amplified sound and campus traffic and activities are not impeded.

While Belk Tower Plaza is designated as an area not requiring reservations this policy still “urges” groups to reserve the space.

“This was technically not an official reservation, just a respectful move by the students,” added Wilhelm.

The informal reservation prompted dialogue within the University’s student affairs department because the department wanted to make sure that the students would be able to use their first amendment rights while remaining safe on campus.

Occupy UNC Charlotte organizer and senior Political Science major Brett Hogan.

Wilhelm explained that the university “honors” Hogan’s right to free assembly and attempt to bring awareness of the Occupy Movement in an email sent to Hogan this week.

The email  stated that the university’s preference is that the overnight protests occur Sunday Nov. 13 through Thursday Nov. 17 and that the university encourages the occupiers to use Atkins Library’s 24/7 facilities. Wilhelm also suggested that all overnight protesters program the Campus Police Dispatch phone number in their phones in case of emergency.

To close the email Wilhelm requested a list of participants and their phone numbers which will be shared with campus police.

The campus police do not plan to make any major changes in their daily routine during the protests but were glad they were made aware of them.

“Our staffing levels are low now. We can’t supply them 24-hour security service there on the Belk Quad. Of course our officers are here 24/7, but we can’t dedicate an officer to them because we can’t afford the overtime and that kind of thing,” said UNC Charlotte Campus Police Sgt. Shawn Smith.

According to Sgt. Smith student safety is campus police’s top priority. He plans to send regular targeted patrols to Belk Tower nights of the protests. His main concerns are theft, poor sanitation and the potential of violence at the protests.

Smith referenced the tuberculosis outbreak at Occupy Atlanta and the recent violent student riots at Penn State University.

65-year-old Concord retiree and "occupier" Don Faix.

“We want it to remain a peaceful protest. We don’t want to go up there and have to deal with things that may happen like at Penn State where they went through the streets and were setting stuff on fire,” said Smith.

Campus police expect students to be conscious of Belk Tower Plaza’s upkeep.

“They’re paying good money to come to this university and the university keeps a nice façade and nice amenities for the students, and we expect them to respect that and not damage anything,” said Smith.

Occupy UNC Charlotte was organized by UNC Charlotte freshmen Dylan Lehr and Sam Carey, senior Hogan and 65-year-old Concord retiree Don Faix after they all met at the Occupy Charlotte movement on Uptown’s Trade Street.

The four have been recruiting with fliers and booming shouts near Belk Tower for two weeks now. Approximately 20 students attended both of their Wednesday night interest meetings including married UNC Charlotte English instructors Brett and Elizabeth Tingley.

Occupy UNC Charlotte hopes these tents bring attention to the Occupy UNC Charlotte movement so they can share their disgust with the nation’s corporate greed, political corruption and the wealthiest one percent of the population’s political irresponsibility.

“These tents are big. People are going to start asking questions,” said senior political science major and Occupy UNC Charlotte organizer Brett Hogan. “The students can’t ignore this.”

The group is aware that their numbers are lower than other universities around the nation, but they are not discouraged.

“There are not many people here,” said Faix during the opening of the meeting. “But the ones that are here are the doers.”

SGA fall 2011 elections next week

The UNC Charlotte student body will have an opportunity to elect 12 new representatives into its governing body Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, and Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, during the annual Student Government Association (SGA) Fall Elections.

Thirty-one candidates are running for the 12 positions, which include freshman at-large senate seats, at-large senate seats and all four class presidencies.

The four at-large seat candidates and Sophomore Class President candidate Jingjing Zhao won their positions by default, but all other positions could involve “heated races” according to Board of Elections Chair Garrett Bedenbaugh.

Twelve students are running for the four freshman at-large seats, ten students are running for Freshman Class President, two students are running for Junior Class President and two students are running for Senior Class President.

Campaigning began Tuesday after the Candidate’s Meeting and Bedenbaugh is pleased with the efforts he has seen.

“I’ve seen lots of fliers and Facebook groups going up. Hopefully that improves turnout,” said Bedenbaugh.

Voter turnout among the student body for the 2011 SGA spring elections was 13 percent.

Students can vote by visiting vote.uncc.edu. Ballots open Tuesday. Sept. 20, 2011, at 8 a.m. and close Wednesday. Sept. 21, 2011, at 5 p.m.

Election results will be announced Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, at 12:30 p.m. in the SGA Complex on the 2nd floor of the Student Union.

Students wanting to learn more about the candidates can also visit NinerOnline.com for each candidate’s written “intent paragraphs” about why they want to get involved with SGA.

SGA Senator Chanakira removes offensive tweets from public’s eye

[nggallery id=1] Student Government Association (SGA) Senator, Keith Chanakira, privatized his derogatory and sexually explicit Twitter account Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, only one day before being confirmed as the Organizational Ways and Means Committee Chair.

The formerly public account entitled @itweethotfire narrated Chanakira’s underage drinking, frustrations with UNC Charlotte administration and impatience with UNC Charlotte parents. Racial slurs, sexual innuendos and various other profanities decorated the feed which has over 5,000 tweets and 200 followers.

As Organizational Ways and Means Chair Chanakira leads the committee in allocating $194,290 of the UNC Charlotte 2011-12 budget which helps fund the university’s 350 student organizations. Despite his status as a student leader neither the university or SGA can take any action against his tweets.

“This doesn’t violate any university policy,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for  Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Michelle Howard. “Now as Dean of Students and having a student leader doing this I feel it warrants an educational conversation with Keith”.

Student Body President Dave Craven said that he has seen worse on Twitter and does not plan to take any action.

“Maybe I just run with the wrong people; I don’t know, but I’ve seen a lot worse on Twitter than this,” said Craven.

Before being confirmed Chanakira already helped allocate over $42,000 during his two weeks as Acting Chair of the Organizational Ways and Means Committee. This money was given to 30 groups including College Democrats, International Club, Model United Nations, PRIDE and Veterans Club.

Chanakira said these tweets did not affect his past decisions in SGA and will not affect his future decisions as Organizational Ways and Means Chair.

“My tweets have nothing do with SGA. My constituency has nothing to worry about,” said Chanakira.

Student Body Vice President and President of the Senate, Amanda Markham, defended Chanakira describing him as a “senator who stands out among the rest.”

“He’s definitely taken on a position of leadership not just because he’s handed a title. He sets an example about being engaged and knowledgeable about our system. The chair is a very taxing job to have but he does a good job at keeping everyone upbeat and positive,” said Markham.

Chanakira explained that these tweets do not directly reflect his personal character and that the questionable tweets would not seem as offensive if the reader knew their original context.

“This is maybe 25 out of 6,000 tweets. If you see my tweet and you don’t really know who I am you might get the wrong idea of what my character is. When it comes to these sexual innuendos my mother raised me and I have two sisters. I don’t have disrespect for women,” he said.

Chanakira also addressed his other objectionable tweets and said he only drinks socially and “hates” his use off “n****”.

“I’m not a big fan of saying the word but through hearing the word in conversation with people I’m constantly around I’ve ended up putting it in my vocabulary which I really don’t like. I’m one of those people if I use it I’m not going to get angry if someone else uses it,” said Chanakira.

Dr. Howard has worked two years with Chanakira and does not think he meant to portray himself the way he did with his tweets.

“I’ve known Keith. I’ve known Keith for two years now. … He didn’t violate anything, but may not understand how personal life reflects the role of your group and your public persona,” said Howard.

Craven said the tweets were Chanakira “being his charismatic self and joking around” and felt that publishing Chanakira’s tweets would only be damaging to a “good student leader” for no reason.

“My whole thing here is this is not doing anything but damaging us as a student body by running this story. It’s not damaging a political party, there’s no motive. To me you running this story is simply throwing this story out there for every student to go look at and say what was this student thinking. Where as if this was not to be in the paper no one is ever going to see this but maybe the 50 people he has on Twitter. That’s been my concern the entire time with this.”

Chanakira disagrees with Craven and says publishing his Tweets is an opportunity for students learn the boundaries of private life.

“I think you exposing this is a really good thing overall because it’s an example for people that you have to be aware of your public and private lives. … I never even thought I was this visible,” said Chanakira.

Chanakira plans to keep his personal Twitter account private and create a new public Twitter account for constituents to get in touch with him.

“I just want SGA to move towards being more visible. There’s a lot more people we could reach,” said Chankira.

SGA to fill vacant senate seats

Rows of empty black rolling chairs surrounded the Student Government Association (SGA) senators in Student Union Room 200 Thurs. Aug. 25, 2011, during the first SGA General Assembly meeting for the fall semester.

The senate has 15 open seats, four freshman at-large seats, four at-large seats and four open officer positions. The vacancies are divided between eight different colleges and the at-large seats. Senate leaders opened the meeting by addressing these open seats.

“I know we are lean right now, but I think that will change very soon,” said SGA Senate Advisor Jonathan Adams.

Student Body Vice President and President of the Senate Amanda Markham announced the empty seats during her message to the senate.

There are currently two open seats in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, two open seats in the Belk College of Business, two open seats in the College of Health and Human Services, one open seat in the College of Computing and Informatics, one open seat in the College of Arts and Architecture, one open seat in the College of Education, three open seats in the College of Engineering and three open seats in the University College. There are also four freshman at-large seats and four at-large seats.

The senate vacancies have two opportunities to be filled in the coming semester. At-large seats can be filled in the SGA Fall Elections Sept. 20 through Sept. 21(The ELECTIONS ACT §6-14.-§6-1.13) and open seats can be filled at any time. Students wanting to fill open seats must present 50 constituent signatures from their respective college, attend one General Assembly meeting and receive 2/3 senate approval (BY-LAWS of the STUDENT SENATE §3-1.1).

If no open seats are filled both the College of Engineering and University college will have no senate representation.

Markham says that these two colleges are notorious for not having any representation and that it will not be an issue.

“These colleges typically have little to no representation. I think it has to do a lot with the nature of students in the colleges,” said Markham. “We do our best to represent the student body as a whole anyways. It’s our duty to look out for them.”

University College has yet to have a single senator since it gained 3 seats on the senate last year and it is approaching two years of having zero representation. This does not surprise undeclared freshman Ryan Hess.

“It would be great to give us undeclared majors a voice, but it’s hard to have a voice when we don’t even know what we want or what we’re looking for out of college,” said Hess.

Senior Mechanical Engineering major Aaron Lucas says that the curriculum of the College of Engineering makes it hard to participate in SGA.

“With the engineering workload, things like SGA aren’t what concern us. That’s not to say SGA isn’t important. We just say well I have thermodynamics, dynamics, and all the other classes that take up so much time we’re just like, why would I even bother myself with SGA,” said Lucas.

He also feels the college of engineering is often forgotten in the bigger scheme of the university’s planning and that SGA representation might be able to help.

“It’s interesting to think if we had some SGA representation we might get more attentions and things that help out engineering students I’m not sure if SGA could’ve changed decisions made about things like the location of the new parking deck, location of our new classrooms or the inconsistent trolley system, but some help would be really nice,” said Lucas.

Nominations forms for at large positions are due Sept. 2 and can be found at the SGA elections website. Markham asks that anyone interested in running for an open or at-large seat to contact her at studentbodyvp@uncc.edu or visit her in office at the Student Government Complex.

UNC Charlotte SGA plans for new semester

The 2010-2011 Student Government Association year ended with a historic election. The student body president, Dave Craven, won the presidency by 19 votes during an election with the highest voter turnout in SGA history.

While last year’s election was dramatic and received more student attention than usual, that record-breaking voter turnout was 13 percent, several seats on the senate were unfilled and the College of Engineering failed to elect a single senator.

Despite these numbers, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Ways and Means Committee chair Keith Chanakira feels this SGA year is different and that student engagement and senate activity is on the rise.

“I’ve received several emails over the summer from students within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences asking about tuition costs and various student policies. This is completely different from last year where I didn’t receive a single email,” said Chanakira. “I’m going to try to be more visable and in-touch with the students.”

However Fellow College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senators Jessica Simpson and Ray Atkinson say their inboxes remain empty.

“The issue that we’re having is a lot of students don’t know we exist. Student engagement is decent and voter turnout improved last year, but overall it’s not where it should be,” said Simpson.

Atkinson feels SGA could solve this voter turnout and low engagement by simply publishing senate legislation and agendas online.

“I want to make it where students can see what we’re doing. … All we have online right now is a list of senators and if students want to see legislation they have to talk to our administrative assistant Quincy Hinson,” said Atkinson.

These three senators were all received a high number of votes within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during the spring election and all have big plans for the upcoming year. They all have plans for the new year, some are extensions from last year and others are new initiatives.

Keith Chanakira plans to implement Senate Resolution SR47.2-31 this year which asks absent professors to notify students “prior to a cancelled class”.

The legislation was a reaction to a situation in one of Chanakira’s final exams where a professor showed up 90 minutes late and asked students to return to the final after they had left.

“You can’t ask students to drive back and forth like that. Some students have a vey long commute,” said Chanakira.

Atkinson plans to pursue change affecting the school’s other form of transportation, bicycling. The senator hopes to pass legislation which would install a tire pressure area somewhere on campus for cyclists.

“It’s a safety concern if students don’t have properly inflated tires they could blow up or bicyclists could lose control,” said Atkinson.

He will also pursue getting the bike lane lines behind Spruce Hall repainted and mirrors installed on campus roads for blind corners.

Voted “Most Reliable Senator” by the student senate in last year’s senate superlatives Atkinson is known for his persistent activity and advocacy for campus bicycling.

Atkinson likes taking on small projects like these especially during budget cuts.

“One thing I’ve learned through SGA and internships is you don’t always have to go for big projects. There’s a lot of small projects out there that can have an impact,” said Atkinson.

Outside of the realm of cycling, Atkinson is the primary sponsor of the larger scale senate resolution SR48.1-1. Atkinson’s legislation which was adopted last April encourages dining services to “ to incorporate zero waste initiatives into the football stadium vender contracts.”

Simpson who was last year’s Student Affairs Committee chair says these large scale projects even during budget cuts are still worth pursuing.

“Some of our projects might not happen this year, but if we start the frameworks to get them implemented now we will see results in the future. UNC Charlotte football is a good example of this,” said Simpson.

New projects, legislation and committee assignments will all be underway Thursday, Aug. 25, at 5:00 p.m. in Student Union room 200 during the Senate general assembly meeting.

 

Meet the UNC Charlotte Student Body President Dave Craven

Last spring the UNC Charlotte student body elected Dave Craven as the 2011-2012 UNC Charlotte Student Body President.

The senior accounting major, Kappa Sigma Social Chair and College Republicans treasurer is now the figurehead and executive power for over 25,000 students, but before he serves his presidential duties he has to run home to Randolph County and serve some ice cream.Craven is part-owner of Dave and Lew’s Homemade Ice Cream in his hometown Ramseur, NC.

This summer he has been torn between serving his 25,000 student constituents and his Randolph County neighbors. When Craven wasn’t touring UNC Charlotte’s new buildings, meeting with UNC Charlotte administration or speaking with incoming freshman he was behind the counter of Dave and Lew’s scooping his homemade ice cream.

“Back home I’m making 40 flavors of ice cream and at UNC Charlotte I’m having what seems like 40 meetings every week,” said Craven.

Ice cream isn’t Craven’s only connection to his hometown. Born and raised in Randolph County, his office in the Student Government and Organization Complex boasts a seemingly life size map of the county. He also speaks with a southern twang that can only be developed from 21 years of living in the South.

Dave Craven Sr. (Craven’s father) is a commercial real estate agent whose connections to the county’s leaders jockeyed his son’s interest in politics. Randolph County politics have been a constant in Craven’s life from a young age.

“Because of my dad everyone I have always known has been the mayor, county commissioner, or the sheriff, but the moment I really realized my love for politics was during my fifth grade field trip to the governor’s mansion,” said Craven.

During the field trip 11-year-old Craven asked Governor Jim Hunt’s wife Nancy Hunt for an autograph. She declined worried that she would have to give all of his classmates an autograph, but after a short conversation between Dave Craven Sr. and the governor’s wife the fifth grader received an autographed season’s greetings card in the mail one week later.

From that point on Craven began a long string of school-based political positions at each level of Randolph County Schools.

Earlier this month Craven’s opponent for his fifth grade student body president election visited him at Dave and Lew’s to reminisce about their Ramseur Elementary election.

“I was crazy back then. I gave a speech behind a tiny podium in front of 500 kids,” said Craven. “Luckily I won the election and received my first ‘position of power’ as class president.”

After serving as fifth grade student body president Craven continued climbing in the Randolph County Schools political spectrum. He was elected Southeastern Randolph Middle School student body president in eighth grade and Eastern Randolph High Senior School Class President.

Before being elected Craven even planned to run for Ramseur Mayor despite not having graduated from UNC Charlotte yet.

“I considered running for mayor because so many people told me I ought to. It was a tear for me because I’m very loyal to Randolph County and I’m very loyal to this university, but in the end I think this university needed me,” said Craven.

Craven is currently working on several projects for the upcoming year including a cell phone application to help students track the CATS Campus Shuttle system and a new online academic advising interface.

He feels his positions as Student Body President gives him a chance to make real change for a larger community than Ramseur.

“Back home at the ice cream shop how hard I work reflects on what I benefit what I get out of it. At the university how hard I work reflects 25,000 people,” said Craven.

UNC Charlotte Budget made simple

This year’s national recession, state budget cuts for the UNC system, and 9.7 percent North Carolina unemployment rate will challenge parents and students who are funding a UNC Charlotte education, many of whom are doing it for the first time.

Regardless of the current state and national economic climate, UNC Charlotte requires this fall’s incoming class of freshman to pay the semesterly tuition and fees. This money makes up approximately one-fourth of the university’s total revenues which is approaching $500 million.

The most recent state audited UNC Charlotte financial statement for the year ended June 30, 2010 reported the university received $113 million in tuition and fees and $186 million in state appropriations and aid.

Tuition is pooled with state-allocated appropriations in the university’s General Fund, while fees are collected for and spent on their respective project.

The general fund is allocated by the Chancellor to each division of the university. These divisions, academic affairs, business affairs, student affairs, university advancement and the Chancellor’s office, then use the money to operate their day-to-day operation expenses.

These expenses include salaries and benefits, supplies and materials, and services used in each division’s and the university’s instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support and operations and maintenance.

Faculty and staff salary and fringe benefits consume 72 percent of the general fund. The remaining 28 percent is devoted to the day-to-day operations of the university which includes  supplies, telephone and postage; purchases of academic supplies and equipment; travel and training.

UNC Charlotte Associate Vice Chancellor for finances Susan Brooks says that some of the things the general fund pays for are not always super obvious to students.

“When we’re talking about the general fund we’re talking about all services students consume that they take for granted. When I say that what I mean is these things are so much a part of the landscape that they (students) don’t stop to think that somebody is paying for them,” said Brooks. “Students don’t always see the benefits of these services, but there is always an indirect benefit.”

While tuition pays for things that often “get lost in the landscape” and affect students more indirectly, the UNC Charlotte fees go to programs and projects that students think about and use directly every day.

“Fees are collected for specific purposes,” said Brooks. “An example of this is the Student Activity Fee. It goes to support Student Government Association and the various student organizations.”

Other fees related directly to students include the Health Services Fee which helps fund the Student Health Center, Athletics Fee, Education and Technology Fee which helps pay for technology in the classroom, the Student Activity Center Operations fee, Cone Center Operations Fee, Recreation Services Fee, Playing Field Maintenance Fee, and Student Union Operations fee.

Brooks also noted the five student debts fees which payed for the Student Union. The semesterly fees pay the principle and interest on the bonds used to pay for the Student Activity Center, Student Union, the football program and administrative computing.

Brooks understands the complexity of the budget and how it is difficult for students to understand some of the decisions that are made regarding tuition and fees.

“It is difficult for a student whether it’s a freshman, senior or graduate student to understand the complexity of things we have to do that aren’t directly related to student interests,” said Brooks.

However, Brooks assures both parents and students that all decisions UNC Charlotte faculty makes regarding tuition and fees keep the student interest in mind.

“All of the employees of the university I work with are exceptional stewards of the funds we receive whether it’s from the state tax payer or the student.”

Niner on the Weekend plays matchmaker with complete strangers

Photo / Lauren Harris

Romance filled the air of the Student Union last Saturday night with Niner On the Weekend’s inaugural “speed dating” event. The room’s fluorescent lighting, plastic pink table cloths and rolling office chairs set the scene for a romantic evening between complete strangers. The event also featured an open coca-cola and red bull bar to help loosen up the tense participants.

After a quick disclaimer explaining that NOW was not responsible for any encounters with the speed daters following the event, the night was underway. The group of attendees was divided by gender, then sent on a series of 26 3-minute blind dates.The 58 romantics went into the dates with high hopes and many came out successful.

The opening dates had the same level of nervousness found at a middle school dance, but later in the night, several of the complete strangers proved very compatible. “Good dates” cheated the system by skipping the rotation, often tripling their precious time from three minutes to nine minutes.

Unfortunately for every repeated date, there was also a miserable date marked by heavy cell phone usage, thumb twiddling, awkward staring or a quick “trip to the restroom.”

Speed dater and UNC Charlotte sophomore Ray Atkinson met several potential dates he could “stalk on Facebook.”

“I’ve been single for 20 years, so I’m not desperate but a little bit hopeful. I made a lot of great friends (while speed dating). I did not get any numbers, but I got a lot of names, so I can just go stalk them on Facebook,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson’s only complaint of the event was that the dates were too brief. “The dates were a little bit too fast for me because I’m used to talking to people for hours. Three minutes is not long enough. But whenever I get them (dates) for lunch or dinner it will be a lot better.”

UNC Charlotte student Clinton Montgomery had very few of these “miserable” dates.

The “speed dater” claimed much of his success was due to his avoidance of pick-up lines.

“The best pick-up line is the you one never use,” said Mongomery. “I got about a dozen numbers tonight.”

While speed dating was a night of opportunity for Montgomery and Atkinson, it was a night of missed opportunities for the group of late arrivals outside the doors of Student Union Room 200. “Speed Dating” was full by 5:30 p.m., so these hopeless romantics could not participate until a “speed dater” dropped out.

One anonymous late arrival had an interesting motivation for attending speed dating.
“I came for a back-up plan. I am looking to replace my current significant other, so I came here looking to find somebody,” said the anonymous speed dater. “I wish I would have come earlier to see what I could have gotten out of this. Next time, I’m going to make sure to be on time.”

Two weeks away from Valentine’s Day, NOW hoped cupid’s arrow struck its Speed Dating event. “We hope some relationships came out of this. We are not expecting anything drastic to happen, but who knows, someone might have found their Valentine,” said NOW Program Coordinator James Scott. “Even if we only made one couple, we are happy.”

Speed Dating was not only an opportunity for NOW to play matchmaker, it was also a part of NOW’s continuing efforts to keep the UNC Charlotte campus alive and give students reasons to stay on campus during the weekends.

“We’re trying to make sure there is stuff to do on the weekends. Everyone says people go home, but that is a lie. We clearly had a bunch of people here and a lot of activity going on at the campus,” said James Contratto UNC Charlotte assistant director of Student Activities for Weekend Programs.

Contratto hopes to host more speed dating events in the coming months. “Keep an eye on our calendar for more speed dating events. We will more than likely tweak what we learned from this event and make it better for the next time we do it.”

X Marks the Spot – Treasure Fest brings bands to Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood

Over 50 bands will hit the streets of Plaza Midwood on May 20 and 21. These bands won’t come in tour buses, but instead, a fleet of beater vans. Their shows won’t be in an arena or on a stage, but instead, they will play on the floors of local businesses. They won’t have a sound crew, just a mess of wires and amps. And the bands won’t be staying in Uptown’s luxury hotels; instead, they will be ending their evening on the floorboards of the same vans they arrived in.

These bands are all doing this to support Charlotte’s newest music festival: Treasure Fest.The fest is hosting four to five shows simultaneously on both days in May.

The performances are scattered at several local venues and businesses including Lunchbox Records, Studio 1212, Snug Harbor, Common Market and the Thirsty Beaver. They will feature international, out-of-state and local bands that range from Americana to hardcore punk (Robbins worked with nearly every band to get free downloads of Treasure Fest band tracks . Here are links to both parts of the compilation, (Part I and Part II.)

Treasure Fest is local, independent and free of corporate sponsorship, but recent UNC Charlotte graduate and founder of Treasure Fest and Charlotte’s Self-Aware Records, Joshua Robbins, would not have it any other way.

“There won’t be any rockstar ‘douche-baggery’ stuff. A lot of bands and people involved with music have ridiculous illusions of grandeur. I tried to book bands that are real people, and as a result of that, the festival is getting real people and businesses to help out.”-Joshua Robbins

Treasure Fest is a true community effort. Bands are receiving no more than $100 guarantees, venues are hosting the shows for free and members of the music scene are volunteering their time.

The absence of corporate sponsorship is forcing all fundraising to happen on the local level.

“Corporate sponsorship would be nice, but it’s not necessary. We can do this without PBR giving us free beer,” said Robbins.

Common Market, The Diamond and other Plaza Midwood businesses donated money to Treasure Fest. Two benefit shows are also helping fund the fest, but the Treasure Fest’s primary funding will be from ticket sales.

Tickets can be purchased for individual shows the day of at each venue, but pre-order weekend passes for $25 are also available.

Robbins is pushing for the sale of pre-orders in hopes of covering his overhead costs before the festival starts. However, he also wants those purchasing tickets to know he is making no profit off of the two-day fest.

“Whatever money I have left over still goes to the bands. I’m not making a cent off of this. I’m not even reimbursing anything I put in. I want the bands first and foremost taken care of, so I can ensure this happens again next year,” said Robbins.

Robbins’s DIY approach and “bands come first” attitude are both consistent with his vision for Treasure Fest and the Charlotte music scene as a whole. He hopes Treasure Fest allows Charlotte bands to network with similar bands around the nation.

“Charlotte gets skipped by bands a lot. I’m sick of it. We (Charlotte) have this stigma of being really bad about supporting music. We have to take care of the bands,” said Robbins. “When I was setting this up, I was asked if it was a benefit or charity. I said the charity is to pay the bands and bring great music to Charlotte.”

Treasure Fest offers several opportunities to help the event. Volunteer positions are open for those wanting to help the venues run smoothly.

The fest also has an “Adopt a Band” program. The program aims to find Charlotteans willing to let a band sleep in their home, opposed to their vans or one of Charlotte’s more dangerous neighborhoods.

“I really want to try to save as many bands as possible from having to get hotels or motels. There are hotels around here, but some of the closest ones are off of Independence, and I don’t necessarily feel comfortable telling bands to stay there,” said Robbins.
Anyone willing to help volunteer or “adopt” a band is asked to visit the Treasure Fest Facebook page or email Robins at treasurefestnc@gmail.com.

More information on set lists and times of shows can be found at treasurefest.blogspot.com.

Schedule

Fri. May 20 Sat. May 21
Lunchbox RecordsOddczar 7:10-7:40 p.m.
Little League 8:00-8:30 p.m.
Torch Runner 8:50-9:10 p.m.
1994! 9:30-10:00 p.m.
Logic Problem 10:20-10:50 p.m.
Cola Freaks 11:10-11:40 p.m.
Daytrader 12:00-12:30 p.m.Snug Harbor25 Minutes to Go 6:50-7:20 p.m.
Dukes of Hillsborough 7:40-8:10 p.m.
Tim Version 8:30-9:00 p.m.
Jr. Astronomers 9:20-9:50 p.m.
Fossils 10:10-10:40 p.m.
Campaign 1984 11:00-11:30 p.m.
Harvard 11:50-12:20 p.m.
Thunderlip 12:40 p.m.-untilStudio 1212Apart 5:30-6:00 p.m.
Boyshorts 6:10-6:40 p.m.
Small Talk 6:50-7:20 p.m.
Andy the Doorbum 7:30-8:00 p.m.
Snowing 8:10-8:40 p.m.
Band Name 8:50-9:20 p.m.
Old Flings 9:30-10:00 p.m.
Algernon Cadwallader 10:10-10:40 p.m.Central CoffeeBailey Cooke 7:30-8:00 p.m.
Matt Evans 8:15-8:45 p.m.
Mike Bell 9:00-9:30 p.m.
Jeremy Current 9:45-10:15 p.m.The Milestone (After Party)Bay of Pigs
Salvacion
The Vampirates
Gore Gore Luchadores
Lunchbox RecordsDivide Divide Divide 6:20-6:50 p.m.
Monument 7:10-7:40 p.m.
Frost Watson 8:00-8:30 p.m.
Vegan Coke 8:50-9:20 p.m.
Hold Tight! 9:40-10:10 p.m.
Landmines 10:30-11:00 p.m.
Hawks 11:20 p.m.-untilSnug HarborYoung and Barren 4:30-5:00 p.m.
Bear Romantic 5:20-5:50 p.m.
Bats and Mice 6:10-6:40 p.m.
Pullman Strike 7:00-7:30 p.m.
Restorations 7:50-8:20 p.m.
Annabel 8:40-9:10 p.m.
Everyone Everywhere 9:30-9:50 p.m.
Naked Gods 10:20-10:50 p.m.
Red Collar 11:10-11:40 p.m.
Yardwork 12:00 p.m.-untilStudio 1212Mon Frere 4:00-4:30 p.m.
World Champions 4:40-5:10 p.m.
Campaign 5:20-5:50 p.m.
Sunglasses 6:00-6:30 p.m.
Mose Giganticus 6:40-7:10 p.m.
Just Die! 7:20-7:50 p.m.
Worn In Red 8:00-8:30 p.m.
Shit Storm 8:40-9:10 p.m.
Young & In the Way 9:20-9:50 p.m.
Braveyoung 10:00 p.m.-untilCentral CoffeeTBA 7:45-8:15 p.m.
Jason Kutchma 8:30-9:00 p.m.
Neil Mauney 9:15-9:45 p.m.
Eric Ayotte 10:00 p.m.-untilThirsty BeaverMotel Glory 5:00-5:45 p.m.
Andrew Kane & the Alibis 6:15-7:00 p.m.
Appalucia 7:30 p.m.-untilCommon MarketBrain F 8:00-8:30 p.m.
Wymyns Prysyn 8:50-9:20 p.m.
Sadgiqacea 9:40-10:10 p.m.
Towering Pyre 10:30-11:00 p.m.
Emotron 11:20 p.m.-until

The Milestone (After Party)

DJ Jazzy Jon
Human Pippi Armstrong
The Thoughtcriminals
Sympl (of Projekt Lotus)

New noise ordinances limit noise in Student Union Rotunda

While the city of Charlotte battled its highly publicized noise ordinance debate over the last few weeks, the Student Union brought closure to a sound battle of its own.

After several months filled with scattered complaints about the noise level of various amplified acts performing in the Student Union Rotunda, Executive Director of the Student Union Jerry Mann and a small committee decided to draft a new policy regarding Rotunda events and noise levels.

The proposal passed unanimously at this month’s Student Union Advisory board meeting and is now in effect.

The new “Rotunda Event Policy” established not only time restrictions in terms of when events can occur but also the duration of the event and loudness of the event measured in decibels.

The policy’s purpose reads, “The Student Union strives to be the active, safe and inclusive center of campus life, providing activities and opportunities for involvement in a welcoming, friendly and respectful environment. This policy defines the principles under which programming will occur in the Rotunda so as to most efficiently, effectively and respectfully utilize the space.”

Here are Mann’s thoughts on the new Rotunda policy and how to keep the Student Union inclusive to all.

 

Corbin Peters: When did the complaints about the noise ordinances start?

Jerry Mann: A few months ago, a certain amount of amplified events started to migrate out of Norm’s and into the Rotunda. It started with low volume programs, but then a few months ago, we had our first high volume events. The Rotunda has hosted two or more sound-based events now that involved amplified sound and full bands. While we have had a minimal number of complaints, that is when they really began. We realized we had a situation where we needed to begin to kind of up our arms around the Rotunda and define what could and couldn’t happen out there.

 

CP: What changes does the new Rotunda Event Policy bring forth?

JM: The policy splits the day into two time frames. One is what we call “normal business hours,” which runs from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The second part is just everything outside of normal business hours.

During “normal business hours,” the policy states that any event with amplified sound can only last two hours and that we are only going to have one event like that per day. Also, no drum kits are allowed during “normal business hours.” … The other restriction is that Rotunda events must not exceed sound levels of 100 decibels (dB) at any time. This decibel level is equivalent to a the sound of a motorcycle.

 

CP: How loud were these events?

JM: They were loud. You know, I’m not against loud. In fact right now as I’m talking to you, my ears are ringing from the hearing damage I’ve sustained from going to rock concerts most of my life. These events weren’t that loud from a hearing loss perspective, but the design of the building is such that sound is intensified because of the hard surfaces and the building’s open nature. When bands came in and played at a pretty good volume, it was heard throughout the building.

 

CP: What about times outside of “normal business hours?”

JM: After 5:00 p.m. and on the weekends, there are no restrictions on event length, multiple events can occur simultaneously, and the only caveat is events must be considerate of meeting room usage and be prepared to decrease volume if requested by management. If a band is out there really cranking it up on a Friday night and we receive complaints from multiple people using meeting rooms, we might ask them to turn their music down. In a multi-use building like this, you have to kind of make sure everyone has equal opportunity to utilize it with few distractions. Our enforcement is really going to be more situational than anything.

 

CP: The Student Union mission statement states that “the Student Union hopes to be both an “entertaining, fun and high energy environment” and also a “casual, comfortable and relaxing place to be.” How does the policy help create both of these environments in one building?

JM: That’s the question! Where do you find the balance?  That’s what the policy is trying to address. How do you balance this really loud, really raucous, party-time-all-the-time areas with the really quiet meeting and study areas. We’re not the library. If people really complain about the noise, we can point them to places around campus that are really quiet.

To me, the building is about engagement. How do you create a dynamic where people are willing to get out of their comfort zone and meet someone new or at least explore relationships? It’s striking the balance between this stuff which gets you really excited and this stuff which allows you to really relax and get to know somebody. It’s not easy. Sometimes, you go this way or sometimes you go the other way, but the policy tries to get us somewhere down the middle.

 

CP: What would you tell bands or more loud and alternative acts trying to program in the Student Union?

JM: I would tell them to program in Norm’s. Basically, you’re not going to hear a loud rock concert at a cemetery. In the end, we are surrounded by spaces that are intended for particular uses. The Rotunda is okay for some kinds of programs, because they really blend and compliment that space really well. Other spaces in the building are far better for really loud events, and Norm’s is it. We can close the doors and you can get as loud as you want in there with good lighting and good sound. I think it was always kind of the intent that Norm’s is where those kind of shows would be booked.

 

CP: Why wasn’t this policy planned before the Union opened?

JM: When we opened the Student Union, one of the concerns that programmers had with programming in the Cone Center was what they thought was kind of an overwhelming structure of rules and policies, do’s and don’ts.

They felt it kind of restricted their ability to effectively program.

So when we opened the Student Union, we deliberately went about not really putting into place many guidelines, policies or procedures.

Now we have kind of given the building a go for a while to see what worked and what didn’t work without prejudging stuff. If we would have developed a policy early on, it probably would have prohibited a lot of our more organic and creative events.