Oct 23 2014
NIA DOAKS | Managing Editor
On Thursday, October 23, dozens of N.C. State students walked out of their classes in order to call attention to demands for a better-funded, more inclusive and student debt-free UNC system. At 1 p.m. students, faculty and university workers met on N.C. State’s Brickyard. The walkout, organized by the groups Students Proactively Engaged towards Activism Knowledgably, or SPEAK, and Ignite NC, is part of a statewide string of demonstrations that coincide with October’s meeting of the UNC Board of Governors. “There are so many steps we could take in order to make this campus a model of inclusivity,” said Yolanda Munoz, junior at N.C. State. According to the organizers students plan to present a list of demands, compiled from various student groups, for changing the UNC system. Implementing a tuition-free university model, collective bargaining rights for students and workers and an end to cuts on university departments’ budgets, are a list of the demands. Thursday’s demonstrations came after years of cuts by the N.C. General Assembly to the UNC system’s funding. Since 2011 the system has lost $605 million in state funding, $76 million of which was subtracted in 2014. SPEAK cites a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, that said North Carolina is one of only eight states that did not increase its higher education spending in the last year. Students who planned to walk out expressed concern over the impact these continued cuts will have on working-class communities. “The current legislature has made a point of pursuing policies that disenfranchise students,people of color and poor people,” said Jonique Lyles of SPEAK and a junior at N.C. State. “Our university budgets are being gutted, our public schools are languishing…on top of that, changes in voting laws make it harder to vote out the people who enact these harmful policies.” That same Thursday, at noon, UNC-Charlotte held a walkout, at UNC-Chapel Hill on that Friday a group of students demonstrated at the 8 a.m. Board of Governors meeting and at noon Friday students at UNC-Greensboro held another walkout. The events in Charlotte, Chapel Hill and Greensboro, unlike the one in Raleigh, were organized by the North Carolina Student Power Union. During the walk out, students were able to sign a petition that addressed issues including decreased library hours, increased tuition and the recent construction on N.C. State’s campus. “We had about 100 signatures on the petition, which we intend to share with administration and student government,” said Lyles. “We are aiming to see a more open plan of spending for the university.” Along with the petition, the students gathered in the Brickyard on Thursday were able to listen to various speakers discussing university funding and student debt. “The walk out had a huge impact,” said Lyles. “It showed that students can stand up for what they believe in and voice their opinions on campus in a productive way.”
Oct 21 2014
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina stepped foot in Talley Student Union to speak with an intimate group of N.C. State students about education on Monday.
Students Rashaad Hamilton and Josue Berduo shared the mic with Hagan.
Hamilton a senior in political science and N.C.State’s Collegiate 100 president expressed why he supports the Senator’s campaign to keep her seat and a his concerns about growing student debt after graduation.
Berduo a junior in economics, N.C. State College Democrat’s Director of Communications and SGA’s Government Relations Director named Hagan’s stance on federal Pell Grants as one of his reasons for supporting the candidate. Hagan is known for aiding legislation that helps students obtain federal money for their studies
The Senator’s visit was one of her campaign stops of the week, she said she had just been to Asheville and Greensboro days before. .
College Democrats worked with the Hagan campaign to produce the invitation only event.
About 50 students sat and stood to hear from the sitting Senator. Hagan expressed her support for college students at N.C. State and beyond.
Hagan criticized the sales tax that was recently added to college student meal plans,a result of her opponent Thom Tillis’ legislature. She said he’s out of touch with the needs of college students.
Oct 17 2014
Kornelius Bascombe, T.V. personality and 2012 graduate of N.C. State, is continuing to make progressive strides after graduation. In 2010, Bascombe got 4th place in Oprah’s “Your OWN Show” competition and was able to host a show as a result of Time Warner Cable’s “Born to Shine” competition. Kornelius is currently auditioning to be a guest reporter on VH1. In order to make it to the next stage of the auditioning process, Bascombe has to get a high volume of votes before October 27. To vote for him, be sure to visit his Instagram and click the link for VH1. Individuals can vote once per day.