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  • Royals
    Apr 03 2014

    Royals: The New Pan Afrikan King and Queen

    Aaron Thomas | Staff Writer

    Royals

    Breanna Powell and Stephen Williams, the winners of the Mr. and Miss Pan Afrikan 2014 Title. | Jasmine Jack

    On Monday night, the Black Students Board held its Mr. and Miss Pan Afrikan Pageant in Talley Ballroom, crowning Stephen Williams and Breanna Powell as the 2014 Mr. and Miss Pan Afrikan.

    The pageant is part of the 44th annual Pan Afrikan Week at N.C. State. Christian Faucette and Amira Alexander hosted the event.

    Contestants competed in categories including prospective career path, talent, and a question and answer session. The six contestants were N.C. State students Jaci Bradley, Ryan Robinson, Breanna Powell, Stephen Williams, QuiAnne Holmes, and Christopher Belton.

    The pageant opened with contestants reciting a found poem entitled ‘Our Legacy Unchained’.  Written by N.C. State student Amira Alexander, the poem was inspired by the words of prominent authors, leaders, and journalists whom Alexander “deemed reflected the theme of this year’s Pan Afrikan Week.

    Contestants brought their personalities to life as they introduced themselves with personalized entrance music and sharing a favorite quote.

    The prospective career path was the first category of the show. Wearing professional attire and carrying accessories such as iPads and briefcases, contestants shared their career goals and influences.

    The next portion of the show was the talent competition. Contestant one, Jaci Bradley, flaunted her disc jockey skills on turntables. Ryan Robinson, the second contestant, wowed the audience by playing a song he arranged on his saxophone. Contestant three, Breanna Powell, performed Alicia Keys’ ‘If I Ain’t Got You’, flaunting her vocal range. Stephen Williams, the fourth contestatnt, shocked the audience with his ability to sing John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ while playing the hit song on the piano.  Contestant five, QuiAnne Holmes, performed a captivating interpretative dance performance to Sadé’s ‘Pearls’. The sixth contestant, Christopher Belton, rocked the house on the drum set.

    The last opportunity to make an impression on the judging panel and the 200-member audience was the question and answer session. Each contestant came dressed to impress. The female contestants graced the stage in elegant dresses, whereas the males sported colorful ties and jackets. Questions ranged from what was the meaning of the pageant theme to what perception would they change about society.

    2013 Pan Afrikan winners Jamael Harrison and Danielle Beyselow were a part of the six-member judging panel.

    In addition to winning Mr. Pan Afrikan, Williams was also awarded Mr. Congeniality. Bradley was awarded Ms. Congeniality.

    This is the first year the pageant was open to underclassmen students.

    Audience members were generally impressed with the showed.

    “I thought it was really cool, everyone was really talented,” senior Eboné Mitchell said. “There were a lot of good candidates this year.”

    According to Maudie Amos,  the talent portion was her favorite part.

    “That Stephen, he just took me away. I like a guy that can sing.”

    The overall show flowed well, but there was a number of technical difficulties that made the transitions take longer than usual. This could be due to staff members still getting used to the new room, which opened earlier this year.

    “Talley needs to get it together,” senior Chelsea Durant stated.

  • Apr 03 2014

    Revised SAT Helps Black Students Get Into College

    Aaliyah Singleton | Staff Writer

    A new version of the SAT said to create a more accurate depiction of what students know, is scheduled to debut in Spring 2016. The new test will be scored out of 1600 points and will take approximately 45 fewer minutes to complete than the current version.

    The SAT vocabulary section will be eliminated from the new test, which will instead feature words that are common in college courses such as “empirical” or “synthesis.” Other changes include the end of the penalty against a wrong guess, more linear equations, functions and proportional thinking, as well as both print and online versions of the  test. The once mandatory essay, will also become an optional component that students may choose to omit from their overall their score.

    For many educators, the hope is that these changes to the SAT will result in students who are much more college-ready. According to the College Board 2013 SAT Report on College and Career Readiness only 43 percent of students met the SAT benchmark. For underrepresented minorities this is an especially troubling fact given that 30 percent of test takers were from underrepresented minority backgrounds; however of these test takers 23.5 percent of Hispanic/Latino test takers achieved a 1550 or higher and 15.6 percent of African-American test takers met the benchmark.

    Within recent years, there have been many claims the SAT puts minority students at a disadvantage. A 2008 report from UCLA found that the SAT “is a relatively poor predictor of student performance” and that high-school grades and other tests that able to tap into what students actually learn in school are much more valid indicators of how students are likely to perform in college. The researcher also found that, “As an admissions criterion, the SAT has a more adverse impact on poor and minority applicants than high-school grades, class rank and other measures of academic achievement.”

    According to Anthony Carnevale current director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce and former vice president of the Educational Testing Service, “There’s a fundamental problem with the SAT.” Carnevale said, “the SAT has outlived its usefulness” because many educators now say a single test cannot accurately predict future success in college. If anything what the SAT does he says, is that it, “predicts perfectly higher-income kids with good grades,”

    In a 2011 interview with CNN, Laurence Bunin, former vice president of the SAT program at College Board said,”The [SAT] is a fair test that helps to mirror what’s going on in this country.

  • The atlanta rap trio Migos
    Apr 03 2014

    Administration Cancels Pan Afrikan Concert Due to Safety Concerns

    Chris Hart-Williams | Staff Writer

    Wednesday evening it was announced via a press release from the Department of Student Leadership and Engagement that the on-campus concert scheduled for Friday, featuring rap trio, Migos has been canceled for safety reasons.  The concert was organized by the Black Students Board of the Union Activities Board (UAB), as part of N.C. State’s annual Pan-Afrikan Week celebration.

    The Atlanta rap trio Migos

    The Atlanta rap trio Migos

    Days before the cancellation, some N.C. State students on social media questioned whether or not reports of a Miami shootout that took place on Friday involving Migos would impact their scheduled performance.

    “We felt like we had no choice but to cancel the event,” said Mike Giancola associate vice provost of Student Leadership & Engagement.

    Giancola said he and other administrators were informed of the Miami shooting Wednesday morning. He said the decision to cancel Friday’s concert stemmed from a discussion health and safety officials had with campus police.

    “We received recommendations from campus police and also the University officials responsible for health and safety,” said Giancola.  “The details of what happened in Miami are still unfolding, we can’t assume to know exactly what went on there, but at the end of the day, we have to put the safety of our campus community, our students and the guests of our campus at top priority.”

     About an hour after Giancola’s press release, UAB Treasurer, Lauryn Collier sent an email  to organizations, students, and faculty, calling on administrators to address students and justify canceling the concert. The email also asked for students to rally at the Talley Student Center on Friday, in place of the concert.

    In the email, Collier wrote, “We are requesting the presence of the administrators who canceled the event to have a Q&A and address all concerns from the community.”

    According to Collier, it was a Campus Enterprises staff member who brought the Migos shooting to the attention of various University administrators on Wednesday. Collier said, campus police and Dr.  Lisa Zapata, vice provost, of the Division of Academic & Student Affairs and campus police made the decision to cancel the concert over the phone.

    “The decision to cancel the concert was based on no research,” said Collier.  “We’re rallying for justice because the concert was unjustly canceled.”

    Collier said, the BSB Activities Board who planned the event was not informed of the administrations conversation about Migos and safety precautions, until they were notified that the concert had been canceled.

    “[BSB members] were basically told ‘this is a decision from administration and there’s nothing you can do about it’,” said Collier.

    According to Collier the event totaled near $60,000, and “its all going down the drain.”

    “When artists come to campus we have certain protocols and processes to make sure that every event we do regardless of the artist’s genre, is safe,” said Collier.

    Talley Ballroom where the group was set to perform, would have been a secure student union where attendees would be wanded and have their  bags checked, according to Collier.

    Collier said, there could have been less detrimental measures taken because Migos wasn’t the only act scheduled to perform. A total of  five acts lined up for the concert, including Malcolm Brown, an alumnus of N.C. State.

    “We look at this as an opportunity to really showcase our talent,”said Malcolm Brown one of the acts formerly scheduled to open for Migos. “It’s so last minute.”

    Brown said he doesn’t agree with the university’s decision to cancel the concert two days before. He said the university should have never agreed to allow Migos to headline the concert because they’ve held their existing image as artists before the alleged shooting.

    “We’re a research based school, we have all these research programs and other stuff. Is it that hard to look at a video that’s five minutes? Everybody, at least [those] who bought a ticket, knew what Migos was about,” said Brown.

    According to Brown, university administration had three months to “say no.”

    The group based out of Atlanta, Ga. is reported to have been in a shootout on Highway I-95 while visiting Miami, Fla.

    At approximately 3:30 a.m. on March 28, an unknown gunman opened fire on a van carrying the group and its entourage to their South Beach Hotel, Miami’s WSVN reports.

    Florida Highway Patrol authorities told WSVN that a member of Migos’ entourage was the only person injured in the shooting. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, according to police.

    “As they were driving back on I-95…a dark vehicle pulled alongside and basically opened fired on them,” said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, Jose Sanchez who spoke with WSVN following the incident.

    According to Sanchez the group had gotten into an altercation at a nightclub prior to the shooting.

    Migos was scheduled to perform at the Cafe Iguana in Pembroke Pines but had a disagreement with the club’s management Sanchez told WSVN.

    “For whatever reason, they didn’t perform,” said Sanchez.

    Cafe Iguana tells a different story, denying Migos had ever been scheduled to appear. In a statement Cafe Iguana said, “unfortunately Migos was not scheduled to perform at our club and this incident is unfortunate but it happened out of county and has nothing to do with the club or management.”

    Not long after the shooting the members of Migos were vocal on Twitter about their ordeal, and even tweeted a photo of them posing at the hotel they were en route to.

    There have been no reports detailing the current condition of the  entourage member taken to the hospital.

     

     

    Correction: An earlier version stated that Lauryn Collier is the BSB treasurer she is the UAB Treasurer. The BSB is one of the seven committees under the UAB.

  • Apr 03 2014

    New Website Aims to Impact Student Success at NC State

    Davante Falls | Staff Writer

    The Division of Academic and Student Affairs and the Office of International Affairs have teamed up to launch a new website aimed at helping students excel outside of the classroom.

    The new website, studentengagement.ncsu.edu was created in order to promote high impact opportunities for students at N.C. State. The site serves as tool for students to learn about high impact practices such as, service-learning, study abroad, residential living, learning villages and undergraduate research, all of which have been shown to be important beneficiaries in the success of many students.

    Though it may not be a name many students are familiar with, DASA houses all student organizations on campus including Student Government, UAB, Student Media. The Office of International Affairs consists of such departments as Study Abroad.

    “We know that when our students are engaged with these experiences early on in their college career, they are more likely to make better grades and have higher retention rates,” said Mike Giancola, N.C. State’s Associate Vice Provost for Student Leadership and Engagement. “This site will help students connect with these opportunities, and leave N.C. State prepared for a successful career.” Giancola is no stranger to student engagement in the field of service and leadership, having served as the Director of the Center for Student Leadership Ethics and Public Service, also known as CSLEPS.

    Danielle Beysolow, a senior in Psychology and the 2013 Pan Afrikan Queen, is one of the many N.C. State students to benefit from CSLEPS. “Of all the extra – curricular activities that I have been involved in, I would say that my ASB (Alternative Spring Break) trip with CSLEPS has had the most impact on me as a student,” said Beysolow. “Not only did it help shape my view on the world, but it also gave me an outlook on what I actually have a passion for.” Beysolow has participated in several high-impact opportunities while at N.C. State including, service leadership, internships, and study abroad.

     

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