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Many Elon students are engaged locally through their involvement with Elon Academy, a college access program for underprivileged high school students from the Alamance-Burlington area. Elon students serve as mentors, academic coaches and interpreters, and some are members of the college access team, which works to communicate with the high school students throughout the year to make sure they are doing well academically.

For four weeks during the summer, Elon student mentors tutor the Elon Academy scholars in math, science and reading and help them apply for college grants and scholarships.

“We’ve had fantastic mentors over the years, and our high school students really connect to our college students,” said Darris Means, associate director of Elon Academy.


Human service studies majors at Elon are exposed to the local community through three tiers of field experience. In the introductory course, The Art and Science of Human Services, students are required to do a minimum of 40 hours of fieldwork in a human services setting, allowing them to get exposure from the beginning.

The second tier is the required practicum, where students make connections between the classroom material and what’s happening in their agency, and the third tier is the internship component, when students work full-time in a human services agency.

During all three of these experiences, students form relationships with members of the local community.    “The majority of the placements are in the Burlington area,” said Phil Miller, Human Service Studies lecturer and leader of the Human Service Studies Field Placement services. “Some of the students have made such a connection that they go back and visit personnel, or even after the class and their hours are done, some of them have continued to volunteer on their own and help out because they have connected so well with the people in that agency.”

While completing these practicum and internships, students are spending a significant amount of their time off-campus.  The department, however, ensures that students still connect back to the classroom.

“Being in the field emphasizes the importance of having exposure outside the classroom,” Miller said. “But yet all of those tiers are still structured with a classroom component, so they are always making a connection back to the academic material as well."


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[toggle title_open="Close Me" title_closed="Local School Board Elections, Race to the Ballot" hide="yes" border="yes" style="default" excerpt_length="0" read_more_text="Read More" read_less_text="Read Less" include_excerpt_html="no"]


The Wake County Board of Education announced a proposal for neighborhood schooling one year ago, but the issue remains at the heart of Elon students from the area.

“Just because I don’t go there (anymore) doesn’t mean it’s not relevant,” said Elon sophomore Opal Patel. “It’s still my home.”

After 10 years without neighborhood schooling, Wake County School Board officials proposed to reinstate the system that divides students according to place of residence, which, citizens argued, would divide schools along socioeconomic lines. The change would erase the need to bus students across the county and increase parental involvement, the school board officials said.

Nevertheless, residents viewed the return to neighborhood schooling as a change that would inherently decrease diversity within the school district, according to junior David Gwynn, a Raleigh resident. Although Gwynn graduated from the school system, he still expressed opposition to the proposal.

“I think it still influenced me because my high school was heavily involved in the debates and a lot of the students were active in their dissent against the program,” Gwynn said. “I felt involved because I wanted to be a fighter in their arena and because my brother was in high school, so there was still something at stake.”

Family ties also kept the issue in front of Patel, whose brother is still in the school system as well. “Being in college made it hard to keep up with everything because you are not in the area, so you have to take the initiative,” she said.

For Patel, the final decision also shed light on the importance of community awareness, she said. The county approved a “choice plan,” meaning the school board officials suggest neighborhood schools, but it is not mandatory. “It showed me if there is a strong enough congregation of people, we really do have power and a say,” Patel said.


Elon University students advocated against Amendment One Feb. 15. Nine campus organizations contributed to Race to the Ballot, an event dedicated to educating North Carolina voters about the consequences of Amendment One, the state amendment that, if passed, will recognize only the legal union of one man and one woman as constitutional. Protect NC Families organized Race to the Ballot. The team is currently running 322 miles across the state, and Elon University is just one stop as they aim to initiate “1 million conversations” about the amendment. All four of Elon’s a capella groups performed during Race to the Ballot, and Spectrum, the LGBTQ office and Better Together were among the organizations that sponsored the event.

Aside from university-sponsored activities, individual students have demonstrated a concern for the legislation as well. Liv Dubendorf, a senior studying media arts and entertainment, works as a videographer for the Vote Against movement, filming personal testimonials and developing a documentary with senior Dan Koehler. She also created a welcome video for Vote Against.

“We have to get people to the polls,” Dubendorf said in a previous interview with The Pendulum. “If people don’t vote, it doesn’t matter what they actually believe in, because they haven’t made their voices heard."





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Andrew Creech, an enlisted Private First Class (PFC) in the U.S. Army, has learned to balance his parachute infantry and security work with his college schoolwork. Creech, a junior at Elon, said being enlisted often interrupts his studies; he had to miss half of fall semester his sophomore year for training, and every month, he travels two or three weekends to Durham, N.C., Fayetteville, N.C. or Virginia for training. He said he may have to put an entire year of school on hold, and there’s a possibility he will be deployed during his time at Elon.

“The chance of deployment is quite high depending on the unit,” Creech said. “Although with the wars winding down, missing class for longer training schools is more likely (than being deployed).”

But Creech is confident he is learning just as much during his training as he would inside the classroom, and thinks all students should engage themselves in off-campus undertakings.

“I think it is extremely important for any young person to be involved in some manner in the world, whether it is through the military, fire department, EMT, social volunteer work or anything that helps the world around them,” Creech said. “Through these types of activities, students will learn more about the world around them than through normal classes and cultural studies.”


An Elon sophomore is spending spring semester in Pennsylvania as the deputy campaign manager for the nation’s first Occupy candidate, Nate Kleinman.

Kleinman, a candidate for U.S. Congress in the 13th district of Pennsylvania, offered Patrick Morgioni a job a month ago*.  When Morgioni arrived at Elon, he decided to take advantage of the university’s independent study program to receive academic credit while working away from campus on the campaign.

“When I was making my decision on where to go to college, I had a lot of options, and the big reason I chose Elon was their emphasis on engaged learning,” Morgioni said. “Once I had something cool that I wanted to do, Elon was fully supportive of it and they are really living up to their reputation as one of the best places for students to get real world experience.”

Morgioni met Kleinman while working on his first big campaign with Joe Sestak, who ran in the 2012 Pennsylvania democratic Senate primary.  At the time, Kleinman had not declared he would be running for Congress.

As deputy campaign manager for Kleinman’s campaign, Morgioni’s responsibilities include controlling Kleinman’s schedule, motivating the finance director, forming policies, organizing donations and a number of other tasks that come up along the way.

“I don’t really have a set job description,” Morgioni said. “What I do really varies on a day to day basis, which is what I love so much.”

Although Kleinman is considered the first Occupy candidate because of his involvement in organizing Occupy Philadelphia, his affiliation with Occupy is separate from the political party he represents. “(Kleinman) is running in the Democratic primary,” Morgioni said. “Occupy is not a political party. It is a totally non-partisan movement, they don’t endorse or support candidates.”

Morgioni said he does not consider himself a member of the Occupy movement.

“I am not in any way affiliated with Occupy,” he said. “I agree with what Occupy is trying to do, and I think that a lot of Occupy’s process could be translated into the American system of democracy to better it.”

Morgioni said he does not have any aspirations to run for office himself, but likes the idea of professional campaign management.

“There is something new every day, you can really get invested in a cause and you can effect real change in the word,” Morgioni said of working on a campaign. “I think it’s something I want to do with my career, and Elon has been incredibly accommodating for putting me on that path.”

*Editor's Note: Initially, this article reported the wrong time when Kleinman offered him a job.


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Japanese Earthquake

Following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, five Japanese Elon University students mobilized their fellow students to raise awareness and funds to help the victims of the natural disaster. Students raised a total of $4,000 from activities including a Japanese cuisine dinner, Moseley tabling and a $1,000 donation from the university, according to junior Junko Aoyama.

“None of us had experience fundraising so we held an interest meeting that we advertised at a college coffee and we had about 100 people show up,” Aoyama said of herself and the four other Japanese students. Approximately 100 students filled the Isabella Cannon International Centre to offer ideas for events and fundraisers to help the victims of the natural disaster. Sororities and fraternities wrote messages to send to Japan, which the Japanese students translated into their native language. The students collected more than 1,000 cards, according to senior Sachika Yamamoto.

During the fundraising period, Aoyama and Yamamoto shared their friends’ and families’ experiences in Japan with classes and organizations. Aoyama said she believes having an international community on campus contributes to students’ understanding and sensitivity of international events.

“For me it’s very enlightening to hear (international students) talk about their people’s experiences,” she said. “I think the Elon community can benefit from hearing them.”

Yamamoto viewed the occurrence as a way to inform the Elon students about her home country, she said. Nevertheless, both students said they have observed a decrease in support and activities dedicated to relief efforts.

“The people are starting to forget about the earthquake, but there are still those people there,” Yamamoto said. “I don’t want people to forget about it.”

Run for Haiti

Students rallied in response after an earthquake struck Haiti. Various campus organizations sponsored activities to generate support for Haiti’s relief efforts. The Black Cultural Society hosted a fashion show where money from tickets were contributed to Haiti’s relief efforts, and the French Learning Community sold hand-cooked crepes to raise money for the St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Residents of Oak House organized a 1K for relief effort. Each participant paid $10 to run, which is the amount needed to feed one child for one month, said John McGreevy, at the time a Oak House resident. The idea came to life as a result of John McGreevy’s experience in Haiti.

“I’d already been there for a couple of weeks and had become great friends with the people there,” he said in a previous interview.

Woody Pelton, dean of international programs and director of the Isabella Cannon Centre, said he believes international experience contribute to student’s sensitivity of international occurences.

“I always feel an experience outside of the country does a couple of things for you,” he said. “It usually makes you more curious, so it makes you more interested in the plights and concerns of other people. I guess part of that is it helps you put a face on a particular situation.”