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The Appalachian | Archives | 2001-2002

Business Affairs Beat

Paul Sherar - Chief Photographer

The Parking and Traffic Committee will meet tomorrow to continue formulating permits rates for the still-under-construction Rivers Street Parking Deck.

Initial parking deck permit suggestions range from $250-$500
Survey: Majority
of students support short-term meters, seniority system

Carrie Baker - Staff Writer

Initial permit rate suggestions for the Rivers Street Parking Deck based on the results of an online study range from $250-$500 for one year, said Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Jane Helm.

“What we’re doing right now is looking at various alternatives,” said Helm.

Final rates the progressing parking deck have yet to be formulated by the Parking and Traffic Committee, said Helm.

The proposed rate for a non-reserved space permit in the parking deck is $250 per year. The suggested rate for a reserved Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. space is $350 per year, according to rate suggestion documents obtained by The Appalachian.

A space reserved 24 hours a day, seven days a week would be $500 per year, the document also shows.

Helm said these rate suggestions did not include any revenue from other parking spaces. “This [rate suggestion] would work if we funded the deck fully from parking deck revenues,” said Helm.

There were 2,709 students, 426 staff and 285 faculty members who responded to the online survey. Students said they would pay an average of $93 and a maximum of $400 for a non-reserved space, an average of $34 and a maximum of $500 for a reserved Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. space and an average of $73 and a maximum of $600 for a space reserved 24 hours a day and seven days a week, according to survey results.

The results also show 56.94 percent of students who responded to the survey said meters for short-term parking should be included in the deck, and 72.02 percent of students said visitors should be allowed to use the deck during special events at the average cost of $5. The majority of students also said they would like to see a seniority system used for the parking deck.

Helm said the next step for the committee would be a Wednesday meeting.

“We will continue to get information and talk about proposals,” said Helm. The committee broke up into sub-committees at the last meeting and discussed different rate suggestions, said Helm.

“One group proposed parking rates based on salary,” said Helm. “We will continue to get information and talk about proposals,” said Helm.
“We will then make a recommendation to the chancellor and Board of Trustees,” said Helm.

As far as the survey is concerned, Helm said the results were “interesting.”

“Student responses favored students, faculty responses favored faculty and staff responses favored staff,” said Helm. “It is what you would expect in every way.”

2002 Southern Conference Tournament

Paul Sherar - Chief Photographer

Appalachian senior Donald Payne swings around UNC Greensboro guard Luke Boythe in the two teams’ Feb. 18 contest.

Tournament marks end for senior trio

Chris Boyce - Staff Writer

Appalachian State University seniors Donald Payne, Jonathan Butler and Buddy Davis play basketball with a simple attitude. No regrets and nothing to lose.

For the three seniors, this weekend’s 2002 Southern Conference Championships in Charleston, S.C., signifies not only the end of a season but also the end of their Mountaineer careers.

And nothing has come easy for these leaders on a team loaded with youth and struggling with losses.

Both Davis and Butler tasted success at an early age, advancing to the 1999 Southern Conference Championship game before losing to the College of Charleston. But both claimed rings the next season, part of the Tyson Patterson-led squad who beat the Cougars and earned a trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1979.

Payne meanwhile enjoyed winning as well, advancing deep into the national community college championships before he transferred.

But tough times followed success, in the form of the 2000-2001 season for the seniors. The first of which was the devastating loss of Appalachian State guard Rufus Leach in the summer of 2000 to a drowning accident.

The death of Leach rocked the Mountaineers, who also lost their coach Buzz Peterson to Tulsa shortly afterward. New Mountaineer coach Houston Fancher took the reins of the defending Southern Conference champs, but more rough times followed. Contributors from the championship squad, Corey Cooper and Shawn Alexander, were dismissed from the team in December 2000, and the Mountaineers endured an 11-20 campaign that ended with a loss to Chattanooga in the second round of the 2001 Southern Conference Tournament.

This year, Appalachian State enters the tournament with a 10-15 overall record and is in last place in the north division.

But the seniors are hopeful their experiences, both good and bad, will enable Appalachian State to make an impact at the tournament.

“We know what it takes to get to that championship status,” said Butler. “It takes hard work and dedication, and we had some good seniors to follow. We saw how hard they played, and we want to do the same thing to help our team.”

“I think about it every day,” said Davis, about his championship days.

“Especially coming off of the court after a loss, and you see the disappointed look on a lot of these young guys faces, and you feel bad. You want to get there so bad for yourself and for your team,” said Butler.

Being leaders on a team filled with new faces including transfers and freshmen has been a role all three embrace.

Leading rebounder Donald Payne leads by his play both on and off the court.

“I’m not a real vocal leader, but on the court I’m a leader trying to get everyone to play harder and stay playing hard,” said Payne.

“We got forced into leadership roles last year, which was hard to adjust to, but we all did because we had to give some of these younger guys something to look up to,” said Butler.

And the adversities all three seniors have endured over the course of their careers have been beneficial.

“We’ve been through the good times and the rough times, and the rough times only make you stronger,” said Butler. “I came into the program as a little boy and feel more like a man now. I’m prepared for anything. I’m thankful for the tough times, but it’s been like a roller coaster.”

“Me and Jonathan have both been through a lot, being here four years. We got two rings, lost some good friends and had some tough seasons,” said Davis. “We’ve seen it all, but I’m glad for that. That’s gonna help us out in the long run, helping us handle adversity.”

For this group of seniors, the focus is set on what will be each player’s last tournament.

And all three share one common attitude.

“We’re gonna give it all we got,” said Payne.

“No regrets and nothing to lose,” said Butler and Davis.

But all three hope there will be more basketball to be played once their black and gold days are over.

Payne hopes to pursue several professional basketball circuits upon graduation including Europe and the NBA’s development league.
Davis, double majoring in advertising and technical drafting, also hopes to pursue the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) once he graduates in December.

Butler also will pursue options and is thankful for his experience as a player for Appalachian State.

“I’ve built relationships with teammates that will carry on through life,” said Butler. “There’s things that I wouldn’t give up for the world. Life’s not all about basketball. I’m gonna have my degree when I leave here, and basketball’s been a love of mine, but it’s also been a tool to get my education paid for.”



Special Report: Proposed Tuition Increase

Former UNC system president:
Recent tuition trend ‘dangerous’
Cost of higher education should not be transferred to students, says Friday

Kristin Davis - Special Correspondent

William C. Friday, former University of North Carolina system president, denounced the recent trend of tuition increases across the state, calling student-pocket offsets to the state financial crisis dangerous.

The UNC Board of Governors adopted its current tuition policy that allows small, predictable increases among colleges and universities of the same size and mission following a 1998 tuition study.

The policy also allows individual campuses to request further tuition increases in the event of “exceptional circumstances.”

Since that time, the board has interpreted the policy loosely, approving special tuition increases for 11 campuses since 2000, with 13 of the 16 UNC system member institutions indicating they will ask for increases of up to $400 this year when the board convenes March 6.

“This has never happened before in the history of North Carolina. It is unprecedented,” said Friday, pointing to a statewide tuition swell of more than 100 percent since 1990.

Students were never meant to shoulder the burden of lack of state funding, said Friday.

“We can never let the General Assembly transfer costs to the backs of students,” he said.

Appalachian State University effectively lobbied the Board of Governors last year for a two-year $300 tuition increase to bolster faculty salaries and generate funds for financial aid.

If the BOG OKs the latest $150 proposal, the tuition rate at Appalachian in fall 2002 will total $1581, a mark 71.4 percent higher than the fall 2000 rate. It could be higher if the BOG approves a 4.8 percent statewide hike at the March 6 meeting.

If approved, a majority of the monies generated would be earmarked for select staff salary improvements. The remaining dollars would be channeled to financial aid funds.

North Carolina university support has dropped from 17 to 12 percent in the last 15 years, said Friday, citing it as the trouble spot for the latest surge of tuition increases. “I am against taxing students,” said Friday.

However, with [the state’s financial] circumstances being what they are, the state cannot do anything else, said Friday.

But the tuition increase trend should stop here, he said.

“I hope this is the end of the cycle of tuition increases for some time,” he said.

Friday coins himself a long-time advocate of low tuition, referring to a state constitutional mandate for affordable tuition.

The cost of an education has become so great many families with bright children do not even try, he said.

“Sending young people to college is very important to the state, and it’s not happening,” said Friday. “We’re working against ourselves.”

Friday, who served as UNC system president from 1972-1986, said students and parents have played an important role in keeping tuition low in the past.

“Students can marshal themselves against tuition increases,” he said.

Academic Affairs Beat

Students brace for possible tuition hike

Chris Bohle - Staff Writer

For some students at Appalachian State University, next year’s proposed tuition increase just means one more check from mom and dad. For Rachel Johnson, it could mean no school next semester.

Johnson, a junior majoring in psychology, is taking 18 hours this semester, every one of which funded out of her own pocket.

“Both of my parents paid for their own college education—they see it as a good experience that they wanted to pass on to me,” said Johnson.

Although Johnson, who hails from Hickory, admits this has made her value her education more, it also creates plenty of headaches she deals with on a weekly basis.

For starters, she usually works around 40 hours a week at Wendy’s, cutting down to 25 - 30 hours for weeks in which she has multiple tests. The bulk of her weekly hours usually fall on the weekend, during shifts that routinely last from 11 a.m. to close, which is between 2 a.m. - 3 a.m.

She is also a member of numerous organizations, including the Student Government Association Senate, where she said she recently watched in frustration as the University Board of Trustees approved a $150 tuition hike for next year, despite not having clear intentions for the money.

“If they can’t tell us exactly where the money is going, then they should fully expect students to question it,” said Johnson.

And questioning is exactly what Johnson is doing, for if both student charge increase proposals on the docket are approved for next academic year by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and the North Carolina General Assembly, she said her planned graduation date of May 2003 will most likely be postponed.

“Next year I would have to definitely work two jobs to come close to making it work,” said Johnson. “But a more likely solution could be to just take the semester off and make enough money to get me through my last year.”

The latter solution looks to be the most probable since Johnson will have to take summer school this year in order to stay on track with her hours.

“Staying up here this summer will basically use up almost all of the money I make during that time when you factor in tuition, housing and food,” said Johnson.

Johnson expressed her disappointment about how tuition has risen from a level around the $900 mark when she came in as a freshman.
That number could very well be doubled for next year if the Board of Governors approves the $150 campus-based increase request at its March 6 meeting.

Next year’s tuition figure could climb still if the board approves an expected 4.8 percent statewide hike at that same meeting. The General Assembly has final say on all UNC system tuition rates.

If approved, the hike would be the second campus-based hike Appalachian State officials have successfully shepherded through the trustees, BOG and General Assembly in the last two years. A two-year $300 hike was approved by all three bodies last year, with the second of two installments aimed at bolstering faculty pay slated to be implemented next fall.

With the implementation of that installment and the potential approval of the current proposal, tuition could climb by $300 next year.

Johnson also denounced the common claim the current hike “isn’t that much money.”

“For students paying their own way, $300 is a lot,” said Johnson. “I am already stressed for time and money, and this would just make me work even more.” If Johnson does go to school next semester, she said she will have to drop several of the clubs she’s involved with, as well as face the possibility of cutting down on an already unhealthy four hours of sleep a night.

“Life is hard and sleep is overrated—that has become my motto this year,” said Johnson.

But she admits even she can’t tough it out some days when the exhaustion of a late work night or term paper is just too overwhelming.

“I’ve certainly missed some classes because I just sleep through my alarm,” said Johnson. “It gets really hard to focus on school sometimes when I have to worry about other things, like paying the rent.”

The developing tuition trend also concerns Johnson; if tuition continues to rise like this, she said, the university may not be reasonably priced any more and some students will simply miss out on coming here.

However, all she can do now is wait and watch as the Board of Governors makes its decision. For Johnson, it could mean the difference between going to school or going to work.

Multicultural Beat

Stevens: Non-discrimination statement lacking

David Forbes - Staff Writer

Colleges need to take steps to improve their environment for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) students through changing policies and programs as well as creating places free of harassment, said Dr. Annie Stevens.

Stevens, the associate vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Vermont, spoke Thursday night in Plemmons Student Union as part of the “Choices, Changes, Challenges” diversity series sponsored by Student Development, Student Affairs, the Chancellor’s Office, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Multicultural Office.

“Everybody in college has the same dream—to graduate,” said Stevens. “Some of you won’t graduate because you identify as GLBT and were not supported by the community.”

Stevens advocated changes in university policies such as including GLBT students and faculty in diversity and non-discrimination statements, as well as providing domestic partner benefits to GLBT employees and inviting national speakers and a GLBT alumni group to visit the campus.

“Reading ASU’s Web site, I noticed that they don’t include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination statement, and that they don’t provide domestic partner benefits,” said Stevens. “If a university doesn’t have a lot of these items, then the climate’s probably not that great.”

There is an additional challenge of helping GLBT students on a rural campus such as Appalachian’s, said Stevens.

“Boone’s not exactly a Mecca [for GLBT students]. This puts even more pressure on the campus to make sure the GLBT community here thrives and survives,” she said.

Stevens also emphasized the need for a GLBT center on campus.
“A center can help the campus to understand why it hurts them to have a negative environment. It breaks down a barrier and is a place where people can go to be educated,” she said.

A GLBT center at Appalachian has been suggested by the campus chapters of Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians and Allies Associated for Diversity (B-GLAAD), the American Civil Liberties Union and some members of the Student Government Association.

“When I was coming through college, there was nothing, nada. This topic can be very invisible,” said Stevens, who is openly lesbian.

According to data provided by Stevens, GLBT students usually have higher GPA and SAT scores and are extremely diverse with regards to race, religion, age and politics, but are two to three times more likely to be suicidal.

“I’ve worked with many students that are suicidal or have drug and alcohol problems due to homophobia,” said Stevens. “If the administration really wants its students to graduate, the climate will change.”

Stevens has been researching and writing for the past eight years on the life experiences of GLBT students in college and has recently published a book “Out and About Campus: Personal Accounts by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender College students.”

Stevens pointed out that according to recent North Carolina Census data, the number of same-sex households has risen 720 percent in the past 10 years.

“Something is happening, whether politics help it or not,” she said.



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