The Dorm Selection Process

Cotilya Brown

During the spring semester, the housing selection process beginsat universities and colleges across the nation.  As schoolsbecome more technologically advanced, the dorm selection processhas morphed from a written application, to a PDF file, and now anonline selection process.

Upperclassmen like Howard University biologymajor Jessica Wright can remember the way things were done beforethe Internet and says it were unmethodical.

“I remember the year that they ran out ofhousing here.  It was my sophomore year, and they had studentsliving in hotels in Maryland and Virginia, it was ridiculous,” shesaid.  Last year with the process being on the Internet it wasmuch better organized, easily accessible, and just all around abetter way to do things.  I am glad that this program wasimplemented,” said Wright.

Student who attend other schools say similarmeasures had to be taken to accommodate students during housingcrunches.

The University of Maryland College Park uses asimilar Internet process; however, College Park students have tosubmit an agreement before April 2 at midnight.  Followingtheir agreement submission, the students receive an e-mailconfirmation that they print out for their records, with theirhousing assignment on it.

Some universities do not complete the entireprocess on-line, but the option is available for students. Students at Catholic University can download the applicationfor housing from their housing and residential services website.Students must then submit their applications via the Internet backto the residential services office, and are notified within a shortperiod of their housing assignment for the following year.

Alexis Ferrara, a junior history major atCatholic University said that she couldn’t remember there everbeing a housing shortage at her school in the time that she hasbeen there.

“Things have been going well here withhousing, since I have been here.  I don’t remember anyonehaving any problems with getting a room.”

Sophomore Shawanna Brinkley, at FloridaA&M University agrees.  Brinkley said that housing isnever an issue on their campus.

 “We have nothad a housing problem since I have been here,” said Brinkley. “We have other problems like the administration and theirslow processing, but thank God our university housing department isnot a problem yet.”

 

 

 

Black Clergy Must Come Back to Christ

Zeb Sanders

Black clergy have been caught up in the passion of Christianityand from Christ, have been lead astray. During the month ofFebruary, Black History month, a number of prominent andinfluential black clergy, including Pastors T.D. Jakes, Eddie Long,Creflo A. Dollar, Beverly “BAM” Crawford, FrederickK.C. Price and A.R. Bernard, enthusiastically endorsed MelGibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ.”

By their unqualified endorsement of the film,the black clergy also endorsed the image of Christ as a man ofEuropean descent. This they did, unwittingly, without regard forthe fact that the region where Christ lived and the only biblicaldescription we have of Christ conspire to produce the image of aman of African descent.

It is telling and significant that blackclergy endorsed this image during the month birthed from the weekfounded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson to reclaim and celebratetheachievements and contributions made by blacks to the development ofcivilization, but which had been either falsely claimed orconcealed by Europeans in efforts to support their mythos thatblack people have made no contribution to the development ofcivilization.  

The image of Christ as a white man is notbased on any biblical or historical evidence. It originated inEurope and was later used against blacks and other people of colorto support the European doctrine of white superiority. The color ofChrist mattered. This white image of God in conjunction withthe Hamitic myth (that black skin is the result of God’scurse) was used to instill in the minds of all peoples the innateinferiority and depravity of black people.

Its effect is still with us today and can beobserved in many blacks who maintain that Jesus was indeed a whiteman and are self-loathing as a result of this twin-pronged attackon their psyche. 

However, to illustrate that Christianityopposes the biblical Christ, when referencing the bible on thepoint of the Hamitic curse, we find that anytime anyone was cursedwith a disease or discoloration of the skin they were turned white(Exodus 4:1-8; Leviticus 13:1-17; Numbers 12:1-15)!

And, on the point of the race of Christ, theonly description of him given us by the bible is of a man with hairthe texture of wool and whose feet were the color of purebrass—this is a black man (Revelation 1:14-15). Underscoring thisdescription is the fact that biblical events took place in andimmediately around Africa. 

What we’ve been led to believecontradicts what is written in the Bible. Black clergy have to becareful in what they sign onto. Their promotion of this false imagealso serves to promote the white superiority dynamic that isassociated with it, and it further entrenches this debilitating liein the consciousness of the people the black clergy are supposed tobe elevating.  

This mistake calls for the promotion of morescholarship amongst the black clergy and in the black church. Itcalls for bible studies that promote the bible and not churchdoctrine. It calls for the study of history, particularly the studyof histories written by black scholars; they have earned the samedegrees as their white counterparts.

Furthermore, these black scholars havecorrected a good deal of the false propaganda that passes forobjective historical scholarship written in support of the whitesupremacy dynamic.  

The implementation of this new curriculum isimperative for the upliftment of black people and for theconsequent establishment of right relations between blacks andother groups. To correct distortions created to keep black peopleoppressed was the intent of Dr. Woodson’s Negro Historymonth. His instruction serves as a corrective for this misstep bythe black clergy who are charged with leading God’s people intruth. Their failing begs the question, are you committed to tellthe truth at any price or only committed to get along—at anycost?

Zeb Sanders III, author of the books,”…And Now there is Aquarius,” “WhenJesus’ Kingdom Came!” and of the new booklet,”Christianity or Christ? Black Folk at the Crossroads,”may be contacted at, theneap@hotmail.com.

 

A Fashion Reality Check For Those Who “Think” They Have Style

Metanoya Webb

Howard University is a melting pot of trends, styles, andfashion on both a national and international level. Students fromdifferent lifestyles come to the “Mecca,” displaying theircreativity and individual style with the intention to stand out andmake a statement.

However, I have recently noticed some awkwardadaptations to many of today’s popular fashion trends.  Somestudents on campus try extremely hard to emulate creations they seecelebrities finessing. However, what my wretched HU colleagues failto realize is that the “simplest” outfit Beyonce isspotted rocking during an afternoon of celebrity shopping in SoHo,took hours of thought, discussion and styling by professionals whoseriously understand fashion!

This is not to say that students are notcapable of dressing chic and should ignore what’s happeningon the red carpet and amongst their favorite fashion moguls. Staying abreast of what’s going on is key!  But,what I am contesting is the collective lack of effort students havesuddenly neglected, when it comes to possessing a distinctivestyle.

It’s absurd for individuals to believe thatjust because they find the knock off rendition of what admirableentertainers and fashion gurus stunningly parade in at stores like”Forever 21″ or “LVLX,” they can purchasethese items, wear them on campus and confidently believe they havestyle. Wake up people, you can’t be serious! 

 Style is andindividual quality that is unique from person to person. Its thatspecial something individuals possess, which creatively enablesthem to express who they are; unfortunately few on campus havefound it and most will spend the remainder of their lives searchingfor it, especially if they continue to fall victim to capitalisticfads and fashion trends. 

For example, I was on the yard andconveniently crossed paths with three pathetically dressed femaleswho were in dire need of salvation. These poor souls thought theywere “popped” in 80’s punk, but instead lookedlike retarded new millennium versions of Vanity 6.

Mixing stripes and polka dots, over killing itwith accessories, and just reflecting an overall visual displaythat was not attractive; there outfits were tacky and lackedauthenticity.  

Students need to stop purchasing items justbecause they are “in style,” and look for colors thatcompliment there complexion; textures that flatter their shape,cuts that enhance their appearance and finally styles that makethem look good.

In the long run, wise purchases can carry youfrom season to season where as impulse, uncomplimentary buys lastyou a couple of weeks and will constantly have you in the mallspending money you really don’t have.  

 The onlyreal advice I can offer to those who are still on a journey todiscover there individual sense of style, is to be real withyourself. Make consistent purchases, follow fashion and only adaptto trends that are right for you.

 

The First Hispanic and Chicano Ph.D. Programs Join Departments

Tamara Forbes

The nation’s first doctoral programs in Hispanic andChicano studies will be introduced in Texas and California thisfall.  TexasA&MUniversity and sister schools in CorpusChristi, Laredo and Kingsville will gives students the opportunityto enroll in a Hispanic doctoral program, while the University ofCalifornia, Santa Barbara will offer a doctoral program in Chicanostudies.

The faculty at TexasA&MCollege Station campus will teach thenew Hispanic Studies degree, while students at other Texas schoolswill take the course through distance education. The programrequires students to be fluent in Spanish.

Manuel Martin- Rodriguez, director of theHispanic Studies department in College Station, said that theprogram will take four to six years to complete and expects atleast 48 students to enroll.  Martin- Rodriguez anticipatesthat there will be a graduation turn over of four to five graduatesper year.

“However, if you count the number ofinstitutions involved, I would not be surprised if more studentsgraduate.”

The university also offers a program at themaster’s level in modern languages, concentrating in Spanish,which focuses on certain aspects of the Hispanic culture.

The University of California also boasts adepartment that focuses on issues relating to their doctoralprogram.

The Chicano Studies department at theUniversity of California Santa Barbara, which has existed since1970, includes programs that focus on the diversity of Chicanocommunities throughout the United States and their relationships toMexican people.

Currently, there are 19 department programs inChicano studies, two Latino programs and 16 ethnic studies programsavailable throughout four-year institutions across the nation.

Otto Santa Ana, Associate Professor in theChicano studies department at University of California Los Angeles,said that there was a tremendous need for these types of programsas they create a better understanding of the diversity amongdifferent Latinos across the nation. He added that it is especiallybeneficial due to the increasing U.S. Latino population.

 

Candidate Endorsements Influence Voting

Capricia Williams

When candidates drop out of the Presidential race, they oftenendorse other candidates. When Carol Mosley Braun left the race,she endorsed then front-runner Howard Dean. Recently, when the Rev.Al Sharpton dropped out of the race, he endorsed Sen. John Kerry (DMass).  Gen. Wesley Clark also endorsed Kerry.  

When a candidate endorses another candidate,they are essentially asking their constituents to vote for theendorsee.  Now that all the Black candidates are out of therace, are black voters swayed by the former candidate’sendorsements?

Although, it has become expected forcandidates to endorse others, many students don’t feel thatendorsing influences votes. 

“My belief is not to be influenced by acandidates’ endorsement.  Use your own reason to determine whoshould have your vote,” said Tiffany Blackwell, apolitical science major at HowardUniversity.

Freshman, Leroy Huchington agrees, “Iwouldn’t let Al Sharpton pick a candidate for me. Voters need to be more informed.”  

Not only does endorsing influence voters,political annalists believe pop culture plays a huge role ininfluencing voters. In a Washington Post article Howard Kurtzwrites, “…the musings of Leno, David Letterman, JonStewart and Conan O’Brien may have as much to do with shaping thecandidates’ public personas as a ton of newspaper stories, magazinefeatures and cable arguments.  Plus, not everyone watchesRather, Brokaw, Jennings and Lehrer.” 

Huchington admitted to being influenced by popculture. “I watch Conan [O’ Brien]. The jokes are funnyand they make Bush look like an idiot. Who wants to vote for anidiot? I won’t.”

 

Caress Sowen, a sophomore political sciencemajor at HowardUniversity said, “Students don’t careabout polls, debates or the news, but they let Jay Leno or theirfriends pick who they are going to vote for.  Personally, as apoly sci major I have to pay attention to the news. I wish morestudents did. The bottom line is students need to make up their ownminds.”

 

Girl Scout Cookies Boycotted Because of Close Ties to Planned Parenthood

Capricia Williams

There will be no thin mints sold in Crawford, Texas. Parents in the small city are boycotting the Girl Scoutcookies.  According to the Associated Press, the boycottstarted when an anti-abortion group called Pro-Life Waco sente-mails and ran ads on a Christian radio station urging citizens toboycott because of the relationship between the Girl Scouts andPlanned Parenthood.

 Parents wereupset to find out the local Girl Scout organization gave a Woman ofDistinction award to a Planned Parenthood executive. Parents alsofound out that the Girl Scouts has endorsed Planned Parenthoodsex-education programs for years. The sex-education programincludes information on homosexuality, masturbation andcondoms.

“That is ridiculous. Parents think if theyhide information from their girls, they are protecting them. Girls are going to find out anyway, and then they will beless educated,” says Jasmine Taylor, a junior at HamptonUniversity, “The Girl Scouts is a great organization and they aretrying to educate girls about sex not encouraging them to gomasturbate.”

 While twotroops in Crawford decided not to deliver their cookie orders,other troop’s cookie sales have increased because many still wantto show support.  Although the boycott may have backfired,parent leaders of two troops have disbanded their groups.

“You’re telling these girls to raise theirfingers up to pledge to honor God and country, and yet you’rehanding out materials saying homosexuality is okay,” Brownie leaderDonna Coody, said to the Associated Press.

 TheBluebonnet Council of Girl Scout, which oversees troops in the Wacoarea, has since announced that it will not be affiliated with thePlanned Parenthood sex-education programs this year.  TheCouncil says they put their name and logo on the sex-educationprograms but do not contribute any money or send girls to attendthe Planned Parenthood conference.

During the Nobody’s Fool Conference put on byPlanned Parenthood, elementary and junior high students in the WacoArea, receive a book with chapters on homosexuality andmasturbation as well as illustrations of couples having sex, peopleexamining their naked bodies and a boy putting on a condom.According to Planned Parenthood, there is no mention ofabortion.

“I don’t understand what this has to do withcookies.  Why punish the girls?” said Suzanne Wheeler, a DCparent of a sixth grader. “I don’t mind my daughter learning aboutthese things, but it’s up to parents to supplement what theirlearning and to give them the Christian values.”

The National Girl Scout organization has 2.9million girl members and 986,000 adult members.  It takes noposition on sex education or abortion and has no nationalrelationship with Planned Parenthood, according to the BluebonnetCouncil.

 

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Janet Loses Spot in Lena Horne Special

Ahkiah Allen

Janet Jackson receives yet another blow for her Super Bowlbreast fiasco, this time resigning from an ABC television biopic ofsinger Lena Horne, who refused to cooperate with the project aslong as Jackson played the lead role.

According to Billboard magazine, Jacksonwalked away from her role in the film on Feb. 24 after Horne anddaughter Gail Lumet Buckley pressured ABC to drop her from theproject. Horne refused to return her contract for the film untilJackson was removed from the cast. In a form of support, executiveproducers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan- producers of thecontroversial The Reagans- departed along with Jackson.

“Janet is no longer part of the[project] because Lena Horne didn’t want her in it,”Jackson’s spokesperson Stephen Huvane told Billboard.”ABC and the producers were supporting Janet, and Janetrealized this wasn’t going to change, so she needed to bowout, and then the producers bowed out with her.”

It has been widely reported that Horne, 86,was deeply offended by Jackson’s performance with pop starJustin Timberlake at the Feb. 1 Super Bowl half-time show, whichended with Timberlake ripping off Jackson’s costume top toreveal her naked breast. Although Jackson, 37, has repeatedlyapologized for the stunt, which she admits was planned, therepercussions continue to rise.

The infamous half-time show has created adomino effect of troubles for Jackson’s career, while herperformance partner in crime, Justin Timberlake, remains relativelyunscathed. Jackson was banned from the Feb. 8 Grammy Awards show,after refusing to issue CBS and on-air apology. Timberlake, whoagreed to an on-air apology, appeared on the broadcast. Timberlakerecently walked away from hosting the upcoming ABC televisedspecial, Motown 45. The difference is that Timberlake’sdecision to step down is being written off as the result of ascheduling conflict, rather than a question of character.

Jackson had been slated to do the film,tentatively titled “Lena Horne,” since Sept. 2003. Therole was intended to help revamp Jackson’s acting career,which includes credits on the television series “GoodTimes,” “Different Strokes,” and”Fame,” and the films “Poetic Justice,” and”The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.” Jackson wasexpected to record and sing all of Horn’s songs herself forthe movie.

Horne helped break Hollywood’s racialbarriers in the 1940s by becoming the first Black to sign along-term contract with a major Hollywood studio in 1942. The bluessinger and actress was most famous for her rendition of the song”Stormy Weather.”

ABC has yet to release a comment onJackson’s departure or the future of the film. 

 

 

 

Lead in DC Water Has Residents Worried

Shenishe Kelly

In 2002 the DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) conducted randomtests on homes in the District that revealed excessive lead levelsin the tap water. However, it was not until this past November thatWASA began notifying residents about the problem. WASA officialsallege they were not aware that lead contamination was aswidespread until this past summer. This has raised concern for DCresidents, as well as federal authorities.

Lead is highly toxic and exposure to it canpose a significant threat.  It can be ingested by drinkingcontaminated water or by inhaling lead based products fumes. If too much lead gets in your body, over time it can build up andcause serious damage to vital organs and systems. Low lead levelexposure can cause nervous and kidney system damage, learningdisabilities, attention deficit disorder and decreasedintelligence. High lead level exposure can result in seizures,unconsciousness and in some cases death.

According to the Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) elevated lead levels in the District of Columbia waterare due to increased water corrosion and are aggravated in somehomes by the presence of lead service lines. Two-thirds of the6,118 residences that the Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) testedlast summer had water that exceeded the lead limit of 15 parts perbillion. This limit was set by the Environmental Protection Agencyin 1991. Over 2,000 homes had lead levels that exceeded 50 partsper billion and 157 homes with more than 300 parts per billion. Inmany of these cases this is 35 times the legal limit.

 The federal government requires thatcities begin a pipe replacement program when lead levels haveexceeded 15 parts per billion and 7 percent of its lead pipes arerequired to be replaced annually.  Replacing public pipes willcost WASA $10 million to $20 million a year. WASA has currentlyreplaced more that 500 lead service pipes.

“WASA is only responsible for publicpipes. It is the responsibility of private property owners toreplace the portion of pipe that run through their residence orproperty,” said Janaia Oden, a customer servicerepresentative of WASA lead hotline. Pipe replacement of privateproperty pipe lines can cost owners several thousanddollars. 

“People who live in apartments,condominiums and dormitories should contact their residence managerand have them contact WASA about concerns,” said Oden.

Some residences east of Howard University, inBloomingdale had lead water levels that exceeded 12 times the EPAlimit. However, a recent notice released by the Howard UniversityEnvironmental Health and Safety office stated that “HowardUniversity facilities do not contain lead in its water supply inthe amounts that would require the institution to take anycorrective action per U.S. EPA guidelines.” 

“The lead levels varied by building, butall university facilities that were tested, tested below 20 partsper billion” said Carey Baldwin, Executive Director ofPhysical Facilities Management.  The tests were conducted byan environmental consulting company, as well as four teams from theCollege of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences(CEACS).  According to the notice letter sixteen facilitieswere tested, including residence halls, the Howard UniversityHospital, academic support buildings and a Howard University ownedapartment building.

“As a student I appreciate the extraeffort taken by the administration to make sure the water is cleanand safe,” said Lola Fawole, junior political sciencemajor.

While university administration has done somepreliminary water sampling around campus, they are currentlychecking water fountains throughout campus. “If any are foundto have lead soldered joints or reservoirs they will be removedfrom service and replaced,” said Baldwin.

Immediate steps that residents can take toreduce the amount of lead in their drinking water if they suspectpossible lead contamination includes flushing water for ten minutesand/or purchasing filters approved by the National SanitaryFoundation(NSF). Flushing water without wasting unnecessary amountscan be done by washing clothes and/or dishes or taking a shower orbath before using tap water for food preparation or drinking.