Political Science Students Want More Teacher Interaction

Janelle Williams


Undergraduate and graduate political science students alongwith their professors and advisers converged at Howard University‘s Douglass Hall on February 24, 2004 for the Presidential State of the DepartmentAddress. In an intimate atmosphere, the group engaged in lightconversation about the Political Science Department and itseffectiveness in keeping lines of communication with studentsopen.

Hosted by the Graduate PoliticalScience Association, the hour-long meeting began with a speech byRay Crawford Jr., president of the association.

In his address, Crawford expressed theneed for more communication between the faculty and students.”We are the hope and dream of the slave,” said Crawfordwearing a navy blue suit and tie. “Political excellence iswhat we must recognize. We must celebrate the renewal of studentand faculty dialogue.”

Dr. Lorenzo Morris, interim chair ofthe Political Science Department, addressed the audience with asense of humor and quick wit. Agreeing with Crawford, he statedthat faculty and students “have a lot of work to dotogether.”

“You encounter HowardUniversity in little ways and big ways. Once you comein, you never leave,” said Davis. “The influence of graduate school isquite binding. These people are with you for the rest of your life,like it or not.”

 Dr. Don Davis, graduate politicalscience professor, in a frank tone, moved students to realize theprominent role they play in university life.

“The university is an enterprisewhich involves the administration, student body and faculty,”said Davis. “But the entire operation isultimately rationalized by your presence here. You are the primaryclientele. Subsequently, you enjoy the greatest measure of weightwhen it comes to making demands seriously.”

Kamante Thompson and Mercedes White,president and vice president of the Political Science Societybrought the concerns of their peers to the group. There were sevenbasic matters including technological advancement, more teacherinteraction, a greater variety of courses and more chairs withdesktops, they expressed to their advisors.

Don Davis interjected again putting theresponsibility to take action on students.

“You [students] need to demandsomething in return, at least a desk. Some of those things occurbecause you put up with them.”

Davis ended the meeting will a call for activepolitical involvement amongst graduate and undergraduate students.

“Activism, we need to do more of;reparations, a third party, a Black political party. It isdifficult to integrate into a formal classroom setting,”pronounced Davis. “If we start that type of activity,it will perpetuate itself.”




Proper Diet + Brushing = Good Oral Hygiene

Shenishe Kelly

College students lead busy lives and hectic schedules which canresult in oral healthcare neglect. According to the American DentalHygienists Association (ADHA), an estimated 75 percent of Americansreportedly have some form of periodontal disease. In most casesthese problems may have been avoided with regular dentalmaintenance. An early stage of periodontal disease, known asgingivitis is caused by plaque build up. This causes the gums tobecome infected and swollen; eventually leading to red, shiny, softgums that bleed easily. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead topyorrhea, an advanced stage of periodontal disease. In this casethe bones that support the teeth begin to erode and decay due toinfection.

“Cutting back on junk food and watchingwhat I eat has helped me avoid getting cavities,” says AishaNesbitt, junior education major student at Florida A&MUniversity.

The first step to proper dental hygiene beginswith a healthy diet. A diet that consists of high fiber foods, suchas fruits, green leafy vegetables and whole grain can be essentialto good dental health. Dairy products provide calcium and vitamin Dfor strengthening teeth and bones. Breads and cereals supply Bvitamins for the blood growth and iron for healthy blood.

This plays a role in healthy gum tissue.Products that are high in sugar and carbohydrates like acidiccitrus juices, sodas, and sweets contribute to weak teeth. Theseproducts also cause plaque to stick to the teeth and prevent whiteblood cells from fighting off bacteria. Taking vitamin supplementscan contribute to healthy teeth and gums by providing the addednutrients missing from your diet.

The second step to proper dental hygiene isthrough self oral cleansing.

Consistent brushing, flossing and using mouthwash with fluoride rinse are good ways to maintain strong andhealthy teeth. Not only do these routines help prevent bad breathand keep teeth white, they also reduce the risk of oralcomplications. The ADHA recommends brushing after meals, wheneverpossible and flossing daily. The ADHA also recommends replacingyour toothbrush every three months to reduce the risk of bacteriaor infection.

The third step to proper dental hygiene isgoing to the dentist every six months. Dental professionals areable to identify and correct dental problems, cater to theindividual needs of your teeth and provide proper ways to care forteeth between visits.


“I usually wait until I go home duringholidays to see my dentist,” says

Crystal Tate, sophomore broadcast journalismmajor at Howard University. By students waiting until they go hometo visit the dentist it can contribute to oral hygiene neglect.However, some colleges and universities provide dental assistancefor students. If so, these fees are usually included intuition.  In cases when schools do not provide dentalassistance for students, local dentists in the area may partnerwith the school to offer students special or discounted rates ondental and other services.

In addition to a poor diet and oral cleansingneglect, there are several other factors that contribute to oralcomplications like stress and piercing. Stress can reduce thebody’s immunity by increasing the secretion of endogenous steroids,the body’s first line of defense among the white blood cells.

According to the American Dental Association,common problems with oral piercing include increased salivary flow,gingival injury or recession, damage to teeth, scar tissueformation, and metal hypersensitivity.

For more information on dental hygiene andcare contact a local dentist or ask about dental assistanceprovided through the student health center

Tips for brushing and flossing are availableat www.adha.org.




Black Artists Take Grammys By Storm

Ahkiah Allen

Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, and Outkast will beleading the pack at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards withsix nominations each, proving that hip-hop and R&B are twomajor forces to be reckoned with in the music industry. Will theGrammy Awards have the same impact on Black college students comeFebruary 8?

Missy Elliott and 50 Cent are tied with fivenominations each. The two will go head to head in the best rap songand best rap album categories. Erykah Badu, an R&B artist whohas kept a relatively low profile for the past year, has snaggedfour nominations, including R&B album of the year for her CDWorldwide Underground. The big news this year, however, is not howmany nominations Black artists have received, but rather thecategories in which these nominations have been received.

Hip Hop and R&B are well represented inthe top four Grammy categories of record of the year, album of theyear, song of the year, and best new artist. Three of the fivenominees for record of the year are Black artists: Beyonce withCrazy in Love, Blackeyed Peas with Where is the Love?, and Outkastwith Hey Ya!

Missy Elliott is among the contenders foralbum of the year for Under Construction, along with Outkast forSpeakerboxxx/The Love Below. Luther Vandross will be thespokesperson for traditional R&B on Grammy night when hecompetes for song of the year with his single Dance with MyFather.

The best new artist category is dominated byBlack artists this year with rapper 50 Cent, reggae sensation SeanPaul, and R&B songstress Heather Headley. Black artists areeven getting recognition in the best pop collaboration category:Christina Aguilara featuring Lil Kim for Can’t Hold Us Down,and Sting featuring Mary J. Blige for When I Say Your Name.

This year’s show, which airs February 8at 8 pm on CBS, will be very different from the Grammy Awardsdating fifteen years back. Back in 1989 rap artists Will Smith,Salt-N-Pepa, and LL Cool J boycotted the show after learning thatthe brand new Rap Performance category would not be aired on thelive televised broadcast. The Metal category, however, which wasalso formed in 1989, was part of the live show. This was hip-hop inits infant stage- the youngster not quite old enough to sit at thegrown-ups table. However, hip-hop is all grown up now, and takingthe awards show that once shunned it by storm.

Rap now has its own field with six categories,including best female and male solo performances, best performanceby a duo or group, best collaboration, best song, and of course,best album. The R&B genre also has a slew of categories to callits own, including best female and male vocal performances, bestperformance by a duo or group with vocals, best traditional vocalperformance, best urban/alternative performance, best song, bestalbum, and best contemporary album. Is all of this exposure reallyreaching its core audience? Now that hip-hop and R&B haveofficially carved their niche in the Grammy world, will youngAfrican Americans be willing to tune in and stay seated for theshow?

“I wasn’t planning on it,”says John Chambers, a sophomore electrical engineering major atHoward University. “I didn’t even know that so manyBlack artists were being nominated for the big categories. I justfigured [the academy] would just overlook them like they alwaysdo.”

Unfortunately, Chambers is not the onlystudent who will be opting for another network station besides CBSon Grammy night.

Crystal Skinner, a sophomore at PrinceGeorge’s Community College, admits “I will not bewatching, because the winners are already decided before the show,so my tuning in makes no difference. I think it’s great thathip hop and R&B is finally getting the respect it deserves, butI’ll just catch the results on the radio.”

“If Blacks don’t tune in,”argues Sefanit Befekadu, a freshman finance major.”They’ll stop showing our artists and categories. Wehave to show our support, and tune in in mass numbers.”

Befekadu is planning a Grammy get-togetherwith a few of her close girlfriends, reserving Sunday night not forstudying, but for Beyonce. “I don’t think it’sthat big of a deal to most college students, but for me it’sgoing to be a big night . . . and hopefully it’ll be evenbigger for the Black artists nominated.”



Winter Care 101

Shenishe Kelly

Winter is in full force and so are the wintry weather blues.Even the nation’s HBCUs located in warmer climates are facingthese cold temperature patterns. Students are literally feeling thebrunt of winter and if you let it, the weather can take a toll onyour physical, emotional and social health. You may not be able tofight this cold storm, but there are several ways to cope withit.

Common problems people experience during thisseason are colds and the flu.  According to the Center forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC) an estimated 10 to 20 percentof United States residents get the flu each year. In addition,Americans suffer from 1 billion colds each year and 80 percent ofcolds are contracted during this season.

However, flu cases in the United States havedeclined. According to a weekly report created by the CDC, thenumber of states reporting widespread flu activity continued todecrease during the week of January 11-17. Despite the flu’sdecline, CDC officials have warned that cases could rise in somecommunities or regions because influenza strains peak at differenttimes.

The best ways to treat the common cold and theflu are by getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, eatingsoups, fruit and vegetables, reducing stress and avoiding alcoholand tobacco products.

“It is entirely to cold and windy. Ifeel like I don’t even live in Atlanta anymore, but inChicago because the other day my hat almost flew off,” saysNicole Camp, a junior sociology major at Spelman College.

Wind is another factor to deal with during thewinter. To solve this problem some people resort to heaters,electric blankets and heating pads. But heat sucks the moisture outof the air causing the low humidity to dry out the skin. To fightdry skin, avoid extremely hot water, harsh soaps, topical vitamin Aproducts, heavy woolen and fuzzy clothing, and excessive handwashing.

“The weather is pretty frigid here. Ihope that it lets up soon so that I can get out and see thecity,” says Jacqueline Copeland. Copeland, a junior ComputerScience major at Howard University is participating in a domesticexchange program at Columbia University this semester. Because ofthe weather conditions Copeland has been forced to stay inside.

Another problem people experience during thisseason is depression. Negative thoughts can be brought on duringthe winter because of weather conditions, social anxiety and lackof light.  Lift your spirits during this season throughexercise, participating in pleasurable activities and gettingsunlight.

By dressing in layers, washing your hands(regularly, not excessively), drinking plenty of fluids, eatingnutritiously, exercising, getting sunlight and staying active youwill have a better chance of staying warm, healthy, happy thiswinter.