You bELONg Article

Dan Enders

Elon Statistically


Ever since Elon University’s founding in 1889, its growth in both size and academic popularity has become immense. With the class of 2014 entering this fall the largest class in school history, Elon continues to flourish.

According to the Elon University website, Elon now has about 5,000 undergraduate students, over 600 graduate students and nearly 350 faculty members. This creates a teacher to student ratio of about 14:1. According to sophomore Hayley Moll, “the fact that there are a lot of small classes allows you to get more individualized attention from teachers, and they are always willing to help.”

According to college evaluation organizations, Elon University is now known as one of the best private universities in the south. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks Elon University as the nation’s number one school to watch and the number two master’s-level university in the south.

Not only do Elon’s students excel academically, but they also pay less than students at many other private universities throughout the country. Elon is ranked as one of the nation’s top 100 “Best Value Colleges” by The Princeton Review, and was named the “top financial find of 2010” by Reader’s Digest. Despite being a relatively unknown university by the national public, Elon continues to be recognized as one of the best up-and-coming universities in the nation.

Many of Elon’s individual academic branches are highly regarded as some of the best in the nation. BusinessWeek ranked the part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Elon number one in the south and number six in the nation. The Communications program is one of only 18 nationally accredited communications programs among private universities.

As Elon hopes to continue furthering its positive reputation, it is taking steps to expand the student body. According to the Elon Admissions 2009-2010 Fact Book, the number of enrolled first-year students has grown from 820 in 1992-93 to 1,291 in 2009-10. As the size of the freshmen classes continue to grow, the applicant pool continues to drastically climb as well. In 1992-93, only 3,398 students applied to Elon, but in 2009-10, 9,041 students applied to Elon. That is an acceptance rate change from 74% to 48%, which makes it even more impressive that school continues to grow despite becoming more and more selective. According to the Elon Admissions 2009-2010 Fact Book, the average SAT score of incoming freshman is 1843 (over 300 points above the national average) and an average GPA of 3.97.

Another significant advantage students at Elon have over many students at other private universities is their ability to get involved as early as their first semester on campus. According to Kenn Gaither, the director of the Journalism and Communications Fellows program, “Elon is being mentioned as one of the best schools in the country, and we want every student who goes through the school of Communications to have a special experience.” Communications students are able to get hands-on experience in their first year of college. Freshman Melissa Kansky says, “It is easy to get involved with various media organizations on campus, which provides you with a portfolio early on to use for jobs and allows professors to see your capability outside of the classroom.”

Elon is also in the process of expanding its academic concentrations. In 2000, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the School of Communications were founded. In August of 2006, Elon opened its School of Law, and in the summer of 2009, Elon established a master’s program in Interactive Media.

Perhaps the most well known feature of Elon is its beautiful campus, which is nationally recognized as a botanical garden.

As Elon University has evolved over the years, so have its students. Every year, not only do the numbers of the incoming class continue to grow, but also the average grades and SAT scores of applicants steadily increase. As these improvements continue to better the institution, Elon has the potential to be ranked as one of the best colleges in the nation. Therefore, the incoming class of 2014 has some high expectations to live up to.


Fellows Weekend Article

Dan Enders

March 7, 2010

Fellows Weekend

Fellows Weekend, an orientation for selected honors students, kicked off the March madness for the Elon University campus. Groundskeepers and event organizers rushed to prepare the campus for the event.

The groundskeepers are always seen riding around in their “E-Lectric” carts replacing bricks and cutting grass. But, this past week, they stepped up their game and put forth all of their efforts to make the campus look as beautiful as possible for the Fellow visitors and their families.

Prior to the arrival of the prospective Fellows, groundskeepers were seen doing everything from trimming hedges to replacing flat screen televisions. The groundskeepers on campus have built a reputation for being very particular and timely.

During the weekend, prospective Fellows tour campus, attend information sessions, attend a “mixer” for their section, participate in an interview, and attend a sample Elon class. Prospective students’ families are also invited to the weekend and are given a chance to tour the campus and attend a variety of information sessions.

Last Thursday it seemed as though the winter weather may be sticking around, but on Friday, spring had arrived.

Due to the nice weather, the campus was more visually appealing to the visiting prospects. “The appearance of Elon was one of my favorite things about the school,” said Business Fellow prospect, Matt Gentile.

The Fellows program is an honors program that is divided into multiple sections based on majors, such as Business, Education, Communication, etc.

The groundskeepers were not the only ones who put forth effort to make the weekend’s activities go smoothly. Thanks to the Fellows Weekend coordinators and director, Dr. Kenn Gaither, all of the prospects were given an equal chance to show off their talents.

“About once a week in the spring, Fellows directors meet to ensure consistency between programs,” said Gaither, “Comm is the best due to the student energy.”

The current Fellows students were also a vital part in the success of the weekend. Gaither emailed all of the current Communications Fellows students to both ask them for their opinions and inform them of the optional events for them to attend.

“The students of Elon were very accommodating over the weekend,” said Gentile, “and I didn’t speak to any professor who wasn’t extremely nice.”

Being a four-year veteran, Dr. Gaither says that he does not intend to make any adjustments for next year, nor has he felt the need to in the past. For the Communications Fellows, the classic “mixer”, a time for prospects to meet professors and current Fellows, was an extremely important part of the weekend for both the prospects and the coordinators.

Despite the great amount of work put into the appearance of the campus, according to Dr. Gaither, “the student presence in more important than the building’s appearance.”

Energy Efficiency Article

With all of the trash mounting up around the U.S. and the threat of global warming, everyone has been looking for ways to save energy. Here are fifteen ways that you can make your dorm room more energy efficient.

Let’s start off with the basics.

  1. Always turn off all of your lights and electronics every time you leave your room.
  2. Keep a recycling bin in your room for bottles cans and recyclable paper.
  3. Use recyclable batteries if you have them.

Now here are some of the latest trends for saving energy in your dorm room.

  1. Use energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs in all of your lamps.
  2. Buy and use recycled paper for all of your work.
  3. Pay your bills online to save paper.
  4. Recycle used ink jet cartridges because they can be refilled and reused.
  5. Use water filters and reusable water bottles to cut down on the use of plastic water bottles.
  6. Use power strips to maximize your outlets.

And here are a few ways to save energy that you were probably not aware of.

  1. Single-space all of your papers if the teachers will allow it to save paper.
  2. Do textbook swaps at the end of semesters and sell your other textbooks online.
  3. Set your computer to go into sleep mode after 15 minutes and turn it off at night.
  4. Use windows and natural light to replace electric light when possible.
  5. Take short showers and turn off the sink when you are brushing your teeth and/or shaving.
  6. Use various forms of solar chargers to charge your iPods and other electronic devices.

Many Elon students like first-year students Sarah Dodge and Melissa Kansky already use some of these techniques to keep the dorm room energy efficient. But some students like sophomore Hayley Moll have gone above and beyond with other ways to save energy in their dorm rooms. Moll says that she re-uses plastic bags from Target to transport materials and as a lining for her trashcans. Sophomore Katie O’Brien saves energy by unplugging all of her chargers when she is not using them because even when they are not charging, they use electricity. O’Brien also uses her air conditioning as little as possible and puts her television on sleep mode at night so that it will turn off if she falls asleep while watching.

With all of these tips on how to make your dorm room environmentally friendly, you can save energy and money at the same time.

Second Life Article

Dan Enders

April 19, 2010

Land In Second Life

Ever since Linden Labs created Second Life in 2001, the 3D virtual world has been quickly growing into a complete and total alternate world. Now, people can even buy land and houses on Second Life.

Compared to buying property in the “real world”, buying property is second life is very simple and cheap. In order to buy land on Second Life, a user must first exchange “real-life” money for “Linden Dollars (L$)”, the Second Life currency. Like the real world, the exchange rates between the US Dollar and Linden Dollars fluctuate based on supply and demand, but the rate has appeared to remain fairly stable at about 250 L$ to the US Dollar. Other ways that users can make money in Second Life is to get a virtual job or even win prizes at events.

Like the “real world”, there are countless different types of land in Second Life, from snowy mountains to sandy beaches. There are also different sizes of land and private and mainland estates. Mainland estates are estates and land that are controlled by Linden Labs and rented or bought by users, but private estates are purchased by individuals and have nearly complete control of the land. All of these factors, along with a few others determine the prices of different estates. In order to purchase land straight from Linden, however, users must first upgrade their account to a “Premium Account”.

Generally, in the long-term, buying an estate in Second Life is cheaper than renting one. However, the owner of a Second Life ­estate determines monthly and annual costs for a rented property. Although larger plots of land are overall more expensive than smaller ones, they are cheaper per square meter. For example, according to Angel Fluffy, a 512 square meter estate costs about US$25 upfront and six to ten US Dollars a month to maintain (Fluffy). An island estate (65,536 m2) from Linden, on the other hand, costs US$1,675 upfront, and US$295 a month to maintain (Fluffy).

After purchasing a plot of land, Second Life users can then build a house and personalize it with a variety of furniture and accessories. Second Life users can buy anything from a couch for their virtual living room to a Ferris wheel to add to their backyard. Users can even control aspects of their virtual home, such as the weather and the time of day. With a plot of land, Second Life users can build a store to sell their products or even an amusement park to entertain themselves and other Second Life users.

In the virtual world of Second Life, truly anything is possible. Users can buy anything that they would like including houses and lots that they could never afford in the “real world”.