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Stories this week at WFU

By Jacob McConnico
336-758-5237
October 7, 2004

'FESTIVAL ON THE QUAD' HIGHLIGHT OF WFU HOMECOMING — Wake Forest alumni and friends will gather on campus this weekend for the university's homecoming. Weekend events include reunion gatherings of alumni, a service of remembrance in Wait Chapel and a homecoming "Festival on the Quad" from 9:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 23. The event, a popular tradition during homecoming weekend, features food, games and music. Sponsors include Krispy Kreme, Biscuitville and Pepsi. Live music will be performed by a bluegrass band comprised of Wake Forest faculty members. The event has traditionally drawn almost 1,000 people to Wake Forest's University Plaza (main Quad).

Contact: Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

WFU STUDENTS AIM TO RAISE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS — In observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, several Wake Forest students plan to raise awareness of all forms of domestic violence and dispel the myth that it only happens to lower-income women through three original one-act plays and a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Oct. 23. The free event, which will be held in the Ring Theatre of Scales Fine Arts Center, will feature Wake Forest's Anthony Aston Players performing "Dinner at Home," "Soft Spots" and "Maxi-Pad Poetry," all written by Wake Forest senior Amy Currie. The event is part of Amnesty International's Year of the Arts and Human Rights.

Contact: Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

ELECTION ISSUES FOCUS OF STUDENT-ORGANIZED DEBATE AT WFU — Wake Forest students have planned a public debate of the issues surrounding this year's presidential election for 7 p.m. Oct. 27 in the university's Wait Chapel. The free, public event is hosted by Wake Forest's College Democrats and College Republicans. During the debate, student members of the College Democrats and College Republicans will be on stage presenting different sides of a particular election issue. While the students will be the primary speakers, they will not be the only speakers. Two segments are reserved for audience participation and comment. David Cratis Williams, a former Wake Forest faculty member and debate coach, will be the moderator. He is an associate professor of communication at Florida Atlantic University.

Contact: Maggie Barrett, barretmb@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

APPLIED SECURITY ANALYSIS COURSE PAYS DIVIDENDS — The Wachovia Securities Applied Security Analysis Course offered at Wake Forest University's Babcock Graduate School of Management gives students hands-on experience in security selection and portfolio management. The Student Managed Wachovia Securities Fund had an initial valuation of $100,000 in 1997. During the past seven years, the fund's value has increased by 78 percent to $178,000. The course is taught by mutual funds expert Edward O'Neal, assistant professor of finance in the school.

Contact: Dusty Donaldson, dusty.donaldson@mba.wfu.edu or 336-758-4454.

VICE CHAIR OF 9/11 COMMISSION TO SPEAK AT FALL CONVOCATION — Lee Hamilton, vice chair of the Sept. 11 commission, will deliver Wake Forest's Fall Convocation address at 11 a.m. Oct. 28 in the university's Wait Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. The title of Hamilton's address is "Foreign Policy and the 2004 Presidential Campaign." Formerly a congressman from Indiana, Hamilton is director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and is on the advisory council to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Contact: Maggie Barrett, barretmb@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

WFU STUDENTS TREAT LOCAL CHILDREN TO 'MONSTER MASH' THIS HALLOWEEN — From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 28, between 1,500 and 2,500 children from various community agencies will attend Wake Forest's 16th annual Project Pumpkin. This year's theme is "The Monster Mash Sweet Sixteen Dance Party" and the event features carnival games, face painting and entertainment on University Plaza (main Quad) between Wait Chapel and Reynolda Hall. Through music, a comedy troupe of monsters, haunted houses, a mad scientist, and even a tour of a fire truck, Wake Forest's Volunteer Service Corps will provide safe Halloween fun and trick-or-treating through residence halls for children from invited agencies. This is a community service event that is not open to the general public. Organizers begin decorating the Quad at 5 a.m. Oct. 28. Morning show segments and interviews can be arranged. During the event, media representatives must check in at the media table in front of Wait Chapel to receive a press kit and find out which children cannot be photographed.

Contact: Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

N.C./SOUTHERN POLITICS EXPERT AVAILABLE FOR ELECTION STORIES — Jack Fleer, professor emeritus of political science, is available to comment on a variety of North Carolina political contests, including the U.S. Senate race between Richard Burr and Erskine Bowles and the governor's race between incumbent Mike Easley and Patrick Ballantine. In addition, Fleer, author of the book "North Carolina Politics," is available to discuss the Southern strategies of George W. Bush and John Kerry. Fleer has been a keen observer of North Carolina politics for more than 30 years, and he is comfortable with print and broadcast media interviews. He has commented in the past on the rise of John Edwards to the national political stage and on the implications of either Burr or Bowles being selected to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.

Contact: Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

FEWER COMPETITIVE RACES HAMSTRING VOTER TURNOUT EFFORTS — The declining number of presidential battleground states and the lack of competitive U.S. House races make it increasingly clear that only a small percentage of Americans will be able to cast a meaningful vote in a federal election on Nov. 2, says John Dinan, Zachary T. Smith Associate Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest and an expert on voter behavior. "It is hard enough as it is to get Americans to the polls, what with week-day voting and voter registration requirements in all but one state," said Dinan, who is leading a senior seminar this semester on the 2004 elections. Recent trends in legislative redistricting, particularly the creation of safe seats for one party or the other, have ensured that fewer congressional districts are contested in any real sense. "As a result, with the exception of voters in a small number of presidential battleground states and in some hotly contested House districts around the country, there is less incentive than there might be to turn out to the polls," Dinan said.

Contact: Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

YOUTH HOLD VOTING POWER — "Given that less than half of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 were registered to vote for the 2000 election, and just how close that election was, it's not surprising that campaigns see potential in this group," says Katy Harriger, professor of political science at Wake Forest. She is entering the last year of a four-year research project looking at ways of reintroducing college students into public life. Harriger also helped organize a program at Wake Forest this year that got freshmen talking about the election. The incoming students were asked to pay attention to the issues surrounding the presidential race during the summer and be ready to talk about the election at a panel discussion during their fourth day on campus. Harriger said the real challenge is not in getting college-aged people registered to vote, but in getting them to the polls. "There are a number of significant efforts by both of the parties and by a number of non-partisan groups to get this age group registered," Harriger said. "Once registered, the challenge will be to get them out to vote. For college students, that often means getting an absentee ballot and getting it back in time. The success of these efforts could make a difference in a close election."

Contact: Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.


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