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Council of Presidents advise youth at Elon

By Hannah Simpson
Around the Town Editor

The Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs’ Council of Presidents eased the minds of many as they spoke to parents and students April 4 at Elon Academy about college life.

Dubbed the “Personal Touch Tour,” this is the second school the Council of Presidents has visited this year.

Unlike regular UNCP programs that visit high schools, the Council does not focus on SAT scores or admissions requirements. Instead, they answer questions about the college experience.

At Elon Academy, the Council spoke to both students and their parents.

African American Student Organization President Quinn Davis said he tried to be as honest as possible concerning the college atmosphere, especially stressing to “keep a balance between your social and your academic life.”

10% Society President Jamel Porter agreed, telling the students that they must learn how to discipline themselves in order to see their goals accomplished.

Robert Canida, director of the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs, spoke about the role faculty play in a student’s collegiate career.

The presidents stressed the necessity of communications skills, especially writing, Porter said.

Davis said the circle of friends also plays a great role in making or breaking one’s collegiate experience.

The presidents warned the students to not be afraid to “cut off” peers who may be negative influences.

African Student Organization President Yetunde Akindahunsi said she used a lot of her experiences as examples for the students.

“I was afraid that sometimes we were too blunt [with the answers],” she said. “But, the parents were thankful for it.”
Akindahunsi said the parents asked more questions than the students.

Akindahunsi said other universities sent admissions officers, but the Council of Presidents was the first group of students to speak with Elon Academy.

Freshman and Latin American Student Organization President Kevin Wong said he spoke to the students about the culture shock of moving from New York City to Pembroke for school.

He said it was difficult to transition from one area to another.

“Whatever school they go to, when you drop them off, don’t become helicopter parents,” Canida advised the parents.
“Let them grow,” he added.

The presidents also answered questions on partying, drinking, time management and classes.

“I had many students and family members...tell me that this was the best Saturday program we’ve had so far,” read an email from Deborah Long, an associate professor at Elon Academy, to the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs.

Canida said the Council will continue to visit high schools next year.

He hopes that they will visit high schools in the area, mentioning Purnell Swett High School and Lumberton High School.

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Updated: Saturday, April 12, 2008
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