Thursday, December 17, 2009

Meet an Artist: Harrison Barrow

This article originally appeared in Go Triad

Meet an Artist: Harrison Barrow

Harrison Barrow with art for his latest movie project. Credit: Joseph Rodriguez/News & Record
Thursday, May 21 (updated 3:00 am)

Harrison Barrow is a musician/animator from Greensboro;

His Interest in Stop-Motion Animation

What I like about stop-motion animation is that you can invent a character. You can draw them and then make puppets out of them. They're like little people you can move.

I'm still very new to it. I've drawn goofy cartoons since I was in middle school. I would draw random characters and comic strips. I first got into stop-motion animation in high school. Me and my buddy Frank Adamek would do (stop motion) in my mother's basement. During that time we did three little short films. One (of the shorts) was for our Spanish Cultures 2 class. I don't remember what the project was. We made the short using geometric shapes that we painted on. It was about a man who vomited and then turned into a butterfly. The short had nothing at all to do with the project, but we got an "A" for it anyway.

Banging on the Piano

Me and the piano have a weird relationship. I first wanted to learn the piano in elementary school. At that time, my older brother listened to Ben Folds a lot, and so I naturally wanted to listen to it, too, and later to play piano myself. I asked my mother if I could take piano lessons; she agreed. I became impatient during the lessons. I wanted to rock out and bang on the piano and not do little exercises. I was thinking too far ahead.

Later, a friend of mine gave me a Warren Zevon CD -- that really made me want to play the piano. I knew enough about music to play the simplest chords. Over time I taught myself by practicing and listening to a lot of music.

His Newest Film

My current project is called "Esterhauzy." It's a stop-motion film about a young man, named Graham Ricketts, in his post-college slump. He's not actively pursuing a career. He's kind of lost his self-respect, his dignity, pretty much anything that keeps you going every morning. He's not necessarily depressed, he's just missing something required to be a 3-D human being.

He discovers that what he thought were his imaginary friends he had as a child were actually real and existed in another dimension. (The friends) and their home world are linked to his mind and his emotional state because he created them.

To the young Graham, the characters represented the few times he thought his family was normal. His family would go to the circus sometimes. (The characters) have themes from the circus; they're tightrope walkers, clowns, etc.

Now, everything in their world has gone haywire because of Graham's mental state. The individuals have become mutated, maniacal, demented and perverted. Now, basically, they're sociopaths. These are carnies and sideshow freaks that are losing their mind and subsequently, their home is dying. They have come back to grab Graham and drag him back to their world to solve their problems that have risen from his unhappiness.

Selecting film Music

For "Esterhauzy," the music and animation are two parts of a whole. What I'm doing musically has to reflect the personality of the character on screen. The music can't just be anything.

Sometimes it's really fun to make another statement with the music that's contrary to the animation. For example, I might have an upbeat song about something terrible or godawful happening on film and portray it as something innocent.

I have about three other people who have helped me with the music; it's not 100 percent me. I really like to have other people bring different ideas to the numbers.

A Work In Progress

This summer we're going to film a portion of it ("Esterhauzy") and use it to try to get more backing. Basically, we want the film to be quality, so we don't want to rush it. We've already done a lot of work for preproduction, like concept art and writing the script.

We also have a fair amount of tracks recorded for it, all they need is some polishing up.

The only way to do all of the stuff for the film without rushing it is to get artists to help. We don't want a huge crew, just a bigger one than we have now. We need artists, filmmakers, people that like to sculpt and draw.

This (project) is going to take awhile. As you grow as an artist, you are going to continually look back at what you did and want to improve it. However, the project isn't going to take 30 years to complete; so sometimes you have to put your foot down and end it at some point.

Meet an Artist with Matt Grady

This article originally appeared in Go Triad

Thursday, April 23 (updated 8:05 am)

Painter from Greensboro --

Cars, Airplanes and Monsters

I started drawing when I was a child, around four or five. At the time, I drew mostly cars, airplanes, and monsters. I really enjoyed drawing and everyone told me I was good at it, so I kept doing it.

It was around junior high that I became serious (about drawing). By that time it (drawing) became definitive; I was the kid that could draw. I had also gotten into comic books at that point. I was really into Ghost Rider, I thought flaming skulls were cool.

The Influence of comic books

Reading comic books helped and hurt my drawing. Later, when I was in college, I had a professor lecture me about comics saying it would taint my style. To some extent, he was right. Whenever I draw something out of my head it always has a comic book feel to it even if I don’t mean it to.

There’s a difference (in my style) that can be seen if I’m drawing out of my head or if I’m doing something like a portrait. Commercially, there is a stigma to comic books. A lot of people in the art community consider comic books to be low brow.

If I could be any superhero, I would probably be Multiple Man (from the comic series X-Factor). I could have 40 versions of myself all working at the same time.

Art School

My uncle was also an artist. I didn’t see him often (when he was younger), but we had his paintings in the house. He’s probably the only reason my parents let me go to art school. He went to art school in Michigan. After he graduated, he got a very well paying job at GM motors doing design.

I graduated from the UNCG art program with a degree in painting. I was trained in oil painting, so I tend to stick with it.

I guess I kind of hated it (art school), mostly because of the other students. Being an artist was a fashion choice to them; they spent more time on their outfits and hair than on their homework. Their presence lowered the bar, which also meant that my degree is that much less valuable as a result.

Having a BFA has helped (my career) a great deal. A lot of people won’t give you a hearing unless you have a degree. People who don’t know any better put too much faith in that piece of paper. I don’t think that it (a degree) is a good standard. Many people who have graduated art school couldn’t draw out of a paper bag. An art degree is like a math degree in that you only learn as much as you want to.

The Painting Process

I have an idea of what I’m going to do very much before I start painting. First I develop the concept and symbolism in the painting.

After that, I go through a brainstorming session. Once I work all that out, I sketch out the painting and draw thumbnail sketches and composition patterns. After that, I do a larger sketch and then I start the painting.

Dissecting Sho’nuff

Lately, I’ve done more commission work. The last commission I did were two bouquets of wire sculpture flowers. That was very tedious. It was just me, a pair of pliers, and 200 yards of wire.

I had one guy commission me to do a portrait of him beating up Sho’nuff (the villain from the movie “The Last Dragon”). He was glowing just like Leroy (the protagonist of the movie). It was the funniest commission I ever had. Usually the stranger ones are more fun.

The strangest thing I remember doing was a painting of a guy dissecting himself, mostly his face.

I think I painted it mostly to freak out my teacher. I enjoy painting the creepy stuff for the shock value, but I’ve been trying to tone it down lately. Not many people want something like that on their wall.

Spiritual Renisance Singers

This article originally appeared in Go Triad

Spiritual Renaissance Singers keep a historic tradition alive

Want to go?

What: "The Spirtual as Art Song" by the Spiritual Renaissance Singers of Greensboro

Where: Pfeiffer Chapel on the campus of Bennett College for Women.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Free and open to the public

Information: or 273-3237

Thursday, May 14 (updated 3:00 am)

Patricia J. Trice is keeping the tradition of spirituals alive through her group, the Spiritual Renaissance Singers of Greensboro.

For the past 10 years, the Spiritual Renaissance Singers have performed spirituals in churches, colleges and as part of concert series. Under Trice's direction, the 24 performers have dedicated themselves to preserving spirituals ---- traditionally unaccompanied folk songs.

The spirituals performed by the Renaissance Singers are filled with emotional complexity, often expressing grave sorrow and intense joy within the same song. The songs are interwoven into American history and culture.

On Saturday the Spiritual Renaissance Singers will be celebrating their 10-year anniversary with a gala, "The Spiritual as Art Song," at Pfeiffer Chapel at Bennett College.

Trice describes the "art song" as "a piece for the singer and a piano. It's written using poetry as the text and a freely composed melody with the piano. The point is to show the versatility of spirituals."

Most, if not all, of popular music can trace its origins back to the spirituals sung by slaves. If it weren't for these songs of intense sorrow and worship there wouldn't be jazz, blues, gospel or R&B.

"Originally, these folk songs sung by slaves were unaccompanied. Their owners would take away their African instruments, especially the drums, because they knew they could communicate with one another through them," Trice says.

The slave owners were so afraid of rebellion that they severely restricted communication. They wouldn't even allow the slaves to talk to one another. The slaves, however, could sing, especially if the song was religious in nature. These songs often contained coded messages that were passed from slave to slave. It was from these plantations the spirituals were born.

Gospel music also was derived from these spirituals.

"It resulted from the freed slaves moving into the cities. Once in the cities, these people composed songs with accompanied music. Spirituals are unaccompanied. Gospel music also has simpler rhythms than the spirituals," Trice said.

Trice, a lifelong fan of spirituals, wanted to form a group that would perform these songs in Greensboro.

"I had been involved with a similar group in Tampa," Trice said. "When I moved up here to Greensboro, I began asking around for people who would be interested in starting a spiritual group. I sent out a call for people I knew."

One of the people who answered was Trice's friend, Gerald White.

"Spirituals were something I always heard at my church," White said. "Since then, I've always been drawn to it (spirituals)."

Eventually, others began to join the group, including trained musicians and those who simply just "love the music," Trice said.

With the group formed, all that was missing was a practice space.

"I told the then-president of Bennett College that I wanted to start a spiritual group and she said, 'Why don't you practice here?'"

Their first concert was at Bennett College in Pfeiffer Chapel in front of 400 people.

"It took my breath away," White said. "I didn't expect to see that many people.

Performing at Pfeiffer Chapel now isn't that much different than it was a decade ago, Trice said. The group itself, however, has changed drastically.

"In the 10 years the ensemble has been together, Spiritual Renaissance Singers of Greensboro has grown tremendously in terms of blend, balance and tone quality," Trice said. "The support and dedication of each of the singers has been an inspiration to me."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Social LIfe

Social Life known for punk rowdiness

Want to go?

What: Social Life
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Westerwood Tavern: 508 Guilford Ave., Greensboro
Admission: $1
Information: 274-4410

Thursday, April 16 (updated 3:00 am)

The members of Social Life agree that punk is what brought them where they are today. Guitarist Zach Miller prefers the simplicity of punk to the highly technical aspects of other genres.

"Guitar solos are like garlic," Miller says. "A little garlic is great but too much and you kill every vampire around."

The Greensboro punk band Social Life includes Miller, vocalist Andrew Denoff, bassist Tony McCarthy and drummer Caleb Gross. They all started listening to various forms of punk when they were about 13.

"If punk rock is dead then we're all zombies," Denoff says. "Punk is supposed to have heart. Lately punk rock has become really commercial; just look at the Warped Tour."

Miller adds, "We hate how indie and punk music has now become a fashion show. We write a lot about how much we hate hipsters."

Drinking, hanging out and girls inspire the music of Social Life.

"The lyrics are usually about the angst that is attributed to early 20s or 30s males," McCarthy says.

"Shut up, Kerouac," Denoff chimes in.

The members of Social Life continually riff on one another. When Miller's girlfriend, Erin Thrasher, calls him during the interview, the other band members exclaim, "Zach is whipped" because of his prompt response and his shift in tone while talking on the phone. But it's all in good fun.

Denoff and Miller formed Social Life in March 2007. The pair's taste in music, particularly punk, meshed so well that it seemed natural. Denoff already had a song in mind that they began to rehearse. That song would eventually become "Patty Hearst Syndrome."

Like most of Social Life's song titles, "Patty Hearst Syndrome" has nothing to do with the song itself. The titles are usually random or funny quotes that someone in the band heard and felt like writing down, such as "Ralph Nader's Suit" and "Trolls in the City."

McCarthy met Denoff at a party on Halloween in 2006.

"I couldn't think of anything to wear so I just wore a suit," McCarthy said.

"Andrew comes up to me and asks, 'Are you dressed like a mod?' I was like, 'No, but it's awesome that you know what a mod is.' I had just moved to Greensboro from Fayetteville and hadn't met that many people into rock 'n' roll."

McCarthy hung out, partied and talked about rock music with Denoff for several months before eventually joining the band in 2007.

Social Life had its current lineup for only a few months before the band played its first show in October 2008 at Nate's Place in Greensboro.

"The show was free and the beer was only $1, so the place was packed and rowdy," Denoff says. "By the time we got done playing the bar had completely sold out of PBR."

That show quickly built Social Life a reputation for its rowdy live shows, with a trail of broken bottles and cigarette butts in their wake.

Social Life's first EP, "Happy Hour," was released in June 2008. Since then, McCarthy says they have enough songs for a second EP but are holding out for enough material for a full-length album — which McCarthy says will be more layered and intricate than their EP — and a tour around North Carolina. When not touring, they plan on "blowing our tax returns on tattoos and alcohol."

This article originally appeared in Go Triad

Show shines light on destruction in Peru

Show shines light on destruction in Peru

By Charles Wood

David Hewson's life dramatically changed six years ago when he was introduced to Peruvian shaman Don Ron.

The two met at Burning Man, an art event based on radical self-expression held every year in the Black Rock Deserts of Nevada. The shaman was there to conduct ceremonies dedicated to the healing power of medicine. Hewson was drawn to the intense, transformative powers of the medicine, as well as a deep connection to the shaman and his rituals.

It was after this encounter that Hewson, a 1989 graduate of Guilford College, decided to travel to Iquitos, Peru, and study with shamans in 2006, marking a turning point in his artistic career.

Hewson has documented his experience in Peru with a traveling exhibit of paintings and photographs called "The Road and the Wilderness: Beauty and Destruction of the Peruvian Amazon." The exhibit is on view through April 29 at Guilford College.

The subjects of Hewson's paintings include the jungle, native Peruvians and figures from Peru's rich folklore. His photos show the culture and people of Peru and how they have been affected by oil contamination and deforestation.

"When I arrived in Peru, there were eight plots of land that the Peruvian government put up for exploration and excavation," Hewson says. "Now, there are 64 plots of land up for excavation, land that has been illegally taken from natives. Peru Petrol leases this land to America."

The idea to document these aspects of Peru came to Hewson during a ceremony in which he drank the medicine ayahuasca, a combination of plants used by shamans for religious and medicinal ceremonies. Shamans are intermediaries between the spirit and the material worlds and often give advice to their tribes, treat illnesses and act as spirit guides.

"A woman came to me in my vision," Hewson says of the experience. "She told me, 'Take your talent and show the beauty and destruction (of the Amazon) to your people.'"

The event, Hewson says, was, "such a great cleansing. It was a physical, mental and spiritual purging."

Since then, Hewson has made it his mission to shed light on the destruction of the Peruvian Amazon through his artwork.

"We're all complicit (in this atrocity)," he said. We (the U.S.) now make up 4.5 percent of the world's population but consume 25 percent of the world's petrol. We are destroying the Amazon for a week's worth of oil in America."

Hewson hopes his exhibition will make people more aware of the destruction of the Amazon and the crimes committed against the Peruvians,

"Land rights had been given to the native people after centuries of abuse by the West, but when resources were found, the rights were taken away," he says.

After the exhibition ends, Hewson plans to return to the Amazon to build a house in the jungle.

This article originally appeared in Go Triad

St. Mary's House: Community religious center, sanctuary for the homeless

Here's the last article from The Carolinian I'm going to post:

The house at 930 Walker Ave. is completely unassuming and blends in with of its neighbors. It's only distinguishing mark would be the various street people who lounge in the yard and uses its grounds as a make-shift sanctuary.

The interior is just as unassuming - with big, soft couches and armchairs replacing pews. If it wasn't for the sign in front of its door, one would never suspect this place was an Episcopal/Anglican place of worship.

"We think of ourselves as a household, not as a formal congregation," says the Rev. Charles M. Hawes, a middle aged man with a beard who wears a necklace of a cross that morphs into a peace sign. Hawes has been Chaplin of St. Mary's House for 22 years. This will be his last.

St. Mary's House has held this sentiment ever since it was erected to be a center for Episcopal ministries for UNCG in 1900, according to Hawes. When the house was first built, it didn't have any heating and the women of UNCG were forced to hold service in the homes of some of the faculty in the dead of winter. In 1929, it was decided St. Mary's wasn't going to make it as a chapel and was deconsecrated. Since then, its become a kind of "reception house."

"It's a big, soft place people can come by and relax," says Hawes.
St. Mary's House differs from other places of worship not only in an aesthetic sense, but by a theological stance. The sign above the door reading "Jesus died to take away our sins, not our minds" epitomizes their stance.

"Over the years, our identity has kind of segued. We are recognized as a center that tried to make religion thoughtful," says Hawes. "We've earned a certain amount of respect from the academic community because we allow people to come to our services with an open mind and ask questions.

As a result, St. Mary's house has a congregation made up of members of the greater Greensboro area, students from UNCG, Greensboro College and A&T, as well as many members of the faculty from UNCG.

Former UNCG student Michael Hayworth attended St. Mary's proudly.

"It's a great place for open minded people to come and talk and share commonalities," he said.

Another group of people have decided to attend St. Mary's: the homeless.

"Homeless people have been at St. Mary's House since the 1960's - a lot longer than I have been here," says Hawes. "A lot of them are alcoholics, drug addicts, and psychologically impaired. We recognize these people as 'sick,' not 'bad.'"

The presence of homeless people has created a controversy among some of St. Mary's House's neighbors and local businesses. Mike Grady, a manager at Tate St. Coffee, described the situation.

"I call it the silent protest - no one complains, just no one comes back," Grady explains. "They're trying to do a good thing, but I would absolutely love it if it was 3 miles away."

John Sanford, who lives two houses down from St. Mary's House, shares a similar sentiment.

"They are trying do good Christian charity, but by not enforcing trespassing and panhandling laws on their property, they are creating a haven for beggars."

Additionally, a local organization called "Food not Bombs" meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in St. Mary's House to cook for whoever feels like stopping by, including the neighborhood homeless.

Hawes supports them and has a simple response to critics.

"How could I, a servant of Christ, turn away homeless people when Jesus and his fellow apostles were beggars themselves?"

Saturday Night at the Red Bull Word Clash

Here's another piece from the Carolinian I wrote in 2006 about the Red Bull Word Clash:

At the Red Bull Word Clash on Friday, February 11, street poets from around the nation gathered at the Carolina Theatre for one purpose: to start a revolution. The group of poets came from every possible background and ethnic group with topics ranging from child abuse and molestation to the objectification of women in the media and first hand experiences of the war in Iraq. Despite all of their differences, the poets were unified in their desire to help bring about a drastic social change and to topple the Bush regime and everything it stands for.

The poets presenting during the Word Clash represent everything the founder of the event, revolutionary street poet Monte Smith, hopes to accomplish. Smith founded the event in 2002 as a reaction to what he feels to be an increasingly tyrannical and Orwellian government.

"The Patriot Act is limiting free speech everyday." Smith adds, "We have to take back our rights through poetic conviction and edutainment."

The poet, Brother Earl from Harlem, New York, has a similar sentiment to Smith.

"These are crazy and unbelievable times. People are crying out for a new voice. It's almost like an act of rebellion just to come to an

event like this," comments Brother Earl.

The Reverend Alabama Jones also adds, "There are a lot of poor disenfranchised people in this country. If protests can't change anything, maybe art can."

Smith has been frequently asked how he can reconcile preaching

revolution and anti-establishment while using a corporate sponsor like Red Bull. To this Smith replies, "When you can get a company to support a revolutionary cause such as a poetry event, than you're getting the establishment to pay for what will eventually topple it and what's a better way than to do that from the inside?"

Smith believes that street poetry, unlike traditional poetry, has an inherently unique ability to educate and create change through its connection to the common man.

"In street poetry you don't have to have a writing degree; you don't need a college education. A street poet is someone who can reach the common man and be able to relate his story, to be able to open line of communications," states Smith

The poet R.E Braziel from Toledo, Ohio adds, "I believe academic poetry has too many limits. Street poetry is raw. This is poetry for the common man, poetry in its rarest form."

The Carolina Theater opened its doors at 7:30 to a crowd near-frozen from the harsh conditions outside. Dj Soundmachine performed until the show began. At 8:20pm Smith finally took the stage to introduce the event. He opened up with a welcome to the Greensboro Police Department.

"There are probably members of the police department in the audience right now. Fuck you. The police is the man's muscle. They're not here to protect and serve, they're here to fuck you up."

After his welcome to the GPD, Smith introduced the four judges, which included Bruce George, co-founder of Def Poetry Jam.

The show began with 20 poets, which would be narrowed down to one winner after 3 rounds. Every poet was met with extreme enthusiasm from the audience, who were gasping for breath and nodding their head following the words of the poets.

After 3 hours of intense performance the judges had to make a decision. The winner turned out to be returning champion Queen Sheba. At the end of the competition Monte Smith challenged the poets to step up their game because next years event is sure to be even more awe inspiring.

The Carolinian returns to UNCG

Here's an article I wrote in 2005 for UNCG's campus newspaper The Carolinian:

Conspiracy theories and rumors were rampant among the student population when the independent student newspaper of UNCG went missing from the racks in early December. The Carolinian went unpublished for nearly three months, the longest absence in the paper's 86-year history, due to bad business practices that led to university sanctions.

After accusations of business fraud, mass firings and a loss of university affiliation, The Carolinian's executive editor has stepped down and the paper is printing again. But students are still asking, "What really happened?"


In 2002 it was decided by The Carolinian editorial board, a group consisting of the paper's editors, that leadership of The Carolinian would be separated into two positions: an executive editor who would focus on business and administration and a managing editor who would work with section editors and oversee content. The change was a response to the need to separate the paper's business and content, preventing conflicts of interest.

Trinity Whitley, a sophomore, was appointed executive editor in 2003 - a position decided annually by the University Media Board. The media board is a university committee made up of UNCG students, faculty and staff who oversee student funding for the campus' print media, Coraddi and The Carolinian. The media board is chaired by Checka Leinwall, associate director of the Office of Student Life (OSL), the group that oversees affiliated student organizations.

Though Whitley had not previously been on staff at the paper and had no newspaper experience when hired, she was one of only three students to apply for the position.

Carolinian editors said Whitley's inexperience and refusal to accept help or suggestions from the staff created conflicts.

"It was obvious she didn't have any [journalism] experience," said Kevin Harvey, who worked with Whitley as opinions editor when she was hired in the Spring of 2003.

"It's fair to say that she ran the paper poorly," Harvey said.

Whitley said that when she arrived, The Carolinian was "a little unorganized with misplaced principles."

"Almost immediately, within the first few weeks, there were problems," said Joe Killian, the paper's managing editor. Killian said she tried to run the staff "like a military regime." He also spoke of Whitley's temper tantrums and screaming fits.

"I've been fortunate enough not to experience any [of Whitley's temper tantrums]" said Kathryn Kennedy, The Carolinian's news editor.

But Kennedy said she did witness an exchange between Whitley and Morgan Smith, former arts and entertainment editor, where both parties were yelling and pounding their fists on the table. Kennedy went on to say that Whitley's "unprofessionalism was notable."

Soon after Whitley was hired questions arose about advertisement commissions - the percentage of ad money given to employees who sell ads in the paper.

In the past a minimum of four ad representatives, who did nothing but sell ads, were needed to make enough money for The Carolinian to make payroll. Whitley took a different approach to selling advertisements, saying the "advertising system just wasn't working" and that a lot of money wasn't coming in, so a new system was necessary.

Records show that Whitley hired no ad representatives during her first term as executive editor and instead sold and collected commission on most of the paper's ads herself. Carolinian editors and other staff members charged that this lead to fewer ads and less revenue for the paper, but more money for Whitley herself.

Whitley was eventually confronted by the editors and as a result hired Christina Pulliam as office assistant. Pulliam did not work as a full time ad representative and, according to Business Manager David Sebren, "Pulliam sold enough to make $50-$100 a month while Trinity sold enough to make uber amounts of money."

According to editors Whitley became angry when then-News Editor Will Ayers sold approximately $6,000 in advertising over the summer of 2004, insisting that she needed the money from ad commissions herself and didn't want Ayers to bring in new advertisers before she could. Shortly thereafter Sebren said he found documents changing credit for the commission of those ads from Ayers' name to Whitley's.

Since Whitley was accused of illegal activity, namely business fraud, the situation was handed to the student conduct board. There, after a hearing, Whitley was found "not responsible." When Sebren heard about this he was upset and said Whitley "got off on a loop hole" - submitting guidelines for The Carolinian that omitted any rules for business so that she could make the argument she hadn't broken any.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the paper's editors met and submitted a letter of concern to the media board at the end of November. This letter outlined many of their complaints against Whitley, ranging from "misappropriation of funds" to business fraud. It also said that Whitley unilaterally decided to spend thousands of dollars The Carolinian didn't have on an expensive Macintosh G4 computer, her only explanation being, "it's going to be badass."

Whitley later said she purchased the computer because of "misinformation" on The Carolinian's budget from then OSL Business Manager Paul Constantino.

The letter also said Sebren "found doctored paperwork, changing an ad commission from Will Ayers to Trinity's name." When the staff confronted Whitley, "she responded with what can only be described as a temper tantrum" by crying and raising her voice and making personal attacks against the editors present.

In response to the letter, the media board gathered a group of graduate students from the Bryan school under the direction an auditing professor to do a review of the "receipts and expenditures of Carolinian for the period of July 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004."

During the review The Carolinian's operation was suspended, and November 30 was the last issue they were able to produce. Sebren said he was surprised when he heard the news.

"I wasn't prepared for an audit, it threw me for a loop," said Sebren.

During the ongoing review Whitley fired Killian and Sebren and an email was then sent out to the section editors telling them they could stay and accept Whitley's methods or resign immediately. The group responded with an e-mail saying they would make no decision until completion of the financial review - but were summarily fired by Whitley for "not having a group mentality."

The editors all maintain their terminations were retaliation for their letter of concern to the media board.


Whitley immediately chose replacements for the editors she had fired - many of whom had been with The Carolinian less than one semester and one of whom was not a staff member when hired. Brad Howell and Joe Scott were appointed Sports and A&E editors, respectively. Amanda Carl was appointed News Editor.

But before Whitley's new group got off the ground Kennedy and Lowrance appealed their terminations and were reinstated - as were Sebren and Killian at later meetings. Smith and Aaron Snyder, the former Sports editor, did not appeal, citing their need to find other, paying jobs during the long hiatus.

Upon the reinstatement of the former editors, the replacements were now unemployed. Whitley said it was, "very heartbreaking to tell the people I hired that they were now replaced." However, Carl said Whitley avoided informing the editors until they had already found out through word-of-mouth.

"I lost a lot of respect" for Whitley, Carl said of the situation.

Carl is once again working in the news section under Kennedy.

With Lowrence and Kennedy back on staff, a whole new set of problems arose. The Carolinian's student group affiliation lapsed because Whitley failed to meet any of the guidelines required to maintain affiliation, including submitting operating procedures to M.L. Gough of OSL without the editorial board's approval and neglecting to include the business or advertising procedures of The Carolinian. This left the paper without office space or the ability to print.

Kennedy worked to regain affiliation with the school by attending affiliation meetings and ensuring that the anti-hazing agreements had been turned in. Also, new operating procedures, drafted by the editorial board, were completed and presented to OSL on February 25.

After the various changes in leadership, the audit was presented to the media board on March 3, and it read, "The Carolinian's recent operating difficulties mainly arise from its lack of documented operating procedures and internal controls."

At that March 3 meeting, Whitley resigned as executive editor. Scott, who was present at the meeting, quoted her as saying "the media board constantly questioned her authority." Whitley said she is now pursuing legal action against Leinwall and the media board "for work without pay" during the Carolinian's hiatus and "slandering [her] name."

Lowrance has since been appointed interim executive editor until one can be appointed by the media board, and The Carolinian's suspension was lifted.