Stories this week at Wake Forest University

ONLINE RESEARCH: SLOTH OR SMARTS?— College students everywhere will likely soon start work on their first research paper of the new semester. But today, research that may have taken weeks to thumb through in the library stacks can be accomplished in just hours on the Internet. Elisabeth Leonard, business and economics reference librarian in Wake Forest’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library, says researchers should use caution when referencing the Web. “Anyone can post anything in cyberspace, whether it be true, fanciful or malicious,” she says. Leonard advises students to look for the facts, identify the author and his or her credentials, investigate who runs the Web site, and determine if the information presented is first-hand or third-party. “The Internet can be both a treacherous and helpful tool for the modern researcher,” she says. To help students become savvy with Internet research, Wake Forest offers a one-credit course, “Accessing Information in the 21st Century” and the Z. Smith Reynolds Library provides information on their homepage about how to evaluate Web sites. To arrange an interview with Leonard or for more information, contact Rachel Cook at 336-758-5237.

WILL VOTERS SUPPORT A NORTH CAROLINA LOTTERY?—The outcome of a lottery vote in North Carolina will likely depend on whether voters think lottery proceeds would directly benefit schools and on the intensity of organized religious opposition, says John Dinan, an assistant professor of political science who has tracked lottery legislation across the country. If North Carolinians are given a chance this fall to vote on whether to adopt a lottery, they will join voters in a number of other states that have held similar votes in the last decade, he says. As recently as 1964, not a single state operated a lottery. Since then, lotteries have been adopted in 38 states and the District of Columbia. “When lotteries have been put to a popular vote, the people have usually approved them,” says Dinan, who is an expert on voting behavior. To arrange an interview with Dinan, contact Cheryl V. Walker at walkercv@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

STUDENT LEADERS SPEAK OUT ABOUT ALCOHOL— Hundreds of Wake Forest students are expected to gather in Wait Chapel at 7 p.m. on Sept. 4 to talk about alcohol. But for this event, no administrators will speak and no university staff members will be present. Organized by the Wake Forest Greek system and the Greek Alcohol Advisory Council (GAAC), “Alcohol Speakout” is about students talking straight to students about an issue that hits close to home. Sept. 4 is the six-year anniversary of the death of Maia Witzl and Julie Hansen, two Wake Forest students killed by a drunk driver. The event is organized in their memory. “This event is important, especially to our campus, to remember Maia and Julie,” says senior Sean McGuire, co-chair of the GAAC. “We are trying to promote responsible drinking and show that there are alternatives (to drinking).” Several student leaders will share their experiences, including a starting member of Wake Forest football team. McGuire says approximately 1,000 students filled the seats of Wait Chapel for last year’s event. To arrange coverage, contact Sarah Mansell at manselss@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

LISTEN TO CHILDREN, SUPERVISE MEDIA EXPOSURE, SAYS COUNSELING PROFESSOR— Each child will react differently to the anniversary of the terrorist attacks, says Donna Henderson, associate professor of counselor education at Wake Forest. Adults should listen to children and respond with reassurance as well as appropriate facts, Henderson says. She recommends that adults closely supervise media exposure, be alert to children who are reacting more strongly to this date than seems warranted, and check with mental health professionals if additional help is needed. Elementary children may be concerned with their personal safety and the safety of their family, and need to hear about things that have been done to keep them free from harm. High school students may be focused on the more immediate impact on their future, such as military service or other concerns related to life after high school. She suggests two Web sites that offer tips for teachers and parents preparing for the anniversary of Sept. 11: www.ed.gov/inits/september11 and www.nasponline.org/NEA/oneyearlater.htm. To arrange an interview with Henderson, contact Cheryl Walker at walkercv@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

MORE SEPT. 11 STORIES AND SOURCES— How will Sept. 11’s commercial blackout affect companies? Will patriotism bring more people to the polls? What does a neighborhood picnic have to do with terrorist attacks? For answers to these questions and more story ideas for Sept. 11 anniversary coverage, visit the News Service Web site, www.wfu.edu/wfunews.

NEWS SERVICE CLOSED MONDAY, SEPT. 3— The Wake Forest News Service and all administrative offices will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 3. To reach someone in the News Service on Sept. 3, contact University Police at 336-758-5591.

Categories: Community, Events, Speakers, University Announcement