fr drinknthinkIt’s a room full of strangers, ideas and alcohol.

Still in its infancy yet gaining steam, the Drink-N-Think congregation came together last Wednesday evening at the Mad Batter Bakery & Café in Cullowhee, near the heart of Western Carolina University.

art frA cold wind howls through the campus of Western Carolina University as the screams of a young woman echo from a nearby building.

The voice is Stefani Cronley and her attackers are a gang of apes.

Champions of Cullowhee revitalization are chipping away at a lofty plan to create a vibrant college downtown centered on the banks of the Tuckasegee River in Old Cullowhee.

fr cullowheebunchCullowhee community members have been making their case for nearly a year now that this pseudo-college town needs land-use planning to guide the growth that’s come knocking.

In an effort to speed development of its Millennial Campus, Western Carolina University plans to lease the 344-acre tract to a nonprofit endowment — streamlining regulations and eliminating some of red tape the institution must otherwise cut through as a state entity.

out fr elkBy Jill Ingram • Guest writer, WCU public affairs office

Covering long distances in and around Cataloochee Valley, a Western Carolina University student is researching the growing, and sometimes problematic, elk population in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The goal is to provide park rangers with data to help manage the herd.

Elizabeth Hillard, a 30-year old graduate student in biology, has gone to great lengths to find out whatever she could about the creatures.

coverSusan Gathers was kicked back in the student union one afternoon, her thumbs poised over her smart phone, simultaneously bantering with friends while texting — sometimes even texting the same person she was talking to.

This impressive skill to seamlessly dialogue in multiple mediums at once is nothing new for “Generation Next-ers” like Gathers. But unlike the typical truncated words and vowel-less abbreviations that permeate normal text-speak, her screen was filled with Cherokee syllables as she pushed send.

art frTimes may change, but stereotypes tend to linger.

Venturing into the off-color humor and often offensive images of Southern culture portrayed by cartoonists throughout American history, Western Carolina University will address the issue head-on in its newest exhibit opening next week.

fr wcustudentsWith more than 15,000 applications for just 1,500 freshman spots last year, Western Carolina University has no difficulty attracting students.

The harder part is getting them to stay.

Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees approved an 8 percent increase in tuition next academic year — much to the vexation of its student body.

“We came in here, and it was not an easy decision,” said Trustee Grace Battle. “I think everybody in here struggled.”

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