Student Life Category
Students certainly had their fair share of options as to which club they might want to join during the early 1980s on campus. There was the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Technology Club. Students could explore conservation in the wildly popular Leopold Wildlife Club. Or they could stay on top of their studies with the Water Ski Club.
But for one club, 1984 marked a major breakthrough as NC State’s campus was introduced on this day for the first time to the Steady State Breakers, the only professional breakdancing crew in Raleigh, the Technician reported.
Steady State consisted of four students who were visionaries, seeing that breakdancing would have just as much staying power as the salsa and or the waltz. Scott Wilce, Richard Lewis, Curtis Hamilton and Elaine Furtis had been practicing daily for several months and worked on other campuses to spread their gospel of gyration.
“The Breakers won a Breakdance contest at Groucho’s during finals week last semester and gave a Breakdancing demonstration at Groucho’s a few weeks ago,” the Technician reported. “In addition, they are currently working a Breakdance clinic at Duke University.”
The club members’ styles varied, with each excelling in one of the multiple facets of the art form. “Other moves include the Hanglide, which is spinning the body using the hand as a pivot and the legs for balance; the Backspin; the Headspin; the Windmill, which is spinning alternately on one shoulder then the other; and the Suicide, which is a no-hands forward flip where you land flat on your back.”
Summer’s a dead season for many sports fans. The NBA season will have wrapped up shortly. Major League Baseball’s 162-game schedule seems more tedious to some than pure sports spectacle. And golf is really no more than an on-again-off-again holdover on Sundays until the NFL returns in the fall.
But for alumnus Sears Bugg, summer’s the time of year where he turns up the training that has netted him the honor of being one of North Carolina’s best badminton players.
Bugg won a gold medal at the 2013 North Carolina Senior Games last September and is currently the state’s top male player in the age bracket of 55-59. And although he’ll miss the chance to defend his title at this year’s games in September due to a registration mix-up, he’s already training for his return to competition in 2015.
“I try to play twice a week,” he says. “Badminton’s fast and keeps you in shape. We play a power game. My brother and I love to slam. It won’t hurt the other person. If you hit it hard, it’ll stay on the court.”
Sears Bugg, after a silver medal win at the N.C. Senior games in 2009.
A graduate with an agriculture economics degree in 1976, Bugg split time between classrooms and fierce hardcourts of Wolfpack club sports. He was the president of the NC State badminton club his senior year and led his dorm to a badminton championship.He took his talents to Duke, where he earned an M.B.A in 1981 and he reached the apex of Blue Devil badminton stardom until he was supplanted by a surprise player. “I was the number-one player on the team,” he says. “Out of the blue, we had a tournament to see who was the best player on campus. And this soccer player ran me all over the court. I’ve never seen him before or since.”
And he adds that his brother, Smitty, who graduated from NC State in 1977, also took to the sport on campus, even helping to teach it to physical education classes for enjoyment with an ulterior motive. “This was the mid-1970s,” Bugg says. “There was not really many women on campus. My brother wanted to meet someone, so he started teaching badminton. He met his future wife there.”
Badminton was just one sport loved by Bugg, who operated his family’s trucking business for 25 years before retiring and becoming a fee-only financial planner. There was golf, swimming and tennis. The Warrenton, N.C., native says it was his mother who first instilled that love of competition in her sons when they were kids. “My mother was athletic. So she was good about teaching us to play different sports,” Bugg says. “She believed in lifetime sports. And NC State was real good about teaching those same sports in physical education classes in those days.”
Bugg turns 60 next year and will have to enter a new age bracket when he returns to the Senior Games. But he feels he can once again be number-one.
That is if his playing partner stays healthy and Bugg can stay focused on badminton. “Have you heard of pickle ball?” he asks excitedly. “It’s a fast growing racquet sport. You take a badminton court and lower the net to about tennis level. And they use a wiffle ball and oversized ping-pong paddles. If my partner’s legs give out, I’ll be making the switch to pickle ball.”
Up until the mid-1950s, the dean of students was a position mostly concerned with doling out discipline and delving into student attendance.
But there emerged a clear need for the position to foster other areas of student life, such as attracting performers to campus, that went beyond strictly academic life. So on this day in 1954, NC State’s director of student housing, James J. Stewart, was given a promotion and was named the college’s first dean of student affairs.
James J. Stewart. Photo courtesy of Special Collections, NCSU Libraries.
Stewart made an immediate impact, according to Alice Elizabeth Reagan’s North Carolina State University: A Narrative History. She cites that he upgraded the college’s musical department as one of his first acts. And he helped breathe new life into the ROTC program by placing it under a new leader and getting new uniforms. “[U]nder Stewart’s direction, all aspects of college’s non-academic programs became better coordinated and planned,” Reagan writes.
In 1966, Stewart gained a great deal of respect among the students by siding with them in their fight to secure better food service and choices. He served as dean of student affairs until 1969. Today, Stewart Theatre bears his name.
One of the more scandalous would-be visitors in NC State’s history was Playboy model June Wilkinson. The pin-up girl was set to appear on campus in 1962, but the appearance was axed on this day 52 years ago.
The reason why was never totally revealed. According to The Technician, Wilkinson’s appearance was canceled due to one of two reasons. Either school administrators feared she would create too much “havoc” with the anticipated number of young men that would come to see her, or there simply was not room given that Gov. Terry Sanford was scheduled to appear on the same day.
Some even implied it might have been a matter of one not measuring up to the other. “June Wilkinson, allegedly 42-21-39 (?), lost the chance to appear on the State College campus Saturday to Governor Sanford (measurements unknown),” read the lead in The Technician‘s article about Wilkinson’s failed appearance.
However, Wilkinson kept her promise to appear and showed up at the Western Lanes bowling alley for autographs the following Saturday.
Phillip Scott seemingly had a winning platform back in March of 1972 when he was running for student body president and appealed more to those who were the life of the party than to any political one.
He proposed a system wherein food stamps could be converted to beer stamps that could be redeemed at the student union, and he promised that the parking gates on campus would be replaced with cattle guards to keep the coeds in and enable the men on campus to “run free.” And the Technician reported that he vowed to “clean up the thermal air pollution from the English department.”
Scott had seen a similar strategy two years earlier when Eric Plow used humor in a bid that nearly got him elected president. But at least Plow was a real person.
On this day 42 years ago, the Technician ran a story that Philip Scott and his entire campaign was a fake, which trumped even a story about sweeping changes to dorm policies on campus (that story is the one the accompanying picture refers to).
The article reported that an investigation into Scott’s campaign had yielded the discovery that the address he had provided when he filed to run did not exist. He provided no phone number. And he didn’t appear to be listed in any student records in the registrar’s office.
Scott was disqualified for not being real, a requirement under student law. But the mystery continued as there was at least some temporary realness to myth.
“It is known however, that someone going by the name of Philip A. Scott has been seen around campus for at least the last two weeks,” the article read. “He did file as a candidate, was present at an all-candidates meeting … and submitted a campaign statement to the Technician this weekend.”
The student body and university administration had been engaged in a two year pickle of a situation in the early 1970s concerning student food choice on campus.
Sandwiched in that debate was a “general dissatisfaction” among students with only having one option of packaged hoagies, according to the Technician.
NC State’s big cheese, Chancellor John T. Caldwell, told students that he was open to suggestions from student leaders about sandwich suppliers other than ARA (Slater) Services, the lone sandwich supplier on campus.
Two committees made recommendations to him, and on this day in 1972, NC State’s administration announced student stores could change sandwich providers.
“The guidelines said, in part, that the Supply Store can implement changes based on negotiations with area sandwich suppliers,” the Technician reported. “The choice of supplier would be based on the company or companies which can supply the campus with the highest quality sandwiches at the lowest possible price. The guidelines would allow all sandwich suppliers to negotiate for a contract on an equal basis.”
Photo courtesy of the Technician.
There’s no telling how much ridicule an NC State student would receive if he or she showed up on campus wearing Tar Heel blue. Especially this week, when the heated rivals take to the hardwood for the second time this ACC season.
But apparently wearing other schools’ designs was enough of a problem in 1955 that the student body president felt compelled to release a statement on the matter.
On this day in NC State history, Lloyd McForrest “Doc” Cheek, a senior in textiles from Gibsonville, N.C., asked students to make more deliberate choices in the attire they wore to campus, especially garments featuring monograms. According The Technician, Cheek argued that monograms celebrating any letter other than “the Red and White ‘S”" robbed the Wolfpack men’s monograms of their significance.
Cheek said “the men wearing our monograms have earned the privilege and these men should be accorded alone the honor of wearing monograms on Campus.”
There had been some momentum during the winter months of 1951 for the adoption of a student honor code at NC State. The chairman of the honor system committee at State had even implored the chief justice of the civilian honor court at Virginia Tech to write an open letter in The Technician entitled “The good that can come from an honor system.”
But on this day 63 years ago, two days after Valentine’s Day, The Technician reported there was no love among the student body for the proposed code.
According the the article, an honor system was a little more than mildly popular, with 78 percent of engineering students, 62 percent of textiles students and 67 percent of design students supporting it.
“We shouldn’t start unless we can get 90 percent of the students behind it,” said Ken Hansen, chairman of the honor system committee.
The NC State Code of Student Conduct that is in place today was first issued Feb. 17, 1990, according to the Office of Student Conduct.
If you’re a member of one of NC State’s many campus student groups, you want that group to stay out of Student Government‘s crosshairs.
And it would seem that the pep club might have the easiest time doing just that since it welcomes the charge “to boost the spirit of the campus.”
But on this day in 1951, The Technician‘s headline placed the club directly in Campus Government’s “frying pan” due to a perceived power grab for A-1 athletics tickets.
According to the article, Student Government’s treasurer submitted a motion to cease financial support to the pep club, adding that “the campus as a whole has not profited from the activities of the Pep Club. No dividends have been seen except for the members themselves.”
The treasurer cited the allotment of 50 50-yard line seats for home football games the previous fall. And, he added, that the pep club was trying to make a similar play for men’s basketball tickets without the approval of Student Government.
He went on to make the point that if the club had that many members to fill that many seats, then the pep club had enough to sustain itself without the aid of Student Government.
The NC State Pep Club in 1951. Photo from 1951 Agromeck.
The motion was tabled until the pep club’s president could appear before student government.
College students can be a fickle lot, and picking out a Christmas present for them can be a complicated exercise nowadays. Parents may not necessarily know about all the latest gadgets and technology or be up to date on the latest fashions.
But in 1961, students’ wants were more black-and-white, as a simple extended holiday break was at the top of their Christmas lists.
According to an article in The Technician, a petition signed by 3,503 students was submitted to the administration asking that winter break begin on Dec. 16 instead of on Dec. 19, the original start date.
Student government supported the petition, and student body president Norris Tolson said he would present the petition to the dean of student affairs, who would then take it up with the chancellor.
But on this day 52 years ago, the administration acted as the Grinch and said no to the students’ request. The decision was based on the fact that NC State already had more holidays than UNC and that the university’s academic calendar should be more closely aligned with the other universities in the consolidated system.
Tolson vowed to appoint a committee to study the idea further and saluted student solidarity in the matter.
“I commend you for your united effort to express your opinions about the issue,” he said in The Technician. “It is commendable that you were diplomatic and discreet in your disapproval. Your voice has been heard and, though, of no value to you this Christmas, I can assure you that all possible steps will be taken to alleviate the situation next year.”