Blog #1

Resolve this New Year to give blood at the upcoming 49ers4Life Drive

It has been a very long time since I have given blood. 

The first time I gave blood was in high school back in 2010. I was very nervous and did not really know much about the process. I signed up at the last minute and away I went. In the gym I read the requirements and prepared to donate for the first time. What I didn’t know was that I should have eaten breakfast before donating. 

To quote the everlasting exclamation of the valiant Scoobert Doo, “Ruh Roh Raggy!"

I was doing pretty well and everything was fine... until I blacked out. My memories of waking up afterwards were as jumbled as Leonard’s in Memento. What I do remember is waking up to a fan blowing in my face, my friend Matthew asking if I was OK, and the nurse pouring Coca-Cola in my mouth to raise my sugar levels (which I am not complaining about, Coke is awesome). 

You are probably thinking two things right now: Did he really make a Memento reference? Why is he telling me this awful story? This makes me not want to give blood. 

I have two responses: 

  1. Yes. I did. 
  2. Don’t be scared. 

The reason I am admitting to passing out is to let you know that sometimes the unexpected happens, but it’s no big deal. Even you laughing at me isn’t too bad. Hey, I WAS THE TALK OF THE GYMNASIUM AND GOT FREE SODA! I pushed through my squeamishness to save three lives. That’s what is most important. I overcame my fear and did something bigger than me. I even played a full game of rugby later on that day. 

After that I donated a few times at an American Red Cross center with intentions to continue, however, I did not keep that pledge. College got busy, work got busy, life got busy. Time just drifted away from me. But now I’m reminded reminded of how important blood donation is. 

Auxiliary Services is a sponsor for the 49ers4Life campus-wide blood drive and, as the intern who produces Aux video content, I’m creating spots for the drive. I would love it if my work would help convince others to come out and donate as well. So, of course, I am starting with me. I’ve signed up to donate on January 20. Will you please consider joining me? 

Why should you donate? There are many reasons but here are a few: 

  • Blood can’t be made. It can only be given. 
  • You are helping people who really need it. Cancer patients, premature babies, and car crash victims are only a few of the people who benefit from blood donation. 
  • You can save lives by just sitting down and giving a small part of your time and self. 
  • This drive is special because students, faculty, and staff come together as a community — One Niner Nation — to do something extraordinary for others. 

The 6th Annual 49ers4Life campus-wide blood drive will take place in the Student Activities Center on Tuesday, January 20 from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. To register, go to redcrossblood.org and search for the drive using the code: “49ers4life.” I hope to see you there! 

https://aux.uncc.edu/news/resolve-new-year-give-blood-upcoming-49ers4life-drive


Blog #2

Dear #UNCC18: Five things I wish I had known sooner

As the great Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Four years and a bachelor’s degree later I have found this to be absolutely true. One moment I was checking into Wallis Hall for SOAR and the next, listening for my name to walk across that stage.

Now I have begun my graduate school journey at UNC Charlotte and am working as a Marketing Communications Intern for Business and Auxiliary Services. In just the first week I have learned things that I wish I had known as an undergraduate. There were services I missed; little things that would have been good to know! So, please let me spare you this regret. While maybe not as profound as Obi Wan Kenobi bestowing knowledge of the Force upon Luke Skywalker, I do hope you'll find the following tips helpful.

Tip #1. Oh hey, ODA!

I would always see signs and a few things that would mention the term ODA but really had no idea what it meant. ODA means “Optional Dining Account” and it’s like a prepaid account for food. You (or someone who is benevolently subsiding your education) can place a deposit in this account for you to use at any campus dining location. Here's why it's awesome: this is a great account for students who commute and can't bear the thought of giving up their parking space to go get a meal, and for those whose class schedule is such that they eat on campus a just a few times a week. Anything you don't spend from you ODA account rolls over to subsequent semesters, as long as you're enrolled.

ODA is also great for on-campus residents. If/when the declining balance (DB) portion of your meal plan runs out (this happened to me many times) ODA can supplement your meal plan. How cool is that?! You wont' be deprived of enjoying Chick-fil-A, Bojangle's or Salsarita's goodness.  And for deposits of $300 or $500, you’ll receive some free meal swipes good at Crown Commons and the brand new SoVi at South Village Crossing. But wait! There’s more! You will also get GreenBack reward dollars for every $100 you add to ODA. Smaller amounts can be deposited to ODA also, as little as $10.

Tip #2 “Hey Mom and Dad, I am kinda low on cash...so…”

What happens when you run out of money when you're down to your last pair of clean underwear or have a 20 page paper to print? That's when the 49er Account is your friend. Money can be deposited on your 49er Account (which, like ODA and your meal plan, resides on the 49er IDCard) to spend like a pre-paid debit account for campus goods and services such as: pay-for-print printers in the library and labs, laundry machines, Barnes & Noble at UNC Charlotte bookstore, vending machines, Campus Salon, NinerTech store, all the dining locations, convenience stores and concessions. 49er Account offers instant online deposits, and is good for budgeting since the account can't be overdrawn, doesn't incur fees and doesn't expire. You can deposit money on your account in increments as small as $5. Your parents/ benevolent supporters can add money to the account, too. All that's needed is your 800 number and last name when they go to make a deposit online. (http://cms71.uncc.edu)

Tip #3 -  “Here’s the mail, it never fails…”

Usually during your time at UNC Charlotte moving becomes an annual event. Whether it's from one residence hall to another, from on-campus to on-campus, or off-campus to somewhere else off-campus, your address will change again and again! But did you know that you can maintain a consistent mailing address with a campus mail box from Mail and Package Services? You can! Campus mailboxes are private and conveniently located in either Prospector building or the Student Union. And they're cheap: a 6 Month lease is $25 total; a 12 Month lease is only $46. Even better, here's a coupon for $10 off your first lease.

Tip #4 - “Take a look...it’s in a book…”

I love books and even more so bookstores. What was that? Oh, what’s a book? Well kids, long ago we needed to read bound papers of information; sometimes we even read them for fun! Now that you're in college, you are going to get very acquainted with textbooks. Trust me on this, you'll need them and it will save you a lot of time and angst if you get them before classes start.

Barnes and Noble at UNC Charlotte is the official campus bookstore and located in the Student Union. You can conveniently order your books online, automatically choosing from your class schedule in 49er Express. The selection of 49er gear is the largest anywhere, so maybe even add some 49er apparel to that virtual sharing cart. One thing about the bookstore that many students don’t know is that Barnes and Noble will 100% price match textbooks to other local retailers. This can add to your savings and makes a convenient central location for you to purchase or rent your books. There are also eBook options.

Tip #5 -  Forward to the Future!

You have so much to look forward to. The campus is growing at a rapid pace and one of the most exciting areas of growth is on the South side where the new South Village Crossing opens this fall. This amazing new dining/gathering complex is going to offer all kinds of food. SoVi dining will feature:

  • an Asian station with a Teppanyaki grill (Japanese-style iron griddle),
  • a Euro station with two Evo grills (round cook tops that offer a healthy cooking method and social interaction with the chef),
  • an Italian area that will serve pasta, pizza and other favorites from two gas-fired ovens,
  • a deli with hearth oven for toasted sandwiches and melts,
  • an extensive salad bar where proteins can be ordered custom made and sizzling hot to top your leafy greens, and
  • more choices than ever available for vegans, vegetarians and those with certain dietary preferences

SoVi will also have plentiful seating, and a seasonal dining terrace that will overlook Davis Lake. On the upper level you'll find:i

  • SoVi2Go - a take-out area where meal swipes can be used for carry-out dining
  • a bakery with visible operations and a confections counter
  • "The Den," a a concept by Denny's with late night service
  • comfortable student lounges with three-sided fireplaces and big TV screens
  • a multi-use meeting/class room with AV

Plan to explore this beautiful new facility no matter where you are on campus! You can get a ride over to South Village on the CATS Campus Shuttle, or later in the evening, SafeRide can transport you there if you don't want to walk. (I'm glad I'm sticking around here for grad school so I can enjoy it!)

So please, future 49ers, know what's available and fully use the services that are provided for you. It's stuff you need that supports the bigger purpose of why you're here: to get an education and prepare for your future.

And, as John Keating said in Dead Poets Society, "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."


Video #1

How to Use Charlotte Wheels Bike Share (2017-2018)

Charlotte Wheels is a convenient, eco-friendly and fun transportation option for the UNC Charlotte community! This brand new bike share program has a total of 100 bikes in 10 locations to use and enjoy.

Anyone can create an account to use the program! Two pricing plans are available: Point-to-point- this plan requires no membership fee and has a $6 per hour overage rate, 30 mins of hold time, and 1 hour of ride time per day. Lifestyle, this plan has a $30/year membership fee, a four dollar per hour overage rate, 60 minutes of hold time, and two hours of ride time per day.

You can create your account through the Social Bicycles app or online at gotchabike.com/charlottewheels. (Social Bicycles icon + text)

To register an account you will need to enter your bank card information. This does not mean you will be charged. This is needed to purchase a Lifestyle membership and/or to pay a per hour fare past your designated ride daily ride time.

Step One: Reserve. Book a Bike!

Accessing Charlotte Wheels is easy. Bikes can be reserved directly from the computer on the back of the bike, through the Social Bicycles app or on the web at app.socialbicycles.com.

Step Two: Release. Unlock a Bike!

Once you’ve reserved a ride, just enter your 4 digit PIN code on the keypad to unlock the bike from the bike corral. (Live Action Footage)

Remember to ride safely and follow safety rules:

  • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.

  • Ride with the flow of traffic.

  • Stay off all sidewalks.

  • Be predictable and signal when turning.

  • Yield to pedestrians.

  • Also, wearing a helmet is strongly advised! For those who do not own a helmet, Bikeline of Charlotte offers quality helmets and will provide proper fitting.

The first thing you’ll notice is the quality of the bicycles. They are sturdy without being too heavy, beautifully balanced, and have both coaster and hand brakes. Instead of a chain, the bikes are belt driven and have Shirmano three-speed internal gears for taking on campus hills with surprising ease. A basket with bungee cords secures books and packages and safety lights illuminate both front and rear.  And no one who was ever a kid can resist the thumb-ringable bell! (Live Action Footage)

Step Three: Ride! Enjoy your time.

Remember to keep track of your ride time. If you wish to pause your time, press the “HOLD” button and lock the bike to a rack. Make sure to follow this step before locking out your bike. If you end your ride outside of one of the 10 hub locations you will be charged a $5.00 fee. When you want to continue on your way enter your 4 digit PIN to unlock your bike. (Live Action Footage)

And lastly, Step Four: Return.

When it’s time to end your trip, just lock your bike at one of the convenient hub locations by inserting the lock into the two slots under the seat. If you notice that a repair is needed, press the repair button first and select what area needs to be inspected. Then press done and an email questionnaire will be sent to the address provided in the registration process. (Live Action Footage)

For more information visit pats.uncc.edu/transportation/ride-bike or gotchabike.com/charlottewheels. If you have a question about the program email charlottewheels@thegotchagroup.com or call (704) 464-0992. 


Video #2

Permits are Changing at UNC Charlotte

Soon, you won’t need a hangtag to park at UNC Charlotte.

You will still need a permit of course, but permission to park will be virtual and verified through license plate recognition or L-P-R.

Here's how it works:

You'll buy your virtual parking permit online.

Based on the type of permit you buy, Parking Privileges are assigned to your vehicle license plate information and to your 49er ID card number.

License plate recognition equipment installed at decks and lots will scan your plate as you enter. Then the gate is signaled to lift. In lots without gates, the system recognizes those with virtual permits; enforcement is alerted when cars are parked without permission.

LPR technology needs a clear license plate view. This means you’ll no longer be able to back into a parking space without risking a citation unless your tags are from a state that issues both front and back plates. But if you have a rear-only tag and still wish to back-in to park, PaTS will have a front plate alternative available at a reasonable price that will be valid as long as your state-issued plate number remains the same.

The new technology has several advantages:

  • It’s easier. No more physical permit to keep up with or waiting in line to buy or pick one up!

  • It’s fair. The LPR system blocks entry and/or makes immediate notification when a car is parked illegally. Fewer spaces will be taken from those who have bought valid permits.  

  • It’s simple. Driving another car for a day? Just enter the new or temporary vehicle info into the on-line UNCCMyPark account. Just remember, you can only have one car associated with your account on campus at a time.

  • It’s convenient. Full-time permits may now be paid for by the semester.

  • It’s got back-up. If license plate recognition fails for any reason, the chip within your new 49er ID Card serves as a secondary credential. Just tap and you’re in!  So, don’t forget to have your 49er ID Card with you just in case!

The PaTS Communication Center is open 24 hours on weekdays to answer your parking and transportation questions, 704-687-0161.

There’s more about the virtual permits and license plate recognition on our website, pats.uncc.edu/permits. Please read it, and get familiar with the new system. LPR will phase in operations this summer and will be fully functional by the start of classes in the Fall.

Bigger, Better, Later, and Often-er! - Niner Transit Bus System

Video #3

 

Getting around campus is now bigger, better, later and often-er than ever before with the Niner Transit bus system!

Bigger – Niner Transit buses are 40 feet long.

Better –  continuous service; driver breaks are covered with little-to-no interruption and breakdowns are promptly replaced.

Later – seven day a week service until 2:30 AM!

7. Often-er – more buses on each route means shorter wait times. Two buses run on Green line, three on Gold line and four on Silver Line.

Here are some important things to know: Niner Transit buses have two doors. The front door is for entering passengers; the back door is for those exiting. Loading and unloading is more efficient and safer this way. Do not attempt to enter the rear door. Drivers cannot see you there.

Never chase a bus! If a driver passes by your stop it’s because the bus is at capacity. Wait for the next bus; it usually only takes a few more minutes.

Class schedule influences ridership demand; buses may fill to capacity especially around 9  a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Buses are not like trains; they are subject to congestion, traffic, and crosswalk stops.

Service may slow around 9  a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. There is no service on holidays when the University is closed. See website for modified schedules during class breaks.

Download the UNCCNextRide app. You’ll see where the buses are and when the next bus is expected at your stop. You can also get arrival estimates by text message.

During peak ridership times, please slide toward the window so someone can sit on the aisle-side seat without having to ask.

Place backpacks on your lap or on the floor, taking care not create tripping hazards near the aisle.

When capacity reaches standing room, move all the way to the back of the bus so there’s room for others to get on. Buses will accommodate two rows of standing passengers.

Simple courtesies and an occasional “excuse me,” and “thank you,” go a long way to making the ride more pleasant for everyone.

Good person politely asks someone to move out of their way. Misguided person shoves someone out of the way and then gets thrown off the bus.

Items turned in from buses are sent to the Campus Police department’s lost and found.

The system will continue to grow and develop! The current Niner Transit buses are temporary, assembled from Academy’s existing fleet. Brand new Xcelsior buses are being built for UNC Charlotte, with delivery expected late spring.

For immediate questions/concerns, call the PaTS Communication Center, 704-687-0161. Niner Transit information and monitoring is also on Twitter @unccnextride and @unccparking.

The Closest Friends I'll Ever Have 

Pencils are my best friends. They show the world who I really am, we show the world who we really want to be.

These lead based allies create the most beautiful things. Sure, sometimes they show sadness. After that passes I see their bright yellow colors and it reminds me of the sun.

Then I remember that friends made of wood are there for me more than friends made of flesh.

Erasers are friends of my pencils. They like to change and I love that. When they are around they comfort you. They always make you feel better...so I let them stay as long as they want.

Pens and I aren’t friends at all. They are permanently permanent, and I hate that. Only true friends make mistakes.

Sure they can hurt your feelings but an apology is always made.

They say they are sorry. I smile, hold them in them my hand, tell them it’s ok...and that I love them.

 

Film #1