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The Spotlight. (None) 1980-201?, October 01, 1980, Image 4

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Page 4— NEWS Spelman Spotlight Helena Wright's Ordeal Sentiment Displayed for Spelmanite in Bank On October 13.1980 kv •J& By Cynthia Williams Senior Reporter For Helena Wright, the beginning of her senior year has not been a joyous one. On Sept. 2, she was arrested for criminal trespassing at The First National Bank of Atlant West End Bran ch. The arrest allegedly stemmed from her refusal to wait in a second line to cash a counter check. Helena feels the actions of the bank management were unwarranted. The in cident began when a female bank teller refused to cash Helena’s counter check without a 24-hour Tille card. Helena ex pressed her sentiments on this by saying, “1 told the teller I didn’t have my personalized checks or Tillie card, yet I gave her my Georgia drivers’ license and my student identification card. Maybe the teller was in a bad mood and ar bitrarily chose to ask for my Tille card.” Helena was released from jail on he- own recognzance and retain an attorney Helena was hoping to get the charges dismissed Fortunately for Helena, when her case went to court on Sept. 24, 1980, the judge did dismiss the charges. Helena and other Spelmar students, nevertheless, have now with drawn and closed their bank accounts in masses. The closing of the accounts began September 12, 1980 when Carolita Jones, Student Government Association President, sent a formal let ter to the bank. The letter expressed the negative feedback from the students concerning the incident and plans to close the accounts. The support Helena has received from students, faculty and friends has been tremendous. Helena voices her reaction by saying, “Well, I can’t say enough about the support. I’ve had my doubts about Spelman unity but I really say unity Friday.” Helena feels that the understanding and empathy she has seen provides her with a good at mosphere for her final year at Spelman. Helena elaborated by saying, “It gives me a good feeling and atmosphere to leave in. Now when I go out and talk about Spelman sisterhood I can believe it and have conviction behind it.” Helena ad ded, “The thought of us coming behind each other has had an enormous effect on how I feel about the school.” The display of sisterhood has touched Helena, but even so, the tensions and problems have also. There has been a great deal of media attention and so far Helena has only granted an interview to The Spelman Spotlight. Meetings with her attorney and court dates have caused Helena to miss many of her classes. The strain of the situation and the fact that Helena is taking twenty-one semester hours does not make her senior year look promising. Helena com mented by stating “I’m expecting this to drag on throughout my senior year and it’s not a lot to look forward to.” Student who have and have not rallied behind Helena possess some de finite attitudes concerning the situation. (Photo by Yolanda Adams) Helena feels the understanding and empathy from others has reinforced .ier belief in Spelman Unity. Senior Tammy Miller feels that if an in justice did occur to Helena it was good that the Spelman students took their money out of the bank. Tammy ex- pained by stating, “I felt it was a good thing that we all went down there and took our money out to show them we didn’t appreciate their discriminatory ac tion. I’m inclined to believe it would not have happened to a white person. There isn’t one degree of consistency at First National.” Other Spelman students share sim- iliar sentiments. Spelman junior Gambi White expressed her views by saying, “If what I heard is true, I find it very un fortunate. I feel if it’s true about'what the police said and about her ordeal in jail, something should be done about that.” Senior Veronica Smith is quoted by saying, “Unfortunately I was unaware of what actually happened; however I feel that the student body did a great job by supporting Helena—a Spelmanite. Even though the student body could not help her directly, Fm sure she appreciated their moral support.” Other students here at Spelman felt a more cautious approach should be taken. Cheryl McCord, a junior, states, “I was kind of ill-informed, but I think the Spelman Student body should be careful of what they might be pressuring her to do, I’m very happy though, that they united together to support her." Rhonda Goodman, also a junior, expresses her attitude by saying, “I just hope she gets the justice she deserves, however I can't say what kind of actions should be taken because the story was only from her perspective.” Helena expressed her genera] attitude by saying, “Fve never strived to be a martyr. It’s scary because if anything went wrong with the other students, I would have felt directly responsible.” Helena concluded by summarizing everything that happened. She stated. “1 can’t stand and watch blatant dis crimination, but when it happens to you though, it sometimes seems easier to sit back rather than cause a reaction. Fm not a radical, but it’s a bigger issue than me.” There has also been a lot of pressure on Helena’s parents. Helena’s mother made plans to come to Atlanta for Helena’s trial on September 24, 1980. Helena explained further by stating, “This has been very hard on my parents, especially my mother.” Her parents are now in the process of attempting to decide on the best plan of action for Helena Persons present at the Sept. 2 incident are asked to con tact Helena Wright or the Spotlight Office. Dean Allen to Remain By Renee Darensburg Junior Reporter In order to relax the minds of those students who habe respectively known Dean Allen for sometime, she is not leaving the doors of Spelman, but widening her doors to us. Although beginnin in January, 1981 Dr. Carmen Jordan-Cox will officially become the new dean of Student Life, Dean Sadie Allen reveals that she is not ready to depart from Spelman College. “After attending this school from elementary to college,” she remarks, “I have been at Spelman all my life, and 1 could not yet leave.” Along with the new dean, Mrs, Allen will still be working with student life, however, her responsibilities will be working more toward student develop ment. Creative plans surrounding student programs are one of her goals. While Dr. Cox will deal mainly with the management of student life, she will deal with the students on a more personal basis. .V,f. ctv. Dean Sadie Allen’s new position allows her the opportunity to deal with the students on a more personal basis. THE GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT American Cancer Society 'f # if Natalie Cole is . a cigarette smoker. She’s going to call it quits during the Great American Smokeout. Join her on November 20. This space contributed by the publisher. ’OOlOfklOV • "it SIpJOSU