Vol. 78 No. 060
Independent Student Newspaper of The University of Memphis


courtesy of Matt Tubinis

Special Issue: Getting the Edge
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Helmsman investigates shortcuts to success and the keys to moving forward
see page 6

Facial philanthropy
For nearly a year, University of Memphis graduate Matt Tubinis didn’t shave. “It was ugly,” he said of his wispy, blond beard that extended down to his collarbone. But in April, he turned his facefull of hair into a fistful of fundraising cash for his church youth group. Since then, he has sprouted new hairs for another beard-driven benefit in 2011. Tubinis, who served as youth director at Lord of Life Lutheran Church at the time, raffled off the opportunity to shave his beard at $1 per ticket and raised $150 for a summer mission trip. Now employed at Hope Presbyterian Church as director of its senior high guys’ ministry, Tubinis said another follicle-based fundraiser is in the works, albeit in the early stages. Tubinis, 24, grew his beard for 11 months prior to his fundraising event, the April 2010 Beard Shaving Bonanza, but said he hadn’t originally planned to raise money with his facial hair. His shave-free streak began after his wedding in May 2009, when he began growing it “for fun.” “It started as not shaving on my honeymoon,” said Tubinis, who graduated in 2007 from U of M’s University College. “I said, ‘I’m not shaving (while) I’m on vacation.’” That weeklong vacation from his razor quickly turned into a month, which then turned into several months, he said. “It was my first beard,” Tubinis said. “So I decided to test the waters.” It wasn’t until nine months later that a parent from his church suggested that he could use his mandibular mane to raise money. Tubinis said friends, family, his youth group and members of the

Memphis alumnus Matt Tubinis first decided to grow a beard following his wedding in 2009. Eleven months later, he turned his shaving experience into financial gain.


Beard, page 5

Going Green

Making strides, UM students tighten belts for the holidays spoke by spoke
Memphis not cutting-edge city for bicyclists but making progress
Bicycles have traditionally been recreational toys in Memphis, but city and county governments are trying hard to turn bicycles into an effective mode of transportation. Memphis is still not a very bike-friendly city, compared to some cities in other parts of the world — there are few bike lanes and few employers who provide bike parking and shower facilities for those who bike to work on hot Memphis days. But the city is taking positive steps forward when it comes to increasing bicycle use. Greater Memphis Greenline, Inc., a collaboration between public and private donors and the local government, has begun developing the GMG and other unused railway right-of-ways and easements in Memphis and Shelby County into bike trails. The new trails reflect a growing movement all across the country known as Rails-to-Trails. Communities are gaining control over abandoned railways, pulling up the rails and timbers, paving new paths and constructing crosswalks, motor vehicle barriers and bridges. “In the 1970s, the government began deregulating railroads, and there were thousands of miles of unused railroads,” said Karl Wirsing, director of communications for Rails-to-Trails. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines. The organization began in 1986 and has converted more than 19,000 miles of former rail lines into recreational trails. “In 1986, there were fewer than 200 known rail-trails,” Wirsing said. “Today, there are more than 1,600 individual pathways all over the country.” Some American cities have recently taken an interest in making the cities more bike-friendly, but parts of Europe have been accommodating bikers for many years. “Bike lanes are so common in Europe that you actually notice when there isn’t one,” said Wim Nouwen, a Memphis physical therapist from Holland. In many countries in Europe,




Greenline, page 4

As the fall semester ends, holiday shopping begins. But recession-conscious spending and tight, collegiate budgets have some students at The University of Memphis scrimping to buy gifts for their family and friends. Gwendolyn Barnes, art education freshman, is currently unemployed but said she is looking for a job for the holidays. “I probably won’t be able to buy my friends and family Christmas presents, which is unfortunate, but at least they know I love them anyway,” she said. Barnes said she plans to use her artistic abilities to provide gifts to her loved ones. “I’ll probably paint a few people pictures,” she said. “There were a few people who told me they wanted some paintings of their favorite bands, but other than paintings, I don’t really have any ideas.” Barnes said she plans to focus on “friendship and family rather than money and the hype of holidays.” Though the National Retail Federation reported that the average shopper spent more during this year’s Black Friday than in 2009, increasing from $343 to $365 per shopper, U of M economics professor William

Smith said the economy is still changing how many people spend their holiday dollars. “I think the economy is affecting everybody in a profound way,” he said. “We’ve been overspending for a long time, and it seems like people’s

buying habits are changing permanently.” Nolan Smith, sophomore film major, said his family has recently suffered from unemployment and will focus more


Gifts, page 4

University of Memphis students visiting the UC can feel the Christmas and Memphis spirit by the tree, festively ornamented in blue and silver.

by Malcolm Regester

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