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Rams react to appointment of Raymond

Rams react to appointment of Raymond
July 20
05:00 2017

Last month, the North Carolina General Assembly appointed two new members to the Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Board of Trustees: Dr. Ricky Sides and Kenneth Raymond.

Dr. Ricky Sides, the founder and president of Sides Chiropractic, earned his bachelor’s degree from Catawba College before completing his premedical studies at Wake Forest University. He earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from National University of Health Sciences. Sides currently serves as a board member for the Forsyth County Board of Health and is a former chairman of the Advisory Board for the local Salvation Army. He also has served with several other organizations and boards throughout the city.

While the Ram family didn’t have any issues with the appointment of Sides, when news broke that longtime city native Ken Raymond was appointed to the board, many alumni and current students took to social media to voice their frustration.

Raymond, a WSSU alumnus, has served as the chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Elections since 2013. Before that, he worked 28 years as a 911 operator and police dispatcher. The decision to appoint Raymond to the board raised concerns for many WSSU alumni and Ram supporters in the city because in 2013, Raymond pushed for a voting precinct to be moved from WSSU’s Anderson Center. Raymond raised claims that a professor gave students credit for voting during the 2010 election. An investigation concluded the professor was never found and the board found that no laws were broken, but the precinct was moved and WSSU hasn’t had a voting site on campus since.

In 2016, the board of elections again denied WSSU a chance to have a precinct on campus. Raymond and Stuart Russell, both Republicans, voted against the site.

After the announcement was made public, The Chronicle asked several alumni here in the city how they felt about Raymond’s appointment.

While most were upset at the General Assembly’s decision, others in the community remain optimistic that Raymond will be an asset to the board. One resident said, “He [Raymond] is a man of conviction and he is an alum. I’m trusting those two things will be an asset to the Board of Trustees and the WSSU students.” 

Rev. Alvin Carlisle, president of the local NAACP and graduate of WSSU, doesn’t have as much confidence in Raymond’s ability to help lead his alma mater. He said the appointment of Raymond is laughable.

“The appointment of Mr. Raymond to the board of trustees is very disappointing. This appointment could easily be said to be another ploy by the extremist legislature to exact its control over every aspect of North Carolina,” said Carlisle. “Mr. Raymond has clearly already shown his lack of concern for the students of WSSU; even worse, he has shown his willingness to advance the agenda of this legislature by silencing the voice of the people through denying access to voting booths.

“The appointment of Raymond in light of the pool of talent available here in N.C. is laughable.”

According to a press release from the university, Raymond and Dr. Sides will each serve 4-year terms, effective July 1.  The WSSU Board of Trustees serves as adviser to the Board of Governors on matters pertaining to WSSU and also serves as adviser to the chancellor concerning the management and development of the institution. It is comprised of 13 members, with eight members elected by the UNC Board of Governors and four appointed by the General Assembly.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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