Saturday, June 7, 2008 | 2 a.m.
In one day, UNLV senior Hepi Mita’s Facebook group ballooned to more than 50 people, a sign that officials in Carson City have managed to rile up a constituency known for apathy: students.
The name of Mita’s group on Facebook, a social networking Web site, is “The Nevada Higher Education Budget Cuts are threatening my future.”
Its preamble contains this statement: “Everyone is affected, whether you’re greek or nongreek, a commuter or campus resident, an out-of-state student or a Nevada native. The budget cuts are lowering the value of your degree, lowering the value of your education and depriving you of the opportunities you were promised when you enrolled at UNLV.”
Members can swap thoughts on discussion boards and share photos and other items such as links to newspaper stories.
It’s a form of protest that seems ideal for summer vacation — no time commitment, no marching or picketing under the desert sun. Just click to join. Making it easier to spread the word, Facebook automatically informs users about groups their friends are joining.
“It’s not obtrusive. It’s not obnoxious,” said Mita, a journalism and media studies student and a paid intern at the Las Vegas Sun. “Everybody is on Facebook.”
“Right now this group is just introductory. It’s just so people are aware of what’s happening.”
Mita said he hopes the group, launched Wednesday, would help students, staff and faculty from different campuses network. Some from the University of Nevada, Reno, have joined.
An expected total of 100 “first-generation” students from Basic and Eldorado high schools will be attending classes at Nevada State College this month, the first group to take part in the college’s new Upward Bound program.
“First-generation” students’ parents did not graduate from college. Upward Bound, a federally funded program, aims to expose those young people to campus life.
Students in NSC’s summer Upward Bound program, which begins June 16, will take high-school-level classes in math, English and other subjects.
They will also have the opportunity to visit colleges in Arizona and California. Other outings could include field trips to the Bellagio art gallery and Hoover Dam.
Charles Adams, professor emeritus, came to UNLV in 1960, three years after the university opened on Maryland Parkway.
He stayed for more than 35 years, so long that some undergraduates who studied under him are now well-established academics in Las Vegas.
“UNLV is celebrating its 50th anniversary,” said Michael Green, a College of Southern Nevada history professor and a former Adams student. “He’s one of the people that made that possible,”
Adams, 79, died May 16 after battling cancer of the esophagus.
Green said Adams taught him a lot: “Where to start? For one thing, why we’re here. I’m a professor. We’re ultimately here for the students.”
In the classroom, Adams, a member of the English department, befriended students such as Green and developed close relationships with some.
“He was one of those rare professors that was actually amazed by his students,” said H. Lee Barnes, a College of Southern Nevada English professor who studied with Adams in the 1980s. “When his students said or wrote something that he thought was good, instead of feeling competitive or threatened or anything like that, he sincerely felt good.”
Besides teaching, Adams ran UNLV’s newly established graduate studies program for several years, beginning in 1964.
Joan Adams, Charles Adams’ wife of 55 years, said her husband’s love for the university stemmed in part from the fact that when he arrived, he was a young scholar who saw potential to grow with a young school.
“He came when the campus was just barely getting started, and this was his first job after his doctorate ... The town was new, the campus was new, and so was he,” Joan Adams said. “And it just all fit together right then.”
Besides his wife, Adams is survived by his daughter, Rebecca, of Ojai, Calif., and his son, Stephen, of Long Beach, Calif.