In today’s CT: Our annual BEST OF BLACKSBURG, the best of what’s around town, and BASKETBALL PREVIEW, a guide to the upcoming season.
friday november 9, 2007 blacksburg, va.
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news MAN WITH GUN ON CAMPUS An incident involving a suspect with a handgun occurred last night at approximately 7 p.m. in the Stadium Parking Lot, according to Virginia Tech Police. A person reported that while he was parking his car, he observed the suspect standing next to a car with a handgun. The suspect pointed the weapon at a victim before fleeing the scene in a vehicle that was headed toward Airport Road. No one was harmed and the weapon was not fired. The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 6 feet tall, 170 to 200 pounds, 22 to 25 years old, and was wearing a black jacket and black hat. The vehicle was described as red and small and the handgun was described as dark-colored and small. Police urge community members to utilize all possible safety measures. Anyone with information should contact Virginia Tech Police at 231-6411.
weather FEW SHOWERS high 55, low 35
corrections The story “Marching Virginians and YMCA will visit New Orleans” (CT, Nov. 6) was incorrect. Dave McKee fundraised the money on the first trip to pay for all of the Marching Virginians, but not for all of the trip participants. In addition, Miss Monty did not join the Peace Corps in the ‘60s; she was a volunteer in the ‘90s. The Collegiate Times regrets these errors.
Asbestos cleared from old Hanger 54 space CALEB FLEMING
ct news reporter After nearly six months of vacancy, the retail space formerly occupied by Hanger 54, located downtown next to Happy Wok off Main Street, has begun renovations in preparation for a new tenant. Though the interior floors remain empty, the street-side windows contain information unbeknownst to most Blacksburg residents. Taped side by side are two permits: one for asbestos removal, and another for the demolition of an interior wall in order to reach this harmful carcinogen. Asbestos, once a popular building insulator known for its flame-retardant nature, is no longer used in construction. It is notorious for its harmful effects on the human body, which are caused by inhalation. Now regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos-containing materials can cause asbestosis, the scarring of lung tissue, and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining. The asbestos mineral was found during a routine inspection in preparation for a new retailer on Sept. 2. Before tenants can legally inhabit the location, they must have a building permit and site survey done. In this case, the report concluded that there was asbestos within the walls and under the tiled flooring. Sam Sapienza, building inspector for the town of Blacksburg, said asbestos must be removed before remodeling can begin. “Basically, whenever you have a structure built prior to 1985, and you want to do renovations or demolition, the state requires you to have an asbestos inspection done by a licensed contractor to protect everyone involved,” said Sapienza. “We
see ABESTOS, page two
The old site of clothing store Hanger 54 has been treated for abestos after being vacant for six months. Town officials said that the abestos has been cleared out and is ready for occupancy.
Budget Board funding is Undesirable Friday classes a complicated process crowd the four-day week KYLIE STURGEON
ct staﬀ writer With only 12 percent of the $148.50 student activity fee listed on the bi-annual tuition bills received by the Budget Board, the organization has found it difficult to keep up with the demand of hundreds of Virginia Tech organizations. As a result, some smaller or newer organizations are uninformed of the boards’ requirements or disregarded in the process of allocating funds. The Budget Board is responsible for funding programs, services and campus activities that are directed towards the student community. In addition, the Budget Board funds some competition and conference travel costs and also covers the publicity costs relevant to a campus event. The process of registering an organization is lengthy and the smaller or newer organizations have difficulty applying for funds, registering for the annual funding workshops and submitting the actual budget. Many of these organizations are unaware of how to procure funds through the Registered Student Organization (RSO) Board or simply find it to be too much of a hassle.
Hazen White, president of the sailing club and senior engineering major, found that getting funding for his organization ended up being more trouble than it was worth and did not apply for funding this semester. “It’s an okay process. We can’t really get any funding for equipment or anything tangible,” White said. “For us, it would have been helpful if we had been given money for items. It’s a good process for what they can do.” According to the general budget board funding guidelines, some of the factors that the Budget Board considers when evaluating organizations for funding include which benefits the organization can provide for students and community, the number of student members and the justification of the organization’s expenses, among others. On the Web site, organization members can find the annual funding requirements for 2008-2009 funding requests. According to the annual funding requirements, every organization must register for one of the annual funding workshops. The Budget Board requires that at least one
see BUDGET, page three
Off and running
ct news reporter Most teachers and students welcome the opportunity for free Fridays and a three-day weekend. However, because of a high demand for a four-day class schedule, many scheduling and over-crowding issues can arise in Tuesday/ Thursday and Monday/ Wednesday classes. “Although we try to give students and professors what they request, there are other priorities we see to before we consider what the students and faculty prefer,” said Carolyn Rude, English department chair. After deciding a preliminary set of courses that departments will offer, the scheduling coordinator then accesses a description of classrooms and attempts to request classrooms that best fit a professor’s teaching style. One example she used was that in creative writing courses that often involve workshops, professors need a classroom with seating that can be rearranged. Departments struggle to spread out the schedule to provide students with a number of options. If all classes were to be offered only four days a week, administrators fear that students would be forced to stack their schedule and sign up for classes back to back. Marvin Foushee, associate registrar, said Friday morning has the highest number of classes requested, and Friday afternoon has the fewst number of classes requested. However, the large amount of Friday morning classes is due to the tendency to hold recitations on Friday
Blackboard blocks application GORDON BLOCK
ct news reporter
coming up TUESDAY’S CT Check out the CT’s coverage of the men’s basketball and football games this weekend.
index News.....................2 Features................4 0pinions................5
Sports....................7 Classifieds..............9 Puzzles..................9
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 104th year • issue 167
mornings. Scheduling issues in classrooms also translate to problems in the commuter parking lot. An aggravating lack of commuter parking during the four-day week can often leave commuters wondering why the lots feel like ghost towns on Fridays. James Frazier, parking services assistant manager, agreed that the lots are usually found empty on Fridays. “Most of the time on Fridays, we are in preparation for the football, so we’re not doing parking enforcement nearly as much,” Frazier said. “However, normally Fridays are quieter and there is not as much activity and not as much illegal parking going on.” While the increase in availability may be ascribed to a lack of motivation to get to Friday classes, having fewer classes scheduled for Friday plays a major role as well. Jocelyn Sprague, a junior marketing major, currently has a four-day week schedule with no classes on Friday. Although she did not intend to have no Friday classes, she said she found the experience extremely agreeable and intends to try and keep her schedule without Friday classes for next semester. “I get a lot done not having Friday classes,” Sprague said. “It’s a large chunk of time to run errands, clean, and do homework. It allows me to enjoy the rest of the weekend because I don’t have to push it all to Sunday and stress out before the week begins.”
Joshua Waddell receives the baton from Samuel Ryder as he prepares to begin his six-mile run. The Raider Company came together to run 232 miles yesterday in honor of the Marine Corps 232 anniversary.
In a recently announced move, Virginia Tech’s Blackboard posted on its Web site that they would not allow the Facebook application CourseFeed to access its servers. CourseFeed, a Facebook application from software company Classtop, allowed students to access Blackboard materials through Facebook. The concern for administrators and technology personnel at Virginia Tech was how students’ information was being used. “On the surface it seemed like a good idea, but what revealed itself to be troublesome was that user names and passwords were being held on a third party server,” said Eddie Watson, assistant director for Educational Technologies Learning Technology. “We (Virginia Tech) would have no control of students’ PIDs and passwords.”
“It (the PID) is a personal identifier that gives students access to a large range of things around campus,” said Wayne Donald, IT security officer at Tech. “Someone who could get access to that data could get access to confidential materials, student records, or anything else that the student could access with their PID.” Though there are some worries about the protection of student information, Classtop stood by its product. “CourseFeed allows students to access their Blackboard content through Facebook,” said Jared Allgood, CEO of Classtop. “Many students like being able to get their information through a site they’re on regularly.” Allgood pointed out a strong positive reaction from students and faculty. “The reaction for the application has been
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see BLACKBOARD, page three