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wednesday january 16, 2008 blacksburg, va.


Colleges give disciplinary action a closer look LIZA ROESCH

ct staff writer Every year, students applying to college in the U.S. are asked to disclose information about their disciplinary background in high school as well as any violations of state and federal laws on their college applications. While this has always been the standard for college-bound teens, the questions are being examined differently after it was found that unusual behavior and disciplinary issues during

high school plagued Seung-Hui Cho before last April’s shootings. James Pennix, director of admissions at Roanoke College, said that since April 16, the admissions board at Roanoke is paying closer attention to the responses they get from those questions, as well as teacher recommendations when considering applicants. “We will always inquire more into a student file if any information seems questionable,” Pennix said. “Our goal is to help students to obtain a quality education if they academically qualify.” Pennix also said that if applicants are found to

Questions are being examined differently after it was found that unusual behavior and disciplinary issues during high school plagued Seung-Hui Cho before the shooting. have a criminal background, admissions officials owe it to the campus community to investigate if they think that individual will affect the safety of the school and its students. “Although we want to give every applicant a

Forward Patrick Nyarko has decided to forgo his senior season and will enter the 2008 Nyarko Major League Soccer Draft. He is considered one of the top prospects, and the possible No. 1 overall pick by ESPNsoccernet. Nyarko, a 2007 first team All-American, led the Hokies to their first NCAA tournament final four and was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given to the best player in college soccer. A three-time first team All-ACC selection, Nyarko tallied 31 goals and 24 assists during his collegiate career.



ct news reporter


Plans for the First and Main development were finalized on Dec. 14; the retail space is scheduled to finish next fall.


Town of Blacksburg undergoes overhaul


ct associate news editor The winds are changing in Blacksburg as winter brings new developments and renovations. On the intersection of First and Main Street, 40 acres of development are currently underway, and on Price’s Fork Rd, Buffalo Wild Wings has recently undergone renovations. Fairmount Properties is developing the First and Main area in phases, each needing to be approved by the town of Blacksburg. The first phase broke ground in Sept. 2007 and the final site plan was approved on Dec. 14. Completion is scheduled for Sept. 2008. “We are on schedule and we hope to be open next fall,” said Adam Fisher, principal of Fairmount Properties. “I can tell you that rainy weather has not helped us though.” Retail space in the new area is committed to a number of stores already, including Talbot’s, Ann Taylor Loft, Coldwater Creek, Books-a-

Million, Frank’s Theater, Blue Ridge Mountain Outdoor Sports and Hibbett Sports. “Fairmount tries to develop mostly in communities that have a strong university presence,” said Fisher. “We perceive there to be a significant demand for quality retailing in a pedestrian-oriented environment.” Phase two is currently being argued in court by Fairmount Properties because the town of Blacksburg requires that they follow Ordinance 1450. The ordinance states that if there is a largeformat retail building over 80,000 square feet, it requires a special use permit before being approved, said Andrew Warren, zoning administrator for the town of Blacksburg. “Our hopes for phase two are to accomplish the best possible project we can given what the available opportunities are in Blacksburg, which is really a function of the court’s interpretations of land-use problems,” Fisher said. The case was first presented on Dec. 18, and a final decision is expected in the coming weeks.

Buffalo Wild Wings, which first opened in Blacksburg in 2000, also underwent renovations this winter over a 10-day period in December. “We felt, to get it up to the newest standards that are enjoyed by all of the patrons all over the country, that Blacksburg deserved the same entertainment and enjoyment,” said Louis Lowentritt, director of marketing for Buffalo Wild Wings. The new Buffalo Wild Wings now has outdoor seating for 48 additional customers, a revamped bar, upgraded painting and flooring and a fourth big screen television. This renovation, known as Gen4, is a recent trend for Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants across the country. “We were able to give it a Virginia Tech flavor since we’re on the Tech campus,” said Lowentritt. “We customized for our local market, that being the New River Valley.” He also said he was pleased to notice that the customers immediately gave positive reactions to the new style.

high 40, low 26

corrections The story “Repercussions of April 16 still felt,” (CT, Jan. 15) was incorrect. Jeff Ryer’s name was misspelled. Ryer should have been quoted as saying “We felt (mentally ill) people buying guns at gun shows were not properly screened, and this legislation will change this.”

coming up TOMORROW’S CT Find the results of tonight’s basketball game against UVa in Wednesday’s CT.

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index News.....................2 0pinions................3 Features................4

Classifieds..............5 Puzzles..................5 Sports....................6

An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 105th year • issue 2

see APPLICATIONS, page two

Kaine unveils proposal to fund medical school

The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team is in Charlottesville for this evening’s game against the University of Virginia Cavaliers. The Hokies come into the game fresh off a 67-66 win against the Maryland Terrapins while the Cavaliers are coming off an 87-65 loss at Duke. While A.D. Vassallo (15.8 ppg) leads the Hokies in scoring, Sean Singletary (17.9 ppg), Mamadi Diane (11.4 ppg) and Adrian Joseph (11.9 ppg) lead the way for the Cavaliers. Joseph also leads the Wahoos in rebonds with 7.8 per game; Tech is led in the category by freshman Jeff Allen with 8.2 per game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The game will be televised on ESPNU.


fair review, the safety of the campus has to come first in those cases,” Pennix said. Roanoke College, like most colleges and universities, asks students to explain whatever incident occurred in an essay format. While it’s up to each applicant to tell the truth, high school guidance counselors are also required to submit a form that would give the admissions officers the same information they expect the student to give. Additionally, the list of students who accept an offer of admission is given to the Registrar’s

April 16 shootings voted top story of 2007 CANDACE SIPOS

ct news reporter Last year’s biggest news stories were generally unpleasant. From the death of 13 caused by a bridge collapse in Minneapolis to the discovery of lead and other harmful materials in Chinese exports, America’s government and its citizens encountered many struggles throughout 2007. Iran and North Korea were dubbed nuclear threats, global warming caused national concern and gas prices reached new heights. But the one event that consistently turned up as the top news story of the year was the April 16 massacre at Virginia Tech. The Associated Press’ annual survey of U.S. news directors and editors, which was conducted Dec. 20, revealed the Tech shootings to be the nation’s biggest story of the past year. Out of 271 ballots, 82 voted the incident first-place. “For a single day’s event, it was the biggest, most shocking event of the year. It had some various threads that made it an important story more than just a sensational story,” said John Affleck, the National Reporting Team Editor of the Associated Press, noting such concerns as security on campuses, mental health treatment and gun laws. Marc Gilbert, the managing editor of the Killeen Daily Herald agreed that the ranking of the tragedy is understandable. Although the biggest news in Killeen, Texas has consistently been the war in Iraq due to its close location to Fort Hood, Gilbert said that the war’s media importance has been waning in the minds of editors across the nation. According to Mitch Weinstock, the national editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune, April 16


After April 16, most major media outlets arrived in Blacksburg to cover the shootings. The Associated Press has named the shootings the top story of the year. was definitely the biggest one-time news story of the year. He noted that it is difficult to compare such a tragedy to ongoing ordeals such as global warming. To keep in mind the contenders for the annual vote, Affleck and a fellow reporter keep a running list of each day’s top stories, also considering larger trends. “We compile a list of stories that received a

lot of attention, and we send it out in an advisory to all the news editors and news directors at newspapers and broadcast stations around the country who are members of the Associated Press,” Affleck said, adding that the AP then invites those publications to compile their own top-10 list. The Tech shootings were also reported as the

see STORY, page two

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has revealed his latest bond proposal, allotting for a $59 million medical school and research institute planned by Virginia Tech and the Carilion Clinic. Upon completion, Kaine expects the new school to boost Southwest Virginia’s economic standing. “It will be a strong financial catalyst for the region in addition to supporting higher education,” said Jeff Tiller, Kaine’s deputy press secretary. “When you build a specialized medical school, other businesses pop up to support the business and school in the city.” Though builders expect to break ground on the construction of the new facilities in early summer, the state’s bond contribution is still awaiting confirmation from Virginia’s General Assembly, which will vote on the budget, and Virginia voters, who must approve of the spending in an election-day referendum. “This proposed bond initiative would be the largest college building program in the state’s history,” Tiller said. “Voters in Roanoke are voting for an investment in higher education. They are voting for a stronger future economy.” With so much depending on the voters, Tech and Carilion are concentrating on appealing to the Kaine heavily minds of legislators and voters. One potential concern for Virginia residents could center upon the impending debt. “A bond package is debt,” Tiller said. “The good news is that we are well within our voluntary debt limit. With $1.65 billion worth of borrowing, we are still under our debt limit. This is still a good investment in the community that is going to have a high return rate.” With benefits for the medical population and history on their side — voters approved different college buildings’ blueprints in 2002 — not much concern has mounted over the voter’s future discretion. “The Governor wants to capture a significant portion of the needs of higher education,” said Larry Hincker, university relations. “This is the third time for this in the modern era. We’ve done it before in 1992, 2002 and we’re hoping he’ll do it again.” While the plan may still be in the drafting stages, Tech and Carilion have collectively begun the hiring process for the yet-to-be-named college. Cynda Johnson of East Carolina, once a medical school dean, has been brought on board to be the college’s first dean. Johnson will likely apply for accreditation from the liaison committee on Medical Education. If successful, the school will be eligible to receive federal grants and partake in loan programs. “We’ll need to work hard and quickly to become accredited,” said Eric Earnhart, Carilion’s community relations director. “The best part of this is that we don’t have to start from the ground up. Tech already has the basic science infrastructure, and we have the medical faculty.” Once under operation, the vision for the school is to offer a four-year medical program with a fifth year consisting of mandatory research. Ideally, it will be a joint operation between Carilion Clinic and Tech, with the hospital aspects contributed by Carilion and the research facets provided by Tech. The school’s first class is projected to be in 2010 and should consist of about 40 students. Partially constructed with Hokie Stone, the 150,000 square-foot building will be located on Roanoke’s South Jefferson St. in the Riverside Center for Research and Technology. It would contain the medical college, research institute and roughly 50 labs. The school will share its location with Carilion’s own clinic building. Kaine’s budget proposal comes at a critical time in medicine, as the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports that roughly 30 million people are affected by physician shortages in some way. In addition to this, the AAMC has said that since just half of all American medical schools have considered expanding, more medical schools must be built. Hincker expressed that by designing a joint program for a medical school and research institute, Tech can move ahead to becoming a top-30 research university. “Coupling our efforts will be good for the region as well as the medical profession,” Hincker said. “It just has to be passed by the voters and the general assembly first. That’s the $59 million question at this point.”

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008 Print Edition  

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times