friday february 15, 2008 blacksburg, va.
news ROMNEY ENDORSES SENATOR MCCAIN Former potential presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced yesterday that he will endorse Sen. John McCain’s campaign. He will be encouraging his supporters to do the same for the Arizona Senator. Romney released the 286 delegates he had earned during his campaign, and urged them to back McCain. If McCain were to win the support of Romney’s delegates he would have a total of 1,013 delegates, leaving him 78 delegates short of the number required to win the GOP nomination. McCain’s competition, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is currently hundreds of delegates behind with just 217 delegates. —Kevin Anderson, CT NRV Editor
INTENSIVE DIABETES TREATMENT STUDIES INCONCLUSIVE A week after the medical community was stunned by research showing that aggressive treatment of diabetes produced a higher death rate, a new analysis by a separate team of researchers has found that intensive treatment does not pose such a risk. The take-home message from the back-to-back studies — one led by a team of American researchers, the other by Australians — is not one of scientiﬁc ﬂip-ﬂopping but one of taking a wait-and-see approach, doctors said Thursday. Neither study is the be-all and end-all of diabetes research. “I think our current goal for achieving (blood sugar) control in patients with Type 2 diabetes is based on information accumulated over decades,” said Dr. Kenneth Hupart, chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolic disorders at Nassau University Medical Center. “To look at these studies as reasons to alter current care would not be advised.” —Newsday
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coming up TUESDAY’S CT Virginia Tech tied for third in the ACC in graduation rates among its athletes. Pick up Tuesday’s paper for a story on the academic services provided for Tech’s student athletes.
Check out a a breakdown of race and ethnicity of Virginia Tech faculty members in our online database.
index News.....................2 Features................3 0pinions................5
Sports....................7 Classifieds..............9 Sudoku..................9
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 105th year • issue 20
Six dead after classroom shooting at Northern Illinois University FORMER GRADUATE STUDENT ENTERS GEOLOGY LECTURE, WHERE HE OPENS FIRE WITH SHOTGUN, PISTOLS DEKALB, Ill. — A former graduate student armed with a shotgun and two handguns opened fire Thursday afternoon in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, killing five students and wounding 16 others before shooting himself to death, authorities said. The shooting occurred about 3 p.m. during a geology class in a large lecture classroom in Cole Hall, authorities said. The gunman, dressed in black, entered through a back door and came through a curtain behind the stage before opening fire on the students. “The assailant began firing into the assembled class from the stage,” NIU President John G. Peters said at a news conference Thursday evening. “Eyewitness accounts describe a very brief rapid-fire assault that ended with the gunman taking his own life.” Four of the victims who were killed were female, and one was male, Peters said. They were all undergraduate students. The wounded included 15 undergraduate students and one graduate student who was acting as a teacher’s assistant, Peters said. Four, including the gunman, died at the scene, and two died later in a hospital, Peters said. As of 8 p.m., four patients were reportedly in critical condition, two at Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb and two at other regional hospitals. The gunman was a sociology graduate student who was enrolled in classes at NIU last spring but was not currently enrolled there, Peters said. Authorities were not releasing his identity Thursday night but said they were not aware of any criminal history or violence in his past. The gunman was found dead on the stage of the lecture hall, NIU Police Chief Donald Grady said. The shooter had a shotgun, a Glock pistol and one other small-caliber handgun, with ammunition still left in both handguns, Grady said. He said gun magazines were found “all over the floor.” “We believe there was only one shooter,” Grady said. The shooting was “over in a matter of minutes,” he said. Peters said the motive for the “senseless tragedy” was unknown, but authorities had “no reason to believe” it was related to threats found on a bathroom wall on campus in December. The threats made reference to the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. Classes will be canceled at least through Friday, Peters said. Students can go to any residence hall for counseling. “We’re advising them to remain calm, to seek counseling and support services,” Peters said. He said the lecture hall remained an active crime scene Thursday night, with Illinois State Police, FBI and agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives all assisting DeKalb County authorities. “We will be urgently tracing the firearms and learning the history of the weapons,” said ATF Special Agent Thomas Ahern. He said agents will run the weapons through a national tracing center to “learn where they came
McCain to veto all earmarks KERRY O’CONNOR
ct news reporter As one of his Presidential initiatives, Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz), has vowed to veto all earmarked bills. McCain, a veteran advocate for diminishing earmarks, argues cutting back on earmarked bills will help to control wasteful federal spending. He directly addressed the issue in a speech he gave on Feb. 3 to a crowd of supporters at Sacred Heart University. “What do you want, a bridge to nowhere or a $1,000 tax credit for every child in America?” McCain asked. “That kind of thing is going to stop when I’m president of the United States of America.” Since Sept. 29, 2006, the national debt has increased $1.49 billion each day, curpitting the United McCain rently States in a $9 trillion debt that’s still growing. Divided by the estimated population, each citizen’s share of the debt totals $30,400.94. Liz Steucheli, a senior international studies major, said she is worried about the state of the national debt. “I don’t know if it would necessarily sway
see MCCAIN, page two
PATRICK YEAGLE/CHICAGO TRIBUNE
An injured student is carried on a gurney by emergency personnel, after a gunman opened fire during a geology class at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Six people, including the gunman, died, while at least 17 victims were treated at the hospital. from and how the shooter came to possess them.” Sophomore Geoff Alberti told his parents he was in the geology class when the gunman entered the auditorium-style classroom through an emergency exit. The gunman did not say anything before opening fire on the class, he told his parents. “He said at least 20 rounds were fired,” said his mother, Marilyn. In December, the university was placed under a security alert through the end of the semester after police found threats on a bathroom wall that included a racial slur and references to the Virginia Tech shootings. Two separate messages were found by a student on a restroom wall in the Grant Towers D complex that read that “things will change most hastily” in the final days of the semester, university officials said at the time. NIU officials increased campus security and notified everyone on campus about the threats by e-mail, voice mail and fliers. Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued a state of emergency to help provide resources to deal with the shooting. The declaration provides assistance from state police forensic and emergency teams as well as human resource workers to help in crisis counseling. “The State of Illinois will provide whatever support and assistance is necessary to university staff and students,” Blagojevich said in a statement.
The Virginia Tech administration responded to the shootings by sending condolences to NIU. In a statement sent to all Virginia Tech students, Tech president Charles Steger said, “This horrific news will certainly bring to mind the hurt, pain, and trauma we experienced less than a year ago. I have sent my condolences and offer of assistance to the president of NIU. Our university community was bolstered and comforted by the outpouring of support from campuses around the nation and the world. I am sure that expressions of support from the Virginia Tech community will mean much to that now suffering campus community.” Steger also encouraged Tech students to reach out to one another and seek counseling if necessary. “I am convinced that our university community coped because of our care and concern for every member of the extended Hokie Family. I ask you to look out for your each other and seek help through university services if necessary,” Steger said.
According to Christopher Flynn, director of Cooke Counseling Center, Tech doubled its counseling staff last night and extended its hours. Flynn said that the staff may work through the weekend. Flynn also said that they would be mailing information they had gathered after April 16 to NIU in order to aid the NIU counseling staff. “We had been taking steps to making sure we were prepared for the one-year anniversary of April 16 for the university, but unfortunately this has brought it up sooner,” Flynn said. Virginia Tech students were both surprised and saddened by the shootings, which struck an all-too-familiar chord for many. “It’s sad, it really is. It’s weird seeing it from our perspective now,” said Victoria Pryor, a senior in biochemistry. It’s just crazy seeing it from the other end.” Story by Jason Meisner, Jeremy Gorner and Tina Shah from the Chicago Tribune. Tech reporting by CT News Staff.
3:20 p.m. Northern Shortly after campus alert 3:07 p.m. school Illinois p.m. sent out goes into University 3:00 shooting Shooting Timeline
4:00 p.m. police sweep area and through several determine only mechanisms one gunmen BEN MACDONALD/COLLEGIATE TIMES
Tech given moderate crime rating in survey of university campuses CANDACE SIPOS
ct news reporter Recently, the popular magazine Reader’s Digest released a report examining the crime per student from 2004 to 2005 at 285 colleges and universities. Of the colleges examined in the original report, 135 of them agreed to participate in a follow-up online survey to determine how well each was prepared to handle campus security issues. Virginia Tech participated in both, and received a moderate crime ranking compared to the other schools. Out of 19 criminal categories, Tech reported no crime in seven, such as non-forcible sex offense in 2004 and 2005, and murder and manslaughter in both years. However, Tech reported were 53 instances of robbery in 2004, 22 reported cases of burglary in 2005, and nine cases of both forcible sex offense in 2004 and arson in 2005. “After the incident (at Tech) last year, we realized that this is an important issue that we wanted to help families and students understand a little bit better and thought that an article like this could help put a spotlight on the schools that are doing quite well and the schools that obviously need to invest more resources in safety preparedness,” said Ellen Morgenstern, a spokeswoman for Reader’s Digest. Morgenstern said the magazine consulted with various experts, such as Safety on Campus, a non-profit organization that focuses specifically on campus security, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, and Matthew Kahn, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who performed the statistical analysis.
Despite the many resources used, the survey could only be as accurate as the Department of Education’s reported crime statistics. “It gives an accurate depiction, but you also want to take into account reported crime statistics and that not all colleges and universities report accurately,” said Alison Kiss, program director at Security on Campus. Kiss added that the company also encourages parents to “delve deeper than the numbers,” because a school with higher crime statistics may also mean it provides an environment where student victims feel safe reporting incidents. “You don’t want to look at schools having a lot of crime as being dangerous and that means don’t go there, because that’s not the case,” Kiss said. Morgenstern said that some of the crime statistics are surprising, as some more urban, populated colleges had less crime, but some seemingly serene, rural areas had a relatively large amount of crime. “To some degrees the reality has necessitated certain schools to put certain measures in places,” Morgenstern said. Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski was Reader’s Digest’s source from Tech for the survey questions. “What I would say about campus crime at any level is that any degree of crime is not good,” Owczarski said. “Any university is going to try to do whatever it can to prevent crime and to educate students on how they can avoid crime. Virginia Tech does a whole bunch of things — stuff that you take for granted, stuff that you may be aware of in light of April 16 to help educate and inform students about how to avoid crime.” Sweet Briar College, located in central Virginia,
was unique among the schools in the Reader’s Digest survey, having had no reported crime in any of the areas listed on the survey. Willie Neal, chief of police for the Department of Safety at SBC, said the college shuts its campus off at 6 p.m. by way of parameter gates. After that time, the only way to enter the campus is through the main entrance. Also, the dorms are always locked, students are issued keys to enter, and the campus has emergency phone systems. “We’re just on the lookout for any unusual activities and we ask the community to report any unusual activities that they may see, no matter how minor it may seem to them, we just encourage them to always report it to us,” Neal said. “And they’ve done that for years. It’s a pretty close-knit community.” Kiss said that the most effective campus security programs in her opinion involve the students. “So often I go to schools and you have the students versus campus security, there’s bickering over parking or drinking violations, when really it should be a collaboration because it is a community,” Kiss said. “We do everything we can to make this university safe and students safe on campus,” Owczarski said. “Were we safe before April 16? Are we less safe after April 16? I’m not sure anybody can answer that question. I would say that perhaps there’s been a lot of awareness that has followed April 16.” “Making a campus safer is a never-ending process. You’re always looking to make improvements every step of the way. We are continue to educate and try to reach students time and time to protect themselves and not make themselves victims of crime, of all crimes.”
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