wednesday april 2, 2008 blacksburg, va.
news WATER SUPPLY TRANSITIONING FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY The water source for 650 homes in Montgomery County will begin a transition to its usual source, the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, today. This two-phase process will result in the switch from the temporary water supply, which comes from the Blacksburg/ Christiansburg VPI Water Authority, because it contains chloramines, a disinfectant. “There should not be any real concerns with the transition,” said Bob Fronk, PSA director. “Unfortunately, this is the third year we’ve done this.” Fronk also said that this switch usually occurs during the winter. One risk involved with changing the water supply is that it would aﬀect dialysis patients; however, Fronk said the public’s water authority is unaware of any on record in the area of the transition. The other risk involves people with aquatic pets who use the public water supply to ﬁll their tanks. They were also notiﬁed that they’d need to change an agent in their water in order to maintain a healthy tank environment. These two risks will dissolve after the new water supply becomes consistent in one week.
STUDENTS HOLD PROTEST Yesterday was Fossil Fools Day, a nationwide call to action where activists demonstrated their opposition to wasted energy in a variety of ways. “We’re having a carnival parade for Fossil Fools Day,” said Jason Johnson, senior civil engineering major. “Basically we’re targeting the university’s research in clean coal because clean coal’s a lie.” The Blacksburg chapter of Mountain Justice, an organization composed of these activists, participated in Fossil Fools Day by marching around campus and protesting Tech’s partnership with Dominion Virginian Power.
weather PARTLY CLOUDY high 59, low 35
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coming up TOMORROW’S CT Read an interview with football coach Frank Beamer, who will be serving as a guest lecturer in a Chris Neck’s management class next semester. Not heading to campus? Get the CT in your inbox — sign up for headline e-mails.
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Sports....................4 Classifieds..............5 Sudoku..................5
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 105th year • issue 42
Tech slides past Radford
Court rules in favor of alcohol ads CT NEWS STAFF U.S. District Court Judge Lauck issued a summary judgment Monday ruling Virginia ABC rules 3 VAC-5-20-40 A and B (3) unconstitutional. The regulations stated that college newspapers could not run advertisements promoting drink specials or alcohol-related industries in order to reduce underage and binge drinking. “In this case, it is clear that the Plaintiffs no more seek to support irresponsible drinkingthan the Defendants seek to eviscerate the First Amendment,” Lauck said in court statement. “Instead, the parties seek clarity under the laws and Constitution of the United States.” The ACLU filed a challenge on behalf of the Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, the parent company of the Collegiate Times, and the Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia’s student newspaper, on June 8, 2006 stating that the regulations were a violation of free speech rights. The commissioners of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Commission were named as defendants in the lawsuit, as were the Chief Operating Officer of the commission and the director of the Law Enforcement Bureau of the Commission. “The issue of drinking on college campuses is an emotional one and of course everyone wants to do what they can to address the problem,” said Rebecca Glenberg, the legal director of the ACLU of Virginia. “But there was no evidence that suppressing the free speech rights of college newspapers did anything to address the problem.” Lauck found that the state can show no evidence that the rules have had any effect in decreasing either underage drinking or binge drinking among college students. The Collegiate Times and the Cavalier Daily also felt the regulation crippled their revenues.
ON THE WEB ROY T. HIGASHI/SPPS
Tech players congratulate Austin Wates (35) after his home run in the second inning. Wates was 4-5 against Radford last night.
ct sports reporter It had been nearly one month since the Virginia Tech baseball team last won at home, but Tuesday’s game against the Radford Highlanders (15-11) erased that streak. With a solid offensive output, the Hokies ended their drought with a 9-5 win. With the score knotted at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth, the Hokies (9-18) grabbed the lead. Freshman second baseman Austin Wates hit a single to right field. One out later, with first
baseman Sean O’Brien up, Wates stole second base and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. After a walk to O’Brien, who later moved to second base, catcher Anthony Sosnoskie delivered. His single fell just inside the right field line, scoring Wates and O’Brien. Sosnoskie was thrown out trying to advance to second, but his critical two-out hit broke the tie and gave the Hokies a 7-5 lead. Left fielder Jose Cueto added a pair of insurance runs in the next inning. After right fielder Klint Reed got a base hit, Cueto launched a tworun home run.
Left-handed relief pitcher Justin Wright pitched the final 3.2 innings, including the ninth, to finish off the Highlanders and give the Hokies their first win at English Field since they beat Binghamton on March 2. After coming in for Kyle Cichy in the top half of the fifth, Wright only gave up one hit, one walk and struck out seven batters. He also picked up his first win of the season. “He did well in a pressure situation, shut them down and kept throwing strikes,” head coach Pete Hughes said. “Then when we built the
see TECH, page six
New student privacy rules proposed CALEB FLEMING
ct news reporter The Department of Education has proposed an update to its policies outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The projected alterations come from problems identified by external investigations into the events of April 16. In June 2007, federal officials released a document titled “Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy.” The article outlines the issue of colleges, specifically Tech, not relaying pertinent information out of a fear of violating privacy laws. In addition to the federal report, a panel appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine found that the outdated privacy limitations were related to the alleged communication breakdowns at Tech on April 16. The Education Department’s proposal would provide immunity for school administrators who
release private information, as long as the given information is directly related to the health and safety of society. Jim Bradshaw, Department of Education spokesman, said that the proposal is a result of a high demand from the nation’s schools for clarity. “This is an effort to make crystal clear to schools that they may release records of students who are considered to be a danger to themselves or others,” Bradshaw said. “This comes after we had gotten feedback from institutions across the country expressing doubt over whether they could release these records.” The proposed regulations also allow for a student’s parents to be informed without the student’s consent in an emergency situation. Previously, professors and administrators have been limited to the information they can disclose, unable to alert parents and appropriate officials without breaching FERPA. Originally passed in 1974, FERPA was established to ensure student privacy. However,
ON THE WEB MORE INFO: Visit our Web site to see the proposal online according to Tod Massa, director of policy research and data warehousing with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the interpretation was falsely viewed that no one could talk to students unless they had a legitimate right to do so. “The intent was to protect students from meddling by FBI, politicians and people who had no business doing so,” Massa said. Bradshaw said that the proposal will follow a standard protocol for the passing of regulations. Every time Congress passes a bill into law, the agency that enforces those laws must publish how it will be regulated. In this case, the proposed
see PRIVACY, page two
PDF: Check out a PDF of the judge’s opinion on our Web site “Both the Collegiate Times and Cavalier Daily rely heavily on advertising to support their reporting and other programs … this regulation was severely hindering that,” Glenberg said. “It put them at a real competitive disadvantage.” In addition, editors at the Collegiate Times believed that the ABC’s regulations hindered their free speech rights. “Collegiate Times editors had recognized and discussed the fact that they thought this was an unconstitutional rule against their free speech,” said Kelly Wolff, the general manager of EMCVT. “Students felt it was important.” Wolff also said it was the only case they were aware of where the editors did not determine the content of the newspaper — a state regulation did. Pittsburgh University’s student newspaper, The Pitt News, entered a challenge against Pennsylvania law that prohibited advertisers from advertising in any publication that was published for any educational institution The case, Pitt News v. Pappert, ended in favor of the newspaper, with the majority saying the opinion of the court was that the First Amendment precluded enforcement of Pennsylvania law. Samuel Alito, then a judge on the appeals court that heard the case, is now a judge in the Supreme Court. Following the victory for student media in Pennsylvania, the Collegiate Times decided to enter a challenge against ABC. “We realized that there was a good legal precedent out there and we contacted the ACLU,” Wolff said. After close to two years in court, both the ACLU and EMCVT are thrilled with Lauck’s ruling. “I think it’s an important victory for student media in Virginia for the court to realize that it is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech,” Wolff said. Though Lauck filed an injunction against enforcing the regulations, neither publication can begin placing alcohol related advertising yet. ABC has 30 days to file an appeal.
Graduate Assembly issues resolution to combat new fees GORDON BLOCK
ct news reporter In an effort to lower costs for graduate students, the Graduate Student Alliance issued a resolution calling for administrators to reduce comprehensive fees. The resolution, sent to the University Bursar and the Dean of the Graduate School among other sources, was formed to assist students. “We just want people to realize there are two kinds of students, undergraduate and graduate students, and that their needs are different,” said Joe McFadden, graduate student in dairy science and president of GSA. For many graduate students, the amount of time they stay in school puts a strain on their financial situation. “The longer and longer you stay in college, the more likely you are to accumulate debt,” McFadden said. The two fees addressed in the resolution are the comprehensive fees that graduate students pay and the $45 fee for graduate students using the Budget Tuition Plan to pay their comprehensive fees. The GSA called for an immediate suspension of the $45 fee. “The $45 fee should be removed or redistributed. They could take it out of our paycheck or stretch the fee out in smaller increments over time,” said Toni Stroter, graduate student in learning sciences
and technology and vice president of GSA. The timing of the fees was also an item of concern. As it currently stands, comprehensive fees come directly out of a graduate student’s paycheck. This fee can be most, if not all, of a first paycheck of the semester for students working assistantships for the university. These fees can be detrimental for students, especially those with multiple commitments. “Many graduate students are parents, commute, own houses, and also carry previous debt, and have needs for medical insurance, among other things,” Stroter said. “Having money come out of your first paycheck puts you at a major disadvantage.”
ON THE WEB PDF: Check out a PDF of the GSA resolution on our Web site The costs also have a negative effect on recruiting for the graduate school of high quality recruits, many of whom have limited funds among other financial difficulties. “These fees put our school at a competitive disadvantage,” McFadden said. “I’ve talked to some faculty members and they’re seeing top students go elsewhere.” Karen Depauw, dean of the graduate school, said
Joe McFadden, president of the GSA, led a new intiative to lower fees for graduate students. she and other administrators were working on extending fees over time. “It’s not just in the hands of the graduate school. Any change in fees has to be worked in with the budget office,” Depauw said. “I know what the concerns are, and I’m trying to work with all parties involved.” As part of assisting students, stipends and tuition remissions, along with other financial aid, would be extended to students. “Graduate school is
expensive, so with funds hopefully we can bring in and retain as many students as we can,” Depauw said. Depauw also added that for the upcoming fall semester the school would cover 82.5 percent of health insurance premiums for students. “We don’t need a miracle here. We just want to alleviate the burden for graduate students,” Stroter said.
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