tuesday september 23, 2008 blacksburg, va.
news HUMAN BONES FOUND AT MOUNTAIN LAKE Human skeletal remains were found in Giles County on Saturday by a group of visitors. People walking along the bed of Mountain Lake, now completely dry, discovered the bones, as well as coins, a class ring, and shoes. According to Giles police, the latest coin was dated 1920.
sports WOMEN’S SOCCER FALLS IN DOUBLE OT TO JMU Despite a single-game record three assists by Julian Johnson, the Hokies lost to visiting James Madison, 4-3, in two overtimes. An article on the team’s season so far and a look ahead will appear in Wednesday’s paper.
VOLLEYBALL EQUALS BEST START IN TEAM HISTORY With wins over UNC Wilmington and UNC Ashville, the Tech volleyball team is 9-2, tying its best start in 13 years. The Hokies won the Seahawk Classic, claiming its third tournament championship this season.
weather SUNSHINE high 73, low 50
corrections In the news article “William & Mary student pushes for party unity,” (CT, Sept. 19) Virginia Tech political science professor Craig Brians was mistakenly identiﬁed as Craig Burns. In the editorial, “McComas parking situation hinders eﬀective treatment,” (CT Sept. 17) the price for a student parking permit for the 2007-2008 school year was incorrectly reported. The actual price was $96. The Collegiate Times regrets these errors. If you see something in today’s paper that needs to be corrected, please e-mail our public editor at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 540.231.9865.
coming up TOMORROW’S CT Find out why our sports staﬀ thinks the running quarterback era is coming to a close.
Go behind the scenes with Justin “Beatbox Guy” Stein as he beatboxes through his day.
index News.....................2 Features................3 0pinions................5
Classifieds..............7 Sports....................4 Sudoku..................7
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 105th year issue 84
A look inside athletic suspensions CALEB FLEMING
ct new river valley editor College football’s prestigious programs have always seen disciplinary tribulations plague their top athletes. Though it is commonly inferred that suspended football players are barred from practice and games, few actually know the loss of privileges and scholarship implications that ensue with an indefinite suspension.
GIFTED ATHLETES BATTLE THE COURTS Virginia Tech wide receiver Zach Luckett, a redshirt sophomore, was expected to make a big impact for the Hokies this season. Instead, he was suspended indefinitely before the opening game.
On Aug. 17, Luckett was arrested for driving under the influence, his second in as many years, and for driving on a suspended license. Tests showed that he had a .16 blood alcohol content at the time of his arrest. Though the DUI was Luckett’s first in Blacksburg, he has had a series of legal troubles since enrolling at Tech, including a public urination charge that he was fined for in August 2006 and a seatbelt violation in November 2006 for which he was also fined. In the summer of 2007, Luckett was charged with a failure to stop at the scene of an accident, a charge that was later dismissed. Because of Luckett’s most recent offenses, he has faced disciplinary action from both the football team and judicial affairs office.
Tech’s alcohol-policy states, “if you are arrested or receive a summons for an alcohol related violation within either the town of Blacksburg or Montgomery County, your case will also be referred to the Virginia Tech judicial system for further action.” For major offenses, including DUIs and other criminal actions that seriously endanger a student’s well-being, students face deferred suspensions. Students are required to take alcohol awareness classes or face suspension. “They gave me three sessions of in-depth counseling where you talk to someone and they try to see what happened and if you have alcohol problems,” Luckett said. Luckett added that he has much more interaction with the players than the coaches since his suspen-
sion began. Thus far, he said that the talks with his teammates have been uplifting. “I see the guys on the team a lot on campus on the weekdays and on weekends, but I don’t see the coaches too much,” Luckett said. His teammates, “are telling me to stay strong, encouraging me to keep my head up and keep moving forward. Letting me know that whenever I am allowed to come back they’ll be there for me. They tell me they’re playing for me.” Luckett has a disposition hearing on Thursday, but was unsure of how he would plead. The outcome of the hearing will play a significant role in Luckett’s status on the football team. “The court date is Thursday, and I’ll talk to Coach after that,” Luckett said. “I come back and talk to the coaches
once a week to let them know what’s going on. My lawyer is handling everything.” Luckett is presently allowed to use the academic services provided for athletes, though he is barred from all the sporting facilities that the team can use. But Luckett said that he is working out regularly to prepare himself, just not in the team weight room. “I’m working out at McComas and playing basketball,” Luckett said. “I go alone right after my classes. I have late class every day, so after that I go and stay in shape by playing basketball. I meet with (the academic) counselor once a week.” Though Luckett has now missed
see SUSPENSION, page two
Meet your campus legend: ‘Beatbox Guy’ JUSTIN STEIN, ALSO KNOWN AS ‘BEAT BOX GUY,’ HAS MADE THE WALK TO CLASS AN ADVENTURE. MEET THE MUSIC MAN BEHIND THE MYTH. TOPHER FORHECZ
features reporter On his way to class, Justin Stein, a junior graduating with a degree in computer science in December 2009, gets a lot of looks. Heads immediately snap back as he makes his way to and from class. Some give bewildered glances, attempting to make sense of his passing while others nod and smile — but either way, everyone seems to notice. Outwardly, it’s hard to wonder why. Sitting outside of Squires on a clear Friday, he is somewhere around six feet tall and juggling a computer, bags and a jacket. He looks like another industrious college kid feeling the grind of a stagnating semester. But on campus, wherever Stein seems to walk, the sound of bass and beats seems to follow him; in fact, they emanate from him — specifically his mouth — as Stein is beatboxing. “You hear him before you see him,” said Ryan Knight, a senior mechanical engineer major who started spotting Stein on campus last spring. “It’s always around McBryde. I don’t know why.” Beatboxing, the vocalization of traditionally hip-hop and sometimes electronic-influenced rhythms and sounds, has become a way for Stein to enjoy himself wherever he may be. “I beatbox in between all of my classes when I’m walking on campus, I beatbox when I’m driving, and I beatbox in the shower,” Stein said, who
transferred to Virginia Tech last spring from the University of Washington in Seattle. Stein decided to learn how to beatbox after seeing someone perform it for him. Initially, he figured out sounds and beats on his own, and then began using the Internet to find answers to his beatboxing needs. Stein’s beatboxing has begun to give him a certain level of fame around campus. “He is known around campus,” Knight said. “Everybody knows him as ‘the beatbox kid;’ apparently nobody minds.”
ON THE WEB Follow campus beat-box legend Justin Stein as he strolls to class, deals with the gawking stares of his peers, and explains his skills in our multimedia presentation at www.collegiatetimes.com. The popularity has also spawned two Facebook groups titled “BeatBox Guy is My Hero” from his old school and “Help Us Find Beatboxing Kid!” from Tech. Both pages are littered with reports of sightings including times and dates, encounters, and someone announcing to the whole page that the “Beatbox Kid’s” name is Justin Stein every few posts. Stein isn’t bothered by the fact that some people make note of his every move on campus and enjoys reading the comments left on the page.
“I like to read the messages in it,” Stein said. “And people say ‘oh, you know, he made my day’ and that’s something that really makes me feel good because in essence, I’m just doing my own thing, but the fact that people really appreciate that gives me a really good feeling.” “I wouldn’t say he makes my day,” said Laura Nixon, who frequently spotted Stein outside of McBryde on Tuesdays and Thursdays last spring. “But he can definitely contribute to a good day.” Nixon remembers one of the times she encountered the beat box kid on campus. “One time I was under Torg(ersen) Bridge,” she said, “it was really loud so that kind of scared me, but I like it.” Over time, Stein has noticed that people’s reactions are different in Blacksburg than from where he transferred. “Actually, I really didn’t get that much of a response,” he said of students who heard him in Seattle. “Not that much at all, but over here people nod at me. Maybe it’s just a regional thing
see BEATBOX, page two
Fighting ‘death and destruction,’ Torgersen one Campus Cruizer at a time beats cancer, JUSTIN GRAVES
ct news staﬀ writer There are lots of sales pitches that Campus Cruizers owners Damon and Ashley Strickland can offer for their range of scooters. But none quite like that offered by Richard Rich, Tech professor of political science. “This business opening here is a good thing, when you consider the alternatives and that most other paths lead to death and destruction,” Rich said, adding that transportation costs are often the most fossil-fuel intensive activities that average citizens undertake during the course of their day. Campus Cruizers, an independently owned scooter company that just opened a location in downtown Blacksburg, is seeking to contribute to the sustainability movement. Owner Damon Strickland and wife Ashley hope to provide affordable, but also quality alternative forms of transportation to area consumers. “Our take on it really has to do with convenience, efficiency and ease of use,” Ashley Strickland said. “The environment here is always growing, and we want to help out all of these college students, too.” Damon Strickland and business partner Chris Lyon are Tech alumni, graduating in 1999. They wanted to help solve common problems that affect college students based on the results of a survey they issued. They found Tech students were frustrated with the lack of retail, lack of parking, and the volume of traffic around town. Campus Cruizers’ products
consist of mo-peds that travel at a maximum speed of 35 mph with no license, registration, or insurance necessary for operation. While the owners don’t work directly with the school, they have the interests of its students and the environment in mind. Damon Strickland said they wanted to help students and others in the Blacksburg community realize there is a lifestyle behind scooters as an alternative, more environmentally friendly form of transportation. “These scooters are cool and affordable,” Damon Strickland said. “In Europe, they’re really popular, and I think they’ll eventually hit mainstream in Blacksburg.” The new scooters are promoted with the fact that they give off fewer emissions than most other forms of transportation. They also help cut down on the parking problems that frustrate students and faculty alike. Tech has multi-million dollar plans to build ten parking garages around campus over the next few years. “It would be less expensive for the school if using fewer cars, mass transit, bike, scooter, and walking were promoted,” Rich said. “We have been convinced to think that walking is an alternative mode of transportation, while in fact, it should be primary.” Senior human nutrition, foods and exercise major Rebecca MacDanel cited gas prices and the environment as her main reasons for purchasing a scooter from Campus Cruizers. “With expensive gas and a deteriorating economy, buying
moves back to old habits RILEY PRENDERGAST
ct news reporter
Owners of Campus Cruizers hope to increase sustainability by providing other forms of transportation such as mo-peds. one was a really practical idea,” MacDanel said. “I’ve learned what polluting the environment so much can do to your body, so I wanted to do my part.” Alex Chidester, also a senior HNFE major and close friend of MacDanel, encouraged her to make a purchase from Campus Cruizers. “The owners are really nice people,” Chidester said. “That kind of approach is needed for them to keep doing what they’re doing, and get more business from Tech students.” Campus Cruizers’ business is surpassing even the owners’ expectations. After having sold
more than a dozen scooters, two-dozen helmets, and clothing in less than a month, the Campus Cruizers’ grand opening dedication ceremony was held last Thursday where Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam and members of the Blacksburg Chamber of Commerce were in attendance. Campus Cruizers plans to branch out in the future, as potential plans include expansion to other college campuses after measuring the success of its current location. “We’ve been focused on just getting here and getting open,” Damon Strickland said. “And now we’re getting into the marketing strategy, and getting out there.”
Students around the Virginia Tech campus may have noticed the void left in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. After being diagnosed with throat cancer, former university President and long-time professor Paul Torgersen began traveling last May to the University of North Carolina Medical School for treatment. Now 76 years of age, Torgersen knew he faced an upward battle. But Torgerson has come out on top, having been given a clean bill of health. He now plans to return to the classroom. “Even though he has been given a clean bill of health, they (his doctors) will still be keeping an eye on him with check once a month,” said Karen TORGERSEN ups Torgersen, Paul Torgersen’s daughter. “They are going to monitor him for the next five years.” “Physically I’m feeling alright, I just tire very easily,” Paul Torgersen said. “I am hoping to return towards the end of the semester for about nine to half a dozen lectures if my strength returns. My doctors told me it would take about six to eight months,” said Paul Torgersen. Paul Torgersen has been a fixture at Tech for just shy of fifty years, serving as the Dean of the College of Engineering, interim President in 1988, and university President from 1994-1999. For Paul Torgersen, Tech has become not only a place of employment, but also a family affair. “Out of his nine grandchildren, six have either graduated, or are still attending Virginia Tech,” Karen
have a news tip? want to see something in the CT? e-mail email@example.com
see TORGERSEN, page two