friday november 7, 2008 blacksburg, va.
FORUM TO DISCUSS TOWN ISSUES On Tuesday, Nov. 11, the Town of Blacksburg and the Urban Aﬀairs and Planning Student Association are hosting a forum for undergraduate students to discuss issues concerning the Town of Blacksburg and its relationship with Virginia Tech. Topics discussed at the forum will likely include commercial development, sustainability and parking issues. The event, titled “What’s the Deal, Blacksburg?: Community Conversation ’08,” will take place from 7-9 p.m. in the Architecture Annex room 7.
VANDALISM IN VET MED BUILDING Virginia Tech police are currently investigating a breaking and entering that occurred at the Veterinarian Medicine Research facility on Nov. 4. The case, which is still active, also states that a ﬁle cabinet in the facility was vandalized. Anyone with information can call the Virginia Tech Police Department at 540-231-6411.
Darren Evans, 32, breaks through the tackle of defensive backs Terrell Skinner, 1, Anthony Wiseman, 6. Evans rushed for 253 yards against the University of Maryland in 23-13 win.
photo essay HOKIE HARVEST IN PICTURES
Catch a glimpse of last week’s annual Hokie Harvest Sale via photo essay. page nine
sports WOMEN’S SOCCER IN SEMIFINAL AGAINST VIRGINIA Fresh oﬀ their opening round upset of Florida State, the Tech women’s soccer team plays Virginia in the semiﬁnal round of the ACC Tournament. The game will kick oﬀ at 7:30 tonight on Thompson ﬁeld.
ct sports reporter It doesn’t take a math major to decipher this equation. Thursday night plus Lane Stadium equals Virginia Tech success. That formula held true against the No. 23 Maryland Terrapins. The Hokies (63, 3-2 ACC) staved off a third quarter Terps’ (6-3, 3-2) run to win 23-13. There was serious question prior to the game as to who would line up behind center. In the loss to Florida State on Oct. 25, both Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon were injured, while third-stringer Cory Holt finished the game. Glennon was healthy enough to be tapped as the starter on Thursday — a game-time decision by head coach Frank Beamer. However, it would be running back Darren Evans who would grab the spotlight. Evans, a redshirt freshman from Indianapolis, had 32 carries for a school-record 253 yards. “We said we needed to run the football better,” Beamer said. “And when (Darren Evans) got in there he
got hot. There were some holes there and when he got in there he ran strong, really strong at the end.” He also produced his ninth touchdown of the season when he dived into the end zone from a yard out. “Evans broke a lot of tackles, which hurt us throughout the game,” Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen said.
ON THE WEB Check out collegiatetimes.com for a photo gallery and more coverage of last night’s matchup with Maryland. Although Evans had the second Hokie score of the contest, Glennon and Greg Boone produced the first. After a 46-yard field goal attempt by Maryland kicker Obi Egekeze sailed wide right, Glennon led an 11-play, 71-yard drive that culminated in a five-yard toss from to Boone in the back of the end zone. “It would have taken a broken leg to get me out of that game,” Glennon said. Boone also took snaps at quarterback — although he didn’t attempt a
pass — and took handoffs as a running back. “We took last week and worked on (Boone at quarterback) a little bit,” Beamer said. “I think that can keep developing and I think we have some possibilities there.” Maryland came back with a nine play, 56-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 41-yard field goal from Egekeze. Maryland quarterback Chris Turner threw for 55 yards on the drive, but was held to 74 yards in the first half. After the Hokies produced an 80yard drive, resulting in Evans’ score, Tech finished the half with a 35-yard field goal from Dustin Keys. The Tech defense stepped up immediately in the second half. Turner dropped back to pass on the first play of the third quarter and was sacked by defensive end Orion Martin, causing a fumble that was recovered by Cordarrow Thompson. Martin has a sack in five of his last six games. Tech was unable to move the ball any farther, settling instead for a 30-yard field goal from Keys. But the Terps would produce the rest of the third-quarter points. The Maryland offense would not be
Blacksburg moves to invigorate downtown
PARTLY SUNNY high 73, low 43
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“And when (Darren Evans) got in there he got hot. There were some holes there and when he got in there he ran strong, really strong at the end.” - FRANK BEAMER HEAD FOOTBALL COACH After the Hokie offense was stymied, the special teams encountered trouble. Brent Bowden’s punt traveled just 15 yards when Torrey Smith blocked the ball. After Tech’s defense held strong, the Terrapins were forced to punt. However, as the punt landed on the ground inside the Maryland 20-yard line, the ball went off Cam Chancellor’s back. It was recovered by the Terps, who resumed possession at the Tech 11. However, Maryland had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Egekeze. “In the third quarter there were some
ct news reporter
A local nonprofit group and a town grant program plan to provide funds for interior and exterior renovations for downtown Blacksburg merchants beginning in 2009. Blacksburg’s Downtown Revitalization Committee and the Blacksburg Partnership Foundation are prepared to disburse funds through a loan and a grant program to Blacksburg businesses seeking to renovate their storefronts and inside spaces as a way to encourage investment downtown. Both plans aim to revitalize a downtown ever more distinguished by empty storefronts and KYLE MOIR/SPPS blighted properties. Blacksburg Town Council’s The town unveiled new investment incentives to combat the Downtown Revitalization string of empty storefronts in downtown Blacksburg. Committee will review a $50,000 business in the building within a matching grant program that will university officials. “We have a pilot program; it’s year,” Hanratty said. “When you allow qualifying local businesses our first year trying this. We’ll see an active storefront — that to refurbish their storefronts. The town will also look at an receive a $50,000 federal com- contributes to a vibrant downadditional $10,000 for project munity block grant which we’ll town.” Anderson said the monies design in addition to the match- give as matching funds — up to ing grant program. This would $25,000 — to any business that provided by the town must go cover up to 20 percent of archi- wants to renovate their facade,” toward facade work only, but that matching funds provided by the Anderson said. tecture design costs. “Any for-profit business in the business may go elsewhere. “This would probably end up “Businesses who want to parcovering some internal work,” downtown commercial district Housing and Neighborhood zoning area that’s current on their ticipate have to turn in a detailed Services Manager Matt Hanratty taxes would qualify,” Hanratty renovation plan and must turn in receipts accounting for the funds,” said. said. Hanratty said buildings with Anderson said. Councilwoman Susan Hanratty said any type of forAnderson chairs the Downtown empty storefronts would also Revitalization Committee, which qualify, but with additional profit business would qualify. is made up of local residents, caveats. see DOWNTOWN, page two “They’d have to have a for-profit business owners and town and
ugly things, but what we are really proud of is our football team hung in there …the defense hung in there and held them to a field goal,” Beamer said. “I am really proud of our offense.” The Hokie offense steadily moved the ball down the field in the beginning of the fourth quarter, ending with a Keys 27-yard field goal. The Lou Groza Award semi-finalist is now 19for-22 on the season. Behind the running of Evans, the Hokies ran out the clock on their 15th win in 18 games on Thursday night ESPN telecasts — 8-2 at Lane. Glennon, bum leg and all, finished 14-for-20 with 127 yards through the air, including a touchdown. On the receiving end, freshman Danny Coale caught three passes for 38 yards. Coale was one of seven Hokies who had a reception. Defensively, linebacker Cody Grimm — who had two sacks against Florida State — had seven tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. Martin and Dorian Porch each recorded six tackles. The Hokies will take on Miami (6-3, 5-2 ACC) next Thursday in Miami. The game, broadcast on ESPN, will kick off at 7:30 p.m.
Mental health funding to see limited state cuts GORDON BLOCK
ct news reporter
halted, as it came up with a six play, 98-yard touchdown drive, capped off by a 63-yard pass from Turner to wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Mental health care in Virginia could soon see gloomy times because of budget cuts from the state. Gov. Tim Kaine has cuts to mental health funding at an estimated $2 million for the 2009 fiscal year. Virginia is in the midst of major financial cuts across the board. Kaine predicted that the budget shortfall for the years of 2009 and 2010 would fall around $2.5 billion. For 2009, the budget is expected to be short by $973.6 million. In 2010, the state is preparing for a $1.54-billon shortfall. Kaine has placed mental health care along with core services, K-12 education and public safety as areas where the state would attempt to avoid cuts. “Gov. Kaine has made it clear that mental health funding is one his top priorities,” said Gordon Hickey, Kaine’s press secretary. “He is doing all that he can to prevent cuts to funding mental health care.” To make the $2-million cut, the state condensed human resources and information technology in the mental health sector budget. Many around the issue were certain that the cuts for 2009 would not hurt mental health patient care. “The 2009 cuts were not severe. The services for the community service boards and in the communities were not cut for 2009,” said Paula Price, executive director of Mental Health America of Virginia. While mental health may have avoided substantial cuts in the 2009 fiscal year budget, mental health may not find itself exempt from cuts for the 2010 budget. “It’s going to be extremely important for those involved to be aware of those cuts,” Price said. Price noted that the cuts were a problem for more than mental health care.
“We’re all going to have to share in these economic cuts,” Price said. Despite the worries, Hickey was adamant that Kaine would work to avoid large cuts for mental health treatment. Hickey hoped that any necessary cuts would target administrative costs. “The goal would be to have no effect on patient care,” Hickey said. However, others were not so sure about the quality of patient care in regards to the budget cuts. “Any deep cuts made to community service boards would affect patient care,” said Meghan McGuire, director of communication and media relations for the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. “It would narrow the scope of services it would be able to provide.” Also making matters worse for mental health care providers is the possibility of higher demand for their services in the wake of hard economic times across the board. “My biggest concern is with the economic downturn there will be more need,” Price said. “Nothing is more stressful than going through financial troubles.” A spike in demand combined with lesser funding could lead to longer waits for treatment. “A lot of it is the waiting lists will be longer,” Price said. Long wait times could also lead to people turning away from vital treatment. “If you call in for an appointment, and they tell you that you’ll have to wait for two weeks, you might not want to go any more.” This could present problems for those suffering from mental illnesses. “Any time you have higher demand and less options, there’s a possibility that people can fall through the cracks,” Price said. Gov. Kaine will make his recommendations on budget cuts for the 2010 fiscal year in mid-December.
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friday, november 7, 2008
$500K grant supports economic stimulus in Southside ARTUR WOLEK
ct news staﬀ writer The decline of Virginia’s tobacco and textile industries has hit especially hard in Danville, which in 2005-06 recorded unemployment at 9.2 percent — one of the highest rates in the state. But with outreach from Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic
Development and its partners on the state and local level, Danville is in the midst of a high-tech transformation. Jeremy Stratton, the director of Danville’s economic development department, said the effort by Tech has facilitated the creation of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, which Stratton calls a “growing influence on the local economy and a symbol of the change Danville needs as we transfer from a
tobacco and textile community.” On Sept. 3 a three-year grant of $525,000, a 33-percent increase from previous federal support, was awarded to the OED by the United States Economic Development Administration in support of the Danville program. The office has worked with the USEDA for more than 20 years, and external grants and contracts account for the majority of its budget, which
stands at $1 million. The institute is a state-of-the-art facility that operates in partnership with Tech, among other universities, and whose mission is to be a catalyst for economic and community transformation. Since its creation in 2005, it has already attracted two high-tech companies to the city: NextGen Aeronautics and the Advanced Vehicle Research Center. Stratton predicts that the institute will “have a long-term impact that we will begin to see in the next five to 10 years.” Tech’s OED works to match the resources, faculty expertise, research and equipment at the university with the needs of Virginia’s corporations, governments, non-profit organizations and communities. The office operates across the state; however, it has recognized Southwestern and Southside Virginia as target areas
where the relative unemployment rates are high and annual income is low. The team, directed by Ted Settle, will use the grant money to develop existing and new economic development initiatives. The office’s strength lies in its tight relationship with partners and ability to provide industry and communities access to Tech’s resources and faculty. Mark Pierson, a professor at Tech, works to coordinate research with AREVA — a nuclear power company — and the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research in Lynchburg. Pierson receives requests for help in different areas and finds the right people at Tech for the job. Pierson said that the EOD acts as a “facilitator” and “matchmaker” to bring independent agencies and groups together to achieve their goals. Recent efforts of the office and
its partners have resulted in a $32million investment by the Virginia Tobacco Commission in the creation of four energy centers in Virginia. The commission is responsible for allocating state funds to counties that have suffered from the decline of the tobacco industry and are eligible for assistance. In the context of the current energy crisis, Pierson believes these energy centers will be very valuable to the state. “Four energy centers will concentrate on different parts of the energy problem,” Pierson said, adding that each center will focus on nuclear, clean coal, biomass or wind energy research. They will be located in Bedford, Abingdon, Danville and Halifax. Pierson said that it is expected that these energy centers will “draw in new businesses” and develop existing business clusters.
Downtown: As empty retail space abounds, town plans renewal from page one
“I’m sure people have their preferences, and we could probably justify placing some restrictions, but we think it’s more important to restore business elements visible from the public rightof-way,” Hanratty said. Grant funding comes from Blacksburg’s federal entitlement allotment, which is also used to fund affordable housing projects. The local nonprofit Blacksburg Partnership Foundation also intends to provide funds for renovations of either interiors or exteriors of downtowns’ businesses. The Blacksburg Partnership Foundation is a public/private partnership that includes the Town of Blacksburg, Virginia Tech and local businesses. Partnership Foundation President Diane Akers said funds would be disbursed based on need and would include a matching fund requirement. “We want to make these funds available for anybody downtown who needs them,” Akers said. “The Board of Directors has approved this program; we hope to start it in taking applications in January.” Akers said that the partnership is still working out the details, but any business in the Blacksburg downtown commercial district would qualify for funds.
“This is part of an overall effort to revitalize downtown,” Akers said. “We’re considering other things that haven’t been finally decided, such as maybe rebating part of business licensing fees or water connection costs.”
“I’m sure people have their preferences, and we could probably justify placing some restrictions, but we think it’s more important to restore business elements visible from the public right-of-way.” - MATT HANRATTY HOUSING AND NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES MANAGER Anderson is a member of the Partnership’s Board of Directors as well as head of the town’s Community Development Advisory Board. Anderson said the funds would be available through a revolving loan program that would allow limited funds to be available multiple times to multiple applicants. “This is a revolving loan program. We approved the program, but a subcom-
mittee administers it. The idea is to loan out up to $5,000 to downtown business and recoup that money and re-loan it to other businesses,” Anderson said. Anderson said the partnership’s money came from fundraising projects. “The partnership ran the Hokie Bird campaign to raise funds for the partnership,” Anderson said. Akers said that the Hokie Bird sale would take place on Nov. 7. Birds will be sold for roughly $4,500 each. “The money the birds bring in is how we fund the revolving loan program,” she said. Blacksburg has been considering solutions for the ailing downtown since 2000, commissioning several studies as well as replacing sidewalks, planting trees and installing park benches along Main Street.” Hanratty said the Downtown Revitalization Committee had begun taking applications and would continue through the middle of February. The committee would review, score and rank applicants, and Town Council will begin deciding who will receive funds by March 5. “We’re scheduling this trying to be sensitive to business’ needs,” Hanratty said. “We think construction will begin in May on the first phase.”
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november 7, 2008
He said, she said: Bus ride nurtures awkwardness Ah, the unintentional morning dry hump that is the bus. There is no better way to start off your day than standing on the bus wondering TOPHER which wrong place you’ll put your FORHECZ hand today that features will win you a trip reporter to Schiffert and an epic amount of make-up work once you recover from the feverish delirium. The bus is a HE SAID necessity for most Tech kids; unfortunately, this can mean that students might run into a few blasts from the past on the way to class. Maybe it’s that girl from freshman year you told you wanted to run away with, but you meant only until McDonald’s breakfast. There could also be someone from class who might have let you borrow their notes. Often such blasts from the past tend to have a name that is based on some experience you had when you met them. The names can fall under something as basic as “Madame Pukey Pants” or something more cryptic as “The Reason I Passed.” More often than not, though, the fact that you haven’t talked to this person in a while means you really aren’t interested in doing it at a time during the day when the only thing that could make you move faster than a shuffle is an adrenaline shot. There are a few methods for avoiding these awkward situations. Just like putting your hands in your pockets when standing in the front of the bus means you’re less likely to be on the pervert side of an accidental pat when the driver slams on his brakes going up a hill for the fourth time, the methods of avoidance are part of the bus etiquette that can only be learned from grizzly 8 a.m. classes and long days on campus. These methods of avoidance sometimes have to do with space — such as when the blast from the past is sitting up front. That means their eyes can’t deem you the world’s biggest jerk when you board the bus and make a bee line for the back while staring at the floor because it looks extra gray today. Also, headphones normally guarantee that awkwardness will be minimal; everyone can normally tell this because they can hear that you
are listening to music from every possible position on the bus. On a good day, standing around four or five people who won’t be able to hear their grandchildren laugh because they’re really into premature deafness, a person need not even bring their own iPod on the bus because the music from all the different headphones fuses together to form one obnoxious blend of rock, rap and that song where Rihanna has to sample from an Internet video because she ran out of New Order songs to take from. I know it’s a T.I. song, but sampling from a Youtube hit makes you about as serious an artist as Rupal
The names can fall under something as basic as “Madame Pukey Pants” or something more cryptic like “The Reason I Passed.” does Christmas. No matter whom someone is talking to, speaking on the bus can become an uncomfortable scenario as people begin to pack in. Sure, everyone wants to listen to you fail at having a conversation by asking that girl why she never made it out to your awesome party on Saturday, but it would only distract them from the terrible smell of some college enthusiast who assumes that showering is as optional as pass/fail. All of these references tend to be more geared toward the daytime weekday bus trips. On the weekend, however, the bus’ functions transform from a method of transportation to, among other things, a portable karaoke club. People on weekend nights also tend to travel to different territories on the bus. Sometimes students take a historic angle and do a mock version of the 20thcentury space race by trying to see who can get the highest flip using the top rails before the bus driver notices
and starts frothing at the mouth. Try it next time; the sky’s the limit — just until the police arrive. Just remember that angering and degrading the people around you on the bus is fine, but messing with the bus driver is never an option. This isn’t to say that getting yelled at is really messing with the driver, and in the instance of the space race it’s an impromptu historical recreation. But, on top of their probably too-welllived-in black throne, bus drivers hold some type of unique power over all of those in their domain to the point that they can even make people undress (“Take off the backpacks!”). Knowing that there are only two exits out and the driver controls both of them is another reason to let them cruise.
Take a psychiatrist for a ride on the Blacksburg Transit bus, and you’ve practically tossed a kid into a candy store. Or a chick BETHANY into a Victoria’s BUCHANAN Secret with her boyfriend’s credit features card. editor You not only get a free ride with that Hokie Passport of yours — you get to witness firsthand the many kinds of complexes that plague the human race. SHE SAID Picture it. It’s a sunny Blacksburg afternoon, and you’re just one of many waiting in front of Burruss for that fateful Toms Creek B Blacksburg Transit bus to come sweep you off to the
MINA NOORBAKHSH/COLLEGIATE TIMES
Math Emporium to take a four-minute quiz (may God help your poor soul). Life is calm — unless you’re like me and always make a mad, hurried and often belated dash to the Empo — when, over the horizon near Torg, that huge slab of metal is painstakingly, slowly making its way to its next stop. Your ride has arrived. You must have a seat on that bus, or else you fail — not just the quiz, but you fail life. And you’re no failure. As if you were a Tech receiver sprinting for a touchdown against UVa, you spring into action and leap to that little hallowed spot you just know the doors will open right in front of and claim your place in line. You might not be staking your flag on the moon, but at least you have a spot on the bus. Same difference. The brakes cry as the bus makes its dramatic stop. The doors open as if they were the gates of heaven, welcoming, inviting, air-conditioned and offering Wi-Fi. The driver even pretends to be patient as you hurriedly fish through your cluttered purse for that sacred piece of plastic on which your math grade depends (you have no quarters since you use those for laundry). You end up finding your passport in your jacket — go figure — and finally make your way aboard. You pass an eclectic collection of people on the way to your seat who the psychiatrist would be delighted to meet. First of all, and most apparently, there’s this random girl in the seat behind the driver talking so loud on a cell phone that you’d think she was a tortured goose squawking in pain. You’d like to put her out of her misery, but you don’t have the money to replace her Blackberry — or to pay for a lawyer. So you resign yourself for a seat in the very, very back horizontal
row and still hear all about how Jessica threw up all over the bathroom in the frat house last Saturday and how no one would be caught dead hanging out with her. Don’t even try to give her a subtle clue of how loud she’s talking because she’ll just flip her long brown hair over, cross one toothpick leg over the over, shoot you a death glare with her painted eyes as if you’re the rude one and talk even louder, just to spite you. Such times make you wish you were like that kid in the seat in front of the door who was prepared for such an emergency and toted along with him on his journey to the University Mall his 80 GB iPod. The bright white ear buds can barely be noticed behind his long, straight greasy black hair. His dark eyes dart back and forth nervously from behind his silver-rimmed glasses — especially when a sorority girl takes the seat one away from his — and you wonder who dropped him on his head when he was a baby. You’ll think he has a deeper, much more meaningful relationship with his iPod than with his mother. Other riders do not lack the courage for social interaction, much to your dismay. Kind of like that squawking goose of a girl on the cell phone, the boisterous freshmen in the back will enlighten you (ha!) with their banter about that party on Friday night where one downed two cases of Natty and the other took a couple dozen Jello shots and somehow still lived to talk about it — especially since they did it all under their RA’s nose. They’ll continue their worthless conversation with their thoughts on the football game, whom to choose next for quarterback, and wondering where their stop will be if they’re on their way to Wal-Mart. And you’ll smile to yourself because they’re on Toms Creek B, not the Two-Town Trolley. So there you have it: the girl who is desperate for attention, the boy who is antisocial, the just plain annoying overly eager freshmen, plus your crazy self. Should the psychiatrist in these desperate times ever need to find more clients, he has certainly hit the jackpot. And just think, as soon as 9 p.m. rolls around on a Friday or Saturday night, these people will be drunk and singing Bohemian Rhapsody off-key and at the top of their lungs. Don’t even get me started on the drunk bus.
friday, november 7, 2008
Friendly Au Bon Pain worker serves up coffee, smiles TERESA TOBAT
ct features reporter
Au Bon Pain employee Donna Rogers, who said she can make 50 espresso drinks in 30 minutes, finishes up a a drink order for a student.
Before joining Au Bon Pain as a food production supervisor three years ago, Donna Rogers had never set foot in a coffee shop. And after three years at ABP, tastetesting almost all the coffee in the kiosk and three iced coffee drinks daily, Rogers has never set foot in a Starbucks. Although she may not be a coffee connoisseur, Rogers is dedicated to serving her customers the best products. “I try to do the best I can,” Rogers said. “Everybody should have it equal.” Rogers manages the ABP kiosk in Squires Student Center and said it is her own “island.” She is also responsible for training new employees and imparts her customer service philosophy to her trainees. “If you mess up, try to improve,” Rogers said. “Always be happy. Treat them like your family and they’ll keep coming back.” Special Forces Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Mark Ferrone, who goes by Sgt. Maj., said he recognizes Rogers’ strong work ethic and her good attitude. “She’d be a good person to work for,”
Ferrone said. “Attitude is contagious. She is always positive and upbeat.” Ferrone’s beverage of choice is a large Hot Mocha Blast with whipped cream. He drinks coffee all day and has a Mr. Coffee Concept coffee maker in his office in the Military Building, but goes to ABP two to five days a week for his mocha.
“I know about 75 percent of my customers by name. I know most of their orders.” - DONNA ROGERS ABP EMPLOYEE He also appreciates Rogers because she “gets the cadets in the habit of calling me Sgt. Maj.,” Ferrone said. Rogers said when the cadets shuffle in at 7:30 a.m. she’ll say “Good morning, cadets.” The cadets return the greeting and call her “Messy Mama.” “I might be messy when I make drinks, but no one can hold a candle to me,” Rogers said, who can make 50 espresso drinks in 30 minutes. Ferrone, who dressed as a hippie for Halloween, made sure to give Rogers a white daisy, which she sported tucked behind her right ear.
She works from 6 a.m. until around 2:30 p.m. daily. Rogers works the early shift so she can take her daughters, ages 12 and 15, to basketball and softball practice in the afternoon. She’ll come in the morning and start making bagel sandwiches. Between 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., the kiosk will serve roughly 100 to 150 sandwiches. ABP has sold as many as 200 in a single morning. “This is really high paced,” Rogers said. “You have to be on your toes. Not everyone can work in food service.” Despite the faced-paced environment, which Rogers has been part of since she worked at catering business when she was a student at Christiansburg High School, she finds time to be personable. “I know about 75 percent of my custumers by name,” Rogers said. “I know most of their orders.” To prove it, Rogers named Dean of Libraries Eileen Hitchingham’s order: A large coffee. Hitchingham gets her java hit almost every morning and usually fills her cup with morning blend. She said Rogers is a wonderful person and the best example of customer service. “She’s an excellent example of the kind of informal relationship you can
have at a university,” Hitchingham said. “If I’m wearing a new necklace, she’ll tell me she likes it.” Rogers was awarded Employee of the Year for ABP last year. Tom Fong, operations manager of ABP, hired Rogers three years ago and said she has one quality that you cannot teach: “They have that charisma or they don’t,” Fong said of his employees. Fong said Rogers is all he could want in an employee, and her philosophy toward people is “the most important customer is the one right in front of you.” Of the ABP staff as a whole, Fong said they are like family. “You have your moments, but at the end of the day everyone’s back on the same page,” Fong said. Fong has played paintball with Rogers and other ABP-ers. The group also put together an intramural softball team and lost all their games. Rogers said they are, “the happiest people on campus. I’ve been to places where (the employees) don’t even smile.” While their softball team may not have dominated on the playing field, Rogers said they have other group triumphs. “We’re a great team,” Rogers said. “You can’t do any better than ABP. We rock ‘n’ roll.”
Food for thought: YMCA Crafts Fair makes philanthropy a priority BETHANY BUCHANAN
ct features editor When Terri Lynn Howard became the Special Events Coordinator at the YMCA three years ago, she wasn’t exactly sure how to organize a crafts fair. But she did know one thing: She wanted to continue pursuing the goals of Emily Stuart, the past director of the Y from 1970-89. “Emily said her three goals after
she got going on the crafts fair were to involve the community and Tech — to get them together — to give crafters a venue and make money for the Y,” said Howard, who has been organizing this year’s crafts fair since February. “And I’m trying to continue that community feel.” Howard has taken measures to accomplish these goals. Since the crafts fair is being held in the University Mall this weekend and they can’t charge for admission, she is asking that every person who attends bring a non-perishable food item, such as a box of macaroni and cheese or a canned vegetable, which will be donated to the Interfaith Food Pantry here in Blacksburg. “Times are so hard right now. The economy is so bad, and there’s so much need out there. … They’re desperate for food,” Howard said. “They have so many new families they’re feeding, so I just called and I said, ‘Would you like me to do this?’” “And (Freda Cromer, who helps
run the pantry) said, ‘Bless you child.’ (Her appreciation) made me cry. You know, I could get nothing, or I could get 4,000 cans, 4,000 items,” Howard said.
YMCA CRAFTS FAIR WHEN: Today, Nov. 7, Noon to 7 p.m. Nov. 8, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m Nov. 9, Noon to 5 p.m. WHERE: University Mall WHAT TO BRING: A non-perishable, packaged food item, like macaroni and cheese, canned vegetables, etc. In addition to her efforts collecting food to benefit the pantry, Howard has decided not to charge booth commission for International Women in Need, an organization at the Women’s Center, because they are selling Kenyan bracelets and African fabric buttons at the crafts fair to help raise money for a power mill for
Kenyan women. “Providing them a free booth and not charging them a commission, that’s the connection to Tech, because the Women’s Center is Tech,” Howard said. Women’s Center Program Coordinator Kathy Lokale said that the customers who visited their booth at Steppin’ Out earlier in the year recommended the idea to apply for the crafts fair. “We were just trying to get information out about our project, trying to recruit volunteers to help … selling these African fabric buttons that we made, and we had a lot of people that came to our booth to give donations and to get information,” Lokale said. “They said that the African fabric buttons would be great to have at the YMCA crafts fair, and a lot of the people were saying that they hoped to see us there, so that’s kind of what tipped us off.” Lokale, whose husband is from Kenya, said the grassroots nature of
this project is what makes this project different from the others they’ve done in the past. “A group of women in Kenya formed this women’s giving circle just to get by with just basic needs,” Lokale said. “They would meet once a week or something and all pull their money together, and they would give that amount of money to whoever needed to go buy supplies, and they’d set aside 10 cents for savings. So, over time, they were able to raise about $150 to purchase land, and they wanted to start a small business. The women in Kenya came up with the power mill because they saw that as a need in their community. We’re just helping to raise awareness about the cause and help meet a need. Because we’re programmers, we’re event planners, we can raise the money.” IWiN has a goal of raising $7,500 to send them for the corn mill; with only $1,000 left to go, Lokale said that they hope to bring in about $300 or $400 from the crafts fair.
Praying with Lior
“People have been so generous, and it’s been like a real community project,” Lokale said. Furthermore, when the Women’s Center hosted an afternoon tea with a party of Kenyan professionals last April, the project received another sort of donation . “Since our project’s in Kenya, we wanted to present our project and get feedback from people from Kenya and see what they thought about it,” Lokale said. “And they were so generous. They pulled their money together, and they gave us like a $30 donation that day, and they had brought a bunch of Kenyan bracelets; they brought over a bunch of Kenyan artwork. … And they ended up giving it to our project for our silent auction. We had an African benefit dinner at Gillie’s in September, and we were able to raise over $1,300. It was so great.” IWiN will also be selling 10 of those
see CRAFTS, page six
NR November 8 & November 9: 7:00 & 9:15 November 10: 10:00, 7:00 & 9:15 November 12 & 13: 7:00 & 9:15
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november 7, 2008
It is important to take politics seriously — but not personally Whether you believe that the rhetoric of this political campaign was uniquely bad or just as bad as usual, we can all agree that we really ought to be able to do better. People can’t say that they don’t understand the urge toward negative campaigning — it does work, to some degree, after all — but almost no one endorses such tactics as being ideal. Why is this so? One of the most potent insights in the field of government in the past generation or so has been that “the personal is political.” The idea that, despite conventional understanding, some arenas of life are to be thought of as public and some as private is mistaken. Public political structures impact our lives to a much greater extent than was historically believed. Instead of merely providing opportunities for us to live out our own private lives in public, they actually alter our private lives by opening some doors but closing others. Whether the full extent of this controversial view is accurate, another sense of the phrase certainly seems to be: We do take politics personally, and frequently our politics are to be nobody’s business but our own. We are often told that it is impolite to discuss politics (and religion, too, of course) because we run the risk of offending others or being offended ourselves. This is certainly not an idle worry as we have all experienced uncomfortable situations where tempers have flared and appropriate respect has not been paid to our fellow conversationalists, but we really ought to take politics less personally. This does not mean that we should be less passionate about politics — not at all. Displaying a strong commitment to issues is still entirely possible and entirely appropriate, but it is not an identical emotion to displaying a strong commitment to a person. When we debate we are really debating ideas; we are not debating another person, as such. So we need to be aware and do our best to make others aware that when we are critiquing a position, we are not critiquing a person, and that any passion we display toward a view is not a reflection of how we feel about those who hold it. We have to improve the tone of our public dialogue before we can ask people to view their political views as more than personal. If you are under threat
of ideological assault every time you open your mouth, then you will refuse to treat your political deliberations as a matter for public debate. The desire to avoid offense is entirely understandable, but we must not mistake that rationale for the personal being political as an abiding one. Politics is public, even if we personally have to behave appropriately in public to allow it to be so. Democracy is not a matter of private individuals raising their hands on regular intervals in hopes of achieving a majority. It is a public discussion wherein private individuals debate others under public scrutiny so as to better achieve consensus on the issues that matter. Majorities matter as a logistical requirement for ensuring effective government, but we know that they are somewhat artificial. No one who votes Democratic agrees with everything about the Democratic Party, just as no one who votes Republican agrees with everything about the party. Achieving a majority in a two-party system is the technical product of the system, not of the political opinions of Americans. This does not mean that majorities are nothing, just that they are not everything. The secret ballot is a wonderful democratic development that allows people who worry about intimidation to be largely free of that worry, but it should not be taken as proof-positive that one’s political opinions are an entirely personal matter. Democracy is about talking to your neighbors about how you feel on the issues of the day in a polite manner, not informing them that it’s between you and the ballot box. It’s about providing arguments and being responsive to reasons, not claiming that such conversations violate discretion. Negative campaigning thrives on how little trust we have in our neighbors of differing political opinions — that only bad people make bad arguments. If we make a serious effort to understand the intimate details of one another’s stances, then we will find it much more difficult to believe the smears that are spread every election campaign. Politics is a serious business, but so is respecting our fellow participants in the political process.
Lake conflation, Smart Road confusion lead to ‘headaches’ These last two weeks as ombudsman have been exciting. For the first time this semester we’ve had some legitimate complaints CATE to deal with in regards to content. SUMMERS My goal is to use public these as examples editor to explain a little more about my job, how the paper works and how we deal with feedback from our readership. Don’t get me wrong; I welcome any and all comments from watchful readers. They give me something to do and I enjoy that. I’ve said time and time again that anyone should feel free to e-mail me with observations and comments — both positive and negative — and I will forward them appropriately. For example, last Thursday, an article ran in the CT called “Smart Road causes headaches” (CT, Oct. 30). The article explained why the Smart Road and the 460 bypass were originally built and why the Smart Road is not actually a road connecting Blacksburg and Roanoke. However, the headline for the article didn’t match the content. The managing editors chose this headline after a substantial debate. Their goal was to use the headline to incorporate the brain graphic they picked out for it with the content of the article. Admittedly, they lost focus. They wanted something that would supplement their cool illustration and chose something that didn’t quite match up with the story. In my three years at the CT I have seen the headline debate play out often. What happens is
that stories go through a lot of people: copy editors, section editors and managing editors. There are a lot of stories that get read in a less-than-substantial amount of time because reporters turn them in after deadline and the process becomes rushed. So by the time stories and graphics are placed on the page, people have forgotten the substance of what they read or there’s a mix-up in communication somewhere along the editorial lines. Last Thursday morning I received a call from a woman who worked for the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the organization which manages the Smart Road. She was distressed about the choice of headline. The managing editors and I conceded that the headline did not match the tone of the article and that it was better suited for that day’s editorial. We changed the headline online, and I wrote a correction for the next day’s paper. The same woman called me back a few minutes after we finished that call and demanded that we reprint the article in Friday’s paper with the proper headline. I passed her contact information on to our managing editor of editorial, because I do not deal with what is put in each day’s paper (I merely deal with the aftermath). Our managing editor spoke to the woman, telling her that he didn’t think the mistake warranted a reprint of the entire article and again apologized about the mix-up. Complaints like these are what I want to hear. If we messed something up, we’ll own up to it and correct it. You may also recall the descriptive picture of a fish carcass that dominated yesterday’s front page. Unfortunately, there was a major problem with this story. Somewhere along the line,
Mountain Lake and Smith Mountain Lake became the same thing. (In case you didn’t know, they are about 88 miles apart from each other. I didn’t learn that until just before my sophomore year.) By the time I had woken up to check my email, there were already messages in my inbox about this mix-up. I immediately read the story, but each time I re-read it I became more confused. The first half refers to the dry conditions at SML; the second half refers to dried up Mountain Lake. After calling around to the people responsible for the story, I determined that this is an instance where the section editor and the writer got their wires crossed, and the result was something completely confusing and jumbled. So we had an image and a headline that refers to the almost completely dessicated Mountain Lake along with quotes from an eaxpert on Mountain Lake, but all of these things were written referencing Smith Mountain Lake. While Smith Mountain Lake may be having water level problems of its own because of the drought, it is not the dried-up rock bed that the picture, headline and second half of the article may have led you to believe. Please do not mistake what I’m saying; this indiscretion is no fault of the quoted sources. Somehow the communication between the writer and the editor failed, and the subject matter of the column became lost. Much to my dismay, I do not have time to research and fact-check every article in the paper. We are not without fault, no matter how hard we try. So I thank everyone who commented under the story online and wrote me an e-mail, and I ask for your continued vigilance in the future.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Collegiate Times ran an article on Thursday, Sept. 19 titled “‘Sweatshop Effect’ seizes Drillfield.” The article by Zach Crizer reports on the Global Justice Alliance’s demonstration on the Drillfield the day prior, in which a clothesline of Virginia Tech T-shirts was displayed as part of an effort to raise awareness about the systemic use of sweatshop labor in the collegiate apparel industry. Many of the shirts that were displayed on the clothesline were the “Hokie Effect” T-shirts — made popular by the Student Government Association. The “Hokie Effect” shirts have gained much recognition over the last several years as a symbol of school pride and Virginia Tech football. We want to be very clear: The problem here is not the “Hokie Effect” T-shirts, nor the SGA. We speculate that most people, given the choice, would not buy products from a company they know uses sweatshop labor. The reality of the situation, however, is much more obtuse. In a global economy that protects licensing agreements and factory locations, it becomes increasingly difficult to know exactly from where our school’s apparel is made. A dearth of academic and non-academic sources point to the scale and severity of sweatshop labor in the collegiate apparel industry (see the Worker’s Right Consortium www.workersrights.org). The question is not whether clothing bear-
Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief David Grant Managing Editors David Harries, Sharon Pritz Public Editor Cate Summers Special Sections Editor Meg Miller News Editors Caleb Fleming, Ashley Oliver, T. Rees Shapiro News Reporters Gordon Block, Zach Crizer, Gabe McVey, Riley Prendergast, Rebecca Thomas News Staff Writers Shannon Aud, Laura Duke, Justin Graves, Michelle Rivera, Lindsey Taylor Politics Editor Candace Sipos Features Editor Bethany Buchanan Features Reporters Kirsten Gravely, Topher Forhecz, Teresa Tobat, Jonathan Yi Opinions Editors Laurel Colella, David McIlroy Opinions Staff Sally Bull, Jackie Peters Sports Editors Thomas Emerick, Brian Wright Sports Reporters Joe Crandley, Justin Long, Ed Lupien, Melanie Wadden Sports Staff Writers Garrett Busic, Matt Collette, Lindsay Faulkner, Hattie Francis, Alex Jackson, Mike Littier Copy Editors Erin Corbey, Sara Mitchell, Thandiwe Ogbonna, Kristen Walker Photo Editor Kelly Harrigan Associate Photo Editor Go-Eun Choi Layout Designers Christine Fay, John Kayrouz, Ben MacDonald, Josh Son, Sara Spangler Illustrator Mina Noorbakhsh Multimedia Editor Phillip Murillas Multimedia Producer Matthew Langan, Becky Wilson Multimedia Reporters Candice Chu, Bryce Stucki, Peter Velz Online Director Christopher Ritter Web Developer Jeff Klassen
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We must adhere to ethical standards
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ing Virginia Tech’s logo is made in sweatshops, but instead how can we, as an institution of higher learning, respond to these practices? Lest we become too fatalistic, there are steps that Virginia Tech can take that would require any product bearing the Virginia Tech logo be produced under ethical and just standards — under standards we ourselves would demand were we the ones working in these factories. To be absolutely certain, both the SGA and the GJA mutually recognize the importance and moral imperative of taking every available step to assure that Virginia Tech licensed products are not produced in “sweatshops” or under unfair labor conditions. The SGA and GJA recognize that making these assurances is a collaborative process involving student awareness, administrative engagement and consistent enforcement. We further recognize that Virginia Tech can achieve these goals by joining a third-party monitoring program known as the Workers Rights Consortium and by signing on to the Designated Suppliers Program, a program that will ensure that university licensing codes of conduct are enforced. By joining these programs, Tech will stand in solidarity with hundreds of other institutions of higher learning across North America that have taken a stand against abusive labor practices by adopting transparent, mutable and enforceable policies. The SGA and GJA resolve to work together to move Tech toward a future where the people who stitch the shirts we wear are fully recognized as human beings deserving of every right we ourselves have come to expect.
J.P. Mason Vice-President, Global Justice Alliance graduate student, sociology
Rock the Vote literature bias misleads students I’m calling Rock the Vote out. As a resource for voter registration information and as a driving force to register as many votes as possible, their goal is admirable. However, as I opened my copy of The Collegiate Times, I found an insert titled, “You Decide. You Vote.” This informative and colorful piece of paper apparently tells me the basics of each candidate’s platform, so that I may make an informed decision. Were I an uninformed new voter, I might have used this as my deciding point. However, this is the most biased piece of literature I have ever encountered in my life. Every quote and reference to McCain’s platform, while likely containing some truth, is riddled with statements designed to make the Republican hopeful appear as callous and stingy as possible, while the Democrat columns are practically an endorsement. I expect better from a group such as Rock the Vote, but since it actually says Rock the Vote Action Fund at the bottom, perhaps the incredibly wary eye would know what was going on. I voted for Obama, but thankfully not as a result of this insert.
Brian Fults junior, computer science
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Summing up the presidential campaign Well, this election is finally over. After all of the divisive campaigning, forcing Americans against one another, and telling them that this the other candidate will not do, and this is the most important decision Americans will make ... McCain congratulates Obama on his victory, and Obama thanked McCain for his graciousness and said he had waged a tough race. Now with Obama saying, “I look forward to working with them (McCain and Palin) to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead,” (and McCain saying essentially the same thing), it makes me wonder whether they are both lying through their teeth now or whether they were only lying and misleading during the campaign itself. Maybe they do not realize that what is a game to them does instill deep-seeded mistrust, anger and division in the American population at large. I wish it were possible to have a campaign without emotionally charged rhetoric and with some type of substance, so that the voters could actually make an informed decision about who is best for the country. I would sign a petition any day to limit the presidential campaign to at most one or two months; although it would not work because the political parties need their airtime, and the television stations need to make their money.
Chris Bashur graduate student, chemical engineering
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friday, november 7, 2008
Tech Civil War professor brings history to the present TOPHER FORHECZ
ct features reporter Professor James Robertson has never known life without war, but for him it’s all in the past. As one of the top American Civil War experts in the nation, it’s hard for him not to be immersed in the war with the highest number of American casualties. The Civil War has been a part of Robertson’s life as he was born and raised in Danville, the last capital of the confederacy, which is full of Civil War history. “I just grew up amid all that history,” Robertson said. “My father was a Civil War buff. My great grandfather and great uncle were both in the war. My great uncle died. So I just grew up with it and I never left it.” His initial love for history has led him to a greater interest in the people fighting the war. Robertson is more intrigued with the contexts and the people of the battles than the actual fights themselves. “I’m interested in the common soldiers,” Robertson said. “The journals with personalities, the problems on the home front such as what the women were facing, sickness and
religion. — things of that sort appeal to me and they appeal to students. I guess my great hallmark for teaching is you can never understand and appreciate history until you understand the emotions in it and this is certainly true for the Civil War, it’s a very emotional war.”
His book became the basis for the Warner Brothers movie “Gods and Generals,” on which Robertson acted as Chief Historical Consultant. Robertson feels that this appreciation for history is something that should be nurtured at an early age. To make the Civil War interesting to younger generations, he has written several books aimed at eighth graders and up. Currently, he is working as the executive producer for a ninehour DVD on the Civil War that will be released and distributed to every classroom and library in Virginia. Books for younger readers are not strictly Robertson’s only forte — he has also written several larger books
for older audiences. One, a book titled “Soldiers Blue and Grey” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Robertson also wrote a 957-page story about the life of Stonewall Jackson titled, “Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend.” It took Robertson seven years to write the book. “I had sent a form letter to every library and depository in America to find out if they had material and there was so much material that a 375-page manuscript became 2,300 pages,” Robertson said. “It’s a huge book.” The book became the basis for the Warner Brothers movie “Gods and Generals,” on which Robertson acted as Chief Historical Consultant. Joe Weatherman, a sophomore history major who is in Robertson’s 3055: The American Civil War class, bought the Stonewall Jackson book for his father, who is a Civil War enthusiast, and had Robertson sign it. Weatherman enjoys Robertson’s class despite the initial nervousness he felt about how he could handle covering all the material. “I thought the tests were going to be really hard,” Weatherman said, “Because he covers so much information each class and you don’t really know what’s going to be cov-
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ered because it’s all this information he’s just chucking at you, but I look forward to the class. I can’t wait to go to it. He leaves a cliffhanger at the end of each class you want to know what happens next.” As the semester has gone on, Weatherman learned that Robertson has his own little tricks when it comes to reminding students when something is important. “Before our first test it was always a motion,” Weatherman said. “He was like ‘remember a motion.’” The class is split up into two semesters: The first covers the time leading up to and the beginning of, the war while the second half covers the middle and end. Although Weatherman isn’t going to take the class next semester, he still might be stopping by. “I may sit in a little bit next semester,” he said, “but I’m just taking this one right now.” Some of the resources that Robertson has drawn his research from have come from Virginia Tech’s own Civil War library, which happens to be the biggest one in the nation outside of the Library of Congress. He also teaches the largest Civil War era class in the nation. Aaron Purcell, the director of Special Collections on the first floor of the library, has been helping expand the Civil War collection since he started working at Tech almost a year ago. Purcell said the Civil War collection was expanded by key donations. Among them is one from a collector who donated more than 9,000 volumes of material to the center. When looking for material to purchase from catalogs and auctions, Purcell searches for pieces and documents from the Civil War that are relevant to Virginia’s history. His aim is to make material not only interesting, but accessible to undergraduates for their work in class. “To me, it’s building a research center where you have the books,” Purcell said, “And the manuscripts. You have printed pieces, but you also
Alumni Distinguised Professor in History, James Robertson, lectures to his Civil War and Reconstruction (HIST 3055) class on Wednesday morning. have handwritten diaries and letters that really give a sense of the Civil War and what it was like to be there at the time.” Among his discoveries has been the Charles Minor diary from 1860 to 1864, which is featured on display in the special collections office. Minor, a Confederate captain in the war, was also the first president of Tech. The diary not only has Minor’s records, but also the records of a Union soldier who later discovered the diary and
stitched in his own writings. The efforts of people such as Robertson and Purcell have made Tech one of the top institutions for Civil War research. Students from schools all over the country as well as many other types of researchers visit the campus frequently to dig into the tons of material readily available. “We get a lot of visitation,” Robertson said. “Researchers coming here to use them. It’s either us or Washington, D.C., and that’s no choice.”
Crafts: Organizations beneﬁt too from page four
genuine Kenyan beaded bracelets at the crafts fair this weekend. While the organization hasn’t yet decided what the function of the power mill will be — it can either make ugali, a staple food of the community that’s similar to grits made of really fine corn that is boiled into a
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solid; or the mill may provide electricity, an inconsistent utility — Lokale hopes that the efficiency of the mill will give the women free time to spend with their families. “Hopefully the financial income will be huge since so many of these women that have formed the group are grandmothers taking care of
children that have been orphaned because their parents have died of AIDS,” Lokale said. “We’re turning into a global world, so to be able to say that we’ve been able to take place in this project is huge. … It’s just a good thing for the Women’s Center to be involved in. Empowering women through power mills.”
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november 7, 2008
Tech fencing club spans the medieval and the modern HATTIE FRANCIS
ct staﬀ writer The Virginia Tech Fencing Club and its members have grasped the concept of this ancient sport and put it to use in its radically modernized form of competition. “There are three different target areas, each specific to each of the weapons,” said club president Katie Wong.
There are three different styles of fencing, each named after the weapon of choice. With each different weapon there are accompanying rules that dictate which opponent receives a point. Such rules include the fencers hitting specific target areas on their opponent. Only a valid hit scores a point. The first form of fencing is epee, or freestyle fencing. “It’s really easy to watch because
everything is target area, pretty much who ever hits gets a point,” Wong said. “There’s no specific targets; you can get hit anywhere, like on the foot or the mask.” To determine whether a fencer has been hit, there are buttons attached to the end of each tip which, if pushed hard enough, will indicate a hit. The epee tip requires a minimum of 750 grams of pressure to register a hit on
the scoring system. “It’s all electrical,” she said. “So either a circuit is opened or closed, and there’s basically a box that takes in all the information and tells you if someone was hit or not.” Fencers, with the exception of those who compete in epee, wear a lame, or electrically wired, vest that creates a colored light to show whether the hit is on target or applied with enough pressure. In the saber and foil competitions, opponents are required to wear a lame in order to help officials indicate whether the appropriate target was hit. In saber, or hack and slash, a point can only be received if fencers hit their appropriate targets which consists anything from the waist up. However, fencers must also have the “right of way” to score. “It’s kind of like football,” Wong said, “where you pretty much only score when you have the ball, and right-ofway is like the football.” This means that whoever attacks first obtains the right-of-way and is the only
player who can receive a point at the moment. This can change from one opponent to another when the defender blocks the attack, causes the attacker to miss or when the attacker hesitates and allows the defender to turn the tables. This rule is also applied in foil. A point can only be scored by the player who holds right-of-way and hits within the valid area, in this case the torso. The Tech men’s team is currently ranked 17th in epee, 28th in foil and 27th overall following the United States of America Collegiate Fencing Championships held earlier this year. The women’s team is eighth in epee, 16th in foil, 24th in saber and 16th overall. The United States of America Collegiate Fencing Organization determines all of these rankings. The club holds six-week beginner lessons for those who are interested in learning how to fence. The lessons are open to anyone. “Anyone who is a full-time student and is in good standing can try out for the team,” Wong said. “So somebody
could start that semester and get on the team and compete the rest of their college career.” Wong became involved in fencing because she “wanted to try something new in college.” Luckily, she didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “I had actually played around with fencing at home with my dad who used to fence in college,” she said. “He kind of shared it with me, and I wanted to try it.” Men’s team captain Jonathan Skeate got into the sport at the age of 13, but stopped after a year. The club at Tech allowed him to pick up where he left off. “It’s just a lot of fun; the sport itself and the people in the club are all good friends now,” Skeate said. The club team heads to Haverford College in Pennsylvania this weekend to compete in a Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Fencing Association competition. The next six weeks of beginner courses begin on Monday, Jan. 26, at War Memorial Gym.
Far left: Senior math education major Nick Balanc (left) fences with Grant Gerstner, junior electrical engineering major (right) during practice in War Memorial Gym. Near left: Christian Weiss, a freshman building construction major (left), fences with Doug Milo, freshman architecture major (right). MICHAEL MCDERMOTT/SPPS
As rookies, former Hokies contributing on NFL rosters RAY NIMMO
ct sports staﬀ writer With the number of Virginia Tech football players drafted into the pro ranks growing legion, more and more Hokie alums are kicking off their careers with success from the get-go. Eddie Royal, a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, has garnered the largest chunk of national spotlight. However, there are two other Hokies making their mark over the first half of the 2008 NFL season.
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers and San Francisco 49ers wide out Josh Morgan have also seen early gains with their respective teams. Flowers has started seven out of eight games for the Chiefs, recording 37 total tackles, eight passes defended, two interceptions, one touchdown and a fumble recovery. On Oct. 26, Flowers recorded his first career interception against future Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre. Later in the contest, he intercepted Favre again and returned the ball for a touchdown. The decision to come out of college
early was not an easy one, but he had the support of Tech defensive backs coach Torrian Gray. “I felt after Brandon’s sophomore year that if he could do the same things junior year, I would be supportive of him leaving a year early,” Gray said. “He felt that he was ready, and I had no objections.” After being drafted in the third round of the 2008 NFL draft, Flowers had a good enough preseason to start opposite his cousin, Patrick Surtain. Since he was a young kid, Surtain has helped Flowers learn football.
“He’s (Surtain) definitely taken me under his wing here,” Flowers said in an interview with Chiefs TV. “The last few years he told me I could come up to Kansas City and learn some new techniques if I wanted to.” Everything Flowers has done has been to prepare for the NFL, but under that intense determination lies a modest person. “I’m a humble guy,” Flowers said. “My coach told me while looking at film that I have great instincts and great feet. After he kept telling me over and over, it sunk in that I can play in the NFL.”
Flowers had more than just great feet and a good football mind. He had the intangibles necessary to be successful at the pro level. “Brandon’s greatest talent was that he was a fierce competitor,” Gray said. “He was also very fundamentally sound and coachable. When you put those three together, that’s what has made him so successful.” Even though Flowers has since left the confines of Lane Stadium, his impact on the program has helped in Tech’s recruiting process. “When we go out and recruit defensive backs, Brandon Flowers is the first
thing that comes out of the recruits’ mouths,” Gray said. “We tell them that Brandon was coached and did the things he was supposed to, and look at his success.” Gray learned from Flowers as well, including the fact that his former cornerback can teach new players. “When you have a guy that is as good as Brandon, he will do something unconventional, and you will ask him why,” Gray said. “He’ll say, ‘Well coach, I thought…’ and I’ll say ‘Yeah, maybe I will teach it like that.’”
see ROOKIES, page ten
friday, november 7, 2008
november 7, 2008
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Before the horse auction at the 2008 Hokie Harvest Sale, Cira Giunti, background, the breeder of Riley’s Reason, foreground, weeps at the thought of parting with the horse she bred in the response to the April 16 shootings.
At Harvest, meet Riley’s Reason C
ira Giunti was heartbroken at the thought of parting with her young horse, Riley’s Reason. After breeding the foal, witnessing his birth and raising him for the first months of his life, the day finally came that she would have to
say goodbye to her bay colt. Giunti knew the day would come, however, because, in the aftermath of the April 16 shootings, she made the decision to breed her mare, Bella Mia, with a Virginia Tech stallion, Royal Appearance, and donate the resulting foal to the 2008 Hokie Harvest Livestock Sale. The proceeds of Riley’s Reason sale were split between the April 16 memorial funds of Nicole White and Emily Hilscher, two equestrian students within the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences who were killed in the shootings. Yet the annual Hokie Harvest sale, held Nov. 1, is often much less emotion-
Nicole Brown, senior animal and poultry science major, performs her daily duties before the sale.
Colonel Ken Brubaker of Brubaker Sales and Marketing acknowledges a bidder.
ally-laden. The Harvest is a way for animal and poultry science students to get real-world, hands-on experience maintaining, advertising, cataloging and showing livestock of all shapes and sizes. Each year, for the last 14 years, students enrolled in Livestock Merchandising and Equine Training have organized and run the sale. For the last three years students enrolled in Swine Production have put together a silent auction of breeding swine. “This class goes to a great job of teaching us the skills necessary to make this sale happen,” said senior animal and poultry science major Jacob Gilley. “It takes a lot of work to put this sale together, a lot more work than you would think about.” This year nine swine, 22 horses and 39 beef cattle were put up for auction.
— Photographs and text by Sally Bull Robby Maxey, senior at Ag Tech, helps herd cattle from the beef barn toward the animal judging area.
Kim Reid, foreground, adjunct instructor of the equine behavior class, and Morgan Agnew, background, wash Bristol VT in preparation for the 14th annual Hokie Harvest Sale.
Becca Arnold, fifth year graduating senior in animal and poultry science, was a ringsperson at the horse auction in the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena during the 2008 Hokie Harvest Sale.
friday, november 7, 2008
Rookies: Morgan, Flowers excel at professional level
David L. Pokress/MCT
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan catches his first NFL touchdown against New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross. Morgan was drafted in the sixth round by San Francisco in the 2008 NFL Draft in April. from page seven
Morgan is having his share of success, as well. His best game came in Week 7 against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands, when he caught five passes for 86 yards and his first career touchdown reception. “Josh is very athletic, physical, a playmaker, and can make difficult catches look easy,” said wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman. “I miss him
this season.” Sherman believes Morgan’s success also stems from his love of the game. “He’s a guy that loves football,” Sherman said. “Now that it’s his job, I’m not surprised at all he is doing well.” In an interview with Matt Maiocco of pressdemocrat.com, Morgan said his experience at Virginia Tech is helping him a great deal in the NFL. “The adversity I went through in
college (helped a lot),” Morgan said. “I came in as a freshman and had to work and basically had to do what I’m doing now — learning the playbook and get more comfortable with the plays so I could become the player I think I am.” Morgan was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft by San Francisco and was lucky enough to come to afelt fortunate to join a team that had recently signed free agent wideout Isaac Bruce, one of the game’s most consistent and accomplished wide receivers. “When I saw him it was like, ‘Wow, it’s really you,’” Morgan said. “All the records he has and the productive career he’s had for 14 years in the NFL … Iit’s great to see a man like that, be in the same huddle, and the same meeting room as him.” Morgan’s hard work not only pays dividends in the professional ranks, but alsois helping helps Sherman coach the young receiving core the Hokies have this year. “We have a tradition of having good receivers here,” Sherman said. “They play at a high level, compete, and make plays. We try to instill the work ethic players like Morgan had into these young guys.” As Hokies continue to hear their name called in the NFL Draft, the coaches and fans are remembering their Hokie roots, and the Saturdays and Thursdays where they put their hearts into the game and footprints inside the walls of Lane Stadium.
Boston College’s DeLeon Gause nails North Carolina’s Bobby Rome during the Tar Heels’ 45-24 win on Oct. 25 in Chapel Hill, N.C. On Saturday, No. 19 North Carolina will host Coastal Division-leading No. 20 Georgia Tech.
ACC weekend look-ahead CHAD MOSESSO
ct sports staﬀ writer NO. 20 GEORGIA TECH AT NO. 19 NORTH CAROLINA, NOON With both teams coming off wins against ranked opponents, the Yellow Jackets will try to hold on to their ACC Coastal Division lead when they travel to Chapel Hill. Georgia Tech may be without starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt, putting the offense in the hands of freshman Jaybo Shaw. Shaw, who replaced Nesbitt late in Georgia Tech’s win against Florida State last weekend, finished the game 0-1 with an interception and a fumble. North Carolina is off to its best start since 1997, but since then is only 1-8 against the Yellow Jackets. North Carolina will rely on its defense, which has allowed just 62.3 rushing yards per game in its last three contests, to try and stop the nation’s eighth-ranked rushing attack.
CLEMSON AT NO. 22 FLORIDA ST., 3:30 P.M. Although this game is no longer a “Battle of the Bowdens,” it still has significant implications in the ACC Atlantic Division standings. After a heartbreaking 31-28 loss to Georgia Tech last week in which the Seminoles fumbled three yards from a victory, FSU looks to rebound
against a resilient Clemson team. Last week the Tigers came fresh off three straight losses and the loss of their coach, yet bounced back with a 27-21 win over Boston College. Clemson will need to rely heavily on running back C.J. Spiller, who last week had 242 total yards, including a 64-yard kick return.
N.C. STATE. AT DUKE, 3:30 P.M. North Carolina State will try to win its first ACC game of the season when it travels for an intrastate battle against the Blue Devils. This may be the Wolfpack’s best remaining chance to record a conference victory, as they finish the season against Wake Forest, North Carolina and Miami. Duke has played surprisingly well this season, with quality wins against Navy, Virginia and Vanderbilt. It needs two more victories to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. In order to escape on top, Duke will need a good game from junior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. In Duke’s four wins, Lewis has thrown for 840 yards with a touchdown-interception ratio of 8-2.
VIRGINIA AT WAKE FOREST, 3:30 P.M. Virginia looks to get back on track after snapping its four-game winning streak last week versus Miami. UVa has quietly crept into the hunt
for the Coastal Division crown after a 1-3 start. Sophomore quarterback Marc Verica has led the Cavalier emergence, throwing for more than 200 yards in each of his last five games. Senior running back Cedric Peerman has averaged 104 yards in his last five games, as well as six touchdowns. Junior quarterback Riley Skinner will try to lead the Demon Deacons to their second consecutive win after a thrilling OT victory against Duke last week. Skinner has a tremendous season and has notched a quarterback rating of over 100 in seven of nine games. His four interceptions on the season all came in one contest against Navy. However, it must also be noted the he has produced six touchdowns in his last six games.
NOTRE DAME AT BOSTON COLLEGE, 8 P.M. Boston College will try to end its two-game losing streak when it hosts Notre Dame in a prime-time match up. If the Eagles want to win, they will have to stop the Irish passing attack, which averages 277.1 yards per game, good for 19th in the nation. The Eagles’ pass defense has been suspect as of late, allowing 490 yards and four touchdowns in the last two losses. The Eagles can’t turn the ball over if they expect to win, especially senior quarterback Chris Crane, who has 12 interceptions on the season.