tuesday march 31, 2009 blacksburg, va.
Election Day 2009
SGA4You candidates Brandon Carroll and Shane McCarty take part in a debate with UnitedSGA candidates , Kirsten Kube and Alex Miller. Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, Guy Sims, moderated. Presidential candidate
Alex Miller, junior business management major Quote: “I am not busy, I am active... I am a firm believer that if there is something that you want to do, you can make the time to do it.”
Vice presidential candidate
UNITEDSGA PUSHES FOR A 24-HOUR STUDY FACILITY ON CAMPUS. by kelsey heiter
nitedSGA said it knows how to improve the student body at Virginia Tech, and that knowledge comes from understanding what the students want.
candidate, said. “We care about the students so much and we want to do
our main goals is trying to connect those students that are not involved. We
anything that we can to help them.”
want them to get involved in different programs and help them feel like they
Vice presidential candidate
best university that it can be.
is known as being a Hokie community that is completely inclusive, and I want everyone to feel that they are a part of that community. I want people
“There are tons of people participating in Big Event and Relay for Life,” Thomas said. “If you look closer, it is the same tons of people participating in these events every single time. But again, if you look closer, it is the same
to know that I care, and that Tech cares.” Shane McCarty, vice presidential candidate, said another of SGA4You’s platforms is “voice.”
people not getting involved with us because they do not know about the
“We want to make a Virginia Tech culture shift to something that thrives
events that SGA has. Our goal is about getting new numbers, and bigger
on positivity, collaboration and every student’s voice,” McCarty said. “We do
numbers in terms of new participants.”
not want to just tell the students, ‘this is what we are going to do;’ we want to
Kube added that it is all about diversifying the types of people that get involved on campus.
gather suggestions, answer questions, and find a way to prove to students that we are going to take their voice and make a positive productive change.”
Another issue that UnitedSGA is working on is tracking the Blacksburg Transit via a Global Positioning System.
Morgan Bradley, secretary candidate, said she wants to make a big differ-
Shane McCarty, sophomore marketing major Quote: “When it comes down to it, we have one promise to the student body at Virginia Tech, that one promise is this: we will work as hard as we possibly can for you, because it is not about us, it is all about you.” Candidate for treasurer
ence in each student’s life.
“We are basing our idea off of the infrastructure that is place right now,”
“I want to reach out to the most students as I possibly can,” Bradley said.
Miller said. “We are using the resources that are available to us at the point
“I want student organizations to come to us when they have issues that they
in time. Our idea is to use something that essentially costs us no money. The
need help with.”
GPS tracker updates every two minutes, which I think for most students is more than frequent enough to catch the bus on time.”
Carroll added that he wants to have executive meetings on the Drillfield as a way for the student body to feel comfortable to approach the SGA.
Ricardo Boulware, treasurer candidate, said the Blacksburg Transit system
“We want to establish face time and meet with students and organizations
is also working with Apple to develop an application for the iPhone that
to collaborate on different issues,” Carroll said. “The point is to really talk to
would allow students to track the bus.
them and really understand their needs.”
“Virginia Tech is in the process of developing and implementing a few realtime tracking solutions for their fleet,” Boulware said. “The application that the iPhone will have allows students to track actual bus positioning and find the closest bus stop to their current location.”
McCarty said he wants to sit down with students and talk about the real issues at hand on campus. “We are focusing on voice,” McCarty said. “We want students to let us hear
Joey Zakutney, sophomore finance and marketing major Quote: “At the end of the day, we want to please the undergraduate student population. Our goal is that, whoever they choose to do that, is who they want.”
their voice. We want other groups to work with us as well; we would love
UnitedSGA is very focused on the initiatives that it wants to implement on campus next year, but its main concern is the students.
that. What we are doing is for you, and it is all about you.”
Candidate for secretary
McCarty added that SGA4You is working to implement a Global Position
“The more feedback we can get as to what students want, the better,” Miller said. “Feedback helps us to learn what we need to do and improve upon to be able to serve everyone.”
System on Blacksburg Transit. “Forty-three percent of students have made transportation the most important platform,” McCarty said. “Brandon and I have been working on
Kube added that running for election has been such an incredible experience for all of the candidates, including herself.
Bobby Thomas, sophomore hospitality and tourism management major Quote: “Vote for UnitedSGA, because you cannot forget the guy who wears white socks with a business suit.”
Joey Zakutney, treasurer candidate, said he wants to help make Tech the
Brandon Carroll, junior finance and management major Quote: “We do not want to just represent your voice, we want to reinvent Virginia Tech through your voice.”
“I want to meet as many people as possible,” Zakutney said. “Virginia Tech
that UnitedSGA is looking for.
Candidate for secretary
“We want to empower the student body and amplify the voices
student involvement,” said Kirsten Kube, vice presidential candidate. “One of
Bobby Thomas, secretary candidate, said it is not just numbers of students
Ricardo Boulware, sophomore Spanish education and human resources business management dual degree Quote: “Dare to dream your life because you never know what good can come out of the impossible.”
Tech, and that vision starts with the students.
of those students who are underrepresented,” Brandon Carroll, presidential
the students at Virginia Tech.”
Candidate for treasurer
GA4YOU has a clear vision for how to improve life at Virginia
“Something that I really want to see in the 2009-10 school year is increased
are more connected to the university. We really just want to help unite all of
Kirsten Kube, sophomore political science major Quote: “Service is the rent we pay for living.”
SGA4YOU HOPES TO HOLD PUBLIC EXECUTIVE MEETINGS ON DRILLFIELD. by kelsey heiter
GPS tracking for the BT so students can see exactly where the bus is at what time.”
“This is something that we will never forget,” Kube said. “We are so honored to be given the chance to run in this election and to show students that we are here to listen to what their needs and desires are and that we truly want to make a difference in their lives.”
Zakutney added that SGA4You has also been working on a dining hall initiative. “We have been working with dining to start a program where we can offer a 10 percent discount to students who eat between the hours of 2 p.m. and
see UNITEDSGA, page two
see SGA4YOU, page two
Undergraduate executive and senatorial elections will take place today and tomorrow. See page two for on-campus voting locations.
Morgan Bradley, sophomore apparel design and merchandising management Quote: “We all have so much to offer and I would really love for everyone to come together and make this the best campus and universtiy that it can be.”
tuesday, march 31, 2009
MEET THE SENATORIAL CANDIDATES CANDIDATES FOR SGA SENATE SPOKE WITH THE COLLEGIATE TIMES ABOUT THE ROLE OF SGA SENATORS. — compiled by gordon block Name: Gavin McDuff Year: Junior Major: Building Construction Running for: College of Architecture and Urban Studies Importance of participation in student government: “Student government is a great opportunity for students to take on leadership roles.”
Name: Matt Topping Year: Sophomore Major: General Engineering Running for: College of Engineering Importance of SGA: “We are the students, and we’re here for the students.”
Name: Halie Stannard Year: Freshman Major: Political Science Running for: CLAHS Importance of SGA: “If you’re unhappy about something, you have no right to complain unless you try to do something about it. All of us have the ability to change the world and our personal experiences.”
Name: Christopher James Joseph Saccoccia Year: Freshman Major: Communication Running for: CLAHS Importance of SGA: “SGA has a huge impact on students. It’s about building a community, and SGA can create that.”
Name: Ethan Wechtaluk Year: Junior Major: Political Science Running for: College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
Name: Scott Bennett Year: Sophomore Major: Animal and Poultry Science Running for: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)
Importance of involvement in student government: “You have to be responsive to your constituency. You can’t accomplish anything without a free flow of discussion.”
Importance of being a senator: “They are the representatives for colleges and we have to represent them as best as possible.”
Name: Jack Goodwyn Year: Junior Major: Management/ Political Science Running for: Pamplin College of Business
Name: S. Alyson Boyce Year: Junior Major: Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise Running for: CALS
Senator’s Role: “We have a duty to serve one another here and make this place as great as we can.”
Name: Rachel Goodwin Year: Junior Major: Marketing Management/ Spanish Running For: Pamplin Importance of participation in student government: “It’s important to make the student voice heard.”
Write-in senator candidates could play major role
Importance of SGA: “At a huge university like Virginia Tech, it’s easy to get lost if you’re not involved with something. It’s important to get your voice heard.”
Name: Sheel Patel Year: Freshman Major: Business Running for: Pamplin
ct news reporter For sophomore Tara Cozier, becoming a senator within SGA was not planned. Cozier found out about the elections though a friend who was stopping by her residence hall room. “It was all by chance,” the engineering science and mechanics major said. After a less-than-rigorous campaign which including talking to her friends in her portion of Slusher Hall, Cozier was able to garner four votes. Those votes were enough for Cozier to take a seat representing the College of Engineering. “I was very surprised,” Cozier said. The rules for a write-in candidate, defined in Section III part B, are very clear. The rules state that the candidate with the most votes, write-in or declared, will be deemed the winner of the election so long as said candidate has not violated election rules. There is no minimum number of votes for a write-candidate to take office. “If you have one vote and nobody else does, congratulations you are a senator,” said Dana Gilmore, chief justice for the SGA. With only 16 candidates running for 34 senate openings, Gilmore said the SGA will be looking for write-in and volunteer candidates to fill positions. “Not immediately filling the positions isn’t a major worry,” Gilmore said. One area of need is senators to represent university studies. There are currently no entries on the ballot for the potential two slots. Gilmore noted that since university studies is limited to students with fewer than 60 credit hours, the spot would be filled by a underclassman. “It’s a great way to get freshmen involved with the SGA,” Gilmore said. Despite earning her seat last election through write-in votes, this election Cozier will have her name on the ballot. “After this past year I’ve realized I enjoy being a senator. That’s why I’m back on the ballot.” Cozier offered advice to those who were interested in becoming a write-in candidate. “Go for it,” Cozier said. “Ask your friends to also write you in.”
UnitedSGA: SGA4YOU: Bigger Relay Dining hall discounts turnouts from page one
from page one
Miller said he is glad to be running on the UnitedSGA ticket because all of his teammates have such positive attitudes about how to help the campus. “We are all so positive about the issues on campus,” Miller said. “We are ready to make a move to make campus a better place. I think that for all four of us, we each have our own strengths and weaknesses, but, collectively as a group, we are united.”
5 p.m.,” Zakutney said. SGA4You candidates want students to understand that they are here to serve the whole student body. “We want people to feel comfortable saying “hi” to us or waving to us,” Bradley said. “The more we can reach out to organizations, the more we can feel a sense of community.”
Importance of student involvement in SGA: “This is our community. Everybody should get involved.”
HOW TO VOTE Name: Kyle Gardiner Year: Freshman Major: Political Science Running for: CLAHS
Name: Melissa Yates Year: Junior Major: Biology Running for: College of Science
Importance of involvement in student government: “We need to take advantage of the 26,000 minds we have here on campus.”
Importance of SGA: “They’re helping the student body. The SGA allows for better communication between students and the administration.”
Voting starts today and continues through tomorrow, April 1. Vote online at www.sga.vt.edu, or visit one of these on-campus locations: -Booths outside of D2, Derring Hall, Pamplin Hall and Squires Student Center
Not pictured: Name: Andrew Miller Year: Junior Major: Accounting Running for: Pamplin
Name: Bethany Mutchler Year: Junior Major: Natural Resources Conservation Running for: College of Science
Name: Tara Cozier Year: Sophomore Major: Engineering Science and Mechanics Running for: College of Engineering
Importance of involvement in student government: “If you have a problem with any organization, you have no right to complain unless you work to change it.”
Name: Amy Greenhouse Year: Sophomore Major: Industrial and Systems Engineering Running for: College of Engineering
Importance of SGA: “This impacts you. You want to be involved.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE TWO TICKETS, VISIT THEIR WEB SITES AT:
- www.sga4you.org -www.unitedsga.com
tuesday, march 31, 2009
SGA4You hopes to implement a UnitedSGA envisions a program freshman leadership organization to connect the student body KELSEY HEITER
ct news reporter
ct news reporter
SGA4You plans to increase student involvement on campus this coming fall with the addition of a mentor program, freshman leadership organizations and continued suggestions from the student body. Shane McCarty, SGA4You vice presidential candidate, said SGA4You plans to expand on the academic advising program already in place on campus. “We want to make the advising system one that revolves around the students,” McCarty said. “Our idea is to have someone a year older than the advisee who is in the same major, taken the same classes and had the same professors. We want this program to be an opportunity for someone else to guide new students to become acclimated to the campus.” McCarty added that the SGA4You ticket wants to expand on the existing program titled “Each One, Reach One.” “We do not want to start a whole new program,” McCarty said. “The most difficult part is finding enough sophomore mentors to work with the incoming freshman.” Joey Zakutney, SGA4You candidate for treasurer, said one challenge that the ticket might be confronted with is marketing the program. “We do not want students to think that they need help just because they are participating in a mentor program,” Zakutney said. “Our goal in talking to other organizations about a mentorship program is to find a way to market the program to students coming to Tech (so that they)feel like a part of the Hokie community.” McCarty said SGA4You wants to find a way to use Hokie Camp — an optional, two-day retreat, started by Zenobia Hikes, late vice president for student affairs, held at Smith Mountain Lake for new students — as a way for incoming freshmen to become acclimated to life at Tech. “Zenobia Hikes was the person who started the idea of Hokie Camp,” McCarty said. “She spoke at an executive meeting last year and said that she wants 80 percent of freshman to have the opportunity to go through Hokie Camp.” Brandon Carroll, SGA4You presidential candidate, explained that everyone on the SGA4You ticket is going to have to work collaborately together to accomplish their goals for the next school year. “I feel that SGA this year is really open, so we want to expand on that vision and make SGA even stronger,” Carroll said. “We want to expand upon outreach to freshman with the idea of ‘Freshman Leadership Organizations’ to get the students involved and to hear their voice.” Carroll said that SGA4You is all about the students and allowing them to voice their opinions. “I think that we need to be honest and let people know that we do not know everything that is going on,” Carroll said. “We need the student body to help us figure out what the
SGA4You VP candidate Shane McCarty discusses freshman leadership. problems on campus are, and what we need to act upon those issues.” Carroll added that his goal for SGA4You is to empower the student body. “I want to help amplify the voices of those students who feel underrepresented,” Carroll said. “I want to collaborate with the study body on issues that they feel are important on campus.” “I want to see a unified organization,” Zakutney said. “I want to work collaborately with students throughout the next year.” McCarty said another platform SGA4You is working on is making sure that each student’s voice is heard. “We do not just want to tell students what we are going to do, we want to gather their suggestions,” McCarty said. “We will answer the students’ questions and find a way to prove to them that we will take their voice and that we will make a change.” McCarty added that he wants to see a Virginia Tech culture shift to something that thrives on positivity. “Our goal is to take the opportunity at hand to impact the students,” McCarty said. “We see a great opportunity for growth, but we want to make the best and most inclusive Virginia Tech environment that we can have.” Morgan Bradley, SGA4You secretary candidate, said that she wants to see SGA4You make a difference in each student’s life. “We want students to be able to approach us at any time,” Bradley said. “We want to have the chance to learn about lots of organizations on campus and to increase face time with students.” Zakutney added that he wants to meet as many students on campus as possible while campaigning for SGA4You and if elected treasurer. “Virginia Tech is known as being a Hokie community,” Zakutney said. “I care, and I want to hear the thoughts and concerns of the students.”
Carroll said the he wants to be sure to maintain Tech traditions if elected SGA President. “We want to make sure to uphold the principles of community,” Carroll said. “We want to try and start a Cassell Guard. Our goal is to make Tech become a more unified university.” Carroll added that he would like to try and implement meetings on the Drillfield for students to voice their opinions. “We want to make this all about the students,” Carroll said. “We want to empower the student body to find solutions on campus.” On the SGA4You Web site, www.sga4you.org, Zakutney said there is an input tab where students can log on to give their input. “We need to hear what you have to say,” Zakutney said. “There are hundreds of students voting, and we need your input as to what the problems on campus are.” Zakutney added that he wants all students to have a chance to have their voice heard and to participate in this election. “We want students to educate themselves about what each ticket stands for,” Zakutney said. “We want the student body to choose who they believe will be the best student government.” Carroll added that he wants students to try and embody the school’s motto of “ut prosim.” “The motto ut prosim is something that we try to embody in ourselves as well,” Carroll said. “We have priorities, values, and goals,” McCarty said. “But most importantly, we have one promise, and that is: we will work as hard as we possibly can for the students of Virginia Tech.” Bradley added that she is passionate about making sure that everyone at Tech has a great college experience. “I want to make a difference at Tech,” Bradley said. “I want to make your time here as memorable as I can.”
UnitedSGA intends to develop new ways to become involved with students on campus through their leadership experience with the addition of a 24-hour study facility and new programs for student achievement. Kirsten Kube, UnitedSGA vice presidential candidate, said that she wants to see the students across campus become more connected as a Hokie community. “I am very passionate about uniting all of the students, and I cannot stress that enough,” Kube said. “A lot of students do not know what SGA does, and I think that SGA needs to reach out to students through our plans for a variety of programs for the students.” Kirsten added that she wants to start a program that would connect the students directly to the university. “I am intending to start a program called ‘Hokie Connect’, which is my vision for how we would reach out to students,” Kube said. Bobby Thomas, UnitedSGA secretary candidate, said that another issue on campus is trying to connect the administration to what the students’ needs are. “Trying to connect the administration to the SGA, and then to the students is difficult,” Thomas said. “A lot of issues, like the 24-hour study facility, do not surface to the dean. We need to be the bridge between the administration’s concerns and the students’ concerns, which is a big problem that is overlooked and expected. It is our job to be that bridge to make sure that the ideas and feedback are coming from both ends and not just one side.” Alex Miller, UnitedSGA presidential candidate, said that the addition of a 24-hour study facility was something that he wanted to see implemented next year on campus. “When you look at campus there are approximately 9,000 students in a confined area,” Miller said. “There is no other set area around Tech that has 9,000 students in one place. When you are on campus and you need to study, you need somewhere quiet and easily accessible to be able to do that.” Miller added that it is easier to study when you live off campus because there is more room to spread out in your apartment and you have your own room to yourself. Ricardo Boulware, UnitedSGA treasurer candidate, said that having the study facility on campus would provide more convenience for those students who live in the dorms. “We do not currently have a 24-hour bus system,” Boulware said. “That is not a feasible option because there is not enough operational staffing, and the 24-hour service would not be cost effective to maintain.” Boulware added that the math
UnitedSGA VP candidate Kirsten Kube campaigns for student unity. emporium is available for student use 24-hours a day, but it is not convenient for all students who attend the university. Kube said if Tech has a 24-hour study facility off campus, there should also be one campus. “It is the issue of equality,” Kube said. “There is no excuse because of the caliber of Tech. We are such an advanced and large university, so there is no reason why there should not be a 24-hour study facility on campus.” UnitedSGA presidential and vice presidential candidates also discussed the issue of prior leadership before entering a new SGA position. “If you bring in a person completely from the outside who is not coming from some sort of director position, I think that they could be missing out on a lot of the inside information,” Miller said. “I feel that our ticket can absolutely succeed in these positions. In terms of structure and stability, I am not sure that outside leaders would know exactly what would be going on in terms of checks and balances within the organization.” When asked what they looked for in a leader, the candidates responded in very similar ways. “I look for dedication,” Kube said. “Compassion for others, having an open mind, and having experience are all key things I look for in a leader. If you are going to lead an undergraduate community of approximately 25,000 students, then
you have to have experience, hands down.” “You can have all of the tools, but if you do not know exactly what you are going to do with those, then they can become worthless,” Thomas said. “We are working for the students, and we are working because we want to make things better. To be a good leader, you have to want to be here for the students.” Miller said he lives by a quote from Dr. Zenobia Hikes that discusses how to be a great leader. “To be a great leader, you have to be able to hold two opposing arguments at the same time,” Miller said. “Dr. Hikes said that basically you have to be able to see two sides of the story. Everything in SGA is not going the way that I want it to be, because that is not how it is supposed to be run. It is supposed to be run by the students because it is about their needs, wants, and desires. At the end of the day, it is the SGA for the student body.” Boulware said having involvement in SGA is a real benefit in running for election this year. “Each member of the UnitedSGA ticket has had at least one year of experience with SGA,” Boulware said. UnitedSGA ended the night with a “bring it in guys” from Boulware. “We are all about team unity,” Boulware said. “That is something that we want students to know we are going to bring them, and we could not be more excited to do so.”
For both tickets, sustainability programs consistently present in platforms KELSEY HEITER
ct news reporter Both SGA tickets are focusing on environmental sustainability as a key platform in this year’s elections. Shane McCarty, SGA4You vice presidential candidate, said sustainability is one of the top concerns for students at Tech. “SGA4You found that an overwhelming majority of students said that sustainability is a very important issue on our campus,” McCarty said. “One of our plans is to replace the incandescent light bulbs on campus with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which in turn would reduce energy usage by 75 percent. This is not only a way to save money for Tech, but it is also a way to be sustainable at the same time.” Morgan Bradley, SGA4You secretary candidate added that SGA4You is also interested in implementing a university wide recycling program. Kirsten Kube, UnitedSGA vice presidential candidate, said UnitedSGA is working to deal directly with sustainability issues on campus. “Our program would involve creating a position on our executive team that deals directly with sustainability as it relates to student outreach,” Kube said. “We could hold monthly seminars on sustainability for the students. The goal is to make the students aware that they can make a difference in helping this community become more green.” McCarty said one of SGA4You’s platforms is making a “Big Event: Green Edition” next year. “What we would be doing is giving the homeowner long-term value, something that will save them money,” McCarty said. “For a lot of people, they consider energy bills a fixed cost, so what we want to do as
students is to find a way to give back that will provide long-term value. There are simple things that we can do and it is amazing how some things like lighting and cracked windows are where your high costs in electricity are coming from.” Alex Miller, UnitedSGA presidential candidate, said UnitedSGA is working to advocate the dining initiative of reusable mugs on campus. “Members of the Environmental Coalition have been big advocates of the reusable mugs,” Miller said. “We have met with Andy Sarjahani, the sustainability coordinator on campus. He said that through the legislation passed in the fall, Tech is looking into using the reusable mugs, but they are still looking at which type of mug would work best for students.” Miller added that UnitedSGA does not have all of the answers, but they do have ideas on how to improve campus. “I think that the dining halls would still have cups, because not all students would want to necessarily buy one of the mugs,” Miller said. “It would be an optional program, but I think that if the benefits are there, then the students will want to buy the mugs. I think it would be convenient for students if the reusable mug program was put into effect.” McCarty said SGA4You hopes to start a new sustainability program for freshmen next year. “We want to start a program called Freshman Leadership Organizations and have one group that would focus on sustainability,” McCarty said. “One of the things we would want to do is train that FLO group with the Environmental Coalition to be energy auditors, so when they are at Tech they can give back to the Blacksburg community and Tech
A whiteboard outside D2 dining hall lists issues that students feel SGA4You should focus on. Both tickets are pushing environmental sustainability. specifically by doing energy audits.” McCarty added that students might find a career path out of the opportunity to work as energy auditors. “By creating a pool of student energy auditors that are students is something that the students will benefit from in the future,” McCarty said. “When those students go out after college, they can audit for
their own home so that their home is energy efficient. This can also be a career path for students, so instilling them with skills that benefit both the student and the university, that is what our whole campaign is about, looking for the win-wins.” Bradley said the Residence Hall Federation has been working to bring
reusable bags to the dining halls. “It would be a bag that students would use every time they wanted to get food to go,” Bradley said. “It would be a small step, but I think it would really make a huge difference.” Kube said the issue of sustainability is something that the students care deeply about.
“We want to create a position on our executive team that deals directly with sustainability as it relates to the student outreach,” Kube said. “Our idea is to hold monthly seminars on sustainability. It would make the students aware that they can make a difference in helping our community become more green.”
tuesday, march 31, 2009
Outgoing officials share experiences
SGA faces new rules
ct news reporter Current SGA President Emily Mashack, Vice President Rianka Urbina and Secretary Kirsten Kube discussed their current positions and what they hope new officers will bring to SGA next year. When asked what each officer would take away from the experience they had serving on the SGA executive board this year, all three responded with very different answers. “My takeaway would be working with the different people on the executive board,” Urbina said. “The directors have so many different ideas that you would never think of by yourself. Working with so many different people has really opened my eyes and helped me grow as a leader.” Mashack is very thankful to have learned about her strengths and weaknesses while in office. “I am one to jump into situations; I am very spontaneous,” Mashack said. “You learn very quickly that you cannot be that way. You have to be more meticulous, methodical and thoughtful about the impact that you make.” Mashack added that she has learned a lot in office through working with Urbina and Kube. “We have been able to achieve so much because of our differences,” Mashack said. “The challenges that we have had to work through before we truly became a group of leaders has made us stronger and really enabled us to become proactive and achieve so much this year.” Kube said she has grown in her leadership roles throughout the past year. “It has been an absolutely incredible experience,” Kube said. “I have learned so much working with Rianka and Emily. You can really pull a team together to create such positive effects on the community, and I think if the students really want to make a difference and the officers really want to make a difference than they can. I think that is really inspiring.” Mashack said she hopes the upcoming SGA officers work more with the legislature next year. “We have some great programs to work on next year,” Mashack said. “SGA has some great connections to really be able to make a genuine difference.” Urbina said the initiatives that SGA set out to accomplish this year were completed. “We were not elected as a ticket, we came in on a fresh slate,” Urbina said. “Emily and I combined our three passions: sustainability, diversity and academic advising. Academic advising was a passion of all of ours, and I took the lead on that. I met with the House and Senate and asked if they wanted to start an undergraduate advising committee, and asked how they wanted to improve upon the program.” Another initiative was the creation of the
ct news reporter
From left, outgoing President Emily Mashack, Secretary Kirsten Kube and Vice President Rianka Urbina pose in the SGA’s office. first “Green Effect” game this year. “It was a really awesome opportunity to have the first Green Effect football game this year,” Mashack said. “We started by working with the Environmental Coalition, who has been one of our key partners this year. It was an idea to hand out biodegradable trash bags to the tailgaters in several lots to collect all of their recyclables to see how much is actually being thrown away. We did not actually get the chance to weigh the bags to see how much is thrown away because Hokies are such great fans that they took the recycling bags to the bins for us.” Mashack envisions having the program in all of the tailgating lots of every football game next year. “We hope to have it turn into a sort of competition between the ACC schools since everyone has such a passion for football,” Mashack said. “We hope to instill this program in other schools after they see how successful this event was and will be at Virginia Tech.” Kube said she worked to revamp the SGA’s Web site this year, adding a new dimension to the organization. “I worked a lot with the director of technology to oversee the Web site and membership development, which I feel is something that will benefit SGA in years to come,” Kube said. The current officers said they see a lot of
potential for SGA to grow next year because of the qualified candidates running for election. “I hope that the candidates for next year bring the passion and an understanding that, yes, they are going to make mistakes, but every time you do not succeed, there is a lesson learned,” Mashack said. “The candidates have to see that there are going to be successes in each of those mistakes, and if they do not see that, they are going to get down on themselves, and not see all of the positives they are working to accomplish.” Urbina said she has a great respect for the candidates running for election. “If you are running, that already speaks highly of you to begin with,” Urbina said. “For there to be two dynamic tickets, that is awesome, because either way the election goes, we are in a win-win situation.” Urbina added that she hopes the next set of SGA officers uphold the positive initiatives that she helped instantiate this year. “We have started new programs this year that I would love to see continue in the years to come,” Urbina said. “The Green Effect game, the academic advising team and the new Web site are all positive things that I hope will be up kept in years to come. If they need to be changed, then SGA should do so. Students love new ideas and change, so SGA needs to
continue doing what is best for them.” Kube said she wants to see a dedication from the candidates running for election next year, herself included. “You have to have a passion for what you do,” Kube said. “You have to realize that when you go to sleep at night, you are going to get up early the next morning and continue to push on to make Virginia Tech a better place. That dedication is crucial.” Mashack said that she wants students to know that SGA is here for them to have their voice heard. “You have to remember that as a student, not in a leadership position looking to the SGA as leaders, we need you go come to us as much as we are saying that we want to reach out to you,” Mashack said. “If you do not come back to us with your concerns or criticisms, we cannot improve this campus. We are in this position to make things better, so we need you to come to us.” Urbina said she wants students to know that they truly do matter. “We are here to help, so come to us with concerns and questions,” Urbina said. “Hopefully next year, the executive board will touch more students and accomplish more than we did this year. I hope that SGA can help more students to understand that they can truly make a difference on this campus.”
Students voting in this Tuesday and Wednesday’s Student Government Association elections will be working under new election rules. The rules, approved in Feb. 2009, were altered to change the penalties candidates and tickets faced with infractions. One major change was the ability for candidates or tickets to be removed if they commit a set number of infractions. “In previous years, candidates would break the rules then pay the fine without any consequences,” said Dana Gilmore, chief justice for the SGA. For the 2009 elections, candidates or tickets that have more than two major or three minor infractions will be taken off the ballot or any write-in vote. “If they’re committing these infractions and they’re willing to take those risks and break the rules, they’re not fit to run student government.” Swanson said. “There shouldn’t be an endless number of infractions.” Also changed was the punishment for infractions committed during the set campaign period. For the 2008 election the punishment for a minor infraction was a loss of 5 percent of a candidates’ votes, or 10 percent for a major infraction, regardless of when the infraction occurred. The 2008 elections faced controversy when a budget violation led to a major infraction, costing the yourSGA ticket 10 percent of each member’s votes. The outrage from the election, which included a disputation document based after Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, inspired changes to the policy. In the 2009 election, a ticket will only lose votes if an infraction occurs during the election period. For an infraction occurring during the set campaigning period, a campaign would lose a set percentage of campaign material such as fliers and banners. Also under the new rules is a ban on custom T-shirts for candidates or tickets. Gilmore noted that in past years campaigns had members posted outside of voting areas wearing their campaign T-shirts. “It was subliminal messaging to voters,” Gilmore said. Also, all campaign material, which includes fliers, banners, and a-frame display must be taken down by midnight Monday. The only exception to this rule is Facebook groups and Web sites created by candidates and tickets. Gilmore noted the new rules would promote accountability from candidates.
tuesday march 31, 2009 blacksburg, va.
news CONCEALED CARRY VETOED BY KAINE Gov. Tim Kaine vetoed two bills Friday that would allow concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, repeating a pattern from last year. One bill, proposed by Republican Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr., would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry a weapon inside establishments serving alcohol, on the condition that they do not consume alcohol. The bill passed the Senate 24-16 and the House 66-33 before reaching Kaine’s desk. Another vetoed bill would allow retired police oﬃcers to carry concealed weapons in establishments that serve alcohol. Kaine vetoed 10 other bills. Two would expand gun ownership rights. Five would expand the death penalty. A bill that would allow use of a “voice stress analyzer” as a lie detection device in interrogations was also vetoed. Legislators will have the chance to overturn vetoes during the veto session, beginning on April 8.
KAINE ALTERS JOBLESS BENEFITS In order to receive an additional $125 million in stimulus funds, Gov. Tim Kaine changed unemployment laws. In a press release, Kaine outlined changes such as an extension of unemployment eligibility by 26 weeks for those who lose jobs in declining industries and are enrolled in training. Additionally, unemployment beneﬁts could be extended 13 weeks on top of the regular 26 weeks and 20 week extension already in eﬀect. The changes increase coverage in the policies provided by small businesses, such as childhood shots, mental health and substance abuse services. Virginia has already received $62.5 million from the federal government.
Cadets awarded medical scholarships RILEY PRENDERGAST
ct news reporter Cadets Ryan Anderson and David Fulbrook of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and the Air Force ROTC detachment are sitting at a table discussing their acceptance into a program that only 25 students a year in the country are admitted to as if they had just won the lottery for football tickets. Anderson and Fulbrook have been selected for the Pre-Health Program for the U.S. Air Force at any school of their choosing, either civilian or the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences. Both cadets are ANDERSON sophomores, with
Anderson majoring in biology and Fulbrook majoring in biochemistry. To have not only one, but two students selected from Virginia Tech’s ROTC out of every ROTC program in the country can be seen as no less than a huge achievement for the program. Students accepted into the program require a 3.5 cumulative GPA and must maintain at least a 3.3 GPA to keep the allocation. “I’ve wanted to be a doctor for a very long time,” Anderson said. “But I’ve always wanted to be in the military. My dad’s in the Marine Corps, so the military has always been in my blood.” Fulbrook shares the same family ties to the military. “My dad has been in the military for 31 years,” Fulbrook said. “He was stationed in Germany when he met my mother.”
Other than impressive GPAs, the cadets applying for this scholarship must also prove themselves with unit commanders. “We receive a FULBROOK UCR, or a Unit Commander Ranking, determined by grades, PT (physical training), volunteer hours, extracurricular activities and professionalism,” Fulbrook said. “They put us into top, middle and bottom rankings. We have worked pretty hard to stay in that top ranking.” Anderson and Fulbrook, armed with their drive to study medicine, will have the option to study at a university such as VCU or Georgetown and have their tuition and textbooks paid for along
Foreign Service storms campus RILEY PRENDERGAST
ct news reporter U.S. Department of State Officer Kelly Landry came to speak to Virginia Tech students Monday night to recruit for employment in the Foreign Service. She brought with her the highs and lows of being a female diplomat in Saudi Arabia and the shift the Department of State will be making with the new administration.
Q: Are there a lot of job opportunities for students coming right out of college in the Foreign Service? A: There are a lot of job opportunities; whether students coming right out of college are eligible is based off of their course of study, the type of activities they have done outside of class in order to gain more knowledge, not only of their own community but also of other communities. Whether that be in the United States through outreach to immigrant workers teaching English as a second language or traveling overseas, it really depends. Q: Has there been a large turnover in job with the changing of the administrations? A: It’s more that the budget we requested during the final days of the Bush administration finally came through. And, actually, there was a supplemental passed during the Bush administration allowing us to hire more than we had previously. One thing that the State Department has really fought for is that we need more officers. The world has changed, and we can’t serve in all the different places that we need to be if we don’t
have more officers. With this new budget, we will be hiring about 200 to 300 additional officers than we have in previous years.
Q: What type of role do you take in policy creation and implementation? A: Policy is really created from the work done at the embassy and consulates. We are the eyes and ears of Washington, and they can’t create policy if they don’t know what are the personalities on the other side of the Atlantic or on any other continent. It’s then our job to take these policies back and put them into action. Q: Now with tensions heightening all over the world and multiple embassies being bombed, are you fearful at all in your line of work? A: My family was very nervous when I went to Saudi Arabia, and, strangely enough, going around in an armored car becomes normal. My philosophy is that I could be walking down the street in my home town and get hit by a bus, but the likelihood that I’m targeted because I’m a diplomat is just something I live with; it comes with the job. … I try to not go around waving the black passport that often, but it’s the cost of doing my job and serving my country. Q: Do you feel you’re kind of a forerunner for this new administration seeing as you are a female diplomat serving in places like Saudi Arabia? A: Oh man, I wish. Starting in the Bush administration, they made a huge push to include women and minorities. That’s one
with a monthly stipend for living expenses. The alternative is to attend USUHS, located in Bethesda, Md., and be commissioned into the Air Force as second lieutenants and receive full pay, benefits and entitlements of an active duty officer. “I’m looking at the military’s program, EVMS or VCU,” Anderson said. “I’m trying to stay away from UVa.” It is obvious that the two cadets are close friends as they share stories from their time so far at Tech and their plans to continue on to medical school together. “We met when we got to Tech, and we’ve kind of done everything the same,” Fulbrook said. “We both knew that we wanted to go medical from the start.” It was not only the love of the medical profession that steered Anderson
toward this program, however. “I don’t like to fly,” said Anderson. “I mean, I know that sounds weird, me being in the Air Force ROTC and all, but I would just rather stay on the ground and go medical.” The Air Force is not the only branch of the military that offers this program. The USMC, Army and Navy all offer similar programs with slight variations. “For this program you have to apply sophomore year, other applications are junior year,” Anderson said. “You have to know pretty early that you want to go into medicine.” No matter what program they decide to go with upon receiving their undergraduate degrees, they will both be promoted to the rank of captain in the Air Force Medical Corps once they receive their medical degrees.
The tradition continues
thing I like to talk about, the changing face of the diplomatic Corps. It did used to be an all white male club, usually they had graduated from Yale and Harvard, but if we’re going to tell America’s message, it has to be in a way that reflects all of America.
Q: Were there many women serving in Saudi Arabia? A: I worked with a large group of women. They take a certain amount of joy in sending blond women over there to serve. I never blend. It gave me a much different perspective being a female in Saudi Arabia. Q: Now going back to a point you made earlier, even though the Foreign Service is typically seen as the “good old boys from Yale,” is it becoming easier for a student from, say, Virginia Tech to get a job? A: Absolutely. Alumni still go back to their alma maters to recruit, but we are making an effort to get the word out to more schools. I think we could be a little better at advertising ourselves. Most people don’t really know what we do, which becomes a problem when they get in trouble overseas. I mean, there was one woman in my class who had an associate’s degree and was a travel agent before she joined the service, and now she is in Jerusalem. If you took a good range of political classes in college and take the time to read different publications and read the news, you’ll be right up there with them.
A young woman receives her date’s ring at the door prior to Saturday’s Ring Dance. The ball took place in Squires Student Center. This year marked the event’s 75th anniversary.
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West Campus Dr. closed midMay to mid-August '09
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A lot of the time-intensive work will be taking place after graduation in May. “We put out a notice a few weeks back, where the timeline is posted from mid-May to mid-August for the West Campus project. While that is a substantial period of time, it is also an estimate, and hopefully it won’t need to be closed for as long; that could end up being shortened,” West said. “We definitely want to give ourselves some leeway because you have to account for weather issues and other problems that come with traffic problems from closing midways, such as major events. All of those factors play in, and we want to give ourselves some time to work around.” When Transportation and Campus services put out notices, they expect to receive feedback from those holding events, but that hasn’t been the case much at this point. With events such as Freshman Orientation being held over the summer months, some road closures could be extremely problematic. “As far as West Campus Drive, we haven’t had much feedback from the notice as far as keeping roads open. A big part of putting it out was so that we could get feedback from groups and departments and others on campus, and they can ask to keep a road open or only partially closed,” West said. In the event that a group does request to keep a road open or partially open, Transportation and Campus Services typically compromises or provides some sort of alternate route so that people can make it to their destination safely. TCS puts out notices on the VT News daily e-mail so that the Tech community is aware of the closings. However, not as many people see the alerts as TCS would like.
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“They then come back with a more detailed traffic control plan for each segment. They are supposed to use ours as a guide to create their plans,” Hilt said. Hilt said that it is his mission to make sure that anyone who needs to get somewhere can get there with a minimal amount of inconvenience. That is why the project is essentially broken down into six segments, with the detour for each segment being different. This plan was made considering such factors as the academic calendar and events such graduation, movein, move-out and weddings that are planned on campus. “We’re just trying to minimize the impact on the campus,” Hilt said. “With any construction project, you have to ask for patience and understanding on the part of people that are using the road and going around the project, but we’re doing everything we can to keep this from being too much of an inconvenience.” The town of Blacksburg is planning a separate project on Tech’s campus. This project, located near West Campus Drive and Stanger Street, involves the widening of roads and is almost complete. “With this project, the roads have been widened, adding additional turn lanes off of Prices Fork onto West Campus and Stanger so that you can get down into the parking area without waiting as long,” said Brandon Steele, transportation program manager for Blacksburg. New traffic signals are also being added, and the current ones will be updated to reflect the new pattern. All that’s left after that is a final layer of pavement and painting the roadways.
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This summer Virginia Tech, VDOT and the town of Blacksburg will all be working together on different projects around campus that will require certain main roads to be closed. Included on this list are Washington Street, Duck Pond Drive and West Campus Drive. Closures are being estimated at this time, but contracts are still being dealt with as the school waits to hear back from contractors, so final dates are not yet available. Hillary West is Tech’s spokeswoman for Transportation and Campus Services. “VDOT and the Town of Blacksburg are working together as well as some folks on campus through the Town of Blacksburg on these projects,” West said. “Most of it is separate from the steam line project that could result in the closure of Duck Pond and Washington this summer. The work being done through the town with VDOT is supposed to close West Campus as well.” A lot of the work on campus this summer will be in order to install a new steam line that will serve several new buildings that will be built on campus in the future. Most buildings are still in various stages of planning in the area of Life Sciences. The most familiar streets on campus that may be closed include the stretch of road from the Litton Reaves parking lot to the campus entrance on Washington Street. Duck Pond Drive may see closures from its intersection on Washington Street to the Litton Reaves lot. Patrick Hilt is Tech’s capital project manager and has worked closely with
the steam line extension. “This will begin in the area of Washington Street and Duck Pond drive,” Hilt said. “We have the bids in, and the contracts are being worked to be completed with the contracts. We should have a schedule from them soon. It will have an impact on the campus, but it shouldn’t cut anyone off or affect anyone greatly. “Campus steam generated right now is over at the power plant and runs through piping that goes out to campus and various buildings for heating, use in labs and running equipment. What this project does is involve the buildings that are and will be on the fringe end of campus and its distribution system,” Hilt said. “The pipes were undersized to handle them. We are upgrading the distribution system to get steam out to the far regions of campus, basically picking up where the last project left off. While new buildings such as New Hall West will be connected to the existing steam line, newer buildings, such as a Virginia Bioinformatics Institute extension, will mostly likely connect to this new line in the future. Much of the final closures and information as far as dates are concerned will be decided by the contractor because they are best able to decide the amount of time that it will take for work to be completed. “What we’ve done is put in the documents a basic layout that we would consider to be workable to the contractors. It’s got basic constraints, given the schedule and other factors,” Hilt said. Included in these factors are how the contractor wants to accomplish work, how many crews will be present, the order of completion and the types of equipment that will be on site.
ct news reporter
SARA SPANGLER/COLLEGIATE TIMES
“If people aren’t aware of road closures when they see them happening, they can definitely keep tabs on what we’re doing. We are definitely trying to keep notices out on everything affect-
have a news tip? want to see something in the CT? e-mail email@example.com
ing roadways and parking lots and keeping people informed about these things,” West said. All the work is scheduled for completion before the end of next spring.
editor: bethany buchanan email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 540.231.9865 office hours: w 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., f 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
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march 31, 2009
Group ‘TWISTS’ art and science in novel way
“You take the subject of Darwin and expand the biological issue subject into something social.” - ASHLEY TOMISEK SOCIOLOGY MASTER’S STUDENT While there are many controversial societal issues surrounding Darwin, “Living Darwin” looks to explore the role of Darwin in our everyday lives. “The idea is that it’s an issue that people can have some feeling of connection with, where there’s clearly a sort of cultural or social component to it. Or a component that connects with people’s real or daily lives. With Darwin, there’s definitely controversial aspects of Darwin, but that’s not all we’re focusing on. We’re looking at other aspects of evolution and Darwin that are not controversial, but are still significant for people and the way they think about and live their lives,” Halfon said. “We talk about people being fit or unfit. We challenge ourselves to survive, and it’s a language of competition. We’re going to explore those things.” Another integral aspect of TWISTS is research. “We’re thinking about performance as research,” Halfon said. “Each one of those takes different research practices. Some of
ON THE WEB To get involved, check out TWISTS’ Web site: www.twists.sts.vt.edu Another important component of TWISTS is the workshops it holds to help generate material for its final performance. “We all have this sort of sense that there’s something really interesting here. There’s something new. It’s challenging for all of us because it pushes us beyond our comfort zones and traditional zones. I’m someone who spends a lot of time reading and writing. What does it mean for someone like me to get up and do a performance? It’s very outside of my zone, and how do I think about what performance is and what it can do in the kinds of things I’m interested in saying. I think all of us are very open to interdisciplinary work. There’s a lot of struggles that happen in trying to make sense of interdisciplinary work,” Halfon said. In a March 22 workshop, visiting singer and songwriter Elise Witt guided a group of about 10 people in various singing exercises for non-musicians. Participants take individual lines of words and “sing” them — they sing a note and everyone else in the group has to match that note. They’ll sing together to demonstrate how two notes combine to make many more. “I’m teaching them the many elements needed to construct a musical piece … really understanding how sounds fit together,” Witt said. She said she taught her participants about harmonies, melodies and rhythm. Near the end of the workshop, each person took turns “singing” sentences from a passage of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species.” “All of us in the workshop deepened our understanding of the text,” Witt said of the workshop. “It’s a very poetic passage. I think the (words) come alive more than when we’re just reading.” Ashley Tomisek, a first year master’s student in sociology, attended last Sunday’s workshop and said she had to shed her fear of performing to sing in front of a group. “No matter how embarrassed I was, I had to do it,” Tomisek said. She also said that it was interesting to work with Darwin’s ideas through singing. “You take the subject of Darwin and
expand the biological issue subject into something social,” Tomisek said. As artistic director of TWISTS, Ann Kilkelly, professor of theatre arts and women’s studies, is responsible for taking material from workshops and synthesizing it into one performance. “The bottom line is we can raise really complex issues in a format that people really enjoy,” Kilkelly said. “Challenges people to think about topics that are, if not misunderstood, have a variety of perspectives. … It’s also very, very gratifying. It feels relevant to people’s lives.” Kilkelly begins this process by looking at transcripts of digitally recorded notes during workshops, finding what she called the “juicy” tidbits and weaving them into a story. She said one of the toughest parts of her job is to organize the play in a way that will make sense. While writing the script, Kilkelly must keep in mind that the play is for many different audiences. She will use metaphor, dance, singing, poetry and improvisational techniques in her script. She said the play won’t be like a variety show, but instead will capture the veracity and beauty of the natural world. One of the focuses of a TWISTS’ performance is to challenge audience members to work with the subject. Kilkelly will use two specific theater techniques to engage the audience with the material. One is called theatre of the oppressed, which has the very specific goal of dealing with social problems. The other is image theatre, which involves the audience members using their bodies to say something about the issue being discussed. “People love it,” Kilkelly said of audience participation. “Sometimes it feels therapeutic even thought it’s not therapeutic theatre; it always has implications.” Cora Olson, a Ph.D. student and graduate assistant assigned to TWISTS, realized that being part of TWISTS means trying new things and that participating can be fun. “On occasion, we’re pushed outside of our comfort limits. And that’s a really exciting place to be intellectually. And to remember, because (being pushed) undermines a lot of your assumptions to be pushed outside of those limits, and remembering to take pleasure in that I think are integral parts to TWISTS,” Olson said. Olson handles the logistics of the project and assists the three co-directors with research. She said she appreciates interacting with people from different backgrounds. “One of the big draws of TWISTS for me is outreach and engagement with different
types of publics. I got particularly turned on by the project in its commitment to multiple voices and making sure the performances embody multiple perspectives,” Olson said. Olson helps coordinate and spread the word about TWISTS workshops, like the one held on March 22 that focused on signing, and said they serve multiple purposes. “There were things we could get to with sound, maybe effective things we could get to with sound, that words don’t capture and that have value,” Olson said. “I think of the workshop process itself as a site of research.” Olson said while attending workshops she has learned more about other disciplines. By being part of “Living Darwin” she has learned that Darwin suffered from a stomach illness and more about social Darwinism and eugenics, the study or belief that society should encourage those with “favorable” traits to reproduce and discourage those with “undesirable traits.” “I was considerably less aware of Virginia’s history in eugenics before this. I think that Virginia was, well, not a good state to live in at the time,” Olson said. For the research side of the project, TWISTS also focuses on personal narratives. “Personal narratives are a very interesting way to get at that, that values both the scientists’ experiences and ‘lay people’s’ experiences in ways that if we were to just read out of a science journal don’t,” Olson said. “It’s an integral sort of part of how we operate is always reaching across those borders and trying to make sure our boundaries are sort of fluid in terms of disciplinary boundaries and what we conceive of as knowledge.”
Theater arts and science are typically seen as non-intersecting disciplines, but members of Theatre Workshop in Science, Technology and Society, or TWISTS, don’t see it that way. TWISTS is both a research project and collaborative performance initiative that seeks to analyze contemporary issues within science and technology through an original performance piece. TWISTS includes those who have backgrounds in science, humanism, social sciences, and theater arts as well ascommunity members who all work together to create one performance. “TWISTS itself is built on a model we’ve been developing over the past three years that seeks to bring a lot of different kinds of voices together into the development of our performances,” said TWISTS co-director Saul Halfon. “We bring them together in these intensive, partly dialogic, partly theater performance movement kinds of workshops to get a range of responses, ideas, opinions, feelings, scenes, visions of whatever the issue is we’re dealing with. From that we do a series of workshops, and out of that we sort of pull together a performance.” TWISTS co-director and former Tech graduate student, Jane Lehr, said she sees the benefits to approaching science and technology in a multidisciplinary approach. She said she liked hearing a variety of opinions on one issue. “I think that’s exactly how we should be exploring science and technology,” Lehr said. “I think we can produce more socially responsible technology if we switch to that model.” Lehr said the public should be looking at science and technology issues in a variety of perspectives that involves both expert and non-expert opinions in a more reactive light to prevent harm. Lehr, an assistant professor at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, contributes to TWISTS by securing grant money for the project and communicates with current TWISTS members by making occasional trips to Blacksburg and via electronic communication. Halfon, assistant professor of science and technology in society, said working with people from different disciplines is both a unique and challenging dynamic of TWISTS. Halfon said within one discipline, you have to ask, “What are they interested in? What questions do they ask? What are the expectations of what you should know that
it involves interviews, some of it involves data collection at the performances, follow up quantitative and qualitative data, various methods of data collection interviews with TWISTS participants, range of research activities.”
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are different in every field? We encounter that as a collaborative group, trying to figure out each other’s expectations and assumptions and working through those as well,” Halfon said. “In TWISTS, we have a lot of things we think and say about Darwin. Somebody coming from theater arts may not have heard any of this stuff. And what do we do with our disagreements? How much do I have to learn about evolution? We end up having to learn a lot of social science. There are disciplinary differences that have to be bridged.” TWISTS is currently working on a “Living Darwin” performance — a yearlong project to commemorate Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of “Origin of Species.” “‘Living Darwin’ seeks to explore in performance the way in which we as contemporary people, as modern people, think about ourselves, our lives, our relations with each other and our world in terms that descend from Darwin. It’s about the way that evolutionary thought and Darwinists thought shape our everyday lives and become part of who we are as people, as individuals and as communities,” Halfon said.
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editor: laurel colella email: email@example.com phone: 540.231.9865 office hours: mw 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
march 31, 2009
New election rules keep candidates from committing offenses Today and tomorrow the Student Government Association is holding elections for the upcoming year. Along with voting for specific candidates, the student body will also have the opportunity to vote on an amended constitution and updated election rules. A major change to the election rules compared to years past is the fact that in previous years, candidates could break the rules and pay the fine without further consequence. Meaning, tickets were allowed unlimited infractions as long as they paid for their mistakes monetarily. The bylaws were previously amended in 2002 and newly amended in 2005. In the past, minor parts of the constitution have been changed, but this is the first time in years that the entire constitution has been revamped to fit the current state of SGA. Not only has the organization gotten larger, but also events such as Relay for Life and the Big Event have become more important. It’s good that the constitution is being changed to reflect these. More specifically, forcing candidates to take responsibility for their infractions is a positive step in keeping candidates from taking advantage of the system. The updated election rules to limit the number of infractions before being kicked out of the race are a good thing. In the past, those who had the money to pay for their mistakes, combined with the brazen courage to commit them, got away with such offenses. And ultimately, even though one pays their fine for these mistakes, the damage is already done. The benefits one receives from blatantly disregarding the rules far outweigh the implications of an out-ofpocket expense of $25 — the fine previously imposed for individual infractions, regardless of degree. Also, those who committed minor infractions lost 5 percent of their overall votes, while those who committed
major offenses lost 10 percent. The fact that there are not a set number of votes deducted for offenses is ridiculous —if you massively cheat and your margin of victory is large enough, you can get away with cheating — and getting caught. This emphasizes the idea that if you’re going to cheat, you better go big. Luckily the election rules have been revised in order to enforce harsher punishments for those violating the campaign rules. While tickets can still lose 5 and 10 percent of their overall votes for minor and major infractions, respectively, the new rules state that you only lose the votes if the infraction occurs during the election period. If the infraction occurs during the campaign period, then candidates lose a set number of campaign materials. Alone, these changes don’t seem like much of a notable change. However, new limitations on the number of infractions a ticket can commit before being kicked out of the election race certainly level the playing field and force those running for office to take the campaigning rules and restrictions seriously. Candidates or tickets will be removed from the ballot (and will not be eligible for write-in votes) if they commit three major infractions, two major infractions and one minor infraction, four minor infractions, or three minor infractions and one major infraction. The type of infraction is determined by the judicial arm of the government. Hopefully these new rules will help make it more difficult for candidates to take advantage of the system. If someone is willing to continuously break the rules, they are probably not the kind of person we want to elect to our student government, anyway.
I am writing in response to “Bears bury heartbreak season,” (CT, March 24) a sports column recapping the men’s basketball loss against Baylor. I could not help but to notice as I was reading the column the personal stabs that were aimed at Jeff Allen in the middle of the story. I was surprised to see that the writer repeatedly referred to Allen as lazy. Even if that is your personal opinion about the player, what are your credentials about the game of basketball to make such claims? Unless you’re Dick Vitale or Jay Bilas, I think that making a personal jab at a young man who plays for our school is out of line. We are talking about a college
A l b e r t Haynesworth, a defensive lineman for the Wa s h i n g t o n Redskins, signed a seven-year BEN contract worth much more than WOODY $100 million last regular month. columnist DeAngelo Hall, a cornerback for the Washington Redskins and former Virginia Tech standout, received a huge pay increase, too. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, received a 1-year, $13-million contract. Ah, the free agent period in the National Football League is coming to a close, and the rich are becoming far richer. Of course, these talents are receiving their money because of their extraordinary accomplishments over the last few seasons. But is it fair? According to ESPN.com, the NFL laid off more than 200 employees before the end of February. Commissioner Roger Goodell has voluntarily accepted a 25 percent pay cut from his $11-million salary and bonuses. So, the organization is trying to streamline its operations, and the commissioner isn’t swallowing up an excessive amount of cash. The annual NFL Owners Meetings were held March 23-29 in Dana Point, Calif., at the St. Regis Resort. Check out its Web site, and then tell me whether you think a company that is laying off employees that frequently should
have the funds to host NFL owners, coaches, executives and their families for a week. Again, according to ESPN.com, the NFL reportedly generates more than $6 billion per year in revenue. Plenty of cash for that relaxing week on the beach, if you ask me. NFL executives and public relations staff are not the only people seeing the effects of the recession, though. As his UConn Huskies men’s basketball team is preparing for its Final Four appearance, head coach Jim Calhoun has found himself in a turbulent month. Amid accusations of NCAA recruiting violations, Calhoun also had to defend his $2-million salary and its impact on the Connecticut state deficit of around $2 billion, according to FanHouse.com. “Not a dime back,” Calhoun asserted to a freelance journalist. “We turn over $12 million to the University of Connecticut, which is state-run. Get your facts straight and come back and see me.” It seems like a good point. Calhoun runs a flagship program that attracts the best high school athletes to compete on a perennial national championship team, resulting in a cash cow of merchandising, ticket sales and advertising. Ken Krayeske, the journalist who provoked the tirade, is not convinced that Calhoun deserves his payout. “Even a small pay cut could help the athletic department sustain more programs for college students. But, in Jim Calhoun’s world, a comfortable retirement is more important than scholarships and equipment for
young athletes who happen to excel at a sport that doesn’t attract a national television audience,” Krayeske said to FanHouse.com. To many Americans, watching athletes and coaches insist that their payment is insufficient is the most infuriating activity spectators can watch — more than a boneheaded mistake or anything else. According to NYTimes.com, Randy Wolf was cognizant of the feelings of sports fans. Randy Wolf is a pitcher who recently signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for $5 million. Earlier in the free agent signing period, the Houston Astros offered him a threeyear, $28.5-million contract, but they had to rescind the offer because of the poor “economic climate.” Cynics within the Virginia Tech community have also started pointing the finger at renovation plans for the new football locker room and the basketball practice facility, as well as two dining hall renovations. According to the Virginian-Pilot, the locker room’s renovation will cost somewhere between $13 million and $15 million, and the basketball practice facility will cost roughly $20 million. The Hokie Club raised $11 million for the basketball practice facility’s construction. According to Virginia Tech’s Student Programs Web site, the combined cost of renovations for Owens Food Court and West End Market is estimated at $5 million. According to The Roanoke Times, the 2006 Virginia Tech football season raked in more than $40 million. I think they get to build a new locker room.
student athlete, not a paid player such as Lebron James. I know you have your constitutional rights to say what you please, but come on, Jeff Allen does not deserve to be belittled in the middle of a column in the school newspaper. If you know all the flaws of Jeff Allen’s game maybe you should be added to the coaching staff; either way, you have no right to smear the reputation of a young athlete who plays his heart out for our school. I hope that next time the columnist writes about an athlete from our school they think to themselves, “would I say this to that athlete’s face?” In all cases, that would be a no. Peyton Bowman Junior, Consumer Studies
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Internal peer reviews should be held to a higher standard KEVIN GILLISPIE regular columnist Oh, how frothy my ire becomes whenever the idiocy of Ward Churchill creeps back into the news. In an act of desperation wrapped in a publicity stunt masquerading as a heightened sense of social justice, Churchill is suing his previous employer, the University of Colorado, for wrongful termination. Aside from his vitriolic attacks on the United States immediately following 9/11 (the we-had-it-coming kind of attacks), Katherine Mangu-Ward in the Wall Street Journal reports that Churchill “ghostwrote an essay and then cited it in his own work as third-party confirmation of his views.” His lawyers are arguing that if Churchill hadn’t shot his mouth off after 9/11, then the pressure placed on the university from public outrage wouldn’t have yielded what UC’s president, Hank Brown, called Churchill’s efforts to “falsify history and fabricate history.” Such an argument reads like some inbred half-brother of the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree principle. This principle — very briefly and very loosely — says that evidence discovered because of prior unlawful or unreasonable actions is not admissible. The outrage and subsequent investigation into Churchill’s post-9/11 essay (where his infamous charge that the victims of the terrorist attacks were no better than Adolf Eichmann of Nazi Germany holocaust fame) should not have led to any other investigation. An important principle in criminal law, but with respect to Churchill’s publications, any reasonable adjudicator should say: tough. He wrote inflammatory bile constructed from lies. The misfortunes in his life are the products of his own passive-aggressive stupidity — that is, blaming others with vehemence. The
only true injustice here is how long it took to discover the disgusting farce he made of academic research procedures and principles — most glaringly, his suffocation of truth. Academic publications must be peer reviewed, not just peer skimmed. If there was some dedication to diligence — and I’m speaking about the liberal arts — there just might be less radical lunacy rattling its empty wagon around the hallowed halls of academia. And not just diligence against the longhaired insanity of fake Native-Americans (like this “tenured Tonto” — to hark back to a Dennis Miller ad hominem to harmonize with mine), but against the readerproof inanity of most modern criticism published by professors suffering from intellectual incest. And by intellectual incest I mean the process by which the same ideas passed from one academic generation to the next with little to no outside influence continues to pervade modern thought. These ideas mutate into grotesque parodies of themselves, but the people who hold them — having spent their entire lives under the sheltering wing of grade school and post-secondary education — do not possess the self-critical skills to recognize the growing, inherent absurdity of their scholarship. (For those who have been trained not to generalize — a valuable skill in the hands of someone who knows what a generalization is — I already know that my criticism of modern thought is not predicated on a rampant, endemic condition. My own department here at Tech (English) is full of extraordinary academicians who have passed on to me not ideologies but skills, intellectual tools. Tools that liberate the mind, not indoctrinate it. And I exalt them for it. My criticism is of the noisy minority that poisons academic integrity.) These ideas fester until those who hold them are rendered judgmentally incapacitated and allow the obsolete radicals of the ’70s to enter the university
under the auspices of egalitarianism for points of view. This moral/meritorious equivalence of ideas gives rise to a rash of radicalized professors — a topic that David Horowitz has pursued and written on extensively — that taint and corrupt otherwise legitimate pursuits of knowledge and art. And, if questioned, will throw the egalitarian argument back in the faces of those seeking honest discourse. Take, for instance, Aliza Shvarts at Yale University who claimed to artificially inseminate herself, take “abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages,” and then smeared her miscarriages with Vaseline across a cellophane-wrapped box. Yale claimed the whole thing was a hoax, which subsequent testing proved. But according to the Yale Daily News, “it was all part of a project that Shvarts said had the backing of the dean of her residential college and at least two faculty members within the School of Art.” The intellectual incest lies with the professors who approved of this tripe on the grounds that it drew “attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body.” Not even with a drunken stagger could I walk that crooked line of logic. I want to believe that these are anomalies, but because of the severity of these examples I can only conclude that these are the capstones to a pile of lesserknown, not-necessarily-as-egregious instances of academic malfeasance. Such extremism doesn’t spring up overnight. Ward Churchill got what he deserved for lying. And Aliza Shvarts’ advisers should be held accountable for their approval of such contemptible practices: for either allowing Shvarts to perpetrate a lie or for condoning sociopathic behavior. Honest intellectual inquiry — the very pursuit of truth that elevates the human specious above bestial desires — as housed in academia doesn’t deserve this.
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march 31, 2009
What’s your fantasy: Who’s who in the American League So spring training is starting to get serious, and we’re finally done watching a competition that saw the Netherlands win two games in JUSTIN the World Baseball LONG Classic. Now it’s time for Major sports League Baseball reporter and the fantasy baseball preview for 2009. If you’re like most fantasy drafters, you take pride in finding solid players by reading up on your material just before the draft. To help you rise to the top of your league, here is a teamby-team analysis, including potential sleepers to take chances on if you are gutsy enough.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES Overrated: Nick Markakis (OF) Somehow Markakis is being drafted at an average of 28th. How a guy who only hit 20 home runs last year with 87 RBIs in a full season earns that type of draft respect is beyond me. People are counting on a breakout year from the 25-year-old, but his fly ball-to-ground ball ratio isn’t high enough to see any reason for an increase in the power numbers. Underrated: Adam Jones (OF)
A foot injury derailed Jones’ 2008 campaign, and he would not be a bad option late in the draft to nab as your fourth or fifth outfielder. He’s only 23 years old, and the risk-reward factor could be worth it considering his torrid numbers in the minor leagues.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX Overrated: Gavin Floyd (SP) Fantasy baseball is all about consistency. Unfortunately, Floyd isn’t. It’s hard to justify taking him when you can get so many more reliable pitchers to round out the rotation. Simply put — he has the ability to destroy your team’s earned run average for the week in just one start. Underrated: Jerry Owens (OF) He probably won’t play to start the season, so don’t waste a draft pick on him. However, he is lightning fast, and if he rounds out his hitting skills, he may be worth mid-season pickup. Just keep an eye on him.
CLEVELAND INDIANS Overrated: Cliff Lee (SP) Lee was absolutely filthy in 2008, but it’s difficult to see him repeating a 22-win, 2.54 earned run average performance this season. He’s got great stuff, but he needs to continue to keep the ball down in the zone and force
ground balls. Sleeper: Mark DeRosa (2B) With Travis Hafner back in the lineup, DeRosa may be the guy who benefits the most by seeing a lot more pitches to hit. Not many people paid attention to him in 2008 — a year where he only hit 21 home runs with 87 RBIs while scoring 103 runs.
DETROIT TIGERS Overrated: Gary Sheffield (DH) He’s too old … he’s just too old. Everyone knows the name from his Dodger drama and his Yankee tenure, but it’s hard to justify even the thought of a 40-year-old designated hitter who showed a definite career decline with his .225 batting average last season. Underrated: Curtis Granderson (OF) He gets you statistics in just about every category. These kinds of guys are great players to have if you follow closely and can pinpoint their breakouts. He started out last season on the disabled list with a hand injury, so a full campaign this season could mean bigger and better things.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS Overrated: Joakim Soria (RP) When Soria takes the ball in the ninth inning, the opponent knows the game is over. Don’t let the fact that he’s on the Royals distract you; he should definitely get his numbers. He’ll be overlooked by a lot of your fellow league members, and if he gets traded at the deadline to a team in need of a closer, he’ll get his chances to improve upon his 42 saves from last season.
BOSTON RED SOX Underrated: Jon Lester (SP)
GARY W. GREEN/MCT
Carl Crawford watches his home run in Game 1 of last year’s World Series.
On average, he’s been the 18th pitcher off of the board in drafts this season. He had a breakout year in 2008. When the Red Sox needed a win, they put the ball in Lester’s left hand. The cancer survivor seems able to overcome everything, and with a fresh perspective on the mound, nothing seems to get him rattled. Sleeper: Justin Masterson (SP) Keep an eye on Masterson along with other potential starters in Clay Buchholtz and John Smoltz. If Masterson ever convinces Sox brass that
Cleveland Indians pitcher Cliff Lee delivers against the Kansas City Royals. Lee won the 2008 Cy Young Award. he’s too valuable to be in the bullpen, he could see a lot of innings as a starter. He may not surface in the rotation until mid-season, though.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS Underrated: Chone Figgins (3B) Figgins digs out every play, and the Angels’ offense could see some improvement with the addition of Bobby Abreu, who was yearning to get out of the pressure of New York. He’s just another one of those solid contributors, spreading his statistics out and thus greatly benefiting the quality of your team. Sleeper: Jose Arredondo (RP) Brian Fuentes will start off the season in the closers role, but if he buckles under the pressure in the American League after signing his new contract, Arredondo could see time there. Pick him up immediately if Fuentes starts to struggle or goes down with an injury.
MINNESOTA TWINS Overrated: Joe Mauer (C) Mauer is one of those few guys in the category of the great ballplayers that just do not provide enough statistics to justify being drafted fourth on the catcher’s depth chart. The catcher position does not currently have much in terms of fantasy talent, but it would make more sense to take a chance on a
guy in a more solidified lineup, such as Cleveland’s Victor Martinez.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
NEW YORK YANKEES
It’s about time people start talking about Crawford. He is a statistical fantasy fiend, and most league owners should know about him by now, however, there’s still a lot who don’t. Surprisingly, he’s also only 2 7-years-old. Could he be entering his prime?
Overrated: Joba Chamberlain (SP) He hasn’t shown that he can handle the pressure of being in the Yankee spotlight, yet. That could change this year with the new additions taking pressure off of him, but he’ll never be the top-of-the-line stud that was raved about in the past. He’s just too much of a question mark at this point.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS Overrated: Matt Holliday (OF) The A’s made a huge move trading for Holliday in the off-season, but I’m worried about a player trying to transition from the friendly confines of Coors Field to the pitcher-friendly Cisco Field. Let’s face it, if he were in a lineup that gave him more opportunities, it would be justified. However, the A’s win with pitching and defense, and that doesn’t translate to offensive fantasy success.
SEATTLE MARINERS Sleeper: Jose Lopez (2B) Lopez is an often-overlooked 25-yearold player with great tools on a team that has little pressure for success. What more could you ask for?
Underrated: Carl Crawford (OF)
TEXAS RANGERS Underrated: Chris Davis (1B, 3B) At age 23, Davis hit 17 dingers last year in just 295 at-bats. His youth combined with his ability to play either corner position of the infield will allow him to see a lot of time. Oh yeah, and the guy also hits right-handers just as well as he hits left-handers. It’s a recipe for guaranteed success.
TORONTO BLUEJAYS Underrated: Vernon Wells (OF) Wells had a bit of a down year in a season in which he was hampered with knee and back injuries, causing him to miss 54 games. Expect him to rebound in 2009 and be somewhere around his usual numbers of nearly 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and 90 runs to go along with a .300 average. Pretty good numbers for a guy a lot of fantasy owners refuse to take a chance on.
B5 march 31, 2009
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march 31, 2009
sports in brief ing in second place in the men’s 1500meter. He was edged by Sean Welsh of the Spiders by less than three seconds. Freshman Davis Barry took fourth in the race after crossing the line just one second after McLaughlin, though he was followed closely by fellow Hokie Jeff Miller, who took fifth. Next weekend the Tech squads will split to battle in both the Texas Relays and Colonial Relays in Austin, Texas, and Williamsburg, respectively. –Brandon Shipp
BASEBALL WINS SATURDAY, DROPS TWO SUNDAY The Virginia Tech baseball team hit the road after an eight-game home stand to face the North Carolina State Wolfpack this weekend. Tech (15-10, 3-8 ACC) came away with an 11-7 win on Saturday but dropped both games in a doubleheader on Sunday, 18-19 and 6-7. Four Tech pitchers combined to allow only five hits by the Wolfpack (15-12, 5-7) in the Saturday victory. Third baseman Ronnie Shaban led the Hokies offensively with four hits including a home run and four RBIs. Poor pitching and defense spoiled a spectacular offensive effort in the first game Sunday. Tech committed seven errors and allowed 15 hits to lose by one despite scoring 18 runs. In the final game of the weekend, the Hokies blew another opportunity to pick up a crucial Atlantic Coast Conference win. After taking a 6-1 lead into the sixth inning, Tech starting pitcher Justin Wright gave up a run in the sixth, and relief pitcher Marc Zecchino allowed five more over 2.2 innings to take another one-run loss. The Hokies return home for a game Tuesday against James Madison University at 3 p.m. and will host Wake Forest for a three-game series this weekend. –Joe Crandley
SOFTBALL TAKES SERIES FROM UVA Pitcher Kenzie Roark captured both wins for Tech (12-17, 3-3 ACC) in its weekend series at Virginia (19-9, 2-4). After falling behind 2-0 in game one of a Saturday doubleheader, Charisse Mariconda and Erin Ota each had RBI singles in the fifth to knot the score. However, Virginia’s Abbie Snyder launched a three-run home run in the last of the sixth to propel the Cavs to a 5-2 victory. The significant contributions of senior Beth Walker helped win the second game, 10-2, in five innings. The Hokies got going right away when they scored three first-inning runs, one of those coming off a Walker double to left field. Virginia cut the lead to 3-2, but Tech — and Walker — countered in the third. With the bases loaded, Walker drilled a grand slam to straightaway center field. Ultimately, she finished with a careerhigh six RBIs, tying the third-most by a Tech player in a single game. Pitching-wise, Roark lasted all five frames, allowing two runs on four hits, and helped hand UVa its first home defeat this year. Mariconda provided the offense in the rubber game on Sunday afternoon. Her two-run round-tripper in the top of the first put Tech on top for good. Roark again was inside the circle after Kristin Graham lasted one inning. The sophomore from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., pitched the final six innings, giving up
TECH SWIMMING AND DIVING MEN COMPETE AT NCAAS
Tech freshman Jessica Nonn slices through the Old Dominion defense. one earned run. Ota went 2-for-4 and scored a run as the Hokies earned the series victory. Tech goes out-of-conference when it plays at East Tennessee State on Tuesday at 5 p.m. –Brian Wright
After only 20 seconds had transpired in the second overtime, Nonn received a pass from Culp and delivered — scoring her fourth goal of the game to send the Hokies home happy on a dreary day in Blacksburg. Tech plays American (2-8) next Saturday in Washington, D.C. –Alex Jackson
LACROSSE USES TWO TRACK FRESHMEN OTS TO BEAT ODU The Virginia Tech lacrosse team STAR IN RICHMOND celebrated senior day on Saturday afternoon by snapping a three-game losing streak in defeating the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs, 11-10, in a thriller. The Hokies (5-7) took the Monarchs (5-2) of the Colonial Athletic Association to overtime not once, but twice. A goal just shortly into the suddendeath period by freshman Jessica Nonn sealed Tech's fifth win of the season. Seniors Kari Morrison and Rachel Culp were both honored before the game Saturday and both contributed significantly to the win. Morrison, Tech's goalkeeper, played the whole game, faced 29 shots and racked up eight saves, including a save as time expired in the first overtime to keep the Hokies alive. Culp scored her first time on a free position shot in the second period to cut a late Tech deficit to one. The second time, Culp gave the Hokies momentum and the lead in the most clutch of times with a goal just 25 seconds into the first overtime period. Old Dominion didn't go down without a fight, however. Just over 30 seconds after Culp secured a one-point lead for Tech in the first overtime, Old Dominion's Nicole McMahon tied it right back up, 10-10, with a goal of her own. Then the rest of the first overtime went scoreless, thanks to solid play in the goal on both ends by Morrison and ODU's freshman keeper, Sarah Geary.
The Tech track team got a lift from three freshmen at the Fred Hardy Invitational held in Richmond on Friday. Out of all the hosted events, the Hokies were most impressive in the relay events. And out of all the runners in the events, it was the Tech freshmen that captured the spotlight. Newcomers Will Mulherin, Michael Hammond and Eric Hoepker’s combined efforts, along with a solid performance by sophomore Kieran Lee was more than enough effort to take first place in the 4x800 meter relay, posting a notable time of 7:40.99. The Hokies did not just win this event, they swept it. Immediately after the first team crossed the finish line, the upperclassmen of the squad were directly on their heels. Sophomores Jeff Miller and Nick McLaughlin and seniors James Scheiner and Phillip Padilla finished second, allowing the Hokies to take the top two spots in the event. Mulherin and Brian Welch also took first and second in the men’s 3000meter run on Saturday. The women’s 4x800 team performed almost as well, taking third in the relay, falling a spot behind the home team Richmond Spiders and the Pittsburgh Panthers. Erin Reddan also won the women’s 3000-meter event, proving that the Hokies are a dangerous team at distance. Individually, McLaughlin put on the best performance for the Hokies, finish-
The H20kie men sent two representatives to College Station, Texas, last weekend to compete in the NCAA Championships. Freshman Charlie Higgins swam the 100-and 200-meter ackstroke events, while junior Mikey McDonald took part in all three diving events. McDonald returned to College Station for the second time in as many years after becoming the first H20kie diver ever to qualify for the NCAA last year. In the 1-meter dive, the Annandale native posted a score of 341.15 — good enough for a 14th place finish and three points in the event. He followed up with a solid performance in the 3-meter dive, posting a 15th place finish with a score of 371.50. In the final day of the competition, McDonald scored 293.00 for the 23rd best score on the platform dive. Higgins swam very admirably in his first trip to the NCAA Championships, posting the 20th-best time in the 100– meter backstroke preliminary at 47.02. The freshman also registered the 33rdbest time in the 200-meter backstroke, touching in at 1:45.55. After placing fifth in men’s and third in women’s in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, along with this weekend’s performances in the NCAA Championships, the H20kies’ season has come to a close. –Ryan Trapp
Burleson Tennis Center. The Hokies host North Carolina on Friday and Duke on Sunday. –Garrett Busic
WOMEN’S TENNIS FALLS TO FLORIDA FOES The Virginia Tech women’s tennis team hosted the No. 5 Miami Hurricanes and the No. 25 ranked Florida State Seminoles this past weekend while trying to protect the team’s undefeated record at home. In the end, the Hokies dropped both matches, losing to Miami, 6-1, and to Florida State, 5-2. The weekend started off with Tech (10-8, 1-6 ACC) taking on the ’Canes, who came into the match sporting a record of 16-3 while having four players ranked nationally in singles competition. Miami was able to take the early lead by winning two of the three doubles matches for the first point and cruised through the singles contests by taking five of six. Coming away with the lone Tech victory in the singles contests was freshman Courtney Rauscher, who won her match by a score of 3-6, 6-2, 1-0. Senior Jessica Brouwer nearly came away with an upset victory over No. 24 Laura Vallverdu by taking the first set in their singles match 3-6, but she lost the final two sets 6-2, 6-2 to end the match. Following the defeat to the Hurricanes, the Hokies started off strong against the Seminoles by sweeping all three doubles matches to take the first point. The doubles pairing of sophomore Yasmin Hamza and senior Abbey Walker led the way for the Hokies, as they claimed victory in both of their respective doubles matches against Miami and FSU. Florida State followed the disappointing start in the doubles contests by claiming five of six matches in the sin-
gles to win the overall match. Coming away with the lone victory in the singles competition was Hamza with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Federica Suess — ranked No. 76 nationally. Tech returns to action this upcoming weekend as it will travel to North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels on April 4. –Matt Costello
GOLF TAKES SECOND IN SOUTH CAROLINA A little rain could not stop the Virginia Tech golf team from coming from behind to finish second at the Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, S.C., this weekend. The team, along with 10 others, got off to a slow start when it was left out of opening round after play was suspended Friday night due to heavy rain and threats of hail. Saturday’s weather proved no different, and the tournament’s hole count was reduced from 54 to 36 when the second round was cancelled. The team did get a chance to make up for the first round earlier Saturday afternoon where it shot a nine-overpar 297 and slid into a tie for second place, one point behind North Florida. The weather was a non-issue on Sunday as the team went on to shoot a final round 299, tying host Furman with 596, only one point behind tournament winner East Carolina. Senior Drew Weaver led the team in shooting and ended in fifth place with a three-over-par 144. Sophomore Garland Green and redshirt senior Will Oldham each shot 151 and tied for 16th place. The team has finished second in its last two events and will look to move up the ladder in its next contest, the Administaff/August State Invitational this weekend in Augusta, Ga. –Lindsay Faulkner
MEN’S TENNIS HOT STREAK DOUSED BY HURRICANES The Virginia Tech men’s tennis team, ranked No. 21 in the nation, was scheduled to play two matches this weekend. Thanks to the bad weather, it would end up only playing one. Its match against Florida State was rained out on Friday, and its play was cut short Sunday, but it made little difference as it would lose the match to the No. 36 ranked Hurricanes of Miami, 5-0. The Hokies (11-4, 4-2 ACC) would lose all four singles matches that they got in before the rain started in Miami. The others would be washed out. They would also lose the doubles point after losing two out of the three matches. Tech will attempt to bounce back on its home court when it plays its final matches of the season at the Burrows-
Senior Jessica Brouwer pumps her fist after winning a long volley