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summer 2009 summer 2009




Index Map....................................5 Rec sports.........................39 VT Alerts.............................8 Parking.............................43 Hokie Passport....................9 Alternate transportation..44 Dining...............................10 Bikes.................................45 Football games.................13 IT help..............................46 Health center....................15 Directory...........................49 Books................................16 Events.............................. 52 On-campus jobs ...............20 Judicial system.................53 Math Emporium...............21 Study abroad....................54 Residence halls.................22 Career services..................55 Course request..................25 Student services...............55 Hokie terms to know.........27 Theme housing.................56


Tech history........................6 Student orgs.....................40


Sports update ..................28 First-year..........................57 Outdoors...........................31 Student tips......................58 Gyms................................35 Hokie Hi............................62 Downtown........................36 Calendar...........................63 Voice your opinion. Readers are encouraged to send letters and comments to the Collegiate Times. 365 Squires Student Center Blacksburg, Va. 24061 Fax: (540) 231-9151 Letters must include name and daytime phone number. Letters must not exceed 300 words, and should be in MS Word (.doc) format if possible. Letters, commentaries and editorial cartoons do not reflect the views of the Collegiate Times. We reserve the right to edit for any reason. Anonymous letters will not be printed. To order a reprint of a photograph printed in the Collegiate Times, e-mail Collegiate Times Phone Numbers News/Features 231-9865 Sports/Opinions 231-9870 Editor-in-Chief 231-9867 College Media Solutions Phone Number Advertising 961-9860

Subscription rates: $65 semester; $90 academic year; $105 full year. The first copy is free, any copy of the paper after that is 50 cents per issue.

Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief Sara Mitchell Managing Editor Phillip Murillas Production Manager Thandiwe Ogbonna News Editor Zach Crizer Features Editor Matthew Artz Sports Editor Josh Parcell Head Copy Editor Geri Roberts Photo Editor Daniel Lin Online Director Sam Eberspacher Collegiate Times Business Staff Business Manager David Harries College Media Solutions Staff Advertising Director Tyler Ervin Asst Advertising Director Judi Glass, Kendall Kapetanakis Ads Production Manager Allison Bhatta Creative Services Staff Kyle Waldrop Office Manager Joey Mazzei Account Executives Briana Bishop, Lee Eliav, Carly Siegal, Wade Stephenson, Jared T omson Asst Account Executives Morgan Holt, Priyanka Pulijal, Devon Steiner Š Collegiate Times, June 12, 2009. All rights reserved. Material published in the Collegiate Times is the property thereof, and may not be reprinted without the express written consent of the Collegiate Times. summer 2009

The Collegiate Times, a division of the Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, was established in 1903 by and for the students of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.The Collegiate Times receives no funding from the university.

The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 summer 2009





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Places you should know on campus



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Career Services Student Services Cassell Coliseum McComas Hall Lane Stadium Police Dept. English Baseball Field


Miller-Johnson Track

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Look for this symbol throughout Tech Fundamentals for locations of buildings mentioned.


Visitor Center summer 2009

r. gate D South



Spring Rd.







Burruss Hall Burruss Hall is one of the more recognizable buildings on campus. It is located on the Drillfield in the center of the academic side of campus. Named after former Tech president Julian Burruss, it was first built in 1963, but has expanded since the original construction. It holds many administrative offices, includ-

ing admissions and the President’s office. It was originally called the Teaching and Administration building. Most students will enter Burruss Hall for the Burruss auditorium, a 3,003-seat venue where many concerts and performances are held. Many BT buses stop in front of Burruss.

April 16 Memorial When the April 16, 2007 shootings occured, students of Hokies United created a temporary memorial in front of Burruss Hall for the 32 victims. The university dedicated a permanent memorial in August 2007 in the same spot. There are 32 Hokie stones, each with the name of one victim, placed in the same order as the

temporary memorial. The stones used in the original memorial were offered to victims’ families. For the first two April 16 anniversaries, a ceremony occurred in front of the memorial to say the names of the victims. A candle was lit all day and guarded by members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

Tech and ‘burg history JOSH PARCELL summer 2009

sports editor Abraham Wood, a European explorer, founded the town of Blacksburg in 1671. Over the past 340 years, the town has seen many integral parts come together to give it a rich history. Virginia Tech is the biggest part of that. Tech was founded in March of 1872, as a result of the Morill Land Grant Act. It was originally known as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. The college officially opened on October 1, 1872. The first president of the school was Charles L. C. Minor, who served from 1872-79. The first diplomas from the school were presented in 1875, to 12 students. In 1888, No. 1 Barracks, or what is now Lane Hall, opened and housed 150 cadets. The Corps of Cadets is one of two military organizations established as an integral part of a major U.S. university (along with Texas A&M). It officially began in 1872 along with the creation of the school, and was mandatory for over a half-century for all students. The Corps is a very distinct student group on campus; with its uniforms and marches on a daily basis, it represents the very core traditions upon which the school was founded. In 1891, John McBryde was named

the fifth president of the school, in the same year that an athletic association was established. The following year, the school began participating in intercollegiate football, with its primary colors as black and grey. In 1896, the name of the university became informally known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute, or VPI. The motto of the school became Ut Prosim, which is Latin for “That I may serve”, which remains the school’s motto today. This is also when the school colors became Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange. In 1903, The Virginia Tech was established as the student newspaper, which did not become the Collegiate Times until 1970. In 1919, Julian Burruss became the eighth president of the school. This was a landmark for Tech, as he was the first VPI alumnus to serve as president. Forty years later, War Memorial Chapel was completed to honor the fallen VPI soldiers of WWII, and then later became s memrial for all wars. In 1964, the Corps of Cadets became optional for all male students at the school. In the same year, the university reorganized itself into colleges: Engineering, Agriculture, Business, Home Economics, Architecture, and Arts and Sciences. William Walker Lewis became Tech’s first Rhodes Scholar in 1964 as well. The year 1965 marked a monumental

see HISTORY, page seven



Lane Stadium When students drive up Southgate Drive they are greeted by Lane Stadium, which houses Worsham Field. The stadium is named after Edward H. Lane, a Virginia Tech graduate and a former member of the Board of Visitors. It was constructed in 1965 and the first game was played in September of the same year, a freshman game against the University of Maryland. The original stadium held

40,000 fans but with various seat expansions over the years, it now holds over 66,000. The stadium acts like a compass in that the four sections are the East stands, West stands, South end zone and North end zone. The West stands are for mainly non-student season ticket holders; the East stands are for mainly student season ticket holders and lottery seats; the North end zone houses the Marching Virginians, and


Eight Pylons the South end zone holds the Highty Tighties, the Corps of Cadet band. The first win in Lane Stadium came on Oct. 2, 1965 against William & Mary. Tech came out with a 9-7 win. The hundreth win was a 34-6 blowout against West Virginia University on Sept. 22, 1994. Tech’s all-time record in Lane Stadium is 174-66-6. Lane Stadium was voted one of the loudest stadiums by

Atop the War Memorial Chapel and visible from the Drillfield are the eight pylons. They each represent an ideal for which Virginia Tech stands: brotherhood, duty, honor, leadership, loyalty, sacrifice, service, and Ut Prosim, which means “That I may serve” in Latin. On the pylons are carved the names of 424 Tech

alumni who have died serving their country, and in the center are the names of the seven alumni who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. These are organized by graduation class. The pylons were originally constructed and dedicated in 1961 for the Tech graduates who lost their lives in World War II. The Virginia Tech Corps

of Cadets holds dedication ceremonies to honor names as they are carved on the pylons. The War Memorial Chapel is open from 6 a.m. to midnight every day for the public, if students or staff need a quiet place. The 350-seat chapel has church services and is used by organizations for events and ceremonies.



History: Tech has one of two Corps programs from page six

a group known as the Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg came together in determination to re-open the Lyric. In 1996, the Lyric re-opened, and for two years served business again. It underwent a major renovation in March 1998 that forced it to close for seven months. Since its third re-opening, the theater has served as a nonprofit theater and community center. Some of the other historical staples of Blacksburg include Steppin’ Out, an annual street festival in downtown the first Friday and Saturday of August. It began in 1976 as the Deadwood Days Summer Festival. In 1980 it became known as Steppin’ Out. The festival features over 150 artists and crafts people from around the United States. Merchants line the streets of downtown with the most unique items for sale, and the music scene has really grown for the event over recent years. In 1982, the Draper Mile Run was added for runners of all ages, and it is always held the first evening of the festival. It is one of the most highly anticipated events in Blacksburg every year, and attracts people from all over America to come and enjoy the town at its finest. summer 2009

time in Tech’s athletic history, as both Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum were completed. In 1966, cadets and civilians both first established the Student Government Organization at the school. In 1970, the school officially changed its name to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In 1973, the Corps of Cadets admitted its first females, a landmark for the institution. Seven years later, the VirginiaMaryland College of Veterinary Medicine held its first classes. As for the town of Blacksburg, it too has a very rich history, with a few buildings in particular with long-standing memories. The Lyric Theater at its current location in downtown Blacksburg opened in 1930 and is perhaps the most prominent feature of the town. At that time, it featured state-of-the-art equipment and was one of the very first theaters in the state of Virginia to show films with sound. With new theaters opening in the area and technology for home videos rapidly improving, the Lyric closed in 1989, and served as a classroom and Democratic Party headquarters until 1994, when




Consider your options in keeping yourself safe JONATHAN YI

features reporter Virginia Tech offers a variety of measures, services, and tips to stay safe during all hours of the day.

Residential living A tightly knit community is vital to maintaining campus safety — it is important to report all suspicious activity immediately to the proper authorities. According to the Virginia Tech Police Department, there are on average, 250 thefts each year at Tech. Simply locking your door can make all the difference. Also, be sure to close all card swiped exterior doors when not in use and use your peephole when necessary. Remember that Hokie Passports contain personal information and are a key to your building. If your Hokie Passport is lost, contact Student Services immediately. Never

attach your name or address to your keychain. Be aware of who is the RA on duty each Friday and Saturday night, so that you know who to go to in case of an issue in the residence hall.

Personal security

CAMPUS SAFETY EMERGENCY: 911 NON-EMERGENCY: Virginia Tech Police Department at 540-231-6411 SAFE RIDE: 540-231-7233 (SAFE) VT RESCUE SQUAD: Non-emergency 540-231-7138 It is essential to travel in groups whenever possible — just one other person can take away a perpetrator’s opportunity for individuals who can be considered easy targets. Stay in well-lit areas at night and try to

avoid any shortcuts through unfamiliar, isolated areas. Be sure to be constantly aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking on campus alone at night and take advantage of Safe Ride, a nighttime safety escort service provided by the Virginia Tech Police Department. Safe Ride will provide transportation or a walking escort to all persons to any campus building for free from dusk until dawn. For an escort, call (540) 231-SAFE. Sometimes you have to wait 10-20 minutes after you call Safe Ride, so if you can, call a few minutes before you’re finished with an activity so that you don’t have to wait alone or outside as long. At Tech, there are blue-light emergency phone beacons in every student lot on campus that are directly connected to the Virginia Tech Police Department. It would be a good idea to become familiar with their locations. Virginia Tech offers self-defense

classes for students. Rape Aggregation Defense is a program of realistic selfdefense tactics and techniques. The program is a comprehensive course for women that begins by teaching awareness, prevention and reduction. It then progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. A great way to increase awareness is to participate in safety programs that are offered on campus. Specialized training can promote a safe and healthy environment. Tech’s very own Environmental, Health and Safety Services promotes a positive, integrated safety culture for the university community, advocates safe and healthy living, learning, and working environments, and helps departments comply with regulations and mandates. Its mission is to fulfill the role of a regulatory liaison through education, consultation, and compliance monitoring. Be sure to provide vague information

even on social networking Web sitessuch as Facebook. Information that can be considered too personal (such as class schedule) can often have unwarranted consequences. Additionally, make sure you are completely logged out of public computers in the library or other parts of campus.

Vehicle Security For those students who brought a vehicle to Tech, make sure to keep all valuables out of view from outside. Use the glove box and the trunk to hide valuables. Parking in well-lit, highly visible lots that are close to traffic can make all the difference. When it comes to theft, it is important to engrave your valuables, especially your bicycle. You are more likely to have your valuables returned to you in the event of a theft. The Virginia Tech Police Department can provide free engraving.

VT Alerts system SARA MITCHELL

editor-in-chief In response to the April 16, 2007 campus shootings, Virginia Tech has implemented various technologies across the university to aid in faster communication for emergency situations. summer 2009

VT Alerts Students can sign up for the VT Alerts system online. You’ll always receive emergency messages through your Tech e-mail, and they are always posted on the Tech Web site, but you can subscribe to receive them through up to three means of communication — non-Tech e-mail, Instant Messenger, or text messaging. A lot of students have issues with the fact that it takes up to 30 minutes for a message to reach all of the subscribed targets. Don’t expect to receive the message on e-mail, cell phone or Instant Messenger at the same time. They’re sent out in groups, and they can’t all be sent out within seconds. The Tech homepage and Tech e-mail are usually the best places to get the information first. The VT Alerts system was utilized twice in the 2008-09 school year. The first time, in November 2008, a cartridge of a nail gun was detonated outside of Pritchard Hall and the noise was similar to that of gunshots. Students and faculty were informed to stay where they were

until more information developed. In January 2009, a graduate student was killed in the Au Bon Pain in the Graduate Life Center. Alerts told students and faculty to stay indoors and away from the GLC

VT ALERTS SUBSCRIBE: Non-Tech e-mails, screen names, and cell phones at CONTACT: 540-231-HELP for the 4Help customer service center if you have any questions until the situation was secure. Occasionally throughout the year there will be test messages sent. The university will make it clear that a test will be conducted and the messages will say “TEST.”

Message boards Within the last year, the university has begun to install electronic message boards in classrooms and heavily populated areas of the campus. The boards show the date and time in normal use, and will switch to read emergency notifications similar to those sent through VT Alerts. Boards are continually added to the campus, and over 200 are already set up. Some criticize that the boards’ messages aren’t always clear, so be sure to listen to your professor’s instructions.

Hokie Passport: Your ticket to anything Tech ct staff writer When incoming freshmen and transfers arrive for your orientation, you will receive a very important piece of plastic called a Hokie Passport. This card will serve as your student identification. It also serves purposes such as buying meals on campus in all dining halls, buying things at the on-campus general store, and participating in intramural sporting events. Your pass will also be used for transportation with Blacksburg Transit, will serve as your library card, and your pass to all oncampus gyms or workout areas. In addition, any student who is tak-

ing a class at the Math Emporium will need his Hokie passport to get into the building. Here are some questions and answers that will hopefully be of some use to you in understanding just how important your Hokie Passport really is.

What if you lose your Hokie Passport? You should first deactivate your Hok ie Passport if you have indeed lost it. You can do this by going online and going to the Virginia Tech homepage, logging into your account using your PID and password, clicking on the personal tab in your homepage, and going to MyVT. You can also deactivate your Hokie Passport by calling the Hokie Passport Office at 231-5121. If you suspect your card was stolen,

Student legal services Virginia Tech offers free legal advise to all Tech students who paid the student activities fee. Located in 143 Squires, the legal attorney is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. It provides assistance with most matters, usually leasing, traffic tickets, and criminal charges. It also serves as a notary Usually the attorney doesn’t

represent a student in court, but should this happen, then additional fees are no covered by the student fee, and will need to be paid by the student. The attorney will direct students to outside legal services if more help needed. Contact legal services by visiting its office or calling 540231-4720. Relevant legal tips are available on the Web site at

immediately report it to the Virginia Tech Police Department, reached by calling 231-6411.

If you would like to add money, how do you go about doing that? You can add money either at the Hokie Passport office in the Student Services building or you can add money online using an eCheck or credit card. If you decide to add money to your flex plan online, simply go to MvVT and click on the “Personal Info” tab at the top of the screen. You can also add money on to your account using a “cash to card” machine at the West End dining facility.

Do you need your Hokie Passport to use the bus system on Virginia Tech’s campus? Yes, and take notice of this. Some bus drivers will not let you on the bus if you can’t show them your Hokie Passport. If you plan on using the bus sys-

tem, make sure you have your Hokie Passport with you at all times or else you may have to walk to campus or back home.

What are some other practical uses for your Hokie Passport? Your Hokie Passport is something you should carry almost everywhere. When you need to go to the Emporium you will need your Hokie Passport in order to get a computer. If you would like to check some books out at the library, you will also need your student ID in order to do that. Finally, if you like working out then you will need your Passport to get in the different gyms on Tech’s campus as well as play in intramural sporting events.

I have heard about flex dollars rolling over to the following semester, is there any truth to this? Yes, this is true. However, there is one little wrinkle. If you have money left on your card after summer/fall for

semester, the money will roll over to spring semester assuming either a Mega Flex Plan or a Major Flex Plan was purchased. All money on your meal plan must be spent by the end of spring semester. Dining dollars will also carry over from each semester until you graduate.

Is there any kind of fee if you lose your Hokie Passport or need a new one? Yes. If you lose your Hokie Passport you will be required to pay a $15 fee, unless it is reported to the police.

HOKIE PASSPORT CONTACT: 540-231-5121 or USES: Blacksburg Transit use, gym facilities, dining halls, residence halls, various Blacksburg restaurants and stores






Re-experience the simple joy of owning & using something Handmade in the USA!


pottery, glass, jewelry, wood, leather & more... summer 2009

115 North Main Street • downtown Blacksburg



D2 is located on the second floor of Dietrick Hall, which also houses Deets, DX, and the General Store. An assortment of food choices Accepted: can be found Flex Plans throughout Dining D2's eight shops, Dollars which include Hokie Mexican and Passport Asian foods, Account sandwiches, Cash pizza, vegetarian dishes, and desserts. D2 holds special meals, such as a Thanksgiving meal, and brings in guest chefs.

Shultz is home to the Corp of Cadets undergraduate population. Located in the Upper Quad, Shultz is regularly visited by members of the Corp and residents of the Upper Quad halls. Shultz offers a dinner selection Monday through Thursday, as well as special meals throughout the semester.

Shultz Dining Center

Accepted: Flex Plans Dining Dollars Hokie Passport Account Cash

Dinner includes barbecue pork, rotisserie chicken, carved roast turkey, baked potatoes, pasta, and pizza. A soup and salad bar, and dessert bar are also available for students.


West End Market, located inside Cochrance Hall, focuses on made-to-order food that is prepared right in front of students. There are seven different Accepted: marketplaces Flex Plans located inside Dining West End, Dollars including the Hokie Fighting Gobbler Passport Sports Lounge. Account JP's Chop House Cash via prepares the DART award-winning machines London broil West End also has pizza, pasta, and lobster. calzones, fresh made-to-order salads, soups, wraps, steak, sandwiches, hamburgers, French fries, ice cream, and smoothies.

West End Market

Hokie Grill, located next to Owens Dining Hall, is home to well-known names in the food industry such as Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A, and Cinnabon.

Also located in Hokie Grill is Blue Ridge Barbeque, which serves deli sandwiches, and bakerystyle cookies.

Hokie Grill

Accepted: Flex Plans Dining Dollars Hokie Passport Account Cash Debit/Credit Card

Owens Dining Hall consists of 12 shops with a broad range of foods.

Meal Plan Options summer 2009


production manager Flex Plans Flex Plans include a base cost that covers utilities, maintenance, etc. For the Major and Mega Flex Plan this base cost is about $800; for the Minor Flex Plan it is about $400. The remaining balance pays for food and drinks purchased in dining halls. Students with Flex Plans receive at

least a 50 percent discount in all dining facilities. Flex Dollars can be accessed through the Hokie Passport. On-campus residents must purchase either the Major or Mega Flex Plan. The Minor Flex plan may be purchased by offcampus students.

Dining Dollars Dining Dollars is a debit card dining plan that can be used like cash in any dining facility. Deposits may be made at any time

The most popular meal is the Fantastic Frank sandwich, a grilled chicken sandwich that has its own line in Frank's Deli.

Owens Dining Hall

Accepted: Flex Plans Dining Dollars Hokie Passport Account Cash

Food choices include a salad bar, smoothies, pasta, tacos, Philly cheese steaks, homestyle meals, desserts, and a candy bar.

during the year at the Hokie Passport Office or at a cash-to-card machine. Users receive a 5 percent discount. Dining Dollars can be accessed through the Hokie Passport.

Commuter Cash Dining Plan The Commuter Cash Dining Plan is similar to Dining Dollars, except users do not receive a 5 percent discount. Commuter Cash: $201/semester

Squires Food Court Squires Food Court includes two franchise restaurants, Sbarro and Au Bon Pain. Sbarro offers pizza, pasta salads, and desserts. Au Bon Pain offers deli sandwiches, six soups every day, wraps, salads, fresh fruit, small entrees, pastries, desserts, coffees, and drinks. The kiosk offers specialty coffee drinks and breakfast sandwiches.

Donaldson Brown Graduate Life Center The GLC holds another Au Bon Pain with many of the same baked goods, wraps, salads, and other items as the cafĂŠ in Squires Student Center. Accepted: Flex Plans, Dining Dollars, Hokie Passport Accounts, Cash. THANDIWE OGBONNA/COLLEGIATE TIMES



see DINING, page 12


11 TECH FUNDAMENTALS summer 2009




Dining: Centers provide wide variety of cuisine Dietrick (D2, DX, Deets)

West End

Owens Hall

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Deet's Place, on the first floor of Dietrick Hall, is Tech's premier coffee, ice cream, and pastry shop on campus. Students frequent Deet's for a cup of coffee, studying, or catching up with friends. Deet's offers a wide variety of specialty espresso drinks, such as hot or iced cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, and teas.

Deet's Place

Accepted: Flex Plans Dining Dollars Hokie Passport Account Cash

Menu items include Edy's ice cream and sherbet in a variety of flavors, soups of the day, chef salads, sandwiches, or bagel chips with sun-dried tomato dip. Also available are muffins, turnovers, bagels, cakes, pies, cookies, and fruit bowls.

DXpress, located on the first floor of Dietrick Hall, is open until 2:00 a.m., and brings in a lot of late-night customers, especially on the weekends.


Accepted: Flex Plans Dining Dollars Hokie Passport Account Cash

Menu items include selections such as breakfast sandwiches, chicken fingers, pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, yogurt, dry cereal, cookies, cheesecake, and drinks.

Shultz Express offers quick meals such as salads, deli sandwiches, burgers, pizza, a breakfast bar, and dessert bar. summer 2009

Bagels, dry cereal, fruit, bottled and fountain beverages, coffee, and ice cream are also available.

Shultz Express

Accepted: Flex Plans Dining Dollars Hokie Passport Account Cash

ON THE WEB Check out for more information on Tech’s 10 dining centers, such as hours and menus.

Pray to football gods for home-game tickets sports editor Fall Saturday afternoons are defined in Blacksburg by Virginia Tech football. From the early morning tailgating to the deafening rendition of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” as the team prepares to take the field, Hokie football games are an absolutely essential experience for every student. For freshmen and transfer students, however, getting tickets to games can be quite difficult. First-years at Tech can’t buy season tickets, so they are left to try their luck through an online lottery system, at

The lottery works on a game-by-game basis. It will opensup exactly two weeks prior to each home game, and is open for 48 hours. Have your PID ready, as this is what you will use to register for a ticket. If you are selected in the lottery, you will be notified by e-mail and given an online “ticket” in the form of a pdf barcode, which you will need to take to the ticket office located inside the main doors of Cassell Coliseum, on the designated days for pick-up. It does not matter what time you register online, or when you pick up your ticket; the seating locations are randomly organized. If you do not receive a ticket, do not fear. Any unclaimed tickets will be placed in a pool for the

second round lottery. You must have entered the lottery the first time around to be eligible for a second round ticket. Most tickets in the lottery are for the upper sections of the South end zone, while some are along the East end zone and there have even been some rare occasions where a lucky student landed a precious North end zone ticket. Want to go with some friends? Not a problem. Just gather everyone’s barcodes (up to 30), and present them all at the ticket office together, when you will receive your group’s tickets. If you fail in your efforts for a ticket in the first two rounds, you have a few options to still find a ticket. The best option is to make your facebook status “Needs a ticket to the

Virginia Tech football 101: Enter Sandman The Metallica song plays before the game as the players run onto the field, and fans jump up and down. Key Play Fans shake their keys when it's a third down play for the opponent and are effectively very annoying. Hokie Pokie The Marching Virginians lead the stadium in a round of the Hokie Pokie after the third quarter. Turkey Legs Buy a delicious chunk of your mascot for $9 at the concession stands. Touchdowns The Corps of Cadets shoots a cannon for every play that ends in points for the Hokies. Lots of students take this opportunity to throw a friend in the air for each point that Tech has. SARA MITCHELL/COLLEGIATE TIMES

game!” If you have enough friends, you will be sure to find someone offering up a spare ticket. There are always students selling tickets in the residence halls as well. Usually you can find a ticket for no more than $20, depending on the game. Scalpers will also be present on game day, but they normally try to sell tickets

in pairs so try to find someone else who needs a ticket. Students are prohibited to sell lottery tickets for a price. If Tech catches you trying to sell your lottery ticket, you will lose the ability to enter the lottery for the rest of the season. Don’t enter the lottery with the intention of just selling the ticket.

Hokie home games Date Time


Lottery opens

9/12 1:30 p.m. Marshall


9/19 3:30 p.m Nebraska


9/26 TBA



10/10 TBA

Boston College


10/29 7:30 p.m North Carolina


11/21 TBA


NC State




SARA MITCHELL/COLLEGIATE TIMES summer 2009 summer 2009




Schiffert is first stop for Hokies staying healthy managing editor Nothing puts a damper on the first year at Tech like a runny nose, fever, or sprained ankle. But in the event of sickness or injury, students can turn to the on-campus Schiffert Health Center, the first responders in the campaign to keep the student population healthy and functional. Tech has had some form of infirmary on campus since 1875. Renamed after former health center director Charles W. Schiffert in 1998, the current health center is located in McComas Hall across from one of the campus’ gyms. “Our facility runs just like a private care family practice,” said Schiffert’s Quality Improvement Coordinator

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and registered nurse Colleen Farmer. “You get an appointment, you come in, you’re seen,” Farmer said. “We have very little wait times. Everyone is impressed overall by the services that we provide and the medication and the fact that we have a wide range of specialists.” Schiffert’s range of services includes treatment of colds, coughs, broken bones, and burns. Additionally, it can provide casts and crutches and has an in-house laboratory for blood work and testing. Its subspecialties include a wound-care clinic, sports medicine, skin care, migraine specialists, and a confidential women’s clinic. The health center is also developing a dietician program. Farmer said that the most common reason students visit Schiffert is the common cold, followed by injury often brought about by recreational activities like sports. The health center has a self-care cold clinic where students can fill out a questionnaire in McComas or online and present it to a staff member for the appropriate cold medication. Though Schiffert can treat thirddegree burns and basic wounds, serious health problems involving surgery need to be treated at an off-campus hosptial. “Of course, we

always emphasize if it’s an emergency call 911,” Farmer said. All full-time students have free access to appointments at Schiffert and most of the available pharmaceuticals because of a $152 student health fee paid at the beginning of each regular semester with tuition. For the first time this summer, students attending summer sessions can go to the health center to pay an optional health fee for services during the summer. “We do not bill insurance,” Farmer said. “The $152 is basically their insurance policy with us saying that unlimited amounts of care can be given throughout the semester.” Faculty, staff, and other members of the Tech community cannot seek help at the student healthcare center, Farmer said. Schiffert works with Intravene to supply vaccinations at the beginning of the fall semester. Students who still need to complete required immunizations can receive them at the health center on Oct. 6 and Oct. 14. Vaccination fees do apply. Students who can make their way independently to Schiffert can walk or take the Blacksburg Transit bus to a stop in front of McComas Hall, down the street from Lane Stadium. The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad, respond-

ing to 911 calls, can transport students who are unable to move themselves to Schiffert or the nearest operating hospital. Also housed across from the gym in McComas Hall is the Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center. Students can make appointments for psychiatric services to deal with issues including depression, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and academic stress. Cook also has an online screening module for these problems available at its Web site. Students will go through a triage appointment where a counselor will evaluate students and decide what steps should be taken after: further counseling, outside counseling or medication. Cook also offers group counseling for body image, gay and lesbian relationships, stress management and more.

SCHIFFERT AND COOK EMERGENCY: Call 911 CLINIC: 540-231-6444, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. WOMEN’S CLINIC: 540-231-6569, open 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m weekdays PHARMACY: 540-231-8103, open Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. COOK COUNSELING: 540-231-8103, open Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays 8: 30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



page summer 2009

page summer 2009



Books: Aiming to buy, sell, not break the bank PHILLIP MURILLAS

managing editor New Virginia Tech students will quickly learn where a good chunk of their money will go at the beginning of each semester — textbooks. Fortunately for them, internet sales and four local bookstores give students a range of options that store managers claim keep prices competitive. Tech students can choose from one of two university-owned bookstores or two private bookstores downtown, Tech Bookstore and BookHolders. The original University Bookstore, at its present location since 1975, is located on campus across from Newman Library and contains three levels of textbooks commercial books, snacks, Tech gear, and souvenirs. Incorporated in 1968 by the Tech Board of Visitors, the University Bookstore’s purpose is to provide financial revenue for university expenditures such as scholarships, building improvements, and reduction of student fees. “Our sole mission is to do nothing but support Virginia Tech and its mission in academics,” said Assistant Director for Virginia Tech Services Steve Glosh. “We’re going to order everything. … Our job is not to run out of stuff.”

In 1993, the University Bookstore’s off-campus branch, Volume Two, opened in University Mall, primarily meant to serve the growing number of students residing off-campus. Glosh says the University Bookstore and Volume Two have contributed over $42 million to the university for student-related activities. “Our downtown competitors, they have a corporation they send their money to, or if they’re private, they keep their money. Our money goes right back to Virginia Tech.” One of those competitors is Tech Bookstore, nestled in the middle of downtown Blacksburg at 118 S. Main St. Opened in March of 1986 by retiring Manager Jerry Diffell, Tech Bookstore is owned by the Nebraska Book Company, which specializes in used books. According to Diffell, buyback policy at the store is to purchase used books from students at 50 percent of

the new price and resell at 75 percent. “We are owned by the largest used book company in the country,” Diffell said. “So I think we are able to provide more used books. … If a book wasn’t used here, maybe it was used somewhere else in the country. … We get a lot of used books that were dis-

continued at another school.” Tech Bookstore is a full-service store also providing Tech athletic gear, clothing, office supplies, and commercial books. The store has expanded three

times in the past 15 years to accommodate growing business, Diffell said. “Since we’ve been around for 24 years, we seem to have done pretty well. … And I hope we’re around another 25 years.” But traditional bookstores like University Bookstore and Tech Bookstore face a new type of market as peer-to-peer internet selling has become more widespread. “It used to be my competition was any other bookstore in town,” Diffell said. Now, he says, his competitor is “a student with a laptop and a textbook.” The latest addition to Blacksburg bookstores acts as a middleman in the internet textbook market. BookHolders, which set up in a small space at 125 N. Main St. in December 2008, is the third store in a young chain started in College Park, Md. The Blacksburg location is currently managed by two 2008 Tech graduates, T.J. Moore and Brian Allen. Through the use of its Web site,, BookHolders offers students relatively lucrative buy-

back deals – so long as they’re willing to wait. With the Cash Now program, students can turn in their books at the end of a semester for the standard buyback price. The Advantage Plan allows sellers to wait for BookHolders to sell the book at 85 percent the original price online. The student seller is informed via e-mail to pick up a check after each sale. “The student is assuming some of the risk of whether or not we’ll be able to sell that book,” Allen said. “But they are reaping a larger reward when that book does sell.” Through the Web site, “students have complete control over their books,” Moore said. “They can change the prices of their books to make them more competitive and sell their books faster.” Stores like BookHolders, fusing Web and on-site sales, represent the changes on the horizon of the textbook market. In response to the popularity of used books and peerto-peer sales, publishers are finding new ways to maximize profit margins. E-books with Kindle applications are becoming more popular with publishers profit margins. E-books with Kindle applications are becoming more popular with publishers

see BOOKSTORES, page eighteen


17 TECH FUNDAMENTALS summer 2009

page summer 2009



Bookstores: Variety keeps prices competitive from page sixteen

and bundled software, purchased once a semester, is also becoming more common. When all else has been tried, textbook publishers have a tried-and-true approach. “The publishers’ response … is to revise a book every two years, which is crazy,” Diffell said. “But the reason they do that, by and large, is to kill the used book business. ... I would rather buy and sell used books, absolutely.” Moore, who remembers what it is like to try and get good deals on textbooks, echos his sentiments. “It’s ludicrous, man. It’s horrible,” Moore said. “Think about physics and calculus. … Does the information ever really change? They just change a couple of questions at the end of the chapter and say you need to get a whole entire new book and spend another 150 bucks.” Allen said BookHolders breaks up software bundles and sells older editions of books to save students money. In the face of a tough textbook market, bookstore managers like Glosh offer advice to those buying books on a budget. “I’d shop. I’d start early. And be very smart,” he said, adding that students should be “very good consumers. … They’re going to find a book here and a book there … Look and see what’s out there and where they’re going to get the best deal.”

Find your book UNIVERSITY CALCULUS by Hass, Weir, & Thomas

BUSINESS (8th edition) by Griffin & Ebert

SOCIOLOGY: THE CORE by Hughes and Kroehler

Compare prices Tech Bookstore University Bookstore NEW - $111.50 NEW - $111.50 USED - $83.60 USED - $83.65 BookHolders USED - $72.25 Tech Bookstore NEW - $140.20 USED - $105.15

University Bookstore NEW - $125.90 USED - $94.45

BookHolders USED - $37.19

Tech Bookstore NEW - $80.50 USED - n/a

University Bookstore NEW - $80.50 USED - $60.40

BookHolders USED - $34.90

19 TECH FUNDAMENTALS summer 2009




How to find jobs on campus and around town MATTHEW ARTZ

features editor Working while attending college can be a challenging part of a college student’s life. Here at Virginia Tech there are a lot of opportunities for those looking for work. On campus there are several different service staffs that will be looking for students. One of the biggest employers of students on campus is Student Programs. Student Programs hires for both residential positions as well as the dining halls. The only job for undergraduate students within the residence life positions is the residential adviser. Residential advisers or RAs are basically the floor monitors for college students living in the dorms. They are there to make sure students don’t do anything against Tech policy and one is always on duty in case of an emergency. They also put on several social programs throughout the year and are in charge of move-in and move-out activities. Dining positions are also available to students. The starting sal-

ary for working at a dining hall is $8.25 an hour so the hard work is worth it. These jobs include a free meal for every shift worked as well. The student calling center is another opportunity that students can pursue. The general idea behind the position is to call alumni, parents, students and many others to support Tech and higher education. The starting salary is $8. University Unions and Student Activities also offers jobs to students. These jobs are mostly based in Squires Student Center and involve working for various services including the ticket office and BreakZONE. Students can also get involved with The Department of Recreational Sports. Jobs for this department include lifeguards, gym facility personnel, and referees for the various seasonal recreation leagues. Off-campus work is harder to come by, though not impossible to find. There are many businesses in the Blacksburg area — some local, some franchise — that need staff in order to keep running smoothly. If you intend to look for work off campus, start your job seach


Recent grad Nikki Hoack serves pizza to senior Courtney Tate in D2. The dining halls offer employment to students, in addition to opportunities within Student Activities and Residence Life. early because students will be returning in mass when the school year begins. Also consider speaking directly to employers instead of simply submitting online applications.

No matter where you look for work, take time to develop a resume that reflects your skills and experience in order to make yourself attractive to employers. Working on campus can be beneficial because Tech only allows enrolled students to work a majority of the jobs that are offered to students. The best advice is to apply as soon as possible and constantly check on your application.

JOBS For more information on jobs at Tech and in Blacksburg check out these Web sites: index.html

news not making sense?


kmt x

b p l h g r w j vd y u q o e zi s f summer 2009



then this paper's for you.

Emporium a common experience for students news editor Freshmen at Virginia Tech choose from a wide variety of courses and subjects, but one common experience is taking a math course at the Math Emporium.

EMPORIUM Location: Inside University Mall on University City Boulevard Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while classes are in session Math Emporium Tutoring Lab Hours: Sunday - Thursday 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information on the Math Emporium including math help availability, testing details and BT bus information go to or visit the Math Emporium’s Wiki at http:// index.php/Main_Page.

The Curriculum for a Liberal Education requires freshmen pass six credits of math. The common courses include Math 1015 and 1016, elementary calculus. However, these math classes are taught in a different form than most high school courses. All class materials are online, administered by computer. Students can read lessons and do example problems on their computers from anywhere, but must report to the Emporium to complete quizzes and exams. All graded work is on a schedule of deadlines. Students must report to the Emporium to take the quizzes or proctored exams before each deadline. The Emporium is not on campus. It is located in the University Mall, on University City Boulevard. It can be reached via the University Mall Shuttle/Math Emporium Blacksburg Transit. The bus picks up at many points across campus, but its main campus time check is in front of Burruss Hall. The bus is often crowded around Emporium exam deadlines. Tom’s Creek B also drops students off near the Emporium. It drops off on University City Boulevard across the

parking lot from the Emporium. Entrance the Emporium requires a Hokie Passport. Students must check in and out with the front desk, where they will be assigned a computer. Class times listed on schedules are used only once, where students meet the instructor and are given a tutorial

on the Emporium. It is possible students will not even see the instructor again. Graduate students answer most questions, if students put a red cup on the top of their computers to indicate they need assistance. Instructors are available for appoint-

ments with students and hold office hours in the Emporium. Students may also sign up for individual tutoring. Certain math classes are taught in a regular classroom setting, however freshmen seeking to simply fulfill the CLE requirements should not expect a classroom math class.




is hiring ALL editorial positions!


ing !

For more information and to download an application visit summer 2009

365 Squires Student Center • 231-9870

page summer 2009



Residence Life makes dorm transition easier PHILLIP MURILLAS

managing editor Most of the students picking up a copy of this guide at Orientation will soon be grappling with a new challenge: furnishing their dorm room. After that endeavor ends, they may find themselves with many other uncertainties about living on campus. For what may be the first time, freshmen and transfer students will have to experience roommates, finding oncampus activities, and doing their own laundry. While most resident advisers will probably draw the line at helping with a load of underwear, the department of Residence Life does train them to provide assistance to on-campus residents seeking to make the most out of the residence halls. “Our primary responsibility is to provide a positive living experience for our students living on campus,” said Leon McClinton, director of Residence Life. “We provide events and programs for our students helping them learn about people with various backgrounds. We also try to make sure we are aware of resources that can help them with their academic obligations.”

With over 9,100 students living on campus and 29 on-campus residence halls, Residence Life has a large community of students for which to provide services and activities. In all residence halls, students will get to know their resident advisers, fellow students who will help them move in to their rooms, enforce policies and procedures throughout the year, and continually hold programs and activities to build the residence hall and on-campus community. RAs are trained to help students acclimate to a new community and resolve various conflicts residents may have. They are also responsible for documenting any policy violations and referring involved students to Judicial Affairs and Residence Life. McClinton emphasizes the community role the RAs serve. “We feel like we hire excellent students for these positions, because it’s such an important position on campus,” he said. “The topic areas that the RAs will do programs on run from safety and security, to diversity, to academic success, professional and career development, sustainability and community outreach and service.” Students signed up for special themed housing will have the opportunity to

get involved in programs and activities specific to their interests. Tech has 12 themed communities including the Galileo and Hypatia engineering communities, the Corps of Cadets, the Oak Lane fraternity and sorority housing community, and MOSAIC, the Multicultural Opportunity Social Awareness Interest Community. Out of this community, special focus is given to first-year students and transfer students with the F6 program. “The Hokie F6 program is designed to assist first year students through the first six weeks at Virginia Tech. And we are also making an intentional effort to inform our transfer students as well. We realize transfer students can face some of the same challenges that our first year students can face,” McClinton said. Hokie F6 will involve a variety of programs that students can ask their RAs about. The Tunnel is one such program making a return to Hokie F6, an interactive event raising awareness of diversity and existing prejudices threatening multicultural cooperation. Canstruction will be an event centered around Homecoming in which students and RAs can create a structure out of donated goods applying to the

Homecoming theme. Toward the beginning of the semester, there will be a campus resource scavenger hunt so that students can learn more about the services provided at Tech. “We firmly believe that if first-year students have a positive experience the first six weeks they’re here, they will have a successful experience at Virginia Tech,” McClinton said. Residence halls include Ethernet connectivity, laundry facilities and housekeeping staff for common areas. Many halls have their own mail facilities or a facility close by for students to pick up packages and letters. Residents of Miles, Pritchard, Ambler-Johnston and New Residence East who want to work out closer to their dorm rooms can register to use the in-hall fitness facilities. All residents have free access to the McComas and War Memorial gyms. While many students find off-campus housing after their freshman year, several students stay on campus for at least another year. “You have easier access to many of the services on campus,” McClinton said, listing reasons why a student may benefit from on-campus housing throughout their career at Tech. “Our latest satisfaction survey show that students

really enjoy living on campus.” The survey, conducted in Spring 2008, showed report high levels of student satisfaction with safety and security and overall value of their residence hall experience.

WHAT NOT TO BRING •Appliances other than a refrigerator or microwave that are not small and UL approved •Halogen bulb lamps and high intensity lamps •Extension cords (Multiple outlet strips are permitted if they are UL listed and have an integral circuit breaker over current protection.) •Candles, incense •Pets Residence Life continues to expand, converting the once all-male Pritchard hall into a co-ed residence hall, renovating Ambler-Johnston and opening the latest residence hall, New Hall West. For more information on residence life, visit its homepage at www.studentprograms.

23 TECH FUNDAMENTALS summer 2009 summer 2009




page summer 2009


26 Request: A nine-month ordeal Algorithim used for from page twenty-five

“They review that and gauge how much they will offer each class. We will then make changes to the offerings at that point,” Foushee said. “We then make the information available to students, and the student is then granted (access) to drop-add.” It is at this point that departments often open up more sections of courses, if possible, to accommodate exceptionally high demand. “Departments may hold spots in lower level classes for transfer and freshman students, seeing as their drop/add opens in July,” Foushee said. “We then work with the schedules and the various departments through the summer for returning students.” For the fall semester, drop-add typically re-opens during the first weekend of August for returning students. “Enrollment cohorts each year — if we have a large freshman class, then that bubble has to go through the system for the next four or five years. You have to take all things like that into consideration,” Dean said. Students often direct their complaints to the registrar when they don’t receive the class they wanted, and have to transition to the drop/add process of selecting classes. Foushee said that this isn’t justified. “We are just a support office. Class offerings are left up to the departments

based on student demand, request and history. They may make changes to course offerings due to changes in demand, changes in check sheets, or new degree requirements,” Foushee said. Course request must be run quickly, and in an organized manner to prevent the mass chaos that would arise from 28,000 full-time students trying to register for a minimum of 12 credits of classes each. Of course, some departments are larger than others. “The English and math departments are both quite large, they have to offer more sections than most any other department because, of course, most everyone has to take these kinds of courses while they are here at Tech,” Merritt said. “As far as number of students, we have a lot of people in psychology, first year engineering, chemistry, physics and biology classes.” When problems arise, there is a process in place, as well, to help avoid them or help correct students whose schedules may not be acceptable to them graduating on time. “We capture all the requests that departments have entered online and try to detect any problems that may come up.” Foushee said. “For example, if there is a special study course, such as a pilot course or introductory course, those have to be entered through our office, the University Registrar.” When it comes to the difficulties of

making course request work, the varying courses coupled with scheduling and space availability in the classroom are some of the greatest challenges. “Each term is very independent of another. Fall 2008 is much different from fall 2009, mainly because there is a different population of students, and several courses change being deleted or added,” Foushee said. “One of the most difficult aspects of the process is the scheduling and the space because we’re limited on general classroom space,” Merritt said. “The demand in terms of the sizes of the classes doesn’t always match up with the room pool. Course request is vital to the university’s function of educating students, and developments are always being made. Although the registrar tries to accommodate the actual course over the preferred time of day, a majority of students get the classes they need to fulfill all requirements over the first four years. “Long range planning is going to be very critical, especially over the next few years. Every year it becomes more challenging as the university grows. When you add budget constraints, the challenges are more particular,” Dean said. “Course request is a data gatherer; it doesn’t make decisions. All 70 departments have to communicate with us to make sure it is effective and we get all of that data.”

classroom scheduling JUSTIN GRAVES

public editor Scheduling classrooms is done through an algorithm principle that was purchased by the Office of the University Registrar at Virginia Tech. Through a sophisticated computer program, once course request is complete, several bits of information are pushed into this program, and it spits out the resulting classrooms assignments. Marvin Foushee is the associate registrar, and Brynda Merritt is the timetable and scheduling coordinator. “Each department has a profile of where they would like to be,” Merritt said. “First of all, let’s say business would prefer to be in Pamplin, but second choice is Williams or Davidson and third would be Torgerson. This makes up the profile. “Then, each classroom has a number of seats, so you have to look at that number; some departments will be asked to be pre-assigned to a room due to technological needs,” she said. “So they will sometimes stay there even without capacity. For example, engineering needs outlets, the math department prefers flat services or (has) needs for A/V projectors.” Wanda Dean is the university registrar and says that the algorithm principle is very sophisticated and looks at several reasons why a class can or can’t go in a certain space. “Scheduler 25 is a program that many institutions use, and its main function is optimizing,” Dean said.

“It looks at patterns of behavior as far as use of courses. If we can’t fill every classroom, that’s not using our resources to the best of our ability, and that’s what we need to do.” “The purchased package we use to do our scheduling runs on an algorithm principle, and we capture all requests that departments have made based on the size of the courses,” Foushee said. “For example, if you want to have two large sections of general classes, like introductory psychology, you need a 500-student capacity classroom.” Foushee notes, however, that Tech is limited on the amount of space to offer such a large course. In that event, departments and instructors sometimes will have to change the sections that they wish to teach. “In that case, instructors will put in the capacity of different sections that they’d like to teach - basically an ‘I Wish’ list for requests of rooms,” Foushee said. If there is more than one request for a room for particular time of day, a negotiation must take place. With all that said, all departments submit the time, capacity, instructor and preferred location to the registrar, and the assignment is then chosen randomly. “We try to place each class as departments have requested at the requested time of day,” Foushee said. “We then record the ones that could not be placed and negotiate with scheduling. This takes about a week or two, and then, for the spring semester, between late January and through the first of March, we try to place each class this way.”

see CLASS, page thirty

Terms every Hokie needs to know BT refers to Blacksburg Transit, the bus system that runs through campus, off campus, and to Christiansburg Blue Book a booklet used in some classes for essays; can be purchased in Tech bookstores Downtown refers to the area in Blacksburg right next to campus Empo short for the Math Emporium in University Mall


ABP short for Au Bon Pain


List Serv an e-mail service through the school to send mass e-mails to classes or members of organizations PID the username that you made up, which is your e-mail address Student ID number the nine-digit number that is on your Hokie Passport Ut Prosim the university’s motto, which means “That I may serve” in Latin summer 2009

page summer 2009



Getting caught up with Tech’s varsity teams JOSH PARCELL

sports editor

.500 in Cassell Coliseum, where they finished 9-7.

Cross Country One of the greatest parts of the college experience is sporting events. In 2008-09, the school saw one of its finest years ever across the board in its 23 varsity sports. This is a quick review of that success.

Baseball The baseball team finished with its best record in a decade, at 32-21. They ended the season with a series victory at home over in-state rival Virginia, which went on to make the College World Series.

Basketball The men’s basketball team finished 19-15, nearly knocking off eventual national champion North Carolina in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. The Hokies advanced to the second round of the NIT, before falling to Baylor at home. Next year the Hokies return four starters, including third-team All-ACC guard Malcolm Delaney, who averaged 18.1 points per game in his sophomore campaign. The women’s basketball team finished 12-18 on the season. Despite the losing record, they finished above

The men’s cross country team finished third in the ACC, while the women finished seventh. Senior women’s runner Tasmin Fanning finished third at the NCAA championships in November 2008, the highest finish ever in the school’s history.

Football The nationally renowned football team won its second consecutive ACC championship when it defeated Boston College in Jacksonville, 30-12. It went on to the Orange Bowl, where it took down 12th-ranked Cincinnati 20-7. Coach Frank Beamer’s squad returns virtually every key skill position player from that team, and with Bud Foster coaching the defense, expectations are as high as ever for the program in 2009. Tech opens the season on September 5 in Atlanta against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Golf Jay Hardwick has built a stable golf program at Tech, and last year’s squad was led by Drew Weaver, a third-team All-American. The Hokies finished 12th at the NCAA Austin Regional, where Weaver finished tied for 12th individually. Sophomore Marshall


Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor dodges a Cincinnati player in the 2009 Orange Bowl in Florida. Bailey is the top returning Hokie, with a 73.5 scoring average in 2009.

Lacrosse The women’s lacrosse program wrapped up one of its best seasons as a varsity program, going 7-10. The team notched its first ACC win since

joining the conference on March 14, when it beat Boston College 16-14 in overtime.

Soccer After reaching the NCAA Final Four in 2007, the men’s soccer program fell to 5-13-1 in 2008, and failed

to win a conference game. Six of the 15 losses came by one goal. In early June, coach Oliver Weiss resigned after seven seasons at the helm of the program. The women’s soccer team enjoyed

see SPORTS, page thirty

29 TECH FUNDAMENTALS summer 2009

page summer 2009



Sports: Men’s tennis reaches NCAA tourney from page twenty-eight

a 10-9-4 season, including a 4-4-2 record in conference play. It fell in the ACC Championship game to No. 4 UNC, 3-0. It earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but it fell to Brigham Young University in the first round, 2-0.

Softball After enjoying the best season in the program’s short history of 15 years, coach Scot Thomas and the softball team followed up the 2007-08 season with a 28-28-record season. Outfielder Jenna Rhodes was named

an All-American, and led the team to the ACC semifinals, when they fell to Georgia Tech, 14-4. The Hokies suffered the loss of many players to injury throughout the season, and expect another deep run in the postseason in 2010.

Tennis The men’s tennis team made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament before falling to No. 4 Georgia 4-1. Yoann Re qualified for the individual NCAA tournament, where Dennis Nevolo of Illinois defeated him, 2-0.

Track and Field The outdoor track and field programs saw immense success in 2009,

with 8 athletes qualifying for nationals. Kristi Castlin won the NCAA Regional Championship in the 100meter hurdles, and hammer thrower Dorotea Habazin was named Southeast Region Field Athlete of the Year.

Volleyball The volleyball program finished 20-11. At one point it was 14-2, and won seven of its first eight conference matches.

Class: Teachers request classrooms from page twenty-six

Contrary to popular belief, instructors do not submit their own requests of when to teach; this process is done through a liaison in their department who works with the registrar’s office. “Departments may ask professors or basically tell them when they are going to teach, the size of their classes and the preferred location,” Merritt said. “The departments that have more choices are naturally more difficult.” As far as instructors go, the most popular space to teach is often in the same building as their office. On the other hand, for some, time is more important. “Some instructors will go anywhere if they can just get their classes back to back,” Foushee said. “Some are very accommodating and will clump their classes together.” One of the biggest obstacles toward the end of the process is the fact that classrooms often switch locations last minute. “Most often the reason for this is the capacity of the classroom and enroll-

ment increasing through force-adds,” Foushee said. “Then some instructors will request to switch with other instructors out of convenience.” Technological concerns are also a reason for classrooms switching immediately before or during the first week of classes. “Most requests are centered on technology from the faculty,” Foushee said. “Most rooms do most things now, but of course some are still on the queue that don’t have the video data projectors. But the highest demand for a room switch would be room capacity.” Budget cuts have made some departments increasingly worried over the past year or so, and these effects will most likely continue to play out. “We have to make a lot of adjustments for people’s budgets as well,” Merritt said. “Sometimes they lose professors, and everybody is going to have cuts in different areas. They may have to offer fewer courses or they may have to adjust them so they can teach two courses of 40 in one hour, but at the same time, instead of separately.”

Outdoor activities abound for all nature lovers HATTIE FRANCIS

ct staff writer New students must find classes, dorm rooms, and dining halls, but they also may discover local outdoor attractions such as the Cascades, McAfee’s Knob, and Dragon’s Tooth. “I found out about hiking through my freshman roommate,” said senior Rachel Stair. “It was definitely through people.” Outdoor activities have become a regular part of Stair’s life at Virginia Tech. “I like to go hiking whenever I get a chance,” Stair said, “Especially if a group of my friends are going.” Tech offers an outdoor educational service through the University Unions and Student Activities’ Recreation Services, Venture Out. Located in the BreakZONE of Squires Student Center, this program educates students about the outdoors through low-risk adventures.

VENTURE OUT To rent supplies or sign up for a program, visit 116 Squires Student Center or call 540-231-4982 These adventures include backpacking, canoeing, skiing, horseback riding, and more. Through Venture Out, students can rent tents, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment for their travels to local destinations. Instead of waiting to learn about different hiking trails around the New River Valley through the grapevine check out the most popular outdoor attractions in the area:

The Cascades

McAfee’s Knob “If I had time to hike more, I would definitely go to McAfee’s Knob,” said rising junior Anne Curtis Saunders. Located on the Appalachian Trail, McAfee’s Knob provides a one-stop spot to see Catawba Valley, North Mountain, and Tinker Ridge. The 3.5-mile hike is a moderate hike, depending on physical fitness.

ON THE WEB Go to for directions from campus to these sites.

McAfee’s Knob is just off Route 311 between Catawba and Roanoke MARY ANNE CARTER/COLLEGIATE TIMES County. The hike rises from about 2,000 The 69-foot waterfall at the end of the Cascades hike is one of the more feet to 3,197 feet in elevation. “It’s on popular outdoor destinations for Tech students. the Appalachian Trial, so it’s a more challenging hike,” Saunders said, “but when you get to the top it’s the best view.” The virtually 360-degree view gives you a jaw-dropping view of the Peaks of Otter, located in Bedford, over an hour north of McAfee’s Knob. Some have more personal reasons for enjoying McAfee’s Knob. “McAfee’s Knob is my favorite, for sure,” said Becky Ashton, who graduated in 2009. “My boyfriend, who is now my fiancé, proposed to me at the top. That and it has one of the best views.”

The New River is close and offers many ways to camp, fish, and swim. New and Gauley River Adventures 1-800-SKY-RAFT New River Wildside Trip A four person whitewater rafting trip in a 10 inch raft. Rates: Saturday: $150 Sunday - Friday: $125 New River Trail State Park 1-800-933-PARK This park parallels 39 miles of the New River and offers camping, fishing and boating. New River Junction Campground, Inc. 540-639-6633 Tubing: Weekdays: $7 Weekends: $9 Camping: Tent: $19.50 w/electric: $22.50 Camper: $29.50

Dragon’s Tooth Though Dragon’s Tooth is known for being one of the hardest hikes in the New River Valley, it is only a 2.6mile hike up Cove Mountain on the Craig County and Roanoke County line. Like McAfee’s Knob, Dragon’s Tooth is also located on the Appalachian Trail and is marked by blue and white blazes to guide the way. “Dragon’s Tooth is also one of my favorites because it’s more challenging,” Ashton said. Ashton said this hike offers a different dimension than other area attractions. “The last half mile is a little bit more like rock and mountain climbing,” Ashton said. “When you get to the top you can climb the ‘tooth’; there are giant rocks that protrude straight up the edge of the mountain and you can climb to the top of those.” At its highest point, Dragon’s Tooth rises to just over 3,000 feet. summer 2009

“The Cascades is my favorite place to hike,” said senior Amanda Thomas, “especially the scenic way.” The Cascades are located in Giles County, which is northwest of Blacksburg. Elevated 2,200-2,900 feet above sea level, there is a lower trail for more experienced hikers and an upper trail for casual hikers. A 69-foot waterfall that freezes almost every winter waits at the top of the hike. The trail is open year round and parking is free. However, the Jefferson National Forest does ask for donations upon parking at the recreational center at the start of the trail. To get to the Cascades, follow U.S. Route 460 west for approximately 13 miles to Pembroke, Virginia. From there, turn right onto Cascades Drive and keep straight for about four miles until the road turns into the paved

Cascades parking lot. “I liked it because I had never been before and after coming up this giant hill and coming into a huge clearing with a waterfall was amazing,” Stair said. “It was really rewarding.”

Activities at the New River



page summer 2009





33 TECH FUNDAMENTALS summer 2009 summer 2009




A look at the fitness options on Tech’s campus

Find it! Page 5

J The main part of the facility houses six basketball courts, an indoor swimming pool with lanes and diving equipment where the swim and dive team can often be seen practicing, three wallyball courts, and a weight room. Although the weight room is sizably smaller than the facility in McComas Hall, it is often much less crowded and caters to not only students, but faculty and staff. There are fewer cardio machines in the cardio room as well. Air conditioning is sparce in this gym, and it can feel hot to some students. War Memorial also plays host to Departmernt of Recreational

Sports activities such as intramural volleyball tournaments, basketball, wallyball, and water polo throughout the year. Some other features that are unique to War Memorial are 13 racquetball courts, two squash courts and a gymnastics room. While walking through the main hallway overlooking the pool, students in the gymnastics room or on the squash courts can pause to examine the daily goings-on. When looking to play sports such as racquetball, squash, or even basketball, patrons can rent equipment from the facility by turning in their Hokie Passport and signing out whatever they need to rent. Towels for the weight room can be rented from the attendant located outside the weight facility. If sports are not what students are looking for, there are multiple dance and aerobics rooms that host a wide variety of activities such as boxing lessons, dance classes, and trainer-led aerobic sessions. After workouts, there are locker rooms with shower facilities and saunas available so all of War Memorial’s patrons can freshen up after a hard workout. Lockers can be rented for $15 each semester. - by Riley Prendergast


War Memorial Hall War Memorial Hall overlooks the Drillfield directly across from Burruss Hall. The building not only houses recreational sports activities along with workout facilities for faculty, staff, and students, but also contains classrooms for education.



Oscar Salguero, a sophomore in industrial design, and Jeff Craley, a senior in aerospace engineering, practice soccer on the Drillfield. Many students take advantage of the open fields and courts on campus.

see FITNESS, page thirty-seven summer 2009




Things to do downtown and around the ‘burg DANIEL LIN

photo editor Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Blacksburg often appears to be little more than a sleepy

college town. To those unfamiliar with the area, the town can appear rather lifeless and desolate, but with a little searching (and some help from this guide), Blacksburg reveals its many hidden gems.

Downtown Blacksburg offers more than just over-21 activities to students.

Entertainment The historic Lyric Theater offers a wide selection of movies, rotat-

ing weekly, for just $5 for nonmembers, and free popcorn every Monday. The Lantern, located on Draper Street, offers a variety of shows for all types of music lovers, usually at a low price. The BreakZONE is located in Squires Student Center and contains 18 pool tables, a bowling alley, three table tennis tables, and an arcade.

Shopping Downtown also offers a unique shopping experience, with many specialty retailers to cater to your every need. Some shopping oultets include Mad Dog, Fringe Benefit, Clothes Rack and Xanadu clothing stores; Kent Jewelers and Capone’s Fine Jewelry; and Greenhouse, a skate shop. High Peak Sportswear carries sports apparel and offers screenprinting and embroidery. For Tech apparel visit Campus Emporium or Tech Bookstore, which are both located downtown. Mish Mish, an arts and crafts supply store, is also located downtown and is a frequent stop for art majors. Matrix Gallery offers various types of pottery, jewelry and more. It also displays the work of artists, some of which are from the Blacksburg area. For alternative transportation check out Campus Cruizers, a scooter and moped store that also offers clothing and accessories. The Blacksburg Farmers Market, open Saturdays and Wednesdays in the warmer months and Saturdays only in the winter, brings local famers and the Blacksburg commu-

nity together. There one can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in season as well as flowers.

Dining Downtown Blacksburg often welcomes new establishments but several staples that have been around for years include Souvlaki, a Greek deli; Bollos, a coffee shop; Jimmy Johns a sandwich shop; and Gillies, a vegetarian restaurant Happy Wok, just a short walk from campus, offers Chinese cuisine. Awful Arthur’s Seafood Company provides a great menu along with occasional live entertainment. Poor Billy’s Seafood as well as Poor Billy’s Sushi offer tasty options. Buffalo Wild Wings, affectionately called B-Dubs by students, has wing specials on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She-Sha, Blacksburg’s premier hookah lounge, offers various hookah styles and flavors as well as diverse food choices. With its welcoming atmosphere, She-Sha is a great place to just relax with friends. For burritos, Moe’s stands alone until Chipotle moves in across the street in 2010. For those specialty drink lovers there are numerous coffee shops such as Starbucks and the Daily Grind. Got a sweet tooth? Stop by Ben and Jerry’s, Rita’s or TCBY.

Outdoor Moving away from downtown, Blacksburg is a very bike-friendly town. Whether it be commuting from residence to class, or to anywhere else in town, living car-free in Blacksburg is a reasonable venture. The Huckleberry Trail begins at

see DOWNTOWN, page 38

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Fitness: Two on-campus facilities available McComas Hall McComas Hall is a large workout facility, located on Washington Street beside the Cassell Coliseum commuter parking lot, next to the roundabout. It features a newly renovated 8-lane, 25-meter swimming pool on the basement level. Also, across from the pool are weight training and exercise rooms. On the building’s main floor are three basketball courts and a punching bag for boxing training. Should you wish to play basketball, note that it is difficult to get onto a court quickly after 5:00 p.m., as McComas’ peak usage hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every night. Upstairs, there is a jogging/walking track and cardio machines, including stationary bikes, ellipticals, rowing machines and treadmills. Nine laps on the track equals one mile. The track can get very congested during the peak hours, so don’t expect to easily navigate during these times. The weight room boasts a collection of benches, free weights and machines, and all are in good condition. Do not forget a towel when lifting weights, however. If you don’t have your own towel, you must rent one for $1 at the main desk, or else you won’t be allowed to use the weight room. Lockers are available at $1 per visit. If you are a workout buff and will be frequently visiting McComas, a towel can be rented throughout the entire semester for $20, or $35 for the year. Cash, check, or Hokie Passport are accepted for payment. Lockers can be rented for $10-20 per semester, depending on the size of the locker. McComas will begin to build an extension to the facility in fall 2010 that will include additional cardio and weight equipment. - by Josh Parcell

Find it! Page 5


Don’t like gyms? Huckleberry Trail From the Blacksburg Public Library to the River Valley Mall, there are 5.7 miles of trail for bikers, walkers or runners. You can also get to the trail by heading beyond Lane Stadium on Southgate Drive.

Tennis courts FILE PHOTO/SPPS

Sophomore Juli Jones tosses a medicine ball to Thera Lombardi during balance exercises in McComas Hall.

There are 12 outdoor tennis courts located across from Lee Hall on the other side of Washington Street. The courts are lit at night, so students can play anytime.

Basketball courts

ON THE WEB Check out interviews with students about working out at McComas in the multimedia section at

There are two basketball courts on the quad between Pritchard, Lee and O’ Shaughnessey halls.


from page thirty-five


Volleyball courts There are volleyball courts near Eggleston, Lee, Payne, Vawter, Barringer and the Ambler Johnston halls.

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Downtown: A great place to have a good time


Left: The Lyric theater is a Blacksburg classic spot. Right: Downtown is friendly to cars and pedestrians. DANILEL LIN/COLLEGIATE TIMES

from page thirty-six

the Blacksburg Municipal Library, just minutes off campus, and runs 5.6 miles to the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg. There are other trails located just a short drive from

campus. On campus, pickup football, Frisbee, and other games can be found throughout the day on the Drillfield or the commons areas of the residential quads. Most groups welcome more players, so don’t

be afraid to ask to join a game. The intersection of College Avenue and Main Street holds a variety of Venture Out is also located on the restaurants and bars, including Moe’s, Sharkey’s and the Cellar. first floor of Squires Student Center, and provides discounted outdoor equipment rentals to students and organizes group activities during the CHEAP THINGS TO ON OR NEAR CAMPUS year. summer 2009

THE LYRIC THEATER The Lyric hosts movies, plays, festivals and more with ticket prices around $5. THE BREAKZONE Play a game of bowling for about $1 a game, get into billiards for about $5 an hour, get crazy with table tennis for about $2 or just play some arcade games. CAROL LEE’S Enjoy fresh baked donuts for a low price. HAHN HORTICULTURE GARDEN Visit the nearly six acres of gardens located on campus. DUCK POND Spend some time outside in this beautifully landscaped area just a short walk from the Drillfield.

Tech Department of Recreational Sports ELIZABETH GUZA

ct staff writer Virginia Tech’s Department of Recreational Sports has a variety of club sports for students to choose from. A club sport is competitive, but not to the same degree as varsity sports. Club sports compete against other colleges in both regular season games and sometimes tournaments. Club sports are not a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

CLUB SPORTS Find a full list of club sports at Students can choose to participate in one or more of the 29 clubs Tech has to offer. There are sports ranging from clay target shooting,

to women’s basketball, bowling, or even cricket. A recent success was when the women’s club lacrosse team won the national title in May. Many of the sports are seasonal and most hold practice on campus. Sports such as snow ski, however, have both practices on campus and practices on the slopes. Depending on the sports, practices can be anywhere from once a week to five days a week. Each sports club team has its own officers that are responsible for arrangements for their teams. Students can find flyers in War Memorial Hall that will have contact information for officers, and most clubs have an interest meeting scheduled for the beginning of each semester for new students. Students who are interested can contact the officers or attend the interest meeting to get a better idea of what the sport club team is about.

Forming an intramural team 101 Intramural sports are very popular at Virginia Tech, with about 13,000 participants each year. That being said, some intramural leagues are filled in minutes. A few tips will ensure one of the coveted spots are yours.

Look at the schedule early The intramural Web site lists all of the intramural tournaments and leagues at the beginning of the year. Mark down the registration dates for anything you’d be interested in so you don’t miss the registration. Get a team together, and ask around for interested members. Ask friends in advance any times that wouldn’t work for games during the week.

Register early Registration begins at 8 a.m. for most leagues and tournaments. Sports such as flag football and soccer will fill up in less than 30 minutes. You can’t open up the reigistration until 8 a.m. but have

all information needed ready so you can fill the form out quickly. This requires a team name, your choice of competitive or friendly league, contact information for the captain, preferred time for games, and more. The few minutes you spend looking up this information could lose you a spot.

Get organized Once you have a team formed, come up with a schedule to practice if you want, and how to get a uniform together if you want to make one. It’s a good idea to have a meeting before the league starts to sort this stuff out. There are specific gender requirements for co-ed leagues so plan for each game to ensure you have enough players.

Be prepared at games All team members need to turn in their Hokie Passport to officials before the game, so make sure everyone brings theirs to the game. All jewelry and metal hair pieces are

prohibited so leave them at home.

A short list of some intramural sports offered Fall Semester:

- Fantasy football - 9-on-9 soccer (M, W, CR) - 8-ball singles (M, W) - Tennis singles (M, W) - Freshmen 5-on-5 basketball (M, W) - 3-on-3 basketball (M, W) - Raquetball doubles (M, W, CR) - Table Tennis doubles (M, W, CR) - Volleyball (M, W, CR) - Flag football (M, W, CR) - Swim meet (M, W, CR)

Spring Semester:


Club sports a medium between varsity, intramurals


- 5-on-5 basketball (M, W, CR) - Innertube waterpol (M, W, CR) - Softball (M, W, CR) - 3-on-3 basketball (M, W) - Wallyball (M, W, CR) - Horseshoe singles (M, W) - Indoor soccer (M, W, CR) - Golf singles (M, W) summer 2009




Student organizations include many interests THANDIWE OGBONNA

production manager Virginia Tech offers hundreds of student-led clubs and organizations. Students are encouraged to find one that fits their interests and get involved. If a student has an idea for an organization that has not already been established, he can form his own with as few as two other students. Here are several categories of student organizations and some examples.

Greek Tech has a very active group of fraternities and sororities, with over 65 different nationally affiliated chapters represented on campus. Each chapter varies in size and focus, but all stress important values such as scholarship, leadership and service to the community. Chapters often participate in service and philanthropic

activities, as well as intramurals and cultural programming. Students who join have the opportunity to participate in Greek housing and to receive scholarships and awards. There are several councils that are associated with Greek life, such as the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the Panhellenic Council (PHC). Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Delta Delta Delta Sorority Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi Sorority

Honor There are many different types of honor organizations at Tech aside from the University Honors Program. They range from studentfounded organizations to fraternities and sororities. Most have a minimum GPA requirement that must be attained before joining. All provide opportunities to develop academic and leadership skills as well as give back to the

community. Golden Key Phi Kappa Phi National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Sports Getting involved in sports at Tech is easy; there are multiple organizations that include just about any sport imaginable. These clubs are a great way to sharpen your skills or just to have some fun. Field Hockey Fly Fishing Club Mixed Martial Arts Club Paintball Club

Service Tech students give back in numerous ways, and this is evidenced by the number of service organizations on campus. All types of causes are represented and these organizations give students the opportunity to help those in need in the Blacksburg area and around

the world. Appalachia Service Project Engineers Without Borders Hens for Haiti Invisible Children United

Religious Tech provides an inclusive environment for all religions, with several different religions represented in student organizations. These organizations provide sources of fellowship and support. Adventist Christian Fellowship Lutheran Outreach Reformed University Fellowship

Performing Arts Tech provides several outlets for students to showcase their talents, especially through student organizations. Whether it be singing, dancing, or acting, there is a place for every gift to be displayed. Ballroom Dance Chinese Performing Art Group Hoorah Cloggers Naturally Sharp

Cultural Diversity is an important aspect of the college environment, but interaction with people who share a particular identity is also important.

The varied cultural organizations at Tech provide students with this opportunity as well as support. African Students Association Asian American Student Union Filipino Students Association German-Austrian Society

Arts For those who are artistically inclined, there are several student organizations that cultivate talents in a relaxed and supportive environment. Creative Photography Expressions The Writer’s Block

Environmental With the whole world looking for ways to “go green,” there are opportunities to get involved in the effort right here on the Tech campus. Ocean Conservancy Emerging Green Builders Environmental Coalition There are many other types of student organizations at Tech, so if it isn’t listed here that doesn’t mean it’s not around. Be sure to check the full list of student clubs and organizations on the Student Affairs Web site.

Cool and Crazy Clubs summer 2009


What it's about

Skydiving Club

Promoting skydiving as a safe and exciting sport, making skydiving affordable and available to students, and unofficially representing Virginia Tech in regional and national competitions

Animation Society (Anime)

Watching, analyzing and discussing Japanese style animation.

Hurling Club

Playing the Irish sport of hurling.

Metal Militia

Listening to and sharing heavy metal music.


Fostering and promoting interdisciplinary research in the area of Micro/Nano sciences and technology

Online Gaming Society

Creating an environment in which new students and upperclassmen can meet and get to know one another through team games.

Robocup Team

Designing and building a humanoid robot to play soccer in Robocup competition.

Salsa Tech

Giving salsa lessons and participating in salsa dance events.

Speedball Team

Playing competitive paintball against other schools on a national level.

Swine Club

Involving students in Swine production, activities and research.

Boxing Club

Hitting heavy bags, jump roping, working out and doing push ups and sit ups. THANDIWE OGBONNA/COLLEGIATE TIMES

View more Tech Fundamentals on the Web

Have you heard about all the different ways you can get involved at Tech? CT Multimedia takes a look at several different clubs and organizations with varying interests, demonstrating that Hokies from all walks and backgrounds can find ways to socialize, change the world, or beat each other with sticks. video by Gordon Block & Zach Crizer

New students quickly learn why Virginia Tech has one of the top university dining programs in the country. If you find the range of food options overwhelming, watch the CT’s introduction to several of the campus dining halls to visually take in all the meals, snacks, and desserts. video by Kelsey Heiter & Zach Crizer

Students looking to run or pump iron have two exercise facilities to choose from on campus. CT Multimedia goes inside War Memorial and McComas to highlight the weights, pools and exercise machines that Hokies use on a constant basis to lose weight, stay fit, and de-stress. video by Josh Parcell & Riley Prendergast






ON THE WEB You can find more footage of events, entertainment and campus news in the multimedia section at summer 2009




Interested in going Greek? Fraternity and Sorority Life at Virginia Tech provides an excellent opportunity for leadership, scholarship, community service, campus involvement, and excellent social growth and development.

For more information, visit summer 2009

Parking passes available but watch for tickets ct staff writer Freshmen at Virginia Tech have a benefit not offered by most competing schools. Tech is one of a select few universities that allow resident freshmen to bring their cars to campus with the purchase of a parking pass. Combined, the Lane Stadium lot and the Duck Pond Road lot, also known as “the cage,” house all resident vehicles for Tech students. Roughly a 10- to 20-minute walk from any dorm on campus, the lots are located behind the South end zone of Lane Stadium and at the intersection of Washington Street and Duck Pond Road, respectively. The only disadvantage is that for those parking in the stadium lot, cars must be moved to the cage for home football games, or they will be towed. Tech residents are also able to take advantage of extra convenience with after-hours and weekend parking. With some exceptions, parking permits are not enforced on weekdays after 5 p.m. The only exceptions are the Drillfield, which is designated for faculty, staff, and graduates from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and also the Dietrick and Owens lots, which are designated 24-hour faculty and staff areas. Permits are also unenforced on weekends, with the exception of the University Bookstore lot, where the parking meters are enforced from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Permits are on sale yearly in the Parking Services offices and online. Obtaining your permit will require your Hokie Passport, license and vehicle registration. A full-year resident parking pass for the 2008-09 school year cost $114, with a semester pass also available for $57. At presstime the

2009-10 permit prices were not available, however, when the information is available, it will be listed on the Parking Services Web site. Visitors to campus can obtain a visitor’s pass during university busi-

Where can I park? Student

LOCATION: 455 Tech Center Dr. and 130 Student Services Building CONTACT: 540-231-3200 or SERVICES: Parking passes for residents, commuters, graduates, faculty and staff

Duck Pond Road Resident Lot

Commuter section of Perry Street Lot

Resident section of the Stadium Lot

Prices Fork Lot

Faculty/Staff Faculty/staff, commuter,

Lot will be restricted during home athletic

Visitor Faculty/Staff section of Perry

graduate, and resident parking areas

Commuter section of Litton

(Parking in the Stadium


ness hours that will allow them to park without receiving a citation. After hours, permits will not be enforced. However, if the visitor stays overnight, the car will need to be moved or have obtained a permit by morning or it will be cited. Visitor passes for those arriving after hours can be obtained from the Virginia Tech Police Department at the maintenance complex off Southgate Drive. Despite your best efforts to adhere to the rules, as a resident, it is very easy to get a parking ticket at Tech. Most students don’t get away with parking illegally for five minutes before someone from parking services comes by. The most common citation is parking in an unnauthorized area. For parking violations, the ticket and payment must be received by Parking Services within 10 days to avoid a late fee. After 30 days, students will receive a block on their account until the citation is paid. Tickets may be appealed, but payment must first be received. If the ticket is overturned, the student will receive a refund.




Non-Student Street Lot Litton Reaves Lot Coliseum Lot

Reaves Lot

Derring Hall Lot

Commuter side of Duck

Washington Street

Pond Road Lot

Litton-Reaves Extension Lot

Track/Field House Lot

Shultz Lot

Duck Pond Lot

When the Visitor Information Center is closed, visitors should go to the VT Police Department to get a Visitor Parking permit. The Police Department is located off of Southgate Drive. Visitors do not need to display a permit on weekends.

Oak Lane lots Stanger Lot Commuter sections of the Coliseum Lot Graduate students may park on the Drillfield after 5 p.m.





Know your parking lots The Resident pass is for students who live on campus. They can park in the Cassel Colliseum lot or “the cage.”

The Faculty/ Staff pass is for Tech employees. They are located near all academic and service buildings, but are fair game after 5 p.m.

The Commuter and Graduate passes are for students who live off campus. The biggest commuter lot is the Price’s Fork lot. summer 2009




Blacksburg Transit helps students get around DANIEL LIN

photo editor Whether it be a test at the Math Emporium, or a trip to Wal-Mart in Christiansburg, students very often find themselves with a need to leave campus for various errands and activities. The Blacksburg Transit is a public transportation service provided by joint operation between the Town of Blacksburg, the Town of Christiansburg, and Virginia Tech, with a fleet of 33 buses and 11 vans providing fixed route and accessible transportation to those needing it throughout Blacksburg. For students, fare is prepaid as part of the semester fees; for non-students and those without a Hokie Passport, the fare is $0.50. During the academic semester, most routes run from about 7 a.m. to approximately 10 p.m or midnight on weekdays, and select routes offer a “late night” service on Fridays and Saturdays until 2 a.m. The buses operate on a rigorous schedule, dictated by timechecks at certain stops of particular geographical interest, such as Burruss Hall, and intermediate stops that must be covered between the timechecks. Usually,

the buses will arrive several minutes early at a timecheck, where they then wait until the scheduled time before departing. However, for the intermediate stops, there is no fixed timing, and it is advisable to be at the bus stop slightly earlier in anticipation of an early arrival.

BLACKSBURG TRANSIT See page 45 of Tech Fundamentals for a summary of the bus routes. For full bus schedules and services, visit the Blacksburg Transit Web site at As to be expected from public transportation, there is certain etiquette that is expected from riders. There is no consumption of food or drink, as well as no smoking or open alcoholic containers. Disruptive behavior is not tolerated, and the bus driver reserves the right to remove disruptive passengers from the vehicle without refund of fare. A route of particular interest is the Two Town Trolley, which runs between KYLE COTHURN / SPPS Blacksburg and Christiansburg. This year, Christiansburg is expanding its The Harding Avenue Blacksburg Transit bus drops off passengers in front of McBryde Hall. The BT is a free serroutes to cover more locations in the vice to everyone with a Hokie Passport and $0.50 for all other passengers. town of Christiansburg.

is hiring ALL editorial positions! summer 2009


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365 Squires Student Center • 231-9870


Which bus should I take? Using alternative transportation 45 Tom's Creek A & B


Gets you to apartment complexes such as Collegiate Suites, the Village, Terrace View, and University Terrace. Also passes University Mall. The two routes drive the opposite directions of one looped route. Catch it at Burruss Hall and McBryde Hall for TCB, Torgersen Hall and War Memorial Hall for TCA.

University Mall Gets you to the entrance of the University Mall for the Math Emporium. Catch it at McComas Hall and Burruss Hall

Besides buying a parking pass and riding the BT, Virginia Tech students use other modes of transportation to get to and from campus.

Bikes All students who want to keep a bike while living on campus, or ride into campus from their apartment are recommended to register the bike with the university. There are bike racks all over campus, but be sure to keep yours locked. You may not park your bike anywhere on campus except for a bike rack, or in your residence hall room if you have permission from your roommate. The university continues to add bike pathways around Blacksburg.

alternative transportation, Tech has the Bike, Bus and Walk program. Through the BB&W, if you have a car at Tech but did not buy a parking pass because you either walk, bike or take the BT to school, you can get 15 free day passes

GET AROUND THE ‘BURG REGISTER A BIKE: Parking Services at 540-231-3200 or U CAR SHARE: or 1-866-323-4591 BB&W PROGRAM: Parking Services at 540-231-3200 or HOOPTIE RIDE: 540-449-3748 or

per semester. The aim is to give students who don’t normally drive to school the chance to take their car if they plan to be on campus late or in bad weather. To get your free passes you must bring your license and registration to Parking Services.

Hooptie Ride A different mode of transportation, especially on the weekends, is the Hooptie Ride service. It works like a taxi service, except the vehicles are limos and vans painted like the Mystery Mobile from “Scooby Doo.” The designated driver service begins at 7 p.m. on weekends, and rides are available by reservations on other days.

U Car Share

Hethwood Gets you to Foxridge apartments and also has a stop near

To encourage fewer cars on the road, Tech will introduce the U Car Share program in August. Program members can rent cars, which will be located around the campus in various lots. There is a $50 membership fee and then a charge by the hour to use a car whenever it’s needed.

Bike, Bus and Walk program

the Hardee's at University Mall Catch it at McBryde Hall and Burruss Hall

To encourage more students to use




The Hokey Hustler is one of the Hooptie Ride vehicles operating in town.

Two-Town Trolley - Blacksburg Gets you to Montgomery Regional Hospital, Wal-Mart and New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg Catch it at Newman Library and Burruss Hall SARA MITCHELL/COLLEGIATE TIMES summer 2009





features editor Here at Virginia Tech, your computer is the most useful tool you will utilize in all your classes throughout school. Knowing where to go for software and repairs is important.

Software Software for most classes at Tech will be bundled with books purchased at the bookstores. If a teacher specifically asks to use software from a book, make sure the book comes bundled with it before you buy it. Incoming freshmen should receive a software disc at minimum to get started. Engineering and creative classes will often utilize software not bundled with books. Freshman engineers will get bundled software with all the programs utilized in freshman classes. Other software or additional copies of software a student may have lost can be obtained either by visiting the Web site, or Student Software Distribution located in Torgersen Bridge. There is also a multitude of creative software that is available for purchase to all Tech students at discounted rates. The return policy for software is within 30 days and it must be unopened. The Software Distribution Center can also help with software repair issues.

Repairs The Tech Bookstore is a good place to get hardware problems fixed. If you purchase your computer through Tech this is the best place to go as they will see if the problem is under warranty and possibly fix it for free. If you didn’t buy your computer through Tech then they will attempt

to diagnose the problem and fix it for a fee if you want. This is usually quicker than contacting the company that the computer was originally purchased from and shipping it to them but it can also be more costly. Most of the time students will suffer the price tag consequences because computers never break at convenient times and getting it back in working conditions fast is impor-

COMPUTER HELP SOFTWARE: Distribution located in Torgersen Bridge during the week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. TECH BOOKSTORE: Computer service is available in the bookstore or by calling 540-552-1459 4-HELP: Call 540-231-4357 or visit Answers to computing questions are also available at tant. On average it can take up to a week for the computer to be fixed. Loaners are sometimes offered but don’t count on one always being available. Some problems are more difficult than others and may require longer than a week so be prepared to not have a computer. The best option would be to use a friend or roommate’s computer. 4-HELP is Tech’s computer help service. It is available to help with issues regarding wireless or on-campus Ethernet internet, list servs, Tech e-mail, and Hokie SPA. The Web site also has a lot of tips for computer issues so be sure to check that before calling 4-HELP. summer 2009

Phishing and spam On occasion a phishing email makes its way through the Virginia Tech e-mail system. A phishing e-mail is one sent from a third party pretending to be a company or organization that asks for you to provide your username and password. The phishing e-mails related to Tech usually pretend to be the Webmail maintenence team requesting that you provide your PID and password to allow maintence to improve your account. A phishing e-mail comes through the system every few weeks and hits about 10 percent

of all Tech e-mails. About 2 percent to 5 percent respond to the e-mail. Tech will never ask for your PID or password, mainly because they keep such records and wouldn’t need you to provide it. There is a spam filter automatically placed on your Tech e-mail account if you use Webmail, as opposed to forwarding e-mails to another e-mail. You receive a “junk mail summary” e-mail with the content considered spam. It is good to look through it to make sure that real e-mail hasn’t been labeled as spam.


47 TECH FUNDAMENTALS summer 2009 summer 2009






[ Cut this out and keep as a reference]


Cook Counseling Center McComas Hall 540.231.6557

College Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center 135 War Memorial Gym 540.231.2233

Services University Registrar Student Services Building 540.231.6251

Parking Services Student Services Building 540.231.3200 Career Services Smith Career Center 540.231.3293

Schiffert Health Center McComas Hall Appointments: 540.231.6444 Women's Clinic: 540.231.6569 Pharmacy: 540.231.8103

Hokie Passport Student Services Building 540.231.5121 Blacksburg Transit 540.961.1185 University Registrar Student Services Building 540.231.6251

Safe Ride 540.231.7233

Computer Help 4-HELP 540.231.4357 Tech Bookstore 540.231.5991

Hooptie Ride 540.449.3748

Software sales and laptop leasing Torgersen Bridge 540.231.3969 Tech Bookstore computer help 540.552.1459 Innovation Space 540.552.4826



Virginia Tech Police Non-Emergency: 540.231.6411 Crime Hotline: 540.232.8477

Library 540.231.6170


University Honors 540.231.4591 SARA MITCHELL/COLLEGIATETIMES summer 2009 summer 2009







page summer 2009



EVENTS AT TECH See page 62 for events happening your first week at Tech and to learn about the Hokie Hi program See page 36 for places to go around Blacksburg


editor-in-chief There are many places to go to find out about what’s going on at Virginia Tech and in Blacksburg, from regular events to special occasions and concerts. The Tech Events Calendar found on

the university Web site has an extensive list of academic and university events. It includes various workshops and speakers. Organizations can add to the calendar, so it’s also a good place to look for extracurricular events. University Unions and Student Activities handles a lot of the ticket selling for concerts and performances. The UUSA Web site,, will have details on all the upcoming events and when tickets go on sale. It’s good to check this out early if you know of a popular performer who could sell out quickly.

You can find fliers on the windows of downtown Blacksburg establishments about events coming up. These can also include sales or special deals for establishments downtown. Some residence halls will have fliers on the bulletin boards as well. The RAs can put up approved fliers from the university or from student organizations promoting events. If you check Facebook events within the Tech network, a lot of groups make events for everyone to see. Additionally, you can read the Collegiate Times for local events.

Virginia Tech Union The Virginia Tech Union was established in 1969 to operate as the main student programming board on campus. Its purpose is “to provide quality educational and social entertainment that represents the diverse culture of Virginia Tech’s students and its community.” In the past VTU has organized various concerts including Girl Talk, Third Eye Blind and Motion

City Soundtrack, as well as films such as “The Dark Knight” and “Step Brothers.” Events are held across campus in several venues including Burruss Hall Auditorium and Squires Ballroom. There are 10 committees that operate within VTU to help bring the best social and educational entertainment to Tech — Alternative Sounds, Concerts,

Films, Graphic Design, House and Hospitality, Lively Arts, Public Relations, Speakers, Special Events and Web Design. Anyone who is a Tech student can become a member of a committee. Visit the VTU office in 327 Squires Student Center or call 540231-7117. - Thandiwe Ogbonna

Getting into trouble: Rights and responsibilities managing editor

ON THE WEB Check out this article on for a copy of the University Policies for Student Life

Alcohol Abuse and Misuse • Possession or consumption of alcohol by someone under 21 years of age • Being drunk in public • Hurting or endangering oneself or others through drinking Sanction: Probation to suspension

Illegal Drugs • Possesion, use, sale, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs Sanction: Suspension Hazing • Forcing someone to drink, break the law, endure demeaning behavior, etc.

Sanction: Possible suspension Abusive Conduct • Assault and/or battery • Sexual harrassment • Sexual contact without consent • Stalking Sanction: Suspension or dismissal summer 2009

Removing parents from the equation might make some think college is something of a Wild West, devoid of rule and law governing personal behavior. Instead, Tech devotes many resources to the enforcement of students’ rights and responsibilities. Students involved in alcohol abuse, drug use, sexual misconduct, hazing and other illegal behavior can find themselves facing sanctions ranging from formal warnings to expulsion. Students observed violating university policy can have a judicial referral filed against them by any student, nonstudent, or faculty member, though these are usually filed by authority figures like police officers and resident advisors. A judicial referral will result in a hearing organized by the Office of Judicial Affairs, to determine if the policy was violated as well as the appropriate sanctions. In certain cases, students could be suspended or permanently dismissed from the university. There are several sanctions the university can impose on a student found guilty of breaking university policy. Formal warnings do not prohibit students from participating in university activities but can lead to more serious disciplinary action for further violations. Restitution requires a student to pay for damages made monetarily or through community service. Privileges such as on-campus housing and access to computer network access can be removed as a sanction. Students who are suspended from the university must go through a readmission meeting after a specified period of time, often one or two semesters. These students cannot enroll in classes or transfer credits taken at another university during the suspension period. The most serious university sanction is dismissal or permanent separation from the university. It will surprise few that incidents involving alcohol constitute the highest percentage of judicial hearings. The university has a three-strikes policy concerning alcohol with two categories of offense. Minor offenses count as one strike and include underage possession of alcohol and drinking in public. Major offenses count as two strikes and are charged when a student has allegedly put himself or someone else in danger through drinking. Students who make themselves sick or have to be hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, have commited major violations. Students receiving a first strike are put on probation and have to take a class on alcohol abuse. Students receiving a second strike will be put on deferred suspension and must take another class. Students facing their third strike will be suspended. Steve Clarke, director of the Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center, attributes the incidence of risky drinking behaviors to misperceptions of

college and free time. Tech also has “all the risk factors,” he said. “We’re a Division I school who has a top 10 football team, we are rural, and we have a large Greek system.” Clarke also said that his center’s studies show that less than half of students drink more than once a week. The Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center will be working with the Tech and Blacksburg community to establish a hotline where people can report disturbances or dangerous behaviors relating to alcohol. They will also beginning opening Johnston Student Center for various Friday night activities including poetry cafes and dances. More stringent than the three-strike alcohol policy is the zero-tolerance drug policy at Tech. According to the “plain English drug policy” found on Judicial Affairs’ web site, students found responsible for a range of activities including possession, use, sale, manufacture or distribution of an illegal drug such as marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin and other substances “will almost certainly be suspended from the university.” Hazing and sexual misconduct are also listed in plain English policies. The university defines sexual misconduct as forcing sexual activity onto another person, ranging from kissing to forced intercourse. Force can include mental intimidation or pressure as well as physical force or intimidation. A person under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or some other impairment cannot give legal consent. Likely sanctions range from a formal warning to a minimum of suspension in cases of rape. Hazing, portrayed in the media as a form of initiation for various student organizations including fraternities and sororities is defined as “any intentional, negligent, or reckless activity or situation that causes another pain, embarrassment, ridicule or harassment, even if that person is a willing participant” according to university policy. It is a criminal offense in Virginia and can result in suspension. Students may also face disciplinary action for a variety of other rulebreaking behaviors, including failure to comply with a university official, involvement in a university violation and actions leading to the conviction of criminal offenses. The university is notified when a student is arrested, even if it is off campus. Byron Hughes, Assistant Director of Judicial Affairs said that the university doesn’t want students to simply experience the disciplinary process to be punished, but to “understand and be educated” about the reasons behind university policies. Judicial Affairs will be changing its name to the Office of Student Conduct this summer.







Study abroad provides cultural experiences SARA MITCHELL

editor-in-chief Close your eyes and point to a map. Wherever your finger is, you can study abroad there, either directly through Virginia Tech or through other programs.

Interested students can make an appointment with the study abroad office located in the Office of International Research, Education, and Development, which is on the corner of Prices Fork Road and Toms Creek Road, across from the commuter lot. Having an idea of where you’d like to go can make the meeting more

productive, so consider all of your options. When and where Freshmen are not allowed to study abroad, but they can begin to go abroad the summer after freshman year. A student can study abroad for a

few weeks in the summer or winter, a semester, or for an entire year. Haley Booe is a student who works with the study abroad office. She spent a semester in the Dominican Republic with a faculty-led program but she said she wishes she had stayed for a whole year. Especially if a student is studying another language, the longer he stays abroad, the more he would absorb and pick up. Booe said the most popular year for studying abroad is junior year. The office reccomends going early to take care of core requirements in or out of a major because it becomes more difficult to have specialized classes transfer credits. The more popular study abroad programs involve the sciences and engineering, and the most popular destinations are English-speaking countries such as England, New Zealand, and Australia. These programs are the most competitive, so a student is not guaranteed a slot for such countries. Once a student decides on a country, the study abroad office offers a variety of programs. Bi-lateral exchange Tech is partnered with various universities around the world, and with this program, a Tech student switches with an international student. This is best for in-state students because they pay Tech their usual tuition, plus the overseas room and board, making tuition pretty affordable. If a student is out-of-state, paying the usual tuition may be more expensive than paying the abroad university directly. Credits will transfer, but will not affect one’s GPA. summer 2009

VT Direct This program involves enrolling directly into a university and paying its fees. Students will also pay an administration fee to Tech. It’s similar to the Bi-lateral exchange in which the student is completely immersed in the area and the university, but an international student doesn’t come to Tech in this program. Credits will transfer but will not affect one’s GPA. Faculty-led trips Tech faculty organize trips in the summer, winter, and for entire semesters. Tech has satellite campuses for the semester-long trips, at the Center for European Studies & Architecture in Switzerland and the Caribbean Center for Education & Research in the Dominican Republic. The summer and winter trips can cost over $5,000 for only a few weeks, so if students are able, it’s more cost beneficial to devote a whole semester to a trip. The credits will transfer and will affect GPA Service learning programs There are Tech-affiliated and nonTech-affiliated service programs that span a week to an entire semester.

The costs of these programs vary. Some programs pay for the student to volunteer, with the exception of airfare, and some programs work like normal study abroad programs where the student pays Tech or the program. Non-Tech approved programs These programs are not organized through Tech and do not involve any of the partner universities. Students could also just apply directly to a university. The risk with such programs is that the credits are not guaranteed to transfer, since Tech hasn’t played a part in these programs. Students would have to check with advisers to ensure credits would transfer. The study abroad office has information on these programs as well, if the Tech-approved programs don’t include what a student is looking for. Paying for study abroad Studying abroad can be a bit of a deal for in-state students, because it ends up being relatively cheap, depending on room and board, airfare and miscellaneous purchases. The programs that pay the international university directly might benefit out-of-state students if the tuition there is cheaper than out-of-state tuition at Tech. Financial aid still applies for tuition a student pays Tech to go abroad. “Most financial aid will travel with you,” Booe said. Scholarships are also available through a lot of departments, and also on the study abroad Web site. Booe said that a lot of students don’t consider studying abroad because of the cost, but that there’s a lot of potential for making the experience cheaper through financial aid and scholarships. Language barriers Some programs require that a student has a minimum number of credit hours for a certain language. Booe listed Spain, Italy, Germany, and France as countries where the programs usually entail knowing the language. There are many programs that are English-speaking even if the country isn’t.

STUDY ABROAD Location: Office of International Research, Education and Outreach Office at 526 Prices Fork Rd. room 131. CONTACT: 540-231-5888 or TIPS: Apply early. The office recommends applying for a program a full semester before the start of the program. Get a passport early: A student visa will come later, but a passport can take six weeks. Don’t pay for it. Scholarships are abailable through departments and the OIRED Web site.



features editor Career Services is located on the corner of Washington Street and West Campus Drive next to the Student Services building. The building is officially the Smith Career Center. Career Services offers more for upperclassmen than for incoming freshmen. The best uses are the free resume revisions it offers for students who want to make their resumes look more professional to get local or summer jobs. The staff can also discuss options for your major. It is also the first place to start looking for internship opportunities that you will begin during sophomore and junior years. Later during sophomore and junior years, you will utilize the Career Services office to set up internships or co-ops with companies. There is also advising regarding graduate school and professional school. Keep track through the Web site when career and internship fairs are coming to Tech and check what employers will be in attendance. By the time senior year rolls around, the job search will begin and Career Services will offer its assistance in finding a job that fits your skills and pursuits. This can involve mock interviews. It doesn’t hurt to go to career

fairs as a freshman. It’s a good way to make contacts but don’t be surprised if you are sort of ignored or asked to come back later by many of the employers who are looking for juniors and seniors to recruit. It’s worth giving a company a resume and keeping in touch with them. The representative may remember your name later. Career Services can only help along the way but it is the responsibility of the student to actively pursue a job. If you aren’t looking for a job in Virginia, Career Services has a very limited capacity in assisting you elsewhere as most employers they bring to Tech are local or from Northern Virginia and neighboring states to Southwest Virginia. The first week of school Career Services will host its Career Services Bonanza with free food and prizes. Its aim is to introduce students to its staff and where the building is.

Career Services LOCATION: Smith Career Center on the corner of Washington Street and West Campus Drive CONTACT: 540-231-3293 and SERVICES: Job preparation and resume revisions and mock interviews; job opprtunities through job fairs and co-ops and internships

If you have a hold on your Hokie SPA account, you’ll probably end up at the Student Services building to fix it. Located on Washington Street next to the Career Services building, Student Services holds a number of offices, including Hokie Passport, Parking Services, the University Bursar, and the University Registrar. On the first floor of Student Services,

Student Services Find it! Page 5

O Smith Career Center

the University Bursar handles any payments and issues with tuition, dining and residence plans, and financial aid. The University Registrar, located on the second floor, handles all class scheduling and registration. It takes care of any course withdrawal and this is where a student would pick up a copy of a transcript if he needs one. Some class registration issues can be taken care of by adviser,s so check with them first. Most should be available during the course request period and have a list of requierd courses.


LOCATION: On Washington Street next to Career Services UNIVERSITY BURSAR: 540-231-6277, HOKIE PASSPORT: 540-231-5121, PARKING: 540-231-3027, UNIVERSITY REGISTRAR 540-231-6251,


Career Services prepares Handle tuition, parking at Student Services editor-in-chief students for real world


Find it! Page 5

N summer 2009




Wing program eases transition to college life DEMI ARGIROPOULOS

ct staff writer Wing — a theme housing program in Slusher Wing — is one of several residential housing programs that are open to freshmen at Virginia Tech. It is designed to ease the transition to college and incorporates a fall semester course that covers topics ranging from proficiency with technology to putting together a cover letter and resume. Since its inception in 1997, First Year Seminar’s small class size, ranging from eight to 12 people, has allowed students and teachers to form intimate relationships that are nearly impossible in the large lecture classes that tend to dominate freshman schedules.

Alice Wagner, a 2009 graduate, worked alongside Matthew Grimes, assistant director of Residence Life, while teaching a section of the course this in fall of 2008. She noted the strong connections she was able to make with her students and mentioned that she has even been asked to write a few letters of recommendation for internships that her students are pursuing. In addition to aiding the transition to college and engaging upperclassmen, First Year Seminar has also opened doors for teachers and administrative faculty all over the university. While teaching First Year Seminar is included in Grimes’ job description, the position is open to all university faculty who want the opportunity to work with first-year students. Grimes noted that teaching this

course has enabled administrators to break up the daily 9-to-5 grind behind a desk and interact with students. Currently, Associate Director of Residence Life James Penven recruits facilitators to teach First Year Seminar, a course exclusively designed for students in the Wing program. Potential facilitators, recruited through Residence Life, must have a master’s degree and are required to submit recruitment forms that indicate their interest and availability, along with a resume or curriculum vitae. “Because this process has worked so well and yielded great teachers, I’ve not had to include interviews as a part of the application process,” Penven said. Penven’s recruitment work also involves providing the facilitators

with the training and support needed to teach First Year Seminar. He describes the great diversity of those interested in teaching the course. Penven mentioned that in recognition of the hard work and planning that goes into teaching First Year Seminar, teachers receive $1,500 in professional development funds and TAs are awarded three credit hours. This stipend that instructors receive can be used for anything university related that supports their roles within Tech. Grimes does not receive this stipend, though he has used professional development funds in the past to purchase books to use as supplements in the classroom. Sophomore Greg Wheeler, an aerospace and ocean engineering major, chose to apply to the Wing program his freshman year to ease his transition and learn the study habits neces-

sary to juggle a heavier workload. “Being in the Wing program, the community there is really important. It’s a different experience than I think a lot of people have; we’re just a lot closer,” Wheeler said. “We’re all in the same themed housing, so we all have something in common. And in that first week or so, it’s huge to have something in common with someone that you can talk about.” Grimes described the focus and curriculum of First Year Seminar as aiming to provide freshmen with all of the social and academic skills necessary to succeed at Tech up front and thereby give these students a “leg up.” Grimes recalled the quote he hears over and over again from his students: “My friends didn’t figure this stuff out until junior year, but I found it out first semester of freshman year because I was in Wing.”

Theme housing The WELL The WELL is substance-free housing, which includes alcohol and tobacco. Programs and events are organized for evenings and weekends. Galileo and Hypatia There are two theme housing programs for engineering: Galileo for men is in Lee Hall, and Hypatia for women is in Slusher Wing. Both programs require a fallsemester course that the residents take together. The engineering theme housing is beneficial for coordinating classes and finding students in the same major to work with. summer 2009

MOSAIC MOSAIC stands for Multicultural Opportunity Social Awareness Interest Community. It focuses on improving diversity among students. Students can live in the

Slusher Tower program any year and participate in a required course and residence hall programs. The World International students and domestic students live together in Newman Hall. This is the only non-honors residence area that stays open during breaks for international students who don’t wish to travel back home. International cooking and films are planned. Hillcrest and Main Campbell The University Honors program houses select students in two residence halls. Members of the Hillcrest and Main Campbell communities live in their respective residence halls for their entire undergraduate careers and take a special student-led course called Colloquium Magnum. Community members take part in selecting incoming applicants. Any student

in Honors can apply to live in either Hillcrest or Main Campbell. Biological and Life Science Learning Community The program in Lee Hall is for students who want to live with other students taking introductory science classes freshman year. It includes advising on different science degrees and careers. Leadership Community The program in Peddrew Yates Hall is for students persuing a leadership studies minor or other students interested in studying leadership. A spring and a fall class are required by all residents. Theme housing also includes Oak Lane for sororities and fraternities, and the Corps of Cadets. More information on theme housing is available at 540-231-5709 or

Lewis discusses first-year experiences at Tech editor-in-chief Viginia Tech named Mary Ann Lewis the director of first-year experiences. Lewis is the current associate dean of undergraduate academic affairs within the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Lewis sat down with the Collegiate Times to discuss her role in implementing the first-year experience plan. CT: You received your bachelor’s and masters at Georgia Southern, then came to Virginia Tech for your Ed. D. And you’ve been Q&A here for 33 years now. What made you stay in Blacksburg? ML: Never had a better offer, this is a great place to be. And Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg area and whole New River Valley has been a wonderful place to raise a family and have wonderful careers. We never wanted to leave and we feel blessed that we were able to stay and make some contributions. CT: Why do you want a greater role in working with first-year students? ML: I think that all these years with working with students has made me realize even more the importance of their first experiences. It’s true. The first

time we moved into a community, the first time we get a job, kindergarten, preschool … I mean, those first experiences, in whatever the transition that might be in life, are really critical and I’m exited the university has chosen to focus on the first year … there’s a whole body of research and literature that supports the first year. CT: How much extra actual student interaction is expected with your new position? ML: Probably less and that’s a downside I see because a large part of my responsibility will be to provide direction and support to the colleges, for them to LEWIS do unique first-year experiences that work for them in their particular context. I anticipate having some advisory groups that include students but I don’t think I’ll be much hands-on for students. I think that’s going to be, so far, the only downside. I’ll be one more step removed from working directly with students. CT: Then what kinds of faces do you expect students to see more in the year? ML: I hope they’ll see more of the person who’s assigned as their official adviser or something in their depart-

ment or college whose responsibilities are to work more closely with first-year students. The first-year experience is the university’s response to accreditation by the Southern Assocation of Colleges and Schools ... If you’re going to do it and do it right you have to prove that you’re devoting resources to it. I’m a resource, you know, putting somebody in the position who’s responsible is one way to demonstrate that you’re providing resources to it. But there also has to be real dollars put into it. So yeah, there might be new faces ... there could be different approaches ... there won’t be a one size fits all at Virginia Tech. CT: What are some other ways you hope to improve the first-year experience? ML: With respect to the first year experience we focused on … thoughtful academic planning, which is an important part of the whole advising process. So it’s not just what students need to do; it’s what we, as a university, need to do to advise students in terms of that helpful planning. It’s that whole academic experience. What we’d like to do is get freshmen to the point where at the beginning of their experience they think, “what do I want to have accomplished besides getting that piece of paper? What kinds of experiences do I want to have?”

The first-year experience As part of the accreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Virginia Tech must develop a Quality Enhancement Program. Two years ago Tech devised an implementation team to develop a QEP that involves the improvement of the first-year experience. Previously, SACS required all schools within its region to create a self-study, which evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of their academic programs. In response to the self-study, SACS then created the QEP requirement so that schools could act on the findings of their self-studies. Every 10 years SACS evaluates the schools and passes or puts them on probation. “We’re not afraid of accountability,” said Robert Jones, department head of biological sciences and part of the implementation team. “We want strong pressure to be accountable.” The 2009-10 school year is considered a planning year, and the initiatives will go into effect the following year. In December the committee

must provide a draft of the proposal to SACS, which will then visit Tech in March to evaluate and pass the proposal. Then Tech has five years to show the plan is in effect for all students. The implementation team will provide the colleges with guidelines necessary to improve the first-year experience. This revolves around increased and improved advising to develop student curiosity, motivation, independence, transferability and self-reflection. Colleges will propose specific programs to implement the first-year experience plan and the committee will approve and create funds for them. Less than $500,000 is allotted in the 2009-10 budget for the first-year experience, but Jones predicts that there will be over $1 million for the program each year for five years. “We have a lot of unique things that students don’t get involved in and let them prepare themselves for lifelong learning,” Jones said. “You can tell advising is a major tool we have to beef up. That’s what the students have asked for.”



page summer 2009


Current Hokies provide insider information



Q A: and

Nearing the end of the Orientation guide, you should have plenty of information to tide you over until the semester kicks off. But in addition to important information like campus locations, university policies, and tips from the CT staff, there is a lot to learn from current members of the Tech community, including tips on having fun, taking courses, and getting fed. Luckily, Hokies are nothing if not helpful. After reading the advice from these members of the community, don’t be afraid to ask some questions of the people you meet. Tech students and faculty love to impart their wisdom.

Paul Melin Senior, Civil Engineering

What do you do for fun? I like to go out, downtown. What academic advice do you have? The most important thing is go to class. Favorite place in Blacksburg? I love the campus. It’s easy to get around. What’s a good job or activity to get involved in? I worked at the gym and I liked it a lot. Any more advice for new students? summer 2009

see ADVICE, page fifty-nine Have a great time.

Emily Jaffa Junior, Mathematics

Dr. Gena Chandler Professor, English

Sarah Hall Junior, Architecture

What do you do for fun? I’m in Young Democrats. Joining clubs is a great way to meet lots of new people with similar interests.

What academic advice do you have? It’s important to manage your time well. Get to know professors. Seek help at the writing center and other support services.

What do you do for fun? Going to the Huckleberry Trail or the Lyric. Where do you like to go eat? I like going to West End and getting any of the wraps or the hamburgers.

Where do you like to go eat? D2, because I can get dessert without feeling guilty about having to pay extra. Off campus, I like More than Coffee. They have the best hummus in town.

Where do you like to go eat? Lefty’s is a great place to get good food at a reasonable price. It also has a friendly atmosphere.

What academic advice do you have? If you can, get into John Boyer’s World Regions class. It’s a lot of fun.

What academic advice do you have? Don’t overload yourself first semester and go to professors’ office hours, because teachers love to help you.

Any more advice for new students? Learn how to strike a balance between your responsibilities as a student and your life outside the university.

Any more advice for new students? Don’t make any major life decisions when you get into college. College is fleeting. Take it slow.

from page fifty-eight

Daniel Brubaker Senior, Civil Engineering

Amrita Raja Alumna, Interior Design

What do you do for fun? I like to go out on the Appalachian Trail, on Dragon’s Tooth and also the New River.

Favorite place in Blacksburg? Bollo’s. It’s nice because they have a fresh bakery and it’s local, plus I usually meet up with my friends there.

What academic advice do you have? It took me a couple years to realize that making friends with your professors will actually help. Favorite place in Blacksburg? The Duck Pond’s a great place to chill. What’s a good job or activity to get involved in? Any campus job. They are going to pay you good money and work best with your class schedule. Where do you like to go eat? Backstreet’s Pizza. That place is money.

What academic advice do you have? Enroll in a crazy course that isn’t required at all. Get out of your comfort zone.

While you may have chosen to come to Virginia Tech with the purpose of getting a fundamental grasp on the theory of relativBRITTNEY ity, to explore DAVIS Freud’s Seduction regular Theory, or to columnist survey literature, never forget that the most important lesson is the value of people. Arriving on a campus with 29,000 others may seem overwhelming at first, and paired with the transition for residents of areas like the D.C. suburbs, Blacksburg may feel small and rural. And while those things may be true, as you become more involved in the campus climate and the surrounding community, you will find that you have become a part of the Hokie family. Whether it is cheering on the football team at Lane Stadium, or working alongside faculty to develop your ideas and skills, or in walking along a track with hundreds of others during Relay for Life, you will be a Hokie. The choice that you have as you enter your first year or arrive as a

student from another university is whether you will accept the invitation to join. Everything that you will learn here in classes and labs will be vital to your future, but will mean absolutely nothing if you choose to ignore the component that is consistent among any area: people. Do not let your college career at Virginia Tech slip by without remembering that we are all in it together. Never forget that our community is constantly striving to provide you with unique opportunities and challenges in which you should partake. Try something new. Go someplace special. Most importantly, get involved. There are plenty of ways to give back to the community through the hundreds of student organizations our school offers. There is most likely a club for any interest you may have, and if not, you can start your own and make your own mark as a founder. In a school with so many people, being involved is a surefire way to meet others and to create networks of friends who have the same passions and determinations you possess, working to contribute to our family, and challenging you to gain new approaches to problems. Activities will look great on your

resume for future employers or your curriculum vitale for graduate school admissions boards. But I hope that you will look beyond this and find that your participation impacts the lives of our students and faculty, and the citizens of Blacksburg who are and always will be a strong and dependable support system. Take every opportunity to volunteer in Blacksburg, as it is a great way to meet community members and to show them that we appreciate all they have done for us. Most importantly, be sure to always remember that without the care and concern of everyone surrounding you, you would be embarking upon a long and lonely journey. Don’t do it alone. We are all in it for the same purpose, and at some point will need the help of each other to carry our burdens as we continue to climb. You will find no other group of people more willing to do so than the students, mentors, faculty, and community members at Virginia Tech. Congratulations on your decision to come, and welcome to our family.


Advice: ‘Embrace Involvement at Tech is key being a Hokie’


Brittney is a rising senior honors student in the English department and the Director of Communications for the Black Student Alliance.

What’s a good job or activity to get involved in? The Art & Architecture Library, because all the people I know who work there enjoy it. Any more advice for new students? Embrace being a Hokie, because it’s a sense of family that’s really hard to find in other places. summer 2009

page summer 2009



Learning is a committment So, you think you can learn? You’re coming to Virginia Tech to study for your career and to get a degree that says you’re ready, but will KEN you really learn anySTANTON thing? That may be regular just as much in your hands as it is your columnist professors. First, how do you know you’ve learned something? Is it because you can recite a lot of facts about it? Not really. Learning to drive is certainly not just memorizing traffic laws, though that matters. There are two much better measures: Can you use it, and can you teach it to someone else? If you can use your knowledge of driving rules to safely navigate busy city streets, then you’ve learned it. Better yet, if you can teach your friend or family member some simple rules to navigate those same roads safely, then you probably have learned it well. Second, how does learning occur? It is hard to summarize completely, but here are some basic aspects that are useful. One, learning has a starting point. That point is right now, and what you know and understand at this moment; you must use this knowledge as a tool

to learn new things. Good teachers will often evaluate your starting poin, known as “prior knowledge” in education-speak. at the beginning of a class to help you know where you stand and for them to work from that point. Two, learning is active. Of course active and engaging classes are good, but what about the ones that aren’t? What about learning outside of class? Simply showing up to class will not be sufficient; you need to walk into the classroom ready to discuss and ask questions. Form reading groups where everyone reads a few pages and then stop and discuss; this is especially useful in the toughest classes. Use the test above and try to teach someone else what you’re studying. When you can’t explain something, stop and read about it — and yes, Wikipedia is OK to help you. Overall, this stuff will help but the most important thing is to find what you need to learn best, and places like VT’s Center for Academic Enrichment and Excellence (CAEE, are great to help get you there. Three, learning takes time. Many studies have looked at the differences between the best learners and those who struggle. The difference is time on task. It isn’t that the best are born with it, it’s that they are most willing to struggle with the tough problems and then review what they’ve found.

Struggling is one of the most important things to accept as part of learning; after all, giving up is quitting! From all those whom I have taught and tutored, the ones who have gotten frustrated and fought through it have done the best and have gotten A’s. And reviewing results and checking over work eliminates those costly “stupid mistakes” that we all make. Third, and finally, what are the right answers? While many problems may have a single answer, many do not. Learn to challenge everything, literally. Are Newton’s Laws always true? Is global warming undeniably true? Are humans the smartest species? Answering these questions isn’t just fun, it is a crucial learning tool, and one that brings learning to life. Putting this all together, you can see that the responsibility for learning is shared between you and your instructors, and even your friends. Do some learning this summer before school starts—that is, learn about how you learn! There are great websites out there, and the book “How People Learn” is free online. Good luck! Ken Stanton is a Ph.D. Student in Engineering Education, and has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant for seven semesters and about 1,000 students.

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Hokie Hi welcomes Tech students new and old SARA MITCHELL

editor-in-chief As students head back to Virginia Tech or make their way for the first time, various organizations are waiting. Hokie Hi is a program that pro-

motes the first-week activities of any organization or group. The goal is to get students involved with student life and socialize. Jessica Johns is the Hokie Hi committee chair. The committee is comprised of representatives from student affairs, Tech athletics, Virginia Tech Union, Residence Life, and others. Since 2003

they’ve promoted the events that are put on by the respective organizations. Hokie Hi will distribute fliers and booklets containing full schedules in the residence halls and in off-campus apartments. There are a few “flagship events” that Johns said are organized each year by various groups

RHF Campus Bonanza The Residence Hall Foundation brings in free pizza from various Blacksburg vendors and lets students taste all brands and then rate them. Prizes are awarded throughout the event.

Welcome Back Picnic Students get to the Welcome Back Picnic through the Lane Stadium tunnel. While eating, Tech athletics introduces various teams and people.

Career Services Tailgate Sponsors provide food and prizes for Tech students, and representatives from the companies will be present who are looking to hire students and graduates. Career Services staff will be available for advice and introductions.

Gobblerfest This is the second year for the street fair-style event. In additon to games and food, student organizations will be present to talk to interested students. There will also be a business expo and a volunteer fair for VT-ENGAGE, Tech’s program to encourage community service by students and faculty.

HOKIE HI See page 63 for a calendar of the flagship events during the first week. For a complete list of events, visit the Hokie Hi Web site at

Kickoff Concert and Rally Every year the kickoff concert and rally is held by the junior class. The class of 2011 will host this year’s events.

Individual events Organizations and departments can sign up events with Hokie Hi to be put on the Web site or in the booklets. This way, new and interested students can take the opportunity to meet various groups early in the year and get involved. Various academic departments and majors also hold events to allow students to meet faculty and peers within the same area of study. See page 40 in Tech Fundamentals for more information on student organizations.

news not making sense?



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n summer 2009

then this paper's for you.

Check out what's going on at Tech your first week here. Sponsored events are part of Hokie Hi.

Thurs, Aug. 20

What: Hypnotist Tom Deluca Where: Burruss Hall auditorium When: 8 p.m. Sponsored by: Student Activities

Fri, Aug. 21

What: "Star Trek" (2009) Where: Drillfield (Rain location: Squires Commonwealth Ballroom) When: 9 p.m. Sponsored by: Student Activities

Sat, Aug. 22

What: DSA Beach Bash Where: McComas Hall When: 7 p.m to 10 p.m Sponsored by: Division of Student Affairs

20 21 22 23 Sun, Aug. 23

What: RHF Campus Bonanza Where: Drillfield When: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sponsored by: Residence Hall Federation

What: Welcome Back Picnic Where: Lane Stadium When: 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by: Student Programs and Tech Athletics

24 288 Mon, Aug. 24

Fri, Aug. 28

Classes begin What: Career Services Tailgate Party Where: Smith Career Center When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sponsored by: Career Services

What: Gobblerfest Where: Squires Student Center When: 2 p.m. to midnight Sponsored by: Student Unions and Student Activities




What: Kickoff Concert and Welcome Back Rally Where: Lane Stadium When: TBA Sponsored by: Class of 2011 summer 2009 summer 2009




Sunday, June 21, 2009 Print Edition  

Sunday, June 21, 2009 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times