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Thursday, September 3, 2009

An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903

COLLEGIATETIMES 106th year, issue 78

News, page 1

Features, page 2

Opinions, page 3

Classifieds, page 4

Sudoku, page 4

Sports, page 6

Coach faces suit over Blacksburg project An investment in the proposed Legends of Blacksburg condominium development has resulted in a lawsuit for University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez. Alabama-based Nexity Bank RODRIGUEZ filed suit against Rodriguez in the

South Carolina U.S. District Court last month for failing to repay a loan that he was a guarantor on. Wesley Few, a South Carolina-based attorney representing Nexity Bank, said Rodriguez signed a guaranty for Legends of Blacksburg, LLC, obligating him to repay lenders such as Nexity. Rodriguez is the only guarantor named in the suit. Few said the loan, originally in the amount of $26.1 million, was not used completely, and Rodriguez only owes the amount used.

“It was a construction loan,” Few said. “The only advance ever made was the initial advance to buy the property.” Nexity is seeking $3.63 million, which Few said is only reimbursement for the amount paid by the bank. Legends of Blacksburg is a proposed condominium development at the end of Warren Street near Lane Stadium. Bill Gearhart, president and principal broker of Coldwell Banker, said Coldwell Banker handled marketing for the project. However, he said marketing has

Bill eliminates on-campus credit card advertisting RILEY PRENDERGAST ct news reporter The constant stream of free beads, T-shirts, foam fingers and flying discs pouring in from credit card companies will be absent from the Hokie football experience this fall. The credit card representatives who flock to many campus sporting events offering students the chance to support their school by opening up an college affinity credit card are now banned by federal law. “We never allowed organizations to solicit on campus,” said university spokesman Larry Hincker. “They always had to work in concert with one of our organizations such as an alumni group.” President Barack Obama signed the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights Act of 2009 into law on May 22 as an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act that established fair and transparent practices relating to the extension of credit under an open-end consumer credit plan. Credit cards were often advertised to students around football games. Affinity credit cards allow students an opportunity to support their school, even by swiping their credit cards at the grocery store. These cards offer to donate a portion of the purchases on the card to the institution, offer discounted terms to the consumer and sport the logos of the institution on the card. The new bill formally defines these accounts as “a credit card issued by a credit card issuer under an open end consumer credit plan in conjunction with an agreement between the user and an institution of higher education, or an alumni organization or foundation.” Virginia Tech Alumni Association currently holds a contract with JPMorgan Chase, according to Vice President for Alumni Relations Tom Tillar. Chase, however, has ended their affinity card plans in accordance with this new bill. Tillar said the alumni association’s contract with Chase prohibits him from disclosing the value of the agreement. Contracts at other universities range from $1 million to $20 million and give credit card companies access to alumni contact information, as well as the right to market to them. Tillar said existing cards are not affected by Chase’s change. “If you hold a card right now it will still be good and will work, but they have stopped accepting new applications,” Tillar said. “They are only keeping their Disney affinity cards because that is a global organization.” The bill has banned giving out free gifts to students as incentives and has prohibited credit card companies from providing credit cards to students under the age of 21 without consent from a parent or guardian. Credit card companies are still allowed to market toward alumni with an established annual gross income. “I believe at last count we had in the mid-20,000 alumni with Virginia Tech affinity cards,” Tillar said. “It does provide people with a way to support their school. Some consumer advocacy groups, such as the Consumer Federation of America based out of Washington D.C. have called into question the relationship between these companies and universities.” The CFA is concerned that the relationship is a conflict of interest and does not have the best interests of the cardholders in mind.

Irene Leech, an associate professor in apparel, housing and tourism management, is currently the vice president of CFA. She has been raising questions about the credit card policies at universities, specifically at Tech. “It is so important for students to start off on the right foot when it comes to their credit score,” Leech said. “We should be encouraging them to act responsibly, but what’s been happening is students have been enticed into using credit cards with programs that aren’t going to benefit them in the long run.” The plan that students, alumni and staff signed up for with the affinity cards included “double-cycle” billing, where interest is calculated over two months instead of the normally standard one month. This process often results in higher finance charges. The new bill prohibits double-cycle billing when the monthly payments are made on time. Chase dropped double-cycle billing in early-2009 following the decision not to continue with the university affinity cards. “They saw that is was costing them too much to keep the program running,” Tillar said. “They just weren’t seeing enough profits.” Most of the marketing for affinity cards was aimed at alumni, explaining why Chase, Bank of America, MBNA and FirstUSA mainly deal with alumni associations. “We don’t have many students who were issued cards; it’s a very small number,” Tillar said. “(Chase) mainly likes to market to college graduates because they are a good credit risk. They often make all of their payments on time.” Leech said the positive side of the credit cards offered to students through universities is the ability to learn how to build a credit score. “This society depends on credit, it is incredibly important for students to learn how to properly use credit,” Leech said. “It is very beneficial to learn while in college how to manage credit.”

Subway replaces Burger King in Johnston Student Center GORDON BLOCK ct news reporter Hungry students around Johnston Student Center will find new food options in the absence of previous tenant Burger King. The center’s second floor now houses Subway and will also host a soon-to-be-opened Seattle’s Best Coffee on the opposite end of the floor. Franchise co-owners Scott Hillyard and Melanie Morris estimated that about 1,000 customers ate at Subway on the first day of classes, including 200 customers per hour at lunchtime. “It’s been extremely busy here,” Hillyard said. The campus location is the 16th Subway franchise for the pair, adding to eight they own in the New River Valley area and the seven around Harrisonburg. The Seattle’s Best Coffee franchise, set to open Sept. 7, will be Morris and Hillyard’s first. Virginia Tech’s University Unions and Student Activities, which controls the Johnston Student Center space, awarded the location in May. The location had last been bid on in 2002.


Subway beat out other francises bids to replace Burger King. Six offers, including ones from franchises of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Einstein Brothers Bagels, and Seattle’s Best Coffee, LLC were considered when the bidding process was initiated in the spring of 2008. The deal is effective until Aug. 31, 2014, with 2-year renewal options following the initial five-year period. As a part of its agreement, the franchises will pay Tech a commission on sales, ranging from 10 percent to 12 percent, depending on sales. Sales numbers of up to $800,000

require the franchisees to contribute 10 percent to the university, while $800,000-$1 million requires an 11percent contribution. It reaches the maximum 12 percent if franchise sales exceed $1 million. Julie Walters-Steele, director of UUSA, said the move to Subway has received strong support from students. “We’ve received no complaints that the Burger King’s gone,” WaltersSteele said. “People were looking for fresher, healthier options in there.”

dwindled since late 2007, and the original owners are selling the project. “It is our understanding that there is a developer that has a contract on the project,” Gearhart said. Mike Wilcox, Rodriguez’s financial adviser, said Rodriguez had been the victim of a Ponzi scheme in a statement to the press issued Tuesday. A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud in which the fraudster pays off old investors with money from new investors, creating the illusion of reliable, quick returns. Few said Nexity was the victim.


on the web


Check out the CT’s website at to read the court documents

“My client is the one that has put money into the deal,” Few said. He said it seemed like a problem between Rodriguez and Legends of Blacksburg, LLC. “The people he chose to become business partners with didn’t run the business in the way he expected them

to,” Few said. Few disputed the claim that the project was a Ponzi scheme, saying Rodriguez and his business partners intentionally invested in the project to make money. “They knew what they were getting into,” Few said. “They were trying to make money.” While Nexity will no longer handle financing for the project, the property will belong to Legends of Blacksburg, LLC once the debt is paid. “Once they pay off the loan, they’re going to own that property,” Few said.

Generation gap


ct news editor



AT&T adding 3G service in area BY ZACH CRIZER| nrv news editor


ocal iPhone users could soon harvest the full power of the device as AT&T plans to launch 3G service for the Blacksburg area by midSeptember. 3G, a third-generation mobile broadband network, optimizes service for smartphones such as the two newest versions of Apple’s iPhone. Despite 3G iPhones being available since July 2008, local users have thus far been denied access the technology’s fast connection speeds. That painful era of slow download speeds is finally coming to an end. AT&T spokesperson Ellen Webner said the company hopes to have service available by the middle of this month. Blacksburg is one of several cities in Virginia where the company is expanding service. “We have plans to launch 3G in the Blacksburg area and that includes the Virginia Tech campus,” Webner said. She said there is a dramatic upgrade process involved when upgrading from regular service to 3G service. “It’s sort of like putting a video card into a TV set,” Webner said. “The data and voice can

go through the same channel at much higher speeds.” Video is a major aspect of 3G capability. Phones will be capable of performing a feature called “videoshare” when 3G service is made available. “Videoshare is the ability to send video and talk at the same time,” Webner said. “There’s a lot of consumer practicality with that for small business.” Strong college populations in areas such as Charlottesville and Blacksburg have increased demand for 3G service, Webner said. AT&T is also working on an expansion of coverage in the Hampton Roads area. “We’re constantly tweaking the network and evaluating the next area we need to fill in,” Webner said. AT&T has suffered criticism for its lack of support for sending multimedia messages using

an iPhone. Currently the target date for MMS messaging is “late summer.” Webner could not give any guaranteed date the 3G service would take effect, but customers may notice the company’s trials of the service as they proceed with the upgrades. “You may in the next several weeks before we launch see the little icon that everyone has become quite familiar with — 3G.”

2YMCAfeatures employee gives Thrift Store a fresh, new style

editors: topher forhecz, teresa tobat 540.231.9865

september 3, 2009


MARY ANNE CARTER ct features reporter Singing, dancing, sewing, studying and working. Nancy Ballhagen is far more than a triple threat. A fifth-year apparel design and merchandising management major at Virginia Tech, Ballhagen is a member of the Delta Omicron Professional Music Fraternity, president of the Swing Dance Club, and she is taking a full course load to graduate in December. She does this all while maintaining a full-time job at the YMCA Thrift Store. “It’s really stressful, but I need the money,” explained Ballhagen, who pays for her own tuition and healthcare. “I looked at my class schedule and was like, ‘When can I possibly work and still go to class?’ I literally walk straight from class to the bus stop and go to the Y and work until close everyday, six days a week.” In search of a summer job a year ago, Ballhagen started working for the YMCA Thrift Store as a cashier and almost immediately began applying the merchandising skills she learned from her classes to challenge the stuffy, outdated reputation associated with thrift stores. “I noticed they had this section of the store called the Thrift Chic Boutique,” Ballhagen recounted. “It was kind of abandoned for awhile, so I asked my manager if I could work on it.” Thrilled, her manager gave her total creative control. With each section, Ballhagen always attempts to have a theme by saving up vintage clothes,

wedding dresses or designer items to match the season. Stocked with a wealth of brand-new, vintage and designer clothes, the Thrift Chic Boutique is now more reminiscent of a consignment shop than a thrift store. Still, it maintains the affordable prices the YMCA is known for. “It’s still really cheap,” said Ballhagen, who prices the items herself. “It just gives the items a little bit more value.” Ballhagen’s involvement has resulted in measurable success, driving Thrift Chic sales up by over 25 percent. “Before Nancy came in, the prices were a bit on the high side,” said Brian Anderson, assistant manager of the YMCA Thrift Store. “There was really no consistency. Things were set up nicely, but I don’t think they were representing what we were trying to do. Nancy basically revamped it, starting from scratch.” Not only did Ballhagen rework the pricing structure, but she also put in extra effort by “taking the time to pick out articles, divide them into time periods such as the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and address certain times of the year,” Anderson explained. “It wasn’t just the pricing she was doing well, but the presentation. “I’ve seen days where 12 to 15 items are sold when it used to be maybe one a week,” Anderson said. “She is a very intelligent lady and has great ideas, and we’ve kind of just let her take the lead and go.” Her most recent initiative was in the form of the quarterly “Y Refashion? The YMCA at Virginia Tech Recycling Contest,” which challenged customers to use items they purchased


Virginia Tech senior apparel, housing and resource management major Nancy Ballhagen in her section at the YMCA thrift store. at the YMCA to create a new, unique creation. “It’s a way to get people to recognize that they can make something ugly into something beautiful and also give them an opportunity to do something green and creative at the same time,” explained Ballhagen, who works with a lot of vintage materials herself.

Reconstructing clothing ensures “you get something completely unique, and, at the same time, you’re saving something that would have otherwise been thrown away and recycling textiles that take a lot of energy in a lower energy way,” she said. “Even if it looks like its something kind of dated, I give it a chance and see if there is a way to make

things more updated.” Ballhagen’s enthusiasm for thrifting began at a young age when she would accompany her mom to the thrift store. “She would take me and my sister with her and let us run around and look at everything,” she said. “When I was little, I wasn’t so much about the clothes as the My Little Ponies and Rainbow

Brite dolls. But I always loved looking at everything.” Her appreciation for thrifting deepened as she developed a passion for swing dancing her freshman year of college. “It is the love of my life,” Ballhagen professes. “I’ve always liked to dance — I took ballet when I was little, and I did see THRIFTING/ page five

Fruits of his labor: Farmer’s market vendor shares produce and stories RYAN ARNOLD ct features reporter Farmers market vendor Ronald Holdren’s stories shift with the seasons. The back of his plum-colored T-shirt reads “Fruit Freak.” The proof litters the ground beside a rear tire of his red and white 1990 Ford F-150. Plum pits are scattered like feed for a chicken coop. Well, they once were. The pits are from a fruit Ronald Holdren, owner of Green Market Farm, calls Chicken House Plums. He conceived the name from a childhood memory. Holdren’s grandfather owned chickens, and he planted plum trees to shade their fenced-in quarters. Before Holdren could ever savor a fallen plum,

the birds would snatch them from the floor. Now Holdren enjoys the once fleeting treats as a prominent vendor at the Blacksburg Farmers Market. He has attached special meaning to an assortment of his products. From the bed of his truck, Holdren shifts handfuls of summer plums and blackberries from cardboard crates to small baskets, sneaking a few for himself. His fingers are drenched in color like a finger-painting youth. But in no time he’s back into the busy Saturday crowd, enticing customers with juicy fruit samples and charming stories. A man and woman shopping together begin to bicker about the blackberries. “You have no idea how much fruit

we have in the home,” she explained to him. “You can eat them on the way home,” Holdren interjected. While Green Market Farm sells numerous fruits on behalf of Ayers’ Orchard in Cana, Va., Holdren maintains two gardens in the state — in Pembroke and Newport — that yield a vast array of produce, flowers and plants. While caring for the properties, Holdren uses his imagination to create titles. The Firecracker Plant, for example, is an invention inspired by the Fourth of July. A member of the Cuphea family, the plant has red, tubular flowers with what looks like cigar ash hanging from their tips. Come Independence Day,

Holdren describes the ash as a burning firecracker fuse. “A little marketing strategy,” he said with an endearing giggle. Holdren certainly knows how to attract an audience, and his savvy has clear origins. Holdren grew up in Newport watching the farming endeavors of both his grandfather and father. From selling strawberries to raising hogs, he absorbed the lifestyle. Holdren even earned the title of 4-H All Star for a horticulture project he completed as a high school senior. “And that’s a title for life,” he said with a hint of pride. Still, Holdren didn’t follow his family tracks immediately. He earned an associate degree from

New River Community College in business management with a marketing concentration. “I came out of school, and I went into business,” Holdren said. “I ran a convenience store.” Poised on the edge of westbound U.S. Highway 460 in Pembroke, Ron’s Stop ’N Shop opened in 1976. Soon thereafter, Holdren bought a house situated directly behind the store. But Holdren could only suppress his agricultural roots for so long. His career shift began in 1990 when he and his wife, Lisa, submitted to the gardening itch. “We started the greenhouse as a hobby,” he said. The itch quickly evolved. “I knew a good bit, but I didn’t know

much about propagating anything,” Holdren said. “Every time we made $20, we went and bought us another book.” His property has since flourished into a botanical maze of fragrance and color. He sold the convenience store in 2000 to become a full-time vendor at the Blacksburg Farmers Market, undoubtedly bringing a matured business mind with him. Holdren now has three greenhouses, the largest of which is 16 feet by 110 feet. Throughout his backyard, tables are covered in a multitude of potted perennials and herbs. “We specialize in smell good, feel good,” he said of his countless crops. see FARMER/ page five

opinions 3

editor: debra houchins 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

september 3, 2009

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

Our Views [staff editorial]

Challenging ideals through interaction Y

esterday morning, President Steger sent an e-mail to the university listserv. In his e-mail, Steger addressed the issue of discrimination. He mentioned two complaints made by minority students that had already been filed. It ends with the Virginia Tech Principles of Community, which states that all forms of prejudice and discrimination on campus will not be tolerated. The specifics of the recent complaints and the exact judiciary actions that are taken after an offense were not detailed. While an e-mail is a practical way of reaching students and faculty, it is impossible to know how many students actually read the entire text. The effectiveness of this method should be questioned if the administration takes the subject as seriously as it says. What influences students’ perspectives and challenges their ideas are the relationships they form and their interactions with other people, not e-mails sent from faculty most students have never met. It is a matter of personal responsibility and ideologies. Still, there is no morally right way to tell someone how to think or feel, even if we believe their words and actions cultivate hatred. While it is difficult to accept, it is simply not possible to force someone to change their prejudice. Any changes must come internally. It’s a paradox in and of itself. So what can the university — and we as students — do to encourage acceptance and tolerance without overstepping the

boundaries and pushing opinions on someone else? We challenge ideals. Not just another person’s, but our own as well. Not only ones concerning discrimination, ether; the ability to rationally and openly discuss ideas, thoughts and feelings leads to a greater understanding of the society and people. If the university was interested in actively ending discrimination on campus, it could try numerous methods that would open discussions to all students, not just select groups. Student organizations do their part with outreach and diversity programs and events, but they cannot force people to attend their events or accept the messages they are trying to spread. The administration could simply offer one credit hour classes that solely exist to talk about perceptions of other students or people and grades on participation and attendance. Instead of sending e-mails that simply say discriminatory remarks aren’t tolerated, it should outline a specific punishment, such as a conduct referral or suspension. While this doesn’t help to change the ideas behind the action, it might help prevent verbal slurs used in a threatening or derogatory manner. Prejudice comes in all forms and will never be completely uprooted. However, how we think of someone’s ethnicity, lifestyle or religious views is very different from what we make them feel. The editorial board is comprised of Debra Houchins, Peter Velz, Sara Mitchell and Bethany Buchanan

Your Views [guest columnist]

How is campus any different?


feel like I lead a good life. I’m a student at an incredible school in one of the top 10 engineering programs in the country. I have an incredible family, any one of which I’d take a bullet for. I have good friends and just recently I’ve landed the most amazing girl I’ve ever met. But even with all the good in my life, I still can’t answer a question that I deal with everyday. Why do I feel the need to be armed when I lead a life that seems so amazing? It’s a hard question to answer when nothing tragic has ever happened to me directly. Indirectly, tons of things have affected me, but I’ve never been in that spot where my life has been on the line. To a lot of people I come across as knowledgeable about a lot of things. I know a lot about math, science, how things work, and I think I know a good bit about my rights and which ones are being slowly taken from me by this current Congress. But I cannot pretend to comprehend why someone would take two students’ lives in the middle of their camping trip. No one can answer what was on Cho’s mind when he killed 32 of my classmates, and I will never know why no one acted when the girl was stabbed and decapitated in front of her fellow Hokies. The one thing that I do know

is that not a single one of the victims of these crimes stood a fighting chance. I do know that as soon as I cross onto campus I can no longer have my weapon on me even though I’m a lawabiding citizen with a concealed handgun permit. So why can I legally carry my weapon on one side of the street, but if I cross it, I’m breaking the law? And why is there a stigma associated with those of us who legally carry a concealed weapon? A CHP holder committed none of the aforementioned crimes, yet our universities, Congress and the news media are against even answering the question of how legally armed, everyday citizens could have at least attempted to defend themselves. I don’t feel empowered or manly when I carry. I don’t carry because I’m full of testosterone or so weak I can’t defend myself with my hands. My friends would tell you that I’m a modest person, and one of the nicest people you’ll meet. It’s just a real shame that there are people who would take anyone’s life, including mine, without a blink of an eye. It’s just as big of a shame that I have to leave my right to self-defense at home when I step on campus when my campus has been the focus of so much senseless crime.

SAM STEPHENS -guest columnist -senior CSES, philosophy major


Virgina Tech offers many resources for campus eats W

hether it’s burgers and fries at Flip’s, lobster and London Broil at West End Market, or just a coffee and Danish pastry at Deet’s, there’s sure to be something to suit your palate here on campus. If you’re not already familiar with the ins and outs of Dining Services and the myriad of options available to you as a Virginia Tech student, I’m going to give you a little tour, so put your feet up and stay a while! For starters, I’m not just blowing smoke when I say that Tech has the best college food in the nation — we have the recognition to prove it. Tech has been voted No. 1 this year in the Princeton Review’s list of Best Campus Food. In addition, this year Tech was honored with the 2009 Ivy Award, a highly prestigious peer-voted recognition of the best foodservice operations in the industry. Although our campus cuisine has steadily improved over the past five years, it has always been pretty great, and the university has won dozens of other awards and honors in the past 15 years. When it comes to a decent lunch, you could do far worse than a Tech dining hall. There are many different meal options for all schedules and budgets. If your appetite is as big as the Drillfield, there are all-you-can-eat options at Shultz Hall and D2. On the other hand, if a quick snack is all you need, you can stop by Dietrick Hall or Shultz for some a la carte “express” dining. And for those who absolutely must

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Voice your opinion. Readers are encouraged to send letters and comments to the Collegiate Times. 365 Squires Student Center Blacksburg, Va. 24061 Fax: (540) 31-9151 Students must include name, year, major and phone number. Faculty and staff must include name, position and department. All other submissions must include name, residence, and if applicable, relationship to Virginia Tech (i.e. alumni, parent, etc.). Letters should 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. Editorials are written by the Collegiate Times editorial board, composed of the opinions editor, editor in chief and the managing editors. Letters to the editor are submissions from Collegiate Times readers. 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 Have a news tip? Call or text 200-TIPS or e-mail


Saying ‘I’m over it’ can actually help someone in getting over it W

part of a student org and want to get your voice heard?

have their fast food, there are several nutritional information. And if all that isn’t enough to places to go: Sbarro and Au Bon Pain in Squires, or Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A convince you to support your dinand even Cinnabon in Hokie Grill. ing halls, Tech has made incredible Unfortunately, there isn’t anywhere progress in the area of sustainability on campus where you can pull an directives in recent years. Currently, 8 all-nighter, but for those late-night to 15 percent of food sold through the study groups, Deet’s Place is open until dining halls is grown locally. The Farms midnight every day, and DXpress offers and Fields Project dining venue in late-night options from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Owens Food Court, which is run by the Finally, when you need to fuel up before student group Sustainable Food Corps, those early morning classes, places open showcases organic, sustainable and local before 8 a.m. include Dietrick, Deet’s, food options. Deet’s offers a selection of Shultz Express, Au Bon Pain (in both Fair Trade certified coffee, meaning the Squires and the Graduate Life Center) coffee growers are supported in their efforts to grow coffee sustainably and and the Vet Med Cafe. All that great-tasting food is entic- responsibly. Growers are also given a ing, but some students have concerns fair price for their product. And finally, about nutritional content or issues in an effort to reduce waste, several prowith special dietary concerns. How grams are either already implemented can they possibly know which are the or in the works, such as taking the best choices? Well, if you’re one of those trays out of D2 and Shultz, switching students, you’re in luck: With the You’re to corn-based compostable Styrofoam Eating Smarter Program, students and sending unused food either to a can set up one-on-one consultations local Salvation Army food center or to with a resident dietician or, for a more a local composting center. So the next time you’re feeling rumbly convenient approach, the YES Web site offers an interactive menu of nutritional in your tumbly, take a few minutes and information for all dining facilities peruse the Web site at www.student allowing you to see information for a, where you can particular food item or get an estimated find daily menus for all the dining halls. nutritive analysis of your entire lunch. With food this good, why would you The YES Web site also contains access ever choose McDonald’s again? to nutritional resources online, including information about vegetarianism, special dietary needs — such as food HEATHER TAYLOR allergies and celiac disease — eat- -regular columnist ing disorders and, of course, general -senior CSES, philosophy major

Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief: Sara Mitchell Managing Editors: Peter Velz, Bethany Buchanan Production Manager: Thandiwe Ogbonna Public Editor: Justin Graves News Editors: Zach Crizer, Philipp Kotlaba News Reporters: Gordon Block, Kelsey Heiter, Kaitlyn Gleason, Riley Prendergast Features Editors: Teresa Tobat, Topher Forhecz Features Reporters: Ryan Arnold, Mary Anne Carter, Dan Waidelich Opinions Editor: Debra Houchins Sports Editors: Joe Crandley, Alex Jackson Sports Reporters: Ed Lupien, Ray Nimmo, Ryan Trapp, Melanie Wadden, Thomas Emerick Sports Staff Writers: Garrett Busic, Matt Collette, Lindsay Faulkner, Hattie Francis Copy Editors: Erin Corbey, Mika Rivera Layout Designers: Kelly Harrigan, Rachel McGiboney, Josh Son, Lindsey Bachand, Sara Spangler Illustrator: Mina Noorbakhsh Multimedia Editor: Kevin Anderson Multimedia Reporters: James Carty, Phillip Murillas, Mandi Wasmer Online Director: Zach Swasey

hile spending time with one of my best friends this summer — which involved nursing hangovers at our local pool with talk of Chipotle — we came up with a new rule. How many times a day do you hear someone say they’re “over” something? For example, “I’m so over him” or “I’m so over school.” It’s usually said with an alarming confidence that is supposed to convey the speaker’s mastery of whatever subject they’re over. It implies that the thing they’re over is something they’ve experienced to the fullest, or something they’ve arrived to a new conclusion about. Well, the new rule is, when someone has to physically say, “I’m so over it,” they’re still very much into it. In fact, they’re so into it, they just might want to get intimate with it. This can be taken figuratively or literally, but the premise remains the same. Your friend is not actually “over it.” This sounds silly, but it’s actually been studied. A group of psychologists from the

University of Louvain in Belgium conducted a study on the social sharing of emotion and its integral role in “emotional recovery.” Their research suggests “emotional memories that people still feel like sharing should be associated with a cognitive need for completion.” This means that, in order to compensate for the distress the emotion might cause them, they will need to share what is bothering them. While your friend might not be ready to outright discuss why they have to say they’re over something, the fact they brought it up implies they’re not. Your friend deserves credit for bravery in even bringing up the topic, as the topic elicits a form of mental disconnect called “cognitive dissonance,” which is when someone experiences anxiety as a result of conflicting attitudes. In this case, your friend wants to move on, but obviously cannot. Initiating communication of the topic, even in the backwards way of saying you’re over it, is the first step to reducing that dissonance, albeit a very weak step.

Emotional experiences can have intense and often complicated ways of manifesting themselves in our lives — in our daily reactions to reminders of topics that bother us, in the way we view our self-worth or ourselves. According to the study, “Generating new meanings or reconstructing esteem ... (involves) social support, social contribution and social validation.” So, to get from wanting “it” inside you to actually getting “over it” will require some self-awareness, reflection and definitely some social sharing. Be a good listener and invite discussion of whatever your friend claims to be “over,” but don’t be fooled. They’re not “over” it — in fact, it’s very much still inside them.

CHRIS COX -regular columnist -senior -communication, humanities major

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september 3, 2009

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Thrifting: Dance helps weave new designs from page two

step team in high school, but swing dancing just clicked as something I could really grow in because it’s a social dance ... as well as something you can get to be endlessly good at and learn all these crazy moves and tricks you can’t really do with a choreographed routine.” Such crazy moves are best demonstrated in “trumpet skirts, which are basically any skirt that flares out around the knee but doesn’t flash your underwear, so it looks really cool when you twirl,” Ballhagen explained. Exposure to this vintage style swing dancing inspired her current obsession with 1940s style. “I’m in the process of making a dress from a 1940s pattern,” she said, “using some fabric of my grandmas from the ’70s.” Ballhagen’s unique pieces and strong work ethic are the subject of praise from her professors and instructors. “Her design work is great, and

she puts her garments together neatly and efficiently,” said Peggy Quesenberry, an apparel, housing and resource management professor. “I can depend on her to turn in excellent, creative work.” Ballhagen hopes to combine her skills in design and merchandising by owning her own clothing store. In the mean time, Ballhagen encourages students to give thrift stores a second chance. “If you aren’t afraid to take clothes that your friends have given you that they’ve grown out of or taking hand-me-downs, there is really no difference between that and the Y other than that you don’t know the person,” she said. “One wash is the difference between it being theirs and yours.” The YMCA Thrift Store and Thrift Chic Boutique is located on 1000 N. Main St. The next Y Refashion? event will be held in October.

Farmer: Growing a place in Blacksburg from page two

A large patch of ground is dedicated to over 400 varieties of daylily flowers with affectionately chosen names like Pumpkin Time, Spider Miracle and Ruppert’s Purple, which is named after a former pet cat. “You get a little stressed out this time of year,” Holdren said. “All you need to do is come out here and take a walk in the lilies.” Looking across the expansive garden, his anxiety is understandable. Holdren also has the aforementioned second garden of produce at his mother’s home in Newport. When asked how much time he dedicates per week to his craft — which includes looking after gardens, an orchard and the market — he quickly re-directed the question to his wife, who was nearby. She simply rolled her eyes and continued strolling through the flowers. Bought new, Holdren’s 1990 Ford is approaching 240,000 miles as he’s always on the road tending the goods. Holdren has adopted help, though. In recent years, he’s employed several Virginia Tech students. For most of this summer, fourth-

can pretty much tell you the difference between every single apple that you show me.” He attested his newfound knowledge to conversations and questions with Holdren. “Ron always has good answers,” Mrazik said. “But then it’s also followed by another 10-minute story.” “I like to tell stories,” Holdren confirmed with another giggle. “My favorite country musician is Tom T. Hall, the storyteller.” With Mrazik departing for a semester abroad, Holdren has found new sidekicks, including fifth-year architecture major Jared Clifton. After just more than a month as a top aide, he’s already found Holdren quite personable. “It’s strange,” Clifton said. “He’s one of the people that I’ve known for such BRIAN CLAY/SPPS a short amount of time (yet) I feel extremely close to.” Ronald Holdren gives a sample of his fresh produce to a customer. At the market, Holdren’s stalls are full year architecture major Jordan Mrazik wanting to learn,” Holdren said, “so that of tales. Behind many of the distinct, handwritten labels are equally homewas Holdren’s main assistant. Mrazik makes it more exciting.” Mrazik isn’t shy about his former igno- made narratives. Green Market Farm was the caretaker of the Newport site products are like books with compelling and earned the informal title, “Garden rance either. “Before I started working for him, spines. Superintendant.” Holdren also called The author, though, is always on hand I had never even eaten a peach or an him the “Saturday Market Manager.” “Jordan has a genuine interest in apple before,” Mrazik admitted. “Now I for readings.

sports 6

editors: joe crandley, alex jackson telephone number: 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

september 3, 2009

North Carolina State relishes early national television exposure KEN TYSIAC mcclatchy newspapers RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina State coach Tom O’Brien couldn’t ask for better exposure as he tries to build his program. The Wolfpack will host South Carolina on Thursday night in an ESPN broadcast that will serve as the unofficial start to the college football season. In O’Brien’s third season, N.C. State will have the first chance to expose recruits to its home facilities and program on national television. Poll voters, who mostly ignored the Wolfpack in preseason rankings, also will have a chance to become more familiar with N.C. State. And players know it’s a chance to showcase themselves. “It’s the ‘Monday Night Football’ of college,” N.C. State running back Toney Baker said, referring to the well-known NFL prime-time telecast. “It’s a big deal

to open up, and it’s great for our program and our university as well.” A carnival-like atmosphere surrounds Thursday night games. Students and faculty make plans to rush over to the stadium as soon as they’re finished with classes. Fans leave work early to scramble to their parking spots to tailgate, turning the evening rush-hour commute into a nightmare as tens of thousands of fans clog roads that already are congested. The ringmaster of this circus is ESPN, whose Thursday night broadcasts serve as a springboard to Saturday game coverage. In return for the inconvenience, cities and campuses get a chance to put their best foot forward in front of a national television audience. “That’s kind of the ESPN approach, to show off the city you’re in and the great college environment you’re in on a weekly basis and show off the spirit of the individual schools,” said Phil Dean, who produces ESPN’s Thursday night telecasts.


Twelve cameras, including a “skycam” suspended on a wire to provide aerial views, will be installed. More than 100 crew members work on the show, including the on-air team of Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews. About half of the production crew is hired locally on a per-game basis.

“You really get a chance to see all these different spots in a lot of towns that otherwise you’d probably never visit,” said Palmer, a former New York Giants quarterback. TV ratings show Thursday night games deliver a slightly larger audience than ordinary ESPN games. Last year, the series averaged a 2.3 rating with

2,264,000 households, according to ESPN spokesman Michael Humes. ESPN’s overall college football coverage averaged a 2.0 rating, which translates to 1,931,000 households. Those viewers include coaches and players from teams who are too busy with their own games to watch much football on Saturdays.

O’Brien said he can sense the excitement about the game. “It’s a great opportunity for us to play the first game of the year on national TV,” he said. “That’s why you schedule a game like this. It certainly has energized the Wolfpack Nation. Not that you really need to do that, but it has taken them to a new level, and it’s the buzz around town right now.” Playing in such a game can be good. Winning it is better. N.C. State didn’t come close to doing that last season, as it lost 34-0 in the Thursday night opener at South Carolina after Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson suffered a concussion during the second quarter. Thursday night will be a chance for N.C. State to demonstrate it has made progress. This “is a special treat for the players,” O’Brien said. “They look forward to this opportunity to get out there. And it certainly will be an indication of where we are with our program.”

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