An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
COLLEGIATETIMES 106th year, issue 84
News, page 2
Features, page 3
Opinions, page 5
Classifieds, page 6
Hokies trample Herd
Sudoku, page 6
Sports, page 8
Tech receives nuclear grant $850,000 GRANT TO REVIVED NUCLEAR PROGRAM FOOTS THE BILL FOR NEW PROFESSORS, FELLOWS LIANA BAYNE news staff writer
David Wilson runs with the ball in the second half against Marshall University’s Thundering Herd.
After a loss to Alabama, Tech recovers with win JOE CRANDLEY sports editor
he Alabama disaster appears to be behind the Hokies. Virginia Tech made a triumphant return to Lane Stadium Saturday afternoon against Marshall University, pounding the Thundering Herd 52-10. The defense dominated, the running game was phenomenal, and the special teams returned to usual form. In its first half alone, Tech more than doubled their offensive output from last weekend with 346 total yards, and the passing game even showed signs of life with 161 yards for the day. Tech ended the game with 605 total offense yards and 444 rushing yards. “It was a good win over a good football team. ... We played real well, especially coming off last week with people asking if we could get back up and mentally what would it do to us. I think the kids and the coaches responded today,” head coach Frank Beamer said. Redshirt freshman Ryan Williams got the Hokies started with a 57-yard touchdown run with just over four minutes left in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead. Williams ended up with 169 yards and three touchdowns. “I feel like I’m playing a lot faster, and the college level is becoming more natural,” Williams said. “It’s just a great feeling being out there. I always said during spring ball and up till this time there’s a lot more that I can show, and there’s just a few more steps that I need to take to get to where I need to be to help this team offensively, and I think I’m there, and I’m just ready to keep rolling.” After the first touchdown by Williams, the Hokies never looked back and took a 35-7
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To see a photo gallery of the game against Marshall, go to www.collegiatetimes.com
halftime lead. In addition to the running game, true freshman Jayron Hosley wowed the crowd in his first start as punt returner when he made a 64-yard return for a touchdown. “When I caught it, I looked up, and I saw a lot of field. I saw our guys out there with their guys, and they kind of made those good blocks for me, and it turned out well,” Hosley said. Hosley took over the punt returning duties since Williams decided to take himself out of that role after fumbling his first career return against Alabama. “It was real fun. I like being back there,” Hosley said. By the second half, the game was all but over, and starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor came out of the game early in the third quarter after throwing another touchdown pass to put the Hokies up 42-7. Taylor finished with 161 passing yards and two touchdowns. “This is a great confidence boost. We still could have made more plays, so we just got to go back and watch film and get better,” Taylor said. In addition to Taylor, Williams finished his day early and gave true freshman David Wilson a chance to shine. Wilson lived up to the hype surrounding him, showing off his speed throughout the second half to total 165 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries. “Just getting out there and finally getting the opportunity,” Wilson said. “Getting the ball in my arms — it’s just a comfort zone when I
[news in brief]
have the ball in my arms, and I just want to show everybody including myself what I can do on a new level. Talking about having 100 yards in high school, well I did it in college, and there’s no words to describe how happy I am right now.” Wilson also appreciated the incredible fan support he received when he made his first appearance in Lane Stadium. “The fans here are weird in a good way because they all knew when I stepped on the field before I even took three steps with the ball,” Wilson said. “They screamed because I got the ball, and that just gave me chills down my back, and there’s no words to describe how I was feeling at that moment.” After an offensive struggle against Alabama, offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring felt this type of performance was important to the players on offense. “They’re not oblivious to some questions, reservations, the questions they have to answer, so I think it was very important to go out and have success, and, as you said, to finish drives and to have big plays out there,” Stinespring said. Williams agreed, and he felt the team made quite the statement in regard to questions surrounding the offense. “There can’t be (questions),” Williams said. “I think we proved a lot of guys wrong. Tyrod made plays with his feet, Tyrod threw the ball excellent, we ran the ball well. I really don’t think there’s much you can say.” The 605 yards of total offense amounted to the sixth-highest total in Tech history and the total of 444 rushing yards was the third highest during the Beamer era. Tech last scored more than 50 points in 2005 in a 52-14 win against Virginia. Tech returns to action next week in Lane Stadium against Nebraska at 3:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech is poised to receive a grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to boost a recently revitalized nuclear engineering program. The $849,948 grant, to be paid over a course of the next four years, is aimed at faculty development. It will supplement a $300,000 grant Tech received last year that is being paid over the course of three years. Two new professors will be hired with $450,000 of this year’s grant. The remainder will help support graduate student fellowships. “It’s allowing us to hire more faculty so we can have more classes that will accommodate more students,” said Mark Pierson, mechanical engineering associate professor. The program, which has grown rapidly since its re-introduction to Tech in 2007, currently offers a four-class undergraduate certificate in nuclear engineering. The university hopes that once more faculty are employed, curricula can be developed for an undergraduate minor, a master’s and doctoral track for nuclear engineering. “This (grant) has opened the door tremendously to grow our program at a rate to try to keep up with what students want,” Pierson said. Tech’s nuclear engineering program was active between 1953 and the mid-1980s. There was even a research reactor on campus, which was completely removed in the early 1990’s after a slump in the industry caused the program to close. Pierson said the school is not buying a new reactor. What Tech has gotten, though, is a taste of the “nuclear renaissance” that is affecting the way the world thinks about nuclear energy as a source of inexpensive, clean power. “All of a sudden, the nuclear industry is taking off,” Pierson said. Kenneth Ball, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, began investigating the possibilities of rekindling the nuclear engineering program when he arrived at Tech in the fall of 2004. His background in nuclear research sent him looking for like-minded individuals among staff in the colleges of engineering and science. Ball also began building relationships with various nuclear power companies in the area, notably Areva, headquartered in Lynchburg, as well as Oakridge National Laboratories and Dominion Power. The Office of Economic Development received state funding to develop programs that would allow more collaboration between Areva and Tech through research and devel-
opment projects. Shortly after that, Tech was invited to become a member of the SUNRISE Consortium. SUNRISE is the Southeastern University Nuclear Reactor Institute for Science and Education, headed by Georgia Tech. SUNRISE consists of various Southeastern universities and nuclear power companies cooperating in order to help their students become the next generation of nuclear engineers. Their eventual goal is to build two new nuclear reactors, one for research purposes and another for educational purposes. “The consortium is working together to pool our collective strengths and to get more notice from the federal government for these kinds of programs,” Ball said. This notice was a large factor in the NRC’s grants both this year and last year. Tech is one of several universities across the country receiving such grants for staff development. “It’s a good first step,” Ball said. “There’s still a relatively small amount of universities that have nuclear engineering programs, and we’re probably in the top 15 size-wise.” This size a result of high student interest. Pierson said his undergraduate class this semester has an enrollment list of over 100 students. Two years ago he had around 40. “Most of the students seem excited for this,” Pierson said. “There are lots of jobs available, and students are of the generation that can look objectively at the facts about nuclear power.” The main cause for the slump in the industry after the 1980s was because of public distrust of nuclear power after witnessing accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Now, many people are beginning to re-examine nuclear power as a clean, safe alternative to traditional energy sources. The field is open for students since most engineers currently employed by nuclear companies are set to retire within the next 10 years. “Companies are telling us they could hire 400 to 500 new engineers every year and not meet their needs,” Ball said. “And with Virginia Tech being the largest engineering school in the state, they’re turning to us.” Graduate student Andrew Boulanger is one of those new engineers. Having completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, he is currently one of about 50 graduate students studying nuclear engineering with Pierson. “My advice to students who want to do this is to sign up for the class,” Boulanger said. “There are so many things you can do with nuclear engineering.” The department’s main goals for curriculum and research development are to deal with the issues of see NUCLEAR / page two
Remembering Sept. 11, 2001
Maroon 5 to visit Tech campus for concert Maroon 5 is scheduled to perform at Virginia Tech. The group, known for its chart-topping hits “Sunday Morning” and “She Will Be Loved,” will perform in the Burruss Hall Auditorium Nov. 10, according to a release on the Virginia Tech Union Web site. Reggae artist K’Naan will open the show. The concert is one of 11 stops on the group’s “Back to School” tour. The concert, sponsored by VTU, Hillel and SGA, is expected to sell out. Tickets will be $30 for students, and $40 for the general public. Ticket prices will rise by $5 on the day of the show. No date has been set for ticket sales to begin.
“It’s pretty exciting to have them,” said David Silberstein, director of concerts for VTU. “We’ve gotten a really good response.” Doors will open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. by gordon block
Student assaulted in Maple Ridge, found in road Blacksburg Police released the following statement regarding a Virginia Tech student who was assaulted Friday night. At 2:16 am on Sept. 12, 2009, Blacksburg Police responded to the intersection of Fallen Acorn Trail and Autumn Splendor Way in the Maple Ridge town homes to investigate the report of an unresponsive individual in the roadway. Investigation revealed that the 23-year-old Virginia Tech student was the victim of an assault.
Blacksburg Rescue transported him to Montgomery Regional Hospital for treatment for his injuries and he has subsequently been transferred to Roanoke Memorial Hospital where his condition is currently listed as stable. Detectives are seeking information regarding this incident. Anyone with knowledge pertaining to this assault is asked to contact the Blacksburg Police Department at 540-961-1150 or the Police Tip Line at 540-961-1819. by ct staff
Students walk by scores of American ﬂags last Friday, a memorial in remembrance of the eigth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and United 93. The Young Republicans organized the Drillﬁeld display.
new river valley news editor: zach crizer university editor: philipp kotlaba firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
Nuclear: Program aims for masters, doctoral degree from page one
nuclear power, waste, proliferation and the public’s concept of the safety of nuclear technology. Boulanger hopes to help “dispel the stigmatism that nuclear power is dangerous.” “Almost a quarter of the energy in the United States is from nuclear reactors,” Boulanger said, “so they must be doing something right.” Eventually, the department hopes to broaden its focus to include a wider range of programs, including those in the colleges of science, medicine and veterinary medicine. “It’s not just the Department of Mechanical Engineering,” Ball said. “You can go across campus and find a wide range of faculty who are involved with research in the nuclear engineering field.” The program continues to receive support both internally and externally. “What we’ve done in such a short amount of time would not have been possible without strong support across campus,” Ball said. Additionally, on Sept. 30, Dale
RACHEL MCGIBONEY/COLLEGIATE TIMES
Klein, one of the current commissioners of the NRC and former chairman under President George W. Bush, will visit Tech to meet with various groups and observe the nuclear engineering
Information courtesy of Mark Pierson
department in action. “This visit is just one more very visible external sign that we’ve arrived and that we have a bona fide engineering program,” Ball said.
Immediate. Unfiltered. Linkalicious.
Some vacationers boycott South Carolina over Wilson
Body ID’d as Yale student
WASHINGTON — State and local tourism officials are being flooded by e-mails and calls from people across the country, saying they won’t vacation in South Carolina because they’re upset by GOP Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst at President Barack Obama. The officials said a number of the out-of-state e-mailers have said they have taken beach trips for years in Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and other South Carolina resort areas, but don’t plan to return. In Washington, House Democratic leaders Monday finalized drafting a measure reprimanding Wilson for yelling “you lie!” at Obama last week while he addressed a joint session of Congress. “It was a breach of conduct that brought discredit to the House,” said Kristie Greco, a spokesman for House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the House’s third-ranking Democrat. “The resolution of disapproval will address his breach of conduct.” Other Republican lawmakers spoke on the House floor in Wilson’s defense. “No one has a claim to any further redress if the president of the United States accepts an apology, and he did,” said Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican. “So I stand with Joe Wilson. Let’s get on with the business of this House, and let’s start running the country instead of taking cheap political shots.” In a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 68 percent of Americans said they “oppose what Joe Wilson did during the speech.” Twenty-one percent said they support Wilson’s behavior. by james rosen, mcclatchy newspapers
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The body found hidden in a wall in a Yale University lab building is that of Annie Le, the graduate student who went missing five days before she was to be married on Long Island, authorities said Monday afternoon. “The manner of death is homicide,” Dr. Wayne Carver, the chief medical examiner in Connecticut, said in a statement. “The cause is being withheld for investigative purposes.” New Haven police said Monday that Le’s slaying was “not a random act.” Meanwhile, at least two news agencies were reporting that police have a suspect in Le’s slaying. Citing unidentified sources, NBC News and ABC News reported the suspect has defensive wounds and failed a lie detector test. NBC reported the suspect is a student, but not necessarily one who attends the Connecticut university. In a statement e-mailed to the entire campus Monday, Yale Police Chief James A. Perrotti tried to tamp down rumors circulating across the Ivy League campus. “There are no suspects in custody and no students involved,” Perrotti said. “We ask for your patience as we thoroughly investigate this crime.” New Haven police spokesman Joe Avery said Monday that because the death did not appear to have been committed at random, there was no need for alarm on campus. “It wasn’t a random act. It doesn’t appear to be a random act,” Avery said. by matthew chayes and joseph mallia, newsday
German phone giant said to go for Sprint Nextel Corp. WASHINGTON — Deutsche Telekom AG is reportedly mulling a plan to buy Sprint Nextel Corp. and combine the company with its T-Mobile USA subsidiary. The latest report involving the long-rumored deal sent shares of Sprint as much as 15 percent higher to $4.33. Deutsch Telekom’s U.S.-listed shares fell 0.9 percent to $13.74. Although analyst Craig Moffett of Bernstein said the U.S. wireless industry is “crying out for consolidation,” he cautioned in a note to clients that “consolidating T-Mobile and Sprint would be dauntingly complex.”
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Any major hiccups, in turn, would undermine the rationale for a merger: to create a bigger and more worthy competitor for AT&T and Verizon. Those companies could exploit merger difficulties to pry away more customers from Sprint and T-Mobile while they are most vulnerable. Sprint’s experience with its $35 billion acquisition of Nextel in 2005 illustrates that point. The two companies promised the merger would help them better compete with AT&T and Verizon. Instead, they failed to meet most of their top goals, including a vow to combine their networks.
Since then Sprint has lost millions of customers to its larger rivals — owing in large part to network disruptions triggered by the merger. “Look at how that merger has worked,” said wireless consultant Jane Zweig of the Shosteck Group, an original skeptic of the 2005 deal. If the two companies went ahead anyway, the combined entity would have more than 70 million customers. Verizon is the U.S. leader with more than 80 million subscribers, followed by AT&T with about 78 million. by jeffry bartash, market watch
editors: topher forhecz, teresa tobat email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
Ad agency Modea designs for new face of business RYAN ARNOLD features reporter Mike Cox, of the Blacksburg advertsing agency Modea, greeted the Collegiate Times wearing a white and black tuxedo. There’s been a mix-up, Cox said. Kent Square houses one of the two Modea offices. You’ll find president and co-founder David Catalano in the University Gateway Center on Prices Fork Road. “A lot of companies have ‘casual Fridays,’” Catalano later explained in his office across town. “We have what’s called ‘not-so-casual Friday.’” Modea employees usually follow a lax dress code — T-shirts are standard — but some choose to polish up before the weekend. “The work is what defines you,” Catalano said. “Your personal attire or hairstyle or anything like that makes no difference.” Modea’s work exists in a progressive realm. The outfit pursues clientele whose dialogue with their customers is primarily through digital means. Fittingly, the name Modea fuses together the words “modern” and “ideas.” Catalano said traditional agencies responsible for mediums like print and broadcast advertising have historically driven companies’ communication strategies. “Web and digital and mobile is always an afterthought,” he said. Modea, though, aligns itself with companies shifting those secondary concerns to the forefront. For such groups, Modea develops and implements strategies to best engage their markets. This manifests products like Web sites, microsites, e-mail campaigns and iPhone applications. The majority of Modea’s clients are scattered across the nation, even the globe. Graco, a popular children’s products company founded in Pennsylvania, hired Modea to engage its growing European venue. Modea built Graco what Catalano called “a global platform.” In 2008, Modea launched a central Web site that powers 16 websites in 15 languages. With the success of that project, Modea has since done the same for Graco in Asia. Despite its lengthy reach, Modea has completed work for notable Blacksburg establishments. It crafted the Web site for Virginia Tech’s 2009 Solar Decathlon entry, “Lumenhaus.” Joe Wheeler, Lumenhaus lead project coordinator,
said his team wanted to be competitive in the Solar Decathlon “communications” contest. The category entails clearly sharing technical and experiential aspects of the house to a vast audience. “(In) the first meetings that we had with (Modea), there was talk of an interactive Web site,” Wheeler said. Modea shared with the Lumenhaus team its recent endeavor with Lenox, a tool company whose products are sold internationally. Modea conceived an online experience called “Cut Something,” where customers activate simulated performances of various Lenox saw blades. “We felt that was just right down the alley of what we were hoping for,” Wheeler said. Collaborating with Florida animation studio Spine 3-D, Modea made Lumenhaus accessible through a participatory online interface. Illustrated occupants of Lumenhaus walk online viewers throughout and around the structure, periodically pausing to invite mouse-holders to prompt different house elements. Each click shares an aspect of Lumenhaus’ advanced design. “It was a perfect fit for this house,” Wheeler said, “because the house is responsive. It’s responsive architecture.” The Lyric also has a Web site with a Modea signature. Executive director Susan Mattingly said a theater committee had gathered to discuss the shortcomings of a previous Web site. Having formulated new online goals, the committee considered several local businesses for the redesign. “Modea’s history, their track record and their portfolio far exceeded what the other people had,” Mattingly said. As a not-for-profit organization, though, the Lyric didn’t have the monetary capacity for a more fanciful product. “What we needed,” Mattingly said, “was something that they could set up, and then we could, at a fairly low level of expertise, maintain it and keep it up to date.” While Catalano is a proponent of the Lyric, he said the fit wasn’t quite right. “Modea is focused on national and global consumer-facing brands,” Catalano said. “Nationally, the Lyric isn’t a brand. It’s a local brand in Blacksburg, absolutely.” With that in mind, Modea declined payment and executed the Lyric Web site pro bono. The Lumenhaus Web site is also a donation. Catalano refers to them as community service projects
Above: Modea employees at the ofﬁce on Prices Fork and University Boulevard. Below: Tech alumnus Vinnie Argentina works on a project. — Modea’s social responsibility. “When it comes to giving back, you can give your time, you can give your talent or your treasure,” Catalano said. “What we like to do is really find opportunities where we can work with nonprofits to lend Modea’s time and talent.” Catalano stressed the wide skill sets at Modea. From designers and strategists to backend database programmers, the youthful staff has a gamut of expertise. Modea tries to recruit quality employees from major metropolitan areas like Chicago, New York City and San Francisco. But Modea also welcomes proficient regional applicants, including Virginia Tech students. After all, two of the three Modea co-founders are Tech alumni, including Catalano from the class of 2005. Not even in its fourth year of operation, Modea has fashioned a respectable portfolio. Still, Catalano hesitates to declare it a success. “Our aim is to be one of the best digital agencies in the world,” he said. “I really feel like we’re just getting started.”
september 15, 2009
HOVA holds it down with his latest album, ‘The Blueprint 3’ Coming off the success that was “American Gangster, ” Jay-Z makes his return with “The Blueprint 3,” the latest installment in the ‘Blueprint’ series that began eight years ago. Compared to the first ‘Blueprint,’ the circumstances behind this release are much different. While the first album’s release was overshadowed by the tragedies of 9/11, which fell on the album’s first day in stores, this release finds both the nation and Jay-Z himself in a drastically different place. He has released four studio albums and three collaboration albums, has retired and un-retired, released the best song on another rapper’s album (that’s right, Memphis Bleek), and married Beyonce. He’s come and gone as president of Def Jam Records, built up and sold off his own Rocawear clothing line, and risen from being merely one of the best rap artists around to the pinacle of both the musical and business worlds. The first third of his new album sets a strong tone by leading off with tracks like “Thank You,” “D.O.A.” and “Run This Town,” which create
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“Man on the Moon: The End of Day” by Kid Cudi The “Day and Night” star continues strong form, while unexpectedly working with electronic group Ratatat and MGMT.
a nice one-two-three combo leading into “Empire State of Mind,” arguably the strongest song on the album. The beautiful production on the track is credited to relatively unknown Al Shux, who continues on in s trong form after producing “HiDefinition” on Lupe Fiasco’s “The Cool.” The subject matter reflects one
of the downsides of Hova’s stature and legacy in hip-hop music as Jay reaches his 11th studio album: He really doesn’t have a lot of people to compete with. As a result, Jay’s verbal targets range from conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh, whom he advises to ‘get off my balls’ in “Off That,” to convicted businessman Bernie Madoff.
The Blueprint 3 Bottom Line: Another solid addition to one of the strongest catalogs in hip-hop music.
He also focuses a good portion of the album on quieting the “haters.” While addressing such unnamed foes is far from new ground in rap, Jay’s rhymes rely on what could be considered the ‘’Clipse corollary,” i.e. people will quickly forget that your subject matter is overdone if your rhymes and flows are strong enough.
Despite fighting what could be considered lyrical straw men, Jay lands with several of his punchlines using his trademark smooth delivery and cocky wordplay. At one point he even brags that his trademark New York Yankees’ hat is “more famous than a Yankee game.” The strongest lyrics on the album fall on “Venus vs. Mars,” where Jay creates a nice contrast between him and his lady. “Me, I’m from the Apple which means I’m the Mac/She’s a PC, she lives in my lap,” he raps. Production is responsible for some of the low points on the album. Songs like “Reminder” and the Swizz Beatzproduced “On To the Next One” barely stay afloat even with Jay’s lyrical prowess. The album finishes on a high note. Regular contributor Pharrell of the the hip-hop group N.E.R.D. handles production on “So Ambitious,” where he samples horns reminiscent of the ones featured in his own group’s song, “Love Bomb.” The finishing track, “Young Forever,” ends the album on an upbeat note. While it isn’t uncommon for Jay
to bring up-and-coming producers into the mix for his albums, “The Blueprint 3” brings several new artists into the fold, including Kid Cudi for “Already Home,” J.Cole for “Every Day A Star is Born” and Mr. Hudson for the hook on “Young Forever.” Also contributing to the album are Young Jeezy and Kanye West, who knocks it out of the park with his verse in the album’s first single, “Run This Town.” Only a few months from turning 40, it will be interesting to see how much longer the rap world will be graced with Jay-Z’s presence. However, when the day comes that he decides to stop making music, rappers looking for the top spot will know what it takes to fill Sean Carter’s Air Force 1’s thanks to releases like this one. The blueprint has been laid out.
GORDON BLOCK -news reporter -junior -communication major
editor: debra houchins firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
september 15, 2009
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Your Views [letters to the editor]
Taking pride in Marching Virginians Every aspect of being a Hokie and working here at Virginia Tech makes me proud. I love the school, I love the arts, I love the athletics and I love the whole ambiance of being a part of this world here in Blacksburg. But now I want to let everyone know what other aspect of Tech that I love and am most proud of — the Marching Virginians. For all the years I have worked here at the university, I have always enjoyed our band (but, to some extent, taken the band for granted). The band is always there full of energy, talent and that wonderful Hokie spirit of which we are all so proud. That, in and of itself, is what most university bands are all about. And that is good. But the Marching Virginians bring so much more to the table. In the last few weeks alone, the Marching Virginians (under the most able direction of David McKee) have shown to the world what a wonderful collective heart they have (and, in so doing, made Tech shine even brighter than ever). I am referring to the Marching Virginians going to the hometown of Ryan Christopher Clark (one of the 32 people who lost their lives on April 16, 2007). They performed at the high school there to honor one of their own. But with this performance, they not only honored Ryan Clark, his family and his hometown, but they honored all of Tech. As a member of the Hokie community, I felt a great sense of pride for what these young people chose to do. Another example of their
generous spirit and sense of pride was shown this Saturday during halftime of the home football game against Marshall. Zach Bird, a 15-year-old freshman at Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring, Va., got the opportunity to play with the Marching Virginians through the Make-A-Wish-Foundation (for three years, Zach underwent chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow). Quoting from the article in the Roanoke Times: “As part of the wish, Zach, his parents and his 18-year-old sister, Ashleigh Bird, got to spend Friday night at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Band members gave him T-shirts and signed a drum head for him. He got to practice and have lunch with them before the game. ... ‘I’m overwhelmed,’ Karen Webb, the president and CEO for Make-A-Wish in Virginia said Saturday at Lane Stadium, where she spent the day with Zach and his family. Band director ‘Dave McKee and everybody in the band has just put their hearts out for him.’” I feel very proud and honored each time I walk onto this beautiful campus or walk down the streets of Blacksburg. We have so much of which to be proud. So, while I have always loved the Marching Virginians and felt a great sense of pride while watching them, I believe that my heart will be even fuller when I next see them. Their star, and Tech’s star, will shine even brighter for the wonderful example they are setting.
Jane Harrison Ofﬁce manager, Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts and Cinema
Can we please act like the United States? I want my country back. The one where a message of personal responsibility and the value of a good education is celebrated, not denigrated with suspicion and hostility. The one where the opportunity to hear from the president of the United States is seen as a once-in-a-lifetime event, not decried as propagandistic indoctrination. The one where public debate is engaged by reasonable people concerned with solving common problems, not radical voices making stuff up to misinform, inflame and divide. This country is called the “United” States for a reason. It’s because once upon a time representatives of a motley collection of colonies considered it in their best interest — for the present and the future — to come together under a federal government that could serve their common needs while letting them have a degree of autonomy. We aren’t the “Secessionist” States. And despite the color-coding labels used by pundits and others who find it clever, we aren’t even the “Red-or-BlueChoose-Only-One” States. Maybe I’m deluded, but I believe that a majority of Americans still respect the office of the presidency and its occupant — whoever that might be — even if they consider some of his actions ill-conceived, disappointing or wrongheaded. A majority believes that it doesn’t promote the general welfare to demonize our national leaders as socialist or fascist, evil conspirators, lawbreakers or liars. A majority believes that no individual, political party or interest group has a monopoly on good ideas. We don’t progress by only listening to those who look and think like us. A majority believes that extremists on the airwaves, the Internet and elsewhere do not contribute to domestic tranquility by stirring fear, spreading malice and reaffirming our worst biases. If our leaders are misleading us, acting above the law, abusing their office or otherwise breaking their commitment to those who elected them, then they should be called out and voted out. But seeing sinister conspiracy behind every Web head is using free speech as a cudgel, not a tool for enlightenment. The vitriol aimed at President Barack Obama’s back-to-school address is
emblematic of mindless opposition. Culture conservatives are adamant about wanting public schools to teach kids values such as respect, hard work, personal responsibility and patriotism. But heaven forbid the president should talk to students about hard work, personal responsibility and dedication to their goals and to their country. That somehow smacks of indoctrination. Because President George W. Bush took the country into war on false pretenses, disregarded the law on wiretapping and treatment of detainees, and damaged the Justice Department’s reputation for fairness, his critics wrongly insisted that he could do no right. Because President Obama hasn’t righted the economy, has called for health-care reform that could carry a mind-boggling price tag and advocates some ideas that challenge right-wing ideology, a relentless minority stubbornly — and wrongly — works to caricature him as a menace to America. Loyal opposition this isn’t, because loyal opposition isn’t bent on destruction. It’s dedicated to constructive criticism that leads to better laws, better policies, a better future. Four years ago, I wrote about mainstream Americans worried about staying afloat during repeated downsizings, paying for their health care, and whether their kids would find a decent job. I believe mainstream Americans want solutions to a very real health-care crisis, not knock-down drag-outs at town hall meetings. They want rational discussion about improving the economy, putting people to work, making college affordable, reducing the federal deficit, and enabling people to provide for their own and their families’ physical and emotional security. They’re worried about problems that we can work with our government to fix. Now, if only cooler heads would prevail and stop getting sidetracked by phony controversies fanned by extreme voices who don’t speak for the majority of Americans.
LINDA P. CAMPBELL -columnist and editorial writer for the Fort Worth StarTelegram
Remember minority rights in times of political debates One of the first civic doctrines American schoolchildren are taught is the principle of majority rule. Indeed, this idea, heavily championed by President Andrew Jackson, is essential in democratic and republic societies such as our own — whether it is in a state’s gubernatorial election (a quick reminder here of the upcoming election here in Virginia) or simply just a class picking on which day to have a test, the side with the most votes always carries the day. That’s all well and good; America’s favorite doctrine solves another dispute. What majority rule fails to consider is another doctrine — though less well known — inherent to free societies: that of minority rights. Minority rights are those rights, which, to borrow from Jefferson, are inalienable, no matter how exceeding the majority is. To again borrow from the Declaration of Independence, life and liberty, for example, can never be stripped from the side that is left lacking in votes. The reason I can say this idea is inherent to American society is because it is embedded in the document that gave birth to American government — the Constitution. This is clear just from the First Amendment. As former Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us,
but freedom for the thought that we hate.” As I write this, the day is Friday, September 11. Therefore, as you read these words, I hope you can allow yourself to find the appropriate mindset. Think back to when you were but 11, 12 or 13 years old and you first heard the news of the towers’ fall. Drift forward a little ways to the months and years after, the support everyone gave to the city of New York. But, do you also remember the deep fear that ran through the country? Do you remember our mistrust, our hatred? It is only natural for Americans to have felt that way; it was without question the most horrendous and despicable act of war to happen in the U.S. since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But while everyone is susceptible to imprudence when mourning, the suffering was compounded in the aftermath of the attacks. Middle Easterners came under scrutiny in airport baggage checks, despite the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. Many Americans, in a way all-too close to the Red Scare, started seeing dissenters as anti-American. Much like President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s JapaneseAmerican Internment Camps in the 1940s, American citizens were being stripped of their rights, justified by the mantra of majority rule. If history’s teachings are not sufficient, consider a world where one faction was so strong that it could
fully suppress its opposition. Without minority rights, intellectual, political and organizational opponents could be silenced by the powerful majority. Even in more balanced Washington, the oppressive gaze could instead be directed upon other facets of our lives. New legislation straining small businesses and satiating corporate greed could fall upon the nation. It is not hard to see the ominous consequences of a republic devoid of minority rights. In 2009, we have been free of major tragedies, and while we are blessed for this, we cannot forget the lessons we had to learn the hard way at the beginning of the decade. There are heated debates raging, with health care being at the top of the list. Whether you align yourself with the Tea-Party conservatives, or if you think they’re merely out to ruin the president, keep Holmes’ lesson in mind. Because in the end, we’re all Americans, and beyond this nation, we’re all humans, and, to borrow from Jefferson one last time, we are all endowed with inalienable rights in accordance to the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God.
SCOTT MASSELLI -regular columnist -sophomore -economics major
Principles of Community levels opportunities for free expression T
he Principles of Community allow for different viewpoints to be expressed. A few weeks ago, the campus community was abuzz after Tucker Max visited Blacksburg for a screening of his new movie. On one side, you had the Women’s Center expressing its dismay at his visit, and on the other, there was Darko Entertainment, which organized the event. The Women’s Center shared information regarding its concerns about the speaker and brought up the Principles of Community. While Max’s past behavior would contradict the Principles, his speaking in the community would not contradict them. If anything, the Principles of Community would allow for this different viewpoint to be expressed regardless of past behavior. In the end, it is the individual choice of any community member to decide to go or not go to such an event. The Women’s Center had the right in educating the community about the other side to the Tucker Max story. However, others crossed the line when they questioned the fact that the Lyric would even host such a performer. To the credit of the Lyric, they handle reservations without regard to the content. The Lyric should not be in the position to censor potential performers or artists that use the venue because certain members of the community disagree with the contents of
a show. This issue of censorship is not a new one within the community. In March 2003, at a Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting, the board approved a policy requiring the university president had to approve every speaker that groups wanted to invite. Members of the board expressed concerns about the radical nature of the speakers who were being invited to campus. Fortunately, this was overturned within a short period after the campus community expressed its shock and dismay at such a decision. Imagine if today President Steger had to approve every speaker that visits the campus community. If we look closely at the Principles of Community, it promotes the open expression of ideas, regardless of opinion. It is when expressions turn into actions that begin to hurt or attack someone that they run counter to the stated values. Recently, Steger sent a letter to the campus community reminding the community of the importance of upholding the principles. The letter highlighted recent situations in which students faced actions that were hurtful and were clearly directed toward them. The university can’t control each and every decision or action taken by the community. As we interact with each other, we are encouraged to do so in a manner that provides respect and provides an opportunity for the
free expression of ideas in a climate of civility, sensitivity and mutual respect. However, not all interactions are going to be ideal, as some can become problematic. Take, for example, a situation in which a student is made fun of because of what they say or how they say it. Or the situation in which a professor uses sexual innuendo as class examples that makes students uncomfortable. Or what about the graduate assistant who feels unwelcome in their department or receives contradictory information that impacts their academic progress? The Principles of Community provides a set of expectations and standards. It does not choose one side over the other, but allows for the equal treatment so that all sides can be heard in a civil manner. With this opportunity for free expression comes the responsibility to ensure civility, sensitivity and mutual respect. All too often, different groups will attempt to use the principles to deny the right of free expression of the other side. We need to be careful of going down such a path.
RAY PLAZA -coordinator special projects, acacdemic support services -Ofﬁce for Multicultural Affairs
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Men’s soccer still struggling with youth Young tailbacks step up ED LUPIEN
sports reporter The Virginia Tech men’s soccer team played a pair of home contests over the weekend as part of the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational tournament, losing 1-0 to No. 11 South Florida on Friday and tying East Tennessee State 1-1 on Sunday. The team’s Friday loss against the defending Big East Champions, the South Florida Bulls, saw the Hokies keep their opponent scoreless for the entire first half before allowing the only needed goal of the night in the first minute of the second. Senior captain and midfielder James Gilson led the Hokies with two shots including a laser from 25 yards out in the 27th minute that was heading for the top shelf of the goal before being deflected out of bounds. Both teams tallied three shots on goal and seven shots total in a game which saw each receive several scoring opportunities. “To be honest, I thought that was a game which we could have won,” head coach Michael Brizendine said. “We had 19 corner kicks and they scored their only goal off a bad pass. I’m not discrediting what they did — I think they’re a very talented group. I thought that we showed we could play with one of the top teams in the country. We just came up a little short.” On Sunday, the Hokies and ETSU played to a 1-1 tie in a double-overtime contest that saw senior defender Alexander Baden score the equalizer with a little more than a minute left to play in regulation. The Hokies had trailed the Buccaneers for most of the game as an own goal scored by one of Tech’s defenders gave the visitors the early lead in the 7th minute of the first half. “There was a stupid foul and then (senior goalkeeper Brendan) Dunn made a great save,” Brizendine said. “Our player was trying to clear it and it just hit off his shin. It happens. You can’t hold onto it. I definitely don’t blame him. Everything else is what I’m upset about.” Despite the late-game comeback, coach Brizendine was not content with his team’s sluggish start.
Tech freshman midﬁelder/forward Patrick Ryan holds off an East Tennessee State defender on Sunday. “I’m disappointed with the way we started the game,” Brizendine said. “We were flat and gave them a PK and a couple other opportunities. We were lucky they weren’t a little bit sharper on the night, or we would have paid the price.” Brizendine attributed the shaky start to the young players but was pleased with the team effort. “We have young guys playing and when you have that, what you get each night is almost a crapshoot,” Brizendine said. “And when we have to depend on those kids, it hurts. But the team showed a lot of character and we came back, which I’m happy about.” The head coach rejected any notion that the tie to ETSU, a soccer program in the second year of its existence that plays out of the Atlantic Sun
Conference, is any indicator that the team is in for another long season similar to 2008 when the Hokies placed last in the Atlantic Coast Conference and finished with a record of 5-13-1. “It’s just another good game,” Brizendine said. “They are a wellcoached group and made things very difficult for us. Every game that we’re going to play is going to be something new as far as what each opponent is bringing to the table. It’s definitely not likep last season. We’re a much better group and our schedule is very difficult. I’m anxious in the sense that I want to do well and I think the results will continue to get better. I don’t think it will be a 0-8 season in the ACC.” Gilson once again led the offensive attack for the Hokies, finishing the game with four shots. Redshirt junior
and freshman midfielders Charlie Campbell and Gregory Cochrane along with sophomore forward Emmanuel Akogyeram each produced three shots. “The biggest positive is that we fought back,” Brizendine said. “They made it very difficult for us but we were able to push through that and score with two minutes left. Then we were able to not give anything up in overtime and we had some guys who had played a bunch of minutes.” Tech, now 1-2-2, is off until Sunday when it will visit Clemson for its conference opener with action beginning at 3 p.m. The Hokies’ next home game will come soon after when they host American the following Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m.
“No, no, I want to average seven yards per carry and 11 touchdowns,” David Wilson said when asked about his goals prior to the season opener. Seven yards per carry and 11 touchdowns? For a true freshman? In a backfield as crowded as any in the Atlantic Coast Conference? That’s completely absurd. Or is it? After Saturday’s 52-10 rout of the Marshall Thundering Herd, it looks like this kid may know what he’s talking about. If the 444 yards rushing is any indication of the strength of the Hokies’ backfield, the season looks to be in good hands. Wilson and redshirt freshman Ryan Williams tore the Herd’s defense apart, each rushing for over 160 yards apiece and tallying four touchdowns between them. The last time two players from Tech rushed for over 150 yards in the same game just happened to be against Marshall in 2002 when Lee Suggs tallied 153 yards to compliment Kevin Jones’ 174 yards, and both players eventually went on to become NFL draft selections. That’s pretty good company to be in. “We have a great relationship,” Williams said of Wilson. “We have two very different running styles. He’s very powerful and has speed to push through the tackles. I’m more agile and quick.” Williams impressed many in his season debut against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Despite coming into training camp third on the Hokies’ depth chart, Williams managed to work his way into the starting role and proved he was ready for the job, rushing for 71 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns against the Tide. “Seeing him run, it gives me energy, and it makes me want to go out there and show what I can do,” Wilson said. Oh yeah, and Wilson averaged 13.8 yards per carry in his season
debut, thanks to a 36-yard run in the fourth quarter and runs of 14, 51, 14, 16 and 31 yards, in addition to his touchdown run. That’s well above his goal of seven. While Williams and Wilson appear up to the challenge so far as freshmen, Darren Evans’ power running style and full year of game experience will be missed. Williams has made a mere two starts in the maroon and orange while Wilson got his first carries Saturday against Marshall. A big concern is their role in the passing game. There’s a significant difference between the talent of high school and collegiate pass rushers, and it’s hard to get a feel for that without encountering it in game situations. “Ryan had one and David had one (missed block),” said Tech running backs coach Billy Hite. “They really knew who they had, but the linebackers would come late and wind up sacking Tyrod.” That awareness should come with time. Williams went up against as good a defense as any in week one when the Hokies clashed with Alabama. He held his own rushing for 71 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns, but Wilson has yet to get a carry against a school from a major conference. “I wanted him to have success right off the bat, and I didn’t think that venue last week (against Alabama) was going to allow him to have that success,” Hite said after the game Saturday. Hite has had a history of pumping out quality running backs for the Hokies, and Williams and Wilson could be the latest two in a history of rushing success at Tech, but fans need to see more. While the talent of Williams and Wilson cannot be denied, next week’s matchup against Nebraska, which fielded a rush defense that ranked 21st in the nation last year, will give Tech fans a much better idea of what to expect from the duo for the remainder of the season.
Women’s soccer wins weekend tournament MELANIE WADDEN sports reporter In the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational Tournament this weekend, the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team went two-for-two against UNC Greensboro and the College of Charleston. Coming off of a tough loss to No. 4-ranked Stanford last weekend, the Hokies (5-2-0) knew that they would need to regroup before this weekend. “Stanford was tough, we had them 0-0 at halftime,” senior captain Robin Chidester said. “We stuck to our game plan in the first half and then in the second half we were too complacent. It was a hard week for us, definitely a hard loss. After we watched film, we talked about it and then we drew the line.” Led by junior forward Marika Gray, who had two goals on the evening, the Hokies trumped a strong UNCG (34-0) team 4-0 in their first game of the tournament on Friday night. “After losing to Stanford, we just had to bounce back from it,” said Gray. “You can’t let that loss take you down, you just have to jump back in and get back into it.” Tech scored early over the Spartans with Gray’s first goal coming in just the eighth minute off of a cross from freshman midfielder Kelly
Conheeney. Less than 10 minutes later Conheeney knocked in her third goal of the season off of a free kick. With an early two-goal lead, the Hokies never looked back. Conheeney set up Gray for her second assist on the evening and for Tech’s third goal with just under three minutes to go in the first half to put the Hokies up 3-0 after 45 minutes. Continuing off of their first-half momentum, the Hokies scored their fourth goal of the game in the 53rd minute off the foot of junior midfielder Jennifer Harvey. On the opposite side of the ball, the Hokies defense was held down by senior forward-turned-goalkeeper Chidester, who had three saves in the game including one about 18 yards from the goal. Sunday afternoon, after only one day off, Tech returned to play against the College of Charleston (2-3-1) and defeated the Cougars 3-0. All three goals for the Hokies came from junior forward Jennifer Harvey, producing the team’s first hat trick perCALLIE HYDER/SPPS formance since Emily Jukich in 2006 Junior forward Marika Gray attempts to go past a UNC Greensboro defender in the Hilton Hokie Garden Invitational on Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. and just the 10th in team history. Tech’s first goal came off of a quickdoes a great job wherever she is.” too close. One of the Cougar defend- the game for the majority of the half, thinking play by in the 26th minute. After losing to Stanford, we sheCagle is still deliberating over the Jukich was fouled at the 18 and ers incidentally handed the ball in the the Hokies went into the break only just had to bounce back goalkeeping situation, but plans on instead of taking time to set up for box, and Tech was awarded a penalty up 1-0. having it locked down by the Hokies the kick, Conheeney took it quickly, kick that Harvey easily converted. In the first minute of the second from it. You can’t let that next game. Despite controlling the tempo of half, Cougar forward Hannah catching the Cougars off guard and loss take you down. “We’ve got some options moving Gmerek came as close as her team forward that we’re trying to sort out, did to scoring, kicking the ball past MARIKA GRAY in house, but Robin’s been an unbeTech goalkeeper Robin Chidester in JUNIOR FORWARD lievable interim goalkeeper and if that the box and somehow over the goal was the route we had to go, I’d be very completely. Five minutes later, Harvey put the me those are some of the most impor- confident in our goalkeeping situation,” Cagle said. “That being said, I ball in the net in dramatic fashion off tant things.” When asked what went right this think we do miss her on the field. She’s the back of her head. This put Tech weekend for the Hokies, Harvey said one of our best attacking wide players. up by two. After a long scoring hiatus, the that is was “just our battling mental- We are missing a little bit of the depth Cougars fouled Tech in the box again ity, coming out being able to stick to a there, we’ve got great talent and speed and Tech was awarded a second plan for an entire 90 minutes and not in our front three but we’re not really finding anything after them. penalty kick which Harvey tapped just 45 (like against Stanford).” After redshirting last season as a Chidester, who started all 23 in with ease. “This was a really, really important games for Tech last year in the field, freshman, forward Amanda Gerhard weekend for us,” said Tech head coach has seen all but 20 minutes in goal has had to take on an important role Kelly Cagle. “I feel like it was an inte- since the Hokies played Virginia in Chidester’s absence. “Amanda Gerhard is giving us great gral part of our season coming off of Commonwealth University on Sept. minutes, but Robin would be in that our Stanford second half. We were so 4. This has led to some contro- mix, either starting or first off the good in the first half that game and I feel like we quit on ourselves. There versy around the goal because junior bench and that’s something that we’re were a lot of question marks and we Rebekah Brook, who came here going to have to take into considerwanted to take those question marks from New Zealand this summer, was ation,” Cagle said. This week’s practices will ultimately away moving forward, almost into the expected to play in goal at the begindecide who will be starting in goal, at ning of the season. middle point of our season.” “(Rebekah) let in an early goal least for awhile, and all sides of the The two victories this weekend push the Hokies to 5-2-0 overall as against VCU,” Chidester said on why issue will be carefully weighed. The Hokies look to avenge last seathey gear up for conference play, only she is playing goalkeeper. “But I give a presence back there, I have a good son’s opening loss to Davidson in their one game away. “We kind of had to find an identity, kicking game, I yell at people. At this next match this Sunday, September and I’m not sure if there’s a word to point the goalie situation is still up 20, at 5 p.m. at Thompson Field. “Davidson beat us last year in our describe it, but it’s closer to having in the air, but it’ll be figured out this away opener,” said Cagle. “That still a battling mentality and controlling week.” “I miss her on the field,” Gray said resonates with me. I don’t think we the things that we can. We were too inconsistent in those areas and so of Chidester. “She’s great outside one were prepared enough, I think we I’m happy that this weekend, on the versus one. She gives us flavor with were soft. I hope we get a chance to heels of Stanford, I don’t even think her step-overs, but she’s a great keeper. recover from this weekend and we get we played that well (Sunday) but we If we need her back there, she knows back out and keep our battling mengrinded it out, we found a way and to her role very well. She’s a captain and tality to address Davidson.”