Tuesday, October 13, 2009
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
COLLEGIATETIMES Check out our multimedia section to see return of ‘The Kevin Anderson Show’ and the latest ‘At the Lyric’ movie review at collegiatetimes.com.
106th year, issue 98
News, page 2
Gilmore to visit campus, share views on economy
Features, page 4
Opinions, page 3
Sports, page 6
Classifieds, page 5
Sudoku, page 5
Coming around full circle
CLAIRE SANDERSON news staff writer
Tonight’s 100th ring ceremony celebrates heritage BY GORDON BLOCK | news reporter tanding on a warm fall day in front of the newly-unveiled plaza along the walkway between Squires Student Center and Newman Library, John Cahoon stared at his class ring and reminisced about his time at Virginia Tech. A civil engineering graduate from the class of 1959 and a member of Company G in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, Cahoon served in the Army for five years as an aviator after graduation, and now lives in Roanoke, Va. Cahoon said his ring was something that sparked discussion when spending time at the officer’s club on base. “Talk about a brotherhood,” Cahoon said. “This ring is an identifier.” Having a class ring helped Cahoon identify with some of his fellow officers. “We stood with all the West Point-ers, the VMI-ers; we’d call ourselves ring knockers,” Cahoon said, referring to the ability for the large class ring’s ability to produce a gavel-like sound when rapped on a table. In addition to the traditional elements such as the screaming eagle, crossed sabres and a combination of the American and Virginia flags, his class ring also features a chain with 59 links, a dogwood — Virginia’s state flower along with the lamp of knowledge and the Confederate flag. For Cahoon, not wearing his ring is a rare instance. “I wear it every day,” Cahoon said, adding that he only takes his ring off when doing yard work. “If I’m going out in public, I put on my VPI hat and put on my class ring.” Dave Paddock, a fellow member of the class of 1959 and a roommate of Cahoon during his school days, quipped about the prominence of Tech’s class rings. “Anybody can get a Super Bowl ring,” Paddock said, “but it is an honor to wear a Virginia Tech class ring.” Cahoon’s story is just one of many as Tech prepares to reveal a first look of the 100th edition of the university’s class ring to the class of 2011 in Burruss Hall at 7 p.m.
Great catch, Jarrett
LU KE MA SO N/S PP S
Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore makes a stop at Virginia Tech today to talk about the present economy. His lecture, entitled “America’s Financial Crisis: What Needs to be Done,” will be held from 3:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Latham Ballroom in the Inn at Virginia Tech. It is part of the BB&T Distinguished Lecture Series on Capitalism hosted by the Pamplin College of Business. The lecture is free and open to the public. “My speech will address the present state GILMORE of the American economy and the bearing that it has on people’s liberty,” Gilmore said. “We are obviously in a recession — just look at the 10 percent unemployment rate. The central issue in the U.S. today is government spending and how that will impact each and every citizen.” Gilmore, a Republican, served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002 and was a candidate in the 2008 Republican presidential primary, but he dropped out of the campaign after several months. He then ran for Senate in the same year, but lost the race to Democrat Mark Warner. Douglas Patterson, the program director for the BB&T lecture series as well as a finance professor at Tech, chose Gilmore to speak for several reasons. “We chose Gilmore because he’s a well known public figure, he’s very distinguished,” Patterson said. “He has very strong ideas about the financial crisis and believes in a free market system, which is the spirit of this program.” The program, made possible by a $1 million grant from BB&T, brings a speaker to Tech bi-annually and funds courses in economics. The purpose of the program is to teach students and inform the public about the economy and free markets by looking at all sides of economic issues. “I can guess what Gilmore is going to say based on his past positions,” said Hans Haller, an economics professor at Tech. Haller cautioned that the economy is extremely complex and that repairing it is not something that is quick or easy. “It will be a slow recovery,” Haller said. “And politicians like to take credit for the economy’s rise, but there are some things that government just cannot control. Likewise, politicians are not always responsible for economic decline.” Gilmore’s speech, and the informed public discourse the BB&T program hopes to create, is especially timely given the current election season that is underway. Gilmore and others have different views on the candidates for governor and how they will address Virginia’s economy. Neither candidate has left a strong impression on Haller. “We have two candidates who talk about tax cuts and nothing else, and that’s not very honest,” Haller said. “It’s not what Virginia needs.” Gilmore, however, supports his fellow Republican Bob McDonnell. “I think that McDonnell is going to win because of two reasons: One, the public is rejecting Obama’s policies just like they did Bush’s in 2008, and two, McDonnell has done the best job of addressing the issues most important to Virginians, which is jobs and the economy,” Gilmore said. As for his own political future, Gilmore hopes to continue to push initiatives that he believes in. “I am organizing and raising money so that I can help candidates who I think are addressing the right issues,” Gilmore said.
see RINGS / page two
African boy pioneer shares success story on Tech tour PRIYA SAXENA news staff writer
Sophomore wide receiver Jarrett Boykin leaps in the end zone to catch a 41-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor, putting the Hokies up 24-0 during this weekend’s game against Boston College. The Hokies defeated the Eagles 48-14 Saturday. They advanced to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in ACC play this season. photo by mark umansky
The story of William Kamkwamba defies the stereotypically lost potential from an impoverished African childhood. The young man who changed the way of life for civilians in Malawi just by first picking up a book came to share his story with Virginia Tech Monday in Haymarket Theatre. Kamkwamba, 22, who made a stop to promote his book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, came for a tour of campus. He signed copies with his co-author, Bryan Mealer. He is also considering applying to Tech. “I am interested in the technology programs,” Kamkwamba said. “If I came to Tech, I would apply my knowledge from the classrooms. In the end I just want to be applying my knowledge.” Kamkwamba has used his determination and effort, despite negativity from the people of his village in the beginning of his endeavors, to create windmills that promote power and electricity to those same people. Tom Rielly first met Kamkwamba in Arusha, Tanzania for the June 2007 TED Global Conference. Rielly, the community director for TED Conferences LLC, now serves as Kamkwamba’s personal mentor in the United States.
COURTESY OF WILLIAM KAMKWAMBA
Malawi native Kamkwamba signs copies of his book in New York City. “After speaking to him for about 20 minutes, I realized that he was an extraordinary young man and that I needed to find a way to put him on the TED Global Stage,” Rielly said. He received a standing ovation after speaking for only four minutes at the conference. Impressed, Rielly went on to accompany Kamkwamba to visit the small village of Wimbe in Malawi, where the boy grew up. “(I was) trying to help him achieve his goals of getting a good education,” Rielly said, “and helping his family build security by helping him build a larger windmill to pump water to irri-
gate crops.” Because of an ongoing famine, his parents didn’t have any money to send him to school, which left him no choice but to drop out, Kamkwamba said. “I was reading books about magnetics and I was interested to learn,” Kamkwamba said. “I was fascinated to learn that you can pump water. The pictures encouraged me. I didn’t have any money to collect my materials so I went to a junkyard.” With these materials he went on to build his first windmill at the age of 14. Many people called him crazy and see KAMKWAMBA / page two
2Rings:news Design incorporates Hokie stone
new river valley news editor: zach crizer university editor: philipp kotlaba email@example.com/ 540.231.9865
october 13, 2009
from page one
A CORPS TRADITION The story of Tech’s class ring begins through the efforts of one determined student, Pvt. Fred Kell Prosser from Ashland, Va. When he proposed the idea of a ring at a class meeting, his idea was met with mixed reaction and no decision was made. However, following his graduation, Prosser drew up designs for a class ring, and wrote letters to each of the 88 members of his graduating class. Receiving an overwhelmingly positive response to those initial letters, Prosser sent them off to a jeweler. After receiving the rings a few months later, Prosser sent out the rings to his classmates, charging between $6 and $8, depending on the stone used. Soon class rings would become a popular item for cadets at the university, which only 15 years prior was known as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. “They wanted a ring that was going to stand out among the big schools among the South,” said Chris Pajonk, a senior history major and regimental historian for the corps of cadets. “The ring traditions at those schools were long established by the time Tech’s one came out.” Junior students in the corps now receive their rings at the Ring Dance, which first took place in 1934. “The Ring Dance was the first time any celebration happened around the ring,” Pajonk said. The two-day event is steeped in tradition and plenty of superstition. One superstition involves major consequences for cadets eyeing their class ring before the ceremony. “The number of times they see the ring before the dance,” Pajonk said, “is the number of times they’ll get their ring dance date pregnant.”
Another important tradition for the evening is the release of a pig during the dance, known as the “pig hop.” The theme for the 2010 Ring Dance weekend, scheduled for Mar. 26-27, will also be unveiled in today’s premiere. Col. Rock Roszak, director of alumni relations for the corps of cadets and graduate from the class of 1971, went to the Ring Dance his junior year with his future wife and wears his class ring every day. “It’s one of those memorable college moments,” Roszak said. Roszak, who has two daughters who graduated from Tech in the 1990s, said the ring helped keep him motivated despite on-campus turmoil centering around protests of the Vietnam War. “The ring kind of brought the sense of tradition of this place back to me,” Roszak said. “It was a bit of an anchor.” Roszak added that the ring still serves as a personal inspiration. “When I look at that, I remember what’s important in life, and that’s being a person of good character,” Roszak said. Roszak said he was not surprised that the class ring and the corps of cadets are intertwined so frequently. “We’re a traditions-based organization, and the ring is a very visible tradition,” Roszak said. “It only makes sense to me that the two are linked together.” COMING FULL CIRCLE The challenge of leading the ring committee, formed in the fall of 2008, fell on Charlie Petty, a junior political science and economics major. “It’s the 100th year of the ring, and we wanted to see how we could commemorate that moment,” Petty said. Design on the class ring falls on two sides: One side is dedicated to university
icons, while the other side is dedicated to imagery for the class. “We spent the first few weeks of meetings refining how could we physically form these ideas,” Petty said. “It was definitely a methodical process.” This process meant extensive back and forth with artists from ring design company Balfour, which has made Tech’s class rings since 2000. After consulting with Balfour artists, a small number of concepts were be drawn, which were then tweaked by the ring committee. “That can take about four months before it’s signed off as finished,” said Rand Dupriest, a college regional manager for Balfour covering Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. Dupriest added that artwork for the ring went through about 15 to 20 revisions before reaching its final form. 2011 will be the first time that Hokie Stone will be offered as an option as the centerpiece of the ring. “Hokie Stone is a symbol of this university,” said Tom Tillar, vice president of alumni relations. “To have a piece of that in the ring makes it all the more unique to Virginia Tech.” Another major element to the new ring is putting a name to the collection. The committee decided to name the 2011 collection after current university president Charles Steger and his wife Janet based on their record of community service. “It was a very easy decision,” said Nathan Lavinka, president of the class of 2011. “We felt it was fitting for such great service to this university.” With the design finished, committee members were happy with their results. “We embody the positions of the past, but we want to represent the present,” Lavinka said. “Our final product is a great combination of both.”
Petty added that extra expectations for the ring helped inspire the committee. “We saw it more as an opportunity to make something great,” Petty said. “It’s been a blessing in disguise.” While Tech is far from the only university to offer a class ring, it is one of a small handful that creates a new version of its class ring each year. Other schools with similar ring plans include MIT, VMI, Mount St. Mary’s and Norwich University. Tillar emphasized the importance of providing a fresh look to each year’s ring. “There really isn’t much emphasis on a ring (at other places),” Tillar said. “It’s like a sweatshirt or tie that’s available with the school colors. ... It’s just another item.” Even though the 2011 ring has not been unveiled, DuPriest has already set up a meeting with the class of 2012 ring committee Wednesday to get started on its project. With the 2011 class ring complete and preparations all in place, organizers are excited about the premiere. “We’re chomping at the bit to show this ring off,” Lavinka said. The event, taking place in Burruss Hall at 7 p.m., will feature a performance by the Highty-Tighties, a photo montage of the class of 2011 and a speech from Steger before the ring is unveiled. Doors for the event will open at 6:30 p.m. Following the unveiling, there will be a fireworks show on the Drillfield. Despite its excitement, the ring committee has been careful to not leak images of the ring before its release. “We want the element of surprise,” Lavinka said. “We want the class to see the ring for the very first time together.” Lavinka expects the ring to receive positive feedback from the university. “It’s a unifying symbol,” Lavinka said. “It’s something that brings us all together.”
Kamkwamba: windmill boy shares experience from page one
thought he was on drugs while he was experimenting with creating a windmill. “I wasn’t happy, but it didn’t discourage me because I knew exactly what I was doing,” Kamkwamba said. Kamkwamba wants to produce water wells by drilling and pumping water with the aid of machines. He hopes to make clean water available for a greater portion of the population back home. “The machines in Africa are too expensive for most people in Africa, so I want to see what I can do to help these people,” Kamkwamba said.
Kamkwamba now lives in Johannesburg, South Africa in pursuit of his high school education. He is currently a senior and enrolled in an African Leadership Academy. He is preparing for SAT testing, which will take place for him in November. During his time in Blacksburg, he will be visiting the mechanical engineering department, including the robotics laboratory, Romela. Kamkwamba will briefly meet with university officials, including Richard Benson, dean of the College of Engineering, Mildred Johnson, director of undergraduate admissions and Charles Steger, university president.
He will also be meeting with two faculty members who have done work in Malawi: George Glasson, a professor in the College of Education and part of the Malawi Project at Virginia Tech, and Josiah Tlou, a retired professor of the School of Education. He will also meet with students who are involved in the Malawi Project at Virginia Tech. “Now that I came here, I’m more likely to consider applying here. So far I like Virginia Tech. I didn’t expect a lot of students to attend my presentation, and I appreciate them taking the time to come out to it,” he said.
“I especially like talking to younger people because they have time and they’re at this point in their lives where they can see William’s story and hear it and actually go do something,” said Bryan Mealer, Kamkwamba’s co-author. “It’s really awesome to see the younger people come. It’s a universal story that everyone can relate to, it’s kind of an against-all-odds story.” Kamkwamba’s nationwide book tour will take him to cities including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and Boston in addition to his Blacksburg visit.
[news in brief] Two Tech students arrested, charged in elementary school bus theft probe Blacksburg Police charged two Virginia Tech students in connection with a school bus theft early Friday morning. Civil engineering major Alexander J. Telkowski and engineering science and mechanics major Aleksander V. Andreyev were arrested around 4:40 a.m. Friday on the property of Gilbert Linkous Elementary School. A police press release said the two men had driven the bus around the Tech campus before returning it to the elementary school. The release also said the bus was “heavily damaged.” They are each charged with
unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, felony destruction of property, grand larceny of a church sign, trespassing upon school property, underage possession of alcohol and public intoxication. The two students will be arraigned today in Montgomery County General District Court. by zach crizer
Police investigate cause of death for Harrisonburg student Harrisonburg, Va., police are continuing an investigation into whether the death of a Virginia Tech student Monday, Oct. 5 was an accident or suicide. The student, Robert Allan Stieber, a 22 year-old mining engineer major, was found dead after a six-story fall from a parking deck at the city’s Rockingham Memorial Hospital. According to reports from the Daily News Record in Harrisonburg, a spokesperson for the Harrisonburg Police Department said a missing persons report was filed about eight hours before Stieber was found. The report said that Stieber had “suicidal tendencies.” The missing person’s report follows an incident in late September at another Harrisonburg parking deck approximately one mile from the hospital. Stieber was arrested Sept. 23 on charges of recklessly handling a firearm, discharging a firearm in public, carrying a concealed weapon while intoxicated, discharging a weapon in or across a street and public swearing and intoxication. Stieber, a Harrisonburg native
and graduate of Harrisonburg High School in 2005 was a member of “Old Dominion Mining”, a Tech team that in March 2009 came in first place in the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration / National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association Student Design Competition. Ricky Rose, a senior mining and minerals engineering major, was a member of that team and shared a desk with Stieber at a co-op in Richmond. “He was a hard worker, and had a good sense of humor,” Rose said. “He’d do anything for you.” Rose was stunned to hear about Stieber’s death. “When I read that, I was completely taken aback,” Rose said. “If there was anybody I would guess who would do something like this, he would be far from the top of my list.” A funeral for Stieber was held Thursday, Oct. 8. Memorial contributions can still be made to Camp Still Meadows, 11992 Hollar School Road, Linville, Va., 22834. by gordon block
september 23, houchins 2009 editor: debra firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865
october 13, 2009
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Our Views [staff editorial]
Don’t let swine ﬂu be an excuse for laziness Swine flu. Those two dreaded words have struck our campus hard — or about as hard as most other seasonal flu viruses. While there was a time last spring when the mention of those words brought a sense of fear to many people who had heard news of a few deaths it caused, it’s now pretty obvious that swine flu bears the same threat all the other flu viruses have posed. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s very painful, superbly uncomfortable, and makes the idea of drinking the same soups for several days unappealing. It’s not something you really want to have — or to share. Your classmates wouldn’t be too happy with you after catching the infectious disease. So you stay at home curled up in your room surfing the Internet and watching television in between those essential naps. When you’re feeling well enough, you might pick up the phone and call Schiffert. After all, you’d be happier if you could see a doctor about the pain pulsing throughout your body. Schiffert, however, is too full today, and likely will be tomorrow, so you’re encouraged to e-mail your professors to ask for assignments and mercy for those classes that take attendance. While this scenario seems perfectly reasonable for the most part, there are always those people who abuse the system by either skipping class or not keeping up assignments, and in doing so inevitably end up cheating everyone. There are also those who make the decision that since they aren’t feeling their best, they should quarantine themselves just in case. This is a notion that Schiffert itself probably encour-
aged by sending out the mass e-mail telling students to keep to themselves if they think they’re sick. Our inner hypochondriac knows that paranoia makes us think we might be seriously ill, especially when it’s perpetuated by the health center itself. With that said, Schiffert is probably doing all that it can in this situation. It’s not really designed to handle hundreds of sick students at once, and there’s not much the staff can do to really treat a virus. If you’re feeling really sick, you definitely shouldn’t risk infecting everyone else. It’s more about personal responsibility and knowing your body. If you have a fever, you should stay in bed. If you’re just feeling a little congested, brave the cold and make it to class. While the whole student body should not be penalized for the mistakes of a few students, we should still try not to trample on the good faith of our teachers. Eventually, it wears thin. If you’re really sick, send an e-mail first thing, ask for your assignments, request that someone send you the notes and actually read that section of the book. It may not be easy to get through a math assignment feeling like you’ve been run over, but try your hardest anyway. Keeping up with your work and staying in contact with the professor — even if you are one of those people who decides to stay at home because of a runny nose — is probably the way to make sure we keep the good faith we’ve been given. The editorial board is composed of Sara Mitchell, Debra Houchins and Bethany Buchanan.
Your Views [letters to the editor]
Come out to Late Night It is hard to believe that we are days away from the start of official practice. Our players have had a great pre-season and are excited to get to work! Your support, ownership and enthusiasm for our program this past season was appreciated. Because you are so important to our success, we will join with the women’s team for a Late Night With The Hokies on Oct. 16 following the volleyball game. There will be free T-shirts for the first 3,000 students. This year’s Late Night
will include a Hokie version of “Dancing With the Stars”, a slam dunk challenge, a 3-point shootout and much more! I am counting on you to bring your “A” game. We need to defend the Cassell. To do that, the Cassell Guard needs to be out in full force as we build toward the start of the season. Late Night will be an exhibition of sorts for our student body. I look forward to seeing you there!
Seth Greenberg Head basketball coach
Historical parallels seen in ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy Over the course of history, the inevitability of the rise and fall of superpowers has been proven. The daunting empires of Alexander, Rome and Great Britain have all fallen. But beyond the elementary level of dates and names is the actual history of the empire and the choices its rulers made. Of the three, Rome and Britain were exceptional because they were not only empires, but republics. However, the great powers of antiquity and the modern era were each presented with a choice: to save their empire, or to save their republic. Here, the history speaks for itself. Rome, in choosing to salvage its empire, lost its republic; Britain lost its dominance, but retained its political structure. The American federalist system, which James Madison showed in Federalist No. 51, has its greatest strength in that it can operate over a great expanse of territory. The great triumph of America is in being able to maintain our ideals without compromising our international strength. However, if this is the theory behind our nation’s government and not just a part of morale-boosting rhetoric, how can we allow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy? The policy was created in an executive order of President Bill Clinton in 1993 as a loophole to allow homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces, so how can we let it continue to infringe on the rights of homosexual Americans? In a column for the Weekly Standard, James Bowman writes that ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would lower morale, cause many servicemen and women to leave the armed forces and potentially have detrimental effects in war. Bowman continues to say that service is not a right, noting that we do not allow the very young and the very old and those with mental disorders to serve. Bowman’s over-simplification is true; we do not and should never allow children and retirees to serve in combat. But homosexuals in the service can include young, able-bodied and patriotic adults. Schizophrenics are likewise barred from service, but it has been several decades since homosexuality was considered a mental disorder.
An argument that may be especially amusing for college students is his stance that differing views on love would cause problems. Bowman contends that homosexuals view love as simply as a “friendship carried to a higher power,” while heterosexuals “have always resisted any simple equivalence between sexual love and friendship.” Heterosexual college students are infamous for blurring this line, as well as the names we have, which I will not indulge in saying, and they are culturally acceptable — as long as it is a heterosexual activity. The military is equally infamous. Furthermore, it is not as if homosexuals are sexcraved maniacs. If they cannot serve alongside other men because they will naturally pursue their comrades — an insane notion — might we then simply segregate men and women in the armed forces and the workplace as well, since by that logic, men will naturally pursue their female counterparts? That is, of course, unless heterosexuals are somehow more evolved and able to separate these two aspects of their lives. I think I can speak for every heterosexual guy when I say we are not. Another argument Bowman makes is that homosexuals will lower the morale of other soldiers in combat, citing the traditional stereotype of the uber-masculine soldier unshaken by fear of enemy or death. However, if these lines, ripped straight from the silver-screen (he even goes so far as to quote Shakespeare’s “Henry V” and “Saving Private Ryan”), actually held water, how could women be allowed to serve in the military? Also along historical lines, he cites an entry to a national essay contest, which compared “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the movement for racial integration in the armed forces and then proceeds to attack the repeal of the policy on grounds of impracticality. Were these not the same objections given when the necessity of racial integration was realized? It seems most ironic that the next line is “‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is a tribute to our national talent for hypocrisy.” But where Bowman really loses me is
where he reaches for the panic button. Citing a poll conducted by the Military Times, he claims that 10 percent of those in the armed forces would leave if the military allowed homosexuals to openly serve. Bowman blames this all on what he calls the “moralization of politics” in the “Age of Obama.” Bowman disputes President Barack Obama’s assertion that we do not have to choose between our ideals and our security, calling it “happy-talk.” This all culminates with Bowman challenging “the ‘rights’ lobby” to accept “Fiat justitia, ruat caelum,” which is Latin for, “Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.” Ironically, this doctrine can be traced back to another civil rights issue in American history and has been used for historical debate on the subject. The topic I speak of, if it was not predictable, is slavery. The Latin phrase was a favorite of Antebellum Sen. Charles Sumner, the victim of the brutal assault by Sen. Preston Brooks on the Senate floor, and it has been used in modern-day rationalization of slavery — legitimate to an extent, but an ill-advised argument to undertake no less — on the grounds of it being necessary for the Southern economy and the challenge of what to do with freed slaves. This was a problem even Jefferson and Washington grappled with in spite of their great awareness of the institution’s injustices. Sumner, however, turned the argument on its head as if to say, “Come what may, we must have justice for all.” Indeed, if we wish to believe in American exceptionalism, which so many among us do, we must not give in to fears, but remember that the pages of history show us that no foreign enemy is too powerful, and that the greatest threat to America is in the sacrifice of our ideals for unjust pragmatism and fear of changing the status quo.
SCOTT MASSELLI -regular columnist -sophomore -economics major
Homecoming and fall break overlapping lessens both Last week Virginia Tech celebrated its annual Homecoming week with a wide variety of festivities ranging from the B.B. King concert and the Celebration of Diversity, to the annual Pep Rally and the Dr. Zenobia Hikes Stepshow. Squires Student Center was decked out in Hokie colors with free give-aways of pompoms, miniature footballs, face paint and beads. Everywhere you went on campus, you saw signs for the Homecoming candidates. It all culminated with the crowning of the king and queen during halftime of Saturday’s football game. Homecoming celebrations have certainly evolved over the years, and the future looks bright. One of the challenges during this year’s celebrations was the fact that we had Homecoming and fall break coincide for the first time since the fall break day off was added to the university schedule in fall 2005. This was also the second straight year fall break fell on a Friday, as fall break has coincided with the Columbus
Day holiday weekend since its inception. The Friday of Homecoming is perhaps one of the biggest “school pride” days of the year, with university community members and alumni decked out in their Hokie colors. However, with it being fall break, the campus was almost deserted, and many university offices were closed or at minimal staff. While there were some activities, the attendance numbers were clearly lower than in previous years. While upperclassmen stayed, a good number of freshmen decided to go home rather than experience the Homecoming weekend traditions. It is not the students’ fault they want to enjoy a long weekend away from Blacksburg. Some residence halls were deserted by Thursday night as students had already headed home. Some of the Hokie football message boards had comments asking why students would want to go home for a three-day weekend instead of
going to the Boston College football game. I think that the answer is obvious, especially at the midpoint of the semester and also in light of the recent bout of illness that has been impacting students. While football is important, it is not the only thing that matters to students, as a three-day weekend outside of Blacksburg can be just as valuable. Although the university can’t do anything now that Homecoming is over, we can reflect and learn from this past week and plan for future situations in which Homecoming and fall break coincide. The university has two options: either avoid this situation in the future or explore ways to lessen the impact of fall break on Homecoming celebrations. If fall break is going to coincide with Homecoming in the future, then efforts need to be taken to make it more festive and entering so more students will actually stick around for the weekend. For example, at my alma mater, the University of Florida, the Friday of Homecoming is a uni-
versity and community holiday, and there are a number of activities that take place involving the community. The local schools are closed, and it becomes a celebration day for the entire community that begins with the annual Homecoming parade and then concludes with Gator Growl, held that night. While this approach works at the University of Florida, there are many other approaches that work at other institutions. In the end, we need to look at the things that will work for this Tech community. The other option is to avoid scheduling Homecoming and fall break at the same time. While the football schedule is not finalized until midFebruary by the ACC office, this should still provide the university with ample time to make adjustments to the academic calendar. Many variables go into the development of the calendar, but the university should provide the flexibility to adjust fall break when necessary. Fall break is not the only event
scheduled in the fall semester as Family Weekend occurs this semester as well. This is typically not on a home football game weekend. If this event can be scheduled around football games, then scheduling of fall break should be flexible. I believe that we can learn from this experience so the next time the university faces this scheduling dilemma with Homecoming and fall break coinciding, efforts can be made to make the necessary adjustment, or the university can be better prepared to work with this situation. Why make the community choose between using its fall break or participating in Homecoming?
RAY PLAZA -regular columnist -faculty academic support services
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Step away from the microwave, ‘Munchies’ gives foolproof recipes I
t’s a breakthrough moment in the lives of college students everywhere when they come to realize that there isn’t anyone around to cook for them anymore. After a long day of classes, hungry students go home to a barren fridge where all they know are ramen noodles, Easy Mac and the phone number for Jimmy John’s. Enter the insights of Kevin Telles Roberts to save the cuisine-challenged appetites of those of us who have been enslaved by the microwave for too long. With his cookbook “Munchies,” Roberts gives even the most inexperienced cooks the skills and confidence to master anything from late-night snacks to perfect dinner-date meals using items they probably already have sitting in their refrigerator. Growing up in a single-parent home prompted Roberts to become a self-taught chef — not to mention a burning experience after attempting to use a gas stove. In his introduction, Roberts lets his readers in on why being able to create your own meals is such an invaluable craft. “It’s definitely cool to know how to cook,” Roberts writes. “First of all, it automatically defines you as an independent person. Nobody likes a person that can’t fend for themselves. Second, the opposite sex finds it very sexy. Trust me on this one, I know.” Indeed, Roberts knows exactly how to impress a dinner date. From “Sexy Citrus Scallops” to “Baked Lamb Chops with Portobello Mushrooms,” he eases through each and every step as if it was as simple as putting butter on bread. Roberts also includes hilarious anecdotes to accompany each one of his recipes, as well as tips on everything from setting the mood
for your date (paper towels do not substitute for napkins) to the condiments everyone should always keep in their fridge door. Thankfully, unlike other cookbooks that overcomplicate recipes and write with an I-can-cook-better-than-youcan-and-I-know-it voice, Roberts opts to simplify even the most daunting of culinary tasks. Roberts is no amateur. He has satiated the appetites of Snoop Dogg, Bernie Mac and sports athletes. His cookbook allows even the most cuisine-impaired to be let in on his secrets. Roberts is currently embarking on a college campus tour where he gives hungry students an interactive lecture to prove not only that cooking is cool For college students but it is also a lot of fun with recipes looking for something more that are easy, healthy and, most relieving of all, cheap. than the regular Ramen As a self-titled “Munchies Master,” dinner, Roberts’ book Roberts takes clever food ideas that ravenous students only dream of features tasty recipes that and turns them into refreshingly are easy and cheap. satisfying realities. “Eggo Ice Cream Sandwiches,” anyone? “So let’s break this down,” Roberts When it comes to the most important meal of the day, Roberts knows writes. “Cooking your own food how easy it is for college students to saves money, is an impressive skill in hit the snooze button and miss out. the dating world, puts you on equal Solution? Three simple options for footing with at least the cavemen, and taking your waffles on the go, from lets your have exactly what you want “Late” — topped with cream cheese all the time. Freedom, independence, and jelly — to “Hopeless” — a waffle creativity — that’s what ‘Munchies’ is and egg sandwich because, at this all about.” point, you’re so late that it doesn’t even Editor’s note: The copy of matter. Dipping your fries in ketchup? “Munchies” used for this review was Please. Try seasoning them in curry provided to the Collegiate Times by the powder, dipping them in homemade publishing company Storey Publishing. Thousand Island dressing, or even tossing them in lime juice and chili SARAH HANSKNECHT powder. -features staff writer
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october 13, 2009
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editors: joe crandley, alex jackson firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
october 13, 2009
Volleyball scores wins home and abroad
BOX SCORES Catch up on Hokie weekend action
GARRETT RIPA sports staff writer
Men's Soccer Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 1ST 2ND
(3-6-2) (2-2-0 ACC)
(7-3-1) (3-1-1 ACC)
Women's Soccer Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 1ST 2ND
(10-3-0) (4-1-0 ACC)
(10-2-1) (2-2-1 ACC)
After 10 consecutive road matches, Cassell Coliseum provided a welcome reprieve for the Hokies this past weekend. “It’s such an advantage for us to play in Cassell in front of 1,500 to 2,000 people compared to going to North Carolina and playing in front of 200,” said Chris Riley, head volleyball coach. “It’s just such a huge advantage for us, and our kids love it, and they thrive on it.” Two big wins against North Carolina State and North Carolina have put the Hokies (13-5, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) right back into the ACC mix. “For us, being 3-4, we have three teams that are right above us, and to finish top three or four we have a chance to go to the tournament, so we’re looking forward to that,” Riley said. The Hokies first played NC State (714, 0-6 ACC) on Thursday evening, downing it in straight sets 25-17, 25-14 and 25-21. Sophomore Justine Record came up big against the Wolfpack, leading Tech in both kills (10) and digs (11). Freshman Cara Baarendse tacked on eight more kills as the Hokies hit .294 and held the Wolfpack to a .118 hitting percentage. A much tougher challenge came Friday from North Carolina (7-9, 3-2 ACC).
The Tar Heels won the opening set 29-27 in a back and forth battle. There was a total of 10 ties and eight lead changes. The Hokies were held to a .091 hitting percentage in the set. After a 14-14 tie to begin the second set, the Hokies went on an 8-0 run that put them in control. A block by Felicia Willoughby and teammate Morgan O’Neill wrapped up a 25-16 set victory for Tech. Willoughby opened the third set with four consecutive kills. The Hokies carried this momentum on their way to a 25-15 set victory in which they had a hitting percentage of .471. North Carolina came out with a new intensity in the fourth set, and the Hokies had trouble matching it. Carolina opened on an 8-1 run and took a 22-10 lead. Tech appeared flat, but the team stepped it up, winning six of the last nine points in the set, providing some momentum going into the final set. “I think it really helped us,” Baarendse said. “It was like our turning point in the game.” The Hokies came out firing in the fifth set. Willoughby led the way with a perfect four kills in four attempts. “We have one of the best players in the country in Felicia,” Riley said. “When you give her the opportunity to be successful and take over a match, she does it.” Despite pushes by the Tar Heels, the Hokies never lost the lead in the fifth
Junior Felicia Willoughby goes up for a kill against UNC on Oct. 9. set. With a 14-10 lead, the crowd at Cassell got on its feet as Barrendse smashed the final kill, leading the Hokies to a 15-10 set victory and a 3-2 win in the match. “It was very relieving,” Baarendse said. The Hokies’ victory ended their four-game losing streak against North Carolina. Record led the Hokies with 18 kills, good for a .192 hitting percentage, while
Willoughby came up with 16 kills and a .500 percentage. “It’s really big for us to come back to our home court and get two home wins in the ACC,” Willoughby said. “I think it’s gonna really help us turn around and come back stronger every game.” Tech hosts Georgia Tech Friday at 7 p.m. followed by Late Night With the Hokies. The team will also be in action against Clemson Saturday at 4 p.m.