Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets graduate was killed Monday, Oct. 25, while serving in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Marine Capt. David Seth Mitchell, 30, was killed when his AH-IW SuperCobra collided with another helicopter. In total, 14 Americans were killed Monday in the crashes. It was the deadliest day for American troops in Afghanistan for four years. A wreath was placed in front of the War Memorial in a ceremony held by the Marine Raiders on Tuesday, and the American flag in the upper quad has been lowered to half-mast, said Col. Richard “Rock” Roszak, alumni director for the corps. The corps had a moment of silence Tuesday morning during formation in Mitchell’s honor.
Mitchell, an executive officer of Golf Company during his senior year, is the fourth member of his class of 2001 to be killed since graduating. He earned a degree in English, was active in the German Club, and participated as the class of 2001’s male member-at-large in the Ring Design Committee. “It makes people in the corps refocus on the importance of what they’re preparing themselves for, and it gives them an opportunity to understand the importance of what they’re preparing themselves to do,” Roszak said. Capt. James Snyder, deputy commandant of cadets, said that Mitchell’s name would be carved into the Ut Prosim pylon during the spring of next year. The tentative date set for the ceremony is April 7. by allison sanders
Thursday, October 29, 2009
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Police update Skydiving team prevails at nationals Harrington case timeline BILLY MITCHELL news staff writer
Virginia Tech’s competitive skydiving team, VTSD, has been crowned the national champion at the United States Parachute Association’s National Skydiving Championships in Texas. The team’s four Tech students placed first in the intermediate division of the 4-way formation competition. Andrew Happick, Doug Barron, Joey Coffineau, Ben Worral and graduate cameraman Jamie Sides took part in the contest from Oct. 11-15. “It was relieving and overwhelming at the same time,” Baron said. “It was awesome to win, but especially since we were battling weather, it was difficult.” Tech’s team was the only non-military collegiate team to compete at the national championships, an event that draws in skydivers from around the world. “There were so many people there that you have heard about and that are known worldwide,” Happick said. “And they’re all in one place.” “We were star-struck,” Barron said. “We were one of the youngest teams there. Most teams’ average age was in the mid-30s, and we’re just a couple college students.” The team averaged a score of 13.1 over the course of the 10-round competition, beating the second-place
GORDON BLOCK news reporter New tips have led police to update their timeline in the case of missing Virginia Tech student Morgan Dana Harrington, who has been missing since Oct. 17. According to Virginia State Police Lieutenant Joe Rader, Harrington was last seen alone at approximately 9:30 p.m. on the bridge along Copeley Road, which goes over a set of train tracks located a short walking distance from the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones arena. Harrington was at the arena that night for a Metallica concert. Police released the tentative timeline in a short press conference in Charlottesville on Wednesday morning. Rader called on the public for more leads on Harrington’s whereabouts, especially after 9:30 p.m, when Harrington was last seen. “Perhaps you saw this young lady get into a vehicle, Rader said. “Nothing is too trivial.” From approximately 9:10 to 9:20 p.m., Harrington was seen in the grassy overflow parking area at Lannigan Field, which hosts UVa men and women’s track and field teams. Harrington was last seen at the Copeley Road bridge between 9:20 and 9:30 p.m. Police do not have any leads after that point. The 20-year-old Harrington, who has long blond hair and blue eyes, was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with tan letters that read “Pantera” across the front, a black mini skirt with black tights and knee-high black boots. A reward of $100,000 for information has been established through the Jefferson Area Crimestoppers. Those with information about the whereabouts of Morgan Harrington are encouraged to call 434-352-3467.
team by nearly two points. “Any jump you can walk away from is a good one,” Barron said. “But as far as the competition goes, there is a draw, and every team does the same four or five formations for each round.” “The judges give you points based on if each formation is correctly built or not,” Happick said. “Jamie, our cameraman, shoots with multiple cameras, and that footage is used by the judges to score us.” By the end of the ninth round, the team knew it pretty much had the
victory sealed, Happick said. Before the national championships, the team spent much of its time preparing in South Carolina at Skydive Carolina, its sponsoring training facility. “We aimed to do one hour a month in the wind tunnel, and when we weren’t competing we would aim to make it down to Chester, S.C., where we would do about 10 jumps every weekend,” Barron said. The funds to cover traveling and training — estimated at nearly $10,000 — came directly out of the
An offer you can’t refuse? Some discounts lag behind SARAH WATSON news staff writer
staff writer Katie Robideaux contributed to this report
Night game to affect class attendance While Thursday night home football games bring out full attendance to Blacksburg’s Lane Stadium, they don’t have the same effect on class attendance. Faculty and staff are preparing for depleted classrooms in light of tonight’s face-off between Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina. Daniel Thorp, head of the department of history, said that it had been a few years since he had taught a Thursday afternoon class. “My gut feeling is that it hurts it,” Thorp said. John Ryan, head of the department of sociology, was more confident about his class attendance. “I’ve never personally noticed a problem with attendance in my classes,” Ryan said. “I think it’s because my students all love me.” There’s also some debate on the game’s effect on the attendance for classes Friday morning. “I do forsee a dip in early Friday morning classes,” Thorp said. Richard Perdue, head of the department of hospitality and tourism management, said the attendance problems were more focused on Thursday afternoon. “We haven’t observed any Friday morning issues,” Perdue said. “Thursday afternoon will have a higher attendance issue.” While student attendance may
COURTESY OF VTSD
The skydiving club, winners of a national competion, now has its sights set on the Collegiate Parachuting Championships.
be lacking, Ryan said policies were in place in his department to ensure faculty would teach their courses. “We have a policy against that and really frown upon the canceling of classes,” Ryan said. University spokesman Larry Hincker said he had seen few complaints, with some questions revolving around the release of administrative officials. “We do let out the administrative offices early, and at first this raised some eyebrows because people did not understand why they did one and not the other,” Hincker said. “We let all administrative offices out at four so that they can get to their cars and get out because of the traffic due to people coming in for the game.” Hincker stressed the importance of the games to the Tech community. “Everybody is kind of used to this by now,” Hincker said. “The Thursday night game is a tradition for Tech.” The game, which will be televised on ESPN and online at ESPN 360, will kick off at 7:30 p.m. The Hokies will follow their one Thursday night home game with another Thursday night matchup with Eastern Carolina University on Nov. 5. by ct news staff
ot all university software deals are created equal. Students across Virginia institutions of higher learning save considerable amounts of money by purchasing their software through the university. However, because universities budget software differently, the price differences between them can be staggering. At Virginia Tech, Information Technology Acquisitions determines how much students pay for specific software. ITA charges students the price of discounted software plus an overhead fee — 28 percent for 2009-2010 — to “recover full costs related
to the enterprise,” said John Krallman, ITA director. Because ITA is an auxiliary enterprise — an entity that furnishes services to students but does not receive financial support from tuition or the General Fund — it is required to recover its expenses, including salaries and rent, entirely. As such, Tech does not subsidize software. In contrast, the University of Virginia subsidizes most of its software, allowing it to charge students a significant amount less than other universities for some programs. For example, Tech charges $60 for Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac; at UVa, the price falls to $10.
teammates’ pockets. Some Skydive Carolina staff decided to support VTSD for the national championships after working together by tagging along with the team to Texas. “Their training was as rigorous as I have seen in a long time for guys who are not paid to jump,” said James La Barrie, general manager of Skydive Carolina. “They drove a long time to train here and pretty much worked sunrise to sunset when they were here.” VTSD members now have their eyes set directly on the USPA Collegiate Parachuting Championships in December, where they will compete with collegiate teams from across the United States. However, to compete again at the U.S. nationals with the same team after winning the intermediate division, VTSD would have to move up to the advanced division. “We’re trying to decide if we want to stay together as a team for nationals in 2010 or not,” Happick said. “It is something we’d like to do, but we’re unsure as two of us will be graduating and the commitment is much larger.” Still, La Barrie sees a bright future ahead for VTSD in the skydiving world. “They were like a Cinderella story,” La Barrie said. “By the end of the competition, they captured everyone’s attention. The best in the world knew who they were.”
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac The price for Office at Tech and comparable universities in Virginia. Virginia Tech ... $60 James Madison University... $90 College of William & Mary...$65.84 University of Virginia...$10
Adobe CS4 Design Premium The price for CS4 Design Premium at Tech and comparable universities in Virginia. Virginia Tech ... $365 James Madison University... $314.99 College of William & Mary...$370.57 University of Virginia...$236
see SOFTWARE / page two
JOSH SON/COLLEGIATE TIMES
2 news october 29, 2009
new river valley news editor: zach crizer crizer university editor: philipp kotlaba firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
Software: Discount deals vary widely between colleges from page one
At Tech, a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium will run $100 more than the equivalent at UVa. Still, Tech’s prices are mostly consistent with those of James Madison University and the College of William & Mary — with the exception of providing some computing software, such as MATLAB, free of charge. JMU uses a third-party partner, JourneyEd, to negotiate prices. “In a nutshell, we supply huge
upfront savings to registered students at an institution,” said Elio Distaola, JourneyEd’s director of campus relations. In general, companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe offer their own discounts for students, but also negotiate larger, case-by-case discounts with universities. Adobe offers Creative Suite 4 Design Premium to students and educators for $399 from a regular price of $1799, but students can purchase the program from their home institutions for at least 7 percent
less. Similarly, Microsoft Office 2008 costs $149.95 online at the generic discount price, but can be purchased for a minimum of 40 percent less through universities. “The key is not to compete with external business, “Krallman said. “We only offer software that students can’t get at a better price.” On Oct. 12, Patty Branscome of Tech’s Software Sales Auxiliary announced that Windows 7 Professional would be distributed at promotional pricing.
The operating system was released on Oct. 22, and students were able to receive their copy the same day. The Pamplin College of Business at Tech received Windows 7 for download weeks prior to its release date. The program on disk costs $38 for Tech faculty, staff and students. For those who purchased an undergraduate campus bundle, an ISO file of Windows 7 is free of additional charge and the disk costs $7. “For those people who know how to download their own, they can download that ISO, burn a DVD, and
then do the installment themselves,” Krallman said. Microsoft is also offering a special promotion, charging $29.99 for an online upgrade, but a hard copy costs an additional $13. Once Tech’s promotional deal expires on the last day of 2009 it will probably be in the $75 range, Krallman said. “When you get into ... licensing, it can get pretty confusing.” Each piece of software costs less when purchased in large volumes by an institution. Some models offer
[news in brief]
‘Hokies for Hunger’ night game food drive seeks to elicit 66,233 fan gifts
Seventh annual Orange Effect game to take place tonight, beneﬁt groups Tonight’s Thursday night game between Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina will serve as the Student Government Association’s seventh annual orange effect game. Fans can buy two effect game shirts for $12 from the University Bookstore. Proceeds from the sales benefit Relay for Life, the Big Event, Hokies on Fire, Campus Green initiatives, Popsicles on the Drillfield, April 16 programs, and others. The slogan, “You can’t take the VT out of victory” — chosen
from roughly 500 proposals — is displayed on the back of this year’s Orange Effect shirt. After the winning slogan was chosen, the shirt design was turned over to a graphic design class as a project. “It took a while, but it’s great because it’s done by students,” said Chris Sykes, Hokie Effect director at SGA. Having sold 92,000 shirts last year, the SGA hopes to sell 100,000 by the end of the football season.
The Marching Virginians and New Life Christian Fellowship are hoping to use Thursday’s football turnout to garner charitable contributions to its canned food drive, Hokies for the Hungry. The food drive, now in its 13th year, aims to collect 66,233 cans of food, reflecting the total seating capacity of Blacksburg’s Lane Stadium. Drop-off points for the food drive will be present at all four corners of the stadium and other locations near the pre-game Tailgate and Pep Band’s performance area. All contributions will be distributed through the Montgomery County Christmas Store.
by philipp kotlaba
a fixed amount of licenses; others called select licenses provide blanket coverage over the entire university body regardless of size. Tech does not order software unless a specific department requests it, Krallman said. Once ITA receives a request, its staff visits Web sites, contacts representatives, and asks about a volume licensing option. Each college within the university can also receive additional discounts and offers from software companies. These negotiations are left for the individual colleges to handle.
by philipp kotlaba
COURTESY OF MATT BARTLEY
Gene Welch does the Hokie Pokie during last year’s event.
Reason #72 to buy your 2010 Virginia Tech Bugle Yearbook
Because we have a close-up view of the game. Live the tradition. Together. The 2010 Virginia Tech Bugle Yearbook
editors: topher forhecz, teresa tobat email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
Blacksburg becomes ‘All Shook Up’ for Elvis tribute artist LINDSEY BROOKBANK feautures staff writer
COURTESY OF FRANKIE EPPERSON Stephen Freeman tours the country singing the hits of “The King” in his iconic apparael.
Elvis hasn’t left the building just yet — well, almost. Stephen Freeman, an Elvis tribute artist, will perform at the YMCA Center on Friday, Oct. 30. However, Freeman didn’t begin his career as the 1950s crooner. He was a police officer for about six years, but he always had a love for Elvis and his music. This inspired him to travel throughout the United States to perform Elvis tribute concerts as a full-time job. “Basically, I just try to bring Elvis back to the stage for people who never got to see Elvis,” Freeman said. “We pretty much just try to represent Elvis as he was in his prime.” Freeman does not consider himself an impersonator — he prefers the term “tribute artist.” “There are some things as far as moves to try to mimic him,” Freeman said. “It’s more of a tribute than an impersonation anyway. There’s an impersonation to the extent that the
moves and the songs are the same. But, in between songs, I don’t try to talk like Elvis and make fun of him. It’s more of a sincere appreciation for him.” To imitate Elvis’ appearance, Freeman grew out his sideburns and had special outfits made from Elvis’ original costume designs. The clothing that Freeman wears is an exact replica of the type that Elvis wore in concert. Terri Lynn Howard, the special events coordinator at the Virginia Tech YMCA, hired Freeman to perform at Tech. She raved about his Elvis ensembles. “They’re very realistic,” Howard said. To bring these outfits to life, Freeman observed Elvis’ persona. “I guess study would be the word,” he explained. “I just watched him growing up, but pretty much just out of a hobby. I just enjoyed watching him.” Freeman has fairly vast knowledge of Elvis’ songs. “He recorded over 800 songs,” Freeman said. “So if there’s one that I’m doing that I haven’t done in a while, I’ll listen to it as a refresher. But, all of the
main ones, I do know those by heart for sure.” Freeman’s favorite part of performing is interacting with his fans and singing some of his gospel songs. “Watching them get excited and getting into the show,” Freeman said, “that’s probably the most exciting part.” He likes to be involved with his followers as much as possible. Currently, his Web site is being redesigned to make it easier for fans to interact with him. Freeman wants to start having yearly gatherings with his fans. Freeman also works with a Yahoo fan club. Frankie Epperson, co-creator and director of the Stephen Freeman Fan Club, is responsible for signing up new members and keeping information posted on the Web site about upcoming shows and reviews. She even puts up a different picture of Freeman each day. Fans are able to write comments and questions there that Freeman responds to. “That’s one thing that everyone
loves about him,” Epperson said. “He is very people-oriented, and he always has time for the fans. He can’t answer every e-mail that’s on there, but he pops in from time to time whenever his schedule allows.” Freeman has 74 fans that correspond by e-mail and 286 club members. Fans can fill out forms at his performances or request to join on the Web site. Not only can the fans correspond with him by e-mail and keep track of him on his multiple sites, but they can also meet with him during shows. “No matter how tired he is after the performance and everything,” Epperson said, “he always, always takes time for the fans. He always meets out front with them after the show and talks with them and signs autographs, pictures, just whatever. And he is right there until the last one leaves.” Howard said that when Freeman sings, he walks up to every person in the audience. “He interacts with every age,” see ELVIS / page four
ALL appetizers 1/2 price
october 29, 2009
Elvis: Music legend lives on through former cop from page three
Howard said. “And that’s the thing that I like so much about him is that he’s so, so personable. He’s not just up on stage.” Howard went into detail, explaining that she has seen Freeman sing “Hound Dog” with a little boy and bent down on one knee to sing to an elderly woman. Donna Smith considers herself one of Freeman’s biggest fans. She saw him in Wytheville, Va., for the first time for her birthday. She travels outside of Virginia to see him perform and has seen over 12 shows. “We went to dinner there and saw the show,” Smith said, “and then just kind of fell in love with him, and then turned him on to my girlfriends and friends, and we just kept going, and going and going.” Smith’s favorite part of his shows is his interaction with the audience.
“He’s very personable, a sweetheart,” she said. “He’s very kind, has a big heart, works the crowd, loves the people and knows the crowd is what makes his bread and butter.” At the show on Friday, there will be a raffle of Elvis items. Freeman is donating some items from his souvenir collection, and there will also be items like Elvis belt buckles and a clock with Elvis legs that move. “I would like to encourage people to come out for an evening of good, clean fun,” Howard said. Epperson, who has watched Freeman perform for over three years, also promotes his shows. “If no one has ever seen Stephen perform, I hope that they would make it a point to do so because it’s really fantastic,” Epperson said. “He is the closest to anyone I’ve ever seen to sounding like Elvis or even in his mannerisms, his charm, his manner and everything. Just really, really good stage presence. An overall great guy.”
LooP In the
Wondering what's going on around the 'burg? Check out the events of the upcoming week.
[Thursday, October 29]
[Saturday, October 31]
[Tuesday, November 3]
What: "Under My Own Influence" Tailgate Where: Cranwell International Center When: 5 p.m. Cost: Free
What: Wildlife Society Fundraising Concert featuring Always Morning, Timewave Zero and The Quaxis Where: Champs Sports Bar When: 8 p.m. Cost: $4
What: Telepath Where: Attitudes Bar and Cafe When: 9 p.m. Cost: $10
What:Teaching With Our Mouths Shut Where: Inn at Virginia Tech Smithfield Room When: 2 p.m. Cost: Free
[Friday, October 30] What: “Made in Taiwan” Where: Theatre 101 When: 2 p.m. Cost: Adult $9, Student/Senior $7 What: Cafe Cranwell with Halloween Storytelling Where: Cranwell International Center When: 8 - 10 p.m. Cost: Free If you would like an event featured in our calendar, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with event details, including cost.
[Sunday, November 1] What: Student Golf Center Where: Virginia Tech Golf Course When: All day Cost: $10 What: Horseback Riding Where:Venture Out, Squires Student Center When: 1 p.m. Cost: $50
[Monday, November 2] What: Native@VT Open Meeting Where: Squires Multicultural Center When: 6 p.m. Cost: Free
What: Engineers Without Borders General Meeting Where: Randolph Hall Room 221 When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
[Wednesday, November 4] What: Experiential Gallery Where: 216 Kent Square When: 12 - 2 p.m., 6 - 8 p.m. Cost: Free What: Asian-Americans in Political Activism & War Students will be displaying their undergraduate research projects for HUM 2984. Where: Wallace Hall When: All day Cost: Free
october 2009 editor: 29, debra houchins email@example.com/ 540.231.9865
october 29, 2009
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
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Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief: Sara Mitchell Managing Editors: Peter Velz, Bethany Buchanan Production Manager: Thandiwe Ogbonna Public Editor: Justin Graves News Editors: Zach Crizer, Philipp Kotlaba News Reporter: Gordon Block, Liana Bayne Features Editors: Teresa Tobat, Topher Forhecz Features Reporters: Ryan Arnold, Mary Anne Carter, Dan Waidelich Opinions Editor: Debra Houchins Sports Editors: Joe Crandley, Alex Jackson Sports Reporters: Ed Lupien, Ray Nimmo, Ryan Trapp, Melanie Wadden, Thomas Emerick Sports Staff Writers: Garrett Busic, Matt Collette, Hattie Francis Copy Editor: Mika Rivera, Kelsey Heiter Layout Designers: Kelly Harrigan, Josh Son, Sara Spangler, Cecilia Lam Illustrator: Mina Noorbakhsh Multimedia Editor: Kevin Anderson Multimedia Reporter: James Carty, Riley Prendergast Online Director: Jamie Chung Online Programmer: Zach Swasey
his week’s column brings up several topics of inter-
est. First off, if you can’t change, then you will surely be left behind. This is an old adage that is becoming increasingly true, and in the world of student journalism and media, it probably rings even more truly. Although the Collegiate Times has proudly been the Online Pacemaker as awarded by the Associate Press in 2007 and 2008, and despite the fact that the paper is a finalist for the same award this year, we don’t stop trying to better ourselves. Enter the online redesign. Along with the print redesign, we are constantly trying to keep things fresh, exciting and new at the CT. There were several new things about the new print version, so naturally there are also new things about the online redesign. We tried to add new features and align things so that they are more useful to you, our readers. Hopefully, this will all be easier for you to navigate. Some new features that we’ve added to the Web site include an event calendar, which has several local events; a spotlight section, which has several of our special sections (including the recently tallied Best of Blacksburg); as well as our reprints Web site, through which you can order copies of the photos in the paper taken by SPPS. Social interactions are also better on the new site. The blog now features Facebook Connect, and the comments now allow you to reply specifically to other reader’s remarks. As I’ve heard feedback on our redesign, things have been both positive and negative. Some of the negative things I’ve heard are that it’s too out-dated looking, and that it is, in fact, more difficult to navigate than the old collegiatetimes.com. Well, enter the Meet and Greet. This week, we held our second incarnation of the event to allow feedback on the redesign. A lot of students told us about how they like the redesign and that they think it is more inviting. Several students most often read the paper in this medium, and it’s partially because of the fact that their computers are always readily available while the print version of the CT may not be. Potential additions to the paper include placing the news racks in more convenient locations, inserting more coupons and more eye-catching headlines, and maybe that’s something we can work on to make people pick up the paper on the days that they normally don’t. The second issue I wanted to discuss this week is a recent
controversy over our online comments. Last week, we discovered that several comments started to “disappear” from our Web site. Several comments that did not satisfy our “candidate for deletion” policy were deleted unintentionally. This caused several constructive and permissible comments to be deleted from our Web site. What followed was a lot of criticism toward our staff for deleting such comments. It is not our staff that deletes comments online. I am the sole individual on the CT staff that moderates, examines and deletes all comments. While any reader can flag a comment, I am the only one who logs into the Web site to delete them. Therefore, I personally take the fall for these mistakes. It appears that under the redesign, with the aforementioned new format of comments, if one responded directly to a comment and this new comment was deleted, related comments were also deleted unintentionally. This has since been fixed, and we have introduced a new format to remedy this problem. If you have any comments or issues with any articles or columns, or there is something you’d like to say about how we operate, we encourage you to write letters to the editor. Our paper exists to not only inform the students of news and events, but also to create a dialogue — especially in our opinions section. Letters are an easy way to voice your opinion, and they are essential in ensuring that many aspects of a topic are explored in the ongoing, printed discussions. Any comments, concerns or ideas should be directed to our opinions editor, Debra Houchins. Other issues that have yet to be brought up can be explored through guest columns. Anyone can write a guest column, and although we can’t guarantee that it will be printed, they are a great way to bring issues to light and start a new dialogue about your concerns. Most guest columns that are written in a professional and factually-sound way do get published. So remember, we’re your student newspaper. Contributing your views about our content, layout and Web site can only help us serve the readers! Any questions? publiceditor @collegiatetimes.com
JUSTIN GRAVES -public editor -sophmore
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Higher education should emphasize civic literacy P
op quiz: Why do all states have to recognize driver’s licenses issued in other states? As you scramble for Wikipedia, think about this: For a nation with a very high level of well-educated citizens, a basic understanding of its history and civics seems implied. However, political commentator John Whitehead recently cited a study of high school students in Oklahoma that found only three percent of students would be able to pass the United States immigration exam. Whitehead also notes that only 28 percent were able to identify the “supreme law of the land” (the Constitution) — while even less knew that Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence. He also reported “barely one out of every four students knew that George Washington was the nation’s first president. None of the students correctly answered eight or more of the 10 questions, and 97 percent scored 50 percent or less.” In contrast, 93 percent of people from foreign countries passed the same exam. For anyone thinking, “why does this matter,” or possibly, “high school kids are just stupid,” have you come up with the answer to my question yet without cheating? Saying, “because the federal government makes them” doesn’t cut it. Furthermore, Whitehead also cited another study by the American Civics Literacy Program, which reported a meager 32 percent pass rate among people with graduate-level degrees. This pandemic of civic ignorance is spreading faster than the swine flu, and even educated people are not immune. As for the question of importance, the great philosopher of America, Thomas Jefferson, had a few things to say on this. “I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society
but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.” As a lifelong proponent of liberty, education and the common man, Jefferson knew these three things could not survive without each other. Likewise, as the quote suggests, he knew that the threat of taking power away from people ignorant of their rights would always be present. For this reason, the importance of civic education should be clear. So how did it come to this? How is it that the strongest nation in the world doesn’t even know its own young history? Part of the problem is in our culture. University education in modern America is all too often a manufacturing and business enterprise. In high school, everything is done with respect to the goal of college. “I have to get into this school” seems to be the thinking. We don’t care about what we learn — as long as we get an ‘A’ so we can go to Virginia Tech or UVa. Unfortunately, this teleological approach stays with us once we reach college: “I have to study something and make lots of money when I graduate. That’s the plan.” Believe me, I have no qualms about people making money — I certainly do not want to live paycheck to paycheck, and I cannot expect anyone else to want to either. But that’s not why I’m at Tech, it’s not why I want to go to law school when I graduate, and it’s certainly not why I’m writing this column. I’m at Tech because I wanted to go to a big in-state school. I want to go to law school because I believe in civil liberties, and I want to be able to serve — Ut Prosim Pro Deus, to borrow slightly from Tech’s motto — and I’m writing this column to
implore everyone to take up their crosses. Pick an issue, take a stand and fight for your rights and other’s rights as well. Whether it’s gay marriage, poverty, alternative energy, it really doesn’t matter. Just find an issue and take a side. The problem is that if you don’t know history and civics, it becomes very hard to make your point, and to convince Congress of the need for change. Politicians almost always have liberal arts backgrounds; this is how they think and how they argue. Likewise, there is nothing in the study of accounting that can foster an argument for free press. It’s foolhardy to think we can simply demand action based on sheer numbers: movements need leaders, leaders educated of the history and legality of their cause. Saying “I feel like gay marriage is OK” won’t be enough. Because of this, I call on everyone to learn and understand history — not just the facts, but what the facts mean. Additionally, learn your rights. Read the Constitution, take a history class, anything to be able to identify the author of the Declaration of Independence. As was implied by Jefferson’s prescription for civic education, the remedy of stealing rights from a society ignorant of them is always lurking in the darkness. For those that read through this column, the answer to the question is the Full Faith and Credit Clause, in Article IV of the Constitution. But if you read this entire column, I’d wager you already know that.
SCOTT MASSELI -regular columnist -sophomore -economics major
Peggy Frank outshines Nutter in race for House of Delegates Peggy Frank, the Democratic candidate for the 7th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, has served the New River Valley as a prosecutor for almost 20 years. Her experience working here, deep understanding of what the area needs, and proven resilience make her the most qualified and best prepared candidate to represent the 7th district in Richmond. What the New River Valley needs most right now is job creation for those who are unemployed, the resources to equip its citizens with better job training, and leaders in Richmond who realize how imperative Virginia Tech and the other area institutions are for the local economy. When I interviewed Frank and her campaign manager Brandon Bull for this column, it was clear that addressing these economic challenges is the top priority. Frank emphasized the Governors Opportunity Fund, which she says “helps Southwest Virginia compete against Northern Virginia for creating attractive jobs in the area.” Her opponent in this race, the Republican incumbent Dave Nutter, has voted against extending the fund. This is a mistake according to Frank, who said, “This puts us at a disadvantage when we don’t invest as much in these development programs as other states do.” The 7th District includes part of Montgomery county, part of Pulaski County, and all of Radford city. On the Tech campus it includes the residential side of the Drillfield (Pritchard, AmblerJohnston, et al.). This district
is dominated by higher education as it features Tech, Radford and the multi-campus New River Valley Community College. Therefore, policies made in Richmond pertaining to higher education have vital impacts on the area. Frank understands this and is determined to maintain and improve upon the close connection between education and the economy in the New River Valley. Frank says that she will work to create incentives for “schools to purchase their goods and services as locally as possible, and for colleges and universities to train people for the jobs that the area needs.” Additionally, Frank would like to “put together a database for colleges to be able to see all the businesses in the area,” which would both help the Tech community and the local economy. Unfortunately, Nutter and the Republican-controlled House of Delegates have denied this area — and its great institutions — the financial help needed to deal with such a weakened economy. Nutter, and the House of Delegates as a whole, voted to turn down the $125 million of federal stimulus that the state was due to receive, which means that people in this area are suffering from a greater unemployment rate and, subsequently, less health coverage. The impacts on Tech are immense as well, for when the state misses out on key funding, Tech’s already rising tuition costs continue to climb, as well as fee costs, housing, etc. And
when these problems persist without any logical decision-makers to lead the way in the state legislature, the eventual outcome for Tech could very well mean major losses of staff personnel. Yet somehow, Bull said, “Dave Nutter has voted to cut funding to colleges, including Virginia Tech.” Such a decision would be a highly questionable one in any area, but in an area where higher education is the driving economic force, it is just unacceptable. Frank understands the present difficulties because she has struggled through the very same challenges. She went to work at the Pentagon at 17 years old to help her family, and then she paid her own way through college and law school as a single mother. “I didn’t have health insurance in college and had to choose food over other important things.” Nearly two decades of service to the New River Valley as a prosecutor, a real-life understanding of what people are struggling with as a result of the economy, and genuine ideas about fostering this area’s most precious resources, our universities and colleges, are ample evidence of why Peggy Frank should be the 7th District representative to the Virginia House of Delegates.
MICHAEL SAGE -regular columnist -graduate student -public relations chairman, montgomery county
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Tar Heels have Hokies number in all but football T
he athletic history between Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina dates back to 1895, but both historical records and recent records show the same thing — football is the only sport that Tech dominates. The hype always looms large when Tech plays UNC in any sport except football. Whether it’s basketball, baseball or soccer, the Hokies are always underdogs. But when it’s football season, fans see UNC on the schedule and quickly mark it off as a win. And they should. Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Hokies have beat down the Heels year after year, amassing a 5-0 record against UNC. Even in the days of world wars, Tech won more than lost. The overall record sits at 16-9-6 in favor of the maroon and orange. Sure, the last two games against UNC were close battles, but let’s face it — UNC has been the football team’s whipping boy. The Heels have only averaged 12.8 points against Tech since 2004. There’s no reason that should change this year, either. UNC’s total offense is 114th in the nation, averaging a mere 289.4 yards per game. Add on that the game is on Thursday night in Lane Stadium and it’s a recipe for disaster for Carolina. The Hokies are 15-4 on Thursday night games; three of those losses were to Boston College, and fortunately for Tech, there’s no Matt Ryan in a UNC uniform. Carolina does have something going for it lately, and that’s defense. In Butch Davis’ third year as head coach, he’s vaulted the defense into the upper echelon of the nation. The Heels rank first in the ACC and seventh in the nation in total defense. Their rushing defense ranks second in the ACC while its passing defense ranks third. Davis knows how to turn around programs. He brought the University of Miami back to prominence in the 1990s and took the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs in his second season as head coach. UNC is a different animal, though. The last time the Tar Heels won a bowl game was the Peach Bowl in 2001 when they defeated Auburn, 16-10. At that time, the Heels had a few players named Julius Peppers, Willie Parker, David Thornton and Jeff Reed. At a college where basketball is king, trying to field a perennially good football team is a challenge. Just ask the University of Kansas where players from the basketball and football teams fight each other. But even the Heels’ basketball team has struggled against the Hokies lately. Fans remember the 2007 season fondly when Tech beat UNC twice — Carolina was ranked No. 1 and No. 4 during those contests. Since that sweep, four games were played. With the exception of one blowout, two games were decided by two points and one game was decided by eight points. Could UNC be losing its luster, or is Tech catching up in other sports? It’s a tough question to answer. Tech’s women’s soccer team beat No. 1 UNC this season — its first win over the Heels ever. Men’s soccer has battled the elite UNC soccer program in recent years as well. Tech is 2-3 against the Heels since 2005, and all five games were decided by one goal. In a stretch from 2005-2008, Hokies softball went 6-3 against the Heels, who consistently rank in the top 25. While the wins against UNC seem few and far between, Tech athletics is slowly catching up. Maybe some other sports’ players receive a little inspiration from seeing the Hokies pound the Heels every year on the gridiron. Regardless, the Hokies have lived as the underdog ever since joining the ACC. The slayings of the UNC Goliath are growing in other sports. But for football on Thursday, Goliath is wearing the maroon and orange, and it’s time to take care of David.
RAY NIMMO -sports reporter -comm major
sports 8 october 29, 2009
page B editors: joe crandley, alex jackson firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
october 29, 2009
Hokies host Heels under the lights ALEX JACKSON sports editor The No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies hope to bounce back from their first conference loss Thursday night when they face the North Carolina Tar Heels in Lane Stadium. After losing their matchup against Georgia Tech 23-28 on Oct. 17, the Hokies (5-2, 3-1 ACC) must win out in their final four conference games in order to stand any chance to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division. With the Yellow Jackets sitting at 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the ACC, the Hokies have no room for error heading into the final part of their season. “There are surprises every Saturday,” said head coach Frank Beamer. “You’ve just got to go play a game. You just never know what’s going to happen. In sports, you better just keep playing yourself, be as good as you can be yourself, and then see where you stand at the end.” The Hokies face a North Carolina team (4-3, 0-3 ACC) Thursday that could definitely surprise the Hokies if they aren’t ready. “I think in North Carolina, you have a very talented team,” Beamer said. “Some of them are young. But you look around there, and they’ve played extremely well, particularly in the first half of the Florida State game.” The Tar Heels fell last weekend against Florida State, 30-27, but they completely dominated the first half. North Carolina’s offense totaled 333 yards in the game, 238 of which were on the ground, but the Heels blew an 18-point lead to give the Seminoles the edge in the end. Junior running back Shaun Draughn had much to do with that success on the ground. Draughn tallied 126 yards on 23 carries in the game and regularly sets the tempo for the Tar Heels’ offense. The Hokie defense hopes to bounce back from being bludgeoned in its last game, when the Jackets put up 309 yards on the ground thanks to their lethal option offense.
“The coaches, they always tell us — it’s in the past,” said Hokies defensive tackle Demetrius Taylor. “You always have to focus on the now, so we learn from our mistakes in previous losses, but you know, you have to move on from it and focus on North Carolina. There’s really nothing you can do about what happened a week ago.” The Tar Heels feature a deceptive offense with Draughn coming out of the backfield and quarterback T.J. Yates calling the shots behind center. “A lot of misdirection in their offense,” Beamer said. “On defense, you look at their front four, really their front seven, and they’re tough. They’re very, very good. And in the secondary, they’ve got juniors playing, so they’ve got some experience there.” The Tar Heels front seven is the reason why they were ranked in the top 25 to begin the season. Their defensive line features sophomore lineman Robert Quinn, who currently is second in the ACC and eighth in the nation with seven sacks this season. Junior linebacker Quan Sturdivant is also a force for the Tar Heels, leading the team in tackles with 48 and placing second on the team in tackles for loss with 8.5. In the Heels’ defensive backfield, junior cornerback Charles Brown has done some damage this year as well. Brown is second on the team with 37 tackles and has two interceptions and a forced fumble to boot this season. Going up against the Tar Heels defense will be a Hokie offense led by quarterback Tyrod Taylor and a finally healthy tailback Ryan Williams. Williams played and racked up over 100 yards against Georgia Tech, but the redshirt freshman was battling an illness throughout. “I was really disappointed in the Georgia Tech game,” Williams said. “Mostly because of how bad I was feeling throughout the whole game. I wish I could just rewind and just not feel as bad as I did so I could make the plays that I wanted to, but my body just really wasn’t in the right state of mind.” Thankfully, the bye week allowed the ACC’s leading rusher to get healthy. “I’m feeling better,” Williams said. “I think it was probably last Monday or
on the web Check out collegiatetimes.com to watch the Kevin Anderson Show where he discusses sports with sports reporter Thomas Emerick. Tuesday where I started eating, and I could keep it in. I lost like eight to nine pounds. It’s been the first time I’ve weighed in the 190s since like my junior year in high school, so it was kind of scary at first because I was surviving off of IVs for a couple days, but you know, I’m back to being normal, and I can eat. Williams added that it felt good to be able to go to practice “and not just feel like I’ve got somebody 400 pounds on my back or something like that throughout the whole day.”
prove. Coach Beamer says he can only tell his team to focus on the now. “Go get ready to play North Carolina,” Beamer said. “There’s a lot of football to be played. You’ve got your BCS standings. You’ve got your conference situation, and there’s just a lot of football to be played. “What we can control is how we prepare and how we play against North Carolina. So, that’s the key thing for us right now — to put all our efforts toward North Carolina.” The Hokies take the field Thursday night in Lane Stadium at 7:30 p.m., and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
RB/#32 Ryan Houston 222 yards rushing, 7 TDs
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
7-0 8-0 7-0 8-0 6-1 7-0 7-0 7-0 6-1 6-1 7-1 7-1 5-2 6-1 7-1 6-1 6-2 6-1 5-2 5-2 6-1 6-2 5-2 5-2 5-2
FLORIDA ALABAMA TEXAS IOWA USC TCU BOISE STATE CINCINNATI LSU OREGON GEORGIA TECH PENN STATE
VIRGINIA TECH OKLAHOMA ST. PITTSBURGH UTAH OHIO STATE HOUSTON MIAMI (FL) ARIZONA WEST VIRGINIA SOUTH CAROLINA NOTRE DAME CALIFORNIA MISSISSIPPI
ACC Standings ATLANTIC
1 2 3 4 5 6
Williams said the weight loss won’t affect his play come Thursday night, though. “It doesn’t affect me at all because I don’t play with my weight, I play with my heart, so it doesn’t really affect me at all,” he explained. While the Hokies may not control their own destiny in the ACC anymore, there’s plenty to be excited about for Thursday night’s game. With Williams healthy and the team under the national spotlight on Thursday night, the Hokies have a lot to
CB /#12 RB/#20 Charles Brown Shaun Draughn 37 total tackles, 2 INTs, 1 FF 481 yards rushing, 1 TD
BCS Rankings TEAM
CLEMSON BOSTON COLLEGE WAKE FOREST FLORIDA STATE MARYLAND N.C. STATE
4-3 5-3 4-4 3-4 2-6 3-4
1 GEORGIA TECH 2 VIRGINIA TECH 3 DUKE 4 VIRGINIA 5 MIAMI (FL) 6 NORTH CAROLINA
DL/#42 Robert Quinn 33 total tackles, 7.0 sacks, 3 FF
3-2 3-2 2-2 1-3 1-3 0-3
5-1 3-1 2-1 2-1 2-2 0-3
7-1 5-2 4-3 3-4 5-2 4-3
LB/#52 Quan Sturdivant 48 total tackles, 8.5 TFL,1 sack
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