Kings of the Cassell
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
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6:30 a.m. mommy and daddy get up. mommy feeds kids, daddy gets dressed and plays with kids while mommy gets dressed
START | typical day of mommy and daddy students
8:30 a.m. they leave the house
6:30 p.m. dinner time
LOCAL CHILD CARE CENTERS HELP HOKIES CONTINUE PURSUIT OF EDUCATION WHILE RAISING CHILDREN LIANA BAYNE news reporter Rosemaliza Kamalludeen wakes up every morning at 6:30 a.m. to eat breakfast and get her children ready for school. Her husband takes their 8-year-old to the bus stop for Gilbert Linkous Elementary School. She takes their 4-year-old to the bus stop for Head Start. They drop their 5-month-old off with a babysitter. Then they go to class. The Kamalludeens are just one of many families finishing their education at Virginia Tech while raising children. “It’s not easy,” Kamalludeen said. Kamalludeen, a 33-year-old doctoral student in career and technical education, and her husband, a master’s student studying civil engineering, have had to learn how to balance the responsibilities of being both parents and students. “You sort of learn how to do things quickly,” she said.
Molly Hall’s morning routine is similar to Kamalludeen’s. Hall, a doctoral student of educational research and evaluation, and her husband, an assistant professor of urban affairs at Tech, also balance child care and education. Hall said it could often take up to two hours for both of them, along with their 15-month-old son, to have breakfast and get ready to leave the house. “I have to get my son’s stuff together, I have to get my stuff together. It takes a long time,” Hall said. After Hall takes her son to daycare, she goes to campus. She works an assistantship 20 hours per week in addition to taking 12 credit hours. After taking 10 years off of school to support her husband’s doctoral studies in California, Hall said she is thrilled to be studying again. “I’m glad I didn’t put school off any longer,” she said. “It’s busy, but I’m happy to be learning again.” Faculty, staff, graduate students and even some undergraduate students are forced to deal with not just their lives as students but as parents. Blacksburg has a multitude of opportunities for families who need extra support in the form of child care during the day while parents attend to their own work or school during the day.
Rainbow Riders Child Care Center receives $100,000 per year over the course of 5 years from the Virginia Tech Foundation through a special partnership with Tech.
“WE CARE FOR CHILDREN, NOT FOR DAYS”: TECH’S SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP WITH ONE CHILD CARE CENTER At first glance, 1800 Ramble Road looks like any other building. Behind its front door, however, lies an open, sun-lit, three-story child care center. The scent of fresh snickerdoodle cookies permeates the rooms. Children’s voices reverberate through the halls. Adjacent to the Corporate Research Center, the new Rainbow Riders Child Care
Center has served nearly 250 children since it opened in August 2009. Rainbow Riders director Kristi Snyder said the child care center was selected in 2008 for a special partnership with Tech. It was one of many child care centers that applied for a $500,000 grant to be paid annually over the course of five years in $100,000-increments to support its new facility. The grant money will supplement tuition rates, which range from $75 per month to $690 per month, depending on the children’s ages, and when and how frequently they attend the center. Rainbow Riders’ original facility still supports about 200 students on North Knollwood Drive, Snyder said. Its location on Ramble Road, however, is designed to expand child care services specifically to faculty, staff and students connected with Tech and the CRC. According to the overview of the partnership agreement, 60 percent of Rainbow Riders’ children must be those of Tech faculty, staff and graduate students, 12 percent must be children of parents employed by companies based in the CRC and another 12 percent must be children of individuals otherwise associated with the university. The remaining 16 percent is available to members of the New River Valley community. Rainbow Riders cares for children between the ages of 6 weeks old and 12 years old in multiple programs, including part-time, full-time, and special “schooler” programs for school-aged children. Snyder said, “Variety is an important part of all activities.” Rainbow Riders also has a large, empty gym space in its basement area that features a basketball hoop at one end. Snyder said the gym area was especially useful during the past couple of weeks of snow days, when kids as old as 12 had to be occupied during the day, while Tech classes were still in session. “CHILDREN’S PLAY IS THEIR WORK”: SELECTING A CHILD CARE CENTER Along with Rainbow Riders, there are about 20 child care centers listed near the Blacksburg area. Three are very close to Virginia Tech: The on-campus Child Development Center for Learning and Research, locat-
ed on 140 Wallace Hall, Rainbow Riders and Blacksburg Day Care on University City Boulevard, across from the Math Emporium. Others, slightly farther away from Tech, include the Bright Beginnings Daycare and Preschool on Whipple Drive and the Children’s Garden Primary School on Gladewood Drive. Many child care centers in Blacksburg enjoy a rich partnership with Tech because of their proximity to the university. Karen Gallagher and Lynn Ann Wolf direct the Child Development Center for Learning and Research, which has been part of Tech since the 1940s. Gallagher said it has been housed in 140 Wallace Hall since the 1960s. The Child Development Center became a full-time facility in January 2005 because of increased interest from parents. A survey was taken of all faculty and staff, Gallagher said, which indicated more parents wanted full-time care options for their children. Although the Child Development Center is housed on-campus, Wolf said the center is “self-supporting,” meaning that it is not funded by university money. The $850 per month tuition fully funds the Center, Wolf said. The Child Development Center accepts only 40 students per year, who are divided by age into four different color groups. Jennifer Huggler, a classroom teacher in the “blue room,” works with children between 15 and 31 months of age. She said the Child Development Center’s small atmosphere helps teachers and parents connect. “You get to know the students and parents really well,” she said. Huggler will move up with the children she currently teaches as they progress through their age group categories. When they graduate the center, she will cycle back down to the lowest age group. Wolf, the Child Development Center’s curriculum director, said students are encouraged to take the lead in their lessons, also known as “investigations.” “The interests of the children are what we look at,” she said. Wolf said something as simple as the students taking interest in a rainstorm could dictate the next week’s lessons, which could then range in subject from
the water cycle to the ecosystem. Wolf also said the children are encouraged to work with “open ended natural materials” while doing crafts to help convey their ideas. A major feature that distinguishes the Child Development Center from many other daycare centers is its emphasis on research. All classroom teachers record and analyze their interactions with the children to try to understand how to better help them learn. “They not only teachers, they’re researchers,” Wolf said. Many teachers from the Child Development Center have presented to conferences on childhood learning locally and nationally. The Child Development Center has hosted numerous Tech students, mainly human development majors who work with the children as part of their field study hours. Because of its close proximity to the university, students from other majors have also gotten involved with the Center. Last school year, a group of senior engineering students assisted the Child Development Center by building a solar energy driven play place. “They came in and consulted with the children and collected data and information with them,” Gallagher said. The engineers helped lead the children on a series of “investigations” focused on the sun and solar energy. They then, as part of their senior design project, built a new feature on the playground behind Wallace Hall. The play area is activated by both motion and sound. Children walking or screaming in the play area can light up a sun on top of the structure. This light is collected by solar panels. Gallagher said “the opportunities to work with the university” are among the biggest benefits the Child Development Center enjoys. Teachers frequently take their students on field trips to the Duck Pond, Drillfield and Blacksburg Transit. The Blacksburg Daycare Center on University City Boulevard also takes advantage of its close proximity to Tech as well as Radford University.
-family 2: daddy bikes to work, mommy takes 15-month-old to daycare
pick-up time family 1 picks up the kids at 3:30 p.m., does homework and chores until dinner. family 2 - mommy picks up the 15-month-old at 5 p.m.
Luke and Jadelynn paint on tin foil at Rainbow Riders, a child care center near Tech’s Corporate Research Center that receives $100,000 per year from a Virginia Tech Foundation grant.
-family 1: mommy takes 4-year-old to head start, daddy takes 8-year-old to gilbert linkous, then mommy and daddy take 5-month-old to babysitter
bedtime mommy amd daddy do homework
see CHILD CARE / page two
during the day both mommies are students. one daddy is a student and one is an assistant professor. one mommy is an assistant. doctoral student mommies frequently have class between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
new river valley news editor: zach crizer universityeditor:philippkotlaba email@example.com/540.231.9865
february 17, 2010
nation & world headlines
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by thomas h. maugh ii mcclatchy newspapers
CORRECTIONS JUSTIN GRAVES -Contact our public editor at publiceditor@ collegiatetimes.com if you see anything that needs to be corrected.
Growers agree to extra money for Fla tomato pickers
New tests on famed mummy show King Tut died of broken leg, malaria LOS ANGELES — Archaeologists have weaved intricate tales of intrigue and deceit about the death at age 19 of Egypt’s fabled boy-king Tutankhamen, with theories that include poisoning by his minister Aye and a blow to the head by thugs hired by Aye, but new research indicates his cause of death was probably more mundane — complications from a broken leg and malaria. Using a new approach (for mummies) they call molecular Egyptology, an international team of researchers found DNA traces of malaria parasites in the boy-king’s brain, suggesting an infection was a major factor in his death. Examination of Tut’s body and his genes showed he also suffered from a cleft palate, a club foot that would have necessitated walking with canes and a degenerative bone condition called Kohler disease II. He did not, however, suffer from Marfan syndrome or any other disease that would have feminized his appearance, as many researchers have speculated from observing busts from the period. It now appears that the busts were simply a distinct artistic style chosen by the pharaohs of the 18th dynasty of Egypt’s New Kingdom, who ruled from 1550 B.C. to 1295 B.C.. By matching DNA samples from other mummies, the team reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assocation, they were able to identify one previously known only as KV55 as the pharaoh Akhenaten, father of Tut; another as Tiye, Akhenaten’s mother and Tut’s grandmother; and a third as a sister of Akhenaten who was probably Tut’s mother. The results represent a sort of proof of concept showing that DNA analysis of mummies can provide valuable insights into their lives and set the stage for a much more thorough examination of mummies from other eras, said archaeologist Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and leader of the research team. Tutankhamen became pharaoh in 1333 B.C. at age 10 and ruled for only nine years, a period during which most of the governing was probably performed by his regent, the commoner Aye (pronounced “I”). Tut was considered a minor king and very little was known about him until archaeologist Howard Carter discovered his riches-filled tomb in 1922, at which point Tut became an international celebrity.
nation & world headlines
University of Arizona professor Stephen T. Russell speaks Friday at a lecture sponsoed by Virginia Tech’s LGBTA. The topic of the lecture was “Being an out, gay high school student: Implications for school victimization and young adult adjustment.” photo by jack howell
Child care: Parenthood adds to education from page one
Blacksburg Daycare serves a larger selection of children, its director Leah Wechtaluk-McFarren said. About 100 children ages six weeks through age 12 years old attend Blacksburg Daycare in both full-day and part-time programs. Blacksburg Daycare also emphasizes trying to let its children play and interact with its teachers despite the larger amount of children enrolled in its programs. “We try to give children choices,” Wechtaluk-McFarren said. “We try to keep ratios down.” Wechtaluk-McFarren, a 2003 Tech alumnus with a degree in human development and psychology, said many of her students’ parents are affiliated with both Tech and Radford University. She said the parents help make Blacksburg Daycare strong. “The parent-teacher council really enhances the program,” Wechtaluk-McFarren said. “Parents are really invested, and we have a policy of family inclusion.” Blacksburg Daycare is located adjacent to Tech’s English Language Institute on University City Boulevard. Wechtaluk-McFarren said many students and employees of the Institute bring their children to Blacksburg Daycare because it is so close. “It seems to be a real asset,” Wechtaluk-McFarren said. “It creates a diverse, multicultural environment here.” Wechtaluk-McFarren said Blacksburg Daycare “tries to keep its prices competitive.” Students’ tuitions range from $240 to $450 per month depending on the age of the child. Farther from campus, Bright Beginnings Daycare and Preschool on Whipple Drive provides child care from parents. Owner Linda Taylor and her husband bought the daycare in April 2008. Their son, then two years old,
A teacher at Rainbow Riders works with Lilly, Jack, Luke and Jadelynn during a class for children from one to two years old. attended Bright Beginnings. Taylor and her husband are both child therapists. Taylor said the curriculum at Bright Beginnings emphasizes “learning through play” and “teaching approaches of what is acceptable behavior.” Bright Beginnings has 50 children, aged six weeks through five years old. Parents pay between $571 and $650 per month. Another feature at Bright Beginnings, Taylor said, is a onceper-week Kindermusik teacher who is trained in a program that incorporates instruments and puppets. “Music and movement are important,” Taylor said. “We incorporate our curriculum into play,” she said. For older children, the Children’s Garden Primary School offers a pre-school program for 35 children aged three through five. Co-director and co-owner Christina Mathai said she and her business partner Terry Tetttinger believe pre-schools are where life lessons are truly learned. “It’s important to remember this kind of environment is designed to
help people succeed in life,” Mathai said. Children’s Garden prides itself on its small teacher-student ratios. Students pay between $225 and $450 per month depending on their part time or full time attendance to participate in small groups that generally provide teacher-student ratios of one to five, Mathai said. “The quality of our teachers is indescribable,” she said. “BEING A PARENT IS YOUR BIGGEST RESPONSIBILITY” Although there are a multitude of child care options available to parents like the Kamalludeens and the Halls, the reality is that at the end of the day, no matter where children have spent their time, parents are still responsible for their children. Kamalludeen and her husband are both taking 12 credit hours this semester. After spending the day on campus, she said, they pick up their 5-month-old from the babysitter around 3 p.m. before picking up their 4-year-old and 8-year-old from elementary school. After dinner and a plethora of
household chores, Kamalludeen said her children are usually in bed by 9 p.m. Then, she and her husband start their homework. “Sometimes you wish you had 30 hours in a day,” Kamalludeen said. After completing her undergraduate degree at New York University and her master’s degree in Malaysia, Kamalludeen and her husband had both worked, having to leave their children in daycare for long hours. Now that they’re both back in school, she said, they actually get to spend more time with their kids. “Being students, we get more time because of flexibility,” she said. “I’m able to schedule more time with my family.” Hall also said she appreciated the time she is now able to spend with her family. After 10 months of staying home with her son, she said she now doesn’t take any time with him for granted. Hall said the biggest challenge for her family was locating daycare for her son after moving to Blacksburg from California in December 2008. “We moved here when he was two months old, but everyone else had been on lists for 10 months,” Hall said. She recommends new parents place their children on waitlists for spots in daycare centers as soon as they become pregnant. Hall said the opening of the new Rainbow Riders facility helped open more spots in other area daycares. “There are a lot of facilities that were full but now they aren’t,” she said. Hall said although it can be stressful to balance obligations as a mother and a student, to her, the experience is ultimately worth the challenges. “School is something I’m doing for me that will ultimately benefit my son and my family,” she said, “and that really makes me a better mom.”
MIAMI — Florida’s tomato growers have decided to do their part to pass on increased wages to the migrant workers who pick the tomatoes. The Florida Tomato Growers Exchange on Tuesday announced a new program that will allow for the implementation of higher wage deals reached in recent years by companies like Burger King, Subway, McDonald’s and Whole Foods. It puts to an end a standoff that has been going on for more than three years. “This is an opportunity to partner with our customers and meet their social accountability needs,” said Reggie Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, which represents about 75 percent of all tomatoes grown in Florida. While the restaurant chains and retailers had reached agreements with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to allow for higher wages, those increases had never been implemented because the growers refused to participate. Most of the money has been sitting in bank escrow accounts. The growers argued for years, including at congressional hearings, that a third party couldn’t legally dictate the terms of its workers’ employment. They threatened fines against any members who participated. And they complained there was no way to track who picks tomatoes that ultimately end up on a Burger King Whopper or a Subway sandwich. by elaine walker, mcclatchy newspapers
Study sheds light on ‘teenage night owl syndrome’ LOS ANGELES — Riding in school buses in the early morning, then sitting in poorly lighted classrooms are the main reasons students have trouble getting to sleep at night, according to new research. Teenagers, like everyone else, need bright lights in the morning, particularly in the blue wavelengths, to synchronize their inner, circadian rhythms with nature’s cycles of day and night. If they are deprived of blue light during the morning, they go to sleep an average of six minutes later each night, until their bodies are completely out of synch with the school day, researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reported Tuesday in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters. The finding was made by fitting a group of students with goggles that blocked blue light and discovering that their circadian rhythms were significantly affected. “These morning-light-deprived teenagers are going to bed later, getting less sleep and possibly underperforming on standardized tests,” said lead author Mariana G. Figueiro, a sleep researcher at RPI’s Lighting Research Center. “We are starting to call this the ‘teenage night owl syndrome.’” Parents and teachers have been complaining in recent years that teens stay up too late at night, then fall asleep in class the next morning and do poorly. The new findings provide a possible explanation for the problem. by thomas h. maugh ii mcclatchy newspapers
editor: debra houchins firstname.lastname@example.org/540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
february 17, 2010
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Your Views [letter to the editor]
Church spreads anti-gay ideas
have come to expect unreasonable claims about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the media, but I was not prepared to hear them from my friends. On Feb. 7, a friend of mine delivered a sermon that claimed his distant father and overbearing mother caused a life-long struggle with homosexuality. He then announced that he is pursuing a therapy program to “cure” his attraction to men, planning to write a book on the topic and stepping down from his role as pastor of New Life Christian Fellowship. Thus began a multi-week series on homosexuality that will end on Feb. 21. Although Rogers will certainly be caught in the crossfire of the debate, the controversy is not about him. He has the right to be open and honest about his struggles and the freedom to pursue therapy of his choosing. But the church should not give Rogers a platform to present false information about homosexuality and legitimize a form of therapy that leading health and mental health organizations have found to be ineffective and unsafe. The ex-gay movement teaches that homosexuality is a mental illness even though the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders stopped listing it as such in 1973. The movement also insists that gay-to-straight conversion efforts work, despite the American Psychological Association’s repeated claims to the contrary. Every year, ex-gay conversion therapists convince an untold number of Americans that they can change their sexual orientation through expensive therapy. Some want to rid themselves of the shame they feel. Others fear that they will never be full members of their family, church or community unless they “turn straight.” They learn to equate “gay” with “bad” and internalize the anti-gay rhetoric
of the religious right. Although the leaders of NLCF will claim that they are simply supporting a friend and not issuing a blanket endorsement of ex-gay conversion therapy, the church has stronger ties to the ex-gay movement than it would like to admit. In 2004, NLCF pastor Scott Davis left his post at the campus church to lead youth outreach programs at Exodus International, the largest ex-gay organization in the world. He now serves as vice president of operations for that organization. In 2005, lead NLCF pastor Jim Pace wrote an article for an Exodus International newsletter about the church’s approach to the issue of homosexuality. Exodus International has consistently opposed legal protections for LGBT individuals and couples, and in 2009, one of its board members was instrumental in drafting a piece of legislation in Uganda that calls for life imprisonment and, in some cases, the death penalty for homosexuality. Although no one should be blamed for the actions of a friend or acquaintance, I question the ethics of anyone who would write for a cause that masquerades hate as a family value. At the end of the day, I don’t know whether to be more frustrated that one of the largest religious organizations in Blacksburg is telling 600 to 800 church-goers that love and affection between two men or two women is pathology, not romance, or that I no longer feel welcome in the church I have called home for the past four years simply because I’m gay. A friend of mine has decided to stay in the church, but I have chosen to leave. Recently, he asked me whether I thought he would be accepted in NLCF even though he has a boyfriend. I gave him an honest answer: “No.”
Michael Sutphin class of 2006
Getting America moving once again F
or the last eight years I’ve flown to New York at least once a month every month, and I’ve seen the gaping hole at Ground Zero from almost every angle — from the air, the street and from nearby buildings. While a memorial and museum finally are under construction, and five new skyscrapers are planned, the fact that there is still mostly a hole in the ground where the World Trade Center twin towers once stood, and construction on the new buildings isn’t expected to be completed until sometime between 2014 and 2018, says something important about America. And it’s not an encouraging message. Those in government and business who are worried about the growing economic might of China, India and other rapidly developing countries should pay heed. If the hole in lower Manhattan is a metaphor for 21st-century America, we’re headed for serious problems. And jobs summits, bailouts, rescue packages, stimulus programs and corporate reorganizations won’t change this. If terrorists destroyed one of China’s landmark skyscrapers, do you think there would still be a hole in the ground eight years later? In about the same amount of time it will take to complete construction at the former World Trade Center site, China is expected to complete construction of a 16,000-mile nationwide high-speed rail network and 100 or so new airports. It takes the typical U.S. airport several years just to obtain the permits needed to build a single new runway. What is it that ails us — and what can be done about it? —Politicization. Everything in America is now politicized, with interest groups jockeying for power and favor. It is not just 24/7 news; it is now 24/7 politics. Much of the creativity, energy and resources that used to go into productive activities — research and development, building, creating, marketing and managing — now goes into politics and lobbying. —NIMBY. Hand in hand with politicization is the phenomenon known as “NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard.” Many in the United States, for personal or ideological reasons, have become naysayers, rather than
yea-sayers. Their answer to virtually everything is no. Some of this is national, but much is local: as when community activists block construction of offshore wind turbines near Cape Cod or, in Wilmington, N.C., block the building of a cement plant in the exact location of an abandoned cement plant, despite the community’s need for jobs. —Decision by committee. When the blame game is constantly being played, as it is when everything is politicized, one of the best ways to shield yourself from criticism is by deferring decisions to committees. Decisions by committee are always slow and the result is usually blandness, rather than boldness. —Numbing bureaucracy. Committees are forms of bureaucracy. Most Americans don’t understand that when governments write laws — even detailed laws like the 2,000plus-page health-care overhaul now in progress — that is only the beginning. After legislation is signed into law, the agencies responsible for implementation write regulations explaining how the law will be administered and enforced. In 2008 alone, 80,700 pages were added to the Federal Register, the official government compendium of all proposed, newly finalized and amended regulations. Add to that thousands of pages of state and local regulations. What this means is that every move in any direction requires businesses to navigate their way through a minefield of mind-numbing paperwork that costs money to complete, reduces the time available for other pursuits, and takes the joy out of business. We have seen indecision and delay in New York and it’s the wrong formula for America, unless America wishes to drift into mediocrity. China is serious about being number one, as is India. America, meanwhile, spends valuable time talking about its exceptionalism while shackling its own hands. The hole at Ground Zero suggests how this story might end. Rather than lose by default, the hole should inspire us to think smarter, work harder, move faster and believe in ourselves again.
HAROLD L. SIRKIN -mcclatchy newspapers
Latest SGA endeavor hints at a false sense of control I
was once an SGA house representative for a student group on campus. I took my job very seriously on the rare days I decided to show up. If you have the will to control others — or you just love good comedy — I suggest very highly that you urge your student group to allow you to join the SGA on its behalf. I know a lot of students are confused as to what the SGA does. You could waste your time looking up some empowering sounding official definition like “student voice,” “gateway to the administration” or other such phrases. In reality the SGA is a bunch of kids who love to play government. Let me explain. When you were a child, perhaps you had one of those plastic medical kits, possibly with your name and the appropriate “Dr.” written in crayon on the front. You may have played doctor a bit with your favorite stuffed animal, or perhaps you checked your mom’s heart rate to assure her safety. In reality, you are not a doctor. However, in the world of your game, you were the best doctor ever. Truly you saved many stuffed lives. Essentially this is what the SGA is. However, the SGA is full of individuals who take their game all too seriously, and when play time is over they sit and continue playing under the guise of representing people outside of the game: you, the student body. How many people reading this actually feel the SGA represents them? I question this idea first and foremost, and find it to be the silliest premise of all. The SGA is made up of representatives from various departments, schools and student organizations. This means you are now represented in the SGA by some member of the student body. Yes, this completely makes sense. Well, to some people it makes sense. To me it’s a complete joke. In reality this means that a very small percentage of the student body is being represented. If I were to pool students of various races and religions into a group, would I have a fair representational body of every student on campus? Of course not. What an incredibly stupid concept. Somehow the SGA seems more legitimate because it is set up and functions very much like a real government,
minus having any sort of power. It is my understanding that the original reason Student Government Associations began to evolve was to stop school administration from taking away the rights of students. The purpose of the SGA in this case was to create oppositional voice and to keep the student body as free as possible from controls placed by university officials. Those days are dead, gone and unlikely to ever return. The purpose of the SGA now is to give administration new ideas for future regulations. In case the administration hasn’t thought of new ways to control your daily campus life, the SGA is there to give it fresh ideas to make your Virginia Tech experience a little less enjoyable. The power of the SGA may be questionable, at best. However, Tech administration has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it loves to control the lives of its students. If given fresh — SGA-approved — ideas on how to better control students, the administration is sure to take them into consideration. A year ago there was a push to mandate “designated smoking areas” for all the Hokie smokers who practiced their disgusting habit on campus. This resulted in me writing a satirical piece in “favor” of the idea that was published in the Collegiate Times. My understanding is that this idea originated in the SGA and later became a reality in the form of this new rule mandating that smokers stay a certain arbitrary number of feet away from any building entrance. The latest atrocity originating from the SGA is a senate bill that calls to allocate $10,000 of SGA funding to a project to aid students in purchasing reusable water bottles and to ban the sale of plastic water (and soda!) in campus dining halls. This extremely authoritarian piece of legislation was brought to my attention by a couple students who asked me to make the Tech community more aware of its existence. Although the legislation is very likely to never become a campus reality, it stands as a wonderful indication of just how the students of the SGA love to force their will onto everyone — for a greater good, of course. Undoubtedly, the gentleman behind
this legislation has a big heart and merely wishes to reduce waste on campus. The bill, which uses loaded indefinable phrases such as “footprint” and “sustainability,” puts a happy face on making your life a little less convenient. Sadly, any opposition to such a proposal will result in a misdirected argument that makes it seem that those against such an idea somehow oppose a cleaner campus. In reality, I just don’t like the idea of using SGA funding in such a manner, nor do I like the idea of forcing such a policy on students. There are enough rules here at Tech. We need far, far fewer of them. Such a proposal will probably only result in students purchasing bottles of water and soda at 7-Eleven, and later discarding them in campus trash receptacles — perhaps then the only solution is to make plastic bottles contraband. Students can then hide plastic bottles in a concealed manner with their handguns and illegal drugs. The idea makes me smile at the absurdity, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if this silly idea became an unfortunate reality. Although I’d much rather see copies of the SGA constitution in trash receptacles as opposed to plastic bottles (paper damages the environment less), I’d prefer students do so on a voluntary basis, using education and argumentation instead of force. Sadly, that’s all the SGA is now: authoritarian students trying their best to force every student to adopt a different way of life. If there is one thing you take away from reading this column today I hope it’s that you, too, will decide to join the SGA and see for yourself what a complete joke it really is. I advise you to show up to meetings drunk and abstain from all voting. You’ll likely be the only one doing so. If there’s one thing college students love to do, it’s saying “Yes” to anything that sounds like a superficially good idea.
CHAD VAN ALSTIN -regular columnist -senior -communication
Policy infringes on students’ right to privacy, creates false authority W
ith the recent news about the Commission on Student Affairs threatening to withhold funding to the Collegiate Times and the other organizations affiliated with EMCVT, I find it is necessary for Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff to engage in a debate about our university and the constitutionality of its policies. Recently, as many of you may have noticed, especially if you live on campus, the alcohol policy has changed here at Tech. Under the old policy, if students under the age of 21 had an alcohol violation with Tech or the law, their parents were not notified. Now, if any alcohol policy is violated and the student is under 21, Tech is allowed to notify his parents without his permission. This is even allowed if the student is over the age of 18 and a legal adult. The university said that it approved this policy “in the hopes that parents/ guardians can, if they chose, engage their students in a discussion about their misconduct prior to the imposition of a more serious sanction.” However, if one is an adult this should not be allowed. Citizens of the United States over the age of 18 are allowed the constitutional right to privacy, unless they give permission otherwise. Neither I nor anyone else I know gave explicit permission for Tech to notify my parents if I violate the alcohol policy. I am aware that I have signed the handbook and told Tech that I realize what the university policy is, but that does not mean that I agree with it, or
that it is legal. I think it is very important that parents are involved in the life of the students while they are in college; however, it is not right of the university to force this upon families. It should be the responsibility of the student, as an adult, to have to tell his parents what he has done and the subsequent punishment for such actions. If he chooses not to, then it is his responsibility to take whatever comes from his actions. If one gets into further trouble, then he has to again take personal responsibility for what they have done. A university cannot force responsibility onto its students or his parents. And, if one is over 18, then they should expect the right to privacy no matter where he is, no matter what he does. Another matter of Tech policy that needs to be discussed is a section of the Student Code of Conduct. Under section 8, if one must present an identification card at the request of “staff members from the: Athletics, bookstore, dining halls, Police Officers, cadet officers or members of the cadet guard, faculty members, and residence hall staff members or house supervisors, as well as any staff member within the Division of Student Affairs.” If one does not, he will get a failure to comply and it is likely he will be found guilty and incur any punishment that comes along with the guilty verdict. However, after I think about it, most of these people are not police officers. Under the policy, the official
does have to present identification if the student requests it as well, but that does not change the fact that most are not officers of the law. They are not sworn to uphold the law and they do not have any special authority from the nature of most of these positions. Under this policy, any employee can ask for my identification and I’ll get in trouble with the university if I do not comply. This makes no sense to me. It is one thing if a police officer or security guard asks me to do so; I would most definitely give them my ID. However, in this case he is bound by the law, or in the case of the security guard, he has to call a police officer if they find anything suspicious. But either way, the law is involved. We, as students, need to engage in a university-wide debate over these policies and whether, as those affected by them, we agree with them. In some cases, it is our fellow students that are making these ridiculous policies. It is important for the university to hear back if we do not agree, so that, if necessary, change can take place.
GABI SELTZER -regular columnist -sophomore -philosophy major
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ACROSS 1 Whack, biblically 6 Condescending sort 10 Kodak rival 14 Brightly colored tropical fish 15 Chaplin’s last wife 16 Road for Pilate 17 “That’s __ trick!” 18 Cutting-edge Motorola phone? 19 Statistician’s input 20 How some scary things go 23 Nous minus moi? 24 “The loneliest number,” in a 1969 hit 25 Wasted, as a chance 29 Not subject to change 35 “I wish!” 37 On the calmer side 38 Floors, briefly 39 Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant 40 Third qtr. start 41 Talons 43 Male in an alley 44 Cognac initials 46 More work 47 Some stilettos 50 Not easy to see 51 Crimson opponent 52 Not quite oneself 54 Activity that involves the first words of 20-, 29and 47-Across 62 Perfume holder 63 Tobacco unit 64 Like chalet roofs 65 Be sore 66 Take a shot 67 Word after sing or string 68 Nerve opening? 69 Lose fur 70 Common asset? DOWN 1 Rough guess 2 See 3-Down 3 Unit on a 2-Down 4 Ambush 5 Weird Al Yankovic spoof of a Michael Jackson hit
By Pete Mitchell
6 Airman’s assignment 7 Early boat builder 8 Quatre + sept 9 With no exceptions 10 Act nervously 11 Home to Zion National Park 12 Rocker Joan 13 Brokerage statement subj., perhaps 21 Overly curious 22 Bat’s prey 25 Leans, as a ship 26 King ___ (Michael Jackson) 27 “Ditto” 28 “Star Trek” sequel, for short 30 Brownish gray 31 Under the weather 32 Giraffe cousin 33 Hopeless 34 Exam type you can’t guess on 36 Apollo 13 commander Jim 40 Average guy?
2/17/10 Tuesday’s Puzzle Solved
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42 Auction unit 45 “Star Trek” defenses 46 Defunct gridiron org. 48 Sullivan’s charge in “The Miracle Worker” 49 Emulated a couch potato 53 Canine woes 54 Guilty pleasure
55 Iolani Palace site 56 “Uh-huh” 57 In one’s birthday suit 58 “The Wizard of Oz” family name 59 Bard’s river 60 Clothing store department 61 Fringe 62 U-Haul rental
editor: topher forhecz firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865
february 17, 2010
Walking a mile in their shoes Latest Electric Six album keeps the
power on, fails to turn up the voltage O
Justin Gross, Maria Kim, Joyce Kim and Sam Choi are among the individuals who helped to make the Blood:Water Mission at Virginia Tech a reality. Joyce Kim is a staff writer for the Collegiate Times.
TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR WATER SHORTAGES IN UGANDA, STUDENTS SACRAFICE INDULGENCES SARAH HANSKNECHT features staff writer Imagine a world where the quest for clean water sends you on a mile-long trek every single day. A place where vending machines filled with Dr. Pepper and Cherry Coke are nowhere to be found. Such a bleak scenario is a daily reality for more than 800 communities in Africa. Additionally, these communities continue to be ravaged by HIV/AIDS. A national campaign to increase awareness about the plight of these African communities is breaking ground at Virginia Tech. Blood: Water Mission will have students literally walk a mile in the shoes of the less fortunate and experience the reality that too many African communities experience on a daily basis. It kicks off its campus-wide campaign today with “Forty Days of Water,” where supporters opt to drink only tap water for 40 days and donate the money they would have used on other beverages to Blood: Water Mission in order to help build clean water projects for communities in Uganda. At the close of this 40-day period, the campaign concludes with the Water Walk, where students can experience what some people in Africa go through on a daily basis to retrieve clean water. Campaigners will walk a mile in distance from the Drillfield to the Duck Pond, carrying back water to symbolize their united effort to improve conditions in African communities. Sam Choi, a junior accounting major and one of the students heading up the campaign at Tech, believes the 40 day campaign will definitely raise awareness about the conditions in parts of Africa. “With this effort we’re starting off small, but we’re hoping it raises enough awareness to make a bigger impact down the road,” Choi said. “We take water for granted but it’s essential for life and there are many who don’t have that luxury. It’s mostly about opening people’s eyes to the plight of others. The money will follow somewhere down the road.” Nationally, the Blood:Water Mission has been empowering people to be a small part of a larger story through its five core values: community, responsibility, integrity, dignity and teachability. Through partnership with other
organizations, grassroots approaches that maximize cost effectiveness and funded programs for both water sanitation and HIV/AIDS treatment clinics in Africa, the organization believes it is doing everything in its power to provide African communities with a new hope. The campaign on Tech’s campus was brought about through inspiration. Several Tech students were introduced to the campaign through a pastor at their home church and felt that it was necessary for the Blacksburg community to be enlightened as well. Maria Kim, a junior political science major, wanted to emphasize the severity and magnitude of the epidemics going on in Africa, and the importance of dealing with the problem as soon as possible. “We hear and read about problems like this that many people deal with outside our country,” Kim said. “We live such comfortable lives as students and faculty who attend Virginia Tech. Our concerns right now revolve mainly around getting good grades, conducting research, meeting deadlines and things of that nature. I hope that people will realize the gravity of the situation in which many people in Africa live and how blessed we are here as students at Virginia Tech. From the abundance of comfort and provisions we have, I hope that we would share that with others.” Students behind the campaign admit that getting students to realize these problems in Africa isn’t easy. “We give all these statistics but it’s still not really personal to our lives,”
Building wells for clean water only costs a few thousand dollars, and they would provide entire communities with clean water for many years. JUSTIN GROSS GRADUATE STUDENT
Choi said. “Participating in the campaign will hopefully show students what people in these communities have to live with every single day. They can’t choose, and we can, so hopefully the campaign will encourage students to choose to help those less fortunate than they are.” The reality is that $1 would provide a person in Africa with clean water for an entire year. Justin Gross, a graduate student in accounting, wanted to emphasize the simplicity of helping to change the lives of these people. “We don’t realize how simple it would be to help these people,” Gross said. “Building wells for clean water only costs a few thousand dollars, and they would provide entire communities with clean water for many years.” Blood:Water Mission at Tech hopes to be able to raise enough money to build several wells in Uganda communities. After the 40 days have passed, supporters hope that the campaign efforts will stick with students and faculty for years to come. “Forty days of only drinking water won’t just solve everything,” Gross said. “It’s simply allowing us to step out of our reality into theirs for a change and realize that it is up to us to continue to help the communities in Africa and change their lives for the better.”
nly a year after the release of its fourth album, “Flashy,” everyone’s favorite purveyors of hyper-sexual masculine pastiche the Electric Six have returned with a fifth installment, “Kill.” These hard-to-classify rockers from Detroit combine elements of alternative rock, dance, new wave and even disco. The result is music that is upbeat, sometimes mocking, sometimes funny, always fun to listen and yes, even great to dance to. It is often passed over as a sort of “joke band” — and considering it is famous for songs with names like “Gay Bar,” “Naked Pictures of Your Mother” and “Dance Epidemic,” its reputation isn’t entirely undeserved — but even there, the Electric Six defies classification. The most immediately noticeable track on the album is its first, “Body Shot.” The lyrics follow the Six’s normal, “I’m famous, don’t you want to be famous too” mocking vein. As a whole, the song is memorable with its synth-driven sounds, falsetto lyrics and tribal finish, which catches your attention instantly. If those elements don’t demand your attention, there’s always the music video, which is readily available all over the Internet for those who want to look for it. (I’d recommend making sure you’re alone before you watch it — it’s very unsafe for work.) There are some other hidden gems on the album though, all in Electric Six’s overly dramatic, hyperbolic style. “Escape from Ohio” is an unnecessarily epic tale of a van breaking down on a cross-country journey. “I Belong in a Factory” is a chronicle of a blue-collar worker spurned by a woman for his “working-man’s salary” trying to escape (an odd subject for a band which usually sings about fame, wealth and power), that is told in simple, mechanical verse in which every line rhymes with “factory.” The strangest selection on the album would have to be “Steal Your Bones,” a passionate
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“You Can’t Do That” by Frank Zappa Frank Zappa at his absolute ﬁnest. You get all the absurd humor, instrumental genius and progressive sound you have come to know and love from Zappa.
“Distortion” by The Magnetic Field A cynical album from the creative genius of singersongwriter Stephin Merritt, “Distortion” chugs out some bitterness from rejection. Deﬁnitely not an album to dance to, but one you’ll cherish for all of life’s little discomforts.
Bottom Line: Electric Six won’t dissapoint fans with its latest, but also doesn’t break any new ground.
“The Moldy Peaches” by The Moldy Peaches This album is the offspring of some post-modern absurdists. Notable tracks include “Anyone Else But You,” a long song featured on the Juno ofﬁcial soundtrack as well as “Steak for Chicken” and “These Burgers.” Most of the album is not suitable for children.
on the web
If you enjoyed this column, check out more album reviews at “The Woove,” WUVT’s ﬁne arts magazine at www.wuvt.vt.edu/woove.
rock ballad by a mad scientist making an army of clones of his beloved, so nothing out of the ordinary for the Six, really. “Kill” is essentially another standard entry from Electric Six. It’s a bit more varied in sound and themes than “Flashy,” but it doesn’t blaze any new ground. Like the rest of its music, it’s about half absurd nonsense and half legiti-
mate commentary on the obsession with wealth and fame disguised as absurd nonsense. If you like the Electric Six, then you’ll love “Kill.” If you don’t like the band, then it’s not going to change your mind. And if you’re asking, “Who the hell are the Electric Six?” then go search “Danger, High Voltage” on YouTube and find out what you’re missing. If you like it, then why not give “Kill” a try?
PETER TESH -“The Woove” contributor -junior -English major
editors: joe crandley, alex jackson email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
february 17, 2010
Hokies conquer deﬁcit, down Demons
ROY T. HIGASHI/SPPS
Wake Forest guard C.J. Harris drives past Tech forward Terrell Bell.
MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM COMES BACK FROM 11 POINTS DOWN, MOVES INTO SECOND IN ACC JOE CRANDLEY sports editor In a game featuring high-flying offenses and a lot of whistles, the Hokies outlasted the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Tuesday night in Cassell Coliseum, 8783. Tech weathered an early Demon Deacons (18-6, 8-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) storm when starting forwards Victor Davila and Jeff Allen were both forced to sit on the bench with two fouls and 11:48 left in the first half. With two of the Hokies’ key big men sitting out, the Deacons took control of the game and ran up an eight point halftime lead behind 21 first-half points from sophomore forward Al-Farouq Aminu. Junior guard Malcolm Delaney single-handedly kept Tech in the game with 15 points of his own in the first half and finished the game with 31 total. Despite the troubles in the first half, Delaney always felt the game was within reach. “Not once in that game did I feel like we was out of the game,” Delaney said. “You listen to every huddle, we was always positive, saying we was gonna get a run, we was gonna get some shots, and we never feel like we’re gonna lose games, and that’s why we always come back. We got confidence, and that’s a big part of this team. I always say this, but last year we would have lost that game down 11 to Wake Forest. We wouldn’t have won that game last year, and we’ve just got a different mentality this year.” The second half appeared to be going poorly from the start for the Hokies (21-4, 8-3 ACC) when Allen picked up another two fouls early in the half and was relegated to the bench with 16:19 left in the contest. Now, seemingly on the ropes and in foul trouble, Tech juniors JT Thompson, Dorenzo Hudson and Terrell Bell picked up their game as they have all season to carry the Hokies back into contention. Thompson and Hudson scored 14 and 15 points respectively in the second half, and Bell contributed 14 rebounds to lead the team. “It feels great that we’re supporting our BRIAN CLAY/SPPS leaders, so we’re going to keep doing that
Hokies’ forward Victor Davila slams home a dunk during the second half of Tech’s 87-83 win over Wake Forest Tuesday in Cassell Coliseum.
throughout the season,” Bell said. “We know our roles and we know what we do best, and everybody embraced their roles. We got a junior class and we’ve been playing together for a long time, so we’ve got a great chemistry out there.” “We won that game with just determination and resiliency and a lot of different guys contributing, and even Jeff with foul trouble and everything,” head coach
on the web
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Seth Greenberg said. Behind the explosion of points from Hudson and Thompson, Tech regained the lead with 6:44 left in the second half off a Delaney three. The Hokies and Deacons traded points until the 3:41 mark when Tech took the lead for good off a Delaney layup. Senior Wake guard Ishmael Smith did his best to keep the Deacons in the game late with seven points in the final 44 seconds, but Tech remained strong at the free throw line to hold the Deacons’ late surge. Tech finally sealed the victory when senior Deacons guard L.D. Williams traveled with 5.8 seconds left while attempting to shoot a three down by four points. “That was just a good hard fought basketball game against two teams that are extremely competitive, prideful, and I’m just really proud of our guys,” Greenberg said. “We were determined, resilient, we stayed together. The second half — that was probably the best we’ve executed all season.” With the win, Tech seized sole possession of second place in the ACC. The Hokies travel to Durham this weekend to face the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday at 7:45 p.m. on FSN. If Tech wins, the Hokies will take over first place in the ACC standings. “That’s what we’re going for,” Hudson said. “We’re trying to go for No. 1 next game. We’re gonna get some hard work in practice and try to go get that win.”
Softball team wins three of four in weekend tournament, new players step up big HATTIE FRANCIS sports staff writer The Virginia Tech softball team returned home on Sunday from the warmer air of Florida and its seasonopening tournament at Jacksonville University with a winning record of 3-1. The Hokies nearly won all four of their games in their first weekend of action, defeating Bethune-Cookman, Drexel and UNC Greensboro, while falling to just the host team, 7-11 Saturday. Helping the Hokies accomplish this early success were three new starters, including freshmen Courtney Liddle, Bkaye Smith and junior Kristina Cruz. Each of the three made their presence known in their debut games as starters for head coach Scot Thomas. Against Bethune-Cookman University, Liddle homered to left field in the top of the third to push the Hokies ahead by four early on. “Coach Thomas in our pregame talk talked specifically to the fresh-
men about how we wanted to present ourselves for our first game — how we wanted to be remembered for that first game, like really go out there and get it,” Liddle said. “That was the mindset I had going into there,” Liddle said. “I saw the pitcher, you know she wasn’t amazing, and I told myself, ‘Hey, you can do your best off of this.’ “I just had that confidence and really went into thinking have fun. The first couple of weeks going into it, I was kind of nervous because it’s (Division I) ball, but you go into it and you’re just like, ‘I’ve been playing this game since I was six years old.’” Liddle went to finish the game with two hits, one run and one RBI in her debut for the Hokies. “It was kind of cool,” Liddle said. “I got the ball. It was my first collegiate homerun ball, and I gave it to my parents with a little note. My mom cried. It was awesome.” “I thought that Courtney handled herself really well,” Thomas said. “At the plate, she did a great job taking care of business — got a couple homeruns, hit the ball solid at times.
#6 / 3B KRISTINA CRUZ junior 5’7” Tampa, Fla.
She hit some purpose hits putting runners in scoring position and threw a couple runners out, too.” Smith was the first to face an opposing pitcher during the 2010 season as she lead off for the Hokies in the top of the first on Saturday. “I knew as soon as I stepped up to bat that batting was my issue and that I knew I had to stay focused as a freshman,” Smith said. “I had a lot of pressure at leadoff, so I just had to stay focused.” Smith finished her first game as a starter with two runs and one hit. “I’ve actually been working on a soft slap and I finally got it down,” Smith said. “The coaches were more than
#12 / C COURTNEY LIDDLE freshman 5’10” Haymarket, Va.
pleased with that.” “Bkaye I thought did a solid job,” Thomas said. “She’s still got some experience to go as far as what we’re expecting out of her as leadoff, but I think she’s starting to get the bigger picture right now.” Cruz, a transfer from Santa Fe College, took the field at third base,
#2 / 2B BKAYNE SMITH freshman 5’7” Cameron, N.C.
replacing former Hokie standout Charisse Mariconda. As for her first start, Cruz finished with one run, one hit and one RBI. “I think I did fairly well, not as good as I usually do,” Cruz said, “but I think nerves had something to do with it. “I mean, I played two years in junior college,” she said. “I wouldn’t say on
the same level of what this is here, but I think the fact that we’re a very closeknit team made it so much easier and less nerve wracking.” The Hokies went on to beat Bethune-Cookman 14-3 but lost to Jacksonville in the second game on Saturday. Despite the loss, Liddle had yet another home run against Jacksonville. Out of 13 at-bats over the weekend, Liddle had four runs, five hits, two home runs and three RBIs. Smith concluded her weekend with 16 at-bats, three runs and five hits. Cruz wrapped up the JU Tournament with two hits, two runs, and one RBI. “I think all three of these kids are solid, so I’m excited about where they are,” Thomas said.