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An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Thursday, March 18, 2010
COLLEGIATETIMES 107th year, issue 31
News, page 2
Features, page 5
Opinions, page 3
Sports, page 6
Classifieds, page 4
Tech, FBI Hokies tame Bobcats, 81-61 look into YouTube threats T
he Virginia Tech Police Department and the FBI continue to investigate threatening postings made over YouTube and via e-mail this week, as rumors of more specific threats circulate. University president Charles Steger sent an e-mail to the Tech community yesterday afternoon. The message was regarding an individual who has been creating threatening posts on YouTube as well as sending threatening e-mails to members of the Tech community, including students and university employees. Steger’s e-mail stated that there have been many rumors circulating about a potential specific threat. “The individual responsible has made threats about March 18 as a day of possible action when he might commit harm. Given all that this university has endured, I can understand how this can be very upsetting to the university community,” the e-mail said. The Collegiate Times obtained a copy of an e-mail forwarded through multiple listservs and Facebook groups that addressed the alleged threat. The e-mail referenced an incident that occurred in the apartment complex of the sender’s friend, Foxridge. The sender wrote, “two nights ago, someone tried to break in the apartment right across from (the sender’s friend). The people that live there have also been getting death threats that is assumed to come from that Italian guy that’s been making those Youtube videos.” The e-mail went on to say, “my friend talked to Blacksburg and VT police and they’re taking this guy’s threats more seriously this time because he has given a threat with a specific date saying stuff like ‘3/18 is going to be the next 4/16.’”
if you have any information
Tech police can be reached at 540-231-6411 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Blacksburg Police can be reached at 540-961-1150.
Steger’s e-mail Wednesday afternoon stated that many of the e-mail and Facebook notes that are currently circulating such information are “making their own conclusions not based on factual information. “People are linking local events, such as alleged breakins, with these threatening posts and e-mails, which are not borne out by the facts. All the indicators reviewed by law enforcement do not point to an immediate threat,” Steger’s e-mail said. Although Steger’s e-mail on Wednesday stated that the university would be open as normal on Thursday, many of the persons who had forwarded the original e-mail included warnings to their friends such as, “please stay safe,” “I’m not going to class Thursday,” and “I’m encouraging you to skip classes.” On March 10, over spring break, Tech police sent an e-mail to students informing them of the original investigation. Since Friday, March 5, YouTube postings that made “numerous threats against the Tech community,” according to the March 10 e-mail, were noticed on the Web site. These threats allegedly referenced the April 16, 2007 shootings and shooter Seung-Hui Cho. Tech police believe the same user made multiple accounts on the Web site to harass the Tech community. The person’s posts originated in Italy. Wednesday’s e-mail letter from Steger stated “the individual responsible has continued to send e-mails to students and university employees over the last several days.” It also confirmed “university police have been following all leads and continue to believe these threats emanate from Italy.” “The police continue to work with Virginia State Police investigators and the FBI. The FBI is our liaison with Italian authorities. While we take all threats seriously, these law enforcement authorities do not believe these communications represent a credible threat,” Steger’s e-mail read. In the March 10 e-mail, Tech police said it is “confident” these postings are from the same user who posted similar threats in late October. InOctober,aYouTubeaccountcalledNextKillerVirgTech showed in its commenting history a series of comments on various videos pertaining to Tech, including footage of Cho. YouTube has since deleted that account. see THREAT / page two
DELANEY LEADS TECH WITH 25, HOKIES ADVANCE IN NIT JOSH PARCELL sports staff writer
Q&A: Race disparities in incomes GORDON BLOCK
The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team responded from a disappointing NCAA Tournament snub to hammer Quinnipiac University Wednesday night, scoring 81-61 in the NIT’s opening round at Cassell Coliseum. After giving up the initial basket of the game, the Hokies, a one-seed in the tournament, responded with a 10-1 run over the next five minutes. Quinnipiac, an eight-seed, countered with a 2-3 zone defensively. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Hokies junior guard Malcolm Delaney busted the zone, converting three 3-pointers en route to a 19-point output in the first half. He finished with 25 points in the game. Despite an overall solid first half performance, the highlight of the first 20 minutes was made on the defensive end of the floor. Bobcats guard James Feldeine stole the ball and at midcourt, took off on a tear toward his basket. Just as he left the floor to lay the ball in the basket, however, Tech guard Dorenzo Hudson emphatically sent the ball flying out of bounds from behind; it was one of the few plays that brought the only partially full Cassell Coliseum crowd to its feet. “I just felt like somebody needed to come out here and play with some energy,” Hudson said. “I was just going to leave it all on the floor. When I had the chance for that block, I just wanted to light a fire back under us.” Bobcats guard James Johnson didn’t endear himself to the partisan crowd in his first career game at the Cassell. see HOKIES / page six
news reporter Kerwin Charles, the Edwin and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School, is on campus today to present a lecture titled “Race and Wealth: Income, Expenditure, and Public Policy.” Charles, who also serves as a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research, has written on a variety of topics in the field of microeconomics. His lecture is at 2 p.m. at the Alumni Assembly Hall in the Inn at Virginia Tech. Charles spoke on some of his research and the challenges of pinpointing a link to disparities between race and income levels with the Collegiate Times.
Virginia Tech junior guard Malcolm Delaney goes up for a shot, knocking over Quinnipiac’s guard Dave Johnson in the process.
Helicopter project takes off Chopper to handle nuclear aftermath LIANA BAYNE news reporter Research associate professor Kevin Kochersberger and his team of students have developed a GPS-enabled autonomous helicopter that would assist authorities in dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Kochersberger’s Unmanned System Laboratory team of graduate and undergraduate students has worked to engineer the self-piloting helicopter, which can sense radiation, use stereovision-imaging technology to create images of the affected area and take samples of affected debris for researchers to analyze at a home base. The 200-pound, six-foot-long chopper has a removable payload on the underside that contains an autonomous robot. The robot is lowered down to the ground by a tether and then followed by the helicopter the entire time. It will collect radioactive samples and then be lifted back to the helicopter. “We want to be able to bring back physical samples,” Kochersberger said. The Yamaha-brand helicopter was modified from being flown exclusively via remote control to being able to fly on its own using GPS technology. Kochersberger said the device can operate within about a 10-mile radius of the ground control station. Right now, it can only fly for about 45 minutes, but the team plans to develop stronger radio links between the helicopter and ground control to extend its flying time. Savannah River National Laboratory and the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency have funded the $1.1 million project. The helicopter alone is estimated to cost around $120,000. Kochersberger’s team has worked with the project since 2008 and IS scheduled and funded to continue with it for anoth-
Sudoku, page 4
COURTESY KEN KOCHERBERGER
Members of the Unmanned System Laboratory team sit in their “mission control” home base during a test ﬂight of their autonomous helicopter. er three years. “It’s only about 30 to 50 percent done at this point,” he said. Some of the graduate students have been involved with the project and the Unmanned System Lab since that time, while others got on board with the plan at the start of this school year. First-year masters student Brian McCabe said he was attracted to the project after he competed in the DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition for driverless vehicles, as an undergraduate at Tech. “I was looking for a lab for my master’s, and this project had funding at that time,” McCabe said. The lab currently employs nine funded graduate students and two funded undergraduate students, along with several unfunded undergraduate students, many of whom work with Kochersberger on their senior projects. After having the opportunity to do hands-on work with the software and hardware involved in the making of the helicopter, undergraduate students are welcome because they “become extremely valuable as grad students,” Kochersberger said. “They can hit the ground running in
grad school,” he said. Richard Setiawan, a senior mechanical engineering major, is participating in another project sponsored by the lab to create a small autonomous hovercraft that navigates successfully through a GPSinaccessible building to locate specific objects. “It’s really cool,” Setiawan said. “We get a lot of experience and we get to do new stuff we’d never learn in regular class. It’s a broad spectrum of skills, not just mechanical engineering.” One of Setiawan’s undergraduate coworkers, senior mechanical engineering major Kenneth Kroeger, is also participating in Kochersberger’s main helicopter project. Kroeger is currently in the process of learning to pilot the helicopter, which is only autonomous after the initial launch, which is controlled by the pilot. “It’ll be nerve-wracking to watch it go up,” Kroeger said. “If something goes wrong, the pressure’s on you.” Kochersberger said Kroeger’s experience with the job should help him perform the task well. “You get hands-on experience,” Kroeger said. “We get to build it, design it and see it go into action.” see CHOPPER / page two
COLLEGIATE TIMES: What issues do you see when it comes to the issue of income on a racial level? I guess it isn’t as simple as black and white. KERWIN CHARLES: CHARLES There’s the fact about how large the disparities are. One part of my research is about types of measurement ... to know things about the world theretofore unknown, to know facts about the world. In respect to this question, the kind of fact I’m after about labor and income hinges on ... that there are many facts we know about income differences ... but it is unclear to us what their source is. That’s an important part of my research, thinking carefully about what phenomena in the world explain the income differences we see. CT: Is there a common theme among high-income earners? Regardless of race, is there some factor that you see among those who have higher incomes compared to others? CHARLES: The biggest driver of high incomes is higher skills. By skills, I mean the kind of skill you are now acquiring, college training, and in particular college training of various kinds, some mathematics, economics training. Those things are highly rewarded in the labor market. If there’s one principal determinant that people have of earnings in the U.S. economy now going forward is human capital in its various forms ... education training, etc. That is the common thing. Many people receive higher incomes through entrepreneurial activity, but they represent a tiny share. If you asked me what’s the main driver of earning difference in America, it’s skills. CT: Do you see a difficulty in discussing a difference in income based on race ... is it sometimes difficult to talk about because of the social aspect of this conversation? CHARLES: Yes and no. I think on the one hand, what’s easy about it is ... you being in the state of Virginia, which has always had very large gaps by race going back to the colony’s founding. People have an understanding that differences by income are an important part of overall heterogeneity. CT: Kind of leading into that, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last year called America a “nation of cowards” in regards to discussing the issue of race. CHARLES: It’s not my tendency to speak for other folks, because I never know what motivated their comments. It’s possible what he means by that, that Americans won’t forthrightly discuss racial differences among many dimensions, and the reason they don’t is because they’re nervous about; they have a fear of saying the slightly wrong thing. People who withhold thoughtful commentary because of some childish anxiety that they might be misinterpreted, one could possibly call these people not brave people. Maybe this is what Mr. Holder meant, I’m not sure. But if it is, I can understand the reason.
new river valley news editor: zach crizer university editor: philipp kotlaba email@example.com/540.231.9865
march 18, 2010
blacksburg headlines Virginia reopens closed rest stops
[Monday, March 21]
The state of Virginia re-opened eight rest stops along multiple interstates yesterday. These rest stops were some of the 19 that were closed by former Gov. Tim Kaine last year. Gov. Bob McDonnell attended the reopening of a rest stop on I-85 in Dinwiddie. Other rest stops that will open include two on I-66 in Manassas, two on I-81 in Mount Sidney and two on I-95 in Dale City. The remaining 11 are scheduled to reopen by April 15. The Virginia Department of Transportation said it will use its emergency maintenance reserve fund to operate the rest stops until June 30, after which time it will identify longterm funding to continue to keep the rest stops open. by liana bayne, news reporter
Poll results Last week’s question was: Should parking services give warnings before tickets? And you said: -Yes. I’ve received more parking tickets than I can count. – 28% -Honestly, I would save the warning for parking illegally during exam week, etc. – 20% -No. Following the rules isn’t that complicated. – 43% -Silly drivers. I stick with my trusty bike or the BT. – 9% This week’s question is: How do you feel about March Madness? Do you think: -It is truly disappointing that Tech didn’t make the NCAA tourney. -I love it anyway. I’m in five different pools. -At least NIT means more home games. -I was more excited for St. Patrick’s Day
CORRECTIONS JUSTIN GRAVES -Contact our public editor at publiceditor@ collegiatetimes.com if you see anything that needs to be corrected.
Wondering what's going on around the 'burg? What: Parker Quartet Check out the events of the upcoming week. Where: Squires Recital Salon What: Super Bull Riders Where: Roanoke Civic Center Coliseum When: 7:30 p.m. Cost: $12-$57 depending on section. Order through 540-853-LIVE or at the Coliseum
[Thursday, March 18] What: Re: Fill Where: The Rivermill When: 10 p.m. Cost: Free, 21+
[Friday, March 19]
[Saturday, March 20]
What: Acoustic Cafe Where: Johnston Student Center When: 9 p.m. Cost: Free What: Muse: A Celebration of Women in the Arts Where: The Lyric When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $10 general; $5 students
What: Taal-an evening of traditional Indian Carnatic music infused with Jazz Where: Squires Haymarket Theater When: 6 p.m. Cost: Free
What: Eliot Lipp w/ special guest Where: Attitudes When: 9 p.m. Cost: $10 in advance at inticketing.com; $12 at the door
What: Ash Devine Where: Gillie’s When: 7 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.
What: Hopehop w/ Brand New Groovement Where: Attitudes When: 9 p.m. Cost: $7 at the door
When: 8 p.m. Cost: $15 general; $10 senior; $5 student
[Wednesday, March 23] What: An Evening with Patrick Mureithi Where: Squires Colonial Hall When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free What: Silo Effect Where: Attitudes When: 9 p.m. Cost: $6 in advance inticketing.com or at the door, 18+
[Thursday, March 24] What: Strength Training for Women Where: War Memorial Gym When: 6 p.m. Cost: Free
What: Iranian Society at Virginia Tech hosts Persian New Year Where: Squires Commonwealth Ballroom When: 7 p.m. Cost: Dinner is $14
What: 10 in 5 — Steps to a Federal Job Where: Meeting Room B, Smith Career Center When: 4 p.m Cost: Free
Chopper: Team to test fly in June from page one
Michael Rose, who finished his master’s degree working at the lab and is currently a lab technician, has taken the lead on the portion of the project involving the robot that deploys from the payload of the helicopter to collect data from the affected area. The robot would be able to travel over a wide variety of terrain and suck up samples of affected material using a pressure vacuum. It would then transport those samples via the helicopter back to the ground controllers. Rose said the ground-sampling robot would not be controlled autonomously like the helicopter, but rather through a controller operated by a person at the ground control station. Kochersberger said one of the main challenges facing the team was controlling the amount of tension in the wire that lowers the robot to the ground from
There’s lots of algorithms out there, but making it robust is the challenge. It’s not really been accomplished. KEVIN STEFANIK ENGINEER
the helicopter. In order to retract the robot back into the payload of the helicopter, the two will remain attached at all times by the wire. According to Kochersberger, another challenge facing the project is the stereovision image mapping technology, which uses Light Detection and Ranging to send 3-D images of the terrain, which is then translated correctly according to its orientation on the earth — a process called georeferencing. Second-year master’s student
Kevin Stefanik is one of the main engineers working with the LiDAR component. “There’s lots of algorithms out there, but making it robust is the challenge,” Stefanik said. “It’s not really been accomplished.” Few devices currently employ LiDAR technology, Stefanik said. One notable example is NASA’s Mars rover, but “NASA didn’t even have a 100-percent robust system.” Kochersberger said although there has been autonomous fixedwing aircrafts that have used various cameras and imaging technologies, the helicopter will be one of the first rotorcraft to utilize the technology. The LiDAR technology is backed up by a standard video camera mounted on the nose of the helicopter, which streams video back to the ground control center.
Although the helicopter’s primary purpose is to analyze the area affected by a potential nuclear explosion, Kochersberger said it could also have peacetime uses. “It could be used in locating lost hikers and being able to drop supplies accurately,” he said. “It could also be used over forest fires. ... The video camera is a nice thing to use for surveillance only.” The helicopter will be flown in a full field test in June. The team currently has Federal Aviation Administration permission to test fly it in Kentland Farm, which it did in October. June’s test will probably be held at the Savannah River National Laboratory. In the meantime, Kochersberger continues to work closely with his students to develop the helicopter and other projects in their lab. “I end up learning just as much as my students,” he said. “They teach me things all the time.”
Threat: VT messages cause new anxieties from page one
However, it appears that the same user is continuing to create fictitious YouTube accounts. The user also continued to send e-mails from fictitious Tech e-mail addresses and AOL accounts. A person claiming to be this user attempted to contact the Collegiate Times last Thursday morning, March 11.
on the web
For a response from SGA President Brandon Carroll, check out our Web site at www.collegiatetimes.com.
The sender confirmed in that e-mail that the posts originate from Italy and that “im not sad for my work and insults the vt community.” The sender stated in the e-mail he made the posts because “im only a sad guy.” There were no date-specific threats included in that e-mail, which the CT initially turned over to Tech police. Steger’s e-mail asked students to report threatening e-mail correspondence, social networking postings, and activity on campus to the Tech police. “There has been and will continue to be enhanced police presence throughout the university,” Steger’s e-mail said. “Because of the elevated concern expressed by the university community, I believe that an overabundance of caution is appropriate.” Tech police continue to investigate the situation. Police recommended students to stay away from threatening social networking posts and avoid responding to such threats. Tech police also recommend against forwarding e-mails containing threats to others unless the information is correct. Steger’s e-mail encouraged students to contact Tech police if they observe behaviors that cause concern for their safety or that of the community. “I know that all this can and will be upsetting to our community,” Steger’s e-mail said. “Report your concerns, but don’t be misled by speculative information or rumors.” by ct news staff
editor: debra houchins email@example.com/540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
march 18, 2010
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Your Views [letter to the editor]
Hokie Bird represents club
would like to ask you, the reader, how many times you’ve had to explain to friends and acquaintances what exactly a Hokie Bird is. How many times you’ve defended our mascot’s honor, and reiterated countless times, that no, our school is not represented by a mere turkey. This is precisely the situation that members of the Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club have been thrown into with the recent censorship of our mascot, Frank N Hokie. Frank N Hokie — a tribute to the character from RHPS after whom he is named — is a Hokie Bird wearing a corset and fishnets. He has been on our Web site since Virginia Tech’s licensing department gave us permission to use him in 1994. Recently, however, it sent us a takedown notice regarding this image. A temporary graphic is now on our home page in lieu of our variant of the Hokie Bird. Now, just as outsiders to Tech may not understand why on earth we would want Thanksgiving dinner as our mascot, it may be unclear to those not in our club why we would want a Hokie Bird in “bustier and leggings” to represent us. Hopefully in drawing this parallel, I’ve made the reasoning more clear: Frank N Hokie has nothing to do with making a mockery of Tech as an educational institution, but everything to do with representing what the RHPS fan club is as a registered student organization. For those who have either seen the movie, been to one of our shows, or plan to come to the show this week, it should be pretty clear that this is who we are and what we do. Thus, our mascot is not about portraying our school in a negative light. Frank N Hokie is about representing our student
organization, as our club lies in the intersection of spirit for Tech and for Rocky Horror fandom. I understand fully why the licensing department has the power to censor certain images of the Hokie Bird. Its Web site states (among other restrictions) that illustrations of our mascot cannot be tied in with sex, drugs or alcohol, or be made in “poor taste.” These are necessary restrictions to maintain the image of our school as a reputable institution. However, we received verbal permission to use this as our logo 16 years ago. I cannot fathom why an image that was approved then would not be OK now. I could perhaps be biased as a member of the organization, but keep in mind that the spirit of Frank N Hokie’s portrayal is influenced by our shows. Year after year we obtain approval by the budget board and event planning to organize events that draw hundreds of people a night, so certainly we cannot be alone. Overall, this situation seems to boil down to the fact that a corset and fishnets lies in one individual’s discernment of “poor taste.” Frankly, I don’t see what is so atrocious about the standard Rocky garb. Our mascot is fully covered — poor Hokie Bird is typically naked. As it is usually assumed that the character in question is male, perhaps having artwork that depicts him being transgender is what set off red flags for licensing. Calling Frank N Hokie in poor taste then seems to raise a few gender identity issues and dismiss an entire group of people who live alternative lifestyles. Personally, I find that in more poor taste than censoring the RHPS fan club’s beloved mascot.
Mary Wilkerson Mathematics doctroal student Event planning coordinator, Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club
What change do YOU want to see?
Collegiate Times Business Staff Business Manager: David Harries
Send a 300- to 400-word letter to the CT and tell us what you think the biggest issue is at Virginia Tech. You may get a response from President Charles Steger. Send your letter by April 1 with the subject “CHANGE” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy allows room for abuse W
e are going to critically examine the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and conclude whether or not this is once again heterosexism at work or a legitimate consequence the military institution must undergo in order to function effectively. We are also going to hold a mirror up to this institution, which espouses a code of honor, fidelity and courage, as well as a commitment to liberty. We will also investigate the multitude of inconsistencies that inflate the exclusionary decree of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” To begin, we need to understand the policy in a nutshell and what it precisely attempts to order. Luckily, the military’s entire code can be found on Cornell’s law Web site. Below you will find the specific policies, sections and provisions that I will examine. For the sake of expediency they are listed together and labeled just as they are under Title 10, subtitle A, part II of chapter 37 and section 654 which regards all things concerning homosexual behavior in the military. Though this document begins outlining behaviors before it even defines them, we will begin under section (f) of “Definitions,” where the military has defined the American homosexual. What is of particular note here is that one doesn’t even need to commit the crime to be guilty of it. In fact, this document makes it strikingly apparent that you are guilty before proven innocent under the indicting line, “... intends to engage in homosexual acts ... ” Don’t all gays tacitly “intend” to engage in homosexual behavior? If it is by the nature of homosexuality to be attracted to the same gender, then why allow lesbian and gay people to serve at all if you are even going to deny them thought and inclination? The military does not offer any kind of legitimate chance for the lesbian and gay community to serve because even if one follows the rules by staying quiet and lying about who you are, you are still guilty of simply being. It seems illogical that in a country such as ours anyone would be asked to do such a thing. I think few Americans understand the sacrifices that gay and lesbian servicemen make to defend this country. Such a denial of self is profound in its psychological consequences. Regardless, this reminds me of the “Minority Report,” a movie with Tom Cruise where people were arrested before they committed any crime. It’s a suffocating request to make — even after being told to remain in the closet, gays and lesbians are then further pressured to even keep their thoughts deadened. One may consider theft; however, they should not be sent to prison for it. Though to be clear, I hardly believe the acts of mutual attraction and love between adults should warrant punishable offenses under any circumstance. Let’s focus on the definition of a homosexual again: Anyone is gay who intends to engage in, engages in, or has a propensity for homosexual acts. Those are further detailed in provisions A and B beneath section (f) of “Definitions.” With these in mind, we will run into a
variety of inconsistencies. If we look under policy (b) of this masterful piece of work we can see that there are a series of exceptions to the rule when it comes to booting homosexuals from the service. If one is popular enough, useful enough, or has something the military needs or desires, the identity can be tolerated and potentially used against the person. In fact, policy (b) makes it very clear that homosexuality, far from actually being a legitimate disturbance, is little more than a pitfall that the armed forces can use to dispose summarily of whomever it pleases — especially because of the ambiguity of the crime. Because one only needs to “intend” to engage in homosexual behavior, and because the definition of “homosexual acts” is defined so broadly, a meticulous and over-analytical examination of any number of human interactions could be construed as homosexual. The line is further blurred by section 2 under policy (b), where one may claim to be homosexual without actually intending to engage in, engaging in, or having a propensity for homosexual acts. Yet as I noted earlier, the military defines a homosexual as having these very attributes. It boldly purports to know true homosexuals from incidental homosexuals as well, stating in provisions A and B under section 1 of policy (b) that the military can tell, indeed by some measure beyond even modern psychology, what is within one’s nature, as though sexuality is a fixed, inflexible identity. I was unaware until this point that the armed forces could read minds. So we see here that one can even profess to be a homosexual but the military can identify the real from the false — an act even Kinsey could not perform. We also see that homosexuals are acceptable so far as their perceived utility and worth suffices. This is a purposeful set of dangerous inconsistencies that gives our armed forces totalitarian flexibility. Because the military has not properly defined homosexuality or a homosexual, it can at whim decide what that act and identity constitutes. This would be like saying a woman is one who has breasts, a uterus, and feminine manners — but also one who might not contain a uterus and breasts but still exhibits feminine manners. So here we see that the definition of a woman can be extended to anyone, especially since “feminine manners” is never appropriately defined. It is also my contention that sexuality is not something that one can discern by verbal or physical act alone. Because of the intense secrecy behind every person’s sex life, this is an unenforceable policy by and large, especially since “don’t ask, don’t tell” dictates that the military cannot seek out homosexual persons or behavior, but simply discover it. Hence the “don’t ask, don’t tell” mantra. There is then the issue of morale and risk, as defined by section 14 under “Findings.” One of the arguments against homosexuality in the armed forces is that it diminishes morale and presents
Current Policy (a) Findings.— Congress makes the following findings: (2) There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces. (14) The armed forces must maintain personnel policies that exclude persons whose presence in the armed forces would create an unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability. (15) The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability. (b) Policy.— A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations: (1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts unless there are further findings, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations, that the member has demonstrated that— (A) such conduct is a departure from the member’s usual and customary behavior; (B) such conduct, under all the circumstances, is unlikely to recur; (C) such conduct was not accomplished by use of force, an unacceptable risk. They rationalize this with section 15, predicated of course upon absolutely nothing. It is founded strictly upon the paranoid fear of insecure heterosexuals. First of all, it excludes heterosexual behavior as being entirely risky, which makes this particularly sticky because men raping women occurs within the military. Also, there is the issue of general sexism that is quite pervasive. As a person who has several family members who’ve served, I’d know. Also, this policy was done at a time when homosexuality was something to be ashamed of and could be used to blackmail a person for state or military secrets. An incident, by the way, that was never recorded as having transpired and was only possible because of the stigma heterosexuals placed upon homosexuality. Given the openness of modern America, this is hardly an issue. Secondly, a heterosexual soldier’s love for the opposite gender could easily be exploited on the battlefield. So again, this is a silly argument to make exclusive to homosexuality. The other issue concerning this section is that homosexuality is risky, which is an unproven presumption. And for any instance when homosexuality is risky, a heterosexual equivalent could easily be found, especially given the coed nature of the modern military. And again, the armed forces implicates that both a propensity and intent to engage in homosexuality is risky. Yet as we have already found, there are cases when the military may conveniently decide that one is not homosexual enough to be released. The ambiguous term “unnecessary risk” is held as a legal fig leaf with which to hide a clear and present
coercion, or intimidation; (D) under the particular circumstances of the case, the member’s continued presence in the armed forces is consistent with the interests of the armed forces in proper discipline, good order, and morale; and (E) the member does not have a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts. (2) That the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual, or words to that effect, unless there is a further finding, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in the regulations, that the member has demonstrated that he or she is not a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts. (f) Definitions.— In this section: (1) The term “homosexual” means a person, regardless of sex, who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts, and includes the terms “gay” and “lesbian”. (2) The term “bisexual” means a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual and heterosexual acts. (3) The term “homosexual act” means— (A) any bodily contact, actively undertaken or passively permitted, between members of the same sex for the purpose of satisfying sexual desires; and (B) any bodily contact which a reasonable person would understand to demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in an act described in subparagraph (A).
homophobia within the armed forces. The issue of morale is a broad one. There are multiple facets of a person’s personality that could diminish morale in a military unit. Bigotry, intolerance and paranoia are just a few. Yet it seems one’s sexuality is the most destructive of all, so much so that an entire section needed to be written about it. Further, Congress states that serving in the armed forces is not a constitutional right, which is surprisingly correct considering all the other blunders this legal proclamation makes. However, if it’s not a constitutional right, then it should also not be a constitutional obligation, and as accounts of World War I and II will tell you, homosexuality was overwhelmingly tolerated as long as people were needed. Mind you this was at a time when homosexuality as a whole was reason enough to exclude one from service. So again, we see the hypocrisy of the military and the fair-weather attitude it takes regarding its own policies. But because volunteers were short and manpower was in demand, it did not matter if you were gay or straight, and morale didn’t seem to be an issue. But all of a sudden, when its needs came to an end, homosexuality was an issue again. It should be recognized that Austria, Belgium, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, the U.K., Sweden and South Africa all allow gay people to serve openly in the military. The last time I checked, none of these militaries fell into disarray or lost any great number of valued servicemen when the policies were enacted. It is also of note that multiple offi-
Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief: Sara Mitchell Managing Editors: Peter Velz, Bethany Buchanan Production Manager: Thandiwe Ogbonna Public Editor: Justin Graves News Editors: Zach Crizer, Philipp Kotlaba News Reporters: Liana Bayne, Gordon Block News Staff Writers: Hope Miles, Katie Robidoux, Allison Sanders, Claire Sanderson, Priya Saxena Features Editor: Topher Forhecz Features Reporters: Ryan Arnold, Liz Norment Opinions Editor: Debra Houchins Sports Editors: Joe Crandley, Alex Jackson Sports Reporters: Thomas Emerick, Ed Lupien, Ray Nimmo, Garrett Ripa, Melanie Wadden Sports Staff Writers: Garrett Busic, Hattie Francis Copy Editors: Taylor Chakurda, Erin Corbey, Kelsey Heiter, Dishu Maheshwari Layout Designers: Kelly Harrigan, Josh Son, Sara Spangler Illustrators: Mina Noorbakhsh, Jamie Martyn Multimedia Editor: James Carty Online Director: Jamie Chung
cers, all of whom served for decades in the armed forces, were uncovered and exposed by nosey civilians who violated the personal privacy of the officers. The officers were released from service on what was usually no more than hearsay and conjecture for committing the broad and ambiguous sexual acts defined under chapter 37. These are men and women who served their country, made no public issue of their sexuality and were decorated upstanding officers. The military that employed them gave them dishonorable discharges and made certain they could no longer access any of their benefits. However, this is hardly a new practice. After reading these regulations and comparing some of the sections, there can be no doubt of the unfounded discriminatory nature that “don’t ask, don’t tell” was built upon and the profound lack of evidence that was used to substantiate it. There is no basis for homosexuality diminishing morale, only fear. There is no basis for the destruction of group cohesion based solely on homosexuality, just paranoia, and there is something disappointing and shameful in the fair-weather attitude of the enactment and pursuit of these exclusionary policies. As a result, I have trouble looking upon this military institution with the same veneration I had before. It gives me doubt as to the kind and types of liberties it wishes to protect.
JOHN DRIESSNACK -regular columnist -junior -biological sciences major
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Hot yoga turns up the heat in order to maximize the burn LIZ NORMENT features reporter This winter has marked one of Blacksburg’s coldest in recent memory. Still, in a small building on 401 S. Main St., a fitness studio has managed to keep its customers cozy with a balmy average temperature of 104 degrees — and that’s just part of the normal workout. Opened in 2009, In Touch Yoga is Blacksburg’s newest yoga studio, best known for featuring hot yoga. Owner Becky Crigger, who has been practicing yoga for 12 years, first became interested in yoga as a means to meditate. “I used it to center myself,” Crigger said. “Yoga helps me to make decisions, focus, concentrate.” As a student at University of Virginia at the time, practicing yoga helped give her a sense of balance, so it became an integral part of her lifestyle. After graduating in Nashville with a master’s degree in secondary education, Crigger moved with her husband to Virginia Beach. Having given birth to two children within a few years, the family decided to move to a smaller town, relocating in Williamsburg, Va. Despite all of the moving and changes, Crigger found a constant in her yoga. “Yoga helped me feel grounded,” she said. Recognizing a need in Williamsburg for a place where individuals could practice together, Crigger and a friend opened up a yoga studio. Although the business was successful, Crigger eventually opted to sell her part of the studio and move back to her hometown of Blacksburg because she yearned for a smaller town. With yoga still very much a part of her life, Crigger made plans and finally opened In Balance Yoga, and it is the New River Valley’s first and only studio to offer hot yoga. Though Crigger received her primary training in hot yoga, she also chose to offer this practice in her studio because of both its appeal to beginners and the ultimate benefits of this style. “For beginners, the heat opens you up so it’s much safer,” Crigger said. “Overall
During hot yoga, participants work out in a room with a temperature of 104 degrees. The intense heat softens the muscles and allows for optimal ﬂexibility. it helps you get a lot more out of the postures.” Hot Yoga is a Vinyasa series of 27 different postures, and each session lasts 90 minutes. Courtney Burton, a student at the Blue Ridge School of Massage and Yoga and instructor at In Balance, said that the heat makes each position easier on a participant’s muscles. “It helps soften your muscles so they lengthen easier,” Burton said. “You
are able to be more open and stretch deeper.” This ease helps participants concentrate on each position. “You are able to focus on where you are in posture, and better feel the calming, soothing effect,” Burton said. Courtney Cross, a senior apparel, housing and resource management major, first heard about hot yoga from her friends. “They wouldn’t stop raving about it,”
Cross said. As a beginner, Cross remembers feeling apprehensive at first. “It was nice because when they do harder moves they always give you options,” Cross said. “It’s more challenging than regular yoga, and you feel phenomenal after.” Katya Horoszko, a senior apparel and business major, signed up for a week pass. “It’s such a different kind of work-
out,” Horoszko said. “It’s relaxing, but you sweat so you know you’ve done something.” She recommends trying the week pass, which costs $20, for students who want to relax while getting a good workout. “You leave feeling like a new person,” she said. While both the workout and relaxation benefits are a plus, Crigger cred-
its yoga with helping her overcome her own anxiety, something that had become a major obstacle in her life. “I used to get panic attacks often,” Crigger said. But after two weeks of yoga, she said she felt herself becoming the calm, centered individual she is today. “Yoga teaches you to let go,” she said, “and to know that every obstacle in life is there for a reason.”
Ofﬁce of Sustainability continues efforts to keep campus food organic, clean LINDSEY BROOKBANK features staff writer After biting into a juicy hamburger, many simply think about the delicious flavor of the meat, while others ponder where the ground beef came from. Obviously it came from a cow, but what cow? Where did that cow graze? What did that cow feed on? Or, was that cow given any hormones or antibiotics? The Office of Sustainability is making efforts to provide students with food made from local organic products, and it is also trying to give students information about where these products come. Rachael Budowle, sustainability coordinator of dining services, said that she defines sustainability as using resources in a way that doesn’t affect the possibility for future generations to use those resources. Sustainability, she said, can be conceptualized as a stool with three legs: environmental, economic and equity. Reaching ultimate sustainability is something that can never be achieved. “It’s something that we’re constantly working toward, and we’re always having to reexamine what we’re doing,” Budowle said, “so I don’t know if we’d ever get to the point where we’d say, ‘Great! Dining services is 100 percent sustainable.’” The position of sustainability coordinator has only been in existence for a year and a half, but Budowle believes that progress has been made early on. “I think we’ve made big strides in a very short amount of time,” she said, “but we definitely have a long way to go. And that’s just sort of the nature of sustainability.” Sustainability programs under Budowle’s watch carry out two major functions: waste examination, and local and sustainable food procurement. The first step is determining how
COURTESY OF HOLLI DREWERY Students sometimes participate in harvest days and interact with the source of some campus food.
to defer waste to proper areas from the landfill. This may involve composting or utilizing more reusable containers. The second function determines how to phase more sustainable foods into the dining halls. The Farms and Fields Project in Owens Food Court, which started in January 2009, is a good example of that, according to Budowle. “The Farms and Fields Project is our signature local and organic sustainable venue,” Budowle said. “That is a shop where students can go to Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, and that’s where they know they can get local, organic or sustainable food at any time.” The Sustainable Food Corps is a student group consisting of 20 members that was started last fall. The members discuss what it means to call food sustainable and what sustainable practices Tech can embrace. Kati Span, SFC President and senior human nutrition, foods and exercise major, believes that the venue will help add clarity to students’ decisions on food selections.
“I feel like it really offers an outlet for communication. Students don’t really have the opportunity to really understand where their food comes from, and Farms and Fields is a great way for it to kind of be right out there on the map and right within the food that we normally eat, like at Owens Food Court,” Span said. “It’s something new — it’s something different and that can be very scary for students. But I think it’s necessary because it shows that Tech is taking initiative in the sustainable movement, and I think that can be really respectable to your consumers.” Elena Dulys, junior environmental policy and planning major worked as an intern in spring 2009 for dining services. Under the previous sustainability coordinator Andy Sarjahani, Dulys helped start the Farms And Fields project, dealt with feedback issues, distributed information and assisted with general marketing. “Not many people knew about it,” she said. “The food was a little more expensive so you had to tell people why. Generally among the student
population, there isn’t a ton of knowledge in terms of food sustainability issues.” One of the primary local products that is offered at the shop is grass-fed beef from Grayson Natural Foods, LLC, located in Grayson County, Va. Meat can be bought year-round because it can be frozen, and it is served at Farms and Fields at least once a week. Other items that Farms and Fields is planning to offer are ice cream, milk and yogurt from Homestead Creamery, a local creamery located outside of Roanoke. Deet’s Place and West End Market currently offer its ice cream. Farms and Fields’ main produce supplier is Produce Source Partners located in Roanoke. It also uses products from the Roanoke division of U.S. Food Services. But Farms and Fields does not rely on them for produce because U.S. Food Services isn’t used to working with local farmers. The shop receives the rest of its produce from the SFC’s own one-acre garden. The garden is grown on Kentland Farm, which is land owned by Tech and belongs to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. It is not a certified organic farm, however, but it uses organic practices and is sustainable. “We do everything completely free of pesticides and chemicals,” Span said. “It was just to be a demonstration of how organic growing is possible.” The garden started off growing only herbs, and then vegetables. They grew products throughout the summer and into the fall. The SFC plans to begin planting in the next couple months in excess. “We’re going to be doing a lot more than we did this past year because we’ve already gotten the soil ready,” Span said. Budowle explains that they determine how much of each crop is needed. The garden then supplies all the produce that is used by Farms and Fields. The Office of Sustainability is also looking
on the web
To get more involved with Sustainable Food Corps, visit vtsustainablefoodcorps.wordpress. com.
for ways to better preserve products from the growing season into the winter, such as freezing and canning, although nothing is finalized yet. Tech as a whole is making other efforts to become more sustainable. This past year, Tech started a contract with Poplar Manor Enterprises in Riner, Va., to start composting. “That’s a huge step especially because we have 30,000 students here, and for them to take an initiative like composting, and recycling, and food diversion, which is what they’re starting now at Owens Food Court and Au Bon Pain, that’s great,” Span said. Budowle hopes to see more venues like Farms and Fields at Tech in the future and also to see of the dining operations dedicated to sustainability. “I think that that’s our ultimate goal: to incorporate sustainable foods and sustainable practices across the dining centers all over campus,” Budowle said. “Again, it’s a process that will be an ongoing one. I hope to see all local products there at some point.” Dulys, who also works for a national organization called the Real Food Challenge, agreed that sustainability should be large priority for the future. “On a personal level, obviously food sustainability issues and local foods are dear to me,” Dulys said. “So I hope to see local, sustainable and organic food in every dining hall, in every venue and not just in one place so that it is truly integrated in the university system, and there’s more food responsibility all around.”
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march 18, 2010
Hokies: To play UConn in round two “ from page one
After nailing an early 3-pointer, he turned to the crowd with a menacing stare, which drew the ire of the students in attendance. The crowd spent much of the rest of the game directing its chants at Johnson. He did a poor job keeping them quiet, finishing the night with a 5for-17 mark from the field. The Hokies got off to a hot start in the second half as well, fueled by aggressive defense. Thanks in part to two quick steals, Tech began the second half on a 7-2 run, capped by a Delaney two-handed dunk in transition. The convincing slam prompted Bobcats’ head coach Tom Moore to stop the bleeding with a full timeout. It didn’t accomplish much. Following the timeout, Hudson nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the Hokies’ lead to 52-34. The remainder of the game was
I was just going to leave it all on the ﬂoor. When I had the chance for that block, I just wanted to light a ﬁre back under us.”
DORENZO HUDSON JUNIOR GUARD very ho-hum. With five minutes remaining, the crowd began chanting seldom-used reserve Paul Debnam’s name, urging Greenberg to let him play. Finally, in a Tech ritual that has become akin to the proverbial fat lady singing, Debnam was subbed in with 1:31 to go. Jeff Allen, who only played four minutes in the first half and 19 overall, still managed to lead the Hokies on the boards with nine rebounds. He also finished with six points on the night. Feldeine, a three-year starter for
the Bobcats and their leading scorer this season was held scoreless in the game. “Terrell Bell did an absolutely phenomenal job guarding Feldeine,” Greenberg said. The Hokies move on to face Connecticut at home on either Saturday or Monday. The Huskies are only a year removed from a Final Four run. “Connecticut is really talented and very athletic ... they have size and shot makers,” Greenberg said. “(Senior guard Jerome) Dyson just refuses to lose.” While some speculated as to how Tech would perform after learning it wasn’t part of the NCAA Tournament field Sunday, the Hokies showed no sign of being let down. Greenberg said to expect more of the same as the tournament continues. “Our approach won’t change a bit,” he said.
Nine-run sixth dooms Tech baseball team in loss to Rider
Freshman pitcher Patrick Scoggin delivers a pitch during Tuesday’s game against Rider University at English Field. Scroggin pitched four innings in the game, striking out ﬁve while allowing six earned runs.
AUSTIN WATES CONTINUES SUCCESS, BUT FAILS TO EARN A WIN; TEAM LOSES TWO CRITICAL PLAYERS RAY NIMMO sports reporter A nine-run sixth inning by Rider University doomed the Virginia Tech baseball team, as the Broncs defeated the Hokies 10-6, yesterday at English Field. With the loss, the Hokies fall to 13-5 and split the two-game series with Rider. Tech beat the Broncs on Tuesday, 11-8. “I don’t think flat is the right word,” junior Austin Wates said, “but it didn’t feel like we were that eager to score runs and get motivated to score runs, but I think we’ll be all right in the future.” Junior pitcher Manny Martir, making his first start and second appearance for Tech, was actually in the midst of a perfect game through five innings, before Rider ended that bid in the sixth inning. “I was down in the zone and my slider was on,” Martir said. “Other than that it was just filling up the zone. I had great defense behind me. They played great today. I just stuck to my gameplan.” But things fell apart in the sixth inning. The Broncs tabbed Martir for eight earned runs and scored one
more in the inning off freshman Jake Joyce. “I just stepped in some quicksand,” Martir said. “One runner got on, then dink hit after dink hit just started happening. I wasn’t tired. The ball started elevating in the zone and he squeezed me a little bit. The flood gates just opened up — nothing really to say.” Tech’s offense responded well in the next half of the inning. With the top of the lineup starting things off, the Hokies scored three runs to bring the score to 9-6. Wates led Tech’s offensive attack going 2-4 and scoring two runs. The game capped off a successful three games this week for Wates. Against Columbia University and in two games against Rider, Wates finished 8-13 with nine runs, seven runs batted in and two walks. What makes his performance more remarkable is the fact that Wates is recovering from a strained ligament in his hand. “I had a recent hand injury,” Wates said, “and when you have an injury, you just have to learn to play through it. The thing about the hand injury is it just made me think more about getting to the ball instead of anything else. It’s seeing pretty good results, so
I’m going to stick with it.” Tech not only lost the game but two of its critical players as well. Redshirt junior shortstop Tim Smalling injured his shoulder after a dive into second base, and redshirt senior outfielder Mike Kaminski hurt his ankle while running the bases. “Smalls kind of reached back and put his shoulder in a compromising position and slightly separated it,” said head coach Pete Hughes. “The shoulder went back in and right when it went back in, he felt good so he’ll be sore, but he won’t be lost. I think Friday will be a game-time decision with him.” “Kaminski rolled his ankle a little bit, not too bad,” Hughes said. “Again, I think he’s going to be OK with some treatment here before Friday. We got lucky with those two injuries, especially Smalls cause he’s the middle of our defense and middle of our offense.” Smalling currently leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in hits with 34 and ranks seventh in batting average with .434. Kaminski has started 17 games and is batting .238 with two home runs. The Hokies head down to Clemson this weekend for a three-game series against the No. 7 Tigers (13-2 overall, 3-0 ACC). Tech is 2-1 in the ACC, and a series win could give the Hokies some top-25 votes. First pitch is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 18, 2010 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times