An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Monday, August 23, 2010
COLLEGIATETIMES If the s Tip on you the g “Enter San number 7: dman” chills, t b hen yo u shou y Metallica do ld prob ably jus esn’t give UVa. t transf er to
Tips for freshmen inside... see page 5
107th year, issue 73
News, page 2
Features, page 4
Opinions, page 3
Sports, page 7
Classifieds, page 6
Sudoku, page 6
New bus Giving textbooks another look tracker Law requires professors to assist to evaluate book prices riders CLAIRE SANDERSON
CLAIRE SANDERSON news reporter Today’s launch of VT Bus Tracker, a tracking application for Blacksburg Transit buses, aims to reduce the formerly erratic art of catching a bus to a precise science. The app delivers the up-to-the-second location, speed and number of passengers of each bus to users’ mobile phones, letting bus riders know how long a wait will be. “It reconciles schedule data with live data to predict where a bus will be at a future point in time,” said Travis Webb, a member of the team that developed VT Bus Tracker. Users can access the app in many ways. According to the VT Bus Tracker website, there is a web-based version that can be accessed on a smart phone or through any computer. There is also a native app available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, as well as a text message system for non-smart phones. “This is revolutionizing public transportation,” said SGA president Bo Hart at a press conference last week. “This is an exciting day for Virginia Tech, and for the students of Virginia Tech.” The original idea developed almost two years ago in a software engineering capstone course taught by computer science professor Eli Tilevich. Computer science students took interest in the project, but it was three particularly dedicated students — Webb, Michael Dillon and Alex Obenauer — who volunteered their time to work with Tilevich and make the idea a reality. “They’ve had this idea for two years,” Hart said. “They crafted the concept and they brought it to fruition.” Tilevich and his team completed the vast majority of the work on the project over the summer, with help from the SGA. “The SGA funded the project this summer in order that it would open at the same time as the parking garage,” Tilevich said. Webb, a computer science major, said Blacksburg Transit has also been helpful in working with the team. “The BT has generously offered a lot of their time,” he said. He said BT already collects data about the buses for its own use, so no new devices were needed to create the VT Bus Tracker system. “We have not put any hardware see BUS TRACKER / page two
Students may see some relief from the high cost of textbooks thanks to a new federal mandate that makes textbook pricing information more accessible. The new mandate, a provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, took effect July 1 and requires textbook publishers to provide university faculty with detailed written information about the books they order. This includes the price of the textbook, the copyright dates of the last three editions and descriptions of content changes between those editions, the costs of bundled and unbundled options and what lowercost options are available. It also says universities are required to post information about the textbooks students will need for classes. At Virginia Tech, this means textbook information including price and ISBN number, should be available on the Internet course schedule on HokieSpa. Though the law went into effect on July 1, this information is not currently available through HokieSpa. “I can only imagine the logistics involved,” said university spokesman Mark Owczarski. He could not provide further details about when it would become available. The law applies to all universities that receive public funding, including private schools that receive public money for financial aid.
Tech communication professor Buddy Howell said the idea behind the law is making pricing information more accessible so professors can make better choices about textbooks and save students money. “Especially with the rising cost of tuition across the nation, people take into consideration what students have to spend on their books,” Howell said. Advocates of the law said it would give students more options with their textbook purchases. “We support this piece of legislation because we are totally supporting of transparency,” said Bruce Hildebrand, executive director for the higher education division of the Association of American Publishers, the principle trade organization of the U.S. publishing industry. The added transparency will help both faculty and students get this information earlier and more easily. “I think the more information you have, the better,” Howell said. Tech psychology professor Scott Geller said he already compares prices and copyright dates when assigning textbooks to students. He said he is in favor of the new law because cost information is useful, especially in introductory courses for which more textbooks are written. “Publishers have these catalogues that they sent out several times a year,” Howell said. “I’ll flip through there and if I find that there’s a new edition, there’s usually a summary. But it’s not the same as having a list. It helps if there’s some sort of detailed transparency, so it’s less vague.”
DANIEL LIN / SPPS
A new law effective as of July 1 allows students more time to compare prices for their textbooks. However, some say the mandate may have only limited effects because many professors are already well informed about the prices and content of the textbooks available in their fields. “You’re paying all this money in tuition, but you’re paying for an education. And the faculty are paid to provide you with that,” Hildebrand said. “To provide that education they need to be aware of the prices and options in their fields.” Tom Stanton, a spokesman for McGraw-Hill Higher Education, said the prices of his company’s textbooks are already available to all prospective buyers — professors,
students and bookstores — through sales representatives. Stanton also said anyone wishing to compare the prices of new and used textbooks from any publisher need only type the ISBN number or title of any book into a Web search engine. “Faculty get information about textbooks from sales representatives, at conferences, through other peers, and through their own research,” Hildebrand said. “Students can shop online for the best prices for books. Why would anyone think that faculty haven’t done the same?” Howell said though the information is already available, the law can
save faculty time when considering different textbook options. “A lot of times it’s a matter of doing your homework, and that’s very time consuming. It helps if there’s some sort of detailed transparency — it’s less vague,” Howell said. At Tech, once faculty make their decision, they relay that information to the University Bookstore, which can begin its search for used books and place orders with publishers for new copies. “On our campus it’s really up to the faculty to decide which books they want to use,” said Dave Wilson, associate director of the University see TEXTBOOKS / page two
Blacksburg Transit adjusts route schedules, names SARAH WATSON news reporter Blacksburg Transit has altered bus routes to help riders navigate Blacksburg more easily. Over the summer, BT made a variety of changes it believes will eliminate of overcrowding on buses, according to Virginia Tech Alternative Transportation Manager Deborah Freed. “Routes that Blacksburg Transit has created will help the most heavily used bus routes,” Freed said. For the past few years, BT has been unable to alleviate its problems in those areas experiencing the most congestion, but it will now be in a position to
address these problem locations, said BT spokeswoman Fiona Rhodes. For example, BT has added Progress Street and University City Boulevard to its routes in an attempt to better serve the Toms Creek area, which is densely populated by students. The Progress Street route will run every 10 minutes between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. during the week. University City Boulevard is in operation every 10 minutes between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. After 6:30 p.m., the service will be offered every 30 minutes until 10:15 p.m. In addition to these routes, changes were made to Toms Creek A, now simply called “Toms Creek.” Tom’s Creek B was renamed University City
Boulevard and University Mall Shuttle is now known as U-Mall Shuttle. The modifications go further than simple name changes, however. Freed said alterations to routes will, for one, allow more opportunities for buses to act as trippers. If a regular bus cannot hold all of its passengers, the tripper bus will join the bus on its route. “This will control the number of pass-bys and get students to campus in a timely manner,” she said. Rhodes also said more students will be able to ride the BT because of its increase in routes and frequency. While these route changes may be a challenge to adjust to at first, Freed said she thinks riders will find them beneficial.
Changes to BT routes Progess Street New Route (weekdays only) Runs every 10 mins from 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Runs every 30 mins from 6:30 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.
University City Boulevard Previously Toms Creek B Runs every 10 mins from 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Runs every 30 mins from 6:30 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.
Toms Creek Previously Toms Creek A Same routes and times
U-Mall Shuttle Previously Toms Creek A Same routes and times
Wilson powers rushing attack in final public scrimmage JOSH PARCELL sports reporter The Virginia Tech football team opened up its playbook Saturday in the second of three preseason scrimmages this August — the last one open to the public. The Hokies scored six offensive touchdowns, including two from recently named backup quarterback Logan Thomas. In the first scrimmage the Saturday before, the coaching staff had yet to implement its red-zone playbook, meaning drives were automatically halted once they reached the 20-yard line. On Saturday, however, the offense wasted no time finding pay dirt. Tyrod Taylor capped a six-play, 70-yard drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Dyrell Roberts on the scrimmage’s first possession. Yet the standout of the scrimmage was David Wilson. The sophomore running back is listed third on the depth chart behind Ryan Williams and Darren Evans but is expected to redshirt this season. “I mentioned that I wanted to redshirt at the end of last season, and from that point I just wanted to make the decision hard on the coaches,” Wilson said. Wilson did his part on Saturday. He carried the ball six times for 39 yards, including an impressive 12-
yard scamper against the first-string defense. The touchdown run, which was designed to go straight up the middle, ended with Wilson bouncing the ball to the sideline, and he pranced into the end zone untouched. Williams, who broke Tech’s single season rushing record last season as a freshman, saw more action in Saturday’s scrimmage than the week before. Williams carried the ball nine times for 49 yards and a touchdown. He was his usual self, breaking tackles on several runs and squeezing his way through seemingly airtight holes for impressive gains. The coaches even showcased two plays out of the “Wildcat” formation, with Williams taking the direct snap. One play resulted in a one-yard run by Dyrell Roberts, while the other was a Williams run for no gain. The Hokies had a scare early on when starting punter Brian Saunders’ punt was blocked by Cris Hill, who picked up the ball from 22 yards away and scored a touchdown. Saunders left the field limping, and his right ankle was immediately wrapped in ice. Afterward, head coach Frank Beamer said the injury was nothing serious. “I think he just bruised his foot, they (think) he’s going to be OK,” Beamer said. Thomas, who was named the offi-
cial backup quarterback last Monday, completed six of 16 passes for 45 yards. He also carried the ball three times for 18 yards. He had a 16-yard touchdown run, but it was called back by a holding penalty. “I thought he did OK,” Beamer said. “He’s another guy that just needs to get in there and learn from what is happening.” The first-string defense did not have a great day. It was on the field for four of the six touchdowns. “We’re driving into the kids that they’ve got to be consistent with their performance,” defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “I think we’re getting closer and closer.” The Hokies were missing one projected starter in the secondary. Sophomore field corner Jayron Hosley has missed most of fall camp with a hamstring injury. Earlier in the week, head trainer Mike Goforth said he expected Hosley to play Saturday, but he did not participate. “Yeah, I’m concerned. He’s a big time player and a big time prospect,” Foster said. With just over two weeks to go before the season opener against Boise State, Foster said his defense is not where it needs to be to win that game. “I think we’re making progress,” LUKE MASON / SPPS Foster said. “We’ll look at this thing Sophomore running back David Wilson dashes away from a tackler during Saturday’s scrimmage. Wilson, very closely tonight and tomorrow and really zero in.” currently third on the depth chart behind Ryan Williams and Darren Evans, could redshirt this season.
news editors: philipp kotlaba, liana bayne, gordon block firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865
august 23, 2010
Textbooks: Law allows cost comparison from page one
Bookstore. “Different departments do it different ways. Large classes may have a committee, but in most cases it’s up to the individual. But I haven’t really gotten any comments from faculty about the new law.” Another local bookseller is BookHolders, where manager Jonathan May said he felt the law helps students. “I think it will definitely help students in the long run,” May said. “More information means students can make better choices.” BookHolders works with the University Bookstore to get information about what books professors will be using for their classes and offers used books to students on consignment. “Under the law, the university has to make public which books are required
for every class so outside businesses, like us, for instance, can get the information earlier and help students by giving them more options,” May said. He said while the information was available before, it would now be brand new mpared to buying much easier to access. - Reduced price co nities “We still work with the bookstore E-BO - No resale opportu ms offer rental progra OKS n’t do and get the information from them, res sto me - So sts but now it’s a lot easier to fill in the tion co produc h classes d n holes, because they don’t always have a US g c ntin for Te ced pri pread ED all of the information on there,” May er: redu - Not wides p a e h C d TEX said. update - Easily TB Howell said that the most important OO thing he considers in choosing a textto nts compared KS largest discou book is quality, and what he wants to - Some of the xtbooks student to take away from the class. buying new te l semesters used for severa re be n ca “What’s the take-away value? That’s - Books ld so cannot be re the driving force in seeking out a text- Some books book,” Howell said. “Is this going to be a DANIELLE BUYNAK / COLLEGIATE TIMES quality book and is it going to be worth the student’s money?” Students must weigh pros and cons for each textbook medium.
How is your dollar on textbooks spent? 6 cents — College store income tax: Varies by state, but 6.3 cents is the average.
1 cent — Freight expense: The cost of getting books from the publisher’s warehouse or bindery to the college store. 76 cents — Textbook wholesale cost: Publisher’s paper, printing, editorial, general and administrative costs; marketing costs and publisher’s income. Also includes author income. 11 cents — College store personnel: Store employees salaries and beneﬁts to handle ordering, receiving, pricing, shelving, cashiers, customer service, refund desk, and sending extra textbooks back to the publisher. 6 cents — College store operations: Insurance, utilities, building and equipment rent and maintenance, accounting and data processing charges and other overhead paid by college stores. NICK FERRI & DANIELLE BUYNAK / COLLEGIATE TIMES
source: National Association of College Stores 2009
Bus tracker: Application launches today from page one
department’s undergraduate research competition last spring, according to Tilevich. Though VT Bus Tracker will officially launch today, the team said the project is still in a beta phase. “We really, really want feedback,” Dillon said. “You guys are our users, and we want to make it the best that it can be.” The team’s current members will continue to work on the project for the next several years and also hope to teach younger computer science students about the program so they can keep it running and up-to-date in the future.
N/ SO MA KE LU
on the buses,” Webb said. “Our idea was to take data that was already available and make it available to everyone.” The program will also help future computer science students. “It puts back into the computer science curriculum by giving faculty a real world data set for students to learn from,” Obenauer said. “It makes the abstract and high level concepts more concrete.” The program was also recognized within the computer science department. It won the overall and faculty’s choice awards in the computer science
editors: scott masselli, gabi seltzer email@example.com/540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
august 23, 2010
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Our Views [staff editorial]
Achieve early success by getting involved W
ith more than of 23,000 undergraduate and nearly 5,000 graduate students at Virginia Tech, adjusting to its size can be daunting. For students who hail from the suburban mega-tropolis that is Northern Virginia, coming to a school four or five times the size of their old high school may be intimidating. For freshmen from more rural areas, Lane Stadium on game days may have more people than their hometown. It’s both an exciting and frightening reality: From technical research to football, big state schools such as Tech offer opportunities and experiences smaller schools cannot. There is a certain degree of hesitation or fear as well, and for a good reason. College is different from high school — it wouldn’t be such a great experience if it weren’t. For most students, coming to college requires meeting new people, having to find your niche all over again. It’s a frightening concept. Mix in the work and new responsibilities, and the repressed anxiety level rivals the excitement of college. At risk of echoing every orientation leader and Hokie Camp counselor, the key is getting involved. For virtually every academic major, career interest and personal hobby, there is a campus group organized around that interest. There are more than 600 clubs and student organizations on campus, ranging from Greek societies to engineering design teams, welcoming students of all classes and experience levels. Freshmen will immediately be reminded of high school guidance counselors preaching that unless they join 20 clubs, they’ll never get into college. Again, college is different. As a part of growing up and finding a direction in life, Tech students get involved for personal fulfillment. It is a double-edged sword, with students joining to participate in a cause they are passionate about and to meet people who share the same interests. To be sure, involve-
The most important thing a student can do at Tech is also the most important thing a person can do in their lifetime: Leave a legacy.
ment in student organizations, especially leadership roles, is beneficial at a job interview or on a graduate school application. But those ulterior motives are always complemented by a true love of an activity or a real desire to be an agent of influence and change. Just don’t let your major to typecast you. There’s no law saying biologists can’t be writers — just ask Rachel Carson, whose work catalyzed the environmental movement. Expanding one’s interests and skills is both personally fulfilling and professionally rewarding. Businesses and grad schools love wellrounded students who can think beyond the thought process of their concentration — engineers who understand business are in high demand. Additionally, participating in a student organization and applying skills from class often helps to master them. The best students in a department are often those who put theories and techniques into practice through research and organizations. The most important reason to get involved, however, harkens beyond resumes, grad schools and grades. The most important thing a student can do at Tech is also the most important thing a person can do in their lifetime: Leave a legacy. Whether it’s participating in ground-breaking research, becoming the president or leader of an organization, or founding a new organization, the ability to claim something as your own is a tremendous feeling. The editorial board is comprised of Scott Masselli and Gabi Seltzer, opinions editors; Peter Velz, editor-in-chief; and Sara Mitchell, SPPS director.
Get immersed in community with CT W
elcome to the Collegiate Times. Our newspaper is the primary source of news serving our beautiful campus of Virginia Tech, as well as the town of Blacksburg. I am Justin Graves, your public editor, and I do a number of things for our fine publication. I try to think of myself as the face of our paper, but that mostly just helps my ego. I want to explain to you how you can help our paper and how our paper can help you. Most importantly, you can help our paper by contributing. Your thoughts, your ideas, your time, all of the above — your input is what shapes the Collegiate Times. If you would like to write a column, e-mail our opinions editor at opinionseditor@ collegiatetimes.com. If you would like to join our staff as a writer, designer or copy editor, e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org. If prose isn’t your forte, you can take photographs. One of our sister divisions here in the media hall in Squires Student Center, Student Publications Photography Staff, provides the photographs that you’ll see throughout the year in the newspaper and at the end of the year in our yearbook, the Bugle of Virginia Tech. There are so many different ways to get involved here at the CT, but those are definitely the best. If you would like to take the time to get to know the town a lot better, I would recommend writing for news. That’s exactly
Most importantly, you can help our paper by contributing. Your thoughts, your ideas, your time, all of the above — your input is what shapes the Collegiate Times.
what I did as a freshman, and it was the easiest way to get my foot in the door with a lot of student organizations, as well as get more acclimated with the town. Getting used to campus and making new friends is almost synonymous with working for the CT. Lastly, if you would like to know more about whom we are as a staff, you can go over to our website, CollegiateTimes. com. Also, take a stop by our office over in 365 Squires and meet plenty of staff members. We are almost always there, and any smiling face will be able to help you out. Keep an eye out for more columns from me throughout the year, as I explain what I do, why we do the things we do and why you should work with us, while we give the news to our community. Until next time, e-mail email@example.com.
JUSTIN GRAVES -public editor -junior -sociology major
Graduate students key to university’s success T
oday marks the beginning of another academic year at Virginia Tech. For some, it is the first semester of college, while for others, this will be the semester or year that one graduates or finally completes the requirements in order to transfer to a new major. While we often focus on the incoming freshmen and the current undergraduate students, we should also focus on the role of our graduate students. While the graduate student population is much smaller than the undergraduate student numbers, these students play a pivotal role in the functioning of the university and in setting the stage for the next generation of professors and leaders within higher education. Graduate students at Tech come from all walks of life. Some have just graduated with their bachelor’s degrees and are beginning right away on their master’s or doctoral degrees. Others are coming back to school on either a full-time or part-time basis, after getting experience in their chosen field. Some are seeking additional experiences through post-doctoral work in order to advance their research. Most of the graduate students take classes in Blacksburg, but we have a number of them that take classes at the Northern Virginia Center, Richmond, Hampton Roads, Roanoke and other locations throughout the state. Undergraduates interact with graduate students in many different ways. The most common is through the classroom as graduate students serve as instructors for some courses. In other cases, the graduate student is a graduate teaching assistant and works with a professor to assist with a course. In another manner, the graduate student is a graduate research assistant, working primarily in the lab or related setting under the guidance of a faculty member. Some graduate students are also on graduate assistantships and have to work in various settings for at least
20 hours a week. In some cases, undergraduate students will interact with graduate students by taking classes together, especially for those juniors and seniors taking graduate courses. While we often focus on the adjustment issues of new freshmen, the same adjustment issues also affect new graduate students. When you examine the graduate student population, a large number are from outside of the United States. Just as they are adjusting to a new university, and a new country, they are also adjusting to their new role as instructors for some of your classes. For example, while undergraduate students may sometimes complain about the language skills of their teaching assistants, undergraduate students should understand the challenges that these teaching assistants face. If, as an undergraduate, one is having a hard time understanding, then speak with the teaching assistant. Without graduate students, many functions of the university would be severely strained. In several cases, graduate students provide an additional set of hands that can be invaluable in departments and office units. Without the additional support, this strain would impact the workload of faculty and staff, the number of courses available, as well as the research capability of the university. Graduate students provide a bridge between the undergraduate experience and the world of faculty and staff. As noted earlier, graduate students are the next generation of university faculty, staff and administrators, whether it is at Virginia Tech or elsewhere. It is through the graduate experience that these students work with faculty and develop their own career interests and goals. While the ultimate goal is the completion of the doctoral degree, the journey to reach this point can be fraught with challenges. The graduate voice is a powerful one as seen through the lenses of the Graduate Student Assembly,
While we often focus on the incoming freshmen and the current undergraduate students, we should also focus on the role of our graduate students.
which serves as the governing body for graduate students. It is through their leadership and the graduate representatives from the different departments and colleges, that they provide opportunities for graduate students. Among these include research symposiums, travel stipends, funding for research projects, and other social activities. As we consider the mechanisms that make Tech run as an institution, let us not forget the valuable and important role that graduate students play. For undergraduates, I would encourage you to get to know the graduate students in your major and departments. Engage them in conversations, as they can provide valuable tools in your own career and academic development. For the faculty and staff, please continue to recognize the academic needs of these students. While some may be on assistantships, don’t forget the academic commitment that they have made. Unfortunately, I have seen first hand what happens when graduate assistants work more than 20 hours without any regard to their academic needs. While this can be a learning experience, it can also be very frustrating for graduate students. As we embark on this new semester, let’s celebrate and acknowledge the important role of our graduate students.
RAY PLAZA -regular columnist -faculty -curriculum and instruction
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Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief: Peter Velz Managing Editors: Zach Crizer, Michael McDermott Public Editor: Justin Graves Senior News Editor: Philipp Kotlaba Associate News Editors: Liana Bayne, Gordon Block News Reporters: Claire Sanderson, Sarah Watson Features Editors: Lindsey Brookbank, Kim Walter Features Reporters: Matthew Borysewicz, Majoni Harnal, Mika Maloney Opinions Editors: Scott Masselli, Gabi Seltzer Sports Editors: Michael Bealey, Garrett Ripa Sports Reporters: Nick Cafferky, Alex Jackson, Courtney Lofgren, Ed Lupien, Josh Parcell, George Tillerson Public Information Director: Dishu Maheshwari Training Director: Kelsey Heiter Copy Editors: Taylor Chakurda, Thandiwe Ogbonna, Spencer Snarr Layout Designers: Katie Biondo, Danielle Buynak, Nick Ferri, Josh Son, Victoria Zigadlo Illustrators: Candice Chu Online Director: Jamie Chung Collegiate Times Business Staff Business Manager: David Harries Student Publications Photo Staff Director of Photography: Sara Mitchell Business Manager: Luke Mason Lab Manager: Mark Umansky College Media Solutions Ad Director: Nik Bando Asst Ad Director: Brandon Collins Account Executives: Emily Africa, Matt Freedman, David George, Melanie Knoph, Hunter Loving, Inside Sales Manager: Wade Stephenson Assistant Inside Sales Manager: Diane Revalski Assistant Account Executives: Maddie Abram, Katie Berkel, Kaelynn Kurtz, Rachel Lombardo, Erin Shuba Creative Director: Chloé Skibba Asst Production Manager: Casey Stoneman Creative Services Staff: Katie Biondo, Colleen Hill, Erin Weisigir Voice your opinion. Readers are encouraged to send letters to the Collegiate Times. 365 Squires Student Center Blacksburg, VA, 24061 Fax: 540-231-9151 firstname.lastname@example.org All letters to the editor must include a name and daytime phone number. Students must include year and major. Faculty and staff must include position and department. All other submissions must include city of residence, and if applicable, relationship to Virginia Tech (i.e., alumni, parent, etc.). All letters should be in MS Word (.doc) format, if possible. By submitting a letter, you hereby agree to not engage in online discussion through comments on the Collegiate Times Web site. Letters, commentaries and editorial cartoons do not reflect the views of the Collegiate Times. Editorials are written by the Collegiate Times editorial board, which is comprised of the opinions editor, editor-in-chief and the managing editors. Letters to the editor are submissions from Collegiate Times readers. We reserve the right to edit for any reason. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Have a news tip? Call or text 200-TIPS or e-mail email@example.com Student Media Phone Numbers Collegiate Times Newsroom 231-9865 Editor-in-Chief 231-9867 College Media Solutions Advertising 961-9860
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The Collegiate Times, a division of the Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, was established in 1903 by and for the students of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The Collegiate Times is published every Tuesday through Friday of the academic year except during exams and vacations. The Collegiate Times receives no funding from the university. The Collegiate Times can be found online at www.collegiatetimes.com. Except where noted, all photographs were taken by the Student Publications Photo Staff. To order a reprint of a photograph printed in the Collegiate Times, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The Collegiate Times is located in 365 Squires Student Center, Blacksburg, VA, 24061. 540-231-9865. Fax 540-2319151. Subscription rates: $65 semester; $110 academic year. The first copy is free, any copy of the paper after that is 50 cents per issue. © Collegiate Times, 2010. All rights reserved. Material published in the Collegiate Times is the property thereof, and may not be reprinted without the express written consent of the Collegiate Times.
back to blacksburg august 23, 2010
editors: lindsey brookbank, kim walter email@example.com COLLEGIATETIMES
Main Street construction slated to continue for 2 years LINDSEY BROOKBANK features editor A sea of dirt, rocks and excavated pavement is bordered by fluorescent orange signs warning pedestrians and drivers of the construction on Main Street. New and seasoned students returning to Virginia Tech for the fall semester will find new routes to restaurants such as The Cellar and Hokie House as work continues outside. According to Lisa Sedlak, spokeswoman for the town of Blacksburg, the Downtown Master Plan, created in 2001, called for downtown improvements to allow for more pedestrian-friendly travel, public gathering spaces and improved landscapes. After nearly a decade of debate and planning, actual construction began June 14, 2010 and will gradually reshape the downtown Blacksburg landscape by spring 2012. When the town council approved the project, it was “concerned about the vibrancy of downtown,” said Adele Schirmer, director of engineering and GIS department for the town. Because there were multiple store vacancies, the council was worried about the direction that the downtown was heading. “(There was) a strong community desire to keep the down-
on the web Those interested in the project can visit www.blacksburg.gov/ mainstreet for information on the project or www.blacksburg.va.us to sign up for Blacksburg Alerts, which are weekly updates sent via e-mail. town a very healthy and vibrant place that is appealing to people,” Schirmer said, noting that those are considered signs of a flourishing area. To keep Blacksburg the place the council thought it should be, it hired a teamofconsultantstoworkupamaster plan, which focused on making physical improvements to the downtown, as well as filling an underrepresented
niche by showcasing the arts and health. There was also a recommendation to preserve and renovate historic buildings. There are now shops and studios concentrating on the arts opening downtown. When the enhancement plan is complete, the stretch of Main Street beginning at College Avenue and extending to the intersection with Prices Fork Road will have only one lane running in each direction with a shared center lane for left turns. Additionally, the intersection at North Main Street and Prices Fork Road will be replaced with a roundabout. The existing traffic signals at College Avenue and Turner Street intersections will be replaced and a new traffic signal will be placed at the Alumni Mall intersection. Pedestrian signals, street lighting and expanded sidewalk areas will be in place. For example, the sidewalks along the College Avenue extension in front of The Cellar and extending up Main Street will be widened to more than 10 feet for outdoor dining and public gathering space. The sidewalks will be brick and adorned with modern black benches, landscape planters, trees, lights and trash receptacles. However, that picture of downtown is years away. Two local businesses, The Cellar and Hokie House restaurants, as well as many others, are affected by the current construction. Stepping out of their front doors, restaurant staffers find themselves literally face-to-face with construction. Joe Gillespie, manager at Hokie House, is concerned about clientele’s access to the restaurant. “We have dirt and machines in front of our building,” Gillespie said. “If I was a customer coming into town from a different state for the football games or something, I personally would be a little discouraged from wanting to go into a business with construction around.” According to Gillespie, business has been a bit slower, however this could be because not as many people are in Blacksburg during the summer. He is confident business will increase this semester, not only because students are returning from summer break, but also because of the many home football games scheduled. Although he is concerned new cli-
entele will not come in because there are no longer parking spots available in front of the restaurant, he is not worried about returning customers. “As far as our regulars ... we have a very dedicated veteran clientele,” Gillespie said. “We do have the name Hokie involved.” Kevin Long, manager at The Cellar, also expressed some apprehension toward the construction, which he feels is going to take “entirely too long” and has not only taken up parking spots, but also caused profit and sales losses. “I feel that the construction is just unsightly and has caused even more parking problems than ever before,” Long said. “However, there is still ample parking in the back of the building.” There has been recent confusion concerning what the end result will be for the area between The Cellar and Sharkey’s. While Long was under the impression that a tractor-trailer loading dock would take up this space, Schirmer refuted this notion. Dating back to the initial master plan, there were many ideas considered for the area, one of them being a pedestrian plaza. However, according to Schirmer, downtown businesses were not willing to give up their parking spots and that road area for the implementation of the plaza. The compromise was a narrower road, wider sidewalks and almost as many parking spots as before. Prior to construction, Schirmer explained there was already a curb area designated as a loading zone where trucks could unload things such as food and beer for local businesses to receive their supplies. Despite his current concerns with the parking at Hokie House, Gillespie feels once the project is completed, it will be a positive thing. “We have already started brainstorming once it is completed with the outdoor seating,” Gillespie said. “We are looking into what we can do as a business ... (like) tables out during the summer and early fall semester to give people something they’ve never experienced at Hokie House.” Efforts have been made by the town to encourage customers to continue visiting the businesses currently affected by construction. “Keep going there. Keep going to those businesses,” Sedlak said.
COURTESY OF THE TOWN OF BLACKSBURG
Once the Main Street Improvement Project is complete in spring 2012, the intersection at North Main Street and Prices Fork Road will be replaced with a roundabout to allow better trafﬁc ﬂow.
AUSTEN MEREDITH / SPPS
The Cellar Restuarant, located on Main Street next to Sharkey’s, is one of many local businesses affected by the Main Street Improvement Project, with its front step taken over by construction.
august 23, 2010
Start off on the right track
Have your Hokie passport with you at all times. Not only does it allow you to eat on campus, but if you leave your dorm without the plastic I.D., then it might be a while before you get back in.
CARA McBROOM features staff writer
Take advantage of the resources here. There are plenty of outlets for study, research and playtime. There’s the Writing Center, Mac labs, Innovation Space, Bishop-Favrao Hall study lounge, WARE lab and the always-popular Math Emporium. Learn a little bit about the history of Virginia Tech. It makes being a student here much more enjoyable when you take pride in your university. For example, know what the eight pylons at the War Memorial are. It’s a major part of what defines the school. A rain coat, rain boots and waterproofing spray are fundamental. The spray protects items such as backpacks and purses from water damage. Also, if you can’t stand the thought of wearing rain boots, then be sure to waterproof your shoes before the weather gets the best of them.
Food for thought: Princeton Review ranked Virginia Tech No. 1 nationally for Best Campus Food. From all-you-can-eat eating arenas such as D2 and Shultz to a la carte fine dining havens such as West End Market, Tech has 11 dining halls spread throughout campus.
At the beginning of football games, everyone chants those three magic words, “Let’s go, Hokies!” Simple enough, right? This thunderous chant really gets the blood flowing for the players and the fans and can often be heard across Blacksburg. As head coach Frank Beamer once said, “We provide the play, but the fans provide the atmosphere.”
If the song “Enter Sandman” by Metallica doesn’t give you the chills, then you should probably just transfer to UVa. The song is played at the beginning of every home game, along with a JumboTron video montage, when the football team enters the stadium. Get on your feet, and be ready to jump. JOSH SON & KATIE BIONDO / COLLEGIATE TIMES
Hidden hot spots add spice to Blacksburg’s social scene MATTHEW BORYSEWICZ features reporter While strolling around Blacksburg, new and old students, as well as local residents, cannot miss the popular hangouts, but they may find themselves surprised when stumbling upon hidden offbeat treasures. Downtown Blacksburg’s bricklined sidewalks certainly aren’t suffering from a lack of sports-themed bars, making them regular hangouts. Hokie House has been a long-time companion of Virginia Tech football, and not far from it sits Sharkey’s, Top of the Stairs and Champs, just to name a few of the town’s many bars. However, Blacksburg holds more than just beer and wings for those who aren’t of legal age or are looking for something more than a crisp pitcher of Blacksburg Pils. For junior theater arts major Bryanna Demerly, She-Sha Cafe and Hookah Lounge hits the right spot. “It’s a really chill place to go relax, listen to bands and hang out with friends. I go there all the time,” Demerly said. The relaxed atmosphere is something She-Sha strives for. “It’s a versatile place. You can hang out for hours or study. Everyone feels comfy and not surrounded by a million TVs or distractions,” said John Gaskins, general manager of She-Sha. She-Sha is also planning to feature live local music throughout the year. For the enthusiast, shisha — hookah tobacco — and hookahs are sold.
Around the corner from She-Sha sits one of Blacksburg’s oldest entertainment venues, the Lyric Theater. The building opened in 1930, and after a brief closing from 1989 to 1994, reopened as a not-for-profit movie theater. Although the Lyric only screens one movie at a time, the $4 ticket price is hard to match for an enjoyable date night. Stop in for a show on Mondays for free popcorn, and know your admission is helping preserve one of Blacksburg’s oldest local traditions. If your all-nighter to finish that midterm essay leaves you starving, Gumby’s Pizza, located near the intersection of Main Street and Prices Fork Road, is one of the few places in Blacksburg that serves food past 2 a.m. Although it is a national franchise, Gumby’s only has one location in Virginia: Blacksburg. Its dedication to the college lifestyle makes Gumby’s feel like the pizza parlor next door. Its daily specials make sure your stomach and your wallet stay full. It doesn’t hold anything back when naming food specials. For example, “Big Ass Thursday” can get you a 20-inch pizza for $10.99. If you’re looking for entertainment to take home, then Crossroads CDs is the place to go. David Fisher, owner of Crossroads, opened the first store in Staunton in 1992. The Blacksburg location has been in business for around 15 years, and according to Fisher, has one of the best video, DVD and Blu-Ray selections in the area, which he attributes to the knowledgeable, motivated staff.
DANIEL LIN / SPPS
The Lyric theater, located on College Avenue, features one movie at a time for $4. Not only does it show popular ﬂicks, but also indie ﬁlms. This manifests itself in Crossroads’ Criterion collection, which Baron Roller, Crossroads’ store manager, describes as “videos picked out as must-sees.” Crossroads has something special for audiophiles as well. The Blacksburg location makes up half of the total vinyl record sales for all four Crossroads stores. Half of the store is lined with racks of CDs and vinyl records making Crossroads the go-to spot for hard-tofind albums and headquarters of the Blacksburg music scene. There is also
good news for your bank account. “We’re working on a frequent-buyer system,” Roller said. “It will work sort of like a Subway or Starbucks card where you can accumulate points.” Crossroads will soon be open daily from 10 a.m. until midnight. For incoming freshmen or long-time students looking for something new to spice up their routine, Blacksburg carries many unique hot spots. Trying DANIEL LIN / SPPS something new on the weekend is only a matter of stepping out into town and A line of students and local residents ﬁlled nearly an entire block as having a look around. they waited in line for an evening showing of “Inception.”
august 23, 2010
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ACROSS 1 Bank holding: Abbr. 5 Village Voice awards 10 Place to wear a coat 13 Parting of the Pacific? 14 They help form joints 15 Loved, with “up” 16 Florida home of golf’s WGC-CA Championship 17 Jazz great Art 18 Columnist Hentoff 19 Genetic coding for an official legislative trip? 21 It’s shaken out 22 __ Spiegel: German magazine 23 NASA scrapheap? 26 Verboten 28 Organic compound 29 Mo. in which the Civil War began 31 Hercules’neighbor 33 Inventor friend of Henry Ford 37 Ruth’s mother-inlaw 39 H.S. VIPs 41 Set things right 42 A member of, as a gang 44 “Take __!” 46 Cry near the ears? 47 Blacksmith’s item 49 “Eight Days __” 51 Long-eared dog’s performance? 55 Pic source 57 Large group 58 Young hen’s bar bill? 61 Mauna __ 62 Larry Flynt concern, briefly 64 Self-conscious laugh 65 Funny pair? 66 Give the boot 67 Fairy tale threat 68 Sound of support 69 Places for guards
By Gareth Bain
70 Org. with carriers DOWN 1 Audibly 2 Horn section? 3 Yoga energy point 4 Ghost story, e.g. 5 Great area? 6 Man with many voices 7 Pipe opening 8 Evian, par exemple 9 Theology sch. 10 Island on the Kalohi Channel 11 In any way 12 Davis of “The Little Foxes” 13 Dict. designation 20 Priam’s kingdom 21 Took off 24 67.5 degrees 25 Thus far 27 Happy-go-lucky 29 “Wheel of Fortune” buy 30 Shoot with a moving camera 32 Discipline 34 Dance after getting a shock from an outlet?
6/5/09 Thursday’s Puzzle Solved
(c)2009 Tribune Media Servies, Inc.
35 Words with whim 36 Out-of-the-box 38 Hip-hopper Elliott 40 Leek cousins 43 Angry 45 Missing at roll call, maybe 48 Lively wit 50 Partner of breaks 51 One of a nursery rhyme trio
52 Spartacus’ stage 53 Shatter 54 Wee bit 56 Certain Scots 59 Famous last words (and homophonically, a hint to this puzzle’s theme) 60 Sound measure 62 Hanging aid 63 Oft-donated cells
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august 23, 2010
Beamer inks contract ‘Blue-collar group’ out to fill big shoes at GT extension through ’16 COLEY HARVEY
GARRETT RIPA sports editor The Virginia Tech Athletics Department has signed head football coach Frank Beamer to a contract extension. The announcement came Saturday, as Tech lockedupBeamer through the 2016 campaign. “Well I’m just really pleased to BEAMER be the coach here at Virginia tech and have the confidence that they want me around for a while longer, I appreciate that fact,” Beamer said. Beamer is set to begin his 24th season leading the Hokies, with expectations as high as they have ever been. “I really enjoy the players we’ve got
right now,” Beamer said. “We can win with the players we’ve got right now.” The No. 6 Hokies recently earned their highest preseason ranking ever in the Coach’s Poll. “I am very pleased that Frank Beamer will lead our football program the next seven years,” said Tech Athletics Director Jim Weaver. “He has led the Hokies to unprecedented heights, including 17 straight bowl games and six consecutive 10-win seasons.” Negotiations for his compensation package will begin in January 2012. “I look forward to it,” Beamer said. “I’ve got great trust in (the athletics department) and they feel like they can deal with me, so we will get the details worked out.” If Beamer stays at his post through the end of the contract, he will be at the helm of the program past his 70th birthday.
ATLANTA — Andy McCollum would consider himself a football guy. He’d likely call himself the type of gritty, down-to-earth, jammed knuckles, blood-and-dirt-under-the-nails kind of guy who thinks every football player should be born with those characteristics only. Only thing is, not every football personality is made alike. To that end, the assistant coach understands that not all of his Georgia Tech defensive linemen were created the way he wants. So he is on a mission to mold them into the smash mouth, clock-punching unit he desires. “We’ve got a group that’s going to be a blue-collar group, a hard-working group,” the defensive line coach said. “They’re going to have to be a group that’s going to have to have a high motor every play and we’re just going to be a bunch of guys that grind and grind and grind.” If that happens for 12 regular-season
games, he could have Yellow Jackets fans close to saying “Derrick, who?” by the end of the year. That, however, could be a very difficult task. Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech’s quarterback-devouring, tackle-slipping defensive end from a year ago earned so much respect around the football world that he was selected in the first round of April’s NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans. A player with promise before he even stepped foot on campus, Morgan was widely regarded as the best player on Georgia Tech’s defensive line — his sophomore year. That same season, three other soon-to-be professional talents lurked nearby. So, like replacing receiver Demaryius Thomas and safety Morgan Burnett, replacing Morgan won’t be easy. One could argue that because of the legacy the reigning ACC defensive player of the year is leaving, it shouldn’t be; at least, it shouldn’t be for one person. “It’s not going to be anyone’s individual effort,” defensive end Jason Peters said. “It’s going to be us as a team, us as
a defense that’s going to go out and do what it takes to win.” There’s McCollum’s blue-collar mentality. Peters, the anticipated replacement filling Morgan’s shoes specifically at left rush side end, said he has gotten questions this offseason from fans and reporters eager to know if he feels pressured to be the guy charged with coming in behind the vaunted NFL rookie star. The pressure is minimal, Peters argued, only because there are others there to help him. “People have asked me that before, but my biggest focus is on this defense. How I can make this a better defense, and how I can play my role best in this defense to help us win games,” Peters said. “If the sacks and everything else and all that good stuff comes with it, it comes with it. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But I’m going to do everything to make sure to help my teammates win.” While Peters displayed some of that prowess in the spring as he was a constant presence in the Yellow Jackets’
backfield, he believes he cannot be alone. Other linemen will have to shoulder the load of replacing Morgan, as well. That’s where Izaan Cross, Emmanuel Dieke, Robert Hall and Euclid Cummings come in. As a true freshman last season, Cross started two games and appeared in 13 opposite Morgan. Early in the year, he shared playing time with Hall, a Hawkinsville native who missed all but the first three games because of a knee injury. For McCollum, in order for the defense to truly shine, it will need to continue to harp on the things he has been preaching during this now eight-month new defense installation period. “Through practice and everything else, we’ve got to develop a physically tough mentality and that’s what they’re doing,” McCollum said. “We are who we are. It’s a team game, it’s a defensive game, and we’ve got to do our role for the defense and that’s for us to be physical. “And that has to be as a group.”
august 23, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times