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Delaney to size up NBA Draft chances ALEX JACKSON sports editor

BRIAN C LAY/SP PS

Virginia Tech men’s basketball guard Malcolm Delaney declared that he will enter the 2010 NBA Draft, according to a statement released by the athletics department Wednesday. Delaney, a junior, led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring this season, averaging 20.2 points per game. “I decided to put my name into the NBA Draft to explore all of my options in order to better achieve my goal of getting to the next level,” Delaney said in the statement. “It has always been my dream to play in the NBA and I believe this will give me the opportunity to learn more about the process. I will be able to get feed-

back from various people, including NBA scouts and NBA general managers and get my name out there.” While he declared yesterday, Delaney is still eligible to return to the Hokies next season if he removes his name from the list by May 8. Those underclassmen who declare for the NBA Draft but do not sign with an agent have until that date to remove their names from the draft and retain their college eligibility. “We respect and will support Malcolm as he attempts to get feedback from the NBA,” said Tech head coach Seth Greenberg. “His dream has always been to play at the next level and this experience will give him a better understanding of where he stands in relation to fulfilling that dream. At the end of the process he

will evaluate what is in his best interest as he pursues his goals. We will support him in every way possible and know that he will make a good decision.” Along with leading his team and conference in scoring, Delaney, from Baltimore was a unanimous decision to the All-ACC first team. Sporting News also selected Delaney as a fourth-team All-American and he was an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press. If Delaney does leave for the NBA, Erick Green will likely replace him. Green tallied 2.6 points, 0.9 assists and 0.9 rebounds per game in 34 games as a freshman this season, averaging 12.6 minutes per appearance.

BRIAN CLAY/SPPS

Malcolm Delaney has until May 8 to pull out of the NBA draft.

An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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COLLEGIATETIMES 107th year, issue 39

News, page 2

Features, page 5

Opinions, page 3

Sports, page 6

Classifieds, page 4

Sudoku, page 4

Road improvements to close off traffic CLAIRE SANDERSON news staff writer Students and residents can expect to see some major changes to the downtown area taking shape this summer, but local business owners will notice hassles such as traffic restrictions long before the transformation is complete. A project to improve downtown roads and sidewalks will begin construction this summer, affecting the stretch of North Main Street from College Avenue to Kabrich Street. It will reduce the road from two lanes in both directions to one lane in both directions, widen and brick the sidewalks and place shade trees and decorative lighting that will match the rest of downtown. The intersection of Main Street and Prices Fork Road will be replaced with a roundabout. “We are still waiting for federal authorization, but we are hoping to be under construction by June or July,” said Brandon Steele, Blacksburg’s urban transportation manager. With a total cost estimated at $11.2 million, construction on the project is expected to take at least two years. “Visually it will look better, and traffic flow will be better. It will be a suitable entrance for Virginia Tech’s Performing Arts Center,” said Leslie Hager-Smith, a Blacksburg Town Council member. The project is intended to make the street more amenable to pedestrians and integrated with the rest of downtown. “There is room for improvement. For example, currently it is not very pedestrian friendly,” Steele said. “Our goal is to extend downtown to the Prices Fork area and to improve pedestrian safety.” According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, there were a total of 151 vehicle related accidents on this stretch of North Main Street between Jan. 1, 2004 and April 23, 2008. Out of these, 16 involved pedestrians or bicycles. Among the businesses that now line this stretch of North Main Street, few are happy about the upcoming changes, and many are worried about how the two-year period of construction will affect business. “It’s going to be a detrion the web ment to the businesses of Go to collegiatetimes. Blacksburg,” said Stan Davis com to answer this of Eats Natural Foods. “If it’s more difficult to get to the week’s poll about business — people just aren’t going to come.” Blacksburg traffic. Eats Natural Foods has been in Blacksburg for 36 years and is currently located at the intersection of Main Street and Prices Fork Road, which will soon be replaced by a roundabout. The traffic circle is another aspect of the project that some disagree with. “I think they might work in other places, but I don’t think it will work here,” said William Smith, manager of Blacksburg Auto Parts on North Main. “I think it will put a lot of traffic on the back streets for people trying to avoid this mess.” For Scott Erlich, manager of Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea, the long period of construction near his business is a major source of stress. He is particularly worried about the permanent constriction of North Main. “I don’t want to be negative, but it’s a four-lane road and they want to make it a two-lane road,” Erlich said. “My guess is that’s going to make it harder to get here, and I can’t see how that’s going to affect my business for the better.” Several other business owners feel as though the town is not as supportive of business as it should be. “I don’t know whether any concern was ever given to how this would impact businesses,” Davis said. Other concerns of local business owners include less parking available for customers, and the ability for large delivery trucks to get in and out of loading areas. “I think it will shut down a lot of businesses, and I’m afraid we might be one of them,” Smith said. “I’m afraid that’s what they’re trying to do.” However, Hager-Smith said that the impact on businesses has been carefully considered. “It’s painful to watch a business going out, but as a council, we’re trying to make the best decision for the greater good,” Hager-Smith said. “If one business out of 50 suffers, how can you make that decision?” The project was mentioned in the Downtown Master Plan created in 2001 and has been in the plan ever since. According to Hager-Smith, a consultant named Tripp Muldrow of Arnett, Muldrow and Associates, first proposed the job. “That’s been a topic of conversation for a long time, and our feeling is that it will benefit most businesses,” HagerSmith said. “It’s going to take some patience on the part of everybody and some creative problem solving.” Hager-Smith said few people realize that downtown Blacksburg actually extends all the way to Prices Fork and that “the businesses on that part of Main Street are sort of like afterthoughts” to customers shopping downtown. Currently, the project is in the right-of-way phase, which means the town is buying the permits and property rights it needs from landowners along Main Street to begin construction on the project. Landowners are compensated at a fair market value as determined by a judge. However, the easement process has been frustrating for some local business owners who rent the properties along Main Street from landowners. “Our landlords are compensated, but business owners are just left to deal with it as best they can,” Davis said. Only one business, the Psychic Shop, was removed to make room for part of the renovations.

[ ]

COURTESY OF THE TOWN OF BLACKSBURG

Beyond Coal unveils energy County to begin proposal for administration BHS gym CLAIRE SANDERSON

takedown

news staff writer Supporters of Virginia Tech’s Beyond Coal Campaign assembled on the Drillfield yesterday to present the university administration with the “Hokies’ Declaration of Coal Independence.” The declaration, a poster-sized document with almost 2,000 signatures, was carried from the Drillfield to President Charles Steger’s office by a large group of supporters after the event. Members of the Beyond Coal Campaign will meet with Sherwood Wilson, vice president of administrative services, Friday to discuss moving Tech away from coal. However, no administrators were present at the declaration event yesterday. Beyond Coal has pressed to see Tech move away from coal in a transition to cleaner fuels. Its aim is to have a coalindependent campus by 2020. “Coal is an old fuel source,” said sophomore Kara Dodson, project coordinator for Beyond Coal. “We need clean energy sources for our university, for our state and for our nation.” Senior mining engineering major Chris Noble said the goal is unrealistic. “I support the ideals of being more environmentally friendly and to drop carbon emissions, but I don’t necessarily agree with the timeframe,” Noble said. “The idea of renewable energy will not be ready for sure by 2020, not on the scale that we need it.” According to university spokesman Larry Hincker, Tech has not taken a position on the coal issue. “The university will take a look at what the students are proposing, but the university does not have a stand on the issue,” Hincker said. “The key thing is for us and the students to understand the implications of what is being proposed.” Among the speakers at the event was town councilman Don Langrehr. “By continuing the reliance on coal we’re falling behind, and it causes two kinds of problems: financial and environmental,”

ZACH CRIZER nrv news editor

JACK HOWELL/SPPS

Students in Beyond Coal hold a “Hokies’ Declaration of Coal Independence” event on the Drillfield before presenting Charles Steger with the proposal. Langrehr said. He said as an older industry, coal is not providing as many new jobs as renewable energy sources could. He added burning coal has caused an increased rate of asthma and other respiratory problems. Also attending the event was Jaclyn Catlett, a sophomore who lived in Thomas Hall last year. Thomas is located on the upper quad next to the power plant. While living in Thomas, Catlett suffered severe health problems including tonsillitis and pharyngitis, and she was told by doctors at Schiffert Health Center that the problems were caused by exposure to coal dust from the plant. “I lived there my first semester and got sick six or seven times. I got to the point where they put me on antibiotics for the whole semester,” Catlett said. “I missed most of my classes, because I

was up all night because I couldn’t breathe.” Catlett moved to Main Eggleston Hall during the second semester of her freshman year and has not had respiratory problems since. She sent emails to the administration about her issue, but was told that there was not enough funding to provide filters or other equipment necessary to make the coal cleaner. “I was really frustrated, I just felt like I kept getting shot down,” Catlett said. Jackie Pontious, a former president of the Environmental Coalition who graduated in 2009, also spoke. “We as students are having to educate our educators,” Pontious said. “Our motto is ‘Invent the Future.’ As students, we like to say ‘Invent the Right Future.’”

Demolition on the collapsed Blacksburg High School gym is set to begin. Montgomery County Public Schools superintendant Brenda Blackburn, who took over the school system March 1, said Interstate, a disaster recovery and construction firm, would be handling the gym demolition. Blackburn said the company is on the site and beginning to set up equipment. She said the company would first set up a support system for the surrounding building and then begin by clearing rubble. She said the removal of the collapsed roof would not be the first step in the process. Only the gym will be demolished, a task that is estimated to cost more than $209,000. Blackburn said she expects the costs to be covered by the county’s insurance with Virginia Association of Counties. The demolition should also give officials a better idea of what caused the Feb. 13 collapse. “We want to see what the findings are from the forensic engineers when they pull the building away as to what caused the gym to fail,” Blackburn said. Blackburn said she is still hopeful the remaining portion of the high school can be reoccupied at some point. Blacksburg High School students are currently attending classes at Blacksburg Middle School during the evening hours, after the middle school day ends.


2 news

new river valley news editor: zach crizer university editor: philipp kotlaba newseditor@collegiatetimes.com /540.231.9865

april 1, 2010

[

nation & world headlines

COLLEGIATETIMES

] Loop

Undercover agent helped in probe of Christian militia DETROIT — An undercover law enforcement officer infiltrated a Christian militia group to gather evidence that led to FBI raids of the Michigan-based Hutaree group over the weekend. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet told U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer on Wednesday afternoon that the leader of the group, David B. Stone, 45, of Clayton, Mich., wanted the undercover agent to prepare bombs to fight law enforcement officers, who the group regarded as enemies of the country. During the ongoing detention hearing, which began around 1:15 p.m., for eight alleged members of the group, Waterstreet played an audiotape of Stone saying, “Now is the time to strike and take our nation back. ... This war will come whether we are ready or not. We will fight alongside anyone that calls the new world order their enemy.” The new information about the group came out during the detention hearing at the federal courthouse in Detroit in which Scheer is to decide whether the eight are to remain jailed pending trial. by david ashenfelter and ben schmitt, mcclatchy newspapers

CORRECTION -In “Students vote on Westboro protest response,” (CT, March 31), the namesake of Snyder v. Phelps is Albert Snyder. The Collegiate Times regrets this error.

JUSTIN GRAVES -Contact our public editor at publiceditor@ collegiatetimes.com if you see anything that needs to be corrected.

[Thursday, April 1] What: APRIL FOOLS DAY! Where: Everywhere When: All day Cost: Your dignity. Don’t fall for stupid tricks. Your shoes are NOT untied, and there is NOTHING on your shirt. What: April Fools! Breakfast at Dinner Where: Shultz Dining Center When: 5 p.m. Cost: $3.45 Flex, $10.80 cash, Dining Dollars and Hokie Passport Account

Wondering what’s going on around the ‘burg? Check out the events of the upcoming week.

What: Haute Haiti Hoopla Benefit Concert Where: Cabo Fish Taco When: 11 p.m. Cost: $3 for 21+, $5 under 21

[Saturday, April 3] What: Community Easter Egg Hunt Where: Vet Med complex on Duckpond Drive When: 10 a.m. Cost: Free

What: Carter Brown Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free

What: Student Recital — Daniel Gonzales, baritone Where: Squires Recital Salon When: 3 p.m. Cost: Free

What: Speaker — Chris Offutt Where: Volume II Bookstore When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free

What: Chinabration Where: GLC Auditorium When: 5 p.m. Cost: Free

[Friday, April 2] What: Philosophy Colloquia — "Pornography and the Aesthetics of Embodiment" Where: Torgersen 1060 When: 4 p.m. Cost: Free What: Ballroom Dance @ Virginia Tech's Spring Fling Where: GLC Multipurpose Room When: 7:30 p.m. Cost: Members $5, non-members $7 What: Future Where: Attitudes When: 9 p.m. Cost: $7 either through www.inticketing.com or at the door Note: 18+ with a valid ID What: Celebrate First Friday with Mountain Legend Express Where: Gillie’s When: 9:30 p.m. Cost: Free

What: Special Show with Middle Eastern dancers Thana & Bayan Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free

[Monday, April 5] What: Poet — Lemn Sissay Where: Squires Brush Mountain A When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free What: Break the Fast Comedy Night Where: Deet’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free What: Student Recital — University Percussion and Marimba Ensemble Where: Squires Recital Salon When: 8 p.m. Cost: Free

[Tuesday, April 6] What: Lecture — Vanae Tran Where: GLC Auditorium When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free

[Wednesday, April 7]

What: Vietnamese Student Association's Culture Show Where: Burruss Hall When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free

What: 10 in 5 — Steps to a Federal Job Where: Smith Career Center, Meeting Room A When: 4 p.m. Cost: Free

What: Stoplight Party w/ DJ Flex Where: Attitudes When: 9 p.m. Cost: $8 for 18-20, $5 for 21+

What: Tech’s Largest Cardioboxing Fitness Class Where: McComas Hall When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: Free

[Sunday, April 4] What: Easter Where: Everywhere When: All day Cost: Box of Peeps: $3.99

What: Guest Artist Recital: United States Army Choir Where: Squires Recital Salon When: 8 p.m. Cost: Free

[All Week] This week, the Lyric is showing “Alice in Wonderland” starring Johnny Depp. Check out TheLyric.com for showtime information.

......radio for

everyone

If you would like an event featured in our calendar, e-mail featureseditor@collegiatetimes.com with event details, including cost.

[

nation & world headlines

]

Obama’s offshore drilling plan aims to win climate votes WASHINGTON — President BarackObama,afterdelayingand deliberating for a year, unveiled a controversial new offshore drilling plan Wednesday that was driven largely by the politics of his agenda on energy and climate change — not getting a lot more oil and natural gas anytime soon. As a presidential candidate, Obama was attacked by Republicans for not supporting all-out expansion of offshore drilling. And one of his administration’s first acts after taking office last year was to cancel the long-term offshore plans President Bush had released at the end of his tenure. But now, the White House sees its new drilling plan as a way to curry favor with Republicans and moderate Democrats whose support will be critical for comprehensive energy and climate change legislation. Under the new plan, Obama proposed to begin moving toward drilling off parts of the Atlantic and Alaskan coastlines — along with the Eastern Gulf of Mexico — in areas that have been off-limits to oil and gas exploration for up to three decades. The proposal includes no drilling off California, Oregon or Washington state, or in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, which environmentalists consider especially sensitive. The President pitched the decision in national security terms and called it “part of a broader strategy that will move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy.” by jim tankersley, richard simon and christi parsons, mcclatchy newspapers


opınıons 3

editor: debra houchins opinionseditor@collegiatetimes.com/540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

april 1, 2010

The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903

Your Views [letters to the editor]

Ring Dance not a big success

T

his is in response to the column “Ring Dance Draws Crowd, restricted by fire marshal” (CT, Mar. 30), in which the class of 2011 president went on record to say that the Ring Dance was a “total success.” Perhaps it indeed was a success in Commonwealth Ballroom. Unfortunately, less than 20 percent of the junior class got to experience it. I am a senior this year, and I was appalled at how poorly Ring Dance was handled. Many juniors were denied access to the dance, while several freshmen and sophomores got their chance at a tradition that didn’t concern them yet. Because two women in our party had earlier obligations, our group, which included a member of the junior class, arrived just after 9 p.m. We waited patiently in line until 10:45 p.m., at which time we were told to go home. Not once

Question reforms in health care bill

W

hile the health care reform recently passed by Congress does not contain “public option” (governmentrun health care plan), that does not mean it is without questionable provisions, most requiring all citizens to obtain health care — or face a fine — and outlawing the denial of coverage based on preexisting conditions by health insurance companies. Relevant comparisons to other forms of insurance, such as auto insurance, help to highlight the issues with these provisions. The requirement for all citizens to obtain health insurance or face a fine is similar to auto insurance laws, which require drivers to have auto insurance or pay an uninsured motorist fee. However, the key difference between health insurance and auto insurance is that driving is a choice; therefore, choosing to drive comes with the reasonable obligation of obtaining insurance. Health insurance, on the other hand, is no longer a choice. Your mere existence mandates that you have health insurance. It is now the first commodity that U.S. citizens are required by their government to purchase. The precedent set by this provision is frightening and the Supreme Court may be called upon to determine its constitutionality. There is also little doubt that this provision represents a restriction of individual choice and, by extension, freedom. Outlawing the denial of coverage based on preexisting conditions by health insurance companies is similarly nonsensical. In this situation, it is important to understand the principles associated with insurance. Insurance premiums are based on risk. A young, healthy person is less likely to get sick than

did a member of the class of 2011 SGA team or Ring Dance Committee notify us as to why we were in this line. And yet, when the time came to be rejected admittance, a member of that very committee went person to person, escorted by the tallest police officer in the crew. I overheard him say that he wished Virginia Tech had notified people of this sooner. I’m sorry, but that was your responsibility. The Ring Committee knew well in advance about this strict measure, as seen by the newly imposed wristbands. How difficult would it have been to simply post a notification in the Collegiate Times? Or maybe a Facebook event that spelled out the new restrictions? Sadly, no one took responsibility, and hundreds of juniors left Squires Student Center alienated from a tradition that was for them. The class of 2011 deserves an apology, not the passing of blame.

John Stevens Senior math education major an older person who smokes and has high blood pressure. The younger person will pay a lower insurance premium. This is analogous to auto insurance when young inexperienced drivers (or those with a poor accident history) pay more for insurance than an experienced driver with a stellar record. The relevant health care situation is when people who do not have health insurance become sick. Currently, they would probably apply for insurance and either be accepted at elevated premiums or denied coverage because their risk is known to be high — it’s already known that they are sick and will need to draw benefits. This recently passed health care reform requires that these people now must be accepted by insurance companies at the same premiums as others, despite their much higher risk. This mandate defies the entire logic upon which insurance is based. It would be like wrecking your car without insurance and then being given insurance at the same rate as your neighbor with a perfect driving record. The only possible results from this are higher premiums across the board, which is the opposite of what the reform is supposed to do, or private insurance companies going out of business. These problematic provisions combined with a completely partisan process — not a single Republican voted for it in the House or Senate and 34 House Democrats voted against it — and 54 percent of the public opposed to it, lead me to question the entire process and the politicians who passed it into law. I hope you’ll take a look for yourself and express your opinion with your vote in November.

Matthew Hiser Senior materials science and engineering major

we’re YOUR newspaper. send a letter to the editor and express your views. send an e-mail to opinionseditor@collegiatetimes.com with your letter or guest column attached.

MCT CAMPUS

Collegiate Times’ online comment policy has merit O

nline commenting. What a long, traveled road we have paved here at the Collegiate Times as we evolve, develop and examine our commenting process. With so many different hands at the table, all wanting to look out for their best interests, and with so many online readers all wanting their opinions to be heard, it’s easy to get lost in all of the changes that have been made over the past couple months. After some controversy, we at the CT decided to draft a memorandum of explanation to serve as the most current and definitive statement of our policy about online comments. It serves as a defense of why we believe in the system we have implemented and why it is the best thing for our readership. This document, which can be found in the online version of this column, was submitted to the Commission on Student Affairs on Tuesday, March 30. Created by current and future management staff members here at the CT, we really wanted to be as transparent as possible about the changes we’ve made, the reasons why we believe in the system and how the system serves the community in the best way possible. The oldest comment recorded on our current content management system is August 2007, and the system is almost unrecognizable to what we have now. There were no threaded comments or Facebook Connect, and there was very little transparency of our methods for moderating, which was a huge detriment to our readers. With last fall’s Web site redesign, the CT took the opportunity to reshape the commenting system to encourage community discussion and moderation. And thanks to Jamie Chung, our amazing online director, we began to develop more useful features to help our readers communicate with one another across the Web site. One of the biggest problems the CT staff grappled with was whether or not a registration system should be implemented. For many reasons carefully outlined in the memorandum of explanation, we decided a registration system would fault the very voices that needed to be heard the most. For example, if there happened to be a gay student who would like to point out a homophobic environment at Tech, why would he want to attach his name to his comments? In order to keep his identity protected, we only ask users to provide a display name and a comment. But we are constantly working to improve the usability of Web site, and our comment system is no exception. One such feature is Facebook Connect, which was implemented just a few weeks ago. Although we stand behind the benefits of anonymous commenting, we wanted an optional login system that is essentially universal

on the web Check out the complete policy the Collegiate Times sent to the Commission on Student Affairs. and open to readers around the globe. Users can log into our commenting system with their profile, which allows a form of verified identity. But we still encourage our readers to attach a face to their words. If our SGA president Brandon Carroll, a frequent user of our commenting system, would like to respond to something published on the site, he can now log in with his Facebook account, verify his identity, and be merry with his commenting. Having an optional verification system allows users to attach their names to their opinions while still allowing those who need anonymity to speak out. But with anonymous commenting comes the potential for subjectivity in commenting moderation. If you don’t already know, one of my roles as public editor is to moderate the online forums. I am the hand that goes behind the scenes through our Web site and searches for nasty comments that go against our posted guidelines, are libelous or advocate an illegal act. When I find one, I use our Candidates for Deletion (the latest version may be found on our Web site) to decide whether that comment should be buried. If a comment is buried, it hidden from plain view on the story — or removed completely from view. The differences between these two concepts need clarification. A comment is buried when it may be degrading and thought of as spam, but isn’t necessarily harmful or adds to a discussion. We don’t remove these comments because they still create a context in a string of comments, but it is at the reader’s discretion to unbury it. I delete a comment — an action that is increasingly rare — only if the comment states something illegal or libelous. These are things that the CT simply doesn’t allow or tolerate, in print or anywhere else. However, I don’t always have to search for such comments. We also have a community flagging system, which has been around for the past few years. This allows for a form of community moderation since I get feedback from our online readership about comments that they may think are unsuitable for display on our forums. Again, it is the best of both worlds that encourages community interaction and moderate editorial supervision. One additional feature is the new comment notification system imple-

mented just this week. If you post a comment and would like to receive a notification when other comments are added to the story, you can leave an e-mail so you can stay current on the online discussion. And don’t worry; the CT does not share or sell the information you supply with any outside party unrelated to the service you requested. Our full privacy policy can be seen online. Lastly, I would like to touch base on the logic behind our system. Our anonymous commenting policy is very similar to other well-respected college newspapers (see the memo for a list of schools). We want to balance responsibility with openness; those who abuse the system will abuse any kind of system, but we do our best to limit their impact. However, we stand behind this method of commenting and are open to dialogue about it if you’re interested. As we wind down in the last couple weeks of the semester, I invite anyone who is intrigued, disgruntled, interested, proud or indifferent about our commenting memo to come chat with us. You can e-mail our editor, Sara Mitchell (editor@collegiatetimes. com) or me (publiceditor@collegiatetimes.com) with any questions, ideas or thoughts you may have concerning this topic. We love to hear from our readers, and this very complex situation is no different. One final feature just added to the Web site yesterday allows you to give us feedback straight from our front page. Just click on the “Feedback” button on the left, and vote on suggestions you want to see on the site. If you have thoughts about anything else, I invite you, once again, to our final meet and greet of the year. Wouldn’t you just love the chance to chat with some of the faces behind the words you see on that news rack every day? Several members of our staff will be manning tables right in the center of the Drillfield. How convenient, right? Take the time this Tuesday to come talk to us from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., fill out a survey and maybe even get some swag. We would love to hear from you, especially as we enter the summer months. We’re working hard on improving our paper for our readership, and hopefully that includes, and will continue to include, you. Thank you for reading. Any questions? E-mail me at publiceditor@collegiatetimes.com

JUSTIN GRAVES -public editor -sophomore -sociology major

Russia’s new hot spot: Deadly suicide bombings T

he suicide bombings of two Moscow subway stations that killed 39 people Monday appear to have emanated from a place that few people could find on a map: Russia’s North Caucasus region, a sliver of land wedged between the Black and Caspian seas that is home to 7 million people. Russian czars annexed the North Caucasus in the latter part of the 19th century after wars that lasted several decades, but the people in the region were reluctant Russians. No sooner did the Soviet colossus start wobbling than the region, particularly republic of Chechnya, descended into chaos. The results have been gruesome. Russia has fought two full-scale wars to retain control of Chechnya (from 1994 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2009), though Moscow has tried to cast its role as fighting terrorism. In 2009, Russia proclaimed victory by declaring an end to its “counter-terrorism operations” in Chechnya and turned over full control to the republic’s president since 2007,

Ramzan Kadyrov, who has tried to use economic reconstruction to weaken the insurgents. The results have been mixed at best. Violence continues to rock Chechnya, and the perpetrators have grown increasingly militant in their fundamentalism, fighting not just for independence from Russia but also to establish an Islamist state based on Sharia law in the North Caucasus, which also includes Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Adygea and Dagestan. The militants recently have vowed to extend their operations into the Russian heartland, so that ordinary Russians can no longer regard the North Caucasus as a faraway place of little consequence to them. Monday’s bombings certainly achieved that objective. What’s even more problematic for Moscow is that the blood- letting in the North Caucasus is no longer limited to Chechnya. It has engulfed the neigh-

boring republic of Dagestan and more recently has spread west into Ingushetia and North Ossetia. The expanding violence has included abductions, assassinations, suicide attacks, car bombings and even operations by insurgents involving protracted and pitched battles against security forces. The number of militant Islamist cells has increased throughout the region. Foreign fighters, some of whom subscribe to millenarian variants of Islam (which stand in stark contrast to the Sufi-based Islam practiced in the North Caucasus), have joined the struggle. But to blame the mayhem of the North Caucasus on “Wahhabis” and “jihadists,” as Moscow tends to do, is to deny its complex origins. Russia has inflamed tensions in the region by propping up corrupt local elites. Security forces take bribes and practice torture. Nationalities shoe-horned into Soviet-era republics now seek to unite with their co-ethnics in other republics.

The unemployment rate has soared: In Ingushetia, for example, it exceeds 50 percent. Young men are driven to extremist ideologies because they are hopeless, have seen relatives disappear after having been swept up in ubiquitous police dragnets, or have themselves suffered brutality at the hands of police and soldiers. What has been the central government’s response? Moscow has touted its “victory” in Chechnya and vowed to quash insurgents and terrorists elsewhere in the North Caucasus. But while Chechnya is calmer, the rest of the region has become more violent, and federal forces are now stretched out. Russian leaders trumpet how they have plowed billions of dollars in economic aid into the area, but this largesse has subsidized economic mismanagement and corruption. In January, President Dmitry Medvedev, who dubbed the North Caucasus Russia’s principal inter-

nal security threat, created a special North Caucasus Federal District, headed by a presidential representative, Alexander Khloponin, a former governor of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region. Khloponin is reputed to be a sound manager, but he has his work cut out for him. Monday’s subway bombings — which came just four months after the bombing and derailment of a luxury train traveling between Moscow and St. Petersburg that killed more than two dozen people — demonstrate clearly that the violence in the North Caucasus cannot be easily contained within that region. Moscow also must find better ways to tackle the region’s festering socioeconomic problems. And it must insist that local governments and federal forces act within the law.

RAJAN MENON -mcclatchy newspapers

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editor: topher forhecz featureseditor@collegiatetimes.com /540.231.9865

april 1, 2010

COLLEGIATETIMES

Chinabration recognizes Downtown store threads link to sewing community Chinese legacy, heritage LIZ NORMENT features reporter

LUKE MASON/SPPS Chinabration will consist of several different performances including various dances, fashion shows and a martial arts exhibition. Participants have been practicing for multiple hours a day to ready themselves for the Saturday evening event.

CHINESE AMERICAN SOCIETY AT VIRGINIA TECH EXPLORES PAST, PRESENT OF CHINESE CULTURE MAJONI HARNAL features staff writer Saturday’s Chinabration marks the end of the semester and a year’s worth of events celebrating Chinese culture and heritage. According to co-coordinator and junior finance major James Wu, Chinabration is the Chinese American Society at Virginia Tech’s capstone project. With 11 performances ranging from traditional dances, martial arts exhibitions and modern hip-hop, this year’s event mixes a bit of the old and new to encapsulate the diversity of Chinese culture. The theme of Chinabration 2010 is “Connection” — a connection that Wu said is between time, people and romance. He also said that it adds continuity to the show. “It’s a little different this year,” Wu said. “The storyline behind the show is the backbone that helps the dances flow into one another.” Hesitant not give too much away about the show, Wu could only say that the various performances incorporated a multitude of time-honored dances from all over China, with no real focus on a particular province. “We want to be fair and elimi-

nate any bias to any specific region,” Wu said. While Wu may handle the script for Saturday night, co-coordinator and senior electrical engineering major Shuo Ren is the go-to man for all the music in the show. Ren said that choreographers choose music based on the idea they are trying to convey through each dance and by popularity of the music itself. Chinese pop music, also known as “C-pop,” will be featured throughout the show as well as traditional Chinese music fused with R&B. To prepare the choreography, participants have been practicing heavily to prepare. “We usually practice twice a week for two to three hours each day. And if you’re in multiple dances, that time multiplies,” said Amy Liu, CAS president and junior biochemistry major. She is also a performer and choreographer for the show. Chinabration is not just limited to a series of dance sequences. In addition to the assortment of dance performances, there will be two fashion shows, one modern and one traditional. Each show will highlight Chinese fashion trends. While most performances consist of enthusiastic CAS members, two established groups will perform

......radio for

everyone

check it out When: Saturday, April 3 Where: GLC Auditorium. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Show begins at 5 p.m. Admission: Free as well. The first is the Chinese Performing Arts Group. The CPAG performed a fan-dance at the MidAutumn’s Celebration in 2009. The other group is the Wushu Club at Virginia Tech. Wushu is a form of martial arts developed in China in the mid-20th century. Its fluid-like moves are seen in the performances of notable Wushu students such as actor Jet Li. Many of the performers are involved in other groups on campus as well, such as the Japanese Cultural Association and the Filipino American Student Association. Besides the other cultural groups on campus that are lending their support to the show, there will also be cultural groups from other schools coming out to rally. “The show doesn’t just bring people from Virginia Tech together. We have organizations from other schools that come out to support us, and in return, we go to their shows,” Liu said, who also expects to see members of the University of Virginia’s Chinese Student Association this Saturday.

Since the recent closing of The Cut, the space that the downtown store formerly occupied in Kent Square on Main Street has seen some significant alterations. Local Mary Woodall has turned the former salon into Sew Attitudes, a creative space that she hopes to share with the rest of the community. Woodall has been living in Blacksburg for 10 years, returning with her husband, who was offered a job as a professor at Virginia Tech. Having sewn all her life, Woodall jumped at the opportunity to create a sewing store in Blacksburg. And when she opened Sew Attitudes less than a month ago, she did so with the aim of creating a design studio that also offers sewing instruction. “The idea is to offer a space for guidance and inspiration — an atmosphere of creativity,” Woodall said. “I’m hoping that it will renew an interest in sewing among people.” Aisha Mitchell, who works at the neighboring business Capone’s Jewelry, welcomes the new addition to Main Street. “It’s such an innovative idea and a great addition to the downtown merchants,” Mitchell said. “Sew Attitudes LIZ NORMENT/COLLEGIATE TIMES will be good for both students and Owner Mary Woodall gives customer Aisha Mitchell some sewing pointers. locals.” Woodall plans to reach out to both facets of the community by offering while still keeping them as part of the hard. After next year, all design classes beyond Basic Apparel Assembly will patrons time to use machines and fundraising for the festival.” She uses this idea of repurposing be cut. Because of these changes, equipment on their own, as well as giving sewing classes for those at various clothing to show how valuable even Tolbert feels Woodall’s entrepreneurial endeavor could not have happened at old duds can be. levels of proficiency. “It puts things back in to the stream,” a better time. “This isn’t just for the creative types, “Now more non-apparel students but all kinds of people,” Woodall said. Woodall said. “We all waste so much. “It’s for guys too. They can come in and This helps us reuse the things that we will be able to learn and create, and hopefully the creative fashion scene at learn how to sew back on their own would normally throw out.” In addition to her active community Tech won’t die with the elimination of buttons or mend tears in clothes without having to bother their girlfriends involvement, Woodall hopes to collab- the design major,” Tolbert said. With the FMDS fashion show just orate with Tech’s fashion program and or moms.” Beyond the basic instruction, the school’s Fashion Merchandising a week away, Woodall applauds the Woodall plans to provide more intri- Design Society to draw a greater pres- efforts of design students and hopes to cate classes for those who can dedicate ence of the local student fashionistas to provide them with an additional venue to display work. their time and creativity to a long-term the downtown scene. “Look at this stage,” Woodall said, “I wish I saw more of what they do project. “I’m hoping to have an after-school around this area instead of just being pointing to the row of full-length wingroup to work on projects to bring to so concentrated on campus,” Woodall dows and stairs that line the front of said. “I’m looking forward to working her store, looking out onto Main Street. local festivals,” Woodall said. “It would be a fun place to have a Woodall’s vision for these projects more with them.” Senior apparel design and merchan- fashion show or to have your work would be to have more of a sustainability focus after seeing her own suc- dising major Lyndsay Tolbert is eager displayed.” The “stage” will both serve as a place cess with this same idea at Steppin’ to take advantage of Sew Attitudes Out last year. Her project for the fes- as a valuable local resource. “It’s an to show what patrons have been worktival was called Green T’z. She dis- intensely awesome idea,” Tolbert said. ing on as well as to attract passersby. “My hope is to inspire people — played and sold products made “It will help interested people learn from previous years’ Steppin’ Out T- about apparel assembly even if they we can do so much more than we aren’t apparel majors, and it will give are right now,” Woodall said. “With shirts. just a little bit of training, we can all “I made book bags, dog leashes — all students a resource in town.” With budget cuts to the university, be creating and designing on our kinds of things,” Woodall said. “I was able to recover and reuse the old shirts the apparel department has been hit own.”


6 sports

editor: alex jackson sportseditor@collegiatetimes.com /540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

april 1, 2010

As spring practices begin, Hokies ready to revamp, reload

BRIAN CLAY/SPPS

Former Hokies defensive end Jason Worilds runs down NC State quarterback Russell Wilson on Nov. 21.

Grass is visible on the Drillfield, less than five weeks of classes remain and the Virginia Tech football team has started spring practice. Life is looking good if you are a Hokie. While Tech fans have a long five months to wait before this fall — the season officially begins on Sept. 6 against Boise State — here are five things to look for as the Hokies grind out the spring: 1. LOSS OF OFFENSIVE TACKLE ED WANG AND GUARD SERGIO RENDER ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE The Hokies will have to replace two second-team All-ACC performers on the left side of the offensive line. Wang, a three-year starter for the Hokies at the left tackle position, and Render, at the left guard position, both helped plow the way for Tech’s rushing attack last year, which ranked No. 14 in the nation. Redshirt sophomore Nick Becton is the likely candidate to replace Wang at left tackle. Standing at 6 feet 6 inches and weighing in at 311 pounds, Becton provides the size necessary to anchor

the Hokies’ offensive line. However, Becton has only seen limited action, playing just four games as a Hokie. At the left guard position, redshirt junior Greg Nosal appears ready to take over. The Virginia Beach native saw action at both guard spots last season and registered his only start at Georgia Tech. The inexperience on the left side of the offensive line is a concern not only in run support, but most importantly in protecting quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s blind side. Last season the Hokies ranked No. 88 in the nation in sacks allowed with 31. The team will look to Becton, Nosal or whomever may win the starting positions, to help improve pass protection. 2. RETURN OF EVANS It seems like an eternity since Darren Evans rushed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman, winning the approval of Tech’s coaches and fans. An ACL tear in Evans’ left knee sidelined him for the entire 2009 season and as he sat on the bench, redshirt freshman Ryan

Williams stole the show with his own sensational first-year campaign. Darren Evans, now healthy, returns to a crowded backfield that features first team All-ACC Williams, electrifying sophomore David Wilson and two more backs climbing the depth chart, Tony Gregory and Zac Evans. It will be interesting to see how offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring envisions Evans in the backfield and how many snaps he deserves as he returns, with so many other talented running backs waiting in the wings. At the very least, it is a problem the Hokies are fortunate to have. 3. LOSS OF THREE STARTING DEFENSIVE LINEMEN Defensive coordinator Bud Foster will have the tough task of replacing three of four defensive linemen this season, including second-team AllACC defensive end Jason Worilds, defensive end Nekos Brown and defensive tackle Cordarrow “Taco” Thompson. Redshirt junior Kwamaine Battle and redshirt sophomore Antoine Hopkins will fight to take over for Thompson at the tackle position and pair with the only returning starter on the defensive line, redshirt senior John Graves. At defensive end, redshirt junior Chris Drager and redshirt senior Steven Friday appear able to fill the spots vacated by Worilds and Brown. In addition, a pair of redshirt freshmen, James Gayle and J.R. Collins, will compete for playing time at defensive end. Jake Johnson, who recently made the switch from linebacker to defensive end, also looks to be very much in the mix. The junior from Fredericksburg, Va., led the team in tackles in the team’s opener against Alabama last season and finished sixth on the team in tackles. 4. BATTLE FOR THE BACKUP The backup quarterback position also figures to be an intense competition this spring. Redshirt sophomore Ju-Ju Clayton won the backup job last year, almost uncontested by the greener Logan Thomas. Clayton did not have to take over for Taylor for any significant portion last season, but he made his only competition of the season count, throwing an 80-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Davis against Boston College. This year, Thomas, now a redshirt freshman, has a year of experience under his belt and will be battling Clayton for the No. 2 assignment all spring. Coming out of Brookville High School, Thomas was a highly touted athlete, listed as the nation’s top tight end prospect by Rivals.com. Thomas is a multipurpose athlete. With his 6-foot-6-inch, 238-pound frame, he initially could have been recruited to play either tight end or wide receiver. However, the Tech coaching staff moved him to quarterback prior to last season. The Hokies also signed two new recruits at the quarterback position, Mark Leal and Ricardo Young. Leal hails from Atlantic High School, the same high school that produced former Hokies’ and current Kansas City Chiefs’ cornerback Brandon Flowers, as well as current cornerback Jayron Hosley. Young enrolled early along with six other newcomers and will participate in spring drills. Both Leal and Young were ranked in the top 30 as dual-threat quarterbacks, according to Rivals. 5. KICKING GAME Tech lost both first-team All-ACC kicker Matt Waldron and first-team All-ACC punter Brent Bowden to graduation. Now the Hokies will look to a new crop of kickers and punters to solidify the special teams. Chris Hazley, a redshirt senior from West Chester, Pa., will look to use his experience to earn the placekicking job. He will be challenged by redshirt freshman Cody Journell, ranked the No. 3 kicker nationally coming out of high school in 2008, according to ESPN. Redshirt senior Brian Saunders appears to have the experience needed to win the punting job. However, he will be challenged by Grant Bowden, Brent’s younger brother, a freshman from Centreville, Va. The Hokies will have two upcoming scrimmages open to the public on April 10 and April 17. The annual Maroon-White spring football game is also set for April 24.

MICHAEL BEALEY -sports staff writer -freshman -business major


Thursday, April 1, 2010 Print Edition