An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Friday, April 8, 2011
COLLEGIATETIMES Hokie lumberjack a chip off the old block see page 8 108th year, issue 43
News, page 4
People & Clubs, page 2
Arab Fest to honor Samaha JAY SPEIDELL news reporter Students, teachers and families are coming together to host an Arab Fest and celebrate the memory of Reema Samaha, a student killed during the April 16, 2007, campus shootings. “The Samaha family are really interested in promoting understanding of Arabic language and culture at (Virginia) Tech because their daughter Reema was very into it,” said Steven SAMAHA Salaita, an associate English professor. “This is kind of the centerpiece for that initiative.” Mona Samaha, Reema Samaha’s mother, said her daughter was interested in learning about her native culture. “She enjoyed learning the language and visiting the country and meeting her cousins and everybody,” Mona Samaha said. The Samaha family is originally from Libya. “At Virginia Tech she was hoping to take Arabic as a foreign language, because she was interested in doing international studies,” Mona Samaha said. “She was disappointed that there was no Arabic instruction.” Mona Samaha said Reema Samaha studied Arabic with her grandfather and independently, and she participated in a program to help foreign students feel more at home at Tech. Mona Samaha wants to use her daughter’s memorial fund to promote Arabic language and studies. “I developed the idea as more than just promoting the language, but an appreciation of the culture and opening of the mind and opening of the heart and building bridges between the communities, between the East and West, and understanding the language and the people,” Mona Samaha said. The festival will have many activities to promote Arabic language and culture. “It’s going to be a mixture of different kinds of things. There will be booths set up for the different Arab groups at Tech,” said Zaki Albarzinji, an English major. There will be at least 15 booths with a variety of attractions ranging from henna tattoos to slideshows and movie presenta-
tions, and even a photography setup. “The Egyptians are going to set up something that was really popular last year. They have ancient Egyptian garb with a background where people can get their photo taken for free,” Salaita said. “And there’s going to be a calligrapher to write people’s names in Arabic, in really beautiful colors on little placards,” Salaita said. There will also be a variety of Arabic food and drinks, including varieties of baklava, cookies and pastries, as well as Turkish coffee and mint tea, which is a traditional Arab tea. “It’s going to be a lot of tasty items, but we’re going to have a lot of it on hand so we’re going to need a lot of people there to help us eat it,” Salaita said. Salaita said students can hang out in an Arabic lounge area and drink their tea or coffee and eat snacks. Representatives from the Palestinian Cultural Mission and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C. plan to visit the festival and present gifts to the university. Live performances will showcase bellydancing, debkeh (a Middle Eastern group dance), classical Arab music and comic musician Remy Munasifi, also known as GoRemy. “If you’ve never seen the debkeh, it’s a real treat,” Salaita said. “The dancing will be fun,” Barzinji said. “The people who are leading the dances are also going to try to involve audience members who want to learn how to dance.” Reema Samaha enjoyed debkeh dancing and performed it at the International Street Fair the day before she died. Some of the dance groups performing at the festival are the groups she used to dance with. “She was just a beautiful person, and her family wants to celebrate the culture she loved with as many people in the Virginia Tech community as possibly,” Salaita said. This is the second year of the Arabic festival. It was expanded this year with more activities and a film festival. Mona Samaha said she hopes to make it an annual event with a symposium on Arab culture next year. The event will take place Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Squires Student Center’s Commonwealth Ballroom, with the main act, GoRemy, taking the stage at 4 p.m.
Opinions, page 3
Sports, page 8
Classifieds, page 6
Officer rides for fallen deputy MEIGHAN DOBER news staff writer Virginia Tech’s Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity held a fundraiser last weekend to help its adviser, Blacksburg police officer Jennifer Cease, participate in the Police Unity Tour in memory of her fallen colleague Eric Sutphin. The Police Unity Tour, which takes place May 8, honors officers killed on duty. Sutphin was killed by escaped convict William Morva in SUTPHIN 2006. Cease was on duty when Morva overpowered a deputy and fled from Montgomery Regional Hospital. Morva beat and seriously injured the deputy. Derrick McFarland, a hospital security guard, ran over to assist the injured deputy. Morva took the deputy’s gun and shot and killed McFarland. Morva escaped with the deputy’s weapon. “He was armed with the same weapon that I carried,” Cease said. Cease had been nearing the end of her midnight shift when it was announced that Morva was loose on the side of the Huckleberry Trail closest to Christiansburg. Eric Sutphin, a Blacksburg police officer who had been on the force for 13 years, was the first on the scene, entering the trail alone in search of Morva. Sutphin was on bike and in full uniform as he searched for Morva. Morva shot and killed Sutphin with the gun he had stolen from the dep-
KEVIN DICKEL / SPPS
Ofﬁcer Jennifer Cease, middle, encourages participants in a doughnut-eating competition that raised money in honor of a fallen colleague. Saturday’s event, sponsored by Alpha Phi Omega, raised $197. uty. Cease had been on the Huckleberry Trail but was coming from the direction of Blacksburg. She saw Sutphin’s body in a resident’s backyard on Edgewood Lane. “There was nothing I could do for Sutphin,” Cease said. “I guarded his
MALLORY NOE-PAYNE / SPPS
Blacksburg ofﬁcer Jennifer Cease plans to bike the Police Unity Tour, a 320-mile route from New Jersey to Washington, D.C. on May 8.
body until rescue took the body away. I remained on duty until Morva was caught.” After guarding Sutphin’s body, Cease went to Tech’s campus after a reported sighting of Morva. She initially guarded Squires Student Center and then proceeded to guard a day care facility until all people had been evacuated. “After that, I came back into town and was told to go home, but I refused. I disobeyed a direct order twice,” Cease said. An hour after Cease returned to the police department, Morva was caught. Cease was supposed to go on a 10day vacation to visit her parents that week. “I called my dad and I told him I couldn’t come. He told me to go to the funerals,” Cease said. The 320-mile ride from New Jersey to Washington, D.C. ends at the National Law Enforcement Memorial and coincides with a ceremony that adds the names of police officers killed in the line of duty to the memorial. This May, the names of the fallen officers from 2010 will be added. There are currently more than 1,900 names on the memorial. Sutphin’s name was added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in 2007. Many Blacksburg police officers have a sticker on their car that has the sheriff’s star with the number 18 in the middle, commemorating Sutphin’s badge number. Cease said her biggest support system has been her family, which has strong ties to the police force. Her father was a police officer for more than 35 years, her brother is a sergeant and her sister-in-law is an internal affairs officer.
Tech, BT to construct bus hub in parking lot CLAIRE SANDERSON news reporter Blacksburg Transit is planning for a new, centralized bus hub in what is now the Derring parking lot. A two-story structure will feature 14 loading and unloading bays for buses built around a central green space. It will provide an air-conditioned and heated waiting area, classrooms, office space and space for a bike co-op. It is still in the design phase, and a date for construction has not been set. “I thought that there was a real value in having a permanent, physical presence for Blacksburg Transit on campus,” said Steve Mouras, director of transportation and campus services at Virginia Tech. The facility is a joint project between Tech and the Town of Blacksburg. “It’s a multi-modal facility, which means that its main purpose would be to link transit,” said Debbie Freed, Tech’s alternative transportation manager. “So what it would be is the major hub for the BT instead of Burruss.” Mouras said overcrowding around the Drillfield is a major problem in the current system, where hundreds of pedestrians put buses behind schedule and cause safety issues. “As I’m sure you’re well aware, we have a lot of crowding on campus and with more cars now it gets especially bad at intersections,” Mouras said.
According to Wendel Companies, the firm contracted to design the facility, its aim is to remove buses from around the Drillfield area, where about 30 buses travel per hour at peak times. “I think our system is great, but at some point you outgrow the existing configuration, and I think we’re at that point,” Mouras said. A presentation by Wendel found that traffic on campus would increase substantially in the next 30 years. The facility is designed to accommodate increased growth on campus and growth of the university. The study also discussed a possible roundabout at the intersection of Stanger and Perry streets to alleviate future traffic problems. Wendel officials said the aim was to remove buses around the Drillfield, but not all campus stops would be vacated. Buses may still run on Washington Street and Alumni Mall. Despite the fact that fewer large buses would be circulating throughout campus, Freed said students would still find it easy to get around. “Most of the classrooms are on the North side of campus, near Derring, so it will be OK for people to walk there. But they will also have smaller frequent transit to take them to other areas of campus,” Freed said. Wendel officials said a circulator bus around the Drillfield would be considered, and other circulator buses could be added as needed.
Sudoku, page 6
This system of smaller, campus buses would also have its hub at the multimodal facility, and with separate buses on campus and in the town, congestion on campus would not slow the entire system, according to Mouras. “I think it will be a little bit quicker for people to both get to campus and to go home,” said Andy Reagan, a senior math major and member of the SGA Transportation Committee. Last fall, Reagan represented the student perspective in the stakeholder group that included members of the town, Tech, Blacksburg Transit and Wendel Companies. “As students, we wanted a covered space for waiting for the buses and a board that would display when the next buses were coming,” Reagan said. “We also thought it would be cool to have the bike co-op, which would be a small area for you to fix your bike or get help fixing it, and a space for bike storage.” The bike co-op is a project that students have begun and run that allows students to bring their bikes to be fixed or to learn to fix it themselves. Despite the building’s proposed location in the Derring lot, Reagan said he did not think it would make a significant difference in the number of parking spaces available. As of now, only a basic timeline has been developed for the project, which must wait to apply for federal funding. “We’ve completed pre-planning, so we have the basic design and location,”
COURTESY OF VIRGINIA TECH
The facility will feature a climate controlled waiting area for riders. Mouras said. “The goal is to complete the design by January 2012, then put in another request for federal money to build.” Mouras said $1.6 million for designing the building was requested from the federal government in early spring, and projected construction costs would be between $15 million and $20 million. “How it works is the federal government puts up around 80 percent of the money, the state puts in another 10 percent, and the remainder is called ‘local match,’ which means Virginia Tech,” Mouras said. Regional transits such as the SmartWay bus would also use the facility. “We want to make sure that it meets
the needs of not just Virginia Tech but also the community,” Mouras said. “Most of our funding will come from the federal government, and they’re very interested in the community’s needs.” Freed said the facility may make alternative transportation options more accessible. “We’re also interested in putting in a bike share program,” Freed said. “Members would be able to use their Hokie Passports to unlock a bike and use it for the day, so you could ride a bus to the campus hub then pick up a bike.” A possible pay-as-you-go charging station for electric cars was also discussed as a part of the facility.
APO is sponsoring Cease while she rides for Sutphin next month. One way the fraternity raised funds was by hosting a donut-eating competition last weekend. Participants were challenged to eat a six-pack of Krispy Kreme donuts as fast as they could. “This is the first year that we have done this fundraiser. Depending on how well we do this year will determine if we do this again,” said Matthew Weiczynski, treasurer of APO. After the fundraiser, Weiczynski said the fraternity raised $197. Each participant needs $1,750 to participate in the Police Unity Tour. Cease has raised about $1,500 so far, with a goal of $2,000. This money will support Cease’s bike ride and help with the upkeep and maintenance of the memorial in Washington, D.C. Cease has been planning to ride for two years and has been training for several months. “A family friend rode on the Unity Tour and encouraged me to do it after talking and hearing what I’d been through,” she said. Cease has been part of the Blacksburg Police Department since 2003 and became APO’s adviser last year. She was a member of the fraternity during her college years at the West Virginia Wesleyan College. In addition, the Police Unity Tour will raise money to help build the first National Law Enforcement Museum. The Police Unity Tour is the single largest contributor to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. People interested in supporting Cease’s cause can visit FirstGiving.com for more information or to donate to her ride.
Delegate to retire Del. Jim Shuler, a Democrat who has represented Blacksburg for the past 18 years, will retire from the General Assembly at the end of his term. Originally from Blacksburg, Shuler assumed office in 1994 and will retire at age 67. “Serving my constituents is what really made my legislative years such a gratifying experience. Your support, comments and words of encouragement will be treasured memories,” he said in a press release from his office. SHULER “Serving in the House has been an honor, a commitment of time and energy that I gladly gave,” the release said. “However, time marches on and it is time to pursue other dreams and adventures.” Neither Shuler nor his assistants could be reached for further comments Thursday evening. -michelle sutherland, news reporter
people & clubs
editors: lindsey brookbank, kim walter firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
april 8, 2011
She said: Grab the sunscreen ow that Tuesday’s over, I’m hoping we can officially say the N snow is gone. Clearly Blacksburg is
He said: When the sun comes out, so do the girls “S
un’s out, mammary glands out.” With that noble proclamation, daytime festivities have begun on Roanoke Street. Months of gray skies, freezing nights and a distressing lack of cleavage are instantly forgotten as cans crack open and footballs are recklessly hurled near moving vehicles. This is what we’ve been waiting for since football season, folks. April is here to shoo away winter doldrums, and not a moment too soon. Despite my best attempts at boosting morale with occasional successful humor columns, campus has been a bummer for weeks now. I don’t blame you. Long-term exposure to the Blacksburg elements is more effective at killing levity than a Jeff Dunham skit. It’s now a moot point thanks to the timely arrival of jorts weather. Assuming the bizarre spectacle of snow on a sunny day is past us, the season for outdoor frolicking has officially begun. It’s been so long since our mountain climate treated us to sustained warmth that some may feel confused over how best to exploit this gift. There’s really no wrong way to go about it unless you’re lurking in a dark apartment like a cave troll. Still, months spent inside
watching Hulu and memorizing bus schedules can throw off anyone’s outdoor sensibilities. It’s also understandable that some may be wary of fully committing to the spring mindset. Blacksburg weather has been a fickle mistress in past weeks, teasing us with occasional 70-degree weather before yanking the dollar away on a string. You could practically hear the mocking laugh of Nelson from “The Simpsons” as shorts and polos had to continually be put back into the closet. No, Mother Nature’s credibility is not at an all-time high. It’s entirely possible that the glorious warmth projected for this weekend will be yet another cruel tease. A leap of faith into spring could very well end up like my friend’s misguided dive into a hotel pool this past weekend: face-first in the shallow end. To ease your fears, however, I come to you with a message straight out of celebrity rehab: This time, it’s different. The Drillfield isn’t going back to its October to March uselessness. Girls won’t have to tragically shelve sundresses and shorts in favor of jeans. From here on out, the only people who will get burned from the weather of Blacksburg
are sunscreen-averse Irishmen. We’ve finally reached one of the two hospitable months of the academic year. This type of weather is exactly how the university fools incoming freshmen into thinking it’s the norm. Congratulations Class of 2014, you’ve made it through your first winter reality check. It’s time to celebrate by blaring Jimmy Buffett from a Ghettoblaster and removing as much clothing as legally — and tastefully for those with less stunning physiques — possible. There will be no shortage of outdoor activities available this weekend. Even better, almost all of them involve the opportunity to politely enjoy the scantily clad scenery. Gentlemen, prepare your sunglasses accordingly. Those looking to enjoy the festivities and pretend to care about nature are directed to the New River. It has something for everyone. Serious outdoorsman can canoe in its pristine waters, while less dedicated athletes cheer them on from cooler-strewn banks. In fact, for a town my UVA friends assume is smack dab in the middle of nowhere, Blacksburg has an impressive variety of outdoor distractions. The Cascades and the Dragon’s Tooth hikes
are just a sample of the area’s natural wonders. Don’t be offended if I’m doubtful that many of you will take advantage of these recreational opportunities, though. Let’s not kid ourselves; college students basking in spring weather aren’t likely to travel en masse to a national park. This is a weekend for yard golf, volleyball and table-topping friends in the front lawn. Ahead of us is a fun, fun, fun, fun Friday through a lazy Sunday full of tanning and frequent trips to the local convenience store to restock the fuel supply. Besides, there will be plenty of time to explore the gorgeous landscape of southwestern Virginia. Assuming we have finally appeased the weather gods, this beautiful sun is here to stay. Get your mammary glands out — it’s time to get rowdy.
ANDREW REILLY -features staff writer -junior -communication major
having some issues. Having 80-degree weather followed by snow is unheard of. While my roommate fears the bipolar weather is a sign of the theory about the world ending in 2012, I just presume that Mother Nature’s playing a joke on all of us. In fact, snow was the cruelest April Fool’s joke I’ve ever seen. But are you even surprised at this point? A typical day of Blacksburg weather can include all four seasons. It’s hard to tell whether you should bring your raincoat or wear your nice Uggs. The weather here will forever remain unpredictable. I am not a winter weather kind of girl, so facing 80 degrees on Monday was one of the highlights of my semester. I wanted to lie outside and tan even though I had an 8 a.m. geology exam the next day to study for. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I threw on my swimsuit, grabbed my notebook and headed outside. As I relaxed in the sun, I could not remember the last time I had seen such nice weather. I was not as fortunate as others who got to experience a tropical spring break, so I was ecstatic. I had about an hour to enjoy the sun before I had to get ready for class. The warm weather put me in such a good mood that I wasn’t even complaining about my upcoming exam. I happily read through the chapters jotting down notes, as I bathed in the sun and felt sympathetic for each bitter passerby making her way to the bus stop. When the end of my blissful hour approached, I was devastated. The forecast for the next day was calling for snow and rain. How could I leave such beautiful weather when it wasn’t going to last? I mean, I was being productive and studying, right? Therefore, I made the executive decision that the most appropriate choice would be to skip my class and continue to prepare for my exam. Going to class would clearly result in me losing focus for the exam. I just needed to stay outside to study — it was only the studious thing to do. Apparently I paid the price for skipping class when I turned into a lobster.
I was only outside for about two hours, but it was more than enough time to fry my pale body. It’s been so long that I guess my skin didn’t remember how to react to the sun. Word of advice — apply sunscreen. The color beet red looks good on nobody. As I lay in bed writing this column, I’m covered in aloe. While it is hypocritical, I cannot deny that I have never been so happy to be sunburned. I know it’s foolish, but it means that warm weather has arrived. Spring in Blacksburg brings a lot of excitement. There’s Relay for Life, Big Event and the spring game. Besides on-campus activities, students can venture out to the Cascades or the river and enjoy the beautiful Blacksburg atmosphere. Downtown Blacksburg comes to life in the spring. Students, townspeople and families enjoy the sun as they eat out on restaurant patios, walk around the town and check out the farmer’s market. If you haven’t tried the old woman’s strawberry banana jam from the market, do it. Tasting her jam is life-changing. And if you haven’t experienced the farmer’s market, check it out. Visiting the market is a great way to meet some of the townspeople while enjoying their fresh produce. It’s a nice change to see people that are not living in the same safety bubble we call college. While Blacksburg weather in the fall is inexplicable, the spring weather provides students with a chance to enjoy the atmosphere with friends. With only four weeks left of school, final exams are right around the corner. Take advantage of the time you have now and enjoy it. Whether you’re an outdoorsy person or not, Blacksburg and its surrounding area can provide any student the opportunity to have a great spring day. Check out what you’re missing before it’s too late.
CHELSEA GUNTER -features reporter -sophomore -communication major
editors: scott masselli, gabi seltzer email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
april 8, 2011
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Spending needs to be cut — now et’s talk about money. More specifically, let’s talk about L money we don’t have. Americans want government spending to be cut. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have proposed cuts. However, neither side seems to be stepping up and putting an end to it once and for all, as the process of major spending cuts is seemingly taking a lifetime. I’m not going to get into the issues of teachers’ salaries in Wisconsin or government funding of Planned Parenthood. I’m sure those of you who have read my past articles know where I stand on those issues anyway. What I am talking about is putting a stop to spending money that we, as a country, do not have. And I’m not waiting until we run out of paper to print money on to do that. Think about this: When families are low on money, they must make cuts in their budgets. If they continue to spend money they don’t have, they are inevitably bombarded with calls from banks and credit card companies. If spending continues at levels higher than income, utilities may be cut off or the bank may even try to repossess their house. Let’s see the power companies turn off the electricity in the White House or Capitol because the government has no money. It won’t happen. Families must lower their spending to keep from losing everything. The same principle applies to businesses. Unless, of course, it is a major corporation that is deemed “too big to fail” and gets massive amounts of taxpayer money in the form of a bailout. So in this case, I’m talking about smaller businesses. When profits drop, businesses have to make tough decisions. They may have to cut production, halt expansion and even lay off workers.
These aren’t easy decisions to make but they must be made. Apparently, even after last year’s elections, there are people in our government who think the government is exempt from all of this. Both parties, in my opinion, are at fault on some level. Democrats need to stop whining over every little spending cut that is proposed. Republicans need to step up and fulfill their campaign promises of cutting spending before the end of this decade. The country runs on money, yet the country is out of money. This mindset that governments can just spend into the red must stop, and it needs to stop now. Another mindset needs to be laid to rest as well. People need to stop believing that the government owes them something. The government has given handouts for too long, and it is time for it to stop. What happens when other countries stop buying our debt? What happens when the dollar loses its influence over the world economy? Looking back to the past, this problem can be blamed on both parties. Now, looking ahead to the future, this problem must be solved by both parties. We must look past the petty bickering that comes along with cutting this program or that agency. We must simply stop spending money that we do not have, and printing more of it won’t solve the problem. I can’t spend money that I don’t have. Why should the people I elect be allowed to live under different rules? For all of us, cut the spending, and cut it now.
MATTHEW HURT -regular columnist -sophomore -political science major
Teaching’s importance to society often neglected a time when teachers and their unions are under fire A t across the nation, my eldest daughter just had a much-anticipated interview with Teach for America. She will graduate from college in May and hopes to be a teacher in the fall. I was thrilled. Since graduating from college in 1984, I’ve taught GED courses, English as a second language, composition at a city college and now writing and literature at a public university. I have loved every year, and I don’t think there’s a more important profession. Think about it: We aren’t legally mandated to spend as much time with any other kind of person as we are with teachers. An American who graduates from high school has been taught by more than 20 teachers and has spent more than 10,000 hours in their company. It’s no wonder almost everyone has a story about a teacher who changed his or her life. Still, with all the contempt and anger being hurled at teachers right now, it’s alarming to be sending a daughter into the crossfire, especially when new teachers are the first to be threatened with pink slips. The growing scorn for public school teachers is at every level of education. Teachers are blamed for bad test results, for disrespectful students, for failing schools. They are thought to be lazy, draining public coffers with their monthly salaries and pension benefits (although they actually contribute to their pensions like everyone else). Meanwhile, parents often consider their kids’ teachers as mere service providers. Last fall I met a teacher at an exclusive private school on New York’s Upper East Side who told me parents pressure her to ignore bad behavior, missed assignments and cheating, in the belief that nothing is more important than their children’s success. One of my best friends, a second-grade teacher at the public elementary school I attended, told
me about a student who consistently returns math work undone. “I don’t do math,” he said. “My mom says I don’t have to.” My friend explained: “The state says you have to do math.” But the child was adamant: “My mom says I don’t.” At the very moment my daughter hopes to become a teacher, Detroit is talking about closing half its public schools. In Rhode Island, teachers are being laid off wholesale. California has issued thousands of pink slips. All over the world, people sacrifice to send their children to school. Afghan girls are threatened yet still walk to school; Chinese children are sent to schools in faraway cities by parents desperate to give them better lives; Kenyan students study by kerosene lamp in one-room schools built by grateful parents. Here, access to a free education is an essential part of the American dream. I was sent to kindergarten at 4 by my mother, a Swiss immigrant. She taught me to read when I was 3, worried that the school wouldn’t admit me unless I was already literate. My students, many of them firstgeneration immigrants, have brought me gifts and invited me to their weddings and New Year celebrations. I have gotten calls of thanks from their parents. And sometimes they have called me not by my name, but by the most reverent word they could summon: Teacher. I try to imagine my daughter in a classroom this fall, looking out at the faces of children who are thinking of numbers and letters and secrets. I remember the woman who taught me to form the alphabet, the man who taught me long division. And I wonder about the children who may one day remember my daughter’s teaching, and in what ways she may have changed their lives.
SUSAN STRAIGHT -mcclatchy newspapers
Capitalist corporations need to benefit Americans iven Virginia Tech’s commitG ment to service and “giving back,” confessing my love of capitalism and division of classes might be a little upsetting to some. Wait, I just remembered how important financial status is at this university, so nevermind. I mean to say — everything is brand name, over the top and based on what you have and how you show it. Intellect doesn’t hurt though. After all, we are at an institution of higher learning. This is not a tirade against the branded youth that is Tech’s student body, but instead a criticism of the effects of capitalism on our economy and continuing recession. Like I said, I’m all for capitalism. I see nothing wrong with it for the most part — except when we’re facing an economic recession. While we are not in such a dramatic situation that bread lines are being called for, we are in a position where our national practice of capitalism is hindering our need to take care of more serious issues. By serious issues, I mean the economy, the nation and those that are in severe need. Granted, there are serious issues outside of the nation that need to be addressed and aided — both financially and with military presence, such as Japan and Libya. It is extremely important to continue with a strong presence in world affairs and disasters, even in difficult economic times. What is not important, though, is the advancement of corporations and the continued support of gross and gluttonous capitalism. Again, I like capitalism, I see why it’s important and I understand its value in the American economy. Right now though, it is far from the necessary economic construct our country should be rallying around. This recession — the one we are living in, the one we are “suffering” through — has been caused by capitalism. As a nation, we have successfully granted more authority and power to capitalist corporations than we have to our own government. In effect, the nation is run by the corporations that
have successfully lobbied for changes in corporate taxes (exceptions for company taxes) and created loopholes that let more money slip from the country as a whole and into the pockets of those that run these companies. It’s no surprise that these companies are banks. These companies are corporations that have spent years creating the perfect system — for themselves. Bank of America (no pun intended) is the perfect example of a capitalist corporation gone awry. Keep in mind, this is a bank that was spared by the bailout funds of the government, and in return the banking giant has paid nothing in federal taxes the past two years. That means it was doing this before it was spared by the bailout and continued this after receiving multiple payments from the government. So why is this happening? How is this happening? Banks, specifically the gargantuan tyrants that run the country under a guise — wait, under no guise — have lobbied and fought for changes in government regulations that let this kind of activity occur on a regular basis. Now that we are suffering — one nation, under debt — these schemes are beginning to be revealed, and maybe questioned, though I haven’t heard much about it. The most upsetting part of all of this, though, is that cuts are being made across the board in public spending, which includes education systems and various social services. These seem minor, in text, but on a national level we are losing more than we ever have. While Wisconsin plans to cut the rights of union workers, to save money, Bank of America and other corporations (think Exxon, think GE — “30 Rock” tells no lies) avoid federal taxes and continue to profit themselves. I know, that’s what they do, but corporations are supposed to not only better themselves, they are supposed to better the economy and the nation. I’m no patriot, but I know when something isn’t working, and I know when something is wrong. While we question the value of
teachers and worth of union rights, corporations profit and face no consequences and benefit no one. We are segregating the country into the super rich and everyone else. There has always been inequality, which continues to rise. Do you understand? Do you see that there is an elite class of corporate CEOs and rich people that have more money than the entire nation — individually, mind you—while the rest of the country is (seemingly) struggling with the recession? I blame political awareness and the priorities of both our government and citizens. How else could this have happened? This capitalist corporate system that is hurting our nation was created by its citizens. We have done this to ourselves. No, we do not deserve it. No, this should not have happened. And no, I have no idea how it can be fixed or changed or resolved. What can we do? Political awareness beyond politicians and hot topics is a must. We must be more aware of the smaller issues, the issues that slip through the cracks and gain little to no attention. That’s why it worked, that’s how capitalism successfully took control of the nation and the economy. Now look at us, with the largest division we have had in years between super wealth and average wealth — in a recession, with more debt than we know what to do with and with corporations avoiding federal taxes. This is a problem. We’re cutting teachers, social services, education programs and university funding because we let capitalism take advantage of the country. It’s about time capitalism actually benefits this country and not just itself.
SEAN SIMONS -regular columnist -junior -creative writing major
Newman Royale Night efforts exemplify Virginia Tech’s motto had been hearing Virginia Tech Ia community, is not just a university, but also since the moment I stepped foot on campus. Nonetheless, this statement didn’t phase me until after the success of Newman Royale Night on April 2. The Newman Hall council had been planning Newman Royale Night since the end of last semester. Suggested by Ravi Gangele, it started out as an idea to get Newman Hall residents to socialize and interact with residents from different floors in the hall. Some of the hall council members, including Ravi, had already been involved in similar events in high school, so they knew what was required to organize this event. First, we had to decide on where the event would take place. Our initial plan was to have the event take place in the lounges of Newman Hall, however, we assumed residents will stay in only one lounge and might not visit the others. Having the event take place in the lounges would keep us from achieving our goal of having residents from one floor socialize with those from another — so we had to look for a different venue. We looked into many places and finally decided on Owens Banquet Hall. The place, however, came with a price tag, so we had to worry about
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finding funds to rent it for an evening. We had already used most of our money for previous events and hall T-shirts, so we lacked the funds to rent the hall. Upon talking with members from other hall councils, including Miles Hall, they decided to chip in and also volunteer at the event. Meanwhile, the hall council decided to make Newman Royale Night an event to raise money and sign participants up for Relay for Life. We were still short on funds, so Ravi had to make a presentation to the Residence Hall Federation. Impressed by our idea, the RHF committee decided to co-sponsor the event and not only did it rent the hall for the event, but also paid for food by Personal Touch Catering. Now that the venue was taken care of, we had to gather funding for security and spreading the word about the event. Upon contacting Steven Clarke from Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center, he generously offered to pay for Virginia Tech Police security as well as printing flyers. Initially we were planning to charge $5 for the event, but since everything was paid for, we decided to make the event free. Making the event free gave us incentive to raise more money. Everything
was planned, and we were counting down days until the event took place. The event turned out to be a great success. We ended up raising $523 in four short hours. Very few people who attended the event left before it was over. Everyone had a great time playing various poker games and enjoying delicious food. The good-looking gentlemen and lovely ladies who decided to volunteer made the event possible. Without their help and the support from RHF, CAAPC and other hall councils, the event would still be just an idea. One thing I certainly learned from Newman Royale Night’s success is that anyone and everyone is willing to help and be part of a great cause and can always be counted on. Everyone we asked helped us in one way or another. I truly believe that Tech is one community and everyone who is part of this community is willing to help each other with anything possible. I am so proud to be a part of such a giving community that motivates me to live up to the motto Ut Prosim — that I may serve.
NAMRATA SHRESTHA -regular columnist -sophomore -biochemistry major
Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief: Peter Velz Managing Editors: Zach Crizer, Katie Biondo, Josh Son Public Editor: Justin Graves Senior News Editor: Philipp Kotlaba Associate News Editors: Liana Bayne, Gordon Block News Reporters: Claire Sanderson, Jay Speidell, Michelle Sutherland, Sarah Watson News Staff Writers: Erin Chapman, Meighan Dober Features Editors: Lindsey Brookbank, Kim Walter Features Reporters: Chelsea Gunter, Mia Perry Features Staff Writers: Andrew Reilly, Nick Smirniotopoulos Opinions Editors: Scott Masselli, Gabi Seltzer Sports Editors: Michael Bealey, Garrett Ripa Sports Reporters: Nick Cafferky, Matt Jones, Courtney Lofgren, Josh Parcell Sports Staff Writers: Alyssa Bedrosian, Alex Koma, Ashleigh Lanza, Zach Mariner Special Sections Editor: Bethany Buchanan Public Information Director: Dishu Maheshwari Training Director: Kelsey Heiter Copy Editors: Taylor Chakurda, Thandiwe Ogbonna, Spenser Snarr, Brittany Kelly, Debra Houchins Layout Designers: Danielle Buynak, Victoria Zigadlo, Wei Hann, Maya Shah Online Director: Jamie Chung Collegiate Times Business Staff Business Manager: David Harries Distribution Assistant: Ryan Francis 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, Connor Geiran, Mario Gazzola Inside Sales Manager: Wade Stephenson Assistant Inside Sales Manager: Diane Revalski Assistant Account Executives: Maddie Abram, Katie Berkel, Kaelynn Kurtz, Erin Shuba Creative Director: Chloé Skibba Asst Production Manager: Casey Stoneman Creative Services Staff: Tim Austin, Colleen Hill, Jenn Le, Erin Weisiger Voice your opinion. Readers are encouraged to send letters to the Collegiate Times. 365 Squires Student Center Blacksburg, VA, 24061 Fax: (540) 231-9151 email@example.com 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. 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 composed of the opinions editors, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Student Media Phone Numbers Collegiate Times Newsroom 231-9865 Editor-in-Chief 231-9867 College Media Solutions Advertising 961-9860 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 direct 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, visit reprints.collegemedia.com. Subscription rates: $65 semester; $110 fall/spring. The first copy is free, any copy of the paper after that is 50 cents per issue. © Collegiate Times, 2011. 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.
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april 8, 2011
nation Federal government may shut down
what you’re saying //comments from online readers... On the falsely reported sexual assault: Sven>> It’s a good thing that she fessed up before some poor guy’s life got ruined. Innocent until proven guilty is usually thrown out the window when a woman accuses a man of sexual assault. Just look at the Duke lacrosse case
Anonymous >> Agreed, false reports of sexual assault can be horribly damaging. I hope they bring charges up against her.
Anonymous >> It’s very well possible that she was sexually assaulted and the man who sexually assaulted her threatened her life unless she said the claim was false.
On students who blame professors for bad grades:
-kathleen hennessey, mcclatchy newspapers
11 dead in Rio de Janeiro massacre RIO DE JANEIRO — At least 11 people, mostly children, died Thursday and more that 15 were wounded when an armed man attacked a school in Realengo in the poor suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. According to a preliminary police report, the attacker — a 24- year-old former student at the school — was among the dead after shooting himself in the head. He attacked Tasso da Silveira school, where some 400 students ages 9-14 were in classes. Police Col. Djalma Beltrami said the killer used two handguns and a lot of ammunition. The suspect left
behind a letter, in which he anticipated committing suicide after the attack. Beltrami, however, gave no details of any possible motive. Beltrami described the letter as “the words of a person who no longer believes in anything, full of sentences that made no sense and references to Islamic fundamentalism.” Beltrami said the attacker was friendly as he went into the school, chatting with administrators and teachers and asking for permission to address the children. When he reached the third floor of the build-
ing, the suspect entered one of the classrooms and started to shoot at students, killing nine girls and one boy. The attacker apparently committed suicide upon being chased by a police officer who had been called in by a student who managed to escape the building. BrazilianPresidentDilmaRousseff was “in shock” over the killings, government spokesman Rodrigo Baena Soares said in Brasilia.
1 3 2 1 6 5 4 0 6 5 6 4 6 5 5 1 4
-diana renee, mcclatchy newspapers
V I O L A T I O N - A F F I D A V I T
1:08 p.m. - 2:04 p.m.
Follow up to Larceny of two wallets
Breaking and Entering / Larceny
Underage Possession of Alcohol / Appear Intoxicated in Public
Cleared by Arrest
As a former math instructor, I can relate to the reaction discussed here. There are some students who always seem to think I’m out to trick everyone. They usually complain about any questions that don’t involve regurgitating definitions or plugging in numbers. But at its core, that is not what math is about. It is about extending known concepts to solve new problems. Also, these student seem to miss the point that a test isn’t usually composed of questions that are all of equal difficulty. As a teacher, the basic goal of the test is to assess student understanding. How do you do that if you give a test with simple questions that everyone aces?
and a measure that would block the federal government from regulating greenhouse gasses. “These matters have no place in a budget bill,” Reid said. “We should not be distracted by ideology — this is a bill that funds that government.” Wednesday night, Reid and Boehner had appeared together outside the White House and described incremental progress in negotiations. If an agreement is not passed by Friday at midnight, the federal government will begin closing some services and suspending pay to workers.
House Speaker John Boehner met for nearly two hours at the White House to hammer out a deal. Reid said congressional and White House staff worked through the night. He did not detail the number of cuts he claimed were settled. “The numbers are basically there, that’s where we are,” but other more contentious matters remained unsettled, he said. The parties will meet again at the White House on Thursday afternoon, 35 hours before government funding runs dry. House Republicans continued to push for policy measures attached to their initial spending plan, Reid said. Those include a proposal related to funding for Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that Democrats and Republican in Congress have essentially agreed on spending levels for the rest of the year, but a budget deal is being held up by a split over policy measures related to Planned Parenthood funding and clean-air regulation. Reid said the divisions made him more pessimistic about the chances of passing a compromise deal before a Friday deadline, resulting in a government shutdown. “It looks like it’s heading in that direction,” Reid said. The remarks came the morning after Reid, President Obama and
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april 8, 2011
Kevin McHale talks NBA player movement, more
Notre Dame begins appeal process over ﬁndings in deadly scaffolding case STACY ST. CLAIR mcclatchy newspapers The University of Notre Dame has filed paperwork to appeal the findings from a state investigation into the death of Declan Sullivan, a football team videographer who died last fall when a hydraulic lift he was in toppled over amid high winds. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the South Bend campus $77,500 last month for ignoring industry standards that could have prevented Sullivan’s death. Indiana OSHA officials previously said Notre Dame disagreed with some parts of the ruling, but declined to discuss the specific objections. The university recently filed an official notice of contest, which allows campus administrators
McHale talks with Kobe Bryant during his brief coaching stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
FORMER CELTICS LEGEND AND NBA HEAD COACH TAKES TIME TO SHARE HIS VIEWS ON THE LEAGUE ALEX KOMA sports staff writer The Collegiate Times got a chance to talk with former Boston Celtics great Kevin McHale last month at ESPN the Weekend in Orlando, Fla. McHale played 13 seasons with the Celtics, winning the 1986 NBA Championship. He is the former head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. On the Carmelo Anthony trade: MCHALE: I don’t think it’s unnatural for a bunch of guys to come together, but I’d like to see it happen through McHale the draft, with young guys playing together. It’s kind of like everyone is a free agent now, they define where they go. I understand that, but personally I didn’t like the way it was handled. I especially didn’t like this Carmelo Anthony
thing with the way it went on all year. I think it affected the Nuggets. On how Lebron James handled free agency: MCHALE: The whole ‘Decision’ with LeBron, I think that when LeBron decided to come to Miami, he should have done it the old fashioned way and come in and done a press conference and called Cleveland first to say ‘Hey, I decided to go to Miami.’ If he had done that, it would have been looked at a little bit differently, as a different type situation. Am I opposed to it? No, because you’re a free agent and you can play anywhere you want, but I have a fear that small markets, they’re gonna have a heck of a time holding onto their top players, unless something’s done to have a franchise tag. On Dwight Howard’s foul troubles: MCHALE: You know, you can be a big guy, but two things: I see him making silly fouls early in the game and the technical fouls. You can’t afford to be
suspended coming down the stretch for his team, so you’ve got to have some discipline. There are times when discretion may be the better part of valor. You just maybe have to let a guy get a layup and not foul him and live to fight another day later on in the game, but I think he’s developed into a very impressive player and he’s getting better all the time. On the 25th anniversary of the ’86 Celtics: MCHALE: First of all, I can’t believe it’s the 25th anniversary of that team. It was a great team and it was so much fun being with Robert Parish and Larry Bird, and there was no doubt in my mind that it would be a championship team, and we just exploded. On his friends among his opponents: MCHALE: I really didn’t have any at that time. Once the game started it had to be all business, and I liked to have a line between “us” and “them.” Now that we’re all retired, it’s nice how we can all get friendly and it’s good to see them at events like the ESPN weekend. But, saying that, Charles Barkley is a good friend and has been for years, and also Steve Smith.
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more time to digest the ruling and meet with agency officials, IOSHA spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland said. The two sides have had positive conversations and are working toward a resolution that could include procedures for preventing future tragedies, she said. “Notre Dame really is trying to live up to the things they said in the media,” McFarland said. “They want to make sure something like this never happens again.” A Notre Dame spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. Sullivan, a 20-year-old film and marketing student from Long Grove, Ill., was working as a paid employee of the school’s athletic department on Oct. 27, when he went up in an aerial scissor lift to record the football team’s practice. The National Weather Service had issued a wind advisory for the day, and gusts reached 51 mph about the time of Sullivan’s fall. The lift car-
rying him crashed through a fence and landed on a street. Notre Dame banned the use of hydraulic lifts to film practices following Sullivan’s death and now uses a remote-controlled camera system to record practices. In a statement last month, Rev. John Jenkins, the university’s president, said the state-of-the-art system reflects a promise that he made following the accident. “I said in the days after Declan’s death that we would do everything in our power to make changes to ensure that such an accident does not happen again _ here or elsewhere,” Jenkins said in the statement. The Sullivan family repeatedly has expressed its appreciation to the Notre Dame community for its support. They continue to work with university officials on ways to honor Declan’s memory on the South Bend campus, where his younger sister is a freshman.
april 8, 2011
Kindergartner’s book teaches about bullying, obesity DAWN TURNER TRICE CHICAGO — Children began teasing LaNiyah Bailey about her weight two years ago when she was in pre-kindergarten. She told me they called her “fatty-pants” and “big, fat elephant girl.” Some kids said LaNiyah’s distended abdomen looked like she was carrying a baby. One adult, a former day-care provider, even called her “fatso.” LaNiyah’s mother, LaToya White, said that although most adults don’t say anything, many do stare when she and her daughter are in the grocery store. LaNiyah is now 6 and weighs 115 pounds, about 70 pounds more than the average child her age. “People look at me like, ‘What are you feeding her?’” said White, 34, who works for a property management company. “When we’re in the store, they look in my shopping cart expecting to find a bunch of junk food. But she’s always eaten healthy.” So, as this west suburban Berkeley, Ill., child finds herself at the intersection of a couple of hot issues — the country’s epidemic of childhood obesity and the destructive effects of bullying — her
parents are determined to make sure neither erodes her self-esteem. White said that she and LaNiyah’s father, Songo Bailey, first noticed their daughter was gaining an abnormal amount of weight when she was 3 years old. The family met with a nutritionist who put LaNiyah on a strict 1,800calorie-per-day diet. They also hired a personal trainer, but LaNiyah’s weight continued to increase. She gained 30 pounds during 2009. “The personal trainer said, ‘Something is wrong,’” White said. “Outside of the training, she’s a very active girl. She’s taken dance classes, and she has a treadmill at home. And she runs around the house with our puppy.” White and Bailey took their daughter to doctor after doctor, and they blamed LaNiyah’s weight on bad dietary habits. “One doctor told me, right in front of LaNiyah’s face, ‘She’s just fat because you’re feeding her the wrong things,’” White said. “She became so self-conscious that she doesn’t wear jeans at all. She wears sweat pants, and I buy her cute tops. Or she’ll wear dresses because she’s a girlie-girl.”
Outraged and frustrated, LaNiyah’s parents continued taking her to doctors until one ordered an X-ray, which showed LaNiyah had a swollen colon. Other tests have shown evidence that she may have a hormonal abnormality. She now is being treated by an endocrinologist and a gastroenterologist. “We want people to know that childhood obesity isn’t always foodinduced,” said Bailey, 33, a firefighter. Dr. Rebecca Unger, a pediatrician at Children’s Memorial Hospital and a member of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, said it’s unusual for children to be obese because of issues not directly related to overeating. But it does happen. “By far the most common cause of childhood obesity is the imbalance between calories in and the amount of energy expended,” said Unger, who is not LaNiyah’s pediatrician. “But even when a child’s weight gain is because of medical reasons, the goal is to get it under control so there aren’t other adverse physical and psychological effects.” White said that while LaNiyah’s health was her biggest concern, she
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Events DOG WASH The Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine invites you to come pamper your dog at the annual VMRCVM Dog Wash fundraiser (hosted by the Class of 2014 and SCAVMA). The event will be on April 9th from 8am to 3pm at the veterinary college complex off of Duckpond Dr. Just park and follow the signs. Prices are $10 for a bath and $5 for ear cleaning and nail trim. Hope to see you there! SKYDIVE! One-day first jumps from 13,500’ from 22-jumper twin engine airplane. Gift Certificates! www.skydiveorange.com 540.943.6587
worried about how the weight was affecting LaNiyah’s self-confidence. So she and her daughter decided to write about it. The result is LaNiyah’s new book, “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be,” self-published by her mother. (Her website is www.notfatbecauseiwannabe.com.) LaNiyah said it explains how the teasing made her feel as well as how “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” “I came home crying to my mom and dad when I got teased and bullied,” said LaNiyah, who is an effervescent and cute little girl. “I want people to learn that bullying isn’t cool to do to other people.” White said that when she talked with her daughter about what to put in the book, the way LaNiyah expressed her feelings broke her mother’s heart. “I showed what I had to the editor (whom White hired), and she said that we had to make it more fun to appeal to kids,” White said. “But when I read it to my daughter, she said, ‘I don’t want it to be fun. It’s not funny.’” Bailey said that when LaNiyah told him she was writing a book, he was surprised by how motivated and selfpossessed she was.
6-year-old author LaNiyah Bailey plays the board game CandyLand.
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Spell the phrase in the grid above it, writing each unique letter only once. The correct solution will spell the complete phrase along a single continuous spelling path that moves horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Fill the grid from square to square - revisiting letters as needed to complete the spelling path in order. Each letter will appear only once in the grid.
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46 Mtn. stats 48 Virgil epic 50 Bus driver’s request 55 Point, as a pistol 56 Disinfectant brand 57 Port near Kobe 60 Ex-Soviet leader Brezhnev 62 Idler at the shore 64 Nonsupporter’s political sign words 65 U.N. Day mo . 66 W ild West’s Wyatt 67 Monopod feature 68 Mo. town 69 Some NCOs
9 AM- Hickory Dickory 11 PM Dock
ACROS S 1 Unconscious state 5 Big Apple line 8 Buster who played Flash Gordon 14 Rat-__ 15 Texter ’s “I think ...” 16 Cosmetics giant founded in 1932 17 Side-to-side skid 19 Top-priority 20 Cosmetics giant Lauder 21 Doodad 23 In the pas t 24 Have no place to go but up
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april 8, 2011
Lumberjack cuts his way to the top ANDREW REILLY features staff writer One-tenth of a second is not a long time — it elapses by the time eyes finish reading the word “one.” A tenth of a second probably does not mean much to anyone, unless they’re a hummingbird flapping its wings to stay airborne 10 times within that time span. But then again maybe it does for a scientist shooting a beam of light nearly 19,000 miles in the time it takes to say “whoa.” But a tenth of a second certainly means something in the rough and tumble world of competitive lumberjacking. For junior Marty Cogar — who goes by Scooter — and the other contestants at the STIHL Timbersports Collegiate Southern Qualifier at the University of Georgia, this short duration is the final judgement of their skill. It may as well have been him and the wood alone in a distant field for all the attention he gave the surrounding cacophony. Eyes met timber in a game of interrogation; years of training have taught him that the piece of wood would reveal its secrets if he asked the right questions. He placed his hand on the log, which was laid out like a victim for a guillotine. Within moments, the buzzer would scream to signal the beginning of the event. The contestant’s world is about to devolve into a chaotic scene of spraying woodchips and roaring blades — and then, in the blink of an eye, everything returned to normal. How long is one-tenth of a second? If you asked Scooter Cogar at that moment, he probably would have said a lifetime. Scooter’s story doesn’t begin at the Southern Qualifier in Athens, Ga. It actually doesn’t begin with him at all. The Cogar family was renowned for lumberjacking prowess long before Scooter was born. The clan has been chopping wood in the Appalachian region since the Great Depression era. In fact, more than 25 family members have competed in the sport. As of 2008, 11 of the 25 were still active on professional and amateur circuits. Arden Cogar Jr., Scooter’s uncle, is something of a legend within the sport. He is a 13-time finalist in ESPN’s STIHL Timbersports Series, captain of the U.S. National Lumberjack team and winner of 43 individual world titles. “He’s one of the top axmen in the United States right now,” Scooter said. Arden Cogar currently chops professionally on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series. For those unfamiliar with the somewhat competitive lumberjacking niche, earning a spot on the STIHL pro circuit is a big deal. “It’s brute precision — real fast,” said Brad Sorgen, a STIHL event spokesman. Sorgen is a Tech alumnus who couldn’t hide the excitement in his voice while he described the ins and outs of the lumberjacking community. Sorgen travels around the country to market STIHL events. “Lumberjack sports have been around for hundreds of years,” he said. “What we do is turn it into a competition — we literally focus on people who have a tradition in logging, get paid at the end of their lumberjack days out in the middle of the forest and then they go up against
Scooter emerged triumphant with a ing Auburn, University of Florida and hand event, and I lead the board by 20 second place finish in the single buck, Clemson sent teams to compete in a seconds,” he said. The second event in stock saw giving him a slim but definitive twowide array of events. Over the course of two days, students tested their skills became tricky. Scooter and Victor point margin of victory over Wassack. in forestry challenges both physical Wassack of N.C. State ran neck and STIHL representatives awarded the neck. But Scooter remained optimis- Virginia Tech Forestry Club with and mental. a $1,000 scholarship and booked The STIHL Challenge is only one of tic. “Between me and the first place was Scooter’s flight to Salem, Ore. for the the activities offered at the Southern Forestry Conclave, although its signif- .093 seconds apart,” Scooter said. “So ESPN Collegiate Championship. Should he defeat the four other icance is clear from the plum Friday Being a shorter guy I have regional competitors and one wildnight spot in the schedule. Crowds card finisher, he wins an automatic jam together in a small arena to catch a lower center of gravity buy-in to join his uncle in the 2012 a glimpse of the strongest collegiate than some folks, so I keep STIHL Professional Series. lumberjacks in action. “I’m very excited,” he said. “I’m the “Literally you have hundreds of my balance a little better. first Cogar to be able to compete in people crammed in really close, while But generally I’m also a little the Collegiate Series, and to be able to there’s roaring axes and screaming quicker than most folks, represent Virginia Tech and my famchain saws,” Sorgen said. “Woodchips ily out there is really exciting for me. and saws flying everywhere — the which I guess helps me a It’s a really big deal.” excitement in the arena is palpable.” lot. Some have him ranked as the 53rd The stakes couldn’t have been best professional lumberjack in the higher for Scooter and the other 15 MARTY “SCOOTER” COGAR country despite his amateur status. university representatives: A first JUNIOR FORESTRY MAJOR Sorgen and many others in STIHL place finish guaranteed a spot in the COURTESY OF STIHL TIMBERSPORTS SERIES Collegiate STIHL Challenge National I knew I had a really good shot if I believe it is inevitable that Scooter will Marty Cogar, a junior forestry major, represented Tech when he won Championship at the Oregon State stayed competitive to win the event.” join Arden Cogar in carrying on the An emphasis on training for the family tradition in the pro-circuit. Fair in August. Over the course of the STIHL Timbersports Collegiate Southern Qualiﬁer in Georgia. If that’s what life has in store for him, several high-pressure hours, the ath- standing block — chopping through each other in one on one competi- the Southern Forestry Conclave and letes competed against each other an upright log with an axe — paid Scooter is game. “I definitely see myself doing this tion to see who happens to be the an upcoming event at West Virginia in the four main TIMBERSPORTS off with a first place finish. Only one better one. Literally, we just film it for University. event stood between Scooter and beyond college,” he said. “This really events. Radtke affirms Scooter’s belief that ESPN.” In a display of power, quickness first place, but it was no light task. speaks to me as far as enjoyment, so The television contract with ESPN the best woodsmen rely more on and intuition, Scooter placed in the The single buck is a grueling event I really hope I get the opportunity to has helped STIHL become one of knowledge of wood than sheer size. first two events, which built his con- where a competitor must complete- keep competing.” Radtke is a slender, soft-spoken fidence. Scooter is carving his future — one the most prestigious lumberjacking ly sever a thick log with a crosscut tenth of a second at a time. competitions in the world. Athletes associate professor specializing in “The very first event was the under- saw. from a variety of countries participate assessment and modeling of forest in six events, including the four fea- resources — not exactly the burly tured in the Collegiate Series: stock man stereotype that comes to mind. saw, underhand chop, single buck He also swings a mean axe and teaches a course on lumberjack fundaand standing block chop. The professional circuit is extremely mentals, proving that chopping wood competitive. Only 50 spots are avail- has far more depth than most would able to lumberjacks around the world. imagine. Radtke heard about Scooter — the It’s safe to say Arden Cogar is a member of an exclusive club of timber next Cogar prodigy — from STIHL representatives before the young lumsportsmen. Though Arden Cogar and other berjack’s freshman year began. He’s family members exposed him to lived up to the hype. The Forestry lumberjacking at an early age, Scooter Club athletes are skilled, but Radtke insisted he wasn’t serious about the said Scooter is playing on an entirely sport until college. His high school different level. “He’s a person who is pretty unique. years were instead spent running track and cross-country, as well as Most of our students hadn’t had any participating in competitive shooting exposure to these kind of sports until they come here,” Radtke said. with the 4-H Club. “I never really got an opportunity “Scooter’s literally been training, since to get into it until I got to VT and his family’s so involved in this sport was able to compete on the Forestry — I’m sure since he was 12 years ry orest old.” Club,” Scooter said. use F tition o h e In Scooter credits his success to long Scooter, a wildlife science and envies comp Club nd becom e ronmental resources management hours of training with family. He often a iv t s (win presenta te double major, found the club an ideal drives three hours to West Virginia to e the r e Collegia at work with his uncle on weekends. fit for his interest in lumberjacking. for th hallenge He also attributes his success to his LC STIH Qualifier stature. He’s a person who is the burg, VA s “Being a shorter guy, I have a lower Black pretty unique. Most of our center of gravity than some folks, students hadn’t had any so I keep my balance a little better,” STIH Scooter said. “But generally I’m also a L exposure to these kind Colle TIMBERS little quicker than most folks, which I PO gi Q of sports until they come ualif ate Sout RTS guess helps me a lot.” ier h e w hern Co here. Scooter’s literally been When it came time for the club to Chal llegiate ins the STI len in the Southern Forestry of G ge - Un HL training, since his family’s so participate Conclave on March 18, Scooter’s Marc eorgia ( iversity Fr h involved in this sport — I’m superior talent became clear. The wins 18th, 20 iday 11)a $1,0 n 0 ship sure since he was 12 years entire team participates in the event, for V 0 schola d T but only the top athlete from each Fore rstry Club old. school takes part in the Collegiate STIHL Challenge. Forestry Club lumPHIL RADTKE ESPN Collegiate berjacks held an internal competition FORESTRY CLUB ADVISOR Championship to determine who would represent Salem, Oregon Phil Radtke, the club advisor, the maroon and orange. (August 26, 2011) described the club as the curricu“This year I was lucky enough to lum organization for the College of outchop the other fellas on the team,” Natural Resources and Environment Scooter said. “And I was able reprethat brings forestry students togeth- sent VT that way.” er for social events, philanthropies When the Hokie contingents and outdoor activities. Timbersports arrived in Athens to participate in is only one aspect of the club, but the Conclave, they were greeted with Radtke said its one of the most the lively atmosphere found at a state popular. fair — rambunctious students, giant “(Timbersports) is one of the high- slabs of meat and activities running lights,” Radtke said. “The club does the gamut from archery to women’s spend a good time on that.” tobacco spit. It’s a loud and proud The students put on several fund- celebration of all things forestry. raisers a year to cover travel expenses For the 52nd year in a row, 15 DANIELLE BUYNAK & VICTORIA ZIGALDO / COLLEGIATE TIMES for sporting competitions, such as major southern universities, includ-
Scooter’s Competitions Through Time