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Thursday, April 14, 2011

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

www.collegiatetimes.com

COLLEGIATETIMES 108th year, issue 46

News, page 2

Weekend, page 4

Opinions, page 3

Sports, page 6

Classifieds, page 4

Sudoku, page 4

Tech student stabs himself, assaults cops GORDON BLOCK

moves forward

associate news editor

As soon as he started hurting himself I was thinking to myself this could go really, really badly. TYLER PEASE COMMUNICATION MAJOR

Witnesses said Huppert stood near the table for nearly an hour. Approaching the table, Huppert borrowed a pen and drew a circle with a cross inside on the back of his hand. Nicole Schrand, a senior psychology major, said Huppert then asked students at the table to stab him on the cross with the pen to “prove to us God existed.” The students declined. “We don’t believe in assaulting people,” Schrand said. “We’re very against assaulting people.” Huppert then asked for the pen back, a request Schrand and other students declined. Seeing another pen, Huppert grabbed it and began stabbing himself in the back of the hand. “If it had been a more streamlined pen, I would have expected it to go through,” Schrand said. Wade Duvall, who was also working at the table, walked away from the table to call police. Duvall, a graduate student studying physics, first called the Tech Police non-emergency number. “They told me to hang up and call 911,” Duvall said. Tyler Pease, a freshman communication major, intervened when he saw Huppert attempting to stab himself in the wrist. Pease, a member of Campus Crusade for Christ, convinced Huppert into giving him the pen. Schrand said Huppert attempted to confront Duvall after seeing him on the phone, but several people at the table stood between the two. Duvall said an officer showed up in less than a few minutes. He said Huppert did not cooperate with the officer’s command to take his hands out of his pocket. Duvall said Huppert then “smacked” the officer on the scene. In the resulting struggle, the officer called for assistance to apprehend Huppert. “He kept calling for help,” Duvall said. “So I joined.” Duvall initially grabbed Huppert’s arm. Pease also assisted in subduing Huppert. With additional officers responding, Huppert was taken into custody. “I was shaking after it was over,” Duvall said. Pease said the incident ended “better than I expected.” “As soon as he started hurting himself I was thinking to myself this could go really, really badly,” Pease said. Onlookers were surprised at how quickly the situation escalated. “I didn’t realize what was going on until police subdued him,” said Brenda Hawkinson, who observed the incident. Hawkinson described Huppert as “glassy-eyed.” The release said that while in custody Huppert broke out a police car window and assaulted two other officers. None of the officers’ injuries required medical attention, and no other individuals were injured during the incident. Huppert was charged with three counts of felony assault on a police officer, as well as charges of resisting arrest and destruction of property. He was processed and transferred to Montgomery County Jail, where he is being held without bond. The report said the investigation was still ongoing. Schrand said the incident was not “what we were hoping would happen” during the event. Schrand noted the desire to remain polite during the event. “We did not try to be offensive ever,” Schrand said. Pease commended the group for having a “very open dialogue” during the event.

BY ZACH CRIZER | managing editor

L

ars Peterson left his future in a cemetery near the James River.

Or at least it seemed that way.

One hour on Feb. 27, 2000, branded him a convicted felon. And in that downtown Richmond cemetery, Peterson realized he was lost. He spent nearly eight years in state prison, where he dedicated himself to education. After accumulating 11 certifications and an associate’s degree while incarcerated, Peterson pursued a fouryear college education after his

Lars Peterson, who spent nearly eight years in prison, will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

release. Next month, at the age of 30, he will graduate from Virginia Tech with a civil engineering degree.

H

PAUL KURLAK / SPPS

e really was lost in the cemetery. He didn’t know where he had been until he read about his crime in news reports. Peterson had arrived in the cemetery aimlessly. He graduated from Fairfax County’s James Madison High School in 1998 — the year his current Tech classmates were making the leap to third grade. He decided to attend Virginia Commonwealth University in downtown Richmond. But he admits learning wasn’t a priority. “I had a hefty weed smoking habit and was an experimenter,” Peterson said. “So, I got pretty much involved with the people who were up nights partying, doing various types of substances, and I tried a few here and there. I didn’t really focus too much on school.” By winter break of his sophomore year, Peterson had begun to grow his own marijuana. He says a friend who doubled as his drug dealer stole drugs from his house over the break, and then socialized with him several times before Peterson and his friends

figured out he had taken the drugs. Peterson was enraged. “Me and a couple of my buddies came up with this plan to rob him,” he said. “And we went through with it a week before the spring break that year and robbed him for about ten grand. There were a bunch of people involved.” On that night in late February, Peterson and his friends donned masks and broke into an apartment in the student-populated Fan District of Richmond. Peterson carried a machete he had acquired in Guatemala. His friends carried a sawed-off shotgun and a lug wrench. They abducted the man Peterson said took his drugs. They drove one friend’s blue Chevy Blazer to the large cemetery along the James River. At this point, none of them knew where they were. Panicked, one friend said, “Calm down, Lars.” The misstep would eventually help identify Peterson as the culprit and send him to prison. They left the man in the cemetery. Peterson said his outlook began to change immediately after that night. “I had come to the understanding that my lifestyle and the things I was doing, and the way I was going through with things wasn’t

Offender Detail Information LARS PETERSON PLED GUILTY TO: USE OF A FIREARM ABDUCTION MAIMING BREAKING AND ENTERING ROBBERY working — and wasn’t going to work. I needed a real solution, a real plan for the future.”

G

ood morning, my name is Lars Peterson, and I used to be a dumbass.” He doesn’t wax poetic about his turnaround. He pursued a plan for the future. His initial pursuit of a four-year college degree will come to an end when he grasps a civil engineering diploma next month. He looks unassuming standing before Tech instructor Laura Agnich’s criminology class, but his introduction lightens the mood. This is not part of his rapid ascent from prison roll call to graduation name

COUNTS: TWO THREE ONE ONE ONE

STAFF

Virginia Tech Police were called to the Drillfield Wednesday afternoon following a report of a student stabbing his own hand with a pen. Police were called at 1:19 p.m. by a 911 call from a witness at the scene. Alexander M. Huppert, a freshman university studies major, then assaulted an officer who approached to check his welfare, according to a police press release. After a short struggle with the officer and several witnesses, he was taken into custody. The incident took place near a table promoting a local version of “Ask an Atheist Day.” The student group Freethinkers at Virginia Tech sponsored the table.

reading. This is to help the more common felon, the repeat offender slouched in a cell waiting for chow time. He is not the average guest speaker. He is an ex-felon, a convicted criminal, in a room full of students considering careers in law enforcement. Peterson actually asked to speak to the class. He began by e-mailing Agnich and sitting in on the class. Then, he approached her about giving a guest lecture. Even though they had spoken numerous times, Agnich only knew that Peterson had “years of experience with the criminal justice see FELON / page five

TV physicist talks about show, Trail bridge to be out of challenges in learning science commission for months CLAIRE SANDERSON news reporter Physicist Jearl Walker will visit Virginia Tech on Friday to talk about his famously wild physics demonstrations. With a reputation for sticking his hand in molten lead and putting liquid nitrogen in his mouth, Walker is the author of the bestseller “The Flying Circus of Physics,” and a professor at Cleveland State University. He hosted his own PBS show called “Kinetics Karnival,” and also appeared on Discovery Channel Canada and “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.” Walker said when he comes to Tech he plans to reveal the curious physical properties of everyday kitchen occurrences, such as a shockwave in a sink. The free demonstrations will take place in Hahn Hall 130 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. Walker took a few minutes before he left for Blacksburg to talk with the Collegiate Times. COLLEGIATE TIMES: How did you get interested in physics? JEARL WALKER: I got interested in physics when I was in high school just by picking up a physics book here and there and talking about quantum mechanics, and I found that utterly fascinating. And then when I went as an undergrad to MIT, I found it pretty tough going, and my interest in physics kind of waned. But then, when I was in graduate school

and started teaching I got extremely interested in physics because I loved teaching. CT: You’ve stuck your hand in molten lead and put liquid nitrogen in your mouth — how do you plan to wow the Tech community, since many here are already very interested and knowledgeable about science? WALKER: I’m going to show them some of what I call “Flying Circus Effects Around the House,” about things they have seen, probably their entire lives but they never really took notice of them. I’ll show about half a dozen examples of where the physics turns out to be quite curious, and can be found in other applications. And then I’m going to talk to them a little about the subtle dangers of lightning, things that I think people are not aware of. And then toward the end I’m going to show some video of when I’ve been on television and some of the demonstrations that I’ve done there. CT: Can you give me an example of the household demonstrations you’re going to do? WALKER: Sure, if you turn on a water faucet with a flat basin in the sink, there’s always a circular pattern around where the water hits — that’s a shockwave. It’s related to the shockwave that will come up some rivers when the ocean tide comes in. The shockwave coming up river can sometimes be large enough for people to actually surf on, and I’m going to show a slide of people surfing on the River

Severn in England. They’re desperate for surfing there, so they’re happy they got to surf a little bit. So it’s stuff you see in the kitchen that you really don’t notice, but if you start to notice it and think about the physics involved and think about it, you can find it in other applications. This type of shock wave is extremely well known to hydraulic engineers, who have to worry about a shockwave destroying a dam, for example. CT: You’ve done a PBS show and you’re a college professor. What is the same, and what is different about teaching physics to these different groups? WALKER: Well the college kids, at the level I teach which is freshman level, I’ve got to get them ready for the engineering courses they’re going to see in their junior and senior levels, which are very demanding. So I have to do equations, and calculations, I have to show them how to tackle problems, and that’s a yearlong effort on my part. My job is not so much to teach them physics as to get them ready for the technical courses that they’re going to be facing. So we go through this transition from high school to the junior level courses when they come through me.

[

on the web

]

Check out the rest of the interview on the CT’s website www.collegiatetimes.com

WALTER KIDD / SPPS

A new staircase will allow users to bypass the downed bridge. JAY SPEIDELL news reporter The Huckleberry Trail bridge is scheduled to be replaced following the recommendation of an engineering assessment report. The report said the bridge, which crosses over Southgate Drive, is in poor condition because of damage to the steel superstructure, including heavy rust in several areas. The bridge was shut down earlier this month when public works employees doing routine mainte-

nance noticed questionable rust in the stringers supporting the wooden planks. The assessment was done to determined whether it could be repaired or required replacement. “We’re moving ahead as quickly as we can, but it’s likely to take until mid-August,” said Adele Shirmer, Blacksburg’s director of engineering and GIS. That part of the Huckleberry Trail has been inaccessible since the closing, but the public works department has just completed an additional staircase that allows trail users to bypass the bridge.


2 news

news editors: philipp kotlaba, liana bayne, gordon block newseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

april 14, 2011

COLLEGIATETIMES

what you’re saying //comments from online readers...

virginia

On a newly formed Quidditch Team at Tech:

Cuccinelli blasted for church gun policy

This is an unhealthy obsession. Brooms? Really?

Anonymous>> If Quidditch is an unhealthy obsession, then one must also include football in this category. Many people play quidditch just because they like it...some people on the team have not even read the books.

Anonymous>> I find it hard to believe that any self respecting person who has NOT read the Harry Potter books would voluntarily slap a broom between their legs for any game. I’ve read all of the books. Drop the broom and the snitch, and you have yourselves a decent game. Keep the broom and snitch, and you look delusional.

Anonymous>> I absolutely cannot believe that this is real and made it into the CT. I thought the CT was bad already, but come on guys. Quiddich is not a real sport. Harry Potter is not a real person. There is no such thing as a “muggle” or a “wizard.” There is no “Lord Voldemort.” Stop living in your creepy fantasy world and face the music. You’re in the real worlds folks, you’re in college. Study. Go to parties. Socialize with NORMAL people. Focus on your futures. Do something productive for this University with your time rather than run around like fools on a broom.

who’s the fool, fool?>> I pity the fool who chides the pleasure of another. Live, and let live.

crime blotter

April 13--Gun control advocates fired back at Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli Wednesday following a legal opinion issued by Cuccinelli that says it’s OK to bring guns to church in the name of self defense. Cuccinelli also says houses of worship have the right to bar weapons from their premises. Calling it “an extreme legal opinion,” the group Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws blasted the opinion with statements from state Sen. A. Donald McEachin, DHenrico and Rabbi Ben Romer of Congregation Or Ami.

“As a faith leader and retired United States Army chaplain, I am appalled at Attorney General Cuccinelli’s reckless personal opinion that guns are allowed in houses of worship,” said Romer. “I never allowed them in my synagogue or while a military chaplain in any chapel, even when deployed to combat zones in Panama, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. Our houses of worship are intentional spiritual places of sanctity and safety. Allowing weapons into a holy location devoted to wellness and healing is morally reprehensible.” McEachin, a lawyer and an

ordained minister. said faith communities that don’t want weapons in services will be forced to post signs and expend funds to ensure guns are not present. “The assumption will be that guns can be there, even if they are contrary to the spirit of the religious service and the desires of the congregants.” McEachin said that if Virginians wanted guns in churches to be the law of the land, then they should have supported legislation to codify the practice. -jim nolan mcclatchy newspapers

world Karzai blames ‘foreign agents’ for attack KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan President Hamid Karzai offered a scarcely veiled condemnation of Pakistan on Wednesday for a suicide bombing in Kunar province that killed at least 10 governmentallied tribal leaders and wounded seven others. The attack, Karzai said in a statement, was the work of “cowardly foreign agents hired by our historical enemy.” He didn’t mention Pakistan by name, but the reference was clear to all Afghans: Once again, a suicide attack in one of Afghanistan’s

c-

eastern provinces was being laid to an as-yet-unidentified bomber suspected of coming from Pakistan’s lawless tribal regions. Kunar bordersPakistan’s tribal regions, which Islamist militants — including al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban — use as sanctuaries. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which struck the tribal leaders as they were emerging from a meeting on local issues in Kunar’s Asmar district. Among those killed was Malik Zareen, a pro-government tribal

elder and former commander in the war against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. Meah Hasan Adel, the head of the provincial council, said Zarin probably was the primary target of the attack. “His death is a great loss for Afghanistan,” Adel said. Zareen’s brother also was killed in the attack, Adel said. Some reports said the bomber had embraced Zareen before detonating himself. -hashim shukoor, mcclatchy newspapers

1 3 2 1 6 5 4 0 6 5 6 4 6 5 5 1 4

V I O L A T I O N - A F F I D A V I T

date reported

time

offense

location

status

arrestees

3/24/2011

12:51 p.m. - 1:51 p.m.

Follow Up to Bomb Threat/Vandalism

Owens Hall

Inactive

N/A

3/30/2011

4 p.m.

Follow up to Larceny of Lab Samples

Price Hall

Inactive

N/A

4/12/2011

12 p.m. - 1:40 p.m.

Larceny of a license plate

Coliseum Lot

Inactive

N/A

13216540656465514

Harry Potter is Not Real>>


opınıons 3

editors: scott masselli, gabi seltzer opinionseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

april 14, 2011

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

Your Views [letters to the editor]

Groups work to advertise events Leighton, Thank you for offering your concerns regarding the theme of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and the level of publication of the events (“Minority group needs visibility,” CT, April 13). I would like to address your concerns beginning with the level of publication of the events. As with all heritage month celebrations, the office of multicultural programs and services uses a multi-dimensional strategy to advertise events. Since most events are coordinated with other entities, we encourage the co-sponsors to advertise through their mediums of choice (i.e. listservs, flyers, etc.). As you will note from this year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month posters, there are co-sponsors or full sponsors for each event to include the department of Student Activities, Society of Indian Americans, Japanese Cultural Association, Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Chinese American Society, Vietnamese Student Association and the Korean American Student Association and the Asian American Student Union among others — each participated in their own way towards the marketing of these events. Additionally, MPS operates a weekly listserv that reaches the entire division of student affairs, multiple student organizations and individual listserv members with more than 400 participants in total — all programming events are included in the weekly notices. To supplement the listserv, notice is placed on the university website under “Campus Notices” and on the university calendar. MPS also operates several other listservs and email communication methods that target specific community and campus members; we advertise our events through these mediums to highlight individual events as they occur to avoid redundant notices. MPS also prints at least 600 posters per heritage celebration which are distributed via campus or postal service mail campaigns to specific offcampus entities and all major university units for posting or

Hokie spirit shines through I’m sitting here and I can’t help thinking that I just don’t have the words for this week. I’m one of the Hokies in an awkward situation. I wasn’t a student on April 16, 2007. I hadn’t even applied to Virginia Tech yet. I remember watching the news on television in calculus with my teacher, a Hokie alumnus. At the time, all I knew of Tech was that I liked their football team thanks to Mike Vick, and it had a good engineering program, a field I was interested in. I’ve always had a somewhat addictive personality, and when the events of April 16 unfolded, I had to know more. I needed to know more about the people it affected, I needed to know more about why it had happened to such a quiet community up in the mountains (except during football season, of course). I took sanctuary in the library, hopped on a computer and I read the news as it came in. I watched the death toll rise to 32. I watched the number of people injured climb, not including those who had been mentally and emotionally scarred. As I continued reading, I began to learn more about Tech — before April 16. It was on that day, watching the tragedy unravel, that I began to learn about Tech’s incredible past, its potential for the future. I decided I wanted to be a Hokie. I applied to Tech as soon as I could, in the fall of 2007, and was accepted in March 2008. After one rather quick discussion about out-ofstate tuition with my parents, my deposit was sent in. Since I became a student at Tech, not only have I learned more about that incredible past but I’ve learned about our traditions, our successes, our strengths, our few weaknesses, but most of all I’ve learned what it is to be a Hokie.

to supply for individual pickup. The same posters can be printed by any who desire them by visiting the MPS website. Lastly, we hang a large format banner in the foyer of Squires Student Center and post smaller ones on the bulletin boards in all student centers to announce the monthly celebrations. I am sure, as a student leader, you are aware of the challenge of drawing attention to important social and educational events around campus against the crowded information network. We welcome any suggestions and efforts to create more attention to these important programming events. To your concern about the theme of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, MPS is sensitive to cultural awareness and advocacy. In an effort to represent the voice of the communities, MPS works through suggestions from committees to develop ideas and themes for the heritage months. For this year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the campus group, Asian American Student Union, selected the theme. While I cannot be certain, I believe the group selected the theme — Reaching for the Same Sky, Looking At the Same Moon, Wishing for Peace — to appeal to a sense of commonality among the world community by suggesting similar aspirations, hopes and dreams. I hope this letter provides some support and rationale for the work of MPS and the various groups who coordinated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. As always, thank you. We welcome feedback on our efforts to create a warmer and more welcoming campus for all. Additionally, we welcome your submissions for program ideas through the call for proposal process for any of our heritage month celebrations. Please visit our website for more information.

Ray Williams Jr. director, multicultural programs and services

Everytime I tell someone I attend Tech, they ask me what a Hokie is. But how do you explain that to someone? How do you tell someone that has never been to Blacksburg that a Hokie is not a turkey, that it’s not really even a bird. A Hokie is a state of mind. It’s a sense of community. It’s a feeling of pride. It stretches from our football fields to our classrooms, from our undergraduate programs to our graduate studies, from Greek life to res life, and, physically, from War Memorial Chapel to Lane Stadium and back to the Duck Pond. Being a Hokie is about consistently being No. 1 in collegiate Relay For Life. It’s about Hokie Camp and the Ring Dance and SGA and the No. 1 Panhellenic Council in the nation. Being a Hokie is about an unconditional love for our little town tucked away in a deep valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains. So, here’s my challenge to you: As this week passes, you may hear of April 16 in small talk throughout your day or on the news for the anniversary, or you may not hear of it at all, but I challenge you to learn something else about Tech. There is nothing that kills a Hokie more than Google image searching “Virginia Tech,” looking for a picture of iconic Burruss Hall or Torg Bridge or Lane Stadium and instead, finding the man whose hands killed 32 of our dear Hokies as the very first picture. As I continue my education at Virginia Tech, I’ll pass the April 16 memorial a few thousand times more, I’ll take a few classes in Norris Hall and I’ll always wake up every single day thanking God that I’m a Hokie.

Rebecca Samuelson junior material science engineering

MAHEEN KHURSHID / COLLEGIATE TIMES

Libya no-fly zone was the right decision, surprisingly raveling is hard work, especially T when you want to write a piece on a current event that is ever-changing or “kinetic” (to use politically correct, military operational lingo). That being said, for some time I have wanted to chime in on the fluid events in Libya and provide my perspective on a part of the situation. Opinions on this topic can change at the drop of a hat — as they should be allowed to when discussing a complex series of events connected to countless decisions and actions made by innumerable participants. I welcome disagreement to what it is I am about to say, but I also appreciate a mutual understanding that developments such as these cannot holistically fit themselves into tropes of pro and con immovability. Keeping this in mind, I believe that the decisions made by President Barack Obama thus far — to intervene in the Libya crisis through UN and NATO coordination to impose a no-fly zone — were absolutely correct. This is undeniably a difficult stance for me to take as I personally hold many pacifist values. However, after careful reflection and analysis of the situation as it stands today, I have found myself in this unexpected position. The peace-seeking inclinations I mention are in fact reasons for my backing of the multilateral strikes. Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s murder and marginalization of his own people is intolerable, and the strategy imposed by the UN to minimize the massacre of civilians is morally justified. The use of snipers on marching protestors in mid-February, the orders to bomb their own cities with Russian made Sukhoi jets later that month and the vows by Qaddafi to “cleanse” the country and hunt those “greasy rats” who oppose him in March don’t even speak to the violent and oppressive reign this dictatorial regime has held for the past 40 years. Quick sidebar: I have issues with those who argue that, by our actions, we have entered ourselves into another country’s civil war. My response to this is a simple question: Who turned this into a civil war? The protestors who began peaceful marches similar to those in next door Egypt? Or the government that fired

into crowds and began carrying out military offensives on who they labeled as “rebels?” It would be akin to calling Native American-U.S. conflicts a civil war. To be frank, I don’t believe the question of moral justification is truly at issue here. The horrifying list of past and recent crimes pinned to the Qaddafi regime is widely known and undeniably true. The emotional backing as to why we should stop Qaddafi’s military advancements on his own people is obviously there. Skeptics argue that this is not enough. Rightfully so. Many contend that such malevolence is not unique to Qaddafi, and if we are to step into Libya, then we set a precedent impelling us to intervene elsewhere (Syria, Bahrain, Ivory Coast and Yemen come to mind). After all, using a logic based on moral grounds alone to legitimize military intervention would absolve Bush Doctrine tactics from removing Saddam Hussein and we all saw how that ended — it hasn’t. To this, I would like to call attention to an alternative precedent: peaceful protests for more individual rights are violently suppressed by authoritarian rulers, and when the western world is resoundingly called for assistance, we do nothing. You must consider the political realities of what is happening here. We have been specifically called on for support and the actions in response are multilateral. In an area of the world where stability is fetishized by the west for economic (oil) and security (terrorism) reasons, grass root democratic change that is underway and receptive to the west can’t be ignored and left to crumble under the tyrannical status quo which has made the region so volatile. The Libyan opposition to Qaddafi, and even the Arab League, called on the UN to enforce a no-fly zone. While I’m fully aware that the Arab League has now protested toward the intervention (who knew you had to actually blow up anti-aircraft artillery to impose a no-fly zone?), it’s difficult to see this as anything other than shameless pandering and its initial request should not be disregarded. The political window was here to do something about the injustice and for

the UN not to do anything would be an absolute failure in international leadership. This also helps rationalize the question of cost. While I understand the difficulty in justifying an expensive Libyan intervention during times of hotly debated spending cuts — Obama’s proposed budget includes cutting subsidies to heat poor people’s homes while operations in Libya have cost Americans $550 million as of March 29 — the investment toward the UN’s legitimacy is invaluable. The U.S. is often criticized for self-certifying itself as “police of the world.” It is difficult to argue this in past context, but what must be understood in the case of Libya, is that it’s the UN deciding to take action. Of course this inherently means that the US is deciding to support it but, for Americans, it is in the vein of bringing credibility to a purpose the UN claims to hold. The UN Declaration of Human Rights is a cornerstone of the UN’s theoretical role in the world: to identify and root out the types of abuses that run rampant in Libya. It has balked on past violations, from Rwanda to Bosnia, and seriously needs to demonstrate some level of efficacy. This is only done through multilateral coordination by member states. The US must, and has in this case, realize the limitless value in a strong UN. To do otherwise, as China, Brazil, Germany, India and Russia have done in abstaining, would be to spit in the face of this international body’s existence. If the past few months have been any indication, democracy is infectious. U.S. focus must not be on imposing it by tactics of “shock and awe.” Rather, emphasis should be put on protecting democracy’s growth from the shock and awe tactics utilized by oppressive regimes. It is a phenomenon that is cultivated on its own terms but must not be left to squander by the iron fist of an authoritarian despot. This is the message the UN can rightfully elicit and Obama was right in helping it stand up to its duty.

OWEN DAVIS -regular columnist -senior -political science major

Don’t let concerns about life after college get you down you are a graduating senior this spring, it’s likely that you have If spent a majority of your free time reflecting on the future. Between distributing resumes, attending career fairs, networking and going to interviews, it’s easy to see why many students find their senior year to be the most petrifying period of their young adult life. So while there are many who cannot wait to enter the workforce or attend graduate school, there are just as many who have no desire to leave the comfort and security of these Hokie stone walls. Is there a reason so many are afraid of the future? According to Virginia Tech’s post-graduation report, 43 percent of grads in 2009 had accepted job offers and 22 percent had accepted admission to either a graduate or professional school. While only 17 percent of respondents said they were still searching for employment, that number is still troublesome for those who could well fall into that percentage. Both current and future graduates also cite their majors as a reason for distress. Will a liberal arts degree secure a job, let alone an income? Is it too late to request a change from biology to architecture? Despite the pay, will my engineering degree result in a career that I love? There’s also a fear that after graduation, we might not be able to sup-

port ourselves. The economy is in poor shape, employers are hiring less and competition for jobs is high. Many of us will have to begin paying bills on our own without the help of student loans and relatives. We wonder how we’ll eat without a meal plan or how we’ll find time to be social after relocating to a different city or state. The uncertainty that fogs the future is enough to trigger a mental breakdown, but I do offer some hope. It is true that a few of us who graduate from Tech will not immediately find jobs. However, with the help of career services and plenty of dedicated professors, it will be much easier to continue our searches until that day comes. At the very least you will have earned a bachelor’s degree at what the Princeton Review has called a “Best Southeastern College” as well as one of the “Best Value Colleges for 2011,” a label which takes into account a university’s standard of academics. Not to shout statistics at you, but the post-graduation report informs us that at least 50 percent of graduates will make about $47,000. Depending on the type of lifestyle you live, that’s certainly enough money to afford food, pay bills and have a place to stay. For those of us who have applied to grad school and haven’t been accepted, there’s no need to agonize over denials. Take the next semester off to work in

your desired field, apply for paid internships, enlist the help of advisers and career services and reapply to graduate programs. Make certain that furthering your education is a practical thing to do, especially economically speaking. Knowing how difficult the post-graduate experience can be, I won’t sugarcoat the process. It takes a long time for a lot of us to get our dream jobs and for a great many, our dream salaries will remain figments of our imagination. I’d like to say that if you work hard enough, you’ll succeed at everything, but that’s just not true. Some of the most hardworking people among us will end up at dead-end jobs, earning low wages and barely scraping by. Countless friends and colleagues will spend the rest of their lives working at a job they despise. My only point here is that there is hope. That hope may not buy you a new home or pay off your student debt, but it is there nonetheless. I sincerely hope that our graduates take a little time to breathe and congratulate themselves for getting through years of tough schooling. I hope they succeed.

COURTNAY SELLERS -regular columnist -junior -history 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 opinionseditor@collegiatetimes.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 newstips@collegiatetimes.com 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.


4 weekend april 14, 2011

editors: lindsey brookbank, kim walter featureseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

‘Your Highness’ lacks laughs

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

3.2

[Thursday, April 14] What: Trudier Harris: Jousting with History Where: 370 Shanks When: 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Cost: Free

aughter, an awkward chuckle, someone coughing, halfhearted L laughter, a baby crying, a yawn, more

mi

[Friday, April 15]

What: DJ Dat Boi Where: Awful Arthur’s When: 9 p.m. - 12 a.m. Cost: $5 guys & unders, 21+ ladies get in free

What: Movie: Bouncing Cats Where: The Lyric When: 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Cost: Free

What: American Red Cross Blood Drive Where: Reynolds Homestead When: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Cost: Free

What: KASA Culture Show Where: Graduate Life Center Auditorium When: 8 p.m. - 20 p.m. Cost: Free

What: Vinyl Tap feat. Bobby Parker & Justin Craig (18+) Where: Gillie’s When: 9:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. Cost: No Cover

What: Dave Nada (18+) Where: Awful Arthur’s When: 9 p.m. - 12 a.m. Cost: $10

What: Beatles Night Where: Deets When: 8:30 p.m. 10:30 p.m. Cost: Free

What: Movie: Waste Land Where: The Lyric When: 7 p.m. & 9:15 p.m. Cost: $6

[Saturday, April 16]

[Sunday, April 17]

What: Community Picnic Where: Drillfield When: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Cost: Free, open to public

What: Doc Greenburg’s Patient Jazz Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Cost: No Cover

What: University Commemoration & Candlelight Vigil Where: Drillfield When: 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Cost: Free, open to public

What: 3.2 Run in Remembrance Where: VT Campus When: 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Cost: Free

[Monday, April 18]

What: Pre-Vet Club’s Pet Show Where: Alphin-Stuart Arena When: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Cost: $5 for first entry

What: Japan: After the Tsunami Where: Surge Space Building When: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Cost: Free

[Wednesday, April 20] What: Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble Where: The Lyric When: 8 p.m. - 9 p.m. Cost: $3 students, $5 public

[Tuesday, April 19] What: Big Thunder Rumble Fish (18+) Where: Awful Arthur’s When: 9 p.m. - 12 a.m. Cost: $2

DANIELLE BUYNAK / COLLEGIATE TIMES

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Today’s Radio Schedule ed Mix scs Di Art Day

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7-9 AM - Appalachian Sunrise

WUVT “5 Minute” News at 5 PM

9AM-12PM - Rosalie Wind

7-9 PM - Phelonious Funk

12-2PM - Grayson Sasser

9 PM-12 AM - The Rare Groove

2-3:30PM - Casey Menish

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3:30-5 PM - Alex Tallant

2-4 AM - Candice Chu

By James Sajdak

ACROSS 1 Part of the deal 5 Little pieces, idiomatically 10 Benevolent group 14 Great Plains tribe 15 “Amazing!” 16 House leader during Bill’s presidency 17 Soundly defeat by cheating? 20 Henri’ s health 21 Critical 22 Lummox 24 Maker of the LX 150 scooter 25 Gloomy Cuban? 32 Photo finish? 33 Birthplace of seven presidents

34 Drive of f 35 Ardor 37 Grade that describes this puzzle’ s them e 40 “James and the Giant Peach” writer 41 Iroquois enemies 43 Start of a Durante refrai n 45 Olympics participant since 1992, to the IO C 46 Discerning pub competitor? 50 Cheerios 51 Music store sectio n 52 Martyred first bishop of Paris

4/14/11 55 Notable early student of Bela 59 What loving couples exchange? 63 __ à feu: French gun 64 Carnival dance 65 Unite after a break, in a way 66 Caring 67 Magazine for horse owners 68 Sherpa’ s sighting DOW N 1 Mortar carriers 2 Handle for a little shaver? 3 Animal, vegetable or mineral

MCT CAMPUS

Even a promising cast is unable to make “Your Highness” a hit. lush forests do give the feel that “Your Highness” is indeed set in a magical kingdom. The special effects are subpar in some parts, but the CGI dragon toward the middle looked like the filmmakers spent some time on it. As a fan of movies that are so stupid they are funny, “Your Highness” did not impress me. I will not lie and say that I didn’t laugh at all, because I did. There are some moments that make you just want to shake your head and smile. But unlike “Billy Madison” (1995) and “Boondock Saints,” (1999) both of which were universally panned by critics but went on to become cult classics, “Your Highness” has been universally panned by critics and will most likely go on to gather dust in the bargain bin in Wal-Mart.

“Your Highness” relies too much on crude humor. I felt the writers of the film used an onslaught of “F-bombs” and sex jokes to hide the fact that the film lacks any substance. Sure, crude humor works sometimes, but in “Your Highness” it only serves to thinly veil the complete lack of creativity. Both Portman and Franco give decent performances, considering the flimsy, halfhearted script. Franco comes off as a genuinely noble prince, like the stereotypical royalty in fantasy films from the 1980s such as “Beastmaster” (1982). It would be too much to say that Portman and Franco saved the show, but they did help ease the pain of some excruciatingly unfunny scenes. Looking at “Your Highness” from a more visual standpoint, it did have a lot to offer. Green shot the movie in beautiful northern Ireland. The deep green hillsides, craggy mountains and

COURTNEY BAKER -movie reviwer

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5-7 PM - Alex Simon, Professional Kitty 4-7 AM - Jessica Norman

laughter. This is what I heard in the theaters when I went to see “Your Highness” last weekend. This hit or miss comedy tends to miss the mark more often than not. Directed by David Green (“Pineapple Express”) and starring James Franco, Natalie Portman and Danny McBride, “Your Highness” promises to be a hilarious take on medieval movies. Unfortunately, it falls flat. What went wrong? Franco and McBride, previously costars in the hilarious “Pineapple Express,” play princes of an unnamed kingdom set in the mystical Middle Ages. Franco is the perfect prince: Going on quests, winning beautiful maidens’ hearts and acting fair and honest to all he meets. McBride, playing the younger brother, is the opposite and prefers to laze about and smoke all day. But, when Franco’s wife-to-be is kidnapped by an evil sorcerer, it is up to the two brothers to come together and save the day. The premise is ordinary enough. It’s been done hundreds of times — a quest to save one’s betrothed is borderline cliche. But that’s not where “Your Highness” stumbles. In fact, it has a good start. After all, “Your Highness” is supposed to be a sort of spoof on the fantasy genre, so playing with the cliches of medieval movies seems appropriate. Unfortunately, where “Your Highness” falters is the comedy aspect of the movie. There are a few laughout-loud moments, but for the most part, attempts at a joke come off awkward at best.

4 Unsettled one? 5 Head-slapper’s cry 6 Scoreboard initials 7 “How adorable!” 8 Big name in dairy 9 Sports logo since 1972 10 Like cameos 11 Lascivious 12 Title river in a 1957 film that won seven Oscar s 13 Eyelid malady 18 Latin love r’s declaratio n 19 Stock term 23 Saudi royal name 24 Talking Heads song “Sax and __” 25 Missed out, maybe 26 Met tragedy, perhaps? 27 It merged with Piedmont in 1989 28 Playful bite 29 Swiftly

30 Jacket style popular with ’60s rockers 31 Words that lead to nothing? 36 Educated 38 Game based on crazy eight s 39 Card in 38-Down 42 Meager 44 Words after play or for 47 Idle 48 Where GOOG is traded 49 Canine mascot of the National Fire Protection Associatio n 52 Badlands Natl. Park site 53 Dustin ’s “Tootsie” costar 54 Denounce 56 Wine partner 57 Down but not out 58 Piedmont wine region 60 Bird in the bush? 61 __ Dhabi 62 __ Tafari

Wednesday’s Puzzle Solved

(c)2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

4/13/11

WORD BANK Albany Annapolis Atlanta Augusta Austin Baton Rouge Bismarck Boise Boston Carson City Charleston Cheyenne Columbia Columbus Concord Denver Des Moines Dover Frankfort Harrisburg Hartford Helena Honolulu


april 14, 2011

page 5

Felon: Tech student defies odds, finds career possibilities system.” Like most people he meets, she didn’t ask. But after talking to him and hearing his story, she agreed to let him speak. “It humanizes criminals,” Agnich said. “In my class, we are talking about criminals as this abstract thing, but you don’t actually think about them as human beings, and that’s important if you’re going into law enforcement.” Speaking to more than 50 students, he was under the microscope. But he is OK with that. Agnich said Peterson is the exception to the rule. He is in the minority of prisoners who have moved forward. According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, 69.8 percent of prisoners released since 1994 were arrested for a new crime with three years. Peterson has been out for more than four years, long enough to complete his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a 3.4 GPA. The questions came quickly from the criminology students. Nearly all of them sought prison stories. And he had them. But he also had a different experience than many inmates. His journey toward this May’s graduation began in August 2000, when he pleaded guilty to eight felony charges and began his sentence in Richmond City Jail. Lars Peterson said one hour of stupidity changed his life forever. His mother, Carla Peterson, said his first steps out of the courtroom were in the right direction. “Lars is basically a nice young man,” she said. “Once he walked through the doors of the Richmond jail, he started being what he actually is.”

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eterson used to get high and drive from college in Richmond to his home in Fairfax County. Entering the county, he stared at the walls of Lorton Reformatory — then a prison for serious offenders — and in the drug-induced haze, he wondered what it was like on the inside. Police arrested Peterson less than a month after he and his friends carried out their plot. He was identified as the main conspirator. He was charged with 21 felonies, including robbery, weapons violations, abduction, and breaking and entering. He was offered a plea bargain. He pled guilty to eight charges. Only his two weapons charges carried mandatory sentences — three years for a first offense and five for a second. Even committed simultaneously, the violations count as two offenses by law. He was sentenced to 69 years, with 61 suspended. Peterson served more time than either of his co-conspirators.

do this. And I was fine with doing that stuff,” he said. “I was looking at the future and I was like, I need to build a resume or basically really show and prove to everyone that I’m doing good.” His mother said prison gave him a reason to do things he may not have done otherwise. “He spent a lot of time in prison improving himself, reading books and taking courses, things he might not have done had he not been there,” Carla Peterson said. “So, you try to make the best of it. And I think he did.” At the time Peterson was imprisoned, 26.7 percent of the country’s state prisons offered college courses to inmates, and 55.7 percent offered vocational training, according to the BJS. Peterson took full advantage of both options. He passed up more lucrative prison jobs — such as reconstructing engines for $1.25 an hour or making cabinets for 85 cents an hour — to work as a tutor, take vocational classes and then get an associate’s degree. Agnich said his middle class background, which provided him more financial support than most of his fellow inmates, allowed him to make use of the education programs. “That was his choice, but the thing about taking those programs, is whether it’s going to pay off for you in the end,” Agnich said. “If you’re going to be spending years in prison and you’re from an impoverished neighborhood, it’s not going to benefit you to take those classes. What’s going to benefit you is the 85 cents an hour so you can by commissary and stamps.” His highest salary while imprisoned was 45 cents an hour for serving as a dog trainer. He spent most of his time in classes or tutoring other inmates. Relatively few inmates use the educational opportunities. According to the same report, 31 percent of state prison inmates took vocational classes, but less than 10 percent took college courses. Among the vocational classes Peterson took were small engine repair, fluid power and industrial maintenance. It was this last class that steered him toward civil engineering.

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earing his release date, which came slightly early because of good behavior, Peterson applied to several colleges. He sent the applications shortly after the April 16, 2007, campus shootings at Tech. “I kind of didn’t expect much from Tech, but they were the only ones that gave me a legitimate reason why they were turning me down,” he said.

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After his initial stay in Richmond City Jail, Peterson spent time in Deep Meadow Correctional Center, Greenville Correctional Center, Coffeewood Correctional Center and the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. While he never focused on his course work at VCU, Peterson dedicated his time in prison to his education. “You don’t have many choices — either sit around and do nothing, or

Tech told Peterson to take two classes at a community college and reapply. He took the classes at home in Northern Virginia and was accepted to Tech’s College of Engineering the next semester. He disclosed his record during the application process, and he was accepted. The university began questioning him about his record shortly before classes started. After he had moved to Blacksburg, detectives from the

Road to Redemption JAIL

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Virginia Tech Police Department came to see him. He was sent to sessions at Cook Counseling Center. When his evaluations were completed, detectives said they would notify him if he could attend classes. He waited for an answer until the weekend before classes started. “A couple cops walked into McComas when I was playing basketball that Sunday before and said, ‘We’re looking for Lars Peterson,’ and they made me sign a separate agreement,” he said. “It was kind of like a separate probation where I would report whenever the Virginia Tech police officer wanted me, and I would voluntarily go to counseling and take care of all that stuff.” He said he thought it was an appropriate process. Beginning in fall 2008, the university initiated a more defined process for handling admissions of applicants with past disciplinary issues. All applicants are asked, “Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a violation of any local, state, or federal law, other than a minor traffic violation?” Those who respond yes to the question have their applications automatically sent to Mildred Johnson, director of undergraduate admissions, for review. She contacts Tech’s Threat Assessment Team. Since 2008, the Threat Assessment Team has conducted the review. Prior to creation of the current policy in fall 2008, other university offices conducted a similar review. “I can say that we are not admitting students that we deem a threat to the university,” Johnson said. Gene Deisinger, deputy chief of Tech Police, chairs the team. At the conclusion of a review, he sends a memo to the admissions office with one of three recommendations. The team could conclude that the applicant does not pose a threat to the community, that more information is needed to make a determination, or that the applicant does pose a threat. Johnson said the university typically receives 25 to 30 applications per year that are referred to the Threat Assessment Team. She said about 75 percent are cleared by the review. With the team’s recommendation in mind, Johnson’s office makes the final decision after a holistic review of the applicant. She said students with past disciplinary problems often make the most of their opportunities and are not disadvantaged in the admissions process. “Just because you have that conviction doesn’t mean you can’t come to the university,” Johnson said.

She could not speak to Peterson’s specific case, but said the few similar cases she has seen have usually turned out well. “I’m sure this individual is a good example of how you pay your debt to society, and then you can still come out and be a productive citizen and do very well at a university,” Johnson said. Peterson said he was just ready to redeem himself in the college environment. “I spend more time focused on my classes and doing stuff like that now and getting good grades than I did before,” he said. “If I miss a party or I hear a person telling me some great story about some event they went to, I don’t care that much the way I used to. There will be other times.” His classes have given him a more specific career focus. While he began his time at Tech taking all the classes he could find on environmental water resources, he also became interested in sustainable land development. While he participates in few extracurricular activities, he went to China with fellow engineers and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. Another factor has also played into his schedule in the last 11 months. He has a daughter, almost a year old, who he visits frequently in Roanoke.

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ars Peterson now hopes to find his future on the shores of a crystal clear sea. “I usually think big,” he said. “Originally I wanted to develop a resort in Belize, and that was part of my civil engineer idea. Now it has moved places a little bit.” Peterson said his girlfriend’s Liberian heritage has opened him up to the possibility of building his dream resort on different shores. “I’ve done a lot of land development and sustainable land development and I’m thinking of making some big, sustainable resort there,” he said. “Liberia is a great beach. They don’t have many earthquakes, they don’t have hurricanes or any of that other stuff.” But he also recognizes he is a rare case. He is a convicted felon about to receive a bachelor’s degree. He has a summer engineering job lined up in Washington, D.C., and hopes to find permanent employment in the fall. And his criminal record doesn’t even come up in some job interviews. If potential employers do ask, he tries to point out how he used his time in prison. Agnich said most felons have extreme difficulty finding work, simply because of the label.

“Once you get out, not only do you have limited job prospects, you’re also stigmatized. That affects your life outcomes on every level,” she said. Peterson said his record doesn’t affect his everyday decisions like it used to, but it will always be a part of his story. “You can’t look at someone’s record and say this is a good person or a bad person,” he said. “My record is completely clean except for one hour, but I will forever be known as Lars Peterson the ex-felon.” The stigma, however, is not the only thing that limits felons’ success after their release, according to Carla Peterson. After getting a taste of the criminal justice system when her son was imprisoned, Carla Peterson became involved with Virginia CURE, a state chapter of a national advocacy group that focuses on aiding the rehabilitation of criminals. She is now the state group’s executive director. She says several factors, including financial support and prior education, helped Lars become an outlier among released prisoners. “I think he was atypical,” she said. “People like that are atypical — they’re coming from educated backgrounds, good schools and all of that. He came in with a lot of strengths that other people don’t have.” He also had a place to land on his feet upon release. “Lars was lucky because he had a home to go to when he got out, and that’s very important,” Carla Peterson said. The family visited him every other weekend while he was imprisoned, and in turn, Peterson eased his parents’ financial burden by applying and winning grants to complete his education. His grades and an attention to detail in his application essays allowed him to win much financial assistance in his pursuit of a Tech engineering degree. “It’s really rare, extremely rare,” Agnich said of her guest speaker. “A lot of doors close for you once you’re labeled a felon, especially with a violent crime. So privilege and background aside, you have to be a very smart person to go to Virginia Tech engineering.” Peterson also said his family played a large part in his turnaround. “I didn’t have a lot of responsibilities that most other people have when they get out of prison where they have to pay the rent and have all these financial demands,” he said. “My family was there to support me.”

KATIE BIONDO / COLLEGIATE TIMES

from page one

His family’s support has now been thrown behind efforts to improve the corrections system. “I just had a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around the concept that one hour of being an idiot cost me seven or eight years of my life,” Peterson said. “The whole correctional system thing, I believe, is a complete joke. It should go back to being called a punitive system, because that’s what they’re trying to do.” He said many inmates don’t work to better themselves in prison because Virginia has no incentive for good behavior. The state does not have parole. The most an inmate can cut off his sentence is 10 percent of the time. “They need to have something to work toward,” Peterson said. “There was one guy who was smarter than me, he was my (cellmate) for a while. All he did, he would play soccer sometimes and then buy CDs and lay in bed and listen to music.” Carla Peterson’s organization is leading efforts to aid prisoners’ reentries into society, a cause she said Gov. Bob McDonnell has shown an interest in. She tries to help individual prisoners by answering their letters and giving them the support they are often missing. She hopes more housing options for recently released prisons can be developed by the state corrections system. Still, Lars Peterson said success requires individual effort. “For the most part, it’s up to the individual to do everything themselves. You can take advantage of the opportunities — however few there are — or you can do nothing and just as easily do your time,” he said. As he distances himself from that life, he still attempts to share his experiences in hopes of improving the chances of recovery for future felons. About 29 percent of Virginia state inmates return to prison after their first release. Peterson returned to Coffeewood Correctional Center last summer — where he spent about three years of his sentence. But he wasn’t at the mercy of the guards. The prison officials asked him to speak about his reentry and education. He happily obliged, but didn’t spend too much time reflecting on the topic. He is thinking about a busy week in May, when he will graduate, celebrate his daughter’s first birthday and move to Northern Virginia to begin work. “I’m moving on,” he said. “I’m on my way to bigger and better things. I will just share my story and if it helps someone else, that’s great.”


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editors: michael bealey, garrett ripa sportseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

april 14, 2011

Receivers will be key this season MATT JONES

Hockey playoffs get underway, Blackhawks to defend Cup title

sports reporter For opposing ACC defenses, it must seem like wide receivers Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale have donned the maroon and orange for 10 years. Boykin, a senior, and Coale, a redshirtsenior, return for their final seasons in Blacksburg with very high expectations. “The sky is the limit,” Boykin said. “Logan (Thomas) has a great arm, and we receivers — we want the ball every play.” That personal drive to be great will be vital this fall as the Hokies break in a new quarterback after the departure of Tyrod Taylor to the NFL. Hokies wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman said that steps can be made this spring and summer to make the transition easier. “Getting out there throwing, working every day, little things, working on different types of throws,” Sherman said. “Just working on routes and being consistent each time.” Coale, who was often Taylor’s safety blanket once he started scrambling, said he and the other receivers are already taking the right steps to communicate with Thomas. “We’re constantly talking on the sideline after a play,” Coale said. “I’m asking him what he saw, he’s asking me what I saw. We’re sharing information with each other, making sure we’re on the same page.” Fellow receiver Marcus Davis echoed the thoughts of Coale when talking about his relationship with Thomas. “In the beginning it was a little off,” Davis said. “Now we know his tendencies and he knows our tendencies. We all bring different things to the table, and I think he’s become a lot more comfortable.” While the chemistry is certainly a work in progress, the raw physical talent at wide receiver is noticeable. Of the five players who will likely see the majority of the playing time this season, the average height and weight is 6-feet 2-inches and 211 pounds. The Hokies receiving corps will be carried by its physical tools, but that isn’t all there is to it. “We got some good things on film, but we have some things we have to correct, some little things we have to clean up,” Sherman said following the Hokies first spring scrimmage. “Alignments, splits, footwork, seeing coverage. Just a lot of little things that are coming from the younger guys more so than the veteran guys, but as a group we still have to improve and get better.” The receivers, categorized as either a splitend or flanker, are extremely top-heavy on the depth chart. The Hokies return 61 combined starts from only four players, 32 of which come from the senior Boykin. “Right now we got Jarrett and Danny Coale at the top,” Sherman said. “Guys like DJ Coles and Marcus Davis are continuing to

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Marcus Davis carries defenders in the Hokies spring scrimmage on Saturday, April 9. Davis, along with the other receivers, have much needed experience. improve. I’m not satisfied. I think we can be better, I think there’s a better game out there for us, and it has to start out here everyday in spring practice.” In 2010, the Hokies had one of their most prolific seasons as far as passing the ball goes. The receivers were a big reason why Taylor, who is now Tech’s all-time leader in career passing yards, set the school record for passing touchdowns in a single season with 24. As playmakers leave the program, new ones are expected to step up. “I think the guy that stands out the most to me is the guy getting the most reps, and that’s DJ Coles,” Sherman said. “I think he showed some flashes last year, but the more reps he gets, and sees himself on video, I think he’ll develop and be a good player for us down the road.” Coles, a 6-foot-3-inch junior from Maidens, Va., has been slowed by injuries during his career at Tech. After a prep year at Fork Union Military Academy, Rivals ranked Coles the No. 7 prep school player in the country. After playing mostly on special teams during his first two years on campus, Coles should be ready to be a key contributor for the Hokies this season. Coles is not the lone physical specimen on the Hokies receiving corps. Davis, who stands 6-feet 4-inches tall and weighs 231

pounds, arrived at Tech in 2008 and competed for a backup quarterback job before settling at receiver. Not until the second half of 2010 did Davis really show his skills, highlighted by his dominant third quarter against North Carolina, a game in which he caught two touchdowns. “I think Marcus’ confidence level has gotten better and better each day, with each practice,” Sherman said. “He’s playing faster while being more physical. I’ve challenged him to step his game up this spring, and I think he’s willing. He’s hungry to do that. I like where he’s at right now.” Davis’ potential is catching another important eye — head coach Frank Beamer. “I’ve really been impressed with him this spring practice,” Beamer said. “I think he’s taken it up to another level. A guy that big that is that athletic, he’s really working to reach his potential — and that potential is out there. That potential is he could be really good.” For the 2011 Hokies to reach their potential, a lot will fall on the backs of their receivers, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. “They know what type of group we can be, and see where we can go,” Sherman said. “I think they’re hungry and want to push each other to reach that goal.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE NO. 1 WASHINGTON CAPITALS VS. NO. 8 NEW YORK RANGERS The Rangers got into the postseason on the final day of their season; that recipe worked wonders for the Flyers a year ago. The Capitals have long been presumed the Penguins’ heir to the Eastern Conference throne, but they have only one series win in four years. The Capitals are untested in goal and could be rattled by the Rangers’ physical play, but the Rangers simply don’t have enough pop offensively to handle Washington through a long series. The pick: Capitals in 7 NO. 2 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS VS. NO. 7 BUFFALO SABRES The Flyers are stumbling into the postseason on a 4-5-4 slide. They will likely get Chris Pronger (broken hand) back, which should help an overworked defense. There’s no help coming for Philadelphia’s goaltending, though, with shaky rookie Sergei Bobrovsky set to start Game 1. Buffalo does have Olympic hero Ryan Miller back in net after he missed two crucial weeks and the Sabres, who were a remarkable 16-4-4 in their last 24, are playing tight, sound hockey. So, naturally, it’s the Flyers in this one; they have the best group of forwards outside of Vancouver, and Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are too good for the Sabres’ defense. The pick: Flyers in 6. NO. 3 BOSTON BRUINS VS. NO. 6 MONTREAL CANADIENS There’s so much history here — this will be the 33rd time they’ll face each other in the postseason — that the Zdeno Chara-Max Pacioretty incident should be all but forgotten when the puck drops in Boston. The Bruins have a dynamic group of forwards and perhaps the best goaltending combo in the league in Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask; the Habs have a Swiss cheese defense, decimated by injury, but they do have Carey Price, who has been their MVP. The Canadiens need to score plenty to win; can’t see that happening against likely Vezina Trophy-winner Thomas. The pick: Bruins in 6. NO. 4 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. NO. 5 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING The whole hockey world is wondering if Sidney Crosby can return for this series, but it seems unlikely, even though he’s been skating symptom-free for two weeks. With no Crosby and no Evgeni Malkin (torn ACL), the Pens have relied on a strong two-way system and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The Lightning, under rookie coach Guy Boucher, tries to kill opponents with its incredible speed up front. Dwayne Roloson could be key in goal for Tampa Bay, which gives up a lot

of chances. Despite how well Dan Bylsma has his Penguins playing without their two stars, the Lightning’s stars, playoff-tested Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier, plus the old man Roloson, get the edge here. The pick: Lightning in 7. WESTERN CONFERENCE NO. 1 VANCOUVER CANUCKS VS. NO. 8 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS How to pick against the most dominating regular-season team in the league in Vancouver? Well, the Canucks are facing the defending Stanley Cup champions, who backed in with Dallas’ loss. Chicago has an array of title-winning stars — Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — but they haven’t been as balanced as they were a year ago. Vancouver has depth galore, even though the Canucks have been killed by injuries. Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler could emerge as this year’s playoff superstar, and here’s betting he starts with a monster series in the opening round. The pick: Canucks in 5. NO. 2 SAN JOSE SHARKS VS. NO. 7 LOS ANGELES KINGS San Jose, behind Cup-winning goaltender Antti Niemi, has been on fire in the second half of the season, coming from as far back as 11th to grab yet another Pacific Division crown. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau still need to prove their worth in the postseason, though, and facing the Kings, with their solid goaltending and impressive young roster, will be yet another test for the Sharks. L.A. has lost too much firepower with Anze Kopitar (ankle) out for the year, though, and San Jose is flying with more depth than its had in a while. The pick: Sharks in 6. NO. 3 DETROIT RED WINGS VS. NO. 6 PHOENIX COYOTES It figures that Phoenix, with all its arena and ownership woes, would have yet another fantastic season under coach Dave Tippett yet need to get by the most battle-tested team in the league in Detroit. The Wings’ formidable group still includes Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Dan Cleary and Brian Rafalski; with young Jimmy Howard in goal, they could be vulnerable. The pick: Red Wings in 6. NO. 4 ANAHEIM DUCKS VS. NO. 5 NASHVILLE PREDATORS Anaheim completed a huge run from outside the top eight just a week ago to home-ice in the opening round despite juggling goaltenders and with a defense that’s not exactly a bunch of household names. Nashville, which hasn’t won a playoff series in five previous tries, may have its best shot yet, with Shea Weber anchoring a solid defense and Pekka Rinne perhaps the best goaltender in the league. This could be the Predators’ time. The pick: Predators in 6.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 Print Edition  

Thursday, April 14, 2011 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times

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