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THE NEW

MATT JONES sports editor Andrew Aizenstadt remembers the first time he stepped foot on the Virginia Tech campus. His first reaction: “Wow.” Aizenstadt, a 6-foot-5 redshirt-senior pitcher, transferred from Division III Babson College for the 2012 season, undergoing a bit of a culture shock on his arrival. To say things are a little bit different in Blacksburg from what he’s used to would be an understatement. Babson College is a private business school located outside Boston and is home to just under 4,000 students. When Aizenstadt came to Tech in October 2010 for his recruiting visit, one thing really stood out. “Everything was just so big,” Aizenstadt said. “I’d compare it to being from a small town, then going to somewhere like New York City with all the huge buildings.”

GUY

see AIZENSTADT / page seven

BRAD KLODOWSKI / SPPS

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

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

www.collegiatetimes.com

COLLEGIATETIMES 109th year, issue 23

News, page 2

Weekend, page 8

Opinions, page 3

Sports, page 7

Study Break, page 4

BALAN CING A CT BY JOS H

HIGGI NS | ne ws rep orter

CollegeHumor names Virginia Tech No. 3 ‘slacker school’ behind Penn State, Florida

ontwitter

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Not sure what this means other N than we beat Clemson #finally @DjMarvyMarv

Virginia Tech ranks third in the list of “slacker schools” across the country, according to CollegeHumor. The list, which also includes Penn State, Clemson and the University of Florida, selected schools that have “the maximum amount of fun while putting forth the least amount of effort.” However, Ed Spencer, Tech’s vice president for student affairs, says students at the university are not slackers. “When I think of Virginia Tech students, I don’t think of slackers,” Spencer said. “Someone who has an average high school grade point aver-

age of 3.9 and an SAT score an average of 1250, in my mind, is not a slacker. I just don’t see the slacking going on.” Spencer also said some Tech students have active social lives. “Are there students who party hard? Sure. I think we have students who study hard and party hard,” he said. “I think sometimes because people might have a really active social life, they’re construed as being a slacker, when in fact, if you look a little deeper, these students might be some of the brightest you could find. see SLACK / page five

obviously didn’t interview any engiob neering students in 2nd semester Jr. year. That was about the toughest 16 wks of my life @chmiller3 PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY: DANIELLE BUYNAK, BRAD KLODOWSKI & DANIEL LIN

TED Talks to be streamed live in GLC NICK SMIRNIOTOPOULOS features reporter Virginia Tech students and faculty soon have the opportunity to “Invent the Future” as they learn about and discuss innovative ideas as part of this year’s TED — Technology, Entertainment and Design — talks. There will be a live simulcast viewing of the TED2012 “Full Spectrum” conference, held in Long Beach, Calif., available for the Tech community on Feb. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. in the Graduate Life Center’s multipurpose room. TED is a non-profit organization that holds annual conferences where world-renowned speakers introduce innovative ideas addressing pervasive global issues. Edward Watson, the associate director for the Center of Institutional Development and Educational Research at Tech, and Mauricio Castro, a junior business information technology major, are co-organizing the event. Castro initially came up with the idea to bring the live simulcast to Tech based on students’ overwhelming interest in TED. “I wanted to engage the interest, because there is a lot. There

are a lot of people who love TED talks, so there is a lot of potential,” Castro said. Building off Castro’s initial interest, Watson wanted to make the event more than just a live viewing, but an opportunity to engage in dialogue. “I look at world class universities where there is more of an opportunity for students and faculty to engage informally,” Wastson said. “The goal (of the simulcast) is to provide an element for students and faculty to interact.” The GLC multipurpose room will be set up with round tables for an intimate, discussion-based atmosphere. There will be volunteer facilitators assigned to each round table to lead discussions on conference material. While a majority of the facilitators are faculty members, none of them will be part of discussions pertaining to their academic field. Watson said this will enhance conversation. “The faculty facilitators are not experts of the talks,” Watson said. “This way, everyone will be new to the ideas, which is a big equalizer.” The conference is broken up into four main segments that each concentrate on a theme. The first segment, “The Lab,” will feature Tech alumnus

Regina Dugan, the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and a variety of technology specialists. The last three segments — “The Earth,” “The Crowd” and “The City” — have a host of diverse speakers from many disciplines, ranging from photography, anthropology and business. Castro is particularly excited about the conference’s first speaker Henrik Scharfe, a world-renowned roboticist. “(Scharfe) is creating a robot that looks like him. It takes a while to realize that (the robot) is not a real person,” Castro said. “Everything is so natural. People are going to realize this is the future of robotics.” While this is the first year of Tech’s partnership with TED, Castro is enthusiastic about the opportunities for the future. “I want to make this a yearly event that the whole school can get behind. I want to make more people aware of TED,” Castrosaid. In addition to spreading awareness about TED, Watson hopes the talks actually empower students and faculty to work together in response to some of the pressing issues addressed. see TED Talks / page six

Students study Appalachia ALLIE SIVAK features staff writer There is no place like home when it comes to the Appalachian studies minor offered at Virginia Tech. The minor offers a path of study about the location where the Hokies reside. The Appalachian region is 205,000 square miles that run along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, from southern New York to northern Mississippi, as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission, or ARC. Included in this region is the entirety of West Virginia, along with portions of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The Appalachian studies minor, created 27 years ago, gives students a chance to learn about significant issues in the region, such as cultural variation, environmental destruction, representational politics, as well as the various lifestyle practices between societies and different racial, gendered, ethnic and regional groups. As the region includes 13 states, students who take cours-

es offered in the minor learn about a culture that is not limited to a small stretch of land or area. “The courses vary their focuses from music to ecology of Appalachia,” said Shasta Sowers, a junior agricultural sciences major and Appalachian studies minor. Anita Puckett, an associate professor and director of the Appalachian studies program, said what students gain from the minor far transcends knowledge of one area. “While the focus is on the specific region of Appalachia, what students learn is applicable internationally as well because of its emphasis on a critical self-awareness of human differences and the significance of place,” Puckett said. “(Students) say they have been better able to interact with those who come from different backgrounds than their own and are more flexible in new cultural situations.” The program can also compliment other majors and minors. Hayley Potts, a freshman human nutrition, foods and exercise major, is currently enrolled in introduction to Appalachian studies because she has family from Gap

Mills, W.V., a portion of the Appalachian region. “I really enjoy learning about the culture and history behind the area my family is from and wanted to take the opportunity to be in a regional studies class like this,” Potts said. Appalachian studies also has room for undergraduate research and experiences outside of the classroom. The department participates in the Appalachian Teaching Project each year, which is funded by the ARC. Through the project, students conduct undergraduate research and present their findings to the ARC, along with other Appalachian studies departments from 14 schools around the region. This year’s research topic was “Cultural Factors Impacting Food Sustainability Initiatives in the New River Valley, Virginia,” and involved students working with local farmers in the region. “It was one of the most important, yet unique learning opportunities that I’ve ever had because I was able to conduct research on my two favorite topics: agriculture and Appalachian culture,” Sowers said.


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news

february 23, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

Huguely guilty of murder TRICIA BISHOP mcclatchy newspapers CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. _ After nine hours of deliberation, a jury on Wednesday found George Huguely V guilty of second-degree murder and grand larceny in the 2010 beating death of Yeardley Love, his former University of Virginia girlfriend whose bruised body was discovered by a roommate at her off-campus apartment. He was acquitted of more serious murder charges, requiring premeditation, as well as robbery, burglary and breaking and entering allegations. Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, and grand larceny has a maximum of 20 years. Jurors must now recommend a sentence for the 24-year-old, who faces up to 60 years in prison. Attorneys began going over sentencing instructions immediately after the verdict was delivered, and planned to call the jury back in shortly to hear evidence and witness testimony. A separate sentencing deliberation will then occur. Love’s family, sitting in the front row of the trial room in Charlottesville Circuit Court, remained composed as the verdict was read, as did Huguely. He has been jailed since his arrest nearly two years ago, the day after the altercation. Sister Patricia McCarron, headmistress of Notre Dame Preparatory School _ Love’s alma mater _ issued a state-

ment: “Yeardley has been in our hearts and minds since her passing in 2010. She will be remembered and celebrated in many ways at NDP_ through a scholarship that bears her name, with a threesport turf field, and through the empathy our community holds for her and her family. Yeardley will always be one of ‘our girls,’ and though we will never fill the void left by her death, we pray that those whose lives have been immeasurably altered may find peace.” The case against Huguely revealed issues of alcohol abuse and domestic violence within the prestigious ranks of a respected university and a seemingly privileged upper class. Love and Huguely were both well-liked lacrosse players who grew up attending private prep schools, she at Notre Dame in Towson, Md., and he at the Landon School in Bethesda, Md. But their tumultuous relationship _ marked by physical confrontations and infidelity _ belied their seemingly picture-perfect worlds. Love, from Cockeysville, Md., once bashed him with her purse. And Huguely, who’s from Chevy Chase, Md., had drunkenly put Love in a choke hold, according to witness testimony. “I’m scared to know I can get that drunk to the point where I cannot control how I behave,” Huguely wrote Love after the incident, according to courtroom statements. Huguely’s attorneys had argued during the two-week trial that their client was an

uncomplicated “boy athlete” who never meant Love any harm, and just “wanted to talk” when he confronted her May, 2, 2010, about a recent infidelity. They were just weeks shy of graduation. Huguely told police he had more than a dozen drinks that day and kicked in her bedroom door. He said he wrestled with Love, who was “freaked out” and screaming. He shook her, restrained her, and eventually threw her onto the bed, he said, before storming out and grabbing her laptop along the way. Huguely claimed the altercation lasted 10 minutes or less. His attorneys said that Love’s injuries combined with her own drinking likely led to her death, suggesting she suffocated in her own bloody pillow. But prosecutor Warner D. Chapman described the incident as a violent assault and murder that had been building for weeks. Huguely had sent Love an email saying he “should have killed” her for cheating on him. She had a black eye and finger-shaped bruises on her body when she was discovered. “You can see the marks on her,” Chapman said during closing arguments, claiming Love was incapacitated by the time Huguely left or she never would have allowed him to take her computer. A gag order, in effect until the close of sentencing, prevented prosecutors and defense lawyers from commenting on the case. Lawyers who are not affiliated with the trial, but have

been watching it closely predicted that jurors would find Huguely guilty of something less than first-degree murder. He had been charged with two forms of felony murder, one alleging premeditation, and the other claiming it was committed in the commission of a robbery. Both are punishable by life in prison. The onlookers pointed to his drunken state and the heat of the moment as factors that negate premeditation. Jurors deliberated for most of the day Wednesday, indicating through notes to the judge that they were carefully considering evidence to determine whether Huguely intentionally killed Love or whether his role in her death was more akin to involuntary manslaughter. In three separate notes, they asked for a legal definition of the word “reason,” which was contained in jury instructions; clarification of seemingly contradictory instructions having to do with intent to kill and cause of death; and about a missing exhibit _ that letter Huguely wrote to Love, apologizing for the choking incident. His parents are expected to testify during his sentencing hearing, as are members of Love’s family. Once the jury makes a recommendation, it’s up to Judge Edward Hogshire to approve or amend it, which will likely occur weeks down the road. Love was awarded a bachelor’s degree in government and politics posthumously. Huguely withdrew from U. Va. shortly after his arrest.

editors: nick cafferky, michelle sutherland newseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

what you’re saying Policies lead to pile-ups after storm:

Karen S: People were warned as early as Tuesday not to plan travel for the weekend. It makes no sense blaming VDOT when the weather warnings were out there well in advance.

Cody D (in response to Karen S): Karen you just said what the issue was...VDOT knew as soon as ‘Tuesday’ that there could be a lot of snow. Don’t you think it could have been planned to expect that and be ready to serve the people that had to be on the road and not stuck without moving for 5 1/2 hours? Thought that is why we pay taxes...All that Ms. Bish was pointing out was that they (VDOT) had advance warning and obviously a generous portion of money set aside yet got stuck in traffic for way more that is acceptable. Delays are always expected when traveling in any kind of storm, but not moving for 5.5 hours is unacceptable.

Dan: While it was originally believed that

this would be a rain event, as events began to unfold Sunday morning, the changeover from rain to a mix of sleet and snow began not long after precipitation began falling.However, warm road surface temperatures thanks to Saturday’s 58-degree day and temperatures above freezing until Sunday evening meant that it took until about 3pm for snow to really begin accumulating on local roads and for road conditions to deteriorate. Until that point, wet roads would have continued to limit the effectiveness of any road treatment. Unfortunately, there’s not a really good answer to the question “how could road conditions have been improved on Sunday?” If only there were a way for drivers to find out ahead of time about impending inclement weather and make alternate plans for scheduled travel through affected areas.

crimeblotter date

time

2/16/2012

offense

location

status

arrestees

2:00 a.m.-7:00 a.m. Follow-up to Larceny of Money

Lee Hall

Inactive

none

2/21/2012

12:00 p.m.

Simple Assault

Litton Reaves Hall

Cleared by Arrest

Gabriel A. Mastromano

2/21/2012

8:00 a.m.-11:59 p.m.

Sexual Assault

Brodie Hall

Active

none


opinions

editors: scott masselli, sean simons opinionseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

february 23, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

3

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

Our Views [staff editorial]

‘Slacker’ ranking not to be taken too seriously

C

ollegeHumor recently released a list of the top 10 “slacker schools” in America, pegging Virginia Tech as No. 3 behind Penn State and the University of Florida. While it’s irrelevant to quarrel over the generalization of an entire university, it’s important that we, as a student body, take note of the positives that our position on such an esteemed list brings to light. According to the list, the schools were ranked for “having the maximum amount of fun while putting forth the least amount of effort.” This makes it seem the rankings are, at least to some extent, meant to be complimentary. No engineering and architecture students, CollegeHumor is not calling you out as being “slackers.” Rather, they’re praising you for making the most of your college experience despite having an immense workload. It’s completely certain that CollegeHumor knows Tech boasts the No. 13 engineering school in the nation, according to US News & World Report, and Tech’s School of Architecture

and Design tied for first in the nation in a 10-year ranking with Columbia, Harvard and Yale, according to DesignIntelligence. But it’s also important to remember the school itself is being applauded for its ability to churn out (somewhat) productive members of society who also know how to have a good time. And — as if there weren’t enough indication the list is not meant to be taken too seriously — consider that nine of the 10 schools listed rank in the top 50 among the best public universities in the nation, according to US News & World Report. Tech ranks No. 28, or fourth on the list behind No. 13 Penn State, No. 19 Florida and No. 25 Clemson. So, rather than grumble about being labeled as an attendee of one of the nation’s top slacker schools, revel in the fact that you have more fun while doing less work than almost every other college student in the country. Or angrily remind CollegeHumor that Tech students work hard. Either way works fine, really. The editorial board is composed of the editors of the Collegiate Times.

Making money is key to newspapers’ success W

hen it comes to the realities of life in journalism, no one prepared me more while I was an undergrad at Virginia Commonwealth University than Bill Turpin. He was No. 2 in the department of mass communications when I arrived in the fall of 1979 after three years in the Army. In a previous life he had been a small-town newspaper publisher. And in that small Southern town, he saw every day the impact he had on his community. If readers didn’t like something in his paper, he heard about it. If they didn’t get their paper on time, they let him know. He could be confronted while in line at the grocery store, on the sidelines at a Little League game, or while out with his family. And there was no deflecting responsibility. As a small-town publisher, he was the editor, the advertising director, the circulation manager, and whatever else needed to be done on any given day. Sometimes an apology was in order, and a promise to make things right: for a typo or factual error, for an ad that wasn’t run as promised, for a late paper. Other times he had to stick to his guns: for unflattering coverage of a local politician, for opinions that made someone want to cancel a subscription. No business person in his right mind wants to anger readers, advertisers, neighbors, friends, colleagues. But one of the realities of journalism, Turpin would remind us, is that newspapers aren’t just a business. They come with added burdens and responsibilities. And one of those tasks is to point out the truth, however uncomfortable, as best as it can be determined. I don’t mean truth in some godlike, omniscient way delivered from paragons of virtue. And Turpin never looked at the profession or its practitioners that way either. I mean reporting on the truth as it is determined from the facts at hand, as fairly and accurately and responsibly as possible. Of course, sometimes when you do that, someone is going to be upset. And you’ll hear about it — in Turpin’s case very up close and personally. If you can’t handle that kind of pressure, and in the process stand up for your good name and your publication’s, you don’t belong in the business. Back down, degrade that good name in any way, and you have no business. So why do I keep using the word

business instead of profession or even noble calling? Because of the other reality check Turpin passed along. In our senior year, we took a newspaper-management class from Turpin that went way beyond the ins and outs of herding cats in a newsroom. We spent half our time shadowing a local publisher to learn about all aspects of the business: circulation, advertising, business, production. Then we had to create our own fictional paper, from staffing, to realistic budgets for each department, to designs for everything from the newsroom to the pressroom. It was quite the adjustment from all those reporting and editing classes. A classroom full of Woodward and Bernstein wannabes were being pestered with questions like, Where are the bathrooms for your employees? I can’t say that I became an expert in any of that, but I did take away the message that Turpin repeated over and over: No matter how talented the writers and photographers, the editors and page designers, the advertising and production staffs, they couldn’t put those talents to use if your newspaper wasn’t making money. Thirty years later, the money isn’t being made. And changing economic realities require that newspapers adjust or die. So I applaud attempts to expand the readership and re-create an industry — whether through tweets, Facebook, or apps — in order to retain and create jobs for talented people, and to keep serving the community. At the same time, I confess to being just a bit more worn down and a little more discouraged with each round of layoffs. Regular reports of the company being sold, and allegations about behind-the-scenes games being played, aren’t that great for morale either. But, as with all things, we get a brief blink of an eye to do our best, to add to the debate, to make gentle the life of this world. And in that time, we hope, through our efforts, that we’ve made a contribution, and in the process, have stood up for our good name and our newspaper’s. There is no business without that name.

KEVIN FERRIS -mcclatchy newspapers

MCT CAMPUS

Technology hurts social bonds O

ver the past decade, social media has developed into a type of communication fit for our generation. People are able to present themselves in unimaginable ways, allowing them to express interests and dislikes. But most importantly, Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites serve as tools for procrastination. While chatting with friends, reading statuses and skimming Tweets, I wonder what happened to traditional communication in the current tech-savvy era. People’s lives seemingly revolve around receiving digital messages, as they spend countless hours staring at screens and communicating with people online even though they are geographically close. I understand social media is a beautiful thing, providing people an opportunity to stay instantly in touch with others locally, nationally and internationally. Still, these advances come with costs. Rather than speaking face-toface with others, people articulate their thoughts and feelings though short messages — smiley faces and shortened phrases like “lol” are used to express emotions. Reality check. The newfound ease that comes with social media may be causing anxiety among people who are afraid of in-person conversations — people fear natural discourse is not cool enough anymore. Think

about being at a party but having no one to talk to. What is the first thing you do? You look at your phone. Your inbox has become a blanket — a solution to your uneasiness. The constant use of social media stems from people’s fear of being misunderstood. People can edit and re-edit digital messages as much as they like until they decide they’ve perfectly conveyed their thoughts. People can make themselves sound intelligent, meaningful or witty. Cell phones have become the faces of their users, and messages have become direct reflections of people’s personalities. People can sound like whomever they choose. However, there are rules regarding messaging. Guys should only text girls three days after they first meet, or else they will come across as desperate. If people respond to a text message within a minute, they will be perceived as overly anxious. But what about making real, genuine conversation these days? That seems scarier than anything. Have you ever been on a date with someone who you have spent so much time messaging online and using a phone, but you had nothing to say to them in person? Somehow, you felt more comfortable speaking to them through texts and Facebook messages than in a face-to-face conversation. The described experience is more

common than people think and can only be described as awkward. I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if it was similar to that of “Friends” or “Seinfeld,” where people only use telephones and answering machines. People’s lives would reflect who they truly are, not what is on your Facebook profile or how many “likes” you received on your latest status update. Digital communication has taken away from what makes humans thrive — the ability to express thought through in-person discussion. The more people use social media, the more self-conscious they become, like guarded shells of their former selves. My call to action is not for people to stop texting or deactivate their Facebooks, but rather to measure their lives by the days they lead. Texting and typing are tools that have only given a bigger role to the thumb — they are not the only way to communicate. A group of people were referred to as Gen X. The way this generation is socializing, it ought to be known as Generation teXt. SHAWN GHUMAN -regular columnist -junior -communication major

Houston’s red flags were missed W

hitney Houston often has been a magnet for envy. As a teenager, young Whitney grew up with a home swimming pool, the only child in her East Orange, N.J., neighborhood with one. Her friends learned to swim with the athletic “Nippy,” as they affectionately referred to her. Then, there’s “The Voice.” We’re talking envy here, remember. Just listen to her powerful and radiant rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Fla. We’ve heard nothing like it, before or since. However, there’s one aspect that few could envy: The Post-Mortem Polarization of Whitney Houston. On one side, we have this view: When actor Kevin Costner, Houston’s co-star from the hit movie “The Bodyguard,” eloquently spoke at her funeral on Saturday in Newark, he referenced Houston’s uniqueness. “I thought she was perfect for what we were trying to do,” an emotional Costner said of her first leading role. “You made the picture what it was. A lot of guys could have played my part, but I believe you were the only one who could have played Rachel Marron at that time. You were as beautiful as a woman could be.” On the other side, we have this episode: Los Angeles talk-radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampiou were suspended for calling Houston a “crack ho.” They took it further, saying she’s been “cracked out for 20 years” and “It’s like, ‘Ah Jesus ... here comes the crack ho again, what’s she gonna do? Ah, look at that — she’s doin’ handstands next to the pool. Very good, crack ho ...’ After a while, everybody’s exhausted. And then you find out she’s dead. It’s like, ‘Really? Took this long?’” And there’s the governor with the flag: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered flags at government buildings lowered to half-staff to honor Houston, despite her checkered past. Christie admitted that he received numerous

emails and messages angrily denouncing his executive order with the flag. But the governor said he wasn’t lauding Houston as a role model, explaining that she deserved the gesture because of her major cultural influence in the entertainment genre and that she was a “a daughter of New Jersey.” Now, let’s explore this in more depth: Christie is a staunch Republican. It wouldn’t be surprising if he has aspirations for the White House at some juncture of his fast-rising political career. The flag gesture is one that will be remembered because of the controversy. And when Christie is courting the presidential vote — read as in the black vote in 2016 or 2020 — many people of color would view him more favorably for such a defiant stance in support of Houston. Call it the Politicization of Whitney Houston. If there’s a positive emanating from this tragic discussion, it’s the increased focus on the murky underworld of prescription drug use/abuse. It’s widely known that Houston had been treated for substance abuse, and Los Angeles authorities have been examining prescription medicines found in her hotel room. Last week on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” singer Kelly Price, a friend of Whitney Houston, naively spoke of Houston’s drinking during the days before the Grammy Awards: “Well, no, I wasn’t worried about it. I didn’t see where it was excessive. I didn’t see — I saw her with a couple of glasses of champagne. And then our interactions were normal. There was nothing that seemed that it was over the top. She didn’t seem to be intoxicated to me. Again, I know intoxicated when I see it. And so I wasn’t worried about it at all.” Addiction specialist and television personality Dr. Drew (also known as Drew Pinsky) almost went into a lecturing tirade when he heard Price’s alarming comments, saying, “Oh, Anderson, it is — no disrespect but this is the highest level of ignorance. The fact is that just because somebody

isn’t doing hard drugs does not mean their addiction is not active. “Please, everybody, I’m trying to get this message across to the world and — it seems to be falling on deaf ears. If you have addiction today, you are not going to die of hard drugs, you’re going to die a prescription death. That is how addicts die today. Period. ... “Seeing Whitney with champagne in her hand should have been an alarm sounding for all of her friends. They should have pulled her aside and said, Whitney, you were in treatment just last May, my God, what’s going on. You seem to be not doing so well, let’s get you to a meeting right away where the goal is abstinence for a reason. Not because it’s mean or mean-spirited. But because it’s what saves lives.” The bottom line is that many people were in denial about Houston. They saw what appeared to be a healthy-looking Houston and decided that everything must be A-OK — at least outwardly. So therefore, no more addiction and thus no more issues. It’s only natural to think the best is in store for a close friend, regardless of circumstances. Furthermore, most everyday people probably don’t think having a drink every now and then isn’t so bad for anyone — even for a recovering addict. Much of this laissez-faire attitude toward Houston’s drinking can be attributed to a lack of awareness of the warning signs, as Dr. Drew attests. However, there’s also the issue of plain and simple denial. All you have to do is personalize it: How many of us truly want to believe that a friend always will be haunted by the demons of substance abuse? That’s what treatment is for in the rehabilitation facilities. With that, there’s a visceral, if not sentimental, expectation of a cure-all to end-all. As Whitney Houston’s death shows, if only it were that simple. That’s something no one can envy.

GREGORY CLAY -mcclatchy newspapers

Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief: Zach Crizer Managing Editor: Lindsey Brookbank Design Editors: Danielle Buynak, Victoria Zigadlo Public Editor: Justin Graves Web Editor: Sarah Watson News Editors: Nick Cafferky, Michelle Sutherland News Reporters: Josh Higgins, Cody Owens, Erin Chapman News Staff Writers: Priscila Alvarez, Abby Harris, Gina Paterson, Ashley Seagar Features Editors: Chelsea Gunter, Patrick Murphy Features Reporters: Nick Smirniotopoulos Features Staff Writers: Courtney Baker, Torie Deible, Dane Harrington, Kevin McAleese, Andrew Reily Opinions Editors: Scott Masselli, Sean Simons Sports Editors: Matt Jones, Zach Mariner Sports Reporters: Michael Bealey, Josh Parcell Sports Staff Writers: Eric Avassi, Zander Baylis, Alyssa Bedrosian, Cody Elliott, Taylor Hay, Alex Koma, Ashleigh Lanza, Brian Marcolini Photo Editor: Daniel Lin Enterprise Team Editor: Liana Bayne Public Information Director: Dishu Maheshwari Training Director: Kelsey Heiter Copy Chief: Spenser Snarr Copy Editors: Nora McGann, Luther Shell Layout Designers: Bethany Melson, Alicia Tillman, Tanja Vogel Online Director: Alex Rhea Collegiate Times Business Staff Business Manager: Philipp Kotlaba Student Publications Photo Staff Director of Photography: Paul Kurlak Lab Manager: Austen Meredith College Media Solutions Ad Director: Brandon Collins Asst Ad Director: Matt Freedman Account Executives: Johnson Bray, Kevin Jadali, Alyssa Brown, Brian Dickson, Janssen Claudio Inside Sales Manager: Mario Gazzola Assistant Inside Sales Manager: Adam Shata Office Manager: Kayley Greenday Assistant Account Executives: Alex Perry, Kacie Nolan, Jordan Peugh Creative Director: Casey Stoneman Asst Production Manager: Colleen Hill Creative Services Staff: Danielle Bushrow, Mary Dassira, Alyssa Morrison, Molly Vinson

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february 23, 2012

Regular Edition Today’s Birthday Horoscope: Silver dares you to catch it as it rains

It’s no puzzle what Blacksburg is doing on Thursday and Saturday night.

into your pockets. It slips out easily. Use it to pay your bills, and stick to your plan for the year’s priorities. Home, family and firends are the most important puzzle pieces. Online learning could playa part.

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Part of Me • Katy Perry Set Fire to the Rain • Adele

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editors: nick cafferky, michelle sutherland newseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

february 23, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

5

Slack: Students capable of overcoming distraction

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Geller said students can develop their emotional intelligence skills — or the ability to delay the influences of soon, certain, positive consequences for long-term future goals — to overcome slacking behavior. Additionally, he said students can work on their long-term goals by pursuing smaller, short-term goals — a concept called self-management. “Emotional intelligence is important — being able to delay those soon, certain, positive consequences, like going to a party and drinking beer with your friends,” he said. “Delay that until you study for your exam. And that’s not the night before the exam; it’s three weeks before.” In addition, he said students can alter their perception to become more motivated. “You can listen to (students) talk: ‘I’ve got to go to class,’ not ‘I get to go to class.’ It’s not an opportunity in their perspective,” he said. “It’s something they have to do; it’s a requirement. And if that’s their mindset, they’re going to slack off until the deadline. They’re going to work to avoid failure — the opposite approach is working to succeed.” Geller said some students have acquired self-motivation naturally. But those who struggle can obtain it. “(Some students) say, ‘I want to be successful. I want to

we don’t have a choice, and we don’t get enough feedback to feel confident about our classes.” Spencer said there are many activities students can get involved in. “There are more than 700 student organizations on campus that help people find a niche and find something that interests them,” Spencer said. Geller agreed. “(Student programs) can help students who seem lost at a large university,” Geller said. “They can help people find a community and find a relatedness with people, which is really important.” However, he said setup within the classroom inhibits community by promoting competition between students across grade levels, rather than interdependent learning. “That’s what the research says: The extent to which we believe we have a sense of autonomy, and at the same time, a sense of community, that we’re in this together, and the sense that we’re good at something, that we have a skill set that’s worthwhile (is what creates self-motivation),” Geller said.

Technology’s impact on engagement Although there are ways to overcome slacking, Geller said technology and social media are an obstacle to self-motivation. “(Social media) gives us other things to do,” he said. “Not only do we slack off, but we’re also losing our social skills. We’re losing the enjoyment of people, community, relatedness, relating with other people. I think this high-tech communication is taking us away from one of the key points of self-motivation.” Additionally, Geller said technology creates multiple soon, certain, positive consequences that inhibit students from getting their work done. “There are a lot of forces at play; students should not blame themselves for being slackers,” he said. “They should just say, ‘I’ve got to turn this around. What do I need to do to turn it around.’”

THE TOP 10 ‘SLACKER SCHOOLS’ 1.

Penn State (avg. gpa: 3.5)

2.

University of Florida (avg. gpa: 4.2)

3.

Virginia Tech (avg. gpa: 4.0)

4.

University of Oklahoma (avg. gpa: 3.6)

5.

Auburn (avg. gpa: 3.8)

6.

University of Alabama (avg. gpa: 3.5)

7.

Louisiana State University (avg. gpa: 3.5)

8.

University of Tennessee (avg. gpa: 3.9)

9.

Clemson (avg. gpa: 4.1)

10 Michigan State University (avg. gpa: 3.6) GPA DATA VIA PRINCETONREVIEW.COM

Lifestyle & Community have a big announcement, selling things, need help? Free for VT students! Place an ad or announcement at collegiatetimes.com, visit our business office at 618 N. Main St. 9 am- 5pm Monday-Friday, or call (540) 961-9860. Students can come into 618 N. Main St. to place a free ad. Rates as low as 32 cents per word, contengent on the number of days to run. Prepaid. 15 word minimum. Cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. Deadline: 3 pm 3 business days prior to publication.

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The path to self-motivation

doing worthwhile work, if you feel good at something, you’re going to be self-motivated,” he said. “The greatest achievement any student can find at this or any other university is loving your work, realizing it is important, so when you start working on your paper before the deadline, you get into it. You have time to recognize the natural consequences of the activity.” Additionally, Geller said professors can promote competence by focusing students on the learning aspect of class and helping them feel competent about course material. But this can be difficult because students have the option to skip or be disengaged in class. Moreover, he said professors are often unable to give adeThe three C’s of quate feedback to students on self-motivation assignments to help them feel “People become more self- competent. motivated when they perceive Tech has many amenities choice, competence and com- to help students succeed in munity,” Geller said. the classroom, Spencer said. The 24-hour access to Torgersen Bridge and Newman Library gives students a place to Are there students who study without distracparty hard? Sure. I think we tion. In addition, he said the university tries to have students who study implement programs to extend learning beyond hard and party hard.” the classroom. “We take some of Ed Spencer these services out to the vice president of student affairs students themselves,” Spencer said. “I think the residential colleges — the one that opened this year in East AJ Choice, the first C, occurs and the one that will open when students perceive they next year in West AJ — are have a choice in the setup of an example of integrating their education — a choice the total student life, so edustudents, rather than fac- cation does not end in the ulty or staff members, can classroom.” make. Tech’s implementation of “It’s a matter of setting our residential colleges, like East minds about having autono- and West Ambler-Johnston my,” Geller said. halls and living-learning “Yeah, there may be some communities like Hypatia rules you have to follow. The and Galileo, demonstrate professors can set up a dead- Tech’s attempt to create comline, but you don’t have to munity, Geller’s third C of wait until the last minute to motivation. start working on it. You have “We want interdependent, a choice.” not independent,” Geller said. The perception of compe- “You notice how that is very tence also plays a pivotal role different than the instituin self-motivation. tion. It makes us feel inde“If you feel competent at pendent, makes us feel like

make a difference,’” he said. “They wake up to an opportunity clock, not an alarm clock. It’s about putting the idea in your head that you’ve got to get a good grade in this class because your vision is to be a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer or a professional. This is one step to reaching that.” Students can become more self-motivated, he said, if they alter their perceptions, so they can become “self-directors,” or individuals who set their own standards, rather than conforming. “If you self-direct yourself, then you’re not going to wait for a professor’s deadline. You’re going to work on it ahead of time, be proactive,” he said.

channel 33 on campus

The students are great at jumping up and down to Metallica. Does that mean they’re partying too much and being slackers? I’m pointing out what I think is the ridiculousness of this survey.” Spencer questioned how the rankings were calculated. “As far as I can tell, it’s some ambiguous perception of some people about what students at Virginia Tech might be like,” Spencer said. “A slacker is somebody who supposedly has a maximum amount of fun while putting forth the least amount of effort. How do you define and measure fun and effort? I just don’t see that there’s any data to support what they’re saying.” The term “slacking” can also be seen as ambiguous considering there is more to it than procrastination. “The number one factor for slacking off, I think, is the lack of self-motivation,” said E. Scott Geller, an alumni distinguished professor in the psychology department. “The reason we slack off is because there are many other external forces motivating us to do other things. We can have so much fun other than studying, so we’re going to wait until the deadline.” Geller, who co-wrote a book titled “When No One’s Watching: Living and Leading Self-Motivation” with Bob Veazie, the president of People-Powered Leadership, said implementing deadlines elicits slacking behavior. He said deadlines give students the opportunity to procrastinate until assignments are due, rather than motivating them to get a head start. “That’s what the professor says — wait for the deadline, and you’ll be fine,” Geller said. “So you slack off until the deadline.” Moreover, Geller said students are socialized to follow classroom rules — to meet deadlines to avert failure. In addition, he said activi-

ties that seem more appealing at the time — labeled soon, certain, positive consequences — get in the way of studying. “There are so many (distractions) around this place, from going to a sporting event to calling up a girlfriend,” he said. “There are so many things that take us away from our work.” However, Geller said some students struggle with slacking. But if they apply selfmotivation techniques, he said they can get back on track.

UNSCRAMBLER

from page one

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dating since: April 26, 2007 he says: Sydney is the only person who I have Order yours today www.bugleonline.com

Send your information and a photo to the Collegiate Times at studybreak@collegemedia.com to make an announcement.

ever met in my life who I can say actually completes me. Every time we are together it just feels as if it meant to be and that I couldn’t find myself with anyone but her.

she says: Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Let your loved ones build up your con idence. They have faith in you, even when you doubt yourself. Try some of those moneymaking ideas.

Gemini (May 21-June 21) There’s no point in blaming others. You can dig yourself out of a hole. Use the right tools. Your team can come to the rescue. Thank them and celebrate.

Aries (March 21-April 19) You’re ready to take charge. Make new contacts while illing present orders. Stick to practical sollutions. Remember to say “please” and “thank you.”

Cancer (June 22-July 22) Don’t let the stress of the test or challenge get you irritable. You can be very convincing now. Stand up for what you believe it. It could even be fun.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Think it over. You’ve got some things to handle, and planning can saave time, Is there anything you can delegate? Complete old stuff to gain space.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Your wanderlst intensi ies. Travel and romance both look good for the next few days. The challeng: spend the same as you would at home. Day trips satisfy.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Your actions could rub someone the wrong way. Don’t let circumstances dim your brilliance. Balance the different aspects of your life. Get plenty of rest.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Get projects complete around the house, and clean up an old mess. Don’t get into a losing argument. Feed your romantic senses later in the day.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) What you’re learning seems to contradict what you already know. You can igure out what works for you and use it to your advantage. Don’t rush.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Your capactiy to communicate and concentrate is increased. Listen closely. Today you can solve old riddles. A stroll out in nature inspires.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) You’re getting busier, and while that’s a good thing, don’t burn yourself out. Take plenty of breaks to stretch and rest your senses. Breathe deeply.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Not everything goes according to plan, but that doesn’t stop you from going for it, especially where work’s concerned. Do the best with what you have.

Brandon is the perfect guy. he knows what to say and when to say it. He always knows how to cheer me up no matter what. He is the only person that keeps me sane.

their first date: Our first date we hung out at his house and played video games all night. Not very romantic but perfect for us. Have a couple you want to nominate for ‘Couple of the Week?’ Email your nominations to studybreak@collegemedia.com with the title ‘Couple of the Week.’


6

editors: chelsea gunter, patrick murphy

february 23, 2012

featureseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

COLLEGIATETIMES

TED Talks: Conference to lead way for more events

John Legend concert What: An Evening of Music and Discussion with John Legend

from page one

Where: Burruss Hall auditorium “A lot of what happens (from the talks) may not be from what we have the architecture for,” Watson said. “With students and faculty working together, hopefully there will be an organic desire to self-organize and move forward.” In the big picture, the live simulcast is the beginning of a hopefully long-lasting relationship between TED and Tech. While they hope to make the simulcast an annual event, Watson and Castro are also working on hosting a TEDx conference at Tech in November 2012, which will be a TED-sponsored event featuring local speakers. “(The simulcast) is the launching point for TEDx Virginia Tech next November,” Watson said. “TED has a brand name that is so recognized, and we want to be part of bringing the first TEDx event to Tech.” Watson said the steering committee for the event has already been established, and one speaker is lined up so far. He explained, however, that the majority of the committee’s efforts recently have been devoted to the simulcast. Watson and Castro said they hope the simulcast of the national conference can pave the way for a successful TEDx event next fall.

When: Tonight, doors open at 6:30 p.m., show begins at 7:30 p.m. Cost: Prior to the show, tickets are $10 with a Hokie Passport and $20 for general admission. Tickets purchased the day of the show are $20. Tickets are available at StudentCenters. vt.edu/tickets/events.php or by calling 540.231.5615 Who: The Black Organizations Council, Black Student Alliance, Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, SGA and VTU are sponsoring the event.

MCT CAMPUS

Oscar nod doesn’t mean Oscar bump PATRICK GOLDSTEIN mcclatchy newspapers LOS ANGELES — This year’s box office is booming, except, gulp, for Oscar movies. The 2012 grosses have been surprisingly strong, up nearly 18 percent year to date compared with 2011. But if you think any of that is thanks to people rushing out to see the best picture contenders ahead of Sunday’s Academy Awards show, think again. Just look at this past weekend’s box office, which featured five films taking in more than $20 million in U.S. ticket sales over the four-day Presidents Day period. None were Oscar films. In fact, the best performer of this year’s nine best picture nominees, the George Clooney-starring “The Descendants,” finished in 11th

place, with an estimated $3.5 million take. “The Artist,” the prohibitive favorite to win the Oscar for best picture, finished 13th. It took in about $3 million — up 8 percent from the previous weekend, but it still hasn’t made deep inroads outside of the country’s most cosmopolitan urban markets. In 13 weeks of release, “The Artist” has made only $28 million, not bad for a black-and-white silent film but less than what “Safe House” made this past weekend alone. In years past, Hollywood insiders have cited a post-nomination “Oscar bounce” at the box office as justification for the millions of dollars it spends on Oscar ads. And Hollywood is still in full-on Oscar campaign mode. Clooney has not only showed up for screenings and

filmmaker Q&As, but God help him, taken “CBS This Morning’s” Charlie Rose and Lara Logan on a tour of his home, patiently answering every eye-rolling question, including one from Logan, who actually asked, “What’s inside your frig, George?” But when you look at the cold, hard numbers, the bounce looks more and more like myth than reality. With the help of Hollywood. com box office swami Paul Dergarabedian, I charted the combined weekend box office grosses for this year’s nine best picture candidates. Although their total box office did indeed rise slightly the weekend after the nominations were announced, it was hardly the highest-grossing weekend for the combined candidates. In fact, if you

wanted to win a trivia contest, just ask someone to name the biggest box office weekend for the best picture nominees. The unlikely answer? The weekend of Aug. 12, when three future best picture nominees, largely propelled by the opening weekend grosses from “The Help,” made a combined $26.7 million. The second biggest weekend was in late September, when the grosses from “Moneyball,” “The Help,” “Midnight in Paris” and “Tree of Life” totaled $23.8 million. The weekend after the Oscar nominations were announced Jan. 24 was only the fourth-largest weekend for best picture nominees, also trailing New Year’s Eve weekend, when the combined best picture nominees made $21.9 million. Last year, the best week for best

picture nominees was also New Year’s weekend, when the best picture nominated films did roughly 70 percent more business than they did the weekend after the Oscar nominations. In fact, it’s hard to make a strong case that many of the nominated films were helped in any significant way by the Oscar nominations. Even “The Descendants,” which has continued to have a strong showing at the box office, had its biggest grossing weekend at Thanksgiving, not after the nominations were announced. The only films you can argue that have really benefited from Oscar-related box office are “The Artist” and “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” though both films have spent a healthy chunk of their box office gains in nonstop Oscar advertising.


sports 7 Aizenstadt: Pitching transfer starts over

editors: matt jones, zach mariner

february 23, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

sportseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

from page one

His visit, which fell on the weekend of a home football game, opened his eyes to what big time college athletics is all about. “I remember seeing the parade and all the people around, and I had never seen anything like that,” Aizenstadt said. “It was unbelievable, and when I saw that, I knew this place was crazy about sports and this college.” Baseball head coach Pete Hughes, a native of Massachusetts himself, is no stranger to players from the northeast part of the country. Hughes’ 2012 roster consists of 13 players from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut — states where the Hokies have a lot of connections. Hughes was the head coach at Boston College from 1999 to 2006, where he coached one of Aizenstadt’s mentors Ryan Morgan. That relationship, along with knowing Babson head coach Matt Noone, gave the Hokies a leg up in bringing Aizenstadt to Blacksburg. “There’s a bunch of connections there from our Massachusetts days and when I was at Boston College,” Hughes said. “We knew Andrew, we knew the family, we had the background, and he felt as if we were the best fit for him to extend his college career.” --Early in his career at Babson, Aizenstadt posted some of the most impressive statistics in school history. Over the course of his freshman and sophomore seasons, Aizenstadt went 13-2 with a 2.70 ERA while capturing the school record for wins in a season in 2009 with eight. Less than a week before the start of his junior season, Aizenstadt suffered a partial tear to his ulnar collateral ligament, making Tommy John surgery a real option. Aizenstadt chose to rehab his arm initially, but re-injured it a second time during his rehabilitation. Surgery was on the table again. “I was going to get the surgery, but the doctor said to just rehab for six weeks, that it’s partially torn so it might heal on its own,” Aizenstadt said. “Then I went back in six weeks to fill out the papers the day before I was supposed to get the surgery, and he said I didn’t need it anymore and that I could go ahead with the throwing program and try it out.” He hasn’t looked back since. After redshirting his junior season, Aizenstadt had a stellar senior campaign at Babson in which he posted a 4-2 record, with a 2.56 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. With his time at Babson finished, Aizenstadt headed to the Cape Cod summer league, where he finished with a respectable 2-1 record in 37 innings pitched. “It was the time of my life,” Aizenstadt said. “Knowing I was down there for the summer, it was easier to just fit right in and just make friends, not wondering if I’m going home one day.” Although he’s turned his attention to Tech and the ACC schedule ahead, Aizenstadt has fond memories of his time spent at Babson. “I had the time of my life at Babson,” Aizenstadt said. “It was the best school I could’ve gone to, and it was great for baseball.” --Outside of a select few scouts, opposing players and coaches, Aizenstadt will be a completely new face to the ACC. With his repertoire and composure, Hughes doesn’t think there will be any problems making the transition from Division III to the ACC. “He’s a four-pitch guy, and he’s got command,” Hughes said. “We look for him to make that adjustment from Division III baseball to the ACC a pretty seamless one,

and he’s on track to doing that.” Aizenstadt, who is enrolled in the MBA program at Tech, graduated from Babson with a degree in accounting. Because he wasn’t offered an MBA program at Babson, Aizenstadt is immediately eligible to play. “He’s mature, and he’s been around it,” Hughes said. “Just to have a kid that’s a fifth-year senior, that age, that level of maturity, he’s in the MBA program, really helps your clubhouse and team. But he’s also very talented.” Chad Morgan, who starts for the Hokies behind the plate, gave his scouting report on the tall righthander. “He’s free and easy and has good arm action,” Morgan said. “He throws fastball, curveball, slider, changeup. He can throw all his pitches for strikes, which is always a good thing.” One of the main selling points by Hughes while recruiting Aizenstadt to Tech was the chance to go to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. With the opportunity to win a national title and pitch against some of the country’s top talent, Hughes made it an easy choice. “To have me come down here and have the chance to go to Omaha,” Aizenstadt said of the deciding factor. “After seeing what we’ve got — and I haven’t seen some of the other teams, but I’ve seen a lot of talent in summer leagues — we’ve got a lot of talent.” Hughes feels the same way. “Our expectation absolutely is to get into the national tournament, get hot at the right time and make a run at Omaha,” Hughes said. --At 22 years old, Aizenstadt is the third-oldest player on the roster. Yet when he arrived in August to start the year, he felt just like a freshman. “At the beginning, it really did feel like I was a freshman,” Aizenstadt said. “The guys reminded me of that. It was my first year here, and I didn’t know any of these guys. It’s like going through the whole freshman thing again — trying to find people you know.” Morgan, a redshirt-sophomore, believes the transition Aizenstadt has made to life at a bigger college has been successful. “We’re one big family at Hokie baseball, and I think he’s made the transition well,” Morgan said. “We all get along, and we’ve got a lot of team chemistry this year, which is important to have. It should be a fun season.” Starting the season out of the bullpen, Aizenstadt was in the running for the third-starter spot for much of the preseason. “I was hoping to win a spot (in the starting rotation), but I think everybody was,” Aizenstadt said. “We have such a deep pitching staff — it didn’t really shock me, and just like everybody else (I will) just work my way up. I’m a new guy here, so I have to put in my time before I can get up (to the rotation).” Not accustomed to ACC play, Aizenstadt believes the toughest part won’t be physically holding his own, but mentally bringing his best stuff every day. “At Babson, I’d pitch against a really good team maybe twice a year, and I’d get really hyped up for that game, then the rest of the season just go through it,” Aizenstadt said. “Here, I have to be focused every single game, especially in the (bullpen).” With a degree in hand and his final season of college baseball underway, Aizenstadt has confidence in himself, the coaches and his teammates. “It’s going to be a big adjustment, but I think the coaches have been preparing me for it,” he said. “I’ll be ready, and we’ve got a really good team this year. It won’t be too hard with these guys fielding behind me.”

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Andrew Aizenstadt, 22, comes to Virginia Tech after spending four years at Babson College in Massachusetts. Aizenstadt suffered a partial tear to his ulnar collateral ligament while at Babson, but he was able to avoid Tommy John surgery after rehabbing the injury for 12 weeks.

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february 23, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

editors: chelsea gunter, patrick murphy featureseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

wryly

e R ILLY DELIGHTFULLY OFFENSIVE.

Condoms, crosses and sweater vests: The danger of Rick Santorum’s religious politicking

In

an election year when pundits have gleefully abandoned the “S.S. Sanity” and candidates are being knocked off like Agatha Christie characters, one underdog has risen above the fracas to claim, at least statistically, the frontrunner position for the Republican nomination. Richard “Rick” Santorum has exploited voter indifference toward the odd impression of a human called Mitt Romney, surging to a dead heat with the former Massachusetts governor. Newt Gingrich, per usual, is lingering past his expiration date but for all intents and purposes — forgive me, Ron Paul faithful — it has become a two-horse race. This is good news for GOP bigwigs praying for a swift end before this mediocre crop of candidates inflicts further damage to the party’s brand. It’s great news for Santorum, who now must only defeat a man with all the substance of a marshmallow. Let there be no mistake, though — Rick Santorum inching closer to the United States presidency is terrible news for everyone else. The idea of a President Santorum that exists beyond Pat Roberton’s dreams is a small miracle. Santorum was cozy in his role as the fringe candidate until every luminary the Republicans threw at Romney fell victim to the frontrunner’s “stay quiet and let these nuts screw up” strategy. By default, a kooky, sweater vest-clad afterthought was cast as the anti-Romney. This is how we end up with a nominee for our nation’s highest office whose views would have been out of touch with the American people in 1970, much less the 21st century. Outlandish claims? Don’t take my word for it. Santorum is more than happy to tell you what he believes.

“I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues,” Santorum said in an interview last October with Caffeinated Thoughts, an evangelical blog. Santorum gets a bad rap for being something of a moral tightwad. Turns out he’s a big fan of sex — as long as it’s between two married, heterosexual adults for the sole purpose of procreation, and only if blindfolds are worn, shirts stay on and 10 Rosaries are recited immediately upon completion. That’s not too much to ask, right? What Santorum most certainly does not approve of is contraception morally bankrupting our pure nation. “One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is the dangers of contraception in this country,” Santorum said in the October interview. “It’s not OK. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Santorum believes contraception encourages immoral behavior, which makes sense because kids only think about sex because condoms are available. As president, he would advocate allowing states to ban birth control. And why not? Giving them the right to choose abstinence-only education has worked out so well. Just look at Mississippi’s teen pregnancy rate. Then there’s homosexuality. However you feel about gay marriage, the issue deserves a thoughtful public debate. This idea does not interest Santorum at all. Cue the tape. “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality,” Santorum said

in a 2003 interview with USA Today. “That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” In Santorum’s mind, two men in love are on the same level with bestiality. Maybe he should be running for president of Iran instead. There’s not enough room in this newspaper to give time to all of Santorum’s charming

other than the United States,” Santorum said in an August 2008 speech to a Catholic university in Florida. Perhaps the most important reason Santorum should only enter the Oval Office on a guided tour is the symbolic nature of the presidency. America’s chief executive is its second most visible face to the world behind George Clooney. Whoever is sworn in as president must represent the best of our nation both domestically and abroad. Do regressive sexual beliefs, homophobia and Santorum was cozy in his judgmental evangelism really show off our most role as the fringe candidate flattering side? At least until every luminary the Romney represents the proud American tradiRepublicans threw at tion of white men winat cold-blooded Romney fell victim to the ning capitalism. frontrunner’s ‘stay quiet A Santorum presidency says, “We’re the country and let these nuts screw up’ that believes men rode strategy.” dinosaurs 4,000 years ago.” Fortunately, this nightmarish theorizing is likely to be a moot point. views. Women in combat? Americans may watch TV shows “I think that could be a with titles such as “Toddlers & very compromising situ- Tiaras” and enjoy adult meals ation, where people natu- mashed up in KFC bowls, but rally may do things that may we’re not dumb enough to not be in the interest of the elect a guy who would intermission, because of other fere with our ability to have types of emotions that are grungy, consequence-free involved,” Santorum said in sex. a CNN interview with John Should Santorum be the King. Republican nominee in The legal right to perform November, the message from abortions? voters will be clear. Go ahead “I believe that any doctor who and wiretap us. Sure, use our performs an abortion — (and) I taxes to bail out Wall Street fat would advocate that any doctor cats. But God help your soul if who performs an abortion — you try to get in the way of our should be criminally charged for nookie. doing so.” Santorum said in a June 12, 2001 episode of “Meet the ANDREW Press.” REILLY The devil’s plans for geopoliti-featured columnist cal domination? -senior “This is a spiritual war … if -communication major you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? -@wrylyreilly There is no one else to go after

Thursday, February 23, 2012 Print Edition  

Thursday, February 23, 2012 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times

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