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COLLEGIATETIMES 109th year, issue 24

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People & Clubs, page 5

Opinions, page 3

Sports, page 6

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who’s

Students beginning to question online privacy decisions as Facebook and Google display and collect more information

Google to implement new College fails student privacy policy next month for Facebook status RON SCHUETZ news staff writer Whether people search for random facts or specific websites, most turn to Google as a leading source for numerous quick and reliable results. But on March 1, a new privacy policy will go into place that could change the way users treat Google tools. The policy states Google will be collecting information from its users to provide them a more personal experience. This will not only include information users provide, but will also draw from a people’s use of Google tools — a user’s searches, demographic statistics and cell phone numbers. Nick Quenga, a senior electrical engineering major, doesn’t think Google’s actions are different than usual. “I don’t feel they are taking any additional information,” he said. “I think they were taking it all along, and now are just explicitly saying they are.” Google will also track GPS information. Smartphone users, especially those who use Androids, could be more affected by this policy change. The company will know where users are at all times, in an attempt to offer better service by searching for things near users, such as Wi-Fi access points, restaurants and heavy traffic areas. Jon Watson, a junior history major, doesn’t have a problem with what the policy entails.

“I don’t have that much against it. As long as they are asking permission to use the info, it is fine by me,” he said. “The GPS tracking thing I sort of raise an eyebrow (at), but I don’t have a smartphone, so it doesn’t really affect me.” But how will the data be shared? Google will only give trusted companies and law enforcement — during relevant investigations — the information. However, accidents happen. In 2006, AOL leaked a text file containing 20 million search keywords from as many as 650,000 users in a three-month period. The same year, Danfeng Yao, a cybersecurity professor at Virginia Tech, visited Google headquarters. “They have a giant monitor with recent search keywords, but no names are listed,” she said. “They adhere to their motto, ‘Do No Evil.’” “Google does well in the regard of not sharing information, though they do have the capability to store information,” Yao said. “Google won’t deliberately share anything publicly.” However, Google and its users still face threats, as computer hacking, identity theft, cyberstalking and the like are growing issues. “Users aren’t hopeless,” Yao said. “They can make their IP addresses anonymous and encrypt their information.” Come March, users may have to consider Yao’s advice: “Think first. Don’t blindly search.”

google will

begin collecting

info that: You voluntarily give (such as name or credit card number). Is specific to your devices such as apps, operating systems or hardware models. Is automatically generated when you use Google services, such as searches. Tracks your location, including GPS data.

KELSEY JO STARR news staff writer Social media continues to gain importance in the daily lives of college students. Users are beginning to use Facebook, in particular, in the academic and professional spheres. But with power comes responsibility. Because information on social media sites is public, many universities are including sections in their code of conduct about their uses. The Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, or VCOM, implemented a policy in September 2011 outlining what students can and cannot post on social media sites, as well as the disciplinary actions the school would take if the policy were violated. “As a professional school that trains physicians, we have a requirement for professionalism,” said William King, associate vice president for student services at VCOM. “For example, we have a dress code here. We expect our students to act like professionals. Do you see your physician post-

John Legend brings soul to Burruss Hall

ing controversial things on Facebook and getting involved with other things?” The expectation is for students treat their role as a profession and behave as such, King said. Once students affiliate with VCOM, everything they say on and offline can be affiliated with the school. Virginia Tech’s main campus doesn’t have a specific policy concerning what students’ actions on social media sites. “It has to be a violation of university policy,” said Larry Hincker, university spokesman. “So if someone can figure out a way that your posting on a social media site was a violation of university policy, then you’d be liable.” Colleges across the country have blurry or unsure policies concerning social media. The Minnesota Supreme Court is reviewing a case, involving Amanda Tatro, a University of Minnesota mortuary-science student, who appealed against the school last Wednesday for punishing her for statuses she posted on Facebook. In 2009, Tatro posted see FACEBOOK / page two

Department in process of adding new majors KELSEY JO STARR news staff writer

As part of Black History Month, John Legend — a Grammy award-winning R&B artist — performed at Virginia Tech last night in the Burruss Hall auditorium. photo by Brad Klodowski

The Virginia Tech biological sciences department is working toward offering students two new major selections — a somewhat rare feat among other universities. The College of Science would like to add neuroscience and nanoscience to its list of interdisciplinary science majors, which includes computational science and systems biology. If the majors are approved, Tech will be one of about 120 schools to offer neuroscience as a major at the undergraduate level — one of three in the ACC, joining Duke University and the University of Miami. No other schools offer nanoscience as an undergraduate major. Although some offer it as a concentration within other departments. Melanie Matthews, the education support specialist for new undergraduate programs, said the

curriculums must go through a lengthy approval process — since Tech is a land-grant university — before they can be considered official academic majors. There is a multi-step process for major approval in any college or department, according to the university registrar. First, its respective College Curriculum Committee must approve the curriculum. Then, it is sent to the university provost, registrar and all other colleges for a 15-day review process. Either during or after this process, it is forwarded to the Committee on Undergraduate Curricula. The Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies makes final approval. Throughout the procedure, edits are made to the curriculum and the degree checksheet is created. Matthews did not disclose the phase of approval the two science majors are currently in, but she said they were in early stages of development.


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news

feb. 24, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

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

Facebook: Schools monitor social media from page one

several Facebook statuses that were considered “offensive” and “threatening,” violating student conduct code, as well as university, mortuary-science program, course and anatomybequest program rules. Tatro wrote that she wanted to “stab a certain someone with a trocar,” referring to her ex-fiance, who had dumped her the night before. She also made references to updating her “Death List #5” and joked about taking a lock of “Bernie’s” hair — Bernie was the name she had given to a specific cadaver. Her friends, as well as friends of friends, could view the updates — equating to hundreds of people. When a student reported the updates to Michael Lubrant, director of the university’s mortuary-science program, Tatro was asked not to return to class and the police were called. It was later determined that Tatro did not engage in criminal activity. Tatro was later brought before the campus committee on student behavior, or CCSB, under formal complaints that she had violated various school codes and rules. Although Tatro’s lawyer challenged the hearing, the CCSB ultimately found Tatro guilty of violating several sanctions. As punishment, Tatro failed the course, was required to enroll in an ethics class, had to undergo psychiatric evaluation and was put on academic probation her senior year, forcing her to graduate later than

expected. The Office of Student Conduct at Tech cannot fail students for actions, said Chris Cooke, its assistant coordinator. “It’s certainly not a sanction,” Cooke said. “You wouldn’t come to the conduct committee and they (wouldn’t) say you’re going to fail this course. It’s not part of our standard policies.”

determine punishment. “Also what goes into play is what they’re past history was. So let’s say someone has two alcohol violations or a deferred suspension, and they come in for writing something on a wall threatening something,” he said. “Then they’re punishment would probably be more severe than someone who has never come through the office before. It’s not always cut and dry.” Cooke said, hypoWe expect our students to thetically, if a student’s Facebook postact like professionals. Do ing constituted verbal they would you see your physician assault, face anything from posting controversial things probation to suspenon Facebook and getting sion. Tatro attempted involved with other things?” to appeal the decision — first with the university provost William King and then with the AVP of VCOM student services Minnesota Court of Appeals, but both sided with the school. The University Honor System The case was later brought to is the only Tech organization the Minnesota Supreme Court, that has jurisdiction to give a with Tatro claiming the school student a failing grade. The sys- violated her First Amendment tem can also only appeal pla- rights. giarism cases, not policy violaW. Wat Hopkins, a commutions. nication professor with a focus In a worst-case scenario, in constitutional protection of Cooke said a Tech student free speech and press at Tech, who posted something simi- said the school had the right to lar to Tatro’s postings could be discipline her if she violated a charged with assault, but it is contractual agreement, which not guaranteed. supersedes free speech agreeStudent conduct holds one- ments. on-one meetings with students “It depends a lot on the cirin question. Although the office cumstances surrounding the typically has a general idea of collection of the information a potential sanction, Cooke she posted,” Hopkins said. “If said, it waits until after it has a there was some arrangement conversation with a student to where she was required to fol-

low certain rules in order to participate, then what you have to a certain degree is contract law, which would trump other claims. If she violated the contract, that weakens her case. Otherwise we’re talking about something that’s in poor taste. It seems to me that if she did in fact fail the class, there has to be another reason besides the speech.” Tatro was accused of violating Minnesota’s policy on threatening, harassing or assaultive conduct. According to the university’s student conduct code, students may not engage in activities that endanger or threaten to endanger student health and well-being. In addition, students cannot violate specific college or department rules. Mortuary-science code of conduct at the university states all written and spoken words about cadavers and actions done during courses and labs must be respectful and discreet. Discussing care and treatment of the deceased during class and labs via social media sites is prohibited. The controversy lies in the fact that Tatro did not release details about cadaver names or what she was doing to them, only discussing that she was working with bodies. The Minnesota Supreme Court normally takes about three to five months to reach a verdict. Tatro has told the Minnesota Daily, the university’s student newspaper, that if the state Supreme Court sides with the school, she intends to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

......radio for everyone

The Artist

what you’re saying Wryly Reilly: Condoms, crosses and sweater vests: The danger of Rick Santorum’s religious politicking

From Henry: This sounds like it was written

by a Democrat party operative. It's all scaremongering and reckless bigoted hyperbole. It reminds me of people saying that John Kennedy was an agent of the Pope. Isn't there any original thought in political writing anymore? It's terrible when a Democrat is in the White House because all the political pundits are reduced to simpering subjugation to the Powerful while obediently sniping at any opposition to the seats of power.

From Anonymous in reply to Henry:

Yeah...except JFK actually believed in separation of church and state and not foisting one's religions on others, as evidenced in this speech: http:// www.beliefnet.com/News/Politics/2000/09/IBelieve-In-An-America-Where-The-Separation-OfChurch-And-State-Is-Absolute.aspxSantorum's made it more than clear that he injects his religion into all aspects of his political life, so it's absolutely fair game. Anything is fair game when you're running for president. Disagreeing with someone's policies (i.e., allowing religion to govern women's reproductive health) does not equate to sniping.

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

From Anonymous: CT -- Dr. Spencer says

that someone with an "average high school grade point average 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.” These figures are often utilized by the administration to defend the academic integrity of the institution. Are these numbers derived from statistics aggregating the GPA and SAT scores of ACCEPTED students, or do the numbers reflect the subset of those accepted for study here who actually ENROLLED at Virginia Tech? This is important. My guess is a lot of people with very high SAT scores and GPAs apply to VT as a "safety school" and then enroll elsewhere.

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opinions

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

feb. 24, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

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

Our Views [staff editorial]

Don’t hold your breath with online privacy

P

rivacy on the Internet has become a major preoccupation as more people conduct their personal and professional lives through products of major Web firms like Facebook and Google. Both major companies have faced scrutiny for violating users’ sense of privacy. Google is publicly preparing its users for the arrival of a new policy on March 1 that states the company will retain — among other data — users’ volunteered information and locations. Meanwhile, universities are awaiting a ruling on a case that could offer more guidelines on how students’ behavior on social media sites can be regulated. A University of Minnesota student’s disturbing comment about a class on Facebook led the university to fail her in the class. And of course many college students must grapple with the question of how to keep their Internet profile clean of unseemly material that could hinder future job searches. The easy way to do this is exercise common sense online. But that is often more difficult than it sounds. “Internet privacy,” as an idea, is at best an ideal, and at worst a complete misnomer. To be safe, college students, and anyone else hoping to uphold a reputation, should take care to build their Internet presence — both public and “private” posts — in a strategic fashion. Posting photos on Facebook is great, but those photos from a crazy night out are probably best shared in person, not

on the Web. And yes, Twitter offers the opportunity to say whatever, whenever, but it is just that — an opportunity, not a requirement. But, while caution should be taken, it is also not time for panic in the streets. While hackers may be a different story, giant Web companies are for the most part attempting to improve their services through customization. This customization is best achieved through the collection of data. Companies interpret that data to offer each user more relevant content — ads, search results, etc. So while the information may seem too sensitive to send whirling around the world’s Web servers, the likelihood of it harming its owner is very much still up to the owner. While we shudder at the thought of universities or employers monitoring our every move online, that simply isn’t happening. The people who would employ or punish us for our Internet activity aren’t playing “Big Brother.” Instead, they conduct legitimate and useful searches when there is reason to — like hiring decisions, serious disciplinary violations and criminal activity. Everyone should know what will happen when their name is typed into Google’s search bar. A good rule: Don’t put anything on the Web that would make the search eventful in a negative way. The editorial board is composed of the editors of the Collegiate Times.

Obama able to cut gas costs I

am sure it comes as no surprise when I say gas prices are increasing at an alarming rate. After all, many experts predict the price for a gallon of gas to cost more than $5 per gallon by summer. In fact, prices at some gas stations in Florida have already reached that amount, approaching the $6 mark. While people are feeling the pain at the pump, these high gas prices have a ripple effect on other aspects of the economy. For example, virtually every product you buy, whether it be food, medicine or shampoo, is transported to local stores by trucks that run on (you guessed it) gasoline. The transportation industry is also highly susceptible to expensive prices at the pump. Other sectors of the economy also start to suffer when gas prices jolt upward. Americans, with less money in their wallets, will cease eating at restaurants as often, hurting the food service industry. Leisure activities will also become more of a rarity, hurting industries such as tourism. I would like to see President Barack Obama take leadership on this issue. He needs to work on lowering the price of gas as much as he can. This may seem unrealistic, as many think the president cannot lower prices, but that notion is untrue. While there are external factors affecting the petroleum industry out of the president’s hands, there are several things he could do domestically to bring gas prices down, even if by a few cents.

Obama could reconsider his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline — this seems to be one of the most obvious remedies to the situation. There was no reason for the president to reject the pipeline. Experts argue the pipeline would have given American taxpayers thousands of barrels of oil each day, imported from a politically stable and friendly country. It would not only alleviate the increasing cost of foreign oil, but also create domestic jobs. Even labor unions and some Democratic Congress members wanted the pipeline. Instead Obama demonstrated a lack of leadership by pandering a small amount of environmentalists in Nebraska. There are already thousands of miles of pipelines across the country, and quite frankly, I do not think major oil spills in Nebraska or Kansas are big concerns. On the other hand, not being able to afford a tank of gas is an issue for most Americans. Additionally, the president could rally members of his own party in Congress on the issue, as the Republicans already have. Although in a bipartisan manner, of the nearly 30 jobcreation bills that have passed in the House, the Pioneers Act has not been voted on in the Senate. Congressman Morgan Griffith of Virginia’s 9th District, whose jurisdiction includes Blacksburg, said, “This bill would cut through the bureaucratic red tape to ramp up energy explo-

ration and production in the United States, creating new jobs in the process.” The bill would lift drilling moratoriums that cover nearly the entire East and West coasts. It would also open up a measly three percent of Alaska’s ANWR to oil exploration and drilling, which is small enough so as to not concern you polar bear fans. Even without the act, the president could lift the drilling moratoriums on the coasts himself, but he refuses. Oil producers in the Middle East and Africa do not want to see the United States pass the legislations. This would result in cheaper oil prices on the international market and lower prices at the pump. It would also instill fear in the minds of the OPEC leaders toward the U.S. reduction of imported oil consumption. Obama can take action that would help lower gas prices. He needs to step up and be a leader on this issue, which will also facilitate a speedier economic recovery. Dennis Jacobe, chief economist at Gallup in Washington, D.C., put it this way: “If the price goes past four dollars a gallon, that will slow the economy.” Unless Obama can uphold our traditional American economic direction and increase his party’s concern for this issue, prepare for a slow down.

MATTHEW HURT -regular columnist -junior -political science major

Together students can Both parties responsible for oil crisis help end dating violence M

ore than 20 years ago, I read a study of junior high school students in Rhode Island. I found one I’ve never been able to get out of my head. Students were asked if a man who spent money on a woman during a date was entitled to force her into sexual activity. An astounding 25 percent of the young boys said yes — and even more astounding, 17 percent of the junior high school girls agreed. You may think that sounds like a long time ago — and it was. But, sadly, dating violence remains a very real problem in our country — especially on college campuses. Today, while in college, nearly one in five women will be a victim of sexual assault and one in 10 teens will be intentionally hurt by someone they are dating. These aren’t just statistics, these are people you know: your roommates, your friends, your sisters, your classmates. This is a problem we all have to face. My dad used to say there’s no worse sin than the abuse of power. Whether it was raising a hand to someone weaker or using any advantage to push people around, he taught me that if you saw abuse you had an obligation to attempt to stop it. It’s a lesson to remember every day, but especially this February during Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Awareness is the first step to pushing back against a problem this big. When I held Senate hearings on violence against women more than two decades ago, domestic abuse in American society was rarely spoken about in public. I’ll never forget the stories of abuse I heard in more than a thousand hours of hearings. The brutality of family members, acquaintances and strangers against the women in their lives was absolutely devastating. It was those hearings that led to the Violence Against Women Act, and since then annual incidents of domestic violence have dropped by more than 50 percent. But for women in college and younger today, the risk is still much too high. That’s why I joined with Education Secretary Arne Duncan last April to announce historic new guidelines for colleges and universities about their responsibilities under Title IX to prevent sexual assault. Under the federal civil rights law, schools have an obligation not only to respond appropriately when an

assault occurs, but also to create a climate on campus that makes such violence unacceptable. I also started an initiative called 1is2many to help reduce dating violence and sexual assault among teens and young adults. We harnessed the power of technology to broadcast our message, launching a national contest to develop “Apps Against Abuse.” The two winning apps — which will be available later this spring — will let you get in touch with your friends quickly and safely so you can call for help, stopping violence in its tracks. We’ve also made sure the National Dating Abuse Helpline can be reached by text, online or phone 24/7. Last month, the FBI changed the way the federal government defines rape. The narrow, outdated definition — unchanged since 1929 — said the assault had to be forcible and against a woman’s will to be classified as rape. It’s just not true, and it’s a point that I make on college campuses all across the country. Rape is rape, and no means no. No means no whether drunk or sober. No means no whether in the dorm room or on the street. There is never an excuse. Young women and men alike need to understand this. Under the new definition, rape occurs when there is no consent, and it also includes sexual assault against boys and young men in national law enforcement reporting. These are important changes, but ending dating violence and sexual assault isn’t just a matter of laws and legislation. It’s about education. It’s about attitudes. It’s about your participation. It is with this in mind that I ask your help to address this issue in your dorms and on your campuses. Studies show that men’s ideas about what other men think is one of the strongest determinants of how they act. So guys, you need to speak out. The ultimate measure of a civilized society is how its laws and culture handle the abuse of women. Attitudes can change and violence can end. But it can’t happen without universal understanding that dating violence and sexual assault will never be tolerated anywhere, at any time, for any reason. Period. That’s everyone’s responsibility.

JOE BIDEN Vice President of the United States

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T

he United States economy has recently been under the assault of its lifeblood: oil. The average price of a gallon of gasoline this week reached $3.58, up 40 cents in one year. Republican candidates have been propagating their inaccurate and over-simplified belief that President Barack Obama is to blame for the economic problems. Not surprisingly, they claim the recent increases in oil prices are also his fault. Regardless, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney states U.S. oil production is at an eight-year high, and the Obama administration has invested in millions of new acres for oil exploration. Nonetheless, the GOP is calling on the president to bring more domestic oil into the market. It is understandable that the American citizenry and its politicians would react so strongly to such a drastic escalation in oil rates. All modern industrial economies rely on a continuous and relatively cheap cost of oil for progression and expansion. When the oil flow is disturbed, people in all walks of life feel it. In times such as these, the most obvious response is to import the largest quantity of oil as possible, regardless of other consequences. The sole purpose is to ensure continued economic growth. Therefore, in line with their simplistic outlook and naive sense of an almost cartoon-like world, Republican candidates have not attempted to respond to the real issues at play. Instead, they have merely called on the president to “drill more.” For generations, Americans have been raised to believe they live in a bubble, and the two oceans on the East and West coasts protect

them from problems facing the rest of the world. There are times when people are forced to abandon this illusion in place of the reality of the newly globalized politico-economic environment. For the most part, Americans want to hear their politicians tell them any of the country’s problems can be solved domestically. This is not merely a mistaken belief, but rather a dangerous one because it neglects to answer problems intelligently.

from the social chaos, which will ensue over industries thirsty for oil and the catastrophic implications of a world that never prepared itself for the inevitable loss of its most valued energy supply. Beyond this, there is the most serious problem: the increasing effects of global climate change. Democratic and Republican actions are now traversing into the realm of purely unethical activities. Younger generations are going to be left with a planet that is losing its ability to sustain civilization because of human actions — in the sense of the environment and energy supply. By depriving future For generations, Americans generations of a sushave been raised to believe tainable energy supply and leaving them with they live in a bubble, and a planet that is quickly uninhabitthe two oceans on the East becoming able for a large percentand West coasts protect age of species, society has been acting with them from problems facing unforgivable immoralthe rest of the world. There ity. People must always are times when people are remember that those today are mere forced to abandon this illu- alive stewards for the envision in place of the reality of ronment, living on loan from future generathe newly globalized politi- tions. This method of co-economic environment.” thought has been lost in the current hedonistic mentality of consumerist society, How could anyone not but it can be regained if expect oil prices to increase people stop blaming each when Iran has recently ended other and start working shipments of oil to Britain together. and France? How could anyObama and the Republican one not expect oil prices to Party are to blame for the increase when the economy current crisis, but people has been growing in the hold the most responsibility U.S. and overseas, naturally for allowing their mentality resulting in the recent spike to rob their children of the in oil demand? futures they deserve. Let us But expectations are dif- stop playing petty games of ferent than reality. Even if blame, and instead start comeveryone expected oil pric- ing together to solve these es to surge, it seems people serious problems and allow are never prepared for the the world to prosper for reality. future generations. However, the most serious problems will be the end of JASON CAMPBELL the world’s oil supply as a nat-regular columnist ural resource as the reserves run out. Furthermore, politi- -junior cal fragmenting will result -philosophy major

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

people & clubs

5

feb. 24, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

He said: Take it easy over spring break

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CHELSEA GUNTER / COLLEGIATE TIMES

She said: Don’t forget safety during trips Is

i t the lines at the tanning salons, the sold-out salads at Au Bon Pain or the incredible amount of people at the gym that hints toward a certain upcoming break? It has definitely sprung out of nowhere this year, but ready or not, next Friday begins the legendary college vacation tradition: spring break. To follow suit of the memes out there, I’ve come up with one of my own. What society thinks we do: Spring break is an invitation for a bunch of college kids to get embarrassingly intoxicated and commit unscrupulous life choices. Do not get me wrong, no one is denying that a major percentage of students travel south to rage on the beaches of Panama City, Cancun or Key West. We are simply trying to get some consistency in our weather — especially those of us who live in a little place called Blacksburg. Society has also questioned the safety of spring break hot spots because of past events. You must enforce the buddy system 24/7. Even if you are walking a few feet from your friends, grab a gal and stick together. I understand sometimes you want to be alone with the cutie you met poolside, but let us be honest — you will most likely never see him again. Be

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smart and keep your friends close. What our parents think we do: Peacefully lounge with our friends on the beach and play volleyball. “Yeah mom, it’s going to be just a big group of us hanging out at the beach house. We are probably going to drink a little, but don’t worry. We are going to be really careful, and no one is going to be too out of control.” Sound familiar? What about the old, “Guys turn down the music and be quiet, my parents are calling.” Yes, we’ve all been there, but it is about time to grow up. As we get older, it is no longer worth lying to your parents about anything. Be honest and let them know what you are doing. Whether they want to admit it, they have done the exact same things and made the same mistakes you have. I once heard a radio talk show do an experiment by calling a girl who was on spring break while her parents were secretly on the line. They pretended like she won a contest she signed up for, but the catch was that she had to tell them the craziest thing she had done on her break so far. Needless to say, the girl checked her class at the door and let loose in Cancun. Her father immediately started yelling while her mother began to cry —

ne. More. Week. While we have only been back at Virginia Tech for a short time, I am sure there are but a few people who are not in need of a vacation. There is something about students being thrown into new classes after a month-long hibernation that wears them down. Luckily, there is a week each spring to save students from the tyranny of academia. While leisure is what many need during this week after a string of tests and projects, relaxation is the exact opposite of how many people spend their spring break. Cancun, Panama City and Bahamas are the destinations of many students who are looking to spend their spring break among bikini-clad women, juiced men and more alcohol than Pheasant Run on a Friday night. There is no better trip for a student looking for the “typical college” spring break. As a matter of fact, that was me last year. A cruise through the Caribbean with stops in foreign countries that have no drinking ages was what I was looking for — a memory-filled week of sunburns and white sand beaches was what I got, despite the hefty price tag.

If you are a college student who finds joy in half-naked women and Natural Light, then make the voyage at least once in your college career. Expensive? Maybe. But if you cut down your Cook-Out intake from five days a week to three days, you will have paid for it in no time. But do not even begin to think partying on a beach with MTV is the only way to spend spring break. One of my roommates is going on a mission trip to help those less privileged for the second year in a row. He said last year was the most rewarding experience of his life, and he cannot wait to go back. I can pretty much guarantee your conscience will feel better after a week of community service than after a week of margaritas and beer bongs. Besides choosing a cruise or a mission trip, there are always those who spend spring break in a different fashion — on weeklong backpacking excursions or kayak trips. Some just stay in Blacksburg. I hear the townies can be rather entertaining. I will personally be spending my spring break at home hanging out with my mom and working

part time to earn some cash. I found it financially irresponsible to blow a small fortune on a trip to another country, whether it was for community service or to work on my tan. While it is true that Winston-Salem, N.C. is lacking white sand beaches, Cancun sure as hell does not have my momma’s home cooking. Relaxation is exactly what I am craving right now as I head into my hell week. Lounging at home and catching up on Netflix sounds as good as any cruise right about now. However you are spending this spring break, follow these two simple rules. One: No drinking water in any part of Central America if you are not from there. Our weak American stomachs cannot handle it. Two: No thinking about school — it is called a break for a reason. Checking Scholar is strictly prohibited. Have a great break, Hokies.

DANE HARRINGTON -featured columnist -junior -industrial & systems engineering major

just something to think about. What my friends think I do: Have fun. Looking from my left to my right, we are definitely all on the same page. It is so fun to go somewhere and surround yourself with the best people in your life. I am personally going to Las Vegas with the greatest gals I have ever met. For those close to their friends and families, many take the muchneeded vacation from overnight stays at the Math Emporium, exams and basketball games to enjoy the group of people who will always be there for them. Whether you are a part of group traveling together or are flying solo, enjoy this incredible opportunity. Our group of cute, independent women is ready to take Las Vegas by storm. This is going to be interesting — I have taken notes from Snooki, learned what not to do from Britney Spears and look forward to meeting Holly Madison.

KELLEY ENGLISH -featured columnist -junior -marketing management major

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The Waltzing Zombies Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Today is a 9 -- Focus on the projects that you’re best at. Bring more buck for the bang by doing what you love. The thing that makes you happy just goes better. Aries (March 21-April 19) -- Today is a 7 -- A surprising development in a group setting inspires action. Let it be someone else’s crazy idea. Changes above affect you positively. Taurus (April 20-May 20) -- Today is a 7 -- The expertise you need isn’t far away. Use it to tackle a difficult task that’s been eluding you. Your quick wit’s appreciated. Share something of value.

Gemini (May 21-June 21) -- Today is an 8 -- Encourage someone’s artistic work and be rewarded. Someone who seems dumb is actually brilliant. Keep your home clean and avoid an argument. Opportunities arise. Cancer (June 22-July 22) -- Today is a 7 -- You’re in a search for what’s next, and there’s nothing stopping you. Excessive attention to detail could annoy others, but don’t take it personally. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Today is a 7 -- The financial situation’s unstable today, so postpone gratification. Don’t let loved ones dig into the piggy bank, either. Make a cool promo for your latest project.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Today is an 8 -- It’s okay to be a perfectionist, but don’t beat yourself up when you fail. It’s all part of the process. It could even be fun. Where will you risk failure next?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) -- Today is a 6 -- Focus on doing creative projects that you love. You’re becoming more passionate and more attractive. Let your sweetheart set the schedule.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) -- Today is an 8 -Better check your schedule again. With all the activity and intensity, you could forget small details. Try to be as clear in communication as possible.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Today is a 7 -- Time to clean up a mess. Figure out what you want, and then go for it. It may take some extra effort, but it will be worth it. Stay home tonight.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) -- Today is a 9 -- Focus on making money today, but don’t be attached to the results. Money isn’t everything, and you know that. Leave room for a surprise, and it could be a good one.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) -- Today is an 8 -- Strained relationships improve greatly now. Spend some time in nature to stretch your legs and your ideas. Fresh air does you good. Take it easy.

AIR TIME//

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[sexy lady robot voice] Welcome. Every Thursday at midnight on 90.7 WUVT Step inside the Delorian as we start WHY WE PLAY// Yeah this one right here goes out to all the baby's mamas, mamas, mamas, mamas, baby mamas, mamas...and the listeners too.

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sports 6 Hokies look to pull upset against Duke editors: matt jones, zach mariner

feb. 24, 2012

sportseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

COLLEGIATETIMES

Coming off a tough loss to in-state rival Virginia, the Hokies head to Durham to face the Blue Devils BROOKS TIFFANY sports staff writer The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team will travel to Durham, N.C. to take on a surging Duke Blue Devils team that has not lost since its overtime let-down at home to Miami. Since then, Duke (23-4, 10-2 ACC) has gone on a four-game winning streak that started with its dramatic finish against UNC, in which Austin Rivers hit a game-winning three. With Duke’s recent success and Missouri’s shocking loss this past Tuesday, the Blue Devils have quietly worked their way into a No. 1 seed spot for the tournament. The Hokies (15-13, 4-9 ACC) will look to put a damper on Duke’s lofty position in the tournament, as they attempt to follow in the footsteps of DANIEL LIN / SPPS Florida State and Miami — Tech point guard Erick Green is defended by Duke guard Seth Curry in their Feb. 2 game. The Hokies lost 75-60 to the No. 7 Blue Devils. becoming the third team this season to knock the Blue Devils off their pedestal in Cameron Indoor Stadium, making sure it will be a long time before they see a 45-game win streak again. Strangely enough, Duke is undefeated on the road in the ACC this year, so the Hokies may be in the rare position of actually benefiting from a visit to Cameron. Then again, the Hokies are 1-5 on the road in the ACC with the lone win coming against in-state rival Virginia. Despite the recent successes of FSU and Miami, upsetting Duke in its own back yard is no easy task. The two losses Duke has at Cameron simply resonate more than the 12 wins they have chalked up at the same venue, so it may be creating the illusion that Duke is vulnerable at home, which is certainly not the case. If the Hokies can follow the same basic blueprint employed by the Seminoles and Hurricanes, they may have a chance to work a miracle, but it will be a tall task considering Tech does not have the same inside presence Miami or FSU was able to assert against Duke around the basket. The keys for FSU and Miami seem to have been their ability

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to work Duke in and around the paint, scoring on easy layups and baskets. Most recently, Miami was especially effective on the shoulders of its big man, Reggie Johnson, who had a career game against the Blue Devils, dominating the boards and basket. With this in mind, the Hokies may look to exploit the same area by effectively getting the ball to Cadarian Raines down low and having him step up, while Duke may be looking the other way and concentrating on stopping the likes of Erick Green. The Hokies’ weaknesses around the basket have not gone unnoticed by the Blue Devils, as it has been an area of concentration and improvement for them over the last several games, with their opponent’s field goal percentage steadily declining on their four-game win streak. Jumping out to an early lead or even holding onto the lead for the majority of the game seems to no longer phase Duke, as it once did in the beginning of the season. The Blue Devils have shown a growth and maturity in responding to such adversity in their last four games. This means the Hokies are going to have to do more than put together a few good runs and that no lead will be large enough for Tech, unless it can play consistent basketball — including at the free-throw line where the team has struggled recently, especially when the game is tense. Defensively, Tech will have to grind it out by getting in the face of Austin Rivers and Seth Curry to throw off their shot percentages — not to mention getting physical with Mason Plumlee in the paint, forcing him to take tough shots and out-rebounding him. At this point, it may seem impossible for Tech to roll into Cameron and come away with the victory, but head coach Seth Greenberg and the Hokies always seem to surprise fans just when they count them out. Tip-off is at noon tomorrow and will be carried on the ACC network.


editors: matt jones, zach mariner sportseditor@collegiatetimes.com/ 540.231.9865

spring sports

feb. 24, 2012 COLLEGIATETIMES

7

Tennis has mix of youth and experience ALEX KOMA sports reporter The spring is traditionally time for renewal, and after falling in the second round of last year’s NCAA tournament, the men’s tennis team is hoping for a fresh start. There has been a significant amount of turnover from last year, as the team lost two seniors who played major roles on the squad. “I think it’s the natural progression of any college team,” said head coach Jim Thompson. “We lost (Will) Beck and (Pedro) Graber — great guys and great players who had a lot of wins under their belts. And the question is, who will take up the slack for them?” The team has plenty of experience as it seeks to advance further. It will be composed of five seniors and two juniors. “For a good team, you have to have a good mix of the older guys and younger guys, and I think we have a perfect mix,” said senior Luka Somen. “We probably have a 50/50 split of old and young (players), and I think the experience

we have as seniors is definitely going to help the younger guys play well.” The coaches are also hoping the extra experience will benefit the rest of the team. “All five of the seniors have been with us for a long time, and have gotten stronger physically over the years and improved their games,” Thompson said. “(Somen's) playing great right now, but also Patrick (Daciek's) finally healthy again and playing better, which is a big piece for us. They’ve stepped up in the beginning of the year a lot, and they’ll be a big piece of whether we have a great spring.” In addition, junior Lucas Oliveira should be a big part of the team, as he moves up to take Graber’s spot in the lineup. “(Oliveira's) definitely progressed like crazy,” Thompson said. “He’s moved up our lineup and … I think as he matures and develops, he could be the next guy who really leads the program.” Despite the importance of experienced players, the freshmen on

the squad will be counted on to develop quickly. “A couple of the seniors who have played a lot have made it a lot easier transitioning,” said freshman Hunter Koontz. “They’re all funny and have a sense of humor, and they practice hard too, so they definitely help.” The team faces a challenging schedule, including a streak of four consecutive matches on the road, and will have to be ready for the travel. “The reason the rankings give bonus points for road wins is obvious,” Thompson said. “We did a great job last weekend going to Penn State. That’s a good team, and we played well. Hopefully we do the same things we’ve been doing and just prepare the same way.” Although the year will be difficult, the team remains optimistic about its future. “I think we’ve showed we have a quality team, and we have guys who can compete and be really good, so we’re all expecting a lot from this season,” Somen said.

Lacrosse looks to build off solid 2011

FILE 2011 / SPPS

Senior attack Ryan Rotanz is one of the many upperclassmen on an experienced offensive unit.

Out to a hot start, second-year head coach Megan Burker is looking to show the lacrosse team’s surprise success last season wasn’t a fluke MIKE PLATANIA sports staff writer The Virginia Tech women’s lacrosse team — a rising program — is coming off a successful year and has high hopes going into the season. The team's accomplishments in 2011 were unexpected, especially after the season began with coach Katrina Silva's surprise resignation. Then-assistant coach Megan Burker was promoted to interim head coach, and the Hokies went on to post a record of 10-8 — their first winning season since 1999. Pleased with Burker's performance, the athletics department stripped the interim label from her title in the off-season, making her the full-time head coach. Burker has raised the bar for the program. “We feel that last year set a new standard for our program, where we can demand more consistency year to year with achieving a winning record,” Burker said. “Creating that standard will always keep us focused on every opponent. However, this season we want to reach for the next step.” Last season, the Hokies came

out of the gate hot, winning five of their first six games by an average margin of eight goals. Tech was playing well enough to earn the No. 20 ranking in the nation — the first time the Hokies were ever ranked in the top 25. Tech has plenty of veteran leadership up on its roster, and the team has a chance to hit its stride. The Hokies attack averaged more than 11 goals per game last season, and their offense should be just as potent thanks to returning starters Morgan Widlake and Ryan Rotanz. However, it won’t be all fun and games for the Hokies, especially in the ACC. “The ACC is a very strong conference,” Rotans said, “To find success against these strong teams we need to take control of the game, possess the ball more and finish each possession with a goal.” In the ACC, no conference game is an easy one. Teams like Maryland, Duke, North Carolina, Boston College and Virginia are regulars in the top 10, and Tech must go through them if it wants to be an elite team. On the other end of the field,

FILE 2011 / SPPS

Senior Luka Somen will be relied upon heavily by this year’s team after having much success in 2011.

the Hokies will have more veteran leadership in starting defenders Julie Wolfinger, Kristin Semones and Christina Patten, who is returning after missing all of last year with an Achilles injury. The last line of defense for the Hokies is standout goalkeeper Alex Gale, who was named co-MVP last season and is now in her second full year as starter. Last year, Gale had a knack for showing up big whenever the team needed her, especially in tough ACC matchups. Gale, like the rest of the team, is ready to get the season started. “After four weeks of preseason behind us, we have been dying to get in some game play,” she said. “Everyone has been coming out to practice with a lot of energy and anticipation.” The Hokies started their season with a 21-4 blowout over Presbyterian and a 18-18 victory over High Point. Senior midfielder Jessica Nonn and junior midfielder Brooke Martin lead the team in scoring with ten points apiece. Tech’s next game is tomorrow against William & Mary. P.O. Box 477, Radford, VA 24143 Office: (540) 639-9592 Hotline: (540) 639-1123 Website: www.wrcnrv.org

Thank You Alpha Chi Omega and the Virginia Tech Community For selecting our non-profit organization to be the recipient of proceeds from their philanthropy MOCK ROCK

Your efforts helped us serve 1,439 victims of sexual assault and 2,540 victims of domestic violence over the past year.

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SPRING SPORTS Hokies looking to play spoiler in ACC

FILE 2011 / SPPS

Virginia Tech is predicted to finish fifth in ACC Coastal Division, but coach Hughes has loftier expectations JOSH PARCELL sports reporter Playing the role of darkhorse is nothing new for Virginia Tech baseball. That doesn’t mean the Hokies don’t embrace it, though. Picked to finish fifth in the ACC Coastal Division by the league’s coaches, Tech head coach Pete Hughes believes his team has the tools to make a surprising run in 2012. It wouldn’t be the first time, either. After a rebuilding in 2011, the Hokies hope to recapture the magic of a 2010 run that ended in the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth in 10 seasons. “Our expectation is to get into the national tournament, get hot and make a run at Omaha, (Neb.),” Hughes said. “We’re not going to waiver from that, and we shouldn’t.”

The Hokies lost an unprecedented nine players to the MLB Draft following the 2010 season, leaving Hughes with an inexperienced team, particularly on the mound. Tech had to replace its top three starting pitchers, in addition to star closer Ben Rowen. Not surprisingly, Tech finished in the bottom half of the ACC in every major statistical category for pitching in 2011. A staff that was thrust into the fray earlier than expected last season should reap the benefits of the added experience, Hughes thinks. There are at least six pitchers whom the coach has confidence in using to start the season, which is in stark contrast to one year ago. “That gives you a lot of options,” Hughes said. “It gives you a lot of competition built

into your own program, which makes you better every day.” Locked in place already are Tech’s Friday and Saturday starters, Joe Mantiply and Marc Zecchino. Mantiply pitched a no decision in the opening game vs. Kennesaw State while going seven innings, allowing seven hits, zero earned runs and striking out five. Zecchino, meanwhile, got a win over Bradley in the opener, pitching five innings while only allowing two hits and zero earned runs. As for the third starting spot, Hughes will use the first few weeks to decide which hurler is his best option. The battle is among Manny Martir, Patrick Scoggin and Ronnie Shaban. Martir may have the inside track to the job after only allowing two hits and one earned run in seven innings pitched against Bradley.

“I just think Manny Martir is going to have a special year for us,” Hughes said. Shaban, who also plays first base, is likely headed back to the closer role, where he recorded three saves last season. A hamstring injury in the preseason restricted his ability to compete for a starting role on the mound. There won’t be any shortage of power in the batting order, which features sluggers Tyler Horan, Andrew Rash and Ronnie Shaban. Hughes believes Horan and Rash are the two most powerful hitters he’s coached during his six years in Blacksburg. So, whose bat has more juice? “If you polled our guys they’d probably say Tyler Horan,” Hughes said. “Since I’ve been here, yeah they are the most powerful guys I’ve had. It’s serious raw power. They can generate some bat speed.”

Rash turned down a chance to turn pro after the Padres drafted him in the 36th round last June. “I wanted to come back and really go out with a bang … I feel like coach Hughes deserves that because of how much he’s helped me and stuck by me,” Rash said. Rash redshirted as a freshman because, according to Hughes, “he wasn’t ready to play.” A disciplined work ethic, along with an abundance of potential waiting to be tapped, allowed Rash to develop into one of the most feared hitters in the ACC. “I’ve worked on everything I can to become a better player and help this team,” Rash said. Defensively, the Hokies feature a versatile infield full of players who can shuffle positions on an as-needed basis. It’s a strategy Hughes openly embraces. “We train that way, so if I want to pinch run or make moves, I

can put a guy (at any position),” Hughes said. The anchor of the infield is shortstop Johnny Morales, a former transfer who has started all four games at shortstop this season with the Hokies. His range defensively will keep opponents from picking up key runs, Hughes hopes. “He’s a leader,” Hughes said. “He must save our pitching staff at least 10 to 15 pitches a day because he gets outs that should be hits.” The expectations from the outside looking in may not be too high for the Hokies, but that’s come to be the norm in Blacksburg. Similarities from the 2010 team that boasted a tremendous blend of talent and experience — and an under-theradar stigma — are apparent in this year’s club. “I really think we are taking that next step to being a top-tier program,” Rash said.

Softball sees early success ASHLEIGH LANZA sports staff writer The Virginia Tech softball team — with a 7-3 start to begin its 2012 season — shows a lot of promise for the coming months. The Hokies won their first six games by a margin of at least four runs but are on a three game losing streak after falling to No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 2 Alabama, and Auburn at the ACC/SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Their bats seem to be forces to be reckoned with. Junior Courtney Liddle and sophomore Dani Anderson seem to be the biggest threats on the lineup. Courtney Liddle is currently hitting .533 and has two homers already, after finishing 2011 with a .366 average, 12 doubles and six homeruns. Anderson follows with a .385 batting average, which is no surprise after leading the team in the category last season. Between Courtney Liddle and Anderson’s bat strength, it would not be surprising to see a considerably greater number of home runs than in the past. Senior Kristen Froehlich and junior Betty Rose should not be forgotten. Both were key contributors to the team’s offensive power last season, and it should be no different this time around. Then-junior Froehlich had a team leading 49 RBIs — one short of tying the school record — contributed 12 doubles and seven home runs during the season. Froehlich has already had an impressive three homers in the first ten games, two FILE 2011 / SPPS of which were three-run home runs. Rose hit .316 with 12 home

Now a junior, Jasmin Harrell has taken over as the anchor of a much younger Virginia Tech pitching staff.

runs, the third-most compiled in school history. The team is also using smart base running and its competition’s weaknesses to its advantage this season. Even with only four hits against Radford in their 9-1 win, the Hokies made the most of the opposition’s three errors, four hit batters and six walks to pile on extra runs. If the Hokies can continue to utilize their own offense, as well as the other team’s errors, their future is looking bright. “We found ways to score runs and draw walks,” said head coach Scot Thomas. “It doesn’t really matter how you score as long as you put the scores on the board.” Defensively, the team is strong, with more depth to add to the field than last year. It has minimized its errors to date, with only six in ten games — two coming from a 6-0 win against Buffalo and one from a 12-3 win against UNC Greensboro. “We are a way better hitting team and another one of our strengths is our defense,” said junior pitcher Jasmin Harrell. “Our whole pitching staff and defense is deeper than we have ever been.” With Kenzie Roark graduating after last season’s end, the crowd is seeing a change in face with a fresh pitching rotation. Jasmin Harrell and newcomer Bailey Liddle have stolen the show. Harrell, one of the Tech’s main pitchers last year, is back and has won four of the seven games this season. Harrell’s spin and movement on the ball has been good enough for a 2.33 ERA so far, and fans can look forward to seeing her improve as the season progresses. Bailey

Liddle, a freshman pitcher, seems to be an important asset to the Hokies, as she begins her pitching career 2-1 and has only surrendered two earned runs. Bailey Liddle, the younger sister of junior Courtney Liddle, will be a player to keep on the radar as the season progresses. However, these aren’t the only pitchers on the roster. Freshman Isabella Corrao, though giving up a grand slam in her collegiate debut, has held her own for a strong eleven innings, and Kat Banks should see some time in the circle after she recovers from a sickness. The Hokies have a strong freshman class, with eleven players who are starting to make statements. Lauren Gaskill was selected as the ACC Preseason Freshman of the Year, as she has shown potential through her .269 average and seven stolen bases. “(The selection puts on) a lot of pressure because I have to live up to these standards,” Gaskill said. “I’m happy with wins. As long as we get wins and come up on top, I am OK regardless of the award.” In the ACC coaches poll, Tech was ranked sixth out of eight teams, which includes No. 20 Georgia Tech and No. 25 North Carolina. Based on their performance so far, the Hokies have proven to be on the same level athletically as many of the competitive teams in the NCAA. “It’s a fun team to watch,” Thomas said. “We have the opportunity to put up some numbers, and we have already shown that.” The next home game for the Hokies will be on March 17 against the University of North Carolina at noon.


Friday, February 24, 2012 Print Edition