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july 28, 2011 what’s inside Troubleshooting jCamp .............. 2 VaTech’s skunky invaders ........... 3 Navigating VaTech ...................... 4 The price of school spirit ............ 5 jCamp’s favorite co-director ....... 6 How VaTech compares ................ 7 Looking back .............................. 8


Feels like the 1st time

D2 servers dish out top-rated eats


jCampers participate in a game of egg-chicken-dinosaur during the relay race component of journalympics in the quad in front of Peddrew-Yates Hall on Wednesday afternoon.



Katty Mattus, a food service assistant in D2, helps make sure dirty dishes are properly stored for cleaning.

ENTHUSIASTIC EMPLOYEES HELP PROPEL TECH’S DINING SERVICES PROGRAM TO TOP IN COUNTRY BY MAGGIE DEPRETGUILLAUME Bobbie Blevins loves her job. Every morning, she works the “front line” of the Italian shop at the D2 dining facility in Dietrick Hall, making sure her staff is ready to go by 11 a.m. Blevins keeps the counters clean, serves specialty pastas and checks food temperature. “I’ve had a lot of fun here,” she said. “I’m a kid at heart.” But she does more than put food on plates. While she serves a portion of the average 2,752 people eating at D2 each day during the academic year, she’s gotten to know the students over her 29 years on the line. “Kids that graduate send me Christmas and birthday cards and some even call me,” Blevins said. Students and visitors rave about

the delicious food served in Dietrick Hall and in other dining facilities on campus. jCamper Mary Katelyn Koszycki spoke highly of the meals she has enjoyed during her stay. “I think the desserts are the best part,” Koszycki says. The Princeton Review also gives high praise to Virginia Tech dining services, awarding the program No. 1 Best Campus Food published in “Best 366 Colleges: 2010 Edition.” To prepare these meals, Tech employs about 15,000 people during the academic year, making dining services the largest single employer at the university. “We have a very diverse group,” said Gabe Petry, operations manager of D2. About 50 percent of the employees work for wages, while 25 see D2 / page two

Miles away from home, summer camps include strangers, foreign sleeping arrangements and randomly assigned roommates. But none of that bothered Austin Stover. An aspiring photographer, Stover showed up at jCamp to learn more about journalism. But he and his fellow first-time campers say they got much more than that. Arriving at jCamp was also not frightening idea for newcomer Christina Beiene. She had positive nervous flowing and were pleasantly surprised to see what was in store at orientation. “It was really nice once I arrived. I was able to make friends in my track and I really liked my instructor, Kelly Furnas because he was able to explain the curriculum really well and gave us real-life examples that we could apply to our work,” Beiene said. Knowing her roommate ahead of time because of her early request differed from Stover’s randomly assigned roommate. But random roommates were fine with Stover. “It was cool getting to know all the other guys in the dorm because they were really nice and welcoming,” he said. Once the bond between the guys was forged, playing Mafia and free styling was promised for the duration of the camp.

Dorm life also suited the new campers well because of the spacious layout and comfortable beds. Returning campers knew to pack only the essentials. “I definitely over packed the first time, so I made sure to bring just the necessities this time,” Jordan Page said. Once the busy schedule of jCamp had gone underway, it let the campers experience everything jCamp had to offer them. Campers were divided into subject tracks.

It was really nice once I arrived. I was able to make friends in my track and I really liked my instructor. CHRISTINA BEIENE ADVANCED REPORTING TRACK

“I would definitely say to take a class that you would be really interested in because I enjoyed mine a lot more by doing so,” Beiene said. Stover’s willingness to try to new things landed him in a photography and design class. Navigating Tech’s complex campus was a challenge that both returning and first-time campers faced. “I remember the first day I got lost going to Squires. It was difficult because all the buildings looked the same,” Stover said. The challenge of getting around actually brought Beiene to her natural habitat. “It was fun because I love explor-

ing and navigating around,” she said. “Even though it was difficult our track was able to find our way all at once.” Recreation and downtime allowed Stover and Beiene to socialize with their fellow campers. Veteran campers also knew the importance of socialization. “I would say don’t be shy because these people are who you’re going to be on staff with and they should know who you are,” returning camper Sami Drew said. That was certainly a lesson camp co-director Liana Bayne carried right along to college. Bayne, who was a camper while she was a high school student in 2008, attended jCamp that year with another student from her high school. Other than her usual church retreats with a youth group, it was her first overnight expedition. She said her main goal was to come away with a positive experience, so she went in with a positive attitude. The enthusiastic camper whose work resided in advanced reporting was able to balance the work while making new friends. “We had to do a lot of waiting for sources to get back to us because everything wasn’t that accessible, but we were all able to do it in the same track, so that helped us bond more,” Bayne said. Whether the experience will lead Stover and Beiene to becp,e counselors is still up in the air, but other than the enhancement of skills, jCamp guarantees friends even after the four days. “We still Facebook chat to this day,” Bayne said of her roommate from jCamp 2008.




D2: New students enjoy fare Students complain about dorm living from page one

percent are salaried. The remaining 25 percent are student employees, who are paid hourly wages. Tracy Carson is one of those employees. Carson works with Blevins preparing pizzas. She arrives at 6:30 a.m. and begins pressing out the pizza dough that is delivered from the Southgate food center. Southgate pre-preps 250400 pizza dough balls on an average day. As Carson rolls out the crust, another employee adds toppings. After a quick lunch break, the pizzas and other foods are baked and served to students and guests. “[The] management works side by side with employees every day. Employees are able to interact with students. Making connections is very rewarding,” said Amanda Snediker, food production manager. Todd Banks is a Tech student who has been working at D2 for six years, mainly in the dish room. “It’s pretty easy,” he said. “You can work a minimum of two shifts, which gives us time for studies. It is the best job on campus and the people you work with are great,” Banks said. D2 is the only dining hall open during orientation, allowing future students and their parents to enjoy their first meals on campus. Snediker, known by her employees as “Superstar,” said meals planned for orientation are just like ones students can find year round. Dining employees include the most popular dishes, giving parents a taste of what their children will be eating all year and prospective students something to look forward to. “It may be the one time for us to give parents a taste of what we do all year,”



Jessica Ott, a Virginia Tech sociology major, passes out food to students at lunch in D2, Tuesday, July 26, 2011. Snediker said. But despite the Princeton ranking, Snediker said it’s the student voice that really matters to her. “What is most important to us is

that our guests have a place to come to where you are important and taken care of... that you have a good experience,” Snediker said. “That’s what we want to hear.”

A student is excited about going to this cool camp at an actual college in an actual dorm and she can’t wait to meet roommates and make a ton of friends — until she gets to her room. It’s not the stuff she’s seen in the movies at all, and she almost wants to call her mom and go back home. In her mind it’s about as comfortable as sleeping on a hard cold floor, and she wonders if anyone else is dealing with all the problems she is. Don’t worry — they are. The abundance of camps and campers at Virginia Tech has also brought an abundance of problems and complaints from people. Whether it was the size of the campus or problems with dorms, most people had something to bring up. “I hate that my track is all the way in Saunders Hall,” Caroline Hipwell said. The distance between the buildings has definitely proven a problem for campers, especially with the heat and the rain. Most difficulties began to present themselves when people went to their dorms. “There’s no soap, no washcloth, no trash can, and no Wi-Fi,” Caroline Rose said. Other campers like Laura Spitalniak had smaller problems. “It’s not that horrible,” Spitalniak

said. “There were no mirrors in any of the rooms, which sucks when there’s six girls in one room,” she said. Many campers seem to have been a little misled on what items to bring to camp. “We didn’t need a fan because it was cold. I wish I had brought jeans, they should’ve said bring soap and a washcloth and a toilet plunger for some of us. There should’ve been walking shoes on the list, and warm clothes and snacks,” Rose said. Even Molly Kessler and Christina Byers from Tech’s volleyball camp said that their list was missing a few things. They said it needed “a trash can, soap, and extra towels.” Nearly all of the campers have heard a complaint or two about the dorms or the campus. “I’ve heard complaints that breakfast isn’t at D2,” counselor Danielle Buynak said. Spitalniak also mentioned she’s “heard someone’s bathroom got seriously messed up.” The campers have an overwhelming amount of issues to share, and a cornucopia of ways to solve them. Hipwell said she wished “everything was closer and that we didn’t have to do the icebreakers and that everything was more relaxed.” Spitalniak was in agreement with Hipwell about the icebreakers, as are many other campers. Kessler and Byers said “a later curfew” would be better. “We’re not given complete access to the campus,” Rose said. “And we’re not in 1965, we need the Internet.”

Students learn fundamentals of news, features

july 28, 2011

BY LIZZIE SCOTT This week, the news and feature writing track has been tapping away at computers learning skills like how to properly write an accurate, fair and complete article under a deadline. To some campers, like sophomore Danielle Richardson, it’s a brand new experience. “I’ve never really done any news writing on my newspaper at school,” said Richardson. “I was completely clueless before.” That’s why, for senior Maggie Depret-Guillaume, Tyler Dukes is just the right the instructor for the track. “He’s knowledgeable and okay with us interrupting and

asking questions all the time,” Depret-Guillaume said. Tyler Dukes is currently the production assistant for student media at N.C. State University and a freelance writer for the News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer. Dukes discovered the field of journalism as a freshman at N.C. State University. He was initially interesting in engineering, but after signing up at a journalism booth at orientation, he never looked back. “Something about it just caught my eye,” said Dukes. According to senior Allison Graves, although the information is invaluable, the one thing most worth remembering is the people she is surrounded with.


Caroline Rose identifies stories in The Roanoke Times with different news values in class.

BY ALLISON GRAVES Dressed mostly in black with a hint of white, a predator is stalking Virginia Tech’s campus. Attracted by the dumpsters, warm dorm room and relative safety, this visitor has made this campus its home. And it isn’t going anywhere soon. Like a domesticated house cat, skunks at Tech seem to wander campus with confidence and a carefree attitude. Thus leading many visitors to wonder why Tech is a prime location for skunks. “I don’t think it’s abnormal. Skunks are an urban wildlife species,” said Kieran Kelly, an urban wildife biologist at Tech. According to Kelly, skunks are attracted to places like campuses for


Many campers run into skunks wandering all over the campus.

many reasons. “There are dumpsters and skunks are adaptable animals. They are omnivores,” he said. In an urban environment, a dumpster is an omnivore heaven.” “[The campus] is also very safe;,” Kelly said. “There is no traffic. They don’t have a lot of natural predators. Most animals when they see a skunk give them a wide birth.” Besides other animals, students avoid the creature. “Most people know to stay away from them; they are like cats. If you don’t bother them they won’t bother you,” said Liana Bayne, a rising junior at Tech and co-camp director. For many Tech students the skunks are a normal facet of living on campus. “They aren’t a big deal. During the school year no one cares,” said Danielle Buyank, a rising sophomore at Tech and a counselor. “I don’t see them as often as I smell them. At least a couple times a week you smell them through your room window.” Despite the fact that students at Tech are used to the furry visitors, jCampers were surprised. “We were walking to class by the stairs and saw a skunk and we were so scared that we walked around the building to avoid them,” said student Danielle Richardson. “I have never seen so many skunks all in one place. They’re actually ‘chill’ skunks. They don’t really care that people are there.” The students aren’t the only ones who seem to disregard the presence of an alien species. Skunks are also numb to people.


Skunks regular residents on Tech campus, jCamp students astounded



Skunks are spotted by jCampers at Tech sniffing around campus in search of something tasty. This is one of many skunks jCampers have seen lurking throughout the university this week. “All of the animals around here are used to people being around,” Bayne said. “During the school year there are 30,000 students here.” “It’s a rural place.,” she said. “(Wildlife) is to be expected.” “When skunks live in proximity to humans they habituate. It’s just that they are used to us,” Kelly said. Although ignored by students, skunks’ natural behaviors can negatively affect many parts of campus. “They are a tunneling mammals

and that causes problems with the landscape. They tunnel near buildings and get into the crawl space and sometimes cause electric problems,” said Cedric Short, of Blacksburg Animal Control said. “They are sometimes infested with rabies. They could possibly transfer the disease.” However, campus serves the same purpose for skunks and students. Both eat, sleep, and live at Tech. “They are like people because they eat both things (omnivores) and are

adaptable. They have diverse diet to begin with. They are not wedded to one or two items. They adapt to what they will find,” Kelly said. “There is also accessible water on campus. Campuses also have warm places.” Unlike the stereotype, skunks don’t wait for to spray an unsuspecting victim. Tech is their campus and they are simply there to live. “Like I said, I don’t think it’s abnormal,” Kelly said. “They kinda do their own thing.”

Advanced reporting track strings for Collegiate Times BY MOLLY PODLESNY

people actually care about, things that they’re going to take the time to read.” After the lesson, the girls were on their own until meeting with their first drafts for “coaching sessions.” “I like the term ‘coaching’ better than ‘editing,’” Furnas said. “Because if you edit something the writer is likely to make that mistake again and again, but if you coach them, they learn to fix the mistake before the story ever makes it to the editor.” The students found the sessions helpful. “Kelly has been offering really good advice,” Scott said. “I can tell he knows what he’s talking about.” They were given sources, and it was up to them to arrange interviews and gather information online. “I’m not as afraid to interview anymore, because Kelly taught us that we

have a job to do and we can’t be shy about it,” said Emily Dzubak. The campers learned to work quickly, finishing their stories for deadline. “They needed to learn quickly that they need to start work immediately,”

Furnas said. “A lot of high school students are working on relaxed deadlines, but they need to learn that sometimes stories need to be done in hours, not weeks. They need that sense of urgency.”

july 28, 2011

The job of a journalist is to gather information and construct a story that is interesting and easy to understand. This week, the advanced reporting track worked on these skills. Kelly Furnas was the first director of jCamp five years ago and teaches this track. Furnas is also the executive director of the Journalism Education Association and advises student media at Kansas State University. Before that, he advised student media at Virginia Tech. Of Furnas’s six students, three of them were first-time camp attendees. “I didn’t know what to expect,” said Elizabeth Scott. “I was surprised that you can have fun while still taking classes.” Coming into camp for the first time,

Christina Beiene said she wanted to gain more knowledge. “I wanted more details on how to make my writing better,” Beiene said. In their track, the students were assigned two stories, one for jPaper and the other for the Collegiate Times. Before writing their stories, the girls listened to a presentation on the basics of reporting. “I learned some things I didn’t know before,” Beiene said. Furnas covered the steps to writing a story and gave helpful hints for interviewing. He also covered the seven values of news – qualities a story needs in order to be publication-worthy. “I think the seven values were the most important thing I learned,” said Samantha Drew. “I want to make sure that the things I’m writing are things


Kelly Furnas discusses journalism ethics with his track.




Students find campus large, confusing BY CAROLINE ROSE With its countless dorm buildings, eight colleges, a graduate school, halls and facilities, memorials, fields, airport, and parking lots, Virginia Tech is a beautiful campus decorated with wonderful landscape and architecture. jCamp students fortunately had the wonderful opportunity to attend a journalism program on the campus, and walk the sidewalks among some Tech students. From Sunday to Thursday, jCamp students walked through the Drillfield to their next class past all of the old stone buildings, ready to learn. In the past few days of jCamp, many campers have complained of the wide distance their classes are from their dorm, and the long journey it takes to find them. The Tech campus is approximately 2,600 acres, with 125 buildings and an airport. jCampers have limited time, between meals and the very competitive journalympics to navigate their way to their next track. The brisk 20-minute sprint to the Squires Student Center takes up a jCamper’s spare time, and sometimes can even take up class time. It seems that no matter how many times you’ve been to the university, you can still be as lost as a first timer. Maggie Depret-Guillaume, said she has been late frequently because of the distance. “I’ve been here multiple times, but I still get lost,” she said. “I thought I knew where I was going, (but) I had to ask 5 or 6 people for directions.”

Burruss Hall’s silhouette against a clear sky is an iconic image on Virginia Tech’s campus. The building’s size, like the campus, made More and more jCampers have been late to class, claiming they didn’t have enough time in between classes or that it took too long to find their class. “I haven’t been extremely late to class, but a few minutes late because the campus is huge,” jCamper Danielle

Richardson said. Most campers, who attend classes, start to walk early to be on time for class. jCampers have not been the only ones experiencing problems with Tech’s campus. Campers from both volleyball and wrestling camps were also lost.

Volleyball campers Molly Kesler, Christian Byers, and jCamper Richardson all reported leaving their dorms a half an hour early to be in time for class. “It (campus) is too big for someone to get around by themselves,” Richardson said. “Without the other students

who know their way around, I’d be lost” Searching for their next track all over the Tech campus, some jCampers have even found themselves on South Main Street in search for the McBryde building hidden behind the construction site.

Photojournalism students benefit from small class size

july 28, 2011

BY EMILY DZUBAK The photojournalism class at jCamp may be small, but the three students in the class had a lot to work on in this short week at Virginia Tech. Photojournalism instructor Bradley Wilson and assistants Daniel Lin and Alex Sanchez focused on teaching the students how to take pictures in different light sources. The first project the class worked on was taking ‘dorm life’ pictures. Students strived to find pictures of first year campers or campers who worked on assignments in their free time. “Every day we had to complete these assignments, where we took shots of what campers do when they’re not in class,” student

Shannon Cooke said. The class also spent some time doing a couple of different assignments, such as taking pictures of the wrestling team, to show the students how to take sport action pictures. “We worked on different assignments, such as taking pictures of the wrestling team, to try to get the students out of their comfort zone,” Wilson said. The trio spends the rest of their time in class or taking photos of the journalympic events. “The classes we take were helpful because some things I learned were review, but a lot of the things will help me further in high school and college,” Cooke said.

The photojournalism class’s main assignments are those that will be put into the jPaper after this week’s camp is over. Expensive merchandise, first year campers, skunks, and café workers are just a few of the exciting topics that the three must explore and add to the jPaper. The class’s size makes a huge difference on the students because for every student, there is one teacher. “Having a small class helps because we need a lot of help with the computer programs and we wouldn’t have as much one on one time with our teacher if we had a class of 20,” student Kelsey Stanton said. “It’s really helpful.”


Students learn about finding a good focal point during class.



e a lasting impact on jCampers. “I was all over the place trying to find my next track at the McBryde building,” Richardson said. “I can’t read the map. The map is huge and not helpful at all, it’s very confusing,” she added. Quite a few campers, including Tech volleyball campers, believe the map is

a problem. Kesler and Byers agreed that the map didn’t help at all with finding your way around the campus. “We had a map, but it took a while finding places,” Kesler said. “The map was a bit confusing.” However, the campus distance is not a problem to everyone. A graduate of Tech, Kathryn Farwell, said she doesn’t consider the size of the campus an issue. “I think it’s a lot smaller than it seems,” Farwell said. “I can get anywhere in 15 minutes of walking distance.” She does believe that the campus in the winter is another story. “The only time it’s really inconvenient is winter. From October to April it’s too cold. That’s when the campus feels too big,” Farwell said. Even some of the mothers of freshmen don’t find a problem with the Tech campus. Barbara Murphy and Teri Flach are both mothers of new Tech students who were attending orientation. Both had positive experiences with the campus’s size. “It’s not hard at all. It’s big, but not overwhelming,” Murphy said. In fact, they love how all of the buildings are spaced out. “It’s nice how things are centered,” Flach said. “It makes sense where things are.” With some plans to expand the Tech campus, like expansion on Oak Lane for Greek organizations and renovations on Ambler Johnston Hall, the Tech campus will grow larger and classes will be more of a journey to find. “It keeps growing, so it’ll be harder to get to classes on time,” Farwell said. “I hope it won’t get too big.”


g, but beautiful

T-shirt costs worth the price of 5 Hokie spirit to some campers A

fter spending five minutes looking around the campus bookstore, no visitor would be surprised if a price tag read, “An arm, a leg and your first born son. Plus tax.” But even though expensive Virginia Tech merchandise is turning many people from the store’s doors, the prices might not be as overpriced as they seem. For the past week, jCampers have been flocking to the campus bookstore looking for Tech themed knickknacks to commemorate their time here, from the cozy sweaters to the ever-popular Soffe shorts. The one memory that seems to need no souvenir is the moment when they first lay eyes on the price tag. These prices have left many students outraged. To buy an average pair of maroon or orange Soffe shorts from the Soffe company website only costs $7.99 and to add any design element (clipart, text or pictures) rises the price to $14.99. So why do the shorts here cost so much more? Is having Hokie pride really worth burning massive holes in our pockets? “No.” “No.” “Not at all.” These answers, from jCampers Caroline Hipwell, Danielle Richardson and Caroline Rose, sum up perfectly what seems to be the general consensus among bookstore customers — that the price of a Tech logo emblazoned on a sweater isn’t worth the extra mortgage it would take to buy it. But is the merchandise really as overpriced as it appears? “Tech gives its money to scholarships, facility improvements, and other projects that benefit the campus and sur-


A student examines t-shirts in the general store under D2. rounding community,” according to the Virginia Tech bookstore website, and boasts $43 million dollars given to the school since its creation. The University of Virginia, on the other hand, passes “a portion of every sale” to the university in support of its Endowment for Excellence, student programming, and need based scholarships, according to the UVa bookstore website. Still, is it just our (temporary) Hokie home that has “expensive” merchandise or is it colleges all over the state? Taken from the prices of sweatshirts at George Mason University, William and Mary, University of Mary Washington, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, the costs range from $34.99 to $49.98. But how should one define “expensive” or “over-priced?” Should it be based purely from an economic standpoint, comparing the price to how much the item costs to manufacture? Should it be decided by the quality of the material or what kind of purpose it serves? Or perhaps price varies from one viewpoint to another.

For a die-hard Hokie, having a Tech themed suit vest could be worth the price. It might not be an issue of cost for him but instead a vow of supporting something that he loves. However, for a UVa alum, if the price of the suit was $5.00 it would probably be considered highway robbery. So, maybe it’s where the money goes that makes the price worth it. Maybe it’s the understanding that its not that different from anywhere else. Maybe it’s a matter of school spirit. Or maybe its not worth it at all. Price is like beauty; its in the eye of the beholder. And for someone, Tech Soffe shorts could be worth selling their soul for.

AMY RIEGER -senior -langley high school -news and feature writing student

Design students plan to take lessons back to high school BY SAMANTHA DREW

Westfield High School, wants to take all she has learned back to school. “I’m going to use what I’ve learned to add more artistic elements to my paper, the Watchdog. I learned about how to put designs in the text, and how to text wrap,” Heim said. Molly Podlesny, a junior at Stafford High School and a section editor at her paper, the Smoke Signal, took design so she could have a formal explanation of how to work in design properly. “Now I don’t feel as clueless as I was before. Design really taught me a lot and made it easier for me to help other writers and readers,” Podlensy said.


Design students listen intently during class in McBryde Hall.

july 28, 2011

Advanced and regular newspaper design classes have joined forces this year at jCamp. The class was taught as a joint effort between Camilla Domonoske, Maria Rose, and Phillip Bannister as a primary and secondary track. “I like teaching design. The best part of teaching advanced design is every now and again you show someone something that really opens their eyes and makes something better and easier, and that’s gratifying,” Domonoske said. Domonoske,Rose,andBannister are all graduates of Harrisonburg High School. Domonoske is a current student at Davidson College,

Rose will be a freshman at Vassar College this year, and Bannister will be a freshman at Radford University. The students learned the basics of InDesign and how to set up a page that’s interesting to look at and appealing to the reader, but also easy to read. Caroline Hipwell, a junior from Oakton High School, was in the design track this year. “We learned how to make pages that look appealing to the readers without looking messy. I’ve learned that just because a page looks good to you, it might look really bad to other people,” Hipwell said. Melinda Heim, a junior from




jCamp co-director shares life lessons about writing, Twitter, college media BY NA HE JEON With her first words, Liana Bayne left a deep impression on her campers. “I prefer not to speak through a microphone,” the camp co-director told jCamp at the opening general session. Those words implied her confidence and outspoken nature. “She really has a kind of a leadership drive,” said Daniel Lin, a counselor and the Collegiate Times’s photo editor. Confidence. Being outspoken. Having a leadership drive. Qualities not only needed by camp directors, but also desperately needed by journalists. In fact, she is less of just a camp director. Rather, she is more of us years later, both as a student journalist working in college paper, and as a student aspiring to become a professional journalist. In high school, Bayne was the managing editor and editor-in-chief in the nationally top-tier school newspaper. Her 8th grade English teacher, who quickly caught her talent and devotion to writing, suggested that she join it. “I just tried it,” Bayne said, “and loved it. I guess I started in high school and never stopped.” Journalism was a perfect match for her, given her enjoyment of talking to people. Naturally, she continued her journalism spirit into college, where she is now the special sections editor at the Collegiate Times of Virginia Tech. “Liana loves talking,” said jCamp counselor and Collegiate Times managing editor of design Danielle Buynak, “and hearing stories of people. She has this passion in educating the community.”


jCamp co-director Liana Bayne monitors a relay race in the PY quad during Tuesday afternoon’s recreational activity time. Bayne actually defines journalism as “a service to the community” and “a social responsibility.” “It’s comforting the afflicted, like writing about poverty or teenage pregnancy, and afflicting the comforted, such as exposing wrongdoings of higher-up people,” she said, adding that journalism eventually evolves into history. She mentioned the pictures of newspapers decades ago in history textbooks, hav-

ing a historical headline on it. Although she “spends all of any of my free time in Collegiate Times,” music also defines her. She is part of an interest group in Blacksburg on electronic and dance music. She is combining her two passions, writing and music, by writing on music, such as a four-day music festival in the area. In fact, her writing on the music festival is part of her change in direction.

Previously, she had focused on hard line news stories, but now she is also covering softer feature ones. “I want to graduate with a full portfolio,” Bayne explained, noting that she is planning to join a local newspaper right after graduation and then move onto bigger, major ones. Despite her super-enthusiasm in journalism, Bayne did face some difficulties during her career. One of them happened when she was writing a story in the Collegiate Times on Tech receiving a grant for researching on nuclear power plants. She was new to the paper, and so was the designer of her page. The novice designer ended up mistakenly putting a picture of a mushroom-shaped nuclear bomb explosion next to her story. “It was memorable,” Bayne said. Angry readers sent letters to the paper for as long as two months. Bayne said the best way to improve writing skills is to “read a lot.” She recommends the Atlantic newsmagazine and the long-paced New Yorker maga-

zine. “Read a lot of well-written journalism,” she said, “like Pulitzer prize books. Also, ask your editor, ‘can I sit beside you?’ when she’s editing your story and watch her. That way, you get to know what’s going on and it helps you not make the same mistake again.” Interestingly, Bayne stepped up to design the jCamp t-shirt with Lin and Buynak when no one entered the shirt design competition. They got the inspiration from an iPod commercial that features people dancing in black silhouettes. The catchphrase “#party like a journalist” came from the name of a sarcastic blog on journalism, The name refers to Twitter, a social media site, which Bayne thinks is a helpful tool to package journalists as credible people and get to know the interviewee beforehand. “I think my whole life is like a ‘party like a journalist,’” Bayne said. Despite hardships, she goes on, since, “I know what I want in life.”

WANT ONLINE CONTENT? Scan this with the QR reader on your smartphone to access an exclusive interview with Liana.

Editorial leadership students learn organization

july 28, 2011

BY JORDAN PAGE Editorial leadership is a primary track that offers a variety of management and organization skills to a range of people. The students range from first year staff writers to advisers. Valerie Kibler, the adviser at Harrisonburg High School, taught the course. Kibler has 23 years of experience with journalism and English. She has also received honors from multiple organizations such as the Virginia High School League and the National Scholastic Press Association. Meghan Percival is also a jCamp staff member teaching the students about leadership skills. “Ms. Kibler has been really helpful

in helping us find ways to solve problems and better ourselves as leaders,” said Lauren McCracken, a T.C. Williams High School senior. Editorial leadership offered the students different techniques on how to better lead and organize the staff on your publication in a way that will ultimately better both the writers and the overall publication. Kibler also taught the students how to solve problems with staff and advisers. “It’s nice to learn how to resolve issues, learn about things that directly pertain to things that relate to our staff. We find out good tips and information on how to become a better leader,” said Blair Purdy, a Langley High School junior. Kibler also incorporated an adviser

from McLean High School into the curriculum by allowing him to conduct color personality test with the students. “The test helped to determine what kind of leader and management personality you have,” said Emily Flessas, a Langley High School junior. Some tips that were taught in this track were how to set up a calendar for your staff, how to incorporate social networking and how to tie grading into a daily schedule in order to create some sort of incentive for your writers. “One of the best things I learned from editorial leadership was that you are never too young to begin marketing yourself and working with local papers,” Flessas said.


Student Lauren McCracken, left, laughs during the editorial leadership class with instructor Meghan Percival, right.


Scan this with the QR reader on your smartphone to access exclusive web content put together by Chris Waugaman, sports writing track teacher.

BY ERIN BEUGLASS Virginia Tech wants you. And with a $2.5 million investment being pumped into its communications program, Tech is more than willing to prove it to prospective students. Every year, hundreds of freshmen arrive to Tech’s communications department. For every 16 of these students, there’s an expert that passes on knowledge. The communications department has 20 professors, 16 of whom hold doctorates in their respective fields, boasting many published articles and books on their areas of expertise. Shanks Hall, the main communications building is usually a bustling center of communicators. However, during the summer it is a quiet place, full of professors pre-

We’re not the best in the state because we lack the title of school. ROBERT DENTON COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT HEAD

paring for the upcoming influx of students. If you visit Shanks Hall, you might run into the friendly face of Ms. Denise Young, a transition advisor. Young helps incoming students with their first year at Tech. Young said Tech holds a 90.2 percent retention rate, and that the communications program is the fourth largest draw of students to the college, which has 19 programs in the Liberal Arts School alone.

Young said the curriculum is “very comprehensive and competitive”, and a great option for aspiring journalists. Robert Denton Jr., the head of the communications department, said once additions are completed, the communications facility would rival that of James Madison University. JMU, just 140 miles away from Blacksburg, has its own school for communications, which Denton said is one of the best schools for communications in the state. Denton said a communications major “is in high demand,” and as the demand grows, so do the accommodations at Tech. In the fall of 2013 additions will usher in a new, contemporary way to handle the ever-changing way that Americans view news. Denton said the facility would

include “a brand new, digital facility with a state-of-the-art digital studio, a ‘newsroom,; and a lab.” Denton praised Tech administrators for funding the additions, which “speaks well to the commitment” of the school to the department. While Denton said that the department doesn’t receive as much budget as one of the main schools such as the College of Natural Resources and Environment, the tides could be turning for this important department nestled on the first floor of Shanks Hall. Denton admitted the department is not the strongest. “We’re not the best in the state, because we lack the title of school,” he said. But Denton said the department hopes the additions will help elevate the program statewide.



Tech’s communication department 7 prepares for $2.5 million upgrade

Camp attendees gain skills for future college life BY DANI RAYMOND When Taylor Hovey came to jCamp her first year, she was surprised at the amount of freedom students were given. With this being her second year, she looked forward to the large amount of leeway. “It gives us independence,” Hovey said. “Being on our own teaches us responsibility that we didn’t have back at home.”

jCamp gives students who are interested in journalism the tools and experience to prepare students for life as journalists as well as life in college. “At jCamp, you are surrounded by journalists and surrounded by all aspects of journalism,” said Maria Rose, former jCamp student and newspaper design instructor. During camp, journalism students gather to spend five days on Virginia Tech’s 2,600 acre campus, walking

among college students who are attending their summer semester. “You have the experience of living in a dorm with the rules and freedom that are similar to a college experience,” said Liana Bayne, camp co-counselor. “jCamp helped me choose Virginia Tech as my college.” The campers spend eight hours everyday conversing with fellow journalists and gaining knowledge from experts in design, writing, editing and

photography. “The classes help us focus on the things we need to improve, and let us interview new people,” Hovey said. After spending 25 hours learning their tracks, students become wellrounded journalists. “Because of jCamp, I had the opportunities to learn a broad range of subjects that I can use to contribute to future publications,” said Phillip Bannister, former jCamp student and

newspaper instructor said. “I feel that the classes have prepared me for college.” Newcomers and returning campers will leave the camp with just more than journalistic knowledge under their belt. “My favorite thing is seeing how information learned is applicable to so many aspects of life,” Rose said. “Not only is it how to think journalistically, it is how to think creatively.”

Sports writers learn to transcend ‘same old boring recaps’ BY CHRISTINA BEIENE

scouring the campus for people to talk to. “Looking at key publications helped to motivate them and gave new ideas and topics,” Waugaman said. Students brainstormed topics such as interviewing campers that are here for different sports and the journalympics, a competition between different tracks for the trophy at the end of camp. Once the profile and feature stories were complete, they worked on alternate story formats to make pages in their own newspapers stand out. “Chris helped us get new ideas and taught us how to incorporate new styles of sports writing in to our own newspapers that will help us in the future,” Kajalad said.


Students in sports writing enjoy conversing during class while they discuss their goals and different model publications.

july 28, 2011

The sports writing track this year at jCamp focused on helping students create compelling stories, both in print and online. “We first talked about what each students writing was lacking and then discussed what they wanted to change,” track instructor and Prince George County High School teacher Chris Waugaman said. Most students wanted a change from writing game recaps and dive into new types of sports writing. “I’ve written on the paper for a long time and I really hated printing the same old boring recaps so I’m really glad that I could reach out and learn about cool sports

features like a feature on an athlete helping to get a behind the scenes aspect,” rising senior Muhamad Kajalad said. Students were later assisted in creating a WordPress account where instead of printing their game recaps they can put them online. Then, the students focused on learning and improving new writing styles. “We also wanted to bring the online aspect to students and help them bring it to their newspapers to keep it current,” co-instructor and student Alison Domonske said. For practice, students wrote profiles on each other’s sports history. After their writing was finished they brainstormed topics that would help get source diversity by



jCamp photo memories (Clockwise from top) 1. Elexxus Brown, Bridget Phillips and Emily GrifďŹ n share a laugh at D2 dining hall during lunch. 2. Melinda Heim, Kerry Quinn, and Ashley Hamilton get to know each other in their dorm room. 3. Ashley Hamilton, Muhamad Khalid, and Laura Spitalniak feel the heat during journalympics jeopardy. 4. Toni Sorrentino debates which candy she should buy in the candy section at the Dietrick General Store.


july 28, 2011



Scan this with the QR reader on your smartphone to access a jCamp online photo gallery.


Newspaper created at jCamp 2011.

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