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Author Archives: Ally Larrick

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Traveling home for the holidays

by Ally Larrick —

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Blacksburg, Va., Dec. 4 – Bus Options: Along with many other transportation options, the Smart Way, which connects downtown Roanoke to Virginia Tech, is available to students. This option is useful for students who may be local to the New River Valley, but do not have a car with them at school. Photo: Ally Larrick

 

As the semester wraps up, Virginia Tech students are looking forward to going home for the holidays. Since a majority of the campus will be traveling around mid-December, it is important for Virginia Tech and the surrounding New River Valley to provide transportation options to its students. Whether people prefer to travel by car, bus, plane, or train, there is a way to get home for everyone.

The success of the Virginia Breeze bus has been noted among transportation leaders. On the Virginia Breeze website, the bus is described as, “a new intercity bus service connecting Blacksburg, Virginia, with Union Station in Washington, D.C. The daily route includes several stops in the New River Valley, Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia.”

Virginia Tech’s Transportation Network Manager, Nick Quint, feels as though these bus options are popular among students, even those out of state.

“If someone needs to go to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York, during major breaks there’s a bus service that stops in each of those states,” Quint states, “If people can get to D.C. there’s usually other options there whether it is train or bus.”

In addition to bus options, carpooling has become very popular. There are even Facebook pages out there for carpooling. For example, on the Facebook page, Virginia Tech Carpool, students write posts like, “Anybody driving to the ROA airport before 10 a.m. on Sunday 12/15? If so, let me know. I can pay in money or baked goods.”

Although this may be a good option for some, the Senior Planner at New River Valley Regional Commission, Christy Straight, is working on an application, called RIDE Solutions, which she says will create a safer and more efficient way to carpool. 

“For students, it’s a valuable way if students are going home to the D.C. area, maybe to Hampton Roads, or somewhere in North Carolina, wherever there is enough students going that they can find each other on this app. I see it valuable for that,” Straight states.

The app utilizes ride-matching to give carpooling options to students after they input their information. Straight hopes that the successes of this app will reach beyond Virginia.

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Nick Quint, Transportation Network Manager at Virginia Tech

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Christy Straight, Senior Planner at New River Valley Regional Commission

 

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2019 in News

 
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Controversy over Confederate statues

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Courtesy of Foter.com

 

by Nathan Brennan, Ally Larrick–

A statue that was recently revealed in Times Square has been notable for the controversy related to Confederate statues based in Richmond, Virginia. As the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond has been home to statues and monuments directly affiliated with the Confederacy for years. 

In this episode we will discuss the ongoing controversy and the importance of  remembering history, and learning from it. The ability to have conversations with architects and sculptors also allow for a more well-rounded discussion. Being able to understand the truth, and learn from difficulties in the nation’s history, will help Americans move forward. Modern statues are only the beginning of an ongoing effort to keep Americans informed, and be given the ability to learn from history. 

 

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2019 in Arts & Culture, Podcasts

 
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Adjusting to hotel life as a VT freshman

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Blacksburg, Va., Sep. 26 – HOTEL LIFE: Freshman, Devin Dent, plays video games in his hotel room, turned dorm room, at The Inn at Virginia Tech.

by Ally Larrick–

After the unanticipated growth of Virginia Tech’s student body this year, the university made arrangements to house a portion of the 2023 class at the Holiday Inn Express and The Inn at Virginia Tech (The Inn). Once news broke, questions arose as to who would be chosen to live at these hotels, as opposed to the on-campus dorms. For Virginia Tech freshman, Devin Dent, the decision to live at The Inn was all his. 

“We actually picked to live here. We could have picked any of the other dorms, but we were like ‘Hey, there’s air conditioning,’” Dent said. Along with securing air conditioning, Dent and one of his roommates agreed on other perks such as a bigger room, being closer to classes, and having their own bathroom. 

The rooms at the Inn, on multiple floors, transformed from hotel rooms to dorm rooms over the summer. This included twin beds, with the ability to be lofted, desks and desk chairs, as well as collapsible wardrobes to save space.

A message from Patricia Perillo, Vice President for Student Affairs, states, “We consider the hotels part of our campus residence hall system and will provide student and professional staff, social opportunities, and other valuable educational programs as we do in all of our halls.” This transformation allows Virginia Tech to accommodate the influx of students while making them feel like they are still living the dorm life.  

“It didn’t really change my freshman year. It feels like a dorm in here,” Dent said, “Sometimes I refer to it as my dorm, but usually just ‘The Inn’.” Although Dent and his roommates are pleased with the living situation for their freshman year, there are some who are unhappy. 

According to Housing and Residence Life, “Assignments for incoming first-year students and transfers are made in contract receipt order, so the earlier your contract arrives, the earlier you are assigned in the process.” Those who filled out their housing contracts really late were not placed in their first choice dorms but were placed in either The Inn or the Holiday Inn Express. Dent points out some of the biggest differences between dorm-life and hotel-life that students may struggle with. 

“The amount of people, dorms have a lot more people in them. Location, because they have the quads while we are over here kind of isolated,” Dent said. 

In addition to students, resident advisors (RA’s) had to adjust to the switch. RA’s in large staff residence halls, such as Vawter Hall or Pritchard Hall, are required to sign up for one shift at the Holiday Inn Express each semester. Meena Kannan, an RA in Vawter Hall, has yet to complete her shift, but she knows that some of the RA’s are not very happy about it.

“It’s kind of inconvenient to have to go over there. It is just another duty shift on top of the ones we already have to do for our own residence halls,” said Kannan, “but I think we all understand we have to help out because they’re pretty understaffed at the Holiday Inn.”

The adjustment has not been easy, but the understanding attitudes of the RA’s and many accommodations by Student Affairs, keep the freshman in good spirits.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2019 in Life & Style, News