Pregnancy resource center gives women support they need


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BLACKSBURG, Va., May 2 — LITTLE ONE: Fetus is Latin for “little one.” A fetus at 10 weeks old is only slightly larger than a female Virginia Tech class ring. Photograph: Kat Schneider


by Kat Schneider–

An unplanned pregnancy can be a terrifying thing for women to face. The Valley Women’s Clinic in the New River Valley aims to love and support women who seek help.

“What we do really makes a difference by coming alongside people and giving them support, and not just in a pregnancy but as a woman,” said Debbie Christian, the CEO of Valley Women’s Clinic. “We encourage them to grow and help them be the best they can be.”

Valley Women’s Clinic is a pregnancy resource center that offers free services to women in need. The clinic offers STI testing, pregnancy testing, consultations, educational classes, counseling and goods for the mother and child. All services are free of charge. This way any woman has access to them and the clinic can offer services without a financial influence.

“The Pregnancy Resource Center wants to give you the capabilities to continue with your pregnancy and feel you are equipped to be a mother,” said Margot Davis, a student at Virginia Tech who has previously worked with the center.

When women choose to keep their child the resource center offers parenting and life skills classes through which the mothers, as well as fathers, can earn materials such as baby clothes, diapers, bottles, maternity clothes, cribs and strollers.

Christian explains that the Valley Women’s Clinic saw 792 distinct clients last year alone. With two locations in the NRV – Blacksburg and Radford – the clinic is able to help many women of the New River Valley who are not able to make the trip up to the nearest Planned Parenthood located in Roanoke.

Pregnancy resource centers are able to fill that need all over the state of Virginia as well as the rest of the country. According to the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are over 2,300 pregnancy resource centers in North America. However, according to CNN based on Planned Parenthood’s official reports, PP has 650 affiliated health centers across the country. In the Commonwealth of Virginia alone, there are five Planned Parenthood locations: Charlottesville, Hampton, Richmond, Roanoke and Virginia Beach. To compensate for that, there are 39 pregnancy resource centers around the commonwealth.

The accessibility, free services and variety of resources are not the only things that separates the Valley Women’s Clinic from Planned Parenthood. The clinic is pro-life and faith-based. While it does give information about abortion and offers counseling post-abortion, the clinic does not refer for or offer abortions.

“We provide help from a holistic perspective, and we do offer a spiritual component to what we do by permission, of course,” Christian said. She believes the support and counseling the clinic provides helps women to feel strong enough to choose life. Over 90 percent of women who have stepped into Valley Women’s Clinic have chosen parenting, either for themselves or through adoption.

Culture Show continues 30 years of tradition

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BLACKSBURG, Va., March 14 – The acting cast, who also wrote the script for Culture Show, have a final rehearsal before full dress rehearsals. Photo: Kat Schneider

by Kat Schneider–

Students who belong to the Filipino American Student Association, or FASA, come together to put on a show that has been running longer than any of the current members have been alive.

“We have a story to tell – a story to tell about where we come from and a story that gives us great pride to be here on campus,” said AJ Campanilla, a senior BIT major who both directed and performed in this year’s Culture Show.

FASA and Virginia Tech alumna Kimberly Cenzon describes the annual event as a showcase of the Filipino culture through traditional dances, songs, a fashion show that incorporates traditional Filipino clothing and a script that encompasses a different theme each year. According to the event’s official Facebook page, “The 30th Annual Culture Show: Isang Kapamilya, Isang Pag-ibig: One Family, One Love” highlights the true meaning of friendship, family and love throughout the production. The theme is shown in different scenes interwoven with the performances to form a play.

Thirty years ago, the show came from humble beginnings. Cenzon explains that it started as a small showcase that included a couple of dances. The show was held in a much smaller room on campus rather than the Burruss Hall auditorium where it has been the past decade or so.

“Just looking back at the past shows, the whole Culture Show culture itself has changed to be more light-hearted and comedic than serious and simply showcasing the culture through dance,” said Campanilla. He believes that it is this change that has enabled the show to continue on for thirty years, something not many cultural groups can say they have done.

The growth of the performance mirrors the growth of the club itself. Just in the past four years, participation in Culture Show has increased from about 80 students to over 110 students. Members of FASA can be performers in the various acts or work behind the scenes on committees such as Costuming, Technical and Stage Design.

“I think Culture Show continues on the same way the Filipino culture does – it gets passed down and eventually becomes tradition,” said Campanilla.

According to its official website, FASA at Virginia Tech was founded in 1988 to develop relationships between Filipinos on campus with other students, faculty and staff through cultural, educational and social activities. While most of the members are Filipino, the club welcomes members from all races and backgrounds. The only requirement is a willingness to explore the Filipino culture and its people.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to the passion and love for the organization and for our culture that keeps the show continuing every year,” said Cenzon.



Winter wears down national blood supply


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BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 13 – Supply and Demand: A donor gives blood at the VT Sports Club Blood Drive in response to the shortage across the nation. Photo: Kat Schneider

by Kat Schneider–

Though there is almost always a national shortage of donated blood, the winter season sees a dramatic decrease in donation levels.

“It depends on the time of year,” said Daniece Rodrigue, a Collection Specialist with the Red Cross for 12 years. “Recently, it’s been weather and flu season and holidays. People are traveling, and the need rises.”

According to the Community Blood Bank, in America and Canada, more than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions annually. The number of donations, however, drops significantly during the cold winter season between weather cancellations and cold and flu season.

“A lot of people who are regular donators have a harder time to get out; things get canceled because there’s snow, sleet or rain,” said Jenna Sanders, a senior Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise major at Tech. Sanders, a regular donor, has previously canceled appointments to donate because of these conditions.

The American Red Cross reports that it supplies 40 percent of the blood donated in America. Of that, 80 percent is collected at mobile blood drives set up around the communities in places such as schools and places of worship. When weather causes cancellations of those mobile blood drives, the national donation supply takes a hit. Over 500 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled nationally this year alone, costing the donation service over 16,000 units of blood.

The weather is not the only factor that causes a decrease in blood donations during this time of year. Rodrigue explains that potential donors are unable to donate blood when they are sick or are taking certain over-the-counter medications following their sickness. They are also encouraged not to come in if they are feeling unwell, even if it is just a common cold.

Those considering donations during this season can check the American Red Cross website or the Virginia Blood Services website for eligibility requirements set by the FDA.

Weather and health permitting, Sanders encourages everyone in the Virginia Tech community to consider donation: “Our school’s about service, and this is a really great way to serve others and even to save a life.”


Collection Specialist Daniece Rodrigue


Senior Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise major Jenna Sanders