Upon the Washington Nationals winning their first World Series on Oct. 30, Stephanie Campbell and Davis Carbaugh hit the streets to get fans’ reactions on the Virginia Tech campus. With a large percentage of the student body residing in Northern Virginia, many students were excited that the Nats defeated the Houston Astros.
When Buzz Williams arrived at Virginia Tech, the men’s basketball team was ranked dead last in the ACC. However, by the time he left, the program was a formidable adversary in the conference, reaching its first NCAA Sweet Sixteen since 1967. After the disappointing departure of Williams, the Virginia Tech fan base has mixed emotions about the newly hired head coach, Mike Young. Having taken Wofford to the NCAA Tournament five of the past ten years, Young plans to bring his winning strategy to Cassell Coliseum. With over thirty years of coaching experience under his belt, he is confident in his ability to pick up where the program left off.
During his inaugural press conference, the Radford native said that returning to his home turf was a “dream come true.” Nonetheless, it appears most students are still divided about his homecoming, with some excited for a new era in Virginia Tech basketball and others anxious about such a turn of events.
by Eric Luu, Ayveri Lane–
Curio is a new app that recently became available for smartphones. It’s a unique app that allows people to gather their news by listening to articles. The app joins together multiple publications, such as The Washington Post and The Guardian, to share the news with listeners.
According to the New York Times, more than half of Americans have listened to a podcast. With the growth of popularity in audio formats within media, Curio created a space where users can listen to multiple different stories at the click of the button. It covers topics such as politics, economics, and technology. Users have the option to curate their listening feed to which topics interest them most.
This app is gaining popularity and is well liked, with a rating of 4.8 out of 5. The rising popularity speaks to the importance of creative and new forms of digital news delivery.
by Maria Berkowitz, Andrew Alix —
Reddit is an online news aggregation website founded by two University of Virginia roommates in 2005. In March 2019, Reddit reached 542 million monthly visitors, making it the sixth most visited website in the United States.
Reddit organizes itself through user-created areas of interest called SubReddits. These subreddits can focus on categories as broad as “r/politics”, which is subscribed to by over 4,930,693 Reddit users, to the vastly more specific “r/VirginiaTech” which is subscribed to by 13,822 users.
The popularity of the site is an example of how the rise of the internet and the development of user-oriented social media type platforms has transformed the way that people all over the world receive the news.
by Devin Coll, Lizzy Street–
Legalization and decriminalization of marijuana will not be coming to the Commonwealth of Virginia anytime soon.
In January, two bills that could have legalized and decriminalized marijuana across the Commonwealth were struck down by a House of Delegates subcommittee. The bills’ failures have led to many different opinions about recreational use of the drug, which is legalized in some form in over 30 states.
After asking students and other Blacksburg residents on Virginia Tech’s campus, a majority believe that the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana would be beneficial for the Commonwealth. They cite numerous reasons for their opinions, including its potential economic impact, medicinal benefits and the disproportionate incarceration rates of black Americans for marijuana-related offenses, as discussed in an article from the Washington Post. The few dissenting opinions cited that control of the drug was a primary concern.
Even with the demise of the bills, many remain hopeful that Virginia will loosen its marijuana laws in the future.
by Monica Becerra, Christina Dougherty–
It’s no secret that under President Tim Sands, Virginia Tech has taken lots of steps to try to make the university a more diverse place. Recently, Virginia Tech was selected as a 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award recipient and a 2018 Diversity Champion by INSIGHT, the largest diversity publication. As far as what diversity really means to students on campus though, there are differing opinions.
After speaking with students, a lot of them feel that Virginia Tech is very welcoming and that it’s growing as a diverse space. On the other hand, however, some feel that while changes are definitely being made, Virginia Tech is not worthy of any awards quite just yet.
Regardless of one’s opinion on the topic, Virginia Tech has taken the award with pride and will continue to further its diversity efforts in hopes of making a more inclusive environment for all students.
by Alexis Bignotti, Ricky Lam–
Sexual assault lately has been a hot topic on Virginia Tech’s campus. Students recently have been receiving emails about the incidents happening. Virginia Tech students share their thoughts and feelings on the topic.
Most feel like Virginia Tech is doing all they can to make this issue known, and others think that more could be done to stop sexual assault. Some think that a program could be started on campus to make students more aware of what is going on.
These incidents are inevitable and Virginia Tech is continuing to try to reduce and stop them from happening.
by Jake Thompson, Regan Magarity–
The second week in March signifies the unofficial start of a month-long college basketball holiday known as “March Madness.” Beginning with Selection Sunday, sports fans from across the globe will spend days crunching numbers, studying analytics, and performing nonsensical acts in order to construct the perfect bracket.
In years past, fans were forced to print countless paper copies of their masterpiece which not only hurt the environment, but also became a mess when the bracket was inevitably busted.
ESPN, often regarded as the worldwide leader in sports, intervened with a user-friendly online interface called ESPN Tournament Challenge. The challenge can be accessed online via ESPN.com or can be downloaded for free on the App Store.
ESPN TC allows fans to build more than 20 different brackets, create and join groups with friends and celebrities, and offers luxury programs such as winning a free car to those who reign supreme and pick the perfect bracket.
ESPN offers fans data from each team’s season to date and how teams compare before an impending match up. Stats range from points per game and rebounds to conference record and Rating Power Index.
In this week’s vodcast, we take a look at the ESPN Tournament Challenge and how you can take advantage of its features to create the perfect March Madness bracket.
by Samantha Smith, Ian Andrews–
Whether you are a Virginia Tech student, faculty member, or staff, finding a spot on campus can turn out to be one of the most challenging tasks of the day.
Some attribute this to the high number of faculty/staff parking spots versus the low number of spots attributed to students, while others say that it is due to Virginia Tech Parking and Transportation issuing too many parking permits.
According to the commuters we spoke with outside of the Squires Student Center, while the causes of this parking problem differ, the solution is simple – build another parking garage.
According to the Master Plan released by Virginia Tech in 2017, the university hopes to remove the Squires parking lot and the Duck Pond parking lot and add vertical parking solutions, such as parking garages.
by Kallie Carson, Josh Henry–
According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is taking action to help benefit and promote local news media with an update on users’ home news feed. Facebook page and post boosts have become extremely popular with businesses around the globe. Page admins are able to boost their posts or page by paying Facebook to increase their reach. Leaning on this idea, Zuckerberg plans to boost local news organizations posts for free.
For example, if a user follows their local news station or newspaper, these posts will be higher on the news feed and more prominent over other shared posts and stories. The new algorithm will be implemented in hopes to promote community involvement and spread local information rather than national .