Va. Tech’s handling of sexual assault: Students’ reactions

Foter Credit: Chapendra

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.

Digital News Delivery: App tournament challenge

Photo credit: GoonSquadSarah on / CC BY-ND

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 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.



The near impossible: Finding a parking spot at Virginia Tech

by Samantha Smith, Ian Andrews–

Photo by *Pasha* on / CC BY-NC-SA


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.


Digital News Delivery: Facebook to boost local media

Photo credit: portalgda on / CC BY-NC-SA

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 .

Tech students’ Super Bowl LII predictions

Photo credit: Keith Allison on / CC BY-SA

This Super Bowl is a tough one for many NFL fans. Non-Patriots and non-Eagles fans are left to choose between some of their least favorite teams.

Virginia Tech students are no different. For fans of NFC East teams, like the nearby Washington Redskins, choosing between a division rival and the hated New England Patriots is a tough proposition.

Virginia Tech’s campus is fairly divided on the issue of the Super Bowl, as Philadelphia and New England fans obviously have their favorite but fans of neither team would rather the game not be played at all. Many more students simply don’t know about either team or don’t care about NFL football. We spoke to Virginia Tech students outside of Owens Dining Hall to gauge student sentiment toward the upcoming game.


Boy (Scouts) will be boys?

by Ashley Wills, Humberto Zarco–

Photo credit: brizzle born and bred via / CC BY-ND

The Boy Scouts of America announced it will become fully inclusive for girls for the first time in its 107-year history.

To support its decision, the BSA cited surveys of parents whose children are not involved in scouting that said 90 percent of parents surveyed expressed interest in signing their daughters up for a program like Cub Scouts. Eighty-seven percent expressed interest in a program like Eagle Scouts.

The announcement drew mixed reactions from the BSA community and indirect criticism from Girl Scouts USA. “The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent that it is today — and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success,” Girl Scouts said in a statement.

BSA membership has been declining for years. In 2016, the organization reported they had 2.3 million members, a decrease from 2.8 million in 2012.

For months, Girl Scouts USA felt BSA would try to start recruiting girls. Buzzfeed obtained a letter in August in which Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopinkah Hannah actually accused the BSA of recruiting girls to boost their declining numbers.

Digital News Delivery: We’ve got a Code Red!

Photo credit: Pixel Fantasy via / CC BY-NC-ND


by Mary Desmond, Freddy Mesmer–

There are many apps out there for your smartphone. Some are games, others are social media apps, but what many people are missing is an urgent news app.

The Code Red Alert app is a unique way of presenting the user with constant updates of emergency news going on around them. The user-friendly interface makes this an app accessible for all. The news updates range from flood alerts to missing people in your area.

When it comes to apps, users want an easy to use app. This Code Red Alert app is very easy to set up and follow after it is set up. The interface includes a list of alerts as well as an option to look on a map to see where certain alerts are relevant to your location.

This app is unique because it combines all kinds of alerts into one app. Users now do not have to rely on a weather app or other apps to give them separate alerts. Now, they can go to the Code Red Alert app and have all their urgent weather and news based needs there.  

Digital News Delivery: Audio technologies for journalists

Photo credit:

by Sara Joy-Hogg, Stephen Dixon–

Mobile technology is quickly changing the ways in which journalists record interviews and audio. Instead of using heavy and expensive high-tech equipment, journalists are using their smartphones and switching to mobile journalism.

A large reason for the switch to mobile technology is how cheap and easy it is to use. According to a poll by Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans had a smartphone in 2016. Since many journalists already have the smartphones, downloading a voice recording app is convenient and either free or very cost efficient.

However, a key issue with cheaper, mobile technology is the lack of quality. These mobile apps are free for a reason, resulting in many people questioning if journalists should be using them instead of standard, high-tech equipment.

In the vodcast below, we compare mobile apps such as Voice Recorder and Voice Memos, a digital audio recorder, and a lavalier mic.

Digital News Delivery: Swipe left for headlines

Photo via / CC0


by Caroline Cleary, Whitney Turner–

Apple has recently created a news application that comes already installed on the latest versions of Apple iPhones and iPads. Since the application is already installed on the device, set up is very easy.

The application allows users to customize their newsfeed with the sources of their choice. Once the sources are chosen, users have to option to receive notifications from these sites on their device or via email.

Top stories from these sources are then organized within the application for easy navigation through the most relevant stories. The news application is also connected to the newsfeed on the device itself. By swiping left on the home screen, the news application provides four stories it thinks the user would be interested in.

This application creates an easy, convenient way for people to access the news they want to read without having to search for it.

Historic Hokie recruiting class


Photo credit: techsports via / CC BY-ND

by Isabella Post, Zach Wajsgras–

Hokie fans have a lot to look forward to next year as head coach Justin Fuente recently locked up a historic recruiting class for the 2017 football season.

Prior to his inaugural year at the head of the program last year, Fuente only had a few weeks to recruit for his new team. This year, the new coaching staff took advantage of the full off season to reel in the top talent in Virginia.

With players like Devon Hunter, the number one ranked safety in the country, and many others headlining the new group of players, Fuente will have a lot of decisions to make to fill the positions left behind by last year’s team.

Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges, Jerod Evans and several other players from the 10-3 team last year left the team, leaving many to wonder who will be the dominant players next year.

We spoke to Virginia Tech students about what they hope to see in next year’s Virginia Tech football team.