Friday, June 12, 2009

Collegiate Times: Tech youth could give back to town

The Collegiate Times: June 3, 2009

Editorial: Tech youth could give back to town

Editorial Board

If they haven't already, those paying attention to Blacksburg local politics will notice two young candidates vying for Blacksburg Town Council votes.

Michael Sutphin, 24, is a writer with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a 2006 Tech communication graduate. Bryce Carter, 20, will be a senior majoring in humanities, science, and environment. Both will attempt to represent nontraditional town council demographics: youth and recent status as a Tech student.

The question is whether they should.

Some Blacksburg natives refer to the students as a tide that ebbs and flows. This hardly makes them sound like integrated members of the larger Blacksburg community. So, is it really fair for students or recent graduates to take up as much as two-fifths of the decision-making body for the town?

Consider that voters aged 18 to 29 have steadily increased their voter turnout and more than half of the demographic participated in the election last November. On Monday, Tech passed the Climate Action Commitment resolution, a plan with its roots in the student-led environmental coalition. The college-aged and recently graduated are getting more and more accomplished.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Collegiate Times: Two young residents aim to give Town Council Hokie viewpoint

The Collegiate Times: June 3, 2009

Two young residents aim to give Town Council Hokie viewpoint

Sara Mitchell, Editor-in-chief

Record numbers of Virginia Tech students stormed the Blacksburg voting booths for the 2008 presidential election. This November they'll have the chance to check the names of two fellow Hokies.

Michael Sutphin, a 2006 Tech graduate, and Bryce Carter, a rising Tech senior, are both on the ballot for Blacksburg Town Council.

The two began campaigning for one of the four council seats available in the coming election.

Carter, a 20-year-old humanities major and former vice president of the Tech Environmental Coalition, was inspired to form his candidacy when Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam spoke this spring to students about making a difference in Blacksburg.

"The way he was talking, it really inspired me," Carter said. "Here I am on the campus community and why not take the next step? That's when it clicked for me."