Many Killed in Philippines Flood

Flood in Manila

Flood in Manila

After raining for 24 hours straight this Sunday the Philippines began to flood in massive amounts with death tolls now around 140. Manila was hit with its heaviest rainfall in more than 40 years. 80 percent of the capital was under water at one point. The flooding was caused by tropical storm Ketsana, which has ruined houses, building and cars.

Manila seemed to get the brunt of the storm, where natives were left stranded on rooftops while waiting on army helicopters to fly by and save them.  Some tried to brave the storm and went out into the waters with rope holding them to other people. Rescue missions were challenged with the loss of power and the destruction of roads. Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines National Red Cross said, “Right now the challenge is to find out how many people have actually died and how many people we have to take care of in terms of people who’ve been displaced. We’re really talking about maybe hundreds of thousands of people, with about 280,000 to 300,000 displaced.”

 Even though the Philippines are used to getting rain Saturday’s downpour broke a record, with a month’s worth of rain falling within only six hours. The people of Manila will be recovering from this terrible storm for a long time. Many are still missing or looking for their family members.


Board of Visitors

RU Board of Visitors

RU Board of Visitors

Yesterday the Radford University Board of Visitors meet to discuss ways to help the university through these tough times. The Board also elected new officers and listened to a lot of reports that discussed improvements in student life, academic affairs, campus facilities and information technology.

The Kaine administration announced this past Tuesday that there will be a new 15% cut in budgets for Virginia colleges and universities meaning that the RU board will not be able to act upon a the already proposed 2009-2010 operating budget. In response to the change the board passed a resolution that can only take action once university officials gain more information concerning the specifics of the statewide budget cuts.

The board also approved a plan that will provide early retirement incentives for employees enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System. This would involve anyone who chooses to voluntarily separate themselves from the university or who may be affected by lay-offs. The board also designed the Alternative Severance Option which is for administrative faculty and classified staff and the Workforce Transition Option, which is for teaching and research faculty members.

The university’s 2010 “Centennial Celebration” was also discussed at the meeting and a year-long Centennial theme structured upon “service” will be highlighted next semester when Blake Mycoski, of “Tom’s Shoes” visits RU.

When asked what she thinks about the cut backs being made, RU junior Laura Ayes stated, “It sucks that we are having to cut back so much, I just hope my major doesn’t get cut so that I can graduate.” Professor of Sociology Edwin Page commented saying, “I am concerned for teachers jobs and I hope it doesn’t come down to people actually being laid off, that would be a shame.”

Young Hall

President Penelope Kyle cutting ribbon on Young Hall

President Penelope Kyle cutting ribbon on Young Hall

On the first day of classes Radford University students both new and old stepped into the newly renovated Young Hall for the very first time. It seemed as though in this building the junior and seniors were the ones left scratching their heads wondering where their classes were.

The older students remember a much more different atmosphere compared to the new curved wall structures and wacky color schemes like muted green and bright red. The old Young Hall was a normal building with square rooms that felt a bit like a dungeon on the first floor. Now the halls are filled with little study sections where one would assume group work is encouraged.

The main floor has lots of chairs for private studying that are encased with high glass panels to make students feel more secluded. RU student Amanda Rucka commented on the new Young Hall saying “I had a class in Young Hall when I was a freshman 3 years ago and I remember it being dull, boring, & ugly. Young Hall is now without a doubt so eccentric & full of life and color.”

While most comments on the building have been good I personally overheard one girl saying to herself while walking through Young “This place freaks me out”. I chuckled to myself because that girl, whoever she was, said that same thing I was feeling. Yes the renovation is great and I totally get the way they were trying to bring people together in a studying environment and at the same time give them privacy but the whole building just freaks me out. It’s so new and different it doesn’t really fit into every other building on campus. Some rooms are huge some are so small that a claustrophobic person would have a melt down.

I applaud the school for trying something new but my only two questions are 1. “Were the interior designers on acid?” and 2. “Was the new Young worth all the money the school spent on it?” I might be a little simple here but maybe the old Young just needed a new paint job.