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The Tech Talk 4.17.14

The Tech Talk 4.17.14

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The Tech Talk is a student-run newspaper published Thursdays of the regular school year, except in vacation and examination periods, by the journalism department of Louisiana Tech University. http://www.thetechtalk.org/
The Tech Talk is a student-run newspaper published Thursdays of the regular school year, except in vacation and examination periods, by the journalism department of Louisiana Tech University. http://www.thetechtalk.org/

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Published by: PhillipMichaelLeblanc on Apr 17, 2014
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Concrete canoe paddles into first
Staff Reporter
ouisiana Tech’s chapter of the Ameri-can Society of Civil Engineers recent-ly put their skills and knowledge on display as they brought home first place at the Deep South Regional Concrete Canoe Conference.the conference featured teams from 14 universities throughout the south, said Sal Pellittieri, a senior civil engineering major and team captain.“Each year, ASCE has a regional confer-ence against teams like LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State,” Pellittieri said. “This year, it was held in Memphis, Tenn.”Pellittieri said the competition is broken into four parts.“The competition itself is divided into racing (multiple types), aesthetics, a design paper and a presentation,” he said. “This  year, our men and women won first in ev-erything, every single race type included. This will mark the fifth year out of seven that our team has advanced to nationals, which will be in Pittsburgh in June.”Andrew Vicknair, a senior civil engineer-ing major and mix design captain, said his team was able to improve their concrete mix with lots of trial and error.“The past few years, our starting mix ended up being too heavy,” Vicknair said. “It was around 66 pounds per cubic feet, and most of the canoes that compete in regionals and nationals are in the 50s. We managed to get ours down to 54 after about 25 different trials, and our final prod-uct emerged with a weight of 146 pounds, which is a solid job.”Vicknair said advancing to nationals car-ried a certain air of prestige along with it.“It’s almost like playing college football for a year, and when that year is up, being drafted to the NFL,” he said. “Teams come in with more money and bigger groups, which allows them to have a greater variety of aesthetics and overall resources. It’s cer-tainly a high end spectrum, but I feel like we  belong there.”Pellittieri said despite Tech being consid-ered one of the high end teams, they were
Submitted photo
Members of the American Society of Civil Engineers swept the competition in the Deep South Regional Concrete Canoe Conference and brought home rst place.
 page 6
Staff members of Louisiana Tech’s student-run newspaper, The Tech Talk, received a variety of writing and photog-raphy awards for their from the Society of Professional Journalists.Six students on staff received awards from SPJ’s Region 12 Mark of Excellence contest and are now entered in the nation-al competition.“Our Tech Talk staff continues to bring recognition and honor to the journalism department and the university,” said Dr. Reginald Owens, chair of the department. “I congratulate them on their award-win-ning ways.”Owens added that the SPJ was a presti-gious organization with a strong competi-tion.“It is significant to note that our stu-dents are winning in a very competitive arena,” Owens said. “These awards repre-sent more than recognition of their good skills. These honors also represent their hard work and dedication.”Those who received awards were clas-sified into a winner category and finalist category. Students who placed are listed  below.Winner
•Derek J. Amaya, a senior journalism
major from Metairie, Sports Column Writ-ing.
•Kaleb Causey, a senior journalism and
political science major from Jonesboro, Sports Writing.
•Devin Dronett, a junior communica
-tion design major from Lake Charles, Fea-ture Photography.
•Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay, a junior
photography major from India, Photo Il-lustration.
•Hannah Schilling, a senior journalism
and political science major from Bossier City, General Column Writing.Finalist
•Allison East, a senior journalism and
history major from Vicksburg, Miss., Gen-eral Column Writing.
•Mukhopadhyay, General News Pho
Tech Talk staff wins  big at SPJ
 The south end zone project officially begins
The Tech Talk
April 17, 2014
•Lady Techsters’ softball will host Southern Miss in  two games at 5 and 7 p.m.•University closed for Easter holidays
• Lady Techsters’ softball will host Southern Miss in a game at 2 p.m.
No calendar events
• Easter holidays end at 5 p.m.
•No calendar events
•The 8th annual Shakespeare fes
 tival will be held in the courtyard of GTM from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
• No calendar events
Staff Reporter
What will you do to end the silence? Students of Louisiana Tech’s Prism group took a vow of silence Friday to do observe National Day of Silence to bring awareness to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender com-munity Friday.PRISM, founded in 2005 as the Gay/Straight Alliance, of-fers Tech students a place to be who they are without fear of  bullying or discrimi-nation. President Tay-lor Michiels, a senior marketing major, said that the group pro-vides LGBT students with a safe space.“In our safe space, people are free to be who they are,” Michiels said. “We accept everyone. People aren’t afraid to talk about being gay, and trans-gender members aren’t afraid to dress up as the gender they choose to express.”Many of the members of PRISM did not have the luxury of such a support system in high school. Declan Tracy, a junior bi-ology major, has been a member of PRISM for three years and is transgender. Tracy values the group because of the discrimina-tion he was subjected to in high school.“My story is not a happy one,” Tracy said. “I didn’t have a good time in high school because of the discrimination and the bul-lying that I suffered from. I ex-perienced the physical side of the abuse as well as the verbal side of it. PRISM is very support-ive of the transgender community and supports transgender awareness.”While primarily creat-ed as an organization for members of the LGBT community, heterosexual people are also members of PRISM. Referred to as allies, heterosexual mem- bers of PRISM are advo-cates of LGBT rights and stand with the LGBT community in its fight for those rights.Rebecca Hillman, a senior ac-counting major, is the vice-presi-dent of PRISM and is an ally of the organization.An ally is simply a person who supports the LGBT community and works to prevent homopho- bia and participates in activism events,” Hillman said. “Allies are important because they give the LGBT community validation. They don’t have to be a group of gay people but they can be inte-grated with heterosexuals.”As a member of PRISM, Hill-man said she has not faced dis-crimination from other students  because of her association with the organization.“I think the Tech campus is a very open place,” Hillman said. “I think it is more open than peo-ple think, and the members of PRISM have never had problems with students reacting adversely to them.”
Email comments to  jki008@latech.edu.
PRISM students observe day of si
Photo by Colin Fontenot
Above: Dustin McGilvray, right, a senior psychology major, and Taylor Michiels, left, a senior marketing ma
jor, tape each others mouths in order to observe the Day of Silence, a LGBT aware
ness event that takes place nationwide.
Greeks come out to show their spirit
Above: Runners decorate their shirts for the Glow Run, an event put on by Up ‘Til Dawn  to raise money for St. Judes.Left: Runners line up at the start line for the Glow Run.
Staff Reporter
 Last week, Greeks went head to head to raise money for deserving causes. A week Greek Week, a yearly event that takes place every spring quarter, is a time for all Greek organizations on campus to join to-gether.The week’s competitive events kicked off at noon Monday April 7 in Centennial Plaza. Students created a large audience around the red tables for a cook-off. On Tuesday afternoon the Greeks gathered around the red tables for a donut-eating contest. The most popular event during Greek Week was Songfest on Tuesday evening. Songfest was a competition where fraterni-ties and sororities paired up to perform skits, dances and songs.“It was great to be able to see all of my friends from other sororities and promote Greek unity while still rooting for my girls,” said Marissa Lee, a member of Kappa Delta and junior biology major. Wednesday started out with the stroll-off, sometimes known as a “party walking.”The stroll-off competition was followed  by a girl’s kickball tournament.Sarah McCorkle, a member of Phi Mu and a senior speech major, said she was thrilled and excited about the kickball tour-nament. “My favorite thing about Greek Week (was) being able to hang out with my so-rority and all of the other Greeks as well,” McCorkle, a junior speech communication major, said.Thursday began with Penny Wars, where Greeks competed to see who could gather the most pennies with the least amount of silver coins or paper money.McCorkle said she enjoyed raising money for a charity through Penny Wars. She said that all of the money went to MedCamps of Louisiana. After the Penny Wars, the Greeks joined together for volleyball tournament. After, the Greeks ended Thursday with the Up ‘Til Dawn 5k Glow Run for St. Jude. “The kids should be outside playing, but instead they are battling diseases,” she said. “I was very excited to see all of the Greeks participating in the run,” said Samantha Ra-chel, executive director of Up ‘Til Dawn.“It felt great to win but I was just glad to be a part of the race period,” said Ethan Brown, the first place winner of the run.To kick off the last day of the week, the students headed to South Campus for a se-ries of relays known as Farm Games. As the Greeks united one last time to close the week, the winners were revealed. Each event awarded a number of points, which were kept secret throughout the week so nobody could determine who was ahead. Sigma Kappa and Sigma Nu were named the champions.Breayn Green, a member of Sigma Kap-pa and a senior speech language pathology major, said she was thrilled to win this year’s Greek Week.Green said the best part was seeing all the fraternities and sororities truly coming together.“I feel very proud of my sorority sisters,” she said. “We all worked so hard this year and week to win. My voice is still gone from screaming so much in celebration.”“It was a competitive week,” she said. “But seeing everyone come together to  bond with not only their brothers or sisters  but all of the Greek community, was great.” 
Email comments to fw005@latech.edu.
Photos by Devin Dronett
April 17, 2014
The Tech Talk
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Staff Reporter
Lincoln Parish’s Relay for Life drew almost 300 participants to walk and help raise money to fund cancer research through the American Cancer So-ciety.Before the event started, Brittany Copponex, a se-nior mechanical engineer-ing major and event chair-person for Lincoln Parish, said she was very pleased with the turnout of the crowd. “Seeing Relay for Life  being able to bring the whole community out for the mere cause of trying to eliminate cancer was very heartwarming,” Copponex said. “It basically sucked me in, and I love how it  brings people together to raise money.”Relay for Life is an overnight event where survivors, supporters and current fighters take turns walking, around the track from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. When attendees are not running or walking they can enjoy different booths with food and games to raise money for the ACS.Though the theme changes each year, this year was superhero themed.Colton Boothe, a Ruston High School senior, served as the first speaker of the evening. Boothe was diag-nosed with acute lympho-cytic leukemia at 8 years old. He and his family have  been major supporters of the Lincoln Parish Relay for Life since that time, raising more than $9,000 to help with awareness and fight against cancer.Boothe said he remem- bers sitting in his hospital room, and the doctor tell-ing him he had cancer.“I didn’t know what can-cer was; I just knew that it wasn’t good,” he said. “As soon as I heard those words, I broke down cry-ing.”Boothe’s speech was followed by the start of the survivor walk. “Relay for Life truly lets  you know that you’re not the only one in that boat,” Claudy Aker, survivor of lymphoma cancer, said. “I would tell any young per-son that is being affected  by cancer not to chicken out and how Relay for Life has given me hope.”Jessica Boagni, a mem- ber of Delta Sigma Pi, helped the sorority partici-pate in the event and said it was her first time ever do-ing Relay for Life. Boagni explained that she had a lot of fun and thinks that she will participate every year now.“I liked being with a group of people I enjoyed and walking for such a wonderful cause,” she said. “Even though I don’t have cancer, I felt like my partici-pation gave someone who does lots of faith.”The luminaria ceremo-ny began with small white paper bags with candles in-side that traced the outline of the track. The candles were lit in honor of sur-vivors, fighters and those who have lost their lives to cancer.“We’re going to elimi-nate cancer one day,” Cop-ponex said, “I am going to  be an active member of Relay for Life for the rest of my life.” 
Email comments to flw005@latech.edu.
Staff Reporter
With an opening message from the mayor of Ruston, Dan Hollingsworth, the Big Event, or-ganized by SGA was officially un-derway Saturday morning. “I should thank you (the stu-dents) for participating in the Big Event because willingly volun-teering services to others is one of the key stones of living a good life,” Hollingsworth said. Louisiana Tech President Les Guice, Senator Rick Gallot and Vice President for Student Affairs Jim King were guest speakers.“The No. 1 role of universities is to serve,” Guice said. “We serve the citizens, our state, our com-munities and the nation.”At least 50 organizations and 1,300 volunteers filled Joe Ail-let Stadium to serve around 100 homes, said Carlton Gray, a senior sustainable supply chain manage-ment major who organized the Big Event.“As a former student as Loui-siana Tech, I rarely saw 8:30 or 9 o’clock in the morning, particular-ly on Saturdays,” Guice said.Although most of the volun-teers were Tech students, Gallot and his family also participated in the Big Event.“I have never seen a group come together like this to go out and provide service to the com-munity,” Senator Gallot said.However, gathering volunteers who are willing to wake up early is not the only challenge the SGA must face, planning the event and getting participants are two other main challenges.“You normally start prepping for this in the winter quarter,” Gray said. “Normally what we do is look at the list from the previ-ous year and call all the people who participated last year, then after that we put ads in the Ruston Daily Leader, and then the home-owners mail the ads back to us.”As part of the Big Event, vol-unteers scattered out in teams across Ruston providing services such as cleaning windows, raking leaves and throwing sticks into a pile.“I serve on UCM, which is United Campus Ministries, as their secretary and this year all the campus ministries wanted to come together and serve the Big Event as one whole group,” Cath-erine Champ, a senior business management major, said. “This is the first year the ministries have come together, so it is a really cool opportunity to serve as one  body of Christ.”As volunteers became lead-ers throughout Ruston through community service, King ended his speech to the volunteers by reminding that every student is a leader.“You guys are the leaders of this campus,” King said. “You are the leaders of this community. Model the way for one another. Model the way for the community. You are leaders here and you are leaders tomorrow.”
Email comments to lmc074@latech.edu.
Luminaries placed around the track honored those who have survived cancer, those who are battling cancer and have lost their lives to cancer.
Relay raises money, awareness
Big Event gives back to Ruston community
Photo by Devin Dronett

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