The editorial board's Stadium Woods debate editorial, printed on April 9, was clear and to the point. It was well served to be in the opinion section, since your stance on the fate of the Stadium Woods was obvious.
Saying it is difficult to see an alternative to the facilities proposed location is outrageous. Shouldn’t a legitimate alternative be to not build it at all? What will this new building provide? A place where only a handful of Virginia Tech’s student athletes can practice for a game. What will this new building destroy? A place where every Tech student can visit, learn and relax. A place where many students will discover their passion and begin delving into their future areas of expertise.
Demolishing the Stadium Woods will leave one less resource for the College of Science and the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, who use the woods to practice elementary battle tactics, which cadets could one day use on the battlefield as military officers. I cannot stress enough the concept that this facility will enable some students to practice for a game, while right now, the Stadium Woods helps hundreds of students — from a variety of disciplines — prepare for their futures and life outside of college.
Next time you mention "clear and tangible benefits" that would be provided "to the university community as a whole," please list specifically what those benefits are and how they would impact the university community. Currently, I see no benefit to this training facility. This building will not give Tech a national championship in football. It will not magically transform our student athletes into NFL stars. Our football team has to find inspiration and resolve in themselves to accomplish those things — a fancy new building won’t instill such determination.
Tech has thousands of already motivated and dedicated students. If they lack "state-of-the-art" equipment and resources in the classroom, does that make them less driven? Not in the least. The underlying question to all of this is, what makes the football team more deserving of new resources? The College of Science is still operating out of trailers, not proper Hokie Stone buildings. By threatening to demolish the Stadium Woods, they are being asked to sacrifice again. The university is stealing from the College of Science and the Corps (among others) to give to a few student athletes so they can play games. That certainly doesn’t seem like a benefit to the "community" to me.
Tech’s constant promise to "Invent the Future" makes me proud to be an alumnus, and as an alumnus, I hope I am making good on that promise. The ranking or performance of our football team does not sway alumni love and support for this school — alumni will always cheer for the boys in maroon and orange and continue to support Tech in other ways.
Building this training facility will proclaim loudly that Tech values its football team, a very small percentage of the enormous student population, more than any other group of students attending this school and paying for the privilege. It saddens me to think this is how Tech officials want the school to be perceived. And the actions and decisions of that small group of officials will sway my love and support.
We might not always have a football team ranked in the top 10 for future Hokies to cheer for. But by saving the Stadium Woods, we can preserve a bit of Tech history for current and future generations to enjoy. There is no need to forget our history as we continue to invent the future.