Sutphin and Bush: What Virginia Tech’s over-enrollment means for Blacksburg

The following commentary originally appeared in The Roanoke Times on May 26, 2019:

Since Virginia Tech made headlines for surpassing its student enrollment goals, there’s been an understandable tension in Blacksburg.

The university had a target of 6,600 incoming freshmen, but it overshot that number considerably. The official release from the university puts the incoming student population between 7,500 and 7,585 students, but this assumes a higher-than average percentage of students who accepted this spring will not enroll in the fall. If this “melt” rate is the same as previous years, the incoming class will have approximately 7,625 students, or 1,025 over Virginia Tech’s admissions target.

That’s a lot of students — 1,340 more than last year’s incoming class and almost 800 more than the university’s largest-ever freshman class in 2017. For comparison’s sake, The Edge student apartments adjacent to campus has about 910 bedrooms. Continue reading “Sutphin and Bush: What Virginia Tech’s over-enrollment means for Blacksburg”

Make history in Blacksburg today

The following letter to the editor by Bryce Carter and Michael Sutphin originally appeared in the Collegiate Times on Nov. 3, 2009:

This morning, poll workers will arrive at multiple schools, places of worship, the library and the community center in Blacksburg to partake in the democratic process. Candidates and their volunteers will bring yard signs, stickers and campaign literature to the polling places. And voters will select on a touch screen which candidate they believe will best represent the people while in office.

But today is not just any Election Day. It is an opportunity to make history in Blacksburg. Continue reading “Make history in Blacksburg today”

Blacksburg’s youth must vote

The following letter to the editor originally appeared in the Collegiate Times on Aug. 27, 2009:

In past elections, most candidates for Blacksburg Town Council did little to court the votes of students and young professionals.

They declined to knock on doors in student neighborhoods or mail campaign literature to campus addresses. And they had good reason. Many students are registered to vote in their hometowns instead of in Blacksburg. Others skipped the May election to study for finals or pack for the summer.

But that has all changed. Continue reading “Blacksburg’s youth must vote”