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Student Media

APEX—Graduate newsletter designed by the Executive Board of the Graduate Student Assembly to address issues of importance to graduate students. First published 1978-79. The number of issues published per year has varied, but it is now published twice each semester.

Bugle, The—The first edition of this student yearbook appeared in 1895, with C. J. Richardson serving as its first editor. It was not issued 1944-46 because of World War II. The yearbook was named by Claudius Lee in a student-body contest. It refused to include women students in the class sections from 1921 to 1941. In 1982 it received first place in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association competition, followed in 1985 by an All-American rating, for the 1984 Bugle, in the Associated Collegiate Press Competition. Beginning in 1985 its popularity dropped and it ended in debt each year from 1986-90. A new format was initiated in 1990.

Collegiate Times (The Virginia Tech)—This student newspaper was known as The Virginia Tech from the first issue of four pages on Oct.21, 1903, until its name change on Jan. 14, 1970. The 1903 Bugle, the student yearbook, furnished a large part of the newspaper’s start-up funds, and Professor J. B. McBryde served as the first editor. Professors C. M. Newman and W. H. Rasche sat on the editorial board, and the college faculty published the paper. The corps of cadets took over management of the newspaper in 1904, and the first student editor was Cadet Capt. F. G. Henley. The newspaper was issued weekly until the fall 1966, when a twice-a-week schedule commenced while school was in session; in 1998 publication expanded to four times weekly during the academic year. The paper was founded as an official organ of the Athletic Association. No students were on the editorial board until 1905. The student body assumed control of the newspaper from the Athletic Association in April 1931. It was not published for four months in the 1943-44 session because of World War II. In 1963 the national college journalism fraternity Pi Delta Epsilon named it the best college newspaper in its class in the country.

During the 1971-72 academic year, the newspaper was beset with financial difficulties, forcing it to eliminate several issues and later to reduce publication from a bi-weekly to a weekly schedule. Editor-in-chief Jim Sheil blamed lower funding from the Student Budget Board and town merchants who refused to advertise in the paper because of dissatisfaction with the editorial policy and support for the Virginia Tech Student Co-operative Association Inc.

In 1991 Editor-in-Chief Jim Roberts pulled the Collegiate Slime issue, that year’s parody issue, because it featured a photograph altered to look like President James McComas as a naked bodybuilder. But a staff member distributed the unauthorized issue and was removed from his position on the newspaper staff.

In 1984 the newspaper received a first-place rating in a contest conducted by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and in 1992 it placed fifth in a national competition sponsored by the Associated College Press. In 1996 an administrator at the university filed an $850,000 defamation lawsuit against the paper for printing her title as “director of butt licking,” but the suit was dismissed. The newspaper had used the title as a place-saver and had forgotten to replace it with the administrator’s real title. Virginia Press Women recognized the paper in 2007 for its coverage of the April 16, 2007, campus shootings, which left 32 people dead.

A web version, began operations in 1998 as a complement to the print edition of the Collegiate Times and has since grown to include breaking news, multimedia and dynamic databases.

In 1997, the The Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech (EMCVT) was created by Virginia Tech. The non-profit 501(c)3 organization replaced the Student Media Board and provided an umbrella over the Collegiate Times, WUVT 90.7 FM; VTTV Channel 33; The Bugle; and the Silhouette Literary and Arts Magazine.

In the spring of 2015, controvery erupted over the firing of Erica Corder, the paper’s editor-in-chief, for undisclosed reasons. Managing editors Ricky LaBlue and Kevin Dickel were temporarily put in charge, but Dickel left the paper shortly thereafter. He posted Twitter messages that implied that the EMCVT Board of Directors had acted improperly in removing Corder. At the same time, EMCVT was having financial problems and had laid off two paid professional staff members and was losing its general manager at the end of the spring semester.

Over the summer, a business consulting group was hired to advise the board and students involved in student media on sound financial management. A house on North Main Street owned by EMCVT was vacated when the organization moved into Squires Student Center and the house put up for sale. The Collegiate Times went to a twice-weekly print edition to cut expenses but uses the web site and social media to report on breaking news.

Guidon—Originally called the YMCA Student Handbook, first published in 1894, and popularly known as the “Rat Bible.” Named Guidon in 1934. Administration assumed publishing from students in 1952. Published infrequently after 1964 until the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets took it over around 1992 and published annually since then. Now contains orientation information for new cadets.

Silhouette, The—Literary magazine probably first published in 1978. Showcases work of students and faculty in the areas of prose, poetry, photographs, and art. Published twice yearly in spring and fall. Distributed free until 1997, when it was sold for a modest fee to help cover printing costs. Since then, it has been distributed for free to increase its exposure. The magazine is funded by sponsors, alumni, patrons, and grants.

VTTV—Created in 1988 as a hands-on experience for a broadcast management class. A student-run television station that provides variety of programming. In fall 2001, moved from airing on Monday nights to Wednesday nights on channel 33 on the campus and Adelphia channel 18 in Blacksburg and Christiansburg.

WUVT Radio Station—The carrier-current radio station, operating on 640 kilocycles, went on the air on April 1, 1948., "broadcasting" via the campus electrical system. Fire destroyed the studio in August, 1951, but it returned to the air temporarily on November 17, 1952. It was off the air most of 1953-54 but returned to the air in the 1954-55 session. A radiating frequency modulation station (FM radio), operating on 90.7 megahertz, went on the air with 10 watts power in fall 1969. The carrier-current signal was extended to Radford College in May 1970. Linda DeVito was hired in 1980 as station’s first female general manager. WUVT AM 64 was hooked up to Blacksburg Cable channel 2 in 1984. WUVT had the largest news staff of any station in the New River Valley in 1985. The station moved from Squires Student Center in 1985 to the Central Office Building in downtown Blacksburg due to the closure for renovation of Squires Student Center. In 1986 and air pressure sensor failure caused it to go off the the air for three days; it also went off the the air that year for 13 hours due to cut cables in the steam tunnels, probably an act of vandalism since it had dismissed 15 staff members. In 1987 lack of ventilation in a room in Lee Hall caused overheating of a transmitter, and the station went off the the air for a week. It moved back to Squires Student Center in 1990. In 1997, it came under the umbrella of The Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech. It now runs on 3,500 watts as an FCC-licensed non-commercial radio station. Its tower site is on nearby Price Mountain. The station currently transmits its signal with a Harris Z5CD solid state transmitter donated by Clear Channel and now broadcasts to Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech campus, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, Radford, Floyd County, Giles County, Salem, Pulaski County, and Wytheville.  All disk jockeys and most staff members are unpaid volunteers. It is supported by annual community and business donations.

An alphabetical listing of defunct student publications follows:

Agricultural Journal—Issued irregularly December 1906-June 1908.

alice—An underground publication first published May 18, 1968, “as a form of free discussion for the community of the people concerned about Virginia Tech.” It continued to be published “occasionally” into 1969. The publication, published in newspaper form, was subtitled the Blacksburg Free Press.

Cadet Manual—Basic information about the corps of cadets published from 1965-1992. Supplanted by Guidon (see above).

Campus Quarterly, The—Debuting Oct. 16, 1971, this campus-life magazine was published three times a year. Publication ceased in 1975 due to lack of interest and funding but resumed fall quarter 1978 as a "new student magazine."The new version was also printed three times a year. It was suspended from fall 1979 through spring 1980, resumed in fall 1980, and ceased publication with the summer 1986 issue.

Civilian News—The newspaper was published for the first time in January 1940 and was devoted to subjects of general interest and importance to civilian members of the student body. It was produced on mimeographed sheets on a bi-weekly basis and was free.

Cohee, The—Irregularly issued weekly newspaper, primarily interested in sports. Seventeen issues, Dec. 8, 1897-June 22, 1899. Succeeded by The Virginia Tech.

Cowllegiate Crimes, Collegiate Slime et al—An April Fool’s Day parody issue of the Collegiate Times that was published at various times. The practice was discontinued because of the sexist, offensive, and unprofessional nature of the paper.

Firing Line, The—Irregularly issued monthly newspaper. Seven issues, November 1913-May 1914.

Gray Jacket, The—Monthly, originally in newspaper format, later in journal format. First student publication; established by Lee and Maury Literary Societies. First series, 1875‑83; second series, October 1883-June 1889; Not published September 1889-April 1892; third series, May 1892-December/January 1905-06.

Greek Column, The—Newspaper first published in March 1990 on a trial basis for one semester. Designed to appeal to members of Greek organizations. Funded by advertising. It ceased publication in 1990 because chapters essentially quit providing information to fill its pages.

Maelstrom, The—Irregularly issued literary magazine, spring 1966-1969.

NationTime—Black student newspaper first published in 1993 and named for a slogan from a 1970s conference for black leaders. Started because many students felt that Collegiate Times did not adequately cover minority issues. Relied principally upon support from the black community and black-owned businesses. Did not ask for or receive funding from the university. Ceased publication after one year because of inexperience, lack of funding, and controversy among students.

New River Almanac—First issued in the spring 1975 by the Student Publications Board in cooperation with the New River Historical Society. Part literary journal, part photo album, part news magazine, it was issued semi-annually and portrayed current concerns and problems of the Appalachia community. Ceased publication in spring 1978 because of its narrow appeal, dwindling staff, and the fact it had lost money each issue.

Other Voices—Magazine first published in November 1988. Featured student- and faculty-written essays focusing on various aspects of the educational system. Funded by a grant from the English Student Association and founded by three English majors. Only two issues were published, fall and spring.

Preston Journal—Newspaper published off-campus by students beginning in 1989. Published weekly in tabloid form. Granted funds from the Budget Board of Virginia Tech in 1990; folded in 1991.

Sentinel, The—Bound calendar, issued from 1940-55, containing complete schedule of college activities. Established by Pi Delta Epsilon, publications recognition fraternity.

Skirmisher, The—Irregularly issued newspaper, October 1910-March 1912.

Steamtunnel—Self-described left-wing underground newspaper first published in 1980. Published monthly in 1981 for a circulation of about 4,000. It folded in 1981 due to a lack of funds.

Students’ Voice, The—A student newspaper that surfaced on April 13, 1883 as a non-profit publication for Virginia Tech student organizations. Publication ceased in 1985.

Tech-Nique, The—Agricultural magazine, issued four times a year from 1956-63. Established by Alpha Zeta, agricultural recognition fraternity.

Tin Horn, The—Coed yearbook; published 1925 and 1929-31.

University Page, The—A newspaper “printed weekly for the students of Virginia Tech”; published in 1972.

Virginia Aggie Engineer—Published annually by student branch of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 1936-37. Succeeded by the Virginia Tech Agrizette.

Virginia Tech, The—Renamed Collegiate Times Jan. 14, 1970 (see Collegiate Times above). Founded to foster and encourage athletics. By 1912 it had become a newspaper rather than a journal devoted to athletics. First extra edition printed April 19, 1918, on topic of Easter dances.

Virginia Tech Agrizette, The—Quarterly published by agriculture students. Two issues: April 1938 and November 1938.

Virginia Tech Engineer, The—Quarterly magazine (sometimes five issues a year) published for engineering students, November 1923-Spring 1963.

VPI Skipper, The—Irregularly issued humor magazine, December 1927-May 1934.