Letters to the Editor

Well-traveled Hokie cups

Janis Torgersen '80 in Haiti In summer 2013, Michele Ramsey and I visited Kenya with the Feed the Hunger mission organization, and we saw that schoolchildren had only their bare hands with which to drink water. In fall 2013, with the help of family, friends, and the Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity, we began collecting thousands of stadium cups after each Virginia Tech home football game. The cups were sent to schools in Kenya and around the world—continuing what my father, Paul Torgersen, the university's 14th president, said to his students: "Enjoy your blessings and be thankful. If across the world, individuals and their blessings were arranged from the most to the least, everyone in this class would be in the top 1 percent. You have an obligation to help the less fortunate." This summer, we traveled with Feed the Hunger to Haiti, visiting many orphanages and schools that the organization supports. Much to our surprise, the children in Haiti were using the same Hokie cups that we had collected two years earlier.

Janis Torgersen (management, housing, and family development '80)

Oxford, North Carolina

Caring for the community

After 30 years in law enforcement and corrections, I have spent the past 11 years as a consultant to various U.S. Department of Justice offices, state and local agencies, and professional organizations, focusing exclusively on the issues of preventing, detecting, and responding to sexual misconduct and sexual abuse of persons in confinement facilities. I congratulate Virginia Tech after reading "Caring for the Community: The complexities of responding to sexual violence and harassment on a college campus" in the spring edition of Virginia Tech Magazine.

I have been working tirelessly to train, educate, and guide facilities in achieving compliance with standards resulting from Congress's 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act. However, this issue is really about culture. Attitudes, knowledge, and behavior impact how well we meet our obligations to protect human and constitutional rights. Universally, it will take a change in culture to truly succeed. The article certainly projects a clear understanding of that.

Elizabeth Price Layman (sociology '74)

Amelia Island, Florida

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In the summer 2015 edition, we reported that Tech's agricultural sciences research and development expenditures ranked No. 6 in the nation. The National Science Foundation defines "agricultural sciences" as agricultural production, aquaculture, international agriculture, soil sciences, natural resources and conservation, landscape architecture, agricultural chemistry, agronomy, animal science, fish and wildlife, forestry, and horticulture—a classification that, at Virginia Tech, draws in multiple colleges.