On Thursday, Undergraduate Student Government hosted an information session on the USC Village, which is set to open in the fall of 2017.The event was held in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and featured a presentation conducted by Vice Provost of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry and Vice President and Executive Director of Capital Construction and Facilities Management Lloyd Silberstein.Village people · Above, Lloyd Silberstein, senior vice president of Capital Construction, presents images of The Village at an information session on campus Thursday evening. – Audey Shen | Daily Trojan“This is truly an amazing moment in our university’s history to celebrate the progress we’ve made,” USG president Andrew Menard said. “This development will be the heart of a new community where students can come together and experience state-of-the-art classrooms, collaborative study spaces, concerts, seminars, and cultural and artistic events.”Silberstein first presented images of the project as a whole, noting that the buildings have a distinctive Gothic style and pointed arch entryways.“This campus is growing to the north, and it’s growing in a big way,” Silberstein said. “Although it looks different architecturally from the rest of campus, the design is similar to Wallis Annenberg Hall, and the tower relates to our most iconic building, the Mudd Hall of Philosophy.”The Village will showcase a library, breakout rooms, a lounge and café facing the courtyard on the ground level alone. Underground levels have classes and large lecture halls, while higher floors will hold research spaces.Students in attendance expressed their anticipation for the center’s opening, particularly freshmen since they will have access to The Village by their senior year.“I’m looking forward to the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience,” Sean Thomas, a freshman majoring in biology said. “As a pre-med student, it’s really nice to see they’re putting forth the effort to improve the science program.”Carry described the expanded residential college experience that will accompany The Village’s opening, which will house 600 freshman honors students and 2,200 others across all grade levels.“All incoming students will be invited to live in a residential college,” Carry said. “We will offer an academic curriculum where residents can attend classes in their resident halls and participate in experiential activities like field trips and cultural events. Being a part of it will make living on campus a highlight of the college experience.”In addition to academia, The Village features a large dance studio for the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and a 30,000-square-foot fitness center with outdoor basketball courts and recreational playing fields.“I always feel excited when I pass by the construction of the new USC Village,” said Raphael Krigel, a freshman majoring in communication. “To me, The Village symbolizes a new chapter in the history of this ever-evolving university. It’s a wonderful investment in the future of our school and the diverse community that surrounds us.”The Village will feature chain stores like Bank of America, Starbucks Coffee and Trader Joe’s. According to Silberstein, the facility also plans to have a bar and grill-type restaurant and “Trojan Town,” a shop where clothing from the lower level of the USC Bookstore will be relocated.“I’m looking forward to the food options, especially the Trader Joe’s,” said Ailish Ullman, a freshman majoring in biology. “The access will make it a lot easier for college students to make nutritious choices.”Carry is optimistic that the expansion will be a haven for all students to have the opportunity to study, participate in extracurricular activities and have leisure time.“The USC Village allows students to have a very sustainable college experience with the safety and convenience of having everything in one particular area,” Carry said.
Classes on the Blacksburg, Va., campus had gone ahead as scheduled; the first period began at 8 a.m. The doors of the buildings remained open. And the heavily armed gunman with a motive yet unknown had set his sights elsewhere, at Norris Hall, an engineering building nearly a half-mile away on the 2,600-acre campus. Police believe the shooting at Norris began around 9:45 a.m. The building’s doors had been chained shut, possibly by the gunman, authorities said. At 9:55 a.m, the school sent out a second e-mail. “Please stay put,” it warned. “A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows.” The university also began telephoning resident advisers in the dorms to notify them and sent people to knock on doors to get the word out, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said at a news conference. Soon after, horrifying sounds and images flooded TV screens and Internet sites across America. SWAT teams in flak jackets swarmed the campus. Students helped faculty members carry out the wounded, as ambulances streamed to the site. CNN showed a jerky video provided by a student’s cell phone that showed what seemed to be police outside Norris Hall accompanied by a chilling soundtrack – the crackle of gunshots. What had happened inside? Reports were fragmentary. One student told The Washington Post that the gunman, said to be about 19 years old, burst into the room and fired about 30 shots in just a minute and a half – first blasting a professor in the head, then shooting the students. Planet Blacksburg – a local, student-run Web site – quoted Ruiqi Zhang, identified as a computer engineering student, who said he was on the second floor of Norris. “A student rushed in and told everybody to get down,” Zhang said. “We put a table against the door and when the gunman tried to shoulder his way in and when he saw that he couldn’t, he put two shots through the door. It was the scariest moment of my life.” It was eerily reminiscent of the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado eight years ago this very week. And something else recalled some of the most shocking images of Sept. 11, 2001: Students jumping from windows to escape. Virginia Tech sent out a third e-mail at 10:17 a.m. announcing classes were canceled and repeating the warning for everyone to lock their doors and stay away from windows. By then, the magnitude of this bloody day was becoming increasingly clear. Grim-faced TV anchors reported the rising death toll: 21, 31, then 33, including the shooter himself, not immediately identified. He put a bullet in his head. Two of the dead were shot at the dorm, the remainder at Norris Hall. Authorities also reported that 15 people were wounded, some seriously. End of the terror At 10:53 a.m. – more than 3 1/2 hours after the terror began – the announcement of the end of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history came in a fourth e-mail from the school. It read in part: “Subject: Second Shooting Reported; Police have one gunman in custody “In addition to an earlier shooting today in West Ambler Johnston, there has been a multiple shooting with multiple victims in Norris Hall.” As the wind whipped through the campus Monday night, a steady stream of students from West Ambler Johnston carried suitcases, backpacks and other personal items – one held a large stuffed dog nicknamed Hokie, after the school mascot – to find someplace else to sleep. They said they couldn’t bear to spend the night in the dorm.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The first crackle of gunfire shattered the Monday morning calm. It was 7:15 on the campus of Virginia Tech and an epic killing spree had just begun. Snow was swirling on the windy April day and classes had not yet started when a murderous rampage that would shake the nation started in a coed dormitory, West Ambler Johnston, home to 895 people. The first reports of trouble were tragic, but small in scope, no hint of the massacre about to unfold in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia: One person was dead, another injured. The official word to students apparently did not come right away. In a mass e-mail, Virginia Tech officials announced that a shooting had occurred at the dorm, police were on the scene and urged anyone in the university community to “be cautious” and contact police if they saw anything suspicious or had information on the case. The e-mail was signed off at 9:26 a.m. Police would later say they thought the two had been shot in a domestic dispute. They thought the gunman had fled the campus. “We secured the building, we secured the crime scene,” Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said. For a long while, there were no new reports of anything suspicious. Gunman on the loose