Whether you’re a Hokie entering her final year or a freshman taking her first trip across the Drillfield to class, it’s important to be aware of the resources available at Virginia Tech. Life can be unpredictable, and that is why knowing about resources can be a lifesaver for you or a friend in need. Some resources that Virginia Tech offers students are well-known, such as tutoring, but did you know that Virginia Tech has its own Women’s Center, complete with a staff trained to assist sexual assault survivors? Read on to learn more about some little-known advocates that exist on campus for students.
1. The Women’s Center
Let’s begin with one of my favorite resources for students to utilize. The Virginia Tech Women’s Center is intended to give women a safe space on campus, by providing resources, outreach, and educational experiences. Founded in 1994, this center is located at 206 Washington Street and can be accessed by walking down Washington Street towards Downtown Blacksburg, which makes it convenient for students on-campus to find.
The Women’s Center can be a confidential resource if you or someone you know has faced a situation of gender based violence, which means they are not required to make a Title IX report to the university. According to their website, “Gender based violence includes but is not limited to sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and harassment”. Staff can also help with accompaniment to medical facilities, law enforcement, court proceedings, and the university’s Title IX investigations and conduct hearings for survivors. The Women’s Center can also be helpful for education and leadership experiences, because they participate in Women’s Month, Prevention and Education Services, and more.
From their website: “All of us at the Women’s Center are dedicated to fostering a Virginia Tech community where every person who lives, learns and works at this university feels safe and supported. We know that, unfortunately. sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence are a reality that impacts far too many members of our community. Please know that we are here for you. You may be a victim. A survivor. A friend. A roommate. A classmate. A family member. A professor. An advisor. It doesn’t matter who you are or what role you occupy, the impacts of interpersonal violence are deep and far-reaching. We want to make sure you know we are here for people of all ages, genders, orientations, races and ethnicities, immigration or citizenship status, and religious or spiritual background. The Women’s Center is here for you.”
For after-hour assistance, please call one of the following: Emergency Assistance, 911 (police) Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley, (540) 639-1123 Cook Counseling Center, (540) 231-6444 Virginia Tech Police, (540) 231-6411 (non-emergency) Blacksburg Police Department (540) 961-1150 (non-emergency) Schiffert Health Center, (540) 231-6444
2. The Dean of Students
The Dean of Students has a broad mission, but basically encompasses supporting students personally and academically in their times of need. Some cases include, but are not limited to class absence verification, personal/family emergencies, personal/academic support, and student conduct advising. The Dean of Students office is located at 109 East Eggleston Hall (0255), right by the Eggleston Arch that points towards the library.
The Dean of Students office is designed to bring together resources so that students can focus on feeling better after a personal crisis, such as an illness, injury, or family emergency. The staff works to help students maintain their academic reputation by providing resources to professionally communicate with professors regarding some of these heavier topics. We are all human, and the Dean of Students office recognizes that. Additionally, individuals can submit a Bias Related Incident Report from their website, which links to the Division of Student Affairs website. The form can be found here.
From their website: “We know that life doesn’t stop while students are in college. When life throws challenges in students’ way, we’re here to help them create plans, connect to resources, and gain the confidence to get back on track. We work with students, families, friends, and faculty. We’re a friendly, caring team ready to listen and assist. We welcome referrals, appointments, and walk-ins.”
On Call and Emergency Contact: A member of the Dean’s Staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, staff from Cook Counseling Center, and Housing and Residence Life are also on-call during the same hours.
In cases of emergency between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., call 540-231-3787. After hours, the on-call staff member from Dean’s Staff may be reached by calling the Virginia Tech Police at 540-231-6411, press 1.
3. Hokie Wellness
Hokie Wellness has a mission that is clear and simple: to help Hokies be well. Whether that means managing consumption of alcohol, self care, or exercise help, they have solutions that they want to offer students to better themselves. Some of the online programs from Hokie Wellness may ring a bell: AlcoholEdu, DiversityEdu, and Sexual Assault Prevention – that’s because they are required by all students attending Virginia Tech. Other programs include individual and group consultations, assessment, advocacy, outreach and prevention programming. Some examples of these kinds of programming are Alcohol Abuse Prevention, Party Positive, 21st Birthday Project, Peer Education, and additional workshops, such as the Body Project.
From their website: “Hokie Wellness strives to educate and empower every Hokie to take an active and engaging day-to-day approach to their wellness in order to enjoy a long, healthful, and purpose-filled life.”
Contact: 195 McComas Hall (0140) 895 Washington St Blacksburg, VA 24061 firstname.lastname@example.org Employees: 540-231-8878 Students: 540-231-2233
4. Cultural and Community Centers
The Cultural and Community Centers at Virginia Tech are six unique spaces within Squires where individuals can connect amongst a particular group. Many of the centers are centered around heritage and culture, however, a LGBTQ+ center and an intercultural center also exist to bring together multiple groups and identities. These centers were created to provide safe spaces for people to learn and engage, and many students just also host meetings at these centers. According to their website, the mission of these centers is threefold, involving advocacy, advising, and awareness. Additionally, individuals can submit a Bias Related Incident Report or another concern report from their website, which links to the Division of Student Affairs website. These forms can be found here.
Some of the general involvement that individuals can participate includes the Community Kick-Off, Cultural Achievement Ceremonies, and History & Heritage Months. Within each center, there is more specific programming and resources; for example, the Black Cultural Center contains “50 stackable chairs, one six-foot table and one four-foot table, a couch, three love seats, two armchairs, an HD television with HDMI and AV hook-ups, and the Brian Roberts Library”. Many of the centers have libraries with relevant content, but the amount and subject matter will vary. Have the chance to visit a cultural center? Stop by and learn about something new – there are so many moments not reflected on properly in history, so you could find out something worthwhile by just stopping by.
From their website: “As a department within Student Affairs, our programs, policies, and personnel are aligned to uplift and examine the Aspirations for Student Learning. Our mission is to create the conditions for underrepresented student success and to develop the cultural competence of every Virginia Tech student. We achieve this mission in three ways: Advocacy, Advising, and Awareness.”
Contact: 150 Squires Student Center (0187) 290 College Avenue Blacksburg, VA 24061 email@example.com 540-231-8584
5. The Writing Center
The Writing Center is a resource that is essential if you have to write anything for a class, ever. Hate bothering your BFF and asking her to read over a paper for you? No problem, the Writing Center staff is happy to help. Located in Newman Library’s second floor Learning Commons, just past the elevators, the Writing Center is a place to have your writing revised. Their services are absolutely free and you can get help for any class you need help writing for, including personal or non-academic writing. The beauty of the Writing Center is that appointments are simple to make online, the meetings don’t take long, and the staff will help you at any point in the process of your writing. Even if you feel very confident in your work, the staff of this center have diverse backgrounds and can give you objective feedback. The Writing Center does take walk-in sessions when possible, but if you’re thinking about an upcoming assignment in advance, make an appointment.
From their website: “The Virginia Tech Writing Center aims to support all writers within our community and foster an environment in which students’ learning differences are respected and addressed. We employ a diverse group of graduate and undergraduate writing coaches working in multiple disciplines across campus. We strive to uphold VT’s global land-grant values of discovery, learning, and outreach.”
Contact Jennifer Lawrence, Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall and Spring semesters: Sunday: 6 P.M. – 10 P.M. Monday – Wednesday: 10 A.M. – 8 P.M. Thursday: 10 A.M. – 6 P.M. Friday: 10 A.M. – 4 P.M.
Each fall and spring semester, the Writing Center opens on the second week of the semester and closes the day after Reading Day (the last Friday of the semester). Summer I and II: The Writing Center operates by appointment only during Summer sessions. You can log in to make an appointment at https://vt.mywconline.com/.