Yay you’ve made it to the first stop! Hands down one of my favorite parts about campus is how it is divided into 3 regions, it’s very helpful because it makes it harder to get lost! We are currently on what I like to refer to as the Athletic side of campus. Everything on this side of Washington street has to do with athletics. Lane Stadium where you and all your best friends jump to Enter Sandman during football games is on this side of campus, as well as the Cassell parking lot. The Cassell parking lot is a very important place to know about as tailgates happen in this parking lot and it is one of the lots where off campus residents can park.
McComas Hall is also to your left if you are facing Washington St. McCommas is home to our gym, Schiffert Health Center and Cook Counseling Center. The gym is 2 floors and includes a swimming pool as well as the basic items you would find in a gym like cardio equipment and a fully stocked weight room. McCommas also offers a wide variety of programs of group exercise classes like cycle, my favorite, Body pump, barre, POP Pilates and more! They also offer small group and personal training. Schiffert is the health center on campus where you go when you are sick. Most recently it has become the covid testing site for campus! Cook counseling is the on-campus counseling center. They offer one on one counseling and small group counseling! They are very skilled at what they do and offer a plethora of options to help you in any way that they can! There’s your crash course on McComas Hall, now walk up Washington to Cassell Coliseum and we will learn more about another part of the athletic side of campus.
Hooray, you found me again! Welcome to Cassell Coliseum, home to the VT basketball team. They host a lot of different sporting events here from basketball to volleyball to wrestling matches. All of which are accessible to students. Games like women’s basketball and wrestling are free to students. Men’s basketball you have the opportunity to purchase student season tickets for. You also have the opportunity to purchase student tickets for football games! Those tickets run around $120 and you have tickets to each home game! If you do not want to commit to purchasing student tickets, there is always the lottery you can enter each week to be chosen for a free student ticket. While season tickets secure you a spot, the lottery is a great option that I have had a lot of luck with! Now we are going to head into the residential side of campus. If you turn around there should be a crosswalk that you can take to cross the street. See you on the other side!
Welcome to the Residential side! This is the 2nd region of the 3 regions there are on campus, the first being the athletic region. All of the dorms on campus are on this side of the Drillfield. We are currently standing in front of Pritchard Hall, one of the largest dorms on campus. To your left is D2, a dining hall which I will touch on later! Pritchard is home to 5 of the several Living Learning Communities, which we call LLCs, that VT Housing and Residence Life offers. Thrive, the personal growth LLC, Innovate, which is focused on entrepreneurship, Studio 72, focused on arts and creativity, VIA, open to undecided majors or students in university studies, and finally Transfer Experience, open to transfer students. Several other dorms are also home to LLCs, I just wanted to highlight the LLCs here since Pritchard is home to so many! LLCs are a great way to get plugged in with instant community here and be around people with common interests to you!
Pritchard is an all hall-style dorm that does not have AC. With hall style, it is just you and your roommate in the room with a shared hall bathroom for everyone in your hall. Each room comes 2 twin beds which can be lofted fully, half lofted or turned into bunk beds, 2 desks, 2 dressers, or a dresser equivalent built into your closet space. Ok! Next, we will be going over to look at a few more dorms so veer toward your right, go down 2 little sets of stairs and meet me under the arch of Peddrew-Yates.
Welcome to Peddrew-Yates dorm otherwise known as PY! In a minute we will continue through the PY, Payne, and New Res Hall East quad, but first I wanted to stop us here to note some important things about PY! PY is home to one of the mailrooms on campus. Fun fact your mailbox probably will not be in your dorm building, but it will be in one close to your building! In 2 stops I will talk about where to pick up packages! When I first got to school, I was unaware that mail and packages are picked up in different places, so I always like to warn people! Ok, now we will head across the quad to Payne. Meet you there!
We’ve made it to the best dorm on campus! I say this because I lived in Payne during my freshman year and had a great experience! Payne, PY, and New Res Hall East are all on the newer side when it comes to dorms, and they are all suite-style with AC! Payne is unique though in the sense that the 4th floor of Payne is hall-style! All 3 dorms on the quad have suites that range from 4-6 people. 4 person suites will be jack and jill style with a bathroom connecting the 2 rooms, and 6 person suites will have a common room and 3 rooms with the bathroom inside! Like I mentioned back at Pritchard about hall-style dorm rooms, each room in the suite comes with 2 beds, 2 desks, 2 dressers, and closet space. All dorm buildings on campus offer study lounges, TV lounges, and kitchens! I spent a lot of time on the 3rd floor west side study lounge in Payne, I highly recommend utilizing the study lounges. Another thing I wanted to mention about dorms is that there is laundry in every dorm building! Laundry money is loaded onto your Hokie Passport, which differs from your meal plan money. I’ll hit more on the functions of your Hokie Passport at the next stop. Now follow the directions to the right, head down the stairs and I will meet you at Owens Hall to talk about dining and picking up packages!
Great, we've made it to our 6th stop! This is Owens Hall, one of the dining halls on campus. It is a food court-style dining Hall with several different stations with different foods at every station. On the backside of Owens Hall is Hokie Grill, which is home to Chick-fil-A, Dunkin' Donuts, Pizza Hut, and a barbecue restaurant. Virginia Tech is known for its food and I will say it does not disappoint.
Now let's discuss dining plans. There are three different types of dining plans that you can buy as an on-campus student. First, there's the premium plan......then the mega plan, and lastly the major plan, which is the least expensive. Everyone is different in how they use the meal plans. Some students overbuy and have a lot of money left at the end of the year, but some students use the dining halls a lot and reload the plan throughout the year. How often you will eat on campus is something to consider when choosing your dining plan. You can always add more money throughout the year. The VT website has a quiz that is very helpful when choosing a dining plan. With the on-campus meal plans you get 50% off at every dining Hall, so for example, if your chick fil a cost $10 it'll only cost you $5 with your meal plan. It’s a pretty sweet deal!
For off-campus students, there are 2 options: dining plan dollars or commuter cash. Dining plan dollars for off campus only has one level as opposed to the three levels offered to on-campus students. You still get a 50% discount! Commuter cash provides a 5% discount.
Also, located in Owens Hall is the mailroom where you pick up your packages. Typically, when a package arrives for you, you'll get an email and once you receive that email you can come here to Owen's, show your student ID, here we refer to it as a Hokie Passport, and sign for your package.
Now is a great time to talk about your Hokie passport. Commonly referred to as a Hokie P, it will be your best friend. It allows you access to your dorm room, to the gym, to pick up packages, and acts as a debit card for your meal plan money. It is very important to keep track of your Hokie P, however, if you do find yourself having lost your Hokie P you can purchase a replacement Hokie P for around $20. Now that I've concluded my spiel about dining halls, Hokie passports, and the mailroom, you can head a little bit to your right, go underneath the arch that you see in front of you, cross the crosswalk, and I'll meet you in front of the library.
Great you found me! Here we are standing in front of Newman Library. It consists of six floors and the first floor has a coffee shop on the bottom, EspressOasis. Newman functions as a library to check out books, but most students use it as a place to study and do homework. You might also even have a class in Newman. Let me explain how every floor of the library works. The 2nd floor, the 4th floor, and the 6th floor are group study floors. The third floor and the 5th floor are silent studies floors. You can reserve study room space on any floor for group work and for your own studying, or you can walk in and sit down at one of the common tables that are available. Another thing that's helpful is that the library offers printing service for papers at 10 cents a sheet, there are several printing stations available in the library. Now if you head to your left, we're going to go to one of the most photographed spots on all of campus.
If you have seen a picture of VT on Instagram or Facebook, chances are it was a picture of Torgersen Hall/Bridge, referred to as "Torg" or "Torg bridge". Torg has classrooms in it as well as connects directly to the library. Straight ahead of you is the archway that is considered the Torg bridge. Torg bridge is one of the best places on campus to study and gives you a perfect view of the pylons behind us, which is another commonly photographed spot on campus. Right under the arch straight ahead is Main Street. Main Street has restaurants, shops, bars, the post office, basically just everything you would think of on a typical main street! I love that Main Street is within walking distance of campus. It really connects the town with the campus. Now we're going to walk under the Torg bridge over to Squires, the student center, so just keep going straight and I'll meet you at Squires.
Here we are at Squires Student Center. Squires is home to several offices regarding student organizations. There are over 450 student organizations here on campus so there are plenty of ways to get plugged in and find your community.
At the beginning of every school year, there is an event called Gobblerfest that most organizations on campus are a part of and that is one way to find out more about how to get involved after you arrive at campus. You can also get plugged in with organizations at any time throughout the year.
Squires also doubles as a classroom building with rooms such as Colonial Hall that holds up to 500 students and several smaller classrooms. Squires also have two places to eat in it Au Bon Pain known as ABP cause it's a little bit difficult to pronounce and Burger 37 which is a burger and fry place and ABP is similar to a Panera. Squires is also another great place to study. If you need a break from studying, there is also the break zone which is our on-campus bowling alley!
Numerous campus events are also held in Squires throughout the year. Dance Marathon, a fundraiser for cancer, is held here in the ballroom as well as other fairs and club meetings. Overall Squires is the hub of student organizations on campus.
OK behind you there is a crosswalk you can use to cross the street and I'll meet you on the other side of the street to talk about the Cadets.
Squires should be behind you. This is the area of campus that the Corp of Cadets resides in; there are several dorm buildings that they live in which you can see up over the hill. Virginia Tech is very unique in the sense that we do have a Corp of cadets. It's something that we are very proud of and We are one of two schools in the nation that has on-campus cadets. In 1872, Virginia Tech opened as an agricultural and mechanical college and every student was a cadet. The cadets have been around since the beginning and are very instrumental in our institution. General Lane was the commandant of the cadets back then and is known as the cadet’s father. Lane stadium is named after him! If you're interested in joining the Corp or want to know more information about the history of the Corp, their website is incredibly helpful. I would not be able to give all the information and honor that is deserved. If you head to your left and continue straight, we're going to meet at the Pylons.
This is another one of the most photographed spots on campus, the Pylons. It's also a great place to watch the sunset or all the hustle and bustle on the Drillfield. There are 8 Pylons and every Pylon represents one of Virginia tech’s core values: Brotherhood, Honor, Leadership, Sacrifice, Service, Loyalty, Duty, and Ut Prosim. Engraved in the pylons are all the names of Virginia Tech students and graduates who died while defending our nation's freedom since World War One. The final pillar Ut Prosim is our school motto which means “That I May Serve.” Service is very important to Virginia Tech, the greater Blacksburg community, and students here. Every year in April we have an event called The Big Event. It is a student-run day of service that has grown into the 2nd largest event of its kind in the nation. Thousands of students, faculty, and staff come together to complete over 1,200 community service projects throughout Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and the New River Valley. Service was one of the reasons why I chose Virginia Tech because it was so important to them, and me! Now if you just head straight on down the stairs to your right we will talk about the Chapel below the Pylons.
Hi again. Here we are at the War Memorial Chapel. This Chapel is actually below the pylons where we just were, and it's open all the time for student and organization use. The pylons are actually part of the War Memorial Chapel. Fun fact, an urban legend says that the Chapel has a five-year waiting list if you want to be married in it, but I'm not sure how accurate that is like two of my friends got married here last summer. I don't think that they booked their wedding five years in advance. That concludes our quick stop at the Chapel. If you head to your left, with the Pylons and Chapel behind you, and cross the crosswalk, I'll meet you on the academic region of campus.
Hooray, we have finally made it to the Academic side and a big reason why we're all here at Virginia Tech, to get an education. You will spend a ton of time on this side of campus. It has all of the buildings your classes will be held in. If you look straight ahead, you'll probably see some construction, but up the stairs is McBryde Hall which is one of the classroom buildings on campus! You probably will, at least once in your lifetime, have a class in McBryde 100, one of the 500 seat lecture halls on campus.
There is one dining hall on the academic side of campus, Turner, and it is famous for its Qdoba, Jamba Juice, as well as its Peet's coffee and their infamous crepes.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the tour, one of my favorite things about Tech is the campus layout. Every building on this side of campus will be a classroom building. That is why it is called the academic region. The Perry Street parking lot is located behind the buildings and it is the closest place to park on the academic side. A lot of off-campus students park at the Perry Street lot or the Cassel lot. Now we will head straight down the sidewalk to Burrus another one of Virginia Tech's picturesque spots.
Welcome to Burruss! You may have seen this building on VT stickers, pamphlets, or flyers. Burruss is the postcard picture for Virginia Tech along with the Pylons and Torg Bridge.
Random fun fact: the road around the Drillfield that Burrus sits on, is a one-way road! Depending on the time of day that you are visiting you might also be seeing several buses pulling up. Burrus is one of the bus stop hubs. The bus system runs all over campus and travels to surrounding apartment buildings and other off-campus housing locations. BT Transit, the bus service, is free for students when you show your hokie P. The bus system is comprehensive with various routes and numerous buses running throughout the day. Chances are you will probably ride BT transit several times in your time here. It is a very convenient way to get around especially when you are a freshman on campus. Just four more stops until we conclude our tour. If you head to your left and cross the crosswalk, I'll meet you on the other side to visit the Drillfield.
We've been looking at the Drillfield at several points on our tour and we are finally here to talk about it. The Drillfield is the center point of the campus. Every day thousands of students cross the Drillfield to go from one side to another. As you can see, the Drillfield is sunken into the ground. The cadets will tell you that that is because they have done so many pushups on it, that they have physically pushed the Drillfield into the ground. That is actually not the case; it’s just a cause of natural forces.
On a typical day, you can see students on the Drillfield. Some hammocking, some studying, and some playing sports. The Corp of Cadets also does some of their drills on the Drillfield which is how it got its name. Now we will actually get to walk across the Drillfield as you would do every day if you become a student here. Follow the walking directions to the other side of the Drillfield, and we'll meet to talk about War Memorial gym.
Welcome back to the residential side of campus! To your left is War Memorial Gym. War is the 2nd gym on campus, with weights and cardio equipment. It is not air-conditioned, but it is under renovations and will be air-conditioned when renovations are complete! I have not heard what the new features of War Memorial will include but they will definitely be noteworthy! War also has courts in the basement that you can play wallyball and volleyball in with friends or competitively! There are lots of intramural sport options at VT for almost every sport you could imagine! Even innertube water polo! VT also has a variety of club sport options that are more competitive than intramurals but not as competitive as the D1 athletics. Continue straight up the stairs and I will meet you at the top for our next stop!
We are stopping a little short of where the dining hall is but up to your right is D2 dining hall. D2 is the all you can eat dining hall so one swipe in gets you unlimited all you can eat food! D2 has a spectacular brunch on the weekends that is very popular among students. During finals week they also have midnight pancake suppers or breakfast for dinner at midnight! Below D2 is Deet's Place, our on-campus café. They serve coffee, pastries, and desserts. Deets also has an ice cream freezer where they serve up ice cream scoops. Next to Deets is the Hokie Shop which is similar to a 7-11. They have OTC medication, snacks, and even some VT shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc. They also have school supplies! It is a very helpful shop to have on the residential side of campus! If you go up the stairs to your right and then straight ahead, we will pass in front of Deets and the Hokie shop on our way to the next stop! See you there!
Here we are at my personal favorite dining hall, West End! West End is similar to Owens in that it is set up like a food court! West End has a deli that makes really good wraps and sandwiches, a salad place, a pasta place, a burger, and fries place, a smoothie place, and the chophouse that serves meat and veggies! If you find yourself with leftover meal plan money, you can order a lobster dinner from the chophouse! All of the dining halls utilize Grub Hub as the preorder service for your food and you can link your Hokie P to Grub Hub to use dining dollars! There are plenty of places to eat on campus and a wide variety of options to fit all dietary needs! If you continue forward, we will complete our tour at the last stop!
This concludes the end of the tour! Thank you so much for exploring campus with me today! I wanted to talk a little bit about why I chose VT. I’ve touched on a couple of aspects of it, but I was really looking for a school with lots of spirits, big football, and a school that felt like home! I was drawn in by how welcoming and friendly everyone is at Tech and how anyone you talk to is willing to lend a helping hand and serve you. I am from Northern VA, so it was also a good distance from home, but still in state. Of course, our academics are really good too! Every professor here is for you and wants you to succeed. Tech has really become home to me, and I hope it does for you! If you need more information about any aspects of the tour, visit the VT.edu website. If you wish to continue exploring Blacksburg, I recommend eating at Cabo Fish Taco and exploring Main St! I hope to see you jumping in Lane stadium! Thanks, and Go Hokies!!