By Danielle PoloUnigo Campus Rep at Virginia Tech With 21 Hokie athletic teams, an additional 29 club teams, 21 intramural sports and the ever-present orange and maroon attire worn by students daily, it’s clear that sports play a huge role at Virginia Tech. Not surprisingly, the most popular are the football and men’s basketball teams, but as part of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), all Virginia Tech teams get to play against some of the most competitive teams in the country. The impact of sports at Virginia Tech is a huge part of the overall college experience with its traditions, rivalries and the fierce loyalty of current students and alumni. Students came up with several examples when explaining how sports impact VT. Senior James Kim thinks being in the ACC affects not only what teams Virginia Tech is playing, but also leads to higher enrollment of student athletes and students who have an interest in sports. Senior Drew Ramsey agreed. “As a whole, sports at VT increase our visibility as a university resulting in a more competitive admissions process and thriving academic scene,” he said. He also believes that the sports culture here impacts the athletes themselves by “providing an opportunity for student athletes to stay active, network, and develop a competitive drive that will benefit their future.” Senior Amanda Jones, who has always been extremely active in the sports department, said she found that students at Virginia Tech are especially interested in sports. “If there is a football game on a Thursday most professors cancel class…not that that’s a bad thing,” she said. “But I definitely think it has an overall impact on the operation and moral of the University and when athletic teams do well it helps the University do well.” Amanda, along with Drew and James, all touch on the overall theme that VT sports generally affects the University as a whole. Once upon a time, when Virginia Tech was mainly a military school, its main rivalry was with Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Today, perhaps largely due to entering the ACC conference, the University’s main rivalries are UVA, West Virginia, and Miami. These rivalries are most apparent during football games, where students once rushed the field of Lane Stadium after a win over Miami but become dead silent after a loss. Rivalry or not, game days are some of the most exciting and fun days anyone could have. Most all students will spend their day before the games tailgating; regardless of how early it may be. They will tailgate alongside all of the alumni that come into town, some of them for every game of the season. Whether it’s in the exclusive McComas parking lot, in their own backyards, at friends’ apartment or on campus, those at Virginia Tech and the surrounding area are with their friends or family, eating, drinking, having a good time and, of course, hoping for a win.