Hokie Club Donations in Light of Recent Events

Been a huge fan my entire life. Parents went there around when Beamer got hired and I was indoctrinated in VT fandom from an early age.

Living out of state and being from a big family took attending VT off the table unless I wanted a mountain of student debt instead of a hill.

Been meaning to donate since I graduated and got a job last May, but hadn't gotten around to it. The recent news pushed me to donate earlier than planned.

If anybody else is on the fence, let's help Whit out and show that even if Fuente bails we won't.

I know my miniscule donation won't help much/any, but if enough of us donate it'll at least be a sign of faith in Whit and the program.

Go Hokies!

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Comments

Every bit helps. I actually increased my donation this year in hope of picking up some better seats in the reseating. We shall see...

Love this post and where your head's at. I donated on Monday for the 2020 season before this Fuente Baylor stuff started, but I'm glad to hear others are wanting to step up no matter the outcome of this current situation.

"Now Miami wants to talk about it." *Cue Enter Sandman*

You can't simultaneously complain that Whit doesn't have the money to do X without donating what you can. Just sayin'.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Definitely donate what you can annually. VT has struggled to fund raise historically compared to peers - this has improved with focus and new leadership in the last 5-10 years (per VT giving officer I meet with annually)

The old mentality of "I'm not donating until the product improves" only compounds the challenge. If you love VT and are compelled to support your school donate every year you are able.

Btw - this also goes for the non-athletic portion of our university, which is catching up after years of poorly marketed fundraising. The school itself depends heavily on private funding in addition to state funding (again, per my giving officer I meet with annually)

Beat GT

I donate every year regardless, but I think your point misses a key point in one respect. A lot of the frustration is ACCESS, not solely the product. We interviewed Andy Bitter and asked him about this, he said it has continued to get worse not better. The Spring Game not being televised. The closed practices. No more one on one player interviews.

I am not arguing that there aren't some, if not many, that take the position you have referenced, but for content providers that I think (maybe I just hope) make being a part of VT football more fun, frustration also comes in a different form.

@hokie_rd

Anyone see that Clemson 4 or 5 part series on ESPN? Thought it was amazingly well done. Warm. You felt, despite what the reality may or not be, that people in that program really enjoyed and liked one another. You are either cultivating this type of culture or you are not. You are either providing glimpses of this culture or people assume the worst.

We don't need to be a daily part of it. But I'd like to think it is happening and at least represents a school where so many are happy to go and work their arse off to create a better future while having a little fun.

Time to circle the wagons!

You can donate a single dollar per month if you want. Just start.

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Every penny helps. Thanks for being a Hokie

Hokie Club member since 2017

I have said this for awhile that the Hokie Club needs to come up with some other benefit than ticket priority to really keep the out of state donors engaged. Even if it was a simple invitation to a meet and greet with coaches of teams after games in the local area (i.e. if volleyball plays a road game at GT) blast an invite to all HC members in the area and the 20 highest ranked members of the HC that RSVP get to attend.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Hear, hear.

From a fellow out-of-state Hokie Club member.

I'd like better priority/notification/access/parking to the few games within my driving area, mostly away games.

Maybe throw some bling our way that the folks in Virginia don't get.

Targeted emails of upcoming VT athletics events in your area is interesting and a really good idea.

In terms of tickets/parking for away games, VT doesn't have much control over giving it to you (but could improve on giving you the info). The only sport for which VT gets an away ticket allotment (outside a small allotment for player/staff families) is football, and those are sold to Hokie Club members based on priority. A lot of times that allotment doesn't sellout. But I think that is fair - even if I don't live near an away game, if I want to go and have donated a lot of money, I should get a priority benefit for that. That said, hardly any athletics events sellout, so you can pretty much always get tickets, and other than football and men's basketball they are free or a nominal charge (heck, even a lot of away FB and MBB you can get into for next to nothing sometimes). So it's more about knowing there is a game/match in your area than anything. I do think it would help for VT to institute that sort of "upcoming VT athletics events in your area" email and then include the info/links to the away team's ticket office site, the event page on VT's secondary market partner, and the away team athletic site's parking info page. It would take some legwork from the athletic department to compile, but if you make it as easy and convenient as possible for Hokies to attend, you'll get more away game support. As someone who goes to a lot of away events, the legwork of tracking down parking info for some schools/events is often a lot more difficult/annoying than it should be.

I do like the idea of sending car magnets or something to OOS Hokies so they can rep wherever they are.

I've been pitching my idea for three years now:

Every Hokie Club member has access to online or is sent a calendar that list EVERY event sporting and none in their geographical area. For example the softball team is coming to Jacksonville end of February only reason I know is because my chapter president has a friends whose daughter plays on the team. Now as the social media chair I'm working on getting emails, social media posts and even one poster for a meeting made up to get people out to the event.

So the online calendar would be the easier path since sometimes events get moved or for playoffs are last minute adds. You have a calendar you go online put your zip code in and set a distance from search and BAM every Hokie event right there with links to buy tickets or how to watch on your TV/streaming.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Yeah there is a calendar on HokieSports and their app but agree it would be a great feature to allow you to filter based on ZIP and proximity.

I think an email digest push would still be good as well, because some people aren't necessarily going on the website or app thinking "hey I wonder if there are any events near me, let me go look". But if an email hit their inbox telling them, they might go.

They do this already. I paid $35 to meet Fuente in Atlanta last year.

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As much as I hate to say it Virginia tech has taken some turns in the wrong direction culture wise and I am not personally participating but I wish them the best and hope they take a turn back towards tradition

But can't you make it to where your dollars go strictly towards to football? I heard somewhere(might have been here) that a few of the non revenue sports have big time donors.

You can earmark it for whatever you want. Once they stop pissing me off I'm going to go back to the EE department first then football.

One incredibly stupid thing they have been doing is targeting fraternities and kicking them off. When they kicked mine off I followed the process and saw both sides and they were targeting. Bad way to piss off alumni sever my connection to campus and current students. I used to donate every month and go back every year and mentor. Haven't been back since. :(

Why did they kick them off? I haven't kept up with it specifically but I know that someone died a few years back at Radford over a Fraternity incident. As I recall it was an "off campus" fraternity (i.e. not part of the PHC) but it was still a fraternity...im just curious as I knew more about the fraternities when I was at Radford (back in 2003) than i do now..

They are now kicking fraternities off for multiple small violations a la deferred suspension etc. for example a pledge freshman drinks an extremely reasonable amount of alcohol (it happens) and goes back and gets busted. They start questioning him and asking about whose party it was etc.

They are straight going after a lot of groups.

Big bad stuff etc I get but the micro stuff and getting into that is a gross over reach of their role and regardless of principle or law it just factually cut off my connection to campus.

I'm not taking a simply ideological stand, I am just not adding people who go there on my Facebook or LinkedIn anymore and it's disappointing.

Oh ok...well thats stupid of the university to do that

It's about limiting liability. Fraternities are great, big unknown liabilities. They (nationally and collectively) have gained a reputation as irresponsible and have produced a lot of really bad situations. Even if a particular frat is totally fine, and nothing different happens than any other group of college students, they have a label that has been associated with very negative events. So, from a business and litigation point of view, they are a threat to the administration.

Not particularly fair, but also not surprising.

Get Angry, Bud!

No they aren't. Trying to own them and bring them "on campus" was the liability in the first place instead of allowing students to exist and have lives outside of the university.

Bad decisions all around and in general the university is losing a grasp on what the scope of its mission and core purpose is. It is a gross over reach.

Regardless like I said mine wasn't an idealogical stand it was a natural progression something like being cut away.

I mean, if they are officially recognized organizations, then the university has some liability for their behavior. If a kid dies because of some party in a house in Blacksburg, there isn't a case to sue the school. However, if a university sanctioned organization hosts a party and a kid dies, there is a potential litigation.

A few really bad incidents have poisoned the reputation of all frats in the eyes of risk-averse people. Kicking the frats off campus and removing their official recognition is the only way for the university to "wash their hands" of anything that could happen. It's screwing over frats that just want to hang out and have a good time, but they figure the potential loss of money from a lawsuit is much higher than the loss of donations from former fraternity members.

Get Angry, Bud!

Totally agree with VTEE here since mine was kicked off for the most bullshit reasons. VT is acting like the NCAA does to football programs out of line with some made up rules. The IFC is a kangaroo court that moves the goal posts whenever it wants.

In response, many of the fraternities and even a few sororities have now become clubs that have no association with the school. Thus they don't participate in many of the school-sponsored events like they used to. What does VT do? Claim the clubs are dangerous and denounces the students joining them. The school holds fraternities to a different standard than any other group or club and it makes no sense whatsoever.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

The stupidity in all of this is that most fraternities have liability insurance and risk management programs to attempt to corral the behavior of 19-22 year olds. The kids will find a party and underage kids will find a spot to drink, what would be better, an organization under the college's purview with programs in place to mitigate the risks of common college behavior or kids at an off campus apt/house with no over site doing the exact same things as fraternities.

The general assumption among the public is that fraternities and sororities are outliers in terms of risky behavior, but in reality they are in line with the general student body. The difference is, it becomes a lot harder to draw any correlations between incidents from all the apartments and off campus houses that throw parties vs being able to label a few of them (greek) and keep a tally. If a student is drunk and is killed by a car after illegally crossing the street following an apartment party, nobody goes after whoever the renter/landlord/etc is, that is just an unfortunate incident following common college behavior. If the same incident happens after leaving a fraternity event, the university gets involved, media shitstorm, parents sue, etc.

What is going to happen is these groups will be unofficial and off campus like in the 70s when all of the made-for-hollywood stuff went down, and it will be much worse from a safety standpoint

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

The general assumption among the public is that fraternities and sororities are outliers in terms of risky behavior, but in reality they are in line with the general student body.

Bingo.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I agree with pretty much everything you said, but that is honestly exactly why VT is getting more strict and disciplining more organizations. If the organization is dissolved it significantly limits the university liability. If someone dies at a random house party, that person might get sued but the university is in the clear. If someone dies at a fraternity party, the frat leaders, the frat, and the university are all getting sued.

Btw, you're probably aware this isn't a VT-centric issue. This is happening nationwide and a growing number of schools are eliminating their greek system entirely.

I agree with you that just by dissolving an organization it doesn't make students safer and I'll buy your argument that in some situations it could actually lead to more unsafe conditions because they are participating in activities that are no longer regulated under university policy.

If that negatively impacts your decisions to financially support the university, I get it, but I would respectfully hope that none of that would impact someone's decision on whether or not to support the athletic department.

The difference, of course, is that Fraternities and Sororities are organized, so that has an amplifier effect on whatever behavior they are encouraging.

So I can see giving them credit (or blame) for the activities they help organize.

Some of the UVa stuff was definitely cringeworthy (or legally perilous), and needed to stop.

What's the secret to donating monthly? I'd sign up for $50/month but I'm not smart enough to figure it out.

I go to the Hokie Club page (https://hokieclub.com/ways-to-give/how-to-give/) and go down to HokieMatic to setup a monthly donation and it sends me to a 404 error page. Apparently it's a PDF though? Do I need to fax them my bank info to setup a monthly donation? That can't be right. And why can't it be done via credit card?

I mentioned this in another thread when I tried to donate last year - there are several local non-profits (one with ~12 employees) where I was able to sign up to donate monthly (via credit card) in about 30 seconds.

I could do it manually every year but wouldn't it be in their best interest to set up a recurring donation? That way I can set it and forget it and just let it go forever? What am I missing?

I just tried to do the same thing, it goes to a PDF where you fill in your bank info and mail it in with a voided check. It's 2020 and we're a tech school for God's sake, there's no reason I shouldn't be be able to do this online. Plus I haven't written a check in over 5 years and have no idea where my checkbook is....

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

Maybe that's part of the problem. I was wondering if what we needed was some additional staff (and now maybe some tech help) in the fundraising department. There are so many tech solutions available out there that could be used for this, it is surprising that there isn't an option to do it online.

Maybe that's part of the problem. I was wondering if what we needed was some additional staff (and now maybe some tech help) in the fundraising department.

It is one of the problems that could easily be fixed. No more staff is needed. The staff is already on campus....STUDENTS.

Have the students work on improving this type of thing for a senior design project. They are millenials, know to work on computers and design this type of thing in their spare time. My cousin is an 18 year old freshman on campus and got national recognition for somehow molding together two types of video games online. It was all over youtube and bunch of video game sites.The kid did this in his basement. I'm sure he could fix this issue with his eyes closed and you could make it part of a class. Now this leads me to the most frustrating question of all...

Why is this so incredibly difficult for Sands, Whit, and the AD to figure out and implement?

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

They are millenials

Nitpicking, but current college students are Gen Z. Millennial quit meaning young person a few years ago.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Correction: The current generation, my cousin included, whatever they are called, are really fucking good with computers.

-34 year old dude.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I forgot about that. Great idea having this be a senior design project. Could get students from the business school, communications, computer science all together for ideas/solutions (beyond just a payment portal). I like where your head's at!

Thank you. I've posted it on several threads but don't seem to get much response except for Fireman disagreeing with me. I think we could use the students, copy as much of IPTAY or another really successful donation program and then the students "own" it and can be proud of it. "Hey man, for my senior project we designed Virginia Tech's Hokie Club donation portal. Go check it out after you chug your beer." It's going to get more eyeballs and interest in the HC, especially from the younger generations, with a user experience that they want and likely top of the line. The old balls get a legit way to donate without any problems.

The student experiment can't be any worse than it already is.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I think real world senior projects are a great idea. They give kids experience they can put on their resumes when they might otherwise have nothing, the university gets the benefit of sharp kids coming up with ideas, etc. You could maybe argue not for a class depending on grading because not all ideas might work. Potentially a contest as well. I like the idea a lot.

Have the students work on improving this type of thing for a senior design project. They are millenials, know to work on computers and design this type of thing in their spare time. My cousin is an 18 year old freshman on campus and got national recognition for somehow molding together two types of video games online. It was all over youtube and bunch of video game sites.The kid did this in his basement. I'm sure he could fix this issue with his eyes closed and you could make it part of a class.

As someone who works in software, there's a big difference between just building something for yourself, and building a product for consumers to use. It's a completely different mindset/skillset that 99% college kids have not yet developed (no pun intended). VT's CS program doesn't teach the newest languages and best practices (based on my experience with graduates) and most of it is very theoretical in nature. Ideally, you also need UX Researchers to help understand user behavior, and product managers/owners to support the developers, manage the backlog, manage stakeholders, etc. There's other outside technical challenges - security, integration, etc. And before you say 'oh they can just get guidance from teachers' - most professors don't have much industry experience; their experience is in research/academia - they might not be a great resource here.

TL:DR - contrary to popular belief, building software that actually solves problems for people is (almost always) so much more that a couple engineers coding in a basement. This isn't something that students should be owning.

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Thanks for the insight. I know nothing about software short of designing my own websites on squarespace.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

This. Now, there is certainly research that could be done by the students, but trusting software development part to them would be a mistake. There just isn't enough time to have a completed product during a single semester that also goes through the necessary testing and quality rigor. There is also a mindset difference between passing a class, and building something with real utility.

Now, there is certainly research that could be done by the students

Agreed. Students from the school of design could research issues and make recommendations. A good CS project would be a feasibility study. But in no way should students be building this project.

There is also a mindset difference between passing a class, and building something with real utility.

1000% true. From what I've seen, it takes time in the working world for graduates to develop an understanding on how to approach ambiguous/open ended problems. Part of that is learning to abandon that 'get the grade' mentality.

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I work in software as well as a quality engineer. I'd agree that the students shouldn't be in charge of a project like this, but I do think there are a few roles where an intern-level SE could fit in. For a project like this, I think we'd be able to handle comp sci/comp eng students so long as a seasoned senior software engineer/architect lead the effort to make sure the code satisfied general requirements for quality and security.

I do think, though, that some UX students would be able to bring a bunch of fresh and creative ideas to the project, again, so long as as an experienced mentor was on the project as well.

Could be a fun and interesting opportunity for some kids.

It's a direct deposit from your bank account so they need the routing and bank information. Thus the voided check.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

That info is also available via banking websites (at least the handful I use).

That info can definitely be provided without having a physical check.

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

Just this month I've had to give voided checks to both my youngest's preschool and the two middle kids gymnastics.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

And just this month I was able to sign up for online bill pay for my electric and switch my direct deposit for work without it. All you need is account and routing number. There's no need for a voided check.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

There are open source (FREE) payment services that will do this without the need of a check.

Are they external to Tech? If so, can you still specify use of the donations?

Sorry. That could have been confusing.

I was just saying that there are free (or extremely cheap), much more modern payment processing or ACH IT services that the Hokie Club could be using and integrating into their site. They're not, unfortunately and using antiquated IT, which requires someone to send in a physical check. Until Hokie Club pulls their IT out of the late 90s, you'll have to follow whatever rules they've got. The sad part, is these are easy changes to make.

I think some of us started sending messages to the Hokie Club 5 years ago on easy improvements to the donation system. My hope is dwindling that we will see it improve any time soon.

@hokie_rd

I work in the banking industry and one of the things that has come up is that we should never make it hard for people to give us money. I know there is a better way to make a direct deposit. No one has to use voided checks these days. I can't even remember the last time i wrote a check. I think it was to pay my HOA dues or something last year and even then that was an official check.

Well, that's embarrassing. It shouldn't be this hard.

Glad to see nothing changed. I emailed them about this at the deadline last year about how terrible the experience was and that they were missing out on a significant chunk of change by making this process so painful. Never got a response. Hence, they still don't have my money.

It's possible to do a monthly payment with a credit card, with several caveats. It's only available for Hokie Scholarship Fund donations (not sport-specific) and it looks like you can only set it up thru the end of the giving year (3/30). It's definitely not intuitive how to do it, but here's how:

  1. Go to hokietickets.com
  2. Login to your account (or create one if you don't have one)
  3. Top Menu - click "My Account" > then click "Manage My Account"
  4. Donations Box (bottom right) - Select "Make a Donation"
  5. Pick Hokie Scholarship Fund option.
  6. On the donation page, enter your amount and then at the bottom, click the option to "Pledge now and pay the balance later". Also, if you find this helpful, if you'd be so kind as to click "Add Comments" and in the box write "Hokie Club Rep - Pete Gingrich" that would be awesome. I'm not paid staff but a volunteer and try to help Hokie Club where I can. If I get enough referrals in a year, I potentially get rewarded with a few bonus priority points added to my account. You can also reach out to me anytime with Hokie Club questions at hokieclub.pete[at]gmail(dot)com
  7. You'll get a confirmation page. Go back to My Account > Manage My Account
  8. In the Donation box, pick "Set up a Payment Schedule"
  9. You should see the pledge you just setup. Click the checkbox.
  10. This will give you an option of frequency (Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual, Annual) and payments. Pick your options and click Calculate and Next. Note - It will only let you setup a recurring donation thru the end of this giving year (3/30/20). So I believe you'd need to set this up again in April. If you pick Monthly and Calculate, it will show the amount and schedule. Because there are only 3 months left in this giving year, if you pick 3 or more months, it's going to only split it over 3 months.
  11. You'll get the page to enter your credit card info. Then click submit.
  12. You'll now be charged on that schedule.

They just moved the donation functionality into this site a few months ago, so I'm not sure how things will rollover on 4/1. If I had to guess, I think it will likely sign you up for the same Pledge amount for next year (which does not actually obligate in any way and you can modify) but I bet you'll likely need to setup the payment schedule again. I'll need to check into that and can get back to this board with the answer. I will also pass along to Hokie Club staff that the recurring donations needs to be a much easier process. But this is how you can do it for now.

One of my gripes is the donation required for 2020 has to be in by March 31st of 2020 for seating purposes. But if I donate monthly, it is going to split over multiple tax years as it is currently set up. I would rather them change it to the donation is due by the end of the year so I can break up my payments (Silver Hokie, used to be gold until the bracket change) over the year rather than massive payments split up over 3 months.

What I've done in the past is setup a monthly donation in April, that way it splits it evenly over the year. Even if the giving year and calendar year doesn't line up, that lets me budge it to a consistent monthly amount (assuming I plan to donate the same amount year-to-year).

FYI, if you buy season tickets, the part of your donation towards your seat minimum is not (technically) tax-deductible as of 2018. That change was part of the big tax reform bill that passed in 2017. Not trying to be the guy telling anyone how to do their taxes and the chance of being audited on that is very low but just passing along as a friendly FYI.