- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 5, 2003

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Looks like the calendar with photos of scantily clad Virginia Tech students has some competition.
For 2003, the women's studies faculty are offering an alternative calendar that they hope will encourage the predominantly male campus to think differently about female students.
"We do live and work in a society that still celebrates women for their bodies' sizes and shapes," said Martha McCaughey, women's studies program director and one of the calendar's chief coordinators. "We just think that in a university setting … the women of Virginia Tech really should be talked about in terms of their intellect and accomplishments."
Members of Virginia Tech's Women's Studies Program say they have nothing against the women who pose for the unofficial Tech bikini calendar. They just don't want those images to represent all the women of Tech.
"Cool Women of Virginia Tech," a homemade calendar, highlights women who "embody a love of ideas, creative achievement and go-get-em grit," the introductory text reads. It includes historical photographs and facts about Tech's first female students, such as the first black woman, who enrolled in 1966, and the first women's basketball team, in 1923.
The $14 price covers the production and printing costs of the calendar, which also features snapshots of current female students and employees at Tech.
The calendar is a "promotional effort" that is intended to increase awareness of the role women play at the university, Miss McCaughey said, adding that it will help increase her program's visibility.
Once an all-male university, Tech first admitted women in 1921. However, women were not allowed to participate in university activities, such as the Corps of Cadets, as late as the 1970s.
Now, more than 40 percent of Tech's students and more than 30 percent of its faculty are female.
Tech pioneers are featured in the "Cool Women" calendar. This includes Lucy Lee Lancaster, a member of Tech's first class of women who later worked for almost 50 years at the university.
More recent figures highlighted in the calendar are Nikki Giovanni, a poet who has won national awards for her work, and the staff of the Women's Center of Virginia Tech, which provides counseling and educational opportunities to women.
Miss McCaughey and her staff wanted to sell their product with the Virginia Tech name and trademarked symbols on it, so they had to get approval from the university's licensing and trademark administration. This meant taking out some of the project's edgier material, including references to feminism.
Locke White, director of licensing and trademark for the school, said all Tech products go through a review process to remove any material considered a liability risk and "to make sure it represents the university well and does not offend anybody."
Tech licenses only a few other calendars, Mr. White said, and the bikini calendar is not one of them.
Miss McCaughey said her group did not object to the changes.
"They aren't going to license something that offends, and we don't want to offend," she said.
However, the women's studies program members were able to say some of the things they wanted.
For example, in the introductory text they write that they believe the Virginia Tech community would want to honor women "for their intellect, imagination, dedication and determination.
"And hey, unlike a hot nubile bod, women keep these qualities for life. In fact, they get better with age!" it reads.