The Cyberspace Chapter of the Hokie Club
by Sandy Cormack, 1/22/99

Note from Will:  most Special Features at HokieCentral are for entertainment, but this one is more informational.

A topic that is often discussed here at HokieCentral is the importance of giving, in particular, the importance of giving to the Hokie Club, or the VTAF (Virginia Tech Athletic Fund).  In a day and age where Jim Weaver is increasing salaries to keep Tech's football coaching staff intact, it is more important than ever that Hokie fans show their appreciation and their support by donating to the Hokie Club.

It is Hokie Club donations, and Hokie Club donations alone, that paid for the Merryman Center, Tech's new athletic facility that is playing a big part in the great recruiting classes Tech is putting together, not just in football, but in all sports.

In the future, Hokie Club donations will play a big part in the expansion and renovation of Lane Stadium, a massive project that will take tens of millions of dollars over the course of many years.

In the face of all this pressure to raise more money and keep Tech athletics moving forward into the next millenium, a unique venture has finally been launched:  a "cyberspace," or Internet chapter of the Hokie Club.  The brainchild of HokieCentral member Sandy Cormack, who posts on the HC message board as "Baltimore Hokie," the cyberspace chapter of the VTAF is long overdue and will serve a valuable purpose in Hokie Club fundraising.

At this point, I'll let Sandy take over and introduce you to his pet project.   It's a venture that I'm sure Sandy will find very rewarding, and the VTAF won't regret its venture into cyberspace.


A few months ago, I had an idea.  I thought I could use the internet to increase membership in the Hokie Club (VTAF).  I knew that many (including me) decided to join the Hokie Club solely because of our online activity at HokieCentral.  But there was still a problem that I felt was not being addressed.  Those lucky enough to live in areas with active Hokie Club Chapters get all sorts of benefits - golf outings, guest speakers from the VTAD and VTAF, inside information, etc.  Those that do not get nothing, or get whatever they DO get secondhand.  And I knew that HokieCentral did not have access to these 'insider' personnel.  To me this created groups of 'haves' and 'have-nots' in the Hokie Club.

So I came up with the idea of creating a Hokie Club chapter based solely on the internet.  It would have a web page and use the internet for all chapter functions - membership drives, meetings, interviews, etc.  It would leverage the existing Hokie online community, to avoid duplicating effort, but it would also have access to the things HokieCentral didn't.  In short, it would complement the existing Hokie web sites, and hopefully attract new Hokie Club members.

After bouncing this idea off the HokieCentral message board (and getting a favorable response), I contacted the VTAF and explained my idea.  To my surprise, they were very enthusiastic about the it and assigned a staff member to help me flesh out the structure.  Everything is now in place, so we decided to have a bit of a 'coming-out' right here on HokieCentral.  So, without further ado (cue trumpet fanfare): The web page of the Cyberspace Chapter is now open for business.

What the Cyberspace Chapter IS

The Cyberspace Chapter is a Hokie Club Chapter open to anyone who has an internet connection (web access and email).  The Cyberspace Chapter FAQ explains the ins and outs of membership.  The web site features online interviews with members of the VTAD and VTAF, a mailing list server, FAQ's for both the Hokie Club and Cyberspace Chapter, a chat room, and links to and official VT web sites. And, I will even have a section devoted to letting me ramble incoherently about whatever interests me at the moment ;).  Some of the features are open to Hokie Club members only (that's ALL Hokie Club members, regardless of Chapter affiliation).  The rest is open to everyone.  The site also contains detailed information on how to join the Hokie Club, and promotes the hell out of Hokie-Matic, the newest and easiest way to join.

What the Cyberspace Chapter is NOT

The Cyberspace Chapter does not provide news (much), recruiting scoops, message boards, or a history of VT athletics.  These things exist on HokieCentral and other web pages.  The webmasters of these sites do a very good job at obtaining and maintaining this type of information. The Cyberspace Chapter home page will link to these sites, so everyone visiting our home page will know where to get these kinds of information. If you'd like to have your web page linked, please email me.   I would hope you would link your pages to ours as well.

In this way, members get the best of all worlds - goodies normally available to geographic Hokie Clubs, and convenient access to the online Hokie community.  I want to be able to say to anyone who visits the site: "This is everything the online Hokie community has to offer, and, by the way, this is how you join the Hokie Club too."

Membership Issues:  How We Fit in With the Geographic Chapters

If you are a Chapter President or Hokie Rep, please feel free to encourage your members to visit our site.  All Hokie Club members are welcome to partake in anything we offer there (unless noted in the FAQ).  If your Chapter has a web page, let me know and I will link to it from our site.

When I introduced the idea of an internet-based Hokie Club chapter, several HokieCentral regulars asked, "What if I want to transfer my membership from my regional chapter to your chapter?"  This is a potentially volatile issue, as you might imagine.  Since it knows no geographic boundaries, the Cyberspace Chapter carries high potential for 'stepping on the toes' of the other Chapters.  The VTAF and I have developed basic membership/participation criteria that we hope minimizes conflicts in this area.  Please read the aforementioned Cyberspace Chapter FAQ, and if you have any further questions email me offline.

But one thing I want to emphasize now is that this Chapter does NOT exist to take existing members from other chapters, nor to take potential new members from areas served by an existing chapter.  In fact, I think that the Cyberspace Chapter web site will serve to increase membership in ALL Chapters, because of the way we have written the membership criteria.

Joining the Cyberspace Chapter

If you are not currently a Hokie Club member, and fit the criteria detailed in the FAQ, you are eligible to join the Cyberspace Chapter today.  Go to the web site, download the Hokie-Matic form, follow the directions, and in a couple of days you'll be a member.  Simple, simple, simple.

With regard to my day-to-day dealings on HokieCentral - expect no changes, except I will include my email address and a link to the Cyberspace Chapter web site with every posting I make, sort of as a 'signature.'  I will also post whenever there is a significant event, like a new interview or a chat session coming up.  However, I do not want to do 'business' on the message board.  I will NOT post on the message board to troll for members.  Please email me offline with any questions or membership requests.

And I have one request - I NEED A LOGO for the web site.  I have no skill with image processing software.  If you would like to create a logo for the web site, drop me a line.

Sandy Cormack, aka Baltimore Hokie
Cyberspace Chapter President/Hokie Rep


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