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The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 07, 1985, Image 1

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Women’s hoop Players discuss future Page 3 1 A&M nips Baylor 1 Brown's 23 points pace win I Rage 10 rw")) Texas A&MV^ m m m % The Battalion Vol. 80 No. 91 CJSPS 045360 16 pages President calls for new ‘revolution’ College Station, Texas Thursday, February 7, 1985 Associated Press WASHINGTON — President Reagan, in his fourth State of the Union address, asked Congress on Wednesday to pass a tax simplifica tion bill that he said would help un leash “the tremendous pent-up power of our economy.’’ Making the annual evening ad dress to both houses of Congress on his 74th birthday, Reagan said “we did what we promised” in his first term, and he described the United | States as “renewed — stronger, freer and more secure than before.” In prepared remarks, Reagan ! barely mentioned the record federal deficit or his controversial budget cutting plan just submitted to Con gress. Rather, he reaffirmed Ameri can support for f reedom movements in Afghanistan and Nicaragua, stressed his proposals for helping the nation’s low-income citizens, anti embraced guidelines f or an overhaul of the tax system. He did not endorse the tax plan put forth by the Treasury Depart ment in December; rather, Reagan said he was directing his Treasury secretary to begin working with con gressional authors and committees to write bipartisan legislation based on principles of “fairness, simplicity and growth.” 1 He provided guidelines that he said would ensure no “tax increase in disguise” — mentioning in partic ular that he would not “jeopardize the mortgage interest deduction” for family homes. He vowed a top tax rate of “no more than 35 percent, possibly lower,” to replace the cur rent top rate of 50 percent. To achieve a lower rate, the plan would trim "many tax preferences,” but he proposed at least two new ones himself — tax breaks for com panies that locate in depressed ur ban “enterprise zones,” and tuition tax credits to help families who send their children to private schools. Even before Reagan made his tax proposal, Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole, R-Kan., said it would be “very difficult” to overhaul the tax system this year, given the law makers’ preoccupation with Rea gan’s proposed spending cuts in the budget the president sent to Con gress on Monday. In his remarks, broadcast nation ally, Reagan declared “d second American Revolution” of hope, op portunity, technological progress See President, page 9 A&M could feel crunch if language bill sticks Photo by WA YNE L. GRABEIN On Top of the World On a clear day, the A&M campus seems to go on forever. Student Senate votes on library bill By D AIN AH BULLARD Staff Writer A House bill proposing a foreign language requirement for students seeking baccalaureate degrees from Texas public universities and col leges could cduse a crunch in Texas A&M’s modern languages depart ment. The bill was introduced in the House Jan. 9, and referred to the Higher Education Committee Jan. 28. It comes at a time when the Texas A&M Faculty Senate is push ing for a core curriculum requiring two years of high school foreign lan guage classes or one year of college- level foreign language classes. Dr. Samuel Black, chairman of the Faculty Senate’s Core Curric ulum Committee, says the House bill emphasizes the need for d core cur riculum. “I think perhaps our proposal for a core curriculum is right in line (with the bill),” Black says. Under the Faculty Senate’s propo sal, students who pass a proficiency test or completed two years of for eign language in high school are not requiren to take college-level foreign language classes. However, Black says the Faculty Senate’s proposal can be altered to accommodate the Texas Legislature’s decision. “If the state modifies (the Faculty Senate’s proposal), we are prepared to deal with it,” Bldck says. Approval of the House bill — or of the Faculty Sendte’s proposal — will create problems beyond adding hours to the average student’s de gree plan. Shortages of space and in structors head the list of potential problems in the modern languages department at A&M, says interim department head Luis Costa. “Obviously, we’d have to expand tremendously,” Costa says. “Con sider the impact, especially on the first-year classes.” The department now has about 2,000 students enrolled in its classes, Costa sdys. If the Legislature’s bill or the Fac ulty Senate’s proposal is approved, enrollment in the depdrtment could skyrocket to 25,000 students, he says. And while other classes can in crease enrollment, the number of students in a language class is re stricted, Costa says. “One of the real problems, faced by the languages department that is not shared by many other depart ments in the University, is restricted class size,” he says. “You cannot hAve a beginning Spanish class with 200 people in it.” Costa says language classes now have about 28 students in each sec tion. The optimum number of stu dents in a section is 20 to 23, so Funding needed for longer hours By JERRY OSLIN Staff Writer The Texas A&M Student Govern ment is considering furnishing funds to pay for extended hours in the Sterling C. Evans Library, the Student Senate’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Tom Urban, said Wednesday night. Student Government is hoping to give the library $1,500-$ 1,700 to help restore the hours that were cut back because of the University’s bud get crunch, Urban said. Urban, who had vacated his posi tion on January 23, decided not to resign so the Senate’s special election for a new Vice President of Aca demic Affairs was cancelled. The Senate passed a hill calling for all colleges to re quire their students to file a degree plan. If an adviser signs a student’s degree plan saying the student is eligi ble to graduate hut makes a mistake, the student will still be able to graduate anyway. In other business, the Senate ap proved a schedule for the Spring 1985 elections. Candidates may begin filing for the elections Monday, Feb. 25 in room 214 of the Pavilion. Hours for filing are from 9 to 4 pun. The deadline is Friday, Mar. 1. General elections will be held on Mar. 27 to Mar. 28. Students may vote in the main lounge of the Me morial Student Center, first floor of the Pavilion and in the A-l Lounge (Northside). The Senate passed a bill creating the Student Athletic Committee. The Committee will help in the pro motion of all men’s and women’s TTI researcher opposes raising speed limit By TRENT LEOPOLD Staff Writer Although Congress will soon con sider raising the speed limit on coun try highways where traffic is consid ered light, Dr. Quinn BrAckett, a senior researcher with the Texas Transportation Institute, says such an action would create enforcement problems on both country highways and crowded freeways where speed limits would remain 55 mph. “Whatever speed limit is set, after a period of time people will begin to exceed it,” he said. “Drivers usually go over the posted speed limit by about 5 mph.” Brackett said if the speed limit is raised on selected roads, there would be a problem because drivers generalize about speed limits. Many people would think if it is acceptable for them to drive at cer tain speeds on some roads, then they should be able to do it on all roads, he said. The National Academy of Sci ences released a report lAst Novem ber which recommends that Con gress keep the 55 mph speed limit on 94 percent of the nation’s high ways. The report also outlines the benefits of the higher speed limits on rural highways and tells why the higher limits would pose safety con cerns. “Lowered speed limits have been shown to save lives since they have been implemented,” Brackett said. “1 think the 55 mph speed limit should be kept. I don’t think raising the speed limit in certain Areas would be a good idea.” Studies in Texas have shown less than 10 percent of all drivers in the state now drive over 65 mph, while 54.9 percent exceed the 55 mph limit. Researchers also have found that compliance with the 55 mph speed limit increases when gasoline prices increase dramatically and decrease when gas prices stabilize or drop. Texas Department of Public Safety officer Greg Riley said an in crease in the speed limit would cause an increase in the number of high way traffic related deaths, but wouldn’t necessarily pose enforce ment problems. “A direct relationship exists be tween speed limits and highway traf fic fatalities,” Riley said. “If speed limits are increased, the number of fatalities also will increase.” When the speed limit was lowered to 55 mph, the number of highway deaths decreased proportionally, he said. “I personally don’t think increas ing the speed limit would be a good idea even if it was on only 6 percent of the nation’s highways,” Riley said. “We all know 55 saves lives. It has been proven. We also know' 55 saves gas. That also has been proven. “Our lawmakers shouldn’t change something that is working well the way it is.” Photo by DEAN SA TIO Congress will soon consider raising the speed limit on country highways. classes are already overcrowded, he says. “Consider 25 people in a lab,” Costa says. “They get to talk two minutes a class, or four minutes a week. That’s assuming the instructor never opens his mouth and everyone knew wnat to say to begin with.” Finding instructors for the addi tional classes would pose another problem for the department, Costa says. For about seven years, there were fewer positions than instruc tors, but the tide has turned in re cent years. “In the past year, and this yeAr es pecially, the number of openings is not a particular problem,” CostA says. Increasing foreign language re quirements will give the modern lan guages department some headAches. But Costa says they can be cured through conditions such as a grand father clause, which would keep the new requirements from affecting all college students at the same time. Costa, who favors the core curric ulum proposal, says the department would enjoy the challenge of in creased enrollment. “College is meant to diversify, meant particularly to open students to ideas they would not come across in their field,” Costa says. “Educa- See A&M, page 9 sporting events and to serve as the liaison between the Athletic Depart ment and the student body. The Senate also passed a bill call ing for all colleges to require their students to file a degree plan. Vice President of Student Services Wayne Roberts said the College of Business currently does not require its students to file a degree plan. By filing a degree plan, the stu dent knows what he must take to graduate, Roberts said. And if an ad viser signs a student’s degree plan saying the student is eligible to grad uate but makes a mistake, the stu dent will still be able to graduate anyw'ay, he said. See Senate, page 9 If speed limits Are increased on certain highways, Riley said enforc ing the new speed limit wouldn’t necessarily be a problem. “If speed limits are increased on rural highways, which I don’t think will happen, the speed limit will be enforcea just like it always has been,” he said. “It won’t mean we will stop doing our job. If people ex ceed tne limit they will be given a ticket.” Senate votes to increase drinking age Associated Press AUSTIN — The Senate on Wednesday voted to raise the drinking age in Texas from 19 to 21, effective Sept. 1, 1986, but the measure may never become law even if enacted by the Legis lature. The bill was sent to the House on voice vote over protests that it sets up a “young-adult Prohibi tion.” Sen. Bill. Sarpalius’ measure had two apparent purposes — to save lives and to avoid the loss of $107 million in federal highway funds. Federal law would reduce the amount of highway funds for Texas in 1987-88 if Texas fails to raise the drinking age to 21. That federal law, which applies to all states, is being challenged in court by South Dakota. Four years ago, Texas raised its drinking age from 18 to 19, and SArpalius said the new bill has identical provisions in that a per son under 21 could sell alcoholic beverAges but could not buy or consume such beverages. The measure was approved only after the SenAte OK’d an amendment, 16-13, that Sarpa lius said would “take out the heart, liver and spleen of this bill.” The amendment by Sen. Chet Edwards, D-Duncanville, has three basic provisions as reflected in Senate debate and an im promptu news conference by Ed wards: • If the federal law should be held unconstitutional by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court before the effective date of the state law, Sept. 1, 1986, the drinking age would remain at 19. • If the state law goes into ef fect and the federal courts later rule the federal law unconstitu tional, the state law raising the drinking Age would expire at the end of the next regular legislative session, unless re-enacted, or about the end of May 1987. • If the federal law is upheld by the courts, the drinking age in Fexas would revert to 19 when the federal sanctions on highwAy funds expire. Currently, that would be Sept. 30, 1988.