The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, January 24, 1978, Image 2

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The Battalion Tuesday
Texas A&M University January 24, 1978
This is no way to run an airline
The grade deficiency problem that now plagues student senate is hanging
like a brooding cloud. There really should be no reason for it, and we hope the
senate will take appropriate action at the earliest possible date to make sure
that in the future the unpleasant duty of checking grades and removing the
unqualified from office may be carried out without undue embarrassment and
As it now stands, the senate’s constitution does not state whose responsibil
ity it is to check senators’ and student government officials’ grades for qualifi
cation for office. Past procedures for checking GPR’s has set a shaky precen-
dent at best. As they say in the business, this is no way to run an airline.
The current procedure of policing scholastic qualifications leaves too much
to chance. Since the constitution does not specifically require grades to be
checked, the possibility exists for political pressure to quietly quash any
investigation into grade deficiency. And even when an investigation is
opened, as would be expected of such a body as the senate, too much red tape
is involved to make the process quick and efficient.
Under the current constitution it is difficult, if not impossible, for the
student electorate to keep tabs on the qualifications of its elected officials and
those officials’ appointees. Privacy laws, coupled with the present constitution,
work against the electorate’s right to know.
But the constitution also hinders members of the senate. Scholastically
deficient senators and officers hardly can be blamed if they do not report
themselves, if, as some members of the senate have pointed out, the constitu
tion does not clearly state what makes a senator or senate official ineligible for
We hope the necessary steps are taken to amend the constitution to include
an efficient grade-check policy, one that will allow the necessary policing of
student government to be undertaken without the rumor, disparagement and
longevity now marring the current procedure. J.A.
Another run through the canal
We would like to praise Mr. Weaver’s
journalistic skill in his recent (Jan. 20)
editorial on the present Panama Canal
Treaty now in debate. His article con
tained the numerous facts and views to
which we have all been exposed and are
well enough aware of ever since Ronald
Reagan discovered the Canal in his bid for
the presidency in 1976.
If one were to dissect Mr. Weaver’s ar
ticle carefully as have we, who have lived
both within the Canal Zone and the Re
public of Panama, one would wonder
about various points. For example, in one
part of the article, a reference was made to
the Shaw vs. Wilson case. Just what was
the Shaw vs. Wilson case? If it was about
the treaty, was Panama represented, or
were we repeating past errors as when no
Panamanian representative was present at
the making of the original treaty of 1903?
The U.S. representative at that confer
ence, Secretary of State John Jay, re
marked that the treaty was “vastly advan
tageous to the United States, and, we
must confess, not so advantageous to
Panama. ”
If the Panama Canal is sovereign U.S.
territory, then why does the original treaty
state that the United States has a legal
right to remain in the Canal Zone as "if it
were the sovereign of the territory,’ in
stead of “as sovereign?” Is the 1903 treaty
really “quite clear in meaning” as Mr.
Weaver stated?
The past stated editorial also makes a
note for the “benevolent theft” by which
Panama was so-called well paid for the
strip of ground on which the Canal was
built. Is a “benevolent theft any morally
better than a “plain theft?” Is it any less a
ripoff when a thief steals your car but
Headers Forum
leaves your spare on the curb? Also, about
that $50 million a year going to Gen. Omar
Torrijos, will the check be made out to
Torrijos himself, or rather to the Republic
of Panama?
Mr. Weaver also makes note that
“Freedom House, the respected organiza
tion which ranks countries on the basis of
human rights', ranks Panama on the same
scale as the Soviet Union and even lower
than Cuba. Instead of confining the con
sensus to a few countries, we would like to
know the worldwide rank of the Soviet
Union and Cuba. This statement is like
saying that it’s zero degrees outside, but
failing to mention whether Fahrenheit or
One of the biggest topics for debate in
reference to the Canal is the possibility of
the lessening of the security of the U.S. if
the Canal were not turned over to the Re
public of Panama. Nationalistic feeling is
so strong in Panama, that if the Canal were
not turned over by the new treaty, then
surely the people of Panama would think
of taking the issue into their own hands
and resort to guerrilla warfare which
would be quite costly to us since the
Panamanians woidd have the advantage of
fighting within their own country. This
woidd also prove costly to all who use the
Canal since damage to the Canal would
surely be an end result. If the Canal gates
were to be bombed, for example, thus
causing the lake to drain which feeds the
Canal, then a minimum of ten to fifteen
years would be required to have it again
fill to capacity.
The Jan. 20 article also stated that Gen.
Torrijos has broken the present treaty elev
en times in the past ten years, yet no
details were given. This is but another
example of Mr. Weaver’s playing on the
public’s emotions without really giving any
details. Are we to deal in facts, or broad
abstractions such as that used by Mr. Rea
gan with his campaign quote of, “We
bought it, we paid lor it, we built it and we
are going to keep it.”
Has not the human factor been left out
of all negotiations and debates. The
Panamanian people have a narrow strip of
land cutting across “their” country which
is controlled by a “foreign country. While
we all think of the “American pride” at
stake in keeping the Canal, what about the
“Panamanian Pride’ in their getting a
piece of their own land back?
Are the facts so hazy that many of our
nation’s top decision makers are having to
go to Panama and see first-hand the situa
tion as it really exists? What is changing
the minds of such men as: Senate Majority
Leader Robert Byrd of West Virginia,
Minority Leader Howard Baker, Barry
Goldwater, Senator Hayakawa of Califor
nia, and also Lloyd Benson, Democrat
from Texas? Are they some of the same
questions which we have raised in this ar
Stephen Shiner is a senior environmental
science major. Eunice Mahler is a senior
agricultural enginnering major. Opinions
expressed in this column are the authors’
only and do not necessarily represent those
of this paper.
The sun didn’t set soon enough
Battalion Staff
The citizens of Texas have been made the
victims of a gross injustice.
Last week, the Sunset Advisory Com
mission, charged with the duty of review
ing and recommending abolishment of
nonessential state agencies, deemed four
agencies unnecessary to the state’s proper
functioning: The Pink Bollworm Commis
sion, the Burial Association Rate Commis-
The Fighter Side
sion, the Pest Advisory Commission and
the Texas Stonewall Jackson Memorial
What the hell are these Sunset people
trying to do? Don’t they realize how much
sentiment Texans attach to the various
agencies of the state, some of which have
been on the yellowed pages of the Texas
books for decades?
Naturally the Sunset Commission tried
to keep a low profile on their recom
mendations. But the taxpayers of Texas
have a right to know that Stonewall Jackson
may not receive as much recognition in the
future as he has in the past. It is also proba
ble that the state will witness a rise in the
number of uncommissioned pink
boll worms.
Another question: Doesn’t the Sunset
Commission see that if their recom
mendations are followed and these agen
cies are abolished by the Legislature there
will be agency employees out of jobs?
These employees will have to go out and
look for work. And how many openings are
there for people who advise pests?
One solution to this problem might be to
create some new state agencies. Here are a
few suggestions:
The Farm Implement Environmental
Protection Agency. Every farmer knows
how much fuel it takes for his tractor to
plow a 20-acre field. But with their increas
ing travel on the state’s thoroughfares,
formers need to know what kind of gas
mileage they can expect from their
machines on the road. The FIE PA would
establish fuel ratings for tractors in both
city and highway conditions, and list their
findings on all 1978 farm implements.
The Bevo Chip Sanitation Commission.
With all of this famous steer’s by-product
products on the market, the BCSC assures
Texas consumers that they are getting the
highest quality dung possible. The com
mission would also assure that all of this
particular Austin export, be it in jewelry,
framed or bronzed, would contain this
warning: “Mascot manure may be hazard
ous to your health.”
The Texas Pipeline Commission. This
commission would be established to re
search the feasibility of constructing a giant
pipeline across the state. This pipeline
would start in College Station and carry
excess rain water to the West Texas plains.
There the water could be used to irrigate
crops for the farmers to plow under.
The Texas Anson Jones Memorial
Board. Even without his memorial board,
Stonewall Jackson will probably be re
membered, but what of Anson Jones. How
many Texans remember him? Probably
very few, which is as good a reason as any to
create a state agency.
Those Sunset people also had some ques
tion as to the necessity of the staff of the
Texas Navy. They plan to review the Navy
in 1991. The next thing you know someone
will doubt the merits of the Kansas Coast
Letters to the editor
Mud-slinging not part of campaign strategy
We are writing in response to an edito
rial printed in the Battalion Wednesday,
Jan. 18, entitled “Teague’s retirement ex
pected, but sad.” We found several state
ments with which we take exception.
Mr. Cawley stated that Chet Edwards
has participated in “mud slinging.” We
have been associated with the Edwards
campaign from its inception, and to the
best of our knowledge Mr. Edwards has
never participated in “mud slinging. He
is stressing a positive campaign and abhors
this type of campaign tactic.
Mr. Edwards served Congressman
Teague as a legislative aid for over three
years and developed only the utmost re
spect for him. In the same regard, he has
maintained a courteous and considerate at
titude toward his opponents.
While the “mud slinging” type of state
ment is easily made, in the future we
would hope more documentation be
provided before such rumor is printed.
Mr. Cawley’s editorial reflects poorly on
the candidates of this race and on the Bat
talion. Mr. Edwards and other candidates
will gladly provide information to
enlighten both the students and faculty of
Texas A&M concerning this race. We
hope that the Battalion will take better ad
vantage of this information in the future.
—Fred Sutherland, Kathy Dugat
Editor’s note: The Battalion apologizes for
the reference to "mud-slinging,” realizing
the differences in political opinion need
not be expressed "maliciously.” In the fu
ture, any use of the word "mud-slinging”
will be qualified by-example.
Setting priorities
It is my opinion that Joe Reagan’s reply
to the question of the yell leaders being
absent at the women’s basketball game
against Southwest Texas State last Thurs
day night doesn’t seem possible.
Being a senior mechanical engineering
major, I can understand having homework
at the end of the first week of school; how
ever, I did find a little free time for some
recreation. And, I’m confident that the
yell leaders had homework of their own,
but I must point out that as elected repre
sentatives of the student body they are ex
pected to attend the athletic events as
leaders of the Twelfth Man.
Granted, I see how it would not be pos
sible for any of the yell leaders to stay for
the entire game, but perhaps if only one
yell leader attended the first half and
another yell leader the second half, they
might have to stay at most one hour. All
things considered, one hour away from the
books would do little harm to study habits
and the Twelfth Man would make its pres
ence known at both men’s and women’s
basketball games. I’m sure all the yell
leaders would be the first to say that the
Twelfth Man is crucial to the team’s desire
to win.
I would like to join Coach Bender in
thanking the students who lead the yells
during the game for there never has nor
ever will be a time when the Twelfth Man
does not participate in athletic events 100
Granted, they can’t ignore their studies,
but perhaps if something could be ar
ranged so one yell leader attended games
the Twelfth Man would function as it was
meant to do — urge the team onto victory
by a show of student support.
So, come on yell leaders! Get together
and work something out. The Twelfth Man
needs your leadership!
—D.W. Posey, ‘78
by Jim Earle
Top of the News
Women leaders workshop plannei
A Women’s Leadership Workshop will be sponsored by the Stu
dent Activities Office. Emphasis will be on the value of leadership
experiences now and later in life, exploration of what deters women
from seeking leadership positions, women leaders in history, and
assertive and leadership skills. The workshop will meet on five con.
secutive Monday evenings from 6:30 to 8 beginning Feb. 6. Those
interested should sign up in MSC 221 by next Tuesday
American Humanics begins worksh
for mo
It ex
The American Humanics Association begins its spring seminaraud
workshop series Tuesday, Jan. 24. The seminar concerns “Marriage,
Family and Youth Agency Career. It starts at 6 p.m. in MSC
jys fo:
that sf
Torres jury selection begins
Jury selection began in Houston Monday in the trial of four
policemen charged with federal civil rights violations in the beating
and drowning of a Mexican-American prisoner. Terry Denson,
Stephen Orlando, Louis Kinney and Joseph Janish are charged with
felony civil rights violation in the death of Joe Campos Torres. U.S.
District Judge Ross Sterling said the jury would be sequestered for
the length of the trial. Defense lawyer Mike Ramsey predicted jury
selection will take a minimum of one week. The federal grand jury
named a fifth officer fired in the incident; Glenn Brinkmeyer, as
unindicted co-conspirator. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor civil
rights violation in exchange for cooperating with the prosecution.
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Yarbrough jury selection ordered
District Judge Mace Thurman refused Monday to dismiss a perjury
indictment against former Texas Supreme Court Associate Justice
Donald Yarbrough. He ordered jury selection to begin in Austin.
Prosecutors indicated they will press the perjury charge accusing
Yarbrough of lying to the Travis County grand jury. The prosecutionis
expected to contend Yarbrough lied when he told the grandjury hedid
not meet with former associate John Rothkopf at an Austion motel last
May. Tapes of conversations between the two allegedly made at that
meeting by a secret recording device concealed on Rothkopf, are
expected to be used as evidence against Yarbrough. The former as
sociate justice said he will plead innocent to the charge.
id c<
on an
Train spill causes evacuation
Eight cars of a Chessie System train derailed near Baden, W. Va.,
Monday, spilling some 20,000 gallons of a toxic chemical and causing
the evacuation of about 100 persons from their homes. Chessie offi
cials said extreme cold wpather apparendy prevented the chemical
epichlorohyden from vaporizing. But residents living downwind of
the accident were ordered from their homes as a precautionary mea
sure. Officials also were’concerned that the chemical might soak into
the ground and contaminate the water in nearby Point Pleasant. Asa
precautionary measure the city’s water plant was temporarily shut
down. There were no injuries in the derailment and officials said they
“were searching for a cause.
Troopers battle UMW strikers
Alabama state troopers Monday battled striking United Mine
Workers at Mentone; Ala. Using tear gas, they dispersed about 500
miners armed vVith shotguns, ax handles and sticks. In another de
velopment, UMW President Arnold Miller and Vice President Sam
Church revealed the soft coal industry’s latest offer would “virtually
do away with” all pension benefits for 80,000 miners who retired
before 1976. The union reportedly has been seeking a $2.80 raise anda
cost-of-living increase pegged to the consumer price index.
NYC in need of snow equipment
New York City begged private contractors for additional snow re
moval equipment Monday as sunny skies and mild temperatures
brought on a slow thaw. Most of the city’s main thoroughfares were
passable but one official called New York’s side streets a “disaster
area. Mayor Edward Koch pleaded Sunday with millions of commut
ers to use public transportation and leave their cars at home during
Monday’s rush hour. The emergency measures were continued
Monday to facilitate clearing the streets. The Sanitation Department,
hampered by broken-down equipment, pleaded with private contrac
tors to rent the city snow plows and dump trucks. The cost of the
storm for the private sector reached into the millions because of lost
business, collapsed roofs and homes, which suffered damage due to
power outage's.
Kodak violates antitrust laws
The giant Eastman Kodak Co. has been found guilty of monopoliz
ing the nation’s amateur photography business in what a defense
attorney said was an unprecendented anti-trust trial by a U.S. Dis
trict Court jury. Kodak was found guilty of violating federal antitrust
laws in a $300 million civil suit by a comparatively small competitor,
Berkey Photo Inc. of New York. John Doar, Kodak’s chief lawyer,
said the firm would appeal. Damages against the firm, headquartered
in Rochester, N.Y., will be set during another jury trial that is
scheduled to begin Feb. 21. Kodak was found guilty of monopolizing
the amateur markets, but the jury did not find the firm was involved
in an unlawful conspiracy to monopolize.
Widespread fog and cloudy skies. High today in the low-50’s,
low tonight in the mid-30’s. High tomorrow near 50. 50 percent
chance of rain today, tonight, and tomorrow. Winds out of
E-SE at 8-12 mph. becoming northerly at 10-15 mph late this
The Battalion
Opinions expressed in The Battalion are those of the
editor or of the writer of the article and are not necessarily
those of the University administration or the Board of Re
gents. The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting
enterprise operated by students as cl university and com-
mity newspaper. Editorial policy is determined by the
Reed McDonald Building, College Station, Texas
United Press International is entitled exclusive^
use for reproduction of all news dispatches credit^
Rights of reproduction of all other matter herein
Second-Class postage paid at College Station, TX
Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words and are
subject to being cut to that length or less if longer. The
editorial staff reserves the right to edit such letters and docs
not guarantee to publish any letter. Each letter must be
signed, show the address of the writer and list a telephone
n umber for verification.
Address correspondence to Letters to the Editor, The
Battalion, Room 216, Reed McDonald Building, College
Station, Texas 77843.
Re resented nationally by National Educational Adver
tise ^ Services, Inc., New York City, Chicago and Los
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Congress
Editor Jamie
Managing Editor Man Alice "cod
Sports Editor . . Paul
News Editors Marie Homeyer, Carols
Assistant Managing Editor Glenna^
City Editor Karen I
Campus Editor Kim
Reporters Liz Nevvlin.
Boggan, Mark Patterson, Lee Roy Leschpcr Ji
The Battalion is published Monday through Friday from
September through May except during exam and holiday
periods and the summer, when it is published on Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays.
Mail subscriptions are $16.75 per series ter; $33.25 per
school year; $35.00 per full year. Advertising rates fur
nished on request. Address: The Battalion. Room 216,
Photographers Susan Webb, Ken
Cartoonist Doug ft
Student Publications Board: Bob G, Rogers, ('h#
Joe Arredondo: Dr. Gary Halter, Dr. John If. Hi
Robert Harvey; Dr. Charles McC'andless; Dr. Cliii
Phillips; Rebel Rice. Director of Student Publki
Donald C. Johnson.