The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 14, 1978, Image 2

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    Top of the News
The Battalion Monday
Texas A&M University February 13, 1978
Resignations don’t retire the issue
Once upon a time the simple issue was setting
minimum grade requirements for student gov
ernment officials. Now, because of some absurd
misdirection, the student body president and a
vice president have been pressured by the senate
to resign before any minimum requirements have
been established.
To some the resignations are proof that the se
nate has made progress, and that it has served
justice. It has done neither.
The central issue continues to be minimum
grade requirements for office. This issue has been
at the core of student government action since the
beginning of the semester and still no accepted
minimum requirements have been determined.
Instead a charged senate has called for and re
ceived the resignation of its executive officer. For
what purpose? Robert Harvey’s resignation, or
the resignation of everyone in student govern
ment, isn’t going to make the minimum grade
requirement puzzle any clearer.
Commenting on his resignation, Harvey said.
“It seems like this is the only way to resolve the
issue.” On the contrary, it does nothing to resolve
the issue.
Sometime in the future, after all the vacancies
have been filled from the inevitable musical
chairs, the senate will once again be confronted
with the grade requirement problem. Harvey
said, “It’s in the interest of student government to
move on and get something accomplished.” The
way this affair is being handled, the only thing
student government is going to accomplish is in
stallation of new officers. The real problem re
Student government has refused to dispatch
the grade requirement issue, using it instead as a
weapon in a political feud. A student body presi
dent has been pressured out of office for his
grades and no one even knows what those grades
have to be.
It’s time student government quit mutilating
this issue. There have to be rules before there can
be violations. If the senate ever comes up with an
accepted set of rules and officers still come up
short, then certainly resignations are in order.
But not before.
We would urge Robert Harvey and Vicki
Young to reconsider their decisions and not fuel
the senate’s false sense of accomplishment, and at
the same time demand first things first. There is a
time to call for resignations and a time to submit
them. This is not that time.
It is time to simply decide on minimum grade
requirements for student government office. A
2.000 cumulative GPR minimum is the most rea
sonable considering the amount of work required
to perform well in office. But whatever is de
cided, it is not asking the senate too much to
make that simple decision immediately.
Then, and only then, should there be any judg
ing as to who is fit for office.
The nuclear edge needs sharpening
Since the end of the Second World War
the international order has been shaped by
the conflict between the U.S. and the
U.S.S.R. The development of nuclear
weaponry in the same period has given
this conflict an unusual character, i.e. U.S.
policy in this period has been dominated
by hyperactive fear of nuclear war. This
fear has helped make defense spending
unpopular and indirectly helped make
Soviet policy more effective; paradoxi
cally, it may also make nuclear war more
The fear of nuclear weaponry is most
apparent in the much abused concept of
overkill. A common argument asks, why
buy more weapons if we can destroy the
Soviet Union several times over? There
are two things wrong with this reasoning.
First the questionable assumption that we
can destroy the Soviet Union several times
over is made, and secondly it ignores the
fact that Soviet perceptions of our
capabilities are as important, if not more
important, than our actual capabilities.
Our current strategic program is based
on the triad of manned bonihefe^allis'tic
missile submarines and land-based ballis
tic missile systems. Each of these systems
faces the formidable task of penetrating
Soviet defenses, defenses that have been
improved to such a point that we may have
trouble destroying the Soviet Union even
Letters to the editor
The priority they place on air defense is
quite clear if one considers their defense
system in relation to ours: 2,650 intercep
tor aircraft to our 532, 9,500 surface-to-air
missiles to our 330. Granted, the Soviets
face a greater threat from our bomber
force than we do from theirs, but these fig
ures are not useful in raw comparison but
Readers’ forum
as indicators of a) how seriously the Soviets
take air defense and b) the trouble faced
by our bomber force in penetrating Soviet
Our manned bomber, the B-52, was de
signed in the 50s. Consequently, it is at a
heavy disadvantage when facing Soviet de
fenses designed in the early ‘70s. The cur
rent bomber force can carry 1,000 mega
tons, but it is unclear how much of that
would actually reach the target. What is
clear is that unless we modernize the
bomber force, the day is approaching
when we will be unable to deliver that
1,000 megatons.
Our land-based missile system could
also becbrhe'vulnerable. Such public
sources as “Aviation Week and Technol
ogy” regularly reveal Soviet advances in
the technology necessary to destroy our
spy satellites and jam our radars. These
actions if successful would enable the
Soviet Union to launch a first strike that
could destroy our ballistic missiles on the
Our third major strategic system, the
ballistic missile submarines, are less vul
nerable. Even so, Soviet technological ad
vance will soon begin to plague our missile
subs. Not only is there the problem of
Soviet technological advances but without
the backup of the other two portions of the
triad the submarines cannot provide a cre
dible deterrent. The submarine fleet can
only deliver 377 megatons of explosive
power, an amount the Soviets could con
ceivably decide they could absorb with ac
ceptable amounts of damage.
Questions about what the Soviets could
decide are at least as important as ques
tions about our military capabilities. Given
a breakthrough in technology that would
make such a situation possible, would the
Soviets accept the damage involved if they
thought they would be subject to a retalia
tion of only, say, 500 megatons? They
might Well do so given their civil defense
program, our lack of one and the fact that
they suffered extensive casualties in World
War II.
From this it seems that unless we
modernize our bomber force (the B-l),
start the development and deployment of
a mobile missile system to avoid a preemp
tive Soviet attack (the MX program) and
increase the deterrence capabilites of our
submarine fleet (the Trident program), we
will in fact be increasing the possibility of
nuclear war. Unfortunately, this seems to
be the choice of the Carter Administra
tion. The necessary programs have been
either halted outright, as in the case of the
B-l, or stalled.
This strategic mess is compounded by
the inferiority of our conventional forces.
This is the situation.
U.S. U.S.S.R.
Manpower 789,000 2,500,000
Tanks 10,100 40,000
Surface Ships 291 546
Artillery 6,000 15,000-20,000
Though a large amount of this force is
directed against the Chinese, they still
have plenty left over to out-number us in
most of the potential trouble spots around
the globe. This lack of a credible deterrent
allows a more aggressive Soviet Union.
Since there is little reason to risk nuclear
war over small Soviet provocations and
since we have few other means of resisting
such provocations, the Soviets have what
is effectively a blank for minor
provocations, provocations that provide
significant Soviet advances when accumu
Certainly new strategic programs and a
credible conventional weapons stance will
cost money, money that we as taxpayers
would like to keep ourselves. However as
Ronald Reagan has said, “In what precious
coin do we measure-freedom?”
H.E.Mendieta is a junior political sci
ence and economics major. Opinions ex
pressed in this column are the author’s
only and not necessarily those of this pa
Scholarship deadline nearing
The deadline for “Spring Awards Scholarships” has been set for
March 1, 1978. These applications can be obtained in room 3l0ofthe
YMCA Building. Any submitted at the Student Financial Office after
5 p.m. on this date will not be accepted, said R. M. Logan,
director-secretary of the Scholarship Committee.
Former press aide dies
A former press aide to Lyndon Johnson, William Brammer, was
apparently killed from an overdose of thugs, authorities said Monday.
Brammer, 48, author of the political novel, “The Gay Place, ” died at
5:45 p.m. Saturday a few minutes after a friend found him lying in
bed gasping for breath. “Everything at the autopsy suggested it was
an overdose of something,” said Dr. Robert Bueklin, Travis County
medical examiner.
Farm strike claimed media event
Former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz said the current
farm strike is a media event, has little serious support and will end
when it comes time to plant crops this Spring. Butz was in San
Antonio Monday to address the Golf Superintendents of America on
the subject, “I Don’t Want to Live in a No-Growth Society.” He
blamed the current plight of farmers on a no-growth policy of the
Carter administration and said the current Department of Agricul
ture was controlled hy consumer advocates and the Carter energy
policy was dictated by environmentalists.
Crash kills basketball officials
The bodies of two Southwest Conference basketball officials were
pulled from the wreckage of their light plane Monday just a few miles
from their planned destination. The Civil Air Patrol said the orange
Cessna 177 carrying officials Bill Horlen of San Antonio and Jerry
Neeley of San Marcos was found earlier in the day near Wimberly,
about 15 miles from San Marcos. After officiating a game Friday night
at Edinburg between Pan American and Denver University, the two
men left McAllen for San Marcos but never arrived. The CAP
said Neeley was piloting the aircraft.
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Police search for strangler
The special “stocking strangler police task force is investigating the
murder of a sixth elderly woman whose slaying bears significant
similarities to five other victims. Coroner J. Donald Kilgore said
Sunday night Mrs. Mildred Borom, 78, was found in her nightclothes
in a hallway of her small home. She had been dead since sometime
Saturday, Kilgore said — indicating the killer may have struck twice
in one day. Early Saturday, Mrs. Sehwob, 74, was attacked by an
intruder who tried to strangle her. She tripped an alarm, alerting the
special patrol that has roamed the retirement area where the murders
took place in recent months, and the intruder fled.
Aggie s plight sparks gaming challenge
An Aggie from the class of ‘76, Howard
W. Gaddis Jr., needs help. He and his
wife recently had a child that was born
with a congenital defect. The problem re
quired surgery, and the hospital bill was
thousands of dollars more than the Gaddis
family could afford.
In response, the Texas A&M Bridge
Club is holding a special benefit game at
7:15 p.m. on Feb. 22. Players will be ,
asked to contribute one dollar (or more if
they wish), and the entire proceeds will go
to Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis to help pay their
The game will be held in room 212 of
the MSC, and the winning pair will re
ceive a special prize.
If you can play bridge, then this should
be a fun and worthwhile evening. We also
feel that other campus clubs could hold
similar activites for this cause. For more
information call Stuart Walker at 846-3849
or Henry Robin at 846-6772.
— James Knight, ’79
An answer?
With the resignations of Student Body
President Robert Harvey and Vice Presi
dent of Student Services Vicki Young, the
current crisis in student government has
come to an end. However, what has been
For the cynics among the student body,
it is merely more “proof’ that SC is a
farce. Yet the cynic only views reality in as
much as it will justify his opinion. For
those individuals vehemently opposed to
Mr. Harvey’s administration, there are
feelings of accomplishment. Neither res
ignation nor removal can ever be an “ac
complishment". And for some, Robert and
Vicki are martyrs struck down by their
enemies. I should hope this has not been
the case.
So what has been accomplished?
Perhaps an answer. An answer to the
question, “What are the minimum
standards we expect from our elected offi
cials?” A question that the student senate.
Academic Couucii, and eveiiLnuu^ me
administration needs to address. Hope
fully, this question will be answered.
Mr. Harvey and Ms. Young leave be
hind them many accomplishments which
have served to make SC more efficient and
more responsive to the students’ needs.
Student government has shown that it is
capable of solving its internal problems
without the necessity of administrative
intervention. The system works, but a
heavy price has been paid to prove that
point. There is no sense of victory.
Jim Connor, ‘79
Attorney for the Plaintiff,
TAMU Student Body vs. Robert Harvey,
et. al.
GPR okay
Having been intimately involved in the
situation concerning qualifications for
holding office that affronted the student
government recently, I would take this
time for a short comment. I have depleted
all my ammunition, argued all my points
to their extent, and tried to resolve the
situation as best I could in representing
the student body of Texas A&M. My
thoughts are addressed to my fellow Ag
gies and are focused upon one main point.
I ponder the removal (a rose by any other
name would smell as sweet) of two mem
bers of student government for scholastic
deficiency when their overall grade point
ratio is well above the school average.
Perhaps if we force Congressmen out of
office for allowing their checking accounts
to fall below $10,000.00 we may maintain
these values and legalitites. I shall cogitate
upon this matter for a long, long time. I
hope others will do likewise. To those
Senators not in attendance at the last Se
nate meeting (excepting those with ex
cuses), Highway 6 runs both ways.
— Austin Sterling, ‘76
Standing spirit
It is time to stand up for Aggie basket
ball. Aggies have never been known as
fair-weather fans, but this year may be dif
ferent. It is a lean year for Shelby and
Company, but every team has rebuilding
periods. With three inexperienced
freshman and two players coming off prob
ation playing the majority of the game,
who can expect A&M to bring down All-
American powerhouses such as Arkansas?.
Metcalf s young team has shown us that
vuc> compete' with the toughest.
Statistics and win/loss columns don’t show
the intense competitiveness or future
brightness of this talented squad.
However, the dwindling attendance
shows the lack of enthusiasm for the team.
For example, the students at the game
who come only to watch the game, not
cheer their team on, win or lose. Worse
yet, some choose to keep others from
showino' flmir <;r>irit To whom if rhav onn-
cern: we back the Aggies all the way and
will continue to. If standing up at midcourt
disturbs your seated view, go home and
watch the filmed highlights. Or sit in
another more sedate section. But please
let those who do care cheer their team on.
At the Arkansas game in particular,
things got considerably out of hand.
Throwing Battalions, paper cups and cokes
because someone is standing and yelling
for the Aggies is not that “Aggie spirit we
all seem so proud of. At an A&M football
game, even a suggestion of sitting is met
with violent retort. The only difference in
the two sports is the type of game played.
The main point is that an Aggie team is
competing and we should be behind them.
We won’t ask someone else to stand if they
don’t wish to, so please let others continue
to support A&M sports the way they see
— Brian, Vroom, ‘80,
Kevin Juergen, ‘81
Slouch by Jim Earle
\ ^
Heavy snow halts search
A heavy snow postponed the search for 12 persons missing in the
mountain hamlet of Hidden Springs at the Angeles National Forest
Monday in California. The small resort community was destroyed by
a flash flood last Friday. The body of only one woman was recovered
before snow fell. “There’s a foot and a half of new snow at Mill Creek
Summitt,” a sheriffs spokesman said. “That’s very close to Hidden
Springs. It’s too wet and there’s too much snow to search today. Also
missing in the forest are eight members of a ski patrol. “This morning
an emergency services detail, one helicopter and members of the
Sierra Madre and Montrose Search and Rescue Team are en route to
look for them,” deputy Carl Riegert said.
"Somebody up there likes me’
Dave White, one of seven survivors of the crash of a Pacific West
ern Airlines Boeing 737 that killed 41 persons, says he is alive only
because “somebody up there must like me.” An airline spokesman
said Sunday the twin jet carrying 43 passengers and five crew mem
bers crashed and burned while trying to land in a snowstorm at
Cranbrook, 350 miles east of Vancouver. “The pilot was attempting to
abort his landing and crashed to avoid hitting a snowplow on the
runway. That was our first report and it was confirmed later by wit
nesses who saw the crash from the ground,” the spokesman said.
White ,20, a physical education student, was one of six passengers
who survived the crash. He walked away from the wreckage unhurt
except for a pulled abdominal muscle. “All I can think of now is that!
was lucky,” said White, who hoarded at Calgary and sat in the rear of
the plane.
Increasing cloudiness today. Mostly cloudy tonight, overcast
Wednesday turning cooler with a chance of showers. High
today low 60s, low tonight upper 40s. High tomorrow upper
40s. Winds from the north at 10-15 mph with 50 percent
chance of rain tonight & tomorrow.
The Battalion
Opinions expressed in The Battalion are those of the
editin' inr 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-profitself-supporting
enterprise operated by students as a university and com
munity newspaper. Editorial policy is determined by the
Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words and are
subject to being cut to that length or less if longer. The
editorial stajf reserves the right to edit such letters and does
not guarantee to publish any letter. Each letter must be
signed, show the address of the writer and list a telephone
number for verification.
Address correspondence to Letters to the Editor, The
Battalion, Room 216, Reed McDonald Building, College
Station, Texas 77843.
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Texas Press Association
Southwest Journah'sm Congress
Editor JuiWwj
Managing Editor Mary Alice Woi»fri
Sports Editor I’inlAl
News Editors Marie Homeyer. Carol^
Assistant Managing Editor Glenna^
City Editor Karen ft
Campus Editor Kim |
Mark Patterso
Cartoonist . .
Li/ Newlin. David
.. Lee Ro\ Lesehper
Scott Perkins. And'
Paige Beaslex . B«I»A'^
. . Susan Wehh. kri.H«*
Dnujl fa
Student Publications Board: Bob (1 Holies (
Joe Arredondo; Dr. ('•ary Halter. Dr. John " M
Robert Harvey; Dr. Charles McCandless. Dr. CM
Phillips. Rchcl Rue. Director iif Stmlint
Donald C. Johnson