The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 16, 1980, Image 1

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    The Battalion
Serving the Texas A&M University community
Vol. 74 No. 75
8 Pages
Tuesday, December 16, 1980
College Station, Texas
USPS 045 360
Phone 845-2611
The Weather
Yesterday Today
High 60 High •. 65
Low 46 Low 46
Rain none Chance of rain none
ern °n Sitii j
abinet decisions
ay take more time
United Press International
S ANGELES — Ronald Reagan seemed surprised when
d why he named Jackie Presser to a key transition post and
he was unaware of allegations the Teamsters official had been
id to organized crime.
eagan, who spent Monday at his ranch near Santa Barbara,
| indicated he may not be able to finish naming his Cabinet by
|k’s end, as he had hoped.
e president-elect was at his Los Angeles home today, relax-
nd going through mounds of paperwork, aides said. He also
ned trips to his barber and tailor.
he Washington transition office Monday announced the
intment of Presser, a Teamster vice president, as a senior
omic adviser.
resser is a former trustee of the scandal-scarred Teamsters
litral States Pension Fund, which is the target of a government
nismanagement suit, and his name came up last year in a criminal
onfessed Mafia hitman James “Jimmy the Weasel” Fratianno
ified in San Francisco that Presser was associated with orga-
d crime in Cleveland.
ie Teamsters are one of two major unions to endorse Reagan,
ind its officials are reported to be taking a major role in helping
e Reagan’s choice for secretary of labor. The transition team
Jso appointed Teamster President Frank Fitzsimmons as honor-
iry labor chairman for Reagan’s inaugural.
Asked by reporters if he was aware of the question about
’resser, Reagan said:
“No, I was not aware of that, and if that’s true, that will be
investigated and brought out.”
Only a few hours earlier, Presser told reporters, “I’m positive a
U. S. president would not make an appointment without checking
the background.”
Reagan told reporters, “I don’t know what the connection is
there. Mr. Presser happens to be an official of the Teamsters
organization in Ohio. I think it is a legitimate contact with labor. ”
Reagan, who still must name seven more Cabinet members and
a U. N. ambassador, indicated he may not be able to finish the job
this week.
“We hope to be able this week to have at least some more
announcements, whether all of them or not, I don’t know,” he
Reagan originally had hoped to name his Cabinet by the first
week in December, but because of lengthy security checks and
indecision on both sides it may be Christmas before the appoint
ments are completed. t
The key unfilled job is secretary of state, for which Alexander
Haig is the likely choice, according to reports. Asked if he had
decided on Haig, Reagan said Monday with a smile, “We ll find
out some time this week, won’t we? Really, we will. I hope the
next couple of days we will be able to announce some more
positions. Maybe that will be among them. "
Haig is controversial because of his role as Richard Nixon’s last
chief of staff during the Watergate scandal.
'rice hike to take effect Jan. 1
Saudis increase oil $2 barrel
United Press International
BALI, Indonesia — Saudi Arabia in-
Ised its oil price $2 a barrel at the OPEC
i(lmit and announced a “broad agree-
int” by other members on increases that
iukl send oil up by $3 to $40 a barrel. The
s mean at least 2 cents more a gallon for
line and heating fuel for U.S. con-
^amani didn’t give a figure for the Saudi
lease, but Venezuelan Oil Minister
berto Caldefon Berti and Iraqi dele
tes said the Saudis agreed to hike the
lice of their benchmark oil from $30 to $32
ler barrel.
Feachcr competency testing to face fight
The current top price charged by some
OPEC member nations, including such
major suppliers of oil to the United States
as Nigeria, Libya and Algeria, is $37 per
Conference sources said it was likely that
figure would go to $40, meaning a $3 in
crease above the $37 for the largely African
crude oil.
The Saudis supply about a fifth of U. S. oil
supplies; Nigeria, the second largest U.S.
supplier after the Saudis, provides 16 per
cent; Libya 10 percent and Algeria 9 per
The new price range of $32 to $40 for
OPEC oil is expected to take effect Jan. 1.
United Arab Emirates Oil Minister
Mana Saeed Al Otaiba canceled a planned
meeting with reporters because of the top-
level huddle in which the ministers left
their aides outside and moved from a res
taurant into a smaller cottage to talk prices.
Delegates said a price agreement would
enable OPEC to implement a long-term
pricing strategy linking oil prices to infla
tion rates, while assuring consuming na
tions of stable supplies.
Yamani has favored such a plan, but In
donesian Oil Minister Subroto asked rhe
torically during a press conference Monday
“how many inflation rates are there.”
Jump for joy
Photo by Laurie Allison
A happy Bryan Ellis leaped with joy last Thursday after
finishing his last class of undergraduate study at Texas
A&M University. Ellis, a pre-dental major, said he has a
long way to go, “but it’s one step closer to home.”
United Press International
AUSTIN — Public school teachers in
exas can expect a significant pay raise from
1981 Legislature, but they may also get
[mething they hadn’t bargained for — a
uirement that they pass competency
ests on basic skills and the subject matter
-Competency tests for teachers have
We<ln®M leen recommended by Gov. Bill Cle-
iments'Advisory Committee on Education,
iHouse subcommittee, the State Board of
iflucation and the Commission on Stan-
ards for the Teaching Profession, which
ecommended a $1 million appropriation to
Igin the testing program in 1981.
But proposals for mandatory competen
cy testing for teachers are expected to face
tough opposition when the Legislature
convenes Jan. 13, primarily from the in
fluential Texas State Teachers Association.
“The idea of having a million dollars set
aside for developing a test for teachers after
they already have graduated from an
approved teacher education program is
wasteful,” contends James Butler, execu
tive secretary of the TSTA.
“We think it is redundant. The state has
procedures for accrediting teacher educa
tion colleges now, and we feel if they hold
colleges to those standards, that is suffi
“If the colleges want to test the students
in order to let them into the teaching prog
ram, at the end of their sophomore year for
instance, we don’t object to that and we
don’t object to the college having some
kind of test as part of deciding whether a
person is ready to go into teaching. But
once a person is sent out of a college prog
ram, we think that is sufficient and we don’t
see the need to spend a million dollars a
year. ”
Clements, who has been at odds with the
TSTA since the organization openly backed
Democrat John Hill in the 1978 governor’s
race, suggested earlier this year teachers
should be more concerned about doing a
good job and less concerned about lobbying
for pay raises.
Clements said he supports “competency
testing to be sure teachers are capable of
doing the job they are being paid for. ”
Speaker Bill Clayton also endorses the
concept of competency testing for teachers.
“I think it has some merit, but I don’t
know how to accomplish it,” Clayton said.
“Apparently we have some teachers who
are not as well qualified as others, and if we
are trying to attain a professional level
there ought to be some method for con
tinuing certification.”
Along with the proposals for competency
testing for teachers, the 1981 Legislature
also will face proposals to require high
school students to pass competency tests
before being allowed to graduate from pub
lic schools.
Proficiency tests are currently given to
students, but passage is not a prerequisite
for graduation.
“As far as students are concerned, I don’t
believe we ought to promote students on a
social basis,” Clayton said. “I think we have
hurt students in the past when social prom
otions took precedence over attainment.
We’ve sent them out \vith expectations of
having gained something they haven’t
last issue
of Battalion
Wednesday’s Battalion will be the
final one of the fall semester.
The Battalion will publish one issue
over the holidays: Wednesday, Jan. 14.
Daily publication will resume with the
Monday, Jan. 19 issue.
The Battalion’s entertainment tab
loid, Focus, will resume its weekly pub
lication schedule on Thursday, Jan. 29.
on a" 1
•ry &
.five class®*
it 01®^
went to &P 1
Most Aggie jokes
told by the Aggies
and Lee* 1
ed first
t Divisi 011 '
How many Aggies does it take to
crew in a light bulb?
jn t |, e ft One to bold the bulb and three to
turn the ladder.
Battalion Reporter
I Anyone who is familiar with Texas
A&M University has probably heard
this joke 100 times and will probably
hear it 100 times more.
“What’s interesting about Aggie
okes,” Dr. Sylvia Ann Grider said, “is
hat they are a regional phenomenon
md the Aggies just have the stereotype
f being the brunt of jokes.”
Grider, who received her Ph.D. in
’olklore from Indiana University, has
lone research on joke telling. She said
hen she came here in the fall of 1976,
ie was interested in seeing how wide-
pread the telling of Aggie jokes was and
new ones were being created.
“In the jokes, ” she said, “it’s interest-
g that Aggies function as an ethnic
oup. ” In that, she means they are set
part culturally from other groups in the
Grider said the reason for this is prob-
bly historical.
“Texas A&M,” she said, “is the only
land grant school in the state and was
he only all-male military school.
“And this fits the way that joke cycles
action because it’s unique and stands
at from other schools. ”
The oldest form of the ethnic joke is to
rtray a group of people as being stu-
id, she said.
An ethnic joke in international dis
tribution deals with stupidity and mak
ing fun of whoever is regarded as the
stupid minority group. That’s an inter
national trend and Aggies have been
fitted in that category.”
Grider, an English professor, said her
main interest is to see who tells the
jokes. She’s found Aggies themselves to
be the biggest tellers.
“The people I talked with, ” she said,
“said they told the jokes because it was
funny to them to know that the jokes
were exactly the opposite of the reality. ”
Grider pointed out that some of the
highest SAT scores in the state are from
students at the University. “The jokes
portray Aggies as being stupid when
they’re not,” she said.
Grider has also found the jokes to be
topical. “By topical,” she said, “I mean
Aggie jokes have a tendency to pick up
whatever is faddish.
“For instance, during the Winter
Olympics an old Aggie joke was dusted
off and brought out - Did you hear about
the Aggie who won a gold medal at Lake
Placid? He was so proud of it he had it
Grider said she doesn’t have any favo
rite jokes, nor does she want to publish
any of her research. To her it’s mainly a
“To any scholar,” she said, “he is
pleased when theory is proved. When a
phenomenon comes to surface and our
theories are proved, that’s reassuring to
a scholar to know our theories are cor
rect, and Aggie jokes reconfirm what we
know about jokes.”
Retired oil exec thinks he's located the Santa Maria
Expedition to look for Columbus’ ship
United Press International
SAND SPRINGS, Okla. — A 52-year-old retired oil
industry executive says he knows where to look for one of
Christopher Columbus’ ships, and possibly the first set
tlement in the New World and a fortune in gold.
Bill DeGeer, who has spent much of his life reading
ships’ logs and studying maps of the Caribbean, is so sure
he knows the location of the Santa Maria, one of three
ships in Columbus’ voyage to the New World, he is
organizing an expedition to the island of Hispaniola.
If DeGeer succeeds in raising the $1 million needed for
the expedition, it will start in his backyard.
“I’ve just finished building a sailboat at my place on
Lake Keystone,” the land-locked Oklahoman said. “I plan
to truck it (the sailboat) to the Port of Catoosa (near Tulsa)
and then sail down the Arkansas Navigation Channel to
the Mississippi and then out into the Gulf (of Mexico).”
DeGeer says he was sailing a boat in the Caribbean
years ago when he first became fascinated with the history
of the area and the lure of sunken Spanish galleons.
“Everybody starts out skin diving and then goes to
scuba,” he said. “The next thing you know you’re looking
for sunken wrecks. Some years ago, when I was in the
hospital, I read a translation of Columbus’ log. That got
me started on my search.”
DeGeer compares his search to a “detective novel,
where the detective and reader has to put all the clues
together to solve the mystery.
“The chances of finding anything really valuable are
remote, ” he said. “I have no problem signing papers with
the United States government or the Haitian or Domini
can Republic governments turning everything over to
them. It’s not the money—it’s just the thrill of finding it. ”
DeGeer believe the remains of the Santa Maria are on a
coral reef off the northern coast of Haiti. Haiti and the
Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola.
Explorers recently reported they have found the re
mains of the Pinta, a second Columbus ship, near the
Bahama Islands, about 700 miles from Haiti.
DeGeer, however, is skeptical about the reports. He
questions the discovery of lead cannon ball at the site
because Columbus’ ships “used stone shot.”
While the primary purpose of the
expedition is locating the Santa
Maria and the settlement,
DeGeer says the expedition may
also find a gold cache collected by
the crew before ArawakIndians
killed them.
“I’m not to say it’s not the Pinta, but the reports I’ve
read leave a lot of questions,” DeGeer said.
The Santa Maria, flagship of Columbus’ tiny fleet, ran
aground on a reef off the Haitian coast in 1492 and after
constructing a fort, the first recorded European settle
ment in the Western Hemisphere, the crew was left
behind while the other two ships continued on, DeGeer
When Columbus returned from Spain with even more
ships a year later, he found the settlement had been
destroyed by natives.
The exact site of the settlement has never been deter
mined, although historians agree on the general area.
While working as an oil company executive in the
Middle East, DeGeer had opportunities to study and
examine original documents, maps and logs from Col
umbus’ vovages. In Saville, Spain, he had a chance to
research Catholic Church archives relating to Spain’s con
quest of the New World.
“The Catholic Church was one of the most prolific
record keepers,” he said. “Most of the material in Saville
has not even been catalogued and it’s in archaic Spanish
and is difficult to translate.”
Other people have searched for the Santa Maria and the
last “serious” research effort was in 1939, but DeGeer
says he believes he knows why the others have failed.
“I’ve zeroed in on errors, especially mistakes in convert
ing measurements and dates to modem terms,” he said.
“I’d debate my findings with any scholar. I’m interested in
correcting the record.”
In addition to his research, DeGeer says while in Spain
he found and acquired the first map ever drawn of the
Haitian coastline. The map, drawn by a 15th Century
Dutch cartographer, shows the location of the native set
tlement referred to as Port Royal, the settlement near
where the Santa Maria went aground, DeGeer said.
While the primary purpose of the expedition is locating
the Santa Maria and the settlement, DeGeer says the
expedition may also find a gold cache collected by the
crew before Arawak Indians killed them.
“According to Columbus’ log, he instmeted the crew to
collect gold from the tribe and to dig a well or a cellar,”
DeGeer said. “We know Columbus was able to collect
some before he left. How much the crew was able to
collect is a guess, but it could have been considerable.”
Even though DeGeer says he is attracted by the “thrill”
of the search, he admits there will be financial rewards if
he succeeds in finding the Santa Maria and writes a book
about the discovery.
“With the 500th aniversary of Columbus’ voyage com
ing up in a few years, I’m sure Madison Avenue is going to
arrange some pretty special promotions,” he said. “If I
have the movie rights to the book and a few relics to
display, I’m sure I can find someone willing to promote
To finance the expedition, DeGeer is offering 25 li
mited liability tax shelter plans at $40,000 each. So far,
DeGeer says he has been able to interest a few fellow
Oklahomans in the expedition.
“It’s hard to say when this will get off the ground, ” he
said. “Right now, we have to concentrate on raising the
Even though it may take months or even years to
launch the expedition, DeGeer says he is not worried
about someone else discovering the Santa Maria.
“To find it, you would have to know where to look.
Oceanographic experts have estimated the remains would
be covered by about two and a half feet of coral. I know
where to look.”