The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 07, 1983, Image 1

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mmmm Texas A&M ■ ■ ■ ■ The Battalion Serving the University community 'ol. 76 No. 91 USPS 045360 14 Pages College Station, Texas Monday, February 7, 1983 3 33 The huge crowd of runners starts to thin as the leaders move out front during The Straight Shot 10k road race sponsored by the Eagle. Kyle Heffner, Number One in the crowd of runners, went on to cross the finish line first, while Ron Menard, a building construction major, won the wheelchair division. Sunday’s race was 10 kilometers, over six miles from start to finish. Participants started out at Townshire Shopping Center in Bryan and ran down Texas Avenue, finishing at the K-Mart in College Station. 61 * 3 3; ar 5 3 4 A a> o (A 1 a) i 2 ? o' o Fire burns Capitol; One killed in blaze United Press International AUSTIN — Fire officials said they were about 80 percent sure at one oint that a “very intense” fire early Sunday was going to destroy the his toric 95-year-old Texas Capitol. “I’d say it came very close,” acting lire Chief Brady Pool said. “It was getting ahead of us quicker than we Were getting ahead of it.” One person died and seven were I njured in the early morning blaze hat did an estimated $500,000 dam- ge to the east w ing of the massive pink granite structure. Construction of the Capitol — the lation’s largest statehouse — was flmpleted in 1888 after the previous papitol burned in November 1881. A preliminary investigation indi cated the blaze, which was detected at 5:25 a.m., may have started from an lectrical appliance, possibly a televi sion set, in Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby’s Capi tol apartment. Gov. Mark White said he would ask jor safety studies of the Capitol in the Dvake of the fire. Except for the base- jnent, the building does not have a Sprinkler system. I “This building is 100 years old and there have been renovations made, probably without much thought ;given to fire precautions,” he said. The smell of smoke hung over the entire Capitol, but the Senate plan ned to meet as scheduled today. The two-story chamber’s only apparent damage was a charred corner door way near the demolished apartment. “We’re really operational,” said Secretary of the Senate Betty King. “We can go right on.” Pool said he informed White and Hobby around 6:30 a.m. Sunday that the building might be lost. “I told them we might lose the com plex and they might want to start get ting some contingency plans in case we didn’t stop it,” he said. But fire fighters extinguished the fire about 8 a.m. “Up until about 7:30 a.m., I wouldn't have bought no stock in it (the building),” said Pool. “I was very close. On a scale of 10, I’d say about an 8 (that it would be destroyed).” Firefighters remained in the build ing overnight to make sure the flames did not rekindle. The lieutenant governor’s apart ment was destroyed along with valu able old portraits, antique furniture and silver servings and exquisite chandeliers. Water smoke caused also damaged the first three floors of the four-story building. Pool identified the dead man as Matthew Hansen, 23, of New Caney, who was staying in the apartment along with Hobby’s daughter Kather ine, 18, and Mr. and Mrs. James Wa terman, also of New Caney. The Wa termans and Hansen, a horse trainer, were in Austin for a horseman’s awards banquet. Officer Joel Quintanilla, 56, suf fered burns on his hands and face and smoke inhalation in an attempt to re scue Hansen. He was in stable condi tion in intensive care at an Austin hos pital. Two firemen also were in stable condition after being treated for smoke inhalation and four other fire fighters were treated for minor in juries and released. “Kate was awakened by a security guard (Mitchell) pounding on the door saying it was a fire,” Hobby said. “That officer ... saved her life. “She said the room where Mr. Han sen was staying was a sea of fire.” The fire drew 25 firefighting units and 100 firefighters to the tree-lined Capitol complex on a cold Sunday morning. The House side or western wing of the Capitol — never before the scene of a serious fire — was undamaged as was the portrait-lined first floor rotunda and the 260-foot-tall dome. Long, hard struggle staff photo by Bill Schulz Though she started out with no problem, sopho more Robin Siskel from Fort Worth found it very hard to hang onto the MSC Outdoor Recre ation’s rope ladder at the MSC All Night Fair. The ladder was hung like a hammock, and the trick was to cross to the other side without falling off. A&M group to lobby in Texas Legislature by Kelley Smith Battalion Staff Texas A&M students will be repre sented by their own lobbyists in the 68th Legislature — the Legislative Study Group, a committee of Student Government, will lobby on issues affecting students. “We’re not the typical lobbyists — pulling strings — but informative lob byists,” said Fred Billings, administra tive director of the legislative study group. “We show information that supports us and (we) strive for profes sionalism.” The group will lobby on five issues: the Permanent University Fund, stu dent tuition increases, teachers’ salary increases, a student representative on the Texas A&M Board of Regents and the raising of the drinking age to 21. The position the group will take on each issue has not been decided. After each issue is fully resear ched, the group will present its infor mation to the Student Senate and re commend which position the legisla tive group should take. By having the Senate vote on the position the group by Cheryl Burke Battalion Reporter In honor of Black History Month, civil rights activist Ron Wilkins will present a series of four lectures focus ing on various aspects of black his tory. The lectures, which begin tonight, will be held each Monday in February. The Black Awareness Forum, sponsored by MSC Black Awareness Committee, is the group’s first effort to present educational programs rather than just entertainment, MSC program adviser Arlene Manthey said. The first lecture — “Black History: Its Meaning, Scope and Challenge” — will be presented at 7 tonight in 502 Rudder. Wilkins said: “I am going to discuss black history in its broadest concep tion. That will include African his tory, which is really just human his tory, and world history, from prehis toric times to the present.” Wilkins said he will stress the value of studying black history, which he said he believes is severely lacking at Texas A&M as well as across the na tion. “History is a weapon,” Wilkins said. “Distorted history has helped this society and its institutions to both dehumanize black people and assign us an inferior status. Correct history study develops black self-definitions, will take, students’ opinions will be better represented, Billings said. “We tend to have to fight a two-way war,” he said. “We have to research, lobby and make a presentation here in the student legislature and again in the Texas Legislature.” The first bill the group will present to the Student Senate is the PUF bill. This bill would make the PUF avail able to other universities within the Texas A&M and University of Texas systems. Use of the PUF now is li mited to Texas A&M and UT. The PUF and its importance to Texas A&M will be discussed at an open meeting in the Academic and Agency Building on Tuesday before it is presented to the Senate on Wednesday. The group holds regular meetings on Thursday nights. Texas House Speaker Pro Tern Hugo Berlango and Tony Bonilla, national president of the League of United Latin Amer ican Citizens, will attend Thursday’s meeting to help teach the group to make effective presentations. Madelon Yanta, issue coordinator for tuition, said: “They also are going to help establish contacts with legisla- self-realization and pan-African con sciousness.” Pan-Africanism is a movement that attempts to re-establish ties between Africa and black people around the world, Wilkins said. Wilkins has been a member of the African American Education Com mission and was chief administrative officer of the Pan-African Skills Pro ject. He also was deputy chairman of the Student Non-Violence Coordi nating Committee, an organization that was active in the human rights movements of the sixties. He now is a member of the Patrice Lumumba Pan-Africanist Organiza tion, a New York-based organization that takes its name from the first prime minister of the Congo. Wilkins describes Lumumba as “one of Afri ca’s greatest patriots.” The other three lectures will cover topics ranging from African libera tion struggles and issues facing the black world to a discussion of Mal colm X. The series is free and open to the public. An exhibit combining black art, culture and history will be displayed in the MSC Art Gallery through Feb. 18. The exhibit, titled “Black Is,” will include photographs by Wilkins, prints of historical black figures, cul tural artifacts, African publications and a collection of African stamp art. tors so we can lobby more effectively for the students at Texas A&M.” During the past tw r o weeks, legisla tive study group representatives attended receptions in Austin that were sponsored by former students for legislators. The study group also researched bills and visited represen tatives. But only a few students actual ly will lobby, Billings said. “We don’t have a limit but only a set few are going to (representatives’) offices,” he said. “You must be really well-versed on the issues.” Mike Lawshe, director of the group, said the group started last year but got off to a slow start because of a lack of student interest and because the Legislature was not in session. Yanta said that last semester was spent researching issues that will be important to Texas A&M and finding contacts in Austin to work with dur ing the semester. Lawshe said the House and Senate plan to pass resolutions commending the legislative study group for en couraging other universities to be come involved with the legislative process through their student senate. correction Friday’s Battalion incorrectly identified the director of the gra duate English program here. The director is Dr. Forrest Burt. inside Classified 8 Local 3 National 8 Opinions 2 Sports 11 State 5 What’s up 10 forecast Partly cloudy skies today with a high of 52. Northeast winds at 5 to 10 mph. Continued partly cloudy tonight and on Tuesday with fog possible for Tuesday morning. Tonight’s low will be 35, and Tues day’s high near 62. Civil rights activist to speak on history