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

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    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> 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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
The first lecture — “Black History:
Its Meaning, Scope and Challenge” —
will be presented at 7 tonight in 502
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
“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
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
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.
Friday’s Battalion incorrectly
identified the director of the gra
duate English program here. The
director is Dr. Forrest Burt.
Classified 8
Local 3
National 8
Opinions 2
Sports 11
State 5
What’s up 10
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