The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 07, 1985, Image 1

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    Women’s hoop
Players discuss future
Page 3
1 A&M nips Baylor
1 Brown's 23 points pace win
I Rage 10
Texas A&MV^ m m m %
The Battalion
Vol. 80 No. 91 CJSPS 045360 16 pages
calls for new
College Station, Texas
Thursday, February 7, 1985
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President
Reagan, in his fourth State of the
Union address, asked Congress on
Wednesday to pass a tax simplifica
tion bill that he said would help un
leash “the tremendous pent-up
power of our economy.’’
Making the annual evening ad
dress to both houses of Congress on
his 74th birthday, Reagan said “we
did what we promised” in his first
term, and he described the United
| States as “renewed — stronger, freer
and more secure than before.”
In prepared remarks, Reagan
! barely mentioned the record federal
deficit or his controversial budget
cutting plan just submitted to Con
gress. Rather, he reaffirmed Ameri
can support for f reedom movements
in Afghanistan and Nicaragua,
stressed his proposals for helping
the nation’s low-income citizens, anti
embraced guidelines f or an overhaul
of the tax system.
He did not endorse the tax plan
put forth by the Treasury Depart
ment in December; rather, Reagan
said he was directing his Treasury
secretary to begin working with con
gressional authors and committees
to write bipartisan legislation based
on principles of “fairness, simplicity
and growth.”
1 He provided guidelines that he
said would ensure no “tax increase
in disguise” — mentioning in partic
ular that he would not “jeopardize
the mortgage interest deduction” for
family homes. He vowed a top tax
rate of “no more than 35 percent,
possibly lower,” to replace the cur
rent top rate of 50 percent.
To achieve a lower rate, the plan
would trim "many tax preferences,”
but he proposed at least two new
ones himself — tax breaks for com
panies that locate in depressed ur
ban “enterprise zones,” and tuition
tax credits to help families who send
their children to private schools.
Even before Reagan made his tax
proposal, Senate Majority Leader
Robert J. Dole, R-Kan., said it would
be “very difficult” to overhaul the
tax system this year, given the law
makers’ preoccupation with Rea
gan’s proposed spending cuts in the
budget the president sent to Con
gress on Monday.
In his remarks, broadcast nation
ally, Reagan declared “d second
American Revolution” of hope, op
portunity, technological progress
See President, page 9
A&M could feel crunch
if language bill sticks
On Top of the World
On a clear day, the A&M campus seems to go on forever.
Student Senate votes on library bill
Staff Writer
A House bill proposing a foreign
language requirement for students
seeking baccalaureate degrees from
Texas public universities and col
leges could cduse a crunch in Texas
A&M’s modern languages depart
The bill was introduced in the
House Jan. 9, and referred to the
Higher Education Committee Jan.
28. It comes at a time when the
Texas A&M Faculty Senate is push
ing for a core curriculum requiring
two years of high school foreign lan
guage classes or one year of college-
level foreign language classes.
Dr. Samuel Black, chairman of
the Faculty Senate’s Core Curric
ulum Committee, says the House bill
emphasizes the need for d core cur
“I think perhaps our proposal for
a core curriculum is right in line
(with the bill),” Black says.
Under the Faculty Senate’s propo
sal, students who pass a proficiency
test or completed two years of for
eign language in high school are not
requiren to take college-level foreign
language classes. However, Black
says the Faculty Senate’s proposal
can be altered to accommodate the
Texas Legislature’s decision.
“If the state modifies (the Faculty
Senate’s proposal), we are prepared
to deal with it,” Bldck says.
Approval of the House bill — or
of the Faculty Sendte’s proposal —
will create problems beyond adding
hours to the average student’s de
gree plan. Shortages of space and in
structors head the list of potential
problems in the modern languages
department at A&M, says interim
department head Luis Costa.
“Obviously, we’d have to expand
tremendously,” Costa says. “Con
sider the impact, especially on the
first-year classes.”
The department now has about
2,000 students enrolled in its classes,
Costa sdys.
If the Legislature’s bill or the Fac
ulty Senate’s proposal is approved,
enrollment in the depdrtment could
skyrocket to 25,000 students, he
says. And while other classes can in
crease enrollment, the number of
students in a language class is re
stricted, Costa says.
“One of the real problems, faced
by the languages department that is
not shared by many other depart
ments in the University, is restricted
class size,” he says. “You cannot hAve
a beginning Spanish class with 200
people in it.”
Costa says language classes now
have about 28 students in each sec
tion. The optimum number of stu
dents in a section is 20 to 23, so
Funding needed for longer hours
Staff Writer
The Texas A&M Student Govern
ment is considering furnishing
funds to pay for extended hours in
the Sterling C. Evans Library, the
Student Senate’s Vice President for
Academic Affairs, Tom Urban, said
Wednesday night.
Student Government is hoping to
give the library $1,500-$ 1,700 to
help restore the hours that were cut
back because of the University’s bud
get crunch, Urban said.
Urban, who had vacated his posi
tion on January 23, decided not to
resign so the Senate’s special election
for a new Vice President of Aca
demic Affairs was cancelled.
The Senate passed a hill calling for all colleges to re
quire their students to file a degree plan. If an adviser
signs a student’s degree plan saying the student is eligi
ble to graduate hut makes a mistake, the student will
still be able to graduate anyway.
In other business, the Senate ap
proved a schedule for the Spring
1985 elections.
Candidates may begin filing for
the elections Monday, Feb. 25 in
room 214 of the Pavilion. Hours for
filing are from 9 to 4 pun. The
deadline is Friday, Mar. 1.
General elections will be held on
Mar. 27 to Mar. 28. Students may
vote in the main lounge of the Me
morial Student Center, first floor of
the Pavilion and in the A-l Lounge
The Senate passed a bill creating
the Student Athletic Committee.
The Committee will help in the pro
motion of all men’s and women’s
TTI researcher opposes raising speed limit
Staff Writer
Although Congress will soon con
sider raising the speed limit on coun
try highways where traffic is consid
ered light, Dr. Quinn BrAckett, a
senior researcher with the Texas
Transportation Institute, says such
an action would create enforcement
problems on both country highways
and crowded freeways where speed
limits would remain 55 mph.
“Whatever speed limit is set, after
a period of time people will begin to
exceed it,” he said. “Drivers usually
go over the posted speed limit by
about 5 mph.”
Brackett said if the speed limit is
raised on selected roads, there
would be a problem because drivers
generalize about speed limits.
Many people would think if it is
acceptable for them to drive at cer
tain speeds on some roads, then they
should be able to do it on all roads,
he said.
The National Academy of Sci
ences released a report lAst Novem
ber which recommends that Con
gress keep the 55 mph speed limit
on 94 percent of the nation’s high
ways. The report also outlines the
benefits of the higher speed limits
on rural highways and tells why the
higher limits would pose safety con
“Lowered speed limits have been
shown to save lives since they have
been implemented,” Brackett said.
“1 think the 55 mph speed limit
should be kept. I don’t think raising
the speed limit in certain Areas
would be a good idea.”
Studies in Texas have shown less
than 10 percent of all drivers in the
state now drive over 65 mph, while
54.9 percent exceed the 55 mph
Researchers also have found that
compliance with the 55 mph speed
limit increases when gasoline prices
increase dramatically and decrease
when gas prices stabilize or drop.
Texas Department of Public
Safety officer Greg Riley said an in
crease in the speed limit would cause
an increase in the number of high
way traffic related deaths, but
wouldn’t necessarily pose enforce
ment problems.
“A direct relationship exists be
tween speed limits and highway traf
fic fatalities,” Riley said. “If speed
limits are increased, the number of
fatalities also will increase.”
When the speed limit was lowered
to 55 mph, the number of highway
deaths decreased proportionally, he
“I personally don’t think increas
ing the speed limit would be a good
idea even if it was on only 6 percent
of the nation’s highways,” Riley said.
“We all know 55 saves lives. It has
been proven. We also know' 55 saves
gas. That also has been proven.
“Our lawmakers shouldn’t change
something that is working well the
way it is.”
Photo by DEAN SA TIO
Congress will soon consider raising the speed limit on country highways.
classes are already overcrowded, he
“Consider 25 people in a lab,”
Costa says. “They get to talk two
minutes a class, or four minutes a
week. That’s assuming the instructor
never opens his mouth and everyone
knew wnat to say to begin with.”
Finding instructors for the addi
tional classes would pose another
problem for the department, Costa
says. For about seven years, there
were fewer positions than instruc
tors, but the tide has turned in re
cent years.
“In the past year, and this yeAr es
pecially, the number of openings is
not a particular problem,” CostA
Increasing foreign language re
quirements will give the modern lan
guages department some headAches.
But Costa says they can be cured
through conditions such as a grand
father clause, which would keep the
new requirements from affecting all
college students at the same time.
Costa, who favors the core curric
ulum proposal, says the department
would enjoy the challenge of in
creased enrollment.
“College is meant to diversify,
meant particularly to open students
to ideas they would not come across
in their field,” Costa says. “Educa-
See A&M, page 9
sporting events and to serve as the
liaison between the Athletic Depart
ment and the student body.
The Senate also passed a bill call
ing for all colleges to require their
students to file a degree plan.
Vice President of Student Services
Wayne Roberts said the College of
Business currently does not require
its students to file a degree plan.
By filing a degree plan, the stu
dent knows what he must take to
graduate, Roberts said. And if an ad
viser signs a student’s degree plan
saying the student is eligible to grad
uate but makes a mistake, the stu
dent will still be able to graduate
anyw'ay, he said.
See Senate, page 9
If speed limits Are increased on
certain highways, Riley said enforc
ing the new speed limit wouldn’t
necessarily be a problem.
“If speed limits are increased on
rural highways, which I don’t think
will happen, the speed limit will be
enforcea just like it always has
been,” he said. “It won’t mean we
will stop doing our job. If people ex
ceed tne limit they will be given a
Senate votes
to increase
drinking age
Associated Press
AUSTIN — The Senate on
Wednesday voted to raise the
drinking age in Texas from 19 to
21, effective Sept. 1, 1986, but the
measure may never become law
even if enacted by the Legis
The bill was sent to the House
on voice vote over protests that it
sets up a “young-adult Prohibi
Sen. Bill. Sarpalius’ measure
had two apparent purposes — to
save lives and to avoid the loss of
$107 million in federal highway
Federal law would reduce the
amount of highway funds for
Texas in 1987-88 if Texas fails to
raise the drinking age to 21. That
federal law, which applies to all
states, is being challenged in
court by South Dakota.
Four years ago, Texas raised its
drinking age from 18 to 19, and
SArpalius said the new bill has
identical provisions in that a per
son under 21 could sell alcoholic
beverAges but could not buy or
consume such beverages.
The measure was approved
only after the SenAte OK’d an
amendment, 16-13, that Sarpa
lius said would “take out the
heart, liver and spleen of this
The amendment by Sen. Chet
Edwards, D-Duncanville, has
three basic provisions as reflected
in Senate debate and an im
promptu news conference by Ed
• If the federal law should be
held unconstitutional by the 5th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or
the U.S. Supreme Court before
the effective date of the state law,
Sept. 1, 1986, the drinking age
would remain at 19.
• If the state law goes into ef
fect and the federal courts later
rule the federal law unconstitu
tional, the state law raising the
drinking Age would expire at the
end of the next regular legislative
session, unless re-enacted, or
about the end of May 1987.
• If the federal law is upheld
by the courts, the drinking age in
Fexas would revert to 19 when
the federal sanctions on highwAy
funds expire. Currently, that
would be Sept. 30, 1988.