The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 21, 1986, Image 2

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Page 2/The Battalion/Friday, November 21, 1986
The Battalion
(USPS 045 360)
Member of
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Conference
The Battalion Editorial Board
Cathie Anderson, Editor
Kirsten Dietz, Managing Editor
Loren Steffy, Opinion Page Editor
Frank Smith, City Editor
Sue Krenek, News Editor
Ken Sury, Sports Editor
Editorial Policy
7'he Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting newspaper oper
ated as a community service to Texas A&M and Bryan-College Sta
Opinions expressed in The Battalion are those of the editorial
board or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions
of Texas A&M administrators, faculty or the Board of Regents.
The Battalion also serves as a laboratory newspaper lor students
in reporting, editing and photography classes within the Depart
ment of Journalism.
The Battalion is published Monday through Friday during
Texas A&M regular semesters, except for holiday and examination
Mail subscriptions are $17.44 per semester, $34.62 per school
year and $36.44 per full year. Advertising rates furnished on re
Our address: The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald Building,
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
Second class postage paid at College Station, TX 77843.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Battalion, 216
Reed McDonald, Texas A&M University, College Station TX
Interest in education
Education Secretary William J. Bennett’s recent proposal to in
crease interest rates on student loans in exchange for a longer repay
ment period appears to benefit graduates who have lower-income
jobs. But Bennett is using student financial aid as a weapon in his
perpetual squabble with colleges and universities over tuition in
Under the proposed aid policy, students would have to pay back
loans at the rate of 91-day Treasury bills (currently 5.34 percent)
plus 3 percent. The interest rates would be higher, but the repay
ment time would be adjusted to income.
Currently, the federal government spends about $2 billion an
nually to subsidize interest on student loans. Under the new plan,
students would be solely responsible for interest payments.
Bennett’s goal is to reduce government expenditures and sky
rocketing college tuition by eliminating government-subsidized in
terest payments. Bennett may be correct in saying that colleges raise
tuition because, under the current aid policy, the government is will
ing to pick up part of the tab. But his proposal will make students
pay in the long run for troubleshooting the system.
While graduates with low-paying jobs could reduce the amount
of the monthly payments, they will wind up paying more in smaller
payments. Even those who pay back the loan rapidly will pay more
under the increased interest rates than they currently do.
Bennett claims the proposal will allow graduates to fit payments
to their career rather than their career to their payments. But the
proposed aid package charges students for taking more time to re
pay. In attempting to reduce colleges’ misuse of the financial aid sys
tem, the government would milk a few extra dollars out of graduates
as well.
Given the choice, most students would rather have the lower in
terest rates and get their loans paid off than ultimately pay more
money at a higher interest rate.
If student well-being was the primary concern, the Education
Department would find a way to discipline colleges without using
students’ aid funds. Instead, financial aid has become a pawn in the
ongoing Bennett-colleges war.
When it comes to saving government money versus helping stu
dents in need of financial support to get through college, we know
where the government’s interests lie.
Black entrepreneurial class,
ghetto revitalization needed
Cheung Hung
Chan owns a gro
cery store in the
Anacostia section
of Washington.
Last summer he
allegedly chased a
black woman from
his store by threat
ening her with an
unregistered gun,
for which he has
been duly
an unfortunate incident into a tragedy.
He has characterized Chan’s black sup
porters as lacking “the guts to be the
men and women God made them to be.”
And then, as if to show that he is truly a
minister, he allowed that he had for
given Chan: “If we didn’t forgive him,
we would have cut his head off and
rolled it down the street.”
e e n a u
charged. For some community leaders,
though, that was not quite enough.
Among other things, they charged him
with not being black. Of that, he is un
doubtedly guilty.
Pickets were posted in front of Chan’s
store and it eventually was closed maybe
temporarily, maybe not. The boycott is
being led by a local minister, the Rev.
Willie Wilson, who has the talent to turn
Wilson’s rhetoric was too much for
Mayor Marion Barry, who offered him
self as a mediator. The mayor based his
post-election burst of activism on his
economic concerns for the area. Al
though not a word about demagoguery
escaped his lips, he remains by compari
son a towering moral figure. Washing
ton’s congressional delegate, the Rev.
Walter Fauntroy, when last heard from,
said nothing. There are few votes in the
Asian community.
Koop favors sex education,
opposes silence about AIDS
When U.S. Sur
geon General Dr.
Everett C. Koop
issues a report on
sex education, tak
ing the position
normally asso
ciated with the
permissivists, one
draws back from
the conventional
position and re
flects. Is there
William F.
Buckley Jr.
something to recommend “sex educa
It pays to remember that Koop is not
merely an M.D. He is very much the
moralist. Long before he became the
surgeon general, he teamed up with the
Rev. Francis Schaeffer, the late theolo
gian, and produced a six-hour docu
mentary on abortion, which in Koop’s
judgement is out-and-out murder. He is
a practicing Christian and an evangeli
cal, and now he comes out for sex edu
cation of the kind generally opposed by
moralists of Koop’s persuasion. What
are his arguments?
The 34-page report issued by the sur
geon general’s office is the first that ad
dresses directly the problem of AIDS. It
begins by telling us something every
newspaper reader knows, namely that
the disease continues to spread, and that
the figures are discouraging. Fifteen
thousand people are dead of the disease
already, and 12 times that number will
be dead of it within five years.
Now Koop did not need to tell any in
formed American how to slow down the
spread of the disease to protect the un
contaminated. That’s easy: Don’t use a
needle for drugs, and don’t have sex ex
cept with uncontaminated people. But
the trouble with advice that simple,
Koop (and, of course, others) are saying
now, is that we are not talking about
counsels of angelism. We are talking, to
use a phrase, about how the world
On the matter of intravenous infec
tion, protection is as simple as using a
needle that isn’t infected, and that isn’t
difficult to do provided the needle-user
breaks out of the hypnotic allure of nee
dle-sharing and insists on using a hy
gienic vehicle for his poison. In the mat
ter of sex, “the best protection against
infection right now, barring abstinen
ce,” writes Koop, “is use of a condom.”
So therefore? Teach children to use
We got that right? No, no, no: Teach
children NOT to have sex, Koop the
moralist would say, but then teach them
that should they fall into the temptation
of doing so, they should use a condom.
What Koop opposes is “silence” on the
“This silence must end,” he writes.
“We can no longer afford to sidestep
frank, open discussion about sexual
practices — homosexual and heterosex
ual. Education about AIDS should start
at an early age so that children can grow
up knowing the behaviors to avoid to
protect themselves from exposure to the
AIDS virus.”
One greets such advice, so apparently
reasoned and compelling, with residual
reservations. To begin with, we know
that there seems to be a negative corre
lation between sex education and preg
nancies. The great Scandinavian experi-
ment, which is now more than a
generation old, has brought to that part
of the world not only sex education, but
an increase in pregnancies among chil
dren. It might be argued that there
would be still more pregnancies but for
the sex education, but Koop does not
appear to be saying the equivalent thing
in respect of AIDS. He says that if the
sex education he favors were under
taken, one might save 14,000 lives by
Surely there is something to be said
for the stimulation of a national habit. I
can think of one that is gradually taking
hold, namely the use of the seatbelt. In
some states it is now compulsory,
though my own experience is that some
people use a seatbelt and others do not,
and there is little correspondence be
tween the use of it where it is required
and where it is not required.
If children were taught that, all other
considerations to one side, the condom
always should be associated with sex
even as the safety belt always should be
associated with driving, some progress
of the kind Koop seeks could be ex
pected. There is abundant evidence that
the mature homosexual community is,
so to speak, seatbelt-oriented nowadays
in a sense that it was not even a year or
so back.
But to teach the condom, and to go
the logical step further of supplying the
condom (for the sake of the young in
flamed who have not thought to bring
along their own), is arguably to induce
an atmosphere in which the Scandina
vian analogy becomes directly relevant.
If the utilitarian emphasis is stressed, it
may well be at the expense of the moral
emphasis — which returns us to the
question of which of the twoshould take
precedence among teachers and par
There is more than a little bit of rac
ism at the heart of the Chan affair. At
first he was said to be a Korean since
they, more than the Chinese, have been
buying Washington’s mom-and-pop
grocery stores. Even when his true eth
nicity was discovered (he happens to be
a naturalized Chinese-American), it
hardly changed matters. His real of
fense is that he is not black and does not
live in the neighborhood where he
makes his money. Therefore, in the fac
ile economic reasoning of both Wilson
and Fauntroy, he takes money out of
the community. Never mind that his
store provides a service, not to mention
jobs to several clerks.
nesses of, among others, Italian!
Jewish immigrants. The small
were stepping stones out of thr [
class — and, for Asians, they continJ
be just that. All it takes for success
of industry and mmimul niiiqr-r' 1 (
i sk 111 i n 11 ic in >1 ((uiisc nit i> 011 1
i , , * on pi
these stores should now be ovvnt:|| ee
bl.i< ks 1 tlir\ l.ugelv are noils J Tin
i i (111 ,i I <■ \ i c I r n c r i h .i l the mu menm
wounds of s|.i\ri\ .uul racial dis<.n::f enilK
tion still cripple.
the HI
What is happening in Washingii:! Sev
happening elsewehere in the cour| ehts
In some areas, the new class of
chants is Arab, in others Hispanicil
in some places, Vietnamese. Litthf '
tier that some blacks are both fun
and frustrated and, to make thenm
embittered, they see little goodi
their way from the government
many blacks, Reaganism has a di®|
cold shoulder.
But blaming Ronald Reagan is
the answer, Chan is not the profcl
and the old confrontational technijf
are fruitless exercises in nostalgia
too long some black leaders havetj
willing to lead posses chasing
goats. Once it was the Jewish rnercfd
who “exploited” the ghetto; nowitis
Asian. The ethnicity of the allegedfI
prit keeps changing, but not the®
tions and not, unfortunately, theiij
toric of some leaders. The era of
riots is over, but the thinkingthatoS
excused them lingers. Chan is
It is something of a paradox that the
Chan controversy is taking place in
Washington, the nation’s capital. News
paper accounts undoubtedly will be no
ticed by members of Congress and high
Reagan administration officials, who
will then turn their attention to some
thing “momentous.” It will occur to only
some of them that what is happening
within the proverbial shadow of the Ca
pitol is a reflection of a larger national
tragedy, for which the government has
been doing precious little. A whole gen
eration of black America is missing.
Copyright 1986, Universal Press Syndicate
The mom-and-pop stores that are
now run by Asians were once the busi-
The good news is that some I
leaders oppose Wilson. They know 1
chasing out Chan solves nothing- 1
it is racism masquerading as econn
self-determination, a hollow phr#
any case. No matter what happei
Chan, the real challenge remainstli
velopment of a black entrepren®
class and the revitalization ofthegl lf! |
The sacrifice of a scapegoat, not
ter how comforting it makes some?
pie feel, will not accomplish that.If 1 ’
son, for one, really wants todosj
good for his community, heoughi 11
two things: shut his mouth ando^
Copyright 1986, Washington Post Writers^ [
Mail Call
Constructive criticism
It would appear from The Battalion’s report of the
Memorial Student Center Council’s discussion of the “A
Panorama of Republican Perspectives on Issues Facing the
State of Texas Program” that the Council has little
intention of utilizing the criticism generated by the
program in a positive fashion. I sincerely hope that this is
not to be the case.
investigations and criticisms should be expected. While
these are only a few of the problems which surfaced inll
program, I have yet to hear of any of these concerns heir
addresed or even an acknowledgement of the flawed
nature of the program.
Instead of being concerned about publicly repsonding
to this criticism, those involved with the program should
use these inquiries and statement to learn from an
obviously flawed program. Any program in which the
principle speaker renounces the format and abandons the
topic (do Strategic Defense Initiative and Libya directly
concern the Texas governor’s race?) and the VIP list
partially is drawn from lists provided by the respective
campaign has problems. Any time a current member of
the Board of Regents (William McKenzie) appears on the
stage of a partisan function representing the University
and student service fees help pay for such an event,
I don’t know if MSC Political Forum is answerableto
the Faculty Senate or not. This is not the point. The
administrators and students involved have a responsibili 1 !®
to analyze the criticism and suggestions from the Faculty
Senate, the Eagle or any other concerned party so as to
improve future programming. Af ter all, the actions of
these people reflect upon the entire University through
the programs produced. Unfortunately, at this point,!
have seen no evidence by anyone involved in the MSC
toward this end.
Derek Blakeley
Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words in length. Theedi! or
staff reserves the right to edit letters for style and length, but will 1 ”'
every effort to maintain the author’s intent. Each letter must be dr
and must include the classification, address and telephone numbered I