The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 10, 1986, Image 1

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The Battalion
i."'""' N ^ No. 71 USPS 045360 12 pages
College Station, Texas
Wednesday, December 10, 1986
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President Reagan’s recently de
parted national security aides —
both still active-duty military officers
—refused to publicly answer ques
tions Tuesday from a House com
mittee exploring the Iranian-Contra
arms-and-money connection.
The dramatic invocations of Fifth
Amendment rights by Vice Adm.
John M. Poindexter and Marine Lt.
Col. Oliver L. North brought an in
creasing aura of mystery to the bur
geoning foreign policy scandal.
The refusals to testify came as the
Reagan administration appeared to
be at odds with itself over exactly
what happened and how officials
should respond to congressional de
mands for answers. Retired Maj.
Gen. Richard V. Secord, another
principal figure in the controversy,
took the Fifth Amendment before
the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In citing their constitutional right
against self-incrimination, Poin
dexter, Reagan’s former national se
curity adviser, and North, fired as a
key National Security Council aide,
declined in separate, nationally
broadcast appearances before the
House Foreign Affairs Committee to
discuss any aspect of U.S. arms sales
to Iran or the transfer of profits to
Nicaraguan Contra rebels.
“I must decline to answer that
question at this time because of my
constitutional rights under the Fifth
Amendment,” Poindexter, who re
signed Nov. 25, told the committee.
North, who worked for Poin
dexter, said, “On the advice of coun
sel, I respectfully and regretfully de
cline to answer the question based on
my constitutional rights.”
At the White House, President
Reagan, in an exchange with news
reporters during a picture-taking
session, said he has caught glimpses
of the nationally televised House
hearings, but also said, “If I were
taking questions, I would remind
you that I am the one that told you
all that we know about what hap
In fact, Reagan used his regular
Saturday radio broadcast to the na
tion last weekend to acknowledge
that elements of his policy to estab
lish contact with moderate political
forces in Iran were “flawed” and
that “mistakes were made.” Without
directly apologizing for the policy
that resulted in the biggest flap of
his nearly 6-year presidency, Reagan
promised to “set things straight”
with the American people.
While Congress turned up the
heat for answers, two former presi
dents offered their views:
• Richard M. Nixon described
the Iran-Contra controversy as “a
sideshow” and said it was time for
critics of Reagan to “get off his
back.” Nixon’s comments were made
during a closed-door meeting with
Republican governors in Parsip-
pany, N.J.
• Jimmy Carter said Reagan ap
pears to be trying to hide the facts.
Reagan appears to want the Con
gress to have to dig for the facts,
meaning they will come out piece
meal “and that could be more dam
aging,” Carter said in an interview in
In another development, Rep.
Charles Wilson, D-Texas, who
strongly supports covert U.S. aid to
Afghan guerillas said he had been
assured by CIA Director William Ca
sey that the mixing of money for Ni
caragua’s Contras with Afghan aid
was a clerical error and did not di
vert any money intended for the
Poindexter and North had pre
viously declined to answer questions
during a private session of the Sen
ate Intelligence Committee, and
North later Tuesday cited the Fifth
Amendment during an appearance
before the House Intelligence Com
mittee, said a committee source who
declined to be named publicly.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., vice
ucfy urges birth control, sex ed for teens
Doctor: Sex ed needed to fight pregnancies
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in teen-ager gives birth to a
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!ern of unintended pregnancies
ths that can best be countered
. j|ggressive use of sex education
3rovidesa ; '| contraceptives, says a major re-
beCOme “W-ci Tuesday.
!cl aboUl *!:iB 0 -year study of teen-age pre-
IvanoMnup^ an( j an arm
ational Academy of Sciences
luded that the country needs
ms pushing “diligent contra-
IS6 use” and education to de-
ict whichpregnancy and abortion
. bulletin >;ong youth.
:hus gm«9 e T
al oppeWiMexpert panel of the academy’s
itions.Ihe ; |ion;il Research Council said “the
.omneatwjB priority” must be given to
Bncy prevention — including
Spread availability of birth con-
m mm i P'! ls and condoms — to reduce
by the 114 10,1 P re g nanc i es a year that
,se the JSCfltfrom teen-age sex.
, MobelyJ'
aor in Notf^lDaniel D. Federman of Har
ntinuedtotffi Medical School, chairman of
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By Christ! Daugherty
Staff Writer
Sex education may be the only way to combat
teenage pregnancy, a Bryan pediatrician said
Tuesday during a 7-member panel discussion.
Dr. Kenneth Matthews, an assistant professor
in pediatrics at the Texas A&M College of Medi
cine, spoke at the College Station Community
Center as the keynote speaker on the issue of
teen pregnancy.
The discussion was sponsored by the A&M
College of Medicine, the Brazos County Exten
sion Service and Brazos Valley Health Services.
Matthews said he has been a proponent of sex
education in schools for more than a decade, and
still believes that it may be the only way to de
crease teenage pregnancy in Texas, which is
ranked third in the nation for pregnancies
among girls between the ages of 15 and 19.
“As a pediatrician I have appointed myself an
ombudsman for children,” Matthews said. “I’m
willing to stand as a shield for the child. But we’re
talking about a pregnant 12-year-old, and when a
12-year-old comes to you, as the children’s shield,
which child do you protect?”
But, Matthews said, there is no epidemic of
teen pregnancies today. There is just a different
society. But he warned there is potential for an
epidemic to develop if parents don’t learn how to
talk to their children about sex.
Yet pregnancies are not his greatest fear about
teenage permissiveness, he said. He said he
thinks the real danger is AIDS.
“To me, the question is, how do we inform our
kids about a deadly disease which exists because
of a sexually promiscuous, polygamous society,”
he said. “And we don’t know how to tell our chil
dren of the importance of selecting a partner
who is clean.”
He said the answer is to prepare children ear
lier, in grade school, for the sexual world they
will encounter sooner than their parents might
“Sex ed in school is not the answer, it is an ans
wer,” Matthews said. “And for kids in junior high
and high school it is simply a bandage on a hem-
morhage because it’s too little, too late.”
chairman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, said he was frustrated
by the repeated refusals of Poin
dexter and North to testify.
“I wish the White House would
stop talking about the tremendous
cooperation they’re showing, when
the people they used throughout
this (arms deal) keep coming up and
taking the Fifth,” Leahy said in a
telephone interview from Puerto
Rico, where he said he was on a
“working vacation.”
“The PR (public relations) folks at
the White House might not like it,
but it would be a lot more factual if
they just said, ‘We are not going to
guarantee you cooperation.’ ”
Leahy said.
to protest
war toys
NEW YORK (AP) — Many of the
nation’s editorial cartoonists are us
ing their newspaper and magazine
spots between now and Christmas to
protest the sale of war toys, again
raising questions about whether such
items are healthy.
But while the debate rages, sales
of war toys continue to soar.
G.I. Joe, with his $130 aircraft
carrier and other accoutrements, is
the nation’s biggest selling toy, and
Rambo, Ninja Warrior and other
war toys are especially popular dur
ing this holiday gift-giving season.
“All this Rambo, it’s crazy,” said
Sharon Cullity, a buyer in New York
City. “It’s guns, guns guns.”
A shopper, Donna Apostol of St.
Johns, Mich., said, “If you’re going
to let them watch it on TV, you have
to let them play with it.”
Some find that disturbing. Be
tween today and Dec. 24, more than
40 editorial cartoonists, including
nine Pulitzer Prize winners, will use
their cartoons to urge parents to
avoid toys with violent themes.
Bob Staake, a St. Louis free-lance
cartoonist who organized the effort,
said, “At a time when we are sup
posed to be celebrating peace, it
seems insane to turn war into a
Christmas present.”
The manufacturers say it is natu
ral for little boys to play war, and
these are the toys that people want.
Some psychologists say that war
toys are not harmful.
“Kids can differentiate between
violence that is funny and violence
that is sickening,” said Brian Sutton-
Smith, a professor of education and
folklore at the University of Pennsyl
vania. “They can clearly tell the dif
ference between Road Runner and
the evening news . . . culture is full of
murder, Shakespeare is full of mur
der. Do you want to get rid of that?”
itionsby*? Ipant l, told a news briefing that
t lunchei®'} pfcblem of teen-age pregnancy
,..r 1 wHB ross economic and ethnic
jip ofBbl'T
, BSC hast:
Wps. But special attention must
paid to youths from disadvan-
groups, he said.
een pregnancies disproportio-
J occur in poor families and
only «U #1 children who do not do well
,e natioiThool,” Federman said in an in-
lheniosl s ;jW. “So we have to look at pro-
rSWwJjBhat address self-options, giv-
irie, Y ol, T teen-agers the reason and
“mi iB 100 to do somet hing with
d oii^'T lives and to act responsibly sex-
uieVcport said there is little evi-
ijeneitei.'Hthat existing efforts to dis-
Pge teen-agers from engaging
en&AI^XfVe effective and no convinc-
0 ; '|data that availability of contra-
■§ services encourages early
Kie panel believes that the major
for reducing early unin-
ded pregnancy must be the en-
(iL iragement of diligent contracep-
2. M 1 ! use by all sexually active teen-
dent L #1 ts/i conc j uc i e( j the 337-page re-
student* t.
:SS At 'ed^rman told the briefing that
A Bli'l ool-based health clinics might be
[5-1H- d to dispense birth control pills
ic; VMcondoms.
dS BAy he report drew immediate crit-
asurt’f m from conservative groups op-
ptary led to public sex education and
Lyati' ttraception for teen-agers.
Tax reform, economy to affect financial aid
Editor’s note: This is the first
in a three-part series on the possi
ble effects of federal tax reform
and the state budget crisis on fi
nancial aid at Texas A&M. This
section deals with changes in the
federal Guaranteed Student
Loan program.
By Sue Krenek
News Editor
Becky Burks is worried.
The junior education major is
working her way through Texas
A&M with a combination of
scholarships, loans and a part-
time job, but with a year of classes
and student teaching still ahead,
she’s fearful of how state budget
cuts and federal tax reform will
affect her.
Financial uncertainty is
enough to worry any student. But
Burks can’t calm her fears with a
call to Texas A&M’s financial aid
office — the aid officers know
little more than she does.
Student financial aid is being
hit from every direction. Finan
cial aid officers must evaluate
what will happen to financial aid
as a result of changes in the fed
eral tax code and they must try to
advise students, often without ba
sic information on the changes.
And the aid officers find their
ranks slimmed by cuts in state
funding to A&M that Thomas
Taylor, A&M director of fiscal in
formation, says total 10.5 percent
under the current budget.
The tax code changes are part
of the federal tax reform mea
sure, which the president signed
into law in October. Although
some provisions of the reform
package took effect immediately,
Taft Benson, A&M student fi
nancial aid director, says his of
fice has received notification of
only one change.
The problem, Benson says, is
that changes in laws are not
passed directly to financial aid of
fices. Instead, the changes are in
terpreted by the Department of
Education, which issues regula
tions the aid offices must follow.
He says these regulations gen
erally are drawn up two to six
months after a law’s passage, leav
ing students who must apply for
financial aid in the interim un
sure of the rules they must follow.
And while Benson is unsure of
the exact effects that tax reform
and the 10.5-percent cut in state
funding to the University will
have on financial aid, he says that
coupled with other recent
changes, the effects won’t be
good for students.
The most damaging change
Benson knows of isn’t connected
to tax reform or budget cuts. Be
ginning Oct. 17, the federal gov
ernment’s Guaranteed Student
Loan program became need-
based. Because his office wasn’t
notified until several weeks later,
Benson says students who filed
during that period must refile to
meet additional requirements and
may lose funding.
The loan program, which Ben
son says may be hit by increased
demand if scholarships and
grants become less readily avail
able, provides student loans free
of interest until after graduation.
Until last month, these loans
didn’t emphasize financial need
as a requirement. Students also
could a pply for a GSL without ap
plying for any other type of aid.
Benson says that under the old
rules, any student basically was
assured of getting a GSL if his ad
justed income was less than
$30,000 a year. Now, however, a
student applying for a GSL must
file either a Financial Aid Form
or a Family Financial Statement
with the aid office.
The FAF and FFS allow the of
fice to generate an estimate of
what the family can afford to con
tribute, Benson says, and a loan
will be offered only if that
amount is less than the student’s
Ann Vanwinkle, financial aid
coordinator for the office, says
the new rule creates more paper
work for the student and the of
fice. But she says the change may
not be all bad.
“Before, some students didn’t
apply for gift aid (scholarships
and grants) because they assumed
they were ineligible,” she says.
“Since they have to file a Finan
cial Aid Form now, we may be
able to locate more students who
qualify for that type of aid.”
But she says the change also
creates problems for a staff that’s
been left short-handed in the
wake of the University’s hiring
“I try to be optimistic about it,
but the paperwork is just over
whelming for us and for the stu
dents,” she says.
Benson is less optimistic about
the change, estimating that al
though the office may uncover
some students who are eligible
for additional aid, it is more likely
that about 25 percent of the A&M
students who now receive GSLs
will be ineligible under the new
rules. In 1984-85, the last year for
which figures are available, 7,000
A&M students received GSLs.
Benson estimates that the num
ber of recipients increases by
about 10 percent a year, meaning
that more than 2,000 students
might face a cutoff in loan
He also anticipates an even
greater shift away from gift aid
and toward loans. In 1981, loans
made up 35 percent of financial
aid awards nationwide, with gift
aid accounting for 65 percent. As
the Reagan administration has
held education spending level in
the face of cost increases, loan
awards have risen to 56 percent
of total awards, with gift aid
shrinking to 49 percent.
Benson says this shift toward
loans may be accelerated by two
tax reform provisions he has yet
to receive official notification on.
One would make all non-tuition
scholarship income taxable, and
one may decrease donations for
scholarships by making them less
attractive as tax deductions.