The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, May 01, 1987, Image 2

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    Page 2/The Battalion/Friday, May 1, 1987
Of GPRs and the students’ right to choose
Despite the
University and
Athletic Depart
ment response to
recent requests
under the Free
dom of Informa
tion Act, freedom
of the press has
been maintained
on this campus.
When Aggies pick
up l he Battalion,
Karl Pallmeyer’s right to spout off about
bowheads or evangelists. In our case, it
means that students are allowed to pro
duce a professional-caliber newspaper
uninhibited by faculty and administra
they are enjoying a press freedom that
many more “prestigious” schools lack.
It’s no accident that The Battalion,
for example, is not under the direct con
trol of the University hierarchy. Student
Publications, of which our paper is a
part, is overseen by the Student Publica
tions Board, made up of a chairman,
three faculty members, one staff mem
ber and three students. It is this board
that nominates the editor.
the editor or a staff member simply be
cause board members disagree with the
paper’s content. In this way, the Univer
sity has no direct control over Battalion
policy and, for that matter, neither does
the Publications Board. In this sense, ii
is truly a student newspaper.
(lie professional arena, ii is also a non-
academic operation.
Quality, not grade points, is the prior
lions. The board is entering into am
area of control. Never before basil
staff policy beyond the qualifications!
editor. Currently all other rec|iiirenKi
lot staff positions at e set by the editor
Freedom of the press is far more than The board, however, cannot remove
It is not a student organization.
Working for The Battalion is a job. The
application process resembles that at a
professional paper, and most of the op
erations and budget processes are car
ried out in the same way. While the pa
per is a proving ground for skills
learned in journalism classes, an oppor
tunity to hone abilities before entering
But at its last meeting, the Student
Publications Board was asked to con
sider a bylaws change that would ex
pand its influence over the paper. Cur
rently, the Battalion editor has the
authority to hire any student lie or she
chooses to work on the staff. But if the
proposed bylaw change, which was tem-
porairly tabled, is approved, all staff
members would be required to have at
least a 2.0 grade-point ratio.
If it were to override this authoii
the I Kiard would be showing a lad
confidence in its own nominees. Wor
such an ac tion would raise thequesii
“What nex<?”
Will the- board stop at meregradn
Cjuirements, or will Battalion staffs#
be restric ted only to journalism si
dents? ()i pei haps just journalismst
dents with a newspaper spec iali/atioii:
So what? This is a university, and a
university revolves around good aca
demic standing, right? And what differ
ence does such a petty change in Battal
ion policy have on the student bod\
As a University, as students and fac
ulty, we tend to allow out overriding
concern with decimal points to control
every aspect of education. Students are
reluctant to discuss topics in class that
they don’t need to know for the test.
Professors would rather curve grades
than worry about whether or not any
thing they taught is getting through to
their students. Most extracurricular ac
tivities — supposedly even athletics
have a grade requirement for partici
C'.ui rently I he Battalion is open
any student who c an make a qualiho
iribution to the publication. Mam
our best stall members have beenm
journalism majors and a few, unb
nately, have been cm academic prol
tion. But if they weren’t makingn
able contributions to the paper,
wouldn’t be paying them.
1 hi
ion. f
triblit ion to
paper gave
was the papet
of lecture
is mv last column for TheBm
cm thanklul for the paper’ui
m\ education, hi faci,i
>u i pose to my time here
t hat solidified tbe hoi
d half-hours of studying
The purpose of a college education is
to promote learning. A minimum re
quirement for staff members would
deny some students the opportunity to
learn through hands-on experience sim
ply because their grades fall below a
predetermined level of excellence.
plary, wo
Battalion vve
| >rci equisite
the priority
the grades,
leave Texas
future student journalists may bed
ied an invaluable learning experie»
because they set the same priorinei
ouldn't glide through!
far from exi
lave banned inch
>i k. even with thepropo
But for me the paper
, and it was the paper, b
that got me a job. 1 han
A&M with the thought I
did, but
courses a;
Motherhood: Quick easy, ready-mode
Since coming to
college, I’ve ven
ture cl into the
wonderful world
of motherhood.
Sort of.
Guest Columnist
I don’t have any kids of my own, I just
inherited a kid pre-packaged in an adult
body — my mother. She might as well
call ME “Mom,” but luckily it hasn’t got
ten to that extreme.
Actually, I don’t think she even rec
ognizes the turn our relationship has
That’s probably because my mom
tends to be a “dingy blonde.” (I take af
ter my dad, of course.) Her lack of com
mon sense doesn’t make my job as mom
any easier.
My mother has a history of back
problems, and she’s bad tw r o major sur
geries within the past six years. The last
left her in a brace that she w ill have to
wear for at least another year.
She has a great deal of mobility but
has to take muscle relaxers every so of
ten when she pushes herself too far.
One night I called to see how she was
doing. She sounded groggy and slurred
her words as though she had been
So I asked her about it.
“I only had a glass of wine,” she said
in childlike defense, “and a couple of
muscle relaxers.” I couldn’t care less if
she had been drinking, but I was not
thrilled about her mixing alcohol with
So, being the concerned parent I am,
I gave her a much-needed lecture.
“Don’t you know you’re not supposed to
drink alcohol when you take medica
tion?” I asked.
“No, I didn’t know that,” she said.
Sometimes I wonder how my dad, who
reads two newspapers a day and watches
about two hours worth of news every
night, deals with her lack of grip on
reality. But I guess after 30 years of
marriage he’s become a professional at
humoring her.
As long as he’s around, she’ll never
have to grow up. Because my father’s
job as chief engineer on a ship takes him
away for eight months at a time, my
mom is alone quite a bit.
That’s when l worry about her the
most. When my dad goes off to sea, my
mom swings into a social whirl.
It’s almost as il she’s a college fresh
man away from home for the first time.
She often goes out with friends and
comes home late. She is invited over to
somebody’s house for dinner practically
every night.
And even though she lives about 50
miles away, she’ll always call to tell me
where she’s going.
Now how many “mothers” can say
they get that kind of consideration from
their children? I guess with as many
friends as she has I really shouldn’t
worry about her, but I can’t help it.
Most mothers naturally worry about
their kids. What makes me feel most like
a mother, though, is when my mom calls
to get permission to go out of town.
Sometimes my dad will sail into a port
nearby so my mom can see him every
once in a while. One time he was going
to be coming into one of the Louisiana
ports and she called to tell me about it.
“Can I drive to Louisiana to see your
dad?” she asked. “He might be getting
off the ship for vacation, so we could
drive back together.”
“No,” I told her. “I don’t want you to
drive all that way by yourself. What if
something should happen? What if your
back started bothering you? Then what
would you do? No, I’d really rather you
“Nope. Sorry. I know you want to see
him, hut it would be better if you flew.
What if he doesn’t get vacation? Then
you’ll have to drive all the way back
So she gives in for the time being, fig
uring since it’s the morning that I’m
probably just grumpy.
Later that afternoon, she called
She conceded.
“OK, OK.”
At least she didn’t give me any lip or
go ahead and drive anyway like some re
bellious kids would.
Besides what could 1 do if she did? I
can’t exactly punish my mother — al
though it is an interesting thought. . .
In journalism, grades rarely are a cri
teria for getting a job. In lour job inter
views, I was never asked about grades.
My future employers still have no idea
of my academic standing, nor, foi that
matter, do I. What it boils down to is
that if you can’t write, you can’t get a
job. And if you don’t work foi the pa
per, you have little oppoi (unity to prove
that you can write.
first w<
ry boy
grade. Sin
changes in
sity. In fact, tl
mained unchan
is that Scott M
“Warned." But
rked lot
when 1 v
e then I
the panel
s in the
1 seen a
me! the l
ax d
e only thing thatsu
>ed over all those ya
Cullar still is draw-
staff members aim
ppoitunity to prove tli
bine outside the acadei
As Lve said, ability is the determining
factor for Battalion employment, not
grades. If that focus switches from abil
ity to academic: standing, I he Battalion
may continue unscathed, hut good join
nalism will become a secondary concern
to good grades.
My experience and accoin
at / he Battalion got me a job. Iwoi
hate to see future staff members!
pi ived of this chance, and for thatnuB
ter, A&M forced to put up with a
onct-rate papet because the publicaiin
board decided to set students’priorin
Kristin Theodorsen is a senior journa
lism major and a copy editor for The
Perhaps even more disturbing than
the immediate implications of the pro
posal before the pubications board,
however, are the long-term ratnifica-
for them.
Loren Steffy is now a business w: ||
for the Arlington Daily Newsandi
Mid-Cities Daily News.
she asked in a begging
“I haven’t changed my mind,” I said.
“I don’t want you driving by yourself.
Even if Dad does get his vacation, he
probably won’t want to drive home any
The Battalion
(USPS 045 360)
Member of
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Conference
The Battalion Editorial Board
Loren Steffy, Editor
Marybeth Rohsner, Managing Editor
Mike Sullivan, Opinion Page Editor
Jens Koepke, City Editor
Jeanne Isenberg, Sue Krenek. News Editors
Homer Jacobs, Sports Editor
Tom Ownbey, Photo Editor
Editorial Policy
The 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 77ie 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 for students
in reporting, editing and photography classes within the Depart
ment of Journalism.
j'he Battalion is published Monday through Friday during
Texas A&M regular semesters, except for holidav and examination
Mail subscriptions arc SI7.-44 per semester, $:J4.62 per school
year and $36.44 per full year. Advertising rates furnished on re
quest. -.
Our address: The Battalion. 216 Reed McDonald, Texas A&M
University, College Station, TX 77843-4 111.
Second c lass postage paid at College Station, TX 77843.
POSTMASTF.R: Send address changes to The Battalion, 216
Reed McDonald, Texas A&M University, College Station TX
Mail Call
Behind the times
A response to allegations of insidious “pi ide” exhibited by
One of the pleasing characteristics of t his count ry, Texas and
Texas A&M itself, concerns the atmosphere created by a
preponderance of unique individuals promoting pride in who
they are and what they happen to believe. I find it refreshing that
the A&M chapter of the National Organization of Women is
willing to make a statement concerning their rights as women,
and those of women across the United States. Darrell Dotson’s
chauvinistic attitude exhibited in his April 29 letter is typical of
die ult ra-conservative, holier-than-thou, misguided, as well as
judgmental, attitude which has undermined die individualism
and potential of women since the advent of male dominance over
Have you ever considered people who are visiting A&M?Can
vou imagine the impression they get from reading about Kvletht ?
“supressed” Aggie, fighting his “innei conflicts” oi maybe
promoting a him of two men having per vet ted sex? Is that the
image vve want others to see? The (ESS and other homosexuals
may have some court-given right to do what they do, hut I don’t
care about their problems or activities and I 'm getting sick of
reading about them.
Chuck Docekal ’87
Don't just sit there
This letter talks about big stuf f. Not about political,scandal.
Not about “hovyheads.” Not about grainmer.
The fact that these women have chosen a mode of expresson
involving a “Christian man” and his anti-abortion sign is
irrelevant. It is the fact that they are expressing themselves and
enforcing their rights as individuals concerning a strictly
personal, moral decision in a sea of those who would deny them
their freedom of choice through the impositions of their personal
morality. I’m sure that those “ladies” with whom Dotson
surrounds himself live for his condescending pat on the head and
not of approval for their appropriate “ladylike” thought s and
actions. However, I am sure that a great majority of the women in
this country and at A&M would prefer to live on their soap boxes
and be accused of the heinous crime of exhibiting pride, rather
than he limited by the “ladylike” constraints of an archaic
ideology as exemplified by Dotson. Smile, Dotson,your ignorance
is showing.
Mark Bednar’88
Question — 1 f the world seems sordid and cynical to you,
does it make much sense to let yourself become soi did and
cynical? Are you somehow more realistic for doing so?
People are good because they get upset by injustice, they warn
to love, and they have ideals. But what about all the bad stuff
Where does it all come from? Some see Satan behind all the hate,
indifference, and badness. Others prefer to talk about man’s
capacity for greed, pride and depravity. Still others say that
where you grow up causes you to do certain things. 1 he pointis
that all three groups can point the finger at something as the
cause of evil, Satan in t he first case, human nature in the second
and environmental determinism is the third.
Put 'em back in the closet
I would like to suggest that man is a decision-maker. That
goes for both the mundane and sublime aspects of life (e.g. “Yes,
I think the red bow will do for today” versus “Yes, I will marry
you.”). We have the power of choice. Though our choices maybe
limited, there is always that point at which the whole issue is
reduced to a matter of personal integrity.
On the front page of The Battalion Tuesday there was t he
first of a two-part series on homosexuality at A&M. A few weeks
back, an article publicized a film where homosexuals were
engaged in sexual acts explaining the benefits of condom use.
Not a week goes by where either the Gay Student Service
organization or gays in general aren’t given some type of media
attention by The Battalion.
I remember reading an account of an individual who
survived the horrors of the Nazi death ( amps. I lis remarkable
conclusion from the experience was that even under ihe harsh
extremes there, he and the others around him were still in
possession of the capacity to make moral decisions. Small actsof
kindness, petty acts of greed — it was still a matter of choice for
the individual.
Call them fags, queers, homos, whatever, hut they make me
sick and I’m tired of reading about them and how they spend
their leisure time. Some court somewhere may have forced us to
recognize the GSS as a student organization, but does that mean
we have to give them front-page publicity? Members of the GSS
make up a very small percentage of the student body, and the
rest of us would just assume forget that these perverts exist.
You are a decision-maker. Exercise the gif t and accept the
responsibility. Establish worthy ideals. If you see something that
you know isn’t right or encounter a w rong attitude, do something
about it. You might even write a letter to the editor.
Glenn Streiff
Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words in length. The editorial staff it
serves the right to edit letters foi style and length , but will make every effort
maintain the author's intent. Each letter must be signed and must include the tk
sification, address and telephone number of the writer.
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