The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, May 08, 1987, Image 2

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Page 2/The Battalion/Friday, May 8, 1987
The Battalion
(USPS 045 360)
Member of
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Gonference
The Battalion Editorial Board
Sondra Pickard, Editor
John Jarvis, Managing Editor
Sue Krenek, Opinion Page Editor
Rodney Rather, City Editor
Robbyn L. Lister, News Editor
Loyd Brumfield, Sports Editor
Tracy Staton, Photo Editor
Editorial Policy
The BiUtulion is a non-profit, self-supporting newspaper oper
ated as a community service to Texas A&M and Brvan-College Sta
lk m.
Opinions expressed in The BiUlulioii are those of the editorial
hoard or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions
of Texas A&M administrators, faculty oi 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.
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
* \dvt ' ‘ ** * * •
year and $36.44 per full year. Advertising rates furnished <
Out address: The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald. Texas A&M
University, College Station, TX 77843-411 1.
Second c lass postage paid at College Station, TX 77843.
POSTMASTKR: Send address cYianges to The Battalion, 216
Reed McDonald, Texas A&M University, College Station TX
Mindless vacillation
With his “no-new-taxes” tour less than 18 hours in the past. Gov.
Bill Clements Wednesday endorsed a tax increase to balance the
state budget.
Clements has touted the increase, which would extend the state’s
sales tax base while lowering its rate, as a sign of his flexibility in bud
get matters. It is actually a sign of his mindless vacillation.
During his gubernatorial campaign, Clements courted political
advantage by declaring he* would sign no bill that called for a tax in
crease. Less than a month ago, he called tax-hike supporters “prairie
chickens” who were “thumping” for more money.
But austerity is not as fashionable in a state that is realizing that a
“no new taxes” policy is a mortgage on the state’s future, especially its
educational future. And Clements, as always, is following the tide.
Clements is to be commended for changing his tune. A tax in
crease, however slight, may help stave off the mediocrity that threat
ens to engulf a state concerned only with the bottom line. But at
some point Texans will tire of a governor whose policies change di
rections as often as a weather vane.
Hey, friencLHaven’t
you heal'd about
Reagan’s call to
1'estore America’s
Competitiveness ?
S 1 | fejacim [|fi
• ■ • f—’
• " m it,
I ■ ijiuamm
* • 'niTjr
/ill bej
[will sta
bus, fc)
tibie K
The new national pastime
Dm i
(buses i
lute inti
145 a s
Isei \ i<c
Out of the fishbowl
We’ve all seen
the commercial:
the sleazy I suzu
salesman trumpets
that his cat costs
only $ 9 — a n d
buying early will
snag you a free
house. The cap
tion underneath:
“He’s lying.”
Closer to home,
advertising tor
Redstone Apartments boasts, in large
Cary Hart’s decision to put his campaign on indefinite hold must
have been difficult — but it was the right decision.
Hart’s affair, or lack thereof, with Miami saleswoman and part-
time actress Donna Rice lias become a political millstone. A week
ago, a poll of likely primary voters showed Hart tied with Massachu
setts Gov. Michael Dukakis, each with 32 percent. Dukakis now. leads.
Hart 27 percent to 17 percent.
In a Wednesday press conference, the Democratic candidate
called for fairness from the media. But it was Hart himself who in
vited reporters to follow him everywhere to dispel earlier rumors of
The issue is not whether or not Hart slept with Rice, although the
couple’s trip to Bimini — on a yacht called Monkey Business —
seems damning. The issue is the judgment of a man who wants to be
president of the United States. Diplomacy and discretion are re
quired for the job. Hart has shown neither.
His decision to return home is a sound one, and he emphasizes
that his campaign is not over. The lesson, while harsh, has been in
valuable. It can only be hoped that he has learned it well.
game preserve!
print, of the “Exotic
Free rent! Helicopter service to class!
Indoor 18-hole golf course!” In much
smaller print, the reader is told, “Get a
grip. Redstone doesn’t have all that.”
So what’s going on? Since (on Lovitz"
pathological liar from “Saturday Night
l ,i\e .implanted itself into the nation's
comctoHisness' Jast year, lying has be-
coFniy'tTYc fmncTv way to sell. But is all the
hoopla the result of one fictional charac
No. It’s the result of a lot of real-life
characters whose antics put the fictional
characters to shame. As Barbara Lip-
pert of Adweek magazine has said, the
Isuzu ad and its imitators are the sim
plest metaphors for the Iran-Contra
A U.S. News & World Report poll
shows that more than 25 percent of
Americans believe the president lies
regularly. For a nation that values hon
esty, the idea of a president who lies is
Perception of some athletes
leads to stereotype for all
An opinion pre-'
sented in a recent
column held that
student athletes
are not deserving
Guest Columnist
of scholarships. Unfortunately, most of
the author’s arguments were inflamma
tory hogwash. I would like to present an
opposing view.
There are more than 350 students at
Texas A&M receiving some form of ath
letic scholarship, either full or partial.
By regulation, only 95 of these may be
football players. That leaves quite a few
athletes, many of whom are women,
who are not 250-pound linebackers.
The idea that all of these students are
undeserving is preposterous. Granted,
like all other students, their goals at
graduation differ. However, 1 think it
would be safe to assume that the women
attending A&M on volleyball schol
arships are not anticipating signing lu-
crative pro contracts upon graduation.
A few athletes are below average in
their academic preparation coming in, a
few flunk out and still others don’t grad
uate. You could say the same about the
guys in my dorm when I was in school.
Those guys didn’t make the column, but
some major misconceptions about
Texas A&M’s athletic program did.
First, a large majority of our athletes
meet the same entrance requirements as
the rest of the student body. Why not
all? I don’t know; why is a high-school
senior in the first quarter of his or her
graduating class held to a lower SAT
standard for admission than those stu
dents ranked lower? Is it perhaps be
cause they are considered exceptional?
Why not question why every student en
tering A&M isn’t held to the same en
trance standards?
Once they’re enrolled, A&M athletes
are treated no differently than other
students in the area of academic re
quirements. They must choose a course
of study available to any other student,
take the same courses in their chosen
major (including the core curriculum)
and maintain the same grade-point min-
imums. They are allowed to have the
highest GPR in their college (like foot
ball player Kip Corrington) and they are
allowed to flunk out. Everyone has had
athletes in their classes. If, as Ms. Jensen
suggests, they are all taking 128 hours
of physical education, what are they
doing in other classes, auditing for fun?
The reported incident of the football
player expecting special favors is inex
cusable and unfortunate, but to general
ize that this attitude is shared by more
than 300 other students is to encourage
prejudice. People who feel that the rules
don’t apply to them are everywhere,
perhaps even on The Battalion staff.
As to the “preponderance” of people
who are more deserving of support,
what measure is used to support that
opinion? From a financial need stand
point, a much better case can be made to
support athletes than the general stu
dent population. I think a responsible
investigation would uncover that the
athletic program at A&M contains a
higher percentage of minority students
and students who otherwise would he
unable to attend college than does the
non-athlete population. The comment
that “intelligent people are losing their
opportunity . . . because the money is
going somewhere else” is a dangerous
inference and a tired stereotype.
The article also challenged the
method of funding athletic scholarships
and the priorities of individual donors.
The Aggie Club was formed in 1952 to
provide an avenue for contributions to
the athletic program. Today the Aggie
Club, through donations from its mem-
disastrous, and can best he dealt "iih
through humor. But Reagan is not die
only cause of the spate of 1) ing ads.
The Sunday l imes of London i BR
recent editorial commenting on ho\' ku
the country's mood has fallen fioni the
jubilant giddiness of last July's Statue of
Liberty celebration. Since then, the
American public has been made privy to
revelations of lying by the NASA offi
cials who launched Challenger, the Wall
Street businessmen who used inside in
formation to accumulate fortunes lot
themselves, and members of the gov
ernment who swapped arms lot hos
tages in Iran.
This is a public already disillusioned
by the economic difficulties of the
1970s, a public that sought an csiape
from Jimmy Carter’s diagnosis of a "na
tional malaise” with a flight to Reaga-
ni.sjn., The attempted “return to inno
cence” manifested itself throughout
popular culture as yuppies listened to
the music of the TOs and Hocked to see
“The Big Chill.”
But the last year has Ix’enaj
awakening for those seekingimii
Confronted by lies from govm
science and business, Americ
taken refuge in religion. Butiib
iilling the moral vacuum, religiotl
through the* escapades of Jiitf
l aminv Bakker, shown itself toM
pable of lying as any other instill
faken as a whole, the lies aid
more haimtul because they cau4
A met ican people to lose trusi.
come* jaded and cynic al. The Ain
public, lied to by every institutionl
been taught to hold dear, lias Mil
into a never-never land of If
salesmen and free helicopter sent
class, a plate' where vou iimsti
jokes about the* lie's in ordertodol
It almost makes \ou homtsiil
(immy ('.al ter.
“In <
Ice at a
ipay us
their cc
Irules f
[Apart i
[their h
In 1
per sai
will pi
mer. 1
pan. b
Sue Krenek is a senior journ*
major and the Opinion Page f! ::
The Battalion.
hers, provides a substantial amount of
the athletic scholarships at A&M. No
state f unds are used; no money is diver
ted from other student programs.
At the risk of dispelling a widely held
notion, most Aggie Club members are
not wild-eyed football fanatics. A major
ity, like me, contribute at the lowest giv
ing levels. Virtually all heavily support
academic scholarships and other stu
dent programs through contributions to
the Association of Former Students.
The criticism that donors to athletic
scholarhips should re-channel their sup
port elsewhere is unfounded. The Club
does not compete for dollars that would
flow to other University segments any
more than 77ie Battlion competes for
readership with the Wall Street Journal.
As a group, the people who are funding
athletic scholarships at A&M are more
concerned with the quality of A&M’s
academic programs, with its continued
reputation as a leader and its overall
success than virtually anyone else. Is the
author of that column going to contrib
ute to Texas A&M in any way after
graduation? I hope so . . . stay tuned . . .
T he bottom line is that stereotypes
and prejudices exist against athletes just
like against journalists. Not all athletes
are football players. Not all football
players have sub-par intelligence. Not
all journalists are as misinformed as I). A
Jensen. Seldom does reality follow per
ception. T here are many serious prob
lems in college athletics, so many that
nobody needs to make up any more.
There does need to he a serious effort to
change things. Responsible criticism
based on facts combined with imagina
tive solutions would go a long way to
ward turning the tide.
Clark Whiteside is a 1978 graduate of
Texas A&M and an employee of the
Aggie Club.
Mail Call
What a conversationalist
1.1)11 OR:
I n your May (> edition, Mr. Jon Watts desci ibed himself as “narrow
minded" in his “defense” of A&M. My Webster's delines iiariow-mindeii
being “limited in outlook, lacking in scope, bigoted and prejudiced. ' Hu
ad mb able character traits probably qualify Mi. Watts as a brilliant
conversationalist and an innovative thinker.
Sarcasm aside, the narrow-minded (the one-pet i enters, perhaps)are
more of a hazard to the reputation of this University than the two-perce®
Mr. Watts has chosen to berate.
D. Eric Schansberg, grad student
Racism a two-way street
In response to Wendall Gray’s letter of May 6: You know, Wcndall, _
letter had one meaningful section . . . the quotation from Martin Lutheifo
11 s too had you had to nullify its content wit h your own ignorant remarks. “
I f I referred to you as a “non-informed, ignorant , misguided black bo',
would you be offended? ()f course you would. Your use of “white boy isju
as off ensive.
Wake up! As soon as mindless bigots like yourself stop deluding
themselves with quotations from great men and realize that racism is a two-
way st reel maybe, just maybe, the fires of ignoi am e will subside ami hyp'
like- yours will he seen for what it is . . . pathetic.
Daniel Bergey, grad student
Affordable education
Recently the state Legislature has been addressing issues that directlv
affect the students at all Lexas universities and colleges. On Tuesday the
Friends of Education spoke out against the proposed budget that willhuriB
schools as a whole. What about the students as individuals?
The governor wants to tap into the Permanent University Fund, wink
Legislature intends to allow the schools to raise tuition again to covertheif
short (alls. Meanwhile. Texas A&M has decided to raise the cost ofimalpl |[ g
dorm rent and student services fees, fo top all of this, the federal goverini'®
is cutting back the f inancial aid to students so the schools are reducingwortH
st wdy, loans and gt airt opportunities.
While some of us can't afford to he bowheads oi Greeks, aren’t rhil(lM , jfl
Old Ags whose maroon blood has a green tint, aren't recruited minorities,ifS
at cu t on athletic sc holarships, 1 hope that “the rich, the powerful, the
positioned, and the c oncerned” remembei that their egos.arc secondaryW'y
needs ol t he student who must struggle to finance his education. I applai
them lor their effort.
They’ve been able to afford theii educations- -now I would like to bed
to afford mine. ■
Phillip Anders ’89
accompanied by two signatures
l.etti is in tl ie editor should not exceed 3(H) words in length The editorial staff reserves (he right I*
edil letters foi style mid length, but will make eveiy effort to maintain the author’s intent. F.ach -
lettei must he signed and must include the classification, address and telephone numheir of th/