The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, June 19, 1991, Image 1

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thinkingW Vol. 90 No. 156 CJSPS 045360 6 Pages
Texas A&M Sailing
Club looking to build '
upon the past year's
"Gas is too cheap!"
- Tim Truesdale
Protect yourself against
the ultra-violet rays this
— T
page 2
The Battalion
College Station, Texas
"Serving Texas A&M since 1893"
Wednesday, 19, 1991
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High school students experience A&M at summer program
By Tammy Bryson
The Battalion
While most high school juniors are
spending the summer waiting anx
iously for their senior year to begin, a
select few are preparing for a more dis
tant future at Texas A&M's Honors In
vitational summer program.
Top high school students from
across the state participate in this two-
day program designed to highlight the
unique opportunities available at
Students invited to the Honors Invi
tational are selected on the basis of
their Pre-Scholastic Achievement Test
(PSAT) scores, progress in National
Merit, Achievement and Hispanic
competitions and recommendations by
their high school counselors.
"This program is an effective recruit
ing tool for top high school students,"
said Dr. Dale Knobel, director of
A&M's Honors Program.
Students involved in the program
are looking at colleges on a national
level, he said.
"We want them to fully understand
our honors program before they make
a final decision on which college to at
tend," he said.
The Honors Invitational program
has become so popular that many eligi
ble students cannot be accepted, Kno
bel said. Of the more than 1,500 stu
dents who apply for the program, only
800 can be accommodated.
The five weekly sessions take place
every Monday and Tuesday in June
and continue through the first week of
The session has 160 students and in
cludes a general presentation of the
honors and scholarship opportunities
at A&M. The deans of various colleges
also talk to the students about courses,
degree requirements and career
An important part of the program is
that visiting students are divided into
smaller groups so they get a chance to
talk with professors and ask questions,
Knobel added.
One reason for the popularity of the
program is that the students get to stay
on campus and experience firsthand
what A&M is all about, he said.
Participants also get the chance to
discuss extra-curricular activities with
A&M students who have been in
volved in the honors program. These
orientation leaders encourage the stu
dents to take part in their "other" edu
"We have hundreds of clubs and or
ganizations where you can meet new
people, learn new skills and have a
great time," said Dylan Stafford, an
orientation leader and Class of '91.
Stafford was involved in the honors
program while completing a degree in
history. He also attended the Honors
Invitational before he came to A&M.
"The program definitely influenced
my decision to come to A&M," he said.
"It exposed me to the many opportuni
ties available here, and everyone was
very friendly."
Craig Blessing, a high school senior
from Arlington, said he has enjoyed
the two-day program.
"It has given me a good idea of what
the honors program is all about," he
said. "I haven't decided for sure about
which college to attend, but Texas
A&M is a definite possibility."
Officials still reluctant to allow women
to fly combat missions despite Gulf War
military officials on Tuesday said
they would be reluctant to allow
women to fly combat missions,
even though women performed
well during the Persian Gulf
However, the Pentagon's top
personnel official said the mili
tary would be willing to stop ex
cluding women from combat
flights as long as effectiveness
was not impaired.
"I am not enthusiastic about
increasing the exposure of
women to combat," said Gen.
Merrill McPeak, the Air Force
chief of staff. He said he found
"great comfort in the law" that
bars women in the Air Force,
Navy and Marines from flying
combat aircraft.
The Army is not covered by
the legal prohibition, but main
tains an internal policy banning
women from combat.
McPeak said that despite his
"personal reluctance" to allow
ing women in combat roles, the
military will move toward
"gender-neutral" standards for
combat pilots if the law is
McPeak's comments were
echoed by Gen. Alfred Gray, the
Marine commandant; Gen. Carl
Vuono, the Army chief of staff;
and Adm. Frank Kelso, chief of
naval operations.
"We in the corps see no need
to change anything," Gray said.
"Things seem to be going ex
tremely well."
The service chiefs appeared
before the Senate Armed Serv
ices Committee's manpower and
ersonnel subcommittee, which
card testimony on the emotion
ally charged issue of whether to
change the law excluding
women from combat assign
Christopher Jehn, assistant
secretary of defense for person
nel, told the panel that the mili
tary supports giving women
more opportunities, but the De
fense Department wants "maxi
mum flexibility in regulating
women in combat."
"We must ensure there is no
adverse impact on readiness or
combat effectiveness," he said.
The House last month in
cluded a provision in its version
of the 1992 defense budget bill
that would permit women to fly
combat missions. The Senate
this summer will consider
whether to go along, or perhaps
give women even more leeway.
The Army is not covered by
the combat law, but maintains
an internal policy barring
women from combat.
The drive to open more mili
tary doors to women stemmed
from their high-profile perfor
mance in Operations Desert
Storm and Desert Shield. Of the
540,000 troops assigned to the
Persian Gulf, 35,000 were
women. Eleven of them died;
five in hostile action.
Gray cautioned that the Gulf
War was not an accurate mea
sure of how women will perform
in all cases because that conflict
was unique.
"This was not the ultimate test
of sustained combat ... it was a
short war," Gray said.
The chiefs conceded a combat
ban is not always fair to women
who aspire to the prestige flying
jobs, but they said it presents lo
gistical problems such as having
women on naval ships where
space is tight.
Salim Zachem, a junior business major from London, collided with a pickup. Zachem had just pulled out of
surveys the damage to the car he was driving when he his parking spot on Olsen Drive when the truck hit him.
Reforms may
mean reduced
insurance costs
By Karen Praslicka
The Battalion
Insurance industry observers
say reforms in the insurance in-
dustiy mean increased competi
tion for Texas insurance compa
nies, and eventually lower prices
for consumers.
The reforms making up House
Bill 2 were recently signed into
law by Gov. Ann Richards.
The reforms were debated
throughout the legislative ses
sion, a period of almost 5
Chuck McDonald with the
governor's press office said a
voice vote taken in the House of
Representatives "overwhel
mingly approved" the bill, with
only about four dissenting votes.
A chance for increased compe
tition among insurance compa
nies is the primary benefit of the
bill by redefining flex-band rat
ing. But the bill also provides for
a more stable insurance indus
try, McDonald said.
Flex-band rating now allows
the State Board of Insurance to
set a maximum and minimum
price for policies. Previously,
only a maximum price could be
"Rates have been increasing
rapidly," McDonald said. "But it
will be a while before rates go
down and there may still be
some slight increases."
Bill Keck, assistant lecturer in
economics at Texas A&M, said
the price competition set up by
the bill will be better for every
body because present policy
rates are probably inflated.
Keck said he believes state
agencies are not given much au
thority, so some of the new Of
fice of Public Insurance Coun
sel's powers might not be
The OPIC, created by the bill,
operates two toll-free hotlines
See Insurance/Page 6
AIDS threat reassessed
Disease instills more fear than other STDs
Editor's note: This is the sec
ond story in a two-part series on
sexually transmitted diseases
(STDs). The first article dis
cussed the symptoms of various
STDs and how they are con
By Shannon Britt
The Battalion
While many people worry
about contracting a sexually
transmitted disease, perhaps the
most feared STD is the Acquired
ImmuneDeficiency Syndrome,
commonly known as AIDS.
a two-part series
EH Monday: The dangers of STDs
H Tuesday: AIDS
Anyone can contract the
deadly virus, and as of today,
there is no treatment or cure for
the virus. The fatal malady is an
infectious disease caused by a vi
rus called Human Immunodefi
ciency Virus.
The virus attacks the body's
immune system, making it un
able to fight off other diseases,
- which in turn might be fatal.
The AIDS virus can live in the
human body for years before ac
tual symptoms appear, so that a
person might be unaware of in
"There is no telling how many
people have AIDS," Health Edu
cator Tracy Anderson of the
Texas State Department of
Health said. "They may not ever
get AIDS-related complex when-
they are sick.
"They may not get it for 10
years," she continued. "But, in
See Health/Page 6
Scientists look for lost ships
By Susan Maguire
The Battalion
Texas A&M scientists are us
ing geology to help in the
search for two of Christopher
Columbus' ships lost off the
northern coast of Jamaica.
Dr. Michael Waters and Dr.
Richard Giardino, A&M fac
ulty and researchers with the
Columbus Caravels Project,
say they might have pieced to
gether what the beach of St.
Ann's Bay looked like when
Columbus grounded his leaky
ships there m 1503.
Understanding where the
shoreline was in 1503 is an im
portant clue to where the ships
are most likely to be found.
Waters said.
The ships were beached dur
ing Columbus' fourth and final
voyage to the New World.
The Italian explorer and
more than 100 of his crew lived
on the decaying ships for more
than a year, while tney waited
for rescue ships to arrive from
Archaeologists and other
specialists from the A&M-
based Institute of Nautical Ar
chaeology (INA) began investi-
e a ting several sites in the bay
ist summer.
Last fall. Waters and Giar
dino went to Jamaica and col
lected ground samples of the
shore and in the shallows
where records suggest the car
avels might be resting.
"Each of those cores is sort of
a window into time/' Giardino
According to the voyage's
logs, the vessels were
grounded "a crossbow shot,"
or about 100 yards, off the
Giardino said that if the
ocean had deposited sediment
beyond that point in the 500
See Explorers/Page 6