The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 19, 1992, Image 7

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sdnesday, February 19, 1992
The Battalion
Page 7
The Battalion Editorial Board
DOUGLAS PILS, Editor-in-Chief
BRIDGET HARROW, Managing Editor
BRIAN BONEV, Opinion Editor
JASON MORRIS, Night News Editor
MORGAN JUDAY, Night News Editor
SCOTT WUDEL, Sports Editor
ROB NEWBERRY, Lifestyles Editor
The following opinions are a consensus of The Battalion opinion staff and senior editors.
AIDS education
Small-town shock proves necessity
Reports of HIV-infected students at
a small northeast Texas high school
as upset both students and high
School officials. "I was devastated/'
aid Julie Hamm, 15-year-old sopho-
Inore at the high school. "I can't
believe that many people, you know
have the AIDS virus. Should I be
around them? Should I go out with
his guy? You know,
|rou're scared."
School officials
Thursday reported in a
ress conference that six
jf the 197, 3 percent of
the students at
Rivercrest High School
in Johntown, Texas,
ere infected with the
human immunodefi-
iency virus. That num
ber is six times the
national infection aver
age of one in 250 people.
While the findings shocked the resi
dents of the small town, the revalation
also sends a message to the public at
large that kids still are not getting the
If administrators had shown films
and possibly started a panic among
tudents about the dangers of unpro
tected sex and the results of the AIDS
irus, these reports of such a high per
centage would not have occurred. The
praising of school administrators is
just an example of how unaware
Texans and other Americans are about
the seriousness of AIDS in our present
and future communities.
According to a Texas Department of
Health survey the updated last week,
of the 14,782 Texans infected with the
HIV virus, 58 of them are between the
age of 13 and 19 years old. Though the
number appears low in
comparison to the num
ber infected with the
HIV virus, that number
is the result of a large
number of students not
being informed about
the AIDS virus in
schools and not taking
the time to find out
about the virus on their
Such statements as
the ones made above by
a sophomore student at the high
school show students are not being
educated about the deadly disease and
how to protect themselves from con
tracting it. School officials and stu
dents may have the right to feel sorry
or dejected about the reports of AIDS
on their school campus.
But they should not be devastated
nor shocked, because it was bound to
occur with the lack of knowledge
about the disease in today's class
Late awareness
Bush ignored environmental warnings
In one of his boldest moves yet.
President Bush last week threw his
support behind a plan which will
phase out ozone-destroying chloroflu-
orocarbons by 1995. And it came only
one week before the New Hampshire
It's about time!
Scientists have only
been screaming about
the ozone problem for
the past decade.
Meanwhile, Bush and
his predecessor Ronald
Reagan have dragged
their feet, demanding
more evidence before
taking any actions.
For years,the
European countries, as
well as Japan, have been
pressuring the United States to sign a
United Nations treaty which would
place limits on greenhouse gas admis
sions. But the United States has always
come up with some excuse for avoid
ing the issue.
The Montreal Protocol which the
United States and other industrialized-
countries signed calls only for a total
phase out of harmful emissions by
2000. Bush's plan goes one better. He
plans to cut emissions five years earli
Of course. Bush's new proposal has
a lot do with the fact that this is an
election year and he currently faces
stiff opposition from
Bush's popularity is
at its lowest since he
took office.
He has failed to con
vince voters of his
competence in areas
such as the faltering
econony and foreign
trade, so he is trying to
find some new issue
with which he can
boost his campaign.
His "god-squad, " a committee that
routinely decides which species will
live or die, has been less than fair with
the environment..
The self-proclaimed environmental
president is anything but.
While Bush's proposal deserves
merit, his motives can only be seen as
good public relations.
me recoup
Legacies of life
Death of teacher spurs examination of what we leave to others
A great woman died recently.
You didn't know her. She was
a teacher, a lady, a woman of
excellence, and her passing leaves this
world with a little less grace.
This was the first death in my life
that I have ever truly mourned. My
first reaction was to utterly scoff at
life's everyday duties. Never in my
life had the necessities of studying for
a quiz or reporting to work seemed so
This is what
my life is about, I
thought. Filling
out W-2 forms
and taking out
the garbage is
life? How am i
going to leave
even a small lega
cy with so much
meaningless driv
el to eat up my
It took a while
to come to grips with her death, and
during this time I was compelled to
rediscover for myself what the mean
ing of life was. So battered an intellec
tual pursuit is this personal quest, that
I almost do not mention it. What com
pels me, however, is the realization
that the meaning of life must be dif
ferent for every man and woman who
ever walks this world.
For each of us, there are three
things that can happen in our search
for personal meaning. One, we never
try hard enough to truly find that
meaning. Two, what we find is too
daunting and a substitution is made
in the form of money, power, relation
ships or prestige. Three, meaning is
found, and one must pursue it to our
success or failure.
Very few of us settle for not at least
declaring some sort of purpose, and
in fact it may be that the substitution
route is most traveled. It would be
easy to assume that life is one big
race, and those who have the most
money or conquests when they die
are the winner. We all want to live
well and build powerful careers.
These things have a place in a modem
world. To make them a reason to live,
however, is a tragedy to ourselves
and to mankind.
Given, it is no easy thing to live by
such lofty ideals when reality is so
demanding. In its essence life does not
lend itself to the pursuit of greatness
or the creation of legacies. The aver
age day is a struggle to meet the
demands of living. Bills must be paid,
meetings attended, chapters read,
dishes washed, papers written. Our
nature, our performance throughout
these, life's everdays, is what will
determine our excellence or medi
The individual legacies are often
made in life's reprieves. By this, I
mean the moment in an average day
when one's actions shine or those
days of refuge when the real world is
suspended and something special is
I was 5 years old and sitting with
my family when our waitress — the
most beautiful girl I had ever seen —
came over to take our order.
Afterwards, she smiled at me and
said, "I just can't get over how much I
looked like you when I was that age.
It's like looking at a picture of
I don't remember what else she
said. I do remember that she was
friendly and sincere, and for some
reason I struck a personal chord in
her, and she chose to share it with me.
She probably forgot me the next day.
Fifteen years later, I still remember
her. I wanted to be just like her.That,
however small, is a legacy that she
How many times might we have
done the same thing for someone?
Then again, how many times have we
let yesterday's problems destroy
today's opportunities? I know I have
done just that too many times.
You see, death absolutely ends
every opportunity we have of con
tributing to this world, and our life
will have been meaningless if we have
not given something positive to our
posterity. Don't be mislead into
believing that you have left nothing if
the general population is ignorant of
it. Too often we get caught up in how
big or how acknowledged our contri
butions need to be to really matter.
Tolstoy's "War and Peace" will
doubtless remain on the library
shelves for more years than it has
pages. His literary work is probably
also of more value than a princess-like
waitress making a little girl feel won
derful. But, who is to say that his life,
by the renown of his accomplish
ments, was at its end worth any more
than a man or woman who quietly
spent their life giving to others.
It is essential, absolutely essential,
that we are kind to one another in this
life. What we make and take are
meaningless. It is what we give of
ourselves that determines the quality
of our humanity.
This command towards generosity
and kindness is not an easy one. We
humans, it seems, are essentially self-
serving in nature. The best way to
continually conduct ourselves in a
manner that is given to excellence is
to believe in something. More than
this, we must believe in something
worth a lifetime of devotion.
What is that belief for you? Or have
you even decided?
A great woman died recently. She
had faith in what she believed, and as
a result, she spent her life giving of
herself to others.
When you die, will someone be
able to say as much of you?
Garrard is a sophomore
speech communications major
Mail Call
Minorities need
scholarships, aid
This letter is written in response to an article
by Jon DeShazo on the topic of minority money.
Mr. DeShazo made the statement that the imped
iments to attending college no longer lie in racial
but instead in economic barriers. Such an empty
and ignorant statement cannot be overlooked.
DeShazo, who do you think are the poor? Being
poor and being a minority who has historically
not been given an equal chance is not as easy, as
you may think. Let us not be greedy Mr.
DeShazo, because greed is not good. Instead, lis
ten and understand, because there is something
in it for you.
You have about as much to gain from those
scholarships as the people they are given to. But
don't just think of yourself and the short-term
picture. Scrutinize, instead, the long-term and
devastating side effects that would be present if
minority scholarships did not exist. Consider
this: By the year 2000, Hispanics will be the
largest minority group with a population of
approximately 30 million. They will comprise a
large portion of the work force. Ask yourself
what this country will be like if the status quo
continues. Who would you rather have pay your
social security, someone without any education
working at a fast food restaurant or a doctor.
lawyer or accountant?
Consider also the fate of the nation if one-third
to one-half of the population, which will com
prise all minorities, is not functioning in an aca
demic capacity. Our faltering economy should
be more of reason to focus on opportunity for the
masses. Therefore, Mr. DeShazo, I ask not for
your frustration, but rather for your cooperation,
because no matter which way you look at it
we're in this together. The future of this nation is
very dependent on the fate of all minorities. As a
result, this country can no longer afford to put
minorities to the side and hope that everything
will be better.
Given the opportunity, Hispanics, blacks,
American Indians and women have much to
offer to our wonderful country. With an educa
tion and equal chance at an opportunity, we will
be able to design buildings instead of having to
build them. We will also be able to innovate
products instead of having to assemble them. No
longer will we be looked upon as a source of
cheap labor, but of a source of more labor. To
this day I look forward.
In the mist of your attempt to understand our
dilemma, don't have the misconception that all
minorities are dispirited and do not want or are
trying to help themselves. The latter is far from
the truth. The fruits of an education are just
beginning to ripen and the dusty doors of equali
ty that you would perhaps call 'unfair' are just
beginning to open. And yes we are walking in.
No, we are running in. We are running in to get
out of decades of unfairness.
Luis Vega
f Class of '93
Traditions take
work, patience
On Feb. 7 as I was waited for my girlfriend up
at the MSC, the artillery drum major of the
Fighting Texas Aggie Band Steven Beller walked
by carrying a piece of paper. Suddenly, a gust of
wind picked the paper up from out of his hands
and blew it into the memorial center lawn. To
his chagrin, the paper landed in the exact place
where it could not be reached without stepping
in the grass.
After about 15 minutes for waiting for the
wind to blow the paper towards him, two of his
friends came by. The girl, from t.u., volunteered
to get it for him since she doesn't go to school
here. He wouldn't let her and made his point by
informing her that no one is supposed to walk on
the grass. Realizing that the wind wasn't going
to move it any closer, he decided to go inside to
find something that would reach the alienated
At this point of frustration he turned to me
and asked, "Am I taking this too far?!"
As soon as his friends had returned with the
broom I looked through my car and found a coat
hanger. After stretching the coat hanger, we
managed to attach it to the broom and tried once
more to get the piece of paper. Unfortunately,
our efforts failed. I left to park my car in 30-
minute parking in order to avoid a dreaded park
ing ticket. On the way back I found another
hanger that we tied to the contraption. So, here it
was, a broom, two coat hangers, and a shoe all
tied together, looking much like a fishing rod. It
Keeping traditions alive sometimes takes a lot
of team effort and patience. Whoop!
Kevin Graham
Class of ’93 ppinipn?
The Battalion is interested in hearing from its readers.
All fetters are welcome.
Letters must be signed and must include classification,
address and a daytime phone number for verification pur
poses. They should be 250 words or less. Anonymous let
ters will not be published.
The Battalion reserves the right to edit all letters for
length, style and accuracy. There is no guarantee the letters
will appear. Letters may be brought to 013 Reed McDonald,
sent to Campus Mail Stop 1111 or can be faxed to 845-