The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 09, 1993, Image 1

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e Battalion
, 92 No. 110 (10 pages)
1893 - A Century of Service to Texas A&M - 1993
Tuesday, March 9,1993
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WACO — Federal authori
ties, in their most extensive
comments thus far on the fire
power of .the heavily armed reli
gious cult to which they've laid
siege, Monday said the group
may have explosives capable of
disabling armored personnel
FBI spokesman Bob Ricks
said Branch Davidian cult
leader David Koresh had indi
cated during negotiations that
he had "sufficient firepower to
blow up the Bradley vehicles."
He said Koresh claimed the cult
could blow those armored per
sonnel carriers 40 or 50 feet into
the air.
Because of that, Ricks said.
Army Abrams tanks were being
brought in, unarmed, for defen
sive purposes.
"Because of some intelligence
indicating he may have stock
piled other than just automatic
weapons — there may be explo
sives and perhaps even rockets
within the compound — we are
taking additional defensive
measures," he said.
However, precise informa
tion is difficult to get, and Ricks
said authorities hope they have
overestimated their foe.
"We cannot state with any
specificity or with any certainty
the level of armaments that he
has in that compound. We hope
that it's greatly less than what
could possibly be there," he
The Abrams is a 67-ton tank
with massive armor capable of
withstanding .50-caliber fire.
Bush Library director answers charges
Wilson rejects conflict of interest accusations, says he is glad to come to A&M
The Battalion
Dr. Don W. Wilson, the newly
appointed executive director of
the George Bush Presidential Li
brary Center, said he is excited
about coming to A&M despite
charges that his appointment is a
conflict of interest.
Wilson signed an agreement on
Jan. 19 at 11:30 p.m. giving Presi
dent Bush control or over 5,000
White House computer tapes
which contain information from
the Iran Contra era.
"My signing was strictly ad
ministrative," Wilson said. "If
they look into the situation it's
pretty clear."
He announced his resignation
as archivist of the United States on
Feb. 12 when he was appointed as
the executive director of the Bush
Library Center.
He is now facing charges that
he engaged in a conflict of interest
by signing the agreement at a time
when he was being considered for
the Bush Library Center position.
Both Congress and the Office
of Government Ethics are con
ducting an investigation of the
charges. A representative from
the Office of Government Ethics
confirmed the matter is under in
vestigation but was unable to say
when the investigation would be
Wilson said the conflict of in
terest charges came as a great
shock and the charges were raised
only after he announced his resig
nation as U.S. archivist.
Dr. Larry Hill, head of the his
tory department, said he and oth
er historians are concerned with
r ay
fer of the computer tapes.
"I don't think there was an
agreement to exchange the tapes
for the position, but there is gen
uine concern in the history profes
sion about the way he handled the
transfer of these documents," Hill
Wilson said he was consulted
by lawyers and ethics profession
als before he signed the Jan. 19
agreement and was assured the
agreement was proper and legal.
"I'm very comfortable with
what I did and the way I did it,"
Wilson said. "Because I had no
role in drawing up the agreement,
it's hard for there to be a conflict."
Hill said Wilson should have
treated the computer tapes as he
would treat paper documents by
leaving them in the control of the
National Archives.
Wilson said the main issue here
is establishing what kind of record
electronic materials are - specifi
cally, whether they are personal.
Students fluent in native languages
creating problems for department
The Battalion
Texas A&M University stu
dents taking language classes in
which they are fluent are causing
concern among students and pro
Dr. Michael Wetherill, head of
the modern and classical lan
guages department, said students
who take classes in their native
language can cause problems for
the department, but there are
many alternatives for these stu
"There is a credit by exam sys
tem that helps solve this prob
lem," Wetherill said. "We also en
courage these students to take ad
vanced courses."
Christopher Marcks, a sopho
more general studies major, is flu
ent in French, but he decided to
take German.
"It's frustrating to see people
doing well in their native lan
guage since I'm struggling
through German," Marcks said.
"They have an unfair advantage.
I could never compete with
"It's frustrating to
see people doing well
in their native lan
guage ... they have an
unfair advantage."
-Christopher Marcks
Antonio Caraballo, a Spanish
lecturer at Texas A&M, said the
modern language department
tries to encourage these students
not to take a language they are
fluent in. "The department tries
to encourage these students to
place out of their native lan
guage," he said.
But, Caraballo, said having
bilingual students in a language
class can be an asset to the
"A lot of times they will help
me learn different grammar from
different countries," he said. "I
encourage them to be tutors, and I
will pair them up with American
students in the class to help them.
Wetherill said students who
take classes in their native lan
guage are encouraged to assist
students who may be struggling.
"We want to maximize the val
ue of the bilingual students, and
make sure we are encouraging
them to go farther in their stud
ies," he said. "They also can teach
students who are not native
See Language/Page 4
Faculty Senate urges smoking ban
Recommended restriction includes all University buildings
The Battalion
The Faculty Senate called for a
smoking ban in all University
buildings Monday, and said the
current policy that provides for
both smoking and non-smoking
areas does not offer enough pro
tection to non-smokers.
Dr. Carlton Stolle, accounting
professor, introduced a resolution
stating the current policy of desig
nating smoking areas within cam
pus buildings is not enough to
rotect non-smokers from second-
nd smoke.
According to the resolution,
Texas A&M is leaving itself open
to legal and ethical challenges, if
the exposure is allowed to contin-
Stolle said the Human Re
sources Department will also sub
mit a report to the administration
this week recommending the ban.
Many faculty members feel the
University must change its policy
after the Environmental Protec
tion Agency's report last January
declared second-hand smoke to be
carcinogenic, Stolle said.
However, he said, special areas
for smokers is probably not a pos
"I wish we could say we could
accommodate smokers by having
places provided with adequate air
ventilation systems," Stolle said.
"But, we know from budget limi
tations that that will most certain
ly not be the case."
Dr. Larry Hickman, a professor
in the philosophy and humanities
department, called the resolution
"silly" and asked the senators to
consider a light-hearted amend
ment to the resolution that would
also ban all animal fat from cam
"If we want to be consistent in
saving our colleagues from them
selves, we should include well-
recognized carcinogens, including
all forms of animal fat," Hickman
said. "They are known contribu
tors to colon cancer, high choles
terol and heart disease."
Dr. Howard Kaplan, a sociolo-
professor, criticized Hickman
or the "trivialization of an impor
tant health problem.
"I find that second-hand ani
mal fat does not represent a true
risk to my health," Kaplan said.
"Second-hand smoke is a noxious
impediment to our work."
In other business, the Senate
heard a plea from Dr. Jim Mazzul-
lo to take the job of AIDS educa
tion away from student services
and put it in the hands of Univer-
sity President William Mobley.
Mazzullo, an associate profes
sor of Geology, said the Universi
ty administration does not ade
quately support AIDS education.
He said the AIDS committee had
to "wheedle" $3,000 from student
services for their current educa
tion program.
Mazzullo said that because 18
to 25-year-olds are the fastest
growing group contracting the
AIDS virus, the problem is very
much in the University's back
"That's probably 90 percent of
the student body," he said.
Mazzullo offered several sug
gestions to the Senate that would
enhance the university's AIDS ed
ucation policy.
He suggested the formation of
an "AIDS corps" made up of fac
ulty and staff to provide AIDS
awareness presentations to Uni
versity classes on short notice.
Mazzullo also criticized the Uni
versity for not providing more
people, materials and money to
AIDS education.
"If we don't do something
about this, more 18 to 25-year-olds
will start dying and you all will be
going to a lot more funerals," he
Freestyle Frisbee
JOHN BARTRAM/The Battalion
Johan van der Meer, a junior German major, takes advantage of
the weather on Monday to practice some freestyle Frisbee throwing.
Van der Meer is an international student from the Netherlands, and
frequently plays Frisbee.
presidential or agency records.
Dr. Ed Harris, associate profes
sor of philosophy, said technology
produces more ethical problems
because it produces more choices,
but he sees this problem as a fac
tual issue.
"It has to do with what's on the
tapes which is a factual issue,"
Harris said. "It seems like Bush
put a lot of effort into it - there
must be something he wanted
control of."
Dr. E. Dean Gage, senior vice
president and provost, said he is
confident the charges will soon be
"We had no knowledge of any
kind of conflict of interest, and he
(Wilson) has assured us there is
no problem," Gage said. "I just
See Library/Page 5
Space station
fate depends
on redesign,
officials say
WASHINGTON - The fate of
America's space station depends
on finding a new design that the
nation can afford without absorb
ing NASA's whole budget, Clin
ton administration officials said
Dr. John H. Gibbons, head of
the Office of Science and Technol
ogy Policy in the White House,
said the Clinton administration
ordered a space station redesign
after it found that rising costs of
the project threatened all the other
civilian space and aeronautics re
search programs.
The space station Freedom pro
ject, Gibbons said Monday in an
interview, was "like a
was going to eat everything that
NASA had."
Asked if the fate of the space
station depends on a redesign.
Gibbons said, "Yes. It's very
much up in the air."
When the Clinton administra
tion took over, said Gibbons, "we
were faced with a situation of a
divergence between plausible
available resources for NASA and
the way the space station was go
NASA has already spent $8 bil
lion on the project and, under the
current plan, the eventual con
struction costs of Space Station
Freedom are estimated at more
than $30 billion. NASA officials
told Congress last week that cost
overruns in one year alone could
reach more than $500,000. The
lifetime operating cost of the sta
tion in its present form has been
estimated at about $100 billion.
Gibbons said the administra
tion believed that NASA would
be able to get only modest in
creases in its upcoming annual
budgets, despite the rising costs of
the space station. This meant that
for Space Station Freedom to be
fully funded in its present form,
NASA would have to drop other
space science projects and cut
back on research, he said.
NASA administrator Daniel
Goldin offered a solution. Gib
bons said, by proposing that the
station be completely redesigned
so that the costs were cut and the
agency still met its agreements
with its international partners in
the project.
•Baseball: A&M takes on
Illinois State Wednesday
Page 7
•Swimming: Aggies take
third at Southwest
Conference Championship
Page 8
•Regents say they succumbed
to political pressure
regarding name changes
Page 9
Fighting in Yugoslavia hits home for A&M professors
The Battalion
For Dr. Stjepan G. Mestrovic, the plea
sure of revisiting his homeland of Croatia
has been denied to him.
A sociology professor at Texas A&M
University, Mestrovic immigrated to the
United States as a young child from the
Croatian town of Zagreb. He returned
there in October on a Fulbright scholarship
to find a civil war destroying the country.
"There is real-life desperation," Mestro
vic said. "There is nothing to turn to except
more years of this fighting."
Fighting in Croatia began in October
1991 when Muslims and Croats declared
their independence from the Serbs of the
former Yugoslavia. The conflict spread to
Bosnia when Serbs attacked Sarajevo in
March 1992.
"The basic issue over which the war is
fought in former Yugoslavia is the borders
between new states and between ethnic
groups after Yugoslavia disintegrated in
1991," said Dr. Steve Pejovich, A&M pro
fessor of political economy. Pejovich was
bom in Belgrade, Serbia.
Pejovich moved to the United States but
frequently returns to his homeland. His
last trip was in June 1991.
Mestrovic said the Serbs now control
one-third of Croatia and two-thirds of
Bosnia. News reports say over 18,000 peo
ple have been killed, and tens of thousands
are missing. Croatia alone has taken in
over half a million refugees.
"It was depressing. Nothing is so under
reported as the economic hardship," Me
strovic said.
The average salary per month in Croatia
is $150 while the average pension is $60, he
said. Yet, the price of food is the same
there as prices here in the United States.
A food crisis exists in much of the coun
try because of the war.
"For the ordinary citizen, this means
skipping meals, cutting back on meat and
eating a limited diet of cabbage and pota
toes', and not buying clothes and other
things we take for granted in the West,"
Mestrovic said.
"I lost 10 pounds. There was not much
variety in the diet. They had bananas,
grapes, squid, chicken, potatoes and cab
bage. The portions in trie restaurants be
came smaller and smaller as the year
passed," he said.
Housing also was hard to obtain. Me
strovic lived with a family because it was
impossible to get an apartment.
Many people lived in cramped apart
ments because families took in other fami
lies that needed help.
"I saw a lot of the communal spirit," he
Mestrovic lectured at the University of
Zagreb. He said it was difficult to teach
See Professors/Page 6