The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 12, 1993, Image 5

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The Battalion
Friday, March 12,1993
Graduation frustration
Not enough room in G. Rollie
Whether students like it or not,
tickets will be issued this semester for
the May commencement ceremonies.
Considering the student population
at Texas A&M, this announcement
comes as no surprise. However, the
fact that University officials waited
until the end of February to an
nounce this decision is inconsiderate
and unprofessional to say the least.
Family members, from grandpar
ents to siblings, sacrifice a great deal
of time and money so their Aggies
can attend this University. These
people want to see their Aggies grad
uate, and rightfully so. Many of
these relatives made their travel and
hotel reservations months ago, only
to discover they cannot attend the
ceremonies unless they are one of the
six lucky guests that remain on the
graduate's cut list.
With approximately 1,100 seniors
graduating ajid about 6,600 guests each ofithe three cere
monies, it is understandable that this
decision was made, at least in part,
out of a concern for safety. Universi
ty registrar Don Carter said safety
concerns were raised over the limited
seating capacity of G. Rollie White.
In that case, why doesn't the Uni
versity add an extra ceremony to an
already rushed two-day event? Bud
gets may be tight, but students only
graduate once.
It seems fairly logical that a school
of 40,000 should have a coliseum or
special events center that adequately
reflects and accommodates its stu
dent body. Obviously with budget
cuts hitting the state schools at every
turn, government funding of such a
complex would not be feasible.
However, private funds have already
been donated for this project, but for
some reason the Higher Education
Coordinating Board has not given
their approval.
Issuing graduation tickets is not a
novel idea; in fact, such passes are
common at other world-class univer
sities. Had students known about
this stipulation last fall, most gradu
ates probably wouldn't have minded
limiting their graduation guest list.
Being forced to do so at the last
minute, however, is not only rude
and inconvenient to the very people
who make this University possible,
but it is, to say the least, really bad
Richards' regents
Good choices, but lacking student
Governor Richards has nominated
three new people to fill the seats on
the Texas A&M Board of Regents.
Her nominations are John H. Lindsey,
Guadalupe Lopez Rangel, and T.
Michael O'Connor. We support her
in these nominations and urge the
Senate to confirm them as our newest
members of the Board of Regents.
The diversity of the nominations
will be a great asset to our Board of
Regents. Lindsey is an A&M gradu
ate of '44 from Houston and has held
several positions within the A&M
systems. Lopez Rangel is a 43-year-
old woman from Corpus Christi. She
will be the first Hispanic woman to
serve on the Board of Regents.
O'Connor is a 38-year-old rancher
from Victoria.
The range in age, ethnicity, sex,
and experience of these nominations
will more closely reflect the demo
graphic make-up of the population of
the A&M campus. Hopefully, a
greater range of concerns will be ad
dressed with these new nominations.
The only thing that would make
these nominations complete would
be the addition of a student regent
This would not only provide for an
even greater range of representation
for the student body, but would vast
ly increase the effectiveness of our
Board of Regents as well.
Smokers: The lepers of the 90s
No respect, no rights and no place to smoke
A lcoholism? A disease.
Drug addiction? Surely, a
Nicotine addiction? A viola
tion of societal norms, punishable
by a multitude of fake coughs and
ugly stares; a deviant behavior
that infringes on non-smokers
rights; and a downright nasty
habit. In a society hell-bent on
tolerance, smokers have become
the lepers of the 90s.
The minority group of smokers
has also failed to attain a political
ly correct tag. Shall we dub them
"respiratorally challenged"? How
about "Marlborolly disadvan
I think not.
Along with the lack of an appropriate label, smok
ers have been afforded zero rights. Few would argue
that they deserved to be sanctioned as a minority
(read: protected) class, but allowing them the privi
lege of smoking sections always seemed like a nice
thing to do.
Not any more.
As reported in the Tuesday edition of the Battalion,
the Faculty Senate at Texas A&M recommended a
smoking ban in all University buildings. Faculty Sen
ators cited the January report of the Environmental
Protection Agency that claimed second-hand smoke
to be carcinogenic.
Unlike other groups who might whine about the
loss of certain privileges, you won't find smokers up
in arms. No pickets. No rallies. No "Save the Smok
ing Section" t-shirts.
But I can think of one person who is a little peeved
about the ban.
I don't doubt that smoking causes cancer; only to
bacco lobbyists will argue against that position any
more. I also don't doubt that second-hand smoke can
be related to cancer.
But to think that walking through a smoking sec
tion once or twice a day will give you cancer is ab
solutely ridiculous.
Allow me to relate a recent occurrence in my life.
Upon arriving on campus a few mornings ago, I
pulled out a cigarette — the breakfast of champions.
As I lit up, a familiar noise sounded out behind me.
"Cough! Cough! Cough!"
A young lady, who had followed me off of the bus,
began the ritual that so many smokers have become
accustomed to. Even though we were outside — and
she was a good six feet behind me — she looked di
rectly at me as I turned around to see what the prob
lem was.
"Cough! Cough! Wheeeeeze!"
God, I thought, someone get this girl an acting po
sition in a B-movie. I haven't seen talent like that
since Shannon Tweed in the HBO After-Hours movie
"Steel and Lace."
As if that wasn't bad enough, McDonald's has
joined the group of tobacco hate-mongers, and has
begun a campaign to remove smoking sections from
their restaurants.
The very people who brought us the McLard Burg
er now want to protect our lungs. Hey Ronald, how
'bout protecting those arteries?
The zero-tolerance man strikes again.
Even "Dear Abby" is getting into the act. In her
syndicated column on Monday, Abby answered the
following question:
Dear Abby: In your column, you keep reminding
people to show compassion and understanding for al
coholics and drug addicts, but nicotine addicts (for
you) are fair game. Why?
The letter was signed, "A Moderate Texan in
Abby responded, "... I've yet to hear anyone say,
'Gee, I'm glad I'm a smoker.'"
Dear Abby: Gee, I'm glad I'm a smoker.
— A Pissed-Off Smoker in College Station.
Henderson is a sophomore political science major.
Long lost verse of the Aggie War Hymn needs to be sung
Students sing school fight song backward; not applicable to all college opponents
T he Fightin'
Texas Ag
gie band
lays at the
WC basketball
tournament in
Dallas today, but
don't expect
them to be too
Fans will be
singing about
Texas' nght song while A&M plays
Aggies sing their school song
backwards. It sounds like an Aggie
joke, but it is true. The first verse of
the "War Hymn" is completely left
out, and the second verse is sung
Although the "War Hymn" is
played at every home game and yell
practice, most students are oblivi
ous to its first verse.
The second verse of the "War
Hymn" is the older and better
known verse. It was written by
Pinky Wilson in Germany in 1918
during World War I.
Wilson was commissioned to
write new words for the "War
Hymn," and the song was set to
music for the first time by the Fight
in' Texas Aggie Band in 1938. When
Wilson wrote the new lyrics, he
placed the original words in the sec
ond stanza.
"Texas is our biggest rival, but I
realized the words I originally
wrote don't apply to all the contests
now," Wilson said in an interview
with the Battalion on Dec. 9, 1938.
"I hope the new ones will be adopt
However, some old Ags felt the
first verse of the "War Hymn"
sounded too much like the school
songs of Northeastern universities
and refused to sing it.
The first verse is as follows:
Guest Columnist
All hail to dear old Texas A&M
Rally around Maroon and White
Good luck to the dear old Texas
They are the boys who show the
real old fight
That good old Aggie spirit thrills
And makes us yell and yell and
yell (yell like hell)
So let's fight for dear old Texas
We're going to beat you all to
Chigarigaroom, Chigarigaroom,
Rough Stuff, Real Stuff, Texas
Regardless of what the cadets
thought in 1938, the Corps Com
mander should have ordered them
to sing it anyway. The current "War
Hymn" sounds silly. Surely some
one must have felt a bit goofy
singing "Good bye to Texas Univer
sity" when A&M was losing to
Notre Dame 14-0 in the first half of
the Cotton Bowl.
Even so, the odds of changing the
"War Hymn" are about as good as
Warren Gilbert Jr. being named
alumni of the year.
When Oklahoma plays A&M in
football next year, the fight song
should get interesting. Perhaps Ok
lahoma will join the Aggies in
singing the "War Hymn." Texas has
actually beaten them.
Singing the first verse is not a
matter of tradition, it's a matter of
choice. The Singing Cadets have
been singing it for 53 years.
In contrast, the ^Corps Stan
dard," the official handbook of the
Corps of Cadets, still has no men
tion of the first stanza.
It's not that a different verse can't
be sung; it just won't be. Programs
for freshmen and transfer students
including Freshman Orientation
Week, Fish Camp, T-camp, fresh
man conferences, and transfer con
ferences do not teach the first verse
of the "War Hymn." These pro
grams don't plan to change their
agendas anytime soon.
Unless the familiar rendition of
the "War Hymn" is somehow
changed, most Aggies will graduate
without ever singing the first verse
of their school song.
If strict adherence to tradition
won't allow people to sing the first
verse, at least one of the redundant
verses could be cut. NCAA regula
tions prohibit the band from finish
ing the whole song at times anyway,
so why not saw one of those verses
Pinky Wilson would be disap-
pointea if he could come back to
A&M. The fight song still doesn't
apply to all the contests.
Holmes is a senior journalism major.