The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 15, 1997, Image 1

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See extended forecast. Page 2.
ull Set
!.00 OFF
ar price $25.00)
itt-Putt tourney
.nefits charity
he Department of Student Life
idlthe Department of Athletics will
oonsor a miniature-golf game to
9nefit the State Employees’ Chari-
ible Campaign. The tournament
egins at 11 a.m. today at Putt-Putt
ahnes in College Station,
fifteen putters from each depart-
lent will play a round of putt-putt golf
iKommentary by Dave South, “The
nice of the Texas Aggies.”
Pledges can be made per stroke,
sr par, per ace or as a one-time
ledge for a team.
practice to be
n Kansas City
( Midnight yell practice will be Fri-
ay at the Overland Park Marriot in
ansas City, Kan.
f|The football game between
»xas A&M and Kansas State Uni-
srsity will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday
(Manhattan, Kansas.
historic cemetery
vandalized Sunday
ire investigating the vandalism of
.5 tombstones, some nearly 100
ears old, in the historic downtown
Oak Grove Cemetery.
Igpolice Sgt. Steve Cooper said a
[roundskeeper discovered the dam-
ige Monday morning, but police be-
ieve it occurred Sunday night.
■The city-maintained cemetery is
tot the oldest in Nacogdoches
Jounty, but it contains the remains
tifleveral noted Texans, including
oir signers of the Texas Declara-
ion of Independence: Thomas Jef-
erson Rusk, Charles S. Taylor,
.Villiam S. Clark and John S.
Roberts. Rusk also was one of
exas’ first two U.S. senators.
■ Laren trial to be
ved to Alpine
RT DAVIS (AP) — Republic of
exas leader Richard McLaren will
tried in Alpine on charges stem-
Igfrom the separatist group’s
rntain standoff with authorities.
_e Kenneth DeHart said
liesday he has entered a change
>f venue order for the trial of
McLaren and fellow group member
lobert Otto. The trial originally was
.cheduled to take place 20 miles
iprth in Fort Davis.
BDeHart entered the motion re
vesting the move but was forced
oiflelay his ruling because
McLaren had asked to have the
Jdge removed from the case.
■Judge Karl Prohl of Kerrville de-
lied McLaren’s motion following a
earing Monday in Fort Davis, 175
niles southeast of El Paso.
■DeHart said either McLaren and
)tto, who also goes by “White Ea-
[le; or two other group members,
r^gg and Karen Paulson, will go
-npial Oct. 27.
Women and
Bonfire: Female
students prove
they can do
more than run
the snack shack.
See Page 3
“Yunter Shane Lechler has
Sained recognition at a
Josition often unnoticed.
See Page 7
-emons: Aggie phobia toward
licks prevents students from
ing to know each other.
See Page 9
Hook up with state and
lational news through The
Mre, AP’s 24-hour online
lews service.
Professor stresses roots of atheism
By Mandy Cater
Staff writer
A psychology professor from New York
University said last night at a Veritas Forum
lecture atheism is a result of personal psy
chological barriers.
Dr. Paul Vitz, author of Psychology is Re
ligion: The Cult of Self-Worship, said true
atheism is a direct display of psychologi
cal conflict.
Vitz, who calls himself a “reconvert to Chris
tianity,” was an atheist for about 20 years.
Vitz said like that of most skeptical athe
ists, his atheism was a combination of gener
al Western socialization, the need to fit into
the secular academic community and simple
personal convenience.
“It is quite inconvenient to be a believer in
today’s secular and neo-pagan world,” he
said. “Because of social needs to assimilate,
atheism was the best policy.”
Vitz said academics, especially psycholo
gy, sees a belief in God based upon irrational
needs and desires.
Vitz said understanding people’s belief in
religion has been critical to psychology since
its inception. But the same concepts apply to
non-believers, he said.
“Psychological concepts used to interpret
religion are double-edged swords that can
also be used to interpret atheism,” Vitz said.
Vitz’s theory of atheism’s psychological
roots is a theory he calls the “defective fa
ther” hypothesis.
Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanaly
sis, wrote, “Youthful persons lose religious
“Because of social needs to
assimilate, atheism was the best
beliefs as soon as the authority of the father
breaks down.”
Vitz expanded on Freud’s theory, and said
Bird’s eye view
having a weak, abusive or absent father can
be a psychological explanation for intense
atheism. He said when earthly fathers fail
their children, this often influences a belief in
a heavenly deity.
Vitz said many people are “blessed with
Christian upbringings and socioeconomic sit
uations that lend easily to a belief in God.”
Others, however, have more serious psy
chological barriers to belief, Vitz said.
, Despite these barriers, Vitz said, “Any per
son can choose to move toward God at any
time in his or her life.”
The Veritas Forum was started at Harvard
University in 1992 to search for truth. Tues
day night’s lecture was the final installment
of the 1997 Veritas Forum at Texas A&M.
DEREK DEMERE/The Battalion
Todd Moore, a sports management graduate student, films the Texas A&M Football Team’s practice Tuesday. Moore films practices and games
every day for the Athletic Department Video Lab. The tapes are prepared for the coordinators to view immediately following practices.
FFA, 4-H prepare student leaders
National agriculture groups give
training in communication skills
By Rachel Dawley
Staff writer
The National FFA Organization and 4-H,
two agricultural youth organizations, have
helped train Texas A&M st udent leaders before
they arrive on campus.
Twelve A&M student body presidents
have held arda, state or national leadership
positions in these groups, including Brooke
Leslie, Toby Boenig, Board of Regents mem
ber Fred McClure and Curtis Childers.
Childers, the 1997-98 student body presi
dent and a senior agricultural development
major, served as national FFA president in
“The FFA has a rich tradition of devel
oping leadership by putting students in
real positions of leadership,” Childers said.
“You can’t compare the benefit of putting
people in these roles — that’s what the FFA
does so well.”
Corey Rosenbusch, the 1996-97 national
FFA president, is a member of the Class of ’00
and an agricultural development major.
Rosenbusch will return to A&M in the spring
after his term as president.
Dr. Joe Townsend, associate dean for student
development in the College of Agriculture and
Life Sciences and Class of ’67, said agriculture
youth organizations also provide more than a
million dollars each year for scholarships.
He said scholarships give students time to
pursue leadership positions at A&M because the
students do not have to work during school.
Townsend said the College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences has benefited from the lead
ers the FFA and 4-H have produced.
“The kids that come in to our program from
the FFA and 4-H organizations already have a
headstart over other students,” Townsend said.
“A lot of these students have traveled around
the U.S. and spoken to groups of 30,000 peo
ple. We build upon progress and traits they
have already developed through youth leader
ship training programs.”
Former members of the FFA and 4-H organi
zations have leadership positions in the Corps
of Cadets, the Student Government Association,
MSC committees, Aggie Bonfire, Aggie athletic
teams and other campus organizations.
Jeremiah Williams, executive council vice
president of student relations and a senior
agricultural economics major, said the FFA
helped him develop communication skills he
uses as a campus leader.
“The FFA organization made a remarkable
difference in the way I interact with people
by developing my interpersonal skills,”
Williams said.
“The leadership positions I had in this or
ganization created an environment con
ducive for building my communication
Please see Leaders on Page 6.
By Karie Fehler
Staff writer
The Texas A&M Undergraduate Jour
nal of Science offers students the oppor
tunity to publish their research and learn
how to write about science.
The first issue, which was published in
May 1997, featured physical, social, bio
logical and behavioral sciences and engi
neering research.
Different aspects of the history and
philosophy of science are included in the
journal, as are book reviews and scientif
ic literature reviews.
Jason Moore, senior advising editor for
the journal and a journalism graduate
student, said the journal wants to include
as many students as possible.
“The journal isresearch-oriented, but we
offer other publishing opportunities,” he
said. ‘Anybody can look up a topic they are
interested in, review the scientific literature
available for that topic, come up with a con
sensus from the articles and publish it in the
journal. We even publish poetry.”
Moore, who created the journal, said
A&M is one of the first universities in the na
tion to showcase undergraduate research.
“It is also a great recruiting tool for
A&M,” he said. “The journal demon
strates the great research we do here at
Texas A&M.”
Dr. Ed Funkhouser, associate director
for the honors program and academic
scholarships and a biochemistry profes
sor, said the Undergraduate Journal of
Science is a tremendous recruiting tool
that extends the tradition of quality stu
dent-run organizations at A&M.
“This journal allows students to see
that the research students do at Texas
A&M is real and not done in a cookbook
lab,” he said. “This research is a real con
tribution and helps our reputation as a
major research institution.”
Rene Elms, editor in chief of the
journal and a senior biochemistry and
genetics major, said the journal is
building its staff and expanding its
goals for the future.
“We currently have 18 staff members
and have openings for editor and man
agerial positions,” she said. “Down the
road we are considering branching out
to other colleges within the A&M sys
tem and other universities in Texas and
the U.S.”
Elms said both science and non-sci
ence students can benefit from writing for
the journal and reading it.
Please see Journal on Page 6.
Bookstore opens with celebration of Texas authors
By Joey Jeanette Schlueter
Staff writer
A celebration honored the Texas A&M University Press,
ZA its authors and A&M faculty last night at a special
J- Aopening of the Barnes & Noble bookstore.
The event featured books from Texas A&M authors.
Authors who read excerpts from their books included
Leon Hale, author of Home Spun and a columnist for the
Houston Chronicle; Sylvia Grider and Lou Rodenberger,
editors of Texas Women Writers; Paul Ruffin, author of The
Man Who Would be God; and Fran Vick, director of the
University of North Texas Press, who read from her fa
ther’s book Over There.
The featured books were sold at the event. A portion of
the proceeds from sales during the event will be donated
to First Book, a national nonprofit organization commit
ted to giving children the opportunity to read.
Noel Parsons, editor in chief of University Press, said the
event focuses on the consortium of the Press. He said the
University Press will distribute books to Barnes & Noble.
Gabe Briseno, operations manager for Barnes & Noble,
said the bookstore will have a permanent section for Uni
versity Press books from A&M.
“When Barnes & Noble comes to a town, they tailor
their store to the community,” Briseno said. “That in
cludes the students, A&M faculty and staff and commu
nity members.”
College Station Mayor Lynn Mcllhaney attended the
event to welcome Melissa Baker, the store manager for
Barnes & Nobles.
Briseno said he wants the bookstore to be a place
where students and faculty can enjoy the cafe, study
and read.
Blake Clark, trade book manager for the MSC bookstore,
said Barnes & Noble owns the MSC bookstore. He said the
two stores offer a balance of books.
“The new Barnes & Noble store offers a wide range [of
books] for the community,” Clark said, “and we offer stuff
that they cannot get such as specialty items.”
RYAN ROGERS/The Battalion
Leon Hale, a Houston Chronicle columnist signs his book, Home
Spun, published by the Texas A&M University Press.