The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 09, 2000, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

f> ;VF:\ * i liJk'i Vi 1: WI
March 9, 2000
Volume 106~ Issue 108
10 pages
- iftvage hike
J.P. BEATO/ThkBmi ;
iy Esters rounds
s at Arlington.
n at the “Mo”moriai
tig 12 finishers iiut;
cersity in second with
;ity of Oklahoma in
e University ofNebrai
;stern University upset!
‘P of the medals, com;
all the teams really enjo
’ Sutherland said. “We
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Clinton rallied Democ-
itsto support a higher minimum wage on Wednesday and vowed
iveto a Republican plan that would delay the increase and link
to$122.7 billion in tax cuts.
“IfRepublican leaders send me a bill that makes workers wait
3ianother year for their full pay raise and holds the minimum
'agehostage for risky tax cuts that threaten our prosperity, I'll
etoit,” said Clinton, who hosted Cabinet members, labor and
mmunity leaders and Democratic lawmakers on the South
awn of the White I louse.
"It is time to stop nickel and diming American working peo-
leout of the money that they need and deserve,” the president
aid. “This is just wrong.”
"This modest in
crease would simply
restore the minimum
wage to what it was
in real dollar terms
in 1982."
The GOP wants to enact a SI increase over three years and
iple it with $122.7 billion in tax cuts — a move that resurrects
icrtions of the Republicans’ $792 billion tax cut package that
nton vetoed last year.
Clinton is backing a I )emocratic plan to increase the wage by $ 1
iver just two years.
“This modest increase would simply restore the minimum wage
what it was in real dollar terms in 1982,” Clinton said. “For a full-
ie worker, however, this would mean another $2,000 a year. And
you’re on the minimum wage, that’s real money.”
House leaders were trying to gauge support Wednesday
tnong GOP rank-and-file for the three-year and two-year ver-
ions of the minimum wage increase, with votes possible Thurs-
lay on both along with the tax package. Some GOP conserva-
ives, ledby Rep. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, were pushing
or a measure allowing states the option of implementing the
iwage increase.
C “77i/s whole package shows the di Ificulty you have when you
arid forge that middle way," said Rep. Rick La/io, R-N.Y.,
ilio has been pushing for the tax-and-wage compromise. “The
hallengeistofind that delicate balance that will bring people on
ward. Part of finding that balance is a modest tax relief package.”
Cheryl Costas, a checkout clerk in Colton Alba, Pa., with four
bildren and a disabled husband, spoke of her struggle to raise
ler family on $5.50 an hour.
“I am grateful that you are fighting to raise the minimum wage
or families like mine,” she told Clinton. “I know how important
(dollar more an hour will be for my husband, my children and
ne.And so do you.”
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., sponsor of the Democ-
ats’minimum wage bill in the Senate, characterized the conllict
is a “women’s issue, because the majority who receive the in
base ... are women,” and a “civil rights issue” because many
plenties also would benefit.
On Capitol Hill, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-
lexas, said the three-year increase is “the least worst way to do
le wrong thing.” He said he did not know if Republicans have
^votes needed to pass it.
Despite Clinton’s opposition. House Republicans are forging
Jtead with legislation to slash inheritance taxes and cut other tax-
for businesses to offset the cost of raising the minimum wage.
Republican leaders generally oppose raising the $5.15-an-
burminimum wage but are willing to put the question to a House
We Thursday to appease GOP moderates who have strong labor
ionstituencies and to give conservatives another election-year op-
Munity to vote for tax cuts.
'When I grow up’
.Future aggie Olivia Smith, watches the women’s tennis match. Her great grandfather, Omar
Smith, was a former tennis coach at Texas A&M.
start in April
The Battalion
Ask Aggies what frustrates them most, and traffic and parking
are likely responses. But although improvements are in the works,
construction projects in College Station are likely to make matters
worse before they get better.
Wellborn Road, one of the main thoroughfares that runs between main
campus and West Campus, will undergo a deep rehabilitation project start
ing in April.
“It is really just
going in there and
removing the old
pavement and
putting in new
pavement,” said
Pat Williams, area
engineer for the
Texas Department
of Transportation.
During daytime
working hours, one
travel lane will be
shut down for con
struction. All lanes
will be reopened at T eX as Department of Transportation
n '8*' l ) t - will be closing Wellborn road during the
• ! >at ( r i!™ da V time f° r f our mo^hs this summer to
said the Wellborn re p a j r the pavement. The project will be
project should take com p| eted jn two p hase s.
about four months.
“It is going to be during the summer,” said Tom Williams, director
of Parking, Traffic, and Transportation services (PTTS). “A student pop
ulation of 15,000 is much better than one of 45,000.”
Tom Williams said PTTS will provide traffic direction and control
if necessary, but he does not expect traffic to be any worse than it was
when Texas and University Avenues were under construction.
“We are all going to have to get into queue and be patient,” Tom
Williams said.
The rehabilitation project of Wellborn Road is only one of many
construction projects taking place in College Station over the next year.
Bob Mosley, city engineer for the City of College Station, said an
upgrade to Anderson Street was just completed, and it should provide
additional capacity for a north-south How of traffic.
"We are trying to get a little better How options so if [drivers] don’t
have Texas Avenue, they can still get in the north/south corridor,”
Mosley said.
Mosley said new streets are currently in design for College Station.
A street is slated to be built that will run from Luther to George Bush
West. The second phase of that project will tie Holleman and Harvey
See Wellborn on Page 2.
Senator calls for more research funds
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) thinks Texas’ public
universities, including Texas A&M, are not getting their fair share
of federal research money.
Hutchinson convened a summit of academics and elected of
ficials to explore the issue Wednesday.
Despite its rank as the nation’s second most populous state,
Texas ranks sixth among all states in share of federal research
and development funding, the Texas Republican said at a Capi
tol Hill news conference.
“When it comes to federal research funding in Texas, our
state just isn’t in the winner’s circle often enough,” she said.
“That’s not acceptable given the world-class research that Texas
universities and colleges have been doing for years.”
Texas A&M Chancellor Howard Graves and President Dr.
Ray M. Bowen attended the summit, as did the chancellors and
presidents of the University of Texas and Texas Tech systems.
In 1998, Texas institutions of higher learning received
$846,000 in science and engineering research money — lagging
well behind top recipient California’s $2.3 million and behind
New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
To boost Texas’ share, the participants suggested working
more closely with the congressional delegation, honing each sys
tem’s unique research abilities and avoiding duplication within
Texas higher education research programs.
Hutchinson said Texas is well-known for agriculture, health,
education, defense and space research.
“We all know how much more our state can offer,” she said.
“Our challenge now is to make that happen.”
Although Texas may be well-known for these strengths,
Texas A&M Executive Vice President and Provost Ron Douglas
said A&M has strengths in many other areas.
“Some areas of our research are less well-known than oth
ers, and not all areas attract federal funding,” he said. “But if those
areas received needed additional funding, it would facilitate the
development of those programs and help them on their way to
becoming competitive nationwide.”
Douglas said more well-known programs include engi
neering, science and education, while lesser known pro
grams at A&M include business, architecture and liberal
arts programs.
“We all look forward to working with Sen. Hutchinson and
other universities to advance these research programs,” he said.
i860 is
e most
-ea. So
!s from
■ plans,
) in just
College Station
fiscoum Paging
18 D-l Texas Ave.
taxes, third parti/charges^
ndirions appit/. Ask lor detw
Group lobbies for legislation
requiring English proficiency
BY MAUREEN KANE Two different versions of this legislation have been in-
The Battalion
College students have always had difficulty understand
ing what their professors are talking about, but for some stu
dents at the University' of Missouri (MU), their difficulties
extend beyond comprehension of the subject matter.
Amidst controversy and turmoil in the Missouri Legisla
ture, the Associated Students of the University of Missouri
(ASUM), a student lobbying group, has taken a stand sup
porting a bill introduced by Representative Joan Barry which
would require professors at all Missouri state universities to
be certified for English proficiency.
If passed, this legislation would require the testing of fac
ulty for English proficiency at the beginning of each year start
ing Aug. 28,2000.
According to an article in The Maneater, the MU student
newspaper, the proposed English proficiency bill would re
quire testing the language skill levels of professors before they
are assigned classes to teach. Missouri law already requires
English proficiency testing for teaching assistants.
Vice President for Academic Affairs for MU Stephen
tehmkuhle, is opposed to the proposed legislation.
“I was opposed to the bill because I didn’t think of this as
something that should be legislated. We should be address
ing this internally,” Lehmkuhle said. “The bill has been voted
out of the committee, but whether it will be voted on in the
legislature or not depends on the priority of the bill.”
ASUM has been lobbying this bill since 1996 on behalf of
the student body.
“This bill is being pushed by the ASUM and is a big issue
forthem,” said Maneater University News Editor Paul Wilson.
troduced, one by Senator Peter Kinder, and one by Barry —
which is supported by the ASUM. These bills have been re
viewed in the chamber’s Higher Education Committees and
passed unanimously. According to Wilson, they are still be
ing debated in the House.
Nine hundred miles away, on the Texas A&M campus,
the problem of faculty English proficiency is not such a hot
ly debated topic. However, there are students who are ex
periencing trouble in their classes due to the English profi
ciency of their teaching assistants.
Anthony Garza, a sophomore chemical engineering ma
jor, took Chemistry 102 and had a teaching assistant whom
he could not understand.
“It was really annoying because we had to rely on our
TA to reinforce concepts. We literally couldn’t understand
a thing he was saying,” Garza said. “He could show us how
to do a lab, he still graded effectively, but whenever we had
a question he wasn’t prepared for, he couldn’t explain it.”
Brent Ballard, a junior construction science major, be
lieves that standards for English proficiency of teaching as
sistants should be more strict.
“The TAs’ qualifications for speaking English aren’t
high enough — for physics TAs at least,” Ballard said.
“Knowing English needs to be a higher priority.”
In regard to the issue of English proficiency legislation at
A&M, Dr. Lewis Ford, associate head of the physics depart
ment at A&M, said, “This is not a problem to solve with leg
islation. If there is a problem it should be up to departmental
heads — it shouldn’t be handled by state law.”
Ford said TAs have to be certified by passing an English
See Fluency on Page 10.
Motels offer students
discount over break
The Battalion
It is no secret that many Texas A&M
University students are just plain sleepy.
They doze in the MSC Flagroom,
snooze in the library
and sit slump-shoul
dered and bleary-
eyed though class
The real problem
arises when these
sleepy students get
behind a steering
With spring break
one day away, travel
ing students should
be aware of a pro
gram designed to
help alleviate the
dangerous problem
of drowsy driving —
the Lupe Medina
In September
1998, Texas A&M
student senator and
junior political science major Rob Fergu
son authored the Lupe Medina Bill for
Driving Safety.
According to the program, students
traveling late at night during the weekends
and throughout winter and spring breaks
will be given price breaks when they need
to pull over and rest.
Students traveling at least 55 miles
from their home campus and presenting a
valid student I.D. are eligible to receive
special rates at participating motels.
These motels
include the Supertel
Hospitality Super 8
Motel franchises,
which offer a $30
night’s stay for trav
eling students.
Discounts for
students traveling
within 50 miles of
his or her home
school are at the
discretion of the
General Manager.
As of March 1,
2000, the Super 8
discount officially
began in Texas and
eight other states:
Arkansas, Illinois,
Iowa, Kansas, Mis
souri, Nebraska,
South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The rate is based upon availability and
the offer is valid through December 2000.
“The first year the program went into
See Lupe on Page 10.
What?: Motel discount for students
traveling late at night
much?: Students pay $30
(with a valid student ID)
Where?: Super 8 Motel franchises
in Texas, Arkansas, Illinois,
Iowa, Kansas, Missouri,
Nebraska, South Dakota,
and Wisconsin
When?: Weekends, winter break,
and spring break
Why?: To prevent accidents
resulting from drowsy
JEFF SMITH/The Battalion
V • 1 "' s
post solid victory X
over Jaguars
•Limits for species recovery
Ecosystem diversity might
take loner time to rebound
Page 6
•Redass or
<x*'! Dumbass?
\ / Spring break
Page 9
• Listen to KAMU-FM 90.9 at
1:57 p.m. for details
on March Madness
• Check out The Battalion
online at