The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 23, 2000, Image 1

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March 23, 2000
Volume 106 ~ Issue 113
14 pages
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Campus buses emit harmful exhaust fumes
The Battalion
When Esteban Garza, a freshman biology major,
came to the Texas A&M campus he looked forward to
walking around and enjoying campus.
Yet, Garza soon discovered that although he did like
A&M's campus, the billowing clouds of black exhaust
from the lumbering white buses made walking around
the campus an unpleasant experience.
“We know that our older buses do not meet cur
rent federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
standards and that the exhaust caused by the buses is
a problem on the campus,” said Gary Jackson, shut
tle bus manager.
Thirty-three of the 59 buses on the Texas A&M
Bus Operations fleet are almost 20 years old. The
newest buses were purchased in 1996. However when
the older buses were purchased in 1982, they met the
EPA standards of the time.
But when standards were raised there was not a
clause that required the older buses to meet those stan
dards, Jackson said.
“The buses are maintained and inspected by
Bus Operations. Every 3,000 miles a minor tune
up is done, and every 6,000 miles a major tune up
is done in effort to keep their emissions as clean
as possible,” he said.
Currently the buses are not required to pass an
annual emissions test. The engines in the buses are
no longer made. The newer buses have a cleaner
burning, more efficient diesel engine, comparable to
a car’s engine.
Jackson said there is not enough money to pur
chase new buses.
“My suggestion to the University is while they
are raising other fees to maintain buildings and
other facilities, why not raise the bus pass fee a
dollar or two to fund replacing the fleet, or re
searching techniques to clean the buses’ exhaust
up,” said Garza.
Jackson said that Bus Operations and the Uni
versity are aware of the pollution problem and are
currently researching different speculative plans to
replace and update the bus fleet.
“We are looking at changing the bus exhaust sys
tem, so that the exhaust is piped out through the top of
the bus, he said. “This way it is not at the level of
If the funds become available for Bus Opera
tions, the 33 buses from 1982 will be replaced first.
Then the remaining 26 buses will be replaced
every two years until the entire fleet is updated,
Jackson said.
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GUY ROGERS/Thk Battalion place. .
Hump it, Ags!
nued success.
Candidates discuss
how to handle
bonfire decision
This is the fourth in a five part series. The four candidates for student body
president were each asked five questions in separate interviews.
The Battalion
Regardless of the decision on the future of Aggie Bonfire, the next Texas A&M Uni
versity student body president will have to deal with reaction from all affected by the de
cision —from students to families of the victims to Aggies worldwide.
The four presidential
Sophomore Josh Ray (right), junior Ricky Wood and other yell leader candidates perform a mock yell practice for students outside the
MSC on Wednesday.
candidates outlined differing
approaches to coping with
the possible outcomes.
When the commission in
vestigating the 1999 Aggie
Bonfire collapse releases its
report and when A&M ad
ministrators decide if and
how to continue the tradition, media will descend upon the campus, senior marketing major
Jeff Schiefelbein said, and student leaders must present a united front behind the university.
“I feel confident that what the commission is doing now and what the administration decides
is going to be what’s best for this University, so Ed stand by that decision either way,” he said.
Schiefelbein said news reports of alcohol and mismanagement at the site sent the wrong
image of A&M to the rest of the country, but the upcoming decision will give students a
chance to present the University as it really is.
“I think Bonfire has gone from tragedy, to mourning, to an opportunity. This is the
year the whole nation will look at Texas A&M and figure out why we’re unique. When
See Candidates on Page 2.
Students question candidates during election forum
The Battalion
Candidates in the upcoming elections for student body pres
ident and yell leader were given the chance to speak to their
potential constituents during a forum Wednesday in the Memo
rial Student Center Flag room.
Each student body president candidate was given the
chance to introduce themselves and speak about their plat
form for five minutes.
The Election Commission devised a series of questions
concerning three areas affecting students at Texas A&M —
academics, communication and diversity. After the candi
dates’ impromptu responses, they were asked to identify Texas
A&M’s greatest downfall.
Bobby Tucker, adviser to the Student Government Associ
ation, mediated the forum.
“If you don’t remember a single thing I say, I hope you re
member this one question,” said Corey Rosenbusch, a junior
agriculture development major. “Are you building people, or
are you building your dreams, and using people to do it?”
Rosenbusch pointed out that he is older than the other can
didates. Having served as president of the state and national
Future Fanners of America organizations, Rosenbusch took
two years off from school, before enrolling at A&M as a mem
ber of the Class of 2001.
“We feel that we have reached out to students and gath
ered their ideas and that we can serve as student body pres
ident that will listen to what you need every single day,”
Rosenbusch said.
Rosenbusch used the word “we” repeatedly in his speech
and responses. When asked about this collective reference, he
said he was referring to the entire student body.
Brandon Garrett, a senior international studies and eco
nomics major, introduced himself by reflecting on his decision
to attend A&M and Student Body President Will Hurd’s influ
ence on his presence here.
Garrett told how his grandfather had wanted to attend
A&M in 1940 but was unable to do so because he is African-
American. He went on to become a doctor and a colonel in
the United States Marine Corps. Garrett said his grandfather
was one of the reasons he chose to attend Texas A&M.
“I want to be your student body president because I want to
make sure every student who is qualified, and has been admit
ted to Texas A&M, has the opportunity to attend this Univer
sity,” Garrett said.
See Forum on Page 2.
New campaign aims
to increase diversity
The Battalion
Alexis Martinez, a sophomore civil en
gineering major, was surprised by the lack
of diversity among students when he first
came to Texas A&M.
“My first impression, as a freshman,
made me feel out of place and isolated,”
he said.
Many new Aggies find the student
body intimidating and unwelcoming to
minority students.
The Not On Our Campus (NOOC)
campaign, a student run organization, aims
to enhance Texas A&M’s diversity by
meeting the needs of all students regard
less of race, sexual orientation, or ability.
Maco Faniel, chairperson of the cam
paign and a sophomore speech communi
cations major, said he hopes to improve
A&M’s image to potential students by im
proving the racial climate on campus.
“The Not On Our Campus campaign is
a campaign that strives to eradicate any act
of intolerance, bigotry or hate on the cam
pus of Texas A&M University,” he said.
“The campaign stands to create a campus
of tolerance and unity.”
The campaign plans to increase pub
lic awareness of diversity issues by dis
tributing buttons and a portfolio with a
proclamation outlining steps for a more
diverse and welcoming campus commu
nity. A human chain will be made around
the Memorial Student Center and differ
ent buildings around campus to represent
the stand against hate during the cam
paign week.
Angie Castro, a program adviser for
the MSC, anticipates the campaign will
make a positive impact on the avail
ability of programs for multicultural
students and bring the campus commu
nity together to prevent and fight acts of
“We hope to raise awareness by the in
clusion of all students through broad out
reach,” Castro said.
Bill Anderson, president of the MSC
Student Council and senior mechanical
engineering major, expects assistance
from students.
“I think the campaign is great. Texas
A&M is a community, and we should sup
port that idea because we are all Aggies,
regardless of race or ethnicity,” he said.
The NOOC campaign week is April 10-14.
Senate argues proposed fees
do support Vision 2020 plan
The Battalion
Arguing that the Student Senate must support Vision
2020 — the Texas A&M plan to be recognized as one of
the 10 best public universities in the nation by the year
2020 — the Student Senate did not approve the Comput
er Access/Instructional Technology Fee Disapproval Bill
in their meeting Wednesday night.
This bill would have suggested that the Board of Re
gents consider not approving the $1.25 increase or the
changing of the fee’s title.
The fee increase, if approved by the board, will go to
ward increasing instructional technology equipment, and
will also fund a center to provide instruction.
“The $ 1.25 increase per semester credit hour over the
current Computer Access Fee is being proposed to keep
the classroom instructional multimedia equipment near
state-of-the-art and to support faculty in utilizing instruc
tional technology,” said Dr. Pierce Cantrell, associate
provost for Information Technology.
Academic Affairs chairperson Brent Spencer, a senior
microbiology major, is against the bill, saying that increas
ing the fee is crucial to the development of the University.
“This fee is going to provide for better teaching instru
ments in the classroom and also give the University impor
tant tools in recruiting the best faculty possible,” he said.
In an effort to voice student reaction to the possibility
that the Academic Operations Committee (AOC) could end
early registration for student workers, the Student Senate
approved the Student Worker Early Registration Resolution.
“With this resolution we are working to try to prevent
the AOC from following through with eliminating student
worker early registration,” said student senator Kristin
Snyder, a junior political science major. “We want them to
consider student input before making this decision.”
If the AOC does decide to eliminate student worker ear
ly registration, it would not affect the registration process
until Spring of2001. The registration process for Summer
and Fall 2000 would not be affected.
“Texas A&M is the only university with early student
worker registration; having that option available is a
unique message that we send to the student population,”
said student senator Elizabeth Palka, a junior internation
al studies major.
The Student Senate also approved the Special Sessions
Bill, which allows the Senate to call themselves into an un
scheduled session if the need arises in an emergency or in
the case of impeachment.
The Proposed Fee Increase for 2000 Approval Bill was
also on the agenda. This bill, passed by the Student Sen
ate, approved the increase in the International Student Fee,
the University Authorized Tuition (UAT) and the Equip
ment Access Fee.
The International Student Fee will only apply to students
who come to A&M from other countries, said David Kessler,
a student senator and senior English major. The UAT fee in
crease will be per college and will provide for faculty pay
raises and other funding needs within the colleges.
Two new orders of business concerning parking were
brought before the Student Senate. The first bill would re
organize the commuter and resident parking lots. The sec
ond addresses the allocation of spots that will be available
to visitors in the planned West Campus garage.
• Playing snort
Baseball too lax
in dealing with
• A&M men head to
on the
share view
from the other
side of the counter.
Page 3
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Iton s Museum of Fine Art to be
come 6th largest in the nation.
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