The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 01, 2001, Image 15

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;dai March 1,2001
Page 7B - '
Students vote ■ who listens?
tudent Senate opinions on campus issues overlooked
Eff idea out
I pizza in
ntof the Memorial Student
„ r-niter in hopes of drawing
jidents’'attention to the re-
- C ^ itly passed Transportation
i. Bus Operations wanted
on its side," inform students of the issue
ent Janine [that they would vote for
ositemewaO fee increase and feel that
ie windowmiY took part in this decision,
nd the frame ; . tr uth, the students took part
3. His wifesita technicality that had to
•ered inhisfcompleted for a decision
h site, the pt was already made. Real
'as pointin': visions made by students
45-degree e 'y got any attention at all.
’as parti#. Students are asked to vote
nd compleie issues that require a major-
on its side i vote °f the student body
irdenofahod'I 6 Legislature to take ac-
part oftheeJ T - such as large fee in-
ondontoE :ases - i s a * so ti 16 reas on
U[ rVl ,, 1|t . -dents were asked to vote on
Hatfield "Student Recreation Center
‘ n ' -e increase and the Interna-
’ \„..nal Student Fund last year.
''^ 1 of these fees received ap-
4 j)val from the students, and.
likely, no one ever
,|1 '' ubted that they would.
tetwork diii
The fact that the fees were
? rdm 0 prfcved is not the problem.
.e future of A&M must be | nt0 consideration, and
involved m":-
also been «!|
s on the trsl
it is the students’ duty to pay
fees now so the school and its
facilities will remain in good
condition. The problem is
that, when administrators are
working on changes for this
school, the students support
these recommendations. But
when students recommend
change, no action is taken,
and students’ opinions are
The members of the Stu
dent Senate are elected to
make decisions on issues for
this campus on behalf of the
student body. It would be im
possible for the entire student
body to vote on every issue
that goes before the Senate,
and, truthfully, most students
would not want to vote each
time. Whether its decisions
are supported, the Senate
works hard to be informed
when making decisions for
the student body.
These decisions are the
only representations of stu
dent opinions on issues facing
the campus. However, in the
past few years, the opinion of
the students has been deliber
ately disregarded in certain in
Many students know that
last year the Senate approved
Parking Area Changes Bill
that changed the Fish Lot, a
red lot, to blue commuter lots
and the blue lots of main cam
pus to red for on-campus resi
dents. Many students do not
realize that this bill came be
fore the Senate in 1998 and
was so disputed that it never
received a second reading on
the Senate floor.
Then, when the bill came
before the Student Senate
again last year, the votes were
tied. It passed only by one
vote, which required the
speaker of the Senate to vote
on the issue. Not only did the
bill pass by just one vote, but
the wording of the second bill
states “that these changes be
employed on a temporary ba
sis,” because of construction
on Wellborn Road, Raymond
Stozef Parkway and George
Bush Drive. The construction
was supposed to occur during
the current school year and is
now tentatively scheduled for
Fall 2001.
This change happened un
necessarily a year in advance,
and suddenly this situation
does not seem so “temporary”
at all. While this is not a bla
tant disregard for the students’
decision, it is a neglect to
truthfully inform students of
the situation at hand.
There was, however, bla
tant disregard with the issue
of the West Campus Parking
Garage Bill. The Student Sen
ate passed a bill recommend
ing that “the Texas A&M Uni
versity System Board of
Regents vote against the pro
posed West Campus parking
garage” as well as “reduce
the amount of proposed park
ing permit fee increases.”
The Student Senate voted
against the garage in Spring
1999, and fees increased for
the parking permits the next
fall. It has been almost two
years, and there is still no
garage on West Campus.
Students have repeatedly
voiced opinions favoring a
change in the current Q-drop
policy, but because no agree
ment can be made with the
faculty, their opinions are
overlooked, and the issue has
also almost died with no
change at all.
The Transportation Fee
and the Rec Center Fee
passed because informed stu
dents realize it is their re
sponsibility to keep this
school in good condition —
and these are the students
who take the time to vote.
These students trust the opin
ions of the administrators on
important issues, and there
fore take a responsible part
in the decision process. It is
time that the administrators
on this campus take some re
sponsibility of their own and
realize that they must trust
the opinions of the students.
Melissa Beds ole is a
junior psychology major.
CHAD MALLAM /The Battalion
America’s favorite president
ahead of the founding father of America
ey confiscate
es, spears i
pons, and a
./here manyn Feb. 22, the nation cele-
tothemiseni 1 brated Presidents’ Day.
ler plastic This date is, and used to be
ice staton. \ff\c\aUy recognized as, George
iiamsudinIslington’s birthday. Sometime
^‘ e - .Bhe last century, however, the
gees had L,Q Vernment t j iat Washington
eaaingeyjMpgcl create decided that he was
10 longer worth giving much
aces former
ad sent s
n a poll released last week, Ronald Reagan was .
hasalongjAmed the greatest president in history; Washington
" :ame in seventh, behind the likes of George Bush
aider the:dnd Bill Clinton. In showing such cavalier disdain
arto the man called “The Father of Our Country,” the
Bierican people are showing their ignorance. His-
orical revisionism appears to be in vogue; in the
^ase of George Washington, revisionists should be
tpbraided as fools. Washington was more than just a
■ fin ffH'P' 6 h ero; h e was a man a head of his time.
11 UjfajlfThe least Americans can do is respect and admire
- “™ris legacy.
fifSome revisionists have claimed that Washington
was not much of a military leader. Some, in fact,
believe he was a very poor commander; certainly,
ilse people reason, he was not a Grant, Lee or Pat
ton. These supposed scholars are overlooking the
ifPffl fact that Washington was in command of a force of
farmers, peasants and businessmen who had little or
g no military training. Amazingly enough, neither did
P | many of their commanders.
Washington recognized quickly that it would be
difficult, if not impossible, to defeat the British
Bny in a series of large battles with his ragtag
ids anogroup. Instead, he had to keep his army together and
, do enough damage to convince the British to end
PELL liwhat became a very unpopular war.
. || It would not be a stretch to say that Washington is
11 nWIT 1 the reason that the United States even exists. During
)SeS nc thc Constitutional Convention of 1787, the role of
the newly created chief executive was hotly debated.
nbarfcSpe delegates wanted a weak leader; others, like
Alexander Hamilton, wanted one similar to a king,
re tna' The compromise that the delegates came to de-
I., . scribed an executive with a good deal of power, but
‘ l ' e one who would be required to consult with other
an( -j elected officials in good faith. Their model for this
1 president was the one man all the delegates trusted
§ gYgf, and admired: George Washington.
I Washington did not seek the presidency, nor did
hp desire to serve in that position. Upon taking of-
fice, however, Washington worked hard to be a
guardian of the infant Constitution, mindful, that if
the American experiment failed, it might never be
attempted again. He also set the tone for presidential
conduct — significantly soiled in the past 30 years
— noting that, “There is scarcely any part of my
conduct which may not hereafter be brought into
I Washington’s administration, against the odds.
was a success. He led the country through the cre
ation of partisan politic, and kept America out of a
series of conflicts with more powerful nations like
England and revolutionary France.
Many detractors rip Washington for holding
slaves. These naysayers see only half of the picture.
Washington could not free more than half of his
slaves, as they were the property of his wife, the for
mer Martha Custis. If he were to release them, they
would belong to the male members of her family.
And what could a free, uneducated black person do
in 1790s Virginia? The answer is simple: become
the property of another white man.
Washington treated his slaves with kindness and
generosity in comparison to his contemporaries like
Jefferson. He allowed them to marry — a novel con
cept for supposed “property” — and would not sell
his slaves. He also refused to allow overseers to
whip slaves. In one letter, Washington wrote of how
he hoped to see his slaves be “taught how to read
and write, be brought up to some useful occupa
tion,” and then freed. Washington died before he
Washington did not seek the
presidency, nor did he desire to
serve in that position. Upon tak
ing office, however, Washington
worked hard to be a guardian of
the infant Constitution, mindful
that, if the American experiment
failed, it might never be
attempted again.
could attempt that experiment.
Washington foresaw a conflict that would take
place 60 years after his death, pitting North against
South over slavery, if it came to be, Washington
said, he would “move and be of the Northern.” In
spite of this, historical revisionists refer to Washing
ton simply as a bigot.
In most cases, historical revisionism is the inser
tion of politically correct opinions in solid fact. In
the case of Washington, revisionists should be
strongly condemned for warping history. Washing
ton not only led this country to freedom, but he kept
the fledgling nation together through a very difficult
period. For this, and for many other things, Wash
ington should be honored by Americans above those
who have followed him.
To have him share a day with Bill Clinton,
Richard Nixon and Warren Harding is a disgrace.
Americans should once more, in the words of James
Madison, “be assured, his influence carried this
Mark Passwaters is a senior
electrical engineer major.
Aggie attitudes need to improve
A ggies live
in a beau
tiful world
and attend a
beautiful univer
sity, yet around
every corner
lurk discontent,
frustration and
another excuse to whine and cry.
Lately there has been an increas
ing amount of division among the
student body as individuals and
organizations continue to squab
ble. Unless everyone can start to
get along, the student body will
disintegrate before anyone can
stop it.
While it is impractical and
completely implausible to imagine
pure bliss among the student body,
it is not too much to ask the stu
dents of the University to take a
chill pill. Understandably, people
will still be offended by something
that challenges their beliefs. The ;
goal, therefore, is to make an at- ,
tempt to minimize these types of
effects. In addition, people shoul
try not to cry over spilled milk.
So Aggies for Life decided it
would be a great idea to erect a
monument to abortion — big dea
It did less for their cause than a
more tactful approach would have
simply because it offended people.
Likewise, Aggies for Life’s oppo
nents scribbled coat hangers all |
over the campus with chalk — am
other great display of class. What
comes next? Toilet papering one
another’s homes and freezing each
other’s undies? How about a nice
game of flag football instead?
Maybe the two groups should get
together in an attempt to unify and
find a more suitable means of
solving their problems.
Meanwhile, a barrage of bird
mess is bombarding cars and
passersby, not to mention leaving
quite a stench. As a result, people
complain. Overnight, 50 years of
trees get cut down, instigating
more complaints. No wonder it is
difficult to be in a position of au
thority at this University. No mat
ter what decision is made, some
one will always be upset. Be on
the lookout for 16-foot high dis
plays of tree stumps outside the
Memorial Student Center.
Another favorite complaint
deals with Parking Traffic and
Transportation Services (PTTS)
and on-campus parking. Ag-
gieland’s newest pastime is poach
ing for parking spaces. Five more
minutes until class starts and no
parking — what does one do?
Park in a yellow lot, of course. By
the time the day is over, the wind
shield is littered with those little
yellow envelopes that everyone
loves to see. One for parking in a
yellow lot, another for being in the
third spot from the left of the en
trance on Groundhog Day and an
other because the PTTS officer did
not like the color of your car. The
list goes on and on. If one is espe
cially lucky, one will be towed.
The only logical response to
this problem is to complain — stu
dents need more parking, a mono-
rail system that links every park
ing lot to every building on cam
pus and refreshments on the buses.
In response to these horrible in
conveniences, more garages and -
parking spaces will be added.
Surely someone will protest.
Enough is enough. Rather than
searching for new and improved
ways to be angry, start being
proactive. Work together to find
solutions to problems and dis
agreements, rather than thinking
of witty ways to vandalize the
campus. Try to be more under- >
standing and open-minded. Real
ize that it is not always necessary
to open one’s mouth.
Instead, go for a nice walk
around campus, talk to a stranger
on the way to class. If it is not too
much trouble, try smiling for a
change. It is rather amazing how
much a simple grin can improve a
person’s day.
Sometimes the stresses of col
lege life and other influences in
our lives will cause a buildup of
anger or frustration. Sometimes
one may become offended by
someone or something. Most of
the time one will find that it is
nothing to fuss about. The atti
tudes on campus need to change.
By working together to solve
problems in a constructive fash
ion, students can make more of a
difference on campus. Unity will
improve and the spirit of the Uni
versity will continue to grow
fVill Knecht is a junior.
journalism major
i -a
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