The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, January 17, 2002, Image 1

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TEEX receives funding to fight terrorism
By Emily Peters
Bryan. College Station and Brazos County will
receive federal funding for equipment to improve
response capabilities in the possible event of ter
rorism through weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. Department of Justice granted funds
jto 95 Texas cities and counties assessed on vul-
Inerability and capability of handling biological,
chemical or explosive terrorist threats. The
equipment needed to combat terrorism and for
which the federal grant pays includes protective
clothing and breathing devices for emergency
responders, detection equipment to identify dif
ferent types of hazards, emergency antidotes and
medications, decontamination equipment and
communications equipment.
“You generally think of terrorist activity as
something that can easily affect large amounts
of people at once,” said Bart Humphreys,
College Station Fire Department research and
planning coordinator. “This area has several
sensitive targets, including home football
games and the Bush Presidential Library with
all of its political implications.”
The Texas Engineering Extension Service
(TEEX), based in College Station and part of
the Texas A&M University System, will be
responsible for facilitating equipment requests
and allocation for the selected Texas areas.
TEEX is home to the National Emergency
Response and Rescue Training Center Domestic
Preparedness Program.
"The federal program needed someone at a
state level to administrate this program,” said
Marylin Martell, public information director for
TEEX. “We have a close partnership with the
Department of Justice, and we already have a
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Rescue specialist Randy McGregor helps Lt. Nick Pappas suit up in
hat is known as a Level A protection suit. Members of the Texas Task
Force-1 took part in the Enhanced Operations Course with the Bryan
Fire Department where they familiarized themselves with various safe
ty equipment. The task force will be traveling to Salt Lake City next
month to assist with any problems at the Winter Olympics.
knowledge base in this area as well as national
experience with programs of this nature.”
The selected Texas areas will receive a total of
$11.7 million as part of the State Domestic
Preparedness Equipment Program of the U.S.
Department of Justice’s Office for Domestic
Humphreys said numerous city divisions
helped evaluate the area, including EMS, fire
and police departments, public utilities and
parks and recreation.
See TEEX on page 2A
Task force
prepares for
By Brandie Liffick
The Texas Task Force-1 (TX-TF1) emergency
rescue team is training for the Winter Olympic
Games. But instead of running sprints or lifting
weights, the team is preparing to respond to any
situation involving weapons of mass destruction,
structural collapse or mass casualties.
“The Olympic games are classified by the
government as a National Security Special
Event, which means that special forces are often
called in to help with security,” said Mike
Donoho, assistant fire chief for the Bryan Fire
Department. “This was planned before the Sept.
1 1 tragedies.”
Seventy-two of the 216 TX-TF1 members
will be dispatched on Feb. 3 to Salt Lake City,
Utah. Each will complete a 16-hour training
course on new equipment and procedures.
“We have been provided with $30,000 worth
of equipment from our FEMA (Federal
Emergency Management Agency) that will be
used in addition to the equipment we already
possess,” Donoho said. “It is important that we
become familiar with the equipment and make
sure everyone knows how everything works and
should be used if needed.”
In addition, team members specializing in
See Olympics on page 7A
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A&M unable to meet increased
. interest in Islamic studies
AASC condemns
Battalion for cartoon
By Rob Phillips
B Student interest in Middle Eastern
and Islamic studies has risen since
r nn | r ^ e P t - 1L but directors of Texas
Ttj M S ' ntemat ' ona l studies program
cwwhoodEducAaid the University lacks the expertise
^flbnd coursework to meet demand.
iMThe University's course selection
ales in comparison to the
niversity of Texas-Austin’s pro
ram, said Dr. Chris Alexander,
associate director of A&M’s inter
national studies program.
“It could well be the case that
there was a basic sense that since the
state of Texas had one well-devel
oped program on that part of the
world, it didn’t need another one,”
Alexander said.
The program at UT offers a large
number of courses across multiple
departments, classes and training
programs in a number of Middle
Eastern languages and library
resources that support quality
research in the region. Texas A&M
currently offers six courses dealing
with the Middle East. The classes
are scattered across various depart
ments, primarily in the College of
Liberal Arts. According to
Alexander, an important contrast
between the two programs is regu
“The faculty who teach those
See Islamic on page 2A
ec Center gets new equipment
By Sarah Szuminski
The Student Recreation Center
Jbajs spent more than $80,000 this
/ear on new equipment, focusing on
free weight equipment and tread
mills, cross-trainers and abdominal
Nine free weight multifunctional
racks were added to the Rec Center
free weight area this month. Also
added to the free weight area was a
new platform for Olympic lifting
and new bumper plates. This is the
first major addition made to the free
weight area since the Rec Center’s
opening in 1995.
Jerod Wilson, the Rec Center
weight room and personal training
coordinator, is overseeing the improve
ments and said more multi-function
racks will help alleviate the problem of
crowding during peak hours.
“We’re trying to get more effi
cient with our space,” Wilson said.
“You’re not just locked into one
exercise at each station.”
The racks consist of a movable
lever-action bench, a full set of
weights and two bars: a standard 45-
pound and a lighter 25-pound. The
user can choose between the bench
press, incline press and seated
shoulder press at the same station,
Wilson said.
“The best thing is that there are
more benches available,” said soph-
See Equipment on page 7A
By Rolando Garcia
African-American students demand
ed The Battalion issue a formal apology
for publishing an editorial cartoon they
claim is racist, and accused the student
newspaper of a persistent insensitivity
to minorities.
“It (the cartoon) is blatantly offensive.
The appearance of the characters are
exaggerated to exploit racist stereotypes
of African-Americans as ignorant,” said
Bereket Bisrat, spokesperson for the
African-American Student Coalition
(AASC) and a sophomore international
studies major.
The AASC distributed a statement
Wednesday condemning The Battalion
and urging University administrators to
do the same.
The cartoon, which appeared in the Jan.
14 edition of The Battalion, depicts an
African-American mother in curlers and
an apron scolding her son for receiving a
bad grade, saying “If you ain’t careful, you
gonna end up doing airport security.”
Mariano Castillo, editor in chief of The
Battalion and a senior international stud
ies and journalism major, said he stands
by his decision to let the cartoon run.
“I don’t believe it was racist, and it
shouldn’t be interpreted as such,”
Castillo said.
Although they are demanding an
apology from The Battalion, Castillo
said he has not been contacted by any-
It (the cartoon) is
blatantly offensive.
The appearance of the
characters are exaggerated
to exploit racist stereotypes
of African-Americans
as ignorant.
— Berekat Bisrat
AASC spokesperson
one from the AASC and only obtained a
copy of its statement from another
media organization. Castillo added that
See Cartoon on page 7A
Sports 1B
Wildcats claim
66-61 win over A&M
Kansas state holds off late
Aggie rally
AggieLife 3A
Eyes Wide Shut
Blind dates result in varied
68° F
52* F
67° F
/. weathermanted .com