The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 07, 2002, Image 13

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the Br utei ' ive 99 days an;I )SL ‘d to functio'I sa| d Keith. \*jj | ■nal that public " nt. usin^ thew.B enopausal wor terectorny, on a 26-yeJ I lost her uter. y og after childbl 1 was given ;j§§ a\ s after the,J|: <-* womb. Hou:I Urol it with drj itment wasgji^ ng and it gr?,! indicating tlvl: nigh and that:* searchers rep -I raxis happen x prompted:! thickness to Hit sheds beai irred. treatment »•£ opped fora.J Opinion 5B Thursday, March 7, 2002 EDITORIAL A Grade Trade nenstrual pea s each time." r ‘S worked fix ne, the sher p : on during the# would not sa >ns persona gton became ratification o days earlie: The Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee on Monday reviewed the current grading policy for students who retake courses. Tpe present rules allow for a student who received a C or lower in a class to repeat it and have the two grades averaged on their official University transcript. The new proposal would amend that to allow for grade forgiveness, where a student could retake up to three courses and reveive credit for the higher grade. ■ Q-drops, however, would be eliminated. That is unacceptable. There should be no connection made between two completely differ ent policies. Students should be allowed to keep their three Q-drops and should also push for the new grade replacement policy. ■ The Faculty Senate’s recent review of a proposal to allow students to retake a course and replace the old grade with a new one has right fully been met great approval from students. It is crucial that the administration pay attention when students and faculty come to such an agreement and call for a long overdue, and necessary, change. I This is not a chance for students to get away with bad grades. There are limits to prevent abuse of the new system. It would be a second opportunity for students who understand their mistakes and make tfic effort for more success in class the second time. The students pnderstandably favor an opportunity to rid their transcripts of a par- fcular blemish. It is understood among Aggies that good grades are ibne factor in a successful job or graduate school search. A couple of mistakes in picking a class, however, are inevitable. Administrators likely realize that when the Faculty Senate provides support for a change in policy, with many students in agreement, it is a good indication of a necessary change. Unfortunately, the Faculty Senate is insisting on connecting two completely separate policies. Why can’t each be debated and considered on their own merit? Perhaps the underlying motivation is a desire to get rid of Q-drops altogether. If this is the case, then say so and begin a debate. Likewise, it is imperative that Aggies make their voice heard on this matter. From a students perspective, having the option of both three drops and the ability to replace a bad grade is an academic plus. Perhaps it is too much. But the matter should be debated honestly. THE BATTALION EDITORIAL BOARD Editor in Chief Mariano Castillo Brian Rule Member Melissa Bedsole Cayla Carr Member Jonathan Jones Sommer Bunce Member Jennifer Lozano Brandie Liffick Member Kelln Zimmer Namiging Editor Opinion Editor News Editor News Editor 30! The Battalion encourages letters to the editor. Letters must be 200 words or less and include the author's name, class and phone number. The opinion editor lieserves the right to edit letters for length, style and accuracy. Letters may be submit ted in person at 014 Reed McDonald with a valid student ID. Letters also may be mailed to: 014 Reed McDonald, MS 1111, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 17843-1 111. Fax: (979) 845-2647 Email: mailcall@thebatt.com ADRIAN CALCANEO • THE BATTALION The bad roommate ResLife is not responsible for exposing sex offenders es, all ft CHRIS JACKSON W hen assigning roommates to students, Texas A&M’s Department of Residence Life does not consider an individuals past sexual offenses. Apartment complexes and apartment locators in College Station do not either, and this raises a question to anyone who is to be an assigned roommate. Should there be a system to screen past sex offenders from the roommate assignment process? Screening for sex offenses when assigning a roommate is unnecessary, and can lead to complications involving misrepresentation of character. Sex offender screening would raise questions of how much more past information should be collected. If a pot-luck candi date is concerned about a potential roommate, then an inquiry into the per son’s past should be a private matter between those people, and not one for the school or any other entity to handle. Classifying a person as a sex offender is dubious in itself. Certainly, individu als convicted of rape or aggravated sexu al assault are members of a group right fully marked dangerous to society. It is known that sexual predators show repeti tive criminal behavior, and that previous offenders are likely to strike again. However, an 18-year-old can be con victed for indecency with a child if involved with a consenting 16-year-old, and will be labeled a sex offender by the state. In this way, a situation involving a junior and a senior in high school can be misconstrued to imply something crimi nal. Adding this infonnation to a housing application would not correctly identify Screening for sex offenses when assigning a room mate is unnecessary, and can lead to complications involving misrepresenta tion of character. the type of person it is describing. Though some sex offenders are harm less, many convicted sex offenders are legitimate dangers to society. This does not, however, give any more weight to the argument that roommate services should be responsible for finding and weeding these individuals out. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety sex offender registra tion database, the majority of sex offenders in Bryan and College Station are over the age of 25, making it highly unlikely for a student looking for a room mate through a finder service to be paired with a registered sex offender. Asserting that it is the service’s responsibility to check each applicant's background information for a doubtful qualification is ludicrous. When it comes to on-campus living, many freshmen go pot-luck for their roommate and are paired with a person they do not know. This is a different sit uation from pulling roommates from the Bryan-College Station area. Most incom ing freshmen come from areas outside Bryan-College Station, where data on sex offender age may be different. Again, the responsibility of criminal screening should not be on the Department of Residence Life. It is not its job to search for convicted sex offenders, just as it is not its job to search for and bring attention to convicted felons. There is no guarantee that a potential roommate will be everything they are expected to be. By using a roommate serv ice or letting A&M pick, a student auto matically assumes the risk that their room- ' mate could be any type of undesirable per son, including a sex offender. It is up to the student, if concerned, to find out per sonal infonnation about a potential room mate for themselves. The chance of room ing with a dangerous felon is pretty slim. Chris Jackson is a sophomore business administration major. >WI imsui 1 MAIL CALL Aggies need to learn some respect I attended an informational meet ing given by Shell Oil Company and left embarrassed and appalled at the behavior of more than half of my fellow students who were there. By the way these students conducted themselves, I would not be surprised If Shell shied away from hiring Aggies together. Students showed up 20 to 30 min utes late. It is obvious that you are not interested in seeing the presenta tion: you only want to be there in time for the question and answer and eat ing parts of the session. Many who Wore sandals, jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts. The invitation clearly stat- odthat the dress was business casual. Students who asked questions that someone else already asked or, worse yet, repeated a question they them selves had already asked. I overheard a recruiter say to one student, “you have asked me that question twice a nd | have given you the same a nswer both times. If you do not believe me, call our main office." People took stacks of 3 or 4 pieces °f pizza and wolfed them down like farving animals. There was more pn enough for everyone, regard- i|s of whether you ate one or three Pieces at a time. Please remember that the way you act at these events is represen tative of the entire Aggie student population. Is this really what we want recruiters to think is normal behavior for Aggies? Recruiters really do expect you to know these things in addition to the technical knowl edge you have gained at A&M. Many of you do not think you need job search advice. Think again. Stacey Richter Class of 2002 Jenson criticism is unfair In response to a March 6 mailcall: It is our duty as citizens to question the actions of our government in order to improve its future policies. Apgar states that Jensen feels that we should "discard our "plush" middle class lifestyles" as a solution to what he thinks Jensen feels is an abuse of American military power. No, Jensen did not sug gest that we 'discard 1 anything. He suggested that we reevaluate the way we live and develop more sustain able ways of existing in the world. Therein lies my problem with Apgar's response: it was not constructive, but derogatory. Let's talk about the issues. Joy De Class of2003 Northgate parking causes danger CATHERINE RICHARDSON C omplaints about Northgate parking meters have been floating around campus all semester. The meters have stu dents and Northgate merchants in a frenzy and some are chal lenging the City of College Station to have them removed. The parking meters are slowing business and demanding more money from University stu dents, but more importantly encouraging drunk driving. Jon Mies, a fire marshall representing the City of College Station, said he believes the parking meters should assist businesses, but merchants in the area have quite a different viewpoint. Places such as Hole In the Wall and Fitzwilly’s have found that business during lunch has slowed, and many students are choosing alterna tives to avoid parking fees. As stated on the meters, during daylight hours from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m., there is a 90-minute parking limit at $0.50 an hour. From 7 p.m. until 2 a.m., there is a 4-hour limit at $1.50 an hour. Students obviously are being taken advantage of by the rise in nighttime cost, when Northgate attracts the most business. If Texas A&M was not located across University Drive, Northgate would probably not be as prosperous as it is today. Northgate is a spot where students go to relax, celebrate an accomplished week, gather to watch entertainers or con tinue traditions such as ring dunking. The city realizes what a popular hangout it is and is trying to take advan tage of its regular visitors. Take a drive within the city limits and you will find that Northgate is the only public place with parking meters. If the meters are so necessary, they should be at all public sites, not just one. Northgate was the first business district in town and the need for renovations and enhancements are obvious, but installing parking meters will not bring more visitors and will fail to make the area more attractive. The biggest issue pertain ing to the parking meters is the encouragement of drink ing and driving. All cars must be removed from parking meter zones at 2 a.m. Before the meters were installed, if an The city is trying to take advantage of * its regular visitors. individual felt he or she had too much to drink, the indi vidual had options such as call CARPOOL or getting a ride with a friend. Now the city forbids cars being left behind with threats of towing, causing more drinkers to drive. In response to this issue, Mies said the Northgate park ing garage is available 24 hours a day. But no one wants to pay up to $10 to leave their car in the garage. According to the December 2001 statistics posted on the City of College Station Police Department Website, there were 315 DWI/DUI arrests made in 2001 compared to 489 in 2000. DWI arrests decreased by 34 percent while DUI arrests increased by 41 percent. These numbers show violations have improved. It is important that the city realize the magni tude of this situation and coop erate to continue this decrease. College Station and Texas A&M have had their share of grief with alcohol-related acci dents. With a community wide effort, citizens can keep these devastating accidents from occurring. This effort will include not only the responsibility of residents but also the help of city officials. Giving Northgate visitors the option to leave their car parked instead of driving after a late night is the best solution. Northgate needs renovation, but the parking meters are a nuisance in more ways than one. Catherine Richardson is a senior journalism major.