The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 27, 2002, Image 15

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nation battalion a- lioii i (AP) . r State Co.^ Tiotoroilmafe ipany of mot ffy Lube stations aero* scorning pane tell Group u billion, ement nday nighi: both Pennzo; id Shell’s I'J ased. :ials at k the familii Quaker St ion’s two oils, will si will not. ct some reds Gail Schutz. son said. 1 15 percent ibs — would 1 in the combiri hell Lubrici aker State." iut 7,000 wo ton and oup empi pie. Pennzi is a world 1 * •out 7,400. that led incement sc nth ago wl ; approach r State exec mpanies si x | ay Scippasi mipanies wi iroved Monc tker’s board. ; in the seco: •. It still nee f shareholda ston econoit: res come f additiot , with a mefi .ard Co. "1 giant Comp o., based ; also a do patch, wNe Irilling k 1 ie 40 pe4 Opinion EDITORJAT Get Involved This week’s student elections highlight a growing lack of faith many Aggies have in their student government. While voter turnout is always an issue, this year there are signs of a deeper disenchant ment. The overall number of candidates is unusually low — only two student body president candidates, a significant number of class offi cers running unopposed and there are many Student Senate posi tions no one filed for. It seems a turbulent semester where the cam pus was the center of attention regarding its top 20 plan, diversity issues, Bonfire and fee increases, has left the student body with a depleted hope in effective representation. Today and Thursday, students can send a message that this must change. High turnout, followed by an active vocalization of their opin ion on the issues that directly effect them, is a positive beginning. Students may feel they cannot do anything when an issue arises. This, of course, is not true. Ideally, elected campus officials provide the means of student input to administrators. If little effort is made to gath er opinion, Aggies raising their voices can still initiate change, such as last semester with the Residence Hall Association flag controversy. Now, more than ever, the student body needs motivated, hard-working leaders in its senate, executive and legislative branches of government. The vacancies or unopposed candidates on the ballot this week reflects the type of indifference that creates little or no accountabili ty for student voices on the most important decisions. This adds to the disenfranchisement of Aggies. In the Jan. 22 Battalion, Student Body President Schuyler Houser said no survey of student opinion was conducted on a large fee increase. In fact, she and the Student Senate supported the increase with very little input from students. Maybe most Aggies supported the new fees. But the lack of involvement from students, in marked con trast to the uproar that ensued at the University of Texas over a smaller fee increase, meant that a significant change was made affecting students without their input. Something needs to change, oth in Student Government and among students. Student government can always be improved. Get involved and vote this week. At the very least, a student voice will be heard on the issues that affect the lives of current and future Aggies. THE BATTALION EDITORIAL BOARD Editor in Chief MARIANO CASTILLO Managing Editor Opinion Editor News Editor News Editor Brian Ruff Cayla Carr Sommer Bunge Brandie Liffick Member Member Member Member Melissa Bedsole Jonathan Jones Jennifer Lozano Kelln Zimmer The Battalion encourages letters to the editor. Letters must be 200 words or less iul include the author's name, class and phone number. The opinion editor reserves bright to edit letters for length, style and accuracy. Letters may be submitted in per- Mat 014 Reed McDonald with a valid student ID. Letters also may be mailed to: 014 ieed McDonald, MS 1111, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-1111. Fax: 179)845-2647 Email: mailcall@thebatt.com a bad time ouston ecoc :deral Re$ er ' ;aid. _ A federally geified rei pillion des^l aves was e Aetna' e FleetBosS 1 ;roup and n density for all avery - n d jnhu^ again campaign season is K taj US ' anc * we ' as Aggies, are rightSi & J datec l with flyers and demon- it fn^ J 0ns by candidates, hoping to cuits oftb* § °ur vote. Today, however, I said, ih Ca !J*P a jgners for Sampson an beating a drum in a mock eat, wearing a cheap head- a nd mocking Native Stry CHS it we^ 1 illege MAIL CALL jncan culture. att b's has to do with being a r yell leader, I have no idea. 4t mem b e r of the Ogalala compa^ iended na At i0n ' - 1 Was - 8reatly states ^ e A j- un,versi ty striving to s use terdi| ave nn ? lverse ' these actions .|,prsiii# lat , °. Place. I have no doubt l he ca . m P a 'Sners been c nd rn s 'r in8 n cheap crude 0 „ ran# itorir ma sks, the African- “ wWOildbeKIf 1011 0n ca ^ pus n light e n an u P r oar and we iL f e r n have Jesse Jackson •- hacd istrnn ym8 d own here to rally ° Rj lis The Nativ e peoples of have suffered the ld Sfcans Cl,les as haue the latf I n °t mnrl P kP.? d here for sl ?' /er y- ./^febutwearenotbom- »o ns 7? ,heir stru ggte or repa- lieAnoU^ 6 P rouc l people whom wvitz ^ ^ °^ st °le land from, slaugh- ers . whos e culture they ’ omthp f to COm pletely wipe ffere |ltl ; ette rt ace 0 ^he Earth deserves treatment than that. I for one would not support any candidate who would find this injustice funny, and I would hope that neither would my fel low Aggies. Jordan, you have just lost my vote. John Kitsopoulos Class of 2001 No accommodations? In response to George Deutsch s March 27 column: Deutsch said to grant special treatment for some students and not others, even if the students are deemed disabled, is unfair. Should we not let students with mental retardation use graphic organizers, or blind students use braille materials or dyslexic stu dents, read small print without assistive technology or deaf stu dents sit at the back of the class room without an interpreter? These are all examples of accom modations. Should we put all of these people with disabilities that affect academic perform ance in a segregated classroom and label them? All of these peo ple are protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Mandy Herrera Class of 2003 AMERICAN PROUD? Patriotism has lost^ its importance ^ COURTNEY WALSH I n the wake of public complaints by U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alleging discrimination, racial profiling, background checks and job termination in armed forces and airport security since the Sept.l 1 terror ist attacks, Americans have been called upon to review what being an American means, especially in tenns of American citizenship. Some might say lost jobs are an indirect attempt at revenge or personal remediation for the terrorist attacks, similar to the acts carried out against Japanese-Americans and immi grants after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Without making justification for such behavior, somewhere the line must be drawn and boundaries set to ensure all Americans are as safe as possible. Random termination is not a prop- er way to address public concerns and fears; however, the U.S. gov- ernment does nothing “at random when it comes to matters of national security and sacrifices .,*V‘ are necessary. Additionally, the majority of those experiencing duress are not Americans, but long-stand- does mean he assumes a level of per- ing immigrants without a commitment to the United States. The government would be ignorant if it were not con cerned with this matter, especially since the terrorist hijackers fit this profile. Also, there has been no real outcry on the part of the Arab or Muslim commu nities condemning Osama bin Laden’s activities and his terrorism campaign against the United States, which can only lead the American public to speculate why this is so. Due to the lack of voiced opposition to bin Laden and voiced alle giance to America, it seems that perhaps some members of the American commu nity are here for a piece of the American dream without giving anything in return. And it is for this reason that the issue of American citizenship goes much deeper than the recent attention it has been given. People seem to forget there is an exchange that occurs between an immigrant and America if he truly wishes to be here. By becom ing a citizen of this country, one sym bolically pledges his loyalty to the United States. This in no way means he forgets his cultural background, but it sonal commitment and self-sacrifice as his American duty — at least it should mean this. However, many Americans have taken their country for granted for RUBEN DELUNA* THE BATTALION the ACLU sever any thread of common- Somewhere the line must be drawn and boundaries set to ensure all Americans are as safe as possible. so long that it only makes sense for immigrants to emulate this behavior. One group in particular that serves as a prime example of such a scenario is the American Civil Liberties Union. While this organization does much good, it has become a detriment to the legitimacy of certain civil liberties because it has neg lected to acknowledge that unless a per son is an American citizen, he is protect ed by his country of origin’s embassy until his naturalization. If the ACLU is willing to fight for an immigrant as if he were a citizen, providing him with multi lingual brochures, community outreach and other various systems of support, why should he bother to become a citi zen? If anything, organizations such as ality between the ethnic groups that makeup America. The symbolism behind the phrase “American melting pot” is that America, from the very beginning, has been a conglomeration of nationali ties merged into one unifying body; if there is division and self-segregation, there is no unification. When one accepts all that America has to offer, giving oneself in the form of U.S. citizenship does not seem like too much to ask for in return. Granted, unfair practices do occur, but America is not perfect and those in search of such ideal ism are disillusioned. Today, in an America consumed by political correctness, if one finds what he deems to be a flaw in the system — no matter how well-founded or ludi crous the complaint — he fusses like a spoiled child until someone appeases him. How quickly forgotten is the fact that America, with all of her faults and flaws, is still a beacon, a land of refuge and freedom and one of the greatest nations on earth. America is well worth pledging allegiance to. Courtney Walsh is a senior biomedical science and English major. Education, not abstinence No-sex campaign will weaken students’ sexual awareness DRU COLLINS T he Center for AIDS Prevention Studies reported that although more than 93 percent of pub lic high schools offer courses on sexuality, controversy over what message should be given has rendered them ineffective. The study also pointed out that the United States has more than twice the teenage pregnancy rate of any Western industrialized country. More than one million teenagers become pregnant annually. HIV infection is increasing among young peo ple. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the age range that reports the most new cases is between 13 and 24 years old. This is a direct reflection of the current push to keep sex and sexuality private and avoid informing young adults about their bodies and sex in high school. In fact, there is a move ment in the U.S. Congress to only award grants to school programs that teach absti nence as the only form of safe sex. President George W. Bush and other conservatives argue that “abstinence only” sex education is the only edu cation that does not condone sex. This is a big mistake. Rather than teaching stu dents to avoid sex, emphasis should be geared toward edu cating students about sex and its consequences. Americans in the 1950s tried to keep their children from engaging in premarital sex by telling children fairytales and old wives’ tales that left absti nence as the only alternative. Margaret Griffith, director of health education at A.P. Beutel Health Center, said the 1950s attitude has reappeared. Some parents and teachers tell children that sex is dirty, but they also say do it with someone you love. Griffith said “this message is obvious ly conflicting and confusing; kids should avoid sex because it is dirty or immoral but are told that it is a gift to be shared with someone you love but only after marriage.” It is no wonder that when some children mature to the college age the curiosity of sex takes over. With parents often miles away, college stu dents are the most explorative in terms of sex. Yet, because most of those who are sexual ly active are uninformed or ill informed, there are often severe consequences. Earlier this year, Karen Marie Hubbard, a college stu dent from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, died after giving birth in a resi dence hall bathroom. She was 19 years old and a fresh man at the university. She was co-valedictorian of her high school and a member of the National Honor Society, math team, Spanish club, school band, athletics and student council. Her high school guidance counselor described her as “one of the nicest people you would ever meet, and the per son that you would say was definitely going to make it.” Hubbard’s roommate said Hubbard ignored concerns from her friends and may not have known she was preg nant. The ignorance that led to her death could have been avoided if high schools placed more emphasis on educating students about sex. These incidents prove that sex education programs need to focus on more than absti nence. As they always have, children will find a way to do what they want. It is better that educators inform them about the risks and options and teach children to embrace their sexuality rather than suppress it. The wise man is much more equipped to make a responsible decision than the ignorant fool. Dru Collins is a senit speech communications majt