The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 28, 2003, Image 9

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The Battalion
Save the whales
Page 9 • Tuesday, October 28,
for oil
Bush administration's policy will result in extinction of endangered species
B ald eagles,
the national
bird, were on
the endangered
species list just a
few years ago. This
was due in large
part to farmers
using pesticides that
were absorbed into
the fish the eagles
ate. Policies were instituted and con
servation was stepped up to save the
bald eagles and stop the use of these
pesticides. The United States fought
hard to revive the ailing population
of bald eagles and was successful.
What if Americans had been told
the best way to save the bald eagles
was to kill or export the birds?
Americans would not tolerate for
eigners coming in and killing the
U.S. national bird or any other
endangered animals, and Americans
must not tolerate policies making it
OK to kill endangered species in
other countries.
The Bush administration has
recently proposed changes to conser
vation policies that “would allow
hunters, circuses and the pet industry
to kill, capture and import animals
on the brink of extinction in other
countries,” according to The
Washington Post. Bush administra
tion officials said this would provide
for the demand of live animals, skins
and trophies, while at the same time,
funding conservation projects in the
native countries of the animals.
Under the proposal, wealthy trophy
hunters can go to other countries and
kill whatever they want to mount on
their wall, or exotic pet dealers can
now transport highly endangered
animals as they please.This policy
would reverse precedents set by
every president since Richard Nixon,
which banned trade and hunting of
these endangered species.
Conservationists are rightfully
infuriated by this proposal. Adam
Roberts, a senior research associate
at the nonprofit Animal Welfare
Institute, an advocacy group for
endangered species, told The Post,
“It’s a very dangerous precedent to
decide that wildlife exploitation is in
the best interest of wildlife.”
Dangerous is an understatement.
The idea that it is necessary to kill
endangered species to save them
defies all logic. Applying the idea of
an Adam Smith style-free market on
endangered species has already been
proven ineffective.
One must wonder where this idea
even came from. One clue is the
strong hunting advocate in the Safari
Club International which, according .
to The Post, contributed 86 percent
of its $274,000 in campaign funds to
Republicans. Safari Club
International is a hunting advocacy
group that said the hunting was
aimed at conservation. Hunting to
save is understandable in situations
of overpopulation or plans to thin
animal populations, but hunting to
save endangered species, many of
which are on the endangered species
list due to hunting, is ludicrous.
This has become the trend from
the White House. First Americans
were told that to be saved from the
deficit, taxes had to be cut. Next,
Americans were told that to save the
forests from forest fires, trees had to
be cut down. Now Americans are
being told that to save endangered
animals, they first have to be killed.
For those who are not sheep
blindly following the spin machine
of the White House, one must won
der what is happening. Rhetoric is
going one direction and actions
another. Policies such as this have
become a staple in the Bush admin
istration. Solutions only beget more
serious problems.
It is perplexing to follow the
policy proposals of the adminis
tration, each seemingly tailored
for some fringe constituency.
The Healthy Forest Initiative
would be a windfall for the
timber industry. The Bush tax
cuts were overtly tilted to the
rich. Farm subsidies and steel
tariffs come and go with ebbs
and flows in poll numbers. And
strangely enough, even
Halliburton is having a
record-setting year.
It is becoming harder
to confront the policy
of the White House in
a serious and analyt
ical manner. Much
of what comes out
of Washington is
Americans have
been asked so much from their com
mander in chief and have willingly
obliged to most of it. With that said,
dissent should never be silenced, and
with a stream of radical proposals
like their idea of kill for conserva
tion, Americans must tell the White
House that this type of policy is
unacceptable, or regret not acting for
years to come.
Justin Hill is a senior
political science major.
Mahesh Neelakantan • THE BATTALION
A long, hard commute
Unassigned spaces should be given
to students at reasonable prices
E very morning, commut
ing students wait their
turns in the midst of a
sea of cars, trucks and SUVs
in hopes of getting a parking
spot in time to make it to
class. Each row already has
two or three vehicles lined up
on each side. More com
muters roll into the blue
Zachry parking lot every
moment, speeding to the least crowded row
before others can beat them to the punch.
Blue lot commuters resemble vultures wait
ing for a lame animal to die. While they
scramble for a spot, they must wait for the nat
ural course to come abou — someone leaving
their spot. Even if a student comes 40 minutes
early for a class, he still will not get a spot
until the students who are currently in classes
leave campus.
But there is something many students do not
know that might make their view of the parking
situation even more ridiculous. According to
Rodney Weis, director of Transportation
Services, preliminary counts indicate that, on
average, between 30 and 45
percent of parking garage
spaces are empty at any
given time during the day.
This is extremely ineffi
cient to say the least.
Although some students
may complain that someone
should expand the crowded
parking lots on campus, this
is not necessarily the best
way to fix parking predica
ments. Commuter students
wait in lines for spaces in
the Zachry parking lot while
hundreds of spaces are
empty in multimillion dollar garages.
One reason for this inefficiency can be
explained by the reserved space rule in the
garages. Students who purchase a garage permit
are assigned an individual space. At first glance,
this rule seems reasonable because the student
is always guaranteed the same parking space.
Students who go through the waiting list and
pay $390 for a garage spot will argue that this
rule should be kept. They believe that by paying
extra money, they deserve a designated spot.
However, in the overall scheme of things, this
policy is a thorn in the sides of A&M parking
planners, not to mention the students still wait
ing outside in the blue lots.
According to Weis, there are approximately
31,500 commuters and only 9,500 residents, yet
garage permits in main campus lots are only
sold to the latter. South Side Parking Garage
contains about 1,975 spaces and is virtually
Although some may
scream of the need to expand
parking lots, the crux of the
matter lies with properly
managing the space that is
currently available with new
only residential. North Side Parking Garage
contains about 1,845 spaces with about 1,685
set aside for residents. Unversity Center Parking
Garage next to Koldus has about 1,000 spots,
more than half for residents. The new West
Campus Parking Garage is the only garage that
has significant space available for commuting
students — 2,400 out of 3,700. But if commut
ing students wish to park in any garage, they
must pay by the hour.
Keep in mind that a whopping 20,411 com
muter blue permits were sold this year. But
there are only 1 1,700 blue and red lot spaces
combined. Just by looking at the numbers,
anyone can see commuters will have a prob
lem. Why not open up the 7,500 reserved
garage spaces to commuters? Many of these
currently numbered spaces are empty during
the day anyway.
The point is that there is enough parking on
campus; it just is not allocated appropriately.
University parking officials should be allowed
to sell more permits to residents and com
muters for the garages. Instead of assigning a
specific space for a particular student who may
not have his car there during the day, many
more students would be
allowed to use the garage,
which would make more
efficient use of the space.
They would estimate how
many permits could be sold
for each garage to fill the
garage every day with vehi
cles, but not too many that
would prevent a student
from parking at all. If offi
cials allocated the spaces
correctly, the only grief that
would be caused by this is
that a student might have to
park a few spaces down
from where he parked the previous day. By
selling more permits to the garages, the cost
may decrease.
Perhaps officials could set up a general park
ing plan based on seniority. Faculty members
would receive the most convenient spots, then
seniors, then juniors and so on.
One thing is for sure; students are irritated
every day by parking stresses. Although some
may scream of the need to expand parking lots,
the crux of the matter lies with properly manag
ing the space that is currently available with
new policies. There needs to be a serious dis
cussion on campus about how spaces are allo
cated in general and how the available space is
operated. By the way, the students in the blue
lots are still waiting.
David Ege is a junior
computer engineering major.
Founding Fathers
wanted separation
In response to an Oct. 27 mail
It should be pointed out that
the quote in Ms. Scamardo’s
mail call was from President
John Quincy Adams, not his
father John Adams.
Since her argument is based
on what kind of nation the
Founding Fathers intended to
create, that quote does not
exactly further her case. John
Adams can be quoted as say
ing in a letter to Charles
Cushing, ‘Twenty times in the
course of my late reading, have
I been upon the point of break
ing out, ‘this would be the best
of all possible worlds, if there
were no religion in it.’” Also, in
1797, Adams signed the Treaty
of Tripoli which in part read,
“The government of the United
States is not in any sense
founded on the Christian reli
gion.” Her other source was
James Madison, who said,
“Religion and government will
both exist in greater purity, the
less they are mixed together.”
Chris Cole
Class of 2005
Recall elections
represent citizens
In response to Hayden Migl’s
Oct. 22 column:
While I understand that many
find California’s Recall election
an error, I don’t think the legiti
macy of the process should be
questioned. The citizens of
California felt that the leader
ship of former Gov. Davis was
incapable of handling the
state’s issues effectively, and
they removed him from office.
They then placed their trust in
somebody else. That’s their
choice, and it’s their right to
make it.
Furthermore, suggesting
that states should restrict the
election process is contrary to
what America stands for: The
freedom to make a choice —
even the wrong choice —
defines a fundamental con
cept on which the Constitution
is written. In a time where we
are trying to rebuild two coun
tries whose previous govern
ments controlled their con-
stituents, I think America
should be teaching freedom
and not learning oppression.
«* 1*V
Thomas Critz
Class of 2005
All groups share
a right to exist
In response to Rhiannon
Meyers Oct. 24 article:
Many things about the article
on the GBLTA and YCT discus
sion panel alarmed me. The
Battalion reported that Matt
Maddox believed that if an
organization failed to receive a
majority vote by students, the
said organization just must not
be valued by anyone and any
such organization should cease
to exist. Even though an organi
zation may not be supported by
the majority of the student body,
the fact that this organization is
in existence must mean that it is
valued by somebody. One has
a right to belong to any organi
zation he wants, not just those
the majority of the student body
deems valuable. Voltaire, an
18th century philosopher, is
quoted saying, “I may disap
prove of what you say, but I will
defend to the death your right to
say it.” The concept of majority
opinion — and thus tyranny of
the majority — has no impact
on the right of free speech; I do
not see why it should with the
ability to organize.
Victoria Montemayor
Class of 2007
Let students vote
on all school fees
It seems that the YCT could
have the right idea in regard
to allowing students to vote for
where their money goes when
they pay tuition. Though I
m K h RBJ&rous
OUR Slut
would like to say then, if we
are going to start with student
fees, why not give us the right
to vote on every other cost on
our tuition statement? What
about the library fee, if I do not
use the library that much, or
the Rec center, if I choose not
to work out, or the Student
Computing Center fee, if I
have my own computer at
home. The reasoning is just
as ridiculous as not paying for
the GLBTA. As stated, it is a
service organization and is
not politically labeled, like the
Aggie Democrats, as few as
there may be, or any other
organization on campus.
Camille E. Munoz
Class of 2003
Football team
must attend yell
This Saturday, the “Twelfth
Man” stood and watched a
horrible game that was over
after the third quarter, and yet
even when it rained the major
ity of the student body was
there until the end. We
watched as our team moped
out onto the field, heads down
and we still stood. Then came
the end of the game. While we
sang the “Aggie War Hymn,”
the “Twelfth Man,” and had
ourselves a yell practice, the
team scampered off the field.
We are lucky to go to a school
where the students do not boo
their team, where we treat the
opponent’s fans with respect,
stay until the end and are
bound by spirit and tradition.
Act like an Aggie. Do not walk
off the field as if you do not
have to participate in yell
practice like other students.
Kendall Turnipseed
Class of 2004