The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 03, 2003, Image 1

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Sports: Blair, Ags open home slate • Page 5
Opinion: Blowing smoke • Page 7
[Volume 110 • Issue 67 • 8 pages
A Texas A&M Tradition Since 1893
Wednesday, December 3,
Aggie soldiers serve in Iraq
By Rhiannon Meyers
As Lt. Ryan Murata, Class of 1995
and assistant operations officer for a
U.S. Marine infantry battalion, advanced
nto Baghdad, he and an old friend shot
each other the “gig ‘em” sign going into
heir attack.
“It seems that every battalion has an
Aggie in it somewhere,” said Capt. Scott
Dellinger, Class of 1997 and commander
for the 1st Armored Division of the U.S.
Army Bravo Battery.
Dellinger said there is an informal
Aggie network in Iraq.
Murata said he was happy to see
Aggies in Iraq because he knew they had
values instilled in them at Texas A&M
giving them a special sense of loyalty to
sach other and their country.
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Murata said he was part of the first
group of troops to march on Baghdad.
“Our original feelings going into
Baghdad was that we had civilians who
were a threat like everyone else,” Murata
said. “But when we started rolling down
Baghdad, it was like a parade. People
were throwing flowers and cheering.”
The celebrations came to a halt as the
platoon reached Baghdad University. In
one of the first publicly broadcast con
flicts of the war, Iraqis opened fire on
Murata's platoon.
“It was strange,” Murata said. “Blocks
away people were waving and blowing
kisses, and a couple of blocks down peo
ple are shooting at us.”
Murata's battalion spent 10 days in
Baghdad, before moving to Southern
Iraq to relieve the 101st Airborne. There
they helped rebuild the city of Najaf by
reopening schools, universities, hospitals
Gates forum to address
admissions policies
By Eric Ambrose
Texas A&M President Robert M.
Gates will hold an open forum today to
discuss changes in admissions require
ments and to announce the creation of the
Tuition Policy Advisory Committee.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided in
June that race can be considered in a uni
versity's admission policies, and Big 12
schools, such as the University of Texas,
have already looked at implementing affir-
[tnative action policies in their admissions.
The Supreme Court upheld a previ
ous ruling by the U.S. Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals that the University of
Michigan Law School's admissions pol
icy is constitutional.
The school had been using race as a
factor in admissions. The court held that
the law school's goal of admitting a "crit
ical mass of under represented minority
students," does not necessarily turn the
program's admissions process into a
quota system. However, the court dis
agreed with Michigan's undergraduate
system of automatically distributing
'hesaiO p 0 i n t s to students from minority groups
in the admissions process.
In response to the ruling, Gates
[appointed a task force in August, headed
by Karan Watson, dean of faculties and
associate provost, to research A&M’s
jadmissions policies.
The task force completed its work and
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■He reviewed the recommendations and will
announce a final decision about whether
the University will change its admissions
policies at the forum.
‘Tm going to talk about changes in
admissions requirements and also some
new outreach programs,” Gates said.
Unlike A&M, UT proposed alterations
to admissions policies this semester. The
implementation of any changes made to
the A&M’s admissions policies will be
delayed for at least a year.
According to the Texas Education
Code, a university must publish its
admissions requirements at least one
year prior to the date applicants for
admission are considered using the new
The statute requires delaying imple
mentation of any new admissions poli
cies until the Fall 2005.
Gates will announce which changes
See Forum on page 2
Army ROTC instructors
awarded Bronze Stars
By Lauren Smith
When Capt. Patrick Seiber received
the Bronze Star from fonner President
George Bush at the Bush Presidential
Conference Center Monday, it was not
the first meeting for the two. When
Seiber was 8 years old and having a hard
time buckling his belt buckle in a
Lubbock airport restroom. Bush came to
his rescue.
“He said that his son had one like it
when he was about my age,” Seiber
said. “I told my parents to vote for him
since he had helped me.”
Seiber, along with fellow Texas
A&M Army ROTC instructor Capt.
Sidney Crews, had Bronze Star
medals pinned on their chests by
Bush Monday. The men were honored
for their recent achievements in com
bat in Iraq.
Seiber earned his medal for service
with the 1st Battalion, 63rd Armored
Regiment during combat operations in
northern Iraq;
Seiber said he helped amass and
employ armored forces, tanks and
any armored vehicle support U.S.
forces needed.
Seiber, Class of 1993 and a recruit
ing operations officer, was hired by
A&M earlier this year. He is also the
military adviser for the Ross Volunteers
and Corps of Cadets Company L-1.
When Seiber found out that he
would be going into the war, he had 24
hours in Germany to say goodbye to his
wife and 5-year-old daughter.
“It was the night of her fifth birth
day, and I had to tell her I was going to
war and may not come back,” Seiber.
said. “It was the hardest thing I have
ever had to do.”
Crews, who came to A&M in June,
is currently teaching military sciences.
B.G. “Jug” Burkett of Dallas also
received the Distinguished Civilian
Service Award at Monday’s ceremonies.
Burkett is the author of “Stolen
Valor,” an effort to change perspectives
on Vietnam veterans.
Bush praised Burkett at the cere
mony for “almost single-handedly set
ting the record straight on America’s
Vietnam veterans.”
and mosques. They acted as a police
force and tracked down high-ranking
Baath party members and terrorists.
Cpl. Jake Brenner, a junior kinesiolo
gy major and crew chief on an amphibi
ous assault vehicle in the 1st Marine
Division, dropped all plans for a normal
spring semester at A&M when he was
called to active duty in early January.
Brenner spent five weeks in Kuwait
before advancing on Baghdad, where he
initially encountered Iraqi resistance.
“The vehicle behind me got hit with
an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade),”
Brenner said. “It scared everybody. No
one knew what was happening.”
When the fighting died down,
Brenner said he saw that everything he
had been told about Saddam Hussein's
regime was true.
See Soldiers on page 4
Caph Scott M. Dellinger, third from left, with Bravo Battery, First Battalion, 4th Air
Defense Artillery Regiment in Iraq. The 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment,
assigned to the 1st Armored Division, consists of approximately 1 10 soldiers, 10
Bradley Stinger fighting vehicles and dozens of Humvees. It is a small part of the
50,000 soldier division.
Carol of the bells
Mike Ringham, a member of the Christ United Methodist
Canticle Bells group, performs Christmas songs at the George
Bush Presidential Library and Museum as part of the 5th annu
al celebration, "Holidays in the Rotunda." The program will
run Dec. 4, 9 and 11 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec.
6. Various local music and dance groups will perform, arts
and crafts are provided for children and free punch and cook
ies are provided to all.
Parsons trial expected to end Thursday
By Jacquelyn Spruce
Attorney Ronald Hole, who repre
sents members of the Texas A&M
Parsons Mounted Cavalry, said caval
ry members were not permitted ade
quate access to binders containing a
description of evidence against them
on Tuesday as the group’s civil suit
against Texas A&M continued.
However, Dean of Student Life
Dave Parrot testified that the stu
dents did have opportunities to view
the evidence binders in the
Department of Student Life, but
were not permitted to take the
binders from the office.
“The law requires us to give them
access and that’s what we do,” he
said. “We simply don’t want the evi
dence to leave the office. We’re
always concerned about retaliation
and misuse of evidence.” .
University President Robert M.
Gates said he did not have enough
information to justify the rule but that
he would examine the complaints lev
eled against the rule.
Twenty-three members of Parsons
are suing the University, seeking a
permanent injunction that would
keep them from being punished for
underage drinking, hazing and phys
ical abuse.
Hole asked Parrot why he chose
Laura Sosh-Lightsy, the coordinator
for student judicial services in
Student Life, to be a member of this
“You knew she had never done any
investigation as far as the Corps of
Cadets,” Hole said.
Parrot said he thought Sosh-
Lightsy was a good investigator, and
although she had not done specific
investigating for the Corps, she was
the best person to work on the case.
“She is someone who has a great
deal of interaction with the Corps,” he
said. “She’s very knowledgeable so I
thought she was very well qualified
for the investigation.”
Bryan Higgins, one of the 23 stu
dents suing the University, said he
was told he had the right to remain
silent, but thought it would be used
against him. He said the way his right
See Parsons on page 2
Career services adviser: Finding a job is a job
How is the job market waiting
for December graduates?
Leigh Turner, executive director of the
Career Center, gives these insights:
• The job market Is on the upswing.
t Top recruited majors for
on-campus interviews this
semester have been in ]
business and technical
• Students should begin
looking for
employment at least
two semesters in
By Eric Ambrose
Manuel Nasserfar will graduate in
two weeks with a degree in communica
tions and a minor in business, but he has
not been able to find a job. He is one of
many seniors graduating in December
having problems finding work in the pro
fessional world.
“The job market has not been good to
me, and salaries are lower than I expected,”
Nasserfar said. “I wanted to go into real
estate, but I will probably end up waiting
tables and substitute teaching in Austin.”
But the job market is on the upswing,
said Leigh Turner, executive director of
the Texas A&M Career Center. Many
firms that have not recruited at A&M in
the past two years are back on campus
and more students are canceling inter
views because they have already accept
ed a job offer, Turner said.
Employers also report that they are
actively hiring instead of just maintain
ing visibility on campus, Turner said.
The top recruited majors for on-campus
interviews this semester have been in
business and technical disciplines.
However, many employers are looking at
all majors for their positions and there
are some majors who are marketable but
have few on-campus opportunities
because employers connect with them in
different ways.
See Job on page 4