The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 09, 2003, Image 1

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Sci-Tech: Harnessing the power of the sun • Page 5
Acgielife: Brave new world • Page 3
Volume 110 • Issue 71 • 22 pages
A Texas A&M Tradition Since 1893
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
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Texas A&M administrators and students
have been caught in a war of words
regarding diversity issues on campus
since James Anderson, the new vice
president for diversity, took office Nov. 19-
•The Young Conservatives of Texas
hosted an affirmative action bake
•President Robert M. Gates sent an
e-mail encouraging civility at A&M.
•Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said
the YCT was hurting recruiting in his
'Wednesday Weekly" commentary.
•The YCT sent letters to Gates and
Byrne about free speech rights.
Gates held a forum on A&M's new
admissions policies regarding
YCT, administration debate diversity
By Sonia Moghe
The A&M chapter of the Young
Conservatives of Texas’ recent affir
mative action bake sale has created a
mass of heated correspondence
between the organization and school
officials about diversity.
The bake sale, which was held on
Nov. 19, sold baked goods for different
prices based on race with the intent of
discouraging affirmative action in light
of James Anderson’s appointment to
the position of vice president and asso
ciate provost for institutional assess
ment and diversity.
Since then, University President
Robert M. Gates sent an e-mail to the stu
dent body, calling for civility on campus.
“During the last few weeks important
conversations about diversity have taken
place throughout the University in both
formal and informal settings,” Gates said
in the Thanksgiving week e-mail. “While
everyone has the right to freely express her
or his opinions, such sentiments must be
presented with a genuine sense of civility.”
The YCT responded to this e-mail
with an open letter on Nov. 30 in which
it stated that Gates’ e-mail implied the
group had violated Aggie traditions by
making several critical remarks toward
individuals, including Anderson.
“One final point: YCT officers who,
unlike you, are A&M students or alum
ni, resent your presumptuous claim of
what is and is not ‘Aggie tradition,”’ the
YCT said in the letter. “We further direct
you to the Aggie Code of Honor ...
before making false accusations.”
At Gates’ symposium on admissions
and tuition held Dec. 3, he stated that
the University would not include race
as a factor for admission.
“We’re obviously thrilled that he’s
not using race as a factor in admis
sions,” said Mark McCaig, director of
communications for the YCT.
During the question and answer ses
sion at the forum, Gates was asked
whether he would apologize to the
YCT. He said he had served to protect
the country for several years and want
ed to protect people’s rights, specifical
ly the freedom of speech.
“I am the one that deserves the apol
ogy,” Gates said.
Bill Byrne, director of athletics at
A&M, made comments about the bake
sale in his online ‘Wednesday Weekly’
commentary on Nov. 26.
“The Texas A&M bake sale plays
right into the hands of those who
recruit against us, in both athletics and
in the general student population,”
Byrne said. “(Those who recruit
against us) will use something like this
to suggest that Texas A&M does not
have a welcoming environment.”
The YCT also responded to his state
ment in the Nov. 30 open letter, defend
ing the actions of the organization.
“We resent your shameless and fee
ble attempt to shift responsibility for
Texas A&M’s lackluster athletic season
from yourself to A&M YCT,” the YCT
said in the letter to Byrne.
The YCT letter pointed to the racial
imbalance in the football team as an
example for its augment, saying that the
team was made up mostly of African
Americans who earned their spots on
the team, and that other races were
underrepresented in that sense.
“We feel all of our protests and
See Diversity on page 2
A&M admissions policy
minority legislators
Air mail
Staff & Wire
Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates
listened to concerns on Monday from
ninority legislators who are irritated by
\&M's new admissions policies and
ixplained the University’s commitment to
dmitting and retaining more minority stu-
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d 20 yeais
The legislators implored Gates to
ncrease minority enrollment, even after the
loard of Regents approved an admissions
ten Friday that will not
lonsiiec race as a.factor in
fielding which students
ire accepted.
“What we are asking
no, what we are
emanding — is that
&M show significant
mprovement in their
liversity this fall as relates
:o admission of African-
Americans and Hispanics,
s, in a rt not only at the undergrad-
:used olSj graduate level,” Sen.
Royce West, D-Dallas,
said shortly after a Capitol
meeting with Gates.
Regents unanimously
nuary 2002
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ess Gates
We basically need to
get out there y get into
communities and convey
the message that A&M is
serious about wanting
minority students to join
our student body.
Hate level, but also at the
approved a new
admissions plan that will not consider race
as a factor in deciding which students are
accepted for enrollment at its main campus,
logo into effect for the 2006 incoming class.
Remarks from the meeting will have no
effect on the policy, Gates said Monday
night, since it has already been approved by
regents. However, Gates said he listened to
legislators’ concerns and reemphasized his
belief that his “aggressive outreach” pro
grams will yield results.
They clearly have a problem with what
the regents approved,” Gates said. “But by
next fall, they will see a change in the repre
sentation of minorities on campus.”
Gates said lawmakers can hold him per
sonally accountable for increasing the his
torically low number of minorities at A&M.
“We basically need to get out there, get
into communities and convey the message
that A&M is serious about wanting minority
students to join our student body,” Gates said.
Hispanic students at Texas A&M made
up 8 percent of this year’s incoming fresh
men, while blacks constituted 2 percent of
the incoming students.
West said Gates’ promise isn’t enough
and threatened legislative retribution.
Citing appropriations and
confirmations of appoint
ments, West said that with
out improvement “there will
in fact be issues that A&M
will have to face during the
legislative process.”
The U.S. Supreme Court
ruled in June that colleges
and universities could use
race as a consideration in
admissions, overturning
the 1996 Hopwood decision.
The University of Texas
and several other schools
in the state have
announced a comprehen-
sive change in policy that
allows for the considera
tion of race and ethnicity.
A&M’s new plan will continue to make
attracting minorities to the 45,000-student
campus a top priority but will do so through
increased outreach efforts in predominantly
minority areas. The plan also calls for a
$5,000-a-year scholarships targeting first-
generation college students who come from
lower-income families.
“A big part of what we need to do is to
encourage more students that we admit,
even under the top 10 percent law, actually
to enroll in Texas A&M,” Gates said, after
See Admissions on page 2
— Robert M. Gates
Texas A&M President
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Joshua L. Hobson • THE BATTALION
Freshman international studies major Beth Stierman and is accepting donations of T-shirts, long underwear and
arranges donations to prepare them for shipping Monday baby wipes for two former students on military duty and their
afternoon at Rudder Fountain. The drive will continue Tuesday units in Baghdad who lost their personal items in a fire.
A&M researcher helps NASA
By Erin Price
When Mark Lemmon, a
researcher for Texas A&M’s
Department of Atmospheric
Sciences, was an undergradu
ate at the University of
Washington, he never thought
he would be involved with a
NASA mission to Mars.
My graduate studies
were at the University of
Arizona’s Planetary Science Department,”
Lemmon said. “That was where I really start
ed getting into it.”
NASA has launched two robotic rovers
that will land on Mars in January, and
Lemmon, who has been helping NASA with
Martian research for six years, will use scien
tific instruments to direct the rovers’ travels.
The two rovers, named Spirit and
Opportunity, will study the history of Mars’
climate and try to determine if there was ever
water on the planet.
“We know there has been water on Mars at
one point, but we don’t know how much or
how long it was there,” Lemmon said. “If
Mars had water, it might have had life.”.
Lemmon said there is plenty of evidence
that there was once water on Mars. There are
flood plains, river valleys and a crater lake
See NASA on page 2
Mission: Mars
A Texos A&M fpsoorcher is
working on a project with NASA
to send two rov«r$ to explore the
"red ptlanet.*
- ?h« rovers will trove! about 300
milfion miles to their destination
• two out of three previous
missions to Mors have failed
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ton 3. 2004 obout !0:33 pm
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ton *4, 2004 obout it:05 am
Political science majors
face registration problems
Vet school cited for inadequate procedures
By Jacquelyn Spruce
Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary
Medicine was cited for not having ade
quate alternatives for procedures that
could cause slight pain or distress to ani
mals, according to an inspection report
issued by the United States Department
of Agriculture (USDA).in April.
Teri Barnato, director of the
Association of Veterinarians for Animal
Rights (AVAR) in Davis, Calif., said cita
tions were given to nearly all U.S. veteri
nary medical schools for noncompliance
with the federal Animal Welfare Act. She
said the inspections and citations were a
result of a petition for rule making and
enforcement under the Animal Welfare
Act that AVAR filed last year.
“The USDA responded more posi
tively than we could have ever expect
ed,” Barnato said. “For as long as I can
remember, veterinary medical schools
have used the USDA as an excuse for
continuing to harm and kill animals for
educational purposes.”
Although the exact protocols that
See Vet on page 7
By Carrie Pierce
Political science majors who have
had trouble registering for required
courses will be given a chance to force
into classes needed for graduation
starting Wednesday^ when University
wide open registration begins.
Senior political science major Noel
Freeman said he couldn’t locate a sin
gle 300- or 400- level political science
class when he tried to register on his
assigned date.
“They can’t tell me that on the first
day of registration every class is full,”
Freeman said.
Freeman said the political science
department was not helpful.
“I went around and around with the
department,” Freeman said. “They are
making political science majors fill out
applications for classes, but they said
they could not guarantee graduating
seniors would get into the classes.”
Freeman said the registrar’s office
suggested he consider transferring to
the University of Texas or Texas Tech
University if he could not be forced
into his required classes.
“There is not a whole lot I can do,”
Freeman said. “I’m going to have to
take distance courses.”
Junior international studies major
Canion Boyd said he attempted to reg
ister for Political Science 331 on the
first day of junior registration, but it
was already full.
“It is ridiculous that on the first day
this would be full,” Boyd said. “Everyone
has to take political science courses.”
Boyd said he was told by a political
science adviser that political science
classes had been reduced and that there
were four fewer staff members in the
Boyd said students attempting to get
into political science classes can meet
with advisers later this week to get
forced into classes. Boyd said he is con
cerned because these classes are held in
the Bush School where the maximum
capacity of most classrooms is 30.
Gary Halter, associate professor and
director of undergraduate studies for polit
ical science said students need not worry.
See Registration on page 2