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

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WORLD attalk UC( '322. with the ^ but it b'i n said, s decl srael d el was nolfo- d it co rael attack resuming s te Cairo » nal state®: no mention if vilians, m negotiate Sci-Tech: Harnessing the power of the sun • Page 5 Acgielife: Brave new world • Page 3 THE BATTALIO Volume 110 • Issue 71 • 22 pages A Texas A&M Tradition Since 1893 Tuesday, December 9, 2003 ice. Egypt an! roops out B d duringl on of its sa ; the boifc ich juts il uld have rc ad map." interested is i eist ael will mi n its ack He macks rlks yM, ians were or- ease-fire onl; nbings b; nt acks have tt Ills, ide Israeli lit on from! ell as from! :d harshly lelicopters d most of! :st nd 898 onh DIM USn v DIALOGl i: 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 sale. •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 minorities. YCT, administration debate diversity RUBEN DELUNA • THE BATTALION SOURCE : TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY By Sonia Moghe THE BATTALION 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 THE BATTALION 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- le have to ^ nts in l ^ e iuture - aragua :e senten® in Presidi 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- unday. :used olSj graduate level,” Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, said shortly after a Capitol meeting with Gates. Regents unanimously me lent n e nuary 2002 he i ana •aud, mW ublic iminal asst' ral v tate. ty to served ised alined sion ise i i to t st pro# ernl had bee' elinf ithers? all. ,edu. i 1 IHIIU exas Of: 9 ess Gates rs, a 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 $5,000-a-year scholarships targeting first- generation college students who come from lower-income families. “A big part of what we need to do is to encourage more students that we admit, even under the top 10 percent law, actually to enroll in Texas A&M,” Gates said, after See Admissions on page 2 — Robert M. Gates Texas A&M President 11 <n i M | -l ik7) <JI if fajl ^ Joshua L. Hobson • THE BATTALION Freshman international studies major Beth Stierman and is accepting donations of T-shirts, long underwear and arranges donations to prepare them for shipping Monday baby wipes for two former students on military duty and their afternoon at Rudder Fountain. The drive will continue Tuesday units in Baghdad who lost their personal items in a fire. A&M researcher helps NASA By Erin Price THE BATTALION When Mark Lemmon, a researcher for Texas A&M’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, was an undergradu ate at the University of Washington, he never thought he would be involved with a NASA mission to Mars. My graduate studies were at the University of Arizona’s Planetary Science Department,” Lemmon said. “That was where I really start ed getting into it.” NASA has launched two robotic rovers LEMMON that will land on Mars in January, and Lemmon, who has been helping NASA with Martian research for six years, will use scien tific instruments to direct the rovers’ travels. The two rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, will study the history of Mars’ climate and try to determine if there was ever water on the planet. “We know there has been water on Mars at one point, but we don’t know how much or how long it was there,” Lemmon said. “If Mars had water, it might have had life.”. Lemmon said there is plenty of evidence that there was once water on Mars. There are flood plains, river valleys and a crater lake See NASA on page 2 Mission: Mars A Texos A&M fpsoorcher is working on a project with NASA to send two rov«r$ 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 ScHtit t««dr ton 3. 2004 obout !0:33 pm Opportunity i.ond»: ton *4, 2004 obout it:05 am Political science majors face registration problems ANDREW BURLESON • THE BATTALION SOURCE : HTTP://MARSROVERS. IPL.NASA.GOV Vet school cited for inadequate procedures By Jacquelyn Spruce THE BATTALION 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 THE BATTALION 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 department. 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