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The University of Maryland’s Independent Student Newspaper 2014



M O N DAY, M A R C H 2 4 , 2 01 4 No. 4 TERRAPINS 90



Smoking ban may cost USM Bill would limit state tax money to system By Jim Bach @thedbk Senior staff writer

aboveground utilities could transform through a city redevelopment project. james levin/the diamondback

City Council to decide fate of utilities

Almost a year after the University Senate passed measures to limit smoking on the campus, the state General Assembly is hearing a bill that would make the University System of Maryland pay for smoking bans at its institutions. A bill introduced by Del. John Wood (D-Charles and St. Mary’s) and backed by tobacco lobbyist Bruce Bereano would reduce the amount of money going to universities that adopt “smoke-free” policies. The deduction would be proportionate to the amount of revenue the state receives from tobacco taxes, which accounts for 2.8 percent of the state’s total revenue, according to recent state projections. If the bill passes, university system funds would take a similar hit percentagewise, which equates to about $33.8 million in fiscal year 2015. By enacting smoking bans and l i m itations, supporters a rg ue, universities are limiting tobacco product sales in the area and the amount of tax revenue the state generates. If universities want to adopt such policies, Bereano said, they shouldn’t also be allowed to take state money that might have been generated through the tax. “While they’re impacting that revenue stream, they’re getting all the ‘dirty money,’” Bereano told the House Appropriations Committee in Annapolis on Thursday. “Entities that make public policy decisions that have revenue and fiscal

Officials weigh options for underground costs By Ellie Silverman @esilverman11 Senior staff writer In eight days, the College Park City Council must tell the State Highway Administration whether it wants to accept, reject or postpone a move to begin undergrounding utilities as part of a Route 1 redevelopment plan. City officials are eager to set the project in motion, but they’re concerned about the $14 million price tag. To mitigate the cost, the council unanimously voted at the March 11 work session to send a letter to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker requesting the county establish a tax increment fi nancing district for the utilities project. “We’re limited in terms of the amount that we can borrow as a city, so we are looking at different ways we would be able to fund that undergrounding,” District 1 Councilman Patrick Wojahn said. If the county agrees to establish a TIF district, the city will issue bonds to generate the necessary funds to pay

FORWARD ALYSSA THOMAS became the all-time leading scorer in Terps basketball history yesterday against Army.

alik mcintosh/the diamondback

OPENING STRONG Terps bounce Army in NCAA tournament first round; Thomas surpasses scoring record By Paul Pierre-Louis @PaulPierreLouis Staff writer Alyssa Thomas was five points away from another historic milestone. But as the Terrapins women’s basketball forward inched closer to Juan Dixon’s all-time school scoring record, the team’s 18-15 deficit to Army in a first-round NCAA tournament matchup was her first concern.












During a timeout with 9:09 remaining in the first half, the three-time ACC Player of the Year spoke in the huddle, assuring the team it had plenty of time to turn things around, and shortly thereafter, the See knights, Page 6

See COUNCIL, Page 2

See SMOKING, Page 3

International students learn language, life

Sustainability partnership plans solar panel purchases By Grace Toohey @grace_2e Staff writer

ESOL conversations unite different cultures By Erin Serpico @erin_serpico Staff writer Adam Lax knows it’s difficult for international students to be in an environment surrounded by people speaking a different native language. The graduate student experienced this challenge after living in China for three years. But now, he’s the coordinator of this university’s English for Speakers of Other Languages conversation program and trying to alleviate such problems for other students. The ESOL conversation program brings together students from different countries to exchange their

volunteers for the university’s English for Speakers of Other Languages conversation program gather at a party at the fall semester’s end. The free program helps international students. photo courtesy of esol program cultural backgrounds and Englishspeaking skills, Lax said. “Most international students, particularly those whose fi rst language is not English, encounter additional hurdles/challenges in pursuing their academic success in the U.S. in comparison to their domestic counterparts,” ESOL counselor Yi-Jiun Lin wrote in an email. The program is a free service offered


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through the counseling center’s Learning Assistance Service that pairs a student with an English-speaking volunteer or forms groups of about eight students. The pairs and groups meet for 10 one-hour sessions each semester, conversing and practicing English and trying to understand American culture, Lax said. See ESOL, Page 3

When a university bus reading, “Hey CO2, Fear the Turtle,” passed research scientist Bob Bartolo on the campus, he figured this community could quickly warm up to solar energy. Bartolo then decided to bring Community Power Network, a Washington-based renewable energy nonprofit, to the attention of this university’s Office of Sustainability. Together, they began planning a bulk purchase of solar panels for the College Park community. The network has organized 10 group solar purchases in the Washington metropolitan area since 2009, CPN officials said, to the benefit of customers, installers, local jobs and the environment.

CPN executive director Anya Schoolman tried to install solar panels on her own in 2006 but found the process overwhelming and expensive, she said. She started planning and organizing the first group purchase, which happened three years later and included 45 homes in Washington. T he network has refi ned the purchasing process. It does all the research for a group, fi nding companies that install solar panels and seeking out proposals. Then the group votes to select a bid, and the chosen company completes the installations at a reduced rate. “We really stay with the homeowners all the way through the process and help them,” Schoolman said. “You have the support to do it. It’s easier and cheaper to do it, which is the bottom line.” See SOLAR, Page 3




CARLSON: Punishment policies in education

Terps wrestling’s top-ranked 184-pound Jimmy Sheptock lost to Penn State’s Ed Ruth in the NCAA final Saturday, ending his title hopes P. 10

Zero-tolerance policies are unfair and ineffective P. 6 DIVERSIONS

UPLIFTING GIFTS Student philanthropic organization helps hospitalized kid P. 8


MARYLAND OPERA STUDIO APRIL 11–19 040714_CSPAC_Diamondback_Die Fledermaus.indd 1

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3/7/14 11:43 AM

March 24, 2014  

The Diamondback, March 24, 2014

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