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Media Relations


Jerome Supple

Jerome H. Supple, who served 13 years as president of Southwest Texas State University, died Friday afternoon, Jan. 16, at the age of 67 at the M . D . Anderson C a n c e r Center in Houston. A memoSUPPLE rial service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Evans Auditorium. Those attending from off campus are asked to park at Aquarena Center and take shuttle buses to Evans; shuttle service begins at 2 p.m. A reception will be held following the service in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. The Supple family will receive fellow mourners at a viewing at Pennington Funeral Home in San Marcos from 6 to 9 p.m.


today. A funeral mass will be recited Friday at Incarnation Catholic Church in Melrose, Mass. Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in Hampstead, N.H. Supple was born April 27, 1936, in Winthrop, Mass. He became the eighth president of SWT in April 1989. In September 2001, he announced at the annual fall faculty and staff convocation that he would retire the following August. During that speech, he said of his upcoming retirement, “It will be like swinging the best dance partner ever into the arms of another, a heart-wrenching experience.” Supple’s successor as president of Texas State, Denise Trauth, said everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him is heartbroken. “His vision and his spirit are part of what the university has become,” Trauth said. “I am fortunate that he laid a wonderful foundation for the president who

Special Memorial issue on Thursday

followed him. I will miss him personally and the university will miss him as part of our family.” Alan Dreeben, chairman of the Texas State University System Board of Regents, said the university owes much of its current prestige to Supple. “He left it quite a legacy, and he has been taken from us much too soon,” Dreeben said. “I know I speak for all the regents when I say that we will miss him terribly.” Supple benefited from a seven-year relationship with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and was especially grateful for the knowledge, skill and treatment of Dr. Christopher Logothetis and his staff. Supple came to SWT from the State University of New York System, where he had progressed through the academic ranks from chemistry faculty member to acting president,

serving at campuses in Plattsburgh, Fredonia and Potsdam. He held degrees from Boston College and the University of New Hampshire and served a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California-Berkeley. Supple is survived by his wife, Catherine; son James and his wife, Karlyn, and their son, Keagan, of Exeter, N.H.; son Andrew of Greensboro, N.C.; son Paul of Austin; his sister and brother-in-law Colette and George Maguire; his 10 nephews and nieces and 14 great-nephews and nieces. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Texas State Development Foundation for the Supple Endowment for Southwestern Studies, the Central Texas Medical Center Foundation or the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center.

University fills new provost position By Amber Conrad News Reporter

Five finalists for the university’s newly created provost position were approved unanimously Jan. 15 after concluding two days of airport interviews in Austin. The names of the finalists will not be announced until after the candidates for the No. 2 position at Texas State have been notified sometime next week. When President Denise Trauth arrived at Texas State in 2002 she announced her intention to reorganize and create the provost position. Trauth said the position was needed to keep academics as the main university focus during a time of growth. “The provost position will replace the

vice president of Academic Affairs,” Trauth said. “Basically, it is taking an existing position and expanding the role of responsibility of the position.” Traditionally, provosts take on the tasks that the vice president of Academic Affairs is responsible for at Texas State. This includes all major university academic endeavors, including supervision of all academic units and programs as well as several academic support and service units. “This position is clearly designed as the number two person at a university,” Trauth said. “It ensures that academics will always stay at the center of the university.” She said the hiring of provosts is a growing trend at universities across the country. Their responsibilities extend to academic

strategic planning; managing the budget for the division of Academic Affairs; establishing academic policies, academic unit reviews and accreditation; academic program development in conjunction with deans, chairs, and faculty representatives; and resource development for Academic Affairs. A few of the provost’s responsibilities will include authorizing academic appointments, leading faculty development initiatives and making recommendations to the president on all faculty-evaluation decisions regarding tenure and promotion. “The provost will be first among equals,” Trauth said. “Even though this person is a vice president, the other VPs understand that g See PROVOST, page 13

Disannexation voting creates controversy

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

By Daniel Mottola News Reporter

The city’s Ethics Review Commission has been called on to investigate whether the votes to disannex approximately 550 homes south of San Marcos by the mayor and a city council member violated state law. Prompted by a San Marcos citizen’s complaint, the HABINGREITHER commission has been asked to decided whether the votes cast by mayor and Texas State technology department chair Bob Habengreither and city councilman Bill Taylor’s votes to disannex constituted a conflict of interest because both men own homes in the disannexed area. Resident Chris North initially filed the grievance requesting an Ethics Review hearing following the first reading of the disannexation ordinance. She argued that the passage of the disannexation would render the mayor ineligible to serve on city council and that his participation on the issue was inappropriate. “I question how the mayor could v o t e o n whether or not to disannex his own home, as the outcome definitely has an impact on his wallet,” North said. Habingreither objects, citing the opinions of five attorneys he sought privately, that his participation on the matter was not illegal. He explained that at the time of the letter, he had established residency in the 100 block of Summerwood Cove, a rental property within the city.

“She doesn’t know the law,” Habingreither said. He said if North had done her homework, she wouldn’t have made the statements. The law, Local Government Code Section 171.004, states if a local public official has a substantial interest ($2,500 or more) in real property, that the official shall file, before a vote or decision on any matter involving the real property, an affidavit stating the nature and extent of the interest and shall abstain from further participation in the matter if it is reasonably foreseeable that an action on the matter will have a special economic effect on the value of the property, distinguishable from the public. Much of the dispute centers on the meaning of the phrase “special economic effect.” Habingreither contends that his house is not worth any more or less since the disannexation. He said “special economic effect” connotes positive increase in value — an increase he contends hasn’t occurred. “This is politically motivated,” Habingreither said. “It conjures up notions of Salem, Mass., you’ve read about the witch hunts; that’s what this is.” In a subsequent letter to the city, North requested that Bill Taylor, city council member, also be included in the ERC inquiry. Although Taylor lives within the city, he owns a home in the disannexed area. “If this is true, then he should not have voted on the disannexation ordinance … as he is still paying taxes on the property and has a conflict of interest,” North wrote in a letter to the city. g See ETHICS, page 13


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

More students means added construction

By Kassia Micek Assistant News Editor

The sights and sounds of construction are evident across campus again this semester. The new buildings popping up on campus will provide additional classroom, parking, housing and administrative space to help meet Texas State’s burgeoning enrollment numbers. “This is a very busy construction period for the university,” said Pat Fogarty, Facilities associate vice president. The new College of Business Administration building is expected to be completed by December 2005 and open for classes

in the summer of 2006, Fogarty said. The CBA building will be built where Read Hall stood and will house the offices and classes from Derrick Hall. This will open Derrick Hall for renovation and use by a yet-to-bedetermined department. The new CBA building will contain 126,642 square feet and will cost $18,800,000 to construct, Fogarty said. A parking garage with spaces for faculty, staff and residential parking will be located next to the CBA building. The CBA parking garage took almost 12 months to complete with a construction cost of $3,417,000. “This was designed as part of the business building,” said Bill Nance, Finance and Support g See CAMPUS, page 14

Andy Ellis/Star photo The additions to Stahan Coliseum will open in mid-February when the exterior work is finished.

Hostage-rescue teams storm San Marcos By David Doerr News Editor

On Jan. 6 – 8, some observers may have thought a major crisis was unfolding on campus because of all the police officers around the Hines Academic Center. In fact, there was a hostage negotiation taking place; however, no one was hurt despite intense standoffs. That is because the hostage-takers were actors, and the negotiators were participating in the 14th annual Hostage N e g o t i a t i o n Tr a i n i n g a n d Competition sponsored by the Texas State criminal justice department, the Hays County Sheriff

Office and the San Marcos Police Department. In 1990, criminal justice professor Wayman Mullins established the one-of-a-kind event with officers from the Hays County Sheriff Office, the Austin Police Department and the San Antonio Police Department as a means to keep hostage negotiators in practice and to allow negotiating teams to learn by observing other teams. Mullins said he sets up the exercises to simulate real-world experiences as much as possible. “If you don’t, there is no value to the training,” Mullins said. “The g See HOSTAGE, page 14

Andy Ellis/Star photo Two members of the Austin Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team work through a live scenario during the 14th annual Hostage Negotiation Training and Competition. The three-day event hosted law enforcement departments from across Texas.

New task force seeks to better work-life experience

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By David Doerr News Editor

A concern voiced for several years about how the quality of the work-life experience for Texas State faculty and staff can be improved has lead to the creation of a task force to study the issue. The Work-Life Task Force, lead by Roseann Mandziuk, presidential fellow and communication studies professor, will disseminate a survey on Jan. 27, intended to help the group evaluate the needs of Texas State employees, with the goal of creating a more fulfilling work experience. She said work life includes diverse programs including personal support services, wellness, transportation, family support and professional development. Mandziuk said one aspect of improving work life at Texas State involves the development of an umbrella work-life Web site, which will bring together all existing Web pages that provide information on various work-life related programs. She said the information is there, but it is not easy to find. “I have had some adventures trying to find information for myself,” Mandziuk said. “For example, for a faculty member there is no wellness link off of the (Texas State) home page. I had to go finally through current students, down to recreation center and then to their tabs down the side that says wellness and then go to faculty and staff. There were like six steps to get to that information.” She said the goal of the task force is to make a formal set of recommendations to the president so improving the quality of work life might be considered as part of the budgeting process. Mandziuk, a member of the Texas State President’s Council for Women in Higher Education, said she was put in charge of overseeing the task force by President Denise Trauth, who appointed Mandziuk as a presidential fellow for the 2003 – 2004 academic year. She said the CWHE has been investigating the work-life issue for several years. The CWHE presented the issue to Trauth at its first meeting with her in fall 2002, in which she suggested assigning the topic to a presidential fellow. “It’s really to President Trauth’s credit that she heard the Council for Women and said, ‘Yeah, this is something important enough to take this fellowship position and devote it to that topic,’” Mandziuk said. Trauth said she thinks it is important to take a step back to look at how the university might better support its faculty and staff. “I think it is absolutely fundamental to create a positive working environment and a balance between one’s work and home life,” Trauth said. “It is also an opportunity to communicate to faculty and staff about what already exists here.” Lydia Blanchard, co-chair of the CWHE and English chair, said the council would like to have someone formally in charge of work life at Texas State. “The university already has a number of wonderful programs that contribute to the quality of work life such as child care and wellness programs, but it can be difficult to find information g See FACULTY, page 13

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Alamo documentary fights to reveal truth By Amelia Jackson News Reporter “Remember the Alamo” is a phrase familiar to most Texans, but what it represents isn’t always the same to all people. A Public Broadcasting System documentary will tell the story of the Alamo from a perspective different from the one commonly remembered. “After years of research in archives and libraries, and dozens of discussions with descendants and scholars, we have created a film that challenges popular notions of what happened at the Alamo in DE LA TEJA March of 1836 and in Texas,” said producer, writer and director Joseph Tovares in a press release. The documentary is slated to air Feb. 2. There will be an on-campus screening of the film at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22 in the Centennial

Teaching Theater. The show is free and open to the public. Tovares will be on hand to introduce the movie and talk about the making of the film. The famous story of the handful of Texans taking on the massive Mexican army in the Spanish mission that was converted into a fort is told and retold in classrooms, museums and homes across the state. However, many people don’t know the real story. The story is not as simple as Texan versus Mexican, as Hollywood films have often portrayed. There were many Tejano settlers in the battle who were frustrated with the poor treatment from the Mexican government and the harsh conditions they were enduring in Tejas in places such as the then frontier town San Antonio. The documentary focuses on the life of Jose Antonio Navarro, former mayor of San Antonio and champion for Tejano rights. Jesus “Frank” de la Teja, Texas State history professor, was interviewed for the documentary. He discussed the conditions for Tejanos during the colonial period and the background to the rev-

olution. “Lately there has been a lot of talk about the new Alamo movie shot here in Central Texas,” de la Teja said. “In particular, college students should be aware all the talk of this movie focuses on stereotypical themes that have been well covered in the past. It doesn’t give the full scope of the complexities involved.” De la Teja said he hopes students will take the opportunity to listen to the Tejano side of the Alamo battle and understand what actually happened during the Texas Revolution. De la Teja said that when many Texans think about Mexican-Texan, or Tejano, history, they think of the 20th-century civil rights struggle. “The general public doesn’t have the concepts that Mexicans have been a part of Texas history for hundreds of years,” he said. “This kind of documentary incorporates Tejanos into the early history of the state.” The history department and the history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta, are sponsoring the viewing of the film.

Courtesy photo The Alamo, a Texas symbol, shines in the moonlight.

Those interested in finding more information about the documentary can log on to


Protest rouses questions of free speech on campus

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Anti-Abortion group stirs emotions, opinions

By Kirsten Crow Special to the Star

On Nov. 6, an anti-abortion protest staged by an off-campus group called Missionaries to the Preborn caused controversy and stirred emotions regarding the debate on reproductive rights in the United States. It also began a debate among those who questioned the right of an off-campus group to stage a protest on university property in which students were called “whores,”

“sinners” and told they were “going to hell,” that sodomy should be a capital crime and “women should stop opening their legs.” “This is a classic First Amendment issue,” said MTP member Adrian Horien. While the protesters were permitted to remain on the Texas State campus after registering with Dean of Students John Garrison, they were removed from the University of Texas campus and charged with criminal trespassing. “Some of the students did not believe the university should allow anti-abortion protesters to be on campus because they were not students of the university,” Garrison said. Texas State University Policies and Procedures

Bradley Sherman/ Star Photo Protestors stand in front of the Fighting Stallions in The Quad in an attempt to raise awareness about legalized abortions. The area around the Stallions has been designated by the university as the "Campus Free Expression Area."

Statements about free speech on campus are based from the Texas State University System rules and regulations. The UPPS describes the Campus Free Expression Area as the area around the Fighting Stallions. According to the UPPS, the purpose of the area is “to establish places on campus where persons may demonstrate and express ideas in a manner that will protect the university’s interests and the rights of others.” While there is a specific policy for students and registered student organizations to utilize the Campus Free Expression Area, there is no specific policy for non-student or off-campus organizations. University Attorney Bill Fly said that although it is true that Texas State does not have an explicit policy regarding these organizations, the wording of the policy is broad enough to include them. “Section 1.02 (of the UPPS) indicates that we have a place on campus where persons may express opinions on campus,” he said. “‘Persons’ is broad and doesn’t restrict the use of the free expression area to students.” “We do not address offcampus organizations in our current policy but we do follow Regents’ Rules, which state (in Chapter VII, Section 3.4) ‘ ... any group or person, whether or not a student or employee, and whether or not invited by a registered student, faculty or staff organization, may assemble and engage in Free Speech activities on the grounds of the campus,’” Garrison said. Students and student organizations, however, are required to register in advance. The UPPS states, “A student or registered student organization must reserve the area through

Matt Groening? Have you ever heard of

Just in case you haven’t, we’ll let you in on a little secret. He created a couple of shows you might have heard of —

The Simpsons and Futurama.

Now Groening’s talents will be included in The University Star through his comic strip “Life in Hell.” Make sure to check it out every Thrusday starting January 29 in the Entertainment section.

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Bradley Sherman/Star photo Posters and fliers with graphic images were used by protestors to convey their message. the Dean’s office in advance of the intended activity.” However, there is no time stated in the UPPS that quantifies advance registration. “There is no time specified in the policy, so I’ll say two minutes (constitutes advance registration), providing that there is no conflict with another group,” Fly said. Although Garrison agreed that there is no time specified in the policy, he said the protesters still had a right to be on campus. “The individuals who were on campus had not reserved the Campus Free Expression Area in advance of their arrival,” he said. “However, once they were on campus, they provided the information needed on the reservation form and we advised them of university policy regarding use of the free speech areas on campus.”

Texas State was the fifth school of the MTP’s two-week “Texas Campus Tour.” The demonstrators visited Baylor University and North Texas

“It doesn’t matter what the content or the viewpoint of the speech, it’s whether or not they are a UT group. That’s the dividing line.” — UT Dean of Students Theresa Brett

State University before arriving in San Marcos, although they were removed from UT campuses in Austin and

Arlington. Lt. Ron Stedler of the UT Police Department said members of the MTP group at UT’s South Mall were charged with criminal trespassing. “They were neither a registered student organization nor sponsored by a student organization,” Stedler said. “If they don’t meet that criteria, it is trespassing.” Horien believed UT’s policy was unconstitutional. “There should be a federal case opened up regarding this exact issue,” Horien said. Although Horien said UT’s policy of prohibiting off-campus, non-student organizations was a First Amendment issue, UT Dean of Students Theresa Graham Brett said their system was constitutional. “It could be anybody,” Brett g See RIGHTS page 13


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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Mad cow discovery no cause for concern locally By Ryan Coggin News Reporter The term “mad cow disease” has again made its way into the public’s attention following the Dec. 23 discovery of an infected cow in Washington, which is the first case of the disease revealed in the United States. Ann M. Veneman, U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary, confirmed the case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) found in an adult Holstein cow, saying the department remained “confident in the safety” of the U.S. beef supply. Because of the animal’s inability to walk at slaughter, the USDA’s BSE surveillance team sent samples to a lab in Iowa on Dec. 9 where tests showed the cow was positive for the disease. “We’re pleased that our firewall system worked,” said Shane Sklar, executive director of the Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, of the surveillance team. “We accomplished our goal of preventing an animal with disease from entering the human food

chain, or any other food chain.” The infected animal was imported from Canada in 2001 — two years before the country was prohibited from exporting beef into the United States because of previous BSE infections in Canadian cattle. Sklar said initial word of the incident brought alarm to Texas beef producers, who worked diligently to assure the public that consumption of beef was still safe. “We were on a conference call two hours after the news broke,” Sklar said. “The first thing we had to do was prevent hysteria among beef consumers and to let folks know it was an isolated case.” The human variant of BSE is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which doctors assume is caused by the consumption of infected neural tissue in beef, such as the brain and spinal cord. Both diseases decelerate mental function and eventually cause death. The United States placed a ban on the production of food containing nervous tissue from cattle in 1997, which,

according to Sklar, makes eating muscle cuts of beef “completely safe.” “At this point, there is nothing in particular that U.S. citizens should do relative to their consumption of beef,” said Emilio Carranco, Student Health Center director at Texas State. Carranco said the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would alert the country should evidence suggest a health risk in beef or beef products because of BSE infection. Chartwells, Texas State’s dining service, launched its own investigation of contracted meat suppliers through the c o m p a n y ’s Q u a l i t y A s s u r a n c e Department. The food-service provider confirmed there were no products ordered from suppliers in the Pacific Northwest. “There is really no need for concern,” said Paul Taylor, resident district manager for Chartwells. “The important thing is that a thorough investigation has been done between the USDA and Chartwells, and no association with BSE-contaminated products has been

UNS LVED CRIMES Equipment missing from Alkek Library By Kassia Micek Assistant News Editor

On Dec. 18 a theft of audiovisual equipment occurred at the Instructional Technologies Support office located on the 1st floor of the Alkek Library. The items stolen were a Cannon digital video recorder, worth $500, and two Panasonic projectors, worth $3,200 each. “There were no signs of forced entry,” said Sgt. Daniel Benitez of the University Police Department. And so far the UPD has no creditable leads in the ongoing investigation. In the past year the same type of equipment was also stolen from Centennial Hall, Benitez said. However, the two incidents might not be linked, he said. Since the amount stolen was between $1,500 and $20,000 it is classified as a state jail felony and if found guilty is punishable by not more than 2 years and not less than 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $10,000. “It just depends on what the judge sees fit,” Benitez said. It also depends if the person is a student, faculty member, staff member or a visitor. If the person is associated with Texas State they may also have to face university sanctions. Anyone with information regarding the incident can call the UPD at 245-2890 and ask for the investigation department or if they want to stay anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 245-STOP (7867).

found.” Paul Sutthen, proprietor of the San Marcos restaurant Grinn’s, said there is no visible decrease in beef sales at his establishment. “The news scared us,” Sutthen said. “We keep researching it and are trying to stay on top of any new information. We’re lucky that all our beef comes from Texas.” Barry Hill, head chef at Grinn’s, said the BSE announcement has had no affect on his decision to consume beef. “I still eat beef, and it seems like all our customers do, too,” he said. Hill, one of few executive chefs in the San Marcos area, said he feels the biggest impact on Texas because the discovery of the disease will come from the decision to stop purchasing of U.S. beef by Mexico, Japan and other countries. “These places can’t supply their own beef and will have to open back up to us,” he said. BSE has yet to be discovered in Texas, which is the country’s largest cattle producer. The state’s 140,000 beef producers operate more than 14 million

head of cattle. Sklar said beef producers, who were expected to plummet financially, would not take as dramatic a hit as projected. “We thought prices would go down, but consumer demand has remained strong,” Sklar said. “It’s good this happened during the holidays, when no local livestock market sales were going on.” Sklar said in an ICA press release that industry and government should bear some of the costs placed on cattle producers by stricter regulations. “The government must back up its commitment to safe and cheap food with money,” Sklar said in the press release. The owner of the more than 400 Washington cows is being reimbursed by the U.S. government for his herd, which is now being destroyed because of an anonymous offspring among them from the infected cow. “U.S. beef is the safest in the world,” Sklar said. “San Marcos residents can continue eating beef as usual.”

Exercise programs offer students ways to get in shape for new year By Julie Suenram News Reporter

The Student Recreation Center will offer students, faculty and staff a wide variety of classes and activities to stay in shape this semester and keep those New Year’s resolutions. The fitness and wellness program provides different forms of exercise to meet the diversity of interest on campus. The group-exercise program offers several types of classes from powerlifting to kickboxing. The fitness and wellness program also provides funk and salsa dance classes. “The purpose of these classes is to give options to the students,” said Jennifer Bezner, assistant director of campus recreation. “I am able to provide for you pilates and group exercise at discounted rates. As a student you pay your membership to the (program) in your tuition and we try to offset that by providing you with good services.” Although tuition covers the facility membership, group exercise and pilates are on a pass-based system. A groupexercise pass costs $50 and will allow students to access any of the group-exercise classes during the semester. A pilates pass is $25 for a threeweek session. Students can purchase passes at the SRC front desk. “The group-exercise program that we offer the first week of school is always free,” Bezner said. “Students can check out the classes and see what we have and then they

Ashley A. Horton/Star photo Students participate in the Power Flex class in the Student Recreation Center Wednesday night led by Gale Schilberg, communication junior. can buy a group pass and access all of the classes they want as often as they want.” Fitness and wellness offers an alternative workout to aerobics. Funk and salsa are free dance classes that meet for eight weeks. “We offer classes like funk and salsa a lot for its social interaction. A lot of it is trying to get students to meet other people,” Bezner said. “If you meet someone and you form a social network, you stay in school longer, your grades are higher and you have people with like interests.” The newest class of the semester falls in the groupexercise category. It has evolved slightly from traditional kickboxing, which was made popular by martial arts expert Billy Blanks. “Turbo Kick just came out and it’s a little more what we call ‘pre-choreographed,’ but it’s a little more structured than

some of the kickboxing classes that we offer,” Bezner said. “It’s neat, it has great new music that goes with it, the instructors have had a lot more additional training, so it’s going to be a lot more fun.” There is no number limitation in the group-exercise or the dance classes. Pilates has a limit of 20 to ensure plenty of hands-on training and time with the instructor. “Our goal is to offer (students) services and other things to do, and my big thing is to take advantage of it,” Bezner said. “Because once you get out in the real world you don’t get that. It’s a great thing because if you can learn salsa now, then you can dance it for the rest of your life.” A complete group-exercise schedule can be found at

Repainting history one brush stroke at a time


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Alumni House receives a much-needed makeover

Media Relations

Drivers cruising past Texas State for the next month or so will possibly notice a flurry of activity around the historic Alumni House at the intersection of LBJ and University drives. The tarps and scaffolding going up mean one thing: The venerable building is getting a much-needed paint job. “We’ve got it on our sched-

ule to finish everything by the end of March,” said Bill Tomlinson, construction contract administrator. “We should have it pretty well wrapped up by then. “The work is all exterior. We’re refurbishing all the old wood and replacing damaged wood siding,” he said. “This has been in the planning stages for the last six months, and we’ve finally gotten it all approved. The contractors are working on it right now.” There’s more going on than meets the eye, however. During the years, water damage, termites and wood rot have caused the structure to deteriorate, and the paint job is the culmination

Andy Ellis/Star Photo An unidentified worker replaces some trim on one of the windows of the Alumni House.

of an extended exterior renovation project, said Coyle Buhler, director of facilities planning, design and construction. “We’re not changing the exterior of the building. We’re just repairing the damage,” Buhler said. “It needed paint. One of our goals was to make the shell of the building watertight to protect the historic structure. “Historic details were missing — there was millwork that was missing, decayed or knocked off. We’re going back to repair that damage, replacing the missing historic architectural details,” he said. “We met w i t h Te x a s H i s t o r i c a l Commission and got their

approval for the work that’s being done.” The house, designed by German architect Charles S. Sinz, was built in 1896 and by the 1920s served as a rooming house for college students. Lyndon B. Johnson, a 1930 graduate and 36th president of the United States, lived in the house from March 1927 to September 1928, and again June-September 1929. In 1966, ownership of the house passed from the San Marcos Urban Renewal Agency to Texas State, and a major renovation was undertaken. The Alumni House was dedicated to President Johnson on April 17, 1968, and entered into the National

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Register of Historic Places in 1983. Early on in the renovation process, it was decided to apply a paint scheme authentic to the era in which the Alumni House was built. After researching area homes and color schemes, Old Main emerged as a prime example of that historic style, Buhler said. “It is a gateway — one of the first buildings visitors see when coming from downtown. We needed to have it an attractive and appealing entrance to campus,” Buhler said. “We picked up the body color from the body of Old Main, the trim color from the limestone and trim from Old Main and the accent color used

around windows and doors from the accent colors around the windows and doors of Old Main. “We also utilized two other colors — a green typical of older homes, which we used on the fishgill shingles on the eves and front of the building, and also picked a gold similar to the school color to do accent color on some windows, doors and fretwork around the porch,” Buhler said. “It represents the excellence of our campus. It’s hard for visitors to get up to Old Main, but once the renovation is complete, the Alumni House will serve as an extension of Old Main — an extension of the history of our campus.”

Andy Ellis/Star Photo Since 1896 the Alumni House has stood at the corner of University and North LBJ drives. Once the temporary home of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the house is now receiving some exterior renovations.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

English professor Wilson receives Fulbright grant

By Julie Suenram News Reporter

For the second time in two years, English professor Steven Wilson will travel to lecture at the University of Maribor in Maribor, Slovenia. Wilson has been awarded a Fulbright S e n i o r Specialists g r a n t , WILSON which will allow him to teach three to six weeks in Slovenia. He will teach for three weeks in May and return to teach for three weeks in 2005. “I have had two normallength Fulbright grants in the past, one for a year and one for a semester,” Wilson said. “I had the one last year to Slovenia for 2002, and you have to wait three years to get another large one so this was a way to stay active. The people in Slovenia have expressed an interest so I thought I would do it.”

140 countries. The program is not limited to teachers, but is open to students and many other fields of work. The cost of travel, meals and lodging is split between the United States and the participating country. With a large Fulbright grant, the government also provides an allowance to purchase books for the students. “Usually the classes I teach are decided by the country, but I can teach what I want,” Wilson said. “I took maybe 30 American literature anthologies with me and they kind of traded them around and they have stayed at the university in the English department so I know they’re there.” In 2002, he spent a full semester in Slovenia teaching 19th century American literature. He said one advantage of the program is that it allows him to recruit students to attend Texas State. Tina Zigon, one of Wilson’s students from Slovenia, transferred to Texas State in 2003 and began classes fall semester.

“It’s really interesting as a teacher to be in that situation where you can’t anticipate what the students think.” — Steven Wilson English professor

A regular-length Fulbright grant lasts a semester to a full year and can only be acquired three times in a lifetime. However, a large one can only be received in threeyear intervals. The Senior Specialists grants last three to six weeks and can be received twice. Former Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright founded the Fulbright Program in 1946. “The Fulbright Program aims to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby increases the chance that nations will at last learn to live in peace and friendship,” Fulbright once said. The program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department and operates in

“It was great. He was like a professor in the movies,” said Zigon, English graduate student. “In classes before, the professors lectured and students would be quiet. But when Professor Wilson comes in, you can see he is so passionate. You can see he loves to teach. We discuss, and he asks us questions and makes us talk.” Learning a different language to teach was not an issue for Wilson; however, it was slightly difficult when he was out in the streets of Slovenia. “That’s the fun thing about going some place else,” Wilson said. “You insert yourself into another culture and have to get by. I think that’s really good for a professor.” He is no stranger to teaching overseas. During

the summer II session, he and his wife taught in the study abroad program in Ireland. He has also taught in six other countries, made p o s s i b l e t h r o u g h t h e Fulbright Program. His wife and two children will be traveling with him during his three-week period in Slovenia. “ We ’ r e i n E u r o p e , s o t h e r e a r e p l a c e s n e a r b y, and Slovenia is very tiny,” Wi l s o n s a i d . “ We h a v e been to Italy and Austria because they are just across the border.” Te a c h i n g a b r o a d p r o vides some differences in the professor-student relationship. “ I t i s v e r y d i ff e r e n t , ” Zigon said. “When Professor Wilson came we saw what it should be like. He was always there for us in and outside of class time. It didn’t stop when the lecture stopped.” While teaching Jack Kerouac’s On the Road to a class in Romania, a student asked, “Why do Americans like cars so much?” Wilson said much of what he brings back are anecdotes about how students react to works of literature. “It’s really interesting as a teacher to be in that situation where you can’t anticipate what the students think,” Wilson said. “Over here I can sort of stay ahead of the students because I’m in the culture too. But over there I have no idea. They are always ahead of me.” During his time i n Slovenia, Wilson will see his students whom he taught in the past. Another motivation for Wilson to return is to see if his encouragement of discussion has made a difference in the students. “I want to see if anything has changed in how they think about their classes with their regular professors,” he said. “Did they go right back to being quiet? I want to see. When the students started asking questions, did the professors answer them? Did they encourage discussion? I have this fear that probably not. I’m just curious.”


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Exchange program sends students to Germany Editors Note: This story was originally published Dec. 3. The deadline to apply for the exchange program has been extended to Jan. 31. By Cris Skelton News Reporter The geography department is looking for students to participate in a foreign exchange program that will take place in conjunction with the University of Hannover in Germany during the spring 2004 semester. Ten to 12 students from Hannover will attend Texas State from mid-February to mid-March of next spring, and Texas State students will have the opportunity to live and attend classes in Hannover from mid-May to mid-June. Knowledge of German language is not required, but the geography department wants students with an interest in learning about the country and its inhabitants. T e x a s State students will take many field trips while they are in G e r m a n y, particularly to such locales as Berlin, northern Bavaria and the North Sea coast. “I have been involved with this program for the past 15 years,” said James Peterson, geography professor and one of the professors who will accompany the students to Hannover. “The program is based on an agreement between the professors of both universities. The German students come here to study the English language and also to learn about the geography of Texas.” The geography department anticipates the trip will cost $2,000 including airfare, a rail pass for use on field trips, the cost of an extended four-nights-long field excursion

and accommodations for a month in Germany. Tuition is not included in this estimate. “This experience is unique for several reasons,” Peterson said. “A great benefit to Texas State students is that they live with one of the exchange students from Hannover while we are there. This provides a real look at life in Germany that cannot be gained from always being in a group of Americans traveling together.” While the German students are at Texas State, they will live with other students in the dorms and learn about Texas and its culture. All of the German students will know how to speak English so there will be no language barrier to overcome. “The German students that come here will also be providing accommodations for Texas State students when they go to Germany,” Peterson said. “This keeps the cost of the trip way down. On most trips like these, the cost is double what we’re estimating.” Peterson is taking — James Peterson applications geography professor to participate in this program. He said students should contact him as soon as possible. Students are expected to be excellent representatives of the university. Ten students will be selected to go. “We live in a global world,” Peterson said. “We, as people, need to gain a global understanding of the world we live in. A former student from years ago who went on this trip recently spoke before a United Nations committee about topics of interest that concerned her, some of which she discovered on the trip itself. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get an in-depth view of another culture and to explore the geography and world that culture lives in.”

“A great benefit to Texas State students is that they live with one of the exchange students from Hannover while we are there. This provides a real look at life in Germany that cannot be gained from always being in a group of Americans traveling together.”

Mars explorer Spirit hits the ground By Thomas H. Maugh II Los Angeles Times

Twelve days after it bounced to a landing on the barren plain of Gusev Crater, NASA's Spirit rover has rolled off its lander onto the red Martian soil to begin its search for signs of water — and life — on the now-frozen planet. Cheers erupted and champagne flowed in Mission Control at Pasadena, Calif.'s Jet Propulsion Laboratory when engineers received word about 2 a.m. PST Thursday that the rolloff was a success, setting the stage for the most sophisticated geological exploration ever of Mars. “We have six wheels in the dirt. Mars is now our sandbox, and we are ready to play and learn,” said JPL Director Charles Elachi.

The University Star - 9

The team had sent the command to leave the lander at 12:21 a.m., then waited for more than an hour and a half before learning the results. It took the craft only 78 seconds to travel the 10 feet from the lander onto the surface, but the craft then had to locate the sun in the sky, take pictures of its surroundings and wait for a passing Mars orbiter before it could phone home with confirmation of its success. “This is the most significant milestone in the history of the project,” said principal investigator Steven Squyres of Cornell University. Virtually all of the high-risk maneuvers of the craft are now complete, leaving geologists free to begin concentrating on exploration. The roll-off had originally

been scheduled for Monday but was delayed because a collapsed airbag from the Jan. 3 landing was partially blocking the planned exit ramp. To avoid the bag, engineers executed a 120degree pivot of the rover on the lander so it could use a different ramp. Spirit took one last look back at the lander, transmitting home a picture of the now-empty and useless platform. Engineers spent the rest of the mission day purging now useless software from the rover and performing other housekeeping tasks to prepare for Spirit's 90-day traverse of the Martian surface. They will continue that process Friday and begin unlimbering the craft's instruments to g See ROVER, page 11

10 - The University Star


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

University of Denver begins interviewing potential students By Jay Mathews The Washington Post Milena Zilo cried when the rejection letter arrived from the University of Denver, then she decided that school officials did not know enough about her and drove 12 miles from her home to tell them that. John Dolan, then the vice chancellor for enrollment, was away from his office, so she grabbed a brochure with his picture on it and went looking for him. Zilo and Dolan had no way of knowing it at the time, but their awkward and emotional first meeting in April 2001 helped spur the private school to make personal interviews a required part of its application process. DU, as the university calls itself, is in the midst of a 27-city series of 5,000 interviews — an approach rivaled by only a few U.S. undergraduate institutions — to see whether personal contact can improve what has become for many applicants a mysterious and angst-ridden ordeal. “We want to give every kid an opportunity to give us his own voice and go beyond just test scores and GPA,” said Michael L. Griffin, the assistant vice chancellor for enrollment.

Dolan recalled that when Zilo found him on campus and told him, in the accent of her native Albania, that he had made a big mistake, he said the usual polite things: It was not a reflection on her, and there were only a little more than 900 spaces in the freshman class. But when she persisted, he took her back to his office and listened. She showed him a scrapbook of glowing recommendation letters, awards and other signs of achievement. She explained that attending the university had been her goal since she arrived in the United States with her family four years earlier. Dolan told her to wait, stepped out to confer with his staff and came back to inform her she was right. They had made a mistake and would not only admit her but also offer her a scholarship. Then he began to think about what could be done to prevent losing any more applicants like her. “She was energetic, smart and focused,” he said. “Just the kind of student we wanted.” The idea of giving every applicant a chance to explain himself or herself, as Zilo had done, took hold after University of Denver Chancellor Daniel L. Ritchie visited a business school in India that interviewed every candidate. Dolan

and his staff experimented with interviews in a limited number of cities for two years. Then last month, they began, at a cost of $425,000, a full interview schedule to pick the Class of 2008. The school's “Ammi Hyde interviews,” named in honor of a student-oriented English professor, are conducted by three-member teams of faculty, staff and alumni. Each interview takes about 20 minutes, with applicants ushered into hotel conference rooms rented for the purpose. The university's Web site recommends that applicants wear business casual attire and advises them not to worry about giving right or wrong answers. “Think of it as your chance to show us the many ways in which you are motivated to learn, concerned with integrity and honesty, open to differences and new ideas (and) looking to contribute to the community,” the Web site message states. Early reviews from students have been good. Katherine Walsh, a freshman, said she was “very nervous that I would be caught off guard or something” when she walked in for her interview a year ago in Seattle. But, she said, “it made me think that DU did care to learn about what type of people they were going to accept, which shows

they really do care about students.” Theo Chapman, a first-year student from Bishop Machebeuf High School in Denver, said he appreciates a system that encourages “penetrating questions that truly bring out the person that the transcripts, applications and other documents can't reveal.” University officials said the average SAT or ACT scores of admitted students may be lower as a result of the interview requirement, but they have not declined so far. They say they are happy to add students such as Zilo, who had low SAT scores but has been elected to the student senate and is active in eight other organizations as she pursues a degree in finance. Only a handful of selective undergraduate programs, including those of Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown universities, require personal interviews. Usually, one interviewer chats with the applicant for about 45 minutes and sends a report to the admissions office. The interviews complicate the lives of the admissions staff and are a strain on the alumni who do most of the work in the evening or on weekends, but the few colleges that require them say the personal contact helps them make better decisions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Iowa caucuses still up for grabs


News Briefs

Los Angeles Times DES MOINES, Iowa — Democratic presidential candidates scattered across Iowa Thursday in a fevered effort to energize core supporters and make sure they participate in the state's caucuses — an intensified pace driven, in part, by polls that show a three-way tie for first place. The polling showed Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt and John F. Kerry at the top, and John Edwards barely a step behind. Iowa's complicated caucus system often makes such surveys notoriously unreliable. Still, in a Democratic race that has become surprisingly close, the polls underscored the importance of reaching out to undecided voters, stirring up the enthusiasm of wavering supporters and honing the organizational muscle. Taken together, they can make the difference between a momentumbestowing victory and a fourthplace finish. Dean, the former governor of Vermont who over the course of the past year has moved from unknown to frontrunner — and over the course of the past week has seen that lead nearly evaporate here and in New Hampshire — happily showed off one more endorsement: that of Carol Moseley Braun, the former senator who abandoned a presidential bid that drew little attention and less support. For all the differences they are trying to emphasize, each campaign has at least one common theme: The contest is extremely close, and nothing matters now as much as getting

supporters to turn up at the caucuses — held in living rooms, fire stations and all the other gathering sites that form a pastiche of life in the heartland.

Schwarzenegger plans to propose college tuition hike Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to propose a 10 percent fee increase for Californians attending college at the University of California and California State University and a fee hike of up to 40 percent for graduate students at the universities, sources familiar with the governor's budget said Wednesday. At the same time, the budget is also expected to contain reductions in college financial aid for students from low- and moderate-income families. Diana Fuentes-Michel, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, said she expects the governor's proposal to tighten qualifications for Cal Grants, the state's main financial aid program. The move likely would eliminate financial aid for some students by lowering the ceiling used to determine which families are eligible for aid. Currently, students from a family of four are eligible for aid if the family income is no more than $66,700. Fuentes-Michel said she expects the maximum size of the Cal Grant awards — which currently range from $1,551 for community college students to $9,700 a year for students attending private universities — to remain unchanged, but that reductions are possible

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ROVER: NASA hopes Spirit mission is a success

there as well. The cost of the program has increased rapidly in recent years.

New round of layoffs imminent at WorldCom

g Cont. from page 9

look at the soil in the immediate area of the lander. The rover will

spend at least three days in its present location, about 2 1/2 feet from the lander, using its microscope to image the soil and

The Washington Post WASHINGTON — WorldCom Inc. is planning to lay off an additional 1,700 employees, about 3 percent of its workforce, during the next two weeks, sources confirmed Thursday. The layoffs will happen just weeks before the Ashburn, Va.based telecommunications company is expected to emerge from bankruptcy protection. WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2002 after revealing massive accounting fraud. During the past 18 months, revenue has steadily declined as WorldCom, along with its long-distance rivals, has faced increased competition from wireless carriers and large local phone companies that have won permission to enter the long-distance industry. The company already has cut more than 22,000 jobs since filing for bankruptcy protection. Most recently, it laid off 5,000 people, primarily in corporate and administrative staff, last February. The telecommunications giant is still working to complete financial restatements for the three-year period beginning in 2000 during which it improperly accounted for $11 billion. But during the last 18 months it has been required to post monthly revenue statements with the bankruptcy court. Briefs are from wire reports.

Courtesy photo NASA’s Mars rover Spirit will identify and study samples of rocks and other materials before sending the results back to Earth.

allowing engineers on Earth to practice with the other instruments. The craft will then take off on its excursion at the stately pace of about 1 1/2 inches per second. It's first major goal will be a 200yard wide crater about 800 feet to the northeast. Along the way, they will visit two large rocks, about 15 feet from the rover, that the team has named Adirondack and Sashimi. If there is time, they will also visit a large depression dubbed Sleepy Hollow. Once the craft has visited the crater, which will allow it to look into the interior of the planet, it will head east toward a complex of hills about 1.8 miles away. Spirit's twin, Opportunity, is scheduled to land on the opposite side of Mars in Meridiani Planum Jan. 24.


U.S. school segregation at levels last seen in '69 12 - The University Star

By Michael Dobbs The Washington Post

Half a century after the Supreme Court ordered the desegregation of American education, schools are almost as segregated as they were when Martin Luther King was assassinated, according to a new report released by Harvard University researchers. The study, by the Harvard Civil Rights Project, shows that progress toward school desegregation peaked in the late 1980s as courts concluded that the goals of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education had largely been achieved. Over the past 15 years, the trend has been in the opposite direction, and most white students now have “little contact” with minority students in many areas of the country, according to the report. “We are celebrating a victory over segregation at a time when schools across the nation are becoming increasingly segregated,” noted the report, which was issued on the eve of the holiday celebrating Martin Luther King's birthday. Triggered by a civil rights case in Topeka, Kan., the Brown decision marked the start of three decades of intensive efforts by the federal govern-

ment to integrate public schools, first through court orders that opened white schools to minority students and later through busing. Its most dramatic impact was in southern states, where the percentage of blacks attending predominantly white schools increased from zero in 1954 to 43 percent in 1988. By 2001, according to the Harvard data, the figure had fallen to 30 percent, or about the level in 1969, the year after King's assassination. “We are losing many of the gains of desegregation,” said Gary Orfield, Harvard professor and primary author of the report. “We are not back to where we were before Brown, but we are back to when King was assassinated.” The Harvard study suggests that Hispanic students are even more segregated than black students, while Asian Americans are the most integrated ethnic group in the country. The increase in Latino segregation has been particularly marked in western states, where more than 80 percent of Latinos attend predominantly minority schools, compared with 42 percent in 1968. Despite the national trend toward resegregation, there are significant differences among states and regions, Orfield said.

Maryland is one of the most “rapidly resegregating states” in the country, he said, partly because of the phasing out of court-ordered busing in Prince George's and Baltimore counties and partly because of migration patterns. The District of Columbia has long been one of the most segregated school districts in the nation, a trend accentuated in recent years by the exodus of white middle-class families.

“We still have not committed ourselves as a country to the mandate of Brown versus Board of Education.” -Elise Boddie

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc.

The most segregated states for black students are New York and Illinois; the most integrated are Kentucky and Washington. For Latinos, the most segregated states are New York and California; the most integrated states are Wyoming and Ohio. Virginia ranks somewhere in the middle for both black and Hispanics. According to Orfield and other researchers, the resegregation trend picked up momentum as a result of a 1991 Supreme Court decision that authorized a return to neighborhood schools instead of busing, even if such a step would lead to segregation. The consequences were particularly dramatic in school districts such as Prince George's County's that were declared “unitary” by the courts, meaning that they had made a good faith effort at integration. According to the Harvard

data, the average black student in Prince George's County attends schools with 12 percent fewer white students than a decade ago. In Charlotte, black exposure to white students has dropped by 16 percent, and in DeKalb County, Ga., it has declined by 72 percent. “Most schools in this country are overwhelmingly black or overwhelmingly white,” said Elise Boddie, head of the education department of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., which litigates civil rights cases. “We have still not committed ourselves as a country to the mandate of Brown versus Board of Education. If these trends are not reversed, we could easily find ourselves back to 1954.” The report said that a massive migration of black and Latino families toward the suburbs is producing ‘”hundreds of new segregated and unequal schools and frustrating the dream of middle-class minority families for access to the most competitive schools.” It predicted that the suburbs soon could be threatened with the problems of ``ghettoization'' that have already affected big urban areas. Such a development, the report warned, would bring the nation closer to the “nightmare” of “two school systems” and “two housing markets” mentioned by King in one of his last public appearances. “There have been considerable gains in some areas, such as the number of (minority) students attending college,” said John Jackson, education director for the NAACP. “But you still find many school districts across the country that are segregated and unequal. The implications are the same as in the '50s: Minority students in high poverty areas are not getting a quality education.”

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Bird flu worries health experts By Laurie Garrett Newsday World health officials expressed concern Thursday about the spread of a virulent form of bird influenza in Asia, which has struck as the region is in the grips of a human flu epidemic. World Health Organization officials Thursday cited the “distinct possibility” that the avian and human viruses could combine to produce a super-virulent form of flu in people. Vietnam has reported 14 humans infected with avian flu, three confirmed by lab testing. Twelve of the 14 have died. Complicating the regional picture is the presence of one confirmed case of SARS in southern China and two suspected cases. The symptoms of SARS and influenza are nearly identical. WHO and U.S. Centers for Disease Control officials underscored that no human-to-human transmission of the avian virus has been identified. In interviews, they raised the possibility of simultaneous infection with avian and human flu viruses. Influenza is an unstable virus that mutates by swapping genes — not only between various strains but also with the host species it infects, through a process called recombination. The process brings new viruses every season. Routinely, influenza infects migratory birds without harm, particularly ducks. The microbe is spread through droppings; in a barnyard, for instance, the virus can be transmitted to livestock. Transmission to humans is considered extremely rare; typically, the avian virus must

undergo genetic recombination inside pigs before it can infect other mammals. The current avian flu outbreak in Asia is considered worrisome because: The virus appears to be killing off the normal host, ducks, by the thousands, WHO experts said, something not seen before. In Vietnam, 14 people — all farmers and their families — have caught the virus through contact with chickens. Vietnamese health officials also say they have found pigs infected with the virus. Avian flu is spreading in Japan among chickens for the first time since 1925. “We are not in an influenza pandemic situation now,” Dr. Klaus Stohr, chief virologist for the World Health Organization, said in an interview from Geneva. The virus at this stage “is not capable of spreading worldwide (in people) quickly.” Nevertheless, he said, there is “not only a possibility, but a probability that a virulent form of influenza could emerge in Vietnam.” In 1997 in Hong Kong, a handful of people died of avian flu. Iisolated cases have since surfaced in China and Hong Kong. The emergence of SARS last year was initially misinterpreted as avian influenza. Dr. Simon Mandel, WHO's expert on the clinical aspects of the SARS and influenza cases, said, “the presence of even garden variety influenza really magnifies the problem of SARS. Trying to find SARS then is like searching for a needle in a haystack.”


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

ETHICS: Property values disputed g Cont. from page 2

In October 2002, Taylor asked the ERC to render an advisory opinion on whether he should abstain from discussion and voting on the disannexation issue. The commission found that an action on the matter would likely have a special economic effect on the value of Taylor’s property, distinguishable from the public. The commission voted 5-1 that Taylor should have been required to abstain from participation in the deliberations and vote concerning the disannexation issue. North states in her letter that by discussing and voting on the measure, Habingreither and Taylor are defying the commission’s directive, thumbing their noses at the commission and the entire community. “I’ve got three attorneys, a real estate agent and two appraisers that say this doesn’t impact the value of my home,” Taylor said. “What else can I believe other than this is some sort of political ploy?” Taylor emphasized that the commission’s 2002 finding was strictly an advisory opinion and that it doesn’t have the authority to require a council member to vote or not to vote. He points to the testimony of real estate appraiser Don Graham, who spoke before the commission stating there was no difference in market value simply because a property was inside or outside the city. “People that don’t want to see the mayor re-elected are trying to make a political issue out of this,” Taylor said. He said it was important to note that when the city council executed the disannexation, there was never a single negative vote. “It’s not like it was 4-3 and our votes are what pushed it over; it was 6-0, 7-0, 7-0 on all three readings,” Taylor said. Taylor said when he and the mayor ran for office in 2001 there was an outcry from those who lived in the newly annexed area that they were not represented during the annexation process and that they were being taxed without representation. “I think it would be unconscionable for myself not to tackle that issue,” Taylor said. In his defense on the issue Habingreither said his actions throughout the disannexation process — from his renting property in the city to his votes on the ordinance — were exactly what he told people he would do.

“I said if it came to the council I would act on it the way I believed it should be morally, legally and ethically acted on,” Habingreither said. He said it was costing him at least seven times more to remain mayor than to continue paying taxes in the disannexed neighborhood given his recent purchase of a condominium in the city. The mayor answers claims that disannexation has dominated local government by referring to current economic-development initiatives and such projects as Charles Austin Drive and the Greenhouse Interpretive Center. He said these projects would not have been possible without his role in bringing Texas State and the city together. The question posed to the ERC, however, is whether Habingreither and Taylor violated the law. North said the ideal outcome of the ERC would be to find that the Habingreither and Taylor broke the law, and that they have a conflict of interest. She also said she hopes the commission can work on writing a new ethics ordinance that makes sense. “It is up to the ethics commission to set the bar and to define special economic effect,” North said. Taylor concedes that something may need to be done pertaining to the vaguely written ethics code now in place, but denies any personal wrongdoing. “I couldn’t find anything in the law to suggest that I’d be anything but a coward or shirking my duty by not taking (disannexation) on,” Taylor said. Habingreither said he believes the commission’s hearings should have never happened. He said he feels that if voters are unsatisfied with his political persuasions they will vote him out of office. “This isn’t about sending Bob Habingreither to jail; it’s about not allowing Bob Habingreither to become mayor again, and I am running,” Habinegreither said. The mayor, like Taylor, mentioned the unanimous votes approving the disannexation, describing North’s claims as politically motivated. do “What difference Taylor’s and Habingreither’s votes make? None. I didn’t change the outcome of the vote,” Habingreither said. “So what are they after? Are they that pure that they want to test the law? No. They want to hang me up there. They want to crucify me, and I say come on. Let’s go.”

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RIGHTS: UT’s free speech policy differs from Texas State’s

said. “It doesn’t matter what the content or the viewpoint of the speech, it’s whether or not they are a UT group. That’s the dividing line.” Brett said the reason the UT System has regulations against non-student organizations is to protect a student-oriented environment. “We don’t always have the ability to police protestors,” Brett said. “But we do try to work with student organizations to make sure student events are student events. We want to make sure that the students want these people here.” Brett said the regulations against off-campus organizations did not infringe upon First Amendment rights. “The courts have ruled that we have the right to place appropriate time, place and manner restrictions,” Brett said. “As a university, we have the right to have the facilities open to those who are UT-affiliated. There are limited places on campus, and we need those places for the UT community to use.” Brett said student organizations and academic departments may invite off-campus speakers to campus and may also invite non-student organizations to come participate in student protests, as long as it is a student-organized protest. “An event is a prohibited co-sponsorship if the event actually

depends on a non-student organization for the event,” Brett said. Although student organizations may invite guest speakers to UT events, rules for guest speakers at UT are more explicit than those at Texas State. Appendix C of UT’s policy, available in its General Information 2003-2003, discusses verbal harassment. UT’s policy provides details protecting the rights of “students, faculty and staff” to “express their views.” However, the university also prohibits harassment while expressing viewpoints, saying, “No person shall make, distribute or display on the campus any statement that constitutes verbal harassment of any other person.” Verbal harassment is defined as “hostile or offensive speech, oral, written or symbolic” and may consist of “threats, insults, epithets, ridicule (and) personal attacks,” according to UT’s General Information. Brett has worked at both the University of Michigan and UT and describes their policies as “very different.” “From my perspective, I don’t see major problems either way. It depends upon what the Regents and the university want as far a space and availability of space on campus,” Brett said. “We have great demands for space on this campus, and we want that space reserved for students. But I have worked under both systems, and I think they both work.”

FACULTY: Survey to explore employee work experience

PROVOST: New position improves academic quality

g Cont. from page 5

g Cont. from page 3

about these programs,” Blanchard said. “We would like to have somebody that can coordinate these programs.” Mandziuk said recommending the creation of a work-life coordinator position could be a part of the report the task force will turn into Trauth during the summer. She said the survey is trying to discover if people know the programs exist and if price and location of facilities for those who do not live in San Marcos are barriers for participating in work-life programs. “Knowing that we don’t have endless resources, what would we prioritize as places we would want to use some resources?” Mandziuk said. “Would a wellness piece be a piece of it or would adding an employee-assistance program over here be a piece of it?” She said work life is something that can be used as an incentive for hiring prospective faculty.

“That is exactly what corporations have learned,” Mandziuk said. “The corporate world has learned that it pays off in retention, recruitment, employee satisfaction, reduction of turnover, retraining costs and all of those things. The bottom line is that you have a better environment and people want to be there. They feel that the organization they are working for really cares about them.” She said the philosophy behind work life is that it’s not a zero-sum game. “It shouldn’t be your work demands competing with your life demands, however that is defined. It should be complimentary and you shouldn’t have to choose one over the other.” Mandziuk said p a p e r copies and Spanishlanguage versions of the survey will be available by request.

g Cont. from page 2

the provost is in charge of the university when I’m not here,” she said. Once the provost is hired, Bob Gratz, Academic Affairs vice president, is expected to become the special assistant to the president, a position now occupied by Michael Abbott, who is expected to take a post at Texas State’s International Institute for Sustainable Water Resources. Trauth said she would like to have the provost named and in place by July, but that is more of an indicator than an actual solid date. In June 2003 a search committee was formed with representation from various faculty and staff, as well as other university officials. Candidates were selected from a pool of more than 110 applicants across the nation and from outside the country. Advertisements for the position were placed in various media, including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Women in Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, Academic Carriers Online,

American Confederation of Academic Deans, Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences and the Society for College University Planning. Truth also sent a letter to 400 university presidents across the country inviting them to nominate candidates. “This was very productive, and lead to quite a few applications,” said Gene Bourgeois, Provost Search Committee chair. “We were aiming for a robust and diverse candidate listing, and we’re really happy with the number of applications and application pool.” The search committee plans to conduct on-campus interviews with the finalists between Jan. 26 and Feb. 17. Each candidate will fly in on a Sunday and have breakfast with Trauth from 8 – 9 a.m. on Monday. From 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. they will meet with various university representatives, including students who wish to attend. There will be a reception followed by dinner, which will last until about 10 p.m. Similar meetings will take place from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m on Tuesdays.


14 - The University Star

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

CAMPUS: Construction improves several areas HOSTAGE: Police departments see event as invaluable training g Cont. from page 3

Services vice president. The parking garage is behind schedule but will be open soon. “We had wanted the garage open when students came back for the spring semester,” Nance said. The project was held back because of problems with the driveway on Wood Street behind Jones Dining Hall. The parking garage will have four floors, 419 parking spaces and will primarily be for occupants of the CBA building and San Jacinto Hall, which is currently under construction, Fogarty said. The total cost for the CBA building and parking garage is $33,995,000 and will be paid for with general revenue funds. San Jacinto Hall, a new residence hall west of The Tower, will help Texas State meet its steadily increasing enrollment. The privatized studentliving project is a one-year project that has a total cost of $19,165,000 and a construction cost of $18,093,406. Texas State leased the land where the hall is being built to the Texas State University System Foundation. The foundation has a contract with American Campus Communities, which supplied the bonds to build the hall. After about 30 years the hall will either have the bonds paid off or will be donated to the university, whichever comes first, Nance said. San Jacinto Hall will become the third privatized student-living project at Texas State after San Marcos Hall and Bobcat Village. The students who will live there will pay off the bonds with their room fees, Fogarty said. “We’re making very good progress on it,” Fogarty said. The four-floor residence

g Cont. from page 3

Andy Ellis/Star Photo Construction of the new Student Health Center at the corner of Sessom and Tomas Riviera drives is nearing completion. Students will be able to take advantage of its services starting in May.

hall will have 466 beds and will be similar to San Marcos Hall because the same developer, architect and contractor worked on both projects, he said. Each floor will have a kitchenette, laundry room, lounge area and study rooms. There are four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living area and a countertop for a small microwave and mini-fridge per suite, said Ted Redlaczyk, Residence Life associate director. There are also a few two-bedroom and one-bathroom suites available. The hall will be ready for students in August 2004. However, Lindsey Street between Comanche and Fredericksburg streets will be closed from Jan. 15 until April 5 so the contractor can offload and stage construction materials for the framing of the new structure. Eighteen-wheeler truck traffic and heavy equipment is expected to be moving in this area. The addition to Strahan Coliseum, now expected to be complete in midFebruary, is also a couple of months behind, Nance said.

However all the interior work is done. “We’re in the process of doing mechanical testing,” Fogarty said. “Outside the building there is still work to do. It’s going to be a great building.” The Strahan addition will be used for the athletic director and his management staff. There will also be a circular maroon-and-gold room that will display athletic trophies and will also be used for VIP receptions, Fogarty said. It will be a multipurpose room similar to the one at the stadium addition. The total cost for the addition was $2,600,000 with a construction cost of $2,157,300. The new Student Health Center will be finished in May with total cost of $5,370,000 and a construction cost of $4,418,000, Nance said. The exterior is done, but the interior is not; it needs to be painted and have tile and carpet put in, Fogarty said. There is still work to be done with the parking lot and landscape as well. The building is 24,528

square feet, doubling the useable space of the SHC, and was paid for with a student-passed $9 student fee increase and reserve funds, Fogarty said. The growing university was in mind when building the new SHC, said Karen Gordon-Sosby, SHC assistant director. She said the need for a new SHC was evident because the old SHC was unable to increase to the number of exam rooms it needed to serve students. With the new SHC more staff is needed to maintain the larger area. A full-time nurse practitioner and a nurse assistant will be hired, Gordon-Sosby said. Pharmacy staff will also be added to make filling prescriptions faster, and contract physicians will also be used when needed, such as during flu season. “We’re expecting to see more students in the new building,” Gordon-Sosby said. Although gated, the parking lot will be free for SHC patients, even just to pick up a prescription, GordonSosby said.

exercises we put together for them are based on things that have happened or you can predict could happen — trends in the field like any business. They are as realistic as we can make them.” Hostage negotiation team members alternated their roles in the event between negotiators one day and actors, judges or observers on the other day of competition. Two different but comparable scenarios involving family disputes and governmental entities were played out by the actors. Mullins said the event facilitators take great pains to train the actors and give them detailed background information on their emotional states and behavioral tendencies. “We give them very specific hour-by-hour instructions on how to act,” Mullins said. “We have two people called controllers whose job is to keep the bad guys on track. We give a lot of consideration to what those actors do because they have to be realistic.” The event has grown from having two teams — SAPD and APD — participating in the exercises at area homes and apartment complexes to one that

“The exercises we put together for them are based on things that have happened or you can predict could happen...they are as realistic as we can make them.” — Wayman Mullins criminal justice professor

fills two floors of the Hines Academic Center with agencies from across Texas and the United States. This year 24 negotiation teams competed in the event, which brought more than 300 officers from as far away as Sonoma County, Calif., and Grand Forks, N.D. “These first two days have been an absolutely outstanding experience,” said Sgt. Mike Hedlund of the Grand Forks Police Department. “We were able to watch different groups and help be judges and work on the different aspects. It was a great experience to be able to watch the other teams and see the different things that they do. Today, to actually be put through a very stressful eight hours of almost continuous negotiation, I think it is one of the best learning opportunities

that I have ever had.” Detective Robert Richman of the Austin Police Department’s Officer Involved Crimes Unit said the exercises offer participants the opportunity for team members to learn from their mistakes without losing lives. “Here, if mistakes are made it’s OK. If we do this on the street and we make a mistake, lives could be lost,” he said. “I don’t think any situation is textbook. Some are really tough; some are ‘Hey, I want to come out.’ Sometimes we talk to an empty house for hours, but what’s the alternative — having this person come in and kill their family.” First prize was given to the Pasadena/Friendswood Police Departments’ joint negotiation team for the policing category and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ Eastern region team for the corrections category. On Jan. 8, participants attended classroom sessions on various topics of the hostage negotiation field such as “10 Most Common Errors” and “Negotiating With the Mentally Ill.” Mullins said the worst thing a negotiator can do is back people into a corner and not give them any options. “Most (hostage-takers) know what they should do,” he said. “They need someone to tell them, but it’s how you tell them.” Mullins said negotiators have a high success rate with the most typical situation they deal with: high-risk suicides. “The data is real clear,” he said. “Even with high-risk suicide, if negotiators show up and get the opportunity to talk to the individual, we are successful more than 98 percent of the time.” Mullins said there are three stages that most hostage negotiations go through. “These are emotional events,” he said. “We deal with people in emotional crises, and there are set stages they go through. The first stage they go through is a very emotional stage. There is a lot of yelling and screaming — high emotions. All we try to do is calm them down. If you’re emotional you can’t be rational. After we calm them down we start the negotiation phase. That is where we talk to people and make decisions with them. “Finally the third stage is the resolution phase,” Mullins said. “That gets a little emotional again because they’re coming out into the unknown. We give them very clear instructions and they surrender. It’s a communication process.”

The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University-San Marcos Student Media, the department of mass communication or Texas State University-San Marcos. Letters policy: E-mail letters to Letters must be no longer than 350 words. No anonymous letters will be printed. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, spelling, space and libel. We reserve the right to refuse obscene, irrelevant and malicious letters. All e-mails must include the name and phone number of the letter writer. Students should also include their classifications and majors.

OPINIONS The University Star

Tuesday, January 20, 2004 — Page 15


Sexual orientation policy was due for change

The Main Point

victory was won last fall for those who were fighting to change a university policy so that it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation — an issue that at the national level has been called the final battle of the civil rights movement. Not unlike other struggles for equality, the push for the inclusion of sexual orientation into the Texas State University System nondiscrimination policy is one that has encountered years of resistance with faceless opponents in the TSUS Board of Regents office. After members of the Texas State Faculty Senate and former President Jerome Supple failed twice during 10 years to have the regents address the issue with-

Welcome back fellow Bobcats

out the policy ever making it onto their agenda, Supple decided to move forward in the process of changing the policy locally at Texas State. However, the policy change was not complete when he retired, and it was left up to Denise Trauth to sign it into existence. This left the new president in an awkward position of changing a policy that might offend a conservative Board of Regents. President Trauth decided to defer to the regents yet again. Although Trauth agreed the policy should be changed, she said she wanted to change it through a system-wide decision as to not defy the regents. “But it is simply not possible for me to say ‘I will defy you’ unless I also turn in my resignation,” Trauth said at the Sept. 12

Welcome back for the spring and Purple Heart recipient) Bill semester! I would like to take Fly and others. Music was prothis opportunity to fill you in on vided by a Bobcat band ensemble some of what your Associated and the Texas State Chorus, who Student Government has done sang a medley of Armed Forces songs. The crowd was this past fall and some things we are Ernie Dominguez treated to a flyover by two F-15 fighter jets planning for the who came down all spring semester. the way from First, let me tell Mountain Home air you a bit about what force base in Idaho to ASG is about. As be part of the prothe President of your gram. At the concluASG, we are comsion of the program, mitted to be refreshments were involved in all Guest Columnist provided to veterans aspects of student life and the success of Texas by ASG, and the cake was cut by State. We address academic con- two veterans, one of whom was cerns such as grading policies part of the D-Day Normandy and the honor code. We work invasion. This past fall, your ASG has with the Finance and Support Services in addressing some dif- taken on issues such as the excess ficult issues including parking amount of spam in our Texas and bus concerns. We work with State e-mail accounts, cell phone Student Affairs, which Athletics usage in our library and passed falls under. The list goes on. We legislation to have an official also work with state and local Texas State class ring, which will governments to collaborate on be available for students to order issues and initiatives when neces- for spring commencements. Take pride in our university; sary. Some of the events ASG was a wear our school colors; be active part of in the fall were the 9/11 in campus life; take care of yourMemorial Service, Project Pride: self spiritually, socially, and acaPaint the Square Gold and the demically; and, above all, always Veterans Day Memorial Service. be mindful that you are ambassaThe ASG was proud to be able to dors of Texas State. ASG will continue to be lookdonate a permanent marker placed at the memorial garden ing at issues and concerns that remembering those who left us affect students this semester. Our because of the 9/11 attacks. With meetings are open to the public help from KTSW and other stu- and are held at 7 p.m. Mondays dent organizations, Project Pride in the LBJ Student Center, Room was moved to the San Marcos 3-14.1. To learn more about ASG Square where we officially visit our website at www.asg.txskicked off the fall season of, come by the office in the Bobcat athletics. The ASG LBJSC, Room 4-5.1, call us at joined with the Pride & 245-2196 or email me at Traditions Task Force to put on It one of the best Veterans Day cel- is my pleasure to represent you as ebrations in Texas. With an esti- your president of the Associated mated 10,000 students in atten- Student Government. Remember, ASG is “students dance, veterans from both this campus and the community serving students.” joined to hear speakers from the office of Sen. John Cornyn, State Dominguez is the Associated Representative Patrick Rose, Student Government president and guest speaker (former Marine a communication studies senior.

The University Star Staff Editor In Chief..........................................................................Genevieve Klein, Managing Editor.....................................................................Scooter Hendon, News Editor.....................................................................................David Doerr, Assistant News Editor.....................................................................Kassia Micek, Sports Editor...................................................................................Jason Orts, Entertainment Editor......................................................Terry Ornelas, Assistant Entertainment Editor..............................................................Jeff Greer, Photo Editor................................................................................Brad Sherman, Design Editor....................................................................................Matt Rael, Systems Administrator, Webmaster.......................................Ben Stendahl, Calendar of Events............................................................Paul Lopez, Advertising Coordinator......................................................................Jodie Claes, Advertising Graduate Assistant.....................................................Amy Redmond, Classifieds Manager..........................................................Chris Guadiano, Publications Coordinator....................................................Linda Allen, Publications Director..............................................................Bob Bajackson, Contact The Star: 601 University Dr., San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487; Fax: (512) 245-3708 Visit The Star online at The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University-San Marcos published Tuesday through Thursday during the Fall and Spring semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. with a daily circulation of 8,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright November 6, 2003. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief.

Faulty Senate meeting. In November, immediately after a board of regents meeting, Trauth suddenly made the decision to sign the policy change at Texas State. The very same change she refused to make only two months before. Thus, the issue was dropped at the system level and the media had nothing left to criticize because Texas State got what it wanted. Right? Whatever happened at that regents meeting to make Trauth change her mind might not be known, but it certainly will not be forgotten. The regents and Trauth may be hoping that everyone forgets about what happened, but such bewildering decision making doesn’t just fade away. And without clear answers about what happened, speculation

runs wild. We can only assume that our leadership thought this last hurdle for civil rights was not important enough to expend political capital on, and that the regents gave the nod to Trauth to change the policy at Texas State so the spotlight would fade. A defiant Trauth may have looked bad to the regents, but a vacillating Trauth looks bad to the campus community. However, we should give credit to where credit is due. Trauth got Texas State what it wanted, even if it wasn’t the clearest path. Trauth said during a Dec. 3 Faculty Senate meeting she felt the discussion about sexual orientation at Texas State had started a conversation about the issue at other TSUS schools. Let’s hope it has, but not hold our breath.

Going Postal

James Mendoza/Star illustration

University should stop selling students’ personal information


t seems everywhere you go nowadays sonal information to advertisers to make a you are bombarded with advertisements. few extra bucks. Several times a year I You can’t watch a few minutes of televi- receive letters in the mail from one group or sion without seeing a whole another asking for my money. string of commercials advertisWhat bugs me is some of these Rugh Cline ing many numbers of things. groups are getting my personal Star Columnist The radio is the same way. information directly from Texas Thanks to Clear Channel’s State. monopoly on radio, there is no amount of A few days ago I received my first unsosurfing the dial a person can do without hear- licited credit card application of 2004 in the ing the same annoying advertisements over mail. The letter came addressed to “Texas and over again. State Parent.” The letter asked me to apply But, advertising doesn’t stop with televi- for a Texas State University Alumni sion and radio. Association Platinum Plus MasterCard. I Billboards blanket the American land- have no doubt that I am not the only student scape from sea to shining sea. I have no at this school to receive this same unsolicitdoubt that if you walked around the desert ed advertisement. I wonder how much long enough you would come across and money Texas State makes selling our perOzarka Bottled Water billboard. sonal information to these blood-sucking In your face, “buy this product now or vampires that call themselves credit card else” advertising seems to be as American as companies. apple pie. How many times has your dinner This isn’t the first advertisement I been interrupted by some friendly person received in the mail that originated from calling with a new long-distance offer from Texas State’s information sharing. Last year Sprint? I received a letter from a homebuilder in And then there is the unexpected knock Kyle telling me how I can save money by at the door, which turns out to be a person buying a house from them instead of renting selling magazine or newspaper subscrip- while I am a student at Texas State. After I tions — who simply won’t take no for an received that letter was the first time I conanswer. Then whenever you get your new tacted Texas State asking them to please not unwanted magazine or newspaper, you find sell my personal information. Then, a few pages upon pages of advertisements for months later, I received another letter in the products and services you have absolutely mail. This letter was addressed to me, and no interest in. the return address was Texas State Let us not forget the booklets of junk mail University. At first I thought it was somethat fill every mailbox in America seemingly thing regarding my grades, or perhaps my at least once a week. I personally always take tuition. But low and behold when I opened it the junk mail, mark it “return to sender,” and I found a credit card application. I furiously stick it into the outgoing mailbox. However, contacted the credit card company to that doesn’t stop the mailman from deliver- demand to know why they were misrepreing another booklet of advertisements again senting themselves by sending a credit card the next week. I’ve grown to accept all these application in an envelope that appeared to redundant, unavoidable forms of advertise- come from my school. They said the school ments. had provided them with my personal inforThere is simply no way I can see around mation, and if I had a problem with it, then I it. However, what truly upsets me is when an should take it up with the school. Well, you institution I give thousands upon thousands had better believe that I did take it up with of dollars a year to decides to sell my per- the school. I contacted Texas State and

demanded they no longer sell my information. For some reason they still haven’t gotten the message. Because here I am with yet another credit card application being sent to me courtesy of the Texas State Alumni Association, complete with a letter signed by Dorothy Evans, executive director of the Alumni Association. If the Alumni Association thinks they are buying my good will by selling my personal information despite my repeated requests that they stop, they are sadly mistaken. I can tolerate all the commercials on television, radio, billboards, over the phone, in newspapers and in magazines. I can even handle when our school turns The Quad into a car dealership once a year. Certainly our school is more interested in having us buy new cars than getting to class on time or getting the education we are paying for. But, I draw the line when my personal information is routinely sold to vultures masquerading as credit card companies by my own college despite my asking them to stop on two separate occasions. So I have a deal for the Texas State Alumni Association. I truly hope that many thousands of my fellow students will do the same as I plan to do. When I graduate from school I have no doubt I am going to be contacted by the Alumni Association begging and pleading for financial support. Well I am saying here and now, those bastards are never going to get one red cent out of me. I will simply tell the person asking for the donation that the Alumni Association already made enough money off of me by selling my personal information against my will. I will never give them a penny solely based on this fact. I can only hope thousands of you will do the same. Maybe then they will learn it is not in their interest to sell students’ personal information to make a few extra bucks. Texas State University: This is me demanding for the third time, stop selling my personal information! Cline is a political science senior.


16 - The University Star

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Bush gives up on Earth Space travel creates more questions than excitement David C. Acheson Wire Columnist President Bush’s proposal of a huge manned flight space program, featuring a return to the moon, has the earmarks of a new spectacular generated by NASA to reawaken public enthusiasm and appropriations support from Congress. This is altogether premature and bypasses several fundamental questions that first need to be settled in a searching and objective fashion. Among these questions are: What are desirable space goals for the United States? What are their benefits and costs? What are the best instruments with which to achieve them? In such an analysis NASA should not be the principal investigator. It has too many conflicts of interest, too firm a bias toward the glamour and public relations of mammoth manned flight programs, too shaky a claim on public confidence after two shuttle disasters and the hollowing out of its safety culture. The questions that need answers are too fundamental to be answered by an implementing agency. The National Academy of Sciences would appear to be the appropriate agency for such studies, by reason of its skills, reputation and detachment. Certainly one issue is whether NASA itself is not to some degree obsolete and its management badly in need of restructuring and new leadership. Another question fundamental to any new space program is: When will the fiscal circumstances of this country be compatible with major new investment in space? Certainly the near-to-middle, deficit-ridden future won’t be conducive to our best effort. This question needs to be insulated from political judgment so far as practicable, if looming deficits are any indication of what we may expect of political judgment. Perhaps the General Accounting Office would be a good place to start. Once these questions are answered, at least conditionally, there will be issues of technology to address. Are goals of scientific discovery best met by unmanned robotic spacecraft, requiring far smaller launch vehicles, far fewer dollars and far lower risks than manned missions? It’s ironic that after extensive recent press coverage of the amazing feats of robotic spacecraft — Pioneer, Galileo, and now Mars rover — the weight of the White House comes down in favor of a blockbuster and budgetbuster manned program. But if the National Academy of Sciences should find persuasive benefits in particular manned flight projects, implementing the hardware development will be the next step. Experience with the shuttle teaches that simplicity and safety of design, economy of reuse and a responsive and simple contractor structure should be built in. In short, the president’s announcement forecloses the most important issues that need objective study and public scrutiny, insulated from NASA. These issues are far too important to be assumed away in the White House’s off-thecuff decision.

James Mendoza/Star illustration

Mars plan may actually be president’s escape from planet President George W. Bush’s recent After all, Bush has pledged only announcement that he is backing the one percent of the projected cost establishment of a permanent base on of these projects — he sees a more the moon and a manned trip logical strategy to Nate Hendrix to Mars was greeted by many space exploration: a with a good amount of astonplan to take over the ishment. After all, this is the universe and to popsame administration that ulate space with the opposed and sought to silence very people who are sinisa fair degree of science that ter enough to get rich off doesn’t fit with its politics — the earth’s destruction. most recently a report from But before my insight is the World Health pegged as crazy, let’s have Star Columnist Organization stating there are a look at the evidence that too many obese people in the world, Bush and company don’t plan on stickand that to ameliorate this problem gov- ing around on this planet much longer. Perhaps the biggest clue we have is ernments should encourage their citizens to eat plenty of fruits and vegeta- his environmental record. Under his bles while limiting fat, refined sugar administration, virtually every law created for the protection of the earth has and sodium intake. The scientific community was stag- been weakened, set aside or simply not gered, partisans rejoiced at the genius of enforced. Instead of the progress being reviving space travel and newspapers made up to this point, he offered the brimmed with baffled liberals who tried nation things such as his “Clear Skies to explain the announcement as a cyni- Initiative,” which not only relaxed prior cal election-year gimmick designed to air-pollution regulations, but relied on a bring Americans together behind a program in which polluters could buy common and largely uncontroversial and sell the right to pollute. While air goal. They also thought is was a device pollution results in increased asthma to detract attention from discouraging rates over the hazy long-term, several of facts such as the Army War College’s the Bush Administration’s negligent recent assessment of the Iraq War as an actions with regard to the environment “unnecessary war ... (that) diverted have directly traceable results on civilattention and resources away from ians. Toxic waste sites’ emissions of securing the American homeland.” toxic fumes have been made exempt

$3.8 trillion added to the national debt by the end of his fourth year as president. While citizens received a tax cut, the money used to provide the rebate was borrowed, thus accruing interest and placing a tremendous burden on states. It’s estimated that the effects of the tax cut have added $13,000 in debt for every man, woman and child in the United States. In addition, there is the ire that the Bush Administration has stirred up other countries by trying to circumvent the United Nations and going forth with an aggressive and arrogant foreign policy. This administration’s bellicose ways were laid bare in the ghastly and quickly hushed “Vision for 2020” which laid plans for spacebased weapons and observation stations and emphasized the point that the United States needs to gain superiority in space as soon as possible to affect the aforementioned situation. I’m willing to concede that I may possibly be wrong about the whole taking-over-the-universe thing, but who could blame me for jumping to this conclusion when the Bush administration has done so much to make life on this planet very unpleasant indeed.

... (Bush) sees a more logical strategy to space exploration: a plan to take over the universe ... from regulation, the Environmental Protection Agency have failed to respond to the revelation that rocket fuel contaminates water supplies in 22 states, and the responsibility of paying for highly toxic “Superfund” sites has been shifted away from the companies who made the mess, thus slowing the cleanup process despite the fact that 25 percent of the nation’s population lives within four miles of these dangerous places. In addition, Bush has continued Clinton’s ignominious legacy of failing to improve fuel economy standards. To me, it seems the only way somebody could behave in this manner is if they had plans of leaving the place they were so negligently spoiling. Some of the administration’s other policies belie a telling lack of care for the future. For one, Bush’s treatment of the economy is so utterly reckless that plans of fleeing into an entirely different economy is the only explanation I can see for this behavior. Because of policies initiated under this administration, there will have been an estimated

Hendrix is an English senior.

How would you grade Bush in each of the following categories? 1. His conduct of war (n=312) A 23% B 21% C 15% D 11% F 30% 2. His conduct of foreign policy (n=312) A 11% B 18% C 18% D 12% F 41% 3. His management of the economy (n=312) A 12% B 18% C 20% D 17% F 33% 4. His stewardship of the environment (n=308) A 8% B 16% C 16% D 15% F 45% From the Texas State’s “Grading Bush” online forum. (312 evaluators)

Tre Miner/Star illustration

01 20 2004  
01 20 2004