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First FallFest Carnival
Cotton candy, games and a Ferris Wheel
Lifestyle | 6
The News Source for Webster University Volume 63 • Issue 9
October 15-28, 2009 www.webujournal.com
Gay Rights March
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Presidential pay issue leads to talks Meeting with faculty, administrators addressed questions about former president’s pay, expenses
from year to year. And two, about the expense account and if there were any improprieties.” Former Webster University During the meeting, it was President Richard Meyers’ pay revealed that Meyers’ compensaand expenses, recently reported tion package included a possible by The Journal, prompted meet- bonus, up to 50 percent of his ings between the administration, base salary, dependent on hitting faculty and staff to discuss bud- certain goals such as growth in the number of students, growth get issues and transparency. Five faculty members, one in endowment, financial integrepresenting each school, met rity and growth in the number of campuses, nawith Presitionally and indent Elizabeth ternationally. Stroble, Mark “Dr. MeyBurkhart, chair ers did have a of the Board of base salary, as Trustees, and Ed well as the abilGlotzbach, a fority to make permer trustee chair, formance comon Oct. 8. The pensation, based 90-minute meetupon goals and ing produced objectives,” said new information Mark Burkhart, regarding issues chair of the Board raised by The of Trustees, in a Journal article, phone interview which focused with The Journal on Meyers’ steep MEYERS before the meeting pay increases and with faculty. unanswered ques Burkhart added that the botions about his expenses. The faculty representatives at nus could account for some of the meeting were John Aleshunas, the pay increases reflected in the associate professor in the math 990 tax documents, but was not and computer science depart- certain. ment; Glen Bauer, associate pro- “That’s the part that really confessor in the music department; cerns a lot of the faculty,” Olliges Scott Jensen, a professor in the said. “Does it make sense academicommunications and journalism cally to expand? If it does, then we department; Ralph Olliges, asso- should be doing that. If it doesn’t ciate professor in the multidisci- make sense to expand, then why plinary studies department; and are we doing that? To simply proGwyneth Williams, professor in vide someone a bonus?” the history, politics and interna- In the past, faculty members have voiced concerns about too tional relations department. “We wanted to know two much global expansion and the things,” said Olliges, the new possibility of depriving the home Faculty Senate chair. “One, why campus of needed improvements. the salary jumped so high in a relatively short period of time BY AMIR KURTOVIC News Editor
Steiner in charge Senior midfielder sets positive example for Webster University’s women’s soccer team.
Sports | 10
Over 1,300 Webster students volunteer their time for Webster Works.
News | 3
KENDRA HENRY / The Journal
Protestors band together to march for gay rights during the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. Oct. 11. The march marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which sparked the gay rights movement in New York City in 1969. See page 5 for more on this issue.
See Meyers Page 2
Nursing a Dictator
Jesus W. Christ
The ultra-right has a new historical text to distort beyond recognition. Guess what it is.
Opinion | 5
OUTSIDE JOSH MAASSEN / The Journal
A Nov. 3 vote will decide if smoking will be banned in St. Louis County.
THURSDAY Rain Likely 48/42
County citizens to vote on smoking ban
FRIDAY Cloudy 52/41
BY AMANDA KEEFE Lifestyle Editor
SATURDAY SUNDAY Partly Sunny Mostly Sunny 52/39 62/45
Source: The National Weather Service
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For the first time in St. Louis’ history, citizens will have the option to vote on a county-wide smoking ban on Nov. 3. The ban would prohibit smoking in public places, though smoking would still be allowed in drinking establishments that earn three-fourths of their income through the sale of alcohol. If the county ban passes, a similar ban in the city introduced earlier this year will go into affect as well. The city ban would remove smoking in all restaurants and bars without exception. If passed, the county ban would not go into effect for another year. Councilmen voted Aug. 25 for the county ban, introduced by Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, to appear on the ballot this November. The smoking ban referendum passed with a vote of 4-3. “We’ve learned over the last 20 years how dangerous cigarette smoking is,” said Suzanne Maddox, a registered nurse at Webster University’s Student Health Services. “If we can pass laws to protect those people who don’t want to be exposed to (smoking), I think that’s right.”
Although Maddox agrees with the ban, she doesn’t think it’s entirely fair. She believes the ban should cover all smoking establishments and not just a select few. Bill Hannegan, founder of Keep St. Louis Free, an organization to protect St. Louis citizens’ rights, especially with smoking bans, has concerns with the ban invading property rights. “(My biggest concern) with the ban is our freedom of property rights being stripped,” Hannegan said. “Businesses have a right to allow a legal product to be used on their property as long as they can deal with present health effects and secondhand smoke.” Hannegan started Keep St. Louis Free in response to the county smoking ban proposed by former Councilman Kurt Odenwald in February 2005. Since then, he has gone around the country to prevent smoking bans from going into affect in other cities and counties. “A smoking ban is a type of eminent domain,” he said. “People are looking at bars and saying it would be better if there was no smoking. It’s not their business. They don’t own it. Why should they be telling a bar owner how he should run his business?” See Smoking Page 2
ROBERT WUJCIK / The Journal
Master Sgt. Robert Ellis and Marianna Riley discuss their book Caring for Victor: A U.S. Army Nurse and Saddam Hussein in the Emerson Library Conference Room Monday Oct. 12.
U.S. army nurse reveals hidden side of Hussein
BY MATT BLICKENSTAFF Managing Editor
To many in the world, Saddam Hussein was a monstrous man, guilty of inflicting death and devastation to enemies and innocents alike. Master Sergeant Robert Ellis had a different perspective as Hussien’s army nurse. During the eight months Ellis was charged with caring for America’s highest valued target, he formed an unlikely bond with Iraq’s brutal dictator and found parallels between his captor’s life and his own. Ellis and Hussein’s relationship is the subject of a new book, “Caring for Victor: A U.S. Army Nurse and Saddam Hussein.” Ellis and the book’s coauthor, Marianna Riley, spoke to a group of about 25 students in the Emerson Library Conference Room Oct. 12.
“As we explored Robert’s complex relationship with Saddam Hussein, he uncovered more than one area of commonality he shared with a man that some called the ‘Butcher of Baghdad,’” Riley said. “Robert and Saddam grew up in hostile environments; Robert in the projects of St. Louis, and Saddam in a squalid village of thieves and thugs near Tikrit. They both grew up watching their backs at all times.” Ellis grew up in St. Louis in the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing projects where he encountered bullies, gang violence and drugs. Ellis grew out of these chaotic roots and joined the military as a nurse. Near the end of his career, Ellis’ unit, the 439th Military Police Battalion, was mobilized in response to detainee abuse at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. “Our job was to go to Iraq and ensure all detainees received hu-
mane treatment,” Ellis said. “All of them, and that included Saddam Hussein.” The army was short on medical personnel and Ellis was brought on to treat Hussein, codenamed “Victor” by the military. The night of their first meeting, Ellis was told to act confident and avoid displays of nervousness or fear because of Hussien’s ability to catch non-verbal cues. “When I saw Saddam for the first time we shook hands, I administered his evening medications and that was it,” Ellis said. Twice a day, everyday, Ellis would check Hussein’s blood pressure and dole out medication. His orders were to keep him alive and healthy, so he could be interrogated and, later, face the executioner. See Nurse Page 2