Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

National Briefs

(U-WIRE) HOUSTON – Inside the University of Houston Bookstore lines of students waiting to buy this semester’s books snaked around shelves and business was clearly booming. But outside at the University Center, a small cadre of mostly history students led by associate history professor Bob Buzzanco passed out flyers and called for a boycott of the campus bookstore.

The flyers claim the store’s books are too expensive, its buyback rates are too low and its policies hurt students.

“Lots of students [are] grumbling. We’re trying to give a voice to that anger,” Renee Feltz, a post-baccalaureate student said. Feltz estimates she spent between $3,000 and $4,000 on books as an undergraduate history major.

Several students stopped to talk to the protestors and also voiced their concerns.

“It’s too expensive,” Garrett Arnold, said. After reading the flyer, Arnold said he planned to boycott the store and would do his shopping at Rother’s.

Rother’s Bookstore was touted by the protestors as a cheaper alternative to the UH Bookstore.

The small number of protestors drew little attention as most students walked by. Monti Eddins, the store’s regional manager, did take notice and called the flyer “misinformation.”

Eddins acknowledged that buybacks were more profitable but said used copies always sell better than new ones because it benefits students to get the cheapest copies available. For a book that is going to be used in the next semester, the bookstore will give students 50 percent of the original cover price. Used books are then sold for 75 percent of the cover price.

When the book is not going to be used the next semester, the bookstore offers the wholesale price to students. That price is determined by age, demand and how often editions change. One problem the bookstore often has is professors not notifying them of their reading lists before the store starts buybacks.

As for returning books in the middle of the semester, Eddins said that from fall to spring, “we only returned those books we knew were not going to be used again.” The spring semester is different, as publishers have deadlines for returning inventory.

Eddins also questioned Buzzanco’s motives for organizing students into protest. Buzzanco’s own book, Question Authority [which he co-authored], is shrink-wrapped and available only as a new book.

When a book is bought back and then resold, the author receives no royalties, so a used copy of an author’s book would not benefit the author financially.

Florida Students Support Firing of Tenured Professor

(U-WIRE) TAMPA, Fla. – Tuesday night the University of South Florida Student Government senate voted to support President Judy Genshaft and the Board of Trustees’ recommendation to terminate tenured professor Sami Al-Arian by a 21-vote majority with 11 abstentions.

Last week, the Faculty Senate voted not to support Genshaft and her decision to fire Al-Arian, a computer science and engineering professor. The faculty union also voted to support Al-Arian in a legal battle for his job.

Genshaft went before the SG senate to detail the events leading up to the recommendation and her decision to terminate Al-Arian.

She first asked the senate members if they attended USF last semester. She then asked if, during that time, they had received phone calls from friends and family asking them what was going on at USF, referring to the attention brought to the university after Al-Arian appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” in September. The majority of the senate raised their hands to answer “yes” to the president’s question.

Genshaft said that throughout the show the bottom of the screen was blinking “USF – a hotbed for terrorism,” and the following day, the university received hundreds of e-mails and some death threats to the computer science office building.

“At that point, I thought for his safety and for the safety of others, he should be put on leave with pay,” she said of Al-Arian.

Genshaft also explained that even after the decision to put Al-Arian on paid leave, the university received a dozen or so more death threats and thought it would be better for Al-Arian to remain off campus.

Genshaft said she thought things would calm down, but they have not.

“There was more disruption, and he violated the collective bargaining agreement,” she said.

Genshaft explained that the collective bargaining agreement, as it is stated in the State University Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 16 as “employee’s activities which fall outside the scope of employment shall constitute misconduct only if such activities adversely affect the legitimate interests of the university or board.”

So when Al-Arian didn’t separate himself from the university when speaking, Genshaft said he violated the agreement.

“I am worried about the students, staff and the visitors on campus, and I will not wait for someone to be harmed or killed to take action,” she said.

Genshaft then said she followed through with the BOT’s recommendation to terminate Al-Arian because she felt the situation was taking up too much of the university’s resources.

Student Government President Criticizes Salary Report

(U-WIRE) BOSTON – Northeastern University Student Government Association president Erin Dayharsh feels that she is being nickled and dimed after receiving the dubious honor of being named the highest paid student leader in the country.

Dayharsh was named the highest paid student leader in the fall 2001 issue of Student Leader Magazine.

According to a survey of 395 colleges and universities, Dayharsh receives $24,888.95 in stipends, tuition and food vouchers. The total benefits is $4,408 more than the student government head of arquette University, the second-highest in the survey.

Dayharsh disagreed with the report that she was the highest paid in the country.

“I don’t know what he based the survey on,” she said. “I think it could be applied to student leaders or student government leaders, it is open to interpretation.”

The survey is based on 395 colleges and universities interviewed by W.H. Butch Oxendine, Jr. the publisher and editor in chief of Student Leader Magazine. Of those schools, 155 are private institutions.

Oxendine confirmed and defended the reputation of the magazine and the survey.

“I have yet to find anyone paid higher,” Oxendine said. “I’ve done the survey for six years and it gets a lot of press from U.S. News and USA Today. You would think I would know of a higher paid leader.”

According to Dayharsh, the SGA president is expected to work 40 hours a week for a year. In return, she receives $600 a month, free tuition for eight credit hours ($4,312.50 per quarter) and food vouchers for 15 meals in the residence halls ($438.95 total).

Oxendine said he takes the survey seriously and supports his findings.

“For Student Leader, this is the highest visible project that is done,” he said. “I would hear from somebody if my numbers were wrong.”

The unique dynamic of Northeastern and its cooperative education program is also a factor in the amount that the president of SGA is paid. The president is required to work 40 hours a week and is restricted from the co-op program. While holding the position, the compensation is the president’s primary source of income.

Oxendine said that the survey creates a lot of controversy, and said Dayharsh was “embarrassed” about her salary.

“She’s been rather disagreeable throughout it,” Oxendine said. “She seems to reluctant to speak about it.”

Hay Bales Removed For Sledding

(U-WIRE) LOGAN, Utah – With the disappearance of the straw bales from the bottom of Old Main Hill, sledders are forced to take responsibility for their own actions, USU landscape manager Ellen Newell said.

“Person after person would sail down that hill and hit that concrete wall,” Craig Simper, member of the university counsel said. “[Not having bales] forces you to think about the options and the consequences.”

The decision to remove the bales – the first time USU has gone without some sort of safety precaution for sledders in decades – did not come easy.

From a legal standpoint, USU was beginning to look toward the possibly of liability from the school-sponsored bales, Simper said.

“This is a case of darned if you do, darned if you don’t,” he said.

Although Simper said no one has held USU responsible for injuries caused by the bales, he said some of the accidents were getting bad enough to make the university nervous about potential liability.

He said USU has posted signs on the hill, warning people that they use the hill at their own risk, but then they put up the bales.

In addition to the threat of hitting a frozen wall, Newell said snowboarders were taking the bales apart to make jumps, leaving metal wires poking out.

New `Pepper Escort’ Combines Devices To Ensure Student Safety

(U-WIRE) NORMAL, Ill. – When people remember the classic ’80s fantasy “Gremlins,” most think of the gremlins themselves, Gizmo the mogwai, or the little shop in Chinatown where Billy Peltzer’s dad bought the furry creature. But one of the coolest, more forgotten aspects is Billy’s dad’s invention, “The Bathroom Buddy.”

It combined several personal hygiene products into one “simple” device.

Well, maybe not so simple. The Bathroom Buddy never worked quite right and Mr. Peltzer didn’t fare too well at the inventor’s convention.

The Bathroom Buddy symbolizes the fate of many inventions that attempt to combine multiple items into one “simple” device – clever but not particularly effective.

There is, however, a new, more serious invention hoping to break the trend left by The Bathroom Buddy and other combination devices – the Pepper Escort.

In a nutshell, the Pepper Escort is a personal defense product that combines potent pepper spray, a high beam flashlight and a high pitched whistle.

Inventor Dan McClarin of McClarin Manufacturing, Inc. said, “the Pepper Escort provides an effective alternative to a firearm for personal protection.”

McClarin said he came up with the idea because he wanted a form of protection more effective than normal pepper spray for his wife and daughter.

Many in the southwestern area of the country, he said – particularly in New Mexico – are pro-firearm, but do not want to hurt or kill anybody if they do not have to.

“Women really like Pepper Escort,” McClarin said. “It allows them to not get mugged or assaulted and defend themselves without hurting someone.”

Pepper spray is nothing new and has been utilized by law enforcement and the general public for some time. The problem with conventional pepper spray devices, McClarin said, is that they are difficult to aim, inaccurate and hard to find in emergency situations.

“They can be effective, but if somebody is going to carry them, [that person] needs to be prepared to use them,” Gail Trimpe-Morrow, coordinator of sexual assault prevention and survivor services said. “If there is some hesitation, they could be put in more danger.”

McClarin said Pepper Escort has been specifically designed to make it easier for pepper spray to be used effectively.

“With Pepper Escort in their hands, people feel good they have something to protect themselves and they like the feeling of having a handgun without the bullets,” he said.

The stainless steel whistle is attached to the safety pin on the handle. To disengage the safety, the whistle must be pulled.

McClarin said the whistle is appropriate because people in an assault situation often find it difficult to scream for help. An extra loud whistle is an easy alternative.

Once the whistle is removed, the trigger that fires the pepper spray can be pulled. A small, 1.5- or 3-ounce cylinder filled with pepper spray is attached to the bottom end of the barrel.

U. Utah To Distribute Alcohol During Olympics

(U-WIRE) SALT LAKE CITY – Among the many Olympic changes – parking disruptions, giant cauldrons and building size banners – one comes in liquid form.

Alcohol will be served in the Union for “the first and last time,” Stayner Landward, dean of students said.

“I believe the attorney general said that under this special circumstance, alcohol can be served, even though this is an alcohol-free campus,” Landward said.

Because of this ruling, only certain entities can serve alcohol in the Union.

“Areas will be cordoned off or parties will be held in private rooms,” Whit Hollis, Union director said. “Parties serving alcohol will be Olympic related and separated from the university community. This isn’t a blanket policy.”

The point of serving alcohol is for the sake of international relations.

“We’re trying to be good neighbors … good Olympic hosts,” Hollis said.

Landward feels serving alcohol will make international guests feel more comfortable.

“It’s under the heading of being a gracious host to countries where alcohol is a traditional part of a meal,” he said.

Corporations and entities involved with the Olympics are limited to serving only beer and wine, but only in specific areas.

Alcohol will be served during the Olympic break, and for any other Olympics-related activity, Hollis said.

Although campus food services will serve the food and alcohol, the entity hosting the party will buy it, Landward said.

“The entities hosting the party can only serve alcohol in the room they rent, and they must purchase it,” he said.

Another factor playing into the serving of alcohol is the Olympic break.

“Students won’t be on campus during February, so there will be more separation from the campus community,” Hollis said.

Although the break will keep most students off campus, the Union will remain open.

“We will be completely open the whole time, and as far as I know, even when the campus is closed,” he said.

Although the Union will be open, and students can use the public areas of the building, Hollis warns against drinking on campus.

“Students are not allowed to drink in the Union … this is not a policy change, we’re just being good hosts,” he said.

U. Florida Students Rally For Gay Rights

(U-WIRE) GAINESVILLE, Fla. – “Shake it, grab it, swing it, hold it, squeeze it.”

The sign proudly displayed on Turlington Plaza was just one testament Tuesday afternoon to one of two days set aside to help University of Florida students break down social norms.

Guys were grasping the hands of men, while women held tight the hands of their female counterparts.

Same-Sex Hand-Holding Day, started by the Gator Gay-Straight Alliance two years ago, was created in hopes of overcoming the stigma attached to same-sex relationships.

Mike Malecki, one of the creators of the Gator Gay-Straight Alliance, said an overriding heterosexist view is believed to exist on campus.

“We are challenging the notion that gay people exist,” Malecki said. The group took to campus Tuesday to distribute fliers and pins to passersby.

The idea behind the day is to invite all people to participate in something they may have never done before.

Some took the initiative and grasped hands in support of the group’s efforts.

Malecki said he and many others are working together to eliminate discrimination toward homosexuality.

“That’s what we are crusading against,” he said.

Same-Sex Hand-Holding Day also was intended for straight people to experience a day in the lives of the gay community.

“The purpose of today is for people to feel what it’s like to be gay,” Malecki said. “It’s making it more comfortable for gay people and also letting the straight people know what it’s like to be in our society.”

Members of the Gator Gay-Straight Alliance said they were impressed by the impact they felt the event made.

“There is a lot more support this time around,” UF senior Steven Supitux said.

Yet people who openly disagree with the Gator Gay-Straight Alliance and their activities do exist, he said.

“It just makes me redouble my efforts within the organization,” Supitux said.

Arizona Mid-Eastern Students Re-Enroll After Sept. 11

(U-WIRE) TUCSON, Ariz. – Thirty-nine of the 68 Middle Eastern students who withdrew last semester from classes at the University of Arizona have re-enrolled for the spring, university spokeswoman Sharon Kha said.

The students, mostly from the United Arab Emirates, withdrew in mid-September due to fears and concerns about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Nasser Alnuaimi, president of the Muslim Students Association said.

“Another thing is that their families do not have the same picture of things over there,” he said.

Alnuaimi, a civil engineering graduate student, said many students’ families overseas do not think it is safe for the students to remain in the United States.

“I dropped my classes because my wife was very afraid,” said Jumaa Al-maskari, a mechanical engineering junior. “One of the reasons was anthrax. So I went home, and my family said I did not have to return.”

While Al-maskari said he never experienced any hostility from the students at the University of Arizona, he did not plan on returning until Imam Omar Shahin, director of the Islamic Center of Tucson, paid his family a visit in the UAE.

Shahin is now visiting with students in the UAE who withdrew and persuading them to return, Alnuaimi said.

“He is trying to convey that things are safe here for them to go to school. It really helps on the level of the parents, not just the level of the students,” Alnuaimi said. “He has a lot of weight when he goes over there and talks to them and reassures them, because he is a spiritual leader.”

Seventy-three students left UA last semester due to the Sept. 11 attacks, Kha said. Sixteen were U.S. citizens, 15 were called to active military duty and one was requested home by his parents.

Forty-four of those students reenrolled this semester.

Al-maskari said he is happy that the 39 Middle-Eastern students who re-enrolled took initiative to come back.

“I want to see the students finish their studies,” he said. “I don’t want to see them run away. Nothing is guaranteed in life; there is no 100 percent guarantee on safety because you don’t know what’s going to happen. But I want to see them finish what they’ve started.”

Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya