The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, October 08, 1998, Image 4

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    page 4- The Behrend College Beacon - Thursday, October 8, 1998
The Behrend College Beacon
published weekly by the students of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
News Editor
Will Jordan
Photography Editor
Andrea Zaffino
Associate Editor
Mark Greenbank
Business Manager
Jaime Davis
Robert Speel
Jim O Loughlin
Postal Information: The Beacon is
published weekly by the students of
Penn State Erie, The Behrend
College; First Floor, The J. Elmer
Reed Union Building, Station Road,
Erie, PA 16563. The Beacon can be
reached by calling (814) 898-6488 or
(814) 898-6019 (FAX). ISSN 1071-
A view from the lighthouse
New Directors
to improve the
Dr. Roberta Salper, Director of the
School of Humanities and Social Sci
ences, recently resigned from her po
sition. Dr. Dean Baldwin is the in
terim Director of the School of Hu
manities and Social Sciences. How
ever this position will have to be filled
in the near future. Dr. Richard
Progelhof, the Director of the School
of Engineering and Engineering Tech
nology, will be retiring at the end of
the Spring semester.
Two directors out of the four
Schools at Behrend will be replaced
in the near future. What kind of
people do we want to fill these posi
tions? The appointment of the direc
tors should maintain Behrend’s high
quality standards while introducing
new and innovative ideas into their
schools. This in turn will benefit the
students by giving them the opportu
nity to experience a variety of sub
jects and classes that will inspire them
to attain their goals.
Case against
Microsoft should be
full and open inquiry
The following editorial appeared in
Monday’s Los Angeles Times:
District Judge Thomas Penfield
Jackson will begin presiding next week
over a trial intended to bring some law
and order to the Wild West of
The question before Jackson may
seem legalistic: Has Microsoft, as the
Justice Department and 20 state attor
neys general assert, engaged in a
“broad pattern of anti-competitive be
havior” since 1991? But Jackson’s
eventual answer will help resolve key
issues of the information Age, such as
whether Microsoft will be allowed to
charge a tariff for every financial trans
action conducted on the Internet.
The case against Bill Gates’ com
pany began with the Justice
Department’s charge last year that the
Redmond, Wash., software giant ille
gally pressured computer companies
and Internet providers to use its Inter
net Explorer browser instead of a ri
val browser called Netscape Naviga
tor. It has since expanded to include
new Justice Department evidence that
Microsoft might have exerted more
than pressure. For example, according
to the Justice Department, a 1991 e
mail message from Microsoft execu
tive David Cole endorses a plan to “put
competitors on a treadmill” by using a
computer bug that “would surely
crash” programs installed on a non-
Microsoft operating system.
Understandably, Microsoft is now
asking Jackson to limit the trial to the
original browser charges, but Jackson
should resist. The aim shouldn’t be to
gang up on Microsoft but rather to do
what all parties in the lawsuit say
they want: to focus the trial not on nar
row legalisms but on the larger ques
tion of how to ensure that competition
Editor in Chief
Anne Rajoite
Managing Editor
Ayodele Jones
Features Editor
Jon Stubbs
Sports Editor
Jason Snyder
Layout Editor
Mike Perkins
Rose Forrest
Advertising Manager
Erin Edinger
Carey Smith
Letter Policy: The Beacon
encourages letters to the editor.
Letters should include the address,
phone number, semester standing and
major of the writer. Writers can mail
their letters to
Letters must be received no later than
spm Tuesday for inclusion in that
week’s issue.
have potential
quality of
Behrend is very concerned with its
reputation and ratings. This gives
Behrend an opportunity to improve
both of these characteristics. The can
didates for these positions should be
selected with the students and the
College’s needs in mind. The new
directors have the opportunity to
move Behrend forward and make sure
that it is an ever improving school.
The new ideas and knowledge that
carefully selected directors could
bring has the potential to greatly im
prove the quality of education of Be
hrend students.
The public interest and Microsoft’s
self-interest are not necessarily at odds.
After all, if Microsoft loses on any one
of the dozen or so charges against it,
that could set off a flurry of lawsuits
against the company, thereby depress
ing its stock, which has been a blue
chip bulwark in today’s volatile mar
What’s key is that the trial be open
and impartial, which is why the Cir
cuit Court of Appeals should not ac
cede to Microsoft’s request that Gates’
three-day-long deposition, recorded on
videotape in August, be kept private.
Since 1913, federal law has man
dated that pretrial testimony be “open
to the public as freely as are trials in
open court.” That law is especially
relevant here, for Gates’ testimony pro
vides key evidence of what’s really
being assessed by the court: his way
of doing business, which, by imbuing
Microsoft’s culture, sets the tone for
much of the information industry.
The best measure of the trial’s suc
cess will be whether it inspires
Microsoft to show more respect for
customers and competitors than it has
in the past. The Justice Department’s
most compelling argument is that by
eliminating competitors, Microsoft has
undermined innovation. For instance,
the company’s signature product,
Microsoft Word, does not allow users
to perform one of the most basic of all
word processing tasks: searching a
document for more than a single word
or phrase at a time. That’s an aston
ishing omission for a product used by
more than 70 million people and one
that would have never happened had
Microsoft focused less on silencing its
competitors and more on listening to
its customers.
The Lobster and the music to the dance oflij
Don’t complain about dead whales
I consider myself an environmen
talist. I believe that we as a species
need to do anything in our power to
prevent species from going extinct
and to stop polluting the only world
in which we can live. However I
can’t understand the radical environ
mentalists who are trying to stop a
tribal whale hunt in the state of
The Makah tribe has lived in
Northwest Washington state for two
thousand years and throughout that
time hunting whales has been an im
portant part of their culture. Eighty
years ago they were forced to stop
hunting whales by the federal gov
ernment, but were recently given
permission to revive their old ways.
Immediately a swarm of protection-
ists have descended to the area with
the intent on stopping the hunt.
These environmentalists have
brought dozens of boats and a min
iature submarines that they intend to
use to scare away the whales. I can’t
he Critic
Student run radio would be advantage
The other night, I was listening to
Gannon's college radio station,
WENG FM 89.9. The student DJs,
Burt and Brian, were making a few
comments about other college cam
puses in the Erie area. Penn State-
Behrend was mentioned a few times,
but nothing overly offensive was said
about our school. But suppose they
were being critical about Behrend.
How would we defend our fine cam
pus? The only major media outlet
comprised of mostly students is this
here paper.
The Beacon does its job by inform
ing the students and faculty that are
contained within the confines of the
campus, but fails to reach the other
citizens of Erie. Trying to distribute
the Beacon to the entire city of Erie
would prove impractical. However,
there is one way the students of Be
hrend could be finally visible to the
public. That being the same way
Gannon is reaching the people of
Erie: a student radio station.
Now it is true, we have WPSE,
Penn State-Behrend's financial and
news station, which is all well and
good in itself. But this does nothing
to provide a dialogue between
Behrend's students and the commu-
Letters to the Editor
understand why they won’t let the
Makah hunt like they have been for
thousands of years.
The tribe hunts the California Grey
Whale, which was removed from the
endangered species list in 1993.
There are over 22,000 of these
whales in existence. According to a
global treaty the United States is al
lowed to kill twenty whales over the
next 5 years. All those whales are
allotted to the Makah. Twenty
whales out of more than twenty thou
sand isn’t that much, and the hunt is
of great cultural importance to this
tribe, who by the way were the only
tribe to protect their whaling rights
in treaty. Legally they have the right
to hunt them, so why can’t we let
I mean, isn’t it enough that we
came to this land, unleashed biologi
cal warfare among the Native Ameri
cans, continued to hunt them down,
slaughter them (Sand Creek, for ex
ample) and steal all their land. We
Behrend desperately needs to be
come noticed by the general popula
tion. Why should we care what the
residents of Erie and its neighboring
communities think of us? Here's
why; Do you think it’s a royal pain
in the ass to drive a half-mile down
Station road for a couple of Twinkies
or a pack of cigarettes, especially
when you consider the fact that
So I urge the student body to prove everybody wrong
about their theory of our apathy toward everything
and approach the administration about such a station.
you're probably going to lose your
parking space when you get back?
Once businesses realize that money
is to be made by constructing a much
needed convenience store within a
convenient walking distance, they
will eagerly comply.
Are you one of many students that
have decided that there is nothing
else to do but drink yourself into a
stupor on your nights off? You may
be right. But you can change that.
Behrend owns plenty of land for
have broken literally hundreds of
treaties since this country was
formed, so isn’t it about time that we
honored one?
The Makah are a small tribe with
a quota on the amount of whales they
can hunt. This isn’t a slaughter like
the pioneers did with the buffalo.
This is not a mass technologically
advanced hunt of the whales. All the
Makah are using is dugout canoes
with one steel harpoon and one gun.
The rest of them will use their tradi
tional wooden weapons. There is no
danger of the Makah hunting the
whales to the point of extinction.
I truly have nothing against the
whales, and don’t wish to see them
hunted down. However. I don’t think
that America can impose itself on the
culture of others. If the Makah were
doing something that could do irre
vocable harm to the world environ
ment, then we should interfere. Con
sidering though the scale that this
hunt is on, we should just stand back
which developers could construct
many different kinds of businesses,
from restaurants to various entertain
ment establishments. The college
needs a louder voice in the commu
nity and a student-run radio station
is the answer.
I can't find a downside to such an
organization. As mentioned, the stu
dents could voice their needs and
opinions to people who could pro-
vide solutions, the administration
could use the station as an effective
tool for communicating to students
as well as prospective students, and
Police and Safety could use it to tell
us where we're not allowed to park.
It is without a drawback.
I'm not sure how all students feel
about Erie radio, but I think it's pretty
awful. There are two main stations
that monopolize the radio waves in
Erie, that being STAR 104 and JET
102, which are mediocre at best.
and watch
I think the protestors that are com
plaining about the whale hunt are fo
cusing too much energy into a small
problem. I can’t stand it when all
these environmental groups spend so
much time, money and energy to
combat a nonexistent or small prob
lem. Stop worrying about controlled
hunts of deer, whales, or whatever
the animal. If you want to protect
the whales, why don’t you protest the
Japanese and Norwegian fleets who
kill hundreds if not thousands of
whales every single year? Try fo
cusing on a real problem, not an
imagined one. Why don’t you go try
to solve a real problem like defores
tation, the ozone layer, or polluted
water and air? Do something that
will make a difference.
Perkins is the layout editor for the
Beacon. His column appears every
three weeks.
Rocket 101 seems to be adequate, but
could be improved. The only stations
that I can look forward to listening
to are Energy 90 and some Canadian
station that you can get if you're in
the right place at the right time. So
Erie radio has room for improve
ment. A Behrend station could fill
that void.
So I urge the student body to prove
everybody wrong about their theory
of our apathy toward everything,
and approach the administration
about such a station. If we are bored
at Behrend, then it's our fault. With
enough pressure from the student
body, we can change things. Re
member: we are the University's
customers. We, in theory, at least,
decide where funds are allocated.
The key to change is communica
tion. The most efficient way to com
municate with the city is our own call
letters and numbers on the dial. That
or an infomercial on late-night pub
lic access. That might work too.
Stubbs is the features editor for the
Beacon. His column appears every
three weeks.