The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, October 22, 1998, Image 4

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    page 4- The Behrend College Beacon. Thursday, October 22, 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
District Justice not concerned
with student voters
Next year. District Justice Peter
Nakoski, is up for reelection. He is
currently serving his fourth six-year
term. Nakoski is infamous at Behrend
for being overly hard on students.
Students who have to appear before
him commonly get fines or sentences
close to the maximum allowed by law.
Also, Nakoski is currently under
investigation for making racially of
fensive comments during a justice
training session.
Nakoski can be hard on students
because he doesn’t have to worry
about winning their votes. The people
who vote for him aren’t the people
who have to worry about Nakoski giv
ing them uneccesarily harsh sen
tences. Students, who have very little
political power locally, have to take
what the judge gives them.
However, students do have the
potential to change this situation.
College students are allowed to vote
in the district that their college is in,
which means that we can vote
Nakoski out of office. The only way
we can do this is to register to vote in
Harborcreek. If the district justice
knew that his job security depended
in part on the votes of college stu-
Letter to the Editor
Wakeup call to America on hate crimes
Dear Editor:
On October 12th, students of the
University of Wyoming and the rest
of the world experienced a great trag
edy. Matthew Shepard, 21, died of
complications resulting from a brutal
assault. This would appear to be an
everyday crime here in America, but
it wasn’t. In this crime, hatred was
the gun and a person’s sexual orien
tation was the bullet.
Matthew Shepard, a gay student
from the University of Wyoming,
went out on Wednesday, October 7,
to a local campus hangout. There
Shepard met two men that led him
into believing that they were homo
sexuals, which was a ploy to lure
Shepard into their truck. The two
men, Russell A. Henderson, 21, and
Aaron J. Mckinney, 22, asked
Shepard to take a ride with them.
Shepard, obviously not suspecting the
torture that awaited him, agreed. Of
ficials say that the two men pistol
whipped Shepard while driving to an
isolated area outside of town. The two
stopped the truck, took Shepard out,
and tied him spread-eagle to a fence.
They proceeded to rob him of his
money, credit cards, shoes, and even
tually his life. They pistol whipped
him with the butt of a .357 magnum,
then left him there to die. Eighteen
hours later, a man found Shepard still
tied to the fence, gasping for life. He
was taken to Poudre Valley Hospital
in Fort Collins, Colorado. For four
days, Shepard lay in a coma. Doc
tors said that his skull was so badly
smashed that they couldn’t operate.
As a result of this atrocity, Presi
dent Clinton discussed the possibil
ity of imposing stronger federal hate
crime legislation with Congress. The
bill would include those targeted
based on sexual orientation, gender,
or disability. On the upside,
Pennsylvania’s Republican senator,
Arlen Specter, along with several
other senators, are co-sposoring this
bipartisan bill. Unfortunately, Con-
Editor in Chief
Anne Rajotte
Managing Editor
Ayodele Jones
Features Editor
Jon Stubbs
Sports Editor
Jason Snyder
Layout Editors
Mike Perkins
Rose Forrest
Advertising Managers
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.
dents, she or he couldn’t have an anti
student attitude.
As long as Justice Nakoski or any
other justice knows that their position
doesn’t depend on the support of a
particular group, such a college stu
dents, they will have no obligation or
motivation to quell any prejudices
they might have.
We encourage students to exercise
their voting power and make the situ
ation in Harborcreek more acceptable
for college students. If politicians
know that students are going to use
their right to vote, they will respect
the needs and wishes of those stu
gress probably won’t pass the bill be
fore the adjournment at this week’s
The senior analyst of a conserva
tive group called the Family Research
Council, Steven Schwalm, had this to
say about the murder of Matthew
Shepard: “The law should deal with
facts and acts and not attitudes. We
have great sorrow and regret that the
incident occurred. But to try and
blame pro-family or religious Ameri
cans because they oppose homosexual
activity is Orwellian.” First of all, no
one can sincerely express regret and
then suddenly turn around and look
for what's to blame in a tragedy like
this. Secondly, Mr. Schwalm’s stand
makes it seem that he is saying ho
mosexuals cannot be part of or are not
part of families, as if gay individuals
aren’t born of mothers and fathers.
Also, he seems to be expressing the
opinion that homosexuals can’t be
religious, that “pro-family” and reli
gious groups are and should be pitted
against gay individuals, and vice
versa. Mr. Schwalm’s provincial
statement is unfounded and, in many
cases, untrue.
It is difficult for me to handle that
fact that someone would have to die
to get a bill passed. I feel that society
has become reactive instead of pro
active. I’m saying that instead of pre
venting crimes before they happen,
Americans take action after the fact.
When it happens, it’s too late. You’ve
lost the battle because a person has
died, and no matter what bills are now
passed, the parents of Matthew
Shepard will never hear their son’s
beautiful voice again.
What is acceptable in this country
and what’s not is repulsive to me. The
president can engage in sexual rela
tions with a woman other than his
wife, but a gay man can’t even walk
into a bar. Is this acceptable to you?
No matter what your answer is, it
doesn’t give you the right to kill some
one. People are dying everyday be-
The Ordinary Colie
Homecoming participation
reflects choice of activities
Well it’s time once again to begin
the celebrations for another Behrend
Homecoming. Yeah. With many ac
tivities planned for the weekend, the
ordinary college student has to won
der if any of them are
tllv • h
actually worth going
to. Having gone
down (in the rain) ev
ery year (in the rain)
to experience home
coming at Penn State
Erie - The Behrend
College, or Penn State
Behrend, or Penn
State Erie, or Penn
State Behrend cam-
pus, or whatever this school decides
it wants to call itself, I’ve seen one
constant thing, aside from the rain, that
takes place every year: lack of student
Why is it that more on-campus resi
dents from our campus participate in
University Park homecoming activi
ties than in the ones that take place
for our special little weekend? Is it
because it rains every year? Maybe.
Is it perhaps due to the fact that an
Open House weekend is always
scheduled the same weekend of
Homecoming, and that there will be
no parking, and too much of a circus
to bother going down to see events that
take place? Could be. Or is it that a
majority of the events that go on are
Live From Guyana
Living with a roommaterequires respect
Think back to your high school
graduation day; you just received
your diploma and you’ re thinking of
the ways you are going to spend your
last summer at home before you go
away to college. You may get a sum
mer job, or just party and have fun
before you have to buckle down for
the upcoming semester. So the time
has come for you to get ready and
depart to a new world, and all of your
friends and family have a piece of
advice to give you. “Remember
your college years, they will be full
of memories of all the good times
you’ve had” or “don’t drink to
much” or “don’t mix your whites and
your reds,” but nobody warned you
about roommates
Living in a dorm, a suite or even
the apartments, students are forced
to live with people they’ve never
cause someone’s opinions or prefer
ences offend someone else. The vio
lence, hatred, and corruption that
flourish in the states is disillusioning
and disturbing to foreigners like my
self. America, this is your wake-up
Christian Darling
01 DUS
not really geared for current students,
or interesting enough to get student
I mean come on, unless someone is
really excited about AMCC cross
Yes, the BBQ and live music on Friday night will
draw many students down to the ski slope. Tradition
ally though, participation and student turnout at the
chariot race, carnival, and float parade is low. The
question is why do we keep on doing it?
country competition, who will be at
tending the award ceremony for top
athlete in that division? What ordi
nary college student really gives a
damn about some alumni soccer game.
Unless you’re a hardcore soccer fa
natic, or have a relative or friend play
ing in that game, why would anybody
realistically go see that game? Yes,
the BBQ and live music on Friday
night will draw many students down
to the ski slope. Traditionally though,
participation and student turnout at the
chariot race, carnival, and float parade
is low. The question is why do we
keep on doing it?
If the school wants to have special
events, that’s fine. Don’t have them
though just for visiting alumni and
known or probably would never care
to meet. Even if you do know your
roommates, living together may
cause a rift among already existing
friends. The sharing of basic facili
ties in small space provides the per
fect environment for conflict. Be
fore you know it, it’s two in the
morning and you are arguing over
closet space and how much space
your food takes up in the refrigera
tor. Is there anyway we could avoid
this disturbance of peace? I gave this
problem a lot of thought and I’ve fi
nally came up with a solution: RE
Respect is earned only if it given,
this basic principle of life was taught
in kindergarten; never take without
asking, respect other people’s prop
erty. Yet by the time we reach col
lege I guess most of us have forgot-
Glenn arrived t ~
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e Student
Letters to the editor
behrcoll2 @
parents of prospective high-school se
niors. The unfortunate result is that
parents and hopeful students see the
low student turnout at many home
coming events and are left to wonder
why on
come to our
homecoming, or really anything for
that matter. When he does come over,
like he did last week for the Council
of Fellows Ceremony, it’s for a short
time period and then he is gone like a
ninja in the night. I understand that
he is extremely busy and cannot make
it to every event or homecoming for
every campus, but shouldn’t he at least
try to make an occasional appearance.
When he is here, it’s like Zeus com
ing down from Mt. Olympus to mingle
amongst the mortals. His advance
staff acts like the entire campus is sup
posed to become weak in the knees at
the mere mention of his name, and
then crowd around when he appears.
Yeah, you might as well crowd
around, because you’ll never get to see
ten this simple fact. Instead, we al
low strangers to sleep in our
roommate’s bed, we gobble their
food and even have parties on Mon
day nights while they are studying
for an exam. Once these injustices
have been committed against us we
resort to guerrilla tactics, such as
defacing their property, labeling our
food and totally ignoring their pres
ence. Is it the dishes that have been
sitting for a week or is it the garbage
which hasn’t been emptied in four
days that really pushes your button?
Fed up, you begin to tell your room
mates how you exactly feel whether
they wish to hear it or not. Hope
fully it does not result in any physi
cal violence.
I wish that these uncomfortable
moments of life could be avoided,
but how? The roommate agreement
him the rest of your college career, so
you better get a good look when you
have the chance.
I know that students are contacted
and their opinions are taken into con
sideration when homecoming events
are planned, but maybe it’s time for a
campus wide survey to be conducted.
Looking back on what has taken place
in the past, one tends to think that new
and more exciting ideas would be
implemented to draw current students
to events and encourage them to par
ticipate. Perhaps new programs like
this year’s Battle of the Sexes and live
music from the Gathering Field will
result in higher student participation.
Unfortunately it looks for the most
part that we will be seeing the same
events taking place this coming week
end. This will result in poor partici
pation once again, and if the ordinary
college student wishes to partake in
the festivities, they will have to com
bat the annual rain showers which
continue to haunt Behrend homecom
ings. I guess it’s a good thing SPC is
showing Scream and Scream 2 in
Reed this weekend, because I don’t
own a raincoat, and don’t plan on get
ting wet.
back home.
rather dis-
fact is that
our own
Penn State
Greenbank is associate editor of The
Beacon. His column appears every 3
that all on-campus students fill out
in tile beginning of the year is a dis
tant memory by October, and by that
time many have had their first major
argument with their roommates. By
this time we are so far gone, that we
could care less about their wants or
needs. When you walk into your
“home,” you wish you were back in
your 8 a.m. class listening to your
teacher explain the forces of nature;
instead you are in the middle of a
war zone. Is there anyway to recap
ture the feeling of the first day, when
you first moved into your apartment
and all was well with the world? I
highly doubt it, but I just heard that
Ohio Hall has 64 single rooms, all
roommate free.
Jones is managing editor of The Bea
con. Her column appears every 3