The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, December 03, 1998, Image 4

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    page 4- The Behrend College Beacon. Thursday, December 3, 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
Murk Greenbank
Business Manager
Jaime Davis
Robert Speel
Jim O ’Lt>u((hlin
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
Klan exercised first
amendment rights
Last week, the Ku Klux Klan held
a rally on the steps of the Erie County
Courthouse. There have been vary
ing opinions on how the citizens of
Erie and the press should handle this
event. Some people have also said
that a group like the KKK should not
be allowed to have a public rally.
The KKK is protected by the first
amendment the same way any other
citizen is protected. Their message
may be abhorrent to most people, but
their opinions deserve the same pro
tection as any other opinion.
Erie’s mayor encouraged both citi
zens and the press to ignore the rally
and instead participate in other activi
ties happening in the county. The
press should not be asked to ignore a
news event such as this rally. Cover
ing an event does not necessarily
mean that a newspaper supports the
group., It is .news happening in the
By lan Lang And Janies Griffith
Trinity College
The Trinity Tripod
In colleges around the country,
sports hold such a primary role in
school that athletes are no longer stu
dent-athletes. Instead, they are re
cruited players in a well-funded, over
exposed minor league system dis
guised as higher education.
In essence, this means that institu
tions, whose missions are supposed
to focus on education, accept and la
bel as a student-athlete folks who
have no interest in anything aca
demic, just to promote the athletic
The infiltration of sports over aca-
A freshman looks at college sex
By Alex Ross
Tulane University
The Tulane Hullabaloo
When asked to write an editorial
regarding sex, I balked, believing that
it occurred nightly and anyway, “who
wants to read a freshman write about
college sex? What does he know?”
Perhaps that mentality holds true,
but I figured I’d give this assignment
a shot anyway.
Hear me out. This editorial is how
I, an 18-year-old college-going Joe,
see college nightlife and how we -
college students, that is - regard sex.
Granted this is a biased view from a
white suburbia-bred boy from the
Rockies; I play golf, and my Mom
sports a minivan. But at least my writ
ing is open and honest.
So here goes.
Generally speaking, college stu
dents regard sex as play; nothing
more, nothing less. We’ve adopted a
permissive attitude and loose behav
ior that’s running rampant through
out society.
Years back the media hounded sev
eral gangs in California when they
Editor in Chief
Anne Rajoite
Managing Editor
Ayodele Jones
Features Editor
Jon Stubbs
Sports Editor
Layout Editors
Mike Perkins
Rose Forrest
Advertising Managers
Erin Eainger
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.
Erie area and the Erie newspapers
have a right and a responsibility the
cover it
It is hoped that the KKK did not
find enough support in the Erie area
to hold another rally in this city. It
was not supported nor appreciated by
the majority of the citizens. However,
no matter what popular opinion says,
the Ku Klux Klan should be allowed
to exercise their first amendment
to athletic success cheapens college experience
demies seeps all the way down to the
lowest rung of collegiate athletics.
Take a small school like Trinity for
example. Athletes here have little
chance of being good enough or get
ting enough exposure to play profes
sionally, but sports here still get em
phasized to the point of admitting
less-than qualified students and then
allowing them to slide academically.
What, then, is the point of having
varsity athletics? Proponents of Di
vision 111 athletics tend to emphasize
the bonding that sports bring to the
college community. A given team’s
success also influences the amount of
alumni donations and in so doing,
helps pay for less profitable, aca
demic endeavors, they say.
discovered gang members kept track
of the numbers the girls with whom
they’d had sex. Frightening yes, but
I’ll bet there’s hardly a frat house in
this nation that doesn’t do the same
thing - either officially or unofficially.
I hear frat boys at my school,
Tulane University, keep track of such
stats amid laughter and slaps on the
back. It’s a game, I tell you. Their
exploits have garnered them a repu
tation for proclivity in the sack, and
the blatant stories told of and by them
are campus legends. They have to
keep the myth - and the games - alive.
Don’t think fraternity boys are the
only ones guilty of this offense.
They’re actually no better or worse
than non-Greek guys and - horror of
horrors - women. We’re all equals, in
fact. I’ve seen the X’s (a smiley face
for the guy down the hall) on doors
signaling, “Don’t come in, I’m busy.”
Those doors open up to rooms inhab
ited by fraternity and sorority mem
bers, non-Greek men and women -
even resident assistants.
We’re growing up, but in a differ
ent world than our parents did. We
expect our college classmates to have
one-night stands. One girl I know gets
pissed because her roommate is re
ally loud when she’s having sex on
Jason Snyder
Carey Smith
One Flew Over the Albatross’ Nest
Background checks a necessary part of gun control
With the start of this year’s buck
season, a new law was enacted requir
ing background checks on prospec
tive buyers of rifles and shotguns.
Those selling guns are now required
to call the state police, who will run a
background check on anyone who
wishes to purchase a rifle.’ There are
similar laws in effect dealing with
other types of firearms.
Not unexpectedly, the new law an
gers many people. Many who oppose
this type of background check are
once again claiming their rights are
being violated. The National Rifle
Association (NRA), who claim to be
"freedom fighters” and protectors of
second amendment rights, are long
time opponents of measures such as
There is no logical reason for
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Though each of these arguments
has a minuscule amount of validity,
neither justifies the copious amounts
of money funneled into varsity ath
letic programs. If funding for varsity
sports were cut to the level that is
spent on club sports, the bonding as
pect would not be diminished, but
simply defocused. Athletic teams are
supposed to be extensions of our com
munity, and should be made up of stu
dents who enter college based on aca
demic merit, not on their ability to
kick a soccer ball.
By eliminating such things as ath
letic recruitment, the college admin
istrators could turn their attention to
recruiting the best and brightest stu
dents; students who would contribute
Friday nights - not because it’s with a
different guy each week.
Our parents would consider oui
concept of sex socially repugnant.
After all, we’ve turned sex into little
more than a recreational activity.
Laugh if you want, but this behav
ior has more impact than hurt feel
ings and regrets: Safe sex on college
campuses hovers only around 50%.
One in four college students has a
sexually transmitted disease. HIV, the
virus that causes AIDS, is predicted
to be the greatest killer of our gen
And it’s not only men who are mak
ing hushed trips to the doctor.
I was on a bus several weeks ago
with a Tulane sorority that was invent
ing little sing-song rhymes about each
of its rival sororities. In essence, those
women belittled their rivals for not
putting out, for having virgins in their
ranks and for not pleasing boys. A guy
sitting across the aisle from me
couldn’t help but smile when the girls
praised themselves for “swallowing.”
I smiled, too, but I felt hollow in
Many girls once held the belief that
virginity was sacred and honored, but
the percentage of those under 18 who
have engaged in intercourse or other
people to be opposed to background
checks, whether you are purchasing
a handgun or a rifle. With past inci
dents of children getting ahold of
their parents’ guns and bringing them
to school and killing students and
teachers, something has to be done
to control the sale of guns. Doing
background checks on gun buyers is
just one measure that should be used
to control firearms.
If it takes several days for a gun
for a background check, then people
should be made to wait. Anyone who
claims to need a gun immediately
probably needs to have a background
check, anyway. Gun advocate groups
have turned the right to bear arms into
such a frenzy that any reasonable
measure to ensure the safety of
American citizens is turned into a
to the intellectual environment that
the halls of higher education suppos
edly hold paramount.
Studies have shown that donation
rates rise in correspondence with the
success of sports teams, especially
football. However, one would hope
alumni are not so caught up in the
worth of the football team that they
give solely based on its success or
Joe Paterno, coach of the Penn
State Nittany Lions football team for
decades, recently gave more than one
million dollars to the school, not to
the Penn State athletic program, but
to the university’s library. If some
one whose life has been and still is
devoted to the sport of football rec
forms of sex has risen
unabashedly since the
’6os. Nowadays, the
numbers approximate
as such: Non-virgin
girls 70%. Non
virgin males 80%.
And those numbers
are still on the rise.
Former college
“stud” turned Chris
tian author, John Gray,
caught hold of a wave
of loose girls during
his school years and
laments in his article
“Romances with Wolves” that he
slept with so many women. He’s not
upset because of religion or health
issues as one might expect. No, Gray
says he’s upset because those women
are now “married to other men.”
“When I put myself in the shoes
of those men, I wish that I hadn’t
done what I’ve done,” he wrote. “In
fact, I might even like to punch my
self in the nose for it."
Chances are good that when Gray
does marry, his wife will have the
same regrets. Lots of women have
been around the block - several times.
I’ve seen the male eyes track girls
across the cafeteria - another little
direct attack on constitutional rights.
Wednesday’s Erie Morning News
reported that gun shops are losing
business because the computers that
the state police are using to make
background checks are having prob
lems and taking an excessive amount
of time to run the check. The owner
of one local gun store stated that he
lost a $l,OOO gun sale while waited
on a background check for another
customer. A person who intends to
buy $ 1,000 worth of guns and doesn’t
have the patience to wait for a back
ground check is precisely the reason
why these checks are so important.
Gun control is a tough issue in
America. The right to bear arms is
guaranteed in the constitution, but the
consequences of the availability of
firearms can be devastating. How
ognizes the importance of education,
shouldn’t people whose careers have
nothing to do with spoils give up re
living their glory days through people
young enough to be their children or
Critics of policies de-emphasizing
athletics will point to the fact that
such moves would inevitably alien
ate students and decrease enrollment.
Though this may be the case if only
one school was to approve such mea
sures, a more allied effort to elimi
nate varsity athletics would set those
schools apart from their counterparts.
No longer could one describe a
Williams or a Trinity as a jock school
where athletes happen to take classes.
Instead we would be viewed as aca-
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game with which we’re all familiar.
A friend once remarked when a
blonde in a mini-skirt strode past that
he “wouldn’t mind getting a piece of
that.” “She’s a bitch,” another friend
countered. The first guy shot back,
“It’s not like I’d have to talk to her.”
Heads nodded; no explanation
Even sexual assault, once a hideous
crime both socially and legally,
doesn’t hold the weight it previously
did. One survey of male college stu
dents reported that in 1984 almost 35
percent of respondents said they
would rape a woman if they knew
they wouldn’t be caught. That num
different would the outcome had been
in Jonesboro, Arkansas it the two
boys had not had access to guns'?
Edinboro had a similar tragedy last
spring. If that boy had not had ac
cess to a gun, it is possible that his
teacher might not have been killed.
Background checks can by no
means prevent all gun tragedies.
However, something must be done to
curb gun violence in the United
States. Background checks are just
part of a whole system that must be
enacted if we are going to prevent at
least some of the horrific crimes com
mitted with guns.
Rajotte is editor in chief of the Bea
con. Her column appeared every
three weeks.
demic institutions that provide an ath
letic outlet tor those students who are
interested in academics
We are not saying that sports are
useless or even unimportant. Rather,
that sports at American colleges are
generally given preeminence that is
drastically out of proportion with
their importance.
After all, sports are supposed to be
an extracurricular activity, not the
primary focus of one’s daily life. The
football team gets new uniforms with
regularity, and yet a university’s art
center can be a joke and its English
classes can be left to almost beg, bor
row and steal to make sure all of its
students get copies of important hand
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her shot up to 50 percent this year.
A college counselor at another
school told me a story about a girl
who was raped on that campus sev
eral months ago. She went to a bar
with friends, had maybe two beers
and woke up naked next to a strange
man. She was drugged no doubt, and
left the office assuring the wide-eyed
counselor that “she wouldn’t drink for
at least two or three weeks.” The
counselor told me no charges were
pressed in the rape.
The young woman went out on a
date the next Friday.