The daily collegian. (University Park, Pa.) 1940-current, April 22, 1983, Image 7

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editorial opinion
Securing the rites of spring
Although the air may still be too cold for
the sun worshippers who usually mark the
coming of spring at the University, two
Penn State spring traditions are on the
horizon along with the problems that
often accompany thbm.
Both the Phi Psi 500, to be held this
weekend, and the Briarwood Bash, sched
uled for May 6, cannot escape the potential
difficulties that arise when hundreds of
people gather together especially when
they gather to drink alcohol. .
More of the trouble is usually caused by
the guests and spectators than by the actual
When it began nine years ago, the Briar
wood Bash was a celebratiOn for the people
who reside in the complex at 681-B Waupela
ni Drive. However, what started as a pri
vate party for residents has become an
event attended by hundreds of people.
Those hundreds have caused parking vio
lations, excessive noise, scattered litter and
; other havoc. And as in all events of this
type, enforcement of laws against against
serving alcohol to intoxicated or underaged
individuals is nearly impossible.
The Phi Psi 500 has been able to avoid
some of these same problems.
During the yearlong planning for the race,
Phi Kappa Psi fraternity received consider
-;: able input from the State College Police
Department because the race occurs on
borough streets.
- Noise is less of a problem for the race than
• for the bash because the Phi Psi is held
downtown during the afternoon. Also, that
• event's organizers clean the race route
immediately after the race, resulting in
;: streets often cleaner than before the race.
However, the Phi Psi has some unique
problems. Because some student marshals
treader opinl®n
Pifer support
Every spring, for the last 15 years, the Phi
:Kappa Psi fraternity has raised money fot a
',worthwhile charity through their philanthropy,
the Phi Psi 500. Once again it's time for this
special event, to be held tomorrow.
This year the proceeds will be given to the
,Association for Retarded Citizens, Centre Coun
ty, thus enabling them to start a comprehensive
jobs program for retarded adults.
We at ARC are most grateful to the brothers
of Phi Kappa Psi for their enthusiasm, untiring
`energy and hard work to help these retarded
Won't you all come out Saturday and support
:the 1983 Phi Psi 500. In turn, you will be giving
the retarded citizen a chance to succeed.
'Delbert McEwen, senior administrative officer,
Linda Hoffman, vice president ARC
'April 15
just rewards
Senator Haack: Boy, are our faces red. We
now see the folly of our ways.
4 4
USG members, all of whom either run for
theii office or volunteer for their job, entirely of
their own free will, obviously deserve at least a
Plus/minus grading more a minus than a plus
Among the informal gatherings of those
who discuss academics and the University,
somebody had an idea a seemingly bril
lant idea.
"Hey, while we're changing from terms to
semesters," the person must have begun,
"why not change the grading system too?"
Whose idea was it? No one really knows.
No one really cares. Only change seems
preferred by the privileged few who, in
informal circles, decide on the academic
future of this University.
? a ndopi
"A plus/minus grading system seems
more fair," the speaker continues. I could
just see some listeners nodding approvingly
without thinking.
"Besides, it's more accurate," would
state another individual, who is as misled as
he or she is opinionated.
Yes, once again the topic of changing the
grading system surfaces. Only problem is
that the idea is based more on opinion than
drink and get drunk during the race, they do
not adequately control the crowd. This year
members of the Total Alcohol Awareness
Program have worked with the marshals to
avoid the situation.
For them Briarwood Bash, though, the
complaints have increased and. some
were voiced at a recent State College Munic
ipal Council meeting. Because the event is
held on private property, it cannot be pro
hibited by the borough.
- But the police department could make it
difficult for the participants if the situation
gets out of hand.
Last year, the department gave 134 tick
ets for parking violations at the. bash. Offi
cers could also cite participants for
violations of noise, zoning and alcohol laws
and codes.
The department has been working with
Briarwood Bash Organizers this year to
increase awareness of the laws and codes
and to make parking arrangements. Also,
the organizers have agreed to limit publici
ty for the event.
Although fewer complaints have surfaced
about the Phi Psi, area business representa
tives have voiced concern about damage to
Saturday business, increasing the difficulty
organizers faced obtaining permits. There
fore, a broken window, a fight, or a serious
injury could endanger the future of the race.
The organizers of the events have done
their best to avoid straining the town and
gown relationship. But the chief responsibli
ty lies on the shoulders of each person who
participates in these and other rites of
The anonymity that.a crowd may offer is
no excuse for mayhem.
Don't destroy what many have worked so
diligently to provide and what thousands
should be,allowed to enjoy in the future. •
$9OO banquet for doing a job they volunteered to
But, why stop there? Let's have a $9OO ban
quets for all the people on campus who donate
blood, are big brothers/sisters, who dance for
charity and everyone else who willingly gives
up their time but are not in position to reward
themselves with a $9OO pat on the back. Boy, are
you right.
You work so hard for the students I guess we
owe you something. •
Bill Jacoby 9th-music education
Albert Strausser 6th-accounting
Former political mavericks
April 21
I'd like to address several of Larry Young's
comments concerning , black arid white life
styles here at Penn State.
First of all, I find it incredible that, Mr.
Young, as the director of the Paul Robeson
Cultural Center, can make such a prejudiced,
blanketed statement such as: "White students
assume the real world is like the University;
thus, they beleive, they cannot learn from other
- - -
Come off it, Mr. Young, where did you find the
basis for that sweeping generalization? Have
A plus/minus system is not a novice idea
to the University; nor is it the latest thing in
grading.-In fact, it was considered 20 years
But wait if it is such a good idea, then
why has it not been adopted?
The answer is simple. Research and ex
perimentation on grading systems have had
only negative results as far as plus/minus
systems go. The systems are no good; they
would not benefit students or faculty.
Twenty years ago, the topic of grading
accuracy and feasibility was more common
ly discussed, and it will pay to review some
basic thoughts and concepts.
In 1963, the University looked into the
grading systems of 540 other colleges
throughout the United States. It was then
the opinion that the simpler five grade
system of A, B, C, D and F was the best
available system.
A poll of 556 University students taken in
February 1963 showed that 57 percent of
those polled preferred the system, we still
have today.
Compare that to the recent poll in which a
slight majority of 251 students questioned
supported the plus/minus (suffix) system.
However, because only 251 of 34,000 students
were questioned in 1983 and 556 of 6,700 were
in 1963, it is likely the 1963 poll was more
representative of student opinions.
Because of the recent poll's results, the
you surveyed a majority of the white student
population to feel confident enough tb voice the
opinions of roughly thirty-four thousand white
Two facts assure me that this university is
like the real world: your asinine comments, and
the fact that more than two races compose Penn
State's population.
To blanketly say that white students believe
they cannot learn from other races is - total
nonsense. Mr. Young, just how many other
races do you interact with or learn from daily?
When• is • the last time you stepped into the
International Lounge in Kern and sociaized
with other races?
If one were to believe your narroVv-minded
comments, he or she would think that the only
two races at Penn State were black and white!
I teach a minimum of five differnt races daily
in my Intensive English course, and each term
these races are likely to change; therefore, I
find myself learning from other races daily
what about you? I recommend that you get off
the Pittsburgh bandwagon and take your
sweeping generalizations about. Penn State's
white student population with you.
And on what grounds can you tell the public
that white students don't step into the Cultural
Center because we "don't speak the same
• language we're afraid."
Until you've spent time in the Inteinational
issue may soon reach the floor of the Univer
sity Faculty Senate.
However, no faculty member or student
senator that I talked with has seriously
researched the potential effects and feasi
bility of adding the plus/minus suffixes
surely, though, they would find little evi
dence to support it.
Let me give a few hints on what they
would find and why the plus/minus system
' would be undesirable. ,
One likely effect would be a drop in the
overall grade point averages of the stu
Two years ago, Donald Neiser, Elizabeth
town College's registrar, did a study of 764
grades from 32 courses to determine how
GPAs would change when plus/minus suf
fixes were added. In , his report to the Dean
of Faculty and Academics \ Neiser con
cluded that "overall . . grades decreased
When applying the plus/minus suffixes to
the grades."
A similar study of 2,000 high school stu
dents by science teacher James L. Shannon
reported that:
"(1) 24.05 percent of the students in
creased their GPA; 49.10 percent decreased
their GPA; 26.85 percent remained un
"(2) the change in GPA was significant,
"(3) a student would have a greater
probability of lowering his GPA using a
'lO MY miuntok/ suoGer. I°,-*
Lounge and recognized that many other races
exist here at Penn State, then I suggest that you
keep your generalizations to yourself. ,
This university is representative of the real
world; we live in an international world, not a
world of white students vs. black students. Your
attitude and rhetoric are poor attempts at
promoting your caude, and you have now con
vinced at least one white student that a step into
the Paul Robeson Cultural Center would be a
waste of energy.
I'll continue learning from other cultures not
to possess these false generalizations you so
profoundly state.
Leigh Thompson, graduate-linguistics
April 15
West College Avenue it ain't pretty, but it's
Residents of 812 West:
Paul Bauerle, graduate-counselor education ,
Jane Devlin, 15th-architectural engineering
Doug Wrenn, 15th-achitectural engineering
Diane. Ellsworth, 14th-English and secondary
Jeannine Fisher, sth-architectural engineering
April 18
twelve point scale."
In my literature research,.l have found no
studies that showed the opposite effect: that
the overall GPA increased.
A general drop in GPAs can be expected,
but we first need to address a more basic
question: `lVould me lose any reliability in
grading by using a twelve point scale in
stead of a five point scale?"
Unfortunately, most discussion and re
search on grade reliability occurred prior to
the 19605; as Lanny 0. Soderberg, associate
professor of education at the University of
Rhode Island, suggests.
Soderberg aptly summarized the problem
of reliability by stating, "Too often the
criteria for grading are not comprehensive
enough to represent adequate sampling of
Soderberg's conclusions are similar to
what Edward Clark, professor emeritus of
Northwestern University, concluded in 1964.
According to Clark, it is a paradox that even
though "college grades are constantly used
in awarding prizes or in determining admis
sions to another college or graduate school,
and even in estimating acceptability for
employment, very little has been published
about the reliability of individual grade
point averages."
Penn State hosted the 58th annual meeting
of the American Psychological Association
in 1950. At that conference, Clark presented
a study of about 3,200 individual grading
records comparing the reliability of an eight
The. Daily Collegian
Friday, April 22
dathi,y Collegian
Friday, April 22, 1983
0190,Colleglan Inc.
Suzanne M. Cassidy
Judith Smith
Editor Business Manager
The Daily Collegian's editorial opin
ion is determined by its BOard of
Opinion, with 'the editor holding
final responsibility. Opinions
pressed on the editorial pages are
not necessarily those of The Daily
Collegian, Collegian Inc„or The
Pennsylvania State University.
Collegian Inc., publishers of The
Daily Collegian and related publica
tions, is a separate corporate insti
tution from Penn State. •
Letters Policy: The Daily Collegian
encourages comments on news
coverage, editorial policy and Uni
versity affairs. Letters should be
typewritten, double-spaced, sign'ed
by no more than two people and not
longer than 30 lines. Students' let
ters should include the term, major
and campus of the writer. Letters
from alumni should include the
major and year of graduation of the
writer. All writers should provide
their address and phone number for
verification of the letter.
point systein with a five point system.
He concluded that "apparently the grades
as a whole were so unreliable that little was
lost by changing to a five step system.'.',;
The way college grades are issued today
differs greatly from the way they were
issued 40, 50 or 60 years ago. According to
Francis Stroup, who taught physical educa
tion at Northern Illinois University, in the
'3os North Texas State College would hold
faculty sessions to decide borderline grades
of individual students. (Could you imagine
that happening now?)
These same academic communities,
which had more inforMation on which to
base an individual grade, 'recognized the
difficulty in estimating' grades. "Why at
tempt to express in grades a precision that
cannot be measured?" they reasoned.
Today, with larger, class'sizes, we have
less information on which• to base grades. So
then, why should we try to-express a preci
sion that cannot be measured?
Considering that using a plus/minus sys
. tem would cause more hassle for professors
it will triple the amount of borderline
cases and considering that it would lower
most students' GPAs with no proof of better
reliability, why should we adopted it? '
The idea of using plushninus suffixes
should remain as it now stands an idea.
Erik Randolph is an 11th-terms political
science major and a columnist for The Daily
reader opinion '
Business, as usual
"The main question is, can we trust the Soviet Union?"
Carol Frank, "Nuclear freeze too risky for now" (April
Can we trust the USSR? Can we trust the United States?
The answer to both questions is NO.
The fact is that Mr. Reagan and all other recent
presidents have been aced with stiff pressure from the
Military-Industrial complex. The issue is money, money,
money, not winning an arms race or nuclear war (both of
which are impossible)
Our government knows that the Soviets are as afraid of
a nuclear war as we are. They also know that an arms
race is a drain on.their economy. For the United States an
arms race is a great boon for industry's profits. It is in
industry's best interest to continue and even propagate the
arms race, while the Soviets can only gain by stopping the
I'm sick of hearing about "windows of vulnerability"
and "Soviet nuclear superiority." If either of these things
were true and the Soviets had any intention of starting a
war with us, I wouldn't be alive right now to write this.
If the Soviets are so superior, why don't they march into
Europe, take over the Middle East, destroy China and
blow us off the face of the earth? What is stopping them?
They have nuclear superiority, don't they? Their only
interest is destroying the "ever law-abiding"' United
States, isn't it? ,
Just because the United States is a representative
democracy and the Soviet Union is a totalitarian
dictatorship we can't assume that we, the United States,
won't ever do anything bad
Take off your rose-Colored glasses, Carol, and take a
minute to look up from your apple pie, baseball, home
sweet home, mom and the old red, white and blue to see
the true nature of our world. The United States is not
holier than thou. It is not even close.
Quentin Davis 3rd-film
April 21,
Eastern Collegiate Cycling Championships
• April 30th, 1983
• . Start-Finish on Park Road near Jeffrey Field
Win A TREK 560 Bicycle
Retail Value $420
. Tickets available at Station Cycles and the Ski Station. Donation $1
See the team at the Ski Station on Saturday
4 1 5 4;
Race sponsored by
F a I LIE En MAIM@ N S , New 4
• • Alik•
. .
Mon-Thurs - 4:3opm to 1:00am
Fri4:3opm to 2:ooam
Sat - 11:00am to 2:ooam
11:00am to 1:00am
% ( \ its4l., •\\ ,•1%,
Innocent humor
"Port of call Sea of Japan! Drn-drn-drn-drn, drn-drn
drn, drn-drn-drn!" (Camouflaged men, fatigues whipping
in the wind, storm into the trench and man their artillery.
A bazooka fires! Four hundred yards away, a birdie
flutters to the ground and is handily swatted away!)
"Badminton it's not just a sport it's a quiche
eater's pasttime!"
Now, now, Quirt, let's-not be priggish! My lettermerely show my displeasure with recent modifications
within the Intramural program. It was not my intention to
malign badminton players, Bob Hope, or even laundry
ticket machines. •
A match such as you propose would prove nothing
except that , fact that , I haven't played badminton since I
was seven, when I played at a family picnic in Aunt Ruth's
backyard. (I wasn't a REAL kid!
I never realized, however, how enjoyable the belittling
of badminton can be! I think it has found its place between
crushing beer cans and ripping telephone books in half on
my list of things to do!
Being serious for a minute, if my feeble attempts at
humor have offended anyone out there, I sincerely apol
ogize. They were intended not for you, but for the enjoy
ment of those people who believe enough in themselves
and' what they do
,that they aren't antagonized by petty
jibes on the editorial page. A famous quote reads: "No one
can be intimidated without their own consent."
For the record, not only was I not a REAL kid, I'm not a
REAL man just a guy who wanted a theme for his
letter! I don't refer to girls as "chicks"; I enjoy listening
to Dan Fogelberg; and heaven forbid I even like'
In fact, according to the official book, REAL men don't
play handball either.
I enjoyed the book.
Bill Gross 9th-civil engineering
April 19
Missy Sider Peggy Hansen Toni Hau_set
Sue Reilly Mary Lynn Beth. Reichard
Betsy Parker Marla Lane enn Logue
Nancy Baffo Christina Gatehouse Kimberly Jo Pederson
Jacquelyn Benjamin Karen Lynam Carolyn Scott
Marcy Brohl Randi Martin Suzanne Tintner
Jil Elizabeth Callahan Kerry McCormick Lynn Wilhelm
Patricia Finnegan Kimberly Orth Laurie Zimmerman
, The Daily Collegian Friday, April 22, 1983-43