The Rambler (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 84, No. 2, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 6, 2000 Page: 3 of 6
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3 The Rambler September 6, 2(MX)
What do you think about Greek
life on campus?
"I think sorority life is beneficial for
some girls who need a place to fit in,
but it can be damaging too because
not everyone can be included."
"I think Greek life is unfairly non-
existent for African-American
students. We need to develop a
stronger understanding of why we
have Greek societies."
"1 think it's a very good thing to do.
Any forum that is created for people
to come together and share ideas has
to be lauded."
"I've heard people saying it's good,
it's sisterhood, but I've also heard
people say it costs hundreds of dollars
and it's not worth it. 1 don't really
"Right now I think it's satisfactory,
but I hope it will improve with the
introduction of new sororities and fra-
ternities on campus."
"Coming as 1 do from England, the
whole experience was something dif-
ferent for me. But they have good
functions and parties."
Photos by Melanie Manning
Founded in IVI7 as The Handout
Harold C. Jeffcoat, Publisher Dr. Marian Haber, Adviser
Shellv Wright, editor in chief A news editor
Martha Hrinker. managing editor, sports/photo editor Melanie Manning, copy/opinions editor-
Donna Honey, campim life anil entertainment editor hiura liexer, advertising manager
Rvan Ridgeway. business manager
Member of the Associated College Press and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association.
Opinions expressed in Ihe Humbler are those ot the individual author only and do not neces-
sarily reflect the views of the Texas Wesleyan community as a whole
letters to Ihe editor: The Rambler, a weekly publication, welcomes all letters. All submis-
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Address all correspondence to:
Texas Wesleyan University, The Rambler, 1201 Wesleyan St., Fort Worth, TX 76105.
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The facts or the truth: Which do you know?
Sit back and get comfortable. I
want to tell you the true story about
a Wesleyan student. As with most
parables, there is at least one lesson
to be learned.
year ago, this
student was dri-
ving to the
pus to turn in a
tinal paper for a
As the car was
police pulled the student over for an
expired inspection sticker.
The student produced the proof
of insurance and driver's license.
As the officer returned to his car to
write the ticket, the student grum-
bled under her breath about the
horrible way the day was going. It
was about to get worse!
Approximately 10 minutes
later, the police officer approached
the driver's window and advised the
student to step out of the car; that
there was an outstanding warrant
issued by Dallas County. The stu-
dent protested, "1 haven't stepped
foot in Dallas county in more than
five years." But that didn't matter.
The student was placed in
handcuffs, read the rights and trans-
ported to Tarrant County jail to
await transfer to Dallas County.
Fortunately, the only person from
Wesleyan who was witness to this
student's humiliation was the good
friend who was a passenger in the
The student was charged with
"theft by check" and spent the night
in jail until bail could be posted. A
month later, the court ordered resti-
tution be made on the check that had
been written in 1988.
This was quietly accomplished,
and only a handful of good friends
from Wesleyan ever knew anything
had happened. Even today, people
look at this student and, to my
knowledge, no one has attached a
label of "thief' or "criminal."
Robert Alicea, the Wesleyan
student arrested earlier this month,
was not as fortunate as the student in
my story. His past caught up with
him publicly, right here on campus.
Daily, since the semester began, I
have been asked questions about
who he was and what the "Irue"
facts of his story are. The only
answer I can give is, "I don't know."
Is there anyone here who really
As a reporter, I can supply you
with some of the facts, but is knowl-
edge of the facts necessarily the
same thing as knowledge of the
truth? I think it is too easy for peo-
ple to make snap judgments,
believing that facts will give the
They say, "Black is black and
white is white. Once a thief, always
a thief and if someone would lie to a
friend, that person will lie to any-
one, any time, anywhere." 1
recently lost a valued friendship due
in large part to that mentality.
When we are measured for
human virtue and decency, most
people will land on the scale some-
where between Mother Teresa and
Jeffrey Dahmer. For every black or
white fact, there exists a hundred
shades of circumstantial gray, each
with it's own nuance.
We may never know the true
story of Robert Alicea. I, for one
don't believe we are automatically
entitled to an explanation. I do know
he did some really positive things
while he was a member of our com-
He helped to revamp the
Student Ambassador program and
he was active in several organiza-
tions on campus. Whatever facts
have reared up from his past, the
good things that he accomplished
We all deserve the opportunity
to become better than we were.
Hopefully Robert's story has taught
us we must deal with our mistakes,
face them head on. If we fail in this
endeavor, we will eventually be
forced to confront the conse-
quences, just as Robert must do
As witnesses and participants in
the amazing possibility of change,
we should all learn to suspend judg-
ment until we know the black and
white of the facts as well as all the
grays of the surrounding circum-
We should do this for the bene-
fit of those we share this campus
with and for ourselves. We never
know when our past will come
knocking on our door. When it does
happen, will that knock be done pri-
vately or will it be done with the
entire world in the audience?
I would hope that your knowl-
edge of facts will be tempered with
a bit of compassion and perhaps
even some empathetic understand-
ing. You see, the student in my little
story? That was me.
I spent the night in Tarrant
County jail last year for a check I
had written for my 14 year-old son's
I could explain that I was mar-
ried at the time to a man who abused
drugs. I could beg you to momen-
tarily imagine the havoc drug abuse
creates on a family's financial stabil-
I could tell you I was ignorant
of the fact the warrant existed. I
could implore you to accept that I
barely recognize the woman who
signed her name to that check, that I
have changed in immeasurable
ways. These are things I am able to
ask of you because I am one of the
lucky ones. I am here and have the
chance to plead for your compas-
Right now. Robert Alicea can't
explain or beg for understanding.
Does he deserve it? I can't answer
In final analysis, it isn't for him
that we should offer to suspend our
judgments. It is for ourselves. It is
our best hope to establish the prece-
dents we may someday be measured
Is there anyone on this campus
who is willing to have every facet of
their personal life opened up for
scrutiny? At least for the moment,
unlike Robert Alicea, we have con-
trol of making that decision.
Are you absolutely certain you
will still have that same level of
control tomorrow or the next day?
How would you stand up to your
own standards of judgment?
Donna Haney is a senior
majoring in education and the
campus life and entertainment edi-
tor of The Rambler.
Thumbs up to Lisa Orlando and the other members of
ULTRA (Unlimited Loyalty to Rams Always) for the new
Alma Mater banner in the gym. Many students were probably
unaware that we even had an Alma Mater.
Thumbs up to the household staff for installing new
paper towel and toilet paper dispensers in the restrooms! Isn't
it amazing what a difference such a small thing can make?
Thumbs down to the person who is in charge of main-
taining campus soda and snack machines. We've been faced
with flashing "Sold Out" signs or machines that took our dol-
lar, but never gave us back the change. Who keeps the money
Thumbs down to the old student desks. If you are
above average height or above average weight, it is a humiliat-
ing experience to sit and then stand back up when class is
over. Dropping a pencil in the middle of class becomes a trau-
matic event. The classrooms in Dan Waggoner have tables
and chairs that are actually made to accommodate adults.
Thumbs up to the office of Student Life for the newly
reupholstered furniture and the two televisions in the quad
Thumbs up to Jim Anderson of the security staff. He
and his blue golf cart are just about the best ambassadors this
university has. He is quick to offer a ride to a student weight-
ed down with books and he always has a joke for the student
weighted down by life.
Thumbs up to Ram Camp volunteer, Robvn Heilig.
When several of the life guards who were scheduled to be
there were "no shows," Robyn gave up her swimming time so
that more freshman and counselors could swim.
Thumbs down to higher administration and staff for
not following Student Handbook procedures regarding reserv-
ing university facilities and then putting out the original
organization which had PROPERLY reserved it. The facilities
reservation procedure is meant for everyone in the university
hierarchy. (Submitted by A.Y.)
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Wright, Shelly. The Rambler (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 84, No. 2, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 6, 2000, newspaper, September 6, 2000; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth253232/m1/3/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Wesleyan University.