The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 60, No. 45, Ed. 1 Wednesday, November 17, 1976 Page: 2 of 6
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AGE 2—THE NORTH TEXAS DAILY
Wednesday, November 17, 1976
Code Question Flickers
This week Dr. Marvin H. Berkeley, one of six
university vice-presidents, is to begin an investiga-
tion to determine how safe campus buildings are
This investigation was ordered by President
C.C. Nolen in response to two Daily articles
(Sept. 15 and Nov. 4) and stories in other local
papers. The Daily stories cited several instances
where Denton's former Asst. Fire Marshal Alvin
Evans said some buildings violate fire and safety
These alledged violations gave rise to questions
such as: How safe are these buildings' occupants
in the event of fire? How effectively could a fire be
fought in these buildings under existing con-
Whatever the reasons behind the present situa-
tion of using outdated equipment or none at all in
certain areas of some of the older buildings, it is
hoped that Dr. Berkeley's study will reveal these
inadequacies and prompt action to improve them.
But there is another possible motivation behind
this investigation. As one Daily reader recently
called in to say, this investigation could be a
"smokescreen," a tactic that appears well in-
tended but accomplishes nothing.
The two Daily articles have shown that there is
definitely something to be done. More fire ex-
tinguishers are needed in the Auditorium
Building. Manual fire alarms are needed in all
buildings—including the multimillion-dollar
monument to campus unity—the University
Union. Weak water pipes in the firehose systems
need to be replaced.
If this investigation concludes that the buildings
are safe, that safety precautions are adequate,
then one can only think that the study was super-
ficial, or that the university simply does not want
to budget for these repairs and equipment addi-
But there is an agency that can see to it these
changes occur if the university won't. That agency
is the State Fire Marshal's office.
John Truitt, the campus fire, health and safety
inspector, was quoted in the Nov. 4 Daily article
as saying the university is subject to no code
guidelines. However, Wayne Dye, the assistant
state fire marshal, said an amendment to the
Texas Fire Escape Law states that if the city in
which the university is located recognizes a
national building code, that school must comply.
Denton uses the Uniform Building Code, a
national set of guidelines, which, according to
Evans, the university has violated.
Dye said if any questions still remain after the
investigation, all it will take to get an inspection
by the state fire marshal is one letter of complaint.
"We would work with the university on cor-
recting these problems," Dye said. "It's not un-
common for us to receive these requests from the
university presidents themselves."
The university has the opportunity to make
campus buildings safer. If it doesn't, perhaps the
State Fire Marshal's Office can.
'MWF' Letters Give
Ever since / have attended college I have run across
several articles, letters to the editor and the like that
have all dealt with the question of being gay. I have read
them enough, and I think it's time someone else told
about the other side.
I'm 21-years-old and have been involved in the gay life
since / was 17 or 18. Before I "came out" I often heard
or read secretly about what it meant to be a homosexual,
but, of course, you can never know until you experience
There are some things, though, that those books never
tell you. What about the loneliness or the sneers if
someone finds out? Or the fear that parents or special
friends will find out.
I know that the enlightened gay would quickly shoot a
rebuttal in my direction. I don't really care. I've had
I'll write again when I have the nerve. Whether you
like it or not, you're my place I can sound off
No Name. MWF
On Oct. 20, the letter above disrupted the seemingly
nonstop routine of my job. It was a total surprise and
a mystery. Was it for real? Was it a joke? And, either
way, what was its purpose?
I kept the puzzle to myself.
The next day, I received two more letters from
"MWF." One had been typed on a different
typewriter than the first letter. The back side of it was
covered with penned scrawlings—a brief indication
Campus Hampers Handicapped
Building Designs Cause Problems
By BOB GRACE and RUTHANNE BROCKWAY
The university recognizes that some campus
uildings are not accessible to handicapped students
id is working to correct the problem, according to
'r. James Rogers, director of university planning and
The problem in building design, Dr. Rogers said,
;s chiefly in the older buildings on campus.
In 1969, a new state law was enacted which set
iidelines for construction of public buildings for use
y handicapped persons.
THE NEW LAW, Art. 678g, Vernon's Annotated
exas Statutes, includes sections-that call for elevators
buildings, ramps that do not have slopes greater
ian a one-loot rise in 12 feet, doors that are easy to
icn and at least 32-inches-wide, and public
lephones that are accessible to the physically dis-
Dr. Rogers said that to his knowledge all buildings
jilt on campus since 1970 comply with the law since
e State Building Commission inspects the blueprints
:fore construction begins.
"We are intent on following the law," he said, "but
iat doesn't remove (all of) the barriers."
The problem is to recognize the barriers that exist in
e older buildings and obtain the necessary funds
om the legislature for
novation, Dr. Rogers
There is no elevator in
ie Auditorium Building
id similar barriers for
indicapped students ex-
t in the Psychology
uilding and "many of the converted dormitories," he
DR. ROGERS called the Speech and Drama
uilding "perhaps the least accessible building on
According to Mrs. Jo Prewitt in the office of
elbert C. Overstreet Jr., director of physical plant-
•neral services, 17 buildings on campus have
Installation of elevators in older campus buildings,
iwever, Dr. Rogers pointed out, would be expensive.
Barbara Jungjohan, chairman of the Handicap Ser-
ces Committee, said that it would cost $50,000 to in-
all two elevators in the Speech and Drama Building,
md that was at last year's prices!"
Consequently, Dr. Rogers explained, because of the
eat expense involved, the university is usually forced
remedy things that are easy to correct first until
nds have been appropriated for the more expensive
The university h-as applied to the legislature for
funds to renovate Marquis Hall and Terrill Hall, Dr.
The planning director said he is aware that more
ramps are needed between streets and curbs for
wheelchair students but said that better storm sewer
drainage is necessary before such ramps can be instal-
INSTALLATION OF ramps prior to solving the
drainage problem would only hamper drainage, he
Moreover, the City of Dallas has discovered that
some remedies will solve one problem but create
another. Dr. Rogers said. Though installation of
ramps between street and curb aid wheelchair
pedestrians, blind pedestrians sometimes wander from
the sidewalk into the street without knowing it, he
The ideal situation, Dr. Rogers said, would have all
thoroughfares through the campus closed to traffic.
This would promote the safety of not only the blind,
but all students.
Thus far, the Board of Regents has voted to close
only West Prairie and Avenue D and studied the
feasibility of closing Avenue C.
Dr. Rogers does feel, however, that progress has
been made in providing handicapped parking areas
and that the other problems will eventually be solved.
In the meantime, ar-
Finding out what is on a menu and opening his post
office box can be challenges.
"Sometimes it's hard to find out what's for lunch
when I come over here (University Union)," he said.
"And some of the post office boxes are hard to open. I
need someone to help me open mine."
Of the 168 handicapped students at NTSU,
however, only 33 have asked the university through
"Handicapped students on
this campus need to
become more assertive."
The North Texas Daily welcomes and will
print all letters from readers. ALL letters must
be signed and must include the writer's address.
Because of limited space, letters should not ex-
ceed 200 words. The Daily retains the right to
edit, if necessary, for length and for libelous
or obscene material.
chitects of current NTSU
construction have toured
the campus with handi-
capped students to get a
better understanding of
problems of the handi-
capped, Dr. Rogers said.
Dallas junior Terry
Tooey, a wheelchair student, and Dallas sophomore
Pat Canty, a blind student, agree that much of the
NTSU campus was not designed with the handicapped
student in mind.
Lack of elevators in buildings is Tooey's biggest
problem, he said.
"Phones are a problem by the fact that they're so
high," Tooey said. "If they were lower, it would be a
Both Tooey and Canty occasionally have trouble
opening heavy doors.
"I've noticed it in the newer buildings," Tooey said.
"The strangest one is getting into the Health Center—
there's also a hump in the doorway itself."
Steep ramps are also a problem for Tooey.
"The ramps in the Education Building are like Mt.
Everest going up and the Indianapolis Speedway go-
ing down," he said. A nonskid surface on ramps
would be helpful, Tooey said.
Getting a drink from a water fountain that is too
high is also difficult, he said.
CANTY SAID the blind student's biggest problem
is obstacles on sidewalks.
He sometimes unsuspectingly walks into bicycle
racks, trash cans and telephone and street light poles,
Canty said. The blind have difficulty operating
vending machines since selections are not marked in
Since streets run through the campus, the blind stu-
dent must often cross streets to get to a class. When
traffic is heavy, this can be a nerve-racking experience,
The new handicap awareness insignia will be
placed on campus to make the university com-
munity more aware of the problems of handicap-
ped students and their needs.
the dean of students office for any form of help.
Tooey, who was instrumental in getting a handicap-
ped parking section at Texas Stadium, thinks han-
dicapped students must change.
"Handicapped students on this campus need to
become more assertive," he said.
Mrs. Jungjohan said, however, that many handicap-
ped students do not feel that they have the right to ask
for special facilities.
THE NORTH TEXAS Rehabilitation Association
(NTRA) tried to get handicapped students to organize
last spring, she said, but only two students were in-
Mrs. Jungjohan felt that handicapped students
would benefit from forming an organization in which
they could share their experiences.
But they don't want to do anything that would draw
attention to themselves, she said. They just want to be
as inconspicuous as possible.
At present, the Office of the Dean of Students in
Room 319 of the Union provides a handbook for han-
dicapped students which outlines the university ser-
Some of the services include assistance to and from
class, keys to elevators in campus buildings, readers
for the blind, registration assistance, help with tran-
sportation needs and providing special maps which
show parking areas for the handicapped, curb ramps
and sidewalk travel routes.
Although a handicapped student like Tooey realizes
that he sometimes needs assistance, he is grateful for
"I want to express a word of praise for students who
ask 'Can I help you?,'" Tooey said.
that a cassette recording was on the way, an old Aggie
THE TYPED section took the words out of my
mouth. It read: "Are you surprised to get another let-
ter so soon? I'm kind of surprised myself. This doesn't
fit my style at all."
I hadn't developed a style for receiving letters from
strangers. But the rest of the letter fascinated me.
MWF said he does not fit the gay stereotype, saying
that no one suspects him of being a gay except for
those who already know.
"To begin with," MWF wrote in his mockery of the
gay stereotype, "I have about a 3.7 or 3.8 GPA. Are
you impressed? I didn't think you would be. 1 also am
interested in tennis and football, along with other
sports. The only kind of sports gays are supposed to
be interested in are indoor."
His humor disappeared without any indication of
his thought transition. MWF said there is no such
thing as a well-adjusted homosexual. He said he had
considered killing himself. But he can't give up his
He talked about insecurity and marriage for
security's sake. Then he cut the letter short.
THE NEXT day I received another letter, this one
addressed to "Terry" instead of "Editor." The "per-
sonalized" letter was a sequel to the last one, a
detailed look at the insecurity that plagues the gays
who make the Dallas "cruise scene,"
He listed Main and Houston in Fort Worth and
Oaklawn in Dallas as the places to drag. With enough
cruising, MWF wrote, the gay develops a sixth sense
for knowing who is gay and who isn't.
". . .but I want to tell you about. . .the park. There
is a park in Dallas (any self-respecting gay will know
what it is) where gay sex is a fairly easy thing to come
by," he wrote. "Depending on how aggressive you
tend to be, you can pick guys up without really killing
yourself or wasting gas like you do when you cruise."
He continued, describing what kind of dress does
the trick and what to say when approached by an at-
tractive or unattractive prospect.
After a page-and-a-half of dry, sardonic descrip-
tion, he closed with: "Don't tell me about the well-
A handicap awareness insignia soon will be used on
campus to designate barriers to handicapped students,
Barbara Jungjohan, chairman of the Handicap Ser-
vices Committee, said.
The insignia, which is an abstract figure in a
wheelchair with a black-starred background, was
designed by Dan Collinsworth, university architect,
Mrs. Jungjohan said.
The emblem will be placed on any item or area on
campus that might be a problem or a hazard for a
sight-impaired, hearing-impaired or nonambilatory
person, she said.
The emblem will be placed on such items as heavy
doors, vending machines, bike racks, restrooms and
The reason for putting the insignia on various items
and areas around campus is to make the university
community more aware of the problems of a han-
dicapped student, Mrs. Jungjohan said.
"This is not for the handicapped student at all," she
said, "they already know where these things are."
Mrs. Jungjohan said she hopes that students will
not only become more aware of these problems but
will be more willing to help a student in need.
The emblem was scheduled to be placed around
The North Texas Daily
North Texas State University
Printed by the North Texas State University Printing Office
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\ TERRY PAIR, editor
TOMMY NEEF, business manager
The North Texas Dally, student newspaper of North Texas State Uni-
versity. is published dally. Tuesday through Friday, during the long
terms, September through May and weekly (every Thursday) during the
summer session. June through August except during review and ex-
amination periods and school vacations,
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but reserves the right to edit when necessary Letters must be signed
Mail to: Box 5297, NT Station
SUBSCRIPTION RATE—$10 annually or $5 per long semester and $2
Represented by National Educational Advertising Services
hditoriul Statements of The North Texas Daily and reader's letters rcflee 1
ihe opinion of the individual writer and not necessarily that of the Daily,
ils adviser or the North Texas State University Administration
Bo, 5287, NT Simon, Denton. Te«« 76203 Telephone 788 2353 or 788 2406
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Pair, Terry. The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 60, No. 45, Ed. 1 Wednesday, November 17, 1976, newspaper, November 17, 1976; Denton, TX. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth332367/m1/2/: accessed December 2, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.