The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 69, No. 7, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 12, 1985 Page: 2 of 8
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The United States’ six-year effort to oust the Sandinista
government in Nicaragua has thus far yielded little result,
apart from the killing of thousands of innocent civilians
in that country. Still, the Reagan administration has not
budged one bit from its avowed intention to overthrow
the Sandinistas, who came to power in a 1979 revolution
that toppled the Somoza dictatorship.
Since 1979, the United States has been fighting an
indirect war in Nicaragua, providing support for a guerrilla
military force called the contras, who are battling the
Sandinista forces. So far, in six years of bloodshed and
destruction, the contras have failed in their objectives to
secure an area of land in the country on which to build
a permanent base. It is only by having such a base,
from which to carry out military operations, that the
contras can pose a real threat to the Sandinistas. The
land would also give them a permanent portion of the
country to occupy.
Reagan won a major victory for his Nicaraguan policy
when he gained congressional approval June 13 for
restoring contra aid. However, as the realities of the
bloody Nicaraguan conflict sink in, it is becoming clear
that the U.S. policy in Nicaragua is in need of a major
In addition to failing in their goals, the contra forces
are now in a state of disorder. One contra force, the
Misurasata, made up of Miskito Indians, has given up
its fight against the government, now that the Sandinistas
have allowed them to resettle in areas the war displaced
Another contra force, the ARDE, has now collapsed,
having been driven out of the country by Sandinista forces
The largest contra force, the Nicaraguan Democratic
Force, is in disarray. It is becoming apparent that only
direct U.S. military intervention to assist the contras will
enable them to achieve their objectives. This is not such
a farfetched possibility. Reagan has already clearly
announced his willingness to use U.S. forces, should
the need arise.
With the continuing failures of the contras, the United
States is approaching a crossroads in its policy in
Nicaragua. The longer that U.S. policy continues, the
greater the likelihood that the United States will be
obligated to use its military might to oust the Sandinistas.
While the U.S. debacle in Vietnam was a humiliating
experience for this country, it should have enlightened
this country about the dangers of getting militarily involved
in other nations’ wars. It has become apparent since
then that the United States cannot act as a “police force”
for the rest of the world. The United States should realize
that just because it might not ideologically agree with
the policies of another sovereign nation, that a disagree-
ment is no justification for overthrowing that country.
Moments like these make it worthwhile to be an
Tt started as any usual Tuesday night.
XVoices could be heard down the hall,
and stereos were softly playing. Things
were soon to change.
Suddenly, a scream was heard. At I
a m. in a dorm, screams aren’t a usual
occurrence (almost any other time they
are). In the past, as a resident. I would
have ignored the incident. However, 1
was obligated to check it out this time.
I was the RA.
I donned my bathrobe and glasses
and put on my “this better be good,
you got me out of bed” expression. I
really didn’t mind getting out of bed,
but I didn't want it to become a habit.
It wasn’t too hard to find out where
the scream had come from. Debbie was
out in the hall terrified of something.
“There’s a roach in my shower,”
she screamed. “All I wanted to do was
take a shower when 1 found it in there.”
As an RA I was taught the four “P’s”
of resident life: people, policies, parties
(how to give them and how to break
them up) and personal hygiene. Not
mine in particular, but how to confront
others about it. The RA manual even
gives instructions on how to control food
fights, but nowhere does it say anything
Roaches have never really bothered
me, but this one was different. It had
the two worst qualities a roach could
posess—it was huge and it was alive.
LUCKILY, SOMEBODY’S boy-
friend appeared and liberated the shower
of the roach. Unfortunately, he started
to chase the girls down the hall with
the creature. Doors were slamming and
girls were screaming.
After the roach was disposed of, I
had to calm the girls down. I managed
to get back to bed at 2 a.m.
During RA training this summer,
many of the new RAs wanted to know
what to expect from the job. Of course,
all the veterans told every horror story
in the book. Problems ranged from
angry parents to suicidal residents. Most
of the incidents were usual occurrences,
but they do happen.
After the session on how to handle
seriously depressed residents, one of my
new co-workers turned to me and asked.
“Everything is so negative, what do
you get out of the job?”
I really couldn’t give a direct answer
so I just explained that it wasn't all so
bad. They just prepare you for the worst.
The final test for new RAs was a
session called “Behind Closed Doors.”
The veteran RAs re-enacted common
situations RAs faced. The new RA had
to handle the situation as he saw fit.
The problems ranged from visitation
violations to an attempted suicide. You
didn’t know what you would find on
the other side of the door.
IT WAS FUNNY watching the new
ones solve the situation. Some would
enter the room and tear everything apart
looking for the hidden male while others
would call the hall director immediately.
I had to confront angry parents. I
thought. “Seriously, no parent would
really act that irate at such a stupid
1 was wrong. The first problem to
surface when the dorms opened was
dealing with an irate mother. She saw
the color of the room across the hall
and immediately wanted to move her
daughter into that room. Her reason—
“Wasn't it obvious that the paint in the
other room matched her daughter's
The halls opened and the RAs were
prepared for the worst. I had suddenly
become responsible for 60 girls.
The halls opened and I was bom-
barded with questions. “Where can we
get paint? Are boys allowed in the
rooms? What happens if Suzy’s room-
mate doesn't speak English?”
After a really hectic week, the same
new RA came up and asked again,
“What is it that you get out of this
job?” After dealing with parents all day.
1 couldn’t give her a good answer.
LAST NIGHT I heard a scream out
in the hall. 1 donned my bathrobe and
glasses and went to investigate.
“OK. what’s wrong?” I asked the
girls out in the hall.
“Nothing, we’re just celebrating,”
“I’m glad the Cowboys won, too,
but can you keep it down?”
“Oh, it’s not the Cowboys. We just
got our room changes and found out
that we’re still on your wing.” Then
they both reached over and gave me a
That is what I get out of the job.
Let's be careful out there
Episode shows that NT can he a dangerous place; policeman offers tips for safety around campus
By DEBRA MCGUIRE
Tt was going to be another ordinary trip
Xhome. Instead, it turned into a nightmare
and it could have been worse
One night this past weekend, a woman left
an apartment a couple of blocks away from
the NT campus and walked to her ear. Like
many of us do, she got in, shoved the key into
the ignition and started to close the door. But
there was a man standing there, gripping an
8-inch knife, blocking the door with his body.
Moments later, the woman was lying in the
back seat of her own car. her hands bound
behind her. We can only imagine what she was
thinking and feeling, plunged as she was. into
a hell that we would like to think could never
happen to any of us.
But we can know this about the woman She
was smart. She was brave. And she was lucky.
The car was a late-’70s model, long and sleek
with the kind of huge doors that reach almost
hallway past the back seat. These doors hap-
pened to have the windows down. Tied up,
and with her captor within grabbing distance,
she managed to poke her feet out the passenger
window and slide out, hitting Eagle Drive at
about 35 miles an hour.
SHE ESCAPED with some scrapes The man
who had seized her escaped as well, for the
time being, at least.
Last year was a safe one at NT, Detective
Chris Schnaithman of the NT police said. This
year so far. there have been two attempted sexual
In another case, he said, a guy offered a
woman a ride home from a fraternity party.
Instead, he took her out on a dark road and
tried to rape her She fought him off and got
The point is, even a serene college setting
like the NT campus can be dangerous.
NT, Schnaithman pointed out, is on a major
highway between two major cities. It’s a simple
matter for a passers-by to wander onto campus
and leave just as inconspicuously.
Also, the police say, they can’t screen every
person on campus. They can’t always be on
the spot at the moment we need help. They
can tell us a thousand times how to make
ourselves safer from attack, but it’s up to us to
We can’t make ourselves invincible from
assault. The apartment complex mentioned above
was new and well-lighted, an unlikely setting
for an assault attempt. But there arc steps we
can take, Schnaithman said.
IT JUST makes common sense, he said, to
not go out at night if you have a long way to
walk. NT police offer an escort service to and
from places on campus. The service is for men
and women. It’s free. And it’s there to be used.
Some other tips to staying safe arc:
Carry a whistle. They arc available through
the residence halls and can also be bought at
sporting goods stores
Be prepared to scream and make noise.
Attackers don’t want a lot of attention brought
to the situation When the woman mentioned
in the first incident above made her exit onto
Eagle Drive, she thwarted another capture by
screaming for help
Be adaptable to the situation. In some cases,
fighting and struggling might discourage an
attacker: in other situations, it might make
Learn some basic self-defense techniques for
the occasions when one of them might work
If nothing else, they might deter that feeling
of helplessness that paralyzes thought and action.
Be aware of your surroundings. Even on
campus, there are some dark areas at night,
Schnaithman said Try to avoid those areas.
Try to get a good description of the suspect.
Note hair and eye color, the type of hair—
straight or curly, short or long—and the person's
dress. Try to estimate the suspect’s age and
weight, if there are scars or tattoos, or if there
is a speech characteristic or some feature that
distinguishes that person.
Don’t focus on one characteristic, Schnaith-
“There were some bank robberies in Dallas
where the robber wore a clown nose. All the
witnesses could remember was that clown nose.
It completely distracted them from anything
else,” he said.
WHEN CONFRONTED, try to stay calm.
If assaulted, call the police. A lot of times,
rapes don’t get reported, the detective said,
because the victim fears the reaction of relatives
and friends. Men get raped, too, and often the
fear of being found out is even greater.
But it’s important that victims are not to
And, as they say, let’s be careful out there.
Looking back, a lot of things would be done differently
Tguess there's a lot of things we all
J-look back and regret about our child-
hood. No. I'm not talking about things
that you didn't have any control over
such as your name, parents, siblings. IQ.
etc. I refer to the “if onlys."
If only I hadn't always hidden under
the bed when my mother wanted to fix
my hair, maybe I wouldn't have grown
up hearing people exclaim. "My. what a
darling little boy!”
If only I hadn't forgotten to empty the
fish out of the aquarium when changing
the water It's hard to accept the fact that
you’re a murderer at the age of 7.
I never did have much luck with fish.
Or with rabbits, for that matter If only I
hadn't let that big black rabbit slip past
me when I opened the cage door to feed
him. He was at least a year old when he
was given to me. but he lasted less than
24 hours under my care. He made friends
easily. Our two dogs had a blast chasing
him around the yard, but alas, it was more
than his little rabbit's heart could take
We haven’t even gotten into my aca-
demic career yet. You know. I really
shouldn't have called that second-grade
boy such an awful name as “cow ma-
nure." Maybe we wouldn't have gotten
into a fight at recess. He deserved it, but
I don't think Dad was real pleased with
his ladylike little angel. I guess that's what
comes from all those years of defending
myself from big brother.
Speaking of big brother — we had
some. uh. interesting times.
If only I could have learned to handle
feelings of anger a little sooner. Instead,
whenever I got really mad and ran out of
cutdowns. I would take the little sister’s
last resort. Cry. This in turn would bring
the ultimate insult of “YOU BAYBEE.”
which usually drove me to retaliate with
a baseball bat, baton or any other handy
lethal weapon He was always bigger, so
I never really got to vent my anger on
his head, but it always seemed my timing
was poor. Here comes Mother down the
Actually, she could always tell he was
in no immediate danger since he was
usually laughing so hard it was all he could
do to muster the strength to take away
My older sister had the strategy. She
was bigger than Mark and could threaten
bodily harm, but with me, she messed
with my mind.
If only I hadn’t fallen for her “Peggy”
story. “You see,” Tawni would explain,
"Mark and I have blue eyes. Yours arc
brown. It's obvious that you’re adopted.”
Now for the good part, and please
remember I was 4 years old and wasn’t
used to dealing with con artists. She
convinced me that there was a sister that
my parents had to kick out in order to
make room for me. Her name was Peggy.
1 was told that Peggy didn't like me,
understandably, and if she found out that
I was being a brat, she'd come get me.
Years later I explained to my mother
that this was the reason I spent so much
time in the closet with my collection of
Disney records and my dolls. I sure didn’t
want to stir up any trouble with Peggy.
It seems, after growing up with Tawni.
that I would have learned not to be so
gullible. Some of us just never learn.
The following incident took place in
the Valley View gymnasium during my
sixth grade P.E. class.
We had a metal movable cage in which
we kept the basketballs, commonly referred
to as the basketball cage. In order to
prevent the use of the basketballs by
unauthorized persons, there was a lock
on the top. I was one of three girls in my
class who were still scrawny enough to
fit inside the cage. That's a high percentage
of scrawny considering we had only 11
If only I hadn't believed my devious
friends when they swore that, if I would
get in the cage, they would just take me
for a ride around our dressing room They
soon got bored with that and decided that
it would be fun to take me out on the
basketball court. Big mistake. I couldn't
get out due to the lock that one of my
ex-friends had secured, and who should
be right outside the door but THE school
nerd. Since he had no better judgment,
he pushed the cart out on the court toward
a group of kids. Basketball cages are not
equipped with brakes, so I quickly decided
to sacrifice my own life for the lives of
I tried to stop the contraption by sticking
my foot through the bottom which resulted
only in causing the cage to fall over. By
the instinct of self-preservation 1 put my
hand through to catch myself. Heavy metal
bars landing on a hand do not feel real
good, but at least someone found it in
his heart to let the little injured guinea
I was in rare form that day. If only I
hadn't decided that morning to wear my
birthstone ring which was too little for
my finger. Due to that slick move, my
P.E. coach and I were in the dressing
room for the next 30 minutes as he used
butter on my swelling hand to get the ring
off. That was loads of fun. I later found
out I had one broken finger, thus the
mention of sixth grade always brings back
images of trying to leam to write with
my left hand since the splint was on the
The only good thing about that day was
my little boyfriend We had been “going
together” for a whole week and I heard
that he was real worried. If only I hadn't
let that one get away. I didn't know how
good 1 had it.
Now we come to the cause of one of
my major weaknesses. If only I had never
I would have remained scrawny, but now
I m a hopeless choco-maniac.
If I could go back in time, there would
be countless things that I might change.
Just maybe, had I stuck with piano
lessons or dancing lessons or gymnastic
lessons, or some such. I could have even-
tually qualified as an expert I always
wanted to be in the Olympics, but only
every four years. Not exactly the drive
needed for Mary Lou Rcttondom.
Overall. I guess we all leam from our
mistakes, sometimes in spite of ourselves
Granted, some of us need a few more
mistakes than others to finally leam any-
thing. but all such trying experiences
produce “character. " I know Your parents
probably tried to convince you of that
The North Texas Daily russell roe, editor
SHAWN A QUINLAN,
Wmb*' o! /*#
North Texas State University oenton, Texas
Southwestern Journalism Congress
PACEMAKER 6 TIMES
ALL-AMERICAN 77 TIMES
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Today in History
1829-C harlcs Dudley Warner, a well-
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1907-—Louis MacNeice, poet and play-
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The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 69, No. 7, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 12, 1985, newspaper, September 12, 1985; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth723095/m1/2/: accessed January 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.