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October 23, 1986 - Image 35

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-23
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PHoTroS BY WILL w
Displaying the bands that tie: Loyal Ags can't buy their class rings until they complete 9
Agie re No Jok
Unique Texas A&M, long the butt of Lone Star
humor, builds a brainier reputation
T radition holds that sometime before on here people wouldn't understand."
Thanksgiving, the students of Texas Tradition holds the Aggies like a moth-
A&M University will begin building er's arms or a set of shackles-depending on
The Bonfire. Supervised by red-helmeted whom you ask. In a nation that homog-
seniors, the Aggies will top the 65-foot pyre enizes every commodity from hamburgers
with an outhouse built, as tradition dir- to houses, other colleges may sometimes
tates, by members of the Fightin' Texas seem the same. But 110-year-old A&M re-
AggieBand. OnNov. 25 itwillblaze,andthe mains, well, refreshingly different. Being
night will be filled with smoke and the different has its price, saddling the south-
whoops of a frenzied "yell practice." If the central Texas school over the years with an
outhouse survives past midnight, the Ag- oafish reputation. Now it is improving its
gies believe they will defeat the
archfoe University of Texas-
referred to by loyal Ags only
as "t.u." On Thanksgiving Day
the Aggie Band will enter the
stadium playing the "Aggie
War Hymn," and thousands
will sing along: "Hullabaloo,
Caneck!Caneck!" Every Agwill
stay on his feet throughout the"
entire game, as if ready to step
in for injured team members-
to be, as tradition demands, the
"12th man." Notes Jeff Davis,
commanding officer of Com-
panyK-2 of the Corps of Cadets:
"A lot of the stuff that goes
Corps curriculum: Mingling
(right), yell practice (inset)
44 NEWSWEEK ON CAMPUS

image, becoming a research
powerhouse worthy ofitssports
program. And, for all its tradi-
tionalism, A&M is also con-
fronting change, trying to forge
a better future by discarding
some of the more restrictive
trappingsofitspast.
How best to explain the Ag-
gies to the outside world? We
could eat at the Memorial Stu-
dent Center cafeteria, where
A&M's 36,561 hungry students
can pile a plate high with
chicken-fried steak and turnip
greens, orwecouldviewthe odd
architecture on the 5,142-acre
campus, which pits stately old
buildings and live oaks against
concrete-and-glasshulks.
One taco short: But the best way
to understand the Aggie gestalt
may be through the Aggie joke,
n OVERsEEK a Texas specialty that plays on
credits the students' old reputation for
being a taco short of a combina-
tion plate. "How can you tell if an Aggie has
been using your word processor?" asks one.
Answer: "There's white-out all over the
screen." No one knows better Aggie jokes
than one of the tribe: the jokes, like the
otherrituals, arepartofthe legacy.
ThesedaystheAggiesarebentonproving
the punch lines wrong. No longer the back-
water agricultural and mechanical college
that gave the school its nickname, A&M
now rightfully boasts of national superior-
ity in several areas, especially chemistry.
Its mammoth engineering, architecture

deduct the interest payments if the loan is
used for educational or medical expenses.
Therefore, tax counselor Kaye Farriter of
Coopers & Lybrand suggests that parents
may want to consider doing the borrowing
instead of their kids.
Many undergraduates still won't be
taxed, since even with aid packages they
don't have enough income to pay taxes.
Athletes and other full-scholarship stu-
dents, however, may face problems be-
cause their nontuition aid may push their
gross receipts over the $4,900 taxable-in-
come threshold. "It doesn't sound like a
very good deal," says Illinois right defen-
sive end Hon Bohm. His annual aid ride is
worth $4,956 for tuition and $4,072 for
room and board. Under the new law,
Bohm's nontuition aid would be added toj
his summer earnings of about $5,000. Hisj
gross income of $9,072 could therefore be
taxed at a 15 percent rate.
The tax law could seriously affect grad
students, who often work their way
through school. Although their tax bracket
may be lower, their aid and income-com-
bined with that of a spouse-may increase
their tax bill. Harvard economist Law-
rence Lindsey predicts that students will
be scared away from lower-paying but cru-
cial fields like college teaching in order to
make good on their debts.e We're going to
pay for it in the 1990is," he declares.
The new bill could also constrict the flow
of charitable donations. Appreciated prop-
erty such as stock or art-which accounts
for about 40 percent of all gifts-will now
be subject to a special minimum tax that
will penalize wealthy donors who may have
abused previous loopholes. Fund raisers
who deal with less-than-wealthy alumni
now fear that some graduates will have less
incentive to send in their modest but useful
checks every December. The lower tax
brackets will reduce the tax benefits of
charitable giving-and eliminate them for
those who do not itemize on their returns.
The worst-case scenarios predict a drop of
$1.2 billion in contributions from last
year's record $11.05 billion. So schools are
urging loyal alums to contribute in 1986
before the rules change.
In addition, the bill puts a $150 million
limit on the amount of tax-exempt bonds
that each private school can issue. Dubbed
"the Harvard provision" by some confer-
ees, this would affect only the two dozen
major research schools that exceed the cap.
Unless Congress writes in an exemption for
individual schools, those that want to
spend more would be forced to either delay
new projects or seek, more expensive fi-
nancing. Score one for the public Ivies: pub-
lic schools can still borrow tax-free under
the authority of a state.
CONNIE LESI i Ewith BR Ao RISINGER
intWashington, To ACYsiv soT Zi New Haenand
LAUReA ow ,E Yin Chmpaign

Hys looking for men who
are looking for a fight.
e's looking for young men willing "T ;--"
Hato dedicate their lives to fightin Father Bill Moorman, Director of Vocations
povrt, unerand .eigou 1The Trinitarians1
povety, hunger and religious P.O. Box 5719 Baltimore, MD 21208
intolerance. Tell me more about the Trinitarians.
And if that man sounds like you, 11
maybe you should become one of us. Name
We're the Trinitarian Fathers, an I Address_ _
800-year-old order of Catholic priests nty sate zip
and brothers dedicated to fighting 11
poverty and hunger, and freeing those ! 1 THE
imprisoned for their religious beliefs. . TRINITARIANS
Come uosn on the front lines. We :F O YY
can always use a few more good men. i IS E DB O
For more information, call us at------------------------
(301) 484-2250, or send for our free TheTrinitians.Jinus,and the
brochure. WOrldWill never the same.

OCTOBER 1986

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