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Serving the students and the University community since 1893
Volume 97, Issue 43
Wednesday, September 6, 1989
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
BusinessAdvertising 962-1 1 63
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By AMY WAJDA
Assistant University Editor
A fire in the basement of Venable
Hall Tuesday afternoon prompted an
evacuation of that building and the
adjacent Kenan Chemistry Labs,
blocked off South Road from the Bell
Tower to Columbia Street and required
removing explosive chemicals from the
The Chapel Hill Fire Department
received a call reporting smoke in
Venable at 1 2:20 p.m., said Chapel Hill
Fire Marshal Joe Robertson. Three fire
engines responded, and Orange County
and UNC HAZMAT (hazardous mate
rials) crews and Chapel Hill and Uni
versity police were also at the scene.
The fire was extinguished at 2:10 p.m.
with dry chemical extinguishers.
Another fire started in a wooden
window frame in the room at 3:53 p.m.
but was extinguished in minutes.
No one was injured during the evacu
ation or the clean-up, and the cause of
the fire is still unknown, Robertson
The fire occurred in Room B34, in
the far southwest corner of Venable.
The UNC Health and Safety Office
uses the room to package hazardous
and radioactive chemicals before dis
posal. The fire was confined to one of two
shelves in the center of the room. Half
of one shelf was destroyed, and the
other half had magnesium solids on it,
Robertson said. The clean-up of spilled
By JENNY CLONINGER
A bill proposing a fall referendum to
reconsider an increase of student ac
tivities fees to fund the proposed Stu
dent Recreation Center (SRC) was sent
with an unfavorable recommendation
to Student Congress by the Rules and
Judiciary Committee of Student Con
If approved by the full congress, the
referendum will appear on the fall bal
lot, and students will again be given the
choice of whether to increase activities
fees. The fee increase approved by
students in last February's election was
$13 each semester and $4.35 each
summer session. The fees would not be
levied for at least two years, until the
construction of the proposed center
Jeffrey Beall (Dist. 7), the bill's
author, said he thought the question of
a student fee increase had been affected
since February by a tuition increase, a
$25 transportation fee, increased resi
dence hall fees and a rising cost of
living in the Triangle area.
"What I'm trying to do is give stu
dents a chance to objectively consider
funding the Student Recreation Center,
a chance I don't think they've had in the
past," Beall said.
Also, students were given insuffi
cient time to consider the bill, Beall
said. They will lose parking spaces and
trees to construction, and no objective
justification study had been conducted,
Lisa Frye, president of the Carolina
Athletic Association, defended the SRC
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Mary Riner, left, and Mary Lou White display a
peace banner in front of the Frankiln Street Post
Beware of the man who goes
poisonous chemicals and flammable
materials in the room posed the most
danger, he said.
The chemicals involved in the fire
were sodium chlorates, potassium cya
nide and other cyanide compounds and
mercury compounds all of which are
hazardous compounds, Robertson said.
Cyanides, which are extremely poison
ous, escaped into the air around
Venable, he said.
Two 55-gallon plastic drums of flam
mable liquids and one 30-gallon plastic
drum of flammable solids boiled from
the heat of the fire and needed to be
taken from the building, Robertson said.
"There's quite a potential for explo
sion if the drums aren't stabilized
(cooled down)," he said. One gallon of
flammable liquid has the explosive
power of six sticks of dynamite, he
Firefighters and HAZMAT crews
worked to repack the flammable solids
before moving them and the flammable
liquids outside. Robertson said the
repacking would take several hours.
The crews wore heat-resistant clothes
and used self-contained breathing ap
paratuses. Crew members were decon
taminated when they came out of the
building. Robertson said a Geiger
counter used to check whether fire
fighters had been exposed to radioac
tive materials registered nothing.
The earliest Venable could reopen is
Wednesday morning, Robertson said.
"The CAA should represent student
opinion, not dictate it."
Student Congress Rep. Jeffrey Beall
before the committee. She disputed
Beall's statements, saying that students
voted unconditionally, that the CAA
informed the student body and that
objective studies have been completed
by UNC facilities planning officials.
"I think you have to look a little
deeper than that to what you are saying
about the student vote," she said. "I feel
the student vote should be final. I'm not
sure that it's any congress member's
role to question that decision. I don't
think the merits of the rec center should
be called into question."
Beall charged that the CAA con
trolled the information students received
about the SRC, preventing an informed
vote. Student attention was not called
to the issue in time for sufficient con
sideration, he said, and CAA support of
the issue biased voters.
"The fact that the CAA supported
the center made the election fraudu
lent," he said. "The CAA should repre
sent student opinion, not dictate it."
Frye listed several media through
which student opinion and questions
were sought. In addition to coverage of
the proposal by The Daily Tar Heel, the
CAA distributed pamphlets and post
ers, took polls on campus and went
door-to-door to talk to students about
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the proposed center and fee increase,
"Certainly, the students made an
informed choice. And certainly, if stu
dents aren't in favor of this rec center,
the CAA does not want to support it."
Another aspect that makes funding
the center questionable, Beall said, is
that the increased fees would affect
future students who would have no
voice in the decision.
'There are literally tens of thousands
of future students who haven't spo
ken," he said. "I think students sup
ported this referendum on the basis that
this was 'a good thing and you'll never
have to pay for it.' "
Frye said voting again each time a
new group of students entered campus
was unreasonable. "They seem to think
if we don't vote on it again, we're not
giving students a voice. I think the
opposite is happening. It's certainly not
respectful of the vote that occurred."
Student opinion is welcome and
solicited, Frye added. "I wish I were
hearing a little more from students. I
would really like for students to call us
and tell us how they feel about the
issue, and certainly I would encourage
them to call their congress members."
Office in protest of the Trident submarine, a first
strike nuclear weapons vessel.
to cocktail parties not to drink but to listen. Pierre Daninos
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firefighters take a break Tuesday
for cflocDmitoiry occypaoicy
By JASON KELLY
Staff Writer .
Housing and Residence Hall
Association officials disagree on the
occupancy levels in campus resi
dence halls, but final figures will not
be compiled until Thursday.
Last year, the housing department
initiated a policy guaranteeing hous
ing to rising sophomores, and the
effect of this policy on juniors and
seniors is still unclear.
Liz Jackson, Residence Hall As
sociation (RHA) president, said she
had not seen official figures, but she
could tell housing was not at full
capacity. "I met with (housing direc
tor Wayne) Kuncl last week, but the
figures weren't out by then. But just
from talking to people and walking
around dorms, I've seen empty rooms
and singles whose roommate didn't
The number of housing applica
tions is lower than last year because
of the new guaranteed housing pol
icy, Jackson said. "Juniors and sen
iors thought they would not receive
housing, so they didn't put in an
application and went ahead and got
an apartment off campus."
Kuncl said there were empty
spaces in the dorms, but there were
no more available than at this time
last year. "I have not seen the figures
on house for AIDS
By JESSICA LANNING
Assistant City EdUor
A meeting held Tuesday night to
address concerns of Chapel Hill resi
dents living near a proposed home for
AIDS patients left many unanswered
questions for the Orange County AIDS
"Out of consideration for the neigh
bors, we've initiated this opportunity to
let them know what's going on," said
Dan Reiner, Orange County health
director and chairman of the task force.
Susan Wilson, the chairwoman for
the housing subcommittee on the task
force, said Bebe Danziger, who owns a
house at 1 10 Taylor St., has expressed
interest in renting the house to AIDS
patients. Wilson said no definite con
tracts or plans have been made.
No more than four patients "who
were basically healthy, able to work
and take care of themselves" would
live in the house at one time, Wilson
said. The people would be homeless
patients who need to be near the hospi
tal for research purposes. v
At this time, the task force and local
churches have no plans for supervising
the house and patients, maintaining it
or ensuring that supervision will con
tinue. As one resident said, "I am con
afternoon from working the fire
not yet complete
yet. Because we held all rooms until
last Thursday and because of the long
weekend, the final data has not been
turned in yet. But I would estimate the
dorms to be 98 percent full, which is
about the same as last year."
Collin Rustin, associate director of
housing, said the percentage of housing
capacity filled this year was an im
provement over previous years. "At
orientation, we were 98 percent full.
These are not the final figures, though,
because some students will become
ineligible due to academic reasons. This
is actually an improvement from the
past when we've dipped as low as 91
"Last year's figures for Sept. 1, 1988,
showed an overall occupancy of 6,702,
or 97.6 percent," Rustin said. "But these
figures and the figures we have now are
before the no-show date and can give a
false impression." '
Jackson said fewer housing contracts
meant less income. "Any loss of con
tracts is a loss of revenue for the hous
Kuncl said the housing situation was
proceeding as expected. "The housing
department is a self-supporting opera
tion, and we hope to meet our budget."
Changes in the housing policy helped
boost the number of students in on
campus housing, Rustin said. "We've
had to change our policy in housing,
cerned that there's no planning."
Several local churches have been
credited with starting the project and
raising funds to assist the residents, but
they had few representatives at the
One representative from Aldersgate
Methodist Church said funds have been
raised on an individual basis at his
church and there has been no formal
meeting of church members concern
ing raising funds. The role of the
churches would be to help out finan
cially, spiritually and with manpower,
The Newman Center organized the
churches, he said, but had no represen
tatives at the meeting.
Residents on the street were con
cerned with the safety of their families
and children. Parents were worried
about children finding hypodermic
needles or playing in the yards of AIDS
patients who might endanger their
Another resident was concerned
about the safety and maintenance of the
house's 20- to 30-year-old septic tank.
A task force representative said once
the virus left the bloodstream, it died
almost instantly, and there would be no
Suggested alternatives to renting the
in Venable Hall
but in the last few years we're see
ing a recovery. We instituted the
sophomore guaranteed housing last
"But even with guaranteed sopho
more housing, no one got closed
out. The plan has not hurt anybody
because our demand for . housing
was less. We had 100 fewer spaces
requested than we had space for.
Factors made it possible not to force
people off campus who wanted to
be on campus."
Erik Fidel, a sophomore business
major from Harrington Park, N.J.,
said the housing policy had nothing
to do with his decision to move off
campus. "The house is much qui
eter than the dorm, and all of the
people I wanted to room with were
here. If I were put on North Campus
from the start, it might have been
different, and I might have wanted
to stay on campus.
"But as it is, I'm probably closer
to class than I was last year, and the
accommodations are much better,"
Cindy Scheele, a senior from New
Bern, said she moved off campus
for the change. "The housing
administration's policies had noth
ing to do with my decision. I wanted
to move off campus for something
house to AIDS patients were creating a
house patterned after a Ronald
McDonald House or locating the house
"We will not work with you to put
that house on our block," one resident
Mail may get more costly
Postmaster General proposes
stamp price increase 3
Focus on Campus Life
Students give views on life at
Craige deck update
Construction to begin within
the month .........6
State and national.. 4
University news 6
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