MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Verizon has estimated that hundreds of West Virginia University students are still without telephones, but several students feel the company and the university are not aware exactly how many students are without service.

“I don’t think they realize how many of us are without phones on campus,” said Jon Williams, a history major. “Because I know at least 50 students alone without phones.”

“The university and the phone company have no idea how many of us are without a telephone; no one has even asked us,” said Tony Steel, an English major. “I don’t think the university even cares that we can’t call home.”

Verizon has taken several steps to work with the university to ease the situation.

“I contacted the university because I know the situation students are in without phones,” said Doug Haught, assistant manager of Verizon West Virginia. “It has to be hard to be at school away from home without a telephone to contact anyone.”

Verizon is aware that students have received a busy signal or a recording when trying to contact the company for new telephone service. Starting Thursday, students have the option of obtaining a telephone application at the help desk located inside the ountainlair.

“I cannot guarantee service to be completed right away, but what this will do is help move the paperwork and setup along,” Haught said.

The form should be faxed to the 800 number located at the bottom of the application.

Students do need to list two phone numbers where they can be reached in order to complete the application process.

“We know that this isn’t even the best situation, but it should certainly help,” Haught said.

“I would think there is something that the company could do for us,” Williams said. “With that being the only phone company in town they should be more prepared for situations such as a strike.”

Verizon feels that students have been misinformed while the company has been on strike. Haught’s main concern is that students have been told there will be a long waiting period after the strike is settled.

“There will be a short backlog period, but the rumor of having to wait till December is that, just a rumor,” Haught said.

Students still feel they are being misled by the phone company.

“They have told me so many different things, I don’t think they even know what is going on or when we will get phones,” Williams said.

– By Laura Janovich, The Daily Athenaeum

Tissue Transparency May Heighten Advances

AUSTIN, Texas – A team of University of Texas researchers have devised a way to make rodent tissue become transparent, a process which could lead to more medical advances, UT scientists said.

While the process is nothing like the science fiction fantasy depicted in “Hollow Man,” it could lead to advances in laser surgery, tumor treatment and glucose detection, said Dr. Ashley Welch, UT professor of biomedical engineering and the project’s chief investigator.

By injecting the fluid glycerol into hamsters and rats, scientists succeeded in temporarily dehydrating subjects’ tissue, rendering skin transparent up to three millimeters deep for more than 20 minutes.

Welch used the metaphor of fog to explain how the process reduces refraction of light when it hits the skin.

When a light is shown through dense fog, water molecules refract the light in many different directions. But when the molecules are drawn together into a pool of water, light can easily pass through, he added.

Since the molecules that compose tissue also scatter light in a similar fashion, a creature’s skin is naturally opaque.

When glycerol is added, water is pushed out of the tissue, shrinking molecules together. Like the pool of water, this procedure renders the areas temporarily transparent.

While some have questioned whether this process will eventually lead to the ability for a person to become completely invisible, Welch said, the process aims to advance medical treatment.

“When you’re trying to change light scattering in tissue, there are certain limits to what you can do there,” he said.

Welch added that while the process may have future applications for medical procedures on humans, more tests must be done by medical researchers.

“We really do not have any ideas of the toxicities,” he said. “We’re using a very high concentration, and I’m sure we have exceeded any safe standards that are out there, so we will have to do some more testing.”

-By Jeffrey Hipp, Daily Texan

U. of Alabama Blocks Lot to Stop Car Thieves

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama officials are betting a little inconvenience will result in a safer parking lot for residents of Rose Towers.

The McCorvey Drive entrance closed Aug. 18 and will remain closed until university officials are able to see a decline in vehicle break-ins.

“It’s a security issue,” said Maj. Mark Shockley, associate director for operations. “Any time you limit access, thieves have to think twice.”

According to the University of Alabama Safer Living Guide, 169 larceny thefts and three motor vehicle thefts occurred at the greek and residential dormitories in 1998.

Officials said the decision was made following a high volume of car thefts at the Rose parking lot.

The university decided to close the entrance at 11 p.m. nightly two years ago in response to vehicle break-ins. However, locked gates at night didn’t stop the thieves. Vehicle break-ins continued in the daytime.

Shockley said closing the gate 24 hours was the only other solution to the break-in problem.

“We did the same thing at Tutwiler Hall and there are very few break-ins; we are hoping the same thing will happen at Rose,” Shockley said.

With the closure of the entrance, the Hackberry Lane entrance will be the only entrance accessible by car.

Resident Melissa Rose said if a burglar has plans to steal, one entrance will be a challenge but not impossible.

“I think by having it go down to one entrance they’ll just make it harder on all the people who live in Rose,” she said.

-By Lauren M. Bocchino, The Crimson White

Bookstores Continue To Trump Online Retailers

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Online shopping is on the rise among college students, but many Pennsylvania State University students are still perusing the shelves in traditional bookstores.

According to a press release from StudentMarket.com, “Four and a half million college students will spend 1.3 billion dollars online this year, more than double the 1999 total.”

Founded in 1995, StudentMarket.com claims to have been the first national textbook exchange. The Web site also markets such items as music and inflatable furniture to college students.

Since then, sales at StudentMarket.com have been steadily increasing. Sam Heitner, communications director at VarsityBooks.com, cites increased awareness of VarsityBooks and of the online shopping world in general as main factors in his company’s popularity.

Online shopping is more common than ever and will continue to increase, according to a StudentMarket.com press release.

However, in the student community at Penn State, many students are unaffected by the rise in Internet commerce. Enough, in fact, that local stores see no reason to worry about losing business.

“There’s way too many things that they’re unable to do,” said Tom Fankhauser, assistant manager at the Penn State Bookstore. Fankhauser said that while the store sees online bookstores as competition, they’re not very strong.

The crowds of students waiting in line at Penn State Bookstore’s checkouts seem to testify to the accuracy of his comments.

Students like Emily Brassington will continue to do their back-to-school shopping at traditional stores despite the appeal of online shops. “I like going to stores and shopping for things,” said Brassington.

Norm Brown, general manager of the Student Book Store, 330 E. College Ave., combats the new competition from online stores by making his store more convenient. The Student Book Store recently introduced an extremely successful reservation service, Brown said. Students can now submit a list of textbooks they need via modem, fax, mail, or phone.

-By Lindsay Keipper, Daily Collegian

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