A Clarkson Mosaic - page 477

and brochures explaining ways to practice safer sex, information on sexually transmitted
diseases, and instructions on how to use condoms properly. The aims of this distribution were
to institute responsible sexual behavior, and to make the campus a safer place by attempting to
eliminate the high-risk practices that cause the spread of AIDS. This distribution preceded the
installation of condoms in dorm vending machines later in the year.
A corporation built from the brainchild of two Clarkson professors, physics professor
William Gregory and accounting and law professor Clarence Gratto, developed a detection
machine that could search luggage for explosives and weapons. Begun in 1984, it developed
into a local corporation with investment capital of $14.6 million, but it was wiped out in the
stock market crash of October 1987.
Called a dielectric screening device, the invention "read" the "signature" of a particular
material, and then, if programmed to do so, would alert its operator that the material was
present. It was expected to be superior to the conventional x-ray detection machine which gave
only a shape or shadow of the object being studied. This dielectric scanner detected all
substances and differentiated on a computer screen between the "safe" and "hazardous"
Phi Theta Kappa.
Clarkson's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa was chosen the year's best alumni
chapter of the more than 700 nationwide chapters of this highly selective fraternity. It is the
only national organization for two-year schools to recognize scholarship and service performed
by students. Clarkson's chapter is an alumni chapter which consists of transfer students who
were members of the fraternity while attending their two-year colleges.
The national organization encouraged its members to participate in such activities as
assisting admissions officers in developing programs for transfer students, in recruiting students
from their former schools, and in aiding with orientation of new transfer students.
Clarkson was recognized for service far above the norm. In addition to the usual
activities, Clarkson students participated in such activities as manning telephones for the
phonathon, raising over $1,000 for the American Heart Association, and establishing a network
with other transfer alumni to aid in recruitment.
Alka-Seltzer Power.
Combining machine design with thermodynamics and fluid mechanics,
Clarkson engineering students built racing devices which were powered only by Alka-Seltzer.
Designing, building, and testing (racing) the vehicles counted 40% of the student's grade in the
course taught by Dr. Steve Shoulders of the mechanical and industrial engineering department.
Students used unusual design concepts. One used a hockey puck with spoons for blades that
were driven by a nozzle of Alka-Seltzer gas. Another used an Alka-Seltzer gas-powered piston
to compress springs and catapult the vehicle into motion.
This ingenious test to prove to the students that the equations they learned in class were,
in fact, actually useful, received national coverage in the media. UPI, Cable News Network,
USA TODAY, CBS TV, and the
Chronicle of Higher Education
were among the news outlets
which covered this story.
Staff Unionization.
As a result of a petition to the National Labor Relations Board asking for a
vote to organize the 146 members of the support staff, organizers from the Civil Service
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