STUDENT`S SUPPORT GROUP HONORED BY BUSH

RUTGERS STUDENT DECLARED `POINT OF LIGHT'

COUGARS NEWS SERVICE

Anyone who says a long-distance relationship can't work hasn't met Roxanne Black.

Since 1989, the Rutgers University student has successfully played matchmaker for about 2,000 people nationwide. And although she calls her service Long Distance Love, she's not just another love connection a la Chuck Woolery.

Black's network appeals to people afflicted with a disease, illness, disability or injury. She brings these individuals together through a pen-pal network, giving people with similar health problems a unique base of support.

The inspiration for Black's voluntary efforts is personal experience. At the age of 15, doctors diagnosed Black with lupus, a genetic disease in which her immune system attacks her body's healthy cells.

In Black's case, the antibodies attacked her kidneys. Now, the 20-year-old communications student undergoes dialysis four times a day and is on a waiting list for a kidney transplant.

Her frustration in having no one else her age to talk to about her medical problems led to the founding of Long Distance Love. A self-directed public relations campaign to national media outlets led to articles in USA Today and numerous magazines and apperances on Good Morning America and CNN. The public awareness resulted in floods of letters.

On Sept. 30, her success and voluntary efforts landed her at the side of President George Bush on a stage at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World.

Black is one of the nation's 575 daily Points of Light.

"Today, we celebrate service that comes from the heart," Bush said during the elaborate ceremony in honor of the volunteers.

He added that, "We can't ask government to do everything ... Legislation alone cannot provide the soul that a nation needs."

Later, at a press conference, Bush emphasized the growing contributions of the country's youth. "For young Americans, their service shows how this generation is expressing its idealism."

In addition to Black, nine college and university volunteers and organizations were honored as Points of Light. They include:

Boston University student volunteers

Case Western Reserve University's STEP UP student tutoring program

Wright State University's Engineering Preparation program

LeMoyne-Owne College Community Outreach program

East Tennessee State University's volunteers program

University of South Carolina Law School's Pro Bono program

Wooster College volunteer network

Student volunteers at Spelman College

Interfraternity Association Town Watch at Drexel University.

Black was the only individual college student singled out for her work. Because of her voluntary contributions to society, her encounter with the president in Orlando wasn't her first, but her fourth.

She said that weeks before her trip to Disney, the president landed his helicopter "right behind my classroom" at Rutgers, stopping in New Jersey for a political fundraiser.

Black greeted Bush as he stepped off the chopper and handed him a Rutger's sweatshirt.

"I actually got to talk to him for a few minutes," she said. "As he was driving away in his limosine, I was waving at him and he waved back. He was looking right at me. Then he pointed at me and gave me a thumbs up."

Bush isn't the only one giving Black a sign of approval. Earlier this year, while conducting a live telephone interview with a radio station in Oklahoma, Black told the audience about how she kept track of all of the pen-pals on index cards. A listener called in and donated her computer to Black.

Black has also received volunteer help from Rutgers' Alpha Phi Omega chapter, a national service fraternity. Pledges routinely stop by to help her stuff envelopes and update files.

Although Long Distance Love is for people of all ages, Black is trying to establish a network solely for college students.

"There are problems that a lot of college students deal with quietly, on their own, like diabetes or arthritis or asthma," she said. "I think this would offer them some kind of support."

For information about the college network, you can write to Black at P.O.Box 2301, Ventnor, N.J. 08406. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

 

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COUGARS BACK ON TRACK WITH 49-20 WIN OVER SOUTHERN METHODIST IN SNOOZER

BY RANDY BAZAN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Houston's sputtering offense may have gotten the tuneup it needed in the form of SMU.

The Cougars whipped the hapless Mustangs 49-20 Saturday in the Astrodome to break a four-game losing streak and record their first conference win of the season.

To pull off the win, the Cougars had to do without quarterback David Klingler, who was still out with an inner-ear infection.

For the first half, Head Coach John Jenkins went with a quarterback rotation, subbing Donald Douglas, Chandler Evans and Jimmy Klingler on a play-by-play basis.

While Evans and Klingler struggled, Douglas quickly made an impact, throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Grant with 7:41 left in the first quarter, giving Houston a 7-0 lead.

Instead of sticking with Douglas, Jenkins kept up the rotation, much to the dislike of the crowd which booed whenever Douglas was replaced. Jenkins said he had the luxury of getting all of his quarterbacks playing time since the Cougars had a lead.

"If it had been 14-0 SMU, maybe I'd have listened to them (the crowd)," Jenkins said. "Right at the end of the second half, we got inside the 20, Douglas started to come off the field, and I said `No, let's go stick it in the end zone.' Next play, he throws an interception, so I wheeled around to the crowd and said `Boo! Boo!'"

Douglas played most of the second half, finishing 19 of 28 through the air for 319 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted twice. He also showed his mobility, rushing for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

"I just tried to take advantage of whatever they gave me," Douglas said.

"It was nearly like seeing a young Andre Ware out there because Andre had a tendency to pull the ball down and take off," Jenkins said. For the first time since the Louisiana Tech game, Houston's defensive line was able to dominate an opponent, sacking SMU quarterbacks Dan Freiburger and Todd Ritz 10 times.

Although giving up 368 total yards, the defense held SMU's running game to negative yards until the fourth quarter.

While the Cougars got a much needed win, the game was marred with penalties and sloppy play. The Cougars were penalized 18 times for 224 yards.

"It was really nasty and ragged looking, but a win, whether it's a one point margin or a big margin, we'll take it any way we can get it," Jenkins said.

Entering the second quarter leading 7-0 on Grant's touchdown, the Cougars got a quick score after linebacker Ryan McCoy intercepted a Freiburger pass at the Houston 6-yard line and returned it to the Houston 47. Two plays later, Douglas connected with Grant again, this time for a 46-yard touchdown.

With 4:02 left in the half, Chris Pezman blocked an SMU punt at the Mustang 23-yard line, and Michael Newhouse recovered the ball for a score. After a bad snap on the point after attempt, holder Kenny Perry took the ball in for a two-point conversion, putting Houston up 22-0.

Houston then kicked off to SMU, which drove the ball 52 yards in eight plays with superback Rongea Hill scoring on a 3-yard draw play. SMU got a two-point conversion, making the score 22-8 at halftime.

In the third quarter, following a missed field goal by the Mustangs, the Cougars scored when superback Tommy Guy took the ball in on an 8-yard run.

SMU then fumbled away its next possession, allowing UH kicker Roman Anderson to get a 37-yard field goal, putting Houston up 32-8 with 5:38 left in the quarter.

Following a 12-yard scoring run by SMU's Hill, Douglas scored on a one-yard run, putting the Cougars up 39-14.

In the fourth, Douglas added another touchdown on a one-yard run and Anderson kicked a 43-yard field goal. SMU scored on a 10-yard pass to Jason Wolf from Ritz, but failed on a two-point conversion.

 

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MILKING THE SNAKE FOR ALL ITS WORTH

BY JOHN GRIFFIN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Time for a little commentary on the lowering of the already sunken common denominator rampant in the media lately.

Here's a top ten list of underachievement over the last weeks:

10. Cheers to the Public News ad department. Recent letters to the editor have chastised the local publication for increasingly larger spaces taken up by a plethora of panels trumpeting various phone-sex lines and an assortment of massage and body-rub setups. But perhaps more disturbing is PN's collaboration with Pappy's Resaurant to roll out the red carpet for Vanilla Ice's new cinematic tour de force, Cool As Ice. Seems like a radical departure for the self-described alternative weekly. Or maybe it's just a really great film. C'mon guys, get real.

9. KTRK's Action 13 makes the cut with a stirring human-interest piece on a little boy lost in north Houston. At the top of the broadcast we were told the little tyke was last seen talking to an ominous man in a shifty car selling film. Of course the audience was assured Action 13 would wait out the developments on the gut-wrenching crisis until something was resolved. Imagine my surprise when Dave Ward announced at the end of the show that the lad had turned up safe and out of harm's way. Fabulous timing and some tight, hard-edged reporting. Sure the kid wasn't there all along. Uh-huh.

8. Finally, a glimmer of creativity from the Clarion, that bastion of truth and virtue dedicated to saving the planet from godless commies through knee-jerk facism. Their fine job of yanking a quote from Chris English's review of the Public Enemy show left off just enough relevant information to make a specific comment sound like a general statement ideal for use in archconservative rhetoric against rap. It's almost inspiring to see such a misleading citation in print. Thanks guys. Keep up the good work. And you can use that quote if ya wanna.

7. Can Richard Simmons ever be stopped? He wants to date Barbara Streisand, he's entirely too sensitive and he offered David Letterman $25,000 on national TV to Sweat to the Oldies in one of Simmon's videos. If only Sweet Little Richard could sweat that chip off his shoulder.

6. Did it occur to anyone in the media anywhere on the planet that the Oilers would have been down by only a field goal with over three minutes on the clock even if Sammie Smith had scored? Bill Walsh, Dick Enberg, the two nerds on KTRH's Fan Feedback and an increasing core of malcontents apparantly missed that fact. They're 6-1 for God's sake! So much cynicism. We're starting to sound like a bunch of New Yorkers. P.S. Who said Warren Moon wasn't entitled to a bad day? P.P.S. The Bills lost to K.C. on the road, O.J.

5. How many days in a row is the Houston Post going to plaster the Killeen tragedy on the front page? 10? 20? The rest of the year? Enough already.

4. What was Ted Koppel's Town Meeting with Senators Simpson, Simon, Specter and Bradley? Was it therapy? Was it journalism? Was it more media-backed political grandstanding? Thomas is in, the club is still intact and only time will tell what impact Clarence will have. Those senators are not accountable to the TV screen in the long run. They are, however, accountable to the ballot box.

3. The Houston Post gets its second slot for the Juan Palomo debacle. I won't beat this dead horse, but who's making decisions involving the big picture over there and why? As it stands now, they're about a half-step from descending into the realm of the tabloid. Enquiring minds want to know?

2. Public News is another two-time loser with the melodramatic schtick on Claude Caux. For it's sensationalized banter and ridiculous theatrics, "Fade to Black" wins in the category of Journalistic Piece Written by Blood Buzzards Most Resembling a Cheap, Trite Shakespeare Rip-Off.

And the number-one instance of media tomfoolery is ... a tie between Desert Storm and the Clarence Thomas hearings.

TV rarely gets to be this bloody, lurid or pandering without a script. Two benchmark media events in one year! What a haul for the networks. With any luck there'll be a catastrophic natural disaster or nuclear incident soon so the big boys can go three for three. In the land of ratings and ad revenue, sex and death sell, even if Orrin Hatch is involved, or especially if he's involved. For the thinking individual both of these escapades illustrate the glaring abscence of integrity and credibility rotting the numerous facets of our society.

Stay tuned, you might get to see things crumble before your very eyes. After all, we do have a presidential election coming up . . .

 

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STUDENT CONSIDERS TRANSFER AFTER KNIFE ATTACK

UHPD LEAD BLEEDING VICTIM ON SEARCH FOR ATTACKER

BY MICHAEL D. OESER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

A UH student was knifed early Saturday morning near at the corner of Calhoun and Wheeler on the edge of parking lot 1-A.

Freshman pre-med major Jason Lynch had been at the Delta Upsilon house attending a party when he went to look for a friend who had disappeared.

Lynch and others worried that Brian Jackson, a freshman biology major, had walked alone back to the Moody Towers where both Lynch and Jackson live on the third floor of the south tower.

Lynch had located Jackson in his room and was walking back to the party when he was attacked at around 12:30 a.m. by a man he described as black, 6' tall, wearing a T-shirt and "scroungy."

The assailant inflicted several wounds to Lynch's forearms, including one that severed some veins and required 15 stitches.

Robbery was apparently not the motive, as Lynch was wearing a gold necklace, an expensive watch and was carrying some cash -- none of which were taken.

Lynch said he believes the attack was a random act of violence.

The pre-med student said he doesn't remember much after the attack because he went into shock.

"The last thing I remember is running to the towers," he said.

Lynch ran to Jackson's room for help. The floor resident advisor, Siraj Banatwala, was told of the situation and he called the UH Police Department.

After paramedics bandaged Lynch's arm, UHPD officers insisted Lynch, still bleeding, go with them to try and locate the assailant.

Jackson said he followed Lynch and the officers around for about an hour until they went back to the police station.

Lynch said he remembers telling the officers he was feeling faint and wanted to go to the hospital. Jackson confirms this and says he made similar suggestions.

After making his deposition to police, Lynch's friends took him to an emergency room where he received stitches.

UHPD officials couldn't be reached for comment.

"I was told at freshman orientation that the crime here was not that bad because there are so many cops. You see a lot of cops during the days and you rarely see them at night. I think they should have more at night because most crime happens at night, not when 30,000 people are walking to class."

Lynch is considering switching schools after the incident.

"I feel like I don't want to be here next year. I'm already looking into transferring to another place where I can feel safe walking around," he said.

The attack has left him "just really pissed off," Lynch said. "I want to shoot the guy who did this."

"They (UHPD officers) gave me the speech like it was your fault for walking around at night. I don't know, but if you can't walk around your own campus ..."

 

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CAMPUS REACHES OUT THROUGH TUTORIAL HELP

BY ERICKA SCHICHE

NEWS REPORTER

Local elementary school students are getting help with their homework from UH students thanks to a joint effort between the Houston Independent School District and the South Central YMCA.

HISD students participating in the day-care program at South Central YMCA will receive tutoring from UH students under the guidance of 1991-92 Y Kids are Smart student coordinator Jerry Hammann.

Hammann, a UH senior accounting/finance major, will assist Marshall Broadway, the South Central YMCA after school program director, in the administration and structuring of this year's program.

Established nearly three years ago in conjunction with UH's Metropolitan Volunteer Program, the tutorial service has provided pre-school through sixth grade students the opportunity to interact with others on a consistent basis.

"The main goal is to help students overcome the problems inherent in HISD (overcrowding and a tightened budget)," Hamman said. "They don't get the needed attention. In a class of 34 students, it would be difficult to keep up with the teacher because he or she has little or no time to devote to individual consultation and explanation."

This year, like last year, the children will receive help from at least six UH students on Mondays and Wednesdays for at least one hour.

During any given session, a child may receive supplementary instruction in subjects such as math, reading, spelling, punctuation and social studies, Hammann said.

Broadway said the YMCA finances the program and provides tutors with supplies. He said the program saved about $4,000 last year, thanks to the help of the volunteers.

"We couldn't have run this program without the help of the UH students," Broadway said.

The number of children participating, which varied from five to 50, never posed a problem for the tutors.

Nevertheless, the program could use more volunteers to give the students more one-on-one interaction, Hammann said.

Stephanie Anderegg, a junior elementary education major who served as student coordinator last year, agreed. She said the Y Kids are Smart volunteers need more financial resources, instructional aides, equipment and manpower.

Some of the children get excited about the prospect of seeing the UH students again.

"They never said, `I'm not going to help you.' One day, I really needed help studying for a mathematics test ... I miss them because I haven't seen them in a long time," said Jewel Tackoor, a third grader at MacGregor Elementary School.

According to Hammann and MVP director Lloyd Jacobson, it is important that UH students and faculty interact with members of the surrounding communities.

"If we become estranged or distanced from the community, we fail to take the opportunity to apply the knowledge we've gained by reading textbooks ... A greater diversity of experience will benefit any individual and will inadvertently help a person grow," Jacobson said.

 

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QUAD DEFEATS TOWERS IN BEAUTY BOWL ACTION

BY GENEVA MARTINEZ

NEWS REPORTER

The University of Houston Residence Halls Association sponsored its own addition to the weekend's homecoming festivities -- the Beauty Bowl.

A homecoming tradition for 26 years, this powder-puff flag football game on Oct. 17 featured women from the Quadrangle and the Towers.

Using strong defense, the Quad Squad knocked off the Towers 21-19. This is the third consecutive year that Tower Power players have been on the losing side.

The female team members, encouraged by all male coaches, had been practicing for almost a month in preparation for the game.

Completing the role reversal, guys were on the sidelines cheering on their teams. They paraded around in women's clothing and wigs, in full makeup.

"It was a chance for me to put something on from Victoria's Secret, instead of taking it off," Heath Rasmussen, sophomore physics major, said.

After the game's kickoff, there was confusion on the field, in the announcer's box and in the stands. At halftime, the announcer prematurely declared the game was over, sending many fans onto the field.

Once the field was cleared, the Beauty Bowl Queen was announced. This year's winner was Chris Cooper, better known as "Ima Dumblond."

"It was a good game, even though it was a little disorganized," said Teresa Gonzales, a junior management information services major.

 

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HOUSTON FINDS FUTURE QB IN DOUGLAS

BY JASON LUTHER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

With Cougar quarterback David Klingler heading to the NFL next season, John Jenkins' search for a sucessor was in full view in Saturday's game against SMU.

Jenkins started the game with a play-by-play rotation consisting of sophomore Donald Douglas, and freshmen Chandler Evans and Jimmy Klingler.

Like politicians in a debate, the three contenders marched out one after the other and made their statements throughout the first half.

Douglas, a former blue chip high school recruit who transferred from Florida last year, clearly established himself as the front-runner in the race to be the next Cougar triggerman.

He finished the day 19-28 passing with two touchdowns. And not only did he reach the traditional yard mark throwing, but he also ran for 103 yards and two scores.

Coach John Jenkins acknowledged the asset of Douglas' running ability.

"Being able to freelance and make plays outside of the structure of the offense and having to scramble and make some of those big plays, you can imagine it's just going to get better and better," he said.

Midway through the second quarter, the crowd began booing any time Klingler or Evans stepped onto the field. As soon as Douglas came out for the second consecutive play and the rotation was broken, he threw an interception in the end zone.

Jenkins defended the rotation.

"By no means is the crowd going to pick my quarterbacks," he said. "With the score at 22-0, I can afford to rotate."

Jenkins described the offensive line as ragged and hinted that although Douglas' running ability was appreciated, it was not entirely necessary.

"Receivers were open," he said. "All three guys were hesitant to throw."

One can see they were hesitant to throw as the three combined for five interceptions. Douglas and Klingler each had two, and Evans had one. However, Klingler and Evans combined for only six completions on 22 attempts for 46 yards and no touchdowns.

Douglas said he didn't exactly like the rotation, but he understood it.

"You want to get a feel for it," Douglas said. "When you do something good, you want to stay in there and lead the team down the field. But a good thing is that all three quarterbacks got experience."

Jenkins started Douglas in the second half and left him in until the late minutes of the fourth quarter. He didn't know the rest of the game belonged to him until just before the half started.

"I didn't know until we went back outside (onto the field)," Douglas said. "I was warming up and they told me. It really helped to build my confidence."

What the game did to improve Douglas' confidence could have only hurt the morale of the other two.

Douglas was the only quarterback who wasn't sacked, as Evans went down twice and Klingler once.

Not that Douglas wasn't pressured. It just seemed every time he appeared as though he would be sacked, he did his Houdini impression and ended up somewhere else on the field.

But Jenkins doesn't want Douglas to get comfortable behind center just yet. He left not even a hint of a quarterback controversy after the game.

"I would think that David Klingler would definitely be back next week. (His not playing) was a precautionary movement on my part,"Jenkins said.

 

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COOGS GAIN NO RESPECT IN WIN OVER PONIES

BY MIKE ROSEN

The air horn continues to blare and the scoreboard still flashes "AIR RAID". But the Houston Cougars are not college football's greatest show, as the sign on the Astrodome's West end zone wall indicates.

For a team that yearns for respect, the Cougars are fast becoming the laughing stock of the NCAA.

They've gone from a team with hopes and expectations of contending for the national title, to a group of players struggling through a season of mistakes and misconduct.

Houston salvaged some dignity with its win over Southern Methodist Saturday, but the fashion in which they did so was nothing to be proud of.

Eighteen UH penalties cost the team 224 yards, and it turned the game into a four-hour marathon many of the 13,000 plus fans just couldn't endure.

This fan, among others, was attending a Cougar football game for the first time this season as a spectator. One never would have guessed he would have dozed off twice in the second quarter. Leave it to the air horn to wake even the dead.

Even some of the UH media relations staff decided to come down from the press box and take a walk on the sidelines at halftime, just to stay awake.

How could a game with 69 points scored and a three-quarterback rotation put anyone to sleep?

First consider the meaningfulness of the game on the race to the Cotton Bowl. Both Houston and SMU had combined for two wins coming into their matchup, and were 0-5 against the Southwest Conference.

Secondly, fans unaware before kickoff David Klingler was going to sit out, were disappointed upon seeing the quarterback rotation without him. After all, a local newspaper survey this summer indicated Klingler draws a large portion of fans to the Dome to see the Cougars.

While Houston marched up and down the field en route to 49 points on the evening, it wasn't exactly an uninterrupted pace. Of the 180 total plays in the ballgame, 24 were marred by Houston penalties. That's roughly one UH penalty every seventh play.

Coupled with 57 incomplete passes, nine interceptions and 16 punts by both squads, the clock seemed to tick once every seventh second.

The game was long, and it was sloppy.

Thirteen of Houston's infractions were personal fouls. Five of those were for unsportsmanlike conduct -- against the team in the SWC that teams should be least excited about scoring against.

With all due respect to a rebuilding SMU program, its conference opponents should be expected to do nothing less than outscore them by rather large margins.

In other words, it's ridiculous for Cougar players to commit that number of personal fouls, including chop blocks, face masks and end zone celebrations, against an SMU team.

Were such antics necessary to beat them?

The Cougars did finally make it back into the win column. But an ounce of respect they did not gain.

Rosen is Daily Cougar sports editor.

 

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JOB OUTLOOK NOT GOOD NATIONALLY FOR COLLEGE GRADS

COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

The scene is familiar. Young men and women in suits, armed with resumes, handshakes and smiles for older men and women prepared to greet them with stories of the grim realities of today's job market.

Welcome to Career Expos for the 1991-1992 school year.

"There are fewer positions available because of the recession and because of sales trends," said Dot Svobdia, a manager with American Tourister. "Still, we're hoping to find some good folks out there."

So is everyone else. This particular job fair brought nearly 80 prospective employers to the University of Central Florida in early September.

"I think it's tight," said Jim Gracey, director of UCF's Career Resource Center. "I had some employers say that they would not attend because of the recession."

Of the ones who did, sentiments were the same. "We're finding a lot more qualified applicants," said F. Darren Oliverio, a field training consultant with Metropolitan Life.

The reason for the flood of qualified students is the lack of jobs. Although not all the companies are suffering from the sagging economy, they are still seeing an increase in applications.

"We're now seeing alumni coming to these events," said Moira Oliver, director of Human Resources for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. "We didn't used to see that nearly as much."

Oliver called the turnout at job fairs in 1990 and 1991 "outstanding."

"We have been surprised at the number of qualified applicants we're seeing. It's really been to our advantage," said Steve Hoppe of Arthur Andersen Tax Technology Group.

Because of the flood of graduating college students entering into the job market, employers are getting pickier when hiring.

They offer this advice to job-seekers.

"Students should get practical experience before they graduate. That's very important," Oliver said.

Oliverio said college education is not a determining factor in the insurance field. "We look for someone who really has oomph. When we find someone who's hot, we make room for him (or her)."

Wayne Johns, regional human relations manager for Coca-Cola said people should really prepare for their interview. "People need to work on their appearance and their preparation for questions and answers."

Hoppe said his firm wants the best and the brightest. "We are looking for a good academic background, good interpersonal skills, a polished, genuine, smart person."

 

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AWARENESS IS BEST WAY TO AVOID CRIME

HPD OFFERS TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE

BY AMIE KLANKE

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

To keep from becoming another crime statistic, students here at UH can take precautionary measures to ensure their safety.

Sgt. Roy McPeak, Crime Prevention Specialist and 14-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, has some safety advice for college students to follow.

"The key to personal safety is awareness," McPeak said.

McPeak stresses the importance of being physically fit.

"You should be able to run 50 yards," he said. He also suggested practicing with a friend on breaking an attacker's grip so that in the case of an assault, the victim can get away more quickly.

"Males have a false sense of security about (their ability to fight off an attacker). They are worse than females (where awareness is concerned)," McPeak said.

McPeak advises carrying valuables on your body instead of in a purse or wallet.

"That way if they do get your purse, you're not hurt," McPeak said.

Men should use a money clip, he said.

"Dress in a manner that allows you comfort in case you do need to fight off an attacker. Your clothing should not restrict your movement," McPeak said. He recommends wearing expensive jewelry only for special occasions and checking out the places where the jewelry will be worn ahead of time.

"If valet parking is offered, use it," McPeak said. When valet parking is not an option, McPeak suggests avoiding parking close to shrubs and large vans, and parking in well-lit areas.

"When returning to your car, have your keys in your hand. Look beneath it and check the back seat," McPeak said. He advises using the "buddy system" -- stay in groups, and make sure everyone gets to their cars safely.

Caution is important once inside the car as well, McPeak said. "Never leave the safety of your car if approached from outside," he said.

Dating also requires safety precautions.

"Meet your date in a public place. Don't give out any information until you know the person," McPeak said.

McPeak does not advise carrying mace or guns. Most people who carry mace leave it in their car or purse, and never have it ready when they might need it, he said.

Even when it is used to distract an attacker, the chances are good that the spray will impair the victim as well, McPeak said.

"It is illegal to carry a gun. It's a Code A misdemeanor. It's a third degree felony if a gun is carried in a place where liquor is served," McPeak said.

"Awareness is your number one defense," he said.

 

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JOB FAIR REFLECTS TIGHT JOB MARKET

NEW GRADS VICTIMS OF SLOW ECONOMIC RECOVERY

BY KATHY ALLEN

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The UH Career Planning and Placement Center is buzzing with nervous activity as December graduates competer for an ever-diminishing supply of jobs.

"Last year was the most competitive year in the last 10 years for college graduates," said David Small, assistant vice president for Student Services.

"While there were promises of improvement," Small said, "the economic recovery is simply progressing more slowly than most people had predictied or hoped. It looks like thus far, it's more of the same."

Small, who heads the UH Career Planning and Placement Center, explained that all major U.S. industries have down sized with the exception of the health care industry.

In addition to the health care industry, majors in engineering, accounting and computer science remain in relatively high demand both locally and nationally, Small said.

Even so, students in these majors are feeling the economic crunch as well.

Kathryn Hamlyn, a December graduate in accounting, has maintained a 4.0 GPA, has relevant work experience and is president of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting society.

Even with these credentials, she has experienced disappointing interviews with the Big Six accounting firms.

"The [Beta Alpha Psi] members are getting pretty nervous because of the lack of job opportunities," Hamlyn said. She estimates that only the top 5 to 10 percent of accounting graduates are getting offers from the Big Six accounting firms this year.

Angela Tang, a December graduate in computer science, also perceives there are not as many opportunities. Tang, who wants to shay in Houston, said the competition seems really strong.

Tang has not yet resorted to camping overnight in front of the Student Services building to obtain an interview slot, but she has arrived at 4:30 a.m. to find 15 to 20 people already in line.

But, UH has fared better than universities nationwide, Small said. While UH experienced a 3 percent increase in the number of companies recruiting on campus last year, universities nationwide experienced a 10 to 15 percent decrease.

Small sights a couple of reasons for this phenomenon. First, many of UH's programs inengineering and business are nationally ranked making UH one of the targeted institutions.

Second, Houston is headquarters for many corporations. Houston corporations, while scaling back on costly natiopnal recruiting programs, continue to recruit locally at UH.

Small added that while it's too early to tell about job offers this year, the number of recruitment visits is holding its own.

But, Small cautions student not to solely target large companies for job prospects.

Over the last five years, large companies have scaled back. They're still coming to campus, but they're not in a growth mode. They're in a replacement mode trying to fill specific positions, he said.

Smaller companies, on the other hand, have experienced slightly increased needs. Now, smaller companies (defined as less than 500 employees) are doing proportionately more of the hiring. Small business is about 80 percent of the GNP of the United States.

Small also cautioned students against attending graduate school simply to avoid the job market since the economic situation may not necessarily be any better two years from now.

In a depressed job market, a graduate degree with a higher price tag but without relevant work experience can sometimes make a student less marketable, he said.

For those majors for which there appear to be virtually no jobs available, Small suggested employment in the Peace Corps, armed services or non-profit organizations as viable alternatives since they help students gain valuable work experience.

"This is going to be the decade of retrenchment, cost-cutting and a very competitive job market," Small said. "You're going to find people who are going to be underemployed, I'm afraid.

"It will be several years before the economy gets back to where it was in the early '80s."

Small recommends in this job market that all majors use all available resources, even engineering. One shouldn't just sit back and wait for the compaines that come here.

"Bottom line -- use as many resources as possible," Small concluded.

Tomorrow, the resources offered by the Career Planning and Placement Center will be explored.

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