HOUSE PANEL CRITICIZES BAN ON MINORITY FUNDS

COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

A new Department of Education policy that bars universities from awarding scholarships based solely on race has been attacked as "legally unsupportable" by a panel in the House of Representatives.

"The administration has reversed decades of civil rights progress by opposing any attempts to correct past and present injustices suffered by minority students," said Rep. Ted Weiss (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee that issued the report.

In announcing the ban on race-specific scholarships in December, Education Secretary Lamar Alexander emphasized that no student who has a scholarship will lose it because of the new policy. He also noted that scholarships can continue to be used by colleges to attract students if the scholarships are based on a number of factors, such as economic background, geographic location and race.

The primary result of the move will stop predominantly white colleges from offering scholarships based on race to encourage enrollment of minorities. Race can still be considered in a scholarship, as long as it is "one factor among several." About two million students receive minority scholarships, but only 45,000 have race-specific scholarships.

A review of race-specific scholarships was undertaken by the Education Department after a department official warned Fiesta Bowl officials about offering $100,000 in minority scholarships to the Louisiana and Alabama universities if their football teams would play the game.

The House report, "The Fiesta Bowl Fiasco: Department of Education's Attempt to Ban Minority Scholarships," recommends that the department continue to uphold the legality of race-specific scholarships as an affirmative action tool. It also suggests that Alexander and other administrators develop initiatives to strengthen enforcement of civil rights laws.

The report claims that race-specific scholarships are backed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Supreme Court and the Department of Education's own regulations.

One unclear area of the new policy regards academic awards exclusively for minority students. For example, about 200 black students receive $1 million from 50 colleges under the National Achievement Scholarships for Outstanding Negro Students, a program of the National Merit Scholarship Corp. of Evanston, Ill. The academic merit grants, which have been awarded since 1964, are specifically for black students.

The new policy appears to say that a college can't use its own funds for race-exclusive scholarships, but may accept private donations for minority-specific grants. According to the Department of Education's public relations office, if a private donation comes in for a minority-specific scholarship, the university cannot contribute any funds to that amount.

There also remains some question about whether colleges can solicit such outside gifts for minority students. A final version of the rules is expected to be issued after March.

 

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COLLEGE RADIO STATION PASSES 50-YEAR MARK

COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

In an alternative medium, there are alternatives.

College radio, known for its creative formats and infatuation with alternative music, is not all music. It's also news.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the nation's oldest college radio station -- WILL-AM at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill.

The station, and its FM counterpart, also WILL, founded in 1941, is actually an arm of National Public Radio.

"The original idea in 1922 was as an educational alternative," said station manager Dan Simeone. "Only later did we become an independent programming service."

WILL-AM provides listeners with news, public affairs, talk and call-in shows, weather, agriculture reports and broadcasts from the British Broadcasting Corp. and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Some of the segments are locally produced and students help as interns and part-time workers in several areas of the station.

"We have a student assistant for our meteorologist, an assistant producer for our agriculture program and a student intern in the news department," in addition to some student board operators, Simeone said.

WILL-FM plays classical music 24 hours except on Saturday and Sunday, when the programming features jazz as well as international music from Africa, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

"As far as we know, the FM station was the first university-licensed FM station," Simeone said.

Although WILL was the first, several schools followed the lead. Now, NPR affiliates are located at college campuses across the country and many offer students a chance to work within the radio news and programming business to gain experience.

 

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COLLEGE COMPETING IN FOOTBALL AND IN PRANKS

COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

College football fever rages when the fight for the national championship and regional bragging rights brings out the "high spirits and immaturity" of fans nationwide, a Penn State University official said.

After the Nattany Lions beat Notre Dame 35-13 in South Bend, Ind., on Nov. 16, more than 1,000 fans stormed the school's football field.

Several tried to tear down one of the goal posts -- unsuccessfully -- and were arrested by campus police for disorderly conduct and trespassing.

"Most of the students were just happy to jump up and down on the field," said Christy Rambeau, a Penn State spokeswoman.

It took 40 campus police officers to roust the happy campers. In the process, a loudspeaker pole fell to the ground, but no one was injured.

Last year, Penn State students took over an empty Beaver Stadium after the Nittany Lions beat then-number-one ranked Notre Dame and succeeded in tearing down both goal posts which they paraded to coach Joe Paterno's house.

The Penn State-Notre Dame rivalry is matched at several other schools across the country.

In Chapel Hill and Durham, N.C., life is just one big practical joke the week before the University of North Carolina and Duke University play for bragging rights in towns only eight miles apart.

Before the Duke-North Carolina State football game, some thieves broke into a glass trophy case at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium and stole the school's NCAA championship trophy and basketball coach Mike Kryzewski's Coach-of-the- Year award.

The two were later recovered at the University of North Carolina. Campus police found the two awards near a campus landmark called the Old Well.

"It was a scary time there," said Richard Kilwien of Duke's sports information office. "That's obviously got a lot of value... we didn't know why someone would do something like that."

Fans say the prank stems from the South's oldest intercollegiate rivalry.

The two teams first met in 1888 at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh. Since then, the two teams' fans spend the week prior to the game trying to humiliate the other side with practical jokes.

 

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METALLICA'S STORMY NIGHT

BY SHANDA BOYETT

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It was a cold and stormy night Friday, when a lightning bolt hit Houston. Electrifying The Summit stage, heavy metal demigods Metallica proceeded to give their most outstanding performance to date.

Throngs of metal fans turned out in regiment black, not only to hear the sternum-thumping speed metal, but to see the much-publicized stage. The short, circular ramps leading into the seating area and two sets of mobile drums offered a tantalizing view of the show. A view which, at least for those lucky enough to have passes down to the floor area, was not hindered by seats.

The show began, not with the eardrum-blasting thump of razor sharp guitar riffs, but with a homey video about the group's arrival into the city, live peeks from backstage, and a 30-minute retrospective of Metallica's history.

Complete with interviews from lead singer James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Jason Newsted, it probably would have been interesting, had it been audible.

Instead, it was distorted and drowned out by the impatient wails of hyper hoodlums. The merits of the video would be better-revealed on MTV. Nevertheless, the visuals made for an interesting segue into the three-hour barrage of heavy-handed metal.

The evening finally got underway with Hetfield's melancholy crooning of the group's number-one hit "Enter Sandman," from their new self-titled album, Metallica.

Heads began to bang and hair began to fly as the assault began with the crowd receiving a healthy ambush of tunes from Metallica's previous albums as well, including "Whiplash," from their debut album, the foreboding "Master of Puppets," and "One," the ominous single from And Justice for All.

While the pace was fast and the music hard, the band members, themselves, seemed much more relaxed on their new-fangled stage than they have on previous tours. No longer under pressure to crank speed metal into every portion of the show, they appeared to be having a great time, joking and laughing, despite a power outage at mid-show.

Ulrich stole every lull with his devilish humor, going so far as to moon the crowd at one point. His resonating drum solo was interrupted by Hetfield, who challenged him on the second set of stage drums. While Hetfield held up pretty good, Ulrich ousted him, leaving Hetfield to reply, "Hey, I'm just a guitar player."

Both Newsted and Hammett had solos as well, gut-wrenching, thunderous affairs that showed both these guys have a range of expertise that goes far beyond speed metal.

The finale was no less explosive than the beginning, with a flashback to 70s histrionics in the form of indoor fireworks that were blinding in their intensity. Combined with deep and heavy distortion, the last few songs became a fiery battlefield, the melodies overcome by the harshness of the bass and the brightness of the explosions. But the deeper the bass rang out, the happier everyone was.

After all, it was a heavy metal concert.

 

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STAGES' OPEN WINDOW

SURVIVING THE DEATH OF A CHILD

BY ERICKA SCHICHE

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The audiences attending the latest Stages Repertory Theatre production,Open Window, will be given something most people rarely receive: the benefit of insight into an unfamiliar, extremely dysfunctional family.

From the outside looking in, the Wilson family would appear to be a relatively content clan, until tragedy strikes as it learns of the senseless stabbing death of Judy, the only daughter and oldest child of John and Leah Wilson.

The surviving family, which also includes a son and grandmother, is left groping for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming sense of grief and loss, coupled with the daily rituals of life, prove too explosive a combination for the Wilsons.

Grandmother Betty Kaelin, portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress Kim Hunter, is quickly forgotten as family members are each consumed by their own individual passions.

Leah, who is given to dwelling in the past, is passionate about keeping her slain daughter's memory alive. John, a corporate professional, labors to see that the court in which his daughter's murderer is tried administers justice.

Their son Brian, however, is passionate only about enjoying his remaining days of youth. Eventually, John misconstrues Brian's vivaciousness as a willingness to bury the memory of Judy.

Scattered throughout the 2-act play are some occasionally touching scenes in which two parents attending victims' rights support group meetings share memories of their deceased children.

One of these scenes plays out as if it were written in for comic relief. Although it is amusing, it detracts from the overall theme and artistic merit of the work. This is only one of the minor problems inherent in the script.

Such writing flaws are forgotten as director Peter Bennett extracts such fine performances from his cast.

Overall, the script is well-written, winning the 1991 New Harmony Project Playwriting Award. It is a surprisingly full-bodied work, considering this is Brad Korbesmeyer's first full-length play.

The main characters, who continue with their own means of coping, are never too distant from Judy's memory to have an occasional nervous breakdown or heated discussion about who should be blamed for the tragedy.

Ann Sachs, a veteran of Broadway and off-Broadway stages, is exceptional as Leah, the mother who eventually resolves the conflict between her inner child and adult self.

Mick Regan, who portrays John, the notebook-toting father, displays his excellent range while portraying a man who recovers from a bout with alcoholism and depression, only to realize he had wished his son would have died.

UH alumnus Clay Keene does a fine job of portraying Brian, the son who is eventually estranged from his father. Monique Maley's portrayal of Judy seemed adequate, but if her character had more dimension, Maley's performance might have been more memorable.

Although the technical aspect of the production may seem weaker than the artistic, this is due mainly to the overpowering strength of the script. The set seems wrapped in austerity. The other elements are simple, yet well-executed enough to not deflect attention away from the story.

The play, which runs until Feb. 2, delivers a convincing inside look at why a family will not emerge unscathed from the grips of tragedy and despair.

 

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STUDENTS ENJOYING WINTER VACATIONS; THIEVES BUSY BEES

BY RHONDA HECTOR

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

While students were enjoying their Christmas break, UH police were busy fighting crime on campus.

One of the more serious incidents occurred on Jan. 16, when Officer Joe Marquez spotted three young males breaking into a Mazda pick-up truck in Parking Lot 9C across from the Quadrangle. When they spotted the officer, the three jumped back into their own car and fled.

With the assistance of Houston Police, UHPD apprehended the suspects on the Gulf Freeway.

When they searched the car,

UH police found a loaded gun and a stereo from a car that had been burglarized earlier in the evening.

All three were arrested and charged with burglary of a motor vehicle.

A similar but unrelated incident occurred on Jan. 7 when Parking Enforcement Assistant Paul Lozano observed two males breaking into a car. The suspects ran when they were spotted, but were caught by UHPD near the Optometry Building.

The adult male was arrested and charged with burglary of a motor vehicle and evading arrest, but the other, a juvenile, was released to his mother.

Despite the efforts of campus police, criminals often end up back on the streets. This is particularly true with juveniles.

"We call Harris County Juvenile Probation to see what kind of record the person has," Lt. Brad Wigtil said.

"Depending on whether the person is on probation or if he has a lengthy record, they will advise us on whether they want us to bring them to the facility or release them to a parent," Wigtil said. "On almost all property crimes, they will tell us to release the juvenile to a parent."

In 1991, 53 cars were stolen from campus, but these figures don't include the hundreds that were only burglarized. Already this year, seven car burglaries on campus have been reported.

Although car burglaries are on the rise, police have suggestions on how students can protect their automobiles in campus parking lots.

Car security devices, such as car alarms or steering-lock devices are effective in discouraging would-be thieves, but there are other practical steps that can be taken as well.

"The most obvious deterrent is to lock your car," Wigtil said. "They (car burglars) will literally check doors 'til they find one that is open."

Another preventative measure is to keep property out of view.

"A lot of burglaries occur because of a camera or something valuable in the back seat," Wigtil said.

Reporting unusual behavior is also important.

"If people would call us so that we could check out any suspicious circumstances, that would help us," Wigtil said.

"There are call boxes in almost all of the parking lots. All a person has to do is pick up the phone and let us know."

 

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LONG-OVERDUE REVIEW READY BY MONTH'S END

BY MICHAEL D. OESER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Members of the task force set up last spring to review the UH police department arrest policy are finished with their report, but are being tight-lipped about what it says until it is officially released.

The task force was formed by President Marguerite Ross Barnett in response to allegations by Kappa Alpha Psi that UHPD officers harass campus blacks.

Vice President of Student Affairs Elwyn Lee, who served on the force, refused to comment on the specifics of the report before its release sometime before the end of this month.

But Lee did say the report "clearly suggests a direction we ought to go and sets down a system in order to make change."

Lee, a law professor who acted as a legal advisor to the group, said one of the reasons the report has been so long in coming is that the recent state funding threat to higher education shifted everyone's attention for a while last semester.

Besides arrest procedure, one of the questions the group was formed to answer was how offenses committed on campus should be handled. That is, whether UH has any leeway in handling arrests when the university, itself, is the victim.

In the past, UH has fully prosecuted any infraction occurring on campus, making the arrest and then handing the case over to the district attorney.

Students protested this policy, saying that it provided no room for the leniency that disciplining students sometimes calls for.

"We've spent our time talking about issues that are much broader than that. One of the things we had to do was trace the history of what policy has been," Lee said. "You really get a sense of where we are and where we've come from.

"Of course the goal is safety, but more importantly that it has to be done in a way that complements academic and student development."

Task force member and former Faculty Senate President John Bernard said the final draft finds a middle ground between UH's jurisdiction and the district attorney's.

"Under Elwyn Lee's guidance, the task force analyzed the legal aspects exquisitely. He was able to help the rest of us understand how county officials would interpret our policy," he said.

Bernard said he hopes the final report will be acceptable to the fraternities who lodged the original complaints.

Besides Lee and Bernard, members of the task force include Sharon Richardson, Louis Williams, Vice President for External Affairs David Keith, Robert Lineberry, Dorothy Caram and Students' Association President Michael Berry.

 

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SMOKERS UP IN ARMS; CIVIL LIBERTIES UP IN SMOKE

BY REBECCA MCPHAIL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Smoking may soon be a thing of the past at UH.

Last semester, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling for a total ban on smoking in all campus buildings. This ban includes private offices, dining areas, dorm rooms, and the University Hilton Hotel.

The resolution, passed on Nov. 20, 1991, is currently awaiting approval from President Marguerite Ross Barnett.

Bill Cook, professor of mechanical engineering and a member of the Faculty Senate, admits that the process is not as simple as it sounds.

"There are a lot of people against it, a lot of dedicated smokers," he said.

One smoker angered by the resolution is associate English Professor Jeanette Morgan. Morgan feels that the university's policies are already slanted against smokers.

"We have provided enough restrictions to protect non-smokers," she said.

Morgan feels that people are too willing to limit personal rights in an attempt to control an out-of-control world.

"Smoking is a hard thing to justify," she said, "but we can go too far."

Morgan, however, is in a steadily dwindling minority.

In another move to reduce smoking on campus, Students' Association President Michael Berry plans to introduce a ban similar to the Faculty Senate's at next Monday's SA meeting.

Berry is not sure what kind of response his proposal will receive.

"I'm anxious to see how the student leaders feel," he said.

Whatever the campus reaction turns out to be, Cook is still uncertain whether Barnett will en

dorse the resolution because of complications in implementation.

Potential complications include the lack of an enforcement plan and the need for a program to aid smokers in their efforts to quit.

"There's a fair amount of static involved," he said. "I think this issue's going to lie right where it is for awhile."

According to Berry, the outcry over smokers' rights is a moot point. "The issue's not smokers' rights, but the right to breath freely. It's more than just a nuisance for students to be around smoke," he said.

Berry's sentiments are being echoed with an increasing frequency by the medical community. Smoking is a dangerous habit with some grim statistics.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. It kills more Americans each year than cocaine, heroin, alcohol, auto accidents, homicide and suicide combined.

But the most frightening consequence of cigarette smoke is the death sentence of lung cancer. Only 13 percent of lung cancer patients live more than five years after their initial diagnoses.

In spite of this, Americans still smoke 600 billion cigarettes annually.

Throughout the years, many lawsuits against tobacco companies have been filed on behalf of smokers. However, there have been a growing number of non-smokers filing suits.

Recently, a $5 billion suit was filed by a group of non-smoking flight attendants with cancer. The suit charged that exposure to secondhand smoke caused their conditions.

College Press Services provided statistics for this story.

 

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENTS PLANNED

BY FRANK SAN MIGUEL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

This year's African American History Month promises films, seminars, speakers and a deeper perspective into the African American experience.

Subject matter for the event ranges from philosophical talks, to the Princess of Black Poetry, to one of Hollywood's rising African American stars.

Associate Program Director of African American Studies Morris Graves will deliver the opening address at noon on Monday, Feb. 3, at the University Center Patio.

Graves, who will speak on "Afrocentricity: Study and Philosophy of the African American Experience," said he hopes to make students more familiar with African philosophy, as differentiated from European philosophy. Graves' speech will be followed by a performance by the Good News Gospel Choir.

African American History Month's keynote speaker will be acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni, who will address students at 6 p.m., Feb. 10, in the Houston Room of the University Center.

Giovanni, who made a name for herself in 1968 with Black Feeling, Black Talk, has 18 books and six recordings of poetry and prose to her credit. Her work is also the subject of the film Spirit to Spirit: the Poetry of Nikki Giovanni.

During the 1960s, Giovanni was active in the civil rights movement and the fight for equality in education. Dubbed by critics as "The Princess of Black Poetry," Giovanni's message has emphasized equality and social change, interspersed with insight and humor.

AIDS in the African American Community will be the topic at 7 p.m., Feb. 12, in the Moody Towers Commons. Speakers include a spokesperson from NAACP's AIDS Task Force. Earlier that day, students can stop by a Health Fair in the UC Arbor from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

At 6 p.m., Feb. 17, in the Cascade Room, today's job market and prospects for graduating African Americans will be addressed in "Finding a Job After Graduation: Career Planning for the African American Student." Joy Warner, internship coordinator for the Career Planning and Placement Center, will present the workshop.

On Feb. 19, from noon - 1 p.m., African American Studies will feature the seminar, "Leadership in a Family Setting," hosted by Graves and Diane Boudreaux-Graves, his spouse. The seminar will be about leadership and roles in the family when the woman and man are leaders, themselves, Graves said.

"A Malcolm X Celebration" comes to the World Affairs Lounge in the UC Underground on Friday, Feb. 21, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The program will include a speaker and film to be announced.

A second keynote address will be delivered by Giancarlo Esposito on Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. in the World Affairs Lounge. Esposito, half-African American and half Italian, will speak on diversity and his own experiences as the product of an interracial marriage.

As an actor who has appeared in such films as Spike Lee's Mo Better Blues and School Daze, Esposito will also address the social significance of Lee's films.

The month's finale features traditionally African-American fraternities and sororities stepping -- a form of competitive dancing -- on Feb. 28, at noon in the UC Arbor. For the first time, the event, sponsored by the Black Student Union, will be open to non-Greek groups.

"This is the first time on campus that other groups will be stepping," Activities Advisor Kim Agnew said. "I've never seen it happen at other universities either."

Entertainment events have also been scheduled throughout the month.

Each Tuesday, there will be a Movie Night, co-sponsored with the Student Program Board. Feb.4 features The Wiz in the Houston Room; Feb. 11 brings Stormy Weather and St. Louis Blues to the Pacific Room.

On Feb. 16, Aint Misbehavin' plays in the Houston Room; and School Daze rounds out the month on Feb. 25 in the Pacific Room. Admission to all the films is free of charge.

Feb. 13, 20 and 27 will be Cosby Nights at Coogs Cafe, when students will watch and discuss television programs The Cosby Show and A Different World.

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