SSFPAC is now SFAC. And your fees may go up.

Last summer, the state Legislature dissolved the Student Service Fee Planning and Allocation Committee and replaced it with the Student Fees Advisory Committee.

It also raised the student fee service cap to $150 from $90. The increase can come in yearly increments of 10 percent, unless a student referendum dictates a larger boost.

Rodger Peters, the last chair of SSFPAC, said he anticipates the school will approve the fee hike for fiscal year 1993. He cited the rising cost of uncontrollable expenses such as utilities, telephones and insurance among the reasons.

The new committee retains the same duties as the old one, allotting fee money to various UH units. SFAC's recommendations are based on the amount of student use shown by the units each year.

Peters said all the former members of SSFPAC still refer to SFAC by its old name (pronounced SIFF-pack). He said he didn't know the reason for the name change.

"I could speculate that probably the reason that they changed it was partly that the students couldn't remember what the acronym was," he said.

Peters said SFAC would hold an election at today's meeting if enough members were present. He said he planned to seek an unprecedented third term as chair.

"I don't think anyone's run for three terms," Peters said. "I think most people who've run for chair of SSFPAC have run for president of Students' Association. I have no plans for that."

In fact, Peters' unpopularity within the SA senate kept him from being one of the five students appointed by that body. SA President Michael Berry said Peters had made many enemies there in the last two years, but Berry said he recommended Peters be appointed by the administration.

The transition became official Sept. 1. The number of members remains fixed at 11, but the selection process is now geared toward more student participation.

Besides SA's five picks, four are chosen by UH President Marguerite Ross Barnett. She opted to select two students among them, a point that Berry said bodes well for students.

"One of the important issues was that student representation not be diluted," he said.

Berry predicted the UH administration would approve the 10 percent fee hike at each opportunity, because every facet of the school is feeling a budget pinch.

"I think it'll be a rubber stamp issue year after year," he said.

Berry can no longer serve on the board. Dean of Students Willie Munson said this was to prevent a potential conflict of interest.

Munson, a non-voting member who carries considerable clout with the committee, said the student service fee hike was not a done deal.

"Unless there's a demonstrated need to increase the fee, I don't think we should increase it," he said.








The 16th-ranked Lady Cougars stopped the Aggies with less than five seconds left in overtime to save a 79-78 victory at Hofheinz Wednesday, stopping a two-game losing streak.

LaShawn Johnson was a dominant force. She played 43 minutes scoring 29 points. She also wrestled the ball away from the Aggies, under their goal, to preserve the victory.

"LaShawn's our floor leader," UH Women's Basketball Coach Jessie Kenlaw said. "She's been in a slump the last two games, but she played well."

Both teams started off slow, scoring only 15 points in the first five minutes.

"We were trying too hard (because of the two losses)," Kenlaw said. "They did a great job of changing defenses on us."

The Lady Cougars held Aggie Dena Russo, last week's Sports Illustrated Player of the Week, to only 12 points.

"The key to the game was keeping the pressure on Dena and then making the other players beat us," Kenlaw said. "And they almost did."

At the end of the first half, the Lady Cougars were leading 38-31 with 19 of their points coming from Johnson.

When the buzzer sounded, beginning the second period, the Lady Cougars came out firing, scoring 13 points to A&M's two.

They maintained this lead until the seven-minute mark. The Aggies then scored eight unanswered points, bringing them within one point of the Lady Cougars.

The game was tied at 64 when Yolanda Brown sunk a free-throw at the three-minute mark. The score seesawed back and forth until Lady Cougars' forward Stephanie Edwards scored a short jump-shot to tie the game at 70 with 42 seconds left in regulation time.

With 15 seconds left, Vanessa Edwards took too long to inbound the ball, causing the Aggies to lose possession. The Cougars failed to score, sending the game into overtime.

In the final five minutes, the Lady Cougars jumped out to a five-point lead, but the Aggies came back. With 3:18 left, they scored six unanswered points to take the lead at 77-78, with 57 seconds left in overtime.

With the game on the line, the Lady Cougars marched down the court, when Darla Simpson scored a layup with 25 seconds left on the clock.

Finally, with time running out, A&M maneuvered for the winning basket, but they were stopped short by the Cougar defense, leaving room for only a desperation shot, which Russo missed.








One thing's for sure, Main Street is one part of Houston that has endured and adapted throughout a century of evolutionary changes.

And, thanks to the efforts of students and faculty from the UH College of Architecture, the historic thoroughfare may be the focus of many generations of Houstonians to come.

In conjunction with Rice University, the UH team worked with professional architects, designers, politicians and business leaders to come up with a vision for Main Street's destiny.

The goal was to find a way to deal with the urban and economic problems facing the area while preserving the history of the community.

Their ideas came together as an exhibition of maps, sketches, models, pictures and a slide show, which are now on display at the Museum of Fine Arts until April 12.

The Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architecture sponsored community meetings to discuss the project.

"The focus of the meetings was to get background on the variety of the problems and concerns," said Gerald Moorhead, curator of the exhibition and a fellow of the AIA.

The hundreds of participants were divided into 16 different groups to study specific geographic or thematic areas of Main Street.

UH architecture students put together the slide show on Main Street and its history and also drew the to-scale base maps.

After their research was complete, the groups met at UH for a charrette, a round-the-clock meeting lasting three to four days, to put down on paper their ideas to address the problems.

"It was not only an excellent opportunity for the students to do some very serious observation of the aspects of the city," Tom Colbert, assistant professor of architecture, said, "but it also was a chance for them to meet and work with some of the professionals they will be working with in the future."

William O. Neuhaus, president of the Houston chapter of AIA, who initiated the concept of the Main Street Project, also came up with the idea of having students involved.

"The relationship between the academic and professional community is not what it should be," Neuhaus said. "It was a way to show students that their ideas can make an impact."

And every effort was made to ensure the project would be readily accessible to the community.

"When putting together the exhibition and publication, we tried to refine the ideas to something that could be communicated to and understood by the general public," Moorhead said.








Ray Hill is at it again.

In 1990, Hill, a gay rights activist, ran against fellow liberal David Patronella for justice of the peace, Precinct One, Position Two. But he lost that election by 7,000 votes, pulling 35 percent of the vote.

Hill adds that he only spent $1,200 on the race to Patronella's estimated $80,000.

"At the end of that race, I said I'd be running again, and here I am," Hill said. "I hated to run against David Patronella, but was not going to pull out."

Hill said his chances in the race this time are good, with his most formidable opponent being City Council member Dale Gorczynski.

"While one of the people may dip into my bucket by using their ties to Montrose civic clubs, six have ties in areas that are traditionally Dale's," Hill said.

Hill said his decision to seek the office was due to several observations.

"I resent that the JP courts have become so aloof and condescending," he said. "The JP courts are essentially neighbors deciding on neighborhood problems and disputes. Instead, they've become very out of touch with what their purpose is."

"There are no major criminals at the point of the justice of the peace courts where people can be encouraged to settle the dispute," Hill said. "These cases can be handled in a gentle, compassionate and friendly way."

Twenty-thousand dollars, as well as in-kind donations, is Hill's current fund-raising goal, as he approaches old allies and organizations for aid. However, his toughest battle, he concedes, will be getting voters to vote in his particular race.

"Enthusiasm is high when people vote for president, governor, but the JP race is on the last page of the ballot. We've got to harp on voters to cast ballots in the JP race," he said.

While Hill has only recently aspired to public office, his activism in the political arena has kept him in the public eye for over 20 years.

He is co-founder of the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, co-founder and former chair of Lesbian and Gay Pride Week, director of the anti-censorship First Amendment Lobby, and founder of the civil rights-oriented Houston Human Rights League.

His forays into First Amendment questions are almost as celebrated.

Several Hill v. City of Houston cases have decided precedents, including Hill cases one and four, which protect citizens from arrest for what they say to a police officer; case two, which protects citizens from unreasonable demands by police of identification; and case three, protecting citizens from arrest when they have done nothing illegal.

"In one case, I witnessed two police officers beating up a young, black man, and I told them `Hey Bubba, why don't you pick on someone your own size like me,' and I was arrested for that," Hill said.

In another, Hill said he was observing police during an arrest and was told to leave. When he didn't, he was arrested for prostitution.

"Now, under that assumption, me and anyone else walking and stopping on the sidewalk was a suspected prostitute," he said.

Hill, who is openly gay, said that his long-time activism in the gay and lesbian community should be of little consequence in this race and added that perception of gays and lesbians in Houston has changed dramatically.

"We've made a very big difference in public perception since the beating death of Paul Broussard," he said. "Opinion has changed so much that I doubt that gay-baiting will be successfully used again," he said.








While Mayor Bob Lanier has made some quick progress toward putting more officers on the street, some have suggested the process by which the department acquires new officers might be streamlined for more long-term benefits.

Rex White, associate director of UH-Downtown's Law Enforcement Academy, says he has had some ideas on ways his organization might provide Houston with more officers at a lower cost in the future.

"We've had some ideas on how we might save them a lot of money for a long time now," he said.

Current Houston Police Department policy requires that anyone seeking employment with them complete their own academy's program. While in the HPD pogram, cadets are paid $880 bi-weekly and are provided with cadet uniforms.

With classes averaging 24 weeks long, that makes the price tag on training one cadet $10,560, excluding instructor, uniform and materials costs.

Part of the HPD academy's curriculum is geared toward educating the potential cadets so they can pass the Texas Peace Officers Licensing Test, a standardized test given by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (TCLOSE). Every law enforcement officer in Texas must pass the TCLOSE test to be certified as a Texas peace officer.

White said HPD might save the time and money during training by allowing potential officers who have already passed the TCLOSE exam to forego those parts of the training related to passing the test.

"The HPD does basically the same things we do to allow them (the cadets) to pass the test," White said.

Graduates of the UH-Downtown academy, and other academies, have already had courses allowing them to pass this test. Nonetheless, they and anyone else applying to be a Houston police officer must still complete the entire HPD academy curriculum, including those parts geared toward passing the TCLOSE test.

HPD Police Academy recruit training officer M. L. Williamson said the curriculum at his academy was about 1000 hours long. Of those hours, about 440 of them are to help cadets pass the TCLOSE exam. In other words, a little less than half the course and its funds are geared to this end.

White said that while the TCLOSE training could be considered redundant, short courses covering specific HPD policy and procedure would still need to be provided to those already TCLOSE certified.

White also said the HPD academy does a background check which his academy already performs on its cadets.

White said HPD might also save money by reducing their failure rate through accepting cadets who have already proven they can pass the TCLOSE test.

The average HPD class has 75 cadets. Add to that an average of two cadets per class who don't pass the courses, making them ineligible for hire and costing HPD at least $21,120 per class.

"We might be able to do that. I personally don't know if that has been considered," Williamson said. "It's a good idea. I could see how that could save money."

However, in defense of current HPD policy, Williamson said the reason for requiring the HPD academy courses is because of the amount of liability involved in police work. He said this way, HPD "can assure a certain amount of quality."








When a fire raced through UH's E. Cullen Building on Tuesday, the Office of Development was among those left with severe smoke and water damage.

Items with irreparable damage were the university's financial endowments and other agreements that were housed in the building's fourth-floor offices. But just as important to staffers were the preparations they had made for the university's annual United Way campaign, which was scheduled to begin the following day.

More than 3,000 pledge cards, campaign kits and posters were in the office when firemen began to scale their ladders and pour water into the windows. By the time the fire was out, project materials were floating in water two inches deep.

"When we saw our belongings, and our desks, notebooks and briefcases piled up in the middle of the floor in E. Cullen, some of the staff members were so depressed," Vice President of External Affairs David Keith said. Keith is the chair of the university's 1992 United Way campaign.

For awhile, it looked as though the campaign might collapse under the weight of soot and water, but nothing could dampen the spirits of Donor Relations Director Nancy Clark and other staffers. Undaunted, they pulled out what could be salvaged out of the ashes and went on with the project as scheduled.

Their efforts were so successful that when they kicked off the annual fund-raising drive on Wednesday, the only reminder of the fire was the residual dampness and smell of smoke that lingered in some of the campaign materials. Fortunately, the T-shirts handed out to campus campaign coordinators at the University Center meeting were dark enough to hide the fire's after-effects.

"These T-shirts were white before the fire," Clark joked about the dyed black garments.

But Clark was more serious when she spoke about what she hopes will be accomplished during the week-long campaign. Clark said she and the other fund-raisers hope they can reach out and help members of the community less fortunate than themselves, through the funds that they raise.

The immense organization helps thousands of needy people throughout the greater Houston area each year, funding more than 90 agencies. American Red Cross, Big Brothers & Sisters, A Bridge Over Troubled Waters and Star of Hope all depend on United Way funds.

Services provided by these agencies help people of all ages, from pregnant teens to the elderly. Those with special needs, like the mentally ill, the hungry and the homeless also are served by United Way agencies.

"If you're ever in need, it's broad- based," Keith said. "It touches you in so many ways that you never realize."

United Way's helping hand also extends to UH's central campus. While many students and staffers are volunteers for various United Way agencies, many others have benefited from its assistance.

Maintenance worker Blaine Fondal got his job through the Center for the Retarded, a United Way agency. Fondal is hard-working and dependable, and has rarely missed a day since he was employed by UH in 1974, his supervisor C. M. Green said.

If you haven't seen Fondal's cheerful grin around campus, you may soon see his likeness smiling at you from a United Way poster or fund-raising film.

Students like Gerry Montalto have also benefited from the organization's largess. Montalto, a master's degree candidate in speech language pathology, is attending graduate school thanks to a fellowship awarded by The Speech and Hearing Institute, a United Way agency.

The sentiments of those who have been helped by United Way are best expressed by Michael Kelley, who leads the Salvation Army's Harbor Light Choir. Each of the choir's 17 members have overcome drug or alcohol addictions through the help of the United Way.

"We are all the direct recipients of your United Way gifts," Kelley said. "We do thank you because those contributions have given us the time to get our lives together and afforded each one of us a new start.

"You have really helped to save our lives, and for that, we do thank you."







He was almost unrecognizable. Sitting remarkably still, his arms casually stretched along the back of a sofa, Howie Mandel quietly watched CNN and drank a soda.

No plastic surgical glove stretched over his nose and across the top of his curly-haired head, no maniacal grin adorned his face, no rambling series of thoughts came surging out of his mouth at the speed of a runaway train.

What? In real life, Howie Mandel is actually quite normal.


Despite his calm appearance this day, the comedian-actor-former-carpet salesman from Toronto is anything but.

Mandel's entertainment career started in 1979 when he visited Los Angeles for business and stepped on a stage at a comedy club. A producer was in the audience.

That performance led to a job on the game show Make Me Laugh, which led to college circuit appearances and his role as Dr. Wayne Fiscus on the television series St. Elsewhere.

Mandel has worked on several projects since St. Elsewhere. In his most recent endeavor, Mandel has turned his famous child character "Bobby" into a Saturday morning cartoon on the Fox network.

Mandel is still touring colleges nationwide and has two upcoming specials, one a recently-recorded live performance for Showtime, scheduled to air this spring; the other an ABC special airing in February in which he, Roseanne Barr, Burt Reynolds and Bill Cosby return to their high schools.

Since Mandel seemed sane enough watching the news this particular afternoon, CPS decided to give an interview a try.

CPS: Tell me about the college circuit. You're very popular with the college crowd. Virtually all your shows are sell-outs.

Mandell: I do it a lot. I just hit two colleges (recently). Bradley in Peoria, Ill., and Michigan State in East Lansing.

CPS: Do you plan to continue performing there, at colleges?

Mandel: At that one school, those two schools? Yes. I'm going to start a circuit with those two schools and go back and forth. No, it's all part of the tour, you know, and I'm always doing it. I do about 150 shows a year, and they include colleges, universities and theaters. They're great audiences, too. I like playing to colleges because they give me sweatshirts and T-shirts, where as when you go and play a theater, you don't get any of that paraphernalia.

CPS: How is "Bobby's World" doing?

Mandel: "Bobby's World" is number one in its time slot (7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. depending on location), and it got nominated for an Emmy. I think the success of that show is that we don't write it for kids, you know. I think kids appreciate it ... but by the same token, we garner a big college audience and an adult audience because the sense of humor is the same as what I'd do in a concert.

CPS: How did "Bobby" start? You've been quoted as saying that Bobby's voice emerged when you were choking on a piece of birthday cake at a party when you were 11 and everyone laughed.

Mandel: Yes, that's true. I've been doing the voice for years in concerts, and I got approached by Phil Roman and the people who do Garfield and was asked if I'd be interested in doing Saturday morning television, and I said "No" because I like to sleep in on Saturday morning and they said I could do it any time and they would just air it then, and I said "Okay." One thing leads to another, and here I am doing an interview with the College Press Service.

CPS: Do you like doing voices? You did the voice "Gizmo" in Gremlins, right?

Mandel: Yes. I've done (voices) for a long time. I also did Muppet Babies, too. I was Skeeter, Animal and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. I like doing all different things. It keeps them fresh and interesting. But so does Tupperware, right?

CPS: Right. Did you have any idea you'd get into comedy?

Mandel: It was next on the Rolodex. No, I never really thought about it growing up in suburban Toronto.

CPS: What prompted you to get up on stage that night at the comedy club in L.A.?

Mandel: My friends. I was 3,000 miles away from home in Los Angeles. You can't make a fool of yourself when you don't know anyone.

CPS: So is that your advice for budding comedians? Do you have any advice?

Mandel: If it's cold, take a sweater. I don't know. I really don't analyze. I don't even know what I do ... Everything I've ever been punished for, hit for, fined for is what I get paid for today.

CPS: Where do you get ideas for your stand-up?

Mandel: They happen. It's kind of like gas ... and I'll write it down or my kids (ages seven and two) will do something and spark an idea for "Bobby's World."

CPS: What was it like returning to your high school (for the special)?

Mandel: It was bizarre. Going back to school where I spent four years of my life, and everybody there hadn't even been born yet. It kind of makes you feel old.

CPS: Did you ever want to go to college?

Mandel: I didn't have a choice. I was asked to leave three different high schools.

CPS: But you actually graduated from high school, didn't you?

Mandel: Well, no. (with a smile) They gave me a diploma last week on the special. Now I'm a graduate.

CPS: If you had graduated, would you have gone?








Cpl. Robert Finley will add another award to his collection after winning UHPD's Officer of the Year Award.

Finley was honored as Officer of the Year by the department and the University Oaks Civic Association Wednesday in a ceremony at the Hilton's Grand Ballroom.

Finley's many other awards during the year contributed to his winning this award.

In February of 1991, Finley earned the Co-employee of the Month Award for his duties.

In one instance, he observed two males loitering among parked vehicles in Lot 12A. Both suspects opened the trunk of a parked vehicle and then split up in the lot. One suspect entered a vehicle and drove away while another left on foot. Both were stopped and questioned.

A registration check showed the vehicle had been reported stolen. The suspect driver was arrested for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The second suspect was found to be in possession of crack cocaine and was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

In June, Finley received the same award. He observed a male in Lot 9C who contacted a resident on Wheeler Street. Finley later observed the suspect enter a driveway to a home further east on Wheeler.

Upon contacting the first resident, Finley was told the suspect had asked to check that home's gas meter. The suspect was stopped and questioned as he pushed a lawnmower through the University Oaks subdivision.

Investigation revealed the lawnmower had been removed from the garage of the first home. The Houston Police Department was contacted to take custody of the suspect, who was charged with burglary.

Finley, who joined the department in February 1989, was promoted in September 1989 to corporal. He has also received two certificates of merit and several letters of appreciation.

Despite Finley's honors, UHPD Chief George Hess said this year's award was more about all-around service to the UH community.

"When we vote on the honoree, we vote for someone who's respected and should be looked up to by the entire department," Hess said. "We give the award to those who display the qualities of service and commitment on a daily basis and care about the community."

Lt. Brad Wigtil said, "Robert worked in Investigations, which isn't a glorious job, but he worked hard and performed a critical function.

"He was always willing to make personal sacrifices -- even though he had a family -- to help the UH community."

Finley said the award was the result of teamwork. "I thought this was a great honor, but I certainly couldn't have done it without the entire department," he said.








When female singers are compared with each other, the more established ones are spoken of in the same breath as the young upstarts. Rarely are a man and woman of comparable singing talent spoken of in the same breath. Harry Connick Jr. takes his notes and inspiration from none other than Frank Sinatra. Likewise, many female singers, such as Anita Baker and Phyllis Hyman, hold Nancy Wilson in high regard.

If Sinatra and Wilson have anything in common, it is a skill all singers should hone: the ability to convey emotions and tell a story. Although it may appear to be simple to those outside the realm of vocal arts, this skill is one of the keys to both longevity and quality.

Last Friday and Saturday, Wilson demonstrated once again why she has maintained her appeal after the release of 53 albums.

An air of poignancy laced with a somber mood pervaded the atmosphere of Rockefeller's as she introduced "When October Goes," a song about aging which appears on her latest album titled With My Lover Beside Me.

Wilson described the song as one of the few that is actually personal, saying that age is something "I would like to think that I will gracefully deal with when October goes."

Wilson, who has a remarkable rapport with audiences, shows her appreciation for the intimate atmosphere of the small club when she shares details about her private life. For instance, while introducing "If I Could," she spoke about her three children as if a dear friend were nearby.

During her rendition of the song, the loving, nurturing expressions of a mother seemed evident, even as she sang of sacrifice.

Her three sets also included the love songs "Look at You," "Something Tells Me I'm Fallin' In Love," "People Will Say We're in Love," "Can't Take My Eyes off You" and "When Did You Leave Heaven."

"Do You Still Dream About Me," a cut from A Lady With a Song -- her 52nd album -- was another obvious crowd favorite. It's a song which particularly delighted male fans, and one she obviously loves to sing.

Wilson also sang a tribute to late singer Sarah Vaughan, introducing

it in much the same way she did during her last Houston tour date, December 1990. She spoke of Vaughan as "the lady," and sang it as a song stylist, as opposed to the way a pop or jazz singer might have sung it.

Her latest album, the first collaborative effort between herself and Barry Manilow, consists entirely of lyrics written by the late Johnny Mercer. Although she only performed two cuts from the album, the audience seemed pleased when she sang her ballad medley, something she had rarely done until a few months ago.

Wilson concluded the concert with a song titled "You Can Have Him." The Nancy Wilson Trio, drummer Roy McCurdy, bassist Jeff Littleton and accompanist Lou Matthews, created sharply contrasting moods, displaying an ability to accommodate the consummate storyteller.

To many of her fans, she is known as a song stylist with the ability to paint a vivid picture. What distinguishes her most from many of her contemporaries is the way she is able to stay in the upper echelon of the music industry without succumbing to the temptation to commercialize her music.








We will have many opportunities to expand our cultural horizons through weekend events. Some of these events are under $10 and a few are even free -- good news since most of us are still financially recovering from fee payment and other educational expenses.

The following is a list of events for students looking for culture on a budget or just looking for an entertaining weekend. Naturally, nobody has money or time to do everything, but this list should suggest something for everyone.

The most notable happenings this weekend are part of "Sonic Works," a series of workshops, performances and panel discussions celebrating sound. The festival began Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Free musical workshops will take place daily at 1 p.m. through Sunday at Diverse Works (1117 East Freeway) with different hosts each day. Performances of various types of music and sound experimentation will be held at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at DiverseWorks, with more performances afterward at 10 p.m. at Commerce Street Artists Warehouse (2315 Commerce) both nights. The final performance will be at 3 p.m. at DiverseWorks. The admission ranges from $8 to $10 for DiverseWorks performances, and is $5 for Commerce Street performances.

The weekend ends with a panel discussion at DiverseWorks Sunday at 5 p.m., featuring all the artists of the "Sonic Works" series. Recordings by most artists can also be listened to in The Listening Gallery in DiverseWorks, which will be ongoing.

One musical event that will not take place this weekend is the Chamber Music and Vocal Works concert featuring David Ashley White at First Presbyterian Church. Some of the publicity released for this event showed an incorrect date of Saturday, Feb. 1.

For those who were planning to go, the correct date is Monday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m., so you might consider a "Sonic Works" performance to fill the now-empty slot in your schedule Saturday night.

Another musical event to consider this weekend is the Shamen concert, presented by the Coca-Cola concert series. It will be "A Five-Hour Rave Party" beginning at 8 p.m. in Club Progeny at Numbers (300 Westheimer) tonight.

The Shamen, originally from Scotland, will be performing their hit "Move any Mountain" and other songs, accompanied by Moby from New York City, and DJ Mr. C from London.

For those who prefer to not leave campus, the UH Drama Department's presentation of Four by Tenn opens this weekend with a performance at 8 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $20 at the door.

The presentation includes performances of four plays by Tennessee Williams: The Confessional, The Long Goodbye, This Property is Condemned and 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. Student tickets are $5.








In an attempt to reconcile an ever-expanding student population with the desire for an individualized education, more and more teachers are turning to teaching assistants for help.

In a recent issue of Texas Monthly, the University of St. Thomas ran an advertisement condemning this practice.

"Teaching college students is far too important to be left up to teaching assistants," the ad stated. "That's why there aren't any at UST. Only professors."

UST biology Professor Ann Pinkerton agrees with the ad. Pinkerton presides over both her lecture classes and her four hours of general biology lab.

"I would not consider not teaching my own lab. I wouldn't imagine it," she said.

Due to the intricate nature of the experiments and the large size of the class, however, Pinkerton admits she does have help. "I do employ an undergraduate student to sort of help me out."

But, Pinkerton insists she is one of the few teachers who has an assistant.

UST is a small, privately-funded school which offers, almost exclusively, undergraduate degrees. The school enrolled 2,078 students in the fall of 1991 -- its largest ever.

Rice University is another relatively small, private institution. Not surprisingly, Rice's view of teaching assistants mirrors that of UST.

"Basically, Rice doesn't use teaching assistants," said a member of the provost's office, adding, "That's one of the things that makes Rice special."

Although Rice's fall 1991 enrollment of 4,160 is double that of UST, it is a meager amount compared to UH's, which enrolled 33,580 in fall 1991.

The task of educating more than 30,000 students seems even more unmanageable in light of the fact that there are only 948 full-time faculty members. It is for this reason that professors turn to teaching assistants.

As of Dec. 10, 1991, UH had 1,379 teaching assistants -- an increase over the 1,373 counted in January of 1991.

Chemistry Department Chair John Bear said teaching assistants are necessary in a school as large as UH. "There's no way you can hire enough faculty," he said.

In the Chemistry Department alone, there are between 60 and 70 labs. Even though the labs are monitored by a faculty supervisor, there is no doubt who is in charge. "The teaching assistants actually run the lab," Bear said.

With a student population of 49,961, the University of Texas is in the same situation as UH. There are currently 2,373 full-time faculty aided by 1,953 teaching assistants.







Academic eligibility standards for freshman athletes will be even tougher beginning in 1995. The change is one of many approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at its 1992 annual convention.

The new academic requirement involves increasing an incoming student athlete's minimum grade point average to 2.5 in 13 core curriculum courses and establishing a sliding scale that balances a student's standardized test scores with his or her grade average.

For example, the scale would allow an athlete with a 2.0 to compete if he or she scored a minimum of 900 on the SAT or 21 on the ACT. If the student has less than a 2.0 or scores less than 700 on the SAT or 17 on the ACT, he or she would not be eligible to play sports.

Previously, Proposition 48 stated that athletes must have a minimum 700 on the SAT or 18 on the ACT with a minimum 2.0 GPA in 11 core curriculum courses. No sliding scale existed.

Coaches of the Big East Conference had the most vocal opposition to the new rule, primarily because of a continued complaint against using standardized test scores as an eligibility cut-off device.

The NCAA President's Commission drafted the newly approved academic package.

"About six years ago, when Propositions 48 and 42 were approved, it was the beginning of academic reform (in the NCAA)," said Rick Evrard, director of NCAA legislative services. "This is just a continuation."

Other propositions approved at the NCAA convention include:

Allowing student athletes to request information about their potential in the professional sports market without losing eligibility -- as long as the student does not retain an agent.

The proposal was designed to help students deal with the business aspect of becoming a professional athlete by allowing them to seek "job advice" like other students.

Student athletes, however, cannot enter the NBA or NFL draft and retain eligibility.

The Pacific-10 Conference opposed the proposition, fearing that institutions might be held liable if an athlete says he or she received bad advice from his or her university.

Allowing coaches of major sports powerhouses to continue collecting money for product endorsements and television appearances, but requiring them to first seek permission from the schools' presidents.

Giving Division I basketball teams more leeway for playing in exhibition games during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The NCAA voted against a measure to create a new football division, I-AAA, for smaller Division I schools. And, the full NCAA membership agreed to officially oppose a federal mandate written into the pending Higher Education Reauthorization Act that requires the public disclosure of athletics-related revenue and expenditures at schools.

At the close of the convention, most said they were satisfied with the outcome.

"The 1992 NCAA convention has proved to be one of the most significant in recent memory," Creed Black of the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics said in a prepared statement. "The reforms approved ... demonstrate the renewed commitment of university presidents and athletic administrators to the integrity of intercollegiate sports and to the academic well-being of the student-athlete."








A new phone system that will affect 99 percent of the people on campus will soon be up and running, Telecommunications Manager Lee Bentch said.

"Eighty percent of the people here were still using the old rotary phones. For the university to have any kind of future, changes had to be made," Bentch said.

The new system, which is currently being installed all over campus, will be in place by the middle of February, with the exception of the residence halls, which won't have the new system until spring break.

The biggest change brought about by the new system is a new phone number for everyone.

In addition to suffix changes for each office and residence hall room, the old 749 phone number prefix will be replaced by the prefix 743.

"Almost all of the wiring is completed, and we're almost ready to have individual offices pick out their phone equipment. We're distributing over 3,000 phones and have installed over 5,000 jacks. We're also giving daily classes to anyone who's interested in how to use the new telephones, since we have a few options which people may not be used to," Bentch said.

One option available with the new system is phonemail -- an automated answering service connected with the central phone system.

"It should cut down a great deal on leaving messages with secretaries and `He's out to lunch' responses. The caller will be able to call a professor directly, and if she isn't in her office, to leave a message through phonemail," Bentch said.

Along with the new phone lines, data lines for computers are also being installed.

"It's a big project. We're laying out over 25 miles of cable for this, but it needs to be done if the university is going to keep up with technology," he said.

Each department will pick up the cost for their own installation, payable through their phone bill every month, with an increase of, at the most, 10 percent.

"When you look at how much good this does for the school, it's really not much to pay at all," Bentch said.








Biology lab was a frustrating experience for Dina Abramson, but not because she disliked biology. Simply getting to the Old Science Building lab was what frustrated her.

Abramson, who has muscular dystrophy, frequently uses a motorized cart to maneuver across campus.

A ramp runs up the side of the Old Science Building. But because that entrance is not used by many people, she sometimes has to wait five or more minutes for a passer-by to open the door for her.

A portion of the Americans with Disabilities Act became effective Sunday. It should help further eliminate the obstacles that Abramson and other disabled UH students, staff and faculty confront every day.

The new law mandates that businesses and public administrators take reasonable steps to make their facilities accessible to handicapped persons.

The university had already taken significant steps following the passing of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act that required all federally-funded institutions to provide accessibility to handicapped individuals, Karen Waldman, coordinator for Handicapped Student Services, said.

But the new law strives to underscore the 1973 act by eliminating the remaining barriers in both public and private facilities.

"Basically, the university is doing a good job in meeting handicapped students' needs," Abramson said. "But I still get impatient sometimes."

Abramson is president of the Handicapped Student Advisory Board, which acts as a liaison between the university and the disabled community.

HSAB works closely with Waldman and James Berry, associate vice chancellor for facilities planning and construction.

In preparation for the new law, Berry's staff started evaluating university facilities and renovation

plans several months ago to determine if they were in compliance.

Items such as door pressure, bath room fixtures and elevator button heights have been checked in all buildings.

It has been proposed that an

advisory board be formed to help assign priorities to the list of violations, Waldman said. The board would be made up of students, staff

and faculty representing a diverse

group of disabilities.

The law has caused some confusion, though, concerning what is proper compliance.

To avoid imposing undue hardship or financial burden on

institutions and businesses,

they are given some latitude in

how they comply, Waldman said.

For instance, the law does not necessarily imply that electronic doors be placed on every building. Instead, a lighter-weight door that can be opened by an unassisted, motor-impaired individual also meets the law's requirements, she said.

Overall, the physical facilities at UH have come a long way in the last three or four years. Waldman's appointment as coordinator was a turning point, Cathy McClelland, past president of HSAB, said.

When Waldman assumed the coordinator position three-and-a-half years ago, about 50 students were being served. Today, Waldman's office serves more than 300 students.

A wide range of services are provided for students with learning disabilities and health impairments, including visual, hearing and motor impairments. Students with hidden health impairments such as those caused by cancer, kidney disease, epilepsy and AIDS are also served.

Waldman feels that although the university is hampered by financial limitations, it is making a good-faith effort to remove the remaining barriers.








A 17-point scoring barrage by Sam Mack late in the second half saved a near-upset to the Aggies Wednesday in College Station.

The Cougars, shooting way below their season percentage, overcame a 16-point deficit at the 11:50 mark in the second half to take the lead with 3:24 remaining.

The Aggies hung tough, but Mack finally iced the game with a slam dunk with seconds left to preserve a 69-65 win.

"This is the type of game a normal team would lose, but we came back and won," Assistant Coach Tom Jones said. "That shows we can go on and do great things in the future."

The Cougars relied on the three-point shot throughout the game.

Early on, the plan worked, but when they started missing, the Aggies took control.

Mack, who had been in a slump of late, hit four straight three-pointers late in the second half to give the Cougars the lead.

The Aggies surprisingly took a 27-25 lead at halftime. Their offense was sparked by the high-scoring play of forward Shedrick Anderson and the penetrating ability of guard David Edwards. Their tough defense and high shooting percentage kept them close.

In one stretch, from the end of the first half to the beginning of the second, the slumping Cougars were held scoreless for over 11 minutes.

"We were just not hitting our shots," Jones said. "However, the guys rose up together and made the plays to win it at the end."

The Cougars grabbed an early 12-4 lead at the 13:11 mark in the first half only to lose it when the Aggies went on a 11-4 scoring spurt.

Guard Tyrone Evans broke through with a three-pointer and forward Craig Upchurch followed with an offensive rebound, adding two points to take the game to 25-19 with 3:33 remaining in the first half.

The Aggies then came away with eight unanswered points to take the lead going into the half 27-25.

The Cougars' second half offense was nowhere to be found until guard David Diaz finally sank the first basket of the half with 14:45 remaining.

The Aggies lead during this time inflated to 16 points. Mack finally came alive at the 5:38 mark and rallied the team back to victory.








The Campus Activities office has a plan to help you improve your leadership skills. It's their annual Campus Activities' Leadership Institute.

The program, which begins Feb. 13 and continues until April 23, is a 10-week course designed to develop leadership and other skills in students, said Kimberly Agnew, Campus Activities coordinator and program instructor.

"Campus activities is all about leadership development," Agnew said. "The skills they will learn will be applicable in any field. We try to prepare them for the work force."

The institute, now in its ninth year, teaches goal setting, delegation of work and authority, conflict resolution, program planning, leadership ethics, time management and team building. It's for anyone who wants to sharpen their leadership skills, Agnew said.

At the outset of the program, the students will assess the areas in which they need improvement.

"The students set their own goals," she said. "It's a personal development process."

David Rouen, Residence Halls Association vice president for Internal Affairs and a junior English major, said, "It gave me enough confidence that I figured I could do this job, and I could do it right."

The Leadership Institute, which is offered once every semester, has drawn between 15 to 20 students per semester in the past, and more are expected to participate this semester. The small number, however, is a part of the program's success.

"It's the perfect number. It gives us a diverse group, but it's small enough for us (the administrators) to maintain contact with each student," Agnew said. "It allows them to go through a type of bonding process."

"It was fun because you got to know the people in the institute," said Jason Gregory, a pre-business sophomore, who participated last semester. "We got to know about other people and ourselves, and we saw how others reacted in certain situations."

The African-American Studies Program will be sponsoring five African-American students to participate in the program. Morris Graves, associate director of AAS, decided to sponsor the students to broaden minority participation in university politics.

"I hope these students will take the skills they learn and use them in their communities as well," Graves said.

Graves had a purpose in chosing undergraduate students who would be returning next year. "I wanted students who could benefit in terms of their own personal growth and utilize the skills in their clubs and organizations," he said.

The institute, which requires a 2.5 grade point average, a brief statement of application and a $10 fee, will have UH faculty and staff members speak at some of the sessions.

Applications are available in the Campus Activities office in the University Center and are due back by Feb. 10.








Child vs. parent has been one of the film world's favorite story lines since movies began. Pedro Almodovar's newest film to hit the states, High Heels, throws a hook in this one-time, cut-and-dry plot.

High Heels tells the tale of Rebecca, the only daughter of one-time superstar Becky Del Paramo. Rebecca strives her whole life to gain recognition for achieving something Becky could not.

The film begins with Rebecca waiting in the airport, having one of many childhood flashbacks.

The first one is of walking with her mother and stepfather through an open market. The family stops so Becky can buy a pair of earrings. Rebecca chooses a pair that are identical to her mother's and has her mother buy them too.

When the flashback is over, Rebecca puts on the earrings just in time to see her mother emerge onto the concourse.

Becky hugs her daughter and says, "I used to have a pair just like those," forgetting she had bought them.

One night, Rebecca and her husband Manuel take Becky out to a night club to see a female impersonator named Lethal who has an act -- lip-synching to Becky's old hit songs.

Rebecca has developed a friendship with Lethal and goes to see him when she misses her mother. However, the night the trio goes to see him is his final show in Madrid. Rebecca goes backstage to help Lethal change.

When backstage, Lethal tells Rebecca, "I want to be more than a mother to you," and puts the moves on her. She struggles for about 30 seconds, but eventually gives in and thanks him afterward.

The film gets rather strange after that. Manuel is murdered, Rebecca is thrown in jail, the policeman investigating the murder is not what he seems, and Becky confesses to an affair with Manuel. It may seem confusing, but Almodovar manages to keep everything in perspective.

Spanish actress Victoria Abril stars as Rebecca. She is a delight to watch, especially in the scene where she blows up at her mother. Spanish music megastar Miguel Bose plays Lethal and Marisa Paredes portrays Becky.

If you haven't figured out that the movie is in Spanish from the paragraph above this one, guess what? But it does come with English subtitles.

Whether you speak Spanish or not, go see this film. The story is interesting, and the actors are great.

High Heels opens Friday, Jan. 31, at the River Oaks Landmark Theatre.








The Cult. Last Friday night. The Summit. Nuff said, right? Maybe. For all Cult fans, the imagination can take over from there, but for the rest of you, this is what happened.

It all began on a stormy night, and even the leaves on the street outside the Summit rustled in anticipation. By 8 p.m., the parking lot was full, and Cult-lets were wandering aimlessly, waiting to be tamed.

Lenny Kravitz made his attempt to calm the audience first. The Cult and Lenny Kravitz were a seemingly misfit combination, but once Kravitz came on stage, the lineup fit. He sounds like a Hendrix, Cult and The Rolling Stones blended together, featuring a driving beat and soothing-but- rough lyrics. It just seems that Kravitz was born 20 years too late, for he was a refreshing taste of a twisted '60s.

But let's face it, that's not what's important -- what is, is Ian Astbury and Co., clad in their Lip-Service-like pants and leather boots. When The Cult finally came out on stage, the crowd went wild (as expected), and the groupie clan front and center almost fainted with the first glance of Astbury in his midnight-black-clad glory. Astbury was backed by four of the most original musicians to hit the Summit, and together, they rocked into the night.

The concert featured such hope-you-didn't-miss's as amazing solos by each of the band members and the excited theatrics of Astbury. The only complaint anyone could have was that the band seemed tired at first from long hours on the road, but they more than made up for it by the end of the show.

The likes of the Cult probably won't be seen for awhile, so the only thing left for me to do is laugh wickedly at all of you who missed it. It would be a good idea for everyone to keep their eyes on the Summit in the very near future, for missing upcoming Van Halen, Dire Straits and Rush would be devastating. See you there!








The proposed smoking ban will cost the UH Hilton about 25 to 33 percent of its annual gross -- $1 million -- said Joseph Cioch, dean of the UH College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

"Most hotels allow smoking. If we are going to be a total smoke-free environment, customers will go somewhere else," he said.

Cioch said he is mainly concerned with cutting the dollar losses to the hotel.

Several companies book the hotel for annual seminars, generating a great deal of money, he said.

"The people who stay here for the seminars are mostly smokers. When they are here, they spend all their time and money in the hotel and restaurant," he said.

These seminars totally fill the 86-room hotel for seven days, Cioch said.

If a smoking ban were to occur, he said, they would definitely lose all of that business.

"Exceptions need to be made for this hotel because we are a unique situation by being a commercial business," said Steve Barth, an assistant professor in the college.

Barth said the college has made a counter-proposal to the smoking bill, with revisions such as allowing smoking in parts of the restaurant and in other specified areas.

He said they sent it to the president's office but have not received a response.

Cioch said even if a smoking ban was passed, he thinks it would be difficult to enforce.

Currently, he said, there is one floor designated for no smoking, but people abuse the rule.

If a total smoking ban is in place, including rooms, Cioch said the hotel would have to use an ozone machine in a room where the policy was violated.

The cost of the machine is about $500 to $1,000, plus the cost of labor for each use, Cioch said.

"We would have to have the university police here constantly," Cioch said of trying to enforce the ban.

Beth Needham, manager of both the hotel's restaurants, Eric's and Barron's, said she doesn't think the restaurant business will be hurt.

"Only about 5 percent of the customers in the restaurant smoke, and a majority of them will still come here to dine," she said.

Most of the business generated by Eric's and Barron's is by faculty and students, and Needham feels the hotel will suffer more than the restaurants.

However, two students dining at Eric's Wednesday said they would not continue to go to Eric's if there was a smoking ban.

"I would not come here," said Lola Scarborough, a senior majoring in political science. "I would go someplace else where I can smoke."

Visit The Daily Cougar