BLACK ENROLLMENT UP

BY DESIKAN HARISH

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The American Council on Education recently reported a 10 percent increase in black student enrollment nationwide during the late 1980s.

This increase matches a proportional upswing in the minority student population in the country. Faculty digests are reporting that this is one of the facets of education that is of primary concern to university administrators as they strive toward the objective of quality education for all.

Between 1988 and 1990, blacks accounted for 1.2 million of the total number of college-bound students, with females outnumbering males by a 3 to 2 ratio. Growth rates are 8.7 and 7.4 percent respectively.

The '80s witnessed a constant of 28 percent for graduating black high school students enrolling for undergraduate education.

But UH's Dean of Admissions Wayne Sigler said these statistics "are not representative of the spectrum."

In Texas, college enrollment for blacks has declined. All major universities and colleges in the region, including the University of Texas, Texas A & M and Texas Tech, contributed to this decline.

Among the major Texas universities, UH is the only school with increasing black student numbers.

"Ours is a policy of sustaining a diverse student population, essentially catering to the greater Houston area," Sigler said.

However, black enrollment is still swelling at what are termed "historically black colleges," 41 of which come under the aegis of the United Negro College Fund. Susan Zweig, UH assistant director of admissions, said many black students preferred primarily black institutions.

Robert Hauser, director of the Institute of Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said in an article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education that the lack of job opportunities upon graduation has many black and other minority students going back to school.

 

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THE MOST FUN YOU WILL EVER HAVE DEFYING DEATH

BY AMY REYNOLDS

COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

As jumper after jumper leaped 200 feet off a crane, my excitement and enthusiasm evaporated -- I realized that I wasn't as thrilled about the idea of leaping off a crane head-first with a cord attached to my ankles as I was pretending to be.

Bungee jumping? You're out of your mind, I kept saying to myself. Remember, you're afraid of heights.

I nervously wiggled my toes in my socks as I stood shoeless on the crane's gondola, hoping that the Velcro laces and metal hooks that strapped my ankles to the cord were strong enough to keep me attached in flight, thereby preventing me from bouncing my forehead off the ground.

OK, I told myself, this won't be so bad. At least I wasn't jumping over an alligator-infested lake, as was advertised at another bungee-jumping spot. If I fell, I'd hit a stunt pillow.

I took a deep breath as the gondola began to rise. The jumpmaster began giving me instructions, but his voice faded as my mind wandered.

Why I was so apprehensive, I didn't know -- after all, I went tandem-skydiving for a story in 1990 and lived to tell about it. In fact, the 11,500-foot plunge toward central Indiana cornfields was quite wonderful once I managed to get out of the airplane. (I had no choice -- I was hooked and strapped to a jumpmaster who basically pushed me out, in a nice kind of way, of course.)

As if he were reading my mind, the marketing director interrupted my thought -- "Don't be nervous," he said with a smile. "We've only had to push a couple people off." He quickly added with a laugh, "I'm joking."

Ha, ha, ha. Very funny.

"You'll be fine," the jumpmaster told me as we started our climb. "Just don't hesitate," he said and smiled. "When I say three, two, one, go bungee, you lean forward, arms out, and fall."

Yikes, I thought, I'm really doing this.

I stepped out onto the platform as I heard the count, stretched my arms and upon hearing the words "Go bungee," I leaned forward without hesitation.

I screamed the entire way down. The red-square mark on the stunt pillow rapidly approached, but before I knew what had happened -- BOING! -- I was bouncing up and down, dizzy from the slight spin, giggling out loud until my body stopped moving.

Incredible. I was still here, hanging upside down, thanking God I hadn't eaten lunch and wondering how long it would be before I could jump again.

 

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TEXAS MEDIA SHUN SWC

BY JASON LUTHER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Last July, sometime before John Jenkins packed his muscle shirts in mothballs and David Klingler threw his first pass, the media from here to Sports Illustrated had the Cougar football team as a given to play in the Cotton Bowl and vie for the National Championship.

All this before one single game was played.

Boy, was the media wrong. But they sure had everyone believing the Cougars were national championship material.

Now, after the Cougar basketball team has completed the season on top of the Southwest Conference, sporting a 22-5 record, their chances for receiving an invitation to the NCAAs have been shrouded by the local media through such phrases as "on the bubble," "unsure" and "hopeful."

First, let's take a look at the phrase "on the bubble."

Wendell Barnhouse of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said that a team which is on the bubble is a team that is "unsure of their NCAA Tournament status."

He says Villanova is "lurking on the bubble."

This is a team the Cougars drug up and down the court in their first game of the season -- a team that went on to finish the season with a 13-13 record.

But he puts Houston on the same bubble, saying they need a win in the first round of the SWC tournament to assure a bid.

He says TCU is on the bubble, but Iowa State is not.

TCU's final record was 21-9. Iowa State's was 19-11. TCU beat Iowa State.

But of course, the Horned Frogs are in the SWC and Iowa State is in the almighty Big Eight, a conference that will likely receive six bids.

This comes as no surprise, as most Texas media outlets project a low opinion of the SWC.

Hence, most of the media in and around Houston have listed the Cougars as needing another win and TCU needing two or three more in the SWC tournament to get an NCAA bid.

According to media consensus, the Longhorns are in, regardless of the outcome of the SWC tourney, even though they have fewer wins and more losses than both Houston and TCU. They've played three more games than Houston, but have lost twice as many at 20-10.

The argument is that Texas played a tougher schedule than UH or TCU. Yeah, they did; they played four ranked teams and lost to them all. They also lost to TCU.

Just to be generous, let us take away all the Longhorns' losses to ranked teams. They still would have one more loss than Houston.

Another argument is that they had all these losses before the return of Dexter Cambridge. This is an argument that UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian would no doubt support.

There is no doubt that Texas should be invited, but the idea that the SWC is not worthy to place three teams in the tournament is ludicrous.

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) will place three, if not four teams in the tournament: LSU, Arkansas, Kentucky and possibly Alabama.

The fact that Arkansas won the SWC three years running had skeptics saying the conference was weak.

Well, now that they took the SEC conference title, no one is saying that conference is weak.

The argument that the Razorbacks were above and beyond any other team the SWC had to offer doesn't float either.

In 1990, they won the conference, but it was Texas who reached the "elite eight" in the NCAA tournament.

UH Assistant Athletic Director Ted Nance said the issue has not gone unnoticed in the Cougar camp.

"Media members in this part of the country are reluctant to mention the third-place team as a possibility (for the NCAAs) and almost afraid to say that the runner-up team is deserving of a bid.

"Writers and broadcasters in the Big Eight area and in the Big 10 are pushing sixth-place teams for NCAA bids."

However, regardless of the sparse support the SWC receives in its own back yard, there are indications that the conference is getting respect in the East, of all places -- way up in the right hand corner of the Atlantic Coast.

Four SWC teams made the New York Times' top 64 college teams list. Houston was 19th, Texas was 36th, TCU was 47th and Rice was 57th.

Speaking of the Atlantic Coast, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will likely place five teams in the tournament.

One of those teams will be North Carolina, a team which beat Duke, the number-one team in the country and defending National Champions. It's also a team which barely escaped Houston with a last-minute, three point victory, in a game in which they trailed the Cougars by 15 at halftime.

Had Houston won the game, they would have vaulted into the AP Top 25, and they would still be there.

But they lost, and everybody said they choked.

Well, lack of talent is not a reason why you lose a game that should have been won. If they choked, they choked for a reason.

Houston Coach Pat Foster said part of the reason is the pressure that comes from negative reinforcement received by the players.

"Any feedback our players get is negative about their chances (in the big games)," Foster said. "That puts an awful lot of pressure on them."

The kind of pressure created by constantly reading in the papers that they are "on the bubble."

And if they wait nervously until the teams are chosen, and they do get a bid, how much time do the players waste wondering if they would even be invited?

How could they go into the tournament completely confident they have a chance to excel?

The time they waste waiting could be spent mentally preparing themselves for winning the tournament.

It's the same effect as when people don't vote in the primaries because, through polls, the media projects a winner. People perceive that their candidate is going to lose, so they don't vote. And lo and behold, the media convinces us that they were right.

And just as the media creates a front runner for the political primaries, they create the front runners for the NCAA tournament.

 

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TECH SEEKS CONSISTENCY IN SWC TOURNAMENT

BY ADAM KING

NEWS REPORTER

If Texas Tech hopes to reach the NCAA round of 64, they must win the SWC tournament.

To do that, junior center Will Flemons will have to be on fire.

Flemons leads the team in scoring (19.2 per game), rebounding (9.6 per game) and shoots 61.5 percent from the floor.

Head Coach James Dickey said the team relies on Flemons to produce the majority of their offense.

"Will's the heart and soul of our ballclub," Dickey said. "He is a positive (going into the SWC tournament)."

The Red Raiders, 14-13 overall, 6-8 conference, dropped three of their last four games, including a pair of overtime losses to Houston and Northern Illinois.

Tech has been inconsistent all year. After posting an impressive 101-98 victory over Tulane, an AP Top 25 team, Tech's shooting went cold, bringing losses to Texas A & M and SMU. Both of those teams ended up in the conference cellar.

Dickey said he hopes his team's 76-67 win over TCU last week will provide them with enough momentum to excel in the tournament.

"Our guys play hard," Dickey said. "That is always important. We've got to shoot the ball well. When we do, we win."

Offensive rebounding will also be a key factor. "Second opportunities on the boards have really hurt us," he said.

Dickey stressed the importance of certain players stepping up to the challenge of tournament pressure.

Senior guard Bryant Moore must bring his inside game to the next level, and when Flemons is double-teamed, the three other players working inside must play well, Dickey said.

Tech, seeded fifth, will meet the fourth-seeded Rice in the first round of the tournament. The two teams split their two regular-season games this year.

Rice is coming off an emotional win over Texas that was televised on ESPN to a national audience.

 

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CONFLICT OF INTEREST BARBS, MUD SLINGING IN FULL SWING

BY FRANK SAN MIGUEL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

With the 1992 Students' Association elections underway, presidential contenders have raised allegations that the election may be slanted toward one candidate and that complaints lodged against that candidate are being ignored.

Some have raised concerns that there may be a conflict of interest between YES presidential candidate Rusty Hruska and Election Commissioner Stefan Murry, both members of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Murry was selected in late January to preside over the SA elections. Hruska filed with the Election Commission on Feb. 14 with a 16-candidate ticket.

"It's really too bad, but there is a conflict of interest here," PRIDE presidential candidate Damien Kauta said. "I'd like to think that when Stefan was chosen, no one knew that Rusty was running."

Student Advocacy presidential candidate Andrew Monzon agreed: "I wish we would have known about Rusty running before Stefan was selected."

On the first day of polling, Monzon said he was angry about what he saw.

"I felt like I was being robbed," he said. "There's some dirty pool being played. How can any legitimate candidate win with some of the things going on?" Monzon said.

He said complaints filed against YES have been "a slap on the wrist" and that he was unsatisfied with the way things were being handled.

"There have been flagrant violations of the Election Code that are being given petty punishments," he said. "I feel like PLAID, PRIDE and Student Advocacy are being shut out of the race before it's even really started.

"If we're going to lose, I'd rather people lose legitimately than be completely robbed," Monzon said.

Eight of the 11 complaints filed with the election commissioner since Wednesday morning have been against the YES Party.

Candidates have raised questions about unstamped table tents placed in most dining areas on campus. In his decision, Murry wrote that they had been approved by him, but were not stamped. No penalty was assessed.

On March 4, YES had fliers removed from the first floor of Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall, because the glass windows on PGH are to be kept free of posters. For the same violation by PRIDE, based on a complaint filed by Hruska on March 10, PRIDE was banned from posting for five days. But on March 11, the election commissioner amended his earlier decision, reducing the ban on PRIDE to two days.

On March 9, complaints were filed about a large banner placed inside the Chinese Star Restaurant, which stands on UH property. The banner violated a posting ban imposed on YES for earlier violations.

In his decision, Murry stated that the ban was imposed on fliers, whose size is not to exceed 14"x 22." Because the banner was larger than the maximum flier size, it did not qualify as a flier, Murry wrote. No penalty was assessed.

As penalty for complaints about posting violations in the University Center, Murry ordered YES to remove a banner from the UC for two days Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8.

On the first day of polling, workers for other parties complained about YES candidates walking students to the polls and instructing them how to vote. By the Election Code, students may not bring campaign materials within 50 feet of the polls.

PLAID presidential candidate Eric De Beer said he was concerned about the possible ties between Murry and Hruska. "I'm really worried about this," he said. "Rusty represents a very small portion of students, and I worry whether things he does will be dealt with fairly in terms of the election."

Kauta complained that some election violation decisons were not stiff enough.

"There have been reports of violations in buildings like Engineering, and instead of removing all campaign materials, only one or two have been removed," he said. "It's unfair to give a slap on the wrist to people who have clearly violated the Election Code.

"If you're not coming down hard on these parties who violate rules now, how can you expect to hold them to the rules during polling?" Kauta added.

"We're seeing such free reign given to YES that we have to take the initiative that it'll take anything to win," Kauta said. "How poorly this election is being run is indicative of SA. Stefan must be held accountable for his light treatment of YES. There's absolutely no justification for what's been going on."

YES candidate Rusty Hruska denied that YES was getting lax treatment. "There have been posting violations we've had that he (Murry) has really busted me on," Hruska said. "If anything, he's been harder on me than anyone else.

"It's kind of like when you have a father coaching his son on a football team," Hruska added. "The father is going to be a lot tougher on his son because he expects a lot out of him."

SA President Michael Berry said he didn't think Hruska's involvement in the elections would have swayed his support of Murry. "During his confirmation, the question was posed, hypothetically, to him about whether he could be fair even if another fraternity member were running, and he said that he felt he could," Berry said.

"Certainly, whether he's going to be unbiased is a legitimate question, and he told us that he would not treat anyone differently," Berry said.

Kauta, who has been involved in three campaigns in the last three years, said questions about fairness arise every year.

"A few years back, there was a question as to whether an Indian election commissioner would treat international students fairly," Kauta said. "Another year, a commissioner who ran on a joke party the year before was questioned. These questions are not surprising, although it's an interesting conflict this year."

Election Commissioner Stefan Murry was unavailable for comment.

Hruska said his campaign has focused on issues.

"When people tell me I can't follow through on my agenda, I beg to differ," he said. "I think that there are some shallow viewpoints of those who don't use their power and limit themselves."

Monzon, Hruska said, had wasted students' money in his position.

"By saying that he thinks the job is unnecessary, he's saying that he did nothing. Doing away with the job because he couldn't do it is a bad idea."

Monzon lashed back. "I'm tired of people like Damien and Rusty coming out of the woodwork, who are basically windbags, trying to pull the wool over the student body's eyes," Monzon said. "They have never met with me, never come to a senate meeting, never wrote legislation; it's obvious that they're just resume padders.

Monzon said Hruska's issues were falsifications.

"Rusty promises better parking, better everything when he can't fix those things," he said.

"At last year's debate, all the candidates took a pledge to stay involved in student government, even if they lost," Monzon added. "Damien didn't. I don't think Rusty will either.

"If either were that concerned, they could have come and gotten on a committee or tried to write legislation. It's obvious that neither of these candidates really care about students," Monzon said.

Monzon criticized Hruska for not debating the issues, alleging Hruska had staged personal attacks, like a letter to the editor by Art Coley, which appeared in the March 6 Daily Cougar. Coley, Monzon said, was also a member of Sigma Chi.

"Art is free to write whatever he wants," Hruska replied, adding that he was willing to debate Monzon any time on campus issues.

Kauta criticized Monzon for Student Advocacy's slogan "No Empty Promises."

"Andrew Monzon has no right to wear a T-shirt that says `no empty promises' unless he's done something for students," Kauta said. "It's preaching as if you've done something for students when, in fact, you haven't done a damn thing on the issue you campaigned on last year."

"Damien is a hypocrite pandering for votes," Monzon shot back. "His slogan is `Purpose not Pretense;' he's the most pretentious person I've ever met. Although the name has changed, he's still the elitist he was from last year.

"This just goes to show the level of immaturity we're seeing. I'm not afraid to call a spade a spade. Damien will call it whatever is politically expedient," Monzon added. "Damien is the Clayton Williams of this year's SA elections."

 

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OPTOMETRY CLINIC HELPS VISITORS SEE BOTTOM LINE

BY DENISE SALAZAR

NEWS REPORTER

Nearly 30,000 patients are examined each year by students at the UH Optometry Clinic, said Jerald Strickland, interim dean of the College of Optometry.

"The first two years of the four- year program include learning basic sciences," Strickland said. "The students begin clinic work in the spring semester of their second year. We have to teach before they can touch."

Nick Holdeman, director of clinics and chief of medical services, said students learn and practice on each other during their first year.

"Our exams take a little more time because a faculty member will re-examine a student's exam," he said.

Susan Free and Suzanne Streff are second-year optometry students who currently work in the Primary Care Clinic. They see one patient a week for half a day.

"Patients are told how long an exam will last beforehand," Free said. "If we don't finish an exam, we'll leave the remaining part for another time."

Strickland said the clinic is always accused of being more thorough than others. Holdeman agrees.

"Our exams may take some time, but are thorough and routinely checked," Holdeman said.

Since last October, 3,000 children from the Gulf Coast Community Services Head Start program visited the clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Strickland said.

"The children are screened and can come back for any care if needed," he said. "The Head Start program pays for the screening which is $10 per child."

Strickland also said that the UH Optometry school is one of the top two in the nation, the other being the University of California at Berkeley.

"There are only 16 optometry schools in the United States," he said. "We'd like to think we're number one because we have a strong clinical education program and a large vision science research program."

Dennis Levi, associate dean for research and graduate studies, said it is very hard for students to get into the optometry program.

"We are very selective," he said. "Once students are in, we do our best to make sure they stay in."

Levi said the drop-out rate is about 3 percent among the 100 students selected each year.

"Optometry is an expensive investment," he said. "Some graduate students accumulate loans totaling as much as $40,000 to $50,000."

Streff and Free said they have each spent $3,500 already on equipment alone, not including tuition and books.

"Proper dress is also a must," Streff said. "I don't even want to begin to think about my clothing bills."

The students' examinations of patients are graded by the faculty's re-examinations.

Belinda Barrientos, a patient who received eye-glasses from the clinic, said she felt somewhat funny being examined twice.

"It was weird to have two people examine me, but it was complete and $40 was a cheap and affordable price," she said.

When not examining patients, the students practice on each other.

"There is never a time when we are not busy," Free said.

 

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SFAC HEARS FY 1993 FUNDS REQUEST FOR CTS

BY CROSBY KING

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

On Monday, the Student Fee Advisory Council wrapped up its final day of hearings, a session that included some of the largest requests by one unit.

The UH Counseling and Testing Center (CTS) requested $227,840 for an augmentation to their FY 1993 base budget. That figure is nearly half the augmentation total of all the student service units.

Their closest competitor in the funding game is Learning Support Services, which is asking for a mere $100,000.

The bulk of CTS's requests are temporary salaries for two counseling psychologists and clerical support. Last fiscal year, they also asked for these positions, and SFAC, then SSFPAC, granted them one of the psychologists for a year.

Jerry Osborne, director of CTS, said the unit has been mired in a "vicious circle" for a decade. He said it has tried to generate revenue by its testing of students, but without the money to hire staff members, it can't run enough tests.

"We're hoping to get out of it," Osborne said. "If not, we're going to crater over here."

He said if conditions don't improve, CTS will have to resort to "cannibalizing," or terminating, psychologist positions to pay for a support staff.

At the hearing, CTS Associate Director Ken Waldman compared the unit to those at eight other urban universities with a comparable number of housing spaces. Two units had one less staff member than CTS's eight, while the rest had more.

Waldman also noted his unit's manpower decline over the last 10 years. He said the Dean of Students Office has doubled since 1979, while his unit has lost staff positions in that time.

CTS administrator Gail Hudson agreed with Waldman that SFAC would probably not grant it permanent positions unless UH raised student service fees under SFAC's recommendation.

"I'd feel real bad for students if (the fee) had to go up," she said. "On the other hand, I think we have to look realistically at where our budgets are."

SFAC members seemed sympathetic to CTS's problems. Robert Judy, instructor of electrical electronics, said the unit's services go beyond its advisory capacity.

"The Counseling and Testing Center seems to be a hub from which everything spins off," he said.

But CTS is unlikely to receive the entire request. Without taking from the 25 units' fund balance till, SFAC must trim about $100,000 from the request total to break even.

On Friday, the board finishes deliberation meetings to discuss which units get what they want. Seven units requested augmentations of less than $10,000, while 10 issued no requests.

 

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MINORITY COLLEGE ENROLLMENT RISING DRAMATICALLY

BY MICHAEL D. OESER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

After tabulating the enrollment figures for fall 1991, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reported that the increase in total student population at Texas' major universities came completely from minority segments of the state population.

While blacks and Hispanics comprised most of the increase, white student enrollment fell. These numbers hold true for UH student population trends.

Across Texas, the number of black students increased to 34,473 in fall '91 from 33,339 in fall '90, an increase of 3.4 percent. Texas' collegiate population of Hispanic students grew 4.3 percent to 61,297 in fall '91 from 58,765 in fall '90.

The THECB gathered numbers for the Texas A & M System, Texas State University System, University of Texas System, University of Houston System, the University of North Texas, Texas Tech University and several other smaller state universities.

In a press release from the board, Assistant Commissioner for Educational Opportunity Planning Betty James said, "Historically, blacks and Hispanics have not participated in higher education to the same degree as other groups. These new data, however, suggest an encouraging trend for them and the state of Texas."

At UH, the number of black students grew to 2,733 from 2,673, only 0.1 percent, while Hispanic student numbers increased to 3,376 from 3,065, adding 0.8 percent to their percentage of the UH population.

The white student population fell to 21,905 from 22,251, or two full percentage points.

Dean of Admissions Wayne Sigler said that on the UH campus, these increases probably resulted from the atmosphere of diversity fostered by many of the groups on campus.

"One of our (UH's) mission goals is to try to reflect the ethnic make-up of our service territory," he said, adding that several campus ethnic organizations actively contribute to UH's diverse environment, mentioning the African-American and Mexican-American Studies Programs, the Black Student Union and the Mexican-American Students' Association.

Sigler said the drop in white students might be attributed to the changing demographics in the Houston area.

Sigler said, "If that is what is happening, I think it is reflective of the demographics in the greater Houston area. The minority is becoming the majority."

Sigler also said other groups such as the Program for Minority Engineering Students, Upward Bound and the Challenger Program help attract and retain minorities and students who would not have normally gone to college.

Associate Director of the Mexican American Studies Program Lorenzo Cano expressed similar reasons for the changes.

Cano said the Hispanic community is growing fast, and its average age is going down.

He said the white college population is probably shrinking because the white population in Texas is getting older.

"The anglo population is leveling out. It's an older population. The average age is in the late 20s, just after college," he said.

 

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STUDY INDICATES PERCEPTION OF BLACK-HISPANIC TENSION EXISTS

BY KAREN RICHARD

SPECIAL TO THE COUGAR

African Americans and Mexican Americans constantly struggle for power, according to results of a study presented Friday by UH's Mexican American Studies department.

The four-member student group found that a majority of Houston Latinos perceived themselves as the "out-group" in terms of white-black-brown relationships.

Twenty blue-collar and white-collar workers, including letter carriers, Metro transit workers, mechanics and a politician, participated in a series of interviews focusing on specific social, economic and political community concerns.

Raciel Gonzalez, a senior in political science, discussed similarities and dissimilarities between Mexicans and blacks. He listed the aggressive tendencies of blacks, their fragmented family structure, cultural norms, value systems and community cohesiveness as the five major differences between the two.

Respondents perceived minority status and historical discrimination as shared group characteristics.

He cited the Joe Campos Torres incident of the 70s and the more recent Ida Lee Delaney incident of alleged police brutality as examples of the different levels of community outrage and involvement.

Although Mexicans are thought to possess a more united family structure than blacks, they don't place a high value on united participation in civil rights issues, Gonzalez said.

When Thomas Munoz, a political science major, discussed the perceptions of opportunities for Mexicans, he said, "Blacks have better political opportunities because of the Mexican language barrier."

He stressed the historical evidence of a tendency of blacks to unite for specific causes as foundations for powerful institutions like the NAACP, Texas Southern University and the bloc vote. A number of people said blacks took advantage of the welfare system more aggressively than Latinos.

In terms of competition and conflict between the two, there was an overwhelming perception that the media are intimidated by blacks and often fear the "bad press" image associated with disturbing racial accounts.

Eduardo Elizondo, a UH psychology graduate, found his respondents believed blacks had more power because of their ability to negotiate themselves into key positions. They said Mexicans are making strides in that direction because of an increase in population and voter turnout.

"Currently, 18,000 Latinos are being registered per year," Elizondo said.

Alex Acosta, a political science senior, discussed his results on the subjects of prejudice and discrimination. Most of his subjects thought Mexicans are fearful and resentful of blacks, he told the audience.

In the question-and-answer period which followed, one student said she felt the interviewers were biased, and they wrongly interpreted the respondents' answers.

Professor Lorenzo Cano, assistant director of Mexican American Studies, questioned the overall poor perception of Mexican and Black cultures as invalid stereotypes. Another student suggested the panel interview black subjects to get a more balanced perception of thoughts.

The four interviewers and Dr. Tatcho Mindiola, director of Mexican American Studies, responded to the comments by reminding their guests the data presented were not facts but only reported perceptions. "It gives everyone an idea what the Mexican community is thinking about." Acosta said.

 

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CONSERVATIVES VENTING FRUSTRATION AT BUSH

BY JEFF BALKE

NEWS REPORTER

Republican presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan is not expected to gain the Republican Party's nomination, but receiving over 30 percent of the votes in the New Hampshire primary has many wondering just how much damage his campaign will cause President Bush.

A random sampling of 5,000 Republicans by the Buchanan campaign Monday resulted in 51 percent of the vote going to Bush, 21 percent for Buchanan and 28 percent undecided.

And the 11 Super Tuesday states' primary vote average of 27 percent Buchanan received on Tuesday represents a lot of angry voters. These results not only indicate support for Buchanan, but a protest against President Bush.

" `Irritated' is a mild word to use (for how people feel about Bush)," Mary Ryan, a Buchanan campaign-worker said. "Many (people) feel George Bush has sold them down the river."

In a recent poll conducted by Yankelovich, Clancy and Shulman of Westport, Conn., 59 percent of Americans feel that Bush doesn't understand the problems of average Americans. The same poll also indicated that 63 percent of Americans feel Buchanan's strong showing is intended to send Bush a message.

It is doubtful, however, that those supporting Buchanan would buck the Republican Party if he did not receive the party's nomination. Joe Roach, a Buchanan supporter, said the majority would go back to Bush.

He also said some of the Buchanan supporters would not vote for Bush in a general election as a sign of protest.

"If I started to vote Democrat, Jesus would pull my finger away from the button," Ryan said.

Mai Spickelmier, president of the UH College Republicans, said, "They (voters) are voting for a more conservative Republican, not necessarily to protest Bush. We (the Republican Party) will come together in the general election. Republicans would rather see a Republican in office than a Democrat."

Jim Welch, owner of a local telemarketing business and a Buchanan supporter, said if Bush leans more to the right, he could bring more Buchanan supporters into his camp. Welch and others are waiting to see what Bush will do in the coming months.

Roach said a large majority of the Republican Party is disappointed in Bush's performance and, as a result, Buchanan is receiving a lot of support.

A young girl working at Buchanan's Houston telemarketing office, no more than 12, illustrated how many Buchanan supporters feel when she asked a caller, "How can you vote for the Democrats? They're so liberal; they don't know right from wrong."

Anti-Republican sentiment is not something that one is apt to find among Buchanan supporters, but anti-Bush sentiment is alive and well.

Whether or not these feelings of disillusionment with Bush will greatly affect his campaign is unclear, but the message he is receiving from Buchanan supporters and other right-wing Republicans is shape up or ship out.

 

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BIOLOGICAL CLOCK EARNS PROF BIG AWARD

BY REBECCA PRESTON

NEWS REPORTER

For only the second time ever, a UH professor has received the prestigious MERIT Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Arnold Eskin, Department of Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences, was granted the award, which amounts to $2 million in research funding over the next 10 years, for his work with circadian rhythms.

Eskin said he was surprised to receive the award. "It came in the mail," he said. "It just fell out of the sky."

"It was a nice pat on the back," Eskin said.

Eskin began teaching at UH in 1979 and has been doing research with the biological clock for more than 15 years.

"My work involves getting our hands on the biochemical and molecular pieces of the built-in clock in your brain and finding out what makes it tick," Eskin said.

The MERIT (Method to Extend Research In Time) Award is designed by NIMH to provide selected research projects with long-term financial support and a minimum of administrative burden.

Recipients of NIMH's MERIT Award cannot apply for it, but are nominated within NIMH.

David Tu, chair of the UH Department of Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences, said that, on average, funding for research is provided for only about 15 percent of the applications received by the National Institute of Health (the NIMH parent institute).

Henry Khachaturian, chief of the Neuroscience Centers Program at NIMH, said that NIMH grants only two to three MERIT Awards each year.

"The idea of the award is to let really outstanding investigators be as innovative as possible," Khachaturian said. "And it gives them a little bit of breathing room for their research."

Tu said that only the top 5 percent of the 15 percent of projects that receive funding are considered for a grant such as the MERIT Award.

"Award recipients are chosen to receive this honor for 10 years, rather than the ordinary funding span of three to five years," Tu said.

Alan Leshner, the acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health, sent Eskin the letter informing him that he had been selected to receive the award.

"The objective of the MERIT Award program is to provide long-term, stable research support to investigators such as you who have exhibited research competence and productivity that are distinctly superior and who are likely to continue in this manner," Leshner stated in his letter to Eskin.

Eskin said, "This kind of recognition is different from ordinary research funding. It makes the statement that given what you've done and what you are doing, they believe your research will continue to be significant."

"I owe a lot to Dr. Tu," Eskin said. "Without his guidance and leadership, this award would not have been possible."

 

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MEN'S, WOMEN'S TRACK SQUADS WIN OVER TSU

BY MITCH GREEN

SPECIAL TO THE DAILY COUGAR

Both the men's and women's squads were victorious over Southwest Texas State and Texas Southern University as the UH Track Team opened its 1992 outdoor season on Saturday, March 7, at the second running of the Carl Lewis Relays at Robertson Stadium.

The season ends with the NCAA national championships at the University of Texas at Austin, and some runners will go on to the Olympic trials in New Orleans a few weeks later.

Each track competition, or meet, is seen by Coach Tom Tellez as a building block toward the SWC championships and, for some team members, the major meets afterward.

Performances in the Carl Lewis Relays give the coaches and the team members a good starting point for the season, Tellez said. He admitted he is happy with the team's performance this weekend, but, more importantly, he said it shows the team where it needs improvement.

Each event is videotaped and reviewed by the athletes and coaches. In this manner, even minor flaws can be pin-pointed and corrected.

This year's team consists of about 80 athletes and coaches. There will be 10 or 11 meets, more for the post-season qualifiers, that the athletes can use to sharpen their competitive edge.

Tellez doesn't put much emphasis on each meet -- he said he is more concerned with getting each person to perform his or her best. Judging from his success with such athletes as Carl and Carol Lewis, Leroy Burrell and a few others who will probably bring medals home from Barcelona this summer, it would seem that Tellez has found a formula that works.

There are already three people on the team who have qualified for the trials: Michele Collins, Drexel Long and Sam Jefferson. It is likely that others will qualify before the season ends. Tellez feels there is a lot of potential on his team.

The strong points on this season's team are the sprints and the jumps, according to Tellez. Indeed, Michele Smith, Dawn Burrell and Latanya Archie swept the long jump while Dawn Case took first place in the high jump competition between UH, TSU and SWT, but took second place overall in the high jump; and Jermaine Johnson and Chris Lopez placed first and second, respectively, in the men's triple jump. Keith Clark and Michele Collins each won their races in the 100 meters, and Derrick Ferguson won the 400 meters for Houston.

Tellez feels there are no weak spots, only areas that lack experienced competitors. He said overall, he has a well-balanced team, which should do well in competition in the SWC.

Tellez said "there is plenty of competition around" in the SWC despite the departure of Arkansas.

"Actually, I'm glad they're gone. The Texas schools are better academically than Arkansas -- we don't need them," Tellez said.

 

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RICE LOOKS TO RIDE MOMENTUM

BY KEITH ROLLINS

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The Rice Owls will try their best to swoop down and raise havoc over the rest of the conference contenders at the 17th annual SWC Post-Season Classic at Reunion Arena in Dallas.

The Owls will start their attack against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first round of the tournament. Their game plan will be centered around the solid inside play of Brent Scott, the hot shooting of guard Marvin Moore and a talented bench led by the SWC Player of the Week, forward Kenneth Rourke.

Although the Owls are pitted fourth in the tournament, they will enter the contest with high expectations after taking an impressive 103-97 victory over the Texas Longhorns to clinch their first 20-win season since the 1953-54 campaign.

The Red Raiders will also bring momentum into the game after beating Texas Christian, the third-rated team in the conference.

However, Rice's win over Texas, which received national television coverage on ESPN, could turn out to be the biggest game of the year in the conference.

In that game, Moore poured in a career-high 26 points, and Scott added 17 points and 11 rebounds as the Owls defeated the Longhorns for the first time in eight games.

Rourke came off the bench and followed with 15 points and eight boards against the Longhorns.

Besides these three, look for senior guard Dana Hardy to quarterback the offense effectively. He holds the Owls' record for most assists in a season at 147.

Credit should also be given to Rice's Head Coach Scott Thompson, who recovered a struggling program and has brought respect back to the basketball team. In fact, Rice was ranked as high as number 22 in the nation in some preseason publications.

Rice finished the regular season at 20-10, but the Owls went 6-21 in Thompson's first season in 1987.

His rejuvenation of the program has confirmed the belief that the 37-year-old is one of the top young coaches in the nation.

Thompson, with his band of Owls, should beat Texas Tech and move into the second round of the tournament. If so, they will probably go up against the revenge-seeking Longhorns, who play the lowly Texas A & M Aggies in their first-round game.

The winner of that game goes to the conference championship game. Rice, not seeing a future NCAA Tournament bid, would get an automatic invitation if they won the final tournament game.

 

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