YATES PARTNERSHIP TO HELP STUDENTS PASS TAAS TEST

BY MARCIA MARBURY

NEWS REPORTER

Math whiz Reginald Taylor is bombarded by a mind-boggling equation he can't seem to solve.

The Jack Yates Senior High School senior, who scored a 59 out of 60 on the math section of the mandated Texas Assessment of Academic Skills test, is trying to figure out how he can help decrease the 93 percent TAAS exam failure rate of former ninth-grade students at Yates.

"One applicaton to the problem is tutoring," said Taylor, 17, who is a pre-algebra, algebra and geometry tutor for 10th-grade students who've failed the TAAS test in the ninth grade.

UH students are needed to serve as mentors for the Volunteer Mentor Program for 40 selected tenth graders who have failed the TAAS exam and are at risk of failing the test again in the 11th grade.

"We (UH students) must play a more active role in mentoring, counseling and tutoring Yates students to help them receive a high school diploma," said Riselia Ballard, VMP coordinator and a graduate student of the UH School of Business.

Ideally, mentors are needed to mentor, counsel and participate in activities designed to supplement and buttress the classroom experience.

"We don't want UH students to participate in the program unless they're dedicated to the cause. An hour every two weeks is acceptable as long as students are consistent," Ballard said.

As a matter of fact, a low percentage of Yates students were consistent in passing all three sections of the TAAS exam.

Last year, about 6 percent of all ninth graders and 20 percent of all 11th graders who took the TAAS test passed all three sections. Specifically, only 137 out of 539 students passed the math section, 293 out of 549 passed the writing and 309 out of 549 passed the reading for both ninth and 11th graders, according to Tia English, project director of the Texas Center for University School Partnership program (SCUP).

The TAAS test, formerly known as the TEAMS test, is administered in the fall to every odd-numbered grade beginning in the third grade. If students fail at least one part beginning in ninth grade, they must retake that section until a passing grade is achieved, English said.

Lloyd Jacobson, student director of the UH Metropolitan Volunteer Program and a graduate student of the UH School of Social Work, said a major component to under-privileged students graduating high school is for them to have contact with college students who have experienced similar hardships. MVP is helping recruit mentors for Yates High School.

However, since recruitment for UH mentors began in January, very few students are volunteering, Ballard said.

"Yates is a part of the UH community and we must bridge the communication gap between each other," English said.

About eight UH students are tutoring English and math for 40 selected Yates students this semester.

English tutor and UH communications major Dena Fontno said she tutors about five students for more than an hour three times a week.

"The students weren't receptive or motivated when I first began tutoring them in January, but I notice now a positive transformation in the students. They really want to learn," Fontno said.

She said she doesn't believe Yates students are less capable of learning than any other high school students; it is just that they haven't been taught.

Although tutors are paid $10 an hour, Fontno said she tutors Yates students because she enjoys being a positive force in such students' lives, and it's an educating experience.

"Working with Yates students is usually an eye-opener for UH tutors and mentors because they're receiving hands-on experience dealing with underprivileged students," said English, who began working at UH in November 1991.

The U.S. Department of Education has given a $250,000 grant for the maintenance of the School College University Partnership program in Houston, she said.

SCUP is four universities and high schools working together to establish an on-going university/high-school partnership by increasing the number of passing TAAS test scores of minority and other educationally disadvantaged high school students, encouraging them to graduate from high school and pursue a college education.

UH is paired with Yates, Texas Southern with Worthing High School, Houston Baptist with Sharpstown High School and the University of St. Thomas with Contemporary Learning Center. Baylor Family of Medicine is the project evaluator, and TSU is the host of this year's SCUP summer program.

Students interested in the mentorship program can contact Ballard at 749-4612 or 528-3312.

 

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VERMONT STUDENTS PROTEST LACK OF `GLOBAL' DIVERSITY

BY COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

Racial and ethnic differences divide many college communities, but the University of Vermont campus has the opposite problem -- students and administrators are warring over its lack of diversity.

Many students complain the university hasn't done enough to attract minority and foreign students and that students are being denied a "global education" that comes with diversity.

The protests resulted in a three-week occupation of the university president's office in April 1991 and a hunger strike by two students in 1992. A spokesman for the administration dismissed the students' actions as a "media event," and insisted the university was doing its best to increase the number of international and minority students.

Minorities make up 5.2 percent of the 11,000-member student body at the college on the shores of Lake Champlain. The state of Vermont has a 98.5 percent white population.

"There is unrest and general frustration on both sides," said John Commers, 18, a history major and assistant news editor for the student newspaper, the Vermont Cynic.

The diversity issue has fueled a series of demonstrations, some near-violent, over the past year that have marred an otherwise peaceful campus.

"I feel like the word `diversity' has become a buzzword, but the unrest is growing. A lot of state residents feel like this is a state university, and there is nothing wrong with it representing the state population; others see it differently," Commers said.

The university recently released a report on the school's work in achieving ethnic diversity, but it received mixed reviews from the students.

"It (the report) outlined several things that were true, but not really statements of progress," Commers said.

Two students, Karl Jagbandhansingh and Pamel Smith, engaged in a three-week hunger strike in January to protest the university's response to the problem.

"It was a media event," said Nick Marro, director of university public relations.

"This is a handful of very unhappy individuals," Marro said. "Clearly, over the past four or five years, the school has made a conscious effort to increase numbers, and progress has been made, but it's not as rapid as some individuals would like to see."

Marro said the administration did not disagree that students have a right to be offered opportunities to learn on a global level and said the administration was "trying to do all that it can" to promote diversity.

"The disagreement is numbers and how fast we can do this," he said.

Marro adds the president, Tom Salmon, a former governor of Vermont, was trying to cooperate with the students. Salmon took over as president in November 1991.

"Tom Salmon has made it clear he will listen to them, and have discussions with them, and will be tolerant of First Amendment rights," said Marro, who called the hunger strike "nonsense" and an attempt to manipulate the media.

Alex Johnson, editor-in-chief of the Cynic, said the majority of students are in favor of diversity, but there is no organized group behind the demonstrations.

Johnson said years of frustration about the school's diversity policies led students to seize the office of former university president George Davis.

Over the past year, Johnson said the diversity issue "just would not go away." Davis resigned in November 1991 in the middle of the controversy about budget cuts for the university.

The diversity issue has been fueled over the past year by other student resistance efforts that have angered administrators, such as the following:

April 1991. Twenty-two students seized the president's office for three weeks, a protest that ended in the arrests of three individuals. At one point, an estimated 600 to 700 students demonstrated outside the building.

May 1991. Students constructed a symbolic shack dubbed "Diversity University" on the main green in protest of the university's minority policies.

September 1991. Students attempted a second takeover of the president's office. Several more were arrested.

November 1991. Days before Thanksgiving Day, 1991, the "Diversity University" shack was burned to the ground.

January 1992. Students staged a sit-in that ended peacefully with no arrests.

 

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HARD-WORKING CAMPUS ACTIVIST ENJOYS BUSY LIFE

BY REBECCA DEATON

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

"The winds of change are blowing," became the motto of a generation of activists in the '60s, and that same breeze is wafting across the nation's campuses today.

But at UH, the movement is more like a breath of fresh air.

Students at the commuter school have often been criticized for their lack of commitment to social issues, and with good reason. While campus activists of the '80s were constructing shantytowns to protest South African apartheid, UH students seemed more interested in building up their bank accounts.

As recently as the fall semester of 1990, none of the urban campus' 33,000 students could spare the time to attend meetings on such popular issues as the environment and women's rights.

But this lack of social commitment will soon be remedied if Frank San Miguel, UH's version of the campus activist of the '90s, gets his way. San Miguel seems determined to make up for the deficiencies of his classmates by becoming involved in as many campus issues as possible.

While pursuing joint degrees in journalism and sociology and a minor in women's studies, the 22-year-old also finds time to be active in the women's movement, an abortion pro-choice group, the student government and the campus newspaper.

When asked why he became an activist, San Miguel pulls no punches. The staccato answers fire out of his short, stocky frame with the force of machine-gun bullets.

"It's anger more than anything else -- anger that there are a lot of abuses going on and that people aren't getting what is rightfully theirs," he explodes. "People should not be judged on the color of their skin or their sex. They should just be judged as people."

While San Miguel concedes this common ground with earlier protestors who demonstrated against the Vietnam War, he doesn't believe the movements themselves have that much in common.

"When we talk about social issues, we don't necessarily link it up to the larger social picture the way they did in the '60s. Our target isn't necessarily sexism or racism, or whatever, but it's the institutions that perpetuate these stereotypes."

After a few minutes with the energetic San Miguel, it's easy to understand why the National Organization for Women selected him to reactivate their dormant UH chapter in January. As president pro tempore of the organization, he quickly revitalized the group to the point where an average of 30 people now attend the weekly meetings.

But San Miguel is still disappointed with the number of activists at UH and other area campuses. He estimates there is currently less than 10 hard-core activists at UH's central campus, and fewer still at other city universities.

"There are a lot of people who are interested in the issues, but don't have organizing abilities. They don't know where to start and who to talk to," he said. "They get overwhelmed by the administration or bureaucracy, and they get burned out."

San Miguel has plans to correct this deficiency by redoubling his own recruiting efforts. He has scheduled an April training program for activists, which he hopes will add new blood to a small-but-growing campus army. But those who are not fully committed should be forewarned -- he has no patience for students who complain that their work schedules keep them from becoming active.

"A lot of the people who are involved also work. There is one person who's only on campus two days a week," he said. "Other people have jobs, and they still have time for it."

San Miguel thinks it's important to make a sacrifice for what he believes in, but few of those who know him realize how much he practices that credo.

While fighting to improve the condition of others, San Miguel is battling an enemy of his own. With melanin on the optic nerve of his right eye and glaucoma on the left, San Miguel's doctors predict he will be blind by the time he reaches middle age. He's well aware that getting by on four hours of sleep each night could expedite his visual decline, but he doesn't let it slow him down.

"I try not to think about it, because it's a frightening thought, it really is," he said. "I think about it occasionally when I think about the things I can't do -- I can't drive, I can't judge distances, and I can't catch things. But for me, it's not a big deal."

Through his activism, San Miguel admits he's made some enemies on campus. He's been blacklisted by the College Republicans and the students who want a new, live mascot. But those who are closest to him are supportive of his efforts, and even those who oppose him give him a grudging respect.

"He's definitely more involved than the average student," said Byron Smith, former SA senator and past vice president of the College Republicans.

San Miguel's mother said she is glad her eldest son cares enough to spend his spare time working on behalf of others, but she's not sure what drives him.

"I guess he just wants to make the world better for everyone," Sara San Miguel said.

San Miguel said his mother has only one concern.

"With some of the more radical stuff, her only concern is that I don't get arrested, because she can't afford to bail me out," he quipped.

 

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FORMER LAW CENTER DEAN DIES

BY MARTY PESKIN

NEWS REPORTER

A memorial service will be held Thursday for A.A. White, the first dean of the UH Law Center.

White died March 10 at the age of 85 after a lengthy illness.

White, dean emeritus of the UH Law Center, retired from the school in 1977. He and his wife Ersie, who died three months ago, contributed $350,000 and established three scholarships for the school because they thought so highly of the profession.

When the Whites presented these gifts to the law foundation, they stated it was their belief lawyers were concerned about what the law really is. But they also felt continuing education for attorneys was a necessity because the law is constantly changing and hoped their award would contribute to that goal.

The service will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Krost Hall Auditorium at the UH Law Center.

John Neibel, a professor and former dean of the UH Law Center, said White's life defined an era of the law school.

"I feel a sense of loss. A part of the institute has died," Neibel said.

Neibel described White as a man of tremendous responsibility to his commitments.

"He didn't play games -- he was candid and straightforward," Neibel said.

Born in Texas on Feb. 16, 1907, White received a B.S. degree in 1932 from North Texas Teachers College and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1935. He practiced law in Tyler, Texas, until 1942.

White was hired by UH in 1947 to establish a law school and, a month later, the school opened with 47 students.

"He had a very genuine interest and caring for people," said Tom Newhouse, a professor at the UH Law Center. "He was a man who was very much in touch with all of the people he worked with."

Donations can be made in White's honor to the UH Law Foundation, which benefits the law school.

White is survived by his son, Dean White; daughter, Suzanne Booker and husband Bill; grandson, John Manning and niece, Carolyn McDougall.

 

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ALBEE'S LAWYER PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN HIS STEAD

BY REBECCA MCPHAIL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Edward Albee, award-winning playwright and UH drama professor, pleaded not guilty on March 9 to charges of indecent exposure.

Albee was not present at the Dade County, Fla., hearing, but his lawyer, Rhea P. Grossman, entered the plea.

Grossman also asked Judge Calvin Mapp to dismiss the case without trial.

According to Mapp's office, the judge did not dismiss the case; however, no trial date has been set.

Albee's trouble began on Jan. 19 when two patrol officers allegedly found him unclothed on Crandon Park beach. He was arrested and charged with "exposure of a sexual organ."

If convicted, Albee faces a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail on the misdemeanor charge.

Because the case will go to trial, Albee declined to comment and asked that questions be directed to his lawyer.

Grossman could not be reached for comment.

 

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EMPLOYERS CLAIM GRADUATES ILL-PREPEARD

BY COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

The experts agree -- when the job market is tight, it's critical to know your perceived weaknesses and fix them.

According to both the 1992 Northwestern Lindquist-Endicott report and the 1992 Recruiting Trends report from Michigan State University, the biggest deficiencies of recent graduates are:

Unrealistic job expectations. This topped both lists.

According to Recruiting Trends, college students "do not see the big picture...They lack imagination, especially after graduation. Graduates only want to work 8 to 5. ...They lack loyalty to the company, refuse to have patience, and they expect to start at high wages -- they are told to expect this by college faculty."

Poor communication and writing skills. Ranked second by both reports, the researchers note that recent graduates' skills in these areas are noticeably worse than in years past. Employers specifically said grammar and spelling need improvement.

Insufficient resumes and interviewing preparation. Employers say graduates don't bother to research companies before interviews, and they don't exude confidence and assertiveness to successfully "sell" themselves to an employer.

Other shortcomings included a lack of practical work experience through internships or coop programs and few signs of professionalism.

Career counseling officers nationwide said students need not fret, however, because programs exist to help persistent, committed students overcome their problems.

"There's a tremendous amount of preparation out there," said Leslie Mallow Wendell, director of career services at Widener University in Chester, Pa. "There are workshops, classes, support groups for students. There's mentoring, where we hook students up with industry mentors through networking. Networking is becoming more important."

Dale Austin, director of career planning and placement at Hope College in Michigan, agrees students have many options.

"The advisable approach is for them to broaden their options. They need to be creative in looking at other alternatives; they need to be creative in their approaches," he said. "Finding a job is more than just job fairs and on-campus interviews."

Austin said when interviewing, students need to realize that "even if they have strong credentials, the interviewing time is critical time" to allow a prospective employer to get to know a student's personality, goals, enthusiasm and energy.

Wendell adds "some students are afraid to ask questions about career paths, if they can succeed (with a particular company). Students need to understand that those are appropriate questions to ask."

 

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SPRING BREAK REVELERS NOT STUNG BY RECESSION

COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

Holy beach assault, Batman!

It's that time of year again -- when residents of beach towns across the United States and Mexico lock up their children, hide their valuables and brace themselves for an onslaught of less-than-well-behaved college students.

Chief Edward Sanders of the South Padre Island Police Department laughed when he was asked what his officers were planning to do during Spring Break 1992 to control unruly, drunken students.

"We're going to Cancun, Mexico," he said.

So are thousands of others. Travel agents and tourism departments said the recession hasn't diminished the size of the hordes that will descend primarily on Florida, Mexico and South Padre Island, off the southern tip of Texas, this March and early April.

"Traveling hasn't been curtailed," said Stuart Himmelfarb, vice president of Roper College Track, which studies the spending habits of college students. Himmelfarb said 40 percent of all college students traveled somewhere during Spring Break 1991, and 50 percent said they traveled last summer.

"We've seen a slight decline in air travel. There's a little less money to go around...but students are just finding more inexpensive ways to travel," Himmelfarb said.

"The recession hasn't had a negative impact on us," said Teresa Ogle, the marketing and sales coordinator for College Tours, which arranges Spring Break packages to Mazatlan and Cancun, Mexico. "This year, we have a lot more students. There weren't as many last year because of the war."

Other travel agents agree and said many students are opting for road trips, rather than packages including air fare.

"We're sold out on a lot of stuff," said Sharla Shipman of Sunchase Tours, which has heavily advertised its packages in college newspapers across the country. "South Padre Island is still the most popular, but Panama Beach (Fla.) is really gaining in popularity."

Other popular destinations this year include Hilton Head Island off the coast of South Carolina, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for skiing enthusiasts and various Caribbean Island cruises. The Florida Keys remain popular with Florida students, while California beaches attract students in the Northwest.

Most still consider Daytona Beach the hottest spot for Spring Break.

"Daytona is doing very well," said Raphael Marcucci, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Tourism. "And Panama City (in the Florida panhandle) has gone out of its way to attract students. The water (in the Gulf of Mexico) is still too cold to jump in, but that's not what they're here for anyway."

Marcucci said most of Florida's coastal cities welcome the students because of the tremendous boost to the local economy, especially since Florida tourism as a whole fell for the first time in 12 years in 1991.

Many hotels, bars, clubs and parks are offering discounts to students. For example, Walt Disney World in Orlando is offering park tickets to students with an I.D. for $22 for one day (regularly $33) or for $40 for two days.

"The recession has really hurt tourism overall," Marcucci said. The state expects 39.5 million tourists in 1992, significantly less then the 40.9 million who visited in 1990, but more than the projected 39.4 million for 1991.

Although separate counts aren't kept on the number of students that descend on the state for Spring Break, Marcucci said the number is significant.

The only city discouraging visits from the Spring Break crowd is Fort Lauderdale, where strict, open-container and other drinking laws went into effect after wild beer riots and the deaths of some students a few years ago.

Through the 1980s, increased reports of crime and deaths due to drinking and accidents during the break have prompted all of the Spring Break hot spots to take special precautions.

On South Padre Island, the local police department encourages hotels, businesses and bars to hire additional private security. Sanders said the Texas alcohol agents target the area to keep an eye on underage drinkers and the state highway patrol officers concentrate their efforts on the roads to and from the island to nab drunken drivers.

"We've also met with the other police agencies from all the cities in our county for assistance if it's needed," Sanders said.

He cautioned college students to use common sense and the "buddy system" to protect themselves.

"Spring Break doesn't just bring the wholesome college students who want to have a good time," Sanders said. "Other people, thugs, are going to come over with the idea of stealing and robbing.

"What we recommend is that you buddy up with a friend, someone you can look out for, someone who will look out for you and your belongings.

"Use a little common sense. We promote Party Smart. Be sensible and don't get plumb out of control," Sanders said.

Party Smart is a national alcohol awareness program that doesn't tell students "Don't drink," but rather "Drink responsibly."

Karen Oliver, who works with Party Smart and is now in Daytona to promote the program during Spring Break, said, "We are trying to help promote community-wide awareness. We stress personal responsibility."

Another organization -- BACCHUS, which stands for Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students -- is also promoting responsible drinking behavior. BACCHUS stresses the dangers of drinking and driving and is asking students to sign "Safe Spring Break Pledges," which state that students won't drink and drive, won't let friends drink and drive, will wear their seatbelts and won't get into a car with a drunken driver.

Everyone who signs a pledge is eligible to win a car from the Chrysler Corporation, which sponsors the effort.

In a different effort to protect students, university student legal services departments and area Better Business Bureau offices are cautioning students to watch for scams.

 

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WOODY ALLEN RETURNS TO COMEDY IN NEW FILM

BY KIM SCARBOROUGH

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It's awfully nice to see Woody Allen having fun again. For a while, he seemed determined to only produce meaningful films -- death to any comedian -- and he seemed content to reach a small audience.

His career had always paralleled Chaplin's -- the early silly movies, evolving gradually into mature, beautiful works like Annie Hall and Manhattan (which roughly correspond with Chaplin'sGold Rush and City Lights, respectively).

It seemed fair, almost poetic, that his later films would match the monotonous preachiness of Chaplin's post-1939 work; the hollow whinings that were Allen's September and Crimes and Misdemeanors bore out this theory. Poor Woody was a Flying Dutchman in the Coppola mold, to be admired but recognized as having no power to produce any more important films.

Happily, Allen's most-recent material doesn't follow this mold. His latest film, Shadows and Fog, is a lightning-fast machine of enjoyable, nonsensical subplots and vibrant characters.

Even more than Alice, his previous film, it shows no embarrassment at being a comedy, and feels no desire to somehow justify itself with vast commentaries on human nature and the condition of society in the modern world. Shadows is Allen's most-sheerly frivolous and enjoyable piece in years, an irrelevant jigsaw puzzle of references and vignettes.

Shadows clearly bases its look on the expressionist films of 1920s Germany, and one can find innumerable references in just the first five minutes: Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, M and Threepenny Opera (most of the music is from Kurt Weill's score for Threepenny).

The sets, lighting and the entire, physical feel of the film are of the visually-pleasing German style; one takes a relish in the grim alleyways and the high-contrast, backlit photography (although it doesn't hit the mark 100 percent: the cinematographer, Carlo Di Palma, appears to have based the look more on Elephant Manrather than actually going back and reviewing the real thing).

Allen doesn't allow the homage to influence anything other than the look and general situations; however, the characters and dialogue are thoroughly modern, and this keeps Shadows from being a parody of the old German films. He takes his characters and ideas and places them in this Germanic world, surrounding them with a vast playground to work with for a pleasurable thrill.

The large collection of subplots and throwaways making up the film's story can be frustrating; so many of the ideas are prematurely ignored, and all the many subplots, without exception, are skimmed over unnecessarily.

It's a backhanded compliment, though, that this frustrates us; nearly all the ideas contained just enough so that we get annoyed when they vanish.

This is also true for Allen's supporting cast. He has assembled the best combination of actresses he's had for a long time -- Jodie Foster, Lily Tomlin and Kathy Bates all pop up as employees of the local brothel -- but we see them far too infrequently.

The biggest cheat is the waste of Madonna, who is featured prominently in the credits but only appears for a few minutes in the film. She plays her specialty, which is the purring, seductive, mysterious woman, which she always plays with enough wit and cynicism that we recognize it as a clever parody of the type (which makes her unlike a Marilyn Monroe and more reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich or Mae West).

What we do see of her (and the other actresses) makes us want them to appear much more. A large amount of the film's time is wasted on John Malkovich, who takes a potentially movie-stealing role and ruins it with shallow whimpering he uses to show sensitivity. He is the film's single biggest liability.

Despite the film's overly-fast pace, it remains an entertaining and witty piece of work, one that hardly ever falters in its pace of amusement. There are many delightful points that stick with you and pop into your head much later, such as Allen's new device of getting humor out of being a confused Kafka protagonist (in what passes as the film's main plot; we only recognize it since this is the one that Allen himself is involved with).

It exhausts one too much to reward multiple screenings, but it is clearly a film one must attend to witness the finest in escapism. We should all be grateful Allen doesn't mind producing it, yet.

 

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COMPUTER-USE MONEY NEEDS BETTER ALLOTMENT

BY MEAGAN MCGOVERN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The computer-use fee all students pay every semester needs a great deal of rethinking, said Dennis Boyd, vice president for Administration and Finance.

Boyd said the fee is being used as was intended, but the structure and allocation of the fee need to be redefined.

Documents from the UH Board of Regents agenda from October 1987 said "this fee shall be used to provide access by students to computing facilities for activities and uses which are part of regularly-scheduled academic functions of the university." This includes expenditures for "supplies and materials, communication networks, replacement and upgrade of computing equipment, and other costs associated with student access to computing facilities related to instruction."

Since 1988, when the fee was first implemented, the more than $1 million a year collected has been used in several ways, mostly being divided among college deans for funding of computers within the colleges.

The rest of the money has been distributed to the central computing site, to the library for computer use and for supplemental grants used to "enhance the instructional and educational computing environment of the University of Houston," according to grant guidelines.

When the fee was first implemented, "it was decided that the fee would be split 50 percent to the colleges and 50 percent to the central computing center. How did they come up with 50-50? I don't know -- it was arbitrary, and it was a decision that they just made," Boyd said. "From that point on, they had a formula. One thing I'm going to do is make sure that whatever the basis is from now on, that it's clearly documented."

This year, the structure of the fee distribution will be different from previous years, said Gary McCormack, interim vice president for Information Technology. Both the method of funding allocation to colleges and the secondary grant program will change.

The proper method of distribution in the past was vague and unclear, according to documents released by McCormack and the budget office. There was very little documentation of exactly how the computer-use fee was supposed to be distributed. Until this year, Ira Weiss, former vice president for Information Technology, decided how much money to allocate for each college according to student credit hours per college with a formula he refused to release.

A two-paragraph release was the only document that detailed how the money was to be spent, and the records of past transactions are kept all over campus. When The Daily Cougar filed a Freedom of Information request for all documents connected with the fee, files were hard to find, mislaid or incomplete.

"Our policies and procedures are woefully inadequate. They're in somebody's head, or they've evolved but haven't been put on paper. I want to bring together all of the policies and procedures and where we don't have good written documentation, write them down. "There should be processes in place around here that are just fundamental to any organization. We're too big to do everything this informally," Boyd said.

McCormack said, "We need to establish a more-documented policy on how it's done. You can tell what the intent of the documents are, but it's only three paragraphs for a guideline."

From the financial record system reports, allocations of the fee can be pieced together. For 1991, not including secondary or supplemental grants, $934,000 was allocated, and $50,000 of that money went to the library. In addition, $150,000 went to secondary grants. In previous years, including 1991, the funds were distributed according to student credit hours within each college.

There are two major differences this year in the allocation changes. According to a November 1991 letter from former Vice President for Information Technology Ira Weiss to then Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs James Pickering, the new distribution will be based on the average of student credit-hour majors and student credit hour totals for each college.

The library also will receive more than $650,000 this year because of a $10 increase in the computer-use fee dedicated for library use.

There will be no secondary grants this year, due to a one-to-two-year moratorium imposed by the academic computing advisory committee in the aforementioned November letter. The extra money will go toward completion of the campus-wide computer network.

 

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CANDIDATES CLARIFY POSITIONS IN LAST-MINUTE PUBLIC DEBATE

BY FRANK SAN MIGUEL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

PRIDE presidential candidate Damien Kauta and YES hopeful Rusty Hruska squared off Monday in a debate just days away from the run-off elections.

Last week, Hruska edged out Kauta 744 votes to 601 in the general election. They will seek votes in today's and Thursday's runoff to determine the new president of the Students' Association.

Issues ranged from dialogues with administrators to proposals for a multicultural curriculum. Panelists included Speaker of the Senate D. Lee Grooms, Vice President for Student Affairs Elwyn Lee and Residence Halls Association Vice President Jerry Alwais.

Kauta said his emphasis was building upon accomplishments of the past SA administration and serving as a voice for student concerns. Hruska said his administration would be open to all students.

"PRIDE has many good plans, not just rhetoric," Kauta said. "We're not here to represent just a small portion of the campus or special interests, but everyone."

Reacquisition of a live mascot, which became a heated campaign issue last week when Hruska voiced his support for one, was blown out of proportion, Hruska said.

"The cougar is not our main issue," he said. "The necessity for having it on campus is unclear."

Hruska, who was quoted last week as supporting a new, live mascot if a new facility were built, told attendees he proposed having a new referendum on the issue and that last week's Daily Cougar articles misrepresented his ticket's position.

However, Kauta said the issue of supporting a live mascot should not even be part of the campaign. "The cougar shouldn't even be an issue at all because SA's role is to gauge student opinions," he said. "If we need another referendum, fine, but candidates should be looking to represent all students."

Both Kauta and Hruska nixed the idea of multicultural awareness classes, saying students should not be forced to take more classes or learn things of which they may not be interested.

"You can't force a new culture upon any individual," Kauta said. "If someone comes here and is dead-set against learning about another culture, they should not be pushed into it."

"Cultural awareness is important, but I think a lot of it has to do with attitudes," Hruska said. "There are classes that study cultures. We have anthropology, which is a good class."

On the Department of Athletics, which more than 60 percent of voting students opted to either reduce its budget yearly or cut it entirely, both candidates said caution was needed.

"Athletics is an important part of the university character," Hruska said. "People need to realize the implications of a strong athletics program. When we have a premier department, maybe we can let it support itself."

"What a lot of people don't see is that athletics is bringing in money," Kauta said.

Both candidates said better communication was needed between SA and administrators, although Kauta said referendums on controversial and major issues were most important in conveying student opinion.

"Although I'm going to say this over and over, I think we need to go to students every time to make sure we have their viewpoint," Kauta said.

Both candidates fired back responses to Grooms regarding their interest in the president position. Kauta and Hruska, Grooms pointed out during questioning, had not been to a Senate meeting in the past year, applied for a position to any university committee or written legislation brought before the Senate.

"I'll tell the truth," Kauta said, "It's because of you, Lee Grooms, writing legislation which you will never see the fruits of or the pitfalls of, because you're graduating, that I ran."

"I've been concerned with a number of issues over the year," Hruska said. "It's only been this year that I decided that the ideas that I wanted to accomplish would only be done in representing the student body as the SA president."

When asked about naming two positive accomplishments of the 28th SA administration, Hruska said the only one he could name was the library referendum.

"It's disappointing when someone who stands up here, especially someone who wants to be your president and can only come up with one positive thing that SA has done in the past year, that's sad," Kauta commented.

Kauta said legislative efforts last year in Austin and referenda were among some of SA's more notable accomplishments.

"I wish I had five minutes to name them all," Kauta said.

 

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CAMPUSES NEED HARASSMENT POLICY IN PLACE

BY COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

Colleges and universities may be taking a second look at sexual harassment policies in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling.

The Feb. 26 ruling cleared the way for sexually-harassed students to sue schools for monetary damages under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a decision hailed as "a stunning victory for women" by the National Women's Law Center.

"With this decision, girls and women finally have a powerful weapon to fight sex discrimination in education," said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the law center. "Education institutions will receive the message loud and clear that they have to seriously address the discriminatory policies still too frequently found."

The court ruling likely will force schools to reassess existing policies or write new ones.

"I do think it will cause schools to (review) their policies to make sure they have teeth, and at procedures that will ensure that we can do a thorough investigation when we respond to a complaint," said Paul Pitts, affirmative action director at Louisiana State University.

A lot of schools already have strong programs dealing with sexual harassment, but they need to make sure students know how to file complaints, Pitts said.

"We all have a responsibility to respond to the students, and to let them know the affirmative action office is available for counseling," Pitts said. "If the policies are working, the work and study environment should be as open and free as possible ... the way men and women should interact, in a pleasant environment, not fearful of what we are going to say and do."

Many schools have adopted policies forbidding "unwanted and unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other deliberate or repeated communication of a sexual nature, whether spoken, written, physical or pictorial."

The Supreme Court's ruling came in the case of a former high school student from Georgia who sued over her alleged sexual encounters with a teacher.

Although the full implications of the ruling remain unclear, legal experts say the worst thing a university can do is ignore complaints of sexual harassment.

Charlie Shanor, a law professor at Emory University, noted the ruling fell under Title IX, which bars sexual bias in all educational programs receiving federal funding, including grants, so private as well as public schools would be affected. The ruling basically parallels Title VII, which is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulation against sexual harassment.

Title VII states an employer can be held liable for damages in sexual harassment cases if supervisors request sexual favors of employees in return for something. It also states that employers may be liable if the sexual harassment involves the creation of a "hostile environment" (sexually explicit comments, nude photographs on a wall, etc.), but in such cases, the employer must have had knowledge of the incident and ignored it.

A professor who pressures a student for sex in return for a higher grade might present a clear-cut case of harassment, but what would the university's responsibility be if students harass other students?

Shanor said it depends on the circumstances. For example, if women repeatedly complained about suggestive remarks made by members of an on-campus fraternity, and the university ignored the problem, Shanor said he believed the school could be held liable under the court's latest ruling.

"If it is sexual harassment, then it would be something the university would legally need to address.

"My understanding is the EEOC charges of sexual harassment are up 250 percent, mostly because of the visibility of the problem from the Anita Hill case," Shanor said. "Even though the (high school) case isn't as visible, I think it's definitely something that will have an impact."

A recent study by the Association of American University Women noted an increase in sexual harassment of girls by boys, starting as early as the seventh grade. Sixty-five percent of female vocational education students in the study reported harassment by male classmates and some teachers.

"Schools have an obligation to protect girls from harassment by teachers or other students," said Anne Bryant, executive director. "One of the recommendations for action in the AAUW report is that strong policies against sexual harassment be developed and enforced by school personnel."

Another survey at Harvard University showed 32 percent of tenured female professors, 49 percent without tenure, 41 percent of female graduate students and 34 percent of undergraduate women, reported they had encountered some form of sexual harassment from a person in authority at least once while they were at the university.

The Supreme Court's ruling in the Georgia case unanimously reversed lower-court rulings that had thrown out Christine Franklin's lawsuit against the Gwinnett County public school system.

The lower courts said Title IX enables alleged victims of intentional sexual discrimination to seek only "injunctive relief" to halt an illegal practice. The U.S. Supreme Court overruled those decisions and said victims could sue for monetary damages as well.

 

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