SIX-YEAR PLAN ON DRAWING BOARD

BY CROSBY KING

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Questions about the lack of an urban studies program surfaced when a UH System spokesperson addressed the Faculty Senate Wednesday.

Senior Vice Chancellor Dell Felder told members of the Faculty Senate that the development of the next six-year plan will include several priorities, including the need to keep faculty salaries competitive with other universities and bringing campus technology up to date, which will affect future budgets and legislative allocations.

Her presentation outlined familiar problems facing the university, but it drew some questions about other issues, such as the lack of an urban studies program.

The six-year plan, which is updated every two years, sets the agenda for what UH asks the Texas Legislature to fund.

Felder said this is probably the most unique system in a single urban area. She said each university in the system could achieve excellence in its area, but one school could not do it all.

"If a single institution had to deliver that whole service," she said, "that probably would condemn that institution to some level of mediocrity."

Garth Jowett, professor of communications, said he had heard the term "urban university" bandied about for 10 years, but wondered why UH still had no urban studies program.

Felder said that, as an outsider, she agreed the situation was "appalling."

Acting UH President James Pickering said UH was not strictly regionally focused, but the program was "an idea whose time has come."

After the meeting, Jowett said the city of Houston would make an ideal, living laboratory.

"Our city hall hires people from Arlington because we don't have an urban studies program," he said.

Sociology professor William Simon, who helped develop such a program at UH in the 1970s, said it was one of two programs that received a low priority and was dumped in 1978. He said the Chamber of Commerce felt threatened by the program and had pressured UH to get rid of it.

"I saw two and a half years of my life go down the tubes," he said.

Simon said late Texas Congressman Mickey Leland had tried unsuccessfully to get the program reinstated.

 

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ABORTION STILL HOT TOPIC

BY RHONDA HECTOR

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The controversy of Roe vs. Wade, the pivotal court case legalizing abortion, has reached an all-time high.

On April 22, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Casey vs. Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania. The case involves the Pennsylvania law stating that a woman cannot have an abortion without telling her husband first, if it is his child.

The case is expected to be another landmark case because it's the first time Justice David Souter and new Justice Clarence Thomas will vote on abortion issues.

"Roe vs. Wade's continuing vitality looks like it's in serious doubt," UH law professor Mary Anne Bobinski said. "But it's not clear if the Supreme Court will overturn Roe vs. Wade in a big way this spring, or if they will cut away at it little by little."

Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who argued and won Roe vs. Wade, lectured at the University Center Wednesday night. Weddington became involved in the abortion issue in the fall of 1969.

In 1967, California Gov. Ronald Reagan passed a law permitting abortions; therefore, women could go to California to have an abortion.

Mexico was also an option for a woman wanting to terminate a pregnancy. Even though abortion was illegal in Mexico, it was readily available.

The law in Texas at that time stated that abortions could only be performed to save a woman's life.

"There was a group of women at UT (University of Texas), mainly biology graduate students, that wanted to inform women of the good places to go for an abortion," Weddington said.

The women opened an office, and because of the high number of women coming to them for help, they questioned whether they could advertise the information.

That's when they asked Weddington for help. Fresh out of law school, Roe vs. Wade was the first contested case for Weddington.

"It was a time when we were challenging many issues facing women," Weddington said. "Abortion is symbolic of the issue of who makes the decisions."

A woman in Dallas volunteered to be the plaintiff, though Roe vs. Wade was a class-action lawsuit (meaning more than one person was the plaintiff). It was filed on behalf of all women.

There were three key issues in the Roe vs. Wade case: Is there a right to privacy? Is pregnancy fundamental? Finally, does the state have a compelling interest to regulate? Weddington said.

"We argued that yes, pregnancy is fundamental because nothing affects a woman's education, employment and family size more than being pregnant," Weddington said.

As far as the state having a compelling interest, Weddington argued the state has never done that in any other way. The census is an example; the state doesn't count pregnant women twice.

In 1973, the Supreme Court decided to legalize abortion, stating women do have a right to privacy.

The abortion issue will most likely be brought to the forefront with the Republican National Convention coming in August, Weddington said.

"In Houston, you are going to have an invasion of people against abortion this summer with Operation Rescue blocking clinics.

 

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GALVESTON POLICE ACTIVATE `ZERO-TOLERANCE' PROCEDURE

BY MICHAEL D. OESER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

While fun-seeking students look forward to Spring Break beach trips, last weekend's violence in Galveston has cast an eerie shadow over the holiday, and island police are preparing for the possibility of more incidents.

"Any time you have that many people coming together, the probability of violence increases, but we've never had an outbreak like this," said Galveston Police Capt. Dale Rodgers, a 28-year veteran. Wednesday, Galveston city officials declared a "zero-tolerance level" for offenses committed during Spring Break. In other words, every offense will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Rodgers said peace officers from the Galveston Parks and Sheriff's departments will augment island police forces, and some vacations will be cancelled to boost ranks.

One man was killed and three others wounded Saturday in two separate incidents, one just west of R.A. Apffel Park (East Beach) and the other in the 3700 block of Seawall Blvd. Shooting was also reported on Stewart Beach, but no one was injured.

In the park incident, patrol officers rushed into a crowd of approximately 2,000 after hearing about 50 gunshots at around 6 p.m. They found Wendall Baker Jr. with a loaded clip in one hand and a .380 semi-automatic handgun in the other. The officer confronting Baker, 21, said he first advised Baker to put down the weapon.

The officer said Baker loaded the gun and turned on the officer, who then fired on Baker four times, hitting him in the left temple, arm, side and right rear shoulder.

Baker, who once studied at Prairie View A & M, died later that evening at John Sealy Hospital.

While the shooting is being investigated, Sgt. Michael Putnal, a 10-year veteran, has been put on paid administrative leave.

Although a video taken by a witness confirms that Baker and a companion were firing guns in the air immediately prior to the officers' arrival, controversy has arisen as to whether the shooting was provoked.

"This wasn't a black-and-white incident. It was a violation of the law," Rodgers said.

Galveston County Medical Examiner William E. Korndorffer will release his report today but said it is impossible to determine which of the wounds Baker received first.

After watching the video of the officers' control of the situation and crowd after the shooting, Rodgers said, "The officers exhibited extreme self-restraint after being pelted with bottles and cans of beer." Two officers received minor head wounds.

Two other men fleeing from the gunfire were wounded, one in the right shin, the other in the left thigh. The two were also treated at John Sealy Hospital.

In the seawall incident, Joel Eck, 45, was shot by an unidentified man at 6:45 p.m. Saturday. Rodgers said Eck had honked at his assailant for cutting him off in traffic on Seawall Boulevard. Police said the other driver got out, asked why Eck honked, shot him and drove off.

Rodgers said Galveston police arrested more than 100 people last weekend. The cases are still under investigation, and no suspects are in custody yet.

Rodgers said he still wants people to come and enjoy Galveston, but he urges them to do so safely.

"First of all, I want them (visitors) to come and enjoy the city and its beaches. I would ask that if they are underage, they would not consume alcohol, and if overage, if they would do so in moderation. And under no circumstances to bring a gun.

"Those caught with guns will be arrested, and we will ask the courts for the maximum," he said.

Galveston Park Board Special Events Manager Lou Muller expects between 30,000 and 40,000 people over the next two weekends.

 

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GOIN' SXSW

BY KIMBERLY STOILIS

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Like many of you, several of us here at The Daily Cougar will be unable to completely enjoy our Spring Breaks.

Either we will be slaving away out in the "real world," raking in our little piece of the minimum-wage pie, or we'll be dutifully working on homework and term projects that were mercilessly assigned by those harsh taskmasters we lovingly refer to as teachers and profs.

In light of the complete lack of merriment we foresaw awaiting us, we planned ahead. When asked to go to the South by Southwest Music Showcase in Austin last weekend, we jumped, hopped, skipped and leaped at the opportunity.

Needless to say, we were excited! This was our shot at fun and mayhem. Austin lay at our feet, subject to our every whim.

For four days, Austin's hottest clubs would be packed with the South's hottest acts, and we had free passes to all the shows.

Our nights were filled with music, music, music and more music. Some of it very good, some of it sucked.

For those of you who will be fortunate enough to actually have a social life this Spring Break, based on our experiences, we can wholeheartedly recommend the following acts as must-sees.

Billy Goat, Billy Goat, Billy Goat. Always fans of their music, we had yet to see them live. They more than lived up to our expectations. As for their reputation, the crowd was doused with everything from Top Ramen noodles, Hershey's syrup and cornflakes to pudding.

It is highly recommended that all you faithful readers beg, borrow and/or steal to see these guys next time they funk their way through town.

Next on our list of see-or-die bands is Bad Mutha Goose. Yes, this is another funk act. What can we say, other than they really kick.

Houston acts we failed to catch in Austin include de Schmog, Sprawl and the Road Kings. Not to knock these guys, but we've seen them numerous times; we already know their cool. There was no way we were going to Austin to see Houston bands.

However, if you are going to be Houston-bound next week, the aforementioned local acts are always sure bets for a groovy evening.

Thus, we present these photos. For those of you who are actually Spring Break-bound, may they inspire you to strive toward the pinnacle of partying nirvana.

For those of you who have no lives and will be doing absolutely nothing (much like us), when your friends tell you about all the wonderful things they did over Spring Break, and all the great places they visited -- LIE!

Carefully study all the photos, memorize the names of the bands and use this as the fodder for the inevitable Spring Break fables you'll be forced to make up.

And remember, when everyone else is lounging about on some beach, drinking inordinate amounts of beer and mingling with coeds from around the country -- although you're in Houston doing whatever menial task you've chained yourself to, working builds character.

 

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COUGARS LOSE IN FIRST ROUND OF NCAA TOURNAMENT 65-60

BY JASON LUTHER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Pat Foster's third bid to win an NCAA tournament game as Houston's coach came up short Thursday night as the Cougars blew a four-point lead with four minutes left to lose to Georgia Tech 65-60 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

The Cougars' inability to get inside on Georgia Tech's front line was the difference in the game.

The Yellow Jackets' inside attack was led by 6-11 forward Malcolm Mackey, 6-8 forward James Forrest and 6-11 center Matt Geiger, who combined to dominate the boards.

Georgia Tech led Houston in defensive rebounds 28-19.

The Cougars jumped out to a 4-0 lead, and by 14:00 in the first half, the game was tied at 10.

However, Houston's shooting failed them over the next six minutes, and by 5:05, the Jackets were ahead 26-19.

Georgia Tech (22-11) led by as much as 11 in the first half, as the Cougars shot 28 percent from the field and made only 10 of their 36 field-goal attempts.

Not being able to get inside forced Houston (25-6) to rely on the three-point shot, and they only connected on two of 16.

By halftime, the Cougars worked the Georgia Tech lead down to eight at 32-24.

After falling down by 13 in the second half, the Cougars went on a run, looking for their fourth straight come-from-behind win.

At 4:05, a Sam Mack 3-pointer put the Cougars ahead 58-54.

Mack, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored all of his 18 points in the second.

Mack's ability to get inside against the Yellow Jackets opened up the outside for Houston, as they shot 56 percent up to the four-minute mark.

However, Houston stayed in a zone against Georgia Tech, and the Jackets went on an 11-2 run, putting the game away 65-60.

Senior guard Jon Barry, son of former NBA great Rick Barry, led the offensive attack for the Jackets with 17 points, as he shot 7-15 from the field.

Barry was named Georgia Tech's Player of the Game, and Mack, whose 18 points led all scores, was named Houston's.

The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak by Houston.

 

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DIGITAL PHONE SYSTEM CRANKS UP AS STUDENTS FLEE

BY TINA MCDONALD

NEWS REPORTER

While faculty and students head out for Spring Break fun, the final stage of the new telephone system will be completed with the switch to a digital phone system today.

The new system, which has cost an estimated $7.5 million, is being financed by the General Electric Credit Corp. over a seven-year period, said Lee Bentch, manager of System Services in the College of Technology.

"The cost of this new phone service will be no more than 10 percent of the replica of the current phone service. Phonemail, if requested, will cost an extra five dollars per phone box," Bentch said.

The majority of the campus will have new numbers using the prefix 743. When calling within the campus, one must dial number three then dial the last four digits of the number, said Gary McCormack, director of Telecommunications.

Among the important numbers being changed is UHPD's emergency and non-emergency numbers.

"We're mainly concerned with emergency situations, and we want the community to know our new number," UHPD Lt. Brad Wigtil said.

UHPD Lt. Richard L. Storemski said the new emergency number for UHPD is 743-3333 and the non-emergency number is 743-0600. If the student is calling on-campus, he or she can simply dial 3-3333 in an emergency situation.

In addition, Bentch said, about 75 percent of the campus has requested temporary referrals when their old number is called.

Bentch and McCormack agree it will take a few weeks for the campus to get used to the new system.

"It's not difficult to operate; it's just different," Bentch said. The new phone system, which was approved in June 1989, is a digital system as opposed to the old analog system.

"Analog is like your old record player. Digital is your CD player. It's of higher sound quality, and it can stand up to extreme weather or heat," Bentch said.

The new system will be run and billed by the Technology Department. Southwestern Bell will be used for local calls, but not long distance calls, Bentch said.

McCormack said he hopes to provide better service for students with the new phone system, offering features such as the Auto Call Distribution.

ACD will give students a menu of operations to choose from when they call so they can reach specific departments, McCormack said.

"This system should solve a lot of problems we (UHPD) have with our phone lines when it rains or when the weather is bad," Storemski said.

 

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