PICKERING TO STAY ON 'TIL '93, ACTING PROVOST APPOINTED

BY DEBBIE HOUSEL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

James Pickering, currently the acting UH president, is expected to remain at the helm until at least the fall of 1993.

"I intend to take Pickering's name forward at the April Board of Regents meeting and ask the board to approve my recommendation to make Pickering the interim president," UH System Chancellor Alex Schilt said.

Schilt said because of the time required to conduct a national search, it is unlikely a permanent replacement could be found until the fall of 1993.

One option, Schilt said, is that the regents could decide to place Pickering as UH president for a certain amount of time and hold off a search, like the agreement the system has with Glenn Goerke, current president at UH-Clear Lake.

Goerke, formerly the president of UH-Victoria, has a two-year contract with the agreement that a search will be postponed until the end of that period.

However, Schilt stressed that this is only one option, and a final decision will not be reached until the system discusses the possibilities with groups at UH.

If a traditional search is launched, he said, it won't start until this fall and probably won't be concluded until a year after that.

Pickering, who has been both the provost and president since Jan. 28, said he will finally get some rest because he appointed Glenn Aumann as the acting provost.

"Glenn will be a great help to me. He has a commitment to this university more than anyone I know," Pickering said.

Aumann was serving a three-year appointment as the dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He has been permanently replaced by chemistry department Chairman John Bear.

Aumann, who served as the associate vice president for research prior to becoming the dean, said, "It's kind of like coming back home."

He said because of his knowledge of the inner workings of UH administration, he is well aware of the demands of the job.

"I came over to help him (Pickering), but there are no strings attached," Aumann said.

Pickering has also made two other changes. He has switched Tom Jones' and Skip Szilagyi's positions.

Jones, who was appointed deputy to the president by the late UH President Marguerite Ross Barnett, is now the associate vice president for research, Pickering said.

Szilagyi, who had held that position, is now the executive associate to the president and associate vice president for planning.

Szilagyi said he thinks it is a change that best reflects his skills. He has been a professor in the College of Business Administration for the past 20 years.

"I think it's a great move; we've known each other for a long time," Szilagyi said.

Because Jones is a research chemist, Pickering said he thinks the switch is where he will be the most effective.

"I don't feel it's a demotion," Pickering said. "I felt we needed to get someone with research experience."

Jones said he is looking forward to the new position and agrees that it best incorporates both his and Szilagyi's talents.

"It will produce a more positive effect. I'm quite happy with the move, and the bottom line looks like it is a win-win situation."

During his tenure as president, Pickering said one of his main priorities will be meeting the Creative Partnerships Campaign funding goals.

Completing the state-mandated strategic plan by June 1 and working within tight fiscal times will be another key concern, he said.

Pickering said he doesn't see his time as UH president as a "caretaker role."

"I think it is tremendous, and I intend to do everything I can to move the university forward. I think we're moving along with a progression I am comfortable with," Pickering said.

When asked whether he sees this as a trial period for the future, testing how effectively he can handle the reins, Pickering responded that he doesn't see it that way.

"I am doing the job as long as the institution feels comfortable with me doing it.

"I've never done anything but my best -- I am what I am," Pickering said.

 

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SA ELECTION TACTICS AND RESULTS CHALLENGED

BY FRANK SAN MIGUEL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Damien Kauta is scheduled to address students for the first time as Students' Association president on Wednesday night at SA's inaugural banquet.

Whether he keeps his new title, though, is up to the University Hearing Board.

Two appeals requesting a recall of the SA elections have been filed with the Hearing Board, which presides over the election process.

Kauta, who ran on the PRIDE ticket, beat YES candidate Rusty Hruska 726 votes to 563. In another runoff race, PRIDE candidate Charles Gaviola upset YES candidate Crystal Brown 721 votes to 563.

In the general election, Brown got 48 percent of the votes cast (779 votes) to Gaviola's 37.09 percent (612 votes).

Records obtained by the Daily Cougar show complaints filed by outgoing Graduate School of Social Work Senator Lloyd Jacobson and a joint complaint filed by Hruska and Election Commissioner Stefan Murry.

Murry and Hruska noted "some evidence of inconsistencies in the election process" and requested a decision by the Hearing Board on the matter.

Sixty-nine votes were withheld during runoff counting for the College of Technology when Murry noted that checkmarks on the ballots looked alike and had all voted the same. Other ballots from other colleges reportedly had the same discrepancy.

Jacobson's complaint concerns the administration of the election. His complaint mentions inconsistent election commission rulings, inconsistent interpretation of the Election Code by Murry and, Jacobson wrote, a "poor level of attention by the Election Commission to the duties and responsibilities of that office."

Jacobson, a former Election Commissioner, recommended in his memorandum that the election process and complaints be reopened and examined.

In addition, Jacobson recommended that the Hearing Board formulate directives for use by the election commissioner as well as order protocols for the Election Code.

After the announcement of runoff results, Kauta said he was happy and proud of his victory.

Questions about the election process, he said, would be answered and would vindicate him.

"Even with the votes that Stefan felt were questionable, we still pulled out a victory," Kauta said. "These complaints by Rusty are just sour grapes."

Gaviola said PRIDE was a successful ticket because of its diversity.

"We had many different people represented on our ticket," he said. "It goes to show that a broad-based coalition of people can make a difference."

Negative publicity that Hruska received hurt his chances, Gaviola added. "You can't go out there and take a position, like on the cougar, and expect people to think you're representing all students. People saw him for that and reacted."

Hruska declined to comment about the election.

The Hearing Board is expected to announce a decision sometime within the week.

 

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BASEBALL NOTEBOOK

BY MARTY HAJOVSKY

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Spring Break a vacation? Maybe for you and me, but not for the Cougar baseball team.

While most of their fellow students were out enjoying a little sun and surf, the Cougar Nine were hard at work, going 4-3 against Texas Tech, McNeese State and Baylor.

The "vacation" started out looking like anything but as the baseball team traveled to Lubbock to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a three- game series.

Now, Lubbock is nobody's idea of a favorite holiday locale, but the Cougars were riding high after a series victory over the Texas Longhorns the previous week, and they were hoping to make up some ground in the SWC race.

As it turned out, Houston left the "Paradise of the Panhandle" looking like a tourist who had taken the wrong turn at Albuquerque. UH dropped two of three to the Red Raiders despite outscoring them 24-20.

They sandwiched a 7-1 win between two high-scoring, one-run losses and limped out of Tech just as they had entered, mired in last place. Friday night's series opener was the heartbreaker of the set. Tech scored five runs in the ninth for a 9-8 win.

Jeff Haas got all three decisions in the Texas Tech series. Overall, Haas has been the workhorse out of the bullpen in SWC competition. His 10 decisions in conference play account for almost half of Houston's total. The junior transfer from Indiana State is 3-7 against conference foes while his teammates as a unit are 7-14.

Who says only the basketball team can hit a few treys? Last

Tuesday against visiting McNeese (La.) State, the Cougars looked like they had first class tickets to Minnesota for the Final Four.

Houston pounded an NCAA-record seven triples against the cowboys. The three-baggers accounted for half of Houston's fourteen hits, with three doubles thrown in for good measure.

Lead-off hitter Greyson Liles led the three-base barrage with two. Five of his teammates chipped in with one apiece.

Since being shifted to the lead-off spot in the Texas series, Bellaire product Liles has gone on a tear, raising his average from .219 to .281.

"We may have found something there," Houston Coach Bragg Stockton said. "We're just going to leave him there until he comes down, if ever."

The old national mark of six triples was held by several teams. Texas A & M had accomplished the feat twice, the last time versus Delta State in 1982.

Friday night against Baylor, the Coogs probably wished they had saved some of that offense for later. Houston had gone to Waco, but their bats seemed to have taken a later flight.

Baylor starter Brian Carpenter went the distance for the Bears, allowing only one unearned run and taking the series opener 5-1.

The junior righthander from Marble Falls has a history of handcuffing the Cougars, and Friday's performance was no exception. Carpenter gave up only six hits while fanning eight.

But while the bats were slow to wake up, on Saturday, the Cougars finally answered the call with some fancy moundwork of their own.

The Baylor media guide lists Haas and junior righthander Wade Williams as the top newcomers in 1992 for the Cougars. While sophomore Jason Hart is entered as a leading returnee.

Those listings turned out to be prophetic Saturday as the threesome had the Bears swinging at air, leading the Coogs to a doubleheader sweep.

Haas answered Carpenter's Friday night gem with one of his own as he led the way for Houston. The former Sycamore scattered four singles on his way to a 3-1 complete game victory.

In the second game, Houston's bats finally showed signs of regaining the form they showed against McNeese State, scoring five runs in the first three innings.

With the two teams deadlocked in a 5-5 tie, the game seemed tailor-made for extra innings. As it turned out, that assessment was only half right as the game was indeed Taylor-made.

With men on second and third in the ninth inning, junior Kirk Taylor brought in the go-ahead run on a ground-out to the right side. Houston added one more later, taking the game and the series with a 7-5 win.

Despite the five runs, Williams and Hart stifled the Bears' bats with a combined total of 10 strikeouts. Hart threw three innings of hitless relief in notching his second win of the season.

Houston will have a busy non-conference schedule this week. The Coogs travel to Beaumont for a game against Lamar on Tuesday, returning the next day for an April Fool's Day match vs. UT-San Antonio.

Following that, Stockton's crew will head to New Orleans for a weekend set vs. Tulane.

 

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CALIFORNIAN DUO SUN-60 SHINES

BY SHANDA BOYETT

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Joan Jones and David Russo, the multi-talented masterminds behind the Los Angeles-based band, Sun-60, seem to have caught the tail-end of a whirlwind.

Their recently-signed contract with Epic Records spawned a new self-titled album and a 68-city support tour, and judging from the crowd's reaction to their show a couple of weeks ago at The Bon Ton Room, that whirlwind is gaining momentum.

With music slightly reminiscent of The Pretenders and Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, Jones adds her own distinctive style to the beat with her sultry voice and knock-your-socks-off trumpet-playing that adds a Latin flavor to the upbeat music.

Russo's expert manipulation of the guitar (both acoustic and electric) and keyboards, and his transition to lead vocals on several songs, adds an even broader dimension to the duo's tunes.

But despite their obvious talent and recent good fortune, both Jones and Russo seem undaunted by this turn of events. Dressed in shorts and T-shirts, the fresh-faced Californians look more like lackadaisical college students than up-and-coming musicians. In fact, the two met in 1985 while they were attending UCLA. Two years later, Sun-60 was born.

However, Jones admits she never considered a career in music before that time.

"I've always loved music, and I've always written," she said. "But when I went to college, I said I wasn't going to do anything musical."

Dissatisfaction with school prompted her to change her mind, however. "I was really unhappy in school, so I left and started doing music, singing wherever and whenever I could.

"What really happened is that Joan met me and dropped out of school." said Russo, smiling mischievously.

Russo's own decision to participate in the front lines of the music business resulted from his unhappiness working behind the scenes. A two-year stint in production at Paramount Studios convinced him to make this decisive career change.

Whatever the reasons, both Russo and Jones seem comfortable with their new lifestyle, as easygoing in person as they are on stage.

Their approach to the business is summed up by Russo:

"What it all boils down to is writing songs, singing them and playing them as well as we can," he said.

For now, this simple philosophy will carry them through. The pressure to be a "success" or to be famous is not something they think about.

"I just hope I can always do this in some capacity," said Jones firmly.

"The only requirement we place on ourselves," interrupted Russo, "is that we keep moving forward, growing in some sense. It has nothing to do with financial success at all. It's an internal thing."

And if they are successful?

"I think if we all of a sudden became a success, I'd probably go nuts," admitted Russo.

Call the medics.

 

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ARTIST'S GROUP FIGHTING CENSORS, HOPES TO PUBLISH

BY REBECCA MCPHAIL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

 

The recently-formed Writers and Artists Group at UH has joined the growing ranks of students who feel threatened by the possibility of government censorship.

On March 18, the group held a meeting to address the topic of censorship and to share methods of combatting it.

Shane Boyle, the group's director, explained the meeting's agenda.

"We passed out addresses of different elected officials and asked people to write to the officials and let them know we support the arts," he said.

Boyle, a senior English major, formed the group last November on a simple premise.

"It's a group for people who are writers or artists or people who are simply interested in writing and the arts," he said.

Rod Anderson, a sophomore English major, believes the group performs a vital function at UH.

"It's the only forum for undergraduate creative work on campus," he said.

The Writers & Artists Group is not Boyle's first attempt at organizing a student group.

"I formed the Brainstorm Workshop, which was a carry-over from my high school science fiction club," he said. "I put Brainstorm on the back burner in order to do something recognized by the campus."

Although the group, which meets every Thursday, is still small, Boyle has big plans for the future.

Not only would he like to see the group publish a humor magazine, but also a literary magazine as well.

"There's not a literary magazine on campus that publishes work by undergraduate students. That's a gap I'd like to see filled," Boyle said.

In addition to publishing, the Writers & Artists Group is working to bring well-known writers to UH.

Progressive journalist Alex Cockburn is slated to appear Monday, April 27.

The appearance is jointly sponsored by the Progressive Student Network.

According to Boyle, the group is also working, in conjunction with other student groups, to bring poet Allen Ginsberg to the campus.

However, it is not an easy task.

"We have the determination and imagination, just not the funding," Boyle said.

In spite of the difficulties, Tim Connelly, a senior English major, hopes the group survives.

"There's nothing else on campus like it," he said.

 

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COWBOY, COP HAS AMBITIONS OF STARDOM

BY TINA MCDONALD

NEWS REPORTER

Officer Brian Davis is very vocal about what he wants. This cowboy is ready to launch his singing career while working at UHPD.

"I sent a videotape to Star Search four weeks ago and plan to send another every other month. I am also being booked to sing at the Black Oyster, Tom Selleck's nightclub in Hawaii," he said.

While Davis awaits the big phone call from Ed McMahon, he is keeping busy by recording his demo tape, taking care of his 2-month-old daughter Megan and patrolling the campus.

"I'm doing my demo myself with pre-recorded background tapes and a microphone hook-up. Getting a professional demo is about $300 for one song and video. It's very expensive," Davis said.

In Houston, Davis, whose specialties are country and gospel music, sings at weddings and banquets. "Most recently, I sang at a friend's wedding in the (Rio Grande) Valley. I don't ask to be paid because I enjoy singing so much. People have paid from $30 to as much as a few hundred dollars," Davis said.

Patti Jones, a classmate of Davis' who sang a duet with him at her friend's wedding, said, "Brian has his own style. In high school, everyone thought he would go far and make it. I hope he does."

Davis, who can sing alto, tenor, bass and baritone, got his start when he sang in front of his sixth-grade class at Northshore Elementary.

"I sang `Blue Suede Shoes' and my teacher was really impressed. That's when I realized I had singing talent," Davis said.

Davis, who was born in Fort Bragg, N.C., grew up in Houston and continued to pursue singing at Dulles High School where he won talent shows in 1981 and 1982 and won seven gold medals for singing in the Concert and Chamber Choir.

Natalie Galaviz of the Full Gospel Fellowship Church, where Davis sang solos, said, "Brian was involved in the Music Ministry, the church's band and choir. He's got a warm personality and is very talented."

Davis has sung at various clubs in Hawaii, such as the Marriot and the Outrigger where he won prizes, including a trip to Mexico and a trip to Maui.

"One time at the Outrigger, I was singing `The Closer You Get' by Alabama, and females in the audience were gathering toward the stage. My wife, being jealous, stepped out in front of them and blocked them from getting closer to me. Nevertheless, my wife encourages me to pursue singing," Davis said.

In addition to his talent as a singer, Davis has unique athletic abilities .

An accomplished bull rider and steer wrestler, he won second place in the 1985 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for steer-wrestling.

Davis also won the body-building title of Mr. Southeast Texas in 1985.

Before joining UHPD a year and three months ago, Davis was a U.S. Army Special Forces Ranger with the 101st Airborne Operation, which executed seek-and-destroy missions.

"I've been riding for nine years, but I had to quit when I went into the Army in 1987. The injuries I suffered from bull-riding were considered `destruction of government property,'" Davis said.

Davis doesn't feel it odd that he is a "singing policeman." He is a dedicated officer who plans to perform his UHPD patrol duties to the best of his ability.

"I like dealing with people. I guess it's the protect-and-serve aspect I enjoy. You should just do what you can for now but know that you can obtain your goals in the future," Davis said.

 

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MISMATCHED SKATERS GO FOR THE GOLD

BY HEATHER MCLATCHIE

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

If you are one of the several million people who got turned on to ice-skating during the recent Winter Olympics, I have good news.

If you enjoy a good love story that doesn't pander to cliches, I have even better news. The Cutting Edge, a new film now playing at area theaters, centers on the relationship between a pair of figure skaters.

Doug Dorsey is a hot-shot hockey champion from Minnesota who gets blindsided during the 1988 Winter Olympics and loses his ride into the NHL. Kate Moseley is a prima donna ice-skating champion who takes a fall at the same Olympics and loses her shot at the gold medal.

Fast forward to 1990 -- Kate is partnerless, but still seeking a gold as a doubles skater. Doug is working in a factory in Duluth, biding his time, hoping to enter the NHL.

Kate's coach and her father believe there must be a skater somewhere to match Kate's talent and mouth. It seems she's built a reputation for being temperamental, and there aren't any skaters left who will put up with her.

Kate's coach seeks out Doug and brings him back to the Moseley family compound, which comes complete with its own ice rink. The first introduction runs anything but smoothly. It sets the stage, however, for what will follow.

Kate and Doug seem to be complete opposites. Both have managed to create the facade of having it all together, yet they lack something in their personal lives. Gradually, they manage to find that missing piece in each other as they work toward an Olympic gold medal.

The Cutting Edge is a fast-paced, funny and moving film about two people struggling to find a common ground. The performances, direction, writing and cinematography are first-rate. D.B. Sweeney (Memphis Belle) brings a sharp wit and charm to Doug. This film provides him with the opportunity to convincingly play a leading man, a nice change from his usually collaborative ensemble work.

Newcomer Moira Kelly, from last year's NBC miniseries, Love, Lies and Murder, portrays a wide range of emotions as the pampered Kate. She displays wonderful timing in her sparring with Doug and a gentleness when she must confront her own demons.

Beauty and the Beast's Roy Dotrice provides a nice balance for Kate and Doug as their ever-patient coach, Anton Pamchenko, and The Stepfather's Terry O'Quinn plays it straight as Kate's medal-hungry father, Jack.

Perhaps the best thing about this film is it marks the directorial return of Starsky and Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser. Written by Tony Gilroy and directed by Glaser, The Cutting Edge balances the action of skating with humor and drama in such a way that the audience isn't rushed from one emotion to another, but rather becomes involved in what the characters are experiencing.

The cinematography, by Elliot Davis, is crisp and smooth, whether it be the snow-covered fields of Ontario or the rich interiors of the Moseley home.

If by now you've O.D.-ed on sun and surf, check out a love story on ice worth watching. Go see The Cutting Edge.

 

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TOSCANI DEFENDS CONTROVERSIAL AD CAMPAIGN

BY KIM STOILIS

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

According to a recent poll, the newest advertising campaign from Benetton is not winning any new consumers for the international clothing company.

Oliviero Toscani, noted photographer and art director for the Benetton corporation, addressed this issue among others, as part of a lecture series sponsored by Fotofest.

The lecture, entitled "Controversy and Conscience," was originally intended as a partner to the exhibition, "The United Colors of Benetton: Advertising and Social Issues." Instead, it became a forum for Houstonians to express their concern over the controversial nature of Toscani's subject matter.

In the new ad campaign, Toscani chose actual news photos that had been previously published and used seven in Benetton's advertisements. Through his usage, Toscani feels that advertisements for the first time have begun to touch social issues and problems.

By far, the most controversial photo used was an image of David Kirby, dying of AIDS, with the tagline "The United Colors of Benetton." The photo was originally published in LIFE magazine and was used by Toscani for Benetton with the Kirby family's permission.

In defending his decision to run the photos, Toscani said if the picture promoted discussion, that is what he wanted. "You can censor the picture, but you can't censor the problem," Toscani added.

When accused by members of the audience of taking advantage of the misfortunes of others to boost sales, Toscani responded by saying, "Nobody asked me to sell clothes. My responsibility is communication."

Toscani was given a $1 million budget by Benetton and the creative freedom in choosing how he fills their advertising space.

Instead of following traditional advertising trends, and simply showing another pretty model in a pretty sweater, Toscani has tried to conjugate commerce with serious concerns.

"We all have these problems. We start with an advertising campaign. We end up discussing different issues. This is our try to get out of the plastic world of advertising," Toscani said.

Of the respondents in a recent poll by Advertising Age magazine, only 38.9 percent of the 239 advertisers and agency and media employees who were questioned felt the advertisements raised the consumer's awareness to important social issues. An overwhelming 63.6 percent felt the publicity from the thought-provoking ads had a negative impact on the company's image.

This recent controversy isn't the first time Benetton ads have created a stir among those in the print industry.

Ads by Toscani have been censored in several countries, including the United States. A campaign used last spring picturing numerous condoms of different colors was refused by Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle and Self.

In Italy, when a photo of a nun and priest kissing was used, the Pope became so offended, he had the image banned.

In 1986, a photo of two black twins, one with a Russian flag on his head and one with an American flag, was censored in America.

"Through our advertising space, Benetton does not say that we are the best product in the world. What we say is look twice. Diversity is interesting," Toscani said.

While many find the images and realities Toscani presents to be comforting, others are offended by the way he intermingles those of different races and religions. His photo of a black woman nursing a white child has been attacked by those who accuse him of capitalizing on the shock value of the image.

Regardless of the feelings they elicit in the viewer, Toscani claims his photos are making people confront their own emotional baggage.

"I want to do something more interesting than simply selling a product," he said.

It is an undeniable fact that what is banned and censored in one country is applauded and awarded in another, Toscani said. "We all have our own sensitivities. We should try to look deeper than our own cultural limitations," Toscani added.

Through the use of no-product advertisements, the product is always changing, but the image of the ad stays. He said the image is what the company is based on. By taking the product away, Toscani feels he has gone deeper. He has left the public with a lasting image of multi-culturalism.

Toscani is quick to add that while he is not sure his method of advertising and usage of space is the right way, it is a new way.

"Benetton sells products through the shops. Its advertisements are an added value to the total image of the company. You decide what you are going to buy by looking at the catalogs, not through the ads," Toscani explained.

Toscani claims that most advertisements are insulting to the general public. "Instead of asking you to

 

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NEW FIRE CHIEF FACES MORALE, AUDIT PROBLEMS

BY ERICKA SCHICHE

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

While UH alumnus Eddie Corral greeted a steady stream of well- wishers in the foyer of the Wortham Center last week, he seemed both excited and mindful of the impending responsibilities he will face as the new chief of the Houston Fire Department.

Even as his wife pinned the chief's badge on his navy jacket, Corral showed little emotion. That changed when an audience member -- who seemed to notice that the former fire marshal took the occasion too seriously -- asked the 35-year veteran of the Houston Fire Department to smile. Instantaneously, Corral's olive-complexioned face displayed a child-like grin and dimple.

Corral received a roaring ovation from audience members at his swearing-in ceremony, but issues such as crucial decision-making, surviving a probable budget crunch, in-house performance audits and the problem of low morale among Houston firefighters would cut any honeymoon phase short.

"Sam Nuchia has to worry about what people are doing to each other: The murders, the rapes," he said, referring to the recently-appointed police chief. "I have to worry about what people are doing to themselves."

During the ceremony, which included an address by Mayor Bob Lanier, Corral cited a host of problems plaguing the HFD. He said 90 percent of fires started accidentally could have been prevented.

"It bothers me that in 21 of the fire fatalities that we had last year, 19 didn't have smoke detectors," he said. Corral, who attended UH as an electrical engineering student from 1951 to 1955, also seemed disturbed when he mentioned 1250 firefighters were hurt and that at least 3,000 cases of arson taxed the department last year.

Nevertheless, Corral, who succeds Robert Clayton, expressed some optimism that the situation will be alleviated. "I know that as fire chief, I must demonstrate to the administration and the citizens of Houston, to our firefighters, that we will be effective in using the available resources efficiently," Corral said.

Corral's appointment came shortly after Hispanic activists such as attorney Frumencio Reyes and Lisa Hernandez, director of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, paid Lanier a visit to remind him that the City Council's 16-1 redistricting plan should not be put to a referendum.

The appointment may be perceived as a simple delivery on a campaign promise to promote Hispanics throughout the infrastructure of city government. Corral, however, said he sees this as a coincidence. "I would challenge anybody to compare their resume with mine," he said, referring to his qualifications.

"It is a time of joy for many folks, but it's also a time of concern when we're still having firsts in our community," said Hernandez, whose organization has registered about 26,000 people as voters.

Nevertheless, after 10 years as fire marshal and a career as a firefighter that began in 1956 and a four-year stint as an administrative aide to former Mayor Louie Welch, Corral said he is now ready to tackle complex problems.

Of the 3218 employees of HFD, 2800 are firefighters, Corral said. He said the CRESAP and McKenzie management audits not only missed the mark on the issue of necessary manpower, but on streamlining. "These reports are contradictory to each other," he said, adding that an in-house audit, which began on Monday, will indicate the weaknesses and strengths of the department.

In an effort to help citizens avert another Woodway Square-caliber fire, which enveloped seven blocks in flames and caused about $200 million in damage in 1978, Corral said he will stress the importance of proactive measures. He said the bond between school districts and the HFD will be strengthened, as will the smoke detector campaign.

He said the arson unit, which has suffered due to budget cutbacks, manpower cuts and retirement, should be strengthened. "We have an intelligence network that is sort of down," he said.

 

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ALUMNUS, REGENT STARTS HEAD START FOR HIGH SCHOOL BLACKS

BY REBECCA PRESTON

NEWS REPORTER

In 1963, Xavier Lemond was one of the first black students admitted to the University of Houston. Twenty years later, he was appointed to the UH Board of Regents.

Now Lemond is doing something to help other students from his home town, the all-black community of Barrett Station, Texas, to continue their education and succeed as he has.

In the summer of 1990, Lemond organized a program which allows students who have completed their junior year in high school to attend English and math classes at the University of Houston's downtown campus and obtain up to six hours of college credit. The program includes the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies.

"What we're trying to do is to affect these students' feelings of self-esteem and self-worth," Lemond said. "We want to show them that they're not as stupid as they've been told they are. We want them to believe that they can do college-level work."

Lemond, an attorney and senior counsel at Conoco in Houston, said one of the toughest obstacles to success for black students is often their own "internal racism."

"We want them to believe that they can do something positive for themselves," Lemond said. "And we want them to know that there are people who are willing to help them."

Randy Crawford is an engineer who works at Conoco with Lemond. When Crawford decided to make a donation to a scholarship fund, he approached Lemond.

"I had plenty of support from my family when I went to college, and it was still difficult," Crawford said. "I knew Xavier was a UH graduate, and I asked him if there was some way we could use my donation specifically to help keep black kids in school."

Crawford has been the major financial supporter of the summer program.

"But Xavier has put a lot more than just money into this," Crawford said. "He knocks on doors in Barrett Station to recruit students for the program and to talk to them about their future."

Laura Bass, who works at Lyondell Petrochemical Company and lives in Barrett Station, is actively involved in recruiting and tutoring students in the summer program. She and Lemond often go "house to house" to talk to students about the program.

"My pastor is close to the Lemonds and approached me when Lemond came up with the idea," Bass said. "I had a vested interest in the program because my son is in school, too.

"It is extremely difficult to get our kids on a level field," Bass said. "We're trying every way we can to get them to believe in themselves."

Karla Lewis is one of the students from Barrett Station who participated in Lemond's summer program. She is now a UH freshman studying pre-law.

"I have a lot of support behind me," Lewis said. "We (the summer program students) and some of the parents got together just about every day to help each other during the summer. And a lot of the parents helped us out with transportation back and forth to campus."

"If I don't make it, I know I'll let a lot of people down besides myself," Lewis said.

The program has not been without its setbacks. Of the four students who started the 1991 summer program, only two were able to finish. One of the students was wounded in a drive-by shooting, and another student was shot and killed in a separate incident.

 

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HRM LECTURES GIVING STUDENTS VALUABLE INFO

BY MARTY PESKIN

NEWS REPORTER

Every Friday, the students at the UH College of Hotel and Restaurant Management receive firsthand knowledge of the present hotel industry through a series of lectures called "Jammin' With James."

The lectures are held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday at the UH Hilton. The series was started by Robert James, the executive in residency and founder of Hotel Motel Management Companies. The lectures are optional and between 50 and 130 students, mostly juniors and seniors, attend, James said.

"They need practical experience. We get people to come and show what the real world is like out there," James said.

In addition to the students, many of the professors in the HRM college attend and get very useful information for their own classes, James said.

"The lectures bring practical knowledge to the students directly from people who are involved with this every day," said Douglas C. Keister, a professor in the college of HRM.

Ken Greger, president of Greger and Associates, will present this week's lecture, which will be about career planning. Previous speakers include Richard Guerra, regional manager of Embassy Suites in McAllen, and Don Hansen, executive vice president of the Texas Hotel and Motel Association.

The lectures have included such topics as "Hotel Industry in the '90s" and "Fire Safety and Security."

James, who graduated from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in 1954, retired last June. This is the first year HRM has had an Executive in Residency, but the position will continue, James said.

The details of the position include providing the dean with knowledge in the industry, assisting the students one-on-one, advising them of the best hotels and answering faculty questions.

James also co-teaches a course on management contracts with Heanne Abbott, a lawyer and professor in HRM. Abbott gives insight from a lawyer's eyes, and James offers practical ideas.

Jospeh Cioch, the dean of HRM, invited James to UH for the spring semester. Cioch wanted to make HRM a real professional school, James said.

"We get a good insight from people who have experience in the industry," said James Conroy, an HRM senior. "The people he brings in give a great view of what it is really like."

 

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TIGHT JOB MARKET RAISES THE ANTE ON STUDENT'S SEARCHES

BY AUDRA MUHS

NEWS REPORTER

High unemployment and fewer jobs are making UH students work harder and longer to find jobs, said David Small, UH assistant vice president for student affairs.

In the past, a student who received job references from the UH job bank usually only needed one set of three references to get a job, he said. Now, many students return for more references before finding employment.

Fewer companies are recruiting on campus. There were 264 companies who recruited at UH in the fall of 1990, but only 218 companies recruited in the fall of 1991, Small said.

"Rice University usually has 300 companies recruiting on campus," said Bob Sanborn, associate dean of student affairs and director of the career center at Rice University. "However, this year, only 250 companies are recruiting."

"We tell students it takes three to six months to find a job," Sanborn said.

Small said his statistics indicate it currently takes longer than that. The results from a UH career statistics survey sent to graduates after graduation last year showed 83 percent of UH graduates had a job three months after graduation, Small said.

In the previous year, 86 percent of UH graduates had a job three months after graduation, and this is the first decline in the five-year history of the survey, he said.

Nationally, the average job-seeker now takes 16 to 17 weeks to find a job, according to the February U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Aware that it takes longer to find a job, many UH seniors are starting their job searches several months before they graduate, and more seniors are using UH job search services, Small said.

The Student Services department handled 44,257 in-person service requests in 1990-91 compared with 35,532 for 1989-90, he said.

Most students are using a variety of strategies to get a job, Small said. Some are using summer jobs and internships to get experience and good references for future jobs. They also choose part-time jobs related to the area where they want to work.

"Students are more sophisticated. They realize the importance of networking," he said. "They also realize they can't depend on resumes and newspaper advertisements alone."

Both Sanborn and Small said students are making some concessions to get jobs.

Sanborn said, "Students are being less-selective in the type of company they will work for. Previously, they

 

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MTV'S 120 MINUTES TOUR BOMBED

BY GRAM GEMOETS

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

MTV's 120 Minutes tour on March 21 failed to amuse a sparse crowd.

The Astro Arena hosted the event, and what can be said about the Astro Arena? Well, besides poor sound quality and uncomfortable seats, not much.

The half-filled auditorium was populated by pre-teen freaks of nature, people other than your grandmother who have blue hair.

And the parking lot was a joke. The majority of ticket-holders were too young to drive themselves to the show, so most of the parking lot was empty. After the show, however, hundreds of parents arrived to pick up their children.

To make matters worse (and they get a lot worse), the show was downright lousy.

The group Live (a new MTV favorite) opened the concert. They were probably the best, because they actually played instruments instead of relying on preprogrammed computer noise.

Johnny Rotten (of Sex Pistols fame) followed.

Now I have long been a fan of Rotten and his PIL (Public Image Ltd.), but come on. This guy must be in his 40s. Isn't he a little too old for this? He still dyes his hair red, though (what little is left).

Because the audience was dead, he felt the need to expose his rear-end for the small crowd. Now this has got to tell you something. If the only way to get audience response is to moon people, maybe you should get a day job instead.

The sound quality was so bad that all the music sounded the same. With few exceptions (such as his older tunes, "Seattle" and "The Body"), the set sucked.

Big Audio Dynamite followed. The set would have been great if the sound quality had been better.

In a small club like Numbers or Back Alley, Big Audio Dynamite would have rocked the house. But in the Astro Arena, they did little to impress anyone.

Although most of their music is preprogrammed, they have some interesting little tunes. Their music is mostly dance-oriented and again would have sounded better in a club environment.

The band itself has been around for about five years. Their set cataloged a lot of their music, both old and new.

In all, the crowd was weak, listless and small. Except for about the first 20 rows at the front of the stage, the rest of the house was empty.

Oh, the crowd tried. A few youngsters got wild and hurled themselves toward the stage. Others stood on chairs and shrieked. How mature.

A smoking contest was also in progress throughout the performance. Teens jockeyed to see who could inhale the most Marlboros in the span of a few hours.

The Astro Arena might be fine for the rodeo, but as a concert hall, it was a bad investment. The place doesn't hold sound very well, and the bathrooms are just as deafening as the front row.

If more concerts like this are planned in the future, perhaps the promoters should consider a children's discount. That way, every adolescent in attendance can save their money for cigarettes and the Astro Arena's overpriced non-alcoholic beer (No, they don't even sell real beer).

More annoying than entertaining, the MTV 120 Minutes tour was a dud. The real highlight of the show was its end when I could go home and try to forget I went.

 

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ICE SCULPTURES FREE BEDROOM: GETTING HITCHED AT THE HILTON

BY MARTY PESKIN

NEWS REPORTER

June is almost here, and because it is the most popular month for weddings, it is time to start planning. Well, you need not look any further. Why not enjoy the benefits of a UH wedding?

The UH College of Hotel and Restaurant Management provides a complete package for anyone wishing to have a wedding at the UH Hilton. The price ($2,000, minimum) is comparable, if not cheaper, than other places that accommodate weddings, said Amanda Childers, coordinator of hotel sales and services at the UH Hilton.

"We are very proud of what we've done here because it is a competitive market. Considering we get our business by word-of-mouth, we've done well," Childers said.

About 75 percent of the business comes from students and alumni, Childers said. Occasionally, faculty and staff decide to have their weddings at UH, she said.

"I thought the facility was great, and the staff went beyond the call of duty," said Price Doherty, a post-baccalaureate student and recent Hilton customer. "It was a very enjoyable experience. The less you have to worry about, the easier everything is," Doherty said.

The Hilton performs between 90 and 100 weddings each year. The most popular months are June, July, August and December. During those months, especially June, the Hilton does two weddings a weekend, Childers said. "If we had more ballrooms, we could double our output," he said.

The ballrooms can hold up to 450 people for each wedding, Childers said.

Patsy Piner, director of hotel sales and services, said that two years ago, the main ballroom, the Shamrock Room, went through a renovation, which included getting new carpeting and wallpaper.

"I've been in this business for 15 years, and we have one of the most attractive ballrooms," Piner said.

One reason people have weddings at the UH Hilton is because they can use the campus chapel, making things easy and convenient, Childers said.

A large variety of menu items is offered to fulfill the price quota. For $15.95 per person, a complete wedding includes a main course, hot hors d'oeuvres, cold canapes, punch and coffee. Many people like to custom design their own plan for the reception, Piner said.

The Hilton also provides a complimentary suite for the bride and groom the day and evening of the wedding.

Although the Hilton doesn't provide photographers, they do give referrals. The wedding party must bring its own bands and DJs. The Hilton will cut and serve wedding cakes but doesn't make or order them, Childers said.

Dennis Caylor, the general manager of the Hilton, makes ice carvings for the wedding with prices starting at $150. His works include vases, swans and doves on hearts.

The HRM students who set up and serve food at the wedding are paid employees and not working as part of a lab, Piner said.

 

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PROGRAM TO BOOST MINORITIES' ENROLLMENT IN MATH, SCIENCE

BY KATHY ALLEN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Black and Hispanic students make up 54 percent of Harris County's elementary and secondary public school population. They make up 84 percent of the Houston Independent School District's student body.

But black and Hispanic high school students are not encouraged to prepare for scientific and technical careers, contributing to the economic hardship of this emerging majority and to the technology void of the country, said Jennie Bennett of the UH Texas Center for University School Partnerships.

One way this issue is being tackled is with the initiation of the Bridge Program by TCUSP and the North Forest Independent School District.

"Bridge will narrow that gap caused by the lack of preparation in high schools," Bennett, director of the program, said.

The program is designed to increase college-bound black and Hispanic students majoring in math, science and other technological areas, she said.

Forty-two students at NFISD's Forest Brook High School and their parents signed letters of commitment to the Bridge Program at an orientation in February. As part of that commitment, students pledged to take math and science courses during all four years of high school.

"The students and parents were both extremely enthusiastic initially at the orientation, and the students' level of enthusiasm even escalated as they came to visit the campus -- they did not want to leave," Bennett said.

The students' visit included a tour of the UH campus and a math workshop where they used graphing calculators to display algebraic equations.

Monthly activities will include field trips, laboratory workshops and guest speakers. The program will help students see the relevance and need to pursue careers in the fields of medicine, education, engineering and technology, she said.

Bennett is planning a three-week summer science camp in June. Included among the many activities are a field trip to the Challenger Center; career counseling; and math, chemistry and physics workshops that are connected through an environmental theme.

Forest Brook's criteria for selecting students for the program includes teacher recommendations, course work, attendance and test scores.

"We are not looking for the kids with the highest achievement scores," Forest Brook Principal Dennis Flim said. "We know that young people who are motivated to learn and achieve will learn and achieve given the appropriate impetus."

The program is designed not to pull in the very top students, but to expose average to slightly above-average students to opportunities they are ordinarily excluded from, Bennett said.

Traditionally, black and Hispanic students are not tracked into four years of mathematics unless they have a very high academic ability. But this program encourages students to take a full set of mathematics courses, including trigonometry and calculus.

Bennett is currently dependent upon businesses to provide funding for the program's activities. IBM, Fiesta, Branard Corp. and the Greater Houston Partnership are funding the program at NFISD.

NFISD was chosen to pilot the program because it is small and has demonstrated its commitment toward educating its children by rising from accreditation-warned status to a model school district in the last few years.

Once funding is secured via grants, and the bugs have been worked out, Bennett plans to expand the program to the Houston Independent School District.

This program is designed to draw upon Houston's unique resources, but the concept came from St. Louis' nationally-recognized Bridge Program, which was established by UH's late President Marguerite Ross Barnett during her tenure as chancellor of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Last year, the American Council on Education named the St. Louis program the outstanding public school initiative in the nation.

Students in the St. Louis program have gone on to major in science, math and engineering and have remained in the program.

"I'm hoping that the Bridge Program will go beyond college," Bennett said. "I'm hoping to bring back those first Bridge students to the university to be involved with future Bridge participants -- to really provide a mentorship."

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