UH should look to long-term growth instead of getting bogged down by statistics, said a top official in response to a claim that administrative spending outweighs faculty salary increases.

The university should be more concerned with the future instead of "playing the numbers game," said Skip Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning and executive associate to the president.

The "numbers game," Szilagyi said, is when institutions lose sight of their mission and long-term goals and get wrapped up in statistical facts. He was responding to Texas Faculty Association President Harb Hayre's figures that compare UH faculty salaries to administrative salaries over a 10-year period.

Hayre claims administrative salaries increased 687 percent during that decade, while faculty salaries increased 90 percent during the same time.

Szilagyi said that while the faculty salary figure is correct, administrative salaries, in fact, rose only 52.61 percent. But, he added, "What is the lesson we want to convey in this type of analysis? Given the complexity of these budgets, should we even trust an analysis such as this for decision-making or even discussion purposes?

"Rather than comparing the growth of administrative salaries vs. faculty salaries, the message should be: What administrative structure is required such that the university can accomplish its mission and achieve its stated goals in an efficient and effective manner," Szilagyi said.

Hayre said in response, "The `numbers game' becomes important when some faculty can hardly put bread on the table, while the administration keeps getting raises."

Hayre, while not disputing that one of his figures was incorrect, maintains his position that UH has far too many useless administrative positions, jobs which bleed funds from both faculty salaries and student services. He added that he is preparing a detailed analysis of complete administrative costs.

"What is the bloody necessity of a vice president and an associate vice president of student affairs if we have a dean of students?" Hayre said. "Are students and faculty asked to evaluate services here? Do we ever have students' input on the size of classes, the quality of the administration? Why is a `numbers game' necessary? Because it gives an indication of the trends, and if they're disturbing, then perhaps we should reassess our situation."

Szilagyi said the president had goals for the university which would involve the entire community. "Where do we go from here? A first step to begin this fall is an intensive dialogue which will involve the entire academic community.

"We fail to realize that students are both product and customer. This isn't an assembly line where we can turn out a finished product. Students are wearing dual hats here, and so we can't run the school like a corporation," Szilagyi said.

In looking at how to run the university, he said the school can't be run like a business. "We can look at Exxon and such to see what changes need to be made, and we can apply what works, but we can't ignore the mission of the school. Exxon and other corporations don't have the mission of discovering and disseminating knowledge."

Hayre believes UH is being run on an industry model. "In the industry model, the ideal is to cut cost, and not to worry about services. Then in a few years, the CEO leaves, taking his salary with him. The same thing is happening here. There's no systematic interest in the long-term good of the university. We have gypsies for administrators."

A major concern of the university is reduced state income in the near future. The next legislative session in Austin begins Jan. 1, and as this date nears, educators all over Texas worry about the effect of new budget restrictions.

According to Hayre, "UH is the worst campus in the sense of political muscle in Austin. We've never had a stable president long enough to gain favor. Things really look bad."

Hayre challenged the administration to take a 5 percent cut in pay to be put into escrow to pay for some of the shortfall the administration foresees. "Just the ones making over $60,000," Hayre said.






A former UH student will have a second chance to win a lawsuit against the university, a suit that was prompted after she was raped on campus eight years ago.

The Texas Supreme Court reversed two Houston court decisions that ruled UH was not responsible for damages because of its sovereign immunity.

In 1984, a student from UH-Downtown walked into the Settegast residence hall of the Quadrangle, entered the 19-year-old woman's room and raped her at gunpoint. The woman's lawsuit claimed the lock on the residence hall's outside door had been broken for some time.

The man was later caught in a sting operation set up by UHPD in which the woman lured him back to her room after he called her. He was convicted of rape later that same year and sentenced to 85 years.

In the woman's suit, she contended UH breached its contract with her and violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protections Act. The suit maintained the school was negligent because it failed to provide safe housing.

Nancy Footer, the assistant counsel to the UH System, said the suit was filed in 1988 or 1989. She said it will have implications for all state agencies, not just universities.

State agencies, in general, can't be sued unless they agree to it, said William Linsley, professor of journalism.

"Sovereign immunity, in itself, means the king can do no wrong," he said.

The door in question had a history of repairs, said Tom Pennett, director of Residence Halls.

"We were fighting a battle just to keep security in force," he said. "We were finding rocks, cans, everything under the sun propping open doors all hours of the day and night."

Pennett said an electronic monitoring system was installed three years ago to prevent such an event from happening again.

All the residence hall doors now are monitored by a desk assistant, and when one of the doors is held open for a lengthy amount of time, the assistant is alerted and can be heard over a speaker at the opened door.

If the assistant asks that the door be closed and receives no response, someone is sent to the area to close the door or check for problems.

According to a 1984 story in The Daily Cougar two days after the rape, an unnamed friend of the victim said the incident "may not have happened if it weren't for dorm negligence.

"We couldn't find an R.A. (resident advisor) or a hall director to report it to," she said. "I think someone might have reported seeing an unfamiliar, suspicious-looking man if there had been someone available here at the dorm."






While most students are gearing up for finals, a select group of UH and Texas Southern University (TSU) students are still unpacking from a semester in Washington, D.C.

"I got back on April 25," said Cipriano Romero, a junior political science major.

Romero, along with nine other UH and TSU students, spent the spring semester in Washington as a part of the Mickey Leland Professional Internship program.

The program, which operates at UH by political science professor Bruce Oppenheimer, was the brainchild of the late congressman. After his election to Congress in 1979, Leland became interested in placing minority students in intern positions, Oppenheimer said.

At this point, Leland met with Oppenheimer and began to work out the financial logistics of a program that places eligible minority students in offices in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"We had one false start, early on, when we didn't have enough money, but this is the 10th or 11th group of students we've sent," Oppenheimer said.

In order to be eligible for the 14-week stay, the students must begin a long application process in early October involving writing samples and interviews.

Oppenheimer admits the process can be tedious, but he feels it's a necessary precaution.

"We'd prefer to leave (an opening) vacant than send somebody we didn't think would be successful as an intern," he said.

Aside from their usual office duties as an intern, the students are expected to attend a seminar, keep a journal, write a research paper and receive an evaluation of their performance from co-workers.

It is on the basis of these components that Oppenheimer determines the students' semester grade.

Even though the students receive up to 15 hours of credit for their Washington stay, Romero said he received something equally as valuable.

"I went up there with myths about the government. A lot of the myths were debunked. Being a part of it cleared things up," he said.

Oppenheimer asserts that most of the benefits are not as tangible as grades or credits.

"The students do better in their coursework when they return. They know what deadlines are, they know how to write quickly and they learn how to do research.

"Their career expectations usually jump a notch. They have greater confidence in what they can do," he said.

Although most of the students report positive experiences from their stay, Oppenheimer admits there have been a few awkward situations.

"Some of the students who've been commuting have never lived away from home, and we've actually had some students get very homesick in Washington," he said.

All in all, Romero said, the stay was an eye-opening experience.

"Most people view government as a big monster that's unpenetrable by the average citizen," he said. "The internship showed me that politicians do pay attention to voters, and a phone call or a letter can influence what a congressman does."






A study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education supports the widespread belief that professors who spend more time teaching are paid less.

Initial findings from a study conducted by Pennsylvania State University Associate Professor James S. Fairweather give evidence that institutions are more apt to award faculty members who gained recognition through their published research.

Based on data from 4,332 tenured faculty members from a wide range of four-year institutions, the Fairweather study concludes that faculty members who spend more time on research receive higher compensation. In addition, the study affirms that those who teach only graduate students earned comparatively more than those teaching undergraduate students.

This study follows at the hem of mounting pressures on universities to stop ignoring the importance of teaching. Institutions across the nation are starting to realize they can't continue to disregard the undergraduate program if they want to continue recruiting quality students to do research, UH engineering professor Harb Hayre said.

Acknowledging the decline in undergraduate instruction, some universities, such as Harvard and Stanford, are beginning to take steps to increase the teaching loads of faculty members who traditionally concentrate on research, Hayre said. UH needs to do the same, he added.

"Learning is the purpose of a university. For the good of the students and the university, we need to give research and teaching equal attention," he said. "We must have a good undergraduate program which will adequately prepare students to do research. We need research definitely, but we shouldn't sacrifice teaching."

College of Education Dean William Georgiades defends the role research plays at universities, saying that good researchers make some of the best teachers because they're in tune with what is currently happening in their field.

"I don't think college professors are worth a grain of salt if they don't keep up with their field of study," he said. "Everyone should have a research agenda. It helps to make you grow."

One of the benefits from research is the transfer of information from teacher to student. A student's education can be greatly enriched when he or she is able to share in the professor's findings, Georgiades said.

But what ends up happening instead is the researcher's teaching loads are shifted onto the shoulder of those who don't concentrate solely on research, Hayre said.

This imbalance leads to classrooms of 200 students instead of 50, reducing the chances for students and professors to interact with one another, he said.

There is a growing debate in Austin as to the fairness of the current system of granting more money to universities who concentrate on research. Prompted by the outraged cries from institutions who do not have doctoral programs, Texas legislators are rethinking the current system of fund allocation.

UH is among the three institutions designated by Texas legislators as a research university. If they decide to grant more money to those institutions who spend less time on research, UH will definitely lose, but not entirely since the school also has a strong undergraduate program, which will benefit if any changes are made, said Thomas Jones, associate vice president of research.






Glenn Phillips is the 21-year-old lead singer for the up-and-coming pop band Toad the Wet Sprocket. Their name may not be familiar to the masses now, but in a few years, it will be.

So far in their career, they have opened for the B-52s' Cosmic Thing tour, appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, have three CDs out and are currently touring with Chris Whitley.

They have been together since Phillips was 14 years old and have come a long way from the four guys who worked together on their high school productions of Our Town and Oklahoma.

"They were seniors, and I was a freshman when we met. We just started practicing after theater," Phillips said.

Phillips attributes his vocal strength to practicing. Even though he has never had formal vocal training, his voice carries loud and clear through a room. However, when they appeared on Late Night, his voice seemed to be straining to hit the notes. Phillips said the group had been on the road for a long time, and vocal fatigue may have set in.

He also said the band was very nervous while taping the show. Luckily, "the people on the show were very soothing and nice," he said.

If you watched the Late Night episode with them, you saw David Letterman walk up to Phillips and whisper in his ear. This is how that conversation went.

Letterman:"Have you ever played at Trankas?"


Letterman: "It's a club on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway)"


Letterman: "Forget about it."

Toad sang their single "All I Want" from their current CD, Fear, on the show. Phillips said the song is "user-friendly," and they leave the decisions of what to release up to their record company. Not that they do not have any concern of what goes out, but the label cannot remix any of their music, and they are on the road so much, it is just simpler if the label decides.

"Hold Her Down" is a song Toad has recorded three times, and Phillips says it's because "Hold Her Down" is a song they do often, has been recorded twice and has shown up on their live CD.

"The initial version was kind of more sarcastic and was harder to sing every night. Having to become a character every time we performed the song was kind of difficult, so we rewrote the song and made it more angry and a little more straightforward," he said.

The song was originally about assault, in general, and turned more toward sexual assault, Phillips said. The song has lyrics like "Take her arms and hold her down until she stops screaming," and "Hold her down until she stops kicking."

He says the song was based on a few of their friends who have been assaulted. "Considering it's one in three women (who are the victims of an assault), it is kind of hard to not know somebody," he said.

Speaking of assault, the band was playing in L.A. when the Rodney King verdict came down. "It was pretty hard to believe that they were acquitted. I think three-quarters of the country couldn't believe it either," he said.

This was a personal statement that slipped out of Phillips mouth. He looked saddened that in his home state of California, such a verdict could be issued.

Both of his parents have Ph.D.s, and he would be attending the University of California-Santa Barbara if the band was not touring so much.

Phillips said he never thought they would come this far because he never thought they would be signed. When they were signed, he described the experience as being like when you turned five.

"You know, like, when you wake up and you think things are going to be different, but they aren't.

"Then things become like a job, and you are away from home for long periods of time, and you get a lot of unbalanced attention. It gets really scary," he said.

He concluded his thoughts by commenting on being in an American rock 'n' roll band. "It is an odd thing. It is not really based on who you are, or not really based on being quiet and being peaceful, which I think is more what we are about ... It's just a strange way to make a living."






The Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center will attempt to boldly use space in a way it hasn't been used before.

SVEC, located at UH's Science and Research Building I, was started five years ago with the goal of sending semi-conductor crystals, used in microchips, into space to make them better.

For example, the improved crystals can be used to make better microchips for computers, and this technology can benefit microelectronics industries such as Texas Instruments and AT & T, said Mark Sterling, program manager for SVEC, and SVEC Director Alex Ignatiev.

A satellite called a Wake Shield Facility, which is 12 feet in diameter, will contain the crystals. The WSF will create a vacuum to provide a pure environment for the atomic growth of atoms in the crystals, Sterling and Ignatiev said.

The atomic growth is called epitaxy, or growing atoms one atomic layer at a time, Sterling said.

The WSF, which will be 160 nautical miles above sea level, will cut through atoms in space so quickly and powerfully that it will leave a pure vacuum in its wake, Sterling said.

The purity is necessary to keep such atoms as those in oxygen and nitrogen from contaminating the atoms in the crystals, Ignatiev said.

There will be four flights in the next four years, each about a year apart, and NASA has funded the SVEC at $20 million over five years, Ignatiev and Sterling said.

"We're trying to prove that (the project) can be done less expensively," Sterling said.

He said more chances can be taken with this project because human lives aren't involved.

Eventually, the idea of the entire program is that the government wants to commercialize and develop technology based in space, Sterling said.

There are about 60 people working with the project, including UH students and faculty members, Ignatiev said.

"I don't think I can learn as many things in as many places as here (SVEC)," said Pablo Chang, a research assistant who is a graduate student in electrical engineering.

"A lot of the equipment most schools can't afford," Chang said.

Jorge Aguilar, a senior mechanical engineering major, said, "They (the people at SVEC) like to take care of the students.

"It's nice when you see all the abstract stuff come to life," Aguilar said.

The launch date is set for November 1993.






Excitement usually is in the air during commencement exercises, but for a magna cum laude graduate -- up until last Friday afternoon -- attending her commencement ceremony would have saddened her deeply.

UH disabled student Marilyn Turner was told last week that wheelchair-bound graduates could not accept their diplomas in the Cullen Performance Hall because of inaccessibility.

She said officials told her that she and others must enter the stage from a loading dock area and enjoy graduation from backstage because the hall isn't equipped to get wheelchairs on and off stage.

But thanks to UH officials, such a nightmare won't come true.

"It would have been a slap in the face because I've worked hard for five years to graduate and looked forward to experiencing the graduation moment," Turner said.

Jeffrey Salzberg, manager of the hall, said wheelchair-bound graduates couldn't accept their diplomas from inside the hall because a ramp or a lift in place of the steps would be needed, and it would take at least one month of construction and about $80,000 to install.

But Rella Carpenter, director of the Advising Center for the College of Technology, said that when the access for wheelchair students was brought to her attention, she contacted Jackie Boloski of UH Special Events. "Boloski made arrangements to rent a wheelchair lift for the graduation ceremony," Carpenter said.

Salzberg said that although UH spent more than $2 million on renovation for accessibility for handicapped students two years ago, a permanent ramp or lift was not installed because it violates fire codes.

One of his priorities is to install a ramp to the stage of some sort that is barrier-free and not a fire-code violation. Installing devices for the visually- and hearing-impaired, among other renovations, is also high on his agenda, he said.

"The problem is, I don't know where the funds will come from," he said.

"I don't believe the handicapped students were purposely overlooked. Society isn't geared toward thinking of accessibility for everyone," said Karen Waldman, director of Handicapped Student Services.

There is space for 30 wheelchairs, four wheelchairs can be placed in the front row and the rest put in the back of the hall.

Turner said she is happy to know she could sit with her friends during graduation because she said when you graduate, the most normal thing to do is turn to people and hug them.






THE WOODLANDS -- There must be a jinx on former UH golfers in the Houston Open when the best Fred in the world, who happens to be an ex-Cougar, is beat out by a Fred named Funk.

Fred Funk, who had never won a PGA tour before Sunday's win at the Shell Houston Open, finished the tournament at 16-under, nine shots better than Fred Couples, who has won four events this year alone.

Funk's first PGA title earned him $216,000, while Couples' lackluster, ninth-place finish netted him $10,530, mere chump-change compared to the payoff he received for winning this year's Masters.

But Couples' finish was not even the best among the six former Cougars in the field.

Billy Ray Brown ('81-85) came up just short of the title for the second straight year, finishing third behind Funk and Kirk Triplett.

In the 1991 tournament, Brown blew a three-stroke lead with six holes left, surrendering the title to Fulton Allem, who finished fourth this year.

However, Brown finished strong this year with a 64, the second-lowest round of the tournament. He went into the clubhouse just one stroke out of the lead, but Funk was just too consistent.

After Sunday's round, Brown voiced some frustration at his last two tries for the title.

"In the last two years, I've come as close to winning here as any Cougar," said the former UH All-American. "If there is a jinx, it needs to be broken. I'm happy to finish where I did, but it's not good enough."

The consolation for Brown is not all bad, considering he picked up a $81,600 paycheck for his third-place finish.

During the first three rounds of the tournament, while Couples was drawing most of the crowd, Blaine McCallister, one of his former teammates at UH, was quietly making a run for the title.

McCallister, who had one more year of service as a Cougar than Couples, enjoyed three consecutive rounds of 69, putting him in good shape going into Sunday's round.

However, Funk's third-round 62, combined with a steady 70 he shot in the final round, was too much to overcome for McCallister, who also shot 70 Sunday.

The only other ex-Cougar to finish under par in the tournament was Bruce Lietzke, who turned in first and final rounds of 68 and 67, respectively. His four-day total of 6-under earned him $6,975.






After opening the 1992 SWC Golf Championships in sixth place, the Cougars shot a final-round 1-over-par, vaulting to a second-place finish at the Lubbock Country Club Sunday.

The strong finish assured the Cougars of a spot in the NCAA qualifying tournament May 21-23.

The second-place finish marked the 16th time the Cougars have placed at least second since the school began competing in the league title in 1973.

UH finished the tournament 23-over, four strokes ahead of 14th-ranked TCU and just six shots behind the 7th-ranked Texas Longhorns. It was the Cougars' best SWC finish under Coach Keith Fergus.

"It was a real good tournament for us," Fergus said. "I'm very encouraged by our finish."

With four players shooting under 75 in the final round, Houston found the type of consistency Fergus has been looking for all season long.

"All the guys pitched in," said Fergus, who won the SWC individual title in 1974 and 1976. "(They) were all gelling at the same time."

Three Cougars placed in the top eight individual scores, including sophomore Dean Larsson, who came in third for the individual title with 2-over.

Senior Greg Cox and freshman Anders Hansen finished tied for eighth at 5-over. Hansen shot a final round 70, which was the lowest round for a Cougar in the tournament.

Larsson just missed a share of the individual title as what would have been his last putt rimmed out to leave him one stroke behind the leaders.

"At the time, I didn't know the putt cost me the title," he said. "I was very disappointed when I found out."

However, Larsson said he was pleased with his finish.

"The conditions were very tough, and I had one of my best tournaments," he said.

More encouraging, Larsson said, is that all the Cougars contributed this time around.

With the NCAAs looming, the Cougars will all need to contribute to qualify.

"We need to keep doing what we're doing," he said. "If we do, we'll have a very good shot at qualifying."






It was another day at the office for Olympic qualifiers Sam Jefferson and Michelle Collins at the 1992 SWC championship relays.

Collins left Anderson Stadium in College Station Saturday with a convincing win in her specialty, the 200-meter dash, with a time of 22.8 seconds. She breezed by the field with an 11.26-second clocking in the 100m to gain her second victory.

In the men's 100m, Jefferson captured the title with a 10.26 clocking, escaping defeat by one one-hundreths of a second by Rice freshman Brian Bronson, the 1991 national high school track athlete of the year.

However, the teams finished poorly in the final team standings with the men taking seventh and the women taking fifth out of eight teams.

Jefferson and Collins will represent the SWC in the NCAA Championships held June 3-6 in Austin.

Two other events, the 4100m relay and the 4400 relay, will exhibit Cougar runners at the NCAA showing, also. The sprinting quartet of Dawn Burrell, De'Angelica Johnson, Starlie Graves and Collins reached the tape first in the 4100 relay at 44.94 seconds.

In addition, the women's team collected a second- and third-place ribbon in the 100m hurdles. Burrell posted a 13.85-second timing and Claudine Finn followed .09 seconds behind her. Finn also placed third in the 400m hurdles.

Michelle Smith hopped, skipped and jumped to score a 2nd-place win of 41' 6" in the triple-jump. She then took to the air in the long-jump to notch her second placing with a leap of 20' .5" to nab third place.

In the men's competition, Jon Vines went vertical in the high jump, clearing the bar at a height of 7' .25" to place second overall.

Next came javelin-slinger Charles Langston, spearing third place with a throw of 202' 8".

Jermaine Johnson took third place in the men's triple-jump action with a leap of 51' 1.75", and Patrik Juhlin ran to a third-place finish in the 5000m.

* * *

In alumni news, Carl Lewis anchored the Santa Monica Track Club's all-star 4200 team of Mike Marsh, Leroy Burrell and Floyd Heard to a new world-record timing at the Penn Relays last weekend. In the same meet, the team also recorded a 4100 relay victory.

Look for that team to be the U.S. representatives in the Barcelona Olympics.

The team practices at UH's Robertson Stadium under the watchful eye of Head Coach Tom Tellez.






A NASA tour should no longer bring bored yawns to visitors once Space Center Houston, the Johnson Space Center's new $70 million visitors' center, opens its doors this fall.

Space Center Houston, described as "the closest thing to space on earth," will be a "hands-on" experience center, presenting the story of human space exploration and behind-the-scenes tours of the space center complex.

"As school-age children come through Space Center Houston, I hope it will light a fire in them, get them enthusiastic about space," said P. J. Weitz, a former Skylab astronaut and current deputy director of the Johnson Space Center.

Space Center Houston is a collaboration between the non-profit Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. and NASA.

Walt Disney Imagineering was brought in as concept designer to ensure the center would capture the imaginations of young people.

"Education is a burning issue with all of our corporate sponsors," Bob Lueck, the visitor center's marketing director, said of sponsors Southwestern Bell, IBM, DuPont and Coca-Cola. "They recognize the need to excite young people about careers in math, science and technology."

At $8.75 for adults and $5.25 for children ages three through 12, visitors may pick and choose from the center's many exhibits and activities, which will be housed in an area the size of more than five football fields.

Space Center Plaza is the center's hub, where visitors will meet Johnson Space Center engineers, scientists and astronauts. An astronaut will give a brief talk every afternoon. Each morning, a scientist or engineer will explain his or her project.

The Space Shuttle Mock-up will give guests a close-up look of the astronauts' sleeping quarters and the flight deck, providing visitors an opportunity to imagine what it would be like to pilot the shuttle.

Indoor and outdoor dining accommodations will serve up to 600 people.

Mission Status Center will allow a behind-the-scenes look at NASA facilities throughout the country via live video. Visitors may watch the space shuttle crew at work, astronauts in training at Johnson Space Center or the space shuttle being rolled out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.

Mission briefing officers will provide up-to-the-minute information about the day's space flight and training activities.

The Feel of Space will be a hands-on, interactive area. Visitors may land the shuttle or launch a satellite through computer simulation. In "Living in Space," visitors may participate in demonstrations about how astronauts eat, sleep and shower while in space.

Visitors may also try on different types of space helmets, pressurized space-suit gloves and share in other participatory experiences.

Starship Gallery will include the Destiny Theater where the film On Human Destiny will feature historic space exploration events and tell why man must continue space exploration.

A gallery will feature chronological exhibits of space artifacts, from the Goddard rocket to the Skylab Trainer. Visitors also will be able to touch a moon rock in the lunar vault that will house the largest exhibit of moon rocks on earth.

On to the Future will share the visions of today's NASA engineers and scientists. This attraction will change as new technologies, designs and endeavors unfold with images of permanent life on the moon, Mars and beyond.

Space Center Theater will house a five-story-tall movie screen featuring space-related IMAX films, including To Be an Astronaut, which will give visitors a look at astronaut-training. An exhibit of flight suits dating back to the first American space flight will be displayed in the pre-show area.

The NASA Tram Tour will take guests behind the scenes at Johnson Space Center, where they will witness the Weightless Environment Training Facility, the new Space Station Control Center, the Mission Control Center, areas where astronauts train in simulated environments and Rocket Park, the outdoor home of retired flight hardware.

In addition to the corporate sponsors, a combination of 124 companies, area communities and individuals have donated $5.1 million to construct the center. An additional $68.4 million has been raised through bonds.

By 1993, an annual attendance of two million people is projected.






The engines of organization are warming up in Houston for the 1992 Republican Convention, and while itineraries are not yet firm, some campus entities are already gearing up.

The UH Hilton has already reserved 80 of its 86 rooms for delegates from Alaska and American Samoa.

UH Hilton Sales Director Patsy Piner said, "We have reserved 40 rooms for the Alaskan delegation with another 10 to 20 rooms reserved for people accompanying them, like media. We have reserved six rooms for the American Samoan delegation, and we expect more. We feel like all 80 rooms will be used.

"We have reserved all 30,000 square feet of meeting space from Aug. 16 through the 21st for the convention, but it has yet to be allocated."

Pauline Martens, delegate and housing chair for the Alaskan delegation, said, "We visited the Hilton some months ago, and we are really pleased to get those particular facilities. The humidity might get us, but we're going to spend as much time as possible in the air-conditioned building and the swimming pool."

Convention Press Secretary Joe Fleming said the event will bring 15,000 media personnel and more than 35,000 participants and guests to Houston.

While the Hilton will be used to house some of the delegates, convention officials are not planning to use any other UH facility for official events, but he added that plans have not been firmed up yet, and the possibility does exist for official actions and individual delegations to take advantage of campus facilities.

Fleming said, "You guys have some great facilities there, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone didn't request to use some of them before it's over. It's just too early to tell yet."

Fleming said plans for the convention will not be finalized until mid-June or July and that most of the platform committee activities occurring the week before the convention will be housed in the George R. Brown Convention Center. The actual convention events will be held in the Astrodomain, which includes the Astrodome and the 500,000-square-foot Astrohall.

Fleming added many UH and Rice students have volunteered to help with the Host Committee's activities, including, but not entirely made up of, members of the UH College Republicans.

UH College Republicans President Maria Schmitt said almost all of the members of her organization have already volunteered to help on an individual basis. She also said her chapter would play a bigger role as a group if the national organization gets more involved and contacts them.

UH Director of Media Relations Eric Miller said using campus facilities on the scale of the 1990 Economic Summit has not been planned for this convention.

"There might be some special things that might develop on sort of a case-by-case basis, like tours of the Superconductivity Center, but those things will have to be worked out later," Miller said.






More firearms are being carried on college campuses nationwide as students arm themselves for protection from increasing violence.

Although no national statistics are available on the number of guns being carried, safety experts, campus security officials and students alike report an increase in the number of

firearms seen on campus, despite the fact that colleges prohibit such weapons.

"I get numerous calls at the beginning of each semester from parents inquiring whether their children

should take guns to campus," said Clarinda Raymond, co-director of the Campus Violence Prevention Center at Townson State University in Maryland.

In most of these cases, parents and students are reacting to widely reported campus shootings, murders and other crimes.

The 1990 murders in Gainesville, Fla., prompted greater concern for safety among students. A number of University of Florida students were reported to be carrying guns after five college students were found slain in their apartments.

Similar reports of students carrying guns, or of increased seizures of weapons, have surfaced on campuses from Ferris State University in Michigan to the University of Arizona and Indiana University.

Most recently, a student was allegedly shot 14 times by a police officer at the University of Toledo and a series of shootings at Kent State University within the past few months have prompted some worried students to call in asking if they can carry weapons.

"One way that students see to protect themselves is with guns," said Bill Whitman, director of the Campus Safety and Security Institute in Thorndale, Pa. "There's a lot more on campus than many people think."

On April 23, a gunman killed a woman and seriously injured a man at an Indiana University dormitory before turning the gun on himself. The shootings occurred on the 14th floor of a residence hall for graduate and international students. Police speculated that the shootings resulted from a lover's triangle.

In November 1991, a University of Iowa graduate student, upset because he didn't receive an award, went on a campus shooting spree that left six people dead, including the chairman of the physics department.

Nineteen-year-old Tuskegee University student Kevin Gilmore was shot to death in February 1991 while walking home from a basketball game on the Alabama campus. Three students were later expelled for handling a firearm, although no arrests have been made.

J.J. Johnson, director of Tuskegee's public relations office, said he believes that university is as safe as any other. "We feel very comfortable here that there is not an abundance of weapons on this campus."

One former Tuskegee student who asked not to be identified said she remembered male students carried guns around the Alabama campus as late as 1991. "A lot of students carried guns because we had a lot of difficulty with students from other states. Guys from New York, guys from Chicago. They were trying to protect themselves from each other," she said.

Gloria Gilmore, Kevin's mother, said she would never have sent her only child to Tuskegee from Detroit

if she had heard anything about students carrying guns on campus.

"These are things you would never dream about asking. You're concerned about the normal, `mother' things: meals,

dorm rooms, etc. You're not concerned about crime on campus. I don't think they are going to automatically tell you, anyway. I don't think they have the right facilities to cope with this," she said.

Tracking down all the guns on campus may be impossible under current circumstances at many universities. Without being able to search every residence hall room and car for firearms, campus security officials don't have any way to ascertain how many students possess guns, unless the students ask security officials to hold their weapons for them, as in the case of hunting rifles.

At many colleges, however, students are not perceived as the greatest threat when it comes to guns on campus. Campus police and safety experts said shootings on campus are more likely to occur when outsiders bring guns to campus or when they crash student parties.

In August 1990, a campus police officer was accidentally shot and killed at the University of Arizona in Tucson when a group of non-students crashed a fraternity party and caused a fight.

When officers responded, one of the non-students pointed a gun at one of them. The officer fired, and the bullet passed through the suspect and struck another officer, killing him instantly.

Experts say alcohol and firearms are a deadly combination.

"A lot of colleges are winking at underage drinking ... Eighty to 90 percent of campus crime is related to drugs and alcohol," said Howard Clery, co-founder of Security on Campus, a non-profit, campus-safety group in Pennsylvania.

Even if all post-secondary institutions cracked down on underage drinking, they would still need to screen outsiders for guns. At many universities, that task is one step short of monumental.

At the University of California at Los Angeles, 65,000 students, faculty and visitors flow daily through nine entrances. Security checks would involve stopping all cars to see who might be carrying weapons and would back up traffic for blocks.

"You have to keep things open to the public, and yet you want the undesirables out. In a major metropolitan city, it is not easy at all. But you can't have an armed concentration camp," said UCLA Police Chief John Barber.

But keeping guns off campus is no picnic for smaller, rural colleges either. Although Barber estimated that UCLA security officials seized about 35 guns last year, primarily from non-students near off-campus housing, they have only had two on-campus shootings in the past two years, neither of which proved to be fatal.

By contrast, Tuskegee University, with less than 4,000 students, has had two fatal shootings in the same time frame, including Kevin Gilmore.






Three new parking lots are set for completion by late October 1992, said Parking and Transportation Manager Gerald Hagan.

"We conduct surveys each semester, and the demand for parking spaces always tops the list," Hagan said.

About 1,480 parking spaces are scheduled to be added. The new lots will add about 560 spaces across the street from Lot 16B on Elgin Boulevard, 800 spaces across the street from the optometry building's entrance and 120 spaces next to Lot 16E near McDonald's, Hagan said.

"We are aware that there is always a shortage of spaces, but the majority of spaces in demand are for convenience only," Hagan said.

He said the spring and summer semesters do not have as many parking problems as the fall.

"This past fall, we were actually over capacity at least for one hour out of the day," he said.

Monica Delgado, a senior math major, said she would be more than happy to use the new lots.

"It doesn't matter to me if I park in the front row or the last row," she said. "All I want is a place to park."

Hagan said no matter how congested parking may be, there are always spaces available.

"We count the number of cars every hour from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and each time, we have found available spaces," he said.

Hagan said the economy lots are always available to students, no matter which decal they have purchased.

John Wright, a senior chemistry major, said he arrives at school at 7:30 a.m. each day just to get a good parking space.

"My classes don't start until 9 a.m., but if I were to come later, I'd have to park way in the hell out there," he said. "If parking wasn't such a problem, I would come later," he said. "That just isn't the case."

Hagan said he hopes the new lots take off some of the congestion in Lot 16B and across from Hofheinz Pavilion.






Students taking test-preparation courses from the Ronkin Educational Group may soon be left in a lurch, as Ronkin's parent company, College Bound Inc., has filed for bankruptcy protection.

But a rival test-prep company, The Princeton Review, has put together a contingency plan to save students if Ronkin cancels courses. Students enrolled in Ronkin courses before April 29 can present a cancelled check to apply the amount they paid Ronkin to an equivalent Princeton Review course if necessary, said Kevin Campbell, Texas director of The Princeton Review.

"It's sort of like when an airline honors the ticket of a failed competitor," Campbell said. "We are concerned about students being left high and dry just weeks before their exams."

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that College Bound overstated earnings and revenue and reported other false information.

College Bound's stock has plummetted since the allegations were made on April 24, and a federal judge has frozen the company's assets.

College Bound President George Ronkin and Chief Executive Officer Janet Ronkin have stepped down.

At presstime Monday, none of Ronkin's Houston offices had cancelled classes. Graduate-level courses are offered through Ronkin's West University location only, said Sharon Dodson, director of the West University office.

Dodson said students enrolled in courses at her location should not fear having their courses cancelled. "Even if they close my office, my teachers will teach in somebody's home," she said. "If they paid, nobody will miss a class, unless I'm really closed down, no lights, no electricity. They'll have to drag me off."

LSAT and GMAT classes are currently under way at the West University location, and an MCAT class begins there June 7.

Ronkin's 10-week GRE, GMAT and LSAT courses cost $695 each. Comparable Princeton Review courses are $645 each. Ronkin's MCAT course is $1295; Princeton Review's MCAT course is $895.

To inform students about the contingency plan, Campbell said The Princeton Review will post fliers on college campuses. The Princeton Review has notified Ronkin directors of the plan, he said.

"The feedback we have gotten from Ronkin directors has been positive," he said.






FINALS! Well, they're almost over, and I know how glad you are. Now, if you're like everyone else on campus, you probably want to blow off some steam this weekend and start enjoying the summer, right?

To start you off right, we have located some goings-on about town to keep your over-heated mind on park. So we're not Alvin Van Black, but we try.

If it's music you want, tonight at 11 pm, the Axiom will host Ghost of An American Airman. Their right-off-the-boat sound is a refreshing change from that over played garbage one hears daily.

Ghost hails from Ireland. Although they are not famous like other bIrish products (like U2 and Sinead O'Conner), their "passionate, emotional, yet uplifting" sound just might get them on the charts...someday!

Well, anyway, you could be one of the first to join the writhing slampit and mosh to their unique sound. Plus, if they do gain popularity, you have the privilege of saying you bled for these guys first.

If this description sounds a bit too cliched for you, maybe you should give the show a try. The only real way to understand this group is to just see them up close.

So, let your hair down. But I must warn you that if you have never been to the Axiom, watch out. The crowd is pretty alternative and a mosh pit can usually be expected.

The club is 18 and up and odes serve alcohol to those of age. The Axiom is located at 2524 McKinney, and information can be obtained by calling 224-1420.

Next on our weekend preview is the opening of a new Alley production. Forever Plaid opens this Friday and will run through early June.

Again, if you're musically inclined, this is a play for you. Palid can best be described as a musical parody of 50's pop culture.

Plaid showcases the all-male groups (The Four Aces, The Crew Cuts, The Four Lads) that prolifereated during that generation. The show is more of a whimsical romp through a nostalgic decade than a severe social critique of days-gone-by.

So, if you've got a date but no place to go, the humorous Forever Plaid might just be the ticket. The Alley is located downtown at 615 Texas Ave. For prices, show times and assorted information, call 228-8421.

Now, we get a little cultural. Not that theater isn't cultural, because it is, but we try to be a well rounded student publication.

Some interesting museum exhibits will be around this weekend for your enjoyment. Now that the Houston International Festival is over, maybe it's time to go indoors and enjoy some culture.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is hosting a new traveling exhibit about tropical rainforests, sponsored in part by the Smithsonian Institute.

Starting Sunday and running through August, the exhibit consists of multi-media presentations, mopdels and interactive displays using computers and laser videos discs.

Because our rich abundance of colorful rainforests is being rapidly destroyed, this exhibit is a must-see for anyone slightly conscious of our environment.

There is no special charge for this exhibit other than the usual museum entrance fee. THe normal entrance cost is $2.50. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located in Hermann Park across from the Miller Outdoor Theater.

The Museum of Fine Arts aslso will open a new exhibit this weekend. A display of Conmtemporary Mexican Photography starts Friday and runs through July 9.

And remember, no matter how well your finals go, you still have summer school to look forward to. So, while you have a free weekend, enjoy it!

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