by Meagan McGovern
"There's going to be blood on the floor, and some of it's going to be
mine," Steve Huber, chairman of the University Planning and Policy Council,
said about the current restructuring.
UH President James Pickering said of the same topic, "Overall, I view this ultimately as a positive, positive thing for the university."
At a time when the UH community is trying to pull together to make tough decisions about the university's future, some faculty and administrators with fundamentally different views are having a hard time deciding what the most important issues are in the restructuring process. Budget cuts and salaries are the subject of much talk.
"Anytime you talk about change people get anxious, but I view this as positive," Pickering said. "Any time you are pro-active in trying to seize upon your own destiny rather than becoming a passive recipient of budget cuts, that's a very positive thing. But I do understand that people get anxious about what the outcome is going to be."
Huber said "There are going to be cuts. I want to be clear on that. But as a person on the taxpayer's payroll, if they say there are going to be cuts in education, you have to work with what the state gives you."
Faculty salaries and money the UH System spends are two points the Faculty Senate says it's worried about. Faculty Senate Chairman Bill Cook recently questioned the fact that while several system employees and athletic staff are receiving large raises, those at the university level will receive nothing beyond that mandated by the state for all employees.
The athletic staff raises were designed to raise current staff to competitive salaries, said Pickering. He said some staff had been offered better wages elsewhere.
"I take the blame for the athletic raises. We needed to bring the salaries to competitive levels, and we did," Pickering said.
But Cook said the same should be done with academic faculty. "I suspect there is still mobility in athletic staff. They can still go and get a better job elsewhere. But in a time when 32 states have cut academic programs, our teaching staff just doesn't have that mobility. There's nowhere for them to go," he said.
Cook said even though UH's salaries are "classically 10 percent below those at the ten largest schools," most faculty feel that "ten percent is a lot better than no job." Most professors are "just damn glad to get a job, " he said.
One position listed in the new fiscal year '93 budget that raised discussion among the Faculty Senate was that of Steven Green, who will receive $100,000 annually for his position as Chief Information Services Officer.
According to a letter from Cook to the Board of Regents, Charles Shomper was hired at $93,000 to handle all information technology on campus. Cook said Green's position is redundant, as all administrative computing is done on this campus, and therefore is under Shomper's direction. "Why," asked Cook in the letter, "does the UH System need this $100,000 position?"
"At a time when we're talking about cutting back, when we're saying to people, 'Folks, it's time to suck in your gut,' I wonder if it's the right thing to do," Huber said.
Huber said a lot of symbolism is involved with the offices of Chancellors and President's, and in the midst of cut-backs, the symbolism of adding a new position is important.
"It's moving in the wrong direction," he said. "We're talking about a $100,000 position in a time of very minimum budget," he said.
Alexander Schilt, the chancellor of UH, said the System cut 13 percent of its budget last year in an attempt to cut back costs.
But Cook feels the money that was saved should have been put back into the campus, instead of being used for the new position. "Let's move to a win-win situation, where if they have extra money it goes back to the campus. Let the System decide where it should be spent," he said.
JOURNALISM SUTDENTS QUERY CITY CONTROLLER ON ISSUES
by Veronica Guevara
Daily Cougar Staff
George Greanias, city controller and political thorn in Mayor Bob Lanier's
side, answered questions for UH journalism students during an informal
campus press conference yesterday afternoon.
Encouraging students in Dr. Fred Schiff's News II class not to shy away from difficult questions, Greanias opened with an introduction to the city controller's duties as well as some personal comments about reasons for the current difficulties in American government at all levels.
"There are fundamental changes in the American economy which we haven't yet come to grips with," Greanias said, in reference to a recent article in The Economist.
Greanias agrees with the article, "The Old Country," which says that the accelerated economic growth rate since World War I is coming to an end.
"The economy hasn't grown as fast as our expectations and desires," Greanias said. Whereas votes used to be tied to direct economic benefits, Greanias noted that the associated costs make results politically harder to deliver.
Greanias pointed to the "bidding war over hurricane Andrew's victims," questioning Bush's and Clinton's ability to follow through with their relief offers.
To a question about whether the fight with Lanier and the city council was worth it, Greanias responded, "If you borrow money for any purpose, it should be only after voter's approval -- I won on that point."
Greanias, who had been threatened in April/May 1992 with a suit by the mayor and city council to force him to sign checks for claims against the city, called the results in the August 8 bond election a "limited victory for Lanier." The suit was settled out of court when Lanier agreed to the referendum on August 8.
UH political science public policy expert,Dr. Richard Murray, called the bond-issue controversy between Lanier and Greanias not as big a problem as Greanias suggested.
"This is a good time to sell bonds," Murray said, noting that the present carrying costs are low.
Murray also added that the city did not have the cash to settle the judgements, as Greanias suggested it did.
In response to questions about the manor in which he would have approached the judgement bonds issue, Greanias disagrees with Lanier's debt financing. Instead, Greanias believes in "the radical concept of paying cash.
"It would be better to pay cash --take the hit now -- than to spread the cost over the years, plus interest," Greanias said.
On the subject of annexation: Greanias allowed the economic down-side of assuming debt service in newly annexed municipalities. He nevertheless commended the proposed annexation of Willowbrook Mall as a step in the right direction towards breaking the cycle of community fragmentation.
Answering questions about the Commissioner's Court approving the financing of the Sam Houston Race Park, Greanias was direct in his criticism toward the court's eagerness to get involved.
"If it's such a good deal, why hasn't (the investment group) been able to raise money from the private sector?" Greanias asked.
Greanias also vowed to find out the facts about the way the Metro budget is being used by the city, noting that as the financial reporting stands, the Metro budget will be included in the annual statement.
UHPD SEIZES MARTIAL ARTS WEAPONS FROM DORM ROOM
By Michica N. Guillory
Daily Cougar Staff
Cougar Place resident Christopher Tuffin, a junior political science
major, was arrested without incident early Tuesday morning for possession
of illegal weapons, UHPD Lt. Brad Wigtil said.
"The weapons were martial arts oriented," Wigtil said. "It is illegal to have those weapons on a university campus."
Upon receiving Tuffin's written consent to search his room, UHPD found shurikens (throwing stars), a manrikigusari (a weighted chain used as a grapling device), a kyoketsu-shoge (a chain with a dagger on one end) and a shinobi-to (a long sword) all on display, Wigtil said.
After viewing the weapons, the officers watched Tuffin, a certified first degree black belt in Tang Soo Do which is similar to Tae Kwon Do, give a demonstration of some of the weapons, Tuffin said.
"They wanted to be assured that I knew what I was doing (with the weapons)," Tuffin said. "My weapons were primarily decorative."
Residence hall staff members notified UHPD of Tuffin's martial arts collection after answering a complaint of loud music in his room, Wigtil said.
When Tuffin, 21, did not respond to an initial phone call notifying him of the complaint, staff members used a pass key to enter his room and turn down the music.
UHPD was then notified of Tuffin's weapons by the residence's hall staff.
According to the Texas Penal Code, Tuffin's offense came under the section "Places Weapons Prohibited."
The section, as it pertains to this case, states it is illegal to possess any knife with a blade longer than five and one half inches on campus.
"However, if the weapons were in his house, it would not be a crime," Wigtil said.
Just two hours after his 8:30 a.m. arrest, Tuffin was released from UHPD's custody because the Assistant District Attorney T. Yates declined the charges against him.
"The charges being declined had to do with the fact that the weapons were on display," Wigtil said. "They were not there for the intent of harming someone."
Tuffin, however, understands that the incident was partially a misunderstanding.
"The staff saw the weapons and did what they thought was right," said Tuffin who sees no parallel between the danger of his collection and someone on the streets with a gun. "It's a shame it had to get this far.
"The people in Housing were very apologetic," he said.
Though Tuffin has been released, his collection has not.
"We are making arrangements to get them released back to him," Wigtil said. "He is responsible to get them moved off campus."
WHILE ARM SHRINKS, STUDENT CADETS STAND TALL, SHINE THROUGH
by Melinda McBride
Daily Cougar Staff
The radical changes throughout the eastern bloc countries and the former
U.S.S.R have literally altered the face of our world map. And while many
Americans have been at least peripherally affected by the tumultuous past
three years, the Department of Defense has borne the brunt of the changing
"What we've had to do is generate a lot of saving for the government while leaving a viable presence throughout the world,"
said UH-ROTC Lt. Col. Arthur T. Stemmermann Jr., Professor of Military Science. He noted that the manpower reductions, which will eliminate 215,000 soldiers by 1995, mean UH's ROTC program is moving away from quantity and focusing on quality.
Three years ago the ROTC unit had 120 students. This year only 45 students have performed well enough to compete in the officer commissioning program.
"While the Army is big enough for anyone who's a superior performer, our unit has the distinct advantage of being a distinguished, tight-knit group," Maj. Matthew A. Bogart, ROTC Enrollment Coordinator said.
Indeed, almost one-third of all ROTC students are on a full scholarship; the top half of the unit has received endowed scholarships ranging from $100 to $1,000. The Army is picking up the $8,000 a year bill for those students on full scholarship. "The UH unit is unique," said Bogart, "in that we cater to the individual student."
With the renewed emphasis on academics and the personalized instruction, Bogart said the number of students on scholarship this year is the highest in recent years.
MS4 (Senior, Military Science) Dennis Batiste has been with the unit three years. He was "one of the fortunate ones" to be awarded a scholarship while on active duty in the Army as an enlisted man. "In the past three years I've noticed tougher advanced level classes and more demanding physical fitness regimes," said Batiste.
Of particular importance to all ROTC students is the 'advanced camp' they are required to attend in the summer between their junior and senior years. The preparation UH provides is critical to their future as Army officers. "Before (manpower reductions) all you had to do was participate and you could go to camp. Now they really make you work for it," Batiste said. During camp, cadets are evaluated on skills ranging from leadership to overcoming stressful situations to physical endurance.
But 'camp' may be a misnomer. "At camp, they basically determine if you're a leader or a follower," said Batiste. Indeed, when the reviewing board looks at each student's package - their performance at camp accounts for about 60 percent of their total score.
"Our seniors did well," Stemmermann said. "Camp directors are only allowed to give 30 percent of the students 4's and 5's (the top scores) yet 50 percent of UH students scored in that top bracket. Our seniors stack up very well," he said.
When students graduate they request the type of duty they want. For instance, a cadet can request to be placed on active duty or in a reserve status. However, because the competition is keen for the active-duty positions, Bogart estimates that Army-wide only 30 percent of the ROTC graduating seniors are selected for active duty.
Last year more than 90 percent of UH students who wanted to go on active duty were commissioned as 2nd Lts.
Stemmermann, who took command of the unit last Wednesday, said his background as an organizational effectiveness consultant and battalion executive officer will allow him to be more in touch with the cadets. "I'll allow them to make mistakes. We'll agree on a better way of doing things. Then I'll let them try again," he explained. His challenge, as he sees it, will be "to keep the students motivated to continue to excel above the rest of the ROTC units in the country."
NOT JUST WOMEN, NOW ACCEPTS EVERYBODY
by Tamra Gay
Daily Cougar Staff
"Men are welcome. We don't discriminate," Jo Ann Evansgardner, founder
of UH's National Organization for Women said at the organization's first
fall meeting Tuesday. All new students are welcome to attend the UH NOW
meetings held at 4 p.m. every other Tuesday in the Baltic Room, UC Underground.
Regular members and curious visitors attended. Several visitors were interested in getting involved in the organization's activities, with hopes of a pro-choice rally on campus this fall. Their hopes will be fulfilled at noon Wednesday, October 14. UH NOW members will be seeking pro-choice candidates to speak at the rally.
"I recently got involved in UH NOW because I felt it was time to start practicing what I was preaching," said Merlyn Pulikkathara. This was also the sentiment of other visitors.
"Volunteers are needed for many projects," said Cathy Nelson-Archer, president of UH NOW. "We need people to paint banners; post flyers; and to work at tables this fall selling buttons, enlisting new members and to aid during our Voter Registration Drive."
During the recent Republican Convention, UH NOW members arrived at abortion clinics as early as 4 a.m. to escort women in to clinics. The discussion of defense for clinics led to a difficult decision concerning West Loop Clinic.
Many clinic owners invite NOW members to defend them. The owner of West Loop Clinic, Ro Martin, invited UH NOW members, but retracted the invitation at a later date. If a clinic owner declines the organization's assistance, a question is raised. Does the organization still defend it?
"Officially, UH NOW will no longer defend West Loop Clinic," said Maria C. Gonzalez, UH NOW faculty advisor. "Individuals can do as they wish." Martin was unavailable for comment.
"Regardless of turmoil, the important thing is that we have kept the clinics open," said Matt Herreshoff, socialist candidate for congress in the 25th District, attending the meeting.
The meeting was interrupted when screams were heard about 5:40 p.m. UH NOW members fled the meeting room to the hall of the UH Underground. They searched rooms and bathrooms looking for a victim. What they found was an RTV video project in the making that needed scream sound effects. Whew!
Officers will discuss matters further and elect Task Force Chairs at an executive meeting Tuesday.
Another fall event will include a Condom Giveaway on Friday, October 9. UH NOW will also sponsor a film titled Not a Love Story at a date and time to be announced.
The next UH NOW meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 22 in the Baltic Room, UC Underground.
WORKSHOPS TO EDUCATE STUDENTS, FACULTY ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
by Melissa Neeley
Daily Cougar Staff
Have you ever felt that you may have been sexually harassed at one time,
but after it happened, you felt lost because you did not know what to do
A series of sexual harassment training workshops is being offered to help students, faculty and staff educate themselves about the issue. The first workshop will be held Friday, Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Vista Room at the M.D. Anderson Library.
"It is important that all institutions of higher learning not only educate people about sexual harassment, but also understand the impact it has on the learning environment itself," said Dorothy Caram, Interim Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action.
About 1,500 UH faculty and staff have attended previous sexual harassment workshops, Caram said. Those who attend the workshop on Friday will be given a brochure on sexual harassment and can watch the film "Stopping Sexual Harassment on Campus".
"I like the film because it refers to our workplace specifically. They show a teacher and a student in a sexual harassment scene. Also, a secretary is show;n being harassed by a vendor. There are a variety of relationships depicted, but usually a power play is involved," she said.
For example, Caram said that sometimes age and economic standing are factors in certain cases. She recommends that the victim of harassment immediately let the offending person know that offense has been taken.
If you are unable to tell the person you are upset by the harassment, write a letter instead, she said.
Sexual harassment includes: unwanted teasing or jokes of a sexual nature, unwanted pressure for a date, purposefully touching, cornering or leaning over someone and suggesting sexual favors.
Caram also said that if a student and a professor are involved in a sexual relationship, other students in the class may feel they are not receiving fair treatment and could sue their professor.
UH's Sexual Harassment Board, made up of the Students' Association, the Faculty Senate and the Staff Council, judge cases of harassment.
If a faculty member is accused of sexual harassment by a student, three people, comprised of both students and faculty, will be chosen to judge the case.
UH President James Pickering, appoints all the members of the Sexual Harassment Board and Caram picks the three who will decide the harassment cases.
Students can also go to their department chairpersons to have an informal discussion about the incident, Caram said.
"The main thing to understand is that if a supervisor knows about the sexual harassment and does nothing about it, they are personally liable," she said. Depending on the number of employees in the workplace, a victim can sue for up to $300,000.
Future sexual harassment workshops will be held on Nov. 13, Oct. 9, and Dec 11 in the Vista Room at the campus library.
FINANCIAL AID OFFICE NOT RATED HIGHLY BY STUDENTS
Daily Cougar Staff
Complaints are pouring in from students concerning their unprofessional
treatment by employees at the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid.
A junior Political Science major, Gretchen Stoeltje, recently sent a letter of complaint explaining her unpleasant dealings with some university employees to the Scholarships and Financial Aid Director Robert Sheridan.
In the letter, Stoeltje states she found it difficult to work with the office in a timely and cooperative manner.
For example, Stoeltje scheduled an appointment to meet with counselor, Linda Ballard, to check on the status of her financial aid for the current school year. When Stoeltje arrived for her appointment, she learned that all of Ballard's appointments had been cancelled for the day.
In order to see a counselor, Stoeltje would have to wait for an on-call counselor to assist her. However, Stoeltje's work schedule would not permit her to wait.
Stoeltje's letter also states that an employee working behind the counter in the office acted sarcastic and rude when asked questions.
Stoeltje explained she understood that the office deals with a large number of students on a daily basis; however, she felt that there was room for improvement.
Stoeltje has since spoken to Sheridan about the situation. "He was very apologetic, but that's not the point. Nine times out of 10 you don't get the answers you need or any answers at all," she said.
After speaking to Sheridan, Stoeltje feels better about the incident, but the situation should not have gotten that far in the first place, she said.
Stoeltje's is not alone with her views. Senior finance major Kim Aguilar said the workers are not sympathetic to students' problems. "The workers do not deal with you on an individual basis," he said. "I feel like I am in a fast food restaurant. They are always trying to get you in and out as quickly as possible."
Radio and television senior Tony Nguyen said, "There is a 50-50 chance that the people in the office will be rude. It just depends if they are aggravated or not. I try to deal with them in any case so that I can get my paperwork through."
Bryan Tooman, a junior finance major, said he has been to the office three times and they have never been rude.
Other students agree with Booman, but still many students feel that the workers in Financial Aid do not go the extra mile to help them.
Ballard refused to comment about the complaint, and Sheridan was not available for comment.
Edward Albee will teach an advanced playwriting class at UH Spring 1993.
Class participants are selected based on writing samples, preferably in dramatic form. The samples must be submitted by Oct. 1, 1992 to the UH drama department. For details, call 743-3003.
UH student, Neerja Bindal, was recently named the Allergan Optometric School Award national runner-up. She was awarded $1,000 for her paper, "Contamination of Soft Contact Lens Storage Solutions in Private Practice."
Bindal was also given $750 for being UH's first-place winner.
Only a few more weeks remain for qualified graduate students to apply for one of 670 grants, including the respected Fulbright award.
Most of the grants include tuition, one-year living expenses and round-trip transportation for the winners.
The grants are provided under the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and foreign countries through the exchange persons, knowledge and skills.
The deadline for the grants is Oct. 31, 1992.
For details, call the U.S. Student Programs Division at (212) 984-5327.
"Travelling in the South Pacific" will be the feature topic Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Montrose Library, 4100 Montrose.
The program will be presented by Charles Williams, who spent a year travelling in the South Pacific. Areas covered in the free program will include Hawaii, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.
For details, call 520-5332.