STUDENT CHARDED WITH FELONY CREDIT CARD ABUSE

Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

Generally, suitemates have to share a number of things, like the telephone and the bathroom.

However, 18-year old Amy McDonald, resident of UH's Law Hall and suitemate to Jennifer Parigi, redefined the sharing concept.

McDonald, a freshman psychology major, was arrested at 9:26 p.m. Tuesday and charged with the theft of $41, a Chevron gas card and three checks, all of which belong to Parigi, UHPD Lt. Brad Wigtil said.

She has been charged with credit card abuse, a third degree felony; according to the Texas Penal Code, credit card abuse occurs when a stolen card is actually used.

Wigtil said the card was used three times Sunday.

Parigi, a freshman pre-pharmacy major, reported the missing items to UHPD last Sunday. At that time, there were no suspects or leads in the investigation.

UHPD received a warrant for McDonald's arrest and took her to the Harris County Jail at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

The campus police did not arrest McDonald the day she signed the statement, though.

"We didn't have probable cause to make the arrest," Wigtil said. "We had to go to the D.A.'s office to get a To Be Served warrant. We did not have her in our custody until we had the warrant."

Of the two crimes committed by McDonald, charges were only brought up for one. Misdemeanor theft charges were not filed.

"Usually the district attorney will only file the most serious charge, which is why the theft charges were not filed against her," Wigtil said.

McDonald's court date has been set for Oct. 7.

Though Parigi filed the complaint with UHPD, the legal complainant in this case is her father Joseph Parigi because the stolen gas card was in his name.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

SOCIAL WORK SCHOOL EXPANDS CURRICULUM

by Deborah Hensel

Daily Cougar Staff

UH's Graduate School of Social Work acquired two new faculty members this year and has implemented three new training and assistance programs, said Associate Dean Karen Holmes and Marsha Sanderson, director of the Office of Community Projects.

Joining the faculty are Steven Applewhite, Ph. D., from Arizona State University and Patrick Leung, Ph. D., from the University of Hawaii.

Leung, who was a visiting professor in 1991, is well-versed in all areas of research, including child welfare, foster care and refugee issues, Holmes said.

One of the three new projects the college has taken on this year is a year-long training program for Children's Protective Services caseworkers.

GSSW staff members Joan Richardson and Carol Harris wrote the curriculum, which will be used to train 2,400 caseworkers statewide in three-day training sessions, Sanderson said.

The first Houston-area training session will be Sept. 23, 24 and 25 at the UH Hilton.

"We are using the team approach," Sanderson said. "There will be one faculty member and one CPS trainer to make sure we bridge the practical and theoretical (approaches)."

Sanderson said she is also involved in a needs assessment study for Harris County's CPS. The study examines the need for a crisis shelter for children up to 12 years old and presents a model for how the shelter would be established and managed.

Cooperating with Sanderson on this project is Les Karns as well as GSSW students. The study will be presented to CPS in November.

The school is also continuing a training program contracted by the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department for their personnel.

The six-hour workshops, taught at Parks and Recreation headquarters on Wayside Drive, cover subjects such as human growth and development, crisis intervention, cultural diversity, communications skills, supervisory skills and working with groups, Sanderson said.

The third of GSSW's new programs is The Funding Source, a technical assistance program designed to notify human service agencies and help them apply for available funding. The program is directed by Caroline Pickens, Sanderson said.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

NEW UH-D SMOKING POLICY BUTTING INTO LIFESTYLES

by Katherine Bui

Daily Cougar Staff

Since its implementation Aug. 15, UH Downtown's new no-smoking policy has divided students, faculty and staff who must now leave the facilities to smoke.

The smoke-free policy was implemented on Aug. 15 after the administration voted to ban smoking from all buildings owned by the university. The regulation applies to all employees, students and visitors.

The original policy has been amended to included a no-smoking area 15 feet outside the building's entrances. Certain covered areas are designated for smoking during rainy days, but the majority of the facilities prohibit smoking.

Opponents of the policy have expressed concerns about the isolation of the smokers. Certain instructors feel their offices should not be included in the policy because it is a personal area.

"I think it interferes with my life and conveniece," said lecturer Linda Coblentz, who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day.

Students and faculty members have suggested a designated area with air filters and proper ventilation for smokers.

However, College of Science and Technology Dean Stan Ebner sees no problems with the policy.

"It's no big deal. I just go outside and smoke my cigar," he said.

Non-smoking faculty and students reacted positively to the implementation of the policy, but sympathize with their colleagues who smoke.

"I like it because it's conducive for me; yet, I am sensitive to concerns of those who smoke," Dashiel Geyen, an assistant professor at the university.

The Student Government Association wanted an amendment allowing a separate facility with air filters for smokers. Seventy-five percent of the Faculty Senate voted for the regulation.

A University Council consisting of two students from SGA, five faculty members from the Executive Council, seven members of the Executive Council of Deans and the head of administration made the final decision to implement the policy.

The building manager of the Physical Plant, Chris McCall, reported that on Aug. 15, temporary signs were placed in the old designated-smoking areas, outside the building and all over the campus as a reminder of the policy.

The employees removed all of the ashtrays, the plant stalled all of its renovation of the cafeteria's smoking area until the policy was enforced, yellow were repaints and new ceiling tiles replaced the old ones, stained with nicotine and tar.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

FOUNDER OF WOMEN COMMUNICATION GROUP TOUTS BENEFITS OF NETWORKING SKILLS

by Melinda McBride

Daily Cougar Staff

Membership in the group Women in Communication, Inc., increased 800 percent Wednesday.

Eight of the 1,500 students in the communications department attended the meeting reviving WICI. The chapter at UH was founded in 1949, but "the organization fell apart last year," said Beth Olson, Ph.D, RTV faculty advisor for the group.

Olson attributes the lack of interest to UH being a "commuter campus." Yet, WICI isn't geared solely to college students. Olson is a member as are 12,000 other men and women in the communications industry.

Women in Communication is both a national student and professional organization that strives to promote networking in the communications field. Their concept of networking dates to 1909 when the first chapter, Sigma Theta Phi, was created at the University of Washington.

The guest speaker, Anna Rose Faour, addressed her first group of prospective members at UH since founding the original WICI chapter here 43 years ago.

"WICI gives you the opportunity to do whatever you want," Faour said. "Once you graduate, you can become a member of the national chapter of Women in Communication," Faour said. "As a professional organization, we set the goals and the standards for the communication community."

Faour is a free-lance journalist whose accomplishments include being named to 'Who's Who in American Women' from 1984-87 and 1991-92.

"Network," the former Houston Post correspondent said. "That's the single most important piece of career advice I can give you."

WICI offers a job hot line for its members. "It's the cheapest job bank in Houston," Melissa Manning, Public Affairs Rep. for Texas Heart Institute and student liaison, said about the dues-giving members' access to the hot line.

"Even though there are plenty of male members in WICI, we tend to focus on women's progress in the workplace and what we can do to improve it," Manning said.

"We're concerned with the pay gap between men and women, our First Amendment rights and unemployment in the communication field," Manning said. A WICI legislative lobbying group in Washington "supports those politicians with legislation pending that favors issues we feel are important."

WICI also monitors issues like maternity leave, sexual harassment and salary trends.

"Empowerment may be a word of the '90s," said Manning, "but it's a concept that started back in 1909."

Students interested in joining WICI can contact Beth Olson, Ph.D, at 743-2881.

 

Visit The Daily Cougar