SPB'S 'OPEN MIC' PROGRAM PROMPTS HEATED DEBATE ON TODAY'S ISSUES

by Kerri Milam

Contributing Writer

The Student Program Board sponsored an open microphone period to confront such important issues as homosexuality, religion and pornography Friday at noon in front of the UC Satellite as part of Awareness Week.

John Keck, chairman of the Speakers' Forum for SPB, invited what began as a fairly small and quiet audience to voice their opinions on anything they wanted to talk about but asked that they "limit their discussion to three minutes with no profanity or excessive emotional insight."

Discussion began with the issue of the UH smoking policy. "I like the smoking policy, and I think that people shouldn't smoke at all," Keck said.

In opposition, another student said, "I think the policy sucks because there's plenty of oxygen around for all of us, so there's room for me to smoke."

As students began opening up and voicing their heated opinions, the subject quickly changed to pornography.

"Pornography demeans people, and it is hurting them. It has many harmful ramifications," said Maria Schmitt, chairwoman of the College Republicans.

"We are all part of this society, and if you hurt yourself, you are hurting society," Keck said.

Another student stated his disagreement by saying that people should be able to have sex anywhere and anyhow as long as they aren't hurting people around them.

As the crowd grew larger, the machine-gunning debate prompted several agitated voices to the mike. "Why worry about pornography?" asked another student. "What really matters is your wallet and our budget deficit." Here again, many disagreed, and resolution of this subject seemed to be going nowhere.

When the subject of homosexuality began, some verbal attacks were aimed at certain homosexual students who had stated their rights as homosexuals.

The crowd was especially taken by surprise when two girls kissed each other after being told that "homosexuality was sick, abnormal and unnatural."

"It shouldn't matter what your beliefs about homosexuality are," said Anne Elrod, "but to act on any negative beliefs, such as trying to make it illegal or beating up a homosexual, is wrong."

Religion entered the arena of debate when Keck asked students about their beliefs in God. "Is man just a brutal animal or are we here for a higher purpose? There must be more to the world than natural order because there are so many things people can know God through."

When one student explained how he knows God's love and peace, another student, Letitia Gutierrez, replied, "That's all fine and well, but I think religion is a man-made system."

Another student, Alex Farinas, asked the crowd what the need for God was. "Why don't we worry about science, technology and advancing the human race instead of dividing ourselves with religion?" Farinas said.

"People can believe what they want to believe, and that is their right, but the only one who can judge us in this world is Jesus Christ," DeeDee Baba said.

As people continued to battle it out back and forth from one issue to another, politics somehow found its way into more disagreements.

While the president of the College Democrats, Andrew Monzon, argued for more attention to less financially advantaged countries such as Guatemala and Panama, the vice chairman of the College Republicans, Jeff Fuller, attacked the competency of Clinton.

"It's true that Bush lied, but at least he admitted it and showed remorse for it. I guarantee that Governor Clinton, if elected, will do a 180 degree turn when he takes that mask off," Fuller said.

Of the entire event, Keck said "It was one of the best forums, and it went very well," but that he would have liked to have seen the debate "a little bit more settled."

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SLAIN STUDENT EUSAN HONORED IN PARK FOR LEADERSHIP QUALITIES

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar

As they chirped, birds seemed to pay respect to a fallen heroine during a memorial service marking the 21st anniversary of Lynn Eusan's death.

The long stretch of manicured lawns, nestled between the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management and a cluster of gray buildings, exists in memory of Eusan (a former UH student), fittingly serve as a gathering place to celebrate and remember her achievements.

"When you sit in this park, her namesake, think of her," Sigrid Vincent of Alpha Kappa Alpha said.

Young men with chiseled torsos still land punches at the Progressive Amateur Boxing Association headquarters, where Eusan worked as a secretary until the day her life ended as a result of stab wounds.

That rainy morning of Sept. 10, 1971 marked the last time someone would hear her voice. That someone, then 26-year-old Leo Jackson, had been arrested and charged with Eusan's murder. At the time, he claimed she committed suicide. However, subsequent findings by her friends and police indicate she most likely died at his hands.

Despite the disturbing nature of the case, those paying tribute would not let the death overshadow Eusan's contribution to the campus and the black community.

She left UH with memories which include her reign as the first black Homecoming Queen in 1968 and her work as one of the principal organizers for Africans in America for Black Liberation, an organization which sought to lessen the sting of denigration and oppression by giving black students a voice and an arm to tear down barriers.

As one speaker said, just prior to Eusan's arrival at UH in 1966, the only blacks seen on campus swept, mopped and served food for the campus community.

During the memorial service held last Thursday, an audience of about 120 former peers and other interested bystanders reflected and learned.

Among those who paid their respects even as the threat of rain loomed in the clouds, Michelle Barnes could not hold back the tears as she recalled the time she spent with Eusan.

"This is the first time I have been in this park," said Barnes, who is co-owner of the Barnes-Blackman Galleries, founder of the Community Artists Collective and a roommate of Eusan's during freshman orientation in 1966.

"I call her my 'unsung hero' because I did not realize the impact she had on my life until much later. She really got people enthused about getting things done, working together - she mobilized people, built things and rallied enthusiasm," she said of the young woman who served in the role of activist .

Eusan laid the blueprints for S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, which is under the direction of Deloyd Parker.

Barnes described her as "little, feisty, loud -- someone who always had a lot to say."

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PBS JUMPSTARTS EDUCATION PROGRAM TO HELP PRESCHOOLERS

by Joyetta D. Johnson

News Reporter

Cookie Monster and the rest of the Sesame Street gang came to Houston's KUHT-TV Friday to kick off a program to help preschoolers prepare for kindergarten.

In honor of the the Sesame Street Preschool Educational Program, Channel 8 changed Blodgett Street to Sesame Street at the Cullen and Blodgett intersection.

The innovative community outreach program aimed at two through five year-olds was designed to enrich their preschool experience.

In addition to renaming Blodgett Street, the station also changed UH's entrance eight to Sesame Street, which Mayor Bob Lanier's wife Elyse Lanier unveiled at the ceremony.

"I think this is the greatest educational program that's ever been. If I, as a child would have had Sesame Street, I would have been a better student, learner and reader in school," said Ms. Lanier.

Becky Sykes, of Children Television Workshop, said the program is an educational service which reaches more than 42,000 preshoolers nationwide.

With over 62% of all mothers of preschool children in the work place, the Sesame Street program represents an important new opportunity to reach children cared for outside their homes.

The celebration included children from the Head Start Preschool, a nation-wide preschool for children aged three through five from low income families.

The ceremony ended with the children singing the Sesame Street theme song and a special guest appearance by Cookie Monster.

Other ceremony guests included Mattie Stanfield, Houston's Head Start Education Specialist and Dell Felder from UH Systems.

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BOB ROBERTS WINS REVIEWER'S VOTE

by Deborah Hensel

Daily Cougar Staff

How do you tell left from right in a darkened movie theater? Sit through a screening of Bob Roberts, the outrageously funny political parody written and directed by its star, Tim Robbins.

The liberal left will be rolling in the aisles, while the conservative right will not be amused by Robbins' incisive perspective.

Robbins plays a Pennsylvania Senatorial candidate, Bob Roberts, a self-made millionaire with an unctuous grin who is blatantly candid about his motivations.

Roberts has everything a successful candidate needs: money, charm, a mindless blonde wife and a string of musical hits that underscore his own ideologies.

His top campaign managers, played by Alan Rickman and Ray Wise, have an unerring -- and unethical -- knack for keeping their candidate's money-making bus rolling on the road to the Senate.

While managing to manipulate televisions' "talking heads" (Susan Sarandon, Fred Ward, Pamela Reed, Peter Gallaghera and James Spader), the campaign cronies skewer and discredit the only true investigative journalist, Giancarlo Esposita, who's digging the real dirt from under the candidate's seemingly well-manicured nails.

As incumbent Senator Brickley Paiste, Gore Vidal embodies all the liberal '60s ideals that Roberts and greedy "me-mongers" rally against.

Paiste, who also suffers the stings and jabs of Robert's campaign sword, admits to some difficulty in piercing his opponents slick media armor.

"Who is he? I don't know," says Paiste. "I don't think I'm supposed to know, but I do detect a whiff of sulphur in the air."

Robbins uses a documentary format to slice away the facade, enabling us to get a behind-the-scenes peek at Robert's dark side.

Since this is an election year, it's probably no accident that there are numerous similarities between Bob Roberts and the campaign machinations of presidential candidates George Bush and Bill Clinton.

Would Robert's camp really cook up a sex scandal between Paiste and a teenage girl and supply the media with a carefully-cropped incriminating photo? You bet -- just like Bush and Clinton continue to hurl Gennifer and Jennifer at each other, each to cloak their own sins.

Would Roberts attempt to pump up the popular vote with a musical appearance on a highly-rated, youth-oriented variety program? Well, if Clinton can blow his sax on Arsenio, why not?

Finally, on election eve, would Roberts orchestrate a phony assassination attempt on himself to pull the sympathy vote at the polls?

We'll have to wait to see what last-minute tricks Bush and Clinton have up their sleeves, but on Saint Bob, martyrdom looks as good as a starched shirt buttoned up to the collar and a wheelchair is as persuasive as his guitar.

Read Bush's lips one more time, watch Clinton do his most earnest Elvis impersonation and listen closely to Bob Roberts' toe-tapping tunes.

You'll be paralyzed with laughter, but before you vote you should see Bob Roberts.

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RELIGIOUS ART AT BLAFFER GALLERY; EIGHTY MEXICAN RETABLOS DISPLAYED

by Tiffany Rather

Daily Cougar Staff

The Blaffer Gallery is presenting an old yet rich Mexican art aesthetic to its American audiences through its exhibition, The Art of Private Devotion: Retablo Painting of Mexico.

Approximately 80 retablos -- small, religious paintings in oil on tin sheets -- aging from the 19th and 20th centuries, will be displayed at the gallery through October 18.

"This is the first exhibition that looks specifically at the retablo art," Namita Wiggers, Curatorial Assistant for Education said.

The retablos being displayed have been carefully selected from over 35 private and public collections from all over the United States and Mexico, Wiggers said.

"We are looking to give a scholarly presentation of the retablos. We are considering the issues of connoisseurship in relationship with the retablos," Wiggers said.

Even though retablo is a relatively old art form, 20th century Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Robert Montenegro are influenced by it.

"The imagery, color and iconography influences the modern artists today," Wiggers said.

She said the retablos came about by the Mexican people needing accessible, inexpensive religious devotional objects they could use in their homes."Many were used as altar pieces," she said.

Two of the retablos displayed in the gallery are Saint Raphael, the Archangel and Saint Camillus.

Raphael the archangel, a common figure in retablo art, is always seen wearing a pilgrim's cape, holding a fish and carrying a staff and gourd.

Raphael is known as the protector of travelers and youth. He is also considered the protector of eye illness.

Saint Camillus of Lelis is recognized by his black dress and red cross. He is associated with spiritual healing and the Holy Death.

A small amount of ex-votos -- narrative paintings thanking a chosen saint for providing a needed miracle -- will be displayed for the purpose of comparing them with the retablos.

InterCultura is responsible for organizing the exhibition, and a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts helped in its production. Lende Foundation also provided additional support.

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ENTERTAIN ME

A weekly calendar of student-oriented activities.

Monday 9/14

*Chicano Week

-Chicano-oriented events from 9/14 through 9/18.

*University Planning and Policy Council meeting.

-Meeting to discuss student affairs during the restructuring 3:00 - 5:00

call Student's Association for details 743-5220

Tuesday 9/15

*"The Year of the Woman"

-A free catered luncheon program

-12 p.m. at the AD Bruce Religion Center, 2nd Floor Lounge

*SPB Film: "After Hours"

-4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. at the UC Pacific Room

-Admission: $1

Wednesday 9/16

*Red, White & You

-The Student Association and ARA Dining services will sponsor the promotion. UH students, faculty and staff will receive a free UH cup with the purchase of a 17 oz drink for $.69.

-10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UC and UC Satellite.

*Live...Tony the Tiger!

-Tony will make a special guest appearance to hand out complimentary boxes of Frosted Flakes.

-11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Satellite.

-Prior to Tony's appearance, several inflated tigers will be hidden on the UH campus. If a tiger is found and returned to the Satellite, the winner will recieve a variety of coupons good for Satellite foods and services.

*Faculty Senate Meeting

-Open to the public

-12 p.m. at the Kiva Farish Hall

*Fall '92 Volunteer Fair

-Students and faculty will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Houston area volunteer organizations.

-11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the World Affairs Lounge.

Thursday 9/17

*CBA Industry Cluster Network

"A Winning Resume and Dynamic Interview Skills"

-Open to students, faculty and staff

-2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in 213 Melcher Hall

-Admission is free

*SPB Film "Orpheus"

-7:30 p.m. in the UC Pacific Room

-Admission: $1

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INTERNATINAL SCHOOL-REFORM CONFERENCE PLATS SEEDS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL'S FUTURE

by Tom Anderson, Katherine Bui and Florian Raqueno Ho

Daily Cougar Staff

The Texas Center for University School Partnerships (TCUSP) kicked off its first National Conference on School Reform Friday at the University Center with a speech by distinguished educational leaders, including Houston Independent School District Superintendent Frank Petruzielo and UH President James Pickering.

Both school officials focused on the lack of teachers, student drop outs, student violence and crimes, and the struggles of poverty-stricken students as barriers within the school system. The failures of past programs in correcting these problems underlaid the basic purpose of TCUSP.

The restructuring proposal inspired the current changes in HISD's program as defined by Petruzielo.

Pickering made no specific references about restructuring, but explained that the main objective of TCUSP would build upon successful experiences by including necessary services.

Deputy-Director General of Malaysia's Ministry of Education Osman Jaffar had two main tasks: to talk about curriculum reforms and to stay awake.

Jaffar travelled to Houston from Malaysia in 24 hours to give a 30-minute speech.

"In Malaysia, it would be 2 a.m. right now. I would be asleep," he said.

Jaffar, who spoke about school reform in Malaysia, summarized what the country has been doing about education since it gained its independence 35 years ago.

"The government recognized the powerful means to force unity and establish a national identity through education," Jaffar said.

Discovering new knowledge, especially in the sciences and computer technology, is important, and students must conquer and master these subjects so they will not be left behind, he said. "Our push for excellence still continues today, and our efforts are never-ending in the task to find greater and new heights," Jaffar said.

An audience of American educators expressed wide enthusiasm at the speech made by Kazuo Ishizaka, the head of the Curriculum Research Division at the National Institute for Education Research in Tokyo, Japan, about the restructuring of Japan's educational system.

Ishizaka discussed the fundamental reforms of public schools in Japan, which included an emphasis on the individual needs of students and teachers; the transference of academic credentials into a life-long system; and coping with international demands.

The educator also expressed a negative overview of Japan's emphasis on academic credentials.

"Once the company hires the individual with a good background, the employee gets lazy and no longer tries to work hard. We must look toward a life-long system to include all students, whether academically successful or not, into our work force,"

The Netherlands may not be the first place most people talk about when discussing changing school systems. However, school reform in the Netherlands was exactly what the University of Leiden's education consultant, Jaap van Lakerveld, outlined to about 70 secondary school educators.

Van Lakerveld explained how the Netherlands' school systems are implementing a new national core curriculum while increasing the autonomy of individual schools and improving the quality of teachers by improving the quality of their education.

"Politicians took on the debate concerning which type of education would be most beneficial to students," van Lakerveld said. Their decision called for students under 15 years old to have a comprehensive education, studying up to 14 subjects.

He said this proved to be a problem, and so a shift to reduce the number of subjects and to teach primarily applied knowledge and technical skills gained considerable support.

Another reform movement popular in the Netherlands is government funding of all schools, public or private, provided they meet certain national standards.

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PHYSICAL PLANT SUIT NEARS VERDICT UNDER GAG ORDER

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Jury deliberations in Dana King's discrimination lawsuit against the university began last Friday, and a verdict may be reached as early as today, said Assistant University Council Nancy Footer.

However, Footer refused any comment on the case that began Tuesday in U.S. District Court, stating that presiding judge Calvin Botley had issued a gag order on all participants in the case.

The Cougar's efforts to verify the existence of the order proved unsuccessful by press time.

A former UH Physical Plant plumber, King, 41, worked at UH from 1982 until he was fired for the second time on Sept. 25, 1990. His lawsuit alleges criminal activity, death threats and gross occupational harassment within the Physical Plant department.

Paul Postel, manager of building maintenance; Thomas Wray, assistant director of the Physical Plant; Herb Collier, executive director of the Physical Plant, and Robert Scott, mechanical maintenance foreman, are named as defendants in the suit.

According to a Daily Cougar story on April 28, King's suit alleges that in 1985, he was harassed and eventually fired for his participation in a UHPD investigation in which he positively identified a missing sewer machine found in Physical Plant foreman James Mitchell's possession. The suit states no charges were ever filed.

King, a former Harris County constable, charges he was harassed by Mitchell and Postel for

refusing to assign case numbers to property the suit alleges was stolen by Mitchell and Postel, including a boat trailer, a riding lawnmower and a tractor.

The article goes on to say the suit states King understood the term "case numbers" to be the numbers assigned to police incident reports after someone reports a crime. When King refused to comply, the suit charges, Mitchell told King "he was not playing" and that Postel is the "Prince of Darkness" and "you don't turn him down."

Mitchell was listed as a defendant in the suit but was dropped because the allegations against him exceeded the statute of limitations.

The suit also charges that King was told to work with electrical equipment in the rain and in tunnels containing asbestos without safety equipment after the sewer-machine incident. He was fired on Sept. 2, 1987, but was reinstated through a complaint he filed with the UH Personnel Department, the suit says.

King's suit, filed in May 1990, asks for more than $1 million in punitive damages.

Efforts to contact King and his attorneys were unsuccessful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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