PEROT WIN WOULD SET NEW PRECEDENT, CREATE BIPARTISAN MOVEMENT

by Hermina Frederick

News Reporter

While H. Ross Perot supporters wait for state coordinators to accept him into the presidential race, political observers speculate on the prospect of a three-party system in the American electoral process.

At no time in U.S election history has an independent candidate been elected president. A Perot victory in 1992 would be without precedent for the emergence of a third-party scenario. Although the Perot platform sees itself more as a movement than a political party, it is undoubtedly within a partisan context that Perot must enter the ballot.

Whether it has the elements necessary to survive as a governing body seems questionable, said Richard Murray, UH associate professor of Political Science.

Historically, such movements have manifested either as a one shot deal or as a forum for a national protest whose momentum eventually wears down once the points of dissent have been aired, he said.

Even if Perot wins the election, he would have to affiliate with either the Democratic or Republican party to form his presidential cabinet, Murray added.

Elizabeth Spates, deputy coordinator for the Houston branch of the Perot Petition Committee, said a Perot administration would attempt to pursue a bi-partisan concept, drawing support from both Democrats and Republicans. In June, a Time/CNN poll showed Perot coming into the race with a 13 percent lead over Bush and Clinton. By the middle of July his volunteer movement, United We Stand, People for Perot, managed to place him on 20 state ballots. Then on July 16, to the great disappointment of his supporters, the Texas businessman announced his withdrawal from the race.

At this point, Perot must have realized he was running on bad assumptions and decided to quit when he realized the campaign would be costly, said Bruce Oppenheimer, associate professor of Political Science.

In a CNN interview, United We Stand, People for Perot Executive Director Orson Swindall, said, that among other things, the move was a tactical one which gave his candidate the opportunity to study his opponents and devise a more strategic approach to winning.

Perot told his supporters he would return to the race if they could get him on all 50 states ballot, and they did.

Spates said because neither the Democrat nor Republican factions has adequately addressed the economic and social problems of the nation, Perot is considering making his bid for the presidency.

On Monday, Perot met with representatives of the Bush and Clinton campaigns to review their position on solving, among other things, the country's $4 trillion debt. Pending the word from state coordinators, the nation waits for Perot's re-entry into the presidential race.

American voters ruminate over the question -- Will Perot win if he re-enters the race? A recent CNN poll showed 43 percent of Americans support Clinton, 36 percent support Bush and 17 percent favor Perot.

With five weeks left before the general elections, observers see the Perot ticket as a dividing factor splitting the Bush and Clinton vote.

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OPPORTUNITIES FOR FINANCIAL AID DECREASING

by Heather Wolk

News Reporter

College students' need for financial aid increases annually, but the chances of receiving assistance decreases, a UH official said.

The number of students applying for financial aid at UH increased 15 percent in 1992, said Robert Sheridan, Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Not only are college costs escalating but many students are staying in school for more than four years, Sheridan said.

In today's job market, graduates may need a master's degree to compete effectively, he said. Therefore, more students are seeking help in financing their education, Sheridan added.

Students and parents seeking to finance an education, are becoming more aware of the financial-aid programs available to them. However, ease in borrowing money may be a disadvantage since students will find themselves in deeper debt when they graduate, Sheridan added.

"Since 1980, the only federal money that grows is loan dollars," Sheridan said. "The amount of money set aside for loans has remained the same, but the demand for loan money has increased."

Admissions Counselor Steve Harper said, "Parents tend to pay for their kids' education if they go away to school. But at a commuter school like UH, that tendency is not there."

Harper said UH has a slow graduation rate because students are forced to work during the school semesters to help finance their education. "The only free money now is in grants and work-study programs."

Scholarship Coordinator Price Doherty said she advises students to search for all possible opportunities.

"A lot of colleges at UH have their own scholarships with their own requirements," she said, and suggested checking into the various colleges to find out which ones offer scholarships.

"There is a lot to offer in the form of financial aid if students would take the initiative to check," Doherty said.

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CULLEN FOUNTAIN COMPLETION POSTPONED DUE TO RAINFALL

by Tom Anderson

News Reporter

Weather is the only obstacle hampering completion of the Cullen Fountain, said Craig Williams, president of Williams Development and Construction, the company renovating the fountain.

The project is scheduled for completion by mid-October, said Ron Shoup of UH's Facilities Planning and Construction department.

"The intent of the renovation is to put the fountain back like it was," Williams said.

The bottom and sides of the new fountain, however, will be black instead of light blue. "Black reflects better than light blue, and the fountain is supposed to be a reflection pool," Shoup said.

Irrigation systems have been installed, and the ground around the fountain has been grated. "We won't do anymore landscaping until we get all the manpower out of there," Williams said. "We need to do sodding, and there are a lot of nice trees going in there."

To prevent future foundation problems, three feet of soil was removed. "It is soil that would swell when it gets wet," Williams said. "We replaced it with select fill, a new sandy material, so the bottom of that fountain is as strong as a runway."

"We have taken every precaution imaginable to prevent cracks in the foundation. The concrete is eight inches thick with double pads of reinforcing steel," Williams said. "We don't even have hairline cracks from the concrete curing."

The fountain was originally scheduled to open on the first day of the fall semester. And, according to Williams, with rain dates factored in, the fountain is still on schedule. "We are not behind and are in no way in violation of our contract."

Remaining work includes waterproofing, replacing the surrounding sidewalk, filling the fountain to test the equipment, landscaping and removing the fence.

Williams Development and Construction has also done work on the central Power Plant, McElhinney Hall, M.D. Anderson Library and other UH buildings, Williams said.

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STUDENTS STRUGGLING TO PRESERVE SCHOLARSHIPS

by Melissa Neeley

Daily Cougar Staff

Students entering college on scholarship often have a difficult time maintaining their grades and keeping up with the class hours required to keep their awards.

Almost 20 percent of students entering UH in the fall of 1991 ended up on scholarship probation by the end of the year, according to the Office of Admissions.

"For a lot of entering freshmen, it's a tough year. It's hard to adjust to all the freedom of being independent," said Price Doherty, scholarship coordinator at the Office of Admissions.

Doherty deals with students who receive one of six scholarships that include the National Merit/National Achievement, the Cullen Leadership and the Academic Excellence awards.

Freshmen recipients of the National Merit/ National Achievement and Cullen Achievement awards must take 14 hours and maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 after their first year.

Sophomores must also take at least 14 hours and maintain a 3.1 GPA. Juniors and seniors must take at least 15 hours and keep a 3.2 GPA.

Students who receive an Academic Excellence Award must complete at least 12 hours a semester and have a 2.0 GPA.

Students on academic scholarships are reviewed at the end of each semester when their grades are available, Doherty said.

If certain requirements are not met, students are placed on probation; after one semester of probation, funding may be terminated if the student again falls below requirements.

Doherty said that students should realize they will not automatically lose their award if they're put on probation.

If a student's funding is cancelled and they feel that it was due to extenuating circumstances, they can appeal the University Scholarship Committee's decision, she said.

"I'm here if they have a question about requirements or the repercussions of not meeting them. If they know what is expected of them, that's half the battle," she said.

Academic advisors and counselors like those in the Honors Program, will listen and help students find ways to maintain the grades and semester load to maintain good standing, she said.

Jodie Fiore, coordinator of Academic Services in the Honors Program, is the full-time academic advisor for students in the program.

Fiore mainly deals with the freshmen and sophomores in the Honors program, she said.

Students generally are put on scholarship probation either because of bad grades, she said, or because they take less than the required hours.

"Falling below hours may have been a miscalculation on a student's schedule. For example, they may have signed up for 17 hours, but ended up dropping a four-hour course that knocks them down to 13 hours," she said.

Students may be put on probation because of poor study habits.

"A student might have gone through high school without any trouble, so they never learned how to study. Time management is a companion to this. Students who experience the freedom in their freshman year may not be able to buckle down during test times," she said.

She suggests the Learning Support Services, which is located in the Social Work building, for students who need help managing their workload. They hold weekly and monthly seminars and programs on time management, she said.

Most of Fiore's students who go on probation usually recognize what they are doing wrong and work to correct the problem.

Senior and junior level students who go on scholarship probation are usually suffering from personal problems instead of time management problems, she said.

One student went on scholarship probation because he did not complete the 12 hours needed to fulfill the Academic Excellence award requirement, she said. Instead, he had to leave school because he was called to serve in Desert Storm.

"When I went to Desert Storm, I wasn't able to drop my classes because I left so fast. They took my scholarship away, but gave it back to me on a probationary status after I appealed," said Fabian Reta, a senior RTV major.

Since Reta had to leave school quickly, the scholarship committee had no idea of the circumstances which led him to drop his classes, he said.

"The people in the scholarship office are really helpful. All I had to do was fill out a form and explain in 25 words what had happened. Then they sent me a letter telling me that I had my scholarship back," he said.

Last semester Reta could only take nine hours because he could only find those classes during add/drop, he said. As a result, he could not get his scholarship, he said. Except for last semester, Reta has been on scholarship the four years he has been at UH.

Reta, however, went back to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid this semester, and his award was reinstated.

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CAMPUS HATE-LAWS CLASH WITH FREEDOM OF SPEECH

CPS - The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents established a committee to study discriminatory harassment after it voted to repeal a rule against hate speech directed against individuals.

The regents, which oversee the 26-campus University of Wisconsin system, voted 10-6 Sept. 11 to repeal the ban because of recent court decisions that raised the question that such bans may violate students' rights to freedom of speech, which is protected under the First Amendment.

"The issue was divided between freedom of speech vs. the right to harassment-free education," said Maureen Quinn, a spokeswoman for the Board of Regents. "It was a cogent debate since they were dealing with such emotional issues."

The roots of both the rule and the recent repeal go back to 1988, when the regents wrote a discriminatory harassment policy that was installed in the student code of conduct. This action was taken after a fraternity on the Madison campus held a "slave auction."

"There were also verbal harassments throughout the university system, so the regents felt there had to be a stronger student code of conduct," Quinn said. About 40 students were cited under the rule.

A student newspaper at the Milwaukee campus challenged the rule under First Amendment violations, and in 1991 a U.S. district judge said the rule was constitutionally vague.

The rule was redrafted with narrower parameters, and was approved in May of this year. The rule, as amended, was limited to direct confrontations between students. However, some of the regents began to doubt the constitutionality of the rule, Quinn said, so it went to a legislative hearing, which ended up in a deadlock, and then went back to the regents for review.

After voting to repeal the rule in early September, the regents voted to form a system wide committee to come up with ideas to try to deal with harassment.

"In the workplace, harassment is not tolerated, so part of the argument is why should it be tolerated on campus?" Quinn said. That was part of the argument made by the proponents, who are left with no avenue to discipline students who harass others or to protect students who are being harassed. When it comes to student-on-student harassment, it fell in the cracks."

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VISITOR ASSAULTS PARKING ATTENDANT WITH PERFUME

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

A UH visitor, upset that her car had been towed, sprayed perfume in a parking enforcement assistant's eyes Friday night.

Carolyn Denise Rickard was arrested and charged with a class A misdemeanor.

Adan Martinez, a parking enforcement assistant, was taking Rickard to her towed vehicle when she pulled a tester bottle of perfume from her purse and sprayed it in his eyes, UHPD Lt. Helia Durant said.

"She was irate about the towing," Lt. Durant said.

Wrecker driver Thomas Lichtenberg was not injured by Rickard, Lt. Durant said.

After the assault, Martinez was escorted by UHPD faculty to the Health Center where he was treated and released.

Rickard,30, was later taken to Harris County jail and bail was set at $500. Her bail was paid and she was released that evening.

Rickard is scheduled to appear in Harris County Criminal Court of Law #7 this Friday.

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BRIEFS

 

SCHOLARSHIP

A UH alumni donated $10,000 to the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management to establish a scholarship in his name.

The donor, Ghulam M. Bombaywala, is the owner of Marco's Mexican Restaurants and president of Two Pesos Inc., and James Coney Island.

 

MBA SEMINAR

A free, educational seminar for minority college students and graduates considering an MBA will be held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on Oct. 24 in Dallas.

The program is geared to the interests of Black, Hispanic and Native American MBA prospects.

Attendants will have the opportunity to hear and talk with minority MBA graduates and students, as well as with admissions, placement and financial officers from various business schools.

For details, contact Lesli Ferrell at 214-334-2843.

 

FELLOWHIPS

Students interested in biological sciences have an opportunity to apply for 66 fellowships for full-time study toward a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree.

Fellowship awards provide an annual stipend of $14,000 and a $12,700 annual cost-of-education allowance.

The program is open to U.S. citizens and foreign citizens. Students with U.S. citizenship may take the fellowship abroad. Non-U.S. citizens must study in the United States.

The application deadline is Nov. 6, 1992. For details, call (202) 334-2872 or write to:

Hughes Predoctoral Fellowships

The Fellowship Office

National Research Council

2101 Constitution Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20418

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SUICIDE RATE HIGH AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY MALES; SMILES MASK QUIET DESPAIR

CPS - When a law student at a college in Boston took her life two years ago by swallowing a handful of pills, her family, friends and professors were stunned beyond words.

She had everything going for her: a supportive family, a brilliant future. But she was a high-achieving perfectionist who often felt overwhelmed by her life, though this was virtually unknown until some of her journals were found.

The law student and many like her are cases of "smiling depression," says a college mental health expert whose speciality is college suicide.

There are some students, says Leighton Whitaker, director of mental health services at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa., who are in quiet despair, and comprise most of the surprising suicides among "well-adjusted" college students.

Some college students may appear to express themselves emotionally, but they are only revealing a part of themselves -- "party animals," for instance, and others who wear a mask of cheerfulness, he said.

Then there are others who are more forthright: "I can't take it anymore."

Those five words are considered a "red flag" for college students who may be contemplating suicide, say mental health experts who have watched students struggle with depression and despair.

The college suicide rate continues to grow, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Driven by low self-esteem, isolation, substance abuse and withdrawal, about eight in 100,000 college students take their lives, according to a recent report by the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, which studied 200 U.S. campuses.

Being a college student, however, may actually act as a buffer for youth suicide. The figures reflect a suicide rate 50 percent less than their non-college peers in the 18-24 age group.

"Most of the increase in the last three decades was due to an increase in youth suicide in general, and the vast majority of those were white males," Whitaker said.

The death of a student by their own hand has a chilling ripple-effect that sweeps the campus, touching friends, classmates and professors, said Whitaker. It requires a process he calls, "post-vention", which includes grief counseling and public services for those who knew the deceased.

Whitaker strongly advises survivors of a suicide not try to avoid the grief process, as they may also become seriously depressed.

"There is no more severe campus emotional issue than that of the suicide of a student, except the closing of the institution itself," he said, noting that campus communities can be more tightly knit than small cities.

Some campuses consider student suicide prevention a major priority.

A rash of suicides during the 1991-92 school year at the university of Maryland's College Park campus prompted the administration to review mental health services and find ways to make support more readily available to students.

Eight students committed suicide during the year, which according to the publication Campus Crime, is estimated to be triple the number that could be expected on a campus of 35,000.

The suicides did not appear to be related, but school officials say it appeared the students were under severe stress because of personal problems and the fallout from the budget cuts that disrupted campus life.

Since 1973, the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., has had a community-based suicide prevention program functioning within its ranks. In the years since the program was developed, more than 50 students have been treated for suicidal thoughts and severe depression.

Prior to 1973, the academy lost four cadets and one faculty member to suicide in a five-year period. Since the program was set up, there has not been a suicide on campus.

New cadets are required to attend lectures, then take part in a discussion and watch a videotape that explores the problem of student suicide.

Juniors are given four hours of suicide prevention training which includes in-depth discussions of causes, myths, misconceptions and "red flags." They watch videos and pledge to become their "brothers' and sisters' keepers."

Twice as many male college students succeed in killing themselves as female college students; however, studies reveal that females make many more suicide threats and attempts than males.

While the figures are tragic, they are more encouraging than the figures in the general population of the country, where four times as many males commit suicide than females.

For every male college student suicide, there are on the average nationally, suicide attempts by eight other males, while an additional 12 men threaten suicide.

For each female student suicide, 58 other women attempt suicide and 145 threaten to kill themselves, according to research data in Whitaker's book, "College Student Suicide."

Whitaker, who often counsels students in distress, also cites the "machismo" role as one of the reasons twice as many male students take their lives than female students.

"The more 'macho' the man, the more likely he will be involved in morbid behavior, which includes suicide and murder," Whitaker said. "These men are likely to avoid mental health services, although therapy can be a highly effective preventative for them."

The psychologist, who recently published a paper entitled "Machismo and Morbidity," said, overall, college students engage in less macho behavior than their non-college peers.

Since mental health services are usually highly accessible to college students, there is an opportunity to prevent suicide that their non-college peers do not have. Gun control is also quite strict on campuses, making accessibility to firearms more difficult than in other settings.

Young women who think about suicide, said Whitaker, are more likely to give adequate warning that they are distressed, and are more apt to see a counselor, two factors that can deter the act of suicide.

"The fact that women make more threats is positive in itself," he said. "They more readily signal that they need help."

Alcohol is the single most overlooked risk factor for college suicide, said Whitaker, who says that "societal denial of the physically and psychologically damaging effects of alcohol have allowed this drug to keep a sacred place."

Most student suicides usually are spurred on by heavy alcohol or drug use, even if just for an evening.

For example, Whitaker's study of 33 suicides on American campuses revealed that 56 percent of those who succeeded in killing themselves were intoxicated with either alcohol or another psychoactive chemical, while 65 percent were thought to have a history of diagnosable substance abuse.

For college students, prescription drugs are used to commit suicide more often than "street" drugs.

The most common method of committing suicide in the overall U.S. population is firearms, especially among males, but female college students are only half as likely as males to use firearms.

 

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