VISITORS ARRIVE ON CAMPUS IN STOLEN CAR, GET CAUGHT ATTEMPTING ENCORE

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

The rate of crimes committed by visitors to UH is becoming rampant, as was made apparent Monday evening.

Two visitors arriving in a stolen car were arrested for burglary of a motor vehicle belonging to a student, said UHPD Lt. Brad Wigtil.

Reginald D. Smith, 28, and Steven Marc Alexander, 34, arrived on campus at lot 15D west near Scott St., allegedly in a stolen 1991 Honda Accord.

They were spotted burglarizing a Chevy Blazer by a UHPD officer keeping surveillance over the lot.

"The officer noticed at around 5:00 two black males breaking into the back window (of the Blazer)," Wigtil said. "The officer then alerted patrol units of the burglary."

Smith and Alexander gained entry into the truck by shattering the rear window and had already stolen a pair of tennis shoes. They were working on removing a speaker box when police arrived, Wigtil said.

Smith also had a bag containing 13 cassette tapes from the Blazer .

Alexander was arrested immediately without incident and charged with burglary of a motor vehicle.

However, Smith ran from the scene into the athletic complex dropping the bag of cassettes onto the lot. He then exited the complex into lot 15A.

"While he was running, UHPD was trying to set up a perimeter around the athletic complex area," Wigtil said.

Smith made it into the lot before the police could arrive and attempted to gain access of Melissa Serra's car.

"She was sitting in her car when Smith was running and screaming for her to get out of her car," Lt. Wigtil said.

A struggle ensued after Serra, a 26-year-old senior kinesiology major, refused to surrender her vehicle to Smith.

Struggling, he then pulled her out of the car and the two fought for her car keys.

Corporal Rogelio Treviño and Officer P. Sable arrived during the skirmish and arrested Smith.

He was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, robbery and evading arrest, a class B misdemeanor.

"Serra was shaken up but not injured," Wigtil said.

Both arrestees were unarmed during their arrests and undeclared senior Larry Miller, 22, owner of the Chevy, was not present during the burglary.

He did, however, arrive shortly after the incident.

Smith and Alexander were later transported to the Harris County jail.

Smith's bail is set at $20,500; the robbery and burglary charges were both set at $10,000 and the evading arrest charge was $500.

He is scheduled to appear in the Harris County Criminal Court of Law 177 today for the burglary and robbery charges. He is scheduled to appear again on Oct. 13 in court #4 for the misdemeanor charges.

Alexander's bail is set at $5,000 and he is also scheduled to appear in court 177 today for the burglary charge.

Smith and Alexander are not being charged with unauthorized use and theft of the Honda Accord because UHPD did not see them driving the vehicle and it was stolen off campus.

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SALVADORAN WOMEN TAKING LEADERSHIP ROLES TO ATTAIN PEACE

by Kim Copelin

News Reporter

Many women in El Salvador have taken on leadership roles in order to survive during the country's struggle against communism, said a spokesperson for the Women's Secretariat of the Christian Committee for the Displaced of El Salvador.

Pilar Enoe Reyes Hernandez, WSC regional organizer, spoke to UH students and faculty members Oct. 1 about women and politics in El Salvador.

"During the war we became teachers and nurses out of necessity. We became leaders because there was a need at that time to lead the people to safety," she said.

"Our struggle for life took us to a greater stage of consciousness. We realized we had been displaced women. We realized we needed to be organized and more aggressive on issues such as rape and killing because they were not popular issues of the government and the military," she said.

Hernandez said the WSC also works to develop the infrastructure and economy of the country's communities.

"In my particular community, there was nothing but fields. Women and men worked together, and now we have a flourishing community," she said.

Hernandez said today's Salvadoran communities have developed cultural projects and now have people trained to promote health awareness.

"We are working in the frame of reality. We know women in our community have a lot of children. We think one way of resolving the situation is by setting up day care centers. This will enable women to work in other areas," said Hernandez.

Women in El Salvador are reluctant to experiment with birth control, Hernandez acknowledged, so people are working to educate women of the different forms of birth control.

Although the government is working to establish peace, Hernandez said the WSC will continue to work toward improving the country's communities.

"We see very clearly that we are able to transform society. We continue to struggle because it will mean a lot to our future, the future of our children and the future of our whole society," she said.

"We as women have to unite to look for change, and develop, because without union we would not succeed."

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TWO FEMALE STUDENTS ASSAULTED IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS FRIDAY

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

The tree limb-wielding visitor who was arrested for striking UH groundskeeper Raymond Alavarez Thursday is still in the Harris County jail.

Carolyn Johnson, 39, has another scheduled court appearance for a mental competency hearing Nov. 13.

Her bail remains at $2,500.

• • •

A UH student was pushed to the ground and robbed of her purse in the courtyard of the Fine Arts Building at 8:57 Friday morning, UHPD Lt. Helia Durant said.

No arrests have been made. The suspect, however, was described as a white male with long dirty blond hair in his early 20's.

The student, whose name is being withheld pending an investigation, did not suffer any serious injuries. She was taken to the Health Center for a bruised knee, treated and released.

Her purse was recovered between the Fine Arts and Architecture buildings. Her driver's license and less than $100 was missing, Durant said.

• • •

In an unrelated incident, a UH student was assaulted by a visitor to the campus Friday.

The student, whose name is being withheld because of an ongoing investigation, was assaulted in front of the UC at 10:31 a.m., Durant said.

Witnesses are currently being questioned.

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STEPS COUNSELLORS OFFER WORKSHOPS AS ALTERNATIVES TO CANCELLED CLASSES

by Erin Balch

News Reporter

Most commuters can commiserate: anxiously waiting in rush-hour traffic, desperately searching for that nonexistent parking space, breathlessly racing across campus, all to make that early morning class and then confronted with a notice stating "class cancelled."

The counselors at STEPS (Substance Abuse Training and Education ProgramS) want to provide an alternative.

Members of the one-year-old organization would like all UH professors to call the program to conduct workshops as an alternative to cancelling the class when they cannot attend.

Drug and alcohol abuse, sexual health, HIV, relationship issues, date-rape prevention and stress management are just a few of the workshops conducted, said Program Director Gail Hudson.

"This project is something new we are getting started . . . but (we) thought it would give the students the opportunity to hear something interesting and maybe something with an impact on their lives. We only did one last semester but the response was very good," Hudson said.

The goal of STEPS is to promote healthy decision-making choices campus-wide through its education and prevention programs.

Many new projects have been added to the program this year, including a segment added to freshmen orientation where skits and a question-and-answer period were used to discuss topics such as HIV.

Projects are also planned for Oct. 19-30 to promote "Healthy Homecoming." One project is a story window where anonymously submitted articles about alcohol's effect on people's lives will be posted.

If a professor would like to take advantage of the STEPS workshops, Hudson asks him or her to give her an idea of what kind of workshop the class would be interested in and 24 hour's notice if possible.

"Some of the workshops can be done with little preparation but some require extra work," she said.

Since STEPS began, they have more than tripled the amount of student walk-ins to their facility in the UC. But it has been difficult reaching commuter students, who come to campus and leave, often without ever knowing what resources are available, Hudson said. The workshops are are a good way to reach them, she added.

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CENSORSHIP, BOOK-BANNING EXIST TODAY WORLD-WIDE, IN HOUSTON

by Melissa Neeley

Daily Cougar Staff

Members of the Writers and Artists Group at UH and other students commemorated Banned Books Week Tuesday by discussing people who have been jailed or persecuted for expressing their beliefs.

"Imprisoning writers shows that censorship can go even further than banning books," said Shane Patrick Boyle, chair of WAAGAUH.

According to an Amnesty International release distributed during the meeting, writers from Czechoslovakia, Vietnam, China and Haiti have been threatened or imprisoned for writing articles critical of their governments.

"A lot of our time is spent on writing letters to government officials so they will release political prisoners. When some of them get released, they write back to us and, in turn, get involved in the organization," said Maya Waldman, the secretary of Amnesty International's UH chapter and member of WAAGAUH.

Amnesty International members must be polite when they write to government officials, or the prisoners may be treated more brutally than before, said Waldman.

Members write to the officials because they may not be aware about the human rights infringements which are occurring in their countries, Waldman said.

Because of pressure from Amnesty International, some of these prisoners are released or are given lesser punishment, she said. A minority of them, however, are harassed even more because the government is ashamed their treatment of dissenters was discovered, she said.

"People from Haiti who were beaten and tortured tried to seek asylum here, but Bush ignored what was going on and ordered them not to come here. That goes against our previous commitment of giving asylum to anyone who was persecuted," Waldman said.

One UH student, Ray Sbrusch, experienced censorship himself when he was arrested for protesting at the Republican convention, he said.

"My specific charge was attempting to throw tomatoes at a police officer," said Sbrusch, a junior majoring in English education.

Sbrusch, a vegetarian, said he had to carry all his possessions, including groceries, in his backpack, because he was homeless at the time. "I reached inside of it and they started taking me away," he said.

When he was led to the police car, Sbrusch turned back to look at the badge number of the officer who charged him, he said.

But he was told to walk straight ahead or he would be beaten, he said. He was later charged with assault, he said.

"I believe that this country still gives people freedom of speech, but (many) police won't help people who are speaking out; they'll hurt them instead," he said.

Those arrested were away from television cameras, so they did not attract attention, he said.

When Sbrusch was read his rights, he was told he had the right to remain silent, but that changed when he arrived at the police station, he said.

"When they kept questioning me, I told them that I had the right to remain silent. They said that I wasn't cooperating with them and they would tell the judge who would raise the bond to $1,000," he said.

Sbrusch was finally released on $350 bond and his trial is set for Dec. 15, he said.

"Learning about censorship and what you can do about it is important," he said. "Right now young people don't feel that they have a voice; they don't participate in the political process because they feel their statements don't matter."

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BRIEFS

 

OPPORTUNITIES

Two officers of the Voice of America will be on campus to discuss career opportunities in international radio broadcasting.

VOA, the worldwide radio service of the U.S. government, broadcasts in English and 44 other languages.

The recruiters are prepared to talk about general career openings but are looking in particular for candidates for the Vietnamese, Korean, Indonesian, Lao, Cambodian and Thai language services. Applicants for these positions are required to take a written examination in translation skills as well as a voice audition.

Students interested in learning more about VOA can sign up at the Career Planning and Placement Center for one of two one-hour briefings at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14.

For details, call Oanh Tran at (202) 619-3117 or Dick McCarthy at (202) 619-3792.

AWARD

The UH Houston Mexican American Alumni Association received the highest recognition by the Festias Patrias Committee when it was awarded the Judge Armando V. Rodriguez Founder's Award for the most outstanding float in the Festias Patrias parade held Sept. 19. The theme of the alumni's float reflected the historical, cultural and religious influence of Spain on Latin America.

FREE MUSIC

Legendary Mexican Folkloric singer Amparo Ochoa will perform at UH at 12 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in the UC's Cougar Den. Admission is free.

VOTER INFO

The League of Women Voters of Houston will sponsor an informational reception for candidates for contested District Court judicial positions on Oct. 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m in the Scanlon Arena at the University of St. Thomas.

For details, call 552-1776.

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ACTRESS RUBY DEE LAUDS AUTHORS, CASTS SPOTLIGHT ON CHILDREN

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Cicely and Dionne Brisco had seen actress Ruby Dee portray a feisty elderly woman in Spike Lee's <I>Do the Right Thing<P> and a forgiving mother in <I>Jungle Fever<P>, but their mother wanted the girls to see her in the flesh.

"They're more familiar with her from the Spike Lee movies than the other movies she has appeared in, but I just thought it would be a good experience for them to meet her since she is a role model," said Antoinette Brisco, after she and her two elementary school-aged daughters, dressed in blue shorts and white camp shirts, came to meet the actress.

Both of them, like many who attended a speaking engagement held last Friday in the Waldorf Astoria room of the UH Hilton, sought her autograph.

Before she obliged them, however, Dee spoke at length about children the age of Dionne and Cicely and how she proposes to reach their generation by encouraging them to read more books.

"I'd like to take some of those books I've been into all my life and mount them -- not as film because the obscenity of spending $20 million for a film is something I know we are going to have to get away from -- for the authors, authors meaning thinkers, those who are trying to put the pieces together for everyone's sake, for the most part," said Dee.

"I want to popularize reading again. I don't want people to be ashamed of the word because that's what I do -- I'm a word worker."

Dee is primarily known for her work on film, television and the stage.

In the eyes of some, Dee and her husband, Ossie Davis -- who has appeared with her on film and even in a cookie commercial, are inseparable.

Although they performed at a gala awards ceremony over Saturday night, Dee appeared as the sole honoree at the luncheon hosted by the African American Studies department.

"Like anything, we played the song together for so many years as married people, so it's easy to work with him. We work on the same wavelength in the political and social awareness sense," she said of the relationship.

Some attending the speaking engagement at the UH Hilton might have expected Dee to focus on her acting career. Instead, about 100 listeners saw the Emmy-Award winner read one of her poems, discuss the state of the black community, filmmaking, the importance of reading, peace, healing and, occasionally, acting.

"All my life I've seen those marvelous books written by African Americans optioned (for film production). Then, the options dropped and all the roles I daydreamed about playing I never got to play because the books never got produced as film," she said, with traces of disappointment in her voice.

Dee's experiences as a professional in such a volatile industry have not discouraged her from motivating youths nationwide to rediscover the works of such authors as abolitionist Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Toni Cade Bambara and Alice Walker.

The role of wise mother protector seems to suit Dee well, as have many of the acting roles she has assumed in such films as <I>Buck and the Preacher<P>, <I>I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings<P>, <I>A Raisin In the Sun<P> and two of Spike Lee's films, <I>Do the Right Thing<P> and <I>Jungle Fever<P>.

In 1991, she won an Emmy Award for her performance in <I>Decoration Day<P>, a television program. Her stage credits include, among others, <I>Purlie Victorious<P>,<I>The Taming of the Shrew <P>and <I>Checkmates<P>, which has been produced for the Broadway stage.

A graduate of Hunter College in New York City, she said her discovery of African American authors happened only after she graduated.

To reach children in the schools, many of whom have turned to television rather than books as a source of information and entertainment, Dee plans to institute "Books With Legs," a program which will give lesser known authors more exposure. One of them is Rosa Guy, a Trinidadian fiction author who wrote <I>The Disappearance<P>, the first work to be featured in the "Books With Legs" series.

After her talk she spoke of other ways to heal and empower African Americans.

''We have to really get together and start to agitate the powers of government and seats of power, exercise our right to vote, become more aware of the political process and gain control through lobbyists," she said.

"Those enemies of the country who are selling it out from under us bit by bit, are trashing the constitution -- it's one of the few documents in the world, despite all of its flaws, that I think represents the hope of mankind," she said.

Dee said she draws from God as a source of inspiration and "the divine process, those intangibles of spirit that dictate to us, that connect us."

Individuals such as Mamie Phipps Clark, who challenged the separate-but-equal philosophy, have also inspired the actress whose voice seems as rich and resonant as her husband's.

"She loved children. She especially loved the children from the streets and from broken homes and from lives broken in ways that cities and calloused circumstances can break bodies and souls and minds," said Dee in a recital of a poem she wrote in memory of her friend.

After the presentation, attendees descended on her table like a swarm of bees, positioning themselves to get autographs and photographs.

Some of the race-related topics Dee addressed in her informal talk included the state of the African American middle class, the image of the African American community on film, healing, racism, and unity among ethnic groups.

Obviously, one of the topics which continues to touch her heart is the affairs of the children.

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WORKSHOP TEACHES STUDENTS, FACULTY ART OF WRITING SUCCESSFUL PROPOSALS

by Rachel Gewirtz

News Reporter

Faculty and students came together to discover ways to win research grants Friday at the UH Hilton.

Assistant Vice President Julie Norris and Deputy Director Rosemary Grimmet, both from the Office of Sponsored Programs, held a workshop devoted to teaching new faculty members how to write grant proposals, prepare budgets and process them through the university.

"The need for external funding is great because the university budget is so tight. One of our announced goals is as an urban research center," said Norris.

Grants help UH by helping to fund and supply facilities for faculty and students, in addition to making it possible for graduate students to get their dissertations. Another benefit of grant money is that students get paid for their research so they don't have to work another job while completing their studies.

Norris outlined steps to help those interested succeed in getting grant money. She said it's important to write a proposal focusing on information that jumps out at a reader.

"Foundations receive 20 to 30 proposals at one time. If yours is too long, some of them will just shred it," she said.

Norris said these points must be included in every proposal:

-The current state of the project,

-Next steps necessary to develop new knowledge,

-Ways the researcher will go about doing the tasks,

-Methods to evaluate the result, and

-Facilities available at the university

Norris said the abstract should be only one page long and be a condensed version of the proposal. This is the first item the reader sees and is often published if the project is funded, she said.

"Your abstract has to be the one that jumps out at them," Norris said.

A proposed budget is one of the crucial factors a foundation considers when granting funds to a project, she said. It is important to match the budget to each stage of work in the project.

"If a budget is enormous, some foundations will just put the proposal aside," she said .

Grimmet said these factors must be included in a budget:

-Salaries and wages,

-Fringe benefits (health insurance and unemployment),

-Equipment,

-Travel, and

-Direct costs, such as animal care, computer fees, etc.

Proposals must be submitted to the office of sponsored programs three days before they are sent off. The office will review and correct them.

Norris emphasized the importance of not giving up. Of all resubmitted proposals, 45 percent are accepted, she said.

"The most common causes of rejection are faults in writing and organizing rather than content," she said.

"A good proposal will always get funded. Get your reviews from the foundation, revise your proposal and resubmit it," added Norris.

The meeting is the first in a two-part UH Faculty Development Series. The second part will be held at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 15, in the Hilton.

 

 

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