by Melissa Neeley

Daily Cougar Staff

The Undergraduate Council met Wednesday and discussed registration and fee payment problems which left 647 students disenrolled without proper notification.

Students who had priority or regular registered were disenrolled because of either academic, advising or financial stops put on them without their knowledge, said Terry Ondreyka, assistant vice president of business affairs.

"Some students were disenrolled for insufficient payment, or they did not make the minimum payment. One student brought in a cancelled check with the correct payment and wondered why he was not on the class rosters. Some of these students were possibly mistreated by the system," Ondreyka said.

UH's present system allows students to be $10 short on their fee payments without being dropped from class rosters, Ondreyka said.

One student was only $20 short of the amount required and was disenrolled, Ondreyka said.

"We've all heard a lot about how the system is abusing students, but (until now) we didn't know how they were abused," he said.

Shirley Ezell, associate vice president of Academic Affairs, said, "We need to find ways students can find out if they are in or out of the university by the first week of school."

The council also spoke of benefits and pitfalls of phone registration which is expected to operate at UH by 1994.

"Phone registration will take about seven to 10 minutes. There will be 96 lines to give students enough opportunity to get the classes that they need," said Mario Lucchesi, director for Registration and Academic Affairs.

Academic advisors, however, cannot discuss class problems that students registering by phone may have. "A student will not be able to get an advisor at 3 a.m. in his living room (if phone-registering)," said Hyland Packard, director of the Academic Advising Center.

Students should be notified of alternative classes if their first choices are unavailable, said Ernst Leiss, chairperson of the Core and Degree Requirements Committee.

"If a student cannot get into an astronomy class, for example, to satisfy his level-two natural science requirement, he should be made aware (on the phone) of other classes which would satisfy those requirements. This may also reduce add/drop," Leiss said.

Some students may not have the required prerequisites needed to get into upper-level classes, but they and their professors may not be aware of this until much of the semester has passed, said Rosalie Maddocks, chairperson of the Undergraduate Council.

"Students can monitor themselves and, over a period of time, we can educate students to be aware of prerequisites they need," said Frank Kelly, director of Academic Advising.

The Undergraduate Council said this program may serve as a model for other colleges at UH to assure that all students will be aware of the prerequisites they need to get into upper-division classes.





by Marva Premate

News Reporter

Although many Texas colleges and universities have set up phone registration systems, UH's is still in the planning stage.

UH hopes to launch phone registration with add/drop next fall. The following semester, students will be able to use phone registration for regular registration, Assistant Vice President of Business Affairs, Terry Ondreyka said.

Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Sharon Richardson said, "UH has been trying to get phone registration for about three years. UH will not be using the same phone registration system as A&M and Sam Houston."

She said UH was currently receiving bids from companies for equipment necessary to run a phone registration system.

Ondreyka said, "We are looking at issues to develop the system and trying to set up a structure that will work."

UH has not yet made a bid on a price for phone registration, but is considering installing 96 lines at approximately $200,000-$300,000 each, he said.

Phone registration will eliminate the need for most students to come to campus to register. Students could register by touch-tone phone or by properly-coded personal computers.

"UH wants phone registration as soon as possible. Administrators are in the process of working on it,"

said Director of Registration and Academic Records Mario Lucchesi. Texas A&M installed phone registration in 1985. A&M Director of Registration Willis Ritchey said, "Students can register or add/drop in as little as five to eight minutes. Phone registration is the one thing students and faculty agree on at this school." A&M's phone lines are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The installation cost for phone registration at A&M was $1.2 million, Ritchey said.

Sam Houston State University initiated phone registration about three years ago, and students and faculty agree it has been very effective, said Jim Stevens of the registrar's office.

"It is not an issue of cost, but a systems issue. If it's easier on the students and faculty, then it's worth it. It was not a big effort to install," he said.

Sam Houston student Lucy Howard said, "It takes about five minutes to register by phone. It's really nice not to leave your house or stand in long lines to register."

Sam Houston has 20 registration lines. If all lines are busy, the computer automatically holds the line so students don't have to keep calling back.

Sam Houston's phone registration lines are open 24 hours during registration.

"One drawback was integrating phone registration into the normal phone system. Sam Houston had to rewire the entire phone system, which caused chaos for a few weeks," Stevens said. "It was a problem at the time, but after phone registration was installed, it was well worth it."

The installation cost for phone registration at Sam Houston was $50,000.

Some other Texas universities using phone registration are North Texas State University and Lamar University.

Schools in the process of getting phone registration this semester to use for the spring semester are Stephen F. Austin and Southwest Texas State University.





by Erin Balch

News Reporter

College Democrats and Republicans took turns defending their presidential candidate's stance on the economy, education and the environment over the cries of hecklers Tuesday at the UC Satellite.

The debate, moderated by political science professor Bruce Oppenheimer, included four representatives from the College Democrats and four from the College Republicans.

On the issue of the economy, the College Republicans blamed Congress while the College Democrats said President Bush is the one responsible for high interest rates and low national productivity.

"The role of government is not to dictate economic policies. Regulation interferes with a market economy, and Democrats use regulation as a means to control their socialism," said Republican Albert Cheng.

Democrat Charles Cooper responded that "deregulation ran rabid during the Reagan years ... resulting in the S&L scandal (and) selling arms to our enemies."

The heckling escalated when the issues of education and student loans surfaced.

When Republican Maria Schmitt said, "Student loans and Pell grants are made available to all students," cries of "I didn't get one" erupted from the audience.

Democrat Tish Gutierrez retorted, "While Bush endorses the national education goals, Clinton wrote the national education goals."

Issues on the environment were no less controversial. Cheng said Bush would help solve environmental problems by making it profitable for businesses to be environmentally conscious. "Unemployment is a form of pollution too," he said. However, College Democrat Michelle Palmer said, "Business and the environment are not mutually exclusive."

Clinton would create jobs in the environmental field of recycling and in the development of solar and hydro-electric energy, she added.

When the issue of global warming was raised, Palmer said, "Bush has decided that global warming does not exist. Clinton would develop solar-hydro and wind energy."

College Republican Mike Griffin responded, "There is no proof of global warming. We need more study in this area.

"America under President Clinton would be wretched indeed. We will fall from the penthouse to the poorhouse during his tenure ... Something's rotten in the state of Arkansas, and it's Bill Clinton," said Griffin.

Democrat John Cobb said, "We need a president who will work every day, not one who shows up to work once every four years."

The Student Program Board, sponsor of this debate, has scheduled another debate between the two groups for Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. in the OB Ballroom.





by Karen Snelling

News Reporter

A UH student is fighting to have his vote and his voice heard in an arena of top university directors.

Mitch Rhodes, a senior mathematics major and student member of the Board of Regents, has initiated steps to gain speaking and voting rights at the board's meetings. The board oversees all decisions for UH's five campuses.

The student regent, a position created by the Students' Association in the spring of 1991, attends the board's meetings and reports back to the Students' Association, Rhodes said. "Student regent is a puppet position that doesn't have a lot of power," he said.

Rhodes said that speaking and voting privileges at board meetings would allow the student regent to express students' general opinions and concerns to the Board of Regents.

At the beginning of the semester, SA wrote and approved a bill that gives the student regent a 15-minute period to address student issues at board meetings, Rhodes said.

The bill stipulates if the meeting's agenda does not include an issue that concerns students, the student regent will not use the allocated speaking time. Rhodes said a student regent could abuse a speaking privilege by discussing topics that did not directly affect students.

He said when SA members asked UH President James Pickering to sign the bill, Pickering told them he did not have the authority. Pickering advised members of SA to present the bill to Alexander Schilt, chancellor of the Board of Regents.

Rhodes said he plans to meet with Schilt in October to present the bill.

The state legislature must approve a student regent's voting right because a voting privilege gives a student the power equal to other board members who are appointed by the governor, Rhodes said.

He said even though he doesn't expect to get the voting privilege during his term, he wants to take steps that will give future student regent the vote and the voice he doesn't have.

Laws that need to be changed or additions that need to be made to Texas law could be prepared as early as April, according to Rhodes.

Rhodes said he plans to inform state officials who are UH alumni about the proposal to give the UH student regent voting rights. "By getting the support of senators and legislators who will fight for UH, we can get the vote," he said.





by Eva Marusak

Contributing Writer

Reporters are forever trying to "scoop" the next reporter. Hildy Johnson is no different, and he's about to write the scoop of a lifetime.

Johnson is a reporter for Chicago's Herald Examiner in 1928s. He's about to quit his low-paying, low-life job as a newsman to marry Peggy Grant, a rich New Yorker. But he forsakes his love with Grant for Earl Williams, a cop-killer with a bad rap and a great story Johnson cannot pass up.

Williams just escaped from prison and is hiding out in the pressroom desk, evading cops, other newsmen, the mayor and the sheriff. Yet Williams may be the only good guy.

The mayor and the sheriff, both crooked politicians (comforting that times have not changed), are up for re-election and are hoping the execution of Williams will speed them both to victory.

The Front Page, playing at the Alley Theatre through Oct. 11, was written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur in 1928. It paints a comedic portrait of Chicago in the days of yellow journalism and gangster politics.

Hecht and MacArthur were reporters during this bullet-riddled era and based their characters on journalists of that time. Walter Burns, Johnson's editor, was modeled after Walter Crawford Howey, editor at the Tribune and Herald Examiner.

Ill-tempered Burns is played by James Black in the Alley production. Black storms his way through the play, blowing hot air and a bad attitude in every direction. He spends half the play yelling at the unseen Johnson over the phone; in the second half he yells at him in person.

Johnson, teetering on the brink of marriage to the socialite, is energetically portrayed by Thomas Derrah. Derrah spends most of the play trying to please his fiancee and her straight-laced mother (who's fond of hats of titanic proportions).

Derrah captures the skittish vitality of a journalist who has just found his fortune and does not quite know what to do with himself yet.

But the two characters who really capture the ideal of Chicago's late '20s are Diamond Louis, a stupid ex-gangster in a loud zoot suit, and Molly Malloy, a pigeon-toed, street-walking flapper. They are played by John Feltch and Shelly Williams, respectively.

Feltch is a tall gangly fellow who stereotypifies the Italian thug of the '20s. He runs into doors and has to be given slow, precise instructions for even the most menial tasks.

Williams squeaks her way through the dumb moll role of Molly Malloy, the Clark Street tart. Her line, "I don't know nuthin," about sums up her character.

Precious few days remain for this fantastic play, so catch it while you can. For those low on cash, half-price rush tickets are sold for most performances.





by Gram Gemoets

Daily Cougar Staff

It has been exactly five centuries since Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. Now, the self-educated mapmaker's vision and eventual fiasco in the new world is portrayed in a big-budget European film.

<I>1492: Conquest of Paradise<P> cost a whopping $45 million to make and is directed by Ridley Scott, who brought us <I>Alien, Blade Runner<P> and <I>Thelma and Louise<P>. It is the most expensive European production ever.

The lavish film boasts fabulous on-location shooting in Spain, Costa Rica and Brazil. The film opens in the United States, France and Spain on Friday, and King Juan Carlos de Spain is expected to attend the movie's opening in Seville.

<I>1492<P> stars Gerard Depardieu as Columbus, the misfit who insisted the earth was round. This epic also stars Sigourney Weaver as Queen Isabella, Frank Langella as a Columbus patron and Michael Wincott as the evil Spanish royal who thwarts Columbus' progress in paradise.

Scientists and scholars in the 15th century did not know the world was round. To avoid falling off the face of the earth, merchants and traders sailed around Africa to reach the Orient. Columbus was obsessed with the idea that he could find a faster route to the Orient, and he sailed west to prove just that.

Even though we know the outcome, the saga of Columbus is filled with intrigue, adventure and historical embellishments (his affair with Queen Isabella has never been proved).

Depardieu plays the misunderstood Columbus with a tinge of religious fervor.

Weaver, fresh from the latest <I>Alien<P> flick, plays the Queen of Aragon, who persecuted Jews, pushed the Moors out of Spain and believed in Columbus so much she financed his voyages with her jewels.

The movie downplays Isabella's religious fanaticism. The Isabella seen is instead one of vision who's enamored with the charismatic Columbus. Her advisors suggest hanging Columbus for heresy, her husband dismisses Columbus as a freak, but Isabella still hands over her cache of rubies and emeralds.

<I>1492<P> was not only a year of discovery but also the year of the notorious Spanish Inquisition. The film opens by showing a common practice of the day: the burning at the stake of Jewish women arrested on trumped-up prostitution charges.

Columbus' gentle side is explored as he shields his son Fernando's eyes from the blaze. Fernando eventually records the life of his sea-faring father, and it is this account that journalist Roselyne Bosch used as the basis for the script.

The film follows Columbus for 20 years. From his early years in Genoa where he traded olive oil and made maps, through his life in France where he married an aristocrat, to the birth of a son by a lover, played by Angela Molina.

Columbus is shown as a humanitarian who required all of his sailing party to do manual labor, including the noblemen aboard. The nobles never forgave him and he became the target of a bloody insurrection.

Added to this was the fact Columbus never found gold in the conquered paradise. When he returned to Spain, he was not received as a hero, but as squanderer of the Spanish treasury. He remained an outcast until his death. This two-hour, 40-minute epic will leave you feeling as sorry for Columbus as he felt for the Indians he conquered.

By the way, he never did reach the Orient.




by Florian Ho

News Reporter

Students who need tutorial service but don't have the extra funds to spare can consider taking advantage of the free tutoring services offered on campus.

Learning Support Services (LSS) offers free tutoring in English, mathematics, engineering, business and foreign languages.

The tutoring service, located in the Social Work building, is funded by the student service fees.

According to Patrick Daniel, program director of LSS, about 500 students a week request tutorial services. "This shows you the success of the program."

Students are served on a walk-in basis. They must fill out a request form, write their name on the board, then wait for a tutor to work with them one-on-one.

The tutoring session lasts a maximum of 30 minutes. "Of course, if it is not busy, then the tutors will take a longer time. Math is generally the most-requested subject," said Loan Tran, program assistant at LSS. Appointments are only taken if there is a faculty referral or request.

Tutor Justin Waggoner, a junior economics major, said he enjoys the reward of helping people. "It's always nice to have a student come back and say I've been of help." Waggoner, who has been tutoring math and economics for three semesters, only has one gripe about his job.

"During finals, some people expect us to be able to cram a whole semester into 30 minutes. It's just not possible."

Supplemental instructional groups are an option for students in some chemistry, math and physics classes. These groups, usually headed by a teacher's assistant, meet for an hour and cover what the professors are teaching that week. "Students sometimes bring a syllabus and tell the TA what is being taught," said Tran.

Ken Williams, temporary office coordinator, said the classes are well attended, especially the chemistry courses. "We have seen a small reduction at the tutoring center because of these supplemental groups."

The courses are taught by UH students who are certified by the College of Reading and Learning Association, a national association that oversees and reviews tutoring programs.

The tutors must be upperclassmen or graduate students who have at least a 3.25 GPA in their majors. Two letters of recommendation and an extensive interview for communication and interpersonal skills are additional requirements before a tutor is hired.

Once a tutor is on staff, he or she must attend six to seven mandatory sessions per semester. These sessions cover subjects that enhance their tutorial skills, such as how to teach difficult students, teaching problem solving and how to deal with students with learning disabilities.

LSS' hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9 a.m. to 12 noon, Friday.




by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

September 21 is a date that holds significance in Carlos Monsanto's heart.

It marks the beginning of his appointment as Honorary Consul of Guatemala in 1967.

Unfortunately, it is also the day his son, Art Monsanto, died tragically.

Such a bittersweet anniversary is one most parents would not wish to commemorate. For Monsanto, an associate professor of Hispanic languages, a combination of his love for the Guatemalan heritage and his family provides the fuel for many of his endeavors.

For the past 20 years he has played the piano for ailing children at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Recently, he received the Joseph T. Ainsworth Volunteer Community Award, which recognizes his service to the hospital and children.

Monsanto, 57, also hosts a festival which features dancers and musical artists from such countries as Guatemala, Mexico and Puerto Rico in an annual event he instituted in memory of his son. On Feb. 7, for the third time since his son's death in 1989, the proceeds will be used to provide students with financial aid. In 1993, funds will be put into an Honors Program scholarship instead of the Art Monsanto Textbook Endowment.

"I decided to organize the festival to try to raise some funds to help students -- financial aid is drying up. Books are getting more expensive," said Monsanto. "A lot of the money contributed to the university goes to research. Students deserve whatever help we can give them."

The ability to give of himself, even when he has painful memories, is one aspect of Monsanto's character that is easily noticeable.

His life in the United States began in 1949, when his mother brought him here at the age of 14.

Prior to his arrival, he had both unpleasant and delightful experiences in Guatemala. "I had a lot of problems in school because I was an albino. I got teased quite a bit," Monsanto said.

But the tauntings and ridicule did not cause him to become so introverted and withdrawn that he could not function. During his pre-teen years, Monsanto enjoyed spending Saturdays starring as an actor in children's radio theater.

To be visually impaired with a condition known as nystagmus, which is characterized by involuntary movements of eye muscles, would be uncomfortable for anyone. But Monsanto did not let the challenge of functioning with the ailment discourage him.

Although struggling to learn English as a high school student in San Francisco, he eventually made a decision which marked a major turning point in his life. "I left home because my mother could no longer support me," he said, recalling the time he prepared to attend the University of Iowa, from which he received bachelor, master and doctoral degrees and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. "I had $12 in my pocket, a Greyhound ticket and a desire to work."

Monsanto said he arrived in Iowa City with five dollars and had to borrow funds to pay for a hotel room.

He paid for his education by taking jobs as a funeral home caretaker, a janitor, a bus boy, and an employee at the student center.

While there, he met his wife, Bonnie, at a student mixer in late 1956. Later, after the courtship began, he visited her parents in Chicago. "My father fell in love with him and asked me when I would get married with him," she said. "He played the piano and sang and my father couldn't believe his ears."

After completing his studies, he moved to Houston and helped raise their three children: Art, Elena and Daniel.

His spacious office -- decorated with posters of Guatemala, a drawing of crabs, fish and stars rendered by his eight-year-old granddaughter Melissa, and photographs of his children -- abounds with signs of his heritage and his devotion to children.

Monsanto, a short gray-haired man with white hair, occasionally wears his sunglasses or eyeglasses with corrective lenses to lessen the strain on his eyes. He wears reading glasses, sometimes holding papers less than three inches from eyes. As he scans, his blue irises shift back and forth involuntarily.

Since he is visually impaired, it takes Monsanto more time to grade students' work and makes the task of getting published -- the major requirement for those who wish to be full professors -- even more difficult.

He said conducting research and lecturing, which he has done at Oxford University and the University of Paris, among others, are his main educational activities aside from teaching.

To motivate some of his students to learn more about the cultures and societies in which Hispanic languages are spoken, Monsanto occasionally takes them to Guatemala.

He also plans to make another journey, not to his homeland, but to Dallas. "I want to go to Dallas one of these days to tell the people what happened," said Monsanto in a sorrowful tone, referring to the mayor, city councilmembers and other officials he wants to talk to about the death of his son in that city. He died after being broadsided near an intersection which had no traffic light. "I do think the city of Dallas owes my son more than a traffic light."

The pall that has been cast never seems to lessen in intensity as he speaks of the tragedy, but Monsanto does find comfort in his own heritage as one who identifies himself as a Mestizo and as a Guatemalan who delights in writing works about the marimba, Hispanic languages and culture, talking about the story behind his Portuguese name and playing Latin American tunes of the 40s and 50s.

"Since the predominant Hispanic culture in this area is Mexican, the belief is we all eat tacos, play mariachis, dance the salsa," said Monsanto of the misconception that Hispanics are monolithic. "We are race of all races, culture of all cultures."

Both his culture and family make the journey through the cold months and the following seasons back to September 21 more bearable.




by Jeff Schnaufer

LOS ANGELES (CPS) -- Thousands of California State University students walked out of classes Sept. 23-24 in a statewide protest of education cuts and fee hikes, resulting in at least two arrests.

Some protesters charged they were beaten by police when a demonstration near San Diego State University turned violent. About 500 students marched to and blocked a freeway off-ramp, where a confrontation between police officers and demonstrators took place.

"Unfortunately, things got a little ugly," said Merek Findling, 21, one of the protest organizers. "There were 34 patrol cars and motorcycle cops there and one helicopter. There were a number of students who were hit with nightsticks. Two students were arrested. Nothing like this has ever happened before."

San Diego Police Department officials confirmed the arrest of two women during the march, although they did not report that any students were struck with nightsticks.

The incident occurred during two days of speeches and workshops about education cutbacks. Other campuses in the 20-campus CSU system held similar rallies and strengthened the protest message to the state government. The response was mixed.

At Cal State Northridge, many students either ignored the protest or said they felt pressured by professors not to skip class. Only a few professors were visible at the protest, a sharp contrast to an Aug. 31 faculty protest that drew visible support from Northridge students.

Findling said the situation was similar at San Diego. "There were some faculty that were not at all conducive to what was going on. There were some faculty that did administer tests and were adamant about it," he said.

There were some exceptions. Associate professor Mindy Lorenz canceled her art history class to encourage Northridge students to participate.

"It's the only class I teach today, but I would have canceled all of them (this week) if I had to," Lorenz said.

Even with limited faculty support, the call for educational fairness brought thousands of students to outdoor lawns, microphone and marches during the two-day event. At least 200 students staged peaceful protests at CSU Long Beach, while more than 500 Cal State Northridge students marched and dozens more held a candlelight vigil and briefly staged a sit-in at the president's office.

Aimee Brunsvold, 18, a freshman, ignored both her professors and her father to attend a rally. "My dad said, 'I'm paying for this. Why don't you go to class?' I said, 'Because I don't believe in it.'"

A spokesman at the CSU chancellor's office in Long Beach said the protest didn't have any widespread impact on universities' operation statewide, although there were some reports of fire alarms being pulled to disrupt classes.


Visit The Daily Cougar