FORMER PREZ HOPEFUL, SENATOR SUPPORT CLINTON

by Heather Wolk

News Reporter

In an attempt to attract support for presidential nominee Bill Clinton, Democrats gathered in the UC Tuesday to discuss issues concerning the 1992 election.

Sponsored by the Youth Core for Clinton/Gore and the College Democrats, the event attracted about 100 students and faculty members.

Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro was among the speakers for the Clinton/Gore campaign. Mauro described a negligent George Bush as he reminded the audience that unemployment jumped 1 percent in September. Texans experienced a 33 percent increase in the cost of health care, said Mauro.

"Bush has called himself an environmental president, yet we have the worst toxic dumping problem in the nation," said Mauro. "Bush hits race to race and has divided this country for four years. It's time for him to go."

U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., began by quoting Barbara Bush as saying, "If the American people don't believe that this country is doing great, they're dumb." He then said he has never seen Americans so concerned and frightened about losing their jobs. There is something wrong when the president of the United States says everything is A-okay when such uncertainty is overwhelming the public, Kerrey said.

"Clearly, Clinton won the debate on Sunday," said Kerrey. Bush has not listened to the public and has denied working mothers proper child care, he said. Bush has ignored the issues of AIDS, crime and the environment, Kerrey said. "If Bush had Perot's ears, things might be different."

Kerrey said Clinton is committed to bringing health care to everyone as their right, not their privilege. Clinton believes the strength of America comes from a government that ensures equal opportunity in this land. As president, Clinton will begin with an investment strategy for the best possible communication, transportation and education for America, Kerrey added. "Let me just say one last thing. I would have been proud to march with Clinton in England in 1969. That war (Vietnam) was wrong and needed to end."

State Senator Rodney Ellis said college students are greatly underrated. "The future of our country is not properly represented," Ellis said.

Texans should be proud of their history. "Southerners took adversity and made it positive," said Ellis. "We took women and blacks and gave them opportunities they did not have. Clinton represents the South."

Andrew Monzon, president of UH College Democrats, said the best thing students can do is to stay in politics long after the presidential election. "No matter what party you represent, you must vote for judicial and mayoral elections. Good councilmen and civic leaders make the difference."

 

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PHYSICAL PLANT APPEAL GIVES KING $2

by Meagan McGovern

Daily Cougar Staff

UH won its appeal to overturn the $100,000 in punitive damages awarded by a jury to former UH Physical Plant plumber Dana King, who filed a discrimination lawsuit against the university in May 1990.

Two of the defendants in the case, Paul Postel, building maintenance manager, and Robert Scott, mechanical maintenance foreman, were originally considered liable for a collective $100,000 in punitive damages.

King was also awarded $1 from each of them in compensatory damages.

The district court, however, found that "cases in Texas unanimously require a finding of actual damages before punitive damages can be awarded." This means that because King was not awarded actual damages, court precedent does not allow punitive damages to be awarded.

There was some evidence, however, that the court agreed with the original verdict. The judgement stated, "This court will not, by the stroke of a pen, discard decades of ... legal principles simply because the application of those principles may seem harsh in this instance."

Nancy Footer, associate legal counsel for UH, explained that compensatory (actual) damages are those fees for actual harm suffered, which must be proven. She said King produced no evidence, such as doctor's bills, meriting damages beyond the $2 awarded. The punitive damages are intended to punish the party above and beyond the actual damages, she said.

In this case, she said, because the actual damages were so low, "A jury can not award punitive damages unless they award compensatory damages."

King was originally awarded the money in early September.

King filed suit against UH and Physical Plant officials in May 1990 for alleged criminal activities and gross occupational harassment, including death threats.

King's suit alleged that he was wrongfully fired for his participation in a UHPD investigation of missing university properties.

The court document upheld the decision that King suffered emotional damages inflicted by Scott and Postel stemming from instances including, "the repeated burglary of his residence; the setting afire of a warehouse owned by King, followed by a telephone call threatening that his home would be set afire next; the puncturing of two tires on King's automobile with an icepick ... attached to which was a cloth patch with the University of Houston emblem; and harassing telephone calls to King at his residence insisting that he dismiss this lawsuit."

The other two defendants in the case, Physical Plant Director Thomas Wray and Physical Plant Executive Director Herb Collier, were not held liable because of the lack of evidence against them.

The original lawsuit filed in 1990 named UH as a defendant, but because it is funded by the state, the federal court had no jurisdiction over the university. Therefore, the lawsuit against the university was temporarily delayed, Joseph Indelicato, King's attorney, said.

 

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AMERICANS NEED BETTER HEALTH CARE, SAYS DOCTORS

by Brett Lindsay

News Reporter

Americans need a national health car plan, and they need it now, said Dr. Terry Mizrahi, a professor at Hunter College of Social Work of The City University of New York.

Mizrahi was the guest speaker at the Seventh Annual Helen B. Kapiloff Health Care Lecture held last Thursday at the UH Hilton Conference Center.

She was referring to the National Health Care Act of 1992, in which the single paying entity would be the federal government.

America's health care system is in a chronic crisis, Mizrahi said. "When you can't run anymore, you must turn and face the problem."

The act proposes significant changes in the way the nation finances and delivers health care. it would replace the current system of multiple public and private insurance programs with one publicly financed health insurance plan, administered by the federal and state governments.

The act is based on the National Health Care Proposal developed by the national association of Social Workers and approved by the NASW Board of Directors in 1990.

Three out of four people polled consider health care as a right of citizenship, and yet more than 35 million people don't have health insurance, she said. The act would cover everyone living in the United States, she added.

The program would be financed by personal corporate income taxes, state contributions and increases in cigarette and alcohol taxes.

Americans are spending $2 billion a day on health care in the most regulated system in the world, Mizrahi said. The costs would be lowered by a system based more on prevention, rather than expensive treatment.

Mizrahi is also Co-chair of the New York City NASW Health Care Policy Network, Third Vice President of the New York City Chapter of NASW and serves as NASW Secretary.

 

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RESEARCHERS USING MONKEYS TO SHED LIGHT ON GLAUCOMA, LAZY EYE

by Joyetta Johnson

News Reporter

There is nothing foolish about the monkey business in the School of Optometry.

The school uses monkeys to research visual dysfunctions in humans. Professor of Vision Science Earl Smith said the two major areas of study involving the monkeys are glaucoma and amblyopia or "lazy eye."

Smith said monkeys are used because their eye most closely matches a human eye's sensitivity and range of sight.

The type of glaucoma researched is primary open angle glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. The disease is characterized by destroyed optic nerve cells from elevated pressure in the eye and by blood circulatory problems.

The research is geared toward finding a cure for the elevated pressure. The pressure occurs from a fluid produced in the eye that's supposed to drain. However, overproduction of the fluid or blockage prevents drainage.

A laser treatment often used to reduce glaucoma is modified to induce pressure in the monkey's eye, mimicking the eye disease.

Glaucoma is usually not detected until 20 percent to 40 percent of the optic nerves are lost. Smith said vision, at first, remains the same and then a gradual loss of peripheral vision occurs.

"It is very hard, if not impossible, to use humans (for research) because you don't know when they got the disease," said Smith. According to Smith, 5 percent of all infants have eye disorders, such as crossed eyes or cataracts, that contribute to lazy eye.

To duplicate how children learn to suppress the blurred vision and use the normal eye, researchers place a soft contact lense on one of the monkey's eyes to make it far-sighted and force it to use the normal eye. Eventually, the eye closes connection with the brain.

The researchers also investigate alterations produced by vision disorders and the basic brain mechanisms responsible for normal visual development, said Smith. The monkeys are anesthetized during research.

The monkey's impaired sight is tested through behavioral exercises. The monkey is shown a picture and answers yes or no by pressing and releasing a lever that resembles a video game. The monkey is rewarded with a squirt of orange juice.

The School of Optometry has been researching glaucoma four years. Lazy eye has been researched for about 20 years.

The monkeys come from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Institute and from a commercial animal house in New Liberia, LA. Smith said all monkeys are bred in the United States. The monkeys are kept in the School of Optometry and the Science and Research II Building.

The National Eye Institute funds most of the research through federal grants.

UH has provided research grants up to $5000, which can lead to larger federal grants.

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Dennis Levi said the amount of money budgeted to monkey research is $303,386. The current annual grant amount is $1,753,958. The pending amount, $636,855, is money from expected grant renewals and new grant applications.

Yuzo M. Chino, professor of neuroscience, said he is working on the project as a contributing assistant to the research. The project and ideas are exclusively Smith's.

 

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PROGRAM HELPS MIGRANT WORKERS OBTAIN EDUCATION

by Hermina Frederick

News Reporter

When migrant or seasonal workers get fed up with picking cotton in the hot sun and being abused by employers, many turn to education to escape poverty.

It is then the duty of program directors, coordinators and teaching staff to find ways to help them develop self-esteem, learn to read, write and ultimately graduate with a GED.

During a recent two-day conference sponsored by UH's High School Equivalency Program, administrators explored using new classroom methods to improve migrant worker GED programs. UH 's program is one of only 26 in the country.

Traditionally, HEP's aim has been to help students break the migrant cycle, but program administrators now have a different perspective.

We used to tell them what they're doing is wrong, said Jose Hernandez, HISD area superintendent and former director of Migrant Programs.

"Today, we don't want to break that cycle. We want to add to it and give them a choice," he said. After completing the program, workers who return to the field can improve the labor force and act as role models for their peers, he added.

The most common reason migrant students drop out is teachers make them feel dumb when they ask too many questions, Hernandez said.

This can be corrected if teachers understand that the average 15-year-old migrant comes into the program with a wide range of experiences a teacher can use to help that worker learn, he said.

Over 600 migrant and seasonal workers enter GED programs in the Central Stream region: Texas, Arkansas and Michigan.

UH-HEP Program Director Kobla Osayande said GED graduation rates for the region average 70 percent.

Ninety-nine percent of the students in the Central Stream are Hispanic migrant workers. Many black students who are seasonal workers attend programs on the East Coast, he added.

HEP's Texas networks are in Edingburgh, El Paso, San Marcos, Laredo and Houston. UH has the only HEP program in the Houston area and has enrolled 27 students since October.

"Since we have open enrollment, the numbers should increase throughout the year," Osayande said.

Many of the people working in one of the 26 migrant courses in the country have been through the program. Guillermo Martinez, now an HEP recruiter at Western Michigan University converted his experiences into a song.

"At every graduation I sing this song to the graduates. I call it "Upward Bound," he told the conference delegates gathered at the closing luncheon at the UH Hilton.

Hefting his guitar onto his knees, Martinez sang the words that the migrant and seasonal workers might like to hear when they get "fed up" with farm work and wonder if they can do better:

"When someone touched me on the shoulder and said come with me, you're upward bound."

 

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CAMPUSES NOW REQUIRED TO MAKE CRIME STATS PUBLIC

CPS - Colleges and universities nationwide have to release statistics to faculty, students, administrators and staff members that detail crime rates on campus.

The federal law, which became effective Sept. 1, was written so that crime rates at campuses would be made available to anyone. But some crime safety experts are concerned that supplying statistics alone won't curb campus crime, and question to what extent schools will be forthright in reporting crime.

"I'm suspicious. I would imagine there would be a tremendous variation in complying with the law," said Alan McEvoy, of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. "I could see that there would be all kinds of problems, and schools may have a tendency to minimize crime on their campuses."

Schools now have to provide information such as:

* A statement of current police policies to report crime on campus, and the institution's response to the reports.

* Disclosing security measures on campus, including residence halls.

* How the school informs students, administrators and faculty about campus security procedures, and how the school encourages them to be responsible for their own security.

* A policy regarding the use, possession or sale of alcohol and illegal drugs.

The report must also contain campus crime statistics involving murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor-vehicle theft.

However, there are several kinds of crime not reported to campus officials in cases ranging from dorm theft to rape, officials said, which could indicate that the crime statistics could be flawed from the outset.

"In terms of rape, the disclosure laws focus on crime reported to police and campus security. The vast majority of college students who are raped don't report it," said Gail Abarbanel, director of the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica Hospital in California. "Rape is the largest crime on campus, but it is under-reported. It would be a mistake to use those statistics as a measure of rape on college campuses. I tell colleges that if they are doing a good job reporting sexual assault, the statistics will go up because women are more comfortable reporting it."

However, acknowledging that there is crime on campuses is a start, said Bill Whitman, director of the Campus Safety and Security Institute.

"It gets the facts out. Crime does occur," he said. "I doubt there are many students who look at this issue, but it is a real significant issue for mom and dad. From a parental point of view this information is necessary.

"Many young people, especially freshmen, have never thought about safety before. They can be naive, trusting and a bit lazy. It has to be an ongoing, constant education."

Just the fact that schools are now required to report crime statistics is a step in the right direction, said Dorothy Siegel, vice president for student services and director of the Campus violence Prevention Center at Towson State University in Baltimore. "The benefit is to say, 'Look, crime happens.' Students don't ask questions about crime," she said. "It's a very hard message to sell."

McEvoy, at Wittenberg University, said he is worried that some colleges and universities may try to minimize crime statistics to lessen perceived public relations problems. "It's more paperwork for the administration and brings to light problems they don't want to discuss," he said.

 

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VOLLEYBALL NOTEBOOK

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

There will be a SWC showdown tonight as the Lady Cougars head off to Longhorn Land to take care of a little business.

Houston and Texas, the only two undefeated SWC volleyball teams, face each other in Austin at Rec-Sports Center.

Tonight's game could be crucial in determining what team becomes a dominating force in the SWC this season.

Houston has overrun all of its SWC opponents so far this season. Texas has also proved to be a formidable force in the conference.

Mick Haley, head coach for the Lady Longhorns Volleyball team, has high expectations for tonights game.

"I think Houston is playing very good volleyball. It is nice to be able to have these type of games in the SWC."

Coach Haley also has an explanation for his team's continuous success.

"The team works on fundamentals and stays committed. We keep our standards in line and we play at an even level."

Last season the Longhorns finished the season in first place and went on to the second round of the NCAA finals.

The Cougars have been on a red streak, racking up win after win.

Going into tonight's game the team has a 4-0 SWC record and a 10-6 record overall.

For the second time this season, a Houston Cougar was named SWC Player of the Week.

Lily Denoon was named this week's player. She did her part in the long line of Cougar victories, hitting .462 with 22 kills in 39 attempts with only four errors. She averaged 3.1 kills per game.

Not only has Lily been playing well, so have other members of the team.

Janelle Harmonson has made yet another mark on the Cougar statistics file. Against A&M, she recorded her 1,000 collegiate kill. She is now fourth on Houston's all-time career list in the category.

Not too far behind Janelle is Karina Faber, who is also getting very close to her 1,000th kill.

Last week, the Cougars overpowered A&M as well as Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders of Texas Tech, ranked 14 at the time, fell in three straight games 5-15,4-15, 9-15.

A&M wasn't any more of a contest. The Aggies were able to swipe one win from the Cougars before falling 15-5,8-15,7-15, and 8-15.

In the week of September 30, Houston began on a strong note, taking its second SWC win from Baylor.

The team then moved on to dominate their weekend play against regionally ranked William and Mary and Southern Mississippi, mirroring the 3-0 scores against both teams.

After the big game against Texas tonight, the team will move on to play Southwest Texas State in San Marcos for non-conference play.

They will then return for two more SWC games, as the second half of play begins against Rice at Rice and then Baylor in Hofheinz Pavilion.

 

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EQUIPMENT MANAGER DOGGONE GOOD

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

John "Dog" Daggett knows his football, although he's never played a down.

For 39 years, Daggett has been both an assistant and head equipment manager in the pro, semi-pro and college ranks working for such greats as Bo Schembechler and Don Shula.

A down-home southerner from West Point in northwest Mississippi, Daggett came to UH in 1987 after spending only one season with the powerhouse of the Big Ten, the Michigan Wolverines.

Daggett remembers that team as the best he ever worked for.

So why did he come to Houston if he could have stayed with the best?

"I like the weather," Daggett said.

The coaching staff's willingness to implement his ideas and the total control he receives over the equipment facility had something to do with his move here as well.

"I've got some good students (working) here. They (athletic directors) let me buy the best equipment," he said. "Everyday you come to work, life's easy."

Life hasn't always been easy for Daggett, who has glaucoma.

"All my friends played ball," he said. "When you can't do something, that makes you want to do it all the more." Since he couldn't play football, Daggett helped with the equipment at West Point High School and while attending Delta State University in Mississippi.

He became an assistant manager in the National Football League between 1967-72 with the Dolphins, Browns and Giants respectively, when a year-round equipment manager was not in vogue, and hard work got harder.

After the '72 season, the Giants led the league in offense, and Daggett travelled to Dallas to help the trainer with the players who made the Pro Bowl. There, Daggett found his niche in college football.

"We were in a nightclub after the game. I was there with Walt Garrison, Jack Gregory and Dan Reeves, and there were three people sitting at another table. One of them was P.W. Underwood, who was the head coach of Southern Mississippi," said Daggett. "So to make a long story short, Underwood offered me a job," That was his first full-time job as head equipment manager.

After moving through the universities of Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan and a stint in the United States Football League with the Oakland Invaders, Daggett reached Houston at the start of the Jack Pardee years and decided to stay.

Present Head Coach John Jenkins said he is very pleased with "Dog" Daggett and his work.

"He has pretty well recognized that this could be his home rather than that of the life of a Gypsy, much like he's had in the past," Jenkins said. "That was certainly my lifestyle in the past as an assistant coach; ricochet around different places. He's going on six years here with me, and I hope he would be happy to make this his entire career."

Daggett, while happy with the Cougars, said only one thing would make him truly happy: "My life's dream, but I'll never get to do it, is to be an equipment manager in major league baseball."

 

 

 

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