STUDENTS HEAD AUSTIN LOBBYING EFFORT FOR UH

by Meagan McGovern

Daily Cougar Staff

As UH undergoes a massive reshaping project to try to salvage as much as possible from the "stark realities of the state's budget situation," as Ann Richards calls it, one student group has a novel idea: get the students, themselves, involved in saving their school's funding.

The aim of Students as Constituents, headed by graduate political science student Kevin Jefferies, is to eventually be a student-run, student-led lobbying group.

Jefferies, also external affairs director of the Students' Association, feels that with the restructuring of UH, students literally can't afford to be apathetic.

At one of the organizational meetings for SAC, Jefferies said, "Adjusting for inflation, UH has already lost roughly 18 percent of its budget since 1984. This means that for every five dollars spent on UH students eight years ago, only four are spent today.

"We are all aware of what damage this has inflicted on student services. Imagine what would happen if we were to lose more."

Even the Governor of Texas has asked students and individual schools to be creative with solutions. In a letter to Nancy Atlas, the Chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Richards wrote, "It is unrealistic for institutions of higher education to expect much in the way of additional funds in 1994-95."

She continued, "As we begin our work on the Texas budget, our starting point ... will assume no additional money from what was spent in 1992-93. Given the severity of the budget situation we cannot even guarantee this funding will ultimately be available."

Jefferies has cited the Richards' letter, along with a March letter from the Legislative Budget Board to all state agencies telling them to expect a 5 percent to 6 percent cut in state revenues, to show just how critical the situation is.

Jefferies said he heard from several sources, including UH administrators, the figure could actually reach a 10 percent cut from UH's $180 million 1992 revenues.

Students as Constituents is attempting to increase the Austin State Legislature awareness about the UH student body, and will try to disseminate information about student-body legislation, said Jefferies.

"The crucial part is getting out and letting legislators know who you are," he said.

SAC proposes establishing contact with area legislators, working to support those who have strong records on voting for higher education. SAC has already brought several state representatives to campus, including Republican Robert Eckels.

The best way to help, he said, is for students to let their representatives know UH funding is important to them. "The Harris county delegation is pretty sympathetic to the problem," said the UH alumnus. "If people realize the uniqueness of the school, of its place in the business community, they'll be more willing to help," said Eckels.

SAC plans to study and respond to higher education bills as they are introduced, especially those related to budget cuts, performance standards and disparity in funding.

 

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VISUALLY IMPAIRED ACQUIRING ACCESS TO NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES

by Melissa Neeley

Daily Cougar Staff

KUHT and Houston Taping for the Blind are leading people into an unseen world -- through Houston, past politics, beyond literature, and sometimes, into space.

Their joint venture gives those with visual impairments access to newspapers and magazines through a free radio-reading program. Versions of the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Post, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, People, the New York Times and other periodicals are available to those who have stereo televisions or stereo VCRs, said Ken Lawrence, KUHT program manager.

This reading service has been available on Channel 8's <I>Second Audio Program<P> since Oct. 1 and reaches more than 140,000 people.

"Volunteers read the material which includes a wide range of periodicals and books," Lawrence said. "For example, they have a suspense hour in which they will read a particular book for about an hour and next time that program comes on, they pick up where they left off."

Houston's Taping for the Blind Radio also takes requests from viewers who may want a certain work read on the air, Lawrence said.

"I've got one of those radios in my office and I listen to it quite often. Even for a sighted person who is busy, it's great to have something on the radio that you meant to read, but you didn't get the chance to get around to it," he said.

Popular periodicals like Newsweek, Time and Rolling Stone are scheduled regularly two to three times a week, he said. Typically, volunteers will read a few articles from the most current issues of various periodicals, he added.

Listeners who want to get this program but do not have the stereo equipment to tune in, can purchase converter or decoder units at electronic stores, Lawrence said.

Also, Channel 8 offers Descriptive Video Service over the SAP channel, he said. Viewers can tune in programs like <I>Masterpiece Theater<P> and <I>Mystery!<P> and receive an additional soundtrack of character movement and body language.

The same people who pioneered closed-captioned viewing for the hearing-impaired also pioneered Descriptive Video Service, he said.

"You hear everything in the soundtrack, and in between the bits of dialogue you hear someone describing the action taking place. For example, you hear 'Roland crosses the room, picks up a paperweight and looks out the window' and then you hear the dialogue," Lawrence said.

Pamela Parker, the manager of radio and special services for Houston's Taping for the Blind, said people who tune into the program appreciate the news more than anything else offered.

Four full-time staff members and 220 volunteers work at Houston Taping for the Blind Radio. Volunteers read parts of the Houston Post and the Houston Chronicle live at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The news is re-broadcast at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., Parker said.

"I think we provide people a valuable resource as far as keeping them up-to-date with what is going on around them on a daily basis. We also have agreements with a couple of nursing homes and hospitals to broadcast our signal throughout their system," she said.

Parker estimates that with the Channel 8 agreement to broadcast HTBR, there is a potential to service 2.3 million households.

HTBR recently conducted a survey in conjunction with Shane Media Services. "The results of the survey showed that our listeners tune in daily for a couple of hours at least," Parker said.

HTBR also operates a division called Special Services which makes tapes of anything unavailable to individuals, she said.

"One of our requests was for <i>The Rise and Fall of The Roman Empire<p>. We've read Bible study books and self-help books. Right now, we're reading a series of third grade textbooks for a dyslexic student," she said.

The cassettes are $1 each and visually impared UH students might even find them useful, she said.

Diego Demaya, a senior UH student majoring in professional writing, has been working for HTBR off and on for eight years. He is now a volunteer trainer who teaches others to read the various periodicals and books HTBR uses.

"I basically train them to do professional editing so that their reading sounds good," he said.

Demaya said the program is more worthwhile since Channel 8 has teamed up with HTBR to provide a much greater outreach to viewers, he said.

HTBR broadcasts from 6 a.m. until 12:30 a.m., Parker said.

 

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN ASSAULTS STUDENT, POLICE SEARCH FOR SUSPECTS

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

An unknown man assaulted a female UH student at the UC Underground on Oct. 13. The student alleges a man fondled her before she was able to get away from him.

The suspect is described as a clean-shaven Turkish man, 5 feet, 9 inches, in his early 20s with short brown hair, said UHPD Lt. Helia Durant.

According to police reports, the complainant was sitting outside the Campus Activities office at 2:30 p.m. when the assailant approached her.

In a statement to UHPD, the student said she and the assailant began talking and eventually went to look for the Spindletop Room where the College Republicans meeting was being held that afternoon.

After locating the room, they sat down and continued talking, she said in the statement.

"By this time, they had spent 70 minutes together," Durant said.

According to her statement, he placed his arm around her and grabbed her breast as he forcefully pulled her to him and asked if she had a boyfriend.

She told him she did not, and did not have any desire for a boyfriend, the statement said. He then told her he would be her boyfriend and tried to kiss her, she said.

She then pushed him away, sat shocked for about five seconds, stood up to leave and grabbed her backpack, the statement said.

"The suspect then grabbed her in a bearhug from behind, putting his right hand across her body and grabbing her left breast," Durant said. "At the same time, he was grabbing her crotch with his left hand."

The suspect said nothing further to the student as she broke away from him and left.

The student did not report the incident to UHPD until two days later. Reasons for her delayed reaction were not given, and she cannot be reached for comment because her name was not released.

"Though she did not know the suspect prior to the assault, she said she could identify him if she saw him again and will press charges," Durant said. "She also said he mentioned he was a student during one of their conversations."

The assault is considered simple assault not sexual assault.

"A simple assault is when a person comes in contact with another person physically or verbally without causing injuries," Durant said. "The actions are not warranted because they are not consented to."

There were no witnesses to the incident, and the offense is considered a Class C misdemeanor.

Further information regarding the assault is being withheld because of an ongoing investigation, Durant said.

 

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COUGARS BOW DOWN TO BEARS 29-23

by Jason Luther

Daily Cougar Staff

No doubt about it, the Cougars were outplayed Saturday in every aspect of football in their 29-23 loss to Baylor at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco.

Houston played just good enough (or bad enough depending on the way you look at it) to keep themselves in the game, but it was the Bears who consistently made the big plays to keep the contest just out of the Cougar's reach.

A couple of offensive scores on reverse plays, a partially blocked kick on special teams and key turnovers on defense powered the Bears to their third conference game win in four tries this year.

Apart from those big plays and a few costly turnovers, not to mention some questionable penalties by the SWC officials, the Cougars played better than Baylor.

But playing better doesn't erase the 0-1 from Houston's conference record nor the big "W" from Baylor Coach Grant Teaff's portfolio as he heads into the Baylor front office.

All that will matter is when Teaff leaves the Bears, the school's record against the Cougars will be dead even at 12-12-1.

The Baylor option was what really ate Houston up. The Bears had 293 yards rushing, including 112 by elusive quarterback J.J. Joe.

Joe made the offense look better and better as the day progressed.

If you are a Cougar fan, you probably felt throughout game as if the Bear defense would eventually succumb to the "Run-and-Shoot." Houston always appeared just one big play away from breaking the game open.

Early on, it looked as if Houston would dominate. The Bears turned the ball over on their first two possessions, but the Cougars failed to capitalize, managing only three points.

On Baylor's opening drive, Stephen Harris intercepted a J.J. Joe pass at the Bears' 34. However, starting quarterback Jimmy Klingler and the Cougars were unable to advance the ball and were forced to settle for a field goal.

The 47-yarder was Craft's longest of the season; but it just went down from there as Craft missed on two other attempts in the first half. If Craft had made both tries, the Cougars would have come out of the second half with a 16-14 lead and the ball.

On the Bears' second possession, UH linebacker Ryan McCoy stripped the ball from tailback David Mims, and Stephen Dixon recovered to give Houston the ball at the Cougar's 45. Klingler completed a couple of nice passes, but after two first downs, the drive stalled. Craft missed a 43-yard attempt.

Baylor then executed a 13-play drive from their own 25 as Joe ran six times for 50 yards. Running back Robert Strait rammed it in from the one yard line to give Baylor a 7-3 lead.

Quarterback Donald Douglas took the reigns on Houston's next possession. After his first pass was broken up, Douglas completed three straight passes. Unfortunately the last completion was to Baylor linebacker Le'Shai Maston, which he returned seven yards to the Houston 40.

Joe capped off the ensuing drive as he faked the pitchback to Mims and walked in from the four to put Baylor up 14-3.

Houston responded with a touchdown on their next drive. Douglas gained 22 yards on a quarterback draw, and superback Lamar Smith broke three tackles on a 36-yard drawplay to put the Cougars within four.

Smith evoked memories of Chuck Weatherspoon as he finished the game with 78 yards on 10 carries, mostly on runs right up the middle.

With the score at 14-10, the Cougars put together their best drive of the day. Starting on their own 20, Douglas marched Houston 70 yards on 15 plays while eating up nearly six minutes. But after an incomplete pass in the end zone, the Cougars were forced to try another field goal.

Craft missed the 26-yard attempt. It was his sixth miss out of his last seven tries.

The Bears took a four-point lead into the half, and came out to deliver the backbreaker to the Cougars to start the second half.

On the second play of Houston's first second-half drive, Klingler had the ball knocked out of his hand at the Houston 35.

After moving the ball to the Houston 20, Joe was apparently intercepted as Nigel Ventress stepped in front of running back Kendrick Bell for the pick. However, the officials called a pass interference that occurred behind the play.

Two plays later, split end Reggie Miller coasted into the end zone off of the first reverse, a 13-yard end-around, to give the Bears a 21-10 lead.

Klingler looked poised on Houston's next possession, completing five passes, including a two-yard touchdown strike to Ron Peters. Peters dropped a pass for the two-point conversion to get within a field goal and the score was 21-16.

But Baylor came right back on its next possession with an 80-yard drive in which Miller once again scored on an end-around. Two reverses, two scores.

The Cougars managed one final score with 5:43 remaining --Douglas lofted a seven-yard pass to Peters to put Houston within a touchdown of the win. But the defense failed to stop Joe and the option once again as the Bears ran out the remaining time.

 

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JOE AND CO. EXERCISE OPTION TO STALL COUGARS' CONFERENCE HOPES

by Keith Rollins

Daily Cougar Staff

The Baylor Bear veer offense worked like a charm against the Cougars Saturday in Waco.

The run-oriented offense, led by QB J.J. Joe, amassed 405 yards, 307 on the ground.

Joe optioned right, left and backwards until time ticked away for the 3-4 Cougars.

Tailback David Mims led all Bear rushers with 10 carries for 83 yards. Fullback Robert Strait followed up with 18 carries for 52 yards. Joe ended up with 47 yards on 13 quarterback keepers and Kendrick Bell added 46 more yards to the totals on 9 carries.

Even wide receiver Reggie Miller got his opportunities in the option attack. On a perfectly run reverse, Houston defenders keyed on Joe, who at the last second nonchalantly flipped the ball to the speedy Miller. Before the Cougars could react, Miller was celebrating in the end zone.

Joe continued his high passing efficiency. He completed only 6 of 16 attempts, but his completion average was 18.6 yards.

With Houston's secondary's attention focused on Melvin Bonner, Baylor Head Coach Grant Teaff made Miller his long bomb target.

Joe tossed two completions to Miller for 53 yards. He also hit tight end Mike McKenzie for a 31-yard gain. Two of Joe's passes were intercepted by Cougar DB Stephen Harris, Joe's only weakness of the game.

The Bear's running attack kept the ball under control most of the game. Their time of possession was 35:19, compared to Houston's 24:41.

All hopes of a comeback were destroyed when the Cougar defense was unable to stop the Bears on their last drive. Five minutes ticked away as Baylor ran, ran, ran. Three first downs later, and no Houston timeouts left, Joe kneeled down for the final play of the game.

Joe, a junior out of Lamar High School in Arlington, has been on the edge of greatness since his first game as a Bear. After Brad Goebel went down in 1990, Joe, as a freshman, led the Bears to a 3-1-1 record before breaking his hand.

He returned his sophomore season and led the Bears to a 8-4 record and a trip to the Copper Bowl.

Joe entered the game 1-1 against Houston. The Cougars handed the quarterback his only loss in 1990, but he returned the favor last year. He optioned the Bears past the Cougars 38-21. He did it again Saturday.

For his career, Joe is 14-7 as the Bear's starter. Teaff's option is dependent upon Joe's decisions to pitch, keep or pass the ball.

"For this team that is so young at so many positions, J.J. Joe has to have his best season ever," Teaff said.

Against Houston this Saturday, he had one of his best games.

On third-down conversions, Joe was able to convert 11 of 17, three of the them coming on the last drive. Houston converted only one out of eight on third down.

Turnovers also played a big role in the game. Donald Douglas was picked-off twice and Jimmy Klingler had trouble hanging on to the ball. Klingler fumbled twice, but only one was recovered by the Bears.

Penalties also took their toll. A would-be interception by Nigel Ventress was nullified because of a questionable interference call on the other side of the field. On the next play, Miller's touchdown reverse occurred.

 

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OF MICE AND MEN IS MALKOVICH'S OSCAR TICKET

by Gram Gemoets

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Of Mice and Men<P> is not a slick Hollywood adaptation. The film does not receive the typical Hollywood treatment.

This remake, based on John Steinbeck's novel, is not sugar-coated and sweet.

Max Factor does not participate in this production, neither does Channel, Dior or Van Cleef and Arpels. The sets, the lighting and the action, although displaying a child-like imagination, are stark and depressing. Substance replaces flash and glamour.

<I>Of Mice and Men<P> is the story of friendship, hardship and senseless violence set against a back drop of the Depression-era California dust bowl.

Lennie (John Malkovich), feeble-minded and unable to control his powerful frame, depends entirely on the guidance of his clever friend, George (Gary Sinise).

Having barely escaped with their lives after an incident naively provoked by Lennie, they arrive on the Tyler Ranch hungry and broke. There they find employment and asylum -- temporarily. Their new boss, Curley (Casey Siemaszko), attempts to intimidate and antagonize them by increasing their work load.

Lennie attempts to find consolation in the new friends he made on the ranch. After playfully snapping the necks of a few puppies, Lennie befriends the seductive rancher's wife (Sherilyn Fenn).

As with the small animals Lennie attempts to love, he sees a soft and innocent side in this brash tart. Curley's wife is unnamed in the film and in the book. (Obviously, this is indicative of the way women were treated in Depression-era America.)

Caught in a confusing sexual foray, Lennie snaps the neck of his new female friend. Bewildered, he runs away only to be hunted by Curley.

Malkovich is the most convincing character in the film. Although thin and lanky, the actor offers a convincing portrayal of Lennie by donning heavy padding under his clothes. With another hit picture to his credit, an Oscar nomination may be looming in Malkovich's future.

Fenn's characterization, on the other hand, is lacking in effective dialogue. The audience is left wondering -- did they do "it" or what? Fenn's performance is reminiscent of a child who smears lipstick on her face and plays at dress-up while the family is away.

Sinise and Malkovich were honored on the set by a visit from Mrs. Elaine Steinbeck, the widow of the late author. Sinise, who also directed the film, obtained the renewed rights to the film version from Steinbeck.

Horton Foote, the Texas-born playwright, penned the script for the film and brought class, gentility and intelligence to the project.

 

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