MAN ROBBED AT GUNPOINT IN LOT 9C

SAYS THREE WOMEN STOLE HIS CAR

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

A 38-year-old man's vehicle was stolen at gunpoint in a UH parking lot about 2:00 a.m. Saturday, allegedly by three women he was chauffeuring around town.

The three women flagged down the complainant near campus, told him they were being followed by someone in a truck and asked the man for a ride to a friend's house, UHPD Lt. Helia Durant said.

The complainant drove the women to several off-campus locations before coming to the campus. Neither party, however, is affiliated with UH.

"He drove them to three locations, and the last location was a UH parking lot," Durant said.

The first location was a residence where the man waited for the women for approximately 10 minutes, Durant said.

They went to another residence where the man waited for approximately 10-15 minutes and then to a store where he waited for another 20 minutes for the women, Durant said.

"The women told him they needed to go to UH," he said. "When they arrived (at lot 9C), he and one woman got out (of the vehicle) to talk."

While the man was talking, the two women in his truck each pulled a gun on the complainant, Durant said.

"In the opinion of the complainant, the two women had snub-nosed .38 revolvers," he said.

The complainant said he could identify the three women; however, descriptions of the suspects cannot be released because of UHPD leads in the investigation.

 

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NEW COMPUTER WIZ KID TAKING CLASSES AWAY FROM STEALTHY BUSINESS STUDENTS

by Tom Anderson

Daily Cougar Staff

Students who thought it was tough getting classes they needed for fall semester will be up against undefeatable high-tech competition this spring.

College of Business Administration majors and minors are the targets of a new computer program that searches out students who violate class prerequisite requirements.

Some College of Business Administration students, desperate to get into a course, attempt to do so by registering in classes they shouldn't, said Frank Kelley, director of CBA advising.

Only students committing "outstanding violations" will be dropped from the classes if they don't correct the situation with the counselors, Kelley said.

For example, students registered in sophomore-level classes with the prerequisite courses, but who are not yet sophomores, would receive a letter informing them of their violations. They would not be dropped from the class, Kelley said.

Students who have not taken prerequisites to the class they're currently attending would be dropped if they don't prove they have the necessary classes or equivalents, he added.

"This is part of an effort to raise overall quality of the services our office provides to students," Kelley said. "The idea is to make sure students are in the right classes before they lose their money."

The program was initiated in August, said Christian Durini, CBA student and program author. The most difficult part of writing the program was anticipating all the situations under which a student would or wouldn't be eligible for enrollment in certain classes, he said.

The college will implement the program gradually, Kelley said. "There can be problems when prerequisites haven't been checked for a long time. We are trying to implement this program on classes where the most confusion lies."

Currently, the program does not recognize the difference between the prerequisites required for students who are majors and students who are minors.

"On the letters I sent out, there were places they could check off -- 'I am a business minor, I don't have the same prerequisites,' " Kelley said. "We are trying to automate all our records so that minors don't even get those letters."

Student petitions and transfer evaluations before 1988 are not in UH's mainframe, said Steve Webb manager of Administrative Computing.

Kelley's ultimate goal to use the prerequisite-check program campus-wide in conjunction with telephone registration , Kelley said.

"It could tell you 'Oops! You don't have the prerequisites for this class,' before you're even registered," he said.

Essentially the College of Business Administration, and specifically Frank Kelley, own the program, Webb said. "They can license it out to other colleges to use, but I think most colleges are content to watch the College of Business Administration wing it this semester and work out all the bugs."

 

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UH COLLEGE GETS $18.9M, SENDS IT INTO SPACE, TO SEA

by Kristine Fahrenholz

News Reporter

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics received the largest endowment for 1992, securing approximately $18.9 million in research grants.

The college consists of 11 departments using the funds for numerous research projects.

NASA awarded approximately $6 million to the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, directed by Alex Ignatiev. The SVEC is preparing for the first of four shuttle flights in November 1993.

The experiment, to be conducted on the shuttle, will be the first of it's kind in space. According to Ignatiev, "there's a lot we can learn about how thin films grow."

The actual experiment consists of growing a new, pure material in the almost perfect vacuum of space.

"Our expectations are that the new material will be nearly perfect, high quality and low defect density," Ignatiev said.

The new material can then be applied to technology which could theoretically allow computers to work 8 times faster, Ignatiev said.

"Not only do we impact the educational aspects, but we also hope to impact economic aspects for the city, state and nation," Ignatiev said.

The center is working with Space Industries Inc., located in Webster, Texas, and various other industries to build the hardware necessary for the project.

The Wake Shield Facility, a free-flying experimental platform extending 40 miles from the arm of the shuttle, is being assembled in Webster.

Originally, NASA offered the center $40 million to build the hardware and conduct the experiments; however, according to Ignatiev, it was too much for the center to handle alone. Therefore, through partnerships with small companies, a program was devised to build hardware for approximately $6 million, about one-sixth of the original cost.

SVEC designs all of the hardware in order to get efficient results from the experiments. Space Industries Inc. works on the engineering aspects. Assembly of the hardware is shared.

"It's an exciting project because the science and technology are unique," Ignatiev said. "We're going to make some intriguing new thin film materials in space, we're going to measure this vacuum that's never been measured, but we're also going to do it in a cost-effective, time-effective manner."

Dan E. Wells, assistant professor of biology, is currently working on the molecular analysis of the human genotype.

According to Wells, there is a large federal push to sequence the human genotype. The plan is to have it sequenced in 15 years at $3 billion from government money.

Sequencing is an important goal because it relates to human diseases such as the Langer-Giedion Syndrome. It is caused by a large deficiency in a chromosome and characterized by bone abnormalities, cartilage diseases and mental retardation, according to Wells.

Wells was awarded $500,000 for three years from the Meadows Foundation for his research.

Ed V. Hungerford and Lawrence Pinsky, professors of physics, are working on experimental physics in different national laboratories.

"We investigate the fundamental laws of nature as they are effected in the building blocks of matter," Hungerford said.

The laboratories have accelerators producing particles of varying energies, which are then inspected for their fundamental properties.

Programs are carried out at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Cern, the European facility in Geneva, Switzerland.

The grant, $525,300, is a continuation of a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Travel, residencies, salaries and building equipment are provided from the funds.

A project in the Geoscience Department focuses on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and how it is effected as spreading occurs. The project, headed by John Casey, assistant professor of geosciences, is a U.S.-Soviet cooperative study.

The Atlantic Ocean is essentially new, according to Casey. There is a line of active, undersea volcanoes which are bathometrically surveyed in order to determine the direction of the shift.

Using deep-diving sub-mersibles, the researchers gather samples for later study in UH labs.

Casey's team was the first team in 1986 to dive in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on the hydrothermal black- smoker field, which consists of high temperature vents, resembling chimneys, that create large ore deposits.

The project received $75,121 which covers the lab expenses, airfare and cruises.

 

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THEATER GROUP CONFRONTS STEREOTYPES WITH PLAY

by Rhonda Smith

Daily Cougar

To renew the African-American image, the UH theater troupe Darker Shades of Expression performed <I>Checkmates<P> by Ron Milner Monday night for their first production of the fall.

The group, formed during the summer as part of the UH African-American Studies Program, adds new talent and content to the UH drama department while providing experience and professional networking to student members.

A lack of available and meaningful roles on campus and in the industry prompted students to form an ethnic theater company to spark interest in their talents and culture.

Sunday's performance of <I>Checkmates<P> at the Cullen Performance Hall comically and romantically took its audience through the traditional and modern confrontations of love and marriage. The story paralleled a young, successful, black urban couple with their neighbors and landlords below, an elderly, black old-fashioned couple.

Directed by Dionne Hemphill of HOST Productions, this two hour, fiery Broadway play starred UH students Ann-Elise McCutcheon, Tony D. Canady, Kaylah Johnson, Gregory Perrin and Troy Marsh.

The play opened with the newlyweds, Laura and Syl, celebrating modern success and love. Meanwhile, the elderly couple below, Frank and Mattie, enjoy a companionship forged from 40 years of marriage as they humbly engage in everyday life.

With traditional roles still hovering over Laura and Syl's path, problems arise as Laura's career becomes more important to her than her husband is. Coming from a broken home and seeing her stepfather abuse her mother, Laura's character is one who isn't keen on sticking to traditional female roles. She portrays a more independent woman of the 90s.

Syl's security or control in a male's role of a relationship is challenged when Laura decides to get an abortion. She doesn't tell him because she thinks she can't talk to him about it.

The older couple, despite their age, frolic flirtatiously with the memories of their courtship, only to find themselves in each other's arms holding and kissing. The young couple begin staring at the sharp edges their new future and difficult attitudes are bound to bring.

Twice the newlyweds move toward the brink of separation. Natural interaction between tenants and landlords brings the two generations together.

Frank, whose experiences differ greatly from today's youth, is confused about the younger generation's methods of employment and male roles. The four work their differences out, however, through the well- crafted dialogue of the play.

The slight alteration of old values and morals incorporated into today's roles saves the newlyweds relationship.

The dedication and hard work of the performers paved the way to a successful, entertaining and unique performance. More performances from DSE are expected.

 

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COMMON COLD STILL SPREADING; ONLY CURE -- IMMUNE SYSTEM

by Blanca Hernandez

News Reporter

Simple, friendly handshakes around campus at social gatherings can give you the shakes.

"The way colds are spread is usually by touching or shaking hands with people who have colds, then putting your hands to your nose, mouth or eyes," said Dr. Richard Jackson, an internist at Methodist Hospital. "Colds are spread somewhat by coughing or sneezing but mostly by touching."

Americans catch about one billion colds each year, caused by one of 200 different viruses.

"One to two colds a year is an average statistic for a person," said Jackson "If you have more than that, it's probably an allergy."

The basic symptoms of a common cold or virus are a runny nose, nasal congestion, slight sore throat, and rarely any fever, Jackson said. The cold lasts for two or three days and does not require any treatment, he added.

Although there is no specific cure for the common cold, said Rogers, the natural cure is the body's immune system.

"Unfortunately, TV ads saying 'take this medicine so that you can keep going,' give bad advice," he said. "It's better to go to bed and sleep for 18 hours and rest. (Then) your body gets over it and you're back to normal instead of dragging on sub-optimal functioning for four or five days. Sometimes it's better to miss one day of work (or school) and get over it and come back at full speed."

"Getting enough rest, 6 to 8 hours of sleep at night, eating a balanced diet, and monitoring and minimizing the amount of stress that you're under prevents it," he said. "And if you are shaking hands a lot, make sure you wash your hands frequently, whether you are sick or not."

In addition to frequent hand-washing, said Dr. Christine Matson, an associate professor of clinical family medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, tissues and handkerchiefs can also lessen or even prevent the passing of colds to others.

"When people with colds cough and sneeze into their hands," Matson said, "they tend to touch objects at home, work and school, leaving cold-causing viruses behind."

 

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PELL GRANTS UNDERGOING REDUCTIONS IN FUNDS; BROADER ELIGIBILITY INCREASES COMPETITION

CPS -- A budget-conscious U.S. Senate this month approved a $100 reduction in the maximum Pell grant next year, virtually assuring final congressional approval of the plan.

Meanwhile, financial aid advisers are warning that broader eligibility for the grants, coupled with lower funding levels, means that the competition will be greater for smaller amounts of money.

The Senate bill would reduce the maximum grant in the fiscal year 1993 from $2,400 to $2,300. Lawmakers blamed some of the problems on previous shortfalls in the program, and the committee that developed the bill said it "deeply regrets" having to lower the award.

Nonetheless, the $2,300 maximum grant is far below the $3,700 Pell grant envisioned in the recent Higher Education Act reauthorization bill. During the summer, the House voted for the $100 cut in the maximum Pell grant, also citing budget constraints.

In addition to the Pell reductions, the Senate bill cuts funding for several other higher education programs, including a small reduction in aid to historically black colleges and universities. But the Senate and House did vote to save the State Student Incentive Grant program, which was singled out for elimination by the Bush administration.

Coming on the heels of the HEA reauthorization bill, the Pell grant cut could substantially alter the nation's major student grant program. Under HEA, more middle-class families will become eligible for aid next year, which could create a scramble for the available funds.

"We know there will be expanded eligibility," said Dallas Martin, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Yet Martin expressed hope that the program -- with its limited funds -- will continue to support low-income youth.

"I think there's a real commitment (in Congress) not to erode access for low-income students," Martin said. "People with the greatest need should get served first."

Still, he said a major goal of the expanded eligibility is to build greater national support for Pell. "If you have fewer students eligible, people will not feel they have a stake in it," Martin said. "But if they can get even a grant of $200 or $300, people will consider it an important program."

HEA also created a new system to judge a student's need for financial aid. Already, some colleges have complained that this new, simplified version needs analysis and may hurt independent students who lack family resources for college.

Martin said this issue -- and many others in HEA -- may be left until after the November election.

The Senate also approved a provision in the spending bill that would make part-time students eligible for Pell grants for the first time. Previously, part-time students could not qualify for the awards.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) wanted to transfer $4.1 million from defense spending to education and human services programs. The windfall would have been used to increase funding for Pell grants, child care, health care and several other key programs, but the plan failed by a 62-36 vote.

Some school administrators are worried that the appropriations will not keep up with the growing number of eligible students.

Patricia Harris, director of the University of Texas-Austin's Office of Student Financial Services, said she was skeptical of the HEA bill, calling it "smoke and mirrors."

"It means that while more students will be eligible for Pell grants, the total amount of money available per student will go down," Harris told the Daily Texan. "It does make the grants more available to middle-income students, but it does so at the expense of lower-income ones."

Others said the bill won't help the student who needs assistance the most.

Orlo Austin, director of the University of Illinois Office of Student Financial Aid in Champaign-Urbana, estimated that 10 percent more students at this school would be eligible for Pell grants -- "meaning more students will receive less money," he told the Daily Illini.

 

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DRAMA DEPT. PLAYS LACK STUDENT ATTENDANCE

by Karen Snelling

News Reporter

Dissatisfied with just a large number of season-ticket subscribers from the community, many UH drama students say they want more students to attend their performances.

Dr. Sidney Berger, chairman of the drama department, said the department has more season-ticket subscribers this year than any other non-musical theater in Houston, except the Alley Theater. With approximately 1400 subscribers for the 1992-1993 season, he said the department has done quite well attracting sizeable audiences.

Several drama students said that despite the large number of subscribers, student attendance is low.

Michael Marich, a senior drama major, said generally people from the community, rather than students, buy season tickets. Students seem to support the events of departments that get the most university funding, such as athletics, he said.

"You don't think of people on campus coming to our show," said sophomore drama major Ann Labuda.

Labuda worked as stage manager during the department's recent production of <i>Strider<p>. She said the low total attendance of 480 people during the opening weekend disappointed her. The Wortham Theatre seats 566 people, so the attendance for two nights did not even come close to its potential of 1032 people, she said.

Labuda said the department sold all of the tickets for the second weekend's performances -- 460 seats each night.

Although the department sold all of the tickets, the theater still did not completely fill up either night because some subscribers, who bought tickets in advance, didn't come, she said.

Rene Wells, senior drama major and assistant stage manager of <I>Strider<P>, said he believed that less than 10 percent of the student body came to see <I>Strider<P>. "It's really sad because we put so much work into the plays," he said.

Wells said the department needs better advertising techniques to increase student awareness and interest. The department advertises in the campus paper and distributes flyers all over campus, but this doesn't seem to attract students, he said.

Unfortunately, the department can't afford to advertise extensively, Wells said.

The department needs to raise an average of $50,000 through ticket sales to produce the four departmental plays of the season, Berger said. He said this money pays for things like costumes, sets, royalties, scripts and advertising.

Wells said most of the money from ticket sales pays for actual production.

"UH needs a student advertising network that is free," Wells said. He suggested a free monthly school newsletter that organizations could advertise in at no charge. Organizations could stop worrying if their flyers were getting noticed because students would have in their hands a list of campus events for the month, he said.

The department also performs several free plays that students are unaware of, said Martin Buchanan, senior drama major. He said that because these shows are free, the department uses less money to advertise. As a result of less advertising, students outside the department rarely attend the free plays, he said.

Buchanan mentioned Edward Albee's Workshop productions as one of the department's free performances. Albee works with graduate students in writing and producing plays that are performed in the department's lab theater, Buchanan said.

Several drama students are currently rehearsing for the <I>The Grapes of Wrath,<P> by Frank Galati, which will be performed at the Wortham Theatre Nov. 13, 14, and 20-22.

 

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NEWSPAPERS FACE OFF ON FAMILY VALUES ISSUE

CPS-"The breakdown of the American family has contributed to innumerable social ills in our nation. It sounds folksy, but the family unit always has been the groundwork for society. When families fell apart, society suffered and other symptoms developed. Maybe we need leaders who will stop trying to diagnose the problem and start treating it, leaders who will stop trying to pin the blame and start answering the need." - the Florida Independent Alligator, University of Florida

"People rub shoulders with the wrong of the world so much, that they're calloused. Homosexuality is wrong. Heterosexuals having sex outside of marriage is wrong. Doing drugs is wrong. We've got to stop hiding ourselves in our own closets. We've got to come out, face the world and call sin sin. Someone's got to stick us with a pin and wake us from our slumber. We've got to rub our eyes and see the world for what it really is, and then do something about it. We've got to stop accepting things the way they are, stop tolerating wrong." - The Daily Nebraskan, The University of Nebraska

"Who let Dan Quayle off his government-issue leash? Who appointed him moral custodian of our country or the champion of the common people? His speech writers have him spouting the common morals thing again. First, he attacked "unwed" mothers. It's worth noting that 'unwed' is one of the most value-packed words ever thought up to describe the state of being single. Do they ever say 'unwed' fathers? No sex education in schools, he says to the moral-majority minds. Never mind that AIDS (that's that Democratic disease, isn't it?) kills and that sexually transmitted diseases are all over the place and the education to combat them isn't, he says. Homosexuals shouldn't be parents, he coos, and you know, that homosexuality stuff is all a matter of choice anyway, like whether you'll have toast or tortillas for breakfast." - The Daily Lobo, University of New Mexico

"Clinton's social policies, like his economics, are also not much different than those of past Democratic nominees. He favors unrestricted abortion rights, including opposition to popular items like parental notification. But what is really frightening is that he may take his cues from his tea-and-cookie-hating wife, Hillary Rodham. She isn't just for helping the less fortunate, but rather, for 'comprehensive programs - those that provide services for the entire child population.' Considering some of her other pronouncements - likening the family to slavery - one could imagine a Hillary-inspired child-care program designed to turn out a cadre of government-trained PC babies." - The Daily Texan, University of Texas-Austin.

 

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