UH LIFTS SEMESTER-LONG BAN ON GROUP FUNCTIONS

by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

UH students have reason to celebrate. This week school officials lifted a campus-wide ban on large-scale student functions .

The ban has been in effect since the beginning of the semester when police charged a UH student with possession of a firearm on university property. The student was attending a party at the Cougar Den.

After the incident, officials decided to ban large student events until The Task Force on Student Organization Social Functions could review the situation and draw up a list of guidelines for future functions.

According to Elwyn Lee, vice president for Student Affairs, the ban was necessary to ensure the safety of the students.

"The situation was not very pleasant. There was tension between UH and TSU students, and we had a potentially volatile situation on our hands," Lee said.

After nearly two months of deliberation, the task force came up with a list of 14 recommendations.

Included in the list is the installation of metal detectors, the establishment of a "loiter-free" zone in the area surrounding the function and allowing entrance only to those students with UH I.D. cards.

William Munson, dean of students and chair of the task force, is in favor of the recommendations.

"They're necessary to provide a safe environment for students and visitors to the university," he said.

Not everyone is pleased, however.

The Vietnamese Students Organization (VSO) received a letter on Oct. 2 stating their fashion show and dance, scheduled for Oct. 9, had to be cancelled due to the ban.

According to the letter from Kathy Anzivino, assistant dean of students, the VSO's function was targeted because it fell into the category of "large-scale student social functions, which are designed primarily to raise funds from non-university attendees."

The short notice left VSO with a slew of worthless fliers and tickets. It also left them in the awkward position of having to cancel contracts with retail sponsors.

"We used our own money to produce this show. Now we're out of luck," said Tom Nguyen, chair of VSO.

Now that the ban is lifted, however, groups can begin reserving and re-scheduling their events, Lee said.

With the new precautions in place, the task force will be watching upcoming activities to evaluate the measures' effectiveness.

If problems persist, large- scale functions could come under even closer scrutiny.

"We are very hopeful these recommendations will allow these functions to continue," Lee said. "If they don't work, we have the option of cutting these functions out altogether. Of course, that's a last resort."

 

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POLL REVEALS SPLIT DECISION ON ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT'S USEFULNESS

by David Sikes

News Reporter

More than half of the 112 students informally polled by the Daily Cougar said UH spends too much money on the Athletic Department.

Fifty-five percent said UH spends too much on sports while only 12 percent said too little is spent. The remaining responses were distributed in between.

The Daily Cougar surveyed the students to determine their attitudes about the UH athletic program. The average age of the respondents is 24, and all classifications are represented. Students from 28 different majors participated.

The Athletic Department received 2.7 percent of UH's total budget for 1992. Eight colleges at UH receive less while six colleges get more. At the bottom of the list are the Colleges of Architecture and Social Work which receive less than 1 percent of the budget. The College of Natural Science and Mathematics tops the list with 11 percent.

"Our budget is only about $8 million compared to twice that for UT Austin," said Athletic Director Rudy Davalos.

Responses to the question, "Does a good athletic program enhance a university's reputation?" were skewed. Eighty-two percent said yes, while 16 percent said no. Twelve students wrote "unfortunately" beside the question.

In addition to answering the questionnaire, 33 percent of the students commented on college athletics and the UH athletic program.

Eight students favored holding UH football games at Robertson Stadium. Some said the Astrodome is too far and admission too expensive, and that school spirit would be raised and attendance would increase if games were on campus.

UH sporting events have never set attendance records. Average attendance in 1991 for home football games was 30,094 and 5,058 for basketball. This year, the average is 21,527 for the two home football games. Approximately 33,000 students attend UH.

Robertson Stadium has approximately 22,000 seats which are not enough for a school this size, Davalos said. "It would cost, I guess, $15,000 to $20,000 to renovate the stadium and we only use it five or six times a year (for football)." If there were more students living on campus it might be practical, he said.

The second most popular comment was that the purpose of a university is academics, not sports.

"It's a shame that our library has to be such a disaster area just so our football team can have deluxe facilities," a sophomore RTV major said.

"No school spirit," and "unsportsmanlike coaching," were also popular sentiments.

"In only two games since UH has been playing football did we run up the score. I don't get any thrill from running up the score but it doesn't bother me," Davalos said.

Since Houston is in a pro market, the media is a little harder on UH coaches, he said.

Of the students polled, 52 percent have been to a UH sporting event. Students attended football games the most, followed by basketball. Volleyball and baseball were the other events attended.

Approximately the same number of people who go to the games watch them on television when UH is on the road. Fifty percent watch and 45 percent do not.

However, more than half (56 percent) said that spending money on athletics is not a good way to attract alumni donations. Thirty-nine percent disagreed. Some students commented that they aren't happy about using athletics to attract money, but it works.

 

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STUDENT FEES HELP COMBAT STATE'S TIGHT BUDGET

by Shannon Najar

News Reporter

Instead of relying solely on state funding to support higher education in Texas, school administrators and legislators have turned to special-item fees for additional money.

Special-item fees are charges added to the basic tuition, such as the health fee, the computer-use fee and the Honors Program fee. These fees help pay for services no longer sufficiently funded by the state.

At UH, these fees comprise approximately 7 percent of the total budget, said Mary Rubright, executive director for Planning and Budget.

Students have very little say about the amount of the fee or the type of fee instated. "Students are not involved in the enactment of fees, because these fees cover the cost of whatever services they're provided," said Adrianne Peck, executive associate for Student Affairs.

Special-item fees are initiated by the department for which the fee will provide services. This department submits a request for a new fee or an increase in the present fee to the appropriate dean or vice president.

The fee is then reviewed by either the senior vice president for Administration and Finance or the vice president for Student Affairs, and a recommendation is given to the president. The fee request then goes to the chancellor for approval, and then to the Board of Regents, Peck said.

"The fees are kept as low as possible, but they (departments) must have enough money to run their programs," Peck said.

"State funding for higher education has gone through a downsizing process in recent years that has created the need for additional funding through special-item fees and external funding," said Ted Estess, Honors Program director.

UH's Honors Program has become a victim of this downsizing. In 1983, the Honors Program's had 400 members and a $20,000 budget, Estess said. Since that time, membership has tripled to 1200 students; however, the program's 1992 budget was decreased by 20 percent to $16,000.

The $15 Honors Program fee, instituted in 1990, automatically goes on the fee bill of Honors Program members. This fee helps to pay for honors text books, newsletters, guest lecturers, convocations and retreats, Estess said. The fee does not pay for salaries or supplies but does help to supplement the Honors Program budget.

So far, honors students have responded positively to the fee. Of the program's 1200 members, no one has voiced a complaint about the fee, Estess said.

"Students have been amazingly understanding regarding the Honors Program fee because they feel it's a bargain considering all it pays for," he said.

However, Honors Program members who were interviewed had mixed feelings about the fee.

Katherine Lambert, a senior psychology major, said, "The university has gone fee happy. We (students) are being nickeled and dimed to death by all these fees."

Mike Barnes, a senior English major, said, "The fee is worth the money for all the privileges it gives us."

Katy Schmitt, a freshman biology major, said, "The fee doesn't bother me, but it would be nice to know what it's used for."

Estess said, "Even though funding for higher education is in a time of duress, the addition of special item fees has helped UH to achieve an enormous amount with relatively modest state resources."

 

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HOMECOMING COMES WITH FULL WEEK OF EVENTS

by Shannon Najar

News Reporter

The 65th annual UH Homecoming week is filled with events to help encourage school spirit.

Homecoming week is October 25-31, and several different events are scheduled. "Everyone is encouraged to attend all these events, and show your true school spirit," said Leisa Frederick, Student Program Board Homecoming chairperson.

Monday's Homecoming Kick-off performance featured the Good News Gospel Choir along with the Cougar band and cheerleaders.

On Tuesday, a Homecoming hunt was held, with prize-filled Easter eggs hidden all around campus for students to find. The hunt takes place again today.

Wednesday, the International Students' Organization will be selling food from various countries during their annual food fair, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the U.C. patio. Wednesday a Homecoming comedy show, featuring comedian Gary DeLena, starts at 8 p.m. in the Cougar Den.

Thursday, the Residence Hall Association will sponsor the Beauty Bowl, a flag football game between residents of the Towers and the Quadrangle -- the players are all women. It will be at 7:30 p.m. at Robertson Stadium.

The Good News Gospel Choir will perform again from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday in Lynn Eusan Park.

The annual alumni dinner, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, will also be in the park. The dinner will be followed by a Homecoming pep rally and "Yell Like Hell" contest, with the Cougar band, cheerleaders and various student organizations.

Immediately afterwards, a fireworks display and "Frog Fry" bonfire will be held at the field across from Entrance 1. The Homecoming dance will be at 9 p.m. Friday in the Houston Room.

Homecoming week concludes with football on Saturday as the Cougars face the T.C.U. Horned Frogs at 4 p.m in the Astrodome.

 

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BLAZING, RED HORN SIGNIFIES TOUCHDOWNS, RAISES SPIRIT

by Heather Wolk

News Reporter

The Blaze has been an important part of Cougar spirit at UH and has become a symbol of Cougar football, said Rusty Hruska, president of the Students' Association.

The Blaze, better known as the air-raid siren, has been a tradition at UH football games since its introduction at the 1990 Homecoming game. Cougar fans soon began to associate victory with the wail of the siren.

The original siren, borrowed from the Whelen Engineering Company, was unattractive and often hidden behind the end-zone seats. "It was a yellow piece of crap," said Hruska. Although it was heard and not seen, the siren served its purpose, alerting Cougar fans to a home-team touchdown.

In 1990, Head Coach John Jenkins contacted the UH Taxi Squad (a booster club) and requested support in purchasing a new siren -- one that could be visible, said Hruska.

The shiny, new crank siren that blessed the Astrodome in the fall of 1990 was dubbed The Blaze.

Originally manned by members of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, The Blaze soon became the responsibility of various campus leader. Currently, the leaders include Students' Association President Rusty Hruska, Inter-Fraternal Council President Pat Brown, Sigma Nu Commander Tom Dalton, Sigma Phi Epsilon President Bob Patman, and four Sigma Chi's of the original group: Gavin Kaszynski, Mike Hoover, Scott Kirkland and T.J. Debello.

These eight men, now called the Frontiersmen, are also in charge of the Helmet (formerly the Beauty Buggy), and the fog on the sidelines when the Cougars run onto the field.

The Frontiersmen are looking at changes in the near future to improve Cougar spirit.

"We want to bring all UH students into one section at the games to raise spirit," said Hruska. In addition, they plan to work with the cheerleaders to become "stand leaders" in hopes of uniting the student body, said Hruska.

"We're always looking for new members," said Hruska. "But future members must be educated in the history of the university to be eligible." He said he hopes to expand the membership each year.

 

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UH CROSS COUNTRY GOES FOR FIRST SWC CHAMPIONSHIP

by Keith Rollins

Daily Cougar Staff

The Cougar cross country team will be looking for its first SWC championship in Sunday's meet at Challenger 7 Memorial Park in Clear Lake.

Their recent second place ranking in the NCAA District VI Coaches Poll, behind only powerhouse Arkansas, makes expectations high.

The squad enters this week's competition with a 6-1 record against conference contenders. Their only loss came at the hands of Baylor. The two teams have been vying for the top spot in the SWC all year.

In the two team's first meeting, Baylor romped the Cougars at the Bears' home course with a 31-67 point showing.

Last Oct. 3, the Cougars brought themselves back into contention with a smashing victory over Baylor at the Texas A&M Invitational. The Cougars won 153-26 over the Bears.

Without a doubt, Houston or Baylor will come home with the conference championship.

Todd Carrigan, who finished seventh overall and first on the team in last week's Cougar Classic held at Texas National Golf Course, said the team is focused on the Bears.

"The last couple of weeks we all have been preparing to beat Baylor, that has been our goal throughout the season. I think they are the only team we will have to really worry about," Carrigan said.

Senior runner Shannon Pate attributes most of the team's success this year to Head Coach Howie Ryan.

"At the beginning of the season we were really spread out, but Couch Ryan got us together and stressed team unity," Pate said.

For last three years, the cross country team could only muster third place in the SWC Championship.

Two years ago, Arkansas and Texas finished before the Cougars, and last year, the Longhorns and Texas A&M broke the tape in front of Houston.

The team is ready to get past the third-place blues and win a championship for the first time in Cougar history.

"We're hoping for no less than a conference championship, but it it is going to be tough and we recognize that," Pate said.

After the conference meet, the Cougars will travel to Denton, Texas, Nov. 14 for the District VI meet.

If the Cougars finish either first or second in that contest, they will move on to the national meet.

Since Arkansas has been ranked number one in the nation the whole year and has yet to be defeated, Houston and Baylor are set for another confrontation for the second national qualifying spot.

None of the team members has finished first at any of the tournaments, but Patrik Julian, a native of Sweden, captured second place overall at the Houston Open on Sept. 10.

Julian also led the team when the Cougars went to Waco. He finished eighth overall.

Pate finished second overall at the A&M Invitational.

 

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JUST ALIKE

COUGAR STARTERS DIXON, PETERS SIMILAR IN PRODUCTION, NOT SIZE

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Defensive lineman Stephen Dixon and wide receiver Ron Peters are two of a kind.

When looking at these young men, one can't help but notice the similarities.

Well, at least on paper.

Okay, so the only thing alike about them is the high school they attended, Willowridge; but both are becoming big producers at their respective positions.

Dixon is fifth on the team in tackles with 33, including six for a loss of 22 yards. Not bad for a lineman in a defense where the linebackers see the most action. He has also registered four sacks for 38 yards lost, recovered two fumbles and broken up two passes.

Peters, meanwhile, is leading the nation in yards per catch with a 22.9 average. He has quietly moved into second in scoring for UH, grabbing a team-high five touchdowns -- with only 14 receptions -- in six games played.

Peters said he doesn't believe he's the man to go to in clutch situations.

"I just go out and do what I'm expected to do. It's (number of TD catches) purely coincidental," he said.

Dixon, at 5 feet 11 inches, 260 pounds, is the extreme opposite of Peters, relishing in the limelight that Peters won't readily acknowledge.

"I went back to a high school football game at Willowridge about three weeks ago," said Dixon, "and there were people talking to me that I didn't even know I went to high school with. Everybody (there) knows my name. I had some people asking me for autographs.

"It's great because that's all I ever wanted was to get some attention for what I think I deserved."

Dixon, who played center his junior and senior years of high school, said even the coaches at UH ignored him when they visited Willowridge. They chose instead to seek out his teammates who had a higher profile, like Grady Cavness who is now a senior cornerback at UT.

"Nobody wanted to talk to me or nothing. They'd say, 'How's it goin', Steve,' and that's all they would say," Dixon said. "But now it's like, 'Hey, Steve,' and they want to continue a conversation with me. No one will let me go now. I think I'm finally getting some respect."

The way Peters sees his life is education, first -- football, second. With two more years of eligibility, Peters said all thoughts are on a degree.

"I'd rather just concentrate on wearing a suit and tie, going to work, having an office with a secretary. I'd rather concentrate on those type of long term goals," he said. "If it's meant to be, playing pro football, it's meant to be, but I'm not going to worry about it."

Dixon's goal is to become an All-Southwest Conference selection, and he hopes the added exposure will be a springboard to the NFL.

"I'd love to play pro. It's everybody's dream," he said. "With my height, I'm not going to get a lot of recognition (as a defensive lineman) even if I do make all-SWC. If anyone picked me up or if I went in as a free agent, I would give them 100 percent."

But there is one thing both players agree on, and Peters said it best: "I have one basic goal -- going to a bowl game."

The Cougars need a 'W' against TCU on Saturday to harbor any realistic hopes of obtaining a bowl berth.

 

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TWO HEARS BEAT TO DIFFERENT RHYTHM

by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

Even those with the strongest faith can find it tested at times. Carrie McDowell Hodge of the Christian-pop duo, Two Hearts, is no exception.

Hodge, currently on tour with her husband Michael (the other half of Two Hearts), is experiencing the rigors of married life on the road.

"I love him to pieces," she said. "But after living, sleeping, eating, breathing and playing with him, I need some time to myself."

The fact that Hodge is the only female on the band's touring van further complicates the situation.

Hodge, lonely for female companionship, often has to find creative ways to meet other women.

"Sometimes I'll grab a sympathetic girl from the audience and we'll just talk about shopping and all the other normal things girls talk about," she said.

Hodge, however, is not unfamiliar with loneliness.

After a childhood spent appearing on variety shows and a stint at Motown in her early twenties, Hodge realized there was something missing in her life.

Soon after, she met a male gospel singer who invited her to attend church with him.

"I said, 'church, yeah right buddy,' but I agreed," she said.

After attending a service, Hodge found what she had been missing. She left Motown and began pursuing a career in gospel-oriented music.

During Hodge's split from Motown, she met her-soon-to-be husband Michael (also a musician) and the two married soon after.

Married life, however, wasn't all that Hodge had expected.

"The first year of marriage was hell, if I can be honest. If we hadn't been committed to the Lord, I don't know if we would have made it," she said.

"I thought it was going to be la la land; a bed of roses. It wasn't. Marriage is give and take and I think there's more giving involved."

The couple's problems were further compounded by financial difficulties.

"We were having financial troubles -- no one was calling me. Michael was painting houses. He was painting them and I was cleaning them," she said.

The duo ended up at Nashville's Star Song Communications where they released their debut album, <i>Stand Your Ground<p>, last March.

Hodge admits touring does have its benefits.

"The fans have been great," she said.

However, Hodge is looking forward to leaving the road in February.

"I'm going to get my dog from the pastor, rent a romantic movie, grab a big blanket, sit with Michael on the couch and watch the movie and cry," she said.

Two Hearts will be appearing Oct.29 at UH's Cullen Auditorium.

 

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EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS HISPANIC LITERARY WORKS

by Veronica Guevara

Daily Cougar Staff

Starting Nov. 2, more than 150 works from Hispanic authors will be on display at M.D. Anderson Library.

<i>25 Years of Hispanic Literature in the U.S., The Creation of an Audience<p>, curated by author and spanish professor Roberta Fernandez, is an exhibit of books, manuscripts, literary reviews, awards and photos from 1965-1990.

"We're undergoing a literary renaissance," Fernandez said about the hispanic literature. Fernandez, who has hosted visual art exhibits in San Francisco, finds looking though the various literary collections "very exciting."

The exhibit is in conjunction with Arte Publico Press' (APP) joint literary conference, <i>Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage and Two Decades of The Americas Review<p>, Nov. 19-21 at UH.

"While we have recognized literature written in the U.S., we have failed to recover and recognize the literature written in Spanish," Fernandez said.

APP, whose office is in the basement of the M.D. Anderson Library, is the oldest publisher of Hispanic authors and is dedicated to this recovery and recognition of Hispanic literature.

Last January, APP was awarded a $2.7 million grant by the Rockefeller Foundation to put toward the recovery of U.S.-Hispanic literary heritage.

Pat Bozeman, head of Special Collections, said she and Fernandez have been planning and preparing for the exhibit since May.

Bozeman said that the selection of exhibit pieces is usually done by the library staff with other professors' input, but this one was selected entirely by Fernandez.

"This is larger than most exhibits," Bozeman said. Usually the works are displayed on just the first floor, but this one is also displayed on the eighth floor in Special Collections, she said

"Classes can also be held in Special Collections during the exhibit," Fernandez said. She plans on bringing some of her Spanish students to the Special Collections.

"The works are mostly in English, but some are in Spanish and there will be a lot of bilinguality," Fernandez said.

The exhibit officially opens Nov. 19 and runs through Jan. 15.

 

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NATION

LAVISH EXPENSES

BOCA RATON, Fla. (CPS) -- Records recently released by the Florida Atlantic University Foundation show that funds went to pay for lavish dinners and a country club membership for the school's president.

Generous pay raises for a select few at the school and air fares for spouses of school officials have also come under public scrutiny at the urging of the Florida Board of Regents.

The foundation's spending practices and subsequent investigation prompted several contributors to quit the group's board in April 1991, and direct their contributions to other universities.

The records reveal that President Anthony Catanesse, whose annual salary is $127,513, also receives $52,500 in foundation perks.

This year perks included a $12,000 social membership at the exclusive Boca Raton Resort and Club, a $918.75 dinner with former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, a $1,000 membership to the Florida Symphonic Pops and a $3,490 trip to Austria with his wife, Sara.

"These expenditures are totally defensible," said Lynn Laurenti, director of FAU public relations. "At a large institution like ours, the president can't take a visiting head of state to McDonald's for dinner."

 

FEE FRACAS

WASHINGTON (CPS) -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused Oct. 5 to bar universities from using student fees to finance groups that some students oppose.

The court, without comment, rejected an appeal by a group of State University of New York students.

The students maintain that use of such fees violated their free-speech rights and object to part of their mandatory student activity fee being used to support the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), a non-profit research and environmental advocacy group.

"There were eleven plaintiffs," said Ken Goldfarb, spokesman for the university. "We are pleased with the Supreme Court ruling. You have to understand that NYPIRG reflects a wide range of views and serves an important function. The courts have recognized that funding them is a proper use of these fees."

The students, said Goldfarb, filed an appeal in which they stated they were "opposed to NYPIRG's causes and methods, and were dismayed to find themselves financing them."

 

SUSPECT ARRESTED

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (CPS) -- A man suspected of sexually assaulting two female University of Florida students in their dormitory room has been arrested and was being held on a $500,000 bond.

Elbert Jones, Jr., 34, was picked up shortly after warrants were issued against him for sexual battery with a deadly weapon and armed burglary.

Jones is accused of attacking the women around 1:30 a.m. Oct. 7 after the women stepped outside the dorm for a cigarette break. The attacker slipped through a security door after them and chased them to their room. The women told police Jones threatened them with a toy gun.

 

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