ISSUES PROMPT MORE ACTIVISM

by Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

Issues have more influence than presidential candidates in making UH students politically active.

Although college students tend to get more politically involved as the presidential election draws closer, participation has increased this year primarily because most of the issues concerned in this election directly affect students' lives, said Maria Schmitt, senior MIS major and chairman of the UH College Republicans.

Membership in the College Republicans has increased to 275 members this year from 61 members in 1991, she said.

Michelle Palmer, member of the UH College Democrats, said membership in the College Democrats has jumped this year to more than 200 members from 10 members in 1991.

Senior history major and College Democrats President, Andrew Monzon, said students' political involvements have escalated this year because they are concerned about special interests, such as the economy, the environment and abortion.

"What I'm telling people is for whatever issue they really care about, they'd better get involved," he said.

Students realize that rather than just electing a president, this campaign involves making decisions that greatly influence their future, Monzon said.

He predicts students' political interests will continue after the Nov. 3 election. Students have to stay politically active to fight for the issues important to them, he added.

Besides just participating in more campus organizations, students have taken steps to become more politically educated, said Jason Fuller, senior political science major and director of personnel for the Students' Association. Students read the papers more now and have become worried about their future economy and environment, he added.

Fuller said this year students will know more about who is running for office and what the candidates represent when they go to the polls on Nov. 3. "Students are not just following the crowd," he said.

Palmer said students have noticed the issues more this year because the two major candidates maintain totally opposite views on a majority of the issues. She named the candidates' opinions on abortion and their solutions to help the suffering economy as examples.

Palmer said students close to graduation have a great amount of interest in this election because they want to be able to find jobs after they graduate. Students want to change the fact that they have to struggle to find work when they get out of school, she said.

Both Monzon and Schmitt agreed Perot's strong campaign as an independent has increased student interest. "Perot is an extra alternative for students to consider," Monzon said.

Monzon was pleased with increased student participation in the College Democrats. This year the College Democrats have conducted several activities, such as setting up literature tables once or twice a week, selling T-shirts and buttons and arranging for congressional candidates to speak on campus, he said.

Monzon said one of the College Democrats' largest meetings this semester was when 45 students came to hear Democratic Rep. Mike Andrews speak.

Schmitt said Republican students have shown increased political spirit this year on and off campus. At UH, besides boosting the College Republicans' membership, students have invited congressional candidates to speak, conducted several voter registration drives and held numerous debates with the College Democrats.

Schmitt said members of the College Republicans have given much support off campus by volunteering to work for congressional campaigns. Members organized a "major road trip" this semester and held rallies in Austin, Baylor, Dallas and Conroe, she said. Thirty members worked at the Republican National Convention this summer, she said.

Schmitt said students aren't the only citizens who have caught the political fever. "The average non-student is more active," she said.

Almost everybody has an issue they are trying to support by keeping up with politics and voting in this election, she said.

 

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CANDIDATES VARY IN EDUCATION STANDS

by Florian R. Ho

News Reporter

Houston area educators said President Bush's education reform plan would not be beneficial to Houston.

Bush's plan focuses on public school choice and a voucher system for those who want to send their children to a private school.

"Choice is so American. But implementing choice means having to deal with all kinds of barriers to make it reality," said Dr. Richard Hookers, chairperson of the Department of Education leadership.

Bush's plan would allow parents to decide which public or private school to send their child. A $1,000 voucher, going directly to the parents, would be issued for each student per school year. The vouchers will then be given to the school the parents choose.

Bush sees this program as one that will improve all schools. "This voucher system will enhance school programs, such as extra-curricular activities and after school education. It'll breed competition and bring people together," said Darcey Campbell, assistant press secretary for Bush/Quayle '92 in Washington D.C.

Lee High School Principal James Claypool said, "I'm all for competition among schools, but I have reservations about these vouchers. They'll just create a bureaucratic nightmare."

Hooker said the government would have to put so much money into the program in order for it to work that "it would really run up the national debt." He said the plan will actually only help the parents sending their children to private schools.

Academic Affairs Associate Dean Allen Warner said, "It's not a good idea because it separates the haves from the have-nots."

Other problems would be the space available at the most requested schools and racial and ethnic re-segregation, he said. "What are we going to do? Force schools to add wings?" said Warner.

Transportation is the leading concern among the four UH professors and the six principals interviewed. "Unless public transportation will be provided, the plan won't work. Not all parents have the time and money to bus their children around," said Hooker.

"The economically poor are the most disadvantaged," said Claypool. "Houston would definitely have to find a way to transport these kids."

Democratic candidate Bill Clinton supports school choice, but opposes government spending on private schools. Andrew Monzon, president of the College Democrats, said, "Those who can afford to go to a private school are already going. Again, he's (Bush) helping the wealthy."

Monzon said he especially likes Clinton's plan for college students, which allows students to borrow money and repay it by performing community duties for two years or as a percentage of their income over a period of time.

College Republicans Chairwoman Maria Schmitt said the voucher system is a step forward because it will force schools to do better.

"Bush's plan is great because it empowers the people and not the bureaucratic school system. Schools will have to enrich their programs, benefiting not only the students but also the community," said Schmitt.

"Yes, President Bush is the education president. The largest increase of pell grants, almost doubling the number, were given during his administration," Campbell said.

Perot is the real education president, said Billie Jean Edwards, UH representative for Independent candidate Ross Perot. "Bush came out and proclaimed himself as the 'education president' and did nothing. Perot has proven himself in education because of his hard work in Texas education, like working on the no-pass, no-play rule," said Edwards.

"Bush's education plan is impractical. It will pull money out of the bad schools which will make it worse. School choice won't work in Houston," added Edwards.

Perot supports public or private school choice and said he would try using some type of government assistance to help parents pay for their children's schooling.

Michael Hanson, volunteer for Perot/Stockdale headquarters, said he could not comment on the Bush's school-choice plan. "I'll talk about Perot's beliefs in education, but that's it."

Perot believes in emphasizing education during preschool days, and for every dollar people spend on preschool, they'll get five dollars back down the line, said Hanson. "The five dollars back means less drop-outs, which would mean less people on welfare. More people would also be working and contributing to the economy. All this from establishing comprehensive preschool programs," said Hanson.

 

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INFORMAL UH POLL REVEALS CLINTON'S IDEAS, YOUTH CREATE STUDENT INTEREST

by Jeff Balke

Daily Cougar Staff

An informal poll indicates UH students favor Gov. Clinton as the one to fill the presidential seat.

According to a student poll of 50 men and 50 women, conducted Oct. 26, 27, and 28 on campus, 60 percent of students voting in Tuesday's election will give their support to the Arkansas governor. President Bush received 26 percent of the votes and Independent candidate, Ross Perot, received 14 percent.

Sociology Professor William Simon said, "Large support for Clinton [at UH] is no surprise."

Richard Murray, a professor of political science, agrees with Simon. "Clinton is doing better on college campuses this year than any Democrat in twenty years," said Murray.

Both Simon and Murray agree the reason for Clinton's popularity is his age. "Students identify with Clinton because he is closer to them in age than Bush," Simon said.

Murray said, "Young adults are Clinton's strongest supporters."

Both agree that students like Clinton's proposals on higher education.

Bruce Oppenheimer, a professor of social science, said, "The large support for Clinton is different than it would have been four years ago. I think that the (1988) poll would have reflected much stronger support for Bush."

Texas is an important state for all the candidates. With thirty-two electoral votes at stake, it is a must-win for Bush. Oppenheimer said, "Texas is essential to Bush, but he could win here and still lose the election."

Issues like education and the economy top students' list of concerns. Simon said, "There is an enormous sense of ill feeling in this country. The environment, education and the recession are important to students."

Murray predicts the student-voter turnout in the presidential election this year will be the highest turnout since 1972.

Students' interests have tensions running high in this election. Dan Scholl, a sophomore English major, is voting for Bush and has come under other students' scrutiny for his decision. "People get angry and yell when I say I'm voting for Bush. I thought conservative people were considered to be more closed-minded than liberals," he said.

Simon said he'd rather see students argue about politics than be disinterested. "I'm delighted to see students more involved in politics. There is less indifference than there has been in the past two decades," he said.

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's presidential election, Simon, Murray and Oppenheimer agree the increasing political awareness of students, especially at UH, is important and can do nothing but good.

 

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MOUTON GETS MOMENT IN SUN

by Jason Luther

Daily Cougar Staff

Jamie Mouton finally had something to smile about Saturday.

With 13:21 remaining in the Cougars' home game against TCU, Mouton caught a Kevin Cordesman punt and rambled 78 yards for a touchdown that broke a 35-35 tie.

Mouton's first college touchdown put Houston up 42-35. They went on to win 49-46.

"This is something I've been waiting to do all year," Mouton said. "I got a couple of good blocks by Preston Bailey and Brisket Howard and the hole was there.

"It was a matter of me outrunning everybody to the end zone."

Before the return, the game was shaping up to be another of a series of disappointments Mouton has suffered throughout his college career.

Early in the first quarter, Mouton muffed a Cordesman punt to give the Horned Frogs possession of the ball in Houston territory. Cordesman hit a short, line drive and Mouton had to sprint up to make the catch. The ball bounced off his shoulder pad and TCU recovered.

The fumble did not hurt the Cougars, but Mouton said he wanted to make amends.

"The fumble got me down," said the 6-1 senior. "My teammates did a great job of supporting me and telling me I was going to be all right."

Cougars Coach John Jenkins said the only way to bounce back from a bad play is with a good attitude.

"To see him bounce back with a play like that shows maturity and confidence," Jenkins said.

"Since I did drop a punt, I felt like it was poetic justice for me to take one back all the way and make up for it," Mouton said.

But Mouton has not always received poetic justice.

A high school star in football and track, Mouton was recruited as a receiver because of his speed. He was Peter Gardere's favorite receiver at Houston Lee, and was named one of the top 50 high school players in 1987. An all-district, all-greater Houston receiver in his senior year at Lee, the speedy Mouton set the single-season HISD record for pass receptions with 61 in '87.

But a series of injuries and misfortunes plagued Mouton upon arrival at UH.

He was forced to move to defense after an injury in 1989. After working hard in practice, Mouton started at cornerback in 1990. In five games, he broke up three passes, intercepted two and recovered a fumble. However, he was injured once again and was sidelined for the rest of the season.

In 1991, Mouton was forced to sit out the entire season after being declared academically ineligible.

By the beginning of this season, he was relegated to special teams. A disappointment, but Mouton worked hard no less.

So when Mouton, who was accustomed to being in the spotlight in high school, was finally in the spotlight as a college player, a celebration was in order.

"I had it all planned out," Mouton said. "From the 10-yard line when I started high-stepping, I had it all choreographed in my mind."

Mouton said he had a premonition of things to come early Saturday morning.

"I knew something special was going to happen when Sherman (Smith) and Coach Jenkins noticed me eating my Wheaties," he said.

 

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UH CROSS COUNTY TEAMS FALTAR AT CHAMPIONSHIPS

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

UH's men's and women's cross country teams went into yesterday's Southwest Conference Championship with high hopes of placing first or second.

Those hopes were crushed after the women placed fourth and the men finished a disappointing fifth in team competition.

Jim Reagan was the top finisher for the men, placing 13th with a time of 26:58 on the five-mile course. Patrik Juhlin took 17th, Shannon Pate, 21st, William Vespe, 32nd and Wayne Newsome finished 42nd.

Christy Bench, 15th, led the women with a time of 19:19 folowed by Candy Fowler, 17th, Lisa Murray, 22nd, Cyndi Espinoza, 24th, Jennifer Standefer, 42nd, Missy Gilberti, 49th and Stephanie Olmstead, 50th.

Baylor swept the competition taking top honors in both men's and women's team events. The Baylor women won last year as well.

 

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UNDEFEATED BOXER SEEKS COMMUNITY UNITY OVER PROFESSIONAL

CAREER

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

In the business world, success comes in the form of money earned, but in the world of sports success comes through hard work, dedication and winning.

Vernard Bonner, a 27-year-old UH senior, is familiar with all three.

Bonner is a boxer who, at 20-0, could and should turn pro according to what many of his boxing peers have said.

But Bonner believes his success will come from what he accomplishes outside the ring.

"To tell you the truth, (turning professional) is not very important to me," he said. "The dreams I have are not necessarily for myself, but things that I would like to see happen in society in general."

Bonner was born in Hallsville, a small town outside of Longview, but he moved to Los Angeles with his father after his parents divorced.

He began boxing at age 11 in a gym down the street from his house. That's where he fell in love with the sport.

"I used to look at a lot of old fight film of (Muhammed) Ali and so forth, and I was really interested in him," Bonner said. "By listening to him, I got really interested in boxing."

Success has also come for Bonner in his dealings with life.

He was involved in a car accident that broke the sixth and seventh vertebrae in his neck, nearly costing him his mobility.

"I went through stages where I couldn't raise my hand. My brother had to give me baths," he said.

After recovery, Bonner put his talent toward race relations. Boxing became a hobby.

An incident at Arizona State University where members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon attacked four black men during a fraternity party prompted Bonner to found Students Against Racism and create a 12-point plan aimed at ending campus racial conflicts.

Now Bonner is working toward strengthening the black community in Houston. He plans to start tutoring classes, counseling on economic and social issues and a debate team at the Progressive Amateur Boxing Association located at Elgin and Dowling streets.

Bonner takes his philosophy about life from his father.

"One thing my father always taught me: 'You're better than anybody, but you're not better than anyone.' That didn't really have much meaning to me until later years," he said. "He was saying there is no one better than you, but then at the same time you're not better than anyone else.

"That's kind of the way my family works. If you fail, as long as you tried your best, then you're still a success. I've always looked at life like that, too."

 

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COUGARS SCARE HORNED FROGS OUT OF DOME, 49-46

by Keith Rollins

Daily Cougar Staff

The only positive the Cougars can look back on after their game with Texas Christian Saturday, is a "W" in the win column.

The rest of the game was lost in mental mistakes and poor performances. Somehow, five interceptions, three fumbles and one blocked punt later, UH (3-4) still came out on top 49-46.

"That was a nasty, nasty win, but I'll take 11 of them just like it," Cougar Head Coach John Jenkins said. "Put that "W" in the column and let's look at the good things we did today."

QB Jimmy Klingler played his first game from start to finish, connecting on 42 of 65 attempts for 392 yards and four touchdowns. His five interceptions on the day offset the performance.

Houston's offense had troubles in the first quarter. After Sherman Smith and Ron Peters each dropped a ball and UH got a holding penalty, Klingler was intercepted by Tony Rand. Rand returned the pick thirty yards for TCU's first score with just 35 seconds having run off the clock.

The Cougars did an about-face on the next drive. Klingler spotted Freddie Gilbert for 15 yards, found Daniel Adams for a 12-yard completion and then ran for 12 more on a broken play. Adams caught a 18-yard pass over the middle from Klingler on the next play, and then Lamar Smith scooted into the end zone on a shovel pass.

The defense held on the ensuing kickoff and the Horned Frogs had to punt. Cougar returner Jamie Mouton flubbed the catch and TCU was back in business. However, the Cougar "D" stopped the Frogs again and TCU booted the ball out of the end zone for a touchback.

Overall, the Cougar defense gave up 285 yards and stopped the Frogs at key points. Ryan McCoy led the team with 16 tackles, three of them for losses.

"The 46 points they scored on us -- I don't think is any reflection of our defense. We just kept repeatedly putting them in the hole," Jenkins said.

TCU scored their second touchdown on a Cody Avants blocked punt. All together, the Horned Frogs had 14 points on the scoreboard after the first quarter on 18 offensive yards.

The second quarter started like the first one. A third Jimmy Klingler pass was intercepted just 6 seconds into the second period. TCU cornerback Rico Wesley returned the pick thirty yards to Houston's own 16-yard line. Three running plays later, the Cougars were down 21-7 and an upset was in its works.

Instead of going upstairs in their come back, the Cougars went with the running game of superback Lamar Smith. He had runs of 8, 11, 8 and 8 yards before capping the drive off with a 23-yard scamper to the end zone. For the day, Smith gained 115 yards on 15 carries.

At the half, TCU had 21 points on 72 offensive yards. Houston had 14 with 239 yards.

After the break, Lamar Smith scored his second touchdown of the game with a 29-yarder from scrimmage. Trace Craft missed the point after to continue Houston's kicking woes. The score was TCU 21, Houston 20.

With the game still up for grabs, TCU quarterback Max Knake was intercepted by UH cornerback John Brown who ran the ball back 32 yards to the Horned Frogs 14-yard line.

Klingler found Ron Peters on the next play in the end zone. A successful two-point attempt increased Houston's lead to 28-21.

However, Klingler's fourth interception on the next drive and a Lamar Smith fumble on the one after that, put TCU right back in the picture. The Frogs scored two TDs on the turnovers to pull ahead 35-28.

Houston tied the ball game again 56 seconds later. Klingler completed four straight passes before his TD throw to a diving Sherman Smith.

Jamie Mouton's 78-yard punt return put UH up 42-35.

TCU hit a field goal, but Houston special teams player Chris Pezman stopped TCU's intention for a comeback with a blocked punt on the TCU's 36-yard line. The Frogs final blow came on a Klingler TD pass to Sherman Smith, putting the game out of reach at 49-38.

Texas Christian scored a late touchdown on another Lamar Smith fumble.

 

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