UH ONE STEP AHEAD OF GAME FOR STATE FUNDING

by Meagan McGovern

Daily Cougar Staff

An 18-member board, eight of whom graduated from the University of Texas or Texas A&M, and none of whom has any affiliation with UH, will greatly influence how much money each state school gets in the battle for the limited state dollars.

Texas schools other than UH may have to rely heavily on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for funding approval, despite warnings from the state level that reshaping exercises, such as the one UH is undergoing, are necessary.

The THECB doesn't approve funding for state schools, it recommends formulas for allocation of state funds to public institutions. THECB works with the state legislature in Austin.

Because the state faces a huge deficit, cuts to higher education are expected during the next legislative session. To prepare UH for the cuts, the administration is in the process of prioritizing the university's programs.

Those not in tune with the new priorities may be changed or streamlined.

Janis Monger, a spokesperson for THECB, said the board has an effect over school funding "to the extent that the legislature adopts funding formulas that we recommend."

She said these formulas range in areas from faculty salary to building space allowed. The legislature then chooses whether to fund Texas schools at 100 percent of the formula, which would be unlikely, or a lower level.

She also said all schools were funded at the same percentage level of the formula. Texas A&M and UT, however, have a permanent university fund (PUF), established by alumni, to help defray costs when state funding is low. UH has no such fund.

In the last THECB meeting, members did not specifically discuss funding formulas, but made decisions that affected UH, including approval of a Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Social Work, the approval of construction of a new music building on campus and the approval of the new music facility.

UH is one of the few universities in Texas taking an active role in preparing itself for the state to slash the educational budget, said Thomas Plaut, the chief revenue estimator for the state in a University Planning and Policies Council meeting last week.

The UPPC oversees the reshaping of the university.

Plaut said he was surprised by the lack of planning by both the University of Texas and Texas A&M.

Plaut said despite the dire warnings by state legislators about the upcoming budget shortfall, few educators are doing much about it.

"(State Lt. Gov. Bob) Bullock is really serious. There are going to be big reductions," Plaut said.

He said UH was headed in right direction with the restructuring. "Strategic planning processes will be rewarded and playing around won't."

John Cater, chair of the board of regents for the UH System, agreed. He said other universities are ignoring the bleak predictions from Austin. "It's hard to believe nothing is going on," he said. "Their idea is 'we need every penny we asked for and we're gonna fight for it.' I don't understand that."

He said he finds it offensive to have A&M and UT ignore the current budget situation.

The PUF fund may be one reason these universities have not responded to the budget woes as quickly as UH has, since they have a "cushion" to fall back on, Monger said.

Plaut said the current situation is long-term and UH was right in responding to it. He said the state predicts a $4-6 billion shortfall and no one can predict just how bad the financial picture will be.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

ARMS SALES TO THIRD WORLD DECRIED

by Phillip Baeza

News Reporter

In the November issue of the New York Times, Oscar Arias Sanchez wrote an article entitled "Call To Disarm." In this article Sanchez urged for the demilitarization and end of arm sales to third world countries. Sanchez said we must now become "craftsmen of peace and artisans of justice."

Sanchez, the former President of Costa Rica and the 1987 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, spoke Thursday afternoon to a standing-room-only crowd at the University Hilton Hotel, bringing forth his ideas about Latin America and the rest of the world.

The sale of arms to third-world countries, Sanchez said, promotes instability, conflict and destitution in those countries. "It's a shame that some of these third-world countries are spending so much on weapons. That money would be better spent to contribute to human development," Sanchez said.

Any country that sells weapons to third-world countries is as wrong as the country that buys those weapons. In fact, the United States is guilty of double standards, Sanchez said.

"The U.S. condemns the export of death, through drugs, from poor to rich countries. But look at the U.S.'s recent sale of fighter aircraft to Taiwan, now the export of death, in the form of weapons, from rich to poor nations."

Sanchez said the end of the cold war will make demilitarization easier. "Since we will not need any more weapons, we can now put that money into human development, education and health care. Also, the cold war prevented dialogue between nations," he said.

Sanchez spoke in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement and economic integration with Latin America.

"With the NAFTA, Americans are talking about the loss of jobs to Mexico. That is no excuse to jeopardize the effects and advantages of trade readjustments. You have to not only look at the needs of your people, but consider our common future and our fates."

Sanchez said in the long run NAFTA will help human development and help problems that may manifest themselves. He said NAFTA will also help with the problem of excessive migration from Mexico into this country. "When Mexico stabilizes its economy, not as many people will be fleeing poverty."

With NAFTA, Sanchez says he sees a "rich and multicultural integration where democracy and social justice can flourish."

Sanchez said he hopes the three Americas (North, Central and South) can all join together in NAFTA and rename it the American Free Trade Agreement.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

CENTER HELPS WITH CHOOSING, PURSUING CAREER

by Yonca Poyraz Dogan

News Reporter

Students who research career fields before graduation know what to expect when they graduate and they have a better chance of getting job offers before graduation because many employers come to campus to recruit.

Since selection of a major determines career goals, students who are uncertain about their majors and career goals can investigate possibilities by using the Career Planning and Placement Center's Career Resource Library.

Career counselors help students choose a major and the center coordinates on-campus interviews between students and employers, David Small, assistant vice president for student services, said.

"Selection of a major is a career decision and students should also select their electives that would help them and further their career plans," he said. "For example, a market major might select a communication course or a math major might select a computer science course."

Students who begin job searches before graduation are more likely to get the jobs and the salaries they would expect, he said.

If students wait until graduation it is difficult to generate interviews, because companies are spread out and people say they're busy or they won't have any openings, he said. It is more convenient for students to be interviewed on campus, he said.

More than 400 employers conducted on-campus interviews last year for 3,016 students and alumni, he said. "It is important that students notice our services; otherwise they may put themselves at a disadvantage."

Internships, student employment, workshop series about resume writing, interviewing skills and planning a career are offered each semester by the CPPC.

Even if students don't get job offers, interviewing experience will help them improve their skills, because employers make the most critical decisions during interviews, Small said.

However, students can practice interviews at the center with videotape. They can see themselves and improve both verbal and nonverbal communication skills.

According to a survey among students who used CPPC services, 78 percent of all students and 92 percent of engineering majors received job offers within three months following graduation.

All employers consider the grade-point average very important and some of them put too much stress on it according to Small.

"Grades are only one indication of future employment success in addition to good communication skills, experiencing leadership in student organizations, community service and gracious personality," he said.

CPPC receives $3.60 of the $96 student service fee paid by each student every semester, and it is barely enough to keep the programs going, Small said.

If they had enough financial resources, he said, "I would like in the future to set up some telecommunication system among all of the four UH campuses (so) a person at the Clear Lake campus could interview with an employer here in main campus."

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

FIGHT ERUPTS DURING DRACULA

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

Bram Stoker's <i>Dracula<p> was not the only show students saw yesterday.

Two students broke into a fight during the 1 p.m. movie in the UC Houston Room because of one student's constant talking.

According to UHPD reports, the fight was sparked by Robert Dodd, a 20-year-old computer science junior, constantly making noise throughout the movie, Lt. Helia Durant said.

After Norman Adams, a 23-year-old physical education graduate student, repeatedly asked him to be quiet, "Dodd made several crude comments and then came flying over (the seat) and hit Adams," the reports said.

"The two eventually stopped fighting and sat down," Durant said. "At that point Dodd started making more crude comments to Adams and more fighting ensued."

During this altercation, Dodd kicked Adams in the groin and Adams knocked Dodd out, according to police reports.

The movie was stopped for about 10 minutes due to the fighting but continued after both men left the room at the urging of the audience.

Both combatants were issued Harris County citations for fighting, a class C misdemeanor, Durant said. They were also given Student Life Referrals.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

AGGIES ROLL UH 38-30

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

If the Cougars had high hopes of taking down the fourth-ranked team in the nation, Thursday was the night to do it.

In front of a national audience on ESPN and a more meager 38,644 crowd at the Dome, Houston took the Texas A&M Aggies to a 38-30 nail-biter that A&M was fortunate enough to win.

Quarterback Jimmy Klingler had his most productive game of the year, throwing for 488 yards on 28 completions out of 57 attempts for three touchdowns and an interception. The lone interception, though, was the final blow to Houston's comeback.

With 3:13 remaining in the game and Houston trailing 38-30, linebacker Ryan McCoy picked Aggie quarterback Corey Pullig's pass from the air on third-and-11 to give the upset-minded Cougars a first down at the A&M 36-yard line.

On the next play, Klingler, under heavy pressure, was hit as he tried to throw the ball out of bounds. The result was an interception by Aggie defensive back Ray Mickens.

"Jimmy Klingler jumped up and really did an outstanding job," said UH Head Coach John Jenkins. "The interception that he threw there late right after a key turnover, that was not a mistake on his part."

Houston, despite the loss, dominated the Aggies in the first half.

After two unsuccessful drives that stalled at the A&M 40-yard line in the first quarter, Klingler completed a shovel-pass over the middle to Lamar Smith, who danced 33 yards to the Aggie 23. Klingler connected with Gilbert in the end zone to grab a 7-0 lead with 50 seconds remaining in the quarter.

The Aggies struck back, going 72 yards in 11 plays to score on a rare fumble-ruskie that saw left guard Tyler Harrison scamper 25 yards past the goal line to tie the game 7-7.

Houston's run-and-shoot offense lived up to its billing on the next series as Klingler connected with Ron Peters and Keith Jack on passes of 55 and 35 yards, respectively. The Cougars capped off the series with a 1-yard run by Smith to put Houston up 14-7.

A&M and Houston traded field goals to go into halftime with Houston leading 17-10.

Houston's defense played extremely well, holding the Aggies to 179 total yards in the first half.

One play, though, changed the outcome.

In the fourth quarter with Houston down 31-23 having just scored a touchdown and having missed the two-point conversion, Aggie defensive back Billy Mitchell broke several tackles through the middle and returned the kickoff 95 yards to Houston's 1-yard line. Running back Rodney Thomas flipped over the middle to give the Aggies a two-score advantage.

"Here's a team that had to come from behind six out of 10 games," Jenkins said. "A great football team to compile that kind of record, find a way to win and certainly a big special-teams play is what they got, and I've got to give them all the credit."

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

COUGARS REBOUND DESPITE LOSS

by Keith Rollins

Daily Cougar Staff

Will the real Cougar football team please stand up...

Houston went from a dismal loss last week to SMU 41-16, to nearly knocking the fourth-ranked Texas A&M, right out of national championship contention.

The Aggies won the contest 38-30, but at least UH headed to the locker rooms with respect - something the Cougars haven't had since their win against Illinois two months ago.

"It was like last week, we fell into a dumpster, and this week we climbed out," Houston's quarterback Jimmy Klingler said.

A&M Head Coach R. C. Slocum also noticed the change.

"We didn't play the same Houston team here tonight that SMU played last week. You look out on the field, and there is a bunch of fine athletes out there. Houston has about as many as we do, I promise," Slocum said.

Klingler, like his team, did his own version of an about-face.

Klingler's quality performance against the nation's seventh-ranked passing defense totaled 488 yards in the air, three touchdowns, with 28 completions on 57 attempts. He wasn't even sacked by the "Wreckin' Crew" defense.

The only blemish on Klingler's stat sheet was a late interception that iced the game for the Aggies. But don't jump to conclusions, it wasn't his fault.

"(The pressure) came somewhere from the back side, and I was trying to throw the ball out of bounds because I knew somebody was coming. And right when I was releasing the ball, I got hit, and it took a little momentum off the ball, and it never got out," Klingler said.

The defensive line was probably the biggest surprise in the first half of the game. With Kevin LaBay and Steve Clarke down due to injuries, the line was somewhat suspect to the Aggies' running-back duo, Greg Hill and Rodney Thomas. But time after time, the line stuffed the backs.

"They were really looking for national-title hopes, and we were doing our best to ruin the party," lineman Stephen Dixon said.

The second half told a different story, as Hill and Thomas combined for 111 yards and three touchdowns against a shocked Cougar defense.

"They really picked up the tempo; I could tell by that out on the field. They basically ran the same thing they did in the first half, but with a lot more emotion and intensity," Dixon said.

"Hey, that's what makes us a national championship team. You know, Houston did a great job, but this team was not going to give up," Hill said.

Although the rest of the UH squad played differently, the Cougars' special teams continued to have problems.

Fresh off a touchdown that brought the Cougars within eight points of A&M, the kick-off team came on, and like a flash in the pan, Aggie kick-returner Billy Mitchell flew 95 yards to Houston's 2-yard line. Two plays later, Thomas dove in the end-zone for the TD.

Cougar Head Coach John Jenkins said, "As many big plays as there were tonight, we are talking about the kick-off return" that changed the momentum of the game.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

LEVELLERS TOURING THE LAND

by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

Just when you thought U2 was the only band with a social conscience, along come the Levellers to add more fuel to the political fire.

The English quintet's second full-length album, <i>Levelling the Land<p>, mixes political undercurrents with a Celtic lilt of mandolins and fiddles, resulting in what's become known as "aggro-pop."

The band -- consisting of vocalist Mark Chadwick, vocalist and guitarist Simon Friend, Bassist Jeremy Cunningham, drummer Charlie Heather and violinist Jon Sevink -- has its humble origins in an English pub. It was at this pub that late-comer Sevink hooked up with the Levellers.

"I met them through knowing friends of friends in a pub called the Eagle where Jeremy, Charlie and Mark would meet up," he said. "I was a friend of Mark's, so he dragged me in on the band."

Although Sevink played violin as a teen, he found his skills were a little rusty when he attempted to re-kindle his relationship with the instrument.

"I hadn't played in five or six years before the band. I imagine I was pretty terrible," he said.

Currently on tour in the United States, the Levellers have still found time to write nearly enough songs to fill a new album. The new material promises to be as socially conscious as the band's previous efforts.

"They're better songs," Sevink said. "They're more in tune with the way people think. They're more straight and to the point."

Although the current tour leaves the group little breathing room, it's a picnic compared to previous European tours which saw the band playing 260 shows per year. Sevink feels the band's youth made the experience bearable.

"It was all new and it was really good fun," he said. "If we were doing the same now, I'd have to think twice about it."

The Levellers will be playing this Saturday at Fitzgerald's.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

FRESH BLOOD GIVES DRACULA NEW BITE

by Deborah Hensel

Daily Cougar Staff

Love never dies and neither does the seductive appeal of <i>Dracula<p>, a film about the Romanian vampire created by Bram Stoker in 1897.

Francis Ford Coppola, director of <i>The Godfather<p> and <i>Apocalypse Now<p>, resurrects the legend once again and almost drives a stake into his own creation.

Heavy-handed humor early in the film threatens to turn this Gothic romance into a snickering parody of the 200-plus vampire films that preceded it. At times, the tone drops to a campiness reminiscent of <i>The Rocky Horror Picture Show<p>.

Despite the flaws, Coppola's version is a visually compelling and sensual joyride, filled with both beauty and bite.

Coppola's son, Roman, served as visual effects director, borrowing illusions from Cocteau and pulling smoke-and-mirror magic out of his hat.

Texan James V. Hart wrote the screenplay for the first film to remain true to the novel, with a little of the history of Vlad the Impaler, on which Stoker's character is based.

Coppola promised this Dracula would accent more of the erotic undercurrent of the novel and he delivers.

Dracula's harem of bewitching brides and the lascivious Lucy Westenra, played by Sadie Frost, break down the barriers of repressed Victorian female sexuality.

Gary Oldman stars as the 19th century Nosferatu under multiple prosthetic guises and colored contact lenses. Look, he's a bat, he's a wolf, he's ... not very sexy.

More Rasputin than Romeo, Oldman puts a sad and sympathetic spin on the blood-thirsty prince, a fresh interpretation that surpasses both Lugosi and Langella.

Wynona Ryder is Mina Murray Harker, Dracula's love who's been reincarnated across oceans of time, the Juliet in this dark romance.

Dracula corners Mina in the London Cinematograph, where Coppola pays homage to film in its infancy.

Then, absinthe makes the heart grow fonder when, in a mild state of intoxication, Mina has a vision of her past life as Dracula's wife, Elisabeta.

Does the beautiful Mina ever go down for the Count? Well ... almost.

As Van Helsing the vampire slayer, Anthony Hopkins retains a trace of his Hannibal Lecter persona from <i>Silence of the Lambs<p> and is genuinely funny. Singer Tom Waits is convincing as the lunatic Renfield, Dracula's bug-eating minion.

With all the oral gratification going on, only one performance really sucks. As Jonathan Harker, Keanu Reeves is not having his most excellent film adventure.

Go ahead -- stick your neck out and pay full price to see it now. Coppola has created the superlative Dracula, destined to become a cult classic.

 

 

 

Visit The Daily Cougar