U.S. UNFAIR TO MANY HAITIAN REFUGEES

by Michelle Lacefield

News reporter

In Haiti today there is an air of repression that is not reflected by political repression measurements, according to Dr. Christian Davenport, a UH assistant political science professor.

People in Haiti will not involve themselves in political activities because they have seen what will happen if they do, Davenport said in a forum held Tuesday night at the University Center to address the issue of the United States immigration policy regarding Haitian refugees.

"The idea that political repression in Haiti is low is somewhat offensive," said Davenport.

However, academics have a difficult time finding the information to measure repression.

There is a pattern of which people are allowed into this country, said Davenport. He said Cubans are let in much more often than Haitians.

"There is nothing to be gained by letting Haitians into the United States," said Davenport.

When the number of products from Haiti, declined so did the number of Haitian people let into the U.S., said Davenport.

Joseph Vail, an immigration attorney said that the United States has had a good refugee law since 1980 but it has not been put into effect.

To apply for political asylum in the U.S., a refugee must be physically in the country or the person can apply at the American consulate in their own country, said Vail.

To stop Haitians from receiving political asylum they are being blocked from actually reaching this country, and it is dangerous for Haitians to try to reach the American consulate there, said Vail.

Since 1980, only 2% of Haitians have been approved for political asylum as opposed to the 50-60% of Europeans approved and the 60-70% of Nicaraguans approved, said Vail.

The argument is that many of the Haitians are economic refugees and therefore they do not qualify for asylum, said Vail.

However, it is hard to distinguish between being an economic or a political refugee when the army destroys your farm, said Vail.

"The right to apply for political asylum is being denied the Haitians," said Vail

President elect Bill Clinton claims he will change the policy concerning refugees, said Vail.

Craig White, who works for congressman Mike Andrews and is working towards his masters at UH, said, "As a citizen you need to hold your legislators' feet to the fire."

"You owe it to yourself to react to things your legislators vote for," said White. "They work for you."

 

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STUDENTS CREATING LOW-INCOME FAMILY HOUSING

by Melissa Neeley

Daily Cougar Staff

The College of Architecture's Community Design Resource Center is helping more than 60 low-income families by designing affordable houses in Houston's Second Ward.

The housing project, "La Villa de las Flores," will begin construction in March 1993 on the 10.5 acre Milby Bus Barn Site on Navigation Street, which was donated by the City of Houston, said David Thaddeus, director of CDRC.

CDRC's architects received a master plan from city planners, but they thought some changes needed to be made before design could begin, said Thaddeus, who is also the assistant professor of architecture structures at the College of Architecture.

"The city has its ideas on how it (the housing project) should be and they came up with a master plan. We were trying to convince the city to change some things about the master plan, but, frankly, they were not working with us," Thaddeus said.

CDRC came up with eight alternative plans and took them to the Ripley House located near the housing site on Nov. 6, he said. One change to the master plan focused on accommodating more people per house by making some of the houses two stories instead of one, he said.

Many families looking for affordable housing and community leaders reacted favorably toward the changes, Thaddeus said.

"There were about 300 people there and most of them wanted to buy these houses because they heard they could qualify if they were low income. They heard the houses would cost between $35,000 to $40,000 and that they would get a low-interest mortgage," he said.

The families wanted to get involved with the design process as much as possible so CDRC bgan asking them questions to get a better understanding of their needs, he said.

One UH architecture student working on "La Villa de las Flores" said he learned more about Hispanic culture by talking with the families who want to buy the houses.

"A couple came by who spent a lot of time in the kitchen because of their culture, but they still wanted to be near the other members of the family who spend their time in the living room," said Kris Gant, a junior architecture student.

CDRC presented the information they had gathered to others involved in the project, including Mayor Bob Lanier.

One family that wants housing, for example, has six adults living together and another family had seven children, so accommodations have to be made to make everyone comfortable, he said.

CDRC and the community leaders of the area where the houses will be located agreed the city's master design plan was deficient in other ways, too.

"There was supposed to have been a wall around the property, but we were trying to show the wall was actually alienating the community," Thaddeus said. Proponents for the master plan said the wall would cut back crime in the neighborhood, but residents of the community said it would only alienate them from their neighbors, he said.

Thaddeus gave one community leader the alternate plans and he, in turn, presented them to the mayor. "He took the mayor out to the site and two of the architects were also there. They opened the plans on a hood of a car at the site and convinced the mayor of what they wanted," Thaddeus said.

The community actively participated in the design and the final decisions were made because of them, he said.

"This is one of the first times in Houston where the community has gotten involved in the design of low-income housing. You hear about it in other cities and universities like Berkeley, but never in Houston," he said.

Of the 45 architects from UH who participated in "La Villa de las Flores," 30 were students who received no credit, but, rather, volunteered their time to help the families and to get experience.

"There's a lot of hours involved in designing affordable housing. It's good experience, but mainly, I got involved to get people into houses that they normally couldn't have," Gant said.

Seth Hough, a junior architecture student, spent all day Saturday and part of Sunday working on the project, he said.

"You get to meet people you normally wouldn't have met, but the main object is to get these people into good houses," Hough said.

On Friday, the completed housing designs will be presented to the community at the atrium in the College of Architecture from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thaddeus said.

 

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ACTORS SINK TEETH INTO ROLES IN DRAMA DEPARMENT'S CURRENT PRODUCTION

by Julie Johnson

News Reporter

For the first time, the UH drama department is using dental implants to further enhance the dramatic realism in its production of John Steinbeck's <i>The Grapes of Wrath<p>.

With this new make-up technique, the actor's appearance and speech are modified.

"It (the implant) serves the production and the audience to see the reality of these people's lives," Claremarie Verheyen, costume and makeup designer, said.

A prosthesis is an artificial device used to replace a missing body part. In this case, the prosthetic teeth are simply added on to the original teeth.

A mold is made of the actor's teeth and the prosthetic teeth are designed over it. This allows for a comfortable fit on the actor's original teeth and easy insertion or removal of the device.

The prosthesis is made of powder acrylic that hardens and is painted to look like actual teeth. Randal Doerner, a senior drama student, plays Uncle John in <i>The Grapes of Wrath<p> and wears his prosthesis throughout the entire play.

Two other actors wear prostheses, but they do not wear them throughout the entire play. The remaining cast of 28 uses liquid tooth black or yellow or tooth wax to discolor their teeth.

It is important for the actors to create this effect because their characters lived during the Depression -- a time when poor hygiene and bad nutrition existed.

While doing the research for this production, Verheyen found people who lived in that era often had missing teeth.

Doerner's prosthesis resembles an old man's teeth - he plays a character with failed health and low self-esteem. When Doerner wears his prosthesis, his voice becomes distressed and lower.

"When you wear the teeth, it makes you want to grimace," Doerner said. The device's effect is an important part of the character as a whole, he said.

"This is the first time that the costume has been a major part of the character for me," he said.

Doerner also wears a fat suit that affects the way he stands and boots that affect the way he walks.

Doerner rehearsed four hours a day, five days a week for a month. He became accustomed to the, at first, awkward piece in his mouth.

Doerner credited Verheyen by saying she is a major resource in makeup technology.

"The audience looks at him (Doerner) as a troubled and isolated man," Verheyen said.

The implant works so well nobody notices it is part of a costume. Visually, the effect is subliminal. The audience no longer sees Randal as Randal, but as Uncle John, she said.

For an actor, such as Doerner, the prosthesis is a "freeing experience," Verheyen said. The ability to inhabit another physical life and to have residue of that life is advantageous to the actor's performance, she said.

"The actors have a sense of deep honesty in their characters, including the way they sound, not just the way they speak," Verheyen said.

Verheyen said this experience was an adventure for her and a worthy endeavor. She said she will try dental implants in the future if the production is appropriate.

Verheyen designed the prostheses for the actors, but Robert Bowen did the actual casting of the teeth. Bowen has experience with doing makeup for horror films.

<i>The Grapes of Wrath<p> will continue running until the end of this weekend. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

 

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NETTERS IN MUST-WIN SITUATION AT TOURNEY

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Eagerly anticipating their upcoming SWC tournament this weekend, the Cougars are busy conditioning themselves for their conference competition.

The tournament, which takes place in Austin at the University of Texas, will determine which teams will advance to the NCAA tournament.

The Cougars have fire in their eyes at the prospect of facing off against the tough SWC teams they played against during the regular season.

Houston won't play until Saturday at 5:30 in the afternoon. The Cougars landed the second place seed at the tournament by finishing out the regular season in second place.

Houston is ranked 23 and have an 8-2 SWC record and a 19-10 overall.

There is not one member of the Cougar Volleyball team that would not like to sink their teeth into the likes of the Red Raiders of Texas Tech and the Longhorns of University of Texas.

At last week's SWC championship game against the Longhorns many members of the Cougar team had some fighting words directed toward their competition, especially Texas.

"Our loss makes us really fired up for the tournament." Ashley Mulkey said.

"We are going to be mad," Janelle Harmonson said. "We want to win."

That type of spirit will be necessary to overpower top ranked teams like No. 18 Texas Tech and the No. Texas Longhorns .

The SWC championship game proved to be exciting for the fans as well as the players. A total of 1,775 cheering Cougars turned out to support the volleyball team.

It was especially rewarding for the team to have had a strong showing.

"We had great fan support at the game. The fans are absolutely excellent," Janelle Harmonson said.

The Cougars had a busy weekend playing both UT-Arlington and No. 13 L.S.U. .

Saturday night the Cougars whipped UT-Arlington in three straight games 15-4, 15-13 and 15-3.

Ashley Mulkey, Lilly Denoon, Janelle Harmonson and Julie James led the way for the Cougars.

Sunday was a different story however. The No. 13 L.S.U. proved to be too much for Houston and won in three straight games 4-15,10-15 and 8-15.

 

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DOMINGO CONCERT BENEFITS CHILDREN

by Manuel Esparza

Daily Cougar Staff

Children, it is said, are the world's most precious resource. In an effort to increase awareness to their needs and to raise the necessary funds, the U.S. Committee for UNICEF is sponsoring a major fundraising event.

The event will be held in two parts. The first is the gala concert held in the Summit. The second is a dinner, dance and auction that will be held on the second floor of the Galleria Neiman Marcus. This, however, is for those who purchased the concert V.I.P. tickets.

Placido Domingo, the world's greatest living voice, and Linda Ronstadt will provide the charity evening's main entertainment. Both are of Latin heritage and this keeps with the fact that this evening's benefits are going towards sanitation services in rural Mexico.

Rounding out the night is the auction. Among the items on the block will be jewelry, a 1993 BMW and some original artwork from Mexico's foremost artist, Hector Cruz.

Placido Domingo is no stranger to charity events. After the devastating 1985 Mexico City earthquake, he raised several million dollars through special benefit concerts.

Domingo's list of characters sung would fill a phone book. What will be interesting is to see him perform in a manner that is not as rigid as his demanding opera roles.

Linda Ronstadt, who started out as a pop singer, is widely respected for her Spanish singing. After winning a grammy for <I>Cancionnes De Mi Padre<P> she has continued to put off pop projects to record again those songs of her heritage.

The show's proceeds will go to rural communities in Mexico to build sanitary facilities. The main hope is that safe drinking water will reduce the amounts of childhood diseases such as cholera.

The Summit will be arranged slightly different for this event. Using theater-styled seating the concert should have an intimate atmosphere. Tickets are still available through the Houston office of UNICEF and Ticket Master.

 

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THE LIBERATORS EXAMINES DELICATE BALANCE BETWEEN RACES

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Out of deference, some German citizens called them <i>schwarze Soldaten<p>. Black soldiers.

Mere words could probably not convey what the survivors of the Holocaust thought of the men who risked their lives to liberate a people when they themselves still suffered from the inequities in American society.

In the documentary <i>Liberators -- Fighting On Two Fronts In World War II<p> , the relationship between Jewish survivors and their black liberators is examined. A book of the same title also serves as a window into the dark past.

Captured in the frames and pages are images of the 761st tank battalion, also known as the black panthers -- which spearheaded campaigns for Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army -- and those fortunate enough to survive the concentration camp experience.

In light of the recent unrest in New York City -- over the acquittal of a young black man in the stabbing death of a Jewish man -- the telling of such a riveting episode in history seems highly appropriate.

Nina Rosenblum, William Miles (who co-directed and co-produced the film) and writer Lou Potter scrutinized many documents and photographs, hoping to connect the pieces of a puzzle that had been buried for decades in Buchenwald and Dachau along with the bones of those exterminated at the hands of the Nazis.

Rosenblum, the daughter of photographers Walter and Naomi Rosenblum, said she had been exposed to the world of photography since her childhood. She was not prepared, however, for what she saw in the archives.

"It is hard looking through the vast archives, seeing horror after horror. It's very difficult to take, emotionally," she said, lamenting the overabundance of extremely disturbing images. "I came out of the archives crying."

Rosenblum saw the photograph of children arranged side by side in a mass grave. A baby girl, wearing only a shirt and sweater, her lips apart, lay stretched out in a crucifix position on top of a dirty pillow. Another image that must have pierced her heart is the one of two prisoners removing the body of an emaciated man with ice tongs.

In the documentary, Ben Bender, a survivor of Buchenwald, removes three pink roses from a pocket in his jacket and places them near the spot that marks the last place where he met with his brother, who committed suicide. Both of Bender's parents perished during the Holocaust.

The roses looked stiff, like silk flowers, as he pulled them from his pocket. But, when he placed them on the ground, the wind seemed to stroke the petals violently.

After he wiped the tears from his eyes, two veterans, E.G. McConnell and Leonard "Smitty" Smith, placed their hands on his shoulders and talked to him in an effort to express their empathy.

Soldiers of the 761st battalion, much like those who fought for the 54th Volunteer Massachusetts Regiment during the Civil War, have been ignored in history books. Books that recognize them usually reduce their campaigns and victories to mere sentences.

In the documentary, a crestfallen McConnell recalls being handed a purple heart -- one of 300 awarded to soldiers of the battalion -- by a hateful officer as he lay in a hospital bed. "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of bigotry," he uttered, perhaps still bitter about the racist treatment he and other black World War II soldiers experienced.

Many of those called on to man the tanks and climb into the trenches while hails of gunfire and explosions shook the ground would return to a country where they had to sit in the back of the bus and drink from the 'colored' water fountain.

In the film, this is a point soldiers routinely addressed.

One veteran, addressing a Jewish audience assembled in a synagogue, spoke of how his conception of hatred changed after he saw the concentration camps.

The listeners seemed fixated. Their eyes looked opaque. About 6,000,000 Jews perished during the Holocaust, while many others died because they refused to be on the same page with the Nazis.

German soldiers found guilty of disobeying the Fuhrer did not escape punishment. One photograph in the book shows a wooden box containing two rows of severed heads, arranged neatly like apples in a cart.

Nevertheless, for Bender and others at Buchenwald, the arduous task of burying excruciatingly real, painful visions in the back of their minds could never be completed. 'Never again' is what many Jewish people say to affirm the belief that such atrocities will not be committed in the future against them.

Captain Philip W. Latimer wrote about the unity for the cause of destroying the Nazis among black and white soldiers who fought for Patton :

Black tankers and white paratroops

Made Patton shout with glee, 'They fight the way I want them to.

They're good enough for me.'

Black tankers and white paratroops

Lie buried side by side.

They gave their life for their country,

They gave it all with pride.

Black tankers and white paratroops,

Our memories take us back.

Since we've been in battle

There is no white or black."

His poem may speak the truth about how the soldiers remained on one accord, but over 30 years passed before then-President Jimmy Carter recognized members of the 761st battalion in 1978.

The film, completed in 1991, serves like the book as a reminder of past injustices. As recent anti-immigrant, neo-Nazi uprisings in Germany indicate, the Jewish people have been forgotten by some.

While they sat in the death camps, thoughts of challah, Hanukkah, their homeland, and the Talmud must have floated into the ether right along with the smoke from the crematoriums. Many of them must have thought simply about holding on.

Then, one day, the <i>schwarze Soldaten<p> came to Buchenwald and Dachau to liberate them.

 

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BRIEFS

Contest

The Texas-Wide Writers Contest is celebrating its 10th anniversary by offering over $1500 in cash prizes and two new contest categories (light verse and science fiction short story) for Texas writers to enter.

During the 10 years of the annual contest, hundreds of poets and writers have received thousands of dollars in prizes and many winning entries have subsequently been published.

The contest is sponsored by the Byliners, a 54-year-old nonprofit organization of writers. Profits from the competition support a Byliner's Memorial Scholarship at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi.

The contest deadline is March 1, 1993. For more information call Patsy R. McCleery at (512) 991-7969.

Metro

New bus tokens will make an appearance at the end of November when Metro begins to issue shiny brass coins with a star-shaped hole in the middle. Old tokens are still good for fares.

Poisoning

The Baylor College of Medicine says carbon monoxide poisoning, the leading cause of death in the United States, is often confused with another killer -- the flu.

"Its symptoms are similar since victims may experience headaches, dizziness and nausea," said Dr. Joseph Varon, a clinical fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "It is sometimes confused with viral illnesses, food poisoning, depression and heart problems.

But the most common misdiagnosis is a 'flu-like' syndrome."

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and highly poisonous gas that can cause permanent brain damage and death.

 

Film Commission

The Texas Film Commission, a division of the Office of the Governor, announced today the combined production budgets of feature film and television projects made in the state in 1992 have already topped last year's record of $118 million and have reached $135 million.

"This is an economic development we can all be proud of. I'm very pleased this has been our best production year ever. Texas offers filmakers first-rate film crews and regional film commissions, technical services and locations like no place else," Gov. Ann Richards said.

Information service

The most comprehensive state funded technology information service in the country is now online for worldwide access, following several years of research and development by Texas Innovation Network System (TINS).

The online network is designed to promote business growth, employment opportunities and help corporations locate experts to meet their demands.

"TINS' online network provides an essential tool for moving technologies into the marketplace to help Texas companies gain a competitive edge in global markets," Gov. Ann Richards said.

"TINS will play a key role in developing new partnerships among corporations and universities in Texas and beyond.

This online link offers unprecedented opportunities to escalate the exchange of information on critical technologies."

For more information call: 1-800-645-TECH.

Interfaith scholarship winners

Three UH students were among 15 who won the 1992-93 Interfaith Scholarships. Shown (left to right) on the front row are Clarence Southall, sophomore architecture student, and Marisela Sanchez, business major from Galveston. In the back row, representing Knights of Columbus, is C.W. Van Dyck (left), co-chairman this year, and Jerry Ribnick of B'nai B'rith.

Not pictured is the other UH winner, business major Witney A. Jones.

Funds from the "Mr. Sportsman" Dinner, which this year honors UH Basketball Coach Pat Foster, are used for these scholarships. This is the 33rd "Mr. Sportsman" dinner.

 

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MILITARY SCHOOLS' ALL-MALE POLICIES UNDER ATTACK

by Amy Reynolds

(GPX) This battle is nothing like the one that took the lives of 10 cadets during the Civil War - but for the students, alumni and faculty at Virginia Military Institute, the current court battle challenging the school's all-male admissions policy could end just as fatally.

In May, 1864, a small band of VMI cadets joined Confederate forces under General John C. Breckinridge to help stave off Federal troops invading the Shenandoah Valley.

The Battle of New market ensued, the confederacy lost, 10 VMI cadets died and several more suffered injuries. Several weeks later, the Union soldiers burned the VMI barracks to the ground.

Now, 152 years after its founding, the cadets are fighting again, to save their barracks and their unusual environment from a different kind of attack.

If VMI loses, the school and its cadets could see another permanent altering of the military school's barracks - this time at the hands of women.

The legal case against VMI and the state of Virginia originated from a complaint filed by the U.S. Justice Department on behalf of a female high school student who wanted to attend VMI.

The government asserts that VMI's all-male admissions policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it is a state-supported school.

VMI argues that although it does discriminate against women, that discrimination is to promote diversity in education, something it considers to be in the Virginia higher education system's legitimate interest.

The VMI case was heard by U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser in April, 1991. In June, 1991, Kiser ruled in favor of VMI and the state of Virginia.

The Justice Department appealed Kiser's ruling and in October, after more than six months of consideration, the Fourth Circuit court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., remanded the case back to District Court.

The Court of Appeals has asked Kiser to re-examine the facts in the case and make another ruling that falls into one of three categories - that VMI become private or that the Virginia higher education system create a school for women that will give them the same experience that VMI now gives men.

Kiser had ruled that VMI's all-male admissions policy is necessary for the school to provide a unique educational experience for its students.

"I find that both VMI's single-sex status and its distinctive educational method represent legitimate contributions to diversity in the Virginia higher education system, and that excluding women is substantially related to this mission," Kiser wrote. "The single-sex status would be lost and some aspects of the distinctive method would be altered if (VMI) were to admit women."

In addition, Kiser said a similar academic curriculum, complete with military instruction, is available to women at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, also a state school. Even though VPI doesn't provide the same rigorous program as VMI, Kiser said Virginia is not denying women the opportunity to receive an education similar to that of VMI.

"It has been established that if VMI were to admit women, it would become more similar to the military barracks at VPI, so its uniqueness would be lost," Kiser wrote. "...Even if the female could physically and psychologically undergo the rigors of the life of a male cadet, her introduction into the process would change it. Thus, the very experience she sought would no longer be available."

Currently, VMI allows women to attend night and summer academic classes only.

Although the case remains in District Court for now, it will eventually return to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Most people expect the VMI case to go to the Supreme Court and expect it to take years to finally resolve.

A similar situation exists at The Citadel, an all-male military school in Charleston, S.C.

The Citadel and VMI are the only two all-male military schools in the U.S.

In June, two women joined forces with the American Civil liberties Union and filed a lawsuit against The Citadel in order to gain admission.

The Citadel currently allows women and civilians to attend evening and summer classes, but the two women who filed suit want to participate in a daytime program for veterans offered by the school.

Both women are Navy veterans who say they don't want admission into the school's Corps of Cadets nor do they want to live in the school's barracks.

They don't want to attend evening classes because they say it will take them longer to receive their degrees and that the veterans' program is more prestigious.

The ACLU argues that in denying the women admission to the veterans' program, The Citadel is violating the women's 14th Amendment right of equal protection.

The Citadel argues that admitting women would harm the approximately 2,000 cadets who come to the school expecting to receive a single-sex education, and it would jeopardize The Citadel's exemption to Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Citadel is exempt from Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination, because the school has kept an all-male admittance policy since it was founded 149 years ago. The same situation exists at VMI.

The women challenging The Citadel lost a hearing for a preliminary injunction against the school in August. They had asked U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck to allow them to enroll in the veterans' program for the start of classes on Aug. 26, before the case went to trial.

Less than a month later, The Citadel dropped the veterans' program, but Houck said the case would still go to trial. The trial was rescheduled for February, 1993, because Houck said he wanted to study the outcome of the VMI case.

 

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