SA BILL STIRS UNEASE ABOUT BILL OF RIGHTS

by Julie Johnson and Tamra Gay

News Reporters

In an attempt to stir student reaction with the proposed dress code bill, the Students' Association did just that.

Negative student response over the bill's existence has fueled the flames of SA's intent to raise student awareness about the lack of school spirit.

The bill states that students should not dress in the paraphernalia of any Southwest Conference schools.

The proposal also states that UH students caught wearing such paraphernalia should be issued a Student Life Violation. Additional punishment would include doing a two page typed report for the Dean of Students on the history and traditions of UH and five hours of community service work on campus.

"People are taking it way too seriously," said Michelle Palmer, co-sponsor of the proposal and member of SA's student life committee.

"If it takes me writing this legislation to get some response, it shows that people don't care about anything," Palmer, a political science senior, said.

"Unless UH were to divorce itself from the United States, this proposed bill is a clear violation of the constitution," Mike Cash, a partner of the law firm of Cash, Jones and Springhetti said.

"While it is admirable that the students proposing the bill take that pride in their school, constitutional rights do not stop at the gates of UH," Cash said.

Michael Gay, an associate of the firm said, "It would be interesting to find out what the punishment would be if a student failed to perform the proposed bill's mandated punishment. I would be very surprised if the UH legal department allowed this bill to be enacted."

One student believes that the bill will not pass because of the type of punishment the bill proposes.

"The punishment for violating the bill would take away necessary study time. It would be punishing your grades and your future to spend time working on a paper and doing service work instead of school work," Jeff Strauss, a junior biology major, said.

Other students do not like the bill because it revolves around the idea that athletics is the only means of boosting school spirit.

"I think it is ridiculous that all of the students' lives should have to center around the concerns of the athletic department because this proposal is obviously related to athletics," John Lockhart, a junior philosophy major said.

Trent Reynolds, a senior hotel and restaurant major said, "It sounds like a last resort to rally school spirit. People want to wear other school's shirts because they don't want to support their own. Outlawing that would not solve the problem."

Many students at UH, like Erin McGuinness, have transferred from an SWC school. McGuinness transferred from UT this semester, but does not wear her UT sweatshirt because she feels it is unpatriotic.

"But that is my choice and it was my choice to go to that school. People should not be considered lacking in school spirit just because they wear a shirt from a different school," McGuinness said.

 

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

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

 

ARCHITECTURE DEAN CALLS MEETING TO ADDRESS RACIST, SEXIST VANDALISM OF PROMINENT BUILDING

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

The Architecture building is known by many students as the one with the 'little temple' on top.

The building is surrounded by polished black granite and granite benches.

The grand-palladian style arch entrances are lit by old-fashioned street lights which lead to a spacious atrium.

The interior has magnificent staircases with detailed railings that ascend to the top floor.

Deeper in the Architecture building's interior, however, spray-painted drawings and slurs with sexual as well as racial undertones clutter the walls.

Dean of Architecture Robert Timme held a school meeting to notify his students, which he considers a family, of the graffiti that defaces their house.

"I consider it to be a reflection on the College of Architecture," Timme said. "I am very embarrassed that it is there."

Timme and some of his colleagues and students will be taking steps to remove the paint which he says could have been there for as long as one and a half years.

"The last time (the stairwells) were painted was when the economic summit was in Houston," he said.

However, a student noticed and reported it to UHPD Dec. 5. Timme was notified of the investigation two days later.

UHPD collected spray cans and beer bottles in the stairwells that they will use to get fingerprints. They don't have any leads or suspects in the case.

"We don't perceive the graffiti as being gang related," UHPD Lt. Brad Wigtil said.

Depicted in the graffiti painted on the floor is a caricature resembling Buckwheat from <i>The Little Rascals<p>. The stick figure has blood on his chest and is accompanied by the nearby words, "Buckwheat has been shot."

In the opposite stairwell the words "¡ NEVER CONFORM¡" are written above "fuck."

In the next flight of stairs, sprayed in red paint, is "THANX 4 COMiNg" with a four foot ejaculating penis next to it.

Light fixtures in both stairwells are painted with graffiti, as are the steps and railing.

Painted on the floor of another landing is the figure of a headless woman with no arms sitting bare breasted with her legs spread.

"To me it was like a <i>Saturday Night Live<p> sketch. I thought it was funny but it didn't make me laugh because it was an old joke," Hitendra Gandhi, an architecture graduate student, said.

Many architecture students, however, didn't realize the graffiti was in the stairwells.

"Ninety five percent of the students weren't aware of the problem. No one ever goes in the stairwells so there is no telling (how long the graffiti was there)," Timme said. "I had never been at the top of that landing before."

The vandalism contributed to a ban on students using spray paint in the stairwells to paint their models.

The college is working with Herb Collier and Don Greer of the Physical Plant to create painting facilities for the students.

"Students will be able to use water-based paint, which is safer because it has no fluorocarbons," Timme said. "It will make a better environment."

They will also have airbrushing equipment.

 

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

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

 

SHELTER MAKES ROOM FOR HOMELESS STUDENTS

by Kim Copelin

News Reporter

UH's purchase of the Star of Hope mission does more than allow the local shelter to relocate and expand its facilities. It gives hope to students waiting to get on-campus housing -- five years from now.

UH will lease the property to Star of Hope for five years so they will have time to relocate. President James Pickering said once the building has been vacated, UH may use the facility, which includes 120 living units, for student housing.

The $1.88 million purchase was approved by the UH Board of Regents in October and will be final in April, said Mike Post, director of operations at the Star of Hope.

Mission representatives and UH administrators began negotiations about a year ago when the mission learned of the university's plans to expand.

A real estate agent, not associated with UH, approached directors of the mission last year and asked if they wanted to sell the property, Post said.

"We said 'no' because we had plans to expand our facilities within the next few years," Post said.

The agent told Post he should speak with UH administrators because he thought they had the land marked for expansion.

"That was our initial contact with the university and it was a total surprise when they told us 'yes' they had long range plans for expanding to that area," Post said.

Because the university has eminent domain (the right to purchase private property for public use) of properties surrounding the mission, the charity organization decided to sell the facility now rather than investing money in the property and having to sell it later.

"I think the deal worked out well for everyone. The timing was right -- just before we were planning to expand," Post said.

 

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

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

 

COLLEGE PAPERS BATTLE BUREAUCRACY OVER LEGAL ACCESS TO PUBLIC FILES

CPS -- Despite freedom of information policies that exist in all 50 states, campus newspapers are finding that administration officials are blocking access to records needed for stories.

Some cases are ending up in court as newspapers are suing colleges and universities, contending that information is being denied to reporters that, under law, should be made available.

"Next to censorship, access questions are the most numerous we receive," said Mark Goodman, an attorney and director of the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C. "It has dramatically grown it the past years, especially in crime reporting. Schools clearly covered in sunshine are covering up."

The Student Press Center is a non-profit organization that gives student editors and reporters legal advice and refers them to local counsel for free representation. The "sunshine" Goodman was referring to is open government law that allows the public, including the media, into government meetings and gives access to public records such as crime reports.

But that doesn't mean public universities and community colleges are complying with state public record laws, Goodman said.

"The fundamental tendency of a bureaucracy is not to want to reveal its activities," he said. "Many schools simply don't like the notion of having people knowing what they're doing. Many people do not appreciate the fact they are servants of the public."

He cited two current cases of schools denying access to campus newspapers:

• The student editor of the Northern Student at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn., sued the school when her paper was denied access to campus police reports. The school claims the reports are not covered in Minnesota's open record laws.

• The Vignette, the student newspaper at Nassau Community College, in Long Island, N.Y., is suing the school to look at college employees' files in sexual harassment cases.

Gregory Schwartz, an attorney representing the Vignette, said the basis of the suit is that the administration is violating New York's Freedom of Information Law. The school turned down the request for the paper on the grounds that the information, if disclosed, would "result in an unauthorized invasion of personal property," Anna Marie Mascol, the school's attorney, wrote in response.

Schwartz said that while the school's arguments have merit, "they have to do what they need to do to protect their teachers. But I don't think they should."

In the Vignette case, an instructor was investigated on sexual harassment charges and dismissed, and the paper wanted to look at his files that pertained to the case.

Goodman, with the Student Press Law Center, said that most campus newspapers don't have the time or resources to file suit and find a remedy.

"It is rare when a publication will pursue this to a court. There have been administrators who have told students, 'I don't care about the law, you're not gong to get this,' " Goodman said. "They don't take students seriously."

All 50 states have some open law and record provisions, he said. One major function of the Student Press Law Center is to let students know what open government laws are applicable in their state.

Colleges and universities cannot use the Buckley Amendment as a justification not to release student crime records, Goodman said. The Higher Education Act, enacted in July 1992, removes crime records from the Buckley Amendment, a 1974 law that prohibits release of student educational records without permission of the student.

"We want them to realize that this is not an idle threat. Penalties can be prohibitive," Goodman said. "The one key thing we do is to help student journalists know what they are entitled to know. Only of late is it that many schools are complying with these laws. Many administrations look at their institutions as private corporations, ignoring the fact they are a part of government."

 

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

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

 

BRIEFS

 

SEX, CONDOMS & NEWSPAPERS

(CPS) -- Readers of the Anchor, Rhode Island College's student newspaper, got a hint about the main subject of a recent issue when a condom, ever so discreetly wrapped in lime-green paper, arrived with each copy.

The newspaper published a special safe-sex issue and distributed 5,000 condoms. The condoms cost the school's student government $502, said Jeff Wallace, the paper's editor.

"By noon Wednesday, if you could find an issue on campus you were very lucky," said copy editor Joe Hutnak. "We're hoping people were looking at what were saying about safe sex, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. If we made one person more aware about safe sex, we've saved a life."

The issue contained articles on various subjects, including questions about AIDS and gay rights, a condom drive-through store, having a blood test to test for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and a survey on virginity.

GAY GREEKS

(CPS) -- Two University of Florida students who want to form a sorority primarily for lesbians are seeking recognition from the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which has not added a new sorority since 1951.

Agnes Garcia and Paige Marsala, both juniors, told the Florida Independent Alligator that such a group would "unite women and encourage them to fight sexism and other prejudices."

The organization, which is also open to heterosexual women, is not officially registered with the university, but is acting as a social group that hosts fund raisers for AIDS research, gay and lesbian rights and other civil rights.

Garcia and Marsala admit it's unlikely the group will be recognized by the National Panhellenic Council. In order to have national standing, sororities must have chapters at universities throughout the country for at least 13 years.

FAMILY AFFAIR

(CPS) -- School is truly a family affair for the Miller family, all five of whom attend the University of New Mexico.

Bob Miller, 46, is studying geology, while his wife, 45-year-old Carol Miller, is considering an English major, the Daily Lobo reported.

Meanwhile, Lindsey Miller, 17, is studying elementary education, Jennifer Miller, 23, will graduate in December with an English bachelor's degree, and Holly Miller, 20, is a business major.

The Millers live, eat, study, have classes, drive to school and fill out financial aid forms together. The four Miller women all have work-study jobs at the Zimmerman Library.

Having all five of the Miller clan going to school was a shock for the system at Student Financial Aid. "When we all sent in our financial aid forms, they were rejected," Carol Miller said. "The computer was not set up to believe every member of a household could be a student."

HONOR-LESS THEIF

CPS - The honor system at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Ga., hit a new low when someone stole an honor pledge that students are traditionally asked to sign.

The "Class of 1994 Honor Pledge," a promise to uphold the honor code, is signed by each student and is normally hung in a permanent frame on a wall in Alston Center.

It had been temporarily removed by the staff and placed on a table to make it accessible for signing.

"We are not putting the other honor codes up for the three other classes until this one is returned," said Sarah Pilger, a spokeswoman for the all-female school.

Pilger said the code was stolen during Black Cat Week, a week of school-spirit activities, and there is a possibility that the culprit is not from Agnes Scott College.

"You know, we are one of 17 campuses in the Atlanta area, and these kinds of things happen from time to time, with fraternity men and so on," she said. "We have no knowledge of where it is.

"It has gone beyond a prank," she added.

ATHLETES IN DIAPERS

CPS -- All male athletes must attend anti-hazing seminars after campus police found 11 freshman members of the swim team clad only in diapers on the fourth floor of a University of Texas dormitory.

The swimmers were taking part in an initiation supervised by an undetermined number of upperclassmen. Police said condoms and goldfish were also involved in the initiation rites.

"The investigation is complete," said Sharon Justice, dean of students. "My staff, along with the athletic director and swim coach, agreed that all male athletes will participate in seminars regarding hazing.

"We have talked to all members of the swim team individually," she added, noting that the university has been offering anti-hazing seminars for the past several years.

If it is determined that any of the students violated university rules, they could face a range of penalties that include a warning probation to permanent expulsion, Justice said.

 

Christmas in Kansas

CPS -- The salvation Army received 12,000 cans of food collected by several University of Kansas groups so that poor families will have hot meals during the holidays.

The food drives are the main source of meals at several community shelters and organizations in Lawrence, Kan., home of the university.

A spokesman for Students Against Hunger, one of the university organizations that participated in the drive, said that the food ensured the Salvation Army would be able to feed all of the people who visited their shelters.

Students are also taking part in the local Christmas Adoption program, where students "adopt" a low-income family for the season, and buy them holiday gifts.

 

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

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

 

BUSH-APPOINTED NEA DIRECTOR PRACTICES ART OF CENSORSHIP

by Shane Patrick Boyle

Daily Cougar Staff

The National Endowment for Arts is facing new opposition, but this time it is not from Jesse Helms or George Bush.

The NEA's new nemesis is Bush-appointed NEA director Anne Imelda Radice.

Radice, who has veto power over all NEA grants, has recently created a stir by canceling funding for some gay and lesbian film festivals, claiming that they have no artistic merit.

Now, with the election over, and only a short time remaining for the administration that appointed her, many in the art world fear that Radice, who is likely to be fired when the new president takes office, will use her remaining time to inflict lasting damage on the endowment.

"She is trying to do as much damage as she can before the new administration takes over," said Micheal Peranteau, director of DiverseWorks, who met Radice when he served on an NEA panel.

One of the ways she can make a lasting impression, according to Peranteau, is by filling program director vacancies with people who support her agenda.

The importance of these positions, Peranteau said, is that during their two year terms they can't be fired.

Already, she has filled one of four vacancies.

Visual Arts director Susan Lubowsky left on a Friday and was replaced the following Monday, he said.

Her replacement is Rosalyn Alter, who, according to Peranteau, "knows nothing about contemporary art."

Alter was president of the Houston-based Blaffer Foundation for about three months before she was fired. Her only other qualification, according to Peranteau, was being Radice's former roommate from college.

There are three more open positions and Peranteau said most likely, these spots will also be filled by anti-gay, pro-censorship people.

The irony of her opposition to gay artists is that she is suspected by some in the art world of being a lesbian herself.

"She's the Roy Cohn of the art world," Peranteau said, alluding to the anti-gay rights politician who worked with Joseph McCarthy and recently died of AIDS.

"She's attacking the gay world and she is gay," he said.

Peranteau's own experience with Radice came through his brief time on the solo theater artists panel during the summer. He said he spent several hours with her before the panel walked out without meeting because Radice was someone they could not work with.

The panel followed the lead of the Visual Arts panel, (on which Houstonian sculptor James Surls served), which walked out earlier in the summer after just a few meetings.

Nobody knows how far Radice will go before she resigns or is fired, but Peranteau believes it could take two years to repair all the damage she is doing.

Before the election, "she did Bush's bidding and the Republican Party's bidding," Peranteau said. "Now, she is doing her own."

 

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

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

 

OUTSPOKEN SINGER EMBARKS ON 'TIPPER GORE' TOUR

by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

Aspiring singer/songwriter Brenda Kahn has been stuck in a New York office all day conducting phone interviews and she's tired of talking.

"I like talking to people, so when I can get into interesting conversations with people it's good, but when it's hours of who my influences were, it's kind of exhausting," she said.

Kahn is rapidly becoming known for her outspokenness. Her first two releases, <i>Goldfish Don't Talk Back<p> and <i>Epiphany in Brooklyn<p>, are filled with biting observations and ironic humor.

"The first record was very political. Everyone who is a fan of that record says, 'well, uh, what happened to all the political songs?' "

Indicative of the album's content is the title track in which Kahn laments, "Every candy store on the block sells crack/ Every Supreme Court ruling is three steps back/ There's acid rain in the drinking water, but the goldfish don't talk back."

Heavy stuff. The 28-year-old Kahn, however, is no intellectual lightweight. After an adolescence nourished on the writings of Rainer Maria Rilke and Feodor Dostoevsky, Kahn moved to New York to attend New York University.

After an academic career which included a year of study at the London School of Economics, Kahn received her degree in political science from NYU.

Although not as overtly political as her first record, <i>Epiphany in Brooklyn<p> is still heavy on the social content.

"There's still a lot of political content, it's just not really obvious," she said.

"What I was writing about had a lot more to do with what I was going through. There were a lot more personal, sort of intense things going on."

Kahn is heading out in support of <i>Epiphany<p> with a string of solo dates this winter.

The name of her tour?

"We're calling it the Tipper Gore tour in honor of the Parent's Music Resource Center," she said.

 

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

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

 

OUTLAW IS IN AT UH

by Keith Rollins

Daily Cougar Staff

His nicknames run aplenty.

"Bo" is heard most often in Cougar practices. But "King" and "Superstar" are also directed at the basketballer.

His real name is Charles Outlaw. The name is a perfect connotation for the way he plays the game.

Instead of a six-shooter at his side, he uses his 6'8", 210-pound frame as his weapon. He shoots down his opponents with thunderous dunks and intimidating blocked shots.

His height and weight are small for the center position, but Outlaw makes it up with his unbelievable strength and quickness.

He bench presses 305 pounds and his maximum in the squat is 375 pounds. His vertical leap from a standstill measures 36 inches, but with a running start, Outlaw airs out at around 42 inches. And with only 2.9 percent of his body being fat, Bo is one of the leanest athletes in Cougar history.

"I don't know how it's so low. I eat all the time," Outlaw said. "I eat everything."

Outlaw prefers to be called just "Bo" because "that's what my mother calls me."

But his teammates don't let the senior center off that easy.

"We call him the 'King' because at his other school (South Plains Junior College) he was the Homecoming King," Derrick Smith said. "We call him 'Superstar' now because he was on national television making one of his faces."

"Aw, man, it's just Bo," Outlaw said half-grinning in response.

Off the court, Smith calls him "wild," but come tip-off time, Outlaw is all business.

In Houston's first game against DePaul, Outlaw saddled the Demons with a 19-point, nine- rebound, six-assist, five-block performance.

Last year, Outlaw finished the season with the top field goal percentage in the nation at 68.4 percent. That statistic broke former Cougar Hakeem Olajuwon's 1984 school record of 67.5 percent.

He also topped the SWC with 3.1 blocks per game, 10th best in the country.

In the upcoming campaign, big things are expected from the pre-season center favorite.

"We want him to score. I think he has to look a lot more than he did last year. He's a lot better offensively than he was last year," Head Coach Pat Foster said.

Don't expect more perimeter scoring. Foster emphasized that Outlaw isn't that type of player.

"He can't shoot on the perimeter . . . and he knows it, but see, about 98 percent of the players don't know that (they cannot shoot from the outside), and that's why he is such a great player. He knows what he can do and what he can't do," Foster said.

The newest edition to the squad, junior college transfer Anthony Goldwire, is impressed with Outlaw's play.

"He's real good. He runs the floor real well. He loves defense. People don't look at him as a real offensive player, but he can score," Goldwire said. "He kinda picks the team up emotionally when the team's down."

Goldwire especially likes it when Outlaw dunks.

"That's his motivation, it gets him going. Whenever he makes a dunk, we know he's in the game mentally."

Outlaw has played against some real SWC talents like Dexter Cambridge and Brent Scott over the last year, but said the best athlete he ever matched-up with was NBA Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Shaquille O'Neal.

The Orlando Magic superstar developed out of the San Antonio high school ranks as did Outlaw. From Outlaw's sophomore season at John Jay High School on, he and O'Neal battled each other in annual all-star games.

"He was about 6'10'', 280 then and was already pretty good. I blocked a couple of his shots, but he blocked more of mine. He won that battle," Outlaw said.

The possibility of bucking up to the "Shaq" in the NBA is intriguing to Outlaw, but he isn't looking ahead.

"I'm not there yet, so I'm not thinking about it. But when I do, I'll call you and tell you how it is."

Here's one writer who believes that call isn't too far in the future.

 

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

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

 

LADY COUGARS START ROAD SCHEDULE AGAINST SAM HOUSTON STATE

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

The Lady Cougars hit the road tonight for their first away game of the year against the Sam Houston State LadyKats.

The Lady Cougars are coming off of a second place finish at the Hobby Hilton Classic held December 5 and 6. They fell to the Lady Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi in the championship game, 61-58. They are now 1-2 for the season.

The LadyKats opened their season with a loss to the University of Texas-El Paso, 64-51. They rebounded from that loss and won their second game against North Carolina-Wilmington, 87-51. They now have a 1-1 record for the season.

Visit The Daily Cougar