UH PLANS STUDENT-DEBTOR REGISTRATION SWEEP

by Heather Wolk

Daily Cougar Staff

UH officials have decided to crack down on students who have outstanding tuition debts.

Beginning this summer, administrators hope to curb the abuse of debt payment by enforcing the existing policy of not allowing students to enroll if they owe money to the school.

Records indicate that students have been able to circumvent the existing UH policy, resulting in $751,595 in back-tuition owed.

The university must turn tuition monies over to the state. When students fail to pay tuition, UH loses several thousand dollars every semester because it can't recuperate its payments to Austin from the delinquent students.

For example, according to UH's accounts-receivable report, $57,604 is still owed from tuition due three to four years ago. Although there is an account set aside for "bad debts," any money unpaid is money UH loses.

"We'll disenroll students only in cases of significant amounts of money," said Dennis Boyd, senior vice president of administration and finance. Boyd said a specific amount considered significant does not exist, but he added a missed payment or an honest mistake can be negotiated.

Although the administration has promised to improve the collection process by standardizing the policy, it has admitted the need to make exceptions based on specific situations.

One example of debt abuse stands out. In the fall of 1990, one student owed $8,097. He was allowed to remain in Moody Towers during spring 1991 and accumulate a $9,839 tab, although he wasn't enrolled.

According to UH records, he was still allowed to return to class for the fall 1991 semester. With a debt (after a $300 payment) of $9,733, the student was permitted to enroll this semester, after being out of school for a year and a half. He now owes the university $10,234.

Another student lived in university housing for a full year without making payment or enrolling in class. UH records indicate he currently owes $9,108.

Another student owed $2,057 in October of 1990 and was able to register for classes in the spring of 1991, still owing the previous debt, according to UH records.

Another account shows that a student owing $1,250 in the fall of 1990 was able to register in the spring of 1992 carrying the debt from the previous semester.

With a debt of $1,500 in the fall of 1991, another student registered again the next semester.

How do these students get around the system?

When a student does not pay the minimum balance due for tuition and fees, a notice is sent, and late fees are added to the bill. A statement requesting the second installment is then sent. Meanwhile, the first installment is still outstanding.

At this time, if payment is not received, sanctions are applied against the student. But The Daily Cougar reviewed 93 accounts with outstanding debts ranging from $328 to $10,234. These accounts only represent employees who are or were UH students and does not take into account non-employee delinquent student debts.

Technically, sanctions mean the students' grades will be held, and they will be barred from future enrollment until the debt is paid.

Because of what Boyd referred to as "poor management and a less-than-vigorous attitude" concerning debt collection, the student often attends class for a full semester while paying only the minimum balance on the first installment.

After two years, a tuition debt is considered uncollectible.

Last semester, 1,153 students had these sanctions applied against them, but only after completing a semester of classes they didn't pay for.

While UH tries to recover money from both employees and students, it is a task that has continued to cause financial problems for UH.

For example, 13 UH employees currently owe money for unpaid tuition totaling $14,117.

Beginning this summer, stops will be placed on student accounts and records earlier in the semester to prevent students from enrolling and completing a semester of class before they are required to pay, said Phyllis Bradley, UH bursar.

"But starting this summer, the computer will reject students with debts over a set amount of money at the point of registration," Bradley said.

"Last semester, the set dollar amount was $250. That number is set by management and will be flexible," Bradley said.

 

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THIS JUST IN: CAMPUS GETS MEDIA BUILDING

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

KUHF and KUHT announced Monday that they received $6.6 million as part of a $12 million fund-raising campaign put on by the Campaign for Houston Public Broadcasting.

The CHPB is part of a larger six-year drive called the Creative Partnerships Campaign which was designed to raise $350 million in support of public higher education and its services to the Houston community. The CPC is a collaborative effort started by the UH System.

UH alumni John and Rebecca Moores contributed $3.6 million to the campaign. Another $2 million came from projected earnings from other gifts given by the Moores in the last three years. The last $1 million came from gifts given by the greater Houston community.

Station officials look forward to using new technology to begin new forms of education.

"UH campuses are facing huge enrollments that may outstrip their classrooms," said Jeff Clarke, general manager of KUHT-TV.

"We would like to have interactive technology that teaches right into your home. Within the next five years, you may have continuing education or credit courses that you can take at your own leisure."

The money will also be used to house both stations in the same building and update equipment.

"Right now, both stations have inadequate facilities. In fact, we have no post-production equipment, said John Proffitt, director of communications at KUHF-Radio.

"The newest part of the TV station was built in 1965," he said.

Although there is not enough money to begin building the facilities yet, the stations are researching various construction sites.

"Right now, we are in communication with folks that have identified spots on campus for the facilities. We have not yet explored outside of campus, but at this point, it makes sense for us to stay tied to campus," Clarke said. KUHF and KUHT are the first public stations of their kind in the country.

 

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SFAC TO DOLE OUT FUNDS CONSERVATIVELY

by Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

The Student Fee Advisory Council (SFAC) plans to review, budget requests from student service groups very carefully.

SFAC, composed of five student members and four faculty and staff members, makes recommendations to UH President James Pickering on how to allocate student service fees. Pickering takes these recommendations to the Board of Regents for final approval.

Today, SFAC members begin to listen to student service groups as they present their budget proposals for the fiscal year 1993. SFAC will consider these presentations before they make their recommendations.

Pickering, speaking to SFAC Thursday, said the committee should keep reshaping in mind and determine the groups that could function with less money.

"Reshaping basically is rethinking what we do," Pickering said. Groups funded by student fees should reconsider how they use their budgets, he added.

SFAC should ask the groups requesting additional funding what they are doing differently that requires extra money, Pickering said.

"We should be thinking if groups are as deserving (of funds) as we've thought in the past," said Don Deal, professor of industrial engineering and an SFAC member.

"I think we'll all be asking tough questions," said Lynn Wang, a freshman political science major and an SFAC member.

When allocating fees to student services, SFAC members look at the base sum a group received last year plus additional funding requests.

In the past, most groups have received at least their base amount from the previous year, said Willie Munson, dean of students and SFAC advisor.

Although unlikely, SFAC could cut a group's funding because the base amounts aren't always guaranteed, Munson said.

The one exception is athletics. As a result of the University Center Fee Referendum Agreement and Health Center Fee Agreement, no more than 35 percent of student service fees can go to any one unit. The administration has determined this agreement to mean no less than 35 percent of student fees can go to the Athletics Department.

As a result, SFAC cannot lower the athletics budget, which is approximately $2 million annually.

SFAC recommended a reduction in the athletics budget when the 35 percent cap on allocating fees expires in 1999.

Student-fee requests for fiscal year 1993 total approximately $5 million.

SFAC hearings, which are open to the public, will be held today, Monday and Wednesday in the UC Regents room.

 

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UH WINDFALL WHEELER LOTS TO HOUSE STUDENTS

by Jena Moreno

Contributing Writer

In January, UH approved the purchase of two properties on Wheeler Street for $175,000, and six other residences on Wheeler had already been purchased for $400,000.

UH began to buy properties near campus in October of 1991 and plans to buy a total of four to five acres on Wheeler, according to a Board of Regents report.

The acreage contains 31 lots, and UH has paid an average of $70,000 per lot so far. This means UH will spend about $2.17 million on deed ownership alone, the report said.

Rene Block, assistant director of Facilities, Planning and Construction (FPC), said, "Some homes are worth more than others, depending on the number of acres and value."

The properties purchased for residences need renovations, however. UH expects to spend about $3,000 to $5,000 annually on each unit for repairs, in addition to the cost of the property.

These residences, like the properties previously purchased, will be rented back to students, and no residence can house more than three students. Deed restrictions do not permit commercial use of the property, so the land cannot be used for the expansion of UH or for fraternity or sorority houses.

Block said most of the land will be used as landscaping to provide a natural boundary for the campus.

Jim Berry, associate vice chancellor of FPC, said, "By buying the property, we are controlling development and enhancing the edge of the campus."

The money used to purchase this property came from the Higher Education Assistance Fund bond proceeds. This money is voted on by the state Legislature every two years and can be used only for the purchase of equipment, renovations, construction and property acquisition.

Berry said that despite the fact maintenance is needed on campus, the money from this fund should be used to purchase land to plan for the future.

Block said, "All of these plans are contingent on the master plan, which will be decided in April."

Several master plans are currently under consideration. Block said much of the new land may not be used for a few years, but the land prices are less now than they would be in a booming economy.

"We are saving money by buying the land now, while it is cheap," Block said.

 

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ON YOUR MARK...

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

If history does indeed repeat itself, Cougar track stars Michelle Collins and Sam Jefferson should have no problem at this weekend's Southwest Conference Indoor Championships in Fort Worth.

Both are hoping to turn in another winning SWC performance as they gear up for the NCAA Championships on March 12 and 13.

Senior Michelle Collins puts her 1992 NCAA 200-meter title to the test as she returns as the defending SWC 55- and 200-meter champion. Collins comes into this weekend's meet having already qualified for this year's NCAA meet in both events. Her 23.62 time in the 200 on Feb. 13 at the Oklahoma Classic was her best of the year, and it comes only a week before the SWC championships.

However, Collins' 200-meter crown could very well be challenged by Rice's Desiree Woods (24.32) and Texas' Crystal Braddock (24.45). Both have provisionally qualified for the NCAA meet and are ranked second and third, respectively, behind Collins.

Junior Sam Jefferson is also returning this year having prevailed at last year's SWC championships. However, Jefferson will be competing in the 55-meter event instead of the 100-meter run he won last year.

Jefferson is ranked second in the 55 behind Rice's Kareem Streete-Thompson (6.21) with a time of 6.28. Both runners have already provisionally qualified for the NCAA's and are projected to win the top two spots in the event at this weekend's meet.

The Cougars are counting on other members of their team to perform as well as Collins and Jefferson.

Despite having been disappointing at times, sophomore high jumpers Jon Vines and Kenneth Bigger are looking to improve on their current status in the conference.

Vines is ranked third in the conference behind Texas Tech NCAA-qualifier Kent Deville and Rice's Jeff Pope with a jump of 6 feet, 11 inches.

Despite last season's second-place finish, Bigger must improve on his fifth-place standing and his 6 feet, 10 inch jump if he hopes to have any chance of a repeat performance this weekend.

In the triple jump, the duo of sophomores Jermaine Johnson and Chris Lopez will be a force to reckon with as they have both surpassed the 51-foot mark this season. Lopez's 51-1 3/4 leap at Louisiana State University on Feb. 6 was a career best while Johnson threatened to provisionally qualify for the NCAA's with a mark of 51-6 1/4. Johnson and Lopez are ranked second and third, respectively, in the conference behind Rice's Ivory Angelo (52-4).

In the women's division, the "Dangerous D" combination of De'Angelia Johnson and Drexel Long will be looking to repeat as SWC champions in the 4X400 meter relay. Individually, Johnson is ranked third with a time of 56.77, behind Texas' Barbara Selkridge (55.12) and Caroline Fortin (56.69).

In the high jump, freshman Katrina Harris will be the Cougars' lone chance at a championship. Her 5 feet, 7 inch distance places her third behind Texas A&M's Kalleen Madden and Baylor's Kirsten Stepcick.

Prediction? The Cougars are projected to finish fourth in the meet, but if history has anything to do with the outcome, Collins, Jefferson, and the rest of the Cougars just might have a shot at striding right towards the top.

 

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FOOTBALL AN OPEN FIELD FOR WOMEN

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Get over the sex.

What started out as a simple gender-equity plan proposed by the NCAA is becoming a hot topic, from junior high all the way to the collegiate level.

A particularly distressing bit of information for some around the country and the Southwest Conference is the possibility of women playing, dare we say, football.

The time-honored tradition of men, pads and a pigskin is one that so far has not involved a woman.

Much to the chagrin of most SWC coaches, the new ruling is not one they welcome with open arms, and certainly not one they would enforce unless they had to.

Baylor Athletic Director Grant Teaff told The Houston Post, "As long as I'm athletic director, until the law tells me so, there'll never be a woman on the Baylor football team because I don't think it's safe. On a junior high or elementary level, or certain small high schools, yes, but if you step out on the football field in Division I-A, and you're not fast, strong and mentally tough, you're going to have some problems."

I certainly don't think Teaff was implying that women aren't fast, strong and mentally tough; however, statements such as this suggest to me the existence of a shared view that women, simply because of their gender, are not capable.

In the midst of standing up for what is right and not necessarily what is popular, there are some unavoidable truths.

Having a flair for the obvious, most people recognize the physical differences between men and women. Most men's frames are larger than women's and, therefore, can carry more weight and muscle on them.

There is also a concern that if women play football, it might impair their reproductive abilities.

While the first of these is a legitimate concern, the second is shaky; however, there is a fundamental concept that people need to deal with.

In all reality, gender has less to do with this debate than opportunity and ability do.

The goal of the NCAA is not to disrupt the traditions that have been established for years. The goal is to give every individual, male or female, the chance to prove if they have what it takes on the football field.

Loud cries, rising from the many who oppose the policy, say women will be more susceptible to injuries.

In every sport, there is a possibility for injuries. Every athlete knows that an injured hamstring or a pulled groin is a possibility; that is why they always remember to play with pain.

The NCAA is right to demand equality for both men and women. If an individual can excel on the football field or on the volleyball court, that is where they should stay.

In 1954, the United States Supreme Court voted in Brown vs. the Board of Education that "separate but equal" was a fallacy. In order for college athletics to remain true, "separate but equal" must not exist again.

 

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MUSTANGS TO SEE IF TALK IS CHEAP

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

In an effort to jump-start her ailing basketball team, coach Jessie Kenlaw spent practice time behind closed doors instead of on the hardwood of Hofheinz Pavilion Thursday.

Kenlaw will see if her team meeting helped when the Lady Mustangs from Southern Methodist University pay a visit to the Cougars at 7 p.m. Saturday at Hofheinz.

On the road earlier this season, the Cougars took the Mustangs down with a strong effort from Antoinette Issac, who scored a game-high 16 points.

The Cougars, 10-12 (4-6 in the SWC), have dropped to sixth place from third in the Southwest Conference after losing to Baylor Wednesday.

The Mustangs, who are tied with Baylor for fourth place in the SWC with an even 5-5 record, are coming off a victory over the Lady Horned Frogs 89-69.

Inconsistency, which has plagued the Lady Cougars ever since their gutsy near-upset of the Texas Longhorns in January, has been Kenlaw's main concern.

Since then, the Cougars have won twice: against Rice at Autry Court and against Texas Christian in Hofheinz.

Their three losses have come at the hands of 11th-ranked Texas Tech and Baylor at home and at Texas A&M on the road.

Poor officiating is the culprit for some of their losses, Kenlaw said. The Cougars' yo-yo style of play has also contributed to their dismal record.

Throughout the season, there has always been at least one player who has stepped up when somebody else was down.

Forward Andi Jackson has been that player for the Cougars over the past four games. She is averaging 9.9 points a game and has been grabbing 3.7 rebounds a game.

"I had to come in here and prove that I am an all-around player," Jackson said. "I will try to do what I have to do on Saturday."

 

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NETTERS SWING INTO AMERICAN STYLE

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

Like many American youngsters, Cathy Bromfield and Cecilia Piedrahita enjoyed playing numerous hours of tennis during their formative years.

However, neither of the UH tennis team's junior co-captains played their early matches in America.

Bromfield's first encounter with a racket came at the age of six on the rain-drenched courts of her native England.

Piedrahita began playing under sunny skies in her homeland of Ecuador at the tender age of seven.

"I played everyday, on weekends, and played in a lot of tournaments," Piedrahita said. "We didn't have teams, like here in high schools and college, but we had a group that was selected to play for our country."

Bromfield's experience in England was somewhat different. Weather conditions and a lack of facilities forced her to seek the instruction of a private coach.

"Everything is a lot more expensive there," Bromfield said. "Basically, if you can afford a private coach, you become the better player."

Both women are now playing in the states and doing very well for themselves.

Piedrahita posted a 10-10 (4-3 conference) record in the No. 2 spot for the Cougars last spring and enters this season as the team's most experienced player.

Last season is one that Bromfield would like to forget. Since she missed the entire spring with mononucleosis, Bromfield lost a year of her college eligibility. In 1991, she finished with a 13-6 record from the No. 6 singles position.

The transition from one country and culture to another was difficult for both Bromfield and Piedrahita.

"I hated it to start with," Bromfield said. "I cried for about a week, but I settled in quickly. The team was great."

Piedrahita had to deal with an even more difficult problem than social unfamiliarity. She spoke little English when she first arrived as an exchange student at Corpus Christi's Miller High School.

"At least you didn't have to learn to speak the language," Piedrahita said jokingly to Bromfield. "It took me probably a semester to get used to it (English). The first day of classes, I couldn't understand anything."

After two years stateside, Bromfield and Piedrahita are now accustomed to American culture. Instead of worrying about language barriers and culture shock, they can focus their attention on the goal of reaching the NCAA tournament.

"I think we'll have a good season," Piedrahita said. "We have a young team, but we can do good."

Said Bromfield: "There's a lot of promise, if we can come together as a unit.

 

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HAPPY DAYS CONTAINS MOUNTAIN OF MEANING

by Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

Besides a ticket and a friend, viewers should bring their imagination to Samuel Beckett's <i>Happy Days<p> because this play is a participatory sport.

<i>Happy Days<p>, presented by the UH School of Theatre on Feb. 19-21, has a mountain of symbolism. Beckett challenges the audience to personally decide what each symbol means.

Edward Albee, UH drama professor and director of <p>Happy Days<p>, said the play has a different message for each viewer.

The play begins with Winnie (Patricia Kilgarrif) waking up to start a new day. She happily brushes her teeth and combs her hair. Being buried waist deep in a mountain of sand doesn't prevent Winnie from being thankful for "another heavenly day."

On the contrary, she discusses the simple things in life that make her happy.

Winnie has an old black bag that contains numerous treasures, such as a music box, nail file, magnifying glass and handgun.

Because she doesn't want to over-indulge herself, she tries not to spend too much time examining her bag's contents.

Winnie is also pleased with the fact that as the sun gets warmer she perspires less.

Besides these joys, Winnie brings up the past and speculates on the future with the play's only other character, Willie, played by James Belcher.

Willie doesn't often respond to Winnie's chatter. But when he does, Winnie claims excitedly it will be a happy day for her.

Winnie doesn't care if Willie pays attention to her or not. She just wants to know he's physically with her, so she won't be talking to herself.

Although Winnie is obviously lonely, she denies this fact. She's stuck and unable to dig herself out of her insecurities. Kilgariff does an excellent job portraying Winnie.

The second act shows Winnie buried up to her chin in her sandy mountain. Now, merely hearing sounds makes her claim "it's a happy day."

Remaining eternally optimistic, Winnie continues to discuss life with Willie whose responses have declined.

Willie finally tries to help Winnie out of her mountain. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite reach her. Or does he?

Frustrated audience members might ask what all of this talk means. Those who closely watch and listen and allow their imagination to guide them will leave satisfied with their own answers.

Some might argue that <i>Happy Days<p> isn't really a play because hardly any action takes place. Albee disagrees. "All that's needed in a play is people changing their minds," he said.

The audience will change it's mind several times while deciding exactly what Beckett is trying to say.

"<i>Happy Days<p> was chosen to inaugurate the recent change in the department," Albee said. This semester, the former UH drama department officially became the UH School of Theatre.

 

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BOYLE KILLS MORE THAN CO-WORKERS; FEMINISM DEAD IN THE TEMP

by Sally Pouncy

Daily Cougar Staff

Never hire a secretary who knows more than you. Especially if they came from a temp agency.

The single female is being attacked once again by the Hollywood female haters. Feminists must be upset about the cruel treatment given to unmarried women.

<i>The Temp<p> shadows its resentment toward independent women by never showing Laura Flynn Boyle's character actually killing anyone. But this omission hardly veils the threat against single women.

The threat is in the way Hollywood portrays single females as nothing more than bloodthirsty wenches out to kill and destroy.

Boyle's picking up her fare share of the psychotic female roles, but this one puts her in the <i>Fatal Attraction<p> league.

Boyle plays Kris Bolin, an aggressive gal who works her way up from a temporary assistant to a full-time executive. While Kris is climbing the corporate ladder more than a few executives begin mysteriously falling off.

Timothy Hutton portrays the dim-witted executive who is haunted by his ex-temp and her advancing career. Kris knows his access code and phone number and has the key to his house and control over his schedule. She drags him through the dirt and, ironically, up the ladder with her.

It's no big shock that Paramount Pictures has bankrolled this movie. In the '80s one of their biggest money makers was <i>Fatal Attraction<p>, The biggest affront to feminism ever to hit the silver screen.

Sure, <i>The Temp<p> is more subdued than its predecessor, but basically these are the same movies. The female lead knows what she wants, but is never allowed to have it.

This movie is an affront to the feminist movement and does not deserve to play on big screens. But if audiences continue to pay for this type of "entertainment" then Paramount will continue to supply it.

If you don't have any qualms about seeing the feminist movement stabbed in the back go see it. It's fairly entertaining, but definitely not worth more than one screening.

 

 

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