SMOKERS IGNORE RULE, LIGHT UP IN SATELLITE

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Smokers fumed outside the Satellite Monday morning as March 1 marked the first day of the UH smoking ban.

The ban was introduced as a referendum last spring during the Students' Association's presidential elections. Out of 33,000 students, 1900 voted on the referendum. 85 percent of these people supported the smoking ban.

Rain pounded the campus when more than 30 students huddled under the three-foot canopy outside the Satellite. Showing their anger, the students rebelled by blowing smoke into the restaurant from outside. Eventually, they took their "rightful place" inside the old smokers' section of the cafeteria.

As the students entered the restaurant, some of them ripped down the new no-smoking sign and burned it with their cigarette lighters.

"When I was outside, I couldn't study. Now I'm in here and smoking, and I plan to study," said Farida Midni, a freshman international relations major.

Students questioned the importance of the ban as Satellite management did nothing to enforce the new policy.

"It's obvious they don't have the ability to keep up this new policy. What are they going to do, spend money on people who can specifically police smokers?" asked Vanessa Johnson, a sophomore psychology major.

The new policy is meant to be enforced by the supervisor of whichever establishment smokers are caught in. If a student does not respond, the student's name will be sent to the Dean of Students office. At this point, the case can be heard by a student judiciary committee.

"There isn't really any clear punishment. A student can be heard by a student board," said Russel Hruska, Students' Association president.

"I guess in the worst situation, you could ultimately be expelled," he added.

The students who remained outside the Satellite discussed plans of action as cigarette butts formed dirty piles directly outside two of the four entrances to the restaurant.

"The boycott begins tomorrow, March 2. They took away our rights -- why should we give them our money?" asked Thalia Christy, a junior interior design major.

Bill Wentz, UH campus dining services manager, said a boycott would only punish employees and business people. "We have no authority over this. Students should take it up with the administration or sit in front of the Board of Regents. The only thing we do is ask people to stop smoking," he said.

Other students who did not completely agree with a full boycott offered alternatives for campus eating areas.

"We ought to install a new vent system, or a fan system. They could take a collection from the smokers to build it, said Joe Maines, a senior music major.

"This polarizes students. I would like to associate with non-smokers," he added.

 

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PART-TIME STUDENT SERVICE FEE HIKE PROPOSED TO AVOID CUTS

by Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

Faced with a deficient student fee budget, members of the Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC) are considering ways to fund student service groups without raising fees.

Groups funded by student service fees have asked for $47,059 that SFAC doesn't have to give, said Rodger Peters Jr., SFAC chairman.

The predicted student fee budget for the 1993-94 school year is $5,910,213; however, funded groups are asking for a total of $5,957,272.

Normally, this budget deficiency would leave SFAC with the decision of cutting funding from certain groups or raising student service fees, Peters said.

However, SFAC is debating two additional ideas that would allow all groups to receive at least their level-funding and prevent full-time student fees from being raised next year, Peters said.

One idea is to lower the full-time status from nine to six hours. This would increase the number of students who would pay $96 for student service fees, Peters said. Most likely, part-time student fees would also go up if SFAC votes in favor of this idea, he said.

"We're thinking about having part-timers start carrying more of the load because they use student services, too," Peters said.

Out of the four universities in the UH System, the main campus is the only one where part-time students don't pay a full fee amount, said Dean of Students Willie Munson, an SFAC advisor.

Students at UH-Clear Lake pay a student service fee of $105. UH-Downtown and UH-Victoria students pay $99.

Full-time students would not have to pay higher student service fees with this plan, which could take effect this summer if approved, Peters said.

Another idea would be to have athletics receive a dedicated fee instead of receiving student service fees associated with SFAC, Peters said.

However, because initiating this action would take a long time, it wouldn't help next year's funding problems, he added.

Currently, SFAC policies mandate that athletics receive 35 percent of the student service fee budget. This policy will remain in effect until 1999.

The only other group receiving a designated amount of student services fees is the Activities Funding Board (AFB), an SFAC subcommittee that determines funding for specific activities by registered student organizations, which gets one percent of student service fees.

Out of 28 groups listed on the SFAC budget-request summary sheet, nine asked for overall budget increases for next year, and nine asked for one-time allocations for the spring and summer.

The Veterans Services Offices (VSO) asked for $7,664 to be added to its base of $10,340 because this year, Congress stopped funding the VSO with a federal grant, said John Mowery, coordinator of Veterans Services Offices.

The VSO doesn't plan to begin any new programs, Mowery said. "We're asking for this extra (student fee) funding to maintain our current level of service," he said.

The Child Care Center asked for a $20,000 increase and a $10,000 one-time request in addition to its $41,915 base for financial assistance to student parents, said Marceline Devine, director of the Child Care Center.

"None of the extra funding we requested will go directly to our center," Devine said.

Learning Support Services requested $28,280 plus a one-time amount of $12,010 to be added to their base of $272,194. The extra money would be used to employ more student tutors, said Jerry Osborne, assistant vice president of Counseling and Testing.

The tutoring program pays students to help students master difficult courses.

"We feel the program is a win-win situation because everybody profits," Osborne said.

Career Planning and Placement requested a one-time amount of $8,369 to be added to its base of $455,559 to improve a resume database, said David Small, assistant vice president for student services.

"This database will allow us to respond faster to employers' requests for resumes," Small said. "It will help our students who are in a competitive job market."

SFAC plans to present its final funding recommendations to President Pickering Friday.

 

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GREEKS COLLECT COINS FOR AILING KIDS

by Mindi King

News Reporter

The Greek Week "Wall of Quarters," held Monday at UH, raised money to help grant the final wishes of terminally ill children.

The wall, located at the UC south entrance, was sponsored by the Make A Wish Foundation, a volunteer program that uses donated money to grant the final wishes of terminally-ill children, said Tammy Frye, Greek Cabinet co-chair and organizer of the event.

Paper Greek letters of the 24 participating organizations were taped to the UC south entrance wall. Donated quarters were taped to the letters with the goal of filling every letter. There are 27 Greek organizations on campus. Non-Greek donations were taped to the letters "UH Cares."

Kim Bales, a co-chair for Greek Week, said the fund-raising event suffered a slow start because of the rain. However, the letters filled up quickly as the day progressed, she said. At 2 p.m., there were about 175 Greek members who had donated at least one quarter, she said, and some had contributed as much as $6.

This is the first year the Wall of Quarters was a part of Greek Week at UH, Bales said, and hopes it will be added to next year's events.

Frye said, "We are trying to emphasize to the community the many philanthropic activities Greek organizations at UH participate in."

People who have had a "dim view" of Greek organizations in the past were able to participate in the activity by contributing, she added.

Teri Andrepont, executive director of the Texas Gulf Coast chapter of the foundation, said UH is the first college campus to participate in fund raising for their chapter.

The national foundation originated in 1980 in Phoenix and is supported by organizations such as Disney Land and celebrities such as Garth Brooks and Michael Jackson, she said. There are numerous individual chapters, including the Texas Gulf Coast chapter, founded in Houston in 1984, she added.

The average cost of a wish is $3,600, she said, and is provided by fund-raising events such as the Wall of Quarters, as well as individual and large, corporate donations. To qualify for a wish, a child must have a life-threatening disease and be under the age of 18, she said.

Last year, the foundation granted 132 wishes and has granted 68 since September 1992, including the installation of a hot-tub in the hospital room of a boy with cancer, she said. The foundation is presently working to bring the grandparents of a child who has never met them from Vietnam to the United States, she said.

Terminally-ill children are referred to the foundation by a doctor, medical worker, social worker or an immediate family member, she said.

 

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LOTTERY BRINGS PARITY TO JOB-SEARCH ORDEAL

by Tammy Gamble

News Reporter

The combination of fewer interview opportunities and more students interested in campus recruitment has prompted the Career Planning and Placement Center to enact a daily lottery system for scheduling interviews.

"The lottery is designed to give all students an equal opportunity at a prospective employer's interview times instead of taking their chances at standing in line in the previous first-come-first-served system," said David Small, assistant vice president for Student Services.

The previous system forced some students to stand outside the Student Services building all night to be first in line the next morning, Small said. Standing in line was neither safe nor beneficial for the students, who could be studying instead of waiting, he added.

The lottery takes place at 4:10 p.m. each day, with a random number assigned to each interview request received that day, Small said. "Students can enter the lottery up to two weeks before the interview date, so students starting early have the advantage," he added.

Students are assigned an interview for their selected company according to their number and until all of a company's spaces are filled, Small said. A completed schedule of dates and times is available to students by 9 a.m. the following morning, he added.

"The center began experimenting with the lottery system last semester by offering it once a week to students," Small said. After implementing the system, the center conducted a survey that found the lottery popular with students, so it was expanded to three days a week and then to the current five days a week, he said.

The lottery does not affect the pre-selection service in which companies receive resumes two months in advance. The companies can fill up to half their interview time with these students, Small said.

Craig Judge, a senior marketing major, received all his interviews through pre-selection. "Pre-selection guarantees me an interview time with the company," Judge said.

Theresa Gonzales, a senior management information systems major, said the new lottery system lets students compete with others for the available jobs. "I didn't receive any interviews with the old system, but I have had eight interviews with the lottery system," Gonzales said.

Braden Brown, a senior journalism major, doesn't have any complaints with the lottery so far. "The lottery is more fair for night students," Brown said.

Bob Sanborne, associate dean of Student Services at Rice University, said the first-come-first-served system works there because the university has more companies recruiting and fewer students to fill the appointments. "If Rice was a larger university, the lottery system would work much better and be a more equitable system for students," Sanborne said.

Small and Sanborne attribute the decrease in campus recruiting to the economy. "The University of Houston has seen a 17 percent decrease in recruiting, while nationwide, the decrease ranges from 15 to 25 percent," Small said.

"Rice is trying to make up for the loss of larger companies by emphasizing medium and smaller companies to students," Sanborne said.

Small said students can get a head start on their job searches by starting early in their senior year, using pre-selection, preparing a resume and researching possible employers.

 

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GEOLOGY PROF SUFFERING FROM PLYWOOD BLUES

by Doug Pack

News Reporter

Rock simulations on campus give geology majors their first real experience in basic field techniques.

The pieces of plywood scattered about the ground next to the UH Science Center and the Science and Research buildings may look like target practice for the UH archery team, but for Peter Copeland's Geologic Field Methods class, it's simply making do with what you've got.

"One of the problems with living in Houston is the geology is fairly simple, flat and basically fundamental in nature," said Copeland, assistant professor in the Geosciences department.

"In fact, to see any complex rock formations in Texas, you would have to travel approximately 400 miles to the Fredericksburg/ Kerrville area just west of Austin."

"Therefore, what we have to do is use those pieces of plywood out there as geological simulations," Copeland said.

"They're tilted up on end to simulate rock units which are tilted, which we don't have any of in the Houston area."

Each of the plywood squares is marked with large colored dots to represent different rock units.

Students are required to take observations and make interpretations of what it would look like if they could dig a trench and view the unseen portion of rock (plywood).

"This exercise helps students develop fundamental skills in the use of a compass and map-making," Copeland added.

Students will need those skills for their "Spring Break" class trip to Big Bend National Park in West Texas. There, they will be able to apply those skills in real-life settings with real deformed rock formations.

"The joke is, sophomore geology majors tend to be real good at identifying rocks-in-a-box," Copeland said.

"So what we try to do here is expose them to more than just looking at rocks in a cardboard box."

Copeland has the credentials to show students much, much more. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New York at Albany for geological research in the Himalayas.

 

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NADER, O'CONNOR, ALBEE TO SPEAK AT UH AFFAIRS

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Three speakers who have reached the upper echelons in their respective disciplines will speak at UH events in March.

This Thursday at noon, nationally renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader will speak at a conference hosted by the UH Law Center Health Law Policy Institute.

He will be the featured speaker at the event, which also includes a press conference that will focus on a study on occupational health, conducted by the institute. The speech will be delivered at the Houstonian Hotel.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the court, will speak Friday, March 12, as part of the Butler and Binion lecture series. Her speech, which will be delivered at 1 p.m. at the Omni Hotel, will be directed to an audience of UH alumni.

Distinguished playwright Edward Albee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and his latest works, The Marriage Play and Lorca, will lead a discussion as part of the Inventive Minds speaker series on March 30. The discussion, "The Playwright vs. the Theater," will begin at 7 p.m.

 

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DEFENDING CHAMP TEXAS STILL IN LEAGUE OF ITS OWN

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

Through all the bobbles, boots and heart-stopping comebacks, the No. 1 Texas Longhorns still manage to come through unscathed.

The biggest problem facing this season's version of the defending Southwest Conference champions so far looks to be their defense.

"We have more depth this year in every position," senior first baseman Braxton Hickman said. "Our only weakness right now is team defense, and that will improve with time and experience."

Gone are reliable, four-year starter Clay King at third base and All-American center fielder Calvin Murray.

In their place, Texas has added a host of football players and freshmen who have contributed to the 33 errors through the first 17 games.

Longhorn quarterbacks Peter Gardere and Shea Morenz, as well as wide receiver Darrick Duke, are left to roam the outfield.

Because of the departure of King, third base has become a question mark for Texas coach Cliff Gustafson for the first time in a long while.

To this point, freshman Chad Blessing and junior transfer Steve Heinrich have logged the most time at the hot corner. But, Gustafson says, they have been unable to plug the defensive gap.

"Both have hit real well, but neither of them have nailed down the third-base position," Gustafson said. "

Texas is looking to gain its 22nd SWC title in Gustafson's 26 years as the Texas coach.

"It's going to be a dog fight," Gustafson said. "Everyone's a contender."

Texas is sporting a blend of last year's team, which finished 48-17, and newcomers. The Longhorns look to repeat their 1992 performance that earned them a berth in the College World Series.

The biggest portion of their plan revolves around junior Brooks Kieschnick.

The 6-4 right hander out of Corpus Christi has been all-everything to the Longhorns for two years as a pitcher and designated hitter. Through 17 games, Kieschnick belted six home runs and 24 runs batted in.

"To win, we will have to have some quality pitching," Kieschnick said, "and hopefully I'll keep swinging the bat well."

In what will surely be his final season for Texas, Kieschnick has added right field to his repertoire that includes an 18-4 career mound record and a .352 career batting average.

Hickman adds another potent weapon to the Longhorn arsenal. Already known as the best defensive first baseman in the SWC, Hickman came on late last season with an offensive surge that surprised everyone.

It carried over to the Alaskan summer league where he was named Baseball America Player of the Year.

"I go about things a little differently now that I am a senior," Hickman said. "I have to be more of a leader."

Another player with a late-season surge last year was All-SWC shortstop Tim Harkrider. The junior pre-season All-American is considered one of the top prospects for this year's draft.

Another key loss for Texas was SWC home-run champion catcher Chris Abbe. In order to be successful, the team must find someone who can hit successfully behind Kieschnick.

Sophomore outfielder Stephen Larkin is a possible candidate. His glove keeps him out of the outfield, but his bat screams for the middle of the lineup.

Pitching depth always seems to be a problem for the Longhorns.

Kieschnick and junior Jay Vaught are expected to anchor the staff. Sophomore Ryan Kjos and freshman J.D. Smart will also contribute.

 

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BRIDESMAID TEXAS A&M HOPES TO CATCH ELUSIVE GOLDEN SWC RING

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

Always the bridesmaid.

The No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies will begin their Southwest Conference title run building on last year -- again.

After posting a 38-18 record to gain a regional berth, the Aggies lost 2-of-5 games in the East Regional to be denied a coveted trip to the College World Series in Omaha. They have finished second in regional action in five of the last six years.

The Aggies will build on junior All-American Jeff Granger. After two years of trying to decide between football and baseball, Granger has said this time he will stay with baseball.

The left-hander from Orange has anchored the A&M staff for two years with a career record of 16-6 and a 3.19 ERA.

"We thought from the very beginning that pitching would be our strong point and it has been so far," A&M head coach Mark Johnson said. "We haven't really set our rotation yet, but we have four left-handers."

Another boost to the starting rotation is the emergence of left-handed junior Kelly Wunsch.

After a 4-3 year in 1992, Wunsch emerged as one of the top prospects in this year's draft after a Cape Cod All-Star summer.

Other returning pitchers are Trey Moore, Chris Clemons and Brian Parker.

The departure of All-American James Nix (11-6) and Brian Harrison (7-4) will force someone to step in and fill the void.

Possible candidates include Moore, who sports a nifty 0.69 earned run average through two games with 17 strike outs; and Clemons, who has a 4.75 ERA with eight strike outs.

One possible chink in the A&M armor could be what's plaguing a lot of teams: defense.

"We still need to get our defense worked out," Johnson said. His unit has committed 26 errors through 14 games.

The Aggies lost their entire starting infield to graduation and the major league draft. They were dealt another blow when starting shortstop Paul Barber was injured in a car wreck. He'll miss the rest of the season.

Robert Harris shifted from second base to make up for the loss. When Harris went down with an injury, junior college transfer David Martin was thrust into the starting role. These two should be a high-quality platoon for Johnson.

Catcher will be one of the many positions open for the revamped Aggies. Sophomore Rob Trimble and junior Robert Harris are expected to contend for the spot.

Eric Gonzales will be another plus in the infield. The All-SWC infielder returns for his senior season with the starting second-base job nailed down.

With their focus primarily on pitching, home-run power may be a problem for the Aggies, but Johnson is optimistic.

"We have hit nine home runs through ten games," Johnson said. "But we don't push it."

Leading the way for the Aggies offensively is senior center fielder Brian Thomas with three home runs, 12 RBIs and a .419 batting average through 14 games.

After falling to a .212 batting average last year, Thomas made the Baseball America Summer All-America team in Alaska.

First baseman and designated hitter John Curl is another potential power threat. His two home runs in 14 at bats only begin to scratch the surface.

"His major asset is his bat," Johnson said. "He is very close to turning the corner."

For the Aggies to gain another regional berth, they will have to get some hitting to go along with their pitching.

But definitely look for them to be one of the top four teams in the conference tournament in May.

 

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RUGBY CLUB BITES TEXAS A&M, 18-3, WINNING STREAK REACHES SIX GAMES

by Robert Arnold

News Reporter

The Rugby Football Club continued its six-game winning streak on Saturday with a 18-3 victory over Texas A&M.

Scott "Snake" Lisinsky scored twice for a total of 10 points. Eddie Titus scored once for five points and Lee Dillard scored three points on a penalty kick.

Saturday's win brings the team's record to 6-2, leaving them tied for second place in its division.

The team goes on the road against UT on March 6 and to Sam Houston State on March 20.

The team will then play in the Collegiate Texas Rugby Union Championship on March 27-28.

Coach Mark Speer said he is still looking for new players, no experience necessary.

Speer said anyone is interested in playing rugby should call the team's hotline at 685-1765. Practices are held Monday through Thursday at 4 p.m., rain or shine.

 

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REMEDIAL CLASSES UNDER FIRE FROM COMPTROLLER, PLANS TO ELIMINATE CLASSES, SAVE BILLIONS

by Jena Moreno

Contributing Writer

More than one-third of the students entering Texas higher education institutions do not have the reading, writing or math skills needed. So state Comptroller John Sharp has proposed to the Legislature that remedial courses be phased out at the university level.

Sharp contends that his proposals to restructure state programs would save more than $4.5 billion over the fiscal 1994-95 budget period.

Remedial courses cost $285,000 a year at UH's main campus. These courses are taught by UH-Downtown instructors but are offered at every UH campus for the convenience of students.

Homer Johnson, Ph.D., title coordinator of the Foundation Program, which is in charge of teaching remedial courses said, "Remedial courses are necessary because students need extra help, although it should be done at the high school level or before."

Sharp proposes that if a school district continues to graduate students who are not prepared for college, the district would be charged the cost needed to remediate these students.

However, many college students aren't recent high school graduates.

Students who have not attended school for several years often choose to enroll in remedial courses to reinforce their basic skills.

Ronald Petrie, who is with the UH-Downtown Office of Admissions, said that if this proposal was implemented, "Those students who did not plan to attend college and then tried to join college later would have difficulty because they would not meet the entry level requirements."

UH offers 14 math course based remedial classes, 12 writing and two English. Students receive a grade of satisfactory or unsatisfactory. They must pay for these classes, but do not receive a grade, nor do they receive credit for these classes.

In order to graduate from college, students must pass every portion of the Texas Academic Skills Program test. If they fail any section of the test, they must enroll in remedial courses until they pass every section of the test.

There are 219 students in the TASP related remediation program at UH. Of those, 42 attend remedial classes in the foundation program and 177 seek help from Learning Support Services. These students receive assistance from a tutor or through computer assisted instruction.

Dr. Hyland Packard, Director of the University Studies Division said, "There seems to be for some people that the word remediation seems to suggest that students are not capable of doing college work. This is not necessarily true."

Packard said that some students in remedial courses may lack the skills for one subject, but excel in other subjects. Some students attend remedial courses in English because English is their second language.

Packard said, "Universities should be in the business of remediation where necessary."

 

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