by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

Lee Preimesberger is running for a seat on the Students' Association, an organization he hopes to abolish.

Senate at large candidate for position No. 3, Preimesberger, a computer science senior, advocates abolishing the existing student government.

"Most students I've talked to support the idea of abolishing SA. Most people don't understand why SA is there and why they (candidates) come around for two days every year, go away, and they never see them again," Preimesberger said.

Preimesberger is a founding member and first chair of the College Libertarians. Last year he ran for SA vice president. This was before he adopted his present attitude, he said.

If elected, Preimesberger said he plans on picking away at the perks like the presidential parking space, the SA secretary and SA salaries.

Preimesberger said his first official act if he's elected would be to introduce a bill to abolish SA in order to let his position be known within the organization.

In a campaign flier, Preimesberger asks that students help him "knock some bricks out of the wall between students and the administration."

"Last year while trying to solicit votes, the biggest response I got was 'What does the SA do? What good is it?' I just had to answer, it doesn't do anything," Preimesberger said.

Preimesberger said SA was almost abolished in 1967 but the administration would not allow it.

But according to David Daniell, assistant director of Campus Activities, no one has tried to abolish SA in recent memory.

According to Kamran Riaz, assistant dean of Student Affairs, the procedure of abolishing SA would be similar to amending the SA constitution.

The proposal would have to pass the senate by a two-thirds margin, then be put on a campus-wide referendum. A simple majority of students would have to vote in favor of abolishing SA in order for the bill to pass, Daniell and Riaz said.

"So even though abolishing SA is a good idea, it can't be done. As senator at large I would try to hold their momentum down and keep them from raising havoc," Preimesberger said.

Preimesberger said many students have come up to him on campus, shook his hand, and said, "You've got my vote. Abolish SA."

"Most of the other people running are trying to be useful. I think they're sincere," he said. "But I don't see how they can be an effective group."

Preimesberger said he would like to replace the SA meetings with a Ross Perovian type town-hall meeting for all students.

"The SA is a little world unto itself down there in the UC underground," Preimesberger said.

In one of his fliers Preimesberger quotes the Declaration of Independence: "Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it."

Preimesberger's flier asks students to, "Join me in bashing the whining bunch of beat-offs who infest our student gobernment(sic)."

He also states in his fliers that "Jesus was a revolutionary too."

If Preimesberger is not elected, he said he will try to organize an alternative student government to "suck the life out of SA."

He said, win or lose, he will lobby for legislation to reform and inhibit SA.






by James Alexander

News Reporter

Viva UH!

Improving the status of Latinos through college awareness was the theme at the eleventh annual college career day, held Tuesday by the Mexican-American Studies Program.

The event, which took place at the UH Hilton, drew in more than 400 Mexican-American high school students from various HISD schools.

"Our future, the future of the Latino population is at stake! If you get an education, then our community benefits," Tatcho Mindiola, Jr., Ph.D., the director of Mexican American Studies, said in his welcoming address to the crowd.

"We are here to tell them that we are going to do our part, all they need to do is theirs," he said.

"With a college education, all of the social problems associated with the Latino community will diminish. Your education level goes up, alcohol and drug use goes down; your education level goes up, the likelihood of committing a crime goes down," Mindiola said to the group.

Mindiola, who became director in 1981, began the career day aimed at Mexican-American students in the spring of 1982.

"I think it's an exciting event," said UH President James Pickering. "Any time we have the chance to expose our university to high school students who don't have a strong notion of what college has to offer them is wonderful.

"It's a great way to recruit students and to not only offer our university, but to encourage them to consider going to and finishing college," added Pickering.

Mindiola, also an associate professor of Sociology, said not everybody can participate in this event. "Student selection is pretty restrictive. A (C+) average, stable attendance, teacher and counselor recommendations, along with parent permission are what we require," he said.

"We mainly invite seniors and juniors, although we don't discourage sophomores or freshmen from attending. One thing we do ask of the seniors is that they fill out an application, so that we can have first crack at recruiting them," Mindiola said.

Laura Gonzalez Murillo, program coordinator for MAS, said that it is offered twice a year. In the spring, she said, it's offered to HISD students, and in the fall it's offered to non-HISD students.

"Our goal is to inform the students of all the application procedures, along with scholarships and financial aid available to them. In addition, many faculty members from the different colleges are on hand to give them important information in their particular majors," Murillo added.

Murillo, a 1989 UH journalism graduate, said, "Some people we wake up and others we don't, but we just try any way possible to make them aware of a college opportunity and its importance."

Director of secondary guidance for HISD Marilyn Balke is in charge of guiding the individual school counselors in gathering students for this event.

"I'm glad that this day takes place. It's a shame that talented minds may go to waste because of students' unfamiliarity with college," Balke said.

Mackrena Linares, a junior at Sam Houston High, said, "It was a good program and I'm definitely convinced on going to college and possibly studying engineering."

Wheatley senior Maria Ortiz has plans to attend UH in the fall and study Hotel and Restaurant Management. "I like (the program) a lot and wish it was offered more often," Ortiz said.






by Rafe Wooley

News Reporter

Not all UH students are headed for the beach this spring break -- some are staying here to help build a dream house for a Houston family.

Beginning March 6, the UH Metropolitan Volunteer Program (MVP) and P.R.I.D.E.(Promoting Responsible Informative Decisions through Education) will assist the UH Habitat for Humanity and Houston Habitat for Humanity in building four houses for needy families.

For the first time since the inception of the UH Habitat chapter in 1989, one of these homes is being financially sponsored by this group of UH volunteer students.

Renee Myers, president of UH Habitat, said that this is the first time they were able to raise the funds necessary to sponsor a Habitat home.

"We had to come up with $40,000 to be a full sponsor, so we held a bike-a-thon in October and raised the entire amount through the event," she said.

With this money, UH Habitat volunteers and the recipient family build the house from the ground up.

Recipient families must earn less than $19,000 a year, be unable to attain a mortgage through a bank, be able to pay $500 for a down payment and work 350 hours on the house they receive.

Lynn Miller, coordinator for Houston Habitat for Humanity, said that these families are not being given a home. They are still considered home buyers.

"These families still have to make a mortgage payment each month," she said. "We are able to keep the mortgage low because of all the volunteer work involved."

The recipient family for the UH Habitat-sponsored home is the Green Family.

Essie Green is a 27-year-old single mother raising Wesley, a 3-year-old boy.

Essie has already completed more than 200 hours of work that will be applied toward her new home.

Myers said that it's a great feeling to know that Essie will be moving into her first home in a few months.

"Essie is a neat lady and she's worked very hard," Myers said. "It's nice to see the results of hard work pay of for someone like Essie," she said.

Myers said that although UH Habitat volunteers consist mainly of architecture students, the group is open to everyone.

"Most of the people who volunteer need some type of social satisfaction," she said. "They see a social problem and they want to try and solve it," she said.

Jennifer Grosnick, with MVP, said volunteering for this project is rewarding work.

"It's a great alternative for people that want to be productive during their spring break," she said. "It's also a way to help eliminate poverty and homelessness."

She added that no experience is required, just hard work and compassion.

David Thaddeus, founder of UH Habitat and an assistant professor in the College of Architecture, said Habitat needs more than people who can hammer a nail -- they also need contributions.

"We have 35,000 students. If each student gave $1, we would have $35,000--enough to sponsor another home," he said.

"We also need people that know how to raise money," Thaddeus said.

The UH Habitat-sponsored home will be built near Highway 59 North and Little York Road.

Interested volunteers should contact Stacey Lopez or Jennifer Grosnick at 743-5200.






Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

Things are looking up at Cougar Field as the No. 16 Houston Cougars (17-2) plan to look down from atop the Southwest Conference this year.

The Cougars have surpassed the most optimistic expectations so far this year, fueling even higher hopes for the upcoming SWC season.

"We're looking to kick butt," junior shortstop Jason McDonald said. "Winning these games ahead of time doesn't do anything, 'til conference comes out, and everybody starts at 0-0. We'll be ready. I think we're gonna win it."

For the Cougars to win the conference they need to outplay a strong field, including four top 25 teams.

"Some people's memory may be a little short but mine's not," said head coach Bragg Stockton. "This doesn't surprise me that we have four or five in the top 25 because I've seen it before. I'll be very surprised if it's not very, very tight for the third, fourth and fifth slot in (the conference)."

Anticipating a strong conference, Stockton set out to replace key losses from last season's roster with 13 transfers and 10 freshmen.

Four transfers -- Catcher Mike Hatch, outfielder Shane Buteaux (.400, SWC best 16 steals), designated hitter Billy Waid (team best .424, 3 HRs) and McDonald (11 steals, 19 walks) -- are starters.

Said Stockton: "Shane Buteaux is just huge because he's leading us in so many areas. Billy Waid has really helped us a lot in the DH role. Jason McDonald, the football player, has really been a pleasant surprise."

Joining the new faces are four mainstays from last year's Cougar lineup. Second baseman Scott Kohler, third baseman Ricky Freeman (.392, 16 RBIs), left fielder Brian Blair (.393, 20 RBIs) and all-SWC center fielder Phil Lewis (.338, 12 RBIs) add experience to a predominantly untested team.

"Blair, Lewis and Kohler: those are seniors and juniors. They need to carry us. They need to absolutely start picking it up and carrying us," said Stockton of the group that started hot but has slumped of late.

Another group of well-tested veterans are senior pitchers, Jeff Wright (2-0, 3.38 ERA) and Wade Williams (3-0, 1.19).

Wright and Williams have teamed up with Panola JC transfer Matt Beech (3-1, 4.09 ) to form an effective starting rotation.

"The older pitchers, with the addition of Beech, have given them a good pitching staff," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham.

"They've gotta be sharp. There are none better for us," said Stockton , noting the importance of this weekend's USL tournament on the staff's preparation for conference play.

The committee-style bullpen will consist of a cast of juco transfers and freshmen who, up to this point, have done a good job of holding late inning leads.

Transfers Brett Jones and Brian Hamilton, along with freshmen Greg Lewis and Jeremy Tyson, are front runners for the closer's position and will be counted on in tight situations.

The young pitchers need to continue their progress for Houston to maintain its national ranking and contend in a conference filled with big hitters.

If the Cougars can sustain their winning ways, they might still be there in June. Or in Omaha.






by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston took a major setback at Autry Court Wednesday as the Rice Owls escaped with an 89-78 overtime victory before a sellout crowd of 5,032.

Houston closed within two at 71-69 when forward Derrick Smith tossed in a layup with 11 seconds left.

Rice center Brent Scott (18 points, seven rebounds) received the ensuing inbounds pass, but Rafael Carrasco made a clean steal under the basket. Scott fouled Carrasco as he went for the layup. Scott was forced to leave the game with his fifth foul.

Carrasco missed both free throws. But Charles Outlaw (23 points, 13 rebounds) grabbed the loose ball and dished to David Diaz. Diaz, who made the layup, was fouled with three seconds left with the score tied 71-71.

Diaz, with a chance to win the game on the three-point play, clanged his free throw off the front rim, sending the game to overtime. Rice outhustled and outscored Houston 18-7 in the extra period hitting 13-of-15 free throws down the stretch.

"We should have had the game won," said Smith, who had nine points and 10 boards. "We had a breakdown in defense, and they took it to us in OT."

Houston's offense, 39.7 percent from the field, was just as lackluster. The Cougars, down 33-24 at halftime, were 5-of-25 from three-point range. Anthony Goldwire, who had seven points and was scoreless in the first half, was 0-for-4.

"Since our last game against Rice, I wasn't 100 percent," Goldwire said. "I wanted to come out tonight and prove myself. I tried to penetrate and get some shots up, but I guess it's one of those nights."

Rice, 17-7 (11-2), is still tied with Southern Methodist for the conference lead as SMU beat Baylor at home, 81-74. The Cougars, 18-7 (8-5), remain in third place.






by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

The Lady Cougars snapped a five game losing streak with a 74-70 overtime victory over the Rice Lady Owls on Wednesday at Hofheinz Pavilion.

Senior forward Stephanie Edwards proved her veteran experience when she sank free throws at crucial moments, as well as posting a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

"By me hitting those free throws when I had to, I was able to spark the team," Edwards said.

Two other Cougars also had double-doubles. Junior guard Michelle Harris dumped 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Cougars. Margo Graham came alive in the second half and contributed 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

"Stephanie Edwards stepped up for us tonight," coach Jessie Kenlaw said. "We did what we had to do."

Now that the Cougars' losing drought is over, they have raised their Southwest Conference record to 5-8, and their overall record 11-14.

"We were lethargic when we first came out. We did play hard for eight or nine minutes," Kenlaw said. "We were pleased with our concentration and our shooting."

The Cougars shot right at 32.1 percent from the field, but connected on the free-throw line, hitting 68 percent of their shots.

The Cougars turned the game around with two minutes left in the game when Antoinette Issac stole the ball twice, which led to a Harris layup. On Issac's next steal, the ball landed in the capable hands of Edwards, who dropped in two more to tie the game 63-63.

When the Cougars hit the court for overtime, they outscored the Owls 11-7 to win. Rice falls to 2-11 in the SWC, and 12-13 on the year.






by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars' free-throw shooting woes continued against the Rice Owls at Autry Court Wednesday night, and, of course, it cost them.

"We can't blame this game on missed free throws," said forward Derrick Smith. "We just didn't want this game as badly as Rice did."

For the game, Houston converted only 19-of-31 free throws compared to the 26-of-33 charity stripe conversions made against Texas on Feb. 27.

The Cougars rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final minute of regulation to send it into overtime when they trailed the Owls 67-59.

Then with seven seconds left Rice center Brent Scott fouled Houston back-up center Rafael Carrasco. Carrasco had a chance to tie up the game at 71-71. After Carrasco missed both free throws, the Cougars got the rebound. Guard David Diaz put up a layup and was fouled in the process tying the game, giving Houston one last crack at the line.

When Diaz didn't convert, the game went into overtime and the Owls took over from there.

"At that point, we were pumped up," point guard Anthony Goldwire said. "It was too bad that David's free throw didn't fall."

"It was very unfortunate that we didn't win the game at that point," coach Pat Foster said. "I thought that we were in a good position to put it (the game) away after we had come back the way we did."

For the season, the Cougars are shooting only 67 percent from the line as it continues to be a thorn in their side.

"We'll just have to see what happens now," Foster said.






by Manuel Esparza

Daily Cougar Staff

The beauty of ballet lies not just in its past, but also in its future. By staging a world premiere, as well as a couple of fairly recent but established works, the Houston Ballet followed the Roman god Janus' principle of both looking backward and forward.

The three pieces in the Feb. 25d show at the Wortham Centre had nothing in common except that they evoked strong emotions. Sensuality and beauty in the first, <I>Four Last Songs<P>, love, anger, and pain in <I>Witchboy<P> and finally pure energy in <I>Curupira<P>.

If ever there was a person who embodied the spirit of a living art form, it would be Ben Stevenson, the artistic director. He has won awards for both his dancing and his choreography. His piece <I>Four Last Songs<P> opened the evening.

The simplicity of the background added to the elegance of the piece. Using a parachute for a backdrop, the different songs were noted by the chute billowing and altering its shape, its motion almost becoming a character itself.

Of the four movements, the trio of Rachel Beard, Gregg Garett and Sean Kelly stood out in "September." Their flowing lines drew intricate lattices on the stage. In her solo, "Im Abendrot" (At Gloaming), Janie Parker made her performances felt as well as seen. Her slow moves showed the excellence of her talent.

There is no story line, but the dancers do interpret the song lyrics from an auditory experience to a visual one. Soprano Jan Grissom sang the German songs from the orchestra pit, but still came out clear. In the end, it was the end, as all the dancers laid down in a slow motion death, with the parachute coming down on top.

WitchBoy is a European view of the lore of the American West, first staged in Amsterdam in 1956. It is about a scene that is unfortunately all too common -- a preacher persisting with unwanted advances and a community outraged at someone who is different. The work has classical ballet set-ups and modern dance steps.

Rachel Beard made her second appearance of the night. This time she was quick and sharp, in contrast to her previous gliding. Beard's energy fit her character's personal strength. Li Cunxin is the 'witchboy' and made a very powerful one. His explosive dancing made his part come alive. Cunxin radiated the fun he was having dancing the part.

The evening's highlight was higher than expected. Trey McIntyre's world premiere ballet, <I>Curupria<P>, showed he is indeed a geyser of choreographic talent. At twenty-three, McIntyre is innovative without gaudy pretension. Everything in the show strays from tradition -- from the musical staging, to the costumes, to the dance. Yet his work is mature, solid and, most importantly, fun.

The ballet is powered by a purely percussive piece of music, "Mitos Brasileiros." Performed by a quartet, they use a large range of instruments. The orchestra pit was elevated a bit so that the audience could see the musicians -- not that they were able to take their eyes off the dynamic dancing.

There must have been an oxygen bottle for the dancers backstage. The exhaustive show was brief but bright. Punctuated by multitudes of leaps and en points (on toe), the dancers also provided some of the music. Stomping, grunting and snapping their fingers, they not only kept time, but they moved around. As the dancers made their final exit, the last one made a diving leap offstage just as the lights were struck.

McIntyre's work is intended solely for fun and it's reflected by the humor in the piece. The 'woman chase man' and the crawling around all give this complex piece a light touch.

With performances on March 5, 6 and 7, there's not much time left. Use your student ID and get a whopping discount at the Wortham Centre.



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