SAIL WINS PREZ, MAJORITY IN SA

by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite a low turnout for the Students' Association elections, Students As Innovative Leaders' presidential candidate Jason Fuller won his bid for president with 547 votes.

Cipriano Romero took 207 votes for second place and Shane Patrick Boyle garnered 160.

Only 915 of 33,000 UH students voted in an election that, according to SA President Rusty Hruska, "didn't have any issues to bring the students out."

Because of last year's ballot-stuffing incident, officials are unsure about the number of 1992 voters, but estimated a turnout of 2,000.

"I think most people thought SAIL didn't have any competition, that we had the election wrapped up," said Fuller, "so that's why they didn't show up."

This year, SAIL won 25 of the 30 seats they ran for. Yet, many wins for both SAIL and Vision, the party that fared second-best, were hollow because of the lack of voters.

"I was campaigning from nine to five on both Wednesday and Thursday," said Thao Vuong, a senior education major who defeated an incumbent for education senate seat No. 1 by just one vote. She won the seat on the SAIL ticket, 14-13.

University-wide races -- president, vice president, student regent and senator-at-large seats -- garnered between 828 and 915 votes. Individual college tallies for those with senate seats are as follows:

•Architecture: 21 voters

•Business: 151

•Education: 27

•Engineering: 149

•HRM: 38

•HFAC: 110

•Law: 11

•Natural Science & Math: 123

•Social Sciences: 127

•Technology: 14

President-elect Fuller, along with about 100 SAIL candidates and campaign workers, conducted a visible campaign after filing for office on Feb. 10.

On election days, SAIL campaigners were seen in red and white T-shirts handing out red and white literature which dotted the campus.

Fuller attributes his win to the seriousness of his goals and his commitment to achieving them.

"I think the students could see my serious commitment, and this commitment will carry over into my administration," Fuller said.

This year's campaign was not without incident although it was cleaner than last year, Hruska said.

"There just wasn't any controversy this time. Last year, people knew the issues because they were constantly in the paper," he said.

"I think our positive campaign methods worked to our benefit. Voters saw the negative campaigning as a desperate measure," Fuller said.

He added that SAIL spent about $2,000 to persuade students to vote for the party. The money was spent on posters, fliers, logos on stationary, pizzas at staff meetings and $595 for advertising in The Daily Cougar.

Fuller's message was heard by UH residents via the Student Video Network's closed circuit station transmitted to the dormitories.

A three-minute promotional spot was produced at the Corpus Christi television station KZTV by then-SAIL student regent candidate Jeff Fuller.

Other parties produced videos put together by SVN at UH.

Fuller's party reached more than 2,000 students by phone calls made by about 50 campaign workers, he said.

According to Fuller, the diversity of his party was a big plus. The SAIL party was endorsed by the International Students' Organization and the Pakistan Students' Association, he said.

Fuller said his first official act as president will be to announce his Cabinet, most of which he's already selected.

"Applications will be accepted from any and all interested students for the remaining positions," he said.

 

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ADVOCATE SEEKS LABOR JUSTICE

RALPH NADER SAYS WORKER SAFETY IGNORED

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Ralph Nader spoke last Thursday on behalf of the masses of people whose deaths and ailments were precipitated by hazardous working conditions.

Before an audience of attorneys and other interested listeners, the consumer advocate delivered a speech at the Houstonian Hotel on the future of occupational health and safety regulations.

The address, sponsored by the UH Health Law Policy Institute, was the featured event at the institute's conference, which centered on regulations and reforms within the workplace.

"We as a society do not take occupational health and safety seriously. Period. We were one of the last industrial societies to have a national occupational health and safety law. To begin with, when OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) was passed in 1970, the estimate was that the states were spending 43 cents per worker on job safety at the state level," Nader said.

A graduate of Harvard and Princeton universities, Nader gained prominence by working diligently to organize consumer interest projects, bring about reforms in the automobile industry and for his written works, which include <i>Unsafe at Any Speed<p>.

Throughout his speech, he criticized insurance companies, trade unions and other entities that fail to support workers' and consumers' best interests.

"They've gone from being engineering, underwriting companies into financial cash cows. They're more interested in their investment income than in actually using the insurance lever to reduce their claims by rigorous loss prevention," he said of insurance companies.

He said corporations have been shirking their responsibilities to employees by not complying with standards set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

"We're talking about a level of violence that is not fully documented to the extent that we know about it in the workplace to be running a little over 10,000 traumatic deaths a year and tens of thousands of traumatic injuries and hundreds of thousands of sicknesses and toxic exposure illnesses," he said.

Nader expressed concern about the widening rift between bosses and workers.

"When you see the broken bodies and the broken physiques -- and it is written all over their faces -- of workers in America, past and present, you realize there is a real schism operating between the pain, the sheer physical pain and suffering and economic deprivation of hundreds of thousands of workers and the people who are supposed to protect them."

He said employers should be more humane.

"I once made the recommendation that every single workplace death funeral should be attended by an OSHA employee... One or more of the employees should attend those funerals to sensitize themselves," he said.

Nader also gave his definition of a successful regulatory program.

"Any regulatory scheme worth its salt will have a lot of penumbras, a lot of awareness, a lot of private initiatives, a lot of cultural chains where it becomes something that is associated with a properly run company. More and more information has it that the better companies in terms of their profits are the safer companies."

 

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UH APPEALS TO LEGISLATURE

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

UH Chancellor Alexander Schilt and UH Regent James Ketelsen made impassioned pleas for more funding during recent testimonies before the Texas House Appropriations Committee.

Schilt did not mince words as he demanded that the Legislature reconsider some of the proposed measures that could have a detrimental impact if included in House Bill 650, which addresses higher education funding.

He cited the process of responsive reshaping as a positive step, but went straight to the heart of the matter when he said, "It's important that you understand our condition. Otherwise, you might conclude that if you aren't feeling a lot of pressure from higher education during the session, all is well in our quarter. It isn't, and it won't be until the state takes control of its future."

According to a spokesperson for the UH Alumni Organization, funding for higher education has increased 2 percent, while other areas of the budget have increased an average of 50 percent since 1985.

He lamented the number of areas in which the system could suffer if the Legislature refuses to make changes to the bill.

"Currently, HB 650 calculations exclude employees of any university system administration from group health benefits premium-sharing. This unprecedented policy change will cost the UH-System about $500,000 per year," Schilt said.

"We are asking that all system administration personnel remain, as they should, in the Employee Retirement System health benefits premium-sharing program," he added.

Schilt seemed to underscore the point that if students are not required to pay more for tuition, and if revenue appropriations -- which, when coupled, account for two-thirds of UH-System revenues -- continue to decrease, the system will not be in as competitive a position with other universities as it has been in the past.

He said both the absence of funding for the previously-granted 3 percent employee salary increase for fiscal year 1995 and the decrease in funding for the Optional Retirement Fund -- which is expected to fall from 7.3 percent to 6 percent -- for faculty are distressing.

Ketelsen, whose term as regent expires in August, stressed the importance of addressing the needs of constituents.

"With a goal of $350 million, the campaign is the largest, private, fund-raising effort in Houston's history. As of today, we've received more than $228 million in gifts and pledges.

"Private giving cannot supplant critically-needed state support, but in our case, it does demonstrate how the UH-System has won the confidence of its constituents," Ketelsen said.

 

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ADIOS, SENIORS

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Four Houston seniors bid adieu to Hofheinz Pavilion one last time Saturday, taking memories, heart-felt emotions and a 86-66 blowout of Texas Christian with them.

Starters Bo Outlaw, Derrick Smith, David Diaz and reserve guard Darrell Grayson were introduced one-by-one in a pre-game ceremony that traditionally honors graduating seniors playing in their final home game.

"I've been here four years," said Grayson, who scored his first and only basket of the season on a layup with 2:27 left in the game. "For it to come to an end like this, it's a pretty good feeling. It means a lot to me."

Houston had built a 16-point lead at halftime, allowing head coach Pat Foster to play the seldom-used Grayson in both halves for nine minutes total. He contributed two points and one rebound, steal and assist.

For Outlaw and Diaz, who both came to UH two years ago, the purpose of the game preceded any linkage to an emotional state of mind.

"As long as we got this win, (the game) was good for me," said Outlaw, who left with 6:16 to go after a 23-point, 18-rebound effort.

Outlaw matter-of-factly said the whole day was pretty uneventful for him.

"I watched 'X-men' back in my room before the game," Outlaw said. "I saw my mom. She got emotional for both of us."

Diaz said much the same.

"I was looking at the game as a must-win for us," said Diaz, who had nine points and four assists. "We needed to get the 19 wins and go to the tournament, trying to get two victories there.

"It was kind of a sad moment, but you've got to just keep on going because life goes on."

But Smith said UH will always be something special to him.

"You've been here four years like I have, you're going to miss a lot of things," said Smith, who finished the game with 12 points. "It was emotional seeing my family out on the court for the last time in Hofheinz.

"It's a great atmosphere to be in when you play at Hofheinz. I'm going to miss it a whole lot."

But the Cougars' season goes on.

Houston was assured the No. 3 seed in the Southwest Conference tournament when they lost to Rice 89-78 Wednesday.

They will face No. 6 Texas A&M, an 82-76 winner at Rice Saturday, in the first round. The winner will play either No. 2 Rice or No. 7 Texas in the second round.

All the seniors did agree on one thing, though -- they want to get past the first round of the NCAA tournament.

"UH hasn't gotten past the first round since 1984 when (Hakeem) Olajuwon, (Larry) Micheaux and (Clyde) Drexler were here," Smith said. "We came so close last year and in my freshman year in making it to the second round, but we couldn't get over that hill."

Houston lost first-round games to UC-Santa Barbara, 70-66, in 1990 and to Georgia Tech, 65-60, in 1992.

 

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LOST PLAYERS, 'SHABBY' DEFENSE PLAGUE INJURY-RIDDLED HORNED FROGS

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

Though their record may not indicate it, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs could be in for all sorts of trouble once Southwest Conference play begins March 19.

"Despite the fact that we are 14-3," said head coach Lance Brown, "we are not playing very well right now.

"Our defense has looked shabby, and injuries and players lost have really had an effect on what I want to do with this team."

Right fielder Rob Johnson, who Brown was really counting on for this season, ended up undergoing back surgery and will be out for the remainder of the season.

"Losing Rob Johnson was a tremendous blow to our team," Brown said. "He really could've made the difference had he stayed healthy."

As far as lost stand-out players, the Horned Frogs will be without the services of Scott Malone, who took his impressive 1992 batting skills to the Texas Rangers.

Pitcher Chris Eddy is another player coach Brown will not be able to count on. The Kansas City Royals took Eddy in last year's draft.

"The players that we lost will really determine just how competitive we are going to be this season," Brown said.

Nevertheless, TCU's 14-3 record is not without its silver lining.

Catcher Johnny Cardenas and first baseman Adam Robson are almost single-handedly carrying the recent success of the Horned Frogs' season.

Cardenas is batting .382 and is among conference leaders in RBIs (17), triples (3) and total bases (32).

Robson is also off to a great start, ranking among SWC leaders in seven offensive categories, including average (.463), home runs (3) and RBIs (21).

Brown has also been impressed with his pitching staff.

"With the number of returnees we have, our pitching should be fairly solid," he said.

Though TCU lost Eddy, five starters return from last year's squad. Senior left-hander Glenn Dishman has shown a drastic improvement from last year's 0-5 record and 5.69 ERA.

So far this season, Dishman is 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA. Right- hander Jeff Zimmerman (2-5, 4.11 in '92) is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA; Kelly Johns (1-0, 3.18) and Reid Ryan (2-0, 4.50) have shown steady improvement this season as well.

However, the Horned Frogs will have to sit this conference race out, despite the fact they are headed in the right direction.

 

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PITCHING VITAL TO SULLIVAN'S 21ST RUN AT SWC CROWN

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

There is a Southwest Conference baseball party going on in the polls, and the rest of the country just might get an invitation if the conference plays well.

The Baylor Bears are one of five ranked SWC teams on the guest list, and they plan on dancing all over their competition in and out of the SWC.

Establishing a stronghold in the SWC will not be an easy task, but coach Mickey Sullivan is not underestimating his team.

"I have been here for 20 years, and I think that this year will be the toughest from top to bottom," Sullivan said. "Last year, we just beat up on each other -- every weekend will be competitive for us."

No stranger to the baseball diamond, Sullivan has led the Bears for the past 20 years and reached a milestone Saturday, collecting his 600th win when the Bears took the first game in a double-header split with Texas Tech.

"It is quite an honor," he said. "There are three other coaches who have reached that mark, and it is quite a group to be in."

Texas' Cliff Gustafson, Arkansas' Norm DeBryin and Texas A&M's Tom Chandler hit and surpassed the 600-mark during their SWC tenures.

With only one returning pitcher from last season's third place SWC staff, Sullivan isn't concerned. He has a bullpen that boasts returning right-hander Jason Rathbun, whose ERA is 2.50, and who leads the SWC in strikeouts with 31.

"Our strength will be our pitching," Sullivan said. "We have five good pitchers that can pitch Division I ball. Our second string can come in when we need them to."

Along with Rathbun, the Bears have rightie Aaron Lineweaver and left-hand hurler Dean Crow. Lineweaver is fourth in the SWC with a 1.61 ERA, and Crow is seventh in the conference with a 2.17 ERA.

The Bears' second line of attack will come from their defensive plays on the field.

"Our defense will definitely be our second strength," Sullivan said. "Stealing bases and covering the field will be important for us."

Like thieves in the night, outfielders Matt Trozzo and Jack Stubbs have rung up 19 stolen bases. This type of production is what Sullivan wants to see.

"We don't have any home run hitters, so we need to jump on our defensive game and steal to score runs," Sullivan said.

The Bears are seeking power at the plate as well as on the field.

"Hitting doesn't improve overnight," Sullivan said. "We work hard on our hitting every day and hope to play tough."

Last season, the Bears finished sixth in the SWC with a .262 batting average.

The Bears will rely on third baseman Mike Bohny, Trozzo and outfielder Marty Crawford. All three have been hitting above .300 this season.

 

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SMALL-BUDGET FILMS GARNER BIG BOX OFFICE RECEIPTS

by Gram Gemoets

Daily Cougar Staff

While big-budget Hollywood has gone by the wayside, low-budget outsiders are making great strides in the name of profit and art.

Recently, $40 million films such as<i>Toys<p> and <i>Hoffa<p> have been duds at the box office.

Barry Levinson thought his surreal <i>Toys<p> would be such a hit that he gave Robin Williams a $2 million advance salary. The budget further suffered under Levinson's multi-million dollar director's salary package.

However, Hollywood is quickly learning that bigger is not always better.

Take for example the <i>The Crying Game<p>, a low-budget $5 million dollar film shot in Ireland and England. It's the sleeper hit of the season, pulling in as much as $5 million per week.

The payroll for Mirimax's <i>The Crying Game<P> was under $50,000, and its producers are certainly not crying now.

<i>Howard's End and Enchanted April<p> are two other films that are socking it to overpaid Hollywood.

"<i>Enchanted April<p> alone accounted for our largest cash intake all year," a representative from the River Oaks Landmark theater said.

Even the Academy Awards are heralding this year as the "year of the independents," as one reviewer said.

<i>Enchanted April and The Crying Game<p> have both been nominated in important categories.

Although blockbusters such as <i>A Few Good Men and Unforgiven <p> garnered four nominations and nine nominations respectively, the low budgets entries, even with their sparse recognition, are still making progress.

<i>The Crying Game<p> is even the pick to sweep the Academy Awards although <i>Unforgiven<p> is also expected to clean up.

If <I>The Crying Game<p> wins best picture, it will be the first independent foreign film to take that honor.

The arrival of this new spirit in Hollywood is visible in the all but ignored Robert Altman film <i>The Player<p>. It received only one nomination.

Although its budget was higher than some, this film reeks of an independent production. Openly jeering at "Celluloid Babylon" (Hollywood), this witty film sets the pace for Hollywood's impending obituary.

Before, it was always "sign a big name to give this script class," now, it's "script first, then direction and actors last," said Ron Barry of Entertainment Weekly.

Production houses are finally beginning to see that greater profits can be made by cutting their budgets. If a picture takes $50 million to make, it must do that much more in business just to break even. <i>Toys<P> is a perfect example of this, and its producers lost their shirts.

But when the budget is small, profit can grow by leaps and bounds. Even if the picture doesn't make it into wide-release, breaking even is just that much easier. Not to mention, if art is produced, the film stands a chance of being recognized by the Academy.

An Oscar can add millions to the film's profit margin. And in some cases, throwing it over the top of a very sizeable profit.

 

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