UNION ENLISTS UH

STATE EMPLOYEES UNION SEEKS MUSCLE TO FIGHT FOR PAY RAISES

by Kristine Fahrenholz

Daily Cougar Staff

The Texas State Employees Union came to the university Thursday and Friday to add to over 150 faculty and staff currently in the union, which is looking for help in the fight to keep the Texas Legislature from rolling back salaries, through pay-raise cancellations, and privatizing jobs.

"The situation is gloomy, but this is the beginning of the process," said Travis Donoho, the organizer for the union. "The process is less than a third over."

Donoho said two years ago, pay raises were not to be given to state employees, but two consecutive 3 percent pay raises were eventually won.

The 9,000-member union has grown by 90 percent in the last year and a half, Donoho added.

Forty UH faculty members and 120 staff belong to the union, said George Reiter, president of the Faculty Senate.

"We need to mobilize, which means educating ourselves about what is actually happening," Reiter said. "Getting organized -- that's what TSU is all about."

"Since 1985," Donoho said, "TSU has called for a progressive corporate and personal income tax, and we think we need to call for that again more loudly than ever. This time, we have more allies than ever before calling for that."

Donoho added that as state workers, taxes are the life blood of their jobs, families and the source of pay raises.

"So when we hear that the money is not there, we can't accept that -- we shouldn't accept that."

The Legislative Budget Board, a group of legislators led by Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock, made recommendations on where the money should go.

"Included in the recommendations were huge cuts in health and human service programs and a budget for most or all universities, which would amount to a 5 percent pay cut on the basis of enrollment increases in state universities," Donoho said.

"Not only is there a 3 percent pay cut hidden in the senate's version of the appropriations bill for the second year of the biennium, but there's a 3 percent pay cut in the first year as well," he said.

"Since when do state workers' salaries become negotiable, and since when did the Legislature decide that they could take state workers' salaries and subject them to cuts?" he asked.

Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin, included an anti-rollback amendment in the final version of the appropriations bill, which states that no agency nor university can pay anything less than what they're currently paying employees.

The bill that passed on March 2 contains the 3 percent rollback and privatization threats.

"But it's still only a bill that's passed one house, and there's a long way to go," Donoho added.

Privatization means state agencies can contract labor for much lower wages and few, if any, benefits.

"We've found privatization to be true, especially at the universities in Texas," Donoho said.

Michael Luna, a custodian at Southwest Texas State University, remembers when SWTSU contracted labor.

"They basically cut their own throats," he said. "The workers they contracted were gone a month later."

According to The Daily University Star at SWTSU, Comptroller John Sharp suggested privatization particularly in custodial cleaning because of the success in saving money at Sam Houston State University and San Angelo State University.

"We have to secure our jobs," Luna said.

Donoho said the union is pushing for pay raises. "We fought very hard to get the 3 percent pay raises we got, and we plan to work twice as hard to get a pay raise in this session."

The pay raise would amount to $200 more per month, according to Donoho.

If insurance rates go up, the state would pay half of the increase, and employees would pay the other half. For example, a state worker with employee/family coverage would pay an additional $165.97 in insurance rates by Sept.1, 1994, Donoho said.

"We're going to push them to cover at least the full amount of the increase," he said.

TSU union members will be lobbying in Austin April 28.

 

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SA DEBATES WORKLOAD, ATTEMPTS IMPEACHMENT

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

High salaries and unequal funding for Students' Association Cabinet members came under scrutiny again at Monday's SA meeting.

An attempted impeachment ended the meeting when SA senators and Cabinet members entered a closed executive session.

A bill asking all Cabinet members and the president to work 20 hours a week rather than the 10 presently required was presented at the meeting. The Speaker of the House, Michelle Palmer, and Senator Cipriano Romero introduced the bill in the hopes that senators would live up to their titles and be more readily available for their constituents.

"SA can't be taken seriously if it's only done a quarter of the time," said Justin McMurtry, author of the bill and HFAC senator.

The salaries range from $266 per month for the student regent to $566 per month for SA president. Combined salaries use up 30 percent of the SA budget, which gets its funds from student fees. The pay is regulated and does not change according to the amount of hours worked.

"SA makes an extraordinary amount of money. The Student Programming Board, Council of Ethnic Organizations and the Metropolitan Volunteer Program all work 20 hours and are all paid less," Palmer said.

The bill was sent to the internal affairs committee for review and could be returned to the floor.

"Right now, Cabinet members are only allowed to put in hours between 8 (a.m.) and 6 (p.m.). If this bill passes, they should be allowed to put in hours after six, which night students could use. There is not enough time during the day; remember, our first priority is going to school," said Senator Jeff Fuller, student regent- elect.

Previously, a bill asking all Cabinet members to give up their salaries was introduced by Senator Shane Patrick Boyle. He said he felt the funds were misused and that SA could use the money for purposes that better represent the students. This bill died in the internal affairs committee Monday night.

Another bill introduced by Boyle asked that students be able to present legislation without being sponsored by a senator. It also died in committee. Boyle said he believes senators having to sponsor a specific bill implies the senators are more competent than the average student.

"We are not totally opposed to a student having the ability to introduce legislation, but there needs to be some type of control," said Senator Coy Wheeler, chairman of the internal affairs committee.

Misused money was also discussed when senators got back to election politics. Romero introduced a bill that would require SA candidates to report any campaign expenditures one day prior to the general election. The bill would let people know if candidates go over their campaign limits. These limits eliminate extravagant campaigns that Romero said cause people to win unfairly.

The SA member targeted by the attempted impeachment was not made public, as senators and Cabinet members entered executive session under the Title 7 Impeachment Code. This gives SA the right to hold a closed meeting.

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UH-NOW HOLDS FORUM TO ADDRESS ISSUES OF THE DAY

Women's Day no picnic for women at home, abroad

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

News Reporter

Recognizing March 8 as International Women's Day is bittersweet while women around the world suffer, as well as at U.S. university campuses, said members of the UH National Organization For Women in a forum held on Satellite Hill.

"Today, we will be discussing the mass rapes in Bosnia; however, don't forget that every six minutes, a woman is raped in the United States, and also remember that there are accounts of American servicemen raping American servicewomen during the Persian Gulf War," said Michelle Palmer, resources director for NOW's UH chapter.

Laura Robertson, reproductive freedom task force chair for NOW and a junior political science major, said NOW let both the United States and the United Nations know that NOW members feel the crimes committed against Muslim women are crimes committed against all women.

"Literally hundreds of women and girls are being deliberately detained by military forces in sex camps. In an organized, systematic way, women are being singled out for humiliation, sexual assault and rape," Robertson said.

NOW's faculty advisor, Maria Gonzalez, called on students to write letters to the United Nations condemning atrocities. She read the letter she had written to U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and gave the address of the United Nations.

"I call upon the United Nations and its member states to call to account through the International Court of Justice or special war crimes tribunals those who have committed crimes of war and crimes against humanity. I call upon the United Nations and its member states to open their borders to refugees from the hostilities," said Gonzalez, who is also an assistant professor in the English Department.

Robertson said former Yugoslavia is not the only country where women are abused. She said more than 200,000 Korean women were detained and repeatedly raped by Japanese soldiers during World War II. French troops raped thousands of Algerian women during Algeria's war for independence.

While NOW members were focusing on the issue of abused women in Bosnia, all questions from male students were centered on sexual harassment.

One student wanted to know the definition of sexual assault, and another male asked what behavior was unacceptable.

Jo Ann Evansgardner, founder of UH's NOW chapter, said two kinds of sexual assaults exist: In one, the man or woman uses power in order to get sexual favors; for example, teacher/student or supervisor/employee relationships, she said.

"The other one is about sexual slurs. Any comments that have a sexual connotation that have the effect of making the woman uncomfortable, such as pornographic posters, jokes that make fun of women as a class," Evansgardner said.

She also wanted students to pay attention to campus locations where women are raped often. "The bank is a place where the money is for the robbers, and the colleges are the places where the women are," she said.

UH should add new call boxes, add lighting to all call boxes and increase the number of Cougar Patrols, said Ann Christensen, a professor in the English department and a member of UH-NOW.

She said the university should also adopt a policy that says any conviction obtained in a rape occurring in a fraternity house will result in that fraternity being permanently banned from participation in UH-sponsored activities.

During past speaker forums, some students harassed the speakers, Evansgardner said. The audience's attitude was more respectable this time, and two women and one man thanked the NOW members after the forum, she added.

 

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STUDENTS GET PLASTICIZED

CREDIT COMPANIES STALK UH

by Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

Students can't escape these friendly applications. They attach themselves onto bulletin boards, hide between textbook and magazine pages, sneak into mailboxes and line the bottom of shopping bags at campus bookstores.

Student credit cards, each with different features, are offered by a wide range of companies.

About 70 percent of four-year college students have at least one credit card, said Myra Mills from the College Credit Corp. Credit card issuers target colleges because students tend to keep their first card after graduation, she said.

After graduation, people have higher-paying jobs and can afford to use their cards more, she said.

It makes sense for companies to try to get student customers, said Samantha Bousigues, a junior mathematics major. Most students can't afford to pay their bills on time, so companies can take advantage of late charges.

The swarm of representatives and applications found on campus make students believe using a credit card is the adult thing to do, said Kristi Robson, a junior history major.

Students are encouraged to sign up without being warned about future responsibilities, she added.

Because representatives don't always compare their cards with competitors, it's hard for students to know what each card offers, said Leslie Coy, a senior accounting major.

"If I had known the (interest) rates that different cards offer, I wouldn't have applied for my Visa, which I later discovered had a 19.8 percent rate," she said.

Coy said she let herself get hooked into getting a Citibank Visa on campus because of the pushy salesperson and the ease of applying for the card. The only requirement was a student I.D., she said.

The Classic MasterCard also has a 19.8 percent interest rate. Choice Visa charges a lower rate at 16.8 percent for purchases up to $1,300 and 13.8 percent for purchases over $1,300.

Because Classic doesn't require a co-signer and Choice does, students wanting one of these must decide between a higher interest rate or having a co-signer.

Most credit cards determine a credit limit based on a customer's income. "For students, the credit limit (set by Citibank) is usually between $500 and $1,000," said Ira White, a Citibank representative.

Louie Truong, a sophomore MIS major, said because many students don't have stable incomes, the information they first put on applications is not always a true estimate of their paying ability.

"I guess we don't really think about it until it is too late," he said.

Truong said he stopped using his only credit card because his debts gave him bad credit.

"It seems like students are being encouraged to get credit when they can't handle it," said Jason McGaha, a senior computer science major.

Besides interest rates, the annual fee is another payment students have to get used to, McGaha said.

"I got a Discover card on campus because there is no annual fee," he said.

Discover is the only credit card offered on campus that doesn't require such a fee. Beginning in March, Discover will also offer students a 14.9 percent interest rate. Until then, Discover's interest rate remains at 19.8 percent.

Aracli Monsivaiz, a senior RTV major, said she obtained three major credit cards after seeing their applications on campus.

Monsivaiz said although she has never been refused a card, she has been paying on her debt since she got her first card a little more than four years ago.

 

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CAMPUS CRIME BRIEFS

Compiled from staff reports

The world stops for no one -- and neither does campus crime. Last week's campus crime varied from theft to assault to wreckless damage of UH property.

•A sleepy visitor to UH was arrested Feb. 27 for trespassing in Moody Towers Commons at 2:53 a.m. Hugh-Tom Chin told police he knew no one who could sign him into the residences halls. "He said he was tired and wanted to take a nap before going home," said UHPD Lt. Helia Durant.

Chin was given a citation but not jailed.

•At Cougar Place, a female student was physically assaulted by a male acquaintance on Feb. 27 at 3:10 p.m., Durant said.

The student, a junior psychology major, was struck at least 10 times in the left arm, the lower abdomen and in the right buttock by Stephen Walter Mabie, Durant said.

Mabie was arrested in the Social Work Building for assault and placed in the Harris County Jail with bail set at $500.

•The College of Optometry lost $550 in stolen Ray-Bans sunglasses, according to a UHPD crime bulletin.

The college put 11 pairs of glasses on display on the second floor of the UC in late October or early November, Durant said. By Feb. 26, the glasses were gone.

"The lock on the display case could be wiggled to unlock it, and the glass was just moved aside," he said. "Nothing appeared broken."

•A UH student was assaulted by an unknown man on March 2 because he refused a video-game challenge at 9:28 p.m. in the UC Games Room.

The student, a freshman computer science major, had challenged several other people to a game of Street Fighter, all of whom he defeated, Durant said.

The victim was playing the machine with a friend of his watching when he was approached by the stranger to play another game against him, Durant said.

Upon refusal, the stranger began hitting the student in the head and shoulders and upper body region, Durant said.

• Greek Week brought more than campus awareness of Greek organizations -- it brought out thieves.

Tau Kappa Epsilon's five-foot, wooden fraternity letters were stolen near UH entrance 1, where they were on display, Durant said.

The letters are valued at $375, and TKE plans to press misdemeanor charges if the thief or thieves are found.

•Four UH students were arrested on March 3 and charged with felony credit card abuse of a Sprint phone card, said UHPD Lt. Brad Wigtil.

The women allegedly contributed to a $2,000 bill, and Sprint's manager of corporate security, Jerry Slaughter, maintains the card's owner, an undeclared freshman, did not run up that amount, Wigtil said.

Arrested were: Katina Braziel, a 20-year-old sophomore electronic technology major; Latasha Carter, a 19-year-old undeclared freshman; Letitia Little, a 19-year-old freshman biology major; and Montreece Walker, a 19-year-old political science major.

These students are not the only alleged contributors to the $2,000 tab, Wigtil said, adding that UH police are still investigating the affair.

By using the company's records, UHPD was able to identify the suspects based on calling patterns, Wigtil added.

The arrestees were sent to Harris County Jail, each with a $2,000 bail. The women received deferred adjudication, which means if they commit no crimes for a fixed amount of time, the incident will be removed from their permanent records. A community service sentence may also be added to the deferred adjudications.

•UH student and former Moody Towers resident advisor Michael A. Carrosquilla was arrested on March 4 for theft of a television from the Towers. The television disappeared during the time Carrosquilla was an R.A.

He was arrested in Cougar Place for a 25-inch Sharp model which was reported stolen in July 1991.

•A visitor reported disorderly conduct by a UH staff member in parking lot 11A from 4:15 p.m. to 4:23 p.m. on March 5. An investigation is still ongoing, Durant said.

 

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RISING <I>HOUSTONIAN<P> COSTS AND OLDER STUDENTS KEEP SALES DOWN, PRICES UP

Yearbooks hurting nationwide

by Annette Baird

News Reporter

Declining student income, increasing costs for yearbook staffs and student apathy have all led to a declining demand for college yearbooks, according to the "State of the College Yearbook 1992 National Survey Trends."

"This downward trend is not just at UH, but also at A&M and UT," said Kristyn Roberts, editor-in-chief of the UH yearbook, <i>The Houstonian<p>.

In 1992, UH students bought 1800 yearbooks, Roberts said. Out of 33,000 students, this is a very small percentage, she added.

The reason for the small demand is that the school is a commuter university, said Dick Cigler, director of student publications.

"The average age of a UH student is 27. Older people have been weaned off the habit of buying a yearbook. They don't participate in campus life."

Typically, the students who buy the yearbook at UH are involved with on-campus activities, Roberts said. "They may be involved in sports. They're members of fraternities and sororities, or they're residents."

Cigler would love to double yearbook sales. "We could be more creative. We could have a larger book with more color. We could buy nicer equipment and redo the office," Cigler said.

The UH yearbook was supported by student service fees until 1973, Roberts said. Since then, the money has come from advertising and book sales, she added.

This year, <i>The Houstonian<p> will sell for $30, a $5 hike from the last five years. The raise is due to increasing production costs, Cigler said.

There is no other historical publication that shows university life in a given year from the student viewpoint, Cigler added.

Some students perceive the yearbook as a worthwhile thing, even though they would not buy it. Damon Hay, a freshman mathematics major, said he wouldn't buy the yearbook because it is too expensive.

However, Hay said the yearbook is worthwhile because the people who work on it will learn something. "Better advertising is needed to make sure more people know about the yearbook," Hay said.

"I have never had a desire to spend money on a yearbook, although I love going through my parents' book. If I was more involved in campus affairs, I would possibly buy one," said Dawn Uelbelhart, a graduate music student.

"I probably won't buy it because I don't know enough people in it to warrant buying it," said Jorge Franz, a junior music major.

Freshmen and seniors are potential buyers, Roberts said. The yearbook staff did its first mail-out this year to all graduating seniors to let them know the staff was taking pictures, Roberts added.

Elizabeth Boudreaux, a freshman computer science major, was having her picture taken in the Satellite cafeteria for the 1993 yearbook. "I want a yearbook for the memories," Boudreaux said.

Like Boudreaux, Albert Cheng said he will buy one for the memories. Every university should have a yearbook, said Cheng, a junior political science major. "I think they should improve the appearance of the UH yearbook. They should make it classier looking, maybe leatherbound."

A yearbook helps promote a school and provides a historical record, said Curtis Reynolds, a sophomore hotel and restaurant management major. Reynolds bought a yearbook his first semester at UH but has not picked it up.

Cigler, who is attending a national conference to discuss the future of the college yearbook, added, "It is a national concern. Whatever, <i>The Houstonian<p> is here to stay, although it might require a nip and tuck."

<i>The Houstonian<p> can be ordered by marking the student registration form in the fall and spring semesters for the following semster. In the fall, it can also be bought directly from the Student Publications business office, room 151 in the Communications Building.

 

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STUDENT SCORES BIG ON CPA EXAM

By Connie Barrera

News Reporter

Imagine scoring among the top three in the nation, and the highest in Texas, on one of the most difficult national exams. Haresh Sapra, a doctoral student in accounting, accomplished this when he aced the certified public accounting exam.

Sapra began his career as a student in the doctoral program in the spring 1992 semester after he received his bachelor's degree in accounting and taxation at UH in the summer of 1991. He took the CPA exam in November 1991.

According to Sapra, after receiving a bachelor's degree in accounting, passing the CPA exam enables a person to practice public accounting.

The exam, said Sapra, is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accounting twice a year.

At the moment, Sapra is not using his license to practice accounting. According to him, graduate school is what he really wants to complete.

Each year, 70,000 people nationwide take the exam, Sapra said.

In preparation for the exam, Sapra spent three months in a review course. He said the exam takes three days to complete and can cost as much as $200.

"It's quite excruciating, but looking back now, I don't feel too bad," he said.

When he received his scores on Feb. 4, 1992, "I cried. I just fell on the floor, and I started crying because I didn't know what else to do."

His rank was not known until June 1992. He said he was more excited about passing the exam.

"I wasn't shooting for a medal or anything because I just didn't know at all that I was going to be ranked. I just wanted to pass the exam, and I was struggling like everyone else to study for it," Sapra said.

He has received several awards for his accomplishment. The AICPA awarded him a plaque and a medal, and the Texas Society of CPAs awarded him a certificate.

Sapra said he should receive his Ph.D. in three years.

"I would like to teach and do financial accounting research for a good school," he said.

Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, is the place Sapra calls home. He came to Houston in the fall of 1987.

 

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FRUSTRATED COUGARS GUN DOWN REDBIRDS, 27-5

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

The No. 15 Cougars (19-5) took out their frustration on Illinois State Monday with a 27-5 drubbing at Cougar Field.

Still stinging from a 28-9 loss to No. 4 Oklahoma State in a brutal weekend tournament in Louisiana, the Cougars ambushed the outmanned, outgunned Redbirds (0-6).

"They just came out today and pounded 'em," Cougar coach Bragg Stockton said. "Maybe this little deal here will help re-establish our credibility."

Third baseman Ricky Freeman's grand slam highlighted the Cougars' 13-run explosion in the fourth inning. Redbird starter Casey Fisk (0-2) gave up consecutive hits to shortstop Jason McDonald, left fielder Brian Blair and center fielder Phil Lewis before getting right fielder Shane Buteaux to ground out.

After Illinois State reliever Tony Opiola hit designated hitter Billy Waid to load the bases, Freeman stepped up for the second time in the inning. On a 3-0 pitch, he hit what looked like a routine fly ball to left field that turned into his second home run of the game.

Freeman led all Cougars with a 4-for-4 day, including two homers, a double and six RBIs. He was lifted in the fifth inning, one RBI short of a school record.

"We really needed a day like this big time," Freeman said. "Everybody had finally had enough, and we were just ready to get after it."

Houston added three more runs in the fifth inning and piled on four more in the eighth. Pinch hitter Bobby O'Brien doubled with two outs, center fielder Chris Scott singled, and right fielder Mike Murphy followed with another single, scoring O'Brien.

On the next pitch, designated hitter Robert Goudeau made the score 27-5 with a three-run home run over the left field fence.

Wade Williams (4-1) started on the mound for the Cougars and pitched five innings. Williams gave up three runs, four hits, one walk and struck out six.

The 26 Cougar hits tied a school record set by in 1985. The six home runs tied another school mark set in 1988.

 

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COUGAR INFIELDERS MAKE UP POWER-PACKED COMBINATION

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

It's nice to be on the winning end of a 22-run blowout.

After losing 28-9 to Oklahoma State over the weekend, then beating Illinois State 27-5 Monday, the Houston Cougars have experienced both sides of one-sided games.

The Cougars' offensive explosion set many a record and drastically improved the hitting statistics of shortstop Jason McDonald and third baseman Ricky Freeman.

McDonald hit for the "lead-off man's cycle" with a single, double, triple and a walk. He needed only a home run for a legitimate cycle, but the fifth-inning bases-loaded walk disallowed his chance.

Freeman hit two of the Cougars' record tying six home runs and collected six RBIs. Freeman was one hit (a triple) short of hitting for the cycle.

"I've never hit for the cycle. I would have liked to have had a triple," Freeman said.

A winning margin of 27-5 can lead a team to overlook fundamental mistakes such as fielding errors.

After hitting a combined 7-for-7 in the obliteration of Illinois State, McDonald and Freeman could have easily overlooked their recent fielding mishaps, but they can't make errors in closer games.

"Against good teams those extra outs come back to haunt you," coach Bragg Stockton said.

McDonald has 11 errors on the season, Freeman has nine.

"We struggled a lot at the beginning and the coaches have just worked on us and worked on us and we feel it's coming along really well," McDonald said.

With performances like Monday's, Houston's two left-side infielders will see plenty of at-bats but they also need to step up their fielding performance for the Cougars to be competitive in conference.

"I'm sure we'll get it together by conference (games). We can't make errors in conference because we know that's not going to win games," McDonald said. "We've got to give our pitchers the best defense we can."

 

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HORNED FROGS ACE COUGARS, 7-2

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The Lady Cougars' tennis players had trouble finishing what they started in a 7-2 loss to Texas Christian in Ft. Worth last weekend. Houston's record drops to 5-4.

"They're playing hard. They're getting up in matches, but they're having trouble closing them out," head coach Cathy Beene said. "We're having trouble maintaining our intensity. We're letting down emotionally."

The top and bottom of the singles flights, No. 1 Cathy Bromfield and No. 6 Amanda Barnett, won their respective matches 7-5, 6-4 and 7-5, 6-1.

The middle of the order did not fair as well.

Cecilia Piedrahita, Evonne Allerkamp, Karen Dasprez and Liz Escobar lost their matches, despite early leads.

The Cougars were swept in doubles competition, which coach Beene attributes to the same intensity problems as the singles flights.

On Wednesday Houston travels to Lubbock for another conference match against Texas Tech. The Cougars are 0-4 in the conference and could use a victory over the Red Raiders.

"All the conference schools are tough this year." Beene said, "If we don't play up to our capabilities, we could be in trouble."

 

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STREAKING AND RAT RACES: FADS HANG AROUND

STRANGE SCHOOL TRADITIONS LINK PRESENT WITH PAST

by John Williams

College Press Service

Tradition, from the serious to the absurd, is a major facet of college life. And each college and university has its own story, its own tradition, that makes the institution unique -- and some a little wilder than others.

Fads come and go, but traditions are actions and beliefs that are passed from one class to another, a uniting bond that brings a singular identity to students and alumni.

Tradition is a common thread that binds the past and present together. People engage in traditions knowing that in the future, students and faculty will participate in the same stupid, time-honored thing that they did.

Some schools perpetuate tradition through animal acts, unusual initiation ceremonies, and canceling classes on a whim. They also expose themselves in various inventive ways, and, yes, even wear wedding dresses at graduation.

In the 1920s, Antioch University, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, got a new president. Arthur Morgan, so the story goes, didn't have a college degree so he couldn't wear a cap and robe at his first commencement exercise.

"The faculty was concerned how he was going to present himself," Antioch spokesman Jim Mann said. "He decided he was going to wear his best brown suit, and the faculty ruminated about this, and they decided to wear their best brown suits."

And so a tradition was born at Antioch: students and faculty members present themselves in whatever manner they choose at graduation. This code swerved wildly during the years, when sometimes a traditional graduation was held, but since the 1960s the liberal arts school has held steadfast to an informal celebration of graduation.

A couple of years ago a male student wore a wedding dress to graduation. "That was his choice," Mann said. But even at a non-traditional event, the date is always the same for graduation at Antioch: the third Saturday in June.

At least the student wore clothes. Sophomores at Princeton University in New Jersey take their clothes off and streak around the university and town during the first snowfall. It's gone on since the 1970s, said a university spokeswoman, adding the practice is not sanctioned by the school.

Last year charges were brought against 39 students, who had to serve community time. The local police department videotaped the whole thing, the spokeswoman said, and the university promised consequences for future streaking.

In early December, there was a repeat performance and tradition was upheld. During a major snowstorm, about 250 students ran naked through the university and town, with about 50 nude students running through a restaurant and 75 running amok in a convenience store.

Two students were arrested in the store and charged with lewdness, disorderly conduct, possession of stolen property and shoplifting, police said.

Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., and Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Mich., both have traditions that revolve around the common rat. Actually, Whitman's custom involves a more exotic species of rat than your everyday rodent: The Kangaroo Rat, or roo rat for short.

The Roo Rat Society was formed 25 years ago by science department faculty and science students as an exercise to show how students can be kind to lab animals. It evolved into an environmentally conscious group, Whitman spokeswoman Lenel Williams said.

"For students to stay in (the Roo Rat Society) they have to do something environmental once a year," Williams said. "It's sort of neat and quirky. Especially for a serious liberal arts college."

On the appointed night, usually in the fall or spring, a group of roo rat wannabes drive to Wallula Gap, about 40 miles from the school, with roo rat alumni. They drive up a gravel road, stop their vehicles and leave the lights on.

The roo rats will start dashing across the light beams, or more specifically, hop to and fro. (That's why they're called roo rats). Students, faculty members and other college employees try to catch a roo rat, and once caught, they let it go. That's how you join the society.

It's apparently not easy catching a roo rat.

"They're very quick," Williams said. "Once you catch them, sometimes they sit on your arm and stare at you." There's a theory that the same roo rat, if in a good mood, will let itself be caught from year to year, thus leaving the other roo rats to do whatever roo rats do at night.

At Kalamazoo College in Michigan, a Rat Olympics has been held the past five years. The summer 1992 games were halted because the real Olympics Committee got mad about the unauthorized use of the word "Olympics." School officials want to see the tradition continue this year.

The rat races were the brainchild of the psychology department, said Kalamazoo spokesman Scotty Allen. "We're a year-round school. Some faculty members thought they would liven up classes in the summertime," he said.

The faculty members wanted to show students how to take care of rats humanely, so the students put together the Rat Olympics. The contestants ("rathletes") participate in timed events, basketball, hoop jumps and an open event in which "the sky is the limit," Allen said. One such entry was a Tarzan-and-Jane motif, in which the rats were dressed in jungle fashion.

"It was remarkable. Animals that the students approached with trembling and fear became real pets to them," Allen said.

At Juniata College in Huntingdon, Penn., students and faculty take a surprise day off every fall to celebrate Mountain Day. Classes are canceled for the day and they go to a state park for food, organized games and recreation. The day is never announced in advance, and is planned by a student committee. It has been held at the college since 1896.

At Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., classes are canceled for Fox Day, which has been held since 1925. When the school president decides a spring day is perfect for playing hooky, a statue of a fox is put on the campus lawn. Classes are canceled, and a dinner is held that night.

Since 1898 at Hope College in Holland, Mich., freshmen and sophomores have competed against each other in a rope pull over the Black River. Each team is made up of 18 men and 18 women. The longest pull, in 1977, lasted three hours and 15 minutes; the shortest, a little more than two minutes.

 

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CANADIAN PROF BRINGS WORLD POLITICS TO UH

GLOBETROTTING UH POLITICAL SCIENCE PROF OFTEN ABROAD

by Doug Pack

News Reporter

A UH political science professor stays abreast of European political and economic changes while at his second home in France.

Don't be surprised if you can't find associate Professor Raymond Duch in his office. He's currently working on two research projects that often take him to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Duch, an expert in the field of comparative politics, is a 39-year-old Canadian citizen who received his graduate degree from the University of Rochester in New York. He studied at the Institute of Political Science in France for two years and speaks fluent French.

Duch and fellow UH Professor James Gibson are currently studying the political and economic changes in the former Soviet Union. The study includes a number of public opinion surveys.

Duch said he is also working on a project of his own on that theme, but in a more comparative context. The study focuses on Europe and the newly emerging democracies in Latin America and Asia.

"Since my area is comparative politics, I spend a fair amount of time attending conferences," he said.

He will present two papers on his current research work at a conference in the Netherlands in April.

A recommendation from a friend brought Duch to UH 10 years ago after teaching one year at State University of New York in Albany.

"When I interviewed here, I really liked the people and the school a lot; they made me a nice offer, and I took the job," he said.

Duch pays little attention to local politics and looks at U.S. politics only in a comparative context, but he said the United States is where all the action is in terms of scholarly research.

"Everything that was interesting to me was happening here in America," Duch said. "I decided I wanted to stay here and make my career here because I figured this would be a more exciting, vibrant place to live.

"I think that's why so many people come to the U.S. for graduate school, because they realize that the graduate level education here is so strong," he added.

While living in Canada, Duch was elected as a delegate to the Conservative Party's National Convention.

Responding to the recent resignation of Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Duch said Canadians have wanted new blood and a change a lot longer than Americans had been unhappy with George Bush.

The Canadian economy took a more serious dive than the U.S. economy, he said. That, combined with the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Mulroney supported, caused widespread unemployment, he said.

"He (Mulroney) is so very unpopular, that's why he resigned, not because of anything else," Duch said.

Mulroney also recognized he had lost his political base within the Conservative Party. He could have forced the matter, but it would have resulted in a very unhappy and divided party, he said.

"Mulroney's big failure was placing so much political capital on the referendum to revise the constitution," he said.

The referendum, if passed, would have amended the constitution to unite the country with French-speaking Quebec, which refused to sign the existing constitution.

"He misjudged the attitudes of the Canadian people on the constitutional issue," Duch said. "His failure was his misjudgment, not his failure to get it passed."

Duch grew up within the ranks of the Conservative Party in the late '70s with the current Communications Minister Perrin Beatty, who is now one of the leading candidates to replace Mulroney as prime minister.

Because Canada does not allow absentee voting, Duch is in political no-man's land when it comes to exercising his right to vote.

 

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STUDENTS CAN EAT HEALTHY WITHOUT FUSS

VITAL BREAKFAST MEAL SNUBBED

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

News Reporter

Students don't always eat right. For many, breakfast is a forgotten word, lunch keeps them alive and dinner is usually the biggest meal of the day. Almost every day is a rush from one class to another, or from classes to work.

"I like to just get up and go to school," said speech communication major Sera Hunt. She said she doesn't have time for breakfast, and dinner is the biggest meal of the day for her.

Omar Jimenez, a junior engineering major, said he rarely eats breakfast. "I eat lunch to keep me going until dinner, and my biggest meal would be dinner."

"I have classes for three hours in a row. I get very hungry and have some snacks," said Bridman Alarca, a junior speech communication major. He said he eats breakfast, but the largest meal of the day for him is dinner.

Generally, the evening meal shouldn't be the largest meal because we need time to digest what we eat, said Nancy Graves, an assistant professor and registered dietitian in the College of Hotel and Restaurant management. "If we eat the biggest meal before going to bed, it is possible to put on weight."

Breakfast is an important meal because it starts our day, Graves said. However, some people enjoy eating three times, others six or even eight times a day. It depends on their personal requirements, she said.

Graves suggested eating a variety of foods. She said a breakfast of one bowl of cereal with milk and sugar only gives energy for a short period of time. "Once it is digested, the person feels hungry again, but if you add protein such as peanut butter or cheese, people feel full for a longer period of time."

Graves said it is better not to be in a routine but to eat different types of food every day, like eating various kinds of cereals such as oats, wheat and rice.

"I usually eat more than three times a day, but small amounts, not a whole meal," said Elise Arnoult, a sophomore anthropology major. She said the problem is finding healthy food.

This semester, almost 30 students in Graves' nutrition class are trying to find out if they eat healthy food. They carry a bottle of water with them as a requirement for class. Beverages like coffee, tea and coke draw fluid from the body, and people must replenish their body fluids with water, Graves said.

"I cut down on meat. I eat more vegetables than I used to. I used to drink soda. Now I drink juice, and lunch is the biggest meal of the day," said Maria Uria, who is taking the nutrition class and is a senior HRM major.

Another senior HRM major, Brian Gips, said he didn't know whether he was eating healthy or not until taking the nutrition class. He said he should change his eating habits and eat more vegetables instead of fried food.

Travis Duke, a senior HRM major, said some fast-food products can be healthy choices and can solve busy students' problems.

A lean beef hamburger provides protein while the bun provides carbohydrates. The lettuce or tomatoes provide vitamins and minerals, he said.

Graves said people often forget what they put on top of hamburgers and potatoes. "A baked potato isn't as healthy with sour cream, butter and cheddar cheese as it would be with broccoli, green beans or a low-fat cheese like mozzarella."

The American Heart Association has some guidelines on how to make healthy food choices. AHA guidelines suggest people consume 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 12 to 15 percent protein and less than 30 percent fat daily.

Percentages and terms like carbohydrates and proteins may seem complicated, but we can refer to the food pyramid to understand what they are, Graves said.

"Carbohydrates typically come from bread, fruit and vegetables. Protein is required mainly for growth and maintenance and is available through fish, meat, cheese, milk, legumes and eggs. We do not need to eat very much fat because it provides twice the energy value of carbohydrates and proteins," she said.

A balanced diet is accomplished when the energy output equals energy input, she added. "We can change the balance by increasing or decreasing food and exercise."

<i>Handbook No. 8<p>, a book of guidelines published by the government, can be valuable for people who want to learn food values and portions.

Vegetarian dishes and desserts are favorites of many students, said Erich Geiger, University Center food service director. The American Cafe in the UC offers lunch and breakfast, and lunch hours are the busiest time of the day, he said.

Campus food service directors are trying to find out what students like by conducting surveys at least once a semester. The Food Service director for Moody Towers, John Parkinson, said although he is sensitive to students' wants, they are hard to please.

"People are looking to their own taste. If we add flavor, a lot of people don't like it. If we do without flavor, a lot of people don't like it. It is difficult to make many people happy," Parkinson said.

The Satellite doubled its board card participation last year, said Harold Starbuck, manager of the Satellite. He walks around tables to watch whether or not students are eating, he said. If he sees people who don't like the food they eat, he offers them coupons for a free burger, pizza or whatever they choose.

Rajesh Tanwar, a vegetarian and a senior pharmacy major, said she is tired of eating the same types of food on campus. She brings sandwiches, chips, rice and noodles from home.

Sophomore HRM major Tiffany Henderson said she lives and eats on campus because she already paid for the food. "It is not like mom's cooking, but someone has to eat it."

Finding "mom's cooking" is almost impossible, but making healthy food choices and moms happy is still possible with a basic knowledge of nutrition.

 

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UH'S 'HAT LADY' CASHES CHECKS IN FANCY FINERY

KEEPS CLOTHES STASHED IN TWO STATES

by Doug Pack

News Reporter

That old saying, "Clothes make the man," needs gender revision to cover a UC Satellite cashier.

For UH employee Savannah M. Villery, going to work is reason enough for formal attire, and with a collection of more than 200 hats and 100 pairs of shoes, she has plenty to choose from.

Villery came to UH more than 14 years ago after modeling for five years at the Everett-Buelow Ladies' Store downtown. However, it wasn't until coming to UH that she began to expand her wardrobe, currently stored in two states.

"My sister has a place in Louisiana, and I have lots of clothes stored there," she said. "My husband is always complaining he doesn't have any closet space -- it would really be a problem if I didn't have access to my sister's."

Villery guesses the number of dresses she owns goes well into the hundreds.

Villery never can be spotted without one of her more than 200 hats and bonnets, whether it be at church on Sunday, or in the Satellite cashing checks. She does not require a special occasion to totally accessorize.

Her collection of apparel includes items from friends, family and her own travels. "I love to travel, and my husband served overseas in the military. I love to observe all the different styles," she said.

"My family buys clothes for me, too; my mother will go shopping and buy something for me, my husband, my niece -- My whole family is great," she said.

As a member of the Eastern Star, a charitable organization, Villery devotes much of her free time to helping others.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't go home feeling good about myself just knowing that I've done something to help out one of the students," she said.

UH senior computer science major Ruby John said, "Those of us who know her can't help doing nice things for her; she brings out the best in all of us."

Villery added, "I enjoy my job here so very much, and any time there's anything I can do for any of the students, just feel free to come on by, no matter how big or small."

Responding to the adage, "Clothes make the man," Villery's husband Robert said the old saying may be true for some, but with his wife, it's the woman who makes the clothes.

 

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