STUDENTS QUESTION LOGIC BEHIND WPE

by Marla Crawford

News Reporter

The Writing Proficiency Exam was recently given to UH students, but at one of the testing sites, some students questioned why they were required to take it.

"It's worthless," Jeff Gage, a second semester pharmacy student, said. "Some of my friends already have degrees and are having to take the test. They don't trust the English Department to successfully filter out the uneducated."

Guadalupe Quintanilla, assistant vice president of academic affairs, said, "It's not intended to penalize, but to reward students and show how well they can write."

Also, a large percentage of international students and returning students may have been out of school for years, she said.

The WPE requirement started in 1977 because of concern that students were not writing as well as they should, Quintanilla said.

Students with undergraduate degrees have not always had to take the exam. Now everyone is counseled to take the exam, she said. "It's also an effort to show employers that students can write."

Susan Dorsey, a pre-law psychology student, said, "My GPA is 3.98, and I've written tons of papers. If they have problems with their English Department and can't assess if we're literate, that's their problem."

Students have two chances to pass the test. If they fail both attempts they must wait a year to retake the exam.

Instead of waiting, students may get permission to take an organized English class or go to tutoring offered by Learning Support Services, Quintanilla said.

She added that about 97 percent of the students who take the exam pass it.

"It (the WPE) is one of the most complete policies we've implemented," said Quintanilla. "And we've done it without any major problems."

And who gets to read all of the essays the students write? Quintanilla said faculty members volunteer their time.

 

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HOT AGGIE BATS SWEEP COUGARS OFF THE FIELD, OUT OF CONTENTION

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

While most UH students were having fun in the sun this week, the Cougar baseball team underwent a spring break(down) against No. 2 Texas A&M.

The Aggies, 29-3 (5-1), brought out the brooms, handing Houston its second Southwest Conference sweep of the season and effectively brushing away any lingering hopes of a SWC championship.

In the opener, the Cougars, 21-14 (1-8), hit A&M's SWC-leading pitching staff well, but horrid fielding and a lack of pitching depth brought about their downfall.

The second game of Saturday's twin-bill was suspended because of darkness with A&M leading 14-12 in the top of the sixth.

After half an hour of phone calls and discussion between umpires and both managers it was decided the game would resume Sunday.

Desperately short of arms, UH hung its hopes on freshman Jeremy Tyson in Sunday's resumption. Tyson came through with four scoreless innings.

Brian Blair tied the game at 14 in the eighth with a two-out, two-run, opposite-field single. Tyson continued to cruise before giving up the go-ahead run on a Billy Harlan RBI single in the eleventh.

Neither Rich Paschal nor Jeff Wright, both of whom pitched in Friday's opening game, could stop the Aggies from putting up an additional four runs and claiming the victory.

A&M reliever Brian Parker (5-1) was the winning pitcher and Tyson received the tough luck loss.

Saturday's first game was another slugfest, ending in a 20-10 Aggie victory.

In reality, A&M didn't win the game as much as Houston gave it away. Thirteen of A&M's 20 runs were unearned, thanks to a SWC-tying and school-record seven Houston errors.

Trey Moore, the SWC leader in ERA, allowed only three UH runs in six innings before reliever Jeff Jansky was rocked in the seventh and last inning.

The Cougars scored seven runs off Jansky, who didn't retire a batter.

But it was too little, too late because A&M had scored seven runs of their own in the top of the seventh.

David Minor and Robert Lewis both had pinch-hit home runs for A&M in the seventh. Minor's was a grand slam and Lewis' chased home two runs.

"We continued to give up the big inning against them," said Cougars' head coach Bragg Stockton. "That's the thing that hurt us so much."

Aggie ace Jeff Granger out-dueled Wright to win the first game, 6-3. Granger pitched a complete game, striking out seven.

"He spotted his pitches well," Cougar center fielder Phil Lewis said. "He pitched well when he needed it."

Stephen Claybrook, A&M's no. 9 hitter, proved to be a nemesis for Wright and Paschal. Claybrook had four RBIs, including a two-run homer off Paschal in the eighth that put the game out of reach.

Houston started off the week with an impressive opening game victory over No. 1 Texas before losing the last two of the series.

Injuries sustained in Austin, combined with the pitching and fielding problems have hampered the Cougars' success.

Starter Wade Williams (tendinitis) and shortstop Jason McDonald (deep thigh bruise) missed the entire series. Third baseman Ricky Freeman, the Coogs' leading hitter, was relegated to designated hitter because of an injured right thumb that limited his throwing.

Freeman's injury allowed freshman J.J. Matzke to show his skills at third base this week.

After shaving his head for good luck, Matzke has been on a tear, hitting a combined 9-for-22 (.409) against UT and A&M.

 

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GUMBALL'S LATEST BUBBLES WITH TALENT

by Manuel Esparza

Daily Cougar Staff

There is a T-shirt slogan that says "Work Is For People Who Have No Talent." If that is so, then Gumball was just playing around with their latest <I>Super tasty<P>.

Making records that push away conventional constraints, Gumball breaks into open ground without throwing away all songwriting basics. They keep enough to have some order in their music, but then they cover it with deafening distortion.

The band has the aura of a chained puma; under control, but Heaven help you if it got loose. There are songs that sound great without any sound gimmicks, then there are those that make one feel safe knowing that these guys live in another state.

Fleming's guitar is a dentist's drill hitting tooth. His leads chip away eardrums, ripping at the cilia. He has that unique talent of making refined noise seem pleasurable. It is these tormented leads that appear to be Fleming's forte. Incredibly, he has a more controlled approach to his style in <I>Super tasty<P> than in previous works, such as those with Dinosaur Jr. And his singing isn't too bad either.

The disc opens with "Accelerator," appropriately named with its pulse raising speed. It is not a subtle introduction to what the listener will be in for. "No More" and "Got The Cure" are two more great cuts. Their full tilt tempos and screaming guitars rush the listener in an audio mugging.

In a relatively short time, the band has come together. Their debut EP <I>Wisconsin Hayride<P>, released in November, was a collection of cover tunes arranged in what sounds like a jam session with every one feeling each other out. <I>Super tasty<P> is a thought-out record with the band having found direction and not just a good time.

Where are they headed? It looks as if they're charging toward alternative rock while swerving into the on-coming lane. The band plays out its style without getting stale. They're able to sustain this energetic disc's originality partly because they're able musicians, and also because they've survived in the music scene long enough to create with more ease.

 

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BATTING 1.000

by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

In a music world gone bass heavy and guitar mad, the Judybats provide a brief, beautiful respite for grunge-weary ears.

Their third release, <I>Pain Makes You Beautiful<P>, is a lovingly-crafted collection of infinitely catchy melodies and intelligent, introspective lyrics.

The band, comprised of vocalist Jeff Heiskell, guitarist Ed Winters, acoustic guitarist Johnny Sughrue, bassist Paul Noe and drummer David Jenkins, specializes in in the same well-bred Southern sounds as REM.

This is not to say the Tennessee natives can't rock. "An Intense Beige" and "Incredible Bittersweet" showcase the band's harder edge. But the album's highlights are its slow, gentle songs.

<I>Pain <P>begins with "All Day Afternoon," a warm look at love. The song takes off with Heiskell's soaring vocals and doesn't land until the end.

"La Dulcinea" is a lyrical tour de force which finds Heiskell turning his questions inward. He sings, "I've made my decision: delirious and free/We don't all have vision, but some of us can see."

The album's title track is a loving tribute to an S&M romance. Backed by Sughrue's acoustic guitar-driven melody, the lyrics are unabashed and unashamed. Heiskell sings, "No sorrow tied/Tied to my hurting you/We delight in every torture I put you through."

The album's centerpiece, however, is the stunning "Wasting Time," a gentle ode to the idle hours spent in the company of a lover. The song's quiet beauty speaks volumes. Backed by Sughrue's acoustic guitar and braced by a hint of strings, Heiskell's vocals are given room to shine.

He sings, "These things take patience/And good taste/And a taste for wasting time/I love you wasting mine/You fill the empty hours just fine."

The Judybats are not destined to hold court among the pantheon of rock's superstars. They may never play to an arena filled to the rafters with frenzied fans. But there is a beauty in their music that will shine long after the glitter of fame has tarnished.

 

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PAT FOSTER TRADES UH RED FOR NEVADA GREEN

Compiled from staff reports

During Spring Break, the Cougar basketball team lost not only their NCAA bid but also their head coach.

Pat Foster, one of the nation's top 20 active coaches based on winning percentage, resigned March 22 to become the University of Nevada's 14th head coach.

Foster, who has never had a losing season as a collegiate head coach, accepted a unique five-year contract with Nevada.

His contract includes: a per-year salary of $115,000, a $15,000 radio, television and appearance clause and a $1.00 per ticket incentive on paid attendance above 4,500.

Foster earned $107,000 a year at UH.

Nevada Athletic Director Chris Ault said $1,000 per basketball victory will be donated to the university's library fund. "We felt this was just another way for our athletic program to stay actively involved with the academic community," he said.

Foster's first head collegiate coaching position was at Lamar University, in 1980-81. He compiled a 134-49 record in six seasons at Lamar, leading the Cardinals to three Southland Conference championships and postseason play every year.

In 1986, he replaced UH's legendary coach Guy Lewis, and the Coogs didn't miss a beat after that. In his first season he went 18-12 and led the team to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in three seasons.

Since then the Cougars have won one Southwest Conference championship (1991-92) and appeared in post season play every year except 1988-89, when his 17-14 record was not quite enough to receive an NIT bid.

Interim UH Athletic Director Bill McGillis said the search for a new coach has already started.

 

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STUDENTS' VOLUNTEER EFFORTS NET AWARDS

The University of Houston and General Motors Corporation teamed up to recognize three students who have shown commitment to helping others.

Dawn Laubach, Renee Myers and Drue Terry were honored at a ceremony hosted by General Motors and UH. The recipients each were awarded a plaque signed by UH President James Pickering and John Smith Jr., GM president. They also received five shares of General Motors Common stock.

The three recipients were selected by an independent committee of UH administrators, faculty members, staff and student representatives. They were judged on the basis of volunteer contributions to organizations and activities on the campus and in the community.

The students' volunteer work included involvement with groups and organizations such as the Department of Military Science, the ROTC Color Guard, UH chapter of Houston Habitat for Humanity, Chi Omega, Spring Independent School District and UH's School of Music.

The 1992-93 award provides individuals, faculty, student clubs and community organizations the opportunity to nominate students in recognition of their services.

 

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MELCHER HOUSE NETS $600,000 FOR UNIVERSITY

by Kelechi Osuji

News Reporter

The Melcher House, where past university presidents resided, was sold for $600,000 on March 22.

The house was put on the market by the Board of Regents in October 1992 because of high maintenance costs. UH President James Pickering opted not to live in the house, which was mainly used for entertaining and official school functions. Those events will now be held on campus.

Melcher House is located in west Houston and was last occupied by former UH President Marguerite Ross Barnett, who died last spring.

The house was purchased in 1983, and then-President Richard Van Horn lived in it until 1989.

In October 1992 Vice-Chancellor Edward Whalen said the income from the house will be placed in a "quasi-endowed" account and will be used as unrestricted funds.

 

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ART SCHOLARSHIPS

M. Martin's "Mud Alley" galleries announced the establishment of an art scholarship in the same name. The scholarship is intended to advance the art careers and studies of worthy students.

The gallery has consulted members of various school districts in greater Houston to nominate this year's recipients.

The gallery is donating some of the proceeds from its annual art shows to fund the scholarships.

The first show will present the works of Amado Pena, a famous Southwest artist. An art teacher for 16 years, Pena shares the Martins' view of encouraging "art in youth" and will judge the artists' works this year.

"Many times artistic abilities do for young artists what music and sports have done for other students: gives them a way out and up," said Martin.

For scholarship information call 341-7722.

 

HOSTS NEEDED

More host families are needed for 85 French students, aged 15-19, who will be visiting the Houston area April 18 to May 9, July 10-31 and August 2-30.

The students hail from the southern region of France and are sponsored by the International Cultural Exchange, an organization that lets French youth experience the American way of life.

Thirty students have already been placed with Houston-area families, but more families are needed. Families need not speak French because all students speak English.

Those interested may contact Gayle Anholt at 358-5236.

 

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APRIL EVENT TO 'SHOW OFF' UH TO CORPORATIONS, FUTURE DONORS

by Kelechi Osuji

News Reporter

UH hopes to strengthen ties with Houston's corporate and urban community by showing what benefits the school can provide at an upcoming event at the Hilton Hotel.

"Passport to Discovery at the University of Houston" should bring hundreds of volunteers, donors and friends to the university. It takes place on April 21 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Although attendants to this event will not be asked for donations that evening, associate Vice President for Development Susan Coulter said, "The more people know, the more they will want to give."

The three-hour event will expose guests to many aspects of the university, she said.

Guests will be able to meet with faculty, staff and students to learn about the many different programs that benefit the Houston community, most of which will be displayed in showcases.

The showcases will be in four rooms where each college will put on a 10-minute presentation. The presentation will be repeated throughout the evening.

There will also be a six-minute videotape titled <I>Tomorrow, Today<P>.

Associate Vice President of University Relations Wendy Adair described the videotape as high energy. This videotape, written by UH staff, will be about the partnership and the impact the university has on the community.

Adair said the videotape is funded through donations to support the Creative Partnership campaign. The videotape will be used for those who will go to organizations to make speeches. Alumni organizations and development volunteers will also use the videotape.

"The invitation list is made up of approximately 1,500 guests, but only four (hundred) to six hundred people are expected to show up," Coulter said.

Organizers encouraged students and faculty to attend. "The best way to show off the university is through the students," Coulter said.

Students are encouraged to become involved, if not by attending, then by volunteering as a tour guide or host. If interested, contact the Student Foundation Organization.

 

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CHANCES TO STUDY ABROAD INCREASE

by Annette Baird

News Reporter

A newly created scholarship fund will let Houston-area students study in countries such as China, Vietnam and South Africa.

Fall 1993 is the first semester funds will be available from the Houston International Fund. The fund is open to all Houston-area undergraduate students who are accepted for the College Semester Abroad Programs at the School for International Training in Vermont.

"We are just eager to get the word out. We have had few students from the Houston area who have applied for the program in the past. We hope this new fund will change that. We also encourage minority students to apply," said Leslie Hill, admissions officer for the programs.

The School for International Training has 49 programs in 32 countries. Nanci Leitch, public relations manager for the school, said, "We have a great deal of experience in developing programs, especially in the Third World."

"I would encourage students who want to expand their cultural and intellectual horizons, or students who are thinking about working abroad to apply," said Jack Burke, director of UH International Student Services.

A program encompasses 300 hours of lectures and field study, combined an independent study project for one semester. "Students identify what they want to focus on and we provide the resources," Leitch said. "Students do fantastic work they didn't know they were capable of doing. That work can set them on a direction for their careers."

Houstonian Louisa Stude Sarofim is one of the main movers behind the fund. Sarofim participated in one of the programs in the late 1950s. She wanted Houston-area students to benefit as she did from studying abroad, said Laurie Haley, Sarofim's assistant.

The fund has reached the projected $500,000 mark and could help between 30 and 50 students each semester, depending on their need, Leitch said.

All awards, from partial to full scholarships, are based on merit and demonstrated needs. Students should submit an estimation of all aid received from federal sources, their home institution and other sources. Financial need for a student's chosen program should also be supplied, said Hill.

Although the details have yet to be worked out, the program is worth one full semester of credit, Hill said.

The school's admissions counselor, Suzanne Kingsbury, will be on campus for interviews Wednesday. For more information, call Jack Burke at 743-5069.

Application deadline for 1993 programs is May 31. For the school's summer program, the deadline is March 31.

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