SOCIAL WORK GRAD STUDENTS REACH FOR THE STARS

by Kelechi Osuji

News Reporter

Social work graduates trying to reel in a career got a few bites at Friday's "Reach for the stars" Market Place.

This annual job fair lets entering second-year social work graduates sign up for interviews for internships in a social work setting, said associate director of field practicum Candace Beavers.

"Second-year social work graduate students can declare their preferences for their field placements while agencies declare their requirements, and we will match these so students can intern in the community," she said.

Social work students use the Market Place for networking and to get information about agencies in the community.

The Market Place featured an employment center where students who were close to graduation could look for employment and talk to alumni.

Eighty community agencies representing health care settings, political social work, children and family and mental health were present at the Market Place.

Beavers said this Market Place was more exciting and competitive than other job fairs because there were more community agencies than there are students to go around.

She said this is one of the few areas in which agencies compete to attract students.

Since UH has the only Graduate Social Work program in town, invitations were extended to undergraduate students at TSU, HBU, Lamar and Baylor.

 

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STRESSED OUT

by Christine Law

News Reporter

With the passing of Spring Break, finals will be arriving before we know it, and along with test preparation comes stress.

Three major causes of stress are various types of pressures and conflicts, excessive worrying and irrational beliefs said Kenneth Waldman, associate director of the Counseling and Testing center. He said anxiety is the origin of all stress.

Certain individuals and students studying particular majors may be more prone to large amounts of stress.

According to Waldman, some programs are more demanding than others. He advises students who may still be deciding on their field of study or those who are finding the courses under their major difficult to attend a vocational workshop.

But what students must understand, said Waldman, is that a person's personality plays a major role in affecting stress levels.

"Some people may deal with stress by drinking alcohol, which only postpones the problems and their solution," said Waldman. He said drinking may only bring depression.

Students can alleviate much stress by following several suggestions, said Waldman.

First, students should try to prepare in advance instead of cramming the night before.

Second, students should monitor and reduce their "self-talk" by catching themselves when they are putting themselves down or by using more positive talk.

Third, students will find it helpful to practice breathing exercises. He said when anxious, an individual has short, fast breaths. Breathing should be relaxed and deep.

Fourth, students should learn to relax their muscles. Muscle pain comes from tension, Waldman said.

Waldman said not all stress is negative.

"A certain amount of stress can be motivating. An athlete, for example, uses stress in order to get psyched for a game," said Waldman. Stress becomes negative when it leads to anxiety, he said.

Students should be aware of their personal stress levels, or the stress may become mentally or physically hazardous, said Waldman, noting that problems not dealt with get worse.

Compared to having a career, school is more stressful, said Waldman. At work, a person is under supervision and a schedule, he said. At school, a person must practice self-initiation and manage his or her own time.

Students can avoid stress by using stress management, said Waldman. Stress management includes getting regular exercise, good nutrition, taking care of oneself, being assertive by resolving issues in life and sleeping enough.

Rosemary Hughes, assistant director of Counseling and Testing at UH, advises students to identify the things that push their "stress buttons." For some, it may be small things like oversleeping, she said.

"The way we think about things can affect our stress levels," said Hughes. Negative thinking includes irrational beliefs and unrealistic goals, the causes of stress Waldman mentioned.

Lack of goals or low expectations can result in stress as well, said Hughes.

Hughes said individuals can reduce their stress by keeping in mind three things: change it, leave it or live with it.

"Change is the very thing that gives us stress and that which we have to embrace," Hughes said.

Being disorganized can exert pressure on students and breed stress, said Hughes.

She advises students to take one thing at a time and to balance their work schedules. In addition, Hughes said students should avoid "exam frenzies." Staying up late to cram for several consecutive days will produce more stress.

Students should know that at the counseling and testing center, located in the Student Services building, they can learn relaxation techniques and how to build up resistance to stress, said Hughes.

Counseling for other types of stress, such as those that have resulted from relationship conflicts or difficult financial situations, is also available. In addition, workshops are held periodically.

"We try to offer workshops to help students with coping skills, like how to sharpen them up and how to use them," said Hughes.

Walk-in counseling hours Mondays through Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment. Counseling and Testing Services is located on the second floor of the Student Services building. For more information, call 743-5454.

Learning Support Services can help students with academic help in specific courses. It is located on the third floor of the Social Work building. Call 743-5411.

"We at Counseling and Testing Services would like people to know that there is a place on campus for assistance," said Hughes. "We'd like to better the health of our campus."

 

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GET TUTORED - FREE

by Connie Barrera

News Reporter

Students with academic problems in almost any area of any subject may choose to solve them through the tutorial services on campus.

College algebra, physics, chemistry, foreign language, English and some engineering courses are among the courses available for tutoring, according to Ken Williams, academic coordinator of Learning and Support Services.

"Our main contact is through walk-in tutoring," he said. Students interested can call or check-in at the front desk of tutorial services, located in the Social Work building, to find out the availability of courses for tutoring, said Williams.

Students walk in, write their name on the board and are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tutoring is achieved on a one-on-one basis, he said.

Vira Hall, a sophomore pre-med major, said, "Whatever courses you might be having problems with, they basically have all of them here.

"You come here to get assistance you didn't catch onto in the class," she said. "I probably wouldn't be able to make it in my calculus class without it."

The atmosphere is relaxed, said Williams.

"I guess what students have to get over is the feeling that having a tutor means they don't understand. People who do very well may just have a little question on certain things," he said.

Veronica Saldana, a graduate architecture student, said she'd be lost and upset without the services.

"They explain the homework problems and they're available when you can't go to anyone else. It's real convenient, " she said.

According to Williams, students hired as tutors must complete an application, have an overall GPA of 3.00 (3.25 in their major) and be recommended by their professors.

Kuovonne Liu, an English tutor, said, "When I can help another student understand, it makes me feel good."

Masoud Shafiei, a linguistics and composition writing tutor, said he loves teaching.

"I see a lot of students coming here. There might be some freshmen who are not aware of these services," he said.

Tutorial services are available Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until noon.

 

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BROOKS' LACK OF AD EXPERIENCE AN ADVANTAGE

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Without any previous playing, coaching or administrative experience at the college level, Ed Brooks seems the odd-man-out in Houston's quartet of athletic director finalists.

But to hear Brooks tell it, you would think it was an advantage.

"I really like to distinguish myself and my background from the other candidates," said the 45-year-old Brooks, who graduated from the Houston Law Center in 1974 after receiving his undergraduate degree in 1970. "I think my background prepares me for this job."

The AD position opened up when former Athletic Director Rudy Davalos left for the greener fields, as in green money, of New Mexico on Nov. 17. Since then, UH has been conducting a national search to fill the empty post and announced four finalists Thursday: Bill Carr, Brooks, Robert Brezina and Max Urick.

Brooks, a Houston native and attorney with Brill, Cinex & Stephenson, is a Cougar alumnus who has lived here his entire life. He worked under the late Judge Roy Hofheinz as an assistant ticket manager with the Houston Sports Association. He said his strong roots in the community would help fulfill the AD job requirements.

"I drove out here, went to class, drove to work, drove back to the sports events and went out of town to watch the teams," said Brooks, a lifetime member of the UH Alumni Organization. "I am a commuter student. I understand our commuter students.

"It would be helpful from the standpoint of having the student body see that they have someone who can empathize and understand their circumstances and situation and (have) that same someone fighting for them."

His fight includes a marketing plan that relies heavily on corporate sponsorship to garner UH and community involvement in Cougar athletics. This includes a working relationship with Drayton McLane Jr. that, Brooks says, will possibly bring ticket and food prices down, take the hassle out of buying tickets and finding good seating.

Brooks said he wants to institute "things you're able to do at any other university that we've not been able to do because of the sterile environment."

Brooks' marketing prospectus also highlighted a three- to five-year basketball match-up with N.C. State to commemorate Houston's 54-52 loss in the 1983 NCAA Championship to Jim Valvano's Wolfpack and a renewed football rivalry with Mississippi.

In a recent Daily Cougar poll, a majority of students said they were upset over the 35 percent of student fees the athletic department received.

When asked if he thought a rift had formed between athletics and the student body, Brooks replied, "You must have gotten that from the 1968, '69 and '70 Daily Cougar because those were exactly the remarks that were going on campus at the time.

"It hasn't changed, but it should change. We should recognize that our students are right. The athletic department needs to be run like a business. There is no business in the world that can continually operate at a loss and survive.

"The UH athletic department has a unique opportunity that other departments at the school don't have and that is to generate and create and increase revenue."

Brooks said he believes UH athletics can show a profit within three years and begin to support other ventures on campus such as the library, scholarships or the general fund.

Whichever candidate is chosen for AD will be entering a situation that has changed in the past month.

In spite of any emotional ties he might have had, head basketball coach Pat Foster left Houston for Nevada, which will pay him more than $200,000 a year in a five-year deal. A new Cougar coach will be named Wednesday or Thursday -- the same days Brezina and Urick will be on campus to interview for AD.

In essence, the new head of athletics will have to get along with a coach he had no say in choosing.

Add to that the removal of all athletic rollover contracts, which automatically added an extra year to the end of existing contracts, and the postponement of building the new $25 million athletic facility, and you have an AD entering a volatile environment.

Brooks, though, is looking forward to the challenge.

"We need to go into the next century," he said. "We don't need to be thinking about the '80's and the '90's now. We need to think in terms of partnering with corporate America to get our message out, to help sell our program and our tickets."

 

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EXCHANGE OF IDEAS

by Kaycee Osuji

News Reporter

UH African-American students can have their voices heard through a news magazine geared toward them.

The Black Exchange deals specifically with issues that are important to African-American students on and off campus. Darrick Kelly, founder of the Black Exchange, said, "It is a news magazine where Black students at UH can have an exchange of ideas and views about one another and about each other's organizations."

Editor-in-chief William Sandles said, "It gives African-American students a voice and adds diversity to the university."

The Black Exchange was started in fall 1990 by Kelly, then an undergraduate. He said he started the news magazine out of a need for blacks to be represented in a formal fashion at UH for their accomplishments and achievements.

Kelly said he wanted to do something different on campus. "A lot of colleges have a 'black newspaper,' but I wanted something more like a magazine."

Kelly said through his knowledge of how the New York Stock Exchange worked, he knew he wanted something that African-Americans could use to exchange ideas. He decided, with the help of a friend, to name the magazine The Black Exchange.

Managing editor Ashley Gillepsie said, "The Black Exchange was started because of the ignorance of the Fall 1989 Daily Cougar editors. They refused to place a picture in the paper of the homecoming queen, who was of African-American descent."

He said the Daily Cougar does not properly handle African-American issues. Because of this, he said, the Black Exchange has become the medium where African-American students can express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the system and their present status.

Sandles said the publication is dedicated to representing all different parts of youth in the black campus community.

The Black Exchange was first published in fall 1990, but because of a difference of opinion between Kelly and the then-director of the African-American studies program, the news magazine stopped publication in fall 1991.

The Black Exchange is made up of students who work on a volunteer basis. Loria Ewing, coordinator of The Black Exchange, said, "Students are always told what to do and how to do it. This magazine gives them a chance to not only do their assignment, but to do it from beginning to end."

She said this is a good learning experience because students peer-check each other and criticize each other on a professional basis.

The Black Exchange is primarily funded by the African-American Studies Program, but Kelly said it receives funding from the Council of Ethnic Organizations and from private individuals.

The Black Exchange is published twice a semester. The next issue, out April 5, can be found at the Black Student Union, the African-American Studies Program offices and from students distributing copies.

 

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GET A SAFE HIGH CLIMBING WALLS

by Debbie Callier

News Reporter

Students seeking a between-class lift are climbing the Rock Wall Challenge at the Jeep-Eagle Collegiate Health and Fitness Tour on campus this week.

On Monday students strapped on harnesses and ropes and trusted their fate to a professional beleyer -- the man who kept them dangling when they lost their grip of the foot-holds dotting the artificial rock face.

Mike Carter, one of the beleyers, said it isn't hard to support another person's weight on the rope, which runs through a pulley. But he added that, "every once in a while, you do get jerked by the rope."

He said the most taxing part is all the talking they do, giving instructions. "We want to show everyone a good time, to show them there are alternatives to getting high," he said.

Finding the natural high is the theme behind the tour, organized by Intercollegiate Communications president Richard Tarzian. The tour visits colleges and works with campus chapters of BACCHUS -- Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students.

"We're here in a commercial way with corporate sponsors, but we're also giving back, influencing kinds in a positive way," he said.

They pass out brochures educating students about alcohol, drugs, sex, skin cancer and other consequences of inappropriate highs.

One of their incentives for safe behavior is the "Don't Drink and Drive" pledge card. During March, more than 120,000 students signed these cards.

Students who visit the seven-tent showrooms could win a 1992 Jeep Wrangler, an Eagle Talon, a BIC sailboard, Serengeti sunglasses and numerous smaller items.

For some students the rush of trying to climb a sheer rock face is more exciting than prizes.

Most don't make it to the top, but the determined ones come back every day, several times, to keep trying. "It's fun to see them get psyched," Carter said.

Ray DeBardelaben, a sophomore on the UH track team, was an exception. He went up with confidence and threw himself over the part of the wall that juts out and stops most students.

"It takes strength, balance and finesse," Carter said. "Doing it all the time helps too."

 

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STUDENTS VIE TO SOLVE HOUSING PROBLEM

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

News Reporter

Students from around the world will compete against each other to find solutions to urban housing problems with projects they developed for a specific site in their countries.

Nineteen UH architecture students worked with little sleep since February to meet the deadline for the international competition. After six weeks of intense work, they wrapped up their projects Monday afternoon.

The competition, sponsored by Otis Elevator Company and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, calls for a design that integrates 5- to 8-story housing and facilities for 750 to 1000 residents. UH students chose campus sites to develop their plans for urban housing.

"We are not simply just building more housing ... we are trying to build a sense of a district where there might be restaurants associated within shops, like a center of activity in addition to living space," said Bruce Webb, an urban development instructor.

Graduate student Sandra Guerrero said UH is surrounded with parking lots and is isolated, so she has developed an access to the adjacent community by planning a residential area on parking lots. Her plan connects the commercial area at North Cullen to the commercial area at Calhoun.

"I tried to bring life into the university. Otherwise it is just student body. A surrounding, vast parking lot is kind of scary at night," Guerrero said.

Another graduate student, David Peronnet, said he worked with light and shadow to encourage people to live in his creation. He planned commuter clubs and public restaurants in the area that faculty, staff and students could enjoy.

Kyung-Ah Choice, a graduate student, said, "The stadium is not actively used. UH Cougars use another stadium. If I put apartments (around the stadium), the stadium is going to be used by the public."

A jury will evaluate the projects in Washington, D.C. April 12. The competition will culminate in May with a one-day international symposium in Prague, featuring an exhibition of the winning projects, a presentation of the three first-place projects from the winning students and a round-table discussion on housing issues.

Winning students and their faculty advisors will receive cash prizes and travel stipends totaling $28,000.

 

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NEWS FROM THE NATION

SA disbanded

MADISON, Wis. -- Students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison voted to disband the university's student government, in a referendum that turned out to be largely symbolic.

The Wisconsin Student Association can't be ousted by student vote, according to Kathryn Evans, co-president of the association. And only 4 percent of the university's 43,000 students voted for or against the measure. But a clear message was sent, Evans said.

"There was never any consideration as to what would happen if the referendum would pass," she said. "What we found out is that we've sunk as low as we can in students' ratings."

There were allegations made earlier this year, and later proved unfounded, that an election was fixed. Between scandals and in-fighting among the 37 student senators and the body's executive branch, students have little trust in the organization, Evans said.

A student constitutional council has been formed to study ways to reform the association and possibly hold a spring election on a new constitution. The association's budget this year is $335,894, most of which comes from student fees.

Frat punished

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members at the University of Kentucky will have to perform 2,000 hours of community service as part of their punishment for taking sports memorabilia from two North Carolina universities, school officials said.

Kentucky officials confiscated several of the items that pledges took from Duke University and the University of North Carolina during a retreat in December. Among the items taken from Duke were the retired jerseys of former Duke basketball players Christian Laettner, Danny Ferry and Johnny Dawkins.

Pictures and a lamp made out of a North Carolina Tar Heel football helmet were among the items taken from the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus.

Desegregation

NEW ORLEANS -- In spite of objections by Louisiana's historically black universities, the state must merge its university systems to eliminate segregation, a federal judge ruled.

"... The dubious ideal of 'separate but equal,' whether endorsed by whites or blacks, is an anachronism that our society no longer tolerates," U.S. District Judge Charles Schwartz said in a 42-page ruling that overhauled much of the state's university systems.

Southern University and Grambling State University strongly objected to the plan when Schwartz imposed a similar order in 1989.

In order to create the best educational environment for African-Americans, the schools argued that they should remain separate, although they needed increased funding to compensate for decades of discrimination.

The judge's previous order was overturned when a federal appeals court ruled in a similar case that Mississippi's universities were as integrated as reasonably possible.

Schwartz did not close any colleges, but imposed an order making Louisiana State University the state's flagship university.

Schwartz also ordered an end to Louisiana's tradition of accepting anyone with a high school diploma into a state university.

 

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CHRISTIANS, JEWS GIVE ANCIENT RITUALS NEW LIFE

by Tammy Gamble

News Reporter

Although all religious organizations at UH have their own beliefs, the Easter holiday April 11 serves to unite many religions, as adherents remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

"Many faith communities celebrate at this time of year," said Rev. Henry Beck, a UH Catholic minister.

UH resident scholar of religion, Lynn Mitchell, said in the early years holy days were not as common among the Christian faiths. "Easter became important because this holiday can be pinpointed to an exact time when it happened," Mitchell said.

The Easter holiday began as a pagan ritual of spring where people celebrated fertility with such symbols of new life as rabbits and eggs. The Christian faiths gave meaning to the holiday with the birth of Christ, Mitchell said.

"Resurrection is the central belief of Christianity. How it is celebrated among religions is where the difference evolves," Mitchell said.

The Catholic Newman Center has the most activities planned for the holiday of all the UH religious groups. The Catholic celebration, called Holy Week, began April 4 with Passion Sunday and continues until Easter Sunday, Beck said.

The Passion Sunday service at the Catholic Newman Center included a procession with palm leaves in remembrance of Christ's entrance into Jerusalem. Students were also treated to a reading of the gospel story from the biblical book of John, Beck said.

The celebration continues Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the Tridium, a Latin word meaning the three days, Beck said.

The first day, known as Holy Thursday, begins with a meal at 6 p.m. and mass at 7:15 p.m. During mass, students participate in the washing of feet, which is modeled after the biblical story of Jesus washing his disciples' feet, Beck said.

A 3 p.m. service at A.D. Bruce Religion Center on campus will follow on Friday, featuring community members sharing their feelings of Christ and Easter. Communion and the reading of the gospel story will also be a part of the Good Friday meeting.

Saturday is highlighted by an 8 p.m. bonfire service outside the Catholic Newman Center, Beck said. During the service, a student will be received into the Christian faith.

Holy Week for Catholics will culminate at 10:30 a.m. Easter Sunday with mass at the A.D. Bruce Religion Center. Beck said all students are invited to attend all services.

The UH Baptist Student Union plans to incorporate the Easter story into the union's regular worship service at 8 p.m. Tuesday and during the weekly luncheon at noon Wednesday, said Craig Butler, director of the Baptist Union. Both activities are open to students of all religious beliefs.

The Church of Christ organization, the Wesley Foundation for Methodists and the Lutheran organization all share the same Christian beliefs as the Baptist and the Catholics; however, the three groups are not planning any Easter activities for students.

While the above organizations share the Christian beliefs, the Jewish population on campus has its own celebration that is not connected with Easter.

Rabbi Stuart Federow, director of the Jewish Hillel organization on campus, said Jews celebrate Passover the week of April 5-13. The celebration commemorates the emancipation of Jews in Egypt.

"The Jews remember the week with the Passover Seder, a ceremonial meal where a story of freedom is told through the symbolic foods which are eaten," Federow said. During Passover, Jewish people are not to eat any food with leavening in it. Leavening is the ingredient that causes bread to rise, Federow said.

The Jews consider the first two days and the last two days of Passover as holy days. During this time, Jews are to rest and worship instead of working, Federow said.

 

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HEMP HATS, 'SHROOM CAPS

by Jeff Schnaufer

College Press Service

Hello, hemp. Goodbye, Levi's.

That's just one of the ecological messages college students throughout the country heard when they descended on Los Angeles March 14 for the Eco Expo, an environmental product convention that was, to say the least, unconventional.

Rain forest energy potions, jackets made from hemp and seafood-flavored mushrooms were but a few of the hundreds of products on display at Eco Expo, held for the third year at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The event drew hundreds of environmentally conscious college students seeking ways to surround themselves with natural products they can't find in mainstream malls.

"I was just curious to see what different products are out there," said Allen Kwiatkowski, 19, from Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. "The cure for AIDS might be on the floor of the rain forest. There's no way to know. These guys don't have the money to compete with the big corporations."

To see for himself, Kwiatkowski took a few moments to sample a rejuvenating liquid he was told was made from herbs from the Amazon rain forest.

"It's built for stamina and endurance. It's not going to jazz you up," the salesman from Rain forest Bio-Energetics told Kwiatkowski as he poured him a small cup of the amber fluid.

"I like to rock climb. This'll probably do really good," he said as he drank the cup.

Further down the aisle, other college students flocked to the Mount Shasta Mushroom Co., where one question was always asked first: Can we grow hallucinogenic mushrooms in our dorms?

"We get a lot of that," sighed owner Troy Donahue (not the movie star), who sells the mushroom-growing kits for food-use-only in almond, chicken, seafood and even maple syrup flavors.

Once the students had a taste of the flavored mushrooms, however, they were hooked. Donahue has been asked to teach a mushroom cultivating class in May at University of California at Davis Experimental College.

For those with a nose for nature, Pacific Scents of Calabasas, Calif., offered "aromatherapy" as an environmentally sound alternative to incense.

"It's using essential oils to enhance a mood," said Pacific Scents vendor Tracy Hoffman, 27. "Let's say you're feeling blue and down. You want oils that will lift your spirits. You use it instead of incense. It's better for the environment. You don't burn anything."

Many other companies touted their products' benefit to the environment.

Chris Ford, 21, a student at Citrus College in Glendora, Calif., was impressed by Motherboard Enterprises of Chicago, which showcased clipboards, picture frames and even jewelry made of recycled circuit boards that would otherwise have been dumped into landfills.

"They had these neat earrings made out of computer chips," Ford said.

College students also used the convention to demonstrate their schools' concern for the environment and by recruiting other students for their causes.

University of California-Los Angeles freshman Lorena Barillas, 19, was surprised with the response to the UCLA Environmental Coalition, which she was promoting.

"There's a lot of people interested," she said as she handed out brochures about the group's activist agenda. "They're going to UCLA or they're transferring there and they want to get involved."

But by far the most popular hangout for college students was "Willie Nelson's 100 Percent Hemp" fashion and clothing outlet. Caps, fannypacks, jackets, pants and even luggage were on sale to eager students who wanted to wear what is illegal to smoke.

Arlin Troutt, who said he co-founded the company with country singer Willie Nelson, imports the hemp fabric from China, although the company is trying to get permission to grow the plant in the United States.

Troutt hopes permission to grow marijuana will be granted so that hemp can rejuvenate the Texas economy. He added that most of the profits from the clothing sales go to Farm Aid, a charity to help America's family farmers.

But that doesn't stop students from asking Troutt if they can cut up their clothes and smoke them.

"You can smoke a show if your burn it, buddy," Troutt replied to one such query.

"We have to educate these people," he added. "We've got to move fast or we're going to lose this as a fashion statement and as a fashion industry."

The combination of charity and radical manufacturing of an illegal product lured college students as sellers and buyers of "hempware."

"I've been selling it like crazy. It's great," said Amanda Zale, 21, a student at Arizona State University in Tempe. "I know if it hits the markets college students will definitely go for it. People want to be the first to get in on it."

While there were many new products that aroused student curiosity, the message of the Eco Expo was: What goes around, comes around. And the product that best illustrated this message was, to no one's surprise, a recycled one at that.

No surprise, except, perhaps, for those who graduated college some time ago.

 

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STEERED TOWARD THE NEEDY

by Heather Wolk

Daily Cougar Staff

Retired businessman LeRoy Melcher, heralded for his record-setting purchase of a steer at the Houston Livestock Show, has been giving to UH and the community for years.

Melcher, 81, bought the steer for $350,000 and is donating the carcass to feed the homeless. Melcher said $300,000 goes to scholarship funds and $50,000 goes to the student who showed the steer.

He is planning to feed the hungry at a barbecue April 24 at the Star of Hope Women's and Family Shelter downtown.

"It's an annual event, and this year we've chosen the Star of Hope to sponsor it," said Melcher.

Spokesperson Kim Kossie said the shelter is preparing for a big turnout.

"We expect about 600 of our own residents and approximately 800 to 1,000 total," Kossie said. She added that security and staff members will help keep things under control.

"We'll also be issuing tickets so people can only come through once," said Kossie.

Local celebrities such as Valerie Harper, Beau Bridges and Dennis Weaver have been invited to attend.

Melcher, whose success began in the grocery and food-service industry, has been an avid UH supporter for many years.

His gift of $3 million to the College of Business Administration was one of the largest donations ever made by an individual to the university.

In appreciation, the Board of Regents named the building Melcher Hall, the first academic building named for a UH alumnus.

Melcher also donated Melcher House, located in west Houston, where past university presidents have resided.

"It was my son's home, and when he passed away, we donated it to UH in 1980," Melcher said.

The house was last occupied by late UH President Marguerite Ross Barnett and was sold March 22 for $600,000.

Melcher is a former president and chairman of the UH Alumni Organization and was named the University of Houston Outstanding Alumnus in 1970.

He was named Distinguished Alumnus in 1986.

Melcher is also a director of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, The Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, and the One Hundred Club of Houston.

He built his fortune in the grocery industry and owned U-Totem food stores until 1967. Two years later he founded Ranger Energy which he subsequently sold to Southland Corporation in 1983.

In fact, he was the first UH alumnus to run a Fortune 500 company, which may explain his generous gift to the business school.

 

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GOOD GRADES COULD MEAN QUIETER ROOMS

by Debbie Callier

News Reporter

Lowering the rent for students who make good grades keeps noise under control for an apartment complex owner near the University of Arizona.

Roger Oster, owner of the Country Gardens complex near UA, devised a sliding-rent scale based on the tenant's grade point average for the previous semester. The reduction ranges from 2 to 10 percent.

Promoting good grades attracts a better class of clientele, Oster said. "I have serious students who want to go to school, and when they have time off, they want to relax, not to party."

Before he offered the deal, he said, "There were wild parties going on, and people whose apartments were near the pool complained about noise."

Would such a system work for UH?

Terry Bridges, manager of UH Cougar Place, and Sloan Ruth, assistant manager of Cambridge Oaks, said they don't have much trouble with noise since their residents are predominantly upperclassmen and graduate students.

"Occasionally we'll get a complaint, mostly a stereo that is too loud, and the staff speaks to them," Bridges said. Repeat offenders receive formal notices and disciplinary action.

He said he wasn't sure lowering rent according to GPA would work. "There are so many different scales used to evaluate students. I would have to see the model to see how it works."

Other complex managers had similar reactions. Holly Hall and Scotland Yard both rent to many UH students, mostly older, more academically inclined students.

A Holly Hall leasing specialist, Queen Anderson, said the price of their rent and the extensive pre-rental screening they do probably keeps the rowdier students away.

The Scotland Yard complex uses a courtesy officer to enforce noise policies. "People are responsible not only for the noise they make, but also for the noise their guests make," said Mike Bridges, Scotland Yard marketing director.

On campus, there is one place where grade point average and housing are related. The Honors College offers special housing to honors students.

Honors students have to keep a 3.25 GPA to stay in the program, and are generally in the top 10 percent of their class.

Seneca Brashear, a senior in accounting, lives in an honors dorm. She said the noise levels vary from floor to floor. It isn't necessarily quieter, she said, "but students share the same respect for studying.

 

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WHERE DO YOU EAT FRIDAY NIGHT?

by James Alexander

News Reporter

Weekdays, students grab a pizza at the UC Satellite, eat a burger at Coog's, or nourish their brains with cafeteria food. But inquiring minds want to know where UH students like to chow down on weekends.

Steve Beville, a mechanical engineer senior, said he likes to treat himself to seafood or cajun food on the weekends. "Pappadeux, Pappa's or Crazy Cajun Food Factory over in Seabrook is where one might find me on those nights," he said.

"My girlfriend and I usually like to eat at the Strawberry Patch on Westheimer," said sophomore Zack Lewis. "It's just a place we both really enjoy."

Journalism student Marissa Garcia said, "It used to be places like Chili's or T.G.I.Friday's, but now that I work on weekend nights and have to watch my money, I usually pick up pizza from Little Caesar's or food from McDonald's."

"For pizza, I like to hit Uno's on Westheimer and for a cool hangout with good barbecue I enjoy going to Billy Blues, the place with a giant saxophone in front of it off Richmond," said mechanical technology senior Jeff Gee.

The Vietnamese restaurant Mai's, on Milam at Holman, is where graphics major Nazie Tabrizi is frequently found on the weekends. "I just think that Mai's has the best Vietnamese food in Houston," she said.

English major Jaime Lagdameo also enjoys the food at Mai's, but he and economics senior Giovanni DeMeritti said for restaurants open 24 hours, Harlow's Hollywood Cafe and Jojo's are where they like to eat after 2 a.m. on the weekends.

"I used to eat at Kim Son," Nima Ghedami said, "but now that it has become very popular the food quality has gone down." Mai's has taken its place, he said.

Sophomore engineering major Doug Brookover frequents Cyrano's Coffee Roastery & Cafe on Montrose. "They have good iced coffee and delicious desserts," he said.

Mechanical engineering student Bill Wilson, said that Taco Bell, Two Pesos and Domino's Pizza are where he and his wife usually eat on weekend nights. "If you've noticed the trend, we like Mexican and spicy foods," he said.

"For a relatively cheap restaurant, I like Bennigan's, but for special occasions, I eat at Houston's off Wilcrest and Westheimer; they serve steaks and great salads," biology senior Robert Nguyen said.

 

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FIRST-RATE FACULTY

The Executive MBA Program of the College of Business Administration recognizes an outstanding faculty member each year.

Dr. Everette Gardner, Jr., professor of Decision and Information Sciences, is the winner of the MidCon Corporation Award for teaching excellence. Graduating EMBA students nominate their favorite faculty member, and Gardner has been noted for his clear and organized methods of communicating difficult concepts.

In addition to teaching EMBA classes, Gardner is director of the Center for Global Manufacturing and serves as chairperson for the Department of Decision and Information Sciences.

 

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BUSINESS OF ART

University of Houston Art Alumni will be sponsoring three workshops on April 15 at the Blaffer Gallery that will focus on the business of art.

The workshops are free and open to the public. A distinguished group of experts will conduct the day long event that begins at 11:30 a.m.

The morning workshop, "How to Apply for and Get Grants," is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The panel will be lead by Flora Maria Garcia of the Artist Task Force. Other panelists include Michael Peranteau, Liz Ward and Marti Mayo. This workshop will reveal the mysteries of grants, where to find them and how to apply for them.

The Business of Art panel will meet from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The discussion will be led by Debbie Grotfelt of the Union of Independent Artists, and the panel includes Lynn Goode and Steve Burtch. The presentation will touch on contracts, insurance, taxes, accounting and business subjects which affect the artist's life.

The final workshop will be "Future Trends and Direction Art Will be Taking," this presentation is from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Mary Ross Taylor will predict the financial outlook of the art industry.

For more information call the University of Houston Alumni Organization 743-9550.

 

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DEMON TOILETS

GAINESVILLE, Fla -- Sometimes, a newspaper just has to wade through it. When Ed Barber, general manager of The Independent Florida Alligator, arrived at work March 18, he happened upon a toilet cemented to the sidewalk in front of the building.

But this was no ordinary commode. This toilet was adorned with various satanic markings.

It wasn't difficult to see the writing on the bowl. It included the number 666 with a happy face above it and a statement which read, "May the dead rise and smell the incense."

A note also was sent with the toilet. It contained various German phrases, including one which translated to, "He is ringing the bell at the door." Another phrase read, "The sweater shall be done soon."

"There's some weird shit in this town," Gainesville police Sgt. Walt Eisenbrown said. "We've had some satanic verses with dead animals around, but this is the first satanic toilet I've ever been to."

The incident prompted the staff to pen an editorial about returning from spring break to extensive power outages because of a massive winter storm and a cemented toilet bowl outside the office.

"We came back too early," the editorial noted, passing along the newspaper's new proverb: "A week that begins with no power must end with a satanic toilet."

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