OFFICIAL SAYS NAFTA A PRIME CHANCE FOR HOUSTON

by James Alexander

News Reporter

A top city official told UH business students Houston should take advantage of its port when the North American Free Trade Agreement is approved.

City Controller George Greanias outlined steps Houston should take to guarantee itself a prosperous piece of the trade pie.

In trade with Mexico, Houston ranks fourth in Texas, behind Dallas, Austin and Brownsville-Harlingen, Greanias said. "If you would have told me that Dallas was significantly ahead of us and that Austin and Brownsville preceded us, I would have said that wasn't true, he said."

Greanias was invited to speak to the business school by the International Business and Cultural Organization as part of "Global Awareness Week."

The Rice and Harvard Law School graduate said he is in favor of NAFTA, but warned students the transitional period would bring short-term economic suffering. But in the long run it will be highly beneficial, Greanias added.

"Eventually there has to be a leveling-out of the job market between all three countries," Greanias said.

"In order to compete with European trade countries, we must help strengthen Mexico's economy in order to give them a much better buying power," he said.

Greanias, who's served as controller since 1987, said he gives Houston a "C" for its homework on NAFTA.

"Houston has nobody in Mexico right now trying to market itself as other cities in Texas are already doing," he said.

Greanias emphasized that because of Houston's port facilities the city should concentrate on becoming the number-one gateway in the Southwest.

In addition, the city must figure out a way to link the airports and large-rail system with the port, Greanias said.

"Being that one of Houston's specialties is medical care, that should become one of the initial offerings to this trade agreement," Greanias said. "It's just a matter of getting on the ball and marketing it.

"People have the impression that once the agreement is in effect, money will just fall from the sky. As with anything else, the competition is there."

IBCO President Jerry Rassamni said he was surprised of Houston's current trade standing, and agrees with Greanias as to what Houston should do to promote itself.

"Houston must make itself a more competitive city and take advantage of Mexico being a developing country in our own backyard," he said.

 

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ART CENTER OFFERS CLASSES FOR ALL

by Ambir Davis

News Reporter

The Art Center, "one of the best-kept secrets on campus," is a multi-service facility bursting with creative opportunities for everyone, according to Pim Ormrod, director of the center for seven years.

Ormrod said in addition to the classes offered, the center has a picture framing service, a woodshop, a photography lab and a dark room for students to use.

Hajra Syed, a sophomore education major and an employee at the center, said space in the Art Center is limited, so the number of students per class is usually about eight to 12. This also allows the instructor of the class to give individual attention to each participant.

The Center offers non-credit eight week classes in ceramics, drawing, photography, stained glass, calligraphy, jewelry making and picture framing. Ormrod said, "We try to charge students as little as possible and still cover our costs."

The cost of classes in ceramics, photography, jewelry making and beginning drawing are $25 for students, $60 for faculty and staff and $98 for off-campus individuals.

A lab fee of $20 covers the costs of needed supplies.

The stained glass course, in which participants create their own stained glass window, costs $30 for students, $60 for faculty and staff and $98 for off-campus individuals. Approximate costs for supplies is $30 per square foot.

The center also offers a picture framing course.

"I would like students to think of the Art Center when they are looking for a place to frame their diplomas," he said.

The facility is in room 65 of the UC Underground.

 

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BAND DOES BANG-UP JOB

by Manuel Esparza

Daily Cougar Staff

One of the biggest driving forces behind modern music is anger and frustration. It foments youth rebellion and provides outlets for pent emotions. Cop Shoot Cop loves to generate those emotions and have created another volatile disc.

CSC emerged from the bowels of New York City clear cutting the old growth of music and planting their own in its stead. <I>Ask Questions Later<P> continues the ear assault they began in 1988. The musical tactics are more streamlined now, but no less agressive.

The quartet's dual dueling basses drive deafening dins of dark music. In songs like "Furnace" and "Surprise, surprise" the basses blacken the air almost as well as the Kuwaiti oil field fires. They double team the listener before returning to attack the rest of the band.

CSC is not a one novelty band. The twin bass blast is only one part of their unique signature. Rythms as comlpex as Calculus III spring up. Stuttering at highway speeds, they challenge the basses to keep up. Drummer Phil Puleo also keeps beat on sheets of metal as well as his drums. Militaristc beats give way to lumpier industrial thumps. "$10 Bill" is a show case for CSC's penchant for heavy rythm riffs.

Listening to <I>Ask Questions Later<P> is like hanging out downtown at night. It's presumed safe, but it leaves an uneasy feeling. Charged and caustic, the words in the album are nothing if not on target and stinging. Well developed thoughts sing the disenchantment of CSC's view of the world. Focused disillusionment emerges with "... the victims and the victimized. The economists and the economized".

The cut to play first is "Everybody loves you". Tod A. sings as if this was his only shot at the big time. The song has great cross over potential. It isn't as warped as the rest of the album, unless you listen to the words.

It's not the mindless rage of a suicide who's too scared to do it. CSC picks out a target and assassinates it with sniper precision. They aviod the condem it all in one song approach that seems to be the choice of too many bands. And they do it with such great flair.

 

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JACKPOT

by Annette Baird

News Reporter

The John M. O'Quinn Foundation has confirmed a $3.5 million gift to the UH Law Foundation, said Robert Knauss, dean of the UH Law Center.

Originally, the money was donated for a new law building, but the project required an additional $7-8 million. With the new budget cuts in mind, the Law Foundation went back to O'Quinn and asked him to re-dedicate the money for another purpose, said Sandra Perdue, Law Center director of communications.

"We are very excited. This is probably the largest single gift for UH that is not for bricks and mortar," Knauss said.

$1 million will be used to create two endowed chairs for faculty members. One chair, for environmental studies, will be named in honor of O'Quinn's father, A.L. O'Quinn. The second chair will be named in honor of UH Law Professor Emeritus Dwight Olds.

Olds was an early faculty member of the UH Law Center, and was a favorite professor of O'Quinn's, Knauss said.

"Olds was dignified, formal and scholarly. He was revered by all his students, Robert Bennett, president of the Law Alumni Association, said.

"It is a magnificent gift and shows Mr. O'Quinn's generosity and flexibility. The creation of the two endowed chairs is a fine tribute to two individuals," Bennett added.

An additional $2 million will be used for renovations and equipment for the law school library and legal research center.

"It is unfortunate that a public school has to go to private sources for funding for maintenance," Bennett said.

A further $500,000 will be used for matching funds to support equipment and facilities for the National College of District Attorneys. The college is housed at the Law Center. It has training programs for prosecutors throughout the country, Perdue said.

O'Quinn is the founder and managing partner of O'Quinn, Kerensky, McAninch, & Riebschlager law firm. He graduated from the UH law school at the top his class in 1967.

O'Quinn is certified in personal injury and civil trial law and he is a trustee of the UH Law Foundation. He is also involved in many organizations that support children, education and the environment.

 

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VIETNAMESE STUDENTS UNITE FOR THEIR COUNTRY

by Katherine Bui

News Reporter

Since the Viet Nam War became a page in the history books, several UH Vietnamese students have attempted to bridge the gap between cultural diversity and misinformation.

The Students For a Free Viet Nam (SFFVN) premiered a cultural enrichment musical ensemble Saturday in the Cullen Performance Hall.

The organization which was established in 1989 through a national society represents more than 30 UH students who promote freedom from communism in Viet Nam. The group also supports free elections and cultural enrichment in Viet Nam and the United States.

Lan Hoang, president of the SFFVN and an economics junior, said, "Since the communists took over, there have been so many human rights violations and crimes that our country has declined morally and spiritually."

He noted that the country has released no prominent writers or artists after the rise of communism.

The show, which celebrates Viet Nam's National Day, featured six popular Vietnamese singers including Y Lan, Kim Vi, Duy Quang, Hoai Son, Ngoc Hai and Tran Thu Nguyet in addition to a band called the Fever. The organization also sponsored a fashion show and art exhibit prior to the performance that displayed the fashion and culture of Vietnamese.

The proceeds will pay for the rental of the Hall and the entertainment. Extra funds will be mailed to the National Funds For The Liberation of Viet Nam, the international chapter that sends aid to freedom fighters.

SFFVN recently expressed their concerns for the Vietnamese freedom fighters in a letter to several surrounding mayors including Texas City who declared March 10 as the Viet Nam's National Day, which celebrates the founder King Hung Vuong.

"We want both Americans and Vietnamese to learn or remember our culture, because in understanding, we'll hopefully get more support," Nguyen said. "More support means our letters to the Congress, President and United Nation will have better results."

 

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ALUMNUS VIES FOR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR POSITION

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

A company with 2,000 employees that handles 15,000 kids sounds like the largest day-care center in the world, but to Robert Brezina it means education.

As superintendent with the Victoria Independent School District for the last four years and now candidate for Houston's athletic director post, Brezina, 51, has a students-come-first attitude.

"My concerns for students, whether they be an athlete or not, is uncompromised," Brezina said. "That's what we're about. The students are the cornerstone of the university.

"If we don't treat students as customers and fulfill their needs as we move along, then we're not going to have them in the future."

The AD position opened when Rudy Davalos left to become the University of New Mexico's athletic director last November. Brezina is the third of four AD finalists to visit UH.

Houston became Brezina's alma mater when he graduated in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and a master's in educational administration.

He was also a fullback from 1960-62 and co-captain on head coach Bill Yeoman's 1962 squad. The Cougars went 7-4 that year and defeated Miami of Ohio in the Florida Citrus Bowl.

Bobby, though, was not the only Brezina to play football for UH. Brothers Gus and Bernie donned Cougar red from 1962-64. Greg played from 1965-67, and Butch and Steve took the field from 1970-71.

A second generation Brezina kept the name alive when Robby, Bobby's son, played from 1985-86. Only Greg (Atlanta Falcons) and Bobby (Houston Oilers) moved on to pro careers.

Brezina said he wants to give back to UH, in part, because of what the university gave him -- a good education and the ability to succeed.

"I can make a difference," Brezina said. "The athletic department has got to have some stability and loyalty, and I definitely can provide both of those. I'm not going anywhere.

"When (the administration) gets tired of me here, all they have to do is ask me to retire, and I'll retire. This is my last stop."

Brezina said he should have 10-15 years to give to Houston athletics. He stressed other assets as well.

"I have 2,000 employees and 15,000 kids, and the management and leadership skills to run that prepare you quite well for any task that you want to do in the college ranks," Brezina said. "I've (also) had opportunity to work directly with a number of legislative members, and I've created a personal relationship with a number of those.

"The benefit of my personal relationship with them is going to definitely enhance not only the athletic department but some needs that the whole university may have."

Rekindling and rebuilding a base of support for the athletic department along with strategic planning is the key to a successful program, Brezina said.

"We must get together a central steering committee, a varied group of folks that athletics affect -- the commuter student, business people, coaches on the staff -- we've got to get all those folks together to work through the strategic planning process," he said.

"You identify your concerns and needs, then you create action teams. Over that period of time we're going to have a base of support where we've got 600 or 700 people going in the same direction, and that's what you've got to do if you're going to accomplish anything."

Brezina said the strategic planning process should not take more than a year to a year and a half to be completed.

When asked what it would take for Houston to become one of the nation's top programs, Brezina said: "People that care."

For Brezina, whose family has had a large investment in Houston, caring shouldn't be a problem.

 

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CHANCELLOR FACES OFF WITH FACULTY

by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

As soon as the floor of the faculty meeting was opened for discussion Wednesday, a divided faculty attacked issues that refuse to be overshadowed by Austin's promised $10 million budget cuts. About 200 faculty members, administrators and the press gathered Wednesday to hear what UH System Chancellor Alex Schilt outline the obstacles UH faces in Austin and the university's strategy to deal with imminent budget crisis.

After his speech, the topic turned, however, to faculty concerns. Two petitions are being circulated to dismantle the $38 million UH System and to conduct a national search for a UH president.

The petition's originator, Robert Palmer, Cullen professor of history and law, has 30 faculty signitures so far.

Schilt addressed both matters in his speech. He defended the UH System by saying that the four UH campuses can best be served by one administrative body.

"I don't think discussion of dismantling the system is appropriate, but I do think that you should ask us to run the most efficient administration possible." he said.

Some faculty members feel that maintaining the UH System is too expensive and Their not taking a fair share of the cuts, John Bernard of the English department said.

Schilt defended his decision to stop the search for a new president by saying that the middle of a budget crisis is not the time to be making changes.

In a telephone interview later, he said UH's Creative Partnership Campaign would stand to lose $100 million if supporters became uneasy with a change in leadership "If the board holds me responsible for maintaining a stable leadership of UH then I owe it to the board to keep Jim Pickering," Schilt said. "He knows how to maintain excellence. I believe that Jim has the instincts for quality and knows how to build an institution. He has by far exceeded my greatest expectations.

"I don't think I can complete the campaign while in the middle of a search for a new president," Schilt said.

"We clearly can't have Jim (Pickering) in a circumstance of an increasingly difficult environment being seen as a candidate. He has to be the president, and therre can't be any question about his authority or how long he's going to be there," Schilt added emphatically.

Later, Pickering headed the discussion on the recently enacted hiring freeze which became heated, according to Bill Simon a sociology professor.

Twenty people up for faculty positions, some of which were offered positions, may be effected by the freeze. In addition to these people, any position vacated by a faculty member quiting, dying or retiring is effected.

A March 22 memo from Pickering states that offers which have already been made will be honored.

"You have to listen to Pickering closely. He is very slipery and careful not to say anything precise," Bernard said.

Pickering debuked the Houston Chrinicle article which stated he is considering reniging on this promise.

However,The distinction between an offer and an agreement was then discussed. Apparently until an offer is accepted or it is approved by the board it's not legally binding, Simon said.

Some faculty members questioned the morality of this. "Some of the applicants were made offers months ago and they believe they're on the faculty," Bernard said. Their name is on the schedule and they've burned bridges by turning down other offers and stopping their job search."

One had the feeling of attending a board meeting of a sausage factory not a university," Simon said. "We have administrators not educators, and their goals aren't synonomous with education."

"The size of the classes have grown... many things can be cut. Let's cut the football program before you cut the front line teachers," Simon said.

"Let's be fair about this. A freeze is a freeze a deal is a deal," Bernard said referring to the vacant basketball coach and athletic director positions being filled during the freeze.

"We have an obligation to the team, the NCAA and the SWC, as long as we compete, to give the men and women on these teams the best possible coaching we can within our fiscal means," Pickering said.

In response to Benard saying that we should be fair about the freeze Pickering said, "There will be no coach hired as long as other deals are pending."

While Pickering is concerned about morale on athletic teams, the faculty is worried about morale closer to home.

Palmer said, referring to Pickering's impending appointment, "There's a limited amount we can do if he's appointed. But Pickering will be left with a very dissatisfied campus."

Schilt said Pickering's nomination goes before the Board of Regents April 19. Schilt said he stands behind his decision and will support Pickering despite a divided faculty.

 

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SMITH WITHDRAWS

FROM COACHING LIST

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Orlando "Tubby" Smith became the second candidate to withdraw his name from the list of basketball coach choices Wednesday.

"The University of Houston offers a great opportunity, however, I have a great situation at the University of Tulsa," Smith said in a prepared statement.

"The University of Houston was in the market for a new basketball coach," he said. "Tubby Smith was not in the market for a new job. However, when asked to interview by Houston officials I believed I owed it to my family and myself to at least look at their offer, and did so."

"I had an indepth meeting in Tulsa this morning, and we agreed that he wasn't the best candidate for the position," interim athletic director Bill McGillis said.

McGillis met and interviewed Smith twice before the two came to a mutual decision.

Smith has been at Tulsa for two seasons and has compiled an overall 32-27 record. The Tulsa Golden Hurricane basketball team finished their season with a 15-14 record and a fourth-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The four remaining candidates are UH assistant basketball coaches Alvin Brooks, Tommy Jones and former Cougar players Reid Gettys and Goerge Walker.

"I feel very good about our candidates,"McGillis said. "I am continuing to weigh the different factors involved in coaching."

Tommy Jones is remaining hopeful as he waits for the outcome.

"It has been a long two weeks," Jones said. "The candidates have been eliminated pretty low now, but I am hoping they are going to choose soon. It is hard for us to speculate."

Although many feel that time is of the essence, McGillis is not going to rush into any rash decisions.

"It is more important that we hire the best person for the job," McGillis said. "I hope to have it done within the next two days. I would like to say that we will do it tomorrow so we can get on with our recruiting."

The recruiting deadline is April 14 and there is pressure for the program to secure a coach so recruiting will continue.

"Our recruiting might suffer now, but we have to make the best choice ," McGillis said.

 

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REDFORD SOWS OATS BY EMPTYING WALLET

by Deborah Hensel

Daily Cougar Staff

If you're going to view Indecent Proposal just to see how Demi Moore earns $1

million from Robert Redford in a one-night stand, you're going to be disappointed.

Exploiting the sleaze factor in the trailer and TV ads may sell tickets, but it doesn't do justice to a very intriguing story line.

Although based on the same titillating premise as the comedy Honeymoon in Vegas, Indecent Proposal is not about sex. It's actually a serious film about the limits of love, money and moral values.

Moore and co-star Woody Harrleson play a desperate couple in Las Vegas trying to finance their dreams. Then Redford enters as a billionaire who offers a cool mil to test whether or not love is for sale.

What would the average redblooded American female do?

Spend one night of pleasure and luxury with a sexy billionaire? Make a million dollars for it? With my husband's approval? Hmm, can I get back to you on that?

Hypothetically, David and Diane are ready to tell him to go hell, but the two are naive enough to believe their marriage is invincible.

And gee, honey, we can really use the money. After all, it's just one night and then we'll be financially secure for the rest of our lives.

This is the argument that finally convinces David to pimp for his wife.

But, the couple quickly discovers what financial security will cost them in emotional security.

The whole subject of women as chattel for sale or lease is nauseating enough. But, which member of this wayward trio do you think gets showered with most of the moral recrimination? The buyer? The pimp husband?

No, poor Diane, who sacrifices her dignity to help her struggling husband, gets to wear the scarlet letter.

Screenwriter Amy Holden Jones attempts to explore the aftermath of this bargain with the devil, only to bog down the action in some lukewarm melodrama. At this point, the film begins to lose its momentum, just like the couple's marriage.

In short, what is otherwise a movie with sizzle almost becomes a movie with fizzle.

Moore, who has twice bared her body on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, keeps fairly well covered here. And, fortunately, the audience is spared the graphic evidence of how Redford's boyish charm has aged.

Instead, Lyne leaves that million dollar love scene to the audience's imagination. The result is atruly adult story about love without gratuitous, blatant sex.

In an era of films like Body of Evidence and Basic Instinct, isn't that a refreshing concept?

 

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TESTS MAKE THE GRAD SCHOOL GRADE

by Sally Pouncy

News reporter

After graduation, many students don't know what they will do with their lives. Some try to get a job in their undergraduate fields of study, but many end up going back to school for graduate degrees.

The road to another degree begins with one of many different graduate-level tests. After the test, students apply to the graduate, medical or law school of their choice. Then the waiting process begins.

The LSAT is the standardized law school admission test. Scores are sent to schools the student selects. The scores are used as one of the criteria for admission.

UH Law School Assistant Dean of Admissions Leah Gross said the way into law school is through good work. "Do well in undergraduate school, and don't just study. Take leadership positions in organizations, get involved with community service and do well on the Law School Admission Test" she said.

After a student is admitted into the UH Law Center, if they attend full time for 3 years and graduate, they could be looking at a starting salary ranging to $75,000 from $28,000.

Medical schools are even more competitive for admission space. To accept a student, "their scores must be competitive and they must have a high undergraduate GPA. Then the students are looked at by a committee before being admitted to school," said Kim Foster, a representative from the admissions office at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston.

"UT medical students in their first year of residency could make approximately $25,000 annually," said Sylvia Vasquez, an academic affairs counselor at UTHSCH.

Getting into one of these schools is very difficult and major emphasis is placed on how well students score on the admissions test.

However, some people believe the LSAT and other standardized tests are not an accurate account of a person's knowledge. "If you are good at taking standardized tests, you are going to score well," said Drew Johnson, of The Princeton Review.

 

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NO CLASSES FRIDAY

by Javier Gonzales

Daily Cougar Staff

President James Pickering cancelled all Friday classes.

In response to legislation signed by Gov. Ann Richards late WEdnesday, Pickering acted quickly to comply with the governor's order.

According to the state senate resolution:

... that the Legislature hereby requests the governor to encourage all state agencies to allow all their employees a paid day off on either April 9 or April12 provided each state agency has enough employees on duty to conduct the public business of the agency on each of those days.

"The news came down at 3:42 this afternoon," said Pickering in a telephone interview late WEdnesday night. "The system got the news at 6 p.m. Isn't that something?

"We checked with A&M, and they are cancelling classes. Here we are on WEdnesday evening, we'll try to get the word out. I feel very bad because we got this information so late," he said.

Pickering also said he was certain that even with the short notice, administrators and department heads would be able to make the determinations as to who is essential for a skeleton crew and who isn't.

Wendy Adair, director of Media Relations, said the governor wanted to give state employees a holiday for Easter weekend.

People manning offices on Friday will be given Monday off, Adair said.

As far as classes, professors will have to reschedule tests and work around the unexpected and impromptu holiday.

"People plan classes and they have schedules," Pickering said about the confusion the sudden holiday may cause. "It's so late in the semester, people have schedules they have to adhere to."

Pickering also said he regretted that many students who won't have class today wouldn't find out about the closure until they reached empty classrooms.

"People who make these decisions -- they don't realize that at this level we have students, faculty, and classes to think about," Pickering said.

Although Pickering was concerned about the effect of the timing of the legislation, he said, however, "We're certainly going to follow the governor's orders.

"I assume what we'll do is maintain essential services, like we do during Christmas week," he said.

As far as determining who is critical or which offices are critical, Pickering said the Admissions Office, the dorms and the President's Office would be among the few offices that will remain open.

"And who'll be in the President's Office? Me," said Pickering with a chuckle.

 

 

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