TRACK TEAM TRAVELS TO PHILLY FOR PENN RELAYS COMPETITION

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

As one of the nation's oldest track meets starts this afternoon, the 1993 Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., will once again welcome the best the nation has to offer .

The meet will include more than 250 athletes competing for national seedings, which could propel them to the NCAA Championships.

UH will send their best runners, which include track standouts Samuel Jefferson and Michele Collins. Both will try to show off their respective rankings, which are among the best in the country.

Collins is second in the nation in the 200-meter run with a time of 52.25, and Jefferson boasts the nation's best time in the 100-meter at 10.13.

More important, Jefferson's time of 10.13 is tied as the No. 1 ranking in the world with Daniel Effiong out of Central Arizona Junior College.

As far as relay teams go, the Cougars are just as solid in that area as well. The Lady Cougars, consisting of Collins, Janinne Courville, Cynthia Jackson and De'Angelia Johnson, own the country's best mark of 44.46.

Other Cougar hopefuls competing in Philadelphia are men's jumpers Kenneth Bigger, Jermaine Johnson, Chris Lopez and Jon Vines. Distance runners will be Patrick Juhlin, Paul Lupi, Mike McKinney, Albert Ransom and Jim Reagan.

Dawn Burrell will be the Lady Cougars' only other candidate. She will compete in the long jump.

The meet will get under way today at noon and will last through Sunday with the last event scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

 

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JENKINS ANSWERS ALLEGATIONS

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

In a statement Wednesday, UH football head football coach John Jenkins responded to allegations made Monday by former inside receivers coach Steve Staggs'.

Staggs said Jenkins held mandatory summer workouts and accused him of improper recruiting procedures.

Staggs claimed Jenkins paid $633.00 in cash for junior college transfer Harlan Davis' summer courses at Houston Community College in 1988.

Staggs claims that Davis, a recruiting prospect who never played at UH, was led to believe the funding came from financial aid after Staggs altered his HCC fee bill at Jenkins' order.

Jenkins' statement, which denied all charges, reads: "The recent allegations made by Steve Staggs stating that I provided money to a player for <I>any<P> purpose during my period here as football coach at the University of Houston (December 1986 to present) is absolutely not true.

"Additionally, I have never orchestrated any type of mandatory summer workout practice. Myself and my entire football staff naturally encourage our players to sustain their skills, strength and conditioning throughout the summer break.

"However, only a small percentage of our team remains on our campus training during the summer break. My personal records reflect this to be true as they also reveal that there is no repercussion for any player electing to not work out during this period of time."

UH Athletic Director Bill Carr, who discussed Staggs' allegations with Jenkins Tuesday, said he didn't know Jenkins had issued a press release.

"I can understand why he'd want to do that," said Carr, who was named AD Tuesday. "He's not acting in defiance of anything I asked of him. As a rule, it's best for one person to speak for the whole department. It's the most effective way," said Carr.

"I'm not surprised or offended that he has done that. But I'll be getting together with him to discuss that."

Jenkins was unavailable for comment.

 

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CONFEDERATE FLAG OFFENDS PAN-HELLENIC GROUPS

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

For some, the confederate flag is a symbol of this country's history and the spirit of the South. For others, however, it is a symbol of a history that will not be forgotten -- a history of the enslavement of African-Americans and hundreds of years of abuse.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council refuses to acknowledge the confederate flag as an honorable symbol.

In fact, they decided not to accept it by not stepping (a traditionally Black rhythmic series of steps performed to music) at the Frontier Fiesta on Saturday as originally planned.

The flying of the confederate flag was brought to the attention of the council, which is a compilation of the eight black fraternities and sororities on campus, by one of its member organizations just hours before they were scheduled to perform.

"The group was walking around the Fiesta early that afternoon and noticed the flag," said Pan-Hellenic Council President Ronique Gordon.

Shortly after the flag was discovered, its presence was brought to the attention of the five Pan Hellenic organizations that were scheduled to step.

They all opted not to perform.

"All of the member organizations made their own decisions independent of each other," Gordon said. "The council didn't make the decision for them."

The Pan-Hellenic Council went to the event's coordinators to request that the flag, erected by one of the Fiesta's unaffiliated barbecue teams, be removed from the site.

"They told us they would take it down, but when we went back the next day, Saturday, it was still up," Gordon said.

Rusty Hruska, director of marketing for the Frontier Fiesta Association, agrees that the flag should not have flown at such an ethnically diverse event.

"That was a reasonable protest, but I was hoping to get them out there (to perform)," Hruska said. "I didn't think that was appropriate. Symbols like that should not go up."

For many, if not all, of the organizations, the flag represents a time in history that has no place in an ethnically geared celebration.

"It represents someone trying to keep a handle of the old days and the way things used to be," said Shaun Meeks of Alpha Phi Alpha.

"It symbolizes the oppression of black people," said Raquel Kelly, president of Zeta Phi Beta. "The flag represents, to me, a very dismal time in this country's history and doesn't represent anything positive about this country or anything this country should be proud of," Gordon said.

Despite the flag's presence on Saturday, Gordon said the group would not have stepped even if it was removed.

The decision not to step at the Frontier Fiesta was final and not pending on the flag's removal, Gordon said.

` "It was just the principle of it. In bringing together all groups of people, it should have been taken into consideration that it might offend someone," she said.

However, not all members of the organizations felt refusing to participate was necessary.

"People don't understand that the Civil War was not fought because of slavery," said Diallo Smith of Kappa Alpha Psi. "The flag does not represent slavery to me."

Hruska said the flag was not flown to offend anyone.

"It was a representation of the South's traditions that people wanted to remember," he said. "I like a lot of the South's traditions, but I do not necessarily like the history."

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi and Zeta Phi Beta were the six member organizations who did not step at the Frontier Fiesta.

 

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ROTC REACHES NEW HEIGHTS

by Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

The top of Robertson stadium may be a great spot to get a birds-eye view of the campus, but some ROTC members have been using it for a higher purpose.

Kelle Do, a political science sophomore, and the rest of the ROTC members -- along with an occasional mountaineer or exchange student from Kuwait -- substitute the stadium for a mountain they can jump off and climb down, using only a rope.

They rappelled down the side of the stadium as part of ROTC's training Wednesday.

Dawn Levack, a senior political science major and one of the best rappellers in the group, said the exercise is "confidence building. A lot of people are afraid of heights or afraid of their own ability. It's not about strength. It's about teamwork, discipline, confidence and fun."

Do must agree with Levack. On her first attempt off the top of the stadium, Do got her glove caught in a piece of equipment and spent a moment or two hanging in mid-air. Despite this, a few moments later she climbed back to the top to try again.

Dawn had only one complaint about jumping off the side of the stadium. "It's just that this isn't high enough . . . I'm used to about 200 feet," she said.

 

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ROADRUNNERS DOWN COUGARS, 6-5

Cougar Sports Service

San Antonio, Texas -- Texas-San Antonio left fielder Chance Barnett went 3-for-3 with four runs batted in to lead the Roadrunners to a 6-5 victory over the Houston Cougars Wednesday afternoon.

Houston pitcher Brian Hamilton, 7-3, took the loss. Third baseman J.J. Matzke went 3-for-4 and scored a run.

The Cougars' record drops to 28-20. San Antonio moves to 18-27.

 

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SA ACTIVITIES QUESTIONED

by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

Allegations of favoritism and conflicts of interest within the Frontier Fiesta Association have been leveled at the Students' Association.

Former SA Senator Cipriano said former SA President Rusty Hruska used SA facilities to promote the fund-raising event,

"The real issue here is one of favoritism and ethics," Romero said, "because of the overlapping of the two organization's officers which made it easier for this to happen."

In response to the allegations, Hruska said, "It was partly a convenience, but not an inappropriate one. It's not against the constitution or by-laws of SA."

David Daniell, assistant director of Campus Activities, said, "It's Rusty's office, but SA was, in effect, co-sponsoring the event with the Frontier Fiesta Association . . . trying to involve as many of the 200 student organizations as possible."

Hruska said, "I think SA is here to facilitate a better environment at UH, therefore, FFA is SA's concern. I don't see a problem of conflict."

Recently, the SA Senate voted to endorse Frontier Fiesta, but former SA Speaker Michelle Palmer said this resolution did not mean SA was contributing to or financially supporting the event.

Hruska said, "Frontier Fiesta had to have access to an office, a telephone and computers.

"No matter what phone number was given, we would have eventually taken the call in our SA office because that's where we are most of the time."

SA President Jason Fuller said, "I question whether this (SA facilities usage) is a contribution or not.

"It didn't interfere with SA business. If anything, it got us (SA) more recognition and impacted the community."

Romero argues that just because the event raises funds for the library doesn't excuse the favoritism, and other student groups don't have the privilege of using SA's telephones, computers, copy machines and secretary.

However, one administrator has a different opinion.

"This (Frontier Fiesta) fits into a different category because it's a fund-raising event involving many organizations," Daniell said. "If it (SA office) was being used for fraternity business it would be different."

In response, Romero said, "They used it (SA offices) for personal gain. They would have looked bad if Frontier Fiesta failed. The SA facilities just made it easier on Rusty and Pat."

Henry Gaw, director of the Council of Ethnic Organizations, said, "I really never saw the SA offices being inundated with Frontier Fiesta paraphernalia. If it was going on, it would be wrong."

Romero said they had other options available to them, such as the facilities at the Alumni Association or several fraternities that helped sponsor the event.

Another conflict arose from the new SA vice president's role in Frontier Fiesta. Pat Brown is the chairman of FFA and Activities Funding Board, which decides how some of the student service fees are spent.

Romero said Rusty Hruska got preferential treatment from the AFB when he asked for funding for the Frontiersmen, a spin-off organization of FFA.

Although Brown is not a voting member of AFB, SA is strongly represented on the five member board.

One vote comes from a member of SA and two at-large votes come from members appointed by SA.

 

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SPAGHETTI NIGHT

by Rhonda Compton

News Reporter

Get out your fork and spoon and get ready. The Spaghetti Warehouse and UH Hilton are starting an annual "Spaghetti Eating Contest."

The contest will be sponsored by the Spaghetti Warehouse and the UH Hilton and will benefit Hilton scholarships, Star of Hope and special projects for UH.

The event will be held April 29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lynn Eusan Park. There is a $30 entry fee for teams of five and prizes will be awarded.

Heather Veillette, marketing promoter of the Spaghetti Eating Contest, said "We are hoping 2,000 people will turn out, everyone who enters will receive a dinner certificate at the Spaghetti Warehouse."

She said, there will be two divisions. Division I will be students against faculty and division II will be sororities, fraternities and student organizations.

Deborah Dayyani, marketing director for the Spaghetti Warehouse, said "This event will raise funds and be beneficial to the community and build positive relations."

She said, something needs to be done to rally school spirit. The event will be a fun stress release for students and will help the homeless and UH. All the food will be Spaghetti Warehouse food, not the UH Hilton or school food.

Students will be able to purchase spaghetti for $4 and lasagna for $5, each plate comes with sourdough bread. There will also be beer and soft drinks.

Sign up for the event will be Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Monday 26. For more information, call Heather Veillette at 496-6464.

 

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SIBLING RIVALRY EXAMINED IN <BROTHER'S KEEPER>

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Cain and Abel lacked brotherly love.

Bloodshed followed.

The Ward brothers, however, hoped to carry on, after the death of their mother, as a cohesive unit.

Throughout the documentary <I>Brother's Keeper<P>, the three surviving Ward brothers are scrutinized through the lens of a camera. Filmed in a <I>cinema verite<P> style, the film poses the question of whether Delbert, a middle-aged farmer, took the life of his elderly brother Bill.

Film makers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky could have easily smothered the work with sentimentality and placed subtitles in scenes where Lyman utters words that are not easily discernable.

However, they instead placed emotional and factual truth at the heart of the story, often letting the portraits of Munnsville citizens speak thousands of words.

The Wards live like bachelors who do not know the meaning of cleanser. One of the brothers is so opposed to the idea of having a woman in his life that he retreats into a building to hide from an inquiring interviewer when questioned about his bachelor status. It is a moment of humor.

But the film makers capture the poignancy of the story without sensationalizing it. They do not embellish. During the process of shooting the film, which so impressed Gov. Ann Richards that she halted a press conference to talk about it, Berlinger and Sinofsky abandoned the conventional documentary film making style.

No narrator. No chronology.

The brothers, says Sinofsky, harken back to the Dust Bowl era. Grizzled, old men. Men who really worked by the sweat of their brow from sun up to sun down.

"We did talk about putting subtitles in at some points in the film, but we decided that would be insulting. These are Americans," he says, referring to Lyman's manner of speech.

"In fact, as the film progressed, their diction got better.

"If an audience has a tough time understanding what they're saying, how could they get a four page confession?," he says, refer-ring to the police who charged Delbert with the murder of Bill.

The brothers live off the land.

An intense animal slaughter scene adds to the presentation of the Ward family, which presumably ate the meat during the winter months.

The directors also carefully build to a climax in which the jury foreman reads the verdict. Each scene becomes a basis for the next in the film. Although it tells a story about people who are alive, the film is structured in a dramatic format.

The brothers become characters in their story. The caring town folk and relatives become extras and play supporting roles.

"They really understand what the word neighbor means . . . . We hope stereotypes of rural America are broken down," he says of those who live in Munnsville, NY.

But when the brothers are placed in situations that are foreign to them, they either adapt or have a violent reaction.

One such moment occurs when Lyman sits on the witness stand, testifying during his brother's criminal trial. He loses his composure at one point, shaking violently and uncontrollably.

"It is one of those moments that you can't believe is being caught on footage. Watching a man implode," he says, referring to the scene that is painful to watch and drives home the point that the Ward brothers really have lived in their own world.

A cousin, town folk and the other two brothers regularly come to Delbert's defense. Some say if he was responsible for the death of his sickly brother, who shared his bed, he only bears the same responsibility a veterinarian or sympathetic owner does when a cat is put to sleep.

Two forensic pathologists, one of whom analyzed photo-graphs of President Kennedy, give conflicting reports on the cause and manner of Bill's death.

A district attorney takes on attorney Ralph Cognetti, Delbert's counsel, and they engage in a series of courtroom battles.

The final question, answered brilliantly and convincingly by the film makers, is . .

Was Delbert his brother's keeper?

 

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PARTY

by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

UH's Perpetual Park Party is, by now, an annual tradition. Of course, the Student Program Board admits they aren't really sure how long the parties have been going on, but estimates place it between five and 10 years.

This Friday's all-day event in Lynn Eusan Park is a chance for students to blow off steam and relax before the grueling endurance test of final exams.

For the people behind the scenes, however, the party's planning has been an eight-month affair.

"We started putting feelers out for bands sometime around last August," said Frank San Miguel, head of the Student Program Board's Large Stage Committee.

The committee has been responsible for procuring bands, obtaining radio co-sponsorship, arranging artists' transportation and producing artwork, including flyers and banners, for the event.

"The bulk of the work has just been making sure all of the bands have been squared away," San Miguel said.

Luckily, the committee has had help in the form of David Rachita, advisor to SPB.

Rachita, who came to UH last July, has had his hands full advising SPB's nine committees and helping out with the park party.

"Frank and I meet on a weekly basis and go over things like contracts and how to get the best price," he said. "I act as a trouble shooter, a resource and sometimes devil's advocate."

Yet, for all the planning that has gone into the event, San Miguel believes the worst is yet to come. Unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather and band problems could still intervene and affect the show, he said.

"I'm expecting all the headaches to happen the day of the party," he said.

The free 12-hour event will feature nine bands, including Rev. Horton heat, Wazobia, Snow and all-girl rockers L7. Apparently SPB spoke with a number of artists before finally settling on L7 for the headlining spot.

Acts contacted include Stone Temple Pilots, Mudhoney, Belly and Sonic Youth.

According to San Miguel, the reasons for turning bands down ranged from "contractual problems, scheduling conflicts to bands wanting too much money."

Snow, a rapper with a current hit single, was a fortuitous gift from the party's co-sponsor, The Box - 97.9 FM.

"They gave us Snow and I had no idea who he was until I opened the paper and saw his name on the (Billboard) charts," San Miguel said.

SPB is hoping it can avoid a replay of last year's rain-soaked party.

If everything goes well, however, SPB expects a turnout of several thousand.

After all the work, will they do it again next year?

"Sure, why not?" Rachita asked. "It's an annual event and it's good experience for the students involved in its planning. They get a chance to dabble in everything from contract riders to food."

"This is mainly for the students," San Miguel said. "This is a chance for them to see quality bands as cheaply as possible."

 

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FAR-OFF TASTES DRAW CROWD TO INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL

by Mindi King

News Reporter

Approximately 2000 people sampled foods from such faraway places as Singapore, Pakistan and the Caribbean yesterday at the International Food Fair on campus.

The fair, sponsored by the Council of Ethnic Organizations, is held each semester, a tradition that began in the '70s. Fifteen organizations had booths by the reflecting pool during lunch time.

Jack Burke, director of International Student and Scholars Services at UH and a judge of the booths, said, "The fair is a great opportunity for the campus to gain a renewed appreciation for the diversity on campus."

Booths were judged on the application of the United We Stand theme, creativity, presentation of food, hospitality, native customs and promptness. There were eight judges, including faculty members, students and members of the community, Burke said.

The winner of the fair was Upsilon Phi Sigma, a Vietnamese volunteer fraternity. Trang Phan, president of the organization, said winning was a "rewarding feeling" because the members put so much time and energy into the display and food.

"We wanted to win, but more importantly, we wanted to promote the theme of 'United We Stand' to the campus," she said. "Our organization believes strongly in unity and brotherhood, not only among ourselves, but within the campus and community."

The food sold at the booths was primarily prepared by organization members and their families, she said, but a few restaurants also participated.

Hatin Abu-sin-eina, president of the International Student Organization, said each booth was inspected by a representative from the UH Environmental and Physical Safety Office prior to opening.

"We are living in a world where there are troubles all over," he said. "We just want to show people about some of the positive things in other cultures."

Money raised by the fair went to the individual organizations who sponsored the booths, Abu-sin-eina said.

Clare Pham, treasurer of second-place-winner Vietnam Student Catholic Organization, said a portion of the money raised by their organization would be donated to a refugee camp in the Philippines.

Daisy Abraham, president of the India Students' Association, which won third place, said, "We are portraying our culture by our food and the way we are dressed, with the hope of showing everyone how diverse this campus is."

Melissa Zaldivar, a UH senior and a Filipino Student Organization member, said, "I've been eating for two-and-a-half hours," adding that the fair should make UH students aware of the many ethnic organizations on campus.

Lloyd Swenson, a UH world history professor, sampled food from three booths and said, "I think this could be turned into a much more beautiful learning experience if a greater emphasis was placed on how the basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and education, are met in other countries."

Swenson has taught at UH for 30 years and remembers the early international food fairs that began in the '70s as being much smaller.

Shaun Meeks, a senior, said he liked the "hot patty" from the Caribbean booth. He said the fair gave a "bunch of different people a chance to learn about different cultures and food.

 

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KING VERDICT LEAVES SOME UNSATISFIED BY JUSTICE SYSTEM

by Rafe Wooley

News Reporter

Not all UH students are satisfied with the jury's decision Saturday to convict two of the four police officers involved in the civil rights trial of motorist Rodney King.

The convictions of Sgt. Stacey Koon, who supervised the beating, and Officer Laurence Powell, who struck the most baton blows, were announced in an unusual 7 a.m. court session. The other two officers were acquitted. After the jury deliberated for 40 hours over seven days, the reading of the verdict took just 15 minutes.

Reaction from UH students has been mixed.

Biology/psychology major Nicole Richards said the number of police officers convicted should not be the focus of this trial.

"I think the important thing to think about is why we are at a second trial, why the first trial did not convict them, why the justice system let them off in the first place. That's what we should analyze," Richards said.

"The fact that someone could be beaten on the basis of the color of someone's skin, the fact that we live in a racist nation, the conviction of those officers doesn't stop the hunger, the pain and the suffering of African-American people in this country," she said.

Don Rowland, a junior economics major, said it was impossible for the officers to get a fair trial.

"They had to be convicted or else face another mob scene like after the first trial," he said. "Whether you agree with the verdict or not, you have to agree that the jury could not realistically acquit all of those officers again. They (the jury) would have been blamed for another pointless and uncivilized riot," Rowland said.

When the officers went to trial in state court one year ago, all four were acquitted, resulting in three days of rioting in Los Angeles that killed 54 people and left an estimated $1 billion in damage.

Morris Graves, associate director of African-American Studies, said the King trials prove that the judicial process is a reflection of America's racial attitudes.

"We (African-Americans) have a very different perception of America than white Americans," Graves said.

"The legacy of slavery, the legacy of legalized segregation, the legacy of the denial of citizenship to African-Americans, is so ingrained in American society that it becomes extremely difficult for white Americans and even African-Americans who have not consciously tried to rid themselves of the stereotypes that have been developed over the years to realize that when African-Americans are brought before the judicial system, in the minds of most people they are guilty until proven innocent," he said.

Graves said that although he believes America will learn to tolerate racial differences for its own political, social and economic survival, he does not believe that this country will ever be able to end racial discrimination.

 

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PROFESSOR CIRCULATES PETITION PROTESTING UPCOMING CUTBACKS

by Kristine Fahrenholz

Daily Cougar Staff

The university community is being asked to sign a petition protesting the imminent budget cuts facing UH.

At Wednesday's Faculty Senate meeting, the petition was introduced to senate members.

A $10 million to $15 million cut could be in store for UH next year, amounting to a possible total loss of $20 million to $30 million over a 2-year period if the Texas Legislature doesn't request any new taxes.

John Miller, associate professor of physics, began circulating the petition at the meeting protesting the looming cuts.

UH could be hit harder than any other university in the state, said Miller.

However, the Legislature said the decrease in funding is due to a combination of various pending bills; therefore, UH is not intentionally being singled out.

"The petition is in a fairly early stage now with approximately 50-100 signatures," Miller said. He hopes to get a few thousand signatures from faculty, students and concerned Houstonians.

"At an absolute minimum, I would hope that the cuts would be held to no more than 2 to 4 percent," Miller said.

On April 28, Miller will travel to Austin to deliver the petition to Gov. Ann Richards and the Texas Legislature.

"I'm hoping that Richards will read it, as well as Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock and key committee members," he said.

Miller hopes individual departments will assist by placing petitions in professors' mailboxes for instructors to circulate to classes.

UH President Dr. James Pickering said, "We need to get people's attention that UH, for whatever reason, has a problem.

"No institution should be singled out to take an 'X' percent hit," he added.

Pickering added there should not be any lobbying as a university, nor should anything be sent on university letterhead.

Coy Wheeler, speaker of the Students' Association Senate, said he is afraid that Miller might use the petition to back the Texas State Employees' Union.

The problem, Wheeler said, is that the petition says it is from UH faculty and staff, as well as students.

"The university cannot pay us to lobby the state for them," he said.

The scheduled lobby day for the Texas State Employees' Union, April 28, also happens to be the day Miller will deliver the petition.

"We are free to lobby as individuals and individual employees," said George Reiter, president of the Faculty Senate and a Texas State Employees' Union member. "This is not a union function."

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