COUGARS TRAVEL NORTH, TAKE ON SOONERS

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

The Cougars continue their Astro-like road trip this weekend with a two-day jaunt north across the border.

Houston 28-20 (3-12), takes on the Big Eight power hitting Oklahoma Sooners 24-16 (8-9) in a two-game series starting at 6 p.m. in Norman, Okla.

The Cougars are looking to wrap up their 1993 road season in which they have gone 10-12.

They will face a depleted Sooner squad thanks to last year's College World Series berth.

The Sooner staff's earned run average is a lofty 6.34. Oklahoma hitters post a .327 team batting average and a .956 fielding percentage.

That, said Cougar coach Bragg Stockton, could be deceiving.

"These are not very good stats," Stockton said. "But to beat them, we will have to get them out. "

Another possiblity would be the Cougar hitters.

Senior center fielder Phil Lewis leads Houston with seven home runs. Third baseman Ricky Freeman and left fielder Brian Blair have five and four, respectively.

"May be we can take advantage of their ERA," Stockton said. "You're looking at two teams that are struggling to make it. Our guys are looking to play well."

Houston hurlers are led by the strong second half performance of freshman Jeremy Tyson.

Tyson has three complete games for the season and has a team leading 3.59 ERA.Tyson gets the start in Saturday's game with junior Matt Beech going tonight.

Sooner hitters are led by Mike Berry's .387 average and Tim Cousins' six home runs. Six members have more than five home runs and two players added four.

"They've got people up and down their lineup that can hit one out," Stockton said.

The Cougars return to Cougar Field Monday to finish the season. Houston hosts UT-Pan American in a single game Monday at 2 p.m. before Baylor comes to town for the final series April 30 and May 1.

 

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STAGGS' MOTIVES SHOULD BE QUESTIONED,

ATTACK ON JENKINS PAINTS WRONG PICTURE

by Patti Warner

The battle lines have been drawn.

It's time to take sides.

It's no longer just media versus athletes. It's become players versus coaches.

Two-a-days have taken on a whole new meaning for the Cougar football team in recent weeks. Now, instead of practicing twice a day, that may mean being bombarded with questions at least twice a day .

These questions are coming from a group of people who have an ax to grind. Their place of choice for this ax -- coach John Jenkins' back.

Steve Staggs, a former coach and player under Jenkins, is leading the charge.

To ease his conscience, Staggs has decided to come forward, five years later, with allegations against Jenkins.

Staggs and his band of vigilantes have charged Jenkins with NCAA violations ranging from illegal financial aid to making these poor boys see partially-clothed women.

Oh, and is there really a man on campus who feels sorry for them about that one?

As for the women who have been offended by these films, lighten up. If you are going to speak up about the football team, why only the negative?

Where were you when the football team planted 50 trees last month to make the campus look better? Jenkins helped institute a four-year plan to make the campus a better place for students to be, can you say the same?

Ladies, it may be the 90s, but as long as there are women who pose for these pictures, there will always be men who want to see them. Do you believe they were forced to make these pictures or they really didn't want anyone to see them? It's doubtful.

Jenkins had no malicious or evil intentions when showing these films. He was merely trying to break the monotony of training films. He in no way meant to offend anyone and has given his word that it won't happen again.

The people who work with him believe in him, and they are the people who should know what kind of person he is.

Besides, that is the least of his worries. He now has to deal with former players and coaches who have banded together to tell their story to anyone who will listen. It started with minor charges and has snowballed into a chaotic frenzy.

Why did Staggs pick now to come forward? Why did he not report these "violations" immediately?

The excuses Staggs keeps coming up are way too flimsy. To put it in football terms, he keeps throwing up Hail Mary passes but comes up short with every throw.

He says he didn't report this immediately because he was afraid of losing his job? What about the first time he left Houston and went to Long Beach State? Why not then, Steve?

He is bringing these charges against a man who has gone out of his way to give him a job twice. After Long Beach folded its football program, Jenkins hired Staggs as a full-time assistant. This was despite repeated advice from advisers not to do so.

As for the players who have joined Staggs or come forward on their own, bravo. Nice job. You have totally ruined any chance you might have had to play. If you have something to say, and it is the truth, stand behind it. Quit hiding behind "the anonymous source" routine.

Some former players obviously have a personal problem with Jenkins if they felt this was necessary. If people have a personal problem with a coach, that is no justification for stabbing him in the back and trying to destroy his reputation.

He is not here to baby you and make you like him. He is here to put a winning team on the field or lose his job. If you don't like the way he plays, take your toys and go home.

Jenkins has opted not to discuss these matters with the media anymore. Who can blame him?

His open-door policy is ancient history. The man who used to talk to everybody all the time now has to watch every word he says for fear someone might twist it around and use it against him.

For now, he is left with trying to defend himself against people he once trusted. He goes out of his way for people, and they stab him in the back.

It all comes down to who is telling the truth. Regardless of what side people are on, everyone wants the truth. It just depends on which version you choose to believe. Let's just hope the NCAA can decipher fact from fiction.

 

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WORKSHOPS AIMED AT CURBING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

by Marla Crawford

News Reporter

Displaying sexually suggestive visuals. Making unwanted jokes. Purposely touching or leaning over someone. Making unwanted comments about a person's body or clothing.

These are examples of sexual harassment: a form of sex discrimination that is unwelcome and of a sexual nature.

This definition was given to 57 people who attended last Wednesday's workshop on sexual harassment, titled "Impact vs. Intent." The Sexual Harassment Policy and Implementation Committee sponsored the event.

These training workshops are held twice a month and are voluntary for UH faculty and staff.

"This training is more of a sensitivity training," said Sandy Cherry, a human resource representative. Cherry is a member of the committee and was one of Wednesday's presenters.

Since the formal training started, Cherry said the committee has sponsored more than 40 sessions with more than 2,000 attendees.

The sexual harassment policy was approved under former UH President Richard Van Horn, and training was established in the summer of 1990, Cherry said.

A film is shown at workshops with specific examples of sexual harassment in an office setting. Procedures for filing a complaint are also covered.

Although blatant acts of sexual harassment can be easily identified, others may fall into a gray area.

What is provocative to one person may not be to another, Cherry said. The thing to remember, she added, is the impact the behavior might have on the other person.

Although these workshops are aimed at employees, anyone is welcome to attend.

"Almost all deans and chairs have been through the training," said Bonnie Weisman, assistant university counsel. "I think that the seminars are helping raise people's awareness, but I don't think seminars will completely wipe out the problem."

There has been an increase in discrimination complaints in general -- age, national origin -- not just sexual harassment, Weisman said.

"A lot of complaints get resolved before they've reached my office," Weisman said. "I sense that a lot of people in management are working it out on the informal side."

This informal stage is the first step in following the UH procedures for resolving a complaint. This could be going directly to the person initiating the behavior or going to a supervisor or department chair.

But there is a one-year time limit in filing a formal complaint if the informal complaint does not resolve the issue, said Kamran Riaz, assistant dean of students and a committee member.

The complaint should be filed with Dorothy Caram, in the UH office of Affirmative Action, for an official investigation to begin.

 

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HIRING FREEZE MAY HURT CLASSES, DEPTS.

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Vacant faculty and staff positions may not be filled because of an indefinite hiring freeze.

State legislation that may cause a rollback on last year's 3 percent pay raise is causing UH to look at new ways to save money.

The legislation could also reduce funds for doctoral programs and the Optional Retirement Program for faculty and staff.

UH is facing a loss of up to $16 million over the next four years, according to a March 22 memo from UH President James Pickering.

As a result, UH administration has put a halt on any new hiring, including departments that are currently in the process of recruiting. The freeze halts any pay raises for present faculty or staff.

The hiring freeze, which began in January, originally only affected non-faculty positions that had been vacant for more than 12 months. The freeze has been made more severe as the legislative session progressed and became more threatening.

According to Executive Director of Planning and Budget Mary Rubright, any promises made to newly hired faculty who have not yet started their job will be kept. However, any funds that have been set aside for vacant positions will no longer be committed to funding new positions.

The freeze will only partially affect the amount of classes being taught, but will greatly affect the quality of each department, said one college dean.

"The freeze will mostly affect our ability to hire faculty specialists," said James Pipkin, dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communications.

The total number of vacant positions are not calculated by the administration, but it is expected that every college will be affected.

The College of Social Sciences lost three positions this year that will not be filled, including a political theorist, a congressional specialist and a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety.

"We can hire adjuncts to fill these positions, but they can not cover everything. An adjunct can not guide doctoral students. It is just makeshift, and if the hiring freeze is severe enough we may not be able to teach some classes at all," said Harrell Rodgers, dean of the College of Social Sciences .

Originally, if a position became vacant the dean of a college would be notified and recruitment to replace the professor could begin. When vacant positions arise now, they can only be filled if the request is approved by the president's office.

"If a college can persuade us that we need the position filled, we will fill it. They will have to have very good rationale," said Pickering.

The freeze will last at least until the end of the legislative session on May 31.

"It will continue until things in Austin resolve themselves. If things turn out for the worst, we may still have a freeze, but it will be modified. We have to hold things steady to save up some money," said Skip Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning.

 

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LATINO CONFERENCE WRAPS UP

by Heather Wolk

Daily Cougar Staff

The Mexican-American Studies Program is holding a conference this week to discuss issues affecting the Latino community in Houston.

The conference began Tuesday and will continue through today.

Lecturers include professors from various UH departments as well as professors from the University of Texas-El Paso, Corpus Christi State University and Angelo State University.

Topics include immigration, stereotyping, housing and politics, as well as intermarriage, social services and education.

Councilman Ben Reyes made a brief appearance at the conference and attended a lecture titled "Education and the Ethnic Vote in Congressional District 29."

Lorenzo Cano, associate director of Mexican-American Studies, said the goal of the conference is to show off the faculty's hard work.

"The main focus is to showcase the faculty and demonstrate the kind of research accomplished in the area of Mexican-American Studies," Cano said.

"We have invited several visiting scholars and guest lecturers to provide a forum for Latino scholars to show the diversity in research," said Guadalupe San-Miguel, a professor of history.

"It is not an annual event, but we often have symposiums, seminars and conferences.

"We invite the community at large to come and attend to share their views and learn," Cano said. "We have had a lot of students and faculty come in and out of lectures throughout the day."

Lectures will run until 4:30 p.m. today.

 

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UH OPERA GAINS EXPOSURE AT MILLER THEATRE

by Dianne Beirne

News Reporter

Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini's tragic tale of love and loss will be brought to life this weekend by the UH Opera Theatre in the production of <I>La Boheme<P>.

The performances will be held at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Both shows are free and will be sung in Italian, but an English translation will projected above the stage.

UH Opera Director Buck Ross said being asked by MOT to produce <I>La Boheme<P> "is a feather in our cap" for the UHOT.

"We suffer a bit from a lack of exposure," Ross said. "When people come to see us, they can't believe how good we are."

<I>La Boheme<P> begins the second year of partnership between UHOT and MOT, which is supporting the the production with a grant.

Ross said <I>La Boheme<P> was chosen by UHOT because it is one of the most popular operas ever written.

"A lot of people like the theme of young people in love," he said. "It's a good first opera to go to."

The four-act opera tells the story of a group of starving artists living in Paris' Latin Quarter in the 1890s. Mimi, a seamstress, and Rodolfo, a writer, fall in love.

In the second act, the couple takes to the streets of Paris with their friends to celebrate Christmas Eve with the help of a 30-member chorus.

But while the merrymaking goes on, Mimi is stricken with tuberculosis. In the third act, Mimi and Rodolfo break up and get back together. By the end of the fourth act, Mimi and Rodolfo part for perhaps the final time.

The main story line is augmented by a subplot involving Musetta and her quest for love from Marcello.

The cast is composed of both doctoral-level students and undergraduates majoring in voice performance, Ross said. Many cast members have sung with Houston Grand Opera and other companies.

"This is not an amateur cast," Ross said. "They just happen to be students."

The music for <I>La Boheme<P> is provided by 40 members of the UH Symphony Orchestra, Ross said.

Suzanne Stokes, a sophomore voice performance major who sings in the chorus, said the production is a wonderful opportunity to increase the exposure of UHOT.

Ross said free tickets are available at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the performance, and unclaimed reserved seating tickets will be released five minutes before curtain. For more information, call 520-3290.

 

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FIZZLED ETERNAL FLAME MAY GET NEW RESIDENCE

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

Alpha Phi Omega members want to move the "Eternal Flame of Service," used to light the homecoming bonfire, from its virtually unknown location.

However, moving the eternal flame, which flickered out almost four years ago, would break open a time capsule that is buried within the structure.

"The capsule was put there by the people who established the eternal flame," said Justin Struby, a senior math major. APO president. "We don't know what's in it yet, but we're working on finding out."

The flame burned out when the gas line beneath it was accidentally ruptured during construction in the area.

APO members are considering Spirit Hill in front of the Ezekiel Cullen building as a possible new home for the flame. Previously, APO considered moving the rusted, bird excrement-covered structure to the reflection pool at the heart of the Cullen Plaza, said APO member Mitch Rhodes, a senior math major.

However, that idea was nixed when the pool was finally filled last semester.

Because APO is recognized at national conventions as being the only chapter with an eternal flame, the chapter feels it is necessary to restore the flame to its original state.

"The eternal flame was started by the founding members of APO in 1970," said member Elisa Contreras, a journalism senior. "It was ignited by the Honorable H. Roe Bartle December 30, 1970, and dedicated to UH October 25, 1971."

For APO, the history behind the "Eternal Flame of Service" justifies the effort to restore it.

In a private ceremony, Bartle originally lit a candle in Dallas. The flame was then moved to a sealed hurricane lantern and brought to Houston where it burned continually during the construction of the structure that was to keep it forever.

It was dedicated to all alumni, students and staff.

In addition to the other problems associated with the flame, the plaque that originally sat atop the structure was stolen.

To move the flame, APO says it needs the support of the students and the administration. The group also said it would be financially responsible for the flame's maintenance.

"Student service fees should not be used to fund it," Rhodes said. "It should never have been allowed to get in as bad condition as it is."

 

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COOGS, LONGHORNS

VIE FOR CROWN

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Six strokes separated the Cougars from the Southwest conference championship at the 1992 tournament.

The Texas Longhorns won the tournament instead, and the Cougars were the second best team in the conference.

The Cougars are out to make sure that history does not repeat itself at the 1993 SWC championship golf tournament in College Station at the Pebble Brook golf course.

Seven years have passed since now-pro Steve Elkington led the Cougars to their ninth SWC championship.

Ranked No. 22 in the country, the team is coming off of a sweep at the All-America Intercollegiate Invitational, held April 13 and 14.

Coach Keith Fergus feels that the A.A.I.I. win has set a good tone for the team as they enter the tournament.

"All of them (golfers) seem confident and relaxed," Fergus said. "Any time you win, it is a boost. Winning last weekend was good for the team."

Relaxed as they are, the tournament will not be a vacation for the Cougars. The Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Christian and Southern Methodist are all ranked in the most recent Golf World poll.

The No. 4 Texas Longhorns will prove to be the toughest opposition for all of the SWC teams.

"Texas is the team to beat this weekend," coach Fergus said. "They have the No. 1 player in the country."

The Longhorns key player is Justin Leonard. Leonard has a multiplicity of honors, including his most recent invitation to be one of only four amateur golfers to play in the elite Masters golf tournament.

The Aggies are sitting on the edge of the rankings at No. 20. The Aggies, who are hosting the tournament, finished fifth at the A.A.I.I. tournament last weekend.

"The Aggies will be tough,"coach Fergus said. "The Aggies will have the advantage of playing on their own course."

Coach Fergus is confident of his team's ability to play on the Pebble Brook course.

"This course sets up good for us. We have practiced there before and it is not an overpowering golf course."

The Cougars will rely on Anders Hansen and the A.A.I.I. champion Brad Montgomery to set the pace for Houston.

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