PHONE SYSTEM MAKES HOLDING THE LINE EASIER

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

After the introduction of the university's new phone system and voice menu directories, many students learned to dread calling enrollment services for answers to their scheduling, billing and scholarship questions.

However, due to numerous complaints about lengthy menu messages and holding time, enrollment services has shortened its messages and is now answering calls quicker and keeping fewer people on hold.

"It was impossible to get through; we deal with hundreds of calls per hour," said Rob Sheinkopf, director of the office of admissions. "The menu used to take 105 seconds and has been reduced to 40 seconds. It's better but we are going to continue to make improvements."

Other changes include distributing additional phone numbers to deal with more customers, telephone customer service training for all enrollment services employees and hotlines for community colleges and high school guidance counselors.

"We analyzed the data and looked at the suggestions from the students, faculty and staff on improvements we could make," said Sharon Richardson, associate vice president for Academic Management and Operations.

 

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EXPOSURE TO ASBES TOS 'NOT LIKELY'

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

News Reporter

Although it is not used any more, some asbestos remains in the old buildings on campus. Financial restraints, however, have led UH officials to choose not to remove it.

Asbestos can cause diseases such as lung cancer; asbestosis, which reduces the capacity of the lung; and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came up with regulations in 1972 to handle the substance.

Asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals composed of tiny fibers, is in more than 40 buildings on campus.

Because asbestos works well as an insulator and fire-proofing material, it was used extensively in the construction of buildings until the mid-1970s.

Students are not likely to be exposed to asbestos, but Physical Plant workers are if they are not protected, said Timothy Ryan, director of the Environmental and Physical Safety Department at UH..

Asbestos applications are generally in locked mechanical rooms, within walls and above ceilings, Ryan added. Asbestos is dangerous when it is airborne and when it can be inhaled, Ryan said.

Asbestos in old buildings is not required to be removed by EPA, but it is required to be under control, Ryan said. Asbestos is removed from buildings when either the material becomes unsafe or building renovation cannot be done, Ryan said.

Asbestos also has to be removed before a building is torn down or the process of demolition may cause it is to be released into the air and inhaled, he said.

UH cannot afford a large-scale removal of asbestos throughout the campus, Ryan said. If the old music building is going to be torn down after the construction of the new one, asbestos has to be removed before demolition, he said.

Ryan said in campus buildings asbestos was applied to the inner ceilings to retard fire or attenuate sound, and was used as insulation for boilers and pipes. It was also used in vinyl floor tiles and in a construction adhesive called mastic. Asbestos is handled according to the standards of the EPA, he said.

Roof leaks, hurricane damage, steam leaks from pipes, or any renovation or demolition of buildings can cause concerns about asbestos.

About a month ago, because of a roof leak in the women's locker room, EPSD took some samples and found no asbestos, Ryan said. However, one year ago asbestos was found in a men's locker room. To prevent any harmful effects, asbestos removal and encasement had to be done by the Physical Plant workers under the supervision of EPSD, Ryan said.

Toward the end of 1991, the installation of cables for the new telephone system brought up the question of asbestos, so UH hired licensed asbestos workers to put the cables in, Ryan said.

Five years ago, authorities from the attorney general's office came to UH to investigate the complaint made about asbestos.

"On Nov. 11, 1987, the Safety Office received a complaint from one of your employees concerning possible exposure to asbestos in the utility tunnel system at the University of Houston," said the report, dated Jan. 20, 1988, and signed by Earl A. Key, then-manager of the occupational safety program of attorney general's office.

"(Herb Collier, former director of the Physical Plant) called me and asked, 'Did you call the attorney general's office?' " said Max Locher, then-safety program coordinator of the Physical Plant. "I said, 'yes.' "

Locher, who has a degree in geology, now works as a clerk in the law library. He said he saw asbestos insulation had been removed from the pipes to fix the steam leaks in the tunnel system. Locher said workers had apparently worked on the leaks because he saw asbestos residue on the floor and took photographs for documentation.

Collier hired three people to fix the steam leaks without personal protective equipment even though he knew asbestos existed in the tunnel area, Locher claims.

Locher said he talked to his supervisor, Ona Underhill, about the protection of the workers, and Underhill talked to Tom Wray, then-assistant director of the Physical Plant. Locher said, "Ona told me Wray said I should not take any further steps for political reasons."

Locher said, as safety coordinator at that time, he had to implement the safety guidelines that required him to eliminate the risk of exposure to personnel who may come into contact with asbestos.

"I was told to be quiet and ignore the situation," Locher said. "I did not see any indication that they were going to correct the situation. I decided to call the attorney general's office."

Locher claims Collier and Wray tried to force him to quit and that they fired him one year later.

Wray, who is now the director of Operations and Maintenance, said, "We were handling the asbestos as we were instructed to do by our safety department. (The state) made the regulations tighter. We worked along with the state." Wray said he did not tell Locher to ignore anything. Locher was terminated later, but (Wray) did not have anything to do with that, he said.

Collier, who is now the assistant director of the Operations and Maintenance at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said he does not recall what happened about asbestos in the past. "That has been years and years ago. I don't have records available. It is ancient history," he said.

The first article of the report from the attorney general's office said, "No employee (should) be allowed to enter the tunnel area prior to documented training on the hazard of asbestos." The second article said, "No employee (should) be allowed to enter the tunnel area unless wearing or using appropriate personal protective equipment." The report continued with the recommendations for improvement of employee safety in the tunnel area and required the university to provide a progress report of the actions taken on the recommendations.

In response to the inspection by the attorney general's office, a report, dated Feb. 15, 1988, was written by Kent Cavender, then-interim director of the Environmental and Physical Safety Department. In the report, Cavender mentioned the actions that were going to be taken.

Since the inspection, Ryan said access has been limited to the tunnel system by installing different locking devices than the previous key arrangement. Entry into the tunnels is not allowed without a permit issued by the EPSD, and workers have been trained to handle the asbestos, said Ryan, who has been the director of ESPD since 1991.

EPSD locked up the university tunnel system, Hofheinz Pavilion Attic and the South Office Annex because of the potentially hazardous conditions. Ryan said, "Not all of the buildings are necessarily locked up. It depends on the form of asbestos."

The friable type of asbestos, which is easily crumbled, presents a greater hazard, Ryan said.

The UH buildings in which friable asbestos exists are Roy Cullen, the Science Building, the Technology Annex, the College of Technology, M.D. Anderson Library, the Power Plant, E. Cullen, Hofheinz Pavilion, Garrison Gymnasium, hazardous materials storage, P.G. Hoffman Hall, S&R I, Settegast Hall, Bates Hall, Taub Hall, Oberholtzer Hall, the South Office Annex, A.D. Bruce Religion Center, Lamar Fleming, the University Center, Agnes Arnold Hall, Cullen College of Engineering, Moody Towers, General Services, Cameron, McElhinney Hall, the Hilton, the tunnel system and the Wortham House.

 

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POEM RECOUNTS HISTORY OF CINCO DE MAYO PRIDE

by Roberto G. Garza

Special to the Cougar

On the fifth of May, Mexico celebrated the "Cinco De Mayo" - a celebration that will live in the lives of All Mexico and those of Mexican-American descent. It had been a day of TRIUMPH for those who fought to help the cause. It was to become one of Mexico's greatest victories since their independence from Spain!

They had gone to battle to gain their freedom in 1810. Thus the new Mexican became "The Mestizo," a symbol, as the Tejano and Chicano is today. Some 26 years later a great battle took place at the San Jacinto River, where those of Mexican descent took arms against Santa Anna. It was a battle that lasted just a few minutes, but the loss of life and territory was a tremendous price to pay.

With the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, this was another turning point. Mexico was shaken by internal strife - many supported the United States, and many supported Mexico. Mexico had its share of brother against brother; and when it was all over, the country was broken in desperation and destruction!

When the American Civil War broke out, families were torn apart; never before in the history of Mexico had there been more separation of families. Some supported the Union, some the Confederacy, and others supported the fatherland against the invaders.

Mexico had gone to battle with Spain, the Texans, and the United States - in 50 years they had seen their land disappear before their eyes with no hope! In 50 years they had seen their brothers and sisters divided from one country to another.

But the time had come to preserve their country, the call of the "Benito Juarez" was heard throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States. "Never again, I pray to God, will this country be conquered by any country or any monarch", the new President stated. The loss is too great for one to look the other way and forget our grassroots and where we come from.

The most beautiful education our forefathers gave us was culture, heritage, and the language. It will stay with us today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.

 

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GROUP PROMOTES UH SPIRIT

by Marla M. Crawford

News Reporter

The UH Student Foundation is hard at work on campus to promote tradition and to serve the university community.

The organization, an extension of the UH Office of Development, is made up mostly of juniors and seniors.

Student Foundation members act as student representatives for UH. They participate in university functions by providing manpower and serving as student hosts.

"One of our purposes is to establish and create tradition and to raise funds for the university," said Rebecca Chance, Student Foundation advisor.

The Senior Challenge, an annual fund-raising campaign hosted by the foundation, challenges all graduating seniors to pledge $200 over a four-year period, Don Easterling, the development chairman, said. The first year amount is $20 and increases annually by that amount to total $200.

"The goal of the Senior Challenge is to set up an endowment that will go back to the students," Chance said. "Part (of the funds raised) will go to the endowment and part will go to the library."

A total of 2500 pledge cards for the Senior Challenge were recently mailed out to graduating seniors, Chance said.

The Student Foundation also sponsors the annual Parent of the Year award.

UH students nominate their parents for this award by filling out applications. Four runners-up are chosen and the award is presented at half-time during the homecoming game, Chance said.

At the Frontier Fiesta & Cook-Off, foundation members hosted an information station and made any needed announcements, Easterling said.

Members of the foundation will also assist in Passport to Discovery, an event sponsored by the Office of Development that will showcase UH.

Each college will be represented at this event by various displays located in the campus Hilton. There also will be a "faculty bookstore" to display books written by UH faculty members, Chance said.

"We've had 710 affirmative responses and all Student Foundation members will be there," Chance said. Student Foundation members will act as guides to the exhibit areas.

Among the many guests attending this event on April 21 will be past and potential donors.

"It's an attempt to get people here and get them involved in UH and create a friendship," Easterling said.

The foundation is also assisting in the Creative Partnership Campaign by helping to raise university funds. This campaign is part of the UH system-wide campaign that hopes to raise a total of $350 million.

Each campus is responsible for raising part of the funds, Chance said.

"Our campus is responsible for raising $250 million," she said, adding that the campaign was started three years ago and has two years to complete the fundraising.

New foundation members were inducted at a ceremony April 27.

"We look for people who are in leadership roles and can energetically tell the story of UH," Easterling said.

The annual selection process for prospective members begins in the fall with a reception. Then, in the spring, the foundation starts the recruitment process.

After students submit applications, they are interviewed and selected.

 

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STUDENT ORGANIZES SUMMER FUND-RAISING EVENT

by Heather Morgan

News Reporter

"An Evening With Paul Rudolph" will be held from 7:30 to 11 p.m. May 21 in the University of Houston's Architecture Building.

The event is a fund-raiser for the Architecture and Art Library and is being planned by Don Smith, a first year architecture graduate student.

"It'll be a nice gala evening," Smith says. The fund-raiser will consist of a buffet, jazz ensemble, silent auction of donated and autographed publications of architects and professors and a lecture by Paul Rudolph, an ex-president of Yale University, and one of the most famous architects in the world.

Tickets cost the public $40 each, while UH students and faculty will be charged about $20.

Smith's goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000.

 

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LAS VEGAS ADMINISTRATOR NAMED NEW HRM DEAN

With the appointment of a new dean at the UH Hilton College, Dr. R. Hugh Walker returns to the faculty in the UH physics department.

Dr. Alan T. Stutts accepted the position after spending the past 10 years as a professor and associate dean of the College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

"I am strongly committed to helping students successfully apply hospitality management theories to the complex problems they'll face as industry executives and I know the UH Hilton College is dedicated to the same goal," said Stutts.

He is the author of three textbooks in wide use both nationally and internationally that focus on blending theory with real world problems.

Stutts said enthusiasm shown by university administration, faculty, students, alumni and industry leaders about the Hilton College was a significant factor in his decision to accept the position of dean and tenured full professor.

"Dr. Stutts will provide the experienced leadership needed as we continue pursuing excellence in hospitality education. He is highly respected by his academic peers and is recognized for his intellectual abilities," said Glenn D. Aumann, UH provost and acting senior vice president for academic affairs.

Stutts maintains that studying for a career in the hotel, restaurant and hospitality industry offers tremendous opportunities. In fact, his youngest son is studying restaurant operations at UNLV and his oldest son is a manager with a hotel company.

 

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CAREER CENTER HELPS WITH JOB INTERVIEWS

by Tammy Gamble

News Reporter

With the idea in mind that practice makes perfect, the UH Career Planning and Placement center offers students the opportunity to learn interview techniques in a simulated job setting.

"The interview workshops help students to make good impressions toward possible employers by receiving performance critiques from counselors and other students in the group," David Small, assistant vice president of student services at the Career Planning and Placing Center, said.

Each workshop allows students a five to 10 minute videotaped simulated interview session with a counselor from the center asking questions that are frequently included in actual interviews, Small said. The group then views the tape and discusses strong and weak points of the interview, Small said.

Counselors strongly emphasize that the success of an interview depends 60 percent on non-verbal communicators, Small said. "In an interview situation, gestures, posture and eye contact are just as important as the verbal communicators," Small said.

"The first interview a student has with a company accounts for 80 percent of the decision-making process, while cover letters, resumes and additional interviews make up the remaining 20 percent," Small said.

Citing the Webster Study, Small said researchers showed impressions made in the first four minutes of an interview are hard to change if they are not positive, Small said.

Counselors stress students should not memorize the answers to popular questions but should be natural, Small said. "We don't want cookie cutter interviews where students act like something they aren't," Small said.

Many graduating seniors, alumni and graduate students take advantage of the practice interviews, Small said. With reservations not required, a valid UH identification card is the only requirement for participation in the workshop.

Boyd Armstrong, a counselor at the Career Planning and Placement center, said no interviews are scheduled during the summer, but six workshop opportunities will be available in the fall. "Workshops will be available every seven to 10 days starting with the first session on Sept. 17."

The interview workshops are held early in the semester to enable students participating in campus recruiting to benefit from the experience, Armstrong said.

 

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MEXICO IN UH

by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

Academic leaders and students from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara have been coming to Houston for more than 20 years to observe UH's teaching and administrative methods.

Twenty faculty members and administrators from UAG will be on campus this year continuing a relationship that began in the 1960s.

The Mexican university is particularly interested in academic planning, faculty evaluations, hiring procedures and student exchange programs.

"It's one of the healthiest relationships I know of between institutions from two different countries in the world," said Al Warner, associate dean of Academic Affairs.

UAG is a private school founded in 1935 after students protested the government's socialistic control of the curriculum at the state university.

Enrollment has reached almost 18,000 with students from 31 foreign countries. Students earn degrees in humanities, social and natural sciences, technology and medicine.

More than 10 UH graduates hold leadership positions at the Mexican university.

In 1960, UAG developed a master plan for their school, getting many ideas from UH, said Sharon Richardson, associate vice president of Academic Management and Operations at UH.

"They have people that go all over the world looking for the best ideas to bring back to UAG," Richardson said. "I believe they (UAG) adopted the idea of having a core curriculum from UH."

During the 1970s, 30 to 40 UAG students came to UH to earn degrees, Richardson said.

Last year both universities developed a three-year academic leadership program.

Sixty academic and administrative leaders at UAG participated in the first phase of 10 week-long seminars in Guadalajara, conducted by UH faculty and administrators.

Participants shared their knowledge of academic planning, faculty development, marketing, finance and administration. The UH College of Education coordinated the first year's program.

The program is now in its second phase. Twenty administrators and faculty members from UAG will spend one month at UH in a variety of departments and colleges. UH supplies each participant with an apartment at Cambridge Oaks. UAG pays for all other expenses.

UAG's director of international careers, Jose Martinez, recently left UH after spending one month learning about the business college.

Martinez's UH partner was Dan Currie, director of the Southwest Center for International Business at UH.

"You need to get out of your office and your country to see how other people are doing things," Currie said, referring to the benefits of coming to UH from Mexico.

Points of interest included student programs, faculty exchange and international careers. Currie acted as Martinez's guide, making introductions and helping him make contacts.

"I know he enjoyed himself and thought it was fruitful," Currie said. "We're in this for the long run. It only makes sense that we develop relations with Mexico, NAFTA or no NAFTA."

This month UH is host to two more UAG guests: Alberto Teimberdt, dean of the College of Engineering and Ricardo Beltran, a senior staff member from the Academic Affairs department.

"(Teimberdt's) two top interests are in our math department and faculty quality," said Teimberdt's partner, Dion McInnis, director of External Relations, College of Engineering.

"UAG uses mostly professional people, like our adjuncts, to teach classes. Teimberdt is interested in things like faculty evaluations, pay scales, promotions and how we handle transfer students."

 

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VISION 2000 FOCUSES ON HINDU PEACE CONFERENCE

by Christine Law

News Reporter

"The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength. Teach men of the strength that is already within them."

With these words, the Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda expressed his vision of a peaceful world community, said Nishith Upadhyaya, president of UH's Hindu Students Council.

Vivekananda's speech at the 1893 Parliament of World Religions made a large impact worldwide and marked the day the West was first exposed to Indian culture and Hinduism.

To commemorate the centenary of the event, the World Vision 2000 Conferences will take place August 6-8 in Washington, D.C. and Landover, Maryland.

Included in the conferences will be a day-long World Vision 2000 festival, led such distinguished world leaders as the Dalai Lama.

For more information, write to: World Vision 2000 Global Conference and Global Youth Conference Registration Office, P.O. Box 1332, New York, NY 10018; or call 1-800-833-4293.

 

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YOUNG BUYER PROGRAM IDEAL

by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

In theory, Ford Motor Company's incentive programs make car buying easier and less expensive for recent graduates and young people.

This practice may not only be good business, but it may also mean a new direction for the industry, said a Ford spokesman.

The automobile industry has done little in the past to ease tensions between car buyers and dealers, choosing instead to ignore the buzz. However, the dealers who drew the battle lines ultimately must erase them, said a car salesman who asked not to be identified.

The reputation of auto dealers may never be forgotten, but Ford's incentive programs may help change attitudes by catering to a new generation of consumers.

Ford customers under 30 may qualify for the "Young Buyer" program (a revised version of the first- time car buyer program). This program provides $300 cash assistance toward the purchase of many compact and mid-size cars. This offer may only be used once by a customer.

Another cash incentive Ford offers is a special graduation rate program. Four hundred dollars cash assistance is available to qualifiers toward all demonstrator models, lease cars and new cars. This program lasts through June 1995 and is available to college and trade school graduates who have graduated within one year of purchasing a Ford automobile.

Unlike some other incentives, neither program requires financing through Ford, although buyers are encouraged to do so. Qualifiers may only use one of the programs per purchase.

At Galleria Area Ford in Houston 5 percent to 8 percent of their new car customers use one of the programs said Mike Thomas, sales manager.

"They're legitimate discount deals with no strings attached," said Kelly Stone, editor of the <I>Pace Buyers Guide<P>, which lists dealer's cost of new cars and options. "But, unfortunately, if they (dealers) know you're going to use one of the manufacturers discounts before you get a price they can jack up the price."

A spokesman for Ford didn't deny that the practice of jacking up prices occurs. However, he suggests that customers get the lowest price from the dealer before telling the salesman about the discount.

"It depends on the dealer or salesman, but it doesn't usually matter. It's a risk you run," said a Ford representative regarding dealers raising prices to compensate for the discounts.

A salesman at Nationwide Auto Brokers, Inc. suggests that buyers get the best deal first, then tell the salesman about the discount, even if the salesman asks up front.

Fifty percent to 60 percent of Helfman Ford's new car customers qualify for one of the special discounts," said Kevin Holley, sales manager. "Many of them don't even know it," he added.

"Our salesmen try to find out if a discount program will be used or if they qualify so we can let them know up front about the savings," said Holley. "The problem with most customers is that they negotiate a rock bottom price then they negate the discount by financing for 60 months."

Although people in the auto industry claim manufacturer's discounts are legitimate, some agree it's impossible to know the dealer's cost. Without this information, a buyer doesn't know how much of the price is profit. This makes the "best deal" amount an arbitrary figure and virtually meaningless to the consumer.

"All of our costs are published in consumer guides and certain periodicals, but that has no bearing on this business," said Thomas.

"Having this information is useful, but it's not a realistic tool of negotiation, especially when you're a first time buyer. They don't deserve it."

Sales manager's attitudes vary from dealer to dealer along with car prices. Galleria Ford and Helfman Ford quoted the same price for a 1993 5-speed Escort LX with air conditioning and power steering. However, the price difference was more than $200 for the same model with automatic transmission.

Furthermore, the discrepancy between the Pace Buyer's Guide listed invoice price and the dealers' quoted invoice price was more than $400.

"Unfortunately I can't tell how we arrive at our (Pace) prices , but our sources are reliable and confidential," Stone said. "I realize that dealers don't look favorably on customers using our book, but I can't comment on the discrepancy."

 

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TRIBE VIBE RATTLES THE RAFTERS AT COOLEST HIP HOP JOINT IN TOWN

by Rivka Gewirtz and Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Marvin Gaye expressed frustration when he asked <I>What's going on<P>?

Needless bloodshed. Civil Rights battles. Disenchantment. The Disenfranchised. Disunity.

But when Crescent thinks of the man who sang, "I heard it through the grapevine," he thinks of the "Nightshift."

As he discusses what gave him the impetus to become proprietor of his club NiteShift, Crescent talks about "individual grooves and collective vibes."

On the terrace, there's soft funky jazz and smooth poetry readings, but inside the club a bumpin' Chicago house beat rules. The clash between them creates the all-around "vibe" that Crescent so often refers to. People expressing different ideas and struggles to each other.

Dungeon-style walk-up steps lead to a musty, dark room with a bar. Lights at the end of the tunnel are the two doors that lead out to NiteShift's VooDoo lounge on the terrace. Large speakers with soft jazz create a calm that is a soft and addictive, but also an alternative to the slight booming still heard from the house music inside.

The wrap-around terrace leads to another door that ends in a dance oasis. Inside, a huge floor with a larger-than-life sound provides people the food with which they can express any move their bodies project.

The club is sponsored by a flavorful collective of "tribe-vibe" people who also put out a line of "phat" clothing called Buiyahkah. Crescent believes the club represents the depth of the hip-hop scene. He stresses that hip-hop should not only be seen as gangsta.

"This is a music-oriented vibe. We incorporate hip-hop, but not gangsta-oriented, '70s funk, house, acid jazz and roots rock music; that's the boogie-down section. Outside is the VooDoo Lounge, the chill-out section. We have open mike poetry along with live Jazz," Crescent said.

A baseline that penetrates the soul and the body. A true urban funk. A new school of thought. Freestyling rappers share ideas on the terrace that offers a view of the metropolis.

"We go wherever the vibe takes us. Our tribe never leaves the vibe and the vibe never leaves the tribe," says Crescent, the self-proclaimed Jazzie B of Houston.

"You can do your own thing while maintaining a community vibe. You can co-exist in a small community like a university, family, city, state, even a nation. It's about the earth -- it's a planetary thing."

NiteShift is situated in the heart of downtown at 905 Prairie. At the club, elements of urban sophistication and a downright street vibe intersect.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder at NiteShift. There are plenty of fine folks to look at with jumpin' styles, but like all Houston clubs, there are soulful subjects to laugh at. Booty hangin' jeans, oversized tee-shirts and everybody's favorite Doc Martins can be seen alongside the average Joe.

In most clubs Houstonians stop dancing at the first beat of Chicago house or hard core hip-hop, but these guests of the vibe never slow down. Dance styles that keep you moving with the baseline not seen anywhere else in Houston prevail. There is always room for more innovation.

 

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COUGARS SIGN REAGAN'S BYRD,

1993 RECRUITING CLASS COMPLETE

Cougar Sports Service

All-Greater Houston shooting guard Willie Byrd of Reagan High School signed to play with the Houston Cougars basketball team, starting next season.

The 6-5 guard comes to UH after leading the Bulldogs to their first playoff appearance since 1983 and a berth in the Region III-5A semifinals.

"In Willie Byrd, we gained a quality freshman," head coach Alvin Brooks said. "As a 6-5 shooting guard he brings some size to the program."

Brooks said he doesn't plan to redshirt Byrd next year.

As a senior, Byrd averaged 19.1 points and 10.2 boards per game. He was named District 19-5A Most Valuable Player.

Brooks promised to recruit more players from the Houston area when he took over as coach.

Byrd joins Hershel Wafer from Lee Junior College and Jermaine Avey from Eastern Utah Junior College as the Cougars' spring signees. All three are from greater Houston.

The three will join fall signees Tim Moore, also from Lee, Roderick Griggs from Alabama and Curly Johnson from Louisiana as the 1993-94 recruiting class. Moore is also from Houston.

 

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COUGARS EYE JUNE BASEBALL DRAFT,

COACH REBUILDS AROUND FRESHMEN

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite the subpar numbers the Cougars posted as a team, there were certain individuals who made the baseball season a memorable one and others that make 1994 something to look forward to.

Senior Phil Lewis and juniors Brian Blair, Jason McDonald, Matt Beech and Ricky Freeman have posted strong offensive numbers to make scouts sit up and take notice.

Major League Baseball will conduct its amateur draft June 3-5. The 28 teams will have the opportunity to draft players in 99 rounds.

"The hardest part of Major League Baseball is getting in," a National League scout said. "The two expansion teams should make it easier for a lot more people to make it in."

Any player who is at least a junior or 21 years old is eligible for the draft. If drafted, they're offered a contract and signing bonus. It is then up to the players if they will accept the offer. Juniors have the option of returning to Cougar Field for their senior season.

"But if the offer isn't just horrible then they are probably out of here," Cougar coach Bragg Stockton said. "We are still in a delicate stage as far as the draft goes."

Lewis capped off a brilliant Cougar career with a 13-game hitting streak to raise his career average to .326. His nine home runs this season were also a career high.

"Phil should be drafted," the scout said. "The main thing is hitting and he can do that."

Lewis' name will be forever engrained in Cougar history as he holds eight school records including consecutive games played (156), most hits (234), runs (154) and triples (19).

"I think I should be drafted," Lewis said. "But I think I'll probably be picked up late."

Beech has attracted many second looks in his first year in Houston. The left-hander from San Antonio posted a 4-5 record in 16 games.

"It's always been my dream to play in the majors," Beech said. "The Oakland A's have said they will draft me. Where I don't know."

What impressed scouts the most was Beech's left arm and his ability to throw many innings. Beech also led the team with 73 strikeouts.

"Beech is another guy with a good chance," the scout said. "He has good stuff."

Scouts have predicted that McDonald will go as high as the fifth round. McDonald finished the season with 39 walks, a .462 on-base percentage and 20 stolen bases.

"Jason McDonald has a good chance," the scout said. "You can't overlook speed."

Blair and Freeman have both shown versatility in the field as well as at the plate. Blair finished the year as a utility outfielder in both right and left field with no errors.

"Blair is a lot more consistent than he used to be," the scout said.

His .359 average placed him ninth in the Southwest Conference and third on the team. He hit .375 in conference games. Blair's four home runs were the first four of his collegiate career.

"I've played three years of college baseball," Blair said. "I think I'm ready."

Freeman is a player who scouts say is on the bubble. With the addition of two new teams, his chances have increased of making a team. Freeman's .384 batting average and six home runs were both career highs this year.

Stockton will build the 1994 version of Cougar baseball around such building blocks as possibly Freeman, as well as freshmen Jeremy Tyson and J.J. Matzke.

Matzke replaced Freeman at third base when Freeman was hit by a pitch in Austin. All he did after that was finish second in the SWC with a hefty .397 average to lead all freshmen in the league.

Tyson and junior Brian Hamilton combined for 12 wins, three saves and seven complete games. The two right-handers could be a force for Stockton next year whether it be in the starting rotation or the bullpen.

"We've really honed in on pitching," Stockton said. "Pitching and defense is where we have to strengthen."

Stockton also praised the catcher Mike Hatch and utility man David Galvin. Hatch raised his average 100 points to a respectable .266. Hatch also led all catchers by throwing out 13 potential base stealers.

Galvin finished with two homers and 18 RBIs in 38 games. He missed part of the season with a stress fracture in his leg.

"The way it looks like now," Stockton said, "it will probably be Hatch behind the plate, Galvin at first, McDonald at second and Matzke at third."

Stockton said he is still hoping McDonald, as well as the rest of his juniors, will at least consider coming back.

"We always encourage them to stay to get their degree," Stockton said. "If they leave after their junior year, then the odds go down of them finishing."

To try to replenish a depleted pitching staff, Stockton has recruited and signed 15 new players, including seven pitchers.

In other news, Houston placed two players on the 1993 All-SWC Baseball Team voted on by the league's sports information directors.

Phil Lewis joined Clint Bryant of Texas Tech and Brian Thomas of Texas A&M on the team as the chosen outfielders. Lewis hit .349 with 45 RBIs this season. Cougar third baseman Ricky Freeman and Baylor senior Joe Wharton were named the utility players.

 

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SPRINTERS TAKE MIZUNO INVITATIONAL

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

With the Southwest Conference and NCAA championships coming up next month, many UH runners are still looking to improve their chances of doing well.

On Sunday at Robertson Stadium, Cougars Sam Jefferson and Michele Collins continued to be as impressive as they have all year, winning the 100 and 200-meter relay, respectively.

Jefferson won with a time of 10.30, nipping an unaffiliated runner, Tunde Omagbemi (10.39).

Collins' time of 22.87 in the 200 was also good enough for first place as she breezed by Dyan Webber (23.36), another unaffiliated runner.

In addition, the men's 4X100 relay team, consisting of Jefferson, Rayford Ross, Donald Moffet and Shedrick Fields, finished in a first-place tie with a group called Prime Time Sports, both earning a time of 40.20.

The women's 4X100 team of Collins, Janinne Courville, Cynthia Jackson, and DeAngelia Johnson were also victorious (44.67), just getting by Mizuno Houston (44.70).

Next up for the Cougars is the Run-Tex Longhorn Invitational in Austin today and Saturday. The team has not announced which members besides Jefferson will compete in the event.

 

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STUDENTS TO VOTE ON DEDICATED ATHLETIC FEE

by Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

The Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC) met Wednesday with representatives from the athletic department and Student Association (SA) to discuss establishing a set athletic fee of $34 dollars while lowering the student service fee rate to $63 from $96.

The referendum gives students a chance to tell President James Pickering if they support the idea or not, said Rodger Peters, SFAC chairman.

Peters said ultimate approval of the athletic fee, which would begin in the fall of 94, rests with Pickering and the Board of Regents. However, a student vote will have a huge impact on whether Pickering asks the board to approve the separate fee.

Currently, athletics gets 35 percent of student service fees. This equals $33.60 out of the $96 full-time service fee. "Every time SFAC recommends a (service) fee increase, athletics automatically gets more funding," said Willie Munson, dean of students.

With a set fee, athletics would have to justify to SFAC any requests for additional money, Munson said.

The new proposal mandates that all students, whether taking one hour or 20, pay $34 to athletics for the fall, spring and long summer sessions and $17 for each six-week summer term.

Service fees would be reduced by a comparable amount. Although SFAC suggests the full-time service fee be reduced to $63, an actual amount couldn't be determined until after the dedicated fee is approved, Peters said.

Peters said that other groups receiving student fees wouldn't be directly affected by a separate athletic fee. With a lower amount of money to work with, SFAC would recommend a larger percentage to each group but an amount relatively equal to their present funding, he said.

"The separate fee is a win, win situation for everybody," said Susan Jackson, director of the UH operating budget.

Based on an enrollment of 31,500 students, SFAC's proposal could generate approximately $175,000 more revenue for athletics and $255,000 extra for student services, Jackson said. Students would only pay $1 more with a dedicated athletic fee ($97), but if the plan is rejected, student service fees could go up even more, Jackson said.

"My concern is you're taking something away from athletics now (an automatic 35 percent of student fees) and you're holding over our heads that you might take something else away later (SFAC could recommend decreasing the $34 fee)," said Roland Sparks, athletic business manager.

Jason Fuller, SA president, said a the proposed fee would give students a clearer view of how much of their money goes to athletics. "It's like creating a separate account for athletics," he said.

"A separate fee makes athletics all the more glaring to students," said Bill McGillis, athletic compliance officer.

If the fee is approved, it will be the third time SFAC has established a dedicated fee. Students pay $15 each long semester and $7.50 each six week summer term to both the University Center and the Health Center.

The proposed athletic fee is unique because it's the first time SFAC has suggested proportionately lowering student fees while establishing a separate fee for one organization.

SFAC also recommends that with the dedicated fee, every student gets an athletic coupon book instead of just those taking eight or more hours. "This could get more students to attend football games," Peters said.

SFAC is asking for the Students' Association support for a separate athletic fee in order to enact a student vote.

"SA will be responsible for running the referendum," said Munson.

 

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PREGNANT WOMAN SHOT IN UH PARKING LOT

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

A distraught UH visitor has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting the pregnant passenger, who she arrived on campus with Saturday night.

Cassandra Elaine Bowden, 29, and her god-niece Angie Strauder, 18, both unaffiliated with the university, pulled into a parking space reserved for UHPD vehicles at 10:20 p.m.

According to UHPD reports, Bowden was at Strauder's home emotionally distraught and talking about suicide, UHPD's Lt. Helia Durant said.

"They were supposed to go to (Bowden's) home, pick up some clothes and go back to Angie's house," Durant said.

However, the two never reached their destination and instead stopped in the UH parking lot where the police department is located.

"Officer (Debra) Rivera pulled up behind them and ran a license plate check as part of standard procedure," said Eric Miller, director of Media Relations.

Bowden then got out of the car, walked to the rear of the car and mumbled something, walked back to the driver's side and shot into the car at Strauder, Durant said.

Strauder suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen, chest and legs and was taken to Ben Taub Hospital and admitted into surgery. Officer Rivera was not hurt during the shooting.

Strauder is now listed in fair condition by Ben Taub officials. However, her pregnancy ended during surgery, Miller said.

"We don't know if the baby died because of the gunshot wounds or because of the surgery," he said.

Bowden was arrested immediately after the shooting. Sunday morning the district attorney's office accepted attempted murder charges.

Bowden is now in Harris County Jail with bail set at $5,000.

 

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DEBT COLLECTION REFORM ELIMINATES CHECK CASHING

by Heather Wolk

Daily Cougar Staff

As a result of the administration's crack-down on delinquent debt, all check cashing services will be removed from campus May 31.

"We're changing a lot of policies as a result of the reshaping process," said Judy Viebig, interim director of Finance and Accounting.

After the third installment for the spring semester was due, students who owed more than $150 were sent another notice, giving them until April 12 to pay their debt, said Phyllis Bradley, UH bursar.

She said most students responded cooperatively to the notices requesting payment. Those who did not (a total of 1,177) had stops placed on their records and transcripts and were barred from future enrollment at the university, said Bradley.

"Approximately 366 accounts had grades taken of the record. The number of students who had sanctions placed against them was significantly lower than the past," Bradley said.

Although the collection process looks good, the administration is making reforms in the system to protect the university from future financial disasters.

"They are in the process of installing more ATMs. There is one in the Satellite, one in the residence halls, and then the existing ones in the UC and the bank," said Bradley.

Bradley also said the administration is updating the hiring policy, which includes rejecting applications for employment for those who owe money to the university.

"The stops on students' accounts and records have helped in collecting the debt," said Bradley.

Viebig said that the new policies will affect UH employees as well.

"Employees who owe will be dealt with individually, with the possibility of termination if a payment cannot be arranged," said Viebig.

"The collection process is moving along and the numbers are looking better. We're getting a lot done and I feel real good about it," Viebig said.

 

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SA TO DEBATE PARKING, BOOK-EXCHANGE

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Legislation softening the effects of parking rules and creating new and cheaper ways to purchase books are left hanging for the summer Students' Association senate to review.

If passed, the textbook bill will create a database of used books that would work as a go-between for students to exchange books with each other. The bookstore would not be included in the exchange. The theory behind the database is that the bookstore charges more than a student would, and a simple exchange of books benefits both parties.

"We will have to look at our contract with Barnes and Noble to see if we are allowed to do this," SA President Jason Fuller said. He said if the contract allows it, the database could be working by the fall.

More parking rule reforms will be attempted this summer. These bills recommend a smaller fee and a freed car for students arriving while their car is being towed. The second reform bill asks that towing signs be clearly posted at every university entrance. Mitch Rhodes, external affairs director and author of both bills, believes more signs would create less illegal parking problems.

 

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STUDENT ART DISPLAYED AT LOCAL GALLERIES

The UH art department has joined with eight local art galleries to present Opening Moves, a fund-raiser for the art department, June 24.

The event will consist of selected student artwork, food and entertainment at the participating galleries, including Davis-McClain Gallery, Lynn Goode, Hooks-Epstein, McMurtrey, Moody, The New Gallery, Parkerson and Robinson Gallery.

The profits will go towards scholarships and fellowship funds in the art department.

Each gallery is responsible for choosing which artwork to display and providing the needed space.

Admission to the public is $50. UH students, alumni, art department faculty and staff will be charged $35.

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