STATE FUNDING CUTS COST STUDENTS

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

Daily Cougar Staff

A few dollars increase in tuition, a few more in general use fee, and $5 more from student service fees netted the university about $5 million in revenues.

Tuition and fee hikes bring UH approximately $5 million in revenue increases although state general revenue decreased more than $2 million.

Increased tuition, general use fees, student service fees and other student fees, which are new or additional course and laboratory fees, contribute to UH's revenues.

However, it is not just the revenues from fees and tuition that increase the general revenues, said Mary Rubright, executive director for Planning and Budget.

"The state also increased the staff benefits appropriation 5 percent which also helped to increase general revenue," she said.

UH's operating budget for fiscal year 1994 is $340 million as it was approved Aug. 25 by the Board of Regents. Although a 3% increase was seen compared to fiscal year 1993's budget, the university lost more than $2 million in general revenue appropriations, which come from the state.

The state funding decreased as a result of reduced student credit hours, formula funding changes and new special line item funding, Rubright said.

Rubright said even though total budgeted general funds show the 3 percent increase, the university lost the flexibility to use the money because of changes in funding.

She said due to formula funding changes graduate funding is shifted to undergraduate programs and caused a reduction in total available funds.

Formula funding is a method that the state uses to fund all state universities on a common ground. The Texas Higher Education and Coordinating Board sets the standards for each program area.

Special line item funding is specified to be used in certain areas like restricted grants. The new special line item funding for fiscal year 1994 was $600,000 for the Optometry Clinic and $350,000 for the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center.

The Small Business Development Center received more than $1.8 million, which reflects a $600,000 increase compared to 1993 fiscal year.

Despite hikes in some budgets, cuts occurred in others. Colleges' total budgets are reduced by approximately $2.4 million because of decreased state money.

Reductions were based on areas identified through the reshaping process.

President Pickering's $4 million budget increased by $420,000, which is 10 percent, because of a shift of staff from the UH System to the Office of Development.

 

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ATHLETICS NOT YET HURT BY CUTS

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

Daily Cougar Staff

While approval of 1994 budget is in final, most of the colleges lost money because of decreased state support. However, the Athletic Department's revenues increased 2 percent to encourage its development.

Reductions from colleges' budgets were based on areas identified through the reshaping process, said Glenn Aumann, senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

If a college's student enrollment was down for the last few years, its budget was constrained, Aumann said.

"The decision is based upon how many and what kind of students the colleges were instructing the previous year," Aumann said.

Even though the enhancement of research and scholarly activities is stressed for a reshaped university, the Athletic Department has to be given a chance to be competitive, Aumann said.

"It had been seriously discussed long ago whether the university should have athletics or not. It has been decided to have it. If they do well enough, they can pay for themselves," Aumann added.

Athletics Director Bill Carr, who was appointed in April, said plans are under way to improve athletics but the new athletics administration has only recently begun tackling their problems.

Carr said ticket sales increased by 1,000 this year from 6,200 last year. Endowment and contribution campaigns are also in place, Carr said.

Athletics does not receive state funds but student service fees increased the budget by 10 percent. Athletics receive 35 percent of the student service fees, which increased to $16 per student from $11 last year.

Although gifts decreased by 40 percent as projected by the Athletic Department, other sources increased by 39 percent to support the athletics operating budget. As a result, Intercollegiate and Intramural Athletics revenue increased 2 percent to more than $11 million.

The colleges of Architecture, Education, Engineering, Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Pharmacy, Social Sciences and Technology, and Law Center altogether lost $1.8 million.

On the other hand, College of Business Administration, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Optometry, Social Work and Honors altogether received an increase of more than $1 million in their budgets.

 

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NATIONAL SERVICE PLAN AT HAND

by Tammy Gamble

Daily Cougar Staff

The National and Community Service Trust Act could become a reality as soon as next week.

The act was part of President Clinton's 1992 campaign promises to help individuals fund their college education and give manpower to community service organizations. The program also allows people to work in traditionally low-paying jobs, such as teaching, and still afford to pay back college loans.

The Senate vote will be the final approval needed since the House of Representatives passed the act in August. The present proposal is in agreement of a Joint Conference Committee of the House and the Senate. Both branches had passed their own versions of the bill, so the joint conference was needed to combine the versions and receive final approval by both houses.

The difference between the two branches' original bills was not great, Zindler said. The Senate is expected to pass the new version next week with no problem, Zindler said.

"We are about 90 percent of the way there to seeing the bill become law," he said.

The new version of the National and Community Service Trust Act allows students to earn up to $9,450 in educational grants for working in a designated local community service, Zindler said. Students could take part in the program for up to two years earning $4,725 a year for working 1,700 hours, Zindler said. The grants could be used to pay back existing college loans or to enter college after participating in the program.

Participants would also be paid minimum wage and have access to health care and child care.

The program would be allocated $300 million in 1994, $500 million in 1995 and $700 million in 1996 -- a total of over $1.5 billion during the three years.

Possible community service jobs include teaching, environmental work, law enforcement and health care. The program would be run on a local level using existing programs.

Participant selection would be made by the local organizations, and the groups would have annual reviews in which results would have to be seen for funding to continue, Zindler said.

"It made the most sense to have the people working in the field everyday pick the individuals best suited for the organization," Zindler said.

William Munson, UH dean of students, said with the increased student interest in volunteering on campus, UH students will be interested in the program.

"The program gives students more options for funding their education and gives potential students an opportunity to take part in community service," he said.

The program would have to receive re-authorization by Congress in three years for funding to continue, Zindler said. The Office of National Service believes the program will be a big success at that time, Zindler said.

 

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COUGARS START YEAR OFF WITH STYLE

by Annette Baird

Daily Cougar Staff

The football rallying call could be heard across campus last night as the Cougar Kick-Off celebrated a new football season.

The beer flowed, and the bands played while students, staff and alumni milled around Lynn Eusan Park to wind down the day.

Around 350 people attended the event, kicked off by President James Pickering. Pickering welcomed everyone and introduced Athletic Director Bill Carr.

"We wanted one big pep rally to kick off the year, when no one has tests. The rally does two things. First, it raises awareness of the start of the football season, with an opportunity to meet and greet coaches and players. Second, it kicks off the school year, and brings everyone into the flow of the college scene," said Mike Pede, marketing director for athletics.

The Kick-Off lets people know that athletics department is pulling its weight, Pede added.

The main attraction for many of the people interviewed was the beer. Randy Walter, a computer programmer, came for a few beers, the music and to get into the spirit of the season. "I may go to a few games this season," Walter added.

"I'm here for the beer, the band and friends," Adrian Perez, a junior in Spanish said. "I watch the games on TV."

The event featured three bands, with sounds of country music by Rick Gordon, world beat music by The Swamies and classic rock by The Basics.

During the pep rally segment, UH's marching band, the Cougar Dolls, cheerleaders and the football players whet the appetite for the upcoming season.

Since the first kick-off in 1991, organized by the athletics department, more organizations have jumped on board said Pede. It has grown every year since then, Pede added.

"We're short on traditions at this school. Now every year on the first Wednesday of school, everyone gets together to party," Pede said.

The Students' Association, the Alumni Association and Residence Halls Association were involved in organizing this year's event which benefits Operation School Supply.

Freshman Michelle Higgins' friends told her (the kick-off) was a lot of fun and enjoyable. "It gets everyone together and encourages a lot more school spirit. Most of the people I've seen from the residence halls are here," Higgins said. Cheryl Allen, a cashier in the bursar's office, had been waiting hopefully with her two children for the face painting and clown. By this time it was nearly 7 p.m.

Donning a warm looking western uniform, SA Vice President Patrick Brown, one of the event organizers said "We want UH to go out to California and beat up on USC."

 

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JAM ON IT!

by Tamara Conner

Contributing Writer

The hands may clap to the beat of the latest R&B hit, or more likely to the beat of the designated "stepmaster."

The canes twirl, hair swings and the sweat flies. College life for African-Americans at the University of Houston just wouldn't be complete without an occasional Park Jam.

This Friday's Lynn Eusan Park Jam is sponsored by the brothers of the Eta Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. It is the first Park Jam to kick off the Fall semester.

Stepping, as described by Phillana Williams of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is a tribute to African heritage. It is a way that African-Americans preserve their link with the African past. "In Africa," says Raquel Kelly of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., "stepping was a rite of passage for African boys to prove their manhood." Black Greek organizations prove themselves and their love for their fraternity through stepping.

The unique experience of stepping, although it looks fun, is hard work. However, most African-American Greeks interviewed talked more about the benefits of stepping than the hard work. "Stepping is good exercise and it's fun," says Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., President Tanya Kelsaw.

"Most importantly, it draws attention to the organization and encourages the public to support our programs of community service."

Brian Givens of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity agrees with Kelsaw, saying stepping promotes interest in the organization. "Stepping shows creativity and separates each organization by their different styles. It can also help us financially. If an organization's steps are creative enough, the organization can win money in step shows."

African-American students thoroughly enjoy the Park Jams. Brica Burris, junior Biology major, says, "Park Jams bring everyone together. It gives African-American students a chance to socialize and come together as a community."

Derrick L. Carroll of Alpha Phi Alpha hopes this Friday's Park Jam will be a unifying experience.

Each Greek organization has a distinct style that it exhibits while stepping. Williams says her sorority's style of stepping is aggressive and energetic. Her organization steps under the colors red and white.

Givens says his fraternity's style is cool and smooth. They also can be seen wearing red and white.

Kelly says her sorority's style is aggressive, yet feminine. Zeta Phi Beta members step dressed in blue and white.

Kelsaw says her sorority's style of stepping is classy and sassy, with a touch of sophistication. These ladies step under the colors pink and green.

Carroll, of Alpha Phi Alpha, says his fraternity's style of stepping demonstrates the strength, power and creativity of the African-American male -- their colors are black and gold.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Sigma Gamma Rho and Omega Psi Phi are other African-American Greek organizations. Stepping is a way these organizations can come together to show their pride, celebrate their culture and have fun. Park Jams are a vital part of the social experience of African-Americans at UH.

Friday's jam is a likely "stepping stone" for the campus community towards the appreciation of cultural diversity.

 

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TESTER OF COURSES SETS CLUBS, TEES ASIDE TO GIVE TALK

He gets to swing 'em like Johnny Carson, Michael Jordan and Fred Couples.

For a living.

Ron Whitten, author of The Architects of Golf (with Geoffrey Cornish), once practiced law. No Clarence Darrow, he decided to quit trying to be a legal eagle. He did practice in the land of Dorothy and Toto as an assistant district attorney. So he turned to journalism.

Now, of course, he gets to do what most people do not: combine business with pleasure. He plays roughly 50-60 golf courses a year. His complaint: lack of time to play the same course twice.

Whitten's interest in golf course architecture began during a summer Engineering Institute at Northwestern University when he was a teenager. He worked on a golf course maintenance crew during college and even toyed with the idea of becoming a designer after graduation. His interest never waned, despite the fact he chose to go to law school.

He will speak at "A Gathering Of Eagles," a special event that includes a pro-am golf tournament, induction of Texas Golf Hall of Fame members and a seated dinner. Whitten's 20-minute presentation at the event is titled "ArchiTORTURE," and is a whimsical look at golf course features that drive players 'bonkers.' For info, call 364-7270.

 

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ORANGEMANIA

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Late artist Jeff McKissack so loved the orange--a fruit that to him symbolized purity--he built a monument to it.

From the outside, the white stucco exterior looks much like that of a home. Except for the orange-tiled border patterns, green painted wagon wheels and lawn umbrellas positioned high above the stucco walls.

McKissack, considered an eccentric artist who had a penchant for poor man's treasures (read trash or found objects) added embellishments to the once nondescript structure.

The Orange Show.

Visionary artists like McKissack never have a blueprint--their art is never borne out of convention. He never settled on one profession. Once, he thought of establishing a beauty parlor for the fairer sex of Houston. Didn't work out.

He worked as a mailman for a while. During routine stops, he would find some object that attracted his attention.

To enter the shrine to rinds and seeds and pulp, a person must go counterclockwise through a makeshift metal turnstile.

In the 1960s, a strange idea, a virus, invaded his cerebral tissue. He somehow, quite mistakenly, thought the Astrodome -- that colossal space saucer that landed inside the loop -- would steal his business. He projected thousands would enter his creation and fall in love. With the orange.

If he built it, McKissack figured, they would come.

Some have. Many have not. One day, as many as 50 could be marveling at the sight of Miami pastelism on Munger.

He seemed intent on expressing his love for the orange. His choice of a youthful mannequin -- wearing a white satiny bridal gown and a string of pearls -- illustrates his desire to establish the orange as an object worthy of respect.

One hall, placed near an emptied pool once designed for a circling boat, serves almost as a worship area. Maybe for the devoted Orangeidians. Or high priests of vitamin C.

Here, he also assembled what he called Santa's son, a cosmo chic dressed in leprechaun colors, enveloped in polyester. An Indian. A teepee. Plastic oranges. And several witticisms on the subject of oranges.

He loved women. Of course, the ladies' room is the most painstakingly designed of the rooms. Green tiles arranged in soft, feminine design patterns.

He even envisioned having a lady, clad in black, playing compositions with a string instrument.

The color orange competes with a sea of white paint and tiles. But it is noticeable on just about every souvenir. On Minute Maid cups. The walls. The halls. The mannequins. The clowns. The animals. And the fruit.

For all his architectural and artistic expertise, he did make one mistake. He spelled Confucius incorrectly.

But McKissack did have the wisdom, after all, to build a monument to a fruit that symbolizes purity.

 

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INTRAMURALS ARE ON, CONSTRUCTION OR NOT

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The Intramurals Department is set to resume its schedule of events this fall with exhibition flag football on Sept. 10. the flag football season begins the next weekend.

The remainder of events for the fall semester including tennis, soccer, volleyball and basketball.

However, the start of construction on the new athletic facility will pose scheduling problems for the intramurals staff.

"It's an inconvenience. With the building starting this fall it takes some of our space," intramural director Mark Cuhlmann said.

Once the new facility is complete, the indoor facilities should be available for intramurals use.

Until completion, the staff will have a difficult time scheduling events on a dwindling number of facilities.

Tennis will be one of the casualties from the construction. With John Hoff Courts scheduled for early demolition, Cuhlmann said this year's event will be the last for a while.

Singles, doubles and mixed doubles are scheduled for Sept. 17.

Cuhlmann said he is hoping for a continued increase in teams for flag football this season, especially from female entrants.

Men's and women's leagues will be offered and more than 80 entries are expected.

The number of male teams usually far outnumber the female entries and Cuhlmann said he would like to see that change.

"We'd like to get more women involved. We have very few women's teams," Cuhlmann said.

 

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GYM SHORTS

Basketball--

The University of Houston basketball program lost two recruits to academic ineligibility but picked up commitments from two others.

Tim Moore, who was supposed to be attending classes at UH this fall, has instead enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College in Perkinston, Miss.

Moore failed to pass the Texas junior-college proficiency test, but he could become eligible to return to UH for the spring semester.

Also lost for failing the test was forward Jermaine Avie of Eastern Utah.

Houston, though, received verbal commitments from two players from the Houston area.

Adrian Taylor, a 7-1, 302 pound center from Washington High School and power forward Galen Robinson of McArthur agreed verbally to play for first-year coach Alvin Brooks at UH.

Robinson (6-8, 245), an All-Greater Houston selection, is rated one of the top three prospects in the state and top 50 in the nation.

Tow former players, Charles "Bo" Outlaw and Margo Graham, have taken their talents overseas.

Outlaw, who led the nation in field goal percentage during his two years at UH, signed a three-year contract with a team in Madrid, Spain, after failing to be drafted by the NBA.

Graham, who led the Southwest Conference last season in rebounding average (8.9) and blocked shots (37), signed with a team in Ankara, Turkey.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Football--

Head coach Kim Helton was pleased with the team's practice two days before the Cougars head to Los Angeles to play Southern Cal on Saturday.

"We kinda looked like we knew what we were doing a couple times," he said.

Sherman Smith, who led the nation in receptions last season, watched from the sidelines while nursing his bruised foot, although Helton said Smith is probable for Saturday's game.

Of more concern is the status of left corner John W. Brown, also out with a foot injury. Helton, not sounding optimistic, said Brown is questionable for the game.

Also up in the air is the place kicking job. Helton was still unsure if Trace Craft, the incumbent, or Auburn transfer Jason Stoft would be the first-stringer. A decision will probably be made during Saturday's warm-up in Los Angeles, Helton said.

 

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20 YEARS LATER, STEELEY DAN BACK BETTER THAN EVER

by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

Love 'em or loathe 'em; Steely Dan is one of those bands that leaves little room for middle ground.

Although they haven't toured together in nearly 20 years, the duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker is on the road again, no doubt spurred on by the success of Fagen's latest solo release (which Becker produced) and the current wave of '70s nostalgia sweeping the country.

At its mid-'70s peak, the band melded jazz and pop, brubeck and bebop, in a four-minute mix of flawless studio wizardry. At its worst, Steely Dan produced bland uninspiring little ditties that seemed to fly straight off the record and onto the nearest "soft hits" radio playlist.

Their first record released in "72, <I>Can't But A Thrill<P>, wowed critics and won listeners. <I>Thrill<P> combined the technical proficiency of progressive rock with the ease of listening characteristic of bubble bum pop. Steely Dan seemed able to produce a musical subtlety unheard of since the intricate studio workings of the Beatles.

<I>Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied<P> and <I>The Royal Scam<P> followed in rapid succession, producing several hits along the way, including "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." It was '77's <I>Aja<P>, however, that secured Steely Dan's place in music history.

Clocking in at under 40 minutes with a mere seven songs, <I>Aja<P> is as sleek as pop music is ever likely to get. Every song, from the hazy break-up blues of "Black Cow" to the ebullient star-worship of "Peg," shines with confident musicianship.

After one final studio release -- the likeable but ultimately uninspiring <I>Gaucho<P> -- the duo went their separate ways with Fagen releasing his first solo album, <I>The Nightfly<P>, in '82.

Left to his own devices, Fagen allowed the record to careen off course. Although it generated interest, <I>Nightfly<P> fell victim to bad timing. A music world caught up in the beginnings of a British "new wave" onslaught was ultimately not ready to digest Fagen's '50s nostalgia, as typified by songs like "New Frontier."

By the mid-'80s both Fagen and Becker had dropped out of sight with Fagen only briefly resurfacing to lend a hand with New York Rock and Soul Review.

This year, however, saw the full-fledged comeback of not only Fagen -- with the release of his second solo record, <I>Kamakiriad<P>-- but also the long-defunct Steely Dan with their first U.S. tour since the early '70s.

Both avowed studio musicians, it seems unlikely that pair will ever pull off a tour of this magnitude again, so Steely Dan buffs had better catch them while they can.

Steely Dan will play this Friday and Saturday at the Woodlands.

 

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RUINED IS PLEASANT FUN

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

Lately, punk rock musicians-turned-spoken word artists have become quite plentiful. Consider Hen Rollins (ex-Black Flag) or Lydia Lunch (ex-Teenage Jesus and the Jerks) or Jello Biafra (ex-Dead Kennedys). Here comes another one.

Musician, artist and writer Pleasant Gehman turns in an interesting as well as distinctive performance on <I>Ruined<P>, a new release from New Alliance Records. Gehman, former singer for the Los Angeles-based Screaming Sirens, opines less than she paints vivid vignettes of society's subcultures. She is less a confrontationalist than she is an artist looking for a listener.

<I>Ruined<P> is a continuous tape loop of lives and loves, fantasies and fears. Like many other spoken word artists, Gehman draws from a checkered past. Hers includes stints as a bartender, clown, belly dancer and costume restorer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her brief job as a stripper is no doubt fodder for future pieces.

Much of the work is semi-autobiographical, as Gehman tells about the worlds she explores in her transformation from flower child ("Season of the Witch") to glam-rock kid ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow") and surveyor of the seedy ("Las Estrellas"). Pieces like "Working Girl" and "The Wild West Club" give us a rare glimpse of the despair in the lives of those euphemistically referred to as "exotic dancers."

Some of the work is utterly unoriginal. "Contents of Purse, January 1992" and "What I Got For My Birthday, March 17, 1992" are exactly what their titles imply. Other parts of the recording are amusing by virtue of Gehman's story-telling powers.

Gehman utilizes a wide variety of vocal impersonations to bring the stories to fruition. "Queen of the Three Clubs," the story of a broken call girl's afternoon waiting for tricks, would not be as amusing -- or sad -- unless the voices were changed. Gehman has a talent for making those voices come alive in a way that brings the characters into your living room.

Pieces like "Esther's Room -- Hangover -- Esther's Room Revisited" and "Red Devil" are clearly more spatial than anything else. Other stuff, like "White Trash Apocalypse" (a rural woman's end-of-the-world fantasy), and "Known Your Drug Addicts; Parts I, II and III," (with lines like, "the '90s, neo-Gothic, environmentalist, alternative scene, second-generation Deadhead/fave hangout; loft parties, art gallery openings -- preferably those with free food and wine, in the crowd at any outdoor event, especially those with life, amplified music, crafts, booths and a political slant") are hilarious.

Gehman can be touching with work like "The Man Upstairs," a yarn about an animal trainer in his last days, and "They Lived Across The Street," about neighbors Gehman had when she was young. That she can change styles easily is pretty nice, as the narrow field of spoken word goes.

<I>Ruined<P> might be a good introduction to what spoken word is about for those unprepared for the sardonic wit of Rollins or Lunch's acid-test abrasiveness.

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