by Kenny McIntire

News Reporter

With this year bringing the most brutal job market in two decades, the UH Career Planning and Placement Center may give students the advantage needed to succeed.

CPPC offers counseling, job placement and internships to both new students and upperclassmen.

About 78 percent of the students who use the service find a job despite decreasing numbers of companies recruiting at UH, said David Small, director of CPPC.

"These resources give students a better chance of finding jobs," Small said. "But we (CPPC) are not widely known or used by the students."

CPPC has introduced more programs in anticipation of increased participation by students because of the tight job market, Small said.

Help Wanted, USA allows students to job hunt from the Sunday want ads of 64 major U.S. metropolitan newspapers.

The new Companies International program provides a CD-ROM database that lists more than 240,000 companies from all over the world. UH is one of the first schools in the nation to receive this hardware, Small said.

KiNexus is an on-line system that allows potential employers to access students' resumes by computer.

This system is being used by only one third of the undergraduate population, Small said.

"I feel that this is one of the most untapped resources that we have available," Small said.






by Matt Waterwall

News Reporter

Volunteer and non-profit organizations on campus recently came to campus to challenge students to take a more active role in community service.

The third annual Volunteer and career Opportunity Festival, sponsored by the Career Planning and Placement Center and the Metropolitan Volunteer Program, was held Wednesday in the UC Arbor. More than 60 volunteer organizations and social service groups such as Goodwill, The March of Dimes and The United Way were on hand along with various animal rights and environmental groups and agencies.

Betty Brown, Coordinator of Alumni Service said, "The festival was designed to help students find out about the different opportunities and careers that are available in community service." Freshman, Lara Peres said, "I have wanted to volunteer for a long time but until now did not know where to start. The festival has presented many options to me and now I have to narrow the possibilities."

Luz Flores, human resource manager for the United Way said, "We like to be associated with the university. There is a great source of quality volunteers available here." Flores went on to say that the United Way had received more than 80 resumes during the festival.

Jon Harris, a graduate of UH Clear Lake, came to the festival in search of job.

"I was a volunteer for many years in a shelter for abused women and their children and found it very rewarding to work in community service. I would like to get back into a program where I can make a difference," Harris said.

Although Adriane McPherson, public relations director for the Houston Humane Society, did not get her job through volunteering, she did say that her past experience as a volunteer has helped a great deal in her career.

For more information on opportunities in volunteer organizations contact Betty Brown at the Career Planning and Placement Center at 743-5100 or the Metropolitan Volunteer Program at 743-5200.






by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

Students are running into money problems because a computer error caused a delay in the processing of their financial aid checks.

With the fourth week of the semester coming to an end, 150 to 175 students still have not received their grant and scholarship money for the semester. Officials cannot agree on the exact cause of the problem.

Phyllis Bradley, UH Bursar, said she was unaware there was even a problem until students came in to ask why they had not received their money.

"We had no idea there was a problem with students receiving their checks until last week," said Bradley.

Originally, Bradley said the problem stemmed from the UH Systems Office having the computers down longer than normal to perform the year-end closing.

However, Linda Bright, associate vice chancellor and controller for UH, said the system was not down long enough to interrupt the normal processing and mailing of checks.

"The computer system was never technically down," said Bright.

"The system was off-line for three days longer than normal because we were implementing the new statewide accounting system," she said.

Bright also said when the system is off-line it still receives information but cannot process it. She said the delay came from the Bursar's Office missing the Sept. 9 "feed cycle."

The information sent in a feed cycle begins when a student is awarded financial aid. When they come in and sign paperwork accepting their financial aid award, the Financial Aid Office sends the information to the Bursar's Office.

The Bursar processes this information and sends it to the Systems Office.

When the process is working properly, the System takes the information, processes it, cuts the checks and mails them.

Margaret Hauk, a computer specialist for finance and accounting, said the feed cycle was missed because the program died in the middle of being processed.

"Our log shows the feed cycle started at 9:24 a.m. and never finished. We have no idea why. It just died," said Hauk.

Bradley said the computers showed that the feed went through and was received, but Bright said their computers showed the feed was never received.

Bradley was stymied by the problem. "Nobody received any error warnings," she said.

Part of the Sept. 9 feed cycle was processed Wednesday and the rest was processed Thursday. Bradley said the first checks from that cycle were mailed Thursday morning.

Many students unlucky enough to be "lost in the shuffle" have encountered financial problems.

"I haven't even been able to buy my books yet, and if I don't receive my check by next week I won't be able to pay rent either," said Joyce Williams, an undeclared sophomore.

Since neither office realized there was a computer error, students were told the checks had already been mailed.

"The office told me my check had already been mailed over two weeks ago and now they tell me the check is here. Meanwhile, I can't buy all my books," said Christian Twamley, a graduate student in the Optometry Department.

Bright said this is the first time, that she knows of, that student checks have gotten lost in the system.






by Tammy Gamble

Daily Cougar Staff

An attempt by some faculty members to find a new home for their department was denied.

The majority of the History Department is upset with an administrative decision to keep the department in the Humanities and Fine Arts and Communications College rather than moving it to the College of Social Sciences.

An overwhelming majority of the History Department voted during the spring semester to request that President James Pickering include the moving request as part of the university reshaping document, Dr. Thomas O'Brien, chairman of the History Department, said.

"I think as long as we have the current administration, we will stay in Humanities and Fine Arts," Robert Palmer, Cullen professor of history and law, said.

The recent trend among major universities is to include history in the Social Sciences College rather than HFAC, he said.

The majority of the history professors at UH concentrate in social science fields such as economics or law, Palmer said.

"The UH history professors are much more in tune with Social Sciences rather than Humanities and Fine Arts," Palmer said.

History professors would benefit more in the Social Sciences College because of the research and teaching interest, said O'Brien.

The professors would work better in the social sciences environment where the disciplines are more structured, rather than in the diverse HFAC environment, O'Brien added. "The history professors here use the same techniques as the social scientists," he said.

The request was denied, in part, because of budgetary constraints, Dr. James Pipkin, HFAC dean, said. Dean Harrell Rodgers said the Social Sciences College would need additional funds for the History Department to be moved, Pipkin said. Rodgers was unavailable for comment.

"Dr. O'Brien said $150,000 in base funding for teaching assistants would be needed to make the move," Pipkin said. O'Brien met with Pickering, Pipkin, Provost Glen Aumann and history professor Joseph Pratt on Sept. 8 and was told the funds were unavailable for the move.

The university provides the History Department with approximately 25 teaching assistants each semester. The department is assured of half of the teaching assistants; however, the department has to ask for the others after the semester begins, Palmer said, so the second half of teaching assistant are not guaranteed.

Dr. Lawrence Curry, assistant dean of HFAC and a history professor, said he voted against the move because he said the department is better off in HFAC. "To make the move worthwhile the money would need to allocated to Social Sciences," Curry said.

History generates a large amount of revenue for HFAC, since students are required to take history courses. The other HFAC disciplines, besides English, are mainly just specialty disciplines which students choose to enroll in, said...

Palmer said the revenue income also played a role in the decision. "If history left, HFAC would lose revenue. Some (revenue) serves to underwrite other programs in HFAC," Palmer said.

Pipkin said intellectual arguments went into the decision also. While he agrees many history departments have moved more towards the social sciences, the UH History Department should still be able to work together with the social science disciplines across college lines, Pipkin said.






by shane patrick boyle

Daily Cougar Staff

Forget your preconceptions about cartoons. Animation is an artform.

If you need convincing (or if you're well aware that animation is an artform and just need to know where to go to see some good animation) check out <I>The 23rd International Tournee of Animation<P> at the Rice Media Center this weekend.

This film, from Expanded Entertainment, features a sampling of animation from around the world.

This is not the mush you get on Saturday mornings (and weekday afternoons) or on Ted Turner's Cartoon Network.

And don't worry these aren't the glorified toy commercials you may be used to seeing (though there is an interesting tribute to 12-inch GI Joes).

These shorts run the gamut, providing a smorgasborg of animation techniques (from claymation to photocopy animation) and themes from several animators (and no, none of them work for Disney, although a couple of these shorts were prepared for <I>Sesame Street<P>).

Most of them have a surreal quality. As is to be expected in any compilation, there is a mix. Not all these animators are awesome.

Some of them simply present an exercise in technique with an art-for-arts-sake pretensiousness, but others are very entertaining, and a few are even thought-provoking.

"Potato Hunter" by Timothy Lee Hittle is a delightful vegetarian's nightmare (Imagine having to hunt for your potatoes like they did in the old days.), "Capital P" by Stephen Barnes looks at the nightmare every kid faces (don't forget to flush after this one) and "Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions" by Henry Selick takes an ironic look at the way people who are different treat other people who are different.

Check it out for yourself this weekend. Showtimes are Friday at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. (conveniently scheduled so you don't have to miss any other cartoons), but hurry; this is the only weekend it's showing.






by Andrew Nicolaou

Daily Cougar Staff

The story of the women who people <I>The Joy Luck Club<P> is one of drama for Wang, a story that he he said he found both individually and universally tragic. Of equal importance, however, is how Wang himself said he related to the story.

"I wanted to make the movie very personal, because it's about people, yet at the same time it's about history, it's very big," Wang said. "It's about a war that was very devastating to China; a lot of people died or lost their kids or whatever.

"I feel like I'm in the same position as the daughters in the film in that I'm very lucky," Wang added. "My life has been very happy -- there have been no big wars, I have no big tragedies. I've never suffered, really. I'm very selfish and I think I have a lot to learn."

Wang said he even sees himself in a similar situation to that shared by the film's characters Lindo and Waverly. Lindo, Waverly's mother, believes her daughter, who strives for perfection, looks down on her.

"I identify myself with the Lindo/Waverly story because my father is a very strong person, very dominant, a lot of expectations, and also very quiet," Wang said. "He never says exactly what he's feeling."

Adapting Amy Tan's novel to the big screen presented a plethora of difficulties for Wang. Paramount had to persuade Tan, who was preoccupied with the possible shortcomings of her book's translation to film, to allow Wang to make the film.

Once that was accomplished, Ronald Bass, winner of an Oscar for <I>Rainman<P>, was enlisted to help Tan write the screenplay, her first, on the condition that he be allowed to use voiceovers extensively throughout the film.

The voiceovers were used to help the audience find its way through the numerous narratives presented in the film -- though they are almost certain to annoy some cinema purists. In fact, Wang said he too had some concerns about their use throughout the movie.

"On one hand I knew I had to use the voiceover to such a large extent because the movie is so complicated. I needed to be direct as possible to avoid any confusion," he noted. "On the other hand, if there are any disagreements between Amy, Ron, and myself, it's over how much voiceover. I myself think that there is a little bit too much and if I had to do this movie over, I would rethink some of the voiceover.

"I know there are purists in screenwriting that hate voiceover, but it is there, so why shouldn't it be used sometimes," he added.

<I>The Joy Luck Club<P> found its executive producer in director Oliver Stone, a man Wang referred to with a grin as "a wild man." At one time, though, the relationship between Stone and Wang was not nearly as amicable as it is now .

"When <I>Dim Sum<P> came out at the same time as <I>Year of the Dragon<P> (which Stone co-wrote), I accused him of making a racist film. So he said that if Chinese people were like the Chinese people in <I>Dim Sum<P> they would be most boring people on Earth," explained Wang. "I said that if Chinese people were like the Chinese people in <I>Year of the Dragon<P>, they'd be the most violent and evil people on Earth. So we had a fight at the time but we worked a lot of that out."

<I>The Joy Luck Club<P>, while never graphic, is still a hard movie for any but the most cynical to absorb with its epic tragedies. While the film contains some profanity (including the four-letter word that those under 17 aren't supposed to hear at the movies), it received an R-rating. But because the film lacks scenes of sex and violence, Wang said he had mixed emotions concerning the MPAA's (Motion Picture Association of America) rating.

"The person who gave us the R-rating was the most unhappy. He couldn't sleep that night," Wang said. "He wanted people to see it but said he had to give it an R-rating because there are some scenes which are so strong.

"If some parents said their 11-year-old child went to see the movie and somebody in the movie killed a baby, it's very dangerous," Wang said. "In one sense I am upset, in another I'm not. I don't really agree with the MPAA, I think there needs to be another category."

Much of the visual beauty of the film can be attributed to the fact that nearly a third of the movie was shot on location in China. Although this resulted in some stunning footage, it presented some problems for Wang and his crew.

On one occasion, an old woman brandished a machete at the film's art director and another misunderstanding very nearly precipitated a full-blown riot.

"Shooting in China was very difficult because the Western style of making movies is very different from that of China," Wang said. "They did not understand why time was so important for us. If we don't work one day,we lose $100,000. They can say 'well, we don't feel like working today, we'll work tomorrow.' "






by Sean Rainer

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars men's cross country team will travel to San Antonio Saturday to compete in what can best be described as a test.

With with only two returning lettermen, a transfer and a host of true freshmen, this 12-member team lacks experience.

"I don't know what to expect from these guys," said head coach Howie Ryan . "We're going to be looking at this weekend as a learning experience."

Team captain Shedrick Traylor, a five-year senior, said he is impressed with the new talent. He expects a strong showing at Saturday's University of Texas at San Antonio Invitational.

"We have a good chance of winning or at least placing second," said Traylor, who placed fourth at Texas A&M last year in a second through seventh place Houston sweep. "We have a lot of new faces, I'm interested to see how we do."

The new faces include Oregon transfer Oscar Torres, a junior who Traylor considers to be the team's top runner; Wayne Newsom, junior; Matt Moran and Joakium Torres, both freshmen. These runners should give the Cougars a balanced team.

"Most of our runners are interchangeable," Traylor said. "We have about seven real strong runners whereas most teams only have about three."

Although admittedly a young team, coach Ryan said that being the underdog in the Southwest Conference could actually work in his team's favor.

"Nobody thinks much of us right now," Ryan said. "I think we could come up and surprise some people."

The cross country team has finished among the top three in the conference for four of the last five years.

Meets like the one this Saturday, are the team's preparation for the main meet at the end of the season, explained Ryan

"Our main goal is to prepare for the conference meet at the end of the year," he said. "We should be at least a factor this year, or if not, then definitely next year."

After a disappointing finish in the conference meet last year, the cross country team will be looking for their own version of a "New Beginning." This Saturday's run could serve as the litmus test for the rest of the year.

"Hopefully, this will be our best meet," Traylor said. "I think that we have real chance of winning the whole thing."






by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Laughed out of Ann Arbor, Mich., last year after a 61-7 drubbing by the Wolverines, Houston (0-2) is being ridiculed once again. But this time it's the oddsmakers doing the laughing.

The 54-point margin of defeat was the worst in the school's history. This year, the Las Vegas number crunchers found their soft side and are spotting the Cougars 20 1/2 points in making them 33 1/2-point underdogs to Michigan (1-1).

It's not the only blowout expected on Saturday, but it is the largest. Are there good reasons for this? Yes, many.

Houston's defense, expected to be better this year, has become suspect after allowing 49 points to Southern Cal and 38 points to Tulsa.

If the defense continues this trend, it will break the school mark of 35.1 points given up per game by last year's unit.

Michigan head coach Gary Moeller seems to think it will.

"I see them much the same team, particularly their defensive unit," he said.

If that's true, Houston should give up the 537 total yards (279 rushing), 28 first downs and 35 second-quarter points it gave up last year and would have to remain on the field for at least 37:49 of the 60-minute game.

Houston head coach Kim Helton said one football observer told him his team would lose 85-0.

"The reality of the fact is they're favored," Helton said. "I know whose team I'm rooting for. Most people who go to Michigan are underdogs. Notre Dame was an underdog."

True enough, but the Fighting Irish weren't 33 1/2 point underdogs, which says a lot about the amount of respect sent Houston's way.

But Helton said he understands the meaning behind the point spread.

"You realize where their (Michigan's) program is at and certainly they should be favored," he said. "We're not as big or talented as they are. We don't have 105,000 fans to take to the stadium with us."

And Houston doesn't have the home dominance the Wolverines enjoy.

Michigan hasn't lost consecutive home games since Moeller's first year as head coach in 1990 and before that since 1967.

Having Tyrone Wheatley doesn't hurt either.

The 6-1, 225-pound tailback is the sixth-best rusher in the nation. He has 40 carries for 263 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. The Wolverines are 8-1-1 when he rushes for more than 100 yards.

Wheatley also had 318 all-purpose yards against Notre Dame (146 rushing, 39 receiving, 133 on kickoff returns), which does not bode well for the Cougar defense or special teams.

Then there's Houstonian wide receiver Mercury Hayes and quarterback Todd Collins. Collins has connected with Hayes 14 times for 201 yards and three TDs.

"They have a lot of weapons," Helton said. "You can be hurt by any of them. I don't know if you get people like that stopped. You just try to get them contained."

The Cougars will attempt to find what sort of weapon they have in probable starting freshman quarterback Chuck Clements, who played the second half of the Sept. 11 Tulsa game when Jimmy Klingler injured his ankle.

Clements showed promise going 19-of-29 passing for 159 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Golden Hurricane.

"I hope I can go back and look at my mistakes and not make the bad reads and the bad throws that I did," Clements said. "The (offensive) line did a great job. I have to find the open receiver."






by Gram Gemoets

Contributing Writer

To keep UH competitive in the marketplace, the College of Business Administration may soon become the training ground for a new generation of entrepreneurs. The Marketing Department will introduce a new area of concentration titled entrepreneurship, one of the first of its kind at the undergraduate level.

The new major will teach students how to start, operate and profit from a business venture.

The courses will require the development of a business idea through several steps known as mock implementation, said Dale Toney, entrepreneurship program director.

"Say your idea was to open a storefront and you needed a location. Through our program you would approach a leasing agent and discuss rental terms," said Toney.

"Because this is a trial, you would be able to go back and talk about the fudge-factors of their proposal," said Toney. A fudge-factor is a term for how much you were overcharged because of your inexperience.

"Before we can go ahead with all this, we must seek the approval for a new major," said Toney.

An entrepreneurship major would be required to complete a series of six courses in marketing, finance, tax orientation and venture capital instruction (funding for a new business)," said Toney.

The first in this series to be listed in the current course catalog is Marketing 4397. This is a special topics course that weeds out those not serious about the program, Toney said.

"We have started with 60-80 students in this first course," Marketing Department Director Keith Cox said.

"From this pool, only about 30 will make the final cut and follow the next step into the next class," Toney said.

By December, Cox said he will approach UH board members with a full report requesting approval for the new major.

"A course change is very routine but requesting a new degree is not routine at all and it is going to take some time to implement," said Cox.

Although many agree it is time for a change, few say a change to the current system will be an easy thing to do, Toney said.

However, UH has been receptive to what is now termed the Houston System. The Houston System will serve as a pilot program and possibly act as a national role model, Toney said.

"Computers are replacing many jobs yet universities are still using the same old teaching methods," said Toney. "At one time, Forbes 500 companies hired 80 percent of business graduates. Now that hiring figure is somewhere below 10 percent."

Toney likens the university system to a company which produces a commodity. "If the company doesn't produce something that is needed, it goes bankrupt. The same is true with our educational process," said Toney.

"Education needs to be fitted to the marketplace and teaching entrepreneurship is a step in that direction," Toney said.

With this new degree program, UH will better prepare students to enter the marketplace as both employers and employees, said Cox.

Without full UH recognition, the Center for Entrepreneurship is functioning on a "bootlegged budget," said Cox.

Bootlegged does not refer to an illegal use of funds but stretching use of existing funds, said Cox.

Marketing 4397, the first course in the proposed series, relies heavily on the generosity of the business community at large. Houston businessman and UH benefactor LeRoy Melcher has pledged financial support until the center receives final funding approval, he said.






by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

Students who can't get into the language classes in German, Spanish or French might give Japanese a shot.

Three years ago UH gave students the opportunity to take first-year Japanese. Since then, the program has been upgraded to two years, and classes are getting too big to handle for their only professor -- Helen Tatsuko Nakamoto.

"I have 35 students in my elementary Japanese class. That's a little too big for a language class, and I don't know how many students I turned down," Nakamoto said.

"We just cannot have any more."

She said her classes are diverse with students from many nationalities.

"I have students (ranging) from Spanish to Slavic backgrounds," Nakamoto said.

"Eighteen of the 35 students are Asian. People think that because we look alike, we can all understand each other. But they are different languages."

Many students who didn't take their mother tongue of Japanese seriously when they were younger are now re-learning the language, Nakamoto said.

"They are glad that they are taking the language now because they can communicate with their grandparents."

Students can master the language, Nakamoto said.

"If I said it was easy, it wouldn't be true, but the language structure is simpler than many languages," she said.

"It's just different. Whoever attempts to learn Japanese has to have good motivation."

"With commitment and determination, the language is not out of reach."

Nakamoto said she is grateful to UH for giving students the opportunity to take Japanese, and she's hoping that the university will soon add a third- year class.

"When we add a third year we will be in good shape," she said.

Students should look into the possibility of taking Japanese as a second language because everyone should be at least bilingual, Nakamoto said.

She said Japanese as a second language doesn't just have to be geared toward the students who are pursuing a business degree.

High-tech fields such as the computer industry are also in need of employees who speak Japanese.

Japanese classes are offered by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages in the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication.






by Rashda Khan

Daily Cougar Staff

Jean Franco epitomizes the word multicultural. She is a 70-year-old Briton who teaches at Columbia University in Brooklyn, New York, specializes in Latin American culture and quotes a Bangladeshi woman.

At Columbia University, Franco is the director of the Institute of Latin American and Iberian Studies and a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

She has written several books and articles analyzing literature and it's depiction of Latin American society.

She has chaired Stanford University's Department of Spanish and Portuguese, consulted to television programs on Latin America culture and helped found the Society of Latin American studies in Great Britain.

Although it's apparent that Franco is a veteran on Latin American culture, she said her journey into the field didn't happen by choice.

Franco's marriage to a Guatamelan first led her to South America. Guatamela was unimaginably different from the England she grew up in, she said.

Franco moved straight into the patriarchal household of her in-laws, where many of the freedoms she had previously enjoyed, disappeared.

"I needed permission to look out of the windows even," she said.

Within 6 months of her move, the Guatamela government was brought down by a U.S. funded invasion. She saw friends become refugees as a semi-military government took over Guatamela.

"Society and culture in most third-world countries are more vital, unpredictable, and that is what makes them so interesting," she said.

While in Guatamela, Franco met Alaieda Foppa, founder of one of the first women's movements in Latin America. After the military took over, Foppa fled the country.

Franco said that when Foppa returned to Guatamela to visit her mother, she disappeared and was probably tortured and killed.

"It's surprising how some things (like) the women's movement can be so precarious (and) dangerous in some countries," Franco said.

Upon her return to England, Franco began to work in Latin American literature, trying to make Britain recognize the importance of the Latino culture.

Franco said because South America was so far from England, her task wasn't easy.

However, she said the Cuban revolution, which focussed international attention on Latin America, made her work much easier. Political reaction made interest in Latin America spring up almost overnight, she said.

Although, people generally tend to concentrate on the problems of the third-world or socialist and communist regimes, there's a big crisis in the non-communist nations as well -- social justice and education, Franco said.

She notes that free enterprise can't tackle all problems when people are forced to consider questions of ethics.

"Questions like homelessness and AIDS can't be solved by a miraculous market," Franco said.

Even though third-world countries with their limited resources don't have welfare states or social security plans, they must work to solve their problems, she said.

Franco views multi-cultural literacy as essential. Courses covering multiple cultures should be included in every university because communities are continuously growing globally, she said.

She applaudes cultural diversity and says it is especially important in richly ethnic areas such as Houston.

Emphasizing her point, Franco quotes her Bangladeshi friend Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak, "People who are not literate in global matters are going to be the great ignoramuses of tomorrow."


Visit The Daily Cougar