WHAT A GREAT YEAR FOR THOSE IN SOCIAL WORK

by Parul Shah

Contributing Writer

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work has several 1993 accomplishments they want to brag about.

Last spring, the first class of the students with master's degree were graduated from the only program in the nation to offer an advanced concentration in political social work, said Karen Haynes, dean of the school.

This political social work program trains students in policy analysis, Haynes said.

A strong advocate of the new program, Haynes has co-authored the book, <I>Affecting Change - Social Workers in the Political Arena<P>.

Haynes said this program also benefits students not drawn to politics.

"(These students) possess the necessary skills for working with groups where empowerment is really the issue," Haynes said.

"These people work with organizations serving people such as battered women, the disabled and neighborhood or tenant associations."

This year the school will also have the first group of doctoral students beginning their training in a social work Ph.D. program that was approved last year, Haynes said.

What is in store for the school?

"(We'd like to) attract more minority students to the master's program to increase the number of students with bilingual skills," Haynes said.

In order to do this, the school needs more endowments for minority scholarships, she said.

Haynes said that their minority goal only pertains to the master's level because half of the doctoral program already consists of minority students.

Another goal for the school includes retaining more students to serve as educators for UH, she said.

The social work department, which is one of four programs in Texas, is focusing on their accomplishments and future goals during their 25th anniversary.

Celebrations began in mid-September with a musical gala that featured the Hull House Revival Group.

Focusing on issues such as feminism and decay in urban cities, the gala didn't feature average songs found on the radio, said Susan Robbins, associate professor in Social Work and Hull House Revival singer.

The school also plans to continue to celebrate their anniversary by hosting various lectures and symposiums throughout the '93-94 school year.

 

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SA RAGING BITTER BUDGET BATTLE

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Students' Association narrowly passed a bill that would put into effect SA's 1993-94 budget and eliminate its $15,660 full time administrative secretary. SA President Jason Fuller, who wants to keep the secretary, said during Monday's meeting that he will veto the bill.

The vote passed 10 to 9 with 4 abstentions. The vote was originally split, but Speaker of the Senate Coy Wheeler cast the deciding vote. If Fuller vetos the bill, a two-thirds vote will be needed to override him. Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication senator Justin McMurtry said the support isn't there for an override. If the bill is not passed by Oct. 1 all SA spending will be frozen.

SA Bill 30-007, which is the seventh draft of the original bill introduced by executive administration, asks that SA add two student workers to replace the existing SA executive secretary. According to chair of the Internal Affairs Committee Greg Propes, the purpose of eliminating the secretary is to save money in the SA budget, which is funded by student service fees. The executive secretary's salary takes about 17 percent of SA's budget.

A previous copy of the bill asked that the secretary be replaced by one student who would work 20 hours a week. In this bill, the student would be paid $5.46 an hour. Propes said after complaints by SA administration that the 20 hours a week would not be sufficient and that students would not want to work for the amount offered, the Internal Affairs Committee amended the bill.

The present bill includes two part-time students who would be paid $6.00 an hour. Propes said the earlier bill would have saved $17,000. The newly passed bill, Propes said, will save $8,000. The drastic reduction in savings is due to the hourly raise given toward the student worker positions and to IAC's promise to keep the executive secretary thru Oct. 1.

The bill's opponents say students will not be responsible enough for the job and will not provide the continuity that a full-time worker would.

"When students take finals, are they going to be there for all of their hours? What about Easter, Christmas and summer vacation?" asked senator at large Gavin Kaszynski.

He added that the pro-bill senators were underestimating the duties of the secretary by thinking that a part timer could thoroughly devote themselves to SA. He said he feared SA would have to hire someone new every six months.

Kaszynski added that SA has a large reserve from last year's budget and that they have been "fiscally responsible." "At the rate we're going, we are going to reduce till we are non-existent," he said.

Supporters of the bill believe SA should include students by hiring them and that full-time secretaries are not always continuous.

"We have had three secretaries in the past three years," said Propes against the continuity argument.

"Is the efficiency worth $8,000?" he asked.

McMurtry said the savings could be used for his proposed textbook database exchange, which would provide a system for students to purchase used books from each other for cheaper prices.

"The budget as originally introduced by the administration would leave no money for services and programs, only for payroll and operations," said McMurtry.

Fuller said he will call a special SA meeting to veto the bill.

 

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UH VIOLATING WASTE LABELING LAW

by Kevin Patton

Contributing Writer

Violations of national, state and local hazardous waste regulations were found on campus at the Hazardous Waste division of the UH Environmental and Physical Safety Department.

Toxic waste, stored at a satellite storage facility in the basement of the Fleming Building and the hazardous waste facility next to the General Services Building, did not have the mandated accumulation start dates on some bottles, in violation of EPA, Texas Natural Resource Commission (TNRCC, formerly the Texas Water Commission), and UH Hazardous Chemical policies.

Bottles of Perchloric acid and Butonal Saturated, among others, did not have accumulation start dates. Two bottles of Butonal Saturated were not labeled within the satellite accumulation area.

"It's not going to kill you, immediately. They just need to get rid of it. It's an accident waiting to happen," said Nicholas Couté, a graduate chemical engineering student.

The violated regulation, cited in section (a)(2) of the 40 CFR (the EPA's regulation manual) Ch.1, 262.34, states, "The date upon which each period of accumulation begins is clearly marked and visible for inspection on each container."

Although collection by EPSD is frequent, without a start date it may be impossible to discern when accumulation began. Without that knowledge, the EPSD may fail to comply with the regulation requiring EPSD to remove the waste within 180 days, according to the 40 CFR.

"We may handle about 10,000 bottles a year out there, if one of them or several of them don't have the date or the sticker on them, I will admit that is possible," said Tim Ryan, director of the Environmental and Physical Safety Department.

"If it's in the lab, yeah, it can sit there for ten years, in fact for life. But if it's a disposal waste, it needs to be dated," said Matthew Chun, investigator for the TNRCC.

These regulations were passed in the '70s to make organizations accountable for hazardous waste and to prevent the midnight dumping of hazardous waste.

The system that monitors the treatment of toxic waste disposal is largely self reporting. The EPA and the TNRCC do make routine inspections. Since Ryan has been here, however, the hazardous waste facility has not been inspected.

"When I came here two years ago I had my own concerns about it (treatment of hazardous waste). I felt it was a problem. I communicated that up the chain. The people who provide resources gave me the money to take care of the problem," Ryan said.

When Ryan first began in 1991 he received $80,000 from the administration to upgrade his department, and since has received all moneys petitioned for. He has pushed for many changes in the EPSD waste treatment program.

For instance, all handlers of hazardous waste must take a course in chemical safety given by the EPSD. In addition, before Ryan took over there was no manual regarding the handling of biohazardous, chemical or radioactive waste. He has recently upgraded the Hazardous Waste Facility, he said.

Once the EPSD is called to collect waste, the sticker must be placed on each container and filled out. A form must also accompany the bottle which identifies the chemical, its pH level, its chemical state, and the amount of the chemical.

After the EPSD has received the chemical, they decide whether it is waste or can be recycled.

Including reclaimed British Thermal Units, the EPSD is able to recycle up to 33% of their waste.

The EPSD also has a chem-swap program which allows scientists a chance to claim some of the otherwise useless chemicals set for disposal. The chemicals are listed in a quarterly newsletter produced by the EPSD.

"It's really a win-win situation. We don't have to handle the material as a hazardous waste. It's a hazardous chemical, but it's not a waste -- it has value."

To Ryan's knowledge UH has never been fined by either the EPA or the TNRCC.

"It's our advice to be cautious. It's not like we're mixing up chocolate chip cookies." Said Ryan.

 

 

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AUDIENCE KEY TO BLACK MOVIE SUCCESS

by Makini Tchameni

Contributing Writer

In a crowded Texas Southern University auditorium Thursday, actor and film director Mario Van Peebles said African-American movie goers must give more box office support to African-American film makers if their films are to make it to the big screen.

After the success of his critically acclaimed film <I>New Jack City<P>, which grossed $50 million for Warner Brothers at the box office, Van Peebles said he was under the illusion that he could do any kind of film he wanted.

Instead, he met production executives wanting more films about the ‘hood, drugs and violence. Suggestions like <I>New Jack Comes Again<P> and <I>New Jack Shoots the Hood<P> came from film executives interested in financing another Van Peebles film, he said.

"Now in the film industry, there is a lot of pressure on African-American film makers to stay in the ‘hood," Van Peebles said.

One reason Van Peebles gave for this trend is that most European-American producers feel comfortable with the image of gang violence and black-on-black crime, yet are more reluctant about financing African-American films that deal with African middle-class life in America or African history, he said.

"Once the film leaves the ‘hood, (European-American producers) will impose their own values on African films, which then becomes a film that has been watered down, and that’s dangerous," Van Peebles said.

He didn’t want those values imposed on his next film. Instead, Van Peebles said he thought it was important that African-Americans begin to see themselves beyond the "cinematic ghettos" in which he claims Hollywood wants to restrain African film makers.

 

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RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORED ON CAMPUS

by Kevin Patton

Contributing Writer

UH generates radioactive waste. This waste, ranging from exposed animal carcasses, to sharps (such as needles, glass pipettes, razor blades, etc.) and tubing, is stored in a cinder block building behind KUHT, about 30 feet from the property line, directly off Sesame Street.

There are more regulations in dealing with radioactive waste, but David Miller, director of radioactive safety said he sees the regulations evening up.

"We have so many requirements with radioactive waste, but chemical and biological waste is beginning to get very strongly regulated (as well)," said Miller.

The property line is only 30 feet from the radioactive dump site, causing obvious questions of exposure and property value damage.

"We had a state inspector come out and verify that there is no exposure out here," Miller said. The inspector came at the start of the year.

The current regulations are due to be changed on Jan. 1, 1994. These new regulations will be more strict regarding the disposal of radioactive waste.

The only radioactive landfill that receives Texas generated waste is the Barnwell site in South Carolina and may close in 1994. This would require UH and all other Texas generators of radioactive waste to hold their waste until a comparable site in Texas is constructed. The Texas site is estimated for completion in 1996.

 

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STOCKTON LOADS UP ON PITCHERS, DEFENSEMEN TO BOLSTER BALL CLUB

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

If quantity equals quality, then the UH baseball team will drastically improve upon last spring's 3-15 Southwest Conference record and last place finish.

Head coach Bragg Stockton has brought in 14 new pitchers to revamp a staff that finished with a 5.42 ERA (7.04 in SWC) last season.

Gone are seniors Jeff Wright and Wade Williams.

Both were capable pitchers when healthy last season. After they went down with injuries, however, Stockton was forced to use inexperienced freshmen in their place.

The result was an out-manned pitching staff incapable of holding leads.

"We've been killed the last two years by pitching injuries," said Stockton, who is approaching his eighth year of coaching at Houston. "With 18 pitchers this fall, if you can get nine that are all pretty good you never have a low point."

Stockton has brought in nine junior college transfers and five freshmen to replenish the depleted staff.

Seniors Matt Beech, Brian Hamilton, Brett Jones and Brian Boyles are the only returning pitchers.

Beech turned down a professional contract offer from the San Diego Padres to return this fall. He is the staff ace entering fall practice.

"It would be nice if Beech, Hamilton and Jones would pitch the way they're capable," Stockton said.

"The returning pitchers have to carry and lead you," said assistant coach Mike Gardner.

The UH offense should pick up where it left off last season, even though starters Jason McDonald, Phil Lewis and Brian Blair were all lost via the draft.

The threesome combined for 58 of the Cougars' school-record 125 stolen bases last season. However, leading base thief Shane Buteaux (24) returns for his senior season.

Joining him in the outfield rotation are all-SWC senior Ricky Freeman, senior Carlos Perez and San Jacinto JC transfer Stefan Breeding.

Breeding and fellow San Jac transfer Ryan Elizondo (shortstop) should replace some of the lost speed.

Stockton is also impressed with Elizondo's defensive skills.

"Elizondo is way ahead of where we've been the last couple of years. He's a veteran and he is smooth as silk."

Improved defense at shortstop along with sophomore J.J. Matzke playing a full season at third base should help to reduce the Cougars' 108 errors from last season, also a school record.

The newcomer Stockton is most impressed with entering fall practice is left-handed first baseman-pitcher Brad Towns.

"Towns has a can't miss label. He was an outstanding hitter at Cedar Valley (JC) and he was their best pitcher," Stockton said.

Towns will team with Buteaux, Perez, Freeman and Matzke to form an impressive middle lineup.

The team begins fall workouts Oct. 4 with the first practice game scheduled for Oct. 12 against Alvin Community College.

Stockton is looking to solidify his lineup and find nine quality pitchers amongst all the newcomers.

"We just have so many unknowns," he said.

"They've proven themselves at the level they came from but not in Southwest Conference ball," Gardner said.

 

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STUDENTS SAY WEATHER'S COOL

HOT, HUMID DAYS TO RETURN WEDNESDAY

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

"It's going to be a cool and breezy day," is not a typical description of Houston weather. However, for the next few days, the weather will be in the 80s and sunny, according to the National Weather Service.

Most UH students doubt that the weather will remain this cool and breezy.

"This is Texas. It's been so hot lately that it is not going to cool so quickly and stay that way," said junior music education major Kimberly Tucker.

But the forecast calls for the weather to remain in the mid 80s through Wednesday and then it should be about 90 degrees the rest of the week. The temperature will even reach the 50s on Wednesday morning.

Many students spent Monday enjoying the weather by studying, eating, sleeping and playing outside.

"It makes me want to skip classes," said Ray Ogar, a junior math major. "The weather will stay this way for a while, then it will change into humid hell."

The cooler temperatures were a welcome change for students who practice outside, such as members of the football team and marching band.

"I like it being a lot cooler than it was before because I have to stand outside for two hours and I always get a sunburn," said sophomore Fred Nugen, a marching band member.

 

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VOLLEYBALL NOT JUST A SINGLES' MIXER

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

It all started with a bet.

One night along the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Wendy Munzel, then Wendy Chapman, made a wager with one of her friends that she would leave the club that night with the phone number of one of the guys in their group.

Since the word loser is not in Munzel's vocabulary, she took the challenge, and a year and a half later, she and husband Jeffery are enjoying wedded bliss.

While there is certainly nothing unusual about being married, Munzel's position as hitter on the Cougar volleyball team makes her a rarity.

"At first the girls on the team would call home and tell their parents that there was a married girl on the team," Munzel said. "It was funny because it was like I was some sort of alien from Mars."

Initially it seemed that married life was a whole new world, but she soon discovered that it wasn't too out of the ordinary from her life before.

"I thought that to be married I had to be grown up and mature," Munzel said. "I still go out and have fun, but now I go out with my husband. You learn to take a new view about things."

She has no regrets about being married and playing volleyball. She said that, while she doesn't go out with the girls on the team, they still discuss men.

Jeffery is employed by Dillards and transferred here after Wendy decided to play for Houston.

Wendy will graduate in the summer with a degree in kinesiology. After that, it won't be hard to miss the sound of little Munzels around the court.

"We hope to start a family after I graduate," Munzel said. "We would like to raise them in my hometown, San Antonio."

Now that the idea of a married teammate has worn off, it is business as usual.

She has compiled heady stats in her short time as a Cougar.

Munzel leads the team in hitting percentage at .290, is second in blocks with 37 and ranks third on the team with 105 kills.

Munzel transferred to UH from Southwest Texas State University after three years with the Bobcats. She said conflicts with her coach led her to Houston.

"We didn't always get along and she decided to let me go my senior year so I could concentrate on school."

Now that Munzel has made her mark on the court, she has garnered a few admirers along the way.

"I was just about to serve the ball when I heard a bunch of guys yell, 'We love you Wendy.' I just had to smile."

While it may be sad news to her adoring fans that she is married, she knows she has a permanent fan for life.

 

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AMBASSADORS ENLIST NEW LITTERS OF COUGARS

by Pam Griffin

News Reporter

An entire third grade class applied for "early" admission to UH during a recent tour of the campus conducted by the UH Ambassadors.

The UH Ambassadors is a diverse group of students sponsored by the Office of Admissions to serve as the hosts of the University. Their primary goal is student recruitment.

Stephanie Felts, president of the UH Ambassadors said, "a lot of people think that all we do is give tours, but then we get letters and responses such as the third-graders and that shows us that we do more than just give a tour, we encourage and motivate students toward higher education."

For many students, the UH Ambassadors is the first contact with UH. Erika Larson, group member and senior RTV major said, "UH is the best kept secret in Texas ... this is one secret that needs to be shared 'cause we really are great."

One event the group participates in is the Cougar Preview, an open house for prospective students, that usually attracts about 2,500 prospective students.

At the event, Ambassadors assist in academic sessions, give campus tours and help promote pride in the University.

Nick Brines, staff advisor for UH Ambassadors and counselor in the Office of Admissions said the UH Ambassadors is indispensable.

Although the groups purpose is to benefit UH, there are many individual rewards as well, Brines said. Members get fulfillment by interacting and becoming acquainted with the staff, faculty, and top notch professors, he said.

Contacts made by Ambassadors help students when applying for graduate programs and seeking letters of recommendation. Brines said members also develop valuable public relations and speaking skills.

One student in the group said he came from another school only to find a home at UH. University of Texas transfer student, Kirk Cooper, said he was skeptical when he first considered UH. He said, "Most people in the organization are really driven and we really care about UH."

To encourage prospective members, Felts said the UH Ambassadors is a great way to get involved and meet new people.

"If you enjoy the university and you're proud of your school then this is an excellent organization and a great way to relay that to the rest of the Houston area and the state and nation," Felts said.

UH Ambassadors recently interviewed and selected new members. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA and a letter of recommendation to qualify.

Induction of the 17 new members is today in the Dallas Room of the University Center.

New member, Tiffany Armes said she joined the organization because she wanted to be involved in a leadership experience and the UH Ambassadors are the most friendly people she has ever met.

The organization is also active in charitable community service with such projects as Houston Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens and blood drives.

 

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CYRANO NOSE LOVE, LADIES

by Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

Some people have good looks. Others have wit and charm. But rare is the person with panache.

Cyrano de Bergerac definitely has panache. The Alley Theatre, which is running this play about a true 17th century Gascon soldier, wants to show audiences why.

Edmond Rostand, who wrote the play, defined panache as something added to greatness.

"Certainly heroes without panache are more unselfish, because heroes with panache strike a pose while making the sacrifice," Rostand wrote. "A little frivolous perhaps, a little theatrical without a doubt, panache is only a grace; but that grace implies so much strength."

Cyrano fights 100 men alone on an empty stomach and composes poetry so full of sweet sap that his verses make women swoon.

But what makes this hero so special is how he presents himself despite an extremely long nose.

If Cyrano's snout were any longer, it would be called a trunk.

However, Cyrano carries himself with pride, daring anyone to mock his appearance. People either despise him or love him, but all respect Cyrano.

The only time Cyrano's nose makes him insecure is when he's near his one true love, Roxanne.

And what does the love-blind fool do when faced with his fears? He helps the handsome soldier Christian de Neuvillette win Roxanne's heart. Although brave and gorgeous, Christian lacks eloquence. So Cyrano supplies Christian with romantic phrases that make Roxanne melt and fall madly in love.

Thus, Cyrano and all of his panache can't have the one thing he truly wants -- romantic love from Roxanne. Or can he? Who does Roxanne really fall in love with?

Gregory Boyd, who directs and stars as Cyrano, has the charisma that makes audiences immediately love the nosey character.

However, Shelley Williams as Roxanne plays such a hen-pecking figure, one regrets that Cyrano's panache can't help see what a whiner she really is.

Fortunately, the Alley's rich setting and the cast's excitement transport the audience back to 17th century France and make the play a wonderful escape from 1993 troubles.

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