GRUNT WORK HELPS STUDENTS CLIMB THE LADDER OF SUCCESS

by John Pope

 

In the military, the term "grunt" is assigned to those luckless enlisted individuals who are charged with the thankless mundane tasks set forth in strategic operational plans.

Indeed, grunts are the Rodney Dangerfield’s of the mighty military. These men and women are the blood, sweat and tears that comprise the backbone of our strategic defense.

Grunts are as necessary as they are ubiquitous; from boot camp to the Pentagon to the front lines.

A university education is to corporate America as boot camp is to the U.S. military. As student grunts, we are instilled with with the basic survival skills – discipline, endurance and perseverance – so that we might become effective cogs in the corporate machinery.

Yet, once we rise to the pinnacle of individual academic achievement, diploma firmly in hand, we are suddenly thrust into the foreboding front lines of corporate combat.

The fighting will be intense: avaricious competition, organizational politics, deadlines and quotas will abound.

As any infantryman can attest, it may not be a pretty sight and there will be casualties.

Corporate grunts will unite in solidarity at evening waterholes to question their commander’s tactics.

The most courageous warriors will make it through the corporate rat race. The weak will not fare so well.

The intelligent, fearless grunts will see opportunity on their career horizon. These fortunate soldiers will be able to answer the call of opportunity and seize the moment.

They will be recognized and rewarded through advancement into a leadership position.

Then, they will assume responsibility for not only their own actions, but their subordinates’ too.

A manager’s success will rely heavily on the performance of those he supervises; therefore, it is imperative that they remember from whence they came.

A high-ranking officer, a former enlisted man himself, said: "Treat the mess cook with as much respect as you would a fellow officer, because you never know who will share a foxhole with you."

Wiser words have rarely been spoken.

<B>Corporate euphemisms … what they really mean:<P>

1. <B>Energetic self starter<P> – You’ll be working on commission.

2. <B>Good organizational skills<P> – You’ll be doing all of the filing.

3.<B>Investing in your future<P> – A franchising or pyramiding scheme.

4. <B>Opportunity of a lifetime<P> – Nowhere else will you receive such a meager salary for so much work.

5. <B>Extensive client contact<P> –Phone sales and cold-calling.

<B>Did you know<P> that at the current rate of pay, professional women generally will not achieve equal salary parity until the year 2016?

Pope is a junior business major.

 

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UH'S RESOURCES SCORE LOW IN SURVEY

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

Daily Cougar Staff

The seventh annual U.S. News and World Report survey of America’s best colleges ranked the University of Houston 131 academically among 204 four-year national research universities and 2,500 universities nationwide.

Two of the elements used to determine the ranking were financial resources and spending per student. UH is ranked 172nd in the financial resources category. For alumni satisfaction, UH is 143rd.

According to the survey, UH spent $6,602 per student in 1992, which was at the low end of the spectrum.

Among the schools ranked 103rd to 153rd (the third quartile), Kansas State University spent the least: $5,995 per student.

But the University of Alabama spent the most: $14,604 per student. That's about 130 percent more than UH.

The strength of each school’s financial resources was determined by evaluating their total education program expenditures. The sum spent on instruction, student services and academic support (including libraries, computers, research and scholarships) was divided by full-time-equivalent enrollment.

Full-time equivalency is nine hours for doctoral students, 12 hours for master's and 15 hours for undergraduate students.

Aumann, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, said educational expenditures are proportionate with the cost of living. He said schools in New York City and Los Angeles can be expected to spend more because the cost of living is higher.

Aumann said low expenditures per student could either indicate a school's talent at managing money or could reveal a low quality of student services. He said UH manages it money well.

"We know our library doesn’t satisfy the needs of all of the faculty and students," Aumann said. Last year the M.D. Anderson library was ranked 107th of 107 by the Association of Research Libraries. However, university officials have taken steps to improve the library's standing.

A $15 per semester library fee went into effect in the fall of 1992. The fee will be collected for three years, giving the administration time to increase the level of funding. But solving the university's financial dilemmas requires more than student support.

President James Pickering said funding depends not only on tuition but also state support. He said UH doesn't receive the monetary benefits the University of Texas and Texas A&M University get from the Permanent University Fund.

As specified by the 1876 Texas Constitution, PUF is a $3.2 billion public endowment from oil revenues that supports the UT and A&M systems. PUF money generated $256 million in the 1991-92 fiscal year.

The rest of the state's 22 educational institutions receive support from the Higher Educational Assistance Fund. In 1984 HEAF was created and amended to the Texas Constitution to bring equity in endowment funding. Every year the 22 schools share the $100 million generated from the fund.

UH, the largest recipient of HEAF money, receives about $15.8 million per year.

In fiscal year 1996 the HEAF fund will increase to $175 million. A deposit of $50 million will be made each year as an endowment that will eventually support HEAF until it caps at $2 billion.

UT-Austin’s educational expenditure of $6,994 per student was about $300 more than UH's. A&M's was $8,375 per student in 1992, which is about $1,700 more than UH spent.

The magazine also ranked schools’ alumni giving rates. UH’s ranks 143 for alumni satisfaction as measured by their donations. UH’s alumni giving rate is 11 percent, the same as UT-Austin.

In the third quartile, Washington State University scored the highest with 32 percent. The University of South Florida had the lowest rate, which is 5 percent. A&M, which is in the second quartile (schools ranked 52nd to 102nd), had an alumni giving rate of 32 percent.

While UH may not have a high percentage of alumni donating, the ones who do give generously. Out of about $70 million in total voluntary support for the 1992 fiscal year, more than $37 million came from alumni, according to the Council for Aid to Education.

Frank Holmes, executive vice president of the Alumni Organization, said 18 percent of UH graduates hold membership in the organization. He said that rate is particularly good for an urban university and a significant increase from the 2,000 members in 1984. The organization has about 18,000 members today.

Holmes said the alumni giving rate depends on how alumni feel about the university. Students who participate in undergraduate activities develop an attachment to their university, he said. Holmes also said school spirit is less likely to develop in schools with a large percentage of commuters.

Aumann said UH will improve in alumni giving. He emphasized the importance of contributions from major corporations in Houston.

More than 2,300 corporations have already contributed to UH’s Creative Partnership Campaign, which has a goal of raising $263 million for the main campus. About $190 million has been raised since the campaign started in 1989.

 

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COMIC DAVID SPADE: A STANDUP WITH 'BS'

by Kenny McIntire

News Reporter

Wednesday Night Live is coming to UH as <I>Saturday Night Live<P>’s David Spade performs stand-up comedy tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Houston Room of the University Center.

Spade is best known for his Hollywood Minute on <I>SNL<P>’s Weekend Update segment, and as Dick Clark’s overly polite receptionist in one of the show’s continuing sketches.

When asked about how he expects the show to go, Spade responds in what he calls the Hollywood Minute attitude: "Good, ’cause I’m a professional."

Spade spent his time before <I>SNL<P> doing small movie parts and working the comedy circuit. He was in <I>Police Academy 4<P> and shows such as <I>MTV’s Half-hour Comedy Hour<P> and <I>The Arsenio Hall Show<P>.

He got his first major break after performing on a Dennis Miller comedy special for Home Box Office. "Both (fellow <I>SNL<P> cast member) Rob Schneider and I were there," he said. "We met Dennis and we got on <I>Saturday Night<P> from there."

Spade said his standup comedy is "about bein’ from Arizona, and your basic standup BS." Spade said he doesn’t incorporate any of the <I>SNL<P> material he does for the show, but added that the cocky attitude of the Hollywood Minute is used throughout the show.

"It’s got that attitude about ragging on everyone and acting like you’re the coolest," Spade said.

Spade also includes his impressions of stars such as Michael J. Fox and Crispin Glover.

"I poke fun at everybody, but it’s all in good fun and I’m not out to hurt anyone," Spade said.

Between creating new characters for <I>SNL<P> and writing more material for the show’s hectic weekly schedule, Spade said he hasn’t done standup in a while – with the exception of a few summer dates.

"If you show up Wednesday, you’ll see how rusty it is," he said.

"Since I’ve been on <I>SNL<P>, I haven’t had any time to get out because I’m either writing or in rehearsals," Spade added.

However, Spade said he did get out enough to do a new film called <I>Politically Correct University – (P.C.U)<P>, for release in February or March.

"It’s basically an <I>Animal House<P> rip-off," Spade quipped.

In addition to new cast members Norm MacDonald and Jay Moore, Spade said that <I>SNL<P> audiences can look for Hollywood Minute to continue, but to watch for some of his new characters.

"There’s the new video store guy, and I’m working on the cool guy," he said. "It’s basically about a guy who busts on everyone because he’s so cool."

Spade added that he was happy be coming back to Houston. "Last time I was there I met a cute girl, so I hope I’ll have good time," he said.

Spade’s performance, which is free to all students with a UH ID and $5 for non-students, is part of this year’s Homecoming festivities.

Student comedian Anthony Sutton will open the show, which is sponsored by the Student Program Board Homecoming Committee.

 

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HOMECOMING DEEPLY ROOTED IN TRADITION

by Annette Baird

Staff Writer

For those students who don't know, we are in the midst of homecoming week, which brings us to the next point: What <I>is<P> homecoming?

"It's kind of one big love-in," said Willie Burns, float Chairman of the 1956 homecoming. "Homecoming is a welcoming back of past students who have been away from the university," Burns added.

"The purpose of homecoming is to provide an opportunity for alumni to get re-involved with the university and to renew old friendships and make new ones. They get to see how the university has changed," Holmes said.

"Homecoming builds UH spirit. It's a well publicized event, and it provides an opportunity for people to get involved with their university," said Homecoming Chair Tonya Frederick.

"Everyone in the country has been doing (Homecoming) for 60 or 70 years. It's a long-standing tradition," said Frank Holmes, executive vice president of the Alumni Organization.

"A lot of schools played football 30 or 40 years before us. When we started our football team, the kids here started to do the same things as the kids at other colleges," said Ted Nance, assistant athletic director for Athletics Media Relations.

Choosing the Homecoming king and queen is not taken lightly these days. People who want to be king or queen have to submit a written application saying why they feel they should be chosen, Frederick said. After a personal interview, five males and five females are chosen to be in the court.

A panel of judges made up of faculty and staff choose the lucky man and woman. "The names of the king and queen will be announced Friday night at the Homecoming dance and they are crowned during the half-time activities at the game," Frederick said.

Homecoming week started Monday with the Cougar Kick-off, a reception and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the University Center. Festivities go on all week for students and alumni, with events such as a banner contest, a recycling program, a comedy show on Wednesday evening featuring David Spade of Saturday Night Live. A pep rally, bonfire and Homecoming dance round out the festivities on Friday.

The week culminates with the Homecoming football game on Saturday against SMU followed by an alumni dance in the evening.

"Becoming Homecoming queen wasn't just a question of being popular. You had to go out and campaign and talk to students and make banners and posters. There was quite a to-do. I was presented with a diamond watch and a silver bracelet," said Nancy Gammage, the UH Homecoming for 1957.

"(The queen and her court) were presented at half-time during the game. There wasn't a king. The most exciting part was the bonfire. Everyone was real involved," said Gammage.

Willie Burns, float chairman for the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity from 1954 to 1958, said Homecoming inspires friendship.

"We'd go downtown and everyone would be out for the parade," Burns said. "There was a lot of camaraderie."

The bonfire and pep rally are big traditions of Homecoming week and, typically, the mascot of the opposing football team is burned, Holmes said.

"(The bonfire) gets everyone fired up and ready for the game," Burns added.

UH's first football team was born in 1946 which was when they had their first Homecoming.

"We played North Texas State. They won 7-3," Nance said.

Nance said that, overall, UH football has a record of 25 wins, 19 losses and 3 ties for the Homecoming games. "We haven't lost a Homecoming game since Arkansas beat us 30-13 in 1986," Nance said.

 

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MAN, MOVIE SHOULD BE DEMOLISHED

by Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

Daily Cougar Staff

One word best describes <I>Demolition Man<P>–pathetic.

In the theater showing this turkey, there was only one person who really seemed to enjoy it, and that was the guy in the next row with the goofy laugh.

It’s because of him that the film gets such a high rating: 1/2 star for the movie; and one whole star for the enjoyment I got laughing at that guy, which, needless to say, was the only enjoyment to be received from <I>Demolition Man<P>.

This big-budget, high-profile waste of celluloid is billed as the best action movie of the fall season. If that’s true then the rest must really stink!

The story, for lack of a better word, goes like this. Crazy homicidal bad-guy-type Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) is captured in the 20th century by rough and violent, muscle-bound-cop-type John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone). Phoenix is rightfully sentenced to life in a cryogenic freeze and Spartan is wrongfully sentenced to same.

Fast forward to the 21st century where Phoenix is allowed to escape by the ruling guru for the purpose of exterminating the leader of some underground rebels (Dennis Leary) who reject the healthy, polite and sensitive future the guru has created – like anyone in their right mind would follow Dennis Leary anywhere!

Now the cops can’t handle this kind of violence anymore, so they thaw out Spartan and send him after Phoenix, again. The producers thoughtfully included a beautiful cop (Sandra Bullock) to assist Spartan in his macho doings.

Believe it or not, this is actually a pretty good idea for what could have been an interesting science-fiction movie. But, in the hands of producer Joel Silver, this film turns out to be nothing more than a mindless attempt to remove your money from its cozy hiding place in your wallet.

You can’t hold anything against the director, because he seemed to be obviously following orders from Silver, whose last really great movie was the original <I>Lethal Weapon<P>.

There’s a lot of wasted talent in this film as well. These movies are traditionally only as good as their villain, and Snipes is without a doubt one of the hottest box office stars around today, but this is not his best work. He hops around on screen, looking a lot like Annie Lennox and trying not to laugh at the absurdity around him.

Screenwriter Daniel Waters continues his decline, from <I>Heathers<P> to <I>Hudson Hawk<P> to this!

As far as Stallone goes, he basically just phones in this part. Not that it matters – any one of the unholy triumvirate (Willis, Stallone & Schwarzeneger) could have played this part.

This sorry excuse for a film will probably attract millions of people and their millions of dollars, but a million wrongs don't make a right.

 

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AIRSHOW FLIES IN FOR TWO DAYS

by Anthony Sutton

Contributing Writer

For the ninth consecutive year, the air will be thick with the intoxicating smell of jet fuel and aviation gasoline when the Wings Over Houston Air Show stages the greatest display of military air power since Operation Desert Storm.

<I>Top Gun<P> naval fighter aircraft such as the U.S.Navy’s F-14D Super Tomcat and the U.S. Air Force’s F-15 Eagle will shatter the air above Ellington Airfield this weekend.

The U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds will perform in their F-16 Falcon jet fighters at 3 p.m. each day, demonstrating the precision aerobatics used in modern air combat.

F-16s, widely used in Desert Storm, will fly alongside World War II B-17 bombers and the Budweiser micro-jets, said Lu Lewis, promotion director for Wings Over Houston.

The U.S. Army will be represented with demonstrations of the AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship, which uses next-generation technology to deliver precision firepower.

A AH-64 can carry enough destructive force to annihilate a company of tanks, Lewis said.

The Marine Corps will show off their AV-8B Harrier jump-jet, which can take off and land vertically without a conventional airstrip.

Lewis said these jump jets were used by Britain in its war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands.

The B-1B Lancer, our nation's "front-line" nuclear strategic bomber, will execute one of its first ever air show flybys.

Until now the Lancer, which incorporates "stealth" and "swing wing" technologies, has only been available for ground viewing, Lewis said.

Galveston’s Lone Star Flight Museum and the Confederate Air Force, both groups of aircraft enthusiasts who restore vintage war birds, will execute their annual Air Power Demonstration at noon.

The Air Power Demonstration, which includes intense ground explosions, re-enacts some of the classic World War II air battles and bombing raids, Lewis said.

This year the Air Power Demonstration will be enhanced by the display of an authentic British/Canadian Lancaster bomber. This was the bomber that helped to break the back of Nazi Germany during World War II, Lewis said.

The Nimrod NMR2 will be visiting the air show from Scotland. Lewis said this aircraft is based on the first passenger airliner to make a transatlantic flight – the 1950’s DeHaviland Comet.

During the Falklands war, the Comet was retrofitted with Sidewinder, heat-seeking, air-to-air missiles to enable it to fend off Argentinean patrol planes, although no one would ever call this aging ex-airliner a fighter, Lewis said.

In the 1990s, the Nimrod NMR2 is the Royal Air Force’s premier submarine hunter and search/rescue aircraft.

Non-military flight demonstrations for the air show include stunt pilots Julie Clark, in her Mopar T-34; Bobby Younkin, in his C-18 with its twin 450-horsepower engines; and National Aerobatic Champion Sean Tucker, with his 330 Randolph Sunglasses Challenger.

Tucker specializes in flying his plane tail first, rolling counterclockwise at more than 90 mph toward the ground, Lewis said.

METRO is offering round trip transportation to Ellington Field for $2. The show, which costs $10, opens at 8 a.m. for aircraft displays. The first sorties lift off at 10 a.m. The show closes at 6 p.m.

 

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EX-COUGAR RETURNS TO THE NET

BROWN ASSISTANT BROWN LENDS OWLS' PROGRAM HELPING HAND

by Michelle Morgan

Contributing Writer

For many the end of their college career marks the end of a long athletic career, but some can’t see giving it up after graduation.

Latisha Brown, formerly Latisha Charles, is just that kind of athlete. She went from player to assistant coach – and is happy with the transition.

"I once told her she’d make a better coach than player. She just said things a coach would say," said Houston head volleyball coach Bill Walton.

Brown played for the University of Houston from 1986—1990. She proved to be one of the dominating hitters in the Southwest Conference. During the 1989 season she had a hitting percentage of .348, the best on the team. She set a career record (1986—1989) with a hitting percentage of .276 and in 1990 set a team record of 562 kills.

She lead Houston to its first NCAA Tournament in school history in 1989 and to the post-season championship of the 1990 National Invitational Volleyball Classic.

At the NIVC she was named to the all-tournament team after setting the tournament record with 110 kills. During the title match of the NIVC against Cal Northridge she led the team with 25 kills and 22 digs.

Twice she earned All-SWC honors and received special recognition as a member of the league’s All-Decade team, which is selected by state-wide panel of media as a part of the league’s celebration of 10 years of women’s athletics.

"As a freshman she was very inexperienced. She had never played at the level we compete at, but by the end she was an elite player," said Walton.

Not long after her graduation Walton was in need of an assistant coach. Why not go with someone who knows the program? Brown was welcomed aboard the coaching staff.

"Coach Walton is the reason I wanted to coach," Brown said. "He’s intelligent and hard on you, but I respected him. I learned a lot from him and wouldn’t be able to coach without him."

"She’s an excellent recruiter and has a great personality, but she hasn’t coached very long," Walton said.

"I’ve played under five coaches and each explains something differently," Brown said. "You take bits and incorporate them to fit the program. As the old saying goes, there’s a thousand ways to skin a cat."

This season Brown is the new assistant coach at Rice. Rice’s program is basically in the rebuilding period – with young players, her arrival and new head coach Henry Chen. The team has gone through two straight seasons with no SWC victories.

Brown said, "I think what’s gone on with the team is inexperience. Three seniors have never been on a winning team. My job is to teach them how to win, and show them they can be successful. All they have to have is one win to feel comfortable."

"Latisha was a great player during her career, and I believe she can help provide a successful program," said Owls coach Chen. "She’s a positive person with a winning attitude."

"I feel I’ve been a role model from day one," Brown said. "After seeing me play in the SWC they look up to me. I’m closer in age to them, and I can relate to them."

Brown may just be Chen’s assistant, but he’s given her room to do what she sees fit to help the team.

"I have a big say-so with the program. He respects my opinion. I’m his right-hand person," she said.

Although Rice did lose to Houston last week there were no hard feelings between the longtime friends.

"It would have been strange winning against Walton, but we didn’t. We both wished each other good luck under the net, but I was still going to try to beat him," she said.

 

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VIETNAM COMES TO MAIN STREET

 

by Laura Boggus

Contributing Writer

Women in Vietnam is a story we don’t hear much about, but Main Street Theater’s <I>A Piece of My Heart<P> tells it loud and clear.

Main Street Theater is a small personable theater located in Rice Village. Its design contributes to a more intimate audience experience. Before curtain call, Janet Pierre, a guitarist/singer song-writer performs ’60s and ’70s pop culture tunes associated with the turmoil America underwent during the Vietnam War years.

Written by Shirley Lauro, and directed by Ron Jones, <I>A Piece of My Heart<P> vividly portrays the emotional and mental upheaval experienced by those who served. Written for seven characters who play multiple roles, <I>A Piece of My Heart<P> takes the audience at breakneck speed through these women’s enlistment and service (in the first act) to their return home and the challenges they faced trying to re-adapt to their previous lives.

Women are often underrepresented in the lore of U.S. history, leading most to believe a woman’s foremost duty during wartime is to support her man. In <I>A Piece of My Heart<P> women do just that. With each unfortunate soldier serving in Vietnam lies a piece of serving woman’s heart to support and protect him from the horrific events of the Vietnam War.

The play opens with six women giving their reasons for enlistment in the Vietnam War and then hurriedly takes us to their crass training and brisk departure to the war-torn country.

Steele (Belinda Simmons) is a black army intelligence officer who believes that her service in Vietnam will aid her in climbing the army ladder. She is portrayed as a strong woman able to cope with the harsh realities of war and she remains a strong figure throughout the play.

Michelle McCarl as Maryjo gives a stereotypical portrayal of a young Texas woman as she enlists to tour – entertaining the troops.

Army brat Martha (Ms. Hart-Palumbo), joins because the service runs in her family and she is carrying on daddy’s work.

Lidio Porto makes a good try at an authentic portrayal of a New Yorker, though a bit whiny. She plays a Chinese/Italian/American nurse who enlists thinking she won’t end up in Vietnam.

Deborah Hope gives a great account of a junior leaguer named Whitney, who’s enlistment serves to fulfill her service requirement. Sissy, the last woman, (Carolyn Houston-Boone) is a single woman who joins to help her country.

One man appears in this production, Stephen Steward, who plays all American men.

<I>Piece of My Heart<P> focuses on women’s issues as well. The experience of limited occupational roles (those offered are mainly nurse/medic, no battlefield), the experience of rape, lesbianism and more general topics including drug abuse and alcoholism.

Although the play moves at a brisk pace it does stop often in intense moments of emotional and mental focuses of the war's players.

During these brief but profound experiences, the audience gets a backstage view of the horrifics of the war in addition to events as they occur inside the characters minds.

Take a box of tissue, you’ll need it for the finale.

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