FEWER DAILY EXPENSES INCREASE LUXURY

STUDENTS EMPLOY CREATIVE METHODS TO LOWER EXPENSES

by John Pope

There are three things in life that are certain for college students: death will come, taxes can't be escaped and tuition fees seem to be always due tomorrow.

To a lesser or equal degree of confidence is the immediate need of funds for food, rent, books and 25 cent happy hour beer.

Suffice it to say that these things cost money and available resources are always an endangered species to the typical college student.

Thus, I have dedicated this column to you, my starving scholarly colleagues, so that we collectively may discover methods by which to save money while we are sanctioned to this academic purgatory.

Please observe the following formula: <B>Student's Net Income = profits - student expenses.<P>

For the purposes of this article, let us concentrate on the right side of the equation, specifically, student expenses.

Other things being equal, a decrease in daily expenses implies an increase in net student income which allots extra disposable income to enjoy the finer things of student life such as dates, concerts and contributions to your favorite television evangelist.

Marketing intuition suggests that in one form or another, most students share common attitudes, interests and opinions concerning purchase behavior.

Therefore it is my benevolent intention to use this column as a vehicle to inform you of ways to save money of which you might not have been aware. I will need your help to carry out this plan:

First, recall anything recently purchased that you thought was an exceptional buy.

This can be a product, service or a form of entertainment.

List this single item, where you purchased it and how much it cost. Be sure to include any resale, consignment shops or other discount markets.

List one creative way you have saved money or economized your resources as a student.

Now turn to the person next to you taking notes and ask them to do the same thing.

Call 789-5032 to report your findings. Simply leave a short message with the following information: the item/idea, where you purchased it and how much it cost.

Students can also bring in written responses to the Daily Cougar or send them by fax at 743-5384. Make these responses to the attention of John Pope.

I will reveal these findings in my column within two weeks.

Should this project be successful, we will all benefit.

Alternatively, if there is not input, I will assume that you own one of those Beamers in the student parking lot, you didn't make it to this page of the paper or you don't have a quarter to call.

Oh, by the way, the person with the most creative idea receives what else but a crisp one dollar bill.

<B>Mark the appropriate answer in the space provided.<P>

The guy who parachuted in the middle of the Holyfield-Bowe boxing match was really...

( ) One of the "Flying Elvis's"

( ) A Domino's Pizza delivery man

( ) A paratrooper who thinks there is a war on

( ) Escaped from an insane asylum

( ) All of the above

John Pope is a senior marketing major.

 

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SA PRESIDENT CHARGED WITH IFC VIOLATIONS

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Students' Association President and member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Jason Fuller has been charged through the Interfraternity Council with discrimination, slander/libel and disorderly conduct.

Fuller and newly appointed College of Business Administration Senator Hunter Jackson, who is also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, have been accused of "illegally hanging" a banner about Tau Kappa Epsilon reading, "Tau Kappa Everyone. We're here and we're queer."

The charges were brought to the IFC by Campus Wide Activities Chair Tonya Frederick and TKE President James Meinen.

Frederick signed a statement saying that she saw Fuller, Jackson, Student Regent Jeff Fuller and an unknown person on Tuesday, Oct. 12 in the University Center at midnight.

She said the men pulled up in a pickup truck carrying a red banner with white letters in the truck's bed.

Frederick said she and her friends were out hiding Homecoming eggs. She said she thought the men looked "suspicious" because they did not actually pull the banner out of the truck and because they quickly explained to her that they were doing work in the Student's Association office. Frederick also said student leaders are not supposed to be in the UC after the midnight closing time.

According to Frederick, Meinen said another banner, resembling the one seen at the UC, was found in Agnes Arnold Hall on Wednesday morning.

Meinen said the banner was libelous to both his fraternity and all gay people. He also said it was not a coincidence that the banner was hung during Coming Out Week. Meinen added, "They're just jealous of our fraternity. We have the second highest GPA and we have won Homecoming for the last three years."

Fuller ordered the Daily Cougar not to be print Frederick's statement and said that he and Jackson will be "fully exonerated of all charges." He also said he has always been in support of "inter-fraternalism."

If found guilty, Fuller's sentence could consist of a public letter of apology, monetary fines or community service work, said Donald Dement, IFC judicial committe chair.

The IFC's judicial hearing will be held Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

 

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BOOK CASTS POSITIVE LIGHT ON CHURCH

by Tiffany Vaughner

News Reporter

Author Dona Irvin recently gave UH students an intimate look at the positive influence of the church on the lives of African-Americans.

Irvin's book, <I>The Unsung Heart of Black America<P>, chronicles the lives of 40 members of an Oakland, California church from 1946 to 1964. In it Irvin shows how, through the support and guidance of the church, the black middle class emerged and prospered.

"My first purpose was to profile the lives of the Downs people (Downs Memorial United Methodist Church). I wanted to show their successes, frustrations and challenges and their commitment to the evolvement of their quality of life for themselves, their families and their communities," Irvin said.

Irvin said she also wanted to document the influence of the African-American church in the lives of its parishioners and to showcase the black middle class whom she said were all but neglected in the history of the United States.

Irvin said that when African-Americans are spoken about in the media, it is usually the same small group of world-renowned people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Sojourner Truth or criminals or the chronically unemployed.

"The term 'unsung heart' refers to the black middle class, people who quietly and efficiently are making a difference in the lives of their fellow persons. In my book I concentrated on people I could identify with, my fellow church members, friends, my neighbors, my colleagues," Irvin said.

Irvin gave examples of a person who made a difference from the profiles of the Downs people. One example from the book is of a pre-teen boy who was to meet his soon-to-be mentor and surrogate father while tossing rocks at the man's barn. The man told the boy to stop, causing him to run away in shame. The surprised boy had never been told to "stop" before, Irvin said. Later the curious youngster came back and eventually helped him build his home. Because of the man's influence, the boy grew up to be a success.

Irvin concluded by saying that for African-Americans, the church is one place where blacks can find the stimulation and motivation they need to become useful members of society.

"Some people don't think that black church leadership is as actively involved as it has been in previous years. But in her speech and book it seems that she thinks the opposite," said Debra Dietrich, a postbaccalaureate history major.

Patricia Bowen, a junior biology major, said that for her, the main point of Irvin's speech was that African-Americans should not lose faith in themselves or their community.

Irvin's speech is part of the year-long celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the UH African American Studies Program.

 

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COMPETITIVE GRANTS ROLLING IN FOR RESEARCHERS

by Kenny McIntire

News Reporter

UH is ranked third behind the University of Texas and Texas A&M University for grants received.

In the last fiscal year UH has received $49 million in outside funding for research.

In the past 10 years UH research funds have climbed from $13 million annually to more than $50 million.

Grant money received by the university includes $6.7 million in competitive grants from the Texas Higher Education System as part of the 1993 Texas Advanced Research Program.

UH received 48 TARP grants for a total of $6,720,628. Thirty-three other schools received grants.

TARP money is appropriated by the state every two years to Texas colleges and universities through competitive grants. Researchers prepare petitions to show why their projects deserve state funds. Non-affiliated objective judges review the petitions and decide which schools get funds.

President James Pickering said of the awards, "This is a graphic reaffirmation of the critical role that the university plays in advancing the research needs of Texas and Texans, and it supports our growing reputation both here and across the country, as a major research university."

Some faculty members said they were encouraged by the awards received.

Dennis Clifford, professor of environmental engineering, said, "I'm pleased with the grants because they will help with research on what Texas needs to develop. I think that recognition like this shows that UH is a good place, and this exposure is needed more than some of the negative exposure that the university gets." Clifford's proposal received $147,683 for research in the treatment of naturally occurring radioactive material.

Roy Weinstein, a physics professor, said "These grants are important because they will help our own research as well as our affiliation with Texas Southern University in physics."

However, Weinstein expressed concern with the program. "I would rather have half the money for four years instead of two years because we would have more time to conduct research, and be able to hire more assistants for a longer period." Weinstein received $138,980 for research in high field permanent magnets of superconducting materials.

 

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NEWS ANCHOR GUIDES FEMALE JOURNALISTS

by Tiffany Vaughner

News Reporter

Channel 13's morning news anchor, Gina Gaston, gave students practical advice for getting and keeping a job in television at a recent meeting of the UH chapter of Women in Communications, Inc.

In keeping with their goals of bringing professional women to UH to inspire, inform, warn and advise members of the organization, the group invited Gaston to speak.

Florian Ho, president of Women in Communications, said, "Gaston appeared to be quite influential. She gave us a good inside track into the business without glamorizing the profession."

Originally from San Diego, Gaston moved to Texas because she felt journalists should have varied experiences.

"I thought it was important for me as a journalist to get into a different kind of environment, because I think it's important to be around different kinds of people and to have as wide a perspective about life as possible," Gaston said.

Before she came to Texas, Gaston said she sent out performance tapes to many local stations but nothing came of it. She said it was when she finally came to Texas and set up interviews with different stations that she made any progress.

"One of the things I always tell students, if you can, drive somewhere. Especially in television, because it's such a crowed industry that it's just very hard to sell yourself with a resume tape and a biography," Gaston said.

Gaston warned students not to be preoccupied with earning high salaries.

"I think it's important with the first job to not really worry about salary or the city but worry about getting with the best quality station you can, because you learn bad habits if you start off on the wrong foot. I think I got a very solid foundation that helped me to continue to move up and to grow," Gaston said.

Gaston said when she left college her plans were to go into production, not anchoring. She said it was while she was working as a reporter that anchoring was recommended to her.

"I don't think it's smart to go into the business as an anchor. I think that it's such a subjective thing that you put yourself in a very delicate position if that's all you can do. I've noticed that once you start anchoring you're never as good of a reporter as you were before, because no one comments on your reporting. Everyone's focused on your anchoring, and that's what you're focused on, so you don't work as hard at reporting," Gaston said.

Gaston said many college graduates don't realize there are many more jobs out there than just the traditional local or network news stations.

"Women and minorities don't think enough about management jobs. There are lots of opportunities in ownership, especially with cable. It's just gonna open wide up," Gaston said.

When asked why so many communications students are discouraged from going into the business, Gaston replied, "I do think it's good that you're so often discouraged because I think it's the kind of job where you need to really want to do it, mainly because of the moving around to get ahead and because of the weird hours."

 

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TWISTED HISTORY

VIDEO PICKS SERVE UP A SKEWED LOOK AT WORLD

by Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

Video Feast

This week's four films are intended to introduce the student with a short attention span to something that he or she might have missed in history class.

Although all of these films play fast and loose with the facts, they all succeed in at least introducing you to the ideas of their subjects. Well, almost all of them.

The first film is Edward Zwick's <I>Glory<P>.

A film about the first all-Black regiment formed to fight in the Civil War, <I>Glory<P> is beautiful.

This film stays close to the truth and the performances are perfect all around, especially Oscar winner Denzel Washington who brings an unbelievable intensity to his role as a runaway slave so angry he wants to fight everyone.

Next up is an excursion into British history with <I>Cromwell<P>, the story of the British Civil War and the man who led the victorious Roundheads against the army of King Charles I.

Richard Harris is a decent Oliver Cromwell, though he tends to overact in certain scenes. And Alec Guinness gives his usual brilliant performance as the embattled king.

The facts are conveniently rearranged for dramatic purposes, but the overall impact is still the same and the battle scenes are well staged. As long as you don't use this film to study for a test, you should be all right.

How's this for an idea: a musical about the writing of the American Declaration of Independence in which our Founding Fathers sing and dance their way to revolution. Sound too weird to be true?

Well, the movie version of this musical is next on our list: <I>1776<P>.

The actors look like the people they are playing, but that's about as close as this film gets to real authenticity. However, if you fast-forward over the boring songs, there's enough here to entertain everyone no matter what their ages.

Last up is a history film in name only, Mel Brooks' <I>History of the World: Part I<P>.

After watching the earlier films go out of their way to tell their historical tales as accurately as possible, it's nice to sit back with a movie that treats nothing as sacred.

There's enough cheesy jokes in this film to make you think it was produced by the Wisconsin State Chamber of Commerce.

And although it's not a very good film, certain parts are very funny and you'll never forget why it's "good to be the king."

Wilson is a postbaccalaureate student in history and government.

 

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HEALTH MERGERS MEAN DECLINING PERSONAL CARE

HOSPITALS CAN'T AFFORD ENOUGHT STAFF

by J. Michael Marks

Contributing Writer

With the recent medical mergers and the implication of a national health care plan, many people feel the future of health field will be undergoing some major changes.

HCA and Columbia Healthcare Corporation have recently merged to create what some call the "Walmart" of hospitals.

Debbie Tweedy of National Medical Enterprises Inc. said that as a result of mergers like this one, less progressive medical facilities might close, leaving remaining organizations to tack on extra services.

"(There will also be) a trend toward flatter organizations, meaning a reduction in the layers of management and the number of management positions," Tweedy said. The joining of services into single hospital structures creates many oppositional views.

"Hospitals or corporations providing a full range of service will be better positioned to survive," said Mark de Jarnett of Columbia Healthcare Corp.

However, Tweedy said smaller hospitals can better serve patients. "Hospitals which specialize in one level of care will most likely be able to more efficiently and cost effectively provide its service than a facility attempting to provide many levels of care," Tweedy said.

Yet, these specialty hospitals will need to be a part of a larger corporation to be effective, Tweedy said.

Gayle Prager, interim director of the UH Health Center, said that hospital mergers also involve the increase in expensive diagnostic services and medical technology.

Unfortunately the price of more services and technology is that health organizations can't afford to maintain large staffs, Prager said.

She said staff members are vital to the health field because they are the ones who provide the personal aspect of medicine by talking to patients and providing advice and comfort. Without a sufficient staff, health facilities can't provide this personal care, Prager said.

"It's high tech, low touch patient care," she said.

"It's the same in any field. As an example, a ATM machine is high technology, but the service is not very personal."

Prager said that the personal aspect of medical care is extremely important. It's just as necessary as the physical treatment, she said.

"Those who come to see us aren't feeling well," she said. "(As health officials,) we have to go out of our way to make our patients feel personally better."

This trimming down of health care staffs also effects the future job market.

Future graduates seeking careers in the profession might face an industry threatened by turmoil.

Students best bets will be to stay informed of the latest health care innovations.

Health organizations are like any other group. They interested in staying on top of the market. Employers are looking for qualified graduates who have remained abreast of the most recent trends in the industry.

However, the outlook for recent graduates is not completely bleak.

Jarnett said she believes the health field will eventually find ways to provide employees with ample medical related jobs.

"The health care industry has always had a tradition of creating specialized positions to accommodate the always changing rules and regulations," Jarnett said.

Human resource directors of several Houston area hospitals express an optimism for the need to freshen the organizations with the infusion of new graduates.

As the health care industry faces the challenges of this decade, students' education and fresh ideas may win out over the experienced professional.

 

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SWIMMING IN UNFAMILIAR WATERS

WALK-ON REINTRODUCES TIGHT END TO HOUSTON OFFENSE

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

It seems like such a long time ago.

The year was 1986: Ronald Reagan was still in the White House, people were just getting used to the "new" Van Halen and MacCauley Caulkin was still in diapers.

That was also the last year the Houston Cougars had employed a tight end in their offensive scheme.

But now after six-and-a-half seasons, the tight end position is back.

And his name is Charles Spencer.

The junior walk-on from Cerritos, Calif. made his historic debut on Oct. 30 when he caught a pass from quarterback Jimmy Klingler in Houston's 28-10 loss to the Texas Christian Horned Frogs in Fort Worth.

The play marked the first time that a "true" tight end had seen action in a game since Ed Thomas played against the Rice Owls on Nov. 29 of 1986.

"I'm here to make an impact," says Spencer. "And I feel like I can do that."

However, Spencer's one catch against TCU have been the extent of his season totals as a tight end.

But head coach Kim Helton has assured that his Cougars will definitely rely on a tight end in their playbook for the coming years ahead.

"Having a balanced offensive football team is the only way we are going to be successful," he said.

The 21-year-old Spencer graduated from Cerritos High School in 1990, where he played a number of positions on his team including running back, defensive back, and quarterback.

"(But) I never played tight end," Spencer said ironically.

So why is he playing it now?

"The prospect of getting on the field and playing anywhere is a lot better than (just) sitting on the bench," Spencer said.

Coming out of high school, however, Spencer had his sights set on maybe pursuing a career in baseball and being a big league pitcher.

He signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals' farm system in 1991 where he played two seasons with its St. Petersburg A-ball club.

But an injury to his pitching arm cut short his baseball quest.

"(The injury) and the overall stress of playing professionally didn't hold up," Spencer said.

That was when he decided to try football again.

"Coach Helton is really giving me the chance to play now," he says. "I just hope I can stick around long enough to keep my job because I know this team is headed in the right direction and I want to be a part of it."

And like Helton, Spencer says he agrees with many of the coach's opinions on the run-and-shoot offense.

 

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CONCUBINE THOUGHTFUL

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Opulence. Discipline. Moribund narcissism. The rigors of training for a career in the operatic arts.

<I>Farewell My Concubine<P>, the latest offering of Chinese director Chen Kaige, touches on these subjects and presents a complicated plot that unravels in the last scene.

Adapted from a novel by Lilian Lee, the film tells the story of the effeminate Douzi (Ma Mingwei) – the son of a whore – whose irreverence proves costly and eventually, in his adulthood, adopts the stage name Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung).

His partner, Shitou (Yin Zhi) is like a protective big brother initially, but after adopting the stage name Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fenyi), he negotiates rough patches of road to reach his destination: traditional Chinese manhood.

Cheng Dieyi has a serious problem: he goes further than a performer who dismisses the fourth wall by refusing to divorce himself from the character he portrays.

To the point of obsession, he takes the role of concubine as his own in real life. Later, he even goes so far as to say his opera partner's marriage would upset their chemistry onstage and off.

The film, which presents events chronologically from 1925 to 1977, tells the tale of two Chinese young men attempting to carve a niche in the world of the Peking Opera as they are molded by the times.

As political actors act out scenarios on the larger stage of history, the two opera singers serve figuratively as puppets controlled by the strings of Chinese patriarchy, convention and, later, by communism. The characters also struggle to stay alive during the Cultural Revolution.

This epic film is loaded with poignant scenes. Juxian (Gong Li) says the death of her child is karmic retribution for the partnership of the androgynous Cheng Dieyi and her husband, Duan Xiaolou. Like Dieyi's mother, she is a prostitute who works in a brothel – the tragedy of her story is she reasons life there, at the House of Blossoms, would be much more simpler than the married life.

The suicides cause sadness for the obvious reasons, but each one is tragic for reasons specific to the character's plight. For example, a young boy hangs himself because he fears the brutal punishment he could face for running away from the training site.

The mischievous Laizi (Li Dan) loves to eat candied crab apples – just before he hangs himself, he stuffs his mouth with as many as he can. The candied crab apples are a metaphor for life and pleasure. When a famous Cheng Dieyi hears the faint cry of a boy hawking crab apples, he is reminded of his humble beginnings.

In a story that focuses on definitions of manhood, that each major character has a fixation with swords should not blow anyone's mind.

Opium smoked by Cheng Dieyi even becomes a metaphor for the old days, the days of the Dowager Empress and extreme opulence. By taking the drug and refusing to cast aside the old life, he renders himself vulnerable. The communists exploit his and other character's weaknesses.

In <I>Concubine<P>, each performance is first rate. Gong Li plays the submissive wife and <I>femme fatale<P> with equal intensity. Zhang Fenyi is also really good as Xiaolou. The best performance, though, belongs to Leslie Cheung, a master of body language.

Three cheers to director Kaige, who makes Bertolucci's <I>The Last Emperor<P>, a good film, look like a cartoon by comparison. The ease with which he handles difficult subjects is the major strength of <I>Concubine<P>.

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