WINE TASTING BRINGS FRENCH FLAVOR

by Melissa b. Brady

Daily Cougar Staff

Just another evening with white patriarches but not an average night in Houston.

The wines tasted too good.

Thursday evening was long awaited by wine lovers. And a year’s wait can make them very anxious and excited. But the anticipation is over for the French-American Chamber of Commerce with it's annual benefit now a gratifying memory.

The Beaujolais Nouveau Festival at the Wyndham Warwick Hotel was an abounding success with more than 1,300 people in attendance. The festival is the major fund-raiser for the French-American Chamber of Commerce. This year marks their 10th anniversary.

Wine lovers were quite pleased with the introduction of the wines of France and the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau line.

Cases of the new Beaujolais wines were trucked in to Paris and airlifted to major cities around the globe for tastings of the 1993 vintage. Tastings can begin no earlier than 12:01 a.m. Nov. 18, French time. On the third Thursday in November, the French government releases the new vintage of wines. The release date is, historically, cause for celebration.

The vintners of Beaujolais have always chosen to sell their harvest very soon after bottling, which takes place in August. In the 19th century, the local bistros measured the pulse of the wine-growing community. Because November was the best time of year for business generally, the vintners elected to introduce their new batch at that time.

Commercialization should not to confused with mass production, however. Astonishingly, the Beaujolais region officially forbids the use of harvesting machinery – the grapes are hand-picked to avoid "wounding" the fruit. The manual technique not only preserves the traditions of winemaking, but also has a beneficial effect on the local economy, necessitating 200 man-hours of labor per hectare (2.47 acres) harvested. Those 35,000 laborers have worked hard to produce the 1993 harvest and the fruits of their labors were evident at the festival.

The featured wines included representatives from Barton & Guestier, Bichot, Bouchard, Chateau de la Chaize, Joseph Drouhin, Georges Jaffelin, Moillard, Mommessin, Ropiteau and others. After sampling most of the wines, quite surprisingly all of them seemed well worth serving during an evening with friends or with a fine meal.

The question that pervaded the festival was: "Has Mother Nature blessed the Beaujolais region this year with the appropriate elements needed to produce a quality crop?" The short answer is yes!

Rainfall amounts were normal and the rain fell when needed – April and May for a good start, June for the flowering of the plants, and August for good maturation. The temperatures during the growing season were higher than ideal, but in August they were just right when the grapes were maturating on the vines.

This year's wine will have a satisfying richness with sugar content higher by 0.3 percent than last year. Better levels of acidity than the 1992 harvest will give the 1993 Beaujolais Crus good potential for aging. This year, reacting to public concerns, Beaujolais Nouveau has lowered it's maximum alcohol content by one-half point. After sampling, it seems assured that it has had no effect on the wine's balance and quality.

The Beaujolais vintages are some of the most famous red wines in the world. They characteristically have a light, fruity flavor and floral bouquet which comes from their Gamay grape heritage.

While at the festival, there was the potential to fill up on more than wine. The festival also served French foods provided by some of Houston's most prominent restaurants.

There were several buffet sponsors. But Colombe D'Or Hotel and Restaurant provided the greatest variety of mouth-watering treats, epitomized by its individual apple strudel pastries topped with a caramel sauce.

The evening at the Wyndham Warwick seemed just about as close to France as a poor college student was likely to get without breaking some law.

 

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COURTS SCRUTINIZING ACADEMIC FREEDOM

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

Daily Cougar Staff

In the next two weeks, students will be evaluating the performance of their professors. At the same time, in the face of a nationwide trend of regulating teaching styles, a debate is on as to whether these evaluations help improve quality of teaching or restrict the academic freedom of instructors.

Law Professor Michael A. Olivas, associate dean for research for the Law Center and author of <I>The Law and Higher Education<P>, said many court cases involve administrative or external controls upon what to teach and how it should be taught, but just a few cases have arisen from student objections to a teacher's professional decisions.

"The paucity of student dissatisfaction taken to court is due in part to the relative powerlessness of students, but is also attributable to the nearly absolute autonomy accorded to professors under traditional academic freedom norms," Olivas said.

Recent developments show that teaching styles and methodologies may be open to greater scrutiny.

Olivas predicted that the state will regulate teaching methodologies more. He said 22 states have laws to regulate teaching methodology concerning a teacher's accent. He said the law discriminates against foreign faculty and even minority faculty who may not speak with traditional accents. Other laws that regulate giving extra time to disabled students, making arrangements for religious students' attendance policy are new and can be considered as an intrusion into the classroom, he said.

He said the state policy requires every class to be evaluated and evaluations to be put on display in the library. The evaluations are kept on the third floor of the M.D. Anderson Library.

Olivas said evaluations aren't helpful to find out insulting teachers. Students don't take them seriously because they don't believe they'll be taken seriously, he added.

He said to be more efficient and accountable, schools are going to evaluate professors more.

Olivas added only the worst cases go to court. "You can't regulate civility toward each other," he said. He recommended professors establish a line of communication with students and to welcome students to voice their concerns, he said.

"Faculty rights are going to prevail because the faculty has to be responsible for the entire class, whereas students' individual rights often have to be subordinated to the faculty rights," Olivas said.

He said, however, in some cases faculty members who cursed at students in class were dismissed from tenured positions. He said even though the faculty member claimed that swearing was his academic freedom to get students excited about learning, courts don't accept it as a defense and find it insulting to students.

The American Association of University Professors defines academic freedom in the classroom as: "The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing (his or her) subject, but ... should be careful not to introduce into (his or her) teaching controversial matter which has no relation to (his or her) subject."

Faculty members have the responsibility to enlighten students, but students are often uncomfortable because of different ideas, said Judith Walker de Felix, assistant dean of the College of Education. Nevertheless, she said teachers have to give up their biases and explore ideas.

Bredo Johnsen, the chairman of the Philosophy Department, said his freshmen philosophy students feel uncomfortable when he talks about God. "I talk about rationality of God and religious belief. Students don't want to touch that area in their lives. I know they are uncomfortable but this doesn't prevent me from talking about it," Johnsen said.

Johnsen believes academic freedom is an unquestionable right of the professor. "Individual people have to be free to investigate and find truth," he said. Johnsen also said academic freedom can be abused like anything else, but the solution is not to put restrictions on it.

"Professors are bound to treat students in a professional way. Students aren't entirely powerless," Johnsen said. Students have a right to present their side of the case, he said. Regular multiple choice student evaluations may not identify abuse problems, but free form of evaluations, which allows students to comment is better suited to find out if there is abuse of academic freedom on the part of faculty, he said.

If a professor's style is in question, students' evaluations can help to diagnose the problems, said Felix. Complaints affect faculty's salary increase decision and promotion, she said. A faculty member's tenure was denied recently because of teaching problems, she added.

Mustafa Lokhandwala, dean of the College of Pharmacy, said evaluating a complaint is not difficult. "When you boil things down to individual cases, it is easy," he said. In the College of Pharmacy, grievance committees for both students and faculty make recommendations to the dean about problem situations. Complaints in regard to academic freedom tend to be made more in social sciences, he added.

Sometimes student objections to professorial privileges can be difficult to evaluate. Thomas O'Brien, chairman of the History Department, said if a student complains about some statements made in class by a professor, the department chair would need to know in what context the statements were made. He also said a considerable amount of information needs to be collected. He said an individual complaint is difficult to evaluate even if the complaint is legitimate.

David Tomatz, dean of the School of Music, said he is a strong believer in academic freedom. "The university is an idea factory. The only way that thought can develop is to share ideas," he said.

"It is hard for me to imagine a rational professor abusing the academic freedom (policy)," he added. Tomatz also said students don't have to sign up for a professor if they don't like his or her teaching style.

Richard Bannerot, chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department, said faculty members don't have an unlimited right because they should stay within the context of their subject when teaching. Bannerot said although his department has student advisers in addition to the chairman to respond to complaints, students who are uncomfortable tend to go to a faculty member they trust instead of the advisers.

"Professors ought to tape themselves every once in a while in class and listen to themselves just to get a sense. It can help to improve (them). I do this every year," said Olivas.

Olivas separates being an insulting teacher from being a bad teacher. If a faculty member is insulting students, department chairs will act, he said.

"If a person is just simply not a very good teacher, I don't think they're necessarily going to act on it. Everybody wants to be a good teacher. I don't think people consciously want to be terrible teachers."

 

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HELPING HANDS

Thousands of homeless and less fortunate Houstonians enjoyed a hot Thanksgiving dinner at the George R. Brown Convention Center Thursday. And dozens of UH students were there helping with everything from serving food to sorting clothes.

Several groups gathered at the UC at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning to organize their volunteer efforts.

Raj Choudhary, a chemical engineering major, joined 10 other members of Alpha Lambda Delta-Phi Eta Sigma National Academic Honor Society to help clean tables. "(The people we helped) said they were very thankful they were able to get dinner. Not all of them were homeless, but they were all very gracious and friendly," said the 24-year-old junior.

Scott Sonsalla, a senior operations management major and president of Delta Sigma Phi, spent his morning folding and sorting clothes that were given away to the needy. Teaming up with Phi Mu Sorority, the group also set up food baskets with bread, canned food and other goodies for people to take home. Several thousand baskets were given away.

"There were truck loads and truck loads of clothes that we separated into gender categories and sizes. It was incredible the amount of clothes people gave," Sonsalla said. "And I mean nice clothes, suits, evening gowns -- some clothes were better than what I wear."

He said volunteering made him "realize how fortunate I am. It didn't take much for us to help them have a great day. There were so many volunteers and it really made a difference in these peoples' lives. My Thanksgiving was definitely better because of it."

 

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ANC LEADER EXPOUNDS ON NEXT YEAR'S ELECTION

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Student reaction to Lindiwe Mabuza's recent campus discussion on the South African political struggle indicated that most UH students who attended her lecture support the ANC's initiative to equalize the balance of power in the troubled country.

Mabuza's lecture comes on the heels of the ratification of a new constitution for the country, which is expected to be passed by the white-dominated parliament to initiate the transfer of power during the elections April 27, 1994.

"I was pleased with what she said," said Henry Bell, president of the Black Student Union. "She addressed the problem of apartheid, and made correlations with the problems we face as black people here in America."

Mabuza's discussion focussed mainly on the similarities between the struggle in South Africa and that of the African Americans.

"The victories of South Africa are your victories," Mabuza said. "I come here and find that the descendants of slaves having the power to elect the president and I see that you are still marching to assure that your democracy is a true democracy."

Her people, she said, are not on a level playing field with the whites. "There are 22 million people expected to vote, 19 million of whom have never voted before," she said.

 

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AIDS SUFFERERS' PLIGHT TOUCHING HEAVENLY FOLK

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

As people file into the nightclub, several pass canned goods to the cashier – instead of paying the $2 cover charge.

Their gesture of compassion is part of an effort to not only save money, but also to help feed the hungry – and in this case, people who have acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Heaven, located on Pacific Street in the Montrose area, waives the admission fee in exchange for a canned food item, Wednesday through Saturday night from 9—11 p.m., and Sundays from 7—10 p.m. The canned goods are donated to Stone Soup Pantry which provides food for people who test positive for HIV.

Scott Lewis, promotional director for the bars on Pacific Street, said in the year since Heaven started this promotion, the clubs’ owners have donated over 25,000 canned food items to the Stone Soup Pantry.

"People will bring a bag of canned goods because they know where it is going and what it is for," says Lewis. "We're giving people the opportunity to help in a very easy way and yet, they are making a big difference, one that has fed an incredible amount of people."

This promotion is beneficial to everyone, said Lewis. The club benefits because they get people in earlier, and there is a bigger crowd. The AIDS Foundation of Houston helps the pantry benefit from the food donated to it for AIDS sufferers.

"At the least, the donations remind us of our responsibilities to fellow homosexuals with HIV and the fact that they exist," says junior Biochemistry major Brett Gensler.

Lewis says many in the gay community have known someone who has died of AIDS-related complications or who is HIV positive. In the eight years Heaven has been open, club management has worked with the community to promote AIDS awareness and tried to help alleviate the problems of those who test HIV-positive.

"(The gay community) has fought for 13 years against the AIDS pandemic," says Lewis. "Our community has exhausted itself physically, emotionally and economically with its tireless efforts in this battle. We're doing stuff like this because a lot of people have given until they have nothing left."

For those who have nothing left in their pantries and cupboards, a can of food could represent sustenance for at least one more day.

 

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RIBBONS TIED TO WORLDWIDE AIDS AWARENESS MOVEMENT

 

by Debbie Callier

Contributing Writer

Tiny red ribbons denote Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome awareness.

Most people first saw them on television – at the 1991 Tony Awards – then at the Grammys and the Academy Awards.

But the effort did not begin in show business. It began with a New York group looking for a simple way to cause people to think and help them remember. People were dying; there was a crisis.

The group, called Visual Aids, is constantly looking for projects to remind us to care; to remind us of the devastation AIDS has wrought in the artistic community. Other reminders have been "A Day Without Art," seen in art museums and galleries, and "A Night Without Lights," where New York City’s lights are dimmed for 15 minutes, simulating a blackout. Both take place on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day.

The Red Ribbon Project, which found its inspiration in the yellow ribbons of the Gulf Crisis, started purely as an expression of awareness. "It was to have no monetary or fund-raising connection," said Jimmy Morrow, one of the Visual Aids artists. They wanted a nonverbal statement, broad enough and inclusive enough to catch on at the grass roots level. It has.

Wearing the ribbon can say: "I support the people who are suffering and their caregivers"; or it can say, "Let's do something to make a difference." The meaning is the private choice of the wearer.

The simplicity of the ribbon is part of its success. The design is a six-inch strip of red ribbon, with a loop pointing upward and the V pointing downward. It’s usually pinned to the lapel.

The ribbons from Visual Aids are made by homeless women, who are paid five cents per ribbon. The ribbons are then sold to organizations for ten cents to cover the total production costs. They are supposed to then be distributed at no cost to the recipient.

While the original intent eschewed commercialism, some organizations have begun to turn out ribbons for cash. Foley's sells two styles in its jewelry departments. Betty Zlatich, a Foley's sales associate at West Oaks, said the store sells three versions for $5, $10 and $20. She did not know the exact percentage, but a portion of the price of the $10 design is donated to AIDS research. She said all of the $20 fee goes to its manufacturer, Erwin Pearl.

The U.S. Post Office has gotten in the act, with a Red Ribbon/AIDS Awareness Day. Officials say they cannot donate money to the AIDS foundation or any charity, but they will permit AIDS organizations to reproduce the stamp design without paying of a licensing fee.

Ribbons have made people move mountains in the name of awareness, profit, and always, compassion.

 

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BAYOU BUCKET BEATING

Cougars end dismal season with 37-7 loss to Rice

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

Never in the 19-year history of the Bayou Bucket Classic had the Rice Owls come close to what the achieved Friday afternoon.

They beat the Houston Cougars at Rice Stadium.

After years of frustration, the Owls threw the proverbial monkey off their backs and ended the Southwest Conference season flying past the Cougars 37-7.

"I'm very happy the burden of the Bayou Bucket is off (Rice head coach Fred Goldsmith's) back," said Cougars' head coach Kim Helton. "But now I want (the trophy) back."

The Owls (6-5, 3-4 in SWC) ended a 10-game home losing streak and a six-game streak overall which dates back to 1972 and 1986 respectively.

"I'm very happy," said Goldsmith. "Our back-to-back winning seasons show something for the stability of this program."

But the Cougars (1-9-1, 1-5-1) looked as if they were going to extend that streak early in the first quarter.

Following a 30-yard pass from Cougars' quarterback Jimmy Klingler to running back Tommy Guy, TiAndre Sanders ran up the middle for a 14-yard score and an early 7-0 lead.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, that was to be their only highlight of the afternoon.

The Owls countered and eventually took control after a pair of Bert Emanuel-to-Byron Coston touchdown passes of 19 and 31 yards made the score 14-7.

But on Rice's third drive, Emanuel went down with a leg injury and was unable to return until the game's waning moments.

Backup quarterback Josh LaRocca filled in nicely, completing 10-of-15 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown as the Owls built up a 28-7 lead at halftime.

"We didn't execute on offense," said Klingler, who suffered his second straight subpar outing by completing only 6-of-14 passes for 94 yards with three interceptions. "We pretty much beat ourselves."

For the Cougars, it was yet another turnover-filled game from their side of the field as they gave it to the boys in blue a total of eight times.

"It seems like every time we draw our arm back to pass, we either fumble, hit a receiver in the chest and have it bounce out, or they intercept it," said Helton. "If I could run out there and catch it for them I would. But I'm too old for that."

The Owls didn't need the "physical" help of their coach as they piled up 379 yards of total offense in ending the streak.

"I could tell Rice really wanted to win," said defensive tackle Stephen Dixon, who had one of the Cougars' two sacks on the day. "They wanted bragging rights. And now that the Bayou Bucket is theirs, they're happy."

And come 1994, the Cougars can only hope that the Bucket will be their’s once more.

 

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COUGARS ZAP ZIPS 69-53 IN OPENER

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars trapped the Akron Zips and bombarded them from long range in a 69-53 opening night victory Saturday at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The victory was Alvin Brooks' first as Houston head coach.

"He was relaxed, but you could look at (Brooks) and tell he wanted this game," Cougar guard Anthony Goldwire said.

"When they went up by one he gave me that look, telling me to take charge."

Goldwire and Jesse Drain took charge of the offense with a combined 9-of-13 barrage of three-pointers that carried UH and kept the Cougars in the game offensively.

Drain finished with a game high 23 points and Goldwire put in 19. Rafael Carrasco's nine inside points provided the only other Cougar offense.

Houston led most of the way until Akron mounted an 11-0 run with 11 minutes remaining to take a 51-50 lead.

Houston started a full-court press that halted the Zips’ comeback, and finished the game with a 19-2 run.

"I think the press helped us a lot," said freshman Roderick Griggs.

Griggs helped a lot with key free throws and rebounds down the stretch.

Brooks said, "You can't say enough about Roderick. He did a lot of those little things that don't show up in the stats."

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