ASBESTOS RATTLES ROY

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

A foul stench in the Roy Cullen building forced many classes to be moved and some to be cancelled. Several students complained of respiratory problems, headaches and general nausea.

The smell was from mastic remover, a chemical solvent used to remove asbestos floor tile.

On Saturday and Sunday AAR Inc. crews removed cracked floor tiles which contained asbestos.

Harry Stenvall, chemical manager of the Department of Environmental and Physical Safety, claimed the asbestos was completely removed and the smell created by mastic remover residue is at an environmentally safe level.

"It's all clear," he said.

In several classrooms the tile removal revealed termite-damaged wood floors causing those classrooms to be closed, he said.

Asbestos is not dangerous unless disturbed, however, said Greg Johnson of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

Mckee Environmental Health Inc., an industrial hygiene company, determined the level of asbestos to be 0.01 fibers per cubic centimeter over an eight-hour period, Stenvall said.

"(0.01 or less) is what is required in the public schools," said Stenvall.

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act Rule required that all kindergarten through 12th-grade schools clean up any asbestos areas. But UH buildings are considered public buildings and only disturbed asbestos areas are required to be abated.

The Occupational Safety and Health Association defines the safe level at 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeters over eight hours in a work area, but 0.01 is required in a general public area.

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fiber and was once widely used in fire- and sound-proofing of buildings.

Exposure to asbestos has been directly linked to lung cancer, asbestosis, a form of lung cancer which attacks the lining of the lungs, and pleural mesothelioma, which affects the membranes surrounding the lungs. The latter two diseases are almost always fatal.

The entire process has wreaked havoc in the English Department, the main tenants of the building.

"It pleases nobody and bothers a lot of people," said Peter Gingiss, associate professor of English.

He cancelled class Monday due to the solvent fumes.

Several students were upset that the removal was not completed before spring classes.

"It's been a problem; it's inconveniencing us," said a student who wished not to be identified.

"Why haven't they taken care of it sooner?" she added.

The problem was too severe to wait, Stenvall said.

"We would have liked to have had this job finished earlier, but it all takes time," he said.

Stenvall said the replacement tiles did not contain any asbestos.

 

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SENATE SHIFTING GEARS WITH NEW YEAR

 

by Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

In its first meeting of the year, The Faculty Senate wrapped up last year's end-of-year committee reports and charted its course for 1994.

Bill Cook, chairman of the Committee on Committees, reported that in keeping with UH President James Pickering's plan to save wasted time, the Faculty Senate will lessen the number of standing committees.

The only committee that is not state or federally mandated is the Committee on the Status of Minorities, which the administration has resisted closing.

Agnes DeFranco, chair of the Campus Life Committee, reported that The System Office appropriated $842,000 for the campus to comply with the structural requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Jerry Paskusz, chair of the Educational Policies Committee, reported that the faculty workload/role/effectiveness issues raised in 1993 deserved further study. Paskusz also reported that the "Academic Excellence Workshops" were a success and that the 1994 committee will consider sponsoring a new workshop, "Cooperative Learning."

Judy Myers, chair of the Budget Committee, released a fact sheet that listed expenditures for UH intercollegiate athletics for fiscal years 1988/89 through 1992/93. The list showed expenditures that were considerably higher than revenues.

After the committee reports, outgoing President George Reiter gave his report on what he thought were issues that should continue to be addressed by the senate: the treatment of women on campus, the need for a feeling of community among faculty and administration, and cooperative education.

Reiter said that work by women work on campus is not taken as seriously as men's and that when the subject of promotions are brought up, the personality of the woman is called into question more readily than a man.

On the issue of community, Reiter said the merit system destroys the faculty's feelings of community by lowering the self-worth of certain parties and that cooperative education should work harder at getting students more involved in their own education.

In his inaugural address, new Faculty Senate President Ernst Leiss said shared governance with the administration and the Board of Regents, and a perceived lack of respect of the senate by other faculty, were some of the more important issues being faced by the senate this year.

Professor of law Stephen Huber made a motion that decisions about the reshaping of the UH Athletic Advisory Board should not have to be brought before the UH Board of Regents. Huber said the faculty should have more of a say in the reshaping.

The NCAA rule book states that faculty or administration should constitute at least a majority of the board. The UH Athletic Advisory Board's current majority is alumni.

 

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ALUMNUS RELATES SPACE STORIES

by Thomas Hewett

Daily Cougar Staff

Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., NASA astronaut and UH alumnus, said his fascination with space exploration and science began when he was eight years old.

"I can remember watching the original seven (astronauts) fly to the moon," said Harris, who spoke to Ryan Middle School and UH students and faculty Tuesday in the UC Atlantic Room. "I was fascinated with what was happening in the space arena. It was at that point in time that I wanted to become an astronaut."

Harris' lecture, "Brave New World: African Americans in Science and Space," was co-sponsored by the UH African American Pre-Health Association. The UH African American Studies Program is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this week.

Harris said one vision helped carry him through his education and training.

"When I was little, I would dream about going into space in my very own spaceship," said Harris, smiling. "That may sound kind of stupid, but when you think about it, that is where imaginings and dreams of future accomplishments all begin."

For Harris, a 1978 UH graduate, his dream became a reality when he was selected in 1991 to join the NASA Space Shuttle flight crew. He was also part of the payload crew of Spacelab D-2.

Harris, who completed a National Research Council Fellowship at NASA Ames Research Center in 1987, addressed the role of African Americans in the fields of science, space and technology.

African Americans have to overcome many obstacles, Harris said.

"My job is to go around and tell about the opportunities of space exploration, but also as an African American astronaut, and talk about reality," he said. "You're going to run up against people who will not like you based on the color of your skin. You have to discover your abilities and be determined."

Harris said the 1986 Challenger disaster didn't discourage him from wanting to become an astronaut.

"Even in the wake of it, I didn't have any second thoughts," he said. "It's certainly something that we all think about."

"It probably crosses my family's mind more than mine. We accept the risks."

Still, Harris said he feels the future of the world rests in space exploration.

"A lot of new technologies are a result of space exploration," he said. "It is suggested that by the year 2010, nine out of every 10 jobs will be related to science and mathematics."

In addition to graduating from UH, Harris received his medical degree from Texas Tech University School of Medicine in 1982 and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in 1985.

Currently, he is associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Houston, assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, and clinical professor at the University of Texas School of Medicine.

 

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VOLUNTEER-RUN CAMPUS RECYCLING CLEANING UP

 

by Melissa b. Brady

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston is no longer the only university in Texas without campuswide recycling.

Beginning this semester, the hard work of the UH Conservation Committee, students in the Environmental Awareness Group, and many faculty and staff, have come together to create a campuswide recycling program.

In the fall semester, a test was run in the E. Cullen and Architecture Buildings to recycle aluminum, computer paper and office mix. Office mix includes, envelops with windows or labels, plastic or manila folders, data processing materials, time cards, mail, loose leaf papers, memos, fax paper, copy and typing paper and other office materials.

"The test pilot was successful," said Steven Barth, the head of UH Conservation Committee. The test concluded that more than 40 percent of waste products could be reused.

In the past several years recycling efforts have been made by everyone from past Students' Association members, to groups like Team Earth and Greek associations. Until now the UH administration had been less than enthusiastic to the activities of students and faculty.

"You have to have support from the top (in) a grass roots project. Some things just take time, said Barth.

"When we started this effort, our group looked at other attempts at recycling. It seemed past groups tended to be global about recycling, instead of one building at a time. One building at a time made the difference (here)," he said.

The groups involved went to each department in a building and asked them to recycle. With the success of the test, the move to campuswide recycling has been moved forward by the purchase of recycling bins and a bailer for cardboard. The program will to expand to include cardboard, newspapers and cans.

The bins have been purchased with funds raised from selling recycled materials. "The cardboard bailer is essentially a big smusher," said Rob Nugen Recycling Chair of EAG.

"What it does is break down boxes, and compacts paper and trash," he said The bailer has been paid for through recycling sales of scrap metal and batteries, which amounted to a little over $7,000. It is expected to pay for itself in two years, making it a no-cost project for students and taxpayers – thanks largely to the efforts of Frank Colson, senior buyer for the Physical Plant.

Colson has worked for more than five years on related projects to see campuswide recycling at UH, but said the project began to come together two years ago with the appointment of Steven Barth.

As part of the reshaping project sponsored by UH President James Pickering, the recycling effort will take at least 4,000 pounds of trash out of the waste stream each month. "The staff and administration has been extraordinarily supportive, and the response has been fantastic. I will defend the administration on this issue," said Barth.

Volunteers are needed to maintain the program in each of the buildings. If you can help with the project contact Steven Barth at 743—2415.

 

GRAPHIC

 

The locations for the recycling bins are:

•Agnes Arnold Hall

•Agnes Arnold Auditorium 1

•Agnes Arnold Auditorium 2

•Architecture College Building

•Bates Residence Hall

•Cougar Place (Residence Halls)

•Ezekiel Cullen Building

•Farish Hall

•Fine Arts Building

•Heyne Building

•Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant

•Law Residence Hall

•McElhinney Hall

•Moody Tower Residence

•Social Work Building

•University Center Satellite (underground facility)

•Wortham Theatre Complex

Building

In the next few weeks:

•University Center

•Law Library

•Bates Law Building

 

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MUSEUM IS SPACEY

by Rosario Peña

Daily Cougar Staff

Stargazers can enjoy an astronomical voyage through an <I>Astro Safari<P> and through <I>Seasons with the Stars<P> at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

This spring take a closer look at the stars in three close-up features about the constellations' history and influences on society over the years.

Local celebrities of radio and television have donated their time and voices to narrate <I>Astro Safari<P>. Personalities such as Marvin Zindler of KTRK-TV, take a look back at the first astrologers and investigate society organizations in accordance to the changing star fields.

Catch the safari at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Monday—Friday and on weekends at noon, 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., now through May 29.

For an even closer look, the constellations' history is the focus of <I>Stars of the Season<P>. Explore star formation and examine the myths and cultures every Sunday at 6 p.m.

The more avid star admirers can stay afterward on the second Sunday of each month for the presentation of Second Sunday with the Stars.

This special feature follows the <I>Season of the Stars<P> lecture with a weather-permitting tour of the Brown Observatory and includes interactive activities. This sequel is designed for children ages six and older, and an adult must register with each child under 12.

Admission to <I>Astro Safari<P> and <I>Stars of the Season<P> is $2 for adults, $1.50 for seniors over 62 and children under 12, and $1 for museum members.

The Second Sunday program admission is $15 per person or $10 for museum members.

Light up a child's life with an all-new educational laser light experience as Houston Museum of Natural Science presents <I>The Great Space Chase<P>.

Follow Lt. Phobeus as his pursuit of the stolen accelerator suit and the evil Captain Xenon sends audiences in a wild trek across the universe.

Especially designed for children in preschool through junior high level, everyone is invited to explore the galaxy and the planets.

Current showtimes are 11:20 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday—Friday and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekends. Admission is $2 for adults, $1.50 seniors over 62 and children under 12 and $1 for museum members.

In one of the most popular attractions, this city's rocking to the beat of a brand new drum, or rather, two-stepping its way into the Houston Museum Of Natural Science with the all-new <I>Country Laser<P> this spring at the Burke Baker Planetarium.

Country music lovers can now enjoy laser light images blended with country tunes by such artists as The Judds, Reba, Vince, Garth and many others. Catch <I>Country Laser<P> every Friday and Saturday evening beginning Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Also new this spring is <I>Laser Grateful Dead<P>. Imagine flying through star fields to such hits as "Touch of Grey," "One More Saturday Night" and "Alabama Getaway."

For a more classic voyage, enter the black hole jamming to the third show, <I>Laser Pink Floyd – The Wall<P>. A laser light show showcasing their album <I>The Wall<P>."

Showtimes for <I>Laser Grateful Dead<P> are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and for <I>Laser Pink Floyd – The Wall<P> at 11 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or $3 per museum members.

 

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SMU SHELLS LADY COOGS 81-71

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The Southern Methodist women's basketball team came to Hofheinz Pavilion Wednesday night, but it failed to show up until the second half.

The Cougars led the Mustangs by 10 going into halftime but failed to hold onto the lead when SMU went on a 13-0 run with about 10 minutes to go in the game.

This put the Mustangs up 66-54 with 7:13 left, and the Cougars were only able to pull within four again.

Both teams started the game playing sloppy. There were eight turnovers before Pat Luckey's layup started the scoring. Three more turnovers later, Tanya Davis scored only the second field goal of the game at the 16:56 mark.

Davis was the high scorer for the Cougars with 18 points.

SMU did not score a field goal until Jennifer McLaughlin's jumper five minutes into the game.

The Mustangs' cold start allowed the Cougars to get off to a 14-3 run. They made 65 percent of their shots in the first half, allowing them to overcome 13 turnovers. SMU committed 11 and only shot 38 percent.

The only shred of offense for the Mustangs was the play of Kerri Delaney. She scored 19 of the 31 points and led the Mustangs with 29 for the game.

The second half was an entirely different ballgame.

The Cougars were outscored 50-36 and out-rebounded 28-20. They also turned the ball over seven more times. They had a total of 20 on the game.

When asked what adjustments her team made during halftime, SMU coach Rhonda Rompola said, "We were more aggressive. We played better defense and stayed in our zone. Basically they got their heads on straight,"

Houston coach Jessie Kenlaw had her own impressions about the second half.

"SMU wanted the game more than we did and they found a way to win it," she said.

Both teams were 1-3 in the Southwest Conference and in a four-way tie for last place. The Cougars were coming off of their first SWC win and were let down by the loss.

"We went out there ready to play, but we messed up when we didn't need to mess up," Luckey said.

"It was very disappointing, but we didn't deserve to win," Kenlaw said.

Kenlaw said the turnovers and a lack of rebounding were keys in the loss. She was also upset about the lack of leadership and consistency.

 

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SWC CELLAR WELCOMES HOUSTON

BATTLE OF THE WORST FAVORS MUSTANGS IN 70-64 SHOWDOWN

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

Just when you thought the Cougars were getting better, they got worse.

The battle for last place in the Southwest Conference was won by Houston, but the Southern Methodist Mustangs managed to win the game 70-64 in Dallas' Moody Coliseum on Wednesday night and stretch the Cougars' record losing streak to 11.

Behind 60-56 with 4:37 left to play, the Ponies (3-12, 1-4 SWC) sealed the contest with a decisive 14-4 run that guards Troy Dorner and Chad Allen keyed with a 3-pointer apiece.

Dorner led all scorers with 23 points and Allen chipped in with 12 on four treys.

"We talked two days about Allen's ability to shoot the 3-point shot," said Cougars' head coach Alvin Brooks. "But with the game on the line down the stretch, we left him wide open."

But the biggest difference in the game, however, was the fact that senior guard Anthony Goldwire was only 2-of-12 from the field with 11 points.

He found himself unable to penetrate the Mustangs' front line of forwards Chris Boyd and Raymond Van Beveren and center James Gatewood. Consequently, they forced Goldwire to take the outside shot, which he didn't have.

"We didn't execute on offense," Brooks said. "We missed layups and tried to do things offensively that we aren't capable of doing."

Toward the end of the first half, SMU had built as much as a nine-point lead before Houston guard Tyrone Evans nailed a jumper just before the horn for a 33-26 SMU advantage.

That momentum carried on into the second half as the Cougars (2-13, 0-5 SWC) finished off a 24-7 run and led 48-40.

During that time they were getting consistent shooting from Goldwire and forward Jessie Drain on the outside and center Rafael Carrasco and forward Tim Moore on the inside.

To complement the great shooting during the run, Houston played even tougher defense, which at one point resulted in a 12-0 spurt.

"Houston bothered us when they went into their zone defense in the second half," SMU coach John Shumate said.

But the Mustangs went on a little spurt of their own.

Following a Houston miss and a two-point Cougar lead, Dorner finally put the Mustangs back on top 61-60 with a 3-point jumper at the 3:48 mark.

SMU never looked back again.

"I thought we executed well at both ends," Dorner said. "We didn't fold when we got behind in the first half."

Brooks, however, had a different perspective.

"I was very disappointed with the way we played after getting the lead," he said. "We worked very hard to put ourselves in a position to win in the second half, but we lost our poise down the stretch."

The Cougars will have a chance to redeem themselves, however, when they meet the Mustangs in Hofheinz Pavilion on Feb. 24.

"Houston's got a good team," said Dorner. "I'm sure they'll be ready for us when we go down there in February."

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