ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR

THE WAR ROOM CAPTURES ELECTORAL POLITICS' FRENZY

Stars: James Carville, George Stephanopoulos

Directors: D. A. Pennebaker, Chris Hedegus

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

The film's banner reads "they changed the way campaigns are won," but much of the dealings seem like the same good-old-boy politics.

This doesn't stop <I>The War Room<P> from being an excellent film. The Academy Award-nominated documentary is funny and calculating, covering the beginnings of the Bill Clinton campaign from New Hampshire to the taking of the White House. The film centers around Clinton campaign manager Jim "The Ragin’ Cajun" Carville and communications director George Stephanopoulos, but <I>The War Room<P>‘s real protagonist is the American circus of electoral politics and the families it creates.

Everyone steps up for a minute in <I>The War Room<P> and every happening and idiosyncrasy is cause for measurement and debate. One intraparty argument centers around whether to have hand-drawn signs or to have glossy printed ones. First, there’s the matter of knocking off Democratic opponents, particularly the pesky Jerry Brown, and then facing off with Bush. Everyone seems oblivious to the camera as they say exactly what’s on their minds.

<I>The War Room<P> is at its best when Carville is upfront and obnoxious. He hates Bush with a passion and doesn’t let anyone forget it – he won’t even drink Busch beer. "When I think of an old calendar, I think George Bush’s face is on it," he mouths off to another Democrat. Carville’s annoyed by the draft-dodging controversy ("every time someone farts the word ‘draft,’ it’s on the front page," he snorts) and gleeful when he nearly nails Bush in what turns up a flat lead. His life is all the more fascinating in his dealings with now-wife and ex-Bush spokeswoman Mary Matalin.

The heartthrob Stephanopoulos is strong too as a leader who’s both kind and deadly serious. He has no problem pumping up the staff or maneuvering candidate Clinton’s speeches. As the embattled campaign nears the end, Stephanopoulos retrieves a call from a Perot leader threatening to leak embarrassing information, to which the Clintonite warns: "I guarantee that if you do this, you’ll never work in Democratic politics again." His retort wins Clinton’s dignity, and the game goes on.

<I>The War Room<P> runs at a breakneck pace, capturing the frenzied action of making sure every symbol is right, every speech catches the right feel and each machination yields the best advantage to the candidate. Carville and Stephanopolous are less the the movers and shakers but more a pair of trees in a whirlwind that tosses the world around it all about.

 

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SA HOPEFULS GEARING UP FOR CAMPAIGN

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

The election season for the Students' Association kicked off with 69 students from four registered parties and one write-in party vying to gain control of student government.

The general election is March 9 and 10. Over the next few weeks, students will be inundated with candidates, platforms and fliers.

This year's mainstream parties are the Initiative party led by Senate Speaker Coy Wheeler and the Uniting Students party led by SA Public Relations Director Angie Milner.

The other two parties, Alliance and Abolish SA, represent student protests over the way SA currently works.

One party called S.P.E.A.K., Seeking Perfection Efficiency and the Advancement of Knowledge, plans to run a write-in campaign.

Jessica Martin, S.P.E.A.K.'s candidate for president, wants to create a student SA handbook, to set up a senator-for-a-week program, so students can bring in bills and resolutions to the senate, and to get senators more in touch with the needs of their constituents.

Milner's party has 32 candidates with 10 students running unopposed. Milner has actively participated in SA on committees and in the Senate.

"I know the ins and outs of the office. I've been in the executive cabinet and I think I'm ready to take on that task," she said.

Milner said it is time for SA after four years to have another female executive.

The Uniting Students party seeks several "realistic" reforms including changing the registration and withdrawing process, keeping the lines of communication open between students and administration and increasing the number of student committee members.

Milner said registration should be on four separate days by classification so that upperclassmen can be assured of getting their classes.

The withdrawing process is plagued by long lines and needs to be changed to ensure that students can move through quickly, Milner said.

Students who put their withdrawal requests in the drop box, instead of waiting in line, are also encountering problems where they are not dropped from classes and receive failing grades, Milner said.

Milner also wants to continue SA lobbying in Austin and Washington for financial assistance and Pell Grants.

Milner considers her platform to be very "realistic."

"It's all pretty cut and dry," Milner said.

Milner's vice-presidential running mate is Dirk Moore, director of external affairs and former SA senator.

Wheeler's party includes 21 candidates with one student running unopposed. Henry Bell, president of the Black Students' Association, is Initiative's vice-presidential candidate.

The Initiative party's main planks include getting respects for students on this campus, getting UH respect in Austin, adopting a code of ethics, and restructuring the executive cabinet.

Wheeler wants UH administration to treat students as customers. He said he led a campaign to change the way the Bursar's Office deals with students.

Wheeler, like Milner, also wants to continue lobbying efforts in Austin.

"I want to make sure students get what they deserve," said Wheeler.

Wheeler said UH will be in for a fight in the next legislative session to make sure university funding is not cut.

He wants to set up "reciprocal relationships" by getting students to work on campaigns and legislators to visit the campus so lawmakers will understand student needs.

Wheeler's party wants to reform SA institutions by creating different offices and giving executives more power and responsibility to better serve student needs.

"I have 21 people willing and committed to making a change," he said.

The Abolish SA group headed by presidential candidate Matthew Daly does not seek to abolish SA, but rather to eliminate the SA structure that presently exists.

"Right now, SA represents fraternities, not students. SA also listens more to what administration says rather than what students say," said Daly.

Daly who said he will give up half of his SA income to charity, said he is not interested in power, but in changing the "apathy level" of students who are not being represented by a government they pay for.

In the past few years, parties have been created with the express purpose of SA abolishment and total reform. Last year several parties ran under the R.A.P. acronym with the basic goal of abolishing SA, said shane patrick boyle, a former Revolutionary Activist Party presidential candidate.

Abolish S.A. only has candidates for the president and vice-presidential candidates.

Movements for abolishing SA are a symptom of the frustration students feel over SA ineffectiveness, said Justin McMurtry, an Initiative candidate for At-Large Position 1.

"The answer is to reform (SA), to build up its potential rather than to abolish it," McMurtry said.

The Alliance party, another protest party, only has candidates for president, vice president and student regent positions.

Dominic Lewinsohn, Alliance's presidential candidate said he wants to build a stronger sense of community amongst UH students. He said he will work with closely with the International Students Organization and the alumni association.

Lewinsohn said working with alumni is important because they are the future employers of UH students.

The Alliance Party believes they will be especially responsive to the UH community because of their culturally and racially diverse party.

"We're new. None of our party has ever been in SA. We feel like we can bring in some new ideas," said Lewinshon.

 

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FEMINIST DECRIES 'PLIGHT OF MASCULINITY'

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Pam Trevithick, a self-proclaimed, feminist social worker believes that people must deem the plight of masculinity just as important as that of femininity.

Trevithick came to UH to speak at the School of Social Work's annual Symposium on Women's Issues.

A founder of a women's self-help project in Bristol, England, called Womankind, Trevithick does not subscribe to humanist theory which "assumes all people start out good." She said children must be helped along with their mothers. It is at that point, Trevithick said, that one begins to deal with "all of humanity."

While men, according to Trevithick's theory, should "learn to cry" and re-enter the relationship realm, women should focus on entering the "world."

"We have to create a climate that makes that possible. People need to stop being so critical of each other," she said.

Problems between men and women are some of the oldest and most troubling. Trevithick said men and women should realize that nobody has a "market on compassion."

While focusing on relations between men and women, Trevithick mostly looks at ways in which society's "dispossessed" can be uplifted.

Shelters for homeless people and battered women should offer victims, who must be dependant on society, a chance to be properly cared for, said Trevithick. Victims should also have a chance at opportunities that will help them be self-sufficient.

Trevithick said that the energy to make things better has been "depleted" from most people who are just surviving without making society move "forward."

She said people see others who are homeless and can no longer feel sympathy for them.

Government reform and holding open conversations about existing problems are what Trevithick believes will eventually provide solutions to homelessness, poverty and degradation of women.

She also said that government should make policies that help to maintain family and community so people do not become easily "dispossessed."

 

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UH FALLS IN MINORITY RETENTION

by Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

With minority student retention rates continuing to remain low, some UH programs are beefing up their attempts at keeping minority students in school.

Figures released by the UH Retention Program showed the retained enrollment for first-time-in-college students after their first year of college in 1989: White students were 64.7 percent, black students were 69.9 percent and Hispanics were 68.6 percent.

In 1990, the number for white students rose 1.2 percent and Hispanics rose 3.9 percent. Blacks dropped by 4.8 percent.

For 1991, the last year of the study, whites dropped to 60.9 percent, Hispanics dropped to 64.9 percent while blacks rose to 67.4 percent.

For transfer students the percentage points where lower.

In 1989 the retention rate for white students was 58.4 percent, Hispanics where 93.6 percent while blacks where 62.3 percent.

In 1990, whites rose to 65.4 percent, Hispanics dropped to 62.3 while blacks dropped to 58.6 percent.

In 1991 blacks dropped further to 52.3 percent with whites dropping to 59.4 percent and Hispanics rising to 66.3 percent.

Some minority-centered programs say the problem in keeping African Americans and Hispanics is almost always financial.

Veronica Ferguson, Recruitment and retention Specialist for the African American Studies program said,"A large percentage of African Americans need financial support to stay in college so that's a major component in black student retention."

Ferguson said that to help alleviate some of the students financial needs AAS offers two forms of financial aid.

The first is the AAS program Academic Support Grant that offers $50 to $100 a semester. The second is the John Sheeler Memorial scholarship that offers three awards of $500.

Ferguson said another important reason minority students don't stay in college is that high school does not prepare them for the college curriculum.

Laura G. Murillo, Program Coordinator for the Mexican American Studies Program agreed with Ferguson but said Mexican Americans have the added handicap of a language barrier.

"For a lot of students it continues to be a problem that continues. Surprisingly enough we do have a few students who have overcome that problem. I've seen students that have been here for three years and have mastered the language and don't seem to have any difficulty. I think it's more of an individual type thing. You'll find students that have been enrolled in remedial English courses all the up to graduation. I think a lot of it has to do with the kind of education they receive in high school but I think once they're here and take advantage of the services they should be able to overcome any problems they might have," Murillo said.

Even with that, UH continues to be at the bottom half of the list when it comes to degrees conferred.

In a May 1993 analyses of the top 100 degree-producing colleges and universities in the United States, compiled by the journal of Black Issues in Higher Education, UH was ranked 48th for all minority groups in all disciplines. The highest ranking Texas university was the University of Texas at Austin. The highest ranking university nationally was the University of California at Berkeley.

For degrees conferred on African Americans and Hispanics at 50 predominantly-white schools, UH was not ranked.

When ranked by disciplines, UH was not listed for African Americans and Hispanics but was listed for Asians.

 

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CHRISTY'S CAMPUS

Jobs, Shakespeare and(!) Dirty Dancing

Welcome to hell week! The first wave of tests has hit and profs are handing out exams left and right. Don't fret, you aren't the only one with four tests this week. Look around you at all of the tired, grumpy people that pulled an all-nighter just like you! After the exam, or in between studying, take a break. Your brain can only absorb so much calculus. Make some room in that head for fun, right here on campus!

<B>Tuesday, February 22<P>

•Browse around the Texas Job Fair in the UC today. It will run from 1-6 and is open to all students and alumni.

•If you are a bookworm, here is a sale you can't miss! Friends of the UH Libraries is having a book sale. This isn't what you think, it's budgeted for college students. You can choose from a large selection of books and magazines. The sale runs through tomorrow from 10—6.

<B>Wednesday, Thursday 23<P>

•Come out to the ballpark at 2 p.m. The Coogs take on Sam Houston State. When's the last time you went to a ball game? Well that's too long!

•Are you registered to vote? Well you should be! The United We Stand America—UH Chapter is holding its college voter registration drive at the south end of the UC. Vote, it's the least you can do.

<B>Thursday, February 24<P>

•If you're on campus this evening and you're feeling a little funky, come watch a movie with SPB. Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" starts at 7 p.m. Admission is 1$ with UH ID.

•Are you a die-hard Rockets fan, but just can't get to the games because tickets are so expensive? Well today is your lucky day! Sign up today in the UC Info booth for the March 15 Rockets vs. the Trailblazers. Tickets start at 11$. (Hell of a deal!) Today is the only day you can sign up, so hurry over to the UC.

•This evening in the Regents Room of the UC, the National Pan-Hellenic council hosts the Black Faculty Reception. The reception begins at 5:30 and lasts until 8 p.m.

•It's hot basketball action tonight in Hofheinz. The Coogs take on the SMU Mustangs. Come out and show your support.

<B>Friday February 25<P>

•Come enjoy an evening of culture as UH School of Theater presents "Twelfth Night" by William Shakespeare. It begins at 8 p.m., and tickets start at just 6$.

•Check out the Latin Party tonight and every Friday at The Loft, 5078 Richmond. Live music and $1.25 drinks till 11. If you have never been to a Latin Party, you are missing out. This isn't Latin, like the dead language ... It's Latino and it's hot!

•Have a beer at Coogs Cafe, you deserve it after this week!

<B>Saturday, February 26<P>

•The fun continues! Check out the Latin Party at the Lake Longhorn Grill. Party starts at 10 pm. Dress to impress.

•If the Latin Party isn't your thing, there's a Reggae Party tonight at 8:30 pm at 1515 Dallas. We be jammin, mon!

•The Coogs need your support. UH baseball takes on the defending national champions the LSU Tigers at 2 p.m. Our Coogs are 9—4. Come cheer on Shane Buteaux and the rest of the Coogs to victory!

 

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OPERA IMAGE CHANGES

by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

Opera no longer has to be gray hair and wrinkles enjoying ancient castles where innocent girls await their lovers. The times are changing and it is HGO's General Director, David Gockley, who is bringing the winds of change.

His name is of great importance in the opera business. He is like the Elvis of Rock 'n' Roll, the Fleming of penicillin and the Levi's of jeans.

He grew up in Pennsylvania in a modest family. "From my earliest days at school, I liked to sing. Eventually, when I was wondering what to do with my life, my college professor told me 'You should try and see if you can sing opera.' "

Taking the advice of his professor, upon graduation Gockley decided to study voice in New York and to try to teach. During the summers, for three years he went to Santa Fe Opera as an apprentice singer, then singer and at last, the administrator.

"That was the company where I made my transition from singing to administration," said Gockley. "Over those three years, I came to the conclusion that I did not have the talent to be a great singer."

He decided to go to Columbia State, get an MBA and go into management. "In the fall of 1970, I got an offer to come to Houston and I've been here ever since. I was very fortunate because just (at) 29 years of age, they offered me the directorship of the opera. I am 50 now so, I've been here a long time," he said.

Among the many accomplishments of being general director for 22 out of 39 seasons, doubling performances and bringing 13 world premiers to HGO, Gockley also built the Wortham Theatre Center entirely with private funds in 1987, one of the worst times economically.

"I am most proud of the Wortham Center. It sticks out there as a part of the skyline. The rest of the things we do are ephemeral. They're there one day and gone the next. After the performance, when the curtain goes down, it is a work of art that no longer exists. It only exists in the memory," he said.

Gockley also says he is proud of the season's opener <I>Electra<P> and the American Broadway opera,<I>Street Scene<P>. His other accomplishments include <I>Porgy and Bess<P>, that went to Broadway, won a Tony award and toured the United States. <I>Nixon in China<P> is another Emmy and Grammy award-winning production he is proud of.

"It was broadcast and it opened the Wortham. It is one of the most successful new operas of the 20th century," he said.

HGO is one of the five major operas in the nation because of Gockley's continuous strive to make it bigger and better. But he modestly says the reason it is in the top five is due to the generosity of Houston.

"It is related to the very positive economic and growth atmosphere in the 1970s and early '80s, the civic, combined with civic aspiration, some remarkably generous foundations that wanted to use their wealth to put Houston on the map culturally. Among them have been the Brown Foundation, the Wortham Foundation, the Houston Endowment and the Cullen Foundation," he said.

Gockley's new direction for the opera is a project that was based on the availability of federal grants. The National Endowment for the Arts gave a $1 million Challenge III grant to the HGO.

"It is a hook to come up with imaginative ideas to make a major impact that has national impact. It caused us to think. We were trying to find works that spoke to people who are not traditionally associated with the opera," he said.

"The idea was to depart from what people consider opera: The old stories, the old worlds, hand-me-downs from Germany, France, England and Italy. We decided to call it 'New World,' and this hemisphere, new familiarity, approachability, and accessibility would characterize these pieces."

Opera New World seems to be a great innovation. It was created to bring opera to students and other nontraditional audiences. Gockley says that Opera New World is a great opportunity for students to discover the magic of opera and to fall in love with its own world of mysticism.

"We have proven that it is able to attract a more diverse public and it has made a lot of friends. The bottom line is it works, but changing a 150-year-old tradition of opera having that particular image and audience, is going to probably take many more years than a four-year program," he said.

Next year, three of the eight works will be Opera New World creations. Those will include <I>Porgy and Bess<P> and <I>Harvey Milk<P>.

<I>Harvey Milk<P> has the potential of being an extremely controversial opera. Gockley saw an award-winning documentary on PBS about the life of Harvey Milk.

"I saw this documentary and tears came to my eyes because of the kind of guy Harvey was as an individual; what he fought all of his life because of his early discovery that he was gay, the lie he lived and the courage it took for him to come out of the closet and the further courage it took for him to become a public figure. I thought it was a story with important ramifications," he said.

He is not concerned with the potential of controversy <I>Harvey Milk<P> might cause.

"We've come a long distance, and I think the voices of hate and discrimination will bring forth a lot of discussion. I believe, in general, the city will accept it. People will get a chance to consider a lot of issues such as, is homosexuality a sin, or something you are born with? The issue of the risk a public figure takes to stand up for what he believes will also be considered. The fact that it is put to music will bring it to be stronger and more mythical," he said.

One of the current production Opera New World is producing is <I>Dracula Diary<P>, which deals with a young girl in a convent with a beautiful voice, a man who seeks fame through her voice, but falls in love with her only to discover that she is a vampire.

Gockley said that,"It is a smaller, funkier work that is similar to a rock music minimalist framework."

<I>Dracula Diary<P> will be at the Cullen Theater on Friday, Mar. 18, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Mar. 20, at 2:30 p.m. Call 227—ARTS for tickets.

Gockley said he enjoys living in Houston and plans to stay here for a long time.

"It is a good place to live. There is an open-mindedness here about what opera can be. I think we have a real good basis to make an American Opera company be truly the expression of American work. Hopefully, having this continuum from the Old World to the New World will transform an audience and broaden and diversify an audience and justify our continued existence … Unless we evolve we will be dinosaurs and probably many think we are now," he said.

 

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ACE PITCHER MATT BEECH HURLS THE FIRST PERFECT GAME IN UH HISTORY

A DAY AT THE BEECH

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston starting pitcher Matt Beech had a day at the beach in Saturday's seven-inning 6-0 victory over Louisiana Tech.

The senior lefthander breezed through the Bulldogs' lineup with ease. His performance was in fact, perfect. The multitude of zerOs that dot the box score, like precisely-placed bullet holes, are proof of that.

Beech's pitches were precisely placed as he threw the first perfect game in UH history.

"(Beech) had great stuff. He changed planes (height of pitches), had great velocity and great location," said catcher Mike Hatch, who caught the game. "That's why he was an effective pitcher that day."

Hatch said he had never even seen a perfect game before, much less caught one. He said the pitches were called by a combination of head coach Bragg Stockton, Beech and himself.

"The biggest thing for me is how far he's come in a year. At this time last year he was over throwing," Stockton said. "For him to pitch a no-walk game is just incredible."

In recording the 21 consecutive outs, the historically wild Beech struck out six and allowed only five Bulldogs to hit the ball out of the infield.

"I was hitting with my fastball, curveball, slider and changeup," Beech said. "You have to throw four pitches for strikes."

Beech said the superb Houston defense was just as responsible for his perfection as his own pitching.

"The infield was soft and bumpy, making even the routine plays difficult," he said.

"Ryan Elizondo played the best shortstop I've had behind me in a long time."

Beech described one play in particular when a changeup was hit sharply on a line to the right side of the infield.

"Ryan timed his leap perfectly to save the ball from going into left field," he said.

"If they play great defense like that, all I've got to do is go out and pitch."

While the perfect game was the first in Cougar history, Beech's performance was also the first no-hitter since current student assistant Wade Williams threw 10 1/3 hitless innings in a no decision against Rice March 7, 1992.

Six other Cougar pitchers have thrown no-hitters, including current Astros hurler Doug Drabek who no-hit Southwest Louisiana in 1983.

Beech was named the Mizuno National Player of the Week Monday. His perfect game was the first in the Southwest Conference since 1972 and only the third in the 80-year history of the conference.

The NCAA stopped keeping track of perfect games in 1989, but between 1909 and 1989 only 20 were thrown.

Beech said he was confident going into the game because he was pitching on six days rest.

"I went to Louisiana feeling real good," he said.

"I told Rick (Freeman, his roommate on the road) 'I feel good. I think I'll throw a no-hitter today'."

Beech said he was only partially joking about throwing the no-hitter.

Between innings Freeman and many other Cougar players went against one of baseball's oldest superstitions and mentioned that Beech was throwing a hitless ballgame.

"(Freeman) kept saying 'Good job, keep throwing that perfect game," Beech said.

"We decided to meet the jinx head-on with belief."

Fellow senior pitcher Brian Hamilton was more respectful of the grandness of the accomplishment.

"We were hush-hush, sitting there in the last inning saying 'Oh God, just one more out'," he said. "When he did it we went nuts like it was the World Series."

The 22-year old was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 24th round of the major league draft after his junior season. He turned down the Tigers offer but he is still a sought after professional pitching prospect. The perfect game should only increase his standing in this year's draft.

"I've already been drafted," he said. "That's my lifetime goal but I have to win for the Cougars now."

The perfect game could make winning more difficult for Beech this season, however.

"After this perfect game goes around the country, I'll be a marked man," he said.

 

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LARRON TRADES IN NATIVE OUTBACK FOR SWEET STROKE AT HOUSTON

MEXICO CHAMPIONSHIP LETS NIKE TOUR COME CALLING FOR AUSTRALIAN

by Brian McTaggert

Contributing Writer

University of Houston golfer Dean Larsson has yet to be mentioned in the same breath with former Cougar greats like Fred Couples, Billy Ray Brown, Steve Elkington and John Mahaffey, but that day might not be too far off.

Larsson, a 21-year-old senior technology major from Australia, captured the individual title Feb. 13 at the International Intercollegiate Tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, shooting a three-day total of 5-under-par 211.

His performance helped UH to a second-place finish in team competition, just two strokes behind Brigham Young's 865. It also has propelled Larsson from relative obscurity to arguably UH's best golfer.

"I've been playing pretty well," Larsson said. "Last semester, I had a really good semester and I was kind of knocking on the door of winning for quite a while."

The biggest highlight from the Mexico victory was that Larsson received an exemption into a professional tournament on the Nike Tour, considered just a step down from the PGA Tour, in Monterrey in March.

Unfortunately, if he wins, he won't be able to claim the winner's check because he's still an amateur.

Larsson, who split time playing rugby and golf while growing up, came to the United States three-and-a-half years ago to pursue an education due to the lack of athletic scholarships available in Australia.

While looking into places to continue his studies, he came in contact with UH and decided to become a Cougar.

"When I began talking to UH, I was pretty excited because they have such a strong tradition and history in golf," said Larsson, referring to Houston's NCAA-record 16 golf championships.

"I'd heard of the coach, Keith Fergus, because he played on the tour and was a good player, so I figured if I came here I could really learn a lot from him," he said.

Larsson credits much of his success to Fergus, a 1976 UH graduate and two-time All-America selection who earned more than $1 million during his 10 years on the PGA Tour.

Fergus, in his sixth year as head coach, inherited a Cougar team dripping in tradition. After a pair of early subpar seasons, he began to turn the program around in 1991. Now, Houston is again beginning to make its presence felt in the race for the national crown.

"I think this year is the strongest we've been in a while," Larsson said. "When coach Fergus came in, he didn't have any players at all. He had to spend a couple of years recruiting players, and we've been getting better every year."

Larsson has been getting better every year too, improving his stroke average from 75.9 per 18 holes in 1990 to 72.3 this year. His average was the third lowest in the Southwest Conference last semester.

Following graduation in May, Larsson said he plans to continue to play golf and hopefully turn pro at the end of the year.

But individual goals are secondary at this point. After UH's outstanding performance in Mexico, the team is beginning to talk national title – something the school hasn't won since 1985.

"I really believe that we as a team have a good chance of winning the conference this year," he said. "If we really, really all played well, we have a shot at winning the whole show.

"Right now, my No. 1 goal is to get my degree and play well for the rest of the year."

 

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LADY COUGAR'S TENNIS TEAM WINS TWO OVER THE WEEKEND

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston tennis team won two matches decisively this weekend as they played host to North Texas and Nicholls State.

The Cougars pitched a near shut-out against North Texas Friday as they won 8-1. They turned around on Saturday and beat Nicholls State 6-3. The victories lifted the team to .500 for the first time this season at 3-3.

Friday the Cougars were near perfect. They won all six of their singles matches in straight sets.

Highlights included big wins by freshman Kristen Paris 6-1, 6-0 over Shauna Oliphant and Karen Dasprez beat Karen Grobler 6-1, 6-1.

In doubles Houston won two of the three matches. Grobler and Liesel Grobler teamed-up for the lone North Texas victory. They defeated Catherine Bromfield and Paris 7-5, 6-4.

On Saturday, the Cougars faced a little more competition against Nicholls State.

The Cougars won four of the six singles matches and two of the three doubles contests.

Cougars Cathy Sanchez and Amanda Barnett never lost a game as they beat Carine Jeannin and Sheri Standage in straight sets, respectively.

After starting the season 0-3 Houston has won three in a row. The Cougars next host Southwest Texas State on Feb. 25 at Chancellors Racquet Club.

<B>Indoor season finished<P>

The men's and women's track teams finished their indoor season on Saturday. They finished a little further back than what they had hoped.

At the beginning of the season head coach Tom Tellez said the goal of both teams was to finish in the top three of the Southwest Conference. Both finished a close fourth.

The men were only eight points behind third-place Rice, despite losing one of their key runners. Sprinter Sam Jefferson was disqualified from the meet under the "honest effort" rule.

After feeling a twinge in his left hamstring, he walked off the track in the 200-meter sprint preliminaries. The meet referee felt that he did not try to complete the race and disqualified him from the remainder of the meet. Tellez disagreed with the decision.

"He had an honest effort. It wasn't his fault he slipped on the boards," he said. "I don't think the rule was made to do that."

Usually when something like this occurs an opposing coach will need to make a protest before any action is taken. Here, this was not the case.

"There was no protest. Usually a coach will protest and I would have a chance to appeal," said Tellez. "They just eliminated him without the process."

Problems aside, Tellez said he was satisfied with the team's performance.

"We're getting closer," he said. "There were areas where we could have done better. Overall I thought the kids did really well."

The positives included performances by Paul Lupi, Ubeja Anderson, Allen Alldridge, Jermaine Johnson, Chris Lopez, De'Angelia Johnson, Cynthia Jackson Dawn Burrell, Edwina Ammonds, Elin Bendixon, Katrina Harris, Kenneth Bigger and the women's mile relay team. Lupi, Anderson, Harris and the relay team all recorded wins.

Harris won the high jump with a 5-9 3/4 jump. Anderson won the 55-meter hurdles (7.23), Lupi was first in the 800-meter (1:50.45) and the relay took the gold with a time of 3:38.92.

Asked if he thought the team's performance would have any negative effects, Tellez said no. Now, he says, they must go on and concentrate on the outdoor season.

"We'll do better outdoors. We're a much better outdoor team," he said.

<B>Foreign affairs<P>

The swimming team wraps up their season this week as they compete in the SWC Championships Feb. 24—27 in Austin at the Texas Swimming Center.

The Cougars are led by freestyle swimmer Alexandra Heyns. Heyns is a sophomore from Johannesburg, South Africa. She is one of four international students on the swim team.

The others include Marisol Monasterio and Maria Rivera from Venezuela, and diver Olivia Clark who hails from Cheltenham, England.

Returning to tennis for a moment, they too are worldly. Four of the eight players are from a foreign country.

Liz Escobar is from Mexico City and Cecilia Piedrahita is a native of Quito, Ecuador.

The other two are European. Karen Dasprez was born in Spycker, France and Catherine Bromfield grew up in Beckenham, Kent, England.

 

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NEW GADGETS TO MAKE MUSIC AN EXPERIENCE

by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

Imagine being able to buy a CD while sitting in the comfort of your own humble abode. Well, hold on to your hats, because current trends in music technology may be able to offer this and much more in the not-so-distant future.

Most of the technology deals with the manufacturing and distribution of compact discs. As strange as it may sound, compact disc players are not as common as most think.

They have only penetrated under 35 percent in the United States. Those old, dusty turntables that mom and dad still talk about were more popular than CD players are now!

Just last May, the folks at Blockbuster Entertainment along with IBM stated that they will sell a system aimed at manufacturing CDs in stores. The system will allow the customer to order and receive downloaded CDs in the store after an approximate six-minute wait. The group goes on to state that they will handle all of the technical aspects for other retailers, including distribution.

This will in turn eliminate several of the middle-men involved in the whole music distribution chain. Everyone from those who package the music to those who drive the trucks that distribute the boxes to various retailers, would dissolve if this happens. Needless to say, Blockbuster and IBM don't have any support from the major record companies.

Another possibility for future advancements is the possibility of dialing up a number and ordering the CD of your choice. This would work through a computer modem by dialing up a shopping number. From there, the customer could pick whichever album release piqued their interest and it would then be transmitted to the computer. From here, it would be downloaded onto a blank compact disc.

A printed sleeve, lyrics, and credits could be obtained by simply putting a piece of laminated, pre-creased cardboard into a laser printer. All of this would then be charged directly to your credit card. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Many of the big-wigs in the music industry refuse to say that this is how it will actually occur, yet the technology is already here. Most say that consumers have not shown much interest in other hardware systems, such as the Sony's Mini-Disc. However, with the very real possibilities of acquiring digital music through cable or satellite, these trends may change quickly.

All of these advancements could eliminate CD plants and perhaps record companies in general. I'm sure this thought has crossed the minds of all the big title holders in the industry. The industry holds onto the idea that there will not be a significant change in the area of pre-recorded music hardware.

The only area that the record companies do look favorably on is that of a system giving the customer access to hard-to-find titles. It seems quite obvious that the industry does not want anyone to stomp on its already overstuffed shoes. The industry will, by no means, just stand aside and watch while they get pushed out of the picture.

The chairman of MCA Music stated that "in a digital era, with the ability to transmit at the CD level of quality down the pipe without a performance right, (record companies) stand vulnerable and naked to the world." Basically, it comes down to the fact that the record companies may be facing serious competition. If the record companies lose, they could be eliminated from the industry.

We may not have all of these luxuries at our fingertips today, but in the future, it's anyone's guess. The music industries that are here today could very well be gone tomorrow.

Turner is a sophomore majoring in psychology

 

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ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT EXPLODES ON IMPACT

Andrew Nicolaou, Guest Columnist

Rocket From the Crypt singer/guitarist Speedo doesn't have a whole lot to say when asked about the "San Diego thing."

"For a while it was getting a little too out of control and I think now people tend not to take notice of all the overblown hype and everything," he said.

Overblown or not, it seems that MTV and various and sundry magazines are all homing in on the buzz that is the once stagnant, now teeming San Diego music scene with a vengeance – and every article about Tijuana's sister city indubitably mentions the six-piece Rocket From the Crypt.

While a recent signing with big-time Atlantic subsidiary Interscope has helped to increase the intensity of the spotlight focused on the band, Speedo doesn't seem to be searching desperately for a hunk of the limelight.

In fact, even with appearances in such high profile outlets as <I>Spin<P> and MTV's pathetic stab at the underground, <I>120 Minutes<P>, he and his bandmates may well be trying to push some of it away.

"(The media scrutiny) takes a lot of the mystery out of it," said Speedo. "With a lot of bands in the past you didn't even know what they looked like and you didn't know a lot about them – you just knew you had this great record in your hand and that was something that was really cool.

"Nowadays it seems everything is so hyped up and you've got all these indie rock poster children slapping the band's faces around everywhere."

While Rocket From the Crypt has been widely discussed of late, the band has managed to retain some airs of the unknown – after all, the names of its members are Speedo, Petey X, Apollo 9, N.D., Atom and J.C. 2000.

Something else the band has had no problem with since its inception in the spring of 1990 is putting cool records in your hand. There have been two full-length efforts, not to mention a compilation of most of the band's 7-inchers.

Many people were first introduced to Rocket via 1991's long player <I>Paint As a Fragrance<P>. Previous to its release, Rocket members had considered it a party band and had vowed never to play on a stage.

The band won over many fans with the album's flawless production and massive guitar crunch accompanied by Speedo's raspy yells and the soaring vocals of now ex-member Elaina.

Drummer Sean left along with Elaina in 1992 and new drummer Atom stepped in, bringing with him saxophonist Apollo 9. It was this lineup that released the group's most recent full-length album, <I>Circa: Now!<P>.

Four weeks ago the band added trumpet player J.C. 2000 to form a truly formidable horn section which helped make the band's recent Houston stop the best thing to hit the Shimmy Shack since its inception.

If the guitar riffs on <I>Paint As a Fragrance<P> were massive, the riffs on <I>Circa:Now!<P>, pumped up even more with the addition of Apollo 9's sax, could be described only as mammoth. Sporting not only the aggressive, churning punk rock anthems of the first record but a tribute to the Beatles' <I>Sgt. Pepper<P> album and something of a ballad in the song "Ditch Digger." <I>Circa:Now!<P> seemed to be just about as good as a record gets to many people. Speedo, however, sees things a little bit differently.

"On <I>Circa:Now!<P> we were only really allowed to stick to one production technique so we opted to go with the more produced sound," Speedo said. "<I>Circa:Now!<P> is the more clean side of the band, whereas the 7-inches represent more or less what we sound like live," he said.

Ah, yes, the sevens – where to begin? When Rocket hooked up with Interscope last spring, several things happened. First of all, <I>Circa:Now!<P> was re-released. Second, the band (who had never been stingy with material), started releasing 7-inches like crazy, thanks to a contract that allowed them to keep on releasing indie vinyl regardless of the major label contract.

The 7-inches were many and they were varied; there was the pure genius of the band's Merge "Pigeon Eater"/"The Paste That You Love" single and there was the pure insanity of the band's noisy-as-fuck one-sided 7-inch recorded on a boom box that came with an issue of <I>Speed Kills<P>.

So what's the forthcoming Interscope debut (for which the band has written a total of four songs so far) going to sound like? And will it be recorded in somebody's bedroom on a boom box?

"It will be kind of varied and hopefully something that really represents the band more than <I>Circa:Now!<P>," Speedo said. "We're not gonna get a whole bunch of money and turn around and record the album on a ghetto blaster."

While they may not have too many songs together for the new record right now, the band has been busy for the past year. Rocket has toured Japan, where the band got to play with (Boredoms' mastermind) Yamatsuka Eye's 1983-style hardcore band Concrete Octopus. The group also released two videos including one for "Ditch Digger," directed by Spike Jonez, who brought you the Breeders' "Cannonball" video.

Speedo's onstage claim to be a part of the best punk rock band in the world seems more like a fact than any kind of unsubstantiated boast. Heck, as the place cleared out after the Houston show one dazed concertgoer commented that they were punker than the New Bomb Turks. That's saying something, that much is for sure. Perhaps the most interesting thing currently involving Rocket From the Crypt, however, are the legal actions facing the band.

The release of a long-ago recorded Merge 7-inch is still being delayed because of a $2 million lawsuit by MCA over the use of a picture of Elvis on the sleeve.

"We didn't black out his teeth or anything," offers Speedo who seems amused that anybody could actually think his band was trying to purport any defamation of character against Presley.

The band also got in hot water after printing the words "Garth Brooks Is a Dick" on the package design of the band's recent 7-inch compilation release <I>All Systems Go!<P> on Cargo Records.

"We have been having some difficulty with <I>All Systems Go!<P>," Speedo said. "There were some statements about Garth Brooks and his attorneys have been contacting us, so we've just been telling them to fuck off."

Well, somebody needed to tell that fat-assed country and western poseur, and it's a good thing that Rocket From the Crypt are just the guys to do it.

Nicolaou is sophomore business major

 

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