MUSLIMS QUESTION PEACE TALKS
by Jennifer Smith
While some Jews support the Israel-Palestine peace talks and fear the recent massacre of Muslims in Israel will stunt the process, many Muslims say they have questioned the talks from the beginning.
Almost two weeks ago, an Israeli man named Baruch Goldstein broke into a mosque called the Cave of the Ancients and opened fire on a group of people praying. Estimates of the death toll hover around sixty, with almost three hundred wounded. Shock abounds on both sides, but the bitterness of the Palestinian contingent is palpable.
A Palestinian member of the campus Muslim Students Association who does not want to be identified said the massacre was "expected," because "more Palestinians are being killed every day," without the publicity that this incident got.
Abdul Ghani, president of the Muslim Students Association, said that the massacre was particularly shocking because it occurred during the holy month of Ramadan. "People were praying to God!" he said. He indicated his distaste that this incident happened when peace processes were being set in motion, though he said in general the proposed peace talks would have no effect. He believes the talks are an opiate for the people.
Heitham Nahnoud, a spokesman for the Al-Aqsa Information Society, a Palestinian organization, said he "condemns (the incident)." It shows the hatred of the Jewish people, he said, and the "sick mentality against the Palestinians." Of the proposed peace treaty, he said that the organization condemns it because it is unjust and generally biased toward the Israeli government. It also, he said, contains no acknowledgment of the status of Israel as an occupying force.
Rabbi Stuart Federow of the UH Hillel Foundation, said "the massacre is a violation of everything Judaism believes in" and the action definitely does not speak for Judaism. Federow said Goldstein will have gotten exactly what he wanted if the incident disrupts the peace process. The rabbi also expressed concern about how the massacre may have changed the political situation, saying that before the incident, there was beginning to be a change; "certainly more of a reason to hope for a future."
The CRC director of the Jewish Federation, Randy Czarlinsky, said "the majority of American Jews deplore and condemn" Goldstein's act. Though the federation acknowledges that there are Israeli extremist groups, Czarlinsky said they are in general less organized than their Palestinian counterparts. In the short term, he believes the incident will have an impact on the peace talks. The Israeli people, he said, will support the peace talks as "the only avenue out. Rational people don't want to see opportunities for coexistence" pass away. Czarlinsky's position is that strong American involvement is key to these talks.
UH PULLS OUT A NAIL-BITER
by Ryan Carssow
Daily Cougar Staff
It may not be fall, but Houston's 11-inning 9-8 defeat of the Creighton Bluejays at Cougar Field Tuesday was a classic.
UH won the game in the bottom of the 11th when Carlos Perez drove home Shane Buteaux from third with an opposite-field single. Buteaux reached first when he was hit by Bluejay reliever Dan Howser's pitch.
Chris Scott then laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt in front of a drawn-in Creighton infield. Buteaux didn't stop at second, however. He rounded the bag and slid safely into third base while the Creighton players were busy throwing Scott out at first.
"When they came in like that, there was nobody covering third," Buteaux said.
Buteaux, who was named Southwest Conference Co-Player of the Week Tuesday, hit his eighth home run of the year in the third. It drove home three runs.
The "Super Cajun" also pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win and improve his record to 2-1. UH pitchers struck out 14 Creighton batters.
The two teams combined for nine errors that led to nine unearned runs.
The lead changed hands five times and the game was tied twice, adding to the tense atmosphere.
The tension reached a fever pitch in the ninth when Scott was called out after a pitch hit his hand while he was trying to bunt with two strikes.
UH coach Mike Gardner and Scott argued that Scott was trying to pull the bat back and therefore not trying to bunt.
The umpires agreed, and Scott drilled a single past the drawn-in third baseman to drive home Ricky Freeman for the game-tying run.
CANDIDATES CONJURE VISIONS OF CHANGE, LOUDLY
by Tanya Eiserer
Daily Cougar Staff
From a ponytailed skateboarder to a candidate dressed in a business suit, Students' Association presidential and vice-presidential candidates debated how they would change SA.
About 25 students, mostly partisan, attended a last-minute debate Tuesday in the World Affairs Lounge. President Jason Fuller put the debates together quickly after it was revealed that SA has regularly had candidate debates.
Since Fuller was unable to acquire a public-address system, candidates had to talk very loudly if they wished to be heard.
Rivka Gewirtz, Daily Cougar managing editor; Trang Phan, Council of Ethnic Organizations director; and Fuller served as panelists.
Each candidate gave a three-minute opening and closing statement and answered questions from the panelists and the audience.
All candidates were concerned about the bad image SA has among students, but had different ways to solve it. With only a 3 percent voter turnout last year, candidates hoped for a better turnout this year.
"The only way to change SA is to take it away from the people who are experienced in running it inefficiently," said Matt Daly, the ponytailed presidential candidate for Abolish SA.
"Try something crazy," he said.
Daly and Eric DeBeer, his vice presidential candidate, want to remodel SA on the ancient Greek system where any student could come in and serve as a senator without having to be elected. The senate would actually then elect the president and the executive.
Abolish SA is running an anti-establishment and anti-authority campaign reminiscent of the '60s protests.
Jessica Martin, a write-in presidential candidate for S.P.E.A.K., Seeking Perfection Efficiency and the Advancement of Knowledge, went up to a student and asked for money.
She asked the student if she would agree with Martin spending her student funds on lunch rather than on putting the money back into programs for students.
"If we are members of SA, then we should be able to go in and ask where our $5 is being spent,"
Daly proposed nonviolent demonstrations such as pickets and sit-ins to get the administration to make necessary changes where students are encountering problems such as registration and financial aid.
"It's a big issue of getting what you pay for. Students are frustrated with the whole system," he said.
Angie Milner, Uniting Students presidential candidate, disagreed with Daly's method for getting response from the administration.
"When working with the administration, you have to go in and sit down with them. You can't go in and demand, it's no way or my way," said Milner, who came dressed in a professional business suit.
Milner said because many students transfer from other universities, they know there are better systems for running registration and other administrative offices.
"There's too much wheeling and dealing in SA. We need strong leadership. UH is a business and we are the customers," said Dominic Lewinsohn, the Alliance presidential candidate.
Speaking in his English accent, Lewinsohn emphasized that he had never been in SA, but that he is the only <I>registered<P> candidate who lives in the residence halls.
Lewinsohn focused on changing the financial aid system, looking at the meal plan requirements for students, supporting charitable events on campus and strengthening ties between students and alumni.
He called for SA to support some of the really good charitable work students are doing on campus.
Unlike the other candidates who focused on other ways to change SA, Coy Wheeler, the Initiative candidate for president, wants the executive Cabinet completely remodeled.
"We'll expand out the executive Cabinet. They'll be out working and talking to you. I don't know what you need, but I'm going to talk to you and find out," Wheeler said.
Wheeler plans to fund surveys and more executive positions by eliminating the executive secretary and replacing the position with work-study students.
"You must put the student first in everything. Everyone who works here needs to be reminded that we pay the bills," Wheeler said, adding that he went to administrators over problems in the Bursar's Office last year and was told that the problem was with students.
"We cannot tolerate that," he said. The administration must listen to student concerns and take some action to solve the problem, Wheeler said.
After all the ethics problems that have plagued SA this year, Wheeler also wants an ethics code drafted.
While other candidates agreed SA must be more accountable in the future, Daly said that if elected, he would not be any more accountable than is expected of present SA executives.
Candidates also revealed their campaign expenditures. So far, the Alliance has spent $37, Uniting Students $1,200, S.P.E.A.K. $50, Abolish SA $0 and the Initiative $100.
After the debate, Pat Brown, SA vice president, said, "This is a complete waste of time. I think student government should be modeled after Saudi Arabia. If they fuck up, then we should cut their hands off."
AUTHORS RELATE MEXICAN ISSUES
by Marlene Yarborough
The demand for Hispanic cultural events appeared evident as people filled the seats and the floors at a Mexican writers lecture Monday night in the Architecture Building auditorium.
Three prominent Mexican authors and journalists Elena Poniatowska, Guodalupe Loaeza and Maria Luisa Puga answered questions about their books and occupations.
Elena Poniatowska has been a freelance journalist and novelist since 1953 and has worked for American and Mexican publications. She has written 24 books and said the predominant tone of her books is serious because she focuses on such topics such as poverty and children.
Loaeza writes editorials for Reforma, a paper in Guadalajara, Mexico. She also does a call-in radio talk-show. <I>Compro, Luego Existo<P> is her fifth and latest book. It takes on a satirical tone, Loaeza said. The translation of the title is, "I buy, then I exist."
Puga writes book reviews and commentaries for El Economista. Puga said she feels her role as a writer is to show that Mexican society is shattered. She moved away from the cultural center of Mexico City to Zirahuen because she wanted to write from the outside. "I wanted to tell that the country is not Mexico City, but a wide diversity of very strong realities," Puga said.
Books written by the three authors were sold before the lecture, and the authors remained behind after the lecture to sign books.
The well-attended event was organized by Roberta Fernandez, a UH assistant professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. "It is essential to have high-caliber cultural programs in Houston," Fernandez said. She said a large segment of the Spanish-speaking population is eager to attend these kinds of events.
Fernandez hopes events like the reading will reach individuals who have an interest in Spanish. "I feel the lecture showed the plurality of voices and tones present in contemporary Mexican literature," she said.
The event was a joint effort sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute, the UH Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the National University of Mexico and various co-sponsors.
OUTGOING SA PRESIDENT REALLY A NICE GUY
by Valerie Fouche
Jason Fuller is really a nice guy. There, I said it! It may astonish some of you, but it's true. The so-called stuffed-shirt, arrogant, Republican student body president you have all come to love to hate is actually quite the opposite.
Well, he is a Republican, but Jason Fuller is not the pompous ass some would lead you to believe he is. My first contact with Jason was by phone. He returned my call late one evening at home and to my surprise, he was polite, warm and even funny. Before reading this interview, I ask that you keep in mind that your mother was right. There are two sides to every story ...
Jason, what is your major and when do you plan on graduating?
<I>I will graduate in May with a double major in political science and psychology.<P>
What has been your favorite course and professor at UH?
<I>That would be cultural psychology because it explored the issues of diversity. It didn't just deal with diversity from a numbers standpoint, but with how we can incorporate as many different perspectives from many different people to be used in a beneficial way. Dr. Flores Neiman taught the course and held the class together without animosities, which can come from such a volatile subject.<P>
How do you find time to study?
<I>It is extremely difficult. I'm taking 18 hours , as well as spending 36 hours here (in the S.A. office) a week. After studying and work, I also have to spend time with the campus organizations I'm involved with. I don't know how I do it, I just do it.<P>
Do you have any private time at all?
<I>Well, I leave here sometimes around midnight and if I have more things to do, I'll go to IHOP or somewhere like that. I normally get home about at about 3 a.m. and then go to bed around 4. I generally have to be somewhere by 8 in the morning, usually a meeting.<P>
Do you ever have any spare time, and if so, what do you do?
<I>I try to shave off some spare time. I don't want to seem like I'm some kind of work-a-holic or some martyr, but when I do find the time, I like to go to the park with my dog, Thorn. I enjoy going to plays and movies, that sort of stuff. Actually, that was one of the things I looked at when I was looking for a university to attend. The fact that the city of Houston has so much to offer culturally, in the arts and sporting events. I also enjoy jogging in the morning and try to sail on the weekends.<P>
Are you leaving the Students' Association office because you're graduating in May?
<I>That's part of it. I've had a great year here in office; it's been one of the best years of my life, but I think that it's time for me to move on and that there are other areas where I can assist the University of Houston.<P>
How do you deal with the frustrations in your position, such as the allegations that have been made against you this past semester?
<I>I don't really let it get to me. I just talk to people; I don't know if that really answers the question. People will come up to me and say, "Jason, you're in the paper again!" and I normally reply, "Yeah, I don't know what is going to happen when this one blows over." So I blow it off for the most part because I think they all realize what is going on and can take it at face value for what it is.<P>
Has there been anything that has come back to haunt you, perhaps something that has not been quite so easy to blow off?
<I>I don't think so. A lot of it has been hyped or over-hyped. I have a new-found appreciation for individuals who are in the same situation, people who are highly visible and subject to criticism easier than anyone else. We haven't heard as many allegations leveled against any other student office on this campus. However, that is something I realized going into this office, I knew it was going to be a lot of work and long hours. You have to take the good times with the bad times.<P>
Thinking back on some of the allegations that have been made about you, are there any that you would like to discuss?
<I>When I took over, I wanted to try to explore outside sources for funding and co-sponsorship. We were the first administration to do the Cougar Card (in house), which generated $4,300. That money covered the cost of the production of the card, as well as all of the questionable fiscal issues. The ad, the retreat and the deficit that was incurred by T.S.A. was all covered.
Because this office produced the card and distributed it to the students in house, we were able to raise the money ourselves, thus covering these other expenses. The main issue of discussion over the Cougar Card was our own conflict of interest; however, it should have been seen as a fiscal issue. It was a very good deal and a way to make money. I was committed to exploring new avenues. I'm not here to put out fires.<P>
If you have the figures to back up what you have said, how can anyone hold that against you?
<I>There really isn't anything there. One thing I would like to make perfectly clear is that all charges have been found to be untrue and inaccurate. I have been exonerated of anything that I have ever been charged with. It seems as though I've always been on the defensive. I'm in a very vulnerable position in this office.<P>
Have any of the previous SA presidents had any similar problems while in office?
<I>I do recall hearing about a previous president, Mikal Belicove; actually, I think that's where it all started as far as the rapport, or lack thereof, with the Daily Cougar. They really grilled him. The thing is that we are students and we're here just trying to make a difference. We are for the most part the figurehead for this organization; we do the lion's share of the work.
Whenever something positive is done, it's under the hospices of Students' Association. But when something negative occurs, it's obviously Jason Fuller, student body president, at fault. I have nothing personal against anyone over at the Daily Cougar staff, but there have been many unfavorable articles written about me and yet I harbor no ill feelings toward anybody. I don't know that the same can be said vice versa. <P>
Do you think that whoever sits in that chair after you is going to have the same problems or issues to deal with?
<I>I don't know. One thing the average student doesn't realize is that this office works with three editors at the Daily Cougar, as opposed to the one SA president. This is due to the fact that the editor in chief is only for one semester, whereas the SA president is for a full year. Another consideration is that the selection process for the editor of The Daily Cougar is not voted on by the students as a whole, but is in fact relegated to a committee. <P>
That might be a little bit of a different area because I don't think the students are as aware of what it takes to run a newspaper as opposed to what makes a good political candidate. We don't elect who runs the Houston Chronicle, although I can see your point.
<I>Right; however, there are parallels as far as what this position is supposed to be out there in the real world. There really isn't a forum for students to vote for candidates for the Daily Cougar. <P>
Where has this animosity with the Daily Cougar come from?
<I>In the past, I think there has been some sort of perception that the reporters may have come over here and demanded information. I guess what we wanted to know (before releasing information) was what is the motivation behind the article.<P>
What do you think of Travis Baker's editorial cartoons on you?
<I>(He laughs) Actually, I think that in the caricature ... (He takes a moment to look at a copy he has pinned to his bulletin board) the teeth are a little off, but I've been told that the glasses are dead on. <P>
So what do you think of being characterized as a slug?
<I>I would prefer to call that a bookworm instead of a slug. It could be either one. (He shrugs his shoulders.)<P>
What kind of positive things have you accomplished while in office?
<I>We are currently renovating Lynn Eusan Park and incorporating that into the Southside recreation area. We will have a completely comprehensive recreation facility on campus where people can come and have wedding receptions in the pavilion, barbecues and other outside activities. It will be equipped with electricity, water and restrooms. It will be really nice once it's finished.<P>
How would you change UH if you could?
<I>I would like to see students get more involved. We have Learning Support Services, Blaffer Gallery, plays, operas, as well as sports. UH offers so much that people could take advantage of but don't. I would like to see more people out at the Cougar games wearing their red, but if that is not for you, try taking your friends to the Blaffer Gallery when they open a new exhibit. UH is really a city contained within itself; we offer comparable services that you could find out in the Houston area, such as job placement services.<P>
Where do you see yourself after you graduate, out in the real world? Do you see yourself in politics?
<I>I enjoy building things. At one time, I thought of becoming an architect. I like the process of law in that you can do good for others. I would like to continue in politics maybe by working on higher education issues and with the legislative process. I would also like to continue to promote UH after my graduation.<P>
Politicians aren't always seen as do-gooders though.
<I>I know, and that is unfortunate. It is a very stressful position, a very necessary position, but it can also be a rewarding position. One of my laws of life in politics is a great many things can occur, but that you should never forget who put you there because they can very well take you out.<P>
Do you feel that is what is happening to you now or is this really your decision to go? If you had the opportunity to run again, do you feel that you would be re-elected?
<I>That is really not an issue because I'm graduating. But I feel confident that I would be re-elected. Last year, I won 60 percent of the vote, which was virtually unheard of.<P>
You are not paid for the position you hold; is that customary?
<I>However, Jeff (Jason's twin brother) and I are not paid for our positions. There comes out of this a certain satisfaction of knowing that you can do a job and not ask for anything in return. I don't do what I do because I have to do it; I do it because I want to do it. I don't need the money. I receive adequate compensation from the satisfaction of doing the job.<P>
Is there anything you would like to add about yourself that we may not have covered?
<I>I would like people to remember that I am a student, just like they are. I go through everything that they go through. I do have to study, turn in assignments and take tests. However, due to my position, I can't just take off during the weekend. I don't put myself above anyone, I'm just an average student. I have enjoyed everything that I've done at UH and I encourage everyone to find their niche here, whatever it may be. <P>
Can you leave our readers with some famous last words or a motto that you live by?
<I>Actually, I've got thirty-one right up there. (He points to a plaque on his wall.) The first one is pretty important, and that would be, "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer."<P>
HEAVEN ODD BUT GOOD
by Shannon Bishop
The Heaven on Earth Plaza Hotel is located in the deserted Days Inn downtown. The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has apparently bought a string of hotels in U.S. cities to promote his new product line, Maharishi Ayur Ved, the New-Age Amway that combines the ancient principles of Ayurvedic Medicine, Transcendental Meditation and pre-millennium capitalism.
"Helping the world to become healthy, wealthy and wise" is the motto of Heaven On Earth, but underlying all this altruism is of course profit for the big M. Putting my distaste of product-promotion aside, and pursuing my relentless desire for interesting food, I actually looked forward to dining in the Heaven On Earth Restaurant, located in the hotel plaza's lobby.
The building is run-down and desolate. Walking into the structure felt like being in another country a deserted country. The restaurant uses only half of the allocated dining room and has that impromptu, thrown-together feeling. The decor is an unpretentious combination of Pier One and Target.
Heaven On Earth is grossly understaffed, so you may not be immediately greeted or seated, but the few people that do work there are extremely polite and accommodating, so be patient.
Heaven On Earth's menu is completely vegetarian, featuring the cuisines of Thailand and India. According to Ayurvedic principles, food should restore a balance in the body's physiology, so the menu offers suggestions to those who are feeling irritable, restless or lethargic. I do not know if any of this works because food always makes me feel good, so I can neither refute nor support these claims.
Heaven On Earth refers to its beverages as "Drinks and Delights," all part of the aforementioned product line. I tried the Raja's Cup ($2.25), a "coffee alternative." It tasted like coffee and milk. Several soups were offered with names like "Self-Referral" and "Heavenly Harmony." They could be good, but the upbeat titles scared me away.
I was pleasantly surprised by the steamed spring rolls ($3.50), a combination of tofu, carrots, bean sprouts and mushrooms, encased in a soft rice paper roll and served warm with a sweet peanut sauce on the side. The wonton delight ($3.50) is indeed a delightful appetizer of baby dumplings stuffed with a combination of vegetables, nuts and tofu. Heaven On Earth's rendition of common Indian Dahl ($6.95) is the usual lentil broth, but spiked with an abundance of cilantro.
The Thai dish, Lab Wunsen ($7.95), is a noodle salad with tofu, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, cilantro, cashew nuts and lime vinaigrette. The Thai Tofu Sate ($7.95) is a disappointingly bland dish of skewered, grilled tofu that begs to be marinated longer. The Chapati ($2.50) are chewy and warm, but a little thicker than the traditional Indian flatbread is supposed to be.
For dessert, try the rice pudding, called "Bliss Kheer" ($2.95), a creamy, warm pudding with undertones of cardamon and allspice. Heaven On Earth offers many stir-fried dishes, including Pad Ma Ker ($7.95), which is eggplant with tofu, fresh ginger and basil, and Samhita Delight ($7.95), a curious combination of stir-fried pickles, mushrooms, corn and beans that tastes every bit as unusual as it sounds.
The Heaven On Earth Restaurant is located about five minutes from campus on Calhoun. Parking is free, and it's a great choice for lunch or dinner. Since it's not very busy, it's always quiet and is a good place to study. They offer lunch and dinner buffets for $6.95 and fixed-price, four-course dinners for $11.95.
The place is weird. The concept behind it is potentially cultish. The menu informed me that "Happy cook creates divine food which thrills the physiology in bliss." I'm not sure this is true my physiology feels pretty much the same as always but the food is good.
Bishop is a senior creative writing major.
Heaven On Earth Restaurant
in the Plaza Hotel
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (Mon.-Sat.)
Dinner: 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (Mon.-Sat)
ANIMAL BAG BITES BADLY
by Tom Turner
Daily Cougar Staff
<I>Offering<P> is the latest work by North Carolina's Animal Bag. If this is the best offering they've got, it sure better be returnable.
Their newest release is a seven-song EP, including two covers, that is basically nothing to rave about. On the whole, the album is structured off of acoustic guitars with traces of electric guitar and drums thrown in.
Critics say the music of the group is comparable to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. I really don't think so. It's not that the band is entirely awful, but it doesn't match up in any way to the music of Zeppelin or Pink Floyd.
The group is led by Luke Edwards, vocals, with Rich Parris, guitar/vocals; Otis, bass/vocals; and Boo, drums, backing him up. The group is a mundane stab at musical talent and technique. In other words, they're nothing to write home about.
One track of the seven, "Tom," is at least worthy of a quick listen. This track is at least interesting for a little while, but then, like the others, tends to become fairly boring. The two covers on the album are Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Wooden Ships" and Jethro Tull's "Dun Ringill."
Animal Bag's <I>Offering<P> is a far cry from a very thrilling or even original piece of work. Maybe in the future, the group will re-evaluate the formula for its so-called success, and then, for their sakes, put together a more promising release.
UH GOLF COACH RESIGNS TO RE-ENTER PROS
Cougar Sports Service
Houston golf coach Keith Fergus announced his resignation Tuesday after seven seasons as head coach, stating a desire to return to professional golf, both as a player and an architect.
"I have some other options that I want to pursue, which include playing competitively and also some golf course designing," Fergus said in a released statement. "Since I don't feel that I can give my full attention to the team, which it certainly deserves, I have decided to resign."
Fergus has a lifetime exemption from the PGA, meaning he does not need to re-qualify for professional status.
Houston athletic director Bill Carr announced that former assistant director of athletics Rookie Dickenson will fill the role of interim coach for the remainder of the season. Dickenson could not immediately be reached for comment.
Carr said, in a statement, that the search for a new coach will begin immediately.
Fergus graduated from Houston in 1976. He was a member of the golf team for four years, then later went on to play 10 years of professional golf.
The Cougar golf team is the best athletic program in UH history with 16 national championships and alumni that include Fred Couples, Fuzzy Zoeller, Steve Elkington, Nick Faldo and Billy Ray Brown, among others.
Going into this season, the Cougars were ranked in the top 20, finishing second to Brigham Young, in the International Intercollegiate Tournament held in Monterrey, Mexico.
The Cougars play in the Golf Digest Collegiate Invitational March 11-13 at The Woodlands TPC Course. Fergus will be at the event, but will not be an active coach.
He concluded his statement by saying, "I have really enjoyed my days at UH both as a player and a coach, but I have just spread myself too thin."
CHARLES 'BO' OUTLAW JOINS UH ALUMS IN NBA
by Ryan Carssow
Daily Cougar Staff
The list of 16 former Houston Cougar basketball players who have played in the NBA reads like an All-Star roster.
A team of Cougar alums could field a starting five of current and former NBA stars, including Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes, Clyde Drexler, Otis Birdsong and Don Chaney.
Add one more name to that list. His teammates still call him "Bo," but Charles Outlaw now plays in the NBA.
After nearly a year of proving himself in Europe and the Continental Basketball Association, Outlaw signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers Feb. 15.
He has since signed a second 10-day contract and is expected to sign a season-long extension this week.
In 13 games with the Clippers, Outlaw has averaged more than six points and 4.5 rebounds.
The Clippers have been decimated by injuries this season, giving Outlaw a chance for significant playing time.
"It depends on fouls and fatigue," Outlaw said. "But I'm usually the third guy off the bench."
Against the Houston Rockets Saturday in the Summit, starting power forward Loy Vaught couldn't play because of an injury.
Outlaw started in Vaught's place against the Rockets and had his most productive NBA game. In 41 minutes, he scored 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, collected a team-best 11 rebounds and blocked two shots.
Clippers coach Bob Weiss has been impressed with Outlaw's steady improvement.
"He's our best defensive forward," Weiss said.
Outlaw had previous experience against the Rockets' Olajuwon and Carl Herrera, also a former Cougar, because he has played them both in summer pick-up games. Outlaw said experience against NBA superstars doesn't help much.
"You just have to play your game," he said. "When you play guys like Hakeem or (David) Robinson or (Karl) Malone, you try not to think about how they're superstars."
In his short tenure with the Clippers, Outlaw has already played next to two of the league's biggest stars. When Outlaw was signed, two-time NBA All-Star Danny Manning was LA's starting power forward.
A week later, Manning was shipped to Atlanta for eight-time All-Star Dominique Wilkins in the biggest trade of the season.
Outlaw said both of the stars have been cordial and helpful.
"Manning is a nice guy. The first day I was there, he came to me and introduced himself," Outlaw said. "It's not hard to get to know Dominique, either. We talk a lot, and he takes me around. He's trying to help everybody."
Despite an impressive collegiate playing career, Outlaw was not chosen in the NBA draft.
"I wasn't disappointed too much," he said.
UH head coach Alvin Brooks (an assistant last season) and senior point-guard Anthony Goldwire said they thought Outlaw should have been drafted.
"I didn't have any doubts he'd get (to the NBA)," Brooks said.
After learning he was not drafted, Outlaw took his skills to Madrid, Spain, and finished the 1993 season in Europe.
"In Europe, the games are much slower and the guys are not as big. There are guys who can shoot, but in the NBA, guys can shoot and put the ball on the floor," Outlaw said.
He returned stateside this year with the Grand Rapids Hoops of the CBA. Before he signed with Los Angeles, Outlaw was leading the CBA in field-goal percentage (.687) and blocked shots (3.8 per game).
He averaged 13 points and 10.9 rebounds per game with Grand Rapids.
In less than a year, Outlaw has played on four teams in four different leagues and two continents. He obviously likes the NBA best.
"The level of competition is much higher and the pay is better. The travel is different. You stay in nicer hotels and you get more attention," he said. "Whether you start or play two minutes, people know you."
Outlaw said he thinks two of his former Cougar teammates, Goldwire and Rafael Carrasco, have a chance to play professionally.
"They were talkin' about (Goldwire) making it last year. He'll make it," Outlaw said. "Rafael's best chance right now would be with a European team because he's from Colombia. You just have to be in the right place at the right time."
Both seniors said they have been inspired by Outlaw's rapid ascent to the top of the basketball profession.
"He helped put me on the map last year," Goldwire said. "His success shows that hard work pays off."
Carrasco and Outlaw often talked about what would happen once Outlaw reached the NBA.
"We always joked about how he was going to be in the league and leave me tickets when he came to town," Carrasco said.
The fantasy became reality Saturday, but sometimes reality bites. Carrasco and the Cougars were playing Rice at the same time Outlaw and the Clippers were playing the Rockets. Wrong place, wrong time.
Outlaw said UH was not in the right position when the Big Eight excluded the university from its merger with Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech.
"Had this happened last year, I think they would have picked UH," Outlaw said.
Houston finished 21-9 last year, but this season's basketball team has a disappointing 8-18 record.
"They've got a young team, a new coach and a different system," Outlaw said. "Give them time. The future looks good."
The future also looks good for Outlaw, the newest member of UH's NBA alumni.
by Tanya Eiserer
Daily Cougar Staff
British-born and raised, Dominic Lewinshon, the Alliance party candidate, who worked in Ghana as a teacher, brings a distinct view to Students' Association elections.
Speaking in booming voice, Lewinshon, who has never been a member of SA, wants to bring change to an organization plagued by student apathy and dislike.
The Alliance, like Abolish SA, represents an effort by groups outside the mainstream to reform SA. Student frustration with the current SA regime has led outside groups to come in and try to change system.
Lewinshon, a hotel and restaurant management sophomore, said he will bring leadership and realistic expectations to SA.
"I will make it my passion to visit as many campus events as possible. I'm a very visible person and I'm the candidate who believes you should talk to the students," he said.
Eva Ranshaw, Lewinshon's vice-presidential candidate, is also an HRM major.
During his 18 months at UH, Lewinshon, a resident assistant, has been very involved in the Residence Halls Association as an executive member.
In light of recent scandals plaguing SA over the spending of SA funds, Lewinshon calls for greater accountability when spending student funds.
"My office would be open for all to see where the money is being spent," he said.
1. During my 18 months here, I've been the RHA executive officer in charge of food services, Bleacher Creature president, a UH annual fund manager and a Resident Adviser in all three residence halls. I'm presently a group educator in the S.T.E.P.S. safe-sex program. As has been pointed out, I have no SA experience, but given the current anti-SA feeling among the student body, I consider this an asset.
2. The biggest problem for most students is being able to make ends meet. While UH is a better bargain than most universities, we can take small steps to make it even more affordable.
Another problem is school spirit or the lack of it. As Bleacher Creature president, I have done more to promote spirit than any other candidate. As SA president, I would propose giving full-time students the option of ordering free football tickets during registration. The tickets would then be mailed directly to them.
One of the biggest issues facing students off-campus is the job market. We can improve this by strengthening ties with the Alumni Association. Cougars need to help each other out much like the Aggies and Longhorns do.
Sexually transmitted diseases are another problem that can be alleviated through education and working with the S.T.E.P.S. program.
3. As I stated earlier, we can make UH more affordable. Why is it that Towers residents must pay $90 per year just to park their cars close to their homes? I'd also like to examine the board requirements for Towers and Quadrangle residents.
If you are unfortunate enough to be towed, you should at least be able to charge the fine to your UH account, rather than pay cash at once. This is our "agendaless" platform.
4. The telephone registration process, which is a lovely idea, is already under way long before Uniting Students had their brain wave. Why talk about reforming a registration process when the new system hasn't been fully implemented yet? Dividing registration into four separate days by classification is bloody ridiculous. Presently, people are offered at least two time periods on separate days to register. I believe this is superior to Angie's proposal because of the many commuters who attend UH. Once phone registration is implemented, this will all be irrelevant. Uniting Students ... What a load of wankers!
I believe the biggest bureaucratic mess exists in the financial aid office and that is the process I want to reform.
5. By strong leadership, honesty and more visibility.
6. I recommend that all financial records (T-shirts included) be open to all students. I will also fully cooperate with The Daily Cougar and encourage them to send a staff member of their choice to my office at any time for an honest evaluation of my job performance.
7. By making realistic promises instead of fantasies. I will explain to the administrators that I am the student representative and that the university is a business and we, the students, are the customers.
by Tanya Eiserer
Daily Cougar Staff
Running on a platform based on changing the "corrupt" Students' Association system, Jessica Martin, an SA presidential candidate, wants to perform a makeover to make SA more responsive to student needs.
Martin's party, Seeking Perfection Efficiency and the Advancement of Knowledge, has waged a write-in campaign to garner student support.
"The whole system is corrupt. That's why I'm running outside the system," she said.
Martin, president of the Writers and Artists Group at UH, said she ran that organization on a "shoestring" budget and she can do the same with SA.
Like her running mates, Julie Burlingame, an SA vice-presidential candidate, and Stacy Schill, student regent candidate, she has no prior experience within SA.
The group has put drop boxes across campus to get students to drop in their ideas for changing SA.
All three are tutors for Learning Support Services.
"We're talking about having a very interactive SA. By running a write-in campaign, we are encouraging people to actually take the time to write down our names on the ballot," Martin said.
Martin said if S.P.E.A.K. wins with a write-in campaign, that would make the election more credible because students must physically write down names.
"It's like the difference between filling in the blank and multiple choice," Burlingame said.
1. I have been active in the Writers and Artists Group at UH since I first came here. With WAAGAUH, I have coordinated numerous events, including the Art Festival of summer 1993 which advocated support for the 3-D Art Program at UH. Other events have been several contests. All of these events have given me the opportunity to work with several departments at this university as well as the other universities of Houston. I have worked with faculty and staff at UH, HBU, UST, TSU, Rice and UH-Downtown. I know how to work well with other people and successfully coordinate programs at any level.
2. The most pressing issue facing students on campus is a better standard of living. This includes more participation in on-campus organizations as well as the improvement of dietary services. On-campus students have made UH their home and they should feel safe as well as satisfied with their living conditions.
The most pressing issue facing off-campus students is safety. Students commuting to UH should have a level of security once they enter the UH campus. This includes parking lots secure from thefts.
3. As far as what SA can do about making UH a more customer-service oriented institution, send official SA representatives to all departments and do a report on what each department is doing and print up a departmental progress report in the SA newsletter. By knowing what each part of the system is doing, we can better pinpoint where the problems are.
4. SA is believed to be non-representative of the student population at large. A majority believe SA does not affect their lives and what little SA does do is ineffective. The SA for many is a nonentity because they never see these senators and officers that profess to represent them. In order to make SA more effective, it must truly represent the students. Students should be made aware of what SA is doing for them, and SA should be aware of what the students want SA to do for them. If every student on this campus is truly a member of SA as the SA constitution says, then every student should have the opportunity to meet with her/his representative and voice her/his concerns.
5. Since I have never worked within SA before, I do not see my lack of familiarity with the SA system as a hindrance. In fact, there may not be internal problems within the system; it may only be in those who are "guiding" it. With my administration, I don't see any power struggles between groups, but a concerted effort to fulfill the goal of SA to represent the students.
6. Ethics violations should not even be considered possible if the student population is kept aware of what SA is doing for them. It's a matter of common sense; if I tell a large body of students that I'm going to spend their money on a vacation for three people, I think at least one of those students is gong to say, "I don't think so."
By making SA proposals, resolutions and actions known and available to the student body, it will only be in the best interests of SA not to do anything ethically questionable.
7. I am not a person who takes barricades very well. If one office sends me away, I will go to the next higher level instead of giving up. I have worked within the administration. Nothing is more exhausting than jumping into the bureaucratic cycle, but nothing is more rewarding than making the cycle work for you.
For a small percentage of this campus, I coordinated the campus approval of the Art Festival for the 3-D arts program; for the entire student body, I would be more than willing to do my share of the legwork to get the administration to work with me. My promises will not be tabled and forgotten.
If anyone wants to know what happened to any of my campaign promises, she/he will be more than welcome to confront me and demand an explanation.
by Tanya Eiserer
Off-beat might be the best way to term Matt Daly, the Abolish SA candidate for president, who skates from class to class across campus.
"I'm a member of the Japanese Animation Club. I guess that makes me a card-carrying geek," he said.
Daly's party name is a misnomer since he does not want to abolish SA but rather change it completely.
"It upsets me to see the state of affairs. The system can only be changed when an outsider comes in and tries something new," said Daly.
Daly believes that reforms by an "SA insider" would only cosmetically reform things rather than bring a complete change to the way SA does business.
Eric DeBeer, Daly's vice-presidential candidate, also ran for president two years in a row.
Daly said he and DeBeer just decided to get together and run.
Like other candidates, he wants better communication between SA and students. He said the town hall meetings should be better publicized to provide easier access for students.
Daly said he is not sure what reforms he would initiate because he is not an SA insider.
"I'm a student. I have got a head on my shoulders and I know I could do it," he said.
Daly acknowledges he really does not have any qualifications to be president beyond being a student.
Politically, Daly opposes the party system in general and believes the whole system is "screwed" up.
1. None whatsoever. I feel this makes me very qualified to take our student government away from the experienced, scandal-ridden politicians and bring it back to the students, who pay for it.
2. Getting what they pay for. In the words of my American history professor, Clifford Egan, "The only thing that works around there is the towing department and Accounts Receivable."
Also, many students do not care about a radio station or athletic program (if you can call it that) that they have to pay for.
3. If any candidate proposes change in our wonderful Cougar High bureaucratic system, he or she is disillusioned. It is an entity much too large and powerful to be challenged by SA as it stands now.
4-5. Eliminate quorum. Instead, have a "town-hall meeting" with the senators who wish to attend, and students who wish to attend. This way, the student government could be more effective in finding out what its constituents want.
6-7. First of all, I am not promising anything. In the event that students bring grievances to SA, and the administration does not budge, then simple civil disobedience, like a sit-in in President Pickering's office or picketing a meeting of the Board of Regents might be used to effect change.
by Tanya Eiserer
Daily Cougar Staff
Students' Association presidential candidate Angie Milner, an SA insider who heads its public relations arm, represents the status quo.
Milner, who leads the Uniting Students party, has put together almost a complete slate of candidates. Her vice-presidential candidate Dirk Moore is a former senator and director of external affairs.
Unlike other candidates, Milner said does not want to bring major reform to SA. Milner, who has been a member of SA for four years, is closely allied with the present administration.
Rather than bring major reform to SA, Milner wants to change the registration and withdrawal process and communicate better with students.
Milner's solution for the communication breakdown between SA and students is to start a "Commuter Club" luncheon where SA representatives would meet with their constituents once a week from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the Towers Cafeteria.
Milner said Bill Wentz, the head of ARA dining services, said students could get a discount in the Towers during club luncheons.
"People think we go out and do what we want to do. We need more accountability," Milner said.
After this year's bitter split between Coy Wheeler, the senate speaker, and Jason Wheeler, SA president, Milner wants more to bring cooperation between the executive and legislative branches.
"No one wants to compromise. It's been no way or my way," she said.
Milner does support efforts to create an SA ethics code after the series of ethical questions that have rocked SA this semester.
1. I have been involved in Students' Association in some sort of capacity since my first semester at UH. Among the other duties as Director of Public Relations for the past two administrations, I also disseminated a survey about the perceived image of SA on campus and coordinated co-op promotions. I have served as a voting member on the Student Publications Committee for the past three years and have held the positions of vice chair and currently chair.
As editor of Transitions magazine, I set the magazine's objectives, hired a staff, assigned stories, managed a budget, and designed the publication that is mailed to all incoming freshmen and transfer students. I have also worked at The Daily Cougar as an advertising sales representative where I surpassed set goals each month, worked well under pressure by meeting all deadlines and persisted in making sales, designing and preparing layouts for production.
All of these leadership positions make my running the day-to-day responsibilities of SA an easy task. I've learned the ropes and the ins-and-outs of SA and am now ready to lead the student body with its needs.
2. State funding has always been a concern of students who are threatened by the lack of attention UH is given, compared to UT and Texas A&M.
The breakup of the Southwest Conference is also something the students are concerned with. It is more than just an athletic issue, it is a concern to most students on campus. In lieu of the sudden disfiguration of the Southwest Conference we must stand strong in support of the Board of Regents decision to actively pursue UH's nationally competitive Division 1 status.
Other issues that students should be aware of are the $2.00 increase in tuition every year until 1996 and the $4.00 increase in student service fees, proposed by the SFAC.
3. More accountability needs to be a part of all administration and the student leaders' daily routine.
4. First of all, I want to create four separate days for students to register according to classification to insure that upperclassmen receive priority over underclassmen in registering for upper-level classes needed to graduate. This will eliminate the problem of graduating seniors getting cut out of needed classes. This needs to be done regardless if we are on phone registration or not. When phone registration starts, it still needs to be broken up into separate days because students have conflicting work schedules and may not be able to call at a designated time. One full day should be set aside for each classification.
The best thing I can advise for students who can pay by check and who do not receive financial aid is to send their fee payment by mail. This will lessen the bureaucracy, by allowing students to completely avoid E. Cullen.
The process of picking up Financial Aid checks and grants can be a tedious process. The hassle of waiting in two lines, one for a check release form from the Financial Aid Office and a second for the actual disbursement of checks. This long process could be eliminated by setting up a disbursement table near the Bursar's Office that can perform both functions. A person from the Financial Aid Office would be in charge of verifying student information while another person from the Bursar's Office would distribute the already verified checks.
5. By insuring that both executive and legislative members of SA meet on a regular basis with their constituents, my administration will actively pursue the input of students rather than the traditionally passive stance of expecting students to approach SA leaders with ideas. This process has already begun with the current administration's passing of a bill requiring senators to hold monthly town hall meetings that I co-authored. I feel it is imperative that the president, vice president, and student regent also meet on a bi-monthly basis with the students. That is the inspiration for the Commuter Club luncheon proposed in the Uniting Students platform.
6. SFAC investigated all of the past alleged violations and no wrong doings were found. The executive cabinet should be required to present a tentative plan to the senate in, for lack of a better word, a "State of the Senate" address. When spontaneous events occur between the senate meeting, where no address would be possible, I would approach the Speaker of the Senate and/or the internal affairs committee (if they have a meeting scheduled during this time period).
7. All of the issues that I am addressing are obtainable. The registration process will only change the number of days of registration, regardless if we have gone to phone registration or not. Also, the financial aid suggestion would only move a table from one office to another -- this is not asking Robert Sheridan to "restructure his department." My work with the administration has helped me to come in contact with key administrators who can help in making some changes.
by Tanya Eiserer
Daily Cougar Staff
Thirty-year-old Senate Speaker and presidential candidate Coy Wheeler said he wants to bring a customer service oriented approach to UH.
This university needs a customer service commitment from the top to the bottom, he said.
"I want to get respect for students on this campus," said Wheeler, a pre-business major.
During his career in the Senate, Wheeler fought the Bursars Office over their treatment of students.
UH often punishes 98 or 99 percent of the good students for the actions of the other one percent, he said. He cites the fact that the university no longer allows students to cash checks because some students bounced checks.
Wheeler said he has always fought the system and the established way of doing things. Wheeler's reformist impulse manifests in his push to draft an SA ethics code to prevent future ethical problems like logogate.
President Jason Fuller ran into trouble when it was revealed SA paid to put logos on Simga Phi Epislon's T-shirts.
Along with his vice-presidential candidate, Henry Bell, a social sciences senator, Wheeler leads the Initiative party. Wheeler's party includes a 20 candidate slate.
"SA needs a change and I feel like I can make that positive change that SA needs," Bell said.
Wheeler chose Bell, president of the Black Student Union, to bring alienated student voices back into SA.
"We've alienated the CEO (Council of Ethnic Organizations), some Greek organizations and students. We need to go back out to them and find out how they feel about things," he said.
1. I am thirty years old and have spent a lot of time in real world management, over four years to be exact. All my work experience has been in customer service, of which over a year was spent as a Customer Service Director of a car dealership. I currently work two jobs while attending school, one as speaker of the Senate and one as the broadcast traffic manager of the Houston Astros Radio Network. I know what it is like to work to pay for school. I now what it is like to go through the financial aid process. Since returning to school full time in 1992, I have worked for admissions and served on the SA Senate for the past year and a half years. For the past year while serving as speaker, I have made it a point to work on the level of customer service students receive on this campus. I started the fight with the Bursar's Office last summer and am currently working with Financial Aid to improve their services. I also spent a great deal of time last year lobbying the state against funding cuts, to appoint a student regent with speaking rights to every Board of Regents in the state, and to appoint a UH Alumni to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. These are all things SA must continue to work on in the next legislative biennium. To conclude, I feel that my past experience at U of H and elsewhere will give the students a leader who is honest, hard working, ethical and able to communicate their needs to others.
2. The most pressing issue facing students on campus is the lack of customer service. While some areas on campus try, there must be a passionate commitment across this campus to putting the students first. Everything else will fall into place if the students are respected. We pay the bills, we have that right. Off campus, our biggest concern is the funding cuts by the state. We must show the state our benefit to the city we serve. We are older, we work, we are not UT or A&M so we should not be judged like them. If you think service is bad now, imagine the damage of a 30 million dollar cut. We simply cannot let that happen.
3-4. The biggest step I will take to make UH more customer oriented is to push the levels of empowerment to the front line employees. No one can serve the students better unless they are given the proper training and tools to solve the problems. They see us every day, they know what we need, it is time to give them the ability to meet those needs. By giving them the ability to solve problems, by having them work together we can eliminate much of the red tape and turf wars that plague the students. A college dean cannot call the Bursar and remove a fee for one of their students. Now that is ridiculous. Of course this empowerment has to be predicated by a commitment of all UH employees and a trust of all administrators to allow their employees to function. It will not happen overnight, but it must happen for the long term survival of U of H.
5. I will answer questions 5 and 6 together, as they are one and the same. I will start by eliminating the position of SA's executive secretary, a cost of $23,000 annually. I will replace that position with several work study students and I will restructure the executive cabinet. The Director of Personnel and Director of Public Relations positions will be eliminated to be replaced with several new positions such as the Director of Campus Life, Director of Information, and so on. These positions will be responsible for all aspects of the area they work in (ie. filling committee positions, dealing with administrators). By restructuring the Executive Cabinet, restructuring their pay and eliminating the executive secretary, we will save $20,000 annually in payroll costs. This is money that can be spent on surveying students to find out their needs, it can be spent to fund the Textbook Resale Information Service, or many other projects that the Senate wishes to fund (this money will be placed in Senate control). I will also work to strengthen the SA Code in areas which deal with the relationship between the Senate and the Executive Cabinet. These groups must begin to work together instead of against each other and the Executive Cabinet must work at carrying out senate directives.
6. First, a code of ethics must be written down with the help of the College of Business, the Philosophy Department, and the Political Science Department. You can't have a breach of ethics if you don't have a code of ethics. Second, we will start an Audit or Appropriations Committee to ensure full disclosure of SA expenditures.
7. Most of the changes I have written about are internal and do not require administration support. As for getting things done or student issues, by surveying students to find their needs we can give evidence supporting our efforts. Administrators must be reminded of who they work for and their decisions need to be made with the students in mind. The position of SA president also appoints students to virtually every committee on this campus and those people are responsible for communicating student needs through those committees. I will always be passionate and committed toward seeing that customer service quality is raised on this campus. I have been carrying that torch for the past year and I do not plan to go away.