MAJOR LEAGUE STRIKES OUT

by Glenn R. Wilson, Jr.

Daily Cougar Staff

Let's begin by stating that a one-star rating for <I>Major League 2<P> is very generous indeed considering what it puts one through.

As a fan of cornball movies, it has been said that there is not a bad joke written in which this reporter cannot find some good. But that was before this film.

<I>Major League 2<P> is reminiscent of <I>Ghostbusters 2<P> not only in that both are sequels to comedies that were big hits (although <I>Ghostbusters<P> was much funnier than <I>Major League<P>) but that both were apparently made with the arrogant belief in mind that no matter what they did the audience would accept it as funny.

Not so in either case.

<I>Major League 2<P> is a brainless, sloppy, poorly-acted waste of everyone's time. And that's the best anyone can say about it.

Any attempt to explain the plot in print would result in charges of plagiarism since it would sound almost exactly like the plot to the first film, which was basically <I>The Bad News Bears Go Pro!<P>

Almost everyone from the first film returns for the sequel although thankfully Wesley Snipes, who happens to be a great actor, chose not to prostitute himself to the sequel.

Unfortunately, two other favorites, specifically Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger, were not so choosy. Regarding their performances in this film all one can hope is that it was a <B>really big check<P>!

Also returning is Corbin Bernsen from TV's <I>L.A. Law<P>, but you don't know why. He is one of the stalest actors ever to curse the screen with his presence, which is, thankfully, not very often in this case.

In some worst nightmare, there would be a remake of <I>Gone With the Wind<P> with Corbin Bernsen and Madeleine Stowe in the leads. For stunt doubles they could use cardboard cutouts and nobody would ever know the difference.

Several supporting players return for this sequel to <I>Major League <P> and some of these give decent performances considering the material they have to work with.

James Gammon is agreeable as Coach Lou Brown and Dennis Haysbert is often very funny as former voodoo worshipper, turned Buddhist Pedro Cerrano.

The best of these though is Bob Uecker who has the thankless job of making the audience remember that this is supposed to be a comedy.

Of the new guys, Eric Bruskotter stands out best as a country-boy catcher suffering from a lack of mental capabilities. Omar Epps (<I>Juice<P>) takes on the tough job of filling in for Snipes and gives it the old college try, but he faces an impossible task and never quite succeeds.

If there is a culprit to this mayhem it's director David Ward who returns from the first film as well. He turns in what could best be described as a lazy effort.

The film meanders in and out of situations with very little cohesion, which makes it very difficult to give a damn about the characters, not that you would want to.

On second thought, <I>Major League 2<P> is only worth a half-star rating, which is still probably a half-star more than it deserves.

 

******************************************************

******************************************************

 

FIESTA OUTLAYS LEAVE AFB NEARLY BROKE

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

After spending 20 percent of their funds on Frontier Fiesta, the Activities Funding Board has nearly depleted their available funds.

"It's not that AFB is broke. It operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Obviously we could never fulfill everybody's funding requirements," said Pat Brown, AFB chairman.

Brown added that AFB is not accepting applications for funds until unspent monies from various organizations are returned.

AFB gave $11,700 to 10 different organizations involved in putting on Frontier Fiesta. The Student Fees Advisory Committee also gave another $4,000 to the event and SPB provided an undisclosed amount, said Roger Peters, the chairman of SFAC.

"Each year AFB gets one percent of Student Service Fees to give to student organizations. Often times, they run out of money," said David Daniell, the assistant director of Campus Activities.

With 290 campus organizations and a $1500 cap on what organizations can receive, it is not unusual for AFB to be almost out of money at this time of the year, Daniell said. He also said that many organizations do not exercise their option to receive funds from AFB.

AFB's total budget for this year was $57,000, Daniell said.

"Last month AFB thought it would have too much money so they raised the $1200 cap on what they could give to student organizations to $1500," said Peters. After AFB raised the allocations cap, five sororities and five fraternities came to ask for funds for Frontier Fiesta. Each group received varying amounts of funds based on whether they had already received money from AFB, Peters said.

Although AFB is out of money for now, Daniell said there are still programs scheduled throughout April and during the summer.

Daniell did not seem to view the shortage as being anything out of the ordinary, but Peters viewed the shortage as being a more serious problem.

"If Frontier Fiesta had not happened at all, then these organizations would have asked for money for different events. I tend to believe AFB would still be in the same position," said Daniell.

AFB also expects to receive $3,000 in encumbered funds back and an additional $993 from SFAC, Peters said.

The encumbered funds are monies allocated to student organizations that don't spend it. AFB allocates money on a reimbursement basis and allocated monies are paid to organizations after receipts are presented.

The money not spent will be reallocated for other activities, Peters said.

The $993 from SFAC became available because the Budget Office used a baseline figure of 31,500 students to calculate how much money SFAC would have to allocate, Peters said. If the actual figure is higher than the estimate, then SFAC gives more money to AFB.

Peters said AFB will probably reduce the cap to $1200 or perhaps less. "We are talking about three or four organizations being able to have some kind of activity. When there are limited funds, you only have a few groups that can do anything," Peters said.

If AFB drops the cap below $1200 then they will be able to sponsor more student organizations, Peters said. "Still, that is not a lot of money," he said.

With these additional student service fee funds, SFAC will also be giving the athletics program $30,000, Peters said. While AFB receives one percent of Student Service Fees, athletics receives 36 percent.

 

******************************************************

******************************************************

 

LETTER ASSAILS FIESTA'S 'ELITIST' MOTIF

Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

A formal letter of grievance protesting the lack of diversity in the planning and process of Frontier Fiesta was hand-delivered to UH President James Pickering's office Thursday from various representatives of ethnic organizations and departments.

According to the letter, Frontier Fiesta is "hardly the type of program which encourages diversity." Ethnic groups are currently boycotting the festival saying that they were "afterthoughts" in the planning of the event.

The letter further states, "Moreover, the running and prominent motif of the 'Old West,' when promulgated by a small group of elitist, white Southern aristocrats, can only remind us of a legacy of genocide, slavery, misogyny, elitism and the drive for domination of land, non-Anglo-Saxons and women."

The main reason for the FF boycott, as stated in the letter, is that it is considered, "incompatible to the mission statement of (the) university, nor is it in compliance with the mission statements of UH student organizations". The mission statement of the university says that UH aims at providing the surrounding communities with "business, social, health, legal, governmental and cultural needs."

Shannon Bishop, director of Metropolitan Volunteer Program said she "objected" to the lack of community inclusion. She was referring the the Third Ward, the area where UH is located. She urged people not to participate in the festival until it was more inclusive, not just students, but the community at large.

Pickering said he was "saddened that important people (feel) they've been left out in celebrating (Frontier Fiesta)".

Pickering said the administration felt they were changing the event from previous years by taking it a little more away from alumni and putting it more in the hands of the students.

He said next year the festival will have to be "reevaluated."

"If we can't have an event that satisfies everyone, than we won't have it at all," said Pickering.

Henry Bell, president of the Black Student Union, said he hoped the letter would, "finally bring the needs of students to the attention of the administration."

He said he thought the whole theme of FF would have to be changed and replaced with a festival that was more inclusive of the different cultures represented on campus.

Bell said he made a suggestion once before to have a festival, tentatively called "Around the World in A Day" that would showcase the many cultures of the campus and still retain some elements of FF, like cook-offs and music.

The letter also said the "blatant favoritism shown by the Office of the President is confusing." According to the letter, more money and attention were available for FF than Black History Month, Diversity Month and National Youth Service Day.

Bishop said she felt some people in the administration would probably view the letter as being "whiny," but it was necessary to keep at the subject until the matter is resolved.

Pickering said he was happy that the needs and concerns of the students were brought to his attention.

 

******************************************************

******************************************************

 

GIRLFRIEND NIXES NUPTIALS

James Aldridge

News Reporter

Campus Crusade for Christ sponsored a mock wedding at noon yesterday at the UC Satellite in order to get acquainted with students and share their faith.

Students wondered what was happening when Josh Stevens, a junior mechanical engineering major, and Jessica Barrera, a sophomore elementary education major, met each other on top of the hill dressed in a suit and a wedding dress.

As the procession began, students slowly and steadily stopped eating their Taco Bell burritos and Pizza Hut pizzas and turned their heads to watch.

While they were saying their wedding vows, to everyone's surprise another girl interrupted the wedding and said that the groom was her boyfriend. It was then, when everyone was looking, that the Campus Crusade revealed it wasn't a actual wedding.

A third of the crowd left but the rest stayed. The Campus Crusaders then spoke with students about Jesus Christ.

Gabriel Malouf, a UH biology graduate, said that one girl told him "'For a second I really thought there was love." He replied, "Well there really is and that's in Jesus Christ."

Barrera said the local group got its idea for a mock wedding from a Campus Crusade conference in Daytona Beach.

"Gabriel got the idea and saw how it was successful and it drew a lot of people and gave opportunity to share Christ," she said.

Stevens said that this evangelical method was useful in the organization's beach ministry. He said at the beach, people would come right up and watch the skit.

This isn't the first time Campus Crusade for Christ has sponsored activities on campus. They have also held dorm discussion groups and last year they presented "The Jesus Film" at the UC, Malouf said.

When asked if the group will be doing any more activities on campus Malouf said, "Definitely, (but) they might come in different forms or shapes. You'll never know where we'll turn up next," he said.

 

******************************************************

******************************************************

 

COPS URGE CAMPUS CAUTION

Campus crime got off to an early start Thursday morning with an aggravated robbery at 2:20 a.m. in Parking Lot 1A.

According to police reports, a student was walking to her dormitory when the suspect ran toward her from between parked cars with a handgun in his left hand.

The suspect allegedly pointed the handgun at the student and demanded her purse. The student handed over a large tote bag she was carrying.

The suspect then fled south in lot 1A through the hedges toward Wheeler Street.

Shortly thereafter, the student observed a blue or gray four-door older-model Volvo leaving the area going west on Wheeler.

The composite sketch closely resembles that of the aggravated robbery suspect from the March 28 incident which occurred in Lot 13A.

This incident follows three other robberies in the past three weeks. The incidents may not be related.

Campus police have asked all students, faculty and staff to be alert and conscious of their surroundings on and away from campus.

 

******************************************************

******************************************************

 

TECH STATS CAN BEAT UH

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The Texas Tech Red Raiders rank No. 1 in the Southwest Conference in team pitching and team defense and No. 2 in team batting.

"I guess we haven't got a chance do we?" said Houston head coach Bragg Stockton, whose Cougars travel to Lubbock today for a three-game SWC series against the Raiders. "Obviously we've got to play our best series. We have to attend to our business."

The Cougars' business involves trying to win six of their last nine conference games. Houston (24-16, 4-5 in the SWC) needs six more victories to total 10 for the conference season and have a good chance to make the SWC postseason tournament. The top four teams at the end of the SWC season make the tournament.

Tech (28-11, 4-2 in the SWC) broke even during a recent string of six consecutive road games. The Raiders took two of three from Baylor last weekend before splitting a two-game series with No. 19 Oklahoma and losing a single game to No. 8 Wichita State in the middle of the week.

Until this week, Tech had not played a ranked team.

Tech pitchers Ryan Nye (8-2) and Travis Smith (6-0) are tops in the SWC in ERA at 1.36 and 1.87, respectively. Jason Whittle (7-3) ranks in the top ten as well with a 2.81 ERA.

Stockton isn't concerned about the Cougars' ability to hit Tech's pitching.

"We've faced as good pitching as there is in the nation this year," he said. "We're prepared for it."

Earlier this week, Houston roughed up Schreiner College flamethrower Shawn Box in an 11-1 blowout victory. Box is a highly recruited prospect with a 90 mph fastball.

Houston has also played nationally-ranked opponents Oklahoma, Louisiana State, McNeese State, Rice, Texas and Texas A&M.

Stockton said there could be some changes in the Cougars' starting rotation for this weekend's series. He said he might move Bo Hernandez, who has started Friday night games this season, to the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader.

David Hamilton, who started his first SWC game against Texas A&M last weekend, would then start the Friday game.

Saturday's 1 p.m. twin-bill will be televised locally on Home Sports Entertainment. It will be Houston's first and only televised date of the season, unless the Cougars make the CBS-televised College World Series.

"I imagine (the players) will enjoy playing on HSE," Stockton said. "It's always good for college baseball. For ESPN or HSE to cover us is always a plus."

 

Visit The Daily Cougar