REVIVE PARK PARTY OR CHANGE FIESTA

Local Music

Tom Turner

Now that Frat-tier Fiesta is over several things seem quite evident after its completion. These observations will stem from a musical standpoint only, since I figured nearly every other issue has been or will be covered in some way or another.

This can all begin by a little comparison of the fiesta and the Perpetual Park Party of old. During the course of the fiesta, a fairly wide range of acts were able to play for the very small number of people that actually cared about the music. The bands scheduled to appear ranged from Houston's best world beat group, D.R.U.M., to blues and country.

Unfortunately, many of these bands were not heard due to the stigma of this fiesta-of-sorts. This can either be accounted for the basic lack of interest and/or the personal boycotts, then ranging from a strong dislike of greeks to the lack of diversity.

Now, setting aside whether these groups were good or not, they were all basically local. At the park party, the bands ranged from the local to the national. Take last year for example, the local groups opened up the party and it closed with the national act L7. This doesn't imply at all that the local acts were not good. Several bands put on really great sets. It's simply that with a range that flows from the local to the national, more attention will naturally be drawn to the event. This is hardly a tough concept to grasp.

Granted, the concept of Frontier Fiesta is not a bad idea. However, the worst idea that seems apparent was the attempt to combine a gathering of people out for good music with an entirely different atmosphere. Not a really great idea, as evidenced by how few people came out for the music.

Student Program Board Advisor David Rachita was quoted as saying that the Frontier Fiesta "doesn't attract the outsiders" (Daily Cougar March 30). It seems, to me at least, that this statement makes no sense at all. Granted some may believe that the "outsiders" caused some problems at last year's park party. However, it seems that as a university, one would want to attract as many younger people as possible.

By doing so, these people would be exposed to what the campus looks like. Besides this, the impression that the university is entertaining, as far as music festivals go, could be displayed. Unfortunately, it seems the higher-ups have taken one instance of trouble and eliminated the park party. Some of this blame falls on the shoulders the big-wigs at SPB.

SPB is a good organization that brings many events to campus, but I believe, as I think many others do as well, this was a really bad idea.

Maybe in the future if the party is to be permanently merged with this event, a better course of action may take place. Only through a change back to some of the ways of the old party will anyone, besides the greeks, athletes, alumni and a few others give a care about attending. Yeah, I'm talking about just your average student, who isn't involved with any of these organizations, who tends to be forgotten every so often. Most likely, they weren't seen much at this event.

This is a sad statement due to the fact that the Perpetual Park Party drew together a whole slew of people to listen to a fairly wide range of music from the local to the national.

Unfortunately for students, as well as the campus for that matter, Frontier Fiesta was a musical disappointment. The organizers found good local talent, but forgot that the fiesta does not have a good representation with many students.

Turner is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

 

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AAS' STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE

Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

Taking the knowledge learned in universities and giving that knowledge back to the community was the main theme shared by speakers in the closing panel discussion of UH's African American Studies program symposium titled "African American Studies and Strategies for the Future.

The panel, chaired by Linda Reed, director of UH's AAS program, defined the purpose of African American Study and how that study should not be confined within the walls of academic life but shared with the community.

In her talk titled, "Crossing Boundaries: Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Twenty-first Century," Sharon Harley, Director of the University of Maryland's AAS program said understanding the things that keep people apart (race, color, gender, sexuality, etc.) is the first step in bringing African American people together.

Harley said African Americans should, "move beyond the historical facts of black peoples lives and look toward the present and seek to solve the problems that plague our lives now."

"We must become aware of the struggles of other groups to better understand ourselves," Harley said.

Peggy Engram, professor of Sociology at UHDT talked on "Student Involvement: The Legacy Must Continue." She said in the past African American students felt they were supposed to feel privileged that they were accepted to historically white colleges. She said students at predominantly white colleges should not just take what is given to them. Engram said students could take a lesson from the student activists of her era and make a definite change. She said AAS programs should lead the way.

She said all students, not just African Americans, should realize that AAS courses are relevant to their specific disciplines and to how they live their lives outside school.

Russell Jackson, Director of the Institute for African American Policy Research, spoke on "Empiricism and Passion: Tools for African American Studies into the Twenty-first Century". He said AAS programs should do more research into the problems of the African American community.

Jackson said AAS programs should stay away from the "victim studies" used by many Anglo researchers. He said blacks already know what their needs are and how they got in the place they are today. He maintained that it is research on how to solve these problems that is necessary.

He said AAS programs should use the scientific method of observation and experiment in solving the problems of the black community. He said students and faculty should not shy away from bringing their passion into the study because passion defines what the important problems are and how African Americans work to change them.

In an earlier panel, faculty and professionals in music joined together to discuss the many influences on African American percussion.

In a panel, chaired by Marvin Sparks, UH assistant professor of music, titled "African American Music Experience in Percussion, the roots of African American percussion were explored from the first African people brought to the "new world" to personal views on percussion as an academic pursuit.

Craig Williams, professor of music at Cincinnati School of Arts, talked about the genesis of African American rhythms. He gave the example of the coalition of African, Spanish and the indigenous peoples of Cuba to create the music called Salsa and Folklorico Tipico today.

Williams also explained the differences in types of drumming. He said there is the physical kind that accompanies dance and the sonic kind that is used to relate messages. He said one of the differences between African Americans and Caribbean peoples is that they were allowed to keep their drums.

Ed Thigpen, renowned Chicago percussionist, said there was no real separation in genres of music, that aspects from many types of music could be put together to make one. He said jazz had that particular quality. Thigpen said understanding that is at the heart of teaching music.

 

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VOLUNTEERS SAY AIDS AVOIDABLE

by Andrea Alford

Contributing Writer

Friday morning, volunteers from the AIDS Foundation spoke to a small group of interested students and faculty assembled in front of Agnes Arnold Hall.

In turns, Jerry, Adina, and Nadine recounted how AIDS had forever confounded their lives and the lives of everyone close to them.

The AIDS Foundation organizes volunteers who do everything from public speaking and educating the general public, to others who donate their time for hospice activities such as feeding AIDS sufferers or walking their pets – things which many people with AIDS can no longer do for themselves.

None of the volunteers who spoke Friday appeared to have AIDS – they all are HIV positive, however. Jerry even sported a tan, but AIDS can be deceiving. Jerry's was perhaps the most moving story.

AIDS has torn a hole in the lives of Jerry and her family. Jerry admitted that she and her husband lived risky lifestyles. "We didn't know we were infected until our baby was born," she said.

Adina explained that a child's immune system is far weaker than an adult's. Once infected with HIV, children develop the symptoms associated with AIDS far more quickly than adults.

Shortly after the death of her son, Jerry was told that her brother also had AIDS. Jerry was especially concerned for her parents. "I'm trying to be as supportive as I can," she said, "because they are going to have to go through this twice."

One of the audience members asked the speakers if they believed AIDS awareness education was making a difference in how young people approached sex. Adina replied, "It's very disheartening. We slide two steps back for every step forward." Twenty-something people are the fastest growing group contracting HIV.

The AIDS Foundation has also noticed a rise in the numbers of junior and senior high school teenagers contracting HIV. "Their attitude is, 'I'm gonna beat the odds,' " said Adina.

Nadine, Adina, and Jerry adamantly refused to be called "brave" for speaking openly about their personal experiences with HIV. "If by doing this we can prevent just one more person from getting HIV, it's enough," said Nadine.

 

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SEARCH FOR NEW PROVOST UNDERWAY

by Naruth Phadungchai

Daily Cougar Staff

UH is currently searching for a senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost and has invited six candidates to two day-long interviews during April.

Glenn Aumann, the current provost, is retiring this year. Aumann took over the provost position in 1992 when UH President James Pickering, who had previously held that office, became president of the university.

Dr. Wayne Rabalais, head of the search committee for the provost, said he is "looking for a person who is an excellent scholar and who is a good administrator."

He said it is important for the candidates to have "experience in administration and excellence in scholarship." Dr. Rabalais added that he believes the university has "very highly qualified candidates."

The first candidate is Luis M. Proenza, who was at the university April 6—7. Proenza is currently the vice president for Academic Affairs and Research at the University of Alaska. He is also a professor of biology there.

The next candidate, Henry T. Trueba, came to the campus Monday. Trueba is the dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology.

John Alan George, vice president of Academic Affairs and provost at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, will be interviewed Thursday and Friday. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

April 18—19, Damar R. Cronn, dean of the College of Sciences at the University of Maine, will be at UH. He holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry.

Next is Judith Hicks Stiehm, professor of political science at Florida International University. Stiehm served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs there from 1987—1991. Stiehm, who has a Ph.D. in political theory, will be on campus April 21—22.

The last candidate scheduled to be interviewed April 25—26 has dropped out of the process. Dr. Rabalais said the search committee may chose another candidate to replace him.

Pickering has the responsibility of selecting one of these candidates for the provost position, which ranks second to that of the president. The person named as senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost will become the chief academic officer at the university.

According to the job description, the Provost "advises the President on all academic matters," and "plays a major role ... in setting general goals and directions for the academic development of the university, (in addition to) working ... to establish and achieve academic priorities."

Geri Konisberg, director of Media Relations, said before the president makes his decision, he will listen to input from the vice presidents and the faculty. The reason for the candidates' coming to UH, she said, is "to give the candidates the opportunity to look at the people and the program, and for the people to look at the candidates."

The informal reception where the senior staff and faculty can question each candidate is scheduled for the first night of their UH tour 5:30—7 p.m. at the Waldorf Astoria in the University Hilton.

Wendy H. Adair, vice president of University Relations, said "each group is asking different questions (in order to) pool together a broad (picture of the candidate)." Adair asked the first candidate, Luis Proenza, for "his view of what an urban university was, and what the University might do to involve the community, the faculty, the students, and the staff."

Aumann is retiring at the beginning of the next school year, in Sept. 1994.

 

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HELTON PLOTTING THE SPRING SEASON

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

If new faces will be the theme of the Cougars' 1994 season, then the offensive line and linebacking corps will be important subplots.

The football team conducted their second full-pad spring practice of the semester on Monday, continuing to iron out the details in those and other areas.

The sudden departure of center Marcus Vidrine from the team has disrupted what many fans had hoped would be a solid front for the team's new offensive system. Sophomore Mike Fuller has been getting most of the snaps in practice so far, but head coach Kim Helton says the position is still open.

"Right now, he's starting," Helton said of Fuller. "I think he's got a chance to come around and be a decent player."

Helton also mentioned senior Jack Hansen and freshmen Justin Hall and Ben Fricke as candidates for the job.

Vidrine's absence also opens up playing time at guard. While Vidrine started 10 games at center last season, a move to guard was reportedly in the works this year.

Junior Steven Williams has been the lead competitor at right guard. Helton said Josh Hardee and Mark Gray, both listed at tight end, might also be part of the equation.

Left guard has been played by last year's reserves Dave Roberts and Truett Akin. The 6-4, 270-pound Roberts has a slight size edge, while Akin is a bit more versatile.

"Truett's one of those guys who will have to fit in at tackle or guard," Helton said.

The tackles are set, with starters Jim Herndon and Billy Milner returning at the left and right positions respectively.

According to Helton, the Cougars' offensive formation will also include a tight end "60 percent of the time." Chris Herold, a 6-2, 230-pound junior-college transfer, is expected to make a big contribution.

The offensive line has not been the only area of the team to suffer losses. Houston lost linebackers Ryan McCoy, Allen Aldridge and Michael Newhouse to graduation.

At the moment, Helton says his starting trio of linebackers is Chris Jones, Tywon Guy, and Dewon James. Jones and Guy, both juniors, have played on the outside, while senior James has been in the middle.

Also appearing at spring practice for the first time Monday was receiver Joey Mouton, who has been running track this semester. Mouton will compete at outside receiver with Daniel Adams and Ron Peters in the two-wideout set, Helton said.

 

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UH BASEBALL LOOKS TO BREAK OUT

by Chris Pena

Daily Cougar Staff

Huntsville is usually not a place associated with breaking out, but the Cougar baseball team will try to find the light at the end of the tunnel after receiving a sweep last weekend at the hands of Texas Tech.

The Cougars came up 0-for-the-weekend against the Red Raiders, no thanks to the performance of the pitching staff which gave up 33 runs in the series, distributing them evenly in the three games.

With only six Southwest Conference games remaining, the Cougars need to win all of them to have a shot at the conference tournament. Only the top four teams in the SWC will meet in College Station in early May.

Today, the Cougars will try to tame the Sam Houston State Bearkats.

The Cougars squeaked by the Bearkats on Feb. 22 by a score of 3-2 at the now non-existent Cougar Field.

In that game, the Cougars rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the eighth inning.

Bearkat starter Stephen Prihoda limited the Cougar batters to three hits in six innings.

But his performance went for naught as the bullpen let the game slip away.

Sam Houston's bullpen threw two wild pitches, walked two, and hit one batter, leading to pinch runner Dustin Carr's tying run, and catcher Mike Hatch's deciding run.

Cougar reliever Jason Dixon pitched 1 1/3 innings to pick up the victory in relief of starter Bo Hernandez.

Bearkat reliever Jeff Allbright pitched only two-thirds of an inning, but he was on the losing side of the decision.

The Cougars will be looking to senior rightfielder/pitcher Shane Buteaux who is tied for the SWC lead in homer runs with 11 for offensive output.

He is second in RBI (50), first in stolen bases (23), and first in saves (5).

 

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