VELDT BELTS POP-ROCK

by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

A combination of swelling guitars, moving lyrics, and a fairly solid, original sound – this is the Veldt. The group grasps hold of its own style of music to join other "black-artists-who-don't-do-rap-or-R&B."

After one EP back in 1991, <I>Afrodisiac<P> is the latest release by the quartet. The 18 - track release travels from almost depressing introspection to uplifting words of joy. One of the strongest tracks on the release is "Soul In A Jar," which is also the first single. Along with the original track, there are two remixes, one done by Diamond D and the other by The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Other solid tracks on the release include "It's Over," "You Take The World," "Until You're Forever," and "Last Call." Each combine original rock with a soulful groove.

However, some of the tracks tend to drag on and become monotonous, but on the whole most of the tracks are pretty solid.

The Veldt is comprised of lead vocalist Daniel Chavis, twin brother Danny Chavis on guitar, Dave Burris on bass and Marvin Levi playing drums. The band originally formed in 1986 in North Carolina. The Veldt has already toured with the likes of Catherine Wheel and The Jesus and Mary Chain to name a few. In several cases, the overall guitar sound is similar to that of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure and the Cocteau Twins.

The Veldt combines a grooving, soulful sound, with lyrics that have true meaning to produce an album that is worth a listen.

 

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NEW ASSAULT SUNDAY

 

The recent wave of campus crime continued Sunday when a UH employee was assaulted and robbed on the M.D. Anderson Library loading dock.

Suspect number one allegedly grabbed the staff member's arms while suspect number two allegedly took the employee's purse and dumped the contents on to the ground.

Suspect number one allegedly fondled the the staff member while making obscene remarks to her.

After about three minutes, the suspects left the area going toward Calhoun Road with the staff member's property. The staff member was not physically injured during the incident.

Suspect number one is described as a 5-foot-9-inch black male having a dark complexion.

 

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BORDER ISSUE REMAINS CLOUDED

by Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

UH professor of Sociology Nestor Rodriguez told students and faculty that the border between Mexico and the U.S. is "irrelevant" due to their interwoven economies.

In his lecture "Latinos and the Battle for the Border", Rodriguez said American backlash against immigration is unfounded because of continued contributions to the American economy by immigrants.

He started his lecture by naming the players on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. On the American side, Rodriguez said, are "large scale bureaucracies of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Border Patrol, a special committee of the National Security Council, the National Guard, Army Reserves and special interest groups."

He said one group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, lobbies congress for tighter immigration laws. This group is funded by another organization, the Pioneer Foundation, that funds research which attempts to prove the genetic inferiority of Latinos and African Americans.

Rodriguez said the players on the immigrants' side are men, women and children, mostly from working-class backgrounds, and peasants. He said these people may not always have low incomes and poor educations.

The other players include groups that provide free or low-cost legal service to immigrants and smugglers.

"In my opinion the battle for the border is much more than poor <I>campesinos<P> and other workers trying to sneak into the United States to take jobs. The battle for the border is about social historical development. It's about the creation of the wage-labor market whose boundaries transcend the political borders of the United States," Rodriguez said.

He said the battle for the border is also due to undocumented workers. This and the growth of transnational communities have made the border increasingly irrelevant.

As an example of the decreasing irrelevance of borders Rodriguez showed slides from one of his many trips to the Guatemalan Highlands.

He showed how the economy and culture of the Guatemalan people is tightly interwoven with U.S. economy. The slides illustrated how money from undocumented workers in the U.S. contributes to the Guatemalan community in the form of education for children, televisions and homes.

Rodriguez's slides showed satellite dishes that he said, picked up American television broadcasts, Guatemalans driving American-made automobiles and wearing American clothes.

He said Guatemalans also contributed to the American economy by working at low-paying service jobs such as day laborers and domestics and buying homes.

 

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HOMELANDS ISSUE MIGHT SPLIT S. AFRICA

by Bridget Baulch

News Reporter

Belinda Botha, a UH postbaccalaureate student and native of South Africa, is cautiously optimistic about the first multiracial elections in South Africa.

Botha said the potential for post-election violence was significantly reduced when Mangosuthu Buthelezi – the leader of the Zulu homeland of KwaZulu – agreed to participate in the elections. Botha said Buthelezi's participation in the election ensured more participation of Zulus in the election.

Botha said, "Buthelezi's Freedom Alliance has broken down and is not as powerful of an influence."

Botha, a doctoral candidate in political science, has a vested interest in South African politics. She lived there for 18 years before moving with her family to New York.

She is a descendent of the original European settlers of South Africa. Her father's family originated with the Dutch settlers in the 1880s and her mother's family is of English descent.

Botha said, "My family has lived there for generations. Most people are not aware that the descendants of the Dutch are considered a separate ethnic group with a separate culture and a separate language – a derivative of European Dutch," she said. "My parents' marriage is considered an unusual match in South Africa."

Botha said the talk of forming a separate white state would only defeat all the goals and aims of the struggle to defeat racial separatism. "The framers of the interim constitution are against it because it would just be another form of apartheid," she said.

"This talk of homelands being granted is a response to fear – well-founded fear. Some groups are going to lose power and some will gain power," Botha said.

Botha said Mandela will most likely to be elected president, and said Buthelezi could get enough votes to win a seat in parliament.

"From what I understand," Botha said, "Nelson Mandela attracts more white supporters than Buthelezi. Mandela appeals to all racial groups. Many in the African National Congress, Mandela's party, do not like to deal with tribal politics because it causes fragmentation and alienation. Buthelezi is more involved with tribal politics."

Mandela's chief rival, President F.W. de Klerk, will maintain power for five years during the interim constitution. "I'm not exactly sure how he will maintain power. The interim constitution has a rather ambiguous statement concerning his title," Botha said.

Unlike the civil war in Bosnia, Botha said religion is not a highly-charged issue in South Africa. Botha said she thought de Klerk's remarks during a debate, that South Africa is a Christian country was a reference to the religion of the white population. "The white population is Christian, there is also a Jewish population, and there are many tribal religions," she said.

Botha isn't sure if she will return to South Africa. "I will know better in two more years, when I have completed my education. I'm very interested in academics," she said. Botha occasionally teaches a class on South African politics.

 

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YOUNG LATINOS URGED TO FORGE THEIR FUTURES

by Jesse W. Coleman

News Reporter

Mexican American Studies Director and Sociology Professor Tatcho Mindiola, Jr. encouraged a group of Houston area high school students to take responsibility for themselves and prepare for college.

Mindiola spoke to a group of about 200 students, parents and educators Tuesday afternoon in the Corpus Christi and Fort Worth rooms of the University Center, where he hosted a session of the Texas Regional Conference of the National Association for Chicano Studies.

Mindiola said some Latino grade school students should start taking responsibility for their education by seeking help, talking with their parents and staying away from drugs.

He said because of economic pressures and family traditions, some Latino parents don't encourage their sons and daughters to attend college. Mindiola said that it is the responsibility of the students to explain to their parents the need for an education. He said some of their parents do not fully understand the need for an education.

"If you going to get involved in drugs, you are heading down a dead end street," Mindiola said to the students. He said drugs kill motivation, stifle ambition and put the user in a fantasy land.

Mindiola said students cannot let bad teachers, counselors and principals affect their inclination to get an education. He said in some cases, students are unable to take advantage of opportunities at school.

"We know there are good teachers, caring principals and caring counselors and that they are overworked," Mindiola said.

"You are our hope," Mindiola said.

"You've got to start thinking about your careers." He said students should start thinking about what they are going to do after they graduate from high school.

Mindiola said without an education, the rewards offered by society to the Latino are limited. Mindiola said students should know what courses they need to take to get into college. He said they should speak to teachers, counselors, principals or, if necessary, call the university.

"At the first sign of difficulty, seek assistance," Mindiola said to the students. "It is not a sin to seek help," he said.

Mindiola said students do poorly because of weak study habits or lack of tutoring.

Mindiola said Latino enrollment from elementary to high school is like a pyramid. He said the enrollment gets smaller and smaller the higher students go in the system. He said for every 1,000 first graders, 400 of them graduate from high school and only 60 of the 400 go to college.

After Mindiola's speech, he opened the floor to UH students and students from other colleges for questions and dialogue.

 

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COOGS RELAY MESSAGE AT DRAKE; WE'RE FAST

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

It was a weekend of firsts for the Cougars.

The men's 400 and 800-meter relay teams were in Iowa this weekend to run in the Drake Relays for the first time in Houston track and field history, and if the results are any indicator, they may want to return.

The 4x100 relay team won and the 4x200 came in second, despite conditions seldom seen in Houston, snow.

"It was a new experience for us, very new," said 4x200 member Vincenzo Cox.

"The weather was horrible," added Sam Jefferson, who ran on both teams. "It was quite a challenge to even warm up."

The snow actually ended before the race but was replaced by rain, and it was still cold.

The 4x100 (Issac Bell, Sheddric Fields, Jefferson and Ubeja Anderson) won with a time of 39.92. The 4x200 (Cox, Anderson, Jefferson and Fields) finished second in 1:22.58 to a Texas-El Paso team that set a meet record.

"(The win) meant a lot, since this was our first time there," Cox said.

"We ran great, we had a great time," Jefferson said. "I think I ran well, I didn't think I was ready to run."

The rest of the team went to San Marcos to compete in the Southwest Texas State Relays, also for the first time in UH history.

"It was really cold and windy and so nobody did real well performance wise," said assistant coach Kyle Tellez.

But like their teammates in Iowa, many Cougars still finished high.

Winners included Jermaine Johnson in the triple jump, Edwina Ammonds in the high jump and James Thomas and Candy Fowler in the 1,500.

Ammonds has been struggling in the high jump and Tellez was happy with her performance. She jumped a height of 5-5.

"It was kind of a breakthrough for her," he said. "In the last couple of heptathlons she hasn't jumped that well. Finally she's starting to get things back in the swing."

Coming in second in their events were: Katrina Harris and Robert Christian in the high jump, Cyndi Espinoza and Wayne Newsom in the 1,500, Steve Adegbite in the 110 hurdles, Christy Bench in the 5,000 and the women's 400 relay.

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