FRONTIER FIESTA OVERHAUL PLANNED

by Marlene Yarborough

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite student outcry about the lack of diversity last spring, Frontier Fiesta is on the calendar again and will be promoted as Fiesta City.

The name of the site on Calhoun where the event took place last spring was called Fiesta City.

Julie Baumgarten, chair for the event, said, "A lot of students were unhappy with what the name stood for, but people in the community remember that name and we don't want to lose alumni support."

Taking "frontier" out of the name takes some of the tradition away that was part of the event, she added. "However, we are doing it because it is what the students said they want," Baumgarten said.

A formal letter of grievance protesting an alleged lack of diversity at the event was handed to UH President James Pickering from various ethnic organizations last spring.

In response to those complaints, Pickering told the Daily Cougar last April, "If we can't have an event that satisfies everyone, then we won't have it at all."

As the event's plans are laid out next year, Pickering said ultimately ending it was not his decision.

"My opinion has not changed. The issue last year was that certain groups were being excluded," he said. "We are a multi-racial, multi-ethnic campus, and the event should reflect the whole campus; if not, they shouldn't (do) it."

Pickering added that Frontier Fiesta is now in the hands of the students. "I'm not in the business of event-planning," he said.

Russell Contreras, president of the Hispanic Student Association, said at a general meeting that the three Hispanic organizations on campus are undecided on whether or not to support the event.

"Half of the students voted that they wanted no part of the event as long as it is 'Frontier Fiesta' because 'frontier' means 'conquest,' and we were the ones discovered," Contreras said.

Pickering added, "The event is funded by the Student Activities Office. It is Student Affairs' business. If a group chooses not to take part, they should talk to Student

Affairs. I'm sorry if they don't feel it is appropriate, but there is a place for them to go. They should work with other members of the group."

Baumgarten said she was unsure if Fiesta City will have a western theme. However, they do plan to use much of the same material.

"I feel it was a communication problem last year. Some organizations were not given a fair chance to get involved in the project. It was an honest mistake," Baumgarten said.

David Rachita, the Campus Activities adviser assigned to the festival, said, "I'm very impressed with Julie. She has worked hard and opened communication lines with student groups to get their input."

Baumgarten said she sent out memos to all organizations on campus and had a pre-planning meeting to talk about how to make the event better.

Event-planning has changed. Last year, it was out of the Office of Special Events. This year, a campus organization is handling the planning, Baumgarten said.

"The administration has stepped away from the event and put it in the hands of the students. It is more student-oriented with faculty and alumni support," Baumgarten said.

However, Rachita, as the faculty adviser for the event, is paid by the administration.

"Frontier Fiesta promises to be a more diverse event this spring, with more student groups participating and better communication between the organizers and the student body," Baumgarten added.

Rachita said there are three main areas Baumgarten is working to change. She is working to create an annual theme for the event. She is also trying to change the logo and assemble other groups to put on shows and set up different types of booths.

"The shows do not have to revolve around the fiesta theme, but around any theme they would like to pick," Rachita said.

"I want to make this an event where all students feel comfortable, a festival in the spring for the entire UH community," added Baumgarten, "A celebration of the pioneering spirit. It's about working together. It is like UH trying to work together in this big city."

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COUGARS SWAMPED IN LOUISIANA

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

Ruston, La. – Kim Helton hates to say it, but he will.

"I have never been associated with a poorer-officiated game than the game that was officiated tonight in all my years of college football," the Houston Cougar head coach said in the aftermath of yet another defeat Saturday night.

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (1-1) handed the Cougars (0-2) their 17th consecutive road loss away from the city of Houston, 32-7, in Tech's Joe Aillet Stadium before 17,408 humidity-weathered fans.

And though Helton insists the game was actually settled between the players on the field, he can't help but comment on the "outside" factors that probably contributed to Houston's inability to break a streak that began in 1990.

"(The officiating crew) was the most embarrassing, most pathetic NCAA officiating crew in the history of college football," Helton said.

Leading Houston 7-0 with the second quarter seconds from winding down, the Bulldogs aimed at moving into field-goal position in hopes of taking a 10-0 halftime lead.

With the ball on the Cougar 19-yard-line and no timeouts left, Tech quarterback Jason Martin grounded the football, stopping the clock with 17 seconds left to play.

However, Tech was unable to get another play off before the play clock expired. Naturally, the officials cited the Bulldogs for a 5-yard penalty, but they never assessed the yardage.

It took Helton having to become livid on the sidelines before the officials finally realized what they had done wrong.

On the very next play, Martin completed a first-down pass to split-end Chad Mackey, stopping the clock with 10 seconds left because of the movement of the first-down chains.

However, the officials never signaled to continue running the clock, which allowed the Bulldogs plenty of time to bring their special teams out and set up for the 32-yard field goal attempt.

The process took well over 10 seconds, and Tech converted the kick, eventually taking its 10-0 lead at the break.

When the first half finally did come to a close, Helton furiously ran onto the field and gave the officials his angered two-cents worth.

To make matters worse, the Cougars were forced to hold their halftime meetings outside the visitors' locker room due to a lack of team space.

The situation seemed to carry over as Houston fell behind as much as 20-0 in the third period following a Martin-to-running back Jason Cooper 39-yard touchdown pass.

It wasn't until the fourth quarter when the Cougars finally got on the board.

On the last play of a brilliant 13-play drive, Houston quarterback Chuck Clements found Daniel Adams on a beautiful 12-yard fake play. The score cut the Cougar deficit to 20-7 with 14:46 left in the ballgame.

Then, following a three-and-out stop by the Houston defense on the very next series, the Cougars threatened to cut the deficit to 20-14. But a Clements pass was intercepted by Tech defensive back Willie Smith, killing the rally.

"(The interception) really seemed to close the door (on a UH victory)," said Tech coach Joe Raymond Peace.

In what Helton also called "an embarrassment to the University of Houston," Helton and his coaching staff were without the use of their telephone headsets for over three quarters.

"It's really embarrassing when you're trying to play an NCAA game and your opposition tells you, 'We're sorry your headsets don't work, but ours do,' " Helton said. "It's OK to dress out in a (grass) yard, but how much does it take to make sure both teams' phone lines work?"

Unlike the Southwest Conference, the Big West Conference doesn't have a rule stating it is illegal for one team to use a phone system if another team is unable to use theirs.

 

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COUGARS CO-CHAMPIONS IN TOURNEY

Cougar Sports Service

The Cougar volleyball team started the 1994 season by winning the co-championship in the Buckeye Classic this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.

The Cougars started the tournament by defeating No. 5 Ohio State three games to two Friday night. Saturday, the Cougars started the day with a 3-0 victory over Northern Illinois, but lost to Colorado 3-0 that night.

 

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STUDENT ACTIVISM BATTLES COMMUTER BLUES

Campus Activities optimistic about fall recruiting drive

by Sarah Fredricksen

Contributing Writer

School has started and the long lines have begun again. Long lines to the Bursar's Office. Long lines to financial aid. Long lines to this; long lines to that.

One line that isn't very long is the line leading to the Campus Activities office, where activism groups – some national, some local – sign up to begin the fall semester at UH.

The line to register at Campus Activities isn't really a line. It is more of a trickle. By the close of activity registration at the end of September, between 250 and 300 groups will have registered for the fall semester of '94. The director of Campus Activities, Consuelo Trevino, is optimistic about the school year. "UH is a commuter campus. For a commuter campus, it is doing very well as far as campus activism is concerned."

However, there are differing opinions. Krupa Parikh, former president of the UH chapter of Amnesty International, says campus activism isn't strong enough. She says there isn't much interest because of the commuter-campus situation.

Many students live too far away to commit to campus activities and campus politics. UH-AI has tried several approaches to get a greater campus participation.

Along with its normal activities, such as letter-writing campaigns (asking for the release of political prisoners and guest speakers on campus), UH-AI has tried to advertise its activities through fliers.

AI's goal is to generate interest on campus for Amnesty International and to gain more members.

Campus Activities is optimistic about campus activism this semester. The university funds 70 different programs, which should be worthwhile investments.

"The amount of activism of a semester is difficult to determine in the second or third week of school," Trevino said.

Campus activism can be defined as student becoming involved in campus groups or national political groups such as UH-NOW (the National Organization for Women) and UH-AI.

Information about what groups are on campus and suggestions on what students can do to get involved are available in the Campus Activities office, located in the UC Underground.

 

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THE GRAYS MIX BRIGHT HARMONY

by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

If it is possible for there to be a '90s version of John, Paul, George and Ringo (that's The Beatles for those who are musically stunted), The Grays are possibly the closest thing.

Based on lyrical harmonies, flowing acoustic riffs and solid rhythm section, The Grays are sure to establish themselves with their latest release, <I>Ro Sham Bo<P>, a straight-forward, almost basic approach to rock, with a seemingly heavy influence from the legendary Liverpool band. This influence is captured through the band's use of melodies, as well as its approach to no-frills rock. The members of the group complement each other quite well throughout the album, with various riffs, fills and rhythms. The vocal work is soft and natural – interesting enough to hold one's attention.

On the whole, The Grays can almost be thrown into the same musical genre of many other groups, including the likes of Toad The Wet Sprocket and The Sundays.

Through the course of the 13 tracks on this release, the band passes from rock-pop songs to acoustic ballads. Some of the stronger tracks worth noting include "Very Best Years," "Same Thing," "Is It Now Yet" and "Not Long For This World."

The foursome is led by multifaceted lead singer Jason Falkner, who also plays guitar, bass and keyboards on the album. Jon Brion contributes the same lengthy list as Falkner. Buddy Judge, on vocals and guitar, and Dan McCarroll, on drums, round out the band.

The Grays' latest release, <I>Ro Sham Bo<P>, is worth a listen. For anyone who enjoys the sound of folk rock or pop rock music, The Grays will surely not let you down. So save your lunch money and give The Grays' latest album, <I>Ro Sham Bo<P>, a try.

For more information on The Grays, write to: The Grays; 5550 Wilshire Blvd., No. 302; Los Angeles, California 90036.

 

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