COOGS HEAD TO FLAGSTAFF

by Hiren Patel

Daily Cougar Staff

After starting the season by being named co-champions of the Buckeye Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and defending its home turf against Sam Houston State, the Cougar volleyball team is off to Flagstaff, Ariz., to play in the Kachina Classic.

The Cougars will open the tournament against California-Northridge this afternoon.

Houston's next opponent in the tournament, Northern Arizona (5-3), enters the competition on a two-game winning streak.

The Cougars play Memphis (5-1) in their final match of the tournament.

Because Houston has not competed with the other participants in the Kachina Classic in the past few years, volleyball coach Bill Walton said he wants the team to establish its game and cause the other teams to make the most adjustments.

"Every team there is going to focus on beating the University of Houston," Walton said, because the Cougars have played the most ranked teams. "We're not going to have any easy matches."

 

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CLINTON KICKS OFF VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

by A. Nett

News Reporter

The Texas launch of AmeriCorps, a new national service program, was held Monday at Texas A&M University at Galveston and included a live video feed from President Clinton.

In an address that was broadcast live to 12 cities, Clinton said, "Service is the spark to re-kindling the spirit of democracy in an age of uncertainty. (This is) no generation of slackers – it is a generation of doers," he said.

He began the oath for the 18,000 corps members being sworn in across the country with, "I will get things done for America. . . ."

AmeriCorps, which is likened to a domestic Peace Corps, is the fulfillment of Clinton's campaign promise to start a national service program in which young people can earn money for education through service.

AmeriCorps members must apply to the program and, if accepted, are offered a job, health benefits and will receive an education award at the end of their service that is paid directly to the institution of their choice.

The annual award is $4,725 for full-time members and $2,363 for part-time members. The award can be used to pay off student loans or finance further education.

Ten percent of all AmeriCorps volunteers will be serving in Texas, said Randi Shade, a representative from the Governor's Office, in her introduction to the launch. There are over 100 programs in Texas that are AmeriCorps-funded, including 14 national programs with sites in Texas.

Serve Houston Youth Corps is one of the 15 Texas programs selected by the Texas Commission for National and Community Service to receive AmeriCorps funding. Serve Houston has 60 full-time participants who work in six teams of 10 on projects like tutoring, immunization efforts and recycling programs.

Rudy Vasquez, a team leader, said, "I organize what service projects (my team) wants to do. I help manage and supervise, but I'm definitely also part of the team. We work together."

Vasquez worked for Houston City Council member Ben Reyes and had a background in nonprofit work before he heard about AmeriCorps and Serve Houston. "This is a dynamic program that is going to make a real difference," he said. "I had followed the Clinton campaign, and was waiting for this to happen," he added.

Volunteers in Service to America has 74 AmeriCorps project sites in Texas. One of them is Communities in School in Port Arthur.

Phyllis Charles, executive director, said she found out her group qualified for a paid-position Vista volunteer when she applied for a grant through the state. She said she is very satisfied with her new volunteer coordinator, and AmeriCorps is "providing new volunteer partnerships and additional resources."

The UH Metropolitan Volunteer Program is a volunteer clearinghouse that can connect students with AmeriCorps-sponsored programs. The group is located on the ground floor of the UC next to the copy center. The office can be called at 743-5200.

For general information about AmeriCorps, call the toll-free hot line 1-800-94-ACORPS.

 

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IRS TO GET $13,000 SLICE OF STUDENTS' PIE

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

Campus groups with compensated student leaders must

shell out almost $13,000 to cover mandated payroll taxes.

Last week, groups were told about the new expenditures and that they must immediately comply with the new Internal Revenue Service regulations.

The groups affected are Student Publications, Residence Halls Association, Students' Association, Student Program Board, the Council of Ethnic Organizations and the Metropolitan Volunteer Program.

Some groups complained that they were not notified in time to ask for additional money from the Student Fees Allocation Committee to cover the expenditure.

"The IRS was not happy with the way the university was doing it," said Jeff Fuller, SA speaker and one of the students affected by the change.

The new regulations will cost SA almost $5,500. Student Publications will have to pay more than $2,000 in payroll taxes for The Daily Cougar editor in chief and managing editor and also for The Houstonian yearbook editor. Other groups will have to pay similar amounts.

For each compensated student leader, the university will pay 14.5 percent in taxes, including unemployment compensation and Social Security. The student leaders will also now pay income taxes.

Diane Murphy, division administrator for Student Affairs, said the affected groups have been asked to submit requests to Elwyn Lee, vice president for Student Affairs, to carry forward leftover funds from 1994 equal to the amount of the payroll taxes or fringe benefits.

Consuelo Trevino, director of Campus Activities, said Lee has given verbal approval for these groups to obtain the leftover funds. He has yet to give written approval, she said.

SA President Angie Milner said if SA does not get $2,500 back, SA will have to cut further into its budget.

Milner said SA and the other groups were told the funds would most likely be released.

During the spring of 1993, a task force was assembled to study the issue of student leader compensation. In the past, student leaders were paid as contract labor as opposed to university payroll employees.

Contract laborers do not have to pay unemployment compensation and Social Security taxes. As university employees, compensated student leaders will pay taxes up front.

"At least people should not owe money at the end of the year. That's a real negative thing to have happen to you," Milner said.

Murphy said regulations handed down by the Internal Revenue Service changed the way higher-education institutions pay payroll employees and contract labor.

Last year, the task force made a final determination about how student leaders would be compensated. The task force determined that student leaders would be put on the payroll rather than being paid by voucher.

The new policy went into effect Sept. 1. Murphy said she felt the university had complied with the IRS regulations fully and that the university should not suffer any penalties or fines.

 

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TIGERS NOT SO GRRREAT

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

Searching for their first win of the 1994 season, the Houston Cougar football team will look to Missouri when the two schools face off 7 p.m. Saturday in the Astrodome. Of course, the Tigers will be doing the exact same thing.

With both schools at 0-2, either the Cougars or the Tigers will wake up Sunday having taken a step in the right direction.

For UH, that would mean establishing a running game. Houston has rushed for 121 yards through the first two games. The Cougar defense has given up 593.

Mizzou has also seen its share of running problems, gaining only 120 net yards. Opponents have racked up 541.

"I think, without a doubt, we will match up real well against Missouri," freshman linebacker Mike Parker said.

The Cougar ground game is led by sophomore Jermaine Williams, who has racked up 90 net yards for an average of 5.3 a carry. The team has an average of 2.9.

The passing game saw moderate success against Kansas, when quarterback Chuck Clements threw for 304 yards, but head coach Kim Helton has maintained the need for a better ground game.

 

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FILM POKES FUN AT TV GAME SHOWS

by Glenn Wilson

Daily Cougar Staff

Upon first hearing about the plot to Robert Redford's new film, <I>Quiz Show<P>, one might think it was just a case of much ado about nothing really.

The film concerns the game-show craze that sprung from the bowels of the television networks during the 1950s, and how, in order to make the show's ratings higher, some of these game shows were rigged to let the more photogenic people win.

In particular, the game show <I>Twenty One<P> is hosted by Jack Berry of modern-day <I>Joker's Wild<P> fame. Contestants on <I>Twenty One<P> were asked questions with a difficulty ranging from the stupidly easy to challenging, even to a card-carrying Mensa member.

And being the gullible sheep Americans were, and in many respects still are, for a pretty face with the right intellectual credentials, Professor Charles Van Doren was the perfect champion.

Unfortunately for the networks, the current champion was not nearly as perfect a fit for the camera. He was in fact a geek!

So the show's producers arranged to have the champion "take a dive" on an easy question to allow Van Doren to win and become the new champ. The first of a string of 12 straight for the pretty-boy intellectual.

However, as is always the case, the fame, fortune and Time magazine covers that followed would eventually lead to Van Doren's downfall.

<I>Quiz show<P> represents Robert Redford's fourth journey as director. His previous efforts have resulted in an Academy Award for his directing debut, <I>Ordinary People<P>, and the well-received <I>A River Runs Through It<P>.

While at first, <I>Quiz Show<P> may not seem like all that big a deal, Redford turns it into a comment on both America's obsession with television and America's obsession with fame.

However, it is Van Doren who is left with the most difficult question in the film: How much is your integrity worth to you?

As Van Doren, Ralph Fiennes (pronounced Rafe Fines) provides just the right amount of emotional detachment and confusion over the moral questions he faces.

Fiennes received an Oscar nomination for his performance as the evil concentration-camp commandant Amon Goeth in Steven Spielberg's <I>Schindler's List<P>. In that film, whenever Spielberg's camera looked into Fiennes' eyes, the evil behind them would chill you to the bone.

Another performance worth noting is that of Rob Morrow (<I>Northern Exposure<P>). Morrow is hoping to become the next television star to make the big jump to the screen, and he is well on his way with <I>Quiz Show<P>, although his phony Kennedy-like accent can get annoying at times.

All around, the cast is superb! From John Turturro's pitiful geek to David Paymer's slimy producer, Redford coaxes bravura performances from all involved.

 

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