CSD EXONERATED AFTER BIAS CHARGE

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

For 13 years, there has not been a disabled director of the Center for Students with DisAbilities.

During those 13 years, there has been one confirmed learning-disabled employee, but none with a physical disability.

These are some of the concerns that led a former UH student, whose identity is concealed, to file a grievance with the Office of Affirmative Action.

The Americans With Disabilities Act, the legislation that outlines employers' and prospective employees' rights with respect to the disabled, has not been violated, said Phyllis J. Powell, executive director of the Office of Affirmative Action and assistant to the president.

"We are in complete agreement with the center," she said.

David Small, assistant vice president of student planning, under whose direction CSD falls, said, "There is nothing precluding a disabled student from being employed at CSD.

"I was told by the previous director that, indeed, we did have one (disabled) person and may have had others," he added.

Small also said there is no way of verifying a disability before someone is hired. The ADA does not allow that question to be asked.

The ADA protects many disabled conditions from discrimination, including, but not limited to, diabetics, HIV/AIDS patients and the learning disabled, all of which are nonvisible disabilities.

Much of the controversy surrounding the recent search for a new director of CSD centered around the issue of disabled representation.

With many in the disabled-student community feeling alienated, they organized for representation at CSD.

"We want a disabled person in there," said Ila Thomas, president of the Student Advisory Board for the Physically Challenged.

Caroline Gergely, a nondisabled person, was appointed director of the CSD Friday.

 

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UH JOINS NEWLY FORGED CONFERENCE

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The University of Houston has finally found a conference affiliation and, along with the other five schools involved in negotiations, will now proceed to weigh the new all-sports conference's options.

UH President James H. Pickering met the presidents of the University of Louisville, Tulane University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Memphis last Thursday in Atlanta to discuss the possibility of a conference merger.

When the four-hour meeting was concluded, all six presidents agreed on becoming affiliated with one another following the 1995-96 school year.

The five schools agreeing with UH on merging are currently members of either the Metro or Great Midwest conferences and are Division I-A independents in football.

In another meeting set to take place sometime next month, the six presidents will discuss whether they will choose to add further members to the new conference or keep it at the number that was agreed on at Thursday's session.

"(Possible further progress) is never over until it's over," Pickering said Friday. "Our next step is the next meeting. And though we are not done, we are much farther ahead than we were two days ago."

Houston athletic director Bill Carr says he feels a decision could be reached between the presidents that would ultimately expand the current conference for basketball, but stay at the six-member league for football.

"It makes sense to have a larger league for basketball," Carr said Saturday. "But we are in the 'what-if' stage right now, meaning that we need to evaluate the options we have on adding further members in terms of ascertaining value to the new conference.

"In other words, we need to ask ourselves, 'What if we added this school to our affiliation? Could they be of any value to us in terms of what we want to accomplish as a successful conference?' "

Being assigned to help coordinate assistance on the conference's possible options is College Football Association executive director Chuck Nienas.

Pickering also said one of the goals to agreeing on a merger was developing a conference that would be especially strong in basketball.

"It would have been impossible for (UH) to have stayed as an independent," Pickering said. "As a season winds down in basketball, people are more concerned with what teams do in league play (with March conference tournaments being played that yield winners to participate in the 64-team NCAA Tournament)."

With the goal of building a strong basketball conference, Pickering also said that Houston's strong basketball tradition was the key to the other presidents wanting to create a merger as no fewer than six schools can merge to form a legal conference.

"I was rather overwhelmed by what (the other presidents) had to say about Houston," Pickering said. "It became clear that Houston was important to them even though you are normally judged by what you are doing in the present, not four or five years past or future."

Concerning the possible goals for football in the conference, Pickering pointed out that since most of the schools' football programs are leaning toward the future, these teams competing against one another after the conference is in place is "a great way for them to grow and learn from one another."

 

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NEW CSD DIRECTOR CHOSEN

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Friday's appointment of Caroline Gergely as the new director of the Center for Students with DisAbilities hailed a shower of cautious approval and relief from watchers of the process.

On Oct. 10, Gergely will step into an office mired by outcries for disabled representation after a selection process in which disabled students hurled accusations of discrimination and bigotry at the CSD.

Gergely said she will bring a new perspective to the office with her four years experience as program manager for Jewish Vocational Services, a nonprofit rehabilitation center that finds jobs for people with head injuries.

"Each individual brings the sum total of their past experience to the job," she said. "I just feel sure that I'm going to do some things different."

Many of the same students who criticized CSD were cautiously pleased with the decision.

"There's been a lot of problems in the past. We feel the physically disabled have been left out," said Ila Thomas, a senior psychology major and president of the Student Advisory Board for the Physically Challenged.

She said she would give Gergely as much support as possible, but said she would be watching closely.

"We're going to continue to push for someone with a physical disability," she added.

One of the applicants for the position was social worker John Parker, a quadriplegic and UH alumnus, who was active in CSD as a student.

Rodger Peters, an alumnus who helped organize disabled student services, said he trusted Vice President for Student Affairs Elwyn Lee's judgment in choosing Gergely, yet was cautious, adding, "We still don't have (our representation)."

Gergely, who said she is looking forward to the new position, added that time would tell.

"It will take some time for me to get acquainted with what's here," she said.

Lee, who chose Gergely based on the recommendation of the search committee, said he was satisfied with Gergely, but also pleased with the amount of student interest in the appointment.

"We ought to have our feet held to the fire," he said of the controversy.

"Their raising the issues has sensitized the campus and the department," he added.

The disabled community's ability to raise issues pleased Thomas also, but added that she was apprehensive about calling the appointment a success.

"We're just happy that the issues were raised. Before, a lot of the issues we raised were lost," she added.

Lee said he shares disabled students' desire for having the program be representative and diverse.

"A picture is worth 1,000 words," he added.

 

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ACCREDITATION FORCES UNIVERSITY TO EVALUATE GOALS, INFRASTRUCTURE

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

With the impending re-accreditation in 1997, UH is facing perhaps its most challenging test of institutional effectiveness.

UH must submit a proposal detailing how the university will conduct its self-study program to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, one of five regional accrediting bodies, by the end of the semester.

To prepare for the 1997 visit from SACS, UH set up The Self Study for Re-Accreditation to evaluate the campus in terms of faculty and administrative effectiveness, the possibility of achieving UH's reshaping goals and whether UH meets certain basic criteria.

"This program will take a good, honest look at where the university is now and where we will be in the future. It will be a very critical look," said George Magner, director for the Self-Study for Re-Accreditation.

Directly responsible for the area is the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, which will survey the impact of how individual campus programs affect UH as a whole.

"This will be the major review focus for SACS because it will produce a detailed evaluation, as well as future goals for the university," Magner said.

Institutional effectiveness will be the domain of Shirley Ezell, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, who will evaluate UH from both academic and administrative standpoints.

"We started by putting out a pilot survey to recent graduates and alumni to determine their impression of the time spent at UH," Ezell said, adding that the results of this survey have not yet come back, but that when they do, they will determine the structure of other surveys dealing with academics.

"We are planning to have some programs keep portfolios of students' work or give tests to students to determine if they have what we want them to learn from a program.

"It's like quality control; we are trying to develop a process to monitor students' progress, as well as evaluate the faculty and staff, that will be sustained over time," Ezell said.

According to Ezell, the best feedback comes from exit surveys given to students. She believes students are very honest with their opinions.

"This is important because part of SACS' evaluation is how well graduates are doing in the work force," Ezell added.

Another area SACS reviews is whether an institution has the personnel or financial resources to accomplish its goals now or in the foreseeable future.

Mary Rubright, executive director for planning and budget, handles the administrative portion of institutional effectiveness. According to Rubright, this area will be dealing with the evaluation of different administrative components of UH's reshaping plan.

"All the vice presidents will be meeting in the next two weeks to revisit the goals laid out in reshaping to determine our resources available to meet those goals," Rubright said, adding that when the different vice presidents review their goals, they can adjust them according to current or future resources.

Susan Coulter, assistant vice president for development, said the institution will come to her department with proposals, then a process to raise funds will begin.

"Once UH comes to us with their goals, we can then start looking for private investors who are interested in donating to the university. Then we can determine a more accurate picture of our funding situation," Coulter said.

The final avenue SACS will be exploring is whether UH meets certain basic criteria. Magner said

nine more committees will be instituted by November to give a more detailed description of UH's programs.

Part of SACS' function is to review programs that do not have an independent accrediting body. For these programs, SACS evaluates these areas individually.

"SACS can drop by and talk to students, faculty, etc., as well as look at the surveys to determine if the program has adequate resources and capabilities," said Wendy Adair, associate vice president for university relations.

According to Magner, the final step before SACS comes to UH is to present a final proposal of goals and evaluations to the student body.

"Part of SACS' requirements is to have our final evaluation based on revisions made from student feedback. We want this process broadly publicized to help give us a more comprehensive picture," Magner said.

 

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NATURE'S BEAUTY LOCATED RIGHT IN HOUSTON'S BACK YARD

by Josiene van Kampen

Contributing Writer

I see turtles bathing in the sun. I hear the wonderful sounds of birds communicating with each other. I am surrounded by ponds, the most incredible plants, flowers and fungus.

"The Houston Arboretum is not your traditional public green-space," says Sally Luce, spokeswoman of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. "It is a unique 155-acre urban public green-space, being the only one inside the loop."

The facility is owned by the city of Houston, while the programs and grounds are managed by the Houston Arboretum and Botanical Society.

"It exists as a refuge for native wildlife, protecting the rich natural history and educating visitors to its importance," Luce said.

Because of their size, color and conspicuous daytime activity, birds can be spotted easily in the arboretum, but if you look around carefully enough, you will sometimes be able to spot other species, like the Southern Watersnake, Ribbon Snake, Swamp Rabbit, Virginia Opossum and the Nine-banded Armadillo, which are very common.

You can enjoy all this beauty with a friend or alone. You can either enjoy a self-guided nature trail or leisurely stroll through the more than five serene miles of forested paths.

You can also join educational environmental programs. The arboretum has four naturalists on their staff to teach a variety of high-quality courses, workshops and tours for groups or individuals of all ages.

The arboretum is currently undergoing a $1.6 million renovation. Since its establishment in 1967, the arboretum has grown and improved with the help of visitors, donations and volunteers.

"The construction program provides us with much elbow room. Meeting-space capacity has more than doubled, allowing more room for our nature classes and school groups while also providing more and better meeting space. The grounds along our entry way and around the building will be improved through landscaping and signs to serve as a model for the use of the Houston area's native plants in home landscaping and providing back-yard wildlife habitats," Luce said.

The arboretum is always looking for volunteers, and the opportunities are plentiful for both weekdays and weekends. Whether you are looking for outdoor or indoor activities, working with people in a teaching capacity or independent work, there are numerous ways you can help this nonprofit organization to fulfill its dual education and conservation mission.

The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center invites you to come by, escape city life and appreciate what a beautiful slice of nature it has saved for you.

The arboretum is free to the public. The sanctuary is located on the west end of Memorial Park. You can visit the park daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Nature Shop and Discovery Room are open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

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WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND IN RECENT ROUTS OF UH FOOTBALL TEAM

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

After a few years of lopsided games tilted Houston's way, the Cougars are starting to realize what it feels like when the shoe is on the other foot.

Saturday's 52-0 rout at the hands of Ohio State was the second blanking in a row for UH, the first time the Cougars have been shut out in consecutive weeks since 1965.

That year, Houston opened with a 14-0 loss to Tulsa in the Cougars' first game ever played at the Astrodome. The next week, Mississippi State shut them down 36-0, again at the Dome.

It was only a few years ago, however, in the heyday of the Run-and-Shoot, that the Cougars could boast blowouts aplenty of their own.

The most recent example of UH running it up in a game came on Aug. 31, 1991, against 1994 opponent Louisiana Tech. The Cougars racked up 42 points in the second quarter alone on six touchdown passes by David Klingler.

Klingler sat out the fourth quarter, but the game had already left its mark in the minds of the Bulldogs, who trashed UH 32-7 in Ruston earlier this season. Tech head coach Joe Raymond Peace was quoted as saying he would "dig the (’91) film up and burn it this time" after the victory.

During the game, Houston's sideline headsets to the coaching booth were not functional, but Tech refused to turn its own headsets off. Whether that decision was made out of competitiveness or resentment, no one knows.

In former Cougar coach John Jenkins' first year, the Cougars blew out Eastern Washington Nov. 17, 1990, in the Dome. The final score of that game read 84-21, with Klingler throwing an NCAA-record 11 touchdowns.

Klingler exited with 12:40 left in the game, but his record, along with 572 yards passing, still seemed excessive. The two schools have not met since.

Perhaps the most-cited example of excessive scoring by UH came in an Oct. 21, 1989, game against Southern Methodist University. Though eventual Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware was yanked after 12 minutes, he still threw for 517 yards and five touchdowns in a 95-21 win.

Houston totaled 1,021 yards of offense in the game, a record that has not fallen to this day.

It was SMU's first year back from the well-publicized suspension of its football program. The Mustangs have never been in a position to truly return the favor, though they did beat the Cougars 41-16 in 1992.

Some of the biggest whippings in school history have been against Tulsa. Not even in the infamous SMU game did UH score more points than in the 100-6 decimation of the Golden Hurricanes on Nov. 23, 1968.

The Cougars scored an NCAA-record 76 points in the second half of that game, 49 in the fourth quarter, establishing another NCAA record of 13 extra points.

That rout against Tulsa, preceded by a 73-14 win Nov. 5, 1966, has since been followed by an 82-28 stomping on Oct. 15, 1988.

 

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BUCKEYES FLATTEN COUGARS 52-0; CLEMENTS SUFFERS SEASON ENDER

BROKEN HAND IN THIRD QUARTER TO KEEP STARTING QB OUT 6-8 WEEKS

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Buckeyes turned out to be too much for the Houston Cougars Saturday, but no loss was greater than the one discovered just moments after the 52-0 defeat.

Houston sophomore starting quarterback Chuck Clements suffered a broken hand in the contest and is likely out for the rest of the season, as the injury will sideline him for six to eight weeks.

The injury was believed to have occurred near the end of the third period as Clements and the Cougars faced a third-and-nine situation from their own 27-yard-line.

As Clements faded and moved to his right, his pass to receiver Larkay James was thrown a little too low to make the completion.

"I hit someone's helmet on my follow-through," Clements said, completing the story. "At first (the injury) felt like a bruise, but then when I felt it popping, I knew it could be broken."

The loss of Clements comes at an inopportune time for Houston, as the Cougars are set to open their Southwest Conference season Oct. 8 against Texas A&M in the Astrodome after getting a bye this Saturday.

"It's good this team has a week off," said Houston head coach Kim Helton. "We're running out of football players."

In addition to Clements' hand injury, linebacker Chris Jones sustained a contusion on his shoulder while defensive backs Delmonico Montgomery and John Brown both suffered concussions.

"We have too many defensive players running around with limps on that football field," Helton said.

As far as who will now take the reins as the Houston signal-caller for the remainder of the season, Helton has yet to decide. His son Clay is listed as Houston's backup quarterback.

"It's (coach Helton's) decision," Clay Helton said. "He's always right, and he's the head coach.

"It really doesn't matter if I start or not, I just want to win regardless. But if I am called on to start, I will put it upon myself to drive the team down the field and put some points on the board."

Helton proved a suitable replacement for Clements Saturday as he entered the game in the fourth quarter and completed seven of his nine pass attempts for 51 yards.

"I tried to get all my backups some playing time against a great team in a great stadium in front of a great crowd (91,740 attendance)," coach Helton said.

"I believe it was a great experience for them, and it's one that they can learn from and get better from."

On the subject of getting better, the offense will have its work cut out for it now, coming off two consecutive shutouts and going into the rest of the season without its starting quarterback.

However, Houston did pose a scoring threat, possibly making a game out of it almost midway through the first period.

With the Buckeyes leading 7-0 and the Cougars at their own 31-yard-line, running back Jermaine Williams took the ball on a draw play and ran clear over the right side for a 39-yard-gain, Houston's longest rushing play of the season and the longest since 1992.

Then, facing a third-and-13 from the OSU 33, Clements hit receiver Daniel Adams for a 24-yard gain to the nine and a first-and-goal for Houston.

However, the drive ended when a bad snap led to a missed 30-yard field goal by Trace Craft.

The missed opportunities early were just the beginning for the Cougars, who committed four turnovers and had several passes dropped.

"We had three dropped passes and lost two fumbles," coach Helton said. "It may not sound like much, but when those things happen on key third-down situations, it kills your momentum.

"I don't care who the quarterback is, you still have to catch," he added.

A muffed kick, a safety and bad field position for the defense led to a 23-0 first-quarter lead for OSU. The lead was 36-0 at the half.

Clements on the afternoon was 14-of-29 for 92 yards and two interceptions. With his season apparently over, Clements finished the year with 71 completions in 128 attempts (55.5 percent) for 650 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.

His NCAA efficiency rating, a system formulated with 100 based as the average mark, was at 96.9.

"Chuck is still learning," coach Helton said. "He has done some good things this year, but still needs to work on some other things."

"I'm very excited about possibly coming in and trying to compete against A&M," Clay Helton said. "But it's pretty big to the team that we lost Chuck when we did."

 

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BALLET CELEBRATES 25TH YEAR WITH THREE AMAZING DANCES

The Houston Ballet celebrates its 25th year with a mixed repertoire, including such

well-known dances as <I>Ghost Dances<P>, <I>Gloria<P> and <I>The Waltz Project<P>.

<I>The Waltz Project<P> includes an incredible amount of flexibility, speed and control. Set for eight dancers, 12 short waltzes are accompanied by piano music. Martin's amazing one-act contemporary ballet is making its debut, with a whirling combination of <I>pas de deux<P> and ensemble combinations. Modern in movement and spirit, the piece is something to watch.

The costumes are simple, yet very colorful and flowing. The men don black tights and plain white T-shirts while the women wear solid-color unitards of green, yellow, purple and red with a ruffled skirt around the waist.

Kenneth MacMillion's <I>Gloria<P> depicts the suffering and joys of the lost generation during World War I. Francis Poulenc's eulogy to the glory of God helps define this work. This piece of choreography includes 36 dancers, a 60-piece orchestra, soprano Jayne West and the 50-member Saint Paul's Choir.

Christopher Bruce's <I>Ghost Dances<P>, one of his more popular dances, is very different from the other dances. It begins with three men in loincloths, tribal attire and bare feet moving without the aid of music. Li Cuxin, Paul LeGros and Sean Kelly are incredible with their jumps, turns and movement.

<I>Ghost Dances<P> is by far the best piece performed at the repertory concert. As this magical piece of work continues, Spanish folk music begins to play, and the dancers begin to sway their hips and let their long skirts flare around their waists. <I>Ghost Dances<P> provides mystery and imagination with a fantastic lyrical piece.

<I>Ghost Dances<P>, <I>Gloria<P> and <I>The Waltz Project<P> will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The matinee will be at 2 p.m. Sunday. It is being performed in the Wortham Center's Brown Theater at the corner of Texas and Smith.

Tickets range from $5 to $70. Student and senior citizen tickets are $5 at the Houston Ticket Center starting at noon on the day of the performance. A valid student ID or driver's license must be shown to purchase the discounted tickets. There is a limit of two tickets per ID.

Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster outlets, including Foley's, Fiesta, Sears and Blockbuster Music. Tickets may also be purchased in person at Jones Hall and Wortham Center without a service charge or over the phone at 227-ARTS.

 

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FILM OFFERS LESSON OF HOPE

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

The human mind has the strength to overcome all obstacles, and <I>The Shawshank Redemption<P> offers the lesson that hope is necessary for the mind to be free and survive in the most inhuman conditions.

<I>Shawshank<P> is a rare, poignant movie dealing with the power of human will, rather than strength of the body, behind prison walls.

Along with the spiritual aspects, the plot carries many twists and turns that can only be delivered by master storyteller Stephen King.

The Castle Rock release is based on King's short story, <I>Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption<P>. The movie is set in upstate Maine at one of the country's toughest maximum-security prisons.

Andy Dufrense, played exceptionally well by Tim Robbins, is a wealthy, young banker who begins the story by being sentenced to life for the murder of his wife and her lover.

Director Frank Darabont expertly displays the atmosphere of terror the inmates are entrenched in during their incarceration at the Gothic Shawshank prison.

Captain Hadley, played by Clancy Brown, defines the rigid existence the inmates are expected to live by beating a man to death for crying because he wants to go home.

Robbins is a disliked character until he forges an unlikely friendship with "Red" Redding, played by Morgan Freeman, a seasoned lifer who is able to obtain any kind of contraband the inmates want.

Freeman and Robbins develop a close relationship from which springs the film's more thought-provoking messages. With all these messages, delivered in a very subtle manner, the story takes on a haunting quality that spans three decades.

Supporting Freeman and Robbins' performances are a host of veteran actors, namely Bob Guton, filling the role of Warden Norton.

Guton's performance as the staunch, Christian disciplinarian is convincing enough to make any nun jealous.

Other noteworthy performances come from William Sadler, as Heywood; Gil Bellows, as Tommy; and James Whitmore as elderly inmate Brooks Hatlen. The three performances are in-depth and add unity to the story.

The movie contains very little action, but the suspense of the plot and the development of the characters keep the viewer consistently enthralled.

The central theme of the movie is presented one last time in a poetic narrative by Freeman that leaves a lasting impression on viewers' minds: "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and a good thing never dies... ."

 

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