VIOLENCE ALTERNATIVES

The Alternatives to Violence Project will hold three weekend workshops Friday, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the School for Public Health in the Texas Medical Center.

AVP, a nonprofit, privately-funded educational corporation, trains people in how to solve their problems without violence.

Participants in the workshops break up into small groups to discuss the most frightening moments in their lives, potentially violent situations that were dealt with effectively, and problem-solving.

The exercises are designed to open the participants up to their own power and how to use that power in a nonthreatening way. Participants are also taught that by expecting the best of people and being prepared for the worst, the fear that stimulates violence can be eliminated, thus avoiding potentially life-threatening situations.

The organization's origins are founded in the philosophies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), but volunteers and members come from all religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The Quakers developed the workshops in 1975 for a group of inmates at Green Haven Prison in upstate New York who were working with gang members to help them understand the consequences of violence. Using "Scared Straight" tactics hadn't worked for the inmates, so they asked the Quakers, who had had 300 years of working in prisons to help.

The workshops have spread quickly and are now conducted in all 50 states, including prisons in Europe and South America.

The cost of the workshop is $55. Scholarships are available.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

ADMINISTRATORS SEEK

STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN RE-ACCREDITATION

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

The evaluation of UH's overall effectiveness by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools can result in the university's official accreditation being revoked.

"An institution can still function normally without accreditation, but it has a very negative image of the quality of education offered," said George Magner, director of the Self-Study for Re-Accreditation.

"It is very rare to have SACS revoke accreditation; it usually only happens when a campus is going bankrupt," Magner said.

The manual for accreditation, designed by the Commission on Colleges, is a specific outline given to universities on how self-study programs are to be implemented.

"A tremendous amount of preparation goes into preparing for re-accreditation. The manual for accreditation given to us by SACS is very clear in what (SACS) expects," Magner said.

Before self-study begins, SACS requires a six-to-12-month period of pre-planning by a university to prepare a proposal for submission.

UH will submit a proposal to SACS by the end of the semester detailing the assessment of preliminary data, the appointment of committees and the direction of self-study programs.

SACS also requires UH to list its strengths and weaknesses, plan for enhancement of existing programs and explain how the campus has met accreditation criteria.

In addition to the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, nine more committees will be chosen to review and assess every program and service offered at UH.

"These other committees will be chosen by November and will begin forming their own reviews of basic criteria when the results of the preliminary survey, put out this summer by Institutional Effectiveness, are compiled and analyzed," said Shirley Ezell, associate vice president for Academic Affairs.

Ezell added that UH will attempt to create a full-time position designed to continually evaluate the campus' effectiveness and its quality of service to students.

When SACS reviews the campus, it will evaluate both UH as a whole and the individual programs offered.

"Accreditation happens on two levels. The different programs offered by (UH) are reviewed independently and then how the different programs function as a whole," said Wendy Adair, associate vice president for University Relations.

One of the main requirements dictated by SACS is that students and staff are to be involved in every step of the re-accreditation process.

"We want student feedback to help us better correct any problems the campus might be having," Magner said.

Before SACS visits the campus in 1997, Magner said a university-wide forum will be held to discuss the goals and assessments of UH's programs before a final report is submitted.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

FACULTY PLAN TO SAVE RESEARCH FUNDS

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

In an effort to head off possible serious cutbacks in research funding at the University of Houston, UH President James H. Pickering and Provost Henry Trueba have asked 12 distinguished professors, some of whom are members of the Coalition for Excellence, to form an ad hoc committee to review the institution's current research, scholarship and creative activities.

The committee, headed by Paul Chu, director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity, will meet throughout the fall semester and is expected to offer recommendations to strengthen UH's commitment to its research mission by spring.

Trueba said he is very excited that this group of distinguished scholars has agreed to assist the administration.

"It is only through the work of our research faculty that we will attain our goal to be the nation's premier urban research and teaching university," Trueba said. "I look forward to their ideas on moving ahead with the research portion of the university's mission."

Pickering said he agrees with that assessment, pointing out the importance of the committee's work coming at this point in the university's history.

"Ten years ago, the president of the University of Houston, Richard Van Horn, set a goal of reaching $60 million in externally-funded research grants and contracts by the year 2000, a goal which meant more than quadrupling the 1984 research dollars," Pickering said.

"With six years to go, we are close to attaining that goal. In August 1994, research funding for the fiscal year to date totaled $55.4 million. As we approach the $60 million mark, it is particularly important that we take a close look at where our next research goals should be and what it will take to reach them."

In addition to Chu, the committee will include Neal Amundson, chemical engineering; Sidney Berger, theater; Sidney Buchanan, law; Richard Evans, psychology; Roland Glowinski, mathematics; Jay Kochi, chemistry; Nicholas Kanellos, Hispanic and Classical Languages; John Lienhard, mechanical engineering; Dan Luss, chemical engineering; James Symons, environmental engineering; and David Tomatz, music.

The Coalition for Excellence has made headlines over the last six weeks for its efforts to influence university policy.

The amount of research money an institution receives directly affects the school's ability to recruit and keep outstanding faculty members.

Members of both the administration and the faculty realize that the university's overall well-being hangs in the balance as many large schools compete for a limited amount of available research money.

The committee held its first formal meeting Sept. 16. It will meet regularly this fall and will form subcommittees to study specific areas of concern.

Committee member Richard Evans said faculty members share the administration's concern that potential reductions in research funding will transform UH from a superlative urban research university to an average teaching university.

"We want to be pro-active," Evans said. "We are not going to ignore the research council, or any other group for that matter. We hope to gather input from as many sources as possible."

He added, "All the members of the committee are prominent members of the faculty. None of us has an ax to grind or personal gain in mind. We know that outstanding research contributes to our ability to recruit high-quality professors, especially young researchers. It also instills pride in the student body."

Evans also said the committee members know that half the battle for research dollars is fought on campus and the other half in the political arena.

"We can't sit back and allow the cuts of support that are happening to other schools," Evans said. "The University of Texas, Texas A&M and all the other big schools are also lobbying for that money. We have to find a way to fight the battle in Austin and in Washington, D.C."

Committee member James Symons told The Daily Cougar on Monday that the chairman of the committee asked the members of the committee not to talk to the news media until the committee issues its report. Symons said he would respect that request.

Committee Chairman Paul Chu was not available for comment.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

LOOK TWICE AT REGISTER ONCE

by John Darbonne

Daily Cougar Staff

Politicians who are not concerned with student issues may find themselves out of a job in 1996 if a new initiative called Register Once becomes implemented.

Register Once is a program that came out of a youth summit meeting last year in Washington, D.C. Participants felt politicians were unconcerned with student issues because students have traditionally not been politically involved. In order for this to change, those at the meeting decided they would need to find ways to get all students registered to vote, and make it easier on them to do so.

Lead or Leave, a grass-roots youth activist group with over 20,000 members, began promoting Register Once to solve the problem.

"The main problem with getting students registered to vote is that in several states, you cannot use a P.O. Box address to register with," said Andrew Weinstein, director of communications for Lead or Leave. "This is all many students have."

Weinstein added that part of the problem in getting students to vote is that reaching the voting facilities is often difficult.

"Many students do not have transportation," Weinstein said, "and those that do must drive to areas that they are not familiar with."

Another problem Register Once is trying to address is the chaos known as absentee voting. Weinstein said he believes few people can navigate this system at all.

To change the institutional barriers, Register Once proposes that all major campuses be required to have a voting facility. A major campus is defined as any campus with 200 or more resident students.

Next, Register Once wants universities to be required to offer an opportunity to register to vote during registration. This would be in the form of a box that students could check at the bottom of registration sheets, accompanied by the words, "Do you wish to register to vote?"

Lastly, Register Once wants universities to be responsible for providing out-of-state students with an absentee ballot and seeing that the ballot is returned to the proper office.

The campus voting facilities would be funded by existing mechanisms. Currently, state government funds have set up polling booths at various locations. All the proposal will require is delegating one local booth to be located on all major campuses.

The funding and university offices responsible for absentee voting and registering to vote will both be determined by state and federal legislatures.

Weinstein said the greatest opposition to Register Once is from the local political bureaucracy, which stands to lose the most.

"The little small-town political bosses who want to protect their fiefdoms are fighting the most," Weinstein said. "Student voting is a threat to their power."

Lead or Leave is circulating a petition through the 50 states to obtain 500,000 signatures. They hope the petition will get legislatures to vote on Register Once. They are also using political pledge drives to get candidates to sign the petition and say they support Register Once. The petition should reach UH sometime this semester.

Other avenues that Lead or Leave is using to get their ideas out are similar to avenues used in MTV's Rock the Vote campaign. The group sends materials to campuses, uses public service announcements, local media and the entertainment industry. This season, they will be seen on <I>Beverly Hills 90210<P>.

"Our goal is to build a network of students," Weinstein said, "and have them bring the legislature forward to their individual state governments."

There are 302 schools currently involved, UH being one of them, with a combined enrollment in excess of 4 million. The goal is to have Register Once passed in 1995 by state legislatures, and in 1996 by Congress.

Angie Milner, president of SA, said she believes Register Once is a good program that will eventually be implemented. However, she expressed concern over the cost it will incur and whether it will hinder the removal of the kinks in the new phone registration at UH.

"I am concerned about the burden it will place on the Bursar's Office, who will be responsible," Milner said. "Students say that the employees in E. Cullen are already overworked, and we do not want to hinder their services. If it requires hiring another employee, funding is tight at UH and I want to know where it will come from."

Milner said SA is not currently trying to promote Register Once, but is promoting voter registration. There will be a voter-registration drive handled by SA Wednesday at the UC Satellite from noon until 1 p.m.

Milner said she believes Register Once will generate more campaigning that addresses youthful concerns when it is implemented, and that she thought this would be good for students.

Lead or Leave is the nation's largest nonpartisan activist group and is funded 90 percent by independent donations. John Cowan and Rob Nelson founded the group in 1992 after they said they became disenchanted by politicians who were ignoring youth concerns.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

NEVER SAY NEVER IN THE NETHERLANDS

by Josiéne van Kampen

Contributing Writer

Because of my appearance and my funny accent, people ask me where I'm from at least 10 times a day. Most of the time when I tell them I am Dutch, they don't know what that means. So lately, I tell people I am from the Netherlands, better known as Holland, because I know it can be somewhat complicated.

I don't blame people for not knowing where I'm from because compared with other countries, we are almost invisible on the map. They sometimes even forget to put us on the map. Despite our insignificant size, we do have a long and important history and a very interesting culture.

People seem to have an easy time coming up with clichés about Holland: "Oh yeah, you guys have windmills, soft drugs are legal, wooden shoes, flowers, Rembrandt, van Gogh, yeah ... I know Holland."

For your information, yes, soft drugs are indeed legal and so is prostitution. We do have windmills, that part is true, but believe me, we don't wear wooden shoes and we don't smoke marijuana all day long. In fact, I think the majority of the people who use soft drugs are tourists.

Some say we are a weird country where everything is possible. I say that Holland learned to accommodate all lifestyles so people are free to choose how to live.

Holland is the most densely populated country in the world. I think this is one reason why Dutch people are so tolerant because the best way to live peacefully with each other is by accepting others for who and what they are.

Another reason is that we are highly economically dependent on other countries, such as the United States and Germany. This has forced us to adapt to other cultures and languages somewhat.

Amsterdam is our largest city, with about a million citizens. The main features of Amsterdam are still the same as they were in the 17th century. The city is really an open-air museum. It is not hard to find a block that is simply loaded with fascinating architecture from centuries gone by. It has more canals than Venice and over 700 beautiful bridges.

There are hundreds of museums and galleries. You can say that the city of Rembrandt and Vondel has remained a home for the arts.

The many different cultural and ethnic groups give color to the city. The street scene is very lively and noisy. You will be amazed by all the fascinating faces, fashion and races.

Since moving to the United States, I've been amazed with all the luxuries American students have, like apartments, dishwashers, cars, and washers and dryers.

Cars, because of their cost and gas prices, are out of the question for the majority of people under age 25. People transport themselves by riding their bike to work and school.

I'm sure you are wondering if we also go to restaurants and clubs by bike? Yes, my dates used to pick me up with their bikes, and if they were real gentlemen, they wouldn't let you ride your own bike, but would let you sit on the back of their bike.

Because Holland is such a densely populated country, finding affordable housing is not very easy for students. There are apartments available if you want to pay more than half of your paycheck. Most of my fellow students were living in rooms not much bigger than a walk-in closet, and they had to share their bathrooms and kitchens with at least five people.

What do you do when you live in a walk-in closet? Well, you don't go home unless you really need to sleep. You also study in the library and go to as many get-togethers and parties as possible. You can be sure that as soon as you have settled yourself into Amsterdam student life, you will not get a lot of sleep.

The night life in Amsterdam is the best. Every day of the week, you can go to our so-called "little brown cafés," where you and your friends can go to quaff the best beers while people-watching and talking politics.

The best night of the week to go out is Thursday because it's student night, and the city is filled with young people out on their bikes or walking to bars and clubs, which are all compressed into one or two streets. My American friends who have visited me and my family in Holland, most of the time, define the night life in Amsterdam with just one word: "crazy."

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

WALTON'S WHIM CREATES WINNING WAY

COUGAR VOLLEYBALL COACH LEARNS FROM OTHERS TO TEACH HIGHER LEVEL OF PLAY

by Hiren Patel

Daily Cougar Staff

In the sports world, recruiting has replaced walk-ons and tryouts for teams. It is difficult to imagine a player walking into a major university gym, participating in a handful of drills and walking out a member of the squad.

Houston head volleyball coach Bill Walton experienced such a tryout his freshman year at George Williams University.

After being recruited to play basketball by head coach Norm Sonju, currently the Dallas Mavericks' general manager, Walton tried out for volleyball on the advice of his roommate, a volleyball player, mainly because of his height.

From then on, Walton's mentor, Jim Coleman, head coach of the 1964 U.S. Olympic men's volleyball team, was forced to drag him around to participate for the U.S. national team in 1976 and 1979.

"Jim kept after me, and he kind of got me to where I am today," Walton said. "I was fortunate enough to be with them (his fellow Olympians) and caught the bug.

"The people I was around at the time lived and breathed and knew everyone in volleyball."

In the time between playing for the U.S. national team, Walton started coaching at summer camps, where the Illinois native learned how to pick up plays and alter them to his benefit.

The former two-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American developed his game style by adapting plays from other coaches. In doing so, Walton has been able to compile an impressive list of accomplishments.

"However, I'm not afraid to do things differently and I think that's a lot of Jim Coleman," he said.

Whether Walton adapts other coaches' ideas or creates his own plays, which he admits number only five, he has been successful at all levels of competition.

He credits his success "to the strategy from my being trained, to the drill development and teaching of skills at summer volleyball camps, to my own coaching over about a six-year period," Walton said.

Prior to coming to Houston, the coach, who has seven consecutive 20-win seasons at UH, led Elmhurst College to two NCAA Division III National Championships in 1983 and 1985. While coaching the Blue Jays, Walton compiled a record of 210-55.

How can a coach take .500 teams, like UH and Elmhurst were, and achieve such success?

"You focus yourself in one direction and (the team) works in that direction," Walton said. "What it boils down to is the consistency and ability with which players are able to execute their system."

Walton added that he follows a story he heard about Abraham Lincoln. Before winning an office seat, the 16th president lost 16 other elections. Persistency was the key for Lincoln and is the key for Walton.

"It's not so important how you do the first time you try; the only thing that is important is you stick to what you are doing," Walton said. "If I keep selling that and they keep buying it, I think we'll be OK.

"If the kids kind of read through it, maybe they'll see how well my teams have done and they'll buy it."

The one difference in coaching at Elmhurst and Houston, Walton noticed, was the lack of time for actual coaching and development of players' skills. That loss of time he has experienced at Houston, however, fits his game plan in an ironic way.

When new recruits join the Cougars, Walton simply allows the players to do their own thing.

"I try to incorporate what the players already do best into the teams' offensive or defensive scheme and help them develop other skills they are weak at," Walton said.

As the man at the helm of the Cougar program, Walton's teams have participated in four NCAA tournaments in the last five years and won the National Invitational Volleyball Championship in 1990.

After compiling a record of 167-102 in eight seasons, he led the Cougars to their first NCAA tournament win last season against Clemson.

With All-America candidate Lilly Denoon-Chester and a core of young experienced players, this may be Walton's year for reaching the goal of an NCAA championship.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

ROCK GROUP GUIDED BY FAITH, NOT SIGHT

by Celeste Martin

Contributing Writer

A rock concert in a church?

Your eyes are not deceiving you, although the band's name is 20/20 Blind. They performed Saturday night at the Christian Tabernacle, a nondenominational church on Wallisville Road.

Wallace Chase, lead singer and lyricist, said their sound is "a funk bass, groovin' drums, heavy guitars and really pretty melodies with the ability to scream!"

They compare themselves to King's X. They have an emotional, aggressive groove, something like Atomic Opera.

Chris Laurents, drums, said, "It's a more down-to-earth sound that people can relate to. We speak very frankly, and the lyrics aren't super hyper-spiritual, but yet written in submission to Christ. No 'pie in the sky' stuff here."

They listen to all bands for musical perspective. Chase likes Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, but does not condone their lifestyles. Michael McNealy, guitar (an aerospace technical engineer at NASA), looks up to Stryper because they were able to show kids who Christ is through their music.

Schon Alkire, bass, said his band's purpose is "to glorify God in all that we do whether we're on stage or off. We play our hearts out no matter where we play, whether it's in a club or a church."

20/20 Blind is signed on the Intersound label. They would like to become a more mainstream band. The band's name is a scriptural reference to Corinthians II 4:18. One of Chase's favorite scriptures reads, "Walk by faith, not by sight."

Saturday, they played songs from their first album, including, "I Am Blind," "Show Each Other Love," "Sleepy Land" and "Wash!" during which they threw bars of soap out to the audience. The groupies went nuts. They played "Scorpio" and "Only Hope" from their second album.

The band has been together for about a year and a half and they write their songs together. Their jam sessions are improvisational and they solidify whatever works with the lyrics Chase writes. Chase had two years of music theory training at Lee College, where he studied opera-singing and was highly recognized at vocal competitions.

"No matter where I'm at, I want to reflect a life submitted to Christ; I want my life to shine before men so that when they see my good deeds, they will praise my Father in Heaven," Laurents said, quoting Matthew 5:16.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

FOUR SEASONS TOPS THE CHARTS AGAIN AFTER 30 YEARS

by Scott Sparks

How can a song recorded in the mid-'60s return to the charts and Top 40 radio? Add a dance beat. That's what has happened to The Four Seasons' hit "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night." Reaching the top of the charts 30 years ago, it has started the climb again.

The Four Seasons was one of the few groups affected little by the "British Invasion" of music in the early ’60s. The band, fronted by Frankie Valli, scored 10 top 10 hits by 1965. Just goes to show that a good song can always stand the test of time. Even three decades!

Miscellaneous: Bonnie Raitt and Bruce Hornsby have teamed up again. Two years ago, they had one of the highest-grossing tours in the United States. Like they say, don't fix what ain't broken. They should hit Houston on Oct. 29 at the Woodlands.

Massive Attack, the group that mad a big splash stateside on the <I>Sliver<P> soundtrack, has a new CD out called <I>Protection<P>. You will need to check your local record store's import section...

Wondering what the No. 1 album this week in England, New Zealand and Germany is? Wet Wet Wet's Greatest Hits ... By the time you read this, Danzig's new CD should be on the shelf ... Shane MacGowan, former lead singer of the Pogues, will have something new on the shelves by late October...

KRBE Music Director Paul "Cubby" Bryant hipped me to the fact that the new Duran Duran album, <I>Thank You<P>, which should have been out last week, has been postponed in order to add a few more songs. Seems the band wanted as many cuts as possible on the CD to satisfy every taste – and every radio format...

Seal will finally tour the world. He has been in L.A. and New York auditioning potential band personnel...

Two live albums of note that should be worth the asking price are Peter Gabriel's <I>Secret World Live<P> and Paul Weller's <I>Live Wood<P>. Both CDs were recorded on each of their respective tours last year...

The Black Crowes recorded enough material for three CDs this past winter. Will we get all of this music, somehow, some way, this year?

Happy Birthday this month to: Harry Connick Jr., 27; Tommy Shaw (ex-Styx and Damn Yankees), 39; George Jones, 63; Barry White, 50; Neil Peart (Rush), 42; Peter Cetera (ex-Chicago), 50; B.B. King, 69; and Richard Marx, 31.

Visit The Daily Cougar