ATLAS: PROVE VALUE

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

A conflict arose Wednesday between academians, who believe higher education deserves more state funding, and community leaders, who say higher education must make its case to legislators and the public, especially in an era when prisons and public education are competing for state funds.

The Fourth Annual Scholarship and Community Conference brought together legislators, administrators, faculty and students to discuss the role of higher education in society.

"These are difficult times for Texas. The enemy, if there is one, are those institutions competing for our resources," said state Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston). "We can no longer take UH for granted. There are too many (UH) people who have provided leadership to Houston." He added that he will form a campaign around the accountability theme to force the community around UH to take the university seriously and to fight for increased state funding.

The conference session titled, "Accountability: The External View" featured Board of Regents Chairwoman Beth Morian; Mel Elfin, special projects editor for U.S News and World Report; Whitmire, state senator and UH alumnus; Nancy Altas, chairperson of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and UH Provost Henry Trueba.

"Everybody in our society is becoming more accountable," Elfin said." In the real world, most people do not understand what is going on inside the university."

No longer should faculty members hide behind tenure when performances do not meet expected standards, Elfin added.

Only 25 percent of Texas residents attend higher-education institutions, Atlas said. "Higher education funding comes from the leftovers. Higher education is still viewed by many as a luxury."

Universities have to make changes in operations internally or people from the outside will come in and make changes, Atlas said. She added higher education should serve its customers – students, taxpayers and legislators.

Atlas also pointed out that universities failed to institute their own doctoral caps so the state came in and took over. The state acted when legislators found out doctoral students were being required to take classes, but not ever going to any classes or doing any work. Universities get more money for doctoral hours.

Now doctoral students can only take 130 hours before the state stops providing money for them. This cap fails to take into account the differences between degree programs, Atlas said. Some programs require students to take more than 130 hours before they finish.

George Reiter, a physics professor and former Faculty Senate president, said improving higher education from the outside could result in standardized tests that only focus on test-taking ability rather than a measure of a student's real knowledge.

"You are going to have to trust us (faculty and administration) with what needs to be done," Reiter said, adding that people inside higher education know the necessary changes better than outsiders.

Elfin disagreed with Reiter's argument and said this attitude would lead to greater calls for accountability from the outside.

"We entrust you with our taxes and our children. We deserve to have a voice," Elfin said.

Elfin referred to a move in the electorate calling for greater accountability for public institutions. In today's society, Elfin said professors are no longer on a pedestal, immune to societal changes.

"You (faculty) are not going to be left alone if that is what you want," Whitmire said. Basically, higher education officials have to explain why a university is "germane" in today's times.

"We have got to make higher education more relevant to the people who elect legislators," Whitmire added. Essentially, among the state's funding priorities, higher education ranks far behind public education, prisons and crime.

Whitmire, who heads the Criminal Justice Committee, said the public must be informed about the importance of higher education and why increased funding for higher education would improve society.

During the session, Whitmire raised the point of whether urban universities like UH are responsible for improving the problems of inner-city schools like Jeff Davis High School, where a third of the students do not graduate. "Let UH be part of the solution," he said.

Disagreeing with Whitmire, Trueba said higher education cannot be responsible for cleaning up messes created by others.

ATLAS: PROVE VALUE

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

A conflict arose Wednesday between academians, who believe higher education deserves more state funding, and community leaders, who say higher education must make its case to legislators and the public, especially in an era when prisons and public education are competing for state funds.

The Fourth Annual Scholarship and Community Conference brought together legislators, administrators, faculty and students to discuss the role of higher education in society.

"These are difficult times for Texas. The enemy, if there is one, are those institutions competing for our resources," said state Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston). "We can no longer take UH for granted. There are too many (UH) people who have provided leadership to Houston." He added that he will form a campaign around the accountability theme to force the community around UH to take the university seriously and to fight for increased state funding.

The conference session titled, "Accountability: The External View" featured Board of Regents Chairwoman Beth Morian; Mel Elfin, special projects editor for U.S News and World Report; Whitmire, state senator and UH alumnus; Nancy Altas, chairperson of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and UH Provost Henry Trueba.

"Everybody in our society is becoming more accountable," Elfin said." In the real world, most people do not understand what is going on inside the university."

No longer should faculty members hide behind tenure when performances do not meet expected standards, Elfin added.

Only 25 percent of Texas residents attend higher-education institutions, Atlas said. "Higher education funding comes from the leftovers. Higher education is still viewed by many as a luxury."

Universities have to make changes in operations internally or people from the outside will come in and make changes, Atlas said. She added higher education should serve its customers – students, taxpayers and legislators.

Atlas also pointed out that universities failed to institute their own doctoral caps so the state came in and took over. The state acted when legislators found out doctoral students were being required to take classes, but not ever going to any classes or doing any work. Universities get more money for doctoral hours.

Now doctoral students can only take 130 hours before the state stops providing money for them. This cap fails to take into account the differences between degree programs, Atlas said. Some programs require students to take more than 130 hours before they finish.

George Reiter, a physics professor and former Faculty Senate president, said improving higher education from the outside could result in standardized tests that only focus on test-taking ability rather than a measure of a student's real knowledge.

"You are going to have to trust us (faculty and administration) with what needs to be done," Reiter said, adding that people inside higher education know the necessary changes better than outsiders.

Elfin disagreed with Reiter's argument and said this attitude would lead to greater calls for accountability from the outside.

"We entrust you with our taxes and our children. We deserve to have a voice," Elfin said.

Elfin referred to a move in the electorate calling for greater accountability for public institutions. In today's society, Elfin said professors are no longer on a pedestal, immune to societal changes.

"You (faculty) are not going to be left alone if that is what you want," Whitmire said. Basically, higher education officials have to explain why a university is "germane" in today's times.

"We have got to make higher education more relevant to the people who elect legislators," Whitmire added. Essentially, among the state's funding priorities, higher education ranks far behind public education, prisons and crime.

Whitmire, who heads the Criminal Justice Committee, said the public must be informed about the importance of higher education and why increased funding for higher education would improve society.

During the session, Whitmire raised the point of whether urban universities like UH are responsible for improving the problems of inner-city schools like Jeff Davis High School, where a third of the students do not graduate. "Let UH be part of the solution," he said.

Disagreeing with Whitmire, Trueba said higher education cannot be responsible for cleaning up messes created by others.

ATLAS: PROVE VALUE

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

A conflict arose Wednesday between academians, who believe higher education deserves more state funding, and community leaders, who say higher education must make its case to legislators and the public, especially in an era when prisons and public education are competing for state funds.

The Fourth Annual Scholarship and Community Conference brought together legislators, administrators, faculty and students to discuss the role of higher education in society.

"These are difficult times for Texas. The enemy, if there is one, are those institutions competing for our resources," said state Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston). "We can no longer take UH for granted. There are too many (UH) people who have provided leadership to Houston." He added that he will form a campaign around the accountability theme to force the community around UH to take the university seriously and to fight for increased state funding.

The conference session titled, "Accountability: The External View" featured Board of Regents Chairwoman Beth Morian; Mel Elfin, special projects editor for U.S News and World Report; Whitmire, state senator and UH alumnus; Nancy Altas, chairperson of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and UH Provost Henry Trueba.

"Everybody in our society is becoming more accountable," Elfin said." In the real world, most people do not understand what is going on inside the university."

No longer should faculty members hide behind tenure when performances do not meet expected standards, Elfin added.

Only 25 percent of Texas residents attend higher-education institutions, Atlas said. "Higher education funding comes from the leftovers. Higher education is still viewed by many as a luxury."

Universities have to make changes in operations internally or people from the outside will come in and make changes, Atlas said. She added higher education should serve its customers – students, taxpayers and legislators.

Atlas also pointed out that universities failed to institute their own doctoral caps so the state came in and took over. The state acted when legislators found out doctoral students were being required to take classes, but not ever going to any classes or doing any work. Universities get more money for doctoral hours.

Now doctoral students can only take 130 hours before the state stops providing money for them. This cap fails to take into account the differences between degree programs, Atlas said. Some programs require students to take more than 130 hours before they finish.

George Reiter, a physics professor and former Faculty Senate president, said improving higher education from the outside could result in standardized tests that only focus on test-taking ability rather than a measure of a student's real knowledge.

"You are going to have to trust us (faculty and administration) with what needs to be done," Reiter said, adding that people inside higher education know the necessary changes better than outsiders.

Elfin disagreed with Reiter's argument and said this attitude would lead to greater calls for accountability from the outside.

"We entrust you with our taxes and our children. We deserve to have a voice," Elfin said.

Elfin referred to a move in the electorate calling for greater accountability for public institutions. In today's society, Elfin said professors are no longer on a pedestal, immune to societal changes.

"You (faculty) are not going to be left alone if that is what you want," Whitmire said. Basically, higher education officials have to explain why a university is "germane" in today's times.

"We have got to make higher education more relevant to the people who elect legislators," Whitmire added. Essentially, among the state's funding priorities, higher education ranks far behind public education, prisons and crime.

Whitmire, who heads the Criminal Justice Committee, said the public must be informed about the importance of higher education and why increased funding for higher education would improve society.

During the session, Whitmire raised the point of whether urban universities like UH are responsible for improving the problems of inner-city schools like Jeff Davis High School, where a third of the students do not graduate. "Let UH be part of the solution," he said.

Disagreeing with Whitmire, Trueba said higher education cannot be responsible for cleaning up messes created by others.

 

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FACULTY WANT MORE AUTONOMY, LESS SCRUTINY

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

The topic of accountability sparked a dispute between professors and the administration Wednesday over the issue of how UH currently evaluates faculty members.

The Fourth Annual Scholarships and Community Conference was presented in three parts under the common theme of holding UH faculty accountable for their performances, both inside and outside the classroom.

The third session of the day, titled, "Accountability: The Internal View," was led by UH President James Pickering and featured five faculty members giving their perspectives on the different areas of UH where the concept of accountability is applied.

Angela Patton, associate professor of art, led the discussion with a prose piece titled, "Measuring the Immeasurable." Patton explained that the main concerns with evaluating faculty stem from quantitative misconceptions.

"When you try to objectify things like teaching, you lose a lot of subjectivity and intuitiveness that is necessary to the job.

"You know who is a good teacher and who isn't, but a lot of time, you have the other problem of some teachers looking good on paper, but in reality are not that good in the classroom," Patton said.

Patton's fears were echoed by Physics Professor George Reiter, who conveyed his feelings on the subject of individual evaluation as being "counterproductive."

"People are sick and tired of being ranked and rated. The system isn't any good; it causes a lack of human interaction," Reiter said.

Reiter continued his disagreement of the current evaluation process by expressing his desire to have group evaluations instead of singling out individuals.

"Specific groups should be evaluated based on student performance at the next level of education. If there is a problem with what students are learning, then a department needs to be evaluated as a whole, not on an individual basis," Reiter said.

Ernst Leiss, professor of computer science and president of the Faculty Senate, further attacked the current system of evaluation criteria in the area of tenure.

"Higher administration should not have any part in establishing tenure evaluation except to make very broad guidelines for the university as a whole," Leiss said, adding that he feels tenure should only be granted or revoked based on departmental evaluations because "the different departments are all different creatures, and only the area specific to that education would know what is the best criteria for tenure.

"We need better feedback about unacceptable faculty and that will come from the departments, not higher administration," Leiss said.

Robert Palmer, Cullen professor of history and law, further expanded on the need for more sophisticated methods of evaluation in the area of dean review.

"Deans are judged by how well they get along with upper administration and not their performance in the college," Palmer said, adding that he feels the senior vice president position should have the discretion of hiring and firing deans, but the faculty as a whole should evaluate the quality of performance.

"Deans who can relate well to the different facets of their college, but can't improve that college, exist for far too long," Palmer said.

Jerry Paskusz, professor of electrical engineering, reminded the panel there would be "no talk of accountability if there wasn't an external community."

Paskusz explained that faculty members need to excel because people are expecting more for their education dollar.

"People evaluate the money spent on their son or daughter by whether or not they are prepared and can land a good job after graduation," Paskusz said.

Voices from the external community agreed with Paskusz's view on the increased pressure from outside interests to produce a higher quality graduate.

"We need a better system of accountability to prove that money given to higher education is a sound investment because we need people more prepared for the global market to secure our future economy," said Joseph Krier, CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

Paskusz further stated faculty members would excel more if UH did not enlist the practice of "pigeon-hole-ing."

"If faculty members were given more of an opportunity to do what they do best, then we would have more faculty members excelling in the field of academia," Paskusz said.

Jeff Fuller, speaker of the Students' Association Senate, rounded out the discussion by explaining that students have become more conscientious about where their university is heading.

 

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LEE: UH MUST LEAD

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston City Councilwoman Sheila Jackson Lee, the keynote speaker at Wednesday's Scholarship and Community Conference luncheon, stressed the importance of the University of Houston's role in providing educational opportunities for inner-city urban minority students.

Lee, who is also the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 18th Congressional District in Houston, addressed her remarks to a large group of administration representatives, faculty members and students attending the luncheon.

She noted her familial ties to the university (Lee's husband, Elwyn, is vice president of Student Affairs) and highlighted her perception of the school's strong ties with the city of Houston and its citizens. She said she is concerned with promoting UH's reputation as a prominent research and teaching university.

"I am concerned about access, affordability and academic quality," she said. "As a member of the City of Houston Education Committee, and in my travels on behalf of the city, I want to be able to brag about the University of Houston."

Lee said urban universities have a unique position in the history of American higher education. She also said these institutions, particularly those receiving public support, must recognize a special responsibility to serve not only the educational needs of mainstream students, but also the needs of minorities and nontraditional students.

While praising the accomplishments of UH over the years, Lee took a pot-shot at a recent story published in U.S. News and World Report that gave the school a less than favorable rating. She described the report as "inaccurate and Eastern-biased," saying it was written by people "who don't understand what excellence is all about."

Lee addressed the growing challenge for urban universities to provide quality education for educationally disadvantaged students, many of whom live in inner cities.

"To succeed in such a program is a mark of a concerned urban state university," Lee said. "An urban state university which is not involved in such a program with the full cooperation of its faculty is shortchanging the community in one of its most important educational responsibilities."

Lee noted the declining enrollment and graduation of minority students at UH and offered a challenge to the school to recruit, educate and graduate more minorities.

"The University of Houston, as a state agency and the system flagship, is committed to its obligation for research, graduate and professional education, as well as for maintaining its academic undergraduate programs," Lee said.

"The University of Houston certainly is cognizant of the possible consequences of reduced enrollment and diminishing appropriations," she said.

She added that if UH fails in its mission, the future will be bleak for Houston high school graduates who cannot afford to leave the city to attend college.

Obliquely referring to recent negative reports appearing in the local news media that portray tension between the UH administration and faculty, Lee said she feels the problem is mostly a problem of perception and that the public's perception of the school is not a true representation of the reality of the situation.

"Many people are not on this campus. They are on the outside," Lee said. "They are only seeing the images and the perceptions of television, the six o'clock news and what they read in the nation's periodicals. My challenge to you is that we, collectively, come together and insist that we present to the public a message and a program and an activism that says what we are doing with the children of the future of this country, this city and this state."

 

 

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PRE-SELECTION GIVES SENIORS HEAD START IN LANDING A JOB

by Marla Dudman

News Reporter

Career opportunities for 1994-'95 graduating students are looking especially good this year, said Calvin C. Chen, associate director of the UH Career Planning and Placement Center.

As a special service to graduating seniors and graduate students who wish to get a head start on campus recruitment, the CPPC presents its new "Same-Semester Pre-Selection" program.

Same-semester pre-selection not only includes opportunities to interview with local, regional and national employers before graduation, but it also provides entry-level career opportunities for all majors, plus the convenience of on-campus interviewing.

"With this new program, students may submit their resumes up to four weeks prior to the employer’s campus interview date," Chen said. "This offers several advantages to both employers and students. First, employers will have an opportunity to review and prioritize student resumes according to job requirements. Then employers can reserve up to one-half of their interview time for job candidates whom they pre-select."

The advantage to students, he said, is that they will be assured a time slot when those companies interview on campus. It also gives students who get started late the opportunity to participate in pre-selection, since the earlier spring and summer pre-selection deadlines are no longer in effect.

CPPC Recruiting Coordinator Theresa Hazel said, "The idea behind the Same-Semester Pre-Selection program is to better serve the employers’ needs and at the same time meet students’ career goals. It will eliminate a lot of unnecessary interviews, thus giving a higher quality and effectiveness to the entire process.

"In the past, on-campus interviews with employers were on a first-come, first-serve basis for students, with a manual take-a-number-type lottery system," Hazel said. "This was really horrendous since many students spent the night in a line outside the CPPC hoping to get the first shot at an interview. Now that we have a same-semester pre-selection program in place, as well as a computerized lottery system for open scheduling, it is much more representative of all the students and alumni.

"For example, it provides a more equal opportunity for those who work and have families and who cannot spend the night on campus in line to get an interview."

Another advantage of the program, says Hazel, is that it provides much more up-to-date information on the student or alumnus, such as summer internships or other more recent work experience because the deadlines are closer to the on-campus interviewing dates.

Hazel said students wishing to participate in the program for the Fall '94 semester must attend a Campus Recruitment Workshop at the CPPC. The workshop provides information on campus recruitment and assistance in filling out the necessary forms. Students may also review the Employer Pre-Selection List for individual requirements on graduation date, degree, major and citizenship status in order to match their qualifications and career interests.

If a student is not pre-selected by a company, they may still participate in open scheduling provided they meet the employer’s job requirements. The remaining half of the employer’s interviewing schedule will be filled by open scheduling.

The computerized lottery makes it possible for students and alumni to take their resumes and completed interviewing forms to the CPPC at any time during the day and automatically be assigned an interview slot with no waiting in long lines.

For more information about "Same-Semester Pre-Selection," students are asked to visit Theresa Hazel or another available counselor at the CPPC on the first floor of the Student Service Center, or call 743-5100.

 

 

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DON'T BE BLUE; HELP ON THE WAY

Cougar file photo

Cutline: The rich and famous are not immune to Depression. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was reportedly obsessed with death and suicide before killing himself.

by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

Pressure, stress, sadness, helplessness, hopelessness and irritation are daily parts of college students' lives. But these somewhat regular experiences can lead to a much more serious condition, and sometimes illness: Depression.

Depression is not only a condition people suffer from, but also is considered the most common mental illness. In any six-month period, 9.4 million Americans suffer from depression, although many don't recognize the disease as a "disease" and do not get the appropriate treatment to end their suffering.

Symptoms of clinical and nonclinical depression have several identifying factors. The illness can be spotted if a person has a noticeable change in appetite or sleeping patterns; a loss of interest in activities that he or she formerly enjoyed; fatigue; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and guilt; an inability to think; thoughts of death or suicide; and even physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches.

These feelings can persist, and even the help of family, friends and co-workers is sometimes not enough to alleviate the suffering. Depression is considered to be the illness that leads to the majority of suicides, and suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in America and the third leading cause of death among people between 15 and 24 years old. Every day, 15 people in this age group commit suicide.

It is difficult for some to believe that such a simple condition can lead to something so lethal. However, the success rate for those treated with clinical depression is an outstanding 85 percent. The largest problem is that only one person in four seeks and receives appropriate treatment.

Dr. Ken Waldman, director of Psychological Services and Training at UH says a leading cause of student depression is a loss of structure in students' lives.

"It is a time that is more unstructured than they are used to. They have to deal with different development stages, separation from family and self-identity. Also, the losses of a relationship or secure lifestyle that they are used to, (like) death and breaking up, can lead to depression," he says.

Avoiding depression can be as simple as staying active and making connections with people, Waldman says. "Doing things for other people can also help (individuals) avoid depression."

Waldman advises that students who may be feeling depressed should try and seek help from family and friends.

"That is a good place to start and if that doesn't bring on some solution, then seeing a professional is another option," he says.

"Everybody gets depressed once in a while. For some, it may be feelings of sadness for a short while." However, when the feelings persist, that is when the normal experience of depression changes to clinical depression, which requires medical treatment. Waldman says the best way for concerned friends and family members to help a depressed person is to find the cause and work on a solution.

"The feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, hopelessness and thoughts that nothing can change or get better need to be seen as something you have control over, even though sometimes we don't," Waldman added.

On Oct. 6, UH will be having a National Depression Screening Day. A quick self-test, an interview with a counselor and the viewing of a video tape will be free of charge to students, faculty and staff interested in finding out if their depression is serious enough to require clinical help.

Three sessions will be held at the University Center from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Those interested in more information can call the UH Counseling and Testing Center at 743-5454.

 

 

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DON'T BE BLUE; HELP ON THE WAY

Cougar file photo

Cutline: The rich and famous are not immune to Depression. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was reportedly obsessed with death and suicide before killing himself.

by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

Pressure, stress, sadness, helplessness, hopelessness and irritation are daily parts of college students' lives. But these somewhat regular experiences can lead to a much more serious condition, and sometimes illness: Depression.

Depression is not only a condition people suffer from, but also is considered the most common mental illness. In any six-month period, 9.4 million Americans suffer from depression, although many don't recognize the disease as a "disease" and do not get the appropriate treatment to end their suffering.

Symptoms of clinical and nonclinical depression have several identifying factors. The illness can be spotted if a person has a noticeable change in appetite or sleeping patterns; a loss of interest in activities that he or she formerly enjoyed; fatigue; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and guilt; an inability to think; thoughts of death or suicide; and even physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches.

These feelings can persist, and even the help of family, friends and co-workers is sometimes not enough to alleviate the suffering. Depression is considered to be the illness that leads to the majority of suicides, and suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in America and the third leading cause of death among people between 15 and 24 years old. Every day, 15 people in this age group commit suicide.

It is difficult for some to believe that such a simple condition can lead to something so lethal. However, the success rate for those treated with clinical depression is an outstanding 85 percent. The largest problem is that only one person in four seeks and receives appropriate treatment.

Dr. Ken Waldman, director of Psychological Services and Training at UH says a leading cause of student depression is a loss of structure in students' lives.

"It is a time that is more unstructured than they are used to. They have to deal with different development stages, separation from family and self-identity. Also, the losses of a relationship or secure lifestyle that they are used to, (like) death and breaking up, can lead to depression," he says.

Avoiding depression can be as simple as staying active and making connections with people, Waldman says. "Doing things for other people can also help (individuals) avoid depression."

Waldman advises that students who may be feeling depressed should try and seek help from family and friends.

"That is a good place to start and if that doesn't bring on some solution, then seeing a professional is another option," he says.

"Everybody gets depressed once in a while. For some, it may be feelings of sadness for a short while." However, when the feelings persist, that is when the normal experience of depression changes to clinical depression, which requires medical treatment. Waldman says the best way for concerned friends and family members to help a depressed person is to find the cause and work on a solution.

"The feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, hopelessness and thoughts that nothing can change or get better need to be seen as something you have control over, even though sometimes we don't," Waldman added.

On Oct. 6, UH will be having a National Depression Screening Day. A quick self-test, an interview with a counselor and the viewing of a video tape will be free of charge to students, faculty and staff interested in finding out if their depression is serious enough to require clinical help.

Three sessions will be held at the University Center from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Those interested in more information can call the UH Counseling and Testing Center at 743-5454.

 

 

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TEXAS-SIZE SWEEP: COUGARS OVER UT 3-0

by Hiren Patel

Daily Cougar Staff

AUSTIN – The sheer desire to win and the confidence with which Houston entered the match carried the Cougars to a 3-0 victory over the No. 11 Lady Longhorns at the Recreational Center before a crowd of 1,802.

"It (winning) wasn't a surprise," senior Lilly Denoon-Chester said. "Everybody says we're young and everybody doesn't expect us to do good, but this team knows how good it is."

If desire hadn't resulted in a win, the Cougars, who improved to 6-3, 2-0 in the Southwest Conference, could have at least said they outhustled Texas, which fell to 11-2, 1-1.

A key play for Houston and an example of that hustle came in the first game with the score tied at 2-2. Denoon-Chester made a one-handed diving save of a Texas attack, ending up in the first row.

Teammate Sami Sawyer then got the ball over the net from the opposite end of the court. The Cougars would go on to win that point and six straight others to lead the game 9-2.

"That was the turning point," head volleyball coach Bill Walton said of the play. "Every big save is a momentum-changer."

Houston may have needed that momentum against UT. The Cougars, who won by scores of 15-6, 18-16, and 15-11, broke a 20-game losing streak against the Longhorns dating back to 1984.

"Physically, we can beat Texas; the problem has always been mental," Walton said.

"The attitude of Houston was, 'Here we are, now beat us,’ and we weren't able to do that tonight," Texas head volleyball coach Mick Haley said.

During the seven-point run, the Cougars took advantage of the poor passing skills of junior hitter Angie Breitenfield and sophomore hitter Sonya Barnes. Denoon-Chester continued to serve to these two players to score points, with some success.

Barnes, a Longview native, appeared nervous throughout the match. On key points in the game, she completely missed some passes from junior setter Carrie Busch.

"They had a hard time getting the ball over the net," Walton said of the Longhorns.

Houston's own star setter and hitter, Sawyer and Denoon-Chester respectively, enjoyed excellent nights. The sophomore Sawyer ended the match with 32 assists, while Denoon-Chester had 15 kills, 11 digs and a .313 hitting percentage.

The most underrated Cougar performance may have been turned in by senior Carla Maul. The defensive specialist finished with a match-high 18 digs while hitting .333 to lead all players.

"By being able to go to other people besides Lilly, they kept us off guard," Haley said.

The rout marked the first time Texas had ever lost a match 3-0 in Southwest Conference play. The Horns had a puny .078 team hitting percentage on the night, committing 32 errors while recording only 42 kills.

Senior Jenny Warmack was among the so-so performers for UT with 11 kills and 10 errors in 36 attacks. Breitenfield was a co-leader in kills with 11.

"Every year, we've been close, but this year, I can finally say we beat Texas," Denoon-Chester said.

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<I>TERMINAL VELOCITY<P> FALLS FLAT

Charlie Sheen plays an adrenaline junky, Ditch Brodie, and Nastassja Kinski plays a former KGB agent in <I>Terminal Velocity<P>.

Photo by Bob Marshall/courtesy of Interscope Communications.

Two Stars

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Nastassja Kinski

Director: Deran Sarafian

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

Please return all trays and seats to an upright position. Please fasten your seatbelts. <I>Terminal Velocity<P> is about to begin!

The title of the movie holds true when the plot begins with Chris Morrow, played by Nastassja Kinski, introducing herself to ground level after a few thousand feet of freefall without a parachute.

This scene, which would make even Wile E. Coyote shudder, places Ditch Brodie, played by Charlie Sheen, in the position of being investigated for negligence and manslaughter.

Sheen fumbles with the job of acting tormented until Kinski shows up alive and kicking. This befuddles poor Sheen, who retaliates with a flurry of verbal acrobatics, delivering some of the best one-liners of the movie.

Sheen's character, which seems to be the only stretch he can make, is a cocky, young adrenaline junky who finds himself in the midst of an international espionage plot run by the KGB.

Kinski, a former KGB agent, enlists the help of our overly humorous hero to assist her in the return of stolen gold to Russia. Kinski coquettishly reveals this transparent plot early on by telling Sheen she wants to help her country's economy, a country where her parents and three-legged dog live. That's right, a three-legged dog is in the movie.

The only real twists to the plot are Kinski's resurrection and the shock Sheen receives when he finds out the assistant district attorney investigating his case is a KGB agent, at which time, Sheen inquires, "Don't you mean the KG used to B?"

The lack of plot twists and turns makes the story fairly insipid, but an incredible array of aerial stunts more than delivers a high "Oh my God!" factor.

Director Sarafian's talents are exquisitely displayed during two of the most technically complicated stunt scenes when Sheen's character performs a wing walk from one plane to another. These efforts further explode onto the screen when Sheen and Kinski drive a brand-new car out of the plane, giving new meaning to the term "defensive driving."

The atmospheric scenes are some of the most mind-bending stunts ever presented on the big screen and really give the movie a high level of intensity. The humor does add spring to the dialogue, but unfortunately is pushed too much on the viewer and detracts some of the intensity from the action.

<I>Velocity<P> is a great "no-brainer" with plenty of high-intensity stunts. Unfortunately, the storyline is unimaginative and the humor is overworked and out of place in many scenes.

 

 

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INDIAN FILM A STUDY OF CULTURE

In Custody

Stars: Shashi Kapoor, Om Puri

Directors: Ismail Merchant

***1/2

Shashi Kapoor plays Nur and Om Puri plays Deven in Ismail Merchant's latest import release <I>In Custody<P>.

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

By A. Colin Tangeman

Contributing Writer

Tradition. Heritage. Culture. Words that mean little to a nation focused on progress in the modern era. So how can the simple eloquence of Urdu, India's most treasured language, hold out against the tide of the electronic age? Ismail Merchant's latest import <I>In Custody<P> asks that very question.

Deven, played by Om Puri, is the story's protagonist and a man of traditional values. On behalf of the university where he teaches and a small Urdu-based magazine, Deven sets out to interview Urdu's greatest living poet. However, Nur, (Shashi Kapoor) the reclusive poet that Deven finds, is not the man he expects him to be.

Nur, the revered poet of divine verse is fat, indulgent and suffers from a severe ulcer brought on by drink. He surrounds himself with a group of free-loading sycophants and is married to two women, the younger of whom is prone to humiliating him in public and plagiarizing his work.

As a witness to Nur's deterioration, Deven decides he must record the poet's voice for posterity. The scenes of Deven recording the rambling Nur with his archaic tape recorder are infuriatingly funny. Yet, this disastrous attempt to preserve something of Urdu's diminishing tradition is an important theme in the film's mechanics.

This hope of Deven's, to record the man behind the words, implies that he doesn't understand the art to which he is dedicated. Poetry survives on the strength of its verse. It's ageless. And when Nur recites Keats to Deven instead of his own work, he is perhaps hinting at the triumph beyond Urdu's contemporary obsolescence. If Nur understands anything it's that progress, although inevitable, cannot compromise the culture-spanning beauty of Urdu.

<I>In Custody<P>'s complex interplay between Deven and Nur is completely engaging. And their compelling relationship is complemented by a supporting cast of talented Indian actors and actresses. The most engaging character of the group is Shabana Azmi, who plays the deceitful young wife, Imitiaz.

The direction of this film and Anita Desai's intelligent script are shaped with such affection that <I>In Custody<P> achieves a universal appeal seldom accomplished in foreign films.

Ismail Merchant (in partnership with James Ivory) has brought to the screen a host of excellent period pieces such as <I>A Room With a View<P> and <I>The Remains of the Day<P>. This latest feature is a testament to Merchant's dedication to detail and respect for the Indian culture.

<I>In Custody<P> is playing at Landmark theaters for one week.

 

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