SA SENATE PASSES FISCAL '95 BUDGET SWIFTLY

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

Students' Association senators, quickly and without discussion on the Senate floor, passed the budget for fiscal year 1995.

In contrast to last year's process, when SA senators conflicted over the proposed budget, senators passed the budget without any debate.

Last year, then-President Jason Fuller and his allies came into open conflict with then-Senate Speaker Coy Wheeler and his allies over the way SA funds were being appropriated. Wheeler wanted to cut the Senate secretary position to save money, cut some compensated-student-leader positions and make the budget accounting process more detailed. Fuller disagreed with Wheeler, and the SA Senate broke into two warring factions.

Compared with last year's SA Senate, the current Senate has been marked by relatively little open dissension among its membership.

SA President Angie Milner said the Internal Affairs Committee thoroughly went over the budget before sending it to the Senate floor.

"The budget was so specific that they (senators) could see exactly where the money was going," Milner said.

Milner said the budget details how funds will be spent for promotions and advertising. The budget also indicates which budget line items are set costs. This year's budget is almost $97,500.

SA also was forced to spend an additional $5,500 on payroll taxes for compensated student leaders.

To cover payroll taxes, SA leaders cut the expenditures for the inauguration, senate projects, travel, the executive reserve and the general reserve. The Student Fees Advisory Committee also gave SA back a fiscal 1994 carryover of $2,500 to help cover the taxes.

Senators also passed a resolution supporting a proposal asking the UH System to ask the Texas Legislature for an incremental University Center fee increase.

The resolution, SAR 31-004, calls for any extra money raised by an increase in the UC fee to be spent only on maintenance, utilities and renovations in the UC.

Recently, UC officials stated publicly that the current fee would not cover the projected costs of maintaining UC services. Without a fee increase, student groups would face additional fees to use UC rooms, and renovation and maintenance needs could not be met, Milner said.

The current $15 UC fee was instituted in 1988 and cannot be raised without the Texas Legislature's approval.

In comparison with other Texas universities, UH's UC fee ranks as one of the lowest. UT-Arlingtion has the highest with a $39 fee per semester, and UT-El Paso, along with UH, has the lowest, with a $15 fee per semester.

The resolution calls for the UC fee to go no higher than $35, and to increase it no more than 10 percent a year unless approved by student referendum.

With the upcoming legislative session starting in January, External Affairs Director Keith Peel said he is leading the effort to set up an SA-sponsored Students as Constituents group to lobby legislators on behalf of UH.

SAC has been around on and off for years, but two years ago, Kevin Jefferies, then-director of External Relations, organized the group into a consistent effort to lobby legislators on behalf of UH, Milner said. Before the last biennium, Milner added, SAC

was not a consistently organized group.

The next meeting of SAC is scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the large conference room of the UC Underground near Campus Activities.

At the meeting, Peel said, SAC will organize events like legislative trips to Austin and will begin a letter-writing campaign to inform legislators of UH's funding needs.

 

 

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CARRYOVER GIVES UH FUNDING HOPE

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

AUSTIN – Last week, the special assistant to Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock said UH's funding prospects look "pretty good" in the upcoming legislative biennium.

"We are cautiously optimistic because the ending balance (of fiscal year 1994) was so sizable," said Sheila Beckett, Bullock's special assistant.

President James H. Pickering and Chancellor Alexander Schilt likewise agreed that UH's position in the state funding battle was brightened with State Comptroller John Sharp's announcement of a 1994 carryover of $1.6 billion.

"The surplus was bigger than we expected. It's (the budget situation) looking better, but we still have a hole to fill," said John Opperman, director and chief analyst for the Senate Finance Committee.

Austin staffers indicated that the carryover might stave off attempts to cut higher education funding.

"The carryover did make a difference. I'm not going to say we (the UH System) are going to get more money," said Laura Calfee, assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations. "They (the Legislature) will probably spend roughly the same amount on higher education that was spent last time."

Calfee, who worked for the State House for 15 years before coming to work for the UH System, is well-known among Austin staffers and legislators. Many Austin staffers said they had known and worked with Calfee for many years.

Calfee, along with Grover Campbell, vice chancellor for governmental relations, also a longtime Austin insider, are leading UH's efforts to inform legislators of UH's funding needs.

In the next couple of months, Sharp also will announce the new revenue estimates for the upcoming biennium. Preliminary estimates indicated the state would take in $3 billion in new revenue, which would help pay for the cost of building new prisons and improving public education funding. The state has no choice because court mandates say the prison problems must be a top priority.

An education analyst for the House Appropriations Committee said she has not seen any figures as of yet, but after Sharp announces his revenue estimates, state leaders will have a better idea of Texas' budgeting situation.

Two years ago at this time, UH was faced with a $30 million funding cut that was later reduced to $8.5 million. Calfee said that compared with last time, the situation seems much better because of the 1994 carryover.

"Nobody's talking cuts. We do not talk about cuts 'til we have to (talk about them)," Opperman said.

Beckett added that Texas' economic situation remains hard to predict because Texas contains four or five different economies.

With the recent concern among faculty that UH would lose millions this biennium, Campbell said the problem is more perceptual and the result of internal communication problems. He hoped the recent news from Austin would help assuage faculty concerns.

Campbell said UH is not "outmanned and outgunned" in Austin, adding that the university is holding its own against Texas A&M and UT.

 

 

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POLLACK, HALL TO PERFORM AT UC

 

both photos should be credited:

Cougar file photo

cutline:

Comedy veterans Rich Hall (left) and Kevin Pollack will perform at UH as part of Homecoming festivities.

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

Rich Hall and Kevin Pollack will headline a Friday-night comedy show at UH as part of Homecoming festivities.

Hall, a comedy veteran, has appeared on NBC's <I>Saturday Night Live<P>, HBO's <I>Not Necessarily the News<P> and his own show, <I>Onion World<P>. He authored the best-seller <I>Sniglets<P> and won an Emmy as part of the writing staff for <I>Late Night with David Letterman<P>.

Pollack, who is set to headline the show, starred in <I>A Few Good Men<P> and <I>Grumpy Old Men<P>.

Tickets are free for students with a valid UH ID and $5 for nonstudents.

Advance tickets are available today through Thursday at the Student Program Board office, Room 59 of the UC Underground during regular business hours. Advance tickets will be available from 8 a.m.-noon Friday.

Tickets will also be available on the day of the show starting at 6 p.m. at the door.

The show starts at 9 p.m. in the Houston Room, located on the second floor of the University Center.

Between sets, the annual Homecoming awards will be announced. The awards are given to student organizations that worked the most to help bring the event together.

 

 

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HOMECOMING BEGINS TODAY WITH BIG PARADE ACROSS UH CAMPUS

Photos by Cesar Alvarez

CUTLINE TOP: Students participated in painting the UC Sunday afternoon for Cougar Kick-Off.

CUTLINE BOTTOM: Delta Gamma's Tarah Rathert, a junior psychology major, shows her Cougar pride while painting the UC Sunday.

by Frank McGowan

Contributing Writer

In an effort to rally school spirit, the 1994 Homecoming Committee has adopted the theme, "Proud to be Red," and a host of activities is planned for this week, starting with a walking parade through campus today from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Homecoming Parade is a revival of the tradition that was lost "in the '70s," said David Rachita, Homecoming adviser.

"It used to be so big that it used to go through downtown and then it was moved to the streets around campus, but it was later discontinued. This is the first parade we've had on campus," Rachita said.

Participants in the parade include football coach Kim Helton, the Cougar Dolls, the UH cheerleaders and the "Buggy Beauties" riding in the UH helmet car. Various clubs, fraternities and sororities will also appear. Trophies will be awarded for best float, most spirited, most creative, most participation and best banner.

The parade will snake through campus, originating at the UC Satellite, passing Agnes Arnold Hall to the Cullen Fountain and through the PGH breezeway, finally ending in the rear of the UC, where the Kick-Off will officially begin.

Homecoming Kick-Off will start at 12:30 p.m. at the UC Arbor, with Coach Helton; Elwyn Lee, vice president of Student Affairs; and athletic director Bill Carr expected to speak. Candidates for Homecoming king and queen will also be announced at the Kick-Off.

Campus organizations will compete in events throughout the week in order to gain points for spirit and sweepstakes trophies. The first event, "Paint the UC," in which groups painted windows and hung banners, set the competition in motion Sunday.

The competition will conclude Friday with the "Yell Like Hell" contest and the Cougar bonfire. Following the bonfire is the Homecoming Comedy Show, featuring <I>Saturday Night Live<P> alumnus Rich Hall and Kevin Pollack, stand-up comedian and actor (<I>A Few Good Men<P>, <I>Grumpy Old Men<P>). Trophies will also be presented at the show.

 

 

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<I>GH<P> /SOAP OPERA STAR TO HELP BOWEL-DISEASE SUFFERERS

by Josiéne van Kampen

Contributing Writer

John J. York, better known as Mac Scorpio on ABC's daytime soap opera <I>General Hospital<P>, is the latest celebrity to communicate with fans on Prodigy, an on-line service that reaches more than 2 million Americans.

Throughout the week of Oct. 17, York will offer tips for coping with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease via Prodigy's Crohn's & Colitis Forum.

York, a Chicago native, was a high school student with aspirations of playing football for a Big 10 university when he was diagnosed at 17 with ulcerative colitis. Driven by this ambition, York ignored the excruciating pain and severe diarrhea that began in his junior year.

"I blamed being sick on anything I could find – the watermelon that I ate the night before or the juice I had for breakfast," he said.

York finally sought medical treatment when he nearly passed out after running a 20-yard sprint. Looking back on this time in his life, he laughs, "The game would be about to start and I would be in the bathroom."

Though the disease put an end to his dreams, York managed to spring back and carved a successful career in film and television. Today, he has a long list of acting credits to his name, including such widely watched shows as <I>21 Jump Street<P>, <I>Murder, She Wrote<P>, <I>Newhart<P> and <I>Family Ties<P>. He also starred in Fox's short-lived <I>Werewolf<P> series.

On <I>General Hospital<P>, York plays the affable Australian Mac Scorpio, a private investigator and proprietor of the Outback Restaurant.

Off-screen, however, York is just one of an estimated 2 million Americans who struggle with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, together known as inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and weight loss.

York said, "I know how hard it is to be young and full of life, and then to suddenly find out you have a chronic illness. You immediately want information. You want to talk with someone who understands."

IBD sufferers and their families can access the Crohn's & Colitis Forum to obtain information. The forum provides the latest news on drugs, surgery, research, nutrition, health care legislation, choosing a doctor and other topics.

Those who want to submit questions to York will find him on the Forum's "Ask The Specialist" bulletin board, which also offers advice from on-line physicians.

"By no means am I claiming to be a doctor," York says. "But I'm happy to talk to students about ways they can improve their quality of life or to talk about the impact this illness had on my own life."

York said his first priority is to support CCFA's research goals, ensuring that today's young children will not have to endure the pain of these illnesses. "That's one legacy I don't want to give to my child," he said.

CCFA is a nonprofit health foundation dedicated to finding the cause of, and cure, for IBD. Anyone who would like more information on these diseases can call (800) 343-3637.

Those interested in enrolling in the forum and the Prodigy service should call 1-800-PRODIGY (1-800-776-3349), select option one and ask for extension 84.

 

 

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SWC SEASON HERE

Coogs to open tough conference year

Cutline top P.8: Among the dangerous foes Houston can expect to see when SWC play begins starting Saturday are Texas quarterback Shea Morenz (left) and wideout Lovell Pinkney (right).

Cougar file photos

Cutline bottom P.8: Aggie senior running back Rodney Thomas, fresh from a 124-yard performance against Tech this week, will hopefully be easier for the Cougars to tackle Saturday.

Cougar file photo

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

As the Houston Cougar football team prepares to open Southwest Conference play in its homecoming game Saturday against Texas A&M, it will face not only the national powerhouse Aggies, but the beginning of what looks to be an extremely arduous conference schedule.

After A&M, the Cougars will follow with a trip to Southern Methodist and return for a home game against Texas Christian.

While neither of those contests would have been considered anything more than even matchups in years past, this season SMU and TCU have looked at least a little nastier than Houston.

The Mustangs are 1-4 after close losses to UCLA and North Carolina. The Horned Frogs stand at 2-3, having beaten Kansas and New Mexico.

Mustang quarterback Ramon Flanigan has 832 yards passing so far and senior receiver Mick Rossley leads all SWC players with 37 catches, about summing up SMU's noteworthy performances.

Texas Christian has enjoyed offensive success, with quarterback Max Knake throwing for an SWC-leading 1,201 yards and 10 touchdowns. Running back Andre Davis also leads the conference with 652 yards on the ground and a six-yard average per carry.

The next section of UH's schedule will perhaps be the most trying of the Cougars' season. Road games against 3-1 Texas and 4-1 Baylor, followed by a home game against 2-3 Texas Tech, will all provide major challenges.

Baylor has been the surprise of the SWC this season, opening conference play with a 42-18 rout of TCU Saturday. They are led by freshman quarterback Jeff Watson and a host of younger players on both sides of the ball.

The Bears' defense and special teams have scored seven touchdowns so far, while the team leads the SWC with 18 turnovers forced and a plus-nine turnover ratio.

Texas, coming off a heartbreaking 34-31 loss to Colorado Saturday, will no doubt be helped by the return of receiver Lovell Pinkney, who caught two touchdown passes versus the Buffaloes.

However, the Longhorns will now be without Pinkney's counterpart Mike Adams, who will reportedly be on the shelf for two to five more weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Sophomore quarterback Shea Morenz has completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 865 yards, with eight touchdowns and four interceptions.

Tech has had to survive the loss of virtually all its offensive firepower from last season, including quarterback Robert Hall and receiver Lloyd Hill (graduation), along with running back Byron "Bam" Morris (NFL draft).

The Red Raiders have not fared too well, averaging only 3.3 yards per carry on the season, with only 48 on 41 carries in Saturday's 23-17 loss to A&M.

Houston will conclude its season with a home game against 1-3 Rice. The Owls have had nearly as frustrating a year as the Cougars, the difference being a road victory Sept. 24 against Iowa State.

 

 

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MEN DOMINATE CROSS COUNTRY; ALI LEADS LADY COOGS

Cougar Sports Service

The University of Houston men's and women's cross country teams traveled to Willis Thursday to host a meet with Sam Houston State University and McNeese State at the Texas National Golf Course.

In men's competition, Cougar freshman Mike Andrews won the five-mile event in a time of 26 minutes, 3 seconds. It was his second consecutive win.

The Cougars also laid claim to the next three places. Wayne Newsom finished second in 26:10, Frank Porreco was third in 26:15 and Matt Moran came in fourth in a time of 26:25.

On the women's side, the Lady Cougars were led by Freshman Naima Ali. She finished the five-kilometer race in 20:53 for a fifth-place finish. She was followed by teammates Torri Rhoades and Stephanie Olmstead, who finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Both teams will travel to Lehigh in Bethlem, Penn., Saturday for their next meet.

TENNIS TALK

The tennis team was also active this weekend as it opened the 1994-95 season at the Lady Seminole Classic in Tallahassee, Fla.

In singles action, freshman Susanne Andersson, sophomore Kristen Paris and senior Amanda Barnett each won two of their three matches. Senior Karen Dasprez, freshman Linda Gillner and junior Caty Sanchez won one of their three matches.

In doubles, Gillner and Paris took two of three. Andersson paired with Dasprez and freshman Sabrina Segal teamed up with Sanchez. Both pairs took one of two.

The final rounds, scheduled for Sunday, were cancelled due to rain.

 

 

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PLAYS HAVE PERFECT <I>TIMING<P>

John Feltch plays Milton, James Black plays Swift and Shelley Williams plays Kafka in David Ives' play, <I>All in the Timing<P>, showing at the Alley Theatre through Oct. 9.

Photo by Jim Caldwell/Alley Theatre

What: <I>All in the Timing<P>

Where: Alley Theatre, Neuhaus Arena Stage

When: Through Oct. 9

How much: $18 to $35

Phone: 228-8421

by Francisco Sanchez Jr.

Contributing Writer

<I>All in the Timing<P> is a delightful set of six one-act plays by Chicago wordsmith and playwright David Ives. Originally opened in December 1993 at New York's Primary Stages, <I>Timing<P> has earned Ives the 1994 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwright Award and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Play.

Making its Houston debut on the Alley Theatre's small Neuhaus Arena Stage, <I>Timing<P> is the strong season opener the theater desperately needed. The timing of both Ives and the Alley truly couldn't be better.

The first of the six one-act plays is <I>Sure Thing<P>. As the set's signature piece, <I>Sure Thing<P> allows for a place where time can be rewound to erase mistakes, edit personality and construct language to enable romance.

It is set in a cafe where a man approaches a woman for a seat at her table. A bell rings periodically throughout the conversation to give the characters the ability to rewind to a previous point in the conversation and correct their mistakes. How helpful it would be for most of us to be able to go back to the starting gate after prompting a hostile response or creating one of those dreadfully uncomfortable moments of silence.

<I>Words, Words, Works<P> tests the idea that three monkeys typing randomly at a Columbia University lab will eventually produce <I>Hamlet<P>. It is about three vulgar monkeys named Swift, Kafka and Milton, who eat bananas, swing on tires, masturbate, smoke cigarettes and play monkey-see.

Swift doesn't think their task is such a "bad gig." Milton types the opening lines of <I>Paradise Lost<P> in longing for Africa (his paradise lost), and Kafka, insidiously invocative of <I>Hamlet<P>, constructs a scheme to poison their captors. Too predictably, it ends with one of the monkeys typing out the words, "Act 1, Scene 1, Elisnore Castle, Denmark, Enter Bernardo... ." But all in all, it is still a witty footnote to <I>Hamlet<P>.

<I>Universal Language<P> is the longest and by far the dullest of the six plays. It drags out in every way it can. It is about the response of a young pupil, Dawn, to an ad on how to learn a new universal language called Unamunda from a con-artist professor donning a cap and gown – not surprisingly named Don.

In the end, the two fall in love through this <I>ad hoc<P> improvisation of Unamunda, the new language of love. It is supposed to be the most romantic of the six pieces, but it is not. It is, however, a noble and admirable attempt to play on the silly accidents and syllabic collisions of language, but its entertainment value is severely lacking.

After intermission and the sour taste of <I>Universal Language<P> still lingering, the program comes back to life with <I>Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread<P>. It is a parody of pretentious avant-garde theater, particularly of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson. Not everyone will get the joke, but if you've ever spent an evening with either Glass or Wilson, you can't help but make the connection.

It is marked by spastic jerks, verbal tics, fractured stuttering and the endless repetition of "Is that him?" and "I want a loaf." The miniature drama is set in a bakery with two star-struck customers. Glass reminiscently and pointlessly recalls a woman lying at the end of a jetty in a white dress that he mistakes for a rowboat. It is well-aimed at the heart of the recent pretentious attitudinizing in the avant-garde theater arena.

<I>The Philadelphia<P> boils down to ordering calves' brains with okra in a diner to get a hamburger. This vignette turns language on its head. A Philadelphia is a mysterious metaphysical black hole where you never get what you ask for. To survive in a Philadelphia, you have to quickly learn how to ask for the opposite of what you want to get it. It is funny and far more difficult than it looks. Meanwhile, another character is trapped in a Los Angeles, a warp of bliss, a "cosmic beach" of sorts where all is soft, sexy and profitable. It is Twilight Zone-ish and humorous.

The last of the six one-acts is <I>Variations on the Death of Trotsky<P>. It is an unusual story about the Russian revolutionary and former Frida Kahlo liaison pondering the ax that has been buried into his head by a Mexican gardener, Ramon, who is sleeping with his wife, who reads to him from a future encyclopedia that tells of his death by an ice pick being buried into his skull. Trotsky criticizes the capitalist media for never getting it right, noting there are distinct differences between an ice pick and an ax and the words "durie" and "smashe." It is written in distinctive and bright comical style, which still provides substance underneath the humor.

<I>All in the Timing<P> flirts with language, and the theme of communication, however unintended by Ives, links the six one-acts together. The play is directed by UH School of Theater Chairman Sidney Berger and will run at the Alley's Neuhaus Arena Stage through Oct. 9.

 

 

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