INTERNET ACCESS TO BE EXPANDED

by James V. Geluso

News Reporter

The four-jack data boxes installed on campus two years ago, which enable Internet access, have been usable by most of the university since they were installed, but for students living in the residence halls, three of the jacks were useless.

That may be changing soon.

Residential Life and Housing is preparing to test a system that will allow students to link their computers to the Campus Wide Information System (CWIS) and to the popular Jetson and Menudo systems. These systems serve as gateways to the Internet.

The first test will hopefully begin this semester, said Raj Naik, electrical systems technician for Residential Life and Housing. Technical details are still being worked out, so Naik was unable to give a date for the test.

The project will involve 24 rooms in Moody Towers. Jacks in those rooms will be wired to a hub connected to the Xyplex terminal server, which provides access to over 200 computer systems on campus. Currently, residents must use their phone lines to get to Xyplex.

The new system will allow students to keep their phone lines free while using their modems. Students will also be able to avoid the busy signals common during the peak evening hours.

Residents will probably be chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis once the test is officially announced, Naik said. Because so much remains to be worked out, there would be no point in students asking to join the test now, he added.

Although the Quad jacks were installed in the residence halls at the same time as the rest of the university, security issues prevented the jacks from being hooked to CWIS, said Charles Chambers, manager for network services.

"We need to have secure connections on our network, and students don't need the expense of a 10 Base T," Chambers said. The 10 Base T is a common standard for linking individual machines to the CWIS backbone.

Chambers said that even with the current users on the system, he and his staff face frequent crashes. One machine can cause a whole building's network to go down, he said, and the problem would likely be even worse in the residence halls.

Even once the test is completed, the halls will not be completely wired, Naik said. With over 1,200 rooms to deal with, Residential Life and Housing will most likely wire certain rooms and allow residents to request data-equipped rooms.

The CWIS network consists of a single backbone located near the center of campus. From there, fiber-optic cable links a hub in each building. Each hub then splits off into smaller area hubs, or directly into the Quad jacks, depending on the building. A schematic diagram of the system resembles a star, with each of the rays of the star sending off its own rays.

Before individual rooms go on-line, computer clusters available for residents' general use will be linked to the CWIS. Chambers said he hopes to finalize those plans within a week. The clusters will be hooked directly to CWIS in the same way as office machines, rather than being routed through Xyplex as the initial residential test will be.

 

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SUICIDAL STUDENT ALLEGEDLY IGNORED

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

A friend of a student who tried to commit suicide in Moody Towers is accusing a Towers employee of blatantly ignoring warnings given concerning the attempt.

A previous article published by The Daily Cougar on Oct. 14 reported the attempted suicide of a female student in Moody Towers. A friend of the student, freshman biology major Sara Kolb, is alleging she tried to warn the Towers management as to her friend's situation, but received no help from the staff.

Kolb explained that she was directed by her resident adviser, Valerie Hampton, to get in touch with Veronica Young, assistant area coordinator for the South Tower.

"I tried calling Veronica several times on Wednesday (Oct. 12, the day of the attempt) and was told by the office assistants that she was unavailable to meet with anyone until the following Monday," Kolb said.

"I explained that I had a life-and-death situation on my hands, and the assistant told me Veronica would be told and that I might try and stop by the office in person," Kolb explained.

Kolb said she had gone down to Young's office around 1 p.m. the same day, again explained that one of her friends was going to commit suicide and told an assistant she did not know how to handle the situation.

Kolb identified the assistant she spoke with in person as Jessica Clen. Kolb said Clen informed her that Young would be available around 4 p.m.

"I told Jessica that I had a friend who was going to try and commit suicide – not thinking about it, but was going to do it.

"I did not know when, but I knew she was going to do it," Kolb added.

Kolb said she would not be able to be in the office at 4 p.m. because she had a doctor's appointment, adding that when she returned to the Towers at about 7 p.m., Clen inquired as to how her friend was doing.

When asked about talking with Kolb face-to-face concerning a suicide attempt, Clen refused to answer any questions and declined to comment on the allegations.

The office assistants were questioned about the phone calls, and all say they have no recollection of anyone calling with a life-and-death situation.

"I had no idea anyone had come by my office until the day after the suicide attempt. My door is always open for any problems my residents may have," Young said.

"The RA staff goes through an extensive training period before each semester and then continues to be trained throughout the semester. If one of the staff was told about this and failed to inform me, then I would seriously consider making a change in my staff," she added.

Young said she would talk to Clen concerning the alleged incident, but has been unavailable for comment since that time.

"I have nothing to gain from this, but I also know the situation was not handled properly, and Veronica was not very apologetic when she found out I had tried to tell her," Kolb said.

Gerald Osborne, assistant vice president for Counseling and Testing, said there have been 100 suicide attempts on campus in the past two years, with 10 of them being successful.

He added that information is constantly being placed in the dorms and around campus about suicide to help students "be aware of a serious problem."

The Counseling and Testing Service participates in every orientation meeting, and during the second week of October, performed a screening process to determine students' depression levels.

"Out of the 150 people who participated in the screening, we found that 85 percent were suffering from some type of significant depression," Osborne said.

He said most suicide attempts are linked in some way to drugs, including alcohol.

In response to this problem, the center is running a "Red Ribbon" campaign to combat the problem of drug abuse by handing out literature and information on how to obtain help from Counseling and Testing along with red ribbons for students to wear.

"Suicide is a real problem for young people, and it's a problem we have seen grow over the years," Osborne said.

 

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GET SCARED SILLY AT HAUNTED HOUSES

by Stephen Stelmak and Chris Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

Feeling a little stiff? Weekend a little dead? This is Halloween weekend, so get off your duff and do something.

Abandoned houses take on the names Nightmare, Haunted Hotel and 93Q Country's Ghost Town. Springing up like mushrooms, they are infested with ghouls, screams and dark mazes. It's hard to know where to begin. Going around to several haunted houses is not only expensive, but time-consuming. While developing this guide, we considered price, scariness and injuries.

•Nightmare Haunted House: Nightmare is great. The actors weren't confined by rails and came right up on you. The house has a lot of room to run through and takes up three stories. The main drawback is the price – $9 a person. Nightmare is located at 901 Rosalie; 529-2024. (3 bats)

•Haunted Hotel 1 and 2: At $7 a person or $10 for both Haunted Hotels, who can complain? Both hotels have dark mazes and plenty of people who try to scare you. Hotel No. 1 is better and probably worth the wait. Tickets bought for both haunted houses can be used on separate nights, and prices will go up for Halloween weekend. We suggest buying tickets for both houses and taking your favorite date to Haunted Hotel No. 1, and a date you like a little less to No. 2. Both are located at 2817 Fannin; 759-9866. (2 bats)

•93Q Country Ghost Town: Don't let the 93Q van out front scare you away. This was our favorite haunted house. There were no railings to hold the ghouls back, but there were dark mazes, the masks were horrifying and part of the haunted house is even outside. Adding to all that, it's not next to all the other downtown houses, so the wait is usually less. Tickets are $8. (4 bats)

•Scary Tales: Adjacent to 93Q's Ghost Town is a haunted house for very young children. Tickets are $3. 93Q Country Ghost Town and Scary Tales are located at 2204 Baldwin; 529-9878. (1 bat)

•Screamers: Unfortunately, after going to the other haunted houses, we did not get to see Screamers while it was open. However, we did walk through the haunted house anyway. Even though it is just a tent in a parking lot, they packed a lot of scare into it. Walking through with the lights turned on took out most of the scare.

However, the haunted house looks like it has great potential in the dark. I would check this one out. Tickets are $8. Coupons for at least a dollar off are available on packages of Ruffles, Pepsi, Hershey's products and in the Houston Post. Screamers is located off the Southwest Freeway at West Airport; 840-2BOO. (2 1/2 bats)

If haunted houses aren't your speed, there are many alternatives. The Burk Baker Planetarium has replaced all laser shows with Laser Halloween shows, running this Friday and Saturday only at 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m. For more information, call 639-IMAX.

Sam Houston Park turns into Scareitage Park. Events include dinner, an auction, light show by ISL, an apple attack, costume contest, fortune tellers, dancing and face painting. Prices are $25 for adults 16 years or older, $15 for children 6 to 15 and for children under 5, admission is $7.50. In case of rain, the area will be tented. For more information, call 655-1912.

The Zoo Boo will be held on Sunday. The Houston Zoo will have entertainment for children, including a pumpkin patch, face painting, a haunted house and more. Admission is free for children in costume accompanied by paying adults. In case of rain, there is plenty of indoor activities. Call 528-5888 for more info.

So don't be a deadbeat. There are plenty of things to do on Halloween weekend. If you're going to haunted houses, be sure to bring snacks because waits can last up to an hour.

 

 

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INJURIES MAY HINDER COOGS

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

Chad O'Shea will start.

UH head football coach Kim Helton knows that much, at least.

The junior quarterback, who for the last three weeks has come off the Cougar bench and added an offensive spark, will get his first start in a nonsubstituting role when Houston (1-6 overall, 1-2 in the Southwest Conference) faces the Baylor Bears (5-3, 1-2) in league action at Floyd Casey Stadium 1 p.m. Saturday.

A decision, however, on who the Cougars' starter in the offensive backfield will be is still not certain.

Due to a case of bruised ribs that have been nagging Jermaine Williams for almost two weeks now, the 6-1, 202-pound sophomore could be lifted in favor of freshman Jay McGuire, who carried the ball nine times for 78 yards in a 31-10 loss to Texas Christian Saturday.

"We will run the ball with Jermaine 75 times in a row in practice," Helton said. "If he's not hurting, he will start."

The Cougars have already lost starting left defensive tackle Otis Grant for the season to an ankle injury. Any other setbacks might not bode well for Houston as it faces a Baylor team that leads the SWC in scoring (31.6 points per game) and has allowed just 29 percent of opponents' third downs to be converted on defense.

"Right now, there are a bunch of bad ankles running around," Helton said. "So we'll have to wait and see."

 

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VOLLEYBALL GAME PROMISES TO BE SLUGFEST

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The 20th-ranked Cougar volleyball team will be putting its 12-match winning streak on the line this weekend when it faces No. 19 Georgia at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Hofheinz Pavilion – provided, of course, it beats Tennessee first.

The Cougars (15-3) will play the Volunteers Friday at 7:30 p.m., also in Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Volunteers (9-14) should prove to be a warm-up for the Cougars' Saturday matchup, but head coach Bill Walton said earlier this week that he hoped his team won't look past this week's games to Georgia (17-5). After Wednesday's 3-0 thumping of Texas Tech, it appears the team is not looking ahead.

Last year's match between the Cougars and the Georgia Lady Bulldogs was a five-game fight the Cougars won 3-2.

The Bulldogs are led by senior Priscilla Pacheco and Nikki Nicholson. They lead the offense of hard hitters that matches up well against the Cougars.

The Cougars' hard-hitting offense is led by senior hitter Lilly Denoon-Chester, who is surrounded by sophomore hitters Emily Leffers and Marie-Claude Tourillon.

One thing is for certain. The Georgia-Houston game should be full of fireworks.

 

 

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SCI-FI FILM GIVES VIEWERS JOURNEY FOR THE SENSES

 

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

In the quiet recesses of the mind, dreams originate to take a person to the other side of the universe, but <I>Stargate<P>, MGM's latest release, gives both the mind and the eyes a first-class ticket to the other side.

<I>Stargate<P> is an enlivening movie that takes its story from the theory that aliens helped the ancient Egyptians build their civilization.

An array of scintillating costumes and authentic scenes enhance the epic proportions under which this film was created. Kurt Russell plays the dangerously unstable Col. Jack O'Neil, who is the leader of the expedition that explores the world behind the stargate.

Daniel Jackson, played convincingly well by James Spader, is the Egyptologist who connives his way into accompanying Russell and his band of special forces through the dimensional doorway.

The story line rises and falls at a quickening pace utilizing solid action scenes with Egyptian mythology. The combination of these forces in the script provides an exquisite thriller.

Spader and Russell are an excellent combination that gives the film a complexity that enhances the drama set in a sci-fi atmosphere.

Costume designer Joseph Porro takes the film to more of an ethereal level with the creation of the costumes for RA, the Egyptian sun god, and his royal guards.

Combining an incredible spectrum of special effects, dialogue and veteran actors, <I>Stargate<P> is a true journey for the mind that will leave the viewer stupefied and wanting to go back through the door to the heavens.

 

 

 

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