LEGISLATORS SAY SYSTEM FEUD MAY POSE PROBLEMS

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

UH's continued internal strife, marked by a bitter feud over the role and size of the System, should not damage UH's ability to win funds from the state Legislature, said state Rep. Talmadge Heflin, R-Houston.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, who is expected to sit on the House Appropriations Committee with Heflin, agreed, adding that his appointment to the committee will give him a chance to protect and enhance UH's funding.

However, both said that if the public battle continues into the next biennium, it could have a detrimental effect.

"On a temporary basis, (internal fighting) will not hurt. but if there is no resolution, it may," Heflin said, adding that he is sure there is some validity to their concerns.

"If (the fighting) were escalated and goes into the '97 biennium, there could be some adverse effects on (the System and UH)," he said.

But Heflin was quick to defend the UH System's efforts.

"UH has not received the recognition on campus – from the student body or the professors.

"The professors seem to be badgering and not recognizing the measures the System has taken to cut back," he said.

Chancellor Alex Schilt, one of the key players in quelling or prolonging the internal dissent, said, "We need to clear up the internal problems so we don't confuse people."

These problems stem from accusations by several UH professors that the System is oversized and duplicates its work, wasting valuable money; the manner in which Harrell Rodgers, former dean of the College of Social Sciences, was dismissed by President James Pickering; Schilt's appointing Pickering president after promising a national search; the failure of UH lobbying efforts in the '93 biennium, during which UH took an $8.5 million cut in funding; the continued growth of the System as academic programs get cut through reshaping in the face of less funding; a perception by some faculty of an unwillingness to cooperate in the System; and general mistrust.

"We are in this circumstance because our internal means of communication are inadequate," Schilt added.

He also made reference to UH's checkered history with a 1977 short-term investment scandal and an embarrassing external audit performed in 1985, which showed UH management to be in a state of disarray.

"We confused people," he said. "People tend to be a little uncertain of how we do our business."

However, a report released in October 1994 by the state auditor suggests UH has apparently cleared up many of the problems it faced in '85.

"We hope that people take a sense of pride in this administration," Schilt said, noting the report.

He said he understands faculty concerns, but

hopes they will be cleared up soon.

"Our job is to make sure we have the right structure," he added.

 

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SA LEADERS PROMISE ACTIVE SPRING SESSION

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite a small stack of legislation passed, Students' Association leaders say SA accomplished much last semester and expect to do even more in the closing months.

Chief among SA's concerns this year is working to make sure UH doesn't lose more than its fair share of state money, said SA Senate Speaker Jeff Fuller.

"If cuts must be made, then they will be made," Fuller said. "Our concern is that cuts be made across the board, and that all universities in the state take their share of cuts, and not just UH."

Fuller defended the amount of legislation passed, saying SA accomplished more than is shown in legislation.

"A piece of legislation is the absolute last step to take to solve a problem. Writing a piece of legislation is not often beneficial," he said.

"Most of SA's work is done in meetings with people in the university," Fuller continued, citing the Financial Aid Office, the Bursar's and Registrar's offices, and Enrollment Services as areas where SA leadership has worked to make sure problems are corrected.

SA President Angie Milner said she personally heard about many of the problems that arose from the VIP Enrollment System, which was installed last year. "Students would call our office with their concerns, and we knew exactly what the problems were. We met with Enrollment Services and made sure they understood what problems students were facing."

Milner agreed with Fuller that SA had accomplished a lot without legislation, but said she expects more legislation to be passed this year. In particular, she said, SA plans to deal with the Library Fee, which may be renewed this year, and with the election code, which must be revised to accommodate the addition of a senator from the Honors College. The most important piece of legislation is a constitutional amendment that will combine several executive offices to save $13,000 per year in salaries.

Milner admitted she was disappointed with the amount of activity in the Senate this year. "What every student sees came from the Executive Cabinet," she said. "Our senators didn't get research for us. The only thing the Senate has done this year is approve committee nominations," which come from the Cabinet. SA appoints about 150 students to committees throughout the university, Milner added.

Clarissa Peterson, a senator from the College of Social Sciences, said she expects SA to accomplish more this semester now that many senators were removed from office for absenteeism.

"I was surprised by how many people were in (the Senate) that didn't care," she said. "I think by this point, the people in the Senate are willing to do the work and look at issues and make sure we get something done."

Peterson said she wrote or co-wrote three pieces of legislation last semester and sponsored another piece on behalf of a constituent. The last piece, which would establish a sister-school program, was introduced during the last meeting and went to committee, she said.

 

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HPD REPORT CITES GM VEHICLES AS NO. 1 AUTO-THEFT TARGET

by Nita Gonzales

Daily Cougar Staff

In a recently released list of the most-stolen automobiles in the Houston area, vehicles made by General Motors are the No. 1 targets, according to the Houston Police Department.

Of the more than 1,200 automobiles stolen last month, 842 were GM-made. Chevrolet trucks, including Astro Vans, Lumina Vans, Suburbans and Blazers, are the vehicles most stolen at 235, the report said.

Oldsmobile-model automobiles, including Cutlasses and Silhouette Vans, rank second on the list with almost 200 stolen last month.

Third on the list is Toyota, with the Celica model, followed by the Buick Regal.

Other automobiles on the list include the Cadillac Deville, Ford's Mustang and Grand Prix, Ford Broncos and Explorers and Toyota trucks.

GM-manufactured autos are taken most often because "you don't have to be a professional thief to steal one," said HPD Lt. Les Mayo.

"Different types of cars have different ignition systems and wiring systems," he said. But GM-manufactured automobiles have easily accessible systems through the steering column. Also, GM auto parts are interchangeable even though there are many body styles, he added.

Using visual anti-theft devices will lower automobile theft risk, said UHPD Lt. Malcolm Davis. If a thief sees a club on one car and no club on the other car, the thief will go to the car without the club because it will be easier to take, he said.

"Time is his enemy, and if he can take your car in a few minutes, he will," Mayo said.

Having an alarm or a kill switch is a good idea, but having a visible anti-theft device like a club or a steel steering-column collar will lower the chances of a break-in, he added. Thieves cannot see kill switches or alarms from the outside of the car, so they break the window to steal the automobile. A visible deterrent can "save the $200 cost to fix a broken window," he said.

There are different types of thieves, Davis said. Joy-rider thieves steal automobiles that are easy to access, while other thieves are looking for particular automobiles to take to a chop shop.

Having a visible deterrent "displaces crime." A deterrent can prevent crime from happening to you and displaces crime so it happens to someone else, somewhere else, he added.

In the last three years, the number of UH motor-vehicle thefts has declined from 53 in 1991 to 39 in 1993. "I could say we do a good job and all that, but it's just cycling," Davis said.

Sometimes groups of people steal many automobiles from certain areas if they know they can get away with it, he added. Because UH police are visible, and people have been diligent in reporting suspicious people, thieves go somewhere else, he said.

"A large part of prevention is community involvement," Davis said. "The more things other people see and report, the more crime is displaced.

"The more people who see that the UHPD checks on the calls, the better because if they see you do your job, they'll report suspicious things more often. If they don't, the law of averages will catch up with them, and they will be the victim," he said.

In dealing with a commuter campus like UH, when someone's car is reported missing, the police first check if the automobile has been towed. Next, the police look for the automobile in different lots because some people get the lots mixed up or don't remember where they are parked.

If the police do not locate the automobile, an offense report is filed with the automobile's make, license number and the vehicle identification number. The information is then run through the Texas Criminal Information Center and the National Criminal Information Center.

 

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SECOND-HALF COLLAPSE

UH BLOWS LEAD, LOSES TO A&M 80-67

 

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

If this were a perfect world, the Houston Lady Cougars would've walked away with a 41-34 victory over No. 22 Texas A&M after just 20 minutes of play.

However, this is not a perfect world and the Lady Aggies came back to redeem themselves in the second half before walking away with an 80-67 win Saturday before a season-best crowd of 1,112 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

Down by seven at the half, the Aggies' leading scorer was a backup forward by the name of Marianne Miller (10 points). While not getting the ball to some of A&M's more prominent players may have looked like a major first-half problem, the Aggies kept giving the ball to Miller in the second. She ended up with a game-high 26 points.

"She was the key for (A&M) tonight," said Houston head coach Jessie Kenlaw. "We didn't do a good job on her at all.

"We tried to deny Branch the ball all night long and wanted to keep the ball out of her hands," Kenlaw said. "(Fleceia) Comeaux did a good job against trapping some of their on-ball screens which made it difficult for her to score."

"They were trapping us (in the first half) and giving us trouble," Branch said. "Marianne did a good job of wanting the ball."

Branch shot just 1-for-4 from the field and had five points at the break.

However, when the Aggies woke up after the first half, Branch did also, and the 5-4 point guard scored 17 second-half points to wind up with 22.

"We were using (center) Kelly Cerny to screen a lot for Lisa," said A&M head coach Candi Harvey. "Cerny did a great job setting the picks and passing the ball to Miller."

But Houston led most of the game and it wasn't until the 15:11 mark of the second half when A&M grabbed its first lead of the night, 46-45 following a jumper by Cerny (11 points).

From that point, A&M went on to outscore UH 34-22.

"We just ran out of gas," said Cougars guard Tanda Rucker.

The Houston starting backcourt of Rucker and Stacey Johnson scored just 14 points on a horrendous 3-of-16 shooting night.

 

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COUGARS HANG TOUGH; LOSE TO A&M IN FINAL MINUTE 73-68 TO REMAIN WINLESS

Cougar sports services

They're getting close, but the Houston Cougars still haven't won a Southwest Conference game this season.

Their latest defeat came at the hands of Texas A&M (8-10, 2-2 in the SWC), which pulled off a 73-68 victory over UH (3-13, 0-4) Saturday in College Station.

The Cougars actually had a chance in this one. UH was within one at 67-66 following a Kirk Ford slam with less than a minute to go.

However, a pair of free- throws from Ford, who finished with 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds, would be Houston's last points. The Aggies got a field goal from Joe Wilbert and four straight free-throws from freshman point guard Kyle Kessel to put the game on ice.

Houston led by three at 56-53 as late as 10:20 left in the second half, and a pair of field goals from Damon Jones, who led all scorers with 20 points, tied the game at 61 with 4:23 left to play.

A pair of Tony McGinnis charity-stripe tosses gave A&M the lead 63-61 that they would never relinquish.

Houston shot only 15-of-24 from the charity stripe on the day and shot .421 from the field (.294 from behind the 3-point arc).

A&M didn't shoot much better from the field (.424) or 3-point-land (.300), but the Aggies hit 11 of 12 free-throws.

Wilbert and Houston Lee product Corey Henderson led the Aggies with 18 points each.

 

 

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CLARK SWEEPS; UH SINKS TO A&M

Cougar sports services

Houston senior diver Olivia Clark earned her third consecutive sweep of the one-meter and three-meter diving events, but it was not enough to hold off Texas A&M, as the Aggies defeated the Cougars 168-130 Saturday at the UH Natatorium.

UH junior Alex Heyns led the Cougars swimmers with wins in the 500-meter and 1000-meter freestyle events. Heyns has yet to lose the 1000 in any of UH's dual meets this season.

Junior Mariah Cade won her first event of the season in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2 minutes, 12.23 seconds.

 

 

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FIELDS, BURRELL QUALIFY FOR NCAAS

Cougar sports services

Houston junior Sheddric Fields qualified for the NCAA Championships in the long jump and provisionally qualified for the 55-meters, while senior Dawn Burrell provisionally qualified for the long jump at the Louisiana State Opener in Baton Rouge, La. this weekend.

Fields' best long jump measured 26-feet, three-fourths inch and he finished the 55-meter in 6.28 seconds.

Burrell's long jump measured 19-11 3/4.

Christy Bench had the highest UH finish, with a third in the women's 3,000 meters.

 

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