AH HALL ELEVATORS TRAP PROFESSORS, STUDENT

by Andy Alford

Daily Cougar Staff

Two UH faculty members fell at least two stories in an Agnes Arnold Hall elevator last Thursday night and were trapped for 15 minutes before being rescued.

According to Lynn A. Gillespie, assistant to James W. Pipkin, dean of the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication, a call was made to the UH Police Department reporting that AH elevator car No. 2 had fallen two-and-a-half floors and had trapped Sandra Harris and Nina Tucci, professors in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, inside.

Harris and Tucci apparently boarded the car on the fourth floor and rode to the sixth when, with no warning, the car plunged and stuck between the third and fourth floors.

The alarm went to the UH police department, which responded and called the Physical Plant. Fifteen minutes later, maintenance workers manually lowered the elevator car, with Harris and Tucci still inside, to the basement, where they safely exited. Although Harris refused to comment, there were no injuries reported.

That same day, Thomas J. O'Brien, associate professor of history, rescued a student in a wheelchair who was trapped in the AH freight elevator when the door failed to spring open after closing on the student's wheelchair. O'Brien was forced to climb over the student and punch the "open door" button on the elevator control panel before the door would release.

All the elevators were immediately turned off and repaired and were back in service by Friday morning, Gillespie said.

"I have been complaining in Faculty Senate meetings since November about the condition of this building," said Robert Palmer, professor of history and law.

Palmer said Pipkin had delayed repairs.

Pipkin said certain repairs had been deferred because of a lack of sufficient funds to respond to maintenance problems. However, he said Dennis Boyd, senior vice president for Administration and Finance, and UH Provost Henry Trueba have committed money to fix major problems in AH immediately.

Pipkin said the deans have met and discussed using Higher Education Assistance Funds to "first get the current buildings in proper shape before taking on new projects."

Senior administrators at UH understand that serious problems in the 28-year-old AH require attention next week rather than next year, Pipkin said. An estimated $800,000 is needed to repair escalators, remove asbestos from plumbing, eliminate standing water in AH Auditorium 1 and remove graffiti.

Trueba said the needed $800,000 would be borrowed from UH colleges that had not spent all of the HEAF funds allocated to them from last year. Those colleges would be repaid with HEAF funds to be allocated this year.

Five or six years ago, HEAF funds were not available to UH, Pipkin said. Now, with HEAF funds having doubled to about $26 million this year from $13 million last year, UH can consider funding major repairs.

The University Planning and Policy Council is considering revising construction priorities, Trueba said, adding that UH will wait on constructing new buildings until an audit of the old buildings is complete.

Pipkin said the audit is a study to determine the problems in all UH buildings. AH will be the first building to be audited.

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FACULTY SENATE TACKLES HEAF SPENDING, FORMULA FUNDING

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

Financial matters, including funding cuts in the upcoming state budget and possible illegal expenditures of Higher Education Assistance Funds by the University of Houston and the UH-System, occupied most of the discussion at Wednesday's Faculty Senate meeting.

Andrew Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning and executive assistant to the president, presented an overview of the school funding debate going on in Austin. He said the Texas Legislature seems determined to cut money for state-sponsored universities in order to balance the state budget.

Szilagyi highlighted an estimated $287,404 reduction in UH's funding in fiscal year 1996-97. He also pointed to an estimated $17.2 million reduction for UH in the fiscal year 1996-97 state budget.

During the same period, funding for UH-Clear Lake is estimated to increase by $3.7 million, UH-Victoria by $1.8 million and UH-Downtown by $402,377.

Szilagyi said the decrease for UH and the increases for the other schools in the UH System are tied to enrollment figures and student credit hours.

"The numbers are determined using a complex system of formulas. That's the problem you have with formula-funded education," Szilagyi said.

The proposed cuts include possible reductions in state contributions to the Employees Retirement Program and employee health insurance programs, reductions in the number of state employees, and "special items," like agency downsizing and reduced employee benefits.

Faculty Sen. Michael Gorman, professor of physics, asked Szilagyi what happened to the $2 million surplus in last year's state budget.

Szilagyi said that, in anticipation of a shortfall this year, Texas Secretary of State John Sharp did not specify what would become of the surplus.

The Faculty Senate also addressed allegations that UH is spending Higher Education Assistance Funds on maintenance and operation of the university.

Senator Giles Auchmuty, a math professor, presented a report from the Faculty Senate Budget Committee asking that "control of HEAF money be returned to the campus."

"Specifically, we get around 67 or 68 percent, while we generate 75 percent of the money," Auchmuty said.

Sen. Robert Palmer, a Cullen professor of history and law, said, "The System controls the money and spends it on itself and on maintenance and operation. It's illegal to spend HEAF money on M&O."

Palmer proposed a motion demanding that the System reveal details of all expenditures of HEAF money for the past five years.

Sen. Harrell Rodgers seconded the motion, which then was passed by a unanimous vote of the Senate.

The most vociferous debate of the day came during debate on a referendum proposed by Sen. Stephen Huber, professor of law.

Huber's referendum called for the Faculty Senate to immediately withdraw from participation in the Chancellor's Faculty Advisory Council.

"Faculty Senate participation in CFAC provides an unwarranted legitimacy to the UH System and its actions," Huber said. "Little, if anything, is accomplished for UH by participating in CFAC. This is based on two years of being a member of CFAC, and considerable efforts to work cooperatively with three (System) chancellors.

"CFAC is composed of two representatives from the Faculty Senate of each of the four campuses in the UH System. UH is represented by the president and the president-elect of the (Senate).

"There are two representatives from the Victoria campus, which has under 1,500 mostly part-time students, and which generates fewer credit hours than the Law Center -- one of the smaller colleges at UH. Equally, there are two representatives from UH, the president and the president-elect of the Faculty Senate.

"This is perhaps the most egregious example of the problem with the parity among campuses so eloquently pointed out by our provost, Henry Trueba.

"This is a body created by the chancellor for the major purpose of giving the chancellor legitimacy. CFAC is entirely ineffective, and thank goodness. We're out-voted 6-2."

Sen. George Reiter, a former Faculty Senate president, disagreed with Huber about the purpose and usefulness of the council, suggesting Huber's referendum was a first step toward UH separating from the UH System.

"I don't see this as a class issue. These are not bad people," Reiter said. "This (motion) is just a gesture. I don't think it is appropriate at this time."

Huber answered by observing that "the greatest danger of being president of the FS is being co-opted.

"We're talking about restructuring, not separation," Huber said.

Sen. Judy Myers of M.D. Anderson Library said CFAC allows the chancellor to hear directly from faculty members.

Sen. Ernst Leiss, also a former Faculty Senate president, said, "The council is not just about getting information to the System. It is about getting information from the System."

Leiss characterized the debate over CFAC as "infantile."

Huber challenged Faculty Senate members to decide "which side are you on? Are you on the side of the System, or are you on the other side?"

The motion was defeated 20-12, with four senators abstaining.

In other Faculty Senate business, John Butler, chairman of the task force on the Office of Recruitment, Admissions and Retention, outlined the group's efforts to survey students about student services.

Butler announced that the group will hold an open meeting on Feb. 22, adding that the group hopes a large number of students will attend this meeting and voice their concerns about student services.

The final half-hour of the meeting featured a panel discussion on teacher effectiveness and evaluation, with Grace Butler, associate vice president for Faculty Affairs.

 

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S&M SEMINAR WHIPS UP

CONTROVERSY IN QUAD

by Andy Alford

Daily Cougar Staff

The fliers that were slid under UH dorm doors early Monday morning advertised "SEX, LIES AND DUCT TAPE: An Informative Program on Alternative Sexual Practices" -- which will be presented at 8 p.m. today at the Quadrangle's OB Cafeteria-athletic side in the residence halls.

Guy Keller, a junior math major and resident of Taub Hall, said, "I don't want to see (the fliers). They're all over our doors and tables. They're being shoved down our throats."

The fliers Keller objects to show graphics of whips and handcuffs next to the line, "WHIP ME, BEAT ME, LET ME BEG FOR MORE!"

"It's stupid. It's wrong. It's gone off the deep end. This is not something people should be taught," said another Quad resident, who wished to remain anonymous.

"I don't think the program should be held on campus. They should hold it someplace else," Keller said.

Cheryl Price, a senior hotel and restaurant management major and a resident adviser in the Quadrangle, said the aim of the program is to "broaden cultural horizons. It's a totally informal information session."

Keller added, "It's totally biased. There's no one there to say it's bad. It sounds more like a promotion with the local retailers there -- sounds like it's going to be an advertisement.

"Money I'm paying to live on campus -- that's money that's going to pay for this stuff?" Keller asked.

Shirley Hollingsworth, president of the Residence Halls Association, said the RAs involved in sponsoring the program pooled some of the money they received from Residential Life to pay for the event.

Price said, however, that the speakers were volunteering their services and that the only costs incurred were for the fliers being distributed across campus.

The program is about the "dangers of (sadism and masochism) and safe ways of doing them," Hollingsworth said. "There's going to be some modeling, but no demonstrations, just talk."

Included in the program are speakers from the Houston chapter of the National Leather Association and the Montrose Counseling Center.

Greg Cason, a mental health educator at the Montrose Counseling Center and a counseling psychology doctoral student at UH, said his part in the program is to comment on the mental health aspects of sadism and masochism.

Practices like S&M are "not considered mental illnesses, just sexual variations," Cason said.

Dean Walradt, secretary of the Houston chapter of the National Leather Association, said, "The NLA is a leather, S&M and fetish social education group that also speaks on domestic violence."

The main body of the program features three speakers from the NLA, Price added. In addition, the Erotic Cabaret Boutique on Westheimer will have displays of erotic wear and sex toys.

Keller added, "It seems that UH has said that this is OK and has given its stamp of approval. It's incredible."

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TECH TRIPS UP UH WOMEN, MEN

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Lady Cougars came running out of the gate, building a 12-point lead with six fast-break baskets in the first 7:48 of Wednesday's game vs. Southwest Conference leader No. 7 Texas Tech. But the questionable calls increased and the fast breaks dwindled, and Houston's chances diminished with them.

Tech (23-3, 9-1 in the SWC) won 78-76.

Houston (12-10, 6-4) converted only two fast breaks in the second half, while the Lady Raiders' Michi Atkins was on fire, scoring 30 points on a variety of fadeaway shots from the top of the key and 6-of-8 free throws.

But the Cougars made a close game of it with a suffocating second-half full-court press.

"They did a great job with the press," Tech head coach Marsha Sharp said.

UH pulled within one at 77-76 with six seconds left on a pair of Tanda Rucker 3-pointers.

A questionable holding call on Cougars guard Stacey Johnson (her fifth foul) following a missed Atkins free throw gave the Raiders another chance with four ticks left.

"There was a lot of contact," Johnson said. "It could have went either way."

Tabitha Truesdale made one of two charity tosses, and Atkins stole the ball from Pat Luckey (24 points) on the final possession to preserve the Tech victory.

 

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NEED TO BLEED: BLOOD DRIVE SEEKING 1,000 UNITS

by Christen Hanlon

Daily Cougar Staff

Imagine that you desperately needed something to save your life, but the resource simply was too scarce. This is the feeling that people everywhere have when faced with the realization that there is not enough blood for them, whether it be for minor surgery or even a critical emergency.

Now is the opportunity to do your part to help. This week the University of Houston is providing a blood drive for students to donate. John Drury, director of corporate communications for the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, said donors are always needed. "In order for us to stay up to par in our blood supply, we need 600 to 700 units a day." In simple terms, this translates to 600 to 700 people donating blood each day, since each donor gives one pint, or unit.

The times of the most severe shortages are almost always around the holidays. In January, officials with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center reported a serious shortage in the regional blood supply. The shortage resulted from traditionally diminished blood collections over Christmas and the New Year's period, coupled with higher-than-normal usage by area hospitals.

Don't let this fool you into thinking the problems are over, now that the holidays are gone. Blood types of all kinds are needed on a day-to-day basis. "People's lives are in jeopardy if blood is not collected on a continual basis. Medical science has not yet been able to come up with a substitution for blood. There are ongoing regular needs that need to be met, as well as the need to build a reserve against emergencies. If there were a plane crash and a hundred people needed transfusions, we need to have it available," Drury said.

Drury also made it clear that no infectious diseases can be contracted from donating blood, and that there are actually benefits from donating. "Those who donate their blood will be sent a donor card in the mail approximately a week after they donate. Not only will they receive information of their blood type, but also their cholesterol count will be provided. This can especially be beneficial to a regular donor and this information is free," Drury said. Those who donate at UH this week also receive a free T-shirt.

Brian Coltrin, a senior operations management major, said he has not yet donated, but realizes the importance of donating. "I know that UH is having a blood drive this week. I saw the Bloodmobile on Wednesday and realized that I needed to take time out to donate this week. The only part that really scares me is the needle," Coltrin said with a smile.

Robert Whitfield, group program consultant for the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, said that the turnout for the UH campus is usually very high. "Besides the times that we designate to come to the university, there are also different groups on campus who request that we come.We have also had a great response from the Greek organizations on campus," Whitfield said. Whitfield, who is a UH alumnus, said that the turnout for the campus, as of Tuesday, had reached 103 units. Remarking that the goal for the week is 1,000 units, Whitfield added, "We always need students to come out and donate. This campus has great potential to reach that goal."

Be aware that there are certain requirements to be able to donate. You must be between the ages of 17 and 70, at least 110 pounds, and in good general health.

For those interested in donating this week, head on over to the University Center. On Feb. 16, donate in the UC Embassy Room and Satellite Room 2. On Feb. 17, those who wish to donate should go to the UC Tejas Room.

Call the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center at 790-1200 for any information and answers to any questions concerning blood donations. If you are a member of an organization on campus and would like to host a blood drive, call Robert Whitfield at 791-6241. Make sure that this week you remember to do your part. You may never know what kind of impact your "simple" donation will have on a person in need.

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FEEL <I>LOVED<P> AT CRANES CONCERT

The Cranes will be performing at The Urban Art Bar tonight to promote its latest release, <I>Loved<P>.

Photo by Pat Pope/dedicated

Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

With a surreal mix of conventional music, the Cranes fly high with its latest, <I>Loved<P>.

Cranes is based in slow, dark and sometimes murky melodies. Waiflike and haunting, the Cranes female lead singer is the defining point of the band. This group has moments that transcend the average, allowing it to become as graceful and beautiful as the bird after which it is named.

Starting with "Shining Road," the band provides a solid core while the female lead is relegated to backup. The faster pace is a welcome change from an album that is sometimes repetitive .

"Pale Blue Sky" and "Are You Gone" are songs that allow the listener's mind to be immersed in a Gothic state. Meaning is unimportant as the listener becomes engrossed with the voice of the female lead.

"Beautiful Friend" is the centerpiece of the album. Bringing in the listener with a whammy bar, the song turns into a quick and catchy little ditty.

The Cranes will be playing at 10 p.m. tonight at the Urban Art Bar. Idaho and Zakaida will also be performing. Tickets are $8.

 

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