PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES PERSEVERES AMID CUTS

by Clint Spencer

News Reporter

Even with cutbacks, including a recent budget transfer resulting in a loss of $6,643 in funding for the Counseling and Testing Service, plus staff shortages, it's business as usual for the staff of psychological counselors at UH.

Counselors face waiting lists of 40 to 50 students seeking help.

"We have to do more with less," said Dr. Kenneth Waldman, director of Psychological Services and Training.

Despite these problems, Waldman said, "We remain a strong and confident staff."

Waldman cited evaluations that clientele made of his staff in 1994. The average score reached 4.3, where 5.0 registered as "extremely satisfied," and 1.0 as "extremely dissatisfied."

This was accomplished with seven full-time psychologists and four doctoral interns, plus five doctoral students and three master's students who worked without pay.

Compared with other universities, UH has a distinct disadvantage. Waldman pointed to the University of Maryland, a "commuter school" like UH, with 36,000 students and no campus housing, which has a full-time staff of 25 licensed counselors.

Waldman said he is seeking more funds through grants. The heavy workload and low pay, however, does affect staff morale, he said.

Waldman said his staff takes a "team approach" in which everyone helps each other through the difficulties the job creates.

Dr. Mary Nickson, a licensed psychologist, said she wants to focus on what the client has to say, including the body language and the facial expressions.

Waldman added, "You have to combine empathy and objectivity, but you have to be careful not to work on yourself through someone else."

Waldman described college as a "high-powered environment." Still, he said he would be happy to continue at UH for "the next several years."

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ACTIVITIES FUNDING BOARD

seeks more SFAC funds

by Robert Schoenberger

News Reporter

Student organizations will have to fund their own programs for the rest of the semester if the Activities Funding Board does not get the $25,000 it has requested from the Student Fees Advisory Committee, according to AFB Chairman Jeff Fuller.

The AFB has already spent or allocated its $59,000 budget for the '94-'95 school year, according to Campus Activities adviser Doug Miller. AFB adviser David Daniell said Campus Activities will continue throughout the semester, but no new applications for funds are being accepted.

Daniell stated AFB usually runs out of money toward the end of the semester. "If we still have money left in May, we begin to worry."

This is the third time in the past five years that AFB has run out of money before the end of the semester. In 1991, it ran through a $55,000 budget by May, and last year, AFB spent its $59,000 budget by early April.

"Last year, we spent $11,000 on Frontier Fiesta. This year, we only spent $8,000 on it," Fuller said. "We ran out of money this year because more groups came to us asking for more money earlier."

The AFB's budget of 1 percent of Student Services Fees provides student organizations up to $1,200 for conferences or activities, Fuller said. An organization must apply for funds three weeks before its event. The AFB gives out money for reimbursement after the event if the organization can present receipts.

In the past, student organizations have spent AFB funds on honoraria for speakers, equipment rental, security, advertising and on films. The AFB can't give funds for reusable goods, off-campus activities or for food or alcohol, Fuller added.

The AFB has not rejected any application for funds this school year, Daniell said, but "some applications didn't even get to the board because they were asking for things that we don't fund."

"Sometimes we'll edit the proposal from an organization," Fuller said. "If they ask for five half-page ads in the Cougar, we may lower it to three, but if it is within our power to give money (to a student organization), we will."

"The board voted to ask SFAC for more money to finish the semester," Daniell said. "The proposal should go to them some time next week."

Fuller has no plans to suggest a permanent solution to the AFB's funding problems. "We don't feel that we need to ask SFAC to raise our percentage of Student Services Fees."

The board usually allocates more money than it spends, and most student organizations do not use the AFB at all, Fuller said. "Sometimes we have money left over at the end of the year."

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PROFESSOR CALLS FOR SCHILT'S RESIGNATION

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

During Wednesday's Spring Faculty Senate Assembly, Robert Palmer, a Cullen professor of history and law, called for UH Chancellor Alex Schilt to resign.

Palmer also questioned Schilt regarding the long-promised review of UH President James H. Pickering, demanding to see some movement toward fixing existing hazards on the UH campus.

"The problem is the difference between action and words. We move in very different worlds. You go to work at 1600 Smith St. in a nice office, surrounded by employees who are loyal and who are chosen only for that virtue," Palmer said.

"I work in Agnes Arnold Hall, where the elevators fall. I climb six stories of stairs several times a day. There's not a day that goes by that I don't look at my floors and know there is asbestos sprayed under those tiles. I look at the ceilings and see the water stains from water that has flowed out of pipes that are covered with asbestos.

"My colleagues teach in classrooms that flood. The drains are moldy and mildewed. The ceilings fall on the students."

Palmer added, "We have to listen to the administration wondering why our enrollment has fallen. It is not hard for me to see that the System administration is not serving its purpose. I walk around here every day, and I see that this university is falling apart.

"I would call on you to resign from your position and allow us to move forward to make this university into a major university and really restructure for us."

Schilt declined Palmer's suggestion.

"I hear you, but I don't agree with you," Schilt said. "To answer just one of the points you made, that is, the initial discussion we had in regard to the procedure for the president's review, it was an oversight not to have gotten faulty input. It is clear we should have had a more robust discussion about that. It doesn't make the process of negotiation and cooperation easier when you take the position you take.

I engaged the (Faculty Senate) Executive Committee in good faith. I may not be responsive on every point, but it is certainly my intent to be responsive on the essential elements that we discussed.

"With you, I guess I have someone who will never be convinced. I just hope that does not represent the majority of the faculty," Schilt said.

During his speech to the assembly, Schilt also announced the status of the outside review of the UH System and the review of UH President James H. Pickering.

Schilt said, "Last summer, the UH Faculty Senate Executive Committee proposed an outside review of our Systemwide configuration and service structure. At my recommendation, the regents decided to hold a series of public hearings to determine the need for it. Now the hearings have concluded, and the regents are convening an outside panel of academic experts very familiar with the management of higher educational systems. Beth Morian plans to meet with you very soon to give you information about the panel and how the process will proceed."

In regard to Pickering's review, Schilt said, "I have been meeting with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and we are developing the process for that review, which will get under way in the fall. This process will have extensive involvement from all areas of the university community, especially the faculty. Jim Pickering and I and the Faculty Senate are in total agreement that this process must be and will be thorough, unbiased and anchored in the shared-governance structure. We are still working out the details, and I promise to share them with you as soon as they are finalized."

 

 

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SWC BASEBALL BEGINS OWN MARCH MADNESS

Cougar Field to host 11 of 14 tournament games as UH, Rice go today at 7 p.m.

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

The first-ever Southwest Conference First Pitch Preseason Tournament begins play today with a three-game slate, including a matchup that features tournament co-hosts Houston and Rice going head-to-head at Cougar Field today at 7 p.m.

The No. 17 Owls (17-5) boast a strong team led by outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. (.364 batting average, 7 HRs and 32 RBIs), who is a consensus preseason All-America choice.

Cruz, son of former Houston Astros all-star Jose Cruz Sr., knows the level of competition will be high.

"This conference is too damn good," the younger Cruz said. "Any one might end up winning (the tournament) and this will set the tone for who's who this season in the Southwest (Conference)."

The tournament features a circuit of games at both Cougar Field and Cameron Field (Rice home field) and will showcase three of the top 25 teams in the country.

In addition to Rice, Texas (24-4) and Texas Tech (24-3) are also ranked among Baseball America's poll, seventh and 15th, respectively.

Thus, the tournament should get off to a nice start when the Longhorns and Red Raiders square off at 11 a.m. today.

Texas head coach Cliff Gustafson, college baseball's all-time winningest coach, said he feels the SWC is doing the right thing by having a tourney like the one taking place this week.

"This conference and I go back a long ways, and it is always one of the best in the country," said Gustafson.

"Though I wasn't one of the originators of this plan (having the tournament), I support it because it is such a unique and intriguing format that gives the conference the credibility it deserves."

Houston is going to put its new field through an early test featuring 11 of the tournament's 14 games that will conclude this weekend with the Longhorns and Cougars Sunday at roughly 3 p.m.

The Cougars will start right-handed pitcher David Hamilton tonight vs. Rice. Hamilton has been roughed up in his 10 outings this year as his 0-2 record and 4.43 ERA would suggest.

However, Hamilton boasts a league-leading 13.3 strikeout average per nine innings of work.

Hosting the tournament with most of the games at Cougar Field could be a big advantage for the Cougars, who will play on the field they practice on every day.

"We are kinda fortunate because our players can go home to their rooms here in Houston and don't have to adjust to playing on the road," said Houston head coach Rayner Noble.

Cougars first baseman Carlos Perez knows how tough the SWC is, but said, "We are sticking with it day by day and most of those people who rated us (as a conference preseason pick for last) don't know us.

"I think we can play with anyone on any given day, but in this conference, the worst team can go out and beat the best team, so we need to stay focused."

 

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UH AT NIGHT

DARK SIDE OF CAMPUS CAN BE BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL

by Michael Martin

Contributing Writer

It's 8:30 p.m. I watch from the steps of E. Cullen as the last of my classmates drift toward their cars. Finally, in the dim light, I have the fountains all to myself.

The water dances and plays, but the sound seems somewhat muted. The buildings are softly bathed by floodlights. the flags flutter quietly. I feel as if I'm standing inside a picture postcard.

So this is UH at night. Few commuter students experience it. Some would rather not.

Linda Valdez is one of them. "I've been doing it for four years now and, even though I've never had any trouble, I'm still afraid," the art history senior says.

As I step into the night, I try not to think about her remarks. I approach the library. A few students head the same way, but they walk neither with me nor with each other. The silence is total.

We enter the library and find an island of light and activity. Voices murmur softly. Students come and go. I notice the students sitting at the computer screens are a bit older than those I see during the day. Business attire is more in evidence than blue jeans. My bifocals no longer seem out of place.

The younger students are here, too. Groups study busily on the third floor. Solos quietly occupy the fifth. No one I talk to is worried about the walk home from the library in the dark.

On the elevator ride down, a student accidentally leans against the emergency intercom button. A voice answers instantly. She is embarrassed. I am comforted.

I push through the night and find myself at the University Center. The action here is underground.

Country music drifts through the open door of Coog's Cafe. A basketball game is on the big screen, but the students at the tables seem more intent on their conversations. Next door, in the Cougar Den, people stand around in karate uniforms and talk. I don't bother to ask if they're worried about the walk home.

The game room is in operation, too. The pool tables and the bowling lanes seem to be getting the action. I start to put some quarters into the Star Trek machine, but think better of it. I might have to make a phone call.

A Hispanic band is performing in the UC Underground to an appreciative audience of 100 or so. I leave during the second encore and cross the street to the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

The busy Hilton lobby could be in any hotel, anywhere. I notice the free campus phone next to the pay phones. So much for having to save my quarters.

The wind seems colder as I make a quick walk to the dorms in the quad area. It's quiet now, but that could be because of the weather.

"Sometimes people gather and play guitars in the courtyard," says dorm resident Donald Large. "I go to the library or the computer center in the Social Work Building at night, and it's nice to see the activity outside."

The political science junior says he doesn't fear the campus after dark, but would never walk on the fringes. "That would be foolish," he says.

It's nearly 10 p.m. I walk past a busy Social Work Building computer room and a quiet UC-Satellite. I hear city sounds, but they seem distant. Only the occasional jet overhead or train horn in the distance remind me I'm near the center of a large city.

Safely back in my truck, I pull out of the parking lot and turn on Cullen, heading for the freeway and the real world. The roar of the crowd, however, tells me I'm not there yet.

Across the street, under the lights, they're playing baseball.

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GET <I>FAR BEYOND<P> AT HEAVY METAL SHOW

by Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

Lace up those combat boots, boys and girls. The most popular heavy metal band from Texas is coming back to town. Pantera is going to storm into the Astro Arena for fans that may have missed its show last summer.

"Planet Caravan" and "Cemetery Gates" are the two Pantera songs that consistently get airplay. These songs, however, are not a representative sampling of its music.

Debatably the hardest heavy metal band to make it into the mainstream, its music is composed of simple heavy chords and a lot of yelling.

Pantera is promoting its latest album, <I>Far Beyond Driven<P>. If its summer concert is any indication of this one, fans can anticipate a sizeable amount of music off of its older albums, <I>Cowboys from Hell<P> and <I>A Vulgar Display of Power<P>.

Playing live shows in Texas is nothing new to Pantera. The band started in Houston many years ago, playing at clubs like Backstage. Not long after the band was formed, it moved to Dallas and continued playing there. Several years and a few albums later, Pantera is known worldwide by heavy metal fans.

Pantera will be riding in on the backs of Type O Negative, which is promoting <I>Bloody Kisses<P>, a release that has gotten significant airplay.

Even people unfamiliar with Type O Negative should recognize the popular "Christian Sister." The band should put on an energetic and extremely loud show.

If Pantera is Beavis' and Butthead's favorite band, you know it doesn't suck.

Go see Pantera and Type O Negative rock the Astro Arena today at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22.50.

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MOORES ENDOWMENT PLANS CHANGED

Schilt says System wants to use HEAF funds for new music building

 

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

UH System Chancellor Alexander Schilt admitted the System wants to put money donated to the university by former UH Regent John Moores to build a new music building into the UH Endowment fund and use Higher Education Assistance Fund money to build the music building.

In response to The Daily Cougar's queries, President James H. Pickering confirmed the reports, stating the Moores funds will be made available to Provost Henry Trueba "to fund the highest academic priorities of the university."

Pickering added, "The equivalent income from the Moores endowment is enough to fund more than 30 endowed chairs at the level of the Cullen and Anderson chairs."

Pickering, who has been under pressure from certain faculty members, also stated, "Throughout the Creative Partnerships Campaign, I have heard repeatedly one refrain: 'What has it done for the faculty?' "

To this question, Pickering explained that Endowment income can be used for faculty support, while HEAF can only be used for capital expenditures. "It was a decision I had to make, and I made it."

During the past three years, Moores has donated more than $70 million to UH and the UH System, including the $18.5 million designated for the new music building.

The surprise information concerning the music building's funding surfaced in answer to a question from Giles Auchmuty, professor of mathematics, who disagreed with the move to build the music building with HEAF funds. "Instead of paying for the music building with Moores' generous gift, the System has decided to pay for it with HEAF money, and Moores' money is going into the Endowment from which we will see a munificent 4 percent return on the capital. This is a poor deal for us. All other possible expenditures of $19.5 million of HEAF funding on our campus and its infrastructure are apparently going to have to wait."

Auchmuty added, "Over the last few years, there has been very little investment in the main academic infrastructure at UH. The two big projects have been the athletics building and the music building -- both of which are marginal to the primary educational and research activities here."

During the assembly, Schilt did not deny that the funding plans for the music building have changed.

In a fax received by The Daily Cougar Wednesday night, Schilt clarified the current position of the Board of Regents regarding the use of HEAF funds to build the music building.

"The Board of Regents has not officially acted on using HEAF funds for the construction of the new School of Music building, since the legislation increasing the HEAF has not yet been approved," Schilt said. Schilt added that Moores supported the idea of such a proposal if the state allowed the expenditure of HEAF funds on the music building.

"Mr. Moores suggested that if this were possible, it would create a significant pool of unrestricted funds for use by the university," Schilt said.

In response to Auchmuty's questions, Schilt defended the System's record of HEAF expenditures. "It is true that for the past 10 years, the System administration was responsible for the spending of about $23 million of HEAF money."

Of that $23 million, the majority funded activities that "have come through the decisioning process at the university," he said. "We end up being the collector of money and the payer of bills. We didn't go out and expend that money on ourselves."

Auchmuty also questioned why the System administration is apparently taking about 25 percent of the UH Endowment income for its own purpose this year.

Kent Tedin, chairman of the Political Science Department, said, when asked why the System has control of $80 million of the Endowment, "It is difficult to imagine that anyone would give the System administration money for its operations," Tedin said.

Schilt answered, "Within that $80 million, $39 million was assigned to the campuses. Within the System administration, we have about $37 million for which we are responsible. About $13 million of that represents money that was given to match grants at the universities. It is money that was given for a specific purpose."

Schilt also added that there is $20 million in discretionary money that produces $1.2 million in income per year.

In August, acting on the advice of the presidents and the chancellor, the Board of Regents agreed to reduce the service charge for the universities and give that $1.2 million back, Schilt said. Of that money, UH should save $600,000 to $700,000.

Schilt said even though this money is discretionary, it would be a "terrible mistake" to think he makes decisions arbitrarily. He added that the funding decisions are made in conjunction with the vice chancellor for Finance and Administration and the chancellor's Cabinet.

"It (the funding decisions) then goes to the appropriate committee of the Board of Regents. If there is anything controversial about any of that stuff, I've always felt that it was my responsibility to make the board understand the nature of the controversy," Schilt said.

 

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