SFAC HIKES STUDENT SERVICE FEES FOR '95-96

$2 INCREASE BASED ON PROJECTED 1,500-STUDENT DECREASE, OFFICIAL SAYS

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

UH President James H. Pickering approved the Student Fees Advisory Committee's recommendations Wednesday for the 1996 fiscal year, which will result in a $2 increase in student service fees to a total of $102.

The report, written by SFAC Chairwoman Julie Baumgarten March 6, was based on a projected enrollment of 30,000 students. This is a decrease of more than 1,500 students in one year.

Elwyn Lee, vice president for Student Affairs, agreed with the report when he said there is a higher demand on student services while there are declining enrollments, which mean less money for the SFAC-funded groups.

"Traditionally, the committee is conservative about raising the fee," Lee said. "But we still lag behind other institutions."

According to the report, UH's fee structure is the lowest in the UH System for students taking 10 hours or more.

With UH enrollments on a steady decline, the funds available to SFAC have also declined. Lee said this may not always mean a fee increase.

"Needs for certain services decline as enrollments go down," he said. "But I wouldn't take for granted that the enrollments will continue to drop."

Pickering was also reluctant to say future fee increases would be steadily needed.

"One always hates to increase fees," he said.

But, he added, there is a nationwide trend to increase the costs of college without raising the means students have to pay for it. He said that in the past, only medical students came out of college with large debts, and that now, this is the case with many students. That, he said, is why there is a reluctance to add to a student's fee bill. Unfortunately, the money must come from somewhere.

"Any time you set a budget, there's never enough money," he said.

Despite that, he said his office has received no complaints about the recommendation, which was sent to all SFAC groups. Lee said his office has received complaints from only Counseling and Testing Services and Student Legal Services. He added that there have been no complaints from any of the student groups.

The money for SLS has been held until the service becomes more responsive to students' needs, Lee said.

According to the report, the "committee finds the current legal services unacceptable in adequately meeting the needs of the students. SFAC recommends the formation of a committee to determine a more optimal arrangement for providing this service to students. This committee also recommends a reserve pool to fund a legal service program providing increased hours of legal support."

During the presentations, there was much deliberation as to the effectiveness of SLS. There was also discussion of creating a new service that would use the resources available at the UH Law Center.

One other group that did not receive any of the funds it requested was the Dean of Students Handbook. There was a proposal to change the format of the handbook to more closely resemble the faculty handbook. This was not approved.

The Student Program Board did receive money needed to keep the Student Video Network operating, which SVN Chairwoman Eden S. Blair said would be impossible if new equipment is not purchased.

The Council of Ethnic Organizations' request to expand into unused rooms behind Student Affairs was also approved.

The committee also approved $375,000 to be put into a reserve pool in the case of state-mandated raises. A total of $128,000 was put into a pool for merit raises, and a $25,000 reserve was built for health costs.

In total, SFAC appropriated $6.6 million and is planning to raise $6.7 million based on the 30,000-student projection. This year, according to the report, SFAC suffered a $134,000 short-fall.

 

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NATIONAL PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS DEVOTE TIME, ASSISTANCE

ORGANIZATION FOCUSES ON PROMOTING ECONOMIC, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AROUND THE WORLD

by Catherine Cykowski

Contributing Writer

National Peace Corps Director Carol Bellamy explained to UH students Thursday that the role of the Peace Corps is to promote economic development around the world.

"Volunteers work on a grass-roots local level in community development," Bellamy said in a speech sponsored by the College of Business Administration.

Bellamy said the skills most in demand in the Peace Corps are in teaching, health and agricultural development.

She said 15 percent of the current volunteer force is involved in business development programs for management training and institutional development.

Of the 94 countries in which volunteers serve, 40 to 50 have business-development programs.

"The need has grown dramatically as countries look for assistance. Many individuals are highly educated, but are missing the concepts of a free market," she said.

The business development efforts have taken creative forms. In Poland, Bellamy said, volunteers helped to develop a "yellow pages" for businesses.

One volunteer in Ukraine has started a radio show for business advice called, "The Cowboy from Kiev."

Peace Corps volunteers generally serve for two years. There are currently 6,500 volunteers in 94 countries.

Bellamy was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala from 1963 to 1965. She is a former president of the New York City Council and has served as a New York state senator.

Bellamy is the first returned Peace Corps volunteer to head the organization, appointed by President Clinton in 1993.

She described her own experience in the Peace Corps as two of the best years of her life. "You have to be devoted. It's extraordinary wherever you end up," she said.

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OUT-OF-STATE STUDENTS FACE TUITION HIKE

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

A bill raising tuition for nonresident students passed in the Texas House Wednesday.

In addition to raising undergraduate nonresident tuition to $222 from $176 per credit hour, the bill, sponsored by Robert Junell, D-San Angelo, raises the minimum scholarship amount required for a nonresident student to pay resident tuition. Currently, students who win a $200 competitive scholarship are granted a tuition waiver that entitles them to pay in-state tuition rates. Junell's bill would raise that amount to $1,000.

Another bill, sponsored by Anna Mowery, R-Fort Worth, would eliminate the tuition waiver entirely. That bill was passed by the House Higher Education Committee Tuesday.

According to fall 1994 statistics, 12 percent of UH students are out-of-state or from foreign countries and would be affected by the legislation.

The tuition waiver has been a frequent target as legislators try to find money to fund higher education. A bill sponsored by Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, raised the tuition waiver to $500 when it was introduced, but the bill was amended in committee to make the minimum $1,000. Coleman's bill is still pending in committee.

The loss of the waiver would adversely affect UH, said Ted Estess, dean of the Honors College.

"I would hope that the Legislature would continue to make the waiver possible," he said. "If not, graduate education will be crippled, and undergraduate education will suffer."

Estess said that while Texas has been raising tuition for nonresidents, other states have been lowering their rates or offering waivers to attract the brightest students from around the country.

"What we're dealing with here is a brain drain. Other states are drawing our brightest students out-of-state with tuition waivers. What we want is a commensurate number of students coming in," Estess said.

UH President James H. Pickering also opposed the hike. "Something very valuable about education in this country is its portability," he said.

"Students who come to Texas often stay in Texas and become the citizens and taxpayers. I understand where the Legislature is coming from, but I think the economics work out in favor of bringing students into Texas," Pickering said.

Junell said both the tuition hike and the elimination of the waiver had been supported by representatives of the major universities in a July meeting. Provost Henry Trueba represented UH at that meeting. Trueba was not available for comment.

Mowery's bill specifies that students who currently have a tuition exemption will retain their exemption until they complete their degree or until the fall 1997 semester, whichever comes first.

 

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ASTROS BRING BASEBALL'S BEST SPRING RECORD INTO COUGAR FIELD

by Jeff Holderfield

Daily Cougar Staff

The Astros are coming! The Astros are coming!

No this is not a joke -- or a typo. The "Star Power" of the Astros will "See Red" in the Houston Cougars baseball team (16-16, 0-7 in the Southwest Conference) at the new Cougar Field Sunday.

The first pitch of the exhibition game dubbed the "Battle of Houston" is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. or shortly after the conclusion of the Aggies/Cougars game to begin at 1 p.m.

Tickets for the double bill are $5 each for adults and children and $3 for any UH student with a valid ID.

The Astros' replacement squad, which holds the best baseball spring training record at 19-6, recently won the Grapefruit League title and seems to be unstoppable if the replacement squads continue to play well into the regular season.

"If the strike doesn't end, it will be nice to see who will be out there," senior shortstop Jason Smiga said about the prospect of facing what could be the only Astros taking the field in 1995.

The Astros' bats are out-hitting and outscoring their opponents with a batting average of .284 to .248 and 139 runs to 102 for the opposition.

The Astro with the hottest bat, however, is Lance Madsen, who has a batting average of .356 in 59 at-bats, a slugging percentage of .712, an on-base percentage of .465, five home runs and 16 RBIs.

Astros third baseman Steve Verduzco holds a .419 batting average and a .455 on-base average, while also having hit three doubles and a home run.

The Astros pitching staff is led by Jim Waring (3-0, 2.05 ERA).

Waring has started six games and pitched 22 innings with 11 strikeouts and has given up only five runs.

Another Astros pitcher having a strong spring is Roger Dixon, who is 1-0 in nine appearances and one start.

Dixon has struck out 14 in as many innings, while opposing batters are hitting just .067 against him.

Real Astros pitcher and volunteer Cougars coach Doug Drabek is expected to be in uniform -- but in the Cougars' dugout, not the Astros'.

"This game will be good experience for us," Cougars pitcher and outfielder Jason Farrow said. "It will be something we can look back on."

 

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AGGIES, ASTROS HIGHLIGHT BIG WEEKEND FOR UH

COOGS LOOK TO BREAK SWC FUNK WITH 4-GAME A&M SET

by Jeff Holderfield

Daily Cougar Staff

Marching into Houston for a four-game weekend series are the Texas A&M Aggies (18-13-1, 3-4 in the SWC) at the new Cougar Field beginning today at 7 p.m.

The Aggies are currently holding sixth place in the SWC, just above the bottom-dwelling Cougars (16-16, 0-7).

The Aggies have fallen on hard times after opening the season with a No. 23 preseason ranking.

The Cougars, on the other hand, are on a two-game winning streak, hoping to sweep the set and make it six.

"We're excited about this series," Houston senior designated hitter/pitcher Jason Farrow said. "It's tough being 0-7 (in the conference), but we are coming out to win."

The Aggies quickly lost their ranking after a four-game losing streak in the opening weeks of the season, and last weekend, they dropped two of three games to the No. 16 Rice Owls.

"(The Aggies) have been struggling with their pitching," Cougars head coach Rayner Noble said. "Hopefully, we can take advantage of that with timely hitting."

If Houston were to indeed sweep the series from the Aggies, it would push them ahead of A&M in the standings and would really raise team spirits as the team heads into the meat of its SWC schedule.

"After coming back against Southwest Texas, the momentum is on our side," senior shortstop Jason Smiga said.

Noble tonight will send David Hamilton (1-4, 0-2 SWC) to face off against Aggies ace Justin Atchley.

Hamilton holds a 5.68 ERA, the second lowest of the Cougars' starters, in 31-and-two-thirds innings pitched and has struck out 39 batters, an average of 1.2 per inning.

Atchley leads the Aggies' staff with a 4-2, 1-0 SWC record and has a 3.74 ERA (3.94 in conference play) in 55.1 innings pitched with 41 strikeouts.

Saturday's starter for the Cougars in the opening game of a doubleheader will be left-handed freshman Jon McDonald (2-1, 0-1 SWC).

McDonald has stepped up in the absence of Cougars pitcher Bo Hernandez, who is out with an elbow injury and is not expected to be back any time soon.

McDonald, an Humble product, has a 5.71 ERA in 34.2 innings, 22 strikeouts and is allowing opponents only a .228 batting average.

A possible Aggie starting pitcher for Saturday is John Sneed (2-2).

The right-handed Sneed currently holds a 6.75 ERA (8.10 in conference play) in 38.2 innings with 30 strikeouts.

Starting the second game of the twin bill for the Cougars will be left-handed junior John Box (2-3, 0-1 in the SWC).

Box is leading the Cougars starters with a 4.13 ERA in 32.2 innings and 27 strikeouts.

"We don't have a lot of shutout-type pitchers," Texas A&M head coach Mark Johnson said. "But we have some guys who should keep us in the game with sound defense backing them up."

The sound defense Johnson is taking about is anchored by Houston-Westbury product Robert Harris at shortstop.

Harris is having an off-year in batting. He currently holds a .229 average, but is fielding .898 with 50 put outs and 21 double plays.

Aggies first baseman John Curl is leading the team in batting with a .400 average, .706 slugging percentage, .533 on-base average, 23 RBIs, 11 doubles and five home runs.

"If everyone stays within themselves and works hard, we should have a good (series)," Johnson said.

Saturday's games start at 2 p.m., and Sunday's game starts at 1 p.m.

 

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RICE OUT TO PROVE TEAM IS NO ONE-MAN SHOW

NO. 16 OWLS OFFENSE NOT EVEN LED BY SMITH AWARD CANDIDATE CRUZ

by Jeff Holderfield

Daily Cougar Staff

The No. 16 Rice Owls are gunning to bring home the Southwest Conference crown for the first time ever.

The Owls are currently holding a record of 22-9 with a 4-3 SWC record, ranking them fourth in conference play.

The Owls finished last season 34-21 and 12-6 in the SWC, placing them in a tie for second in the SWC.

Rice has just come off a three-game series with Texas A&M, in which the team took two of three games in College Station last weekend.

"Those were great victories at A&M," Rice head coach Wayne Graham said. "It was the first time we have won in College Station since 1986."

The most visible Owl in the 1995 season has been two-time All-American, 1994 SWC Player of the Year and leading 1995 R.E. "Bob" Smith Award candidate Jose Cruz Jr.

Cruz, a junior who has started in every game of his college career, is currently "slumping" with a batting average of .358, down from last season's .401, but is perfect in the field with 61 put-outs.

But contrary to popular belief, the Owls are <I>not<P> being led by Cruz. The team leader offensively is actually senior shortstop David Brooks, who is hitting .391, with eight doubles, four home runs, 22 RBIs and a .609 slugging percentage.

"Cruz is not our only player," Graham said. "He's fourth in hitting on our team."

Cruz is surrounded by senior Mark Quinn in left and sophomore Jeff Venegus in right.

Rice's outfield has an outstanding cumulative batting average of .343 and a .456 on-base percentage.

Quinn is second on the team with a .370 batting average, a .709 slugging percentage, a .432 on-base percentage and 43 RBIs.

The Owls had three starters and a total of 17 lettermen returning for the 1995 season.

Rice is drilling its opponents' pitching with a team slugging percentage of .501 and a batting average of .317 -- compared with its opponents' .326 and .216, respectively.

Rice also has six players who have played in 30 or more games this season batting over .300.

Owls bats have handed opponents' pitching a 7.70 ERA on 275 runs -- an average of 8.8 runs per game.

The Owls pitching staff is led by left-handed junior Mark Taylor (4-1), who has a 2.13 ERA, 42 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .187 batting average in 42-and-one-third innings pitched.

The Owls pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.75 and has allowed only 145 runs.

"What we need to work on most is our pitching," Graham said. "We need some guys to step up."

But Rice is still doing the job on defense. The Owls have a team fielding average of .962.

"We are third defensively in the conference," Graham said. "I'm pleased. Nothing is really wrong with our defense, but we could always do better."

Graham recruited eight freshmen and transferred in four during the off-season to complement his already devastating arsenal.

 

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AND THE CHRIS P. GOES TO ... TYSON; GINSBURG, HANDY EARN RECOGNITION

O.O.C. with Chris P.

Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your wigs and assorted implants. It's time for the first (and I'm sure final) edition of the Chris P's -- not to be confused with their lesser cousins, the Espys or Rice University.

I'll start it off with the presentation of The Oracle Humanitarian Award, which goes to Mike Tyson. Little Mikey is now a caring Muslim, and he likes it.

Hopefully, this philosophical change will help Tyson as a person and not as a fighter. Someone needs to kick George Foreman's butt before we are treated to a Foreman-Larry Holmes wheelchair fight.

Moving on ... The Chris P. for best possible squabble goes to North Carolina's Rasheed Wallace and Kentucky's Andre Riddick.

This get-together had potential as Riddick, having visions of his namesake Riddick Bowe, placed a devastating choke-hold on Wallace until the refs broke it up.

Coming in a close second in this category is my dream matchup between Daily Cougar columnists "Crazy" Jesse Handy and Jason "THE MAN" Ginsburg. But alas, a dream will have to remain a dream.

The winner for Cheesiest Comeback goes to my boy, Michael Jordan.

Yeah, he retired from basketball <I>forever<P> 18 months ago -- and I might have a <I>real<P> job when I graduate.

The Chris P. Look-Alike Award goes to Pete Sampras for slightly resembling me, Chris P.

For Most Glorious Downfall, the Chris P. goes to the Duke basketball team. How the mighty have fallen. Say it Beavis. "Heh, heh, heh, heh ... you said 'fallen.' "

The Houston Rockets, currently sixth in the playoff seedings, are a lock to not repeat as world champs and, thus, received some consolation votes in the downfall category.

The Cougar's co-photo editor, Danny "Tex" Dalstra, gets the Chris P. Lifetime What Are You, a Nut? award for climbing atop the centerfield screen at the new Cougar Field to take one measly photo. Now that's ka-ray-zee.

The Chris P. Out Of Control award goes to my favorite junkie duo, Dwight "The Bad Doctor" Gooden and his sidekick, Daryl Strawberry "Margarita."

For drinking up the town(s) and getting kicked out of baseball, these guys deserve something besides jail time, in Strawberry's case.

And finally, the Chris P. for Movie Scene Most Likely Not To Happen in Real Life: The award goes to <I>Blue Chips<P>.

Toward the end of the movie, Nick Nolte's character spills his guts about the indiscretions committed by his Western University program in his postgame press conference.

What a load of crap.

With all the cheating that occurs on the college level, one safe bet is that no coach will ever admit how many rules he and his school are breaking to win.

Pena is a junior RTV major who next year will make voting available to the fans through the Internet and a 1-900 number.

 

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TRACKSTERS TRY TO ADD MORE TO NCAAS

TEAM TO COMPETE SATURDAY IN ARLINGTON

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston men's and women's track teams return from a busy Spring Break to continue the outdoor season.

The teams will be in Arlington Saturday to try to place a few more qualifiers into the NCAA Championships to be held in Knoxville, Tenn., May 31 to June 3.

The Cougars will face fellow Southwest Conference teams from Baylor, Texas Christian, Southern Methodist and Texas A&M.

Oklahoma and North Texas will also compete in the competition.

Houston head coach Tom Tellez said his team is ready for the meet.

"Some are where they need to be," he said regarding his athletes' progress. "And others are not at the level that they should be at this point."

Tellez and the coaching staff said the Cougars time their training so their abilities can peak during the outdoor season.

With competition running into late May, the teams can look forward to plenty of action. Over the Spring Break holiday, Houston began its run to the NCAAs.

On March 18, junior decathlete Michael Hoffer automatically qualified for the NCAAs by scoring 7,676 points for a third-place finish in an open meet held at Texas A&M.

Hoffer, whose hometown is Stockholm, Sweden, finished ahead of last year's SWC decathlon champion, Richard Harrison. Hoffer, a junior from Corpus Christi, finished 12th in the 1994 NCAA Championships.

Senior Dawn Burrell spent the holiday in Mar del Plata, Argentina, representing the United States in the 1995 Pan American Games. In a field of international competition, she finished fifth in the long jump.

At the Louisiana State Invitational on March 18 in Baton Rouge, La., Ubeja Anderson won first place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.73 seconds. The time provisionally qualified him for the NCAAs and was 0.01 seconds ahead of the 13.72 needed to automatically qualify.

Also at LSU, Chris Lopez provisionally qualified for the triple jump with a leap of 52 feet, 6.75 inches.

Sheddric Fields, who finished third at the 1994 NCAA Indoor Championships on March 11, provisionally qualified for the Championships in the long jump by jumping 25 feet, 3.5 inches, at the Carl Lewis Relays March 4.

Expect additional UH qualifiers as both Drexel Long (400 meters) and SWC-leader Katrina Harris (high jump) get closer to their marks.

 

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ALLEY THROWS ITS <I>ARMS<P> IN THE AIR

Photo by Jim Caldwell/Alley Theatre

Alley Theatre's production of George Bernard Shaw's <I>Arms and the Man<P> is a humorous tale of love and social classes.

by Eric James

Daily Cougar Staff

The Alley Theatre's new production of George Bernard Shaw's <I>Arms and the Man<P> is a charming romp through a Bulgarian villa during the Balkan wars. Filled with fascinating characters and beautiful period piece costumes and sets, <I>Arms and the Man<P> is another success in a powerful season at the Alley.

Raina Petkoff (Vivienne Benesch) is a melodramatic dreamer whose love is off at war. Her love, Sergius Saranoff (Simon Billig), has just headed up a successful attack against the enemy. She praises him as a god as her mother, Catherine (Karen MacDonald), tells her to take warning because fugitives from the war are roaming the streets.

One of those fugitives is Captain Bluntschli (Jeffrey Bean) who scales Raina's drain pipe and enters her room through the balcony. She deems him a hero and insists on saving him when the soldiers come to search the house. She succeeds in hiding him, and she and her mother invite him to stay in their house until the next morning.

Fast forward to a time when the war ends and the soldiers return home. Maj. Paul Petkoff (Charles Krohn) returns to the villa reporting they are now at peace, yet he wishes there was still war. Sergius is also introduced, and we discover he is not a hero, but an anal fool.

Sergius and Petkoff relate a story to Catherine and Raina about a soldier who was taken in by the family of the enemy and cared for as if one of their own. Yes, it's Raina and Catherine they are talking about, and the two must hide the secret from Paul and Sergius.

All this is being watched by the crafty servants, Louka (Deanna Dunmyer) and Nicola (Rutherford Cravens). Nicola wants to marry Louka and open a shop. Louka is in love with Sergius and he in love with her. Will Sergius, however, marry below his class and leave his betrothed Raina? And will Raina be reacquainted with Capt. Bluntschli, by whom she was obviously taken? I won't spoil any surprises.

The play is directed by Jerome Kilty, and he does a masterful job with the characters and the plot. Robert Fletcher created the beautiful costumes and the revolving set, which is amazing. The outside areas of the villa and the library are awesome to see.

This is the actors' play, however, and they are a delight. Bean delivers, once again, a shining performance as Bluntschli. He is a thrill to watch and will keep you laughing. Benesch, a newcomer to the Alley, plays Raina to the extreme and succeeds wonderfully. She captures Raina's melodramatic quality and intertwines it with her ever-present romanticism.

Billig and Dunmyer also keep you laughing with his stuffy portrayal as Sergius the Bulgarian ass, and her performance as the wiser-than-them-all Louka. The rest of the cast is equally impressive, and they keep you entertained as much as the principals.

The play deals with the facades put on by people in order to live up to the standards of their social class. It also expresses how love should not have limits, like class standing. Ultimately, it proves how all people are deserving of everyone else, and that social status does not make one person better or worse than someone else. In fact, the "lowly" servants are 10 times more intelligent than the upper-crust fakes, especially the idiotic Sergius.

It's an enjoyable play and teaches a valuable point. The sets and actors are in top form, and, I promise, <I>Arms and the Man<P> will entertain you.

It plays through April 15 at the Alley.

What: Arms and the Man

Where: The Alley Theatre

When: Through April 15; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays.

How much: $17 to $40. (Pay what you want: 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12)

Phone: 228-8421

 

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STEWART'S <I>GREETINGS FROM THE GUTTER<P> STINKS

Photo courtesy of eastwest records

Dave Stewart's (formerly of The Eurythmics) first solo effort, <I>Greetings From the Gutter<P>, is bland and mediocre.

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

To call the first solo album by Dave Stewart a "debut" seems a bit preposterous. After spending his young adult years riding the success of bands like Longdancer and the Tourists, he enjoyed great popularity as part of The Eurythmics, which emerged as the most successful male-female duo in pop history.

After the band split in 1993, he produced for the likes of Mick Jagger and Tom Petty and formed the groups Spiritual Cowboys and Vegas. He launched Anxious Records eight years ago and has been active in films both musically and behind the scenes.

It comes as a shock then to witness the failure of <I>Greetings From The Gutter<P>, Stewart's first lone effort. The album is a slick, carefully calculated collection of songs with no trace of reality or expression. Stewart's vocals are also severely limited, and there seems to be no sign of a real person behind his cold voice.

Take, for instance, the first two cuts, "Heart of Stone" and the title track. These aren't terrible songs, but they just sit there, drowning in a pool of blandness. Stewart seems to be going for a dance beat, but the sound is too clean, too commercial. It is in definite contrast with the one-step-ahead attitude of The Eurythmics.

Other disasters include "Kinky Sweetheart" and "Damien, Save Me," which approach pretentiousness in their over-development. Both songs are a mess of electronic sound effects and annoying guitar riffs. Above it all is Stewart's droopy-dog voice, sometimes tolerable, sometimes like nails across a chalkboard. Maybe there was a reason for Annie Lennox being the vocalist and Stewart being the nonsinging, musical counterpart in his former group.

To enhance (or save) his vocals, Stewart enlists the aid of some big names like Jagger, Bootsy Collins and Deee-Lite's Lady Miss Kier. Collins provides the album's only saving grace, "Jealousy," a song he pretty much makes work himself. The lyrics are repetitive, but Collins' influence serves to dilute Stewart's blah attitude. It works because it is simple.

This is Stewart's problem, his lack of simplicity. The album, which he over-produced himself, is full of weak vocals and nonsensical lyrics. Despite impressive backup, Stewart's solo effort is basically much ado about nothing. All the flash in the world couldn't cover up this mountain of mediocrity. The album is an irritating mess that sounds like the soundtrack to a bad fashion show. <I>Greetings From The Gutter<P>: I couldn't have said it better myself.

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NO SHAME IN BLACK SHEEP'S <I>NON-FICTION<P>

by Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

Black Sheep's <I>Non-Fiction<P> is a balance of aggressive rap against a mellow jazz backdrop.

After a brief intro about black sheep, the band slides into "Autobiographical." The awkward combination of mellow jazz horns and the slick rapping gel in this story about a young member of a rap band and the adventures in his life. Not a lecture on how to run our lives or a self-gratifying ego booster, the song sets the stage for the album.

"City Lights" is a seemingly mandatory chest-beating, self-centered song that talks about the band. It is also clear and smooth.

The rapping easily combines with the funk background, swaying the listener. In songs in which the jazz/rap mix is a more awkward combination, the Black Sheep are able to bring it together. Songs like "City Lights," "Me and My Brother" and "Gotta Get Up" prove the Black Sheep deserve their reputation.

In some songs, the combination lacks the impact needed. The mix in "B.B.'s," "E.F.F.E.C.T.," "Freak Y'all" and "Let's Get Cozy" leaves the listener wanting. The slow rhythm falls into a soft, repetitive pattern which, after awhile, is boring. "Do Your Thing" is reminiscent of a grumpy Arrested Development with in-your-face lyrics supported with an irritating and repetitive brass and drum background. However, these songs are the exception rather than the rule.

Overall, Black Sheep's latest combination of jazz rhythms and rap is a craft mixture of ideals and music. <I>Non-Fiction<P> may not be the social commentary some expect, but the album is worth a listen.

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<I>PIG STY<P> CAN BE FUN PLACE TO LIVE

<I>PIG STY<P>, WHICH RUNS ON UPN, CHANNEL 20, IS A COMEDY CENTERING AROUND FIVE ROOMMATES LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY.

Photo courtesy of Paramount.

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Since being launched earlier this year, the United Paramount Network has seen its share of highs and lows. Without a doubt, its biggest victory has been <I>Star Trek: Voyager<P>, which holds its own on Monday nights against the ever-popular <I>Melrose Place<P>. The rest of its programming, though, pretty much resides in the ratings cellar.

One of those basement dwellers, the new sitcom <I>Pig Sty<P>, deserves more credit than it has received. The program is written by Dan Staley and Rob Long, former co-executive producers of the Emmy-award-winning <I>Cheers<P>, and centers around a New York apartment that is home to five very different guys. Adding to the excitement (and filling the position of required sitcom babe) is the building's attractive superintendent.

Working from this seemingly run-of-the-mill premise, the writers and actors have created a show that mirrors the charm and wit of <I>Seinfeld<P> and <I>Friends<P>.

In one recent episode, Randy (played with genuine sincerity by Brian McNamara) has a huge crush on Tess, the building superintendent portrayed by Liz Vassey. Fans of <I>Beverly Hills 90210<P> and <I>All My Children<P> will remember Vassey's memorable performances on those shows. Tess disregards Randy's advances with the cool quip, "I'm a lesbian . . . at least where you're concerned."

The other characters are just as colorful. Cal Evans (David Arnott) is an ad executive whose only concern is getting ahead in his career. His sometimes underhanded schemes provide plenty of laughs.

Tim Fall is P.J., a self-described poet whose lyrical talent leaves a lot to be desired. His harmonious ode to a mime he encountered at the subway station on last week's episode amounted to the brilliant phrase, "mute muse of the underground." While P.J. refuses to sell out to corporate America, he has no problem cashing the check he gets each month from his wealthy family.

Adding to the mix is Joe "Iowa" Dantley, an idealistic doctor from the Midwest played by Sean O'Bryan. Joe is a good-hearted soul who sometimes lets his fears get the best of him. Finally, Matt Borlenghi is Johnny Barzano, an assistant district attorney who loves women, as long as they don't want a serious relationship. Borlenghi portrayed heartthrob Brian Bodine on the soap <I>All My Children<P> from 1991-93 and brings a sweet, underlying insecurity to the role of Johnny.

While <I>Pig Sty<P> hasn't been a ratings winner, there is still plenty of time to check it out. Fans of shows like <I>Ellen<P> and <I>Friends<P> will enjoy the show, which airs from 8:30-9 p.m. on UPN (that's KTXH Channel 20 to you). So go ahead and kick your shoes off and put that remote down! You'll feel right at home in the <I>Pig Sty<P>.

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