UH ALUMNI ORGANIZATION BROADENS PROGRAMS
by Michael P. Martin
With a new leader and a new home, the UH Alumni Organization is pushing to expand its services to students on campus and graduates across the country, according to Ann L. Reinig, director of Programs.
Steve Hall will leave his post as director of programs for Washington State University alumni to take the helm of the UH organization as executive vice president May 1. Two days later, the alumni office will move into the new Alumni Center on Cullen, between Hofheinz Pavilion and the new Cougar Field, Reinig said.
The purpose of the Alumni Organization officially is "to enlarge and promote the value of a University of Houston degree," Reinig said. But services are also provided to students on campus seeking their degrees and to the community.
One of its best known community service projects, Reinig said, is Operation School Supplies.
"It's run in late summer," Reinig said. "We join with Randalls and Coca-Cola to collect school supplies for the needy. The public drops off the supplies at Randalls supermarkets. Volunteers from the Alumni Organization gather, box and distribute them."
Last year, 132 elementary schools in the Houston area were served by the program, she added.
For students on campus, the organization is working to develop programs to help students earn their degrees through a new student program committee, Reinig said. A fund of nearly $1 million provides 20 scholarships of $4,000 each to sons and daughters of UH alumni, and $30,000 a year is offered by the various schools within the university. And more ways to help are being explored, Reinig said.
Services to alumni are also being expanded, Reinig said. In December, the first alumni directory will be published. "It will not only be an alphabetical listing of names to help alumni locate old classmates," Reinig said, "but it will also have a listing by professions. It will enable alumni to find a Cougar pharmacist or a Cougar optometrist close to them."
Networking for alumni will also be fostered, Reinig said, and to that end, UH clubs are being formed across the nation. Nicolas J. Brines, coordinator of Programs, is working on the project.
"We have clubs in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Southern California, and virtually all areas of Texas are covered," Brines said. "But we are expanding, not only nationally, but to the rural areas of Texas as well. We're working in Brazoria and Montgomery counties, and one former student has even asked us to set up a club in College Station!"
Reinig admitted that the UH group is not as large as those of Texas A&M or the University of Texas. "We don't have as much tradition behind us, but we're working," she said. "We have 18,000 members out of a base of over 100,000. Our work is cut out for us."
One of the best ways to enable the organization to help alumni is for the alumni to show cohesiveness, Reinig said. "If every graduate displayed the UH diploma on an office wall, it would help build unity," she said.
The push to get new members seems to be working, Brines said. "One of our newest life members is an 87-year-old lady in California," he said. "She holds four degrees, some from universities in California, but we are the only alumni organization to which she belongs.
"She says her memories of the University of Houston are the fondest."
CONGRESS RAISES AX OVER FINANCIAL AID
STUDENTS FACE BLOODBATH AS HOUSE PASSES NEARLY $1 BILLION IN CUTS
by Andy Alford
Daily Cougar Staff
The Department of Education is under siege in Washington, D.C., and the existence of financial aid for every college student in America is threatened as a result.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a rescissions bill for the 1995 fiscal year, rescinding $878 million in aid to college and university students. The bill reduces federal funding for 23 programs and eliminates 11 financial aid programs altogether.
In addition, the House Budget Committee has proposed further aid-to-higher-education reductions to offset lost revenue from tax breaks promised in the Contract with America. These proposals would cut $13 billion in federal aid over the next five years.
All federally funded college-based programs, including work-study, have been targeted for termination by House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other members of the GOP.
If this were to happen, said Rob Sheridan, UH director of Financial Aid, the bill would affect 1,256 currently enrolled students.
"In my 22 years in the financial aid business, this is the first time there is a distinct threat of financial aid programs being radically altered or eliminated," Sheridan said. "It's a scary proposition. If they eliminate post-secondary education, what is going to be the effect 20 years down the road?"
U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, who voted for the rescission package, said, "Today we took the first step toward achieving a balanced budget. It is going to be back-breaking, gut-wrenching, unbelievably hard work. This is a fight to preserve the American dream for our children."
However, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley said making such deep cuts in education is like declaring war on the youth of America.
"The first casualties of this Republican revolution are America's children," Riley said.
Texas faces a $74.8 million reduction in state aid under the FY 1995 House-proposed rescission bill -- second only to California.
San Antonian Henry G. Cisneros, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said, "The Clinton administration has reduced bureaucracy. Meanwhile, the Republicans are proposing to abolish the Department of Education. I am passing along the concerns of the president concerning immensely damaging elements of the Republican proposal. The president places an immense importance on education. He believes education is our best hope."
Cisneros warned, "Dangerous things are awash on Capitol Hill. The Republicans are hammering away at him (Clinton)."
UH President James Pickering said that while he doesn't expect the bill to damage UH more or less than other national universities, "we have joined a national effort to voice our concern about educational cuts."
Pickering said UH has affiliated itself with the Alliance to Save Student Aid, an umbrella organization comprised of three groups: the American Council of Education, the National Association of Universities and Land Grant Colleges, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities.
If students wish to get involved, said Pickering, "I think they should write their local representatives and express their concern about federal scholarship and loan money being cut from the federal budget.
"If loans aren't available, some students are not going to college at all, or they will work between semesters, thereby dragging out their college time," he said.
UH Students' Association President Angie Milner said she is distressed by the lack of response by UH students to the threat of education cuts.
"I sent memos to all student organizations on campus -- that's over 300 organizations -- and I got not one response," Milner said.
"Students don't want to worry about it right now. They can't see what effect it's going to have in the long run," she said. "We're all involved in our own little worlds. We're not thinking about tomorrow."
Milner said all students need to write letters to their representatives and senators.
"One-liners on postcards, letters on scratch pads -- whatever. We need to flood Washington, D.C., with letters," Milner said. "Because they're not hearing our voices, they are assuming we agree."
Milner said faculty should also motivate students.
"Freshman English composition classes should all be writing letters for extra-credit grades," she said.
Milner said though the bill has already passed in the House, "it still has to get through the Senate. There is still time to make an impact."
RECYCLED PAPER WORTH HIGHER PRICE, CLIENTS SAY
by Scott McMillan
Government waste: At the University of Houston, it means at least 10 tons of office paper, five tons of cardboard and one ton of computer paper discarded in January, the Physical Plant's Alan McCraw said.
Such "post-consumer" waste doesn't go to landfills, however. McCraw said it's sent off for recycling, so what once was trash becomes another person's treasure.
Houston Printing Executive Jimmy Sieford said, "Used to be, clients didn't want 'trash' (paper) in their prints. Now they'll pay for it."
Sieford, vice president of sales for Beasley Printing Co., said recycled paper is more expensive for clients, but that the cost is worth the public relations potential of a print labeled "Made With Recycled Paper."
He added that clients sometimes request such prints be made with soy-based ink, which is more environmentally safe than other inks.
"The printing industry recycles itself," Sieford said, adding that the industry began recycling before it became politically correct, mainly for economic reasons.
Vista Fiber representative Ed Linares said higher-grade paper like computer paper or bond paper brings a better price than newsprint or cardboard. Nonetheless, he said, newsprint is in demand.
"The wastepaper market is a commodity market," Linares said. "It's cyclical. The demand went up when the Champion Paper Plant came on line."
He said the supply of newsprint is plentiful in Houston because of the number of homes and schools in the area that use it, adding that Vista can produce as much recycled newsprint as raw product if the latter isn't damaged prior to arriving at the plant. He said low-grade recycled paper is often used again as newsprint, or turned into tissue paper.
Erwin Kainer, an Olmsted-Kirk Paper Co. salesman, said, "Waste material makes up about 20 percent of the content in recycled paper. There are very few 100 percent recycled paper products."
A large portion of recycled paper comes from "mill broke," excess paper trimmed off big rolls in plants, he said. He added, however, that less than 8 percent of the finished product is from recycled waste.
"The number of trees we've used has gone down a percentage point or two," Kainer said. "Trees are not the problem."
He said three trees are grown for every two harvested, and that forestry science has reduced the maturation period of a tree to 12 years from 25 years. He added that he thinks recycling paper has "absolutely" helped benefit the environment.
"The big problem now is landfills," he said. "No one wants a garbage dump in their back yard."
COUGARS TREATED TO SCHOOLING
AGGIES TEACH UH BASEBALL LESSON IN 4-GAME SWEEP
by William German and
Daily Cougar Staff
The Houston Cougars baseball team was taken to the "Mark Johnson School of Baseball" as the Cougars dropped a four-game series to the Texas A&M Aggies (22-13-1, 7-4 in the Southwest Conference) over the weekend at the new Cougar Field.
The Cougars (16-20, 0-11) are having a hard time defensively as the Aggies scored a total of 30 runs in the series.
"Baseball is a funny game," A&M head coach Mark Johnson said after the fourth Aggie victory. "Houston will come back, but right now, they are snake-bit."
The Cougars looked up from holes throughout most of Saturday's games, dropping the first game 10-4 and the nightcap 9-5.
Starters David Hamilton and Jon McDonald were both roughed up early, making quick exits. Hamilton lasted three-and-one-third innings, giving up four runs; McDonald was pulled after three innings and five earned runs.
"Our starting pitching was extremely poor today," Houston coach Rayner Noble said after Saturday's sweep. "They were pitching up in the zone and making the wrong pitches to the wrong hitters."
Four of those pitches found their way over the fences, part of an 11-3 Aggies advantage in extra-base hits. A&M outfielder Ryan Huffman racked up two home runs and a triple on the day, going 5-of-8 while scoring five runs and knocking in five.
Houston's own offense seemed to come a little late, as the Cougars got three runs in the final inning of the first game and four in the last three innings of the second. They simply faced deficits too large to overcome.
"I don't know how to explain it," Houston third baseman Tom Maleski (combined 2-for-9, two RBIs) said of the rallies that could-have-been. "We just never put together the right hit or the right defensive play at the right time."
In the first game, the two teams traded scoreless frames for three innings before the Aggies broke through for four runs off Hamilton (1-5) in the fourth. An error by Maleski with runners on the corners pushed the first run across, then Huffman pulled a hanging inside curve way out of the park to left for a 4-0 Aggie lead.
A&M added four more in the top of the fifth on five hits, three of which coming with two outs and men in scoring position. That was it for left-handed starter Justin Atchley, who worked all seven innings to improve to 5-2.
The second game was similar. Cougars freshman lefty Jon McDonald was unable to find his groove, balking in a run from third with two outs in the first and walking four overall, three of which helped make the score 5-0.
"McDonald pitched like a freshman today," Noble said of McDonald, who has made a team-leading nine starts. "He hadn't done that most of the year, but he did today."
The Cougars got to winner John Sneed (3-2) late. After shortstop Jason Smiga walked on four straight pitches with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Houston was within 7-3 with second baseman Rey Trevino at the plate.
On a 1-2 count, he smacked a hard shot into the hole, but A&M shortstop Robert Harris made a splendid play to his right and got the force at second with the sacks full.
Sunday's first game, originally slated to be just seven innings, went a total of 10 and ended with the Aggies handing the 4-1 loss to Houston relief pitcher Chad Poeck (2-2, 4.63 ERA).
Cougars lefty John Box (3-4, 3.89 ERA) started against the Aggies, but received a no-decision as he went four-and-one-third innings, allowing six hits and one run with two strikeouts.
The Aggies were up 1-0 in the first inning as designated hitter David Minor hit a single and later scored on a double from third baseman Jason Stephens.
Houston answered in the third with a single from centerfielder Dustin Carr, which was followed by two wild pitches from Dean Mitchell, putting Carr at third base with one out.
Cougars second baseman Brad Gray brought Carr in with a sacrifice fly to left field, knotting the score at 1-1.
The Cougars had a chance to go on top in the eighth as Carr opened the inning with a single and was moved to second as Gray threw down a sacrifice bunt.
Carr got as close as third, but the Cougar bats could not bring him home.
"We had no hitting," Noble said. "We had good opportunities to win, but we didn't capitalize on them."
The Aggies' William Schifflett scored the winning run from second in the 10th inning as leftfielder Chris Scott booted a Chad Alexander single.
A&M added two more runs before they were done.
The Cougars were shook up for the second game -- never getting a runner past second base.
"We need to get back to basics," Noble said. "We are too emotional, and we're not staying focused."
Jason Farrow (3-4, 3.49 ERA) started for the Cougars, but didn't last long as the Aggies started the attack in the second with another home run, this time a two-run shot, from Huffman and was quickly followed by a single-run blast by Robert Harris, making the score 3-0.
A&M tacked on another four runs, giving the Cougars an eventual 7-0 loss.
"We need to improve," Noble said. "And from where we are, anything will be an improvement."
MUSIC INDUSTRY LOSES TWO STARS
by Jenalia Moreno
Daily Cougar Staff
In less than one week, the tragic deaths of two music stars have rocked their respective industries as well as two minority communities.
Tejano singing star Selena, 23, was killed by a single gunshot wound Friday.
On March 26, rapper Eazy E died of asthma related to AIDS.
Selena's full name was Selena Quintanilla Perez. Her alleged murderer is Yolanda Saldivar, 34, who had been fired the day before from Selena Etc., a Corpus Christi boutique owned by the singer, over alleged financial mismanagement. Selena died at 1:05 p.m. at the Memorial Medical Center in Corpus Christi.
Selena began her singing career with the Quintanilla family band, Los Dinos, when she was 9. As her fame grew, the band became Selena y Los Dinos, and Selena was the star. Many have called her a Tejano version of Madonna for her risque style of dress and flashy showmanship. Nowhere was her appeal and drawing power more evident than at this year's Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where Selena attracted 61,000 people for her February performance.
Selena won six statuettes at the Tejano Music Awards in February for her release <I>Amor Prohibido (Forbidden Love)<P>. She won a Grammy in 1994 for her <I>Selena Live<P> release. Selena was working on tracks for her first English-language release at the time of her death. It was expected to be the first pop crossover of a major Tejano artist.
Selena's murder is a blow for Tejano music. She was a superstar in every sense of the word and is credited with revitalizing Tejano music even though she was not even born when Tejano's progenitor, Tex-Mex, came into being. Selena's showbiz good looks, outgoing personality and commitment to helping youngsters helped to win even more attention than her considerable singing talent. While still a multiplatinum-selling singer, Selena was also unique in her accessibility to fans and the public at large.
On Sunday -- what would have been Selena's third wedding anniversary -- a public viewing of Selena's casket in Corpus Christi drew an estimated 25,000 people. The family has opted for a private funeral service today.
Last week, another music superstar passed away in a sudden and shocking manner. While his life was hardly that of a role model, in many ways, his death was almost as sobering as the death of Selena.
Eazy E, whose birth name was Eric Wright, died of complications related to AIDS.
A former drug dealer, Wright was the guiding force behind N.W.A., one of hip-hop's most influential acts. It was the first to popularize "gangsta rap" via 1988's <I>Straight Outta Compton<P>, released by Wright's Ruthless Records.
The band's profane tales of drugs, violence and police brutality were blasted by parents, police unions and even the FBI as crude, sexist and advocating violence. With little radio play, N.W.A. sold 2 million copies of <I>Compton<P> and was tagged "the Sex Pistols of rap" by <I>Spin<P>.
N.W.A.'s follow-ups, <I>100 Miles and Runnin'<P> and <I>Niggaz4Life<P>, respectively, were recorded without primary songwriter Ice Cube, who left the band over money disputes. N.W.A. member Dr. Dre left soon after, citing similar problems. Dre and Wright feuded bitterly, but reconciled shortly before Wright's death.
Wright, who had recorded a solo album, <I>Eazy Duz It<P>, in 1988, became a solo artist after N.W.A.'s breakup, releasing <I>It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa<P> in 1993.
Wright was quoted as saying he viewed hip-hop in a strictly entrepreneurial sense, which prompted some to deride his commitment to the music scene. While selling anti-cop records, Wright ate dinner with President Bush in the White House in 1990 at a $2,500-per-plate Republican appreciation dinner -- a fact Ice Cube assailed him for on the single "No Vaseline." However, regardless of opinions of Wright personally, no one can deny the impact of he and N.W.A. not only changing the sound of hip-hop, but also altering the American popular-culture landscape.
It was unclear how and when Wright had contracted AIDS, which he announced March 16. Wright stated he was neither an intravenous drug user, nor a homosexual -- two groups in the high-risk categories for AIDS. "I've learned in the last week that this thing is real, and it doesn't discriminate," he said in a statement read by his attorney. "It affects everyone."
An outdoor hip-hop benefit in Wright's name is being organized in Los Angeles. It is to take place at an unspecified date this summer.