1991 SAE INCIDENT GRANTS EX-UH

STUDENT A $400,000 SETTLEMENT

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

A former UH coed who lost the tip of one of her fingers during an altercation at an off-campus fraternity party in 1991, has received a $400,000 settlement from the fraternity.

State District Judge Carolyn Clause Garcia allowed the judgment against the national organization of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, its former local chapter and Stephen Jack Ferro, 26, former SAE chapter president.

The national fraternity will likely pay the bulk of the settlement, as the UH chapter is currently on suspension by both the university and the national organization.

The incident occurred when Carrin Huber, now 25, and her boyfriend, Kevin Schramm, attended a party at the SAE fraternity house August 24, 1991.

According to a story in the August 29, 1994 issue of The Daily Cougar, SAE Risk Manager Brett Marko claimed Huber and Schramm were "asked repeatedly to leave the party after various incidents occurred at the house late that night."

Marko said the final incident began after a scuffle in which Steve Ferro, the fraternity president, was assaulted. Marko said Huber "jumped into the fight and apparently something happened; and whoever was responsible, we don't know."

Huber claimed that Ferro was the person who bit off her left pinky finger.

Ferro filed assault charges against Huber and Schramm.

A Harris County grand jury subsequently indicted Ferro for aggravated assault. A criminal court jury later convicted him.

Shortly after Huber's injury, neighbors of the fraternity accused the fraternity of making racist remarks and of terrorizing the neighborhood.

The Daily Cougar reported that Paul Pendelton, who lived next door to the SAE house at the time, said, "I have been threatened by these people. So much of what they have done and so many of their threats have been racially motivated."

Early in September 1991, the fraternity closed its house at 3036 MacGregor.

UH officials placed the fraternity on temporary suspension in November 1991.

Prior to the suspension, the national SAE office sent the UH chapter a letter saying it was seriously considering revoking the local chapter's charter. The letter said the UH chapter failed to meet 29 of 49 minimum expectations of membership, including violations of policy on hazing, alcohol and drugs.

After the biting incident and the reports of other problems at the fraternity house, the national fraternity suspended the chapter until 1996.

Huber's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said, "I think it just brings a curtain to the whole sad saga of the UH chapter of SAE. It just confirms again what the criminal trial did. "Contrary to what these kids try to say happened, none of this was Carrin Huber's fault. She was just a victim of an event that was waiting to happen, sooner or later, the way they were running that place. It also really validates what the neighbors had been saying," he said.

Hardin also said, "Obviously, you don't reach a major settlement of a case unless somebody risks considerable exposure. In this case, there was considerable exposure based on the history of that chapter."

 

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SCHOLL, FOUCHE ELECTED EDITORS IN CHIEF

by Lisa Mahfouz

Contributing Writer

Congratulations are in order for Dan Scholl, elected editor in chief of The Daily Cougar (now the second-largest daily newspaper in Houston).

"I think being editor is one of the most responsible jobs on campus, and I hope to live up to that responsibility," Scholl said.

Scholl, currently the managing editor, is a senior journalism/English major.

Valérie Fouché was also unanimously elected to her campus post as editor in chief of the Houstonian.

"I want to apply my graphics capabilities to the yearbook," said Fouché.

Fouché said she wants to reshape the "time capsule concept" of yearbook, focusing on the traditional UH college student.

A senior speech communications major, Fouché works for The Daily Cougar as the features editor and as a computer graphics artist.

Developing a marketing team to boost sales for the yearbook is one of Fouché's goals.

Both editors in chief are prepared for next semester's unrelenting challenges as editors. Although Fouché said she will miss working at the paper, she hopes her new job will open new doors between the yearbook and The Daily Cougar.

In accordance, Scholl said that all student groups need to work together, and he wouldn't post armed guards at the door.

 

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SUDDEN SELLOUT STINGS, SHOCKS

UH JOURNALISM STUDENTS

by Roslyn Lang

Daily Cougar Staff

It happened in Dallas, then in San Antonio and now in Houston.

The trend toward media monopolization continues as The Houston Post distributed its last issue Tuesday.

Although rumors and speculations about the Post's closure have been circulating for some time, journalism students at UH were devastated by Tuesday's announcement.

Fred Schiff, UH journalism professor, said the prospects for students coming out of journalism programs like UH's have dimmed.

"The Post offered internships, scholarships and jobs. Not only are those opportunities not going to be there, but because (the Post) is closing down you've got a lot of very talented reporters and editors who are filling up the job market," Schiff said.

The Post-sponsored Gallagher Scholarship recipient Michael Martin, a senior journalism major, will still receive his $1,000 scholarship for Fall 1995 but will lose his 40-hour-a-week summer internship.

Martin said, "It was a shock to me. I got my internship, and they took their tents and stole away in the night."

Martin, 45, said he has worked in the radio and TV business all of his life but decided to get a degree after he "got laid off one too many times." He said he was looking forward to seeing the newspaper side of the business but now will have to wait until after he graduates in the fall.

Martin said he recently quit his part-time job in anticipation of this internship, but has already recovered somewhat by signing up for summer classes.

"(The Post's closing) is a loss to the community and to me personally in a big dollar way," he said.

Andrea Alford, a senior communications major, said she had an interview for an internship with Post Managing Editor Martha Liebrum and Executive Editor Ernie Williamson today at 4 p.m.

She said, "I had my interview suit ready. I ironed it three times. I bought new shoes and did all my research. But, I would have been more crushed if I had already done the interview."

Alford said she felt bad for the professionals, but the best reporters will be hired. "For us, everything just kind of shrinks. When we graduate, what kind of chance have we got?"

Cheryl Luedke, senior journalism major, said she had hopes of getting a summer internship as a copy editor at the Post. Though she did not have an interview date, a letter received in early April from Liebrum left her feeling optimistic about the internship, Luedke said.

"I thought it was so hopeful, that's why it's such a shock. I wanted the Post because I wanted to stay in Houston and thought it would be a better opportunity for me. I really thought I would get it," she said.

Journalism Professor Ted Stanton, who coordinates internships for the School of Communication, said that losing the Post doesn't have a major impact on entry-level jobs.

"The conventional route for recent graduates is to start at a smaller paper. The Post reporters probably won't flood the smaller papers," he said.

The Post has often hired interns after a little experience elsewhere, Stanton said. "Losing the Post internships is disappointing. They have been very supportive and have taken three or four interns each semester for the past several years," he said.

 

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FORMER EMPLOYEES SUFFER

GREAT LOSS -- WHAT NEXT?

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

With the solemnity befitting a funeral, the Houston Post closed its doors Tuesday after publishing what few knew would be its last edition.

The closing, which ended a 111-year continuous run, was announced Tuesday at about 9:30 a.m.

Employees were told they had until 5 p.m. to remove their personal belongings from the building, which was sold to the owners of the Houston Chronicle.

"I reassured somebody just last night," said Post sports columnist Mickey Herskowitz. "Every other newspaper that goes out of business prints a farewell headline, 'Goodbye St. Louis' or 'Goodbye Los Angeles.' I said that until we see that we're safe."

The mood was bleak inside the paper, according to Marcy Basile, who had worked as a copy editor at the Post. "There are a lot of people crying that are really upset," she said.

"There was a feeling for about the last week, and (Sunday) night there was a dark cloud," Basile said. "When we walked in the door (Tuesday), they gave us a handout.

"Everybody's just kind of up in the air. There are a lot of husband-and-wife teams here that have no income now."

Photographer Elaine Thompson said, "I saw some people smoking that never smoked before. People were breaking the nonsmoking policy, and some people were drinking."

Outside the building, local media were lined up in the parking lot. Security officers in the lot kept the media from approaching the building. Former Post employees spoke to reporters, then said goodbye to colleagues and competitors they had worked with for several years.

The Post said that all employees will continue to receive their salaries for at least two months, but Basile said the insurance plan will only be good through the end of the month.

The Chronicle said it had no plans to hire any additional staff at this time. Basile said editors were calling other papers looking for jobs for their staff, and the Post offered to collect resumes and send them out en masse to other papers.

The demise of the Post makes Houston the nation's largest city with only one daily newspaper.

Retired journalism Professor Campbell Titchener said he was surprised by the closing. "I saw a copy just a few weeks ago, and I thought it looked very strong and healthy in terms of news and advertising," he said.

Professor Ted Stanton said the city of Houston will suffer greatly from the loss.

"When you take 150 reporters off the streets, the city is deprived of those people who are poking around, checking up on city government, on whether our social services are working or not and on our elected officials," he said.

A press release from the Chronicle said that Consolidated Newspapers, Inc., the Post's parent company, had been searching for a buyer since late 1994. When no buyers were found, an agreement was made with the Hearst Corp., which owns the Chronicle.

The Department of Justice reviewed the transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and decided not to challenge the deal, according to the release.

 

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OILERS NOT GOING ANYWARE WITHOUT MCNAIR

Unlike former UH stars, Alcorn State QB is definitely real deal

by William German

What will the Oilers do?

Houston's own sports Scrooge, Bud Adams, has apparently been visited by some ghosts of Oilers past, present and future and decided to loosen the purse strings.

He now has a problem: the third overall selection in Saturday's NFL draft.

I say "problem" because everyone knows who the Oilers should draft, who they <I>have<P> to draft to succeed, but I just don't think they're going to do it.

Alcorn State's Steve McNair has repeatedly left scouts' jaws permanently hanging at combines and workouts, events that some other top quarterback prospects didn't even bother to attend.

This, combined with the Oilers' current situation behind center, ought to tell them all they need to know. If Carolina and Jacksonville pass on McNair, there isn't any reason he shouldn't be playing in the Astrodome next year.

One thing does jump out. He's got the same characteristic Andre Ware and David Klingler had when they were coming out of this very school. His numbers are suspiciously good.

For the record, McNair completed 304 of 530 passes (57.4 percent) for 4,863 yards and 44 touchdowns in his senior year for the Division I-AA Braves. Those figures stack up well with Ware's in his last season (365-of-578, 4,699, 46 in 1989) or Klingler's (374-of-643, 5,140, 54) in his best year, 1990.

Both Klingler and Ware were top 10 NFL picks; both made lots of money. Although the jury is technically still out, neither so far has proven his worth in the pros.

McNair, who racked up his numbers against second-tier competition, must battle the precedents that Run-and-Shoot beneficiaries Klingler and Ware have set.

The Oilers have looked like they aren't sold on McNair, preferring instead to invest in health problems (former Los Angeles Ram) Chris Chandler and Cody Carlson.

Bad mistake.

Everyone knows college numbers don't mean everything. That's why scouts exist. The scouts love McNair. What's the problem?

Maybe the Houston Oilers and their new-and-improved payroll are just getting tired of big numbers.

 

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THE FACTS ABOUT RAPE

by Lady Oliver

Daily Cougar Staff

During April, learn all you can about rape. One good source is a pamphlet published by the Houston Area Women's Center, which gives helpful hints for women who have been violated along with some prevention methods.

Protect yourself:

• While at home, lock all the doors.

• Have adequate lighting at night.

• Don't let anyone know you live alone.

While walking:

• Walk confidently and assertively.

• Have keys in your hand so that your house or car can be immediately opened.

• Stay alert to who is around you.

When Driving:

• Drive on well-lighted streets when you can.

• Keep windows and doors locked and valuables out of sight.

• Keep your car in good condition to avoid breakdowns.

Myths that perpetuate stereotypes and increase the likelihood of rape happening:

• It can't happen to me ...

• Women who are raped are "asking for it."

• Any woman could prevent it if she really wanted to.

If Assaulted:

Report it to the police.

Call the Rape Crisis Hotline:

• for information

• for emotional support

• for accompaniment

Get Medical Attention:

• for evidence collection

• for injury assessment

• for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy testing.

Seek Long-Term Help:

• join Women's Center support groups.

• enlist family and friends.

• call the Hotline as often as needed.

• Do not try to cope alone.

REMEMBER

• It's NOT your fault, and

• You have survived.

Rape is not a crime of sex.

It is a crime of violence and

humiliation.

60% of reported rapes occur in the home.

75% of rapists use weapons or threats.

60% of reported rapes happen with some the survivor knows.

Helpful phone numbers:

Rape crisis hotline - 528-RAPE

HPD Sex Crimes Unit - 247-5451

City of Houston Sexual Assault

Program - 794-9382

UH Counseling and Testing

- 743-5454

WIRES (Women's information Referral and Exchange)- 528-2121

Harris County Sheriff's Dept.

- 221-7320

 

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ROKY'S <I>RHYME<P> ROCKS

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

You might call him eccentric or even a touch schizophrenic, but one thing Roky Erickson can never be called is forgettable.

On <I>All That May Do My Rhyme<P>, Erickson returns from a significant layoff to create an intelligently crafted folk-rock recording. Aided by such artists as Austin blues institution Lou Ann Barton, he is in good hands.

Erickson is best known as the frontman of the 13th Floor Elevators and one of psychedelia's founding fathers. His influence -- unmistakable twang, creative songwriting and all -- goes deep, as Erickson is cited by everyone from R.E.M. to Doug Sahm with having lent inspiration. However, Erickson's post-Elevators work has been spotty, with his last solo record put out in 1984, and though most would have signed him off to Trivial Pursuit world, <I>Rhyme<P> is Erickson getting the last laugh.

The new disc is a collection of new songs and five remixed cuts from his previous solo effort. Opening with the understated "I'm Gonna Free Her," Erickson and band are adept at conveying an unrequited love by someone who wants to protect another. Like many of the tracks, "I'm Gonna Free Her" is stripped down to a guitar and light accompaniment, lending to the sense of isolation. "Starry Eyes" picks up the dour mood with Lou Ann Barton's passionate vocal and Erickson's renewed energy.

Erickson is appropriately punchy on his more lively numbers and subdued when he has to be -- the mark of a seasoned professional. Where he could slip up, Erickson keeps his balance of strong guitar playing and intense vocals in check. <I>Rhyme<P> stays harmonious.

Austin's Trance Syndicate Records has been at the forefront of homegrown underground rock. The label is home for Texas' premier avant-rock act the Pain Teens of Houston as well as lesser known Austin entity Johnboy. Erickson's record, released by Trance Syndicate, is another all-Texas release, with a host of Austin players backing up the man. The chemistry here is well worth a listen, as Erickson goes from ballads to roadhouse blues without a hitch.

<I>Rhyme<P> is a credit to Erickson's perseverance and style. Though the layoff might have hurt another legendary musician, Erickson aptly shows the proof is in the pudding, and <I>Rhyme<P> is certainly a tasty treat.

 

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JURY DUTY AND PAULY SHORE FOUND GUILTY OF BLANDNESS

Photos by John P. Johnson/Tristar Pictures.

by Susan Williams

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Jury Duty<P>, starring Pauly Shore, is supposed to be a funny poke-in-the-ribs look at our judicial system. The eccentricities of the jurors are equally matched to the blandness of Tommy (Pauly Shore) as the jury foreman.

Tommy's ideal day is sleeping in the recliner in his mother's (Shelley Winters) trailer. Tommy has tried various ways of making money but finds all work "too labor-intensive." After receiving a jury summons, which he promptly throws away, he is forced to accept the inevitable because his mom goes off with the trailer to Las Vegas.

The rest of the story has Tommy, in his bland, but unenthusiastic manner, searching for just the right jury that will afford him the comforts of home, minus his mom, for as long as humanly possible.

He finally finds the right case when he enters the court of Judge Powell (Abe Vigoda), where a defendant is being tried for the murders of several employees of fast food restaurants.

The best that can be said about the actors in this film is that Tia Carrere did a lovely job playing opposite Shore. She needs better movies and better actors to show off her stuff, as in <I>True Lies.<P>

Speaking of his directorial debut, John Fortenberry says he knows what it means to allow for a free-wheeling spirit on the set, especially with Pauly Shore around. A little more spirit and a little less Shore would have made this a much funnier and more believable picture.

<I>Jury Duty<P>

Starring: Pauly Shore, Tia Carrere

Director: John Fortenberry

one star

 

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ENSEMBLE THEATRE'S LOTTO: EXPERIENCE THE DREAM NO WINNER

by Frank McGowan

Daily Cougar Staff

When you learn that the playwright of <I>Lotto: Experience the Dream<P> was a former director of television's <I>The Jeffersons<P>, you might understand the depth of this play.

The Ensemble Theatre's latest production goes to great pains not to be <I>The Cosby Show<P>, but what is delivered is nothing more than sitcom fare.

The fault does not lie with the cast, crew or even the director. The play itself is the problem. It is hard to understand why anyone would want to sit for one and a half hours to watch a story that could be told in 30 minutes.

The title of the play tells most of the story. <I>Lotto<P> introduces us to a black, urban family struggling to improve its situation in the harsh landscape of Los Angeles. The father, Horace Benson (played by Michael Washington), has been passed over for a promotion at the city public works department.

The job was given to a younger man with a fancy college degree, and Horace feels cheated because he had put in his time and deserved the promotion. He had big plans for the extra money, primarily for improving the quality of life for his wife, Pearline (Alice M. Gatling).

Pearline is nothing less than a jewel. She is the glue that holds her family together. Pearline loves and supports her husband, acts as the peacemaker for her children and tolerates the ever-complaining, blind and handicapped sister-in-law who shares her house. Together with her husband, she has managed to raise three children and send one to college. The first half of the play demonstrates their family values.

In any case, all the problems would be solved if only the family had more money. The sons, Spike (Adrian Porter) and Junebug (J.D. Hawkins), might escape their dilemma of unemployment, Horace's sister could get a prosthetic leg and the parents could stop worrying about overdrawing the bank account. So just as the family seems the most down-and-out, guess what? No secret here -- they win the lottery.

Of course, their lives improve (or do they really?), but crisis strikes and necessitates quick action for a resolution.

The cast is effective considering the material with which they are working. Gatling is strong and steady as Pearline, the center of the family unit. Horace's friend and co-worker, Lester, played by Ray A. Walker, is amusing and engaging in a bit part. The remainder of the cast are sufficient for their roles, though Washington seems too young to be playing the patriarch, Horace.

Writing is the problem here. There are many instances when the play, even though it is a comedy, could have made some important social commentary on an array of issues, including teenage pregnancy and the unemployment of young adults. Only the issue of race relations is marginally addressed.

The play reaches sitcom stature in the final scene, with a tidy wrap-up of all the loose ends. The daughter, Nett (played by Tezra Bryant), practically stands on a soap-box, shouting to the audience, "HERE IS THE MORAL OF THE STORY IF YOU ARE TOO BRAIN-DEAD TO REALIZE IT!" When this happens, it is clear how poorly this play is written.

The greatest disappointment is that the Ensemble Theatre generally selects productions that are important and entertaining. <I>Lotto<P> is neither.

Sadly, the most entertaining portions of the play are the soulful musical interludes.

What: <I>Lotto: Experience the Dream<P>

Where: Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main

When: now thru May 7

How much: $10 to $17

Phone: 520-0055

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