SEXUAL ASSAULT POLICY

COMES UNDER FIRE

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston Faculty Senate spent most of Wednesday's meeting discussing the university's interim sexual harassment and sexual assault policies.

Phyllis Powell, executive director for Affirmative Action and assistant to the president, provided copies of the current university policies and procedures. She said the interim rules were authorized for one year by President James H. Pickering, and are subject to change based on review by the Faculty Senate, the Students' Association or other appropriate university officials.

Powell said her department is interested in coming up with a policy statement that will be best for the university and for the people who are the victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault or any form of discrimination.

"We are trying to build an image, and we are also trying to serve the needs of the campus," Powell said. "Our concern is to handle each case in an expedient manner. The confidentiality of each case is most important."

Powell said her office tries to handle as many cases as possible at an "informal" level, involving only the person who made the complaint, the subject of the complaint, the staff of her office and the dean of the college involved, if necessary. "My vow is to work twice as hard at the informal level to solve complaints," she said.

According to Powell, her office has handled 125 cases this year, 40 to 45 of which are currently open.

Powell said if a case progresses beyond the informal stage, it is heard by a formal hearing board.

Faculty Senate members questioned Powell about the makeup of the Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Board. The interim policy allows the university president to appoint the members of the board, after soliciting recommendations from the Faculty Senate, the Staff Council and the Student Association.

Senator Ernst Leiss, professor of mathematics, said, "My concern is that this process is trying to mimic a legal proceeding. This is not a legal proceeding."

Sen. Janet Chafetz, professor of sociology, noted that the final decision in all cases rests with the "appropriate vice president." This would be either the senior vice president for Academic Affairs/provost, the vice president for Student Affairs or the senior vice president for Administration and Finance.

"I think you are putting all your eggs in one basket when you allow one person, such as a vice president, to make the final decision," Chafetz said. "In some cases, the last person I would want to make the final decision is the person sitting in the vice president's chair. I do not trust allowing one person that much clout."

Powell told the members of the Senate that the interim policy is intended for them to study and to recommend changes. She said she hopes they will have suggestions that will result in a permanent university policy and procedures.

In other Faculty Senate business, the assembly passed a resolution asking the Congress not to decrease the amount of federal financial aid available to college students.

 

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PERPETUAL PARK PARTY BACK, BUT NOT IN THE PARK

by Jennifer Smith

Daily Cougar Staff

Who knows how to give a real party? The Student Program Board does, according to Mina Khan, SPB director of Human Resources.

The Perpetual Park Party, the 12-hour music fair, is back and bigger than ever. Sponsored by SPB, the April 28 event will include at least nine bands. PPP will be held from noon to midnight. The annual event was first founded in 1985 and continued in its original form until last year. However, security problems at the 1993 PPP caused UH administration to insist that the 1994 PPP could only be held in conjunction with Frontier Fiesta, according to Dale Furneaux, the SPB concert co-chairman and lighting chairman.

"I think the reason was that they felt the security issue was not handled well. The administration put its foot down," Furneaux said.

Extra security precautions will be taken this year, said Furneaux. SPB will hire a professional security firm that specializes in concerts, and UHPD will be on hand, he said. Also, PPP will be held this year off Calhoun, on the site of Frontier Fiesta, which is farther away from university buildings than the usual Lynn Eusan Park site, Furneaux said.

He said that this year the event will resume its usual format of a large- and small-stage production, with local and national bands playing.

In addition, student organizations, including a pre-health fraternity, some ethnic organizations and GLOBAL, will set up tables to inform concert-goers of their purposes. Also, a Clinton impersonator will deliver a satirical address on the state of the nation. "We want to emphasize the cooperation between organizations involved," Khan said.

The large-stage bands include Ugly Americans (an alternative rock band), Horshack (a UH student rock band) and Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys (a blues band), as well as country, reggae and punk/alternative bands.

Entertainment on the small stage is scheduled for times between each large-stage band's performance. The Vietnamese Students' Association will perform an ethnic dance, and UH student bands will play as well. There will also be a showing of <I>Woodstock<P> on the small stage.

Local vendors will sell things like temporary tattoos, jewelry and T-shirts. Capitol Records will be giving away freebies like CDs, T-shirts and bumper stickers. Food and beverages will be sold by ARAMARK, the campus food service.

SPB is looking for student volunteers to provide extra security and to act as stagehands. Interested students should contact Andy Stubinski at 743-5210.

There is still room for other student organizations who wish to participate and/or perform. Student organizations should contact Dale Furneaux or Elizabeth Whitney at 743-5210.

 

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UT TRACK MEN, NOT WOMEN, TO SEE TROUBLE IN SWC CHAMPIONSHIPS

UH TO CONTEND DESPITE INJURIES

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

Time to get down to business. The track teams of the Southwest Conference will converge at Memorial Stadium in Austin this Friday and Saturday to determine the men's and women's team champions.

Houston head coach Tom Tellez said he expects a tough meet.

"It'll be a close conference championship this year," Tellez said via Wednesday's SWC coaches' conference call. "Texas, Baylor and Rice should provide good competition, but, overall, talent is very evenly distributed (throughout the rest of the SWC)."

Among the other head coaches, the consensus favorite to win the women's championship is the UT team. As for the men, the coaches believe Texas, the 1994 champion, will struggle with Baylor and Rice for this year's title.

The Houston men, however, will have a difficult task remaining competitive without sprinter/hurdler Ubeja Anderson, who is nursing a stress fracture in his right foot, and an ailing Michael Hoffer, who will not compete in the decathlon.

Both are top athletes in their events, which means the Cougars could lose a few much-needed points.

However, the rest of the men will be present and could provide a few surprises. Long jumper Sheddric Fields will compete against cross-town rival Kareem Streete-Thompson of Rice. Thompson won the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this season and also has the second-longest jump in the world this year.

Fields may also face Thompson on the track during the men's 4x100-meter relay.

Vicenzo Cox could supply the team with points in the 400 hurdles. In addition, Chris Lopez (triple jump) and Paul Lupi (800) may also score for the Cougars.

For the women, Houston could get good showings from DeMonica Davis (100) and De'Angelia Johnson (200). The two make up half of the 4x100 relay team, which has a chance to take first place.

Other potential point-providers for the women could be Christy Bench (10,000), Drexel Long (400), Lisa Duffus (100 and 400 hurdles) and Dawn Burrell (long jump).

 

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MEDIA 101: HOW STARS ARE MADE

by Scott McMillan

Contributing Writer

PULL-QUOTE:

"The media can make or break a celebrity," UH radio-and-television Professor David Donnelly said. "It's extremely difficult to become a star without access to the media."

Days after the music died in Corpus Christi, thousands of Selena's fans lined up to get a final glimpse of the fallen Tejano music star. Had she not died, said Houston Chronicle music critic Rick Mitchell, Selena might have eventually outshined Madonna in the American pop universe.

Still, Selena garnered attention from Entertainment Tonight, a nationally syndicated program aired locally on KPRC-TV. Judging from its 108,000 viewers in Houston, ET attracts a lot of "stargazers."

Psychologist Sandie Escola said, "People follow celebrities because it's human curiosity. We identify with them. They're role models. We want to be like them.

"Psychologists hypothesize that ordinary people think, 'If I'm like a star, then the star will like me and so will other people.'"

UH Department of Psychology Professor Randy Garner said, "We want to be associated with winners. We want to affiliate with positive groups and people.

"Madison Avenue pairs 'positive' celebrities with products to create a 'positive' selling market. Look at Michael Jordan. He's all over the place."

Garner said, "Placing people in 'cognitive boxes' makes things simple. It's like, 'This person is positive, and that person is negative.'"

He said intense public interest in O.J. Simpson's trial probably results from Simpson no longer fitting in the box Hollywood built for him.

In fact, UH's David Donnelly said movie studios were the first to promote glamorous star personas because studio executives learned that audiences identified with certain actors.

"Marilyn Monroe is a good example," the radio-and-television professor said. "They created a certain image that she wasn't able to live with. Nowadays, I think celebrity images are more closely aligned to reality."

"The media can make or break a celebrity," he said. "It's extremely difficult to become a star without access to the media."

He said media attention has made stars of otherwise-unnotable figures like Kato Kaelin and Rosa Lopez. He said such attention satiates the public's desire for information about celebrities' private lives, but it also makes trivial things seem important.

"Real, significant accomplishments tend not to get played up by the media," he said. In previous generations, heroes were war figures and presidents. Today, our heroes are our celebrities, but there are a lot of heroic people that aren't celebrated."

Donnelly offered an example of a single mother who raised four children by herself. He said President Clinton attempted to recognize such people in his State of the Union address. One of them was, in fact, a mother who worked herself off the welfare rolls.

Donnelly noted that this mother didn't get a "Mother-of-the-Year" award. It went to someone more glamorous -- a celebrity.

 

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ACCLAIMED HYPNOTIST CHANNELS THE FAMOUS

by Frank McGowan

Daily Cougar Staff

If you have ever wanted to see Madonna, Bill Clinton, David Letterman or Janet Jackson, but did not have either the time or money -- now is your chance. Believe it or not, you can actually see them all together under one roof.

Back by popular demand, world-renowned, Russian-born mentalist "The Incredible Boris" will be bringing his slightly irreverent look at the <I>World of Hypnosis<P> to Houston.

During his "tongue-in-cheek," choreographed performance, The Incredible Boris channels the psyches of living celebrities into his volunteers while dancing Janet-Jackson style, singing like Madonna and hosting the extravaganza a la David Letterman.

Boris has rapidly gained superstardom as the leading entertainment hypnotist. He brings his unique show to nearly 300 venues a year, selling out clubs and concert halls around the world.

The Incredible Boris is both entertaining and therapeutic. As a thank-you to his audience members for their participation, he offers a suggestion to help them overcome bad habits, such as smoking and overeating. "It's an extra benefit," Boris said.

The Incredible Boris will be performing at the Comedy Showcase from April 26th through the 30th. Tickets may be purchased by phone, by calling (713)481-1188, or in person, at 12547 Gulf Freeway.

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