WHERE DO COMPUTER USE FEES GO?

by Robert Schoenberger

News Reporter

Every UH student pays a $50 Computer Use Fee. Many students would like to know where that money goes and why. The administration could be asking the same question.

In 1992, The Daily Cougar tried to learn the formula that determined how the Computer Use Fee was divided between departments. The director of Information Technology at the time, Ira Weiss, refused to release the formula. Weiss was eventually fired.

After Charles Shomper, assistant vice president of Information Technology, took over the position of decision-making in the allocation of the Computer Use fees, he decided to divide Weiss' allocations into two parts.

"I took 75 percent of (Weiss') numbers as a base allocation, and put the rest into a supplemental fund," said Shomper. "The supplemental fund is distributed by the Academic Computer Advisory Committee."

The ACAC listens to proposals from the colleges, ranks the proposals and funds the best ones, said Betty Bollinger, the ACAC representative for the College of Architecture. "Not every college has submitted proposals, and not every proposal is accepted."

"Before (Shomper took over Information Technology), the committee was less evenly distributed," Bollinger said. "There was more representation for Engineering and other colleges."

In 1993, the Law Center received no supplementary funds, lowering its allocation by 25 percent. Administrative Finance Supervisor Dennis Boyd complained at the time, but said things have gotten better since.

"I have not heard any complaints in a couple of years, and I am the person who would hear," Boyd said. In 1994, the Law Center received $30,000 from the ACAC and $139,972 in 1995.

Most Colleges benefitted from the change in allocation procedure, according to a Computer Use Fee Allocation Report from Shomper's office. The Graduate School of Social Work was the only College to receive a smaller portion of the Computer Use Fee at a .045 percent drop.

The highest losses came from Information Technology and the M.D. Anderson Library. Information Technology receives 50.04 percent of the Computer Use Fee's base allocation, but only 40.53 percent of the potential total allocation.

Information Technology, which includes Central Computing Services in the Social Work Building, was already lowering its budget when the drop occurred, but it wasn't enough. Shomper said, "We probably didn't provide all of the services our customers wanted."

The library receives 20.13 percent of the base allocation but only 15.6 percent of the potential total.

"If the Student Library Fee had not been approved, the reduction to 75 percent of the full amount would have been drastic," said Library Director Robin Downes.

The big winners from the change in funding are the Law Center at a 1.53 percent gain; the College of Health, Fine Arts and Communication at 2.26 percent; the College of Business Administration at 1.66 percent; and the College of Engineering at 3.09 percent.

The ACAC has formed a subcommittee to consider changing the base allocation, said Shomper, but it has not met yet.

"There just isn't enough money to do all the things we would like to," said Seth Chandler, the ACAC representative from the Law Center. "If there were, there would be no point in having a competitive process."

 

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SWEET REVENGE: TIME TO GRADE YOUR TEACHERS

by Shahida Amin

News Reporter

The tables are turned. With the end of the semester approaching, now is the time to grade those who've done the grading until now.

University policy requires each professor's performance in all classes be evaluated by students, said David L. Jacobs, professor of art and department chairman.

"On our campus, that is one of the central ways we have to know about classroom performance," said Terrell Dixon, co-director of the Scholars' Community and professor of English.

Filled out in the last weeks of the semester, the evaluations generally ask students questions like "How do you rate the overall effectiveness of the professor?" and "Was the professor prepared for each class?" Students are asked to rate each question on a scale of 1 to 5.

Additional comments are also encouraged, and each evaluation is always kept anonymous, according to Jacobs.

"Those evaluations remain sealed until the final grades are turned in," he said.

After final exams, evaluations are taken to the Measurement and Evaluation Center in the Student Service Center, where scores are tallied.

"They are returned to us in the form of averages," Jacobs said. "All of the averages from all of the students are tabulated on a master sheet."

The written comments and the averages of each professor's performance are given to the professor and the department chair, Jacobs said.

"The department looks at this as a very important process," he said. "It's an opportunity for students to talk back to the professors. (Professors do) with them what they see fit."

English Professor Dixon said he thinks evaluations are important and he reads students' comments carefully.

"You've got to listen to the people who are listening to you," Dixon said. "I'm always interested in written student response to reading assignments. They are especially important in helping me get reading assignments that will engage students."

Students' evaluations of professors also become important factors in cases of choosing affiliates, rehiring part-time professors and giving tenures and promotions, Jacobs said.

In addition, copies of professors' evaluations are on display for students to view on the third floor of M.D. Anderson Library, near the reserves section.

"I think, more than anything, (evaluations) give professors feedback from students," Jacobs said. "They help them teach better. They're not just supposed to be a measure of success but a way of improving things."

 

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BUSINESS FOR RUSSIA PROGRAM

OFFERS CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

by Maike van Wijk

News Reporter

The University of Houston's Career Planning and Placement Center might soon be duplicated in Russia. Intern Alexander "Sasha" Krivonosov from Voronezh, Russia, is observing the center to see his vision for his company in tangible form.

Krivonosov, 22, is one of 15 Russian executives participating in "Business for Russia," an internship program arranged by the Institute for International Education. During his two-week stay at UH, Krivonosov wants to draw up a business plan for his company.

"We want to help students plan their careers and are looking for private tutors for them," said Krivonosov. "We want to set up a database to provide information about universities, their students and employment needs."

As a senior at Voronezh University, Krivonosov began an educational consulting firm with his friends. He said that university deans in Russia, who are also career advisers, don't really have time to pay attention to students' individual needs.

The students participating would pay an entrance fee, but the prospective employers would finance most of the services, said Krivonosov.

David Small, assistant vice president for Student Services, coordinates Krivonosov's internship activities. He said Krivonosov is primarily interested in technology and the career services.

"A good deal of activity is generated in job placement in Russia. Sasha's company is in part interested in career development issues and automation. He has a lot of access to technology for job search here," said Small.

Krivonosov said he likes Job Bank Voicelink, a service through which students have access to job openings from a touch-tone telephone. Drew Arnold, student employment coordinator, maintains those systems and works with prospective employers.

Arnold said he was surprised that Krivonosov was so familiar with the Internet. "He's taking advantage of the opportunities that come with the turmoil (in his country). It is a neat idea to form this business and help others in career opportunities," he said.

"America is like a model as far as capitalist nations go. What's happening with the Mir space station is indicative of what will happen in partnerships with the rest of the world," Arnold said, referring to the cooperation of Russia and the United States in space.

Small said Krivonosov's stay has been mutually beneficial. "The staff has learned a great deal about Russia and the emerging enterprise system there," he said.

Krivonosov has attended career planning workshops, visited the International Student and Scholar Services and explored the library. "I like the computer networks in the library," he said.

The internship program, "Business for Russia" began in 1994. "Our program goal is for Russian executives to bring the knowledge they obtained about the free market system, entrepreneurships and management skills back to their respective companies," said Shing-Hwa Cheung, coordinator.

Both the American and Russian governments participate in the selection process, she said. "The Russians advertise for applicants throughout the nation. A group is chosen and interviewed in English. The selection is based on the level of experience (of the applicants) and the desire to use what they learn in their business," Cheung said.

Krivonosov is not unfamiliar with American culture. He studied American history at Voronezh State University and was in New York two years ago. His concentration is colonial history, particularly early Puritan ideology.

"America had the chance to form a society in accordance with (its) own ideologies. It is interesting to see what worked and didn't work, and what ideas survived," he said.

"The colonies were founded on strict ideologies and were intolerant of other ideas at first. But later on, they moved from intolerance to tolerance, with the civil rights, for example."

He studied at Hamilton College, Clinton, N. Y., from fall 1992 through spring 1993. Upon graduation from Voronezh State University in 1994, he immediately obtained a teaching position there, Krivonosov said. The University has about 4,000 students, he said.

"People often ask me how I feel about the future of Russia. (The transition) will take more time than people think it will. It'll be difficult, but for the long-term, I am optimistic," he said.

However, when it comes to his personal life, Krivonosov prefers short-term planning. "In the current situation, you can't plan for many years, because there will always be disappointments," he said.

He said, "For next year, I want to complete my requirements for a doctorate study and continue to work as a teacher. I also want to stabilize my business. lt is difficult in Russia to plan ahead."

 

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BUSINESS FOR RUSSIA PROGRAM

OFFERS CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

by Maike van Wijk

News Reporter

The University of Houston's Career Planning and Placement Center might soon be duplicated in Russia. Intern Alexander "Sasha" Krivonosov from Voronezh, Russia, is observing the center to see his vision for his company in tangible form.

Krivonosov, 22, is one of 15 Russian executives participating in "Business for Russia," an internship program arranged by the Institute for International Education. During his two-week stay at UH, Krivonosov wants to draw up a business plan for his company.

"We want to help students plan their careers and are looking for private tutors for them," said Krivonosov. "We want to set up a database to provide information about universities, their students and employment needs."

As a senior at Voronezh University, Krivonosov began an educational consulting firm with his friends. He said that university deans in Russia, who are also career advisers, don't really have time to pay attention to students' individual needs.

The students participating would pay an entrance fee, but the prospective employers would finance most of the services, said Krivonosov.

David Small, assistant vice president for Student Services, coordinates Krivonosov's internship activities. He said Krivonosov is primarily interested in technology and the career services.

"A good deal of activity is generated in job placement in Russia. Sasha's company is in part interested in career development issues and automation. He has a lot of access to technology for job search here," said Small.

Krivonosov said he likes Job Bank Voicelink, a service through which students have access to job openings from a touch-tone telephone. Drew Arnold, student employment coordinator, maintains those systems and works with prospective employers.

Arnold said he was surprised that Krivonosov was so familiar with the Internet. "He's taking advantage of the opportunities that come with the turmoil (in his country). It is a neat idea to form this business and help others in career opportunities," he said.

"America is like a model as far as capitalist nations go. What's happening with the Mir space station is indicative of what will happen in partnerships with the rest of the world," Arnold said, referring to the cooperation of Russia and the United States in space.

Small said Krivonosov's stay has been mutually beneficial. "The staff has learned a great deal about Russia and the emerging enterprise system there," he said.

Krivonosov has attended career planning workshops, visited the International Student and Scholar Services and explored the library. "I like the computer networks in the library," he said.

The internship program, "Business for Russia" began in 1994. "Our program goal is for Russian executives to bring the knowledge they obtained about the free market system, entrepreneurships and management skills back to their respective companies," said Shing-Hwa Cheung, coordinator.

Both the American and Russian governments participate in the selection process, she said. "The Russians advertise for applicants throughout the nation. A group is chosen and interviewed in English. The selection is based on the level of experience (of the applicants) and the desire to use what they learn in their business," Cheung said.

Krivonosov is not unfamiliar with American culture. He studied American history at Voronezh State University and was in New York two years ago. His concentration is colonial history, particularly early Puritan ideology.

"America had the chance to form a society in accordance with (its) own ideologies. It is interesting to see what worked and didn't work, and what ideas survived," he said.

"The colonies were founded on strict ideologies and were intolerant of other ideas at first. But later on, they moved from intolerance to tolerance, with the civil rights, for example."

He studied at Hamilton College, Clinton, N. Y., from fall 1992 through spring 1993. Upon graduation from Voronezh State University in 1994, he immediately obtained a teaching position there, Krivonosov said. The University has about 4,000 students, he said.

"People often ask me how I feel about the future of Russia. (The transition) will take more time than people think it will. It'll be difficult, but for the long-term, I am optimistic," he said.

However, when it comes to his personal life, Krivonosov prefers short-term planning. "In the current situation, you can't plan for many years, because there will always be disappointments," he said.

He said, "For next year, I want to complete my requirements for a doctorate study and continue to work as a teacher. I also want to stabilize my business. lt is difficult in Russia to plan ahead."

 

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MILNER SELECTED AS DOLPHINS FIRST-ROUND PICK

COUGARS OFFENSIVE TACKLE HEADS LIST OF SWC PLAYERS TAKEN IN 1995 NFL DRAFT

By Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

Eight trades and nine different deals in the first 33 picks marked a whirlwind of wheeling and dealing during the 60th NFL draft Saturday.

This included the first-round selection of Houston standout offensive tackle Billy Milner to the Miami Dolphins as the 25th pick overall.

Milner was the first Southwest Conference player selected in a draft largely dominated by offense (the first five players selected overall were all offensive players).

The 6-5, 290-pound Milner was also UH's first top round pick since 1992 when the Cincinnati Bengals selected record-setting quarterback David Klingler as the draft's seventh selection.

"It feels great (to be drafted), it is a dream come true for a kid like me," Milner said of his taking off of the UH red and white in favor of the Dolphins' blue and green.

"I am so happy, I can't believe I have the opportunity to play for the greatest coach ever," he said, referring to his future schooling from Miami head coach Don Shula. "It is something I can't put into words."

Milner will bring finessed quickness and fundamental skills to an aging Dolphins offensive line (right tackle Ron Heller is 33 and left tackle Tim Irwin is 36) which will try to protect future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

Blake Brockermeyer, a Texas offensive tackle, was another top prospect. He was selected in the first round as the 29th overall pick and third selection of the expansion Carolina Panthers.

Brockermeyer, the fifth tackle taken in the draft, dropped in most scouts' eyes due to his coming out a year early following his junior season.

"Brockermeyer needed one more year of experience and additional work on fundamentals, which led to his dropping some slots," said draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. on ESPN Saturday.

The Southwest Conference placed eight players in the NFL this year via the draft, including a pair of second-round Texas Christian teammates, wide receiver Jimmy Oliver and center Barrett Robbins.

Oliver, selected by San Diego, brings burner speed (4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash) to the Chargers, while Robbins adds bulk (6-3 and 305 pounds) to the Los Angeles Raiders.

The Houston Oilers selected All-Southwest Conference running back Rodney Thomas (89th overall) out of Texas A&M with one of three third-round picks.

Texas wide receiver Lovell Pickney hurt his chances in the draft this year, largely because most NFL teams questioned his combination of size and speed.

Too small to play tight end (6-4, 248), where blocking involves half of the tight end's assignments, Pickney dropped to the fourth round before being picked by the St. Louis Rams Sunday, who may use him as a back receiver.

Pickney should be an effective receiver out of the backfield against linebackers who will have trouble covering him with his height and leaping ability.

 

 

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LADY LONGHORNS GO UNBLEMISHED TO SWEEP THROUGH SWC TENNIS TOURNEY

HOUSTON ENDS SEASON WITH 6-0 FIRST-ROUND LOSS TO AGGIES

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

The 1995 season mercifully came to a close for the Houston tennis team as it lost to Texas A&M 6-0 during the first round of the Southwest Conference women's tennis tournament Friday in College Station's Omar Smith Center.

The seventh-seeded Cougars (5-16) had to default two matches to the second-seeded Aggies (11-11) because of injuries, and didn't finish their No. 1 singles match with Houston's Susanne Andersson and the Aggies' Nancy Dingwall.

"It's difficult to win when you have to default two matches against a team like A&M," said Houston coach Stina Mosvold.

Said A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke: "I feel sorry for Houston. (Injuries) have hampered them all year. But they didn't give us a thing. We had to come out and play well."

The Aggies ended up advancing all the way to Sunday's final against top-seed Texas (22-3) before losing to the Longhorns 5-0.

A&M beat third-seed Rice (16-6) 5-3 Sunday in a match that was supposed to have been played Saturday, but was postponed due to rain.

As for Texas, it swept through the tournament, winning 15 straight individual matches out of three team matches.

For Houston, Andersson (No. 68 in the country) might be invited to compete in nationals, but Mosvold said she would know more about that possibility at a later time.

"I don't know about Susanne right now," Mosvold said. "I'm going to make some phone calls this week and see what happens.

Rounding out the rest of the entire weekend's tourney, the champion Texas downed last-seed Texas Tech (6-14) 5-0 and fifth-seed Southern Methodist (10-13) took care of Baylor (9-6) 5-3 in Friday's morning matches.

In addition to A&M's victory over the Cougars, Rice beat Texas Christian (9-12) later that afternoon.

Saturday's morning contest had Texas over SMU 5-0.

 

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CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND

BIGGER, LUPI LEAD UH TRACK IN SWCS

SOME STRONG SHOWINGS DESPITE 7TH-PLACE FINISH

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite the inclement weather this weekend, the Houston track teams managed to see a few championship performances.

The shifting wind caused problems for most competitors at the Southwest Conference Outdoor Track Championships when a cold front rolled into Austin Saturday.

However, two Cougars men managed to ride that wind towards 1995 championships, despite the team finishing seventh (with 49 points) out of the eight competing teams.

Kenneth Bigger overcame the elements and became the SWC high jump champion with a jump of 7 feet, 0.5 inches.

"It feels great to have won conference," Bigger said. "I thought I might make some noise because I've had some good workouts this year."

Said coach Tom Tellez: "Kenneth is just so steady. That is one of the things that make him so good."

Another senior, Paul Lupi, surprised some people by upsetting Cory Cotton of Texas in the 800-meter run. Cotton led for the first 700 meters, but was caught off guard as Lupi went ahead of him.

"The last 100, I saw myself coming up on Cory, and I told myself to beat him," said Lupi, who said he is happy to graduate a champion.

Sheddric Fields landed into third place in the long jump with a wind-irritated leap of 25-1/4. Decathlete Michael Hoffer also scored points in the event, finishing in sixth place (23-10 3/4). Hoffer, arguably the top decathlete in the SWC, was able to run but did not participate in the decathlon due to a sore shoulder.

In the pole vault, junior Nathan Labus won third place with a 16-8 3/4 mark. Senior Chris Lopez also scored points, finishing third in the triple jump.

Other men to supply points were Vicenzo Cox (400 hurdles, fourth) and Oscar Bauman (10,000, fifth).

The women's team, which finished sixth (with 47 points), managed to give a strong showing behind a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash by junior DeMonica Davis, who also scored with a fifth-place finish in the 200.

Lisa Duffus won third place in both the 100 and 400 hurdles. Dawn Burrell scored in two events: fourth in the long jump and sixth in the 100 hurdles.

Other top women finishers were De'Angelia Johnson (200, fourth), Drexel Long (400, fifth), Sherell Baker (800, eighth) and Ebony Washington (400 hurdles, sixth). The women's 4x100 relay team finished third.

 

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UH FALLS ONE SHORT ONCE AGAIN

LOST CHANCE IN 10TH LEADS TO 4-3 LOSS AT NO. 11 SOONERS

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

The game was hauntingly familiar. A tough opponent, a stalwart Cougars performance, a one-run loss.

The Houston Cougars baseball squad suffered a 4-3 setback Friday at Norman, Okla. against No. 11 Oklahoma. The heartbreaker was all Houston (21-25 overall) would see of the defending national champion Sooners, as Saturday's game was rained out.

Freshman rightfielder Brian Shackelford tied the game at 3-3 for the Sooners (29-10) with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning off Jason Farrow, who relieved starter Kevin Boyd after eight strong innings.

Shortstop Rich Hills scored on Shackelford's hit, then gave Farrow (4-5) the loss in the 10th with a bases-loaded knock.

"We played pretty well," Houston head coach Rayner Noble said. "We got good pitching; Kevin Boyd threw an outstanding game.

"(OU) made the plays when they needed to, and we just didn't."

The key play in the game for the Cougars was easy to spot by looking at the game statistics. In the top of the 10th, Houston had a bases-loaded, no-outs situation on lefty Toby Wilmot (2-1).

First baseman Carlos Perez, batting third in the lineup and co-leader on the team with 30 RBIs, hit a short fly to left field. Rey Treviño, the runner at third, was sent home, but Sooners left fielder Bobby Brown gunned him down at the plate for a double play.

The next hitter, Farrow, beat out an infield hit. Catcher Brandon Milam then lined a shot back to Wilmot, who snagged the ball to get himself the win.

"(Sending Treviño) was a big gamble, but I thought he could have made it," Noble said of the decision at third base. "Brown was directly behind third and he had to make a perfect throw to get Rey."

Houston took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a two-run triple by left fielder Chris Scott (3-for-5, two RBIs). The Sooners tied it in their half of the sixth on the senior Hills' first of two RBIs and three hits, scoring Brown.

The Cougars then took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth when Dustin Carr's hit scored Milam, who reached via a walk to start the inning.

Boyd, who allowed three earned runs in eight innings, started the bottom half of the frame, but was pulled on Mills' leadoff double.

 

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ARMISTEAD OPTOMETRIC SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED

by Jessica Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

An endowment fund has been established to support in perpetuity a scholarship to awarded annually in the name of Billy W. Armistead in memory of his many deeds benefiting the profession of optometry and the UH College of Optometry.

The scholarship will be awarded to a third-year professional student enrolled at the College of Optometry who shows excellence in the basic and optometric sciences and demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities.

Armistead, 75, of Littlefield, Texas, died March 17 from a sudden illness. He was the brother of former UH Regent and optometrist J. Davis Armistead.

Armistead began his practice in Littlefield in 1959 and continued through 1986. He then practiced part-time with J. Davis Armistead, Van Moore, David Gibson and George Payne, Jr. of Levelland, Texas. He served as president of the South Plains Optometric Society and the Texas Optometric Association and was a member since 1940 of the American Optometric Association.

In addition, Armistead authored articles for publications including the Journal of the American Optometric Association, the Journal of the Texas Optometric Association, Optical Journal & Review of Optometry, Optometric Weekly and Optical World.

Armistead was active in the community. He was mayor of Littlefield from 1963-1965 and a member of the Texas State Employees Retirement Board for four years.

Scholarship contributions may be sent to the Dr. Billy W. Armistead Scholarship Fund, c/o Dean's Office, College of Optometry, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-6052.

 

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SOULFUL BOXING GANDHIS TO PERFORM

Boxing Gandhis will perform with Big Head Todd and the Dave Matthews Band on Thursday at the International Ballroom.

Photo by Lori Stoll/Mesa Records

by Deanna Koshkin

Daily Cougar Staff

Boxing Gandhis' new self-titled release has been unleashed via Mesa Records. Boxing Gandhis features a funky soul alternative that gives a sharp new edge to the music scene.

This seven-member band hails from Los Angeles, where the group has recently finished its project after several years of hard work and dedication. The group's powerful vocals combine with its rootsy instrumentals and diverse sound to give it a truly unique blend. Each individual song contains a new and different sound, demonstrating the band's wide spectrum of variety.

Individually, the members of Boxing Gandhis have performed with dozens of top music artists, including Robert Palmer, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Kenny Loggins, among others. The band has also produced, written and recorded music for films, television and commercials.

Vocalist and guitarist David Darling, who single-handedly performed most of the 12 tracks on the album, said, "I like my day job...it's great, but I've always had a need to create my own sound, even though it didn't seem to fit in anywhere."

Darling formed the band in 1991 with vocalist Brie, whom he later married, and his "family of musicians." With help from its producer, Tom Weir, the band was signed to a major label only a couple of years after the group began playing in local clubs.

Boxing Ghandis' collection of songs include strong social messages as well as those meaningless songs written to fill time and space. One of its stronger songs is "First", written to convey messages about the turmoils of war and other political issues plaguing the nation. This is one of its heavier songs, embedded with a deep message.

Boxing Gandhis comes alive with its soulful fusion of lyrics. Boxing Gandhis' fresh, innovative and original style is sure to leave you entranced. Catch the band on Thursday at the International Ballroom, performing with Big Head Todd and the Dave Matthews Band.

 

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<I>TOMMY BOY<P> NOT WORTH BIG SCREEN

by Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Saturday Night Live<P> actor Chris Farley is Curly, Moe and Larry rolled into one in <I>Tommy Boy<P>. Tommy is a moron trying to keep his father's business afloat by going on a cross-country sales trip.

In the beginning, the crass humor is amusing. Tommy is a beer-drinking rugby enthusiast who is trying to complete his senior year of college. As he rushes to his final, the viewer begins to realize that Tommy is lacking higher-level mental skills. Once he makes it to his history final, he lists Herbie Hancock as one of the founders of the Constitution.

The story drags as the writers try to build a semblance of a plot. Tommy manages to graduate. He returns to the small town where he grew up to become vice president of his father's auto parts company. There he is shown the ropes by David Spade. He and Tommy are forced by circumstances to go on a selling trip together.

By the middle of the movie, Tommy's antics stop being funny and actually become a little scary as he fervently attempts to sell his company's new brake pads. Farley's humor begins to drag, and the situations are slow and rarely even mildly amusing.

However, once Tommy finds his unique niche in selling, the cross-country trek becomes bearable. The viewer can stop feeling sorry for Tommy and start laughing at him. Spade is much less irritating once he begins to loosen up and realize that Tommy does have some use in life.

Overall, <I>Tommy Boy<P> will be worth the time it takes away from your life, but be sure to wait until the movie comes out on video.

<I>Tommy Boy<P>

Director: Peter Segal

Stars: Chris Farley, David Spade

2 stars

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LOCAL BAND GROOVY

by Vincent Barajas

Daily Cougar Staff

Like the science fiction epic it took its name from, Dune is a group that is hard to describe in a single breath.

The three-man group from the Houston Heights belts out strong enough melodies to assure that you'll be humming the whole ride home, and enough Hendrix-inspired feedback to insure that you won't be able to hear yourself because of the ringing in your ears!

The promising band, made up of vocalist/guitarist Chris Sacco, drummer Tim Hermann and bassist Tommie Stevens, brought its patented "fat wall of noise" to Laveau's Friday night. Its one hour set was impressive. One frequent criticism hurled at club scene bands, as well as some major-label artists (look at the best-selling Gin Blossoms album) is that all the tunes sound uniformly alike, variations on the same basic hook. Not so with Dune.

The band displayed an amazing amount of versatility while still remaining within its established framework of <I>Psychedelical Grooviness<P>. From the haunting, unresolved longings of "Icon," to the noisy, messy fun of "Kickin' in the Dirt," these fuzz-drippin' locals do their damnedest to make sure you get every penny's worth of cover price.

Look up Dune's two existing EPs (<I>Live at KTRU<P> and <I>Psychedelical Grooviness<P>) to get a taste of its sound and catch the group live at 9 p.m. tonight at Urban Art Bar with the Goo Goo Dolls. The group will also open for the Nixons at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Abyss.

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