BILL PROPOSES HIGHER TUITION AND NO WAIVER

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

The Texas Legislature is on the verge of approving an omnibus bill designed to raise revenue for the universities of Texas.

The bill raises revenue at the expense of out-of-state students, both by raising tuition and by cutting the tuition waiver that benefits many nonresidents.

The bill, House Bill 1792, is sponsored by Rep. Robert Junell, D-San Angelo. Junell's bill was approved by the Senate last week in a heavily amended form that must now face the House once more before final passage.

Junell, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, held a meeting last summer with several administrators to discuss ways to raise money for Texas universities. Grover Campbell, vice chancellor for Governmental Relations, and Provost Henry Trueba attended the meeting.

Junell told The Daily Cougar that the idea to raise nonresident tuition came from Trueba, but Trueba said that he was more an observer than a participant at the meeting, which took place on his first day on the job.

According to a bill analysis prepared by Junell's office, raising nonresident tuition will balance Texas rates with those charged by other states.

"It is often less expensive for a resident of another state to attend school in Texas paying nonresident tuition than to pay resident tuition in his or her home state," according to the report.

The analysis also claims that "the tuition paid by nonresident students attending Texas public colleges and universities do not come close to defraying the entire cost of providing that education." In fact, nonresident tuition rates are currently set by law as "100 percent of the cost of education," as determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Junell's solution is to tie nonresident tuition rates to the nonresident rates charged by the five largest states other than Texas. The result would be a jump to $222 from $176 per credit hour beginning in the fall.

Junell said his rate hike will generate more than $30 million for all Texas universities. Based on 1994 enrollment figures, UH can expect about $1.8 million from the hike.

In addition, the nonresident tuition waiver, which allows many nonresident students to pay in-state tuition rates if they receive a scholarship, will be altered or eliminated. Junell's bill raises the required scholarship amount to $500 from $200.

Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Anna Mowery, R-Fort Worth, would eliminate the waiver altogether. A report from John Keel, director of the Legislative Budget Board, expects three-fourths of those currently attending schools on the waiver to drop out. Since that report was written, the bill was amended so that those who currently have the waiver will keep it until they complete their current degree.

The elimination of the waiver is expected to save the state almost $34 million annually, beginning in fiscal year 2000. No figures on immediate savings are available.

"There are large numbers of foreign students attending Texas universities (who) are certainly perfectly capable of paying out-of-state tuition," Mowery said. "It keeps Texas students from getting scholarships and a place to go."

Mowery said the provision addressing the waiver in Junell's bill is not enough. "Just raising the amount doesn't get at the problem," she said.

There has been wide support for killing the waiver, she said. "I have gotten one letter from someone who was against it. All the rest, university presidents and deans, have been for it," she said.

UH President James H. Pickering and Honors College Dean Ted Estess both told The Daily Cougar that they oppose Mowery's plan.

Also attached to Junell's bill is a general resident tuition hike of $2 per credit hour every year from now until the 2000-'01 academic year. Tuition has been raised by $2 a year since 1992.

Junell's bill has become a synthesis of several other bills. Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, first introduced the resident tuition-hike bill, and there have been two other bills raising the tuition waiver. In addition, several fees and exceptions were added by the Senate sponsor, Sen. Tell Bivins, R-Amarillo, at the request of several different universities.

One surprise in the bill is a provision allowing a university system to redistribute fees from one campus to another. The provision was added at the request of the University of Texas System to back bonds for construction at the smaller campuses in that system. The provision applies to all universities, though, and should the UH System choose to take advantage of it, up to $6.3 million could be sent to the other campuses from UH.

The bill, which passed both houses easily, may face a conference committee, but is expected to emerge in much the form it is in now.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

PICKERING TO MAKE LAW SCHOOL DEAN'S POSITION DECISION

by James Aldridge

News Reporter

The University of Houston's national search for a permanent dean of the Law School has been terminated, President James H. Pickering said. The Law School now awaits a dean selection from Pickering; Henry Trueba, the senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost; and Law Search Committee Chairman John Ivancevich, according to Pickering.

The president will announce the course of action the administration will be taking by the end of May, Pickering said.

The president can either appoint another interim dean, hire someone from within the Law School to permanently fill the position or conduct another national search.

The Board of Regents has asked Pickering and Trueba to gather input from law faculty, the Law Center Foundation and Faculty Law alumni and take those recommendations under consideration in selecting a dean, Pickering said.

The Law School has been without a permanent dean for two years, and law Professor Raymond Nimmer is currently the acting dean. The administration was not able to hire a permanent dean from the last national search because neither of the candidates who were asked for a final evaluation accepted the university's offer.

Out of the seven people brought in for Faculty Senate approval, two people were asked to return: Steven Smith, the dean of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland University and Teresa Schwartz, an associate dean at the National Law Center at George Washington University.

"Neither one of them were willing to accept an offer," Pickering said. "It's disappointing, but we will have to move ahead."

Smith made demands that the provost could not meet, said Robert Palmer, law faculty member and member of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate.

Smith wanted more base money, money that could be used for faculty raises, than was offered. "It's a traditional thing for deans to ask for money for faculty raises," Palmer said.

"The administration made an acceptable offer. Steven Smith is a stellar kind of candidate. He made very substantial demands that the provost could not match," Palmer said.

Schwartz withdrew her nomination because she had a better offer at another university.

Although Pickering would not disclose the amount of the offer to Smith, Robert Knauss, former dean of the Law School, made close to $150,000 annually.

Despite the cost of finances and faculty time, Palmer said, "It's clear we're going to have a third year without a permanent dean."

He said, "It weakens the school in respect to the university. It weakens the school in respect to fund raising.

"The Law School will probably appoint a two-year temporary dean and then do a national search after two years. That's four years without a dean," Palmer said.

"This national search hasn't worked," Palmer said. "You have to expect that these searches result in no one."

The Law School and the university have not been able to compete with other universities' ability to offer competitive salaries because of state budget cuts. The Law School salaries, much like the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication, is below national averages. The Law School has not had a merit increase in four years, Palmer said.

"In Austin, universities compete for 15 percent of the state's revenue. We have to compete with prisons, elementary schools and health," Pickering said.

Trueba requested the law faculty to fill out a survey in which the findings would be used to help find a permanent dean. On this survey, Trueba asked them to choose one of three options. One option is to search for the dean from faculty outside of law who have backgrounds in administration.

A second option is to appoint a temporary dean from inside the law faculty and rank three possible candidates who might be appropriate for the job.

And the final option is to appoint the dean from faculty around the campus.

"Pickering may just appoint a dean. As president, he has a full range of options. He's got the power," Palmer said.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

HOUSE AND SENATE VERSIONS OF BILL FACE OFF

UH SYSTEM STANDS TO LOSE $4 MILLION TO $30 MILLION IN STATE FUNDING

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite facing as much as a $29 million deficit in state funding, Grover Campbell, UH System vice chancellor for Governmental Relations, said he is optimistic although "the chances of having 100 percent success are pretty slim."

As the House and Senate versions of the appropriations bill move into conference committee in the final weeks of the legislative session, the UH System faces anywhere from a $4 million to $30 million loss.

"This is the absolute crunch time. This is the moment we have worked for since the day after the last session," Campbell said.

"There are some people who disagreed with the way we did things, but I feel very comfortable with how things have happened," he said.

The biggest obstacle is Article IX of the House appropriations bill, which shows a $17.6 million deficit; the Senate version of the same bill shows only a $4.4 million drop in funding. Article IX contains five damaging riders, across-the-board reductions for all state agencies:

• A 20 percent reduction of most special line-items. That is, if $500,000 is appropriated for a minority scholars program, the actual appropriation will be only $400,000. Loss to the UH System: $4.4 million.

• An Employee cap or reduction mandate which requires each institution to reduce a certain number of employees each year. Loss: between $4.4 million and $5.8 million.

• The State's contribution to the Optional Retirement Program is reduced to 6 percent from 7.1 percent. Loss: $2.7 million.

• The employer's contribution to ORP and the Teacher Retirement System is forced to increase. Loss: $4.9 million.

• Group health insurance is frozen at its current level. Loss: $1 million.

The Senate version of the bill has provided the UH System with one-time funding to compensate for all but the employee reduction rider, leaving only a $4.4 million deficit, said Wendy Adair, UH System spokesperson.

The UH System's goal is to get the Senate version of Article IX passed as the final version.

Both versions of the bill are in conference committee, where five representatives and five senators will decide the final version of the bill, after which it will be sent to the governor's office for approval.

Three other areas of the appropriations bill also present major problems to the UH System lobbying efforts: Holds Harmless funds, the funding of the Texas Center for Superconductivity and the utilities appropriation.

In the Senate bill, Holds Harmless funds, a special appropriation intended to bring funding to last year's level, shows a $4.4 million loss.

The House bill shows a 100 percent Holds Harmless funding for the first year at $8 million. In short, because of UH's declining enrollment, UH needs at least $8.1 million per year to offset its lower appropriation level. However, the second year of the biennium shows a 75 percent appropriation or $6.1 million.

The Senate version only funds at 75 percent, $6.1 million, the first year with a 50 percent funding in the second, thus creating the $4 million loss.

The Texas Center for Superconductivity faces a $6 million deficit in the Senate version.

The Center was funded from the Oil Overcharge Fund, a fund started in '87 when oil companies were caught price gouging, and instead of giving a small amount of money back to consumers, the Texas Legislature founded the Oil Overcharge Fund.

The problem, however, is that the fund is almost out of money, forcing the Center to rely on appropriations. Although the House has funded the Center at the needed $6 million per year, the Senate has only funded the center at $3 million.

Because of technical problems in the Senate's calculation of UH System utility needs, the Senate bill creates a $1.7 million deficit in funding.

The likelihood that UH and its System will receive the same amount of funding as last biennium is unlikely. In a best-case scenario, System documents indicate that the UH System would still lose at least $4 million.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

UH JOURNALISM GRAD WINS LOCAL MEDIA AWARD

by Alisha N. Park

Contributing Writer

David Sikes, a 1993 UH journalism graduate, proved last year that he has the skills it takes to be an award-winning journalist.

The Killeen Daily Herald's police and crime reporter just happened into a touching story that not only resulted in his being named 1994 Media Person of the Year by a local organization for the disabled, but also helped a disabled man to live his life to the fullest.

Just three weeks into his job at the Herald, Sikes' editor handed him a stack of story leads to help him "get his feet wet in the community." From a small scribble on a scrap of paper, Sikes learned about Robert Rosenburg, a Killeen man with cerebral palsy. One rainy day, a woman saw Rosenburg wheeling himself in a manually operated wheelchair down business highway 190 and offered him a ride. It turns out Rosenburg was on his way home from his daily volunteer services at the Boys and Girls Club of Killeen.

As soon as Sikes read the note, he knew this was a story he needed to tell. He went to the Boys and Girls Club to meet this man and hear his story. "He flowered in front of me," Sikes says. "I don't imagine he got the opportunity to do that very often."

Rosenburg told Sikes about his woodworking abilities, his love of children and his three-hour (one-way) push each day to get to the club in his manual wheelchair. "His hands were so calloused and blistered," remembers Sikes.

Three weeks after Sikes' story ran July 17, 1994, Rosenburg received donations, including an electric cart for use at the club, a new electric cart to travel between home and the club, money, clothes and wood to continue his woodworking.

For his coverage of Rosenburg, Sikes won the Media Person of the Year award from the Bell County Committee of People with Disabilities. Rosenburg won the Disabled Person of the Year award from the same organization. Both were presented their awards at an October ceremony. "He says that I'm the guy who made him famous," says Sikes of Rosenburg.

The committee that serves Temple, Killeen and Belton is one of the most active committees for the disabled between Dallas and Austin, says committee chairman Phillip Washburn. Sikes' writing was just the type of story they look for. "We look for someone in media who has educated the public about the talents and abilities, the hopes and desires (of disabled persons), not a bleeding-heart story. The disabled are not looking for a hand-out, but a hand-up."

The Rosenburg article was the first feature writing Sikes had done for the Herald. His award-winning article was written just seven months after his graduation from UH. He credits the School of Communications, its instructors and The Daily Cougar for much of his success.

Sikes began college at UH in the '70s, but shortly thereafter, he dropped out to tend bar -- a job he stayed with for more than a decade. At age 30, Sikes decided to give college another try.

"I was a returning student after a 12-year break," he says. "I felt like I needed a little hand-holding."

Sikes says that his below-2.0 average that lingered from his first college try was somewhat intimidating, but the instructors' personal interest in students gave him confidence to get through it. Being "practically forced" into involvement with The Daily Cougar also gave him much-needed writing experience and a sample of how a newsroom works.

"The Cougar group was really our fraternity. We had a congregation place. We felt like we were our own little college," he says. "The Cougar is the glue that (binds) journalism students together."

During the summer before his last semester, Sikes accepted an internship at the Clear Lake Citizen. "I didn't know how important internships were, until Ted Stanton and Bob Musburger stressed them so much," he says.

Upon graduation (with "just barely" a 3.0), Sikes traveled all over Texas, sending out resumes to between 25 and 30 daily newspapers. He received several offers, but decided to accept a position with the Pasadena Citizen. His work at the Citizen lasted three months, until he decided to leave because of differences of opinion and style with the editorial staff. Lucky for him (and Killeen), he was hired by the Daily Herald.

Sikes still reports about crime and police matters for the Herald, but he managed to fit in a few feature stories about volunteer organizations. He enjoys the feature writing most, but doesn't want "to be tagged as a fluff," where people think you're not really a reporter. "I like to blur the line," he says.

Sikes attributes much of his success to journalism Professor Ted Stanton, who encouraged him and gave him several leads for his first job opportunities. "Everybody in Texas in journalism knows Ted Stanton," Sikes says. "I hope he stays at UH until he can't walk anymore."

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

COMPUTER USE FEE DISTRIBUTION FORMULA QUESTIONED

by Robert Schoenberger

News Reporter

The $50 Computer Use Fee students in the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication pay is actually worth only $32. Engineering students get $123 for their $50. Are you surprised? UH administration is not.

"Right now, I have no reason to believe that we are receiving any less money than we should be," said HFAC Dean James Pipkin.

HFAC teaches 23.56 percent of student hours at UH, while it receives only 14.83 percent of the fee.

Students take more hours in HFAC because of university requirements, Pipkin said. Other colleges have more students as declared majors. The debate to fund by hour or by major is one of UH's oldest, Pipkin added.

The College of Engineering makes up 5.25 percent of UH by student hour. It receives 12.66 percent of the CUF.

"We teach very few beginning courses," said Roger Eichhorn, dean of Engineering. "We only teach a few 1000-level courses and not many 2000-level."

"For engineering, computing takes on a different meaning than it does for the rest of the university," Eichhorn said. The College of Engineering uses computers in the classroom to train students to use the different systems that they will have to know upon graduation, he said.

"If we depended on a tuition distribution, which is flatter across the university, you would shut us down," Eichhorn said.

The services for someone who is a major in a particular department are different from those offered to someone who is just taking classes in it, said Assistant Dean William Monroe of HFAC. "Someone who is taking a freshman English class is not going to put as much wear and tear on a computer as a senior engineering student," he said.

HFAC does spend money on these freshman classes. Monroe said freshman English classes required the construction of the writing lab in the Heyne Building.

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics also receives a smaller percentage of CUF funds than its percentage of student hours. John Bear, dean of the college, said, "I would like for my students to get any money they deserve. You can bet out of 400 computer science majors, all of them use computers."

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics teaches 19.76 percent of student hours, while it only makes up 12.72 percent of majors. It receives 15.56 percent of the CUF.

Vice President for Information Technology Charles Shomper said he believed changing the base allocation of the CUF would make its distribution more understandable.

A new subcommittee of the Academic Computer Advisory Committee will examine the distribution of the CUF, said Shomper.

"The original algorithm (that determined the base CUF allocation) may have changed over the last few years," said Paul Raffoul, head of the new subcommittee.

No one knows what the formula for distributing the CUF is. "When this subcommittee was formed, we got everything we needed but the formula," said Raffoul.

The formula in question distributes 75 percent of the CUF. The ACAC gives out the remainder based on proposals by the colleges, said Shomper.

"I have received some observations from deans saying we should look at this base allocation," said Shomper.

State funding reductions make these unrestricted fees more attractive, Raffoul said. "UH has changed from a state-supported to a state-assisted college. It's part of a national trend on cutting back on higher education."

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

HEAF TO FUND BUILDING, DEMOLITION, RENOVATIONS

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

UH President James H. Pickering has recommended that most of the increased Higher Education Assistance Funds be spent on two new capital construction projects: the Music Building and a new Science and Research building.

HEAF monies, originally funded to balance the Permanent University Fund, a $3 billion endowment for the University of Texas and Texas A&M, receive appropriations on a 10-year basis.

The '95 biennium is the second time HEAF appropriations have passed through the Texas Legislature. This time, however, a massive increase in funding leaves UH and its System the prime beneficiaries of the funds. The UH System's share will increase to $37.7 million per year for a 10-year period. UH's share will be more than $25 million per year.

Pickering's recommendations include $39.5 million for new construction, $9.6 million in capital support or renovations and $585,000 in demolition of existing buildings.

The new music building, originally paid for by UH alumnus John Moores, will now be constructed with HEAF dollars. The original $19.5 million donated by Moores was rolled over into the endowment.

The $9.6 million in renovations will be made final in July after a facilities audit is complete. According to Pickering's recommendations, however, Agnes Arnold, the Law Center and the Center for Students with DisAbilities are included in the renovations.

Consumer Science, the Field house, the South Office Annex and the Band Annex are scheduled for demolition.

Pickering said this report was a schedule of what UH wants. "This is only our recommendation. You have to tell the Regents what you need.

"(We want) to reinvest in the infrastructure. I hope the balance shows our need to support our physical infrastructure," he said.

HEAF legislation has only passed the Texas House and waits to be heard by the Senate.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

DRASTIC CUTS IN TEXAS FINANCIAL AID PASS SENATE

by Andy Alford

Daily Cougar Staff

Many students will take summer vacations and won't worry about the U.S. Congressional threat to financial aid. Of course, they may return in the fall to find they don't have any financial aid, that the Senate has passed the House-spawned rescissions bill, revoking more than $74.9 million in financial aid for Texas students.

UH Student Financial Aid Director Rob Sheridan said that for more than 19,000 UH System students, these cuts mean $48 million less in federally subsidized loans, federally sponsored grants and federally funded scholarships and work study.

A month ago, the Senate was expected to table the House-proposed rescissions bill. Instead, the senate passed a version of the bill with only minor changes. Currently the rescissions bill is in conference.

Conference refers to the process whereby a committee, made up of both House and Senate representatives, negotiates differences in opinion regarding the bill. Once the conference committee compromises enough to hammer out a finalized version of the bill, it is sent back through both houses for approval.

Sheridan said the Financial Aid Office was in the process of sending out 15,000 letters alerting students to the crisis situation and urging them to write or call their House and Senate representatives.

"Millions of students all over the country are radically affected by this," Sheridan said. "You're not just talking about eliminating some porkbarrel project -- you're talking about eliminating one of America's best investments in the future."

If the finalized version of the bill finally passes the House and the Senate, President Clinton is expected to veto it.

However, students should be wary of political footballs. Clinton has backed off or negotiated his way out of political stances in the past, Sheridan warned.

"Congress believes they're under some mandate," Sheridan said of the Republican contract with America. It is up to students to write and tell Congress that eliminating financial aid for the purpose of funding tax cuts to the highest income earners in America is not what they want, Sheridan said.

Giovanni Garibay, Students' Association president, said he was encouraged by student response to his Wednesday State of the Campus Address. In his address, Garibay challenged students to make a difference by involving themselves in the governmental process.

Garibay said 15 students have called the SA office and were urged to take advantage of SA resources. SA has compiled form sheets highlighting the main points of the bill, listings of toll-free numbers of representatives and computers with pre-typed form letters ready for students to customize and mail to their congressmen.

Garibay said the Senate may pass the legislation as late as September, so the summer is a critical time for students to write letters.

John Cobb, president of the UH College Democrats, said he hoped to participate in the National College Democrat Convention in Washington, D.C., in June. He said he would have the opportunity to personally speak with Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, about financial aid cuts.

"I'm worried that with a short-term solution, the government will destroy a long-term investment," Cobb said.

Cobb also said the Democrats were planning a student rally dealing with financial aid budget cuts in the fall.

Morgan Taylor, chairwoman of the College Republicans, said while the Republicans had discussed much, they hadn't done anything about federal threats to eliminate college financial aid.

Sheridan said students can wait and see what's going to happen over the summer. But, when it does happen, he said, they shouldn't enjoy the right to say, "Well, what (is UH) going to do to help me?

"Because once that money is gone," Sheridan said, "there's not much the University is going to be able to do for them."

The Alliance to Save Student Aid has set up The Student Aid Hotline, which allows students to call their congressional representatives for no charge and express their views on the proposed student aid cuts until May 15. The telephone number, 1-800-574-4AID (4243), connects callers directly to the Washington offices of their elected representatives in Congress.

To participate in the UH SA campaign, students may call 743-5220.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

TEXAS REMEDIAL EDUCATION IN FOR CHANGES

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

Two bills in the Texas Legislature will change the way remedial education works for Texas universities.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Irma Rangel, D-Kingsville, would have eliminated restrictions forcing students who fail the Texas Academic Skills Program test to take remedial courses. However, it was amended on the floor of the House to require students who fail to complete a remedial course before completing 90 hours.

Although Rangel wanted to remove the pressure of the TASP entirely, the bill does ease pressure on students. Currently, students must be enrolled in remedial courses if they attempt to take more than nine hours before passing the test.

"I want to send a message to the public schools that they should be responsible for this," Rangel said.

Rangel's bill passed the House as amended and has been referred to the Senate Education Committee.

A different bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Hilbert, R-Spring, will make the public schools responsible. The bill instructs the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop a plan by which public school districts are billed for the cost of the remedial courses that their graduates must take in college.

Unfortunately for the universities, the bill is stalled in committee. It was considered by the House Higher Education Committee early last month, but has not been acted on since.

Two other bills, each sponsored by Rep. Ron Wilson, D-Houston, were referred to committee early in the session and are expected to die there.

One of the bills mandates multicultural course requirements for university students, and the other would require that the governing bodies of student publications at state-funded universities be racially balanced to conform with the racial composition of the state.

The latter bill was condemned at the Texas Students' Association conference in February in a resolution introduced by the UH delegation.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

STILL UNFINISHED FACILITY OPENS DOORS, EYES

STATE-OF-THE-ART COMPLEX ALREADY PAYING DIVIDENDS DESPITE UNFINISHED AREAS

by William German

and Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

The words "fully complete" may not be applicable yet to the giant new $29.1 million athletic facility, which has the official street address of 3100 Cullen Blvd.

However, progress is being made.

Coaches and athletic staff moved in Thursday and Friday. Saturday, the new center hosted an "open house" for baseball recruits that associate athletic director Bill McGillis said left a few eyes even more wide open.

NCAA regulations forbid divulging the names of prospective recruits, but McGillis said they included "some of the better players in the greater Houston area."

It will be a huge morale-booster for staff and athletes," McGillis said on his way from the site Sunday. "I think it will pay great dividends for the alumni organization as well."

McGillis said the general contractor would be working another three to four weeks to address "punch-list items," or minor repairs.

The grand opening of the facility won't be until the Louisiana Tech football game on Sept. 9. The game is scheduled to be held on campus at Robertson Stadium.

"That weekend will be an important weekend for us," McGillis said. "I think that will generate more emotion about athletics than we've had around here in a long time."

The 120-yard indoor football field is one thing not ready, however. The field will first be used May 20, when Reebok will sponsor a high school football combine.

The track and practice courts, which can replace the retractable field, also won't be usable until the field is done.

McGillis said the 16,500-foot weight room was "two-thirds complete." He added that the offices, locker rooms and meeting rooms were all functional.

Believed to be the finest weight-training facility in the country, the strength and conditioning center includes new equipment ranging from Stairmasters, treadmills and Body Master weight machines.

The weight-training area also comes complete with a sports medicine center, 24 treatment and taping tables, offices, examination rooms, rehabilitation equipment and a hydrotherapy center.

Another area of the facility yet to have been completed is the Cougar Hall of Fame, located directly to the right of the building's entrance.

This attraction will showcase some of the greatest moments in Houston sports history with memorabilia and video footage.

The Hall of Fame is scheduled to be finished later this summer.

The biggest area the facility has affected so far, though, has been the recruiting.

"(The facility) definitely had a big impact on football recruiting, even though the building was nowhere complete," McGillis said. "Over the course of the spring, we brought in several athletes from all sports, and it had a big effect."

The building is also expected to have an effect on the entire UH campus community.

According to a press release handed out Friday, UH Athletic Director Bill Carr and his staff will survey the building and determine ways to make it available for the non-athletic campus' use.

 

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

 

SWC'S TOP FOUR LAND 16 OF 19 ON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

UH'S FARROW, SMIGA ALSO REWARDED FOR GREAT SEASONS

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

The All-Southwest Conference baseball team was announced Friday, with clear distinctions between the haves and have-nots.

The Cougars landed two representatives on the team. Shortstop Jason Smiga, who has hit .276 with no homers and 23 RBIs in 51 games, was the lone pick at his position. Outfielder/pitcher Jason Farrow also made the team as a relief hurler after notching six saves and posting a 4-5 record with a 3.25 ERA.

Both Smiga and Farrow are senior transfers. The 5-9, 139-pound Smiga has made 49 starts at short after coming over from Sam Houston State. The move was a homecoming of sorts, as he played at Cypress-Fairbanks before starting a college career.

Farrow has also been valuable as a hitter, with a .323 average and team-leading 35 RBIs. The three-year letterman at Stephen F. Austin will have three games left at No. 10 Rice to break the school record for saves in a season he has, thus far, tied.

Rice, which will be fighting with three other teams for the SWC title, landed outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. (.388, 16 homers, 66 RBIs), designated hitter Mark Quinn (.368, 13, 66), second baseman Chris Boni (.352, 2, 34), reliever Matt Anderson (10-1, 2.53 ERA) and Outstanding Newcomer outfielder Lance Berkman (.328, 5, 40) on the team.

Cruz, speculated as a top-five pick in major-league baseball's upcoming amateur draft, was selected Outstanding Player in the conference.

The Cougars (25-27, 5-16 in the SWC) travel to Rice's Cameron Field for a three-game set beginning at 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The Owls (37-14, 13-8) took care of Houston 6-5 when the two met earlier this season in the SWC First Pitch Preseason Tournament on March 16.

This weekend's series concludes Saturday afternoon, when the two clubs will hook up in a doubleheader slated to start at 4 p.m.

The top four teams in the SWC – Rice, Texas A&M, Texas and Texas Tech – wound up landing 16 of 19 total players on the team. The three exceptions were Houston's two players and Baylor lefthander and Bellaire ex Tim Peters (7-4, 3.13).

Texas Tech had a team-leading six players selected, and its coach, Larry Hays, was named Coach of the Year. Texas and A&M had three reps apiece, while Texas Christian was shut out.

The All-SWC infield had Smiga and Boni as the double-play combo, flanked by Tech third baseman Clint Bryant (.409, 13 homers, 72 RBIs) and first sacker Randy DuRoss (.409, 5, 49) at the corners.

Texas' Shea Morenz (.356, 9, 46) and A&M's Chad Allen (.365, 7, 47) filled out the starting outfield with Cruz.

There were two utility infielders, Bellaire product MacGregor Byers (.392, 2, 45) of UT and Jason Totman (.392, 3, 41) of Tech. The Aggies' Chad Alexander (.381, 11, 53) was the lone utility outfielder.

Starting pitchers elected to the team were Peters, the Longhorns' Jake O'Dell (10-3, 3.46 ERA) and Raiders' Jeff Peck (9-2, 3.03).

 

***********************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Dr. Dan's House of Love Connections

Dan's last column of the semester...

Internet Affair

Dear Doc:

I have a question for you. My friend has an uncanny ability to become attracted to men who are already taken (i.e. engaged, married). She doesn't go out of her way to do it, but it seems that when their friendship has reached the point to where she is smitten with them, she discovers they are either engaged or married!

Anyway, it happened again this semester (girl meets boy, girl likes boy, girl becomes very interested in boy, oops! boy is married).

There is this guy in one of her classes that she has become fairly chummy with this semester. She would come home and talk about "Mr.X did this or Mr.X said that." (You know how we women can get).

Well, recently they were having one of their after-class discussions, and she mentioned that it had recently been her birthday, and he kissed her on the cheek. O.K., so maybe that's nothing but a friendly gesture, but the thing that really gets me is that he leaves her "OOXX" (hugs and kisses) on the e-mail he sends her. And (I realize you're not supposed to begin a sentence with "and," but I'm not being graded on this, so I'm going to anyway) when she is sending e-mail to him, she shuts the door so no one can read it. (Do you think they could be having some sort of sordid love affair over the Internet?)

I would like to take this time to mention that he is not from the United States, so what I am wondering is whether or not this is one of those instances where these expressions of affection are just the way things are in the country he is from and I am just acting overly concerned, or whether I should be worrying!?

Does this guy see her as an "opportunity," or change from the doldrums of marriage, or is he just being friendly and not OVERLY friendly?

Is my friend condemned to be "the other woman" for the rest of her life? Will this turn into another vicious cycle of heartbreak, or am I blowing this all out of proportion? (I have been known to do that.) Is it her fate to be attracted to off-the-market men, or can she seek help? (Or am I the one who needs to seek help for that matter?) I hope you can impart some wisdom to ease my mind.

Heather Locklear

(I am not the famous one from Melrose)

P.S. I can't believe that Sagan guy (you know, Mr. "I am not the famous stargazer") had the nerve to insult your suggestions! You give great advice to BILLIONS and BILLIONS (ha ha) of UH students every week. It's ADVICE! You can either take it or leave it, but don't insult someone's advice if it backfires on you! ("If you're a loser and you know it clap your hands") That dude has got to go.

Dear Locklear:

First of all, you are being graded on this. I give you a B+ for grammar and an A+ for style. You've got it, baby!

Next, your friend. I can sympathize. Something about people who are attached make them almost more attractive. I have a good friend who is married, and he told me he never got much attention until he put the wedding ring on. That's crazy! It's great that you are concerned about your roommate, but she needs to leave this guy alone. He is just messin' with her because he can. Guys are like that (the rotten bastards! Wait ... that's me, never mind).

So tell your girlfriend to say adios to Rico Suave and to meet somebody single for a change. Its not that hard (little white lies are O.K., aren't they?). I'm thinkin' about throwin' a party and callin' it Lovefest '95. We'll have a singles side so everyone who needs to meet someone can, and everybody else can just party the night away! Look for ads at the beginning of next semester!

Billie Jean Strikes Again

Dear Dr. Dan:

Where is the child support check?

Mommy To Be

Dear Mommy:

To Be or not To be, that is the question. The other question is, "Who the hell are you?" I think you've got the wrong Dr. In fact, I know you've got the wrong Dr. I think that would be something I would remember. Thanks for writing in, though!

Good-Bi Girl

Dear Dr. Dan:

I am currently dating a really nice guy -- he is cute, treats me very well and is everything I have ever wanted in a companion.

There is one problem though: I am interested in someone else -- a woman. I don't want to stop dating him, I just want to experience what it would be like to be with another woman. I am not sure how he would feel about it though, because he is a big-time homophobe.

Should I tell him or just "cheat" on him?

Bi

Dear Bi:

Does your man realize how lucky he is? I know a million guys that would kill a small mammal just to get close to a bi-sexual.

Here is a quick way to figure out if he is gonna dig this or not: Take him dancing, Blue Planet, Rich's, it doesn't really matter. Invariably, there will be a few "adventuresome" females there who probably aren't bi-sexual but are just out to have a good time, and God bless America for that. Now, when these lovely young ladies are bumping and grinding away, jump right in the middle. Go crazy. Start workin' it. Just sling your stuff all over the place. The girls will love it, you will be in heaven, and so will every other guy in a ten-mile radius.

After it's all over, tell your boyfriend what a great time you had, and ask him what he thought. If he says, "Oh my God, I was about to throw up!" then maybe you ought to just put those desires on hold for a while. But if he says, "Oh my God, I was about to throw money!" then the door (it's a revolving one) is open to revealing your desires. Good luck!

Doggone Crazy

Dear Doc:

I've heard that girls really dig guys with dogs. So, I've been thinking about getting one to help me meet a girl or three. What kind would you suggest?

Dog Boy

Dear Dog Boy:

You have to be careful here. If you get something too big, girls will be scared away. But if you get a miniature poodle or something really miniscule, forget it. Too tiny a pup might get them to associate your dog size with some thing else (no wiener dog jokes, please!).

Some thing that will grow into a nice medium size is great, like a collie or a lab. You definitely want a dog that can catch a frisbee or chase a stick. Those things are chick magnets! Once you get your puppy, take him over to the "dog park" (on the side of the Menil Collection off of Mandell by Cafe Artiste). There are plenty of other dogs for your new pup to learn tricks from, and, as a bonus -- plenty of chicks for his master too.

Knuckle Sandwiches

Dear Dr. Dan:

My boyfriend is driving me nuts! He is constantly cracking his knuckles (loudly!) -- to my disgust. It is as unnerving as someone dragging his or her nails across a blackboard. I have asked him to leave the room when the urge strikes him, but I think he thinks it's funny to see the hair stand up on my head. Is this simply rude, or is this just a guy thing?

I guess this is more of an etiquette problem -- but since the Cougar doesn't have a Dear Abby, I thought you might be able to help (you're funnier than that old lady anyway!)

Knuckle Knocker

Dear Knocker:

I don't know about that. You should see her after about 3 martinis -- she gets downright unruly!

Yes, it is simply rude and yes, it is a guy thing. Here's what you can do: figure out something that he can't stand, and every time he pops his knuckles, do it (not IT, otherwise he would never stop!). Belch or fart or call ex-boyfriends, do something that gets under his skin. He'll either stop or say adios. Either way, you are better off!

Sucking Up

Dear Doc:

I have a girlfriend who won't swallow after oral sex. What should I do to entice her toward this act?

Stuck

Dear Stuck:

If this is the least of your worries, then you are doing A-O.K. What you have to think about is this: maybe she doesn't like it! You don't want her to do something in bed that she is not comfortable with.

What you ought to do is taste it yourself. I'll leave the logistics up to you, but get a good mouthful, and then maybe you'll understand what is going on with her. Who knows, maybe you'll find out something new about yourself! Oh, and make sure and try it in front of your girlfriend, I bet she'd love to see that.

NOTE TO READERS!

This is it! The last Dr. Dan of the semester! How time flies! Thanks for all of the great letters.

Now, my advice to you, my devoted fans, is to go out this summer and do something really crazy. Have wild passionate affairs, do something so totally warped or crazy, fall madly in love with your summer school teacher ... Just do anything that leaves you no choice but to write me next semester and beg for advice. That's right, folks, Dr. Dan will be return.

Adios.

<I> Dr. Dan's House of Love <P> advice column focuses on troubles with campus life, lovers' quarrels and other intimate questions. Send letters to Dr. Dan in care of The Daily Cougar, Room 151, Communications Building or e-mail letters to st7vm@jetson.uh.edu, attention Dr. Dan.

Comments made by Dr. Dan (who is not a licensed therapist) are not necessarily the opinions of The Daily Cougar editorial staff. Letters subject to editing for content.

Visit The Daily Cougar