A VARIETY OF RESTAURANTS TO SATISFY ALL TASTES

ARAMARK OFFERS POPULAR FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS ON UH CAMPUS

James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

To satisfy the appetites of the students at the University of Houston, the university contracts ARAMark, an international food-vending firm, to provide restaurants designed to cater to the eating habits of people who either want a snack or a full-course meal.

ARAMark has been on campus for 35 years, and students now have 22 choices of eating places.

"Our primary mission on this campus is to show flexibility in meeting the needs of this campus and maintain a working relationship with this campus," said Frank Trazzera, director of the University Center Food Service.

In the UC, ARAMark operates Whataburger, Chick-fil-A, Allegro Pasta, The Wokery for Chinese food, a deli and a grill.

Whataburger is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"When we run a Chick-Fil-A or a Whataburger, it's the real thing," Trazzera said.

ARAMark operates these big-name restaurants just as their corporations would since it buys the same ingredients to make same products with the same quality. Allegro Pasta, Chick-Fil-A and the Wokery are open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Allegro Pasta makes pasta fresh every day, while The Wokery chefs cook their dishes fresh in front of their customers.

The Salad Garden is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the Deli Corner is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday for students who want food that is not fried or greasy.

Students can grab something quick or eat a full-course meal at the UC. If students have questions, suggestions or complaints about the UC kitchen, they can contact Production Manager Kevin O'Loughlin at 743-5239.

On the other side of the campus, hidden between the Communications Building and the Social Work Building, is the UC-Satellite.

The Satellite caters to students who primarily want to eat something fast and inexpensive. The Satellite has a Taco Bell, a Pizza Hut that makes personal pan pizzas, a grill, a Salad Garden and Freshens yogurt shop that are open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If students have any suggestions or complaints, they can direct them to Satellite Food Service Director Harold Starbuck at 743-5235 during business hours.

In the residence halls, ARAMark operates two eateries --Moody Towers Horizons and OB Homestyle Café.

What sets the OB Homestyle Café apart from all other campus locations is that it is the only all-you-can-eat restaurant. It is located in Oberholtzer Hall in the Quadrangle dormitory.

It serves full-course meals, a grill, a salad bar and dessert. Even though it is located in the residence halls, anyone on campus can eat there.

OB serves breakfast Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For suggestions or complaints, students can contact Food Service Director Calvin Dunn at 743-5950.

In Moody Towers, it is may not be all-you-can-eat, but its dining hall offers a cafeteria menu, a Pizza Hut, a Blimpie and a Little Kim Son.

ARAMark has a contract with Kim Son, the popular Chinese food restaurant near downtown,

to provide UH students authentic Oriental food while opening up a new source of revenue. Little Kim Son is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Moody Towers Horizons closes at 11 p.m. and is very popular with residents who are up late studying.

Call Food Service Director Herman Reyes at 743-5964 for suggestions or complaints.

 

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GETTING AROUND E. CULLEN NOT ALWAYS INCONVENIENT

OFFICES, PHONE SERVICES AID UH STUDENTS

by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

First-time students, or even returning students, may find themselves confused about where to go to take care of essential paperwork for the new semester.

Asking friends and classmates, "Where can I get a parking decal?" or "Where do I get my loan check?" may be even more confusing.

One classmate may say, "The office is on the first floor of Ezekiel Cullen, which really isn't the first floor because it's the basement. And if you do want to go to the first floor you have to go up one floor ."

So to provide less stress for new and returning students, here is a listing of offices in E. Cullen where every student must go at least once while attending UH.

E. Cullen, the building facing Entrance 1, contains the administration's offices, the Admissions Office, Bursar's Office, Parking, Registration and Academic Records, and Scholarships and Financial Aid.

The Admissions Office is located in Room 128, and students can visit this office for admissions questions, residency status for tuition purposes and to find out the status of transfer credit evaluations for coursework from other colleges and universities. The office is open Monday through Thursday, between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The telephone number is 743-1010. The office has its own home page on the Internet at http://www.uh.edu/admissions/admissions.welcome.html.

The Bursar's Office is where fee bills are mailed and where tuition and fees are paid. Students may make payments in person or mail them before the due date, remembering that if the minimum amount is not paid, students can be dropped from their classes.

This office handles student account balances and problems with payments. The bursar is located in Room 6 in the basement and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The telephone number is 743-1096. Students need two forms of valid I.D.

The Parking and Transportation Department is in Room 1 in the basement and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In this office, students can get their parking decals and information about campus parking. The telephone number is 743-1097.

As far as arranging classes, students no longer have to wait in long lines at the Office of Registration and Academic Records. The university has joined the ranks of other Texas colleges and universities that offer computerized telephone registration. Students may register for classes, drop classes, find out courses and grades of previous semesters, without having to dig through a mound of old papers, by calling 743-UHUH (8484), operated 24 hours a day. Of course, students can only register during specified times and dates, but the other options are available throughout the semester.

The Registration and Academic Records office is located in Room 108 and is open Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Students can request copies of their transcripts, pick up add/drop forms, obtain change-of-address forms and get new and replacement student IDs. The telephone number is 743-1010.

The office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is where students can pick up applications and learn how to get financial aid. The office is in Room 26 and is open Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The telephone number is 743-1010.

 

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M.D. ANDERSON LIBRARY INSTALLS NEW TECHNOLOGY

by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

In the last five years, the M.D. Anderson Library has undergone so many improvements that students soon may not recognize the place.

Besides being a place where students can study for exams, M.D. Anderson, along with all the other libraries on campus, contains a wealth of information accessible to students who know how to dig around for it.

During the summer, however, the library replaced its on-line catalog to make information searches easier.

This is the first time the library has replaced its on-line catalog in more than a decade, giving the library new equipment to move it into the next century.

The new catalog is a drastic improvement over the old one. The new system can perform functions more quickly and there are more options. New options include e-mailing information from the system to a student account and viewing one's own library record of books checked out and overdue fines.

The library also bought new individual desks on the study floors so students can face a wooden backboard and not be distracted by people walking around.

The carpeting on various floors was also replaced and new computers were purchased for its Current Journals room.

The library also removed its old Macintosh Classics and two IBM-compatibles and installed about seven Macintosh Power PCs, with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, and 10 IBM-clone Dell computers, with WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows and Lotus 1,2,3 in the Current Journals room.

Students can now use both the Macintosh computers in the library and Central Site in the Social Work Building to write papers.

When Central Site upgraded its computers to Macintosh Power PCs, the lower version of Microsoft Word in the library was no longer compatible with theirs. Students had to either do their papers in one place or the other. Now both use the same type of computers.

The library now owns more than 1.8 million books, more than 3 million microforms, and 125 workstations with about 70 CD-ROM databases and library catalogs.

The library will be paying for its new technology and resources with a combination of funds from the Library Fee, the Computer Use Fee, grants from the M.D. Anderson and Fondren foundations, fund-raising efforts and state support.

M.D. Anderson Library will be open from 7 a.m to 11:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday when the fall semester begins; from 7 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 11:45 p.m. Sunday.

M.D. Anderson library is one of several in the University of Houston Libraries System. The system is comprised of, besides M.D. Anderson, the Architecture and Art Library, the Music Library, the Law Library, the Optometry Library and the Pharmacy Library.

The Architecture and Art library is located in Room 106 in the Architecture Building and is open Monday through Saturday. It contains about 50,000 volumes in architecture, drawing, sculpture, painting and photography.

The Music Library is located in Room 106 of the Fine Arts Building and is open Monday through Friday. It contains about 40,000 volumes dealing mainly with classical music, music literature and music theory. The library also has a lab open to music students to listen to recordings.

The Optometry Library is located in the Optometry Building on 2225 Calhoun and has about 15,000 volumes of material relating to vision science, optics and optometry and has audiovisual materials.

The Pharmacy Library is located in Room 133, Science and Research II, and contains about 17,000 volumes of material about pharmaceutical sciences, clinical medicine and health administration.

 

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STORMY SA SEASON

HOT TOPICS, COLD DISCUSSIONS, THUNDEROUS DEBATES, FLASH FLUBS

by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

Despite a smaller Senate, it was a busy summer for the Students' Association.

The seven meetings of the 32nd SA Senate included several heated arguments, an $11,000 allocation and a couple of farewells.

Everything started off rather calm. Longtime activist former Sen. Justin McMurtry had realized his ambition of holding the speakership, and he led the 13-member Summer Senate in an orderly fashion. SA President Giovanni Garibay and Vice President Dominic Lewinsohn were handling the administrative side, meeting with the administration and trying to fill committee positions.

On June 20, the Senate voted to approve $11,000 for the purchase of five new Power Macintosh computers to replace some of the older machines in the SA office that were rapidly approaching the point of worthlessness. There was some haggling over what kind of software and printer to buy, but everything passed fairly easily.

It was at the July 11 meeting that things started to fall apart. Longtime SA member Jeff Fuller, who has been senator, speaker and student regent, vacated the director of Public Relations position to say goodbye to SA and UH. It must have been a portent, because things went downhill from there.

It was then revealed that Speaker Pro Tempore John Moore had been called to work offshore for the remainder of the summer. Speaker McMurtry appointed his brother, Sen. Casey McMurtry, as speaker pro tem until Moore's return. Before the Senate approved the appointment, Lewinsohn asked Justin if he planned to resign after doing so. Justin said he didn't, Casey was appointed, and the meeting moved on.

At the end of the meeting, Justin announced that he had been forced to seek outside employment and would no longer be fulfilling his office hours. He announced an official leave of absence, in which he would still preside over the meetings, but wouldn't be paid or fill office hours. His brother would fill the office hours in his stead, but still wouldn't be paid.

This didn't sit well with the Senate. Many of the members said they felt like they'd been lied to. The meeting, which was officially over, dragged on for another hour as nearly every senator had his or her say on the matter. The Senate finally resolved that Justin should indicate at the next meeting, to be held two weeks later, whether he would return in the fall.

They didn't even have to wait that long. The next week, Justin called a meeting and resigned his post after a hasty election and swearing-in.

His successor, elected by the Senate at that meeting, was Jennifer Zuber, a veteran senator herself. She had served in the 29th and 31st Senates, then had been kicked off the ballot in an alleged fraud scandal as she ran for vice president in March. She came back as a surprise candidate for speaker in April, but lost to McMurtry in a runoff. Now she was back, and after defeating Casey McMurtry in the race for speaker she was in the driver's seat.

She wasn't in the driver's seat for long, because at the same meeting saw the introduction of a bill to allocate the computers throughout the SA office. Casey McMurtry and Andrea Rachiele presented a plan, but they had underestimated the demand for a shiny new PowerMac 7100. Everybody wanted one, and there were only five.

That debate went on for a while, spanning tangential topics, such as whether the finance officer needed a machine with a floating-point math coprocessor, whether SA should have its own World Wide Web server, and whether to allocate a computer to a position that had no salary and no occupant, but still technically existed.

The matter wasn't helped when the Senate accepted Garibay's idea that the formal rules of debate be suspended, so they could discuss the matter like adults. Civility lasted about 30 seconds, and shouting filled a good part of the half-hour that had been set aside for discussion. When the time was up, the bill was referred back to committee, and everybody went home.

The next week was a faster meeting. The "Great Compromise" that had been discussed at the committee meeting was presented and passed with little discussion. That crisis was over.

The meeting went too fast, though. The Senate also passed a revision of the Disciplinary Code from the Student Life Policies, but it was discovered the next week that the policies must be posted for 30 days, and comments taken from faculty and staff representatives. So the code had to be repealed and reintroduced at the next meeting. (The bill is currently posted in the SA office windows in the University Center Underground.)

At the final meeting on Aug. 8, the Senate also passed raises for the vice president and student regent. Both positions had been combined with another position at the beginning of the session, but the salaries hadn't been adjusted to reflect the increased workload. Casey McMurtry warned that such a measure is unconstitutional, but the Senate passed it anyway.

The fall looks to be just as exciting. Zuber promised to step down at the second meeting of the fall, so that the full Senate could elect a new speaker. The Disciplinary Code should take up some time. There is still no director of Public Relations. And if those raises are found to be illegal, the fallout could have any number of effects.

 

 

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SA IS THE VOICE OF UH STUDENTS -- GET INVOLVED

by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

The Students' Association is the official representative body of University of Houston students. Although nominally a student government, it doesn't really govern the students, but represents them.

It maintains a relationship with the administration, faculty, staff and agencies, such as the Athletics Department and ARAMark, UH's food service contractor. Although it tends to be somewhat low-profile on campus, SA actually can do much more than most students give it credit.

Located in the University Center Underground behind Campus Activities, its offices are open to all students and all officers have posted hours.

One of SA's main functions is to appoint students to various committees such as the Student Traffic Court and Undergraduate Council. All committees are open to any student with the interest and commitment. Students should visit the SA office to learn more about them.

The SA Senate meets every two weeks, Wednesdays at 8 p.m., in the University Center. The exact location varies from meeting to meeting.

The Senate is made up of senators from each college, plus four at-large senators. The College of Pharmacy and Graduate School of Social Work each have one seat, but neither is currently filled. Elections are held every March for senators, president, vice president and student regent.

SA's president is Giovanni Garibay; Dominic Lewinsohn, vice president; and Thasunda Brownand, student regent.

 

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NEW ADMINISTRATION FACES NEW CHALLENGES

by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

The new administration will have to confront several issues in the coming year. Here are a few to watch for:

•<B>Enrollment<P> Declining enrollment resulted in a cut in state dollars in the recent legislative session. A continued drop could result in even worse cuts in the next session. Watch for the UH to concentrate on stabilizing enrollment numbers.

•<B>The System<P> The shake-up comes in the wake of a long, bitter battle between UH faculty, administration and the System over the campus-System relationship. The Board of Regents was recently presented with a report that outlined several alternatives, including consolidation of the chancellor and UH president positions. Don't expect any action yet, but the board should start to come to a decision; although, they'll probably follow past practice and hide all discussion behind closed doors until they're finally ready to act.

•<B>The Faculty<P> The last administration didn't get along to well with the faculty. Watch for irate letters to the Cougar and the Houston Chronicle to see how they like interim President Glenn Goerke. The Coalition for Excellence, a group of anti-System faculty, are likely to be the biggest noisemakers.

•<B>The Budget<P> Nobody is sure where the money to pay for all the teaching assistants is going to come from. Cancelled classes are still a possibility.

•<B>Faculty and Staff Raises<P> It's been years since either faculty or staff got a raise. A 3 percent pool has been established for faculty merit raises, and a 2 percent pool for staff merit raises. Many staff are already at the top salary level for their classification and are, therefore, ineligible for raises regardless of how much they deserve them.

 

 

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RHA PROVIDES POSITIVE DORM-LIFE EXPERIENCES

by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

We've all seen movies about college life. Classes fill auditoriums the size of the Astrodome, and all of the students practically live in the library and study halls buried beneath books.

Whenever everyone is not studying for a major paper or a big exam, the dormitories are places where everyone hangs out and the fun never ends. There is never a dull moment -- such is life in the movies.

However, college life at UH doesn't have to be just an experience where the stress and frustration of classes bog down students. According to Sherry Whelchel, Residential Life and Housing Area coordinator, residence halls can be a place where students participate in some enjoyable and memorable events, despite the fiction of the movies.

"I think one of the goals is to make it a community, where people feel comfortable living here, and safe and secure," Whelchel said.

The Quadrangle, Moody Towers, Cougar Place and Cambridge Oaks apartments are all designed to meet a particular need of UH residents.

The Quadrangle and Moody Towers cater mainly to freshmen and sophomores who are living on their own for the first time, while Cougar Place and Cambridge Oaks are designed for upper-level students.

One advantage of living in the residence halls is that students have a transition period between living at home and living on their own, Whelchel said. This helps students learn more about themselves, so they can mature, she said.

"I think you have a lot of good experiences that help you grow -- the experience of meeting people. It (living on campus) adds to it. It enhances it. It's outside of class experiences," she said.

Living on campus prepares students in their relationships with others, which helps them deal with real-life situations whenever they arise. Residents will also have to deal with living with another person who may or may not see eye to eye with them.

Rural, small-town students may get paired with someone from India or Pakistan, but even people from the most diverse cultures may become the best of friends by the end of the year.

Some of the problems residents may face, besides who gets to use the shower first in the morning and how loud to play the stereo at night, are depression, homesickness, self-confidence problems and loneliness, Whelchel said.

However, the residence halls provide a supportive environment for residents. Not only does Residential Life and Housing provide a professional staff, but the department relies on student resident assistants, or RAs, who have the most contact with the residents and probably can relate to them better because they know first-hand what it is like to go to school and live on campus.

RAs undergo training provided by the professional staff before the semester begins and throughout the year, Whelchel said.

"We do a lot of training. When they get here they have a week and a half of extensive training," she said.

The RAs also have weekly meetings with their supervisors and have to take and pass a noncredit RA class before they begin.

"If they are not leaders when they come in, they are when they leave," Whelchel said.

Each room is equipped with phone jacks, mattresses, dressers and desks in which to study. Each hall or tower has a cluster of washing machines and dryers for residents to do their laundry.

All residents are issued a board card with a dollar value that works like a debit card. Every time a resident uses this card at a campus location that accepts it, the amount of the meal gets electronically subtracted from the balance.

Residents also have access to newly renovated basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, the outdoor pool and a brand-new computer cluster for all of those term papers. And for a membership fee, students can work out at the Firm, a new exercise center at Moody Towers.

In addition to providing services for residents, the residence halls sponsor educational programs on sex, study tips, alcohol and drug abuse, multiculturalism, safety and campus security among others.

And with safety in mind, we have devised a checklist of some items to watch out for while living on campus.

1) Don't let anyone into the building who does not live there.

2) Report all suspicious people on the floor to an RA.

3) Do not let strangers into the room for any reason.

4) Do not leave personal property lying around unattended. Thefts can occur quickly.

5) Do not leave the dorm room open while no one is in the room.

6) Be aware of surroundings on campus at night.

7) Try to walk with another person on campus at night.

8) Engrave personal property with your driver's license number.

 

 

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BASKETBALL WILL BE THE SELLING POINT FOR C-USA

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

Of the 11 programs that the University of Houston will join in athletic matrimony for 1996-97 Conference USA competition, all bring a history of success in men's basketball.

The six schools from the Great Midwest Conference and five from the Metro Conference have all seen postseason action within the last two seasons.

When the Cougars join these schools for the 1996-97 season, they will compete with some of the finest basketball teams in the country.

Of the teams from the Great Midwest, Cincinnati, Memphis, and Saint Louis, went to the 1995 NCAA Tournament. DePaul and Marquette played in last season's National Invitational Tournament where Marquette lost in the championship game.

Cincinnati has been to the Big Dance each of the last four years. In 1992 the Bearcats made it to the Final Four.

Larry Finch, Memphis head coach and 1995 Great Midwest Coach of the Year, took his Tigers to the third round of last season's NCAA Tournament. Finch looks to improve on an impressive 24-win season and is counting on positive things from 6-11 sophomore center Lorenzen Wright.

The Saint Louis Billikens had a second consecutive 23-win season in 1995. They are 46-14 over the past two seasons. With two appearances in the NCAA Tournament in the last two years, Saint Louis will count on senior transfer forward Jamal Johnson from Miami, Fla., to help the team go farther in the postseason.

With 32 appearances in the NCAA and NIT, DePaul's history of success in the sport is unquestionable. Center Bryant Bowden is the top returning player from last season.

The Golden Eagles of Marquette likewise have a strong history with 30 postseason tournament showings. Marquette took a 21-12 record into the NIT and finished second place. First-year head coach Mike Deane and senior forward Ronnie Eford will lead Marquette when C-USA basketball competition starts.

UAB suffered a fatal blow to last year's basketball season when 6-6 forward Carlos Williams injured his left knee and needed surgery. With his rehabilitation complete, the Blazers should be able to compete well in the new conference.

Like the Great Midwest, the Metro Conference offers excellent basketball competition as well.

Louisville should prove to be a powerhouse of Conference USA. NCAA Champions in 1986, the Cardinals have been to the NCAA Tournament seven of the last eight seasons. With Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum, Louisville will re-ignite old rivalries with Great Midwest teams and Houston.

The Green Wave of Tulane has just recently made it a practice to enjoy the Big Dance, playing in three of the last four NCAA Tournaments. Junior forward and All American candidate Jerald Honeycutt will join two other returning juniors, Rayshard Allen and Correy Childs.

South Florida made it to the quarterfinals of last season's NIT. Returners include senior point guard Chucky Atkins, who is also a member of the 1995 USA National Team.

Fans in Hattiesburg, Miss., look for another winning season after going 17-13 for 1994-95. The Golden Eagles won the NIT in 1987.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte have been to four NCAA Tournaments, most recently in 1995, and three NITs.

Our very own Cougars as well have an illustrious history in men's basketball. With names like Guy V. Lewis, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, Houston has had its share of postseason play.

As Southwest Conference competition comes to a close, Houston fans should keep close attention on the future home of Cougar basketball. The competition that UH will get in Conference USA can only help to bring back the tradition of success enjoyed by Cougar basketball of the past.

 

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DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR UH OPPONENTS: ROOMMATES SAWYER AND TOURILLON LEAD COUGAR NETTERS

by Dominic Corva

Daily Cougar Staff

Volleyball coach Walton has his answer ready almost before I finish my question.

"Sami Sawyer and Marie-Claude Tourillon," he says.

The question was, who does he look to to lead the Cougar volleyball team in its SWC title defense?

"Marie just got back into town, and Sami's been in town all this week. Let me give them a call," says Walton, obviously a man of action.

Within 10 minutes, Sami and Marie show up, all sun-tanned and excited for the promise of the new season, barely three weeks away.

The two are roommates in Cambridge Oaks, the apartment complex on the corner of Cullen and Wheeler streets. Both consider this arrangement advantageous for the creation of court chemistry.

"Being comfortable living with someone really helps relax us as teammates. It gives us inside jokes to laugh at and helps us know each other better," says Sawyer.

Sawyer is the setter, the court general. She's California blonde with a ready smile and outgoing personality. And she's been in training two years for this season.

Tourillon transferred to UH last year from College Bois de Boulogne in Montreal, where she was named Athlete of the Year.

"This year's team is going to have to find its own identity," says Walton. "Last year, the personality of the team was defined by Lily (Denoon), Karla (Maul), and Heidi (Sticksel)."

"My job as coach is to help them find their unique style and keep them consistent. Sami and Marie will have to put their own stamp on this team," he added.

Tourillon, tall and dark-haired, is still learning English, but even if she wasn't, would still be a quiet presence. "I think the pressure is divided equally," she says. "We all have to play well together, as a team, for us to achieve our potential."

Both players and coach Walton are thrilled to have the new facility up and operating.

"Well, this changes how we practice. The players will have to be in better shape now that we can run three practice courts at one time, rather than one," Walton says.

Sawyer says, "You just have to walk into this building to feel the difference. It's a lot easier to get stoked for practice and games with so much more space and your own lockers. You walk in and feel the pride in the University of Houston. It's very exciting."

Tourillon concurs. "A summer away helps (rejuvenate) the fun in the game. We are glad to be back and to start getting ready for the season," she says.

She doesn't have long to wait. On Sept. 1, the Cougars host a tournament in Hofheinz Pavilion. Admission is free with a valid UH ID. Last season, interest in volleyball surged, peaking at more than 3,000 in the audience at Hofheinz Pavilion to watch the Cougars beat their nemesis, the University of Texas Longhorns.

Sawyer and Tourillon can't keep down a smile, remembering the big match. "It really pumps us up to hear the crowd, the support. I hope we can get big crowds every game," Sawyer says.

Tourillon nods, grins and says, with a French accent, "Yeah, that would be nice."

 

 

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NEW ATHLETIC FACILITY DAZZLES

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

The grand opening of the University of Houston athletics facility in May 1995 launched Cougar sports into a new realm of respectability.

Simply put, it is the finest college athletic facility in the country.

The $29.1 million, 220,000 square-foot building boasts the best that can be offered to student athletes at UH.

When you walk through the automatic glass doors, a stunning UH Alumni Room, decked in marble, hits you on your immediate left. This room can truly make an alumnus bleed scarlet and white, since it could give the presidential waiting room at the White House a run for its money.

Across the main hallway is the not yet finished Cougar Hall of Fame Room, which will bring back the memories of Carl Lewis, Doug Drabek and those three guys hooping in the Summit now -- Herrera, Drexler and the Dream.

The facility itself is dominated by the multipurpose indoor practice field.

It is an air-conditioned, 120-yard Astroturf practice field that retracts to reveal three basketball/volleyball courts (one a copy of the hardwood floor at Hofheinz), four tennis courts and an indoor track.

A 16,500 square-foot weight room, the single largest weight room in college athletics, is adjacent to the practice field. It is filled with the most modern strength equipment in the world.

Need to watch some game film of an upcoming opponent?

Yes, that, too, is covered by the video production lab, production rooms for highlight videos and a nifty 200-seat auditorium.

The facility also has a sports medicine center that has 12 treatment tables, 12 taping tables, offices for the professional training staff, examination rooms and a hydrotherapy center.

The hydrotherapy center consists of a sauna, whirlpools, spa and a Swimex pool, all for rehabilitation purposes.

Did I mention the golf and batting cages that drop from the roof?

Two 70-foot cages drop to the floor just in case someone desperately needs to hit a few shots and wants to stay out of the rain.

The support staff is treated well, too, with modern offices provided for everyone from UH head football coach Kim Helton to the water boy on the field hockey team.

This facility is a magnificent building that should have high school recruits across the country salivating.

The building will help rebuild some sports programs that have fallen off the shelf and will help to restore any Cougar pride that might have been dead since Hakeem and his fraternity brothers romped through the NCAA basketball tournament.

John and Rebecca Moores should be thanked for their financial contribution for the building and the spare-no-expense attitude to bring the best to UH.

The athletic complex will represent a new age for Cougar sports and suddenly puts UH on the playing field with the big sports programs in the country.

 

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FORMER UH LAW STUDENT, REGENT GIVES BACK

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston has the finest athletic facility in the country, thanks solely to the dreams of one Cougar alumnus, John Moores.

With the complex nearly finished, Moores feels good about his $31 million donation to athletics.

"Well, I have to say I am very pleased with how the building came out," Moores said.

"It is a good value for the money and is a credit to the hard work of many people. And to involve so much, a new ballpark, building, the tennis courts, it is just overall outstanding," he said.

Moores wanted to turn Cougar athletics around and restore Cougar pride that has not existed since the country became obsessed with UH's most famous fraternity, Phi Slama Jama.

The new athletic complex, baseball stadium and tennis courts have already boosted recruiting and made UH the envy of collegiate sports departments around the country.

When questioned about the extremely large donation, Moores reflected on his past and to how much he owes the University of Houston.

"It would have been very difficult for me to get through law school if it wasn't for UH. I just felt like putting something back into the school and back into the city," Moores said.

"The principle way to get Houstonians involved in the school is through athletics, because athletics do two things: One, it increases the visibility of the university. Two, with the new facility, we can attract better recruits to UH, which just helps promote a wonderful institution.

"I just couldn't see the university getting much better in the public eye without some improvements, and the old facility was quite simply god-awful, possibly the worst in division I-A schools.

"UH has so many things going for it, mainly starting with being situated in such a city as Houston.

"The future will include the need for universities in large places, and UH obviously meets that demand.

"When I was on the Board (of Regents), we used to joke that none of us were smart enough to mess this thing up."

The multimillionaire and computer software guru is modest when it comes to his financial help to UH.

Despite repeated efforts by the Athletics Department to name the baseball stadium after him, Moores has quietly thanked the gesture but has refused the attention.

Moores' goal was to promote UH and the city of Houston, not himself.

"My donation was to help the Athletics Department and increase the attention of sports at UH, but it was also intended to promote the school as a whole as well as the city of Houston. All of which I owe so much to," he said.

Even though John Moores feels like he owes the University of Houston, you only need to look across campus at the new athletic facility to know that perhaps the University of Houston owes John Moores.

He sought to bring the best to UH, and the first-class facility does this, bringing back some of that forgotten Cougar pride.

 

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH COACH HELTON

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

On May 21, 1993, Kim Helton was named head football coach at the University of Houston.

The job given to him was to restore a once proud football program and put UH back on the map as a legitimate contender in the NCAA.

Helton took over a football team that was filled with problems.

John Jenkins, the former head coach, had been fired a month before amid allegations of running a suspect program.

Few players on the team were graduating, and 1993 spring practices had already passed before Helton was hired.

Realizing the pressure he would be under in his new job, Helton remarked that, most importantly, "You had better believe we will do things the right way, with honesty and integrity."

Two years later, Helton has yet to produce a winning team on the field, but his program is one that brings credit to the university.

He has produced winners off the field in the classroom, and often that idea of student athletes is forgotten by college football coaches who only want victories on the scoreboard instead of the blackboard.

Recently, I sat down with our coach and discussed everything from football to Houston to the meaning of success.

We met in his office where his prior accomplishments in the NFL dominate the atmosphere of the room.

There are pictures of Bruce Matthews, Jim Kelly, and L.A. Raiders lineman Steve Wisniewski, all autographed, all thanking him for his wisdom on the gridiron.

Coach Helton speaks with a deceptively sleepy country drawl.

His words are powerful, to the point, and suggest the presence that has put fear into decades of football players.

<B>Daily Cougar:<P> What is your main goal for the 1995 Cougars football team? A .500 record? A possible bowl bid?

<B>Kim Helton:<P> It depends on what you mean by "goal." I like to think of it as being a success. And when I say success, I mean I would like us to improve and become a better team. For some schools to be a success, like A&M, they will have to win all their games. For us it is to win some games, and improve. If we beat Florida in Gainesville, is that success? If we improve, that is my goal, to succeed. If we don't improve then that is simply not to succeed. I have only one satisfaction and that is building a good program.

<B>DC:<P> What happened last year? What was the reason for not being a success on the field?

<B>KH:<P> Do you mean why did we not win as many games last year?

<B>DC:<P> Yes, why did we not win more?

<B>KH:<P> Look at this facility (referring to the new athletic complex where his offices are). If you came out here a couple years ago and saw a foundation that was good, you would continue building. If it wasn't, you would build a new foundation on which you would then grow in parts, adding as you went. Eighty to 90 percent of it is to build or to maintain high integrity. The beauty of the sport is that a new group of freshman is coming in to help build.

<B>DC:<P> Cougar pride has fallen recently. Sports programs seem off the shelf. Is restoring Cougar pride important to you?

<B>KH:<P> It is probably the most important thing we have to accomplish. You start it by being successful. When you have the soon-to-be third-largest city in the country, you have a lot to offer. We have to make the program grand enough that people want to come and get more of the Houston community with the team. It will come. It is important to remember that the program runs the athletes, not the athletes running the program. I feel good, though, that last year at no time did this team ever embarrass itself.

<B>DC:<P> When you think of key players this year critical to winning, who is the first one that pops into your mind?

<B>KH:<P> The quarterback. Clements has not been really given the chance to display the ability he has. The people around him have a devastating effect on that. The offensive line is important to the success of Chuck Clements. You have to have time to throw. The receivers are also important. The quicker they run, the faster they are open and catch the ball. He needs a well-rounded cast. Let me tell you something. Steve Young played for me in Tampa Bay (NFL team Buccaneers). He was horrible, and he got fired. Then he goes off to San Francisco and wins a Super Bowl. The surrounding cast has a lot to do with it.

<B>DC:<P> The schedule looks pretty rough this year. You mentioned playing Florida in Gainesville (No. 2 preseason national ranking) and USC in Los Angeles. Texas and Texas A&M (No. 1 preseason ranking) are going to be good. What do you say to get your team up for those games?

<B>KH:<P> You don't have to say anything if you are any kind of a competitor. I don't need a Knute Rockne speech. The players know what it means to be there when they walk on the field. The honor of winning is what sparks the adrenaline.

<B>DC:<P> The majority of the readers of The Daily Cougar are students at UH, thus they compromise an important base of people who will attend your games. Is there a thought you would like them to know about your program, or yourself?

<B>KH:<P> In the perfect world, I would like every student to have a little faith in the rebuilding process. I would like the students to help support. If we won every game it would be easier, I understand that. If they want to come out and boo the coach, that is fine; that means people are interested. That is where most universities have their success. The people that come out are Cougars. The good, the bad, the ugly, and in between. Once you get an involvement ...

(Coach Helton leaned back in his chair, folded his hands and looked at me with a serious, focused expression.)

... you know, if I had a problem with you, I could come across this desk and, if you didn't have a gun, you wouldn't be able to stop me. On that same note, if you gave me $500,000, I could go out and recruit the best 12 high school players in the country, and UH would be a winner next year. But it is more important to be a quality program built on integrity. That is more important than anything on the field. I feel I am the father here of every player on my team. Are they doing the right thing here? That is the question.

Upon leaving, I felt refreshed and confident as if maybe I knew something.

Perhaps I knew that the head football coach was a no-nonsense, quality individual more concerned with upholding standards than winning at the expense of integrity.

The 1995 UH football team might be in for a long season, but as long as coach Helton has the power to do what he wishes with his team, the Cougars will be a success on the field and off.

 

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TOUGH YEAR AHEAD FOR YOUNG FOOTBALL TEAM

by Dominic Corva

Daily Cougar Staff

Introducing the 1995 Houston Cougar football team: the third in the Kim Helton era, the last in the Southwest Conference epoch, and one of the most inexperienced Cougar football teams in recent history.

Nearly 60 percent (52 of 89) of the roster is made up of freshmen and sophomores.

Almost half (25 of 61) of the lettermen from 1994 are gone, as are 12 of the 25 starters.

On the up side, most of the players on the team will finally be Helton's own recruits, which should add to team chemistry. The cast is beginning to fit the play, so to speak: In the last three years, Helton has made a complicated transition from a showy, offense-oriented (more like offense-obsessed) team to a more traditional, defense-oriented, fullback and tight-end, hard-nose, tough-guy team.

"We may not be the prettiest or fanciest team you'll see, but if we can be anything, we'll be the toughest," Helton says.

The 1995 team features players who have endured horrible drubbings like 52-0 (Ohio State, 1994), 48-13 (UT, 1994), 52-13 (Baylor, 1994), 34-0 (Texas Tech, 1994), 58-7 (Texas Tech, 1993), 37-7 (Rice, 1993) and 49-7 (USC, 1993).

As former UH President Jim Pickering said at last year's homecoming football game (a 38-7 loss against Texas A&M): "A team that can play its heart out under the worst circumstances, keep getting up after getting knocked down, bloodied and beat up is a team that will be a winner no matter what its record is."

Remember those words this year when we play perennial steamroller University of Florida (Athletic Director Bill Carr's previous university), 1994 Cotton Bowl destroyer USC (won 55-14 against Texas Tech), preseason national No. 1 pick Texas A&M, and 1995 Sun Bowl winner University of Texas.

The games with more than hope for a moral victory to look to include: the home opener against Louisiana Tech (1994 record 3-8); game 4 against Kansas (the Cougars will be home looking to avenge a 13-35 1994 loss); and game 7 against Southern Methodist University (1-9-1 and UH's only victory last year).

Other 1995 opponents include more or less .500 schools in 1994: Texas Christian University (7-5), Baylor (7-5), Texas Tech (6-6) and Rice (5-6). Expect at least one victory from this batch, and watch closely how fired up the Cougars get for Texas Tech, who has outscored UH 92-7 in the last two years.

This team will finish with at least three victories this year, maybe as many as five. It may not seem like much, but remember the turmoil the football program was in three years ago under John Jenkins. This team finally has a foundation to build on -- it can only get better. And with a fully operational, much-ballyhooed (deservedly so) athletic facility, recruiting is already improving. Look for UH to be one of the best teams in an admittedly weak Conference USA in 1996.

One more note on the home opener against Louisiana Tech: It will be played in Robertson Stadium, the first UH football game there since 1950.

The small venue will give UH supporters a chance to really make some home-team noise. And I believe its presence at the UH campus will add something else to the game -- school spirit. There simply is no college feeling about the Astrodome, no matter how nice and air-conditioned it is. It's clinical, sterile, lifeless and sparse. I hope this will be the start of something new for UH both symbolically and literally -- it could draw otherwise apathetic Cougar supporters. Do not miss this game.

We have a whole new tradition to make.

 

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SENIOR DEFENSIVE BACKS, LB PARKER LEAD IMPROVED '95 DEFENSE

by Dominic Corva

Daily Cougar Staff

The 1995 Cougar defensive unit will star sophomore middle linebacker Mike Parker and a trio of senior defensive backs: Dedric Mathis, Thomas McGaughey and Gerome Williams.

Parker took up the legacy of Ryan McCoy, leading the team in tackles last year with 99, a number that put him fifth in the Southwest Conference. The 6-3, 204-pound Lamar High School product was the only freshman to crack the top 20 in that category. He is joined at linebacker by fellow sophomores Eric Woloson on the weak side and Reggie Davis on the strong side. True freshman Ahmard Charles is expected to push Davis, who missed spring drills while getting his academics in order.

McGaughey, who was converted from wide receiver his freshman year here, will play strong safety, a position he backed up last year. Head coach Kim Helton felt confident enough in him to switch Williams back to free safety, where he played two years ago. His 15 tackles against Kansas were the most by a Cougar in one game in 1994. Mathis played free safety last year, but his outstanding man-to-man coverage prompted a permanent switch to right cornerback. Junior Delmonico Montgomery rounds out the starting backfield; he also returns kickoffs for the Cougars.

The Cougars also have three seniors on the defensive line: Marlon Foots (6-0, 263) was second on the team in quarterback sacks last year with four and will start at left tackle; enormous Otis Grant (6-6, 283) will man the right tackle spot; and Carlos Chester (6-2, 287) will battle sophomore Rusty Foster (who started nine games in 1994) at right end. Tall (6-6, 233) sophomore Jason Brown sat out last year after an injury in the first game, but reclaimed his position at left end in the spring. His brother, Guy, played for the Cougars from 1974-76. Another Cougar lineman to watch is Leonta Rheames, a quick sophomore who saw action in 10 games last year.

Three former defensive linemen have been converted to offense: fullback Bobby Rodriguez, tight end Kacy Jones, and offensive lineman Dave Roberts.

 

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SEVEN STARTERS RETURN TO OFFENSE, SIX TO DEFENSE

QB CLEMENTS, OL HERNDON LEAD PRO-STYLE OFFENSE

by Dominic Corva

Daily Cougar Staff

The 1995 Cougar offensive unit will be anchored by junior quarterback Chuck Clements and senior lineman Jimmy Herndon.

Clements, a 6-3, 205-pounder out of Huntsville, spent most of last season with a broken hand. He showed some of his potential in 1993 when he made his college debut (subbing for an injured Jimmy Klingler) at the University of Michigan. In front of more than 100,000 screaming Wolverine fans, the freshman coolly completed 25 of 40 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns. He will be called on in the season opener in Florida to improve those numbers.

Chad O'Shea, who started three games last year as a true freshman, will back him up. O'Shea led the Cougars to their victory against SMU, throwing for 246 yards and two touchdowns.

Left tackle Jimmy Herndon has started 32 of 33 games during his UH career. The massive (6-8, 300) senior will need to impart some of his hard-earned wisdom to five 1995 line signees and converted defensive lineman Dave Roberts. Sophomore center Ben Fricke, guards Ronnie Price and Steve Williams and center/guard Wayne Wheeler fill out the position head coach Kim Helton played during his career. Look for Herndon to go high in next year's NFL draft.

Two names to watch in the backfield are fullback Bryant Henderson and tailback Jermaine Williams. Henderson was a junior college transfer last year who injured his knee before the season began. Williams led the Cougars with 670 yards rushing in 1994 and showed flashes of brilliance at times, running for 215 yards against SMU in Houston's only win last year. Other backs with experience include sophomores Ryan Burton and Jay MacGuire. Burton is the starting fullback who saw time at kick returner and played in all 10 games last year. MacGuire had 28 catches in 11 games last year and returned five kickoffs, showing versatility.

Three starting receivers were lost last year, so expect to see some unfamiliar names at flanker and slot. Hard-working, intelligent (a 4.0 grade point average through more than 30 credit hours) redshirt sophomore Jason deGroot is highly regarded by coaches despite his lack of experience. Junior Charles West is the tallest (6 feet) target for Clements and the most experienced. He ranked third on the team with 26 catches for 312 yards. Damion Johnson, Joey Mouton and Kenton Williams are the only other receivers on the depth chart who were with the team last year.

The lack of depth at receivers will be offset by increased use of the tight-end position by Helton. Freshman Rodney Griffin (6-3, 250) from Friendswood is already pencilled in at first string, with converted defensive lineman Kacy Jones providing his main competition.

Both Jason Stoft and Trace Craft finished their eligibility last year, so true freshman Ignacio Sauceda will handle both the placekicking and punting duties in 1995. He was an honorable-mention all-state kicker and punter at Harlingen High School last year.

 

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COUGAR VOLLEYBALL FINISHES FIFTH IN THE NATION

UH NETTERS CAPTURE TWO SWC TROPHIES ALONG THE WAY

by Dominic Corva

Daily Cougar Staff

Last year, this Cougar team won both the regular season SWC title and the postseason tournament, tied for fifth in the nation at the NCAA Tournament, had an All-American star and only lost two starters to graduation.

Often overlooked by Cougar fans in favor of big-time men's sports like football and basketball, University of Houston volleyball is long overdue the credit and fan support it deserves.

The UH netters begin their season Sept. 1 in Hofheinz Pavilion, hosting Pepperdine, Southwest Missouri, and national powers Arkansas and Wisconsin in a kickoff tournament.

The Cougars are led by two juniors: setter Sami Sawyer from California and middle blocker Marie-Claude Tourillon from Canada. They are also the last two SWC Newcomers of the year.

Sawyer earned second team All-SWC conference last year and is a dynamic presence on the court. This is her third year starting for the team.

Tourillon will be asked to fill the shoes of departed All-American hitter Lily Denoon-Chester. She showed flashes of dominance last season and was named SWC Newcomer of the Year as well as first team All-South Region.

Outside hitter Nashika Stokes is one of the best athletes on the team. The junior from Washington, D.C., is a terrific leaper at only 5-8.

Emily Leffers is the fourth starter returning for the 1995-96 campaign. A junior outside hitter from Tampa, she earned second team All-SWC last year.

Three redshirt players will be called on this year: junior Stacy Craven (out with an injury last year) and freshmen Debbie Vokes and Cortney Williams.

Head coach Bill Walton, known for his aggressive national and international recruiting, has four newcomers (three six feet or above) to draw on this year. Kristin Guidish (5-9) and Crystal Kubena (6-1) are outside hitters. Jillian King (6-0) is a middle blocker and Bethany Hill (6-0) can hit or set.

"If Debbie Vokes is recovered from her shoulder injury 100 percent, she will fill one of the two open positions," Walton said.

The fifth position will be filled by either Hill, Williams, Guida or Kubena.

"If Bethany is the best of the four, she will hit on the right side and Emily (Leffers) will go left. If Cortney is the best, she'll play in the middle. If one of the other two step up, they will hit on the left side," Walton said.

"Stacy Craven would have had a chance to work into Karla Maul's position, but, because of her recent surgery, will play defensive specialist, a role filled by Heidi Sticksel last year," Walton said.

Walton said he thinks everybody is still gunning for the University of Texas, traditionally the best team in the Southwest Conference.

He said the key to winning the conference this year is: Don't lose at home and never consider any team your superior.

"You are what you believe you can be. It is impossible to go beyond what you give yourself credit for. What concerns us is giving the best we have, today, and remember that your best today can be better than it was yesterday," he said.

Walton's team will play four Conference USA teams this year: at Tulane, and Marquette, Memphis and Louisville in Hofheinz. National powers Stanford, Florida and Florida State are also scheduled.

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UH INTRAMURALS OFFER RELIEF FROM STUDIES

by Corin Hoggard

Daily Cougar Staff

Have a lot of energy because your face is always in your books? Sick of including a walk to class among your "athletic" hobbies?

Experience the thrill of victory against campus sports legends like Rod McBane or Mike Hines or suffer the agony of defeat at the hands of the Sleepers. Join intramurals!

Really, if you long to be a weekend warrior, if athletics get you high, or if you stumble upon Garrison Gym and feel the need to prove your coordination to others, get some pals together and play an intramural sport.

Outside of the Greek system, it is a well-kept secret that UH harbors one of the best intramural programs in the nation. A bevy of individual events will be held this fall to accompany the forming leagues in such sports as flag football, indoor soccer and volleyball.

So get your dopamine pumping and stop by the Atlantic Room in the UC Underground any Friday at noon. Reggie Riley and Mark Kuhlmann will supply all the information you need, and we'll see your name in the UH Intramurals Weekly Competitor as you enjoy your weekend stardom.

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MOORE, TWIN TOWERS LEAD COUGAR BASKETBALL

by Corin Hoggard

Daily Cougar staff

The Cougar men's basketball team presents the Second Coming of Houston Twin Towers. Adrian Taylor, a 7-3 freshman, accompanies sophomore center Galen Robinson, who at 6-8 hopes to lay bricks above opposing hoops. If both avoid the lure of campus cafeterias, they will pose one of the greatest defensive barriers this school has seen.

Coach Alvin Brooks appreciates the presence of forward Tim Moore, a second-team SWC player who chose to stay for his senior year for the 94-95 Cougars. He averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds and acquired 19 double-doubles, the highest total since Greg "Cadillac" Andersen roamed the floor of Hofheinz Pavilion.

Brooks looks for solid offensive contributions from returnees Damon Jones and backcourt buddies Kirk Ford (a member of the 1995 SWC all-star team that toured Mexico) and Kenya Capers, who both anticipate healthy knees for their senior seasons.

The search for a point guard to replace the homesick Tommie Davis will end with either versatile freshman Deondray Carter or JC transfer Lonzell Gowdy, both significantly taller than Davis, but unproven in college's top division.

With the menacing defensive presence of the Twin Towers, Ford, and Capers, a little offensive production may go a long way. Sorely missed will be signee Omar Sneed, who led all scorers by a margin of 25 points in a McDonald's High School All-Star game with 39, but did not meet university academic requirements.

Hopefully, Moore will find sufficient help at the scorer's table and someone can generously contribute from the point, allowing the Cougars to move up in the conference standings. The blow from losing forward Jesse Drain and Davis is far softer than those suffered by other conference contenders, and the promise displayed by last year's late season surge will result in a better record than 9-19 (5-9 in conference action).

Don't count on a title, but watch for a surprisingly fine season if the players keep the trainer at the end of the bench.

 

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LADY COUGARS TRY TO IMPROVE ON .500

by Corin Hoggard

Daily Cougar staff

Jessie Kenlaw's Lady Cougars ended the perfect season of mediocrity in 94-95 with a 14-14 record, including 7-7 in the conference. Coach Kenlaw seeks to improve with the maturation of Pat Luckey and Jennifer Jones, highly touted freshmen in each of the past two years.

Last year's squad starred Stacey Johnson. She contributed more than 20 points a game and threw out nearly four assists and steals day in and day out. Johnson, however, managed to misplace a year of eligibility somewhere on I-10 between here and Tempe, Ariz., and won't see any action until her eligibility appeal is approved.

Luckey and Jones tie down a youthful and talented frontcourt, with transfer center Nakia Hill, a member of the SEC's All-Freshmen team in 1994. Luckey and Jones combined for 30 points and 16 rebounds last season and look to improve with age.

The backcourt will suffer until Johnson returns if her appeal is approved, but Tanda Rucker, playmaker and one-time national champion with Stanford, returns to distribute the ball. Hopes are high for newcomers Chiara Combs and Shunta Hart as well as second-year players Alicia Rodriguez and Fleceia Comeaux.

Coach Kenlaw has herself in prime position to make a run in the near future, surpassing the ladies from Texas Tech. Kenlaw's troops need time to improve, but enough talent exists on this squad to overtake the rest of the Southwest Conference in its last year of existence, and the improvements should give the Lady Cougars an excellent first entry in the new conference.

 

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ANDERSSON LEADS COUGAR TENNIS

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars tennis team looks to rebound in 1995 after a disappointing spring season when the team posted a 5-16 record.

The team is led by head coach Stina Mosvold and ace Susanne Andersson, who has a 29-8 overall record in singles play.

As the team starts its schedule, aspirations are high, thanks to some aggressive recruiting by Mosvold. During the Christmas break in 1993, Mosvold returned to her homeland Sweden, where she recruited both Andersson and Linda Gillner.

Convinced that UH was a place for their tennis games to improve, the tandem followed Mosvold to Houston where they have worked on becoming an international headache for their competitors.

Gillner posted a 9-9 overall record for the Cougars but lost four of six in Southwest Conference play this past year.

Team unity might be the key for this group. Mosvold said her team is a tightly knit group.

The closeness they feel extends off the court and into the classroom. Mosvold said she emphasizes academics first and tennis second.

"I don't want my athletes to forget they are here not only for tennis," she said.

She backs up her boast with the highest average GPA among UH athletes.

The ability of her players to handle the mental pressures of the classroom pays off when they hit the court.

"When my players go to a match and play from 9 (a.m.) to 7 (p.m.), by the time they get home and eat dinner, it's tough to start studying," she said.

Mosvold said she feels her younger players are better prepared mentally for tennis if their academics are in line.

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HEAD TRACK COACH CONTINUES TO PRODUCE STARS

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

With an outstanding tradition in track and field competition, Houston's Robertson Stadium should be a hotspot with the Summer Olympics coming in 1996.

Head coach and track and field guru Tom Tellez will begin his 20th season at UH. His teams in the past have produced some of the greatest athletes in track history.

Olympians Leroy Burrell, Carl and Carol Lewis will continue as volunteer coaches for their former college coach.

Returning to the Cougar team for the 1995-96 indoor and outdoor season will be senior long jumper/sprinter Sheddric Fields. Fields won sixth place in long jump in the 1994-95 NCAA Outdoor Championships last May.

Cougar hurdler/sprinter Ubeja Anderson returns from a summer during which he spent the majority of his time in competition in Europe. One of the nation's top collegiate hurdlers, Anderson won third place in the NCAA Outdoor Championships despite an ailing right foot that hampered his training throughout the season.

Much anticipated also is the return of decathlete Michael Hoffer. The Swedish native was the national champion at Blinn College in 1993-94 before transferring to UH.

The women's team has a number of dynamic members returning. Distance runners Christy Bench and Cyndi Espinoza will be a part of the cross country and track teams.

Sprinters Demonica Davis and Janine Courville continue the tradition of sprinting excellence that has been Tellez's trademark. Davis won second place in 1994-95 Southwest Conference Outdoor Championships.

 

 

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NEW COACH, NEW FIELD, NEW BASEBALL TEAM

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars baseball team started the 1995 season with a new coach, new players and a beautiful new field

Unfortunately, nothing was new about the performance of the team as the Cougars posted a rather unremarkable 26-29 record.

Yet, despite the losing season, the 1995 team established a foundation to build a future outstanding baseball program.

Head coach Raynor Noble, a former Cougar All-American, took a new team on the field as only 16 players returned from the previous year.

The head coach immediately changed the attitudes of his players, as a different competitive desire was instilled in them.

The team was anchored by the corners on the diamond as first baseman Carlos Perez and third baseman Tom Maleski turned in outstanding season performances.

Perez managed a .305 average for the year and tied Maleski for the team high in home runs with six. He also contributed on defense with a staggering .982 fielding percentage, committing only eight errors on the season.

Maleski was the charismatic leader on the team and constantly provided the motivation to help carry his teammates through the long up-and-down season. A strong .327 average and 17 doubles marked Maleski's year while starting in every game except one at third.

Among the newcomers, Stephen F. Austin transfer Jason Farrow seemed to do it all this year.

Farrow found himself playing right field, pitching, and pulling most of the offensive duty of being the team's designated hitter.

Farrow led the team in batting average (.330), saves (7), wins (4), and runs batted in with 37.

Second baseman Ray Trevino and shortstop Jason Smiga also contributed heavily as Smiga had 14 doubles and a big .358 slugging percentage despite his small 5-8 frame.

Committing only three errors on the season kept Trevino in the lineup most of the season as his defense was too valuable for coach Noble to replace him with a better offensive player.

Injuries definitely took their toll on the team in 1995 as pitcher Bo Hernandez was sidelined most of the season, as was starting center fielder Geoffrey Tomlinson, who played in 30 games before stepping out midseason with a leg injury.

The highlight of the year was the opening of the new Cougar Field, built largely on the grant from John and Rebecca Moores who donated $32 million to UH athletics.

The beautiful new stadium showcased the young Cougars and contributed to a heavy recruiting effort to bring the best to UH.

The night the Cougars opened the new field, the team provided the best win of the season as pinch hitter Dustin Carr hit an extra inning's home run to beat Lamar 5-4 before a capacity crowd.

The team also beat No. 1 Louisiana State in Baton Rouge last February when few people gave the Cougars much of a chance to win.

Coach Noble added a major league assistant coach this year when former Cougar and Cy Young winner Doug Drabek helped the pitching staff while the baseball strike kept him from playing for the Houston Astros.

The 1995 Cougars baseball season will be remembered as a rebuilding year.

A new coach, new players, new uniforms and a new field all marked a transition to the current era of baseball for UH.

Coach Noble fielded a 1995 team that had more losses than victories, but his team never lost its competitive spirit and paved the way for a winning attitude for years to come.

 

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CONFERENCE USA: UH TO BUILD A NEW TRADITION

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

Although much noise will continue to be made about the final nine months of the Southwest Conference, more attention is sure to be given to the future home of each of the divorcees.

Houston athletics will join Conference USA for the 1996-97 season. While the Cougars engage in the last year of SWC competition, the other 11 programs that make up C-USA will begin the first year of conference play.

As a result, UH can keep a watchful eye on its future competition.

The other institutions that make up the conference are the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Cincinnati, DePaul University, Marquette University, the University of Memphis and Saint Louis University from the Great Midwest Conference, as well as the University of Louisville, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of South Florida, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Tulane University from the Metro Conference.

The 12 institutions represent 12 separate states. Eleven of the Conference's 12 television markets rank in the top 50.

Without question, the new conference will be home to outstanding men's basketball competition. Football will begin next season with six programs: Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, Memphis, Southern Mississippi and Tulane.

The conference will sponsor a total 18 championship sports. Men's and women's teams will compete in basketball, cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track and field, soccer and tennis.

Women's teams will also compete in volleyball, while men will field squads in baseball and football. There will also be a combined championship in rifle competition.

Conference USA will be headquartered in Chicago for the first year of operation with Michael Slive as acting commissioner.

Many in the UH community are excited about the potential the new conference promises to offer. Some may be more upset at the demise of the SWC. With recently struggling athletics, this may be the change Houston needs to shake out of the stagnation that has set in the SWC.

 

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PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL BETTENCOURT/SONY PICTURES

by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

As pretty as a film may be, there's a lot of harsh reality behind the camera, as crew members struggle to perfect the view of the false reality they want to be projected on a screen.

That is the central theme that Tom DiCillo tries to project in his hilarious film <I>Living in Oblivion<P>.

But in the process, he also created an extended examination of that venerable Hollywood institution, the dream sequence.

<I>Living in Oblivion<P> opens in a grainy black and white, then shifts into color as the film alternates between reality, dream, film, and the film in the dream. The first shift epitomizes the difference between what is seen on film and what really goes on behind the camera.

The actors in the film, who are portraying actors, directors, cameraman, lighting and boom, play their parts to perfection. The viewer naturally believes that they're slight caricatures, but never really knows for sure.

Steve Buscemi (Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's <I>Reservoir Dogs<P>) portrays Nick, the frustrated director who has to deal with late actors, malfunctioning machines, an itinerant mother, a cameraman with a broken heart, and an irate dwarf.

Buscemi is backed up by Danielle Von Zerneck as Wanda, an assistant director with a poisonously cheerful demeanor. When she tells a crew member, "Thank you for the apology, but you'll never work in this town again," both the crew member and the audience wonder just how seriously to take the threat.

Only some of the film's action comes from conflict between actors and crew, most notably the scene in which Chad Palomino (James Le Gros) plays a talentless actor with a swelled ego who ruffles the feathers of Nick, actress Nicole (Catherine Keener), and cameraman Wolf (Dermot Mulroney).

Most of the conflict is generated not by personalities, but by accidents. The smoke machine goes haywire, the actors flub their lines, and the microphone strays into the frame, over and over again until finally the whole crew is at the breaking point.

For the sake of film crews, we hope that making movies isn't as demanding as <I>Living in Oblivion<P> suggests. But it's easy to believe that it's both as trying and rewarding as the film makes it out to be.

 

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY EARL/ISLAND

THE CRANBERRIES WILL PERFORM AUG. 25 AT THE WOODLANDS PAVILION TO PROMOTE THEIR SECOND ALBUM, <I>NO NEED TO ARGUE<P>.

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

The voice is unmistakable -- light and heavenly in "Dreams," aggressive and shrill in "Zombie." Always, though, tinged with a slight touch of the Irish.

As lead singer for the Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan and her trademark wails have become the main focus of the four-member group since its first appearance on the music scene in 1993. With the release of <I>Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can't We?<P>, the band's debut album, the Cranberries quickly emerged as one of the most successful new groups of the '90s. Off that album came "Linger," the first of a string of top 10 hits, and "Dreams," which proved to be a mainstay on radio airwaves even today. The song also appeared in the film <I>Boys on the Side<P>, released in January of this year.

That wasn't the group's first experience on a big Hollywood soundtrack. Last year, the song "Pretty" was featured in a pivotal scene in Robert Altman's otherwise forgettable <I>Ready to Wear (Pret-A-Porter)<P>. While the movie tanked in theaters, the Cranberries' contribution stuck in the minds of moviegoers who surely recall the final scene in which it was heard.

As a follow-up to their double platinum debut, the Cranberries released their second effort, <I>No Need to Argue<P>, late last year. The album quickly entered Billboard's Hot 100 album chart and remained among the top 10 for several weeks. Along with O'Riordan, band members Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Feargal Lawler strived for a harder sound, best noted in "Zombie," a searing track detailing "man's inhumanity to man." The album also deals with a variety of topical issues ranging from kinship to death. With lyrics by O'Riordan on both albums, the songs are light and catchy, yet often thought-provoking, like the bittersweet "Ode to My Family."

The Cranberries have achieved mainstream success in America, but the music has a definite edge that has enabled the band to reach more limited audiences, such as college students. That crossover appeal was seen when "Zombie" charted on both the Top 100 and College Rock charts. The harder sound of the album is not an intentional shift, but more of a natural progression toward what the group is into right now.

To taste more of the Cranberries, see them perform live Aug. 25 when they take the stage in the Woodlands. Tickets are $28 and $19, and the show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with opening act Toad the Wet Sprocket.

 

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<I>DANGEROUS MINDS<P>

Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzundza

Director: John N. Smith

*** stars

Photo courtesy of Linda R. Chen/Hollywood Pictures

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

In the film industry, name changes and shuffled release dates usually signify a stinker. In the past, the creators of movies like <I>I'll Do Anything<P> and <I>Even Cowgirls Get The Blues<P> used these tactics to try and disguise the bad quality of their product. It didn't work.

The latest film to go through this bad movie syndrome also seemed like a guaranteed bomb. After initially being known as <I>My Posse Don't Do Homework<P> and being scheduled for a late ’94 release, this <I>Untitled Michelle Pfeiffer Project<P> (as it was known for a while) finally hit theaters Aug. 11. What a pleasant surprise it was to discover the movie was actually extremely entertaining!

The film, <I>Dangerous Minds<P>, is a rousing drama filled with good intentions and strong performances by a talented cast of newcomers and veterans. While a few of the targets hit just off the mark, the highs definitely outweigh the lows.

LouAnne Johnson (Pfeiffer) is a recently divorced woman who leaves behind a nine-year military career to pursue her goal of becoming an English teacher. While searching for a position as a student teacher, LouAnne (who wrote the book upon which the movie is based from actual experiences) ends up accepting a job at a tough Northern California high school. She is assigned to teach a class known as "The Academy," which is basically code for "delinquents." LouAnne encounters a room of hooligans who spend their time in school fighting, cussing and terrorizing substitutes. As soon as she walks in the classroom, someone yells "White bread!"

After that scenario, LouAnne is all but ready to give up but rethinks the situation, thanks to advice from fellow professor Hal Griffith (George Dzundza), who is also a longtime friend. Armed with a new, stronger attitude, a leather jacket on her back and some sharp karate moves, LouAnne goes in kicking. With the fancy footwork she grabs their attention, and with their willingness to be taken seriously for the first time in their lives, both teacher and students embark on a journey that will enrich their minds and give them something to remember.

Under the skilled hand of John N. Smith, who directed the brilliant Canadian telefilm <I>The Boys of St. Vincent<P>, <I>Dangerous Minds<P> is a frequently entertaining piece that is not so much about learning as it is about realizing ones worth and potential for greater things. The central kids in the movie -- Callie Roberts (Bruklin Harris); Raul Sanchero (Renoly Santiago) and Emilio Ramirez (Wade Dominguez) are all, of course, smart kids who just never had a chance. This recycled premise works, though, because of the strikingly honest performances by the young actors. As Callie, a student whose intelligence should place her in advanced courses, Harris gives a gentle, compassionate performance. Santiago and Dominguez are also believable as two kids who aren't really bad guys, they just have limited options.

Behind every good student is a great teacher, and Pfeiffer is right on cue as LouAnne. While it's hard to remember ever having a teacher quite so gorgeous, Pfeiffer creates a likable character who is a means of salvation for the "at-risk" kids. Her gentle manner and consistent drive shows that school is not only about learning dry subjects. It's about recognizing your worth and recognizing the beauty in learning new things. LouAnne may not have saved every kid, but the impact she made on those she reached will probably last a lifetime.

 

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PHOTO COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Carol White suffers from coughing fits, dizziness, nausea, even seizures. Every day she gets weaker, her skin slowly changing to a faded, sickly white. Strange sores appear on her body, along with rashes that never seem to go away. What Carol has is not diagnosed by doctors, but it is something very serious. She is allergic ... to the 20th century.

This initially humorous but ultimately serious premise propels <I>Safe<P>, the latest film from accomplished director Todd Haynes. Starring Julianne Moore as the victim of her own environment, the movie is at times a compelling drama with brushes of satire and intriguing images, but its uneven story line and slow progression eventually wear a little thin.

Carol is a Los Angeles housewife whose life is seemingly normal. A nice husband, Greg (Xander Berkeley) and a stepson, Rory (Chauncy Leopardi) make up her stable, if routine, family. She has friends, an active social life and a lush home. Her biggest problem is making sure the right furniture is delivered. She suffers from allergies and rashes at times, but it seems like no big deal. "I'm fine," she says.

Soon, though, her symptoms worsen. While driving in traffic, Carol almost collapses as a result of a coughing fit. She starts having trouble breathing, too. Her doctor says she is fine, nothing to worry about. Her sickness persists, and Carol eventually winds up at a retreat for "environmentally sensitive" patients who suffer from a number of strange diseases. She is told she has "20th Century Disease." Carol accepts this diagnosis not necessarily because it is true but because her world is crumbling and unstable, and she needs a "safe" place to cling to. In the end, Carol ends up accepting herself, but at what price to the rest of her everyday life?

<I>Safe<P> is an occasionally interesting piece on environmental awareness and the influence of others over the weak, but it never really comes together. There are no horrific scenes of Carol just missing death, and there is no biting satire on how the world will accept any nonsense in order to feel secure. While these points are hinted at, they are never felt strongly enough to register. Carol's illness is fascinating, but we don't understand why she really became this way. Was she unhappy with her marriage, her friends, what? Was she really allergic to the environment? <I>Safe<P> provides plenty of questions to ponder, but it doesn't have the capacity to answer them in full.

Director Haynes uses long, drawn-out shots to convey the urgency of some scenes, but the novelty grows old really fast. Lingering shots of Carol realizing her debilitation are fine, but Haynes uses this in practically every other frame. The effect wears off because of overkill and, eventually, boredom.

Moore, though, does her best with the dry script she is given. Speaking in a frail, high-pitched voice, much unlike her real tone, Moore comes across as a helpless victim throughout the whole ordeal. While she escapes the disease by entering Wrenwood Facility, one could argue her life there is just as unfortunate. Life-affirming counselors and an overly optimistic ringleader (played convincingly by Peer Friedman) are almost as bad as her seizures. Carol stays in a cabin, but eventually winds up in a porcelain-lined igloo, to keep away from car fumes. She will do anything to feel protected, even alienate those who love her. Carol buys into Wrenwood, but in the process loses herself. A wrap-up conclusion is offered, but the resolution is unsatisfactory. There's no big buildup and no big realization, so what was the point of Carol's journey? This isn't a terrible picture, but I'd be cautious about recommending <I>Safe<P> to anyone.

<I>Safe<P>

Stars: Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley

Director: Todd Haynes

** stars

 

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PHOTO BY JOAN MARCUS/HOUSTON BROADWAY SERIES

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

For local theatergoers, it has been a summer of spectacle.

The Houston Broadway Series has presented a number of elaborately staged musicals in the past few months, with varying degrees of success. <I>Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat<P> was an energetic crowd-pleaser, while Tommy Tune's <I>Buskers<P> never really got off the ground. Besides being plagued with production problems, the show used elaborate sets and fancy footwork to disguise an unfocused story. If there's no framework behind the facade, though, it will eventually crumble.

Fortunately, the latest offering from the Broadway Series doesn't make these mistakes. For all its special effects and extravagance, <I>Miss Saigon<P> emerges as a powerful, tragic love story carried by the strength of its writing and a star-making performance by Deedee Lynn Magno. The intricate staging serves to heighten the play's overall effect instead of disguising any shortcomings.

The musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg is an epic tale of two young lovers whose story unfolds during the fall of Saigon in 1975. Kim (Magno) is a naive, innocent girl forced to work as a prostitute during the times of hardship. It is here she meets Chris (Matt Bogart), an American soldier whose purpose in life is also unclear. While Chris deals with his duties as a soldier and Kim strives to survive alone (both of her parents were killed), the two wandering spirits connect, forging a bond that will have devastating results.

Years later, Kim still longs for the man she calls her husband, but Chris has returned to America and made a new life for himself, without his Vietnamese bride. During this period, Kim struggles to live and falls upon many tragedies, all the while searching for the soldier she has always loved.

The story has a very soap-opera feel, but it is told with such intensity that one cannot help but be overwhelmed by emotion. Moments of sorrow and heartbreak occur, thanks in large part to a stellar performance by Magno. She is excellent in portraying Kim as a pure, innocent flower who blossoms into a strong-willed woman prepared to fight for what she loves. Magno has matured considerably since being a member of pop group The Party. Both her acting and singing is sensational, perfectly illustrating Kim's heartbreak and longing

Also adding to the musical's success are the many special effects in this $12 million production. Strobe lights are effective in the war scenes, and the much-talked-about helicopter sequence is also executed remarkably well. While it did seem like a fancy distraction at first, the scene it appeared in was made all the more intense as troops evacuated the American Embassy. Musical staging by Bob Avian was gorgeous, ranging from a showy, Vegas-style city of Bangkok to a powerfully contrasted view of Kim and Chris carrying on with their separate lives and dealing with their loss.

Not to be forgotten, the remainder of the cast also provided key ingredients for success. Thom Sesma is a light diversion from the intensity as the Engineer, the owner of the bar where Kim works and meets Chris. His hopes of realizing the "American Dream" provide another theme for the show. C.C. Brown and Anastasia Barzee are good as John and Ellen, respectively, but, alas, there is a weak link in this chain. As played by Bogart, Chris failed to earn the sympathy of the audience, mostly due to a wooden, one-note performance. I ended up disliking him and feeling sorry for Kim. Whether or not it was intentional, it just felt wrong.

Nevertheless, <I>Miss Saigon<P> is nothing short of a smashing success. Each scene overflowed with emotion, most notably in Act Two, where the intensity was almost unbearable. In the end, each person goes on but is changed forever by the consequences of their actions.

<I>Miss Saigon<P> runs through September 2 at Jones Hall with both evening and matinee performances. Ticket prices run from $15-$60, and can be purchased at the Jones Hall box office or through Ticketmaster at 629-3700. If ever there was a show to see, this is definitely the one.

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nby Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

"M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!" After singing the name of that lovable mouse for five years, Deedee Lynn Magno never expected to be where she is right now.

"It was great. I never regret doing that," says Magno, referring to her stint on <I>The Mickey Mouse Club<P> and as a member of the spin-off pop group, The Party. These days, Magno has offed the mouse ears to concentrate on other things, like her role as Kim in the musical <I>Miss Saigon<P>, playing at Jones Hall. She hasn't forgotten her days on the road with the group, though.

"It was just a great experience to travel all around the world," says the 20-year-old in reference to touring with The Party. Magno says many people did not take the group seriously, and finding space on radio stations and MTV was tough. That door opened, though, with their release "In My Dreams," a remake of a heavy metal track that got moderate airplay on television and in dance clubs.

After music and Mickey, Magno moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, where she attended a community college for one-and-a-half semesters and was "basically unemployed" for about a year. Then came an audition for the chorus of <I>Sunset Boulevard<P>. Magno didn't get a part, but she was seen by the casting director of <I>Miss Saigon<P>, who asked her to audition. The rest is history.

"I had no idea how to prepare for this role," says Magno, whose part in <I>Miss Saigon<P> marks her first theater experience. In order to research, she watched documentaries, films and news footage on the fall of Saigon, and got help from director Nicholas Hytner. While Magno's parents are from the Phillipines, she was born in Virginia and raised in San Diego.

Magno had great support from her family while growing up in California. She attended a performing arts middle school, and dad drove her to Los Angeles at least three times a week for auditions. Her public debut came on a local news show. Contestants were videotaped, and the performances were played back on the news with a number encouraging viewers to call in and pick their favorite. Magno was the overwhelming winner, but, according to her, it was only because she got all of her aunts, uncles and friends to call in!

Magno's determination also helped land her a role in <I>Sister Act 2<P>, but be careful. "It's one of those bend-over-to-pick-up-your-popcorn-and-you-miss-it parts," she jokes.

An avid moviegoer herself, Magno sings the praises of <I>The Indian in the Cupboard<P>, the last film she saw. "I read the book in elementary school, and when I saw the previews for it, I was so excited!"

Now, this sweet and likable newcomer is taking the world by storm. She has a contract for a year with this production of <I>Miss Saigon<P>, and then it's up for negotiation. Magno is hoping to start a film career soon, and has also been writing songs -- not perky pop like those sang with The Party, but more of a Tori Amos/Suzanne Vega, folky-type vibe.

Since being in Houston, Magno says she hasn't been able to do much during the day. The exhaustion of performing nightly takes its toll, a lesson she learned quickly. When Magno first started rehearsing, her energy was sky high. "I would get up and get there three or four hours early," she says.

Magno seems to know the ins and outs of performing these days. She says the Houston run has "been so blessed with great audiences," and the feeling is overwhelming.

"It's such a wonderful experience getting that immediate response from people," Magno says. For those of you who have seen the show, she definitely deserves it.

 

 

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nby Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

It was more than three years ago in a local club formerly known as the Unicorn Ballroom. As the crowd awaited the arrival of the considerably popular Tejano singer, I anxiously pushed past cowboy hats and stepped over boots, hoping to get a closer look. My heart began pounding as the announcer shouted, "Selena!"

These same feelings resurfaced as I listened to <I>Dreaming of You<P>, a collection of new songs and old hits in tribute to the amazing talent of a remarkable artist. With this album, Selena's lifelong dream of becoming a successful English language crossover artist has finally become a reality.

The first of five new songs to be released off the album is the wistful "I Could Fall in Love," a rhythm and blues-flavored ballad. The track has a relatively simple arrangement but is carried by the pleading, heartbreaking sound of Selena's voice. In the hands of a lesser singer, the song would be a mediocre ode to romance, but Selena makes it something poignantly beautiful.

Also benefitting from that impressive vocal range are "Captive Heart" and "I'm Getting Used to You," a couple of upbeat numbers. With fierce lyrics, a catchy beat and slick production by Guy Roche, "Captive Heart" could easily be added to club play lists everywhere. The perky "I'm Getting Used to You" shows a sweeter side of Selena, and lyrics by schlockmeister Diane Warren make this a light breeze of a song.

The most impressive new songs on the album are also the most adventurous. "God's Child (Baila Conmigo)" is a creative duet with former Talking Head David Byrne. A pulsating intro leads into Byrne's solid vocal, and Selena joins soon after in Spanish. The play between the two is marvelous, as their voices sharply contrast. His is clear and precise, hers is rich and passionate. The song was written by Byrne, and the abstract lyrics ponder the importance of life and the human race.

Not quite as insightful but just as successful is the album's title track. The ballad is a slow groove much like the first single, and both succeed because of their simplicity. Love doesn't have to be overblown string arrangements and screaming divas. Selena's quietly affecting interpretation in "Dreaming of You" is a sweetly moving example. With these five simple songs, she shows more talent and drive than many of today's leading artists. It's heartbreaking to realize this is all the U.S. market will ever know of such a talent.

Luckily, Selena's Spanish-speaking fans have a wide array of material to enjoy. Some of the best is showcased on this album in remixed form, including "Como La Flor," her first international hit on the Latin charts. The song is not so much a remix as a sharper, more polished version than the original produced by her brother, A.B. Quintanilla III. Also benefitting from a slight update is "Amor Prohibido," Selena's biggest single to date. Hidden rhythms and added beats appear in both songs, adding more spice to the mix.

Improvements are also made on "Missing My Baby," one of Selena's first tries at an English pop sound, and "Wherever You Are (Dondequiera Que Estes)," a duet with the Barrio Boyzz. Full Force adds vocals and a better arrangement to "Missing My Baby," giving it a more '90s sound than the original. "Wherever You Are" was re-recorded by the Barrio Boyzz in English, but Selena's sassy Spanish vocals remain.

While those Spanish hits retain the essence of the original versions, the final two past hits are given totally new sounds. "Techno Cumbia" and "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" were innovative in their original version on 1994's <I>Amor Prohibido<P>, thanks to unique musical framework by Quintanilla. Now, though, inherent reggae beats and bass lines are brought to the forefront in these creative dance versions. Selena's vocal strength is the focus, though, as she raps in "Techno Cumbia" or describes seeing her lover in the carefree "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom."

That is the draw within all the impressive production and confession of love, Selena. Her energy and enthusiasm are captured beautifully in this album, and she alone makes each song come alive. While her life was tragically cut short, the heart that went into each recording is something the public will always have. Selena's talent is indisputable and most clearly heard in "El Toro Relajo" and "Tu Solo Tu," a pair of mariachi songs taken from the film <I>Don Juan De Marco<P>. Mariachi is extremely difficult to sing, but Selena does it flawlessly. While all this buildup may seem a bit grandiose and unnecessary, one need only listen to this album to realize the treasure we had for such a short amount of time.

 

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PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDA R. CHEN/GRAMERCY PICTURES

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

In describing director Bryan Singer's first major motion picture, "usual" would be the exact opposite word to use.

<I>The Usual Suspects<P> is a creatively written and sharply directed attempt to break out of the way-tired action movie formula that involves the good, the bad and the shoot-out seen in countless films today. While the movie boasts some solid performances and genuine suspense, the complex plot and initial tedium serve to dilute its overall success.

I really had trouble following the events at first, but they go something like this: An enormous explosion on a boat carrying $91 million in cocaine rips through the silence of the ocean. When the dust finally settles, two men are the only survivors left to tell what happened -- a Hungarian who was almost burned to his death and "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), a crippled con man from New York. To find out who masterminded this massacre, U.S. Customs Special Agent David Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) is brought in to question Verbal while an FBI sketch artist races to complete a drawing described by the Hungarian. Both men mention Keyser Soze, a criminal legend feared by even the most cold-blooded of killers. While no one has actually seen this monster, his name is often mentioned in the criminal world.

Verbal tells the story from the beginning, six weeks earlier at a police line-up. Five felons are brought in accused of hi-jacking gun parts: Cop-turned-thug Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne); hardware specialist Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollak); wild boy Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin); Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), McManus' strange partner; and finally, Verbal himself. Slowly, the pieces come together and the story unfolds, ending with Special Agent Kujan eventually outwitting the poor, idiotic Verbal. Right?

While this premise sounds promising, the end result is a mixed bag. The movie's final scenes are fast-paced and exciting, but the buildup is not quite up to par. Honestly, I didn't even understand what the heck was going on until about a third of the way into the movie. There seemed to be too much talking and not enough action. While there's nothing wrong with the art of conversation, one would hope the conversation would at least hold the audience's attention.

Another problem in the movie was underdeveloped characters and relationships. Kudos to any action movie that tries, but the amount in here helped rather than hindered. There was a hint of something in Dean's character, whose life as a thief eventually took its toll on his relationship with his wife, Edie Finneran (the underrated Suzy Amis), a high-powered attorney. Amis did what she could, but her role was basically window dressing. Also frustrating was the amount of time spent on each character. While Verbal and Dean were prominent, the rest of the characters awkwardly faded into the backdrop.

Perhaps this wasn't too bad of an idea, as some of the performances were less than memorable. Pollak was the epitome of annoyance as Hockney, the would-be macho tough guy. Pollak has carved a niche out of playing nice sidekicks in movies like <I>A Few Good Men<P>, <I>Indian Summer<P> and <I>Grumpy Old Men<P>. It's good to expand your horizons, but Pollak was totally miscast. Del Toro was also a minor nuisance as Fenster, who spoke with some sort of nasal accent. I don't know if he really talks this way, but I seriously suggest dubbing next time if he does.

Even with all those problems, <I>The Usual Suspects<P> is watchable, thanks to a good but rough script by Christopher McQuarrie and great photography by Newton Thomas Sigel. The movie has a coarse, gritty quality, giving it a realistic look. Singer also has a good eye, and his direction shows he has true talent for creating tension and drama. Perhaps with the right screenwriter, I <I>suspect<P> the next time out will be even better.

<I>The Usual Suspects<P>

Stars: Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin

Director: Bryan Singer

**1/2 stars

 

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by Frank San Miguel

Contributing Writer

•Various Artists, <I>Pump Ya Fist: Hip-hop Inspired by the Black Panthers<P>. As interest in the activism and imagery of the militant Black Panther Party for Self-Defense picks up, a crop of some of rap's heavy hitters join for music inspired by the BPP. It's a great release with plenty of high points worth mentioning.

<I>Fist<P> kicks off with the inimitable KRS-1 doing a stripped-down rap on "Oh Yeah." Accompanied by a simple but thick bassline and understated drum beat, KRS lays down fierce rhymes much different from the poetic rhetoric of his old band, Boogie Down Productions, yet it's music that's his best to date. "You black people are still thinkin' about voting?" KRS plaintively asks near the song's opening. "Every president we ever had lied/Ya know, I'm kinda glad Nixon died."

Kam and Grand Puba (ex-member of Brand Nubian) do a great job following up KRS. Even Chuck D, the now much-maligned founder of Public Enemy, can't but impress on his funky spoken-word song, "It's the Pride." However, it's Ahmad and Tupac Shakur who steal the show here.

Jail or not, Shakur can't be stopped as a musician. His <I>Me Against the World<P> is already platinum, and his ear for great tunes is rivalled by few in hip-hop. On his contribution to <I>Fist<P>, "Throw Your Hands Up," Shakur's infectious rhyme style and frenetic backdrop can get you anywhere but moving. Contrast it with Ahmad's slower tune, "Only if You Want It," which is no less exciting.

Other notables here include the Fugees and Jeru the Damaja, but few of the tracks on <I>Fist<P> are clunkers. The one obvious thing missing from this disc, however, is the Black Panther of Hip Hop himself, Paris, whose exclusion seems to leave a big hole. Paris’ absence aside, this one's definitely worth the price.<B>Four Stars<P>

•Kam, <I>Made In America<P>. For the conscious rap community, the dismal response to releases like Public Enemy's <I>Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age<P> and Ice Cube's <I>Lethal Injection<P> must have been heads on pikes. Those of the genre, like Kam, are heeding the warning by combining heads on issues with ears to the street.

Kam's new release, <I>Made in America<P>, is part and parcel with a soulful resurgence of melodious hip-hop from those whose message isn't the usual fare of guns and street stories. It follows suit to recent records like Paris' <I>Guerrilla Funk<P>, the Coup's <I>Genocide & Juice<P>, Da Lench Mob's <I>Planet of the Apes<P>, and Digable Planets' <I>Blowout Comb<P> with seductive overlays, thoughtful lyrics and inescapably head-nodding songs. <I>Made in America<P> even supersedes some of those releases by summoning an all-star cast of artists to lend a hand.

Discovered by Ice Cube, Kam is a name not lost on those who've listened to hip-hop before. From his landmark single "Peace Treaty," which was one of the first major rap songs to document the truce between L.A.'s factions of Bloods and Crips, to his efforts on "Get the Fist," a benefit single by West Coast rappers to help rebuild South Central after the 1992 L.A. rebellion, Kam has unflinchingly thrown his lot in with the political arm of hip-hop. However, politics tend not to mean much when it comes to making a record – sound is where it's at.

While his latest release, <I>Neva Again<P>, proved to be a strong recording, it has been nearly three years since that one dropped. Kam is a rapper who's got something to prove with a new hip-hop field out there. <I>Made in America<P> is flavored to sound like the road-shaking sounds on hip-hop airwaves today, perhaps even disconcertingly so. To a great extent, Kam’s stays very rigid to what’s accepted right now. Nevertheless, Kam hasn’t abandoned his perspective -- only spiced it up.

Opening <I>America<P> with a sample of a speech by the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan, Kam is quick to jump into funky sounds, most notably "Down Fa Mine," performed with Dresta and ex-NWA man MC Ren, the funky "That’s My Nigga," performed with DJ Quick and "Who Ridin’," themed on issues of community violence and police brutality. Lulls are punctuated by strong follow-ups.

The signature song here is "Keep the Peace," a downbeat tune produced by Warren G. It’s a familiar topic for Kam -- supporting the gang truce in South Central -- and it’s one that’s still effective here. This time, Kam’s squared on speaking directly on bangers on the street. It’s not condescending, but quite direct. Would you expect anything less? <B>Three Stars<P>

•Jamaroquai, <I>The Return of the Space Cowboy<P>. Since its previous release, Jamaroquai has earned a solid reputation for an acid jazz-progressive soul style of music that has few rivals. On this record, the band continues an impressive track record.

"The Kids" is a sterling example of the Jamaroquai sound – funky, electrified tunes filled with drums and horns. Sometimes it’s earthy, sometimes spacey, but always interesting. Don’t expect the in-your-face funk of a band like the Big Boys though, for Jamaroquai is strictly down low on its approach to music. This works better than you might expect, considering the sound.

On some cuts, the band takes on an almost disco edge ("Scam"), on other cuts a house sound ("Journey to Arnhemland") and a prog-hop take throughout. One of the better all-around records out now -- strong vocals, great musicianship and amazing chemistry. It all makes for one fine listen. <B>Four Stars<P>

•Die Cheerleader, <I>Son of Flith<P>. The cynic in me picked up a CD by Die Cheerleader ready for a laugh.

Die Cheerleader is the English "discovery" of ex-Black Flag frontman and spoken word magnate Henry Rollins. Rollins also produced the band, so stink bells were going off for me. Die Cheerleader also was to be the major labels' first appropriation of a Riot-Grrl band. The blades were being sharpened for a hatchet job of Dahmer-like proportions.

After a few plays, the knives will have to wait for a Collective Soul record or something, because Die Cheerleader ain't half bad.

On its full length recording, <I>Son of Flith<P>, Die Cheerleader tosses up a caustic, cantankerous cacophony. The music is doubtlessly punk/metal, with very little of the cheeseball attitude caricatured to be the essence of Riot-Grrl.

For months, a good deal of mainstream music media attention had been heaped upon a tight-knit, loosely organized "movement" (for lack of a better word) of women musicians, promoters and women-run labels with a pro-woman, anti-sexist anti-racist and some might say anti-authoritarian bent. The moniker "Riot Grrl" had been pinned to artists as diverse as the mother of Riot-Grrl, the band Bikini Kill and England's Frumpies and Huggy Bear to the contrived jabbering of Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon. You can usually separate the women from the girls by finding who ducks the 'feminist' tag.

But, as Sanyika Shakur writes, not all who are in the military are necessarily combat soldiers. Soon enough, everyone was claiming as if down from day one (among others, Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love), and Riot-Grrl became another bag of Cheetos in the snack bar of watered-down personas. What impact Die Cheerleader has on this trend remains to be seen.

The musicianship is competent and not all repulsive. The vocals are strong even if slightly limited. After a while, the one pain is that it gets to sound all the same. By the end, it doesn’t really sound as interesting as it once did.<B>Two and one half stars<P>

•Soul Coughing, <I>Ruby Vroom<P> and Tricky, <I>Maxinquaye<P>. Two dusty records, same genre. Soul Coughing and Tricky are part of a growing style called trip-hop -- weird music with a beat. Soul Coughing is by far more engaging, but Tricky is worth a hear.

Soul Coughing hops the edge of a rock-blues fusion with a love of backbeats and tape loops, and it works well. A tune like "Blue Eyed Devil" is a perfect example of this; music, voice and tapes work together to produce an engaging and clever song. The disc is somewhat smart all around even if it’s far from anything amazingly new. The musicianship is solid and the tape mixes are great. A few dull cuts early on slow things a little, but the band is able to keep your attention long enough to listen. <B>Three Stars<P>

As for Tricky, it’s like a decaffeinated espresso -- good flavor but no kick. On <I>Maxinquaye<P>, the tunes are mostly ambinet crossbred with hip-hop. It's nice background music, until one gets to the Public Enemy cover, which is neither particularly good nor insightful. In fact, artistic license on this release goes a little haywire.

Public Enemy in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s was among hip-hop’s most popular acts ever, and as a result won over a fair sized white alternative audience. Not bad, but what happened became the draining of PE’s music, energy and imagery by the mainstream culture sans the message of empowerment central to everything Chuck D and company did. PE was reduced to a trendy fashion. Hence, you have folks like Anthony Kedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers singing about balling a woman in the "Suck My Kiss" video in his Public Enemy shirt and Sonic Youth inviting Chuck D for a guest rap on its "Cool Thing." Tricky does the same with its cover of "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," performed by PE on <I>It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back<P> as a song about a violent prison riot and escape led by political prisoner Chuck. The song is gutted of any reference to prison or revolt and is reduced to but a few lyrics.

The PE cover aside, Tricky’s other problem is creating music that’s a little too ethereal and vanilla to be very appealing for long. It gets quite numbing after awhile. <B>One Star<P>

•Various Artists, <I>Friday<P> soundtrack. Here’s a mixed bag of sounds which hits and misses at various points. Most people bought it for Dr. Dre’s "Keep Their Heads Ringin’ " but there are a few notables -- emphasis on "a few" -- worth hearing.

Scarface likely has the best song here, and that’s not saying much. His "Friday Night" is bumping and fun, but is by no means good enough to carry the disc. As it goes on, we’re slapped in the face by subpar songs from Rick James, Bootsy Collins, Funkdoobiest and others.

The biggest disappointments on this disc are Dre and Ice Cube. Dre’s "Keep Their Heads Ringin’ " is cool after a few listens, but the novelty (of actually having put out a record after three years) wears off quickly. His rhymes and delivery are hardly as creative as his older work and the sound is not as strong. This one should thrill the mall rats, though.

Ice Cube opens this disc in a fair manner. His performance of the title track takes a nod from the remix of "What Can I Do" -- a song which ended up more successful than the first version. It seems Cube has decided to dive into the dance-oriented "I’m-a-G (even-if-I-admitted-in-most-interviews-that-I-never-was-in-the-first-place) and-I’m-a-mack" type of songs he did a few years back to gain some sort of credibility of commercial success. This is sad for sure -- both Cube’s change and the disc. <B>One Star<P>

•Various Artists, <I>Columbia Records Radio Hour, Volume One<P>. A vast array of country, folk and rock artists today have been ungloriously shelved in "adult contemporary" piles in record shops across the land of liberty, yet it's inadequate. Not taking anything away from the format at all, mind you, but said artists generally get no justice from this tag -- at least until now.

On the <I>Columbia Records Radio Hour, Volume One<P>, a smattering of musical pioneers come together to create some powerful music. The "radio hour" was at one time just that -- different radio stations hosted artists to come into their offices for in-studio performances with a live audience. The results are delightful.

<I>Radio Hour<P> brings together an interesting mix of musicians who perform solo and with other, equally notable acts on their own and each other's material. It varies from Roseanne Cash and Lou Reed to recent country Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter to songwriting legend Leonard Cohen to folk chanteuse Shawn Colvin.

The record is structured as a fluid live/in-studio jam session. In some instances, there are solo performances for artists’ classic tunes, like Shawn Colvin’s "Polaroids," but there are plenty of collaborations worth noting. It’s a nice disc to check out. <B>Three Stars<P>

**** – Your friends and passersby will point and laugh hysterically at you in the street if you don’t get this.

*** – Good listen that will please you and the family every holiday for years to come.

** – Go ahead and buy it, but you’ll probably be selling it back to where you got it from in about two weeks ... or less.

* – Got some extra bread and have absolutely nowhere else to spend it <I>and<P> you’re feeling like a masochist? Here ya go.

 

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nby James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

Live performances are a tricky tightrope act for bands. Play the songs too unlike what the band has recorded and the fans won't know the songs; stick too close to the album and the fans might as well have stayed home and listened to the CD.

The Tragically Hip have mastered that balance. At Fitzgerald's on Aug. 10, the band demonstrated that mastery and showed why it sells out stadiums in Canada.

Opening with "Grace, too," the first track from its latest album, <I>Day for Night<P>, the Hip played the song almost exactly as it was recorded. That was enough for the fans, most of whom were singing along happily.

The Hip then launched into the title track from its 1992 release, <I>Fully Completely<P>, still sticking close to the recorded version. That was the last song that was so tight, though.

The next few songs were fairly slow, sticking mostly to <I>Day for Night<P> and <I>Fully Completely<P>. "Greasy Jungle" and "So Hard Done By" were among the songs that transfixed the crowd, meticulously played as well as, or better than, they are on the album.

Vocalist Gordon Downie managed to add to the intensity of the music with his performance. His facial expressions and movements were perfectly matched to the theme of whatever song he was singing, whether it was about a fishing trip or metropolis noir.

When the group got to "At the Hundredth Meridian," the crowd broke into the pit they'd been itching for. The band played the first half of the song before veering off into an extended medley that combined at least two other songs and some improvisation. When the band finally returned to a powerful finish, the crowd broke into an even more energetic pit.

After a few more songs, the band tempted fate by playing "Nautical Disaster," a song that is so perfectly timed and executed on the album that the slightest mistake would have doomed this live version to inferiority. Incredibly, The Hip pulled it off. Downie paced the floor, looking as if he were truly tortured by the image of 500 men being left to die as the sole lifeboat floated away.

After that, the band bolted into its classic "New Orleans is Sinking," which riled the crowd even more. The Tragically Hip followed that with the hard-rocking "Fire in the Hole," then left the stage.

The encore was "Blow at High Dough," which made the fans happy until the Hip left the stage right after the song. The crowd obviously wasn't satiated, as chants of "Hip! Hip!" broke out as late as five minutes later. Although Downie was visibly tired and dripping sweat, a one-song encore was less than what the fans deserved.

 

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by James V. Geluso

Senior Writer

Live performances are a tricky tightrope act for bands. Play the songs too unlike what the band has recorded and the fans won't know the songs; stick too close to the album and the fans might as well have stayed home and listened to the CD.

The Tragically Hip have mastered that balance. At Fitzgerald's on Aug. 10, the band demonstrated that mastery and showed why it sells out stadiums in Canada.

Opening with "Grace, too," the first track from its latest album, <I>Day for Night<P>, the Hip played the song almost exactly as it was recorded. That was enough for the fans, most of whom were singing along happily.

The Hip then launched into the title track from its 1992 release, <I>Fully Completely<P>, still sticking close to the recorded version. That was the last song that was so tight, though.

The next few songs were fairly slow, sticking mostly to <I>Day for Night<P> and <I>Fully Completely<P>. "Greasy Jungle" and "So Hard Done By" were among the songs that transfixed the crowd, meticulously played as well as, or better than, they are on the album.

Vocalist Gordon Downie managed to add to the intensity of the music with his performance. His facial expressions and movements were perfectly matched to the theme of whatever song he was singing, whether it was about a fishing trip or metropolis noir.

When the group got to "At the Hundredth Meridian," the crowd broke into the pit they'd been itching for. The band played the first half of the song before veering off into an extended medley that combined at least two other songs and some improvisation. When the band finally returned to a powerful finish, the crowd broke into an even more energetic pit.

After a few more songs, the band tempted fate by playing "Nautical Disaster," a song that is so perfectly timed and executed on the album that the slightest mistake would have doomed this live version to inferiority. Incredibly, The Hip pulled it off. Downie paced the floor, looking as if he were truly tortured by the image of 500 men being left to die as the sole lifeboat floated away.

After that, the band bolted into its classic "New Orleans is Sinking," which riled the crowd even more. The Tragically Hip followed that with the hard-rocking "Fire in the Hole," then left the stage.

The encore was "Blow at High Dough," which made the fans happy until the Hip left the stage right after the song. The crowd obviously wasn't satiated, as chants of "Hip! Hip!" broke out as late as five minutes later. Although Downie was visibly tired and dripping sweat, a one-song encore was less than what the fans deserved.

 

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by Christen Hanlon

Daily Cougar Staff

Satisfied with your current social life? Want to know all the hot spots in the Houston area? From Downtown to the Village to the Montrose area, clubs in Houston can offer a wide variety of atmospheres for the wild ones as well as those who just like to sit back and enjoy a good beer.

Here is a list of some unique places around the town to enjoy:

•The Roxy -- 5351 W. Alabama; 850-7699. Located in the Yorktown Plaza. Every Tuesday night is ladies' night. Ages 21 and up.

•Shelter -- 3403 FM 1960 West; 580-2582. An after-hours dance club for those who never want the night to end. Ages 18 and up.

•Hurricane Alley -- 13331 Kuykendahl; 875-3330. Live rock 'n' roll. Wednesday night features free pool and $1 drink specials.

•City Streets -- 5078 Richmond Ave.; 840-8555. Caters to all tastes with five different clubs under one roof. Includes everything from a dueling piano bar to country and western to '70s disco. Also a video arcade. Happy Hour from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Ages 21 and up.

•2826 -- 3717 Revere; 523-2826. One block south of Richmond Avenue. The "Hottest Dance Club in Houston." Proper attire required. Disc Jockey every night. Ages 21 and up.

•Fitzgerald's / Zelda's -- 2706 White Oak; 862-3838. All ages can enjoy live music every week, Wednesday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Located in downtown Houston; has a balcony with covered patio.

•Sam's Boat/ Sam's Place --5710 Richmond Ave.; 781-BOAT (1605); 21 and up at night. A place to hang out with friends or meet some new ones. Patios make a nice atmosphere for occasional bands.

•Rich's -- 2401 San Jacinto Ave.; 759-9606. Exciting party place for those who enjoy the alternative lifestyle. Weekly specials are a trademark at Rich's.

•La Carafe -- 813 Congress; 229-9399. If you've always wanted to sip a beer in a place where Sam Houston is believed to have slept, then this is where you want to be. The oldest building in Houston (since 1845) is also well-known for its cozy atmosphere and fine wines. Drink specials from 5-7 p.m. daily.

•The Ale House -- 2425 W. Alabama; 521-2333. A cozy three-story house turned into a beautiful English-style pub. Features local bands every Saturday night and a late-night happy hour Sunday through Thursday. Ages 21 and up.

•Blue Iguana -- 903 Richmond Ave.; 523-BLUE. Enjoy mural walls and decorative 3-D image art. Local bands and drink specials every week. Ages 21 and up.

•Valhalla -- 6100 S. Main St.; 527-8101. The Rice campus bar. Cheap beer and good food served nightly. If you've never been here, you're missing out! Ages 21 and up. (Closed Saturdays.)

•J.R.'s Bar & Grill -- 808 Pacific; 521-2529. Very open to the alternative lifestyles. Karaoke every Thursday and Sunday night, as well as dance music and a beautiful outdoor patio.

•Munchies -- 1617 Richmond Ave.; 528-3545. Offers live jazz, rock, folk and blues bands, as well as foosball, darts and pool. Ages 21 and up.

•Club Some -- Located at 2700 Albany; 529-3956. One of the only true after-hours clubs in Houston. Funk, tribal and underground music. Ages 18 and up.

•Last Concert Cafe -- 1403 Nance St.; 226-8563. Mexican cafe and bar. Features an outdoor patio and stage for the many rhythm and blues bands that frequent here. All ages are welcome.

•Magic Bus -- 202 Tuam; 521-4735. Funk music; open-mic night on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is also an excellent coffee bar for java lovers. Ages 21 and up.

•The Fabulous Satellite Lounge -- 3616 Washington Ave.; 869-COOL. Live music of almost every kind. Brings in bands from Austin, New Orleans and the West Coast. Ages 21 and up.

•8.0 -- 3745 Greenbriar; 523-0880. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night means hot DJ music at this club. Daily happy hour from 5-8 p.m. with $1.25 domestic drinks. Ages 21 and up.

•Village Brewery -- 2415 Dunstan; 524-4677. Brews its own beer! Restaurant features American grill. Dart boards and billiards room. Ages 18 and up.

 

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COFFEE:

NOT JUST FOR BREAKFAST ANYMORE

by Amy Lynn Corron

Daily Cougar Staff

It's the break between your three-hour night class. You slip down to the vending room for a little something to keep you awake through the rest of the lecture. Dropping your last pieces of silver into the slot, you anxiously await your caffeine savor from the General Foods International Coffees machine. Sure, it costs a little more, but it's better than the bitter stuff in the other machine. Click, spray -- no cup drops down! Robbed again by the Melcher Hall coffee machines.

Some folks need a cup to start the morning. Others use the student's little helper when pulling an all-nighter for that mid-term exam.

Coffee, once thought to be the boring staple for policemen and taxi drivers, is renewing its popularity as a chic and sexy alternative to the oxymoron-termed "legal beverages."

This student didn't drink coffee until she took a tour of the Lion Coffee production factory in Oahu, Hawaii. There is something intriguing about watching the beans being roasted and inhaling the aroma, which leads one to follow the tour and sample different coffees. One must purchase at least one of the exotic flavors.

According to Dave Olsen, senior vice president of coffee for Starbucks, coffee traces its origins back to 13th century Middle Eastern life. By the end of the 17th century, the dark elixir had made its way to Italy, Austria, Germany, Holland and England. "From time to time, rulers, politicians and religious leaders -- from Prussia's Frederick the Great, to England's King Charles II to Pope Clement VIII -- tried to close coffeehouses, wanting to put an end to the free-spirited discussions they encouraged," Olsen said. "But the coffeehouse always prevailed."

Exploration and traders spread coffee east to Indonesia and west to the Caribbean and Latin America. European settlers carried coffee with them to the New World, where it retains the largest market today.

German metaphysical philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was so devoted to his after-dinner cup that, in his last year on this earth, he was heard to mutter the following complaint when his coffee was late in arriving: "Well, one can die after all; it is but dying; and in the next world, thank God, there is no drinking of coffee and consequently no waiting for it."

Coffee is grown in a narrow belt encircling the globe within the tropical latitudes. This region supports the coffee bush, which requires lots of sun, moderate rainfall and year-round temperatures averaging 70 degrees with no frost. More often called a tree, the coffee plant is more like a tropical evergreen shrub with white blossoms. The beans are, in fact, the seeds or pits of the fruit, known as coffee cherries for their plumpness and ripe red color. Each cherry normally contains two beans, which grow like identical twins. The "peaberry," a rounded berry that grows one to a cherry, is an exception.

A coffee bush takes around five years to bear its first full crop. At this stage, it will have grown and been pruned to maintain a height of approximately 6 feet. One tree can produce for 15 years or more, annually producing enough cherries to make about 1 pound of roasted coffee.

Because not all coffee cherries ripen at the same time, the best coffees must be picked entirely by hand, a process that requires three to four visits per tree each year. In one day, the experienced coffee plantation worker can pick up to 200 pounds of ripe cherries, equal to about 50 pounds of green coffee beans.

Careful batch roasting brings out the full flavor of coffee beans. Over the course of 11 to 15 minutes, the temperature of the bean may rise as high as 450 degrees. The flavor of the beans is developed during the roasting process.

If you'd like to sample a little java (with or without caffeine), you can choose on-campus vendors or off-campus coffee houses. Those who need a kickstart in the morning can visit Bottari/Texas Java Company coffee wagons located at the campus entrance of Melcher Hall and the breezeway at P.G. Hoffman Hall. Not only can you get "Café Americain" (what the French call our traditional black, no sugar, please), but you can get the "hipper" mochas, lattés, espressos and cappuccinos from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during fall and spring semesters. For those hotter days, try an iced and flavored coffee.

Also on campus is the self-serve American Café in the UC and the Avanti Gourmet Coffee Shop, open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

For an off-campus coffee date, Café Express (various locations including Kirby and West Alabama and the River Oaks Cineplex Odeon Plaza) offers coffee and desserts into the wee hours and is often a hangout for a variety of 12-steppers. Starbucks Cafés have become a hangout for those wishing to read or study in the West Alabama Bookstop (second floor).

The Barnes and Noble Bookstore in The Woodlands is an excellent place for a little desert before a concert if you're driving up to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The cafe also sports chess tables and board games for those who want to hang out in the midst of literature.

For a little music, try Thursday nights at Café Maison in Shepherd Square. For only a dollar you can request your favorite from a list of songs played by an acoustic guitarist. Café Maison is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 7 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday.

If you'd rather make your own brew, flavored beans and ground are available for purchase in most grocery stores and coffee specialty stores like Gloria Jeans Coffee Beans, House of Coffee, Whole Foods Market, and Cyrano's (beside the Black Labrador Pub on Montrose). A good grinder can be purchased for about $20. Espresso machines are a <I>trés cher<P> for a student's budget, but it is something that would be a great birthday or Christmas gift from Grandma.

If you're quite industrious, you may choose to grow your own coffee bush as a house plant. This requires several hours of sunlight in the winter, although young plants thrive under florescent light. Indoors the temperature should not drop below 53 degrees, and the soil should be kept evenly moist. Propagation is by seeds and shoot-tip cuttings.

My favorite coffee story is one about a graduate student who enjoyed a short, yet torrid affair with a fellow coffee drinker. Both self-proclaimed chocolate addicts, the couple in question met furtively in a neutral city one weekend for fun and frolic. The two walked starry-eyed into a famous department store and stood among a huge chocolate display, but they didn't purchase any candy.

They, instead, made their way to the coffee bar and ordered two cafe mochas. Was it the romance of the affair or was it just the coffee? We may never know. Here are just a few coffee recipes to whip up a little romance:

•Espresso Macchiato -- Italian for "spotted" espresso, describing the small dollop of milk foam added to the cup.

•Espresso -- One shot of espresso in a demitasse. Foam milk. Top with a dollop of foamed milk.

•Espresso con Panna Substitute -- Whipped cream (panna) for the foamed milk.

•Caffé Mocha -- A classic combination of espresso, chocolate, and steamed milk. Pour in enough chocolate syrup to cover the bottom of the cup. Add one shot of espresso, fill the cup almost to the top with steamed milk. Top with whipped cream, and lightly sprinkle with cocoa powder and cinnamon.

•Caffé Latté -- The most popular morning coffee drink. One shot of espresso. Fill cup almost to the rim with steamed milk and top off with about 1/4 inch of foamed milk.

•Cappuccino -- Named for the Catholic order of Capuchin friars, whose hooded robes resemble the drink's cap of foam. Use one shot of espresso. Fill the cup halfway with steamed milk. Top off to the rim with foamed milk.

•Caffé Americano -- An Italian approach to the typical American-strength coffee, producing a full-flavored, yet mild cup. One shot of espresso. Fill with water just off the boil, 1 ounce short of the cup's capacity.

•Coffee Frappé (Iced coffee) -- About 20 ice cubes, crushed. Seven fluid ounces double-strength coffee, chilled. Two tablespoons granulated sugar (or two raw brown sucre cubes), two tablespoons vanilla, Kahlua, raspberry or other syrup flavoring. Whipped cream or ice cream for garnish. Place ice, coffee, sugar and syrup in blender. Blend until frappé is smooth. Pour into a large, tall (16-ounce) glass. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Coffee Roasting Process

•Green -- Raw Beans. In their raw state, coffee beans look like small, green pebbles.

•Yellow -- Moisture Loss. After five to seven minutes, the beans begin to lose moisture and turn yellow-orange. These exude a distinctive aroma often compared to buttered vegetables.

•Cinnamon Roast -- Beans pop open. The beans increase in size and turn a light tan. This stage is sometimes called "institutional roast."

•City Roast -- Fully Ripe. Acidity dominates body. At 10 to 11 minutes, the beans reach an even light brown and develop a full flavor dominated by markedly high acidity.

•Medium Roast -- After 11 to 15 minutes, the beans turn a rich, chestnut brown. At this stage, the sugar and acids have mixed and balanced to create the full flavor available at most coffee stores.

•Dark Roasts -- The flavor becomes focused, rich and sweet; natural sugars caramelize, making this roast ideal for espresso. A bit darker, and oils come to the surface, producing a sweet but lighter-bodied cup. At maximum roasting, beans turn dark and shiny, taking on an intense, smoky flavor.

 

 

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COFFEE:

NOT JUST FOR BREAKFAST ANYMORE

by Amy Lynn Corron

Daily Cougar Staff

It's the break between your three-hour night class. You slip down to the vending room for a little something to keep you awake through the rest of the lecture. Dropping your last pieces of silver into the slot, you anxiously await your caffeine savor from the General Foods International Coffees machine. Sure, it costs a little more, but it's better than the bitter stuff in the other machine. Click, spray -- no cup drops down! Robbed again by the Melcher Hall coffee machines.

Some folks need a cup to start the morning. Others use the student's little helper when pulling an all-nighter for that mid-term exam.

Coffee, once thought to be the boring staple for policemen and taxi drivers, is renewing its popularity as a chic and sexy alternative to the oxymoron-termed "legal beverages."

This student didn't drink coffee until she took a tour of the Lion Coffee production factory in Oahu, Hawaii. There is something intriguing about watching the beans being roasted and inhaling the aroma, which leads one to follow the tour and sample different coffees. One must purchase at least one of the exotic flavors.

According to Dave Olsen, senior vice president of coffee for Starbucks, coffee traces its origins back to 13th century Middle Eastern life. By the end of the 17th century, the dark elixir had made its way to Italy, Austria, Germany, Holland and England. "From time to time, rulers, politicians and religious leaders -- from Prussia's Frederick the Great, to England's King Charles II to Pope Clement VIII -- tried to close coffeehouses, wanting to put an end to the free-spirited discussions they encouraged," Olsen said. "But the coffeehouse always prevailed."

Exploration and traders spread coffee east to Indonesia and west to the Caribbean and Latin America. European settlers carried coffee with them to the New World, where it retains the largest market today.

German metaphysical philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was so devoted to his after-dinner cup that, in his last year on this earth, he was heard to mutter the following complaint when his coffee was late in arriving: "Well, one can die after all; it is but dying; and in the next world, thank God, there is no drinking of coffee and consequently no waiting for it."

Coffee is grown in a narrow belt encircling the globe within the tropical latitudes. This region supports the coffee bush, which requires lots of sun, moderate rainfall and year-round temperatures averaging 70 degrees with no frost. More often called a tree, the coffee plant is more like a tropical evergreen shrub with white blossoms. The beans are, in fact, the seeds or pits of the fruit, known as coffee cherries for their plumpness and ripe red color. Each cherry normally contains two beans, which grow like identical twins. The "peaberry," a rounded berry that grows one to a cherry, is an exception.

A coffee bush takes around five years to bear its first full crop. At this stage, it will have grown and been pruned to maintain a height of approximately 6 feet. One tree can produce for 15 years or more, annually producing enough cherries to make about 1 pound of roasted coffee.

Because not all coffee cherries ripen at the same time, the best coffees must be picked entirely by hand, a process that requires three to four visits per tree each year. In one day, the experienced coffee plantation worker can pick up to 200 pounds of ripe cherries, equal to about 50 pounds of green coffee beans.

Careful batch roasting brings out the full flavor of coffee beans. Over the course of 11 to 15 minutes, the temperature of the bean may rise as high as 450 degrees. The flavor of the beans is developed during the roasting process.

If you'd like to sample a little java (with or without caffeine), you can choose on-campus vendors or off-campus coffee houses. Those who need a kickstart in the morning can visit Bottari/Texas Java Company coffee wagons located at the campus entrance of Melcher Hall and the breezeway at P.G. Hoffman Hall. Not only can you get "Café Americain" (what the French call our traditional black, no sugar, please), but you can get the "hipper" mochas, lattés, espressos and cappuccinos from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during fall and spring semesters. For those hotter days, try an iced and flavored coffee.

Also on campus is the self-serve American Café in the UC and the Avanti Gourmet Coffee Shop, open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

For an off-campus coffee date, Café Express (various locations including Kirby and West Alabama and the River Oaks Cineplex Odeon Plaza) offers coffee and desserts into the wee hours and is often a hangout for a variety of 12-steppers. Starbucks Cafés have become a hangout for those wishing to read or study in the West Alabama Bookstop (second floor).

The Barnes and Noble Bookstore in The Woodlands is an excellent place for a little desert before a concert if you're driving up to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The cafe also sports chess tables and board games for those who want to hang out in the midst of literature.

For a little music, try Thursday nights at Café Maison in Shepherd Square. For only a dollar you can request your favorite from a list of songs played by an acoustic guitarist. Café Maison is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 7 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday.

If you'd rather make your own brew, flavored beans and ground are available for purchase in most grocery stores and coffee specialty stores like Gloria Jeans Coffee Beans, House of Coffee, Whole Foods Market, and Cyrano's (beside the Black Labrador Pub on Montrose). A good grinder can be purchased for about $20. Espresso machines are a <I>trés cher<P> for a student's budget, but it is something that would be a great birthday or Christmas gift from Grandma.

If you're quite industrious, you may choose to grow your own coffee bush as a house plant. This requires several hours of sunlight in the winter, although young plants thrive under florescent light. Indoors the temperature should not drop below 53 degrees, and the soil should be kept evenly moist. Propagation is by seeds and shoot-tip cuttings.

My favorite coffee story is one about a graduate student who enjoyed a short, yet torrid affair with a fellow coffee drinker. Both self-proclaimed chocolate addicts, the couple in question met furtively in a neutral city one weekend for fun and frolic. The two walked starry-eyed into a famous department store and stood among a huge chocolate display, but they didn't purchase any candy.

They, instead, made their way to the coffee bar and ordered two cafe mochas. Was it the romance of the affair or was it just the coffee? We may never know. Here are just a few coffee recipes to whip up a little romance:

•Espresso Macchiato -- Italian for "spotted" espresso, describing the small dollop of milk foam added to the cup.

•Espresso -- One shot of espresso in a demitasse. Foam milk. Top with a dollop of foamed milk.

•Espresso con Panna Substitute -- Whipped cream (panna) for the foamed milk.

•Caffé Mocha -- A classic combination of espresso, chocolate, and steamed milk. Pour in enough chocolate syrup to cover the bottom of the cup. Add one shot of espresso, fill the cup almost to the top with steamed milk. Top with whipped cream, and lightly sprinkle with cocoa powder and cinnamon.

•Caffé Latté -- The most popular morning coffee drink. One shot of espresso. Fill cup almost to the rim with steamed milk and top off with about 1/4 inch of foamed milk.

•Cappuccino -- Named for the Catholic order of Capuchin friars, whose hooded robes resemble the drink's cap of foam. Use one shot of espresso. Fill the cup halfway with steamed milk. Top off to the rim with foamed milk.

•Caffé Americano -- An Italian approach to the typical American-strength coffee, producing a full-flavored, yet mild cup. One shot of espresso. Fill with water just off the boil, 1 ounce short of the cup's capacity.

•Coffee Frappé (Iced coffee) -- About 20 ice cubes, crushed. Seven fluid ounces double-strength coffee, chilled. Two tablespoons granulated sugar (or two raw brown sucre cubes), two tablespoons vanilla, Kahlua, raspberry or other syrup flavoring. Whipped cream or ice cream for garnish. Place ice, coffee, sugar and syrup in blender. Blend until frappé is smooth. Pour into a large, tall (16-ounce) glass. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Coffee Roasting Process

•Green -- Raw Beans. In their raw state, coffee beans look like small, green pebbles.

•Yellow -- Moisture Loss. After five to seven minutes, the beans begin to lose moisture and turn yellow-orange. These exude a distinctive aroma often compared to buttered vegetables.

•Cinnamon Roast -- Beans pop open. The beans increase in size and turn a light tan. This stage is sometimes called "institutional roast."

•City Roast -- Fully Ripe. Acidity dominates body. At 10 to 11 minutes, the beans reach an even light brown and develop a full flavor dominated by markedly high acidity.

•Medium Roast -- After 11 to 15 minutes, the beans turn a rich, chestnut brown. At this stage, the sugar and acids have mixed and balanced to create the full flavor available at most coffee stores.

•Dark Roasts -- The flavor becomes focused, rich and sweet; natural sugars caramelize, making this roast ideal for espresso. A bit darker, and oils come to the surface, producing a sweet but lighter-bodied cup. At maximum roasting, beans turn dark and shiny, taking on an intense, smoky flavor.

 

 

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nby Sarah Fredricksen

Daily Cougar Staff

The fall semester at the University of Houston is fast approaching, and the fun, water-splashing activities of summer must sadly come to an end.

But the UH Office of Campus Activities, where local and national organizations and activism groups register, offers plenty of opportunities for fun during the school year.

Students can become involved in a variety of groups. By the close of registration at the end of September, it is estimated that 200 organizations will be on the roster for the fall semester.

"There are a lot of groups that are academic in nature, and the recruiting for new members is usually through the college," said Interim Director of Campus Activities David Daniell. Examples include the English Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta; the French Honors Society, Pi Delta Phi; and the Honors Society of Psychology, Psi Chi.

For a campus of this size, Daniell said, the students are very active and its status as a commuter campus does not interfere with the activism of its students.

Other campus groups reach almost any interest known to humankind. There are groups based on ethnic background, political interests, educational activities, hobbies and all else under the sun. And if there isn't a group for you, all it takes is two people to form their own.

Individual organizations have developed several ways of gaining new members.

The campus branch of Amnesty International advertises its activities through fliers and promotes guest speakers to interest new students.

Others membership drives are highly complicated and are regulated nationally such as sorority and fraternity Rush, which is when Greeks compete to gain new members, usually called pledges. The organizations throw elaborate parties in an attempt to convince potential members that their sorority or fraternity is the best. Their targets are usually incoming freshmen who are looking for a way to get involved on campus and to make new friends.

It is estimated that 300 girls have expressed an interest to participate in Fall Sorority Rush, but few have actually signed up. There are expectations for more. Panhellenic Rush takes place through Aug. 23, and registration is open until the last minute.

Kelly Morgan-Phillips, the Campus Activities Adviser for the National Panhellenic Council, advises students interested or curious about the Greek system to join the organizations they feel the most comfortable with, not those that have the most trophies.

Information about how to get more involved on campus can be obtained from the Campus Activities Office located in the UC Underground.

 

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nby Amy Lynn Corron

Daily Cougar Staff

She stretches her neck upward toward the sun. An owl bursts from her lungs; wisdom, demanding a chance to speak. A man sits in an open cavern near her heart, guarded by a fierce cougar, its paw extended to seize, a true predator of life's adventure. Perhaps she is best described by the words emblazened on the folded leg on which she rests: "What is the nature of this environment?"

Poised in the University Center arbor is Bob Fowler's 1966 sculpture, "Untitled." This two-story, Cor-ten steel piece is just one of the many works of art at the University of Houston.

A tour of the campus yields more than just buildings and landscaping. The UH campus sports a virtual walking art gallery as a result of a 1966 UH Board of Regents contract stipulation for major new construction, which requires that 1 percent of the contract for each new major construction be set aside for the purchase of works of art. Materials like steel, bronze and granite were used for those works displayed in the outdoor environment while lithographs, wood sculptures and mixed media make up indoor pieces.

Selections for the campus' permanent collection are made through an art acquisition committee appointed by the university's president, according to Art on Campus, a brochure produced through the UH Office of Publications. Working with project architects and college deans, the committee recommends an artist, medium and location within the building site, or recommends an existing work of art for a particular building. Several pieces in the collection have been commissioned by the university.

One of the most visible works on campus is located on the walkway between the Communications Building and Fine Arts Building. "Collegium," a 32-foot aluminum sculpture by William King was commissioned by UH in 1984. Three angular figures holding hands are depicted walking. Viewers can interact with the sculpture by walking through and around it, because of its size and location.

Aesthetic and serene, Bob Kelly's "Waterfall, Stele and River" is a stainless steel sculpture located within the pool and fountains of the Cullen Family Plaza, part of the "new master plan" adopted by the university and constructed in 1972.

But not all pieces in the UH collection are abstract. "Sandy: In Space Defined" reveals Richard McDermott Miller's love of the figure. His style remained historical and traditional throughout the abstract art movement of the 1960s, yet innovative in his portrayal of the female nude. Miller used props as a strategy for helping models assume natural poses. In this piece, located on the East entrance plaza, Science and Research Building, the "subject rests in a tranquil position that communicates the grace and strength of her body. The figure is placed asymmetrically within a confined space, supported by the left hand and foot. Space between the body and frame create a combination of soft geometric shapes."

One piece, not highlighted in the Art on Campus tour, looks like a remnant from America's Bicentennial of 1976. Located in Lynn Eusan Park, just east of the campus' main entrance off Calhoun Road, is a wooden red, white and blue star. The three-dimensional piece sits alone, without a marker as do many of the pieces on campus.

Works in the UH collection include the following pieces: Numbers correspond to those in the Art in Campus brochure, available at the Information desk in the M.D. Anderson Library:

1. "Benches," 1985. Scott Burton. Entrance 18, College of Architecture Building.

2. "Cougar," 1970. Mark Clapham. Hofheinz Pavilion Lobby.

3. "Untitled," 1985. Malou Flato. Cougar Place Lawn.

4. "Tower of Cheyenne," 1972. Peter Forakis. Anne Garrett Butler Plaza.

5. "Untitled," 1966. Bob Fowler. University Center Arbor.

6. "Troika," 1979. Charles Ginnever. West lawn, Science and Research Building 2.

7. "Evocacio Oriental," 1967. Josep Grau-Garriga. Isabel C. Cameron Building.

"Ten Lithographs Based on Geological Maps of Lunar Orbiter and Apollo Landing Sites," 1972. Nancy Graves. Lobby, College of Pharmacy Building, Texas Medical Center.

8. "Big Orange," 1971. Willi Gutmann. General Services Building lawn.

9. "Round About," 1978 College of Optometry Building lawn.

10. "On 1969." Menashe Kadishman. Entrance 14 esplanade.

11. "Waterfall, Stele and River," 1972. Lee Kelly. Cullen Family Plaza.

12. "Collegium," 1984. William King. Walkway between Communications Building and Fine Arts Building.

13. "The Four Horseman and Soho Saint," 1976. Ron Kleeman. Isabel C. Cameron Building.

14. "Gulf Stream," 1977. Gerhardt Knodel. M.D. Anderson Library lobby.

15. "Landscape with Blue Trees," 1982-83. Jim Love, Courtyard between Cullen College of Engineering and Engineering Building North Wing.

16. "Albertus Magnus," 1955. Gerhardt Marcks. Law Center Library.

17. "Orpheus," 1969. Gerhardt Marcks. Courtyard, Fine Arts Building.

18. "Split Level," 1971. Clement Meadmore. Esplanade, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management Building.

19. "Sandy: In Defined Space," 1967. Richard McDermott Miller. East entrance Plaza, Science and Research Building.

20. "Lotus," 1982. Jesus Bautista Morles. Courtyard, Social Work Building.

21. "Leda and the Swan," 1977. Reuben Nakian, Courtyard, LeRoy and Lucile Melcher Hall.

22. "Luncheon on the Grass," 1979. Peter Reginato. Above University Center Underground Plaza.

23. "Contemplation," 1979. Tom Sayre. University Center Satellite east lawn.

24. "Manhole Uprising Sled," 1978. Salvator Scarpitta. Art and Architecture Library.

25. "Homo," 1931, 1969 edition. Oskar Schlemmer. Cullen College of Engineering Building lobby.

26. "Jonah and the Whale," 1973. Carroll Sims Tennis Courts.

27. "Orbit I," 1968. Masaru Takiguchi. Science and Research Building Lobby.

28. "Orbit II," 1968. Masaru Takiguchi. Frankel Room, Law Center.

29. "Iroku," 1965. Sofu Teshighara. Agnes Arnold Auditorium lobby.

30. "Ali," 1978. Brian Wall. College of Technology lawn.

31. "Mujer con las Manos Cruzadas," 1972. Francisco Zuniga. Lobby, Charles F. McElhinney Hall.

32. "Nigerian Head, Court of Benin," 19th Century. Artist unknown. International Student Lounge, Student Life Building.

33. "America: The Third Century," 1976. Various Artists. Computing Center lobby and hallways.

 

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by Kristen Liebmann

Daily Cougar Staff

One day last spring, I decided to go on a quest through downtown. The wind was blowing and the sky was quite overcast, but no ominous feelings were floating about.

As I walked the streets, I saw men in suits and police officers on horses, but I did not catch sight of what I came to see -- bike couriers.

When I arrived at 600 Travis (near the Texas Commerce Tower), it was as if I had come upon an oasis -- minus the palm trees. All the bike couriers were sitting around resting. Some would stop by for a few minutes, then bike away to deliver another package.

Maybe it was the downtown ambiance or the company I was in, but I was filled with a vibrant energy and a curiosity to know what it meant to be a bike courier.

Filled with wonderment, I found my answers. In an area constructed of concrete, steel and glass, these men and women on two wheels know their territory, yet remain on the outskirts of that society.

The "suits" consider them courier scum, but it is this scum that has formed a family. These friends and co-workers have become an essential part of the downtown business life.

So what does it mean to be a bike courier? Freedom was the general answer most couriers agreed upon. What could be better than to ride a bicycle, with no boss to nag you, and get paid for it? Next to nothing.

"I sit around until they have work for me. I run around a lot and ride about 25 miles a day. There is no boss to deal with, so I can do whatever I want," said Brit Coleman of Hot Shots.

Although most couriers find their job fulfilling, some seem to have a somewhat negative slant on their opinion of it. With the feeling of having to be in 10 places at once, breathing in exhaust all day long, and the never-ending possibility of being struck by a vehicle, the stress can become overwhelming at times. Houston has passed helmet laws, which some couriers have chosen to ignore, taking safety into their own hands. Some couriers helped clue me into the reality of cycle safety downtown.

"You have to watch out for your shit. It's always your fault," said Jim Van Horn of Legal Express/PM Couriers.

Even though the city has tried to aid in safety by "classifying bicycles as vehicles so they have to have lights and helmets," said Jonathon Joe of Package Express, that does not account for the car and bus drivers who hold little respect for couriers.

To hear these guys talk, it seems no one who works downtown has any respect for them or their profession. When I heard the term "courier scum," my ears were ready to listen for a further explanation.

Why is it in a job that demands so much and holds eminent risks do they receive such little respect? It could be for petty reasons, such as their physical appearance since many couriers sport long hair, goatees and earrings. But this seems highly unlikely.

"When we go into an elevator in the summer, we stink everybody out," Van Horn said.

Quite possibly, this could be the reason for some ill feelings toward bike couriers.

On a more philosophical level, Coleman said the leers from the "suits" are because couriers are on the fringes of society.

"People don't know us, so they don't know if they should like us," Coleman said.

Working with a lack of respect does not seem to get these guys down. They just shrug it off and go about their business.

It is still a wonder how couriers get "the packages 5 minutes before they are called in, and deliver them 10 minutes before they are handed to them," said Thomas Carrizales of Hot Shots.

Like I stated before, when one is a bike courier, it is as if he belongs to a family of sorts. Bike couriers, which are few in number, know each other well, and most are friends outside of work. In their spare time, most go bar-hopping and hang out together. Some have decided to try mixing this profession with higher education.

Eric Houg, who works for Roadrunner and attends UH is a fifth-year freshman, had a lot of insight about balancing school and work.

"I'm basically a UPS man on two wheels. I used to take night classes, but it was impossible. Now I just come in late on Tuesdays and Thursdays," Houg said. "This job takes a lot of your time. A piece of advice -- don't expect to make any money your first month or two. What I enjoy about having this job is it is almost no work for more money.

"Basically, it is like any service industry, you do what the client wants you to do."

It was on that Monday that my quest began and ended. I had come to The Tower seeking knowledge about downtown life, and I obtained my answers. I concluded that being a bike courier was a line of employment different from all others.

"It is the element of freedom. It's kind of romantic," Coleman said.

 

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COMMUNAL LIVING -- MAKING THE BEST OF IT

by Valérie C. Fouché

Daily Cougar Staff

You have probably been planning for months -- packing, sorting and organizing in preparation for your big move out of your parents' house.

What you will likely realize during your first week is that you have left the safety of the nest and your own room for a shoebox-sized dorm room nightmare.

These tiny dorm rooms and off-campus apartments require serious organizational skills, particularly when a roommate is involved. According to the organizational experts at The Container Store, there are two primary factors that lead to living

compatibly with a roommate in a small living space: respect and organization.

"First and foremost, each roommate must respect the other

person's possessions and privacy," said Sharon Tindell, vice president of merchandising for the Dallas-based store.

"If you're the first to arrive in your new dorm or apartment, don't unpack your belongings until you have the opportunity to decide with your roommate how the room will be organized," Tindell said. "This courtesy will get the relationship off to a good start, which is crucial since you will be sharing very close living quarters with another person."

Once mutual respect is established, the next step is to organize the living quarters for both visibility and accessibility. Each roommate should strive to place items so that they are easy to see and reach, making all items accessible when needed.

This includes:

Identify what you need to store and where. If possible, take an inventory of what you will need at school before you move into the dorm or apartment. Whatever you can live without, leave at home, discard or donate to charity. Decide in advance where items should be stored, such as the desk, bedroom, bathroom or closet. Determine what items need to be accessible. Out-of-season clothing and accessories should be left at home whenever possible, or placed on high shelves or under the bed. Items that are frequently used, like books, toiletries and cleaning supplies, should be stored in convenient locations.

Develop an organizational routine. If you stay in the habit of putting things away immediately and not letting them stack up, you'll be more content with living in a smaller space.

The Container Store also provided suggestions to help make the following living areas seem more spacious:

•Desk: To allow an ample study area, keep the surface of the desk clutter-free by using containers for the desk or drawer to organize pens, pencils, notebook paper and other school supplies. Make sure enough room is available to adequately store books where they are visible and easily accessible, yet out of the way of the main study area. Practical storage can run the gamut from a few dairy crates or portable stacking shelves to a rolling wire file cart with sliding drawers.

•Bedroom: One of the most practical but least utilized spaces in the bedroom is under the bed. By using under-bed storage bags, plastic storage crates, or boxes, you can easily store seldom-used items or seasonal clothing.

•Closets: Most closet spaces are poorly planned, so don't be limited by the standard hanging bar and shelf. Install additional rods or purchase stackable shelves, rolling carts, or closet kits to add more space.

•Backs of doors: These areas are often the most forgotten storage space in an apartment or dorm room. Over-the-door racks, hooks and bags are perfect for storing ironing boards, video cassettes or tapes, books, shoes or laundry.

•Bathroom: Rolling carts or hand-held trays and baskets, as well as wall-mounted racks can be used to hold personal toiletries and are ideal for those who share a community bathroom and have to tote items down the hall. Over-the-door racks also can be used to hang towels, jewelry, hair accessories or bathrobes.

•Pantry: In apartments, over-the-door racks also can be used in the kitchen pantry to store canned goods, spices and kitchen supplies. Make use of existing shelves by adding shelf expanders and cabinet organizers.

For more information on dorm or apartment organization, The Container Store offers a free 20-page Guide for College-Bound Students, which provides tips on getting organized for the move, packing guidelines, advice on dorm living, steps for establishing a "study zone" and tips on organizing living areas.

 

 

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