To the editor:
I graduated from UH in 1993. I worked hard to put myself through school, biting the bullet every time those payment statements came after registration. This is especially true when there was another "misc." fee added. I kept my silence, thinking UH must need the money. At least I was getting a good education from it.
Since then, I've been an active member of the Alumni Organization and a big fan of UH sports, especially basketball and football. I've been a season ticket holder for both sports since I graduated, attending as many games as possible, taking the losses with the wins. (We know how lop-sided that statistic is lately.)
With football, a drive to the Astrodome was inevitable. This meant paying $4 for parking, helping Astrodome USA line its pockets. I can accept this because UH only rents the Astrodome and has to abide by the rules. At least I could always look forward to basketball season.
Since I graduated, my wife and I trek to Hofheinz Pavilion and watch our beloved men's team play. Parking was no problem, and as long as I had a valid alumni parking sticker, no one bothered us. Last Saturday night, the rules suddenly changed. Even though I am an active member of the Alumni Organization, and have a valid alumni parking sticker, I was informed I MUST pay to park! The parking attendant told me the new rule means everyone must pay to park, "direct orders from the Athletics Department."
I can understand drumming the poor saps who come to watch the visiting team play, or others who are not active members of the Alumni Organization or are not students. But to slap someone in the face to park in a parking lot and watch a team that my hard-earned money helps build and support, that's a disgrace.
Your fan following is already small enough to fit inside a 10,000- to 16,000-seat stadium with room to spare. So why risk running us off by trying to line your pockets like Astrodome USA? Sure, it's only $2, but that's not the point! I give UH hard-earned money to have the privileges and honor of being a member of the Alumni Organization. Nowhere on that parking sticker does it say it is not valid for sporting events or whenever Mr. Carr says so! I give to the annual fund every year, as well. I think I give enough. It might not be that much, but it's money I could just as easily spend on a vacation, which might not be a bad idea.
A better idea would be to take the money I spend on UH season tickets each year and use it for a vacation instead, since it is your department, Mr. Carr, that is raping the most loyal of fans.
Your response, I'm sure, would be to tell me to park in one of the other parking lots and walk over. Consider this: UH is in one of the highest crime zones in Houston. How safe do you feel walking across campus at night? I bet not safe enough to where you don't try to park as close in as you can.
I'll be at UH Saturday to watch us beat "tu." But I guarantee that if I have to pay to park for this last game of the season, next year I'll be rooting for the home team from HOME! I refuse to support such lame tactics to try to drum up money while throwing away support for the Athletics Department.
Next year, I'll just take that vacation.
Michael C. Bradburn
To the editor:
As I write these words, I can't help but think of the immortal words of Yogi Berra, who said, "It's deja vu all over again."
Once again, I graciously extended to the College Democrats (if indeed such an organization exists here) the opportunity to publicly embarrass this Oppressive White Male by matching wits with his little conservatively oriented mind in public.
Much to my surprise, someone actually accepted -- Ryan Olsen of the Student Video Network called me last week to ask if I would like to appear on Thursday's edition of "Pirate TV" (10 p.m.) for a one-on-one, issues-oriented debate with (gasp) a College Democrat. After ensuring it was not a crank call, I readily accepted the offer.
It wasn't meant to be, I guess, for I was contacted by SVN on Monday with news straight out of left field (pun intended) that them Dems, in true Clintoneque fashion, had squelched on a promise and backed out of Thursday's event.
SVN was gracious enough to offer me an opportunity to appear on Thursday's show anyway, in order to talk about things I love to talk about -- Republicanism, circa 1996.
I encourage as many of you as possible to tune in.