John Harp Michelle Norton

Lisa M. Chmiola Jim Parsons

Let there be lights

for Cougar Place residents

For any UH students who live in Cougar Place this semester, it's not a surprise to come home and find the power out.

The first instance was understandable - a few weeks back when Houston was suffering a deluge thanks to Tropical Storm Frances. A power outage during a storm of such magnitude was not an unusual occurrence.

But since then, several power outages have occurred on days where there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining brightly. And these weren't just-a-few-minutes-long outages - one lasted about five hours. That's long enough for perishables in the refrigerator to spoil, perishables that many residents already had to replace after the Frances-related outage.

But why did the lights go out these other times? Houston Lighting & Power said it was UH's fault. And apparently, officials in Residential Life and Housing claim a tree was the cause of all the darkness.

Perhaps it's part of a big housing conspiracy. Campus residents pay for their housing a semester at a time, so breaking an agreement is nowhere near as easy as ending a lease for an apartment.

The housing agreements are for the academic year and can only be broken in case of marriage, graduation, military service and the like. Wanting to move out because of frustration is not a good enough reason - without a several-hundred-dollar penalty, that is.

But what recourse do frustrated residents have then? Sure, they can call the housing office and complain, but one frustrated resident leaving can quickly be replaced with someone on a waiting list. The money is all the same to RLH.

All they can hope for is the outages not to happen again. But then, at UH, it seems that nothing is ever a guarantee.


The gray-box editorials reflect the opinion of The Daily Cougar editorial board and editorial staff. All other opinions, letters, commentaries and cartoons reflect the viewpoint of the writers. Letters to the editor reflect only the opinion of the individual writers. No opinions expressed in The Daily Cougar necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston administration or the student body at large.

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