Thursday, November 16, 2000 Volume 66, Issue 63



Got skills? Please, take column

Brandon Moeller

This is the last time this semester my column will appear on a regularly scheduled day in The Daily Cougar. Yes, sirrie Bob, I am resigning my position as a regular running columnist -- but don't worry, this space won't be blank next week. It will be filled with the viewpoints of those we seek out to write guest editorials.

If you think you're qualified, send a 575-word opinion piece to the address at the end of this column and we'll consider your work for this slot next week.

I'm doing this for a variety of reasons, the best of which is that it's so hard for me to find something to write about every week. I commit myself to a ton of research before I even start writing about the week's chosen subject. I take this job seriously, folks, and I try to make sure I have enough valid information in my arguments to help my case.

I realize this is the students' paper, and the students deserve hard-working columnists. I am resigning from this regular slot because I feel that, what with my current job of holding the reins of the campus free press, I am unable to put as much time into these columns as I should.

Like everything else, it works two ways ... without the commitment of a regular weekly column, I will have more time to devote to my job as editor.

But it doesn't work this way: I am not giving up this space because of the pressure exerted on me by other parties who think it is better for the editor not to have a column. I have argued again and again that I am my own person, I do not speak for anybody else in this column and these views are those of mine, not those of the University, The Daily Cougar, or probably any sensible Southerner who voted a straight Republican ticket.

A country neck to neck

The Onion (, America's Finest News Source, was apparently the only one to break the story of the rampant violence and turmoil in the nation caused by this horrid presidential election.

Looking back on last week (and this week and probably next week, too; ah hell -- who knows, maybe up until Jan. 20), I realized it had been a very close nationwide campaign for our two stumbling heroes. But my God, The New York Times reported Wednesday on its front page that Vice President Al Gore led Texas Gov. George W. Bush by 232,895 in the national popular vote. And Florida's secretary of state said Bush leads their recount by a mere 300 votes.

Now that the courts are involved, it's impossible to predict when it will be over and Americans can once again come together in a collective sigh, with the common man (and woman) knowing that either way they'll continue to be screwed by The Man, which is government.

On-campus security

I've been reading a lot of print recently about how unsafe this campus is. I've heard a lot of people complain about how the cops, the residence hall staff and the University at large could be doing a better job of ensuring the safety of the life and property of students and faculty.

One of the Campus Security Executive Task Force members, George Siglar, complained that UHPD doesn't patrol "the infrastructure of the school," instead they "just drive around the school" (in Tuesday's front page story "Campus security is emphasized").

I'm unsure to what Siglar really wants, because I believe UHPD does a terrific job of patrolling the school. I don't see them snooping around inside dorm buildings, and they shouldn't be, unless they're called to interrupt unlawful behavior. And I don't see them standing guard underneath each light pole in the parking lots, but that's only because police departments can't afford such a huge staff.

Another suggestion this task force has come up with is to add video cameras to the parking lots. This may sound like a good idea ... surely insurance companies will want to see documented proof of your new CD player being stolen out of your car because you happened to wake up and attend all your classes one day, leaving your car at the mercy of the entire City of Houston for six hours. And it will work wonders when compared with the composite drawings the police produce of suspects. I remember one recent drawing that one friend of mine described as looking like a sweet potato. The sweet potato suspect, we jokingly called him.

But if cameras are installed, you might have to kiss your privacy goodbye for the sake of your security. With cameras recording our every movement, all sorts of privacy questions pop up. Who would watch so many cameras 24 hours a day? Will it be the University's responsibility to find someone to monitor them? Who'll pay for it? Will the police monitor the cameras? Are we sure this is the best idea?

Moeller, Editor in  chief of  The Daily Cougar, can be reached 
at The views expressed in this column 
do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Cougar staff.

To contact the Opinon Section Editor, send e-mail to

To contact other members of 
The Daily Cougar Online staff, 


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