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By Alan Delon THE DAILY COUGAR The 2010 Student Government Association spring general elections are over, and senators from nearly every college on campus have started to plan out how they can best meet students’ needs. Four senators will represent the C.T. Bauer School of Business, including Tushar Chawla, who was reelected in March. Chawla has also worked in the Office of Admissions since 2008, solving not only his problems, but also those of other students through SGA. “I started seeing SGA as a window to maneuver or get over problems and try to solve them at a student level and take them to administration,” Chawla said. “I have seen students come up to me with a billion problems.” Chawla’s co-senator, Aurangzeb Jalili, considers Chawla “a veteran in this process” who can help make the team stronger. “We have to work hard consistently. The Bauer senators, along with the rest of the 47th [administration of] SGA have very talented people,” Jalili said. “We can get the job done as long as we stay focused and work with the administration throughout the week.” For Jamy Abraham, winning an SGA Senate election allowed her to improve UH from a student perspective. “This is my first term as senator, so I’m excited to start working and bring a fresh perspective to SGA,” Abraham said. “As a senator, I feel that the biggest advantage is being able to serve the student body and represent their voice.” These three senators have similar goals and agendas for their terms. Their biggest priority is beginning a program with Barnes & Noble in Fall 2010 that will allow students to rent books from the University Center College Book Store. They also agreed that the improvement of Internet Wi-Fi connections, especially in classrooms and auditoriums, creates a better student life. “From the number of students I’ve spoken to since elections, I have found that they want to see the Wi-Fi on campus improve, which I agree with just as much as them,” Jalili said. The senators also said that SGA still serves as the students’ voice, and they intend on working to see SGA, page 3
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Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Check out our new blogs Monday, M d April A il 12, 2010
Issue 128, Volume 75
Business senators encourage feedback
Fashion show gains Khator’s nod By Sarah Raslan THE DAILY COUGAR The UH Graduate Indian Studies Organization celebrated its annual 2010 Indian Cultural Extravaganza, “Maitri,” on Saturday at the Cullen Performance Hall with an event included cultural and traditional music, dance, skits, fashion, sand animation and food. “The University of Houston is a global university. We have 4,300 students in the UH System from 141 countries this year,” UH President Renu Khator said. “Twenty-five percent of these students are from India.” She also said part of the event offers students an opportunity to expose themselves to global paradigms, cultures and forces. “The value of this event, I think, is that it exposes other students, faculty and staff to the different kind of paradigm, which I think is
very important for students because after they graduate they have to work in the global economy,” Khator said. “I value every kind of international event here and every kind of global exposure.” The word “maitri”, or harmony, set the theme for the event, from the student artwork displayed in the lobby to the fashion show that united all four regions of India on one stage. “Some of the costumes in the fashion show were handmade by the Indian students because you can’t find all the traditional Indian wear in Houston,” Vice President of Public Relations for GISO Tejas Chitnis said. Khator wished the students and organizers good luck and thanked them for their efforts. “I wanted to come here to simply support the students and tell you how proud I am of you. Not just because you are from India,
JOSH MALONE THE DAILY COUGAR
The UH Graduate Indian Studies Organization celebrated its annual 2010 Indian Cultural Extravaganza, “Maitri,” with a fashion show that emphasized the theme of harmony and put clothes from all four regions of India on display. but because you are also the best and the brightest,” Khator said. “You really carry the torch for our University, and I am very, very proud of your accomplishments, as
well as the accomplishments of all the graduates. “There are several things that we see GISO, page 3
Veterans torn on benefits Students weigh in on their preferences, military experiences
By John Brannen THE DAILY COUGAR
me that there is a lot of attention in the American media that the Christian community in Gaza are oppressed,” Omer said. “I asked them (Christian students in Palestinian schools) if they experience any problems … they didn’t mention any difficulties.” Omer mentioned that Father Manuel Musallam, the senior Roman
Although some veterans are willing to share their stories, others walk across the UH campus unidentified and are treated like any other student. Engineering sophomore Anthony Martinez served two tours in Iraq as an U.S. Army infantrymen. His main roles were either as a radiotelephone operator or vehicle gunner. He enlisted on March 19, 2003, a day before U.S. troops were deployed to Iraq. Like many soldiers, he said there were pros and cons to serving his country. “It wasn’t the best time of my life. I certainly learned a lot of lessons that are valuable to have as a civilian, but a lot of times I had lots of people trying to kill me,” Martinez said. “There were ups, and there were downs.” Martinez said the reaction of his classmates usually results in their curiosity about his time in the Army. He says serving was worthwhile and that he has no issue taking advantage of benefits
see OMER, page 12
see VETERANS, page 3
COURTESY OF MOHAMMED OMER
Home demolitions in Rafah, located in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, are done by Israeli bulldozers, forcing residents to live in tents in refugee camps.
Journalist speaks on life J
Students for a Democratic Society sponsor Palestinian reporter on tour
By Hiba Adi THE DAILY COUGAR International journalist and Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism award winner Mohammed Omer presented “Reflection on Life and War in Gaza,” at the University Center as part of his international speaking tour. The ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict affects the Gaza Strip, home
to 1.5 million Palestinians, in many ways, but Omer said on this speaking tour he wants to talk about life more than war. Omer emphasized that not all stereotypes put on this region are true. For example, Omer said unlike many religious clashes that occur in this area, the accusation that Palestinian Muslims and Christians don’t live together peacefully is false. “My news editor in Norway told
Monday, April 12, 2010
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GISO continued from page 1
have done during the last year and half, and several things we have been working on. We are trying to start an India Studies center.” UH already has an India Studies center but Khator said the University is looking into expanding the program enough to offer it as a minor. “We will see how far that goes, but your support is also very important,” Khator said. One important guests in the VIP section of the audience included Consul General of India, Houston, Sanjiv Arora. “It’s wonderful to see students from various parts of the world who are represented at this diverse university participating in Maitri 2010,” Arora said. “It’s wonderful for me to be here with all of you to join these celebrations. The University
VETERANS continued from page 1
the military offers. “I work the veteran angle. I don’t think that there’s any shame in that,” Martinez said. “I definitely earned the stripes to call myself a veteran, and if there are any perks associated with that, I’ll take them.” The Office of Institutional Research reports there were 792 veterans enrolled at UH in Fall 2009. Of the student veterans, 661 were male and 131 were female. One hundred former veterans are enrolled in a master’s program, while 14 are seeking doctorates. Director of UH Veteran Services Al Grundy said the number is closer to 1500, because the statistics are based on veterans who identify themselves. Hundreds of veterans choose not to report at the Veteran Services Offices and miss out on benefits other students are not eligible for. Journalism senior Travis Masterson, who served in the Army
Monday, April 12, 2010
of Houston is well known to all of us, and in the last two years it has become even more known because we have our most distinguished and outstanding Indian-American heading this university.” Arora said he felt the theme of harmony and love, and was inspired by the event. He ended his speech with an Indian quote he recalled hearing during his childhood years. “Love is a song that cannot be (played) on any instrument, but I think all of you here really manifest love and harmony and enthusiasm and friendship in abundance. I would like to congratulate each one of you for that,” Arora said. “I would like to compliment GISO for its dynamism and for its enthusiasm in organizing many wonderful activities throughout the year, particularly this annual event.” email@example.com
airborne infantryman in Iraq, called UH’s handling of veterans affairs “useless.” “I prefer to take care of myself, but I have been told that I can get help from the center for disabled students, or the vet center. But in my experience with them, they were pretty much useless,” Masterson said. “Individual professors seem to be inclined to help veterans, but I have not been extremely happy with the University itself. When I tried to get their help, they did not seem to care that I was a veteran.” Masterson said his fellow students also ask questions, but he pointed out that not all veterans are comfortable with this practice. “Those of us who have seen real combat tend to want to be left alone about it,” Masterson said. “We would prefer to be treated like any other student.” Business junior Courtney Maloy spent five months in Balad, Iraq with the Air Force, working as a television maintenance technician. She went from base to
COURTESY OF SAUMITRA VAIDYA
The Graduate Indian Studies Organization event attracted an international crowd that included UH President Renu Khator and Consul General of India, Houston, Sanjiv Arora. Indian students made some of the costumes worn in the fashion show by hand.
base providing cable television and radio access to troops. She said giving people an opportunity to engage in their favorite media gave her a sense of satisfaction. “It was really a great experience. Morale, welfare and recreation are three of the most important things in a combat environment. People need to be able to escape and do things that are normal,” Maloy said. “My mission to bring TV and radio to deployed soldiers in the evening to wind down and relax like they were at home was very fulfilling.” Maloy said she remembers her service as a pleasant experience, but many students don’t realize that she was in the Air Force. “Other students don’t know you’re a veteran until it comes up in conversation, if it does at all,” Maloy said. “It’s come up a handful of times, and my peers think it’s pretty neat. It always makes me feel good, and I return the smile.”
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SGA continued from page 1
implement plans and resolve issues that affect students. “The SGA is here to serve you. That is why it’s important to get involved and utilize your senators,” Abraham said. “There are students who communicate concerns, but our goal this term is to raise awareness with the students about SGA. Raising awareness is key to representing the students effectively.” The UH business senators said they hope students will participate more with the SGA. “Since we are a commuter college, I want to see at the end of the term that 2,000 out of 6,000 students know what SGA means and that we exist,” Chawla said. Jalil said she and her co-senators have high standards for UH and the business college’s future, but realize they can’t do it alone. “Rome was not built in a day, but with your help we can get C. T. Bauer College of Business, along with the entire University, to its highest potential, which I believe is higher than any of us can imagine,” Jalili said. firstname.lastname@example.org
TAKE BACK THE NIGHT PROMOTE AWARENESS AND EMPOWER WOMEN
We d n e s d a y, A p r i l 1 4 @ 7 p m University Center Steps (UC)
Free t-shirts to ﬁrst 100 people Meet at the UC steps and then march across campus to bring awareness to ending violence against women Program at 8 pm in Bluebonnet Room, with organizations and sexual assault survivors speaking Ends with candle light vigil at the UC Arbor Men are welcome and encouraged to join us WOMEN’S RESOURCE
Monday, April 12, 2010
The Daily Cougar
OPINION EDITOR Alan Dennis
COMING TUESDAY: What is the real problem with America’s economic model?
THE DAILY COUGAR
EDITORIAL BOARD Ronnie Turner, Editor in Chief Matthew Keever, Managing editor Patricia Estrada, News editor Hiba Adi, News editor Phillipe Craig, Sports editor Robert Higgs, Sports editor Travis Hensley, Life & Arts editor Alan Dennis, Opinion editor Jarrod Klawinsky, Special projects editor
Day without pay not good enough solution for UH
JASON POLAND THE DAILY COUGAR
Treaty doesn’t solve nuclear threat The Cold War is over. It’s been over for quite awhile, in fact, but people still fear nuclear attacks. World leaders are trying to deal with this reality, and President Barack Obama’s Casey attempts to squelch Goodwin the threat of nuclear weapons, while a step in the right direction, will do little to correct the true problem. On Thursday, Obama signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, replacing the expired START treaty of 1991. Somehow, the fact that both countries will only posses a maximum of 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads is far from comforting. It will still be more than 3,000 weapons too many. The real nuclear threat, however, no longer comes from Sarah Palin’s neighbors to the west. This is the 21st century; terrorists are the real hazard, and global nuclear warfare no longer seems likely. Obama even admitted as much at the START treaty signing ceremony in Prague. “Nuclear weapons are not simply an issue for the United States and Russia,” Obama said at the event. “A nuclear weapon in the hands of a terrorist is a danger to
people everywhere — from Moscow to New keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of York, from the cities of Europe to South terrorists. Asia.” It’s a good idea, and it might even work, The very existence of nuclear arms in but it seems completely unlikely that the America and Russia puts both countries, as assembly will be willing to go to the lengths well as the rest of the world, in grave danger. it needs to in order to keep the world safe. Terrorist networks have only become more The assembly’s stated goal is only to sophisticated since the Sept. 11 attacks, secure the world’s nuclear materials, not growing in both funds and get rid of them entirely. membership. key nations such as It would be an extremely With It seems almost Iran — which currently dark day for America if inevitable that, at some has a nuclear program it point this century, is for producing the very nuclear weapons claims terrorists will manage to electricity — not attending we hold in the name of obtain a nuclear bomb. Althe summit, there is simply Qaida already has made self-defense were turned no way to get done what public its goal to do so, needs to happen. against us in the form of a and there are far too many The only chance to countries and scientists truly eliminate the threat dirty bomb. with nuclear knowledge would be for the summit to who could be bought or blackmailed or somehow end all nuclear weapons research, threatened into producing weapons for destroy all existing nuclear weapons and them. place international sanctions against It would be an extremely dark day for educating new scientists on how to create America if the very nuclear weapons we such materials. hold in the name of self-defense were Unfortunately, in a post-Cold War world, turned against us in the form of a dirty it seems unlikely that any country would be bomb. willing to do so. Our president is trying to reduce this Casey Goodwin is an engineering freshman and threat. Obama will convene an assembly of may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar. world leaders from 40 countries Monday in com an attempt to work out a shared strategy to
E D I TO R I A L P O L I C Y
HPV author should be commended This commentary is a response to “People need to be cautious of STDs” by Callie Thompson, which ran in The Daily Cougar on Tuesday. As the director of the Women’s Beverly Resource Center McPhail on campus, I want to applaud Callie Thompson for her wonderful editorial on sexually transmitted diseases. Thompson powerfully told her story about contracting human papillomavirus, baring intimate details in order to educate and inform others.
he one-day furlough recently required of UH as part of the state’s mandatory 5 percent budget cut ordered by Gov. Rick Perry was the first in the University’s history. Granted it has come during one of the worst economic times in U.S. history, and yes, it is projected to save $1.03 million for the day it goes into effect, according to the Houston Chronicle, but are furloughs fair and effective? Taking a day off without pay in some ways assumes ... the that faculty and staff at the University University already work more hours than other people. still needs Professors don’t necessarily to explore work 9-to-5 jobs, particularly when it comes to night classes other or grading papers. options to Universities already have deal with a lower paid salary system, so these tough not paying workers for one day wouldn’t be as rewarding as it economic may sound. The UH system is times. undergoing hiring freezes and eliminating vacant positions, and layoffs are still only a possibility. There hasn’t been an official date set to implement the furlough, but departments have already been asked two divide employees’ schedules between two dates. In the Chronicle article, Faculty Senate President Mark Clarke made a valid point when he referred to the furlough as being “the lesser of two evils.” There’s no argument that furloughs are better than forcefully having to layoff valuable faculty members. Having long-time and dedicated employees benefits a college or university, because the firing and rehiring of faculty and staff would eliminate unity and pride, which is important to have at an educational institution. It’s not only difficult on the faculty, but, from a student’s perspective, seeing one of your most influential teachers being let go is just as difficult. While furloughs are a better option than layoffs, the University still needs to explore other options to deal with these tough economic times.
Often, when the word “courage” comes to mind, we picture firefighters running into burning buildings; I think the term can be used to describe Ms. Thompson’s actions as she shared her painful experience for the benefit of others. She has really provided an invaluable service to the campus community. April is STD Awareness Month, and on April 23, the Men’s Clinic at the Student Health Center will hold a special testing day for STDs; the same will happen at the Women’s Clinic on April 20 and 28. Students will have to pay for the
testing, but the first 100 people to go the Student Health Center or visit the Women’s Resource Center will get a really cute (and free) Cougar condom cover. Another helpful resource is the Get Yourself Tested Web site at www.gytnow. org, which is sponsored by MTV. It’s educational, interactive and fun, so check it out. Ms. Thompson has my admiration and appreciation. Beverly McPhail is the director of the UH Women’s Resource Center and may be reached at email@example.com
STAFF EDITORIAL The Staff Editorial reflects the opinions of The Daily Cougar Editorial Board (the members of which are listed above the editorial). All other opinions, commentaries and cartoons reflect only the opinion of the author. Opinions expressed in The Daily Cougar do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston or the students as a whole. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Daily Cougar welcomes letters to the editor from any member of the UH community. Letters should be no more than 250 words and signed, including the author’s full name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Anonymous letters will not be published. Deliver letters to Room 7, University Center Satellite; e-mail them to letters@ thedailycougar.com; send them via campus mail to STP 4015; or fax them to (713) 7435384. Letters are subject to editing. ADVERTISEMENTS Advertisements published in The Daily Cougar do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the University or the students as a whole. GUEST COMMENTARY Submissions are accepted from any member of the UH community and must be signed with the author’s name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Commentary should be kept to less than 500 words. Guest commentaries should not be written as replies to material already printed in the Cougar, but rather should present independent points of view. Rebuttals should be sent as letters. Deliver submissions to Room 7, University Center Satellite; e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org; or fax them to (713) 743-5384. All submissions are subject to editing.
The Daily Cougar
Monday, April 12, 2010
Students shouldn’t be accosted over parking spaces It is no secret that parking continues to be a prevalent problem for UH students. With around 21 student and economy parking lots combined Callie along with a Thompson shuttle system, it would appear that the University has enough resources to keep parking under control. After my first day on campus, I realized parking was going to be a daily hassle. Although it’s not a pleasant situation, it’s something many students have come to accept and deal with. What most people can’t seem to handle is what I’ve come to call “parking harassment.” The term is a reference to all those people who insist on bothering students in various ways as they walk through the parking lot to their cars. Harassment is defined by Dictionary.com as “to disturb persistently.” Students are harassed
on a daily basis in the University’s parking lots. Everyone has a slightly different tactic, but everyone guilty of this tactic has the same purpose. There are three different categories of parking harasser. The first and most mild is the “silent stalker.” These are the people who lack the courage to actually roll down the window and directly address someone and don’t mind driving slowly and close to them as they walk to their car. One way to deal with these people is to suddenly turn and walk through an aisle of cars to try and elude the harasser. This tactic is often successful because the harasser won’t be sure of where you’re parked and will probably figure out that following you will prove unproductive. The second more moderate type is the “impatient stalker.” These are the people who will yell at you from up to 20 feet away to ask where your car is located and what it looks like. After you respond, they speed
away to find it so they can sit and wait for you with their turn signals on so as to claim the parking spot as theirs until you get to your car. An effective method for handling these people is to tell them you’re parked across the street regardless of whether you really are. This usually causes the stalker to move on to another victim because, although there are available parking spaces in the next lot, chances are they’re too lazy to walk a few extra; if they weren’t, they would already be in the other lot. The third and final type is the most severe. These “student kidnappers” are the people who will not only roll down their window to ask where your car is located, but they are more than willing to also give you a ride to it. Every time I run into this type of person, I remind myself of all the times my mom warned me to never get into a car with a stranger, especially because I’m female.
Regardless of whether anyone’s safety is really at risk here, it’s still annoying to have some stranger yell at you while you’re walking. Most days, in order to avoid any of these three types of people, I typically walk through the graduate student lot of parking lot 16. When I walk through that lot, stalkers assume that I’m parked there and are less likely to follow or talk to me. I wondered if this was an issue at other universities or if it was limited to UH, so I called my sister, Katie, a sophomore music major at the University of North Texas. “The harassment over getting a space isn’t as bad as it is at UH,” she said. “A lot of people have realized that if you’re not at school before 10 a.m., you’re going to have to park in the boonies.” UH students need to grasp this concept; while not everyone has class before 10 a.m. and therefore doesn’t want to get to school that early, students need to either
quietly and politely peruse the parking lot for an open space or simply park a little farther away when they get to school. A little exercise never hurt anyone. Katie did admit that “lots of people, even myself, will drive slowly behind someone walking to hopefully get their space; but I have never had anyone ask or have known of someone offering a ride to someone’s car.” Perhaps these issues of extreme rudeness are limited to UH. Students need to realize that parking is enough of a hassle for everyone without having extra annoyance added to the situation. I’ve considered wearing a sign that says, “Do no harass me for my parking spot.” If you ever see such a sign walking through the parking lot one day, you’ll know I don’t wish to be bothered. Callie Thompson is a communication senior and may be reached at opinion@ thedailycougar.com
In addition to keeping you updated on the latest news, sports, arts and campus happenings, The Daily Cougar can also be used as a bookcover, a paper airplane or an umbrella for those rainy days. When you’re done, don’t forget to recycle.
“ THOSE WHO PROFESS TO FAVOR FREEDOM, AND YET DEPRECIATE AGITATION, ARE MEN WHO WANT RAIN WITHOUT AND
The “Virus Hunter” is coming to Houston!
D R. N AT H A N W O L F E Speaks about Global Pandemics and Killer Viruses. “Wolfe’s brand of globe-trotting echoes an almost Victorian scientific ethic, an expedition to catalog the unseen menagerie of the world”.
FREDERICK DOUGLASS AMERICAN ABOLITIONIST, AUTHOR, ORATOR (1817-1895)
- Wired Magazine
Monday, April 26, 2010 Free reception at 6 p.m. Free lecture at 7 p.m. Hilton Hotel University of Houston Limited space - RSVP to 713-743-2255
This thought about free speech is brought to you by
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Four lucky people will get reserved seats at the lecture and their picture with Dr. Wolfe. For details on the game, visit www.uh.edu/rockwell
Monday, April 12, 2010
The Daily Cougar
SPORTS EDITORS Phillipe Craig, Robert Higgs
COMING TUESDAY: The UH baseball team tries to snap a three-game losing streak against Texas-San Antonio
TCU 12, UH 2
Cougars shown broom
SCORE BY INNING RHE TCU 0 3 1 1 1 0 2 3 1 – 12 13 1 UH 010 200 100–252 TOP HITTERS TEXAS CHRISTIAN (23-7) PLAYER AB R H RBI BB SO PO A
HOUSTON (13-17) PLAYER AB R H
RBI BB SO PO A
WINNING IP H Maxwell 6 3
ER BB SO AB BF HBP
ER BB SO AB BF HBP
By Tristan Tippet THE DAILY COUGAR The Cougars came into their weekend series against TCU looking to build off of Tuesday’s win over Sam Houston State, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Horned Frogs put them back in their funk and left town with a three-game sweep after a 12-2 victory Sunday. UH followed the disastrous formula that led to three straight losses to Rice last weekend, looking lost on the mound and in the batter’s box against the No. 12 team in the nation. The Cougars hit a dismal .200 for the series, committing more errors (nine) than runs scored (four). The result was the fourth time an opponent swept the Cougars (13-17) this season, pushing them four games below .500 for the first time this season. UH has lost seven of their last eight, marking their worst stretch of 2010. “The whole weekend was one where we just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that were in front of us. We had opportunities to drive in runs, and it just didn’t happen this weekend,” head coach Rayner Noble said. “Very sloppy
LOSING IP H Goodnight 5 5
16 22 1 21 25 0
Save — None E - Maxwell(3); Kelso(9); Rune(2). LOB - TCU 5; HOU 8. 2B Pharr(7). HBP - Kelso; Murphy M.; Wallace. SH - Runte(2). SB - VonTUNGELN(3); Presley(7); CS — Presley(4).
Stadium: Cougar Field Attendance: 1,243 Time: 2:59
JUSTIN FLORES THE DAILY COUGAR
Sunday starter Michael Goodnight was unable to stop the bleeding for the Cougars, allowing six runs (five earned) in UH’s 12-2 loss to TCU. in the field, you know, it was a weekend where you just assume forget, and we’ve got to regroup. There’s half a season left, and we’ve got to get it together.” Sunday, UH starter Michael Goodnight was attempting to build off his win against Sam Houston State last Tuesday. But that was quickly forgotten in the second inning when he gave up a threerun homer to Aaron Schultz that gave TCU (23-7) a 3-0 lead. The Horned Frogs added nine
more runs over the next seven innings to seal the sweep. Despite Saturday’s 6-1 loss, lefty Taylor Hammack gave the Cougars what they were looking for in his second start of the season. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing his only run on a fly ball centerfielder Joel Ansley misjudged in the sixth inning. The Cougars, though, couldn’t score a run off six hits against TCU starter Kyle Winkler. Along with Ansley’s misplay, Caleb Ramsey
dropped a routine fly ball in left field that scored Jerome Pena in the seventh inning and gave the Horned Frogs a 2-1 lead they never relinquished. “When you can’t catch a fly ball, I mean that’s just demoralizing. I mean it just absolutely is,” Noble said. “But you know, we’ve got to be good enough to overcome that, and we had opportunities to put some more runs on the board, and just couldn’t get the clutch hit. I mean we hit the ball hard, but it
was right at (TCU’s players).” The Cougars also made a mistake on the base paths when the Horned Frogs picked off M.P. Cokinos after UH got two straight hits off of Winkler. The Cougars managed only two hits over the next five innings. Lefty William Kankel put himself into a precarious position from the first pitch of Friday’s series-opener. Kankel never found his command against TCU, and when he was forced to throw a pitch on the plate the Horned Frog hitters were waiting to pounce. The end result was a 15-1 drubbing, marking the first time the Cougars allowed 15 runs since March 10, 2009 in an 18-16 home loss to Sam Houston State. The Cougars will try to salvage a split in their season series with Texas-San Antonio at 6 p.m. Tuesday in San Antonio. email@example.com
UH rallies in finale to capture sweep By Chris Losee THE DAILY COUGAR
KENDRA BERGLUND THE DAILY COUGAR
Freshman Bailey Watts tossed her first career no-hitter in UH’s 5-0 win over Memphis on Saturday, and the Cougars went on to sweep the three-game series from the Tigers.
After opening their three-game Conference USA series against Memphis by taking both games in Saturday’s doubleheader, the Cougars finished off the sweep with a 7-4 victory Sunday at Cougar Softball Stadium. The Cougars (23-19, 8-7 C-USA) defeated the Tigers 4-0 in Saturday’s opener before taking the nightcap, 5-0. The wins came via dominant pitching performances from junior Amanda Crabtree and freshman Bailey Watts and extended UH’s win streak to five. In the second game, Watts delivered her first career no-hitter, fanning nine batters in the process. “Well, I think we had better pitching performances, and we finally scored some runs,” head coach Kyla Holas said. “That is the key.” Righthander Baillie Lott started Sunday and allowed one run and three hits in the first frame, prompting Holas to send Crabtree into the game to relieve Lott. Crabtree gave up a three-run homer to give Memphis (19-16, 6-8) a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of
the second inning, but found her command from there. She finished the game with nine strikeouts and allowed only two hits. The Cougars left runners stranded in each of the first three innings until Ashleigh Jones registered UH’s first run of the game in the fourth. Holly Anderson also scored to cut the Cougars’ deficit to 4-2 with runners on first and second and a comeback in progress. Designated hitter Reina Gaber followed with her first career home run, a three-run blast to center field that gave the Cougars a 5-4 lead. After a pair of heated exchanges with the home-plate umpire, Tigers head coach Windy Thees was ejected from the game before the inning could expire. The five runs UH scored in the fourth inning gave the Cougars a dose of confidence to finish the game strong. Katy Beth Sherman doubled in a pair of insurance runs in the fifth to complete the scoring. “I think the runner at second was the big difference in this game,” Holas said. “In the past, we have been leaving that runner there with one out, so that was another obvious adjustment we had to make.” The Cougars will travel to face
UH 7, Memphis 4 SCORE BY INNING RHE Memphis 040 000 0-453 UH 000 520 X-790 TOP HITTERS MEMPHIS (19-16, 6-8 C-USA) PLAYER AB R H RBI BB SO PO A
McKinley 4 Bernardino 1
HOUSTON (23-19, 8-7 C-USA) PLAYER AB R H RBI BB SO PO A
WINNING IP H Crabtree 5.1 2
ER BB SO AB BF HBP
ER BB SO AB BF HBP
17 20 1 17 22 0
Save — None E - McKinley 3(10). LOB - MEM 5; UH 10. 2B - Sherman(4); Lathan(5). HR - McKinley(3). HBP - Marshall. SH - Dobson(5); Splitter (4); Klinkert(3); Anderson (1). SB - Sirman(1)
Stadium: Cougar Softball Stadium Attendance: 363 Time: 2:03
C-USA opponent Tulsa in a threegame series beginning Friday. With three more conference series left in the season, the Cougars are preparing to build on their win streak. “We are going to be on our best game,” Holas said. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Daily Cougar
Monday, April 12, 2010
TRACK & FIELD
UH rests big guns in Ariz.
Dickey hires two assistant coaches
By John Brannen THE DAILY COUGAR
Cougar Sports Services UH men’s basketball coach James Dickey made a pair of additions to his staff over the weekend, hiring Iowa State assistant coach Daniyal Robinson and Stephen F. Austin assistant Ulric Maligi. Both will assist in all coaching aspects, according to a press release from the UH Athletic Department. Robinson has also been an assistant coach at Illinois State and Arkansas-Little Rock and joins the Cougars after serving an instrumental role in recruiting at Iowa State. Last season, Robinson helped the Cyclones land Chris Colvin, who was rated a top-100 prospect by several national recruiting services. “Daniyal has worked for outstanding coaches, and I look forward to the different philosophies he will bring to our program,” Dickey said in a release. “He possesses all the qualities you look for in an assistant coach: loyalty, integrity, character and work ethic.” Prior to his three seasons with SFA, Maligi served as an assistant coach at UT-Arlington during the 2006-07 season. “Ulric is a bright young coach and recruiter with tremendous enthusiasm for the game. He has developed very strong relationships in Houston, Dallas, the state of Texas and across the country,” Dickey said. “Ulric has great personal and professional qualities, and his ability to relate to players will be a terrific asset to our program.”
Although some of the Cougars’ biggest weapons were not used this weekend, they still made strides at the 31st Annual Sun Angel Track Classic held in Tempe, Ariz. Head coach Leroy Burrell and his staff used the weekend meet as an opportunity to rest some of the team’s top athletes. Most notably missing in action were sprinters Grecia Bolton and Errol Nolan along with the jumping trio of Chris Carter, Jonothan Williams and Lamar Delaney. Although Burrell and the athletes always prefer a top-three finish, several Cougars made notable accomplishments by placing high in events packed with dozens of athletes. Ciera Johnson continued her solid outdoor season placing first in the 800-meter dash with a 2-minute, 10.73-second finish, 0.7 seconds behind her split from last weekend‘s race. Teammate Clarissa Payton finished 11th in 2:13.59 seconds earning herself a personal record. Tara Prier placed fifth out of 33 in the 400-meter dash crossing the finish line in 55.66 seconds. Brittany Wallace finished five places behind her in 56.27 seconds. Quin’shundolyn McPherson placed 12 out of a field of 60 in the 200-meter dash with a 24.75-second split. For the men’s
Golf turns in 10th-place finish in Columbus, Ohio; tennis sees two-match win streak snapped J
DAILY COUGAR FILE PHOTO
Erica Hannermann was one of the UH runners who took a break from action in the Sun Angel Track Classic over the weekend in Tempe, Ariz. team, Joseph Irabor finished in a personal-best 21.80 seconds, earning him 10th place out of 48 athletes. In the 110-meter hurdles, Cameron LaCour finished in 14.56 seconds. Out of the 37 athletes competing, LaCour placed 12th. LaCour, the Conference-USA 60-meter hurdle champion, has hovered around the 14-second mark all season, but Burrell and his coaching staff are confident he will improve his times throughout the season. The women’s 4x400-meter relay of Brittany Wallace, Ciara Willis, Quin’shundolyn McPherson and Ciera Johson came in fifth in 3.42.40. The men’s 4x400-meter relay team was disqualified. The women’s 4x100-meter finished in 44.77 seconds, coming in at third place. The men’s team did not field a 4x100-meter relay.
Christie Jones finished seventh in the 100-meter dash, clocking in at 11.87 seconds. In field events, Tai’Shea Reese placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 11 inches. Selleck Keene finished eighth in the high jump clearing the bar at 6 feet, 7 inches, a personal-best. Brittani Williams placed fourth in the javelin throw of 151 feet, 7 inches, the fourth-best throw in school history. In the men’s shot, put Mike Sanchez placed fourth with a 53-foot, 4 ½-inch throw, a personal-best. Thomas Lang finished sixth in the triple jump with a leap of 49 feet, 3 ¾ inches. The Cougars will pack their bags for Baton Rouge, La. when they compete at the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational on Friday and Saturday. email@example.com
Golf finishes 10th at Ohio State The Cougars turned in their best team performance of this weekend’s Robert Kepler Intercollegiate on Sunday in Columbus, posting a score of 298. UH finished the two-day tournament with a 54-hole score of 904, which landed it in 10th place. Junior Clark Mitzner led the Cougars with an 11-over 224, tying for 33rd. Eastern Michigan took home the team title with a score of 861, while Penn State’s Kevin Foley earned individual honors by shooting an eight-under 205 for the weekend. UH will return to action at the Conference USA Championships on April 25-27 in Orlando, Fla. Tennis falls to Louisiana-Monroe After waiting out a brief rain delay Saturday morning, the UH tennis team fell behind early and never fully recovered in a 4-2 loss to Louisiana Monroe. The defeat ends the Cougars’ twogame win streak and drops them to 10-7 this season. Bryony Hunter and Laura Ring opened the match with losses before Joanna Kacprzyk recorded the Cougars’ first win. Neila Starratt recorded UH’s only other point with a 7-6, 6-3 win over the Warhawks’ Sidney Bruscato. The Cougars’ next match is against McNeese State on Wednesday in Lake Charles, La. firstname.lastname@example.org
Live off campus? The Census needs n d j to return your [ d g b . There are special programs in place to count students on campus. But if you live off campus, you have to complete your own 2010 Census form that arrived in the mail. By participating, you’re helping future students enjoy some of the same beneﬁts and services that you have today. It’s just 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes. So ﬁll it out and mail it back.
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Monday, April 12, 2010
The Daily Cougar
COMING WEDNESDAY: Recaps from Thursday’s drag show
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R U N AWAYS
Monitor draws from punk culture Punk has remained a unique part of our culture since its birth in the 1970’s. Bands like The Ramones and The Clash have influenced the indie rock culture in a Ben significant way, Muths leading to the formation of the band Titus Andronicus. Titus Andronicus’ tribute to punk and the way it expresses how the genre has developed over the past 40 years is what truly makes the band great. With the release of its second studio album, The Monitor, the group takes punk and applies it to an era that was far from the seeing the beginning of the genre: The Civil War. The Monitor refers to the USS Monitor, the U.S. Navy’s first warship and is a diverse combination of Irish jigs, punk rock and Abraham Lincoln quotes. My favorite is in the second track, “Titus Andronicus Forever.” “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on Earth.” This quote is more powerfully heard than read. It feels as if this band is more interested in the era than Lincoln himself. Using sound clips or speeches in music has always caught my attention. For example, “The Books” prefer to use monologues in alignment with its beats, creating a completely fresh style of spoken word in music. The Monitor gives the impression of a strong conceptual album, which can mostly be attributed to Titus Andronicus’ use of said historical speeches. However, fallacy begins to manifest itself in many ways. Although The Monitor is a fun first read, once listeners begin to pay attention to vocal clarity (or lack thereof), the album falls short of any reasonable musical standard. Frontman Patrick Stickles delivers a noble performance, releasing supreme amounts of energy with each phrase. His lyrics are meaningful and hold back no emotion. Yet, it’s difficult for me to ignore the simple tuning problems that follow his vocal melodies throughout the album. Musicians have a responsibility to sing or play in tune, a responsibility that punk typically disregards. It’s a lot to ask the listener to sit through 10 tracks of poor vocal tuning. Plus, it’s inconsistent with the other instruments, which leads to balance problems. Why should the standard for the singer be any different than the guitar? If any other instrument were badly see B-SIDE, page 9
RIVERR ROAD ENTERTAINMENT
Based on Cherie Currie’s autobiographical book Neon Angle: The Cherie Currie Story, director Floria Sigismondi brings The Runaways to the big screen.
Queens of Noise Fanning and Kristen star in biographical film based off of the band The Runaways By Sarah Krusleski THE DAILY COUGAR The Runaways sings a troubling and relevant tune but doesn’t offer anything truly edgy to redeem its slow pace. The film talks about the creation of the Runaways by producer Kim Fowley, who wants to capitalize on producing the first all-female rock band. The story lingers on adolescent Joan Jett’s (Kristen Stewart) fight to unleash her inner rock goddess and the objectification of so-called “sex kitten” Cherie Curie (Dakota Fanning) as the band achieves international stardom. The only part Runaways may have done right was the cinematography, which was completely shocking and as rich as the emotive, psychedelic landscapes in Across the Universe. The visual of menstrual blood dripping on a sidewalk, unruly crowds and
psychedelic romps through town are more memorable than the actual script. Nostalgic details such as rotary phones and bellbottom jeans populate the screen-grabs, and close-ups of single characters’ exaggerated performances are chilling. The casting is also superb, with every performer appearing at the top of their game with astonishingly provocative and faithful acting. Stewart absolutely shines as the toughas-nails Jett in a performance that may make critics forget about her terrible, unsympathetic work in the Twilight franchise. She broods and howls, and the opening shot of her running triumphantly through town in her brand-new leather jacket is exhilarating. Stewart tends to fall back on her monotone growl a little too often, but she successfully channels Jett’s rage at a chauvinistic society that wants her to trade
the leather jacket for a frilly dress. The end result is electrifying. I hope Stewart’s future will have more tough-as-nails, empowering roles like this. Fanning pulls off a strangely creepy Curie. It is frightening to watch this 15-yearold actress evoke naïveté and poise while prancing around in lingerie. Fanning’s reputation as a good girl makes the exploitation of her character that much more troubling. While the movie shocks viewers with shots of menstrual blood and lesbian kisses, it doesn’t say anything new about the exploitation of women to seasoned Jezebel readers and Lilith Fair attendees. Jett and Curie have a trite argument about the publicity provided by a raunchy photo shoot, an old man tells Jett that women don’t play see RUNAWAYS, page 9
Art bikes raise awareness for MS By Ashley Evans THE DAILY COUGAR If you have passed through Discovery Green Park recently, you might have noticed a colorful new addition to the park’s already vibrant scene. The Bill and Andrea White Promenade is home to more than 20 bikes that have been transformed into works of art in an effort to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis, a disabling disease of the central nervous system that affects 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.5 million people
worldwide. The Lone Star Chapter of the MS Society is working with Discovery Green to showcase these art bikes in conjunction with National MS Week and the 26th anniversary of the BP MS 150. The BP MS 150, one of many fundraising events the Lone Star Chapter has hosted, is a 180-mile bike ride from Houston to Austin. Last year, the event raised more than $17 million, which has been invaluable in furthering research toward a cure. Although the Art Bike see ART BIKE, page 9
COURTESY OF DISCOVERY GREEN
Discovery Green Park is displaying 20 bikes that have been turned into works of art to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis.
LIFE & ARTS | BLOGS
The Daily Cougar
RUNAWAYS continued from page 8
rock songs, and a condescending shop owner tells Jett to stop admiring men’s leather jackets. If it weren’t for the explicit lesbian love scenes, this would read like an after-school special about women’s empowerment. Furthermore, one wonders
B-SIDE continued from page 8
tuned during a recording, that take wouldn’t be used. By that logic, Stickles should be sent back to the studio with a tuner strapped to his face to remind him of the importance of vocal fundamentals. Apart from the Stickles’ singing, the rest of the members contribute well to the vibe of the album. But even though their parts are flawlessly played, the album feels a tad watered down. Simple progressions, guitar licks and drum patterns lead to weak composition.
ART BIKE continued from page 8
instillations don’t actually raise money, they do something equally as important — raise awareness. Lone Star Chapter Communications Director Gena Hyde said the idea for the Art Bike project came about because the MS Society was trying to find new and different ways to raise awareness in the community. They decided to use the bicycles to represent forward movement. “The idea of always moving forward and never looking back is one of the central themes of the MS Society,” Hyde said. “This was a creative way to raise awareness and engage the local art community.” The Lone Star Chapter teamed with Dancie Perugini Ware Public Relations to help with the project and became busy drumming up interest. Generosity and support was plentiful as the Texas Art Supply donated supplies to the artists, while the Bike Barn and numerous other individuals donated bikes. The next step was to find the right people to bring it all together, and Houston’s vibrant art scene gave them of talent to choose from. With the help of DPW Public Relations’ Shelly White, Hyde and the Lone Star Chapter reached out to The Museum of Fine Arts and the artists who designed the art cars and art cows. Hyde said the Houston art community showed a lot of interest and support for the project. The
why a script with so much vitriol against the male gaze must linger on shots of half-naked adolescent girls. This disjointed film will bore and annoy viewers seeking a feminist anthem. Runaways barely redeems a slow script with edgy performances and colorful cinematography.
There, you have the genre’s ultimate downfall: simple noise. Titus Andronicus barely escapes this stereotype and finds a way to arrange its music with more layers, creating a fuller sound than other punk bands. The group displays its passionate attitude in “No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future,” delivering a powerful chorus that gets the blood flowing. Though somewhat discouraging, “You will always be a loser” sounds pretty cool when screamed in front of a strong punk sound. firstname.lastname@example.org
final roster was full of local talent, including Nicole Strine, Kermit Eisenhut, Julian Luna and Sandi Seltzer-Bryant of Winterstreet Studios. Seltzer-Bryant was quick to jump on board when contacted about the project. Seltzer-Bryant said she wanted to participate after witnessing the struggles of close friend and local artist Lynn Good’s battle with the disease. The central theme in her work is life, culture and people coming together, so she was an obvious choice for the exhibit. “I used bright colors to represent positive energy and the courage it takes for someone with MS to make it through day-to-day life,” Bryant said. Each artist uniquely displayed the theme of moving forward, ranging from bedazzled tricycles to abstract sculptures. Some used bikes as a canvas, while others used them as a sculpture. But they all had a unifying theme. The instillation showcases an abundance of local talent, but more importantly, shines light on an important cause. The art bikes will be on display at the Bill and Andrea White Promenade daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until April 25. With less than three weeks left for the Art Bike instillation, Houstonians are encouraged to show their support for the MS Society and local artists by stopping by Discovery Green to view the bikes.
BLOGS » Tango
Re: “Drilling won’t solve US’s energy issues” —
It’s always been said that it “takes two to tango” but sometimes there’s that one friend that always seems to find his/her way to you and your significant other in the most inconvenient times. Although he/she might be one of the few people that have your best interests at heart, does it really give this person the right to be present in you and your partner’s quality time? It’s nice and all to introduce your partner to your family and the friends you feel most comfortable or consider your “best friends.” Bringing your super, coolest best friend or whatever you want to call them to hang out with you and your bf/gf might be, but when the friend comes over unexpectedly now there’s something to be said. I have developed 10 methods for everybody who finds themselves in this oh-so-sticky situation. Read more at askalexx. thedailycougar.com
» Get to know...Ky Exezidis
“Drilling is not going to solve our energy issues, but it will greatly improve these issues. Our country is already dependent on international oil, and offshore drilling is a great way to improve our economy. I don’t believe that this is a “quick fix,” and alternative energy resources will be created, no matter what. ”
COURTESY OF KY EXEZIDIS
Ky Exezidis, a biology and mathematics senior, went to Hawaii with her best friend for spring break. celebrate graduation? I would like to go on a two-month long backpacking trip through Europe. What do you want to do after graduation? I plan on attending medical school, hopefully in California. What are your plans for the summer? My plans for the summer are to go on a 1-2 week trip in May. I haven’t quite decided on where yet, but I’m thinking Rio de Janeiro, St. Lucia or Madrid. After I get back I’ll be in summer school for the rest of the break. What do you like to do for fun? I enjoy traveling, shopping, wake skating, reading and playing with my cats.
— By Daily Cougar User “hello785230” Re: “Cyclists should learn to share road”-
“You mention that cyclists should “enjoy the country” and that it is a great way to exercise, but this misses the point entirely. For many, cycling is their primary mode of transportation, not just some leisure machine they play chicken with.”
Read more at coogstyle. thedailycougar.com
What are you going to do to
— By Daily Cougar user “John”
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The Daily Cougar
Moving days could be over for garden By Amanda Trella THE DAILY COUGAR With the construction of Cougar Village close to completion, one of the University’s largest green initiatives, the Cougar Community Garden, may be closer to finding a permanent home. In the past year, UH has paired with several organizations to develop a green-conscious campus. One part of this effort is the community garden, located in Lynn Eusan Park. Since the garden’s planting took place in October, this outdoor site has been replanted three times due to the construction of the freshman residential hall. This caused the sustainability project to take a couple steps back from where it could have been. But now that Cougar Village’s construction is almost over, UH hopes it has finally found a home for the garden. “I think the garden is done being moved around. We can finally restart our efforts and move forward to our goal of a greener campus,” Dining Services Marketing Program Manager Sevelia Johnson said.
Johnson, UH Dining Services, EcoReps and the Community Learning Agricultural Sustainability Program have been working together in conjunction with the community garden coordinator Leah Wolfthal. They anticipate on resuming their efforts of promoting composting in the dining halls by setting out bins for students to drop off their various meal scraps. According to the CLASP Web site, the residential dining halls produce 80 gallons of usable waste per school week, which can be made into fertilizer that adds extra vitamins and minerals to the garden’s soil. The use of meal scraps will help UH cut costs, in addition to teaching students and faculty about resourcefulness. With the creation of CLASP and a greater response in campus involvement, UH Dining Services expects the garden will be able to produce a lot more produce than it did last year. Produce such as lemon basil, chives and a variety of peppers. “We had every intention of using the vegetables and herbs produced by the garden last year,” Johnson
said. “We just didn’t have enough and hopefully in this upcoming year, we will.” Johnson said she hopes that the vegetables and herbs produced in the coming year can be used on a larger scale. “Even though the garden doesn’t produce enough fresh vegetables to replace all the produce that we use on a daily basis, we want to use the vegetables for special dishes, like Shasta’s (Blazin’) Salsa, that can be distributed throughout campus,” Johnson said. “We want residents to enjoy the fresh produce they helped grow.” Whether Dining Services chooses to utilize the garden, Johnson believes it will offer more to UH than fresh ingredients. “The garden is symbolic of UH’s efforts to go green and help the environment,” Johnson said. “Even though it has gone through some setbacks due to it having to be replanted so often, we are going to get the garden stabilized and use it to its full potential.” email@example.com
STEVEN OSTER THE DAILY COUGAR
The Cougar Community Garden, one of UH’s largest green initiatives, has been replanted three times due to construction, but with a permanent location looming on the horizon, staff members are aiming to use it to its full potential.
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Robbie & Bobby by Jason Poland
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TODAY’S SUDOKU How to play Each row must contain the numbers 1 to 9; each column must contain the numbers 1 to 9; and each set of 3-by-3 boxes must also contain the numbers 1 to 9.
Previous puzzle solved
TODAY’S CROSSWORD ACROSS
At the Hot Dog Stand by Mishele Lamshing
Monday, April 12, 2010
Chalky mineral Light-bulb units Ancient ointment Melville novel — -ski wear Curved molding Say hoarsely Fake diamond I thought — never leave! 22 Addams Family cousin 23 Leafed through 24 Vacuum tube 26 Term of respect 27 Blocks from view 30 Frog’s perch (2 wds.) 34 Drinks to 35 Healthy 36 — Dawn Chong 37 Painter Jan van — 38 Recent earthquake locale 40 Nerd 41 Tavern fare 42 N.Y. neighbor 43 Friday’s companion 45 Detective story 47 Warm clothing 48 Tribute in verse 49 Upholstery choice 50 Decrease in intensity 53 Bakery item 54 Candy bar 58 Gym machines 61 Radar blip 62 James — Jones 63 Loses hair 64 Mets’ former ballpark 65 Teamwork obstacles 66 Pull — — one 67 Basted together
DOWN 1 2 3 4
Civil offense Delhi nursemaid Suffer defeat News editor’s place (2 wds.) 5 Serious conflict 6 Plant lice
35 39 43
26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 35 39 40 42 44 46
Old hat Pavilion Compass pt. Witness Enthralled Ms. Russo Feat or title Knock over Food regimen Like ocean breezes Microchip base Geyser output Demurely Hotfoots it Grant approval Fiction, e.g. Exodus priest Hockey feints Be victorious “— luck?” Apathy Gave up land Acuff and Bean Destroys utterly
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 19 21 25
47 Exercises, as power 49 Home in Rome 50 To — — (exactly) 51 Crow 52 Nautical prefix 53 “La Vie en Rose” chanteuse 55 Yearn for 56 Nibble 57 Zen riddle 59 Exec’s degree 60 Former JFK arrival
2009 UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE INC.
Previous puzzle solved P T A H P A R S E O F F S
A U R A
C L I P
E P O L L E A A R P E N S Y N E OWE R E D A H E R I T E S C H A H S T S T A T E B E L A P T I M I Z O Y T C U OR A I R HO T T E
L A M P
E C O L E
C S A L R I D E E P I E N E N
S H A H A L R N E U NG E G A D S P OR A G A P C E S E R E A D V E S A D H E D I R E E G S RO
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Monday, April 12, 2010
OMER continued from page 1
Catholic priest in Gaza, told him that is, “absolutely not the case here. We are all Palestinians.” Omar shared his account of life in Gaza, saying its takes people — mainly children — quite a while to obtain basic necessities. “Most of the children get in lines. It can take you four to five hours to get water and to get home,” Omer said. “Water doesn’t come often … because if you want water, you have to have electricity. If you don’t have electricity, you don’t have water. This is why it’s very difficult to have any sort of easy life (in Gaza).” Because the availability of water is never a guarantee, people sometimes take an “any means necessary” approach to get what’s needed. “Last night, I called my mother. It was around 2 a.m. Gaza time. … She was awake, waiting for the water to come,” Omer said. “There was no water coming into the Gaza Strip because the electricity is down. That’s just another example of living in this area.” Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated regions, doesn’t just lack hospital maintenance, medicine and water, Omer sad. “Whoever has cooking gas in the Gaza Strip is considered to be the king of the Gaza Strip,” he said. In 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon proposed the “Disengagement plan,” which involved evicting all Israeli’s from the Gaza Strip. Before this plan was introduced, Israeli settlements in this region spurred controversy. Omer is from the Rafah area of Gaza, where he experienced first-
hand the result of this conflict. “My own house has been demolished by Israeli Occupation Forces in 2003,” Omer said. “I was coming back from my University, after having waited a possible threeto-four hours at a checkpoint, and a person stopped me, asking me, ‘Mohammed, where are you going?’ I said, ‘home.’ A second and a third asked me after that, as well. “They looked at me and said, ‘don’t you know?’ I told them no. They said, ‘just be careful.’” As soon as Omer turned onto his street, he realized there was nothing left and his house was gone. “All I could hear in the background is that, ‘his mother is injured. His brother is killed.’ I was so confused,” Omer said. After putting the pieces together, Omer concluded that his mother had to run out of the house when a bulldozer was demolishing their home. “I have lost everything basically. All I have left is my Palestinian ID,” Omer said. The United Nations estimates that about 1,500 homes were demolished by the IDF just in the Rafah area from 2000-2004. “Two or 3 a.m., you get a call from a blocked number saying, ‘this is the army speaking. Evacuate your house. We’re going to bomb it now,” Omer said. Most people who have lost their home after demolition have no choice but to live in a tent at a refugee camp, said Omer, who not only lost his home, but also family members as a result of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. “My own brother was killed by the Israeli Army in 2003, on the 19th of October,” Omer said. “Husam had
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nothing to do with politics. He had one dream: to go to his school and continue on with his life. Husam was killed by seven bullets,” Omer said. Omer said that the carnage is made worse because ambulances can’t come enter the Gaza area to take the bodies or help the wounded. “On the right side the ambulance was coming, and the Israelis shot the tires. On the left side, they put sand barriers to not allow them to get in,” Omer said. As a journalist, Omer contacted an Israeli spokesperson to find out why there were so many sporadic bombings. But the answers he received left him disappointed and unsatisfied. “(The spokesperson) said Palestinian terrorists are launching rockets toward Israel and they had to hit back, so I asked him, ‘why don’t you hit the terrorists, not the civilians?’ He had no comment,” Omer said. “Before 2005, Israel would never bomb missiles at Gaza because there were children sleeping in the Jewish settlements.” Omer has reported for numerous media outlets, including Washing Report on Middle East Affairs and The Nation. He also founded the Rafah Today blog. “A life as a journalist in Gaza is very difficult. You’re always besieged between different factors and different situations. You can be attacked from different sides,” Omer said. “Hamas and feteh from one side, Israel from the other. And of course, you can imagine traveling troubles.” In 2008, when Omer was awarded with the Gellhorn award, he was honored in the citation as “the voice of the voiceless.” But when he returned home, violence awaited
COURTESY OF MOHAMMED OMER
Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism award winner Mohammed Omer, above, talked with UH students aout his “Reflection on Life and War in Gaza” speaking tour. The Students for a Democratic Society sponsored the event. him. “I was attacked on the 26th of June 2008 by the Israeli Army. I was coming back from the Martha Gellhorn Journalism prize awards,” Omer said. “The Israeli army wanted the money I got from the speaking tour, and they had all the details; how much I got, when and where.” Omer said the Israeli’s wanted the money because Martha Gellhorn is Jewish and they, therefore, considered it Jewish money. He
added that he is still recovering from the injuries he suffered. The Students for Democratic Society at UH sponsored the event, which took place last Wednesday. “Basically SDS felt the need to get this story out,” political science sophomore Dana El Kurd said. “Let people know the realities of the life in Gaza, aside from Israeli propaganda.” email@example.com
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