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Cougars get back in action today with first practice of the spring

March 21, 2012

Prominent Houston rappers come to UH

Issue 91, Volume 77

STUDENT GOVERNMENT

President, vp, senators disqualified Election commission found students guilty of voter fraud Taylor McGilvray

THE DAILY COUGAR The Student Government Association election commission has disqualified four students — including the president-elect and vice president-elect — on the basis of election fraud for using students’ personal information to cast votes without their consent during the general elections. Numerous witnesses told the election commission College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences senators-elect Brandon Balwant and Laxmi Ramana, members of the

McHugh-Aijaz party, approached students with a “petition” to change faucets in the M.D. Anderson Library that required the students’ first and last names, PeopleSoft numbers, birthdays, classifications and the college they were enrolled in — all information that was required to vote in the election, said Arsalan Razakazi, chief election commissioner. Michael McHugh, who was elected president in the run-off elections, and his running mate Mohammed Aijaz were also disqualified because of the fraud. His party — McHugh-Aijaz — was the main beneficiary from the fraudulent voting, Razakazi said. “Candidates who are members of a Party are held individually accountable to the

provisions of this code, although parties as a whole may be held accountable to the provisions of this code,” says article III, section three, clause four of the SGA elections code as quoted in the election commission’s decision. Two other sections from the code that are quoted in the decision say that candidates found guilty of election fraud can be disqualified and candidates that don’t meet requirements of the code can not win the election. “We interviewed; we contacted each of the witnesses; we tried to make conferences with them in our office. We do thank them for their time,” said Dre Perez, an assistant election commissioner. “It’s not easy for them to come over here...they have to study

Students left with little options on spring break

Students can get into zoo free for Shasta VI unveiling

CREATIVE WRITING

James Franco backs out of UH creative writing program Actor James Franco has once again decided not to attend UH’s creative writing doctorate program in the fall. Franco deferred his acceptance in the program last fall for a year, but he will not be attending this fall either due to scheduling conflicts. “His plans do not permit him to enroll in the doctoral program this fall,” Director James Kastely of UH’s creative writing program told the Houston Chronicle. “The problem is, he’s just very busy, so the future is uncertain.” — Cougar News Services

news@thedailycougar.com

STUDENTS

MASCOT

Shasta VI, the newest live UH mascot, will take his place in the Houston Zoo’s cougar exhibit. UH students with valid student IDs can get into the zoo for free to attend the event, which will last from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Although Shasta will not reside on campus like previous live mascots, the UH Alumni Association and the zoo are working to set up a webcam service that will allow students to view the cougar online. Shasta VI is the first male cougar to represent UH. The last live Shasta died in 1989. — Cougar News Services

for exams; they have to write papers, so we just thank them for time and their diligence in helping us come to this decision.” All four students have 24 hours to appeal the disqualification to SGA’s judiciary branch. If the appeal is accepted, they will go to trial, Razakazi said. “We’ve done a lot of research...we’ve been working countless hours — we even worked over spring break. This decision wasn’t easy... it wasn’t something we took lightly,” said Said Jalajal, an assistant election commissioner. “Even though it’s tough, we’re sticking by this decision because we believe its fully right to those people who were done wrong.” McHugh refused to comment.

Audris Ponce

THE DAILY COUGAR

Shasta III served as the mascot from 1965 to 1977. She was known as “The Lady” and was featured in commercials for the American Motors Corporation. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar

CAMPUS

Live mascot to represent UH after 20 year absence Joshua Mann

THE DAILY COUGAR New traditions will be blended with old on Saturday when the UH Alumni Association unveils a live cougar mascot for the University after more than two decades without one. Though Shasta VI’s predecessors have lived on campus, this incarnation will remain in his exhibit at the Houston Zoo, said President of the UH Alumni

Association Mike Pede. “There are all kinds of reasons why a live cougar should not be out of where he’s being handled by professionals,” Pede said. “He will be there 24-7 with the 4-yearold cougar that already lives there named Haley.” The Alumni Association has been in communication with the zoo since Jan. 2011, but they have been working on getting a new SHASTA continues on page 3

Dining hall closures and the lack of campus activities make spring break less of a treat for international students living in residence halls. Of the 3,249 international students enrolled at UH this semester, 237 live on campus, according the Office of International Students. “The school should have more events for on-campus students to celebrate spring break together like parties or field trips because international students do feel lonely, especially during spring break,” said accounting and finance senior Quan Tran. For some international students living on campus, the early closing hours for dining facilities and the recreation center during the break were a nuisance. “There’s no choice but to eat outside of campus,” said Sascha Lulla, a finance senior from Singapore. Lulla drove to the nearest Wendy’s or Subway when businesses like the Calhoun Loft’s convenience store closed at 3 p.m. “The school should really cater to its international students since they have so many,” Lulla said.

We should be able to eat. But if we can’t, they should put it in the contract, so we understand and aren’t left in the dark.” Agi Anthony, on living on campus during spring break Other international students, like hotel and restaurant management post-baccalaureate Agi Anthony don’t have vehicles to drive to a restaurant off campus. Anthony, who moved to Houston from Nigeria two years ago, said his meal plan was wasted when dining facilities on campus were shut off, and the current contract he signed did not warn him of this problem. “No one does anything about it,” Anthony said. “It’s a challenge that international students have experience with during Thanksgiving.” Since using his meal plan wasn’t a viable option during the break, Anthony used money to buy snacks or dine at China Star when it was open earlier in the day. “We should be able to eat,” Anthony said. “But if we can’t, they should put it in the contract, BREAK continues on page 3


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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CRIME LOG

Learning Support Services

ROOM 109 N COUGAR VILLAGE! WWW.LAS.UH.EDU

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TUTORING

Stay on course now, so you can relax later! We offer FREE TUTORING to all UH Students!

HOURS SPRING Monday - Thursday 9 am – 9 pm Friday 9 am – 5 pm Saturday 1 pm – 5 pm Sunday 1 pm – 7 pm SUMMER Monday - Tuesday 10 am – 7 pm Wednesday- Thursday 10 am – 6 pm Friday 10 am – 3 pm

SPRING 2012 WORKSHOPS

Online registration at “Workshop Signup” at www.las.uh.edu/lss On-line registration is necessary to obtain a spot.

Topic

Time #1

Effective Study Groups..................................... Tues., 3/6 @ 10 am Study strategies for natural science courses... Tues., 3/6 @ 3pm Write better research papers........................... Mon., 3/19 @ 3pm Math Study Skills............................................ Tues., 3/20 @ 1pm Motivation....................................................... Tues., 3/27 @ 4pm Time Management.......................................... Mon., 4/2 @ 3pm Analytical Reasoning....................................... Wed., 4/11 @ 11am Critical Thinking.............................................. Tues., 4/17 @ 4pm Preparing for and coping with finals............... Wed., 4/25 @ 3pm Overcoming procrastination........................... Mon., 4/23 @ 3pm

Time #2 Fri., 3/9 @ 9am Thurs., 3/8 @ 11am Thurs., 3/22 @ 11am Wed., 3/21 @ 4pm Fri., 3/30 @ 2pm Thurs., 4/5 @ 3pm Thurs., 4/12 @ 1pm Fri., 4/20 @ 4pm Fri., 4/27 @ 3pm Thurs., 4/26 @ 11am

Length: 50 minutes. Please be on time. No admittance after 5 minutes past the hour. On-line registration is necessary to obtain a spot.

March 6 ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER Finding your Strengths Developing a Healthy Lifestyle March 20 WORKSHOP SERIES To register for the ADHD workshops please contact Dr. Laura Heidel at 35439 or email lheidel@uh.edu

Problems registering? Call Dr. Laura Heidel at 713-743-5439, lheidel@uh.edu www.survey.uh.edu

Student Satisfaction Survey NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) for selected Freshmen and Seniors CLA (Collegiate Learning Assessment) for graduating Senior

www.eval.uh.edu

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Complete Course Evaluation online for selected courses.

WIN PRIZES. TALK SMACK. Sign up to play the March Madness Bracket Challenge! Log on and complete your bracket and compete against your fellow students! Form groups and talk smack! The contestant with the most accurate bracket prediction will win an autographed Rockets basketball! Other prizes include tickets to watch the Rockets play at Toyota Center!

The following is a partial report of campus crime between Nov. 2 and Wednesday. All information is selected from the files of the UH Police Department. The information in italics indicates when the event was reported to UHPD and the event’s location. Information or questions regarding the cases below should be directed to UHPD at (713) 743-0600. Traffic Off ense: 5:12 a.m. March 11, Lot 4A — A contract security officer observed a vehicle strike two parked vehicles and leave the scene without providing the required information. The incident occurred at 5:01 a.m. March 11. The case is active. Criminal Mischief: 4:38 p.m. March 11, Cambridge Oaks Parking Lot — A visitor reported that someone damaged the window of his vehicle while it was parked in the Cambridge Oaks Apartments parking lot. The incident occurred between 9 p.m. March 10 and 7 a.m. March 11. The case is active. Burglary of a Motor Vehicle: 7:25 p.m. March 11, Cullen Oaks Parking Lot — A student reported that someone burglarized her parked and secured vehicle. The incident occurred between 1 p.m. March 9 and 4:30 March 11. The case is active. Criminal Mischief: 9:50 a.m. March 12, Agnes Arnold Hall — A newspaper dispenser and a recycling bin were damaged by an unknown person. The incident occurred between 7 a.m. March 9 and 9:50 March 12. The case is active. Graffiti: 10:32 a.m. March 12, Agnes Arnold Hall — Unknown person(s) spray painted graffiti on a basement wall. The incident occurred between 7 a.m. March 9 and 9:43 a.m. March 12. The case is active. Theft: Noon March 13, M.D. Memorial Anderson Library — A student reported money was stolen from a wallet she lost and was turned in months later. The incident occurred between 9:15 p.m. Oct. 5 and 2:30 p.m. March 10. The case is inactive. Criminal Mischief: 1:26 a.m. March 13, 4700 Cullen Blvd. — A visitor purposely drove his vehicle into a UH-owned sign and also struck

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City of Houston property causing damage. The incident occurred between 1:20 and 1:26 a.m. The case is active. Criminal Trespass: 9:02 a.m. March 14, University Center — A visitor was arrested for Criminal Trespass and transported to Harris County Jail. The incident occurred at 9:02 a.m. Wednesday. The case is cleared by arrest. Criminal Mischief: 4:17 p.m. Thursday, Science & Research 1 — A faculty member reported damage to a door on the fourth floor. The incident occurred between 6 p.m. March 7 and 3:50 p.m. Thursday. The case is active. Theft: 1:19 p.m. Friday, M.D. Memorial Anderson Library — A student reported that someone stole his unattended and unsecured backpack and book. The incident occurred between 12:45 and 1:15 p.m. Friday. The case is inactive. Theft: 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Robertson Stadium — A visitor reported her unsecured/unattended cell phone was stolen. The incident occurred between 7:53 and 10 p.m. Saturday. The case is active. Public Intoxication: 10:28 p.m. Saturday, Lot 12A — A visitor was arrested for public intoxication and released to Harris County Jail. The incident occurred at 10:30 p.m. Saturday. The case is cleared by arrest. Traffic Offense: 8:21 p.m. Monday, Welcome Center Parking Garage — A student reported that someone struck his unattended vehicle and failed to provide the information required by Texas law. The incident occurred between 8 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday. The case is active.

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ABOUT THE COUGAR The Daily Cougar is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters, and Wednesdays during the summer, at the University of Houston Printing Plant and online at http://thedailycougar.com. The University seeks to provide equal educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or veteran status, or sexual orientation. The Daily Cougar is supported in part by Student Service Fees. the first copy of the Cougar is free; each additional copy is 25 cents. SUBSCRIPTIONS Rates are $70 per year or $40 per semester. Mail subscription requests to: Mail Subscriptions, The Daily Cougar, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 77204-4015. NEWS TIPS Send news tips and story ideas to the News Desk. Call (713) 743-5314, e-mail news@ thedailycougar.com or fax (713) 743-5384. A “Submit news item” form is also available online at thedailycougar.com. COPYRIGHT No part of the newspaper in print or online may be reproduced without the written consent of the director of the Student Publications Department.


NEWS

The Daily Cougar

ACADEMICS

University to introduce new minor Darlene Campos

THE DAILY COUGAR The University of Houston has recently introduced a Jewish studies minor, adding to several other culture-specific majors and minors already available. A few courses with a focus on Judaism are currently offered, and there are plans to bring more Jewish courses to UH in future semesters. “I was at a conference (in summer 2010) and two people asked me why UH didn’t have a Jewish studies program,” said Marie Theresa Hernández, UH undergraduate director of World Cultures and Literature and the Chair of the UH Jewish Studies Initiative. “A few months later Dr. Hildegard Glass and I went to see Dean Roberts who said he was surprised we didn’t have a program. He encouraged us to proceed.”

The first steps towards UH’s Jewish studies program were taken in Oct. 2011. UH launched a Jewish studies web page on the campus website. The minor was officially approved on Feb. 24 and will start in fall 2012. The minor will require a minimum of 15 credit hours and will focus on Jewish history, culture, languages, traditions, religion and the global Diaspora. Though the minor is in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, students of all majors are invited to participate. “We have a number of courses that have been approved at the university level,” Hernández said. “However we are still waiting on final approval from the Higher Education Coordinating Board.” New courses will include Introduction to Jewish Studies, American Jewish Culture, Jewish Women Through Biography and Expulsion and Aftermath: Spain, 1492 and After.

Pending courses within the English Department include the Jewish American Novel, Jewish American Poetry and Jewish Nobel Prize Winners. Events related to the new Jewish studies minor will happen throughout the rest of the spring semester. Matt Goldish, the director of Jewish studies at Ohio State University, will be speaking at 4 p.m. March 22 in the Honors College Commons. He will also present his new film on Hasidic Judaism titled “The Other Men in Black” with a discussion to follow. Hernández will be giving a two-session course at the Jewish Community Center called “The Menorah at the Alamo?” and “Unlocking the Myths and Secrets of Jewish Identities in the Americans” at 7:30 p.m. on April 25 and May 2. news@thedailycougar.com

SHASTA continued from page 1

cougar for longer. “Once we got here, we thought that was a very important tradition to try recreate or renew, so we’ve been working to do that since I got here two years ago,” Pede said. One of the new traditions will be to leave class rings in the cougar exhibit overnight. “We will take the class rings and put them in the exhibit in a specially made box that Shasta will be able to hop up on top of and bless those, basically,” Pede said. The Alumni Association will also set up webcams in the exhibit so that Shasta can make digital appearances at UH events. “I think in a perfect world, everyone would like to have their live mascot on their campus in a wonderfully laid out exhibit,” Pede said. “But I also understand all the issues that will have us handling it in this way.” Shasta VI was born in September in Washington, and he now weighs about 45 pounds, said Houston Zoo Spokesperson Brian Hill. “The weight for an adult male cougar is about 145 pounds, so he has a little bit of growing to do,” Hill said. Shasta’s mother was killed by a hunter, and state wildlife officials were brought in to rescue Shasta and his littermates.

Shasta IV served as the mascot from 1977 to 1980. She only served for three years because she was difficult to handle. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar “Two of the cubs were found in short order,” Hill said. “But Shasta proved a little bit elusive.” The cub was eventually found when state wildlife officials mimicked the chirping sound mother cougars use to communicate with their cubs, Hill said, and all three cubs were then taken to Oregon Zoo. “Shasta had a pretty rough go as a young cougar, but he’s in a great place now,” Hill said. Pede, who graduated from UH in 1989 and wore the Shasta suit as the mascot at UH football games, said that having a live cougar mascot provided a boost to school spirit. “Whoever you’re walking through the zoo with,” he said, “you can beat your chest in pride

I think in a perfect world, everyone would like to have their live mascot on their campus in a wonderfully laid out exhibit ... but I also understand all the issues that will have us handling it in this way.” Mike Pede, on why Shasta Vi won’t be making an appearance on campus for a couple minutes and say, ‘That’s my guy right there. He’s one of us and I’m one of them.’” news@thedailycougar.com

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BREAK continued from page 1

so we understand and aren’t left in the dark.” Anthony said spending spring break on campus, far from his friends and family, made him homesick, but it’s something international students must go

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through as they work to achieve their goals. “Here you always miss that fellowship and those communications you have back home,” Anthony said. “But we try to do what we can, to try to get where we want to get to.” news@thedailycougar.com

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Daily Cougar

OPINION THE DAILY COUGAR

PHONED UNDER FIRE

EDITOR David Haydon E-MAIL opinion@thedailycougar.com ONLINE thedailycougar.com/opinion

by David Haydon

EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR IN CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR NEWS EDITORS SPORTS EDITOR LIFE

& ARTS EDITOR

OPINION EDITOR CHIEF COPY EDITOR

Daniel Renfrow Mary Baak Taylor McGilvray, Joshua Mann Joshua Siegel Jose Aguilar David Haydon Amanda Hilow

STAFF EDITORIAL

Who’s House? Not James Franco’s

C

reative writing extraordinaire James Franco will, unfortunately, not be attending UH this fall. The devastating news comes after a year of Franco deferring his enrollment. Depressed UH students have likely already stripped their James Franco tribute walls from their dorms and are in the process of removing their James Franco shrines from their closets. But then again, maybe they are trying to hold on to the hope that this has all been a sick joke and they’ll get the chance to see Franco snoozing in class come fall. Not to worry. In all likelihood UH Media Relations is hard at work obtaining another famous actor to bring unprecedented attention to campus. But that doesn’t change the fact that we feel rejected, unwanted. James Franco stood us up. Franco is, according to UH Creative Writing Director James Kastely, “just very busy.” Hopefully he’s not busy reprising his role as Harry Osborne in Spiderman. Joking aside, there probably are many more important things a Hollywood star like Franco could be doing than attending an exclusive creative writing program that gets hundreds of applicants and only lets twenty or so each year. UH would have undoubtedly been much happier with a famous name to plaster all over the walls and newsletters. And now that he’s not coming, what will be the future of UH’s most dear Tier One status? How many celebrity obsessed students will now overlook UH as a choice, thinking how we were too insignificant for Franco? We should have wedged one of Franco’s arms between something solid in the Roy G. Cullen building while we still had the chance. At least then we would have something to remember him by — a momento. Who knows, after being trapped for 127 hours at UH maybe he would have decided to stay.

E D I TO R I A L P O L I C I E S 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 to (713) 743-5384. Letters are subject to editing. ADVERTISEMENTS Advertisements 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 letters@thedailycougar.com; or fax them to (713) 743-5384. All submissions are subject to editing.

False Vigilantes Overzealous untrained night watchmen have no place on the streets.

O

n Feb. 26 Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black high school student, was on his way back to his father’s house from the convenience store when George Zimmerman, 28, stole Martin’s life with a gunshot. Christopher To say that Martin’s life Shelton came to a tragic end is an understatement. It just should not have happened. What unfolded is antithetical to what any person should be subjected to. Zimmerman was an overzealous and self-appointed leader of his neighborhood watch, the quixotic protector for his community. However, he was certainly not the protector Martin and his family needed that fateful night. According to the Miami Herald, “Zimmerman called police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011 to report disturbances, break-ins, windows left open and other incidents. Nine of those times, he saw someone or something suspicious.” On the night in question, Zimmerman again dialed 911 before approaching Martin. “Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy at Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good,” he said. At this point, the only thing that Zimmerman knew about Martin was his ethnicity. By all accounts, Martin was not causing trouble. His apparent crime was being black and walking down an affluent

street at night. Several citizens called 911 to report the disturbance that followed. The calls were released Friday. In one of the chilling calls, you can hear a male voice screaming for help in the background as a female neighbor dictates the situation from her home to the 911 operator. It is followed by a gunshot and stoic silence in the background. Then, the wailing for help was over for good. The silence eats you up inside. You realize that you have just listened to Martin’s last 10 seconds of life. You can almost feel his blood on your shirt. You can almost see the blood on Zimmerman’s hands. Zimmerman stated it was he who was wailing for help and that he acted only in self-defense. Unfortunately, Martin is not here to refute or confirm Zimmerman’s account. The police did not conduct a background check on Zimmerman nor did they test him for drugs or alcohol; however, Martin was tested to determine if he was under the influence. Pressing questions still remain. Why did Zimmerman feel Martin, an unarmed minor, was suspicious? Many have suggested Martin was racially profiled. It certainly seems so, but we were not there and are not in Zimmerman’s brain. Why has Zimmerman not been arrested? The police definitely have probable cause for an arrest. Many African Americans have long sensed an inherent unfairness in the US

Zimmerman stated it was he who was wailing for help and that he acted only in self-defense. Unfortunately, Martin is not here to refute or confirm Zimmerman’s account.” justice system. This is a system where Mike Vick can be sentenced to 23 months in prison for the slaying of animals. And current NFL player, Plaxico Burress, can be sentenced to two years in prison for shooting himself at a night club. Mind you, no disturbance was caused, and no one was injured in the incident. But kill a minority child and you get sent home without being arrested and your story of self-defense is taken at face value. Maybe I am speaking in hyperboles here, but the vast majority of Americans must understand how this looks to the black community. It was announced Tuesday that the case will soon go to a Florida grand jury and that the justice department will begin investigating the possibility of a hate crime. This is certainly a step in the right direction but is still too little too late. Christopher Shelton is a journalism junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com.

LETTERS $100K hardly a one percenter James Wang was correct in pointing out the apparent contradictions with those participating in the Occupy movement, (“Hypocrisy in the 99 percent” Page 4, Monday). However, he was too simplistic in his analysis of this “working one percent” of rodeo participants. The top one percent of earners refers to billions and billions of dollars per year, and

as successful as someone who makes $100 thousand in a single event is, that is hardly the demographic targeted by OWS. The Occupy movement is riddled with flaws and just as many demonstrably fallacious stretches of reasoning in their own politics, but to suggest that because an event has the possibility of huge financial gain makes a winner of all potential money a “one-percenter” is the same as suggesting that, because one can do all the jobs at

a McDonalds, that they, too, are a “onepercenter”. One of the chief complaints against the Federal Government by, both, the Tea Party and OWS, is that Wall Street receives too much assistance; if this is the case, then how is it possible for the “one percent” to have earned this money “themselves”? — Joseph Marhee, history senior


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Daily Cougar

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EDITOR Joshua Siegel E-MAIL sports@thedailycougar.com ONLINE thedailycougar.com/sports

SPRING FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Spring into action Levine hopes practices breed competition

SPRING DEPTH CHART

Offense (Projected starters in bold) QB Dave Piland

Joshua Siegel

THE DAILY COUGAR

sports@thedailycougar.com

QB

Bram Kohlhausen

Fr.

QB

Crawford Jones

Sr.

RB Charles Sims RB

Head coach Tony Levine has thrown his depth chart out the window. Of course there are favorites to win jobs and returning starters, but Levine is anxious to see his players compete and earn places in the starting lineup, particularly UH’s veteran players. “We have some guys that have in our program anywhere from one year to four years and it’s time for them to step up and play for us,” Levine said. “I’m anxious to see how it all unfolds come April 13.” The Cougars open the first of 15 spring practices today. If you subtract the three practices in helmets and the three scrimmages, that leaves just nine “true practices” for players to make an impression on the new coaching staff. “We don’t ever count on any true freshman coming in and playing for us in the fall,” Levine said. “Naturally some will, but that to us becomes a bonus. When we get done with spring practice on April 13, that’s going to be the football team we plan on competing with in the 2012 season. “It’s time for guys to step up and make plays for us and take over where our seniors left off.”

So.

Braxton Welford

Jr. Sr.

WR Isaiah Sweeney

Sr.

WR Dewayne Peace

Jr.

WR Daniel Spencer

So.

WR Ronnie Williams

Sr.

WR Mark Roberts

So.

WR Darian Lazard

Jr.

WR DeAndre Perry

So.

WR Kenneth Bibbins

So.

LT

Jacolby Ashworth

So.

LG

Ty Cloud

Jr.

C

Kevin Forsch

Jr.

RG Emeka Okafor/Bryce Redman Jr./So.

The Cougars open spring practice at 4 p.m. today. UH’s 15 total practices will be open to the public. There will be three scrimmages, three practices with helmets and nine “true practices.” | Aaron Cisneros/The Daily Cougar

RT

Rowdy Harper

DE

Zeke Riser/Lloyd Allen

DT

Joey Mbu

Changes loom in lineup Tony Levine may have a blank depth chart, but that doesn’t mean that there cannot be educated guesses and informed predictions about who will get the most reps this spring. These are the top storylines going into today’s first practice:

“Guys that have been in our program like a Ronnie Williams, this will be his fifth year, it’s time for him to step up and start for us,” Levine said.

1. Who is going to

2. How will the de-

start at receiver?

With all four of last season’s starters gone, the wide receiver position will be an open competition. | Aaron Cisneros/The Daily Cougar

All four of the Cougars’ starters from last year are gone. The spring will provide many of UH’s veterans an opportunity to step up and replace program stalwarts Patrick Edwards, Tyron Carrier, Justin Johnson and E.J. Smith. The staff is expecting veterans like Isaiah Sweeney, Ronnie Williams, Darian Lazard, DeAndre Perry, Mark Roberts and Dewayne Peace to step up. Sweeney and Peace might have the edge on the outside, while Williams has a solid chance to assume Carrier’s role in the slot.

A sleeper in the receiver race to watch is sophomore Daniel Spencer.

fense adjust to the 4-3?

Levine is confident that while there might be a learning curve in switching schemes, UH will be successful with its new look. “I think we have a great staff and I think coaching is teaching; I think we have great teachers on our staff,” Levine said.

3. Who will start as returners?

Levine’s approach to picking returners

is to put playmakers in space where they can make things happen. The Cougars haven’t shied away from that in the past even if they are premier players, using Edwards and Carrier last season. For punts, expect Damian Payne, Kent Brooks, Charles Sims, Casey Martin and Wayne Beadle to get looks, while Isaiah Sweeney, Jeffery Lewis and Daniel Spencer will audtition for kickoff return duties.

4. Who will start at right guard?

Last season’s right guard Kevin Forsch will slide over to center to assume senior Chris Thompson’s place. The leading candidates at the moment to take Forsch’s old job are Bryce Redman and Emeka Okafor, with Josh McNeill and Ralph Oragwu also in the mix.

So.

DT

Radermon Scypion

Sr.

DT

Dominic Miller

Sr.

DE

Eric Braswell

So.

OLB Phillip Steward

Sr.

OLB Austin Wilson

Jr.

MLB Everett Daniels

Sr.

MLB Efrem Oliphant

So.

OLB Derrick Mathews

So.

OLB George Bamfo

Jr.

CB

Zach McMillian

Jr.

CB

Thomas Bates

Jr.

SS

Kent Brooks

Jr.

FS

Colton Valencia

Jr.

CB

D.J. Hayden

Sr.

CB

Chevy Bennett

Sr.

KR Isaiah Sweeney

POSITION BATTLES

So. Jr./Sr.

Sr.

KR

Jeffery Lewis

Sr.

KR

Daniel Spencer

So.

PR Damian Payne

So.

PR

Charles Sims

Jr.

K

Matt Hogan

Sr.

P

Richie Leone

Jr.

SPRING SCHEDULE

Practices (Open to the public) Today ........................................................... 4 Thursday ...................................................... 4 Saturday............................................. 10 a.m. Monday ........................................................ 4 Wednesday, March 28 .................................. 4 Thursday, March 29 ...................................... 4 Monday, April 2 ............................................ 4 Wednesday, April 4 ...................................... 4 Thursday, April 5 .......................................... 4 Monday, April 9 ............................................ 4 Wednesday, April 11 .................................... 4 Thursday, April 12 ........................................ 4

Scrimmages

Saturday, March 31 ...................................... 7 Saturday, April 7 ................................. 10 a.m. Friday, April 13 (Spring Game) ............. 7 p.m.


6

!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Daily Cougar

!

7

EDITOR Jose Aguilar E-MAIL arts@thedailycougar.com ONLINE thedailycougar.com/arts

EVENTS

MUSIC

Houston’s prominent public figures in rap music invited to speak at UH

spin R&B, electronic

Universities explore local hip-hop culture Student DJs Jose Aguilar

Show tries to educate listeners through artist biographies, background stories

THE DAILY COUGAR A conference on the history and effects of DJ Screw and Houston hip-hop will take over the University Center Houston Room from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on March 28, but you need to register by Friday if you want to hear rappers Chingo Bling, Paul Wall and others during the panels. “Awready!: The Houston Hip-Hop Conference” is a collaboration between the University of Houston Libraries, the Houston Enriches Rice Education Project, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences African American Studies program. A component of the conference is “A Screwed Up History,” an all-day series of panels. Featured rappers include Bling and Wall along with E.S.G., K-Rino, Lil Keke, Willie D and Z-Ro. Julie Grob, coordinator of Digital Projects and Instruction for UH Libraries Special Collections, is the curator of the hip-hop collection created two years ago. “This is really a kick-off for the collection, so this is a one-time-only opportunity,” Grob said. “As a library, holding a conference isn’t a main part of our mission, so it’s something special we’re doing to let people know about the collection and to try to kick off more interest and research in the collection and in the collection that Rice is developing too.” People in the hip-hop community are really excited about the conference. People from across Texas and the nation are coming in for the conference. Many local and national rappers have been really receptive to the conference for a couple of reasons, Grob said. “For one, they like having their work valued and seeing it in an academic context, but also I think because the conference is very focused on DJ Screw and he was a really well-loved figure in the Houston hip-hop scene,” Grob said. “I think a lot of people have come forward

Kim Grady

THE DAILY COUGAR

us a complimentary homemade pineapple beverage to wash down all those spices. If you want fast and quality Mexican food with a South Asian kick, then Hamza Halal Taco is the perfect spot for a quick bite. Hamza Halal Taco is located on Hillcroft, just 25 minutes away from campus making it accessible and affordable for UH students.

“Drop Box,” one of the shows on UH’s student-operated Coog Radio station is hosted by computer information systems major Ashton Vaughn and his friend Omari Cato on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 p.m. “I always wanted to DJ and be a radio host,” Vaughn said. “As soon as I saw this opportunity I grabbed it.” “Drop Box” consists of a variety of music. The predominant sound during Vaughn’s segment is electronic, with a twist of old school R&B and occasional hip-hop music. “When it comes to hip-hop, I tend to gravitate to the boom bap and electronic indie styles,” said Vaughn, a passion-driven graphic designer. “To me, the boom bap is reminiscent to the golden era of hip-hop, the style I grew up on.” Some of the artists Vaughn enjoys listening to are Allen Stone, Kendrick Lamar and the Black Keys. The show aims to educate and inform music fans by sharing the background of each artist that it airs on the radio. Cato contributes by bringing a different style to the show. He assists Vaughn by helping him with the technical duties of compiling playlists as well as sharing his ideas and knowledge about electronic music on the air. “Besides just playing music I like hear, I like playing music that people don’t realize they’ve been hearing all their life; the original music where vocals, beats and lyrics are taken from to make the songs we hear on the radio,” Cato said. Vaughn and Cato entertain their listeners by informing them about the background stories of how artists are gaining fans in the underground scene. “I try not to play songs that sound too common, I want listeners to appreciate the variety of music that exist,” Vaughn said. In order to create a connection with his listeners, Vaughn ends his show by signing off the air with a short self-written poem. “I wanted to end the show with a personal touch so my listeners will know who I am,” Vaughn said.

arts@thedailycougar.com

arts@thedailycougar.com

The Screwed Up Click entourage has earned the respect of many fans of Houston’s underground hip-hop and rap scene. The original members of S.U.C. who are expected to visit campus next Wednesday include E.S.G., Lil Keke and Z-Ro. | Courtesy of UH Digital Library because it honors Screw’s work and his influence.” Grob said the conference aims to look at the context of a lot of local hip-hop. It will also provide the featured artists a more in-depth chance to talk about their careers — how their music evolved and how Houston itself affected them. “The conference is a way to bring the universities and the general public together to explore the topic and learn from each other,” Grob said. The conference begins Tuesday with an opening reception at Betz Gallery, at 1208 W. Gray St., which will feature the “Graffiti, B-Boy and B-Girl Exhibition.” The “2012 College DJ Battle,” which aims to honor the legacy of DJ Screw, will close the conference from 8 to 11 p.m. in the Grand Hall of Rice University, 6100 Main St.

Registration is free and open to the public and a lunch is included. To register for the conference, visit www. lws.lib.uh.edu/hiphop/djscrew/registration/ index.html. Registration for the conference closes Friday. For more information on the conference, visit www.lws.lib.uh.edu/hiphop/.

arts@thedailycougar.com

COMING UP

A review of the DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip-Hop Exhibit in the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library

CULINARY

Community offers culturally diverse taco stand Mohammed Haider

THE DAILY COUGAR A person cannot drive anywhere in Houston without noticing a taco truck, but there is one taco truck that is slightly different. Hamza Halal Taco is where South Asia meets Latin America, fusing two sides of the world. The term “halal” is the Arabic word for lawful, the dietary law that identifies which meats are permitted for Muslims. The truck usually sits at 3514 Hillcroft in the heart of the Mahatma Gandhi District. Owner Faiza Khatra, a Pakistani immigrant who moved to Houston three years ago, was the first to start a taco truck that served halal meat, catering to both the Muslim and Latino community. “When I saw so much Mexican fast food here, my husband said we needed to start something too,” Khatra said. “There wasn’t a single halal Mexican restaurant at the time and now we’re planning to open more. We will also start serving chicken bryani, thikkah and hot wings with Indian spices.”

I wanted to try out some of the common items first, so I decided to go with the traditional beef fajita taco. The meat was grilled to perfection, which was not too chewy or over-cooked and was marinated with traditional Indian-Pakistani Masala spice. It was topped off with classic cheese; diced tomatoes and cilantro giving it a cool, minty touch at the end of every bite. My friend got the Mexican-style shredded chicken soft taco garnished with cheese, diced tomatoes and sour cream and all stuffed into a warm chapatti, the Indian equivalent of a tortilla. The best part was the green chutney sauce that was provided. Although I love traditional salsa, the green chutney is an amazing substitute that I have not seen anywhere else. I was not completely full just yet, so my friend and I decided to share the ultimate burrito, which had juicy ground beef, melted white and yellow cheese, peppers, tomatoes and sour cream wrapped in a toasted chapatti. The best part of it wall was our bill was only $6. The owner was also kind of enough to give

This beef fajita taco, topped off with a spicy IndianParkistani sauce was inspired by the diverse streets of Houston. | Mohammed Haider/The Daily Cougar


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