THE DAILY COUGAR
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U N I V E R S I T Y
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Issue 66, Volume 79
H O U S T O N
Three men arrested in armored vehicle robbery News editor, assistant news editor
Three men have been arrested by the FBI in relation to the armored car robbery that occurred at about 8 a.m. Dec. 6 in front of the University Center. “The arrests in these cases underscore our commitment to vigorously prosecuting in federal court those that perpetrate violent robberies of armored cars and clearly endanger innocent lives,” said United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson in a press release. An armed man and his accomplices coerced a pregnant driver out of a Loomis armored van, and fled with contents of what the Houston Chronicle reports as
more than $4 million. The suspects left the ransacked armored car in an on-campus parking garage. From there, they drove to the nearby Planned Parenthood, where the money was transferred to another getaway vehicle. While it was originally thought that there were three suspects, four men have now been charged for the crime. The suspects include James Van-Gerald Johnson, 30; Dezmond Lacraig Edwards, 24; Ronald Dean Richards, 23; and Allen Bernard Roundtree, 27. According the Houston FBI, Edwards and Roundtree were taken into custody Tuesday
without incident and were charged along with Johnson, who was previously arrested, for robbing the armored vehicle. Dur ing the course of the arrests, authorities found three assault rifles, narcotics and cash related to the crime. The three men are being held in custody until a detention hearing set for 10 a.m. today. Richards remains at large and is being considered a fugitive with a warrant out for his arrest. Anyone with infor mation regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI at (713) 693-5000 or Crime Stoppers of Houston at (713) 222-TIPS. According to the release, Crime
SGA pushes proposal for fixed tuition Nora Olabi Assistant news editor
and nonprofit organizations have made concrete commitments to reduce inequality at higher education institutions and increase the opportunity of attending college for low-income students. UH is among those universities. According to the University’s commitment pledge to the Executive Office of the President, UH is in the process of developing a partnership with Complete College America and Houston-area community college districts to create Guided Pathways to Success, which aims to provide students with stepby-step roadmaps and guidance for on-time degree completion. The University is also planning to launch the “UH in Four” initiative, which will focus on creating campuswide culture and expectations supportive of a four-year graduation. “The initiative is aimed at helping students more quickly enter careers resulting in substantial financial savings and includes setting four-year graduation goals, four-year fixed tuition, academic maps for every major, early alert systems, outcomes-based advising and degree progress monitoring tools,” according to UH’s commitment.
The University’s attempt to focus on student success and higher graduation rates has manifested itself in a new proposal: an option for fixed tuition. The Tuition and Fee Advisory Committee created a proposal after the Texas Legislature passed H.B. No. 29, which requires “general academic teaching institutions” to provide a fixed-tuition plan for students. The University also believes that the Legislature is “seriously considering changing some or all of the university formula funding from accessbased to output-based,” according to UH’s proposal. Fixed-tuition rates, which would only be applicable to incoming undergraduate students and implemented starting Fall 2014, would allow students to opt into a rate that would not increase for at least the first 12 consecutive semesters, according to the house bill, and ties into Provost Paula Short’s initiative, called “UH in Four,” to speed up graduating students. Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance Carl Carlucci presented the proposal to the Student Government Association meeting Wednesday night. He said that fixed tuition is more than just locking in a rate; it’s about student success and ties into Short’s Universitywide initiative. “UH in Four is great for the students; it’s great for the community; it’s great for Texas,” Carlucci said. “Not everyone is going to be able to do this, we know that, but you have to offer an incentive to people, and (fixed tuition) is an incentive. It says that if you are able to make the sacrifice and graduate, you can essentially get a very, very cheap degree.” Students who opt into fixed tuition may pay more in the beginning, but their rates would be locked in, regardless of inflation rates and other issues that may drive tuition costs up. The average cost of tuition would be calculated for the entering class, and the student would sign a contract agreeing to complete no fewer than 30 credit hours a year to
EDUCATION continues on page 3
SGA continues on page 3
Ronald Dean Richards is a fugitive, and a warrant remains out for his arrest in relation to December’s armored vehicle robbery. | Courtesy of the FBI. Stoppers will offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to Richards’ arrest. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow’s workforce to see better preparation Amanda Hilow News editor
Millions gathered both in Washington and in front of their television sets Tuesday night to finally
get their questions answered by President Barack Obama in the 2014 State of the Union address — of which a large discussion topic was the nation’s effort in education. There was good news to share:
The U.S. is seeing its lowest unemployment rate in five years, a rebounding housing market, job creation in the manufacturing sector for the first time since the ’90s and a deficit cut by more than half. “I believe this can be a breakthrough year for America. After five years of grit and determined effort, the U.S. is better positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth,” Obama said in his address. However, the president is insisting that the nation step up in its efforts to speed growth and create more jobs. Obama claimed progress in these areas could not fully be accomplished without first taking a look at educational practices. “I’ve asked Vice President (Joe) Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now,” Obama said. “Of course, it’s not enough to train today’s workforce. We also have to prepare tomorrow’s workforce by guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education.” The president said the White House recently organized a College Opportunity Summit in which 150 universities, businesses
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CALENDAR Today Research: InfoEd Training on funding opportunities using SPIN will help researchers build proposals from 10 a.m. to noon in E. Cullen, Room 407.
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Enrich By Kennyrich Book Signing Event You are invited to attend a book signing for author
Forum: The Texas Obesity Research Center will discuss collaborative research opportunities and partnerships with faculty working with obesity-related research from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Health and Biomedical Sciences Building in the TSO Auditorium. RSVP is requested. Environment: Learn about Recyclemania from representatives from the Office of Sustainability during its kickoff from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Butler Plaza. Physics: Students can learn about photoemitters from Gregory Mulhollan from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Science and Research Building 1, Room 634. Art: On Screen @ Blaffer will be showing a documentary by Frederick Wiseman as he studies the University of California–Berkeley during a time when it was struggling financially 6 to 10 p.m. in the Blaffer Art Museum, located in the Fine Arts Building.
Please join Kennyrich for this special event and invite a friend! If you already have a copy of The GLASS buy one for a friend – this book makes a great gift!
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Seminar: A computer science seminar will instruct students on how to prepare themselves for conferences from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall, Room 232. Social Work: “Speaking Our Language” will discuss possible support, funding and scholarship opportunities for bilingual students in Asian languages who plan on serving as social workers in the greater Houston area from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. off campus at Kim Son on 2001 Jefferson St. Lecture: Audience members will explore poetry in this age of modern technology in a digital humanities lecture series, featuring Laura Mandell, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Agnes Arnold Hall, Room 104. Women’s Swimming: The Cougars faces Rice, LSU and Tulane Universities at 4 p.m. in the Campus Recreation and and Wellness Center Natatorium.
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Business: A Bauer Speaker Breakfast, featuring Todd Dewett, will address leadership issues from 7 to 8:30 a.m. in the University Classroom and Business Building, Room 328.
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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 and online at thedailycougar. com. The Daily Cougar is supported in part by Student Service Fees. The first copy is free. Additional copies cost 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 tips and story ideas to the editors. Call (713) 743-5314, e-mail news@ thedailycougar.com. A “Submit news” form is available at thedailycougar.com. COPYRIGHT No part of the newspaper in print or online may be reproduced without the consent of the director of Student Publications. The Daily Cougar is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press. studentpress.org/acp
Thursday, January 30, 2014 // 3
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Winter storm comes to an end in Houston areas Hadiya Iqbal, Javi Salazar Frigid weather creating slippery roads, foced Houston to take cautionary measures the past few days. Certain school districts and universities even shut down certain functions Friday and Tuesday, but now both worries and ice alike will melt away during the next week with the incoming rising temperatures. According to the National Weather Service, this weekend will kick off with mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies Thursday with a high of 60 degrees and low of 55 degrees. Friday and Saturday allow for
more comfortable dress, since temperatures will range from highs in the 70s to lows of 63 and 48, respectively. Umbrellas are urged before a commute or leisurely stroll, as precipitation chances are 20 percent Friday and 30 percent Saturday. On Sunday, Weather.com predicts another cold front for Houston, but more temperate climates will result, with a high of 57 degrees and a low of 45 degrees. Similar to previous days, a 20 percent chance of precipitation is predicted. Monday will show a continuation of Sunday’s cloudy, cool yet temperate feel. However, a low of
graduate within the four-year time frame. A tuition recommendation would be renewed every two years using the Consumer Price Index inflation rate, which for 2014-18 was calculated at 2.2 percent. For SGA President Cedric Bandoh, fixed tuition gives students an opportunity to save money and plan their academic schedules. “What I like about it is it’s simple. It’s fixed, no matter what your major is, whether you’re studying communications or sciences or business, you pay that same rate ... It’s fair,” Bandoh said. “With everything else on campus, adding in a fixed tuition plan is great, and UH is comparatively already pretty much affordable. I think that’s going to boost the overall experience here at the University.” Four-year fixed tuition would be $9,583 with a total four-year cost of $38,328, but student fees will be in addition to this figure, according to the University’s draft for enacting the house bill. A tuition cap at 12 hours would also be enacted for fixed-tuition students. Carlucci said that he would recommend an extra $100 per credit hour for non-resident students to make up revenues because of tuition caps. H.B. No. 29 was enacted by the Texas Legislature on Sept. 1, 2013, and the University is required to begin implementation starting Fall 2014. The Tuition and Fee Advisory Committee’s draft for implementation will go in front of the Board of Regents on Feb. 25, 2014.
Obama said he is now committed to rebuilding the trust of American citizens and making governmental systems in Washington work more smoothly. After the 16-day government shutdown in October, the democracy had to find a compromise. “Thanks to the work of Democrats and Republicans, Congress finally produced a budget that undoes some of last year’s severe cuts to priorities like education,” Obama said. “Nobody got everything they wanted, and we can still do more to invest in this country’s future while bringing down our deficit in a balanced way, but the budget compromise should leave us freer to focus on creating new jobs, not creating new crises.”
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57, complemented with a slightly greater high of 62, will result in a slightly more pleasant day. Tuesday’s high climbs up to a 68, but a 40 percent chance of rain, predicted thunderstorms and a slight wind speed boost to 14 miles per hour explain the chilly drop to a low of 38. Wednesday, the sun will begin finally peeking out of the gray skies from around noon, although a low of 36 and a high of 56 will demand for warmer dress. Thursday’s clouds will blanket the sun yet again, dropping the high to 53. The low will climb to 41
Frozen water dangled from buildings and banners across campus Tuesday as a small example of Houston’s icy condition. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar degrees, however. To view more information about the weekly or monthly forecast,
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TRACK AND FIELD
After vaulting the competition during the early portion of season, senior track captain looks for a running start on her post-athletic life Contributing writer
Karley King views pole vaulting as a world of opposites. Whereas some athletes need loud music to get amped up before collegiate competition, King remains relaxed, focused and sharp. The field roars around her, but in her mind is only silence. She smells fresh chalk on the hands of shot putters nearby and feels the carbon-fiber pole in her hands, but focuses only on the ground below her feet. She counts her steps — 16 in all with eight lefts — to the box, looking down in order to avoid over-analyzing the height of her attempt. Many female pole-vaulters are bigger, but King’s accomplishments stand head-and-shoulders above her diminutive stature. With UH’s rich sports history that boasts such notables as gold-medal-winning Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis, hall of fame coach Tom Landry and record-setting quarterback Case Keenum, it can be difficult to stand out. However, that’s what the 5-foot-6, three-year captain and redshirt senior has done. King ranked No. 24 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s week one rankings on Tuesday, but she has a history of success in pole vaulting. A perfect match King, who captured the Louisiana pole vaulting record while at Vermilion Catholic High School, received her third American Athletic Conference Female Field Athlete of the Week honor on January 21, breaking her own personal record with a vault just over 13 feet. While originally a gymnast, King feels that she is drawn to the sport, and was drawn to UH as much as UH was drawn to her. “The history here is one of the major factors that made me come to UH,” King said. “The history and Coach (Kyle) Tellez, that is. He is an amazing coach.” Tellez — who coaches UH athletes in the high jumps, pole vault and multi events — has been King’s mentor during her collegiate career. While King was still in high school, he sought her out for recruitment after recommendations from personal friends Greg Duplantis and Doug Fraley, both from Louisiana and both Olympic pole-vaulters.
Making a king-sized leap Khristopher Matthews-Marion
Natural leader “From the time she was a freshman, she had natural leadership ability,” Tellez said. “It was only a matter of maturing, growing in confidence and proving herself to her teammates. She’s done that. Now, her teammates know that in crunch time they can count on Karley.” According to Tellez, King’s motivation comes from humility and a deepseated desire to do her best. King’s game is less flash and more blue-chip effort, and she’s never forgotten the discipline she developed as a gymnast or the lessons she learned growing up in Louisiana. “From day one, she was a conference-level competitor,” Tellez said. “She never came in with unrealistic goals... She came in wanting to improve and get as far as she can, always remaining grateful for the opportunity she was given.” Competing in the classroom King’s excellence does not solely lie in athletics; she has also succeeded academically. She consistently logs long hours, training about 20 hours a week and balancing a full school schedule. While an athlete at UH, she has held a cumulative 3.5 GPA and earned the Conference USA Commissioners Honor Roll award for a consecutive four years. The award is given to student athletes who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA throughout the year. She is also a former president of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, a group that works as a liaison between student athletes and administration. Although she has no interest in competing in the Olympics or coaching in the future, she dreams of becoming a physical therapist and dedicating her life to helping others. Despite an accomplished athletic and academic career at UH, she has flown under the radar. Although she may reach national champion status, her idea of how she wants to be remembered remains humble. “I would love for people to know that I’m a good athlete, but I would rather be known for my character,” King said. “I want people to see me as a hard worker, someone who wasn’t given anything and who put it all out there for Houston.”
Outon nabs preseason recognition The Daily Cougar News services
Despite her small stature, senior pole vaulter Karley King developed into a a threeyear captain and classroom standout, being named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll four years in a row. | Courtesy of UH Athletics
UH cracked tHe top 25 After strong individuAl And teAm performAnces, uH plAced no. 24 in tHe indoor trAck And field rAnkings. 60-meter dasH
UH’s highest ranking since placing no. 28 in 2011 during week four cameron Burrell American Athletic Conference track athlete of the week
Fastest time in the nation and a school record
UH ranks NAME
Sade Mariah Greenidge
UH’s senior catcher Haley Outon is one of 50 student-athletes who has been named to the “Watch List” for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. It is the second-consecutive season she has been named to the Preseason Watch List. Outon backed up the preseason honor last year by earning Conference USA Player of the Year honors. She led the league in home runs (16), RBI (62), slugging (.731) and walks (41) while starting all 61 games behind the plate for the Cougars. Outon enters her senior campaign ranking second in the UH history books with 43 career home runs and fourth in RBI with 144. She trails Kristen Glowacz (2002-05, 47 home runs and 175 RBI) for the program Outon record in both categories. Outon is one of four American Athletic Conference student-athletes named to the list along with Katie Keller (Louisville), Sara Nevins (South Florida) and Stephanie Pasquale (Temple). The Top 25 Finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 9. While an athlete does not have to be on the “Watch List” to be considered for the Top 25, the eventual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will come from the Top 25 Finalists. Cougar Pride sets record With more than 2,500 members contributing, Cougar Pride, UH Athletics fundraising department recorded $3.5 million in donations for 2013. The $3.5 million set Cougar Pride’s highest fundraising mark, topping its previous record of $3.1 million to rank eighth among American Athletic Conference programs. The Cougar Pride high watermark does not include private donations to any capital campaigns or donations to one of the 12 sport specific booster clubs. The $3.5 million year gives Cougar Pride an increase of $1.8 million in annual funds raised since $1.7 million was collected in 2009.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 // 5
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UH head coach Todd Whitting believes Cougar Field’s new FieldTurf will offer more consistency than the old field. | File photo/The Daily Cougar
Improved home field provides advantages beyond aesthetics Harrison Lee Senior staff writer
Baseball has always had a comparably equal fascination with its parks and stadiums as with its players and records. While the seats in Cougar Field are the same, as is the looming press box, the most notable difference lies on the field itself. The green is brighter, but one thing to notice are the small granules of black that blast off the ground when players make their way down the base path. The new surface is not grass nor AstroTurf, but rather FieldTurf. While not the same AstroTurf made famous by the Astrodome and later infamous for tearing knees and ankles to shreds, FieldTurf is designed to be like natural grass. “It’s going to be better for us to field on. Obviously we’re not going to have any rainouts, so we’ll get a lot more reps in,” said senior outfielder Landon Appling. “The whole field is just in whole lot better condition than what we had. The ball stays true, y o u d o n’ t have to worry Appling about holes or divots. It’s a flat surface. You always know what you’re going to get.” According to Calhoun, Ga.based FieldTurf Tarkett, FieldTurf is “washed silica sand and rounded cryogenic rubber” that is permeable and allows for better drainage. Head coach Todd Whitting sees
the new fi eld as useful given the now-three-year-old, NCAA-mandated rule change that aluminum bats now perform more like the wooden bats used by Major League Baseball. “With the bat specifications now, they’ve kind of deadened the bats with the new rules, so I wanted to create as much offense as we could,” Whitting said. “It’s more about dropping balls in front of people than hitting them over their heads. The ball, on this field, is not going to bounce over anyone’s head.” Offense, Whitting pointed out, includes stolen bases and speed, something that the team has in ample supply. “The turf plays a little bit faster, and you can run a little bit faster on it,” said sophomore outfielder Kyle Survance, who led Conference USA in stolen bases last season. “I feel like I’ll have a little bit more of an advantage this year.” The learning curve quirks of their new domain are not lost on the Cougars. The art of sliding is being reinforced in relation to the new surface. “Sliding is a big issue. On this type of turf, you can typically slide over the base,” Whitting said. “Hopefully a couple of times this year, our opponents will slide past the base when we need that.” Strategy aside, the aesthetics of the new field aren’t lost on the team. “Not everybody gets the chance to play on a beautiful field like this,” Appling said. email@example.com
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6 \\ Thursday, January 30, 2014
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EDITOR James Wang EMAIL
Tell me about a time when you felt
Editor’s Note: “Tell me about a time when…” was created by senior staff columnist and print journalism junior Kelly Schafler with the hope of forming a more active and connected student body. On a campus this big and diverse, it’s easy to sometimes feel insignificant. Everyone has a story, and we want to hear them. Once a month, a new prompt will be issued to the student body. One student and one staff member of The Daily Cougar will be chosen to be featured in this monthly column. Thanks to those who have submitted stories and who may submit stories.
Storming the field with Cougar Pride My name is Ramon Ruiz IV, and I am currently a second-year student at the UH Graduate College of Social Work. I attended UH for undergrad and graduated with my bachelor’s Ramon degree in psyRuiz chology in Fall 2009. The greatest memory of school pride I have from UH took place during my last semester of undergrad on the evening of September 26, 2009. On this particular night the UH football team was facing Texas Tech
University in a highly anticipated game televised on ESPN, and in front of a record crowd at Robertson Stadium. I remember walking into the stadium that night and feeling the buzz of excitement in the air. It felt as if Robertson Stadium was the only place anyone in Houston needed to be that Saturday night. At the time, UH was undefeated and another victory meant the team increasing its national ranking and maintaining its perfect record. The game was packed full of rowdy students, alumni, and fans sporting their Cougar colors in a sea of red. The game was competitive and close the entire time, but
toward the end of the fourth quarter Texas Tech took the lead, and it seemed like an undefeated record was in jeopardy. With four minutes remaining, UH losing 28-23, and the offense backed deep in its own territory the Cougar Pride was in full effect and loud as it had been all evening. Case Keenum, as he had done so many times before, and continued to do so after this night, led UH on an epic drive that ended with Keenum calling his own number and running a quarterback draw for a touchdown. The UH defense then tenaciously held off Texas Tech’s last efforts to recapture the lead and secured the win.
With time running out and a victory on the cusp, it felt as if the stadium was erupting into complete pandemonium. Once the final second ran off the clock, thousands of Cougar supporters including myself stormed the field and celebrated with the players and coaches. We chanted and yelled together in what seemed to be an inconceivable dream where everything had transpired better than expected. Leaving the stadium that night I was proud as ever to be part of the Cougar Pride, and knew it was a night I would never forget. Ramon Ruiz IV, Graduate Student at the Graduate College of Social Work
From new transfer to proud Cougar There hasn’t been a definitive moment that I’ve felt pride for UH, but that’s only because every moment spent here is an immense point of pride for me. Having transferred in from Cara a small, private Smith university, I’ve had the unique opportunity of greatly appreciating every advantage that UH students experience on a daily basis. It’s the little things, really, that keep me mindful of how lucky we are to be at an institution like
this. Not every university has a sprawling bookstore filled with Nike and Under Armour apparel — internationally recognizable brands representing an internationally recognized university. Few campuses offer their students such a vast array of dining options — and by that, I mean more than a dining hall. At my former university, our student newspaper made getting an on-campus Chick-Fil-A a front-page story for multiple issues. It was the university’s first fast-food restaurant on campus, and everybody was crazy about it. Food may seem like an inconsequential part of the college experience, but from a person
THE DAILY COUGAR EDITORIAL BOARD Channler K. Hill Natalie Harms WEB EDITOR Jenae Sitzes NEWS EDITOR Amanda Hilow SPORTS EDITOR Christopher Shelton LIFE & ARTS EDITOR Monica Tso PHOTO EDITOR Fernando Castaldi OPINION EDITOR James Wang ASSISTANT EDITORS Laura Gillespie, Nora Olabi, Justin Tijerina, Andrew Valderas EDITOR IN CHIEF
who’s seen both sides of the spectrum, I can assure you that it’s an important part of campus life. Not every student can go home during Christmas break and tell their family, and anyone who’ll listen, that they’re attending a university that boasts some of the nation’s best programs in entrepreneurship, business, communications, the hospitality industry and more. Not every student’s university is recognizable by people from Florida, New York or nearly any place in the country. Our campus is friendly, lively and urban. It’s indisputably cool, and UH is worth bragging about to our friends at UT and A&M who
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
seem to forget that we’re ranked equally in Tier One research status. We’ve got a university that meets and exceeds their standards, and it goes without saying that our locale pretty much crushes a lot of what College Station or Austin have to offer. We’re the heart and fuel of the fastest-growing city in the nation. To reiterate myself, there hasn’t really been a single moment that stands out to me in terms of school pride — each moment I spend at this university is something that I’m incredibly proud of.
It’s time to submit your story for a chance to be featured in next month’s edition of The Daily Cougar. Submissions should be between 300 and 400 words and may be submitted by email to opinion@ thedailycougar.com Remember, keep it clean Coogs.
FEBRUARY’S PROMPT Tell me about a time when you felt Texas pride.
Cara Smith, Communications junior and senior staff opinion columnist
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 N221, University Center; 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. 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 limited to 500 words. Guest commentaries should not be written as replies, but rather should present independent points of view. Deliver submissions to N221, University Center; e-mail them to letters@ thedailycougar.com; or fax them to (713) 743-5384. All submissions are subject to editing.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 // 7
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Third Ward Renaissance: A return to dignity Editor’s Note: This is part three of a three-part series involving the renovation of the Third Ward which will run every Thursday in print from Jan. 16 to 30. It can also be found at the thedailycougar.com/opinion.
ice President for Community Relations and Institutional Access Elwyn C. Lee sat across from me in his crowded, cozy office. His arms were crossed, and his eyes were fixed on the ceiling corner behind me, looking at something I knew I couldn’t see. I had just asked Lee to share with me what it was Cara like for him, as an Smith African-American child, to have grown up in the Third Ward. “My world as a child was as far as my feet could take me,” he answered softly. “That was all that I ever knew. Racism, discrimination — I didn’t understand those things as a boy. I never saw them. We experienced it every day, sure, but we lived in a black community … All black. There was one white man who worked at a corner store near my family’s house, and I would see him sometimes when I passed by. That was it.” Despite having grown up in the Third Ward nearly 60 years ago, Lee’s experience doesn’t sound all that different from a child’s experience growing up in the area today. During Lee’s childhood, Houston’s Third Ward was a tightly knit nucleus of culture and communal ties. Lacking access to a car or public transportation, the Third Ward quickly became the center point of Lee’s personal universe. Today, the Third Ward is still a largely black community of nearly 13,000, according to the Houston Chronicle, and many of the Ward’s current residents still lack critical access to public transportation. Adolescents who would otherwise be kept busy in a part-time job, through a community organization or otherwise exploring Houston’s sprawling metropolis fall victim to the Ward’s more felonious, easily accessible temptations. Today, the fabric of the Ward’s youth seems to be built on the illicit. Last year, a study conducted by NeighborhoodScout.com ranked two neighborhoods located within the Ward among the nation’s 25 most dangerous neighborhoods. Add an increasing amount of redevelopment in the area, and it soon becomes evident that an area struggling to cling to its roots faces more
Hopefully, renovation will enable the Third Ward to return to its former glory as a bastion of culture, business, and community among the residents of the Ward and the rest of Houston. | Fernando Castaldi/The Daily Cougar challenges than meets the eye. Deloris Johnson, 74, is a lifetime resident of the Ward. She’s been there to see it all. Johnson grew up during segregation, attended Jack Yates High School under William F. Holland’s renowned administration and has been actively involved in the Ward’s community throughout her impactful life. Two of Johnson’s former Jack Yates classmates, Thelma Gould, 73, and Napoleon Johnson, 73, also spoke with me over the phone. Deloris had shared with them the opportunity to bring a voice to the Ward, and both Gould and Napoleon felt it was prudent that they share their often unseen, unasked-for perspectives of the place they call home. They’ve been there to see it all, and spoke with a vehement passion about how the seemingly positive renovations have affected the community as a whole. “(They have) dissolved our people,” Deloris answered gravely, her voice catching in her throat. “Our people have been forced into other areas. Our community has been left devastated … as you see every day. It’s an erosion of the community.” I asked them if they’ve seen any positive additions to the community through these houses and businesses. Without missing a beat, Deloris answered with a sense of urgency. “I have seen positive additions to the community, but … during our time, we have seen a dying community,” Deloris said. “We have seen a lot of the people who were very prominent during segregation, very elegant people who were entrepreneurs, and people who had
just had… I don’t know what to call it, but—” Gould helped her find her footing. “It was a strong sense of community,” she interrupted. “Right. It was unity,” replied Johnson. “There was a unity there, then, because we were working together. We knew many of the people in the community. “Now, with the influx of people of all nationalities moving in, many times you don’t have … the wanting to take pride in the community. On the East Coast, they don’t have time for their neighbors; they don’t know their neighbors. “That wasn’t the case for us here, when we were growing up.” It’s a tough balance to strike. According to Deloris and Gould’s testimonies, the addition of businesses and residential communities that cater to upper-echelon earners erodes the Ward’s historically-based dignity. On the other hand, without small businesses that stimulate the area’s economy and keep adolescents off the streets, it’s no wonder residents see little future outside of what little today’s Ward has to offer. UH history professor Debbie Harwell is the managing editor of Houston Historical Magazine and has been heavily involved in research regarding the history of the Third Ward and the greater Houston area. She took the time to speak with me on some sustainable, longlasting solutions for the growth of the Third Ward. “If you do something that helps people get jobs or that gets them training or an education or skills … Those kinds of things help prevent the crime in the first place,” Harwell
said. “If you want to do something about the crime … Put your money in something that really helps people. Development is important, but so are things that will help people in the neighborhood.” Harwell added, “It can’t just be a one-pronged attack. They’re both important.” The Ward is a rightful home to all its residents, no matter their struggles within society. Displacing those today who were displaced once before would be to regress in the name of progress, and Houston should demand better for one of the city’s most historically significant communities. Napoleon shared with me the increasing divergence between the Ward’s socioeconomic groups. “You can’t miss the condos and the other expensive units going up right next to pockets of poverty,” Napoleon said impassionedly. “You have row houses, you have homeless people … We’ve seen growth that has forced poor people out.” “You can see a $300,000 condo next to a vacant house,” Napoleon added. “There’s a contrast. There’s a dichotomy of rich and poor.” When it comes to the natural progress of an area, dichotomy is inevitable. The new will always stand in contrast with the old. However, the mentality that new is necessarily better than old will undoubtedly alienate the current Ward’s populace from any new families or young professionals who wish to call the area home, too. Houston should value an investment in businesses that will ultimately bolster and enrich the lives of the Ward’s current residents, as well as the Ward’s future families.
Historical sites should be maintained through being renovated into museums and public exhibits, generating interest in the Third Ward from people who haven’t spent their whole lives in the Third Ward. An investment in centers that have non-fiscal returns — community centers, churches and recreation centers — shouldn’t be seen as less valuable. Businesses that generate jobs, though, are an absolute requirement for a sustainably improved Ward. There’s a MetroRail being built that’ll run through the Ward, and that’s certainly a sign of hope — a sign that more and more of the Ward’s current residents will have access to the public transportation necessary for a member of the workforce. During my conversation with Deloris, I asked her what she thinks should ultimately happen within the Third Ward. “I think that the Third Ward needs its dignity back, because it’s shredded now. It’s worn, it’s torn and it’s shredded.” As Deloris and Gould said, the Third Ward’s sense of community came from a sense of unity. It came from a collective desire to build up and sustain a united, dynamic community. Through a cohesive blending of history and progress, this sense of unity can once again be attained. “Our community has been left devastated,” Deloris added. “It’s been an erosion of the community, and it needs to be brought back.” Senior staff columnist Cara Smith is a communications junior and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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LIFE & ARTS
Veteran, musician leaves legacy Janeka Porter Staff writer
Having served as the Moores School of Music Director for 15 years, Emeritus David Tomatz passed away on Jan. 16 and is remembered by all. | Courtesy of UH
The University is saying its goodbyes after losing an honorary figure and exceptional musician who fulfilled the mission of the Moores School of Music. Director Emeritus David Tomatz, who served as the MSM director for 15 years, passed away Jan. 16. Tomatz pushed MSM into new musical ventures by helping guide the creation of the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, the Moores Jazz Festival, the expansion of the school’s opera program and the construction of the state-ofthe-art MSM building and Moores Opera House. He also raised student enrollment at MSM from 320 music majors to more than 600 and was instrumental in starting MSM’s doctoral program, later approved by the State Coordinating Board and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. UH alumnus and General and Artistic Director of Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival
Alan Austin knew Tomatz from his freshman year at UH through the completion of his graduate work. “I first knew him as the enthusiastic head of the school, who was a big supporter of the students, he knew our names and the faculty,” Austin said. “Later, as director of the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, he was my boss. He was a real mentor, father-figure and friend … always supportive.” Austin said he will miss being able to consult with him when he needs an outside perspective. Tomatz started his musical journey at the University of Wyoming in 1961, where he accepted a position as cellist and instructor and eventually became head of the music department in 1974. During his time at University of Wisconsin, he co-founded and directed the Western Arts Music Festival in Wyoming and developed a statewide Cultural Outreach Program. As a cellist, he founded the Western Arts Trio, recorded for Laurel Records and toured throughout the United States as well as in Europe,
South and Central America, Mexico and Australia. He performed alongside pianist Werner Rose and violinist Brian Hanly. Tomatz also held numerous elected offices in NASM, including Region 3 chair, member of the Commission on Accreditation, chair of the former Commission on NonDegree-Granting Accreditation, chair of the Nominating Committee and vice president, culminating in his service as president from 2001 to 2003. Tomatz earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and his Master of Music and Doctor of Philosophy in Music History from Catholic University of America. “Whether or not you knew David (Tomatz), you should know that the foundation he laid for what is today the Moores School of Music has allowed the school to continue to flourish,” said MSM Director David Ashley White. “He will be greatly missed.” email@example.com
Piano festival to offer keys of mastery Diana Nguyen Staff writer
The Moores School of Music presents the 31st annual International Piano Festival, an exciting weekend of recitals and master classes, from Friday to Sunday. This year’s festival encompasses an array of talented artists, including festival founder and grand master of piano Abbey Simon, Italian concert artist Sandro Russo and revolutionary piano duo Anderson and Roe. Recitals will be performed in the Moores Opera House, and master classes will be held in UH’s Dudley Recital Hall. Simon, a Cullen Professor of Piano, has won awards like the Walter Naumburg Prize to Distinguished Teacher Award. He founded the festival in 1984 at a time when piano festivals had yet to exist. “When I started it, there was nothing like it in the Southwest,” Simon said. “I’ve never put on a festival before. I was scared out of my wits. There was money involved and it wasn’t mine.” Russo, Anderson and Roe, Simon said he likes to always have a variety of musical tastes, hopefully new to audiences’ ears. “I always think it’s interesting for students to hear how Italians play
The 31st annual International Piano Festival will be bringing a variety of musical talents and master classes, hosted by the Moores School of Music, on Friday to Sunday at the Moores Opera House. | Jessica Sunny/The Daily Cougar Beethoven and Chopin, and how Germans play,” Simon said. “We have had Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese artists perform. We’ve had many South Americans. They get a choice.” Innovative piano duo Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, known for their exhilarating performances and Emmy-nominated and self-produced music videos, are bringing audiences a surprise with their crisscrossing style of duet piano playing. The duo initially met as freshmen at The Juilliard School. “We’re excited to perform such
incredible, overwhelming music, and we hope to give it the justice it deserves,” Anderson said. “And we’re especially thrilled to perform in Houston for the first time together as a duo; we’ve had so much fun performing for Texan audiences in the past.” Roe shares the excitement. “We are thrilled and excited to take part in this festival alongside luminaries like Abbey Simon, an artist who has inspired us throughout our musical lives,” Roe said. “We look forward to sharing our
creative passions with the Houston audience, and as always, we aim to celebrate the inspiration and joy of music.” Music senior Alex Winkler, an aspiring composer and performer, also looks forward to the Piano Festival. “Aside from our outstanding piano faculty, which is one of the brightest gems of (the) Moores School, the Piano Festival hosted annually on campus makes UH one of the best places to be for pianists and enthusiasts of the instrument,”
Winkler said. “The prestigious Anderson and Roe duo is overflowing with creativity and will be a must-see for any music lover.” Students have the option of receiving master piano classes from Simon, Russo or Anderson and Roe. Simon said he hopes to teach lessons not just to current UH students, but to bring in new talents from a high school or even out of the state or country. “As a teacher, you have the quality, an approach, that is personal that you can transmit somehow to the student. And if you can’t do that, then it’s a waste of time,” Simon said. “I can remember my own teachers. They were very strange people. But I survived.” Through Simon’s five years of teaching, musical arts doctoral student Amanda Hughes feels her piano skills have improved greatly. “He is very direct and honest. He is also very supportive. You can tell he really cares about his students and will push you until he gets that result,” Hughes said. “When I listen back to myself when I first started, it’s amazing to hear how I really changed with him. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, January 30, 2014 // 9
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LIFE & ARTS EVENTS
Cougars mix caffeinated creations Maritza Rodriguez Staff writer
The best way to show off your Cougar pride is not only by your clothes or spirit, but by your frappuccino. UH Dining Services introduced the Starbucks “Make Your Own Drink” showdown to students and faculty to see who has what it takes to make the University’s signature drink. Contestants had the chance to make their drink on Wednesday afternoon at the New University Center. The drinks were judged on looks, taste and Cougar pride. The winner received a Starbucks gift card and a week for the drink to be featured at all three Starbucks locations on campus. The contestant will also have their name featured alongside with their drink. Dining Services Marketing Manager Amber Arguijo thought it would be a great idea to use this contest to introduce students to the new Starbucks location in the New UC. “We really just want to celebrate the new Starbucks on campus, and one of the coolest things about it is you can do whatever you want to your drink,” Arguijo said. “We wanted to showcase that and also give our students the chance to showcase their
creativity.” UH Department of Public Safety security officer Tammy Hauser was one of the contestants to show her drink to the judges. Her drink — named the Raspberry Pride — inspired Hauser to be creative and add her own personal touch to it. “I’m always surrounded by Starbucks here and at home, so I wanted to show my Cougar pride,” Hauser said. Architecture sophomore Princess Villalte was excited to try out these original ideas. “We come here every day, so it’s
nice seeing something new,” Villalte said. “I think it’s great that we get to try this out, and this drink might be my next favorite thing.” Biology sophomore Celeste Ross was the winner with her signature Shasta’s Mudslide Frappuccino. Her creativity and thoughts about her fellow classmates inspired her to make the perfect drink. “I thought about something that not only I would like, but the consumer would as well,” Ross said.
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UH Dining Services offered students a chance to create their own Starbucks drink in the “Make Your Own Drink” contest. | Jenna Frenzel/The Daily Cougar
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all nighter companion.
Student Government Association President Cedric Bandoh welcomed special guest Ronald McDonald to the launch of the New University Center’s dining services. | Emily S. Chambers/The Daily Cougar
Dining Services opens its doors Michelle Iracheta Contributing writer
Door prizes, raffles, a shoe car and restaurant mascots — including Ronald McDonald and the Chick-Fil-A cow — were all on scene to celebrate the University Center Dining Services’ official launch Wednesday. The occasion was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an open house and comes just two weeks after the UC opened its doors to students and faculty. The events, which took place in the food court, highlighted the variety of choices students now have when deciding where to eat at the University. Retail Food Service Director Misty Pierce said the ceremony was a way to acknowledge and show appreciation to the student body. “I think that this is the best way for us to give back to the students and the most exciting way to introduce the brands to campus,” Pierce said. “It’s also to thank the students for bearing with us through 18 months of chaos and letting us introduce it. That’s kind of what it means to us.” Some of the most notable prizes included several iPad minis, bicycles, skateboards and a Samsung Galaxy S3, which were donated by McDonalds, Panda Express and Chick-Fil-A. Health senior Jessica Harris said she was excited about the prizes and the New UC in general. “My favorite part about the food court is the open atmosphere. In the old UC, the food places were separate from the eating places and it just looked dull and dingy,” Harris said. “Now it’s brighter, and it seems more of a social environment.” Student Government Association President Cedric Bandoh and Aramark Resident District Manager
Geoffrey Herbert kicked off the ceremony with a congratulatory speech, which praised the efforts of the UC Dining Services’ team and explained how the UC idea was conceived. Herbert described the planning of the UC food court as a “crazy brickand-mortar dream.” Bandoh said he is extremely proud of the New UC. “I’m really excited because students really deserve a Tier One University Center, and going through this transformation, they now finally have it,” Bandoh said. “Students invested in this with the UC fee that we all pay. So I definitely think that this a really good return on their investment.” firstname.lastname@example.org
GAMES ROOM OPEN HOUSE UNIVERSITY CENTER BASEMENT THURSDAY, JANUARY 30 10:00 PM - 12:45 AM
FREE Glow Bowling and Shoe Rental* FREE Table Tennis* FREE Billiards* FREE T-Shirts*
*While supplies last. One hour time limit for all games if waiting list forms. Must have current UH student ID (”Cougar Card”) for free play.
12 \\Thursday, January 30, 2014
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LSS WORKSHOPS SPRING 2014 LOCATION: N112 Cougar Village I (Building 563)
REGISTER: “Workshop Signup” at www.las.uh.edu/lss On-line registration is necessary to obtain a spot. Problems registering? Call Laura Heidel 713.743.5439 or Jason Yu 713.743.1223
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Improving Concentration Note Taking Succeeding at a Large University Reading for STEM majors Writing Research Papers Improving Your Memory Learning Beyond Memorizing Reducing Test Anxiety Test Preparation Overcoming Procrastination Increasing Motivation Time Management Test Preparation Giving Professional Presentations Studying for Natural Science Courses Time Management Ending the Semester Successfully Improving Your Memory Improving Concentration Improving Your Memory Coping with Finals Reducing Test Anxiety Time Management Overcoming Procrastination Coping with Finals
Mon., 2/3 at 3 p.m. Tue., 2/4 at 1 p.m. Mon., 2/10 at 2 p.m. Tue., 2/11 at 1 p.m. Mon., 2/17 at 4 p.m. Wed., 2/19 at 1 p.m. Tue., 2/25 at 1 p.m. Wed., 2/26 at 3 p.m. Tue., 3/4 at 3 p.m. Wed., 3/5 at 2 p.m. Mon., 3/17 at 3 p.m. Wed., 3/19 at 2 p.m. Tue., 3/25 at 3 p.m. Wed., 3/26 at 3 p.m. Mon., 3/24 at 4 p.m. Mon., 3/31 at 3 p.m. Tue., 4/1 at 1 p.m. Tue., 4/1 at 3 p.m. Mon., 4/7 at 3 p.m. Wed., 4/9 at 1 p.m. Thu., 4/10 at 10 a.m. Tue., 4/15 at 3 p.m. Wed., 4/16 at 3 p.m. Mon., 4/21 at 2 p.m. Tue., 4/22 at 4 p.m.
Thu., 2/6 at 1 p.m. Wed., 2/5 at 4 p.m. Thu., 2/13 at 10 a.m. Fri., 2/14 at 10 a.m. Tue., 2/18 at 11 a.m. Thu., 2/20 at 3 p.m. Fri., 2/28 at 10 a.m. Thu., 2/27 at 3 p.m. Thu., 3/6 at 4 p.m. Fri., 3/7 at 11 a.m. Tue., 3/18 at 4 p.m. Thu., 3/20 at 3 p.m. Wed., 3/26 at 1 p.m. Fri., 3/28 at 11 a.m. Thu., 3/27 at 3 p.m. Thu., 4/3 at 10 a.m. Thu., 4/3 at 3 p.m. Wed., 4/2 at 3 p.m. Tue., 4/8 at 4 p.m. Thu., 4/10 at 4 p.m. Fri., 4/11 at 11 a.m. Thu., 4/17 at 1 p.m. Thu., 4/17 at 4 p.m. Wed., 4/23 at 3 p.m. Thu., 4/24 at 3 p.m.
**Workshops will be added when necessary throughout the semester. Please visit the “Workshops Signup” link on the LSS website www.las.uh.edu/lss for the most up to date information.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER WORKSHOP SERIES ADD: Time Management Part 2 ADD: Concentration Part 1 ADD: Concentration Part 2 ADD: Study Skills for your particular classes ADD: Organizing your academic/home materials
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