Issue 13, Volume 88

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Est. 1934 Issue 13, Volume 88 @thedailycougar HOW MANY STUDENTS MUST DIE BEFORE MORE IS DONE? From the Editorial Board | Page 2.

Why hasn’t UH done more?


We’re heartbroken.

On Monday, a fellow University of Houston student died on our campus, just over a month after another one of our peers died in the same place: Agnes Arnold Hall.

It’s difficult to quantify the grief that has washed over the UH student body in the last few weeks with these losses. Much of that anguish has turned into an outcry of frustration and anger about why this happened again.

The Editorial Board believes UH has not done enough to make students feel safe, protected and heard on campus. Its investments in student mental health have been paltry, and if its copy-and-paste response to this tragedy is any indication, it’s clear the University hasn’t learned from its past mistakes.

Let’s start with Agnes Arnold Hall.

Since it was constructed in the ’60s, the building’s open-air concept has been a concern for many on a campus where most structures are conscious of student safety.

The building has effectively been shut down for the semester, with classes (except for those

in the auditorium classrooms) and activities being relocated elsewhere on campus.

But why did it take so long?

This isn’t the first time a student has died there. It happened in 2017 when most current UH students were still in middle and high school. And again last month.

Agnes Arnold Hall’s notoriety has even spawned crude and tasteless campus euphemisms. Despite campus culture widely associating this building with death over the years, UH waited until now to address it.

This brings us to the University’s response.

After UH posted a statement to social media on Monday offering condolences and pushing on-campus psychological services, many students were quick to point out that it was incredibly similar to the statement the school released after last month’s student death.

Some were also critical of the photos used in the posts in front of the statements, which were seen as a way to disguise them and not interrupt the school’s social media feeds.

An empty statement accomplishes nothing. But rearranging that same statement in the wake of another tragedy and

expecting no one to notice shows that you don’t care.

Students speaking out against UH’s response to an on-campus death is nothing new. After the 2017 incident at Agnes Arnold Hall, one student criticized the University for not acknowledging the death to the UH community.

“People are carrying on like it’s just another day and are treating this situation like it’s normal,” another student said in 2017.

The Editorial Board is also concerned that the University is peddling its Counseling and Psychological Services in the wake of these deaths despite its history of not sufficiently investing in CAPS and not prioritizing mental health.

In 2016, a Texas Tribune investigation found that CAPS was by far the most understaffed program of its kind in the state’s universities.

These issues have persisted, even as academic pressure on students has mounted.

“I wouldn’t waste my time going again because they don’t put the effort to help in the long run,” one student told The Cougar in January.

The International Association of Counseling Services recommends college counseling centers have

at least one full-time professional staff member for every 1,000 to 1,500 students. That ratio at CAPS is now one full-time staffer per 2,122 students.

At the root of the program’s issues is funding. More than half of the CAPS budget is used to pay their 22 staffers, leaving little for expansion or improvement. CAPS also suffers because it’s funded through student fees, which can fluctuate drastically from year to year due to the economy and enrollment.

Just last year, the Student Fees Advisory Committee, the body that doles out these funds, warned that University-wide budget cuts could be coming because of these factors.

We’re glad to hear that the school is establishing a task force on mental health, but it’s too little too late for those our community has already lost.

In recent years, UH has poured plenty of time and resources into making this University better and improving student life.

For example, the school’s Cougar Promise initiative gave lowincome students access to higher education; its interim grading policy saved many students from academic ruin in the early days of the pandemic; and projects such

as the new medical school and The Quad have expanded student life across campus.

On the national stage, UH has celebrated milestone after milestone, including the impending move to the Big 12 Conference, one of its best men’s basketball teams in a generation and a renowned business school.

Everyone at UH benefits from these achievements and investments, but when students continue to die in broad daylight on our campus, what does any of it matter?

The attention and resources that have been dedicated to building UH into a so-called academic and athletic powerhouse must also go toward maintaining the well-being of its students.

What could matter more?

We end by urging our peers to be loud about their concerns and to fight for the difference they want to see.

During these difficult times, remember that you are not alone and that there are family and friends who care for you.

The Cougar strives to be there for its community and has an open door for anyone who needs it.

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar


New SGA elections begins after initial contests overturned




Following the confirmation of a second Student Government Association election, voting has opened and students can cast their votes until Thursday, March 23.

Due to conflicts with Get Involved preventing freshman and transfer students from voting, the SGA Supreme Court finalized a 5-2 vote which required a mass email informing students of the new election.

The presidential candidates are incumbent Joshua Martin with ForTheStudents, and

Benjamin Rizk with Students Unite.

Their vice presidential candidates are Bentley Burke and Tyler Luc, respectively.

Anyone who votes will be entered to win a smart TV, an air fryer, a Polaroid camera or an electric scooter.

“Make sure that you have your voice heard,” said SGA Election Commissioner Tochi Okoli, in the email sent out to students.

Votes from the previous election, held February 27 through March 3, will not be counted.

Pre-med org helps empower women in medicine



Donna Keeya


Jhair Romero


Denise Miller


John Lomax

Lisa El-Amin


James Mueller


Cindy Rivas Alfaro



The Staff Editorial reflects the opinions of The 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 Cougar do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston or the students as a whole.


The 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 N221, University Center; e-mail them to; send them via campus mail to STP 4015; or fax to (713) 743-5384. Letters are subject to editing.




The American Medical Women’s Association at UH is an organization dedicated to empowering women in the medical field. By providing members with community service opportunities and career development mentors, the AMWA aims to help support students along their journey toward becoming medical professionals.

Since its founding in 2014, the AMWA has provided countless students with the necessary resources to overcome the academic challenges of being a pre-med student. AMWA co-president and biomedical engineering major Anaga Ajoy said AMWA has helped develop a collaborative environment among

pre-med students.

“I know pre-med has like a reputation for being very like cutthroat and competitive,” Ajoy said. “I feel like this organization is much different than that; we’re all always trying to help each other out. It’s very much a community.”

In addition to catering to students studying medicine, AMWA also prioritizes women’s advocacy. The organization maintains a subcommittee dedicated to advocating on behalf of female students.

“In my junior year, I became the Women’s Advocacy Committee Chair, which is basically a committee within AMWA, where I was focused on helping women’s issues specifically, and not just like medical issues,” Ajoy said.

AMWA is a relatively large organization with around 140150 members. In such a large organization, making time for every member can be challenging, but it’s something Ajoy strives for.

“So that means that it’s really hard to be very personal with every single person just because of the sheer size,” Ajoy said. “With that being said, we’re not grouped up by ourselves or anything. We make an effort to talk to everyone.”

Ajoy is a senior in her last semester at UH. With graduation just a few months away, Ajoy took time to reflect on her involvement with AMWA. Aside from her own personal growth, Ajoy said seeing the impact AMWA has had on its members continues to be a point of pride.

“As a freshman, I was very overwhelmed with everything I could do to graduate and basically go into medical school and things like that,” Ajoy said. “But AMWA definitely gave me a very clear-cut path. Watching the members grow and become more accomplished and more successful is very rewarding.”

Ajoy, nearing the end of her journey with AMWA, said all that’s left now is to give back however she can.

“I gave a lot of my college undergraduate years to this org. And it’s one of the biggest impacts that it has had on my life, so I really appreciate it,” Ajoy said. “I want to give back in every way possible.”

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@; or fax them to (713) 743-5384. All submissions are subject to editing.


Advertisements in The Cougar do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the University or the students as a whole.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023 | 3
Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar
By providing members with community service opportunities and career development mentors, the AMWA hopes it can help support students hoping to become medical professionals. | Courtesy of AMWA

AG blasts election, calls for chief justice’s impeachment


The Cougar is published biweekly on Wednesdays during the fall and spring semesters, on Wednesdays during the summer and online daily at thedailycougar. com. The Cougar is supported in part by Student Service Fees. Copies of The Cougar are free.


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Student Government Association

Attorney General Tiffanie Gordon filed a complaint against SGA Chief Justice Eddie Munoz on Monday, alleging a pattern of judicial misconduct that culminated in the election hearing held March 6.

In the nearly 26-page document, Gordon claims Munoz allowed a litany of procedural errors and outright bias to influence the court’s decision to overturn the election. These violations, according to the complaint, are grounds for impeachment.

“The attorney general believes the hearing held March 6, 2023 is a mistrial,” the complaint reads. “Chief Justice Munoz should be impeached immediately.”

Aside from claiming the court allowed its biases to influence the decision, Gordon also said it erred by allowing a UT law student to represent For the Students’ case. Furthermore, the complaint states that the case should have first been brought before Gordon in her capacity as attorney general and then appealed to the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court hearing the appeal without a proper investigation from the justice department is a gross mishandling of the bylaws and the election code,” the complaint reads.

One of two dissenting justices, Tyler Garrett, echoed Gordons concern

regarding court procedure. While Garrett did not place blame on any one particular justice, he also believes the decision was made in error.

“I think that calling for re-election was a mistake, and I do not agree with the way we’re moving forward,” Garrett said. “I don’t think anybody was leaning towards a specific person, but I think there was an error on what we were supposed to do as a court. Our role as the SGA supreme court is to uphold the student code of conduct and the SGA bylaws.”

A major sticking point for Gordon and Garrett was the court’s failure to engage with the defense presented by SGA Chief Election Commissioner Tochi Okoli. During the hearing, Okoli said the issues with Get Involved stemmed from students registering with personal emails and had nothing to do with students’ classification.

“As stated in their case briefing, the election commission employed several methods for students who were incorrectly registered on Get Involved,” Gordon said. “The tone of the verdict, which is obviously based on fallacy, neglects to consider the election commission actually made it easier for students to vote.”

While Gordon’s concerns were directed primarily at Munoz, some have also expressed doubt about other members of the Supreme Court. Justice Laura Rincon, who formerly served as vice president for #RiseUp, released a statement explaining

why she did not recuse herself.

“I take my responsibility as an Associate Justice very seriously, and for students to insinuate that I would allow prior affiliations to cloud my judgment in this ruling is insulting,” Rincon said. “I base my vote on the fact, and the fact is that the election commission was negligent in this year’s election.”

#RiseUp, the spiritual predecessor to For the Students, ran for office in 2021 but became the first party to be entirely disqualified from an SGA race for election code violations. Upon taking office, President Joshua Martin appointed several former members of #RiseUp to key cabinet positions, such as Chief of Staff Elliot Carter and Director of Outreach Brandon Hayes.

Gordon, however, disagreed with Rincon’s assertion that the justices based their decisions on the “facts” of the case.

“The verdict they released on this topic is absolutely egregious,” Gordon’s complaint reads. “I implore the justices to be more diligent when making such decisions as this verdict was reckless, baseless and a lie.”

Looking forward, Gordon said the likelihood of impeaching a justice so close to the end of their term is unlikely, but she feels there is a chance the election hearing could be declared a mistrial. As of now, however, UH voters remain in limbo.

Part of the Student Life portfolio in the Division of Student Affairs, the CSM is concerned with the development of students, focusing on critical thinking, leadership, ethics, collaboration, intercultural competence, goalsetting and ultimately, degree attainment. While our students are engaged in producing and promoting media channels and content, our goal is to ensure they are learning to become better thinkers and leaders in the process.


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In tournament full of chaos, Sampson has built UH to succeed

Nothing is certain in the NCAA Tournament.

What was thought to be impossible — a 16-seed beating a 1-seed — has now happened twice in five years.

In 2018, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County took down Virginia, the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, in blowout fashion.

In the first round of this year’s tournament, David slayed Goliath once again, literally.

Fairleigh Dickinson, the smallest team heightwise in all of Division I college basketball, knocked out the East Region’s No. 1 seed Purdue, a team led by 7-foot-4-inch National Player of the Year favorite Zach Edey.

The Madness didn’t stop there.

Princeton stunned No. 2 Arizona in the first round and then routed 7-seed Missouri two days later to make it three straight years in which a 15-seed has advanced to the Sweet 16. Oral Roberts did it in 2021 and Saint Peter’s did it in 2022.

Furman, a 13-seed, did the same thing to No. 4 Virginia, who was ranked as high as second in the AP poll during the regular season, sending the Cavaliers home on a lastsecond 3-pointer.

Chaos is the name of the game in March, yet UH has found consistency in a tournament that breeds upsets.

Take a look at how UH played in the second half of its first game against Northern Kentucky without Marcus Sasser, UH’s AllAmerican guard and leading scorer.

It was ugly, but the Cougars found a way to win.

The Cougars did so again after going into halftime down 10 to Auburn inside a hostile Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.

UH held Auburn to just 16.67 percent shooting in the second half and Tramon Mark caught fire as the Cougars outscored the Tigers by 27 over the game’s final 20 minutes.

Sure, it takes a little luck to advance in the Big Dance. But advancing to the Sweet 16 four consecutive times is no coincidence.

“It’s the culture,” said UH point guard Jamal Shead. “The guys before engraved it in us and we just continue to do it.”

Kelvin Sampson has built UH, a program that hadn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 1984 when he took it over in 2014, into a juggernaut not only in the regular season but one equipped to handle the pressure of March.

“We’re built for adversity,” Sampson said. “Look where we were in 2014. What’s adversity?”

Before Sampson arrived at UH, the Cougars had three 30-plus win seasons in program history. UH has won 30 or more games in three of the past five seasons. With a win over Miami in the Sweet 16, UH would set the new program record for wins with 34, breaking the program’s current best 33-win season in 2018-19.

Nearly a third of UH’s NCAA Tournament wins in its program’s history have come under Sampson over the past six seasons.

Reggie Chaney is a perfect example of UH’s NCAA Tournament success under Sampson. Transferring from Arkansas to UH in 2020, Chaney’s first two seasons as a Cougar ended in trips to the Final Four and the Elite Eight.

“Since I’ve been here, (winning) is all I’ve known,” Chaney said. “That’s just coming from the backbones of the players that have been here before me.”

Each year, UH is told that it’s overrated because it plays in the American Athletic Conference and not one of the power conferences.

But the Cougars’ success in March says otherwise.

Sweet 16.

Final Four.

Elite Eight. This year?

Sweet 16 and still dancing.

Blue-blood North Carolina, who began the season ranked No. 1, didn’t even make the tournament.

Duke and Kentucky, two of the other historically successful programs in college basketball, didn’t make it out of the first weekend of the tournament.

Kansas, the reigning national champion and No. 1 seed in the West Region, got bounced in the round of 32.

But the team coached by Kelvin Sampson is still dancing and two wins from playing in the Final Four just a few miles from Fertitta Center, the place it calls home.

“A lot of people were pushing for us to lose because we’re a one-seed,” Mark said after the win over Auburn. “They don’t believe we’re a real one seed because of the conference we play in. But I think we’re one of the best teams in the country still, and we proved it.”

UH has won 12 NCAA Tournament games under head coach Kelvin Sampson since the 2017-18 season. | Anh Le/The Cougar

Call him T-March!

How Tramon Mark willed UH to its fourth straight Sweet 16

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Just call him T-March.

As a freshman, Tramon Mark’s lategame heroics against Rutgers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament kept Houston’s season alive.

That season ended in UH’s first trip back to Final Four in 37 years.

On Saturday night, Mark again provided the March magic when his team needed it most against Auburn.

With Marcus Sasser on the bench with four fouls midway through the second half, the Cougars didn’t panic.

“Sometimes you switch channels,” said UH head coach Kelvin Sampson. “We were on Channel 32, and we had to switch to 38, and then we had to switch to 48.”

Sampson thought back to March 4, 2000.

Down by 13 points to Oklahoma State in the second half of the final game at the old Gallagher-Iba Arena, Sampson, then head coach at Oklahoma, knew he needed to try something new.

The new plan — put the ball in the hands of Nolan Johnson, the Sooners best one-on-one player, and give him space to work.

It worked out.

Johnson powered a 23-6 Oklahoma run with 12 points as the Sooners erased the deficit and won the game 59-56.

“To win that game we just put the ball in our best one-on-one player’s hands,” Sampson said. “We put everybody (else) on the baseline and let (Johnson) go.”

Though now the head coach of a different team, Sampson put the same plan into action on Saturday night at Legacy Arena.

“That’s always been something that’s been in my back pocket,” Sampson said.

Sampson put the ball in Tramon Mark’s hands and let the 6-foot-5-inch guard go to work.

Like Johnson did 23 years ago, Mark, who Sampson called UH’s best isolation player, delivered for the Cougars.

Down 49-46 midway through the second half, Mark hit a midrange jumper.

UH’s next trip down the court, Mark hit another jumper to tie the game at 50.

Jamal Shead then joined Sasser on the bench after picking up his fourth foul.

“I’m scared as hell,” Shead said when asked how he felt when he joined Sasser on the bench.

Mark, however, remained cool and collected.

Quickly, Shead’s nerves were calmed as nobody on Auburn could stop No. 12.

“T-Mark just took over the game,”

Shead said.

Mark kept rolling, scoring 10 of the Cougars’ next 12 points by either getting to his spot and knocking down the shot or drawing a foul and cashing in from the free-throw line.

“In those iso situations, I know I can get really anything I want,” Mark said. “If I want to get to the basket, get to the dribble pull-up, stepback, it’s just whatever the defender gives me. If I get him going one way, I can go the other way. I’m very confident in those situations.”

What was a four-point lead grew into a 13-point advantage — all while Sasser and Shead were still on the bench.

“He knew what time it was when me and Jamal went down,” Sasser said. “My reaction was it’s time for him to go. And he did what he had to do.”

Mark scored 20 of his career-high 26 points in the second half, which included going a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line.

“I knew what I had to do in those moments,” Mark said. “I believed in myself. I trusted in myself. Coach did too.”

Just as he did two years ago, Mark willed the Cougars to victory for the program’s fourth consecutive trip to the Sweet 16.

“T-Mark saved the day,” Shead said.

6 | Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Tramon Mark scored a career-high 26 points in UH’s win over Auburn at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. | Anh Le/The Cougar

What to do with Agnes Arnold Hall?

In The Cougar’s bi-weekly anonymous advice column, I talk about the future of Agnes Arnold. To submit your questions for future issues, click the Dear Denise button on our home page.

Today’s Dear Denise does come with a trigger warning. Suicide is mentioned through the question and answer.

If you, or anyone you know, are experiencing thoughts of self-harm, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

It is a confidential 24-hour service available for all. Please read with caution.

Dear Denise, why has nobody mentioned that there’s a saying about Agnes Arnold Hall and suicide? Shouldn’t UH take extensive measures to make sure that Agnes Arnold Hall is safer? Tweets and counselors only go so far. It’s an old and dangerous building.

Anon, I feel your frustration. It’s so disheartening and sad to hear about the two students who died on campus. It’s even more emotional once we find out they had access to an area that created an opportunity for self-harm.

Agnes Arnold Hall has constantly

faced criticism, and rightfully so. Some classrooms have no windows, some have no air-conditioning, and the building, unlike others on campus, does not have barriers on its higher levels. It needs to be torn down.

Yes, UH should take measures to ensure the building is safer.

Whether it be in the form of heightened security or through temporary guards being placed on dangerous ledges, something needs to be done.

It is inexcusable that nothing has changed since the first student died.  The building is dangerous, and I challenge our university to stop talking about what they will do and show change through their actions.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- Put your energy where it counts. Plan your strategy from beginning to end to avoid setbacks or surprises. A financial gain or change in how you handle money matters will increase your options.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- Look inward and consider the changes you want and how to achieve your goal. A secretive approach will help ward off any interference and give you time to see the possibilities.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Connect with people who can offer as much as you can. Don’t disguise your intentions. Be precise about your needs and be ready to move on if you can’t agree with someone.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- Hide in a secure spot and avoid conflict. Take time to decide what you want before you let others pressure you to fall in line. Personal growth will lead to financial gain.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Talks, lectures and new beginnings are apparent. Refuse to let someone dominate your time. Step into the fast lane and travel in a direction that offers hope.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- A change of scenery is encouraged. Personal growth, physical improvements or rethinking the way forward will bring you closer to feeling happy and content.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) -- Make your life more meaningful by being precise about

what you want. Handle a proposal that comes from the heart with sensitivity and goodwill. Articulate what you are willing to do to keep the peace.SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- Make security your top priority. Protect against unwanted change or others trying to monopolize your time. Someone looking for an excuse will pretend to misconstrue you.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- Put distress or anger aside and shoot for the stars. Look at the bright side of your situation, and you’ll discover how to get what you desire. Don’t limit yourself.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Too much of anything will weigh you down. Discarding what you no longer need will lead to positive lifestyle changes. Put a budget in place that helps you maintain the status quo.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Keep an open mind, but don’t give in to pressure. Go about your business and offer others the freedom to do as they please. The less friction there is, the easier it is to get things done your way.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -Misinformation will disrupt your personal life. Confirm any information about your residence, living arrangements or relationships with friends, family or your loved ones.

If you want a hands-on role in changing lives, this is the club for you! Join our GroupMe to learn more and get involved!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 | 7
The Be The Match on Campus student group at University of Houston has a direct impact on improving disparities in healthcare.
more or become a donor:
My BeTheMatch org/UH
- Eugenia Last
8 | Wednesday, March 22, 2023