Issue 8, Volume 87

Page 1

@thedailycougar Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Est. 1934

Issue 8, Volume 87

Grind Time

With finals around the corner and the semester coming to an end, the academic pressure is mounting on students. | PG. 2

AAC Championship Game preview inside. | PG. 5

2 | Wednesday, December 1, 2021






Finals bring stress for some students as semester with ‘pre-pandemic’ settings conclude HAYA PANJWANI


Sydney Rose




Sean Thomas Armando Yanez



Jhair Romero Aminah Tannir Haya Panjwani

Gerald Sastra



Anna Baker


Juana Garcia


Study areas around campus have reopened this semester as UH continues to bring pre-pandemic campus life back for most students. | Katrina Kuwaja/The Cougar

such a problem if we just got the whole week off. I haven’t been able to enjoy the time back with my family because I’ve been working on so many things for class.” Other students, like English sophomore Marice Valdovinos, agree with Quintero’s sentiments. “It’s inconvenient to study for finals and work on projects when I’m trying to spend time with my family,” Valdovinos said.

Valdovinos is worried about her grades, and has both projects and exams to worry about this week. But she believes that the key to completing everything on her plate is managing her time. “What I’m most worried about is my grade point average since it’s my first year in-person in college,” Valdovinos said. “I really want to have a good GPA to start off with. It’s all about time management

which is stressful.” Quintero believes that if we had the whole week off for Thanksgiving, it would aid in lessening the stress they feel around this time. “If we got the whole week off, I know that would be fantastic for helping with burnout. I mean after all, we get all of Spring Break off.”


Wolff Center ranks No. 1 for third consecutive year SHIVANI PARMAR


The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship has been ranked first in the nation for the third year in a row, according to the Princeton Review. In response to the recent announcement, the Wolff Center’s executive director David Cook said there is nowhere better to study entrepreneurship than here. “We say that you can go to a lot of places and study entrepreneurship, but if you want to be an entrepreneur, there is no better place than to come to the Wolff Center at the University of Houston,” Cook said. Cook also said the Wolff Center continues to stay first by implementing fresh ideas rather than following the same strategies. “We put energy into creating and not being satisfied or thinking we are perfect just because we are number one,” Cook said. “At the end of each class we take it apart and look at it and go back and change it for the better.”


Donna Keeya


As finals season approaches, some students have been feeling the pressure. For many, this is their first semester taking finals on campus and the first round of exams without the interim grading policy, initially introduced at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. For sophomores and juniors specifically, who spent little to no time getting a normal college experience in the last few years, the stress of finals during the pandemic can for some be a significant contributor to stress and anxiety. This round of final exams will conclude the first semester since the start of the coronavirus with pre-pandemic classroom settings. “Well, I think this is the most stressed I’ve been in about six months,” said political science junior Sophia Sierra Quintero. While most of her finals are essays and papers as opposed to tests, she still believes that the lack of time between Thanksgiving break and her deadlines added to her stress this finals season. “I do think Thanksgiving is too close to finals,” Quintero said. “But honestly I don’t think it would be


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.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 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.

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@; or fax them to (713) 743-5384. All submissions are subject to editing. The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship has been ranked in the Top 50 Best Undergraduate Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2022. | File photo

Some students in the program say they feel proud to be a part of an organization that stays at the top. “When the Wolff Center ranking came out and we found out that we had been awarded number one for the third year in a row the first thing that I felt was a sense of pride knowing that I am a part of a

program that delivers excellence,” said finance and entrepreneurship senior Britney Gaona. Gaona said that a big emphasis the program serves to her comes from more than just the curriculum, but the relationships she made with her fellow 38 classmates. “I work hard with them, I cry

with them, I fight with them, but the most important thing is that at the end of the day I love them and I have never had that in a school program,” Gaona said. “The Wolff Center is my home away from home and I couldn’t be any more grateful.”

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The Cougar is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 3 HAYA PANJWANI EDITORS & AMINAH TANNIR,





UH College of Medicine receives $2M donation i MAWADA AL FAISAL


The newly established College of Medicine at UH has recently received a one-million-dollar donation from the M.D. Anderson Foundation. The gift was matched one-to-one by an anonymous donor to create a two-million-dollar endowment. The College of Medicine first received approval for the establishment from the Board of Regents in late 2017. Now in July 2020, it will begin to welcome and admit the first class. It will receive full accreditation by January 2024. “It’s been a very rewarding journey,” said College of Medicine Founding Dean Dr. Stephen Spann. “We say that our mission is that we are socially accountable.” Spann said through this establishment, he hopes to improve the health and healthcare of lowincome communities with a focus on the greater Houston. The pledge is dedicated to establishing the M.D. Anderson Foundation Endowed Professorship in Medicine by specifically recruiting a leader in health care to join the College of Medicine faculty. Furthermore, Spann notes the College of Medicine plans

The UH College of Medicine is expected to open its new building for instruction in 2022. | Courtesy of UH

to focus on training a diverse group of students. It will be producing excellent physicians and compassionate doctors in order to lead to higher patient satisfaction and care, he said. “We are focused on training more primary care physicians,” Spann said. “We have a desperate need for more primary care doctors.” By 2034 the shortage range for primary care physicians will

be between 17,800 and 48,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. With a strong research mission to find innovative solutions for problems in health care, the new donation is specifically targeted for a professorship endowment. It will assist the college in launching the institute by recruiting a national investigator. The College of Medicine has

several distinguishing factors from other medical schools. For example, it plans to partner with geographic communities in order to work together to improve health care. The training within the college is strongly focused on creating more primary care doctors. Students will have primary care outpatient clinic experience within the first weeks. Lastly, the learning environment is based on active and small group learning. While there was talk of creating a medical school in UH during the early 2000s, it was not until Renu Khator became UH president did the plans begin to move forwards. Now, the College of Medicine will begin moving into a new building, recruiting distinguished and renowned faculty, setting up their clinical services, partnering with communities to work together, funding breakthrough research and preparing for the next class of 60 students. “It will help develop the institute for health innovation,” Spann said. “In turn, the focus of the institute is to develop innovative solutions to problems in health and healthcare including problems that affect lowincome communities.”


Fans won’t forget Harry Styles’ ‘Love on Tour’ LOGAN LINDER


After numerous rescheduled dates due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Hurricane Nicholas, the Toyota Center finally hosted Harry Styles’ sold-out Love on Tour concert. As the fans waited patiently for over half an hour after the said start time, Styles finally took the stage, opening with “Golden” and a visual introduction displayed across the screens. With his opening he heeded caution to the ongoing pandemic and welcomed his fans with a dramatic and energized entrance, making the almost 30 minute wait worth it. Once he began, spirits in the arena were high. He then went into sing “Carolina,” a song from his debut, self-titled album. One of his most popular songs, “Adore You,” was performed next, where Styles showed off some of his signature dance moves. “Only Angel” and “She” were sung next, bringing a sultry tone into the concert. After tricking the crowd with a few seconds of “Two Ghosts,”

he performed the full version of “Falling.” While only making a few note changes to accommodate his voice to perform on stage, his guitarist, Mitch Rowlands’s solo in “She” made the song come to life from originally hearing it in Style’s album. Also lighting the arena in a red and pink hue, “She” stood amid his set. He raised the audience’s spirits by performing “Sunflower, Vol. 6” next, then the mood circled back to alluring with Styles’ performance of “Woman.” The next four songs sung were from “Fine Line,” the album he was on tour for. Instead of his full band, Styles was accompanied by his bass guitarist Elin Sandberg and pianist and backing vocalist Ny Oh, for “Cherry.” “Lights Up,” “Canyon Moon,” and “Treat People with Kindness” were then performed, with Styles waving around a progress pride flag during his performance of “Treat People With Kindness.” Styles has been known to be an active, vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ community in recent years. Styles also stunned the crowd

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Donna Keeya Sydney Rose Jhair Romero COVER

Gerald Sastra


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ABOUT CSM The Center for Student Media provides comprehensive advisory and financial support to the university’s student-run media: The Cougar newspaper, CoogTV and COOG Radio. 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, goal-setting and ultimately, degree attainment. 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. CENTER FOR STUDENT MEDIA

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Harry Styles performs live at Toyota Center. | Logan Linder/The Cougar

with One Direction’s hit debut single, “What Makes You Beautiful.” The last song before the encore was “Fine Line,” the title track of his most recent album. This song heavily features orchestration, and Styles said his goodbyes to the crowd before leaving the stage. Returning for three more songs, his debut single, “Sign of the Times” was the first for his encore, followed by “Watermelon Sugar,” which has over 1.5 billion streams on Spotify. And last but not least, Styles and his band closed out the show with a

song with an edgier feel, “Kiwi.” Styles also interacted with the crowd by reading out some of their signs, answering questions and even calling someone’s ex for them, hoping to get them back together. While the show lasting nearly an hour and 45 minutes, it still somehow feeling like time flew by. Styles’ vibrant personality and energetic stage presence made for a night Houstonians and other fans won’t forget. N221 University Center University of Houston Houston, TX 77204-4015 ADVERTISING

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4 | Wednesday, December 1, 2021

It’s the 6-month trial for me! hey!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 5 JAMES MUELLER, EDITOR





AAC Championship Preview: UH versus Cincinnati JAMES MUELLER


On Saturday afternoon, 11-1 Houston will square off against 12-0 Cincinnati in the 2021 American Athletic Conference Championship Game at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Aside from claiming the title of AAC champions, there is a lot is riding on this game for both the Cougars and the Bearcats. For Cincinnati, a win would keep the undefeated season alive and put the Bearcats in prime position to become the first Group of Five school to make the College Football Playoff. For UH, a win over the Bearcats would not only dash Cincinnati’s playoff hopes but also would likely earn the Cougars a spot in a major bowl game. Here is everything you need to know about Saturday’s showdown between the AAC’s two heavyweights:

Reviewing UH’s season Slow start Coming into the season, UH was 7-13 in its first two years under head coach Dana Holgorsen. After week one, it looked like the 2021 season would be full of losing once again as UH blew a double-digit lead, surrendering 31 unanswered points in its loss to Texas Tech. Many questions arose surrounding junior quarterback Clayton Tune, who threw four interceptions in the game, was the right guy to lead the Cougars in their attempt to turn the program’s fortunes around.

Turning things around When the first practice ended, several UH team captains called a players-only meeting which those within in program claimed turned the season around. In this meeting, Donavan Mutin,

UH junior quarterback Clayton Tune finished the regular season throwing for 3,013 yards and 26 touchdowns. | Steven Paultanis/The Cougar

Deontay Anderson and Hasaan Hypolite all spoke, delivering the same message — there would be no more losing this season. This meeting ignited the team and the Cougars began to do exactly what it vowed; win. Tune turned things around, showing much-improved decision making which included a streak of 192 pass attempts without an interception. Freshman phenom Alton McCaskill dazzled in the backfield, setting the UH program record for most touchdowns by a true freshman with 16. Nathaniel Dell put together a 1,000 yard season, always seeming to make the play when the offense needed him most. Heisman hopeful Marcus Jones

Freshman runningback Alton McCaskill has emerged as on of the stars of the UH offense. | Alejandro Rodriguez/The Cougar

did a little bit of everything for the Cougars, making his impact felt as a receiver, cornerback and kick returner. Sack Avenue, the name the UH defensive line branded itself, wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks, establishing themselves as the nation’s No. 3 team in sacks per game. The Cougars have not lost a game since this meeting, winning 11 in a row and becoming only the second team in UH football program history to go undefeated in conference play.

A look at the Bearcats Home sweet home The Bearcats simply don’t lose when playing at Nippert Stadium. You have to go all the way back to Nov. 10, 2017, to find the last time Cincinnati lost at home, when the Bearcats fell to Temple 35-24. Since that point, Cincinnati has strung together 26 straight home wins, trailing only Clemson for the nation’s current longest home winning streak. Holgorsen knows the challenge ahead of his team as they travel to Cincinnati and attempt to win at a place where no opponent has come out victorious in over four years. “They’re pretty good at home,” Holgorsen said. “Haven’t lost there in a while. It’s a big challenge.”

Ridder time

No fly zone

Senior Desmond Ridder has reached about as many milestones as he possibly could since he took over as the Bearcats quarterback in 2018. Ridder is the nation’s winningest active quarterback, with a 42-5 record as a starter to become the fifth NCAA quarterback ever to win 40 games in a career. On top of that, Ridder became the AAC’s career leader in total offense, with 12,071 yards (9,905 passing and 2,156 rushing) to go along with 102 career touchdowns in Cincinnati’s win over East Carolina in the final game of the regular season.

Cincinnati has arguably the nation’s best cornerback duo in Ahmad Sauce Gardner and Coby Bryant, who are both semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is given to the top defensive back in college football. Gardner is the textbook definition of a shutdown defender. While Gardner’s stats may not appear eye-popping, there is a simple explanation — opponents simply refuse to throw the ball in Gardner’s direction because if they do they know there’s a high chance of either an incompletion or interception. In 35 career collegiate games, the 6-foot-3inch junior has not allowed a touchdown pass. On the other side, Bryant isn’t much easier to throw the ball against. The senior has a teamhigh 11 pass breakups. Both Gardner and Bryant have three interceptions on the season. As a whole, Cincinnati boasts the No. 3 pass defense in the country.

Offensive weapons Surrounding Ridder are a multitude of dynamic playmakers. Junior running back Jerome Ford leads The American in rushing yards (1,055) and touchdowns (17). His 17 rushing touchdowns are tied for the second-most touchdowns in a single-season in Cincinnati’s program history. Senior Allen Pierce, a 6-foot3-inch, 213 pound receiver, leads the Bearcats in receptions (48), receiving yards (802) and receiving touchdowns (seven). Tight end Josh Whyle has been one of Ridder’s go-to targets in the red zone, hauling in six touchdown catches on the season.

Series history UH leads the all-time series, going 15-12 in the 27 times the two teams have played each other. Cincinnati has won the last two meetings, most recently defeating the Cougars 38-10 at Nippert Stadium in November 2020.

6 | Wednesday, December 1, 2021


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Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 7 ANNA BAKER, EDITOR





Judge Schroeder showed favor towards Rittenhouse



The jurors in Wisconsin v. Kyle Rittenhouse finished deliberations on Nov. 19, acquitting the 18-year-old of all charges pressed against him. The constricted verbiage Judge Bruce Schroeder required during the controversial trial resulted in the judge favoring the side of the defense. It would be unfair to not mention the catastrophic performance of both prosecutors Thomas Binger and James Kraus. The prosecution’s case relied primarily on altered video evidence and prior social media posts made by Rittenhouse. This evidence ultimately ended up not being enough and the prosecution had no backup plan. Most notably, Binger’s tense exchanges with Judge Schroeder may have been his undoing: questioning a court’s ruling twice in such a highly-televised case will unsurprisingly result in a warning from the judge. However, it was Judge Schroeder’s admonition towards the prosecutors that surprised viewers. Therein lies the problem. In a case where rights surrounding self-defense is being questioned, it is imperative for the judge to be level-headed so as to not sway

the jurors’ views on the prosecutors and the defense. Most importantly, Judge Schroeder said during a proceeding that the words “victim” and “alleged victim” are both “loaded, loaded word(s).” Opting to leave out the word “victim” in the trial hurt the prosecution in the case of Gaige Grosskreutz. Grosskreutz testified that he believed Rittenhouse was an active shooter who needed to be stopped and that he put his hands up when confronting him. It was not until he lowered his hands and advanced on Rittenhouse with his handgun pointed that he fired at Grosskreutz. Grosskreutz added that because he is a paramedic, he feared for Rittenhouse’s life whenever he saw a mob chasing after him. But despite his sympathy for Rittenhouse, Grosskreutz was utilizing self-defense according to Wisconsin law. Even Rittenhouse’s lawyer Mark Richards admitted that his client shot first. This was a missed opportunity for the prosecution simply because Judge Schroeder argued against the use of the word “victim.” It was established that Grosskreutz believed Rittenhouse was an active shooter and he

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

had already tended to wounded individuals prior to encountering Rittenhouse. It would not have been unreasonable to say Grosskreutz was acting on the idea that Rittenhouse was a dangerous shooter who had endangered others’ lives and he was defending himself when pointing his handgun at another armed individual. But, the prosecution could not

call him a “victim” due to the established language during the proceeding. The forbidden use of the word “victim” ultimately hurt the prosecution’s case and allowed for all sympathy from the jury to go to Rittenhouse rather than Grosskreutz. Judge Schroeder often acted within his rights as a judge during the trial. But the omission

of key verbiage and admonition that harmed the prosecution swayed the case in favor of the defense. While many other factors influenced the verdict, Judge Schroeder was the ultimate mediator who moderated too much towards the side of the defense.


Students should start preparing for winter ANNA BAKER


Many people remember the winter storm in February last year. Power and water went out across Texas. Winter is just a month or so away so students need to start thinking about preparing for the worst. For about a week, many Texans had no power and no water. Some people’s homes were almost at freezing temperatures. Families huddled in single rooms together trying to keep warm from the fatal outside temperatures. Pet owners prayed their pets would survive, especially people with cold blooded animals like reptiles. Some households didn’t prepare with canned foods or water and had to ration. The power outages are said to have caused 700 deaths according to BuzzFeed News. It was a horrible time and it was more horrible to learn that it could have been avoided by preparing

the power grid. Thankfully, power plants are now required to prepare their facilities for the winter and extreme conditions, which hasn’t been done or been required by a governing body in Texas before according to the Texas Tribune. It’s a work in progress but hopefully the changes will be evident in the winter. While Texas lawmakers have passed legislation to make the power grid better, people shouldn’t solely rely on the government and power companies to figure everything out. They should prepare to make it on their own in case the worst happens. It’s important for students to have non-perishable food on hand in case of an emergency like extreme weather. Canned and dry food is the best since you may not be able to warm up frozen food in the microwave if you lose power. Even many on-campus residence halls last wintrer lost power during the snow storm.

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Of course UH Dining will take care of the students if they have a meal plan, but the food may be prepackaged sandwiches and chips if campus loses water and the staff can’t cook. UH Dining may have to change locations too if the dining halls lose power. It’s good to have food of your own just in case. Water is another thing you

should stock up on water since many neighborhoods didn’t have it during the storm. For residential students, UH will provide water, but it may take time for them to get supplies, so you want to make sure you have extra water to wash your hands and drink until then. Students should also make sure they have portable chargers, lanterns, flashlights and candles,

if their building allows them, to make sure they have light as well as a way to charge their electronics in case the power goes out. One of the most important things is to make sure you keep warm if the heat goes out. Having plenty of blankets is good and handwarmers can be useful. A tent can also be used to trap heat inside. Allowing all the household members to sleep in one room is also a good idea to maximize body heat. It’s important to make sure you’re prepared this winter in case things go awry with the grid again. However, make sure not to overbuy and hoard these items as other people need them. Just buy a few items every time you go grocery shopping. Winter is just a couple months away and in order to avoid the disaster of last year, students should make sure they’re prepared well in advance.

8 | Wednesday, December 1, 2021