Page 1


Breaking news online

Are you watching?

Tune in to student-run radio

Join the Student Media team Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Issue 20, Volume 82


Uncapping CAPS

The Student Fees Advisory Committee granted addtional funding to university counseling services. | PG. 2


Looking back

As candidates start campaigning for next year, the 53rd SGA Administration's track record shows victories and failures in advocating for students. | PG.


Racism, renamed Not every building that bears the name of a racist figure needs to be called something new. | PG. 6

Election memes

The Cougar Editorial Board implores the University to offer free hygiene products in women's bathrooms. | PG. 8


Familiar foes

Some old faces are set to face the Cougar football team next year in head coach Major Applewhite's first season. | PG. 9

Golden ambition

Everything is lining up for the swimming and diving team to take home its first gold this year. | PG. 12 | 866.823.8938

2 | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

NEWS 713-743-5314 

Marialuisa Rincon, EDITOR



Budget increase draws more counselors to CAPS program EMILY LINCKE



The Council for the Advancement of Standards for the International Association of Counseling Services recommends university counseling services employ one counselor for every 1,000-1,500 students, however UH lags behind with 3,647 students per counselor. During the fall 2016 semester, the Student Fees Advisory Committee granted UH’s Counseling and Psychological Services a budget increase of $265,161 beginning fiscal year 2018, which could improve the unit’s student to counselor ratio and make UH a more competitive employer. “The increased funding is primarily intended to help CAPS recruit and retain more counselors in order to move towards a more favorable counselor to student ratio thus better serving students,” said finance junior and SFAC chair Brinda Penmesta. The SFAC annually reviews 34 fee-funded units at UH by sending out a budget report questionnaire, listening to unit presentations, reviewing the funding history of the department and evaluating how

the unit addresses student needs, whether the unit operates according to its mission and with other departments, and if there is a demand from students for more or less of the unit’s services. A report of SFAC’s evaluating objectives and final recommendation can be found on the UH website. The International Association of Counseling Services’ recommendation and other information is available on its website. SFAC’s decision allowed for salary increases for staff at CAPS to $57-95,000 per year, and CAPS director Norma Ngo is in the process of hiring new employees for the department. Based on factors such as degree and years of experience, service and licensure, new hires could be offered salaries up to $70,000, when the previous possible maximum was around $55,000. Ngo said she is still in the early stages of hiring, and has yet to make any offers, but within a few months this could change. “I believe we are heading in the right direction, but time will tell as we complete our current and future staff searches,” said Ngo. “I am very

ABOUT THE COUGAR The Cougar is published every Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters and online at thedailycougar. com. The Daily Cougar is supported in part by Student Service Fees.

COPYRIGHT CAPS is located on the second floor of the Student Service Center 1, SFAC's determination could mean the addition of several counselors. | Julie Araica/ The Cougar

hopeful that our salary increases will raise our competitiveness in comparison to other counseling centers.” The salary increases at CAPS may point to improvement for the unit’s hiring competitiveness and staff retention, which Student Government Association Sen. Fahad Rehan, who served on SFAC at the time of the CAPS decision, believes will be beneficial to students, especially regarding relationships with the staff. “A lot of students have the issue where they build up rapport, build up trust with like a certain clinician, and then they just leave without saying anything,” said Rehan. However, despite an increase in funding, CAPS still faces challenges within the unit. “The problem CAPS is really having now is with space, not with numbers,” said Rehan. “I mean, sure

they’re still overwhelmed, but that’s not what their biggest issue is, their biggest issue now is the fact that they’ve got all these students, the problem is they don’t have any more space to break students in.” Rehan’s solution to the space issue was that CAPS should move into the old medical school building once the new one is built. Other ideas include an entirely new CAPS building. CAPS still faces problems, however the raises that the department secured after the November recommendation could be a step toward change. “The best thing that has come out of this is that the students have spoken and believe that more attention and resources should be directed to support their mental and psychological well-being,” said Ngo.


SGA presidential, VP candidates to face off JULIE ARAICA


MONTROSE: 1618 Westheimer Rd. • 713-523-8 701 BUFFALOEXCHANGE.COM •

The Cougar

Debate season for the 2017 Student Government Association elections is fast approaching. The SGA vice presidential debate will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, via live-stream from CoogTV followed by the presidential debate at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the Houston Room. Voting begins at midnight Feb. 28 and ends noon March 2. Students will be able to vote at designated polling locations on campus and online via Get Involved. “Our tagline for this election will be ‘skip the line, go online," said Austin Turman, political science senior and chief election commissioner.

"Not only do we think that this makes it easier for students to vote, but it also gives them a private setting where students can voice their opinions without anyone looking over their shoulder." The presidential debate is free for all students to attend. Before the debate, students can participate in a senatorial meet-and-greet at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15 in the Senate Chamber where they can talk to senators who represent their college and address any campus issues. During the debates, candidates will be asked questions concerning how SGA should interact with the student body, promote diversity and improve the administration.


Continues on page 5

No part of the newspaper in print or online may be reproduced without the consent of the director of Student Publications.



Trey Strange Alex Meyer Leah Nash


Center for Student Media

ABOUT CSM The Center for Student Media provides comprehensive advisory and financial support to the university’s student-run media: The Cougar newspaper, Student Video Network 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. 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

(713) 743-5350 N221 University Center University of Houston Houston, TX 77204-4015 ADVERTISING

(713) 743-5340 ADVERTISING REPS Jose Salazar

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 3



Marialuisa Rincon, EDITOR


Study looks at climate change as physics problem ISABEL PEN


Amidst walls decked with posters of the solar system and celestial bodies, physics professor Liming Li often sits in his office on the fifth floor of Science and Research Building 1, contemplating the mysteries of the cosmos. In his latest publication, he brought his intellect down to Earth. The study, recently published in "Nature Communications" and co-authored by two other members of the faculty, views the Earth’s atmosphere as a heat engine in order to analyze climate change from an innovative angle. “Global warming is well-studied from a meteorological standpoint, but there is a different way to understand this phenomenon,” Li said. “My idea was to check this concept from a physics perspective.” Co-author and Earth and

atmospheric science professor Xun Jiang and Li say they view the Earth’s atmosphere as a physics machine that converts energy from the sun into energy of motion, called a heat engine, in order to verify climate change results that have been observed. “Variation of global surface temperature over time is a very complicated problem, which is affected by many factors, including the atmospheric energetics, which we studied,” said Jiang. Heat engines, a subject covered in many physics II classes, are simply machines which convert potential energy into kinetic energy. This research investigates the Earth’s atmosphere as it functions like a heat engine, converting the potential energy received from the sun into kinetic energy that moves molecules of air around the atmosphere to create weather. “These findings indicate that there should be more eddies, more storms (and) more hurri-

canes in the future,” Li said. The study found that the rate at which the Earth is converting the potential energy into kinetic energy is increasing over time. This means that the same amount of energy from the sun is able to cause more meteorological activity today than it would have 35 years ago. Findings from this study indicate the efficiency of the Earth as a heat engine is increasing, which means the effects of global warming are increasing. Researchers were able to analyze three independent sets of three-dimensional data collected over a 35-year period, with only the help of complicated computer code that utilized Lorenz equations. “The Lorenz equations are used to describe the potential and kinetic energies and the conversions among those energies in the atmosphere,” said Gan Li, another co-author and graduate student at Guilin University.

The study, co-authored by Liming Li, says the Earth works like a heat engine., and takes a look at it as a physics problem. | Isabel Pen/ The Cougar

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that global surface temperature will continue to increase in the future, which could snowball into global weather abnormalities.This study in particular points out that the increasing efficiency of the Earth as a heat engine is a possible explanation to the bouts of severe weather

that have ravaged certain areas of the globe. Though it is clear that the Earth’s climate is changing, it's uncertain what is causing the conversion rate to go up. “The physics behind the increased efficiency is still unclear,” said Jiang.

4 | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

NEWS 713-743-5314

Marialuisa Rincon, EDITOR


The good, the bad, the ugly: 53rd Administration in review JASMINE DAVIS


From July's social media scandal to SGA President Shane Smith's fall proposal to cut student-fee funding to all departments by 1 percent, the 53rd Administration of the Student Government Association has occasionally been hard to ignore. The Administration kicked off in early April, nearly a month after Project Red candidate Shane Smith won the presidency with more than 50 percent of the vote. In two weeks, UH students will vote on the organization's 54th Administration.

Lacking legislation

Members of the Senate voted to pass a bill expanding CLASSmates, now known as CLASS Coogs, in their first meeting of the summer. The expansion stipulated that the program, which brings together 250 College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences students in entry level history and political science courses, will now be offered to students for the

r l i ve f


duration of their first year. To date, this is the only piece of legislation passed by the Senate that directly affects members of the student body outside of the organization. While the Senate heard multiple bills and constitutional amendments throughout the term, SGA did not pass further legislation until its second meeting of the spring semester — during which the Senate discussed 24 legislative items. Most notably, the Senate voted to join the Texas Student Government Coalition. This membership will allow current and future SGA administrations to advocate to the Texas legislature on behalf of UH. "Since SGA doesn’t write or control university laws, legislation is meaningless without real progress behind it, which is where our focus has been," said SGA's director of public relations, Dena Moghtader. "We work on large scale projects and have done so effectively. Focusing on legislation would be an incomplete picture of our activity."

Smith reiterated this idea. "Legislation is just a piece of paper," Smith said.

Platform promises

Senators and members of the executive board did, however, make headway on many of the initiatives laid out in their campaign platforms, which were outlined in the party's name: better parking, better food, better wi-fi. In April, Smith released an agenda detailing projects the executive board would be undertaking to fulfill promises made during the election. In a bid to improve UH's parking situation, Moghtader said Smith and Chief of Staff Robert Comer worked to implement a parking counter prototype at the ERP. "Students will be able to see how many spots are available in a specific parking lot before even driving into the lot," Moghtader said. While the current prototype counts only the cars as they enter and leave the economy lot, the counters installed on campus will show the

exact number of available spots, Moghtader said. Main campus implementation of the counters, beginning with three lots, is expected in the fall, Moghtader said. The 53rd Administration also placed an emphasis on mental health. Through "End the Stigma,"

an event organized by Director of External Relations Delaney Cattletstout, Moghtader said SGA promoted constructive discussion on the subject. The event utilized 1,100 shirts to pay tribute to the student lives lost


Continues on next page

The 53rd Administration of SGA has led initiatives across campus to better dining, parking, conversations on mental health. | Courtesy of UH SGA

The University of Houston




STORYTELLING & PHOTO RELEASE 7:00PM -8:00PM HOUSTON ROOM, STUDENT CENTER SOUTH SPONSORED BY : Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, Black Student Union , Campus Ministries Association, Council of Ethnic Organizations and Student Government Association




Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 5



Continued from previous page to suicide on college campuses each year. Other members of SGA similarly attempted to end the stigma by working closely with Counseling and Psychological Services. Thanks in part to Deputy Chief of Staff Winni Zhang and the CAPS Task Force, CAPS is now required to inform students of their ability to withdraw from the semester if necessary. Compared to fall 2015, associate director of CAPS, Scott Chris, said the department saw nearly a 20 percent increase in unique clients this fall. A trial run offering free pads and tampons in Student Center restrooms was also led by Zhang, who said she plans to meet with UH Facilities later in the semester to discuss University adoption of the program. If successful, there are plans to implement the program across campus in Fall 2017, Moghtader said. Moghtader led the push for Safe Walk, which aims to allow students to request a two-student escort to their dorm or vehicle at night. Similar services currently exist at the University of Texas at Austin and other Texas universities, and Moghtader said it will hopefully be implemented at UH in the fall.


Continued from page 2 Relevant topics include parking issues, academics, colleges and places where candidates believe students should be better represented. Both events will be livestreamed, and students can submit their own questions via Twitter in order to be more directly involved in the debate. All questions will be screened to ensure they are appropriate and involve the University. Communications senior and editor-in-chief of The Cougar Trey Strange said it is an annual tradition for The Cougar to host the SGA presidential debate because it is important for the press to hold their government accountable. “Anyone running for office, even at a university level, is held accountable for the words they say and the actions they say they will do,” Strange said. “We’ve seen very strong SGA administrations and really weak ones; the goal is always to have a strong administration. The debate will be a step in holding those governmental figures accountable.” There will also be a vice presidential debate this year. The debate will be moderated by communications junior Jasmine Davis in a private,

Throughout the fall semester, College of Architecture Sen. Hunter Bodiford worked to create a fixedtuition plan for architecture students. Despite his efforts, the University ultimately declined all fixed-tuition proposals. For the foreseeable future, architecture students will be excluded from UHin4 tuition plans and subject to tuition fluctuations over the course of their five-year degrees. WiFi at UH has definitely improved over the past year, but Smith said it was important to give credit where credit is due: the University's IT department. "They were already working on some of this stuff. They wanted to get feedback on how they can be more responsive to student concerns," Smith said. "I think they genuinely care about students and student needs." Members of SGA frequented meetings with UIT, Smith said, where they offered input on issues they felt were most important to students. Areas of focus included speed tests for WiFi signals in buildings with reported problems and improving assistance response times. Smith and the administration and Finance Committee have been advocating to repair ineffective parts of the University's current dining

smaller, more intimate setting that students will be able to view live on the CoogTV Facebook page. Computer information systems senior and Student Video Network Executive Producer Cory Rodriguez said they decided to live-stream the event after recognizing the benefits of live-streaming the presidential election in November. “One of the great things about these videos is that students can go back and watch them after the debate," Rodriguez said. "Of course with live-stream, students can still interact with and experience the event real time, but they can still go back and see it as a memory." Noting the impact of SGA on the University, Turman urges students to engage with the election this year. “I think students need to seriously consider voting and seriously consider the gravity of what it is to vote,” Turman said. “There are going to be so many freshmen, sophomores and juniors who will have to live under this administration, so their voices need to be heard in order for their needs to be met.”

situation, Moghtader said. The default meal plan selected for on-campus residents was changed from Shasta Unlimited, the most expensive plan available, to Cougar Choice 150, the least expensive and most popular. Other SGA sponsored dining improvements include the increased nighttime and weekend presence of food trucks, healthier options at on-campus convenience stores and the replacement of the management at Aramark, the company which handles dining services at the University. In addition, Moghtader said major changes will be coming to dining services in the fall, though it is too early in negotiations for a public statement to be made.

Future plans

Another lasting impact of the 53rd Administration, namely of Director of Research Dean Suchy, will take effect in Fall 2018: a two-day fall break, expected to occur in the first week of October, to break up the current 65 days of consecutive classes in the fall semester. By comparison, Moghtader said students face no more than 45 consecutive days in the spring. To boost school spirit among both incoming freshmen and admitted students, SGA is planning on


Marialuisa Rincon, EDITOR

improving the freshmen welcome packages, sent by UH to admitted students, Moghtader said. The improved packages, which include more information for prospective students, are expected to hit first distribution with incoming class in Fall 2018. Freshmen entering the University at this time may also be make up the first group of students able to replace grades earned in their first 30 hours by retaking the course. The resolution is currently awaiting approval from the provost, but Moghtader said implementation is expected to go into effect with the class of 2022.


The 53rd Administration came under public scrutiny in July when Vice President Rohini Sethi posted a Facebook status denouncing Black Lives Matter in favor of All Lives Matter. Though many took to social media to call for the removal of Sethi, during which time #RemoveRohini trended on Twitter, she ultimately took a voluntary unpaid leave of absence for the first three weeks of August. Smith later appointed SGA's first special advisory to the president for campus diversity in response to the remaining campus tension.

Inactive governing bodies

Though student appointments to University Committees comprised a large portion of the fall semester's Senate meetings, many appointed students raised concerns about the inaction of their committees. Sethi, who makes the majority of committee appointments, later responded to reports of inactivity. In an address to the Senate, Sethi urged students to make the committees happen regardless of participation by other members.

Setting a precedent

Smith followed in the footsteps of SGA's 52nd Administration in November when, for the second consecutive year, the organization requested a budgetary decrease. The decrease, approved by the Student Fees Advisory Committee, will come from the controllable portion of SGA's budget. During the presentation, Smith recommended that all feefunded organizations and departments look into reducing their budget by 1 percent. Overall, Smith said he believes the 53rd Administration will leave a lasting, positive impact on the University. "I'm proud of our team," Smith said. "I think they've made the school a better place."






6 | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

OPINION 713-743-5304

Thomas Dwyer, EDITOR


Colleges shouldn't change controversial building names Yale altering Calhoun dorm does not mean UH should follow suit


ale University announced that they will rename their Calhoun residential college to honor Grace Murray Hopper, a Navy rear admiral who made strides in computer electronics research. Even though namesake John C. THOMAS Calhoun was DWYER OPINION EDITOR a racist South Carolina politician, does wiping his name from a building make up for everything he stood for that conflicts with the society that we live in today? The Calhoun dormitories were constructed at Yale in 1933, eighty-three years after the death of Calhoun, a Yale alumnus. Not only is he the building's namesake, but there are also depictions of his likeness as well as slaves carrying bales in several stained-glass pieces on the building. This move by the Yale administration has caused the resignation of Fox News personality, Geraldo Rivera, as an Associate Fellow. On Twitter, Rivera announced his resignation saying it had, "Been an honor but intolerant insistence on political correctness is lame." It would be wrong to change the name of a building of a man who was, at one point, prominent enough to have his name honorarily applied to a building at Yale. We must never forget that, ever. It serves as a benchmark for how far we have come as a country.

got named after him? A year and a half ago, The Cougar published an editorial on the topic giving background on how Calhoun Lofts was originally a temporary name that just happened to become the permanent name of the building. The University had the chance to change the placeholder name to to a permanent one that wasn't steeped in historic racism but for some reason did not. Even a building title prefaced with "cougar" like most of the other on-campus residence halls would have been preferable. It was just bad luck that the lofts happened to be built on Calhoun Road and not Wheeler Avenue. Wheeler Lofts would have been a less controversial name. That being the case, if the University were to change the name of Calhoun Lofts to something else in the future, it would not be as historically immoral as Yale's case. UH's naming of the lofts appears to be more of a coincidence instead of a deliberate move. But it is something that, if it were to be done, should happen sooner rather than

later while the residence hall is still relatively new.



Emily Burleson NEWS EDITORS

Marialuisa Rincon Julia Araica Jasmine Davis SPORTS EDITORS


Thomas Dwyer Jorden Smith ARTS EDITORS

Karis Johnson Karin Keller PHOTO EDITORS

Justin Cross Ajani Stewart SENIOR STAFF

Camille Mullery Katie Santana Peter Scamardo

Leonard D. Gibson III JD Smith


John C. Calhoun was a racist South Carolina politician along with future, President Andrew Jackson. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

understand instead of trying to avoid it or bury it. Yale has already decided to rename the Calhoun dorm. Hopefully the administration there will at least have a plaque on the dorm that explains the building's history and the importance of knowing that at one point it was named after Calhoun. Opinion editor Thomas Dwyer is a broadcast journalism sophomore and can be reached at

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

A 'Placeholder' The Calhoun that the Yale dormitory is named after is also the namesake of the street that runs through our University and the lofts that are situated on it. Calhoun was partially responsible for the annexing Texas into the Union, although it was to maintain balance between slave-holding states and free states. So is it really that surprising that there is an old road running through Houston that


Trey Strange Alex Meyer

Rewriting history Times change, and society’s perception towards things does as well. But merely because perceptions change does not mean that what happened in the past must also change with that perception. History is unflinching. It should not be changed or rewritten no matter how ugly it is, even though at one point in the past it was OK to name a building after a slaveholder and staunch southern Dixiecrat. But we do not rectify that by renaming a building; we do that by educating people about the person who the building was named after and why it was named after them in the first place. History is not something that we can forget. In fact, it is something that we should always do our best to become more familiar with. As soon as we start changing the history and names of buildings, we start down the path toward whitewashing it and imposing absolutes upon historical figures. The best way to fight things like this is to learn and


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

If the University were to name Calhoun Lofts something else in the future, it would not be as historically immoral as Yale's case against those they deem to be unfit. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

The Cougar is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 7



Thomas Dwyer, EDITOR


Guest column: Free speech is an essential American liberty


In the wake of protests in Berkeley, California, and the ensuing support for silencing speakers deemed upsetting by the left, we all should step back and reflect upon the idea that has made our MATTHEW society truly WILTSHIRE and classically GUEST COLUMNIST liberal. Free speech MICHAEL is more than ANDERSON a mere law; it GUEST is a defining COLUMNIST principle of our society. It is not merely one among many competing values. Properly understood, it is a foundational value that supports all else that is good in our culture. We hold this truth to be self-evident: that free expression, the foundation of a liberty-loving society, is granted to us by our creator and cannot be justly restricted by the institutions of man.

'Battle of wits' Those who believe government grants us our rights fail to comprehend this essential feature of the American tradition. If government grants us free expression, then it has the ability to constrict it by requiring that it be exercised in the proper place with proper consent. I do not hold to that idea and neither should you. The moment we give individuals the authority to decide where and when you can express your views, we relinquish the power to freely dissent. Being at liberty to do so is not merely a concoction to benefit the few; it protects us all no matter our race, religion or ideology. It provides universal benefit, and we must never lose sight of that basic truth.

In a commitment to free speech, universities should be fostering speech in all forms. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

In his immortal treatise On Liberty, John Stuart Mill described the virtues of free expression. He said: “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.” And further, “The particular evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race… those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” Even if a suppressed opinion may be erroneous, it often contains a kernel of truth. Since no view is ever perfectly formed, by the battle of wits we elucidate the unknown. This argument is not about law, but rather a personal responsibility to engage

with those whom we disagree. Any restriction on the expression of an opinion reduces the total knowledge of humanity and immorally robs from history the conclusions of our frank and honest debates.

Shouldn't 'banish dissent' The problem with confronting free speech with forceful demands that it be stopped is not that it runs counter to law — the Constitution constrains only the government from such action, not individuals. The problem is that those actions trample the principle of liberty that a pluralistic society must cherish. Rather than shout down speakers, we should hear them out (or not — you’re not required to listen) and then counter speech we find disagreeable with our own. If you truly believe your views are correct and important then you should use every opportunity to per-

suade others rather than banish dissent. Shutting down discussion is merely a self-gratifying exercise rather than one of academic courage. The corollary to this notion is that any restriction on the locations where free expression can be conducted similarly constricts the voices of those who wish to be heard. The only difference is that, where speech is restricted to designated places, the coercive force is exerted by administrators and police rather than by a mob. Free Speech Zones are, therefore, an aberration which have no place in a university setting. Rather than talk about what areas of campus should be Free Speech Zones, an understanding of the rationale and importance of free speech should cause us to flip the argument around. Instead of designating a few areas as places where we allow the exercise of liberty, we should

consider all of campus to be a place of free expression barring only the few requirements necessary for the functioning of the University. For example, it would not be possible for a professor to teach if people were to protest inside her classroom. By looking at the entire campus as a Free Speech Zone as the starting point, and only then limiting the few necessities, we make a statement of our values: We will no longer aspire to the bare minimum of the law but rather to the maximum of our principles. In a commitment to free expression, universities nationwide should be fostering speech in all forms, at all times, and everywhere that does not diminish the ability of the school to perform its functions. I urge our beloved University to similarly codify its own commitment to fostering dialogue, free expression and open inquiry by all students, faculty, staff and guests. The University of Chicago described the importance of and its commitment to this value in its “Statement on Principles of Free Expression.” It is high time we make a similar pledge. In Whitney v. California, Justice Louis Brandeis said: “If there be a time to expose through discussion the falsehoods and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” History senior Matthew Wiltshire is the president of College Republicans at the University of Houston. History senior Michael Anderson is the chapter president and Texas state chair of Young Americans for Liberty. Both can be reached at




8 | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

OPINION 713-743-5304 

Thomas Dwyer, EDITOR


The Election Commission is one of the first entities to deal with the new reality of politics | Jasmine Davis/The Cougar

SGA ACROSS 1 So everyone can hear 6 Fragrant oil from rose petals 11 X5 automaker 14 Sierra ___ (African nation) 15 Big horned beast 16Hawaiian necklace 17 Buddies through thick and thin 19 Mount Everest, e.g. 20 Wait in hiding to attack 21 Ceremony host 23 Business workplaces 26 Like some hams or salmon 27 Fatal constrictors 28 Muslim salutation 30 Very much 31 Thing passed along the grapevine 32 Application inquiry 35 Drunk as a candle? 36 Type of ball or case 38 Letters for one in the hole? 39 “That’s funny” online 40 Wandered all over the place 41 Speak when you’re 35-Across 42 Wild Asian equine 44 Header for “orthodox” 46 What a door provides 48 Baseless stories

49 The 3 million of Alaska 50 Relating to the eye 52 Stuff in a mine 53 Prime-time’s start, often 58 Negative link 59 Fallen-rock debris 60 Color slightly 61 Ambulance initials 62 “Weeny” go-with 63 It can hold its beer DOWN 1 Furry TV extraterrestrial 2 Rural field 3 Endings for “tab” or “wah” 4 Remove, as a bottle cap 5 Vandalize, in a way 6 Fleshy seed covers 7 “___-Team” (old TV series) 8 Minuscule 9 Word that creates links 10 Pungent cuisine herb 11 Criminal with dirt on someone 12 Dugout-clearing fight, e.g. 13 Utilized a squeegee 18 Some bread types 22 Extinct kiwi relative 23 “Correct ___ accounts” 24 Large

paper size 25 Some personal storage trunks 26 Mailbox opening 28 Not having waffles? 29 In the center of 31 Far from a pan 33 Squash, for one 34 Barcelona bills 36 Least refined 37 Large pigs 41 Like a beautiful night sky 43 Word linking two surnames 44 Angelic circle of light 45 Passes, as a law 46 Without an escort 47 Billiards maneuver 48 Precious little sweetie (var.) 50 Fairy-tale creature 51 “Big Brother” host Julie 54 Frozen sheet material 55 It doesn’t change when squared 56 Animated film special effects, briefly 57 Longtime Barbie companion

The Election Commission needs to be careful


o paraphrase Milo Yiannopoulos on his visit to the University of Houston, whenever you tell 17 year olds (or in this case, 18-24 year olds) not to say something, they will find it to be the funniest thing ever by making fun of it. JORDEN Though SMITH ASSISTANT we say it all OPINION EDITOR the time, the world has truly and unequivocally changed with a Trump presidency. This past election saw the rise of places like r/The Donald, who, by its own admission, helped to “meme Trump to the presidency.” What was learned? People really like to troll online, especially when it comes to politicians. So as a new SGA election season begins, the University enters new territory that it has not yet experienced. Were there memes during the last election? Sure there were. The HYPE Party’s primary endorsement form came as a quick dab. Memes have always existed, but there wasn’t an overt reliance on memes like we saw in the presidential election. This all means that the Election Commission needs to be extremely careful on how they approach this election and what they say. People are looking for reasons to troll; they’re looking for reasons to go after something — a pseudo-cause. This past Monday, there was a rumor going around that any candidate using or advocating

the hashtags #ShameShane and #ShameWinni could have a complaint filed against them for "psychological attacks." "One could hardly claim that criticizing an individual's character or ethics as it relates to the election particularly traumatizing, threatening, or humiliating," said Austin Turman, the Chief Election Commissioner. This is easily the right way to address this situation. Now, I’m not advocating for attacks. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I want a clean campaign between all parties. But if the fact that these rumors are being started — true or not — just speaks to the nature of the internet politics. This isn’t inherently bad, seeing as anything devoid of some type of humor is taking itself too seriously (no one should ever take themselves too seriously). Take, for example, the fact someone created REDvolution’s Dank Meme Stash. This is an obvious play on Gary Johnson/Bernie Sander’s Dank Meme Stash — popular Facebook groups focused primarily on posting memes in support of its candidate. This is fun. This is people not taking politics too seriously, especially Student Government Association politics. But then there’s the example of the Spirit RED incident. Within a few hours of the campaign going live, the party took off the ability for a Facebook user to review the party due to many negative reviews. Whether valid criticism or not (again, I’ll let you make that call), the party had a 2.8 rating pretty quickly after the first review. There was an avalanche.

This is the new political internet reality. Spirit RED commented, explaining, "the reason why we disabled comments is because a certain group that has been targeting SGA all year has used the ratings as a platform to launch an attack based off of something that has no relevance to the platform." This is a basic explanation on how the relationship between politicians and their relationship with people has changed. Now the Joker in all of us has a little bit of fun seeing all this chaos. It’s just fun to see what happens when the guards are down and people can “eat themselves.” The Election Commission needs to take caution on what they say. They’re basically experimenting in this new reality; who actually knows what works and what doesn’t? It’s a live experiment that can very well or very poorly depending on how they decide to play their cards. It is no longer an option to say not to do some things. People will jump on it and go with it until the dead horse has been beaten and is decaying. Turman further explained that the Election Commission is, "absolutely prepared and excited to confront the challenges of candidates using the internet in order to campaign and politicize the student body." Kudos to the Election Commission. They seem to have this under control. Assistant opinion editor Jorden Smith is a political science and creative writing junior and can be reached at opinion@thedailycougar. com.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 9



Leonard D. Gibson III, EDITOR

The 2017 football season will begin with an away game against the UTSA Roadrunners on September 9. The first home game will be against Rice on September 16. | Sonny Singh/The Cougar


Foes familiar and new for Applewhite's first season PETER SCAMARDO


Major Applewhite's first season will seem him lead the Cougars against foes of recent and past years. Among them, two prime-time outings are against the Memphis Tigers and the Navy Midshipmen. The 2017 football season will see the return of the Bayou Bucket Classic against the Rice Owls. In total Major Applewhite’s team will leave the state of Texas only five times. The Cougars don’t play Oklahoma or Louisville from this past season, but they will get to prepare for their conference match-ups against teams from the Pac-12, the Big 12 and Conference USA.

Out of Conference The biggest opponents out of conference are the Arizona Wildcats and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Both give the Cougars a chance to show their skill against Power 5 competition. It has been over 30 years since the Cougars faced the Arizona Wildcats, so history cannot predict this matchup. The Wildcats are coming off a season where they only won three games behind an offense that ranked No. 67 in the NCAA. Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez has yet

to match his success from 2014, when he guided the Wildcats to the Pac-12 Championship Game. But with the No. 15 recruiting class by Rivals behind expected starting quarterback Brandon Dawkins, the Cougars could be in for a surprise. Arizona’s offensive line should be improved with the addition of offensive tackle Keenan Walker and Michael Eletise, the No. 9 offensive guard. Plus they signed Kahi Neves, No. 14 inside linebacker and Josh Allen, No. 9 defensive end as a way to lay the ground work on improving their defense. Given the recent successes for the Cougars, Arizona will be looking at them as a way to prep themselves for the carousel of champions in the Pac-12 South. Texas Tech comes into 2017 following a season where their offense and defense were literal opposites of each other. The Red Raiders ranked No. 1 in Total Offense and No. 128 out of 128 in total defense. This game will mark the return of Red Raider's Head Coach Kliff Kingsburg and defensive coordinator David Gibbs to Houston. Kingsburg was the offensive coordinator from 20082011, and Gibbs was the defensive coordinator 2013-14.

The Red Raiders took this most recent recruiting class to improve their defense, recruiting three defensive backs out of junior college: Octavious Morgan, No. 4 Cornerback Jaylon Lane and No. 9 safety Vaughnte Dorsey. Whether or not Gibbs' defense will improve in his third year will decide their season. Tech has been a carousel of quarterbacks that lead their high scoring offense. So even with quarterback Patrick Mahomes declaring for the NFL Draft, they will continue the airraid system. To win this game the Cougars will need to play hard nosed defense. Something the Cougars learned in their games against Oklahoma and Louisville, No. 2 and No. 3 total offenses last season, is that if they stop the quarterback they stop the offense.

In Conference The Cougars open conference play when they travel to Philadelphia to play the Temple Owls. As defending conference champions, they deserve absolute respect from the Cougars. Temple will need to have the transition from Matt Rhule to Geoff Collins go smoothly if they hope to preserve their No. 3 ranked defense from last

season. But considering Collins' background as the Florida defensive coordinator the likelihood of this is high. For SMU, the Cougars will tackle this game like they did against Connecticut last season. Motivated by the embarrassing loss in 2016, the Cougars will come out with a vengeance in 2017.

The hardest stretch The next four games will be the hardest stretch for the Cougars. In those weeks they travel to Tulsa, host Memphis and East Carolina and then travel to South Florida. Tulsa Head Coach Philip Montgomery returns a team that led the American Conference in total offense, No. 4 overall. Cougar fans still remember the nailbiting game last season. The Memphis Tigers return an offense that put 48 points on the Cougars last year. With Riley Ferguson still at quarterback, Head Coach Mike Norvell's team should only improve in year two. This should be one of the most exciting and nerve wracking games for the Cougars, as it has been the past two seasons. But South Florida will be one of the toughest games this season. After

going 11-2 last season, they received an upgrade at coaching in the form of Charlie Strong. Strong will improve the Bulls' defense from last season, which ranked No. 120. Last season, behind AAC Player of the Year quarterback Quinton Flowers and the No. 5 rushing offense, the Bulls ranked No. 11 in total offense and should continue their dominance in Flowers' senior year.

Revenge against Navy In the last game of the season, the Cougars will face the Navy Midshipmen. Last season their No. 4 ranked rushing offense broke the hearts of Cougar nation everywhere. A large part of the Cougars' loss came from them not having enough time to prepare for the triple-option offense. But this year they will have had all season to prepare for it. It’s very possible the winner could be hosting the AAC West in the Championship Game. The season will kick off with an away game against the UTSA Roadrunners on Sept. 9. The first home game will be against Rival Rice on Sept. 16.

10 | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SPORTS 713-743-5303 

Leonard D. Gibson III, EDITOR


Reimagining the College Football Playoffs LEONARD D. GIBSON III


The 2016 College Football Playoff didn’t conclude without its fair share of drama and speculation. For the upcoming offseason, many fans and pundits have turned their heads to the incredibly young College Football Playoff and its many flaws. The Cougar talked about realigning the conferences to a Power-4 format last year, but after seeing the BIG 12’s debacle of an expansion attempt, it’s become apparent the industry isn’t interested in such a drastic change. There has been much talk about expanding to an eight-team playoff, but recently there has been a growing opinion in the Group of 5 programs for a separate playoff without the Power 5.

Eight-team Playoff With eight teams in the playoff, we won’t have to worry about one of the Power 5 conferences not being represented. Unless the Big 12 actually does implode. There wouldn’t have been a month-long argument over whether Ohio State deserves to be No. 3 or why Penn State won the BIG10 and wasn’t allowed into the playoff. The arguments would’ve been purely over seeding, which isn’t nearly as complicated. The games would’ve been more entertaining as well. Instead of being blown out by Clemson, Ohio State would’ve re-matched Michigan. The Game two times in one year? Their matchup in November already made history, being the first time it went into overtime. So why not make it the first time either team played each other twice in one month? If there’s anything that bumps ratings, this is it. Instead of a lopsided Washing-

ton defeat, they would’ve faced off against Penn State. Penn State had the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever against USC in a 52-49 loss, and Washington had one of the most prolific offenses under quarterback Jake Browning. Combine the two and you have an entertaining shootout on your hands. However, where would this leave the Group of 5 programs? In the three seasons under the new playoff system, no Group of 5 school has made it into the top eight. The closest any team has gotten was Western Michigan this last season. They went undefeated and ended up only at No. 15 with six 3-loss teams and one 4-loss team ahead of them. The only Group of 5 school that has ever had a chance was Houston last season, and that was a product of luck and the possibility of two stellar seasons in a row. In 2015, Houston ended its season with an upset win over Florida State in the Peach Bowl and finished at No. 8 in the AP poll. For the 2016 season, Houston’s strength of schedule was powered by playing both Oklahoma and Louisville. It was convenient that Heisman winner Lamar Jackson turned Louisville into an offensive power house while Oklahoma was in early contention for the national crown. Houston could’ve snuck into an eight-team playoff had they had only lost to Navy and not to SMU and Memphis. Houston would’ve needed two consecutive 1-loss seasons to even be considered for a playoff spot in the top eight. But that is a near-impossible standard to meet. The issue is obviously a discrepancy in the strength of schedules between the Power 5 and the Group of 5 programs. The solution is definitely not giving a more lenient ranking to Group of 5 schools

because if you lose to 2-4 SMU, you don’t deserve to be ranked. The Group of 5 simply doesn’t have a realistic road to even an eight-team playoff.

Group of 5 Playoff The biggest argument against a Group of 5 championship is programs don’t want to play second fiddle to the Power 5. But isn’t that what’s already happening? Power 5 schools get the best recruits, best TV deals, bigger stadiums and more national recognition. A non-Power 5 school hasn’t won a championship ring since BYU in 1984. It’s no question that Power 5 schools outclass the majority of Group of 5 schools. It’s just a matter of admitting that Power 5 programs are superior. Instead of playing against Power 5 teams at their worst, the best of the Group of 5 could play each other. But since there’s no ranking for just Group of 5 schools, it’s hard to guess which teams would’ve been included last season, so the above graphic is completely fictional. Watching the best of the Group of 5 duke it out would be far more entertaining than trying to convince the world they can run with the big boys. A Group of 5 Playoff would also help a program’s argument for being included in a Power 5 conference. If a team consistently shows that it’s the best in the Group of 5, it can bring that consistency to the next level. It may just be a competition for the junior varsity crown, but the alternative of having one Group of 5 team in a New Year’s Six bowl isn’t much more appealing. Group of 5 teams are simply incapable of going to the national championship, even in an eight-team playoff.




Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 11



Leonard D. Gibson III, EDITOR


Romero looks to lead Cougars to the postseason J. D. SMITH


Sitting at home on Monday, April 12, waiting to hear his name called in the first round of the MLB Draft after a successful season where he led the Cougars to their first-ever trip to Omaha for the College World Series — that’s where junior lefthander Seth Romero hopes to be at season’s end. The West Columbia native enters his third season as a Cougar after leading the team in ERA in each of his first two. As the No. 25 prospect according to MLB. com, Romero knows an impressive year can go a long way come April’s draft. “I just want to show them what I know I can do,” Romero said. “I’ve been looking pretty good so I’m expecting big things. I want to go out there and help my team as much as I can and that’s what I plan to do.”

Immediately impactful Since arriving in 2015, Romero has been an integral part of the Cougars pitching staff, going 7-4 with a conference-leading 1.96 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 83.1

innings. He had his best month in March, going 4-0 with a 0.58 ERA and being named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association pitcher of the month.

'Lighting' out of left arm Now an upperclassman and Ace of the staff, Romero knows he has to do his part in being a leader and helping the newer Cougars adjust to playing at Houston. “We’ve got a young team but all of us returners have got to do our job of showing them the way and showing them how we do,” Romero said. “If we do how we’re supposed to, the results will be there.” Heading into 2017, Romero has already received numerous accolades, being named to three Preseason All-American teams in addition to being rated the No. 10 college prospect by Baseball America. Projected by to be the AAC Pitcher of the Year, Romero knows the preseason accolades mean nothing if he doesn’t go out there and prove it on the diamond. “They mean a lot, but at the same time, I try not to focus too much on them because they don’t

“From that point forward, he was one of our most dominant pitchers. We put him in some tight situations for a freshman to handle and what defined him going forward is how he responded.”

"We've got a young team but all of us returners have got to do our job of showing them the way and showing them how we do," said Seth Romero. "If we do how we're supposed to, the results will be there. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

himself better, I’m really proud of the way he worked to this point.” Despite an impressive season from their Ace, the Cougars missed the postseason in 2016, and they know that if they want

to get back there in 2017, Romero will be key in setting the tone. “Any team that has aspirations of playing in Omaha has to have an ace on their staff and Seth is capable of being that guy,”

Whitting said. “He has lightning coming out of that left arm but I think, more than that, it’s his desire and preparedness to win.”


Todd Whitting, head coach innings, while being named to four All-American teams. The 2015 American Conference Rookie of the Year had his breakout performance in the Silver Glove Series against rival Rice, being named MVP of the series. In his first career start, Romero held the then No. 8 Owls to two runs, none earned while striking out nine in 6.1 innings. “That was Seth’s coming out party his freshman year,” head coach Todd Whitting said. “From that point forward, he was one of our most dominant pitchers. We put him in some tight situations for a freshman to handle and what defined him going forward is how he responded.” In what could be seen as a down year for him in 2016, Romero finished 6-4, leading the Cougars with a 2.29 ERA and striking out a team-high 113 batters in 94.1

really mean anything,” Romero said. “They’re just how they think I’m going to do; I’m focusing on how I am going to do.” Romero has taken a more professional outlook leading up to the 2017 season, working hard on improving himself and not having the same indifference that led to him being suspended for the first two weeks of 2016. One notable area is in his conditioning, where the lefthander has worked hard to get himself in better shape, dropping down to around 220. “He’s worked extremely hard in the offseason to get his body in shape, losing probably 20-30 pounds and worked extremely hard in the weight room,” Whitting said. “The way he responded to having an average year last year and him being able to recognize that and do some things to get



SUNDAYS: 10:45 AM - Religion Center 6:00 PM - Catholic Center WEEKDAYS: Tuesday—Friday 12:00 Noon CATHOLIC NEWMAN CENTER Confession: Before or After Masses Office # (713) 748-2529

First Service: 7:15 am Second Service: 9:00 am Third Service: 11:00 am Fourth Service: 1:00 pm Sunday School:

9:00 am

WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY 12 noon & 7:00 pm

Sunday Bible Class


12 | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SPORTS 713-743-5303 

Leonard D. Gibson III, EDITOR


Cougars primed to take home their first gold LEONARD D. GIBSON III


The 2016-2017 swimming and diving season is reaching its climax with the American Athletic Conference Championships. The University of Houston will host the championship for the second consecutive year in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The contest will run from Wednesday to Saturday with live coverage on the American Digital Network. Finals each day will begin at 5 p.m. In the 2015-2016 championship, the Cougars finished in third place with a score of 554, their highest finish since the 2013 Conference USA Championship.

Defending titles The Cougars brought home six individual championships last year, including a sweep of the three diving titles. This marked the second consecutive year that Houston’s divers dominated the boards. Junior Micaela Bouter looks to defend her 3-meter diving title

The Cougar women's swimming and diving teams are looking for their first ever conference title as a team this week at the American Athletic Conference Championships, starting on Wednesday | Courtesy of UH Athletics

after setting a meet record with a score of 335.65 last year. Senior Taylor Olanksi won the platform diving title for the third time in a row and became the tenth Cougar to win four individual conference crowns. Danielle

Shedd, who won the 1-meter last year, has graduated, leaving a hole for the Cougars to fill. In the pool, sophomore Eleanna Koutsouveli swept the backstroke events, winning both the 100-yard and 200-yard as a

freshman. Sophomore Hannah Herbst will also be defending her 500-yard freestyle title.

Freshmen talent The Cougars have added significant talent in the pool with

freshmen Laura Laderoute and Peyton Kondis. Both have already made their marks in Cougar history. Laderoute broke the school record in the 100-yard backstroke (53.93) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:00.58). Kondis set Houston’s 100-yard breaststroke record (1:01.17) The previous record for the 100-yard backstroke was set by Koutsouveli in her victory last year at the AAC Championships with a time of 54.32. The 200yard individual medley record belonged to Reka Kovacs back in 2013. The 100-yard breaststroke was set by junior Ashley Grijalva last year in the AAC Championships where she placed third with a time of 1:01.66. With most of last year’s talent returning and the freshmen having such a tremendous impact already, the Cougars are looking to take their first conference title. Houston has five second-place finishes with their last coming at the 2013 Conference USA meet.


Rematching No. 19 SMU Mustangs in Hofheinz LEONARD D. GIBSON III


The Cougars will be facing off against their highest ranked opponent of the season on Saturday in a rematch against the No. 19 SMU Mustangs in Hofheinz Pavilion. The Mustangs ran all over the Cougars the last time they met in a lopsided 85-64 routing. SMU outperformed the Cougars in every way possible. They had more 12 more rebounds, one less turnover and had a better shooting percentage from both the field and from distance. There were also four Mustangs how scored double-digits. In comparison, the Cougars were led by redshirt senior guard Damyean Dotson with 25 points while redshirt junior guard Rob Gray had a quiet performance with 16. Both excelled from beyond the arc, Dotson with six and Gray with four. The biggest detractor for the Cougars was the lack of presence from the rest of the team. The frontcourt of redshirt senior forward Danrad “Chicken” Knowles and redshirt senior Kyle Meyer

With a win over No. 19 SMU the Cougars will secure third in the American Athletic Conference. | Ajani Stewart / The Cougar

put up only six points and seven rebounds together. Sophomore guard Galen Robinson Jr. had only two rebounds, four assists, and five points. If the Cougars are going to pull off the upset, somebody is going to have to take some of the weight off Dotson’s and Gray’s shoulders. Two players from the bench have had significant impact recently. Junior guard Wes VanBeck

has had his moments of brilliance throughout the season. VanBeck has started a few times so far and has proven his ability beyond the arc. With SMU focusing on Dotson and Gray, if VanBeck can make his presence known from 3-point territory, he’ll open the court up for the other playmakers. Freshman guard Armoni Brooks made his first career start this season against Tulane where he

put up 11 points with two 3-pointers. Brooks may not be as tested as upperclassman VanBeck, but as a freshman, he has had his moments. The Cougars are on a five game winning streak, led by two record-setting performances by Dotson. Against UCF, he put up a career high 31 points, and in the next game against Tulane, he put up 32 points. Gray is also performing at his

best, putting up 28 points in the most recent game against Tulsa. From a statistics standpoint, this game features the two best offenses in the American Athletic Conference. SMU scores 72.8 points per game and Houston scores 70.7. Defensively is where the biggest discrepancy is. SMU ranks No. 1 and Houston ranks No. 4. If the Cougar frontcourt struggles to defend the paint, the score may quickly get out of hand. In the end, the match will be decided from whoever is consistent from 3-point territory. Last time they met, both teams combined for 27 total 3-pointers for 81 points, more than half of 149 total points scored. SMU is coming of a huge victory over No. 11 Cincinnati, and is looking to maintain its position atop the American. The Cougars are in third with one game ahead of fourth place Memphis. Tipoff is scheduled for Saturday at 6:00pm in Hofheinz Pavilion. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN2.

Volume 82 Issue 20  

As candidates start campaigning for next year, the 53rd SGA Administration's track record shows victories and failures in advocating for stu...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you