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Issue 19, Volume 83

uh.edu/csm

A ‘cultural shift’: 50 years at the UC

The University Center breathed new life into a campus focused on academics. Fifty years later, the fun continues, and that’s something to celebrate. | PG. 12

SPORTS

Cougars ‘very confident’ defending title

Last year, UH’s swimming & diving team made history by earning the program’s first conference title. Now, the team must remain fearless as they position themselves for the win. | PG. 8

NEWS

ERP ‘more than just parking’

Energy Research Park is known to many students as an off-campus lot, but it serves a greater purpose as a research hub involving superconductors, petroleum engineering, and diesel. | PG. 4


2 | Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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Dana C. Jones & Drew Jones, EDITORS

RESEARCH

Hobby School study gathers new data on impact of Harvey DREW JONES

The Cougar

thedailycougar.com

ABOUT THE COUGAR The Cougar is published every Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters and online everyday at thedailycougar.com. The Cougar is supported in part by Student Service Fees. The first copy is free. Additional copies cost 25 cents.

CAMPUS EDITOR @DREWKENDALJONES

In the months following Hurricane Harvey, researchers at the Hobby School of Public Affairs embarked on a survey to better understand the experience of residents in four Texas counties throughout the storm, and the first round of results have arrived — Houstonians want better flood protections, but don't necessarily want to bear the cost. The research shows that Houstonians were by and large prepared for everything except the severity of the rains and floods that Harvey brought. Renée Cross, director of the Hobby School, said that the team feels validated. "We are confident about the data. Not only is it consistent with another study done within a month of our survey, but the respondents seemed enthusiastic about participating in the study," Cross said in an email. "The sense of collective responsibility regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey appears to be strong." The survey results, released Monday, help paint a picture of the economic and property losses of those whose homes or business were in the path of Harvey. Nearly 60 percent of participants reported a loss in wages while 40 percent said their homes had received storm damage. Even with the severity of Harvey becoming more apparent, around 77 percent of participants stayed put, and it wasn't until it became too dangerous to stay in their homes, or those whose homes flooded before began to see familiar signs, that 53 percent of those who evacuated did so after the hurricane had already made landfall. Cross said the study shows clear, widespread support for policies that will address Houston's flooding challenges, even if some disagree on public methods to fund them. She sees an opportunity to educate people more completely on regulation and infrastructure issues and improve Houston's resiliency across communities and voting lines. Responses were filtered by categories like gender, age, educational attainment and

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COPYRIGHT No part of the newspaper in print or online may be reproduced without the consent of the director of the Center for Student Media.

ISSUE STAFF CLOSING EDITORS

Emily Burleson Jasmine Davis COPY EDITING

Morgan Horst COVER

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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 CoogRadio.

One takeaway from the Harvey study is that millennials are far more likely to use the Internet and social media for their storm preparation information and needs. | Drew Jones/The Cougar

even political alignment. One question, asking how long respondents have lived in the city, showed that more than 1/3 of the people questioned have lived in the Houston metropolitan area for more than 40 years. Biomedical engineering freshman Amber Duarte was not a respondent, but previously provided a comment to Voice of America News about her experience after the storm. When reached for comment, Duarte said Harvey took a significant toll on her and her family. “We were flooded out of a house we were renting, so we lost were furniture and personal belongings,” Duarte said. “FEMA estimated the damages were somewhere between $10,000$15,000.” Jim Granato, executive director of the Hobby School, said in a news release that public support for flood mitigation proposals is as high as the researchers anticipated. “Almost 85 percent of people in Harris County support both the construction of

a new reservoir to protect West Houston and greater restrictions on construction in flood plains,” Granato said. “We also found significant support for not allowing homes that have flooded multiple times to be rebuilt.” Almost 50 percent of the survey participants were white, followed by Latino then Black or African American respondents at 21.5 percent and just over 20 percent, respectively. Given the individualistic nature of the state of Texas, one response that was likely to receive a plurality of negative responses was the issue of tax increases. About 46 respondents said they would not be willing to spend more in property taxes at all to help fund new severe weather policies in the wake of Harvey. Almost half of those surveyed said that they would not support even a quarter percentage raise in the state sales tax. Cross said that given the methodology the researchers used with the longitudinal panel

survey, they have the advantage of flexibility in their follow up questioning in the next phases. While the researchers expect a certain degree of attrition, as is expected with a large panel of 2,000 people, Cross said that the willingness respondents showed in answering means that they will keep a high number of continuing participants over the next five years. Overall, Cross said that the main goal throughout the longevity of the study is consistency, and the researchers will use the data they've collected to form a more complete picture of Texan's needs going forward. "The next phase will allow for a deeper analysis of what people really prefer in terms of public policy and how much they may be willing to spend to enact various policies," Cross said. "We will also begin to track people’s behavior in terms of governmental interventions, whether it is FEMA’s response or the implementation of a local policy." features@thedailycougar.com

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

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MICHAEL SLATEN

CAMPUS

Renovations on campus to continue through 2019

10-11208_Cougar News February_New Brand_PRINT.pdf

ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @MICHAELSLATEN

UH was designated a Tier One Public Research University in 2011. Since then, the University has continued to renovate and conducting reviews for future renovations on campus buildings.

1

There are no details for when further Agnes Arnold renovations 8:27 AM are set to begin.

2/12/18

Dana C. Jones & Drew Jones, EDITORS

Many core buildings, some of UH's oldest and most common sites for classrooms, are expected to go under renovation over the next few years. Some buildings do not have timelines or budgets yet for their renovation. Agnes Arnold and Science and Research 1 do not have timelines or budgets yet,

The Multidisciplinary Research Building's last touches has a budget of $7.8 million and will finish in March 2019.

The Science Building has a budget of $15 million and will break ground in November 2018. It is set to finish in August 2019.

The Quadrangle replacements will be finshed by Fall 2019.

news@thedailycougar.com 

NEWS

according to a Facilities Services presentation. Both buildings are in the evaluation stage for renovation. Though the Multidisciplinary and Research Engineering building is new, Facilities plan to build out the fourth floor, which is currently inaccessible.

The Fertitta Center, UH's new basketball stadium, has a budget of $60 million and is scheduled to finish Dec. 1, 2018.

There are no details on planned rennovations on the Sceince and Research 1 building. Photos by Thomas Dwyer, Marissa Reilly and Kathryn Lenihan


4 | Wednesday, February 14, 2018

NEWS 713-743-5314

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Dana C. Jones & Drew Jones, EDITORS

CAMPUS

ERP pushes University's 'powerhouse' innovation motto DANA C. JONES

FEATURES EDITOR @DANACJONES_

The Energy Research Park, or ERP, is right outside the UH's main campus, but many students ride through it on the shuttle while on their way to class. But the ERP is more than just a parking lot. It serves a central hub for research innovation at UH. With eight out of the 16 buildings used for research, one of the most important parts of ERP is the wet labs. ERP, at 5000 Gulf Freeway, sits on just under 700,000 square feet of land and houses 16 buildings. What used to be the Schlumberger North American headquarters — a company that provides technology to the oil and gas industry — was purchased for over $27 million by the University of Houston System in 2009. Director of UHS Properties Jason Trippier works in the Office of Real Estate Services. Trippier works on what is labeled as the "Administrative Garden North." Buildings one through three are administrative buildings. “We have finance, accounting, IT, the Office of Real Estate and Services, the property management company (Trans Western), and

enrollment services,” Trippier said. On the other side of the garden, there is the Urban Forest Bayou South. The back of ERP stretches down to the bayou. Coming soon to ERP: A bike and pedestrian path that winds through the forest and connects the parking lots to the rest of UH and hundreds of miles of Houston bike paths. “[Students] can either walk or ride a bike on the trail,” Trippier said. “It should be no more than a five or 10 minute trek to get back and forth.” Wedged between the Administrative Garden and Urban Forest is the Industrial Partnership section, which allows other companies to conduct work here and set up a headquarters or a production space. The big company in the Industrial Partnership section is Mayer Electric, which sells electrical supplies. Loans, not tuition or state money, funded the University's purchase of ERP from Schlumberger North America. While the university pays back it's loans, companies pay rent on the buildings in ERP which makes it self-sustaining. The part that gives ERP its namesake is the middle section:

the Innovation Academic Research section. Building four houses the Innovation Center, a resource for staff and alumni to start their start-up businesses. Buildings nine and 14 are home to petroleum engineering and a diesel labs, respectively. Along with a research lab, the petroleum engineering building has teaching labs and classrooms for engineering students. One of the major players in the Innovation Academic Research section is building 15, which houses Dr. Venkat Selvamanickam’s research group studying high-temperature superconductivity, and the Advanced Superconductor Manufacturing Institute. Superconductors can transmit current with zero loss across any distance while creating no heat. This means that machines can operate more effectively and create new technology like in trains and MRIs. As a home to dozens of offices and research facilities, the ERP helps UH toward its goal as a hub for innovation and research — meaning, it's more than just faraway parking. features@thedailycougar.com

Chemical and petroleum engineering doctoral candidates Pushpesh Sharma and Jae Lee work in the ERP Wet Labs. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

The Energy Research Park is divided into four divisions, including the Innovation Academic Research sector, which houses the Industrial Partnership, where other companies can work. | Courtesy of Jason Trippier


CELEBRATING

A RISING STAR IN

CHEMICAL RESEARCH The Welch Foundation Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research furthers chemical discovery in Texas each year by recognizing emerging leaders. The Welch Foundation proudly bestows the 2018 award upon Dr. Jeffrey D. Rimer. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston, Dr. Rimer’s lab has made two significant materials science research discoveries in the past decade. The discovery of a molecule that inhibits calcium oxalate crystallization, the principal component of kidney stones, may lead to a promising therapeutic that has the potential to replace drugs currently used to treat this widespread disease. The second notable discovery is inspiring new methods to optimize the synthesis of zeolites, which are important as catalysts in petrochemical industries.

Dr. Rimer will receive a personal award of $100,000.

h o u s to n , t e x a s

www.welch1.org


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Peter Scamardo, EDITOR

Sophomore Peyton Kondis was one of 10 all-conference performers last year. She and her teammates are in a position to win back to back titles, this time on the road at SMU. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

THE TEAM CAPTAINS

SWIMMING & DIVING

Victory, revenge on mind at AAC Championship PETER SCAMARDO

SPORTS EDITOR @PLSCAMARDO2

Some teams do a victory lap to celebrate a win. Others go as far as jumping into the bleachers. The swimming & diving team jumps into a pool whenever they win a championship. Two years ago, the swimming & diving team was forced to watch the SMU Mustangs jump into UH's Campus Recreation and Wellness Center

Senior Micaela Bouter was named Diver of the Week three times this season. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Natatorium pool when they won the American Athletic Conference title. Now the Cougars, the defending champions, have a chance to repay the favor as they travel to Southern Methodist University in Dallas for the conference championship this weekend. “That was a little hard for our kids to watch,” said head coach Ryan Wochomurka. “It’s a brand new facility there (at SMU), so it’s a little bit of an unknown for everybody in the conference. But that’s the only main difference. It’s still 25 yards, the water’s still wet, but I think (being on the road) actually heightens the emotions a little bit." The team made history last year by winning its first conference title in program history. It was something that had alluded the program — a producer of numerous NCAA champions and Olympians — in its near 40-year history. Last year, the Cougars had 18 podium finishes at the AAC Championship, which they hosted, and 10 athletes received all-conference honors. Nine of those athletes returned to the squad and have continued the winning culture under

Wochomurka. The presence of individuals like redshirt senior Micaela Bouter, last year’s Diver of the Meet, has been crucial to the 13 freshmen on the squad. The mixture of upperclassmen leadership and freshmen talent has put the swimmers and divers in a position to win every meet they have competed in this season. “We’re very confident going in, we just don’t want to be too confident,” Bouter said. “We should win, but we’ve got to bring the same spirit, same enthusiasm and the same motivation as last year. (We’ve) got to break some more records.” Even with the consequences of Hurricane Harvey, the team started the year strong and never seemed to stop. They went undefeated in the fall, including a win against SMU in Houston on Oct. 20. They later faced off against SEC schools such as LSU and Arkansas and had double-digit podium finishes multiple times. Their success on the year was highlighted by numerous weekly honors from the AAC. Bouter was named Diver of the Week on three separate occasions, and both senior Ksenia Yuskova and sophomore

Zarena Brown were named "Swimmer of the Week" at different points. Brown was also named the National Swimmer of the Week by CollegeSwimming.com after winning three events against SMU in October. “We’ve definitely had a lot of girls get a lot of best times, including myself,” Brown said. “We’ve already had two girls make the NCAA’s, we’re looking at a third one already. We’ve just overall gotten better as a team. We understand what we’re up against, and we’re not afraid of it.” That has been Wochomurka’s message to the team all year: Be fearless. Their past performances have shown they have the talent to win another title, and despite not having their own locker room, they have every chance to pull out a win on the road. “We’d like to be in a position where on the last day, we’ve got a shot to win,” Wochomurka said. “Winning the conference championship last year was a new height for our program, and our goal is to be in contention for a championship every year.” sports@thedailycougar.com

Micaela Bouter

2016-17 Most Oustanding Diver and World Championship Qualifier

Peyton Kondis

2017 100-yd breaststroke conference champion, school record holder 100yd breaststroke.

Eleanna Koutsouveli

2017 100 and 200 yard backstroke champion and school record holder.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | 9

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SPORTS

sports@thedailycougar.com

Peter Scamardo, EDITOR

SOFTBALL

Q&A: Coach handles hefty expectations in second year CHRISTOPHER MCGEHEE

STAFF WRITER

@UHCOOGCHRIS

The Cougars headed to College Station this weekend as one of four teams competing in the season-opening Aggie Classic. The team went 3-1, with the final game on Sunday canceled due to inclement weather. This season marks year two under head coach Kristin Vesely. In her first year, the softball team finished with a 30-25 record and reached the final of the American Athletic Conference Championship before losing to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, the team's highest finish in the AAC. The softball team was picked to finish second in the conference yet again. The Cougar sat down with coach Vesely to get her thoughts

on the state of the team, including its pre-game rituals and an early candidate for "Most Improved Player." The Cougar: After having a full off-season under your belt, is there anything that you learned that you can take into your second season? Kristin Vesely: You have to know your personnel, and you need to have defensive chemistry. TC: After all of the work you’ve put in this off-season, do you see an early candidate for "Most Improved Player" this year? Vesely: Mariah Garcia. She missed the fall portion of last year, and then became a regular starter around March once she got used to the speed of the game.

The Cougars received two first place votes in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Polls, predicted to finish in second place behind Tulsa for the second straight year under head coach Vesely. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

She’s put in a lot of work this off-season and she’ll be a positive contributor to the team this year.

Vesely: Fundamentals. It’s always important to have the basics perfected going into the season.

TC: What did the team focus on training the most in preparation for the new season?

TC: You have three returning starting pitchers. Can you talk about what they mean to the

team? Vesely: We have three very talented pitchers. We prefer to have

SOFTBALL COACH

Continues on page 10

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10 | Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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Peter Scamardo, EDITOR

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Cougars hope to avenge devastating loss to No. 5 Cincinnati ANDRES CHIO

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @ CHIOANDRES

No matter who wins, an undefeated streak will be broken Thursday night when the Cougars take on the No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats are riding a 16-game winning streak while Houston has won 12 in a row at its temporary home of H&PE Arena. A win for the Cougars would assure Houston a NCAA tournament spot, while a win for Cincinnati would help the Bearcats earn a number one seed in the tournament.

The last cat fight Two weeks ago, Houston faced a rough loss against Cincinnati. The Cougars' poor defense and some reckless fouling led to team to drop an 18-point lead. Houston put Cincinnati in the bonus just 10 minutes into the half and the double bonus for the last two minutes. The Cougars had a total of 24 fouls in the game, while Cincinnati only fouled Houston 15 times. Junior forward Breaon Brady fouled out of the game just one minute into the second half, and the team had to rely more on freshman and senior forwards Fabian White Jr. and Nura Zanna, who got into foul trouble of their own. Houston was able to gain the lead because Cincinnati had a hard time shooting the ball,

but once players got into foul trouble they could not play as aggressively. This allowed Cincinnati's pair of senior forwards Kyle Washington and Gary Clark to start putting up more points as they led the Bearcats' comeback. On the offensive side, the Cougars played well for the most part. Junior guard Corey Davis Jr. and redshirt senior forward Devin Davis led the team in scoring, while redshirt senior guard Rob Gray was quiet for most of the night, only scoring nine points. The young duo of White Jr. and sophomore guard Armoni Brooks also scored 22 points off of the bench against Cincinnati and exposed a slight weakness in the Bearcats' mid-range defense. Both teams have been working on their issues over their last three games.

Working out the kinks The Cougars have been doing a better job of keeping out of foul trouble, one of the team's most vital goals. Over the last three games, Houston has averaged 18 fouls per game, a bit lower than its season average of 21 per game, and committed just 14 fouls against SMU on Thursday, the team's lowest total this season. UH is 12-0 this season when it commits 20 or less fouls in a game, but it is 7-5 when

Winners of three straight and on the verge of their 20th win of the season, the men's basketball team hosts the No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats as they look to avenge a loss where they blew an 18 point lead | Richard Fletcher Jr./The Cougar

committing more than 20. Gray bounced back from the loss, too, scoring 20 points against UCF and 15 against SMU, and though he only scored eight against Tulane, the Cougars did not need big numbers from him to win. Cincinnati is also coming off of its own dominant wins. The Bearcats beat UCF 77-40 last Tuesday and SMU 76-51 on Sunday.

The Bearcats allowed SMU to score just 21 points in the first half and UCF a measly 13 in the opening half. In both games, the Bearcats took it easier in the second half and allowed their starters to rest up, but the second string barely faltered. With Cincinnati having some of the best depth in the country, Houston bench players like Brooks, White Jr., and senior

SOFTBALL COACH

season.

Continued from page 9 a four pitcher rotation, but we are comfortable going into this season with three because they are all physically capable of carrying the team on any given day. TC: You're dealing with a shorter rotation this season. Do you foresee that being an issue later as the wear-and-tear starts to set in?

Vesely led the Cougar softball team to a 30-25 record in 2017, falling short of the conference title against Tulsa Golden Hurricane. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Vesely: What we are going to do to combat that is focus more on our offense. We plan on using our bats to shorten these games for the starters so that we can get them out early and get our relievers in there. By doing so, we will be able to keep them fresh throughout the course of the

TC: In preparation for games, do you have any sort of pre-game ritual, one that maybe carried over from your playing days? Vesely: I’m superstitious about what we wear. If there is anything that doesn’t feel right, from coaches’ wardrobes to players’ jersey color combinations, we will swap them out until it feels right. I also have to have a Diet Mountain Dew, which I refer to as my “Green Juice.” TC: Looking at the team’s schedule for this season, is there any team that stands out as being your hardest game, whether because of a bad matchup, talent disparity, or something else? Vesely: There’s no one team that

guard Wes VanBeck need to produce points and give the starters a breather. If Gray stays on his A-game, the Cougars remain out of foul trouble, and the bench produces, then Houston will be able to take down the powerhouse Bearcats. That's a lot of factors, but elite teams do not go down easy. sports@thedailycougar.com

stands out because the majority of our opponents this season have a good chance of making the NCAA tournament at the end of the season. But I know that if we do what we are supposed to do as a unit, we can beat any given team on any given day because of our talent. TC: What did you see from your team in the lead up to opening weekend? Vesely: I watched every swing in the cages, even though I don’t throw anymore, and I could see who was anxious, who was relaxed, and so on. However, I know that for some of these girls, it does not matter how they practice, when those lights go on, they perform. sports@thedailycougar.com


Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | 11

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OPINION

opinion@thedailycougar.com

Anusheh Siddique, EDITOR

CIVIL RIGHTS

Mugshots in news media perpetuate criminalization of black youth

B

lack Lives Matter activist Muhiyidin Moye was shot and killed in New Orleans on Feb. 6.He frequently worked with humanitarian groups and civic protests, articles about his death could have depicted any of those actions. Instead, Moye's murder was plastered across social BETHEL BIRU ASSISTANT media with OPINION EDITOR a mugshot, continuing the long trend of criminalizing people of color. From protesting the death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man fatally shot by police in North Charleston, to demonstrating and speaking to news outlets about racial inequality after the murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston and protesting Trump’s Muslim ban in the United States, Moye was a key activist for the BLM movement. He was committed to ending bigotry at any cost. One time, he leapt over police tape to snatch a Confederate flag from a protester in downtown Charleston. After the Michael Brown shooting on Aug. 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, people on Twitter expressed their vehement disbelief of the usage of his mugshot to announce his death. By posting side-by-side pictures, Twitter users began using the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown to show how the media’s portrayal of victims is crucial. The slogan “if it bleeds, it leads” is well-known in journalism, but the urgent nature of reporting on murder it is no justification for this dehumanization. Broadcasting dramatic images and victims' stories and overall suffering is what draws people's attention. However, in this racial climate and with the overabundance of black deaths at the hands of police, the images we see and hashtags accompanied by another innocent death are not only tiring but far more influential than we realize. “Black prejudice displayed in the media are a manifestation of mass incarceration and other tactics used for racial suppression,” said Richard Igbinoba, the president of the UH chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. This misappropriation of photos implies a dangerous reality: one in which it is justified

Sonny Singh/The Cougar

to kill an unarmed individual purely because their skin color is threatening to you; one in which victims of murder and assault are presented as the criminals before the story is even told. News reports tend to use negative and harsher headlines when a story is about a person of color, in comparison to the more sympathetic ones they give to the white population. “This type of protest feeds into the narrative already given to the black community” said Helina Zinabu, an officer in Students of East Africa, a club at UH. “This ruins the image of black people as a whole and makes us out to be robbers, killers, thugs and other negative stereotypes when we’re just regular American citizens as well.” When these victims are painted in a negative light, it robs them from any sympathy while tainting their images. When the news media uses mugshots or inappropriate pictures of the victim, those outlets are manipulating the

public into believing these people were criminals Yet news media repeatedly goes out of their ways to boost a white suspect’s character, carrying quotes from relatives or acquaintances that often paint them in a humane or positive light. White suspects are often privileged enough to be exhibited as “lone wolves” as news outlets exhibit a sense of disbelief at the suspects' actions and behavior,

which removes any sense of responsibility and excuses their heinous behavior. There’s no doubt that racial prejudice plays a role in our society, especially when it comes to leaving blacks and other minorities disadvantaged in employment, representation, education, the criminal justice system and more. This mentality traps us in a vicious cycle of criminalizing people of color before they get a chance to defy this stereotype. That criminalization extends to children. According to the Anti-Defamation League, more than 3 million students are suspended from school — often for vague and subjective infractions such as “willful defiance” and “disrespect” — amounting to countless hours of lost time. As a result, black students are denied an opportunity to learn and are punished for the same adolescent behaviors that their other peers display but are often not disciplined for. Data from

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2010 shows that while black youth comprised 17 percent of all youth, they represented 31 percent of all arrests. These disparities persist despite the fall of juvenile “crime” rates. Among these youth arrests, young blacks are more likely to be referred to a juvenile court than their white peers.They are also more likely to be sent to solitary confinement and transferred to adult facilities, despite being children. This is the type of treatment that steals the dignity of young blacks, forcing them to lifelong pathways of criminalization, diminished opportunity and crippling esteem. By using the same effort currently used to incarcerate colored children, the U.S. government can instead educate and provide for them, creating opportunities for better lives and perhaps creating a future Moye dreamed of.

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12 | Wednesday, February 14, 2018

OPINION 713-743-5304

thedailycougar.com/opinion

opinion@thedailycougar.com

Anusheh Siddique, EDITOR

STAFF EDITORIAL

S

It's time to do away with Valentines Day

ome holidays are celebrations. Some are for spending time with friends and family. Some are to honor those who have served, died, or both. There’s only one where the subject being recognized is love – Valentine's Day. Valentine’s Day stands alone as a de facto national holiday. Candy, cards, and flowers abound at many establishments aiming to boost business. Their sole purpose is to make you buy things that you will gift as valentines to your significant other. The Roman concept of Valentine’s Day is a Christian feast meant to honor the martyred Saint Valentine. The American concept of Valentine’s is a day in which a winged, diaper-wearing baby Cupid covertly shoots his arrow into a man’s backside, forcing him into a trance where his sole motivation becomes to somehow convince an unsuspecting

woman whom he views as an object of desire to agree to be his lover. Aside from being ridiculous, the idea that desire is a one-way

women can Bumble their way to a match, and men who don’t respect boundaries are increasingly being ostracized from society.

Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

street where men slowly wear down women’s free will until they’re forced to accept is absurd in today’s world. LGBT folks can marry whomever they choose,

The expectations of a man having to ask a woman out then making a spectacle of bravado or wealth is as patriarchal as it gets. If you value the people in your

life you can tell them that at any time. You can send them a hearteyed emoji and your face in a pet-themed filter. In the era of #MeToo and increased representation of women in entertainment, politics and business, society is moving into a space of equality and further away from long-outdated gender roles. We shouldn’t need a holiday to give us the motivation to show our affection for those around us. The true spirit of Valentine’s Day needs to be reshaped to encompass the totality of the amount of time we spend with our friends and partners. Valentine’s Day feels like an archaic souvenir of another time. So this year skip the midweek dinner, pick out your favorite Netflix show and ask your date to bring the popcorn, and let’s all ditch the overly packaged holiday together.

CAMPUS

Fifty years later, Student Centers still the glue that hold UH together

T

his Valentine's Day, the making many additions to the existing North University of Houston will and South wings of the building. The Initiative commemorate the 50th for the New UC, which was planned to be a anniversary of the Student Cen"beacon of student life and student success," ters. This addition to the sprawling had two phases which concluded in August layout of the campus really added 2014. a personal and The motivation behind the construction cozy touch to of the University Centers displays a cultural our campus. shift for this campus, away from the primary The Student focus on academics. It follows a long line of Centers North traditions, from Frontier Fiesta to wearing red The exterior view from the University Center of the Satellite and and South, on Fridays, that emphasize unity as a student always bustling the rest of campus, in 1967. | Courtesy of UH Special Collections body. with noise After all, nothing brings students together ANUSHEH and activity, are home to a quite like Chick-fil-A and comfy sofas. SIDDIQUE range of resources such as Buildings don't have the immense influence OPINION EDITOR Opinion Editor Anusheh Siddique is a finance restaurants, offices, arcades that is often ascribed to them. Memories that freshman and can be reached at and hangout spots. This take place within them have more to do with opinion@thedailycougar.com. emphasis on providing a spot for student atmosphere and company than geological affairs and life shows how UH brings students location. The hope together by making the campus feel like more behind the comthan just a spot for commuters. missioning of the As it was founded in 1927, UH seemed original University minuscule in comparison to our current Center was to prescity-like campus. The name UH was adopted ent an opportunity to in 1934, and the first building on this campus students for making was completed by 1939. Our campus has a everlasting memorich history, from our mascot to the continual ries. addition of buildings, and as a result, UH grew, Memories ranging thrived and prospered with its students. from friendships Professors and students alike have seen to relationships this progression toward a new and better and all the way to University. Robert Zaretsky, a French history boredom-inducing professor in the Honors College, has watched studying are made the University transform for almost 30 years. here. “Buildings don't change lives," he said. "They UH remodeled the instead reflect the priorities and values of University Centers in The interior view of the UC South in 1976. | Courtesy of UH Special Collections those who commission them.” 2012, reworking and 

EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR IN CHIEF

Emily Burleson MANAGING EDITOR

Jasmine Davis

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Sonny Singh WEB EDITOR

Marialuisa Rincon CAMPUS EDITOR

Drew Jones

FEATURES EDITOR

Dana C. Jones

CHIEF COPY EDITOR

Morgan Horst

SPORTS EDITOR

Peter Scamardo COOGLIFE EDITOR

Julie Araica

PHOTO EDITOR

Thomas Dwyer OPINION EDITOR

Anusheh Siddique ASSISTANT EDITORS

Michael Slaten, Andres Chio, Bethel Biru, Richard Fletcher Jr., Erin Davis, Maya Dandashi, Brianna Myers

STAFF EDITORIAL The Staff Editorial reflects the opinions of The Cougar Editorial Board. All other opinions, commentaries and cartoons reflect only the opinion of the writer. Opinions expressed in The Cougar do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston or its 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 writer’s full name, phone number or email address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Anonymous letters will not be published. Deliver letters to N221, Student Center North or email them to editor@thedailycougar.com. 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 email address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Commentary should be limited to 600 words. Guest commentaries should not be written as replies, but rather should present independent points of view. Deliver submissions to N221, Student Center North or email them to editor@thedailycougar.com. All submissions are subject to editing.

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Volume 83 Issue 19  
Volume 83 Issue 19  
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