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A magazine for new students at the University of Houston

SUMMER 13 | VOL. 24


Find the path to your student success story


Cougars show the world what they learned here TRANSITIONS 1

Department of Campus Recreation





Monday 6:00 AM-11:30 PM


Swim Lessons, SCUBA, Master Swim & First Aid/CPR

Tuesday 6:00 AM-11:30 PM Wednesday 6:00 AM-11:30 PM


Thursday 6:00 AM-11:30 PM

Trips, Equipment Rentals, Gear Shop, Workshops & Resource Guide

Saturday 10:00 AM-8:00 PM

Friday 6:00 AM-8:00 PM


Sunday Noon-11:30 PM

Group Exercise, Personal Training & Fitness Assessments

FACULTY & STAFF Annual Golf Tournament, Memberships, Meeting Spaces & Rentals



Competition and Leadership


Zone & Fitness

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CONTENTS 10 | Construction 14 | Student Organizations 16 | Coog on the Street 18 | Stay Supplied 21 | Stadium Renovations


Social Balance

24 | UH Success Stories

12 Library

30 | Dining Alternatives 34 | Campus Housing 37 | Alma Matters 38 | Mark Your Calendar 42 | Sex & Relationships 46 | Four-Year Plan 48 | Textbook Tips

23 Campus Traditions

28 4


Bucket list

44 Parking


From the Editor


n case anyone hasn’t already told you, let me say it: “Welcome to the University of Houston!”

This University has a deep history and heart of gold that’s been beating since 1927. Throughout the years, UH has evolved from the city’s first university for the working class into a Carnegie Designated Tier One Research University, and it’s not stopping there. Open your eyes. All the construction you’re witnessing is the University’s way of saying it will always care about the future of this school, and so should you. When I first attended orientation as a transfer student, I was overwhelmed. I had jitters and didn’t know where to find the buildings, let alone where my adviser was located. It’s OK. You’re not going to get everything down the first day, but it was in my first week of school in Fall 2011 where I realized what it meant to be a student. There were giant water stations across campus to hydrate you from the blazing Texas heat, booths filled with people offering directions and free ice cream. I was amazed. And as the week progressed and I attended the semi-annual Cat’s Back event, I knew I had found my home. The people at the event were unbelievably genuine; some of them are still my friends. I no longer felt like I was a number amongst the other 40,000 students, but I had found my family, my Houston Cougars. Embrace this new phase of your life. These years will fly by, and when you look back on your college career, you’ll want to remember what an amazing experience you had. Push yourself to graduate in four years, join a campus organization and more importantly, have fun. Your undergraduate years are sacred. Cherish every moment and take advantage of every opportunity the University has to offer.

Go Coogs! Channler K. Hill Editor in Chief, Transitions magazine


Fellow Cougars, Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year! College will be some of the best years of your life and I am glad you chose the Tier One University of Houston as your home. I hope you graduate with many fond memories of your time here! In addition to succeeding in your classes, I strongly encourage you to get involved on campus. Whether it be in a fraternity or sorority, intramural sports, or one of our 500+ student organizations, involvement in campus life will be key to your success not only here at UH but in the workforce as well. Make the most of your experience by attending sporting events, Homecoming, Frontier Fiesta, plays, and concerts. Conduct research and give back to the community; but most importantly, network! UH is the second most ethnically diverse university in the nation and building a strong personal and professional network is crucial to your long term success. I am confident that you will enjoy your time at UH and will graduate ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of our global and competitive world. Please remember that the Student Government Association (SGA) is here to serve YOU! We represent your voice and advocate on your behalf to the administration and elected officials at the local, state, and national level. If you ever need anything please do not hesitate to contact us. Let’s make this a year to remember and one for the history books! Go Coogs! With Cougar Pride,

Cedric K. Bandoh Student Body President University of Houston

Cedric K. Bandoh is serving a second term as Student Body President of the University of Houston. When elected in 2012 he was the youngest person to be elected President of the UH Student Body. Previously he served as Chief of Staff for SGA and Vice President for Mr. UH. Cedric has served on many university committees, search committees, and has played an integral role in university-wide initiatives such as the new University Center & new athletic facilities. He is a Supply Chain Management major and a proud member of the Class of 2014!

Rani Ramchandani is the Student Body Vice President of the University of Houston. She previously served as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Administration & Finance and two terms as an SGA senator representing the Bauer College of Business. Rani was also the co-founder of the Mr. UH competition and the Vice President of Marketing for APICS now renamed the Institute for Supply Management. She is a Supply Chain Management major and proud member of the Class of 2014! Rani is the first female of Indian and Filipino descent to be elected as the Vice President of the student body.

Student Government Association | Visit us: 264 University Center Contact us: 832-842-6225 or



What should I major in? Find your niche in CLASS.

MAJORS ART* Art Art History Studio Art - Graphic Communications - Painting - Photography/Digital Media - Sculpture COMMUNICATION Advertising Corporate Communication Health Communication Interpersonal Communication Integrated Communication Journalism - Broadcast - Print Media Media Production Media Studies Public Relations

MINORS AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES AIR FORCE LEADERSHIP ART* Studio Art Art History COMMUNICATION Corporate Communication Film Studies Health Communication Interpersonal Communication Journalism* Media Production Media Studies Public Relations COMMUNICATION SCIENCES & DISORDERS

COMMUNICATION SCIENCES & DISORDERS* Communication Sciences & Disorders American Sign Language Interpreting COMPARATIVE CULTURAL STUDIES Anthropology Liberal Studies ECONOMICS ENGLISH Creative Writing Literature HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE Kinesiology - Exercise Science - Sports Administration - Fitness and Sports Human Nutrition and Foods






MODERN & CLASSICAL LANGUAGES Chinese French* Italian Studies* World Cultures and Literatures MUSIC Theory Composition Marketing Religion Teacher Certification Applied Music -Brass -Keyboard -Percussion -Strings -Woodwinds -Voice

SOCIOLOGY THEATRE & DANCE Dance* Theatre - Playwriting and Dramaturgy - Acting - Design and Technology - Stage Management - Theater Education

* Teacher Certification Available. Please Consult the Department Advisor for More Information.

COMPARATIVE CULTURAL STUDIES Anthropology India Studies Religious Studies Global and International Studies ECONOMICS

HONORS COLLEGE Creative Work Medicine and Society Phronesis, Politics, and Ethics

MUSIC Music Literature/History Music Theory




ENGLISH* HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE Kinesiology Human Nutrition and Foods HISPANIC STUDIES Spanish Spanish for Business Professionals HISTORY* Latin American Studies American Cultures History


MODERN & CLASSICAL LANGUAGES Arab Studies Chinese Studies Classical Studies French* French for Business Professionals German* Greek Italian Studies Latin* World Cultures and Literatures Jewish Studies


NAVAL SCIENCE (NAVY ROTC) POLITICAL SCIENCE Values, Law and Policy Quantitative Social Science National Security Studies PSYCHOLOGY SOCIOLOGY THEATRE & DANCE Dance* WOMEN’S, GENDER & SEXUALITY STUDIES Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Women’s Studies NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE






Finding the right mix of academics and activites


y now, you’ve all heard the news: College is going to be the best four years of your life. You’re going to make friends and meet your professors and try to figure out how to juggle your social life and academics, which isn’t an easy task.

It is important to a student’s college career to be able to balance multiple agendas, said Stephanie Schmidt, associate director for Leadership and Civic Engagement in the Center for Student Involvement. “If you get involved on campus, whether it’s with a student organization or a student newspaper or a leadership club or volunteering, you get to know other people. So you have a social life, which makes you more balanced and keeps you feeling good,” Schmidt said. “But it also teaches you skills while you’re having that fun. You know, you might learn a little more about time management or goal-setting or how to be a leader, and all of that will make your resume better and your personal life better.” As a student, it can be easy to devote more time to one as opposed to the other. When you attend the Cat’s Back event for the Fall 2013 semester, be sure to pick up a free planner or buy one from the campus bookstore to keep yourself organized throughout the year. Christopher Scott, associate and clinical director of Counseling and Psychological Services, encourages freshmen and transfer students to use their smartphone apps to their advantage by scheduling events like exams, projects and study sessions in digital calendars. “Use a timer. This is especially helpful for those who procrastinate or are easily distracted. Start by setting your timer at 15 minutes, and work for 15 minutes uninterrupted. And then, take a five minute break. Repeat this process until the task is done,” Scott said. “Each day, increase the length of time for work or study five additional minutes until you can work at least 45 min-



utes at a time without needing to take a break.” If you do well your first semester as a freshman or a transfer student, you will give yourself leverage in the remaining semesters for any classes you may struggle with. Schmidt notes it is important to recognize the benefits of balancing your time and energy and understanding where to draw the line in terms of commitments. “Coming to college you have a goal, which is to leave with a strong education that will lead you to a career that will make you happy and successful. If you go too far the other direction and focus on being in 30 organizations and going out every night, obviously you’re going to lose that primary purpose,” Schmidt said. “So again, the key is really all about balance, so that you have a great personal life, you have a great sense of being involved on campus life and you have a great academic life.”

PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE During your first year at UH, with a student population of nearly 40,000 students, the idea of meeting new people can appear to be more challenging than mastering a way to stay on top of your academics. You won’t be the only one to feel this way. On average, UH admits around 4,000 freshmen and 4,500 to 5,000 transfer students annually, according to orientation statistics. If you’re concerned on how to start up a conversation on the UH shuttle buses, in class or in the dining halls, CAPS has provided three tips to keep in mind: Remember, your goal is simply to meet a new person and have a pleasant conversation. If your goal is to make everyone you meet like you, you’ll be disappointed. Realize that a good conversation is a two-way street. Do not blame yourself if the conversation grows stale; just politely end the conversation and go about your day. Become involved on campus and actively pursue your interests. The easiest way to make new friends is to use a common interest to break the ice.

University Eye Institute

See the difference ...See the best

Contact Lenses

Optical Boutique

Complete Eye Care

The UEI provides a wide range of eye care services & products. Proper sun protection, along with early diagnosis & treatment of eye problems, is the best way to maintain good vision throughout your life.

To schedule a comprehensive eye examination call 713.743.2020; for contact lenses call 713.743.2015 or visit Open to the public, Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 4901 Calhoun (Calhoun & Wheeler) free patient parking TRANSITIONS 9





tudents have much to with the fall opening of several buildings, including Cougar Village II, Cougar Place and the Lot 1A parking garage. One project in particular, the Lynn B. Eusan Park stage, opened April 17. Prior to the new stage’s construction, there was a simpler concrete structure that was used in its place. “Keith Kowalka (assistant vice president for Student Affairs) and his team lobbied for the new stage for Eusan and got permission to make it. And for me, it was really important to do it because it is for the students,” said senior staff project manager Susan Vail. Power for the lighting and sound systems runs underneath the stage, which is also wheelchair accessible. Its design gives the campus a modern look and vibe, and the other construction projects will as well. Cougar Village II will sport a modern outside appearance and contain the same amenities as the original Cougar Village, but the bathrooms will be compartmentalized with the shower and toilet in separate rooms within the bathroom area.


garage. There will be an overpass Additionally, it will be keyless, connecting both garages, making it and room doors will be opened by easier for everyone to access,” said card access. “These new residential buildings Executive Director of Facilities and Planning Jonathan Thurston. are designed with student success According to Thurston, the in mind. They offer private spaces amount of energy needed to fuel and plenty of community spaces these buildings is greater than the for social interaction and academic amount needed in past semesters, study and work,” said Don Yackley, executive director of Student Hous- and by expanding the power plant, which is located across from the ing and Residential Life. University Classroom and Business “We are very excited at the Building, an aged infrastructure progress and completion of Cougar finally will be Place and Cougar upgraded. Village II. Very “It’s been soon, when the “ What we’re doing now expanded over light rail comes speaks to these types the years sevto campus, both of Tier One goals with eral times; there places will be the different building originally used close to the rail, transformations.” to be four coolmaking it a great ing towers. Now source to the city.” there are five, so Also designed that increases the cooling capacity with students in mind, the Lot to the campus overall and helps us 1A parking garage behind Moody be able to expand in certain areas Towers will open at the start of the in its tunnel systems,” he said. fall semester. The garage will help The new cooling tower also will students who have encountered support the Bayou Oaks apartments many parking woes during the to improve the facilities. past couple of years after continual “What we’re doing now speaks increases in enrollment. to these types of Tier One goals “The Welcome Center garage with the different building transwill be re-programmed to be used formations. And the quality that by visitors, faculty and staff only, they’ll be available in will be a whereas the new garage will be draw for students to see fantastic for students only, as well as the new facilities,” Thurston said. top level of the Welcome Center


What to look forward to when construction ends: a transformed campus

UNIVERSITY HEALTH CENTER UH STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE Deadline to add or drop insurance is the Official Reporting Day of each fall and spring semester. Contact 713.743.5151

DENTAL CLINIC Preventive dentistry, restorative, and limited major dental procedures. By appointment only. 713.22.SMILE (713-227-6453) PHARMACY Provides prescription and over the counter items at very low costs. For more information contact 713.743.5125

WALK-IN CLINIC Visits for general medical concerns, lab work, and specialist referrals. For more information, contact 713.743.5151

NURSING CARE Immunizations and blood pressure monitoring. Contact the nurse’s station at 713.743.5156 WOMEN’S CLINIC Performs well woman exams and evaluations for gynecological complaints and contraception as well as STD testing and treatment. By appointment only. Contact 713.743.5131

PSYCHIATRIC CLINIC Board certified psychiatrists that provide evaluations, treatment plans, and ongoing medication management. By appointment only. Contact 713.743.5149


ORTHOPEDIC CLINIC Diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal conditions including sports injuries and disease of the bone and muscle. By appointment only. Contact 713.743.5156

MEN’S Diagnoses, treats, and counsels on issues affecting men’s health. By appointment only. Contact 713.743.5156

ATTENDANT CARE SERVICES Care and lifestyle assistance program to meet the needs of physically challenged students. For more information, contact 713.748.8603

All visits and inquiries are confidential FALL AND SPRING MTThF 8am–5:30pm, W 8am–6:30pm, SUMMER MTThF 8am–5pm, W 8am–6pm


Students who desire to quit smoking can consult a physician at the UH Health Center. There is no insurance requirement. Call 713.743.5151 for more information.








he M.D. Anderson Memorial Library is a place that offers more than just books to students, faculty and the general public.

The library also provides a variety of tools to help students of all majors succeed, especially in the digital age, said head of Digital Services Michele Reilly. “The most useful thing for our students is that we have over 40,000 images, documents and recordings online,” Reilly said. “These materials can be used for presentations, papers and research. They are free to use and free to access without copyright issues.” Journalism sophomore McKinzie Burton said he goes to the library a few times each month and takes advantage of the electronics the library offers.


“I have checked out a laptop at the library before, and it does anything you need in terms of studying,” Burton said. Coordinator of Undergraduate Instruction at UH Libraries Kerry M. Creelman said students can find almost whatever they need for school projects at the library. “Aside from books, students can check out netbooks to use in the library,” Creelman said. “Students can check out digital cameras and digital video cameras from the Learning Commons.” Electronics can be borrowed with a valid UH ID card from hours to days at a time, depending on the item. The library also offers document and photograph scanners, which can function with a flash drive. “(Students) can also reserve and check out the keys to group study rooms, where students can practice presentations, work on projects or study


How to get the most out of the library


portunity to produce quality sound recordings,” Creelman said. together,” Creelman said. Reilly also is surprised by some of the services the library The library has eight floors and a basement, all with difoffers. Recently, she discovered interesting material in the ferent purposes. Some floors, like the second and third, offer library’s Special Collections section. business and silent zones so that students can study alone or “I recently discovered that our Special with groups. Many of the upper floors have Collections department has transcripts from sectioned study desks where students can “ I recently discovered recordings of early University of Houston isolate themselves to fully focus. that our Special Administration,” Reilly said. “There are a lot of “I do make use of the silent areas because it Collections department interesting research materials in the archives if is easier to study,” Burton said. has transcripts from you just go look for them.” Reilly said that the Digital Services section The library has a lot of resources for students, of the library, located in the basement, is one recordings of early whether it be access to books — including leiof the more unique areas. University of Houston sure reads — a place to study individually or in “We are a very non-traditional part of the Administration.” groups or a place to sleep or take a break. library,” she said. “The best place to find us is “M.D. Anderson is a great place to study or That’s where we keep stay between classes,” Burton said. our accessible information for you.” Creelman said her favorite part of her job is helping students. Creelman said UH Libraries surprises her every day; she just “I love the opportunity to engage with freshmen about found out about a recording studio located in the library. academic research and how the library can help them achieve “Our new, state-of-the-art recording studio, located in the scholastic success,” Creelman said. Learning Commons, offers students, staff and faculty the op-

When you don’t know where to go for assistance, come to the Dean of Students Office. That’s the suggestion of the staff members who provide assistance to all students with universityrelated concerns through the Dean of Students. Through the Student Advocacy and Support Services, Dean of Students staff members will provide assistance directly to students or make referrals to others on campus who can help.

The Dean of STuDenTS office STaff are available To aSSiST STuDenTS who have queSTionS or concernS.

Office Hours MonDay – friDay 8:00 aM – 5:00 PM

For more information

call 832-842-6183 or come by rm. 252 in the University center, hTTP://www.uh.eDu/DoS







Get involved with a club applicable to your major


here are more than 500 student organizations and clubs at UH, making it easy for someone to find their niche on campus. Getting involved with events can help students make new friends, develop valuable skills and discover the ins and outs of the University.

“I think students who are involved in something here outside of the classroom are more satisfied about their experience,” said Center for Student Involvement Assistant Director Rommel Abad. “Some students say they even get better grades after they’ve joined a student organization.” But researching each of these organizations in the hopes that students may find one they like can seem like an intimidating task. Fortunately, there are resources to aid students in this process, including showcases and CSI. “Students can get involved in different ways,” said French junior Erica Tat. “There are organization fairs at freshman orientations, and all the registered student organizations are in a directory … so you can find one based on your interests.” A Facebook post about an event held by the Council of Ethnic Organizations sparked

14 14


Tat’s interest to get involved, and she’s now the director of CEO and the secretary of the French Table. She said that joining an organization encourages students to utilize what this campus has to offer. “A university is here to serve you, so when you are involved, you can be the voice of the students,” Tat said. “You can also meet new people and form amazing friendships.” CSI’s office has several resources available for students who are looking to join a new organization. Staff members are on hand to discuss what’s available and can guide students in finding an organization that they may feel is best for them. “Now we have this great site, getinvolved, for students who want to get involved,” Abad said. “It’s available to any enrolled student, and it has a lot of opportunities for students to become active in student organizations.” As UH continues to grow, opportunities for expansion and more student organizations do as well. If students have ideas about forming new organizations or events, they can stop by CSI’s office and discuss them with staff members. “We require only three enrolled students to start a new registered organization,” Abad said. “If one student is interested in something, there’s no doubt that at least two other people are interested in it as well.” There also are different areas on campus

where students can find information about an organization or club and when they hold their meetings. “Some students advertise their organizations on campus bulletin boards, and throughout campus, there are areas called Cougar Postings that are available for information,” Tat said. UH’s student newspaper, The Daily Cougar, and student-run radio station, Coog Radio, provide students with detailed information about events, organization meetings and who to speak with if they have further questions. The Cougar is available throughout campus for pickup Monday through Thursday, and Coog Radio is broadcasted 24 hours a day at www. Tat said the resources available to UH students can assist them in acquiring new skills, getting relief from the stress of classes and discovering new things about themselves. She hopes students new to the University will take advantage of what UH has to offer. “I think being involved can help you personally develop your leadership skills and learn more about what you like,” Tat said. “It is a change of environment, so you’re not always inside a classroom or lecture hall. It makes you push yourself to try things and stimulate your brain to deal with different situations and improve on problem-solving skills.”




FACEBOOK? Psi Chi– Psi Chi and Psychology Club at the University of Houston SES– Student Economics Society BB– Best Buddies-University of Houston HURN– Houston Undergraduate Research Network (HURN) at UH AHAS– Art History Association of Students - UH Honors SGB– The Honors College Student Governing Board CPE– Cougar Peer Educators Hotel Management Society– Hms UH

American Red Cross UH– American Red Cross at the University of Houston SWE– Society of Women Engineers University of Houston Section Alumni PPA– Pre-Pharmacy Association at University of Houston (UHPPA) 5K Running Club– 5k Club at University of Houston

TWITTER? Student Program Board– @UHSPB Student Government Association– @UHSGA Student Video Network– @UHSVN Coog Radio– @COOGRADIO Frontier Fiesta– @FrontierFiesta

Metropolitan Volunteer Project– @UH_MVP Homecoming Board– @UH_Homecoming Coog Crew– @UHCoogCrew National Society of Collegiate Scholars– @UHNSCS

The Daily Cougar– @TheDailyCougar

American Institute of Architecture Students– @sinkroom378

ABSA– UH Asian Business Student Association

Council of Ethnic Organizations– @UHCEO

El Gato Media Network– @UHElGato

Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization– UH - Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization

The Association for Women in Communications– @UH_AWC

American Advertising Federation– @AAFUH

AIESEC Houston– AIESEC Houston

Find the official database of UH student organizations at

We are here... to listen, to help, to inform. Our services include: • Information and referrals • Dynamic programming • Friendly hangout – Men welcome • Special events

-Take Back the Night -Love your Body Day

Find out more about the WRC • Visit us at 279A University Center • Email us at • Call us at 832.842.6191 • Like us on Facebook at!/UHWRC • Visit us online at





Moira Garcia-Agreda Classification: Freshman Major: Petroleum Engineering

Sara Skinner Classification: Sophomore Major: Architecture

Katie Puig Classification: Sophomore Major: Petroleum Engineering

“The main thing I wish I knew as a freshman is all the organizations that are out there that you can join.”

“(I wish I had known) how hard it is to balance architecture with everything else while you’re adjusting to college your first year. Architecture is hard and takes a lot of work.”

“It is OK to change your mind. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find the perfect fit on the first try.”

“I would tell myself that grades are really important, but getting involved and meeting new people is a really important part of college, too.” Asit R. Shah Classification: Freshman Major: Civil Engineering “I wish I had taken Physics my first semester.” “Work hard.”

• Lonely? • Stressed out? • Anxious? • Relationship concerns? • Worried about someone? • Looking for support and an objective professional to talk to? • Counseling & Psychological Services can help!

“If you are undecided (about your major), take as many general classes as you can, so that later you are well-rounded in all your maths, sciences, etc.”

“Don’t do architecture your first year. Get your basics out the way first.” Kevin Tran Classification: Senior Major: Biology “[You should] stick to one major.” “Get to know your professors.”

• Individual, Couples and Group Therapy • Crisis Intervention Services • LD/ADHD, Personality and Career Assessments • Consultation about individuals of concern • Mental Health Workshops • Suicide Prevention Training • “Let’s Talk”

Visit us at 226 Student Service Center 1 – Located Next to the Health Center Call CAPS at 713-743-5454 for more information or to schedule an appointment 16 TRANSITIONS


Paola Garcia-Agreda Classification: Junior Major: Chemical Engineering

Yen Dai Vo Classification: Junior Major: Biology

Sebastien Serimontrikul Classification: Junior Major: Creative Writing

“The main thing I wish I would have known as a freshman was exactly what I wanted to major in. It wasn’t until this year — my junior year — that I decided I wanted to major in Chemical Engineering.”

“I wished during my freshman year I had asked around first and done some research on Professors and classes before choosing them. Every professor teaches differently. So find out what you can, and decide on whether or not they seem too hard or don’t teach the way you like.”

“(I wish I had known) what I wanted to do as far as my major goes.”

“I would tell myself that hard work pays off. If your major is something you really are interested in, then put in all your effort, even if you may struggle and fail many times on the way there.”

“College isn’t easy. Freshman year was alright for me, so I got pretty good grades, but do not let that fool you. As you get deeper into your major, the classes will become more difficult, and professor’s lectures and labs are limited to sign up for. So don’t slack off and assume the rest of college will be as smooth of a sailing as freshman year.”

“Not being certain can lead to years wasted studying something you might later realize you never wanted. I would say, ‘Figure your stuff out now, take some time off if necessary but know what you want’.”

Ensuring that qualified students who have disabilities (i.e. Psychological or learning; health, hearing, or visual impairments) have an equal opportunity to learn and succeed at the

University of Houston

Justin Dart, Jr. Center for Students with DisABILITIES (CSD) Tel: 713-743-5400 TTY: 713-749-1527

• Academic Accomodations • Assistive/Adaptive Technology • Testing Rooms • Disability-Related Counseling • Advocacy • Resources






ttending a commuter school like UH comes with a learning curve. The city is notorious for unpredictable weather, and it seems to take at least 30 minutes to get anywhere — sometimes even without traffic. Living on campus solves some traveling woes and comes with access to the dining halls, food courts and restaurants. But not every bare necessity readily is available. “Well, you can learn your lesson the hard way and figure out on the rainiest day ever that maybe it was a good idea to get those rain boots and umbrella and leave them in the closet and not at home,” said psychology senior Samantha Miller. “And maybe it was a good idea to grab a small snack because walking to the Satellite to buy some food just isn’t going to happen in the rain in less than 10 minutes.” UH is planning to add two residential communities this year — Cougar Place and Cougar Village II — increasing the on-campus population to 8,000 students. Although all housing comes equipped with standard furniture — a bed, mattress, desk and chair — some things to make life a little more comfortable while living on campus aren’t on that list of basic essentials. Wi-Fi is available in the dorms, but signal strength can weaken when students really crowd up the network, said public relations sophomore Mariah Marshall, who is also a desk assistant at Student


Housing and Residential Life. “An Ethernet cord can be a real lifesaver,” Marshall said. Marshall also recommends an electric fan to help keep the room cool. A shoe holder, plastic bins, bed risers, removable wall hooks and a microwave are also some things to consider when the average amount of space available in a dorm is limited. Getting to class on time is essential, but it’s understandable to run late once in a while. Preparing for those hectic mornings in advance will give you a slight advantage. “Stock up on breakfast stuff that you actually like to eat,” Marshall said. “You never know when you (won’t be able to) make it to the dining hall for breakfast.” Think of getting some easily carried snacks and anything microwaveable. Ramen noodles, Easy Mac and Pizza Rolls are popular among the students who already have lived on campus. “I basically lived off Pizza Rolls and soda,” Miller said, who spent a year in Bates Hall. “Sometimes, that’s all you have time for.” Although convenience may play an important factor while grocery shopping, nutrition shouldn’t be completely ignored, said director of the UH Wellness Center Gail Gillan. “Think about grabbing water bottles instead of soda bottles on your way out the door,” Gillan said. “It’s a much healthier


How to stock your dorm room or your back seat for whatever life throws at you

alternative.” If chips are your poison, try opting for the baked ones instead. Make your own Chex mix and leave it in plastic bags. Cut up apples, which are refreshing on warm days, and dip them in peanut butter, which provides a lot of protein and brain power. For students who live off campus, the car becomes an extension of “home.” An umbrella is a necessity. Rain boots are, of course, convenient when puddles seem to form all over campus when it’s raining. Extra school supplies also can be handy, as well as a change of clothes and some non-perishable snack foods. “You know, I learned the hard way that you need certain things in your car at all times,” Miller said. “But now I know that an extra set of clothes, deodorant, a notebook and pen, and a miniature thing of mouthwash can really go a long way.”

Check out a few FAQs to help you navigate through life on campus! Where can I find information on how to join a student organization? With over 560 student organizations, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) has information and resources on how to get involved on campus. Attend Cat’s Back and the Involvement Fairs at the beginning of fall semester, and visit CSI’s website to learn about campus events and how to connect with student organizations. Where can I go on campus if I become ill or feel stressed or anxious? You may contact the Health Center or Counseling and Psychological Services to schedule an appointment. The staff is well -trained and ready to help you with any concerns. How do I find out about exercise and recreation programs? Visit the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC) on campus or online to learn about their fitness, aquatic, and intramural offerings. You will need your Cougar Card to enter the facility. Can you help me find a job? University Career Services (UCS) can assist with both on - and off-campus employment opportunities. They can also help with your resume, cover letters, and interviewing skills so you feel fully prepared for your job search. Where can I park if I commute to campus? Visit Parking and Transportation online or at the Welcome Center to learn about student parking and pricing options. There are five Cougar Line bus routes that have various stops from outlying parking lots to the main campus areas. METRO also has conveniently located bus stops surrounding UH. What is Cougar Cash and where can I use it? Cougar Cash supplements your monetary allowance and can be used at all of the retail locations on campus. The Cougar Cash purchases are deducted from your account balance. Please see Dining Services or the Cougar Card office for additional information.







fter 14 years of football games at Robertson Stadium and 43 years of basketball at Hofheinz Pavilion, UH is moving forward to rapidly reimagine the athetics landscape on campus.

The University tore down Robertson and is building a new stadium in its place. The ambitious $105 million project will attempt to usher in a new age of UH football when it opens in August 2014. The 40,000-seat stadium is key to returning UH to national prominence, Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said at the stadium’s groundbreaking. “We needed to do something special — something

big,” Rhoades said. “We want to be a top 25 program consistently.” UH will play five of its seven home games at Reliant Stadium this season. The University will decide between Rice Stadium and BBVA Compass Stadium for its final two games. For Hofheinz, a $77 million renovation and expansion is in the plan. The UH Board of Regents has given the University permission to begin the design phase. The Cougars plan to add two new practice courts, treatment, film, weight rooms and laundry areas. The old scoreboard would be replaced with four smaller video boards, including two at each baseline. The new facility would seat 8,609 and have a total of 45,514 square feet.


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CAMPUS TRADITIONS TO FOLLOW: COUGAR HAND SIGN When you’re at Reliant Stadium cheering on the football team this season, don’t look around wondering why your peers are throwing up an unknown sign. Know that in 1953 when live mascot Shasta I lost a toe in her cage door as she was being transported to a UT game, the Longhorns mocked her injury and UH students later adopted it as a symbol of pride.

COUGAR RED FRIDAY When you wake up on Friday, avoid being the only one not wearing red. It is not just a tradition on this campus, but it’s a symbol of unity to sport the University’s scarlet. People across Houston know it’s Friday when they see you wearing Cougar Red.

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These Cougars used UH as their launching pad


n the past five years, these alumni have waded through water photographing the devastation of the Pakistan floods, broken NCAA records while thousands cheered and alerted Houston to the human trafficking ring growing on the community’s streets. Their paths perhaps never crossed, but they all got their start at UH. It took Adrees Latif nearly a decade to graduate from UH, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Latif freelanced for the Houston Chronicle and Suburbia Reporter, held a staff position at the Houston Post and was the photo editor for The Daily Cougar — all while still in school. Latif fell in love with photography while in his photojournalism class during his sophomore year of high school. He became fascinated with the dark room process and began photographing for his high school newspaper and yearbook. The day after he lost his staff job when the Post was shut down in 1995, Latif received one of his big breaks into photojournalism. Reuters sent its Houston photographer to the Oklahoma City Bombing, and no one was left to cover the Rockets in their championship game. So, Latif was asked to step in.


“I photographed a defining moment (during the game). It was Clyde Drexler high-fiving Hakeem Olajawan. They had been Phi Slama Jama teammates at UH, and this win was about redemption. Here they are again, and they win,” Latif said. “I did a Hail Mary across the floor to get that shot, and the Chronicle had that image on their sports front. Photojournalism is not all about pretty pictures. It’s about capturing a moment, and that was a defining moment for that year.” From that point on, Latif worked for Reuters in Houston until he transferred to Los Angeles in 2000 after graduating from UH the year before. In 2001, Latif accompanied soldiers in the post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan. He photographed the invasion and the bombings of the Taliban’s strongholds in the south. Latif then spent almost seven years as the senior photographer in Bangkok covering breaking news across Asia. While in Asia, Latif traveled to a country where being a foreign journalist could lead to execution. Leaving his media credentials behind, Latif entered into Myanmar and photographed the protest by monks and nuns against the Burmese government that suddenly had turned violent. Standing on a bridge covered by people cowering to protect themselves from the gunshots, Latif captured the final moments of a fellow photographer’s life as he



lay collapsed on the pavement while others ran for cover from the attacking troops. In 2008, he won the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography for the photograph. Latif now works in New York as the editor in charge of pictures for Reuters, a position he has held for a little more than a year. He says his itchy feet keep him going. “For me, life is like a backpacking trip. You go and you listen and you discover, and it makes you a better person and the world a better place. That’s what I’m out doing. Learning cultures, religions, societies, governments and why people do what they do and sharing that with the world,” Latif said. “It’s about storytelling for me. I show the world what I witness. I let people make their own decisions though about whether things are right or not. But at least I put the truth in front of them.” Latif probably would have photographed Case Keenum if Keenum had served as one of NCAA’s top quarterbacks during the last decade of the 20th century instead of the opening decade of the 21st. And Keenum would have been used to the flashing lights. Keenum’s first throw during a college game came from the sidelines as the ball boy for his father’s football team when he was about 8 years old. “My dad told me to be a ball boy for his team, I had to be able to throw the big


college career, Keenum had one piece of college football from the sidelines to the advice for current students. numbers so that I would be able to get it “Enjoy it. It goes by really quickly, and to the refs. So I worked on that — throwing you’ll never be able to get it back. So enjoy the big football halfway across the field,” it now,” Keenum said. Keenum said. Erica Fletcher may not have had her face During his time at UH, the Abilene naon a UH T-shirt, but it was in the pages of tive became one of college football’s most Glamour magazine as prolific quarterbacks, one of its top 10 college breaking records in total “ For me, life is like a women in 2010. passing yards, total ofbackpacking trip. You go During her time at fense, pass completions and you listen and you UH, Fletcher completed and touchdown passes. discover, and it makes you two film projects: “MariHis face was plastered anismo” explored the on a UH T-shirt, and a better person and the cultural factors that led the Athletics Departworld a better place.” to the alarming spread of ment created an official HIV/AIDS among Latin awards site during his women, and “Pack and Deliver” addressed 2011 run for the Heisman. the sex trafficking industry in Houston. After spending six years at UH, Keenum Fletcher hopes her films have some tried out for the Texans during their annual impact on her audience that, in turn, genertryout for local players. Impressed, Texans ates some action. head coach Gary Kubiak brought Keenum “In making films, I hope to share (some onto the practice squad. Last year, Keenum of the inexplicable suffering) I have seen signed with the Texans as their third-string and provoke an empathetic response quarterback. and critical thought among audiences “It’s a dream come true (to play for the about how they shape the world around Texans),” Keenum said. “I consider it an them and how they are shaped by the honor and a privilege to continue to repreforces outside their immediate control,” sent the city of Houston.” Fletcher said. Much like he did at UH, Keenum hopes Fletcher is now in her second year at the to stay playing in the NFL for as long as he Institute for Medical Humanities, where she possibly can and will seek a coaching posiis studying visual filmmaking and health tion after his career as a player is finished. In looking back on his longer-than-most education.












Attend a home fooball game. Shake hands with UH President Renu Khator. Get your picture taken with the cougars in front of the E. Cullen Building.



Eat at Barron’s Cafe. Attend Homecoming. −

Pick up every issue of The Daily Cougar. −

Join a student organization. −

Check out Frontier Fiesta. −

Eat at a food truck. Check out an exhibit at Blaffer Art Museum. −

Make the Dean’s List. −

Visit Shasta at the Houston Zoo. −

Shoot some pool at the UC Satellite. −

Climb the rock wall at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Join an intramural sports team. PHOTO BY NICHOLE TAYLOR





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CREAM BURGER. Cash only, 3481 Elgin St.

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any college freshmen moving onto campus attempt to plan for everything. They buy all their books two weeks before school starts. They have their room set up in a matter of minutes after moving in because they’ve been dreaming about dorm life for months. Their excitement swells only after freshman orientation. Yet one thing they didn’t plan for was where they would go to eat after the exciting first football game of the season or where they would seek comfort-food refuge when Fresh Foods Company has received too many requests for healthy food, and the dining hall doesn’t quite quench their hunger. While all dorm residents are required to have meal plans and some housing options have full or partial kitchens, students want to break their food ruts every once in a while. Some seek an exciting weekend eatery, and others just get sick of seeing the same people and foods at the on-campus dining halls. So here are a few hidden gems on and around campus.


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FRENCHY’S 3919 Scott St.

OTHER LOCAL PLACES Taco Bell 3720 Old Spanish Trail

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The Chocolate Bar 2521 University Blvd.







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CAMPUS HOUSING TACO KETO. This food truck parks just on the other side of Interstate 45 and offers a mean taco. Pair your greasy fajita taco with a Mexican soda, and you’re set for an unforgettable meal. 1401 Cullen Blvd.

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MANDOLA’S DELI. This Italian eatery hides just across Interstate 45 and is owned and operated by a UH alumnus. It has delicious food and tons of UH memorabilia on the walls. Plus, flash your Cougar Card, and you get a discount. 4105 Leeland St.


You and a few friends might be up for a little excursion on a weekend when the campus has you feeling claustrophobic. Montrose– If you are looking to try something different, explore the Montrose area, where you will find food from all over the spectrum in a network of cozy restaurants and shops scattered throughout historic neighborhoods. Rice Village– Similar to Montrose in that it’s a shopping and eating experience combined, you can find many little shops and restaurants in Rice Village that have established their own loyal followings. Bellaire– Lovers of Asian foods will rejoice that the Bellaire area has a mix of different kinds of restaurants that should satisfy their craving. Kirby– For some of the fancier options — maybe you have a date you want to impress — try Downtown, the Kirby area or the Galleria, where you will find some of the nicer restaurants that definitely will bring the quality and satisfaction if you are prepared to drop a little bit more cash for the meal and atmosphere.




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n Rd. ERIC’S. Located in the Hilton, this place offers a somewhat more upscale dining experience and comes equipped with a bar.

KATZ’S DELI AND BAR: The New York-inspired deli has everything from a never-ending sandwich list to breakfast foods delicious at any time of day. You can’t skip its signature fried pickles. 24

HOUSE OF PIES: This diner doesn’t just serve pies — although you’ll definitely want to get a piece if you go. You’ll have to choose between breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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DOT COFFEE SHOP: Another diner in the opposite direction of House of Pies, Dot can satisfy your craving for some good comfort food. 24

RUCHI’S: You can get your fix of enchiladas or quesadillas any time you want. 24

UH campus BARRON’S. A student-run lunchtime facility in the Conrad N. Hilton College. The college’s best chefs-in-training work the kitchen to create savory entrees for less than $8.

Open late or 24 hours. Discounts with Cougar Card














Finding a place to live marks important choice


t’s time to decide what you want to study for the next four or more years — or less if you’ve just transferred — and commit to graduating. But where will you live while trekking through your studies — on or off campus?

One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but it does matter which is the better fit for you and your lifestyle. Are you on a budget? Do you prefer convenience above everything? Would a sense of community ease your transition into the college lifestyle? It’s just a matter of prioritizing what you’ll need to make sure success is in your future. Many consider on-campus living to go hand-in-hand with the college experience. “UH is a robust and vibrant campus, and it’s an excellent opportunity to be at the core of the University,” said Associate Director for Housing Operations and Outreach Kenny Mauk. “For any student, I can’t imagine not wanting to be in the middle of it.” Indeed, the University has geared toward pushing students to consider living on campus and has added multiple options for living arrangements. Incoming freshmen have the option of living in Cougar Village II, a residence hall opening in the fall that is reserved for first-year students. Cougar Place, specifically for sophomores and above, also will be opening in the fall. These additions will give UH a total of seven different on-campus choices for students. “There is that sense of community when you live on campus,” Mauk said. “You can get up in the morning and meet your neighbors for breakfast, then walk toward your classes together. You

Another thing Jackson says she are a community of people striving definitely misses is the convenience of toward the same goal of graduation.” getting to classes in the morning, which Students opting to live on campus in anyone considering living off campus residential housing can expect to pay on should take into account. average $3,710 per semester, and those “Now I have to wake up a little earlier, who choose apartment housing can expect to pay on average $725 per month fight a little traffic and then fight for parking,” she said. “I really hate parking for rent, according to Student Houson campus.” ing and Residential Life. Most housing Parking rates for UH vary depending options include utilities such as electricon which permits are available, and cerity, cable and Wi-Fi. Many even come tain permits don’t necessarily guarantee furnished. you a spot. The price can be an issue for some “If I have an 8 or 10 a.m. class, parking students after factoring in the cost of really isn’t so bad. But if I have a class tuition, student fees, class materials and around noon, parking parking. These stuis just crazy,” said public dents either live at “ UH is a robust and relations senior Andrew home or try to find vibrant campus, and it’s Curtis, who lived in the a cheaper alternaan excellent opportunity Cambridge Oaks aparttive in the areas ments but now lives off around campus. to be at the core of the campus. “For the first few For some, like University. ... I can’t weeks of school, I had public relations imagine not wanting to be to park at the Energy senior Shelby in the middle of it. Research Park and take a Jackson, who lived shuttle to campus. That in the Bayou Oaks took up some time.” apartments, the onIf living off campus is more your cup campus experience is still an option for of tea, average apartment rates within part of the undergraduate journey. “I really enjoyed living on campus 10 miles of the University are $1,236 per because I wanted that whole college month, according to experience,” Jackson said. “But it was Finding the perfect price on a budget kind of too expensive. And now that I is possible depending on the location live back home, I definitely miss being and with the option of roommates, but so connected to the University; studying be careful to research the safety ratings at the library and studying with friends of the area you choose and know the — I miss it.” habits of those who are being considered This approach gives students the as roommates. chance to experience both sides of “I had the most horrible roommate campus life. They can create memories experience ever. I was paired with people and build relationships by living on that just didn’t clean, or they would campus initially, then move off campus leave out raw meat,” Curtis said. if expenses are too much or they want a “You never know who you’re going scene change. Or they could begin by liv- to be living with. But that’s part of the ing off campus and save money to move whole college experience. It’s not always on campus later. perfect.”


We can’t cover UH without you Run by students and for students, The Daily Cougar covers all aspects of the University of Houston in print and online. The Cougar offers a variety of ways to become involved on campus. Just pick a position (or two or three) Copy editor Staff writer Opinion columnist Photographer Videographer Cartoonist Coffee fetcher (unpaid) Then apply at!


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FIGHT SONG & ALMA MATER The Cougar Fight Song Cougars fight for dear old U of H For our Alma Mater cheer. Fight for Houston University For victory is near. When the going gets so rough and tough We never worry ’cause we got the stuff. So fight, fight, fight for red and white And we will go to victory.

The Alma Mater All hail to thee, Our Houston University. Our hearts fill with gladness When we think of thee. We’ll always adore thee Dear old varsity. And to thy memory cherished, True we’ll ever be.

Lyrics: Forest Fountain Music: Marion Ford

Words and music by: Harmony Class of 1942


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Campus shows lively side during time-honored events

Though it is true that many UH students commute to campus, the traditions that take place during the year, such as the Cat’s Back, Winter Wonderland, Homecoming and Frontier Fiesta, have proven to be worth the drive.

THE CAT’S BACK Serving as somewhat of a spin-off to the traditional orientation, the Cat’s Back is held twice a year to welcome new and returning students into the new semester. “I have attended the Cat’s Back for two consecutive years since I entered the University as a freshman. I would highly recommend it to incoming students because it is a great transitioning tool into college life,” said nutrition sophomore Breanna Larsen. “I think Cat’s Back is the most optimal experience for a new incoming student. (It allows) the student to fully immerse (themselves) in the University of Houston’s atmosphere.” This more-than-decade-long tradition is a day of fun, food and prize-winning opportunities. It often includes events such as interactive


games and a student organizations fair and ends with a pep rally. It has become a great way for students to connect with their fellow Cougars in a laid-back setting. “Students can view school pride amongst fellow students, faculty and staff. Cat’s Back allows students to interact with others first-hand and get on a more personal-level basis with various student organizations,” Larsen said. “This event allows everyone to freely socialize and form a sense of community in UH’s notorious Cougar pride.”

HOMECOMING WEEK And if the Cat’s Back helps nurture that pride, then Homecoming week is when the pride hatches, and school spirit comes out in full swing. UH students like to go all out. Homecoming is a continually growing celebration. Something is always going on during this week of activities, whether it is the Cooglympics parade or the big football game. A new addition is a block party held in Lynn Eusan Park, which was named after UH’s first African-American homecoming queen. “As a residential assistant, I took several residents of mine to the park to get ready for the Homecoming game,” said engineering sophomore Tanzeem Chowdhury. “Shasta and Sasha were there along with various organizations and fraternities. Homecoming committee gave out a lot of free stuff, including red and white homecoming T-shirts.”



t this point, you may have heard some common misconceptions about this University. The one that generally stands out is that because UH is a commuter school, the campus doesn’t have a lively student life.


Winter Wonderland and Frontier Fiesta have become rites of passage for UH students. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SPB AND FRONTIER FIESTA

Chowdhury saw the block party as a great opportunity for people to see how active student life can be at the University. “Since it was one of the first school-wide events at Lynn Eusan, and a lot of residents were living on-campus for the first time, it was an awesome opportunity for us to show them how awesome and well-spirited our campus is.”

WINTER WONDERLAND Just as Homecoming comes to an end, the weather starts to get chilly and winter wardrobes begin to make their first appearances. Although a snow day is not likely to fall on an academic calendar in Texas, one of the newer traditions hosted by the Student Program Board has turned Cougars into snow bunnies. Winter Wonderland covers part of the campus in snow, giving students a chance to play in fresh powder while staying in Houston. Students often will break out into snowball fights or possibly sled down a snowed-over slope between munching on funnel cakes. “We aim to bring (something) unique and fun to our students. What’s more exciting than snow in Houston? Once the snow became a hit, we added more and more to make it into a winter festival,” said hotel and restaurant management senior Jessica Grono, the former SPB president. “Students can expect it to get bigger and better every single year. No exceptions. This year, 6,000 to 7,000 students enjoyed the winter festival activities.

We trucked in 120,000 pounds of snow, and all of it is free and always will be.”

FRONTIER FIESTA Finally, when the spring semester rolls around, UH students begin their countdowns for Frontier Fiesta. This event dates back to 1939, just 12 years after UH was founded, and once attracted Hollywood celebrities such as Humphrey Bogart and James Garner. Spanning three days in late March, Frontier Fiesta takes UH back to the Wild West, featuring rides, food and shows — many put on by fraternities and sororities. One major highlight of the event is the free concert for those who attend. Throughout the years, the festival has seen performers such as T.I., Frankie J, Lights and Wale. “I actually attended Frontier Fiesta for the first time this year. A few friends planned on going, and I agreed to join them spur of the moment. I had such a blast. The shows were great, the concert was amazing and the food was delicious,” said accounting graduate Ashlee Fabling. “I was amazed at the magnitude of the festival and was shocked to find out that it was run solely by students. It makes me have great pride in the University of Houston and the students it is educating.” Other events to keep your eyes open for throughout the academic year include the Student Video Network Outdoor Movie Festival, OctoberFest, athletic events, theater performances and a number of lectures in the various colleges.



TRANSITIONS STAFF Editor in chief Channler K. Hill Managing editor Max Gardner Lead designer Andres Garcia Photo editor Mary Dahdouh Copy editor Samantha Wong Production Farah Hasnie Cover design Andres Garcia Cover photo Mary Dahdouh On the cover Adriann Hobbs Ali Iqbal Erica Tat Ever Villalobos

Writers Zachary Burton Jessica Crawford Minh Dam Max Gardner Tara Gonzalez Natalie Harms Channler K. Hill Manuella Libardi Anthresia McWashington Katherine Morris Kathleen Murrill Christopher Shelton Photographers Mary Dahdouh Minh Dam Shaimaa Eissa Bethel Glumac Catherine Lara Chris Luong Hendrick Rosemond Nichole Taylor

Illustrator Kathleen Kennedy Advertising sales Michelle Hernandez Gabriela Padilla Paul Vilchez Special thanks to ... Jack J. Valenti School of Communication Tara Boyle and the UH Orientation team The Daily Cougar

Here to serve International Students, Research Scholars, and Faculty. Provides services and information pertaining to:

• US. Immigration law • Financial Assistance • Counseling & Advising • International Friendship Program • Orientation • Intercultural Training • Arrival Services

International Student Counselors also serve as cultural guides for international students and scholars by connecting students with appropriate offices and resources both on and off campus. 302 Student Service Center 1 (713) 743-5065

Follow us on Twitter @uh_issso 40 TRANSITIONS

About the magazine Transitions is published by the Department of Student Publications at the University of Houston. The magazine is intended for incoming freshmen and transfer students. No portion of the magazine may be reproduced without written permission of the director of the Department of Student Publications. Contact us University of Houston Student Publications 7 UC Satellite Houston, TX 77204-4015 (713) 743-5350

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RELATIONSHIPS Safe habits start with informed discussions


t’s the topic that everybody wants to talk about but nobody wants to talk about — sex.

It’s possibly one of the most elusive subjects regardless of medical advances and a plethora of concrete knowledge about it. Director of the Women’s Resource Center Beverly McPhail said this paradox causes unnecessary confusion. “I think sexuality is an important part of being human. It’s healthy; it’s natural; it’s normal,” McPhail said. “But the societal and cultural messages have been so mixed and difficult and confusing that it’s really hard for young people.” McPhail said the mixed messages are things like the coexisting ideas that sex is prevalent in youth society but that youth should remain abstinent and not receive much sex education. There also are double standards, McPhail said, in that women are perceived negatively for having sex, and men are supposed to know everything already and not ask any questions — notions she finds ridiculous. “That’s what I find most difficult for our young people today — we don’t give them much guidance, and we just kind of throw them out there. And they get all these different, conflicting messages,” McPhail said. In addition to these mixed messages concerning sex, there’s also the aspect of a convergence of different beliefs and practices, something that UH students can attest to. “We are such a diverse school, and how that plays out sexually is that people bring a very diverse and wide range of attitudes, beliefs and practices about sexuality,” McPhail said. “There’s a stereotype that everyone’s coming to college, and they’re having wild and crazy sex. But a lot of our students aren’t because of those different religious and cultural beliefs.”

ESTABLISHING VALUES For some, the choice to have sex or not is something firmly decided on before coming into college. For religious, cultural or moral purposes, they are remaining abstinent. Some still may be involved in a relationship.

Creative writing sophomore Nicolas Montoya is chaste, meaning he connects the act of sex with something more spiritual and meaningful and is waiting for someone who he considers special enough to share it with. He also has been in a long-distance relationship for a little more than a year and sees his girlfriend only three times out of the year. “I look at marriage as one of the rewards of being with the other person and also being able to have that amazing experience with someone,” Montoya said. “To me, that’s what I want to do. That’s what I want to wait for.” For others, the decision isn’t so easily set one way or the other. Pre-pharmacy sophomore Matt Garcia admires people that can remain true to their beliefs but found the temptation of sex difficult himself. “If you’re coming into college with a religious background, I think you should try to stick to it,” Garcia said. “I really envy the people who want to wait until marriage or have the willpower to. I think that’s really cool.” But Garcia sees the advantages of exploring in college as well, although not necessarily just sexually. “How are you going to find the right person if you haven’t talked to a lot of people?” Garcia said. “You want to explore different races, different people, different personalities ... just so you can assure things later on.” Hotel and restaurant management sophomore Jasmine Dennis chose not to remain abstinent, but she warns this decision has an impact on future relationships. “When people decide to



have sex in a relationship, then it becomes part of their definition of a relationship,” Dennis said. “It’s harder to go into the next relationship (with the mindset of not doing it) because it was a part of your previous relationship.”

THE NOTORIOUS ‘ONE-NIGHT STAND’ Aside from determining how one feels about the decision to have sex, there are also questions of potential partners. Many people agree one should know certain information about a sexual partner, including their name and some of their interests and goals in life. “If you know more about your partner, then it’s a lot safer and more special,” said pre-pharmacy sophomore Brian Nwokorie. Casual dating often is perceived to be synonymous with casual sex. Dennis and Garcia disagree, however, and recognize a pleasure in dating without the anticipation of something physical. “It’s nice to have someone where it is just simply a date and doesn’t have to lead to that,” Garcia said. In terms of sexual history, one should ask about sexually transmitted infections and have an idea of previous sexual experience. “I do like to know the number of sex partners prior to my sexual encounter with somebody,” said physical therapy sophomore Amber Vargas. “I’ll be up front with them and ask them, ‘Do you have anything?’ When you put someone on the spot like that, it kind of pressures them to be honest.” Dennis cautioned students to keep their count of sexual partners in mind and consider finding a long-term partner. “If you’re just super into having sex often, I would definitely recommend having a boyfriend or a long-term partner or something,” Dennis said. “People don’t really ask how many times you’ve had sex; they ask how many people you have had sex with.”

PREPARING FOR SEX Another benefit of getting to know

the person first is that one can learn about that person beforehand and avoid having an awkward conversation before sex to cover basic questions. “Talking ahead of time (about sex) is seen as pretty intimate. Some people just jump over that whole thing and get naked,” McPhail said. “But that’s where a lot of the misunderstandings happen.” In addition to discussing safety — not only ensuring the use of a condom but also questioning sexual health — consent is equally important. “I literally ask the person if that’s what they want to do before it happens,” Nwokorie said. “There might be some foreplay. And I know it could just happen, and I don’t have to say anything. But to make sure I don’t get myself in the wrong situation because I know it’s very possible, I say, ‘Do you want to do this?’” McPhail also emphasizes that these supposed barriers should not cause students to lose track of one of the purposes of sex — pleasure. She believes people should explore themselves sexually first to get a better understanding of what they want from sex. “I encourage people to learn what they like and fantasize,” McPhail said. “Know your body. Know how to bring yourself to orgasm. If you can’t pleasure yourself, how can you expect someone else to pleasure you?”

UH population identifies as lesbian, gay or transsexual. She recognizes college as a time when, away from families or other pressures, students who feel confused or are hesitant because of the stigma against homosexuality can surround themselves with a more positive environment that fosters their acceptance process. “The choice to be who you are is always the better choice because the conflict that you have internally … can be very damaging,” Schroeder said. “And that shows with the amounts of depression and anxiety that are prevalent in the LGBT community, especially in young people, and the rates of suicide.” Vargas, who is gay, has found in her own experience that college is an opportune time to figure it out. “I’ve really had a large desire to find out who I want to be as far as an established person, an established style, some of my morals and values that I want to stand for,” Vargas said. She thinks people should be open to the possibility, especially if they are finding themselves confused or unsure. “I think that there’s not a problem with experimenting because I feel as if a lot of people are unsatisfied with where they are,” Vargas said. “They just don’t know which direction to go into, and they never know because they’ve never tried.”

SELF-IMAGE AND CONFIDENCE On top of worrying about outer factors, people often feel self-conscious. Dennis offers some advice in this department. “If you’re afraid, turn the lights off or be under the covers or something,” Dennis said. “But they saw you, and they decided that you were attractive enough to pursue you. So you shouldn’t be that afraid to go for it.” The issue of sex can become even more complicated when factoring in sexual orientation. According to Lorraine Schroeder, director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, statistics have shown that between 7 and 9 percent of the

Resources Women’s Resource Center LGBT Resource Center UH Health Center CAPS UH Health and Wellness Center





Range of parking plans presents variety of options for students


arking on any college campus can be challenging, and UH is no exception. But with proper planning, some of the stress can be alleviated.

Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Esmeralda Valdez said if students hope to find a parking spot and make it to class on time, they should arrive at least an hour early. She said peak hours of parking lot traffic are between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. After that, more spaces become available. “Parking on campus fills up pretty quickly, but parking at (Energy Research Park) is plentiful. “Students can always find a parking space at ERP and ride the ERP shuttle back to campus,” Valdez said. The Energy Research Park offers 500 additional spaces, with some covered parking, and shuttles that take students to campus run about 10 minutes apart. Students further can plan ahead because the shuttles that service the ERP have a GPS implanted in them that students can follow using CougarsTrax, which can be


accessed either as an app on mobile devices or online at “The trip from ERP to campus can take from 10 to 15 minutes depending on traffic,” Valdez said. “Additionally, we are working on the development of a new ERP Express route (for the fall semester). The new route will bypass the Eastwood Transit Center, therefore decreasing the total trip time.” Mechanical engineering sophomore Erick Umanzor said students who don’t want to park at the ERP should arrive to class early or expect to walk. “That’s the biggest struggle because sometimes you’re bringing a load, you want to work out at the (Campus Recreation and Wellness Center), but you always have to go back to your car to bring your workout clothes. ... It’s tedious, and you don’t want to deal with it,” Umanzor said. Biology sophomore Ali Mroue said he arrives sometimes hours before his classes start to ensure he gets a spot. “I have to come here early every morning so I can guarantee myself a spot. I have class at 10 a.m., and I come around 7:30 or





WILL GET YOU TOWED Violation 8: Parked in or blocking a driving lane

$35 + $2.50 Security Enhancement Fee Violation 9: Parked in a reserved space without the proper decal/permit

$60 + $2.50 SEF 8 a.m. I just go to the library and hang out,” Mroue said. For students who live on campus, a Residential Housing Exclusive parking permit is available on a priority basis. Students who agree to live on campus early will be given priority to choose the option of an RHE permit. Students who commute to UH have four options for a parking permit. They can purchase semester-long or year-long permits for a garage, commuter lots, economy lots or the economy plus package. The permits range from $86 for an economy pass to $403 for a year-long pass in a garage. A full list of the parking permits as well as a map of the different lots and garages can be found at www. Umanzor, who transferred from a community college a year ago, said adding parking as one of the things he had to plan for was an adjustment he had to make when he came to UH. “You didn’t even have to worry about parking at a community college. You could show up whenever,” Umanzor said. “At a community college, people leave right after their classes. They don’t bother as much with socializing. Here, some students stay all day. I stay all day.”

Violation 10: Blocking a sidewalk, crosswalk, or parking on the grass

$40 + $2.75 SEF Violation 11: Parked in a fire zone

$70 + $5 SEF Violation 12: Parked by a fire hydrant

$70 + $2.50 SEF Violation 13: Parked in a handicapped zone without the proper decal/permit

$60 + $2.50 SEF Violation 14: Parked in a tow-away zone

$50 + $3.50 SEF Violation 16: Overtime in loading/20-minute zone

$25 + $1.75 SEF Violation 17: Tow fee

$90 + $6.25 SEF If a vehicle is deemed abandoned: Vehicles parked on UH property for more than 30 days without moving are considered abandoned. Moving a vehicle from one space to another to give the appearance of vehicle being utilized is not permissible (even if a valid permit is displayed). If a motor home, trailer or boat is parked overnight on UH property without prior permission from Parking and Transportation Services. Visitors are required to pay all fees applicable to towing, citations and storage before the release of their vehicle. Towed vehicles should contact UHDPS Parking Enforcement Division at 713-743-5849. TRANSITIONS 45







nly 18 percent of students graduated in four years from the University in 2010, according to The Texas Tribune. UH is pushing to increase this amount and get students onto their futures quicker.

“The sooner you graduate, the sooner you can be earning money toward your career,” said Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies Agnes DeFranco. “If you stay one more year, it really costs you a lot more money. You could be earning $40,000, but you’re paying $20,000 instead. That’s $60,000 right there.” DeFranco encouraged students to take


the University has restructured its fresh15 hours every semester, which would give man orientation, making it more perthem in four years the 120 hours required sonal and individualized. by most degrees to Beginning this summer, graduate. It seems like each UH student will get a daunting goal, but “ I think UH is on the an appointment with a many students find a right path to helping peer assistant on their way to manage it. students graduate on time, orientation day; these UH “I am taking five offering encouragement students will walk them classes during the fall and incentives as well as through their plan and and spring and will information and tutoring help them map out their probably take at least services.” prospective classes. one over the summer “These peer assistants just to get ahead. I are trained both by the intend to graduate on academic office and the specific college time,” said digital media freshman Laura that student is going into; when you’re beHagen. ing advised, the advisers will let you know To ensure that students are on the right that 15 hours is the best,” DeFranco said. track from the minute they enroll at UH,

UH also is attempting to restructure some freshman-level courses in political science, history, chemistry and biology to dissolve the barrier these massive classes can create. “We’re trying to make that 300-student class more personal. Students break into small groups to do more activities handson,” DeFranco said. The University offers established programs, such as the Graduation Pledge Waiver, with incentives like financial aid to those students who meet the requirements and graduate on time. According to the UH website, the Graduation Pledge Waiver offers incoming full-time, first-time-in-college students increasing amounts of money for each academic year completed, amounting to up to $3,000. Students who maintain eligibility in the Graduation Pledge program also are awarded priority registration. Full information can be found on the UH website. For some students, planning ahead sometimes even means graduating early. Many high schools offer dual credit programs or advanced placement courses that give students credit hours they can transfer and apply toward their degree.


“I will more than likely be graduating early because I came to UH with 29 credit hours. I feel like the course load required to graduate is on par with that of a Tier One university,” said computer science freshman Cameron Alexander. Some classes only are offered during certain semesters as well, which is where having a plan can save students time and frustration. Exploring the online class signup system on MyUH can be helpful for determining what classes typically are offered when. Asking other students within one’s major or speaking to an adviser also may be beneficial. For those struggling with campus life or course load, UH offers year-round workshops and seminars through its Learning Support Services. According to the UH website, this service also hosts tutoring every day during the academic semester as well as individualized diagnostic, prescriptive and instructive educational plans free of charge. “I think UH is on the right path to helping students graduate on time, offering encouragement and incentives as well as information and tutoring services,” Alexander said.

Year 1 Fall Semester: 6 Hours of English Rhetoric, 3 Hours of Core Mathematics, 3 Hours of Math/ Reasoning, 3 Hours of American Government Spring Semester: 6 Hours of History, 3 Hours of Texas Government, 3 Hours of Humanities, 3 Hours of Visual and Performance Arts Year 2: Fall Semester: 6 Hours of Core Natural Sciences, 3 Hours of Social Behavioral Sciences, 3 Hours of Writing in the disciplines, 3 hours of Spanish 1 at a College Level (BFA Req.) Spring Semester: 3 Hours of Spanish 2 at a College Level (BFA Req., 3 Hours of Philosophy (CLASS Req,) 3 hours of Music Appreciation (CLASS Req,) 3 Hours of Art (CLASS Req.) COMM 1301 Year 3: Fall Semester: Comm 1302, COMM 2300, COMM 4303, COMM 2310, COMM 2311 Spring Semester: COMM 4310, COMM 4310, COMM 4312, COMM 3320, SPAN 2301 Year 4: Fall Semester: COMM 4398, COMM 4397, COMM 4392, COMM 4378, COMM 4375 Spring Semester: SPAN 2302, SPAN 3301, SPAN 3302 SPAN 3384, COMM 3321


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Publishers have formats for all budgets, study styles


he first week of the semester will be filled with excitement, but that also comes with the madness of fighting against a sea of people to try to get textbooks that sometimes can cost a fortune. But it doesn’t have to be quite so hectic.

“I always check the Rate My Professor website at the beginning of the semester to see what other people have said. They usually say if the professor uses the required books or not.” Some students, however, still choose to purchase their textbooks from the University Bookstore. “I don’t have an Amazon account,” said advertising junior Sergio Reyes. “I don’t like to put my personal information out there. Call me paranoid, but I just don’t trust Technology and the expanding “ With all the options typing my credit card number on marketplace of the Internet are available like rental, the Internet.” proving to be solutions and the digital, used and new The bookstore has made preferred alternatives for many alternative options available for textbooks for our UH UH students who don’t want to students like Reyes who still prefer spend hundreds of dollars every students, we are confident to do things the old-school way. It semester. our customers will offers textbooks in many different “I only buy my stuff online,” pick the best option for forms that have proved successsaid psychology senior Bree Mortheir study habits and ful in the past few years, said Felix ris. “I always get my books from budgets.” Robinson, manager of the UH Chegg and Amazon.” Bookstore. The number of students turn“With all the options available like rental, digital, ing away from campus bookstores to purchase used and new textbooks for our UH students, we are required materials online is growing at incredible confident our customers will pick the best option rates, according to the National Survey of Student for their study habits and budgets,” Robinson said. Engagement. Textbook Brokers is another on-campus option The same study also shows that one in three stufor those looking to purchase books in person. dents chooses not to buy some books at all. “Before I switched to the Internet, I used to get “I don’t buy any textbooks until I see if the my books from Textbook Brokers,” said art senior professors are actually going to use them. I got tired Kyra Walker. “Their prices were slightly cheaper of buying a pile of books that I never even opened,” than the official bookstore.” said art senior Nohelia Vargas.


But Walker notes that if price is the most important option, students may be better served to explore online options. “(The prices in the bookstores) are still outrageous compared to what you can pay online,” Walker said. “I use Amazon Prime. It’s cheap and ships in two days for free.” Amazon seems to be the preferred retailer for many UH students, but another website that has been growing in popularity is Chegg, an academic com-

pany that specializes in online textbook rentals. “Chegg is great for all those books you know you won’t want to keep,” Morris said. “It’s like Netflix for school books. You get them in the mail, use them, then put them in the mail at the end of the semester. It’s so much cheaper than renting them at the campus bookstore.” Other websites, such as, compile an aggregate listing of textbooks for sale on many online

marketplaces to give its users the best combined price. For other students, digital versions of textbooks are a more efficient option and seem likely to continue to grow in use as e-readers and tablets become increasingly popular. “I’ve taken a few English classes in which we were required to read about 10 books a semester. Those books are not particularly expensive, but when you have to buy 10 of them, it adds up. So what I do is get them on my iPad. They have countless numbers of books for free,” Vargas said. “At first I thought it would be hard to follow the instructor using different page numbers, but the search tools make it super easy to look up passages, so it’s not a problem at all.” The cost of textbooks has caused the market to reshape in order to adjust to students’ needs. The amount students will have to spend on textbooks comes down to how much time they are willing to invest in poking around and experimenting with different options until they find the one that fits their needs best.


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