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November 24, 1987 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

In It I WVIafl
Ninety-eight years of editorial freedom
Vol. XCVIII, No. 54 Ann Arbor, Michigan - Tuesday, November 24, 1987 Copyright 1987, The Michigan Daily

U.s. to
deal with
Cuban
captors
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
United States offered yesterday to
impose a moratorium on the return
of Cubans who came here illegally
during the 1980 boatlift if Cuban
inmates end their rioting at two
federal prisons and free all hostages.
Attorney General Edwin Meese
said the offer was being made in
expectation that all hostages seized
by the inmates "will be safely
released without delay."
Meese said the moratorium would
be in effect until each deportation
case could be reviewed in a "full, fair,
and equitable" manner and included
"all such Cubans detained in the
United States."
There was no immediate word on
the inmates' reaction to the offer.
The Cubans' cases would have
been reviewed individually, regardless
of the moratorium.
But Meese said that "there has
been a great deal of apprehension,
concern, and tension about fair
treatment... The clear statement
we've made today... is to alleviate
those concerns and let all of them
know they will receive fair
treatment."
Associate Attorney General
Stephen Trott declined to say whether
the government would loosen re-
quirements to allow some of the
Cubans to remain in this country.
The rioting was sparked by a State
Department announcement Friday
that Cuba had agreed to accept the
return of 2,500 refugees from the
1980 Mariel boatlift, most of them
criminals or mentally ill, officials
said.

'U'

stands

by

women in
slander suit

Going home
Third year law student Brian Gardner gives a parting glance to his friends, yesterday, before boarding the
commuter to the airport. Gardner, like many other students, is heading home for Thanksgiving.
Engineering officials work to
aise m inorityenrollment

By ELIZABETH ATKINS
The University's executive
officers yesterday reaffirmed their
support for two women being sued
for slander by a visiting professor in
what has become a landmark case
testing the University's commitment
to its five-year old "Tell Someone"
program.
The program was designed to en-
courage victims of sexual
harassment to report incidents.
However, this is the first time a
complaintants' charge has been
challenged with a slander suit, and
University officials decided to offer
legal aid.
The slander suit stemmed from a
student who charged that she was
sexually assaulted by Dutch author
and writer-in-residence Thomas
Rosenboom in September.
Rosenboom filed a defamation suit
against the woman as well as Uni-
versity Sexual Assault Counselor
Kata Issari. Rosenboom said the
women slandered him by
telephoning Germanic Languages
Department chair Robert Kyes, his
boss.
Rosenboom will stand trial for
fourth degree criminal sexual conduct
December 21. He would n o t
comment on the case.
Although University officials
promised legal aid to the student and
counselor, on Friday the'
University's Board of Regents called
for a review, prompted by Regent
Neil Nielsen's (R-Brighton) concern
about high legal costs and the
University's responsibility to

provide legal aid in "private
litigation."
Students, faculty, staff, and
community members protested the
review saying the University's "Tell
Someone" program would be
worthless if the University did not
"stand behind" it with legal aid.
University President Harold
Shapiro stymied protestor's fears by
reaffirming the University's
commitment to victims of sexual
harassment.
"While we are studying the
matter, as the Regents have
requested, the University will
continue to observe the present
practice which is to defend em-
ployees who may come under legal
attack as a result of the performance
of their duties or following existing
policy such as the 'Tell Someone'
program.
"I want to emphasize that the
University remains fully committed
to combatting racial and sexual
harassment and to the 'Tell
Someone' program," Shapiro said in
a press release.
The regents can, however,
overturn a decision made by the
executive officers.
While Shapiro met with
executive officers behind locked
doors early yesterday morning to
review the decision to represent the
women, about 30 University
protestors pounded on doors and
chanted against the regents' review
request.
See 'U', Page 3

By STEVEN TUCH
While many universities nation-
wide are suffering low minority
retention rates, the University's
College of Engineering has a more
than 60 percent minority graduation
rate.
"If you look around the nation
you will see graduation percentages
that are horrendous for minorities,"
said Erdogan Gulari, associate dean

for academic affairs. Gulari cited
Ohio State and Northwestern as
examples.
Officials pinpoint the success of
minority engineers at the University
on the Minority Engineering
Program Office (MEPO).
MEPO helps minority students
in academics and finances, and sup-
plies counseling to those students
who need it.
"While we haven't had a high

increase in the number of minority
enrollment in the last 10 years,
we've done well in relation to mov-
ing students through the system,"
said Derrick Scott, director of
MEPO.
The college's minority enroll-
ment rate keeps pace with the
University's overall minority rate of
13.5 percent. The difference,
See ENGINEERING, Page 2

Investigation reveals
wheelchair barriers

By CARRIE LORANGER
After spending one day in a wheelchair I discovered
that although the Unviersity complies with state acces-
sibility laws, it is by no means easy to maneuver
around campus.

I

Perspective

Throughout the day, friends, teachers and classmates
reacted with surprise. Strangers tried not to stare.
First off, my wheelchair was out of alignment and
pulled to the left, which made my usual seven minute
walk to my 9 a.m. class in the Freize Building a 20
minute wheelchair odyssey.
Dar VanderBeek, director of Disabled Student Ser-
vices, cautioned that because I did not have the arm
strength of a regular wheelchair user it would be more
difficult for me to get around.
VanderBeek was right - and I learned to wheel
through Nickels Arcade or a building instead of long
stretches of sidewalk, because cement is the most
difficult to roll on. Some curb cuts in Ann Arbor are
also difficult to maneuver over. I was grateful to stran-
gers who helped by giving a push whenever the chair
got hung up on a curb cut. If these curb cuts are the
slightest bit bumpy, cracked or uneven it is difficult to
get the small front wheels of the chair over them.
In Act 8 of The Public Acts of 1973, the sidewalk
ramp law states "... a sidewalk must slope gradually
to street level so as to provide an uninterrupted path of

travel." Many curb cuts in Ann Arbor do not meet this
requirement.
Another state law, the Barrier Free Design Law,
outlines specific requirements for ramps, bathrooms,
doors, and other aspects of a building that all new
structures must meet. In my limited time in the
wheelchair, I found that although the University com-
plies with this law, there is no abundance of access-
ibility.
One reason for this may be the age of most Uni-
versity buildings. The Barrier Free Design Law does not
require structures built before 1974 to be accessible by
wheelchair unless they are undergoing a change in con-
struction or use.
A recent survey conducted by Disabled Student
Services of 126 University-owned buildings, excluding
dormitories, showed that 21 buildings do not provide
ramp entrances.
Lane Hall does not have a ramp entrance near the
front of the building, but it does have two back doors
close to the ground. Both have two-inch curbs on them,
and when I opened the door, I was staring at two
staircases, one going up and the other going down.
Deeda Staczak, student services assistant for the
Center for Chinese and Japanese studies, said that in the
three years she has been working there, she has never
had a student or faculty member in a wheelchair.
Miriam King, vice-chair of Michigan Commission
on Handicapper Concerns, said there is a question of
whether discrimination occurs when a student cannot get
into a building. She said some people argue that it is a
See REPORTER, Page 2

Regents
remain
secretive'
in1 search
By MARTHA SEVETSON
Daily News Analysis
No one knows who the regents
are considering to replace University
President Harold Shapiro when he
leaves in January, and it seems
likely that the secret will be kept
until the position is filled.
A loophole in the state's Open
Meetings Act, also known as the
"sun shine law," enables the
University's Board of Regents to
select the University's next president
behind closed doors.
According to state law, the board
must interview candidates in public
unless fewer than the quorum of five
regents are present. The regents will
avoid publicity by interviewing
candidates in groups of two or three.
The regents, who designed the
search process last May, insist that
protecting secrecy is a key ingredient
to a successful selection. Top
candidates may withdraw if their
names were publicized, said Regent
Paul Brown (D-Petoskey), co-chair
of the search committee.
But students and many state legi-
slators argue that the process should
be more open, permitting public
evaluation of the top few candidates.
"I think that at the point where
there are two or three candidates,
there should be more public scrutiny
as to the next president," said State
Senator Lana Pollack (D-Ann
Arbor). "The candidates themselves
have to be willing to take some
risks."
LSA senior David Newblatt, chair
of the students' advisory committee,
agreed with Pollack. But he

Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY:
Daily reporter Carrie Loranger tries to enter Lane Hall, a building that is
inaccessible to wheelchair users. Loranger spent a day in a wheelchair as
part of her investigation of the accessibility of University buildings.

University astronomer to appear on PBS

By KAREN GREENSTEIN
Since 1971, University Astron-
omy Prof. Nancy Houk has
classified more than 130,000 stars
into three volumes of catalogue.
She will describe her work tonight
on the Public Broadcasting Service.
The program, entitled "The Ring
of the Truth," will air at 9 pm on
channel 56. The shnw s the 1at of

(Her study) 'will be used long after the rest of our
papers are buried in the journals.'
-University Astronomy Prof. Rirchard Sears

"I could easily hire non-students
who would last throughout the
study, but I'm committed to using
students."
Astronomy department chair
Douglas Richstone thinks the
students are fortunate for the
opportunity to work on the study.
"It is a very good experience for
them."
TJ -s i - v~1a hnnt . .. v ..s

recognize stars.
The second half of the show will
exnlore the dark matter in the

these bands of light Houk can.
obtain such details as a star's
temperature, chemical composition.

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