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January 29, 1988 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-29

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In Weekend Ma azine:

*Racism forum
*The list *Int

'Maurice'

*John Shea
r *Sketchpad

erview: Holly Nea

Ninety-eight years of editnria! freedom

Vol. XCVIII, No. 83

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Friday, January 29, 1988

Copyright 198'8 The Michigan Daily

University
Astrofest
director
dies at 44
ANN ARBOR (AP) -
University Staff Astronomer Jim
Louden died at his home Monday ap-
parently of natural causes, although
his body was not found until yester-
day, the Washtenaw County Sheriff's
Department said.
Louden, 44, presented more than
175 AstroFest programs, a monthly
film and lecture series he established
under the sponsorship of the Univer-
sity's Natural Science Museums and
Department of Aerospace Engineer-
ing, according to a University press
release.
"Jim played a vital role in the
popularization of astronomy and
made space accessible to the public,"
Astronomy Chair Douglas Rich-
stone, said.
Long time friend, Yvonne Sears
said, "He was everbody's friend, he
helped everyone."
Loudman also reported on space
exploration for National Public
Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting
Corp. and published articles in
magazines including Sky and
Telescope, and Technology Review,
according to the release.
Loudon also complied a monthly
space calender, the Michigan
Spacelog, listing descriptions of as-
tronomical phenomena and signifi-
cant anniversaries in science and
space exploration.

Report criticizes

writing in

LSA

By LISA POLLAK
The quality and quantity of
student writing assignments don't
always reflect the importance that
LSA faculty place on writing skills,
according to an English Comp-
osition Board faculty survey released
this week.
"LSA faculty demonstrated
heightened awareness of the impor-
tance of features of good writing.
But the data... also indicate that
some important work is yet to be
done and that some serious questions
remain unanswered," the survey
concluded.
The LSA curriculum committee
last year commissioned the "ECB
Survey of Extended Writing in the
College" in response to concerns
about the progress of its writing
programs and the poor quality of
student compositions, LSA Dean for
Curriculum and Long Range
Planning Jack Meiland said last year.
The report recommends that LSA
offer more merit incentives for pro-
fessors to use extended writing; that
natural science courses need more
extended writing; and that LSA
faculty reevaluate their methods of
assigning and assessing writing.
"It is a possibility that students
are learning little from the writing
tasks we assign them," the report
said. "An in-depth study of student
comprehension of written feedback
would enable us to assess the affect

.._../

'The poor ability to write is quite discouraging. Mostly
student writing is lifeless and mechanical, with no
source of animating ideas.'
- a University professor in an ECB faculty survey

of the rivers of ink the pour across
our students' pages."
Meiland said yesterday the
curriculum committee has discussed
the report, but would not respond to
its recommendations until meeting
with ECB Director Deborah Keller-
Cohen on Tuesday.
The ECB, established in 1978, is
an interdisciplinary program designed
to improve LSA student writing.
The board sponsors a variety of
programs - including first-year
student writing assessments, LSA
writing workshops, and the ECB
courses required for all upper-level
students.
Keller-Cohen said more than 81
percent of LSA faculty responded to
the survey's questions about the use,
importance, and quality of "extended"
writing - research papers, lab
reports, critical analyses, and
journals - in their classes.
The report found that substantial
numbers of students - 'a great
many' or 'quite a lot' - have

"serious problems" with different
elements of writing in 20-50 percent
of courses taught by LSA faculty.
For example, the faculty reported
encountering students with serious
problems in supporting their written
ideas in half of all courses taught,
and problems with organization in
44 percent of courses.
Keller-Cohen stressed that these
figures are based on faculty
perceptions and recollections, and
not actual reviews of student
portfolios.
"Sometimes when you've seen a
writing problem every term, you can
think something is more serious
than it is," she said, but added that
"these are definitely problems LSA
needs to address."
The report found that LSA faculty
are concerned with improving their
students' writing skills. Ninety-one
percent of faculty agreed with the
statement, "Improving writing skills
See REPORT, Page 3

Uplifting """"~"U " "U"''Y"
Wolverine guard Rumeal Robinson rises above the crowd in last night's
76-64 victory over the Fighting Illini. See story, Page 12.

Council urges students
to oppose PIRGIM funds

By STEVEN TUCH
The Engineering Council on
Wednesday encouraged students to
rethink their support of the Public
interest Research Group in Mich-
igan's new funding system.
The council backs a petition
attacking the refundable fee received
by the Ann Arbor-based environ-
mentalist lobbying group from
University students. The council
urges students to sign a referendum
and to vote in the Michigan Student
Assembly's election to end the way
PIRGIM collects refundable fees

from students.
The Engineering Council's reso-
lution, passed by a 23 to 6 vote,
with nine abstentions, claims that
PIRGIM's fee is unfair to students
and came about as a result of a
heavily-financed and misleading
"Save PIRGIM" campaign.
From 1972 to 1985, students
used a positive checkoff system, in
which they checked a box on their
SVF's if they wanted to give a two
dollar fee to PIRGIM.
In the winter of 1985, the Uni-
versity's Board of Regents voted in

favor of discontinuing PIRGIM's
special status on the SVF form.
However, after a heated campaign
- in which PIRGIM said the group
would be forced to leave campus
without the student fee - a majority
of voting students endorsed the
refundable fee system in the last
spring MSA elections.
"The students felt that PIRGIM
misrepresented (itself)," said
Catherine Kilborn, Engineering
junior and president of the Engin-
eering Council. "Many of the
See COUNCIL, Page 5

Prof.: competiti
By JIM PONIEWOZIK+
Racism is actually a symptom of the larger problem
of overcompetitiveness in our society, said ArchitectureI
Prof. James Chaffers, addressing last night's opening
ceremonies of East Quad's 14th annual Multicultural
Arts Festival.1
Chaffers' address in East Quad's Greene LoungeI
began the weekend-long festival, which was organized
by Abeng, East Quad's minority council. The program
will feature art exhibits, musical performances, and
discussions on arts and politics from a minority c
standpoint.
An atmosphere of overcompetitiveness promoted by

Hn spurs racism
our society and particularly by universities, Chaffers
said, encourages whites to hold racist attitudes in order
to maintain professional and economic advantages over
minorities.
Universities must bear much of the blame, he said,
because they have shifted their goals from teaching for
the sake of knowledge to preparing students for careers.
"Universities, including this one, have moved from
the ideal of seeking truth to that of seeking
'progress'... 'progress' now usually means material and
economic progress," Chaffers said.
See EAST, Page 5

Daily Photo by KAREN HANDELMAN
Gary Cates, Rep. Carl Pursell's (R-Ann Arbor) press secretary, answers protesters' questions regarding Con-
tra-aid yesterday outside Pursell's office on W. Eisenhower Prkwy. About 50 people met there to protest.
LAS-leads protest against
Contra-aid, Pufrsell undecided

Students to star in
NBC movie Saturday
By ELIZABETH ATKINS last June through Affiliated
Two University students will star Modeling Agency in Southfield and
in a WDIV-NBC movie Saturday were chosen from 200 competitors.
night which relays a message about The filming lasted two weeks and
teen sex: "It's OK to say no." took place at Birmingham's Sea-
Ricky Tittsworth, an LSA junior, h'holm Hisih School and Pontiac's

INSIDE
The University is trying to deflet
attention away from its own
inherent problems.
OPINION, Page 4
The 11th annual folk festival hits
town this weekend, featuring
nationally-renowned performers.

By LISA WINER
Thirty five people protested the
U.S. government's giving aid to the
Nicaraguan Contra rebels at a rally
on the Diag and at Representative
Carl Pursell's local office yesterday.
Protesters demanded that Pursell
"represent his constituents" by
voting "no" on Reagan's bill for
$36.25 million in aid to the Contras
when the issue comes before the
U.S. House of Representatives on
February 3.
Pursell's Press Secretary, Gary
Cates, said that Pursell is still
undecided and would like to in-

and international law in a "people's
court" on Pursell's lawn.
Protesters carried signs saying
"The Contras are Butchers - Stop
Aid " and "Carl - Where is your
Conscience?" Rackham graduate
student Corey Dolgon accompanied
by a guitar, sang songs condemning
the presence of the U.S. in
Nicaragua, sarcastically referring to
Central America as a "Club Med"
where Americans can vacation
freedom fighting.
LASC members distributed mock
newspaper articles headlining "Con-

not true at all." The speech portrays
"the North American fantasy that we
are at the center of the world,"
Schroeder said. "The world is a
nightmare for people of the Third
World."
In the "people's court," Rackham
graduate student Dean Baker, who
challenged Pursell for the House seat
last year, said that the U.S. govern-
ment has ignored and trampled on
Nicaragua's rights since the 19th
century.
LASC opposes the bill for

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