The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 12, 1988 - Page 5
Students simulate daily
lives of the homeless
.BY TARA GRUZEN
The streets were cold, and most people just walked
by ignoring their pleas for money. An occasional
unlocked building or unoccupied heating vent was the
only temporary escape from the freezing temperatures.
Most of all, there was no one to talk to and nothing to
do to pass the time.
The 15 students of the Pilot Program Planet
-Management class each spent roughly three hours this
past weekend simulating the daily life of a homeless
person. Dressed in second-hand clothes, unshaven and
pretending to be penniless, the students looked for cans
in the trash, asked for money from people on the
streets, and ate their meals in the local soup kitchens.
Link Olson, a first-year student in the class, tried
unsuccessfully to buy some cigarettes with the
pennies, nickels, and dimes he had brought with him
for the day.
"We don't deal on that level," the person behind the
.counter told Link. "We don't need to sell cigarettes
that bad, especially around the holidays."
As ?:nk was leaving, he dropped some pennies
because his hands were cold. The person at the counter
The class decided to do the simulation at the
suggestion of an Ann Arbor Night Shelter volunteer,
who gave them a tour when they visited earlier this
term. The volunteer suggested that they each spend
three days and three nights simulating the life of a
-homeless person, but because of safety, weather, and
other commitments, the students chose to spend only
three hours each.
"I know that I could never really feel what it would
be like to be homeless, but I did get somewhat of a
better understanding of what it might be like," said
first-year student Mike Nemec, who slept on the street
Laly Villanueva, who walked along the streets
dressed up for about two hours yesterday morning, said
she didn't agree with the project.
"I don't think dressing up was appropriate," said
Villanueva, a first-year student. "I'm really not a
homeless person so I'm not going to be able to know
how it feels to be homeless."
Jim Hartman, a graduate student in the School of
Natural Resources and teacher of the class said the
class tried not to mock the homeless by not overdoing
"We didn't make fun of them but we acted like
them," Hartman said. "It was an act of deception but
the ends justified the means."
He said students in the class will be writing to the
Ann Arbor City Council about their experiences.
Letters that are written to the city council will
emphasize low income housing and single room
occupancy as a solution for homelessness.
"The class needed to spend more time understanding
the issue before we could start working on it,"
Hartman said. "The purpose of the program was to
Iranian recounts jail, torture
BY ED KRACHMER
Reza Jalali, an Iranian, recounted
His experiences as a prisoner of con-
science in India at the Union Satur-
day night as part of a fortieth an-
niversary commemoration of the
Universal Declaration of Human
Jalali's speech was part of a Hu-
Oman Rights Day Celebration spon-
sored by Ann Arbor's chapter of
"I never imagined that I could
stand in front of an audience and tell
of my experience," Jalali said. "I
have become the spokesman for a
very unfortunate and forgotten com-
- JALALI was exiled from Iran in
972 for his support of Kurdish cul-
tural activities and fled to India. In
1981, the Iranian government re-
quested that the Indian government
imprison him because of his opposi-
tion to the Iran-Iraq war.
"In most of the cases [that
Amnesty handles], they [political
prisoners] are living in the wrong
place at the wrong time, or have been
ruled by the wrong people," Jalali
~'!Jalali also described his feelings as
a member of an ethnic minority in
"I accepted that I'd have to go
through life with much pain and suf-
fering because I was different," he
said. "Kurds are not allowed to speak
their own language and are not al-
lowed to follow their own tradi-
t AT. THE AGE of 15, after
being arrested by the Iranian secret
police for criticizing the government,
he was given the choice of going to
prison or leaving the country. Jalali
choose the latter.
After living in India for nine
years, Jalali was detained in 1981 by
the Indian government. Although he
was not active in any anti-Indian
government causes, Jalali said he was
treated as a political prisoner, which
included being chained to his cell
wall and frequently tortured.
Amnesty International intervened
on his behalf, and Jalali was released
in 1982. Jalali went into hiding in
India for a year after his release be-
cause he said he feared that the Ira-
nian government would try to murder
him. Jalali eventually emigrated to
the United States.
MUCH OF Amnesty Inter
national's work involves writin
letters to governments who are hol
ing Amnesty prisoners of conscience
"If you are lucky enough to liv
in the U.S., then you should be thi
voice for the voiceless," he sai
"Maybe you should feel that whe
anyone's rights are being violate
our rights are being violated."
"If you can send them [politica
prisoners] a ray of hope, maybe yo
can save a life, make sure they ar
not tortured anymore, and make sur
the beatings stop," he said.
Jalali's speech was followed by
short animated video presentation o
the Universal Declaration of Huma
Can You Offer a Creative Contribution to Your Field?
- - :-/-
S. %*. :
re MASTERS of":
Win a $5,OOO* Zenith Data System:
We're searching for tomorrow's innovators.
If you've developed or used software or
hardware-that is compatible with Zenith
Data System products-to creatively ad-
dress a problem or task in your field of
study, we want to hear from you.
You could win a $5,OOO* Zenith Data
Systems computer system for yourself,
$5,000* worth of computer equipment
for your college campus given in your
name, and national recognition from
For More Information And Official Rules,
Competition Ends March 1,1989.
Void Where Prohibited.
HAPPY HOL IDA YS
f POLICE NOTES
A group of men committed three
unarmed robberies on campus Friday
night, and two suspects were ap-
Sirehended following a foot chase.
The first assault took place in
front of the undergraduate library at
11:57 p.m., said Sgt. John King of
the Ann Arbor Police Department.
Another took place immediately
afterward on the corner of State St.
and North University, followed by a
third in front of Tally Hall.
Officers Pete Stipe and Rick
Stern chased two of the three
suspects, who were jailed and will
appear in 15th District Court today.
One of the alleged assailants had
been arrested on a number of
4ccasions, King said.
"These are the kind of people the
officers know and are familiar with,
we come in contact with them all
the time," King said.
One victim was treated at the
University hospital for minor in-
jiries and released.
-By Nicole Shaw
FROM ALL OF US AT RECREATIONAL SPORTS
$ Earn Extra Cash $
Earn $20 on your first donation. You can earn up to $120 a
month. Couples can earn up to $240. Repeat donors who
have not donated in the last 30 days receive an additional
$5 bonus for return visit.
Plasma donors are people helping people.
813 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti
Monday thru Friday 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m
Call Today About Being A
US5 23 Mafwsf d
a Was Dnaw
We stock a full line of
Clothing, boots, camping