The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 11, 1992- Page 7
Students defy odds to win entrance to U-M Law School
by Andrew Taylor
Daily Staff Reporter
The competition is among the
fiercest a student will ever face. The
opposition will be highly qualified
and vast in numbers. The battle will
leave many emotional scars on those
, Vho fail.
It's just another year of admis-
ions for the U-M School of Law.
"This is one of the premier law
,chools in the country," said Dennis
'Shields, assistant Law School dean.
.The law school thinks its student
k ody is one of its greatest assets."
Shields added that the Law
School is currently striving to recruit
l diverse student body.
Shields said, in addition to diver-
sity considerations, admissions ofti-
Gers consider a vast array of criteria
to judge prospective students.
"No test score guarantees admis-
sions," Shields said. "To really be a
scholar: that's the thing that's most
The undergraduate GPA for first-
year U-M law student ranged from
2.8 to 4.0 last year, while the aver-
age was 3.58.
However, Shields pointed out
that the cumulative GPA does not
weigh as heavily in the admissions
process as many other factors.
"trend in grades is very impor-
tant," Shields said, adding that ad-
missions officers look for applicants
that end their undergraduate careers
with solid grades in challenging
"You always worry about a
downward trend," Shields said.
Several admissions officers noted
that the pool of applicants for the
U-M School of Law is very
qualified. In a typical year, for the
370 positions in the incoming class,
there are generally close to 6,000
Because many applicants are
equally qualified with regard to
GPA and Law School Admission
Tests (LSAT), the admissions offi-
cials said they must look beyond
simple "numeric indicators.
'No test score guarantees admissions. To
really be a scholar: that's the thing that's most
- Dennis Shields
Assistant Dean of U-M School of Law
"What is written in the essays can
make a difference," Shields said.
The admissions officials often
look for not only literary structure,
but also the essay's substance as
"I think at the really competitive
law schools (essays) make a differ-
ence," Shields said.
He added that professor's letters
of recommendations also can play
an important role in the admissions
Shields pointed out "we're not
really interested in a specific cur-
riculum," citing that students at the
Law School come from 50 different
Shields said he often hears ru-
mors that students who want to at-
tend the U-M School of Law
shouldn't do their undergraduate
work at U-M.
"It's a myth to say that we in the
admissions department are biased
against U-M undergrads," -Shields
said. "The argument that you
shouldn't do your undergraduate and
graduate work at the same place
- it doesn't apply to the law
Many believe high costs may de-
ter some prospective law students
from attending the U-M; but Shields
said he doesn't feel that is true.
"Our costs are not that much
higher than other law schools ... and
I would doubt that many people pass
up a U-M education," Shields said.
Prospective in-state law students
can expect to spend more than
$60,000 after all expenses are to-
taled. Out-of-state students can ex-
pect a bill close to $5,000.
And students hoping for financial
aid to cover these costs may be in
for a shock.
"Students are expected to use
their full access to federal loans be-
fore any grant money will be consid-
ered," said Katherine Gottschalk, di-
rector of financial aid for the U-M
School of Law.
She said the minimum a student
must borrow before they will be
considered for a grant is $34,500.
"Generally, if you didn't qualify
for financial aid as an undergradu-
ate, you won't qualify as a law stu-
dent," Gottschalk said.
Students said they find an escape
from academics through extra-cur-
ricular activities. However, these
have little effect on students'
chances for admissions.
Admission to one of the
country's premier law
schools is very competitive.
Here are some facts on the
U-M School of Law:
8 Average GPA for incoming
Applications recieved each
year: 6,000. Admitted:
Student body composition:
46% female, 24% students of-
color, and 39% Michigan
Percentage who studied as
undergraduate at U-M:22%.
Cost of 3 years: more than
$60,000 for in-state students,
$85,000 for out of state.
"I don't like to see students do
things solely to look better for law
school," Shields said. "Quite
frankly, almost everybody has thdse
on their application."
He added that activities in which
a student participates, bringing hi
or her in closer contact with faculty,
U-M Hindus, Muslims discuss Indian events
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by Mona Qureshi
Daily Minority Issues Reporter
The destruction of a 430-year-old
mosque thought to have been built
on top of the birthplace of a Hindu
god, and subsequent rioting in India,
Pakistan, and Bangladesh have pro-
voked debate in the U-M community
regarding the justification of the
"People need to realize that what
happened is not an isolated event,"
Islamic Circle President Kamran
He said that the movement in
India against the mosque - the
Babri Masjid - located in Ayodhya
and Muslims in India has been long
standing. The conflict has culmi-
nated in 700 deaths and a recently-
declared state of emergency in India.
National Hindu Students Council
(HSC) Coordinator Mihir Meghani
said that, although there has been a
movement against the mosque, this
was the first ever to be demolished
in India. He added that Muslims
have obliterated several temples in
Pakistan, Britain, and Bangladesh in
retaliation to the event.
Hindus, which constitute 83 per-
cent of India's 800 million-person
population, believe their main god,
Rama, was born at the site of the
mosque. Ayodhya is also a major
center of Buddhism, with several
With the invasion of the Moguls
in the 16th century, large mosques
were erected in India and surround-
ing countries - many times at the
expense of Hindu temples and sites,
said third-year Inteflex student Mihir
Meghani, coordinator of the national
Hindu Students Council (HSC).
"The Babri mosque hasn't been
used as a mosque in 45 years.
mosque will not rectify
this situation. Four
hundred years of
Islamic and Indian
history are gone.'
Hindus have been worshipping there
for a long time," he said.
Neither the Islamic Circle nor the
national HSC has made official
statements concerning the recent
events. However, Meghani said that
most U-M Hindu students who have
approached him said they feel the
temple should be in Ayodhya.
"It's such an important monu-
ment and it should be returned to the
Hindus," he said. Meghani paral-
leled the temple to the Vatican and
Mecca and asked if Catholics and
Muslims would want those places
resurrected if they had been de-
stroyed and built over by another re-
Bajwa disagreed, saying that
mistakes cannot be corrected
"If we try to redress all these
historical wrongs, we could find a
Muslim upset by a Hindu," he said.
According to a pamphlet dis-
tributed in 1989 by the Center for
Historical Studies at Jawaharial
Nehru University in New Delhi,
India, scholars have had trouble de-
termining whether the Babri Masjid
was built over a Rama temple.
Historians have found no historical
or geographical evidence suggesting
that present-day Ayodhya is the
same place as the Ayodhya men-
tioned in Hindu belief.
Due to the conflict, many on
campus are debating travel plans to
those countries over the holiday
LSA sophomore Kausar Rahman
had been planning to visit relatives
in India with her mother for months,
but canceled her plans because of
"We go every four years or so. I
really wanted to go, and I can't be-
lieve this happened," she said.
Bajwa said he will maintain his
plans to visit Pakistan and hopes to
actively participate in peace demon-
Meghani said most people he
knows who were arranging to visit
India have indicated they will con-
tinue their travel plans.
Still, students agree that such a
conflict will not cause antagonisih
on campus. "The people here ai
fairly liberal," Indian American
Students' Association Presideht
Muhammad Mamdani said. "I don't
think it would divide people as much
as it would if we were in India."
Bajwa said the main concern of
many students is a possible war be-
tween India and neighboring
Pakistan, which has been an issue
since Pakistan declared indepen-
dence from India in 1947 - espe-
cially because of a rumored armqs
buildup in the two countries.
Indian Prime Minister Narasimha
Rao said yesterday he would like to
rebuild the Babri Masjid.
But Rahman said it is too late.
"The damage has already been done.
Rebuilding the mosque will not ret-
tify this situation. Four hundred
years of Islamic and Indian history
are gone," she said.
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UC=Santa Cruz protests
administration's plans to
slash student services
by Shelley Morrison
Daily Higher Education Reporter
Students at the University of
California-Santa Cruz are protesting
the university in the wake of pro-
posed budget cuts that threaten to
cut a hole in student services.
One month ago, students at the
UCSC were staging a protest when
the arrival of police turned the oth-
erwise peaceful demonstration into
Approximately 2,000 students
were gathered at the university's li-
brary Nov. 9 to hear Vice
Chancellor Michael Tanner respond
to demands made in a letter by
Concerned Students (CS) - a stu-
dent activist group that began this
fall to protect student interests in the
face of mass budget cuts.
The letter, sent one week prior to
the demonstration, demanded,
among other things, that students be
saved from a 12 percent cut in stu-
CS member David Goldberg said
that, after failing to answer student
queries, Tanner sneaked out of the
library and called the police when
students began to blockade the doors
to the building in protest.
"The students wanted to know
when demands would be met, and
suddenly the police began to physi-
cally remove people from the li-
brary," Goldberg said.
Goldberg, who says he is very
involved with student activism, was
among the students lining the doors
to the library. Two weeks later, he
was arrested for assaulting an officer
"The administration refused to
meet with students until these events
happened," Goldberg said, "It has
forced the university to start the ball
rolling for negotiations."
Reports from a meeting of ad-
ministrators held last Monday indi-
cated that the university is planning
to reduce the cuts from 12 percent to
While undergraduate students
said they were striving to empower
students by petitioning the adminis-
tration, graduate students on campus
have organized as well.
The union of Graduate Student
Employees (GSE), composed of
graduate students/teaching assis-
tants, has been striking against uni-
versity jurisdiction since Nov. 23.
"Our main purpose in striking is
because we want to be part of the
decision-making process," said GSE
executive council member Lorraine
In order to avoid being under the
university's jurisdiction, GSE has
become a chapter of the United Auto
Workers (UAW), fighting primarily
for reforms in salary allotment, class
sizes, and teaching assistant
Kenny said that picket lines have
been very effective in blocking such
normal activities as construction
work and deliveries, and students
have been very supportive - even
suggesting that classes be held off-
Administration officials met last
night to discuss the current strike.
FolIowini renorts that "the
Mechanical engineering senior Patricia Lum places a car into an
educational wind tunnel as part of a project for a 400 level ME class.