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October 20, 1993 - Image 3

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-20

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 20, 1993-3
. Assembly settles dispute with Ann Arbor Tenants' Union

By KAREN TALASKI
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
The weekly conflict between the Michi-
gan Student Assembly and the Ann Arbor
Tenants' Union (AATU) may have finally
come to a close at last night's assembly meet-
ing.
The student government voted against
withdrawing its nominees to AATU's board
of directors, 14-5. MSA is responsible for
appointing four people to the nine-member
board that oversees all of the activities of the
pro-tenants' rights organization.

MSA's four appointees had been under
fire from the tenants' union because a major-
ity were MSA representatives. In a letter to
the assembly, Board President Ann Wilson
claimed AATU bylaws mandated three of the
assembly's four nominees had to be non-
MSA students.
Some MSA representatives disagreed, ar-
guing the applicants were selected based on
who applied, regardless of their association
with the assembly.
"(This motion) questions MSA's right to
make appointments to the board," Business

Rep. Devon Bodoh said. "I wish the pool of
applicants were larger too, but these were the
people who applied."
Part of the debate over the assembly's
appointees arose from personal conflicts that
allegedly exist between AATU staffer Pattrice
Maurer and Engineering Rep. Brent House.
FormerMSArepresentativeJanelle White
spoke to the assembly about her concerns
with House's ability to serve on the board
alongside Maurer. White said she felt some of
House's comments could be construed as
homophobic and problematic to Maurer, who

is a lesbian.
"Gay bashing is a very real thing and it does
happen at the University of Michigan," White
said. "I'm not trying to indict anyone. It's about
making sure the tenants' union runs smoothly
and there are no interpersonal conflicts."
House defended himself against White's
accusations, saying he was being unfairly
represented in regard to his comments in and
out of MSA chambers.
"There's no court forme to present myself
to to prove I didn't say certain things," House
said. "The AATU is holding things up be-

cause they don't want to change and they're
set in their ways. They need an outside per-
spective."
Public Health Rep. Meg Whittaker sug-
gested House and Maurer meet and discuss a
peaceful way to work together.
By defeating the motion to withdraw its
AATU appointments, the four people nomi-
nated will become immediate members of the
tenants' union board. If an assembly member
wants to question any individual nomination,
he or she would have to make a motion in an
upcoming meeting.

Denny trial
. has public
asking why
'Not guilty'
LOS ANGELES (AP)--Millions
who watched Black men pummeling
white trucker Reginald Denny into a
bloody pulp on live television while
one of the attackers danced a jig felt
they were eyewitnesses to a ghastly
crime.
In the same worldwide audience
were many whose senses had reeled a
year earlier at videotaped images of
white police officers smashing ba-
tons into black motorist Rodney King
as he endured electric shocks, stag-
gered and rolled on the ground.
When the words "NotGuilty" were
uttered 16 times Monday in the Denny
beating trial of Damian Williams and
Henry Watson, there was an eerie
echo of the first Rodney King beating
trial: another failed prosecution based
on dramatic, presumably ironclad
video evidence.
A vast majority of the public was
left asking: What went wrong? Is see-
ing no longer believing?
The jury did find Williams and
Watson guilty of several reduced
charges and resumed deliberations
yesterday on two undecided counts:
an attempted premeditated murder
charge against Williams, one of the
most severe charges carrying a maxi-
mum life prison term, and a lesser
count against Watson of assault on
another truck driver during the riots.
"We find ourselves outraged by
these verdicts, as much as we were
when the Simi Valley courthousejury
acquitted the four Los Angeles police
officers who beat King," The Press-
Courier of Oxnard said in an editorial
yesterday. "Justice is supposed to be
blind. But not that blind."

MOVING VIOLATION

Study Abroad Fair is
first step in world tour

By DAWN TAMIR
FOR THE DAILY
While many students may com-
plete foreign language courses just to
fulfill distribution requirements, the
University is offering the opportunity
to apply these language skills by study-
ing abroad.
To ease the path to foreign study,
the Office of International Programs
(OIP) is sponsoring its Study Abroad
Fair from 4-6 p.m. tomorrow in the
Michigan Union Ballroom. The OIP
wants to get students in all class levels
to start thinking about going abroad.
Students, who work in the office
and previously attended study abroad
programs, will answerquestions. The
OIP wants first-year students to begin
planning their schedules in order to
allow time to go abroad. For seniors,
they hope a few extra credits will
prompt a change of atmosphere.
"I loved it!" said Erica Harrison,
an LSA senior who studied in Seville,
Spain last year.
University students can choose
from programs sponsored by the Uni-
versity of Michigan and other univer-
sities in locations ranging from Eu-
rope to the Far East, South and Cen-
tral America, and Africa.
In studying abroad through a Uni-
versity ofMichigan program, students
receive full in-residence credit and
the grades transfer. In addition, the
office takes care of registration for
the coming semester or year.
The University offers semester
programs, academic year programs,
as well as spring and summer pro-
grams. The programs also guarantee
University staff to assist in keeping
contact with Ann Arbor.
Students must pay only tuition and
an additional program fee, which in-
cludes room and board, administra-
tive fees and excursions. The excur-

sions usually entail guided weekend
and day trips throughout the semes-
ter. For those who cannot afford a
semester abroad, financial aid and
scholarships are available.
Cathy Murphy, an LSA senior,
went to Japan last year through a
University of Michigan program. She
said it was a plus to use the same
books and have two University pro-
fessors along to teach.
While some students find the Uni-
versity-sponsored programs more
user-friendly, some disagree.
Gershon Askenazy, an LSA jun-
ior, went to Seville through the Uni-
versity program. He said the Univer-
sity ofMichigan/Cornellprogram was
"considered the most academic."
He found some benefits to the
program such as hassle-free registra-
tion, and a small program which meant
more personal attention.
Harrison, who registered through
the University of Wisconsin,
Plattville, rather than the University
program, said there are no benefits to
studying through the University of
Michigan.
In the University of Michigan/
Cornell program, she said, "(They)
spent more time doing school work. I
did not want to do strenuous work
while I was there."
Harrison said as an out-of-state stu-
dent she saved money going through
University of Wisconsin.
At the end of the programs, OIP
offers a Welcome Back Students Pro-
gram upon return. There they listen to
suggestions and complaints that the
students have.
Murphy enjoyed the support she
got when she returned to Ann Arbor.
She said, "When you come back,
you get to see the students who were
on your program, and we got to con-
tinue our Japanese together."

DANIEL KRAUSS/Daily

An unknown biker zooms through the West Engineering Arch yesterday afternoon.

Computer program by University researcher teaches young children to write

By LASHAWNDA CROWE
FOR THE DAILY
Remember learning to write -
the vanilla paper with the inch-thick
lines you carefully tried to trace your
ABCs between? So tedious and hard.
And now maybe outdated.
Dr. Ramesh Kushawaha, a bio-
medical research scientist at the Uni-
versity Hospitals, has pioneered a
method to skip the days of learning to
write with pen and paper. Earlier this
month, Kushawaha unveiled Talking
ABC's Workbook, a computer pro-
gram that teaches children how to
write English..
Kushawaha's strong ties with his
homeland, Allahabada, India, were
the inspiration behind Play and Learn
Hindi, the predecessor to Talking,

ABC's Workbook. "I wanted to cre-
ate a program that taught (Indian
American) children Hindi,"
Kushawaha said.
After successfully marketing Play
and Learn Hindi, Kushawaha's wife,
Anita, took the concept further be-
cause she wanted a program to teach
people how to write Hindi. "We no-
ticed that there wasn't anything on
the market that taught children how to
write HindiorEnglish. So I researched
to make sure (there weren't any writ-
ing programs) and went ahead from
there."
The rest is history. Talking ABC's
Workbook was created three months
later - a relatively short time for
creating a computer program thatusu-
ally takes up to a year from concept to

writing.
The program is available only on
IBM-compatible computers, but
Kushawaha is in the process of writ-
ing a program for Macintosh comput-
ers. As the program is an interactive
game, the user needs a mouse to par-
ticipate in the exercises.
The workbook is divided into three
games.
Game one is designed to familiar-
ize children with the alphabet. Letters
are formed from rectangles the child
must color in using the mouse. The
computer also tells the child the name
of the letter, connecting the visual
image with the verbal sound.
Game two, which is broken down
into five stages of increasing diffi-
culty, begins with the child tracing

over solid lines with the mouse.
"The computer will not plot a line
that is completely out of the bound-
aries," Kushawaha said. "This gets (a
child) familiar with how the letters
look."
As the level of difficulty increases,
the solid lines become dashes and
dots, forcing children to rely on their
aptitude. By level five, only a skel-
eton of major points outlines the let-
ter.
"At this point, a child should be
able to recognize the letters with the
help of the computer," he said.
Advanced writing skills and
knowledge of how the letters look are
needed to play the third game. A
framework of major points and the
number of lines needed to complete
the letter are given to help increase
the child's free style capability.
"By the end of all three games a
child should be able to write. This is
just like a workbook. It's just more
electronic," he said.

Negative responses are withheld
from the learning process. When a
child succeeds, "GREAT!" flashes
across the screen as the computer
cheers, but amistake is rewarded with
an encouraging "Try again."
Leonidas Isamidias, a post-doc-
torate electrical engineer, who viewed
the program said, "I think it is an
initial good effort in that it has origi-
nality. I strongly recommend kids use
this as a first step (in learning) the
alphabet."
Kushawaha admitted that the pro-
gram is in its early stages of develop-
ment. With the help of Don Hamilton,
a professional software tester,
Kushawaha has made many improve-
ments on the original program.
"If this program is useful, I'll up-
grade it more and make the game
more fun for children," Kushawaha
said. More sound effects and games
featuring characters such as Big Bird
are some of the improvements he has
considered. Already he is exploring

writing other language programs.
Hamilton was unavailable for
comment.
School of Education Prof. Eliza-
beth Sulzby, who has not yet seen
Kushawaha's program, said, "(In gen-
eral,) kids find skill-and-drill exer-
cises like tracing difficult, (because)
kids go through a long process of
exploration to develop letterandhand-
writing formations."
Sulzby, who has done research
with computers in primary education
since 1987, pointed out that comput-
ers are already widely used in educa-
tion and programs similar to
Kushawaha's "are just another tool
like books and pencils and paper to be
used in the classroom."
But agreeing with Sulzby,
Kushawaha said, "Computers are a
good way to teach children. There is
more interaction and it's not just the
workbook and student. Children are
very excited (about computers). They
get hooked easy."

Student groups
Q Association for Computing
Machinery, meeting, G.G.
Brown Building, Room 1504,
noon.
Q Lutheran Campus Ministry,
Jesus Through the Centuries,
study/discussion, 6 p.m.;
Evening Prayer, 7 p.m., 801 S.
Forest.
Q Ninjutsu Club, IM Building,
Wrestling Room, 7:30 p.m.
Q Rainforest Action Movement,
weekly meeting, Dana Build-
ing, Room 1046,7 p.m.
Q Rowing Team, novice practice,
boat house, men 3, 4, 5 p.m.;
women 3:30, 4:30, 5:30 p.m.
Q Saint Mary Student Parish,
Catholic Student Fellowship, 7

U Tae Kwon Do Club, beginners
and other new members wel-
come, CCRB, Room 2275, 7-
8:30 p.m.
Q Undergraduate Law Club, of-
fice hours, Michigan Union,
Room 4124, 11a.m. - 2 p.m.
U University Students Against
Cancer, group meeting, Michi-
gan League, RoomD, 7:30p.m.
Event
Q Deloitte & Touche/Chicago
Presentation, sponsored by
Career Planning and Placement,
Michigan Union, Anderson
Room, 7 -9 p.m.
U Entertainment Publications
Presentation, sponsored by
Career Planning and Placement,

Planning and Placement, 10
a.m.-2 p.m.; Admissions Panel,
2:10-3 p.m., Michigan Union,
Kuenzl Room.
U MCI Presentation,'sponsored
by Career Planning and Place-
ment, Michigan Union, Wol-
verine Room, 6-8 p.m.
U Teach English in Japan, spon-
sored by Career Planning and
Placement, 3200 Student Ac-
tivities Building, 5-7:30 p.m.
U The Rough Road to Economic
Transition in Russia, brown
bag lecture, sponsored by the
Center for Russian and East
European Studies, Lane Hall
Commons Room, noon.
Student services

The Daily is looking for a few good reporters.
Call 764-0552 or stop by 420 Maynard if you are interested.
What Can You Do Wth a in Math??
Come and Find Out!!I

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