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November 22, 1993 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-22

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 22, 1993 - 3

'Ralliers: Independence
needed in Puerto Rico

* The rain fell in a downpour but did not
dampen the spirits nor drown out the shouts of
students, faculty and city residents protesting
Friday for the independence of Puerto Rico in
front of the Ann Arbor Federal Building.
"Five hundred years is enough. Colonialism
has to stop!" shouted the group of about 25
people, marching with signs and waving a ban-
ner decrying Puerto Rico's current common-
wealth status.
The afternoon lunch break crowd in down-
1own Ann Arbor had mixed reactions. Some
walked by quickly trying to ignore the vocal
crowd. Others gave a sign of support and ac-
cepted a flyer. A few stopped to inquire, "But
didn't you just have an election and vote this
The Nov. 14 election held on the island,
promoted by the government of Puerto Rico,
presented the options of statehood, indepen-
' ence or commonwealth status.
Although the majority of voters cast their
ballots to maintain commonwealth status, the
flyer passed around by the Puerto Rican Soli-
darity Organization (PRSO) called the election
"nothing but a joke on the people of Puerto
It stated, "We do not accept the result of the
special election as a valid expression of its
"This was not an election but a survey," said
04arta Cruz, a PRSO organizer, adding, "People
are afraid to vote for independence. They have
been brainwashed to believe that they'll be
starving, lose everything, and never get a job."
Independence proponents claim that the U.
S. "colonialist power" oppresses Puerto Rico's
people, stifling economic development, lower-
ing standard of living and quashing freedom of
Currently, Puerto Rico's unemployment rate
* 25 percent, 60 percent of the population lives
elow the poverty line and 90 percent of its
businesses are owned by U.S capital.
The PRSO used Friday's rally to advance its
goal to make Puerto Rico's plight more widely
"We want to celebrate our heritage in every

aspect," Cruz said. "This is a way of saying we
aren't going to assimilate. We are Latino, that's
our heritage."
Passerby Amir Rudd was impressed with
the protesters ideals and motivation but criti-
cized their lack of organization.
"I totally support what they're doing. I think
it's fantastic that they're making an effort and
trying, but there's not that many people here,"
Rudd said.
"I remember last year when someone orga-
nized almost 75 people for a stupid protest of
Conservative Christians against Coffee Shops
or something."
The protesters marched sang, and chanted
for about an hour
Other than a request to move the protest
from the entrance of the Federal Building down
to the sidewalk, they received no official recog-
nition or reprimands.
"People in this country don't react to any-
thing whether its negative or positive," said
Cruz, as the soggy red, white, and blue banner
asking for the end to colonial rule was folded up
for storage.
While unrelated to the protest, many events
were organized last week to celebrate the cul-
ture and heritage of Puerto Rican students on
campus as part of the University's Puerto Rican
A lecture on health reform and the health
system in Puerto Rico, a documentary about life
on the island, a free Puerto Rican dinner, and a
dance in the Michigan Union composed part of
the celebration.
LSA junior Maria Victoria Ramos volun-
teered with the Puerto Rican Association to help
organize some of the events.
Although she said she would like to see more
student participation in future demonstrations,
she said she enjoyed the experience.
"I got to meet a lot of new people from the
Puerto Rican community, and you rarely see
that on campus," she said. "I got a lot out of it
From informing students and Ann Arbor
residents about Puerto Rico's health system to
giving them the opportunity to dance to a salsa
band Friday night, Michigan Puerto Rico Week
provided a forum for students to show pride in

Eduardo Bonilla and his son, Omar, march outside the Federal Building Friday in protest of the
colonization of Puerto Rico.

offer few
There were few surprises when
the College of Engineering's student
government, the University of Michi-
gan Engineering Council (UMEC),
held elections last Wednesday and
The UMEC elections for every
position but president were uncon-
tested - except for treasurer, a posi-
tion for which there were no candi-
"I guess I'm pretty happy, but no
one ran against me," said Sean Burke,
a first-year student who will be taking
over as secretary.
Burke added, "I ran because I was
aware that there weren't people run-
ning, so I thought that I would help
'We're the voice of
(engineering students).
-Jennifer Starrman
UMEC President
Senior Kyle Chenet won the presi-
dency and junior Lesley Camblin will
be taking over as external vice presi-
The five candidates who received
write-in votes for the treasurer posi-
tion, which had no official candidate,
will be voted on at UMEC's Dec. 8
UMEC is the equivalent to the
LSA student government said Engi-
neering senior Jennifer Starrman, the
current president.
"We're the voice of engineers,"
Starrman said.
UMEC, which has about 80 mem-
bers, holds biweekly meetings on
Wednesday nights, and addresses is-
sues partic ular to engi neering students
and North Campus, such as bussing
and parking.
"There are a lot of unique issues
that affect North Campus as opposed
to Central Campus, and we try to
address those," Starrman said.
UMEC's activity is funded by a
$1 donation from each of the students
and some funds allocated to the coun-
cil from the University administra-
Its faculty adviser is Associate
Dean for Undergraduate Education
and Engineering Prof. Mike Parsons.
Internal Vice President-elect
Trevor Harding, a senior, said, "I'm
pretty excited about the possibility of
changing the undergraduate experi-
He said he hopes to help coordi-
nate various student groups and soci-
"I would like to create a more
friendly atmosphere among the stu-
dent societies," he said.

Burke, secretary-elect, has slightly
different goals.
He said he hopes to get more stu-
dents involved in UMEC, because
"UMEC can really be something posi-
tive for North Campus and the Col-
lege of Engineering."

their culture.
"I'm proud of the whole thing," Ramos said.
"More specifically, about informing the student
body that we're very loving, caring, united

She added, "We try to share that closeness
and I think that a lot of people who aren't Puerto
Rican can see that. We are kind of like a

Campus fraternity faces possible probation extension

History of noise
violations, clashes
with neighbors
renews threat of
0 Town versus gown, campus ver-
sus Ann Arbor residents, students
versus the "real people."
Members of Sigma Alpha Mu Fra-
ternity (SAM) are scheduled to meet
with Vice President for Student Af-
fairs Maureen Hartford today in an
attempt to resolve the most recent
ongoing conflict the fraternity has
with its neighbors and the police.

SAM, located on the corner of
Lincoln Avenue and Hill Street, has
faced a slew of problems dealing with
the community. Complaints from
neighbors have reached such severity
that the fraternity's executive board
members were almost sent to jail.
Last year, the city of Ann Arbor
put the fraternity on probation for
receiving excessive noise violations
and other tickets. At that time, the
members agreed to a 14-point plan of
action, drafted by Ann Arbor's City
Attorney, which included provisions
such as increased community service
and a security guard at all parties.
The fraternity's probation was
scheduled to end this winter. How-
ever, because of additional complaints

and another ticket for noise, it may be
Attorney David Haron, who is also
the father of one of the house mem-
bers, claimed the noise violation was
the house's first legal infraction since
being put on probation. But numer-
ous complaints from neighbors
prompted the probation judge to sen-
tence the executive board members to
a day and night in jail.
The sentence was postponed, how-
ever, pending agreement between the
city and the fraternity on a new plan of
probation, which will be submitted to
the court in December by Assistant
City Attorney Tom Blessing.
Blessing said he feels his respon-
sibility is to "enforce the city code,

protect the interests of the city and the
viability of the neighborhood in the
He said he sees probation as a
method of self-help, for people who
"have yet to learn what behavior is
needed in society," and explained that
if the measure fails, more serious steps
will be taken.
Haron explained the situation as
one where "everyone is working to-
gether" and expressed confidence that
a satisfactory plan will be achieved.
Fraternity president Andrew
Sonnenberg agreed. "We're definitely
trying to change things." He predicted
more interaction with the neighbors
in the future.
Haron noted that it is difficult to

mediate the social needs of a frater-
nity - which often hosts loud parties
- with the expectations of the com-
munity. He explained that fraternities
in particular have the "potential for
exuberant behavior," which is often
not appreciated by local residents.
Some fraternities attempt to avoid
neighborhood conflicts by working
with neighbors before complaints
reach the police.
Grady Bunett, LSA junior and
member of Sigma Nu, said his frater-
nity notifies the neighbors before they
hold parties and leaves a number for
them to call if it gets too loud. "That
way we can turn down the music for
them and there's no reason to call the
police," he said.


Free-trade proponents work out
GENEVA (AP) - NAFTA is fi- agreement on what would be the most - more tha
nally set to make the world's largest far-reaching trade liberalizing pack- according to
free-trade zone a reality. But an even age ever. optimism is 1
bigger deal to open markets world- The aim is to cut barriers to ex- "I think w
wide may remain a dream. ports of everything from beef to beer U.S. negotia
Seven-year-old talks sponsored by and from textiles to telecommunica- after Congr
the General Agreement on Tariffs and tions. American Fr
Trade face a Dec.15 deadline to reach Potential economic gains are huge But the ob

problems with GATT

n $200 billion per year,
some estimates - and
we're going to make it,"
tor John Schmidt said
ess cleared the North
ee Trade Agreement. '
bstacles to an accord are

The service fraternity that assisted in MSA ballot counting is Delta Sigma Pi. MSA also does not count LSA
student government ballots. These were incorrectly reported in Friday's Daily.

daunting, and GATT chief Peter
Sutherland and other free-trade pro-
ponents warn that trade wars, pro-
longed world recession and instabil-
ity could result if they are not over-
"I will do anything and every-
thing that is necessary to help this
round come to a conclusion," said
Sutherland. "The only thing I can't
do is be a magician. Whereas one
can bring horses to the water, they
have to decide themselves whether
they want to drink or not."
The two main "horses" are the
United States and the 12-nation Eu-
ropean Community. Their trade
chiefs meet in Washington on today

for further efforts to hammer out the
High on the agenda is the long-
standing row over cuts in farm sub-
sidies. France has threatened to veto
a U.S.-EC accord reached one year
ago and turned defense of its farmers
into a point of national honor.
U.S. trade officials have denied
reports that Washington might be
willing to reopen talks on the so-
called Blair House accord. Even if
Washington wanted to, there would
only be limited scope for change.
Agricultural nations like Argen-
tina, Australia and Canada would
oppose any attempt to trim the size
of cuts in farm subsidies.

Student groups
U Archery Club, meeting and
practice, Sports Coliseum, 8
U Asian Pacific Lesbian-Gay-Bi-
sexual Support Group, weekly
meeting, Michigan Union,
Room 3116, noon
U Comedy Company Writer's
Meeting, sponsored by UAC,
Michigan Union, Room 2105,
7 p.m.
U Cooperative non-profit copy
shop, organizational meeting,
Inter-Cooperative Council Edu-
cation Center, 1522 Hill St., 4

7:30 p.m.
U Rowing Team, novice practice,
Boat House, Men 3, 4, and 5
p.m., Women 3:30, 4:30, and
5:30 p.m.
U Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do Club,
beginners welcome, CCRB,
Room 2275, 8:30 p.m.
U Tae Kwon Do Club, training
session, CCRB, Room 2275, 7
U The Dybbuk's Revenge, musi-
cal comedy sponsored by Hillel,
Ann Arbor Civic Theater, 2275

tiatives, Michigan Union,
Kuenzel Room, 7 p.m.
Q Teaching Art History in Post-
Totalitaria Romania, lecture
by Erika Wolf, sponsored by
the Center for Russian ad East
European Studies, Lane Hall,
Commons Room, 7 p.m.
Student services
U Career Planning and Place-
ment, MBA programs, prepa-
ration and application, Student
Activities Building, Room
3200,4:10 p.m.
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