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April 18, 1994 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-18

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 18, 1994 - 11

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RATING
Continued from page 1
according to Moody's, 'The
University's strong overall credit posi-
tion,"' Womack told the regents.
The upgradeaffectstheUniversity's
$186.9 million debt, including student
fee bonds and other debt backed by the
University's pledge of all legally avail-
able funds. "The higher rating means
we are more secure with our credit,"
Womack said.
In announcing the new rating,
Moody's reported, "This flagship state
university is one of the nation's leading
education and research institutions with
selective undergraduate as well asgradu-
ate programs. Continuing success in
obtaining external research grants dem-
onstrates the University's prominence
as one of the nation's leading research
facilities."
Because of the higher rating, the
University can pay lower interest rates
when making debt payments.
"The rating upgrade represents a
significant accomplishment for the
University. It is the product of the ef-

forts of a great many people," Womack
said.
Norman G. Herbert, University trea-
surer and investment officer said the
new rating stemmed from a University
request for a re-evaluation of its credit.
"The University asked for review
of its rating and we are pleased with the
upgrade. We felt we were stronger than
our Aa rating, and were able to demon-
strate proof of that strength with our
research grants, investments and en-
dowments," Herbert said.
He said the University will continue
to work for a higher credit rating.
"It has always been our objective to
get a Aaa credit rating. Some private
colleges and universities have Aaa rat-
ings, but our Aal is a first for public
universities."
Womack noted that the rating up-
grade recognizes several strengths of
the University including: the high qual-
ity of the faculty; a selective admissions
policy; the emphasis on state-of-the art
research work; the University's finan-
cial flexibility, particularly the large
and rapidly growing endowment, and
conservative fiscal practices; the profit-
ability of the University Hospital; and

JUDITH PERKINS/Daily
WEst Quad residents bounce around in a moonwalk provided as part of an end of the year party.

*Native American goalie's plight as team member brought conflict

GORDON
Continued from page 1
The incidents started in Gordon's
junior year, when he made an attempt
to grow out his hair.
At their first 1992-93 team meet-
ing, Gordon said Berenson came into
the locker room and suggested to the
team that they get haircuts.
"That's when I first approached
Coach," he said. "I expressed my feel-
tngs toward keeping my hair and at first
I didn't go into a real big explanation
about the traditional beliefs.... I kind
of questioned, why is it so important
Oformetocutmy hairand that's when he
stated, that because I looked like a
'dirtball."'
This past season, with Gordon's
commitment to his beliefs stronger than
ever, Gordon said he felt even greater
tension. He said Berenson had pulled
him to the side and said, "We're start-
ing to meet as a team now, and you're
going to have to decide what you're
ing to do about your hair.
"I said, 'I already have decided,'
and he said, 'If you're not going to do
anything about it, we'll have to discuss
it.' Coach asked me into his office and
in front of the other coaches. He basi-
caly said I'm going to have to make a
decision and if I didn't decide to cut my
hiir I just wouldn't be around," Gor-

don said.
Gordon said he tried to explain in
more detail, but Berenson said he did
not represent the Michigan hockey
team. He said he met with the coaching
staff and attempted to explain his be-
liefs in depth, but he did not get any-
where.
"When you're representing the
University of Michigan, we keep our
players looking like athletes. Chris had
a different opinion," Berenson said in a
telephone interview he ended abruptly.
"I've accepted that. I didn't totally un-
derstand it. I accepted it," he said.
"Coach basically felt I was going
against the team. I told him I didn't feel
that way and I believe the guys on the
team didn't seem to mind," Gordon
said. "They were accepting me for who
I was. That's when Coach said long
hair isn't the 'in' thing right now. I kind
of knew he was really misunderstand-
ing the strong feelings and beliefs be-
hind my hair.
"This is the meeting where I got to
the point where I basically went into
tears over it. I was really hurting. ... I
had to make a decision - cut my hair
or leave the team. I had no choice but to
cut my hair.
"I just didn't want to cause any
more waves than I already did. That
was never my intention," he said.
The Dekers - the hockey team's
booster club - was to have a picnic in,
the next few days, Gordon said.

Berenson told him to take care of his
hair immediately, he added.
"He said he didn't want me show-
ing up unless my hair was cut from now
on. I really fought with thinking about
what to do," Gordon said. He said he
cut it to shoulder length.
Gordon said cutting his hair was
difficult. If it was not an explicit com-
promise he had to make, he said he felt
there was one. "I love playing hockey
and I like to be in around the guys. This
was something I'd worked for for a
long, long time. I didn't want to do
anything that would screw up my
chances of continuing in hockey. But
when I finished cutting my hair that
morning I knew I couldn't do it again."
Berenson said that Gordon never
did.
"We let him wear it as he wanted,
regardless of all the negative comments
from outside the University," Assis-
tant Coach Mel Pearson said. He said
Gordon's hair prompted others to ques-
tion how Gordon could represent the
team.
"We sacrificed that in fairness to
Chris," Pearson said. "We let him ex-
press himself and he did that. ... There
was no compromise."
Pearson said he never thought
Gordon's hair was a major issue.
Berenson said Gordon did not meet
the "clean-cut" standards set out for his
players as a team.
Others in the community disagreed.

Michael Dashner, Native American
representative in Minority Student Ser-
vices, said Gordon sought counseling
from him in the fall to discuss pressure
from the team. If the pressure was not
intense enough, Gordon and his par-
ents probably would never have said
anything, Dashner said.
Dashner said that Gordon came to
him after feeling the University - an
institution that is supposed to foster
"diversity" - would not accommo-
date for diversity in the athletic depart-
ment. "Can (Gordon) still be a 'Michi-
gan' man and still maintain his cultural
identity?" Dashner said.
Pearson said the team has indeed
made efforts to accommodate for racial
and religious differences.
Dashner said he spoke with Dean of
Students Richard Carter, who then
spoke with Berenson. He said an agree-
ment was reached among them to al-
low Gordon to grow out his hair with-
out having to hear concerns from the
coaching staff.
"I explained to Mr. Carter my re-
spect for Coach and my understanding
about his feelings toward it. I had no
intentions of making a big scene over
this ever. I just wanted to keep my hair.
I really didn't think I was asking for too
much," Gordon said of the meeting.
Carter was not available for com-
ment.
Within a few days, however, Gor-
don said Berenson made a comment

about his hair while at practice. For a
while after that, Berenson did not say
anything, Gordon said.
That is, until the team had a road
trip to Sault Ste. Marie - Gordon's
hometown - for a game. "He said he
would really like for me to get a haircut
while at home. I knew I wasn't going to
do it. There was no way," Gordon said.
"After that, the issue was never brought
up again."
Gordon said the coaches may have
understood, and maybe even sympa-
thized with him. But a seemingly mi-
nor issue to them such as hair was a
large issue to Gordon, he said. Gordon
said Berenson never told him not to
practice his culture, although his ac-
tions indirectly said so.
"Coach has never said anything
against me being Indian and even in
one of the meetings, he said they're
not trying to take my identity away
or take my beliefs away, but having
long hair on the Michigan hockey
team - it just wasn't going to work
out.
Gordon said he does not regret
having come to Michigan, but he
hopes his experience will not have
been in vain.
"I don't want this to be some-
thing that scars the athletic depart-
ment," he said. "I hope it makes it
easier for someone else who may
run into a similar situation. My situ-
ation should never have happened."

the University's diverse revenue base;
and its declining reliance on state ap-
propriations.
"We are not high rollers but we
perform well," Womack said.
For the second year in a row, the
University had the highest level of re-
search expenditures among all public
institutions.TheNational ScienceFoun-
dation ranked the University at the top
of all public institutions in terms of
research and development again last
year.
In the past 10 years, research expen-
ditures at the University have increased
by 171 percent; at the end of fiscal year
1992, they reached a record $300 mil-
lion.
The University's endowment fund,
which is fundedby monetary gifts given
to the University to support specific
programs, reached an all time high last
year nearly topping the $1 billion mark.
The endowment has grown to $912
million in the last five years - a 118
percent increase. The University is
working to reach the $2 billion mark by
2000.
The five-year Campaign for Michi-
gan, the largest fund-raising campaign
undertaken by any public university to
raise $1 billion, has progressed beyond
expectations.
Campaign stands at 60 percent of
the target with 54 percent of the time
elapsed.
TOWER
Continued from page 1
North Campus Diag.
"With the placement of both the
new Integrated Technology Instruc-
tion Center and the new Engineering
Center, a North Campus 'Diag'
evolves that will be bordered on all
sides with the exception of the west,"
Womack said. "The Bell Tower
project is estimated to cost $4.3 mil-
lion, a substantial amount of which
has already been received."
The bell tower will include an
observation deck and will house the
various Engineering honor societies,
an orientation center and a memorial
to Robert H. Lurie.
The bell tower is slated for comple-
tion by late 1995 along with new
Engineering Center.
"We all expect them to go on-line
at about the same time," said
Duderstadt.
The bell tower will not stand as
high as the 212-foot tall Burton Tower
on Central Campus but will have some
architectural similarities.
"The contemporary expression of
the design has subtle references to the
Burton Tower," the University archi-
tect told the regents as he unveiled a
model of the bell tower.

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