The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 18, 1994 - 3
.U'responds to computer conference access lawsuit
By HOPE CALATI
DAILY NEWS EDITOR
The University responded last
week to a lawsuit that asks for access
to the University Board of Regents'
private computer conference.
The conference is not open to the
n blic, states the University's re-
onse to a lawsuit University alum
Chetly Zarko filed in December.
Zarko argues the conference
should be in the public domain be-
cause: "It is clear that the conference
was funded publicly."
Zarko's quest for access to the
conference began last summer with a
Feedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request for access to REGCOMP.
hen his FOIA request was denied,
e looked for the source of confer-
By MICHELLE LEE THOMPSON
FOR THE DAILY
Dartmouth graduate Heetan Kalan
said yesterday that 87 percent of South
Africans are cramped into 13 percent
Kalan was one of five activists
who related instances of global envi-
ronmental racism such as biochemi-
cal warfare during one of two SNRE
panel discussions titled, "Learning
From the Future: Advocates of Envi-
About 100 University community
members and guests attended the
rning discussion held at Rackham
Amphitheater. "The turnout was more
than we expected," said opening
speaker and SNRE Dean Gary Brewer.
Elizabeth Bell of the Environmen-
tal Protections Agency's Environmen-
tal Equity office said environmental-
ists have "respect for all things born
on this earth," and noted a "natural
coalition" of environmentalists and
jghters of racism.
Sha-King Alston, instructor of
hazardous wastes cleanup at the Uni-
versity of Massachusetts at Lowell,
Alston said his early work in
Harlem with the elderly and youth
motivated him to become involved in
the environmental justice movement
and author "Toxics in the 'Hood."'
Speaking fervently, University of
*lifornia at Berkeley alum Pamela
Chang urged audience members to
become active. Chang, currently a
Greenpeace organizer, criticized
many of the government's "institu-
tional racist policies."
Havasupai tribe representative
Carleta Telusi opened her speech in
her native language and then spoke in
English. She described the abuses her
ople have suffered from industrial
elopment. The Havasupai reside
on the banks of the Colorado River in
the Grand Canyon, a location tar-
geted for uranium mining.
SNRE senior Jackie Miller noted
that SNRE students made up about
half the audience, and said that the
issue "relates more to activists than
The Black Student Union (BSU)
ported the event, SNRE grad and
panel Coordinator Michael Dorsey
said, since the issue of activism re-
flected King's legacy.
"This symposium is not about the
environment. It is about environmen-
tal racism, and environmental jus-
tice," he said.
Kalan's plea to the audience to be
active reinforced Dorsey's sentiments.
"nd if we don't make these correc-
ns, Lord have mercy," Kalan said.
ence funding and found the regents'
Zarko contends, "If the regents'
expense account is used to fund this
conference, then it's a public confer-
Walter Harrison, vice president
for University relations, said, "Con-
ferences are private business; they
are not the official business of the
Conferences are run off of a pro-
gram called Confer II created by Bob
Parnes. The program allows individu-
als and groups to participate in an
electronic discussion on a particular
topic or area of interest.
Conferences can be public - open
to anyone with an Michigan Terminal
System (MTS) account, or private -
restricted to a specific group such as
students in a class, employees in an
office or members of an organization.
REGCOMP is a restricted confer-
"I didn't request the regents' con-
ference because I expected anything
nasty in it," Zarko said. "I requested
the conference because it was a good
place to start."
Zarko, who is acting as his own
attorney, and the University, which is
represented by the Detroit firm of
Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone,
each defended their positions with a
bevy of state and federal acts.
Zarko cited the Michigan Stan-
dards of Conduct for Public Officers
and Employees Act in his lawsuit as
stating that public funds cannot be
used for private reasons.
The regents are elected on a state-
wide level and are therefore public
officials, said Zarko, adding that their
communication is of public record.
If the University states that the
conference is private, then the confer-
ence is in violation of the state ethics
policy, Zarko said in the suit.
He added that he differentiates
between the conferences of public
officials and those of students or other
The University called on the Elec-
tronic Communications and Privacy
Act of 1986 in defense of its denial of
access to the conference.
Harrison said, "People use con-
ferences on the assumption that they
are private. If a FOIA officer is going
through them, they are not private."
Confer program creator Parnes is
responsible for initializing all com-
puter conferences on MTS.
When he initializes a conference,
he creates the files the conference
A conference organizer actually
sets the ground rules for the confer-
ence - including its status as public
"It is up to that person to extend
the permission beyond him or her-
self," Parnes said.
Approximately 4,000 conferences
have been created in the last 20 years,
a promotional brochure claims.
Zarko must now make a deposi-
tion on Feb. 28.
He sees the challenge of the case
ahead of him.
"That's where I'm at the biggest
disadvantage.," Zarko said, citing the
University's access to legal counsel.
"I think that my case is very strong
from a legal and moral position."
When asked if he thought of him-
self as a lone crusader, he answered,
"With the University's ability to snow-
ball me and bury me in paperwork, I
might not be able to accomplish any-
"If I set a precedent with confer, it
will set somewhat of a precedent with
e-mail," Zarko said.
He has said that he may bring
another lawsuit against the Univer-
sity for denying him the e-mail of
University President James
skip MLK events,
spend day studying
In the cold winter air, a Brewer's truck tows an Ann Arbor Transit Authority bus on South University Avenue Saturday.
-Not ever ollege takes day off
By RANDY LEBOWITZ
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
The University campus bustled with
students heading to symposiums, dis-
cussions and lectures to commemorate
Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday,
and libraries were packed with students
trying to take academic advantage of
the day off.
But at some schools, corridors were
clogged with students attending classes,
just like they would any other Monday.
"This university does not take off
for anything except Thanksgiving,
Christmas and the Fourth of July," said
Indiana University (IU) senior Paul
Miller, the chief of staff of the Indi-
ana Student Government, said he was
unaware of any events in honor of the
holiday. However, he said there was a
display of books, articles and movies
about King in the student union.
The Bloomington campus' news-
paper, the Indiana Daily Student, re-
ported yesterday that the Indiana Uni-
versity Northwest campus in Gary was
the only branch that cancelled classes.
The paper reported this was because
African Americans make up 23 percent
of its student population.
Sydney Krackow, an IU senior,
said she was bothered by the lack of
programming on the campus."Outside
the Black Student Union, there really
isn't much in the way of formal pro-
gramming to commemorate the day,"
Krackow said she had seen adver-
tisements for movies that would be
shown in honor of the day, but said they
were not going to be shown on campus.
In East Lansing, classes at the
Michigan State University (MSU) were
held, but events were planned through-
out the day including a film and a panel
Murray Edwards, coordinator of
MSU's minority student affairs, said he
hopes more will be done to commemo-
rate the day in the future.
"The students have to assist the uni-
versity and be more willing to make
these events available on this particular
day," Edwards said.
At Northwestern University, yes-
terday was like any other day.
Karla Spurlock-Evans, director of
African American Student Affairs, said
Martin Luther King Jr. Day was treated
in the same manner as Jewish holidays.
"We have a number of floating holi-
days that faculty members and students
can take off if they choose.... This is one
of them," she said.
However, at Northwestern, profes-
sors were asked by administrators not
to give lengthy assignments or exams
in honor of the holiday.
By WILLIE CLARK
FOR THE DAILY
On a day when the nation remem-
bered the accomplishments and ideas
of civil rights leader Martin Luther
King Jr., many University students
treated yesterday as simply a day with
Library Science student Kathleen
Hamel said she went home for the
"I wanted to take advantage of the
While others bundled up for the
cold to attend the MLK Day march
and other events, many University
students spent the day snug in their
pajamas, not leaving their residence
halls or apartments.
LSA first-year student Melissa
Fernandez said she slept all day.-
As the day went on, students scur-
ried in and out of the libraries on
campus trying to complete the home-
work and studying they neglected
during the other days during the week-
The UGLi and Hatcher Libraries
were packed early yesterday after-
noon, and a steady stream of students
headed toward the libraries for the
rest of the day.
Thoughts of MLK day took a back
seat to English, math and science for
many members of the University com-
Reported attendance at the MLK
events was high. Yesterday's most
preferred event was the Unity March,
sponsored by the Black Student
Union. An estimated 300 participants
marched down South University Av-
Despite the seemingly impressive
turnout, this number only represents
about one percent of the University
The messages spoken by MLK
Day presenters were not heard by the
majority of the University popula-
Many students displayed indiffer-
ence toward MLK Day and its
"Unfortunately they see it as va-
cation time," student teacher Melissa
Some students said they see the
MLK events as becoming ritualized
and don't feel in touch with the pre-
"It was like another day," said
LSA first-year student Benjamin
One staff member who did not
want to be identified, commented on
the lack of student involvement in the
University's planning for the day.
"Undergraduates have to play a
central role in the planning of the
events ... Let the students do most of
the planning," he said.
He also said that while a lot of
topics may not interest students, it is
still important that students attend the
MLK events to gain "a new perspec-
tive on history, and they answer imn-
portant moral and ethical questions."
Klan, protesters clash in rallies, Freedom Rides for MLK holiday
By KATIE HUTCHINS
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
COLUMBUS -- Although ten-
sion and anger were high and many
were eager to harm the KKK at sev-
eral rallies last weekend, the demon-
strations were reasonably peaceful.
The peaceful passing of Saturday's
Columbus rally can be attributed both
to the subzero wind chill factor and
the hundreds of police in riot gear
early that afternoon. However, the
crowd was able to hurl a few snow-
balls at the Klan as members were
leaving, escorted by police.
The Ohio Freedom Fighters Coa-
lition gathered in front of Columbus
City Hall at 11 a.m. on the birthday of
Martin Luther King Jr., just one hour
before the Klan was scheduled to ap-
pear in front of the Statehouse.
The coalition consists of such
groups as the NAACP, the Coalition
of Concerned Black Citizens and the
National Women's Rights Organiz-
ing Coalition - which sent 18 Ann
Arborites, mostly University students.
Coalition leaders speaking at City
Hall encouraged a positive, nonvio-
lent demonstration. Ruth Fraling-
McNeil, president of the Columbus
NAACP, advised, "Let's go bold and
let's go peaceful and let's go nonvio-
The wind chill of 30 degrees be-
low zero caused the estimated thou-
sands of anti-Klan protesters to
dwindle to about 800. Dedicated lead-
ers and demonstrators were jumping,
rubbing their hands and using their
anger at the Klan to keep themselves
Brandishing signs such as "Rac-
ism Sucks" and "No racist, sexist
USA," the about 150 City Hall gath-
erers linked arms and marched to the
Statehouse to wait for the Klan to
The city paid more than $70,000
for security, which included erecting
two fences, closing off several down-
town streets and forcing anyone who
got near the Klan to go through metal
detectors. Most of the money went to
the more than 600 officers for over-
The Klan was greeted by shouts,
protests, racial slurs and the blasting
,of rap music through a loudspeaker
when members showed up about 15
minutes late for the event.
"Greetings, protesters, agitators,
troublemakers and losers," said Vince
Pinette, Ohio Knights of the KKK
grand titan, in opening the event. He
was surrounded by about 25 Klan
members, wearing John Deere hats
and winter caps, not white hoods.
The rally lasted about 40 minutes,
more than an hour short of the KKK's
original plans for a two-hour event.
Jodi Masley, an LSA sophomore
and NWROC member, was disap-
pointed the Klan didn't receive a more
"They gained a certain victory this
weekend, and they intend to capital-
ize on that victory. It's unfortunate,
but for us it's a temporary setback.
We intend to build a movement to
defeat them," Masley said.
Masley added the trip to the two
rallies cost Ann Arbor NWROC "a
couple thousand dollars," and it was
paid for by canvassing and personal
contributions of the members.
Pinette threatened the leaders of
the Ohio Freedom Fighters Coalition
in a phone interview with the Daily.
He said, "They've opened a can of
worms, and they have to of course
expect something in return."
Pinette added that the Klan plans
to make the MLK Day protest rally an
annual event. "I look forward to see-
ing the members of the media in '95."
The Freedom Fighters Coalition
also arranged Freedom Rides to the
homes of several of the Klan leaders
yesterday. The turnout was relatively
small in comparison to that of the
rallies; nearly 100 protesters filled
four buses which split up to travel to
Pinette's neighborhood in Cleveland
and the home of Calvin Reese, an-
'other Klan leader, in Coshocton.
It'll be pu
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