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February 04, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-04

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 4, 1994 - 5

.Students sue to regain their security deposits

They didn't break any windows or
spill anything on the carpet, but some
residents of the University Towers
apartment complex were left wonder-
ing about their security deposits when
their leases ended last spring.
While apartment officials attribute
the problem to an administrative mix-
up, several students are filing a class-
action lawsuit against University
Several students first contacted the
Ann Arbor Tenants' Union (AATU)
and the University's Student Legal
Services (SLS) office, asking for as-
sistance in tracking down their money.
"These students received no secu-

rity deposit feedback," said Nicholas
Roumel, an SLS attorney. "There were
no trumped-up charges; (the manage-
ment) just neglected to send the
money," he explained.
Roumel added that landlords are
required by law to send a letter to
tenants if there is a delay in returning
the deposit for any reason.
Roumel said he was disturbed by
more thanjust the lack of notification.
"It came to our attention that there
were an inordinate amount of com-
plaints, mostly from Asian and inter-
national students," he stated.
Pattrice Maurer, coordinator of
AATU, noticed a pattern. "In 1993,
we received multiple complaints about
University Towers, and many did
concern security deposit violations."

"I saw at least three where the
tenant walked in suspecting discrimi-
nation, and a couple where the name
would suggest discrimination against
students of Asian descent," she added.
Joyce Maschke, building manager
of University Towers, denied the ac-
"We're very careful to treat ev-
eryone equally," Maschke said. "It's
true that many of the students were
not paid in a timely manner, because
there was a huge mix-up in our Bos-
ton office. But we never intended to
cheat anyone, slight anyone, or dis-
criminate against any group."
Maschke added that many of the
students have since been paid, and
some students confirmed they have
received checks.

Several students went to small-
claims court to obtain their refunds,
and all won their cases by default
when representatives from Univer-
sity Towers failed to show up in court.
Roumel sent a letter to the attor-
ney for University Towers, asking for
a response by Jan. 15, because he
"wanted to avoid a lawsuit." He said
he received no response.
"These students may be entitled to
serious civil rights damages," Roumel
He is filing a class-action discrimi-
nation lawsuit, claiming the owners
deliberately withheld security depos-
its from international students.
"The cynic in me suspects that
University Towers was having finan-
cial difficulties, and made this deci-

sion hoping that international students
would be leaving the country when
their lease ended, and not make too
much of a fuss about their deposits,"
he said.
Rachel Lee, a Rackham student
and former resident of University
Towers, said she was glad the prob-
lem was receiving attention. "Most
residents didn't know what to do,"
she said.
"The lease doesn't ever tell you
what to do if the landlord doesn't pay;
it only tells you what the landlord can
do to the tenants."
Students with questions or con-
cerns regarding off-campus leases can
contact Student Legal Services, 763-
9920, or the Ann Arbor Tenants'
Union, 763-6876.

'Sexy Grandpa' adds character to the Bursley cafeteria

North Campus has a "sexy
grandpa" dishing out food each day.
Wearing the baseball hat that
earned him his nickname, Ron Barker
has worked in the Bursley Hall caf-
eteria for about five years, spending
most of this time serving behind
counter one.
Students said his energy and smile
add character to the cafeteria.
BoraGulari, a first-year engineer-
ing student, said Barker always talks
to people going through his line.
"He's really nice. He recognizes
us when we come in, and tells us the
lowdown on the food," Gulari said.
Engineering sophomore
Alexandra Haddad said she makes a
point of visiting Barker for each meal.
"I could be on Central Campus
and only have an hour for lunch and
I'll come here just to see him," she
Barker said he thinks the students

like him because he doesn't act his
"I act more like one of them than
a grown up. If I cut up a little it might
make the atmosphere more comfort-
able," he said.
His co-workers agreed that he
makes the dining hall experience more
Cindy Russell, who has worked
with Barker for a little more than a
year, said he always has everybody
"He reminds me of a wind-up toy
the way he bounces around. He's one
of my favorite people to work with,"
she said.
Stephanie Givinsky, an SNREjun-
ior and cafeteria employee, has
worked with Barker for almost three
"I've seen students line up at his
counter, even though there's no line
at the other counter - just to talk to
him," she said.
Although Barker said he enjoys
talking with students, he isn't always

so outgoing.
"I can't stand up in front of a
crowd and clown. Even now if I'm
introduced to a new girl I'm shy, but
aftera few visits Igetover it," he said.
Barker hails from Wisconsin but
he was raised and has lived most of
his life in Tecumseh, Mich.
He joined the Air Force right out
of high school and still belongs to the
Air Force Reserves. Barker has three
children and two grandchildren.
"They qualify me for the grandpa
part of my nickname," he said.
Engineering first-year student Ted
Neubecker recently declared "Sexy
Grandpa" Emperor of Bursley Hall in
a comment card posted by Bursley
Dining Service (BDS) management.
Earlier this year, Barker was trans-
ferred to the salad department for
about six weeks. BDS management
said it received about 10 to 12 com-
ment cards a week from students ask-
ing when he would return.
Barker said he came back to his
old position because of the students.

600 to take
part in '94
GLC seeks to attrack,
non-greeks into
annual forum
More than 600 University student
will participate in the annual Greek
Leadership Conference (GLC) to be.
held tomorrow afternoon at the Kresg';
Business School. i_
The GLC committee, directed by(
seniors Tim Schuster and Chirst'
Simonte, have been busily planning,,
the events since last March. Several,
improvements have been imple-,,
mented this year to increase atten
dance and to include a wide range of,
student leaders.
So far, efforts have proven suc-
cessful as the registration numbers
have almost tripled compared to last"
year's conference.
One of the main objectives the
committee accomplished this year wa
de-emphasizing the word "Greek" i"'
the title. Instead, the theme, "A Day
in the Life of a Leader," has been used'
to advertise the conference'in order to"
combat the perception that GLC is
strictly for Greek members.
"It's not aGreek event," said James
Powell, publicity chair for GLC.,
"Non-Greeks have always been in-
However, this is the first year th''
there has been a large response in the'
non-Greek sector of the student body.
Powell attributes this to the expanded -
efforts of the committee in recruiting'
the non-Greek student leaders."'
The structure of the conference"
has been changed to help increase
attendance. Instead of grouping evr
eryone together for the activities and
lectures, the conference has been di,
vided into four pathways, each cater-
ing to a specific level of student lead-.
ership. Different programs will he.,,
held for new members, emerging lea,
ers, leaders and established leaders,
"In the past, people were 'com-
plaining that the events didn't app;.
to them," Powell said. "Now, there'"
something for everybody."O
The itinerary kicks off tonight with
a banquet dinner for those participate,
ing in the leaders pathway of the co-,,
ference. Other students who may not
be able to attend GLC tomorrow are
also invited to the dinner.
Nancy Hunter Denney, who
speaks on Greek and non-Greek is-
sues on college campuses, has been
chosen to give the keynote address at'
this year's conference. She will speak
at the banquet tonight and also tomor'
row from 12 tol p.m. in Hale Audito-
ri um.
Powell is optimistic that "A Day'
in the Lifeof aLeader" will benefitall.
those who attend.
"The purpose of this conference is
for students to develop their leader-1
ship potential and then take that lead-

ership ability back to their respective,,
groups," Powell said.
This year's conference is spon-
sored by the Interfraternity Council,
Panhellenic Association, Michigan;
Student Assembly, LSA StudentGov.:
ernment and the Office of the Vice-
President for Student Affairs.

AIDS center
calls for
Although Cynthia Wrentmore's
children have all grown up, her atten-
tion is still in great demand.
Wrentmore, who is on the front line
of the HIV/AIDS battle, works over-
time to make sure local patients are
getting the care they need.
Wrentmore, the communicable
disease coordinator for Washtenaw
County, spoke about the need for
people to get involved in the fight
against AIDS last night in the Michi-
gan League.
"We're in this together - every-
one will be personally affected by the
virus," she told the of about 25.
Wrentmore tugged at the hearts of
those present, recounting stories about
the HIV/AIDS-infected people she
has come in touch with over the years.
She said being involved with the
disease and the people who are di-
rectly affected by it sometimes hurts
her. However, those infected with the
AIDS virus "are people, not num-
bers," and they need the same kind of
love and care that everyone else shares.
By volunteering, she said, "you
get back much more than you give."
Wrentmore spoke on behalf of the
HIV/AIDS ResourceCenter(HARC).

"Sexy Grandpa" prepares for the dinner rush at the Bursley cafeteria.
New Ph.D program
joins women's studies
to English, psychology

Interest in women's studies is
growing across the country; the de-
mand in the job market for scholars
who have specialized in some type of
gender issue is increasing.
So the University has decided to
follow the trend while leading the
way in graduate-level education.
Starting in the fall, the University
will institute an interdepartmental
Ph.D. program, offering doctoral can-
didates in the English or Psychology
departments the option of obtaining a
dual degree with Women's Studies.
Abagail J. Stewart, the director of
the Women's Studies Program and a
professor of psychology, said she feels
the new program will generate a great
deal of interest.
"We are building on the success of
ourgraduate certificate program," she
Right now, approximately 50 stu-
dents receive graduate certificates in
women's studies. Obtaining a gradu-
ate certificate requires an additional
18 credits in a specified program.
Stewart explained that it is similar to

a minor offered in many undergradu-
ate institutions.
Because of the large number of
students already taking classes in the
Women's Studies Program, the Uni-
versity chose to create this dual-de-
gree program.
"We realized that there is a group
of students who would be well served
by a dual degree," Stewart said.
"We plan on keeping (the pro-
gram) small," she added.
Only two students will be admit-
ted into the program in 1994, but
Stewart said they plan on eventually
increasing acceptance to between
three and five each year.
The program will be the first of its
kind in the nation, and all three de-
partments are optimistic about the
projected results.
"People already come to Michi-
gan because our Women's Studies is
strong," Stewart said.
Specifically, she added, students
studying feminist literature or femi-
nist psychology seek schools with
highly-respected Women's Studies


Cynthia Wrentmore speaks about AIDS yesterday at the Michigan League.

HARC sponsors a three-day program
for those interested in volunteer ac-
tivities involving the HIV/AIDS com-
Those who complete the training
can then be volunteers.
April Elmaleh, an Ann Arbor resi-
dent and prospective volunteer, said
Wrentmore and the HARC program
have helped her a great deal in trying

to understand AIDS and its effects.
Rebekah Lewis, an LSA sopho-
more, said she is planning on a career
in medicine, specializing in HIV/
AIDS research and HARC will give
her some valuable experience.
Julie Isendraft, secretary of the
board of directors for HARC, said,"It
was a nice crowd ... the largest lec-
ture we've had."

Frank Giancola is a 14-year-old from Livonia. This was incorrectly reported in yesterday's Daily.

U Allen Ginsberg, poet book sign-
ing, Shaman Drum Bookshop,
313 S. State, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Q Blood Drive, sponsored by Al-
pha Phi Omega, Alice Lloyd, 2-
7:30 p.m.
Q Campus Information Center,
Michigan Union, 763-INFO;
events info., 76-EVENT; film
info., 763-FILM.
Q Ninjutsu Club, IM Building,
Room G21, 6:30-8 p.m.
Q North Campus Information
Center, North Campus Com-
mons, 763-NCIC, 7:30 a.m.-

Q Saint Mary Student Parish,
serving hunger coalition, 3:15-
7 p.m.; rosary group, 7:30 p.m.
Q Alpha Phi Omega, initiation,
Michigan Union, .Kuenz'el
Room, 5:30 p.m.
Q Campus Information Center,
Michigan Union, 763-INFO;
events info., 76-EVENT; film
info., 763-FILM.
Q Chinese Film Series, 'Disloca-
tion,' Lorch Hall Auditorium, 8
Q Oxford Poetry Night, Seeley
uni.,cte 67 C'O'fnrt RdP 0 rn m

room, 7-9 a.m.
Q Blood Drive, sponsored by Al-
pha Phi Omega, South Quad,
Dining Room 2, 1-6:30 p.m.
Q Campus Information Center,
Michigan Union, 763-INFO;
events info., 76-EVENT; film
info., 763-FILM.
Q Detroit Folk Mass, Lutheran
Campus Ministry, 801 S. For-
est Ave., 10 a.m.
Q Guild House Students, free chili
supper, 802 Monroe, 6 p.m.
Q 'Israel's Shattered Dreams,'
film sponsored by the Progres-
sive Zionist Caucus & Pales-
tin nliiiaQt1Ir'nmmitt-- I.at

/WAR/ _



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