The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 12, 1994-3
Graduates bid adieu to 'U' with Senior Days celebration
By REBECCA DETKEN
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
What do Bill Cosby, They Might
Be Giants and Morton Downey Jr.
have in common? They are all part of
the Senior Days '94 festivities.
The first annual Senior Days cel-
ebration began Sunday and will run
through April 30. Several events are
*planned to commemorate graduation.
Everything from tips on how to go
,:about finding a job to comedy acts
" ,will be featured.
By JAMES M. NASH
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
Family, friends and political sup-
porters filled City Council chambers
last night as the city's legislative body
welcomed three new members.
Democrats Patricia Vereen-Dixon
Kof the 1st Ward, Haldon Smith of the
3rd Ward and Christopher Kolb of the
5th Ward took the oath of office last
The three were elected last No-
vember, but did not assume office
until last night's meeting. A lawsuit
by Councilmember Peter Fink (R-
2nd Ward) successfully challenged a
voter initiative to switch council elec-
* tions from April to November. Fink
said the initiative would unfairly
shorten his term.
Washtenaw County Circuit Court
Judge William F. Ager Jr. ruled in
:favor of Fink, so Vereen-Dixon, Smith
and Kolb had to wait nearly five
nonths before taking office.
In the meantime, the three spent
many of their Monday nights at City
,Hall, watching from the sidelines as
the council debated issues both vital
,and trivial to Ann Arbor's future.
The three new council members
said constituents have called them
durng the gap between the Novem-
'brelection and their swearing-in,
but Vereen-Dixon, Smith and Kolb
'have had to defer questions.
Vereen-Dixon replaces Larry
Hunter, the council's longest-serving
member and an outspoken liberal ac-
tivist. Smith succeeds Robert Grady,
a soft-spoken Democrat. Kolb, the
secretary of the Ann Arbor Demo-
crtcParty, replaces Thais A.
J;eterson, the city's mayor pro-tem.
Last night, council members
mnanimously voted to appoint David
Stead as mayor pro-tem. The post is
largely ceremonial; the mayor pro-
tem's principal role is to chair the
,council in the mayor's absence.
Observers rank Stead as a front-
runner for the Democratic nomina-
'ion in November's mayoral election.
In one of their first moves as coun-
cil members, Smith and Kolb intro-
iuced and supported the motion to
appoint Stead as mayor pro-tern.
Before the meeting adjourned,
Smith and Vereen-Dixon offered
thanks to the many relatives and sup-
'porters assembled in council cham-
bers. They exchanged hugs and hand-
shakes with current and outgoing col-
jcagues before leaving. The meeting
adjourned at 8:10 p.m., just 40 min-
utes after it began, making it the
efest council session in months.
Jeff Brake, a member of the Se-
nior Days Steering Committee, said,
"We are trying to start a new tradition
to honor the seniors."
The idea for the program was dis-
cussed about eight months ago. Start-
ing in January, a group of student
volunteers from various groups be-
gan organizing the celebration.
Randy Schwemmin, an engineer-
ing junior and head coordinator of the
program, described Senior Days as "a
collaborative effort of some of the
large groups on campus working to
create a meaningful program that
serves as a bookend."
Intended to be a way for seniors to
say "good-bye" to the University, the
program consists of traditional fare-
well activities such as Spring Thaw,
Grad Bash and Michigras. New events
such as Senior Day at the Ball Park
have been added as well.
"It's going to be a lot of fun. We
have free T-shirts, hats and food,"
Brake said. Each senior will also re-
ceive a gift from the committee when
they pick up their commencement
Seniors had a chance to win tick-
ets to some of the scheduled events.
"We raffled off 500 tickets for Cosby,
50 for the Salif Kieta and Terence
Blanchard concert, and 20 for They
Might Be Giants," said Kathleen
MacKay, adviser to the event.
Carol Gerstner, a nursing senior,
said Senior Days is a great idea. "It's
nice to be recognized," she added.
Engineering senior Rhakesh Jha
isn't planning on attending any of the
events because of everything he has
to do. "It sounds like it will be fun, but
I just don't have any time," he said.
Schwemmin said, "Senior Days
is, for me, a way of saying 'Thank-
you' to the seniors. It is also a way for
them to enjoy the end of the year,
relax and reflect."
Jarman Davis, an LSA senior and
member of the Senior Days Steering
Committee, said he hopes seniors get
a good feeling from the events and
realize "the University does care."
While most of the activities are
geared toward graduating seniors, all
students are welcome to attend. De-
tails about the happenings can be
found in Senior Days '94 booklets. If
students didn't pick one up on the
Diag yesterday, they are available at
the Student Organization Develop-
ment Center in the Union, the Dean of
Students' Office, North Campus Com-
mons and University bookstores.
BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL
Violent rampages continue
in ethnically torn Rwanda
BUTARE, Rwanda (AP) -
Chaos, despair and blood flowed
through this small African country
for a fifth day yesterday. The air was
heavy with the stench from thousands
of corpses and from the smoke of
villages burned by marauders.
Hundreds of foreigners have fled
since the ethnic-based violence
gripped Rwanda. Some foreign aid
workers had elected to stay, but even
some of the most dedicated were pack-
ing their bags yesterday and hoping to
find a way to escape.
In Butare, Rwanda's second-larg-
est city, refugees from the country-
side told of gangs of men roaming the
countryside, setting fire to villages
and hacking the residents to death
In Kigali, the capital 50 miles north
of Butare, automatic weapons fire in
the streets played a terrifying coun-
terpoint to the roar of shells on the
city's outskirts. Armed men, many of
them clearly drunk, manned check-
points and went house-to-house look-
ing for victims.
The rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front
told Africa No. 1 Radio that its forces
had advanced into Kigali and would
not sign a truce.
"We have not signed any cease-
fire agreement and we don't intend to
do it," said Christine Omutonyi and
Bosco Butera, members of the RPF's
political bureau in Kampala, Uganda.
The RPF's Radio Muhabura,
monitored by the British Broadcast-
ing Corp., said the rebels could not
sign an agreement with a government
it does not recognize. "As far as the
RPF is concerned there is no govern-
ment in Rwanda," the report said.
Rwanda's military and police
named an interim civilian govern-
ment Friday, headed by Theodore
Sindikubwabo, the former head of
parliament. Six ministers were an-
nounced, including Jean Kambanda
as prime minister. They were drawn
from parties represented in the previ-
ous coalition government.
"From the roof of the French
school, while evacuees were being
loaded on trucks, you could look
across a valley and see people, espe-
cially women, being hauled out of
houses and being beaten to death on
the road," Mark Huband, a reporter
for the London Guardian, said by tele-
phone from Kigali.
Huband said there was shelling to
the east and north of Kigali's airport,
the jumping off point for foreigners
unwilling to risk driving through the
The International Federation of
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societ-
ies said yesterday it had pulled all but
one of its foreign staffers out of the
country and "expects the worst" for
the 250,000 refugees who had fled
earlier violence. The U.N. High Com-
missioner for Refugees also has with-
drawn its workers.
The current bloodshed is an espe-
cially grisly episode in the feud be-
tween the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic
groups, which has wracked Rwanda
and neighboring Burundi for decades.
The hatred runs so deep that maraud-
ers have attacked hospitals, slaugh-
tering people as they lay on their cots.
Fighting between the army and
the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front
broke out after the deaths in a plane
crash last Wednesday of the presi-
dents of Rwanda and Burundi, who
were returning from a summit in Tan-
zania aimed at finding an end to the
Hutu-Tutsi animosity. The Rwandan
government said the plane was shot
down, but this has not been confirmed.
U.S. Secretary of State Warren
Christopher said all of the 250 Ameri-
cans, mostly missionaries and aid
workers, who wanted to leave Rwanda
had been evacuated by late Sunday.
Some were flown to Nairobi, Kenya,
while others went by truck convoy to
Bujumbura, capital of Burundi.
High school student Cassandra Stevens shoots pool yesterday afternoon.
'U' students work to protect endangered species
By APRIL WOOD
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
It is estimated that by the year
2000, as many as 100 species of plants
and animals will become extinct ev-
This rapid loss of endangered spe-
cies presents a critical dilemma for
environmentalists and legislators to
address. During Earth Week activi-
ties all this week, ecosystem preser-
vation and species protection will top
Environmental Action at U-M
(ENACT) will be hosting letter-writ-
ing campaigns at .
the MUG in the
Union on various
writing is an op-
portunity for stu-
dents to get di-
rectly involved in
these issues that
directly affect EARTH WEEK1994
their lives," said Aprid11-15
Mark Reeves, an
LSA sophomore and ENACT officer.
At present, 9,000 plant and animal
species are at risk in the United States.
These species are falling victim to
logging, mining and urban develop-
ment projects that destroy their natu-
A Public Interest Research Groups
(PIRG) newsletter states that one
fourth of all species could be lost
within the next 50 years, more than
3,000 species are currently waiting to
be placed on the endangered species
list and the global extinction rate may
rise as much as 50 percent after the
Proposed solutions emphasize
measures toward the protection of
natural habitats and multi-species re-
covery plans. Once ecosystems where
these species live are protected, re-
covering-their numbers will become
The PIRG plan proposes prioritiz-
ing the rescue of endangered species.
In saving certain species first, others
could be dropped from the list.
for the rescue of species face opposi-
tion from timber, ranching, mining
and development industries.
The American Farm Bureau Fed-
eration and the National Forests Prod-
ucts Association are lobbying Con-
gress to pass a more lenient version of
the Endangered Species Act.
Supporters of the act are working
for the initiation of deadlines for spe-
cies recovery and increases in fund-
ing for enforcement of protection
There will be a campaign con-
cerning the re-authorization of the
Endangered Species Act today at the
MUG. For more information, contact
the ENACT office at 663-4433.
Flexible health care plan causes concern among faculty
By LISA DINES
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
President Clinton's advisers are
not the only leaders proposing health
Yesterday, the co-chairs of the
University's flexible benefits study
committee answered questions from
the Senate Advisory Committee on
University Affairs (SACUA) about
the adoption of the new health care
and benefits plan.
Flexible benefits would allow fac-
ulty members to choose from several
different options to create their own
health care and benefits package. Gil-
bert R. Whitaker Jr., provost and vice
president for academic affairs, and
Farris Womack, vice president and
chief financial officer, appointed the
committee to study the issue.
Co-chairs David Anderson and
Chandler Matthews said the commit-
tee plans to recommend that the Uni-
versity adopt flexible benefits by Janu-
ary 1996. The target date for imple-
menting the plan was Jan. 1, 1995.
Last Monday, The University
Record published the results of a tele-
phone survey conducted to gage fac-
ulty members' attitudes toward flex-
According to the survey, 66 per-
cent of the staff and 45 percent of the
teaching faculty support the develop-
ment of a flexible benefits package.
The survey also shows wide support
for a vision, extended dental and short-
term disability plan.
-Anderson said that while these
improvements can be made, the plan
will not be in place by the proposed
date."There is no possibility for imple-
menting 'Flex' in January 1995. We
are beyond the point where we can
catch up and implement it by then,"
Despite the support for the pack-
age shown in the survey, many fac-
ulty are concerned about the cost and
effectiveness of flexible benefits in
meeting the needs of the faculty.
The flexible benefits package is
currently in the planning stages. Many
of the details have not been finalized,
including the financial parameters -
how much coverage will be paid for
by the individual and by the Univer-
"There has not been an evaluation
of what proportion of the staff and
faculty will actually benefit from this,"
said Public Health Prof. Morton
SACUA members expressed con-
cern that flexible benefits will lead to
increased bureaucracy in medical cov-
Anderson said there will be a cost
increase during the transition period,
but that will diminish after the Uni-
versity adjusts to the change.
"If you go into- 'Flex,' you are
going to spend some more money on
communication at first," he said.
Q American Movement for Is-
rael, Hillel, 7 p.m.
CI Amnesty International, Michi-
gan Union, Welker Room, 7:30
C Arab-American Students' As-
sociation, Michigan League,
Room C, 7:30 p.m.
Q Asian Pacific Lesbian-Gay-Bi-
sexual Support Group, 3116
Michigan Union, 5:30 p.m.
U ENACT, environmental letter
writing, Michigan Union, Mug
Foyer, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Q Hellenic Students Association,
Michigan Union, Kuenzel
Room, 8 p.m.
U People Opposing Weapons
Research and Proponents of
Economic Conservation, An-
gell Hall, Room 444C, 8 p.m.
U Rugby Practice, Oosterbaan,
sembly, Michigan Union, Baits
Room, 9 p.m.
U "Economic Deprivation and
Early Childhood Develop-
ment," Greg Duncan, Center
for Human Growth & Develop-
ment, 300 N. Ingalls, noon.
Q Frank Browning, sponsored by
Borders Book Shop, 7:30 p.m.
U From Backpack to Briefcase,
sponsored by Career Planning
and Placement, 200 SAB, 5-7
U International Fest - Singing
Contest, 2011 MLB, 1-3 p.m.
U Speakers/Survivors of Concen-
tration Camps & Siege of
Sarajevo, sponsored by
Bosnian Relief Effort, Michi-
gan Union, Pendelton Room, 8
Michigan Union, 763-INFO;
events info., 76-EVENT; film
U Deciding Your Career, Career
Planning and Placement, 3200
Student Activities Building,
Q Federal Tax Workshop, Inter-
national Center, come early, 1
Q Free Tax Assistance, 3909
Michigan Union,10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Q International Center, health
a insurance, 9 a.m.; practical
training, 10 a.m.
Q North Campus Information
Center, North Campus Com-
mons, 763-NCIC, 7:30 a.m.-
Q Peer Advising, Undergraduate
Political Science Association,
5620 Haven Hall, 10 a.m.-noon,
1 p.m.-4 p.m.
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