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February 02, 1995 - Image 1

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-02

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One hundred four years of editorial freedom

Thursday
February 2, 1995

lot' .' a a' s a > s>: Y M#'

.' set to
release
code case
recordings
By Ronnie Giassberg
Daily Staff Reporter
The University will release copies
of the official recording from
Rackham student Melanie Welch's
code hearing to the public, despite
objections raised by Judicial Advisor
Mary Lou Antieau and faculty chair
Peter Bauland at the proceeding.
0 Lewis Morrissey, the University's
chief freedom of information officer,
said yesterday that the University will
comply with a Freedom of Informa-
tion Act request by The Michigan
Daily for the tapes.
Welch's case was the first open
hearing under the Statement of Stu-
dent Rights and Responsibilities, the
University's code of non-academic
nduct. The University has denied
uests for code records, citing the
Family Education Rights and Privacy
Act.
"Melanie Welch is the only stu-
dent involved that FERPA would ap-
ply to," Morrissey said. "She wanted
the hearing open, so she's waived her
right to privacy."
The University announced
Friday's open hearing only hours be-
*e it started, when the complainant
withdrew his objections to an open
hearing.
At the hearing, Antieau and
Bauland denied Welch's request to
allow the media to record the hearing
or to receive a copy of the official
recording. "I did not research what is
appropriate for an open meeting,"
Antieau said.
The Michigan Freedom of Infor-
ttion Act sets requirements for the
disclosure of records by all public
bodies in the state. In general, the act
covers all records except those spe-
cifically cited as exceptions.
According to the act, public
records include letters, words, pic-
tures, sounds or symbols and "other
means of recording or retaining mean-
ful content."
The act exempts specific records
from disclosure, including those that
would "constitute an unwarranted in-
vasion of personal privacy."
"Under FOIA, the privacy exemp-
tion that's allowed would not apply
here because she waived her right to
privacy," Morrissey said. "There's
no basis under FERPA or FOIA for
denying the request."
Antieau said Welch's hearing was
Offerent from most others.
"I would be concerned of reac-
tions from people who didn't listen to
all of the tape," Antieau said. "I think
this was a very unusual hearing. It
was longer, the issues were more com-
plicated."
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Ar-
bor), the only regent to vote against
e code, said he would be interested
a synopsis of the hearing.
"I think it's a good thing that the
public has a chance to listen to it,"
Baker said.

L

House passes
unfunded
mandate bill

From Staff and Wire Reports
WASHINGTON - The House
yesterday gave an overwhelming bi-
partisan endorsement to a Republican
campaign promise to discourage Con-
gress from imposing costly regula-
tory burdens on state and local gov-
ernments without providing federal
funds to carry them out.
The unfunded mandates legisla-
tion, approved 360 to 74, was sent to
a House-Senate conference to resolve
minor differences with a Senate ver-
sion passed last week. It will be the
first conference committee convened
in the GOP-controlled 104th Congress.
Both versions abandoned an out-
right prohibition on unfunded federal
mandates - which House Republi-
can candidates promised in Septem-'
ber in their "Contract with America"
- in favor of requiring cost estimates
of new regulations and specific votes
when Congress imposes large finan-
cial burdens on states, counties and
municipalities.
Supporters suggested that by call-
ing attention to the costs of proposed
mandates, the threat of political back-
lash would either stop lawmakers from
bringing them up or make it easier to
defeat such proposals on the floor.
If bill becomes law, its effects will
touch every state in the nation, in-

cluding Michigan. On Jan. 10, Gov.
John Engler, a Republican, signed
legislation to meet the national un-
funded mandate bill, but urged Wash-
ington not to recklessly impose them.
"While I am signing this bill today,
I am also issuing an executive order that
makes it clear Michigan will not imple-
ment any of this new mandate until the
federal government provides adequate
funding to do so," Engler then said in a
written statement.
Rep. William F. Clinger (R-Pa.),
chairman of the House Government'
Reform and Oversight Committee,
said, "This was sort of a message:
'Stop us before we mandate again.' If
we are going to impose a mandate, the
preferred option is to fund it."
Under severe budget constraints
during the late 1980s, the Democratic-
controlled Congress increasingly
passed the costs of federal regula-
tions and mandates to other govern-
ment entities, consuming more and
more of their budgets.
Governors have chafed under
costly mandates that made more of
the poor eligible for Medicaid, the
state-federal health program, while
local officials have complained bit-
terly about extensive water pollution
regulations of the Environmental Pro-
tection Agency.

DOUGlas KANTER/Daily

Seven of the founding members of Project Smile show their dedication to their cause.
" r
Prtoject Smi-ule promotes a
kinider, ge.ntler c ampus

By Maggie Weyhing
Daily Staff Reporter
You won't meet many people who
smile as much as Mike Petrilli.
And that bugs him.
"I don't think that this campus is
as friendly as it should be," said
Petrilli, an LSA senior. "I was sur-
prised when I came here as a fresh-
man - I had a different idea of what
it was going to be like."
So in October, Petrilli, along with
his friend Alon Becker, an LSA se-
nior, created Project Smile, a student
group devoted to acts of random kind-
ness - to brighten up the campus.
The two students came up with
four reasons why they feel the Uni-
versity is unfriendly.
They believe the cultural rules on
campus are unfriendly.
"We think that there are a lot of
friendly people here, but they are
afraid to be friendly because it's not
the norm," Petrilli said.
Becker, who transferred to the
University from Arizona, said he no-
ticed a difference between the two
campuses.
"At Arizona, people walk passed
each other and smiled. Here, they
tend not to," Becker said. "Right now,
I think it has a lot to do with the
weather. Here, it's cold and people
have their heads down, rushing to
class. At Arizona, the weather is
usually nice."
Another reason they see for overall
campus unfriendliness is the size of the
school. Becker and Petrilli agree that at
a large school, it's hard to meet people.
Third, the two said the academic

PrOj ct smile
A new group is trying to make the.
campus friendlier.
Friendly Days begin March 27
with events, designed to
promote smiling and make it
easier to meet people.
pressure of the University causes
people to be unfriendly, particularly
the competition involved in sole
classes at the University.
"In most classes - because of the
bell curve - some people are going
to pass, and the others are going to
fail. Because of this, there is cut-
throat competition between people,
and that can definitely produce an
unfriendly environment," Petrilli said.
The fourth reason Petrilli and
Becker gave was the great diversity
on campus.
"Because the campus is so diverse,
some people tend to stay within their
culture or organization and not reach
out to others," Becker said. "This
makes the campus community smaller
and colder."
Petrilli added, "We want the cam-
pus to be diverse, but at the same time
come together."
Project Smile held its first mass
meeting Jan. 25, and Petrilli said at
least 50 people were present.
"We're seeing that people are tak-
ing an interest in this, but we still need
all the help we can get," Petrilli said.
Project Smile's first project will
be Friendly Days, which for now is
scheduled to begin March 27 and run
through April.

"Friendly Days will be a week of
fun and goofy events on North and
Central Campus to get people to know
each other," Petrilli said.
Some of the events that are tenta-
tively planned for Friendly Days in-
clude an opening ceremony that will
feature speakers, goofy games on the
Diag, the Michigan Union and the
North Campus Commons; a cultural
dance; a panel discussion of profes-
sors, administrators and students; ran-
dom acts of kindness in which free
balloons or gift certificates will be
handed out and finally a closing con-
cert.
In addition to Friendly Days,
Project Smile intends to set up year-
round activities that will promote a
friendlier atmosphere on campus. One
such activity is the friendly tables.
Friendly tables will be set up in the
Union and at North Campus Com-
mons for the sole purpose of meeting
people.
"These tables are there so that if you
are eating alone and want to meet some
new and friendly people, you can go
and sit at these tables," Becker said.
Becker added that there are plans
to put in video hook-ups between the
tables at North and Central campuses
so people who are eating at the Union
can talk to those at North Campus
Commons.
"We know that unfriendliness is
not something that we can solve
quickly," Petrilli said. "The ideas and
plans that we have right now are ide-
als that we hope to achieve. We want
to get people to walk across the Diag
and smile at one another."

Students celebrate
Chicano heritage

By Katie Hutchins
Daily Staff Reporter
Today marks the anniversary of
the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo.
Latino/a students on campus will
be recognizing the 1848 pact as they
launch Chicano History Week tomor-
row with a keynote speaker and com-
edy night.
Chicano History Week was estab-
lished by the state of Michigan 10
years ago, said LSA junior Terofilo
Reyes, the publicity director for
Alianza, the Latino/a student alliance.
"That's when a large number of
Mexicans became U.S. citizens,"
Reyes said. "That's where the history
of Mexican Americans really starts."
The treaty ceded much of Mexico's
land to the United States, making that
area's inhabitants the first Mexican
American citizens, or Chicanos.
Alianza, formerly called SALSA,
began the celebration of Chicano His-
tory Week eight years ago, said
Alianza President Lisa Quiroga, an
LSA senior.
This year, Alianza will be joined
in its efforts by La Voz Mexicana, the

Chicano student group.
LSA junior Lizette Urbina, co-
chair of La Voz Mexicana, sees the
event as a chance "to celebrate our
history and kind of make our pres-
ence known ... to share our culture
and our heritage because we are proud
of it."
See CHICANO, Page 2

Students rally for Earth Day attention

By Daniel Johnson
e ly Staff Reporter
Student activists rallied 25 years ago,
creating Earth Day to bring attention to
environmental destruction worldwide.
With the same sense of urgency, stu-
dent leaders will gather in Philadelphia
from Feb. 24-26 at the Emergency Cam-
pus Environmental Conference to gar-
ner grassroots support for the 25th Earth
Day.
Y "This conference demonstrates stu-
fents' concerns and their ability to mobi-
lize and fight back against those who are
destroying the environment," said David
Zaber, a doctoral candidate in SNRE.
The conference is part of the Free the

Now is the time for citizens to take back
Earth Day and refocus our celebrations on
the much-needed grassroots political action
that characterized the event 25 years ago."
- Gina Collins
Free the Planet Drive campaign director

decreasing nationwide, according to mem-
bership records of the large environmental
groups. Greenpeace's membership, for
example, has dwindled from more than
2.25 million in 1990 to less than 1.75
million today.
The environmental movement peaked
in the 1980s following highly visible ca-
tastrophes like the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
But after Al Gore, the author of "Earth
in the Balance," became vice president in
1992, many people assumed the environ-
ment would be taken care of, activists say.
As a result, involvement in the environ-
mental movement has declined.
Proposals before the 104th Congress
have been reigniting concern, as legisla-
tinlie h-Frana~ ignpri ac Art and

Randy Hayes, executive director of
Rainforest Action Movement; environmen-
tal activist Lois Gibbs; and Barbara Dudley,
executive director of Greenpeace.
The workshops will focus on issues
such as clean air, ozone depletion, waste

Gingrich and the 104th Congress.
The 25 actions exhort the government
to preserve natural beauty, protect public
health, end taxpayer subsidies of ecologi-
cally unsound business practices and con-
serve natural resources.
Tha n 1ncA detn niIc mmcno nthPr

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