The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 9, 1995 - 3
By MARIA KOVAC
Daily Staff Reporter
Does conflict and change create commu-
Oities or destroy them? How does sexism,
racism or homophobia affect a divided soci-
The College of LSA hopes to spark exami-
nation of these and other timely ideas under
this semster's theme: "Conflict and Commu-
nity." LSA dedicates each semester to a topic
that faculty members have suggested as a
prominent issue. Last winter's theme was
This semester's theme was proposed by
'e Program on Conflict Management Alter-
natives, a University group comprised of fac-
ulty members from various departments who
are concerned about conflict and social jus-
"PCMA is concerned about disharmony
and fragmentation in society ... and how we
can use conflict to enrich the community
intellectually and personally," said David
Schoem, assistantdean for undergraduate edu-
ation and PCMA member.
Thinking of conflict in a positive light
might seem ironic, but LSA plans to ex-
plore the idea by offering 35 courses in-
cluding a lecture about violence against
The centerpiece course is American Cul-,
ture 308: Conflict and Communities. The
three-credit course is a lecture series that
presents a different speaker every Monday
rom 7:30-9 p.m. Lecturers include promi-
'ent members of the University faculty and
American culture Prof. Frances Aparicio
is participating in the course. She said she
hopes the course and the theme will "allow
students not to be afraid of conflict and to
work wit it in creative ways."
"Conflict leads to the emergence of new
communities," Aparicio said.
She cited the conflict of the 1960s as the
Onfluence for the ethnic and women's studies
Students enrolled in the class are ex-
pected to attend the lectures along with a
discussion section. All lectures are open to
Architecture Prof. Sharon Sutton will
present the first lecture tonight called "Voices,
Images, and Sounds of Conflict and Commu-
The theme also encompasses a film se-
ries Wednesdays in Angell Hall Audito-
rium B which will be open to the public,
said Diana Kardia, a graduate student and
coordinator of the events surrounding the
Auto exec: Lower-priced utility vehicles coming
DETROIT (AP) - The "utility" of cars
and trucks is one of the strongest forces driv-
ing the auto industry, and a new wave of
lower-priced utility vehicles is coming, a fa-
ther of the minivan said yesterday.
"The conventional wisdom is that the truck
market has grown. The truth is the car-truck
split is meaningless except for registration
purposes," former Chrysler Corp. executive
Harold Sperlich said in a speech prepared for
the Automotive News World Congress.
"What's happened in the last 14 years is
simply that increased vehicle utility has be-
come an important new value in our personal
transportation, in cars as well as in trucks,"
said Sperlich, chairman of Delco Remy
America Inc., an Indiana-based automotive
supplier formed last summer with the sale of
three General Motors plants.
Sperlich was one of the developers of
Chrysler's minivan, which by his calculations
produced about $15 billion in new profits for
the company, the payoff for gambling on a
product for which no defined market existed.
"Interestingly, many saw it as a truck.
Some saw it as a small van or a tall wagon," he
said. "If you stop to think about it, these
perspectives were trying to force it to fit some
notion of historical product segmentation. In
fact, it wasn't a small this or a tall that at all."
Sperlich said the explosion in buyer de-
mand for vans, pickup trucks and so called
sport-utility vehicles is based on their utility,
and because the market is fairly new, only the
top half -the higher end of the price scale -
is being served.
"No one's offered utility in the bottom
half," he said, but when production capacity
catches up with demand, that will happen.
"Eventually you'll be able to buy utility
for 12 grand, in current prices, but it's going
to take time," Sperlich said. "Until you satu-
rate the higher-priced market... my daughters
are going to have to buy used Chokees."
Ford Motor Co. chairman Alex Trotman
told automotive executives at the annual con-
ference that the new "borderless" industry
will face a new set of problems with the next
decline in its business cycle.
"Agreements like (the North American
Free Trade Agreement) and the latest (Gen-
eral on Agreement Tariffs and Trade) round,
the developments in the former Soviet Union
and in China, all are working to make the
playing field larger and more open than it's
ever been before," Trotman said.
"Some people are calling the intense, fast-
paced, high-stakes battle that will result from
this new global market 'hypercompetiton,"'
he said. "I call it a real dogfight."
U' unveils solar car
From Staff Reports
After 16 months of work under wraps,
members of the University's Solar Car
Team unveiled its sleek, streamlined ve-
hicle at the 1995 North American Interna-
tional Auto Show Friday morning.
"It is a completely redesigned car,"
said David Goodman, project manager
and an Engineering junior. "It is faster,
lighter and more efficient."
"Solar Vision" boasts more than 3,000
monocrystalline silicon solar cells pro-
ducing up to 1,200 watts of power in full
sunlight. The last vehicle's characteristic
round shape has been flattened. The car is
made entirely of carbon fibers.
The vehicle will remain on display at
Cobo Hall until Jan. 15.
LATHER, RINSE. THEN REPEAT.
Michigan reps. support
GOP changes in House
of the Michigan delegation voted
for the sweeping changes in U.S.
House rules that were passed on
the first day of the Republican-led
"We're setting the stage for the
rest of the Congress," said Rep.
Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph). "We
had to prove day one that we could
get our house in order."
The votes on House rules late
Wednesday included reducing the
size of committee staffs by one-
third, a term limit for the House
Speaker and holding House mem-
bers to the same rules of employ-
ment imposed on all other Ameri-
Both Republicans and Demo-
crats noted the bipartisan coopera-
tion in passing most of the first
day's legislation, although there
was substantial Democratic resis-
tance on a required majority of
three-fifths of the House for pass-
ing any bill that would increase
The proposal passed 279-152
in the House, with Michigan's
seven Republicans voting for it and
all of Michigan's Democrats vot-
ing against it except James Barcia
of Bay City.
Barcia said he had to "think
long and hard" about the vote.
"With the country's long-term ef-
forts at tax reduction, it's my hope
that tax increases would be a last
resort," he said.
Many Democrats, including
Bart Stupak (D-Menominee), said
the majority rule on tax increases
could only be changed with a con-
stitutional amendment and the vote,
if necessary, would be challenged
"Hours after we took our oath
under the Constitution of the United
States, we trampled it," said Stupak.
Lawmakers voted 416-12 to re-
duce the size of committee staffs
by one-third, and reduce the num-
ber of subcommittees. "A stream-
lined Congress is integral to an
efficient Congress," said Dick
Chrysler (R-Brighton), who was in
the rare position of managing the
legislation on the floor as a fresh-
Barbara-Rose Collins (D-De-
troit) was the only Michigan repre-
sentative to-vote against it.
"The reduction in subcommit-
tees and full committees was started
in the last Congress by the Demo-
cratic Party," David Bonior (D-
Mount Clemens) said on the floor.
Lawmakers voted 355-74 to
limit the speaker to no more than
four two-year terms and commit-
tee and subcommittee chairmen to
no more than three terms. Michi-
gan representatives voting against
it were Bonior, Collins, Dingell,
Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor), John
Conyers (D-Detroit), and Dale
"I think it's kind of silly to bar
wisdom and experience," Rivers
Lawmakers passed by 429-0
the "Congressional Accountabil-
ity Act" that puts House members
and offices under the same em-
ployment laws that are imposed on
all other Americans.
The House approved, 421-6, a
requirement that lawmakers com-
pare future spending requests to
current spending levels, not cur-
rent levels plus estimated infla-
tion. Voting against the item were
Collins and Dingell.
Minority whip Bonior led the
Democratic charge against the
Republican's "closed rule" for the
day. Under a closed rule, legisla-
tive items introduced can't be
amended or changed on the House
Republicans balked, saying such
legislation would be considered later
and the rest of their 10-point agenda,
embodied in the "Contract With
America," would be discussed un-
deran open rule where amendments
could be proposed.
St. Francis student Eric Newcomb, 13, braves the cold'weather to help his
father wash their car at Rain Station 11 on Stimson Street yesterday.
Estranged husband shoots wife, kills friend and self at Ford plant
Woman in fair condition at 'U'
Hospitals after Saturday shooting
From Staff and Wire Reports
PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP-Co-workers and family
members say Michael O'Brien knew his relationship with
Sandra Brattin angered her estranged husband.
Michael Brattin "warned the other guy. He told him,
'If you want to see my wife, don't do it in front of me,"'
Charlie Van Zandt, a Ford maintenance crewman, told
e Detroit News for a story yesterday.
On Saturday, Brattin, 43, walked into the Ford Motor
Co. plant where the three worked and shot and injured his
estranged wife, fatally shot O'Brien and then killed him-
Sandra Brattin, 39, who was shot several times in the
legs and once in the stomach, was in fair condition
recovering from surgery yesterday at University Medical
Center, said Kristen Finn, a hospital spokeswoman.
"I knew it was going to happen," said O'Brien's son-
in-law, Jason Kaye. "I was in bed and my wife woke me
up and said Michael had been shot. It didn't surprise me."
O'Brien, 41, even told his ex-wife in New York that
he'd probably wind up dead if the affair continued, said
O'Brien's current wife, Barbara O'Brien.
Other plant workers said Brattin was distraught that
his wife of 16 years was divorcing him.
The plant was shut down several hours after the shoot-
ing about 5:25 a.m. Saturday. Supervisors called a meet-
ing and told the workers what happened and they were
The Climate Control Plant, which makes heating and
air-conditioning units for all Ford assembly plants in the
United States and Mexico, resumed operations 3 p.m.
Many of the 300 to 400 workers at the plant at the time
of the shooting were back at work for an overtime shift at
5 a.m. yesterday, Ford spokesman Bill Carroll said.
He said officials would meet with workers before they
return to work today to tell them about counseling ses-
sions available. He said counseling will be available at the
plant and people can take time off and receive counseling
outside the plant without losing pay.
"Naturally, everybody's basically in shock," Don
Jividen, president of the United Auto Workers Local 845,
said Sunday. "All three of them had lots of friends in the
plant. None of them were problem employees.'
Carroll said he doesn't expect the shooting -the third
at a Detroit-area auto plant since September- to have any
major impact on plant security. Employees already need
identification badges to get inside and Ford tries to pro-
vide help for people who are overstressed.
Continued from page 1
now," Neenan said. "He has made it
clear he wants to help us next semes-
The current battle for representa-
tion is at a standstill, as regents con-
sider the issue over the next few
months. Neenan, however, sees little
room left for compromise.
"I don't know how much more we
can compromise. There needs to be a
student there at all times. I'm not
giving up that argument," she said.
* Lansing Lobbyist
In contrast to the uncertainty sur-
rounding student representation on
the Board of Regents, the fight for a
private University lobbyist in Lan-
sing is coming to a close this week.
The proposal was submitted to
Vice President for Student Affairs
Maureen A. Hartford at the beginning
of October. After three months, both
Hartford and MSA have signed the
contract to hire the lobbying firm of
Cawthorne, McCullough and
Cavanaugh at a cost of $25,000.
LSA Rep. Andrew Wright is the
official link between the lobbyist and
the assembly, and is now looking to
involve students in the lobbying pro-
"While we will have a lobbyist
who will be looking to serve the
University's interests and those inter-
ests only, we're hoping to to get stu-
dents into Lansing also," Wright said.
Working with a $2,000 fund for
direct student lobbying, MSA will be
recruiting students to participate in
two student lobbying days in March.
On these days, students will travel to
Lansing and meet with state legisla-
Although the lobbying firm con-
tract has been signed, the next few
months will involve communication
between MSA and the lobbyist to
finalize plans for the next semester.
"U-M wants the largest appro-
priation of money that U-M can get.
This is the way to do that," Wright
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