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November 27, 1996 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-27

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 27, 1996 -,*3

Family donates
tree to hospital

U. Houston to
approve new
University of Utah President Arthur
Sinth will be moving to Houston to
become chancellor of the University of
,Houston's four-campus system and
president of its flagship institution.
Smith accepted the unanimous vote
Thursday of the University of Houston
System Board of Regents that con-
firmed his appointment.
The UH regents named Smith as
heir sole candidate for the chancel-
-lor/president position Oct. 22, after a
six-month search.
In the meantime, the Utah Board
of Regents will name an interim
ptesident and organize a search com-
mittee in December to begin the
process of selecting Smith's replace-
ment, according to Cecilia Foxley,
commissioner of the Utah System of
Higher Education.
.More swastikas
found in Utah
Hebrew classes
University of Utah students found a
-fourth swastika in a campus classroom
last Wednesdalr.
The swastika was etched in white
,lialk on a cream-colored wall in a
Wclassroom where Hebrew classes
Campus police believe the first
Ahree swastikas, found in another
classroom where Hebrew classes
meet, were motivated by hate
..because the professor, Harris
Lenowitz, is Jewish. Police said they
did not know if the drawing found
Wednesday was a copycat crime or a
*epeat hate offense.
Jennifer Cannon, a student in the
Hebrew class, said thatsoncethe stu-
dents saw the swastika they talked
about their anger and pain.
The Hebrew language classes
agreed to write letters to the editor of
The Daily Utah Chronicle, The Salt
Lake Tribune and The Desert News to
,,publicize their anger.
*Utah fraternities
fight during
soccer game
Two intramural soccer teams repre-
senting University of Texas fraternities
face possible disciplinary action after a
fight occured during a Nov. 18 soccer
According to a UT police report,
igma Phi Epsilon and Kappa Sigma
fraternities were playing in a semi-
final intramural tournament game
,when a fight between two players
escalated into a brawl between 60-70
The fight broke out shortly after two
,players were given warnings by the ref-
eree for pushing each other.
'"From the way it was described, it
was basically a free-for-all, and people
were taking swings at everybody," said
-Darrell Halstead, a UT Police
Department officer.
:$tudents push for
view study area
at Syracuse

The Student Government
Association at Syracuse University
may be on the brink of completing an
item that has been on the agenda since
v' "te 1960s.
The SGA Academic Affairs
Committee is now at work establishing
a 24-hour study area, an initiative SGA
first addressed in a resolution passed in
1968, according to SGA President
esse Mejia.
Whether this year's academic affairs
,ommittee will accomplish its study
area goals rests on a number of factors,
including security, transportation and
- Compiled from U- Wire by Daily
Staff Reporter Janet Adamy.

By Jeffrey Kosseff
Daily Staff Reporter
Pat and Annie Lavergne know what
it's like to have a young child in the hos-
pital, and both of them realize the diffi-
culty children have with staying in a
hospital during the holidays.
So the couple decided to make the
lives of such children a bit brighter this
year, and in doing so they gave thanks
to the hospital that saved their son's life.
The Lavergnes donated a 30-foot-tall
Colorado blue spruce for the courtyard
of University Hospitals to be viewed by
patients of C.S. Mott Children's
The tree, which they had replanted
from their backyard, will be decorat-
ed and lit by Monday. The tree will be
adorned with many large colored
lights and surrounding trees will have
305 sets of 100 lights to add to the
"They do it mostly for the children,"
said Michael Harrison, University
Hospitals associate director for public
relations. "They decorate the courtyard
also, but the tree is the centerpiece of it
This fall, Vernon Nitchie, a University
Grounds Department employee, drove
around looking for trees that would be
suitable for the hospital.
Nitchie said he believes having a tree
in the hospital's courtyard is important
to patients inside. "It may be the last
tree these kids ever see," Nitchie said.
He said he went around the Grass
Lake, Mich., area knocking on doors
and, by coincidence, Nitchie drove by
the Lavergnes' house.
"It was a fluke," Annie Lavergne
said. "They drove by our house and saw
our tree"

Annie Lavergne's 18-month history
with Mott Hospital is one she would
rather not have.
"My son had two surgeries within 12
hours of being born," Annie Lavergne
said. "He has had four other surgeries
since then."'
Although the Lavergnes' son,
Timothy, was not in the hospital during
the holidays, Annie Lavergne said he
was there during January and she felt
sympathy for the children who spend
their holidays in treatment.
"I was kind of bummed that the kids
had to be there during the holidays,"
Annie Lavergne said. "But the volun-
teers were so nice, they were still giving
out Christmas gifts."
Timothy Lavergne is home and doing
well now. However, his mother said he
will be a "lifetime patient" of
University Hospitals.
Harrison said University Hospitals
has been displaying Christmas trees in
the courtyard for about a decade.
However, with 20-percent cuts in the
University Hospitals' budget over the
next few years, some are skeptical as to
the necessity of the decorations.
"A lot of people are asking if we can
afford to decorate the courtyard," said
John Miles, a building manager for
University Hospitals' department of
facilities. "It is a significant part of the
healing process."
Miles, who coordinates the decora-
tion of the courtyard, has many fond
memories of patients who were cheered
up by seeing the tree.
"One guy's father was dying of can-
cer and he fought to get close to the win-
dow and see the tree," Miles said. "It's
the only tree they see. It provides a great
deal of added gaiety to raise spirit."

Reading is fundamental
Detoine Wilson, left, and Dion Hines, both 4, smile as they listen to a
"Read Me a Story" performance yesterday at a preschool at Herman
Rogers Academy in Detroit. The "Read Me a Story" program is part of a
national reading awareness to help the "Reading is Fundamental" goal
to read a million stories to young children this holiday season. The
"Read Me a Story" bus tour, which stopped in Detroit yesterday, will
travel to 33 states and 61 cities in 45 days.

MSA task force to look at M-Card

not close
to shoote r
Myers speaks out
against recent media'
WIXOM, Mich. (AP) -The woman
who was an apparent object of Gerald
Atkins' desire said she had nothing to
do with the gunman who allegedly
attacked the auto plant where she
Deborah Myers, 39, an employee at
the Ford Wixom Plant who met Atkins
at a local bar about six weeks ago,
spoke out against the media attention
directed at her yesterday and asked,to
be left alone.
"Let me return to my normal, every-
day, private life," she pleaded at a news
conference at the Wixom Polie
"I don't know why Gerald Atkins
did what he did, or why he caused so
much pain to others," she added. -
Atkins, 29, who never worked at
the Ford plant, allegedly went on: a
shooting spree there Nov. 14 thateft
one man dead and three otlors
Atkins has been charged with first-
degree murder and 25 other crimele
is being held without bond irbe
Oakland County Jail.
Police have said Atkins Ms
rebuffed by security guards whet be
attempted to enter the plant five days
before the shooting to proposeto
Myers. Police found an engageiieint
ring in his apartment in a search after
the shooting.
"I was not his girlfriend. I wasiot
his fiancee. I was not even whet I
would call an acquaintance," Myrs
Wixom Police Chief Lawr~oje
Holland said Myers "hasn't had a:ife
of her own" since the shooting. She riet
Atkins after he approached her at.the
Wixom Bar - a hangout for jl9nt
"He's never even met her official-
ly," Holland said. "She never did any-
thing with him. Can you image
where she might be if she hadr k's
kind of sad."
Myers said she never even -eld
.Atkins her last name. Holland beleyes
Atkins must have obtained it frorp a
company ID card or jacket she wre
into the bar.
"I have now given you more infor-
mation as to my identity than I ever
gave Gerald Atkins," she told reporters,
after identifying herself.
Attorneys on both sides of the Case
said Myer's statements would have lit-
tle impact on the case's outcome.
Oakland County Assistant
Prosecutor Cheryl Matthews said
Atkins' behavior isn't necessarily a sign
of insanity, and she plans to press for a
first-degree, premeditated murder con-
viction against him.
"There's a difference between hav-
ing some problems or some strange
beliefs, and being insane," Matthews
said. "Remember, this is a guy who
got an honorable discharge from the
military and was able to hold down a
But J. Herbert Larson, Atkins'

attorney, said the fact that his client
had no basis for a relationship with
Myers says something about his men-
tal state.
"Something like that would be
very relevant to it (his mental
state)," Larson said. "But that's why
we need an expert, to determine all
of this."
Meanwhile, Atkins faces a prelimi-
nary examination in 52nd District
Court today.
Larson said he will ask to postpone
the hearing until Atkins can undergo a
psychiatric examination.

By WiN Weissert
Daily Staff Reporter
In an effort to keep campaign promises made dur-
ing various election seasons, the Michigan Student
Assembly voted last night to create a task force to ana-
lyze and reform the M-Card.
"This is something we talk -
about a lot while campaigning
but haven't done much about," ,thins
said Engineering Rep. David
Burden, who was re-elected to who l th
the assembly last week and
proposed the task force. "Now been a h
we're doing something:'
With many assembly mem-
bers absent and already on their - LSA Rep..
way home for Thanksgiving, --_LAR__p._.
the 19 members present unani-
mously approved the task force and voted to install
Burden and LSA Rep. Jonathan Winick as its co-
"The whole M-Card is confusing to students - I
think this whole thing has been a big failure," Winick
said. "We hope that (the University) will scrap it."


Winick advocated the creation of a University cred-
it card that would replace the M-Card.
"It seems really unfair to make merchants spend
hundreds of dollars for equipment so they can accept
something like this - that's why it's only accepted in
about 30 places," Winick said. "A U-M credit card
could do more things for stu-
dents and be easier to use."
this MSA President Fiona Rose
said the M-Card task force
ng has will help the assembly to work
on behalf of students.
"The M-Card is very impor-
tant on campus because it is
something that touches all of
nathan Winick us," Rose said. "We want to
_________W___ k make sure students are getting
everything they want and need
out of the M-Card"
Burden said he conceived the idea for the task force
after assembly members were contacted by University
administrators via e-mail.
"They asked for our input and the input of stu-
dents," Burden said. "(The task force) is going to gath-

er suggestions and complaints from students and pre-
sent those to the University."
Burden said one of his top priorities is the merg-
er of the M-Card with University library copy
"I'd love to see the M-Card and the University
library cards combined," Burden said. "The trick is
to convince the University that the two different
cards piss the students off so much that it is worth
the extra expenses to consolidate the two some-
Many on the assembly said they were sorry to see
the role of Entree Plus confined to the residence halls.
"I know people used to call it names like 'Entree
Parents' because the bill was covered by Mom and
Dad - but things like books and supplies are very
expensive at this University,' Winick said:
"Entree Plus helped us pay those high costs - it
was a tragedy that Entree Plus was limited to the
The University switched from the Entree Plus
system to M-Card because the University would
have needed to use a private financial institution to
settle accounts with third-party merchants.


More poor need food

LANSING (AP) - Soup kitchens
and food pantries statewide are report-
ing increased demand for services
despite record employment in
Michigan. Some fear cutbacks on food
stamps and disability income could
make things worse.
"Pantries are going to get hit very
hard," Bill Kerr, chief executive officer
of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan,
told Booth Newspapers. "I believe
there's going to be a lot of fallout:'
Kerr said his organization, which
supplies food pantries and soup
kitchens in 22 counties, is receiving
more requests for help from the "work-
ing hungry" - people with jobs who
can't make ends meet because of low
"We used to have the Big Three in
Michigan - GM, Chrysler and Ford,"
he said. "But now the Big Three are
McDonald's, Burger King and
Kerr said his group will distribute 6
million pounds of food this year to
emergency providers, up from 5.2 mil-
lion pounds last year. He expects more

demand next year as food stamp cuts
take effect.
The Family Independence Agency
has mailed notices to 48,705 people in
Michigan warning that the new federal
welfare reform bill limits food stamp
eligibility to three months in any 36-
month period for adults ages 18 to 50
without children at home, unless they
work 20 hours a week. The clock for the
three-month period begins Dec. 1,
meaning some will lose their eligibility
in March.
Some see the new regulations as a
test of whether the private sector,
through jobs and charity, can step in as
government steps out.
"I think the time is here," said Dan
Jarvis of Michigan Family Forum, a
socially conservative advocacy group.
"People recognize the government does
need to downsize, and it is the proper
role of charities, families and civic
organizations to step up to the plate."
But David Super, the Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities, a think
tank in Washington, D.C., said the void
left by federal welfare reform is too big.

Getting the ball rollingA
The Detroit Pistons' Undsey Hunter gives BreYanna Asberry, 5, an auto-
graphed basketball to kick off a state blood and marrow drive yesterday.


Q Campus Information Centers,

Tutoring, Angell Hall, Room
4440, 7-11 p.m.
Q Northwalk, 763-WALK, Bursley
Hall, 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

QSafewalk, 936-1000, Shapiro
Library Lobby, 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m.
U Student Mediation, sponsored by
Student Dispute Resolution
Program, 647-7397

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