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February 06, 1997 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-06

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News: 76-DAILY
Advertising: 764-0554

One hundred six years ofeditor alfteedom

February 6, 1997

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Poet, activist
talks about
with AIDS
By Brian Campbell
Daily Staff Reporter
Poet River Huston dazzled the audience
gathered at the Michigan Union Ballroom last
night with her vivacity and humor as she relat-
the sobering stories of her experience as a
person living with AIDS.
Huston, an AIDS activist, gave her speech as
part of the University's AIDS Awareness Week.
While Huston's exuberance suggested her
relative good health, she said she had been
feeling sick lately and that her presence last
night stemmed from her continued dedication
to fight the spread of
the disease.
"I love life, but
I'm dealing with an
* unbearable situa-
areiSS tion," she said.
Febr ary 1-8 Week "There's one reason
why I'm here, and
that's because HIV is still here, AIDS is still
here, it's going on, and you're at risk:"
Huston expressed frustration at the failure
of drugs like AZT artd protease inhibitors to
provide an effective treatment for the disease,
but said she's found solace in talking with
ther women who have HIV/AIDS. Huston
entioned one-HIV-infected woman who was
having difficulty discussing the disease with
her children.
"The thing is, if you have HIV, whether you
look good or bad, you're still sick," Huston
said. "It's hard to explain this to children."
LSA junior Lareena Thepveera said she was
struck by Huston's candor.
"I think she is very honest and has a lot to
say" Thepveera said. "She has shock value and
she also has a message. She makes you listen"
Huston said she felt "like giving up" earlier
this year after being arrested for obscenity in
New Jersey while demonstrating safer sex

'U' ordered tc
pay legal fees
from trial loss



By Katie Wang
Daily Staff Reporter
Mounting bills for last fall's presidential search
grew even higher yesterday after Washtenaw
County Circuit Court Judge Melinda Morris
rescinded a decision that previously favored the
Morris ordered the University to pay the
$27,495 in the plantiff's attorney fees accrued in a
lawsuit initiated by The Ann Arbor News, Detroit
Free Press and The Detroit News last October.

Lisa Baker, associate vice president for University
"We will have to study the ruling," she said.
Dawn Phillips, an attorney for the Michigan
Press Association, called the ruling a victory for
the newspapers, but predicted that presidential
searches would still be marred by lawsuits.
"It always offended me that the Board of Regents
would spend public money on attorney fees to keep
the public from viewing the selection of a public
University president - and to risk the expenditure

"It is clear that the
motion filed by the plaintiff
for fees was made within a
reasonable time period after
the court's order of dis-
missal," the ruling stated.
"The Court finds that a pal-
pable error has been made
and that a different disposi-
tion of Plaintiffs' Motion
for Attorney Fees must
result "
The three newspapers
alleged that the University
Board of Regents was about to

"We are
surprised and we
will have to study
the ruling,"
- Lisa Baker
University spokesperson

of additional money to
spend newspapers' fees if
they were wrong,"
Phillips said.
Morris' ruling is part
of the dwindling residue
left after the University's
yearlong search for its
12th president. The
search, which concluded
in November with the
selection of Lee
Bollinger, led to amend-
ments of the Open

Poet and activist River Huston talks with students before speaking last night about her experi-
ences living with AIDS. Huston spoke as part of AIDS Awareness Week.

violate the state's

practices to high school students.
Huston lamented what she considered a
sexually repressed society, and said that a lack
of frank discussion about safer sex is harmful
to young people who need to know how to
avoid the disease.
"We don't have a forum for discussion. If we
had a forum and an open society you would be
able to talk to your parents about sexuality,"
Huston said. "I'm not advising you to go out
and have sex, but whether we like it or not, we
are sexual beings. We have hormones."

Huston discussed condoms and dental dams
and did a group activity in which she encour-
aged the audience to ask each other sexually
explicit questions from a list she prepared.
Nursing first-year student Abbey Sikkenga
said Huston's speech had a profound effect.
"Her speech makes me question my beliefs
and the way I was raised," Sikkenga said. "It
gives me a different perspective for my life."
AIDS is the No. 1 killer of people between
the ages of 25 and 44 in the United States,
according to literature given at the speech.

Open Meetings Act by discussing potential candi-
dates for University president behind closed doors
and having one-on-one meetings with candidates.
Morris originally denied the newspapers'
January request to have their fees paid, calling the
motion "untimely," because she ruled that their
requset was not filed within the time allotted after
her October decision barring the University from
conducting the search in closed sessions.
But in an opinion given. last week, Morris
acknowledged that she had erred in her original rul-
ing. The decision was delivered as a result of a
plantiff motion for reconsideration.
The ruling took the University by surprise, said

Meetings Act last month. The state legislature
approved bills exempting certain materials from
being subject to the state's Freedom of
Information Act and requiring a 30-day waiting
period prior to a final presidential selection.
Two days ago, expenditures for the entire search
process were released, reporting that the
University spent $500,000 during the search,
making it the most expensive search in University
history. This figure was more than five times the
amount spent on the search for former University
President James Duderstadt, which cost the
University $90,600 in 1987.
Half the 1996 expenditures were spent on legal
fees alone.

Reported rapes on
campus higher
than national rate

By Jenni Yachnin
Daily Staff Reporter
The rate of rape among women
0 tionwide has dropped 10 percent
nce 1990, according to a Department
of Justice report released Sunday.
But contrary to the national statis-
tics, the University has seen an all-time
high this year in rape reports.
"While the numbers are lower, I'm
not sure if that gives the number of
actual cases out there," said Joyce
Wright, prevention and education
coordinator with the University's
xual Assault Prevention and
wareness Center. "In the last few
years, people have been more reluctant
to come forward. The numbers are still
relatively high here at U of M."
Wright attributes the reported rape
increase to the general increase in
crime, including murders, assaults and
"(SAPAC) has been in existence for
ten years and since the last academic
ear, this is the highest number of
ses we've seen coming through the
door," Wright said.
A Bureau of Justice Statistics
spokesperson said the national statis-
tics on the rate of rape came from the
National Crime Victim Survey.
"It's the second-largest house. sur-
vey in the country," he said. "We go to
39,000 households and talk to 100,000
The report, "Sex Offenses and

Rape Statistics:
The Department of Justice's Bureau
of Justice Statistics released a
report Sunday that states:
Rape rates have decreased
nationwide by 10 percent since
* 97,000 rapes were reported in
1995, the lowest since 1985.
Offenders," compiled more than two
dozen statistics programs main-
tained by the Bureau of Justice
Statistics. It is the first national esti-
mate of the amount of convicted sex
offenders under the jurisdiction of
federal, state and local correctional
"There is nothing unusual in these
surveys, they do them all the time,"
Wright said. "On one hand, in the 10-
year period rapes have decreased, the
number of rapists have gone up."
The report states that 97,000 rapes
were reported to law enforcement
agencies in 1995, the lowest per capita
since 1985.
While BJS doesn't comment on the
significance of their findings,
University members are skeptical
about the drop.
LSA junior Anne Kelterborn said
that even if the number of reported
rapes has gone down, the incidents
themselves haven't slowed.
See RAPE, Page 5A

hails verdict
By Ericka M. Smith
Daily St aff Reporter
The aftermath of a discrimination suit won against the
University on Tuesday led to picketing and protesting yes-
terday by the three victorious plaintiffs and members of the
National Women's Rights Organizing Coalition.
Dawn Mitchell, Delano Isabell and Theresa Atkins sued
the University and Dental School supervisor Linda Vachon
DeMarco on charges of discrimination in a 1995 firing.
Six Washtenaw County jurors found the University
guilty, but exonerated DeMarco after a weeklong civil trial.
Members of NWROC, who supported the three plaintiffs
throughout the case, rallied on the Diag yesterday, passing
out fliers announcing the jury's verdict.
Visiting sociology Prof. Tom Lough, who observed the
rally, said racism is a part of everything at universities.
"I think it's structured into hiring, firing, admissions,
tenure - everything," Lough said.
After several minutes of distributing fliers and attempt-
ing to gain students' attention, NWROC members marched
See NWROC, Page 5A

Alex Johnson of NWROC leads a march from the Dental School to the Diag yesterday to mark a Tuesday
court victory in the trial of three former black Dental School employees against the University.

NPR show to air
on campus, today

A surge of spirit L

By Sam England
For the Daily
According to National Public
Radio's Ray Suarez, broadcasting a
radio show from a new location is no
simple task.
"It's something we only do a couple
of times a year. It's very demanding
technically, it's costly, so we don't do it
too often," Suarez said Tuesday from
his Washington, D.C. office.
So why is he bringing "Talk of the
Nation,' the show he hosts, to the
Rackham Auditorium this afternoon -
the first visit ever to a college or uni-
versity campus?
Despite the logistical difficulties,

and listeners can call the show toll-
Suarez and event organizers hope the
free event will attract a broad range of

Ramadan endr Sunday
The monthlong Muslim holiday,
which includes fasting and daily

r (

"We like to go where people are and
do a program.
That's self-evi-
dent," Suarez said.
"You don't want to
travel a couple of
hundred miles to
speak to a half-
empty room. We
want energy and
interest, and away-





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