Tonight: Partly cloudy, low
Tomorrow: Partly sunny, high
One hundred six years of editorialfreedom
January 13, 1997
of theatre prof.
in Comair crash
By Alice Robinson
Daily Staff Reporter
Bouquets of violet-colored daisies and delicate red roses
adorned Betty Jean Jones' office door this weekend paying
tribute to the accomplished 47-year-old associate Rackham
dean and theatre professor who passed away in Thursday
night's plane crash.
Jones was travelling from Cincinnati to Detroit
Metropolitan Airport aboard Comair flight 3272 when the
plane went down Thursday afternoon in Raisinville Township,
about 30 miles south of Ann
Arbor. The 26 passengers
and three crew members
aboard were killed.
Students and colleagues
of Jones' paint a portrait of a
talented, determined woman
of great integrity and a
warm manner, whose zeal
for life was almost conta-
"She was smart and tough
and she was above all joy-
ous," said Machree
Robinson, an assistant
U . -=:
Sophomores Monica Shah (left) and Ami Parikh enjoy Indian cuisine at the Indian American Student Conference dinner in the Michigan League ball-
IASA florum1 plro-motes cul qqMPiwwture1c
* Conference hosts sessions
on gender roles, current
By Stephanie Powell
Daily Staff Reporter
*ressed in authentic Indian garb, students
from all over the Midwest and the University
community gathered at the Michigan League
on Friday to kick off the first annual Indian
American Student Conference put on by the
Indian American Student Association.
LSA senior Monali Patel, a coordinator of
the conference, said the eveit benefitted Indian
students at the University.
"It is important to get the ball rolling by pro-
? ting unity, community awareness and edu-
*on," Patel said.
Activities started Friday night with dinner
and a keynote speech by former American
Ambassador to India Shyamala Cowsik. She
focused on the importance of creating a bridge
between India and the United States.
The conference ended yesterday with a
brunch and another keynote speaker, Delegate
Kumar Barve, a member of the House of
Delegates in Maryland.
Many of the 100 students who attended
Friday night's event hailed from the University,
but some came from as far away as Wayne
State University and Purdue University.
Manish Kesliker, president of the Indian
Student Association at Wayne State, said the
conference was a great experience.
"It is a good forum to exchange ideas with
people from your own culture," Kesliker said.
Senior Neha Soni, a member of Purdue's
ISA, said she came to learn from other par-
ticipants, and she hoped to take ideas back
to her school to start a conference there as
"It is great meeting with other students and
keeping the culture and struggle alive," Soni
said. "I am here to see what they are doing and
bring ideas back."
Patel said the goal of the conference was to
give students a greater understanding of the
problems Indian students face today.
"Personally, I think students in our genera-
tion need to identify with a sense of culture and
understand it to educate the rest of the commu-
nity about what it is like to be an Indian" Patel
The conference also featured two sessions
where participants attended panels on issues
including gender roles, biculturalism and polit-
ical and current events in India.
Another coordinator of the conference, LSA
sophomore Deval Shah, said IASA is a neces-
sary organization because it promotes essential
"I think that it is great whenever we can
increase cultural awareness, Shah said. "It is
important that we take advantage of activities
like these and the diverse population on this
campus, and IASA has always been very active
in promoting on-campus activities such as
Rackham aean wno worked
with Jones for a year and a
"She was so well liked by
everyone. Everyone liked
her," said her father, Silas
Jones, of Albany, Ga.
Jones was returning from
the Senior Theatre USA
Conference in Las Vegas,
which she attended with her
father, who is 75. She and
her father flew back to
Atlanta before Jones got on
"She believed in
the mystery of
theatre ... like it's
- Mark Gmazel
By Katie Plona
Daily Staff Reporter
Family and friends gathered together
yesterday at the Bharatiya Temple in
Troy to remember LSA senior Arati
Sharangpani, whose life came to a trag-
ic end Thursday afternoon when
Comair flight 3272 crashed outside of
Sharangpani's close friends and rela-
tives said they were touched by her per-
"In this gloomy world, Artie was our
sun," said Deepa Bilolikar, a close
friend of Sharangpani's and a 1995
Sharangpani was well-known in the
University community - she was a
resident adviser in Mary Markley.
Residence Hall and had served as vice
president of the Indian American
Student Association. Sharangpani was
from Holland, Mich.
Bilolikar said she and Sharangpani
became instant friends when they met
four years ago at the University.
"She just has that kind of personali-
ty" Bilolikar said. "She was one of my
Others who knew her said they will
remember her compassion and gen-
"I look at Artie as being an angel
really," said Harprit Bedi, a close friend
and 1996 University graduate. "Artie is
sort of the epitome of everything that's
LSA senior Renuka Kher, president
of the Indian American Student
Association, said she became friends
with Sharangpani when they worked
together in IASA.
"She touched everyone with her spe-
cial ability to make them feel a sense of
belonging, along with her constant
encouragement and enthusiasm toward
everyone's lives," Kher said.
"She had a unique gift to always say
the right thing at the right time."
Many University students, friends
and- family members attended. the
memorial service held yesterday.
Bilolikar said the Sharangpani fami-
ly appeared to be holding up "as well as
can be expected."
Kher said, "The amount of love
among her family and that she had for
her friends is helping them cope."
Bilolikar said both Sharangpani's
younger and older sister spoke at the
memorial service. "Her sisters are
extremely strong,' Bilolikar said.
See STUIDENT, Page 5A
a Cincinnati-bound plane, which was her connection to
In the Frieze Building and in her office Friday, co-workers
and students gathered to try and sort out feelings of over-
whelming grief and disbelief.
Mark Gmazel, a School of Music junior who worked with
Jones, said her passion for theatre was obvious. "She
believed in the mystery of theatre ... like it's a religious expe-
rience," he said.
One administrative assistant described an atmosphere of
shock. Many in the dean's office were given the day off. A
blunt orange flier posted on the doors of theatre classrooms
in the Frieze Building notified students that classes were can-
Silas Jones remembered well the last exchange he had with
his daughter, when they separated at the Atlanta airport.
"As we got off the plane ... she said, 'Daddy I will call you
when you get home. I will beat you home.' And I said, 'OK,
baby,"' Jones' father said.
Jones' father said he had to take another flight from the
Atlanta area to his home, which was delayed for 40 minutes.
When he arrived home, he was sure she had beat him home
as she said she would. "When I got home, I said, 'I know she
done called me three or four times,"' Jones said.
Later that evening, after Silas Jones tried unsuccessfully to
call his daughter, he received a disturbing phone call from an
official at Detroit Metro Airport. "They said, 'Do you have a
daughter named Betty Jean?' She said, 'I hate to tell you this.
Your daughter was on that flight. Nobody survived. I froze,"
See JONES, Page SA
ents concerned about a Social
Security system that economists say
will go bankrupt in less than 35 years
may see a ray of hope with the release
of a new plan developed by a top
School of Public Policy Dean Edward
Gramlich chaired a 13-member social
security advisory committee that
released its report to Congress this
W nth. The group, which has met for the
t two years, divided and devised
three different proposals designed to
reinvent Social Security and save it from
Gramlich's plan would privatize
Social Security and tax an extra 1.6 per-
cent of workers' income. That addition-
al tax revenue would be placed in indi-
vidual retirement investment accounts.
"1 tried to fashion a plan that uses the
.ck market somewhat, but also has
e ance," Gramlich said.
Gramlich's plan would give slight
decreases in benefits to the wealthy.
The plan has received the support of
many University faculty members.
"The reason I support his plan is
because of the low costs," said Social
Incoming University President Lee Bollinger sits at his desk during his first day in his new home. The
house at 815 S. University Ave. is the traditional home for University presidents.
Bollinerreturns home t
A2,m--oves into residence
RAISINVILLE TOWNSHIP (AP) -
Investigators of the crash of a Detroit-bound com-
muter plane said yesterday that three controls
meant to shut off the right engine and activate a
fire extinguisher were found in the on position in
the plane's wreckage.
But National Transportation Safety Board mem-
ber John Hammerschmidt said it was possible that
the switches and levers were flipped, pulled or
twisted by the force of the crash, rather than by the
pilot or co-pilot of Comair Flight 3272 from
And all damage to the right engine appears to
have been caused by the crash impact, he said. On
Saturday, Hammerschmidt said preliminary find-
ings were. that both engines appeared to have been
rotating when the plane hit the ground.
There were no signs of fire in the right engine,
he said, and the switches meant to shut off the -left
engine were found in the off position.
Hammerschmidt also said a preliminary reading
of the flight data recorder showed that the plane
By Heather Kamins
and Katie Wang
Daily Staff Reporters
After a two-year absence and a 13-hour drive
through snowy conditions, Lee Bollinger is final-
Casually dressed in jeans, a white polo shirt and
noon after bidding farewell to friends and col-
leagues at Dartmouth College where he served as
provost for the past two years.
"It's funny how in two years you can make
strong attachments with people," he said. "I felt
very welcomed there. This was too exciting of a
position to say that I was sorry to leave."