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March 13, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-13

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 13, 1997 - 5A

NWROC
holds
panelon
rDS3 trial
By Ericka M. Smith
Daily Staff Reporter
After two years of protesting
alleged racism in the firing of three
black University Dental School
workers, the National Women's
Rights Organizing Coalition met
last night to discuss future activism
gon campus.
Eighteen NWROC members and
Ann Arbor residents joined former
University employees Delano Isabell,
Theresa Atkins and Dawn Mitchell for
a forum in the Michigan League's
Koessler Room.
NWROC member and event orga-
nizer Shanta Driver said the forum
was organized to discuss the 1995 fir-
ing of the workers and the outcome of
ebruary's lawsuit.
"This is the first forum we have
been able to do since the (civil trial)
began because we were all under a gag
order," Driver said.
In February, the three charged the
University and Dental School supervi-
sor Linda Vichon DeMarco with dis-
crimination in a 1995 firing.
After a weeklong civil trial, the
University was found guilty, but
DeMarco was vindicated.
On Friday, the three workers will be
back in Judge Robert Shelton's
Washtenaw County Courtroom asking
for reinstatement at the Dental School.

College GOP group
faces resignations

By Jeffrey Kosseff
Daily Staff Reporter
In response to last month's re-elec-
tion of Nick Kirk as president of the
campus College Republicans, three of
the group's five officers resigned
Tuesday night. They are Vice President
Elias Xenos, Secretary Becky Beamish
and Treasurer Jen Skomer.
The officers, who impeached Kirk on

February 19,
said they gave
Kirk a chance to
resolve differ-
ences after he
was re-elected
by a majority of
the group, but
they claimed he
did not.
"Mr. Kirk
spoke a lot

Iam h
the club i
forward."
College

to the state's Republican convention.
Kirk denied those charges.
Beamish claimed Kirk is leading the
group in a manner of which she disap-
proves.
"He's going off on a more reactionary
and radical direction," Beamish said.
Pete Rinato, the group's vice presi-
dent for alumni affairs and the only offi-
cer besides Kirk not to resign, said that
although the res-
ignation of offi-
appy hcer isotaposi-
tive occurrence,
Smovintheir replace-
ments will be
competent.
"I foresee good
- Nick Kirk people stepping
GOP President in and taking over
for the remainder
of the year,"
Rinato said. "I think this is childish."
Skomer said she resigned because
Kirk did not allow her to perform her
duty as treasurer.
"I had no notification of what funds
we had," Skomer said."1 wasn't being
asked to do anything."
Kirk said there were two financial
accounts for the group. One was con-
trolled by Beamish and Skomer, and the
other one was controlled by Kirk and
Rinato. Kirk said he provided Skomer
with all the receipts from the account he
controlled.
"That is completely false," Kirk said
of Skomer's allegations. "They will con-
tinue to spread lies about us, but we will
move forward."

A JA ULKlLE.VMA flLIN/Lmfy
Detroit attorney George Washington sits next to former Dental School employee Delano Isabel during a panel discussion
held by NWROC in the Michigan League last night. The panel discussed future activism on campus.

"I think they should be put back to
work, and their records should be
cleared because that's justice," said
George Washington, the former
employees' attorney.
Washington said the University is
"still a racist" institution.
"(The University) is literally stand-
ing in the Dental School door saying
we don't want black people who
protest racism to work in this school,"
he said.
Last night, Washington also com-
pared his clients' fight to the 1960s
civil rights movement.
Those who attended the event said
they went to show their support
against racism on campus.

LSA first-year student Nikita Little
said she attended the forum to repre-
sent students who are active in today's
civil rights issues.
"(I came) to let people know, espe-
cially students, that they do have a
voice on campus and only through
unity can most goals get accom-
plished," Little said.
The former employees and their
attorney said they have mixed feelings
about the possible outcome of Friday's
hearing.
Atkins said she wants to believe
they will be reinstated, but added that
she was unsure.
"I think it would be a victory
because we were proven not guilty,

and it shouldn't be anything but in our
favor" Atkins said. "I don't know. The
University does strange things. It's
hard to tell"
NWROC member Jessica Curtin
said students should pay attention to
the Dental School hearing and its out-
come because it will impact their lives
at the University.
"I think this is something every stu-
dent can learn from," said Curtin, an
LSA senior.
"It can translate not only into stu-
dents fighting racism but for other
issues, as well like fighting for
lower tuition and more financial aid,
and other demands that students
have," she said.

about bridging the gap, but we have not
noticed any improvements" Xenos said.
Kirk said he is satisfied with the offi-
cers' resignation.
"This is best for the club," Kirk said. "I
am happy the club is moving forward"
Kirk said a two-thirds majority of the
group was ready to impeach the three
officers at last night's meeting.
Xenos said Kirk's re-election by a
majority of the group was damaging to
the group's reputation.
"It was sending a poor message to
the rest of the University," Xenos said.
"It is well known that he has engaged in
all kinds of unethical acts"
These acts include allegations that
Kirk forged a press pass to gain access

i

.MSA
Continued from Page 1A
understands the graduate student lead-
s desire to form a separate govern-
Went, but said "we should keep in
mind" the benefits of having a single
tudent government.
Rackham Rep. Ray Robb said he
understands the importance of having
one student voice, but thinks forming
GaPS is the best idea.
"In theory, I see the point, but in
practice, I don't see what the benefit
has been for graduate and professional

students,' Robb said. "Given that I've
enjoyed being on MSA for a long time,
I wish it weren't necessary, but I believe
it is best for my constituents."
Public Health Ph.D. student Maureen
Comfort said that without knowing the
specifics of the proposal, she can see
the pros and cons.
"I think the plus side would be more
efficient and focused debates on issues
of concern for graduate students,"
Comfort said, but added that "two sepa-
rate bodies may not be as influential or
effective as one unified body."
Comfort said if both MSA and GaPS

existed, the two would have to coordi-
nate with each other on mutual issues.
Robb said he does not blame the
assembly for the lack of focus on grad-
uate student interests.
Lopez said if the referendum passes
through the five graduate schools, the
graduate student leaders will then take
the plan to other members of the
University community.
"We're going to take it to the regents,
we're going to take it to Maureen
Hartford, and we're going to take it to
MSA," Lopez said.
Belcastro said GaPS would use the

smallest amount of
their operation.
Robb said both1

funds possible in
MSA and GaPS

would need to work together to support
mutual concerns, including the funding
of the Ann Arbor Tenants' Union and
the issue of child care.
"We don't want to deny that there
are significant ties between graduate
and undergraduate students," Lopez
said.
Rose said if a separate government
for graduate students is formed, assem-
bly members would work with GaPS
members on mutual issues.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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