research Consultation 1
The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 2, 1997 - 5A
Program helps students
By Diba Rab
r the Daiy
With 16 libraries at the
University, finding resources for
research papers may often seem
To help students use MIRLYN
(the University's online card cata-
log) and find and evaluate informa-
tion from the Web, libraries on
campus have programs to aid stu-
dents with their research snags.
Starting two years ago, first-year stu-
*nts have been getting a brief intro-
duction to campus technology during
For students who may have missed
these sessions, and for more intense
training, the Shapiro Undergraduate
Library has the Research Consultation
Program, which has been up and run-
ning for four years.
"RCP is back due to heavy demand,
d because students expressed their
ppreciation for this service," said
Laurie Alexander, an Undergraduate
Library reference and instruction librar-
ian. "RCP provides one-to-one help
with the research, including MIRLYN
and the Web and other information ser-
Students said they are willing to
to ask questions"
- Deborah Tenofsky
Coordinator of Instructional
make time in their schedules to check
out the training session.
"I've heard of it," said Allen Gavin,
an LSA first-year student. "I'm going
to have to use it eventually. I'm glad it's
Who actually helps the students?
"Librarians and students from the
School of Information help students
by getting them thinking about
whether the site is appropriate,"
Often, professors and teaching
assistants will arrange for their
classes to come to the
Undergraduate Library and take
advantage of such programs.
If students do not have enough
time to attend RCP workshops, the
librarians at the reference desk usually
are willing to help students with their
"People shouldn't be embarrassed to
ask questions," said Deborah Tenofsky,
the coordinator of Instructional
Services at the undergraduate library.
"That's what we're here for. We're here
Graduate students also can find sim-
ilar online and Web resources. Libraries
at the University's Medical School,
Business School and other libraries
offer similar services to those found at
Shapiro and other sites, but under dif-
"I've never heard of it. but it would
be a good thing to use," LSA sopho-
more Carolyn Saline said of RCP
Information officials said RCP com-
plements the variety of training session
already available on campus.
"We see this as a way to supplement
the services we already provide," said
Kathleen Folger, coordinator of
Reference and Information Services.
RCP will begin the week of Oct. 13.
Finalized hours for the session have not
yet been worked out, but will be posted
in the Shapiro lobby. For information-
seekers with questions, the
Undergraduate Library's reference desk
Undergraduate Library reference and instruction librarian Laurie Alexander helps LSA senior Kelly Huang yesterday at the
UGLY. The Research Consultation provides one-on-one help to students, training them to useMIRLYN, the Web and other Infor-
hours are Monday through Thursday 10
a.m. 1( p.m.. Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
and Sunday 1 p.m.-I10 p.m.
Interested students can find out more
information about RCP at
Need computer assistance?
* Students can get information by going to
M RCP will begin operating the week of Oct. 13.
0 The Shaprio Undergraduate Library's reference desk
can provide more information about RCP.
Senate passes Engler education plan
* Michigan senate
approves legislation to
pay off school districts
LANSING (AP) -With Republicans
and Democrats butting partisan heads on
the issue, the GOP-run Senate approved
*gisltionyesterday to pay off school
districts which were shortchanged on
special education money.
As all Democrats voted in vain for
their party's plan, which has cleared the
state House in part, the Senate passed
on 21-16 and 20-16 party-line votes
three bills to implement Gov. John
Engler's alternative proposal.
The votes set up key negotiations on
how to repay school districts for the so-
*lled Durant case, in which 84 public
school districts sued the state in 1980 over
inadequate special education funding.
Officials said Engler and key lawmakers
already were discussing a compromise.
"if you're going to treat children fair-
ly, you have to have a plan that treats
(school) districts fairly," said Senate
Majority Leader Dick Posthumus, (R-
ButhiDemocrats labeled Engler's plan
a "shell game."
"It's a way to mesmerize ourselves
that things arc OK." said Sen. Joseph
The dispute in large part boils down
to whether the state takes money out of
the "rainy day" Budget Stabilization
Fund -- the Democratic plan - or
whether it sells bonds to pay off school
districts - the Republican plan.
In short, Democrats argue that bond-
ing would be too expensive and more
debt should not be authorized;
Republicans contend the BSF should be
protected from such use and should be
saved for the inevitable economic
"This is very good news for schools,"
John Truscott, a spokesperson for
Engler, said after the Senate action. "It's
a huge infusion of cash. Now it remains
to be seen if the House is going to play
politics with this."
Engler has proposed, and the Senate-
passed legislation calls for, dipping into
the Budget Stabilization Fund for about
$211 million, over three years, for the
court-ordered payments to 84 district
which actually filed the lawsuit.
He is urging the selling of S768 mil-
lion in bonds to pay off other districts in
the same situation, but did not sue. The
payments would be in one year, but the
bonds would be paid off over 15 years.
The legislation also includes lan-
guage calling for one of Engler's pet
proposals - offering education
employees the choice of a "defined
contribution" retirement system. That
proposal is strongly opposed by many
Democrats and is unlikely to win
approval anytime soon in the state
Such a system -- different from the
current "defined benefit" system -
would guarantee the level of state con-
tribution for retirement programs but
not the ultimate benefit to the retired
The Senate-passed bills also would:
U Reinstate some 230 million in
"at-risk" funding for districts which
have large numbers of disadvantage
students at risk of failing or dropping
out of school. Engler this summer
vetoed about S250 million of such
funds as his administration worked to
pay off the Durant verdict.
(a Firkin is an English beer keg of
approximate y 12 gallons)
By special arrangement with Redhook Brewery in
Seattle Washington, we have one keg of their Ballard
Bitter. A classic IPA, with a dry and fruity character. This
keg has been conditioned in the cask to produce a natural
level of carbonation and will be served using a traditional
English Hand-pump without any C02 added.
Also now available:
Bell's Best Brown Ale
Bird sperm research sheds
Jight on basis of fidelity
By David Bricker
Daily Staff Reporter
Ongoing research searching for the
biological basis of fidelity, including
that of humans, has spawned new evi-
dence from an unexpected source -
James Briskie of Oxford University
in England recently reported that he has
ound a positive relationship between
perm length and polygamy in
"The idea here is that if a male has to
compete against the sperm of another
male, it would be evolutionarily advanta-
geous to produce a faster swimming
sperm to outdistance a rival in the race to
reach and fertilize the eggs," Briskie said.
The report, published in the July edi-
tion of Evolution, is co-authored with
Lesearchers Robert Montgomery and
Tim Birkhead. Briskie and his coworkers
also discovered that polygamous bird
species' females have longer Sperm
Each SST - about 60 to 70 microm-
eters in diameter - - accommodates up to
several hundred sperm. A typical female
possesses anywhere from 500 to 20,000
SSTs, bundled together in an assemblage
that connects the vagina and uterus.
SSTs appear to serve as a place
where sperm is held until needed to fer-
tilize eggs. Briskie's research suggests
that increased sperm length may not
only help males' sperm swim faster but
also keep other sperm out of competi-
tion. Sperm cells that fail to secure a
place inside an SST will not be allowed
to enter the uterus.
"In our paper we suggested long
sperm evolved in some species of birds
because females in these species had
evolved longer SSTs," Briskie said.
"The reason longer sperm would be
adv.antageous in polygamous species is
that the longer sperm would allow a
male to fill up these SSTs and prevent
other sperm from being stored."
The sperm size of human males
seems fairly consistent with these stud-
ies, Briskie said.
"As for humans, we have pretty aver-
age-sized sperm," said Briskie. "The
fact that humans don't have particularly
long sperm suggests we don't have par-
ticularly high levels of promiscuity, at
least relative to other species. And the
paternity studies of humans tend to sup-
port this: the levels of 'mis-matches' of
paternity in humans is less than 10 per-
cent of the population. Relative to other
species, this is quite low, but it is clear
we are not angels either."
University psychology Prof. Barbara
Smuts also suggested that human biology
could be linked with historical fidelity.
"Aspects of our psychology and biol-
ogy suggest that throughout our evolu-
tionary history, humans have been
mildly promiscuous," Smuts said. "Pair
bonding was always the basic pattern
but it wasn't followed faithfully."
Researchers interested in learning
human beings' innate tendencies
towards fidelity have invoked systemat-
ics, which uses the behavior of other
closely related species as data to specu-
late on human behavior.
"You run the gamut among the apes,"
said University anthropology Prof. John
Mitani. "The gibbons of Asia live in
mated pairs. Gorillas live in single-male
groups. Orangutans are solitary in mat-
ing, any male can mate with any given
A primatologist from the University of
California at San Diego recently
revealed considerable promiscuity
among chimps while working on the
Ivory Coast, Mitani said.
"The data suggest over half of all
chimps born into a troupe (a multi-fami-
ly group) have fathers that come from
outside of their troupe," Mitani said.
"And chimps are our closest ancestors"
cordially invites undergraduates
to attend a presentation on
career opportunities in
Encore a re
amily Resale Shop
doFiinq / Shoes / ACcessories
Monday, October 6, 1997