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October 15, 1997 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-15

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i

LoCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 15, 1997 -7

STUDENTS
Continued from Page 1.
ipated in one of the University's campus
tours yesterday, said some college
applicants try to portray themselves as
minority students in hopes of benefit-
ting from affirmative action practices.
"I know some people who fill out
different stuff," Lamb said. "I think
maybe sex should be considered."
Kris Lamb, who accompanied her
son John on the University's campus
tour, said a student's GPA should be the
only deciding factor in admissions stan-
dards. "I think they should look at
grades, (not race and ethnicity);' she
said.
Clark said the removal of the
University's affirmative action practices
would perpetuate any discrimination
that already exists.
"To take away affirmative action, it's

like saying racism doesn't exist any-
more, sexism' doesn't exist anymore,
prejudice doesn't exist anymore, when
we all know that it does exist," Clark
said.
In contrast to Clark's statements,
Vrabel said he considers the University
to be well diversified. Furthermore, the
University's diversity will not be jeop-
ardized if the University's admissions
policies are deemed unconstitutional,
he said.
"Individual variance is certainly
much more important than racial vari-
ance" Vrabel said, adding that a stu-
dent's skin color should not be an indi-
cator for the kind of characteristics that
diversify a student population.
Michigan Student Assembly Vice
President Olga Savic said MSA should
"take the lead to work with a coalition
of groups to discuss how to protect our
community."

"I think there are a lot of groups that
would support affirmative action,"
Savic said. "(Then) I think there are stu-
dents that don't.'
Because no tell-tale numbers are
available regarding the prevailing
stance of University students, Savic
said she is not certain what course of
action MSA will take.
"This is a contestable issue for the
assembly," Savic said. "There are
some people who feel very strongly
about it on both sides. I think that on
the whole, we want to protect affir-
mative action."
MSA is coordinating a symposium
for students to discuss affirmative
action and gather varying perspectives,
Savic said. Assembly officials have ten-
tatively scheduled the symposium for
Nov 17-20.
- Daily Staff Reporter Chris Metinko
contributed to this report.

COACH
Continued from Page :.
"Coach Braun might have been the coach we might have
wanted. But I never will know now, will I?' Goss said.
"Because they started running articles on him right from the
very start."
Since time is a key issue - basketball practice starts
Saturday - Goss said he has "created a group of people
to do some of the diligent research" on potential candi-
dates.
Goss said he will meet with four or five candidates and
hopes to name a new coach by the middle of next week.

Fred Smith, athletic director at Sienna Heights College,
was an assistant coach to Braun when he ran the basketball
program at Sienna Heights from 1973-83. He said Goss
should stay with what he has for now.
"I thought it'd be awfully hard for (Braun) to leave at this
time," Smith said. "That's one of the problems Mr. Goss is
going to face at this time. I would go with one of the assistant
coaches for this year."
Goss, however, said he is not worried about finding some-
one so close to the start of the season.
"Before I started, I had that as a concern,' Goss said. "Now
that I've gotten into the process that's not even a concern.
"There's just too many quality opportunities for us."

JOHN KRAFT/Daily
BAMN members and ISA sophomores Dominique Jaques, Debracha Fair and Sylvia Robinson hold a banner yesterday outside
of the Michigan Union at a rally defending affirmative action in response to the lawsuit filed against the University.

.......

LAWSUIT
Continued from Page 1
"The admissions system here is more egregious
than theHopwood case," Pell said.
Pell said he hopes the suit will move along in
burt "expeditiously."
Whyman said she hopes this case will eliminate any
preferential treatment received by minorities.
"This is a big day for us, the people who are
fighting discrimination," Whyman said. "We have
good plaintiffs who were selected because they
have outstanding cases. You want to have the
strongest plaintiffs possible for this type of suit."
Under the case of Bakke vs. California, which is
the 1978 Supreme Court ruling that set current
nrecedent in the area of affirmative action, a uni-
rsity or college may use race as one of many fac-
tors in admission. CIR's current lawsuit, however,
claims "race was one of the predominant factors
(along with scores on standardized admissions tests
and high school grades) used for determining
admission."
The complaint states that Gratz and Hamacher
suffered "humiliation, emotional distress, and pain
and suffering" as a result of being rejected. The suit
demands that the court award the students financial
compensation, declare that the University's admis-
0ons policies violate the 14th Amendment and
order the University to admit Hamacher as a trans-
fer student.
The lawsuit states that Hamacher intends to
transfer to the University from MSU "if the dis-
criminatory admissions system described herein is
eliminated."
Provost Nancy Cantor said the University is a
prime target for a Hopwood-style lawsuit.
"We are a highly selective, large, public universi-
that is committed to diversity," Cantor said.
The lawsuit, Cantor said, will not damage the
niversity's academic reputation.
"We are known as a superb university that is
committed to providing a quality education,"
Cantor said.
Because the University offers education to peo-
ple from all classes and races, Duderstadt said it is
a likely candidate for a lawsuit. During Duderstadt's
presidency, the University created the Michigan
Mandate, a policy to diversify the campus through
minority recruitment and retention of students and
culty. Since the Mandate began, minority enroll-
nent increased from 12.7 percent in 1986 to 25.4
percent in 1996.
"We are perhaps the most striking example of the
Jeffersonian concept of an institution of higher
education," Duderstadt said. "We are regarded as

"Throughout our history ae included
students from diverse geographical, racial, ethnic
and socio-economis backrounds,"
- Lee Bollinger
University President

one of the leaders in higher education. Our success
makes us a target."
Duderstadt said the University's admissions poli-
cies are not different from affirmative action pro-
grams at other universities.
"The particular mechanisms we use are not
unlike those in other institutions," Duderstadt said.
"Michigan has always been out front in its commit-
ment to diversity."
In a meeting of the faculty's governing body
Monday, Bollinger said that if the University loses a
case that challenges its affirmative action programs,
the administration does not have a back-up plan for its
admissions programs. Bollinger said a back-up plan at
such an early stage would be a sign of weakness.
"I think the administration is firmly committed to
diversity," Bollinger said to the Senate Advisory
Committee on University Affairs.
The University has retained the Washington
D.C.-based law firm of Wilmer, Cutler, and
Pickering to defend the University in the lawsuit.
John Pickering, a partner in the firm, said he has
not yet seen the lawsuit complaint.
In a written statement yesterday, Bollinger said
diversity has always been one of the University's
goals.
"Since its founding, the University of Michigan
has been committed to providing an education to
the widest range- of students," Bollinger said.
"Throughout our history, we have included students
from diverse geographical, racial, ethnic and socio-
economic backgrounds."
University Philosophy Prof. Carl Cohen is a
vocal critic of affirmative action. In a 10-page
report, Cohen found minorities were given greater
preference in admissions.
"I know the motivation is honorable, but the
device is unacceptabe," Cohen said, adding that he
believes the University's admissions process vio-
lates the 14th'Amendment. "We don't give people
the equal protection of the law when we give pref-
erence on the basis of skin color."
For example, his study compared students with
GPAs between 2.8 and 2.99 and SAT scores
between 1100 and 1190 who applied to LSA in
1994. Eleven percent of the non-minority appli-
cants were accepted, while all minority applicants

in that category were granted admission.
Some students claim the University's affirmative
action programs should be made stronger.
"The University still needs affirmative action:'
said RC sophomore Micha Holmquist. "The conse-
quences of removing affirmative action would be
horrendous. I would be in favor of additional efforts
to recruit students from non-middle class back-
grounds."
Other students, however, said the University's affir-
mative action policies must be examined by the court.
"I think that any time something is challenged, it
is good," said LSA sophomore Steve Waterbrook.
"The formula that they have is a blatantly unfair
policy. The box you check has nothing to do with
your performance."
Michigan Student Assembly Minority Affairs
Commission Chair Kenneth Jones said the lawsuit
is not valid.
"It's really important that we have programs to
help ease the tension on these groups," Jones said.
"The lawsuit is just political propoganda."
John Truscott, a spokesperson for Gov. John Engler,
said Engler will not take a position on the lawsuit
because Rep. David Jaye (R-Macomb), one of the
lawmakers organizing the suit, is a candidate for the
Republican nomination to a state Senate seat.
"We are not going to get involved or do anything
to influence the primaries," Truscott said.
Although the state has laws that mandate equal
opportunity, Truscott said they do not cover affir-
mative action policies.
"The University of Michigan has more progres-
sive programs than the state," Truscott said. "Our
constitution gives the universities' governing
boards, so state laws do not affect them."
Jaye said the case will be successful in changing
policy because he believes the affirmative action
programs at the University are discriminatory.
"The U of M's minority preferences are so
extreme that any Michigan resident would do well
in court if they challenged the policies," Jaye said.
"The U of M is so unfair, un-American and evil.
This will be the great battle to eliminate affirmative
action nationwide."
-Daily Staff Reporters Janet Adamy and Chris
Metinko contributed to this report.

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