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One hundred seven years of editora lfreedom
November 4, 1997
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Daily In-depth: Class time
Court will not
-.Ima.dgmlh P ro P'O 209
tSA junior Bill Mullen sits in his art history class before a midterm exam yesterday in Mason Hall. University students generally spend less
time in class than other students across the country.
holds less cass days than
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court yesterday removed
the last significant legal hurdle to California's statewide ban on
affirmative action, rejecting a challenge by civil rights groups
who had argued that the law was unconstitutional.
Campaigns to eliminate preferences based on race and sex are
underway in several states, and people on both sides of the issue
predicted the court's action would reinvigorate those efforts.
Voters in Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, are deciding
today whether the local government should abandon such long-
standing preferences in the area of public contracting.
When the initiative passed last year, California became the
first state in the country to abolish affirmative action in a
variety of state programs, from hiring and college admissions
to government contracting. The controversial measure drew
national attention and was stopped from taking effect for
nearly a year while it was challenged in court.
By deciding not to accept the case yesterday, the Supreme
Court left in place a lower court ruling that found Proposition
209 constitutional. That rul-
ing, by the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals, stressed "This is a
that when the government
gives an advantage to indi- g e n lg tt
viduals based on their race,
it penalizes people who all the ther
belong to another race. Civil
rights groups claimed the states that
law unfairly stripped local
governments in California want to copy
of their traditional authority P o osto
Yesterday's Supreme "
Court action, while not a
ruling on the merits of - Kathleen Sullivan
Proposition 209, was a Stanford law professor
powerful signal, especially
in light of a recent string of
high-court rulings that have served to limit the scope of race-
based government policies.
"You would have to be living on a different planet not to think
this is a very significant decision," said Ward Connerly, who
spearheaded the fight for California's Proposition 209 and said
he now spends about a third of his time traveling to other states
to help activists with similar initiatives. He said efforts are blos-
soming particularly in Colorado, Florida and Washington state.
"This is a green light to all the other states that want to
copy Proposition 209," said Stanford law professor Kathleen
Sullivan, who had helped the American Civil Liberties Union
in its challenge to the California-measure. "At our count,
there were 26 other states in some stage of progress."
In California, the state is just beginning the lengthy, but
largely procedural, process of eliminating preference pro-
grams. At the municipal level, there are several state hurdles
that must be crossed before the law can be imposed. Under
California law, Republican Gov. Pete Wilson is required to file
a lawsuit seeking a ruling that state affirmative action statutes
are in conflict with Proposition 209. Hoping to speed up the
process, Wilson in September asked the Democratic-con-
trolled legislature to repeal or amend 30 statutes that he iden-
tified as granting illegal race or gender preferences. But the
legislature adjourned for the year without acting.
By Janet Adamy
and Jeffrey Kosseff
Daily Staff Reporters
While many legal experts say the U.S.
Supreme Court's refusal to hear a case
challenging California's Proposition 209
will not affect the lawsuit challenging
cies, some contend
the decision is a
breakthrough in the
U n i v e r s i t y
Bollinger said the
decision will not
affect the current Bollinger
suit against the
University. which was filed last month by
the same law firm that won the Hopwood
v University of Texas Law School case
that eliminated affirmative action pro-
grams in the 5th Circuit.
"In the current litigation ... the issue is
quite different," Bollinger said. "The
Supreme Court has held that whatever the
University of Michigan does in pursuing a
diverse student body is constitutional:'
The only Supreme Court case in the
affirmative action arena is Bakke v.
University of Califbrnia Medical
School at Davis. In that case, the Court
was split 4-4-1, and there was no single
majority opinion. Justice Lewis
Powell's single opinion, which says that
race is permissable as one of several
admissions criteria, is often considered
the guiding decision-of that case. Many
higher education institutions have used
Powell's opinion in creating admissions
and financial aid policies.
Wayne State University constitution-
al law Prof. Robert Sedler said the case
against the University has no relation to
the case refused yesterday by the
Supreme Court. The California case, he
said, challenges the constitutionality of
a law California citizens voted to enact,
See SCOTUS, Page 2
By Peter Romer-Friedman
Daily Staff Reporter
When Jordan Toplitzky came to Ann
or this September, he unpacked, adjusted
dfamiliarized himself with the University.
But it took him two months to fully realize
the benefits of the University's academic cal-
endar - short, intense and flexible.
"The U of M obviously knows what it's
doing," said Toplitzky, an LSA first-year stu-
dent 'from Los Angeles. "My brother at
Brandeis University starts earlier than us,
and ends in late May. I really like to end.
early. None of my friends get out as early as
do. It gives me time to find jobs and
ternships, and to visit friends. My brother
has so many breaks that he spends too many
days in Boston without classes."
- Toplitzky pointed out many uncommon
features in the University's academic calen-
dar, which has a total of 135 days of class in
its fall and winter terms - 21 days less than
the national average.
But the University's compact academic
year may soon not be such a novelty.
In the past few months, several institutions
have embraced the national trend - the
shrinking the school. year. Prior to this
semester; then-University of North Carolina
President C.D. Spangler mandated a shorter
academic calendar for all UNC schools.
As other schools tweak their systems to
shave days off academic calendars, University
students, faculty and administrators say the
schedule hire is too popular to alter.
Former University President James
Duderstadt said the Un iversity's academic
policies not only allow students to get an
early jump on the summer internship and job
market, but also make the spring and sum-
mer semesters available for those lo-king to
grab some extra credits.
"In the 1960s, a decision was made to go
to trimesters, to level out University enroll-
ment with classes in all 12 months"
Duderstadt said. "There still is some wisdom
How Long Does the
School Year Take?
® University of Michigan: two 13 1/2-
N Dartmouth College: three 10-week
® University of North Carolina: two 15-
* Colorado College: eight 3 1/2-week
® Michigan State University: two 15-
in allowing students to go year round.:
The University's spring and summer terms
often make it easier to graduate in four years
or less, Duderstadt said. At the same time, it
has become harder for students nationwide
to graduate in four years.
"Michigan was one of the first schools to
move to this calendar," Duderstadt said.
See TIME, Page 5
ow for A2
y Peter Meyers
aily Staff Reporter
Habitually low turnout among the
tudent body population in local elec-
ions is expected to continue in today's
nn Arbor City Council elections.
" In off years, it's way, way down. We
ould benefit a lot more if a lot of stu-
ents who considered themselves
crats would come out and vote:'
;ai Douglas Scott, chair of the Ann
Arbor Democratic Party.
Local elections held in years without
:ongressional or presidential races
ften have very low voter turnout, but
he paralyzing effects usually have been
fore pronounced among student vot-
rs. In the 1995 election, Ann Arbor's
verall voter turnout was 13 percent,
>ut in the student-dominated precincts,
hverage was 2.6 percent.
The worst of the student precincts
was the second precinct of the 1st Ward,
where students and residents voted in
Alice Lloyd residence hall. Turnout in
:his precinct was 0.8 percent. Only 13
votes were tallied.
Student political leaders said they
eare frmitraterd hy the failinL, student
Polling sites in
areas of high
1st Ward --Michigan Union.
Alice Lloyd residence hall,
Community Nigh School
2nd Ward - Family Housing'
Community Center, Mary Markley
residence hall, Angell School
0 3rd Ward - East Quad
4th Ward - South Quad
residence hall, Mary St. Polling
5th Ward - Ann Arbor YMCA
If you.,are registered to vote in
Ann Arbor and uncertain about
your polling place, call the City
Clerk's office at 994-2725.
cilmembers "are often willing to come
and have coffee with you," she said.
But some students actually partici-
pate in some candidates' campaigns.
"We're working for Parma Yarkin,"
Cohen said of the College Democrats.
"She's doing some get out the vote'
Yarkin is the democratic candidate in
the 2nd Ward. The College Democrats
have been distributing campaign litera-
ture and trying to assemble a phone
bank on her behalf.,
Libertarian candidate Michael
Enright, an LSA sophomore, said that
students are his core voters.
"I've tried to focus on students and
to get students involved," Enright said.
"I think students need a student mem-
'U' prof. faces trial on charges of
improperly interviewing a child
By Stephanie Hepburn
Daily Staff Reporter
A nationally recognized University
professor and sexual abuse expert faced
the first day of trial yesterday on charges
that she and her staff emotionally abused
a child during a 1992 interview.
The lawyers for defendant Kathleen
Coulborn Faller, who heads the
University's Family Assessment Clinic,
faced Judge Donald Shelton in a
Washtenaw County courtroom yester-
The University has spent more than
$600,000 for the Ann Arbor law firm
Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone to
defend Faller in the case. The firm
asked Shelton several times to dismiss
the case, claiming immunity because
Faller and the staff members are state
employees. Shelton rejected the pleas
Larry Champney, an Engineering
alumnus, is suing Faller and the
University, claiming that his 8-year-old
daughter was emotionally abused by.
one of the clinic's employees when she
was 3 years old. The employee alleged-
ly tried to get the young girl to "say
something bad about her father." Faller,
who supervised the interview, wrote a
final report on the interview, stating
that Champney may have sexually
abused his daughter.
Champney denied the allegations and
claimed that his former wife should not
have been able to assist in the interview
because she was a biased participant.
During the videotaped interview,
Champney's former wife asked her
daughter questions about what
Champney did to her.
Lisa Baker, associate vice president
for University relations, said that Faller
has the University's complete support.
"We stand behind the actions of pro-
fessor Faller and her colleagues who
were performing in an evaluative capac-
ity," Baker said.
"This is consistent with the
University's mission of teaching,
researching and service. It is important
See TRIAL, Page 7
By Katie Plona
Daily Staff Reporter
Members of the University commu-
nity formed a circle last night as inter-
tribal songs rang through Trotter House
for a drum social.
The Treetown Singers and the Blue
Lake Singers performed at the drum
social, one of several events planned for
Native American Heritage Month, titled
"Woven by Traditions."
things that is important to all native
people is the significance of the drum.
Jodi Cook, co-chair of the Native
American Student Association, said
one of the purposes of the drum social
was to familiarize people in the
University community with drumming.
"We put it at the top of the month
because it's such an important part of
our heritage," Cook said.
Both Cook and NASA Co-chair Joe