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January 28, 1998 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-28

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I

A

LOCAL/STATE -

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 28, 1998 -3

Students receive
racist letter
Officials at Indiana University-
Purdue University at Indianapolis Law
Whool said last week they may know
who sent a racist letter to black taw stu-
dents at the university, the Chronicle of
-4figher Education reported.
Twenty-six first-year law students
received the single-page letter -,
signed "Ray A. Sism" -- after return-
"ing from winter break. Marshall
Collins, a university spokesperson, said
the letter may have been sent by some-
one within the university.
The letter criticized the university's
affirmative action policies and said
black law students are unwelcome in
the "White Man's law school." The let-
ter added that although the black stu-
dents have already been admitted, "we
don't have to let you graduate."
Campus police officials said they are
sti1l investigating the incident. Norman
Lefstein, dean of the law school, has
offered a cash reward to anyone who
can identify the author of the letter.
Computer error
benefits students
..An error in a computer program that
caused some University of Minnesota
!students to receive extra scholarship
money was detected this past Thursday,
the Minnesota Daily reported Monday.
The University of Minnesota Office
*f Scholarships and Financial Aid acci-
dentally paid the maximum amount of
Minnesota State Grant money to all
scholarship recipients, including those
who did not fulfill the 15-credit
requirement for the semester. Grant
;,money was deposited directly into the
students' bank accounts.
The 2,500 students that mistakenly
.received extra money will be mailed a
letter notifying them of the error and
*equesting them to return any excess
grant money by Feb. 6.
Mlan banned from
Oslo campus
A Norwegian man who was prohibit-
,ed from attending the University of
Oslo because of his body odor is taking
his case to the European Court of
uman Rights in Strasbourg, France,
4he Chronicle of Higher Education
-reported yesterday.
The university barred the man.
whose name has not been released,
from attending the institution in
1981 after his strong odor and dirty
clothing prompted complaints from
students and faculty. The man was
4udying astrophysics and claimed
that living in a plastic, foam shack
nce 1978 helped him acquire a
more profound understanding of
astrophysics.
In several related cases, courts have
iuled against the man
Internet abuser
on probation
A University of Florida student who
ed a 14-year-old girl he met via the
iternet into a motel was sentenced last
Tuesday to five years of probation, the
independent Florida Alligator reported

Friday.
Florida engineering senior Daryl
^Bnks. who was apprehended after
1egirl identified him from an ATM
!urity video, pleaded no contest to
%,Ud assault of a person under age
16. Conditions of his probation
dlude the completion of a psycho-
sexual therapy program, no contact
with the victim and no unsupervised
contact with anyone under 16. Banks
was also ordered to undergo testing
-esexually transmitted diseases.
The girl began conversing with
-Banks through an America Online
chat room last May. Banks eventually
asked the girl if she wished to meet
him, but the girl told him she was
only 14 years old. Banks convinced
Oer to sneak out, and picked her up at
her home.
-Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Christine M. Paik from the CIjronicle
of Higher Education and the
University Wire.

Interest in Peace Corps continues to grow

Mike Spahn
Dlly Staff Reporter
Ihirty-six years after then-President John
Kennedy announced his idea for the Peace Corps
from the steps of the Michigan Union, the interna-
tional service effort has grown into a foreign ser-
vice program costing $222 million per year.
With President Clinton's plans to expand the
Peace Corps by 5,000 volunteers and $48 million,
the program is continuing to flourish.
The proposed expansion should meet a growing
national interest in volunteering, said Patti
Madigan, Peace Corps spokesperson.
"It's a natural extension of Peace Corps and
where we're going," Madigan said. "General inter-
est is up. We had over 150,000 people contact us in
1997 to get information about volunteering."
The suggested funding increase would raise the
Peace Corps budget from its current $222 million
to $270 -- a 21 percent increase. In addition,

Clinton said he hopes to double the number of
overseas volunteers to 10,000.
Sarah Naasko, the University's Peace Corps
coordinator, said the corps is an important pro-
gram that deserves government support.
"The Peace Corps is one of the most efficient
foreign aid programs we have," Naasko said. "It
manages to reach out and touch a lot of people."
But Sage Westman, a spokesperson for the
Michigan Republican Party, said the proposed fund-
ing increase shows that Clinton is not concentrating
on the most important issues in the United State>.
"I think the President likes to hand out a lot of
social spending policies ... which help only certain
people," Westman said. "We need to focus spending
on America's key problems, such as education."
Adam Silver, vice president of the campus chap-
ter of the College Republicans, said he agrees with
Westman. Silver said a potential budget surplus
should go toward improving education and secur-

itg Medicare.
"I think we need to look at necessities pertinent
to Americans right now" Silver said.
Dentistry lecturer Kari Gould, who served in the
Peace Corps on the island ofVanuatu in the South
Pacific, said the experience taught her that "all
humans have basically the same needs."
The i University provides the fifth most volun-
teers of any institution in the country, and Naasko
said she "suspects interest will only increase."
Gould said that although domestic issues are very
important, she doesn't think Peace Corps funding
has to take away money from such programs.
"Having Peace Corps funding doesn't really take
away from ... our domestic policies," Gould said.
Madigan said she does not foresee a major bat-
tle over the funding increase, adding that the Peace
Corps is a widely accepted program.
"We have always received strong bi-partisan
support in Congress," Madigan said. "Funding is

always a challenge, but it's one we look forw ard to
working on with Congress."
Six current members of Congress who serval in
the Peace Corps all said they support the funding
increase. Seth Amgott. a spokesperson for Rep.
Christopher Shays, (R-Conn.) who served in Fiji,
said Shays will support the new plan when it
comes to the House of Representatives.
"Chris will work very hard with a bi-partilan
coalition and (Peace Corps) Director (Mark)
Gearan to get this passed." Amgott said.
The budget increase will probably go to support
new programs and aid recruiting efforts, Madigan
said.
"This allows us to send out mere volunteers
and respond to new requests for volunteers."
Madigan said.
Naasko said the funding could help to restart-the
recently closed Peace Corps recruiting site at
Michigan State University.

Sipeaking plainly

Ethnic greek organizations
build cultural awareness

By Rachel Edelman
Daily Staff Reporter
A variety of ethnic sororities and fra-
ternities on campus, many of which are
currently participating in a ws inter rush or
application process, offer students an
opportunity to gain a sense of cultural
awareness and to become actively
im olved in their communities.
Students can choose from five black
fraternity chapters. five black sorority
chapters, a Latino/a fraternity and sorori-
ty and an Asian Pacific American sorori-
ty and fraternity.
The 10 black sororities and fraternities
are part of the Black Greek Association.
Each chapter establishes its own set of
rules and guidelines.
"I think one of the main reasons (to
join a black sorority) is to have a bond,"
said LSA junior Aiisya Lowey, president
of Alpha Gamma Psi. "When you're of
the same ethnic group. there are a lot of
issues that are specific to that ethnic
group. At a predominantly white univer-
sity, it's very important to have those
bonds."
Although each chapter in the Black
Greek Association has its own applica-
tion process., students usually attend a
general informational meeting and then
apply to one specific chapter. Individual
chapters determine whether they want to
accept new members for the winter term.
Delta Sigma Theta, the largest black

sorority on campus with 23 members, is
one of the chapters accepting applica-
tions for the winter semester.
"Delta Sigma Theta is a sisterhood
committed to public service. It's a life-
time commitment "said president Sandra
Enimil, an LSA senior.
Individual chapters are involved in a
wide range of service activities, includ-
ing fund-raising, tutoring and mentorship
programs and workshops.
The University's Asian Pacific
American sorority. Kappa Alpha Theta
Phi and Asian Pacific American fraterni-
ty, Lambda Phi Epsilon, are not official-
ly affiliated with one another, but have
worked together in the past. Both chap-
ters held rush activities last week.
Kappa Alpha Theta Phi, which has had
a chapter on campus for two and a half
years, has 17 active members. About 10
women are rushing this semester.
"Our main focus is promoting APA
pride for all women," said Education
senior May Gong, Kappa Alpha Theta
Phi's rush chair. "We look for committed,
dedicated women. We have them meet us
during rush events"
Lambda Phi Epsilon is the first nation-
al Asian American fraternity. It has had a
chapter on campus since 198,1.
"We try to focus on Asian American
awareness and try to dispel stereotypes
about Asian Americans," said LSA
sophomore Steven Wong, the fraternity's

vice president. "It opened my eyes and
brought me back to my roots. It enlight-
ened me and taught me a lot"
Many members of Lambda' Phi
Epsilon and Kappa Alpha Theta Phi are
involved in various Asian Pacific
American organizations on campus,
including the United Asian American
Organization, the Singapore Students
Association, the Indian American
Students Association and the Asian
American Association. These organiza-
tions are dedicated to promoting t4hnic
awareness on campus.
"It's especially important in a region
such as the Midwest," said LSA seniQrAl
Chu, a member of Lamda Phi Epsilon.
"Many (students) are away from home
-- it helps them to find a home away
from home."
The one Latina sorority on campus,
Delta Tau Lambda, was founded .in
1994. The University's chapter ii e
first chapter of this sorority in the
nation, with 10 active members.
"Being a minority, there are certain
issues you have to deal with. You almost
feel safe in familiar surroundings. We
are women who will help the people in
our community throughout our lives,"
said an LSA senior Lori Nicholson, the
sorority's vice president.
Delta Tau Lamba is currently working
to build a national presence and is not
accepting winter applications.

PAUL TALANIAN/Daily
Robert McChesney, a professor of middle eastern studies at New York
University, speaks in the Rackham Building yesterday about the way
Tamerlane's tomb shaped social and political identities in Samarqand.
MS A votes dw

ballot question

We would like to wish all University Faculty, Staff and all students from
across the globe and the Muslim world a very happy and joyous,

By Kristin Wright
Daily StaffReporter
TIhe Michigan Student Assembly
decided last night not to include a ques-
tion on the March election ballot asking
whether the assembly should urge
University administrators to continue to
use race as a factor in admissions
processes at the University.
Budget Priorities Chair David
Burden said MSA should put the ques-
tion on the ballot not to indicate the
assembly's stance on the issue, but to
allow students to voice an opinion on
the issue.
"1I think that it is a very controver-
sial issue and I would have liked to
have students decide what the stu-
dent opinion is, rather than have
MSA do it." said Burden, an
Engineering senior.
Members of the Coalition to
Defend Affirmative Action by Any
Means Necessary said that putting
the question on the ballot would be
inappropriate.
Rackham student Julian Heilig said
he did not support the resolution
because factors including athletic tal-
ent, geographical location and alumni
status of applicants are considered by
admissions as well.
"Why is it that some of our friends in
MSA have targeted race and ethnicity.?"
asked Heilig.
MSA members and other students
also discussed the importance of
informing and educating the campus
about affirmative action and its com-
plexities before placing a question

addressing the issue on the ballot.
Budget Priorities Vice Chair Joe
Bernstein said he does not support the
affirmative act ion ballot question
because of the complexities of the
University's admissions policies.
"The admissions policy is more
complicated than just affirmative
action," said Bernstein, an LSA
sophomore. "There are more issues
there. There needs to be more dis-
cussion about it and more education
about it before we actually put it on
the ballot."
The wording of the ballot question
also sparked discussion at last night's
meeting. Rackham student Nadia Kim
said the ballot question would further
misconceptions about the affirmative
action policy.
"Just by doing this, it is totally per-
petuating misinformation,"'Kim said. "I
really urge you to not put this on the
ballot unless it encompasses the whole
issue."
MSA President Mike Nagrant said
that although he does not vote on
MSA resolutions, he did not favor
last night's proposal for an affirma-
tive action ballot question.
"I usually feel that MSA should
allow students to determine their
own fate, but I think that we would
not be treating the issue with the
respect that it deserves," Nagrant
said. "It could really play an active
part of determining the fate of affir-
mative action in this country. I think
that the way things turned out
tonight was for the best."

ElD

RAK
M U

Our object should

be peace within,

andI

Pakistani
Students
Association
Islamic Affairs Committee
http://www.umich.edu/-pakistan/

peace without. We want t y
live peacefully with outc
immediate neighbors and'
with the world at lrge. '
-Qauid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Founder of Pakistan

What's happening in Ann Arbor today

GROUP MEETINGS
C Adult Support Group for Relatives
with Family Members with Mental
illness, 994-6611, r St.

Alzheimer's Association, Call for
information, 741-8200.
J "Americans of Color Abroad,"
Sponsored by the International
Center, International Center,
Ronm',4- 2.An m.

Room 9, 10 a.m.
SERVICES
Li Camnu Infnrmation Centers. 763-

s
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