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February 11, 1998 - Image 1

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-11

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News: 76-DAILY
Advertising: 764-0554

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One hundred seven years of edzriaifreedom

Wednesday
February 11, 1998

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' legal co
By Peter Romer-Friedman Powell's opir
Daily Staff Reporter race could b
More than 300 students and faculty mem- the admissio
bers crammed into Hale Auditorium yester- admit, we 1
day to hear Liz Barry, interim co-general Michigan edu
council for the University, speak about the ty something
lawsuits challenging the University's use In Octob
race in the admissions process. Rights, a nom
Barry began the panel discussion by giv- the first law
ing a synopsis of the legal history of affirma- College of L
tive action and defending the University's the second
admissions policies. December,
"Our practices do conform to the prece- University h
dent set by (the Bakke v. the University of white clients
California at Davis) case," said Barry in Provost Na
regard to Supreme Court Justice Lewis Lehman and
ousing to
aid in voter
egistration
y Mike Spahn
aily Staff Reporter
In an attempt to increase voter registration among
niversity students, University Housing will begin sending
toter registration forms with leases sent to new students.
By presenting the voter registration card to a student
efore coming to the University, "the student will have the
rimary information needed to register- their address," said
n Levy, director of Housing public affairs.
oice Your Vote, a student group on campus, conceived the
'dea for the initiative when the group evaluated its 1996 voter
egistration drive.
Ryan Friedrichs, co-founder of Voice Your Vote, said the
rive registered 6,500 students, which was one of the highest
otals in the country. But the group wanted to find additional
ays to reach more of the University's 36,000 students.
"There's something structurally wrong with the process if
e're one of the best groups in the country and we only get
bout 7,000 students (to register)," Friedrichs said.
Friedrichs said the group then decided
to act on the idea, which Housing just
recently approved. Student leases mailed
this spring will include the cards and an
explanatory letter from Vice President for
Student Affairs Maureen Hartford.
"The things that we will be pushing are
both civic engagement and the fact that
voting is a part of the education at a public
university like Michigan," Hartford said.
"We are training citizens here"
ord The registration push is part of a plan
to boost overall voter participation in the
ommunity, Levy said.
"We're working with Voice Your Vote to do what we can to
acilitate civic involvement among students," Levy said.
The plan may include sending forms to as many as 10,000
f the University's 36,000 students, Levy said.
LSA first-year student Ron Leibovitch said he has never reg-
'stered to vote, but the new plan may encourage him to do so.
"I've been too lazy to go out of my way to register. The
pportunity never came up," Leibovitch said.
Friedrichs said he hopes the plan will encourage students
*gister in Ann Arbor, rather than in their hometowns.
"Students are a lot more likely to actually vote if they can
alk down in their pajamas in their dorm to cast a vote,"
riedrichs said.
Levy said the push to register students will not end with
his plan. "We're also discussing a way to tap current stu-
ents," Levy said.
This initiative will allow VYV to focus on other goals, rather
han put all of its resources into the registration drive.
"We have three goals - to register, educate and motivate,"
riedrichs said. "We can now devote more resources to the
nd two parts.'
-Friedrichs said low voter turnout, including the 20-percent
tudent showing in the 1994 election, has left student issues in
he background. He said this plan should make student issues

ore important in the eyes of local and state politicians.
"An increase in student turnout will bring student issues to
he forefront," Friedrichs said.
Look out! It's Oscar!
Nominatons for the 70th Annual
Academy Awards were announced yes-
terday and James Cameron's "Ttanic,"
with a record-tying 1 nods has its eyes
of the prize. P Ve a

unsel discusses lawsuits

nion in Bakke, which stated that
e used as one of many factors in
ns process. "Every student we
believe, will benefit from a
ucation and offer the communi-
as well."
er, the Center for Individual
n-profit legal organization, filed
wsuit against the University's
iterature, Science and Arts, and
against the Law School in
claiming in both that the
ad discriminated against their
on the basis of their race.
ancy Cantor, Law Dean Jeffrey
Business Dean B. Joseph White

joined Barry to discuss the lawsuits and reaf-
firm the University's commitment to diversity.
Barry said she welcomed the Citizens for
Affirmative Action's Preservation's motion last
week to intervene in the lawsuit against LSA.
CAAP is a newly formed coalition of lawyers,
national organizations and high school students.
"We recently received a motion to inter-
vene and we will be filing our response to
that motion sometime soon," Barry said.
"The intervention is supportive to what we're
doing in our program so we welcome it."
In an attempt to prove to the crowd that the
University's admissions policies are within the
parameters of the Bakke verdict, Barry
explained the admissions policies of both LSA

and the Law School. She said the University
has not used separate admissions committees
for minority students when reviewing applica-
tions, as the University of California at Davis
Medical School did, which served as a decid-
ing factors in the Bakke case.
"We look at our applications on an indi-
vidual basis," said Barry, referring to the
LSA admissions process. "About one-third
are accepted or rejected outright. The rest are
reviewed on an individual basis."
Barry said CIR is not interested in the
details of how race is used in the admissions
process, but rather hopes to dismantle affir-
mative action altogether, as it did in the Fifth
See PANEL, Page 7

ALLISON CANTOR/Daily
Law Dean Jeffrey Lehman speaks yesterday during a panel
on the two lawsuits targeting University admissions.

Sweet Emotion

Coalition

to

devote funds,
ma npower

By Katie Plona
Daily Staff Reporter
Several national organizations
that have long been at the forefront
of issues surrounding racial justice
and civil liberties said they will
devote as much money and manpow-
er as is necessary to fight to retain
the use of race as a factor in the
University's admissions processes.
The three groups - the NAACP
Legal Defense and Educational Fund,
the American Civil Liberties Union and
the Mexican American Legal Defense
and Educational Fund - are leading a
coalition that filed a motion this past
Thursday to intervene in the lawsuit
filed against the University that chal-
lenges its use of race as a factor in the
admissions processes of the College of
Literature, Science and the Arts.
National members of the coalition,
Citizens for Affirmative Action's
Preservation, said they cannot predict
how much their involvement in the case
would cost. But money is not their pri-
mary concern, members said, even
though they will be responsible for all
legal expenses accrued during the
potentially lengthy lawsuit.
"It's very difficult to say how much
litigation will cost," said Deborah
Archer, a staff attorney with the nation-
al legal department of the ACLU.
"We're more concerned about educa-
tional opportunities for African

4*

WARREN ZINN/Daily
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler screams into a microphone last night during a performance at
the Palace of Auburn Hills. See Friday's Daily for a review of the show.

rsoners
artwork
on display
By Reilly Brennan
Daily Staff Reporter
Hundreds of University students, faculty and
Ann Arbor residents browsed the artwork of
more than 100 prisoners in the Rackham gal-
leries yesterday.
"I can just look at some of the pieces in this
room and feel the anguish and pain that the
artist went through. This is truly a moving
exhibit," said Ann Arbor resident Page
Skelton.
The annual event, which was started three
years ago by English Prof. Buzz Alexander,
showcases artwork by prison inmates from
more than 25 Michigan prisons.
Catherine Scott, the mother of showcasing
artist Tracy Neal, said the exhibit has devel-
oped her daughter's talents in a way that she
didn't think was possible.
"Tracy has hidden talents that I didn't
know about," said Scott as she stood in
front of a mural created by her daughter.
"She didn't even know that she had these
talents, either."
Alexander teaches two classes, English 310
and 319, which bring groups of students to
prisons across the state to talk with inmates
and participate in creative workshops.

American and Latino students than the
financial costs of protecting their
rights."
Theodore Shaw, associate director-
counsel of the NAACP LDF, said fund-
ing for the national organizations, all of
which are non-profit, comes mostly
from outside sources.
"They are funded through individual
contributions, through foundations and,
to some degree, fundraising," Shaw
said.
CAAP members said the unification
of the three organizations strengthens
the coalition's cause, which is to main-
tain the University's admissions prac-
tices in order to make higher education
accessible to minority students.
"It makes sense to pool our
resources, and I just don't mean finan-
cially, but the brain power," said
Patricia Mendoza, counsel for
MALDEF's midwest region.
ACLU senior staff counsel Chris
Hansen said it is not uncommon for
these three groups to work together, but
it is unique that the organizations are
appointing such experienced members
to head the project.
The lawsuit, which was filed by the
Center for Individual Rights in October
on the behalf of two white applicants
who claim LSA's admissions proce-
dures discriminated against them, "is a
bit unusual in the degree to which all
See COALITION, Page 7
State to
look into
Ge stering
plactice
By Katie Piona
Daily Staff Reporter
Former University Chief Urologist
Joseph Oesterling, who resigned in
July after University officials discov-
ered his trail of billing fraud, is under-
going a state investigation into allega-
tions surrounding his clinical practice.
Tom Lindsay, director of Michigan's
Office of Health Services in the
Department of Consumer & Industry
Services, said parts of the exploration
are already underway.
"We're in the process of the investi-
gation,"' Lindsay said. "It will be sever-
al months before we decide if we have
significant grounds to do anything."
Lindsay said he could not elaborate on
which areas of Oesterling's practice will
receive scrutiny during the coming
months, but said the examination will not
focus on claims of financial impropriety,
as did the previous investigation.
While searching through
Oesterling's billing records during an
investigation last year, University offi-

Catherine Scott gazes at artwork created by her daughter Tracy Nell. She is joined by children
Anas and Azeezah at the opening of the 3rd Annual Michigan Prisoner Art Show.

Alexander said. "We are always very respectful
of them and their talents. We believe that the
work is always about them and their stories -
and not about us."
Since it was first started, the program
has skyrocketed in size. This year, prison-
ers submitted nearly 200 works of art - 70
more than they did last year. The walls of
the Rackham gallery displayed 180 of
these works yesterday.
Janie Paul, a lecturer in the School of Art

program are helping to develop their future.
"Through this program, we are seeing the
development of art and the artists involved,"
she said.
Ypsilanti resident Ester Stevens said she
came to see the exhibit because she has a
friend whose work is on display this month.
"I'm happy to see this take place," Stevens
said. "You can tell the feelings of the artists just
by looking at the expressions on the faces in
the paintings."

... :

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