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February 25, 1998 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-25

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Georgetown 'U'
to put crosses in
all classrooms
Georgetown University announced
plans this past Friday to place cruci-
fixes and crosses in all its classrooms,
The Chronicle of Higher Education
reported Monday. The announcement
comes at a time of much debate sur-
rounding how much Roman Catholic
symbolism the Jesuit institution
should display.
The crosses and crucifixes will be
labeled with explanations of their his-
toric significance and will represent
different eras. Georgetown officials
said a committee of students, faculty,
staff and alumni will choose the styles
to be displayed.
Although the majority of the class-
rooms will exhibit these crosses, the
Bunn Intercultural Center, which
houses groups of different faiths as
well as the offices of faculty mem-
bers of the School of Foreign
.Service, will not.
Instead, various display cases con-
taining symbols of other faiths will
rotate in this building.
The university hopes the crosses and
crucifixes will emphasize founder John
Carroll's idea that Georgetown is a
"Catholic university open to people of
all faiths."
Only half of Georgetown's students
are reported to be Catholic, which is
,.down from 60 percent 20 years ago.
California system
looks to change
The University of California and
its faculty leaders met at the state
system's Board of Regents meeting
this past Thursday to discuss a plan
under which the top 4 percent of
graduates from every California high
school would automatically qualify
for admission to the system's schools,
The Chronicle of Higher Education
reported. The plan may receive a for-
mal proposal in June.
University officials also backed
away from an earlier proposal to elimi-
nate standardized test scores as an
admissions requirement.
While some believe that not consid-
ering test scores will increase minority
eprollment, many faculty members and
admissions officials say that the idea
would lead to a decline in the quality of
students at the school.
University officials said they hope
the new plan will inspire students to
work hard regardless of whether
their high school has traditionally
been underrepresented in the univer-
California officials estimate the
- proposal would allow about 3,600
high school students who would not
meet current entrance standards to be
eligible. Many of those students
.'would come from high schools that
now send few, if any, students to the
,Huckleberry Finn
under scrutiny at
Penn State

Students at Pennsylvania State
ma University attempting to remove Mark
- ,Twain's Huckleberry Finn from
nandatory reading lists are facing
- opposition from University professors
and students who are arguing for its
right to stay, the Daily Collegian
reported Monday.
The state's chapter of the NAACP
held press conferences earlier this
month encouraging school districts to
drop the novel from their reading lists,
- claiming the repeated use of racial
slurs in the novel leads to psychologi-
cal damage to black children's self-
Sandra Choute, president of Penn
State's chapter of the NAACP, suggests
that the reading should instead be
optional. She added that students who
find the book offensive should be
allowed to read other books or be
excused from class.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Christine M. Paik from the University
Wire and The Chronicle of Higher

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 25, 1998 - 3
Mentors assist
Native Amencans

By Rachel Edelman
Daily Staff Reporter
Native American students from
across the country who wish to attend
law school are receiving guidance and
advice from University Law School
students thanks to a new mentorship
"Our biggest goal is to make sure
that any Native American student that
wants to go to law school doesn't have
any barriers," said mentorship program
coordinator Lynette Noblitt, a Law sec-
ond-year student.
The program, started by the
University's Native American Law
Student Association last month, attempts
to help students with the law school
application process and and help them to
find scholarships and internships.
"We're not just encouraging students
to go to the University of Michigan or
to law school,"said NALSA co-coordi-
nator Allie Shlechter. "We're encourag-
ing them to go to graduate school and
continue their higher education. We're
encouraging them to do what's best for
Because mentees come from
schools around the country, commu-
nication with mentors takes place
primarily through letters, e-mail and
NALSA sends each mentee a packet
with information about the Law School
Admissions Test, advice on selecting
schools and tips on finding financial
NALSA co-coordinator Cami Frasier
said the lack of Native American role

models in society necessitates such a
"As Native American students, we
know how important it is to have role
models to look at," said Frasier, a Law
first-year student.
About 38 Native American college
students and four high school students
participate as mentees in the program.
NALSA members decided to start a
mentorship program in November after
attending the American Indian Science
in Engineering Conference in Houston.
They received positive feedback after
asking students if they would be inter-
ested in receiving further advice and
"Our goal is to show students that
there is a lot more you can do," said
Shlechter, a Law first-year student.
"There are a lot of things that students
don't realize."
Mentors, several of whom are not
members of NALSA, attended a men-
tor training session about a month ago.
Mentorship meetings are held every
other week.
"I hope that this is something that
can go on indefinitely," Shlechter said.
The mentorship program is attempt-
ing to expand. University participant<
are visiting a Chippewa reservatior
high school tomorrow in Mt. Pleasant.
Mich. Organizers said they would like
to get the Native American Studenr
Association involved in the program.
and want to eventually expand the pro.
gram to include University students, a:
well as students from Eastern Mlichigai

Student athletes Immanuel Turner and Dhani Jones participate in a panel discussion addressing the stereotypes that
black athletes face.
Black athletes disus yh

By Erin Holmes
Daily Staff Reporter
LSA senior Airron Richardson is a
black male athlete, and he doesn't dunk
a basketball or score touchdowns.
Richardson, a University wrestler,
was one of seven student-athlete repre-
sentatives who participated in a panel
discussion last night aimed at dis-
pelling myths that surround black ath-
letes at the University.
"Everyone is surprised when I say
I'm a wrestler," Richardson said.
"They think wrestlers are supposed to
be short, white guys."
The student athlete panel consisted
of representatives from a variety of
campus sports. The discussion provid-
ed insight into issues that black student
athletes deal with.- putting equal
emphasis on the words "student" and
"People look at me in my sweats and
say, 'Oh, you're an athlete,"' said
women's track team member Nikki
Keith, an ILSA junior. "I answer them
and say, 'No, I'm a student athlete."'
Event coordinator Dwayne Fuqua

said that too often people wrongly
assume that black athletes are only at
the University to be sports stars.
"We do more than the normal
student," said Fuqua, an LSA
senior on the men's track team. "We
need to alleviate the stereotype that
we're just here on scholarship get-
ting paid to play a sport."
Fuqua said his dream would be for
the room to be packed with representa-
tives from a variety of ethnic origins.
"I want everybody to hear our mes-
sage," Fuqua said. "Blacks have
already heard. We want to portray to
others how we see ourselves."
Although only about 25 people
showed up for the discussion. Fuqua
said it would not prevent the panel
from discussing the myths they felt
needed to be addressed.
During the panel, which consisted of
a question-and-answer session, student
athletes discussed what it takes to
define their identities.
"You need to get to know people on
a deeper basis than what they look like
on the outside," said RC sophomore

Dhani Jones, a member of the football
team. "I try to turn conversation around
so it doesn't focus on my sport, and I
do all I can to involve mvselftwith other
aspects of the University."
The student panelists agreed that
they have had both negative and posi-
tive experiences as black athletes on
the campus.
"It's tough being a student and an
athlete if you're really into everything
you're doing." said women's soccer
team member Vanessa Lewis, a
Kinesiology junior. "Classes are tough,
and sports are tough. But it's made me
a stronger person."
The panel members acknowl-
edged the stereotypes that come with
the use of affirmative action and
attributed their changing roles in
sports and the University to their
"Many black athletes aren't aware
that everybody's always looking at
them," Jones said. "If you do some-
thing. and people think it is bad, that
just contributes to the stereotypes on
the campus."

Utioity sued for bias

DETROIT (AP) - Two weeks after
agreeing to settle a bias lawsuit by
3,500 employees, Detroit Edison is
being sued by eight workers of Asian
and Middle Eastern descent who claim
bias on pay and promotions.
The eight workers filed the suit
Monday in Wayne County District
Court against the utility, one of
Michigan's largest employers.
The eight allege that white,
American-born non-union employees
with comparable education, experi-
ence and performance on average are
promoted faster and to higher pay

Tornadoes raise spring COME JOIN
break travel concerns rA .EE,,c

The complaint also alleges that less
er-qualified white employees have beei
promoted to positions denied to nfor
qualified Asian and Middle Easten
The plaintiffs include Medha
Higazy, a Edison technical consultan
who said he has received the utility
highest employee award - but has see
promotions go to less-qualified whit(
Term Paper crunch is coming, and if
you care about your grades, a little tim(
with us could make a big difference.
We won't write your paper, but we can
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By Greg Cox
Daily Staff Reporter
The group of deadly tornadoes that
ripped through central Florida on
Monday concerned some students who
are planning spring break vacations in
southern locations.
The storms, which killed at least 38
people, made up the deadliest set of tor-
nadoes on record in Florida.
RC sophomore Jamie Stilson, who is
traveling to Tampa, Fl. with the Michigan
crew team, said some of her travel com-
panions feel uneasy about the weather.
"I guess people are a little apprehen-
sive, but we're hoping it'll be ok,
Stilson said.
LSA first-year student Ryan Ermanni
said this year's weather trends influenced
his choice of spring break destination.
"Two months ago when we planned
spring break. we decided not to go to
Florida or southern California because of
the chance of bad weather," Ermanni said.
Ermanni, who decided to go to
Charleston, S.C. for break, said his travel-
ing group had no alternative plans in case
of adverse weather in the Carolinas.
"We're just kind of banking on the
weather being good," Ermanni said. "If
it's not, maybe we'll make a quick trip
Ermanni and his group may be the
exception rather than the rule. Dan
Nowakowski, office manager at Regency
Travel, Inc., said spring break vacation
bookings haven't been noticeably affect-
ed by the recent bad weather.
"Major bookings were 30 days in
advance," Nowakowski said. "If students
waited until now, there'd be no seats
available and fares would be very high."
While weather may not have had a
major impact on bookings, Nowakowski

said another big event - Michigan's
appearance at the Rose Bowl - reduced
the number of students who could afford
to go to far away destinations. In effect,
many Wolverine fans chose to root for
their team in Pasadena in January instead
of basking in the sun during spring break.
LSA sophomore Gabriel Estadella
said his group's plans for break won't be
affected by the string of tornadoes in
Florida - their spring break destination.
"The storms haven't affected our plans;
they're pretty much set," Estadella said.
"Had there been a problem with our hotel
being damaged or something like that, we
probably would have went home for
break and tried to get our money back."
Estadella added that the vacation will
be welcome even if the weather is below
par in Florida.
"We're going with the mentality that
we're leaving the state of Michigan for a
week -- we're pretty happy about that,"
Estadella said.
While many people categorically
assign the blame for bad weather in the
United States to El Nino, Engineering
Prof. Dennis Baker said the recent weath-
er patterns are very sophisticated.
"We're giving a name to something
more complex," Baker said. "In an El
Nino year, the southern U.S. from Los
Angelos eastward is wetter than usual."
Baker said it's difficult to pin bad-
weather blame entirely on El Nino.
"Florida is getting more activity. From
that perspective, El Nino caused them,"
Baker said. "At the same time, severe
thunderstorms and tornadoes are always
possible in Florida."
Baker did note, however, that the tim-
ing of the storms is a little unusual.
"It's awfully early in the year for torna-
does," Baker said.



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