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February 25, 1998 - Image 7

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

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 25, 1998 - 7

fired for
The Badger Herald
Jenni Cole-Opitz learned an important
lesson Feb. 18 - don't joke with the
almighty of Wisconsin politics.
The 19-year-old UW-Madison
sophomore, a State Assembly page for
L months, was fired abruptly last
ursday morning for comments she
made to The Badger Herald about
working as a "go-fer" to Wisconsin
Ip the front page article headlined
"Raise the Roof: A look inside the
Capitol and how UW students help
make it work," Cole-Opitz spoke about
the occasional absurdity of pandering
to legislators.
JShe described a scenario in which
Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen
wanted a Coke when there was only
Pepsi left in the Capitol. Cole-Opitz
told The Herald she was sent to
Walgreen's for the speaker's pre-
ferred cola, prompting the comment:
I was just standing there in awe.
He's the speaker of the House, not
lesus Christ."
"It didn't mean anything," said Cole-
itz, who has retained a lawyer to
- ntest her firing. "I told the story
because I thought it was funny." L
The comment ignited a series of d
events that left Cole-Opitz without a C
job, the state Capitol without copies of
The Herald and aslot of questions about -
First Amendment rights.
"Employees have work rules they areD
expected to follow, and there are conse-
qiuences when they are not followed," Coni
R Sergeant-at-Arms Denise Solie, lega
:oagh she would not cite the exact rule"
Cole-Opitz broke. requ
In a letter Cole-Opitz read to The inter
Herald - her lawyer asked that it not 8
be released - she was told by Solie lega
hat she was fired for her comments inter
hat appeared in The Herald. Cole- said
)pitz said she was told they were dis- U
espectful and violated the pages' code 24
>f conduct. inte
"I'm very upset about this," said adm
Ve-Opitz, adding, "I've learned more effe
bout politics in the last day than I did (Pelt
n the past year." even
Solie had close ties to Jensen. The sign
peaker directly appointed her as the P
pItol's first female sergeant-at-arms bane
>n Jan. 1 and has worked at the job for Sedi
ve weeks. Stat
Jensen's office said the relationship tion
ad no impact on the decision to fire that
e-Opitiz. inter
'ontinued from Page 1
ncourage diversity awareness through
creased interaction between student groups
od MSA.
"What I want to get across is that we need
iore student group outreach with MSA,"
'hompson said. "I want to build relation-
*s between different student groups. We
an say we're diverse on paper, but we are
Thompson also said he wants to further edu-

Students skip classes for events

Continued from Page 1
think it's an unusual case where a lot of
different interest groups have come
together and listened to each other seri-
About 20 high school students from Ann
Arbor Huron High School and Detroit's
Cass Technical High School, several of
whom spoke at the rally, came to campus
to take part in the day's events.
Alianza Co-chair Diana Derige said
yesterday's demonstration in support of
affirmative action should not be limit-
edto one day.
"We need to think ahead and show
our solidarity together," said Derige, an
LSA junior. "The plight of minority
students on campus goes beyond affir-
mative action."
After the rally, nearly 250 students
marched through campus, crammed
into the Angell Hall Fishbowl area and
staged a sit-in. Students sat on the
floor for three hours to hear testimoni-
als about how affirmative action,
racism and diversity have impacted
the campus.
Organizers said they were pleased
with the number of students who took
part in the day's events.
"I'm really impressed with the tumout.
I think it's obvious that a lot of people
support affirmative action and are willing
to miss a day of class" said Law first-
year student Meera Deo, a member of
United for Affinnative Action.
Engineering sophomore Robert
Green said he was impressed with the
diversity of the crowd that attended the
"We need to take a stand as stu-
dents," Green said. "Awesome turnout,

but there could be many more."
LSA junior Kevin Bowman said he
had expected more students would
have attended the events.
- "This is definitely a good start,"
Bowman said. "I think more people
support affirmative action than are
here, but you have to start somewhere."
The teach-in held in the Michigan
Union Ballroom attracted nearly 175
people and featured an address about the
Civil Rights Movement by history and
African and Afroamerican studies Prof.
Jeanne Theoharis and two panels of
The first panel featured professors
speaking about constitutional law,
class-based affirmative action and
political and social aspects of affirma-
tive action.
"When affirmative action first start-
ed in the early 1970s ... it was what was
given instead of equal opportunity,"
said ACLU attorney Marc Rosenbaum.
Students said they had mixed feel-
ings about the day's events. While some
students actively participated in the
day, others barely noticed the events.
LSA senior Sandra Ruvola said she
would have participated in yesterday's
events if they had not conflicted with the
many midterms scheduled for this week.
Ruvola said she admired the stu-
dents' activism. She added that the sit-
in made it difficult to get to her discus-
sion class in Angell Hall.
"It's great and all," Ruvola said.
"What about the students who need to
go to class? We have to walk through
this whole crowd."
Law third-year student Shana
Radcliffe said that encouraging stu-
dents to skip classes was inappropriate.
"I think its not the best way to show

our support for affirmative action,"
Radcliffe said. "Maybe it's selfish, but
we're (at the University) to go to school."
Law Prof Lance Jones, who spoke
aboutthe BlackAction Movements of the
1970s and '80s, urged students to contin-
ue the fight to support affirmative action.
"What you are doing by being here is
continuing this legacy," Jones said.
"So, stay the course, and as we said in
BAM I, la lucha continua - that is, the
struggle continues."
Law third-year student Mireille Raoul
said the teach-in gave students a good
opportunity to exchange ideas.
"It's something that we haven't been
doing," Raoul said. "To me, it's such an
obvious issue in the sense that diversity
influences our educational atmosphere:"
Engineering senior Rudhir Patel, a
member of UAAO, said he was excited
about seeing such great support of
affirmative action. Patel added that
opponents of affirmative action should
be intimidated by the intensity students
feel toward the issue.
"Today is really to say we will not be
ignored as students of color," Patel
said. "It shows a collective voice. There
is power in a collective voice and power
in numbers."
Law first-year student Winnie Kao, a
member of United for Affirmative
Action, helped organize the event. Kao
said students have the ability to raise
consciousness nationwide and affect
the lawsuits against the University.
"It's important to be apart of a
national effort," Kao said. "Students
across the board are taking action and
showing their commitment."
The day ended with an evening teach-
in at Angell Hall, featuring professors
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and AlfordYoung.

SA seniors Erika Jordan and Ernesto Arredondo join nearly 300 other stu-
ents vesterday for a rally on the Diag. The rally was one of several events on
ampus celebrating the National Day of Action.

tinued from Page 1
l process.
'The assumption is that racial preferences ae
ired such that they have a legally protectable
est," Pell said.
But Pelt's reasoning may not hold water since
i precedents in the 6th Circuit do not require the
rvening group to prove it has a legal interest,
Godfrey Dillard, CAAP's lead attorney.
nder Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule
makes no claim of a legal interest, just aln
rest." Dillard said. "The modification of the
issions process will have a demonstrative
ct on their ability to apply to the University.
) makes a point of calling it a legal interest
though you only need interest. We have a
ificant interest and a legal interest."
ell said intervention decisions usually are
died on a case-by-case basis. But Robert
er, a constitutional law professor at Wayne
e University, said Duggan allowed interven-
in a term limits case last summer and ruled
intervenors do not need to have a legal
cate students about the importance of having
student on the University Board of Regent
MSA is calling efforts to gain a student rege
the Yes! Yes! Yes! campaign.
"I'm all forYes! Yes! Yes! It's going to be n'
main push for the election - getting studen
so that they're aware of what they're votin
for," Thompson said.
Friedrichs and Garcia said they will focus c
increasing first-year student's awareness<
campus organizations and providing more ilte
action between students and administrators.
Friedrichs said he is hopeful about the ele

Dillard said the coalition will file its official reply
on March 2. Hut, his team of lawyers will not make
substantial changes to its initial motion to intervene.
"We're going to go back to our brief, because
our brief is correct" Dillard said. "There is noth-
ing fundamental to change in our response."
The University's legal counsel has been relative-
ly quiet about its legal strategy and university offi-
cials have not commented extensively on the rea-
sonin" behind the response.
"We believe the response speaks for itself" said
Associate Vice President for university Relations
I isa Baker, who would not comment further.
Pell, who represented Cheryl Hopwood in the
landmark ease that banned the use of affirmative
action in Texas in 1990. said the coalition may
have a hard time prov ing its case.
"I think the civ il rights groups face an uphill bat-
tle:' Pell said. "They have a difficult case to make"
Confidently anticipating a court victory, Dillard
said the intervention should be accepted because it
fully complies with the expectations of Rule 24.
"We think our petition is consistent with the
law and we're hopeful that the judge will grant
it," Dillard said. "A number of 6th Circuit cases
have allowed beneficiaries to intervene."
a - tion.
s. "I was told that the last time an independent
nt candidate won for MSA president was 20 years
ago," Friedrichs said. "It's going to be tough,
iy but I'm excited to give it a try."
its LSA sophomore Sumeet Karnik, who MSA
g appointed to be on the Ann Arbor Tenant's
Union last year, said he is excited about run-
'n ning for an LSA Representative seat.
if "MSA has the ability to make a lot of things
r- happen," Karnik said. "There's a lot of things
that it can do. And I personally feel they could
c- do a lot more"

Continued from Page 1.
you should always wear a broad spectrum sun-
screen when you're in the sun."
Doctors usually don't recommend visits to tan-
ning salons. For people with strong allergies to the
sun, indoor tanning is sometimes advised, Auster
Auster said members of the Michigan
Dermatologist Society feel so strongly about
the dangers tanning salons pose that two years
ago they sponsored a bill in the state
Legislature calling for warning panels on tan-
ning booths - similar to the warning labels
currently on cigarettes.
Scared away from tanning by warnings from
the medical community, LSA senior Laura
Chalela said she plans to follow the doctors'
advice and use a lot of sunscreen during her week
in Key West, Fl.
"I don't go (to tanning salons) because I don't
want to get skin cancer," Chalela said. "I'd rather
have healthy skin when I'm older than have a tan
for a week."
Despite stated risks from doctors, students con-
tinue to flock to salons.
Lyn Bellhorn, manager of Supertans, located
on South University, said the store's one-month
unlimited special has been very popular this past
month. With a one-time fee, students can come in
every day this month and spend a maximum of
25 minutes under the lights.
LSA senior Martin Ptasinski, who is scheduled
to travel to Cancun next week, said he wants a base
tan before his trip.

"I'm tanning because I don't want to burn, but
t'm just doing it for spring break," Ptasinski said.
"I wouldn't want to jeopardize my health by com-
ing here regularly."
One Ann Arbor resident, who asked not to be
identified, said he is tanning before his trip to
"I want to condition my skin," he said.
"Otherwise, I'll get red and I won't be able to stay
out as long. It's not for cosmetics."
Salon employees warn people interested in tan-
ning that there are several precautions they should
For people taking certain medications, tanning
can be extremely dangerous. Southern Exposure
posts a list of 138 medications that tanners should
be cautious of, and Supertans asks visitors to fill
out a specific questionnaire regarding their health
before they go to the beds.
Bellhorn said tanning at Supertans is "not
any more dangerous than being in normal sun-
Kane said another thing to keep in mind is "if
you don't tan naturally, you won't tan (in a salon)."
Ariana Tkachuk, an employee of Tanfastic
on South Main Street, said she tells people
who are concerned with the health risks indoor
tanning involves that the UV light present dur-
ing the tanning process does damage DNA, but
really burning is what damages skins cells the
"Obviously, UV light is UV light, but inside
tanning usually offers a more controlled envi-
ronment because we can control the amounts of
UV rays in the bulbs and the burning," Tkachuk

bVyAaron Tr S travisa@umichnedu

Hey Zack, what if they held football
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We'd see a significant drop in player size.
C. co

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