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FOCALISTATETh ne Micnigan uaily - weanesay, January 1998 -
I3answer, niversi defends admissions policies
By Katie Plona
and Peter Romer-Friedman
Daily Staff Reporters
The University's answer to the lawsuit
against the Law School's admissions policies
Sintains that Barbara Grutter, a 44-year-old
ymouth woman, was not discriminated
against when she applied to the school in
The answer, filed Dec. 22 in the U.S.
District Court in Detroit, also reaffirms the
University's commitment to using race as one
of many factors in the Law School's admis-
"Defendants state that the University of
Michigan Law School uses race as a factor in
missions, as a part of a broad array of
qualifications and characteristics of which
racial or ethnic origin is but a single though
important element," the University stated in
Terry Pell, senior legal counsel for the
Center for Inidividual Rights, said the
University's answer was expected. CIR is the
Washington D.C.-based law firm that is chal-
lenging the University's affirmative-action
policies in two separate suits against the
admissions processes used by the College of
Literature, Sciences and the Arts and the Law
"The University continues to deny the
obvious, that race is the prominent factor in
the admissions process, and we look forward
to going to trial over that," Pell said.
CIR filed the suit against the Law School
on Dec. 3, claiming the school unfairly uses
racial preferencing in its admissions policies.
Pell said it will probably take a year for the
case to reach trial. In coming months, both
CIR and University attorneys will question
witnesses and exchange materials to prepare
for the trial.
The University's answer "is completely
normal in a case like this," Pell said. "Now
we talk to the judge about setting a sched-
The University's lawyers also asked U.S.
District Judge Bernard Friedman to dismiss
the case, as they did in their answer to the
complaint against LSA's admissions policies.
University officials have openly supported
using affirmative action as a constitutional
way to create diversity on campus.
"As evident in the answer, we intend to
aggressively defend our policy, just as we
will with the suit that was filed earlier," said
Associate Vice President for University
Relations Lisa Baker.
Pell said CIR looks forward-to the trial and
is certain it will prove the Law School's
admissions practices are illegal.
"We're quite confident that our client will
be vindicated," Pell said. "It's true that race is
the predominant factor, which is unconstitu-
Pell said the only significant element of
the University's answer is that it admits race
is taken into consideration in the admissions
"There's even less here than there is in the
answer to the first lawsuit," Pell said. "That
was sort of weak anyway."
Grutter would not comment on the answer,
deferring all questions to Pell.
When she applied to the Law School in
1996 for the 1997 school year, Grutter was
43 years old. She graduated from Michigan
State University in 1978 with a 3.81 GPA and
an LSAT score of 161. After completing her
undergraduate career, Grutter founded a
health-care information consulting firm.
The suit against the Law School is a com-
panion lawsuit, meaning that the CIR wel-
comes other non-preferred applicants to join
Grutter in the class- action suit.
Long journey ends for Wolverine faithful
Centinued from Page 5A
"It was hell," said University
alumna De Bates. "We left on
Christmas day. Northwest's hub in
Detroit was a nightmare. I flew to my
sister's house in San Jose and drove
out. It's great. I'm going to call
everyone I know."
Anesthesiology Prof. Brian
Woodcock arrived with his wife in a
small sedan blasting the Michigan
fight song and shouting, "Go Blue."
W said his long, rough trip was
worth it to see a national champi-
"We flew to Vegas and drove here
with our Rose Bowl flags,"
Woodcock said. "I'm English, but
I'm the biggest English Michigan fan
Many fans made the trip to
Pasadena even though they lacked
tickets. Desperate fans walked
ound the stadium holding up fin-
gers and signs, and offered as much
a $900 for tickets.
,. University alumnus Gary Balliet
was infuriated as he announced to
pedestrians that he was willing to pay
nmore than $1,000 for three tickets.
"I was the captain of the Michigan
golf team," Balliet said. "I didn't get
tickets because I didn't pay enough
money to the Victors' Club."
Many of the fans looking to pur-
chase tickets on game day were
uplucky, not able to find tickets and
finally resorting to nearby bars.
"I'm going to watch the game in a
bar," said University alumnus Joe
Bates. "My dad, my sister and I all
requested tickets. We got nothing
except a card saying, 'Thank you for
For ticketholders, a few hundred
'liars was not a fair trade for a
chance to see the Wolverines play in
the Rose Bowl.
"I always wanted to go to a Rose
Bowl," said University alumnus Paul
Jones. "We had someone offer us
$500 for each ticket. I even heard
$900, but I wouldn't sell for any less
than five grand."
Cavan Brunsden said that being
The Big Ten Conference float makes its way through the streets of Pasadena on Jan. 1. The parade preceded the
Wolverines' victory in the Rose Bowl.
able to watch Michigan's Rose Bowl
victory made the money he's spent to
send his son Andrew to the
University of Michigan worthwhile.
"It was $28,000 and it was worth
going rate," Paul
buying his sister
their feat. "My
of it," the
e l d e r
said. tebig si
W h e n
University Michigan h
a l u m n a
M a r y known."
Paul could- An
n't find tick-
ets for less than $200 apiece, they
decided to use another method of
getting into the game. The brother
and sister offered money to 10 door
guards before one guard accepted
$260 to let the pair into the stadium.
"We didn't have $300 to match the
1n, but I'm
- Brian Woodc
Forberg said, after
a rose to celebrate
sister deserves a
fans, the last
. Cougar team
to play in the
67 years ago
that the next
ock same out-
sor come as the
We gave Michigan a run for its
Other Cougar fans confessed
admiration for the Wolverines and
"Michigan showed me a lot," said
Washington State alumnus Don
"They're a complete football team.
I think they should be the national
champions," Slagel said.
Wolverine spirit was alive even on
New Year's Eve, when students from
both Michigan and Washington State
filled California bars with their
respective fight songs.
"Everyone's here," said LSA
senior Ethan Holtz, who joined
Wolverine fans at the Westwood
Brewing Co., where a disc jockey
played "The Victors!" "There are
thousands of people from Michigan.
We made a great showing."
-Daily Staff Reporter Heather
Wiggin contributed to this report.
By Janet Adamy
Daily Staff Reporter
Members of the Board of Regents
called for a more cohesive student hous-
ing policy at December's monthly meet-
ing, in reaction to recent changes in
University Housing's re-application
Regents said the new Housing policy,
which restricts most juniors' and
seniors' residence hall options to Baits,
Fletcher, Cambridge and Oxford
Housing, is a sufficient temporary solu-
tion, but not a good one for the future.
"We don't have a cohesive housing
policy on this campus and we need one,"
said Regent Andrea Fischer Newman
(R-Ann Arbor). "It's a travesty that we
just sort of play the game, and we don't
do that with anything else here."
University President Lee ,Bollinger
said he plans to involve the regents in the
long-term planning of Housing issues.
This issue "with respect to availability
in the residence halls, is one where I think
the administrators responsible for this
have responded admirably," Bollinger
said. "We will all keep thinking of how
we can meet the needs of students."
Regent Philip Power (D-Ann Arbor)
said that in the past, certain regents did-
n't want to discuss Housing policy, and
when the topic arose, it was in the con-
text of whether the University should be
engaging in housing that would hurt the
privatized housing market in Ann Arbor.
"As a result of that attitude on the
(Board of Regents), the climate was
chilled for any long-term discussion,
Regent Laurence Deitch (D-
Bloomfield Hills) said the University is
not a place where students come to have
a four-year residential experience,
adding that he supports recent decisions
that change Housing options.
"I think that it's a rational solution for
the future," said Regent Laurence
Deitch (D-Bloomfield Hills).
"Sometimes in a large institution, you
have to make tough choices.
"The value that I think should get a
primary emphasis is to expose the largest
rational number of students that we can
to a Michigan education" said Deitch.
Regents suggested surveying stu-
dents to find out what they want from
Housing before constructing a compre-
"I think in order to develop a vision of
where you want to be long term ... you
first need to know what the customer
wants," said S. Martin Taylor (D-Grosse
Isle). "I just think it's dangerous to make
But a survey wouldn't take into
account student input for the changes
that take effect immediately. These
changes will displace an estimated 370
students from traditional residence halls
- those that serve meals - next fall.
Even without a formal survey, stu-
dents and parents have given regents and
Housing officials feedback on the
changes. LSA junior Jonathan
Mezzandri presented regents and execu-
tive officers with hundreds of copies of
e-mails in which members of the
University community complained
about limiting students options.
"My biggest concern is that the
University did not officially communi-
cate with parents and students,"
Mezzandri said. University Housing sent
a letter to students in the residence halls
on Dec. 8, nearly three weeks after news
of the changes circulated around campus
via newspaper reports and e-mails.
"People may begin to feel that U of M
is a place that cannot accommodate stu-
dents," Mezzandri said.
But Vice President for Student Affairs
Maureen Hartford said the new policy
does not kick students out of the resi-
dence halls, it just moves them into
"non-traditional" halls - those that lack
"There is space on campus for any of
our students who are currently enrolled
in the system," Hartford said.
Newman suggested putting the
Housing policy on application materials
so parents and students would be
informed of Housing options far enough
But since Housing's policies have var-
ied during the past 20 years, it has been
difficult for Housing officials to know
what their policy will be in the future.
"We've got to be constantly balancing,
and it's a dynamic model that changes
every year;" said Provost Nancy Cantor.
Cantor said the Housing crunch is not
a result of poor communication between
Housing and Admissions officials, but
rather an inability to predict how many
accepted students will enroll in the
University. This year, the University had
a five-percent increase in the acceptance
yield rate of in-state students.
"Yield is something that is influenced
by lots of events that really don't factor
well into an enrollment model," Cantor
said, citing Northwestern University's
20-percent yield increase after they
earned a berth in the Rose Bowl.
Hartford attributed the need for the
changes to the increased size of recent
first-year classes, higher residence hall
reapplication rates among returning stu-
dents and a need to reduce overcrowd-
Housing responded to the 400-student
increase in the first-year class during the
past five years by adding 410 new
spaces to the system by moving offices
that were occupying residence hall space
out of West Quad, moving residence
staff from double to single rooms and
converting a section of Baits to first-year
But the changes still left nearly 1,000
students jammed into overflow triples
and lounges in September.
The University is not alone in the
housing crunch. Eight of the Big Ten's
universities were forced to use tempo-
rary housing at the beginning of the year,
including Pennsylvania State University,
which jammed 986 students into tempo-
But after losing a tough battle to
Michigan, some Cougar fans were
positive, even though the prediction
didn't come true.
"It was a hard-fought contest,"
said Washington State alumnus
Michael Irvin. "I'm glad we came.
[ravel agencies under fire for hidden costs
Continued from Page 5A
and those who waited got tickets for no extra
charge," Bernstein said. "Some people did not
want to wait and we gave clients an option to pay
0250 to get tickets immediately. As per
Department of Transportation) rules you can't
force people to pay additional money for tickets,
and we didn't do so."
David Silver, Michigan's assistant attorney gen-
eral, said Attorney General Frank Kelley started
receiving complaints about Worldwide and several
other tour operators Dec. 30.
"We've received 20 inquiries so far, and I would
suspect this number will grow," Silver said. "We
are investigating whether this is a violation of the
Consumer Protection Act."
Silver said the attorney general will pursue
getting refunds for people who were unfairly
"Anyone who feels as if they might have been
cheated, send a complaint and we'll do all we
can to recover your money," Silver said. "For
violations of consumer laws there is the possi-
bility of civil fines of up to $25,000 for tour
But Bernstein said misconceptions in the media
have tarnished Worldwide's respectable reputa-
"We're being made to be the bad guys. People
are turning things around," he said. "Our company
has a perfect record for delivering tickets. Our
company is the official travel agency for several
large sports teams."
Shamrock Travel owner Pat Proper sold
Worldwide packages to three different families,
and called the package "an all-around scam."
Proper urged tour participants to call their credit
card companies and cancel payment for the pack-
"Several travel agencies in the area were dealing
with this company," Proper said. "I will never
offer any sports packages again - who can you
trust? It's not worth it."
Winter warmth good for deer,
disastrous for state's Winterfest
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The Associated Press
Temperatures in the 54s, in
Michigan, in January?
El Nino may be to blame for this
week's quirky winter warmup in south-
ern regions of the state. But that's little
consolation in West Branch, where the
annual Winterfest scheduled for next
weekend has been put on hold.
"You can't have Winterfest without
The weird weather statewide hap-
pened when a warm blast of air from
the South banged up against an Arctic
front that just barely kissed northern
Michigan, said forecaster Rich
"That warm air went up and over
that cold air on the surface. And then
when the rain moved in, it stayed as
rain until it made contact with the sur-
"We 're having an
-- John Lerg
Allegan State Game Area wildlife