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One hundred eight years of editonalfreedom
November 3, 1998
Regent election could be crucial to lawsuits
By Katie Plona
Daily Staff Reporter
With the University in the thick of a legal bat-
tie that has the potential to determine once and
for all how affirmative action is used in college
admissions, today's vote deciding the partisan
makeup of the University's governing board
could be crucial.
*The University Board of Regents currently
swings five seats to three on the Democratic
side, as the University defends its use of race in
the admissions practices of the Law School and
the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
Most of the major candidates stopped short of
saying whether a different political makeup on
the board could alter the University's defense of
If the two Republican candidates, state Rep.
Jessie Dalman (R-Holland) and Plymouth busi-
nessperson David Brandon, win the
seats, the board could face a 4-4 t
deadlock on political issues.
Brandon, who opposes the use of
race-based preferences, said he
needs to know more about the law-
suits facing the University before he
can decide how the University ""
should be handling them. /xfMR
"I don't think it will be fair for me /A
to stand up and say this is what we
should be doing," he said. "I'd be asking lots of
questions like 'What's the cost of this thing in
dollars and time?' We need to look at our
chances of success."
The Center for Individual Rights filed two
lawsuits against the University last
Q4 fall. The white plaintiffs in each
lawsuit claim they were treated
Part unfairly in the LSA and Law
el. m School admissions practices
of-an because race was used as a factor.
part Regent Dan Homing (R-Grand
" * Haven) said the regents' political
Imclwog views about the University's use of
fa race in admissions practices will
not really affect the defense - at
least not until the court decides if the
University's policies are unconstitutional.
"I would hope that when we can go into a
room to deal with issues, it is not difficult,"
Until then, Horning said, he wants to focus on
other issues - namely, tuition.
"I can do something right now about costs."
Although many of the candidates said it is too
soon to predict how a change in the board's
political party composition could affect its feel-
ings toward affirmative action, they shared their
views about how the University can become
Democratic regental candidate Kathy White
said the University should rethink its philosophy
on an admissions process that overemphasizes
grade point averages and standardized test
"I think diversity's incredibly important,"
White said. "What my big concern is often we
look at grades and standardized test scores as
objective factors. I think that premise is a mis-
"We know standardized test scores are not
very good predictors of preference for minority
students," White said. "They tend to outperform
the (tests') predictions."
Dalman said she opposes the University's use
of race as an admissions factor, and she wel-
comes the lawsuits because they will clarify the
laws regarding affirmative action in higher edu-
See REGENTS, Page 7
toll to 7,000
Last chance for votes
! Hurricane triggers mud
slides in Central America
ihat devastate area
CHINANDEGA, Nicaragua (AP) -
Overwhelmed by death and chaos,
Central American officials yesterday
estimated more than 7,000 people died
: floods and mud slides triggered by
As Nicaraguan officials struggled to
account for 1,500 people feared buried
by a mud slide, Honduran President
Carlos Flores Facusse made an emo-
tional appeal for international aid and
announced he was declaring the equiv-
alent of a state of siege to combat loot-
"There are corpses everywhere,
victims of landslides or of the
*ters," the president said in a
nationally broadcast speech. "The
most conservative calculations of
the dead are in the thousands, not in
"I ask the international community
for human solidarity," he said.
The same was true across the bor-
der: as many as 1,500 people were
buried near this town in northwest
'caragua when the crater lake of the
sitas Volcano collapsed, sending a
wall of mud and debris onto villages
"It looked like a line of helicopters
flying really low and coming at us. You
could see houses, trees, everything
being covered," said Ricardo Antonio
Garcia, a 23-year-old farmer whose leg
was amputated after being crushed in
Nicaraguan Vice President Enrique
lanos said the slide apparently killed
00 to 1,500 people and that some
600 other people died elsewhere in the
"We perhaps will never know how
many people died," he said.
In neighboring Honduras, "more
than 5,000 people" probably died,
Dimas Alonzo, operations chief for
the National Emergency Committee,
told a local radio station. He said the
ctnumber would never be
Many parts of Honduras remained
cut off almost a week after Mitch bar-
reled into the Bay Island of Guanaja
with 180 mph winds. The storm pound-
ed across the isthmus, dropping up to
25 inches of rain in a six-hour period,
before dissipating yesterday in southern
Flores Facusse said "the floods
and landslides erased from the map
many villages and households as
well as whole neighborhoods of
"We have before us a panorama of
death, desolation and ruin throughout
the national territory," the president
He announced a "state of exception"
suspending constitutional liberties that
allows authorities the right to seize
property, detain suspects and unlimited
searches to help officials fight looting
Virtually all of Honduras suffered
flooding, from the lowland marshes
on the Atlantic Coast to the moun-
tains, hills and plateaus of the interi-
Floodwaters receded in the
Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa yes-
terday, but some residents carried
machetes and gurs because of reports
that looters with automatic rifles had
attacked several houses.
All four bridges across the Rio
Choluteca, which splits the city of
800,000 people, were damaged and
remained out of service yesterday.
Many victims have waited days with-
In Chinandega, about 50 miles
northwest of the Nicaraguan capital,
Managua, Garcia said relatives pulled
him from the debris after the mud-
He and 40 others were taken to a one-
room, hilltop shack overlooking the vil-
lage of Rolando Rodriguez.
"We thought that help would come
but it never did," Garcia said.
He said a 3-year-old girl beside him
was so badly injured she could not
"When she asked me for water, I
would drink some and give it to her
from my mouth."
By the time rescuers finally
arrived Sunday, three of the injured
had died. But the 3-year-old girl sur-
Miguel Rostran Laguna, who was in
See MITCH, Page 2
By Kelly O'Connor
and Mike Spahn
Daily Staff Reporter
Searching for last-minute election securi-
ty, candidates worked long and hard in the
days leading up to today's election to ensure
that their voters would turn out at the polls
today. From handshaking to praying to buy-
ing time on television, candidates are pulling
out all the stops in their final push for office.
The hotly contested governor's race has not
let up even though EPIC/MRA polls show
incumbent Gov. John Engler with a two-to-
one lead on challenger Geoffrey Fieger.
Engler and Fieger have continued non-stop
campaigning, preaching "get out the vote"
messages to anyone who will listen. Engler
completed a statewide bus tour last week, hit-
ting districts that included <ough races
for state House and Senate. This
weekend, Engler concentrated on
Detroit and unleashed a new set of A
ads calling for stability and conti-
nuity in Lansing.
Dick Posthumus said Don'tfor t
Fieger is not the biggest c
enemy of their campaign.m P
"Our biggest opponent tocastyou
Posthumus said, adding that the campaign
will work hard to mobilizes voters today.
Fieger aired an infomercial on WXYZ
Channel 7 during which he took questions in
an attempt to clear up some "misrepresenta-
tions" propagated by his opponent and the
media. Fieger's recent advertising campaign
attacks the Engler administration's policies
concerning the environment and the privati-
zation of many government programs.
Candidates for the state Legislature also
have hit the pavement - and the hallways
- in search of student voters. Democrats
Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor) and Alma
Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Twp.) talked with
students yesterday in the Fishbowl, and U.S.
Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor) plans to
speak to students on the Diag tomorrow.
Rivers said her campaign, which is coordi-
See ELECTION, Page 7
Inside: Further coverage of Election '98.
Still clo udy
WASHINGTON (AP) - Would-be winners every-
where stretched for the campaign finish line yesterday,
closing out a coarse and costly mid-term election sea-
son that will decide the makeup of the next Congress
and install governors in three dozen state houses.
"This is not an ordinary time and thus it is not an
ordinary election," said President Clinton as he cam-
paigned for Democrats from the White House. In a
series of interviews and appearances, he appealed to
reliably Democratic black and Hispanic voters to go
to the polls, then showcased support for his legisla-
tion to rein in HMOs.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, hoping to save
an endangered Republican senator, stumped for Sen.
Lauch Faircloth in North Carolina. "On the issues,
whether it's national security or Social Security,
Lauch is the man for the job," he said.
TO Speaker Newt Gingrich was campaigning at home
in Georgia after a year of traveling to 48 states for fel-
low Republicans, his own seat secure but his future
See NATION, Page 7
Top: Mayor Ingrid Sheldon gives first-year student
Muhammed Muizuddin campaign literature on the Diag
yesterday. Bottom: Flrst Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton
campaigns with New York Democrat Charles Schumer.
Brien discusses life on 'Real World'
By Matthew Barrett
and Brian Cohen
Daily Arts Writers
'U senior calls experie
returned to the University this semes-
ter. "It catches you off guard because
Ever wonder what it's like to be on
Ever wonder what it's like to have
your life taped - 24 hours a day,
every day, for five-and-a-half months? Dying to find
out what happens when people stop being polite -
and start getting real?
LSA senior Lindsay Brien did just that this past
year when she took part in MTV's Seattle install-
ment of "The Real World." In the fall of 1997,
Brien auditioned along with hundreds of others at
Touchdown Cafe on South University Avenue.
"First you fill out this huge application - you
know, a big packet, (with questions such as) you're
most embarrassing moment, how many people you've
slept with - all the good questions. They want the
details," Brien said.
nz Seattle 'grueling
"You never think that you have a chance because
there's, so many applicants," she said.
After making the cut in the Ann Arbor casting
call, Brien went to a regional semifinal audition in
Ohio, and then to the personal finals in Los
"It's grueling," Brien said. "They ask you so many
personal questions. Everybody cries at least once. You
have all of these people starring at you and there's this
big camera in your face."
Despite the unsettling logistics and overwhelming
odds, Brien was eventually selected by the producers
to be a cast member on the show.
you don't think in those terms, she
said. "I hear people walk by me and say
'That's the chick from 'The Real
World," and I'm like 'Hey what's up!'"
This laid-back attitude, Brien said,
has allowed her to think of the experience on the
show as more of an internship than a chance at
stardom, although she and the rest of the cast
members had to suffer through a week of media
interviews following the conclusion of the show.
The house where the show was taped is in fact more
of a large studio - bereft of doors and ceilings -
rather than the posh comfy, West Coast pad it appears.
to be on television.
"There are little hidden cameras all over, there are
monitors all over, and mics everywhere. They're
always on," Brien said. As part of the "Real World"
contract, each of the cast members was required to