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April 20, 1999 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-20

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 20, 1999 - 17

Affirmatix
~-Yael Kohen
Daily Staff Reporter
Despite the popular idea that affirmative
action is only beneficial to minorities, both
the University's School of Engineering and
"the School of Nursing use it to recruit appli-
cants of underrepresented genders in their
elds.
'Women are currently underrepresented in
Engineering and men are underrepresented
in Nursing.
The Michigan Daily Student Survey, con-
ducted in conjunction with the Department
of Communications Studies and the
Institute for Social Research, found that less
than half of the respondents believe that stu-
dents from an underrepresented gender ben-
efit diversity on campus.
About 47 percent of non-white students -
*pondents who identify themselves as black,

action seeks to gain gender equality

Women clear minority in Engineering,
men underrepresented in Nursing

Latino/a or Asian students - and 32 percent
of white students agreed that the presence of
different genders impact diversity.
Women are a minority in Engineering,
comprising only 28 percent of the under-
graduate department, according to Susan
Burke, director of Women in Engineering.
But although Engineering women are
underrepresented, some students said they
don't feel like a minority in classes. "I don't
feel underrepresented," said Engineering
senior Michelle Osinski, who specializes in
chemical engineering.

But Osinski does have friends who special-
ize in electrical and computer engineering
who do feel underrepresented because there
are so many more men than women, she said.
According to the survey's initial results,
42 percent of females said the presence of
an underrepresented gender benefits diver-
sity, while only 28 percent of male respon-
dents agreed with the statement.
Engineering first-year student James
Mickelson said that while he believes
women are underrepresented in his field, he
doesn't think affirmative action is the

answer to increasing female representation.
If women want to apply to engineering pro-
grams, Mickelson said, they will apply
regardless of whether the University uses an
affirmative action policy or not.
Osinski said that when she was accepted
to the Engineering program, the affirmative
action policy made her angry.
"I don't want anyone thinking that I got in
because I'm a girl," she said.
But she added that since she has been on
campus, she has not had any experiences
that have led her to feel insecure about

being a woman in engineering.
"No one has ever said anything negative,"she
said.
Similar discrepancies in gender are pr'e-
sent in the School of Nursing.
According to the Nursing Registrar's
Office, 520 students were accepted to the
undergraduate program for fall term and
only 40 of these students were men.
The difference in numbers .of male and
female students is evident to Nursing stu-
dents. Nursing senior Jill Arvai said that in
her class of 125 students, only five are men.
"I think that we are all pretty aware that
an increase in the (male) population would
definitely benefit" diversity and add a dif-
ferent perspective to the school, Arvai said.
But she added that it will most likely be a
long time before male and female represen-
tation will be equal.

SACUA
Continued from Page 1
said. "If yousmake something that's
big money, some faculty members
are afraid that the University will
take a bigger percentage."
SACUA Chair William Ensminger
said he recognized the University's
right to change the faculty member's
royalty distribution retroactively,
because the inventor signs an agree-
ment and not a contract.
But Ensminger expressed concern
that not all faculty members are aware
the agreement can be changed.
"The faculty needs to know that
this is not a contract, that it's an
obligation for the faculty to disclose
their invention to the University,"
Ensminger said. "What you get
might be different than what you
think."
Ensminger's concern with the
issue lead to his request that General
Counsel Marvin Krislov and associ-
ate Vice President for Research
Marvin Parnes be present at yester-
day's Senate Assembly meeting.
At the meeting, the two men, who
have had extensive experience with

the intellectual property policy
debate, engaged members of the fac-
ulty in a casual discussion of the
topic.
Parnes admitted the University
has the power to retroactively alter
the percentage the faculty member
receives, but only in select situa-
tions.
"There are circumstances where
we might choose to do that," Parnes
said. "I'm not going to give a flat-
out 'no' to that question because that
wouldn't be completely true.
"In practice, we have always left
the inventor's share as is; when the
agreement is made, we honor it,"
Parnes added. "But over time, the
University sometimes proposes to
modify the agreement."
Krislov added that he doesn't see
the policy changing in the near
future, since it is based on a
University Board of Regents bylaw
that has not been altered in years.
"I don't see this as a bilateral con-
tract that should be debated between
the faculty and the University,"
Krislov said. "The regents govern us
and they can make any decision they
choose."

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