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January 25, 1999 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-25

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One hundred eight years of editorzafreedom

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January 25, 1999


Alm Ath" - MfthWom


Recent complaints address Naked Mile safety

By Adam Brian Cohen
Daily Staff Reporter
Since the early 1970s, sophomore students at
Princeton University have gathered in a campus court-
yard on the eve of the first snowfall of the year to par-
ticipate in the Nude Olympics, an evening of naked
But a week and a half ago, Princeton President
Harold Shapiro submitted a letter to The Daily
Princetonian expressing his intent to end the Nude
Olympics because of alcohol-related problems follow-
ing this year's event and other safety issues surround-
ing the tradition.
"I am simply not willing to wait until a student dies
before taking preventive action," Shapiro, who served
as president of the University of Michigan in the
1980's, wrote in his Jan. 11 letter to Princeton's stu-
lent newspaper.
Concerns similar to Shapiro's now have Ann Arbor
questioning the safety of it's own nude tradition --the
Naked Mile, which began in 1986 when members of
the Michigan men's crew and track teams peeled off
their clothes and ran down campus streets to mark the

last day of class.
Through the years, the teams gained company, and
the simple jog became a nationally recognized tradi-
"Last year, there were about 600 runners and
10,000 spectators," said Department of Public Safety
Sgt. Benny Chenevert.
Among the thousands was Ann Arbor resident
Richard Nadon, a videographer who was involved in
an altercation while taping last year's mile. That dis-
pute was settled out of court.
Now Nadon is organizing a class-action suit
against the people who harmed him and other video
recorders in the Naked Mile last year.
"All of a sudden, this wave of people came at me
while I was all by my lonesome," Nadon said.
"In court, there's no defense for smacking some-
one's video equipment or body in this sort of case,"
he added.
Although no formal steps have been taken to end the
Naked Mile, many University and city officials said
they are concerned with the run - especially following
the complaints of disheveled viewers and participants.

"I think it should be stopped," said Ann Arbor
Police Department Sgt. Michael Logghe. "I'm not
really concerned with the nakedness, I'm just afraid of
someone getting hurt. The crowds are just too big"
The spectators and participants caused more than
$13,000 in damages to the landscape of the Diag last
spring, Chenevert said. He added that Huron Valley
Ambulances transported 12 people to local hospitals
following the late-night jog.
"Media came last year from as far as Germany,"
said University spokesperson Julie Peterson. "I find
that a bit frightening."
Before last April's Naked Mile, various University
student organizations coordinated their efforts with
DPS officials to offer additional safety.
Volunteers were equipped with radios to report
trouble to DPS officers. Naked Mile T-shirts were dis-
tributed to runners who needed clothing at the end of
the run. In addition, organizations attempted to pro-
vide enough room for the runners along the crowded
path, which included South University Avenue.
"It started as an innocent celebration of the end of

Richard Nadon, an Ann Arbor resident, has filed a class-action lawsuit against
people who harmed him and other videographers during last year's Naked Mile.

Diversity theme
semester to be
largest in senes

Fglhting to the fin

By Sarah Lewis
4 ly Staff Reporter
For the past decade, the University
has dedicated a semester each year to a
specific theme that encompasses class-
es, activities and special events.
Semester themes have included the
environment, food and evil. The focus
of winter 1999 will be diversity.
The University is not the only school
in the country that has theme semesters,
said Pat McCune, the program coordi-
nator for Dialogues on Diversity, one of
0 sponsors for the theme semester.
"It's related to the emphasis from the
last couple of decades on the interdisci-
plinary approach to . education,"
McCune said.
In the past the theme
semester included only the
College of Literature
Science and Arts - the'
other major sponsor - but
is year, it incorporates
er areas of the campus
because "we wanted to
make this a Universitywide
theme semester, McCune
While in past semesters only about 40
LSA theme-related courses were avail-
able, this year more than 100 University
courses in 13 different schools and col-
leges will focus on diversity, McCune
said. She added that in addition to the
lasses, the University has planned
zens of diversity-related activities and
events throughout the term.
One event scheduled for this weekend
is an Arab student conference, sponsored
by the University's Arab-American Anti-
Discrimination Committee.
Conference co-coordinator Amer
Ardati, an LSA senior, said the AAADC
helps to foster Arabic culture on campus
as well as topics of diversity.
"This conference is a keystone
empt at bringing these issues to a
head," Ardati said, adding that part of
the organization's agenda includes
reaching out to other minority groups.
"We don't feel any of these experi-
ences are exclusive to us," he said.
McCune explained the architectural

metaphor involved in the semester.
"The courses are the foundation and the
events are the walls and pillars" topped
off by the "Capstone Experience,"
McCune said.
The Capstone Experience is a five-
day event scheduled for late March in
which people will present their experi-
ences of diversity - through perfor-
mances, panel discussions or research
projects - and have the opportunity to
engage in open dialogue.
In one history class the students are
researching and making videos about
affirmative action and diversity at the
University, McCune said.
"We intend the Capstone Experience
to be a culminating event
«> and focal point, the piece
that holds the entire struc-
ture together," she said.
Kinesiology senior
Latesha Walls said the
theme semester is a good
idea, but the University
should emphasize diversity
"Instead of just doing it
one semester, if they did it continuous-
ly it might be more effective," Walls
said, adding that one problem might be
the broadness of the term "diversity."
Maybe if the University explained
what is meant by "diversity," instead
of simply offering classes, Walls
said, students would be more aware
and receptive to the diversity theme.
But Walls said the theme semester is
a good opportunity to experience
different cultures.
McCune said she encourages people
to share their ideas with her, even if
they are opposed to the diversity theme.
"You can't force people to take part,
but if you offer people an opportunity
to engage it's more likely that they'll
explore intellectually, she said.
McCune admits there are many dif-
ferent perspectives on diversity. The
diversity theme is especially relevant
with the current lawsuits against the
University under way concerning race
as a factor in the admissions process,
she added.

next step
By Mike Spahn
Daily Staff Reporter
WASHINGTON - In a weekend
that ran the gamut of partisan emotion,
the Senate concluded hearing argu-
ments on the articles of impeachment
and moved in earnest to a discussion of
what comes next.
From the halls of the Capitol to the
airwaves of national talkshows, sena-
tors debated the merits of the case and
the need for witnesses. Each senator is
allowed 10 minutes to speak on the
motions, which will probably cause the
votes on dismissal and witnesses to be
pushed to tomorrow.
If neither passes, a vote-on the arti-
cles could come this week. ,
Triggered by the announcement that
Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV.), the
Senate's foremost Constitutional schol-
ar, will offer a motion to dismiss, sena-
tors from both parties have begun to
crystallize their positions on dismissal,
witnesses and a final vote on the arti-
cles of impeachment.
Senators spanning the aisle agreed
that Byrd's choice lends the motion
more weight, as he is a highly respected
member who early in the process actu-
ally spoke out against the president.
In his statement concerning the
motion to dismiss, Byrd said that while
he believes the president "has weak-
ened the already fragile public trust that
has been placed in his care,' he is "con-
vinced that the necessary two-thirds for
conviction are not there and that they
are not likely to develop."
Byrd "understands that we are in
danger of demeaning the United States
Senate," Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-
Mass.) said after the dismissal motion
was announced
The idea drew immediate fire from
the Republican leadership. Senate
Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.)
See IMPEACH, Page 7A

Levin assumes large
role in Senate debate

By Mike Spahn
Daily Staff Reporter
WASHINGTON - In a chamber
filled with 100 different opinions,
100 competing egos and 100 voices
waiting to be heard, it could be hard
to distinguish one from the others
during the trial of the century.
But Michigan's senior senator,
Democrat Carl Levin, has risen to a
leadership position among
Democrats in the U.S. Senate as
President Clinton faces removal
from office for perjury and obstruc-
tion of justice.
Levin said in an interview

Friday that he continues to support
acquittal of the articles and a cen-
sure resolution after the trial is
"This has been a very important
week because of the impact on the
floor of the White House case,"
Levin said. "They did severe dam-
age to the case of the House man-
Levin, who has had daily conver-
sations with members of both par-
ties, said he has the feeling that the
momentum is pushing toward an
expedited finish. In his discussion,
See LEVIN, Page 2A

Top: Sen. Joe Ueberman (D.Conn.)
speaks to reporters outside the
Senate chamber on Thursday.
Above: Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

Up a creek without a paddle

TASA banquet highlights conference

Nearly 300 people attended
Indian heritage banquet
By Sarah Lewis
Daily Staff Reporter
Dinner, dancing and a keynote address by
Minnesota state Rep. Satveer Chaudhary
marked IASA's banquet Saturday night, the cli-
max of this weekend's Midwestern Indian
American Students Conference.
Strings of white lights and gold-embossed
saris were hung above the entrance of the
Michigan Union Ballroom, welcoming the
nearly 300 conference participants to the ban-
Inside the ballroom, individual candles
accented dozens of elegantly-decorated
tables. Most women wore colorful Indian

Chaudhary, the first Asiant American
elected to the Minnesota legislature and only
the fourth Asian Indian to be elected to any
legislature in the country, said Indian
Americans need to become more involved in
Although Indians have achieved strong roles
on the social and economic levels, Chaudhary
said, there is still much to be accomplished in
U.S. politics.
"If we want to assure success, it is essential
that every one of us be involved in mainstream
politics," Chaudhary=said, adding that through
pointed efforts in a few areas of politics,
Indians can gain influence and access to policy
"Young Indians can achieve community,
political and self-interested goals by simply

Chaudhary also emphasized the role race
plays in society.
"Sometimes as a minority we tend to feel a
little sorry for ourselves. Too many coconuts
screwing up our identity," he said, referring to
the fruit's characteristic of being brown on the
outside and white on the inside,
"Maybe I have to admit I had to work a lit-
tle harder because of my race," Chaudhary
said. "I didn't run away from my Indianness --
I ran with my Indianness."
Because of Indians' ability to overcome
struggles and achieve success in this coun-
try, he said, they may be seen as a unique
minority, even though inequality still
But Indians can use their successes to "make
sure we have a seat at the political table,"



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