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March 11, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-11

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 11, 1999 - 5A

Continued from Page 1A
posed of three issues: wages, fraction
recalculations and compensated train-
ing for international graduate students.
While the organization's new package
consists of the same fundamental
;must-haves,' the contract language for
each issue has changed significantly.
Odier-Fink said one of the most dra-
matic changes to the contract package
came in the form of another decrease in
the amount of a raise for GSIs.
Previously, GEO was requesting a 9
percent wage increase; the number has
slipped down again to 6 percent.
Odier-Fink said this number is now
3.5 percent away from what the
University guarantees GEO every year
- 2.5 percent - and only 1.4 percent
from what GEO will receive in
September under its current contract
-4.6 percent.
Gamble said he was pleased GEO
lad lowered their request to 6 percent
and said he saw it as an encouraging
Odier-Fink said GEO also altered
the University's compensated training
for international GSI policy, changing
the proposal's language slightly.
All international GSIs must go
through a two- to three-week summer
training session before they begin
teaching fall classes. The University is
currently offering most international
GSIs free room and board, a $230

stipend and an insurance policy.
But Odier-Fink said not all interna-
tional GSIs need room and board
since some of them are already living
in apartments when their training
commences. Therefore, in GEO's new
proposal, those international GSIs
who did not need room and board
would instead be given a $700 stipend
to cover their rent, Odier-Fink said.
The last change altered another
University proposal, fraction recalcula-
tion. The University's proposal recom-
mends that all GSIs with .4 appoint-
ments - those GSIs who work approx-
imately 40 percent of a full-time faculty
member - be given .5 appointments.
But GEO spokesperson Chip Smith
said the organization's members were
worried they would have to do the work
of a .5, which could mean the addition
of an extra section.
Odier-Fink said the alteration
involved changing the maximum,
amount of hours a GSI with a .5
appointment is allowed to work. The
University's current fraction recalcu-
lation proposal said all GSIs working
between 16 and 25 hours would be
given a .5 appointment. But GEO's
new package lowers the maximum
number of hours to 21, an alteration
that Odier-Fink said ensures current .4
GSIs who work between 17 and 19
hours will not have to worry about a
massive workload increase.
Gamble said he met with members
of the University negotiating adviso-

MSU fraternity

Phi Beta Sigma
chapter sanctioned after
member is hospitalized
EAST LANSING (AP) - A "tough-
ness" contest between fraternity broth-
ers put one Michigan State University
student in the hospital and led to the
suspension of the fraternity chapter.
The national chapter of Phi Beta
Sigma suspended its Michigan State
chapter pending an investigation,
Michigan State spokesperson Terry
Denbow said yesterday.
The 20-year-old student, whose
name was not released, was admitted to
Sparrow Hospital Friday after com-
plaining of severe back pain. He
required kidney dialysis.
The injuries happened when the stu-
dent and another fraternity member
apparently challenged each other to a
hitting contest to see who was the
toughest, Raynard Dennis, president of
the campus fraternity, told the Lansing

State Journal.
"It wasn't hazing," Dennis said. "It
was something that occurred amongst
"A lot of times it has to do with male
The incident began at an apartment
the evening of March 3 and then moved
to a second location, ending early the
next day, police said.
"It was a challenge, there was no
malice intended," said Dennis, who did-
n't witness the incident. "It was not a
beating. Both brothers got hit."
Police say no charges have been
filed, but Michigan State police are
investigating it as an assault.
Phi Beta Sigma national president
Lawrence Miller said yesterday the
group has suspended all fraternity-
related activities for its MSU chap-
"The national fraternity is doing un
investigation into allegations of any
improper activity;" Miller said yester-

A classroom sits empty yesterday as the
to cancel classes scheduled for the day.
ry committee after GEO's bargaining
team presented him with its new
package. Odier-Fink said seeing this
group of people who aren't normally
present at GEO bargaining sessions
made him optimistic that the
University would respond positively
to the package.

GEO walkout provoked many teachers
"It made me think we're actually
getting somewhere," Odier-Fink said.
"I was nervous about negotiations
(yesterday morning) but not any-
Negotiations are scheduled to con-
tinue today between the two debating
sides in the LSA Building.

GEO urges undergraduates to join protest

qontinued from Page 1A
cabn't know if it's right for them to take time out of
Ohat I'm paying for" to cancel classes.
Other students, like LSA sophomore Wesley
Vaughn, adamantly disagreed with many GSIs and
faculty members' decisions to cancel classes yester-
day and today.
"I pay out-of-state tuition, a lot of money,"'
Vaughn said. "It's ridiculous that classes have been
cancelled- we pay too much money for this fool-
ishness to happen."
But some undergraduates said they supported
GEO's cause wholeheartedly and joined the picket
lines yesterday to help the organization protest its
contract. LSA junior Joe Sexauer spent part of his
day yesterday walking with GEO members in front
of Angell Hall. Sexauer, who said he did not go to
any of his scheduled classes yesterday, said under-
graduates should get involved with GEO's cause to
ensure the contract protest is short but effective.
"If we get this done today and tomorrow, there
won't be any need for a strike" Sexauer said. "It is
in undergraduates' best interest to get this done as
quickly as possible and show our support for GSIs"
by joining the picket lines.
Sexauer marched with Angell Hall picket captain

Jeremy Wells, a GSI who teaches a class in the
English department. Wells said he was proud of the
number of GSIs participating in the walkout, espe-
cially considering the weather conditions yesterday.
"Considering they're doing this in six inches of
snow, I would say this is a great turnout," Wells said
in reference to the 50 University community mem-
bers marching in the morning sunlight in front of
Angell Hall. "The fact we have this many people out
in this weather is testament to the strength of the
union and the importance of our issues."
Wells added that he was satisfied with the number
of students who chose not to cross the picket lines,
but emphasized that he was more impressed with the
number of undergraduates who decided not even to
come to the campus yesterday.
But Jennifer Michniewicz, an Espresso Royale
Caffe manager, said both the Packard and State
street coffee shops were bustling with people yester-
day, especially University students and instructors.
"There have definitely been classes held at Main
and Packard throughout the day," Michniewicz said.
"I left the Packard branch at about 3 or 4 and there
had been at least 10 classes held there before I went."
LSA sophomore and Cava Java employee Ji Mi
Yu said there was also a constant rush of people at
the coffee shop on South University Avenue. Yu said
that while there are normally spurts of customers

who come in every once in a while, the store was
filled with people at all times yesterday.
Not all faculty members held classes outside
University buildings yesterday. And not all profes-
sors allowed their GSIs to choose whether to hold
their discussion sections during the walkout. But
astronomy Prof. Gordon MacAlpine said he allowed
his GSIs to make the decision for themselves.
"I'm not going to interfere with the GSIs' choic-
es;' MacAlpine said. "They need to decide for them-
selves what they are going to do and let me and their
students know about it."
MacAlpine added that he does not believe GEO's
work stoppage is necessary, stating it is not in the
best interest of undergraduates' educational environ-
ment to do so.
LSA first-year student Monifa Gray also
expressed a similar view but said she believed
the University was being inconsiderate of stu-
dents by not negotiating with GEO. Gray said
she supported the two-day walkout but found it
to be detrimental to the undergraduate popula-
"It's a good way to get the University's attention
but as far as the undergraduates go, they're screwing
us over."
- Daily Staff Reporters Angela Bardoni, Risa
Berrin and Sarah Lewis contributed to this report.






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