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March 18, 1999 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-18

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10A ,- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 18, 1999

Students discuss
ethnic studies

1st fuel-cell powe.
car unveiled

By Tushar Sheth
Dly Staff Reporter
Students and faculty assembled last
night in West Quad Residence Hall to
discuss the state of the Ethnic Studies
programs at the University.
Representatives from the Center for
Afroamerican and African Studies,
Asian Pacific American Studies,
Latino Studies and Native American
Studies outlined the current state of
each program.
One of the main topics of discussion
was the lack of tenured faculty within
each of the programs.
"Right now each program seems to
be struggling in its own way, it always
seems like we are losing people and
not gaining anything," said
Engineering sophomore Rupal Patel,
one of the organizers of the event.
"That's why we put this thing on, so
we can show our struggles are com-
mon and then together make a plan to
show the University that there is a lack
of mentors of color," she added.
Currently, programs such as Asian
Pacific American studies, Latino studies
and Native American studies are
grouped within the department of
American culture in the College of
Literature, Science and the Arts. This
lack of departmental status prevents the
programs from becoming strong, said
Betty Bell, director of Native American

"To teach in any of the programs,
you must also be appointed to another
department in LSA. This means dou-
ble the workload in terms of commit-
tee requirements, which leads to less
attention given to work in the Native
Studies programs," Bell said.
Bell also highlighted the fact that
there are only two tenured professors
who teach Native Studies, one of them
being her. "Our courses are extremely
popular, students want to take them,
they are usually filled but we just don't
have enough faculty to meet the
demand," she said.
Gail Nomura, director of Asian
Pacific American studies outlined
other problems. "Our community of
students and their interests in the field
are growing. However, the department
is suspect. There is a demand, and we
need students and faculty to spread
word of this demand," she said.
She also stated that since faculty in
American culture must teach in other
departments, they are often reviewed
by people not in the field of Asian
Pacific American studies.
"The scrutiny that people who teach
in Ethnic Studies face is beyond what
is acceptable. The bar for review of
their applications is twice as high,"
said Nomura.
Latino/a studies Director Tomas

Ronnie Rhoe, coordinator for Asian Pacific American studies affairs in MESA,
speaks at the ethic affairs dialogue yesterday.

Almaguer, explained that the program,
although small, has in recent years been
given the chance to develop and grow.
"This new support is directly a result
of graduate and undergraduate stu-
dents pressuring the University to
expand the program," he said.
Evans Young, assistant director of.
the Center for Afro-American and
African Studies, spoke about the ori-
gins of CAAS.
"CAAS was created as a result of stu-
dent pressure and demonstration," he
James Jackson, director of CAAS,
explained the efforts that are being
made in hiring. "We hope to make
eight to 12 appointments this year,

which would be a record," he said.
The second part of the program
turned to students and faculty dis-
cussing how the problems that were
outlined could be addressed. All of the
faculty present concurred that the need
to be able to make their own hires by
gaining departmental status for
American culture was a pressing issue.
They urged the students to pressure the
University to see these needs.
"Faculty and students need to estab-
lish institutional relationships with each
other" said LSA senior JuJuan Buford.
He offered ideas such as holding a stu-
dents of color conference or to have
open houses during Welcome Week
where students can learn about issues.

DaimlerChrysler AG stepped forward
yesterday in the competition among
automakers to develop fuel-cell cars
with a version that seats five passen-
"Now we begin the race to make the
vehicles affordable to our customers,"
DaimlerChrysler co-Chair Juergen
Schrempp said at a press conference
where the NECAR 4, a compact car,
was formally unveiled.
Although DaimlerChrysler claims
to lead in such technology, other com-
panies are working on their own fuel-
cell cars, aiming to market them to
consumers by 2004. Ford Motor Co.
officials said they expect to have a dri-
veable version of their five-seat fuel-
cell car, the P2000, sometime this
Ferdinand Panik, head of
DaimlerChrysler's fuel-cell program,
said NECAR 4 was a breakthrough
because the fuel-cell technology was
small enough to fit in a compact car
but there was still room to seat five
passengers instead of just two. The
fuel cells were stacked underneath the
car's floorboard and the liquid hydro-
gen tank took up some space in its
small trunk.
"It is the first time ever that such a
car is on the streets of America,"
Schrempp said.
The car drives like a normal automo-
bile, has a top speed of 90 mph and can
go 280 miles without refueling. It

weighs 1,100 pounds more than a typi-
cal compact gasoline-powered car
because of the fuel-cell technology
DaimlerChrysler engineers plan
make it 660 pounds lighter before se
ing it to the public.
The NECAR 4 produces no pollu-
tants in using fuel cells to convert
hydrogen and oxygen into electricity to
power the vehicle, DaimlerChrysler
officials said, making it a favorite
among environmentalists.
Environmental Protection Agency
administrator Carol Browner, who
appeared with the DaimlerChrysler
officials at their news conference, sa
there are about 200 million gasolin
powered vehicles on the road today in
the United States.
That number is expected to increase
to 270 million by 2010, bringing a
"massive increase in pollution," she
Browner called fuel-cell vehicles "a
real step forward" because they "leave a
trail of water vapor, not clouds of care
bon dioxide, nitrous oxide and oth*
Fuel cells also are a favorite among
automakers trying to comply with
California's standard of zero emissions
by 2003 for 10 percent of the cars sold
in the state. But DaimlerChrysler co-
Chair Bob Eaton insisted the company's
fuel-cell vehicles would be available to
consumers in 2004 "not because we
were forced to but because we wanted

I ____j

Naked mile brings seedy element to Ann Arbor


By Sarah Lewis
Daily Staff Reporter
The Naked Mile, a yearly tradition in which
hundreds of students celebrate the last day of class-
es by running nude through the streets of Ann
Arbor, has in recent years become a spectator sport
-leaving many questioning the safety of the run.
While the Naked Mile started out small, with
only members of the University men's crew
team participating, Ann Arbor Police
Department Deputy Chief Larry Jerue said it
attracted about 800 runners and more than
10,000 spectators last year.
Jerue said the thousands of spectators who
come from around the world and take pictures and
videos usually show up not only in newspapers
and on television, but are distributed uncensored
on the Internet.
"It does allow a very seedy element of society"
into Ann Arbor, he said, and along with the "party
atmosphere" and alcohol consumption, "sexual
deviates come to just to reach out and touch par-
ticipants as they run by," compromising both safe-

ty and privacy.
But Jerue said that since Naked Mile partici-
pants are taking part in an illegal act - disrobing
in public is against Michigan state law - the
AAPD "in no way endorses this activity," and
therefore is limited in taking safety measures.
Police officers try to control extra traffic, crack
down on public drinking and monitor the area, he
said, but the AAPD doesn't have sufficient man-
power to control the huge crowds. In addition,
since the Naked Mile is not an organized event
like a city parade, with permits issued, they cannot
"make a fully developed plan,' Jerue said. "That
would condone the activity ... we can't ensure
safety at an illegal event."
Jerue also pointed out that state law brings a
one-year misdemeanor charge against those who
undress in public.
"If found guilty, you could be required to regis-
ter as a sex offender for the rest of your life," he
added, although he said they have not charged run-
ners in past years. But people need to be aware of
the possible legal ramifications, make sound deci-

sions and try to find "a far better way to celebrate
the end of the semester,"he said.
The only way to ensure complete safety, Jerue
said, is "by not having it occur ... we would
rather see it come to an end without having any
police action."
Sarah Heuser, training and education coordina-
tor for the Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center, said that "women in general are
more targeted to abuse of a sexual nature," but
both male and female runners can report assault,
as some people did after last year's run.
"It is still a crime," Heuser said. "Running in
the Naked Mile shouldn't be a deterrent."
The Michigan Student Assembly, like the
AAPD, also does not endorse the Naked Mile, but
its Safety Committee is taking extra steps to
ensure runners' safety this year.
"The Naked Mile is basically a disaster waiting
to happen;' MSA president Trent Thompson said,
adding that the Ann Arbor community does not
support the activity. "It's grown so big that it's
becoming very dangerous."

As part of last year's attempts at safety,
Thompson said, MSA provided 'Naked Mile' t-
shirts for finishers, but they didn't have enough
because spectators took them as souvenirs. This
year they are accepting t-shirt donations from
other student organizations, as well as providing
blank ones for runners, he said.
LSA first-year student Kym Stewart, who heads
MSA's Safety Committee, said the t-shirt idea is
mainly "to make sure women aren't taken advan-
tage of" as they pass the finish line and walk
home. "It's so important that people be safe;'
Stewart said. "That's what we're focusing on."
In addition to the t-shirts, she said, groups of
volunteer students will be posted along the route
with walkie-talkies to notify police of potential
problems and hold the crowds back away from
the runners.
MSA nursing Rep. Jen Seamon said a meet-
ing for interested volunteers is scheduled for
April 15 at 9 p.m. in the Anderson Room of the
Michigan Union.
Engineering sophomore Rodrigo Palma, who

attended the Naked Mile last year, said that
although the safety efforts seemed pretty orga-
nized, there still is potential for problems.
"With lots of people coming from outside cam-
pus just for the voyeurism aspect, and males who:
are drunk off their asses, it could be potentiall)
dangerous," Palma said.
LSA senior Claudia Lopez has run the Naked,
Mile four times - twice her first year because the,
crew team traditionally runs before the rest of
campus. She said she is thinking about not run-,
ning this year due to potential legal trouble.
The increasing number of spectators has made
the run more dangerous than the first year she ran,
Lopez said, because of the videotaping and the
way they crowd the runners.
"It's a very good tradition but the spectators take.
away from that" she said.
Females are more vulnerable than males durin
the run, she said, but if they run sober it will make
it safer.
"Probably a good 90 percent of people running,
for the first time drink," Lopez said.

State passes tougher seatbelt laws

LANSING (AP) - Michigan
motorists would drive under a stricter
seat belt law under a bill that squeaked
yesterday through the state Senate.
But it's not law yet, and staunch
opposition in the Legislature could put
a brake on its prospects.
"This bill will get more people to
buckle up, save lives and prevent
injuries," said Sen. Bill Bullard, (R-
Highland), the bill's sponsor.
I think we have become over-intru-
sive," countered Sen. Leon Stille, (R-
Spring Lake). "How much is enough?"
The bill passed on a vote of 21-16,
two votes more than the 19 needed for
passage. Senators were deeply divided
on the issue, with disagreements even
between members of the same party.

The bill now goes to an uncertain
future in the state House.
The House has passed such a bill
before, but House control has shifted
from Democrats to Republicans, with*
64 new faces this year.
The measure would allow police to
stop and ticket drivers who don't wear a
seat belt even if they were doing noth-
ing else wrong.
Under the law now in place, police
can ticket people for not wearing a seat
belt only if they're pulled over for anoth-
er infraction. The penalty for not wearing
a safety belt is $25 plus court costs. No
driver's license points are imposed and
are not called for in the bill.
Critics won an amendment to
exempt adults in the rear seat of a car

from the seat belt requirement. "y+
can't be responsible for everybody,
said Sen. Glenn Steil, (R-Grand
.But backers of the bill won most of
the votes, if only by slim margins. State
statistics show Michigan in 1997 had
1,446 fatal automobile crashes costing
more than $9.7 billion. Advocates said
some of the lives lost to fatal accidents
could have been saved if the victims
had been wearing seat belts.
"I want my 17-year-old and
those other teen-agers to wear a se'
belt," said Sen. Dianne Byrum, (D-
"This is one of those times we've got
step up to the mark and do the right




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