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February 09, 2000 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 9, 2000 - 3

Study shows potential for racial profiling

:i

Columbia U.
student killed in
iurder-suicide
A Columbia University sophomore
was fatally stabbed Saturday and the
only suspect committed suicide hours
later.
Kathleen Roscot was found dead in
her Ruggles Hall residence hall room
Saturday with a knife wound to the
throat.
Police officials said former Colum-
bia student Thomas Nelford, was the
0eged killer.
Police said Nelford jumped in front
of a moving subway train Saturday
afternoon.
Roscot's wallet was found in
Nelford's wallet when his body was
discovered police officials said.
Friends of both Roscot and Nelford
said the two had dated in the past and
may have still been dating.
Roscot was a member of Colum-
*'s women's lacrosse team.
Police said Roscot's body was dis-
covered after coaches and team-
mates called Ruggles Hall following
her absence from a morning prac-
tice.
The New York Times reported that
Roscot and Nelford were videotaped
by the Ruggles Hall security camera
around 12:30 a.m. A suitemate report-
edly heard noises from Roscot's room
out one hour later.
Clemson students
protest state's use
of confederate flag
Clemson University students gath-
ered on campus last week to raise
their voice concerning the Confeder-
ate flag being flown at the South Car-
Ona capitol building.
Protesters against the display of the
flag said they organized the event to
open up discussion on an issue that
has divided the state. Flag supporters
were also present.
The rally follows a Dec. 5 state-
ment by university President James
Barker denouncing the Confederate
flag's presence at the state capitol
building.
Protesters said Clemson Universi-
Student Senate passed a proposal
clling for the flag's removal.
San Diego State
U. students to
study in Cuba
A group of San Diego State Uni-
versity students will leave their
'ularconfines and spend next
At Istudying in communist Cuba.
They will take classes at Havana
University.
SDSU President Stephen Weber
said the trip is unique among Ameri-
can university students because stu-
dents usually do not stay in the
country for such an extended period
of time.
SDSU students will participate in
the program for one semester, taking
ir class in Spanish, and live with
.Cuban families.
California Poly.
students vie for
pruning crown
A group of California Polytechnical
State University students showcased

ir grapevine pruning skills last
ek.
The Central Coast Wine Growers's
Association sponsored the third annu-
af event, held at the university's vine-
yards.
Participants included various vine-
yard experts and crop science stu-
dents.
Judges, including Cal Poly crop sci-
ence professors, rated the contestants'
speed and accuracy.
4he first place bounty for students
$25 and pruning tools. The victor
of the professional field received S 100
ahd pruning tools.
Contest organizers said the event
allows students to understand the
skills required of a professional
pruner.
- Compiled fiom U-WIRE reports
bv Daily Staf Reporter Robert Gold.

By Caittin Nish
Daily Staff Reporter
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety
Planning released a poll Monday revealing
black motorists are 1.21 times more likely to be
stopped by police than all drivers and 2.36 times
more likely to receive a ticket than other drivers.
The survey of Michigan motorists was based
on traffic stops, citations and race.
Michigan State Police Major Tim Yungfer
said the survey, which was conducted by the
Lansing-based EPIC/MRA polling firm, was
originally commissioned in response to a new
law that will make wearing seatbelts a standard
infraction rather than a secondary infraction as
it is now.
Beginning March 10, officers can pull over

motorists solely for not wearing their safety
belts.
"The survey was taken by OHSP to identify
groups of people who have low seat belt rates in
order to determine which groups need to be tar-
geted in public information and education cam-
paigns," Yungfer said.+
EPIC/MRA Vice President Ed Sarpolus said
in addition to the 1025-person sample, there
was an oversampling of 400 blacks to make sure
the sample size of blacks was large enough. +
The survey found that only 54 percent of
black motorists said they always wear seat belts,
but the survey also found that an estimated aver-;
age of 6.8 percent of ticketed drivers were tick-
eted because of "selective enforcement."1
"The key issue we found in the survey is thatI
you can't call every stop racial profiling," Sar-
..'lStat(

polus said. "Almost everyone we talked to in the
survey admitted to doing something wrong."
Sarpolus also said the 15 minute poll was a
random stratified survey of both listed and
unlisted phone numbers.
EPIC/MRA's survey results state that "to
ensure that the survey looked at the issue of pro-
filing from many points of view, questions were
included to reveal how a lack of communication
between the officer and the stopped driver may
create a perception of profiling."
"Racial profiling is against the law," Yungfer
said. "There needs to be greater communication
and education as to why the police do their jobs.
This is due to inadequate communication
between motorists and police. Steps have to be
taken to deal with that."
The survey findings also state that 67 percent
Sfcne

of black motorists did not know why they were
pulled over and "fewer African American dri-
vers said the officer was justified in stopping
them - only 45 percent, compared to 61 per.
cent of all drivers."
But, Yungfer said, "certainly a great deal has
to be done to make sure people are treated
equally and respectfully and my experience with
police officers has been that does occur."
Michigan American Civil Liberties Union
Executive Director Kary Moss said any figures
indicating black drivers are being ticketed dis-
proportionately indicates a problem.
"If, in fact, African Americans are being
treated different when they're stopped, that's,
also racial profiling," Moss said.
- The Associated Press contributed to this
ropeorro
fOr errr

S

in food stamp records

LANSING (AP) - The state's welfare department
will owe millions of dollars in federal penalties if it
doesn't control its food stamp error rate and complete
a statewide child support system.
Michigan is one of only nine states failing to meet a
1997 deadline to have a statewide child support com-
puter system up and running. That computer system,
which has cost S212 million so far, still doesn't have
Wayne County connected.
The Family Independence Agency paid S12.8 million
in fines in the last two years and is expected to pay
S17.5 million this year if the child support system isn't
ready to go by Sept. 30, 2000. FIA Deputy Director
Mark Jasonowicz says chances are "very slim" that the
system will be ready.
In addition, Michigan will face S18.8 million in
fines for having one of the highest food stamp error
rates in the country.
Michigan was sanctioned after showing a 17.7 per-
cent error rate in 1998.
The rate went even higher after the FIA began using
a new computer system in August 1998, but is now
back to 17 percent.
State Sen. Mike Goschka (R-Brant) said he is trou-
bled by the rising fines.
"There's nothing like dumping the hard-earned tax-
payer money down the drain," Goschka told Booth
Newspapers for a story yesterday.
Goschka is chairman of the Senate subcommittee on
FIA spending.
Jasonowicz admits that the penalties hurt, but said
FIA has done a good job reducing welfare dependen-
cy.
Jasonowicz said the state's high food stamp error
rate is partly because of welfare reform and the fluctu-
ations in family income as more people go to work.

"It's very disturbing that so
much money has to be spent
on this type of thing."
- Sharon Parks
Michigan League for Human Services spokeswoman
Anything over or under S25 of what a client was sup-
posed to receive is considered an error.
"Our argument would be that we saved much more
money than what the penalties cost," Jasonowicz said.
"Overall, we're still very pleased with our effort."
State Rep. Mark Jansen (R-Grand Rapids) chair of
the House subcommittee on FIA spending, said
because Michigan will get to spend a portion of food
stamp penalties on improvements, it's not all lost
money.
"I would call it more of a financial kick in the
pants," he said.
Jasonowicz said some of the S18.8 million in food'
stamp penalties will be spent on worker training and
sending teams of workers to fix problems in counties
with high error rates,
It's not yet known how much will go to penalties and
how much will be reinvested in Michigan, Jasonowicz
said.
Sharon Parks, spokeswoman for the Michigan
League for Human Services, said the nearly S50 mil-
lion in fines could instead provide health care to
125,000 working poor adults for a year.
"That's a significant sum of money, and it's very dis-
turbing that so much money has to be spent on this
type of thing when we have so many other needs," she
said.

SAM HOLLENSHEAD/Daily
Political science Prof. Judith Kullberg speaks to a group of students
yesterday in Haven Hall about the development of Russian democracy.
'U' Prof. speaks
about Russian war
against Chechnya

SICK OF WRITING PAPERS?
WRITE FOR US INSTEAD.
CALL 76-DAILY.

By Man-Wai Sze
For the Daily

Providing grim details of propa-
ganda campaigns and the violation
of human rights, political science
Prof. Judith Kullberg explained how
the current conflict in Chechnya is
preventing the development of
Russian democracy yesterday in a
lecture held in Haven Hall.
"There is a highly coordinated
propaganda campaign going on in
Russia," Kullberg said.
A glance at any Russian newspa-
per or television news broadcast
indicates that "the whole country is
united and in support of this war,"
Kullberg said.
The fact that these reports manip-
ulate public opinion so easily
reveals "a lot of characteristics
about Russian politics, she said.
Although Kullberg said she is
concerned by the use of propagan-
da, she said the most disturbing
aspect of the war is Russia's mas-
sive violation of personal liber-
ties.
Many civilians have been tor-
tured, Kullberg said, and the way
the citizens are treated violates
Russian law,
She said fighting over Chechnya
has been intensified by the desire
for the area's oil resources and the
fear that Islamic fundamentalism
will spread through the region.
Kullberg said another the inci-
dent that prompted the war was the
humiliation the Russian military
experienced after their first failed

attempt to take control of Chech-
nya when the break away republic
declared independence in 1992.
Kullberg said Europeans are tak-
ing more forceful actions than the
United States because they are con-
cerned about regional security.
When asked whether she
agrees with the U.S. stance on
this issue, Kullberg' said, "As a
citizen, I think our government
has many tools to encourage sta-
bility around the world, and the
government isn't using those
tools effectively."
About 20 people attended the lec-
ture, which was organized by the
Undergraduate Political Science
Association.
UPSA member Jeff Omtvedt, an
LSA senior, said the event was suc-
cessful in creating more intimate
discussion opportunities between
faculty members and students.
"The idea is for students to gain
more informal contact with the
faulty," Omtvedt said.
"There's a lot of students who do
not gain much contact with faculty,"
he said.
LSA sophomore Brittany Keil
was the first one to arrive at the
event.
She said she decided to attend
based on a recommendation by her
political science GSI.
Keil said she was interested in
having a "better understanding of
what's going on" in Russia.
Keil said the lecture helped to
clarify international issues and
events.

rrection:
Freshman basketball guard Jamal Crawford applied for the 1999 NBA draft. This was incorrectly in yesterday's Daily.
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