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January 05, 2000 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-05

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 5, 2000-- 3'

MSU officials
say arson to
blame for fire
EAST LANSING - Arson may be
*to blame for a New Year's Eve fire at
Michigan State University's historic
Agriculture Hall, school officials said
Investigators from the Michigan
State Police and the Federal Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
have found a "high probability" of
arson, MSU spokesperson Terry
Denbow said. Denbow said evidence
of an accelerant was found at the
Denbow said investigators haven't
yet determined a motive for the fire and
wouldn't release further information
Fire officials have estimated that
5400,000 in damage was done to the
building. Water leaked to all the build-
ing's four floors. The water destroyed
computers and office equipment
throughout the northeast end of the
*building,which contained mostly
office space.
Denbow said MSU plans to have the
building open - except for the dam-
aged area - for the school's winter
Man who killed
newborn released
WYCKOFF, N.J. - A young man
who pleaded guilty along with his high
*school sweetheart to killing their new-
born son at a Delaware motel was
released from a prison in Prince's
Corner, Del., on Tuesday after serving
1 1/2 years for manslaughter.
Brian Peterson had been sentenced
to two years but was let out early
because of time served before his
guilty plea and good behavior.
Prosecutors said Peterson and Amy
Grossberg tried to conceal her preg-
nancy and the birth and then killed
their son at a Newark, Del., motel in
The baby's body was found
wrapped in a plastic bag in a trash
bin in the parking lot. The couple,
both 18 at the time, had said they
believed the child was stillborn
when Peterson placed it there. But
the medical examiner's office said
the boy died of skull fractures.
q Grossberg was sentenced to 2 1/2
years in prison. She is expected to be
released in May after serving nearly
two years.
Grossberg ywas a student at the
University of Delaware at the time of
the crime. Peterson was attending
Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania
Starr among
ecandidates for
Hillsdale president
Bill Brodbeck, chair of Hillsdale
College's presidential search com-
mittee said contrary to news reports
made in December, Former
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr
will not necessarily be the next
president of Hillsdale.
He said the media has blown the
possibility of Starr becoming
*Hillsdale's next president out of pro-
portion after National Review Editor
William Buckley Jr. mentioned that

Starr and Hadley Arkes of Amherst
University would be good presidents
for Hillsdale in a recent issue of the
Brodbeck said the search commit-
tee, which Buckley is a member of,
has met once. "We have about 60 per-
sons on our list including Starr."
,The committee will meet again
next week to finalize its list of can-
The committee is searching for a pres-
ident to replace President George Roche
III, who retired in November, after
rumors that he had a romantic relation-
ship with his daughter-in-law, who later
committed suicide.
Prof. designs site
*to fight cheating
A new Website designed by
University of California at Berkeley
doctoral candidate John Barrie aims to
eliminate plagiarism could threaten the
future of online stock essay and paper
sites. Barrie designed wwwplagia-
rism.org to cross check papers against
a database of millions of online paper
- Compiledfrom wire reports.

Winter grads b adleu at commencement

By Tiffany Maggard
Daily Staff Reporter
An atmosphere of sentimentality and reflection
changed the character of Crisler Arena the after-
noon of Dec. 19 when it took a break from the rau-
cous basketball season to host the commencement
ceremony for the University's last graduating class
of the century.
Nearly 2,000 graduating students flooded
Crisler Arena finding themselves embraced by a
graduation theme focused on the turn of the centu-
University representatives reminded the gradu-
ates of their special place as not only the final class
of the century, but also as the final class of the first
University Senate Advisory Committee for
University Affairs Chair Sherrie Kossoudji was the
first to spark the millennium theme by discussing
Y2K apprehension and addressing the fact that the
turn of the century represents an example of the
on-going process of change.
"What worked in the past will not get us through
the gateway of 2000," Kossoudji said.

"You know you're the last of the students grad-
uating in this century," University President Lee
Bollinger said. "But human conditions, in so many
ways, remain unchanged."
Bollinger reflected on the preservation of
human character at the University throughout the
past century, despite the major changes the institu-
tion has seen.
During his address, he cited changes in the size
of the student body, salary increases and the inte-
gration of diverse student backgrounds that have
resulted from the presence of students from around
the globe.
Bollinger highlighted the University's piv-
otal role in the evolving relationship between
teaching and research and the changes in cur-
riculum, which have affected student opportu-
While the University has solidified its val-
ues, character and integrity through the rela-
tionship of past and present students and fac-
ulty who have "written" its history, Bollinger
assured the 1999 graduates of their essential
role in its future.

"You," Bollinger told the graduates, "are writing
the final pages."
Bollinger went on to remind the graduates of the
importance of their individual lives and experi-
ences to the University. -
"The mind moves naturally to a higher view of
things. No one but you knows all that is involved
- the doubt, the hard work and the sheer role of
Student speaker Peter Victor Katona spoke
directly to his fellow graduates as he recognized
the new millennium and expressed pride in the
character the University has grown to emanate
during the past two centuries.
"We start a new phase of our lives ... just days
before the world embarks on a new era," Katona
"Choose your own adventure - and decide who
you will be. Just like people most admire
Michigan as a well-rounded school, we should
encourage each other to model ourselves after our
alma mater," Katona said.
Honorary degrees were presented to Neeme
Jarvi, music director of the Detroit Symphony

Orchestra and principal conductor of the National
Orchestra of Sweden in Gothenburg; Grace Paley,
American short story writer; and Romano Prodi,
president of the Commission of the European
Community and former prime minister of Italy.
Prodi, who gave the keynote address, reflected
on the social movement in Europe and its develop-
ment in the last century, including long-time needs
to reform taxes, education and social security in
various parts of Europe.
Prodi expressed his confidence in the "potential
for a truly dynamic economy" in Europe.
"There is no better time than the beginning of
the millennium to make the dreams of our found-
ing fathers come true for the benefit of ourselves,"
he said.
After Bollinger recognized the last class of the
20th Century one final time, everyone present in
the arena helped close the ceremony with the
University's alma mater
The ecstatic graduates prolonged the celebration
when they picked up the beat of the solemn alma
mater and ignited a bui-st of energy among the
crowd with a performance of "The Victors."

Catching fish

Dental prof. sues 'U' for
refusing to fail student

By Hanna LoPatin
Daily Staff Reporter
Dental School associate Prof. L. Keith Yohn filed a lawsuit
against the University last month after it refused to fail two
sophomore dental students.
Acting as his own attorney, Yohn filed claim in the U.S.
District Court in Detroit and charged the University with the
"deprivation of 'freedom of speech' and 'property' right to
protect the 'health care interest' of the public and their chil-
Dental School Dean William Kotowicz, associate Dean
Robert Fiegal and course directors Merle Jaarda and Kenneth
Stoffers were also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The students in question failed a pre-clinic class dur-
ing the 1999 winter term and failed a remedial class the
following summer. Yohn said it is Dental School policy
that students who fail these classes are dismissed from
the program.
Kotowicz proposed in September that the two students be
allowed to repeat the course for a third time. The school's
executive committee upheld this decision and created a
course for the students to complete.
Yohn, who has worked at the University for more than 36
years, said the course consisted of two tests, the first of which
took place in October. He and three other professors were
chosen to grade what Yohn referred to as "independent prac-
tical projects"
"We knew the situation of the students," Yohn said. "So we
tried not to be biased. After two-and-a-half hours we came to
a unanimous decision that they had failed the project. The
scores were so low there was no way they could pass the
Yohn said that upon reporting this message to Fiegal, he
and the three other professors received a belligerent e-mail
from the associate dean informing them that the grades
would be disregarded.
In a new examination administered by co-defendants
Jaarda and Stoffers - and, according to Yohn, not approved
by the executive committee - the two students passed with

C and C-plus grades. "The administration did not honor our
grades, Yohn said.
Yohn said he asked Kotowicz why the two students were
receiving so many chances, adding that "he won't tell me wiy
they're special:'
One of the students, said Yohn, is a daughter of a par-
time faculty member at the University. "It smacks of
nepotism," said Yohn. "But we'll have to let the court
decide that."
University spokesperson Julie Peterson would not com-
ment on the specifics of the case but said, "We consider this
lawsuit to be utterly without merit and we expect to win this
Kotowicz said in a written statement, "The Michigan
School of Dentistry is considered one of the top five in the
nation. Our academic programs are rigorous and challenging
and 95 percent of our students pass all of their board exams
within six months of graduation."
In his suit, Yohn is asking that the University recognize And
report the original grades and provide a monetary compensa-
tion for emotional distress as a result of the e-mail
The other three faculty members who joined Yohn in
failing the students have not joined him in the lawsuit.
Yohn said he attributes this to the fact that the other pro-
fessors are new to the school and could be afraid of losing
their jobs.
"Fear is the ally of administration," Yohn said. The
University "counts on professors being afraid to lose their
jobs. How many professors are going to sue the
Yohn has sued the University before. In 1989. he filed
suit concerning tenure issues. The University settled the
case in July 1998 and paid Yohn an undisclosed amount.
This is not the first large lawsuit brought against the
Dental School. In 1995, three black Dental Scho ol
Instrument Technicians filed a suit claiming supervisor
Linda Vachon fired them on grounds of discriminatioi.
The 15th District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs m

Matt Wrona goes ice fishing with his family in Bay City on Sunday as the
winter cold sets in.
Delta Sig suspended
in allegedpledge

By David Enders
Daily Staff Reporter
Delta Sigma Phi fraternity has
become the second Greek house sus-
pended from campus in recent weeks
due to alleged hazing activities.
Delta Sigma Phi fraternity has
been suspended by the University
and its national chapter after
pledges in the house were found
duct taped to each other at Mary
Markley Residence Hall on Dec.
10., said University spokesperson
Julie Peterson.
The fraternity will remain suspend-
ed until further investigation, joining
the University's chapter of Alpha
Epsilon Pi, which was suspended Dec.
6 after a fraternity pledge was shot in
the groin with a BB gun.
Paul Lawson, spokesperson for
Delta Sig's national chapter, located
in Indianapolis, will be on campus
next week to help the University
with the inquiry. The University
Interfraternity Council and'
Panhellenic Council are also assist-
ing in the investigation.
"We back the University on" the
suspension, Lawson said. "We want
to find out what happened and move
forward - this is not what the fra-
ternity stands for."
Details about the incident are still

"We want to find
out what
happened and
mDove forward -
this is not what
the fraternity
stands for"
- Paul Lawson
Delta Sig National Chapter

g . The University of Michigan WAHAT'S
RC Department of Recreational Sports
Intramural Hce
Offici~als Needed!!
" No Experience * Get a Free
Necessary T-Shirt
" Officials are INTRAMURALS -Flexible
Paid for Afo
Training Clinics Begin Tonight

unclear, but Interim- Dean of
Students Frank Cianciola said that
"it isn't necessarily only pledges
involved, based on the information
we have at this time"
Cianciola said that roughly four to
eight students were involved in the
incident. He did not know how seri-
ous the incident had been, but char-
acterized it as "significant enough
to notify the national office"
"Hazing is an unacceptable act,"
Cianciola said.
Members of Delta Sig could not
be reached for comment.

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