The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 7, 2000 - 5
*African health care focus
of week-long conference
Voting rights still
main MSA issue
By Shabnam Daneshvar
Daily Staff Reporter
SBringing in social scientists and public health offi-
cials from across the country and around the world,
the University's first conference focusing on
"Africans on Health Care, and the Health of
Africans" issues started Monday and will continue
throughout the week.
"What's impressive about this conference is that the
focus for this seminar is in obstetrics and gynecology,
which is usually not the most public health-minded
subject,' said Adeotokumbo Lucas, professor of inter-
national health at Harvard University.
Nancy Hunt, an assistant professor in both the
*.bstetrics and Gynecology department in the Hospi-
tals and the history department, directed the event and
said conferences like these are important because they
help "focus a spotlight on the strides being made on
African health issues, and the tremendous challenges,
like AIDS and the effects of war, that still remain."
Nigerian physician Mairo Mandara, chair of obstet-
rics and gynecology at the Hospital for Women and
Children in Abuja, Nigeria led yesterday's event.
Her speech focused on impoverished women in
igeria, who cannot afford to deliver their babies in
nospitals. Mandara said the women resort to "really
old midwives" or more recently, Muslim volunteers
to aid them.
Although the volunteers work with better equip-
ment and are trained, the government is threatening
to shut down the services because it is not govern-
Mandara said being sensitive to other cultures'
practices is essential to ameliorate their health issues.
"You may have many beautiful programs that may
not work because you need to understand the culture.
For example when working in North Nigeria, with
more Muslims, it is important to realize they do not
appreciate giving birth with four to five doctors and
nurses looking at them," she said.
Elisha Renne, assistant professor for both the Center
for Afroamerican and African Studies and anthropolo-
gy said the conference not only helps to bring aware-
ness to health problems but allows students and faculty
to join forces.
"This conference is a good way to get people in
the community linked up and serve as a real resource
for students and staff," she said.
Other events scheduled for the week include a
speech given by Mandara about complications in
childbirth on Wednesday at 1014 Tisch Hall. She
will focus on problems with uncontrolled urination
due to fistulas, or holes between the bladder and the
vagina in young women.
A speech about HIV AIDS and human rights will
James to stand trial in sch
FLINT (AP) - A man accused of
carelessly storing the handgun that
authorities say a 6-year-old boy found
and used to kill a classmate must
and trial on an involuntary
manslaughter charge, a judge ruled
The boy and his 8-year-old brother
were living with defendant Jamelle
James in what prosecutors described
as a "flophouse." The boy took James'
gun to Buell Elementary School on
Feb. 29 and fatally shot 6-year-old
Kayla Rolland in their first-grade
lass, police said. The boy isn't
District Judge John Conover called
the boys' living arrangements a "time
"That's absolutely as negligent as
you get. What in the world did the
defendant expect to happen" with a
loaded gun in the house, Conover said.
"Who feeds them? Who clothes
them? Who disciplines them? Who
nurtures them? Who says 'I love you'
before they go to bed and when they
get, up? No one," he said..
The boys' mother is facing child
neglect charges. She had left her sons
at the house because she was evicted
from her home about nine days before
Defense lawyers pointed to James'
roommate and the boy's uncle, Sir
Marcus Winfrey, as the owner of the
"So Marcus Winfrey was buying the
bullet, buying the holster. Whose gun
do you think it was," attorney Bob
Polasek said. "I think it's clear whose
gun it was."
Winfrey was indicted on a federal
weapons charge related to the gun.
The 6-year-old testifi
that he had seen James pl
the gun, a .32-caliber sem
pistol, and demonstrated h
twirled it in his hands. Th
tor had to copy the hand m
the judge because the bo
short behind the witness
seen.e boy said he had se
and some quarters in as
James' room - an answ
after Genesee County.
Prosecutor Daniel Stamo
him that was what he
In his closing argument
Stamos said James should I
better than to leave the gu
"An innocent 6-year-old
and he's the person who's t
that," Stamos said, pointing
Nana Obobla-Akotol from Ghana wore her traditional
apparel to a lecture on the health of Africans
yesterday at Rackham. She is royalty in her village.
be given by Allen Herman, dean of the National
School of Public Health, Medical University of
South Africa, on Thursday at the School of Public
Health at 3 p.m.
The conference series is sponsored several
groups including the Interest Group on African
Women's Health, the Michigan African Studies
Initiative of the Center far Afroamerican and
African Studies, and the Department of Obstetrics
ed Friday "He left a gun in a shoebox of candy,
aying with quarters and easily accessible to a 6-
iautomatic year-old Any responsible person
haw James could foresee these kinds of actions
e prosecu- were dangerous. reckless and life-
otions for threatening."
y was too [he boy denied shooting Kayla and
box to be blamed another boy to whom he said
en the gun he had given the gun.
shoebox in "} wasn't playing with the gun, I
er he gave wasn't," the boy said Friday.
Assistant A 6-year-old girl who prosecutors
s reminded say was in the classroom when Kayla
had told was shot was on the witness stand
about five minutes yesterday.
yesterday, The girl shyly testified that the 6-
have known year-old boy was the one who shot
n where he Kayla.
"He'd steal pencils from her .. he'd
is dead ... be pinching other kids," she said, her
he cause of face barely visible over the witness
g at James. box.
By Lisa Koivu
Daily Staff Reporter
In -the second meeting led by new
Michigan Student Assembly President
Hideki Tsutsumi, the assembly voted on
chairs for committees and commissions,
as well as passed a resolution supporting
the Annual Take Back the Night March.
The meeting in the Michigan Union
started with former Students Rights
Commission Chair Abe Rafi calling on
the assembly to support the fight against
the legislation which limits people to
voting at the address listed on their dri-
"This law disenfranchised students
when it went into effect on April 1.
MSA is listed as plaintiffs in this law-
suit, we may be able to change the poli-
cy," Rafi said.
Joe Reilly, spokesman for the Student
of Color Coalition, asked foe the new
assembly to examine secret societies on
campus The SCC occupied the Michi-
gan Union tower in protest of the senior
honor society, Michigamua "New Tradi-
tions for a New Millennium."
"Take a strong stand in denouncing
secret societies," Reilly told the assem-
bly. "They're flawed with elitism and
racism and they shouldn't be incorporat-
ed in public institutions."'
After constituents time, Tsutsumi
then told the assembly to be patient as
he and Vice President Jim Secreto
learned all of the rules for the assembly.
"I'm less nervous today, but we have
many things to do Please be patient. I'll
move very slowly." Tsutsumi said.
Tsutsumi, an LSA senior, empha-
sized the significance of teamwork.
"During elections there was competi-
tion between parties, but now it's impor-
tant that we all work together. Parties
don't exist anymore, we all need to work
together," Tsutsumi said. "MSA is too
detached, most students don't know who
we are. I'm going to make another sign
saying who I am so more students will
know where to go to."
Secreto then surprised Tsutsumi with
a new sign to carry around saying "Hi!
Hideki is MSA President Now."
Tsutsumi then gave his recommenda-
tions for other members of the executive
LSA Rep. Siafa Hage was elected to
be the new treasurer for the assembly,
and election director Alok Agrawal, an
Engineering senior, was elected to be
the new Student General Counsel.
"I'm looking forward to working with
the assembly:' Agrawal said. "We want
to be a team-onented executive board"
After Hage and Agrawal were select-
ed, the assembly voted on representa-
tives to be the chairs and vice chairs of
Hage was voted to be the chairman of
the Budget Priorities Committee, the
committee that allocates money to stu-
dent groups. LSA Rep, Ross Kirschner
was chosen to be the Campus Gover-
nance Committee chairman LSA Rep
Matt Nolan was selected to be the Com-
munications chairman and Rdakham
Rep Jessica ( urtin and I SA Rep .
Rodnlfo Palma- Lulhcn were ,elected to
be Peace and lusrice commisson co-
Curtin then asked the assembly to
pass a resolution calling for MSA to
support the Annual Take Back the Night
March on April 8. The march is held to
support those who have been sexually
assaulted, and bring recognition of the
crime to the community.
"We need to support the fight against
sexism and rape on campus. There is a
whole range of issues that need to be
addressed and it is important that this is
an integrated issue:' Curtin said "Most
men target minority women because of
the power differential and thati, why we
want to get everyone involved'
Nolan, though, wanted to take out a
clause, which mentioned affirmative
action, saying that the assembly should
support the march, but not necessarily
take a stand on affirmative action.
Rep. Kieu-Anh King said affirmative
action affects women also, and should
therefore be a part of the resolution.
"We shouldn't be afraid of talking
about affirmative action. To not do so
would be to deny that affirmative action
has made an impact on women;' King
The assembly voted to pass the reso-
lution, but drop the affirmative action
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