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November 17, 1999 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-17

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14 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Resolution addresses racism at 'U' Good morning Ann Arbor

4 ff
I

By Jeannie Baumann
Daily Staff Reporter
The Michigan Student Assembly unanimously
passed a resolution opposing discriminatory prac-
tices against black and Latino/a students during its
meeting last night at South Quad Residence Hall.
"In passing this resolution, we as a body recognize
that there is a problem and we will pick assembly
members to address it," said MSA Rep. Erika
Dowdell, a co-sponsor to the resolution.
The resolution, which specifically refers to
events in the Michigan Union, alleges that Union
management and the Department of Public Safety
routinely practice acts of discrimination. The
MSA resolution cites examples including forcing
black and Latino/a students to wear wristbands
during events, consistently closing events early,
.having more DPS officers at events hosted by
black and Latino/a associations and making stu-
dents leave through side doors by blocking off the
State Street entrance.
The assembly invited DPS Police Sgt. Gary Hicks,
DPS Director William Bess and the Michigan Union
Board of Representatives Chair Scott Balutowicz as
guest speakers to address these issues.
Hicks said the wristbands and patrolling issues
were a matter of safety and order,.
"The fire marshall sets a capacity on wristbands in
an effort to determine how many people are in the
room," he said. He also mentioned that the side door
policy is an effort to divert traffic away from State
Street and DPS policy provides one officer per 100

students.
But Hicks said DPS has not been required to
attend events such as Michigras, which brings in
hundreds of students.
Constituents who spoke at the meeting said
these are not policies implemented across the
board, but acts of discrimination.
"Even though I'm at this University, (these
policies) make me feel like nobody wants to see
me here. There are police crowding around us act-
ing like we're criminals, when there are no
weapons, drugs or alcohol at these events," LSA
first-year student Samantha Brown said.
Vice President of Student Affairs E. Royster
Harper also attended the meeting.
"I am ultimately responsible for these policies,
practices and procedures. It is clear that what is
intended is not what's going on, so we will make
the necessary changes," she said.
Dowdell called the resolution a victory.
"This is a big step forward. Students have been
talking about this for years," she said.
In a phone interview before the meeting yester-
day, Assistant Facility Manger for the Union
Barbara Niemi said there is absolutely no dis-
crimination in practice.
"Most of the events are sponsored by minority
students. That's what we're here for," Niemi said,
adding that if there are such issues, she would like
to confront them and that facility coordinators are
open to discussion.
LSA senior Kiran Sajja, as a member of the

Hindu Students Council helped to coordinate an
event in celebration of the religious holiday
Navaratri. Sajja said in a phone interview yester-
day that the event, which started with a prayer
called the Puja and ended with dances called the
bhangra, had about 400 students in attendance.
He said he did not notice any DPS officers in
addition to those who usually work on Saturday
nights.
But Sajja said officers asked coordinators of
the event to ask participants to leave through the
side door. No wristbands were required and DPS
officers did not enter the event while in progress.
MSA President Bram Elias said the resolution
is the beginning of a positive action.
"It is fantastic that we made a strong statement
tonight supporting students of color. But if we
don't work hard to change the Union policies,
then we are selling out. The real test is whether
we act on this (resolution) and we still have to
pass that," Elias said.
In other MSA business, the assembly passed a
resolution for MSA to urge the University "to
divest from the three major corporations in the
Global Climate Coalition that they are currently
invested in." The resolution cited Mobil Corp.,
Exxon Corp. and General Motors Corp.
The assembly also unanimously passed a reso-
lution to work to overturn the Higher Education
Act of 1998 which makes all students who have
been convicted of any drug-related offense ineli-
gible for financial aid.

ALLISON CANTER/Daily
The Burton Memorial Bell Tower stands out In the 7:30 a.m. daybreak sky
yesterday.
Fed raises interest
rate by quarter point

By Kevin Magnuson
Daily Staff Reporter
Have you been noticing an increase
in the price of your favorite candy bar?
How about the money you shell out for
a pair of jeans at the Gap?
To control potential price inflation,
Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan
and his colleagues decided overnight to
raise interest rates by a quarter percent-
age point. This brought the Federal
funds rate to 5.5 percent and the dis-
count rate to 5 percent.
The Federal Reserve ftnds rate is the
rate banks charge each other for
overnight loans to meet the Fed's deposit
requirement. The discount rate is similar
to the rate the Fed charges banks.
Over time, higher interest rates should
slow down both the economy and the
stock market because they raise the cost
for companies to borrow money from
banks to expand their business.
Before the meeting of the Federal
Open Market Committee yesterday,
many stock market analysts were inde-
cisive over whether the Fed would raise
banks' short-term interest rates.
"Interest rates looked like they were
going to go up but if one looks at the
Dow Jones Industrial Average, it looks
like a rate hike has already been account-
ed for," said Jack Shirley, a stock broker
at Beacon Investment Company.
The Fed's decision was complicated

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because of mixed economic reports dur-
ing recent weeks. The economy grew at a
4.8 percent annual rate in the third quar-
ter and unemployment in October fell to
a three-decade low of 4.1 percent.
The alliance of these two indexes
usually forces businesses to raise wages
to attract workers, which would then
increase prices.
But so far the economy has shown
limited signs of inflation. Many econo*
mists believe that technology is making
workers more productive, allowing
employers to pay higher wages without
raising prices.
The markets reacted positively to
yesterday's news as the DJIA skyrock-
eted 171.58 points and the Nasdaq and
the Standard & Poor indices reached
record highs.
Many analysts said they believe the.
Fed will not likely do anything mor
until after Jan. 1. This ideology prompt-
ed many investors to prefer to see the
Fed raise rates now. The Fed wanted to
take action now so investors would not
worry about potential Y2K problems
and whether the Fed would raise rates.
"The markets have their own wisdom
and it is always better than analysts pre-
dictions," explained Business Prof.
Mahud Rahman. "The Fed has been
excellent in controlling the market and
I sleep well at night confident in their
decisions."
Experts
predict flu.
pandemic.
By Sheena Chawla
The Daily Free Press 'Boston University)
BOSTON (U-WIRE) -
Researchers at the Centers for
Disease Control in Atlanta are pre-
dicting a major flu pandemic might
kill more than 200,000 people in the
United States and cost the govern-
ment and HMOs billions of dollarsO
next winter.
Each winter, the flu moves through
the United States and kills around
20,000 Americans, according to the
CDC. Most of those affected are over
the age of 65.
Influenza epidemics tend to surface
every few years, which have occurred
three times this century in 1918, 1957
and 1968, lead CDC researcher
Martin Meltzer said. The 1918 pan-
demic killed 20 million people world-0
wide.
The researchers estimate the pan-
demic could kill between 89,000 and
207,000 Americans. "Another pandem-
ic is likely, if not inevitable. Health pol-
icy makers must set criteria, goals, and
objectives for a Vaccine-based inter-
vention," Meltzer wrote in a research
paper describing the results.
The cost and scope of wide-spread
vaccinations could be a challenge for
researchers and public health depart-
ments. Without a large-scale vaccina-
tion program in place, the economic
costs of an influenza pandemic would
range from $71 billion to $166 billion,
Meltzer said.
"The imnact of the nandemic can he

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