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November 04, 1999 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-04

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 4 1999 - 3A

U' researchers
tackle welfare
reform in study
*People with mental health problems
and those who suffer from drug depen-
dency are the subject of a population
study that University researchers are
This study is intended to provide
new insight into a population some
researchers believe has been over-
looked by welfare.
Assistant Public Health Prof. Harold
Pollack, plans to present the results of
this study at the annual meeting of the
m erican Public Health Association in
Chicago on Tuesday.
The study's researchers note that it is
difficult for people with drug depen-
dence or mental health problems to
comply with the federal welfare reform
act of 1996, which requires recipients
to find work or participate in job train-
ing programs.
The study is based on data from the
1994-95 National Household Survey of
*ug Abuse. The data is a sample of
2728 single mothers. The NHSDA
found that 21 percent of welfare recipi-
cnts had used at least one illegal drug
during the prior year.
Pollack said the study urges policy-
makers to be cautious when creating
sanctions against welfare recipients
who may be casual users of illicit sub-
stances because they said substance.
abuse is only part of underlying prob-
fIRE Prof. helps
shape national
forests' future
Julia Wondolleck, associate profes-
sor in the School of Natural Resources
and Environment, is helping to shape
the state of national forests.
As one of 13 scientists serving on the
S. Department of Agriculture's
Committee of Scientists, Wondolleck
examined how national forests are
The group recently released its
report. It includes recommendations
for how officials should govern the
more than 191 million acres of public
U.S. Department of Agriculture
ecretary Dan Glickman, a
iversity alum, formed the commit-
tee. Wondolleck was selected for the
committee because of the extensive
work she has done on environmental
The Committee of scientists traveled
to cities and towns across the country
to speak with forest service employees
and representatives from local, state
and tribal governments.
fepression most
expensive cost for
Associate Nursing Prof. Reg
Williams, concluded that depression
is one of the most expensive costs for
b"sinesses because, according to the
research, employees have increasing-
ly sought workers' compensation for
0ychological problems such as
In an article published in this
onth's American Association of
xc'cupational Health Nurses Journal,

Williams said depression also can be
detrimental to a business when the
illness goes untreated.
The study estimates that U.S. com-
panies lose $24 billion each year due
to loss of productivity and absen-
ism related to depression.
Williams noted that health care
workers often focus more attention
on the risk factors for heart disease,
cancer, obesity and other illnesses,
and they neglect the risk factors for
Williams said in a press release
that signs of depression in the work-
place include reduced productivity,
loss of concentration, frequent absen-
teeism, loss of interest in work, with-
awal from colleagues and irritabili-
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Risa Berrin.

Single moms find support in new group

By Shabnam Daneshvar
Daily Staff Reporter
Every fall, 24-year-old LSA senior Jennifer
Monahan buys herself a ring as a promise to herself
that she "will make it" through the academic year.
While many students may perform similar ritu-
als as personal promises of success and self-disci-
pline, Monahan's intentions not only involve get-
ting good grades and finishing her degrees in
political science and history.
Monahan also promises to make it through her
classes while trying to be the best mother for her
4-year-old daughter Janessa.
Many students may complain of lack of sleep
due to homework or parties, but some female stu-
dents find themselves with very little or no time
for themselves each day.
Charisse Patterson, a Nursing senior and an
employee of the University Health Service, starts
her day at 5:30 a.m., when she wakes and feeds her
3-year-old daughter Jamila. She then takes her
daughter to the Child Development Day Care
Center and heads off to her 8 a.m. clinical job at
University Hospitals.
"I haven't gone out for myself in the longest
time," Patterson said. "You're constantly thinking
of the next thing, the next task, the next day."
Monahan and Patterson are two of 19 single
mothers who have joined Single Mothers in
School, an organization for women who work, take
classes and raise children at the same time.
Monahan co-founded the club after a conversa-
tion with another single mother, Beth Vargo, a stu-
dent at Washtenaw Community College.
"We just realized that there are no programs or

groups on campus that accommodate to the single
mothers or provide them with useful information
on child care, education and stress management,"
Monahan said.
Not all members of SMIS, which met for the
first time last night at the Michigan Union, are stu-
dents. The meeting involved valuable suggestions
from advocates of the Baby Book Club, a non-
profit independent organization that advises young
mothers to read to their children more often.
Joan Weismon, the club's president, and Eleanor
Banyai, its executive director, handed out free chil-
dren's books to the young mothers to encourage
LSA junior Kim Kopka, mother of 2-year-old
Savannah and manager of Paragun Equestrian
Center in Ann Arbor, said she is excited about
the group because she feels she can finally
relate to people who have some of the same
experiences she has.
"Most of the times, I find that I get along best
with the graduate students who teach the class
rather than the undergrads who are my own
In addition to dealing with finances, classes and
raising children, many of these young mothers
have found themselves dealing with prejudice.
"People just look at you differently and often
will think that you arc trying to steal something
from their stores when you go shopping with your
child," Patterson said.
Monahan recalls a time when she was forced to
leave a concert at Hill Auditorium by a patron who
thought it was inappropriate to bring her daughter
to the event.

Kim Kopka (right) with daughter Savannah, 2, participates in the support group, Single Moms On
Campus. Joan Weisman (left) discussed the importance of reading to children during last night's meeting.

Kopka speaks to instructors and professors early
in the semester and lets them know her position.M
"It's helpful if they know that sometimes you
won't be able to come to class because your child
is sick. You need to let them know so they can sup-
port you," she said.
But having a child during college has not nega-
tively affected these mothers' lives, club members

:She's no doubt the best thing hat has e er ha-
pened to me," Monahan said of her dauchtcr. %h
has helped broaden my awarness of the worMd on
issues of race, education and the sIate system U
Monahan said that becoming pregntm at these
of 16 and having a child has helped empower ier
to take care of herself and become an advoeatQfr
her child."

Swing time!

Testing reveals 8 percent of
welfare recipients use drugs

LANSING (AP) - Eight percent of
welfare recipients have tested positive
for illicit drug use under a new manda-
tory testing program in three areas of
Michigan, the head of the Family
Independence Agency says.
Douglas Howard cautioned against
drawing too many conclusions.
"We're very early in this," Howard
told the Detroit Free Press for a story
yesterday. "We haven't really gone
through a full cycle, and it's possible the
numbers could go up, but it's possible
they could go down."
By the end of October, the state had
258 test results back, 21 of which were
positive. Eighteen of the positives were
for marijuana and three were for
Three people were caught trying to

alter their test, typically by smuggling
in someone else's urine. It appeared that
many of an additional 121 people
referred to the program whose results
weren't in yet may have been no-shows.
Michigan officials say the state is the
first in the nation to require drug tests
as a condition of collecting welfare.
Studies collected by the FIA before the
program began showed 3 percent to 40
percent of all welfare recipients may have
a drug problem. Studies have shown a
similar range for the general public.
Starting Oct. 1, the state required
drug tests for all new welfare applicants
in Alpena and Presque Isle counties,
Berrien County and the Joy and
Greenfield area in west Detroit.
In February, Kent County and the
Romulus district in Wayne County will

be added to the program. In Apri any
welfare recipient in the fie areas coul
be chosen for a random test. The prv-
gram is expected to go staewide m
The state started d'uc ':ts to ete
prepare welfare recipients or work and
stop drug use before it becomes a serious
problem for the family, how rd said.
But welfare-rights advocates andthe
American Civil Liberties Union ; f
Michigan say the program is a viol' tion
of privacy that makes applicants feel
like criminals. Last month, the AGLU
filed a suit in federal district court chai-
lenging the program's legality.
ACLU state director Kary ' Moss said
if the state is concerned about helpig
families, there are better, less ntrusie
ways to measure drug use.

SA junior Sarah Baldwin dances with Performance Director of Swing Ann
Arbor Ralph Fredricksson at the Michigan Union last night.
Cities no longer abe
to require eS1denCy
from employees


LANSING (AP) - Residency
requirements could no longer divide
married couples who work for different
cities under a bill passed yesterday by a
state House committee.
According to the Michigan
Municipal League, about 90 Michigan
cities require police, firefighters or
other public employees to live within
city limits. A bill approved by the state
Senate in May would have banned
cities from having such requirements,
but it was watered down in the compro-
mise version passed yesterday by the
House Employment Relations
The measure now goes to the full
House for consideration.
Sen. Loren Bennett (R-Canton), who
sponsored the bill, said residency
requirements are anti-family, given that
they can force married couples who
work for different cities to live apart.
One such couple is Amy and Patrick
Hart. She is a Warren firefighter; he's a
Flint firefighter. Both cities have
refused to allow them to leave and

move in together, which has become a
bigger issue since the recent birth of
their son.
"We feel like we are a divorced cou-
ple," Amy Hart said. "We decide who
gets him on what weekends."
About 100 people crammed the
undersized committee room yesterday
for the debate, filling the chairs, lining
the walls and spilling into the aisle and
out into the hall.
The group was divided among those
who believe choosing where to live is a
personal freedom that should not be
restricted and those who believe resi-
dency requirements for city employees
are a local issue that should not be
decided by the state Legislature.
Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer was
among those who testified. He said
allowing police and firefighters to
move out of Detroit would damage the
city's economy, stability and safety.
"Our police officers would come to
be viewed as disconnected with the
community and an armed occupational
army,' Archer said.

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U Circle K Meeting, Michigan Union,
Pendelton Room, 7 p.m.
Llinternational Association for the
Exchange of Students for
Technical Experience Group
Meeting, Chrysler Building,

J "Charles Baxter Fiction Reading,"
Sponsored by the Department of
English and the Office of the
Provost, Rackham Amphitheater
5 p.m.
J "Confronting Poverty" lecture by
Rami Nashashibi, Sponsored by
Muslim Student Association,
Anell Hall. Auditorium C. 7-9

Sponsored by Hillel, Steps of the
Graduate library, 12-1 p.m.
U Campus Information Centers, 764-
INFO, info@umich.edu, and
www.umich.edu/-info on the
World Wide Web




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