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September 08, 1999 - Image 49

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-08

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Wednesday, September 8, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - 7D


Speakers, partiers
object to bashing hash

By Amy Barber
Daily Staff Reporter
Carrying fliers, bongs full of marijuana
and signs reading "HEMP: Help Educate
More People," "Relegalize Marijuana" and
"Save The Trees - Plant Hemp," partici-
pants in the 27th Hash Bash smoked pot
freedy and protested hemp's illegal status
April 4 on the Diag.
The annual festival brought about 5,000
peopde to the center of campus at "high
A number of speakers inspired the crowd,
including Tommy Chong of the infamous
weed-smoking, movie-making duo ClIeech
and Chong.
"I'm so stoned I don't know what to say,"
Chong said.
But he found plenty to say.
"If the important people were stoned,
there'd be less violence in the world," Chong
Chong denied the potentially negative con-
sequences of smoking marijuana, saying he
has been smoking nearly all of his life and at
60 years old he can still "get it up," referring
to theories about the effects of marijuana on
the body.
Another crowd favorite was Steve Hager,
editor in chief of High Times Magazine.
"High Times officially declared that Ann
Arbor is the coolest place in the universe,"
Hager said.
Like Hager, many Hash Bashers came
from out of town to participate in the festivi-
"I drove down here from Clark Lake," said
Rod Munch, a Michigan resident. "I just
wanted to bake out and support the local
hempsters. I love this place."
SNRE senior Dana Jonson handed out
fliers promoting the cultivation of hemp.
"It's a wonderful plant," Jonson said. "It
can be used in more than 50,000 products.
And it's much less dangerous that alcohol.
There has never been a death resulting from
marijuana, but drinking leads to problems
like drunk driving and domestic violence."
The festival wasn't entirely peaceful, as
two unidentified men nearly squared off on
South University Avenue. The two belliger-
ents were separated by companions before
trading blows.
Some at the rally also raised the issue of
using marijuana as medicine.
Belleville resident Rachel Gagnon is
epileptic and has spent much of her life suf-
fering from seizures. For years she was on a

"If the important
people were stoned,
there'd be less violence
in the world."
- Tommy Chong
prescription drug that caused her to lose her
hair, lose control of her bowels and even stop
breathing one day.
"I quit'taking that drug and ncow I smoke
marijuana," Gagnon said. "I feel normal. It
keeps me calm so I don't have seizures. I
couldn't come out today if I coukdn't smoke.
I'd be in bed."
But not all participants were interested in
the political aspect of Hash Bash.
"We just came out here to get high and
enjoy the day," said Westland resident Jon
Boshand. "It's nice and relaxing.
Everybody's just here to have a good time
and it's a mellow vibe going on."
While most of the crowd members were
held in sync beliefs about marijuana, a few
expressed dissenting opinions.
"Pot's great and all, but sone of the speak-
ers were unrealistic," said one participant,
who did not want to be named.
"Nothing's going to change. If you legalize
pot, no one will go to work.
"And people will use any excuse to get
marijuana as medicine," he added. "I have
glaucoma, so hook me up with a bag."
Among the smokers, there were also a
handful of preachers promoting abstinence
from marijuana saying smoking is against
God's will.
But the preachers and others who spoke,
out against the legal use of marijuana seemed
to be in the minority.
Onlookers booed the preachers and one
man interrupted a preacher to argue against"
his teachings.
"Have you ever talked to God?" the man
asked. "Because I've done 'shrooms, and I
talked to God. And he told me to smoke
"God was the first stoner," Chong said.
"That's why he's the most.high."
Several students who asked not to be
named said they neither condemned or con-
doned Hash Bash, but came out to take in the
scene and people-watch.

An unidentified student perches precariously atop the Cube in Regents' Plaza after the last day of 1998's winter term classes. For years, stu-
dents have celebrated the end of the traditional school year by stripping down and running through the streets at midnight.
'takes it all fto celebrate end of class

By Michael Grass
and Nika Schulte
Daily Staff Reporters
Crowding apartment balconies, clinging
to street lampposts and filling campus side-
walks, between 10,000 and 20,000 people
turned out on the night of April 20 to wit-
ness the Naked Mile - the annual tradition
that celebrates the last day of classes.
University spokesperson Julie Peterson
said Ann Arbor Police Department officials
said an estimated 500 University students
and area residents ran naked through cam-
The Department of Public Safety made
L 21 arrests for minor in possession of alco-
, hol infractions and other citations, includ-
ing indecent exposure and public urination,
Peterson said.
Peterson said of those arrests, four
University students were given minor in
possession of alcohol citations.
According to DPS reports, a 40 year-old
man was arrested for masturbating in pub-
tic. .
"I'm relieved we had no major mishaps,"
Peterson said.
As of this morning, no sexual assaults
were reported to the Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center, said
Sarah Heuser, SAPAC training and educa-
tion program coordinator.
Attracting media attention from across
the nation and around the world, all eyes
and camera lenses were focused on the nar-
row path that wound its way from
Washtenaw Avenue, down South University
Avenue, through the Diag and ending at
Regents' Plaza, next to the Michigan
Peterson said AAPD officials estimated
the number of runners to be down from pre-
vious years, but the number of spectators
significantly increased from the estimated
10,000 spectators who watched last year.
University President Lee Bollinger sent a
letter to University seniors the week before
the scheduled ru, discouraging students

from participating.
"I think that some students took that mes-
sage to heart," Peterson said. "They made a
wise decision not to get involved."
Although the event originated as a
semester-end celebration by members of,
the men's crew and cross country teams,
now many kinds of University students and
local residents use it as a way to celebrate.
Spectators, many with cameras in hand,
crowded along the sides of the path, as
groups of Mile participants ran down the
route, sometimes measuring only a few feet
More than 200 student security members,
organized by the Michigan Student
Assembly, guarded the route in an attempt
to protect the runners from broken glass
and rowdy spectators.
LSA first-year student Prasad Arekapudi,
part of the student security force, said his
job was made more difficult because he was
not wearing a yellow security T-shirt given
to volunteers.
"Without a security shirt, each time I put
out my arm to keep the people back, it
.seemed like everyone thought I was a per-
vert and wanted more room to look,"
Arekapudi said.
Some Mile participants distinguished
themselves from other runners by adorning
themselves with varied accessories.
While individuals wore colorful hats, ski
goggles and scarves, one group of runners
wore Roman legionary helmets.
One naked individual even rode a unicy-
cle down the path.
"You've got to stand out," said LSA
junior Ralph Zerbonia, who ran the Mile
wearing a partial hula skirt.
LSA junior Evan Scalzo waited at
Regents Plaza, with an armful of shoes and
pants for Zerbonia and other runners.
"I ran last year and it's nice to know
where your clothes are," Scalzo said,
explaining that many runners lose items
when they shed their clothes at the starting

At the Mile's terminus at Regents' Plaza,
many participants spun the Cube and later
redressed, while others, including a group
of unidentified males donned in Civil War-
era hats, carrying sabers and toy guns, ran
to the Angell Hall computing site.
"I just checked my e-mail naked," one of
the group members exclaimed at the com-
puting site.
As the group of 12 men ran through the
computing site, LSA senior Kyndra Griffin
worked on a women's studies assignment.
"This is Michigan," Griffin said, explain-
ing that with such a large student body
"you've got to expect disturbances."
Griffin said she wasn't upset with the
Mile's participants.
"You can learn to Inore it or take a break
and enjoy it," she said.
Other runners gathered on the steps of
Angell Hall, the Museum of Art and other
campus buildings to relish in the celebra-
But some building entrances were
locked, including the main doors of the
Shapiro Undergraduate Library and the
Law Library - places naked students have
congregated in past years.
Though the Mile is popular among stu-
dents, others encouraged students not to
participate in the run.
Rick Warzywak, a representative of
Campus Ministries USA, actively protested
the Mile, holding a religious placard in
front of the Museum of Art.
"I think it is a sign of America's debauch-
ery." Warzywak said, adding that "the peo-
pie here are lusting after flesh."
He said the Mile and other acts ofstudenm
revelry on college campuses are sign of
moral degradation.
"We'd like to calm the students, from the
riots at (Michigan State University) to the
debauchery at U of M," Warzywak said.
But to many of the students who ran, it
will remain a lasting memory. "It was a lib-
erating experience," said Mile participant
Doug Boyer, an LSA first-year student.

Ann Arbor's U.S. rep.
has strong higher-ed ties,*
VU alum R iv ers fights for environment, mentally ill

By Mike Spahn
Daily Staff Reporter
At 21 years old, Lynn Rivers was at a cross-
roads. Married with two children, no job and
only a high school diploma, Rivers decided it
was time to go back to school.
"I really believed that if I was going to do
anything that I wanted to do in my life, I had to
get an education," Rivers said.
And Rivers wanted to do a lot.
Enrolling at the University to study biologi-
cal anthropology, Rivers knew not what laid
ahead of her. She took out loans to pay for her
education, interrupted her education multiple
times so she could work and save money and
all the while raised two children at home.
Add to these struggles a diagnosis and treat-
ment of chronic depression, and it seemed the
deck was stacked against Rivers.
But 15 years after she first set foot in Ann
Arbor, Rivers left Wayne State Law School
with both an undergraduate and a law degree.
After serving on a school board and the state
Board of Education, Rivers went to Lansing as
a state Representative.
"I started going to Washington when I
worked for (the state Board of Education), and
I liked it, I really liked it," Rivers said.
So when the 13th District seat for the U.S.
House of Representatives opened up, Rivers
jumped at it. And she won.
Since that first year in 1994, Rivers has been
a champion of education, Social Security, the
environment and health care reform.
Still paying off her loans from college,
Rivers has called for increased aid to students
in all forms - more grants, easier loan appli-
cation procedures and containment of tuition.
She said Congress should be sure to address
the fact that those leaving school with large
loan burdens are often hit twice, because they
then go into poorly-paid positions.
Rivers also supports the University's use of
affirmative action in admissions, saying that

PARTY: Democrat
COMMTTmES: Budget, Science


-S -;

when she was in school, the University's divef-
sity was her first such exposure to new peoplW.
"The admissions process is not just about the
applicant, but also about the University,"
Rivers said.
Rivers' work for the mentally ill, fueled by
her own challenges, is a top priority.
"I would like to see the Congress pass and
the President sign a mental health parity bill'"
Rivers said, adding that while the Kennedy-
Kassenbaum bill enacted a few years ago aided
the situation, there is still work to be done.
Before November's election, Rivers also call6d
the state's mental health situation "despicable."
Rivers will serve on a Social Security coii-
misgion that will examine the future of this
much -talk d-about, yet little-understood pro-
gram. Rivers points out that the prograin is
safe well into the 21st Century, but it will face
problems in 35 years that should be addressetd-
First Lady Hillary Clinton came to Detroit to'
campaign for Michigan's Democratic delega-
tion last October. Clinton gave Rivers high-
praise, saying the future of education must be
"How could we do it without Lynn Rivers,;
who is focused on children and their needs?"
Clinton asked the crowd at the rally.
For the past five years, her constituenti'
haven't had to answer that one.

"This is Michigan
you've got to expect
Kyndra Griffin,
LSA senior

I "I'm relieved we had I"/ just checked my e-

no major mishaps"

mail naked!"

- Julie Peterson,
DPS spokesperson

- one 1999 naked mile
participant, after doing just that in
the Angell Hall computing site


Want to get Hands-On? Follow the yellow brick road

By Lindsey Alpert
Daily Staff Reporter
Thee oA f the r onr in ei for

Renovations to the museum, locat-
ed in Ann Arbor's old Central Fire
Station- include a rnmsica1 stairce

will be updated. The outside of the
museum will feature an enormous
sundial desioned hb Ril Mundu. Kit

opening will be held Oct. 19 - the
100th anniversary of the old fire

at 219 E. Huron Street, and is open to
the public Tuesday through Sunday. It"
features more than 250 interactive

1-1-1! '.... IrTm I

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