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January 17, 2001 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-17

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Protesters fly in from Berkeley to see trial
By Jen Esh stressed they were committed to changing the poli- lems" of arguing diversity and promoting its bene
DailyStaffReporter cies of their own law school which stormed usine fits. coalition member Mohammed Kashmis

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 17, 2001-- 7


DETROIT - Showing their support for affirma-
tive action and hoping to unite student movements
across the nation, law students from the University
of California at Berkeley took the red-eye to watch
terday's proceedings.
'We're hoping to work with the students at Michi-
gan," said Serena Lin, a member of the UC-Berkeley
Coalition for Diversity. "We want to work together to
promote the importance of diversity in law education."
The students joined members of the Coalition to
Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Fight for
Equality By Any Means Necessary, who were also
out in full force yesterday.
BAMN organizers said they plan to picket every
day of the trial and will be coordinating with other
BAMN chapters across the nation to ensure that stu-
nt activists maintain a strong presence at the trial.
tudents from the UC-Berkeley coalition also

affirmative action in 1995.
In 1995, the University of California Board of
Regents adopted a resolution that banned the use of
race as a factor in admissions, contracting and hir-
ing. A year later, California voters approved Proposi-
tion 209, which eliminated the use of gender and
race preferences in higher education admissions
The effects of the regents' resolution and Proposi-
tion 209 have been devastating, the students said.
"After Prop. 209 the numbers (of minority stu-
dents) have drastically dropped," coalition member
Marisa Arrona Logue said.
The UC-Berkeley students said they are looking to
the University of Michigan admissions cases to
decide the future of affirmative action in higher edu-
cation and possibly reverse the California ban.
Additionally, the students said they are working to
"create new ways to get around the same old prob-

One proposal the students have is to have a diversity
rating added to the U.S. News and World Report
rankings of schools.
The Coalition for Diversity is a newly invigorated
movement, the members present at yesterday's pro-
ceedings said. The University lawsuits have been a
call to action for the students.
"It's a positive thing that we have something to
rally around. This case is extremely important,"
coalition member Carlie Ware said.
They were joined by students from Michigan State
University, the University of Michigan's Flint cam-
pus and San Francisco State University as well as
high school students from Oakland, Calif., and
"This is really a pivotal moment for the coun-
try," said Yvette Felarca, a member of the Berke-
ley chapter of BAMN and an Oakland, Calif.,
school teacher.

Continued from Page 1
Detroit at Sprint's request. Stern, of
Southfield, said he is fighting to get the
lawsuit remanded back to Washtenaw.
"Claims involving misrepresenta-
tions concerning the extent of cellular
service fall within state consumer pro-
tection laws and the state common law
are not preempted by federal law,"
Stern wrote.
Sprint contends the lawsuit should
either be dismissed by U.S. District
Judge Julian Cook, or sent to the Feder-
al Communications Commission where,
officials said, grievances with cellular
phone companies should be aired.
"The matters of which plaintiffs
complain are matters that should be
decided by the FCC based on its
specialized knowledge and experi-
ence," Sprint lawyers wrote in their
motion to remand the case to feder-
al court.
Stern disagreed. "You don't require
a scientist with technical experience to
tell you whether your phone is work-
ing or not,"he said.
Sprint "would like it to go to the
Continued from Page 1
fighting him every step of the
Fernquist said that the purpose
of Voter March is not to protest
"It's a very different agenda than

FCC because I don't think they (the
FCC) have to certify it as a class
action lawsuit," Stern said. Stern has
already filed a motion in Washtenaw
County and federal courts to deem the
suit a class action.
Sprint also argued that federal courts
have decided that complaints of poor ,
service constitute attacks on the rates
and such a complaint belongs in feder-
al court.
Sprint lawyers wrote, "PCS
providers are not required to wait
until their infrastructures are fully
developed before offering service."
Stern said he agreed with that argu-
ment, but that his complaint is one'of
deceptive advertising, a claim that,-
belongs in state court.
"They (the FCC) wanted to give
encouragement to these companies to
come in and increase competition. The
problem is that the FCC does not give
them the right to misrepresent their cov-
"They had basically no coverage in
central Ann Arbor but they advertised
solid coverage there," he said. r
A hearing in federal court is sched-
uled for March 8.
most of the other groups that are
protesting," he said, adding that Voter
March participants tend to be moder-
Cheryl Warner, a Voter March orga-
nizer in Grand Rapids, said, "We're a
group of middle-of-the-road Ameri-
cans. A lot of us have never done this

Continued from Page 1
Legal counsel for the intervening
defendants Miranda Massie told the
judge that the group, whose presence
is unprecedented in higher education
affirmative action cases, will demon-
ate the racial inequality that still
exists and how it can detrimentally
affect minority applicants.
"Affirmative action is the only
why to offset that bias," Massie said,
later adding, "There is no substitute
for it."
She named 14 possible witnesses
for the intervention, including two
University students.
Intending to offer background to the
University's admission policies, CIR
*led Allan Stillwagon, former direc-
tor of admissions to the University law
school, as its first witness. Stillwagon
served as director from 1979-1990 and
used admissions criteria that was
revamped in 1992.
Stillwagon explained an admis-
siots system that included the Spe-
cial Admissions Program, which was
particularly aimed at drawing minor-
students to the law school.

Although Stillwagon said he read
"every line, every word of every
applicant," he admitted that about
half of the admission offers each
year were given to the minority stu-
dents who might not qualify
through academic merit alone.
Through Payton's cross-examina-
tion, Stillwagon said he had nothing to
do with the law school admissions sys-
tem established in 1992 and which is
on trial.
Adding to the University's cross-
examination, George Washington a
lawyer for the intervening defen-
dants, questioned Stillwagon about
the results of the affirmative action
policies he implemented.
Stillwagon told Washington and the
court that when he was a law student
at the University in the early 1960s, a
minority student was "very rare." Still-
wagon affirmed Washington's state-
ments that "affirmative action changed
an all white institution into a place
were there were at least a few minori-
CIR also called Erica Munzel, the
assistant dean and director of admis-
sions for the University's Law School.
Through Kolbo's questioning, Munzel

highlighted the current admissions
policies. Kolbo emphasized the part of
the policy that said the law school
sought to establish a "critical mass of
minority students."
The two struggled over the meaning
of this.
"Is one African-American student
enough?" Kolbo asked her.
Munzel said that there is no set
number to achieve a "critical mass."
Through more questions, -she said
the University aims for 10 to 12
percent minority enrollment and
that she relies on the feedback of
the law school faculty and dean to
tell her if she wasn't meeting the
goal in her admissions decisions.
She said that if they disagreed
with how she was carrying out the
established admissions policies,
they'd "let me know."
Munzel also told Kolbo that she
thinks of critical mass in general
terms. That is, there is not a critical
mass for the hispanics and blacks
specifically, but for underrepresent-
ed minorities overall.
Craig Goldblatt represented the
University's cross-examination. Dur-
ing Goldblatt's questioning, Munzel

said there was no separate admissions
system for minority students and that
minorities were not guaranteed admis-
"There were minority applicants we
did not admit who had higher test
scores and higher GPA's than majority
applicants," Munzel said.
The intervention's examination
used examples of law school stu-
dents without impressive GPA's or
LSAT scores that showed extraordi-
nary character and life experience.
Despite their below average acade-
mic performances, Munzel said the
students would be "interesting" and
worthwhile to have in the law
With the end of Munzel's testimony,
the court adjourned. Kolbo said he was
satisfied with the first day.
"We're pleased with the way things
are going," he said. "We're doing what
we want to do."
But Massie said she thought CIR
didn't present a quality case.
"CIR set themselves back today,"
she said, adding that she thought Still-
wagon's testimony was "irrelevant"
and Munzel's testimony was "great for



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Continued from Page 1.
Purdy. The diversity question, he said, is not a factual
issue in the case and makes their testimony irrelevant
to the case.
Arguing for the University, attorney Philip
Kessler said Dean Syverud is "an expert in the
education of law students" and his testimony
would be important in defining "the extent to
}hich the Law School considers race in admis-

sions is driven by its objective to bring together a
critical mass of qualified students."
University and CIR lawyers had a similar
argument over Steele, a psychology professor at
Friedman said he would allow Steele and
Syverud's testimony, but would not comment on
whether he felt their testimony was relevant.
"(The University) can use their time as they see'
best," he said.
CIR also filed a motion to exclude four of the

experts for the intervening defendants: John Hope
Franklin, Frank Wu, Eric Foner and Tom Sugrue;
and four Law School professors who were scheduled
as "fact witnesses."
Miranda Massie, lead counsel for the intervenors,
called CIR's motion "absolutely ridiculous."
"CIR wants to keep anything about equality and
integration out of the case," she said. "They've been
trying to do that from the very outset.'
The intervenors will likely respond to CIR's
motion within the week.

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