The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 21, 2001- 3A
Board rules Brown
U. grad students
can elect a union
NEW YORK - In a decision that
likely will have significant repercus-
sions for Columbia University, the
National Labor Relations Board upheld
precedent and ruled Friday that gradu-
ate students at Brown University were
employees entitled to a union election
on the university's campus.
What makes Friday's decision so piv-
otal for Columbia is its affirmation of
an NLRB precedent set at New York
University last year. The Columbia
Graduate Student Employees United
has been in hearings with the NLRB for
more than seven months, and this deci-
sion makes it unlikely the NLRB
regional director with jurisdiction over
Columbia will rule against GSEU's
right to a union election.
With the NLRB ruling, Brown
becomes the first Ivy League university
and the second private university in the
country to hold a union election.
In the NYU case, the NLRB ruled
that teaching and research assistants at
private universities had the right to hold
a union representation election, which
would determine whether a union would
represent graduate student instructors
and residential advisers in contract
negotiations with the university.
those killed in '99
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -
Two years after the 1999 Aggie Bonfire
collapse, Texas A&M University stu-
dents joined together Sunday in a spon-
taneous ceremony in memory of the 12
Aggies killed Nov. 18, 1999.
More than 500 students, family
members and friends of those killed
and injured gathered near the 1999
Bonfire site in the Polo Fields around 2
a.m. to pay their respects.
Candles and a wreath were laid on
the site where the three-tiered, 55-foot
structure fell at 2:42 a.m., sending those
on the ground running and pinning the
27 Aggies injured and 12 killed beneath
a pile of logs that was not cleared until
The last body was pulled from the
Bonfire stack, which was near comple-
tion when it fel, after the University
held an emotional; candlelit memorial
service later the same night.
Students surrounded the center
arrangement, holding candles, hugging
and linking arms in silence.
At 2:42 a.m., Bonfire victim Timothy
Kerlee Jr.'s mother, Janice, called out
the names of those who were killed.
Families and friends responded with
"Here," after each name in a ceremony
similar to Aggie Muster. After the roll
call, Janice Kerlee spoke and read from
Students who gathered Sunday
morning said Bonfire was an important
part of the Aggie spirit - one that
could not be forgotten.
Sperm donor ad
at Stanford U.
STANFORD, Calif. - "Stanford
student wanted for sperm donor. $15k
offered. Intelligent, good looking, over
6ft. tall. No history of self or family
This is not the sort of advertisement
that readers usually expect to find in the
Palo Alto Daily News classified sec-
tion. Yet just such an ad has appeared
there for the past two weeks, placed by
a Burlingame woman who hopes to
find a sperm donor in order to have a
The 33-year-old woman, who wishes
to remain anonymous, explained that
she specifically wants a Stanford Uni-
versity student because she assumes
that the donor will have a high level of
intelligence. As for her other require-
ments, she said she will decide when
she meets the donor.
"Intellect is a given if they go to
Stanford," she said. "And if I meet them,
and I like them, I'll choose them."
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Comm department reserves seats in classes
By Sarah Stewart
For the Daily'
The communications studies department
has implemented a new policy that reserves
75 percent of the seats in its classes for con-
This will give communication studies
majors priority when scheduling classes this
winter semester, as opposed to an open enroll-
ment policy in use by other departments.
The change will affect all upper-level class-
es and Communications Studies 211, which is
a prerequisite for concentrators.
A year ago the department capped its class-
es at 50 percent non-concentrators. After
reviewing the results of that change,, the
department decided to increase the number of
concentrators in the classes.
"If students declare their major they should
be able to finish their credits in a timely
manner," said department Chair Michael
"The source of difficulty was the high
demand for the upper-level courses by non-
communications majors," Traugott said.
"There will still be waitlists, but concentra-
tors will have priority on those lists."
Other departments have not followed the
communications studies department by chang-
ing their registration procedures but have their
own policies regarding priority of registering
The political science department has class-
es that are highly sought after, yet the depart-
ment adheres to a first-come, first-served
basis, said Dante Hicks, a staff member in the
political science department.
The English department, when seeing a high
demand for a section, will open more classes
to accommodate the need.
"What we do is ask professors to prioritize
according to year in standing. Seniors first, et
cetera.," said Katherine Teasbale, an English
The problem with the waitlists is that "the
students don't really know how they are
picked off a waitlist," said Justine Altman, a
staff member in the psychology department's
undergraduate office. The psychology depart-
ment allows professors to decide how they
want to order people on their waitlists.
Not all students are thrilled about the com-
munication studies department's new policy.
Many want the opportunity to try and take
classes out of their major at the upper levels.
"From a personal perspective you should
leave it open to everyone," said Michael
James, an LSA senior double majoring in his-
tory and political science. The history
department doesn't have any explicit restric-
tions for most classes, but students need the
instructor's permission to enroll in most
"It restricts students from broadening their
educational horizons," James said.
But the department is recognizing that their
classes are frequently requested and attempt-
ing to compensate for their concentrators.
Amy Wilmers, a senior communications stud-
ies major remarked "At least they are making
a step in the right direction."
Dancin' the night away
Group asks shoppers
to hold off on Friday
By Shabina S. Khatri
Daily Staff Reporter
Even as political leaders have asked Ameri-
cans to spend money to aid the struggling econo-
my after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the
organizers of the annual Buy Nothing Day are
pushing forward with their request for shoppers
to take a break on Friday.
The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the
busiest shopping day of the year, but it will also
mark the 10th anniversary of Buy Nothing Day,
when people in more than 60 countries will
choose to abstain from the frenzy by going on a
24-hour consumer fast.
People in industrialized countries "make up a
little less than 20 percent of the world's popula-
tion, yet we consume 86 percent of the world's
resources," said Kalle Lasn, founder of
Adbusters Media Foundation, the Vancouver-
based group that has been promoting Buy Noth-
ing Day since 1992. "It will make people in rich
countries ask themselves, how much of the pie do
we want? Ninety percent? How much is
While the Sept. I1 terrorist attacks and the suf-
fering economy have led political leaders to
encourage people to increase their spending,
Lasn finds this advice unsatisfactory.
"The global economy is in trouble, with more
than half a million people being laid off. But hav-
ing people max out on their credit cards is just a
short term solution. In the long term, we're actu-
ally living off the backs of our children," Lasn
Associate University economics Prof. Susanto
"In the short run, at a rate of high unemploy-
ment, decreasing consumption would only make
an economic recession worse," Basu said.
Lasn finds the concept of increasing spending in
order to help the ongoing war effort perplexing.
"The idea that it's our patriotic duty to go out
and consume is really strange. I remember the
second World War, we were told to live frugally
and to conserve, to help the war effort by saving
and living with a lot of self discipline," he said.
But Basu argues that simply consuming less
does not necessarily mean that the United States
would use fewer resources.
"If we didn't buy more Christmas presents, we
could still be building more factories," Basu said.
Adbusters "does not make it clear that decreasing
consumption would not necessarily cause less of
the world's resources to be used."
LSA junior Sarah Bedy said she plans to avoid
shopping on Friday.
"It's a good statement to make because the hol-
idays aren't really about commercialism," Bedy
said. "It should be about being with your family.
I think Americans need to change their priori-
Though interest in Buy Nothing Day has
increased significantly in recent years, most
major television networks, including ABC, NBC,
and CBS, have refused to sell Adbusters airtime,
causing the organization to rely heavily on public
radio and television to publicize the event. One
network, CNN, recently agreed to air Adbusters'
controversial 30-second "uncommercial."
The ad, which features an animated pig nested
snugly in the North American continent, oinks
happily as text appears across the screen:"...
The average North American consumes five
times more than a Mexican, 10 times more than a
Chinese person, and 30 times more than a person
from India ... give it a rest."
Based on the dramatic increase in attention
from newspapers as well as worldwide support
from Korea to Algeria, Lasn feels optimistic
about Buy Nothing Day's success this year.
"We thought BND was going to be a fiasco,
but now we see it as a window of opportunity,"
LSA sophomore Aaron Halford dances away on a Dance Dance Revolution machine at Pinball
Pete's Arcade on South University Avenue yesterday.
Sotheby' s executive
in pnice-fixing plot
NEW YORK (AP) The disgraced
former chief executive of Sotheby's auc-
tion house admitted yesterday that she
willingly participated in a price-fixing
scheme with rival Christie's.
"I was nervous about it, but I agreed
to do it anyway," Diana Brooks testified
in the federal conspiracy trial of former
Sotheby's chairman A. Alfred Taubman,
who has donated millions to the Univer-
sity of Michigan's College of Architec-
ture and Urban Planning and the
Brooks returned to the stand yester-
day for cross-examination by Taubman
attorney Robert Fiske, who has sought
to portray her as a publicity seeker and
the sole orchestrator of the scheme for
Sotheby's. As the first woman to head a
major auction house, Brooks, 51, was
the subject of several magazine and tele-
"You enjoyed the publicity didn't
you?" Fiske asked her at one point yes-
terday, in the second week of the trial.
"I didn't think of myself as a celebri-
ty," Brooks responded. "Mr. Fiske, I had
much negative publicity in my career
and I had some positive publicity."
Taubman, 76, of Bloomfield Hills has
denied charges he and Christie's chair-
man Anthony Tennant stole as much as
$400 million in commissions from sell-
ers from 1993 to 1999. Tennant, 71, of
Andover, England, has refused to come
to the United States to face charges and
the alleged crime is not covered by
Brooks pleaded guilty in October
2000 to price-fixing charges and agreed
to testify against Taubman, hoping to
avoid a three-year prison sentence.
On Monday, Brooks testified that
Taubman and Tennant agreed behind
closed doors that they "were killing
each other on the bottom line, and that it
was time to do something about it."
Brooks said Taubman ordered her to
meet with her counterpart at Christie's
and end the costly rivalry by eliminating
discounts and by fixing commissions
a violation of antitrust laws.
He also warned her to keep quiet
about it, she testified. "I said, 'Fine, I
wouldn't tell anyone,"' she said.
Sotheby's pleaded guilty last year to
price-fixing charges and was sentenced
to pay $45 million. If convicted, Taub-
man would face up to three years in
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A quote by Samantha Rollinger, spokeswoman for the American Movement for Israel, was inadvertently miscon-
strued in a story about Israeli diplomat Yossi Olmerton on page 3 of yesterday's Daily. Rollinger said, "I thought he pre-
sented an intellectual view of the situation and the issues at hand."
What's happening in Ann Arbor this weekend
St. Nicholas Light Dis-
play; Annual indoor-out-
door light spectacular
featuring more than
three million lights,
M ichigan Theater
27th Annual Kiwanis
Christmas Sing; Spon-
sored by the Western
Kiwanis Club of Ann
Heywood Banks; Local
comedian sponsored by
the Ann Arbor Comedy
Showcase, 7:00 p.m.,
info@umich. edu, or
www. umich. edu info