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November 28, 2001 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-28

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 28, 2001- 3

Eyebrows raised
as Ivy League
grades soar
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - "Grade
inflation has resulted from the
emphasis in American education on
the notion of self-esteem," Harvard
University professor of government
Harvey Mansfield wrote in an April
issue of The Chronicle Review.
"According to that therapeutic
notion, the purpose of education is
to make students feel capable and
empowered. So to grade them, or to
grade them strictly, is cruel and
dehumanizing.
Making everyone look good may,
make everyone feel good, but the sea
of uniform transcripts that accompa-
nies each graduating class presents a
troubling concern: How can graduate
schools and potential employers dis-
tinguish one student from the next
when grades have been inflated across
the board?
In 1969, 7 percent of undergradu-
ates polled in a nationwide survey
received GPAs equivalent to an A-
minus or higher, and 25 percent got
GPAs of Cs or lower, Arthur Levine
and Jeannette C. Cureton wrote in
"When Hope and Fear Collide," a
book that examines grading trends in
higher education. By 1993, the per-
centages were reversed: 26 percent
received A-equivalent GPAs, while
only nine percent earned C-equivalent
GPAs or below
Supreme Court
takes Dartmouth
student's case
HANOVER, N.H. - When Lind-
say Earls was pulled from her class-
room to give a urine sample, she felt
"humiliated." So she decided to sue
her high school, charging that they
had infringed her rights to privacy.
The case took off from there - in
March 2002, her complaint will be
heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In October of her sophomore year,
Earls, who is now a student at Dart-
mouth College, received a routine
drug test due to her participation in
choir, show choir and the academic
team. Earls is suing her high school
on the basis that this testing was an
invasion of her privacy under the
Fourth Amendment.
In an earlier ruling, (Vernonia v.
Board of Education) the Supreme
Court established that athletic teams
could be tested for drug use because,
according to Earls, "they were leaders
of the drug culture in that particular
school." By the nature of athletic
activity, they had already surrendered
some of their privacy rights.
Although Earls agrees with this rul-
ing, she said that testing of non-athletic
extra-curricular teams is unconstitution-
al. "Non-athletic teams are not already
giving up their privacy. We didn't have
to get dressed in front of each other or
submit to physical exams," she said.
Study: Stem cells
could be created
from nerve cells
BALTIMORE - A new study,
conducted by Dr. Jerry L. Hall, exam-
ines a technique that could create
stem cells that could turn into nerve
cells without the requirement for
human fetuses.
The study was performed on mice
and explored the usefulness of asexual
reproduction towards the goal of pro-
ducing stem cells.

Dr. Jerry L. Hall is an embryologist
at the Institute for Reproductive Medi-
cine and Genetic Testing, a fertility
clinic in Maryland. He discovered a
method, using chemicals, by which he
could coax an egg cell to begin to
develop without fertilization by a
sperm cell. Embryos produced in this
manner would not be able to develop
into a child, even if they were implant-
ed in a womb. They do live long
enough, however, to produce viable
stem cells in the laboratory.
Stem cells are extremely useful to
scientists, both for analytical and clin-
ical applications because they are
undifferentiated cells, which under the
right conditions, can be directed to
develop into virtually any other type
of cell in the body.
- Compiled from U- WIRE reports by
Daily Staff Reporter Lizzie Ehrle.

YENA RYU/Daily
President and head sushi chef Chan Ung Lee and sushi chef Sunghoon Yoon prepare dishes at Sushi.come on North University Avenue
yesterday afternoon.
Theft from Dennison islatestrn
string of stolen LCD proj ectors

Man charged
with1 assault
based on race
By Jacquelyn Nixon
Daily Staff Reporter
Two men of Pakistani descent were verbally and physically
assaulted by a 41-year-old whife man Monday evening out-
side the Michigan Union jn the first reported physical assault
involving ethnic intimidation at the University since the Sept.
11 terrorist attacks.
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown
said students have reported verbal assaults, particularly
against women, and police have found harassing notes left on
doors and mirrors, but no physical assaults based on ethnicity
had been reported before Monday.
The man who assaulted Business junior Eimaad Ahmed
and LSA senior Waj Syed at about 6 p.m. Monday was
charged with ethnic intimidation and non-aggravated assault.
Syed is a columnist for The Michigan Daily.
Brown said an assault has to be directly related to the vic-
tim's ethnicity to be classified as ethnic intimidation.
"The profanity he.was yelling included comments about the
race of the two men," she said.
Ahmed and Syed told police they exited the Union doors
near the Cube to smoke a cigarette while conversing in Urdu,
a Pakistani language.
The man commented on the language and then asked for a
cigarette, but Ahmed saw that he already had one.
"I was actually going to give him one," Ahmed said. "Then
he started going on about how 'this is my country. I don't
want you in my country. I was in Vietnam and I have training.
I could beat you up."'
Syed and Ahmed turned away from the man and started to
walk toward State Street when he ran up behind them. "He
comes and kicks me from the back of my shin' Ahmed said.
"Then he punches Waj and pushes him. We started walking
off again; all the while he is still saying stupid stuff"
The man then kicked Ahmed in the leg and punched him in
the stomach. He followed the students to the front steps ofthe
Union, continuing his verbal and physical assault.
Brown said the man did not relent until DPS officers arrived
on the scene. The man listed a homeless shelter as his home
address, and police discovered that he had consumed alcohol
prior to the assault. He was released pending authorization of
charges from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office.
Neither victim sought medical treatment.
Parts of .. see
recor snowfall
MARQUETTE (AP) - Thousands of students got a day
off yesterday as a storm dumped more than a foot of snow
on parts of the Upper Peninsula. Northern Michigan Uni-
versity and many schools in the central and western regions
closed, The Mining Journal reported.
A record for snowfall was set Monday at the National
Weather Service office in Marquette County's Negaunee
Township, where 9.2 inches of snow fell Monday, breaking
the record of 8.4 inches set in 1979.
Parts of the Upper Peninsula were digging out of 8 to 14
inches of snow yesterday, and forecasters predicted another
4 to 8 inches and high winds.

By Jacquelyn Nixon
Daily Staff Reporter
The theft of a liquid crystal display pro-
jector from the Dennison Building on Mon-
day morning was the fourth such projector
to be stolen from University buildings in the
last two weeks and the 31st in the last 14
months.
LCD projectors, which professors and
instructors use to display computer presen-
tations, are bolted to the ceilings of a num-
ber of classrooms throughout campus.
The Department of Public Safety has not
received any tips concerning the larcenies
since they began in September 2000.
"This many stolen on our campus is get-
ting to be quite a trend and we want to stop
this," said DPS spokeswoman Diane
Brown.
Most of the seven-pound projectors are
valued between $2,000 and $6,000, but a
few are worth slightly less than $8,000.
"There is no pattern to where they are
stolen from," Brown said. "They have been
taken from any classroom ... on North

"They have been taken from any classroom ...
on North Campus and all over Central Campus.
There isn't a unit that hasn't lost one or more."
- Diane Brown
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman

Campus and all over Central Campus. There
isn't a unit that hasn't lost one or more."
Brown said the thieves have used bolt and
cable cutters to remove the projectors from
their ceiling mounts. There is rarely any
damage to the classrooms where the projec-
tors are stolen.
"Somebody knows what they are doing,"
Brown said. "Whether they are professional
thieves is another story."
In some cases it 'is not necessary for
thieves to break in because classrooms are
left unlocked, Brown said.
"They are even finding where the remote
controls to the projectors are and are taking
those too," she said.

The problem is not restricted to the Uni-
versity, Brown added. Other universities and
companies are experiencing similar larce-
nies.
DPS is offering a $500 reward for any
information leading to the recovery of the
stolen projectors and the arrest of the indi-
viduals responsible for the thefts.
"It's a minimum of $500," Brown said. "If
it's a really good lead I'm sure they'll pro-
vide more than $500."
DPS has no suspects at this time.
Anyone with information about the stolen
projectors can contact DPS Detective Sgt.
Tim Shannon at 763-3434 or the Universi-
ty's anonymous tip line at (800) 863-1355.

LGBT speakers try

toopen u
By Karen Schwartz
Daily Staff Reporter
Northside Presbyterian Church Pastor
Charles Booker-Hirsch travels through-
out the University and city communities
speaking as an ally on the Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgender Affairs
Speaker's Bureau, where he addresses
audience concerns and questions from a
straight male perspective.
The Speaker's Bureau, which has
existed in some form for around 30
years, sends panels to classrooms and
community organizations on request.
Panel members tell their "coming out"
stories and talk about their lives and
experiences before taking questions
from the audience. The panels generally
include representatives from gay, les-
bian, bisexual and transgender volun-
teers as well as heterosexual allies.
"Several people have come up to me
or stated they've never seen a pastor
who is an ally for LGBT persons. They
always associated the religious with a
gay-negative message and it seems like
we've been saturated with and surround-
ed by the negative messages," he said.
"Being a pastor of a church that's one-
fourth to one-fifth LGBT, we have mem-
bers who self- identify in each of those
areas" he said. "What particularly needs
to be heard is a spiritually inclusive
vision, and I felt strongly enough about
that to provide a presence in that way."
Booker-Hirsch, who is in his third
year as a member of the bureau, added
that forming relationships takes priority
,in understanding and learning love.
He also said what makes people think

Sdialogue
and really changes opinions is when
they get a chance to know members of
the LGBT community instead of just
knowing about them.
Speakers Bureau member Rain Don-
aldson said that being the first transgen-
dered person many students encounter,
it is very important to give students a
chance to ask questions so they can see
that not many differences exist between
the speakers and themselves.
"It's not so much telling them as
showing them, just being there and
showing them, 'Hey, I'm a person just
like you are'," Donaldson said.
Dondalson also said the Speakers
Bureau is a good way for students who
are new to Ann Arbor to ask questions
and hear stories that will help them be
better prepared for the different people
they could encounter at the University
and in the community.
Matthew Scott, who joined the panel
this year, said creating an environment
with open dialogue is a significant step
in clearing up misconceptions and pro-
moting understanding.
"For a lot of people, an LGBT person
might be an abstraction and they might
not be in a situation where they're know-
ingly interacting with someone like
that," he said. "It presents that opportuni-
ty, just so they can say they've had it, no
matter what their beliefs; they can rein-
force their beliefs or challenge it.
"We might change people's minds
and that might be a good thing, but the
ultimate goal isn't to brainwash people.
... The mission is just to get as much
information out there with a human face
as possible."

i

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