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February 18, 2002 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-18

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One hundred eleven years ofeditorialfreedom


CLASSIFIED: 764-0557

February 18, 2002

GSIs receive low ratings from students

Matheconomics and great
books GSIs receive worst overall
By ToMislav Ladika
Daily Staff Reporter
LSA freshman Areej El-Jawahri said she first
noticed the inconsistencies of the University's
Graduate Student Instructors after her Great
Books 191 GSI repeatedly graded assignments
harder than GSIs teaching the other discussions.
El-Jawahri said she urged the LSA Student
Government's Academic Affairs Committee, of

which she is a member, to conduct an e-mail sur-
vey of the entire LSA student body to "examine
whether there is a problem or establish to the
administration that the students aren't happy with
the GSIs in terms of consistency of grading."
The 527 responses quantified complaints she
had heard from many students, El-Jawahri said.
Many students said a problem exists in the quali-
ty of preparation, consistency of grades and
assigned workload by GSIs leading different sec-
tions of the same course.
"Students are concerned about this issue," she
said. "It's more than just a backlash."
One-third of students who responded said their
discussion sections did not prepare them for

midterm or final exams, and 26 percent said the
GSI did not investigate themes relevant to the
central focus of the course.
LSA-SG representative Gwen Arnold said the
Academic Affairs Committee plans to meet with
University administrators, using the survey
results to push for reforms within individual
departments. The committee will target the math,
economics and great books departments, which
received the most complaints from students..
Arnold said that although the math department
has improved its preparation of GSIs since last
year, it is still the worst department in terms of
ensuring quality GSI teaching. "When com-
plaints do arise, students generally are concerned

about GSIs not covering the same concepts with
sufficient depth and thus leaving some sections
ill-prepared for exams," Arnold said.
The Academic Affairs Committee's report said
several students complained that some GSIs do
not sufficiently review material presented in lec-
tures and end up confusing students, while many
GSIs do not like teaching.
Math GSI Robert Houck said he has noticed
preparation for teaching varies among GSIs, part-
ly because students and faculty have low expecta-
tions for the quality of teaching from GSIs.
Houck said he believes some GSIs think,

Other students said many GSIs speak poor
English, which affects their image as dependable,
Houck said fluency of English may be a prob
lem because'occasionally students do not under-
stand concepts explained by GSIs who are not
native English speakers.
Also, 42 percent of the respondents said the
amount of homework assigned in different sec-
tions of a course varies by GSI, and half the stu-
dents felt their GSI's grades are not consistent
with the standards of other GSIs.
But despite these results, several GSIs said
grading differences are minor and assignments
See GSI, Page 7A

"nobody's expecting much of me,
don't have to do well."

so I really

Kiss-in rally met with little protest

By Karen Schwartz
and Samantha Woll
Daily Staff Reporters
This year there were no protesters, there were no small
children holding signs bearing anti-gay messages and the
Michigan Peace Team members did not have to intervene
in any potentially violent or dangerous situations.
While not as riotous as last year's Kiss-In when mem-
bers of the anti-gay Reverand Fred Phelps' congregation
came to protest against the demonstration, peace team
member Sheri Wander said the annual Queer Visibility
Rally and Kiss-in gave participants a chance to voice their
views without any sentiments of fear.
"We weren't asked to intervene in any confrontational
situations as opposed to last year when we had to inter-
vene in a dozen or so," Wander said. "I think it was-really
important that this year people felt they could speak out
and be visible with less immediate risk."
The Kiss-In concluded Queer Visibility Week and
addressed awareness and activism as well as changes
speakers said should be made with regard to the treatment
of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
Rally speaker Dave Garcia acknowledged what he said
were many positive initiatives taking place with regard to
the LGBT community on campus, but said he has "had
enough of the wait-and-see mentality" on certain issues.
"We will not accept this University's support of the
United Way campaign. ... This administration has a
responsibility to adequately fund the LGBT Affairs
Office, to drop the Boy Scouts of America ... to drop sup-
See KISS-IN, Page 7A

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DPS names
theft suspect
By Rob Goodspeed
Daily Staff Reporter
The Department of Public Safety has released the name
of a 28-year-old Ann Arbor man wanted in connection
with thefts of Liquid Crystal Display projectors from
University buildings. LCD projectors are used in class-
rooms to project video and computer information. ,
DPS has issued a warrant for the arrest of Ann Arbot
resident Ronald Richardson for LCD projector theft. The
Ann Arbor Police Department and the Michigan Depart-
ment of Corrections also have warrants for his arrest. Hg
is described as being 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds.
"The DPS Criminal Investigations Division is investi:
gating 37 reports of LCD projector thefts that have
reportedly occurred since Dec. 2000," said DPS spokes-
woman Diane Brown. The projectors are usually secured
with bolts and a wire cable to a cart or ceiling, Brown
The last theft occurred between 11 p.m. and 11:45 p.m.
Feb. 8 from a cart in the lobby of the Cheesebrough Audi-
torium in the Chrysler Center on North Campus. The pro-
jector was valued at $3,600. The projectors stolen are
worth between $3,000 and $12,000 each.
Eight projectors were stolen in Dec. 2001. DPS issued
a $500 reward for information about the thefts in Decem-
ber and increased the reward to $1,000 in January.
According to the LSA media services website, 28
classrooms used by LSA classes have installed LCD pro-
jectors. Classrooms in the Business School, the Medical
School and on North Campus also have LCD projectors.

w -
LSA senior Lara Brooks and SNRE sophomore Emily Aker hug on the Diag during the annual Kiss-In rally, a celebration of
Queer Visibility Week.

Rivers: Students must fight
to obtain abortion rights

By Louie MeIziish
Daily Staff Reporter

Distancing herself from her likely
opponent in her reelection bid for Con-
gress this year, Rep. Lynn Rivers told
abortion rights supporters yesterday that
in order to preserve abortion as an
option for pregnant women, they must
not allow anti-abortion politicians to
make all the decisions concerning
reproductive rights.
Rivers, barring a successful Democ-
ratic Party court challenge of the state's.
new congressional district lines, will
face long-term incumbent John Dingell
of Dearborn in an August Democratic

Ann Arbor's four-term congress-
woman, addressing a joint gathering of
the University's chapters of College
Democrats and Students for Choice,
said although she does not expect the
Supreme Court decision in Roe v.
Wade to be overturned anytime soon,
new limitations being addressed by
Congress have the potential of effec-
tively overturning the landmark 1972
"If there is not vigilance and action in
defeating these proposals, the window
afforded to women in exercising these
rights gets smaller and smaller and
smaller and smaller," she said.

Citing scorecards of members of
Congress compiled by Planned Parent-
hood and the National Abortion and
Reproductive Rights Action League,
Rivers said while she is in favor of
allowing abortion without limits, Din-
gell favors abortion with certain limita-
tions. NARAL scored Rivers' voting
record during this session of Congress
with 100 percent, Dingell's with 65
percent. Rivers' score in the last ses-
sion of Congress was the same under
Planned Parenthood, Dingell's, 73 per-

U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor) discusses legislation
concerning abortion last night at the Michigan Union.

Rivers, who
the age of 18

was first pregnant at
and had her second
See RIVERS, Page 7A

Alcohol, drugs factor into
engaging in risky behavior

State St. repairs set to
begin next in March

. Students more likely to
engage in unsafe sexual practices
under the influence
By Rahwa Ghebre-Ab
Daily Staff Reporter

Studies show that mixing alcohol and drugs
with sex have dangerous consequences - the
greatest being the practice of unsafe sex
which may lead to pregnancy and sexually
transmitted diseases.
A study released last week by The National
Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at
Columbia University in conjunction with the
Kaiser Family Foundation, found that about
23 percent of sexually active 15 to 24 year
olds, 5.6 million people, admitted to having
unprotected sex because they were under the
influence of alcohol and drugs.
The study conducted between November
2001 and January 2002 randomly sampled

1,200 young adolescents and young adults in
the nation aged 13 to 24.
According to the study, about 29 percent of
adolescents and young adults say that because
of alcohol and drugs, they behaved "more
sexually than they had planned."
University of Michigan psychology Prof.
Dan Horn said research on personal activities
may yield inaccurate results because people
embellish their answers, feel apprehension
towards the questions, and have misconcep-
tions about the activities of their peers.
For example, the study indicated that of the
15 to 24 year olds surveyed, 50 percent say
people their age mix alcohol or drugs and sex
Seventy-three percent reported not believ-
ing that their peers use condoms after using
alcohol and drugs.
"What the study gets at is people's beliefs
of their peers, not necessarily about them-
selves. That is, opinion and not necessarily
See STUDY, Page 7A

By Molly Kennedy
For the Daily
Starting in mid-March, the
Downtown Development Authority
will begin a 5.5 million dollar reno-
vation on South State Street and the
surrounding business area.
The project, which will extend
down Washington Street, Liberty
Street and William Street, is sched-
uled to finish in April 2003.
The project is intended to give
better access and attract more busi-
ness to one of the major economic
hubs of Ann Arbor.
"The hope is that, by making it
more pedestrian-friendly and by
adding ambient lighting, more cus-
tomers will come," said Tom Hey-
wood, executive director of the
State Street Area Association.
In order to make the area more
attractive, the project will add

brighter lighting, widen sidewalks,
plant trees, build benches and
reduce the visual clutter of signs.
Also, two new high-rise buildings
will be erected.
The first, a seven-story building,
will replace the abandoned building
which formerly housed Olga's
Kitchen on South State Street and
Washington Street.
The other, an eight-story build-
ing, will be built over the former
McDonald's on Maynard Street.
Both of the new structures will
have stores on their ground floors
and apartments or condominiums
South State Street will then be
converted into a two-way street to
ease traffic problems and make the
area easier to navigate.
The State Street Development
Project grew out of recommenda-

Photo Illustration by BRETT MOUNTAIN.
A new study shows that the use of alcohol and drugs may
often lead to unprotected sex, diseases and pregnancy.



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