One hundred eleven years ofeditorialfreedom
* NEWS: 76-DAILY
mwwmichlgand ally. com
February 22, 2002
4 n* PMA I
By Jordan Schrader
Daily Staff Reporter
Members of the Graduate Employees
Organization will vote by mail-in ballot
over the next two weeks whether to walk
out of their classes March 11, after a reso-
Decision awaitsfull membership vote
lution in favor of the
strike was overwhelm-
ingly approved at two
The vote of support,
held Tuesday and yester-
day, means the full mem-
discourage graduate student instructors
from teaching classes or crossing picket
lines March 11.
A meeting will be held six days later to
assess the state of negotiations and deter-
mine whether an open-ended strike is nec-
That proposed strike would begin March
19 and continue indefinitely.
Rackham student Alyssa Picard, GEO
chief negotiator, said the outcome of the
vote will likely be determined the week
after spring break.
She said she believes the vote last night
to approve thb one-day strike is indicative
of the membership's general opinion.
"I think (the walk-out) is necessary. I
think everyone who's been to bargaining or
talked to someone who has feels the same
way," Picard said.
But she said precedent indicates that
there is less of a chance GEO will resort to
an open-ended strike.
"Historically, it's been less likely. There's
never been an indefinite strike since recog-
nition" of GEO by the University, she said.
GEO has been on strike for a total of
only seven and a half days since its incep-
tion in 1975. But GEO president and Rack-
ham student Cedric de Leon said those
seven and a half days have made a world of
difference in the lives of GSIs.
"We are the strongest union in the entire
country for graduates," he said, but added,
"I think we can do a hell of a lot better than
what we have."
The proposed walk-out would be similar
to the one held three years ago during the
last GEO-University contract battle. De
Leon called attention to that strike in
encouraging members to approve a new
"We did it in 1998-99 and we can do it
again," he said.
Rackham student Irfan Nooruddin, mod-
erator of last night's meeting, also called
attention to history to address concerns that
the GSIs would be punished for their
"The University has never arrested GSIs
for peaceful picketing," Nooruddin said.
De Leon said although some GSIs are
concerned that a strike would hurt under-
graduate students, those students will suffer
more from poor instruction than from a sus-
See GEO, Page 7A
bership of GEO will'now decide if the
union will organize the one-day strike.
If it approves the proposal, GEO will
Finding my religion
Arson ruled as cause
of United Way blaze
By Jeremy Berkowitz
Daily Staff Reporter
Much of the Ann Arbor United
Way headquarters was destroyed
early Tuesday in a fire which Assis-
tant Fire Chief Michael Skyrpec
declared an arson yesterday.
Skyrpec said a flammable materi-
al was discovered during a canine
search, and the material is being
sent to the Michigan State Police
for further analysis.
The United Way is a national
organization which raises money to
provide resources for individuals
and families in need.
The Ann Arbor chapter, which
recently celebrated its 30th anniver-
sary, also provides funding for 39
agencies and groups including he
Salvation Army, Catholic Social
Services and the Boy Scouts of
'Ann Arbor United Way was in the
spotlight during Queer Visibility
Week last week when the Office of
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-
gender Affairs protested outside the
Fleming Administration Building
after Friday's Kiss-In.
They were asking the University
to halt its funding of the United
Way due to the United Way's sup-
port of the Boy Scouts. The Boy
Scouts currently have an anti-
When asked if it was possible
that the arson could have been as a
result of the United Way's support
of the Boy Scouts, Eman said he is
unsure right now.
"We just consider it speculation
... We just can't understand it,"
LSA senior Pierce Beckham, a
member of the LGBT, said that in
many respects the United Way does
good work and it is LGBT's goal to
resolve its differences with the
United Way and the University
See UNITED WAY, Page 7A,
ISA sophomore Smita Kalokhe practices Hindu but said she isn't as formal with her religion while she Is away at school.
Inside: University students discuss how Ann Arbor offers them a wide range of religions to explore. Page 3A
Ren ovaons anne for
NOrth Campus a
By Annie Gleason
Daily Staff Reporter-
North Campus seems to provide
little entertainment for the students
who find themselves stranded there,
miles from the bustling atmosphere
provided by the central campus area.
"There's not a whole lot to do,"
said LSA freshman Jonathon
Thorndycraft. "Most of the social
activities are down on central."
But conditions are expected to
change for the better. In addition to
the numerous arts programs that are
already offered on a daily basis, stu-
dents can expect improvements to
Pierpont Commons and residence
halls as well.
Interim University President B.
Joesph White has shown interest in
improving the availability of activi-
ties for students on North Campus.
In a statement, White said, "Over
"We're continuing to explore the
possibilities for enriching this aspect of
the North Campus."
- B. Joseph White
Interim University President
date set for
By Jeremy Berkowitz
Daily Staff Reporter
Michigan running back and LSA junior B.J. Askew restat-
ed his plea of innocence yesterday at a hearing in regard to a
misdemeanor charge of battery and assault. Askew will go
to trial on March 6 at the Washtenaw County District Court
in front of Judge Kirk Tabbey.
Askew was originally arrested Feb. 3
at his residence in Pittsfield Township.
He was allegedly fighting with his girl-
friend when he pinned her to the bed
and then threw her out of his apartment.
He let her back in, and she then bit him
on the forearm. Askew then called the
police from his neighbor's residence.
Pittsfield police arrested Askew and
then released him on bond.
Askew Askew is the second football player
this year to face assault charges. In October 2001, freshman
cornerback Markus Curry was arrested on charges of
domestic assault and telephone tampering during a fight
with his girlfriend. A plea bargain later reduced the charges
to assault with no battery.
Last Thursday, Curry was sentenced to 12 months proba-
tion, a $250 fine and mandatory participation in community
service programs. The same day, Michigan football coach
Lloyd Carr said in a written statement that Curry had been
reinstated to the team.
The Athletic Department was unable to comment on
Askew's future status with the team.
If found guilty, Askew could be sentenced to a maximum
of 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.
the past several years we have
worked to make the North Campus a
more attractive and interesting
human environment. The students,
faculty and staff who live and work
there should be able to enjoy a vari-
ety of activities and destinations
such as retail shops, performance
venues, and the like. We're continu-
ing to explore the possibilities for
enriching this aspect of the North
Suggestions of building the
Arthur Miller Theater on North
Campus have also been discussed,
but it has not yet been decided
whether the theater will be housed
on Central or North Campus.
Several students have expressed a
desire for improvements at Pierpont.
While the current state of Pierpont
is not very accommodating to stu-
dents living on North Campus,
major repovations are under way.
Brian Tubbs, Interim Arts and Pro-
gram coordinator for Pierpont, said
both a convenience store and a recre-
See NORTH CAMPUS, Page 7A
Khalld Turanni, executive director of the American Muslims
for Jerusalem, tells his audience last night to explore the
roots of the problems that lead to the Sept. 11 attacks.
focus on wh
By Karen Schwartz
Daily Staff Reporter
International students prepare for military service
By Shannon Pettypiece
Daily Staff Reporter
For most University students the possibility of being
forced to serve in the military seems rather remote. But
for many international students, mandatory military,
service has become a part of life they have grown to
Konstantinos Thirtis is a 28-year-old Rackham stu-
dent from Greece, and although he has an extensive
education in chemistry he must return to Greece after
he graduates to spend 18 months as an unpaid, full-time
soldier fulfilling his country's service requirement.
"It is a duty to my country, but someday I'd like to go
back for my orofessional career, which means if I go
isolated from my professional career. You cannot start
getting a job, you have to live in the army camp," Thir-
He said a significant portion of the citizens in his
country are opposed to the service requirement.
"There will always be people who don't want to be in
the army at all," Thirtis said. "There are a lot of people
who want to get married and want to start their job, and
it is a drawback."
In Egypt, military service is only mandatory for
males with a younger brother so that there is always a
man available to serve as the head of the household.
The period of service is three years long.
President of the Egyptian Student Association Islam
Hussein, an Engineering graduate student, said he
Tomorrow: Three University students speak about their col-
lege experiences as members of the Reserve Officer Training
Corps and their feelings about graduating and becoming mem-
bers of the armed services in an uncertain national climate.
time in the military because of poor economic condi-
tions for soldiers.
"Egyptians are very patriotic and they are very well
known to be good fighters. However, the conditions of
the people who go to the military, today is very, very
dire and people try to avoid getting into the military,"
Hussein said. "There is general sentiment against being
in the military but not because of a lack of patriotism,
but because of poor economic conditions."
Hussein added that in times of war all males are
"I'm bringing some news from D.C.," Khalid Turan-
ni, executive director of American Muslims for
Jerusalem told a crowd in the Pendleton Room last
night. "History did not start on September 11th."
Turanni spoke at an event titled "Why Do 'They'
Hate 'Us."' He said the events of Sept. 11 were a com-
bination of many geographical political dynamics that
culminated with what he called a "heinous crime."
"It is important for us to try to get to the roots of
what happened, why this took place, not to justify it but
to try to explain it," he said. "To examine our relation-
ship with the world, especially with thosewho cheered
when Sept. 11 took place."
Turanni said while the tragedy opened many people's
eyes, there has been a national sentiment to muffle the
attempt to explore why the tragedy occurred.
"There is confusion between trying to shed light on
the root cause to avoid it happening again and excusing