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March 06, 2002 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-06

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 6, 2002 - 3

Attacks inspire launch of bioterror center

SU. Iowa president
initiates end of
New Era contract
IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of
Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman on
Monday moved to terminate the uni-
versity's contract with a cap manufac-
turer that has been accused of violating
the school's labor standards, enforcing
the nearly two-year-old code of con-
duct for the first time.
Agreeing with a recommendation
from the university's Charter Commit-
tee on Human Rights, Coleman told
licensing director Mark Abbott to cut
the contract with the New Era Cap Co.,
which brought in $600 for the universi-
ty in royalties last year.
A report by the Worker Rights Con-
sortium, a labor-monitoring organiza-
tion to which Iowa belongs, said New
Era failed to properly safeguard against
blood-born pathogens, failed to
acknowledge or compensate employees
for work-related injuries and gave
employees misinformation and inap-
propriate health advice and diagnoses.
Coleman left the door open to rein-
state New Era's license if it demonstrates
compliance with the code of conduct or
by "acknowledging current issues of
non-compliance and proposing a timely
and effective plan of remediation."
Three other universities have termi-
nated licenses with New Era, and one
university suspended its contract with
the company for 90 days, said Dan
Teets, the chairman of the Charter
Committee on Human Rights.
Possible contract
agreement met at
Cal. State system
SAN DIEGO - After a year of bit-
ter negotiations, 0alifornia Faculty
Association union leaders approved a
tentative three-year contract Saturday.
The agreement ends the threat of strike
against the California State Universi-
ty's 23 campuses.
The contract will provide a 2 percent
raise for faculty each of the first two
years, effective next month. After the
third year, negotiations for compensa-
tion will reopen. In addition, eligible
faculty will receive 2.65 percent salary
step increases each of the three years.
The agreement also expanded health
{care benefits for faculty. During the
first year of the contract, all lecturers
who teach six units or more and cannot
obtain health insurance elsewhere will
be given coverage. The second year,
insurance will be available for all eligi-
ble lecturers even if they can get bene-
fits elsewhere.
In a statement, CFA President Susan
Meisenhelder called the contract a
"historic milestone" for faculty.
California faculty have been working
without a contract since July 1. Negoti-
ations and mediation between the two
groups failed. The third stage - fact
finding - ended last week after a neu-
tral fact-finder delivered a report offer-
ing bargaining compromises.
Texas A&M will
not accept top
20 percent plan
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -
Qualified high school graduates in the
top 20 percent of 254 economically
disadvantaged schools in Texas will not
be admitted automatically this fall
under a plan Texas A&M University
officials started debating in October.
Officials announced late last week
they will not pursue the top 20 plan,
which automatically admits students in
the top 20 percent who meet the

school's admissions standards and SAT
requirements, for fall 2002. It may be
reconsidered for fall 2003.
The top 20 plan raised Hopwood-
like questions on the constitutionality
of soliciting students from inner and
rural poor districts with large Hispanic
and African-American student popula-
tions and drew a mixed response from
the student body. The 1996 Hopwood
decision prohibits public universities
from considering race during admis-
sions.
Officials said the school would have
admitted an additional 200 students
had the plan taken effect. The plan
would increase the enrollment cap to
extend automatic admission to all those
qualifying from the targeted schools.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Maria Sprow.

By AnnieGleason
Daily Staff Reporter
With the imminent threat of bioterrorism
present in the United States since the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks, the University's School of Pub-
lic Health has worked to create the Bioterrorism
and Health Preparedness Research and Training
Center which opened at the end of February.
Arnold Monto, director of the center, said fac-
ulty members had been working independently
on projects related to disease prevention prior to
Sept. 11.
"We thought it would be a good idea for us to
be collaborating," Monto said. "We want to con-
centrate more effort on issues specifically relat-
ed to bioterrorism."
Faculty members from different departments
within the University are working with federal
and state agencies on the project to conduct

research related to the transmission and detec-
tion of diseases. They are also arranging training
for health professionals in order to prepare them
for the threat of bioterrorism.
Monto said the center will inform people
about infectious diseases that they may not be
informed about.
"There's a lot of media attention to inhalation
anthrax," Monto said. "Yet, there are other
things that are going on."
While the idea for the creation of a bioterror-
ism center is not new, Monto said last fall's
scare had an impact in expediting the process.
"It jumped to the head of the list in terms of
priorities," he said. "It was clear that there was a
responsibility to us and the nation."
School of Public Health Dean Noreen Clark
said the University has a responsibility toward
the prevention of infectious diseases.
"The school has been interested in infectious

"It jumped to the head of the list in terms of
priorities. ... It was clear that there was a
responsibility to us and the nation."
- Arnold Monto
Director of the Bioterrorism and Health Preparedness Research and Training Center

diseases for a long time, but we felt we needed
to turn our attention to bioterrorism," Clark said.
Current projects include research involving
harmful toxins in food and water, determination
of the most efficient uses for vaccines and
antibiotics and evaluation of methods to com-
municate information to the public.
The center is currently working to raise
awareness of the research projects in order to
receive additional funding from state and federal

sources.
"I want to make it clear that funding is needed
to undertake projects. ... They can't be done
without it," Monto said.
Clark said the school put a great deal of
time into the creation and development of the
center.
"We want to be sure that our research and
training is the very best it can be to prevent
bioterrorism," Clark said.

Uncovering history

Black legislators show
environmen interest

By Louie Meizlish
Daily Staff Reporter
Paul Mohai is out to dispel a myth - the myth
that blacks are not as interested in environmental
issues as whites.
Mohai, an associate professor at the School
of Natural Resources and Environment, has
conducted studies in recent years which docu-
ment a total contradiction of previous conven-
tional wisdom.
His latest study concerns the voting patterns of
black members of the U.S. House of Representa-
tives on environmental issues dating back to
1981, when there were 18 members of the Con-
gressional Black Caucus, to 1999, when there
were 39.
Members of the CBC, all of whom are now
Democrats, have been more pro-environment -
as measured by the scorecard system employed
by the League of Conservation Voters - than the
average non-CBC Democrat. For the period
between 1981-98, the average LCV grade award-
ed to a CBC member hovered between 75 to 80
percent. For non-CBC Democrats, the figure was
usually between 60 and 70 percent.
Mohai's research also shows that Southern
CBC members usually have dramatically more
pro-environment records than their Democratic

counterparts in the South. CBC members from
outside of the South, to a lesser extent, also have
more pro-environment records than non-Southern
white Democrats.
The lowest score for a member of the CBC was
earned by Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia, who
scored 17 percent in the 1997-98 session. The
only black Republican in the House, Rep. J.C.
Watts (R-Okla.), who is not a member of the
CBC, scored a zero in the 2001 session.
Taking into account an earlier study he con-
ducted showing that black private citizens are just
as concerned about the environment as whites,
Mohai said, "All of that data suggests to me that
concern about the environment among African-
-Americans has been around for a long time."
He said the number of black environmental
organizations has grown from 100 in the early
1980s to 300 in the mid-1990s.
Mohai said factors such as regional affiliation
and ideology do not explain these high scores for
black members of the House. Nor does the fact
that many national legislators come from impov-
erished districts in which polluting chemical and
power plants have threatened the health of the
representatives' constituents.
"If environmentalists are looking for support-
ers, they should pay attention to the African-
American community," Mohai said.

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Christopher Wojtulewwicz applies solvent with a Q-Tip to the mural in the North Lobby of the Harlan
Hatcher Graduate Library which is currently undergoing renovation.

Local businesses experiment
with online customer services

By Shoshana Hurand
For the Daily
Local businesses are using the World Wide Web to
improve their establishments, but despite this growth in
e-commerce, Ann Arbor shops feel that in-store service
cannot be replaced by this expanding technology.
Nancy Rohlen of Shaman Drum Bookshop said the
local store made online textbook ordering available
about four years ago.
"We wanted to have a presence online," Rohlen said.
The store saw the system as a means of better cater-
ing to its customers needs, allowing students to pre-
order books via the Internet rather than stand in long
lines, she said.
Rohlen said many people come into the shop when
they have problems trying to order books from online
services. As a result, there is still a need for person-to-
person service. But she stated it is hard to gauge how
online ordering has affected customer service within
the store.
Heather Palmer, general manager of Borders Book-
store on East Liberty Street also said she has not seen a
definite impact in the store from online ordering.
"I don't think that it has reduced customer traffic,"
she said.
Besides placing orders over the business' website,
customers are able to check store inventories online.
These services do not appear to be affecting the num-
ber of patrons who come to the shop.
"We've found that people do research online, but
generally they come to the store first," Palmer said. She
added that the ambiance and the instant gratification of
being available to browse and purchase keeps people
coming to the store.
New York Pizza Depot is developing a website for its
restaurant, just as other restaurants and businesses have
made sites for their patrons.
Maurizio Grillo, co-owner and general manager of
the establishment, said the site allows people to look at
the selection before calling in their order. This reduces
the amount of time a customer is on the phone, permit-
ting the business to speak to more patrons in a shorter
amount of time.
The website, which was launched only a few weeks
ago, is not yet fully operational.
Eventually customers will be able to submit orders
through the restaurant's site, enabling them to receive
food without actually talking to anyone.
Grillo said he does not believe the online ordering

Besides placing orders over
the business' website,
customers are able to check
invyentories online..
system will mean reducing his staff.
"With the webpage came a complicated computer
system," he said.
The implementation of this technology required new
employees to maintain it, leading to an increase in
business staff.
But some businesses have found that online services
may not be as cost-efficient as person-to-person servic-
es have proven to be.
Dolly Hulek, owner of University Flowers, recently
discontinued the use of the store's online wire service
because of cost.
While this change has reduced the volume of orders,
it increased the shop's profits because of the absence of
a third party. She said customers do not always realize
they are paying for the online ordering service in addi-
tion to the product.
"Once they get a middleman involved there is an
extra wire cost," Hulek said.
"Calling us directly is less expensive. It's best for
(the customer) and best for us," she added.
But Hulek said she agrees that the Internet is good
for business advertisement.
For some University students, product availability
and the type of purchase factor into their decision to
buy online.
LSA senior Nancy Westgate said she prefers to go
into stores for most purchases.
"I like to go actually see and touch the stuff," she
said. Although she said she will look for merchandise
and perhaps order food online in the future, she prefers
to speak to a person.
For certain products, such as plane tickets, LSA
freshman Rene Jacobs said she finds the Internet to be
more effective.
"It's easier and cheaper," she said.
But when purchasing tangible commodities, Jacobs
said she prefers to have the product in front of her
before making a purchase.
"I don't have a problem with the inconvenience of
going to a store," she added.

No"

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