The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 3
SNRE closed to freshmen, transfer students
Cartoon in Texas
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - A
cartoon in the Jan. 14 issue of The
Battalion that many called racist
raised important issues at Texas
The cartoon portrayed an overweight
black mother, wearing an apron and
curlers and scolding her son for receiv-
ing a bad grade. The mother warned
her son his bad grades would lead to a
job in airport security.
The controversy caused The rfattal-
ion, the schol's student-run newspa-
per, to gather a panel of studentleaders
to talk about the history of the school
and the feelings surrounding race that
Texas A&M was founded 125 years
ago as an all-male, white, military col-
lege, built on military traditions. As the
school continues to grow and diversiy,
student leaders wondered if past issues
will disturb the A&M campus.
Some leaders expressed concern
because more students were not visibly
upset by the cartoon.
Daniel Hernandez, associate vice
chancellor and panel moderator, said
each individual is shaped by the history
and culture from which he or she
comes. He said understanding these
factors will help students understand
the cultures on campus and the events
that led to the uproar over the cartoon.
"If you don't know that you don't
know, it is not bad; it is history," Her-
nandez said. "Indifference has come
because people don't ask questions
about (each others') history."
Indiana U. will not
Ku Klux Klan mural
BLOOMINGTON, Id. - Amid
reporters, cameras, lights and con-
cerned students, Indiana University at
Bloomington Chancellor Sharon
Brehm held a press conference Mon-
day in the Maple room of the Indiana
Memorial Union to make public her
decision on the Benton mural featuring
Ku Klux Klan members in Woodburn
Brehm stated the mural would not be
covered because of moral issues and
could not be moved because the paint-
ing could suffer irreparable damage.
"I am convinced that moving or cov-
ering the mural would be morally
wrong," Brehm said. "It would, in
effect,do what Benton refused to do:
That is, it would hide the shameful
aspects of Indiana's past:'
After discussing why the mural
would not be moved or covered, Brehm
talked about the bigger issue that
helped to create the mural argument in
the first place: The lack of an obvious
commitment to diversity at the univer-
sity. The campus has a black student
population of 4 percent.
Colorado bill aims
to allow campus
FORT COLLINS, Cob. - Col-
orado colleges with liquor licenses
could get financial assistance from the
liquor industry after a Senate bill on
the issue passed through the state
House on Monday
The bill would allow liquor compa-
nies to initiate contracts similar to the
one Colorado State University current-
ly has with Pepsi, and currently needs
only a signature from Gov. Bill Owens
before it takes effect - something the
sponsors want to see happen by July.
It is currently illegal for the liquor
industry to provide financial assistance
to licensed colleges and universities in
If Owens signs the bill, manufactures
and wholesalers in the liquor industry
will be able to provide financial assis-
tance to state institutions of higher edu-
4 cation, including Colorado State.
Liquor companies, like locally owned
Coors, would be allowed to donate score
boards for sports venues on college cam-
pus if the bill passes, something current-
ly prohibited. Liquor companies'
donations also could display their logos,
which could appear anywhere.
"Students drink beer every day; we
might as well make money off that,"
k freshman Kerri Haeflinger said.
S -- Compiled from U-Wire reports by
Daily Staff Reporter Maria Sprow.
By Annie Gleason
Daily Staff Reporter
Freshmen and transfer students planning to
enroll in the School of Natural Resources next year
will be redirected to a new joint program in the
College of Literature, Sciences and Arts - com-
bining aspects from both schools.
The intention of the new undergraduate degree
program - Program in the Environment - is to
provide a broader education to those interested in
pursuing environmental careers by offering stu-
dents background in environmental and natural
resource issues, while including a liberal arts per-
spective. The creation of the program means new
undergraduate students will no longer be accepted
"The idea is that it will be a new concentration,"
said John Knott, interim director of the program.
"There will be a lot of the same courses, but now
they will be more easily available."
An information session was held yesterday after-
noon giving students the opportunity to learn more
about the new program and its requirements.
Any student currently enrolled in SNRE will be
given the option of either continuing in the school
or transferring to LSA and earning a degree
through the environmental program.
Several current students said they thought the
program would be beneficial to new students, but
for the most part were planning to continue their
course of study in SNRE.
"I think it's a good idea because it helps integrate
SNRE with other majors, but I probably won't
transfer over," SNRE freshman Olivia Ott said.
Knott said the program will offer a larger, more
diverse program in environmental education but
will not detract from the community feel of SNRE.
"Students have had concern because they feel
they're losing their program, but the classes will
continue to be held in the Dana Building to keep
the sense of community," Knott said.
Most of the classes offered in SNRE will con-
tinue to be offered in the new program. In addi-
tion, new inter-disciplinary, team-taught courses
will be offered, such as Tools for Environmental
Problem Solving, taught partially by SNRE Prof.
"We don't want to turn out a group of science
nerds and a group of policy makers who don't
speak the same language," Low said. "In this class
every situation will offer a biology-behavioral
learning example and a policy-making example."
The program will go into effect next year, but
there are still a few loose ties that need to be
"I'm looking for a sexier title for the class, so if
anyone has any ideas, let me know," Low joked.
For more information on Program in the Envi-
ronment visit http://environment.snre.umich.edu.
Democrats lose challenge of
Republican-backed plan for
congressional re districting
By Loue Me"znlc
Daily Staff Reporter"ArcnA eia vo rsh e
State Democrats received a setback this week when the
Michigan Supreme Court ruled Monday against the party in
its challenge of a congressional redistricting plan approved by
the Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature and signed by
GOP Gov. John Engler last year. The Democrats are now
beginning a challenge in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
With Michigan losing one of its 16 seats in the U.S. House
of Representatives after this year, the approved plan is expect-
ed to give the Republican Party a 9-6 majority in the state's
congressional delegation. Democrats currently hold a 9-7
majority. The plan consolidated the districts of three pairs of
Democratic incumbents into the same district, including those
of Reps. John Dingell of Dearborn and Lynn Rivers of Ann
Arbor. The Democratic alternative plan would likely have
given either the Democrats or Republicans an 8-7 majority.
Democrats argued the plan violated Michigan law for two
reasons. First, the plan was amended after it was approved by
the Legislature. The secretary of the Senate, Carol Viventi,
added two census tracts to a district that had been left out in
the Legislature's plan. The party had also argued that the
Republican congressional plan spread an unnecessary amount
of counties and municipalities across two districts, contrary to
In rejecting Democratic assertions, the court majority, con-
sisting of Chief Justice Maura Corrigan and Justices Michael
Cavanagh, Stephen Markman, Clifford Taylor, Elizabeth
Weaver and Robert Young, wrote, "the correction of the
enrolled bill before submission to the Governor does not inval-
idate the statute" and that Redistricting guidelines approved in
1999 in Public Act 221 "were not binding on the Legislature."
Justice Marilyn Kelly, the sole dissenter on the court, wrote:
"The Legislature should be instructed to pass a new act, fol-
lowing the precepts laid down in the Michigan Constitution. It
is for the Legislature, not this Court and not the Secretary of
the Senate, to fashion the bill so as to be legally valid."
State Democratic spokesman Ben Kohrman, noting that all
five GOP-nominated justices voted to uphold the Republican-
approved law, decried the decision as partisan although he
acknowledged that one Democrat, Cavanagh, was part of the
"We believe that the current law as it exists violates state
and federal law and that the federal court can give us a fairer
the. rights to have their votes
counted. ... Since they vote
when they are buried in an
district, they are effectively
- Mark Brewer
Michgian Democratic Party Chair
hearing," he said.
The Democrats do not intend to appeal the state court ruling
to federal court but are currently pursuing another lawsuit in
U.S. District Court in Detroit. That case is now on a fast track
for hearing before a three-judge panel, due to the quickly
approaching Aug. 6 primary election. If successful, it would
force a redrawing of district maps due to alleged violations of
the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and of various civil
David Doyle, state Republican Party chairman from 1991 to
1995 and now a consultant with Marketing Resource Group,
Inc. of Lansing, said he does not expect the Democrats to pre-
vail in federal court.
"The percentages of minorities in the districts are about the
same as the plan approved in 1990, and the percentages of vot-
ing age minorities are also about the same, he said.
But Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer said
that Democrats in their lawsuit, O'Lear et. al. v. Miller are
contending that the Republicans diluted minority voting
strength, in disaccordance with federal law.
"African American voters have the rights to have their votes
counted,"he said. "Since they vote predominately Democratic,
when they are buried in an overwhelming Republican district,
they are effectively disenfranchised." Brewer added that the
new districts disenfranchise black voters in Lansing, Pontiac
and Grand Rapids.
Two-time Emmy winner and "Dateline NBC" news correspondent John Hockenberry
discussed conclusions drawn by media in the aftermath of Sept. 11 in the Michigan
Students get peek
By Soojung Chang
Daily Staff Reporter
"Dateline NBC" news correspondent
John Hockenberry's twin daughters, Zoe
and Olivia, took vastly different
approaches to learning how to walk, in
spite of growing up in virtually the exact
While his daughter Olivia climbed up
on furniture like a gymnast, "Zoe's
approach to walking was to remain on
her stomach and flap like a manatee."
When he eventually picked her up
and put her on his wheelchair, "she pro-
ceeded to roll away in the chair." Hock-
enberry realized that Zoe had been
emulating her father in her attempt to
"They had adapted completely differ-
ent pathways to figure out how they
were going to do it," he said. "There is
no preordained script to the mind."
Hockenberry, who suffered' a spinal
cord injury during college that left him
dependent on a wheelchair to get
around, said disabilities are a good indi-
cator of how Americans react to the
issue of diversity. ,1
"There's a story implied by a disabili-
ty. We're obsessed with 'normal' in
American society," he said.
Hockenberry related his story about
his daughters and his experience with
living with a disability to other serious
subjects, such as the aftermath of Sept.
11, disabled individuals, diversity and
Americans as media consumers at "An
Evening With John Hockenberry," yes-
terday at the Michigan Union Ballroom.
Hockenberry said during his recent
trip to Saudi Arabia he interviewed the
family of suspected hijackers and found
"there was kind of a puzzlement and a
shock" -- similar to the reactions of the
American victims of Sept. 11.
Hockenberry emphasized the impor-
tance of the American public becoming
active consumers of media.
"Conclusions will be drawn, myths
will be created, people will act on those
myths. It is the responsibility of all of us
to be context-providers. If there's any
letson from Sept. 11, it is to keep that
vigilance strong;"he said.
Hockenberry said the government is
not doing anything substantial to allevi-
ate the public's fears. He used the recent
color-coded alert system unveiled by
Homeland Security as his evidence.
In the aftermath of Sept 11, he
warned against paranoia and said, "This
moment is much more important than
the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11.
Americans sh*ild act with knowledge,
Ann Arbor resident Brigit Macomber
said Hockenberry was "like a breath of
"It's nice to hear somebody speaking
from a base of knowledge rather than
the mainstream media syndrome that he
was talking about;" she said.
Hockenberry is the author of "Mov-
ing Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs,
and Declarations of Independence," a
memoir about his life as a foreign corre-
spondent. He signed copies of his recent
work, "River Out of Eden" at the event.
He began his career as a journalist with
National Public Radio and joined "Date-
line NBC" in 1996 where he has earned
Hockenberry, who grew up in western
Michigan, chose to speak at the Univer-
sity because "this is an extraordinary
community of thinkers."
"Its hold continues on me," he said.
He was a frequent visitor to the Univer-
sity's campus during college.
DETROIT (AP) - With a stroke
of a pen, the city and its three casino
operators yesterday moved a giant
step forward in expanding gaming in
Detroit under an agreement that will
bring more slot machines, hotel
rooms and more than $100 million to
The agreement in principle calls
for each casino to build a 400-room
hotel, give the city $34 million
apiece and forgive a $150 million
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who
took office in January, said he made
the casino issue a priority. A perma-
nent casino agreement languished
under former mayor Dennis Archer,
in large part because of failed
efforts to acquire land on the city's
"I'm ecstatic about bringing this to a
close' Kilpatrick said.
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What's happening in Ann Arbor today
"Disaster and After:
Charlotte Delbo and
Questions of Communi-
p.m., Michigan Union
Swing Dance, Sponsored
by Michigan Union Pro-
grams, 7 p.m.-midnight,
Sponsored by Pierpont
Commons Arts and Pro-
grams, 8 a.m., Atrium
Gallery, Pierpont Com-
® S.A.F.E. Walk, 763-WALK,