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April 09, 2002 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-09

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 9, 2002 - 3

Private colleges see unionization trend

Rock of cocaine
seized from patient
A University Hospital Emergency
Room nurse reported Sunday morn-
ing that a patient possessed a white
rock which appeared to be crack-
cocaine, according to Department
of Public Safety reports. The item
was field tested with a positive
result for crack-cocaine and seized
as evidence.
Stereo stolen from
unlocked car door
A stereo was stolen from a car
parked on Hayward Road Saturday
afternoon, DPS reports state. It is
believed that entry was gained through
an unlocked door. DPS has no sus-
Resident discovers
racist graffiti on
Couzens Hall door
Racist graffiti was discovered on a
door in Couzens Residence Hall Satur-
day night, according to DPS reports.
The resident did not file a report but
wanted the matter handled by resi-
dence hall staff.
Woman wearing
sandwich board
caught trespassing
A woman wearing a sandwich board
was trespassing in the Michigan Union
Sunday morning handing out informa-
tion on President Bush, DPS reports
state. The woman was standing by the
main information desk and refused to
leave when asked. She left when a DPS
officer arrived.
Fire extinguisher
box vandalized
DPS is investigating damage caused
in South Quad Residence Hall Saturday
after someone broke the glass to the box
containing the fire extinguisher in the
5100 corridor of South Quad, according
to DPS reports.
Rollerblading kids
damage property
A caller reported Friday afternoon
that three youths were rollerblading in
a parking structure on Glen Street and
causing damage to property by jump-
ing on objects, DPS reports state.
Car back window
smashed in lot,
nothing missing
A woman reported Saturday night
that the back window of her vehicle
was smashed, according to DPS
reports. She stated the incident
occurred between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
on Saturday in the parking lot on
Washington Heights. Nothing was
stolen from the car.
Markley residents
celebrate Hash
Bash in lounge
Mary Markley Residence Hall staff
stated Saturday night that there were
people smoking marijuana in a first
floor lounge, DPS reports state. DPS
officers confiscated a large bong and
some suspected marijuana but could
not determine the owner of it.
Plumbers overflow

toilet in Lloyd Hall
Michigan Power Rodding Compa-
ny said they accidentally broke a toi-
let in Alice Lloyd Residence Hall
early Friday while trying to fix a
plumbing problem, according to DPS
Water damages
walls and sink in
Mott hospital
Maintenance workers in Mott Chil-
drens Hospital reported late Thursday
that there was major damage to the
sink and wall in the Environmental
Service storage room, according to
DPS reports.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Jeremy Berkowitz.

By Maria Sprow
Daily Staff Reporter
Though students from public universities may
have been looking toward the University of
Michigan and the University of Massachusetts at
Amherst for more than 25 years for guidance
concerning graduate student unionization, stu-
dents at private colleges and universities have not
been so lucky.
Because private institutions operate under a dif-
ferent set of rules and regulations than public insti-
tutions, they did not have a precedent to follow
until a year and a half ago, when a vote by the
National Labor Relations Board allowed graduate
student employees at New York University the right
to organize.
The ruling affects all private colleges in the U.S.,
which are governed under the National Labor Rela-
tions Act. Public universities operate on a state-by-
state basis and are not affected by the NLRB.
Despite the NLRB ruling, students' efforts to
unionize at several private colleges are still strug-
gling, a concerning issue for members of the Uni-
versity's Graduate Employees Organization, who
said the terms of their contract are constantly being
compared to contracts at other colleges.

Among the private colleges currently trying to
unionize is Columbia University, whose graduate
students have been working to form a union since
the NLRB made their decision in October 2000.
Yale University, Brown University and Tufts Uni-
versity have also formed unions and are trying to
gain recognition.
"The more private universities come into line
with labor standards at public universities - which
are generally higher -the easier it is for us to bar-
gain," GEO President and Rackham student Cedric
de Leon said. "(People say) why ... should we pay
you at the University of Michigan 'X' number of
dollars, if at Yale and Harvard (University), they
don't treat their graduate students any better?"
"There's always the implication, who do you
think you are? We're compared to other schools
when we're at the (negotiating) table," he added.
Students there have already voted on whether to
unionize, though the results of the vote are still
unknown and remain inside the NLRB.
Columbia graduate student union organizer
Shannan Clark said he wants to join a student union
because of political and financial concerns. He said
he'd like to see researchers and professors have
more power over the universities they are employed
by. "American universities have been moving away

"The ideal university should not need the presence
of a union involving graduate students."
- Lee Bollinger
Former University President

from full-time labor to part-time labor, workers
who generally do not have any kind of say on how
the university works. Universities - public or pri-
vate - are run by corporations,' he said.
"Organizing and collective bargaining is really
going to be the only way that we can have any kind
of constructive influence on what the political
economy of the 21st Century American university
is going to look like," he added.
The fear of becoming more corporation-like is
one of the reasons some Columbia administrators
- including former University of Michigan Presi-
dent Lee Bollinger, who takes over Columbia's
reins from President George Rupp July 1 - are
saying they are against student unions.
"(University) relationships with graduate stu-
dents is better outside of the union context,"
Bollinger said. "My general position about the way

a university should function is that it is better to
treat this as an educational activity. ... The ideal
university should not need the presence of a union
involving graduate students."
Bollinger added that he does not believe the
Graduate Employees Organization at the University
of Michigan has harmed the educational experience
found in Ann Arbor in any way.
Clark said it is unknown when the NLRB will
return with their decision, and there has been some
speculation that the NLRB may overturn their past
decision because of a change in membership. The
NLRB is comprised of five members, one of whom
is appointed each year by the United States presi-
dent for five years each.
Currently, only four members, two of whom are
temporary, are serving on the committee - three
Republicans and one Democrat.

Kmart may close 700 more
stores nationwide this year

CHICAGO (AP) - Executives of
one of Kmart Corp.'s business partners
say the financially troubled retailer
may close as many as 700 more stores
nationwide, according to court papers
made public yesterday.
The disclosure came in a document
filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court by
Penske Corp., which over the weekend
closed some 550 auto service centers it
has operated through a subsidiary at
Kmart locations.
"Representatives of Penske Corp.
were informed by representatives of
Kmart Corp. of Kmart's plan to close
as many as 700 additional stores,"
according to a Penske document filed
with the court. No further details were
available immediately.
A Kmart spokesman said, however,
that the company "is not inclined to
close any more stores until after a busi-
ness plan is developed later this year."
Even then, Kmart executives have said
the number of further closings would
be "minimal," Kmart spokesman
Michael Freitag said.
Richard Peters, chairman of
Penske Auto Centers, declined to

comment on whether there are plans
to close any stores.
Kmart, which filed for bankruptcy
Jan. 22, is currently closing 283 of its
2,114 stores nationwide as part of its
The statement that Kmart had
spoken of closing down as many as
700 more stores was included in a
March 29 document drafted as a
prelude to shutting down the Penske
Auto Centers.
Kmart owns 36 percent of the cen-
ters and has two directors on the board.
Penske Corp. owns the remainder
through a subsidiary, which has four of
the six directors.
Kmart on Saturday got a temporary
restraining order, barring Penske from
shutting down the auto servicing cen-
ters. It claimed that it had learned of
the shutdown plan only late Friday
But attorneys for both Kmart and
Penske said yesterday that the order
came too late to stop the centers from
shutting down and that there was no
longer any way to reopen them..
"The eggs are scrambled," Kmart

attorney Christina M. Tchen told
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Susan
Pierson Sonderby. Instead of press-
ing to have the Penske Auto Centers
reopened, Kmart now wants the
remaining work of closing them
down to be completed in an orderly
way that would minimize customer
confusion and do no more damage
to Kmart's image.
Kmart attorneys and other officials
said they feared the disorderly closing
of the auto centers would wrongly give
customers the impression that "the
whole place is shutting down."
"The whole place is not going to
shut down," Tchen said.
Kmart said in its court filing that the
two sides had been in discussions
regarding the process for "the orderly
winding down of the auto centers." It
says Penske failed to tell Kmart that it
planned to immediately shut down and
liquidate the centers.
Among other things, Kmart says
that the unilateral action on the part
of Penske in shutting down the cen-
ters violated a contract between the

Dominick Sovone of Southfield shows off his tongue ring on Saturday at Hash Bash.
Studies say that tongue rings, while popular, may pose medical problems.
Students pierce
tongues despite
potential damage

By Soojung Chang
Daily Staff Reporter
For young adults looking for yet
another place to pierce their bodies, the
tongue is an increasingly popular spot.
However, a recent study published in the
March issue of the Journal of Periodon-
tology might make people think twice
about getting the procedure done.
"I was running out of room on my
ears, and I couldn't pierce anything else
that my parents wouldn't notice," LSA
freshman Regina Tsang said. "It's not
even that shocking anymore; everyone
and their grandmas have them," she said.
Researchers examined 52 individu-
als with tongue piercings and found a
high incidence of receding gums and
chipped teeth.
"This is information that we didn't
have before," said Dental Prof. Robert
Eber. He said he has observed the same
types of problems with past patients.
Tongue jewelry is typically rod-
shaped with a ball on each end and is
called a barbell. Researchers found that
those who wore longer barbells had a
greater incidence of gum recession.
Almost 20 percent of the group had gum
recession, but the percentage increased
to 50 percent for those who wore long
Eber said the study had serious limi-
tations. "You can't really prove that
the barbells or the tongue piercings
caused the problem," he said. Eber
added that the study was not longitu-
dinal and that there was no research
done on a control group.
"Hopefully it'll stimulate some fur-
ther research in that area,"he said.
Tsang said the study's findings would
not affect her decision to keep her pierc-
ing, although she did not know about the
risk of receding gumlines. She did know
about the risk of chipped teeth.
"I changed the balls on my barbell
from metal to plastic ones. ... They're
less traumatic," she said. "And I have a

short barbell."
Kerri Baker, an employee of Name
Brand Tattoos on Church Street, said ini-
tially a long barbell is put in the pierc-
ing, which should eventually be
switched to a short one.
"A lot of people don't downsize," she
said. She also recommended switching
the steel balls on barbells.
"Acrylic is better than steel because if
you bite down on it, it will break and not
chip your teeth."
Baker said she has observed other
problems with tongue jewelry not men-
tioned in the study.
"It definitely wears the enamel off
your teeth" she said. She added that not
everyone can get the piercing safely
done because of the location of their
tongue veins.
"There's a certain spot to pierce at,"
she said. Baker said they turn away
many potential customers if it cannot be
done in that spot.
"A lot of other places will pierce any-
one that comes in. If they pierce it
crooked, it's gonna rub in that same
spot," she said. "You can't get your
gums back once they recede."
The study found the longer the indi-
vidual's tongue was pierced, the more
likely it was that problems had devel-
oped. This does not concern students
like LSA sophomore Kristine Ollarek,
who doesn't plan on keeping her
piercing long term.
"I am pretty sure that once I gradu-
ate I will take it out since I will be
going into the professional world,"
Ollarek said.
She said she has not had any com-
plications with her piercing.
"The only time that it was swollen
and bothersome was right after I got
it pierced," she said. "I knew that
tongue piercings were more danger-
ous than other kinds of piercings, but
I did not really do any research on
them because I really wanted to get it
done no matter what."

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