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April 16, 2002 - Image 19

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-16

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Changing times - Tuesday, April16, 2002 -36

Michigamua
office taken
over by upset
protestors
By Tiffany Maggard
Feb. 7, 2000
Members of the Students of Color Coalition took over
the tower of the Michigan Union the morning of Feb. 6-
home of three secret societies including Michigamua, an
organization that has been berated for alleged exploitation
of the Native American culture.
After occupying the Michigamua room for nine hours,
the group of eight students made their cause known to the
public by hanging Native American artifacts they discov-
ered in Michigamua's room out of the Union's seventh
story window. Meanwhile, a group of 30 students loomed
below, chanting "Down with Michigamua."
The invasion was part of an attempt by the coalition to
demand that the University comply with its mission to
foster a healthy and ethnically diverse student body by
implementing the coalition's recommendations.
The morning of Feb. 4, the coalition held a press con-
ference in Mosher-Jordon Residence Hall before deliver-
ing a petition to 15 University offices, demanding the
University supply a written commitment of its goals to
support minorities on campus and to restore order where
the coalition claims the University has failed to live up to
these goals.
In the 14-article petition signed by more than 450 stu-
dents, the coalition included a section in which they
request that the University "sever all affiliation with and
subsidy of the secret society" because of its "offensive
and culturally destructive appropriation of Native Ameri-
can culture."
SNRE senior Joe Reilly said the group took over the
tower in an effort to "bring attention to the fact that
Michigamua is a racist organization - it is culturally
offensive and destructive towards all people. And it has
no place being at this institution."
Coalition members uncovered Native American
artifacts and cultural references in their investiga-
tion of the Michigamua territory, including head-
dresses, statues and pictures of Michigamua
members performing Native American-like rituals
and evidence that the group assigns members jobs
including "medicine man."
Reilly said many of these references are offensive to
the Native American culture, especially the "wigwam-
like" design of the interior of the building and the use of
offensive Native American terms in naming its members,
such as Squaw, which he said refers to a woman's repro-
ductive organs.
Reilly also displayed an agreement signed in 1989
by the president the University's minority affairs
office and members of Michigamua who agreed that
the their actions and references to the Native Ameri-
can culture were offensive and would be stopped,
with the exception of the organization's name, which
would be forever preserved.
Nick Delgado, a member of Michigamua, said the
group has adhered to the integrity of that written
statement and in no way exploits the Native American
culture as it did in the past. He said the protesters
neglect to realize that the group has made mistakes,
learned from them and now operates on an entirely
socially acceptable level.

Construction of
Life Sciences
Institute begins

By Anna Clark
July 17, 2000
After two years of planning and
research, groundbreaking has finally
begun on the Life Sciences Institute.
"It's all happening pretty quickly.
I think we're ahead of the curve in
terms of other institutions pursuing
the life sciences," said biological
chemistry Prof. and Life Sciences
Advisory Committee chair Jack
Dixon.
The LSI will be located along
Washtenaw Avenue, across from
Palmer Field, where it will connect
the now-vacant area between the
Central and Medical campuses.
Construction has begun on a most-
ly-underground parking structure.
Work on the main LSI buildings
will commence soon, Dixon said.
When finished, the LSI will con-
sist of several buildings that will
house laboratories, classrooms,

offices, a restaurant and a parking
structure.
The LSI is intended for study and
research in "what it means to be
human, how best to lead a human or
humane existence (and) what it is to
be a living organism on this planet,"
University President Lee Bollinger
said in a letter sent to the University
community.
Several University departments
will combine to create new courses
of study and to support new research
in fields influencing everything from
medicine to the humanities.
Less tangible aspects of the proj-
ect are also progressing.
"We're focusing most of our ener-
gies in the search for a director,"
Dixon said.
The University is currently con-
sidering several possible candi-
dates, but won't be able to make
any definite announcements for a
few months.

Bollinger d efends
gay culture class

ILE PHOO
George Martin, an OjIbwe elder, was one of the many demonstrators who rallied In Ann Arbor on Friday Feb.
19, 2000 to support the efforts of SCC protestors who occupied the Union for over a month.
" "
Student coalition eaves
Union after 37-day stay

By Tiffany Magguard
and Robert Gold
March 14,2000

After boxes of Native American artifacts left
the Michigan Union tower, the Students of Color
Coalition followed, feeling they had accomplished
some of the goals set.
"The same spirit that induced us to occupy this
space was the same spirit that told us to come
down from it and that was our communities.... It
is important that we go back to the communities
where we belong so that this experience can be
shared outside of the (tower) walls, SCC member
Kevin Jones said.
More than 150 students and community
members crowded the stairwell and hallways
of the fourth floor of the Michigan Union to
watch members of the SCC officially vacate
the Union tower after 37 days of occupation.
SCC spokesman Joe Reilly said the deci-
sion to leave the tower was the result of a

strenuous four-hour meeting late March 12.
He said SCC members decided that the coali-
tion had done all it could within the confines
of the tower.
"We were worried about if we did everything
we could ... butit's not about the tower - it's not
about 37 days. It's about a lifetime," Reilly said.
Michigamua spokesman Nick Delgado said the
group "is pleased that the SCC was able to save
face by agreeing to a proposal that we provided
over 30 days ago."
SCC spokesman Diego Bernal said SCC
will continue to fight for its goals stated in a
14-point petition submitted to the University
administration Feb. 4, including the redefini-
tion of Michigamua's organization and the
removal of its name.
"Every remnant of Michigamua that
exists ... is a direct attack on humanity ... It
does not belong at my university. It's about
principle -people cannot own our humani-
ty," he said.

By Anna Clark
April14, 2000
After drawing attention across the
state and the nation, the debate sur-i
rounding English Prof. David
Halperin's Fall 2000 class, "How to Be
Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initia-
tion;" moved to the University's Board
of Regents monthly meeting April 13.
Defending the course in his open-'
ing remarks, University President
Lee Bollinger said the class has aI
legitimate role in the University's
academic environment.
"It is the role of the University to
think about what it means to be human.
This course is a facet of the study of+
what it means to be human," he said.
"It's one of intellectual interest. We;
believe this course has academic value."
According to its description, the
focus of the course is the "role of initi-
ation in the formation of gay identity"
by studying topics such as Broadway
musicals, drag and gay literature.
During public comments, American
Family Association of Michigan Presi-
dent Gary Glenn condemned the class.

"AFA-Michigan believes it is wrong
to force taxpayers to foot the bill for a
class whose express purpose is to
'experiment' in 'initiating' teenagers
into a lifestyle of homosexual behav-
ior," Glenn said.
He continued to say that the class
violates state law as well as moral and
religious beliefs of many taxpayers.
While an 86-page booklet, titled
"Health Implications Associated with
Homosexuality," was distributed to the
regents, Glenn said a homosexual
lifestyle is threatening to one's health.
After the meeting, Regent Andrea
Fischer Newman (R-Ann Arbor) said
she had some questions regarding the
course because its title was inconsis-
tent with the literature she received
about the course. But she said she sup-
ports academic freedom. "I don't pass
judgment. I support the freedom of the
faculty" she said.
Regent Olivia Maynard (D-
Goodrich) said April 12 that the con-
troversy was taken out of context. "It's
part of a whole series of classes, and it
fits in there fine. I have no problem
with the class," Maynard said.

-

School named after former U.S. president

By Michael Grass
Nov. 19, 1999
Former President Gerald Ford said he remembers sitting
on the steps of the Michigan Union in September 1931
waiting to make friends.
Sitting yesterday in the Union's Kuenzel Room, Ford said
it was an honor to be back in Ann Arbor at the end of the
20th Century.
The 86-year-old former president
was on campus attending yesterday's
meeting of the University Board of
Regents. The board unanimously
approved a proposal to name the
School of Public Policy after Ford.
"It is very overwhelming to sit here
and think back to September of 1931,"
he said, recalling when tuition for two
semesters was $100 and women
weren't allowed in the Union.
The Gerald R. Ford School of Public
Policy will become the second school at the University to be
named after a former student since June.
"The naming of a school is a historic decision" Universi-
ty President Lee Bollinger said. "There must be a close and
deep connection between the person and the school," noting
Ford's loyalty to the University is "deep and abiding."
In June, the regents dedicated the College of Architecture
and Urban Planning to Bloomfield Hills shopping mall

"The naming of a school is a historic decision. ...There must be a
close and deep connection between the person and the school."
- Lee Bollinger
University President

mogul A. Alfred Taubman, who donated $30 million to the
college.
Bollinger, the regents and Public Policy Dean Rebecca
Blank said the renaming of the Public Policy school will give
the University's smallest and newest school a necessary boost.
"It's the right time to take a new name and Gerald R. Ford
is the right name to take," Blank said.
Blank, who was appointed dean this spring, announced a
new fundraising campaign and said she has big plans for the
expanding school.
"This naming opportunity doesn't come at a better time in
our history," Blank said. "Our challenge in the next few
years is to build on this." She added that she hopes to
increase the stature of the University's school among the
other great centers of public policy study across the nation.
"One of my goals is to convince those in Washington that
Ann Arbor is closer than Boston;' she said.
Ford said too he has high hopes for the school that now
bears his name.
' "I will do all that I can to make the School of Public

Policy one of the best on campus and on a national
basis," Ford said.
Bollinger and the regents had many kind words for
Ford, reflecting on his service to the state and nation as a
U.S. House representative, vice president and president
of the nation.
"It is very, very difficult to find the middle ground in our
society or community ... we know that he found it during,
the time he was president," Bollinger said, adding that Ford
held the nation together after the Watergate scandal.
Regent Andrea Fischer-Newman (R-Ann Arbor), a
University student when Ford became president, said
Ford gave her and others hope during the uncertain times
of Watergate.
His presidency impacted University students by inspir-
ing them "to imagine what we could become," Newman
said. "You handled a nation during a time of torment,"
she told Ford.
Regent S. Martin Taylor (D-Grosse Pointe Farms) echoed
Fischer-Newman's comments.

""MMMAMM - : '11- - molmooff-

'.

SGEO members organize, rally
to address contract, concerns

FILE PHOTO
LSA seniors Amy Barber and Gina Chopp kiss during the Kiss-
In on the Diag on Feb. 16, 2001.
"
Kss-In Rally a
success despite
anti-gay visitors
By Maria Sprow
February 19, 2001
After anti-gay protesters announced their intentions to
show up at Friday's Kiss-In rally on the Diag, the largest
crowd in the event"s history turned out to show their unity
as well as their pride.
The Kiss-In, sponsored by the Office of Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgendered Affairs, capped Queer Visibili-
ty Week, which began Feb. 7. The rally was chosen as the
week"s finale to support and showcase queer affection.
"LGBT people are often unsafe displaying public affec-
tion. The Kiss-In provides visibility for that affection and
provides a safe place," said Katherine Severs, one of the
organizers of the event.
State Rep. Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor), the first openly
gay member of the Michigan Legislature, started the rally
bv encnurapina the crowd to come out of the closet.

By Maria Sprow
March 12, 2002
Members of the Graduate Employ-
ees Organization and Students Orga-
nizing for Labor and Economic
Equality joined forces March 12 in a
walk-out to stop students from going
to class and workers from working in
l--~ - ---- ~c va fee[- niAn

300 undergraduates to the picket
lines. The strike also managed to
expand past University walls to
undergraduate students at Michigan
State University, some of whom
chose not to attend classes to show
support for their graduate employee
union, which formed last year but
has yet to sign a contract. The strike
PnAPAat (. n m 1r 0 V

construction sites were also abandoned
by noon. University spokeswoman
Julie Peterson said work continued
despite the picket lines.
Peterson said financially, the Univer-
sity was not grossly affected by the
walk-out and the slowed construction,
but no cost estimate could be made.
"The impact from a one-day strike is
not enormAu. Tisruntinn of classes

K ~

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