February 3, 2003
02003 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXIII, No. 86
One-hundred-twelve years of editorzalfreedom
heavy winds in
miles per hour
from the north-
to war talk
By Lydia K. Leung
Daily Staff Reporter
As the drumbeat of war intensifies
and the economy shows no signs of
recovering, the University's Index of
Consumer Sentiment released its
report on Friday showing a drop in
consumer confidence for January.
The index fell to 82.4 in January
from 86.7, indicating consumers are
less confident about the current state of
economy than the previous month. Fur-
thermore, the index has fallen far
below last year's level, when it stood at
93.0 in January 2002.
"While a war with Iraq is not the
only source of concern, it is likely that
in the months ahead the war will domi-
nate changes in consumer confidence,"
said Richard Curtin, director of the
University's Surveys of Consumers, in
a written statement.
The possibility of a war has created
uncertainty in the nation over the last
couple weeks, when hopes that the
conflict with Iraq could be solved
through peaceful means were dashed.
"It's hard to know exactly what the
effect of the war will be," UBS War-
burg economist Jim O'Sullivan said.
Warfare has hurt the stock market in
the last couple of weeks, and presum-
ably directly or indirectly affect senti-
ment as well."
While the interest rate is at a 40-year
low, experts say the uncertainties creat-
ed by the possible war with Iraq caused
businesses to spend less in January,
thus making the consumer feel vulner-
able about their jobs.
"There are not many jobs out there. I
think the bad economy is forcing a lot
See CONSUMER, Page 7A
for carrying the
tion of The Michigan Daily has been
passed to new hands, beginning with
this issue. We congratulate and
thank the graduating seniors; your
presence and dedication will be
We hope you and the rest of our
readers will continue to read and
appreciate each new issue to come.
- The editors
...We can pray that all are safely home.
Tile damage at root of
Co/urnbzi crash, hunt
for evidence contbzues
LEFT: Contrails from what appears to be the space shuttle Columbia can be seen across the sky over Texas Saturday, in this
composite photo from top to bottom. RIGHT: Rick Renteria of Racine, Wis., prays outside Racine Horlick High School after
hearing that alumni astronaut Laurel Clark was killed aboard the space shuttle Columbia.
Reactin o pc h u ffletragedy
~"marked wi hs hock, specidatirn
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -
Just before it disintegrated, space
shuttle Columbia experienced an
abnormal rise in temperature and
wind resistance that forced the craft's
automatic pilot to make rapid changes
to its flight path - possible evidence
that some heat-protection tiles were
missing or damaged, NASA said yes-
Engineers began assembling a grim
puzzle from debris recovered in Texas
and Louisiana, and disclosed comput-
erized data showing that the unusual
events before Saturday's accident
occurred on the left side of the shuttle
- the same side hit by a piece of fuel-
tank insulation during the launch 16
Shuttle program manager Ron
Dittemore cautioned that the data
was preliminary but said the com-
bination of events and data suggest
that the thermal tiles that protect
the shuttle from burning up during
re-entry may have been damaged
on Jan. 16.
"We've got some more detective
work. But we're making progress inch
by inch," Dittemore said, adding engi-
neers are trying to extract 32 seconds
more of computerized data from the
As engineers pinpointed the exact
satellite locations of debris, NASA
said it had found remains from all
seveiof the astronauts who perished.
Dittemore said that earlier in the
mission, NASA had aggressively
investigated the possible effects of the
impact from the fuel tank's foam insu-
lation and concluded "it did not repre-
sent a safety concern."
"As we gather more evidence, cer-
tainly the evidence may take us in
another direction," he said.
Dittemore said the engineering data
showed a rise of 20 to 30 degrees in
the left wheel well about seven min-
utes before communication was lost
with the spacecraft. Then there was a
rise of about 60 degrees over five
minutes in the lefthand side of the
fuselage above the wing, he said.
On the right side, the shuttle tem-
perature rose the normal 15 degrees
over the same period, he said. All the
readings came from sensors under-
neath the thermal tiles, on the alu-
minum hull of the craft.
The temperature rises were fol-
lowed by increased drag on the space-
craft that caused its automated flight
system to adjust its path, he said. The
adjustments were large enough that
"we have never seen it to this degree,"
but still were within the shuttle's capa-
bilities, he said.
Communication with the shuttle
was lost soon after. "It was as if some-
one had cut the wire," Dittemore said.
The left side of the spacecraft has
been the focus of suspicion almost
fromthe start. Investigators are focus-
ing on whether a broken-off piece of
foam insulation from the big external
fuel tank caused damage to the shut-
tle's left wing during liftoff Jan. 16
that ultimately doomed the flight 16
The manufacturer of the fuel tank
disclosed yesterday that NASA used
an older version of the tank, which the
space agency began phasing out in
2000. NASA's preflight press informa-
tion stated the shuttle was using one
of the newer super-lightweight fuel
Harry Wadsworth, a spokesman
for Lockheed, the tank maker, said
most shuttle launches use the
"super-lightweight" tank and the
older version is no longer made.
Wadsworth said he did not know if
there was a difference in how insu-
See COLUMBIA, Page 7A
By Emily Kraack
Daily Staff Reporter
Students across campus reacted with sadness, shock and
worry as they tuned in to news stations to watch footage of
the disintegrating Columbia space shuttle Saturday, a tragic
event eerily reminiscent of the Challenger explosion 17
"I was completely blown away," said junior Jason
Hernak, external vice president of the Engineering
Council. "Socially, it's a horrible time for it to happen,
given the economy and the threat of war."
President Bush responded in an address to the nation
shortly after the shuttle went down, quoting Scripture and
reassuring a commitment to the space program.
"The same creator who names the stars also knows
the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The
crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to
earth but we can pray that all are safely home," Bush
said. "The cause in which they died will continue.
Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by
the inspiration of discovery and the longing to under-
stand. Our journey into space will go on."
Aerospace engineering senior Marni Rosenthal said she
is glad Bush allowed NASA to conduct its own investiga-
tion, adding she is also relieved that the investigation was
not being carried out under the auspices of homeland
NASA halted shuttle launches for two and a half years
See REACTIONS, Page 7A
Celebrate good times
New INS system
By Andrew Kaplan
Daily Staff Reporter
Less than a week after being imple-
mented by the U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service, a new system
of monitoring international students in
the United States has already fallen
under rebuke by the Michigan Student
Assembly and immigration lawyers.
The new policy mandates that
schools frequently update profiles of
their international students on the new
Student and Exchange Visitor Informa-
tion System - a computer database
designed to ensure that "exchange visi-
tors who have entered our nation to
study in our schools actually enroll in
those schools," a U.S. Department of
Justice news release said. A current
system protecting U.S. information has
also been reformed to restrict itnmi-
grant students from pursuing academic
study in certain fields without going
through special visa processing.
"The main difference is that most of
the rules from last time have been car-
ried forward, but ... now everything is
electronic," said Pragav Jain, MSA
International Students Affairs Com-
mission chair and a student from India.
"I think that international students
might suffer from harsher restrictions."
At last Tuesday's meeting, MSA
passed a resolution to oppose SEVIS
o" ranar o I a fnrm _ ~atinc
students about its inequities to immi-
Under the laws - which the INS,
Congress and the Justice Department
derived from the 2001 USA PATRIOT
Act, the 2001 Enhanced Border Secu-
rity Act and the 1996 Ilegal Immigra-
tion Reform and Immigrant
Responsibility Act - schools must
follow a timetable to inform the gov-
ernment about immigrant students'
credit hours, home addresses, transfers
"This has been proposed, and the
INS was working on developing it for
a number of years," said Louise Bald-
win, assistant director of the Universi-
ty's International Center. "I think after
September 11, the government con-
cluded there was not enough control of
tracking people coming into this coun-
try, so this (method) is personally
tracking students and visiting schol-
ars," she added, citing that the database
will improve INS efficiency by instan-
tizing access to student profiles.
But Jain said while he understands
the federal government's concern for
national security, he believes SEVIS
unjustly stereotypes immigrants as ter-
"I think that saying these two people
who came into this country and stole
this and attacked the World Trade Cen-
ter and got visas in this country, and
coo CVI Pc.. 7
Najeeb Jan leads a workshop discussion Saturday while Abheshek Narain and Guru Srinivas listen at the
South Asian Awareness Network Conference in the Michigan Union.
visiilit ofSouth Asian groups
By Soojung Chang
Daily Staff Reporter
Several prominent members of the South Asian
community, including a famous television news
correspondent, a professional actor, the founder of
a non-profit organization, college professors and
classical and modern musicians came to the Uni-
versity over the weekend to promote cultural aware-
ness and political activism.
The South Asian Awareness Network, a Uni-
versity student organization, presented its
inaugural conference titled, "The Continuity of
Culture," Friday through Sunday at the Michi-
The SAAN conference also featured educational
workshops, small group discussions, a formal
dnne nn ehi;i by ncint , nni2i;c an ne-
working opportunities with University alumni.
CNN medical correspondent and University
alum Sanjay Gupta gave a keynote address on
Saturday about the conference's theme.
LSA junior and conference co-chair Mona Patel
said the theme was chosen because of the need to
"Most of us are second-generation South Asians,
so we know a lot about our culture but not as much
as our parents. Our children will probably know
even less, and we're scared that this culture will be
lost," she said.
A moment of silence was held on Saturday
for Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian Ameri-
can to fly in a U.S. space shuttle.
Chawla was one of the seven crew mem-
bers who died in the Columbia space shuttle
ae AAN_ DPase7A
T OY DING/Daily
A man celebrates the Lunar New Year with a
Chinese Lion dance on Main Street Saturday.
Inside: Coverage of students ringing in the new year. Page 7A