The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 7, 2003 - 3
Event draws attention to
female genital mutilation
Actors from the Royal Shake-
speare Company and University stu-
dents will discuss themes fromh
Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Chil-
dren" and the production of the play
in room 1636 at the School of
q Social Work Monday at noon.
on St. Petersburg
Mariinsky Theatre director
Valery Gergiev and architect Eric
Owen Moss will join other sympo-
sium participants in exploring how
city revitalization work in St.
Russia will affect classic archi-
tecture. The balance between old
and new will be discussed in Hale
Auditorium at the Business School
tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Workshops, art used
to highlight viewpoint
of innocent convicts
The Cooley Innocence Project,
which seeks to identify, provide
legal assistance to and secure the
release of wrongfully imprisoned
people, will give a talk on their
work and discuss factors that lead to
conviction and imprisonment of the
innocent. The talk will be held in
the Michigan League Buffet tomor-
row at 7 p.m.
A workshop, demonstration and
discussion of the Prison Creative Arts
Program will take place in 126 East
Quad Sunday at 1 p.m.
Families of prisoners will discuss
the impact of having a loved one in
prison. The discussion will take place
in 126 East Quad Sunday at 3 p.m.
role of life sciences
in courtroom, society
"Life Sciences, Technology, and the
Law," a symposium exploring the role
life sciences play in society and in the
courtroom, will be held in room 250
of Hutchins Hall today. Keynote
speaker Philip Reilly,
Chief executive officer of Inter-
leukin Genetics, starts his talk at 10
a.m. Other panel talks start at 10:30
S a.m., 1 p.m., 2:45 pm. and 4:15 p.m.
Topics include discussion of DNA
evidence in the courtroom and gov-
ernment regulation of stem cell
research and pharmaceuticals.
opens exhibit on
Prof. Ronald Leprohon from the
Department of Near Eastern Studies
at the University of Toronto will
give a lecture titled, "From piety to
irony: the search for the individual
in ancient Egypt" in the Kelsey
Museum of Archeology today at
Series of events
The Southeast Asian Studies
Department is holding a series of
events exploring the impacts of the
Lectures will be held around cam-
pus today and tomorrow. A documen-
tary titled "A Tale of Love" will be
screened in the Lorch auditorium
tonight at 7:30 p.m.
The Arati Sharangpani Lounge in
Mary Markley Residence Hall will
be rededicated Sunday at 1 p.m.
Sharangpani was a Markley resident
advisor who died in a 1997 plane
i Colloquiom to be
held on Europe
The Medieval and Early Modern
Studies and Contexts for Classics is
sponsoring a colloquiom titled
"Dead Lovers: Erotic Bonds and the
Study of Premodern Europe" will
be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today
in Angell Hall Room 3222.
Panel of speakers to
discuss Vietnam at
By Elizabeth Anderson
and Michael Kan
Daily Staff Reporters
Millions of African, Asian and Mid-
dle Eastern women have had their vagi-
nas sliced or otherwise mutilated,
mainly by razor blades, sharp rocks or
Female genital mutilation and its
repercussions were examined by Timo-
thy Johnson, chair of obstetrics and
gynecology at the University Medical
Center and professor of women's stud-
ies, in an informative lecture last night in
conjunction with International Women's
Day, which is tomorrow.
Amnesty International member Ash-
wini Hardikar said her group co-spon-
sored the event along with Students for
Choice because one of Amnesty's cur-
rent focal issues is female genital muti-
lation. "We wanted to bring awareness
to campus," said Hardikar, an RC fresh-
man. "But a lot of people were reluctant
to come because they thought it, would
be too graphic."
During the lecture at East Quad, John-
son said the reasons for the procedure
are culturally based. Such reasons
include rite of passage for young girls,
preservation of chastity and assurance of
marriage. "This is a culturally powerful
practice for some women," he said.
"This is much more culturally driven.
There's no religion that required this."
Both diagrams and photographs of
mutilated vaginas were presented. The
photographs showed scarred vaginas
with missing clitorises and labias.
This procedure is both physically and
psychologically damaging to women,
Johnson said. Short-term health prob-
lems include hemorrhaging, infections
and urinary retention. Infertility, psy-
chosocial issues, dysmenorrhea, labor
complications and death are all possible
long-term effects. Johnson said the pro-
cedure is counter-productive - it is
meant to aid women's fertility but
diminishes this capacity.
Female genital mutilations are mainly
found in sub-saharan Africa, Pakistan,
India, Malaysia and Indonesia. "We're
talking about cultures where women are
not valued and where women's voice are
not valued," Johnson said, adding that
most of the procedures are done by
women. Johnson said eliminating this
act is difficult because it is culturally
ingrained in women and has been done
Cultural sensitivity is another factor
that must be considered when tackling
this problem. "Convincing women
(against the procedure) in large rural
populations is tedious," Johnson said.
"Women who want to start solving
this problem must ask, how would I
enlist women's groups? How would I
go about this in a culturally sensitive
way? How would I go about convinc-
ing powerful men?"
Johnson also added that cultural sen-
sitivity is a slippery slope. "All that we
do to bodies tend to be dictated by cul-
ture," he said, referring to the common
American practice of plastic surgery.
Several audience members said they
attended the event to become more
informed about female genital mutila-
tion. "I came to show solidarity for fem-
inism and National Women's Day," said
recent Social Work graduate Jillian
RC freshman Ruthie Freeman said
she found the event eye opening. "I have
a hard time believing that this still goes
on," Freeman said, adding she thinks this
is a problem that needs attention, espe-
cially from feminists. "This is a univer-
sity where we can take part in
organizations that can do something."
Judy Perlman speaks at the dedication of the Perlman Honors Commons, a
lounge for students in the Honors Program, in Angell Hall yesterday.
'U' opens lounge
for Honorsc students
By Maria Sprow
Daily Staff Reporter
Aflinnative action supporters
plan events leading up to April 1
By Andrew Kaplan
Daily Staff Reporter
Eyeing the April 1 date when University admissions policies
go before the U.S. Supreme Court, Students Supporting Affir-
mative Action held their first organizational meeting last night,
uniting members for a Washington rally to support the Univer-
sity's use of race-based admissions. The group also enlisted
students for committees to coordinate educational activities
and press releases.
Undergraduate and Rackham students, members of the Uni-
versity National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People, Rackham's Students of Color, Students Organizing for
Labor and Economic Equality and the Michigan Student
Assembly filled the Michigan Union's Anderson room last
night to mobilize support for this group defined as a "collec-
tive of student leaders."
"What makes SSAA different (from other affirmative action
groups) is that it makes students of all different diversity issues
come together to support a cause, and not just the organization
they're a part of," said NAACP Juvenile Justice Chair Teri
Russiello, citing that many students agree with affirmative
action in part but not in full. "Advocacy and education are
very important, in addition to taking a very firm, solid stance
on affirmative action policies - as opposed to swaying back
and forth on the issue."
While SSAA leaders presented a multifarious agenda to stu-
dents, the Washington rally was the main focus of the meeting.
"(The rally is) going to be a huge part," said Pete Woiwode,
MSA communications committee chair. "Obviously, the more
people we show the Supreme Court are invested in this, the
bigger the impact it's going to have."
SSAA leaders said the committees must work hard to raise
funds for buses to the rally, which might cost $35,000.
Between now and the April oral arguments, committees
plan to hold a deluge of events in conjunction with student
groups across the country. On March 30, SSAA plans to hold
a Jam for Justice concert supporting affirmative action with
performances by hip-hop luminaries, and hopes to sell out
SSAA leaders also requested that members participate in a
National Student of Color Day of Silence on March 31, when
minority students will wear gags symbolizing the conse-
quences of race-blind admissions policies. Although students
will remain silent while on campus, they will attend classes
and "conduct their business as usual," an SSAA flyer said.
To conclude the day of silence, SSAA will merge students
on the Diag for its Rally for Educational Justice. Hours later,
students will board buses for Washington in order to arrive in
front of the Supreme Court the next morning.
Students in the Honors Program
now have their own lounging and
meeting space inside Angell Hall,
reserved for them through a donation
to the University from two University
Honors Program alumni.
In her first visit to the new Haven
Hall, University President Mary Sue
Coleman, along with benefactors Rick
and Judy Perlman, cut the ribbon to
the Perlman Honors Commons last
night. Before cutting the ribbon, Cole-
man praised the students in the Hon-
ors Program for their diverse skills and
Several students spoke about how
participating in the program changed
their undergraduate experience.
"The Honors Program here is about
the people. The people here who are in
honors are really interested in educa-
tion, and I mean real education," LSA
junior Jessi Grieser said.
The room - which overlooks the
Diag and is attached to three 22-per-
son seminar rooms, a smaller confer-
ence room and four spaces for faculty
office hours - was a $500,000 proj-
ect that started in the summer of
2001, said Bob Johnston, director of
facilities for the LSA.
It features a bar space for coffee and
food, lounging space, wooden flooring
and wall murals featuring some of the
University's most-well known alumni
and historical moments.
A photograph of playwright and
University alum Arthur Miller deco-
"This is one of the
nicest spaces that we
have built for
- Terrence McDonald
LSA interim Dean
rates one wall, along with the Robert
Frost poem "Fire and Ice." Across the
room, former President John F.
Kennedy is shown standing on the
Michigan Union steps during his Oct.
14, 1960 speech proposing the Peace
LSA interim Dean Terrence
McDonald spoke about the impor-
tance of having spaces available to stu-
dents to come together and meet in an
educational environment outside of
the classroom. "This is one of the
nicest spaces that we have built for
students in the 20 years since I have
been here," McDonald said.
He said the Honors Program had
not previously set a space aside for its
students that reflected the prestige of
"(The best donations) are the ones
that matches the passion of the donor
with the need of the University, and I
think that is what we have here," he
said, adding that the old space desig-
nated for honors students "was a space
of tremendous creativity, but it really
didn't send the kind of message we
wanted to send to people about the
Continued from Page 1.
"What this represents for us is that if
you combine the 6.5 percent pro-
posed cut for this year with the 3.5
percent cut last year, then that's a 10
percent cut to higher education." she
said. "That takes us back to the level
we were at five years ago."
"I'll make the point when I go to talk
to the state Legislature that higher edu-
cation is a benefit to the state far beyond
the individual student that comes here
for a degree ... we're a part of economic
development," Coleman added.
While some legislators like Senate
Majority Leader Ken Sikkema (R-
Wyoming) understand this is a hard cut,
many Republicans feel both higher edu-
cation and the Merit Scholarship should
receive more funding.
"We've increased the appropriation
for higher education every year since
1994....It's certainly not a trend," said
Bill Nowling, a spokesman for Sikkema.
But "it's not fair for Michigan students
to balance the budget on their backs.
(Cutting higher education and the Merit
Scholarship) is a double-whammy."
Among the proposed cuts affecting
the University is the $35 million slash to
the LSC's funding. While there is no
question as to its value to Michigan's
continued economic growth, many are
glad that any funding for this program
will be maintained.
"The whole purpose of the Life Sci-
ences Corridor was to create the
research infrastructure that Michigan
lacked," Nowling said. "We've probably
invested about $100 million dollars in
the Life Sciences Corridor over the past
couple of years. That's a lot of money."
Coleman also expressed a positive
reaction, saying that she's "heartened
that there is funding for the Life Sci-
ences Corridor." She added that while it
is not directly associated with the Uni-
versity's Life Science Initiative, it is the
mechanism that will help to integrate
that program and local businesses.
Granholm proposed a way to create
an estimated $200 million in additional
revenue by closing obscure "loop-holes"
in certain tax codes.
"I'm glad to see her opening up some
new revenue in the form of fee increases
and tax loop-holes," state Sen. Liz
Brater (D-Ann Arbor) said.
"We're giving up as much money in
tax breaks to special interest groups as
we're collecting in the areas of sales and
But many are concerned cutting these
breaks will hurt Michigan's economy.
"The tightening of the tax loop-holes
- we want to look at every one of
those," Nowling said.
"One man's loop-hole is another
man's tax incentive, and we want to
make sure we're not cutting off our nose
in spite of our face. ... A lot of tax
incentives help to create jobs and help
grow the economy."
"We're not saying that there aren't
any loop-holes that people are taking
advantage of, but there are some tax
incentives that we've written into the
tax code for very specific reasons," he
Michigan's economy will require a
great deal of improvement for the budg-
et to recover, said Ellen Jeffries, deputy
director of the Senate Fiscal Agency.
"We're already predicting a 4.3 per-
cent growth, which is a pretty normal
increase, and we're still dealing with
these budget cuts," Jeffries said.
"Unless we start getting much bigger
growth than that, we are not going to see
big changes in the budget."
Continued from Page 1.
margin, the program was a central issue during last Novem-
The governor's current proposal is far from becoming
official policy, but does mark a turning point in the
debates surrounding the award program, according to
David Waymire, former spokesman for People Protecting
Kids and the Constitution- a group that opposed Pro-
"(Granholm has) initiated that discussion and now the
question is how the Legislature will deal with that,"
Waymire said. "The governor has laid out a proposal and
now she's accountable for that decision.
The changes the legislature will make to the merit award
proposal have yet to be determined, but the Republican
majorities in the State Senate and House is likely to reduce
the severity of Granholm's measures.
"We saw that as a proper role of government to help fami-
lies with funding for education," said Bill Nowling,
spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema (R-
Wyoming). "We believe making an investment in the next
generation - who are going to be taxpayers, entrepreneurs,
school teachers and leaders - is worthwhile."
Several new financial aid initiatives will partially com-
pensate for the cuts, shifting the focus of Michigan's finan-
cial aid programs from merit-based to need-based.
"I think you've got to look at the Merit Award Scholar-
ships in hand with (Granholm's) new need-based financial
aid program," said Mike Boulus, executive director of the
Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan.
"With the limited amount of dollars the state has, she
wants to direct the majority of those dollars to the students
who need it most," Boulus added.
Students at the University already receiving the merit
awards expressed various reactions to news of the proposed
cuts as well as differing opinions about the importance of
the scholarships themselves.
"I really disagree with the whole merit scholarship pro-
gram in the first place, because it's basically a bribe to do
well on the testing," LSA freshman Michael Carroll said. "I
think they should either get rid of the money or get rid of the
LSA freshman Brooke Turnes favored the award pro-
gram and noted the effects the cuts would have on
"I thought it was a good way to spend the money by put-
ting it towards the future. My mom's going to be mad
because my brother is going to come here" Turnes said.
Continued from Page 1
Panelists discussed issues involving
the lack of communication within the
mental health support system and the
challenges faced by mental health care
providers, both on the financial and
Marianne Udow, vice president of
health care products and provider
services of Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Michigan, described the complete
misconceptions and prejudices of
depression and mental health within
the health care system. Without the
support of corporate America,
providers do not have the money to
support care and research of mental
Two other keynote speakers, Kathy
Cronkite and Meri Nana-Ama Dan-
quah, will continue the discussion on
depression today at the Michigan
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