- _ __th5 r
02003 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXIII, No. 28
One-hundred-thirteen years ofeditorial freedom
the day, with
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A little chalk goes a long way
Influence of Calif.
initiative still unclear
Michigan considers issue
rejected by California voters
during Tuesday's recall election
By Carmen Johnson
Daily Staff Reporter
California voters rejected Proposition
54 in Tuesday's gubernatorial election - a
sign that voters did not favor eliminating
the collection of race-related data.
Now after the defeat of Proposition 54,
supporters of race in admissions hope
Michigan voters will also reject a similar
proposed state constitutional amendment
- which would ban use of race in admis-
sions in Michigan - if it appears on the
Nov. 2004 ballot.
But opponents of affirmative action say
California's Racial Privacy Initiative is too
different to predict the outcome if Michi-
gan voters are asked to vote on the subject
In Michigan, the American Civil Rights
Coalition hopes to collect more than
317,000 signatures by July of next year in
support of putting a ballot question
regarding whether race should be used as
a factor in hiring and in college admis-
With enough signatures, the initiative
would appear on the ballot in November.
Ward Connerly, University of California
regent and chairman of the ACRC, spear-
headed the Proposition 54 campaign in
California and is also working to gain sup-
port for Michigan's anti-affirmative action
But state Sen. Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor)
said yesterday's defeat of Proposition 54 is
a "good omen" for people against the ini-
tiative in Michigan.
"The result in California will give
momentum to Michigan voters who are
against the initiative," Brater said.
"Although it is very early in the process,
the coalition of people who are against
will be raising their voices to gain sup-
Connerly's initiative comes after affir-
mative action supporters and opponents
thought the Supreme Court decision
released in June was the final say in the
University's admissions policies.
Because the court only sanctions and
does not require the use of race-conscious
admissions, a successful Michigan initia-
tive could bypass the court's rulings.
Justin Jones, director of policy and
planning for the ACRC, said the outcome
of California's proposition cannot fore-
shadow how Michigan residents would
vote on affirmative action.
"What people in California were voting
on was a new topic in public debate,"
Jones said. "But in Michigan, if it's on the
ballot, they'll be voting for or against
See PROPOSITION, Page 7A
By Tomislav Ladika
Daily Staff Reporter
Memory of Columbus
challenged by chalk ings
written around campus
By Adhiraj Dutt
and Ryan Vicko
Daily Staff Reporters
LSA senior Jib Kidder chalks on campus. Kidder covers the ground yesterday
under the Dennison Arch with his drawings.
COnline voting offers
By Andrew Kaplan
Daily Staff Reporter
In-state students planning to vote Democrat
in the upcoming presidential election can now
nominate their party's candidate online.
The Michigan Democratic Party released
new voting procedures last month for its Feb-
ruary presidential caucus, where voters hold-
ing Michigan residency will cast their ballots
for the Democratic frontrunner in the 2004
presidential election. Caucus voters will also
begin picking their state's delegates for the
2004 Democratic National Convention.
The most important change to the voting
process, party officials say, is that Michigan
Democrats will now be able to vote online -
which will make this year's caucus the most
"accessible" caucus in Michigan's history.
"As a party, we believe that voting needs to
be made easier, particularly for young peo-
ple," said Mark Brewer, executive chair of the
state Democratic Party.
University students agree that the new pro-
cedures will stimulate voting on campus,
where high-speed Internet gateways abound.
"Online voting is a huge advantage to stu-
dents," said Courtney Skiles, secretary of the
University College Democrats. "With all the
increase in online accessibility, I think stu-
dents are constantly online - and this is yet
another way make voting accessible to every-
one. Students don't have to go seek out a
place to vote."
"Columbus = genocide," "Got genocide?
Murderers don't deserve holidays" and
"Columbus = murderer" are some of the
chalkings that now appear on pavement
Earlier this week, members of the Native
American Student Association and La Voz
Latina chalked central campus with these
messages in protest of Christopher Columbus
Day, which is Oct. 13.
NASA Co-Chair Nickole Fox said that
most people don't know or pay attention to
the darker side of Columbus' historic arrival
to the Americas.
"It's an eye catcher so people will look into
the issue a little bit more. A lot of people
grow up with the idea that Columbus is a
hero, but he also did a lot of bad things and
we just wanted to point that out," said Fox,
an LSA senior. "He killed a lot of Native
But many students believe the chalkings
improperly question Columbus Day.
Speaking out against the chalkings, Bobby
Raham, co-chair of the Young Americans for
Freedom, believes they will lead to further
criticism of American history.
"Frankly it's ridiculous. If they're going to
say this, they'll probably start saying Wash-
ington and Jefferson were racists," said
Raham, an LSA sophomore. "Columbus'
contributions changed the course of history.
... Everybody makes mistakes."
"But I'm not saying they shouldn't be
allowed to do the chalkings. They are entitled
to their opinion," he added.
History Prof. Nancy Hunt said it is debat-
able whether Columbus himself committed
genocide or any of murders.
"It's good that it makes people think about
history and allows people to question why
Columbus is a hero or whether he is a hero.
Holidays tend to create public debates over
what historical interpretations are made,"
Despite the party's pledge that online vot-
ing will facilitate the voting process, Democ-
ratic hopeful Al Sharpton has said the new
policies favor wealthy voters who can afford
computers. In an effort to build resistance to
the policies, he has publicly appealed to
Democratic contender Howard Dean to
oppose online voting. Dean, whose online
campaign front has won him much of his sup-
port and funding, has yet to meet Sharpton's
But Brewer said Sharpton's claims are
"simply not true," adding that the new poli-
cies will make voting easier for all Democ-
"We have three different methods of vot-
ing," he said. In addition to taking to the polls
See CAUCUS, Page 7A
Chalkings like this, found near the Dennison
Building, have appeared across campus since
Law School student Michelle d'Amico
said she appreciates the right to free speech
but the way the groups are speaking out is
pointless and misguided.
"It's cowardly. If you make a bold state-
ment like that, you need to back it up. These
people should hold some sort of a forum to
discuss the issue," she said. "I would like to
see the research in a comprehensive fashion.
They are trying to change people's minds and
in order to do this, they need to present facts.
No one will change their mind just because
See CHALKINGS, Page 7A
Public universities could face "sig-
nificant dismantling" and may be
forced to decrease their academic
quality as a result of a state budget
shortfall that could reach $800 mil-
lion, an official representing Michi-
gan's 15 state universities said
"Most of the cost efficiencies on the
operating side of the budget, we've
done," said Mike Boulus, executive
director of the Presidents Council
State Universities of Michigan.
A n y
may have to
in a k e
m o s t
schools would be forced to decrease
their financial aid coffers, eliminate
courses or make other cuts that hurt
academic quality, Boulus said.
The state Legislature most likely
will not decide on decreasing state aid
to the universities until late December,
when the budget adjustments must be
finalized. But cuts to the higher educa-
tion budget are a realistic possibility
because the state may face a budget
shortfall that is twice as high as the
initial estimates of $400 million.
Any cuts to the higher education
budget would hit universities especial-
ly hard because they would most likely
be announced midway through the
higher education fiscal year which
begins July 1, Boulus said.
"What that means is we have to
come up with twice as much because
we're halfway into our fiscal year,"
University spokeswoman Julie Peter-
son said administrators are watching the
state budget process closely but will wait
before making final decisions on the
University budget. But she added that
officials have not been caught off guard
by the reported shortfall. "We've been
anticipating that and planning accord-
ingly" Peterson said.
The University was forced to make
mid-year cuts last winter when then-
Gov. John Engler approved a 3.5-percent
cut to the higher education budget in
response to a shortfall of about $100
million. State universities handled the
2002 decrease in state aid without
increasing tuition, Boulus said.
But this year's shortfall is expected
to be much greater, and Boulus said he
is not certain how much more schools
can decrease their administrative and
operating expenses before beginning
to slash academic programs.
Peterson said University administra-
tors are concerned about the conse-
Mom-and-pop diner, home
of 'Collider,' changes hands
By Victoria Edwards
Daily Staff Reporter
The small diner is filled wall-to-
wall with pictures of University stu-
dents eating, smiling and laughing.
These pictures hold memories much
!ike the memory that Rod's Diner
itself is to become tomorrow when the
current owners, husband and wife
Rodney and Susan Craig, sell it to Kee
These pictures act as a visual
reminder of the Craig's goal of becom-
ing an intricate part of the campus
community by providing a place
But even with the personal gratifi-
cation Craig said he got from the stu-
dents, he said that the economic aspect
of the diner was difficult for him to
maintain. Neither he nor his wife had
any business background, and he said
that in general he "didn't really like
"Rent goes up so bad. Everything
goes up, but your money coming in
doesn't go up. ... (Rent) started at
$1,300 a month nine years ago and
moved up. If we'd stayed it would have
been $2,200 a month. I understand
why family business have a hard time
making it especially in Ann Arbor,"
"Rent goes up so bad.
Everything goes up,
but your money
coming in doesn't go
Rod's Diner owner
the many economic problems facing
small business owners, one of them
being their inability to compete with
"T'm .. na..nnr mnra ninc in Ann