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October 31, 2003 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-31

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October 31, 2003
02003 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXIII, No. 42

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One-kundred-thirteens years of editoriilfreedom


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GDP increase signals economic growth

Report indicates


growth in 3rd quarter, largest increase since 1984

By Toilav Ladika
Daily Staff Reporter

More jobs may be on the horizon in
Michigan thanks to a sharp increase in con-
sumer spending, which led to the highest
quarterly rate of economic growth since
1984, the U.S. Department of Commerce
reported yesterday.
The nation's gross domestic product, which
is the measure of all goods and services pro-
duced in the United States, increased 7.2 per-
cent in the third quarter, according to the
report. The rise follows a 3.3-percent GDP

increase in the second quarter, and it provides
yet another indication that the economy may
be on the path to a full recovery.
"It's a very strong signal that we're going to
move into a period of sustained economic
growth," said Donald Grimes, senior research
associate at the University's Institute of Labor
and Industrial Relations.
The job market could soon turn around if
businesses begin investing on a large scale,
Grimes said. He predicted that the economy
could create between 100,000 and 150,000
jobs per month during the rest of this year
and the start of next year.

"The kickstart should stimulate businesses to
begin additional spending," he said.
Throughout most of this year, businesses
sought to increase production without hiring new
workers. But as productivity reaches its limit,
businesses will have no choice but to add
employees if they want to continue churning out
more goods, Grimes said. A 4-percent economic
growth rate in the future would lead to job
The main factors leading to the high rate of
growth in the third quarter included personal
consumption, equipment and software purchases,
residential investment and exports, the Depart-

ment of Commerce's report states.
Consumer spending increased by 6.6 percent
in the third quarter, including a 26.9-percent rise
in spending on durable goods, which are com-
modities like appliances that do not wear out in a
short time period. Computer purchases account-
ed for 0.5 percent of the GDP increase, and
motor vehicles sales accounted for 1.17 percent,
according to the report.
Grimes said consumer spending - which
makes up about two-thirds of the total economic
spending - increased because people had more
money to spend due to tax cuts President Bush
pushed through earlier this year and mortgage

"They went out and spent it," Grimes said.
In a written statement, Commerce Secretary
Don Evans also credited President Bush's eco-
nomic policies for creating the conditions neces-
sary for economic growth an a turnaround in the
job market.
"Today's strong performance shows the Amer-
ican economy is headed in the right direction
thanks to President Bush's Jobs and Growth
Agenda," he said. "We're growing the American
economy and soon we'll be growing more jobs."
But the nation still has not left the recession
See ECONOMY, Page 3

Study finds
comes later
for students
By Evan Mc(uvey
Daily Staff Reporter
"Adulthood" - it's a scary thought
for most University students. Whether
it's finding a job after graduation, living
away from parents or the even more
daunting prospect of starting a family
and career, students are postponing
adulthood for later.
Most Americans believe adulthood
now begins at 26, according to a survey
released earlier this year by the Universi-
ty of Chicago. With a competitive job
market and a recent economic downturn,
it is becoming more common for college
graduates to live with their parents after
they finish their college education.
Frank Furstenberg Jr., chairman of the
MacArthur Network, the research group
that designed the Chicago study, said
students travel a unique path to adult-
"People with a high school education
or some college may have earlier expec-
tations for adulthood. In Italy, people
stay with their families until their 30's.
There is no set time table for adulthood."
Whatever the reason, University stu-
dents seem glad for an extended adoles-
RC freshman Emily Steimly said she
is grateful for the time she has before
beginning her career.
"I'm not an adult at all. My parents
are paying for college. I'm glad I have
time here to figure it out cause I have no
idea what I'm going to do," Steimly, 17,
What constitutes "adulthood" varies
between students. While University stu-
dents said financial separation from their
parents is a key element, many cited
psychological separation from parents as
an equal, if not more significant sign of
Kinesiology junior Katie Krembs said
she feels that adulthood carries definite
"It's having a paying job, paying your
own bills. You have to be self-sustain-
ing," Krembs said.
Other students said the concept of
adulthood was a more emotional process
that happens over a continuum of time.
"I think it comes down to managing
your life in every aspect. You are an
adult when you are completely inde-
pendent from your parents both emo-
tionally and financially," said
Engineering junior Nghiem Nguyen.
Students said that their generation's
trend toward a longer pre-adulthood
period is better when compared to earlier
LSA sophomore Kristina Kellett said
she is glad for the benefits a later onset
of adulthood affords women.
"Decades ago,women became
adults fairly quickly. Women just had
children earlier ... they were thrust
into that role. It's nicer to have an
elongated childhood that's not really a
childhood," Kellett said.
History Prof. Mares Vinovskis said
that the concept of adulthood is a com-
plex topic and a clear definition is hard
to delineate.
"Being an adult is a very nebulous
thing. It varies from person to person,
experience to experience. Things get
very confusing with today's youth. Peo-
ple are doing things that society would

consider as not adult, like living with
their parents. However, they may simul-
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MIPs may result
in jail time for
repeat offenders

Bill would increase penalty
for minor in possession of
alcohol citations
By Emihy Kraack
Daily Staff Reporter
Underage students on campus may
have even more reason to look over their
shoulders while partying with their
friends. The Michigan Senate Judiciary
Committee narrowly voted Tuesday to
send a bill to the full Senate allowing
judges to sentence underage drinkers to
90 days in jail if they accumulate four or
more citations for minor in possession

What signals do police officers look
for before they investigate an MIP?
Department of Public Safety Lt. Jesse
Lewit said a police officer becomes
aware of an alcohol infraction in one of
two ways. One way is someone calling
DPS about a person who is drunk and
being loud or disorderly.
The second way is when a police offi-
cer has a "reasonable suspicion" that a
person has been drinking or is intoxicat-
ed. Lewit said some indicators that a
person has been drinking include blood-
shot eyes, slurred speech, balance and
coordination problems or the "odor of

of alcohol cita-
LSA sopho-
more Steve Sulli-
van said he
disagreed with
sending underage
drinkers to jail. "I
think that's ridicu-
lous," he said.
"But what are you
going to do?"
Under the cur-
rent system, MIPs
are misdemeanors
that do not carry

"All a cop has to do
is show you're under
21 and have alcohol.
It's not a hard case
to prove.
- Doug Lewis
Director, Student Legal Services

He also said that if
a minor is holding a
container of alcohol,
an officer could issue
an MIP citation.
"Open or closed, it's
a violation of state
law, he said.
"If we observe
those signs, we are
obligated by state law
to continue the inves-
tigation" Lewit said.
The investigation
includes taking a Pre-
liminary Breath Test

Michigan NAACP President Shy Averett, LSA sophomore Courtney Mays, and University NAACP Vice President Teri
Russiello voice their support for affirmative action policies on the Diag during the National NAACP Day rally yesterday.
ffinnaive action supporters
rally In Diag against Connerly

By Cuina Freeman
and Michael Gurovitsch
Daily Staff Reporters

A diverse mixture of student groups
populated the Diag yesterday to raise
awareness about affirmative action and
to encourage voter registration as part
"f "National Take Affirmative Action
Several organizations specifically
focused on defeating the Ward Con-
nerly initiative. Connerly, a University
of California regent and founder of

American Civil Rights Coalition, is
working to propose a state constitu-
tional amendment for the November
2004 ballot.
The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative
would allow residents to decide
whether state universities can use race
as a factor in admissions.
"We want to promote voter turnout
for the referendum Ward Connerly is
trying to put through. We are trying to
get people to register and vote against
it," said Rackham student Mark Villa-
corta, member of Students of Color of

" (The rally) is about unity with dif-
ferent arguments. But we work toward
the same goal - informing people
about affirmative action and fighting
Ward Connerly," said Charsha
Mauldin, a member of the University's
NAACP chapter.
Teri Russiello, vice president of the
NAACP's University chapter, also said
it was important to defeat the Connerly
proposal. "Voting will be the only way
to combat Connerly and the signa-
See RALLY, Page 7

jail time. A person getting his or her first
MIP will usually be required to take a
class where presenters speak about the
dangers of alcohol and the legal risk of
underage drinking. After the second
MIP, a person can lose their driver's
license for 90 days. After a third offense,
a person's license is suspended for a
Sullivan got an MIP during Welcome
Week while at a block party and attend-
ed the first-time offenders' class. He
said the fees for his MIP were unfair. "I
think they ask for too much money' he
Student Legal Services Director Doug
Lewis said a person getting an MIP for
the first time usually pleads guilty, pays
$200 in court costs and fees and takes
the first-time offenders' class. Lewis
said these classes meet twice a month in
the Michigan Union and typically have
50 people in them. He estimated that
this meant about 1,000 people per year
from Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti take the

on a small handheld device kept in the
police car. If the PBT reading is above
.02 Blood Alcohol Content, an MIP cita-
tion is given. If the BAC is above .10,
DPS holds the person at the station until
they are able to give a reading of .07
Lewis said the Michigan Court of
Appeals is hearing a case challenging
state MIP laws that judge an intoxicated
minor to be in possession of alcohol.
"There is a case going up right now
about whether your body is a container,"
he said. "Right now if it's in your body,
you are a minor in possession by con-
sumption." If the law is overturned, an
intoxicated student might get out of an
MIP, whereas a student holding a bottle
of beer would be given a citation.
"The alternative (to pleading guilty) is
to set the matter for trial. Right now if
you filed for a trial date it would take a
month to a month and a half," he said.
"Normally, on a first offense they are
See MIPS, Page 3


City Council candidates focus
on student housing concerns

A bite on the beak

By Mona Rafeeq
Daily Staff Reporter
As city elections approach, incumbent Robert
Johnson and newcomers Rick Lax and Rob Haug
from Ann Arbor's 1st Ward are working to focus
their campaigns on issues relevant to students.
The three contenders have voiced opinions on
the main issue on the Nov. 4 ballot, Proposal B.
Passage of this greenbelt proposal would extend
an existing .5 mil property tax for 30 years and
use the funds raised to protect open spaces from
urban sprawl in and around the city.
But opponents of the initiative say prolonging
the property tax could increase housing and rental
costs, with possible harm to students.
Johnson, a Democrat, supports Proposal B. "I
think we need to maintain the quality of life in
Ann Arhr" he sa

"Ann Arbor can establish precedent on this
issue. Hopefully, other townships will follow us,"
Johnson said. Both Lax and Haug expressed hesi-
tation about Proposal B.
Lax, who is an independent, said, "Petitioning
to get my name on the ballot, I got to walk all
around the first voting ward, and I saw that urban
sprawl has eaten our city up."
Lax, an arts writer for The Michigan Daily on
leave for the campaign, added that he is con-
cerned the Greenbelt will drive up student rent
Green Party member Haug said he supports the
idea of the greenbelt proposal. "I think it is
important to put controls on development and
promote regional planning," he said.
But Haug, a Rackham student, is worried about
the effect Proposal B could have on housing. "I
feel that the city isn't doiniz much about afford-


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