December 9, 2003
@2003 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXIII, No. 67
One-hundred-thirteen years ofeditorialfreedom
cloudy with a
Number of calls reaches
five, international students
By Enily Kraack
An e-mail sent to the international
student community Friday is raising new
questions about last week's crime alert.
The e-mail states, "Some international
students have received calls similar to
the ones described in the alert, so we
want to make sure all international stu-
dents are aware of this crime alert."
International Center Director Rodolfo
Altamirano said the center decided to
send the e-mail after a student notified it
that she had received a harassing phone
call. Altamirano said the Department of
Public Safety also contacted the Interna-
tional Center with information about the
DPS issued the alert Dec. 2 after two
students and a student's mother reported
receiving phone calls from a man claim-
ing he was holding their parents or chil-
dren hostage. The man demanded sexual
favors from the women to ensure the
safety of their loved ones. At least five
harassing phone calls have been reported
in the past week, including the three
calls in the original alert.
A new entry on the DPS website from
Thursday showed a caller reporting that
her mother was a victim of the same
harassment. Another entry states that on
Dec. 2, a woman reported receiving a
phone call from a man who said he had
her parents hostage in Japan. She said he
was making sexually explicit comments
and that he eventually got mad and hung
up. Both cases happened off campus and
were turned over to local police forces.
DPS Lt. Crystal James would not say
whether these two incidents are being
included in the crime alert investigation.
James said she also could not confirm
whether investigators were looking into
the possibility that the caller is targeting
the international student community. No
specifics about the case are being
released while DPS conducts the investi-
Despite the phone calls, Altamirano
and international students say the cam-
pus is a friendly place.
Business School junior Yanru Chen,
an international student from Singapore,
said she has never experienced harass-
ment on campus. "I think it's pretty
safe," she said. "I don't think there's any
distinction between the level of security
for international and non-international
Altamirano said that incidents of
harassment toward international students
I are rare at the University. But he said
there are times when these students are
potentially more vulnerable.
"Being an international student, they
may be subjected to pranks like" the
phone calls, Altamirano said. "Why?
Maybe because they're international,
maybe they're not familiar with the cul-
ture or American society."
Altamirano said he experienced dis-
crimination as an international graduate
student at Michigan State University in
See CRIME, Page 7
UHS limits vaccine
to high-risk cases
By Aymar Joan
Daily Staff Reporter
Responding to a local and nation-
al shortage of flu vaccinations, Uni-
versity Health Service has started
restricting who can receive the pre-
With 520 doses left as of yester-
day morning, UHS will only admin-
ister vaccines to high-risk
individuals, primarily those with
asthma, diabetes, heart disease or
an immunodeficiency. That includes
adults over 65 and, in some cases,
adults over 50.
Nationally, flu shot manufactur-
ers have reported a declining supply
of vaccine doses. Companies manu-
factured 80 million doses of the
vaccine this year, but recent out-
breaks have increased demand and
lowered the available supply. On
average, 70 to 75 million Ameri-
cans take the vaccine each year.
The shortage is not restricted to the
University. UHS Director Robert
Winfield said that the Washtenaw
County Health Department is also
restricting its flu shot administration
to high-risk individuals.
"Most health services that I'm
aware of have run out of vaccine,"
Winfield said. The universities of
Indiana and Illinois at Urbana-Cham-
paign have also announced shortages.
But alternatives to the traditional
method do exist. FluMist, a flu vac-
cine introduced into the nose, may see
increased sales resulting from the vac-
cine shortage. The nasal spray was
developed by epidemiology Prof.
Hunein Maassab and approved by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration in
"The FluMist vaccine is still avail-
able. It's an inhaled vaccine, which is
new this year," Winfield said.
But UHS has chosen not to carry
the alternative, because it is "too
new and untried," Winfield said.
Certain health agencies, includ-
ing the Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment,
have recommended that people ages
five to 49 use FluMist to reserve
the traditional vaccine for the elder-
ly and children, for whom the alter-
native has not yet been approved.
In addition to potential health
risks, hospitals are also reluctant to
carry FluMist because of its price.
At $46, the vaccine is significantly
more expensive than the traditional
injection carried by most health
services. Before the shortage, UHS
charged $17 for the flu shot.
"I don't have 46 bucks to spend
on a flu vaccine," LSA sophomore
Patrick Meehan said. Meehan
received the traditional vaccine a
few weeks ago, after an unfortunate
bout with the flu last year that he
said "was pretty crippling."
But even those who opt for a flu
shot are not fully protected from a
new strain of the illness. Health offi-
cials are particularly concerned with
the Fujian strain, which is not fully
covered by the traditional vaccine. In
Michigan, many isolated, influenza-A
cases have also been reported.
Larry Fleming, Bob Siegert, George Fisher employees at Fingerle
Lumber Co. package some wood in their warehouse on South
Ford safety director
discusses company s
AIDS crisis program
By Sara Eber
Daily Staff Reporter
A representative from one of the world's largest
automakers came to the University yesterday to dis-
cuss the role of corporate responsibility and
Ford Motor Co. Occupational Health and Safety
Director Gregory Stone explained the corporation's
South Africa HIV/AIDS Program - which was
granted the Award for Corporate Excellence in 2002
- to students and faculty yesterday in the Business
School's Hale Auditorium.
Ford Motor Co. South Africa, which employs more
than 3,000 people, began an intervention program in
1998 designed to promote AIDS awareness among
employees and their families. The program involved
distributing condoms, counseling and testing employ-
ees, advocating for more inclusive benefits and
changing the stigma surrounding the disease.
"There was a lot of denial and ignorance among the
workforce about how the infection occurs," Stone
Several audience members questioned Ford's inten-
tions for being in South Africa, suggesting that the
company was just looking to build goodwill with citi-
zens as it re-entered the market. While 29.4 million of
the 42 million AIDS cases worldwide are in sub-
Saharan Africa, South Africa is not the most heavily
afflicted country. Twenty percent of South Africa's
population has contracted HIV, compared to 35 per-
cent in Botswana. In this context, some professors
debated Ford's motivation for instituting the AIDS
program in South Africa, given Ford's history there,
noting that the corporation shut down its plants dur-
Stone spoke about the importance of understanding
cultural differences and the challenges that they pres-
ent in treating the epidemic. For example, when some
South African men used condoms, Stone said, they
cut off the tips due to the cultural perception that men
need to "spread their seed," thus reversing the con-
dom's success. Since the program's establishment,
Ford has increased its distribution of free male and
female condoms for its employees from 700 to 17,000
per month, and Stone marks this increase as a sign of
improved safe sex education in the country.
He admitted that the company did not spend a lot
of money on the initiative, but said they contributed a
great deal of time and effort.
"Prevention is pretty cheap," Stone added.
In the context of business, Stone perceived the pro-
gram not only as an altruistic venture but also one of
practicality. He attributed the program's success to the
dedication of select individuals willing to "knock
down the necessary barriers" to see it to fruition, but
J- -IV -UN IJj I ia ny
Ford Motor Co. Occupational Health and Safety Director
Gregory Stone speaks about their HIV/AIDS Program In
South Africa yesterday at Hale Auditorium.
acknowledged that it would be difficult to commit if
the project cost a large sum of money.
"I think we needed to overcome the traditional con-
servatism that says 'we shouldn't stick our nose in
programs such as these,' " Stone said. "We decided
that this is the right thing to do, and (the AIDS crisis)
imposed significant business risks on our markets and
on our employees."
Business School Prof. Tim Fort, a member of
Global Corporation and Human Well-Being, a new
faculty organization, said there is no confusion over
why Ford won the Corporate Excellence award.
See AIDS, Page 7
Despite this concern, LSA junior
Dan King, who received the flu shot
three weeks ago, said he was lucky
enough to get treatment.
"I'm glad that I was able to get it
in time, before they had to impose
these restrictions," King said.
For students who within a 24-
hour period begin to exhibit symp-
toms, UHS provides other
preventive measures that can lessen
the flu's intensity.
"Individuals who get the flu, if
seen within the first 48 hours, can
take anti-viral drugs, which can
shorten the duration of the disease,"
Winfield said. These anti-virals
include amantidine, rimantadine
By Adam Rosen
Daily Staff Reporter
In the world of never-ending exams
and papers, most students - except for
a few health-conscious ones - are too
apathetic or too busy to pay attention
to everything they put into their bodies.
When Business School senior Mark
Schumacher goes to the store for gro-
ceries, he said he glances at the nutri-
tion labels listed on his favorite foods
about half the time.
But Schumacher said he felt he was
one of the few students who even both-
er to look at nutrition labels. "Judging
by my roommates, students don't care
at all about checking at labels," he said.
Registered MFit dietitian Kathy
Fitzgerald said the student lifestyle
probably contributes to a large intake
of fats, particularly a synthetically-pro-
duced one known as "trans fatty acids,"
or just trans fats.
"I'm sure it varies from individual to
individual, but if you tend to eat out a
lot, eat fried foods or frozen dinners,
you're probably getting a lot of trans
fats' Fitzgerald said.
Almost anything that sits on the gro-
cery store shelf for a long period of
time likely contains this potentially
heart-hazardous fat, used as a flavor
enhancer and preservative. But trans
fats are not yet listed on food nutrition
labels, Fitzgerald added.
Originally thought to be a healthier
alternative to saturated fat, this chemi-
cally-engineered substance has until
recently avoided the scrutiny reserved
for more well-known culprits of
unhealthiness - saturated fats and
cholesterol - by an increasingly
According to a statement on the
Food and Drug Administration's web-
site, "consumption of saturated fat,
trans fat, and dietary cholesterol raises
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or 'bad'
cholesterol, levels, which increases the
risk for coronary heart disease.'
In July, the FDA mandated that a list
of amounts of trans fats present must
be documented on a food item's nutri-
tion label. But, this ruling will not go
into effect until January 1, 2006.
Food manufacturers have two years
'Construction' sculpture by British
artist draws both criticism, attention
By Alison Go
Daily Staff Reporter
An oversized, bronze sculpture surrounded
by orange plastic fencing has been turning
heads and drawing criticism from passersby
since its arrival on Friday.
Located between Angell Hall and the Uni-
versity of Michigan Museum of Art, the
work is a sculpture by British artist Barbara
Hepworth, whose birthday centennial is
being commemorated by the museum until
The piece, which is appropriately named
"Construction (Homage to Mondrian)," is
undergoing some construction of its own.
"In the moving process, it received some
stress," said Sean Ulmer, curator of modern
and contemporary art at the museum. "In
some places it has broken free and we are in
the process of fixing it."
kind of information," Rackham student Katie
Hornstein said. In lieu of more information, it
seems like it is an "abstract sculpture for the
sake of being there," Hornstein added.
A notice identifying the artist and name of
the piece will be placed in front of the struc-
ture once repairs have been made.
Other students complained that the sculp-
ture is an "eyesore" in its current state. But
the museum plans on removing the orange
fencing and wooden crate from underneath
the piece after experts can fully repair the
"We wanted to let people see it, even if it
wasn't quite done yet," Ulmer said. Experts
are meeting today to discuss the work that
needs to be done on the sculpture and to
determine when the sculpture will be fully
Because the piece is too large and heavy to
bring inside, museum officials decided to
"It was made for outside
and should be placed
- Sean Ulmer
Curator, University of Michigan Musuem
According to Ulmer, the placement of the
sculpture in such a prominent site was not an
advertisement for the showcase of Hep-
"It was constructed to be an outdoor piece,"
Ulmer said. "It was made for outside and
should be placed outside."
Although students like LSA senior Court-
ney Morton described its position as "obtru-
sive and in the way," the area where the
sculpture is located is under the discretion of