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January 07, 2004 - Image 1

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-07

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Wednesday
January 7,2004
@2004 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXIII, No. 71

TsOA

One-hundred-thirteen years of editorialfreedom

Partly
cloudy into
the after-
toon, with
wind from
the south at
17 miles per
hour

HI: 21
LOW: 12
Tomorrow
2st1 o

wwwmichigandailywcom

I I I I I

Website woes result
in firstday scheduling
gaffes, missed classes

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By Michael Kan
Daily Staff Reporter
Many students faced scheduling headaches and ended up
skipping the first day of classes yesterday when technical
problems with Wolverine Access made viewing course
information impossible.
Administrative Information Services reported that
Wolverine Access - the University scheduling website -
was experiencing a web traffic problem.
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said the problem
was due to the website's inability to open new Internet con-
nections for students.
Peterson explained that when students usually log in to
Wolverine Access, their computer connects to the database
where all their information is stored. Usually, once students
log out of the website, the connection is terminated. Since
there is only a fixed number of connections the site can
make, Wolverine Access must first end the connections
before allowing new users to access the database.
Peterson said MAIS noticed the problem on Monday at
around 11:30 p.m. But MAIS has not encountered this prob-
lem before, so the solution is not immediately clear, Peter-
son added.

"(MAIS) are going to be working all through the night,
but there are no guarantees Wolverine Access will be up
soon," she said.
As of last night, the website appeared to work again.
But class scheduling has already been affected. With stu-
dents unable to connect to Wolverine Access, many could
not make changes to their class schedules. Peterson said that
as of yesterday afternoon, only 800 students had dropped
classes, compared with around 6,000 on the first day of
classes in previous semesters.
Peterson said contingency plans are available to the Uni-
versity if the problem is not resolved soon, although she
does not know when students can expect them to be imple-
mented if the problem continues.
Peterson also said students can still connect to Wolverine
Access, but the connections are very limited. "(Wolverine
Access) is just not cycling people through normally. It's not
that the system is down," Peterson said.
For now, students who want to make changes to their stu-
dent accounts will have to visit the Registrar's Office, which
has direct access to the student database. Students can also
gain direct access to their accounts through their college or
school office, Peterson added.
See WEBSITE, Page 7

DAVID TUMAN/Daily
LSA sophomore Huey Fang Lim checks her Wolverine Access account shortly after It was made available to students again
last night.

TWO WEEKS 'TILL IOWA

White House
hopefuls scramble
for last-rn imute
endorsements
By Michael Gurovitsch
Daily Staff Reporter
With the Democratic primaries set to begin in less than
two weeks, candidates continue to vie for the endorse-
ments of notable political figures in a final push to bolster
their appeal to voters.
Although endorsements are seen as vital to a candi-
date's health, their actual significance is limited, said Prof.
Vincent Hutchings of the Center for Political Studies.
"(Endorsements) provide some information ... that
could influence voting choice. ... (But) it usually doesn't
make a big difference," Hutchings said. "(The) difference
is at the margins, but that's where elections are won and
lost" he added.
"Voters want information shortcuts which will provide
them a way to (evaluate) candidates without combing
through policy statements or back issues of the Washing-
ton Post," Hutchings said, adding that voters will some-
times associate the qualities of well-known politicians
with the candidates they endorse.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean who had a com-
manding double-digit lead in a CNN poll released this
week, continues to distinguish himself from the other can-
didates with the endorsement of former Sen. Bill Bradley
yesterday.
Bradley campaigned unsuccessfully for the 2000
Democratic nomination against then-Vice President Al
Gore, who also recently endorsed Dean.
Other leading candidates have also attained support
from prominent Democratic politicians. Sen. John Kerry
of Massachusetts received the backing of Sens. Edward
Kennedy of Massachusetts and Diane Feinstein of Califor-
nia, as well as former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the
United Steelworkers of America endorsed the historically
See ENDORSEMENTS, Page 7

MSA discusses
alleged Greek
system changes

By C'anna Freeman
Daily Staff Reporter

Edwards hoes optiim,
not criticism, will win votes

Michigan Student Assembly
members returned to chambers to
discuss their plans for the semester
last night, but spent the majority of
the meeting talking about potential
changes to the Greek system.
Allegations by MSA members
stated that Vice President for Stu-
dent Affairs E. Royster Harper pro-
posed an informal plan to the
University Board of Regents' that
could potentially hinder Greek sys-
tem operations.
These allegations involve changes
such as elimination of fall rush for
freshmen, requiring houses to have
live-in advisors, and forcing frater-
nities to enact alcohol-free policies.
"It is complicated because of the
state of housing in Ann Arbor - to
delay housing decisions until sec-
ond semester could potentially cre-
ate a housing problem," said Jason
Mironov, MSA General Counsel
and former vice-president of Alpha
Sigma Phi.
Representatives' main complaint
about these possible policies was
the lack of student involvement in
the creation of these modifications.

"From my knowledge of the situ-
ation, no students have been con-
tacted," Rep. Robert Counihan said.
"It is not that the plan is bad, but
that there is no student input."
Several assembly members pre-
sented a Greek Life taskforce that
would act as stepping-stone for stu-
dent involvement. The taskforce
would analyze how Greek and non-
Greek students feel about these reg-
ulations.
But Mironov stressed that at this
point, the allegations are hearsay.
Tonight the Interfraternity Coun-
cil convenes to discuss the possibil-
ity of the University's tightened
control over the Greek system.
Whether the IFC has any knowl-
edge of the possible restrictions that
was discussed in the chambers is
not clear.
Also at the meeting, MSA passed
a resolution to improve the safety of
streets both around campus and in
the Plymouth Road area by lobby-
ing both the University and the City
of Ann Arbor.
Safety concerns stemmed from
the November deaths of two Uni-
versity students, Norhananim Zain-
ol and Teh Nanni Roshema. The
See MSA, Page 7

By Jameel Naqvi
Daily Staff Reporter

The race for the Democratic nomination is
heating up, and John Edwards isn't flinch-
ing. Despite single-digit showings at the
national and local levels, the senator from
North Carolina remains optimistic that vot-
ers will listen to a candidate who focuses on
the possibilities for the future rather than
simply criticizing the status quo.
While former Vermont Gov. Howard
Dean's angry attacks on the Bush adminis-
tration and its handling of the Iraq war
struck a chord with alienated partisans and
propelled him from a relative unknown to
the national front-runner, Edwards bases his
campaign on his own brand of populism.
"It's not about who can be the most pes-
simistic about America," said Edwards support-
er Ashley Bell, president of the College
Democrats' national organization. "You're not
going to win by depressing voters the most."

Instead, Bell said Edwards consistently
presents an optimistic message. "He's stay-
ing away from partisan rhetoric," Bell said.
"It is true that you can get Democratic
activists on their feet cheering much more
quickly bashing George Bush than any other
way," Edwards said in a Washington Post
interview.
"But remember, we're going through a
process here and people are looking for a
president. They're not looking for somebody
who can just beat up George Bush. They're
looking for someone who can inspire them
and lead them."
While other candidates are focusing on the
Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary,
Edwards needs a win in South Carolina to
stay afloat.
Bell, a native Georgian, said Southerners
are more likely to support local candidates.
He said Edwards has invested more

Get on the bus

resources

in South Carolina than the other
See EDWARDS, Page 7

Despite delay, Connerly ballot initiative
gathers steam, enlists campus groups

By Aymar Jean
Daily Staff Reporter

Despite the University's victo-
ry at the U.S. Supreme Court last
June, 2004 promises to be a
decisive year for its race-con-
scious admissions policies.
Ward Connerly - a Univer-
sity of California regent and
outspoken opponent of affirma-
tive action - is spearheading a
petition drive for an initiative on
November's ballot. The referen-
dum regards whether state insti- Connerly
tutions can give "preferential treatment" based on

The start date for the initiative, originally set for
yesterday, was postponed until Jan. 12 to abide by
Michigan election laws. The initiative's supporters
must obtain 317,517 signatures by July 6 to place the
issue on the ballot.
"It's going to in effect put into the Michigan Con-
stitution what everybody thinks the Equal Protection
Clause (of the 14th Amendment) already says," said
Tim O'Brien, operations director for the Michigan
Civil Rights Initiative. The initiative is a subsidiary
of the American Civil Rights Coalition, the group
Connerly chairs.
State Rep. Leon Drolet (R-Clinton Twp.), who also
co-chairs MCRI's steering committee, said his office
already received more than 300 volunteer commit-
ments, even though the movement has received little

Freedom) plans on participating in the collection
of signatures and all that goes along with that,"
Laura Davis, co-chair of the University chapter of
YAF, said.
In addition to these recruiting efforts, MCRI has
received staunch support from the Michigan Liber-
tarian Party. O'Brien said that the Democratic and
Republican parties have not provided any formal
support, although 22 Republican state lawmakers
expressed their individual support last fall.
The initiative's proposal is further strengthened by
a recent poll, conducted by the Lansing polling firm
EPIC/MRA, reporting that 63 percent of Michigan
residents would support an amendment denying pref-
erential treatment based on race. Twenty-five percent
would oppose it, according to the poll.
"Wep've gort the ep~sv ic_ Oce ir~it's on lthe ballot-

1

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