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January 09, 2004 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-09

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January 9,2004
02004 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
* Vol. CXII, No. 73

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One-hundred-thrteen years ofeditona;freedom

cloudy all
day with
very low

1 9


Workers vote
to accept new
Borders deal



is alive
Auditorium dazzles
audience with lights

By Andrew Kaplan
Daily Staff Reporter

Agreement includes
new wage increases and
g employees forum
By Mona Rafseq
Daily Staff Reporter
A year of hard feelings, picket lines
and stalemates ended yesterday when
hourly workers at the Borders Books
and Music downtown store in Ann
Arbor ratified a two-year agreement
with the corporate office of Borders
The agreement ends almost a year of
negotiations between the Madison
Heights chapter of the United Food
and Commercial Workers, which
serves as the workers' union, and Bor-
ders Group.
"I believe this is the start of a good
relationship between Borders Group
and the union," said Hal Brannan, a
Borders hourly employee and one of
the union representatives at the bar-
gaining table.
The agreement raises starting wages
for hourly employees by twenty-five
cents. Previously, sellers ear*id $7.00
per hour and beginning cashiers were
paid $6.75 per hour.
The contract also removes a wage
cap from veteran employees. The cap
on wages had halted pay raises for
senior employees after they had
served a certain amount of time at
the bookstore. Now, wages will
increase by 3 percent or more for
hourly workers.
Fifteen of the 43 non-salaried
employees went on strike after negotia-
tions failed Nov. 8.
Both sides reached a tentative agree-
ment and 20 out of 32 employees voted
caucus up
for grabs
By David Branson
Daily Staff Reporter
With the addition of online and
mail-in ballots to the traditional voting
system, the Michigan Democratic cau-
cuses on Feb. 7 are striving to reach
more voters than in past elections and
building support for a Democratic
presidential candidate.
"We're really getting ready for the fall
with the caucuses, this first step is an
outlet for people's
enthusiasm," said
Mark Brewer, exec-
utive chair of the
Michigan Democ-
rats. "Right now,
Michigan is really
up for grabs."
The new Internet
and mail-in ballots
are both options
for voters who Brewer
favor privacy or the simplicity of vot-
ing from their own home. The party
also takes measures to aid those who
do not have computers or Internet
access in their homes by selecting
more than 1,500 computers in libraries
and on campuses as free access sites
for voters.
Both new options require registered
voters to apply by Jan. 31 so they can
receive their Internet security code or
mail-in ballot in time for the caucuses.
People who wish to vote online can

apply at the webstite
"Our party's philosophy has always
been to make voting as easy as possi-
ble, and this is just another step,"
Brewer said.
Another major change in the Michi-
gan caucuses is that this year poll sites
are open to all eligible voters regard-
less of registration. Although the

to ratify it.
In addition to addressing pay issues,
the approved agreement also creates a
management labor committee.
The committee will provide a
forum for hourly workers and mem-
bers of Borders to discuss ways to
improve the store.
Brannan emphasized that the com-
mittee will not hear grievances, dis-
putes or negotiations.
The contract also contains dispute
procedures, including arbitration.
"Workers have a voice and I think
that the Borders Group understands
that," Brannan said.
Jim Kirk, a former striker who also
served on the bargaining committee,
said about 95 percent of non-salaried
workers voted. He said only two
employees did not vote.
"We would like it to have been 100
percent but (the agreement) was still
pretty strongly reported," he said.
The voting occurred yesterday for
two hours, between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m.
before the store opened, and between
2:30 and 3:30 p.m. before the night
shift began.
Voting took place across the street
from the downtown store, in the
Graduate Employees Organization
Brannan said other obligations
restricted some union members from
voting, especially students who work
Employees who came in to vote
were given copies of the contract as
well as a sheet with its main points.
After members of the bargaining com-
mittee answered questions, the workers
signedin and put their vote in the bal-
lot box. The union supervised the vot-
ing process.

Even when the sun shone briefly
over a frigid State Street yesterday
morning, its brightness was no
match for the golden halls of Hill
Nearly two years since closing its
doors for renovations, the legendary
auditorium - which housed such
greats as opera virtuoso Luciano
Pavarotti and impresario Leonard
Bernstein in past years - reopened
yesterday to University students and
thousands of members of the Ann
Arbor community. What they
encountered was a structure prodi-
giously different from the aged,
graying theater of the last five
"It's just brighter," said Jennie
Lombard, an Ann Arbor resident
who graduated from the University
in the class of 1959. Visitors wan-
dered the auditorium, following
musical performances and a ribbon-
cutting ceremony by University
President Mary Sue Coleman,

administrators and architects.
Lombard recalled concerts she
attended in the auditorium during her
days as a student, when the theater
wore coats of gray and beige paint
that concealed hundreds of opalescent
Today, the pale colors have been
stripped away. The highest points of
the ceiling now don sashes of blue
and gold setting into gleaming
bronze arches above the stage.
"I've been in a lot of auditoriums
and this was amazing," said Jessica
Chaise, an LSA senior.
"I've never seen a hall so beauti-
ful," Coleman said before participat-
ing in the ribbon-cutting ceremony
on stage.
But as project coordinators quick-
ly pointed out, the auditorium's new
look - which carries a $40 million
price tag the University covered
partly through donations - is more
of a conservative transformation
than a metamorphosis into anything
radical and untried. The renovation,
which spent more than 10 years in
See HILL, Page 3

ABOVE: The restored Hill Auditorium features beautiful bronze arches among many
new features. RIGHT: Ann Arbor residents Allsande Cutler and Lydia Bates look at
plans for Hill Auditorium outside the luncheon for donors.


UHS launches campaign
to combat spread of flu

By Farayha Arrine
Daily Staff Reporter




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Facing the onset of another harsh
Michigan winter and a severe shortage
in flu vaccinations, University health
centers are hoping that a simple, seem-
ingly obvious measure will prevent the
spread of further infections.
The goal of the University Health
Service's "Cover Your Cough" cam-
paign is for people to simply use a
tissue when they cough or to cough
in their sleeve to prevent the spread
of droplets from an infected person's
nose or mouth from harming some-
one else.
This happens not only through direct
contact but also from touching objects
such as computer keyboards in
UHS plans to advertise the cam-
paign with posters throughout campus
including in residence halls and buses,
beginning next week.
"If a person infected with the flu
coughs on their hand and then uses a

keyboard and then someone else uses
it after them and then later ... eats a
cookie, that person has been inoculated
with the illness," UHS Director Robert
Winfield said.
"We need to be responsible by
changing our public health behavior ...
Most people think if you don't have a
fever but a cough you can still go to
school. That's okay with you, but what
about the people that you are sitting
next to?"
The Center for Disease Control and
Prevention and other health centers
have even expressed confidence that
limiting contact between healthy and
sick students can prevent the spread of
the flu. Chinese officials succeeded in
using isolation to contain the SARS
breakout last year.
But Winfield said isolation is a dras-
tic measure not yet used for the flu,
and that only a higher risk would lead'
UHS to begin separating patients in
waiting rooms and encouraging the use
of surgical masks, said Winfield.
For now, through the "Cover Your

Cough" campaign health officials hope
to safeguard people without the flu by
changing the behavior of those infect-
ed, encouraging them not to expose
their illness to others.
"I think the campaign would be a
good idea," said LSA freshman Emily
Work. "It's an important reminder
because a lot of people don't really
know how serious it is."
By posting advice on how to pre-
vent the spread of germs, UHS hopes
to help students avoid the flu by
teaching what is called University
Respiratory Etiquette which they
believe will make a substantial differ-
ence in stopping the spread of
Although preventive measures help
to prevent the onset of influenza,
nothing remains as effective as the flu
shot, which is currently only provided
to those at high risk because of the
ongoing shortage.
This causes people at an average
risk to seek the alternative FluMist, an
See COUGH, Page 3



University Health Service graphic artist Diane Dues works on a poster for the
"Cover Your Cough" campaign poster set to begin next week.

Students prepare to fight
Connerly ballot initiative

Cash or credit?

By Aymar Jean
Daily Staff Reporter

Organized opposition groups are
launching an impassioned campaign
to halt a ballot initiative that calls for
the end of race-conscious programs
in Michigan.
The Michigan Civil Rights Initia-
tive, created by Ward Connerly - a
University of California regent and
vehement opponent of racial prefer-
ences - will begin a petition drive
Monday to place a proposal on

public employment, education and con-
tracting. Although the campaign offi-
cially begins Monday, MCRI has
already amassed some initial funding
and volunteers.
Opposition groups see Connerly's
amendment as an attempt to nullify
this summer's U.S. Supreme Court
decision, which upheld the principle of
diversity and race-conscious admis-
sions but rejected the undergraduate
point system.
A number of student groups, includ-
ing BAMN and the Students of Color of

efforts to curtail the petition drive.
The newly-formed coalition includes
such organizations as the National
Association for the Advancement of
Colored People and the AFL-CIO, but it
expects its membership to grow to the
hundreds, said Michael Rice, the execu-
tive director of the coalition. The
group's goal is to educate the public on
the amendment, and in the end dissuade
Michigan residents from signing.
"Hopefully (our member organiza-
tions) will be able to communicate
effectively to their members to really



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