Monday, March 8, 2004
News 3A Undergrads pilot
Opinion 4A Joel Hoard wonders
what America is
Arts 8A StillerandWilson
flop in "Starsky &
The men's gymnastics team explains the sport to 'U' ... Sports, Page 8B
One-/hundred-thirteen years ofedit'oritl freedom
24 e LW 27
a 3411 4
02004 The Michigan Daily
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www.michigandail y. com
Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXIII, No. 107
Don M. Fresard
Daily Staff Reporter
Starting next fall, LSA Honors stu-
dents will have the option to earn an
Honors degree while exploring inter-
ests outside their concentration.
Philosophy Prof. Stephen Dar-
wall, director of the LSA Honors
program, said the new Honors in the
Liberal Arts degree is intended for
Honors students who wish to
explore interests outside a single
concentration, as well as for other
students whose needs are incompat-
ible with the requirements of the
traditional Honors concentration.
"A number of students who do
Honors in the first two years
decide, sometimes for good aca-
demic reasons, not to do Honors
concentrations," he said. "For exam-
ple, there are some concentrations
that are difficult to do with a junior
year abroad. ... Some want to do
some especially challenging work
outside their concentration."
Students applying for an HLA
degree will be required to complete the
first two years of the Honors program,
as well as five HLA-approved courses,
including four from outside the stu-
The Honors Program will determine
which classes are eligible for HLA
credit, but generally any course that is
approved for graduate credit will count
toward HLA requirements. In many
departments, 400-level classes count as
credit for both graduate and undergrad-
HLA applicants will also have to
submit a portfolio to be evaluated by a
committee, and maintain an overall
grade point average of 3.4.
Darwall said the new degree would
also benefit Honors students who con-
centrate in especially competitive
departments and would otherwise be
unable to qualify for an Honors degree.
"Some departments are not able
to satisfy the demand for Honors
concentrations, and sometimes there
are talented students who are unable
to do an Honors concentration in
the area of their concentration, so in
the past they haven't been able to
continue as students in the Honors
program in their third or fourth
year," he said.
Until now, Honors concentrations,
most of which require writing a senior
thesis, were the only way a student
could achieve the "Honors" designa-
tion on his or her diploma. Starting
next fall, students who complete the
HLA requirements will receive the
"Honors" designation, but an Honors
concentration will remain the only way
a student can earn "High Honors" or
"Highest Honors," Darwall wrote in an
e-mail to students currently enrolled in
the Honors Program.
But Darwall said this distinction is
not based on a judgment of the relative
difficulty of the two degrees.
"(The 'High Honors' and 'Highest
Honors' designations) are on the basis
of a faculty evaluation of the thesis and
its defense, and we don't really have
anything that plays that role in the
HLA," he said.
It will also be possible for Honors
See HONORS, Page 7A
The freedom to spin
face staff cuts
* Fire department forced to elimnate
14 posiions; captain worris about
hazards of understaffing
By Karen Schwartz
Daily Staff Reporter
For the second straight year, the minimum num-
ber of firefighters on duty is being reduced.
In response to proposed city budget cuts, the
Ann Arbor Fire Department starting today will
reduce the minimum number of firefighters on
duty from 20 to 18 during weekday daytime hours.
The minimum number of firefighters on duty
will be 17 on weekends and from 7 p.m. to 7
only the people who come in on local duty will
staff the trucks.
Oates said cutting the fire department is just
one of the tough decisions the city government is
facing in the days ahead, but that the department
will still be able to function effectively.
"We would much rather have these firefight-
ers and not have to lay them off - we'd like to
because it increases our flexibility. However, we
believe we can protect the city even if we do
these cuts," he said: "We're going to keep five
fire stations open and, given the very difficult
fiscal times we are in, we think this is a workable
solution if we have to make cuts. We're facing
the same problems every municipality in Michi-
gan is facing right now - we have to live within
our means and prioritize services."
a.m. on weekdays, according
to inter-department docu-
The reduction comes after the
city administrator released a
plan Saturday to cut in half the
city's anticipated $5.7 million
deficit for fiscal year 2004-05.
The plan includes trimming
about $1.1 million in funds for
police, fire and emergency
management, said Daniel Oates,
Ann Arbor police chief and
safety services administrator.
The plan includes
$1.1 million in
funds for police,
fire and emergency
French said the new mini-
mum staff requirements might
not be enough to carry out all
the operations that need to
happen simultaneously if there
is a fire and other calls come
in at the same time.
Responding to plans to have
fewer firefighters on duty dur-
ing weekends and weekdays
after 7 p.m., he added that it is
impossible to predict when
someone will call.
In addition to dropping the minimum number
of firefighters on duty to curtail overtime costs,
the fire department would also have to eliminate
14 of 130 positions, Oates said. Two of those are
currently vacant, and two would transition to
other city positions, he said.
Since the city will not officially adopt the
budget until the second meeting in May, the pre-
liminary proposal will continue to be a topic
under discussion, he added.
AAFD Captain Mike French said the reduc-
tions will hurt a department that is already
understaffed. "If there's a decrease in staffing,
there'll be a decrease in service and there will be
a higher risk of an incident occurring and us
being understaffed," he said.
He said he used to be able to bring in fire-
fighters overtime to fill vacant slots, but now
"It's kind of a game of Russian roulette," he
said. "The situation is, we don't have fires every
five minutes. If we did we could staff for it. ... It's
pretty much a game of 'Do we need everybody all
the time, or can we take a chance and have fewer
in the evening and more during the day?"'
Ann Arbor City Council member Bob John-
son (D-Ward 1) said he does not think the
changes in the fire department will affect the
community, as the plan that goes into effect
today basically eliminates overtime.
"There have been reductions in staff but thus
far the response time is not different. It used to be
a few minutes, it's still a few minutes," he said.
With an outdated staffing model written into
the contract 20 years ago when fires were more
frequent, he said, the model can change because
the needs of the times have changed.
See FIREFIGHTERS, Page 7A
DJ Munk spins during the Clamor Music Festival at the Necto yesterday. The
festival supported Clamor Magazine and Moment newspaper. Thirty-two similar
events around the country raised funds for local independent media organizations.
K- grams Kids-Fair draws
1,000 kids to Crisler Arena
Program educates and
entertains students from Ann
Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit
By Lucille Vaughan
Daily Staff Reporter
Crisler Arena was filled with the
sounds of popping balloons, loud
music and excited children Friday.
K-grams Kids-Fair 2004, titled "The
Human Body: A Head to Toe Adven-
ture," involved parents, teachers and
students from the University and 10
elementary schools in Ann Arbor,
Ypsilanti and Detroit.
More than 1,000 children were enter-
tained and educated by activities about
thinking, living, sensing and moving.
Exhibits included everything from
"Writing Body Parts in Chinese" and
"The Sanitation Station" to "Name that
Smell" and "Sensory Face Painting."
Shelley Gladwin, a University alum
and Ann Arbor resident, staffed a table
for Environmental Action featuring
organic candy. She said she was very
impressed with the elementary school
children who approached her table.
"I've seen lots of smart kids," she
said. "We have an 'Organic Jeopardy'
and they're answering all the questions."
Gladwin added that she hoped the
children would not only enjoy Kids-
Fair, but also learn new things. "We
want to educate kids early on environ-
mental issues and how they can help
save the planet," she said.
K-grams is a year-long program that
includes pen-pal letter exchanges,
weekly classroom projects, mentoring
and reading sessions and campus vis-
its. Kids-Fair is the culmination of the
program, in which elementary students
can meet their pen pals and visit the
LSA junior Amy Crosby, assistant
director of K-grams, explained the
goals of Kids-Fair and K-grams itself:
allowing elementary school students to
develop a bond with the University.
"For a lot of the little kids, this is
their first visit to a college campus,"
she said. "It's also great for them to
establish a relationship with someone
who is not really an adult yet but is
able to be a mentor."
Ken Monash, a fifth grade teacher
at Dicken Elementary, agreed that the
relationships developed in the K-
grams program have been overwhelm-
"There was a girl two years ago in
my classroom who had a pen pal who
helped her deal with personal issues
about being adopted. We didn't know
this when they were assigned, but the
pen pal was adopted too," he said.
Monash also said K-grams has a
beneficial effect on his students' aca-
demic progress. "It's been a very use-
ful tool for writing skills," he said.
"The writing they do for their pen pals
is exceptional. It's one assignment I've
never heard a single complaint about."
Many parents who attended the
event praised the effects of K-grams
on their children. Melissa Reitz, an
See K-GRAMS, Page 3A
Patty Thomas talks to students and Ann Arbor residents about the experience
of having a family member in prison at the Michigan League on Saturday.
of Incarcerated artists
By Anne Joling
and Jason Robinson
Daily Staff Reporters
Frustrated in the job hunt
By Michael Kan
In today's job market, determination can rapidly
turn into hopelessness, as some LSA seniors' job
searches have resembled a never-ending uphill battle
with no victory in sight. ______
LSA senior Genevieve Man- 10 '
no got a jump on the job market"P ME1,
by scouting for consultancy .t'
positions last April. Yet even
with the extra time and a 3.8 .
grade point average, the tight job
market only turned up several.......
wea iob~ o ffers. Marino~ said s~he
ed herself outside the front doors of Mercer Human
Resource Consulting. Yet within moments she was
escorted away by a security guard amid distant
shouts of "Go Blue!"
For LSA senior Joseph Michalsen, a pre-med hon-
ors student, the job market proved unforgiving for a
long time since he had no luck in
locating a temporary job in the
.medical field. Michalsen said he
dreads the thought of seeing him-
S~self working at a dead-end job.
"I don't really want to be work-
Sing at some shit job for the next
year and half, with a degree from
f f ;<. the U of M. I didn't work hard for
securing interviews. She said every major consulting
firm in New York rejected her resume. To her, the
denials translated into lingering worry.
"The hardest thing right now is keeping your head
up, because when things are bad it's very easy to get
frustrated when you get a rejection letter from a com-
pany saying they are not hiring" she said.
By December, Marino had sent out more than 250
resumes. She said it was difficult contacting many of
the employers. "Even when you call to follow up it's
very difficult to get in touch with someone.... The
secretary will just push you away and will just tell
you they are not hiring, or tell you she can't connect
you to human resources."
Marino had also been networking since last sum-
Patti Thomas and Pat Biggs, who
both have incarcerated family mem-
bers, have a message to share with
University students: Think twice
before judging prisoners.
On Saturday, Thomas and Biggs
shared their stories at a dialogue
called Families of the Incarcerated,
sponsored by the Prisoner Creative
Arts Project. The two women talked
about what it is like to have an
incarcerated family member as well
as the role PCAP plays in the lives
Bigg's husband Jamal has been in
prison for 14 years. According to
Pat, Jamal has participated in sever-
al PCAP workshops and has used
the program as a way to further his
takes, and they're paying for them
- they're just human beings like
Biggs praised certain organiza-
tions like PCAP that are trying to
help prisoners and break down the
stereotypes that are often formed
"PCAP gives (the prisoners) an
opportunity to express themselves
and to show the world that they have
something to offer. When my hus-
band has his artwork in the PCAP
art show, he is so thrilled to know
that people would actually take the
time to look at his artwork, even pay
for it," Biggs said.
Patti Thomas, whose daughter San-
tha is incarcerated at Western Wayne
Correctional Facility in Plymouth,
also shared her thoughts on the bene-
fits of PCAP. She said PCAP has
given Santha a form of expression,