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March 17, 2004 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-17

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 5

Continued from Page 1
City Council meeting when Michigan Student Assembly rep-
resentatives and with other students called for the council to
begin discussing the certification of landlords in an attempt to
compel them to improve the quality of their properties.
MSA Rep. Rachel Fisher, who is working with MSA on
the certification, said while the assembly is still in the early
stages of forming a proposal, the certification is meant to edu-
cate landlords and ensure safe housing for students.
"The main concern of many students is that a lot of land-
lords are irresponsible and a lot of them are ignorant to laws
that landlords need to abide by" said Fisher, an LSA senior.
MSA Rep. Sam Woll, an LSA junior, said the program
also hopes to specifically require landlords to abide to such
rules as environmental and energy usage laws while also
ensuring the safety and sanitation of their rental property.
Although several weeks later repairmen finally came to
fix their apartment Siegele said the landlord should have
done a better job and should be doing a better job right now.
"Eventually they gave us the right keys, but even now
Fisher said the program also might require landlords
to attend a class to train them on how to be responsible
But local landlord and repairman Robert Noose said the
certification program would be pointless, since it would
add one more level of redundancy to the certifications
already in place.
Noose said students should realize that many of the
houses in Ann Arbor are decades old. At the same time, he
added, students who live in the houses don't care about
taking care of their residence, easily leading a house to
break down, he said. Because of the many other residences
a landlord needs to manage, houses can take time to repair,
he said.
"To make a landlord certified, that is a trap. To be respon-
sible for that and all those old houses and appliances?"
Noose added.
Other landlords said they think the proposal could benefit
Ann Arbor landlord Thomas Ewing said of the proposed
landlord certification, "it might be a real good guide for stu-
dents to find the best housing."
But he also said most students he knows don't have prob-

lems with other landlords. Ewing added that the student
government should expand the off-campus housing depart-
ment rather than create an entirely new bureaucracy.
Currently, the city requires that all rental property have a
certificate of occupancy. Larry Pickel, director of the City
Council's building department, said the current standard for
renting property is meant to ensure the health and safety of
every residence. Pickel added that the city has five inspec-
tors who throughout the year check all rental housing in Ann
Yet in Fisher's experiences with landlords, she said many
try to avoid and postpone inspections as long as possible.
"My landlord would install a fire door just for a day so he
could get around the law," she said.
The University's off-campus housing department is also
meant to prevent conflict between students and landlords.
Off-campus housing advisor Melissa Goldstein said their
program can act as a mediator if housing issues arise, but if
all else fails the University can remove the landlord from its
off-campus housing listings.
Still, Fisher said a certification program would be much
more rigid than the off-campus housing program as the Uni-
versity will only take action based on complaints. Fisher
said their program would take more of a proactive approach
to guarantee better landlords.
LSA senior Tara Miller said she would support a land-
lord certification measure. Miller said even though she
has had no problems with her landlord, some of her
friends were taken advantage of by landlords. In one
instance, Miller said her friend moved into a residence
only to find it almost un-livable. Yet her friend's landlord
wouldn't repair the place since he said it was old and
those were the conditions it was supposed to be in. Miller
said her friend couldn't get out of the lease and so had to
live with it. She added that landlords need some sort of
"Shouldn't they be the ones fixing the place? Just because
it's old, doesn't mean you can't repair it. Their job is sup-
posed to be repairing and maintaining the place."
Fisher said they hope the certification program will be a
requirement in the future, but in the immediate stages of the
program it will probably be voluntary. Funding for the certifi-
cation could come from the University and the city, she added.
Fisher said along with MSA, she hopes to have a proposal
ready by next month.

lSA junior Heather Steffy listens to Jenny Nathan, Students First candidate for Michigan Student Assembly vice president,
yesterday in South Quad Residence Hall.

Continued from Page 1
MSA Treasure Elliott Wells-Reid commented on the way
the board ran the meetings, calling them "accessible yet
"Everyone gets a voice and majority has the final say,"
Wells-Reid said.
Galardi said she hoped the chamber stays diverse, so that
students will not be afraid to bring complaints and ideas,
such as the person who came with the idea for an all-cam-
pus pillow fight.
She also noted all the projects the assembly completed this
year: projects that affect the whole student body, such as Air-
Bus, Readership Program and Entree Plus in the Big House.
However, one of the regrets that Galardi stated was that
she wished she anticipated the budget cuts.
"I wish I had realized how big an effect the budget cuts
were going to have;" she said. "A lot of cuts happened mid-
year, so I wish we had gotten stuff done earlier when more
money was around and the administration had more avail-
ability to meet."
Wells-Reid summed up his experience in MSA as, " a
humbling experience in student leadership."
Perry also offered some tips for the incoming MSA
assembly members, such as communicating with the execu-
tives leaving office. "(Former MSA President Sarah)
Boot taught us things and we met with Sarah and (for-
mer MSA Vice President Dana Glassel) to discuss our

"I wish I had realized how big an
effect the budget cuts would
have. A lot of cuts happened mid-
year so I wish we had gotten stuff
done earlier when more money
was around... "

- Angela Galardi
President, Michigan Student Assembly

Continued from Page 1
annually, and receives a mid-month estimate of survey data,
in addition to the final monthly survey information.
Swanbrow said the mid-month estimate for February was
improperly accessed.
Peterson said after the incident occurred, new security
features were implemented by various University depart-
ments, although specific details about these features cannot
be released at this time. "Ultimately the office making the
security changes is ISR, but I would say that organiza-
tionally we have several offices who are interested in this
and concerned," Peterson said.
She added that such offices include DPS, the Office of
the Vice President for Research, and the Office of the
Continued from Page 1
to evaluate faculty because that is who they come into con-
tact with."
But Kauffman disagreed with not allowing students to
participate in these evaluations. He said that students are
affected by the actions of administrators more than faculty
members and suggested that student governments work on
administering their own student evaluations of University
The amendment, which was originally proposed by
mechanical engineering Prof. Galip Ulsoy and electrical
engineering Prof. Semyon Meerkov, was passed by
majority vote at the SACUA meeting on Monday. The

"It's pretty clear that the data was accessed in an unautho-
rized fashion and that is a pretty serious problem because
the integrity of our research data is of vital importance,"
Peterson said.
Swanbrow and Peterson said since the unauthorized
access on Feb. 13, the following two releases - the final
report for February and the mid-month March release -
were secure.
"As far as we know there have been no more data security
breaches;' Peterson said.
Sponsors receiving the mid-month estimates and final
estimates include corporations and firms who can subscribe
to the service at any point during the calendar year.
"This is something that the University overall is really
taking seriously, and the research data at the University is
something that we're doing everything we can to make sure
is safeguarded," Swanbrow said.
committee that will work out specific details will be
headed by SACUA secretary John Lehman.
Retired education Prof. C. Philip Kearny, who spe-
cializes in studying Michigan schools felt that the new
evaluations will give the power of influence to faculty
members in theory but questioned their effectiveness.
"I don't have any problems with faculty evaluations
(but) try to remember who is the person that really has
the power to appoint or not appoint," he said.
Although many details to the amendment have not
been decided on yet, Kauffman said ultimately evalua-
tion of policy makers would work to better the Univer-
"I think it's revolutionary. I think other universities
are going to follow us. It makes sense," he said.

goals for the next year," she said.
Galardi suggested that the new leaders get an early start
and outline what they want to do. "Anticipate the future and
consider where the administration is currently, and how is
my administration going to be different from the one before
me," she added.
"Be responsive, be resourceful and be proactive,"
Wells-Reid added.
The executive board is also walking away from MSA,
wit lifelong lessons.
"I learned how to take criticism and learn from it,"
Galardi said. "I also learned to listen to myself."
Perry said MSA has taught her about other cultures
and ideas and the basic human experience.

Continued from Page 1.
cation to students in particular as well as the faculty and staff
about sexual orientation concerns," Toy said.
Today, the bureau primarily visits classrooms to talk with
students at the University's Ann Arbor and Dearborn campus-
es, along with Eastern Michigan University. Professors - and
sometimes residence hall directors - request speakers to dis-
cuss issues of coming out and sexual identity with students.
Transgender individuals were once not formally incorporat-
ed into the program, but under Ferrise's direction, the Speakers
Bureau has become more inclusive and comprehensive, now
discussing these issues.
"As it exists now, it is Holly's creation. And she really did
fight for transgender inclusion," Bain Frounfelter said. "She's

really made it stronger, made it so that it encompassed more
Ferrise's integral role in the bureau has concerned stu-
dents that her departure might weaken the program in the
LSA freshman Michael Wright, who works as a pan-
elist, said that people ask the most questions about cur-
rent political issues, and some stay after class for more
"The experience has been overwhelmingly positive. It
really helps students get in touch with current issues in the
LGBT community."
As students listen to testimonials from panel members,
folded arms relax as students open up, Wright said. "You
definitely see a change in how receptive they are to LGBT
issues," he said.


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