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April 02, 2004 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-02

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news@michigandaily.com

NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 2, 2004 - 3

.... .

Activists have high hopes
for tomorrow's Hash Bash

University honors
famous alum,
holds production
The Department of Theatre and
Drama will present "An Arthur Miller
Presentation" in honor of the work of
this University alum. The production
will be today and tomorrow at 8 p.m.
and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Trueblood
Theatre in the Frieze Building.
The production pulls scenes from
both well-known and rarely performed
plays in combination with excerpts
from Miller's autobiography
"Timebends." Depicting three distinct
phases of Miller's life, this homage
explores the American playwright's
artistic vision.
The production is conceptualized by
adjunct professor and internationally
acclaimed director Mark Lamos.
Pops to perform,
accompanied by
Bon Jovi quartet
The Michigan Pops will present its
unique take on chamber music with an
evening of small ensemble perform-
ances Sunday at 9 p.m. in the Michigan
League Underground. The musical per-
formances will feature the works of
renowned composers and modern
artists, including Joseph Haydn, PD.Q
Bach, Ben Folds, Badly Drawn Boy,
Oasis and Wilco. The event will also
include a violin and tuba duet and a
string quartet that will play Bon Jovi.
Admission is free.
Project strives to
raise money for
AIDS orphans
The "Heart for Hope" AIDS Walk
will begin at 2 p.m on Sunday. on the
Diag to support orphans with AIDS in
Malawi. The event has a $10 registra-
tion fee, which will be donated to The
Global Hope Project. A free T-shirt is
included.
The Global Hope Project is a non
profit organization that seeks to build
support for children whose parents
3 have died of AIDS in Malawi. It is try-
ing to raise money in order to make a
school and health-care facilities in the
country, in addition to hiring a staff for
these services.
Mark Webster
Reading Series
draws to a close
Students can join the Department of
English and members of the Masters of
Fine Arts community for the final
reading in the annual Mark Webster
Reading Series. The event will feature
works by second-year students in the
Masters in Fine Arts Program in Cre-
ative Writing.
Irene Hahn will read her fiction
work and Matthew Hittinger will read
his poetry tonight at 8 p.m. in the
Kuenzel Room of the Michigan Union.
Palestinian party
leader examines
Middle East conflict
Azmi Bishara will speak tomorrow
at noon in Angell Hall Auditorium C.
Bishara will discuss resolving the
Israeli Palestinian conflict in a lecture
called "Bridges vs. Walls."
Bishara is leader of the National
Democratic Assembly - a Palestinian
Arab party advocating cultural autono-
my and civil rights for Palestinians in
Israel. Bishara has called for a bi-

national Israel that would be a "state of
all its citizens."
Film celebrates
Asian Pacific
Heritage Month
As part of the Asian Pacific Heritage
Month, the film "Refugee" will be
shown at 8 p.m Sunday. in the Abeng
Lounge in East Quad.
This new documentary by Emmy
Award-winning filmmaker Spencer
Nakasako is about three young refugees
who head back to Cambodia for the first
time after being raised on the streets of
San Francisco's tough Tenderloin dis-
trict. Food will be provided.
North Campus
urges students to
dance night away
Pierpont Commons Arts and Pro-
grams will sponsor Salsa Night tonight
at Pierpont Commons. Lessons will
begin at 9 p.m. with open dancing until
midnight.

By Adhiraj Dutt
Daily Staff Reporter
Thousands of activists hoping to
achieve the goal of legalizing marijua-
na are set to descend on campus and
the surrounding areas this weekend to
protest the nation's war on drugs.
With the Federal Building on East
Liberty Street serving as their backdrop,
the protesters will kick off the 33rd Ann
Arbor Hash Bash at 11 a.m. Saturday.
After an hour-long rally in front of
the building, the activists will march to
campus, converging on the Diag where
they will listen to speakers including
poet John Sinclair and Chef Ra, a
columnist at High Times, a magazine
for marijuana connoisseurs. After one
hour of speeches, Hash Bash will move
to Monroe Street for a block party.
"This is the largest, most unadver-
tised event in America and 50,000 peo-
ple will show up for an event that isn't
supported by the City Council, the Ann
Arbor commerce bureau, the University
and so on down the line," long-time
organizer Adam Brook said.
Beginning in 1972, Hash Bash's
popularity surged after the University
took organizers to court for several
years to end it. The media attention led
to national exposure, Brook said.
"We do no advertising, but this time
of the year I get calls from newspapers
all over the country doing their stories
on Hash Bash," Brook said. "It's a cul-
tural phenomenon."

Hash Bash has drawn large crowds in
the past, but participation has waned
recently partly due to less student
involvement, increased law enforcement
efforts and in some years, bad weather.
"The main problem is that they
don't get enough serious speakers and
there's a real disconnect between the
student body and those who attend the
event," LSA senior Dan Sheill said.
"What's interesting is this event is put
under the microscope more than any
other event on campus."
A student organization must reserve
the Diag to hold an event there. Sheill
was the student sponsor of Hash Bash
last year as chairman of the College
Libertarians, but this year it is spon-
sored by the University's chapter of the
National Organization for the Reform
of Marijuana Laws.
"In the past, the police haven't
allowed us to have tables on the Diag,
though we will this year," Engineering
sophomore and NORML Director Josh
Soper said. "We are going to try to focus
more on medical marijuana this year."
Brook said after the University estab-
lished the Department of Public Safety
14 years ago, police officers began dis-
persing Hash Bash participants from
the Diag after their rally.
"In the old days, we used to spend
the entire day on the Diag" Brook said.
The University doesn't endorse Hash
Bash, but because of the huge influx of
people drawn to the event, safety is
among the University's top priorities.

Also, because many of the people that
participate are avid marijuana users
inclined to light up during Hash Bash,
DPS plans to have additional officers
patrolling campus, making sure marijua-
na users and non users obey state laws.
"The (University Board of) Regents
are granted their power from the state
and so we enforce state laws," DPS
spokeswoman Diane Brown said.
As a result, the penalty for smoking
marijuana on campus is a $100 fine
and/or up to 90 days in jail, though the
penalty for abusing the drug on city
property is a $25 ticket for a civil
infraction. Anyone caught possessing
marijuana on campus will be fined up
to $2,000 and can end up behind bars
for up to one year, Brown said.
However, these penalties don't stop
all marijuana fanatics from lighting up
at Hash Bash, Brook said. "It's not the
smoking that gets you busted, it's pass-
ing to your buddies," he said. "This is
a political rally and we smoke in an act
of civil disobedience."
According to Brown, there were six
arrests and citations at last year's Hash
Bash and in the past five years, 198
arrests have been made at the event. Of
the 198 people arrested, only two have
been University students.
Still, Brook said the crowds at Hash
Bash are bigger, but less rowdy than
crowds that football games attract in fall.
"(Hash Bash) is worse than any football
Saturday and we have less arrests than a
football Saturday,"he said.

SETH LOWER/Daily
Joint Mann smokes near the Diag during Hash Bash last year. This year's Hash
Bash, which will take place tomorrow, is expected to draw thousands of activists
protesting for the legalization of marijuana.

'U' boasts
By Jameel Naqvi
Daily Staff Reporter
The University boasts the highest
six-year graduation rate in the state, a
study from the National Center for
Education Statistics reports.
"We're a highly selective university,"
Senior Vice Provost for Academic
Affairs Lester Monts said. "The stu-
dents we accept are able to handle the
rigor of the work we have here."
He added that competitive schools
across the country have graduation rates
that are similarly high, unlike other
schools with lax enrollment policies.
The University graduates 84.2 per-
cent of its students in six years. In
comparison, 69.1 percent of Michigan
State University students graduate in
six years, and the six-year graduation
rates of Wayne State University and
Eastern Michigan University are 33.7
and 38.3 percent.
The NCES study, released online
last month, also provides cause for
concern. The state of Michigan lags
behind the national average in college
graduation rates and the percentage of
the population with college degrees,

highest si
according to the survey.
"Our graduation rates have stagnat-
ed over the past few years," said Mary
Dettloff, spokeswoman for Lt. Gov.
John Cherry.
Cherry heads a commission that was
appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to
find a way to double the number of col-
lege graduates in the state over the next
decade. The commission is working
closely with the NCES report to discov-
er problem areas and fashion strategies
to meet Granholm's challenge.
Dettloff said the commission may visit
the University to get ideas on how to
raise the graduation rates of other Michi-
gan schools above the national average.
The report also revealed disparities
within Michigan colleges. Whites
graduate at much higher rates than
underrepresented minorities.
At the University, 65.9 percent of
blacks graduate in six years, compared
with 87.8 percent of whites. Women at
most Michigan schools graduate at
slightly higher rates than men. This
trend was pronounced at the Universi-
ty's Flint campus, where 42.3 percent
of women graduated in six years, com-
pared to 30.7 percent of men.

x-year graduation rates in state

"There are a number of contributing
factors," Monts explained. "A lot has to
do with the cost and the level of prepara-
tion." Minority students are not leaving
the University because they are per-
forming poorly in classes, he added.
"We're trying to address those dispar-
ities," Dettloff said. She added that
inadequate preparation may be a factor
in low graduation rates not only among
minority groups, but also among Michi-
gan university students in general.
To better prepare students for the
rigor of college coursework, the com-
mission headed by Cherry is consider-
ing requiring two years of pre-collegiate
schooling in addition to the current K-12
national standard. It is also looking at
scholarship incentives to encourage col-
lege students to complete their degrees.
The commission is also considering
whether Michigan universities prepare
college graduates for the high-tech
economy. "Jobs of the 21st century
require the use of technology, teamwork
and critical thinking," Dettloff said.
Even liberal arts majors should still have

"Gone are the days when you could walk into a
factory with a high school diploma and be able to
have a middle-class existence."
- Mary Detloff
Spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. John Cherry

basic computer skills, she added.
Dettloff said Michigan, where degree
holders comprise 22 percent of the pop-
ulation, trails other states in its propor-
tion of college graduates because of the
state's traditional reliance on the manu-
facturing sector. Many middle-aged resi-
dents didn't need college degrees to get
jobs in Michigan's labor-intensive auto-
motive industry when they entered the
work force. Those blue-collar workers
often relied on overtime pay to maintain
a high standard of living.
Now, Dettloff said, many factories in
the state require some type of post-sec-
ondary schooling. "Gone are the days
when you could walk into a factory with
a high school diploma and be able to

have a middle-class existence," she said.
Young people need a college degree to
compete in a knowledge- and technolo-
gy-driven economy, she added. "It
should be a general expectation in this
state that every child goes to college."
Michigan's percentage of degree
holders is also depressed by its inabili-
ty to retain recent college graduates.
Holding onto this educated work force
is one objective of Granholm's Cool
Cities program, aimed at using com-
munity input to make Michigan's cities
more attractive to young people.
The NCES study compiled statistics
for full-time students who started college
in 1996. It is the most recent collection
of data on university graduation rates.

Corrections:
An article on Page 8A of yesterday's Daily should have identified the Greek
Week co-director as Chris Cooke.
Two articles on Page lA of yesterday's Daily misspelled the name of Jeston
Lacroix, an LSA sophomore and campus coordinator for the Michigan Civil
Rights Initiative.
An article on Page 1 of Wednesday's Daily should have cited Kimberly Gas-
ton, the new Michigan Student Assembly Communications Committee chair, as
an Art and Design sophomore.
Please report any errors in the Daily to corrections@michigandaily.com

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