January 14, 2004
02004 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXill, No. 76
One-hundred-thirteen years ofeditorialfreedom
the day and
high winds at
w. nTh a23
By Aymar Jean
Daily Staff Reporter
As race-conscious policies continue
to divide students and state residents,
legacy policies are beginning to elicit a
similar resistance. Many oppose granti-
ng preferences to relatives of alumni,
but few have pursued their convictions
through legislative or judicial action.
Seeking to reverse this trend, Law
school alum David Boyle has recently
drafted a petition, similar to that of the
Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, to end
the use of legacy preferences in public
education, employment and contracting.
If enacted, the proposed amendment to
the state constitution will prohibit the
University from considering alumni
relationships as a factor in admissions.
To place his proposal on November's
ballot, Boyle must overcome the same
threshold MCRI faces for their initia-
tive: 317,575 signatures by July 6. He
will submit his petition to the State
Board of Canvassers this week for
approval of petition language.
"I may not be an expert in fundrais-
ing, organization or anything else, so I
don't know. At least though, if the idea
gets out, that may create some sup-
port," Boyle said.
Currently with no official endorse-
ments or financial backing, Boyle is not
deterred. He said that this proposal "has
teeth" and goes beyond merely "urging"
schools to stop. Provided the initiative
receives significant support, he will
start an organization called MERIT -
Michiganders for Education/Employ-
ment Respecting Integrity and Talent.
MERIT was also the acronym for a
2002 initiative regarding state employ-
ee's collective bargaining rights.
His petition drive represents growing
opposition to legacy preferences. Texas
A&M University decided last week to
stop using alumni affiliation in its
admissions programs, and the Univer-
sity of Georgia has also banned it from
Out of about 1,600 to 2,000 applicants
with legacy status at A&M, 312 students
received admission based on their rela-
tion to an alum. The school accepts more
than 11,500 students per year.
The alumni connection matters less
See LEGACIES, Page 3
sought to build
Mestre Caboquinho demonstrates Afro-Brazilian dancing at Winterfest In the Michigan Union yesterday
Almost 140 student groups participated in this year's Winterfest.
Fair showcases group
By Jameel Naqvi
Daily Staff Reporter
In an effort to revitalize Michigan cities, Gov.
Jennifer Granholm is asking college students across
the state to describe what makes a "cool" city.
Students will find the survey, which is now
available online at wwwmichigancoolcities.com,
in their e-mail inboxes tomorrow. Results of the
survey will inform policy makers on how to
attract young workers to Michigan cities.
"There's a population of people who leave
Michigan in their most productive years," said
Maura Campbell, spokeswoman for the newly
created Michigan Department of Labor and Eco-
The Coolcities program "Whenyo
aims to retain these young .7
educated workers by draw- Michigan,3
ing them to what the website o
calls "vital, lively cities." of Detroit,
"Michigan doesn't have Detroit's n1
any appealing cities," said^
LSA sophomore Alex Par- appealing.
sons. "When you think of to turn Det
Michigan, you think of
Detroit, and Detroit's not Chicago.'
appealing. You need to turn
Detroit into Chicago."
But other students, like
LSA junior Chandan Mehta,
feel that Michigan has plenty to offer. "Michi-
gan's comparable to the East - major cities,
clubs, good schools and a central location," she
At the same time, Mehta voiced reservations
about Michigan's cities.
"(Michigan) needs to revive the cities, make
them user-friendly," she said. Detroit needs to
advertise its art museums and shows to help
revamp its image, she added.
Campbell expressed hope for a youth-driven
cultural renaissance as a new strategy for regional
economic growth. At 7 percent, Michigan had the
third highest unemployment rate in 2003.
"Young college-educated people flock to the
locales with the lifestyles and ambience they
desire," Campbell said. Businesses follow the
young educated workforce to these cities.
"With traditional economic development, you
attract the right companies and jobs," Campbell
said. When there is a renaissance in a city, the
economy can weather the ups and downs of the
national business cycle.
To gauge what is hip, the survey asks students
where and what type of neighborhood and hous-
ing they would like to live in after graduation.
Respondents rank in terms of importance envi-
ronmental factors, including: public schools, safe
streets, culture, nightlife, history, professional
sports and public transportation.
"I want a city that makes an
think of effort to improve housing and
school districts - especially in
U think Detroit," Parsons said.
Mehta said she wants to
- Alex Parsons
live in a cosmopolitan city
where everything is within a
While LSA junior Rob
Stephan acknowledged these
were important concerns, he
said he wants the college town
culture of Ann Arbor without
the fickle climate.
Campbell said she hopes
Michigan's intemperate weather
Almost 140 student groups
and between 1,500 and 2,000
students participate in this
By Megan Greydanus
For the Daily
The smell of freshly made cotton candy and
buttery popcorn filled the Michigan Union yes-
terday evening at Winterfest 2004, as nearly 140
groups turned out to entice students to join their
An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 students made
their way through the maze of student groups and
organizations at the event, which was run by the
Office of Student Activities and Leadership Divi-
sion of Student Affairs.
Ray Wixson, office manager for the Office of
Student Affairs and coordinator of Winterfest,
explained that the event helps students learn
about different groups in which they can become
"If you are new or a freshmen or a transfer stu-
dent it can be very difficult to know what goes on
at Michigan," Wixson said.
This is one of two main events run specifically
by the University to encourage students to get out
and get involved.
Festifall, which is held at the beginning of the
school year, is a larger event that shows off the
cultural, religious, academic, volunteer, sports
and art clubs students can join.
An estimated 300 students and organizers
gathered at the rows of tables set up to offer infor-
mation and other freebies.
From free housing opportunities at the Telluride
House to Pillow Madness - a group trying to set
the world record for largest pillow fight - groups
attempted to appeal to a variety of students.
Lori Anderson of the Exploring Tantric Bud-
dhism Association said Winterfest is a great way
for many organizations to have contact with stu-
dents and share what exactly they are about.
"I'm hoping more people find out about it ...
people who are curious," Anderson said.
Groups also want to recruit in hopes of carry-
ing on their legacy and traditions. This means
See WINTERFEST, Page 3
is not a major repellent to young people. St. Paul,
Minneapolis and Chicago are all cities that thrive
despite long, frigid winters, she said.
"We've got crappy weather," Parsons said. "Our
winters are too cold and there's not enough snow."
Despite these criticisms, Parsons listed Ann
Arbor, Madison, Chicago and Lansing as cities
where he would live after he graduates.
The Alumni Association website reveals that a 45
percent of its more than 105,000 members live in
Michigan. After Michigan, the most popular region
is the Eastern United States, where nearly one quar-
ter of the association's membership resides.
Terri Lamarco, Associate Director of the
See COOL CITIES Page 2
Juggling away the time
Lawmakers debate proposal to
protect victims of identity theft
By Siabhon Sturdivant
Daily Staff Reporter
In response to growing concerns about the
privacy of consumer information, the state
Legislature is debating a plan that attempts to
protect victims of identity theft,
The proposal, which is comprised of 10
bills, has passed the state Senate and is mov-
ing on to the House of Representatives.
The plan is designed to safeguard the credit
history of proven identity theft victims, secure
consumer information and crack down on
"We look to speed up the process of clear-
ing the debt of identity theft victims, and to
ensure that creditors are aware that they are,
in fact, victims," said Bill Nowling,
spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Ken-
neth Sikkema (R-Wyoming).
The Republican legislators sponsoring the
bills suggest ways to make it easier for vic-
tims to prove that their identities have been
stolen. One of the bills, SB 794, proposes a
standardized certificate ID which signals to
creditors that a person was a victim of identi-
Additionally, under the bills any denial or
reduction of credit to a proven victim of the
crime would be prohibited.
Many identity thefts are caused by mis-
handled personal information. The bill pack-
age plans to prohibit institutions from
disclosing sensitive information to third par-
ties through SB 795.
"It's going to stop the mailing of unsolicited
checks that give criminals financial informa-
tion to create a false identification," Nowling
said. Two other bills, SB 219 and 220, suggest
preventing retailers from requiring Social
Security numbers for purchase and from
printing them on receipts.
The proposal also advocates making identi-
ty theft a more serious offense.
"Many loopholes exist so that these crimes
go unpunished," Nowling said. The passage
of these bills would work to curb the rate of
the crime by giving Michigan police officers
the power to open criminal investigations on
identity perpetrators, and by requiring them
to compile information on the victims and
Identity theft is becoming a more pressing
See IDENTITY, Page 3
Ann Arbor resident Noe Lugaz meets with the Juggling Club in East Hall
Speaker encourages students to mobilize
support for protection of environment
By Mona Rafeeq
Daily Staff Reporter
Most people do not think the environment is a sig-
nificant issue in presidential campaigns, but Deb
Callahan, president of the League of Conservation
Voters, urges students to pay more attention to candi-
dates' environmental records.
"Most Americans hold these (environmental) val-
ues so strongly that they would not even expect an
elected official to support rolling back environmental
regulations," Callahan said yesterday during a lecture
at the Dana Building.
She said pollsters have found that less than 50 per-
cent of Americans understand that the federal gov-
ulations for specific areas, according to their
economies, she said.
While she said financial considerations are impor-
tant, Callahan counters that the value of equity is also
"Every American has a right to a certain standard
of living and quality of life," she said.
Mike Phillips, vice president of the College
Republicans, said Republican leaders are "fairly
interested in giving state officials more power with
creating policies that are specific to the local envi-
ronment," he said.
Callahan said that this year's presidential cam-
paign is a critical time for promoting awareness on
She also said that because environmentalists are
not typically involved in politics, they fail to organize
during elections. This presents a challenge for those
who want to educate the public about environmental
"We have to make the point in the voters' heads
that one candidate is better than another (in environ-
mental issues)," she said.
Callahan stressed that voters have the power to
change election results - which have been decided
by very slim margins in recent years.
She said one method of grassroots mobilization
involves sending different intermediaries to vari-
ous groups of voters. Students can act as leaders in
rallying local voters because they can influence