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www.mch9gandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 6 @2004 The Michigan Daily
DPS sees overall
By Ashley Dinges
Daily Staff Reporter
The University's Department of Public
Safety announced yesterday a decrease
from 2002 to 2003 in the number of major
crimes reported on campus, in all catego-
ries except one.
Statistics released in the 2004-2005
Campus Safety Handbook break down
crimes by type and number of reported
instances, and show that among the largest
decreases was burglary, both in residence
halls and in other campus buildings.
The only category that showed an
increase was forcible sexual offenses.
DPS has jurisdiction over all Univer-
sity-owned buildings, residence halls and
property including the Diag. Statistics
include all reported crimes that occurred
Reported on-campus burglaries down 55 percent
within DPS jurisdiction, which does not
include sorority or fraternity houses, or
On campus, 150 reports of burglary
were reported to DPS in 2002, while in
2003 only 67 were reported, for a total
drop of 55 percent.
Within residence halls, there was a 52
percent decrease in reported burglaries,
which University Housing spokesman
Alan Levy said is due in part to DPS efforts
and new security initiatives installed in
"The drop in residence hall crime is
related to the action that University Hous-
ing took in terms of installing of the auto-
matic locks on student rooms, combined
with effective patrolling by DPS and hous-
ing security," Levy said.
He added that none of the DPS reports of
home invasion occurred in any residence
hall room that had already been installed
with the new electronic locks.
Installation of automatic locks was
recently completed in all residence hall
rooms and bathrooms, and video surveil-
lance cameras were recently added outside
residence halls. Levy said the installations
in total cost about $4 million and have
been in progress for the past three years.
Levy said nearly 6,000 room and bath-
room doors have received the new locks.
"That project is complete with the
exception of the last repairs making sure
everything is working according to speci-
fication," Levy said.
DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said
there are still some halls scheduled for
installation of cameras.
In addition to the new locks and video
surveillance, a 24-hour controlled-access
program was implemented in 2003 requir-
ing students to always use an Mcard to
enter a residence hall.
In the statement released yesterday,
DPS Director William Bess also attribut-
ed the drop in reported crime to increased
"In addition to the residence hall ini-
tiatives, we also increased foot and bike
See CRIME, Page 5
Crackdown on crime
In 2003 67 burglaries were reported on campus,
compared to 150 the year before, according to
the 2004-2005 Campus Safety Handbook.
University Housing attributes the drop in report-
ed crime to increased DPS patrolling efforts and
automatic locks installed on all residence hall
room and bathroom doors.
Alcohol-related incidents dropped from 485 reports
in 2002 to 465 in 2003.
All nine reported forcible rapes or assaults with an
object involved an acquaintance situation, and overall
most forcible sexual offenses also did.
1B BA TTLCONTWUBS..
to student death
By Melissa Benton
Daily Staff Reporter
The Washtenaw County Medical
Examiner's Office released the autop-
sy results on Monday for Kinesiology
sophomore Kristi Anne Sprecher, who
was found dead in her West Quad Resi-
dence Hall room on Sept. 6. The coro-
ners determined that a complication
with medications caused her death.
Medical Examiner Office Manager
Donna Tokarczyk said Sprecher died of
medication toxicity, which occurs when
a person who is taking multiple medi-
cations consumes too much of one or
more of them.
"Kristi Sprecher was taking various
medications. The toxicology results
indicated that she had taken too much
of one or more of her medications,
which ultimately caused her death," said
Roger Simpson, chief investigator at the
Washtenaw County Medical Examiner's
Office, in a written statement.
Simpson said, however, that the cause
of her death was accidental.
"While there was a higher-than-nor-
mal level of medication in her system,
it was not high enough for a conclusion
that this was a suicide by overdose,"
Kristi Sprecher's father, David Spre-
Death due to
abnormally high level
of medication, but
cause was accidental.
cher, said she had Ehlers-Danlos Syn-
drome, which is a connective tissue
disease. The disease results in weak-
ness and sometimes excessive flexibil-
ity of the connective tissues of the body,
such as the skin, muscles, tendons and
"All the medication (she was taking)
is related to the problem she had with
that disease," Sprecher said.
Simpson said this cause of death is
not uncommon for people who are tak-
ing multiple medications for "chronic
Department of Public Safety officers
found Sprecher in her single occupancy
room in Cambridge House while per-
forming a welfare check at her parents'
request. The parents requested the check
after not being able to get in touch with
Sprecher for about 24 hours.
Investigations by both the Medical
Examiner's Office and DPS determined
that the women's death was uninten-
tional, Simpson added.
Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, right, responds to Vice President Dick Cheney during the vice presidential debate In Cleve-
From debate's opening bell,
VP candidates throw jabs
More youth to
vote in election
By Andrew Kaplan
and Jameel Naqvi
Daily Staff Reporters
If Thursday's presidential debate seemed point-
ed, last night's debate between Vice President Dick
Cheney and Sen. John Edwards came across as
From the get-go, the vice presidential candidates
jumped more frequently at opportunities to call one
another on what they judged to be policy incon-
sistencies and - unlike in the matchup between
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry
(D-Mass.) and President Bush -just plain inaccu-
racies in their responses to debate questions.
Both candidates jockeyed for position throughout
the evening. Cheney at one point denied Edwards's
allegation that his administration had ever proposed
the idea of any ties between Iraq and the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, executed by al-Qaida
operatives. In fact, he said, the administration has
said Saddam Hussein "had established relationships
with" the terrorist organization sometime during
his dictatorship, which ended following U.S. forces'
invasion of Iraq in 2002.
University students and
other local residents
gathered ... last night to
watch with the Arts of
During the debate, Edwards (D-N.C.) several
times used the word "distortions" to characterize
Cheney's arguments that Kerry is not fit to fight a
war on terror, and that Edwards' voting record in
the Senate was "not very distinguished."
"The vice president, I'm surprised to hear him
talk about records," Edwards said. "When he was
one of 435 members of the United States House, he
was one of 10 to vote against Head Start, one of four
to vote against banning plastic weapons that can
pass through metal detectors."
The more heated atmosphere of last night's debate
- which preceded two more presidential matchups
over the next week - originated from a sharper line
of questioning from moderator Gwen Ifill of PBS's
"NewsHour" than was delivered by the moderator
of the previous debate, "The NewsHour" Executive
Editor Jim Lehrer.
While Lehrer's first question of last week's presi-
dential debate asked Kerry if he could keep the coun-
try safer than could the president, Ifill focused her
first question to Cheney on recent finger-pointing
from Paul Bremer, former head of the U.S. Coalition
Provisional Authority, that the Bush administration
did not send enough American troops to Iraq.
Some of the most impassioned moments of the
foreign policy section of the debate came in a dis-
cussion of the burden of casualties in Iraq.
Seeking to rouse disdain toward the administra-
tion's handling of the war, Edwards said U.S sol-
diers represented 90 percent of the casualties borne
by international coalition forces in Iraq.
Cheney immediately attacked Edwards for not
considering the sacrifice of Iraqi National Guards-
men that have served alongside coalition troops.
While the candidates were barred from asking
questions of one another, they nonetheless entered
See DEBATE, Page 5
Many students will have their first
experience voting for a president on
Nov. 2, and they will play a vastly
different role than young voters did
in the last election in 2000.
Statistics show that voters aged
18 to 29 will be more active in this
upcoming election than they were
Polls conducted last month by
the Pew Research Center, a Wash-
ington-based agency that surveys
American politics, reported that
57 percent of people under age 30
say they are giving a lot of thought
By Amber Colvin
For the Daily
to the election. At this point four
years ago, that rate was only at 41
Furthermore, in 2000, 67 percent
of registered young voters said they
planned to vote in November. This
year, that number has climbed to 85
This is despite the fact that yout
typically turn out to vote in lower
numbers than any other group.
The increased political aware-
ness and activity among young
voters is visible on campus in the
efforts of Voice Your Vote, the Uni-
versity's official voter registration
center, and numerous other voter
See VOTERS, Page 6
Islamic scholar explains religion's ties to blacks in United States
By Victoria Edwards
Daily Staff Reporter
With a recent poll showing that 25 percent of Americans
have a negative opinion of Muslims, Islam scholar Umar
Farooq Abdullah faced an uphill in explaining the history
of Islam in America, last night at Hutchins Hall in the Law
In response to these numbers, Abdullah stressed the
importance of American Muslims defining themselves,
instead of letting the media - or anyone - else do it for
Abdullah added that although the media often portray
Muslims in America as being Arabs, 33 percent of Ameri-
can Muslims are South Asian, 30 percent are black and 25
percent are actually Arabs.
With leaders like Muhammad Ali and even more con-
troversial figures such Malcolm X converting to the reli-
gion, black Muslims have become a growing and prominent
population in the Islamic world.
Engineering junior Chris Blauvelt said the connection
between blacks and Muslim Americans was especially
pertinent, because it's specifically in the black community
- not the white community - where he feels the religion
of Islam in
of the history
of Islam in