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November 12, 2004 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-12

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Friday, November 12, 2004
Opinion 4 Jasmine Clair tells
you how to win a
seat on MSA
Arts 8 Experimental
jazz trios hit Hill





One-hundredfourteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.mrhigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 32 62004 The Michigan Daily

GEO, 'U'
seek nev
Transgender right


' .

health care on table

By Ekjyot Saini
Daily Staff Reporter


Local high school senior Tina Baldwin holds up a sign reading "Equality" at a protest of the passage of Proposal 2 on the corner of Liberty and Fifth streets. The
rally started on the Diag and headed to City Hall yesterday afternoon.

Studenits pr
By Elizabeth Belts
Daily Staff Reporter
The sidewalks in downtown Ann Arbor were crowded
yesterday, taken over by protesters from Ann Arbor high
schools and the University. About 150 students carried
signs, banners and rainbow flags in opposition to the pas-
sage of Proposal 2 in the Nov. 2 election.
"This will be looked upon by our children how we look
upon racism in the 60's," LSA freshman Drew Philp said.
The passage of Proposal 2 amended Michigan's con-
stitution to ban gay marriage and similar unions. Those
in opposition to the measure say it is an infringement on

otest gyM
an individual's civil rights. Those who support it believe
it protects marriage, which they believe should only be
between a man and woman.
The march through downtown began as a small rally
on the Diag, organized by 15-year-old Julia Upfal, a part-
time student at Huron and Community high schools.
Upfal said she felt let down by the results of the election.
"By not letting some people have rights they deserve ...
it's one of the things that is tearing this country apart"
Upfal said.
Upfal described her friends' sadness after Proposal 2
was passed during the election, and expressed frustration
that they were unable to vote. Other high school students



arnage nan
also perceived the protest as a way to voice their own
beliefs. "I know so many people who are against (Propos-
al 2) who are in high school, and we're trying to do what
we can to get the word out," Upfal said.
As the crowd on the Diag grew, protesters formed a
circle around the "M" in its center. Amidst cries of "equal-
ity" and waving signs reading "What is moral about hate?
What is moral about discrimination?" students spontane-
ously addressed the crowd by entering the circle.
Brittany Allen, LSA senior and co-chair of the LGBT
commission of the Michigan Student Assembly, was one
of the first to speak to the crowd.
See PROP 2, Page 7

Two years after holding a walkout, the Graduate Employees'
Organization is back at the table with the University, seeking s"-
cific protection of transgender rights, less discrimination toward
international students and more childcare subsidies.
Negotiations will begin today for GEO to renew its contracts
for the next three years, after the current contract ends on Feb.
1, 2005. GEO's platform this year rallies around "fair and equal
access to education, health care and employment."
The union is working toward providing equal support and ser-
vices to its diverse members, GEO President David Dobbie said.
"A majority (of members) are parents, and one-third are inter-
national students," Dobbie said. The platform includes working
toward increasing child-care subsidies for parents, as well as
working to remove what Dobbie called discriminatory policies
toward international students.
GEO also plans on pushing for a change to the nondiscrimina-
tory clause within the University bylaws, GEO members' contracts
and the GradCare health insurance plan. The current language of
the health care plan does not address the transgender community,
GEO plans to push for the inclusion of gender identity and lan-
guage giving people freedom to express gender in their own man-
ner in all University literature.
Health care has been issue of contention between the University
administration and GEO in the past year. Last November, the Uni-
versity made changes to the premium structure for the University's
employee health care plans, and wanted to implement the changes
to the GradCare program.
GEO filed a formal grievance, opposing the changes because
employees are under contract, but no changes ended up being
made to GradCare. The University would have to wait until the
contract expires to make any changes. Dobbie hopes to negoti-
ate with the University in order to maintain the plan's policy that
graduate student employees do not pay premiums.
The impact of Proposal 2, which amends Michigan's constitu-
tion to ban gay marriage and similar unions, will also be discussed
at bargaining sessions today, Dobbie said. Many members, he said,
were worried about the impact it would have on domestic-partner
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said the negotiations
today would focus upon setting "ground rules" and coming to an
agreement as to what will be discussed in the upcoming weeks.
"The goal is to conclude negotiations before the contract expires,
but in the past there have been situations where (graduate student
instructors) are working without a contract," Peterson said.
A bargaining team led by Jeffrey Frumkin will represent thie
University in the negotiations. Frumkin also led the University's
bargaining team in negotiations with the Lecturers' Employee
See GEO, Page I

College political groups set new pnorities

By Krystin Elizabeth
For the Daily
They campaigned on the Diag for hours. They handed
out pamphlets to any and every student they could find.
They went door-to-door throughout the community mak-
ing sure everyone was registered to vote for the election.
But the election is over. So now what happens to the
campus political groups?
Although the presidential election has ended and many
people's election fever has died down, the College Demo-
crats and College Republicans are still working to raise
political awareness and involvement.
"We're trying to maintain a conservative presence on
campus," said College Republicans events chair Andrea
Brown, an Engineering senior. "Historically, involvement

drops off throughout the year for us, especially during an
election year. We're working to make things more inter-
esting and entertaining for our members."
Throughout the year, both groups will put on a number
of partisan events - including hosting local and national
politicians on campus. In addition to raising awareness of
political issues, the speakers serve to clarify platforms,
answer questions and advance their own stances.
"There's a lot of misinformation on what the parties
stand for," said College Democrats member Sarah Mon-
sell, an LSA junior. "And with all these new issues like the
marriage platform, we're really working hard to clarify
the platforms and have speakers talk about the issues, the
candidates and what's going on in the world."
Other efforts throughout the year for both groups are
to maintain their campus presence, prepare for upcom-

ing elections, continue to register young people and keep
political involvement among students high. The main goal,
however, varies between groups.
Although both the College Democrats and College
Republicans acknowledge the importance of a cohesive
community, the organizations have set substantially dif-
ferent priorities for their group and its members.
The College Republicans have noticed post-election
animosity and tension. Therefore, they will be working
throughout the year will toward uniting the students on
"Liberals seem to think that the world won't lis-
ten to their opinions," said College Republicans Vice
Chair Ben Saukas, an LSA sophomore. "And conser-
vatives really feel that the campus is attacking their
See ELECTION, Page 7



death makes little

impression on most students

By Victoria Edwards "Hopefully, Arafat's death will make people come to grips
Daily Staff Reporter with the failures in the past and try to avoid (making the same
mistakes) in the future," Salhi said.
Although Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died Wednes- But Or Shotan, head of the Israeli Student Organization, said
day, University student groups who are often no strangers the death of Arafat symbolizes a whole new step in potential for
to political activity have remained largely silent over his peace in the Middle East.
death. "His death opens up a whole

Although no student groups "He will be mis
have organized activities to
mourn his death, discussion the same timel
about the future of Middle East
peace talks and the future of the burial symboli
proposed Palestinian state have
circulated throughout campus, accomplished i
said Students Allied for Free-
dom and Equality President Car- Palestinians ar
mel Salhi. lacet weri
Salhi said his group grieves the pthey
death of Arafat as a Palestinian
leader, but he said he believes that
Arafat's contributions only mini- President, Students Allie
mally helped the Palestinian peo-
ple in their fight for a homeland.
"He will be missed. But at the same time his death and burial
symbolize that for all he accomplished in his life, the Palestinians
are still in the same place they were in before," Salhi said.
Salhi said one of the most glaring examples of the lack of suc-
cess of Arafat's leadership was in that he was prohibited from
being buried in east Jerusalem by the Israeli government.

sed. But at
his death and
ze that for all he
n his life, the
e still in the same
e in before."
- Carmel Salhi
d for Freedom and Equality

new window for peace between
Israel and Palestine. I'm sorry
about his death as a person, but
... he led uprisings of violence
against Israel," Shotan said.
Jessica Risch, co-chair of
American Movement for Israel,
said her organization's primary
hope is that the new leadership
which arises in his place will
bring peace between the Pales-
tinians and Israelis.
"We just hope that the new
leadership will arise and lead
us to peace. Israel looks for a
partner in peace," Risch said.

Arafat, who was the leading Palestinian symbol over the
last 40 years, watched his health take a turn for the worse on
November 3 when he fell into a coma. His health conditions
produced widespread panic over would become his succes-
sor in the peace talks, and where the future of the potential
See ARAFAT, Page 7

First human rights scholar named to lead new initiative



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