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December 06, 2004 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-06

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Monday, December 6, 2004
Opinion 4A Daniel Adams is
cynical about the MLB
Arts 9A Natalie Portman finds
an adult edge in the
dramatic Closer'

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One-hundred-fourteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.michikandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 46 x2004 The Michigan Daily

to play
Texas in
By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Editor
Since Nov. 20, Michigan has known
it would play in the Rose Bowl for two
weeks. This weekend, the other seven
spots in the four Bowl Championship
Series games were determined, and, as has
been the case every year, it couldn't hap-
pen without controversy.
The Wolverines will face Texas for
the first tine in their 125-year histoy on
New Years Day. The Longhoms were in
fifth place in the
BCS Standings
beind Clifor-
nia enei the
weekend, but the
Bears struggled
to defeat South-
ern Miss. on Sat-
urday, causing
the two teams to
switch places in the standings.
The BCS Standings take into account
the human polls as well as the computer
rankings. Both California and Texas failed
to win their conference title, but teams that
finish in the top four in the BCS Standings
are guaranteed a spot.
The Rose Bowl has traditionally been
played between the Big Ten and Pac-
10 champions, which are Michigan and
Southern Cal. this season. But Southern
Cal. will be playing in the Orange Bowl,
this season's BCS title game.
Michigan, which lost to the Trojans in
lat year's Rose Bowl, will be playing in
Pasadena in consecutive years for the first
time since 1992 and 1993
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said he
hadn't spent much time preparing for a spe-
cific opponent because of the possibility that
it could switch in the season's last week.
"Everybody understood that it was very
close, and the role the computers weregoing
to play in the final selection," Carrosaid.
"In terms of the history of the Rose
Bowl, I'm sure there is tremendous dis-
appointment at the University of Califor-
nia because their players have grown up
dreaming of playing this game, and they
don't get that opportunity."
Never before have two teams meeting
for the first time had as many combined
wins as Michigan and Texas. The Wolver-
ines rank first in all-time wins with 842,
and the Longhorns' 786 wins put themin a
tie for third with Nebraska.
If there's a team in college football that
has sympathy for Cal's situation, it's Texas.
See ROSE BOWL, Page 7A
Texas face-Off
Texas clinched a Rose Bowl
berth over California after
the Bears struggled to beat
Southern Miss., lowering its
BCS standing.
Texas has never gone to a
BCS bowl since the system
began in 1998.
Never before have two teams
with as many combined wins
met for the first time.

Mid-year tuition hike likely

By Jameel Naqvi
Daily Staff Reporter
Just hours after state economists estimated
Michigan's revenue shortfall at $370 million,
University Provost Paul Courant confirmed Fri-
day that the administration would most likely
respond to any further cuts in the University's
funding by enacting rare mid-year tuition hikes
for next semester
The state budget for the current fiscal year is
based upon a larger revenue estimate released in
May and that will force policy makers to make cuts
to balance the budget as required by law.

Faced with a much larger shortfall of $900 mil-
lion in each of the two previous fiscal years, Gov.
Jennifer Granholm twice decided to cut higher
education funding. It remains to be seen whether
state universities will be on the chopping block
once again this year.
"It would be premature to talk about what may
or may not be on the table," said Office of the
State Budget spokesman Greg Bird, referring to
higher education.
The University's Board of Regents - similar to
a board of directors - decided in July to restrict
fall tuition increases to the rate of inflation in
order to avoid stiff penalties from the state.

If the state does cut funding to public universi-
ties mid-year in an attempt to trim the budget, the
regents will be able to raise tuition without incur-
ring penalties.
"We had a very strong agreement with the
state.... If the state is unable to keep its side of
the bargain, we'll have to change our side," Cou-
rant said.
The University avoided mid-year tuition hikes
during the 2003-04 academic year. A reduction
in the hours of University custodial staff and the
elimination of many administrative positions
were just two of the alternatives the administra-
tion pursued to cope with the budget cuts.

Busting grade inflation
By DonE.Fresard Daily Staff Reporter

But Courant said this pattern of belt tighten-
ing throughout the University cannot be sustained
in light of the growing number of students. This
year's freshman class is the largest ever.
Still, Courant said, "We will have to look care-
fully at everything we can do."
But the regents may be eager to exercise their
independence from Lansing. In July, Regent
Andrew Richner (R-Grosse Point Park) said
he felt that the state "dictated" his primary job
- the setting of tuition rates. Other regents have
expressed similar resentment of state constraints
on University tuition.
See TUITION, Page 7A
rank ends
le Rott
' Stampfl
at some sorority members are calling the damaging
n of a friendly tradition, nine members of Theta Chi
were arrested early Saturday morning after police
gained illegal entry into the Delta Delta Delta sorority
e sorority will press charges, which could result in 1l-
y punishments.
ten reportedly climbed up a fire escape and entered
bhe bathroom window of the sorority house, Ann Arbor
epartment Sgt. Pat Ouellette said. Among other items,
id they stole two composite pictures, which consist of
f every member of the fraternity or sorority and are
;played in Greek houses.
nber of the church next door called AAPD to the soror-
at about 4 a.m. Saturday. Police said they found three
le a van and two on the roof of the house and two oth-
came out of the house. While police were questioning
t, two additional men came out of the house and fled on
ice ran after the two and caught them, Ouellette said.
>ractice of pranking other Greek houses by stealing
te pictures is a fairly widespread tradition in the fin-
ternity and sorority system,
are although most of these pranks
do notresultin arrests or, nec-
;sing essarily, break-ins.
"Normally frats will be
rges SO let into a sorority house and
usually a composite is stolen,
men or an emblem of some kind.
be held However, this event was taken
to another level, and other
ountable things happened that made
this different than previous
their situations," said LSA junior
Lindsey Fediuk, vice president
ions as of the Pan Hellenic Associa-
tion of sororities and a mem-
[s t 0set ber of Delta Delta Delta.
recedent The sorority was not ready
to comment on these other
r future circumstances, which Fediuk
said added to the severity of
nts:" theincident.
- Lindsey Fediuk "We need to set a bound-
ary," said LSA sophomore
V.P., Pan Hellenic MaggieMastervicepresident
Association of public relations for Delta
Delta Delta. "It's a security
issue for ourhome."

SA students planning on taking
easy courses in order to boost their
grade-point averages may want to
reconsider their schedules if a new pro-
posal is approved in today's LSA faculty
The proposal, which is seen as a way to
curb grade inflation, would revise official stu-
dent transcripts to include the median grade
and class size alongside every individual
grade for classes with 10 or more students.
Members of the LSA curriculum com-
mittee said the changes to the transcript
would serve several purposes. Joel Breg-
man, an astronomy professor on the com-
mittee, said the proposal would make
transcripts more informative for potential
employers and graduate schools by making
grades more meaningful.
"The motivation in general is that with
grade inflation, the importance of the GPA
has been diminished, so employers and
graduate schools feel that the GPA doesn't
mean much anymore," Bregman said.
He added that making grades more
meaningful could also help women and
minorities. "Grade inflation also hurts
women and minorities more, because if
you don't put much weight on the GPA,

then the only thing left is the standard-
ized exams."
Along with the median grade, the pro-
posal would place the class size next to
each LSA class on transcripts. As a former
member of the astronomy department's
graduate admissions committee, Bregman
said he sees this as a useful way to differ-
entiate core classes - which are generally
large and, in science departments, are often
designed to weed out a number of students
- from seminar and small discussion
"Where this is more important is really
in the core classes of a particular concen-
tration, when you want to see if someone
was able to master organic chemistry or
whatever it was," he said. "Most of the core
classes are larger, and so that's where it's
really targeted; it's not really targeted on
one-on-one research classes or small read-
ing classes."
Yasmin Naghash, an LSA junior who is a
student member of the committee, said the
proposal could encourage students to take
difficult courses without worrying about
the impact on their grade point averages.
"For students who get a C+ and think
it looks horrible on their transcript, if

the class average is a C,
at least they got better
than the class average,"
Naghash said. "If you got
an A and the class average
is an A, it's not such a big
Paul Siegel, an LSA sophomore
who is majoring in physics and mathemat-
ics, said the proposal could be helpful for
students taking introductory classes with
low median grades, such as Calculus II and
the introductory physics courses. But, he
said, the median grades may not be as valu-
able in certain upper-level courses.
In an honors upper-level math class that
he took last year, Siegel said, every student
received an A despite the rigorous work-
load because all of them were capable and
"The attitude was that these are smart
math students who could be taking easy
classes and getting A's very easily, so they
don't want to punish you for struggling
with very difficult material," he said.
Marjorie Horton, assistant dean for
undergraduate education for LSA, said
Dartmouth College and several Canadian
universities have adopted a practice similar
to the one being proposed.
The LSA faculty meeting, which is open
to observation from the public, will take
place in Auditorium B of Angell Hall today
from 4:10 to 5 p.m. Along with the median
grade proposal, faculty members will vote
on a proposal to remove "W" marks from
the official transcripts of first-term fresh-
men who drop classes after the drop/add
deadline, which is typically about three
weeks into the term.

The fraternity members were released, but an investigation
is ongoing. The men could face charges of home invasion, a
felony that can carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
Fediuk said the sorority will press charges in the hope of stop-
ping the escalation.
"We are pressing charges so the men can be held account-
able for their actions as well as to seta precedent ... for future
events," she said, adding that the actions of the men were not
representative of the Greek system.

Candles, Christmas decorations among winter fire hazards

By Magaly Grimaldo
For the Daily
With the holidays here, many students have
decided to show spirit by decorating their dorm
rooms with purchased trees, wreaths, menorahs
and other decorations. But some students ignore
the many hazards that make fires prevalent in
the winter months.
Officials from the University and the Ann
Arbor Fire Department said safety should be
one of students' first priorities, especially when
celebrating the holidays.
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman
Diane Brown said there is a rule against hav-
ing open flames on campus, which includes the
lighting of candles and incense.
Candle fires have nearly tripled in the past
decade according to the AAFD. Nearly twice
as many home candle fires occur in December
than during any other month, mostly because
of holiday decorations and rituals.
Generally, December, January and February
are the deadliest months for fires.
"Many students have decided to ignore the
rule," LSA sophomore Minnie Kim said. "I
have seen students light candles in their room."
Brown, who also coordinates the Department
of Fire Safety, said all these restrictions are put

Drop it like it's hot
Fire safety rules for dorms
Lighting candies is not allowed
in dorm rooms. Candle fires in Ann
Arbor have tripled in the last decade
and most occur in December
Students cannot keep live trees
or wreaths in residence halls unless
they are watered to reduce flamma-
Students who celebrate Hanukkah
are allowed to light menorahs only in
residence hall lounges
in place to prevent fires and other hazards.
"There have been fires in the past with can-
dles," she said.
"I don't understand why students use can-
dles in their dorms. The rooms are so small
- there is a bigger risk of a fire occurring,"
Kim said.
Other students choose to light candles in
spite of the rules. "It makes the atmosphere
more comfortable and feels like home. It can

be dangerous, but I keep them contained and
never leave them unattended," LSA freshman
Ron Leuterio said.
Housing spokesman Alan Levy said, "We
encourage residents to enjoy the holidays, but
to be safe."
Levy said the use of live trees or wreaths is
not allowed in residence halls, because they are
extremely flammable. This rule is also enforced
on Ann Arbor residents unless they properly
care for the tree by watering it to reduce the
Levy also pointed out that the restriction on
candles might be a problem for students who
celebrate Hanukkah.
"Students will be able to light menorahs in
the lounges of their dorms in the presence of a
residential advisor. They will also be allowed
to. have them in their dorms, but will not be
allowed to light them," Levy said.
LSA freshman Jen Rothstein said she under-
stood the hazard that menorahs can cause and
has made other arrangements to celebrate the
"It's disappointing not being able to light my
own menorah since it's part of a holiday tradi-
tion but I'll be going to Hillel (the Jewish stu-
dent center)," she said.
"The number one reason for fires during
See FIRE, Page 7A

Lighting candles In dorm rooms is against University rules because of the number of fires
it causes in the winter. Fires also Increase from December to March because of Increased
outlet usage when plugging In Christmas decorations. Students who celebrate Hanukkah
can light menorahs only in residence hall lounges.

a r

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