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January 31, 2005 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-31

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Monday, January 31, 2005

News 3A ITCS cans
spam e-mail

Opinion 4A

From the Daily:
a new term

One-hundredfourteen years of editorialfreedom


p :31
LOW: 14

Arts 8A Eastwood and
Swank team up
in sentimental
boxing drama

...... - ----------- --

0 www.mchikandaiy.com

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Vol. CXV, No. 70

02005 The Michigan Daily

v J

By Melissa Benton
and Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporters
On the eve of the Graduate Employees'
Organization contract expiring, the union
will vote on extending its contract with
the University to allow for more negotiat-
ing time on unsettled matters. Three years
after its last battle, the organization is again
sparring with the University over the rights
and benefits of graduate student instructors
as stipulated in its union contract.
Since November, the two sides have held
negotiations ranging from expanded health
care coverage to increased wages. Tonight
GEO's bargaining team plans to recom-
mend continuing negotiations by having the
union vote to extend its current contract to
sometime in late February, GEO president
Dave Dobbie said.
This will allow GEO and the University
additional time to negotiate on matters
ranging from salary to healthcare, but will
not give them more than a month to do so.
"We don't want to hold up the (negotiat-
ing) process, but we also don't want to give
the University endless amounts of time," he
said of extending the date.
In 2002, the last time the three-year con-
tract expired, GEO staged a walkout after
negotiations with the University failed and
GSIs operated for one day without a contract.
Last November Dobbie said that GEO
has not ruled out a strike or a walkout in the
future, but said it would have to be voted on
by members.
In past years, GEO has held a one-day
walkout, but never this early in the bargain-
ing process, University spokeswoman Julie
Peterson said.
"A walkout is never desirable because it
interrupts our teaching activities," Peterson
said. "We're always hopeful GEO will not
feel the need to do that."
So far, the union has yet to make any
choices about which issues to push more
than others. That is part of the decision-
making process that will take place in the
next month, Wilson said.
"It's not so much about letting one (issue)
go for another," Wilson said. "It's about
finding gains everywhere and reducing
barriers for everybody - not leaving some
groups behind."
"In recent bargaining sessions, we've
been making good progress," Peterson
said. "The University is feeling good about
the discussions. We hope we can reach an
agreement that will balance the needs of
GSIs and still stay within the University's
GEO's has a number of issues it will
bring up to the University before a contract
is agreed upon:
Because GEO believes the cost of
living in Ann Arbor increases faster than
wages, one proposal aims to ensure pay
for GSIs keeps pace with inflation. GEO
wants automatic cost-of-living increases to
achieve a living wage by the time the con-
tract expires.
Another demand is to protect trans-
gender members of the union. A lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender taskforce
recommended that the University change
its bylaws to shield transgender individu-
als from discrimination, but GEO members
said the University has not taken any action
to change them. GEO members also demand-

See GEO, Page 7A

turn out
for vote
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqis embraced democracy in
large numbers yesterday, standing in long lines to vote in defi-
ance of mortar attacks, suicide bombers and boycott calls.
Pushed in wheelchairs or carts if they could not walk, the
elderly, the young and women in veils cast ballots in Iraq's first
free election in a half-century.
"We broke a barrier of
fear," said Mijm Towirish, "The world
an election official.
Uncertain Sunni turnout, is hearing
a string of insurgent attacks
that killed 44 and the crash the voice
of a British military plane
drove home that chaos in of freedom
Iraq is not over yet.
Yet the mere fact the
vote went off seemed to center of the
ricochet instantly around
a world hoping for Arab Middle East"
democracy and fearing
Islamic extremism.
"I am doing this because - President Bush
I love my country, and I
love the sons of my nation,"
said Shamal Hekeib, 53, who walked with his wife 20 minutes
to a polling station near his Baghdad home.
"We a're Arabs, we are not scared and we are not cowards,"
Hekeib said.
With helicopters flying low and gunfire close by, at least
200 voters stood calmly in line at midday outside one poll-
ing station in the heart of Baghdad. Inside, the tight security
included at least four body searches, and a ban on lighters,
cell phone batteries, cigarette packs and even pens.
The feeling was sometimes festive. One election volunteer
escorted a blind man back to his home after he cast his vote.
A woman too frail to walk by herself arrived on a cart pushed
by a young relative. Entire families showed up in their finest
But for the country's minority Sunni Arabs, who held a
privileged position under Saddam Hussein, the day was not
as welcome.
No more than 400 people voted in Saddam's hometown of
Tikrit, and in the heavily Sunni northern Baghdad neighbor-
hood of Azamiyah, where Saddam made his last known public
appearance in early April 2003, the four polling places never
even opened.
Iraqi election officials said it might take 10 days to deter-
mine the vote's winner and said they had no firm estimate
of turnout among the 14 million eligible voters. The tick-
et endorsed by the Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
was the pre-voting favorite. Interim Prime Minister Ayad
Allawi's slate was also considered strong.
"The world is hearing the voice of freedom from the cen-
ter of the Middle East," said President Bush, who called the
election a success. He promised the United States would
continue training Iraqi soldiers, hoping they can soon
secure a country America invaded nearly two years ago to
topple Saddam.

(Clockwise from top) The Indigo Girls, Clarence Fountain of the Blind Boys of Alabama and Keb Mo' perform at the
Ann Arbor Folk Festival at Hill Auditorium on Friday and Saturday.



Folk Festival rocks Hill

By Kat Bawden
Daily Arts Writer

Hill Auditorium looked like an opulent
opera house but smelled and sounded like
a roadside bar on Friday evening. A thick,
pungent mix of fruity alcohol, cigarettes
and musk hung in the dimly lit air as every
seat was filled for the 28th annual Ann
Arbor Folk Festival, which gathers folk
musicians from around the country.
But this was not traditional Tom Joad
folk music; in fact, it may not even be
defined as folk music at all. There was a
prophetic singer/songwriter who sound-
ed like a Welsh Bruce Springsteen,
a petite and timid woman who sang
in soft Taiwanese and a gospel group
led by three blind men. Irreverent MC
Susan Werner even played songs of the
big band variety while joking that she
decided to try the genre because "most

of the competition is dead."
Dancing in the aisles of the packed audi-
torium, the crowd was as eclectic as the
varied musical acts. Though mostly middle
aged, the audience was more energetic and
excited than teenagers at the hippest rock
show. For their part, the artists were person-
able and informal, as if playing at an open
mic night for a group of close friends.
The opening act on Friday night was
the bluegrass group Steppin' In It, which
consists of four men wielding an acous-
tic guitar, a steel guitar, a harmonica and
a stand-up bass. The group played with a
casual ease, barely looking at the crowd
and focusing intensely on their instruments
and harmonies. Next was Jeremy Kittel, a
fiddler backed by deep, resonating stand up
bass and steady acoustic guitar.
After Kittel took his final bows and the
crowd took a short breather, broad-jawed,
thick-necked Welsh baritone Martyn

Joseph emerged onstage announced as
making "Leonard Cohen look like Julie
Andrews." Compared to his sledgeham-
mer voice and bulky frame, Joseph's gui-
tar looked fragile in his arms, as chords
and notes were practically pounded out.
The Blind Boys of Alabama were
the second headliners and perhaps the
most unassuming and delightful act
of the night. The band, three elderly
blind men, led by their younger drum-
mer, bassist and guitarist, appeared
on stage to much fanfare and played
an energetic set. The Blind Boys took
turns taking lead, as their soulful vocal
harmonies hushed the crowd and filled
Hill's high ceilings. Their gospel sound
was accompanied by loud bluesy rock,
making for an appealing twist. Before
launching into an animated and omi-
nous version of "Amazing Grace,"

Lecturers demand 'U'

LEO wants U to
provide criteria
for evaluations
By Michael Kan
and Ekjoyt Saini
Daily Staff Reporters
After meeting last week, the Lecturers'
Employee Organization has voiced concerns
regarding the University's alleged failure to
comply with certain provisions established in

the contract laid out last June and has estab-
lished tomorrow as a deadline for the University
to respond.
The central focus of the meeting was what
LEO considers the University's lack of coopera-
tion in presenting the criteria used when evalu-
ating lecturers and considering them for another
year of employment - an agreement made in
last summer's contract.
The contract states that each college within
the University will be responsible for creating
the criteria used when hiring new lecturers, pro-
moting them or deciding on renewals of current
lecturers, LEO President Bonnie Halloran said.
She added that the University is in violation
of this policy because it should have provided

comply with contract
lecturers with the criteria last semester. evaluation process set up by individual depart-
She said that various departments in some of ments. These titles would essentially act as
the colleges have provided criteria for perfor- promotions, bestowing the lecturer benefits
mance reviews, but overall, the colleges have according to that title, Peterson said.
not provided the necessary information. With the staff of University lecturers num-
"We have been talking with the administra- bering at around 1,300 - many of whom have
tion for the last three months, once a week, ask- worked at the University for a varying number
ing for this criteria," Halloran said. "They tell us of years - developing the criteria and allocat-
one week it's coming, then the next week it's still ing all the instructors to an appropriate title will
coming, and the next week it's still coming." take more time than was originally estimated
But drawing up the new criteria is proving during last year's negotiations, Peterson said.
to be a more difficult task than was previously "I understand it is causing some frustration,
thought said University spokeswoman Julie and we are working together with the depart-
Peterson. ments, because it is something that has to be
Under the new contract, the University is done with the departments and can't be done
required to appoint lecturers a title through an See LEO, Page 7A

South Asian students urged
. to form closer community
Conference uses dance, workshops to bridge gap

By Amber Colvin
Daily Staff Reporter
ABC News Now anchor Hari Sreenivasan
encouraged South Asian students Friday night to
look past their separate identities, such as Indian
or Pakistani, and embrace their common South
Asian heritage.
"We have these divisions that we have to get over.
... It's our responsibility to figure out how we inte-

South Asian community.
"It tells them to take the notions that they have,
whether right or wrong, and take it a step farther
and mold it into something they can do after gradu-
ation," Trivedi said.
The national conference was comprised of
speeches, workshops, small group activities and
vocal and dance performances by students. Speak-
ers included Indra Nooyi, president and chief
financial officer for PepsiCo, Inc. and DJ Rekha,

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