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February 03, 2005 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-03

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Thursday, February 3, 2005


Opinion 4A

The Daily on the
State of thekUnion
Get ready for
spring break

it aug

I4: 35

One-hundredfourteen years ofediorialfreedom
www.michiganday.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 73 @2005 The Michigan Daily




WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush challenged a hesi-
tant Congress yesterday to "strengthen and save" Social Secu-
rity, saying the nation's costliest social program was headed for
bankruptcy unless changed. Bush's
plan would cut guaranteed retire- "The goal
ment benefits for younger Ameri-
cans but would not affect checks for of two
people now 55 and older.
Bush, in his State of the Union democratic
address, pledged to work with Con-
gress "to find the most effective com-States, israei
bination of reforms," although he has and Palestine
ruled out some remedies such as rais-
ing Social Security taxes. livin side by
Democrats said that Bush's propos-
al to divert Social Security revenues side in peace
into private investment accounts was .
dangerous and that there were better 1 Within
ways to fix the program, the 70-year-
old centerpiece of the New Deal. reach ...
Republicans stood and cheered
when Bush urged lawmakers to - President Bush
approve "voluntary personal retire-
ment accounts." Democrats sat in
stony silence, underscoring the par-
tisan divide on an issue likely to dominate the year in Congress.
Democrats also groaned and grumbled when Bush said Social Secu-
rity would require drastically higher taxes, massive new borrowing or
severe benefit cuts unless the system is changed.
Bush's speech spanned problems at home and abroad, but it was
the first State of the Union address since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks that focused most heavily on domestic issues. Despite Demo-
crats' criticism, he offered no hint of a timetable for a troop withdraw-
al from Iraq.
He pledged to confront regimes that promote terrorism and pursue
weapons of mass destruction, and singled out Syria and Iran. Return-
ing to his inaugural address's theme of spreading democracy, Bush
hailed the success of Sunday's elections in Iraq.
"And the victory of freedom in Iraq will strengthen a new ally
See BUSH, Page 7A


College Republicans gathered to watch President Bush make his State of the Union Address at Pizza House last night.

Students react to Bush


Union address

By Julia Homing
Daily Staff Reporter
Following a contestuous presidential
election, students gathered around Ann
Arbor to watch President Bush's State of
the Union address.
The College Republicans met at Pizza
House to hear the president's plans for his
next term. The group that dedicated its
efforts toward re-electing Bush this past

November seemed to agree with most of
the policy discussed in the address.
LSA sophomore and chair of the Col-
lege Republicans Ali Jacobs said she felt
that Bush spoke well. "He's not giving
exact details but his entire goal," she said.
She said she felt the speech was direct
and clear. "He's saying: These are the
things I've accomplished in the past four
years, and here's what I will do," she said.
But LSA sophomore Virginia Corrig-

an, a member of the College Democrats'
executive board, had a different reac-
tion. "I think it was more of the same,
he hasn't offered me anything new to see
him in a better light," she said.
The reactions varied as Bush contin-
ued to discuss domestic issues. His plan
for Social Security has prompted much
discussion in the past.
Jacobs said that though it was a partisan
issue, Bush backed up his plans with facts.

"I think he's rebuking a lot of myths.
There's a lot of propaganda about per-
sonal accounts. He's saying to the pub-
lic not to believe what the Left is telling
them," she said.
Still, other members of the College
Democrats were not convinced.
LSA junior and College Democrats Vice
Chair Libby Benton said, "I was really dis-
turbed by President Bush making it seem

continue for

MSA responds
to racist ti


incidents in


negotiate heath


same-sex benefits

By Carissa Miller
and Kim Tomlin
Daily Staff Reporters
Two days after the Graduate Employees' Organiza-
tion voted to extend its contract negotiations with the
University, the organization started work on unfinished
business, including same-sex domestic partner benefits
and health care.
In response to Proposal 2 - which banned same-sex
marriage in Michigan and could ban public institutions
from offering domestic partner benefits to gay couples
- GEO wants to ensure protection for its members with
same-sex partners in their contract.
Specifically, GEO aims to be able to register any adult
beneficiary - regardless of relationship - to receive
health benefits from the University.
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said GEO has
no reason to fear it will lose its benefits. If a court rules
that the University's same-sex domestic partner benefits
are unconstitutional under Proposal 2, she said, the Uni-
versity will change the mechanics of its benefits system
to continue to offer benefits to gay couples.
"The University has an unwavering commitment to
(principles such as) diversity and same-sex benefits,"
Peterson said.
Peterson added that a provision to the contract that
acts as a safeguard against a potential court decision
is unnecessary, because the contract includes a clause
requiring renegotiation of any provision that is struck
down by a court or legislative body.
In addition, Peterson said the University considers "des-
ignated beneficiary" benefits an "unacceptable" request
because of the potentially enormous cost of such a policy.
Other matters that GEO wants to negotiate with the
University include year-round health coverage for GSIs
who teach only one term and broader coverage of chron-
ic mental health issues.

Markley halls
By Paul Blumer
For the Daily
In response to an incident of racist
graffiti in Mary Markley Residence
Hall, the Michigan Student Assembly
passed a resolution Tuesday night to
spend $3,000 on educating students
about hate crimes.
Swastikas and the initials "KKK"
- for the white supremacist group
Klu Klux Klan - were drawn on
several white boards affixed to doors
in Markley's First Little Hall early
Saturday morning.
The resolution passed unanimous-
ly. Ari Liner, co-chair of MSA's
Campus Safety Commission, said
that the goal of the resolution was to
create a feeling of safety for all stu-
dents and to ensure that "no one has
to worry about being persecuted."
"We're gonna be there this time,"
Budget Priorities Committee Chair
Stuart Wagner said.
The resolution allocates $2,450
for advertising, $300 for a forum and
$250 for posters. MSA's funding is
provided by student fees.
Wagner said the majority of the
advertising funds will be used to

educate students through newspaper
ads, handouts and posted flyers.
"We will use the funds as we see
fit," Wagner said.
The Department of Public Safety
dispatched officers to Markley after
receiving a report of racist graffiti
at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, DPS spokes-
woman Diane Brown said.
Brown said that while whiteboard
defamation is not uncommon, this
incident was unique in its scope and
the fact that so many white boards
bore the same messages.
But because the graffiti was not
damaging and therefore does not
constitute a crime, DPS is investigat-
ing it as a "hate incident."
"It does not have the elements of
a "hate crime" because there was no
damage," Brown said.
So far there are no suspects in the
case, Brown added.
The swastika is a symbol, consist-
ing of a cross with its arms bent at
right angles, that was used in Nazi
Germany in the 1930s and '40s.
Both swastikas and the initials of
the Ku Klux Klan represent racism
and hatred.
Students living in the hall said they
were concerned with the message but
did not fear for their safety.
The prevailing opinion among
First Little residents was that the
graffiti was disturbing, but not phys-
ically threatening.
See MSA, Page 5A

Engineering sophomore Jerry Wang does the Dance Dance Revolution at Pin-
ball Pete's yesterday.

Black students have largest gender gap

B Via u Edwards

than doublet 'the 8R prcent gender gap in the Hispainic stu-

nization said the black gender ian is a recent phenom-

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