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www.michikandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 55 *2005 The Michigan Daily
Frieze plans face opposition
to preserve Frieze
as historical site
By Anne Joling
Daily Staff Reporter
When University President Mary Sue
Coleman announced plans last October to
demolish the Frieze Building and replace it
with a new residence hall, many Ann Arbor
residents said they were caught off guard.
Since then, local groups and some members
of the University Board of Regents have
increasingly voiced objections that, because
of the building's historic significance, por-
tions of it should be saved.
Citizens will have an opportunity to dis-
cuss these concerns with administrators at a
meeting Jan. 13 at the Michigan League.
"We hadn't had any indication that the
University was planning to demolish the
Frieze Building; we didn't know how to feel
about it," said Norman Tyler, a professor of
planning and preservation at Eastern Michi-
gan University who opposes the Universi-
"A project like that, it takes a little while
to try and understand what the impact will
be. It took us by surprise."
In addition to members of the commu-
nity, some regents have expressed concerns
about the project and have said they believe
an alternative should be found.
"Re-using a portion of the building may
not be economically feasible," said Regent
Katherine White (D-Ann Arbor). "But
the architectural firm chosen for the proj-
ect should at least consider the idea. If the
University does not bring forward ideas to
save a portion of the Frieze Building to the
architects, (the architects) are not going to
consider the proposition."
Coleman's October announcement intro-
duced plans to tear down the existing Frieze
Building and build a new residence hall -
the first in 37 years - along with a variety
of different classroom facilities. But regents
have not yet approved this project because
it is still in the early stages of development,
The Frieze Building is the site of the old
Ann Arbor High School, which was built in
Many proponents of preservation said
they hope the architects for the new build-
ing will be able to save the original outside
wall of the building as well as the Carnegie
Library inside, which Coleman also wants to
See FRIEZE, Page 7
By Aymar Joan
Daily Staff Reporter
A statewide petition drive seeking to ban
race- and gender-conscious admissions pro-
grams in public education and employment
announced yesterday in Lansing that it had
completed its signature-gathering efforts.
E~nin eerrng student cracks m ystery
of Mona Lisa s deterioration
By Adrian Chn
an ih e Daily Staff Reporters itA
The Michigan C
it had col- "
more than the t
tures needed to
get its proposal
placed on the 1
a major hurdle in its
state constitution to
Civil Rights Initiative
the cause of
civil rights in
- Mary Sue Coleman
campaign to amend the
ban "preferential treat-
Cracking a smile more than 500
years ago, the mysterious woman in
OLeonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa"
inspired the artist to create one of the
world's most recognizable works of art.
Now the painting itself is cracking, and
conservationists at the Louvre - the
renowned Paris museum that houses the r
painting - are rushing to determine the
cause of the deterioration, using X-rays
and infrared technology to diagnose the
The crack has conservationists
stumped, as the Mona Lisa is kept in a ,v
sealed, temperature-and humidity-con-
trolled environment that should protect
against any possible damage.
But Evan Quasney, a University Engi-
neering junior, thinks he has explained
the phenomenon - without ever look-
ing at the painting in person.
"I've never seen the thing," Quas-
ney said. "I've never even been to the
Instead, Quasney explored the
effects of different forces - changes
in temperature and humidity - on the
painting using a computer model he
helped develop during an internship at
the Smithsonian Center for Materials
Research and Education, an organiza-
tion dedicated to researching conserva-
Quasney, his supervisor, Marlion
Mecklenburg, and-another student spent
last summer finishing and perfecting the
model, which can simulate the effects of
these forces onto any painting from the
high renaissance period done on a thin
panel of wood, such as the Mona Lisa.
Using the model, Quasney and his sen i
colleagues ran simulations to determin
the effect of humidity on the paintingsmac
and came to some surprising conclusions -
S surprising because, if their results are correct,
the centuries-old practices of conservationists
hoping to protect artwork is actually doing
more harm than good.
On its own, a panel painting will warp as
changes in humidity cause parts of it to expand.
ment" based on race, sex, ethnicity and other
If all the signatures are verified - mean-
ing the signers are registered voters with
the proper addresses - then the question of
"race and gender preferences" will appear on
the 2006 ballot. Public opinion polls indicate
that more than 60 percent of Michigan citi-
zens oppose affirmative action.
University President Mary Sue Coleman
released a statement denouncing the initia-
tive, using stronger language than she has
in the past. Coleman has said the proposal,
if passed, would limit the University's abil-
ity to promote diversity, which many believe
enhances a student's educational experience.
"I believe that this proposal, despite its
name, does not further the cause of civil rights
in Michigan," Coleman said in the statement.
"It is about closing the door to higher educa-
tion for many of our citizens."
MCRI began as a result of the 2003 U.S.
Supreme Court decision upholding affirma-
See MCRI, Page 7
The road to the '06 ballot
Signatures collected by MCRI
workers must be validated - oppo-
nents say they will challenge these
Once validated by the city clerk's
office, the proposal will be eligible
for the 2006 statewide ballot
If passed, the proposal will end
Quasney, an Engineering junior, crouches next to The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, a panel painting by Jan Sanders van Hemes-
In the University's Museum of Art. Like the Mona Lisa, the painting's back has a series of wooden frames, which Quasney discovered
cause cracking in the painting. His research applies to a large number of paintings that have similar backs.
The flexibility of the panels is impressive: A
20 by 40-inch panel can bend as much as four
inches without breaking, Quasney said.
Although the bending itself is not harmful to
the work, people were unhappy with the appear-
ance of the warped paintings, so conservation-
ists and collectors began attaching dense pieces
of wood called battens to the backs of paintings
to correct and prevent warping. However, as
years went on, warping continued despite the
battens, and so additional criss-crossing frames
of wood called cradles were attached. -
But according to Quasney's model, the bat-
tens and cradles actually create
more stress and lead to the cracks and fissures
they were meant to prevent.
"(With battens and cradles) the panel is not
allowed to move the way it's supposed to - as
a result, very high stress levels are introduced
into the back of the panel," which can lead to
See MONA LISA, Page 7
Coleman backs conunission's
higher education proposals
By Justin Miller
Daily Staff Reporter Panel makes
A DM ISSIONS
New lawsuit demands 'U'
refund application fees
Following the release of a report by the commis-
sion headed by Lt. Gov. John Cherry that recom-
mended increased quality and participation in higher
education in Michigan, University President Mary
Sue Coleman has backed the report's ambitious pro-
posals and indicated that she will be pushing the state
to increase educational expectations.
"I certainly endorse the report. It seems like to me
we've given the governor very, very good advice,"
she said of the recommendations the commission has
made to Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Coleman was chair
of a work group inside the commission tasked with
finding a way to maximize the economic benefits of
The Cherry commission was created at the request
of Granholm and its report says the state is in dire
need of education reform, without which Michigan
faces a future "characterized by ever-diminishing
economic opportunity, decaying cities and population
flight" and risks becoming a "stagnant backwater in a
dvnamic world economv."
suggestions to double
state college grads
in the state. "Both our Flint and Dearborn campuses
have a lot of capacity. We could add thousands more
students at those campuses. That's the way I would
see expanding enrollment. Another way we could help
is by encouraging non-traditional students like women
and minorities into science," Coleman said.
The goals of higher college quality and enrollment
are important to the commission because the state's
educational and economic performance has been well
below the national average.
Michigan is ranked 44th in states whose 25 to 34-
year-old populations have a bachelor's degree or high-
er - an age group that will bear the state economy's
continuing transition from manufacturing to technol-
ogy and service jobs. The commission said the tradi-
tionally manufacturing-heavy economy gave residents
By Karen Tee
Daily Staff Reporter
The University has until Jan. 19 to respond to a motion,
filed last month, that seeks damages for individuals who
say they were denied admission because of the point-
based, race conscious policy used in LSA admissions
from 1995 to 2003.
Lead counsel Kirk Kolbo, an attorney for the Center
for Individual Rights, is asking a U.S. District Court in
Detroit to award a class of rejected applicants refunds
of their $40 application fees and nominal damages of
Any individual who applied from 1995 to 2003, and
is not a member of the racial groups - blacks, Hispan-
ics, and Native Americans - that the University awarded
extra points to under the old application system, may be
entitled to compensation.
In its last lawsuit against the University, CIR successfully
represented two white students in a case that led to the U.S.
Supreme Court striking down the LSA point-based admis-
sions system in 2003.
sands of applicants, and those who suffered financial or other
damages as a result of the University's intentional and illegal
actions are entitled to compensation."
University administrators, however, say CIR's case is weak.
"The plaintiffs have to show that they would have been
admitted under an alternative race-conscious system, and that
would be impossible for them to show," University spokes-
woman Julie Peterson said. "The truth is there just simply
isn't enough space to admit all the thousands of students who
apply to the University."
CIR, which is based in Washington, is a conservative, non-
profit public interest law firm that specializes in free speech
and anti-affirmative action cases. The firm filed the claim last
month before U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Duggan in
x, ;_ _