The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 14, 2005 - 7A
Continued from page 1A
"The platform has the potential to revolu-
tionize how cell researchers and clinicians
effectively grow and analyze cell tissues,"
Crowley said. He added that the product
has a potentially large market.
The company's first product will mimic
the human fertility system. It will be the
size of a credit card and will help fertility
specialists to more effectively perform in
vitro fertilization - a procedure in which
male and female sex cells are united out-
side the womb.
Crowley said in order to be a good entre-
Continued from page 1A
University discriminates against all trans-
gendered employees with its MCare health
policy and its benefits plan.
Despite vocal support, Wilson said the
University has refused to discuss GEO's
plan for health insurance coverage in their
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson
said GEO and the University have agreed
on issues concerning employee leave for
jury duty, witness services and immigration
preneur you have to be able to recognize
and understand needs but doing so is not
as intuitive as one may think, explaining
that people often fall in love with a product
idea and forget to ask whether people really
need it. Crowley said he created two com-
panies before he learned business skills.
During the competition for the Pryor-
Hale, Crowley had to give a presentation in
15 minutes and present his business plan in
"I went to ZLI because of their resources.
They know how to analyze," Crowley said.
"They helped us refine our pitch."
MBA student Benjamin Lewis, whose
company Style High tied with Crowley's for
"Most of the remaining time in bargain-
ing (on Friday) was spent discussing ben-
efits and gender identity," Peterson said.
"We are making progress in the bargaining,
but there are still serious issues that must be
resolved. We are hopeful we will be able to
reach an agreement with GEO but we still
have work ahead of us before the contract
will be completed."
GEO also wants the new contract to ensure
protection of any designated beneficiary to
receive health benefits from the University
- a demand that the University has called
unacceptable because of its potential costs.
Another concern that the union has
the Best Business award, entered the com-
petition because of the help he received in
developing his business plan, the exposure
to venture capitalists and the cash prize.
One of those venture capitalists was
Business school alum Ravi Mohan.
He is the managing director of Shasta
Ventures and served on the judging panel in
the Pryor-Hale competition. At the end of
Friday's six presentations, he said, "These
are just like the ones we get in our offices.
The Zell Lurie Institute provides edu-
cational resources - including courses,
competition and advice - for future entre-
preneurs at the University.
brought to the table is continued benefits for
graduates in same-sex partnerships - a policy
that the University already follows.
In a previous interview, Peterson said GEO
has no reason to fear it will lose its benefits, even
if a court ruled a new arrangement unconstitu-
tional because of its violation of Proposal 2 - an
amendment to the state constitution that defines
marriage as between a man and a woman.
The University will change the mechanics of
its benefits system to continue to offer benefits to
gay couples, Peterson said.
"The University has an unwavering commit-
ment to (principles such as) diversity and same-
sex benefits," Peterson also said.
Continued from page 1A
He said the lawsuit is meant to bring the Ann
Arbor schools into line with the beliefs of the major-
ity of the people in Michigan.
"People of the state of Michigan have a unique
interest in protecting the institution of marriage as
it is traditionally understood," Gillen said. "That
institution should not be undermined by providing
recognition to other relationships which are not of
equal dignity and not equal to marriage."
Liz Margolis, director of communications for the
Ann Arbor Public Schools, said the district has no
plans to discontinue benefits for same-sex couples.
"We stand very firmly by our policy of providing
these types of benefits for our employees," Margolis
said. "We will defend our right to provide these ben-
efits because it's the right thing to do."
Margolis also pointed out that the Ann
Arbor Public Schools is not the only institu-
tion in the area to provide benefits to same-sex
couples. The University and the city of Ann
Arbor also provide them.
"I don't know why in this particular instance
(the Thomas More Law Center) has filed a suit
against the public schools when there are other
employers who provide these types of benefits,"
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said the
University is standing by its policy of giving benefits
to same-sex couples and is keeping a close eye on
the lawsuit against the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
"We believe that the decision about offering ben-
efits to our employees and their various dependents
is an employment decision and is not related to the
definition of marriage," Peterson said. "Our argu-
ment all along has been that employers like the Uni-
versity of Michigan offer package benefits in order
to attract and maintain the very best employees and
has nothing to do with the definition of marriage."
In December, Gillen said he could not rule out
the possibility that he or his firm would sue the
University over the issue.
Kary Moss, executive director of the Ameri-
can Civil Liberties Union of Michigan said the
ACLU is doing what it can to assist the school
"We've opposed the lawsuit from the begin-
ning and will continue to oppose it now that they
are trying to use Proposal 2 as additional ammu-
nition," Moss said.
She added the ACLU has filed an amicus or
"friend of the court" brief on behalf of the Ann
Arbor Public Schools to publicly express their
support for the district.
An amicus brief is a way for people or organiza-
tions who are not parties in a lawsuit to give their
opinion about a specific issue in a case.
The University also filed an amicus brief when
the suit was originally filed in 2003, but it was
rejected by the court. Gross said it is not uncommon
for state trial courts to reject amicus briefs simply on
the basis that they do not want to take the filer's
viewpoint into consideration.
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