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February 24, 2005 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-24

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 3A

ON CAMPUS
Speaker to lecture
on Japanese
personal pronouns
As part of its winter 2005 lecture
series, the Center for Japanese Studies
presents Cindi Sturtz-Sreetharan today
at noon in room 1636 of the School of
Social Work.
Sturtz-Sreetharan, a member of Cali-
fornia State University's anthropology
department, will discuss Japanese men's
usage of personal pronouns in speech.
Famous Chicago
poet to perform at
poetry slam
The University Unions Arts and
Programs is sponsoring a poetry slam
tonight from 8 p.m. to midnight in the
U-Club of the Michigan Union. Doors
open at 8 p.m., and the slam will begin
at 8:30 p.m.
During the show, students will be
selected to perform on the national
poetry slam team.
There will also be a special per-
formance by renowned Chicago poet
Kevin Coval.
Speaker lectures
on government in
the Philippines
Joel Rocamora, director of the Insti-
tute for Popular Democracy in Manila,
will give a lecture this evening, titled
"Social Movements, Local Governance
and Party Building in the Philippines."
The event will be tonight from 7 to 8:30
p.m. in Room 1636 in the School of
Social Work Building.
CRIME
NOTES
Caller reports
subject peering
into home
A subject reported to the Department
of Public Safety Wednesday that a per-
son was looking into a residential build-
,ing at Northwood I off of Beal St. The
4uspect was identified, and an investiga-
tion on the matter is continuing.
Subject falls and
injures himself
A subject fell and injured himself
outside of the Earl V. Moore Building
Tuesday. He was escorted to the Univer-
sity Hospital for treatment.
Gunshots heard
on Elm Street
The Ann Arbor Police Department
received a report of screaming and
possibly three gunshots on Elm Street
at 6:20 a.m. Wednesday. The officers

responded to the scene, and a report has
been filed.
THIS DAY
In Daily History
S.
Three men nabbed
in acid raid
Feb. 24, 1974 - Three men from Ann
Arbor were charged with trafficking in
LSD, after weeks of investigation and the
seizure of over 48,000 LSD tablets.
The charge being brought against the
three men is 'delivery of LSD, "which
is a felony and carries a maximum pen-
alty of up to seven years in prison and/or
a $5,000 fine.
Lt. Calvin Hicks of the Detective
Bureau at the Ann Arbor Police Depart-
ment said this arrest was somewhat
unusual, as the use of LSD has lessened
to a great extent over the past years.
CORRECTIONS
An article on Page 1 of yesterday's
edition of the Daily should have said
Sen. Carl Levin's 2002 amendment on

Clinton aide talks on being black and gay

By Rachel Kruer
Daily Staff Reporter
Every time his mom picked up the phone, Keith
Boykin panicked - he could not find the right
words to tell his mother that he was gay.
When he was a student at Harvard Law School,
Boykin created a script in which he not only wrote
out his responses, but how his mother would react
as well. Only after this did Boykin find the courage
to tell his mother the truth.
Boykin, who served as a special assistant to
former President Bill Clinton, shared many of his
experiences as an openly gay, black man yesterday
at the Michigan League to a packed room of stu-
dents, faculty and other interested individuals.
The lecture took place during Black History
Month and was named after Audre Lorde and
Bayard Rustin, both prominent figures in the gay
and black communities. This year is the first that
the Audre Lord-Bayard Rustin Lecture has taken
place.
Boykin is president of the National Black Jus-
tice Coalition, a civil rights organization that fights
against the spread of homophobia.
After the lecture, Boykin was available to sign
his latest book, "Beyond the Down Low: Black &
Gay in America." The book is a response to previ-
ously published books that discuss men who have
sex with other men but who do not identify them-
selves as gay.
Boykin said one of those books spread false
information about who was to blame for spreading
AIDS in the black community.
"We are pointing fingers at who is responsible. It
takes two people to spread AIDS; only one to stop
it. Every time we point fingers (at a certain group),
we should all instead accept responsibility for the
epidemic on our hands," he said.
Boykin said it would be more constructive to
stop obsessing about "The Down Low" and instead
focus on campaigning against homophobia.
After graduating from law school, Boykin found
a job working in the White House during the Clin-
ton administration. He said it was while he was
an advisor to Clinton that the issues of gays in the
military reached the media spotlight.
Even though he said Clinton has been the most
pro-gay, progressive president, Boykon said he was

still disappointed with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
policy that allows gays to serve in the military as
long as they keep their sexual orientation to them-
selves.
"('Don't Ask, Don't Tell') was licensed deceit.
It encouraged people to be silent. It was a colossal
failure," Boykin said.
Students in the audience echoed Boykin's senti-
ment on the issue.
"I happened to have a class friend who was
kicked out of the Army for saying he was gay. This
is absolutely ridiculous because sexuality does not
impede one's ability to fight in the military," alum
Ravi Perry said.
Another moment in history that Boykin said he
participated in was the Million Man March. He
said he and approximately 200 other openly gay,
black men chanted, "We're Black. We're gay. We
wouldn't have it any other way."
The experience was a defining moment for
Boykin.
"It made me realize if you have the courage to
be who you are, people will not only accept you but
respect you," he said.
Boykin also discussed the similarities between
the civil rights and gay rights movements.
"Some say you can't compare civil rights. Yes,
you can compare the two movements. You can
compare apples and oranges. What people really
mean is that you cannot equate civil rights with
gay rights," Boykin said.
Boykin said that is also possible to compare
both movements because of the overlapping.
"Some people argue that gay people did not sit on
the back of the bus. Well, that's not true - some of
the black people were gay," Boykin said.
Lydia Middleton, coordinator of the University's
Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, said she
was impressed by Boykin's speech
"I felt that Boykin enlightened everyone on the
different distinctions and levels of oppression. I felt
his personal account made the speech very inter-
esting and entertaining," Middleton said.
Dean of Students Sue Eklund said she was
impressed with the number of students that came
out to see him speak. "There was a lovely turn-
out. It was a great speech where he used humor
and intelligence to convey serious messages,"
Eklund said.

'TOMMSO^ 'OMEZ/Daily
Former Clinton administration employee, Keith Boykin, speaks about homosexuality In black Amer-
ica. Boykin emphasized the trouble black men have in coming out to their family and friends.

Prof creates new shelter for disaster victims

By Samantha Lehto
For the Daily

In a time when emergency relief has
become a top priority after the devas-
tation of the tsunami in South Asia,
Art and Design Prof. Allen Samuels
has found a way for those who have
lost everything to find a sense of space
for themselves among the wreckage.
Samuels has recently completed a
biodegradable emergency shelter that
can provide refuge in times of natu-
ral disaster. Samuels said he came up
with the idea when he read about the
overcrowding in prisons across the
nation.
"Overcrowding in prisons doesn't
allow for privacy, or dignity," Samu-
els claimed, "The idea was to create
a portable, disposable, modular, indi-
vidual environment."
The shelter consists of a flat surface
where a mattress can be placed. A
canopy covers the device and provides
for privacy to sleep. But when the can-
opy is opened it can be removed and
used to block off a personal area for
changing and grooming, or simply to
get away.
The individual shelter is approxi-

mately three feet wide and seven feet
long, with the canopy reaching three
feet when in the downward position.
Shelters are also available in larger
sizes to accommodate couples and
families.
Samuels said he realized the shelters
could be used in times of natural disas-
ter as well, as they would be cheap,
lightweight and easily transportable.
The device is also ecologically friend-
ly, about as dangerous to the environ-
ment as a diaper, Samuels said.
"Once the device is used, it's the
designer's responsibility to figure out
how to get rid of it."
Samuels has worked on several proj-
ects over the years, including furni-
ture, medical equipment and running
shoes, and has most recently worked
on new inventions for senior citizens
suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
The Office of Research, which
spends about $5 million a year on
faculty projects, has donated to Sam-
uels's projects, said Assistant to the
Vice President for Research Lee Kat-
terman. Twenty-nine private corpora-
tions have also contracted Samuels to
work for them.
This project, however, is entirely

self-funded, and Samuels has designed
and built his shelters without using a
team, unlike with most of his other
projects. He hopes to find a corpora-
tion to sponsor his project now that the
basic idea is complete.
When Samuels does find a spon-
sor, he will begin sorting through the
many ideas he has to make the shelters
as versatile as possible. Using different

fabrics and a varying design will allow
the shelters to be used in different cli-
mates for different amounts of time,
and will allow them to be disposed of
as easily as possible.
"I'd like to get a man who has the
same ideals," Samuels said. "(This
project) is not about money, it's about
being there when you're needed."
According to Hershey Jayasuriya,

co-president of the organization Tsu-
nami Aid, the infrastructures in areas
hit by the tsunami have been destroyed.
The ground in these places is not even
workable, and she suggests that it may
take up to a few decades for the areas
to be livable. "There is definitely a
shortage of shelter," Jayasuriya said.
"I would estimate one million people
have been displaced, if not more."

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