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January 10, 2005 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-10

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 10, 2005 - 7A

Continued from page1A
our average GPA be really high and
have more people drop out,' "Pow-
ers said, adding that the University
was not interested in increasing its
retention rate at the cost of a lower
average GPA.
Powers said that his grade point
was especially low because he felt
that his high school, Cass Tech High
School in Detroit, did not prepare
him adequately for the University.
"(Cass) was like, I'll show you
how to do this, and you just follow
the steps and get good grades. While
here it's more of an applied learning.
Teachers tell you what you do, and
you, have to go home and teach your-
self. It's like they teach you how to
add in class and expect you how to
multiply on the test," Powers said.
Powers added that although programs
such as MEPO have good intentions, he
feels they need a dramatic restructuring
to ensure that all students feel supported,
in an environment that can otherwise be
isolating for minorities.
But Derrick Scott, Director of
MEPO said in a written statement
that MEPO and the University have
worked for more than 30 years to
ensure a system that provides essen-
tial assistance to underrepresented
minority students at the University.
"We have a number of well-tested
programs; in fact, we ensure that
the programs work by doing com-
prehensive evaluations that look at
"what works" in terms of academic
achievement and retention among
minority students. Most importantly
we are working closely with the Col-
lege to insure a welcoming and sup-
portive environment," he said.
But Latino LSA junior Luis Lozano

"There are few blacks and minorities on
campus. Those who manage to make it
here have to succeed in an environment
... (that is) not always inviting."
- Vincent Hutchings
Political science professor

says that lack of finances plays a bigger
role among Latinos who drop out than
educational disparity.
"They can't afford (a University edu-
cation), they have good grades, but their
families could no longer afford to send
them. Typically, they go home to where
they were from and take classes in that
area," he said, adding that he was refer-
ring mostly to out-of-state students.
Powers said that a lack of finances is
one of two factors that lead to him drop-
ping out of the University.
He added that although he received a
financial aid package, he didn't anticipate
the cost of living in Ann Arbor or the high
price of necessities such as books.
Lozano added that compared to school
such as Wayne State University, Grand
Valley State University and Michigan
State University, the University of Michi-
gan offers very few minority-based schol-
University Spokeswoman Julie Peter-
son estimated that for the academic year
2002-03, when looking at only merit
awards, the University awarded 19 percent
of aid (both for graduate and undergradu-
ate education) to underrepresented
minority students and 56 percent to
white students.
Assistant Political Science Prof.
Vincent Hutchings said because

these students are in the minority,
isolation - especially for minorities
coming from predominantly black
school districts - is a large factor
affecting graduation rates.
"There are few black and minorities on
campus. Those who manage to make it
here have to succeed in an environment
... (that is) not always inviting," Hutch-
ings said.
Hutchings said that because of this
isolation, many black students transfer to
historically black colleges, to avoid being
in the minority.
"They transfer to (historically black
colleges) Howard University and More-
house College ... which also undercuts
"stereotype threat" that says everything
you do is representative of your race."
Stereotype threat, a theory developed
by Stanford Psychology Prof. Claude
Steele, states minority students carry the
weight of their race; therefore, if they fail,
they've let their race down.
Besides historically black col-
leges, Mont said that minorities also
transfer to other universities or col-
leges where they feel more accepted.
For Powers, completing a Univer-
sity education may finally be possible
becuase he has transferred out of the
University and feels he can do better
at Eastern Michigan University.

MSA seeks to expand Student Legal Services

Continued from page 1A
providing students with legal aid in housing matters.
Levine and Lewis said they hope to implement an
expansion project that was abandoned in the 1970s due
to insufficient funds.
With a proposed 30 cent increase in student govern-
ment fees, SLS could re-implement the Housing Legal
Reform Project, which would add another lawyer to SLS.
The HRP would be charged with doing research, lob-
bying City Council and litigating landlord/tenant issues,
unlike current service attorneys at SLS, who deal with
many legal issues.
"Without any publicity for housing disputes, each
lawyer at SLS has about 80 cases on their desk. There
are too many cases to handle all landlord tenant issues.
Expansion of SLS is necessary," Levine said about add-
ing a new lawyer.
Although MSA tried and failed in 2002 to have the
University Board of Regents implement a one-dollar
increase in student fees for AATU - the increase was
approved by the student body in an election, but not by
the regents - Mironov said he is confident the cur-
rent MSA administration can have a 30 cent increase
approved by the regents
"I don't think there was enough administrative support
to push the dollar fee increase that passed in 2002,"
Mironov said.
The University administration, he said, was wary of
allocating student fees to the AATU because its student
staffers gave legal advice, which the University's general
counsel's office felt they were not qualified to give.
"Did it take a fair amount of time to get to this point?
Absolutely. But the fact is we're not going into this with
blinders on - we're building support with the vice pres-
ident for student affairs, the dean of students ... with
their support, I'm confident that the next (MSA) admin-
istration will be successful in bringing it to the regents
later on this year," Mironov added.
Unlike the union, SLS has the ability to initiate liti-
gation in defense of tenants and can also provide legal
advice to students, Lewis said.
The AATU was becoming a liability for MSA, Levine
said, by offering legal advice without the authority to
do so.
"Students on campus have a lot of other things to worry

about. Where and how they live their lives shouldn't be
something they need to worry about," Lewis said, stress-
ing the importance of creating an organization to protect
student tenants.
"Some landlords in town don't maintain their prem-
ises properly," he added.
Levine will be meeting with Dean of Students Susan
Eklund on Wednesday to discuss implementing the
Efforts that have already been made in improving the
situation of tenants have been the establishment of an
SLS advisory board composed of Lewis and University
Levine said that the board agreed unanimously that it
needed to take action on housing issues.
The board felt that the housing rush in the fall, which
pushed the lease signing date earlier and earlier, left
students vulnerable and put them in danger of having
unsafe living conditions or unfair financial contracts,
due to ignorance or inattentiveness.
Under the supervision of Levine, and former MSA
representative Samantha Woll, the SLS committee, in
cooperation with the external relations committee of
MSA, held three workshops last semester with the goal
of educating student tenants.
t Lewis, a featured speaker at the meetings, stressed
warning signs for students to look out for in a contract.
One such warning was a joint responsibility clause,
which makes one tenant responsible for the other, if one
should drop out.
Levine also aid the board wanted to create a housing
website that would allow students and landlords to post
reports or comments about their experiences and aid in
resolving the housing issue.
But while the housing review site has been up and run-
ning since August and many students feel the website
would be helpful, it remains relatively unknown and has
few reviews posted.
"I've never heard of it, but it would've been helpful
if we'd have known about it," LSA freshman Christina
Thompson said,
"It'd be easier to find a house, and it would be really
helpful to be able to know about your landlord before
you rented from them."
Surati Batki agreed that the website would be helpful.
"I haven't ever used the site, and I don't know if I ever
would, but it's a good idea."

Continued from page 1A
including selected readings, lectures and small-group
exercises where the researchers can practice obtaining
consent from each other.
The class will culminate with a simulation in which
researchers will attempt to obtain consent from a pre-
tend participant, called a simulated patient instructor.
The researchers will then be assessed on their com-
munication skills - whether they conveyed all of the
relevant information and assured that the patient under-
stood all facets of the experiment, said assistant Medical
School Dean Casey White.
Those devising the curriculum are still finalizing the
three scenarios that will be used to train the SPIs, said
White. She also said a test run will be conducted in
March or April of this year to eliminate potential prob-
lems. SPIs are also used for medical students and resi-
In its premiere year, the course will be tailored to

researchers affiliated with the University. Goold predicts
that the course could be offered to researchers from other
universities and research centers after its third year. She
added that she hopes this course will serve as a paradigm
for people from other universities to follow.
The course will also prepare the researchers to handle
delicate situations such as those involving persons who
distrust the medical community, participants in studies
that involve taboo subjects, such as illegal drug use or
sex, and children who need consent from their parents
for a study, according to a written statement.
Goold said she wants the curriculum to encompass all
aspects of research with human participants.
"This program will not only guide ethics in medical
research, but also survey research, health research and
epidemiological research. Basically, anything (involv-
ing) human volunteers," she said.
The grant money will be allocated to faculty from
the Medical School, Nursing School, Dental School and
School of Public Health, as well as other personnel, and
will pay for supplies and equipment.

Continued from page 1A
Moore spoke at the University on
Sept. 29th of last year. The Michigan
Student Assembly, an organization
listed as a corporation at the Michi-
gan Secretary of State's office, fund-
ed the sold-out event. MSA receives
funding from the University.
University spokeswoman Julie
Peterson said Moore's appearance at
the University did not violate laws.
"Public universities are allowed to
invite speakers prior to an election,"
she said. "Both sides, however, must
be offered equal access and equal
opportunity." Peterson also said this
view has been ratified by the U.S.
Supreme Court.
"During the presidential election
in 2000, Al Gore came and spoke
in the Media Union and MSA spon-
sored it. He was a direct candidate,"

"There are a variety of speakers coming to
campus with a variety of ideas and that's the
way it should be - that's the way we learn."
~Julie Peterson
University spokeswoman

she said. The University received
no complaints from the FEC at that
"There are a variety of speakers com-
ing to campus with a variety of ideas
and that's the way it should be - that's
the way we learn," Peterson said.
The FEC would not comment on
the pending investigations. Smarag-
dis said the penalty for a violation of
this type has yet to be decided.
"Enforcement is left on a case-by-
case basis. It is based on how much

money is involved and whether the
violation was knowing and willful,"
he said. Moore received an average
of $30,000 per appearance according
to the complaints filed by Hardy.
MSA President Jason Mironov
said he was not concerned about the
possibility of investigation.
"We were very pleased with the
popularity of (Moore's) visit, and
we will continue to try to bring in
sometimes controversial speakers,"
he said.

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