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March 10, 2005 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-10

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Thursday, March 10, 2005


Opinion 4A
Sports 9A

Zac Peskowitz: the
rise of the baddCEO
The men's hoops
writers break down
the Big Ten Tourney



One-hundredfourteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.mic/ziandatly.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 94 X2005 The Michigan Daily




ior z
Basketball player
sentenced after pleading
guilty to charge of
domestic violence
By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Editor
Washtenaw County District Court
Judge Ann Mattson sentenced suspended
Michigan basketball
player Daniel Hor-
ton to 24 months of
probation and a year
of counseling yester-
day. Horton pleaded
guilty on Feb. 14
to a misdemeanor
domestic violence
charge stemming Horton
from an incident with
his girlfriend on Dec. 10.
Horton, 20, had been suspended indefi-
nitely from the basketball team since Jan.
25, a day after his arraignment. After the
junior pleaded guilty on Feb. 14, Univer-
sity officials extended Horton's suspension
through the rest of the season.
Horton declined to comment when asked
if he was upset that he was not reinstated to
the basketball team this season.
At the time of the alleged incident, he
was sentenced under the Holmes Youth-
ful Trainee Act. As a "youthful trainee,"
Horton's conviction will not be placed
on his permanent record if he completes
the sentence.
Before Mattson sentenced Horton,
there had been a discrepancy about when
the victim initially contacted police.
Horton's attorney, Gerald K. Evelyn, said
the victim did not report the incident to
police for upwards of two weeks after the

incident, but the prosecution contended
that the victim contacted police just four
days after the incident.
Evelyn told Mattson that Horton "can't
hide" from the speculation of the commu-
nity and the negative attention Horton has
been receiving the University would not
happen at other schools. Evelyn said Hor-
ton's environment at the University is like
a "fishbowl."
In response, Mattson told Horton, "You
do live in a fishbowl." And she added that
there have been "privileges" and "with
benefits come responsibilities."
In addition to the probationary sen-
tence, Horton must attend a weekly batter-
ers intervention class, is subject to random
drug and alcohol tests and may not leave
the state of Michigan.
Horton has also been in counseling for
more than two months. When a reporter
asked Evelyn, about Horton's recent coun-
seling, Horton interrupted.
"Me being in counseling has nothing
to do with me having a problem," Hor-
ton said. "It's just to talk about different
things and clear my head about difficult
situations and issues that are going on in
my life. To say that I have a problem is
not fair at all. But I will say I did have
things going on in my life that I did need
to talk about, and that's not necessarily
having problems."
Evelyn said that Horton did not need two
years of probation and that a request will
be made to shorten the probationary terms
of the sentence when Horton is scheduled
to appear in court again on April 6. If it
appears that Horton has fulfilled the obli-
gations of his sentence, he will not have to
appear in court on that date.
"I'm happy that it's coming to an end,"
Horton said. "Now it's just up to me to do
my part and do what I'm suppose to do as far
as the legal system is concerned."

Cliff Davidson, legal counsel for MSA Chief of Staff Elliott Wells-Reid, listens to arguments made at last night's debate between MSA and PIR-
GIM regarding the creation of a University chapter of PIRGIM and if It would cause MSA to lose Its tax-exempt status.
MSA still undecided on
funding for iners group

By Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporter
No decision had been made in the debate with-
in the Michigan Student Assembly over whether
funding a University chapter of the Public Inter-
est Research Group in Michigan would threaten
the assembly's tax-exempt status.
No verdict was decided last night by MSA's Cen-
tral Student Judiciary because of time constraints.
Discussion with the three-member CSJ went until
around I a.m. today and will continue tomorrow to
decide whether MSA can vote to give Student PIR-
GIM a grant of $20,000. PIRGIM is an activism
group that tackles issues such as environmental
preservation and high prices for college textbooks.

An MSA vote to grant Student PIRGIM the
money was scheduled for Feb. 21, but MSA
Chief of Staff Elliott Wells-Reid filed an injunc-
tion against MSA to halt the vote, citing concerns
that the group would threaten MSA's tax-exempt
status because part of PIRGIM's parent group is
involved in lobbying efforts. Student PIRGIM,
though, has said it will not be involved in lob-
bying and is instead aq advocacy group - a dif-
ference based on the fact that lobbyists address
legislators directly.
Yesterday afternoon, MSA General Coun-
sel Jesse Levine - who represented MSA until
withdrawing from the trial last night for personal
reasons - came to an agreement with Wells-

Reid. The agreement stipulated that the $20,000
not be released to Student PIRGIM until MSA
could establish guidelines for groups that could
threaten MSA's tax-exempt status.
"MSA has no funding guidelines that apply,"
MSA Vice President Anita Leung said.
But Students for PIRGIM thought the agree-
ment was unfair because it would not allow the
MSA vote to take place as soon as possible,
delaying the groups objectives.
"This settlement will cause us harm," said
Carolyn Hwang, chair of Students For PIRGIM,
the group that would become Student PIRGIM
if the MSA approves funding. "We have worked
See PIRGIM, Page 3A

Staff attempts to form union

By Carissa Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
Despite failed attempts to unionize in the past, Uni-
versity staff members are moving forward in their efforts
to form the Union of Professional Office Workers, which
would represent the more than 3,700 office and clerical
workers employed by the University. U-POWER would be
the ninth labor union formed to negotiate employment con-
ditions directly with the University.
U-POWER expects to gain enough support to form the
union by the end of the calender year, said Peter Schermer-
horn, a U-POWER organizer and research secretary in LSA.
Teresa Smith, a member of the U-POWER organizing com-
mittee and clerk for the University's health system, said she
feels the process will ultimately be successful because there
is discontent among staffers due to the lack of advancement
available to clerical and office workers within the University.
Moreover, these workers are unable to meet their needs finan-
cially she said.
"People are having to take a second job to make ends meet
and are tired of not being recognized for the work that they
do," Smith said. "I've been at the University for almost 24
years and I don't even make $30,000 a year. I want to be able

to not live my life paycheck to paycheck."
Smith also said because of the state of the economy, many
workers are looking closely at a union and the possibility of
better support.
Unionization efforts began with help from the Michigan
Federation of Teachers & School Related Personnel, the state
chapter for a national union, which offered its support and
advice to organizers behind U-POWER. Since its creation
last summer, U-POWER's organizing committee has worked
to reach workers and talk to them about what issues they think
are important, as well as to help them understand the ways in
which a union would be beneficial, Schermerhorn said.
"We are trying to get a collective bargaining unit together
so we can preserve and protect the rights of clerical and office
workers who haven't been represented in the past," Schermer-
horn said. "We are noticing that the University is getting less
and less money from the state, and from my perspective, this
means more and more cuts. (Office workers) are a high spec-
ter of expense for the University, and I am concerned that we
might lose people and expertise through these job cuts."
Schermerhorn said the cost-cutting is already apparent in
changes to health benefits. If successful, U-POWER would bar-
gain for decent and fair wages, better benefits and job security.
See UNION, Page 7A

plan aims to
increase aid,
Critics say proposal threatens
lower-income students by
decreasing total grant money
By Julia Homing
Daily Staff Reporter


Former employees say A2 News was anti-uion

timer was not surprised for long. He said the move was
typical of the newspaper's anti-union attitude. Other
former employees echoed his sentiment adding that
under Petykiewicz, the newsroom environment was
hostile and uncomfortable.
"I have never seen any place that was as viciously
anti-union as the Ann Arbor News," said a former
Ann Arbor News reporter who wished to remain
The reporter, who said he was fired without explana-
tion after working at the News for 16 years under both
Petykiewicz and his predeccessor Brian Malone, said
the hiring of Petykiewicz in 1988 was an attempt to
limit the power of reporters.
Petykiewicz did not return The Michigan Daily's
telephone calls, and publisher David Sharp was unavail-
able for comment. Entertainment editor Bob Needham

but all were swiftly squashed, Mortimer said.
"The management was very crafty in (avoiding
unionization)," he added.
Former Ann Arbor News writer John Beckett, who
worked at the paper for 18 years under Petykiewicz and
Malone, said there was some discussion of unionization
but that employees were paid well and given relatively lib-
eral vacation time.
But Beckett criticized the management's treatment
of its staff or its editorial philosophy during Petykie-
wicz's tenure.
"We spent a lot of time going after angles generated
from management instead of actually getting out and
seeing what was going on," Beckett said. "Directives
were coming from the top and there was less input in
feedback from reporters."
Mortimer also left the Ann Arbor News two years

In an attempt to reduce the college drop-out rate
and strengthen the economy, Gov. Jennifer Gra-
nholm has proposed changes to the state's merit
scholarship program that could boost the amount
of financial aid in-state students receive.
Despite the promise of increased aid to more stu-
dents, some critics assert that lower-income students
will see a decrease in the merit aid they can receive.
Announced last month in Granholm's State of the
State Address, the program involves the termination
of the Michigan Educational Assistance Program
exam, known as the MEAP, taken by Michigan high
school students who wish to receive merit-based aid.
In addition, under the new plan, students who qualify
for the award would receive $4,000, instead of the
current $2,500 scholarship. But the biggest change
will be the timing of the award, which will now be
received after completing two years of higher educa-
tion, instead of prior to admittance. Granholm how-
ever, has yet to determine how students would qualify
for the proposed merit-based award.
Granholm's plan enacts the recommendations
of the Cherry Commission, an advisory board that
worked to bring about higher standards in education
and the economy.
State officials said they have seen problems with
the current merit scholarship. Spokeswoman for
the governor's office Heidi Hanson said the cur-
rent system does not effectively deal with the high
drop-out rate in the state.
"Students (often) enroll and take a couple of classes
and then drop out. We're not rewarding them for the
results that we're looking for," she said. According to



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