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March 22, 2005 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-22

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005
News 3 Students and faculty
react to Lebanon
political tensions

M.LA. DELIVERS POLITICALLY CHARGED DEBUT ... ARTS, PAGE 5
it vig ulIL

Weather

Opinion 4
Sports 8

Dan Adams on Bush's
recent nominations
Rebounding key for
Icers' Montoya

H:41
LOW: 29
TOMORROW:

One-hundredfourteen years ofeditorialfreedom

www.mi-Aigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 102 ®2005 The Michigan Daily

ACLU

sues for same-sex benefits

By Justin Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michi-
gan filed a lawsuit yesterday asking a court to
uphold same-sex benefits policies in the public
sector, which have been challenged since the pas-
sage of Proposal 2.
The lawsuit comes after last week's opinion
by state Attorney General Mike Cox that city
employees in Michigan should not continue to
receive same-sex domestic partnership benefits
Maize
Rage to
drop out
of race
By Donn M. Fresard
Daily News Editor

when their labor contracts are renewed because
Proposal 2's language defining marriage as only
between a man and woman applies to "state and
local governmental entities."
The lawsuit seeks to have a court define Pro-
posal 2 in a way that allows public employers
to offer same-sex partnership benefits. ACLU
Executive Director Kary Moss said employees
need not be married to receive benefits and that
same-sex health care benefits are not equivalent
to marriage.
The lawsuit charges that voters did not know
Proposal 2 would take away benefits when they

voted for it.
Gary Glenn, president of the American Fami-
lies Association of Michigan and supporter of
Proposal 2, said basing benefits on exclusively
same-sex partnerships is unconstitutional.
"There's nothing about Attorney General Cox's
ruling or the amendment that prohibits public
employers from providing benefits to homosexu-
als in domestic relationships," Glenn said. "But
they (public employers) can't give those benefits
on the basis of those relationships."
As a public employer that offers domestic
partnership benefits, the University has said it

does not believe it is affected by Cox's opinion
or by the marriage amendment, arguing that
the constitution gives the University autono-
my on such matters and that Cox's opinion is
nonbinding.
"We believe that the passage of Prop. 2 does not
affect our ability to offer a comprehensive benefits
package to our employees and their dependents,"
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said.
"The University is not a party to this lawsuit, but
we agree with the position taken in the lawsuit that
Proposal 2 does not impact our ability to offer
partner benefits."

The University defended its policy of providing
same-sex partnership benefits as a way to sustain
quality employment.
"We design our benefit programs to recruit and
retain the best and brightest employees and to pro-
vide for a healthy, respectful and welcoming com-
munity. We will defend our current benefits policy
against any challenges," Peterson said.
Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje defended his
city's benefits policy by saying it would be an
infringement of same-sex couples' rights if the
city did not provide them the same benefits as
male and female couples.

A2 mayor tries
to push back
leasing dates

The Maize Rage Party will drop
out of this week's Michigan Student
Assembly elections today, Maize
Rage presidential candidate Brian
Chrzanowski said last night. As a
result, Students 4 Michigan and the
Defend Affirmative Action Party
will be the only remaining parties in
the race.
Chrzanowski said he will submit a
letter, signed by all six Maize Rage
candidates, to MSA Elections Direc-
tor Brian Doughty today requesting
withdrawal from the elections.
Ryan Shinska, head of the Maize
Rage fan group, said the party had to
withdraw because Maize Rage's ties
to the Athletic Department posed a
legal problem. The department, he
said, is not allowed to support politi-
cal groups.
The Maize Rage Party has faced
controversy in recent days after its
campaign manager, Carl Pogoncheff,
questioned whether it was appropri-
ate that the leading presidential can-
didates for MSA and LSA Student
Government are both Jewish.
Shinska would not say who made
the decision to withdraw or whether
the decision was made at the Athletic
Department's urging.
"We just felt that, at this time,
this was the best decision for every-
one involved," said Nick Adducci, a
Maize Rage candidate for LSA rep-
resentative.
Athletic Department spokesman
Bruce Madej said the Maize Rage
name is owned by the department and
licensed to the fan group, but not to
the political party.
Because of MSA regulations, the
Maize Rage candidates will most
likely remain on the ballot, although
they would not serve on the assembly
if elected.
According to the MSA Compiled
Code, candidates wishing to with-
draw must submit a written request
no later than eight days before the
election in order to be removed from
the ballot.
According to the code, candidates
who are elected after withdraw-
ing from an election "shall have the
status of a resigned member of the
assembly." Doughty said it is unclear
what would be done if Maize Rage's
presidential ticket won the election.
"MSA would have to deal with the
situation, since it's such a special case,
if and when it arises," Doughty said.

Policy would give
students more time
to consider housing
options and housemates
By Anne Joling
Daily Staff Reporter
The rush to find off-campus
housing will be dramatically dif-
ferent next fall if Ann Arbor Mayor
John Hieftje succeeds in passing a
city ordinance that would restrict
landlords from leasing apartments
and houses until after the fall
semester is over.
"My plan is to start work on
developing this ordinance internal-
ly with our legal people, and with
the council members, and move
this so that we have it in place by
the end of summer," Hieftje con-
firmed in an interview with The
Michigan Daily.
Hieftje said he was unsure of what
the specifics of the ordinance will
be. For exampte, he said he would
like to write the ordinance in such
a way that, while landlords would
be barred from leasing apartments
and houses early, exceptions could
be made for students who want to
lease apartments before the start of
winter semester. However, he said
he does not know how this would
be done.
It is also unclear whether Hieftje
plans to design the ordinance so
that it would prevent landlords
from showing apartments before a
specified date, or whether it would
only apply to leasing.
University Housing spokesman
Alan Levy said an ordinance like

the one Hieftje is proposing has
been talked about for quite some
time.
"There have been concerns on the
part of students feeling pressured
to sign off-campus leases ever
earlier," Levy said. "Some of that
is real; some of it is perceived."
Levy said such an ordinance
would not have an impact on
University housing contracts.
Currently, many students say
they are pressured to sign leases in
September and October, long before
they have had a chance to look at
all available housing options and
to find roommates. Additionally,
some students said they are asked
to re-sign leases after only living
in their apartment or house for a
month or two.
LSA sophomore Mark
Kuykendall said later lease dates
would be good for students.
"It'll allow students more time
to find a good roommate and the
best possible apartment, especially
if you're a new student and don't
know anybody," Kuykendall said.
Many students said they feel
pressure to sign leases early, but
don't know whether the housing
rush stems from competition with
other students or from the landlords
themselves.
"When I was a sophomore, I
really felt pressure to lease an
apartment early," said Miguel
Guzman, an LSA senior. "I don't
really think the pressure comes
from landlords, because they're
going to be able to rent their
apartments no matter what. If you
don't lease their apartment, another
student will."
See HOUSING, Page 7

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EUGENE ROBERTSON
A student looks over a lease agreement. Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje said he will attempt to push lease-
signing dates to after winter break.

SA-SG candidates aim to expand minors

By Jeremy Davidson
Daily StaffReporter
While some students place bets on the annual
Final Four tournament, there is another contest.
taking place this week with a much more certain'
result.
LSA sophomore Andrew Yahkind and LSA
junior Paige Butler are running in an uncontested
election for LSA Student Government president and
vice president, respectively.
Students will be able to vote online starting at
midnight tomorrow until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday
for MSA representatives from their school. LSA

students will also be able
to vote in the LSA-SG elec-
tion.
Yahkind is the current
LSA-SG Budget Allocation
Committee chair, and Butler
is the LSA-SG Academic
Relations officer. They rep-
resent Students 4 Michigan,
the dominant party on the
Michigan Student Assem- Yahkind
bly and LSA-SG.
Their platform holds a confidently ambitious list
of issues they hope to tackle in the coming term,

running on the slogan "real
proposals, real results."
On the coming ballot there
will also be a question put to
LSA students about whether
to restrict class registration
brackets - the groupings,
based on total accumulated
credits, that determine how
early LSA students can reg-
Butler ister for classes. The proposal
would narrow the registration
brackets from increments of 15 credits to five. The
candidates said they hope this will further increase

the advantage of students who have more credits.
Butler said she has sponsored and helped pass
resolutions in both MSA and LSA-SG in the effort
to narrow registration brackets.
Butler has also worked on expanding the range of
academic minors offered to LSA students. Some of
the minors the candidates hope to establish are chem-
istry, English, psychology, journalism, religion and
international studies. An international relations major
will be available this fall. Other minors are still in the
preliminary stages of development, Butler said.
Current LSA-SG president Ryan Ford praised the
candidates, saying Butler has worked particularly
See LSA-SG, Page 3

Wise: Race, not women, the issue in MCRI

By Amber Colvin
Daily StaffReporter
Proposition 209 passed in California nine years ago
and banned all affirmative action programs from the
state. Last night at the East Quad auditorium, director of
Association for White Anti-Racist Education, Tim Wise,
said the mistake made by those who campaigned against
:t Q111 to nnl ---t nn thn A..a,-whal u -i m -1A w nnlr c

the necessity of affirmative action.
Wise insisted that the focal point of affirmative action
should be race and that focusing on that aspect was
the only way to garner support from the public to stop
MCRL
Wise said the biggest mistake a defender of affirmative
action can make in the fight against the MCRI is to run
away from race and switch the focus to gender
"i etrke nennleac ofnnlenatller&-,hnnet" Wise

third time speaking at the University.
"When I first saw him as a freshman he totally revo-
lutionized the way I think about race and affirmative
action," said RC junior Ryan Bates, who is co-chair of the
Peace and Justice Commission of the Michigan Student
Assembly.
Last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on race-con-
scious admission policies was also a topic of discussion in
Wile's neech IH enpeific2liv singled nut Jennifer Grat7

I

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