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March 23, 2005 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-23

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Wednesday, March 23,2005

Opinion 4

Chris Zbrozek looks
into PIRGIM's past



Arts 7 Bloc Party
disappoints with
debut album


One-hundredfourteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.micAhiandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 103 ®2005 The Michigan Daily


ng the Cr11

in dorms
By Emily Kraack
Daily Staff Reporter
Whether you live on North Cam-
pus, Central Campus or the Hill
might affect how often you interact
with students of other races.
While the odds of bumping into an
underrepresented minority student
are higher in the residence halls than
they are on the campus as a whole,
some dorms have higher concentra-
tions of certain minority groups than
others do, the University Housing
demographics show.
Overall, about 11,000 students live
in the residence halls. Almost 6,000
of those residents are first-year stu-
dents, and many of the remaining
students are second-year students.
fWhile 11 percent of the incom-
ing freshmen this year could be
categorized as underrepresented
minorities, according to fall enroll-
ment statistics, a higher percentage
- 14 percent - of students living
in residence halls identify them-
selves as underrepresented minori-
ties - black, Native American and
Latino students.
The numbers come from student
surveys and application information
gathered by the Housing Information
But it's not the overall representa-
tion within the residence halls that has
See NUMBERS, Page 8

Percentage of campus-area
populations that are w c

Percentage of residence
hall populations that are
underrepresented minorities

Students gather in the Mary Markley cafeteria for dinner.

Res halls epicenter of

By Emily Kraack
and Samantha Lehto
Daily Staff Reporters
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court deci-
sion regarding race-conscious admissions policies
at the University, a new issue is starting to draw
attention back to the University's atmosphere for
underrepresented minority students.
While minorities are overrepresented in most
residence halls on campus, the disproportionately

high black population.on North Ca
questions about whether the Univer
diversity is met in its housing facilitie
resented minority students include b
and Native American students. Asi
who are not considered underrepre
show varying patterns of representat
out the residence halls.
About 11 percent of the North Ca
lation is black, compared to betwe
percent of students living in dorms

diversity debate
umpus raises Campus and the Hill.
sity's goal of Students and administrators who work
s. Underrep- closely with minority students say this
lack, Latino phenomenon is due to the fact that a criti-
[an students, cal mass of minority students has not yet
,sented, also been reached at the University as a whole.
ion through- The term critical mass refers to the size of
the minority student population on campus
umpus popu- needed to create a comfortable atmosphere
een 8 and 9 for other minorities.
on Central See DIVERSITY, Page 8


remains an

Council rejects Greenway proposal

issue at


By Laura Frank
Daily Staff Reporter
The Michigan Student Assembly's decision last week to not
support the creation of a committee to investigate whether the
University should divest from companies that do business with
Israel will not end discussion of the issue at the University's
three campuses, according to members of Students Allied for
Freedom and Equality.
The Student Government Council at the University's Flint
campus will vote on a similar proposal in two weeks, accord-
ing to SAFE, while the recommendation that a committee be
created has already passed at the Dearborn campus.
SAFE President Carmel Salhi said that affiliation with
companies doing business with Israel remains a major issue
on campus and that his group will continue to raise questions
with the administration.
"SAFE finds that the investments, such as Lockheed Mar-
tin and Raytheon, are questionable and the University should
divest," Salhi said.
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are both corporations that
sell military equipment to Israel. SAFE has been urging the
University to divest from companies that support the Israeli
occupation since the 2002-03 academic year, when a divest-
ment resolution was brought before MSA.
Although MSA voted not to recommend the creation of
0 a committee to investigate the University's relationship with
Israel, Salhi said he believes the student body feels differently.
"The MSA vote by no means represents the campus opinion,'
he said.
Last Thursday, two days after the MSA vote, 25 supporters
of divestment staged a silent sit-in at the University Board of
Regents meeting. Dressed in black and wearing "Free Pales-
tine" T-shirts, the students showed their support for the cre-
ation of the investigative committee, Salhi said.
Salhi added that SAFE will continue to speak with Univer-
sity administrators. "This issue will be continuously brought
up," he added.
While all the MSA representatives reached for comment
said they supported investigating University investments in
0 nations and companies that violate human rights, they were

Councilmembers say more
time is needed to consider the
options for creating green space
in Ann Arbor's downtown
By Leslie Rott
Daily Staff Reporter
The Ann Arbor City Council meeting was standing-room only
Monday night, when the council voted 8-2 against a resolution to
support the development of a full-scale greenway - a path and
park system that would run through downtown Ann Arbor.
Monday's resolution would have been the first step in establish-
ing the Greenway. Council members who voted against the reso-
lution cited the need for more time to investigate their options.
Mayor John Hieftje, who had originally voiced support for the
resolution, spoke out against it on Monday night.
"I am very much is favor of a greenway, however, I'm not sure
why we need to rush this." He added that passing the resolution
would cut off debate too soon.
Plans for the Greenway have been in discussion for more than
a year and were brought to public attention at the last City Council
meeting on March 7, when the Downtown Development Author-
ity formally released its Three-Site Plan - which would create
two high-rise complexes and a parking structure in downtown.
DDA's proposal conflicts with supporters' visions of the Gre-
enway, which calls for more green space in the downtown area
than DDA's plan does. Both plans include a site on First Street

and William Street. DDA and Greenway's supporters disagree
about how best to use the site.
DDA's plan also includes two other building sites: First Street
and Washington Street and the South Ashley Street (Kline) Lot.
The DDA hopes its plan will "realize several important Ann
Arbor Downtown Plan goals, including increasing the number of
downtown residents," according to the DDA's project website.
DDA also hopes to "maximize opportunity to strengthen a
mixed-use downtown neighborhood" and maximize financial
return to the City of Ann Arbor. DDA has also proposed the
creation of a greenway in its site plan, but its current plan would
minimize the land devoted to green space downtown.
Although there is no clear consensus among supporters of the
Greenway, one proposal consists of using the land of two city-
owned yards - one located at 415 W. Washington St. and the
other located at 721 N. Main St. - to create parks by forming
a circular pathway around the downtown area that would run
along the Allen Creek floodplain. The two sites will be vacant
land within two years because the facilities now located on the
sites will be relocated to Pittsfield Township.
Along with the circular pathway that would run along the Allen
Creek floodplain, the new greenway would include a pedestrian
and bicycle path that would be located along the Ann Arbor Rail-
road, extending from the University Athletic Campus to the Argo
Dam and the Huron River.
To show their support for the Greenway plan, hundreds of local
residents crammed into City Council chambers Monday night.
Margaret Wong, a local architect and co-chair of Friends of
the Ann Arbor Greenway spoke in support of the resolution.
"This issue is really about achieving sustainable livability by

I am very much in favor of a
greenway, however, I'm not sure
why we need to rush this."
-John Hieftje
Ann Arbor mayor
balancing increased density downtown with meaninigful green,
open space'" she said. "A token park at the foot of a six-story
parking structure is not our idea of green space," she added, refer-
ring to the DDA's plan.
"Right now, this is a forgotten area in central Ann Arbor'
Wong said. The goal of the.Greenway is to, "reclaim this area
and allow it to become a positive part of people's everyday lives,"
she said.
Doug Cowherd, co-chair of the Sierra Club-Huron Valley
Group, also voiced support for the Greenway plan and expressed
concern that DDA's plan would turn Ann Arbor into "an urban
sea of concrete."
"It's not about development, it's about quality of life," Cowherd
said in reference to opponents' accusations that Greenway sup-
porters are anti-development. "You can build the buildings, but
you can't make people live there," he added.
See GREENWAY, Page 7

Center challenges stereotypes about Africa

CAAS sees increase in
course enrollment and
number of concentrators
By Christina Hildreth
Daily Staff Reporter
Like many undergraduates, LSA junior
Birchie Whitman had trouble choosing a major.
After trying several concentrations and filling
her transcript with various courses, she enrolled
in an African history class, although she had
no intention of majoring in Afroamerican and
African Studies.
"After that semester, I decided to become an

secondary education included little or no dis-
cussion of African society or slavery.
"When students take a CAAS course to
fulfill a general studies or race and ethnicity
requirement, this often represents students' first
encounter with black studies," he said.
Because an African history curriculum is
often not available to students until college, many
CAAS instructors say they are worried that many
students believe the continent of Africa and the
African Diaspora have no history at all.
History graduate student instructor Christian
Williams said this idea is fairly popular.
"It's a pretty widespread idea,"he said. "A lot
of prominent thinkers have been saying things
like that for a while."
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