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March 25, 2005 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-25

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 25, 2005 - 5

WALK-OUT
Continued from page 1
"They are holding our education hostage
by keeping us from attending classes," said
YAF member and LSA senior Laura Davis.
Megan Tuura, an LSA sophomore and
YAF member, said the walkout "prohibits us
from learning.
"And it's our tuition. (GEO) is taking my
money,' Tuura added.
In addition to anger over the issues of
withholding education and tuition, some
YAF protesters decried GEO's current con-
tract demands.
Jeremy Fertner, chairman of the campus
YAF chapter, said the University's GSIs
already receive higher salaries than their
counterparts at other universities. Fertner
cited the University of Wisconsin at Madi-
son as an example of an institution that offers
only one-third of the wages the University
currently gives GSIs.
In a YAF statement issued Wednesday,
Fertner explained that although YAF is not
opposed to the union, it does view GEO's
demands as unrealistic and damaging to
undergraduate students.
"They are asking for high wage increases,
increased health services - including trans-
gender transition services and more money
for daycare - at a time when the University
is having to make financial cuts across cam-
pus," Fertner said in the statement.
"GEO members' unrealistic demands
could ultimately raise tuition for all stu-
dents, but GEO members themselves are
insulated from the high tuition costs,"
Fertner said. "This does not seem fair to
the undergraduates who will be the ones
stuck with the bill. ... If GEO claims to
be pro-student and pro-education, they
should reexamine their demands and
their tactics."
For some GEO members, such as sociol-
ogy GSI Tanya Saunders, the YAF student

protest is a perfect example of the tendency
of the University's undergraduates., to view
GSIs as "regular" students.
"I think there is a huge misunderstand-
ing between undergraduates and graduate
students about what we do. Because we have
student status, many undergraduates forget
that we are employees, and they don't think
about how the University benefits. from our
production of knowledge," Saunders said.
"They should think of us as employees try-
ing to get a living wage, and not as students
trying to get extra money."
But for Holly Burmeister, a GSI in the Eng-
lish department who participated in the walk-
out, the YAF protest was more than an example
of a misunderstanding. Burmeister said she
believed YAF had more sinister goals.
"The terms of civil discourse were
breached in almost violent ways," Bur-
meister said. "That they would choose
to engage in such homophobic and trans-
phobic language tells us that their mission
was to divide GEO's membership rather
than to engage in social discourse."
Ryan Kinser, a GSI in the mathematics
department who was one of the picketers,
said he does not like the idea of striking but
feels that it is necessary.
"I don't like not teaching ... None of us
want to punish the students," said Kinser,
adding that he thinks the walkout will ben-
efit not only the GSIs but the students and
the University as a whole.
"We want our students to do well and be
taught well," Kinser said. "The quality of
pay (for GSIs) directly affects the quality of
instructors, which directly affects the quality
of student education at the University."
Although Kinser cancelled his classes for
the day, he said he provided students with an
alternative meeting place at 6 p.m. after the
strike was over.
- Andres Kwon contributed to this
report.

TEACH-IN
Continued from page 1
SDS, which was staged in protest of the Vietnam
War. At this famous teach-in, many teachers
declared a moratorium on classes and instead
clustered in the Diag, carrying signs express-
ing their discontent. It served as the paradigm
for the many teach-ins that eventually spread
throughout college campuses nationwide.
LSA Senior Ryan Watkins, who also helped
organize the event, wanted to commemorate the
achievements of this day, but more importantly,
to incite discussion on pressing political issues
to keep with the spirit of the original teach-in.
"One of the incentives behind the teach-in is
to honor the original. Yet, I don't want to get too
nostalgic, because it is disempowering to locate
the locust for change in the past. Instead of just
commemorating what happened, we want to
recreate the teach-in by asking questions about
the world we inherited," Watkins said.
The teach-in anniversary began at 6 p.m.
yesterday as tables from various organizations
- ranging in issues from environmental to
women rights - outlined both sides of a hall-
way in Angell Hall.
This was followed by a lecture, "Evaluating
the American Empire," opened by socially active
University alumni Al DeFreece and Rich Feld-
man. Hayden served as the keynote speaker.
In his speech to a packed auditorium, Hayden
characterized the United States as an empire
because of its extensive satellite and spy net-
works, as well as the international military
bases that protect the interests of the United
States and make sure countries are not accruing
too much power.
However, Eric Weiler, an LSA senior and
press coordinator of Young Americans for Free-
dom, disagreed with this characterization.
"Some people say that America does not have
a territorial empire like Rome, but .a commer-
cial empire. American corporations maintain a
global presence, but this is because people like
American products. This globalization brings

jobs and economic growth to other countries.
America still faces competition from Europe,
Japan and China."
Weiler added that his viewpoints do not rep-
resent YAF; in fact, he said the group also has
many members who question America's for-
eign policy.
Another phrase that echoed throughout the
event was "Connect the Dots," which refers to
the interconnectedness of problems afflicting
society, such as racism and globalization. This
symbiotic view of world problems reverberated
in each speaker's lecture, which highlighted a
range of social dilemmas that ultimately impact
each other.
Hayden's speech ranged from his own dis-
satisfaction with the government's current
involvement in foreign affairs to his vision of a
more democratic future.
"We are alone in this mentality that no one
can hurt us. This is why 9/11 came as such a
shock. Other countries see that some countries
are more and less powerful," Hayden said.
Hayden also said the Bush administration
has no plans to pull out of Iraq.
"During the presidential race, Kerry kept
complaining that the Bush administration has
no exit strategy. I have a rather direct explana-
tion for this - there was no exit plan from Iraq,
because no exit was planned."
Hayden was involved in politics for 18 years
and served as a state senator in the state leg-
islature in California. Now, under the Bush
administration, he has been inspired to resume
political activism - referring to himself as a
"recovering politician" in his speech.
Hayden also expressed discontent with the
University administration's lack of support.
"It is unfortunate that the University did
not choose to reclaim its own history. It's like
ignoring something not worthy of memory,"
he said.
Weiler disagreed that the University has a
responsibility in sponsoring the event.
"The University cannot take political posi-
tions that do not affect them directly," Weiler

said.
The lecturers were not the only people from
the original teach-in that attended the event
yesterday.
Julien Gendell, who was a chemistry teach-
er from 1963-69, also participated in the first
teach-in. Yesterday, he recalled how the protest
began outside at 8 a.m. on a cold day. He said
the idea for the teach-in evolved out of casual
conversation among a couple of the faculty
members.
"It was originally 13 people talking about
how they wanted to go out on strike. Before
anyone could chicken out, we told the media,"
Gendell said.
"It spread like wild fire. We had no idea it
would catch on the way it did," he added.
Immediately after the lecture, workshops
were held to discuss issues such as globaliza-
tion and the environment.
Odile Hugonot, a nurse at the University
Hospital and chair of the International Middle
East Committee, facilitated a discussion enti-
tled "Woman in the Empire."
Hugonot, who also is Haber's wife, led a
discussion that delved into issues about how
women bear the consequences of war and how
the disparity in gender representation in the
government affects women.
"This is a great way to incite discussion.
We all come from different perspectives and
backgrounds and have a lot to learn from each
other," Hugonot said.
Even though the night was politically charged,
it was also just a chance for the protesters to
reunite after a 40-year void.
"We shared a moment in our lives when we
changed the direction and gave meaning to our
lives. I can't wait to catch up," Feldman said.
To continue celebrating this legacy of stu-
dent activism, today there will be a Vietnam
War Symposium at the Rackham Assembly
Hall. There will be panels revolving around the
impact of the Vietnam War held between 11:00
a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and led by various esteemed
poets and professors.

PIRGIM
Continued from page 1
concerned that there were no guidelines in place, Hol-
lerbach said.
CSJ is ordering the assembly to implement guidelines
that are stricter than is required by legal precedent, and
if implemented, these guidelines risk imposing unrea-
sonable expectations and regulations on the assembly,
Hollerbach said.
Pierce Beckham, the chief justice of CSJ, said the
guidelines are needed to ensure MSA's political neu-
trality.
Beckham said PIRGIM, unlike most student groups,
did not provide its own spending guidelines when it
requested money.
Student groups apply for money through the Budget

Priorities Committee and the Community Service Com-
missions of MSA; those student groups have guidelines
that they follow, and those guidelines are reviewed,
Beckham said.
"The problem with the PIRGIM funding account was
that there were no guidelines," Beckham said. He added
that, because of its lack of guidelines, PIRGIM could
potentially support political issues or lobby, which
could threaten MSA's tax-exempt status.
While supporters of PIRGIM were discouraged by
the injunction, some said they are more troubled with
the manner in which they said they thought CSJ han-
dled the injunction.
Hollerbach said an appeal is necessary to prevent
future control over the assembly by CSJ.
"The concern is that, if the assembly doesn't appeal,
there is a precedent that the judiciary can make sweep-

ing decisions that would change how MSA works," Hol-
lerbach said.
"In the orders given in its decision, the judiciary
assumed legislative power granted to the assembly," he
said. "It was a breach in the separation of powers; CSJ
was trying to legislate from the bench."
Donica Varner, assistant general counsel for the
University, said PIRGIM's status as a lobbying group
remains a concern.
"They said that, going forward, they wouldn't engage
in lobbying, but I think it is indisputable that they are a
lobbying organization," Varner said.
Students for PIRGIM Committee Chair Carolyn
Hwang expressed confidence in PIRGIM's future and
said that, despite the efforts of some MSA members and
the CSJ, the pilot program will exist at this time next
year. "

"If the process of the appeals is fair and just, we will
be able to win," Hwang said.
CSJ's attempt to prevent PIRGIM from having a
student program on campus is just another example of
the challenges that PIRGIM has had to endure, Hwang
said.
Although it supports Hollerbach's appeal, Students
for PIRGIM will be filing its own, separate appeal to
the decision, Hwang said.
Hollerbach's appeal, in its current form, is focused
on defining the relationship between CSJ and MSA.
"What the CSJ can do is to order us to put these
guidelines in place, but what they have done is gone
10 steps beyond that," Hollerbach said. "They can tell
us that we're doing something wrong and suggest how
to fix it, but they can't order us on what the guidelines
should say."

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