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April 18, 2005 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-18

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Opinion 4A

Elliot Mallen wants
to replace UGLi with
homeless shelter



Arts 7A Chris Rock prepares
for his new film and
looks to the future

q- 75
LoW : 51

One-hundred fourteen years ofeditorialfreedom

www.michigandaily. com

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Vol. CXV, No. 121

2005 The Michigan Daily

Tenants feel landlords
unfairly target them and
violate their rights
By Kim Tomlin
Daily Staff Reporter
While moving out of the house he had leased for a
year, University alum Taka Masuda left some of his
clothes inside his closet, thinking he would pick them
up on a second visit to the house after work. When he
returned, he was two hours past the deadline for moving
out - which he did not think would be a big deal. But
to his surprise, he found the house locked, and after 24
hours of waiting
for the landlord
to let him back
in and paying a
$50 fee, he dis-
0 covered that his
clothes, includ-
ing his best suits,
had been trashed
while he was at
"I was really
bitter because
ing all over me,"
Masuda said.
Even though he complained to Prime Realty and
asked for his $50 back, he said its only response was
to yell at him and call him crazy. Ultimately, Masuda
found that the only way to force the company into com-
pliance was to seek legal help.
, As a last resort, Masuda turned to the Michigan
attorney general's office, where he said he got help
with writing a letter to the rental company. Within a
day, the realtor sent him an. e-mail and a fax assuring
him that his $50 would be refunded. Masuda's experi-
ence is illustrative of a larger trend on campus in which
many students say they feel targeted by their landlords,
especially because landlords assume that students are
ignorant about their rights in a housing situation.
Some students find their landlords unresponsive to
requests for maintenance or upgrades, while others dis-
agree with landlords over what the leases entail. Ann
Arbor landlords are notorious among students for mak-
ing life a little more difficult.
For LSA senior Joe Seasly, dealing with his landlord
has been a nightmare. Seasly, who lives with his brother
LSA sophomore Ian Seasly, said both brothers felt the
building manager targeted them for harassment because
he blamed them for everything that went wrong in the
building. Whether it was broken drywall, loud music or
even cups found in the hallway or common room, the
brothers said the finger is always pointed at them.
"At this point, I have lost complete respect for them,"
Joe Seasly said. "It's just been so rude of them all the
way around. We can't even look at the building man-
ager because there is so much animosity between us."
To warn students about their experiences, the Sea-
slys and Masuda have posted their comments on the
Michigan Student Assembly's housing website, which
See HOUSING, Page 7A

'U': Bylaws to stay intact

LGBT community
rallies for clause explicitly
mentioning discrimination
based on gender identity
By Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporter
Stephen Rassi, a 50-year-old transgender
individual and a doctoral student in social
work and psychology, said that he is often
unsure of whether he is being discriminated
against because of his sexual identity.

"All of my life I've been different," he said.
"There are situations where you're not sure
whether someone just doesn't like you as a
person or whether they are treating you badly
based on what group they think you belong
to. People of any minority group go through
Rassi said adding the phrase "gender iden-
tity and expression" to the nondiscrimina-
tion clause of the University bylaws would
help eliminate the transgender community's
uncertainty over whether they are being dis-
criminated against. He said it would also curb
discrimination as a whole and protect the
community's safety.

But despite widespread support within
the LGBT community and its supporters for
the language, University administrators and
members of the Board of Regents remain solid
in their refusal to make the addition, claiming
that the phrase and its implications are already
included in the discrimination clause of the
bylaws by the word "sex."
"It is already in the policy that we do not
discriminate against transgendered people,"
University Provost Paul Courant said.
University President Mary Sue Coleman
and University spokeswoman Julie Peterson
echoed Courant's statement but would not

"The University is saying that it's not neces-
sary because the existing policies can already
be applied," Peterson said.
Four schools in the Big Ten - the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, the
University of Iowa and Northwestern Univer-
sity - offer gender identity and expression
protection outright in their policies. Two oth-
ers - the University of Illinois and the Uni-
versity of Minnesota - have it in their state
laws (Michigan does not,) bringing the total
to six out of 11 Big Ten universities.
An LGBT taskforce created by Courant in
March 2003 to investigate transgender issues
See LGBT, Page 3A


*In report, former 4U president
says state's economic woes ster
from higher ed underfundig
By Anne Joling
Daily Staff Reporter
Michigan is a failing state, at risk of becoming
"another Appalachia" if legislators and industry
leaders do not begin to invest more in higher edu-
cation and technology, former University President
James Duderstadt said.
In an effort to identify the problems stunting
Michigan's economic growth and to find solutions to
these problems, Duderstadt has spent the last several
years developing a report called the Michigan Road-
map, which has not yet been completed.
Duderstadt said many of Michigan's major prob-
lems stem from the lack of investments made in
higher education.
"Michigan ranks at the bottom of the Great Lakes
(region) in its per-student support of higher education
in its public universities - and it's cutting them still
further," Duderstadt said in an interview with The
Michigan Daily. "In fact, the appropriation of the
University of Michigan today is less than it was when
I stepped out as president in 1996, and it's 8 percent
of our operating budget, which is crazy."
University regent Olivia Maynard (D-Goodrich)
said she also believes the state needs to invest more
in higher education.
"I wouldn't put a dollar amount on it, I just think
there needs to be a commitment to the future," she
said. "It would be really helpful if the Legislature
could sit down and really try and understand the
value of higher education."
Duderstadt explained that the roadmap tries to
identify what educational resources Michigan resi-
dents need and what type of workforce the state
needs to be competitive in the 21st century.
"You first ask the question, 'What do you need?'
Then you ask, 'What do you have?' What you have
will probably not meet your needs, and so there's a
gap there and the roadmap tells you how to close the
gap," Duderstadt said.
Duderstadt identified new knowledge, education,
infrastructure and new policies as the four main
ingredients Michigan needs to compete in the new
global economy. He said these needs are reflected in
Michigan's struggling economy.
For example, according to an advanced draft of
the report given to The Michigan Daily, Michigan
has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, due
in part to the 254,000 jobs Michigan has lost from
2000 to 2003 - a 22 percent decline. Additionally,
in 2004, Michigan was the only state that lost more
jobs than it created, according to the Joint Economic
Committee of Congress.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of
February 2005, Michigan had the highest unemploy-
ment in the nation at 7.5 percent.
Duderstadt cited the University as one of Michi-
gan's biggest assets.
"This University is very important,"he said. "The
University of Michigan off and on over the last 20
years has been among the top two to three universi-
ties in the world in the amount of research it does.
We produce more students that go into medicine and
into law than any other university in the country, so

Eric Wheeler, an employee at Launch Board Shop, executes a feeble backside last Thursday in the store where he
and others often skate.

Mayoral candidate proposes
paid tuition for Detroit grads

McPhail's plan would provide money
for college to high school grads who have
lived in the city for at least eight years
By Jeremy Davidson
Daily Staff Reporter
With hopes of rejuvenating the City of Detroit, mayor-
al candidate Sharon McPhail proposed a plan called the
Detroit Children's Fund in a visit to the University on Fri-
day. The program would guarantee four years of tuition to
any high school graduate from Detroit whose family has
lived in the city for at least eight years.
McPhail has been a member of the Detroit City Council
since 2002 - the first female attorney to hold the position.
McPhail, who is running for mayor of Detroit, outlined her

platform, prioritizing the reduction of crime, fairer taxes,
better education and population growth.
McPhail's visit was part of a nonpartisan series of visits
by Detroit mayoral candidates that was organized by three
student groups, the University's chapter of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Met-
ropolitan Organizing Strategies Enabling Strength and the
Detroit Project. The campus groups aim to inform mem-
bers of the campus community about the candidates and to
inform the candidates about what issues matter to residents
of Ann Arbor and Detroit voters.
RC sophomore Paul Mardirosian, a member of both the
DP and MOSES, said that while he thought the Children's
Fund was a great idea, he did not see it as a realistic plan
for Detroit.
"I don't understand how it's going to be funded with the current
See MAYOR, Page 3A

Detroit mayoral candidate Sharon McPhail speaks in the
Parker Room of the Michigan Union Friday

New 'Soundfall' and microcinema proposed for Cool Cities grant

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