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April 20, 2005 - Image 1

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

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One-hundred-fourteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.michigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 123 c2005 The Michigan Daily

Coleman
rejects
code
change
MS~s proposal to allow
students legal representation
at hearings has been denied
By Jeremy Davidson
Daily Staff Reporter
University President Mary Sue Coleman
accepted 16 of 17 proposed amendments to
the Statement of Student Rights and Respon-
sibilities on Monday.
Sixteen of the amendments to the code,
which were proposed by the Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly, were approved by Coleman
after the Student Relations Advisory Com-
mittee recommended them.
The only recommendation that was struck
down was the proposal to allow students to be
represented by an attorney during a hearing
that could lead to expulsion, a revision mem-
bers of the MSA Code of Conduct Advisory
Board were adamant about passing.
Law student Josh Gewolb, chair of the Code
of Conduct Advisory Board, said it was outra-
geous that the resolution was not adopted.
"Expulsion can change somebody's life,"
he said.
LSA senior Andrew Block, a mem-
ber of the Code of Conduct Advisory
Board, also criticized Coleman's deci-
sion to reject the amendment, saying
expulsion "can affect future educa-
tional opportunities."
The issue of legal representation for
students at hearings that could lead
to expulsions is one that MSA has
constantly pushed, and the Univer-
sity president has constantly rejected.
From 1997 to the last academic year,
no hearings have resulted in expulsions
for the students involved, according to
the Office of Student Conflict Resolu-
tion website.
Administrators argue that legal rep-
resentation for a student would turn a
hearing into a criminal or civil proce-
dure instead of an educational one.
"We weren't comfortable heading
in that direction," said SRAC Faculty
Chair Carl Akerlof.
Coleman said she agreed with
SRAC's recommendation not to adopt
the change for the same reason, saying
that bringing in an attorney to represent
See CODE, Page 8

Ratzinger

becomes

pope
Cathoics
react to
pontiffs
ideology
By Christina Hildreth
Daily Staff Reporter
Almost three weeks after the death of
Pope John Paul II on April 2, the inter-
national council of cardinals selected
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a
close confidant of John Paul who is widely
considered a hard-liner in terms of ortho-
doxy and doctrine, as the Roman Catholic
Church's 265th pontiff yesterday.
Ratzinger, now known as Pope Bene-
dict XVI, was confirmed after two days
in one of the shortest conclaves in the past
century. History Prof. Brian Porter, an
expert on the Catholic Church, said he did
not expect the announcement for several
more days.
"It was fast. I was really surprised,"
he said, adding that the speed of Bene-
dict's election shows that he had more
support among the cardinals than origi-
nally thought.
Before being elected pope, Benedict
served as dean of the College of Cardi-
nals and head of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, where he enforced
Catholic orthodoxy and kept dissenting
theologians in line. With his reputation
as one of the Vatican's most outspoken
See POPE, Page 8

AP PHOTC
Pope Benedict XVI blesses the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican yesterday. Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, who chose
the name Pope Benedict XVI, Is the 265th pontiff of the Church.

Tenants struggle with fine print in leases

Students often misunderstand that
the landlord's failure to return the
security deposit within a certain period
of time allows tenants to withhold rent
By Kim Tomlin
Daily Staff Reporter
Many students have expressed frustration with one of the most
important parts of living in off-campus housing - the contract.
Indeed, there are numerous areas where students can be con-
fused or taken advantage of by Ann Arbor landlords if they do
not understand the fine print on a contract or if they simply do not
know their rights as a tenant.
Under law, a lease is only required to specify the cost of

rent and the duration of the
lease, said Doug Lewis, the
director of Student LegalP
Services at the University.
But beyond the price and the
dates, Lewis said landlords have i
the power to design contracts to
meet their needs, regardless of,
the concerns of potential renters.
This can often result in conflicts
between landlords and tenants.
For example, tenants can find
added provisions like house
rules - limits on what a tenant can flush down toilets or the volume
of music - overly restrictive.
LSA senior Franklin Branch knows firsthand what can happen
when a landlord adds clauses to a contract. His landlord raised the rent

$25 per person, per month after the lease was signed. Branch said he
was unaware that according to the contract, his landlord can increase
the rent if maintenance costs rise. He said he and his roommates were
confused by the increase, resulting in a delayed response to paying the
additional rent. The landlord then called each of their parents before
contacting the tenants, threatening eviction from the house.
"I feel like there are a lot of people in this exact situation," said
Branch about students who may not be aware of details in their leases.
He added that students should ask the landlord about any clauses on
the contract before they sign for a house.
While lease clauses such as the one in Branch's contract are uncom-
mon, Lewis said there are many other clauses landlords have been
known to add to their contracts that can easily confuse students.
Lewis said one of the most notorious examples of this is the joint
and several liability clause, which many students do not understand
in its entirety. What this clause means is that if several lessees have
See HOUSING, Page 10

Kolb seeks co-sponsors for LGBT anti-discrimination bill

Ann Arbor rep to introduce bill to
amend state civil rights act within next
week with or without bipartisan support
By Justin Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
State Rep. Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor) said he is seeking
Republican support for a bill aimed at curbing discrimination
against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
"We're trying to get strategic co-sponsors," Kolb
said, referring to Republicans who he said would hope-
fully generate bipartisan support for the measure. Kolb
said he has found Democratic co-sponsors and plans to
introduce the bill by the month's end with or without
Republican co-sponsors.

Kolb confirmed Monday that state Reps. John Stewart (R-
Plymouth), Lorence Wenke (R-Richland) and Leon Drolet
(R-Clinton Township) are three of five Republicans he is con-
sidering as possible co-sponsors for the bill. He would not
disclose the names of the other two representatives.
Wenke said he had not been approached by Kolb and was
unsure about whether he would support the bill.
"I'm undecided until I see the bill," Wenke said. "It's an
area I'm very supportive of, but I want to see the language of.
Chris's bill, and if I agree with it, I'd be supportive of it."
Stewart's office released a statement that said he was
"unaware" of the pending legislation. Drolet could not be
reached for comment.
The Triangle Foundation - an LGBT advocacy group
- has been campaigning to muster support for the bill, said
Sean Kosofsky, director of policy for Triangle.
The bill seeks to amend the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act
to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,

gender expression and gender identity. Elliot-Larsen specifi-
cally prohibits discrimination in employment, public accom-
modations, public services, education and housing.
Kolb said he will also introduce legislation to make violent
crimes initiated because of the victim's sexuality or gender
identity a hate crime in Michigan - which carries harsher
penalties than normally given for violent crimes.
Triangle has actively campaigned in the districts of Repub-
licans who may support the bill but have not committed to
becoming co-sponsors for it, Kosofsky said.
Kosofsky said Triangle is hoping to convince these rep-
resentatives to vote for Kolb's bill but is not pressuring
them to co-sponsor it. He said he was confident the bill
could pass if it reached a vote on the House floor, but he
was less optimistic that it would survive the Republican-
controlled committee.
Wenke said that although he supports the bill, he does not
think it will come to a vote.

"I would think any such bill would disappear into the dark
recesses of the House of Representatives," he said. "I think it
has a slim chance of being given a hearing."
Wenke said he believes most Michigan residents think
LGBT people should not be discriminated against, but does
not expect his party to endorse the bill.
"I think the leadership of the Republican Party in Michi-
gan is not willing to expend any political capital on this issue,
even if there is a majority of citizens across the state that think
(LGBT people) should have their benefits," Wenke said.
Despite his pessimism about the bill coming to a vote,
Wenke said he is supportive of the bill's aims.
"I'm against discrimination of people because of their sex-
ual orientation, and I'm willing to at least consider where I
would be helpful," he said.
Kolb said his bill would not protect same-sex domestic
partner benefits for LGBT people, which the American Civil
See KOLB, Page 8

MARKING A TRAGEDY

Porn producer recruits 'U' students

Gay porn site employee
says photos not taken
on University property
By Rachel Kruer
and Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporters
Reports that a gay pornography production
company is allegedly operating out of Ann
Arbor oromoted the Dean of Students Sue

versity property.
"We're not allowed to do that on campus,"
the employee said after a brief pause when
asked by the undercover reporter whether it
he could shoot pornography in a residence
hall or another University-owned building,
which is illegal.
The statement contradicts a comment
made to The Daily Oakland Press by
Derek Ward, a 24-year-old man who is
the producer of the pornography. Ward
said the website films material anywhere

their "College Campus Invasion Tour."
Creating and distributing gay pornog-
raphy with models more than 18 years old
is not illegal, but doing so on University
property is, University spokesperson Julie
Peterson said.
About 30 male models, ranging from fully
clothed to completely naked, appear on the
site. Some are seen engaging in anal and oral
sex, as well as masturbating. Several pic-
tures showcase up to eight men taking part
in orgies.

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