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September 28, 2005 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-28

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


News 3 Saline High School
students return
after evacuation
Opinion 4 David Betts is tired
of being a suspect
Sports 10 Icers voted
second in CCHA

£ 1Mb: 41trn

One-hundredfourteen years ofedtorialfreedom
www.mzhigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan s Vol. CXV, No. 156 @2005 The Michigan Daily
Ruling favors same-sex benefits

Governor to reinstate
domestic partner benefits in
state employees' contract
By Jameel Naqvi
Daily News Editor
An Ingham County Circuit Court judge ruled
yesterday that a constitutional amendment reaf-
firming Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage

does not prevent public entities from providing
domestic partner benefits to their employees.
Yesterday's decision will not alter the
University's policy of providing benefits such
as health insurance to the same-sex partners
of its employees, which is still vulnerable to
University President Mary Sue Coleman said
last December that the University would go to
court to defend partner benefits if faced with a
legal challenge.

The ruling, however, has an impact on Gov.
Jennifer Granholm's contract with state employ-
ees because the governor was expected to allow
domestic partner benefits if a judge ruled them
to be legal under Proposal 2, which bans same-
sex marriage in the state of Michigan.
Liz Boyd, a spokeswoman for the governor,
indicated yesterday that domestic partner ben-
efits would in fact be reinstated in the state-
employee contract, which is scheduled to take
effect Oct. 1.

"It appears the legal cloud has been lifted and
the benefits negotiated at the bargaining table
now can be submitted to the bipartisan Civil
Service Commission for approval," she said in
a statement. The commission must ratify the
contract before it can take effect."
Citing the same "legal cloud" of uncertainty
hovering over the legality of partner benefits,
Granholm removed the benefits from the con-
tract and said she would reinstate them in the
event of a ruling explicitly allowing her to do

The University will not have to make any
changes to policy because of the ruling, but
Coleman expressed satisfaction with the ruling
and reiterated the importance of such perks for
employers competing for top faculty.
"I'm absolutely delighted," she said. "This is
really great for our employees."
"It's critical for our recruitment and retention
of faculty and staff," she added.
See BENEFITS , Page 7

By Rachel Kruer
Daily Staff Reporter
Twenty-one-year-old University
student Anne Joling was stabbed and
robbed Monday night in front of the
door of her apartment. The incident
occurred around 1:10 a.m. on Ann
Joling, a news editor at The Michi-
gan Daily, is currently being treated
at the University Hospital for a one-
inch- to one-and-a-half-inch-deep stab
wound between her liver and heart. She
is being kept under observation in case
the stab wound nicked her heart; how-
ever, the injury is not life threatening.
AAPD Lt. Angela Abrams said a
husband-and-wife team committed the
crime. The 41-year-old male and a 43-
year-old female are currently in cus-
tody for the crime.
While walking home, Joling said a
woman confronted her in front of her
apartment building and began babbling
The victim said she noticed the
woman earlier while walking home,
but dismissed her as a jogger because
she wore an oversized sweatshirt and
black, tapered pants.
Joling said that at first she tried to
reason with the woman and tell her
to leave, but the suspect followed her
down the stairs to in front of her apart-
ment door.
Joling said she thought she could
still control the situation at that point.
"I thought if I can just get into my
apartment ahead of her, I will be okay.
Since it was all happening so fast, I
didn't think about how tricky it is to get
into my apartment. First I have to turn
a deadbolt and then a regular lock," she
While attempting to open her apart-
ment door, the suspect, tried to take the
victim's tote bag, resulting in a strug-
"My instinct was to pull back on
my bag since I did not know she was
armed," she said.
During the struggle, the victim said
she felt what she thought at the time
was a punch in the stomach.
She added she could smell alcohol
on the woman's breath.
After the robbery, Joling entered her
apartment and called the AAPD. But
she later realized she had been stabbed
after noticing blood and a hole in her
Police found the female suspect near
the scene of the assault after the victim
supplied them with a clear description
of her assailant.
Abrams said the description of the
See ROBBERY , Page 7

met Sg. Craig
X 1 i s
Z F r4 Departmqnt L-.I
after check ng or,
Above: Pittsfield
Township Fire Depart-
ment Sgt. Craig
~ Liggett (left) and
Superior Township
Fire Department Lt.
Shaun Bach emerge
from Saline High
School yesterday
after checking for
hazardous materials.
Left Firefighters set
down their equipment
prior to conducting
ahazardous mate ri-
ais assessment.

Coleman: 'U'to
conduct research
on fuel efficiency

By Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporter

The University announced plans
this week to strengthen its develop-
ment of alternative energy sources
such as hydrogen by creating a mul-
tidisciplinary initiative.
During Monday's address to the
Faculty Senate, a board of elected
faculty representatives, Univer-
sity President Mary Sue Coleman
announced that the initiative would
"explore the challenges and risks of
moving from a petroleum-depen-
dent society to one that relies upon
hydrogen for its energy."
Coleman cited the United States's
disproportionately high energy use
as a reason to establish the initia-
tive. The United States consumes
24 percent of the world's energy but
contains less than 5 percent of the
planet's population.
Coleman called the country's
energy use one of the most pervasive
challenges to society and said hydro-
gen represents a promising alterna-
tive to petroleum.
"Hydrogen is clean, it is efficient,
and it can be produced from renew-
able resources," she said.
Levi Thompson, an associate
Engineering dean, will lead the ini-
tiative with a staff of about 30 that
will probably grow, he said.
The staff will include graduate
students, post-doctoral students,
faculty, researchers and others, he
The University-wide initiative will
be housed in the Phoenix Memorial
Laboratory on North Campus.
The lab is currently being used for
nuclear energy research, a program
that will be incorporated into the
new initiative.
The lab will need costly renova-
tions before it can house the ini-
tiative, which does not yet have an
official name.
Thompson said he expects the total
cost of the initiative to approach $20
million, with the renovations to the
lab costing roughly $10 million.
He added that it is not yet clear

"We envision an
energy institute
that would be
an umbrella
organization for
energy research,"
-Levi Thompson
Associate Engineering dean

when renovations to the lab will
Thompson said he expects Phoe-
nix to become the nation's leading
hydrogen research facility.
Coleman said that strong pro-
grams in engineering, medicine,
natural resources, business and pub-
lic policy will allow the University
to take a leading role in developing
hydrogen as a feasible energy alter-
The University has been work-
ing on energy-related issues for a
while, Thompson said, adding that
the research has been both technical
and policy based, involving various
schools and departments in the Uni-
"We envision an energy institute
that would be an umbrella organiza-
tion for energy research," he said.
Thompson said he believes alter-
native energy sources will first be
used in portable electronic devices
such as cell phones and will later
be adapted to larger objects such as
One of the largest obstacles to
hydrogen-based fuel has been its
high cost. Currently, the cost of
hydrogen fuel cells is about $10,000
per kilowatt, The Michigan Daily
reported in January.
But Thompson is pioneering a
method called microfabrication that
has the potential to significantly
lower the price tag.

Comedians, converts join forces for Islam awareness

By C.C. Song
Daily Staff Reporter
The Muslim Students' Association is using this
year's Islam Awareness Week, which began yes-
terday, to remind students that their daily lives are
not much different from those of non-Muslims.
MSA Vice President Wajeeha Shuttari said that
after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, many Mus-
lims were stereotyped as terrorists. Though four

years have passed, Shuttari said the media contin-
ues to portray Muslims not only as terrorists, but
also as exotic, eccentric and foreign.
To counter public hostility against Muslims,
MSA is filling this week with events that aim
to foster a better understanding of the religion
instead of hammering its tenets into the student
body. Shuttari said this change is mainly due to
an improved comprehension and acceptance of
Islam on campus.

"Initially, the campus wasn't aware what
Islam was," she said. "It was more like under-
standing the principles of the religions and our
beliefs. It's time to let people understand the
practicality of Islam."
She said that since the University started to offer
classes about Islam, students have become more
educated about the religion and its adherents.
MSA's interfaith coordinator, Aliyah Rab, who
planned the events, said MSA wants students to

know that the Muslim lifestyle is not a totally dif-
ferent culture.
"We want to let other people know that Islam is
incorporated into every aspect of life," she said.
The first event, which took place at Hutchins
Hall last night, was a screening of the documen-
tary "Muslim Snowboarders," directed by Omar
Mahood, a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychol-
ogy at Wayne State University.
See ISLAM , Page 7

Council nominees sound off

Candidates share
similar views on issues
pertinent to students
By Olga Mantilla

Student Assembly representatives
on their positions on student issues,
but the so-called debate, moderated
by MSA President Jesse Levine,
turned into a discussion of similar
viewpoints from the two candi-

Both candidates voiced
their opposition to a
potential city couches-

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