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September 29, 2005 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-29

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The Michigan

Daily - Thursday, September 29, 2005 -7A

Continued from page 1A
than 40 other colleges across the cour
try are holding similar demonstratior
to kick off the national campaign agains
the production of collegiate apparel it
* sweatshop conditions.
SOLE held a mock raffle to win
day's wage - a quarter, they said - fo
a sweatshop worker. The group also gath
ered signatures on a petition for the Uni
versity to join the sweat-free campaign.
SOLE member and RC sophomor(
Adri Miller said the group had collecte
about 400 signatures from students, fa(
ulty and staff in the four hours they wer(
on the Diag. The petition was deliverer
along with the letter to Coleman's office
Jory Hearst, RC junior and SOLI
member, said she was surprised by hom
much students knew about the Universit;
and sweatshop labor.
"People have totally engaged in goo(
conversation with me," Hearst said. Sh(
added that, compared with three year,
ago, the student population seems to b(
Continued from page 1A
Mike Forster, chair of the ERC, said
he is confident MSA is moving in the
right direction.
"I'm really excited that this position
is being created," Forster said. "We hope
that this is first step in a long process of
reconciliation with City Council, and a
greater partnership between the students
and the Council."
Some have accused the Council of
being secretive about important busi-
ness, conducting much of its discussion
in "special committees" outside of the
regular biweekly Council sessions.' As
liaison, Van Hyfte is responsible for keep-
ing up with all upcoming legislation in
order to give MSA a chance to organize
a response to legislation that could have
an impact on students. Forster hopes this
will mark the end of surprise ordinanc-
es like the parking permit restrictions,
which the Council approved during the
summer, to the ire of many students.
Rapundalo said he hopes the liaison
will foster a better relationship with the
Continued from page 1A
Some Asian students, such as LSA s(
more and United Asian American Orga
tions external chair Denny Chan, say
believe this lack of recognition as a mir
group also impacts the frequency at whici
dents of ethnic intimidation and discrimi:
are reported.
"There is the feeling that your concerni
be shrugged off," Chan said. "And wher
experience (discrimination) alone, you
have the realization that it's so frequent."
"When these-things happen to you, t12
also confusion around what avenues ther

much more educated on the issue.
Miller said SOLE is targeting Cole-
man on the issue because "she's the one
who can make changes."
In the past, labor issues at the University
have been handled by the Advisory Com-
mittee on Labor Standards and Human
Rights. Rahman said their demands would
probably be deferred to the committee,
which has not yet been in session this year.
Lawrence Root, chair of the committee and
a School of Social Work professor, said in
an interview with The Michigan Daily that
he hoped to have the committee's member-
ship finalized soon for a first meeting on
October 7.
Rahman criticized the committee for
waiting until October to begin its work,
saying it has already wasted a quarter of
the semester.
"Obviously they don't plan to act on
this," Rahman said.
Two spots on the committee are to be
held by students, and Rahman said two
SOLE members have applied for the
positions but must undergo an interview

RC senior Ryan Bates, RC sophomore Adri Miller and Engineering junior Samir Rahman display a
banner sewn at a mock sweatshop on the Diag yesterday.

students and the Council.
"Having a liaison is a great idea -
any interaction that is established is bet-
ter than, obviously, what is there now,"
he said.
But Rapundalo expressed concern
that the sheer volume of Council
business could overwhelm anyone.
He has proposed that Council cre-
ate a separate formal committee of
students and Council members to aid
Van Hyfte in creating a constructive
Councilman Leigh Greden (D- Ward
3) agreed that a commission would be the
most effective way to foster relations.
"The current relationship is very
arms-length; there's no face-to-face,
one-on-one communication, and that's
what we need," Greden said. "But it's a
lot of work for one person."
Greden added that he might intro-
duce legislation to create a specialized
Council committee himself, instead of
waiting for Rapundalo to be elected. He
said he doesn't believe the political cal-
endar should delay a good idea.
Councilman Mike Reid (R-Ward 2),

who is retiring after his current term
ends in November, said he doubts the
liaison would have a significant impact
on the Council.
"If the intent is to engage in some
real dialogue about issues that affect
the student body, just attending Council
meetings would be extraordinarily inef-
fective," Reid said.
Reid added that he believes students
should participate by voting the same
way everyone else does.
The other three candidates for the
position were Steven Schwartz, Zach
LaPalme and Anjajli Nair. Nair and
LaPalme are MSA newcomers who
were active in their high school student
governments. Schwartz, a sophomore,
transferred from Western Michigan
University to Michigan State University
and finally to the University of Michi-
gan, which he described as the pinnacle
of his educational enterprises. He said
he would not be interested in further
5sisting Van Hyfte as liaison. LaPalme
and Nair expressed interest in attending
Council meetings despite losing their
bid for the liaison position.

Continued from page 1A
general," Peterson said, "but we can always do more."
University faculty are also joining in the effort to improve the climate
of the campus for students, faculty and staff susceptible to racial harass-
American Culture Prof. Amy Stillman - who contributed to a letter
in which faculty members demanded the University uphold its commit-
ment to diversity by taking immediate action - is working to organize
a collective response to the issue of hate crimes.
Stillman outlined several steps that students and faculty should take
to combat the occurrence of hate crimes and create a more respectable
climate. These recommendations include encouraging students to report
racial harassment to the Department of Public Safety and the Office of
Student Conflict and Resolution. A public rally on campus involving
multiple student groups is also in works.
"We need to talk to our colleagues and draw them into the coalition
with us," Stillman said. "This issue of 'climate' is something that affects
all of us, and (the faculty) have the opportunity to be the leaders."
"At a large institution like the University of Michigan, some Asian
students feel they have to put up with minor indignities in order to 'fit
in," said Scott Kurashige, assistant professor in the Asian and Pacific
Islander American Studies department.
Kurashige added that while the University has great potential for cul-
tural programming, it needs to take proactive steps to make comprehen-
sive changes to eliminate racism. His department is holding a teach-in
today at 7 p.m. in South Quad's Yuri Kochiyama lounge.

Continued from page 1A
research, which Coleman identified as one of
her campus initiatives in a speech last spring,
has become a major priority for the University.
Coleman said the University already has
many of the necessary resources in place
for the advanced study, including strong
programs in philosophy and social sciences,
among others.
The second area that the taskforce found
necessary to address is providing under-
graduate students a way to get more involved
in the study of ethics. The taskforce found
many undergraduate students interested in
studying ethics, the report says.
The courses would be aimed at under-
graduates, Krislov said. No determinations
have been made concerning exactly what
the courses will be about, but as an example,
Krislov cited a course from the 1940s about
political morality. He said such a course
might include readings of ancient as well as
contemporary political philosophers and dis-
cussions centered on such topics as the ethics
of economic systems, wars and nations.
Coleman said some current courses will
also be revised to include more of an ethics-
related angle, but she did not elaborate.
Forums to facilitate discussion about eth-
ics are undefined right now, but their basic
function is clear - providing a discussion
setting on topics such as military action in
Iraq and Harvard President Lawrence Sum-
mers's controversial comments on women in
"There's no knowing today what the
forums will cover, but we do know by read-
ing the headlines that there will rarely be a
shortage of material," Coleman said during
her State of the University address to the
Faculty Senate Assembly on Monday.
The forums will be aimed at undergradu-
ates, Krislov said, but others will be wel-
come. They will most likely begin this
semester, he said, but he doubts there will
be many, and said they will probably take
place about once a month.
Although plans for a shared physical space
for the study of ethics have been discussed,
it does not appear that such a center will be
built in the near future, Krislov said.
"It wasn't clear that this would be the most
effective way to increase collaboration,"
Krislov said, adding that he has studied other
universities with similar programs already in
place and found that it was not effective.
But Krislov did not rule out the possibil-
ity of an ethics center in the long run.
Long-term plans also include organiz-
ing symposiums or conferences on subjects
such as the role of religion in public health,
Krislov said.
"Right now, we have lots of great ideas,
but we're not trying go do them all in the
first year," he said.
The report included information on other
high-profile schools that have already estab-
lished this level of ethics research organiza-
tion, among them academic powerhouses such
as Harvard University, Dartmouth College
and Yale University. Taskforce members drew
on their programs when making their recom-

that you can take," Chan continued. "Many
(Asians) don't know about existing services.
We need to create a safe zone so students feel
comfortable reporting."
While Asian organizations continue to discuss
the reasons for the prevalence of racial harass-
ment on the campus, the groups have also begun
to take actions to create awareness of the issue.
After the alleged incident of ethnic intimida-
tion on Sept. 15, Asian student groups founded
APIA Change, a group that is trying to devise
ways to improve the campus climate. Recently,
APIA Change has begun cataloguing incidents
of racial harassment toward Asians. But leaders
of the group hope the University will aid them in
taking a strong stance against racial harassment.

"There is no clear signal to offenders that this
must stop - that this is wrong," Chan added.
"The administration hasn't sent this clear mes-
sage, so it's just going to continue."
Guzman said that, while the underlying point is
that discrimination has always existed with regards
to Asians, it is interesting that it took a publicized
incident to spark debate and discussion.
"In my view, (Asians) as a whole are not a
very united group, and unless you have a huge
mobilization, a small minority is often viewed
as being radical or whiny," Guzman said. "But
now that group is getting larger, and people are
starting to take notice. As a community, we need
to educate, strengthen and empower ourselves."
"Of course this isn't just an issue limited to

the campus," said Stephanie Kao, a Business
senior and co-chair of the United Asian Ameri-
can Organizations. "However, the kind of sup-
port we get and the kind of climate set up by
the administration doesn't support diversity as
much as they would like to believe."
While there are people in the Asian commu-
nity who would stress assimilation and say these
issues aren't relevant, it all depends on how you
look at it, Kao said.
Kao said that although views differ on the
issue, as in any minority community, the issues
raised by this incident pose important questions.
"Why is it important to fit into the society?"
Kao said. "Why can't we be unique with our
culture and our heritage?"

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