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September 07, 2005 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-07

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The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2005 - 3C

Students protest passage
of gay marriage ban in A
By Elizabeth Belts
NOVEMBER 12, 2004 Upfal described her friends' sadness One student incited the crowd to march
Daily StaffWriter after Proposal 2 was passed during the to City Hall, and 100 students left the Diag,

On Nov. 11, the sidewalks in downtown
Ann Arbor were crowded, taken over by
protesters from Ann Arbor high schools
and the University. About 150 students
carried signs, banners and rainbow flags
in opposition to the passage of Proposal 2
in the Nov. 2 election.
"This will be looked upon by our chil-
dren how we look upon racism in the
60's," LSA freshman Drew Philp said.
The passage of Proposal 2 in Novem-
ber amended Michigan's constitution to
ban gay marriage and similar unions.
Those in opposition to the measure say it
is an infringement on an individual's civil
rights. Those who support it believe it pro-
tects marriage, which they believe should
only be between a man and woman.
The march through downtown began as
a small rally on the Diag, organized by 15-
year-old Julia Upfal, a part-time student
at Huron and Community high schools.
Upfal said she felt let down by the results
of the election. "By not letting some peo-
ple have rights they deserve ... it's one
of the things that is tearing this country
apart," Upfal said.

election, and expressed frustration that
they were unable to vote. Other high
school students also perceived the pro-
test as a way to voice their own beliefs.
"I know so many people who are against
(Proposal 2) who are in high school, and
we're trying to do what we can to get the
word out," Upfal said.
As the crowd on the Diag grew, pro-
testers formed a circle around the "M" in
its center. Amidst cries of "equality" and
waving signs reading "What is moral about
hate? What is moral about discrimina-
tion?" students spontaneously addressed
the crowd by entering the circle.
Brittany Allen, LSA senior and co-chair
of the LGBT commission of the Michigan
Student Assembly, was one of the first to
speak to the crowd.
"After Proposal 2 passed, I was scared
and sad and angry at the world. Today I see
graduates, undergraduates and high school
students - this can change," she said.
Allen was contacted by a friend about
the rally, and passed the word through
the LGBT campus networks. "I'm sur-
prised at the turnout. It's phenomenal
and inspiring," she said.

marching down State and Liberty streets to
City Hall on Fifth and Huron streets.
The protest line stretched two blocks,
and people shouted, "What do we want?
Equality. When do we want it? Now."
At City Hall, closed due to Veterans Day,
three students climbed onto the roof and led
the crowd in chanting "down with 2" and
"separate church and state."
Protesters continued the march down
Main Street, where police cars blocked
intersection traffic to allow protesters to
pass. The rally came to a close on the steps
of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.
One student yelled out to the crowd,
"This rally was organized by a 15-year-old
girl, imagine what we can do."
Near the close of the rally, Upfal read
from a paper copy of Proposal 2, then ripped
it up and threw the pieces into the air.
"It's amazing," said Ben Henig, a
sophomore at Community High School.
Henig, a close friend of Upfal, displayed
posters throughout the high schools and
sent instant messages to spread the word
about the rally. "I was hoping it would
turn out this way. It can, when straight,
gay and bi come together," he said.

Local high school senior Tina Baldwin holds up a sign reading "Equality" at a protest of the passage of Proposal
2 on the corner of Liberty and Fifth streets. The rally started on the Diag and headed to City Hall.

'Boxes and Walls' performances aim at breaking stereotypes

By Rachel Kruer
JANUARY 14, 2005
Daily Staff Writer
For no money at all, University students can have deroga-
tory terms yelled at them mere inches from their face, threat-
ened to be strip-searched and witness a hate crime. This is all
part of the learning process of Boxes and Walls, a program
that creates a simulated environment where University stu-
dents are placed in situations such as these and others that dis-
criminated members of society face on a day-to-day basis.
"Boxes and Walls is about learning through experience.
Instead of reading statistics, they can experience and under-
stand what it is to be discriminated against," said LSA junior
and co-chair of Boxes and Walls Rachel Lederman.
The program is structured in two parts. First, a tour lead-
er guides about 10 participants through a "museum" in the
Duderstadt Center. This "museum" is comprised of seven
interactive exhibits in which student actors create realistic
situations that simulate stereotypes and racial injustices.
The actors try to engage the members of the tour group to
participate by treating them as if they were part of a certain
minority group.
Afterward, the group is led to a "processing room" where
they can share their responses to the experience.
Some of these exhibits applied specifically to situations
familiar to University students, such as instances when stu-
dents are turned away from student groups recruiting only
certain ethnicities or religions.
In another exhibit, actors berated the tour group with insults
regarding their sexual orientation in a scene that was meant
to take place on the streets of Ann Arbor late at night. Two
of the actors individually approached members of the group
and asked them questions such as, "Why are you like this?

Don't your parents hate you?" The verbal assaults eventually
escalated into a pushing match with another actor, when the
instigators pulled out bats. Before anyone could intervene,
the lights went out.
The comments from the actors would sometimes become
personal. While playing a prospective employer, one actor
told LSA junior Edna Buckle that she would not get the job
because of her braids.
Even though she was initially offended, Buckle understood
why the actors targeted her.
"I was pissed off, but it got me thinking," she said.
However, other exhibits focused on broader problems,
such as profiling of Arab-Americans in airports. LSA soph-
omore Stephen Lin and LSA junior Ben Rattner played air-
port security agents forcing the tour group to assemble into
two lines. Lin and Rattner each took turns accusing the par-
ticipants of engaging in terrorist activities and calling them
by racial slurs. Rattner even took a bag of popcorn that was
supposedly in somebody's bag and asked the person if it was
an explosive.
As each simulation elicits different verbal reactions
from every group, the actors must continually change their
"There is a script of things that you want to get across.
When people react and get in your face, is when you have to
improvise," Rattner said.
Students participating in the event were affected by these
"Since (gay hate-crime victim) Matthew Shephard, the
scene with the hate crime affected me the most," said LSA
senior Sydney Zhou. "Things such as that happen all the time.
It is a reality check that we live in such a liberal town."
LSA junior Edna Buckle could identify most with the racial
profiling section, as she has undergone similar experiences

LSA senior SydneyZhiu. walkspoast CarmeLSahil, Whojplays an immlgrantworkerstatnvnrth way home front his
job. His shirt reads, "Living the American Dream?"

not being from the United States. "Every time I used to travel,
I would be pulled over. Even once, my mother had her bag
looked through and her undergarments examined," she said.

"I think it was a good experience, but you're left with the
question, 'There are people like that, but what can I do about
it?' " Buckle added.

Continued from page 1C
endowment fund to working with
groups such as the "Landmine Survi-
vors Network" in Vietnam and Bosnia.
The announcement was broadcast
live on CNBC, with a camera crew
providing live feeds of students cel-
ebrating and singing "The Victors"
in the Business School's courtyard.
Dolan said although he expected
Continued from page 1C
The building's amenities will focus
on media and information studies, using
high technology - like live interactive
video - to reach out to other students
internationally. The presence of the
Language Resource Center is intended
to facilitate this global outreach. "Lan-
guage understanding is the gateway
to cultural understanding," LSA Dean
Terry McDonald said.
Among the many ideas administra-
tors proposed for the new residence hall
was an interactive video wall. One wall in
the complex would essentially be a video
screen and would display a live-feed from
another location - anywhere from North
Campus to Nigeria - that students walk-
ing by could interact with said School of
Information Dean John King.
He added that the technology, which
has been developed in the early stages,
would help foster an interactive and global
learning experience.
The complex may also include music
practice rooms, places for informal per-
formances, galleries to display artwork,
recreation rooms and, as requested
by many students, "adequate laundry
facilities," Henry said. University Hous-
ing has a lot of "big ideas," she said, but
limited space.
The cost of the project will be split
between University Housing, the Provost's
Office, LSA and University investment
The residential facilities will cost $58

the top spot after camera crews from
CNBC were on campus last week
interviewing faculty and students,
he was not officially told the news
until yesterday morning.
MBA student Amy Monroe said
she was thrilled to hear the news.
"I was excited because there was a
lot of hype about CNBC being here.
If we weren't number one it would've
been disappointing," she said.
Monroe decided to attend the

Ross School to study brand man-
agement after spending four years
in the Navy as a surface warfare
officer and three years as a defense
consultant working for the firm
Booz Allen.
"Obviously Michigan already had
a good reputation," Monroe said.
"This gives more publicity to the
school," Dolan said, adding that,
"Any good press is always good for
recruiting and for students."

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