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One-hundredfifteen years of editorialfreedom
www.michikandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 17 2005 The Michigan Daily
LSA faculty votes 65-
51 against proposal to give
students choice of meeting
language requirement with two
semesters of two languages
By Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporter
LSA faculty voted down a proposal yesterday
that would have allowed students to elect two
semesters each of two different languages to
fulfill the foreign language requirement, instead
of four semesters of a single language, as is cur-
During a special meeting of LSA's faculty col-
lege in Angell Hall, 65 members voted against
the proposal and 51 voted in favor of it.
At the meeting, proponents of the proposal
said it would diversify students' exposure to dif-
ferent cultures, increase enrollment in less com-
monly taught languages and allow students an
out if they find they do not like a language after
their first year.
Opponents said requiring students to take
four semesters of a single language forces them
to become proficient in that language.
LSA Student Government President Andrew
Yahkind said he was frustrated with the outcome
of the vote because the discussion never focused
on the importance of giving students the choice
to decide how to study foreign languages.
"Students who choose the 2-2 option would
do so in the best interests of their academic
careers," he said.
Early last month, LSA-SG voted 12-6 to sup-
port the proposal.
Before the vote, some discussion was devoted
to whether even four semesters of a language is
enough to make a student proficient.
The Residential College administers a pro-
ficiency test after its students complete the
equivalent of four semesters in a single lan-
guage, RC Prof. Herb Eagle said. According to
Eagle, RC students boast a 90 percent success
rate on the tests.
"Students who work hard can become pro-
ficient in two years," Eagle said, adding that
giving the students the choice of taking two
Results of an LSA-SG survey on
foreign language study taken
by 1,204 students
How important is the study of
foreign language to your future
on a scale of 1 to 7? Average
Would you have taken advantage
of the option to take two different
languages? Yes: 658 No: 438 N/A:
81 No response: 27
If yes, what two languages would
you have taken? So.mething other
than French, Spanish, German or
Italian as first language taken: 117
Something other than those four as
second language taken: 340
languages may result in many students lacking
proficiency in any language.
Other concerns raised by some faculty mem-
bers were a potential lack of enrollment in
upper-level language courses and the difficulty
of shifting resources to first-year classes to meet
LSA Dean Terrence McDonald assured the
faculty that the logistics would be taken care of
if the proposal were passed.
Linguistics Prof. Sarah Thomason said allow-
ing students to dabble in multiple languages
would increase their understanding of how lan-
"A benefit of the two-term option is'That
it helps students learn the skill of language-
learning," she said. "If you take two languag-
es unrelated to each other, it's particularly
Justin Benson, the budget allocations chair
of LSA-SG attended the meeting in support
of the proposal.
"The best option for students is an option of
choice," Benson said. "Basically, it all comes
down to letting students choose what's best for
See LANGUAGE, Page 7
Al Gore gives a lecture on Global Climate Change at the Power Center yesterday.
Al Gore calls for sounder
Former vice president says
there is no controversy over
whether recent warming has
been caused by mankind
By Donn M. Fresard
Daily News Editor
Global warming is no longer a scientific
issue, but a moral issue that mankind must
confront now or face devastating conse-
quences, former Vice President Al Gore said
Gore compared the dangers of climate
change with Nazi Germany's threat to Europe
in the 1930s, likening those who ignore the
threat of global warming to former British
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who
attempted to stay Adolf Hitler's aggression by
appeasing his territorial ambitions. Quoting
Winston Churchill, he said procrastination is
no longer viable and that humanity is entering
a "period of consequences."
One of those consequences, he said, is
the recent spate of devastating hurricanes,
which he attributed to a rise in ocean tem-
peratures caused by global warming. This
year's storm season has been one of the
worst in recorded history, with a record-
tying 12 hurricanes, including Wilma, the
strongest Atlantic storm ever observed by
one measure of storm intensity.
Speaking at the Power Center for the
See GORE, Page 3
GRE follows SAT's lead
Test will be available less frequently
throughout the year after changes are
implemented in October 2006
By Gabe Nelson
Daily Staff Reporter
With the Educational Testing Service's announcement
that will overhaul the Graduate Record Examination, col-
lege students considering graduate school have a tough
decision to make regarding which incarnation of the test
they should take. The current version of the test will be
phased out in October 2006 and replaced with the new
GRE, a product of four years of research and testing.
At first glance, the most notable change to the GRE
is the overall lengthening of the test from two and a half
hrs rto about four hours, and the fact that it will no longer
be available continuously throughout the year.
On the new test, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative
Reasoning sections will take an additional 50 and 35 min-
utes, respectively. The Analytical Writing section has been
shortened by 15 minutes.
"The GRE's new verbal section is more concerned with
critical thinking and style, similar to the SAT's," said Ben
Baron, the vice president of graduate programs for Kaplan
Test Preparation. "There will be less vocabulary on the test
and more questions involving sentence equivalency and
paraphrasing." Baron added, "I think the new questions
are more interesting and rigorous:'
David Payne, the Executive Director of the GRE pro-
gram, said although the Quantitative Reasoning section
will not undergo as many changes as the verbal section,
See GRE, Page 3
Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks sits in a 1950s-era bus in Montgomery, Ala. In 1995, 40 years after being arrested
for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white person.
Rosa Parks, 92, dies in Detroit
"He has made the University a place
thatJews throughout the country want
DETROIT (AP) - Rosa Lee Parks, whose refusal to give
up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights
movement, died yesterday. She was 92.
Parks died at her home of natural causes, said Karen
Morgan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-
Parks was 42 when she committed an act of defiance in 1955
that was to change the course of American history and earn her
the title "mother of the civil rights movement."
At that time, Jim Crow laws in place since the post-Civil
War Reconstruction required separation of the races in buses,
restaurants and public accommodations throughout the South,
up when they told me. But the real reason of my not standing
up was I felt that I had a right to be treated as any other passen-
ger. We had endured that kind of treatment for too long."
Her arrest triggered a 381-day boycott of the bus system
organized by a then little-known Baptist minister, the Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr., who later earned the Nobel Peace
Prize for his work.
"At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into
this," Parks said 30 years later. "It was just a day like any other
day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses
of the people joined in."
The Montgomery bus boycott, which came one year after
director's to attend."
Former chair of Hillel Board of Trustees
By Carissa Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
support for others. Where they seem
faced with rules, he will find ways of
opening possibilities of the good."
At a brunch earlier this month,
more than 250 students, faculty, Jew-
ish leaders and other supporters gath-
Shekel campaign, Brooks has played
a key role in the Golden Apple Award,
Consider Magazine and in making
Shabbat meals at Hillel free for all stu-
dents. In 1997, Brooks also received
the prestigious Covenant Award,