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www.michigandaily com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 142 @2005 The Michigan Daily
offer to be
I t,46- 1PETER SC HOTTENFELS/ Daily
Engineering sophomore James Moss gets information about rushing the Delta Chi fraternity on the Diag yesterday during this year's annual
Fraternity Forum, where fraternities recruit potential pledges.
Some Greeks say new party
policy auzzilfor fall rush
for selecting speakers starts
later than other schools'
By Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporter
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell could have been the big-name com-
mencement speaker many graduating stu-
dents were hoping for, but he denied a request
to appear as 2005's spring commencement
speaker, according to documents The Mich-
igan Daily obtained through a Freedom of
Information Act request.
Powell did not provide a reason for refus-
ing -the invitation, University spokesperson
Julie Peterson said, but he left open the option
of speaking in the future.
"Not many people have turned down hon-
orary degrees from us," said Steve Kunkel,
last year's chairman of the committee for
Many students have expressed disappoint-
ment in the choice of recent speakers, who
were lower-profile figures such as John Seely
Brown, the former Xerox chief scientist, last
year and David Davis Jr., founder of Automo-
bile Magazine, in 2004.
"From what I've heard, Powell is a good
speaker, so it would have been better," 2005
LSA graduate Nareg Sagherian said. "Ninety
percent of the kids there didn't know who
The letter to Powell notifying him of his
honorary Doctor of Laws degree and request-
ing his service as speaker was dated Jan. 11,
2005, significantly later than a number of other
universities traditionally begin courting their
high-profile speakers. Stanford University, for
example. notifies speakers in October, and-its
commencement takes place in mid-June. The
University of Michigan's commencement is
held in late April. Last year, Stanford snagged
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
"We contacted (Jobs) in October to stay
in front of the line because that's when most
colleges do it," said Stanford Prof. Jody Max-
min, who served on the committee to select
of Wake Forest University's graduating class.
According to the Old Gold and Black, the
campus newspaper, the process to land Pow-
ell took about one and a half years.
Powell has a history of serving as a com-
mencement speaker even during busy
peroods in his life. During his WFU speech,
he noted that he was supposed to be on the
shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan at the World
"My staff had meetings scheduled all
through the evening, but I said, 'No way, I've
got to get back. I've got to be on the quad
in 20 hours," Powell, who was secretary of
state at the time, told the graduates. "I really
enjoy commencement activities. I really enjoy
being with young people at this turning point
in their lives."
In 1993, he spoke at Harvard University
while holding the position of chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Since he resigned from his secretary of state
post in November 2004 and stepped down
from it Jan. 26, 2005, he has not held public
office and has mostly stayed out of the news,
with the exception of a spat with John Bolton,
the recently confirmed U.S. ambassador to
the United Nations. No stranger to higher edu-
cation, he is reportedly currently a candidate
to be the 12th president of Cornell University,
according to multiple news sources.
After Powell's refusal, Coleman sent a let-
ter on Jan. 31 to second choice Brown, who
was already slated to receive an honorary
degree. He accepted and spoke at commence-
ment on April 30.
Sagherian said that more graduates would
have attended the speech if Powell had spoke.
"A couple of my friends didn't show up when
they heard who was speaking."
Some students treated the speech as a joke,
he said, shouting the words "spell-check"
because Brown invented the spell-check tool
on word-processing programs.
Kunkel said he had heard positive feed-
back from graduate students about Brown's
speech, but none from undergraduates, who
the ceremony is intended for.
"A lot of graduate students understood
how important he is," Kunkel said. "He's
an outstanding scholar and an outstanding
- By Laura Van Hyfte
Daily Staff Reporter
Fears of declining fraternity rush numbers
marred the festivities of the yearly Fraternity
Forum yesterday. As prospective fraternity
brothers loitered on the Diag in search of their
ideal fraternity, members of the Greek system
expressed concern that the new Greek social pol-
icies may diminish pledge turnout this year.
The Social Environment Management Policy,
which places new limits on Greek parties, was
drawn up last fall by the Interfraternity Council
- a governing board made up of presidents of
fraternities recognized by the University - in
an effort to decrease liability for Greek organi-
zations. This is the first fall term under the new
The new party rules restrict the number of
non-Greeks who enter parties. This change has
caused concern among fraternity brothers who
think potential pledges, and entering freshman in
particular, may be discouraged from rushing due
to the more restrictive party atmosphere.
For most major fraternities, fall rush, the time
during which Greek houses recruit new pledges
from the incoming freshman class, is partially
dependent on fraternity parties that are open to
Chris Toulouse, a member of Psi Upsilon, said
the new party rules don't give freshmen a chance
to see the fraternity houses, and this could result
in a lower rush turnout.
"I honestly think that it's going to ruin the
whole Greek system," said Nathaniel Staley, a
sophomore in Psi Upsilon.
See RUSH, Page 7A
In 2004, Powell
agreed to speak in front
With gas prices
'Im i ,
scrimp on bus fuel
By Kingson Man
Daily Science Reporter
Steadily rising gas prices have taken their
toll on students who drive their cars on cam-
pus. Students might take heart, then, in the
plight of buses operated by the University.
The big blue behemoths that connect the
campuses and chew up the sidewalks as they
round tight turns get an average of five miles
to the gallon and take 120 gallons to fill. And
the diesel budgets that the University has
drawn up to feed them are buckling in the
face of rising fuel costs.
Although half a million dollars this year
was allocated for the fueling of University
buses, that amount had to be supplemented by
another $100,000 over the summer, according
to Dave Miller, director of Parking and Trans-
The price for a barrel of crude oil has
climbed upwards of $60 and peaked at over
$70 since this year's University budget was
formulated. The devastating impact of Hur-
ricane Katrina and its aftereffects on the U.S.
Gulf Coast refineries further destabilized oil
prices, requiring the intervention of the gov-
ernment in order to deflect a major shortage of
oil. However, this release of national strategic
reserves would only act as a stopgap measure.
Now even the revised amount of $600,000
will no longer be enough.
"Even if prices stabilize, we're probably
going to overshoot it by $88,000," Miller said.
People up and down the chain of transporta-
tion are doing their part to conserve.
While the numbers on a University diesel
pump flicked upward in a busyard near the
stadium, fueler Phil Hitchinghan explained his
method for getting the most out of the pump.
In order to minimize the amount of fuel sit-
ting in idle buses, "we try to put the same bus
on more runs, so it doesn't get refueled need-
l'essly," Hitchinghan said.
Drivers are advised to minimize idling and
turn their engines off during breaks. But there
are limits to what the drivers can do.
"Regardless of how high the fuel costs are,
we still have to run the buses," Taseanda Palm,
a student driver, said.
And to a bus with a 120-gallon tank, the
diesel is good to the very last drop.
This is the first in a two-part series on
campus transportation in the midst of rising
dig in hard
By Carissa Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
While campuses nationwide are working to
find new ways to aid the victims of Hurricane
Katrina, many Gulf-area colleges are dispropor-
tionately involved in helping evacuated students
and faculty relocate.
While the University has accepted just 20 stu-
dents in the last week, schools closer to the areas
affected by the hurricane - such as Louisiana
State University and Tougaloo College in Jack-
son, Miss. - continue to receive high numbers of
inquiries from students who wish to transfer.
LSU spokeswoman Kristine Calongne said LSU
has admitted and registered 1,500 students -
nearly 28 percent of its last year's freshman class
- from nearby Tulane University, Loyola Univer-
sity and the University of New Orleans, as well as
other Gulf-area campuses in Mississippi and Flori-
da. Also, nearly 700 faculty members will come to
LSU in order to accommodate the increase in the
student body, Calongne said.
Tougaloo College, which suffered slight damage
from the hurricane, has extended its registration
deadline to accommodate evacuated students, said
college spokesman Danny Jones.
"There is no end date as of now, and we will
help as long as we can. We want to make it as
smooth a transition as possible," Jones said. Most
of the transfer students originate from Dillard and
Xavier Universities, both of which are temporarily
closed due to hurricane damage, Jones added.
Miami University spokeswoman Claire Wagner
said Miami - which has been dealing with stu-
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University employee T.J. Awrey refuels a bus yesterday.
Student groups stumble over Ludacris concert
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