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January 20, 2006 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-20

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Friday, January 20, 2006
News 3 Deadline tonight
for kidnapped
A2 journalist

Opinion 4
Sports 8

Imran Syed warns
of China's rise
Wolverines tumble
into Gopher hole

One-hundredffteen years of editorialfreedom

I'll 199 ;1RAIRIll 19 RAM Ran i RM I No I OR I A


Ann Arbor, Michigan

Vol. CXVI, No. 58

02006 The Michigan Daily

Opinions of
Northwood III
housing mixed

feel heat
of high
energy costs

Complex has benefits
of dorms and off-campus
housing, but residents say
it's too far from campus
By Ashlea Surles
Daily Staff Reporter
Sitting on the wood floor in the
living room of her cozy two-bed-
room apartment in the Northwood III
housing complex on North Campus,
Art and Design sophomore Kristen
Shenk seems right at home.
Shenk likes the amenities and
apartment-style living that North-
wood offers, but says its distance
from Central Campus is a burden.
"It's a little quiet and it might not
seem like a campus environment,"
she said.
Shenk is one of nearly 400 under-
graduates who live in the Northwood
III housing community. The Univer-
sity started to force undergraduates
of sophomore standing and above
in Northwood III in the fall of 2004
after the University accidentally
admitted too many new freshman.
Previously, Northwood III had been
restricted to student families.
Since then, the University has
housed overflow from the residence
halls in the secluded location, much
to the displeasure of students hoping
for a prime spot in a dorm on Central
Campus convenient to classes and
other activities.
"It's not geared toward undergrad-
uates," Engineering sophomore Tom
Voorheis said. "I have this room-
mate and we have this apartment,
but there's not a lot of interaction in
general - it doesn't feel like a social

Shenk said she requested North-
wood housing because she likes the
freedom the units offer.
Northwood housing is as close as
University housing gets to providing
students with an apartment lifestyle
- including doorbells, individual
kitchens, proximity to public roads
and access to parking spots.
"It's like living in a regular apart-
ment, but you don't have to deal with
extra stuff, which is nice," Shenk
Compared with other housing
options, Northwood III has a high
price tag. Off-campus housing in an
apartment or house costs vary from
$300 to $600 per month, depending
on the condition of the property and
the proximity to campus. Residence
hall rooms are a bit more pricey
ranging from $600 to $800 per
month. Northwood III pricing tops
both traditional residence halls and
off-campus housing, offering apart-
ments starting at $580 and running
up to $1033.
But the Northwood version of off-
campus living offers perks that most
off-campus housing leases lack. All
utilities except long-distance phone
calls are combined into a single
monthly bill. Residents also have
access to all University services such
as buses to Central Campus, Depart-
ment of Public Safety surveillance
and 24-hour maintenance services.
"It is a good opportunity to transi-
tion from the residence hall experi-
ence to off-campus living because
you have the benefits of apartment
living plus access to University ser-
vices," Housing spokesman Alan
Levy said.
LSA junior Emily Aukes, who
transferred to the University this year,
See COMPLEX, page 7

High heating bills in
hand, students reach
deep into pockets and
dial down thermostats
By Gabe Nelson
Daily Staff Reporter
Heat rises, but not as fast as the
cost of natural gas.
Three months ago, DTE Energy
predicted that natural gas prices
would be 46 percent higher than
last winter's. Now that estimate has
risen to 57 percent. The new num-
bers indicate an average monthly
increase of about $85 per home
from last year.
Because of the price hike, many
students in off-campus housing
find themselves scraping to keep
themselves warm without burning
a hole in their pockets.
Music School senior Lauren
Poluha and her seven housemates
found a $480 bill in their mailbox
for their eight-bedroom house this
past month, and LSA senior Caro-
line Surducan had to split a heating
bill for $725 with her seven house-
"When I saw the bill, I was
shocked," Surducan said. "The bill
was for a month when we turned off
the heat for a solid week for winter
break. No one was showering, no
one was walking around the house,

so our bill shouldn't have been so
high ."
Surducan's housemate, Kinesiol-
ogy senior Julianne Wilke, is not a
stranger to high heating bills. Last
year, she and her housemates spent
the winter shivering because of
high heating costs.
"Usually, our bill was about
$250, then one month we got a bill
for $700," Wilke said. "So one of
my housemates looked at the meter,
and it turns out we got charged for
a wattage that was way higher than
the one on the meter."
The discrepancy resulted from
the utility company's practice of
only sending someone to check the
meter every few months and mak-
ing estimates for the months in
Wilke and her housemate chal-
lenged their bill and saved about
$300. They intend to investigate
and challenge this month's bill as
well, she added.
Students with high natural gas
bills have tried cost-cutting mea-
sures. Poluha said her house has
a new roof and storm windows
designed to keep out the cold and
keep in the warmth, although they
haven't helped much.
"We've talked about keeping the
house colder," Poluha said. "But
it's currently 68 degrees - which
isn't exactly warm - and some
of the upstairs bedrooms can get
See ENERGY, page 7

Kinesiology sophomores Jason Cohen and Scott Janowlak stand in the hallway of
their Northwood Ill apartment. The University-run complex is on North Campus
and features aspects of both off-campus and on-campus housing.
Northwood III pros and cons
Benefits, drawbacks of living in complex:
Benefits: Simulates off-campus, apartment-style living but
retains certain amenities of living in University housing
Drawbacks: More expensive than most off-campus and
traditional dorm housing and far from Central Campus

New party's poll shows apathy
toward MSA, but accuracy doubted

Only 13 percent of
students could name
MSA president; methods
called unscientific
By Joslie Dodge
Daily StaffReporter
The Michigan Progressive Party, a
new Michigan Student Assembly party
formed to challenge the dominant Stu-
dents 4 Michigan, has released the
results of a controversial survey that
paints a dismal picture of the current
According to the poll, 53 percent are
apathetic toward MSA and 87 percent
could not name the current president.
The survey results have since come
under intense fire from MSA President
Jesse Levine.
Levine said the data are not legiti-

"This is not a credible survey by any
means," Levine said. "I'm sure there
have been many mistakes, and I don't
trust the data at all."
MPP said pollsters phoned students
selected randomly from the print ver-
sion of the student directory. Of the
300 students contacted, the pollsters
conducted phone interviews with the
78 who agreed to answer the questions.
The party claims a 10-percent margin
of error.
Social science Prof. David Burkam,
who teaches a statistics course in the
Residential College, said he doubted the
accuracy of the margin of error because
of the 26 percent response rate, which
MPP admits was biased toward gradu-
ate students.
Burkam said the low response rate
damages the survey's credibility. If they
had talked to all 300 people, their mar-
gin of error would have been 6 percent.
"Bottom line, there's no legitimate
way (for MPP) to estimate margin of

error;' he said. "Well, I suppose they
could estimate a margin of error of
plus-or-minus 100 percent," he added
as a joke.
MPP founder Walter Nowinski said
the party conducted the survey to get
a general idea about what the student
body knows about MSA and the issues
it supports.
"We think it's important to get an
idea of what students know about
MSA," Nowinski said.
MPP plans to do a more in-depth
study at a later date.
"We want to stress that these are pre-
liminary results," said MPP chief poll-
ster Dan Hirschman. "It's a great basis
for a future study."
Levine said the statistic that shows
he is virtually unknown on campus is
"It's not my job to publicize my
name," he said. "It's likely that (the stu-
dents surveyed) aren't reading the Daily
or the results aren't credible.:

In an informal poll conducted by The
Michigan Daily last night in the Michi-
gan Union, only three out of 17 students
were able to name the president.
The survey also found that only 27
percent of students had ever used Advice
Online, a website where MSA publishes
the results of the course evaluations stu-
dents fill out at the end of the semester.
If elected, party officials plan to
expand the website by posting an aver-
age rating for classes and professors.
Nowinski believes MPP will better
represent students because, unlike Stu-
dents 4 Michigan, it has a platform.
"Students 4 Michigan has no plat-
form, which results in nothing getting
done," Nowinski said. "Student govern-
ment can do so much, but you need a
party that stands for something. They
have no focus. "
But Levine, who ran for president
with Students 4 Michigan but is now
officially nonpartisan, staunchly backed
See POLL, page 7

AI-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden Is seen In this April 1998 file photo In
Afghanistan. AI-Jazeera aired an audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden
yesterday, saying al-Qaida is making preparations for attacks in the United States.
Bin Laden surfaces
i new taped threats

Partisan campus groups
prepare for fall elections

College Dems and
Republicans begin
making plans for mid-
term elections
By Gabe Nelson
Daily Staff Reporter

port Democratic candidates.
They have created a student
group in honor of first-term Demo-
crat Debbie Stabenow, the incum-
bent senator running for re-election
this November.
LSA freshman Aghogho Edev-
bie, Students for Stabenow's vice
chair, said the group plans to raise
money for the Stabenow campaign

They will also use this fall's
football games as a campaign
opportunity, he said.
But College Republicans have
not yet had a meeting to organize
plans for the election.
College Democrats chair Libby
Benton says the group's ongoing
voter registration campaign is the
best way to make a difference in

Al-Jazeera airs
audiotape of Osama bin
Laden threating U.S.,
requesting truce
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Osama
bin Laden warned in an audiotape
aired yesterday that his fighters are
preparing new attacks in the Unit-

reportedly killed four leading al-
Qaida figures, possibly including
al-Zawahri's son-in-law.
There was no mention of that
attack in the tape, which Al-
Jazeera said was recorded in Janu-
ary. The network initially reported
it believed the tape was made in
December, but later corrected itself
on the air. Editors at the station
said they could not comment on

M. m

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