The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 20, 2006 - 3
Hippie to sell
clothing in Union
"Tye Dye Thom", a modern-day hip-
pie, will showcase a collection of hemp
clothing and accessories today from
10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the ground
floor of the Michigan Union. Items
on sale will include jewelry, sweaters,
draperies and posters.
Hellenic group to
host talent show
The Hellenic Student Association
will host its first annual talent show and
Tavli tournament today from 7 p.m. to
10 p.m. in the Michigan Union's Uni-
versity Club. The cost is free and any-
one is eligible to enter. Refreshments
will be provided.
Ensemble to play
The Arabic Music Ensemble will
present a concert in the Britton Recital
Hall of the E.V Moore building at 8
p.m. today. The show will feature tradi-
tional and contemporary Arabic music.
found in Herbert
H. Dow building
Racial slurs targeting students of
Asian descent were found at about 8:49
a.m. Wednesday on a door in the Her-
bert H. Dow building, the Department
of Public Safety reported.
Woman struck by
car in hit-and-run
A female victim sustained a minor
leg injury after being struck by a car at
about 8:57 p.m. Wednesday. The driver
promptly fled the scene.
on bench near
A trespasser was found sleep-
ing on a bench near the Chemistry
Building at about 3:53 a.m yesterday,
DPS reported. The suspect left the
area before police arrived.
In Daily History
January 20, 1979 - University offi-
cials are investigating Associate Housing
Director John Finn after the adminis-
tration discovered he was holding an
apartment reserved for underprivileged
students on North Campus last year.
The University officials reported that
a Northwood employee provided Finn,
who received his present title this month,
with a Hubbard Road apartment in the
early fall of 1977. Finn returned the key
to the apartment in October after Hous-
ing officials uncovered the transaction.
Finn, 36, admitted to having posses-
sion of the one-bedroom, $2,000-a-year
apartment at the time, but explained that
the University offers the residence rent-
free to underprivileged students until
they gain financial stability. He also
claimed the arrangement was made so
he could demonstrate a "model" apart-
ment for potential renters.
Housing Director Robert Hughes
described Finn's actions as a "mis-
Finn replied, "I'm not saying it
was right. But there were minority
students who were in a very critical
time and I helped them. I just showed
some oeoole a damn apartment and
Bill could strip board of ballot powers
demand the removal of two
LANSING (AP) - A state elections board
would lose much of its power under legislation
headed for the state Senate.
The proposal would shift responsibility for put-
ting ballot issues before Michigan voters from the
Board of State Canvassers to full-time secretary
of state staff. That would remove partisan politics
from the ballot proposal certification process, Sen.
Alan Cropsey (R-DeWitt), a lead sponsor of the
legislation, said yesterday.
The four-member Board of State Canvass-
ers has two Republicans and two Democrats.
The current Democratic members, Doyle
O'Connor and Paul Mitchell, have been criti-
cized for their handling of a ballot proposal
that would ban some affirmative action pro-
grams in Michigan.
Republicans have called for O'Connor and
Mitchell to resign from the board for refusing
to comply with a court order to place the issue
on the ballot. A resolution in the state House
calls for their removal from the board. Mitchell
and O'Connor face possible contempt charges
from the Michigan Court of Appeals, which
has decided the proposal will go to voters in
the November election.
"They refused to follow the law, and they
refused to follow a valid court order," Cropsey,
a former Board of State Canvassers member,
said in a statement announcing the legislation's
planned introduction. "They have demonstrat-
ed a decided intent to trash our laws, and even
Canvassers are scheduled to meet again
today. They are under court order to adopt
ballot wording for the anti-affirmative action
Canvassers also are scheduled to address the
form of a petition designed to back a proposed
ballot initiative that would eliminate the state
Senate, leaving Michigan with a one-chamber
Cropsey's legislation would leave canvassers
with the duty of certifying election results. But
the state Bureau of Elections would approve the
ballot petitions as to form and decide wheth-
er ballot questions have received an adequate
number of signatures to go before voters.
Some groups that have argued against cer-
tain ballot proposals say the canvassers pro-
vide a necessary step for organizations to
Liz Boyd, a spokeswoman for Democratic
Gov. Jennifer Granholm, said the administra-
tion would withhold reaction until it reviewed
Boyd previously has said any proposed
change to canvassers must have bipartisan sup-
port and include a mechanism to investigate
allegations of fraud when signatures are col-
lected. Those are factors that will be taken into
consideration while reviewing Cropsey's pro-
posal, Boyd said yesterday.
Messages were left seeking comment yesterday
with canvassers' chairwoman Katherine DeGrow,
an Eaton Rapids Republican, and O'Connor, the
board's vice chairman.
for A2 journalist
Study: College students
lack vital literacy skills
Kidnappers say reporter
will be killed if Iraqi
women not released
BAGHDAD (AP) - As a deadline
neared for hostage journalist Jill Carroll,
Muslim leaders and her pleading mother
appealed yesterday to kidnappers to
spare her life and set her free. Carrol
grew up in Ann Arbor.
Referring to demands from Carroll's
abductors that Iraqi women be released
from U.S. custody, a senior Iraqi official
said six jailed Iraqi women were due to
be freed by the U.S. military.
But the White House said no pris-
oner release appeared imminent, and a
major Sunni Arab clerical group said it
could do little to help because it did not
know who was holding the 28-year-old
The kidnappers - identified as the
previously unknown "Revenge Brigade"
- have set a deadline of tonight for all
Iraqi female detainees to be freed or they
will kill Carroll. However, Iraqi kidnap-
pers have often given such ultimatums
only to ignore them and continue hold-
New images showing Carroll sur-
rounded by three armed and masked
gunmen were aired yesterday by Al-
Jazeera television. The 20 seconds of
silent footage were from the same tape
as excerpts broadcast Tuesday announc-
ing the 72-hour deadline.
Carroll's mother said the video imag-
es gave her hope her daughter is alive but
also have "shaken us about her fate."
"I, her father and her sister are appeal-
ing directly to her captors to release this
young woman who has worked so hard
to show the sufferings of Iraqis to the
world;' Mary Beth Carroll told CNN's
Iraq's deputy justice minister, Busho
Ibrahim Ali, said six of the eight Iraqi
women in custody are expected to be
freed next week, but he stressed that any
release would "not be part of any swap
with any kidnappers."
"I insisted that the Americans
should bring (the women's) files and
release them and they will be freed
next week along with other detainees,"
Ali told Associated Press Television
News. He did not elaborate on who the
other detainees were, but said the rec-
ommendation to free the women was
Speculation that the Iraqi women
might soon be freed raised hopes for the
release of Carroll, a freelance journalist
who was working for the Christian Sci-
ence Monitor when she was seized Jan. 7
in Baghdad. Her translator was killed.
U.S. military officials repeatedly
refused yesterday to confirm whether
any release was imminent. In Washing-
ton, White House press secretary Scott
McClellan said the Bush administration
was working hard to secure Carroll's
freedom but said no Iraqi detainees were
expected to be released soon.
"Any time you have an American
held hostage, wherever they are, they
are a priority for the administration,"
McClellan said. "And we want to see
her safe return. As I indicated yesterday,
too, I don't think it's really helpful to go
beyond that at this point."
Carroll grew up in Ann Arbor, Mich.,
and received an undergraduate degree
in journalism in 1999 from the Univer-
sity of Massachusetts. She worked as a
reporting assistant for The Wall Street
Journal before moving to Jordan and
launching her freelance career in 2002,
learning Arabic along the way.
Her newspaper's Washington bureau
chief, David Cook, also urged the cap-
tors to contact the paper to discuss her
release. Cook would not say specifically
if the newspaper would pay ransom.
"I think our policy would be that we
would welcome contact from the cap-
tors," he told NBC. "Either the family
or the Monitor would be eager to talk to
Calls for Carroll's freedom were also
made by Muslim leaders in Iraq as well
as a team of U.S.-based Islamic advo-
cates traveling to the Middle East to
seek her release.
The Washington-based Council on
American-Islamic Relations flew to the
Jordanian capital, Amman, on Thursday
and scheduled a news conference Friday
in Baghdad. The group said it hopes to
reach Arab television audiences and per-
suade Carroll's captors to free her.
The Bloomfield Hills-based Islamic
Shura Council of Michigan, which rep-
resents about 20 Muslim groups in the
state, told the Detroit Free Press that
Carroll's kidnapping would not help
the Iraqi cause.
In Iraq, leaders of three prominent
Sunni Muslim groups demanded Car-
roll's release. Iraq's insurgency draws
the bulk of its support from the Sunni
Arab community, which lost power with
the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
"We condemn the abduction of jour-
nalists who are a means to convey the
truth to the people," said Muthana Harith
al-Dhari of the Association of Muslim
Scholars, which is believed to have ties
to some Sunni insurgent groups. Al-
Dhari said his group did not know who
was holding Carroll.
Many can't understand
credit card offers,
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearing a
diploma, most college students cannot
handle many complex but common tasks,
from understanding credit card offers to
comparing the cost per ounce of food.
Those are the sobering findings of a
study of literacy on college campuses,
the first to target the skills of students as
they approach the start of their careers.
More than 50 percent of students at
four-year schools and more than 75 per-
cent at two-year colleges lacked the skills
to perform complex literacy tasks.
That means they could not interpret a
table about exercise and blood pressure,
understand the arguments of newspaper
editorials, compare credit card offers
with different interest rates and annual
fees or summarize results of a survey
about parental involvement in school.
The results cut across three types
of literacy: analyzing news stories and
other prose, understanding documents
and having math skills needed for
checkbooks or restaurant tips.
"It is kind of disturbing that a lot of
folks are graduating with a degree and
they're not going to be able to do those
things," said Stephane Baldi, the study's
director at the American Institutes for
Research, a behavioral and social sci-
ence research organization.
Most students at community colleges
and four-year schools showed interme-
diate skills, meaning they could perform
of the National Center for Public Policy
and Higher Education, an independent
and nonpartisan group.
"This sends a message that we
should be monitoring this as a nation,
ing tasks. Examples
a location on a map,
calculating the cost
of ordering office
supplies or consult-
ing a reference guide
to figure out which
foods contain a par-
There was bright-
Overall, the aver-
age literacy of college
students is signifi-
"States have no
idea about the
skills of their
- Joni Finney
National Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education
and we don't do
it," Finney said.
"States have no
idea about the
skills of their
lege and uni-
nearing the end
of their degree
cantly higher than that of adults across
the nation. Study leaders said that was
encouraging but not surprising, given
that the spectrum of adults includes
those with much less education.
Also, compared with all adults with
similar levels of education, college stu-
dents had superior skills in searching
and using information from texts and
"But do they do well enough for
a highly educated population? For a
knowledge-based economy? The answer
is no," said Joni Finney, vice president
the worst on matters involving math,
according to the study.
Almost 20 percent of students pur-
suing four-year degrees had only basic
quantitative skills. For example, the stu-
dents could not estimate if their car had
enough gas to get to the service station.
About 30 percent of two-year students.
had only basic math skills.
Baldi and Finney said the survey
should be used as a tool. They hope
state leaders, educators and univer-
sity trustees will examine the rigor of
courses required of all students.
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