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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXVI, No. 61
62006 The Michigan Daily
ousted from groups
Michigamua's controversial past
Say they are trying to bring
diversity to controversial group
By Gabe Nelson
Daily Staff Reporter
S Three members of this year's Michigamua class
have been ousted from progressive campus groups
after their membership in the society was made pub-
lic last year.
The three members - Business senior Neal Pan-
choli, RC senior Sam Woll and LSA senior Brian
Hull - were forced to quit the student organizations
they were involved in.
The society, which for years used Native Ameri-
can artifacts, names and rituals, carries a stigma.
Many tapped students turn Michigamua down
because of its controversial history.
But the society, which only began admitting
women to the class of 2000, has recently tapped
an increasingly diverse membership. The society's
newfound diversity is reflected in its members' races,
genders and political viewpoints, current members
"Michigamua aspires to be every bit as progres-
sive and innovative as the world-class university it
serves," said member Dennis Lee, an Engineering
senior and drum major of the Michigan Marching
When Pancholi's membership became public last
April, the South Asian Awareness Network decided
he should no longer be affiliated with the group. Up
until then, Pancholi had served as co-chair.
"Officially, I resigned, but it was more like a
forced resignation," Pancholi said.
SAAN refused comment, but according to Pan-
choli, the group thought it would be hypocritical to
have one of its chairs in the divisive society.
In a statement to the Daily, Pancholi wrote he
does not think Michigamua and SAAN have irrec-
"Our biggest goals, as members of an organiza-
tion and of our communities, are to introduce ideas
to each other, to engage in dialogue, to challenge
each other, to question each other, and ultimately, to
grow," Pancholi wrote.
Two campus groups forced out Woll, who
describes herself as a social justice activist. When
the Coalition to Cut the Contract With Coca-Cola
discovered her membership in early December, it
barred her from helping with fundraising or net-
"We came to a consensus that we no longer want
her to be involved in the coalition and we do not want
anything to do with leaders that view Michigamua
as a legitimate organization," LSA senior Jayanthi
Reddy wrote in an internal e-mail to the coalition.
"We condemn Michigamua's racist history and their
lack of transparency."
Both Hull and Woll were asked by Students Sup-
porting Affirmative Action to stop attending its
meetings shortly after their membership in Mich-
See MICHIGAMUA, page 7
Michigamua's history is full of famous
alumni and campus unrest.
The society says its purpose is to
bring together campus leaders to pro-
vide anonymous service to the Univer-
sity by advocating, volunteering and
"Michigamua brings corners of the
University together through its mem-
bers' leadership and allows student lead-
ers to connect on an intense level that is
otherwise hard to find on campus," said
Peter Vanderkaay, Michigamua member
and Olympic swimming gold medalist.
But because it once used Native
American imagery, the organization
has been a topic of debate and contro-
versy at the University for years.
The debate came to a head in 2000
when the Students of Color Coalition
invaded the society's space in the
Michigan Union's tower. The SCC hung
Native American artifacts they'd found in
the tower out of the window to expose
Michigamua's alleged use of them in its
ceremonies. Michigamua claims the arti-
facts were in storage and had been out of
use since 1989.
Although Michigamua says it has
changed its racist ways, a stigma is still
follows it on campus.
Five students presented an exhibit
called "Michigamua Exposed" in the
Michigan League last month.
The exhibit featured black-and-white
photographs of old Michigamua class-
es clad in body paint and stereotypical
Native American costumes as well as
the Facebook.com profiles of several
Many feel the sins of Michigamua's
past cannot be repented for.
"In an information age, it is not sur-
prising that there are some students on
campus who are angry and afraid of an
organization whose progression from its
history to its current day has been so hotly
contested in the public arena," said Erin
Taylor, Michigamua member and former
president of the Pan-Hellenic Council.
Michigamua was created in 1902 with
the cooperation of then-University Presi-
dent James Angell as an honor society for
outstanding student leaders. The soci-
ety counts former President Gerald Ford,
playwright Arthur Miller and Michigan
football coach Bo Schembechler among
its long list of influential members.
Giant statue of
football goes missing
Police searching for huge
football statue stolen from in
front of Buffalo Wild Wings
By Jeremy Davidson
Daily Staff Reporter
Missing: Fiberglass statue, 5-foot tall, last
seen in front of Buffalo Wild Wings on State
Street, answers to the name "pigskin."
The giant football statue, worth about $2,300,
was reported stolen on Monday morning.
The ball is one of a series of 12 around town
called Pigskins on Parade, part of Ann Arbor's
Super City Celebration for Super Bowl XL.
Police said they have no suspects in the theft,
but are encouraging anyone who has informa-
tion regarding the whereabouts of the football
to contact the police's tip line at 996-3199.
Police also have established two points
where anyone can drop off the statue - no
questions asked. The first drop point is the
Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, located
at 120 W. Huron. The other drop point is the
University's Office of Greek Life, which Ann
Arbor Police Department detectives said they
contacted because of the possibility that a fra-
ternity was involved in the theft.
The office agreed to contact people on its
various e-mail lists and allow the statue to be
dropped off at their office to be turned over to
The footballs are the property of the city of
Ann Arbor, but detectives said they are more
interested in recovering the statue than pun-
ishing the culprits.
"This is an all-out effort to have the pigskin
returned to its proper location," Avery said.
Ann Arbor was selected to be a "super city"
by the Detroit Local Host Committee - the
organization coordinating arrangements for
Super Bowl XL, which is Feb. 5 in Detroit.
Super cities are sites for increased hospitality
Terry Collingsworth, an attorney representing Coca-Cola bottling workers from Columbia, poses in front of a Coca-Cola machine.
Collingsworth spoke at an event yesterday at the Michigan Theater.
For student activists, fight
agaist Coke con tnues
One of12 painted footballs in Ann Arbor stands on the
comer of East University and South University avenues.
and football specific activities during the bowl
Last fall, about 30 artists submitted propos-
als to decorate a large statue of a football.
After the proposals were submitted, 12
local organizations agreed to either sponsor a
design or work with an artist of their choice to
develop a design.
The footballs will be displayed until this
July, when they will be auctioned off. Pro-
ceeds from the auction will benefit the Ann
Arbor Area Community Foundation's arts
attorney, coalition leaders
speak at Michigan Theater
By Jeremy Davidson
Daily Staff Reporter
The contracts have been cut, but for stu-
dent activists at the University, the fight is
far from over.
It has been nearly a month since the Univer-
sity suspended its contracts with the Coca-Cola
Company, but some students are not yet satis-
fied - a fact that was apparent at a presenta-
U tion by the Campaign to Cut the Contracts with
Coca-Cola at the Michigan Theater last night.
"The students of this campaign stand in soli-
darity with the workers in Colombia," said RC
senior Clara Hardie, a coalition member. "We
will not stop until they tell us to stop."
The student activist campaign is part of
a two-sided initiative aimed at producing
reforms from Coke, which has been accused
of human rights violations in Asia and South
Terry Collingsworth, an attorney represent-
ing Colombian union workers who have filed a
lawsuit against a Coca-Cola bottling company,
is leading the other side of the attack. He spoke
yesterday at the presentation.
Collingsworth's clients are members of
SINALTRAINAL, the third-largest union in
Collingsworth's clients have accused the two
primary Colombian bottling companies with
which Coca-Cola does business of employing
paramilitaries to break up unions.
One of the primary examples of the para-
military activity the clients claim the com-
pany condones is the murder of a union leader
named Isidro Gil.
Gil, who worked as a guard at a Coke
bottling plant, was murdered by members
of the paramilitary group AUC inside the
bottling plant in 1996. Luis Adelfo, one of
Collingsworth's clients and a member of SIN-
ALTRAINAL, witnessed the murder of his
friend and co-worker.
Adelfo, who has spoken at the University
on two occasions, said that Gil was warned by
AUC that his involvement with the Union put
him at risk.
See COKE, page 7
Student gov't scours
campus for unlit areas
SIEV E ,I A I iy
RC senior Clara Hardie speaks at a Coke
Coalition event yesterday.
Some members criticize walk
as ineffective, unnecessary;
inclement weather spoils trek
to North Campus
By Dylan Saunders
For The Daily
How many Michigan Student Assembly rep-
resentatives does it take to determine if a light
bulb is screwed in?
Almost all of them.
After last night's MSA's meeting, Tyler
Flood, co-chair of MSA's Campus Improve-
ment Commission, led the assembly on a walk
arond Central Camnus to determine which
a problem and that students are concerned."
MSA representatives say problems with the
blue emergency phones located around cam-
pus pose another safety concern.
"A lot of them aren't working and they aren't
where they should be," said MSA Rep. Perry
One representative questioned the value of
the walk, which lasted about 15 minutes.
"It's pointless," said Ari Liner, former Cam-
pus Safety Commission chair. "It's not going
to be solved by a few of us walking around the
campus. It's about whether the (Department
of Public Safety) will fund areas that need
Liner said he brought police officers with him
on previous walk and took the results to DPS.
"Nothina ever came of it" Liner said "It
MSA party admits survey mistakes