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February 08, 2006 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-08

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Wednesday, February 8, 2006


I(I7R C {A'kNC)

m r _ _

News 2 Motive for church
fires unknown

Opinion 4

From the Daily:
New financial aid
form hurts students

One-hundredfifteen years of ed orzadfreedom



Arts 8 Belle and Sebastian
find new sound on
latest release


www.michigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 71 ©2006 The Michigan Daily




of racism
Group says University lures black
students in an effort to boost statistics,
then fails to give them adequate
* support to succeed
By Kelly Fraser
Daily Staff Reporter
A new campus coalition is charging the University with
racism and discrimination against blacks.
The group, called the Coalition for Action Against Rac-
ism and Discrimination, filed a formal complaint with the
United States Department of Education's Office of Civil
Rights last week.
In the coalition's statement to OCR, Engineering master's
student Simeon Anderson, who authored the statement, said
black students are often recruited into doctorate programs
to boost minority enrollment statistics, but encounter dis-
crimination after they are persuaded to sign on.
He claims black students are frequently intimidated by
faculty and administrators, who discourage them from
completing their degrees.
The coalition claims professors often tell black students
in the graduate engineering program that they're not "Ph.
D. material" and should leave after completing master's-
level requirements.
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said she could
not comment on individual students' situations because of
federal privacy laws, but she said the University has not yet
received a formal notification of the charges.
"The University is committed to increasing the par-
ticipation of women and minorities in our graduate pro-
grams, and we work very hard to remove barriers for these
students, who remain underrepresented in many areas of
graduate study," Peterson said in an e-mail interview.
The 13-member coalition formed over the past two
months. Members come from all levels at the University,
including undergraduates, graduate students and profes-
sors, Anderson said.
Anderson said the problems are most serious in the Col-
lege of Engineering.
He said the common experiences of racial discrimina-
tion within the group are not a coincidence.
"This is a full assault on the African-American com-
munity," he said.
In the complaint, the coalition says the University's admis-
sions policy creates a false impression and serves as "a veil for
the University behind which the racism cesspool thrives."
"It is not uncommon for students of color to experience
misguidance in graduate programs," the coalition said.
" "We are often intentionally misinformed, misled and given
promises which are unfulfilled."
According to Anderson, five students have completed a
formal complaint with the OCR, and as many as 12 are
expected to follow suit.
The OCR is in the process of reviewing the complaint
and is expected to decide whether it will launch an investi-
gation into the allegations within the next 30 days, spokes-
man David Thomas said.
Thomas said if the claims are accepted, the specifics of
each case will determine the course of the investigation.
Anderson said he first voiced his concern to the Univer-
sity administration in 2004, roughly two weeks after he
enrolled in a graduate program at the Collegeof Engineer-
ing, where he says he was misled and harassed.
He said he was referred to several of the University's
conflict resolution services and offices as well as to interim
Engineering Dean Ronald Gibala, but Anderson said he
either received no response to his complaints or found the
response insufficient.
"They don't do anything," Anderson said.
Peterson said University President Mary Sue Coleman
responded to three students's complaints in a personal let-
ter dated Jan. 17.
See COMPLAINT, page 7

of plan
Decentralization of University
wireless coverage stems from
Bollinger's presidency
By Michael Kan
Daily Staff Reporter
Part of the answer to the question of why the campus does
not have an overarching wireless network dates back to for-
mer University President Lee Bollinger.
According to Information Studies Prof. Robert Frost, the
University is still reeling from Bollinger's lack of core lead-
ership to establish wireless coverage on campus. As a result,
each school at the University is working independently to
develop its own wireless system.
Frost criticized Bollinger, who could not be reached for
comment, for ignoring wireless coverage.
"He looked at the leadership as a trophy job and nothing
got done," said Information Studies Prof. Robert Frost, who
remembers Bollinger as a "spineless jerk."
Administrators acknowledge that the deployment of wire-
less across the campus is decentralized, but Frost called the
system a complete mess.
"It's going to take a lot of meetings and just general bullshit
to get this done right," Frost said. "There was complete inco-
herence in how things got rolled out."
Within each University college is an information technol-
ogy service center that directs the implementation of wireless
at the school.
Under the Bollinger administration, the University attempt-
ed to lead this federation of IT services to gradually coordinate

the development of a campus-wide
wireless network, said Jose-Marie
Griffiths, chief information officer for
the University from 1996 to 2001.
Griffiths's strategy was to form part-
nerships and to collaborate between
the IT services at the different schools
to design a road map for wireless net-
work deployment.

Second in a
three-part series
about wireless
coverage at the

LSA senior Charles Crissman was one of 11 students nationwide to win the Churchill Scholarship for outstanding
academic accomplishment. The scholarship will send him to study mathematics at Cambridge University for one year.
Student nabs prestgoo.us
scholarship to study mt

LSA Senior Charles
Crissman's interests do
not end with math
By Carissa Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
When he was a high school student in
Midland, LSA senior Charles Crissman
hated math. But if his recent recognition
as a Churchill scholar is any indication,
his distaste for of numbers and equa-
tions is a thing of the past.
Crissman was one of 11 American
students awarded the elite Winston
Churchill Foundation Scholarship for

this year.
When he graduates this spring with
degrees in math, linguistics and Italian,
the scholarship will send Crissman to
the University of Cambridge, where he
will spend the next year studying math-
"(Crissman) has an academic breadth
that most applicants don't have. It's not
required, but it appeals to us," said Elle-
anor Crown, a scholarship coordinator
of the LSA Honors program. "If I had
to create a Churchill candidate out of
whole cloth, he would be about what I'd
come up with."
The scholarship is based on an appli-
cant's academic record, score on the

Graduate Record Examination and let-
ters of recommendation. With a GRE
score of 1540 out of a possible 1600 and
a 3.98 grade point average, Crissman
more than met the criteria, Crown said.
Although he said he felt his chances
were good, he never actually expected
the January phone call that informed
him that he had won the scholarship.
"I don't know if I've absorbed the fact
I am going yet, he said.
When he came to the University,
Crissman thought he wanted to major in
biochemistry and attend medical school.
But by his sophomore year, Crissman
realized what truly inspired him: math.
See MATH, page 7

"We wanted to a build a coherent way to do this, rather
than leave the smaller units behind. LSA's resources were
very stretched," Griffiths said. "It was very difficult to see how
LSA could do it on its own."
Griffiths, who currently serves as the dean of the Univer-
sity of North Carolina's school of information, said the first
attempts began in the summer of 2000 with a pilot program at
the Law School to install an extensive wireless network.
A success, the pilot program essentially helped lay the foun-
dations to create a campus-wide wireless network, Griffith said.
A campus-wide network has yet to be achieved, but accord-
ing to information technology administrators, collaboration
continues successfully today.
"Experts from across campus came together to set
technical standards and prototype implementations; they
continue to refine standards as technology changes,"
said Michael McPherson, former director of LSA's informa-
tion technology program. "Schools, colleges and business
units are deploying wireless access points to best meet their
needs and priorities."
But Frost said the University's fragmented approach has
resulted in a lack of coherence.
In the past, this has caused wireless networks from differ-
ent schools to collide and interfere with each other.
Also, in the absence of one overarching University wireless
network, users have to re-authenticate or re-access a different
wireless network each time they move to a new part of cam-
pus that is part of another school.
See WIRELESS, page 7

Victims turn out to
. be felons in robberies


Suspects face felony
charges for filing false reports,
attempting to dupe police
By Anne VanderMey
Daily News Editor
Two armed robberies last month may still
result in felony charges, but the robbers won't
be the ones prosecuted, police said.
In what Sgt. Richard Kinsey of the Ann Arbor
Police Department describes as a "weird coinci-
dence;' two robberies near campus on Saturday,
Jan.24 were both determined to be fakes.
The alleged robberies, which occurred with-
in two hours of each other, have been investi-

and forced to surrender his shoes, coat and $50.
Kinsey said the student most likely faked the
incident to garner sympathy from a friend.
The incident on South Forest Street was
not completely fabricated, police said. Using
witness accounts, police established that the
alleged victim, a cab driver for Shamrock Cabs,
paid three men to push his car out of a ditch.
The driver gave them $200. The men tried to
push the car out of the ditch, failed and got into
an argument with the driver. The driver asked
for the money back, and the men responded by
hitting him in the face. The driver claimed he
was struck with a black handgun, but police
now believe no gun was involved.
Kinsey said despite the harsh penalties for
offenders, faking a crime is not an very rare

to monitor
Wary of repeating last fall's
Ludacris debacle, assembly
increases oversight
By Andrew Grossman
For the Daily
In the wake of a widely criticized
$20,000 loss on last fall's Ludacris con-
cert, the Michigan Student Assembly has
taken a step toward preventing similar
losses in the future.
MSA created the Event Financial Review

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