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March 23, 2006 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-03-23

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Opinion 4A

Chris Zbrozek: Treat
mental illness fairly

Arts 5A Creative arts
orchestra hits
Rackham

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One-hundred-sxteen years of editorafreedom

Sports 8A

Cagers advance to NIT
semi-finals in New York

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Vol. CXVI, No. 97

62006 The Michigan Daily

*

Junior pleads guilty
to throwing beer

On trial for allegedly urinating on
couple in an ethnically motivated
incident last fall, defendant was not
charged with ethnic intimidation
By Drew Philp
Daily Staff Reporter
LSA junior Stephen Williamson pled guilty Tuesday to
two counts of assault and battery for "tossing a beer off
a balcony and splashing people below," Wilson's attorney
Joseph Simon said.
Williamson was on trial for an alleged ethnically moti-
vated incident last September.
In exchange for his guilty plea, additional charges of
being a disorderly person and indecent exposure will
likely be dropped at his sentencing on May 4, said Steve
Hiller, Washtenaw County deputy chief assistant prosecu-
tor.
Williamson was accused of shouting ethnic slurs and
urinating off his balcony on an Asian couple who were
walking by in September.
"(Williamson has) always maintained he has never
urinated on anyone, and in particular never took action
against anyone for their ethnic background," Simon said.
Williamson asked to be sentenced under the Holmes
Youthful Trainee Act and will likely receive probation.

The Holmes Act applies to 17- to 20-year-olds and stip-
ulates that if a lawbreaker successfully completes the
sentence given, the conviction will be expunged from
permanent record.
Hiller said the court would likely agree to use the Hol-
mes Act. Neither Hiller nor Simon could comment on
the specifics of the case - including the results of tests
meant to determine if there was urine on the victim's shirt
- because of the ongoing court process.
Williamson declined to comment because the case is
still pending
News of the alleged incident last fall touched off a
debate about how welcoming the University climate is for
minorities.
Stephanie Kao, co-chair of the United Asian Ameri-
can Organization, said the group has not been focusing its
time and energy on the case directly, but on improving the
climate around campus for minority students.
"This incident highlighted to administrators that the
climate (on campus) is not ideal, and students of color
deal with a lot more issues than we should to go to this
university," she said.
Since the incident, the University administration has
implemented a hotline for reporting hate crimes and has
held town hall meetings to discuss problems facing the
Asian communities.
This semester, the University is also launching the
"Expect Respect" campaign that aims to educate students
about bias and hate.

MSA election tactics
go from bad to worse

BEN SIMON/Daily
University President Mary Sue Coleman discusses health care in the United States In a public forum at the
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library yesterday.
Coleman, others call for
universal health care

Sporting a sling,
U' president
promots health
care reform
By Andrew Grossman
Daily Staff Reporter
When University President
Mary Sue Coleman's treadmill
unexpectedly sped up during a
recent workout session, Coleman
didn't. The accident resulted in a
cracked arm, which sent her to
the University Hospital for treat-
ment. Doctors placed Coleman's
arm in a maize-and-blue sling,
emblazoned with a block "M."
The availability of health care,
like the treatment Coleman has
received for her arm, was the
topic of a forum she hosted at

the Gerald R. Ford Presidential
Library last night.
The University held the forum
in conjunction with the Citizens'
Health Care Working Group,
which is hosting town hall meet-
ings around the country in- an
attempt to take the nation's pulse
on the issue and come up with
a remedy for the system's ail-
ments.
The group will make recom-
mendations to Congress this fall.
The forum was broadcast
to audiences at 22 universities
across the country. The schools
held discussions of their own.
Other participants viewed it over
the Internet and participated via
e-mail.
Since 1960, government health
care spending has skyrocketed.
The United States spent $6,300

per person on health care in
2004; that figure is expected to
exceed $10,000 within 10 years.
Nearly 46 million Americans are
currently without health insur-
ance.
Most Americans believe the
health care system is either in a
state of crisis or has major prob-
lems, said School of Public Health
Prof. Catherine McLaughlin, a
Working Group member.
Last night, forum attend-
ees and participants across the
nation expressed their support for
universal health care - an idea
Coleman actively supports - but
agreed on little else.
"If health care is a right, a
human right, then we don't need
to talk about eliminating some
people or targeting some people,"
See HEALTH, page 7A

Parties try to spam,
spin and accuse their
way to victory in
contentious election
By Dave Mekelburg
Daily Staff Reporter
If a Michigan Student Assembly party
slings mud in the forest and no one is around,
does it still make a noise?
This year's hotly contested MSA elec-
tions, which concluded last night at 11:59
p.m., have been marked with flying accusa-
tions and controversy:
No party ran a campaign that didn't take
at least one shot at another party. Eric Li, Stu-
dents 4 Michigan representative candidate,
accused Joe Golden, Michigan Progressive
Party's LSA Student Government presiden-
tial nominee, of ripping down Li's fliers in
South Quadrangle Residence Hall last week.
When Golden was found guilty of the
election code violation, MPP responded
by filing claims against the MSA Election
Board's decision accusing the committee of
being biased in favor of S4M.
Tensions escalated again Tuesday night
when MSA members filed charges against
Tim Hull, a MSA representative candidate
for the Student Conservative Party, for
spamming thousands of students, professors,
GSIs and alumni with a campaign message.

Every party, save the Defend Affirmative
Action Party, has sent mass e-mails to stu-
dents on campus.
MPP even spammed students informing
them how to stop S4M's spamming - by
voting for MPP.
Controversy surrounding the Ludac-
ris concert last November epitomizes the
cold demeanor with which parties have
approached this election. MPP and SCP
formed in the wake of the debacle, which cost
MSA $20,000. Both MPP and SCP's plat-
forms deal with flaws in the S4M-dominated
assembly the concert allegedly exposed.
In one of the campaign's more contro-
versial moments, four students, including
current S4M representatives Arielle Linsky
and Alana Kuhn, sent an e-mail to Jewish
students that said MPP had only one Jewish
student among its 16 MSA candidates.
The e-mail also cited MPP presidential can-
didate Rese Fox's abstaining vote on last year's
Israeli divestment resolution as evidence that
MPP would not represent Jewish interests.
In response, Jonathan Goldberg, a former
vice-chair of the Hillel Governing Board
and former chair of American Movement
for Israel, sent an e-mail calling the allega-
tions against MPP "blatant fabrications" and
encouraging Jewish students to examine the
candidates' positions.
Last night, with only minutes until polls
closed, parties were continuing their blitzes.
S4M said MPP erased their chalkings.

Voting Results
i Polls for this year's Michigan
Student Assembly elections
closed at 11:59 p.m. yesterday
Election officials expect to
release the results sometime
tomorrow afternoon, pending
certification by the MSA Elec-
tion Board
Check michigandaily.com
throughout the day for results
MPP accused S4M of trying to overload and
shut down theirs and SCP's websites. The
list of allegations is too long to print.
Even when asked why this election was so
intense and negative, neither side was able to
concede to political neutrality,.
"The reason it got so dirty is (MPP) start-
ed lying about Ludacris and lying about our
candidates record," said S4M Communica-
tions Director Peter Borock. "They were
making unfounded attacks, and we were left
no choice but to respond."
Walter Nowinski, MPP's vice presidential
candidate, had a different interpretation.
"S4M is worried that our base is much
wider, so they're trying to drive down turn-
out because they believe their base is more
solid," Nowinski said.

A2 deemed paradise
. for vegetarians

ABOVE

AND BEYOND

'Children of
Uganda' to grace
Power Center

'U' gives city boost on
a PETA list crowded with
college towns
By Caitlin Brody
and Shruti Saran
For the Daily
Ann Arbor is a good place to live if you
don't eat meat.
In a survey released last week by People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the city was
ranked among the top 10 vegetarian-friendly
small cities in the country. This ranking was
based on an examination of the vegetarian
options available in the city, including those

tes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, asthma and
allergies.
Ann Arbor restaurants such as Seva,
Amer's, Mysore Woodlands and Earthen
Jar provide students and residents with veg-
etarian and vegan options. Seva, an entirely
vegetarian and half-vegan restaurant locat-
ed on East Liberty Street, serves entrees
like yam fries and enchiladas.
Campus restaurants aren't the only places
where vegetarian and vegan students can eat.
Residential dining halls offer a variety of
vegan entrees. The World Harvest Bar at each
dining hall allows students to select vegetarian
options from around the globe. Vegetarian and
vegan selections are labeled in the dining halls
and on University Housing's website.

Funds raised from
performance will support
more than 750 children
By Meryl Schwartz
For the Daily
Students with bleak mental
images of a Uganda ravaged by
civil war and the AIDS epidemic
are in for a shock.
Those who attend the "Children
of Uganda" performance today at
7 p.m. in the Power Center will

impressive as the show itself.
The dire circumstances in
Uganda and especially those of
the country's children led former
banker Alexis Hefley to establish
the Ugandan Children's Charity
Foundation in 1995. Since then,
the foundation has grown to spon-
sor more than 750 children, pro-
viding support for two orphanages
in Kampala, relief for children of
HIV-positive mothers and scholar-
ship opportunities for education
abroad.
In 1996, under the artistic direc-

ii ~ I

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