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One-hundredfifteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.mc/ingandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 53 02006 The Michigan Daily
Dispute in Detroit
An MTV cameraman trails Susan Kennedy, a student at Ann Arbor's Community High
School, who wants to get "Made" into a belly dancer.
vle to 'Made
Grand Valley State University student Allison Kranz testifies during a hearing about alleged fraud concerning the ballot proposal that
would ban some affirmative action programs yesterday night in Detroit.
Resi en sues ion 1 iL
Men is let
Witnesses say MCRI lied
to them; commission to
hold more testimonies
By Christina Hildreth
Daily Staff Reporter
DETROIT - The affirmative action saga
continued in downtown Detroit last night as the
Michigan Civil Rights Commission held the first
of several hearings to investigate allegations that
circulators collecting signatures for the Michigan
Civil Rights Initiative deceived petition signers.
MCRI, which has collected more than 500,000
signatures to place an initiative on November's
ballot that would ban some affirmative action
programs in Michigan, has vehemently denied
all fraud charges.
But Detroiters showed up by the dozens last
night to tell tales of alleged fraud.
"I'm here tonight to represent myself
saying 'Take my signature off,' " said Lynn
White, a Detroit resident and member of a
city workers' union.
White said a canvasser working for MCRI
told him the petition was in support of affirma-
tive action. MCRI purposefully employed black
circulators to collect signatures so they could be
used "as a smoke screen to bamboozle us to sign
it" he said.
"Who in their right mind - being black -
would sign that petition?" White said.
The members of the commission questioned
several witnesses brought in by BAMN - a mil-
itant group in opposition to the measure - in an
effort to iron out the details of the alleged fraud,
asking them to clarify what circulators told them
about the initiative and what they understood
those descriptions to mean.
What the commission will do with the testi-
mony is unclear at the moment, said commission
spokesman Harold Core.
"Right now they are just listening," Core said.
Under Michigan's constitution, the commis-
sion has a duty to "carry out the guarantees
Core explained that the group acts as a quasi-
judicial body, and can issue orders similar to a
judge, or make recommendations to another
body such as the Michigan Supreme Court.
Although more than 300 people spilled into
MTV reality show that
revamps teenagers lives
descends on area schools
By Kimberly Chou
Daily Arts Writer
Ann Arbor Community High School's
Ellen Griffith wants to be made.
She's determined to endure grueling
workouts, stick with 1,400-calorie diets
and, if MTV is willing to pay for it, have
the toned torso of Gisele Biindchen in five
television-documented months or less.
"I want the body of a Victoria's Secret
model," the bubbly-blond junior said dur-
ing an open casting call for MTV's reality
show "Made," held during lunch hour at the
alternative high school.
Griffith's situation is a variation on the
typical classroom fodder the show's viewers
have come to expect - the "Dungeons and
Dragons"-loving mathlete who's coached to
beauty-queen perfection or the 40-pounds-
overweight trumpet player who drops the
weight and runs for class office.
"Made" has become this generation's
after-school special. Airing every Mon-
day at 4:30 p.m., each episode follows a
different makeover candidate. Dictato-
rial coaches, physical injuries, high school
crushes and frustrated tears make frequent
appearances. Billed as more than a make-
over show, MTV's website describes each
subject's process as "a mission to transform
his or her life."
Griffith was one of several CHS students
who filled out applications and interviewed
with MTV representatives for a chance to
realize their aspirations on national televi-
Other applicants included Laura Leach, a
sophomore who wants to design clothing for
patients with different ostomies, holes creat-
ed in surgery for excretemeny, and Katrina
Ardan, a junior who aims to be a slam poet.
MTV also held open interviews at Dex-
ter High School Monday and at Huron High
School yesterday afternoon.
The network asked that Pioneer High
School host an open casting session, but the
administration declined the invitation, spark-
ing rumors about the school's decision.
"They simply had no space," said Liz
Margolis, communications director for Ann
Arbor Public Schools. "The small theater
was booked, the big theater was booked -
there was no room in the cafeteria and none
of the classrooms were big enough."
Pioneer Principal Louis Young did not
return phone calls asking for comment. Pio-
neer students were allowed to go to Huron
See MADE, Page 7A
Shanta Driver, National BAMN Co-Chair,
describes how workers collecting signa-
tures for MCRI were duped.
the hall at the Cadillac Place where the hearing
was held, not a single reprgsentative of MCRI
MCRI executive director Jennifer Gratz
released a statement prior to the event calling the
hearing "a kangaroo court," saying the commis-
sion was merely providing BAMN "a stage upon
which to conduct its ridiculous political theater."
The release included a statement from MCRI to
See BALLOT, Page 7A
Swim community reminisces
on Eric Namesnik, who died
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
Eric Namesnik, former Michigan swim-
mer, assistant coach and two-time Olympic
silver medalist, died at 10:11 a.m. yesterday
morning at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in
Superior Township from injuries sustained in
a serious car accident last week.
"Snik," as Namesnik was affectionately
called, was 35.
"There's something special Snik had," said
retired Michigan head coach Jon Urbanchek,
Namesnik's mentor and close friend. "He set
the bar of excellence. Excellence in the pool,
excellence in the classroom, excellence in
community service, excellence in the way he
handled himself. He put the bar up there. It
doesn't matter who you talk to. That's exactly
what they say."
Namesnik was hospitalized with two punc-
tured lungs and head injuries after his car slid
on black ice and collided with an oncoming
car. He remained in critical condition in a
drug-induced coma - intended to relieve
pressure from bleeding in the brain - for
more than three days following the crash. At
his teaching certificate, Namesnik served as
the team's volunteer assistant coach while he
swam for Club Wolverine, Michigan's post-
graduate and professional training program.
When he retired from competition follow-
ing the 1996 Olympics, he became a regular
assistant on Urbanchek's staff. He served for
three years as an associate head coach until
he left the program following Urbanchek's
retirement after the 2003-04 season.
"He had a real good sense of humor;'
Urbanchek said. "I think sometimes that's a
real good X-factor
in coaching. It's not
all the X's and 0's.
It's the interpersonal
other people. I think
that's where he had
an edge over every-
Even after cur-
rent Michigan coach Namesnik
Bob Bowman took
the reins, Namesnik continued his involve-
ment with swimming in Ann Arbor. He was
in his second year as both the head coach of
the Wolverine Aquatics Club and a volunteer
assistant with the Eastern Michigan men's
swimming team at the time of the accident.
Former Michigan captain Dan Ketchum
said he will remember Namesnik as more of
for vote on
Vote for housing
ordinance slated for
sometime in March
By Kelly Fraser
Daily Staff Reporter
COURTESY OF ALTER GOLDSTEIN
LSA Senior Ruby Robinson and Sari Beliak from Arizona State University clean debris
from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans over winter break.
Students find unreal
scene in Ne w Orleans
The Ann Arbor City Council may vote on a
proposal to move back lease signing dates for
The Michigan Student Assembly neared the
end of its quest to create later lease-singing dates
last night when the City Council Relations Com-
mittee, an advisory group composed of members
from the MSA and the council, began outlining
its plan to move to a vote.
The first step is scheduled for Jan. 30, when
the committee will host an open-forum style
public hearing between landlords and students.
The hearing will open with a short statement
from both landlord and student representatives
and end with public comments.
Several MSA representatives on the commit-
On humanitarian trip to
hurricane-torn city, students
rebuild homes, synagogues
By Carissa Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
New Orleans's Bellaire Drive looks
like set from a Hollywood disaster movie,
according to a group of students who trav-
eled to the city earlier this month.
School buses sit unattended in lawns or
lodged into the sides of buildings. Homes
rest in the middle of the street.
For residents on this street and many
others in the ravaged city the devastatin
lived in these places and went about their
Various universities nationwide, includ-
ing Northwestern University and Har-
vard University, sent student volunteers
to repair and rebuild homes, schools and
The University of Michigan sent about
10 students, led by Chabad House's Rabbi
Alter Goldstein. For five days, they worked
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. moving furniture,
clearing debris and removing flood-soaked
carpet and drywall.
They built the first Habitat for Human-
ity home for New Orleans Katrina victims,
Most of the areas they visited were