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April 06, 2006 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-04-06

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Thursday, April 6, 2006
Opinion 4A Andrew Perrine's
university in France
is on strike
Arts 7A Boys of Baraka' offers
no easy answers


I Sports 8A

Blue stomps on
Chippewas 19-4

One-hundred-sixteen years of editorialfreedom

www.mchirandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 107 ©2006 The Michigan Daily

. with MCRI
. director


Gratz tries to dispell
misconceptions she
believes surround
By Andrew Grossman
Daily Staff Reporter
Activists from across the
political spectrum came to hear
Jennifer Gratz, executive direc-
tor of the Michigan Civil Rights
Initiative, speak last night in
Palmer Commons about the
group's ballot initiative.
MCRI is a ballot proposal
that, if approved by voters in
November, would ban some
affirmative action programs in
The attendees' demeanors
were as diverse as their politi-
cal views.
Members of the University's
chapter of College Republicans,
which sponsored the event, sat
in the front row of the auditori-
um, listening to Gratz's speech
without uttering a word.
A group of students from
Students Supporting Affirma-
tive Action sat in the rear, just
as quiet.
Members of the pro-affirma-
tive action group BAMN were
less reserved.
About a dozen members ral-
lied outside Palmer Commons
before the event, marching in
circles around a light post and
chanting anti-MCRI slogans.
"We want to keep letting
Jennifer Gratz and MCRI know
that they can't get away with Jim
Crow tactics," BAMN member
Liana Mulholland said.
Inside the auditorium, they
peppered the speech with
shouts of "fraud," "liar" and
"racist" until an event organiz-

er warned them three times that
if they continued they would be
kicked out of the room by one
of three Department of Public
Safety officers in attendance.
Though Gratz glanced at the
group throughout her speech,
she only directly addressed the
group's accusations once.
Gratz centered her speech on
what she called the myths sur-
rounding MCRI.
Among these she said were
allegations that, if passed, the
initiative will end all affir-
mative action programs and
decrease racial diversity on
BAMN's most fervant com-
plaint against MCRI has been
the allegedly fraudulent tac-
tics used to gather signatures
for the petition that placed the
measure on the ballot.
BAMN maintains that signa-
ture gatherers for MCRI lied to
voters so they would sign the
petition, allegedly telling them
it was a pro-affirmative action
"Hundreds of thousands of
people who signed this peti-
tion thought it was for affir-
mative action," said Donna
Stern, a national coordinator
for BAMN.
Gratz flatly denied that any
fraud took place.
"This initiative was signed
by over 800,000 Michigan resi-
dents," she said. "There was no
fraud committed to get this on
the ballot."
Gratz also disputed BAMN's
argument that the language of
the initiative itself is deceptive.
"The Michigan Civil Rights
Initiative language is very.clear,"
she said.
No sooner were these words
out of her mouth than BAMN
See GRATZ, Page 7A

Clockwise from top left: Cass Tech teacher Dana Davidson, a University alum; incioming University freshman Michael Hall, now a senior at Cass Tech; EngIneer-
ing senior Alfred Davis, a Cass Tech alum, and Cass Tech teacher Michael Jones, a UnIversity alum.

Returning home
and giving back

Graduating: A
tale of two seniors

By Mariem Qamruzzaman
Daily Staff Reporter

It wasn't until Michael Jones began
his first semester at the University that
he realized the racial tensions and
academic difficulties he would face.
When he returned to his alma
mater, Lewis Cass Technical High
School, as a teacher in 1992, he had
one goal: to push his students to
become independent so they could
rise to meet the collegiate challenges
he had faced.
"Just as much as the U of M was
an eye-opener for me, I try to open
the eyes of my students as well," said
Jones, whose mother is white and
father is black.
Because he overcame fast-paced
classes and a strained racial climate
at the University, Jones - who was
named one of the top five teachers
in the state this year - had a rare
opportunity to use his experience to
encourage his students.
Jones began by employing physics
problems from his old college text-
books to show that college standards
are achievable.
"I ask them to gauge the difficulty
of this problem from one to five, five

being so super hard and one just being
first-grade easy," Jones said. "Usually
they would give it a three or a four."
Jones would then open the college
When the students saw they had
solved college-level problems, their
eyes lit up with the realization
of "wow, I can actually do
this," he said.
Although Jones didn't
expect to encounter racism
when he arrived at the Uni-
versity in 1985, it took time
for him to adjust to a campus W
that was mostly white.
"I had some roommates Sec
who weren't so liking of a f
people of color," he said,
describing an instance when
he checked his mail and found enve-
lopes covered with racist slurs stuffed
Financial restrictions also affected
Jones, who came from a low-income
"Calculus was the hardest class
because I couldn't afford the book, so
I had to go to the library and get the
book, which was an earlier edition,"
he said.

By Mariem Qamruzzaman
and C.C. Song
Daily Staff Reporters

ond and th
our-part se

Each year, Lewis Cass Techni-
cal High School, a public magnet
school in Detroit that is 95 per-
cent black, sends dozens
of its brightest students to
the University. Many of
them come with plans to
become doctors, lawyers,
engineers. At the Univer-
sity, most of these students
CH experience being in the
i minority in the classroom
ird in for the first time. Here's a
ries look at two of them - one
at the beginning of his col-
lege years and another on
the verge of stepping into the pro-
fessional world.
On his way in
Incoming freshman Michael Hall
has a bold dream - he wants to
transform his home town into a city
of architectural glamor.
Hall plans to study structural archi-
tecture with a background in civil
engineering. He then hopes to get a
job in an architectural firm where he

can work to revitalize Detroit.
Hall is one of almost 40 students
from Cass Tech who will arrive on
campus next fall.
As an officer in the National Honor
Society, captain of the track team and
president of the Southfield Kappa
League, a youth scholarship program
within the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity,
he stands out among his classmates.
No one can say he lacks motivation.
Hall juggles his extracurricular
activities with a rigorous academ-
ic schedule, which includes two
Advanced Placement courses and
engineering and science classes.
Hall boasts a 3.6 GPA and a 23 on
the ACT.
"My environment is kind of a
motivation," Hall said. "When I look
around (Detroit), I'm not pleased with
what I see."
On a typical day, Hall wakes up
at 6 a.m. and rides a Detroit public
bus for 30 minutes to get to school.
Because of a lack of funding, Cass
does not provide transportation,
forcing students to use the public
bus system or get rides from par-
ents or friends.
After track practice, Hall boards the

A Department of Public Safety officer walks by BAMN member
Ben Royal during a speech by Jennifer Gratz, executive director
of MCRI, at Palmer Commons last night.

Golden Apple winner speaks
on versatility, power of words

* Rabkin 'still smiling at
the oddest moments, so
gratified and humbled'
by teaching award
By Jason Lin
For the Daily
In his Golden Apple lecture last
night at Rackham Auditorium, Eng-
lish Prof. Eric Rabkin focused on
the power and significance of words
and the role they play in daily life.
More than 300 students. faculty.

the fiction of a life that we create,"
he said. "Association of words gets
us to cre-
ate another
context in
which they
every time
we combine
words we
make a new
world, a new
illustrated Rabkin
his arguments with real-life analo-

He detailed the various conota-
tions of the word "apple," including
its prominent role in the Biblical
story of Adam and Eve in the Gar-
den of Eden and its original mean-
ing in Greek mythology, where it
also served as a symbol of tempta-
Rabkin asked the audience to
randomly select two words. When
audience members offered the
words "Cadillac" and "dishtowel,"
he said both were objects any hus-
band should be adept at handling.
Rabkin used his love for words to
contextualize their undervalued sig-

Greeks raise tens
of thousands
Fraternities and sororities band
together to raise $53,000 for various
charities, collect blood for Red Cross
By Carissa Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
Question: What do a hot dog eating contest, a mechanical bull
and women's arm wrestling have in common?
Answer: Greek Week 2006.
An annual 10-day philanthropic project with activities like
dunk tanks and Greek Olympics as well as more serious fund-
raising events like a silent auction and a charity ball, Greek Week
aims to raise money for local and national causes.
Funds from this year's events, which totaled $53,000, will be

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