Thursday, September 14, 2006
News 3A Iranian president
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Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVII, No. 9
2006 The Michigan Daily
_. -o - - -!
Coleman invites students
inside the other white house:
the one on South University
By Gabe Nelson
Daily Staff Reporter
They say University President Mary Sue
Coleman doesn't really live in the campus
landmark that is her residence at 815 S. Uni-
Well, she does.
Yesterday afternoon, Coleman welcomed
students into her home for her annual open
house. Lured by the promise of donuts,
cookies, apple cider and the opportunity
to meet Coleman, hundreds of students
dropped by to visit.
Coleman, dressed in a black, stood by her
back door, shaking hands and asking students
about their experiences at the University. At
any given time, more than two dozen students
waited in line to speak with her.
Some students took the opportunity to voice
complaints and concerns.
Business School sophomore Bhavika Meg-
chiani asked Coleman why the University only
grants 15 days for winter break, half of what
many schools offer. Megchiani, who lives in
the United Arab Emirates, said she's sad to
return to the University after such a short time
at home for winter break.
Not in the mood to argue, Coleman answered
Megchiani's questions in a friendly, passive
"I think it would be hard to change the
schedule," Coleman said to Megchiani. "The
faculty really likes it." After a pause, the
president invited Megchiani to "go get some
Although some students took the open house
See HOUSE, page 7A
History of a house
Built in 1839 and 1840, the president's
house is the oldest University building still
Since former University President Henry
P. Tappan first occupied the house in 1852,
only one president has chosen not to live
there. From 1909 to 1920, during Harry B.
Hutchins's tenure as University president, the
house served as a headquarters for the Red
Cross while Hutchins lived in his family home
in Ann Arbor.
Although President Coleman is the first
to hold an annual open house for students,
past University presidents have welcomed
students onto the property. While Robben
Fleming was president in the 1960s, students
often assembled on his front yard to discuss
political issues. And in 1997, after the Michi-
gan football team defeated Penn State, thou
sands of students celebrated in the home of
then University President Lee Bollinger.
"You can stay here as long as you want and
come inside," Bollinger told students in what
many students consider one of the defining
acts of his presidency.
LSA sophomore Kenneth Human poses in front of the Huron River. With generous financial aid, he came back to the
Zachary Bromer sits in the Law Quad last fall. After a LSA senior Walker Hines returned to the University this year
semester at the University, he returned to Tulane University. to finish his degree after seeking refuge in Ann Arbor last fall.
They survived Katrina. They came to the University.
They now face the rest of their lives.
Where are they nom
National Committe intern had
suggested campaign events
deemed insensitive by GOP
By Andrew Grossman
Daily Staff Reporter
Republicans on campus and in Washing-
ton distanced themselves yesterday from
controversial political activities discussed
by an intern for the College Republican
The intern, Morgan Wilkins, a sopho-
more at the University of Louisville, who is
being paid to organize College Republicans
throughout the state told The Michigan
Daily on Sunday that she was considering
organizing an event at campuses around the
state that would have had participants shoot
paintball or BB gun at cardboard cutouts of
prominent Democrats like senators Hillary
Clinton and John Kerry. She also said she
might hold "Catch an Illegal Immigrant
Day," where students would try and find
a volunteer hidden on campus wearing a
shirt that said "illegal immigrant" on it.
"We would never do those types of events
or support them," College Republicans
chair Robert Scott said. "First, because
they're offensive to some members of our
club. Second, because they undermine one
of the goals of our organization, which is to
include as many people as possible."
A Daily report published Tuesday
describing these events sparked a minor
national uproar. An editing error that
misidentified Wilkins's employer as the
Republican National Committee, not the
CRNC caused much of the outcry. There
is no official link between the RNC and the
Democratic National Committee chair
Howard Dean sent a letter to his counter-
part at the RNC, Ken Mehlman, demand-
ing that he denounce the activities and put
a stop to them. Mehlman called the events
"reprehensible" in his reply to Dean. He
also noted that Wilkins was not employed
by the RNC, as was originally reported.
CRNC chair Paul Gourley said that while
the group employs Wilkins, it had nothing
to do with the proposed events.
"These particular projects were not any-
thing that was ever discussed in our train-
ing for Morgan," he said. "It's not in any of
our training materials that we send out to
thousands of College Republicans around
The CRNC dispatched Wilkins to rally
voters on college campuses in Michigan.
On Sunday she said she had only spent one
day at the University, where she recruited
for the College Republicans at their table
at Festifall, the annual event on the Diag
where campus groups sign up new mem-
The University's chapter of the College
Republicans, the nation's oldest, has taken
no position on Wilkins or whether they
will work with her in the future.
"As far as we're concerned, we have no
business issuing a statement in support or
against Morgan because her job is through
the CRNC and they're her employer," Scott
See GOP, page 7A
Small white candles brought a
warm glow to the cool, damp
evening last week during a vigil.
on the Diag for 'Hurricane Katrina vic-
What started with 15 people soon
became 25, then 40, and then too many
The vigil attendees gathered to
remember Katrina victims and New
"Home. Once I could tell you where
that was," read Elizabeth James, a sixth-
generationNew Orleaniananda program
associate for the Center of Afroamerican
studies."The levee in my heart broke....
Where will Iever find home again?"
Some found it at the University, which
admitted 65 students from schools that
had been shut down for a semester, doling
out more than $1 million in financial aid.
But come winter semester, finan-
cial aid was cut off. The students were
required to either reapply as degree-
seeking students or return to their origi-
Some went back to their old schools.
Some stayed in Michigan. Others gradu-
ated. They share one thing - each has
Just over a year ago, Walker Hines
was standing in the watery front yard of
\shlea Surles I Daily Staff Repc
his uptown New Orleans home, shouting
down Audobon Boulevard to neighbors
held hostage by 5 feet of flooding.
Hines - who is finishing his degree
at.the University this year - spent the
summer helping more than his neigh-
He spent his summer in Washington
working for the Cypress Group, a lobby-
Through his work, Hines brought
together private banks, real estate and
commercial development firms to lobby
the Federal Treasury for money to be
used on building sustainable housing in
The group has raised mil-
lions of dollars for Katrina victims.
Hines's family was not as devastated by
the storm as others. Because they live
in an elevated home, they only had to
replace their yard, downstairs floors and
Hines's family owned the maximum
flood insurance of $250,000.
"We were more fortunate than the rest
of our block;' he said.
Their home served as a refugee camp
for people stranded in their homes.
When the storm cleared, he and his
family members shouted to their neigh-
bors - mostly senior citizens - and
they answered back with their condi-
They described whetherthey had food,
were sick or were terrified of water.
Hines's uncle, who had found a small
boat, would then float down and pick up
those who were yelling for help.
"By the end, we had about seven to
eight people staying with us," Hines
said. "Most of them were maids and
housekeepers from the Lower Ninth
Ward who thought they would be safer
by moving to higher ground."
Hines said the desperate group had
virtually no contact with anyone until
the fourth day of waiting for rescue.
That's when his cell phone picked up
Once their location was made known
through calls to friends and coworkers,
they waited to be rescued.
On the fifth daythe group was discov-
ered and rescued by an off-duty police
officer with a duck whistle in a canoe.
The family did not think twice about
rebuilding its uptown home. Hines said
every family on his block has made the
Because his family was financially
stable, even after the storm the LSA
senior had the option of finishing his
undergraduate years at the University.
Originally admitted as a non-degree-
seeking student from Tulane University,
Hines had to reapply in January for the
See KATRINA, page 7A
MSA wants more
action, less politics
Rising water seeps
into residence halls,
By Walter Nowinski
Daily Staff Reporter
The sky over Ann Arbor
erupted shortly after 4 p.m. yes-
terday afternoon, drenching the
city in a deluge of rain.
At 4:15 p.m. the National
Weather Service in Detroit and
Pontiac issued an urban flood
advisory for Ann Arbor, Dexter
and surrounding areas.
And flood it did.
There were numerous reports
of flash flooding across campus
as the city's storm water system
was quickly overwhelmed.
Diane Brown, University
facilities and operations spokes-
woman, said there were so many
University buildings flooded
that an accurate count would not
be available by press time yes-
In Angel Hall, Demetrius
Fields, fixture and wall cleaner,
was operating a large vacuum
truck in an attempt to contain
the 1 to 2 inches of water cov-
ering the ground floor of the
"We are going to be working
at this all night," Fields said.
The scene was even worse in
the Natural Science Building,
where University employee Jim
Tamtiver said a bad seal on the
loading dock door let in enough
water to flood 80 percent of the
ground floor with 2 to 3 inches
Across campus, a small mud-
slide near Palmer Field blocked
two lanes of traffic on Washt-
enaw Avenue. By 6:30 p.m.,
Plant Operations had dispatched
a bulldozer to clear the mud and
shrubs from the street.
Brown confirmed flood-
ing in several dorms, including
East Quad, West Quad, Baits
and Bursley. She said that Plant
Operations would clean up the
academic buildings, but it was
up to the University Housing
After last semester's
assembly vows to roll
up sleeves for students
By Layla Asiani
For the Daily
Last March, a contentious
presidential election left the
Michigan Student Assembly's
image tarnished with dirty
This fall, MSA President
Nicole Stallings plans to
"The culture is different,"
she said. "We're a lot less
With the stormy spring elec-
tion season behind it, Stallings
said the assembly is ready to
concentrate on non-divisive
"We want people to see MSA
as not just a body that votes on
things, but a group that makes
an impact on campus by taking
action," Stallings said.
The assembly has 19 different
committees and commissions
working on various issues. Each
has a vision it hopes to make
reality this semester.
The Michigan Civil Rights Ini-
tiative, a proposal on the Nov. 7
ballot that would ban affirmative
action programs in Michigan, is
a priority for MSA this semester,
MSAisregistered as a501(c)(3)
nonprofit educational organiza-
tion with the government, which
makes it exempt from certain
federal taxes. Under that status,
the assembly is prohibited from
conducting political campaign
activities, which means it cannot
take a stance on MCRI.
However, the Peace and Jus-
tice Commission can 'educate
students on both sides of the
MCRI debate. A forum is in the
works that would allow represen-
tatives from both sides to speak
"We want to create a bipartisan
See MSA, page 7A
LSA junior Mike Levine dives into a flooded section of Palmer Field
yesterday afternoon after the rain storm.
office to address flooding in the the flooding.
dorms. "The (East Quad) courtyard
RC senior Joe Varkle was leav- was drowned in 6 inches of
ing East Quad for a 6 p.m. class water," Varkle said. "And water
when he first saw the extent of See FLOOD, page 7A
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