Friday, October 20, 2006 - The Michigan Daily - 7A
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people know that we're fasting, and
also to raise funds for a local char-
ity," said Engineering sophomore
Aysha Ansari, who helped orga-
nize this year's Fast-a-Thon.
Organizers will donate money in
the name of each participant to the
local food bank Food Gatherers.
The money came from area busi-
nesses, which pledged money for
each participating student.
"We thought the local food bank
was relevant because we're going
hungry so someone else doesn't
have to," Ansari said.
Ramadan, the holiest month of
the year for Muslims, is a time of
discipline in which Muslims strive
to break bad habits in preparation
for the year ahead. During the
month, Muslims fast every day
from dawn until sunset and make
an extra effort to remain pure in
thought and action.
"A lot of people have a lot of
Muslim friends, and they want to
see what (Ramadan) is like, and
this is a great opportunity," Ansari
said. "They get to see how hard it
Participating students broke
their fasts together at a dinner in
West Quad's Wedge Room at 7
p.m. last night.
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Michigan Daily obtained informa-
tion about the design from Save the
Big House, a group that opposes
the construction of luxury suites
and club seating in Michigan Sta-
Bill Wilson, a member of
the group, filed a Freedom of
Information Act request after
he heard the regents had seen
preliminary designs for the
renovation behind closed doors.
He asked for all documents per-
taining to stadium renovations
that had been presented to the
When the deadline for the Uni-
versity to comply with the FOIA
request passed, Wilson still hadn't
received anything. He flew to Ann
Arbor from his home in Maine to
threaten the University with a law-
"I have to get on a plane, come
here, and tell them that I'm going
to file a (lawsuit) before they'll give
me anything" Wilson said.
The University gave Wilson the
schematics shown to the regents at
a closed meeting in September.
Martin said the plans Wilson
saw were practically identical to
the ones released yesterday.
For LSA freshman Alex Emmitt,
this wasn't his first time fasting. He
first encountered Ramadan while
attending International Academy
in Bloomfield Hills before com-
ing to the University. Although this
was his first time participating in
an organized fast, he's been fasting
for a few days during Ramadan for
the past four years.
He said his Muslim friends in
high school encouraged him to
try fasting just for the experience.
Fasting for one or two days has
given him new respect for Muslims
he knows who fast for an entire
"You don't feel weaker like you
think you would;' Emmitt said.
"You feel stronger knowing that
you accomplished this."
Yesterday was first-year Law
student Amie Medley's first time
fasting. She said it was a rigorous
exercise in self-control.
"In the Law School, there is
always free food somewhere," she
said, adding that throughout the
day she received multiple e-mails
about free baked goods and free
"It's very helpful to notice how
much more in control of your
behavior you have to be when
you're fasting," Medley said. "It's
interesting to think that we have all
this food within our reach all the
time, and many people don't."
In order to guarantee that
everyone learned about the design
proposal at the same time, the Uni-
versity released the updated ver-
sion of the schematics to the public
early, Peterson said.
She declined to say whether
Wilson's FOIA request factored
into the University's decision to
unveil the plans early.
The schematics have been in the
works since the regents approved
the renovation project in May.
Over the summer, the Athletic
Department brought in Boston-
based Kallmann McKinnell &
Wood to serve as design consul-
tants to primary architects HNTB
After looking at Yost Ice Arena
and the Intramural Building -
both historic brick buildings on
the athletic campus - Kallmann
McKinnell & Wood suggested the
architects think brick.
The architects thought it would
give the athletic campus a more
unified, stately appearance, Martin
"Many, many of the e-mails
we received when we asked for
input on our website said 'You've
gotta make it brick,' " Martin said.
"Brick is a common, long-lasting,
traditional material. Michigan Sta-
dium is iconic to us all, so we had
to use iconic materials"
TOP: LSA senior Jessica Moorman (left), LSA sophomore Blake Rowi
stand with gags in their mouths during National Take Affirmative Act
gags to symbolizehow Proposal 2, a ballot initiative that would end
women and minorities. BOTTOM: Participants were also asked to we
Bush on tra l for
Continued from page 1A
man, the opportunity for personal
interaction was a major drawing
"The flyer basically said that you
could come in and talk to them face-
to-face rather than dropping some
anonymous comment in a box or
via e-mail;' Hollman said. "It's not
interacting with some machine - it
puts a human element into it."
Holiman suggested MSA can-
didates include more information
about themselves on the ballot so
students will be more informed
when they are voting for instead of
"randomly picking names."
A candidate can currently choose
to have a link to an information
blurb on the ballot, which is online,
but not all candidates take advan-
tage of this.
Although election code revi-
sions cannot force MSA hopefuls
to include their information on the
ballot, Turner said she will pass the
suggestion on to the assembly.
A main concern of students
who stopped by was to have more
candidate information available
- just not through overabun-
dance of e-mail spam. Zeitlin
said spam is one of the biggest
student complaints and that the
committee hopes to make spam
a violation of the code. If the
assembly passes this revision
- a common campaign tactic in
the spring - candidates caught
spamming could be kicked out of
The committee also wants to
change the length of time candi-
dates are allowed to actively cam-
paign from 14 days to 10 days.
"We're going for quality over
quantity," Turner said.
She added that some students get
annoyed seeing candidates on the
Diag everyday and may be turned
off from voting altogether.
Turner also said a shorter cam-
paign period will decrease candi-
date stress, which sometimes leads
to cheating as a last resort to win.
The code changes will not be in
place for November's upcoming
election for representatives, but they
are expected to be in place for the
election in March, pending approval
from the assembly.
Turner hopes the revisions will
refresh the election's image and
increase voter turnout. Although
last year's turnout was the highest in
four years, she believes many were
turned off by the election's drama.
"I think more people would have
voted last semester if there hadn't
been the perception the election was
corrupt;' Turner said. "Perhaps it
might have been an eight-year high
The revision process is open
and students are encouraged to get
involved by e-mailing electionre-
email@example.com with suggestions.
LA PLUME, Pa. (AP) - Presi-
dent Bush campaigned yester-
day for a congressman who has
confessed to adultery and a sen-
ator accused of racial insensitiv-
ity, seeking to boost incumbent
Republicans once safe for re-elec-
tion but now in peril.
Bush's appearances for Rep.
Don Sherwood here and for Sen.
George Allen in Richmond, Va.,
found the White House on the
defensive over the decision to try
to help candidates in such straits
as the GOP struggles to keep con-
trol of Congress.
"I think the president under-
stands that it's important to set
high standards;' said spokesman
Bush, whose low approval rat-
ings and identification with the
unpopular war in Iraq has caused
some Republicans to see him as
a liability, tried to keep the focus
on his contentions that Democrats
would go soft on the war on terror
and raise taxes if handed a major-
ity in the November elections.
But the pictures of the day
were of Bush descending from
Air Force One in Pennsylvania
alongside Sherwood, his wife and
one of their daughters, who were
secreted onto the plane to set up
the photo-op, and of the grinning
foursome's appearance later at a
local farmer's ice cream store.
Allen opted for a slightly less
robust presidential embrace, mere-
ly greeting Bush at the bottom of
his airplane's stairs and keeping a
bit of a distance on their pumpkin-
buying stop at a roadside stand.
Debt holds back thousands of U.S. troops from duty
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Thou-
sands of U.S. troops are being
barred from overseas duty because
they are so deep in debt they are
considered security risks, accord-
ing to an Associated Press review
of military records.
The number of troops held back
has climbed dramatically in the past
few years. And while they appear to
represent a very small percentage
of all U.S. military personnel, the
increase is occurring at a time when
the armed forces are stretched thin
by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We are seeing an alarming trend
in degrading financial health," said
Navy Capt. Mark D. Patton, com-
manding officer at San Diego's
Naval Base Point Loma.
The Pentagon contends financial
their duties or make them vulnerable
to bribery and treason. As a result,
those who fall heavily into debt can
be stripped of the security clearances
they need to go overseas.
While the number of revoked
clearances has surged since the
beginning of the Iraq war, military
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"We saw a trend of declining
applications and enrollment of Black
freshmen in the years immediately
before and after the Supreme Court
lawsuits;" Monts said in a written
statement. "We must work harder to
invite students from all backgrounds
into our community, and let them
know they are valued."
Within the whole University, 72
percent of enrolled students are black,
5 percent are Hispanic, 1 percent are
Native American, 13.3 pereent are
Asian American, 67 percent are whit,
and 6.6 percent listed other racial cat-
egories or did not indicate their race.
"Regardless of what happens with
the ballot proposal, the University of
Michigan will remain completely
and fully committed to diversity,"
Peterson said the University has
made significant strides toward
recruiting minorities but still needs
to do more.
"The University is going to have
to work diligently with the alumni to
reach out even more to the minority
community," she said.
officials say there is no evidence
that service members are deliber-
ately running up debts to stay out of
Officials also say the increase has
not undermined the military's fight-
ing ability, though some say it has
complicated the job of assembling
some of the units needed in Iraq or
Ted Spencer, director of under-
graduate admissions, said his staff is
continuing to reach out to prospec-
tive students across the state, includ-
ing encouraging minority students
to apply. Spencer said the number of
ethnic students from each group is
smaller this year because the overall
pool of enrolled students is smaller.
He said that proportionally, differ-
ences in enrollment had not changed
The 330 enrolled black students
make up 6.4 percent of this year's
freshman class. That is down from
7.5 percent last year, but up from
6.1 percent in 2004. The number
of Hispanic and Native American
students enrolled remained stable
from 2005 to 2006. The percent-
age of Hispanic students enrolled
was 5.3 percent for both years and
the percentage of Native American
students enrolled remained at 1
percent. The percentage of Asian
American students was 12 percent
in 2006, down from 13.5 percent
While the specific enrollment tar-
get has not yet been set for fall 2007,
Peterson said the University expects
the target to be similar to this year's
ts Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality mock
as if on a runway and showed off University apparel to