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February 22, 2007 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-22

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The B-side
~Ic didci~rnaI i



day F

Last dance
for Chief

TOP: Residents of West Quad and South Quad residence halls lines up across Madison Street last Feb. 15 in preparation of the annual snowball fight between the two
dorrs. BOTTOM: A snowball fight participant prepare to hurl a bucket of snow.
,e°"l tA tradition.
- K
Has the beloved South Quad-West Quad
snowball fight become too dangerous?
-~ By Walter Nowinski l Daily News Editor

mascot retired after
game against
Daily Sports Editor
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Banned by
the NCCA, University of Illinois
mascot Chief Illiniwek has danced
his last dance.
After last night's game against
Michigan, the school will retire the
mascot, which has been decried as
a racist portrayal of Native Ameri-
The Chief wears an elaborate
costume with a flowing feathered
headdress, face paint and a brown
tunic and pants. He has drawn pro-
tests from some fans in Ann Arbor
when Michigan played Illinois in
the past.
Following a decision handed
down by the NCAA in August 2006,
the Chief will no longer be allowed
to dance. The NCAA declared that
the Chief was a hostile and abusive
image and banned Illinois from
hosting any postseason competi-
The University of Illinois filed
two appeals to the sanctions, the
most recent coming at the begin-
ning of January. But the NCAA
rejected both appeals.
"We're subject to sanctions by
the NCAA, and the feeling was that

we tried as much as we could to get
an exemption to that policy," Uni-
versity of Illinois spokesman Tom
Hardy said. "The feeling was to
make the announcement and have
this be the last performance so that
fans would know it's happening
and those who care about the tradi-
tion know it's happening."
Fans chanted "Save the Chief!"
as the seconds ticked off during
Illinois's win over Northwestern
Sunday. Usually portrayed by an
Illinois student, Chief Illiniwek has
performed at halftime of football,
basketball and volleyball matches
since 1926.
Last night, many in the crowd
at Assembly Hall wore shirts with
either "Save the Chief" printed on
them, shirts with an image of the
Chief and shirts that simply said
The performance athalftime fea-
tured a special video saluting for-
mer portrayers of the Chiefs as the
scoreboard displayed their names.
The Chief, currently graduate stu-
dent Dan Maloney, performed his
regular routine of dancing around
the court, except for a slight varia-
tion at the end. During the point
in the routine at which he usu-
ally leaves the floor, he instead
returned to the court, bowing to
all four sides of the arena while
the crowd screamed its support.
He then exited through the tunnel,
and as the cameras faded, appeared
to struggle to hold back tears.
"The biggest difference tonight
See MASCOT, Page 3A

eyvan Mirsaeedi was
itching for a fight.
Just after midnight on
Thursday, the Business School
sophomore was sitting in his
third floor room in South Quad
Residence Hall with his jacket
on, waiting for the signal. He was
ready to go and defend his dormi-
tory against the impeding attack
from West Quad on a minute's
When the anticipated signal
- the ringing of the fire alarm
- finally came, Mirsaeedi rushed
outside onto the snow-covered
lawn in front of South Quad
eager to engage his rival students

across Madison Street in the
annual snowball fight between
the two dorms.
But for Mirsaeedi, the good-
natured snowball fight took a
violent and unexpected turn just
minutes after the first snowball
was thrown.
As Mirsaeedi was standing
on the south side of the street,
getting ready to throw a snow-
ball, a large man wearing a tan
North Face jacket grabbed him
and tackled him to the ground he
said. Shocked, Miraseedi imme-
diately tried to get back up off the
frozen ground.

Speaker prompts police protection

Security tight for the Southern Poverty Law Center,
a nonprofit organization founded
civil rights as a civil rights
law firm in 1971
attorney's visit in Montgomery,
Daily StaffReporter Intelligence
Project monitors
Three campus police cars, the activities of DEES
including a canine unit, sat outside more than 850
Rackham Auditorium yesterday organizations it identifies as hate
afternoon. groups.
About 15 additional Department Dees also had at least two pri-
of Public Safety officers were scat- vate security guards guarding him
tered throughout the auditorium during his speech, called "The
while a gray-haired man with a Current Status of Hate Groups in
slight Southern drawl gave a lec- the United States."
ture. About 150 people were in the
The man was Morris Dees, audience.
founder and chief trial counsel of He has received death threats

from severalgroups opposed to the
center's watchlist. Organizers of
yesterday's event said there were
no specific threats made against
his appearance at Rackham.
In his response to a question
from an audience member, Dees
said that hate groups in Michi-
gan are similar to those in other
The Center's website lists 25
hate groups in Michigan, fewer
than the 34 in Ohio and the 27 in
Pennsylvania, two nearby states
with similar populations.
In his speech, Dees said "the
most pressing and significant
human rights issue" is the situa-
tion of immigrants to the United
Many hate groups claim that

immigrants illegally trespass into
the United States and take jobs
that belong to citizens, Dees said.
"Trespass is almost a nothing
fine," Dees said. "All you do is
send them back across the bor-
Dees said politicians are not
doing much to counter anti-immi-
grant hate groups.
Although he is a lawyer, Dees
said the legality of the issue of
illegal immigrants doesn't con-
cern him. He said he is concerned,
however, with the discrimination
they face once inside the country.
Dees said many companies lure
immigrants into the country with
job offers and then place them
into working conditions similar to
See SPEECH, Page 3A

Chief Illiniwek, the University of Illinois's mascot, performs his last show yesterday
night at Ilinois's game against Michigan.

Ai Arb marks 100 years of solitude, nature

123-acre park
celebrates centennial
For the Daily
Across Nichols Arboretum yes-
terday, visitors went about their
daily routines. Joggers jogged, ski-
ers glided across the melting snow
and squirrels rustled in the trees.
Few in the Arb realized that yes-
terday was the centennial of the
establishment of the 123-acre park.

There is a timeline outlining the
history of both the Arboretum and
the Matthaei Botanical Gardens,
which were established on the same
date in 1907, on display until April
in the James D. Reader, Jr. Urban
Environmental Education Center, a
house at the western edge of the Arb
which serves as its welcome center.
According to the timeline, an
estimated 200,000 people visit the
Arb each year.
A request for a botanical garden
was included in the original Uni-
versity charter in 1817, but the des-
ignated land and plans for the Arb

weren't finalized until 1907.
In 1837, a professor named Asa
Gray proposed that the University
set aside the eastirn half of cam-
pus for a garden, but plans were
scrapped, leaving the proposed gar-
den in limbo for almost 90 years.
The Arb didn't take root until
1907, when the Nichols family donat-
ed a tract of undeveloped land to the
University. It had enough property
for the University to piece together
80 acres near the Huron River for
the creation of the Arb and Gardens.
In 1921, Civil Engineering Prof. F.N.
Menefee proposed damming the

river to create a winter sports park
for students, but nature-lovers suc-
cessfully campaigned against the
project, preserving the Arb.
The Arb reached its present size
when the Detroit Edison electric
company donated a 9-acre wild-
flower field.
The Arb is currently undergoing a
project to stabilize the Huron river-
front. The concrete slabs on the river-
by native rocks, soil and plants. In
another project, invasive species are
being removed and native grasses and
flowers are beingreplanted.

The Nichols Arboretum cele brated its 100th birthday yesterday. The 123-acre park
was established in 1907 with a donation of land by the Nichols family.


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