University professors are growing increasingly less reli-
gious. What that means for your education.
C74t MIdiigan BatIl
Ann Arbor, Michan
States act to
Ann Arbor Film Festival President Jay Nelson announces that the Michigan ACLU had filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan challenging obscenity laws during
the festival's opening at the Michigan Theater last night.
Film Lest, ACLU sue state
Legislator had said
Ann Arbor Film Festival
violated obscenity laws
By WALTER NOWINSKI
Daily News Editor
The opening of the Ann Arbor Film Festi-
val took on an unusually political tone at the
Michigan Theater last night when the direc-
tors of the festival committed to overturning
some of the state's obscenity laws that have
troubled organizers over the past year.
Before the first film was shown at the 45th
annual Ann Arbor Film Festival last night, fes-
tival president Jay Nelson announced that the
American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan
had filed a lawsuit against the state of Michi-
gan claiming-that the state had violated the
festival's First Amendment rights.
The suit comes after former state Rep.
Shelly Taub (R-Bloomfield Hills) introduced
an amendment that would have barred the fes-
tival from receiving funding from the state for
Taub said the amendment blocking future
funding was necessary because the festival
had violated the terms of its grant by display-
ing pornographic material.
A 1996 law prohibits organizations that
receive state arts grants from displaying art
exhibits sex acts.
But the law was not a problem for the festi-
val until last year, when the Mackinac Center,
a libertarian think tank, published an article
calling for an end to public financing of art.
The article, written by Michael LaFaive,
cited several controversial films shown at
last year's festival to illustrate the subjective
nature of what does and does not count as
art. After publishing the article, LaFaive was
asked to testify in front of the appropriations
subcommittee on history, arts and libraries, on
which Taub served as the vice chair.
Although Taub said she does not agree with
the Mackinac Center's goal of ending public
financing of art, she said she found some of
the films shown at the festival last year deeply
offensive and pornographic.
One film in particular offended Taub.
"What is it?" directed by Crispin Hellion
Glover, who played George McFly in "Back to
the Future," featured a naked man sitting in a
giant sea shell suffering from advanced multi-
ple sclerosis receiving a handjob from a naked
woman wearing a monkey mask.
See FILM FESTIVAL, page 3A
Michigan not among
states with sales tax
By ALESE BAGDOL
Many states are taking steps
to reduce the high cost of college
textbooks, but Michigan isn't one
Several state legislatures are
considering bills that would impose
new regulations on textbook pub-
lishers in an effort to control the
cost of textbooks for students.
In Minnesota, state Rep. Frank
Moe (D-Bemidji) is sponsoring
a bill that would change the way
publishers market textbooks.
It would require publishers to sell
individual books usually marketed
in bundles and require them to dis-
close when they plan to release new
editions of textbooks. This allows
students to keep from buying pos-
sibly unnecessary books within the
bundles and allows professors to
pursue older editions of textbooks
that students could buy used.
The bill would also require col-
leges to publish textbook lists
before students register for classes
so they can shop around for the
Three other states - Connecti-
cut, Washington and Virginia
- have passed similar laws, and
California is considering it.
So far, 18 states have eliminated
sales tax on textbooks. Lawmakers
in Florida, Indiana and Nebraska
are considering doing the same.
While Michigan legislators have
not introduced any similar legisla-
tion, a staffer for state Rep. Bettie
Cook Scott (D-Detroit), who serves
on the education committee, said he
was interested in the Minnesota bill.
"This might be something that
we are interested in proposing,"
said John Shaski, Scott's legislative
A 2005 federal study estimated
that the average student at a four-
year college spends about $900 a
year on books and supplies.
"This is the hidden cost to high-
er education," Moe said in a writ-
ten statement. "Reasonable profit
makes sense. But the margin they
are making on these textbooks is
Textbook publishers, who earn
$6.5 billion a year from college
textbook sales according to the
Association of American Publish-
ers, said the proposed Minnesota
bill violates their First Amendment
rights that protect the freedom of
the press to publish whatever and
however they want.
"Frankly, a lot of the language
in the bill is unconstitutional,"
said Stacey Skelly, the Association
of American Publishers assistant
director for higher education.
She said the bill would prevent
publishers from freely publishing
and packaging material in the way
they see fit.
The Association of American
Publishers maintains that its mem-
bers are constantly exploring ways
to keep textbooks affordable.
Thomson Learning, a text-
book publishing company based
in Stamford, Conn., has recently
started selling textbook chapters
"That's a good option for kids on
a budget because the pain of buy-
ing textbooks is that it all comes at
once," Skelly said.
Skelly said publishers price text-
books as reasonably as possible,
but textbooks are sometimes costly
because relatively few copies are
sold compared to mass-market
Together, the University and
the University Health System
spent $420,000 lobbying govern-
ment agencies last year. But none
of this was devoted to lobbying for
lower textbook prices,said Michael
Waring, the University's executive
director for federal relations.
Without assistance from the
state, students and professors are
trying their own methodsto reduce
See TEXTBOOKS, page 3A
Police still hunting for Feb. arsons
By JESSICA VOSGERCHIAN
AnnArbor police are still search-
ing for arsonists who set fire to an
LSA junior's car parked across the
street from her house on the 1000
block of Greenwood Avenue last
AAPD Det. Dave Monroe, said
the Feb. 3 incident doesn't appear
to be random.
Police are looking for tips from
University students, Monroe said.
"Anyone who would light a car
on fire would consider lighting a
house on fire," Monroe said.
Engineering juniors Phil Draze-
wski and Ryan Cockerill said they
saw two college-aged men near the
2003 silver Mazda at about 3:30
a.m. while they were knocking
on their friends' door four houses
Drazewski and Cockerill turned
around when they heard laughing
and saw a man run toward Pack-
ard Street, Drazewski said. He said
they saw another man pour a gaso-
line container over the front of the
Mazda, leave the container on the
hood and set the vehicle on fire.
The second man ran toward
tance yelled what sounded like
"Scott, lets go!" Drazewski said.
Drazewski called 911 as the
vehicle's grill began to drip flam-
More people then came out of a
house across the street where a party
was taking place, Drazewski said.
Drazewski said a man from the
party tried to douse the flames
with a pitcher of beer but was
The car owner, who wished to
See ARSON, page 3A
States with a sales tax exemption for textbooks
COURTESY OF THE ANN ARBOR POLICE DEPARTMENT
A student's car on Greenwood Avenue after being set on fire on Feb. 3
EXAMINING COLLEGE DEPRESSION
By ANGELA KEMP
Going to college isn't just chal-
lenging academically - it can be
emotionally difficult as well.
About 75 percent of people who
experience mental disorders have
their first onset shortly before or
between the ages of 18-22, accord-
ing to Daniel Eisenberg, an assis-
tant professor in the School of
In light of the prevalence of
mental disorders among college-
aged students, the fifth annual
Depression on College Campuses
Conference was held yesterday in
Rackham Auditorium. The confer-
ence brought together educators,
administrators, researchers and
students from across the country to
explore issues surrounding depres-
sion and examine ways to treat and
John Greden, executive direc-
tor of the University's Depression
Center, introduced the conference
speakers, who explored depres-
sion on college campuses. Opening
speaker Aimee Belisle, a member of
the American Psychological Asso-
ciation's Presidential Task Force on
Mental Health on College Campus-
es, talked about her own struggles
with depression. Other speakers,
like Ben Locke, the center's assis-
tant director for research, and
Dennis Heitzmann, the director
of counseling and psychological
services at Penn State University
discussed the importance of inte-
grating research nationwide.
Suicidal tendencies are com-
mon among college students, said
Richard Shadick, director of Pace
University's counseling cente, who
Shadick said that 55 percent of
college students have had suicidal
These suicidal thoughts were
found to last only a short amount
of time but were often very strong,
as evidenced by the 14 percent of
students who attempt suicide each
year, Shadick said.
The University's office of Coun-
seling and Psychological Services
helps students suffering from the
stresses associated with student
"The top five reasons people
come to CAPS are depression, anxi-
ety, self-esteem, relationship issues
and academic problems," CAPS
Associate Director Victoria Hays
Hays said 600 out of 3,000 stu-
dents that came. into the clinic
last year said they have suicidal
CAPS has been criticized for the
time students have to wait for Uni-
Hays said the time it takes for a
student to receive counseling is sit-
See DEPRESSION, page 3A
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