Clooney makes 'Michael Clayton' matter
Arts, page 5
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Friday, October 19,2007
FROM SOLDiERS TO STUDETS
AFTER PROPOSAL 2
'U' considers a veterans affairs office Alumni
Vets face difficulty when
applying for admission,
By GABE NELSON
Daily News Editor
After lobbying by student veterans,
the University is "strongly consider-
ing" creating a position that would help
veterans with the unique problems
they face with admissions and financial
aid, said Lester Monts, the University's
senior vice provost for academic affairs,
in an interview yesterday.
That's one of several changes being
proposed by a group called the Student
Veterans Association of the University
of Michigan. The group, formed this
year by LSA junior and six-year Air
Force veteran Derek Blumke, has also
asked the University to give college
credit to veterans for military expe-
rience and offer all veterans in-state
Blumke said the hiring of a veterans
coordinator would be a good first step
to making the transition to the Univer-
sity easier for veterans.
"It is great that Dr. Monts and the
University of Michigan are making
progress to improve these programs,"
he said. "It shows veterans outside the
University and people in the military
that the University of Michigan is a
welcoming place for veterans."
Monts said he is discussing several
other programs for veterans, but he
wouldn't discuss any other plans being
considered. He said he has discussed
the matter with officials from the
offices of Undergraduate Admissions,
Financial Aid, New Student Programs
and Academic Multicultural Initiatives
and plans to schedule a meetingso they
can decide which policies to imple-
"We're looking at several answers,"
Monts said. "It's going to take some
Blumke said veterans need help
from a dedicated official when filling
See VETERANS, page 7
give aid to
Association says it's legal for it
to do what 'U' cannot
By CHRIS HERRING
Daily News Editor
The Alumni Association of the University of Michi-
gan plans to hand out scholarships based on race and
gender by next fall, Alumni Association President
Steve Grafton said yesterday.
Grafton said board members met yesterday to plan
the implementation of the scholarship program. The
group's board set aside $650,000 for scholarships at
a meeting last month and hopes to offer the first set
of scholarships to students entering the University in
Grafton said the scholarships are intended to limit
the effect of Proposal 2, which banned the use of affir-
mative action in Michigan.
But exactly how the scholarships will be awarded
is yet to be decided. Grafton said the board hopes to
figure that out within the next three weeks.
The alumni association sent a board member to the
University of Texas to ask for advice from Texas alum-
ni. Texas Exes, a group for former University of Texas
students, implemented a similar scholarship plan after
affirmative action was banned there in 1996.
"We've got a thousand questions as to how it's going
to work exactly," he said.
When board members first discussed starting an
additional scholarship fund after Proposal 2 passed
in November, Grafton first had to determine whether
the alumni association could legally award the schol-
The alumni association is a private 501(c)3 orga-
nization, which entitles it to raise funds separately
from the University. However, the group calls itself
"a committed partner of the University" in its mission
statement, which has raised questions about whether
it is legally affiliated with the University and bound
by Proposal 2.
Grafton said the alumni association hired a law
firm to make sure the group's efforts weren't against
"It's legal," Grafton said. "What passed in the state
in no way prohibits people contributing to the alumni
Maya Kobersy, an assistant University general
counsel, said the alumni association decided to offer
the scholarships independent of the University.
"To my knowledge, the University wasn't involved
in the decision at all," Kobersy said. "We learned
about it when the alumni association's board reached
its determination this summer."
Some people might be reluctant to donate to the
alumni association because the plan could be seen as
undermining the spirit of Proposal 2.
Grafton said he expects some to react that way,
See ALUMNI, page 7
University Organist Marilyn Mason, who has been at the University since 1944, was the first ferale organist to play at Westminster Abbey.
60 YEARS BEHIND THE KEYS
Mason has been chair
of Organ Department
By MAUREEN SULLIVAN
The first time University Organist
Marilyn Mason stepped onto Hill Audi-
torium's stage was in 1944 as a transfer
student. Back then, Mason likened the
grandiose auditorium to her "private
This year, as Mason celebrates her
60th year on the University's faculty
- making her the longest-serving pro-
fessor in University history - her per-
formances at the auditorium really do
make it seem like her own.
In her 60 years, Mason, or Madame,
as she prefers her students call her,
has used her experience and her self-
described "critical but sympathetic,
informative but understanding" teach-
ing style to help elevate the University
organ department to world-renowned
Mason has been chair of the Depart-
ment of Organ since 1960 and the Uni-
versity organist - playing University
functions - since 1976. She is the first
female organist to be invited to play at
Westminster Abbey, the first female
organist to play in Latin America and
the first American organist to perform
Mason has inspired countless in her
travels with her passion and profession-
alism. Associate Organ Prof. Michele
Johns recalled in an e-mail interview
watching Mason play when Johns was
a student at Northwestern.
"I thought, 'Wow! A woman can be
an organist, not just men.' She's been
my idol ever since," Johns said.
Earlier this month, six of MIason's
former students, with graduation years
ranging from 1971to 2007, played organ
compositions to pay tribute to their
professor. Standing on that familiar
Hill stage to deliver a short speech of
thanks, Mason looked like she was at
Mason's anniversary coincided with
the University's 47th annual Con-
ference on Organ Music, which she
founded. This year's conference was
See ORGANIST, page 7
Students travel to
find Prop 2 panacea
'U' sends groups to
By EMILY BARTON
Twelve University of Michigan
students flew to California, Texas
and Washington over Fall Break
to investigate ways to prevent a
drop in underrepresented minority
enrollment after the statewide ban
on affirmative action.
Like the University of Michigan,
public universities in those three
states are prohibited by law from
using affirmative action in admis-
sions and financial aid.
Michigan's affirmative action
ban - passed by state voters in
November - went into effect in
December of last year.
Administrators from the Uni-
versity of California at Los Angeles
and at Berkeley, the University of
Texas at Austin and the University
of Washington at Seattle came to
Ann Arbor in December to talk to
University of Michigan adminis-
trators about dealing with affirma-
tive action bans.
John Matlock, the director of
the University's Office of Academic
Multicultural Initiatives, said the
only thing missing from that dia-
logue was a student perspective,
which is why they sent groups
made up of three students and a
faculty member to each of the four
universities over break.
The provost's office funded the
trip. A committee working on other
diversity plans selected the stu-
dents for the trip.
There is a fifth group that will be
conducting the same kind of inter-
See TRAVEL, page 7
Solar car team preps for race across Outback
Team aims for first
win at Australia
By RYAN A. PODGES
Daily Staff Writer
The Michigan Solar Car Team
has spent two years designing
and building Continuum, its latest
vehicle. Starting Sunday, the group
will have five days to prove that its
car is the best in the world.
The team's race crew is now in
Australia, preparing for the bien-
nial Panasonic World Solar Chal-
lenge, a trek across 1,864 miles of
Australian Outback roads. The
race is scheduled to begin Sunday
in Darwin, a city on the country's -
northern coast, and expected to 'w
finish five days later in Adelaide, a'
city on the southern coast.
This year's competition is the
Michigan team's sixth attempt. The
team has finished as high as third COURTESY OF MICHIGAN SOLAR CAR TEAM
three times, including in 2005, the The University of Michigan Solar Car team has spent two years designing and building Continuum, which the team will race
See SOLAR CAR, page 7 across the Australian Outback beginning on Sunday.
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