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February 04, 2009 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-04

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41C Illi.c1 i an i1M

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

michigandaily.com

FROM THE FIELD TO THE DANCE FLOOR

A NEW-AGE UNIVERSITY
profs
turn to
blogging

CLF REEDER/Daily
For a sldeshow of more Mock Rock moments, The men's track and field team performs at the tOth annual Mock Rock fundraiser in Hill Auditorium yesterday.
go to michigandaily.com. The event featured performances from a number of athletic teams and aimed to raise over $80,000 for C.S.
Mott Children's Hospital and 'Telling It, an RC-sponsored program that uses art to help high-risk young people.
FUNDING HIGHER EDUCATION
Gov.:Tuitionfrez

New medium offers
tool for both classes
and recognition
By CAITLIN SCHNEIDER
Daily Staff Reporter
The booming blogosphere is
a world dominated by celebrity
gossip, confessionals and radical
opinions. But blogs are increas-
ingly hosting a new breed of user:
university professors.
In recent years, academics
across the country have started
using blogs to relay information
and ideas. Many are now incor-
porating the medium into their
classes, asking students to take to
their keyboards and post thoughts
or resources on course material.
"It's been extraordinarily suc-
cessful," said Brian Porter-Szucs,
an associate history profes-
sor, who has students blog their
responses to class readings. He
has them search for other rele-
vant material on the Interrletand
post it on the class blog.
Porter-Szucs said he decided
to include blogging in his classes
after reading one of his 15-year-
old daughter's homework assign-
ments. Porter-Szucs was alarmed
to see his daughter's writing suf-
fer as she tried to mimic what she
perceived as an academic style.
He suspected his own students
might be writing poorly for the
same reason and decided to use a

class blog to test the theory.
"My suspicions were con-
firmed," he said. "Part of the
problem wasn't necessarily that
the students didn't know how to
write, it's that they hadn't been
taught how to write effectively in
a variety of settings. If I could just
break through the sense of artifi-
ciality that came with the term
paper, I could actually get good
writing."
Communications Studies Prof.
Fara Warner, who uses blogging
in her classes, said the medium
allows students to write quickly
with relaxed prose. The class
blog also serves as a single space
in which to archive links or ideas
and facilitate class communica-
tion. Warner's personal blog is
called "The Power of the Purse,"
though she doesn't update it con-
sistently because of the amount of
time it takes to write posts.
"Blogging, for me, is a piece of
journalism," said Warner. "That,
for me, makes it a bigger task to
blog than to just throw my opin-
ion out there. I still struggle with
the immediacy of blogging and
wantingto be ethical as a journal-
ist and do right by sources and do
right by myself as well."
The time commitment means
professors need to prioritize
when it comes to blogging. Those
who write personal blogs do so
outside of their teaching require-
ments, but as blogs become more
popular, the question of their role
See BLOGGING, Page 7A

University to wait
for details of plan
before making a
decision
ByKYLE SWANSON
Daily StaffReporter
During her annual State of the
State address last night, Gov. Jen-
nifer Granholm called on Michi-
gan's public universities not to raise
tuition rates next year.

Although details of Granholm's
proposal were not officially
announced, aides from her office
said she is expected to reward
schools that freeze tuition rates
with increased state aid and federal
funding from the stimulus pack-
age currently before the U.S. Sen-
ate. Granholm is also expected to
penalize schools that raise tuition
with decreased state funding.
In her speech, Granholm empha-
sized that increasing tuition could
result in fewer students enrolling
in college.
"As we accelerate our push to

get more kids to college, we cannot
have them priced out of the market
by tuition increases," she said. "I
am asking Michigan's universities
and community colleges to freeze
tuition for the next academic year.
No tuition hikes during this year of
economic crisis."
University Spokeswoman Kelly
Cunningham issued a statement
following Granholm's comments
on a possible tuition freeze.
"We look forward to learn-
ing more details when we see the
governor's budget proposal," she
wrote.

Cunningham's statement also
said the University has made, and
will continue to make, financial aid
a major priority.
"We agree with the governor
that students and their families'
ability to access higher education is
a priority," she wrote. "This is why
we have so aggressively moved to
raise funds for financial aid during
our recent capital campaign and
why we use other strategies like
MPACT grants to help keep col-
lege affordable for students who
coptinue to demand a world-class
See TUITION FREEZE, Page 7A

SPECTRUM CENTER
Program helps students
considering coming out

SGu
and
lau
The
versity
offerin
studen
Lau
ance, S

idance, Support gram, known as GPS - is designed
to provide students with infor-
[Perspective was mation, guidance and assistance
regarding issues dealing with sex-
inched last week ual identity.
The GPS program seeksto differ-
By JASMINE ZHU entiate itself from other Spectrum
Daily StaffReporter Center programs through schedule
flexibility and the option to meet
Spectrum Center, the Uni- away from the Spectrum Center to
's LGBT affairs office, is provide anonymity. Inthe program,
ig a new program to assist students who've already come out
its who are coming out. work with students who are plan-
nched last week, the Guid- ning to discuss their sexual orien-
upport and Perspective Pro- tations with family and friends.

The program's flexibility allows
students and their mentors to meet
any time during the school year,
unlike other support programs that
may meet on a weekly basis.
GPS also allows for increased
confidentiality. Kevin Correa, the.
Spectrum Center's administrative
and programmingcoordinator, said
many students who are coming out
want more discretion, which GPS
provides through an unintimidat-
ing environment.
"Students who are closeted
See SPECTRUM CENTER, Page 7A

Face-Off Blood Challenge pits
students against in-state rivals
Organizers hope to
exceed goal of 1,700
pints of blood
By JENNA SKOLLER
Daily StaffReporter
This Valentine's Day season,
Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service
fraternity, is helping students give
a gift that's truly from the heart.
APO is holding a "Face-Off
Blood Challenge" between theU\
University and Michigan State
University from Jan. 19 to Feb.
27 as one of several blood battles k
the organization holds each year.
The challenge pits the two schools
againsteachothertoseewhichone
can donate more pints of blood.
Although University organiza-
tions have regularly held blood
battles with MSU in the past,
the tradition fizzled out and was
replaced with the Big Ten Blood
Challenge. But when coordinat-
ing between all of the Big Ten
schools became confusing, APO
decided to reinstate the Michi-
gan-MSU battle. JED MOCH/Daily
LSA sophomore Mary Rock, LSA senior Paula Papay donates blood yesterday in the Michigan Union at the
one of APO's Blood Battle chairs 2009 Face-Off Blood Challenge. The drive benefits the American Red Cross.
who organized the event, said The other Blood Battle chairs battle. The Red Cross site repre-
she hoped the rivalry would help include LSA senior Brian Talpos, sentatives from the areas around
encourage students to contribute. and LSA juniors Laura Yocky and each school have been maintain-
"We can take advantage of the LSA junior Katy Wallander. ing the "score" between the two
competitive atmosphere to do APO coordinated with MSU's universities.
something really positive," Rock chapter of the AmericanRed Cross APO members said they hope
said. club in order to carry out the blood See BLOOD CHALLENGE, Page 7A

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Device turns words into sign

Student's technology
shows sign language
on cell phone
By STEPHANIE STEINBERG
Daily StaffReporter
For most students, a laptop or a
college-ruled notebook is enough
to get through most lecture class-
es at the University. For hearing
impaired students, the process is
much more challenging. They need

both a translator to transcribe the
lecture and then extra time to read
through the notes once class is
over.
Using a cell phone, two Universi-
ty students have a plan to complete-
ly change the way hearinginpaired
students attend class.
Jason Gilbert and Judy Yu,
graduate students in the College
of Engineering's Department of
Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space
Sciences, have developed a sys-
tem that translates sign language
into speech using cell phone

technology. They say that their
invention, Mobile Sign Language
Systems (MSigns), will revolution-
ize comrnmunication for the hearing
impaired.
"The idea behind it was to create
some software that would take spo-
ken English on any handheld device
like a smart phone and translate it
into a video of the sign language
like an interpreter you can carry in
your hand," Gilbert said. "This will
be really useful for deaf and hard-
of-hearing people who needed to
See TECHNOLOGY, Page 7A

WEATHER HI:24
TOMORROW 10:15

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INDEX
Vol CXIX, No. 87
(2000 The Michigae Dai,
icivvniiycvr

NEW S..........
OPINION.....
ARTS.............

. ...2A CLASSIFIEDS.............
....4A SPORTS...............
....5A THE STATEMENT....

.6A
....8A
.......1B

b A

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