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February 12, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-12

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The Michigan Daily - midhigandaily.com

Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 7A

Outside comment portion of MSA
meetings could get a name change

Obama praises
Lincoln's legacy
at Ford's theatre

From Page 1A
nity speakers in the past that have
taken advantage of our willingness
to allow them to speak."
Raymond said in recent weeks,
the community speakers havebeen
bringing up international issues
that distract from assembly mem-
bers' abilities to carry out their
positions properly.
"We constantly hear that MSA
needs to be more relevant on cam-
pus," he said. "And when we're
talking about issues that are so far
reaching and so complex and for-
getting issues that tangibly affect
campus, I don't know if we're doing
our jobs."
Business Rep. Alex Serwer,
who has been working with Ray-
mond to promote discussion on the
name change, said he is hesitant
to change the policy because of
the inherent connection between
community members and the Uni-
"Michigan is the Ann Arbor
community; they're pretty much
inseparable," he said. "So, I feel
like there must be issues where
Ann Arbor community members
would be interested in coming to
the students to talk about certain
issues, like street lighting."
Raymond said that although
some community members might
make relevant contributions when
speaking to the assembly, there
have been many speakers recently
who have taken advantage of the
assembly's commitment to free
"In the past month and a half or
so we've had alot of members of the

Gala held at Ford
Theatre on the eve
of Lincoln's 200th
dent Barack Obama praised Abra-
ham Lincoln for his conviction that
a divided nation could be made
whole at a gala yesterday night cel-
ebrating the $25 million renovation
of Ford's Theatre.
The president and first lady
Michelle Obama joined a crowd of
Hollywood stars and Washington
heavy-hitters for the celebration
on the eve of Lincoln's 200th birth-
day. The theater where Lincoln
was assassinated is reopening after
an 18-month facelift that included
new, more comfortable seats, a
modern lobby and new dressing
Calling the theater "hallowed
space" where Lincoln's legacy
thrives, Obama praised him for
restoring a sense of unity to the
"For despite all that divided us -
North and South, black and white -
he had an unyielding belief that we
were, at heart, one nation, and one
people," Obama said. "And because
of Abraham Lincoln, and all who've
carried on his work in the genera-
tions since, that is what we remain
The Obamas entered the theater

MSA Rep. Robby Saldana speaks to the Michigan Student Assembly about the Gaza conflct last month.

community come in and utilize our
belief in free speech to talk about
things that in many ways affect the
University, but in more ways might
not and they really might be taking
advantage of MSA, even prostitut-
ing it," he said.
LSA Rep. Andrew Chinsky said
that regardless of who is given per-
mission to speak at its meetings,
the assembly can simply focus
more on the tasks affiliated with
the University.

"We can have a more meaning-
ful impact on strtdent issues than
with other issues at large anyway,"
he said. "We have a lot more power
with anything having to do with
the University."
Chinsky added other, more use-
ful forums exist for community
members to voice their concerns.
"I think the student voice is the
most important," he said. "There
are other community issues that
affect us, but there are other out-

lets for that, like Ann Arbor City
Council and the mayor, that could
handle those types of issues."
Student General Council
Michael Benson said that as early
as 2002, speakers were required
to announce their relationship
to MSA before being speaking
at a meeting. Benson said he
interprets this to mean that only
constituents were permitted to
speak during the open session at

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ments used to stand, was purchased
by developers in January 2007 for
an undisclosed amount. The ask-
ing price for the property was $5.45
Slade said he would rather not
speculate as to whether Johnston
has similar ambitions.
As for the future of Red Hot Lov-
ers, Slade said he would like to have
a grand reopening somewhere else
on campus next September. He said
he has already been contacted by
an interested State Street property
From Page1A
year. Last week's presentation by
Rackham Graduate School Dean
Janet Weiss to the Senate Advisory
Committee on University Affairs
and subsequent coverage of the.
proposal prompted multiple letters
from CEWG members to respond to
Weiss's claims.
In a letter to the editor published
in The Michigan Daily earlier this
week, Shaun McGirr, chair of the
CEWG, said Weiss may not be accu-
rately portraying the consequences
of a continuous enrollment propos-
"A working group of concerned
graduate students has been consid-
ering the further implications that
Rackham may have brushed over in
its publicity materials," he wrote.
McGirr said CEWG has found
several potential problems with
the proposal. He said the proposal
would decrease a student's flexibil-
ity as he or she proceeds through
their program and has the potential
to force students to pay tuition fees
if departments can't or won't fund
them. McGirr said the proposal
would also complicate the ability
to perform cutting-edge external
research, decrease demographic
diversity by pressuring depart-
ments to admit students who can
quickly finish a program and deter
the best students from the Univer-
sity to schools with less restrictive
Rackham student Kiara Vigil,
president of the Graduate Employ-
ees' Organization, said in an e-mail
statement that concerns about the
policy aren't limited to graduate
"I have also communicated with
concerned faculty members from
departments across the University,
and they too have expressed con-
cerns regarding the lack of specific
processes related to the implemen-
tation of this policy," she wrote.
In thee-mailVigil outlinedthree
main concerns GEO has with the
continuous enrollment proposal.
Vigil said the GEO Stewards
Council - the executive governing
body of the union - would like to
see plans in place for how schools
will cope with any potential finan-
cial losses.
In an interview yesterday, Weiss
said schools would be required to

to the tune of "Hail to the Chief"
and the enthusiastic clapping of
audience members who stood and
turned to watch the first couple
make their way down the aisle.
Violinist Joshua Bell opened the
show, playing a traditional spiritual
on a violin that was last played at
Ford's Theatre the night Lincoln
was shot in 1865. The gala also
included scenes from a play about
Lincoln's life, along with other spo-
ken tributes and musical perfor-
Before the event, guests rang-
ing from Cabinet members to
movie producers strode down a
red carpet in sharply cut tuxedos
and colorful gowns. Talk included
prime-time television plotlines
and opinions of the economic
stimulus package being ham-
mered out in Congress.
Many were inspired by Obama.
"I still get a tear in my eye every
time I see him on television," said
Kelsey Grammer, though ie added
that he didn't always agree with
Obama's politics. Grammer later
took the stage to speak of Lincoln's
love of Shakespeare.
Sidney Poitier and "Star Wars"
director George Lucas were both
honored with the Lincoln Medal.
Poitier, who broke down racial
barriers with movies like "A Rai-
sin in the Sun" and "Guess Who's
Coming to Dinner," called Obama
a man of "simple origins" inspired
by Lincoln.
Slade said that when the restau-
rant moves he doesn't want it to lose
"chat rustic, old school vibe."
"I own everything in that
shop," he said. "I will go in there,
and I will strip the walls of every-
bought Red Hot Lovers because it
was his favorite restaurant on cam-
pus when he was a student.
Slade said he has big plans for
the business, including opening
a second Ann Arbor location and
then bringing it to other Big Ten
"My vision is expansion," he said.
"This is just one little bump in the
road. We'll figure it out."
formulate plans in order for the
continuous enrollment require-
menttoube put in place.
"The graduate school is plan-
ning to contribute money to make
sure that all schools will be able to
cover their obligations, and in other
cases schools are using gift monies
or other funds to help cover the dif-
ference between what they will be
expected to pay after the policy is
implemented and what they're pay-
ing now," she said.
Among the three outlined con-
cerns, Vigil said other factors
affecting degree completion, which
Weisshassaidwill increasebecause
of continuous enrollment, need to
be considered in tandem with this
proposal. Increasing financial aid,
decreasing cohort size and improv
ing faculty mentoring, along with
other measures, should be imple
mented alongside the continuous
enrollment proposal, Vigil said.
Weiss said efforts are underway
to address several of these con-
cerns, including a mentoring ini-
tiative and a dissertation-writing
"We agree that there are many
other factors that can help to pro-
mote completion, and we are work-

ing on many of them," Weiss said.
Vigil said financial consider-
ations for students should to be
taken into consideration in the
proposal as well, because the pol-
icy could result in students paying
more for their education through
tuition and fees.
Weiss admitted that a student
might end up paying more, but said
this would only affect a very small
number of students.
"For most people, we do not
anticipate that it will result in a
total increase in cost across their
graduate career," she said.
Weiss said only students who
bear the entire burden of paying for
their educations might end up pay-
ing more.
"This only applies to those stu-
dents who are paying every nickel
themselves, from start to finish,
and there are almost none of those
people," she said. "Maybe one per-
son or two people who would fall
into this category (each year)."
The proposal is scheduled to
be fully implemented in fall 2010.
When it's implemented, all Ph.D.
candidates - not just new candi-
dates - will be required to comply
with the policy.

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