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January 07, 2009 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-01-07

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c Illic1 i an ail..V

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

michigandaily.com

COURSE EVALUATIONS
Online
evals go
smoothly

MAX COLLINS/Daily
Ann Arbor resident Nick Jacobsen smokes a cigarette yesterday inside Fleetwood Diner. Despite expectations that a bill to ban smoking in public places would pass during
the Michigan legislature's lame-duck session, the state House and Senate failed to reach a compromise on two separate bills late last month.
Public s-mokingbastle

Participation holds
steady as surveys
go paperless
By CAITLIN SCHNEIDER
Daily Staff Reporter
Bolstered bystrongencourage-
ment in classrooms and e-mail
inboxes, about 25,000 students
participated in the University's
first set of online course evalua-
tions.
According to James Kulik,
director of the Office of Evalua-
tions and Exams, that translates
to about 72 percent of students
taking the time to fill out at least
one course evaluation.
Despite concerns that a shift
from the in-class paper format
to online surveys would lead to
lackluster participation, 60-per-
cent of all the online evaluations
were filled out. In past years,
when evaluations were done on
paper, roughly 64-percent of the
evaluations were completed.
The new system follows schools
like Northwestern University and
Brigham Young University, who
have had electronic course evalu-
ations in place for years. Kulik said
like these schools, he expects par-
ticipation numbers to grow in time.
While turnout numbers were
on par with previous years, the
launch wasn't without glitches.
"This was our maiden voyage,
and you expect to learn things the
first time out," Kulik said.
Technical problems caused
delays in the automated e-mail
system, which led to an exten-
sion on the deadline for submis-

sion. Additionally, professors and
departments have yet to receive
reports on the evaluations, which
were initially scheduled to become
available on Dec. 22. Kulik said the
reports shouldbe available shortly.
While the paperless evalua-
tions were intended to be easier
and more efficient,oneofthemain
selling points was the program's
environmental appeal. But, many
teachers asked students to print
off confirmation provingtheyhad
completedthesurveys- arequest
that conflicted with the effort to
save paper. Kulik said possible
solutions to the problem include
e-mail receipts that students can
forward to instructors or faculty
access to alist of the names of stu-
dents who have submitted.
"We have to get instructors
more information about how
things are going, and when stu-
dents are responding online,"
Kulik said. "At a minimum we
want to let them know how many
students have responded at any
given time so that they know
whether to bug students to get
in their evaluations or thank stu-
BY THE NUMBERS
25,000
Students participatedonline
60'
Percentof all the online evaluations
were filledout
64
Percent of the evaluations were
completed on paper in past years
See EVALUATIONS, Page 7A

Despite expectations,
state legislature can't
reach agreement on
smoking ban
By BENJAMIN S. CHASE
Daily StaffReporter
State lawmakers tried to change
Michigan's status as one of 15 states
without a smoking ban before the
legislature adjourned on December
19, but the attempt ended with a stale-
mate in Lansing. The state House
and Senate approved the ban in two
different forms, but couldn't reach a
compromise between the two.
On May 8, the Republican-con-
trolled Senate voted 25-12 to pass
an absolute ban prohibiting smok-

ing in all indoor public places. But
on May 29-, the House of Represen-
tatives, under Democratic control,
approved a bill by a vote of 65-39
to ban smoking only in restaurants
and bars and make exceptions for
casinos and smoke shops.
An agreement on the bill was
never reached before the end of the
legislature's lame duck session in
December.
State Rep. Pam Byrnes (D-Lyn-
don Township) said the deadlock
came from lawmakers that had dif-
fering opinions about the right to
smoke in public places.
"The differences between the
House and Senate versions of this
legislation were not so much a mat-
ter of partisan politics as it was an
ideological discussion," Byrnes said
in an e-mail.
Now there is uncertainty among

legislators about whether the bill
will be reintroduced in the 2009
congressional session or if it will be
placed on the ballot for state resi-
dents to vote on int2010.
Byrnes, who supported the more
far-reaching Senate version of the
bill over the House version, said she
would be willing to compromise on
the issue if it comes up for reconsid-
eration in the House.
"I am hopeful that the legisla-
ture will revisit this issue in the
coming legislative session," Byrnes
said. "While I support a ban with
no exemption, I would be willing
to support a compromise, as I feel
it is important to have some level of
protection in place for employees."
Though the ballot initiative
would likely pass in 2010, Byrnes
said she hoped lawmakers would
pass a bill on a ban during the

upcoming legislative session.
"Puttingthisissueontheballotfor
voters to decide is always an option,"
Byrnes said. "But I would hope that
the legislature would take action
before that became necessary."
Though there is strong support
for a smoking ban - which Byrnes
described as "overwhelming" in her
district - the issue is still contro-
versial. Many establishments, espe-
cially casinos and bars, argue that a
ban would be bad for businesses and
drive away customers who smoke.
At Ann Arbor's Fleetwood Diner,
located at the corner of Ashley
Street and Liberty Street, manager
Aviva Woodward echoed the con-
cerns of casino and bar owners dur-
ingan interviewwith The Michigan
Daily in November. Woodward
said business would likely suffer if
See SMOKING BAN, Page 7A

FRATERNITY BREAK-IN
State St. fraternity
robbed and flooded

A
bro
into

Mem
ternity
to find t
house a
hosts vo
lawn, s
flood an
the sam
Home
the hou
Dec. 23
Police
Ellinger
of the br
Dec. 23.
A ne
Ann Arb
break-in
When I
they fou
glarized
ken wat
flooding
els of th

lpha Delta Phi In addition, Max Barack, the out-
going president of ADPhi, said sever-
thers move back al things were stolen from the house.
A complete list of stolen items is still
damaged house yet to be determined, but according
to Barack, expensive items like tele-
By NICOLE ABER visions, DVD players and speakers
Daily StaffReporter were reported missing.
According to the police, it is still
bers of Alpha Delta Phi fra- unclear whether the burglary and
came back from winter break the flood are related.
heir house in shambles. The "It can't be determined whether
t 556 S. State St., which often it was from the cold temperature or
olleyball games on its front whether the window was broken,"
uffered damage from both a Ellinger said. "We don't know."
d a burglary that occurred in Barack said many of the rooms
e week. have been damaged because of the
e to 18 fraternity brothers, break-in, and certain walls have
se was broken into between been torn down in order to repair the
and Dec. 27, said Ann Arbor pipes.
Detective Amy Ellinger. Although officials initially deemed
added that the last time any the house unsuitable for living, the
others were in the house was fraternity brothers have moved back
in this week, Barack said.
arby resident notified the "There was a brief time where it
bor Police Department of the was deemed unlivable. We consid-
on Dec. 27, Ellinger said. ered that as an alternative option,
police arrived at the house but ultimately that's not going to be
und a broken window, bur- forced upon us now," Barack said.
i bedrooms and several bro- Barack added that contrac-
ter pipes, which resulted in tors have been working to repair
on the upper and main lev- the damages since they were first
e house. See FRATERNITY, Page 7A

M-Den to
take over
empty
storefront
Apparel retailer will fill
space vacated by bankrupt
Steve and Barry's
By LINDY STEVENS
Daily News Editor
The former Steve and Barry's storefront on
State Street won't be vacant for long. M-Den,
the locally owned retailer of University appar-
el and souvenirs, officially took possession of
the building Jan. 5 - two days after Steve and
Barry's closed its doors.
A number of businesses, including CVS
Pharmacy, were interested in the location
according to Ed Davidson, the building's
landlord. Despite other offers, Davidson
said he only considered M-Den for the
space.
"There was no contest," Davidson said in an
e-mail. "I thought M-Den was the best fit and
called them early on."
Davidson said he first contacted M-Den
about the space after Steve and Barry's

People walk by the shuttered storefront of Steve and Barry's yesterday. M-Den, another University apparel
retailer, took control of the store on Monday, but the store's officials are not yet sure when it will open.

national chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
in July. When the retailer filed for Chapter 7
bankruptcy in November - effectively shut-
ting down the company - Davidson said
M-Den made plans to move in.
Though M-Den officially took possession of
the property on Monday, plans for the space
haven't been solidified, said Doug Horning, a
spokesman for M-Den.
Details regarding renovations and an
official opening day for the store will be
released at a later date, Horning said in an
e-mail.
The new store will be the latest addition
to Ann Arbor M-Den locations, with one on
Main Street and another in Briarwood Mall.
The State Street M-Den location will com-
pete for customers in the market for Univer-

sity gear with Great Lakes Team Apparel and
Moe's Sport Shops, both located nearby.
Robert Duerksen, owner of Great Lakes
Team Apparel, said the new M-Den came as a
surprise. Though he said it would have been
nice to have one less competitor on the block,
Duerksen said he suspected his store would
fill the void in low-cost apparel left by Steve
and Barry's - formerly his biggest rival, he
said.
"I think we'll become the place for that val-
ue-conscious customer looking for a $10 tee,"
Duerksen said.
But despite a slow economy and a hand-
ful of competitors within walking distance
of his store, Duerksen said he thinks there
will be enough customers to support all the
See M-DEN, Page 7A

WEATHER HI: 29
TOMORROW :10 20

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