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September 17, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-09-17

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, September17, 2009 - 7A


Greek leaders: Rush not
affected by poor economy

Panhel, IFC report
'nearly identical'
numbers compared
to previous years
Daily StaffReporter
This year, don't expect the
parade of girls down Hill Steet to
slow, despite the struggling econ-
Neither the Interfraternity
Council nor the Panhellenic Asso-
ciation - the University's largest
Greek councils - have noticed
a dip in the number of students
interested in joining Greek life in
spite of a record unemployment
rate in Michigan and economic
woes acros4 the country.
Mary Beth Seiler, director of the
University's Office ofGreek Life, said
Panhel officials were pleased to see
the number of potential new mem-
bers is almost identical to last year's.
"It was a pleasant surprise for
us," she said.
According to IFC President Ari
Parritz, their mass meeting had
one of the largest turnouts he has
seen in recent years.
"My freshman year, for example,
though we weren't in a big eco-
nomic crisis, if you want to call it
that, we had maybe half to three
quarters less people than we had
present this year," he said.
Parritz said an increase in the
number of fraternities on campus
could be a reason for the higher
numbers of participants, since
the IFC hasn't changed any of its
advertising tactics.
"We're fortunate that our num-
bers continue to grow," he said,
"and that we continue to be an

attractive source for students with
many people realizing early on that
Greek Life is a great way to find
your place."
Parritz said Greek Life officials
have been worried about the eco-
nomic impact on rush for the past
couple of years, but their concerns
haven't materialized.
winter and in the year before, butwe
haven't noticed any downturn in our
numbers," he said. "The numbers
were up in the winter in the height
of the crisis and they haven't shown
any sign they'll go down."
Seiler said students who are
concerned about the costs of rush
should consult Panhel's website
ily accessible. According to Panhel's
website, sorority dues range from
$900 to $2,300 and are decided on
an individual chapter basis.
According to a Daily article from
Feb. 10, the IFC doesn't publicly
release the cost of rush.
Panhel President Rachael
Reeves wrote in an e-mail that she
hasn't received too many questions
from potential new members about
the costs of joining a sorority.
She added that she thinks many
realize it can be a good deal to join
the Greek community.
"Sorority dues go toward things
such as having a great chef so that
you do not have to make your own
meals, sisterhood events, and other
things that generally really enrich
your experience here at U of M,"
she wrote in the e-mail.
To alleviate any financial con-
cerns, the two councils do offer
scholarship opportunities.
Parritz said the IFC is sponsor-
ing eight new scholarships this
year, worth about $1,000 each.
"We recognize the need and
the large commitment it takes to

become part of the Greek commu-
nity," he said. "Since (IFC's) financ-
es are flexible, instead of creating
another program we wanted to
give it back to the community into
the area that needs it most -which
is the new members."
Reeves said the individual
sororities offer many scholarship
opportunities to their members
once they have joined the soror-
ity. She said Panhel also offers
other opportunities like the ones
funded by the Junior Panhel
Since the Multicultural Greek
Council holds recruitment later in
the year, it's still not clear how the
economy will affect rush, Carmen
Loo, MGC's vice president, wrote
in an e-mail.
"Students are very worried about
their economic situations, especial-
ly with the costs of dues and rush,"
she wrote in the e-mail. Therefore,
"people might be reluctant to go
throughthe recruitment process."
Loo said new members often ask
about the costs of Greek Life dur-
ing recruitment, but MGC doesn't
have a number to give them most of
the time because each house han-
dles their dues differently.
"Each organization works dili-
gently to lower costs by giving
out more scholarships," Loo said.
"Many organizations have also
increased their fundraising efforts
by providing fundraisers and pro-
grams that canpotentiallyincrease
houses' treasury."
She added: "MGC organizations
especially have been keeping up
with scholarship funds and trying
to help new members as much as
Loo said compromises are always
beingmade and MGC hopes the eco-
nomic situation won't have a nega-
tive impact on its future recruits.

, . ''

Youth Hope Organization members Shirley Wang, an LSA junior, and Gabriel Thurin, a 2009 University graduate, sell Krispy
Kreme donuts in Angell Hall to raise money for their service trip to Haiti. YHO bought about 400 boxes of donuts for the event.

From Page 1A
argue new evidence suggests Vin-
son spent 23 years in a cell at the G.
Robert Cotton Correctional Facil-
ity in Jackson, Mich. for a crime he
didn't commit.
Law Prof. David Moran, the other
co-director of the Innocence Clinic,
called the case a "scientific train
wreck;' adding that the new evidence
"conclusively exonerates" Vinson.
During the trial, Vinson present-
ed multiple witnesses who testified
he was at his mother's home at the
time of the crime, the brief states.
But the prosecution had what
the jury found to be damning evi-
dence - evidence, it turns out, that
is completely false.
A mixed blood and semen stain
was found at the crime scene on
the victim's bed sheet and sent for
forensic testing in 1986 to the now-
defunct Detroit police crime lab.
Paula Lytle, a police forensic ex-
aminer, testified that her tests on
Vinson's blood sample showed him
to be a non-secretor, meaning his
blood type does not reveal itself in
his bodily fluids other than blood.
Another police examiner, Officer
Robert Lloyd, also testified at the tri-
al. Lloyd said that fingerprints were
not found at the crime scene. Lloyd
told the jury that a "non-secretor"
is less likely to leave fingerprints be-
cause he or she perspires less.
Theproblemwiththis testimony,
according to the Innocence Clinic's
From Page 1A
clear that she will draw the line at
dangerous cuts that would hurt citi-
zens or harm our ability to grow the
economy and create jobs," said Liz
Boyd, Granholm's press secretary.
Rep. Pam Byrnes (D-Lyndon
Twp.) said the House's Democratic
caucus proposed allocating funds
for four key areas including the
Michigan PromiseScholarship, early
childhood education, police and fire
safety, and Medicaid coverage.
Byrnes said although Demo-
crats in the state want to increase
revenue through higher taxes, that
option is complicated by the Michi-
gan's current economic state. The
Republican-controlled Senate is
also unwilling to raise taxes as a
means of creating more revenue.
"The only other alternative is to
generate more revenue of which
would mean more taxes to people,"
Byrnes said. "And now we have the
highest unemployment rate in the
nation, and doing the general tax
increase would not be very well re-
ceived by the citizens of Michigan
at this time."
Sen. Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor)
agrees with the solution of raising
taxes to help fund the state's vari-
ous commitments.
"There's a number of ways we
could solve the problem, but basi-
cally the kind of cuts they're talk-
ing about are very draconian and
they're not going to be able to pro-
vide needed essential state services
unless we provide some additional
revenue," she said.
"The problem is that there's se-
rious philosophical disagreement
between the leadership of the Sen-
ate and the House about what is
the role of state government," she

brief, is that Lloyd did not clarify
for the jury that by "non-secretor"
he meant a person who excretes
very little or no oils from his or her
skin, and has nothingto do with the
type of non-secretor Lytle's tests
had shown Vinson to be.
The Detroit crime lab, which
conducted the tests back in 1986,
was shut down last fall after an ex-
ternal audit found a slew of errors
in the lab's analyses in murder and
other crime cases over the years.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym
Worthy told The Associated Press
last September that the audit found
erroneous or false findings in 10
percent of 200 random cases tested
and subpar quality control compli-
ance overall at the lab.
The audit also demonstrated a
"shocking level of incompetence"
in the lab, constituting a systemic
problem, said Worthy at a news
conference last fall. The lab met
only 42 percent of a required 100
percent of recognized work stan-
dards, Worthy said.
In a report published in Febru-
ary, Dr. Judith Westrick, an associ-
ate chemistry professor at Lake Su-
perior State University, re-analyzed
blood and saliva samples from Vin-
son. Westrick's tests found Vinson
to be an AB secretor, meaning that
both A and B blood antigens should
have been found in the semen stain
found at the scene of the rape.
Because A and B blood antigens
were not found at the crime scene,
the brief argues, "Vinson could
not have been responsible for this

Additional testing conducted
in 2009 showed the semen to be
that of someone with blood type
O, further exonerating Vinson for
the crime, according to Innocence
Clinic officials.
"If blood type O antigens came
from the semen source, then Mr.
Vinson could not be the semen
source because the forensic analy-
sis would have detected the pres-
ence of A and B blood types, but
only found type O," the brief reads.
"Therefore, Mr. Vinson could not
have been responsible forthis crime
because his blood type should have
been detected in the sheet stain but
was not detected!'
At the press conference yester-
day, Karl's brother, Robert Vinson,
said Vinson's conviction and in-
carceration has taken a toll on his
whole family, especially his mother,
who has had to live with the knowl-
edge her son has been in jail for 23
years for a crime he didn't commit.
his innocence throughout, adding
that he has been denied parole sev-
eral times because he has refused to
admitcguilt to the parole board.
Innocence Clinic officials are cur-
rently waiting for Judge Vera Massey
Jones to decide on the case. There is
no timeframe for that process,though
Moran said he's confident it will get
resolved soon, as Jones is known for
keeping a clean docket.
- Elyana Twiggs
contributed to this report.

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continued, "that makes it difficult
to come to these necessary compro-
According to Bauer, there is a
$232 million difference between
the House and Senate's higher edu-
cation budgets, which is due in part
to the House's full funding of the
Michigan Promise Grants at $140
Byrnes said the state has federal
stimulus money from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act
that can provide a cut of the fund-
ing for state universities, but that
the Promise Scholarship was not
included in these funds.
"We're able to use those federal
funds to do this, so there should be
no cuts actually to the operating ex-
penses of the universities," Byrnes
said. "And that's why the proposal
of the Senate was to cut the promise
grant because that was not tied into
the operating expenses."
The University planned their
budget for the 2009-2010 academic
year according to estimations based
on state appropriations of $316
million, according to Cynthia Wil-
banks, the University's vice presi-
dent for government relations.
"That is the requirement under
the federal stimulus program that
the state must maintain funding at
the 2006 fiscal year level," she said.
According to Wilbanks, the Uni-
versity's funding from the state,
which is at about 22 to 23 percent
of the general fund, has steadily
declined since 2002, when state
funding for the University was at its
peak at $363 million.
"It's certainly a reflection today
of the downturn in the economy in
the state of Michigan and I think all
of us who rely in some way on state
support know that the current ex-
penditures of the state are not sus-
tainable based on the current rev-
enues that the state is receiving, so

something's got to give" Wilbanks
Bauer said the conference com-
mittees, appointed by the House
Speaker and the Senate Majority
Leader during their meeting yester-
day, will work to forge compromises
and solve the differences between
the two bodies.
Those conference committee re-
ports will then be presented as a re-
vised budget to the full House and
According to Bauer, after these
reports are created, the House and
Senate cannot further amend the
budget and can only vote it up or
Brater said while the legislature
is trying to prevent a government
shutdown through these recent ne-
gotiations between legislative lead-
ers, she has heard word of a possible
continuation budget, which would
involve a resolution that extends
the currentyear's budget for a short
"It's possible we could have a
continuation budget. I've heard talk
of that to reenact a single budget
temporarilyuntil we solve the prob-
lems," Brater said. "But that would
be somewhat only a short-term fix
because there's not enough money
in this current fiscal year's budget.
I mean there's more money being
spent in the fiscal year's budget
than we currently have to spend."
Brater said the only sector in
which she supports cuts is the De-
partment of Corrections.
"That of course is very contro-
versial but we need to be shifting
what we're spending in correc-
tions to preventative programs and
to prevent criminalization later in
life," Brater said. "I think we know
what we need to do to stabilize this
economy and certainly invest in
higher education is key for the 21st
century workforce."

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