NOT JUST TALK
The Copenhagen Climate Summit Ag
is an opportunity for the U.S. to
toughen environmental standards.
SEE OPINION, PAGE 4 SEE
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Friday, December 11, 2009
WHO HAS THE BEST MOVES?
NVR Flo, a hip-hop dance group formed in 2006, performs yesterday at Michigan's Best Dance Crew in the Michigan Union Ballroom. At the event, dance groups competed
for $450 in prizes and the opportunity to call themselves the best dance crew on campus. Despite tough competition, Dance2XS ended up winning the title.
LITIGATION R EPORT
Former prof.'s case back in court
After MSA vote,
officials disagree on
next step for burden
of proof amendment
By KYLE SWANSON
Daily News Editor
When the Michigan Student
Assembly voted earlier this week
to rescind its support for a con-
troversial amendment to the Uni-
versity's student code of conduct,
the vote threw a wrench into a
bureaucratic process that had
been underway for months. It also
left administrators and other cam-
pus officials scrambling to figure
out where the proposal goes from
The amendment, which would
have lowered the standard of evi-
dence needed to find students
guilty of violating the Statement
of Studentof Rights and Responsi-
bilities, was a collaborative effort
from many campus organizations
since its inception.One ofthe main
goals was to reduce the burden of
proof needed to punish students
for violations of the Statement,
bringing the University in line
with many other colleges across
the country. Additionally, the
change would bring the burden of
proof in line with that of faculty,
staff and students at Rackham
Graduate School here on campus.
Currently, the Statement of Stu-
dent Rights and Responsibilities
requires -"clear and convincing"
evidence to prove a student guilty
of violating rules set forth in the
student code - meaning the case
reviewer must be confident a vio-
However, the proposed amend-
ment would lower the standard
to require a "preponderance of
evidence" - meaning the case
reviewer would merely need to
believe it was more likely than not
that a violation occurred.
The proposed changes were
brought before MSA in October
for consideration. The assembly
voted at the time to move it for-
ward without debate. However, a
vote by MSA members on Tuesday
night reversed the group's posi-
tion, terminating the assembly's
support for the amendment.
An unclear picture remains in
the wake of that vote as to where
the proposal currently stands.
Some University officials told the
Daily that the proposal will need
to be re-introduced through one
See CODE, Page 3
Lawsuit brought by
Peter Hammer has
dragged on for more
than five years
By DARRYN FITZGERALD
A former University Law School
professor will appear in court today
for the third time since he original-
ly filed a discrimination suit against
the University five years ago, claim-
ing he was wrongfully denied ten-
ure for being openly gay.
Peter Hammer, who now teaches
law at Wayne State University, left
the University in 2003, shortly after
he was denied tenure in a closed-
door faculty vote. Hammer claims
the faculty's decision to deny him
tenure is in violation of the Univer-
sity's non-discrimination policy.
Today's hearing will deter-
mine whether the case will go to
trial, after it was twice postponed
becausethe Universityfiled motions
for dismissal -. both of which were
A decision on the motion was
supposed to be made in early
November, but both sides agreed to
push it back to better accommodate
According to an Oct. 10 article
published in The Michigan Daily,
the University initially argued that
an alleged violation of its policy
could not be pursued in a legal set-
ting. After mounting faculty pres-
sure, though, the University revised
its legal strategy in 2006 and now
maintains that discrimination was
not a factor in the decision to deny
tenure to Hammer.
James Giddings, 30th Judicial
Circuit Court judge, will hear oral
arguments in a public hearingtoday
regarding a summary disposition
filed by the University that requests
the case be thrown out.
Today marks. the University's
- See HAMMER, Page 7
Report: On campuses, sexual
assaults clouded by 'secrecy'
A WARM WAIT ON A COLD DAY
By VERONICA MENALDI
Though a recent report dis-
covered that there is a "culture
of secrecy" on college campuses
when it comes to sexual assault,
University officials and campus
groups say that isn't the case at
The report commissioned by
the Center for Public Integrity
called Sexual Assault on Cam-
pus found that there is a "cul-
ture of silence" surrounding
sexual assaults on university
campuses. According to Kris-
ten Lombardi, the lead writer of
the report, 95 percent of college
women who have been sexually
assaulted do not report it to an
"Students that reported being
victims on campus often see
a host of barriers that ensure
their silence or leave them feel-
ing re-victimized," she said.
Lombardi said she and her
co-reporter interviewed 48 col-
lege officials and other experts
on the topic, including campus
victim advocates and sexual
assault service coordinators,
as part of the study. They also
WEATHER HI: 31
TOMORROW LO: 26
interviewed 50 students who
had been sexually assaulted
while they were in college.
Lombradi said many of the
students they interviewed said
their school administration dis-
couraged them from involving
the campus judicial branch by
painting the process in a "nega-
tive and unappealing light."
"This keeps students from
moving forward," she said.
"They think, 'if I'm not going to
be supported then, why should I
bother telling anybody."'
But Department of Public
Safety spokeswoman Diane
Brown said this isn't the case
at the University. She said DPS
works to try and dispel myths
that it wouldn't move forward
with an investigation through
a 10-point promise brochure
issued earlier this semester.
"This brochure illustrates
the commitment that police
officers here have to working
with the individual that makes
complaints of being sexually
assaulted," she said. "It's also
our way of havingsomething for
people who know someone who
has been assaulted so they can
have a document to give them."
The 10-point promise says
that police officers will meet
with the individual at a place
of his or her choosing and will
consider the case regardless of
gender and sexual orientation.
Brown said student victims
are in control of the whole pro-
cess, can stop at any point and
are constantly kept informed
"What this promise is
attempting to do is dispel and
debunk the myths that once
you tell the police you lose all
control," she said. "That's not
Brown added that the Univer-
sity encourages students who
have been victimized to report
it so the University can help.
"When those laws are vio-
lated we all need to help sup-
port the enforcement of those
laws. The police can only do so
much," she said. "They can't
enforce laws if they don't know
something has occurred."
Brown said that contrary to
the report's findings, the Uni-
versity encourages students to
report sexual assaults because
it not only benefits the victim,
but the University as well.
"This is an environment of
encouraging reporting to be
accurate and helpful to our Uni-
versity community," she said.'
"Cover-up is never going to be
helpful since it never results in
a good resolution for individual
and certainly isn't good for the
University in the long run."
In addition to coming for-
ward to DPS, students have
See REPORT, Page 7
LSA freshman Helen Cheong waits for the Bursley-Baits bus inside of the C.C. Little Building yesterday. Temperatures yesterday
fell below zero degrees with the wind chill.
Students bring ACT help to Detroit
Letters to Success
By ANNIE THOMAS
There's something about the
University of Michigan that
inspires the best in its students.
Just ask Ross Chanowksi, a Public
Policy junior who has been work-
ing on creating a campus group
to help high school students in
Detroit since his freshman year.
Letters to Success, matches Uni-
versity students with high school
students in the Detroit-metro area
for eight-week ACT tutoring ses-
sions. The program is endorsed by
the University's School of Educa-
tion and is now wrapping up its
first full semester of operation.
The project is currently serving
some juniors at Willow Run High
School in Ypsilanti.
Chanowski got the idea to start
the program while he worked
with a student in Detroit as part of
a class he took his freshman year.
"I thought, wow, this kid is
really intelligent," Chanowski
said. "But, he had no grammati-
cal structure and would have got-
ten a zero on the essay test of the
ACT and he really didn't have any
See GROUP, Page 7
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