The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Friday, April 16, 2010 - 3
on Oakland County
Oakland County Executive L.
Brooks Patterson on yesterday
backed off on a legal challenge
against the state over funding for
enforcement of a smoking ban
that's set to take effect May 1.
The lawsuit was filed with the
Michigan Court of Appeals, but
Patterson shortly afterward decid-
ed to withdraw it because of oppo-
sition to the move from more than
100 residents of his county, which
includes Detroit's northern sub-
"I work for the people of Oakland
County and through their c-mails
and phone calls they have unani-
mously told me they are opposed
to the lawsuit," Patterson, a Repub-
lican, said in a statement yesterday
Patterson said he supported
the smoking ban to keep the pub-
lic from being at risk from the ill
effects of secondhand smoke but
described the law as an unfunded
mandate and wanted a court order
Oregon rules that
workers can still be
fired for medical
The Oregon Supreme Court has
ruled that workers can be fired for
using medical marijuana even if
they have a card from the state pro-
gram authorizing its use.
The case involves a worker in
Eugene who was fired after telling
his boss before taking a drug test
that he was using medical marijua-
na approved by his doctor.
In a 5-2 opinion, the court said
state law is trumped by federal law
that classifies marijuana as a drug
with no proven medical value. A
dissenting opinion said federal law
did not bar Oregon from setting its
own policy on medical marijuana.
The ruling overturned a state
Bureau of Labor and Industries
decision that said the employer had
to make a reasonable accommoda-
tion for a worker with a physical or
refuses audio in
For the first time in four years,
the Supreme Court has gone an
entire term without granting the
quick release of audio recordings of
The court said Wednesday it has
rejected a request from four broad-
casters for the same-day audio in
an important First Amendment
case next week that pits a Christian
campus organization against the
University of California's Hastings
College of the Law.
With television cameras and
reporters' tape recorders barred
from the court, the availability
of audio provides the public with
a chance to hear the justices at
The last time the court provided
audio the same day as an argument
was in September in a key case
about limits on campaign spending
by corporations and labor unions.
* French bishop hid
sexual abuse case
A letter confirmed by the Vatican
shows top Holy See official in 2001
congratulated a French bishop for
shielding a priest convicted of rap-
ing and sexually abusing minors.
The Sept. 8, 2001 letter from
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos,
then the head of the Vatican office
in charge of priests, praised bishop
Pierre Pican for risking prison time
to defend the Rev. Rene Bissey.
French Catholic publication
Golias published a copy of the letter
on March 30. The Vatican has faced
accusations of secrecy that allowed
priests to rape and molest children
unchecked for decades.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Fed-
erico Lombardi yesterday called the
letter "proof" that cases of sexual
abuse of minors must be handled by
the Congregation of the Doctrine of
Faith. They have been since 2001.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
From Page 1
At the signing ceremony, Haas
said the partnership will help the
schools continue to offer benefits to
"We have wonderful diversity
and we're providing(what) the state
needs, and that's an educated work-
force, citizens for this state and citi-
zens for this nation and the world,"
Haas said. "So I'm very thrilled to
see how this collaboration is going
and I know there will be others
Because GVSU doesn't have a
pharmacy school, the agreement
they didn't necessarily know about,
Frank Ascione, dean of the Univer-
sity of Michigan's College of Phar-
macy, said in a press release.
"This program allows the U-M
College of Pharmacy to tap into a
new pool ofin-state talent," Ascione
said in the release. "At the same
time, it creates opportunities for
outstanding Grand Valley students
who may not have considered this
to be a possible career path."
From Page 1
roommate, possibly with the aid of
uroomsurf.com or other roommate
While developing the new pro-
gram, officials consulted LSA
Student Government and the Resi-
dence Halls Association.
LSA-SG junior representative
Adam London worked on the proj-
ect last year and said LSA-SG's role
in the project provided input from
a student perspective.
"It was certainly a collabora-
tive process," he said. "University
administrators at all levels were
very willing to meet with LSA-SG
to discuss nuances of the plan."
The resulting University pilot
program acts as a self-contained
networking site, allowing users to
send and receive messages and to
create personal profiles based on
their responses to a survey.
However, unlike other online
social networking tools, the Uni-
versity process still maintains
some degree of "blindness." Stu-
dents are given anonymous iden-
tification numbers instead of being
labeled by name. They can choose
to give out personal information
only after messaging anonymously
with another user.
University Housing spokesman
From Page 1
members. The largest IFC organi-
zation - Alpha Epsilon Pi - has
roughly 150 members.
Moreno-Koehler wrote that
holding events boils down to a
"numbers game" but shouldn't
prevent both organizations from
"Past and current e-board mem-
bers from IFC and MGC have
started to work together to cre-
ate relationships and educate each
other so that functions can and
willihappen inthe future with little
logistical problems," he wrote.
But Moreno-Koehler wrote that
members of both councils now
have definite plans to have more
joint events in the near future.
"Since a huge part of being
in Greek life is community ser-
Moreno-Koehler wrote. "New
members and e-board members
from both councils feel that
participating in a day of com-
munity service involving the
Greek Community would allow
us to help out and build future
The firstcgroup of GVSU students
will be admitted to the program
in the fall of 2011. This agreement
marks the first of its kind made by
the College of Pharmacy, though
the University has already made a
similar partnership with GVSU. An
agreement reached in 2009 allows
University students graduating
from the School of Kinesiology to
enroll in GVSU's master's degree
program in occupational therapy.
Two representatives from the
Lecturers' Employee Organization
spoke to the regents yesterday at
their monthly meeting regarding
different aspects of the ongoing
contract negotiations between the
union and the University.
Elizabeth Axelson, the lead nego-
tiator for LEO and a lecturer in the
English Language Institute, spoke
pointedly against potential pay cuts
for lecturers. If enacted, she said,
the University would be slashing
the lecturers' salaries, which she
said are already too low.
"Minimum salaries are $30,000
Peter Logan said this system allows
students to portray themselves free
from social pressure, in a way that
other sites don't allow them to do.
"Facebook pages are not always
the best judge of a real personal-
ity," Logan said.
By eliminating all external fac-
tors like photos and other media,
the process allows students first to
find people they are compatible to
live with and then to learn every-
thing else about them.
In addition to the anonym-
ity, the University Housing option
avoids excessive hobby and interest
questions, like music preferences,
instead focusing on "background-
neutral questions" like study and
room organization habits.
Michael Zabriskie, director of
the Housing Information Office,
said the office likes to focus the
vent students from seeking room-
mates exactly like themselves.
"We value the differences that
are present within our student
population," he said. "And we hope
students will take advantage of
those opportunities too."
Logan said the questions are
constructed to be extremely open-
ended, forcing students to be as
genuine as possible.
"The key thing is framing ques-
tions so that you don't predispose
students to answer in a certain
networks between individuals on
Scheduled for the upcoming
fall, Greek Community Service
Day will be a collaborative effort
between all four Greek groups -
IFC, MGC, Panhellenic Associa-
tion and the National Pan-Hellenic
Moreno-Koehler added that
events like the community service
day allow Greek life organizations
to work together to "showcase the
positive impact" the Greek com-
munity has on the University.
Friedman echoed Moreno-
Koehler's sentiments, writing that
the difficulty with both organi-
zations is not their ability to co-
sponsor events but rather that a
in Ann Arbor, $26,000 in Dearborn
and $25,000 in Flint," Axelson said.
"The median fulltime lecturers sal-
aries is $44,000 - this is less than
new, inexperienced, high school
teachers with master's degrees.
It's also less than the national aver-
age as reported by the AAUP. They
Axelson said LEO is proposing
an annual 3-percent, or $2,000, pay
raise, which she said in 10 years
would bring lecturers' salaries to
the median salary of professors at
the University, minus monetary
gains from research.
Catherine-Daligga, a laid off lec-
turer, spoke tothe regents on behalf
of LEO Vice President Kirsten Her-
old, who was ill.University officials
decided not to reappoint Herold
earlier this month, much to the cha-
grin of LEO.
Daligga discussed how lecturer
layoffs, which result in fewer dis-
cussion sections for classes, make
it more difficult for undergraduate
students to fulfill their distribution
requirements and force them to
take upper level courses for which
they are ill prepared.
"This winter time for the first
way," he said.
Another important element of
the University service is that it
doesn't automatically match stu-
dents, instead implementing a
"self-selection process" that asks
students to browse other profiles
before making a selection.
Zabriskie said instead of click-
ing a single button and generating
a roommate, students embark on a
search that forces them to reflect
on what behaviors they truly can
and cannot live with.
"We're not looking for anything
like eHarmony where you click,
and we find the perfect match for
you," he said.
He added that another advan-
tage of the self-selection process is
that students are more involved in
the process, which strengthens the
relationship between roommates.
"If they feel like they've been
invested in the process they'll try
harder to make it work," he said.
Despite past measures to revamp
the roommate system, Logan said
the pilot program is the Univer-
sity's first "controlled effort" at
involving social networking tools
in University Housing because it
statistically measures the effec-
tiveness of the project.
This week marked the fourth
data collection from participants in
the program, comparingits success
with a population of students who
large number of opportunities for
"collaborative programming" are
He added that the chapters in
each council work on independent
levels with a different set of rules
and regulations issued by the two
disparate governing bodies.
"This is a significant barrier
that prevents collaborative social
events between chapters in dif-
ferent councils," he wrote. "If an
individual chapter feels they'll
benefit in terms of manpower
and resources by partnering with
another organization, they'll
often reach out to a fraternity
within their council."
Past event collaborations
between the IFC and MGC
time in my eighteen years of teach-
ing here, we experienced serious
shortages of 100 and 200 level
courses in LS&A," Daligga said
on behalf of Herold. "For the first
time ever, first year winter writing
courses were completely full, with
students waitlisted even for classes
that met Mondays at 8a.m."
She continued, "Yet, no further
sections were open. This left most
lecturers with a reduced load -
two, instead of three, courses - and
students having to delay their first
year writingcourses until their sec-
ond year. We saw the same picture
across the college."
LEO representatives and Univer-
sity officials meet weekly to negoti-
ate the contract. According to an
article in The Michigan Daily last
month, the parties hope to reach an
agreement by the end of May.
REGENTS APPROVE THE
TRANSFER OF FORD ESTATE
The regents authorized the trans-
fer oftheHenryFord Estate-Fairlane
tothe Edsel and Eleanor Ford House.
Donated to the University by the
Ford Motor Company in 1956, the
did not participate from the same
Zabriskie said the program was
offered to upperclassmen during
housing sign-up this year, with
about 200 participants, though it is
still in the process of being evalu-
"We don't want to not offer the
service while we're figuring out
if its effective or not," he said. "If
nothing else we are offering stu-
dents more options, which I think
is always good."
While the program is being
assessed, University Housing offi-
cials said they still are unsure
which population of freshmen will
be offered the program next year
and how it will be implemented.
Uroomsurfcom is a relatively
new roommate finder tool simi-
lar to the University's pilot pro-
gram. The site was created by Dan
Thibodeau and Justin Gaither
afterthe pair observed hundreds of
incoming college freshmen search-
ing for roommates on Facebook.
"At that point we had an, 'aha!'
moment, because we knew there
could be an easier way to find com-
patible roommates," Thibodeau
wrote in an e-mail interview.
The resulting site matches
incoming freshmen based on
their responses to a survey that
includes topics like "hygiene, spiri-
tuality and study/party time split."
include Greek Week, Greek
Awards Night, Taste of Michigan,
the Greek Life t-shirt and the flyer
mailed to incoming first-year stu-
dents over the summer.
Events like these, Friedman
wrote, are part of a recent trend
as previous council members have
Ford Estate, and a subsequent gift
of $6.5 million, allowed the Uni-
versity to establish the "Dearborn
Center" that evolved into the Uni-
versity's Dearborn campus.
The Dearborn campus pays over
$300,000 annually to maintain the
estate. If the University had kept
the property it is expected that it
would have had to pay in excess of
$12 million in order to do necessary
renovations to the estate's infra-
structure and critical buildings.
The University will transfer the
estateto the Ford House, which will
operate the estate like a museum.
The University will not receive any
type of payment for the transaction,
Timothy Slottow, executive vice
presidentand chief financial officer,
told the regents.
"The transfer of the Henry Ford
Estate to the Ford House is expected
to enhance program partnerships
and to promote shared initiatives of
the University and the Ford House,"
Slottow wrote in a letter to the
regents. "In addition, the Ford
House will commit to raising suffi-
cient funds to enhance the steward-
ship of the property and to achieve
this level of museum practice."
Users can choose to enhance their
uroomsurfcom profiles by upload-
ing profile photos or videos and by
including additional information
about their hobbies and interests.
Students make official room-
mate requests through their
schools' housing systems after
The site launched on Feb. 1,
2009, and attracted 3,000 users
by the end of its first day. The
counter at the bottom of uroom-
surfcom's homepage continues to
click upwards as thousands more
students sign up each week. As
of April 9, 2010, uroomsurfcom
boasted more than 45,000 users
and networks from over 700 col-
leges and universities.
Thibodeau wrote that the posi-
tive response to uroomsurfcom
has been overwhelming.
"We get e-mails almost every
day from students thanking us for
creatingthe site," he wrote.
Of the site's current users, 364
are incoming University of Michi-
gan freshmen. Handschuch said
she first heard about uroomsurf.
corm from others in the accept-
ed University student Facebook
"I haven't made an account, but
I checked it out briefly to see what
it was about," she said. "If I hadn't
already found someone to live with,
I'd definitely consider using it."
shied away from joint projects in
the past few years.
"There's been no grassroots
pull for such initiatives," he wrote.
"Neither the members nor the
leaders of these councils have
made this type of collaboration a
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