The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 5A
From Page 1A
As editor and publisher of the
political newsletter Inside Michi-
gan Politics, Ballenger said his is
the only newsletter in the country
to make political predictions - and
that 88 percent of its predictions
for this year's Michigan primaries
In addition to his predictions,
Ballenger also emphasized the
importance of the Supreme Court
Historically, in census years,
Supreme Court justices are cru-
cial in determining the reappor-
tionment of state representatives
across agiven state, Ballenger said.
He added that usually one-third
of voters don't vote for a Supreme
Court candidate in the election
because they don't know the can-
Additionally, all 15 members of
Congress from Michigan are on
the ballot, though Ballenger said
he believes this will be the last year
Michigan will have that many rep-
The number has dropped from
19 in 1982 and will likely contin-
ue to decrease due to Michigan's
shrinking population, he said. The
eighth-largest state by population
currently, Ballenger said Michigan
is at risk of losing two representa-
tives by 2020.
From Page 1A
"All state employees have a right
to free speech outside working
hours," Cox said ina statementyes-
terday, according to the Free Press.
"But Mr. Shirvell's immaturity and
lack of judgment outside the office
A spokesman for Cox, John
Sellek confirmed to the Free Press
yesterday that Shirvell is a civil ser-
vice employee in Cox's office, but
wouldn't comment further on the
matter. Cox officials also confirmed
to The Michigan Daily last week
that Shirvell works in Cox's office.
Shirvell graduated from the
University in 2002 and was active
From Page 1A
building or the home so different,
when you have family and guests
here," she added.
University Provost Philip Han-
lon also spoke at the event, saying
North Quad offered the University
community an entirely new type of
facility to grow in.
"Say what you will about the
North Quad, one thing you have to
admit is it's really different," Han-
lon said. "It's unlike anything this
University has ever tried before."
At the center of the innovative
University building, Hanlon said, is
the strong connection between liv-
ing and learning.
"Imagine in this one magnificent
facility, we're housing an upper-
class residence hall, three of our
best academic units, two of our
busiest academic support units,
this swanky dining hall,. as well
as advanced media and technol-
ogy in the classrooms and com-
mon spaces," Hanlon said, looking
out over the crowd gathered at the
event. "Those are the pieces we've
thrown together in North Quad and
the glue is the global engagement
University President Mary Sue
Coleman was also on hand at the
event, echoing Hanlon's com-
ments and challenging residents to
embrace the unique opportunities
and resources offered by the North
"This afternoon's housewarming
is really for the residents and faculty
and staff, the students who are living
and learning in the North Quad, but
it's an exciting day for all of us at the
Michigan political pundit and editor of "Inside Michigan Politics" Bill Ballenger speaks at the Ford School of Public Policy yesterday.
Ballenger also discussed the
election for the University's Board
of Regents. Two regents are up for
reelection this election cycle. Bal-
lenger noted that Michigan is the
only state to elect higher education
regents through a state-wide elec-
In recent years, Democrats have
held a 6-2 majority on the Univer-
sity's Board of Regents. This year,
the board's two Republican mem-
bers are up for reelection.
Following Ballenger's talk, Pat
in the pro-life community while a
In an e-mail interview with
The Daily last month, Shirvell
said he decided to start speaking
out against Armstrong because of
Shirvell's "pro-life, pro-family"
"Armstrong's agenda is immor-
al, in my opinion," Shirvell wrote
in the e-mail interview.
One post on the blog includes a
photo of Armstrong with a rain-
bow flag, a swasticka and the word
"resign" drawn in. The post also
criticizes Armstrong's push for
gender-neutral housing as a ploy
to force heterosexual students of
different genders to room togeth-
er. In addition, Shirvell discusses
exchanges on Facebook between
Cooley, a second-year student at
the Ford School of Public Policy,
facilitated a question-and-answer
In an interview after the event,
Cooley - a member of the Asso-
ciation for Public Policy about
Learning and Education, the orga-
nization that hosted the event -
raved about Ballenger's insights,
saying it's important to be knowl-
edgeable about current events and
"Bill Ballenger is a political
Armstrong and his friends, Arm-
strong's upbringing and refers to
him as a "privileged pervert" on
At last week's MSA meeting,
Shirvell accused Armstrong of
lying to students about his inten-
tion to join the senior society order
"Even the first gay MSA presi-
dent is corrupted by his power,"
Shirvell said at last week's MSA
The society, once known as
Michigauma, has been criticized
by some for allegedly using Native
American rituals and artifacts in
its meetings in the past. In an effort
to distance itself from its contro-
versial past, the society changed its
name in 2007 and began publishing
insider. He knows everything that's
going on in Michigan politics,"
Cooley said. "It's great to have an
education in state politics because
it affects all of our lives."
Ruth Brown, a Public Policy
first-year masters' student, said she
found the event informative.
"It presented a non-partisan
view of the election. I just moved
to Michigan and am a registered
voter," Brown said. "Voters usually
know so little when they go into the
polls. I feel pretty informed now."
a list of its members and making its
records available to the public -
though the society's activities still
remain largely secret.
In an interview last month,
Armstrong declined to comment
on Shirvell. He also declined to
comment following Shirvell's
comments at last week's MSA
"I have always been open and
honest about who I am in my life,
and I can only do the same in my
role as MSA president," Armstrong
wrote in an e-mail to the Daily last
- Daily News Editor
Devon Thorsby and Daily
Staff Reporter Elyana Twiggs
contributed to this report.
From Page 1A response system during lecture.
The University has had a con-
takes no more preparatory time tract with Qwizdom since 2007,
than constructing a good ques- putting the device into use in
tion," Crandall said. "Students numerous classrooms across
with clicker devices register on campus, Crandall said Qwizdom
CTools once per academic year, has long suffered from technical
then in class all they need to do is issues.
turn the clicker on and select the "Faculty and students expe-
answer they think is best." rienced numerous problems and
Students also can use any Wi-Fi expressed ongoing frustration
enabled device to answer prompts due to unreliable data collection
by visiting the i>clicker website and software performance, an
and respond in the same way as unintuitive interface and quiz
using a regular clicker. building process, and long load
Like the surveyed faculty mem- times under the Vista OS," Cran-
bers, students have also respond- dall wrote. "We could not in good
ed positively to the i>clicker conscience allow these prob-
remote system. lems to continue without at least
According to data provided exploring possible options which
by Crandall, of the 385 students might be more successful.
enrolled in the five pilot cours- "Many students expressed
es, 204 students preferred the dissatisfaction with the way
i>clicker to the Qwizdom remotes, that Qwizdom was used in class,
with only 21 students choosing calling it an expensive atten-
the Qwizdom remote. dance-taking device," Crandall
LSA sophomore Alex Ayres, continued.
said he is one of those students Crandall said student input was
in support of the new classroom therefore sought from the outset
device. of the pilot phase.
"It's much easier to answer "ISS gave a presentation to a
questions with the i>clicker sys- full LSA Student Government
tem," Ayers said. "I also like the meeting, which explained that
fact that professors can use ques- alternatives were being explored
tion prompts and still include because of data unreliability,
interesting videos in their lec- technical problems and software
tures." compatibility issues," Crandall
Ayres added that he brings his wrote in the e-mail.
computer to class and is able to Student views were included in
answer questions via i>clicker's the evaluation criteria and during
website, rather than having to the evaluation process.
remember his remote before For students concerned about
every class. the cost of purchasing a new click-
"It's very progressive in that it er device, LSA and the College of
decreases the amount of plastic Engineering are subsidizing a
used for the remotes," he said. "It trade-in of Qwizdom devices for
has a web browser built in so that the new i>clicker. The discounted
any student with a smartphone or price of $15 will be available only
laptop already has it." through Oct. 1 for this academic
The i>clicker was developed by year.
Timothy Stelzer at the Univer- Students can purchase the
sity of Illinois. Stelzer visited the i>clicker at the Computer Show-
University campus twice to give case and at several satellite loca-
a demonstration of the remote tions in the Union and League
and to give workshops on models during the first few weeks of
and best practices for using the classes.
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Members of the University community attend a housewarming event at North Quad yesterday afternoon.
University," she said. "The promise
and potential is limitless."
Following Coleman's remarks,
several University officials gath-
ered on stage to tie a string of flags
together, a gesture to the global liv-
ing and learning emphasis that will
be the hallmark of North Quad.
And while most of those in atten-
dance were faculty and staff, sev-
eral students were on hand to take
part in the festivities.
LSA senior Tanya Zora, a part
of the residence hall staff at North
Quad, also spoke at the event. Zora
said that in her experience, having
lived in Alice Lloyd, West Quad,
East Quad, and Baits residence
halls, North Quad offered the best
"I feel like out of all the residence
halls I've lived in, North Quad has
really encapsulated what I want
out of my experience at Michigan,"
But Zora wasn't the only student
at the event who gave the new facil-
ity high marks.
LSA junior Ramya Purushotha-
man, who lives in North Quad and
attended yesterday's event, said she
enjoys living in the new residence
"I like it so far," Purushothaman
said. "The rooms are nice, the peo-
ple are nice, the cafeteria is alright."
However, Purushothaman, who
previously lived in West Quad, said
she's still adjusting to her new home.
"In some ways (it's) better, but I
still need to get used to it," she said,
comparing her experience in North
Quad to that in West Quad. "I guess
I expected it tobe a little different,
but overall it's a good experience."
Engineering senior Ashley Pol-
lock, who has lived inStockwell and
Mary Markley residence halls, said
she enjoys the atmosphere of North
"I think it feels more like a com-
munity," Pollock said, explaining
the smaller dining hall and Global
Scholars Program provide students
with a more intimate setting.
She added: "There's obviously a
lot of technology around that you
wouldn't really see in Stockwell or
Markley, like Wi-Fi and air condi-
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