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October 03, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-10-03

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, October 3, 2011- 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycomMonday, October 3.2011 - 5A

From Pagel1A
outlier when the best and bright-
est graduate students compare
research .opportunities, and
when we work to recruit excel-
lent research faculty."
The deans aren't the only Uni-
versity administrators who have
disagreed with the unionization
allowance. University President
Mary Sue Coleman expressed
her apprehension about grant-
ing GSRAs collective bargaining
rights at the regents meeting in
May. Despite Coleman's public
objections, the regents voted 6-2,
along party lines, to allow the

GSRAs the right to unionize.
According to the Mackinac
Center - a conservative think
tank based in Midland, Mich. -
Christopher Kendall, dean of the
School of Music Theatre & Dance,
was the lone dean not to sign
the letter to Hanlon, which was
marked "Confidential - By Hand
Delivery." However, in an e-mail
to the Mackinac Center, Kendall
wrote that he supports the posi-
tion outlined in the letter.
"We didn't sign it simply
because the role of our two
GSRAs doesn't correspond pre-
cisely with the description in the
letter," Kendall wrote. "Again,
however, the (School of Music,
Theater & Dance) was strongly

in accord with the principles
expressed by the deans."
Hanlon, speaking through
a University spokeswoman,
declined to comment on the let-
In her remarks to the regents
in May, Coleman said Hanlon
agreed with her that GSRAs are
University students, not employ-
"A student's performance as
a research assistant is really
indistinguishable from his or her
progress as a graduate student,"
Coleman said a~t the time.
Coleman said at the meet-
ing that her own experiences as
a young researcher helped for-
mulate her opinion. She said the

University works hard to ensure
GSRAs receive comparable wages
and benefits to graduate student
instructors, who are represented
by the Graduate Employees Orga-
"When I was a graduate stu-
dent, I did not see myself as
working for the university and
I did not see my faculty men-
tor as my employer," Coleman
told the regents. "Far from it. He
was my mentor, my tutor and my
colleague as I progressed in my
course of study."
However, despite the regents'
decision, GSRAs won't be able
to unionize just yet. In August,
the Michigan Employment Rela-
tions Commission upheld a 1981

ruling that contends GSRAs are
students and are not considered
public employees.
The union has appealed the
ruling, and Rackham student
Sam Montgomery, the president
of GEO, said in an interview yes-
terday that GEO will submit more
information to MERC in hope
that the board rules in GEO's
favor at its monthly meeting on
Oct. 11.
"(MERC) needed to have
more facts on the ground about
(research assistant) employees,
and we've been collecting those
facts and will submit them to
MERC," Montgomery said.
GEO believes GSRAs are Uni-
versity employees who deserve

the right to collectively bargain,
Montgomery said.
"There's no evidence that the
unions or GSRAs would harm
the research prowess of the Uni-
versity," Montgomery said. "It
wouldn't disrupt the employer
employee relationship or detract
from the University's ability to
attract the best grad students."
She added that GEO, which
was founded in 1975, has ben-
efited its members by negotiating
for salary increases, affordable
health insurance and waivers for
tuition costs.
"It's all those things that help
to make our University attractive
to the best and brightest grad stu-
dents," Montgomery said.

From Page 1A
Before half the student sec-
tion had settled into its seats,
Borges had done the unthink-
able - he had used Denard Rob-
inson as a running back.
It couldn't be. The shoelaces,
the dreadlocks, the smile -
those belonged at quarterback.
It was the kind of thing that
doesn't happen at Michigan. It
doesn't happen in the Big Ten.
It's unorthodox.

But it was no mistake; Borges
ran the same set four times
against Minnesota. He had Min-
nesota off-balance from the sec-
ond snap - all the scouting the
Gophers did was out the window
He turned the playbook on its
head to welcome in the Big Ten
slate. A double pass, a running
back pass, a three-back set.
Under Borges, Michigan is
unpredictable. It's not a one-
dimensional offense. It's danger-
Greg Mattison has restored
the tenacious Wolverine defense

of old.
Mattison has proven his
defensive genius by taking same
players defensive coordina-
tor Greg Robinson had and
transforming them into the
most opportunistic corps in the
The turnover margin was
minus-10 in 2010 - it's plus-
eight now.
Allowing eight first downs to
Michigan's 32 - 117 total yards
to the Wolverines' 580.
He's given the defense all
the bullets they need, and the
players have finished the job.

The defense has allowed just 10
points in the past three games
That's the Michigan standard.
Brady Hoke has brought
championship expectations.
It's been Hoke's mantra all
along: win the Big Ten Cham-
pionship. It's why he gave the
orders to keep the player num-
bers on the Wolverines' sacred
winged helmets.
"We want to honor the
guys who wore those numbers
before," Hoke said. "The 42 (Big
Ten) championship teams and
the guys who have represented

A conference title is Hoke's
final goal, and that journey has
just begun.
"This was a first step toward
the expectations of what this
program is, and that's a Big Ten
championship," Hoke said.
Hoke passed the first test
with flying colors - he and the
Wolverines retained the Little
Brown Jug - but the real adver-
sity lies ahead.
With the heart of the Big Ten
schedule just ahead, his expec-
tations haven't budged. It's no
longer unrealistic - his team

will compete for the Big Ten
Michigan's staff has coached
a group of spread-option and
3-3-5 defense misfits into a
contender. The offense, often
unorthodox, is explosive. The
defense has looked elite.
Dominance is dominance,,
just ask the Gophers. Thanks
to Hoke, Borges and Mattison,
Michigan isn't a down-the-road
- Nesbitt can be reached at
stnesbit@michigandaily.com or
on Twitter: @stephenjnesbitt:

From Page 1A
Barger Leadership Institute into
the space. Inan interview on Fri-
day, Hanlon said the original plan
was delayed because University
officials want to remodel Denni-
son to a larger degree.
"We're now looking at a grand-
er substantiation of that idea," he
Currently, the renovation of
Dennison is still in the early
stages of planning, according to
Hanlon. The space in Dennison
primarily used for undergradu-

ate classrooms would be better
suited to function as facilities for
academic departments, he said.
"To getto where we want to be,
one of the things we need to do
is take some of our lower quality
classrooms offline, convert them
to more important uses and then
share our higher quality class-
rooms more effectively," Hanlon
The proposed renovation has
not yet been presented to the Uni-
versity's Board of Regents and
does not have a complete fund-
ing plan. The project would allow
various centers and institutes to
share resources - a coordination

Hanlon said has been difficult to
maintain in the past because the
institutes are dispersed through-
out campus.
'(The plan isto) take essential-
ly most or all of the classrooms in
Dennison and convert the build-
ing into a place where we put
together a lot of small centers and
the small centers will - by being
co-located - be able to share staff
very effectively, be able to share
common space, drop-in faculty
offices and so on," he explained.
The Dennison renovation will
be part of a larger Space Utiliza-
tion Initiative aimed at evaluat-
ing and maximizing current uses

of space to decrease growth of
academic offices on campus. The
annual growth in square footage
of the University's academic spac-
es has dropped from 1.86 percent
to less than 0.5 percent since the
initiative started in 2007, accord-
ing to Hanlon. He added that the
initiative is important not only for
environmental sustainability but
also to aid the University's budget
amid reductions in state funding.
"We need to be good stewards
of our resources ..." Hanlon said.
"It keeps our costs down and
therefore helps minimize tuition
increases even in the face of state
cuts. Slowing down the growth of

our academic space slows down
the growth of our environmental
footprint as well."
Hanlon, who is teaching Cal-
culus I in Dennison this semester,
said the classrooms are satisfac-
tory, but aren't as advanced as
other academic spaces at the Uni-
"They're just rectangular.
They don't have technology built
into them for the most part,"
Hanlon said. "When you leave a
classroom in Dennison, you just
enter a hall where lots of other
students are entering at the same
time. So at the end of class, it's
really hard to find a place to land

and talk and continue conversa
LSA junior Jen Bizzotto, who is
taking two classes located in Deny
nison this semester, described the
building as "cramped," "dingy"
and often overlooked.
"I think Dennison isjust one of
those things that gets forgotten,"
she said.
Bizzotto said she is looking for-
ward to seeing the future reno-
vated building.
"It's awesome that they're
doingthis sort of thing," Bizzotto
said. "It's nice to know that our
tuition dollars are going towards
things that we'll actually see."


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