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November 16, 2011 - Image 1

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()N E-I UNREI )IIII)-TWENTY-TWO YEARS OF EDITORIAL1 REEDLOM
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ann Arbor,

michigandaily.com

.... ...0 _, .. ........ j . ..... .

STATE LEGISLATION
'U' opposes
elimination
of partner
benefits bill

MARLENE LACASSE/Daily
Maureen Taylor, state chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, speaks at an Occupy Ann Arbor event in the Michigan League yesterday.
Economy labor experts discuss
Occu A2 movement at forum

Inletter to Senate,
Coleman, Hanlon
decry bills that
rid health benefits
By RAYZA GOLDSMITH
Daily Staff Reporter
In defense of employees
with same-sex partners, Uni-
versity officials are fighting
against potential state legis-
lation that would eliminate
domestic partner benefits.
University President Mary
Sue Coleman and University
Provost Philip Hanlon sent a
letter to Michigan state sena-
tors on Nov. 8 that expresses
their opposition to House Bills
4770 and 4771, which would
prohibit the University and
other public entities in the
state from offering benefits to
domestic partners. House Bill
4770 passed in the state House
of Representatives on Sept. 15,
but is currently latent pending
a vote on House Bill 4771 in the
Senate.
"There is no evidence (elim-
inating benefits) will reduce

health care costs," Coleman
and Hanlon wrote.
If passed by the state Sen-
ate, same-sex partners of pub-
lic employees would lose their
health insurance and, accord-
ing to Coleman and Hanlon,
the bill would hinder the
University's ability to recruit
talented faculty members.
Coleman and- Hanlon wrote
in the letter addressed to state
Senate Majority Leader Randy
Richardville (R-Monroe) that
if the University can't offer
benefits to domestic partners
it would have a hiring disad-
vantage compared to institu-
tions in other states.
"Fortune 500 companies
nationwide and in the state of
Michigan offer partner ben-
efits: It is simply good business
that produces an excellent
return on investment," Cole-
man and Hanlon wrote in the
letter.
The University provided
domestic partner benefits to
570 qualified adults and 48
dependent children this year.
On average, the cost of the ben-
efits is $3,072 per person and 0.7
percent of the University's total
See BENEFITS, Page 2A

Panel organized
by Washtenaw
Community
Action Team
By ANDREW SCHULMAN
Daily Staff Reporter
Maureen Taylor, state chair
of the Michigan Welfare Rights
Organization, unwittingly
boarded a train a few weeks

ago to Oakland, Calif. from San
Francisco and stumbled upon
the city's Occupy encampment.
The protesters were, at the time,
striving to shut down the port of
Oakland, and as Taylor arrived
and watched them the next four
hours, they succeeded.
At a Social Forum on Rebuild-
ing Working People's Power - a
panel discussion organized by the
Washtenaw Community Action
Team - Taylor spoke last night
about rising unemployment, the
decline of the manufacturing sec-

tor and the state's cutting of wel-
fare beiefits..
Taylor lauded the Occupy
movement as one that has suc-
ceeded in being accessible to aver-
age people. She said corporations
and the rich have benefitted from
the financial crisis at the expense
of the working class.
"This is going to require
a change in philosophy, and
that's why Occupy is so doggone
impressive," Taylor said. "Occupy
doesn't have any rules. They've
got a vision, and the vision is that

we have to do something about
corporategreed.".
Taylor was joined by fellow
panelists Jane Slaughter, a labor
journalist and activist, and Tom
Weisskopf, a University professor
emeritus of economics. Each pan-
elist delivered 15-minute speech-
es to a room of about 70 students,
Ann Arbor residents, Occupy Ann
Arbor members and WCAT orga-
nizers.
Weisskopf discussed the eco-
nomic origin of the financial cri-
See OCCUPY, Page 2A

STUDENT GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS
High candidate interest in
DPS Oversight Committee

DEFENDING THE UNDOCUMENTED
S_
Xo Iie

Six students plus
write-ins running
for two open seats
on committee
By YOUNJOO SANG
Daily Staff Reporter
Despite a lack of student
interest in the past, six students
and an unknown number of
write-in candidates are vying

for a seat on the University's
Department of Public Safety
Oversight Committee.
In this week's Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly election, the
candidates are running for two
student seats on the DPS Over-
sight Committee, an advisory
group comprised of two faculty
members, two staff members
and two students who are in
charge of making recommen-
dations to University officials
about grievances filed against
DPS officers. The election began

yesterday and ends tomorrow at
11:59 p.m.
Only one student, LSA senior
Ellen Steele, ran for the posi-
tion in the winter election. She
and LSA senior Michael Pry, a
write-in candidate in the win-
ter election, currently hold the
positions. Neither Steele nor
Pry are running for their posi-
tions again. In order for the
committee to operate accord-
ing to state law, at least two new
student members will need to be
See COMMITTEE, Page 3A

LSA-SG expects large voter
turnout with candidate pool

Students raise awareness about immigration policy during a demonstration on the Diag yesterday.
GREENING THE 'U'
Competition challenges residence
halls to reduce energy consumption

Candidates plan
to host town
hall meetings
By ALYSSA ADLER
Daily StaffReporter
With elections starting today,
16 students are campaigning in
hopes of securing 10 of the open
representative seats in LSA Stu-

dent Government.
LSA-SG President Anne
Laverty wrote in an e-mail
interview that this semester's
candidate pool is a diverse
group reflecting a variety of
backgrounds and perspectives.
The candidates, who range
from freshmen to seniors, are
focused on different issues in.
the areas of academics and stu-
dent life, according to Laverty.
"The candidates have a vari-

ety of experience on LSA-SG,
which only enhances the elec-
tion process because this allows
for a greater array of platforms
and perspectives," Laverty
wrote. "I am enthusiastic to see
such variety and know that any
of these candidates have the
capacity and passion to affect
change on this campus."
LSA sophomore Gabrielle
Trupp, who is running for a rep-
See LSA-SG, Page 3A

Nine residence
halls competing
in 'Kill-A-Watt'
By KATIE BURKE
Daily StaffReporter
Residence halls across cam-
pus have a new source of rivalry
aside from location and dining

hall quality: energy consumption
reduction.
In a new student-run compe-
tition, Kill-A-Watt, nine campus
residence halls are competing
against each other to have the
largest reduction in energy con-
sumption between Oct. 19 and
Nov. 18. The participating resi-
dence halls are Bursley, Fletcher,
Helen Newberry, Martha Cook,
Betsey Barbour, and North,

South, East and West Quads. At
the end of the competition, the
University Energy Management
Team will measure the percent-
age of energy reduced in the nine
halls to determine the winner.
Residents of the winning hall
will also have the opportunity
to enter an essay-writing contest
about their participation in the
contest. The winning essayist
See COMPETITION, Page 3A

WEATHER 0" HI40 GOT A NEWS TIP? NEW ON MICHIGANDAILYCOM
TOMORROW L: 30 Call 734-418-4115 or e-mail Coleman responds to Penn State scandal
news@michigandaily.com and let us know. MICHIGANDAILY.COM/BLOGS/THE WIRE

INDEX AP NEWS ...............3A SPORTS ................5A
Vol. CXXII, No.50 NEWS ....................3A A RTS....................7A
020t1TheMichiganDaily OPINION...........4A THE STATEMENT..........1B
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