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November 21, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 21,2011 - 5A

From Page 1A
the University, he gained a 1
support through the Spect
Center, the LGBT commt
and the student governr
He said he hopes other stud
can have a similar experi
through the scholarship.
"We're all lucky to have
community," Armstrong sa:
the crowd. "We're all luckyt
here and find who we are1
and we know not everyor
lucky enough to have Mich
and not everyone is able to1
such an amazing communit
Ann Arbor."
In a YouTube videoP
strong released on Wedne
to announce his scholarshil
detailed his own experienc
being bullied last year by fo
Michigan Assistant Atto
General Andrew Shirvell.
Shirvell was fired last No'
ber after criticizing Armst
in public protests and on a
titled "Chris Armstrong Wa
on which he claimed Armst
was promoting a "radical h(
sexual agenda."
Armstrong's father Steve
attorney in Connecticut, said
speech at the gala on Friday
the University community he
Armstrong and his family to
with the difficulties his fa
faced. He added that the s
arship will allow the Armst
family to continue to shoe
"(We) endured the even
the past year only because o
strength and courage of our
but we soon came to realize
where that strength and cou
was coming," Steve said. "We
the University respond with
powerful, resounding and

The Intramural Sports Building is receiving several updates including new televisions today.

fled voice to shameful attacks on durin
Chris." Shirv
In response to Armstrong's the la
YouTube video, Shirvell said in don o
lot of an interview with The Michigan claim
trum Daily on Friday that Armstrong's "Sh
unity statements in the video falsely in her
nent. accuse Shirvell of "stalking and dutyt
dents bullying," which Shirvell claims ent,"
ence did not occur. ney is
"There was no bullying, no appea
this stalking, and now, Mr. Armstrong there
id to has opened himself up to further a con
to be liability by accusing me of com- repre
here, mitting a criminal offense, which ... and
ne is is stalking," Shirvell said. Shi
igan Shirvell added that he will is wit
be in amend the complaint in his coun- don, v
ty as tersuit against Armstrong to seek Onde
damages for these new comments is nor
Arn- in the YouTube video. He said he "Fi
'sday also sent Armstrong's lawyer, whett
p, he Deborah Gordon, a request to unkn
ce of retract Armstrong's statements. "Seco
rmer AccordingtorGordon, Shirvell's flict v
'rney claim that the YouTube video is his
"defamation" is meaningless. Ther
vem- "We are suing him under the says i
rong civil stalking," Gordon said. "So Go
blog it's Chris's opinion that he stalked schol
tch," him, and I think any reasonable "I
rong person could find evidence of thing
omo- that." somet
Gordon said Shirvell's percep- said.'
e, an tion of defamation is skewed, as tive r
d in a Shirvell claims his blog against thatn
that Armstrong was not slander. go th
lped "(Shirvell) thinks he can write deal u
cope a 100-page blog about my cli- In
imily ent saying the most outrageous, night
chol- ridiculous things about him, and schol
rong he says that's not defamation ..." tions
w its Gordon said. "But the minute you the fu
say anything about (Shirvell), it's "W
ts of defamation." arshil
f the Shirvell filed a new motion on come
son, Thursday to disqualify Gordon as Shi
from Armstrong's lawyer due to a con- on th
rage flict of interest. Shirvell said he schol
saw believes Gordon had contact with who 1
one the attorney general investiga- he do
uni- tor on his case, Mike Ondejko, reaso

g the investigation before
ell was fired. Shirvell said
wsuit he filed against Gor-
on Oct. 28 is based on this
ce's putting her interests
r own lawsuit ahead of her
to Chris Armstrong, her cli-
Shirvell said. "If the attor-
s being sued separately, the
arance of impropriety is
because there's obviously
flict of interest if she has to
sent herself in that lawsuit
Iher client."
rvell's most recent motion
:hout legal merit, said Gor-
who said she never talked to
jko about Shirvell, and there
conflict of interest.
rst of all, why he cares
her I represent Chris is
own to me," Gordon said.
ndly, he says I have a con-
with Chris, but if you read
papers, it's nonsensical.
e's no conflict, and what he
s false."
rdon said Armstrong's new
arship is "wonderful."
think it's great that some-
positive can come out of
thing so hateful," Gordon
"There can be some posi-
esult to all of the craziness
my client and others had to
rough and put up with and
the e-mail interview last
, Armstrong wrote that the
arship is accepting dona-
and he hopes it will grow in
re are hoping (the schol-
p) will grow for years to
,'Armstrong wrote.
irvell refused to comment
he purpose of Armstrong's
arship to support a student
has faced bullying, claiming
esn't understand "the real
n" for the fund.

From Page 1A
at the NCRB have already been
activated and the sets at the
CCRB and IM Building will be
functional starting today, Can-
ning said.
The TVs will be spread
throughout the cardio workout
areas in all three gyms, accord-
ing to Canning. The workout
machines will have receptors for
headphones, allowing users to
hear the audio feed from the TVs
while using the machines.
Smaller projects include add-
ing new lobby furniture in the
IM Building and the NCRB.
Additionally, artificial turf was
placed on Elbel Field over the
summer, and more than 90 new
cardio machines were installed
in all three facilities.
The last major recreational
facilities improvement was
done in 1976, when there were
28,000 students at the Uni-
versity. Currently, there are
42,000 students, and Canning
From Page 1A
said the foundation gives more
than $4,0 million to various
organizations' and is"centered
on LGBT leadership programs,
diversity initiatives and devel-
opment of CyberCenters, which
allow members of the LGBT
community to network and com-
municate with each other.
Bohnett said the foundation
focuses on the challenges of
health and happiness, earning a
living, military and public service,
personal safety, legalizing gay
marriage and other equal oppor-
tunities for members of the LGBT
community. To make significant
changes, Bohnett said there must
be large-scale modifications in
culture and public opinion, which
can stem from legislation in fed-
eral policy such as the repeal of
'don't ask, don't tell.'
"We have been and we are
becoming a broader, progressive
movement," Bohnett said. "In
my experience ... we take a great
deal of effort to integrate with
the labor movement, the broader
progressive movement."
Bohnett added that he is sup-
portive of the Obama admin-
istration's willingness to enact
non-discrimination policies that
will impact a variety of LGBT
"I was just at a meeting in
Washington this week, and
there's averydeliberate, thought-
ful and specific approach to
include sexual orientation with
the federal adherent require-
ment," he said. "That means that
any contract for doing work for
the federal government will have
to have a non-discrimination
policy in place for sexual orienta-

said the recent renovations and
upgrades were "absolutely nec-
He added that more needs
to be done to better the Uni-
versity's recreational facilities,
including improving natural
lighting, increasing capacity,
replacing outdated equipment
and creating more open spaces.
Michigan Student Assembly
President DeAndree Watson
said encouraging the University
to improve recreational facilities
is a high priority on the assem-
bly's agenda.
"Our facilities are no where
close to the universities we com-
pete with, including Ohio State,"
Watson said.
A group of student leaders
called the Core 20 - led by LSA
sophomore Vivian Wu, chair of
the Student Advisory Board, and
LSA senior Jessica Kraft, presi-
dent of the Club Sports Coun-
cil - is working with a group of
consultants to get information
from students about their needs
At a luncheon on Friday, Will
Sherry, associate director of the
Spectrum Center, gave a short
speech lauding the importance
of discussions about LGBSissues
amonggenmaratiwcataofanhi: "
"This really is the heart of the
weekend - it's about being able to
collaborate with each other, learn
from each other and develop rela-
tionships between students and
alumni that can be lasting," Sher-
ry said during the event.
In an interview after his
speech, Sherry said getting
involved with the Spectrum Cen-
ter as a graduate student allowed
him to not only help others, but
also grow personally.
"It really allowed me as a grad-
uate student to grow and learn,"
he said. "I had the opportunity to
be a coming-out group facilitator
when I was a graduate student
and help other students in the
process of coming out."
Sherry said he also personally
sought help from the Spectrum
Center, and the experience reaf-
firmed his dedication to his work
since he went through the trans-
gender transition process while
he was a staff member at the
Spectrum Center.
"I know, as a person who sits
in a place of a lot of support in
the community, that it's still a
really hard process, so I can only
imagine for people who need to
find that support and don't have
it readily available, hence the
importance of our office on cam-
pus," Sherry said.
University Dean of Students
Laura Blake Jones, who attended
the luncheon, said in an inter-
view after the event that she is
impressed by the Spectrum Cen-
ter's work and is looking forward
to its future endeavors.

on campus, including what
they'd like to see in recreational
The group's initiative also
includes garnering students'
views on improving University
unions. The students plan to
release a survey next month to
develop a funding formula to
address these needs.
"The three recreation build-
ings embody the student experi-
ence here at Michigan - what it
means to be a student in and out
of the classroom," Wu said. "We
are not at a capacity to serve the
students as it is right now."
LSA freshman Ryan Gaiss
said he thinks improvements
to recreational facilities will
encourage more people to go to
the buildings, including to cheer
their friends on during intramu-
ral sports games.
"Having fans on the sidelines
is a huge confidence booster,"
Gaiss said. "It gives someone
who's competitive like me the
urge to do as best as I can."
"We're leading the country in
terms of being the first place that
has a Spectrum Center," Jones
said. "We continued to sort of
be innovative and lead our peers
around the country in terms of
piogram areas thut haveopened'a
up, and I'm just really excited to
see what the next 40 years are
going to be like."
In an interview during the
luncheon on Friday, Univer-
sity alum Thomas McCulloch,
a retired attorney living in Lan-
sing, Mich., said he is surprised
and impressed by the continual
development of new programs
at the University since he gradu-
ated in 1975.
"It's very interesting because
the Spectrum Center didn't exist
when I was an undergraduate,
and this is just another example
where I'm constantly aware and
sort of marvel at how times have
changed," McCulloch said.
McCulloch added that there
was no open community of LGBT
people when he attended the
"The gay men, we knew who
each other were, but the folks
who were out were rare excep-
tions," McCulloch said. "It was
an interesting sort of undercur-
rent going on and we were there,
and we knew who we were."
LSA senior Alyssa Francini
said having an organization like
the Spectrum Center is crucial to
building tolerance and commu-
nity in a collegiate setting.
"I wasn't here 40 years ago
when things like this had to
be created for people to come
together," Francini said. "Now,
we're lucky enough to be stu-
dents at this University where if
there's a will there's a way, and if
there's a want, it will be given to

The Michigan Pops Orchestra performs at the Michigan T heater last night for the Once Upon a Time perforrance.
O1cials: 32 homes gutted
in out-of-season Reno blaze

10,000 residents
evacuate from 2,000-
acre fire on Friday
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Austin
and Sarah Hardage were getting
their first look at the charred
rubble that used to be their home
Saturday afternoon when a U.S.
Postal Service truck pulled up.
"At least we still have a mail-
box," Austin Hardage, 23, joked
as he ran down the driveway to
grab the mail.
He then explained how they
awoke to a smoky, orange glow
through the windows about 2
a.m. Friday before joining nearly
10,000 other southwest Reno
residents in an evacuation.
Their home is among the
32 that were destroyed by the
unusual, out-of-season blaze
that spread by gale force winds
and ripped through the Sierra
Gov. Brian Sandoval was
among a number of leaders who
opined on Saturday that it was a
miracle that scores more homes
weren't lost.
"This was not only a wild
land, urban-interface type fire,
it was also a metro fire where
we had homes that were actively
burning in densely populated
areas," Reno Fire Chief Mike
Hernandez said.
Many families "had to leave
in the middle of the night with

very, very limited possessions
and they are coming back to dev-
astation, to nothing," he said.
"So our hearts and prayers go
out to those families."
With flames speeding down
the hillside behind the Hard-
ages' house, they decided to grab
some clothes and the pets and
flee at about 2 a.m.
"Three computers, two dogs
and two rabbits. That's pretty
much all we have now," Austin
Hardage said Saturday, his voice
giving way to some tears.
"I'm sorry," he told a reporter.
"It hadn't really hit me until I
start talking about it."
The house itself in an upscale
gated community near Lak-
eridge Golf Course burned to its
"It's all just glass and twisted
metal," he said. -
But in a twist that played
out time and time again across
the 2,000-acre fire, neighbor-
ing houses on either side were
untouched by the flames.
"It's just amazing - Murphy's
Law," Austin Hardage said. "It
didn't even touch either house
on either side. It doesn't make
any sense."
A few miles away, Tim Swee-
ney ended up on the good side of
a similar situation.
"The house directly south of
me burned completely down,"
he said. But Sweeney's house -
with stucco walls and a concrete
tile roof - suffered relatively

minor damage when blowing
embers got underneath the tiles
and started burning in the attic.
"Just about everything
around the perimeter of my
house is gone," Sweeney said.
"Luckily, there was no real
damage to the house except
where they had to cut holes in
the ceiling," he said.
Sweeney, an architect who
has lived there 25 years, said
the flames had gotten within
100 feet of his home atop Windy
Hill when he "finally had to get
out of there." Reno firefighters
showed up about the same time,
he said.
"Those guys just busted
their butts fighting that fire.
They first thought they were
not going to be able to save it,"
Sweeney said.
Sandoval said after a heli-
copter tour of the area Saturday
that while the loss of homes was
tragic, the 400 firefighters on
the lines are heroes for saving
more than 4,000 houses that
could have burned in the blaze
investigators suspect was start-
ed by arcing power lines.
"When you see something like
that, you can't help but be struck
by the awesome and random
power of nature," Sandoval said
about the blackened path of the
fire that snaked along the edge of
the foothills.
"It is nothing short of a
miracle the amount of homes
that have been saved," he said.

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