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February 17, 2012 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-02-17

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11,9 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, February 17, 2012 - 3

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, February 17, 2012 - 3

From Page 1
employees. University
President Mary Sue Coleman
expressed concern at the May
meeting about allowing GSRAs
to unionize, but has been silent
on the issue since the regents
voted the other way. University
Provost Phil Hanlon, who tes-
tified at the hearing before the
administrative law judge that
ended last Monday, agreed with
Coleman at the time. In October,
a number of University deans
also expressed opposition to
granting GSRAs collective bar-
gaining rights.
Michigan Attorney General
Bill Schuette has been an out-
spoken advocate against GSRA
" unionization. His actions have
included filing briefs with MERC,
the Michigan Supreme Court and
Michigan Circuit Courts to inter-
vene in the matter.
In a statement to The Michi-
gan Daily in response to the bill,
the attorney general defended his
involvement in the question of
GSRA unionization.
"The taxpayers of Michigan
definitelyhave acompellinginter-
est in an issue that will disrupt the
(University), which is one of our
state's crown jewels, academically
and economically," Schuette said
in the statement. "We remain sup-
portive of the (University) leader-
ship, the folks best equipped to
know, which feels that this issue
will disrupt the effectiveness of
the university."
Richardville could not be
reached for comment yesterday.
Though until now much of the
fight between those in favor and
those opposed to unionization
has taken place within MERC's
framework, Stephen Raiman,
founder of Students Against
GSRA Unionization and a Rack-
ham student, said he is happy that
the state Senate has taken up the
"It's only now because GEO
is attempting to change the law
that a bill like this is necessary,"
From Page 1
work in cutting costs in Mich-
igan in the past fiscal year, in
which he brought a debt-ridden
state into a $457 million surplus,
as revealed during Snyder's fis-
cal year 2013 budget proposal
last week.
"If we can do in Washington
what you guys have done here;
V we'd be in a great position as a
nation," Romney said. "I hope to
do in Washington as the gover-
nor has done here."
Romney added that govern-
ment officials at all levels must
carefully monitor budgets so as
not to spend money outside of
their thresholds and create fur-
ther debt.
"You see, in the private sector
that you all are in, you're either
fiscally conservative, or you're
out of business. You can't bor-
row money year after year after
year spending more than you
take in, or you go bankrupt."
Romney's father was gover-
norofMichiganinthe 1960s, and
was chairman and president of

American Motors Corporation.
During his speech yesterday,
Romney expressed compassion
for the state's rejuvenated auto-
mobile industry, following an
op-ed he wrote for The Detroit
News this week that was criti-
cal of the federal government's
bailout of the automotive indus-
try, and an announcement by
General Motors yesterday that
the company earned a $472 mil-
lion profit in the fourth quarter
of 2011.
"I love cars. I grew up totally
loving cars," Romney said "It
used to be in the '50s and '60s
you showed me one square foot
of a car, I could tell you what
brand it was, model and so forth
... I love American cars, and long
live they rule the world."
Romney said job creation will
be a major priority of his if he is
elected president, adding that
he will work with businesses to

Raiman said. "So I think it's very
clear that this legislation is in
response to GEO's attempt to
change the law right now."
Liz Rodrigues, communi-
cations chair for GEO a and
Rackham student, expressed dis-
comfort with taking the issue of
unionization to the state Legisla-
"I also think that this shows
a lack of faith in the democratic
process (since) there's currently
a process underway to determine
this question, and ultimately
GSRAs should have the right to
vote and decide this matter for
themselves," Rodrigues said. "It's
confusing to me why (Richard-
ville) would be tryingto take away
their right to vote."
Rodrigues also said she disap-
proved of some of the language in
the bill.
The provision that deals with
GSRA unionization states that
GSRAs, or those in similar posi-
tions, cannot sufficiently demon-
strate they are in an "employment
relationship" and are not public
employees, making them ineligi-
ble for collective bargaining."
Rodrigues said since there is
currently a process underway -
the deliberations before MERC
and the administrative law judge
- to determine the "indicia of an
employment relationship," or the
employment status of GSRAs and
the provision in the bill is unnec-
Both Raiman and Rodrigues
agree that the timing of this bill
must be strategic, given the atten-
tion that the GSRA issue has been
receiving recently.
"The timing is puzzling and
concerning," Rodrigues said. "It
seems to be interrupting an ongo-
ing process and it also certainly
couldn't come at a worse time ...
it seems to be increasing tension
and moving the focus away from
democratic process."
"I think it's not a coincidence
that it is coming at this time,"
Raiman said.
The bill is being introduced
in the wake of a hearing before
an administrative law judge

intended to determine whether
GSRAs should be classified as
public employees. The official
hearing - in which only repre-
sentatives from the University
and GEO were allowed to testify
- ended last Monday. However,
on Wednesday Julia Stern, the
administrative law judge, decid-
ed to grant outside parties, such
as Schuette and SAGU, the right
to call on witnesses in a special
addition to the hearing set to
begin on Tuesday.
The introduction of the bill
by a Republican senator has also
served to reinforce the politiciza-
tion of the fightoverunionization
and the division of positions on
unionization along party lines.
"Unfortunately, unionization
does tend to be a political issue,"
Raiman said. "And in fact, the
only reason ... this is becoming a
discussion in the first place is due
to politicsbecause of the political
makeup of the Board of Regents,
the political makeup of MERC, so
it's kind of acting on both sides,
although my organization is truly
a bipartisan organization ... we're
not politically motivated."
While it remains unclear
whether the bill will move for-
ward in the Senate or be intro-
duced in the House, both GEO
and SAGU said they will be moni-
toring its development.
"I'm hopeful," Raiman said.
"I see it's been introduced by the
senate majority leader, so I'm
hopeful that the bill will make
it through the Senate and the
Rodrigues said GEO does not
expect to change their approach
to getting a vote on unionization
because of the bill, but hopes it
does not pass.
"If it did (pass) I think it would
certainly be a troubling develop-
ment for the state of Michigan
seeing as we're trying to attract
more and better researchers to
this state," Rodrigues said. "So
(for) attracting graduate stu-
dents, it doesn't send a good
message if they don't respect
graduate students' work at that

Regents abolish bylaw
on presidency age limit

Basketball complex
named for William
Daily News Editor
University President Mary Sue
Coleman may now carry out the
remainder of her current con-
tract without violating the Uni-
versity's Regents' Bylaws.
The University's Board of
Regents convened for its month-
ly meeting yesterday, where it
changed a bylaw requiring that
the University president retire by
70. The regents also approved the
naming of a handful of campus
buildings and several renovation
Regent S. Martin Taylor (D-
Grosse Pointe Farms) said the
change is necessary and was not
done to specifically protect Cole-
man, but to be sure the University
is not committing age discrimi-
The change will take effect
in the 2013 fiscal year and will
allow University President Mary
Sue Coleman to remain president
until 2014 when her contract
expires. Coleman, who is cur-
rently 68, will turn 70 before the
July 2014 expiration date.
"It is not about any individual
whatsoever," Taylor said. "Our
motivation, complete and total, is
that the lawyers advised us that
the bylaws - this specific guide-
line - is in violation of the law,
civil rights and the Civil Rights
Act, so we're changing it."

After receiving a $7.5 million
gift from the William Davidson
Foundation, the regentsapproved
the naming of the newly-built
Player Development Center for
Intercollegiate Basketball as the
William Davidson Player Devel-
opment Center.
Coleman said she is appre-
ciative of the family's gift and
wishes Davidson, who owned the
Detroit Pistons and died in 2009,
could see how well the basketball
team is doingnow.
"He was a very generous
supporter of the University of
Michigan, and I am so pleased,"
Coleman said.
Construction of the center
was approved by the regents
in September 2009. The space,
which cost the University $23.2
million, is 57,000 square feet and
features locker rooms for coach-
es and players, two indoor prac-
tice courts, medical facilities
and an equipment room. There
are also offices, film rooms and
space set aside for conditioning.
Davidson participated in
track and field during his time as
a student at the University.
Regent Denise Ilitch (D-Bing-
ham Farms) said the she is glad
Davidson is being commemorat-
ing the "incredibly generous"
nature of himself and his family.
The board also gave the go-
ahead to rename the Computer
Science and Engineering Build-
ing on North Campus the Bob
and Betty Beyster Building.
Beyster, who received his
bachelor's, master's and doctor-

al degrees from the University,
recently donated $15 million to
the College of Engineering. The
donation will be used to start the
J. Robert Beyster Computational
Innovation Graduate Fellows
Program, among other things.
Timothy Slottow, the Univer-
sity's executive vice president
and chief financial officer,
called the gift from Beyster
"It's a wonderful family from
southern California who've
been very involved, and it's a
historic gift," Slottow said.
Beyster founded . Science
Applications International
Corporation, which became
the largest employee-owned
research and technology com-
pany in the country during his
35 years as chairman of the
company's board of directors.
The regents also awarded
bids and contracts for the reno-
vation of East Quad Residence
Hall, the Lawyer's Club and the
John P. Cook Dormitory.
The board approved the
schematic design for the
East Quad renovations at last
November's meeting. The con-
struction, scheduled to be com-
plete in the summer of 2013, is
estimated to cost $116 million.
At last December's meet-
ing, the board approved plans
for the renovations to the two
buildings in the Law Quadran-
gle, which are estimated to cost
$39 million and are partially
funded by a gift from Univer-
sity alum Charles Munger, vice
chair of Berkshire Hathaway.

generate increased revenue to
spur job creation.
"The whole idea of profit is
to create incentives to entre-
preneurs and innovators to find
ways to do things less and less
expensive with better and bet-
ter quality," Romney said.
Mark Cords, a University
alum who has worked for Gener-
al Motors for 30 years, said in an
interview after the event he has
"mixed feelings" about Obama's
handling of the auto bailout, but
ultimately understands the need
for government intervention
to assist one of America's most
coveted industries.
"When I go back to (the Uni-
versity), the professors that I
still know tell me, you know,
it's not for government to save
industries," Cords said. "How-
ever, having said that, the auto
industry is such an integral part
of not only this state, but this
country, and I can certainly
understand the need for them to
provide some support."
The federal government pro-
vided GM with $49.5 billion and
Chrysler with $10.8 billion in
2008 and 2009.
Cords called Romney a "prov-
en winner in the private sector,"
addingthat despite the criticism
that he may lack the charisma
and compassion to become pres-
ident, voters should not be quick
to judge.
"The pundits all talk about
how he doesn't really have that
energy or that passion," he said.
"I think everyone has a differ-
ent style. I've had the pleasure
of meeting the governor, when
he was campaigning, I wasn't
really all that impressed with
his onstage presence, but now
that I've looked beyond that,
I've seen that there's more sub-
stance to the man than just a
sound bite or a quick line."
Rusty Hills, director of pub-
lic affairs for Michigan Attor-
ney General Bill Schuette, said
obtaining an endorsement from
Snyder will be important in
garnering support for Romney
looking forward, adding that

Santorum's upswing of success
can be attributed to momentum
which Romney will likely regain
leading into the Michigan pri-
"The primaries are all about
momentum, and it's about who's
won last, and there's no doubt
that Senator Santorum is rid-
ing a wave of momentum from
his three wins last Tuesday, and
that's what's propelled him in
the polls in Michigan."
Thus far, Santorum has won
primary contests in Iowa, Colo-
rado, Missouri and Minnesota.
Hills, who is also a lecturer at
the Ford School of Public Policy,
said as a growing number of
students struggle to find jobs
after graduation, the election
will give Romney a time to show
them he's capable of increasing
job security.
"We've got to do a better
job of creating jobs and keep-
ing jobs. in our state," Hill said.
"I think the Obama adminis-
tration's failed on that front.
I think there's a real opportu-
nity for Mitt Romney and the
Republicans to attract a much
larger percentage of the youth
vote than four years ago, pre-
cisely because I think we've got
a prescription to provide jobs to
young graduates and do a much
better job at it than the adminis-
tration is doing right now."
Amanda Caldwell, chair of
the University's chapter of Col-
lege Democrats, said the waver-
ing support between Republican
candidates demonstrates weak-
ness and splintering within the
Republican Party.
"We've had a huge swing to
the right," Caldwell said. "Two
years ago in 2010, we had a
Republican governor coming
in, and huge majorities in the
(state) House and Senate for
Republicans, and I think people
are just really unhappy with
what they've seen come out of
the state since that shift. I think
we're going to have a lot of folks
swinging back the other way,
back in support of Obama and
other Democrats."

AATAto launch airport
service starting inApril

Rides will cost $15 while th
each way to Detroit vice is g
Metro the univ
nity, for#
Daily StaffReporter who live
go out of
Beginning in April, Ann Arbor Accor
residents may be able to reach federal
Detroit's Metro Airport more eas- in atten
ily, and at a more affordable price. the prop
The Ann Arbor Transpor- estimate
tation Authority Board of gram ru
Directors voted yesterday to years, t
implement a new AirRide bus- will aw
ing system which would partner 50 cent
with Michigan Flyer, a subgroup amount
of the Indian Trails Motor
Coach busing service, to pro- ,
vide service from Ann Arbor to
the airport.111
The partnership will con-
sist of 12 daily round trips to
Detroit Metro Airport, which
will depart from the Fourth -
Avenue and East William
Street intersection, the Blake
Transit Center and near Briar-
wood Mall. The cost of the ride Clas
is $15 one-way, with discounts 80
for seniors, children and dis-
abled riders.
David Nacht, board member
for the AirRide project, said he
has been attempting to imple-
ment a better airport transpor-
tation system since he joined
the board nine years ago.
"We have been impressed
as an agency with (Michigan
Flyer's) private sector work,
moving people to and from the
airport," Nacht said. "But they
have been limited in our com-
munity asa private entity (and)
the airport dealt with them ina
certain way."
Anya Dale, chair of AATA's
planning and development
committee, suggested poten-
tial issues may arise moving
forward with AirRide. The
committee proposed placing
signage around the airport to
direct passengers to the buses.
Italso suggested thattheAATA
contact community partners
to get the word out about the
new service and collaborate
with the Ann Arbor Down-
town Development Authority ' M
regarding reduced rate park-
ing for people to park their cars

ey're out of town.
marketing for this ser-
oing to be beneficial to
es in our community, for
versities in our commu-
the hospitals in our com-
and mostly for the people
in this community who
f town," Nacht said.
rding to Chris White, a
government employee
dance at the meeting,
posed plan will cost an
d $300,000. If the pro-
ns successfully for two
he federal government
ard the AirRide buses
s per mile, which will
to $130,000 recovered

in total.
Despite the sum, Nacht said
the needs of the community out-
weigh the cost.
"We just saw a survey result
that showed something like
65 percent or 70 percent of the
public think it's very important
or somewhat important for this
service to exist," Nacht said. "I
think we are going to see a lot of
people use this service."
During his State of the State
address in January, Republican
Gov. Rick Snyder stressed the
importance of quality public
transportation and announced
an initiative to improve transit
systems in Southeast Michigan.

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