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February 15, 2013 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-02-15

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Friday, February 15, 2013


An Internet meme inspired Engineering junior Albert DeFluri to dress ina gas mask and fatigues for Valentine's Day, reports of which led to an armed response from University police to Angell Hall complex.
A joke'takes police to Angell

University junior's
attire and gas mask
cause brief panic
Albert DeFluri was in the
Angell Hall complex between 12
p.m.and 1 p.m. Thursday dressed
in fatigues, a black jacket, a gas
mask and an. empty ammuni-
tion pack, causing a panic and
an armed police response. The
Engineering junior, who only
agreed to speak to reporters
anonymously before identifying
himself publicly on Facebook,
said his actions were "more or
less a joke."
"Knowing the extent of how
things went, I may have second

guessed myself. I didn't expect freely duringthe response. How-
a big commotion to happen," he ever, several witnesses reported
told the Daily. that UMPD officers told them to
DeFluri was holding a sign leave the building, and an offi-
with a cat picture that read, cer stood guard at an entrance
"Love is in the air? Get out the to Tisch Hall while the response
gas mask." He said he saw the transpired.
"grumpy cat" meme online Brown was unaware if ini-
Wednesday night and decided to tial reports to UMPD about the
"take it up another level." incident suggested that DeFluri
University Police officers might have had a firearm.
entered the complex carrying "I kind of realized, it's like,
assault rifles, later confronting ".yes, it's Valentine's Day, it's really
DeFluri outside the complex. He nice," DeFluri said. "On the other
said officers told him his act was hand, I kind of see why these
"a bad idea in the wake of events single people that are a little dis-
this year." traught that all these people are
University Police spokeswom- doing nice things and the rest of
an Diane Brown said no one was them ... they're not really doing
formally evacuated, and people anything."
entered and exited the building "I decided to wear the sign

around my neck and the gas
mask around," he continued.
"You know, show people the sign,
show them I'm not up to any-
thing bad."
Cynthia Alexander, a facili-'
ties manager for humanities and
social sciences, and a University
police officer went around the
building, alerting department
offices and administrators. An
all-clear was given shortly before
1:00 p.m., after which Alexander
said business was back to normal.
DeFluri said he was acting
alone, adding that most people
were not alarmed by his actions
- people smiled, laughed and
asked to photograph him.
"I thought it was funny. You
couldn't see my expression, but

I was laughing the entire time
under my mask," he said.
Facebook and Twitter were
buzzing with posts reporting
various sightings of the DeFluri
and police in the building.
Communications Associate
Prof. Scott W. Campbell, who.
specializes in the social con-
sequences of new and mobile
media, pointed to the heightened
sensitivity of today's society as a
main reason for students updat-
ing their friends and followers
via social media.
Campell said school shoot-
ings, including those at Colum-
bine High School and Sandy
Hook Elementary School, laid "a
foundation of heightened sen
See JOKE, Page 3

must suspend
Adidas contract

Sweatshop workers
0 join students in
delivering letter
to Coleman's office
Daily StaffReporter
The factory that's a world away
may be long closed, but the fight
over.Adidas' handling of the situa-
tion and the University's relation-
ship with the company appears to
be anything but settled.
On Thursday, 12 members of
the University's chapter of United
Students Against Sweatshops
joined two Indonesian sweatshop
workers in a protest on the Diag to
put pressure on University Presi-
dent Mary Sue Coleman to sever
the University's $60-million con-
tract until Adidas agrees to pay the
workers the $1.8-million sever-
ance they claim they are owed.
The PT Kizone factoryin Indo-
nesia closed 22 months ago after
its owner - a subcontractor for
Adidas -fled the country as the
plant went into bankruptcy. In
October, Coleman sent an open.
letter to Adidas expressing con-
cern over the way severance was
handled at the plant.
Coleman wrote that Adidas'

food vouchers and efforts to find
new employment for the former
employees were inadequate solu-
tions. She requested periodic
updates from the company about
the situation and progress toward
afinal settlement.
The University currently holds
Adidas' largest collegiate contract
in the countryt the eight-year
agreement that began in 2008 is
worth $60 million. Cornell Uni-
versity and Oberlin College have
severed or reduced contracts with
Adidas in protest of Adidas han-
dling of the PT Kizone situation.
Event organizers repeatedly
emphasized the University's size-
able relationship with Adidas at
Thursday's protest. The event
included brief speeches from the
two Indonesian sweatshop work-
ers, interpreted from their native
language by atranslator.
"We are here from Indonesia
representing 2,700 ex-(sweatshop)
workers from Adidas," said Aslam
Hidayat, a former garment worker
at the PT Kizone factory. "We
stand here before you asking your
solidarity in getting Adidas to pay
us our legalseverance pay."
Hidayat said the $1.8 million
severance is "not that much" com-
- whichwasvalued at$938.26 mil-
lion in 2011, according to financial
See ADIDAS, Page 3

TonRA MOLcEsNsAr/Daily
(From left to right) Wrestling team members Mark Boyer, Tommy Brosnahan and Max Huntly make Valentine's
Day cards for pediatric patients at Mott Children's Hospital Thursday.
Tu rs days are the bes t
night of the week atMott.
Special program Valentine's Day evening with pitality and a lack of activities
a significant other, student for' her daughter - to found
allows athletes to athletes made valentines for Michigan From the Heart.
patients at C.S. Mott Chil- The program has grown to
visit sick children dren's Hospital through the feature athletes from every

Recent land
purchases by
concern city
Hieftje: Tax-exempt
land is causing unfair
revenue losses for city
Daily StaffReporter
After the University's recent
land grabs, Ann Arbor city officials
are looking to strike a compromise
for future land purchases given the
University's tax-exempt status and
the effects it may have on the city's
economic development.
Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje
said while the city has been very
cooperative with the University's
purchase of tax-exempt proper-
ties, he believes the problem has
become too important to ignore
any longer.
"We've really stepped up our
cooperation around econom-
it development in the last 10
years," Hieftje said. "It is kind of
an inevitable outcome if the Uni-
versity continues to buy proper-
ty in the city and that is that the
city will be less able to provide
Hieftje said the city is willing to
make compromises with the Uni-
versity to solve the land use issues,
and would like to engage in con-
versation with University admin-
See LAND, Page 3

Daily StaffReporter
Christopher Hippensteel,
a 12-year-old dystonia patient
from Alpena, Mich., was sur-
prised on Thursday night at
C.S. Mott Children Hospital by
two male swimmers and two
female rowers with a person-
alized holographic Spiderman
Instead of spending all of

organization Michigan From
the Heart. The Michigan ath-
letes volunteer every Thurs-
day, giving out signed baseball
caps and spending time with
Michigan From the Heart
started in 1991 after Desmond'r
Howard visited cancer patient
Channon Boullion at' Motts
through the Make-A-Wish
foundatior Her parents, Ed
and Leann Boullion, were
inspired - by Howard's hos-

sport from football to rowing
to swimming and diving, but
the first team to volunteer on
a regular basis was the basket-
ball team, Ed said.
"Our first steady student
athlete who came up here
most every Thursday night
was Juwan Howard and he
brought his buddies, the Fab
Five," Ed said. "Then the foot-
ball team and eventually the
hockey team joined until it
See MOTT, Page 3


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