8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday. July 14. 2003
Continued from Page 1
action vocally expressed their opposition to initiative.
During Connerly's speech, protesters, mostly members of
the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Integration,
and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary, held signs
and sang chants to express their dissent.
"When we heard about it we knew we had to do some-
thing' " BAMN member and Education senior Agnes Aleobua
said. BAMN is calling for a boycott of all businesses, corpora-
tions, and institutions that support the ballot referendum.
Many of the organization's members loudly denounced Con-
nerly's statements during his speech. Three BAMN members
were led away from the event by Department of Public Safety
officials after having been warned twice to cease heated
protests during the speeches.
Students Supporting Affinmative Action member and LSA
senior Clair Morrissey said although there are no specific
plans to combat the initiative, her group is holding a confer-
ence in conjunction with the United States Student Association
next weekend to address the issue of organizing ina post-deci-
sion environment. The USSA is a national group that advo-
cates for students' rights.
Despite vocal opposition to Connerly's visit, Review Publish-
er and Business junior Michael Phillips said Connerly got his
message across effectively. "I feel like the event overall was
what was needed to kick off the initiative," he said. Phillips said
The Review has not publicly endorsed the initiative. But he said
there has been speculation that conservative students on campus
may form a group toback the campaign.
While campus opinion seems to have divided along party
lines, Connerly's initiative has drawn criticism from both
Democratic and Republican politicians.
the michigan daily s.
U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) sent a clear message'
of disapproval ina letter he sent to Connerly on Friday.
"The people of Michigan have a simple message to you: go+
home and stay there. We do not need you stirring up trouble
where none exists,"he said in the letter.
Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Betty De Vos said
in a written statement that the proposed initiative is divisive
and counter-productive. "What we need now, and what would
be best for our state is to commit ourselves to reducing racial
tensions and focus on policy objectives that unite us as Ameri-
cans," De Vos said.
Future presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman
(D-Conn.) had similar views. "This is, in my opinion, a divi-
sive and destructive act and people of all political persuasions
should condemn it as such," Lieberman said. He said the act
would set back the social justice movement inAmerica. "This
kind of inequality is not going to go away with wishful think-
ing ... we have not achieved the colorblind society we are
meant to be."
Connerly said that he and his supporters plan to start local
organization of the campaign, including recruiting volunteer
and paid staff, developing a fundraising campaign and recruit-
ing local support. The signature gathering process will begin
on September 1, and will be concluded by early next year.
Connerly added his group would attempt to launch the
initiative in other states. "Our crusade will not end with the
state of Michigan," Connerly said. "The time has come for
America to break free from its obsession with classifying
and dividing her citizens by race. And the popular revolt will
begin in Michigan, where a national effort must be mounted
to prohibit (the University) and all other entities of govern-
ment from discriminating against or granting preferential
treatment to any American citizen because of race, ethaic
harlarmnd nv rnninnl niai"
Continued from Page 1
recommendations to the task force.
LSA junior Carmel Salhi said what
might be needed is a system like Har-
vard's, where "a committee meets on a
regular basis to study areas of potential
conflict between vendors and the Uni-
versity's policies." A student think tank
that has the input of staff members is
another possibility, Salhi added.
Director of Business Development
for JL Judge Construction Services
Raymond Henry provided a different
perspective at the forum: that of
Henry said he would like future
changes to policies to reflect the diffi-
culties small, minority-run bussinesses
have with competing against large, pre-
dominantly white-run businesses. He
said large businesses have financial and
social capital that effectively elimi-
nates competition. "Not a single build-
ing on this campus has been built or
designed by a minority firm ... there
are good (minority) architects and
firms in Detroit and in the local
Southeast Michigan area;' Henry said.
The next public forum is scheduled
for this fall. After this forum and per-
haps other information gathering ses-
sions, Coleman said the task force
should report back to her no later than
the end of fall term.
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