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One-hundred-sixteen years of editorialfreedom
Monday, June 12, 2006
www.michigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan * Vol. CXVI, No. 122 ©2006 The Michigan Daily
Theft costs Robbers strike
center $3,000 Frieze building
Plasma TV, computers among Prof. Robin Coleman loses more
items stolen from Trotter Multicultural than a decade of research in com-
Center; investigation ongoing munications department break-in
By Kelly Fraser By Katie L. Woods
Daily News Editor For the Daily
Less than a year after it reopened its doors, a plasma tele- A robbery on May 30 left three communications profes-
vision and several computers were stolen from the William sors with not only missing computers and valuables, bu
Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center June 4. years of research.
The total value of the items is estimated at $3,000, said Diane The robbery added more distress to already chaotic week
Brown, spkeswoman for the Department of Public Safety. as the department was in the midst of relocating due to prepara-
The center on Washtenaw Road, houses space for the tions for North Quadrangle Residence Hall's construction.
Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs as well as many other stu- Thieves targeted three offices in the Communications
dent multicultgroups. Students frequently use the center for Department, housed in the Frieze Building. Profs. Nojin Kwak
meetings and events. Robin Coleman and Sean Jacobs were victims of the robbery.
DPS is currently investigating the break-in, including Items stolen include computers and various office
how the thieves entered the building. supplies and valuables.
DPS Lieutenant Melissa Overton said the entry does "Coleman suffered the brunt of the break-in Jacobs said.
not appear to be forced, and a door was found propped Coleman not only lost valuable artifacts in the robbery
open on the second floor. AA00N SWmCt/Dail but more than a decade of research conducted for a book
It is still unclear how the thieves gained access to the The William Monore Trotter Multicultural Center reopened last September which was stored on the computer.
building, Overton said. after undergoing renovations, which included electrical and plumbing "I was absolutely outraged and unable to get my mind
See TROTTER, Page 2 upgrades and the addition of new electronic equipment. See ROBBERY, Page 3
Student uses gay pride flag
* to test community tolerance
Common lease clause
bans flags or signs, forces
display to be removed
By Kelly Fraser
Daily News Editor
LSA Senior Adam Lewis does not
consider himself an activist.
But Lewis, who is gay, said he has
grown increasingly skeptical about the
acceptance of homosexuals in Ann
Arbor over the past year.
Lewis said he has not been particu-
larly involved in the University's gay,
lesbian, bisexual or transgender advo-
cacy groups. But to help gay people feel
more comfortable in the neighborhood
- in conjunction with gay pride month
- he decided to hang a gay pride flag
from his apartment window.
Lewis lives just steps from the New
York Pizza Depot on the corner of E.
William and Maynard Streets, a site of
controversy last July when a customer
campaigned against the restaurant
after the owners put a small rainbow
flag sticker on their door.
A manager at the pizzeria told the
Michigan Daily at the time that an inci-
dent between a gay customer and a res-
taurant employee influenced the decision
to display the sticker, but that the owners
were in no way pressured by gay activists
in the community to post it.
But when the sticker was removed
a few weeks later, the issue seemed to
fade away, Lewis said.
About two weeks ago, Lewis decid-
ed to display the rainbow-colored
flag for its message of "tolerance and
acceptance for all people." He felt
that the community had grown too
comfortable in silence.
"I'm not a gay doormat," he said.
Lewis said the flag was draped out-
side his second story window for about a
week before someone from the New Age
Salon, located directly below Lewis's
window, asked him to remove the flag.
The woman said she was not both-
ered by the flag, but customers think-
ing the flag belonged to the salon had
complained, Lewis said.
Lewis told the women he would
consider taking down the flag, but
left the flag displayed.
The New Age Salon declined to com-
ment, citing business obligations.
"She was nice about the situation, but
as a gay person, It' used to nice people
nicely telling me things that are not
This past Monday, Lewis received
an e-mail from his landlord at Campus
Management Inc. informing him that
displaying the flag was in violation of a
clause in his lease.
The clause prohibits any signs visible
from the exterior of the building.
"Advertisements, banners or signs,
including political endorsements, are
prohibited from being displayed such
that they are visible from the exterior of
the premises," the lease states.
CMI told Lewis he had until 5 p.m.
the following day to take the flag down.
Lewis complied but told the company
he would pursue his legal options - in
keeping with a clause at the bottom of the
lease that encourages tenants who think
any portion of the agreement may be a
violation of their rights to seek a lawyer.
Lewis consulted with the Univer-
sity's Student Legal Services, but
found he did not have a strong case
against the company.
The CMI clause applies to every-
thing from a Bob Marley flag to an
American flag, said Student Legal Ser-
vices Attorney Orlando Simon, who
reviewed Lewis's situation.
To have a legal argument, a ten-
ant has to prove that their landlord
See FLAG, Page 2
LSA senior Adam Lewis overlooks the intersection of East William Street and
Maynard Street from his apartment window on Saturday. Lewis was forced
to remove a gay pride flag from his window after his apartment's managers
enforced a clause in their contract prohibiting the display of flags, a common
regulation of Ann Arbor apartments.