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June 30, 2008 - Image 18

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-30

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Orientation Edition 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
12 student protesters arrested in Fleming

Students want 'U' to
act on sweatshops
By KELLY FRASER
Daily News Editor
Apr. 4, 2007 - Campus police
arrested 12 student activists after
they refused to leave University
President Mary Sue Coleman's
office when the Fleming Adminis-
tration Building closed at 5 p.m.
The protesters, who staged the
sit-in as part of Students Organiz-
ing for Labor and Economic Equal-
ity's Sweatfree Campaign, were
all released later last night. They
were demanding that the Univer-
sity toughen its labor standards for
suppliers producing University-
licensed apparel.
Administrators didn't ask them
to leave until the office closed,
protesters said. At about 5:20 p.m.,
Dean of Students Sue Eklund and
Gary Krenz, special counsel to the
president, gave the students a final

warningbefore waiting Department
of Public Safety officers entered the
office to arrest the students.
Meanwhile, about 40 SOLE sup-
porters circled the building chant-
ing phrases like "The students
united will not be defeated" and
drumming on buckets.
The students began their occu-
pation at about 9:30 a.m. when they
presented Coleman with a list of
demands, centered on adopting a
program requiring all suppliers
manufacturing University-licensed
apparel to agree to provide work-
ers with union representation and
a wage high enough for a worker to
support his or her family by work-
ing no more than 48 hours a week.
Suppliers would also have to submit
to regular inspections by the Work-
ers' Rights Consortium, the group
that developed the program.
The University currently moni-
tors labor practices through its
Vendor Code of Conduct. SOLE
members contend that the code is
ineffective.

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LSA freshman Yousef Rabhi was arrested for refusing to leave University President Mary Sue Coleman's office.

Student runs for A2 mayor

Bloggers revive debate
over 'How to be Gay' class

I

Sophomore hopes to
shrink city gov't
By JULIE ROWE and
SARA LYNNE THELEN
Daily StaffReporters
Mar. 13, 2008 - Eric Plourde
describes himself as an "average
college student" who "just hap-
pens to have
an interest in
politics."
Most LSA
sophomores
with an inter-
est in politics,
aren't running
for mayor of PLOURDE
Ann Arbor.
Plourde is.
The 19-year-old Plourde recent-
ly announced his plans to run
against the incumbent, Mayor
John Hieftje, as the Libertarian
Party candidate. He declared his
intention in front of his pre-law
fraternity, Kappa Alpha Pi, last
week.
As a college student, Plourde
knows it will be a difficult cam-
paign - and one he's not likely to
win.
"There are a lot of barriers in
theway," he said. "Beinginaminor

party doesn't help. Being young
doesn't help."
Though Plourde admitted
that his chances of winning are
slim, he said he wholeheartedly
believes that he could do the job.
He said he wouldn't be running
if he didn't think he could handle
running a city of 115,000 resi-
dents.
"I think there's a perception
that somebody as young as me
wouldn't be up to the job," Plourde
said. "That doesn't mean that
I don't believe I'm qualified to
serve, or that if I won the election
I wouldn't be able to handle the
job."
Plourde said he plans to gradu-
ate a year early regardless of the
contest's outcome. If he does win
the race, Plourde's last term at the
University would coincide with the
beginning of his mayoral term. He
said he might take a lighter course-
load during the start of his term if
he wins.
"It would only be a few months
where I'd be takingclasses and ful-
filling my duties as mayor," Plourde
said.
After he started the College
Libertarians group on campus,
Plourde sought the help of the
Washtenaw County branch of the
Libertarian Party to plan events

on campus. At a meeting last year,
he was caught off-guard when he
was approached by the chair of the
county's party chapter, Tom Bag-
well, and asked to run on the Lib-
ertarian ticket.
"I thought he was joking, but
he wasn't," Plourde said. "He was
like, 'We're going to start looking
at candidates for the next election.
It'd be kinda cool if you ran for
mayor."'
Plourde said he decided that
running in hopes of drawing more
attention to the Libertarian idea
of limited government, citing the
"government's overarching role in
people's lives" as his inspiration
for running.
Plourde will likely be campaign-
ing against four-term incumbent
mayor John Hieftje, who was skep-
tical of Plourde's ability to gain
support of community members.
Hieftje lauded the student's
ambition, though.
"I look forward to meeting him
on the campaign trail this fall," he
said.
Plourde said he decided to run
for mayor because it provided the
best opportunity to showcase his
Libertarian platform.
"The position of mayor is a more
high-profile position, soI think I'll
reach abroader audience," he said.

Perez Hilton writes
post about course
By MARA GAY
Daily StaffReporter
Jan. 16, 2008 - English Prof. David
Halperin said the controversy sur-
rounding his English course, "How
to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and
Initiation," is old news.
The class, English 317, has been
offered on and off at the University
for seven years now. While the class
sparked a controversy at first, with
some conservatives arguing that
the class was meant to indoctri-
nate students into gay lifestyles, the
storm surrounding the class has
largely faded over time.
But last week, gossip and media
blogger Perez Hilton rediscovered
the class and posted a description
on his website, inciting a new round
of controversy on the Internet.
The posts about "How to be
Gay" spread from Hilton's website,
perezhilton.com, to other popular
blogs, like townhall.com and gawk-
er.com.
Hilton's post said the class is
being taught at the University this

semester. It isn't. Halperin is teach-
ing two classes this term, including
English 313, a course on homosexu-
ality in Ancient Greek literature.
Halperin said none of the blog-
gers contacted him to get a course
description or for comment.
From the time "How to be Gay"
was first offered, the course's
evocative title has elicited strong
reactions. It angered conservative
groups across Michigan and was
reviewed by the University Board
of Regents in 2002.
According to the course descrip-
tion, which Halperin said he altered
slightly last year, the class "exam-
ines the role that the acquisition of
cultural knowledge plays in learn-
ing how to be gay." Halperin said
he has never encouraged students
to be gay.
Halperin said he probably won't
ever teach the course again, not
because of the controversy, but
because he is ready to write a book
about his research on the topic.
"My attitude is that this is not
news," Halperin said. "If you want
to take a trip down memory lane,
that's fine with me, but this is not
news."

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