Monday, May 12, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From page 1
ruling, the University's
health care policy included a
provision to include employees'
same-sex partners. University
spokeswoman Kelly Cunning-
ham said the University's poli-
cy was changed to comply with
"We cannot have same-sex
health insurance benefits, so
we eliminated those benefits,"
Cunningham said. "We drafted
a policy for otherwise qualified
adults, which is a dependent
The policy requires that the
dependent adult has power of
attorney over the employee,
has lived with the employee
for at least six months, shares
a credit or bank account and is
tfie primary beneficiary in the
employee's will, life insurance
or retirement plan.
The University's policy has
not been challenged in court
and lawyers from the American
Civil Liberties Union of Michi-
gan who represented the plain-
tiffs in the case said during a
conference call that the Univer-
sity's policy was in compliance
with the ruling.
But another plaintiff, A.T.
Miller, director of the Global
Intercultural Experience for
Undergraduates program at
the University, said the process
for getting his partner, Craig,
covered under this plan was
lengthy and stressful.
"We had to do a number
of things with our lawyers to
qualify under a different sort of
category under the health ben-
efits," he said. "That feels far
less stable and also takes criti-
cal management of all kind of
Jay Kaplan, a staff attorney
for the ACLU of Michigan's
LGBT Project, said these hur-
dles are keeping institutions
from drafting policies like the
University's that allow same-
sex couples to receive benefits
without explicit provisions.
"It requires people to jump
through a great many hoops,"
Kaplan said. "Many people
don't have the resources neces-
sary to have that paperwork in
Cunningham said Univer-
sity officials don't expect the
reworked policy to be chal-
"I know that we believe all
of our current benefit offerings
are legal under Michigan Law,"
Cunningham said. "We feel
that all our current benefits are
in full compliance. It's not an
issue for people.
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From page 3
"We meet with the ven-
dors weekly and they keep us
informed on the market trends,"
Whiteside said. "So we started
talking about rice probably about
six weeks ago.'
Though she said the Universi-
ty doesn't have immediate plans
to scale back on the more than
21,000 pounds of rice served
in the dining halls every year,
Whiteside said that if the prices
don't go down in the future, the
University would "take a look
at the total menu mix and then
make some changes."
From page 1
other lending programs, like the
Federal Direct Loan Program,
in which the University partici-
pates. Through the FDLP the fed-
eral government lends directly to
The Michigan Department of
Treasury announced it would
withdraw from FFELP because of
insufficient funds last month.
Michigan State University,
which used to participate in
FFELP, announced last week that
it will now rely exclusively on
Treasury Spokesman Caleb
Buhs said that other institutions
in the state would likely follow
Michigan State's lead and rely on
Women's tennis View an audio
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Men's golf's Bill Show at the Sports
Rankin wins at the Coliseum.
But Buhs said students at uni-
versities that donot use FFELP
will benefit, too.
"It will free up some capital for
private lenders, which will allow
- them to originate more loans," he
said. "They may be able to make
more loans to students in the
state, which will be good."
By increasing the amount of
unsubsidized loans students are
eligible for, Gay said the law will
reduce students' dependence on
costly private loans.
"In increasing the unsubsi-
dized loan amount that students
can get, that does help," he said.
"That essentially reduces the
amount of private loans they
Gay said that NASFAA also lob-
bied for an increase in Pell Grants
to reduce students' reliance on
But the law signed Wednesday
didn'tinclude a raise in Pell Grant
"If they had done what we were
recommending, then that would
have created a ripple effect," Gay
Adam Benson, press secre-
tary for U.S. Rep. John Dingell
(D-Dearborn), said in an e-mail
interview that Dingell believes
Congress has already increased
Pell Grants sufficiently through
The College Cost Reduction Act.
The CCRA, signed into law last
September, will increase the
maximum Pell Grant award by
$100 per year until 2012.
Kelly Cunningham said officials
were studying the legislation to
determine what effect it could
have on financial aid at the Uni-