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May 03, 2011 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-05-03

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


Student kicked out of organizations because of ties to Order

Chatoris Jones
removed from
leadership positions
Daily News Editor
After accepting a tap to join
Order of Angell - an exclusive
senior honor society previously
known as Michigamua - LSA
senior Chatoris Jones was forced
to step down from his leadership
positions in both the Black Stu-
dent Union and Intellectual Minds
Making a Difference organiza-
have clauses that prohibit mem-
bers from holding executive posi-
tions if they partake in Order due
to its historically discriminatory
past. Order has been criticized for
its use of Native American culture,
including its former name that was
changed in 2007 and its engage-
ment in Native American rituals
that the group ceased following a

1989 agreement.
Vidhi Bamzai, Order of Angell
spokesperson and Public Policy
senior, wrote in an e-mail inter-
view that the clauses the groups
have in their constitutions man-
dating the removal of individuals
affiliated with Order is unjustified
and ultimately negatively affects
the quality of student groups and
campus life.
"The point that Order of Angell
is discriminatory is false," Bamzai
said. "Rather, Order is one of the
most diverse organizations on
campus, bringing together stu-
dent leaders from across campus
and bridging gaps between gender,
religion, ethnicity, background
and sexual orientation."
She added that while Order has
a history of discrimination against
Native Americans, the group
strives to be transparent and sep-
arate itself from "its antiquated,
yet tumultuous history as Mich-
Jones said he was aware that
BSU - a group that sponsors pro-
grams related to African heritage

and culture - would be upset he
decided to join Order, but despite
this was still disappointed the
group asked him to leave after
working together for three years.
"I'm upset that I have to leave
an organization I've been a part of
since freshman year," Jones said.
"It's like the work I've done has
been overlooked."
BSU spokeswoman Saman-
tha Martin explained that Jones
was asked to step down from his
position as treasurer in the group
because his actions violated BSU's
constitution and that they provide
no exceptions to their policy.
"As an organization, we don't
support any affiliation with the
Order" Martin said. "Therefore,
any members associated with
Order cannot be part of BSU."
Intellectual Minds Making a
Difference -- an organization that
mentors disadvantaged youth in
Detroit - also asked Jones to leave
his position as co-chair. Jones said
he is still allowed to be involved
with the group, but cannot hold
a leadership position because the

group believes his affiliation with
Order will affect campus partici-
pation in Black Welcome Week,
an event that seeks to assist black
freshman with adjusting to life at
the University.
IMMAD could not be reached
for comment as of yesterday eve-
Jones said he believes there are
many problems that need to be
addressed pertaining to relations
among campus groups, adding that
he joined Order because he views
the group as a way to mediate dia-
logue about issues between orga-
nizations on campus.
He added that many depart-
ments at the University have been
supportive of Jones and his deci-
sion to fight against his removal
from leadership positions in BSU
and IMMAD, including the Office
of Academic Multicultural Initia-
John Matlock, executive direc-
tor for the Office of Academic
Multicultural Initiatives, met with
Jones on Thursday to discuss the
situation and offer his support.

Matlock said the department has
dealt with similar issues before,
addingthat Jones's case is difficult
because it doesn't fit the "clear-
cut" definition of discrimination
in federal law or University policy.
Matlock said he strongly
encourages increased dialogue
surrounding conflicts that arise
between campus organizations.
"There's going to be a bigger
discussion over the summer ...
We'll look at the ramifications and
how students are impacted based
on what groups they're involved
with," he said.
According to Jones, Order of
Angell has been very supportive
of his decision to overturn his
removal from the organizations,
with members of the society offer-
ing to walk him to class to provide
additional security.
"They have backed me like a
long-time friend," Jones said.
- Because of her membership
in the Order of Angell, Editor
in Chief Stephanie Steinberg
did not edit this story.

City passes panhandling amendment From Page 2

Panhandling banned
near venues withp
owner's permission
Daily Staff Reporter
In an attempt to cut down on
the amount of panhandlers in the
community, the Ann Arbor City
Council unanimously approved an
amendment to the city ordinance
on panhandling that requires solic-
itors to have formal permission to
be on city property.
The amendment states that
solicitors must now have consent
from property owners to solicit on
the premises and will ban solicita-
tion without permission in places
including alleys, buses, parking
structures, banks and in front of
Without permission from the
owner of specified areas, the solici-
tation will be considered "unlaw-
ful" and an act of "disorderly
conduct," according to the amend-
City Council member Sabra Bri-

ere (D-Ward 1) said the amend-
ment was passed in order to allow
for easier police enforcement of the
Briere, who serves as chair of
the panhandling task force that
was developed in September 2010
to decrease the number of panhan-
dlers in the area, said the group
plans to meet with merchants and
students to discuss the changes to
the ordinance and has already talk-
ed with various panhandlers.
"We had a lot of discussion back
and forth about how it would apply
and I think we, as a task force, did
not take a repressive attitude," Bri-
ere said.
Amid difficult economic times
for both the state and city, Bri-
ere said City Council ensured the
amendment was within the city's
means by avoiding increasing the
amount of law enforcement per-
"The budget isn't flexible enough
to allow an increased number of
police on the street," Briere said.
"We were all aware of that."
Briere said police are able to
enforce the amendment if they are
called to an incident involving a

solicitor. She added that increased
awareness among police officers
and community members of issues
like panhandling will help defuse
the problem because of the varied
areas of concentrated complaints.
"We're not looking at arrests
here, what we're looking at is alittle
more control," she said.
Additionally, Briere said that
she encourages people to donate to
organizations that help the disad-
vantaged rather than giving money
to the panhandlers and encourag-
ing their actions.
Gwyddion Storm - a panhandler
holding a sign that read "Mental ill-
ness NOT addiction keeps me job-
less" on East Liberty Street outside
of Borders - said he understands
why the ordinance is in place and
does not support aggressive pan-
handling. Despite this, he is against
City Council's amendment because
he believes they are attempting to
"outlaw homelessness."
He added that panhandlers
should not be punished for being
unobtrusive and are instead prac-
ticing their first amendment rights.
"This is freedom of speech,"
Storm said.

further commentary on the
matter was postponed.
The council also questioned
references in the ordinance to
the difference between home
occupations and commercial cul-

tivation facilities in zoning areas.
Despite the differences, the limit
of marijuana plants that can be
grown in the city totals 72.
Multiple word rephrasing and
changes to the regulations docu-
ment were also made, and the
council determined that any fur-
ther amendments would be dis-
cussed at a later time.

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