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January 23, 1991 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-23

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The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, January 23, 1991- Page 5
HAC proposes citizens
N vote on parking structure

by David Rheingold
Daily City Reporter
The Homeless Action Committee
(HAC) will introduce a resolution at
the Ann Arbor City Council's next
open session Feb. 4 that would let
the citizens decide if the city should
erect a proposed parking structure at
the Kline's parking lot, HAC mem-
ber Jennifer Hall told the council last
night.
At that meeting, the council will
decide whether the question should
appear on the citywide ballot April
1.
Members of HAC protested the
council's decision to remove three
houses on South Ashley St. for the
construction of a $10 million, eight-
story parking structure behind
Kline's Department store last fall.
They wanted the city to construct
1,500 affordable housing units at the
site instead.
"No one has ever asked the peo-
ple of Ann Arbor if they want the
Kline's parking structure," Hall said.

Hall, an Ann Arbor resident,
made the announcement last night
during the council's open session,
which was changed because of Mar-
tin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday.

'We'd be able to
capitalize on the fact
that they (the council)
don't care about what
people in Ann Arbor
want by not letting
them vote'
- Jennifer Hall
HAC member
"There's two ways to get the ref-
erendum on the ballot," Hall later
explained. "One is to have some-
thing like 15 percent of the Ann Ar-
bor residents sign a petition, and in

order for that to happen, you have to
have it in by mid-December."
"The other way is for the City
Council to put it on the ballot
themselves, and they can do that up
until 45 days before the election;"
Hall said.
In order for the question to ap-
pear on the April 1 ballot, the
council would have to approve it by
Feb. 14.
"I think it'll be introduced, but
I'd be real surprised if it were put to
a vote," Mayor Gerald Jernigan said.
"It would make sense to ask the
citizens," said Councilmember Ann
Marie Coleman (D-First Ward), but
agreed that she would be "surprised"
if the council passes the resolution.
Even Hall was skeptical about the
future of the proposed resolution, but
said whether it passes or not, HAC
will benefit.
"We'd be able to capitalize on
the fact that they (the council) don't
care about what people in Ann Arbor
want by not letting them vote," Hall
said.

AP Photo

Aftermath
A Tel Aviv man removes a painting Tuesday from the wreckage of his home which was hit by an Iraqi-fired Scud
missile in an attack last week. Iraq fired more Scud missiles at Israel Tuesday night, with at least one missile
hitting Tel Aviv and casualties reported.

Letters from home: citizens

determined not to forget troops

Ann Arbor groups send American
soldiers support and supplies
by Jesse Snyder

Daily Staff Reporter

From the time U.S. troops first
set foot on Saudi Arabian sands,
members of the Ann Arbor com-
munity have been trying to remind
them of home.
A number of local organiza-
tions, from church groups to record
stores, have taken part in package
and letter sending campaigns di-
rected at the American soldiers
serving in the Middle East.
The goods flowing from Ann
Arbor to Saudi Arabia range from
books, games, and soap, to rat
traps.
Missy Szymke, a Huron High
School student, is involved in one
such organization. She has written
letters to troops as part of a school
group called Letters From Home.
f This group of about 20 high"
school students has been sending
* letters, as well as games, sham-
poo, and books to the troops in
Saudi Arabia. They have held fund
raisers to help pay for postage.
"They seem really excited to
shear from us. We've gotten some
really great responses," Szymke
said. "One man said he had been
in the Marines for twenty years,
,nd mail still excites him.",
Church groups have been send-
ng letters as well. Congregation
members of the First Presbyterian
Church on Washtenaw began col-
lecting the names of family mem-
bers and friends stationed in the

Persian Gulf in order to pray for
them.
David Mast, the youth director,
went a step further and encouraged
the youth group to start sending
letters.
"We want to support the troops
even though we wanted peace. We
don't want them to feel alienated,"
he said, referring to the alienation
of U.S. troops during the Vietnam
war.
Mast said he opens returning
letters to the congregation, and
posts the addresses of soldiers.
Corresponding with the youth
group are two chaplains stationed
in the Gulf, one Catholic and one
Baptist, who look after 1,500 sol-
diers.
"Work for us and we'll work for
you," they wrote.
Ann Arbor resident Sally
Kennedy organized letter sending
campaigns during the Vietnam
war. She is again corresponding
with troops overseas.
Kennedy is currently involved
with volunteer organizations, such
as the Sustainers Junior League -
which she described as a business
organization consisting of older
people - and high school groups
in her efforts to promote corre-
spondence with the troops.
"They need backing. People
should realize that just because
they are in the military doesn't
mean they want to fight," Kennedy

said.
"I write letters to people that I
never would have had the chance
to communicate with otherwise.
And you can write about anything,
because they don't know you," she
added.
The three branches of ROTC at
the University have also been ac-
tive in corresponding with the
troops in the Middle East.
"We sent three huge packages
last November of over $1,000
worth of spy and western novels,
and Gatorade," said Major
Michael Gasapo of Navy ROTC.
He said the students raised the
money by selling football
programs.
Army ROTC has sent tea,
crackers, and rat traps to former
cadets serving in Saudi Arabia.
The Arnold Air Society, an hon-
orary community service organiza-
tio n consisting of 42 Air Force
ROTC students has sent over
$1,000 of personal care items,
such as razors and soap, to the
Middle East. Sophomore member
Dan Littman said he plans to dis-
tribute fliers with troop addresses
around campus.
WhereHouse Record stores in
Michigan have been sending tapes
donated by customers to Saudi
Arabia as part of a Tapes for
Troops program. The WhereHouse
Record outlet on S. University is
still accepting tapes from people
interested in adding to the 14,400
sent since November.

by Jesse Snyder
Daily Staff Reporter
The fears, confusion, and emo-
tional repercussions of war do not
stop at the doors of elementary
schools. Neither do its politics.
Although sending letters and
packages to U.S. troops stationed
in Saudi Arabia may seem an in-
nocent action, for some elemen-
tary schools it poses serious
problems.
While the majority of Ann Ar-
bor elementary schools have sent
letters or gifts to Saudi Arabia, a
small number have opted not to, in
fear of alienating students of dif-
ferent cultural backgrounds.
Northside Elementary School
draws almost exclusively from the
North Campus area, which is home
to the children of many foreign
University students.
"We talked about it as a staff,
and decided notto send anything.
We have a very diverse popula-
tion. Many students are from Saudi
Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, and others
have parents serving in the Gulf.
It's very personal, and we don't
know how the students would re-
act," explained school principal
Shelley Bruden.
"Some people have done it on
their own, but the kids are having
such a hard time. They are not all
Americans," she added.
Bruden said some students and
parents have asked about sending
letters to the troops, and were en-
couraged to do it at home.

"They fully understood the situ-
ation," she said.
Judy Urwin, the teachers' clerk
at Angell Elementary School, said
her school would not sponsor cor-
respondence for the same reason.
"Our students are multi-na-
tional, and we have people from
both sides of the conflict," she
said. She added that the school did
not set any rules about correspon-
dence because the reasons against
it were clear.
Bach Elementary School is one
that has been corresponding with
troops stationed in the Middle
East. Angela Williams' split first-
second-third grade class baked and
sent sugar cookies to Saudi Arabia.
Williams said the situation in
the Gulf has led to a confusing and
scary situation for her students and
she fears the actions in the Middle
East will send the wrong message
to her class.
"We encourage students to
seek and implore against physical
force, and to talk through prob-
lems. So we're very much against
the policy of the situation, ap-
palled at it. But it would be mis-
taken to not appreciate the
courage of the troops," Williams
said.
"We don't want to indoctrinate
or whip up the fears of the stu-
dents, but we try to keep clear the
fact that those people are showing

Schools face issue of sending letters to

U.S. soldiers

a great deal of courage, even if we
disagree (with the use of force),"
she added.
Her class seemed to agree with
supporting the troops regardless of
their position on the war.
"They might feel better if they
knew someone cared," said Anna,
a second grader.
"If no one was grateful, what
would they be dying for?" asked
Jasmine, a third grade student.
"They miss their beer and
cigarettes," said Brian, a third
grader with a cousin in Saudi
Arabia.
Ms. Bates' third grade class at
Logan Elementary School sent 26
letters to the Gulf and received
three responses. They sent pictures
of horses, soldiers, and asked -an
abundance of questions about the
weather in the Middle East. A stu-
dent named Patrick even wanied
to send his Lucky Charms cereal,
but his mother objected.
"I feel proud for sending some-
thing. It feels good inside," said
Hanna, a member of the class.
kinko's
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F

Hundreds check out job

6yErcRied

Nearly 700 students arrived
with resumes in hand to meet
prospective employers at the 17th
Annual Minority Career Confer-
ence last night.
The conference, hosted at the
Michigan Union by Career Plan-
ning and Placement, offers stu-
dents an opportunity to meet with
recruiters from over 100 organiza-
dons - including social service
*organizations, public service orga-
nizations, graduate schools and na-

tional corporations - in order to
gain first-hand information about
the organization and set up inter-
views.
"It helps you meet a lot of
people and really know what's out
there," said LSA senior LaVern
Phillips, who has attended the con-
ference for the last four years.
"You need a different perspective
of the real world than from behind
the books."
The conference began with a
"sneak preview" panel discussion

by four recruiters w
interviewing and
dents' questions.F
phasized that stu
come prepared byj
organization they a
and by researching
what abilities theys
to the recruiter.
This was not the
for many of the sh
tended last night
Many students exp

prospects at c
ho gave tips on tion with the opportunities offered
answered stu- through the conference, though
Recruiters em- some of the information was not
udents should new to them.
researching the "It's been pretty effective. It
re interested in saves a lot of time in terms of in-
themselves and dividual research," said LSA Ju-
could point out nior Phil Dawson.
Unlike previous years, much at-
tention at last night's conference
first career fair was focused on the impact of the
udents who at- recession.
's conference. John Jones of the May Depart-
ressed satisfac- ment Stores Company noted this

)nference
during the panel discussion by em-
phasizing the importance of re-
searching organizations students
may be interested in.
"Especially the way things are
today, it's best that you choose a
company that will still be around
in a few years," said Jones.
Recruiters had mixed com-
ments on the impact of the reces-
sion with some, particularly from
the auto industry, reporting the de-
crease of entry-level positions to
college students.

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