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September 18, 1995 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-18

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One hundred four years of editorzilfreedom

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Tonight: Mostly sunny, low
in the mid-40s.
Tomorrow: Cloudy, high
around 70%.

September 18, 1995

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By Nate Hurley
and Zachary M. Ralmi
Daily Staff Reporters
The vacant Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house caught fire
late Saturday afternoon, burning for more than two hours and
causing damage that Ann Arbor Fire Department officials
estimated to be more than $100,000.
Fire department investigators are looking into the cause of
the fire. Their findings could be released today, at the
The house, located at 733 S. State St., caught fire at around
4:30 Saturday afternoon, spurring police to block traffic
from Monroe to Hill Street and Oakland to State Street.
More than 150 people stopped by to witness the event as
29 firefighters battled the blazing flames. Two firefighters
suffered minor injuries; both were treated on the scene.
Fire department officials and eyewitnesses said they be-
lieved the fire began in a second-floor bedroom facing Hill
"One of the roofs had a hole and you could see, like, into
the house. It was complete flames inside, but it didn't look
like that outside," said Erin Galligan, a junior in the School
a of Music who witnessed the fire.
Karen Frank, an LSA senior, said she was leaving her
house at about 4:40 p.m. to run errands and noticed "a couple
na people out here and I saw flames coming from the right
window, the one that was burnt out."
Frank said she saw firefighters break open the front door
and witnessed more firefighters cut into the left side of the
roof. She said clouds of greenish-yellow smoke billowed
from the building.
Scott Sandler, LSA senior and former president of Sigma
Phi Epsilon, said he was upset as he watched his former
ins residence burn. "It really hurts. It's a tough thing to see," he
said. "A lot of good parts of my college life were in that
The fraternity decided to return its charter to the national
n't association after the Interfraternity Council and the national

Fire complicates
By Zachary M. Raimi
Daily Staff Reporter
When the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house burst
into flames late Saturday afternoon, confusion.jolted
the city of Ann Arbor and the University.
The University was in the process of purchasing the
Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house, said University
spokeswoman Julie Peterson. In July, the Board of
Regents approved a $630,000 purchase of the house.
Since then, the University has been engaged in
negotiations with the Sigma Phi Epsilon Building
Association, which owns the building. The two sides
have been unable to reach an agreement because of
debts that the fraternity's alumni association owes to
creditors, said John Alli, president of the Alumni
The University wants to create additional office
space in the building, especially for the Law School,
Peterson said.
The fire, causing at least$100,000 in damage, changes
the status of the negotiations.
"We've been trying to complete the sale and haven t
done that and this introduces another complication,"
said Farris W. Womack, the University's chief finan-
cial officer.
Yet Womack said that the University is still interested
in purchasing the house."I have every expectation that we
will come to a satisfactory transfer of title," he said.
Alli said the Alumni Association still wants to sell
the house. Some of the members of the former frater-
nity had talked about starting another chapter in the
next few years, he said, but plans are too far off to keep
the property.


Firefighters work to put out a fire
Saturday afternoon at the former Sign
Phi Epsilon fraternity house. The fire
caused more than $100,000 in
damages and two of 29 firefighers
battling the flames were injured. Fire
department officials are looking into
the cause of the fire. Their finding
could be released today.
The University has been in negotiatioi
to purchase the building. Farris W.
Womack, the University's chief
financial officer, said: "We've been
trying to complete the sale and haven
done that and this introduces another


chapter sanctioned the organization, in response to a hazing
incident last fall. The fraternity members at that time said the
See FIRE, Page 7A


New unit

Neal G. Berlin

Councl inames new admins or

Till link

women s
By Amy Klein
Paily Staff Reporter
The University Board of Regents is
scheduled to consider a proposal this
week to establish an interdisciplinary
Institute for Research on Women and
Gender, which falls under the umbrella
of the Michigan Agenda for Women.
Abigail J. Stewart, professor of psy-
chology and women's studies, is to be
recommended as director of the institute.
Stewart said the institute will tie to-
gether many of the current projects
University researchers are developing.
"Researchers haven't collaborated
about women's issues in the past. This
would facilitate our carrying out our
research together," Stewart said.
Law School Prof. Christina Whitman,
i member of the institute's board, has a
background in civil rights litigation and
feminist theory, and said she is looking
forward to working with people from
:ther fields.'
"There are women's issues in a lot of
:isciplines that I wouldn't normally
think of being connected to the field of
law, but that could contribute to re-
search," Whitman said.
The institute will report to Vice Presi-
lent for Research Homer A. Neal, who
said in a statement that his office sup-
ports the new institute.
"We have many talented faculty
whose research interests will benefit
from the synergy fostered by this new
interdisciplinary program," Neal said.
The institute also plans to act as a link
to the media, bringing national atten-
ton to their ideas and research projects.
"We're in a good position to move
right now, and the resources are defi-
nitely there," Stewart said.
Almost 20 faculty members com-
prise the interim executive committee,
allowing the institute to affect current
curriculum at the University.
"The fact that the faculty is working

0 Former city manager of Arvada,
8 Former city manager of Iowa
City, home to the University of
0 Former town manager of
Hanover, N.H., home to
Dartmouth College.
* Bachelor's degree in political
science from Illinois Wesleyan
a Master's of public
administration degree from the
University of Michigan.

By Maureen Sirhal.
Daily Staff Reporter
The Ann Arbor City Council on Fri-
day nominated Neal Berlin forthe posi-
tion ofcity administrator after concerns
arose over comments made by another
Berlin, city manager for Arvada,
Colo., obtained the minimum six votes
required to receive the nomination, af-
ter a controversial meeting during which
the reputation of another candidate,
Roger Crum of Spokane, Wash., was
called into question.
City Councilmember Stephen

Hartwell (D-4th Ward) said he could
not support Crum because of an off-
the-cuff remark about beating his wife
that Crum made during an interview
with Hartwell.
With 'wo inenibers of the' coincil
absent, initial supportmounted forCrum
despite a comment about wife-beating
that he made during his interview. How-
ever, the majority came out in favor of
Berlin, also citing concerns over Crum
that did not involve the remark.
"After many hours of careful refer-
ence checks, I feel good about the deci-
sion," said CouncilmemberTobi Hanna-

Davies (D-lst Ward).
"I had concerns with Roger Crum
that had nothing to do with his com-
ments," Hanna-Davies said. "Mr. Crum
allowed the police chief to block re-
ports of racial harassment on the police
force in Spokane," she asserted,
But Councilmembers Jane Lumm (R-
2nd Ward), Peter Fink (R-2nd Ward)
and Peter Nicolas (1-4th Ward) gave
overwhelming support for Crum.
"Roger Crum shows strength of con-
viction and leadership," Lumm said.
"My sense is that (Berlin) would be
reluctant to tell council when he thinks

they are wrong."
Nicolas said Berlin "may feel more
pressure to capitulate to the opinions of
Hartwell reiterated his statements
about Crum's chiaractr.
Mayor Ingrid B. Sheldon and
Councilmember Christopher Kolb (D-
5th Ward) said they could support ei-
ther candidate and would support which-
ever gained the majority. After an ini-
tial vote of5 to 4 in support of Crum, the
council voted once more. Sheldon and
Kolb changed their initial votes.
See CITY, Page 7A

Large class causes
substantial' impact

By Jeff Eldridge
For the Daily
The largest entering class in the
University's history has created its share
of bureaucratic problems, but officials
say they are doing what they can to deal
with the unusual situation.
In June, the University accepted an
additional 333 Michigan residents to
increase the ratio of in-state students as
a goodwill gesture to the state Legisla-
ture. The state had threatened to with-
hold millions of dollars of state funding
after the in-state student rate of enroll-
ment fell below 70 percent.
Of the 333 accepted, more than 200

sonable number of choices and found the
classesthey needed. She called this year's
scheduling process "a stress-inducing
experience" but ultimately workable.
Jennifer Eshelman, academic secre-
tary for the mathematics department,
said her office overestimated the impact
of the new students.
"We estimated a growth of 200 stu-
dents, but many never materialized, so
newly formed sections ofMath 115 were
closed," Eshelman said.
Last year, 1,732 students enrolled in
Math 115; this year there are 1,800.
Eshelman said confusion over such esti-
mates is not uncommon.

"The increased
number of stu-
dents requires in-
creases in service
at all levels," said
John Cross, LSA
associate dean of
budget and fi-
nance. "Within
LSA, the most im-
portant increase
has been on aca-
demic advising.
There has been a

"This fall, we
had a larger array
of course choices
than we usually
- Virginia Reese
LSA advising assoc. director

Cross would not
make an overall
estimate of the fi-
nancial effects.
"The increased en-
rollment comes
from students who
are residents of
Michigan and who
therefore paywtu-
ition that is sub-
stantially lower
than that paid by
non-resident stu-

Candidate protests charges
Renee Emry, a candidate for the Ann Arbor City Council, pickets outside of Washtenaw County District Court on Friday. Emry,
who was arrested for possession of marijuana, will appear in court Sept. 29.
NAI extends deadhne as

heavy early-term increase in need for

"The average cost ofa student at Michi-

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