Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The Black Slate (the list of candidates that the Black Student Union has decided to endorse) is as follows:
Katherine McGee
Paul Spurgeon
Laban King
Ashley Whitfield
Charles Adside
Breeana Hare
Jessica Perkins

Voting is not open online here.

The website for the upcoming LSA Theme Semester on Brown v. Board of Education: 50 Year Commomeration is up. Check it out here!

And while you are at it, check of the MLK Symposium site, which will be adding more stuff shortly, about the upcoming 2004 Martin Luther King Symposium entitled, "Still Separate? Still Unequal?: Brown v. Board of Education 50 years later..."

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Well we know that the conservatives keep attacking admissions, summer programs, and now they have finally made it to outreach programs. This Washington Post article describes Amherst's process of recruitment of high-performing students of color and its recent decision to open the recruitment to low-income Whites. Don't they ever stop? Imagine had the people who quest for "civil rights and equal opportunity," please read as "civil rights advocating conservatives," had fought for King's vision of civil rights in the 1960s ... wait then who would have been there to fight against King? Hey, just wanted to remind all the conservatives, even Trent Lott now supports Affirmative Action and civil rights. LOL!

Speaking of admissions and the like, the LSA Admissions Advisory Committee has begun meeting. If you are like me, you are wondering what the heck the LSA Admissions Advisory Committee is, like to know, here you go:
October 2003


The Mission Statement of the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions declares that its goal is to “enroll and graduate applicants who will develop and grow educationally and personally and will contribute to the University community. To that end, the role of the Undergraduate Admissions Office is to recruit, admit, and encourage enrollment of applicants who are academically excellent, accomplished in extracurricular endeavors, and broadly diverse. It is the University’s experience and judgment that this mix of students will foster the vibrant educational atmosphere that provides the best educational experience for all students.”

The College of LSA endorses and supports this view and has found the Admissions Office to be an important ally in its educational mission. Indeed, we are deeply impressed with the quality of students admitted to the College year after year. Nonetheless, it has been some time since LSA has taken a comprehensive look at the instructions the College gives to the Admissions Office regarding the criteria for admission to the College. It has been a similarly long time since the faculty have had an opportunity for thoughtful input into defining their own continuing role in this important effort. The need to revise our admission procedures provides us with an exciting opportunity to consider these issues.

The role of the LSA Admissions Advisory Committee, therefore, will be to:

• Develop an understanding of the incoming class we want to accept into LSA keeping in mind the wide range of disciplines we teach and, therefore, types of student we seek.

• Review previous and current admissions and recruitment policies, procedures, and documents to determine the areas where they did or did not produce desired results.

• Recommend means that should be used to achieve our goals and criteria to measure them.

• Recommend ways for faculty to be involved in the LSA admissions process.

The Committee will be expected to consult with the Admissions Office; receive comments from faculty, staff, and students in LSA, where relevant; compare our procedures, policies, and documents with those of our peer institutions; and take up additional questions and issues as needed. At all times the Committee will keep in mind our goal of a student body that is both academically outstanding and broadly diverse.

The committee should plan to prepare a report for the LSA Executive Committee on these issues by March 1, 2004.

The members of the committee are as follows:

Tania Brown, LSA Junior, Sociology
Stephen Darwall, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the LSA Honors Program
Philip Hanlon, Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Budget and Planning
Sharon Herbert, Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Kelsey Museum
James Jackson, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies
David Matz, LSA Junior, Political Science
Maria Montoya, Associate Professor of History and Director of Latino Studies in the Program in American Culture
Esrold Nurse, Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs
Robert Owen, Professor of Geological Sciences and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Rebecca Scott, Professor of History and Law
Thomas Weisskopf, Professor of Economics and Director of the Residential College

This Friday at 7:30pm in the Rackham Auditorium Angela Davis will speak. Here talk is entitled, "How Gender Structures the Prison Industrial Complex." If you an be there, be there. I wonder are the conservakids who wanted Davis' name removed from the lounges in Markley going to be there talking trash? I would like to hear an exchange between Davis and a semi-informed agitator about her life's past!

Back to national, I have no rhyme or reason for the way I'm posting today. My Mets are in a heap of trouble, well actually Bill Singer! Singer, the new Mets super scout, made racially derogatory comments, if you can even call them comments, to Kim Ng of the LA Dodgers. This story still highlights how the APIA community is still considered outsiders, regardless of how deeply rooted in America they are.

The Washington Post has an interesting piece on the use of the term "lynching" as a political technique by Zell Miller of Mississippi and conservatives. I hadn't really thought about its continued use since Clarence Thomas' infamous "high-tech lynching" statement.

Ught oh, A Phi A, hazing is not a good thing. Good luck out of this one!

Yesterday, a protest in Philly was held to raise awareness about curriculum and African-centered studies. The protest called for a public school student walk-out, which it was unsuccessful in achieving, but obviously the issue got some visibility.

Aight, like Big Boi said, " for thought, now eat..."

Saturday, November 15, 2003

For some reason, the recent incidents in Hamtramck have not been largely publicized, to my knowledge. On Wednesday, a African-American student was beaten by Arab-American students in a racial conflict that apparently has been brewing since the beginning of the school year. On Friday, the school held a closed meeting to discuss the racial tensions between African-Americans and Arab-American students. Note: I am referring to Arab-American students as a group because the incident has become racialized. The impetus for the latest clash was over Ramadan, which is Islamic, not practiced by all people of Arab descent.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Oh, I forgot Slick Rick is FREE!!!! MC Ricky D is back among the free, well at least those who are not locked in a cage. Like a wise man often tells me, Ellison once wrote, "When I discover who I am, I will finally be free.” One.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

The Power Moves meeting has been rescheduled for 11/13 (Thursday) from 7:30-8:30.



There is also a pretty good exhibition on North Campus in the Media Union Gallery.
The exhibit is entitled:
Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Cultures in the Americas
The exhibit will be there until the 25th of November. The exhibit is sponsored by
Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc & Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
There is a lot perculating in Ann Arbor these days. First, let me hit the union tip.

"They say cut-back, we say fight back!"
Borders workers officially went on strike on Saturday and are garnering support by informing folks via their webpage/blog. And with all union action, you know the bourg... I mean the owners of Borders must speak out. The webpage features an exchange between Irfan Nooruddin which is very good. Want more details? Go to the weblink. By the way, when did the term living wage go out of style, or have the controllers of the means of production always thought it was mythical?

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) is also in the middle of a pending battle with the U and healthcare. The issue involves the levying of premiums onto GSIs, and others under the contract, which fundamentally violates labor law in the US. Labor law in the US sucks, so the mandate to negotiate in certain areas is highly regarded, or in this case disregarded. Rackham Student Government (RSG) has been in the middle, well not in the middle anymore if you read their statement, of this controversy between administration and graduate students. Now it as Cedric DeLeon stated so well, the administration is trying to "divide and conquer." Please read the correspondence below:
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 07:58:00 -0500
From: Rackham Student Government
To: Rackham Student Government Announcement List


Fellow students,

Below you will find a personal letter written to me from Provost Paul Courant. I caught up with him and decided to question him personally about the changes in healthcare and the promised forthcoming clarification of cost for students. Several campus-wide meetings have already taken place to openly discuss this information, but you were not clearly informed because the dates/location/etc. were published in The RECORD - and who really reads that? I told him that he needs to make sure that RSG gets this information first-hand so that students will be sure to be in attendance.

More to come...

On your behalf,
DeAunderia Bryant
RSG President


Dear DeAunderia,

Here is the information that you and I talked about the other day.

There are three groups of graduate students who are eligible for health
insurance with a University contribution:

1. Approximately 1655 graduate students who receive
departmentally-sponsored fellowships also receive GradCare. The
premium amounts that they currently pay are zero for single contracts
and two-person contracts and $20 per month ($240 per year) for coverage
for three or more persons. There is no change in practice for this
group scheduled for 2004, and the Committee on Health Insurance Premium
Design (CHIPD) only addressed the circumstances of employees, and hence
made no recommendation for change for this group.

2. Approximately 1550 GSRAs currently subscribe to GradCare, which is
the only insurance for which they are eligible. In 2004, members of
this group will pay $12 a month for single contracts (which are about
3/4 of the cases), $23 per month for two-person contracts (about 18% of
the cases), and $27 per month for three or more persons. If the CHIPD
recommendations are followed, all of these amounts will likely be
somewhat lower in 2005. Single contracts would be approximately $5 a
month ($60 a year); coverage for two adults would cost the employee
about $10 a month ($240 a year) and three or more persons would pay a
total of $25 a month, or $300 a year. (The numbers for 2005 cannot be
known with certainty yet so these amounts are estimates only.)

3. Approximately 1200 GSIs and GSSAs receive health insurance through
their employment with the University. The vast majority of these are
in GradCare (and all of them are eligible for GradCare), and their
circumstances are thus identical to the GSRAs discussed in the previous
paragraph. That is, the maximum employee premium cost for 2005 would
be for family coverage, and would be approximately $300 a year. The
vast majority (78%) of this group are in single coverage and would pay
about $60 a year. There are 14 GSIs who elected Blue Cross/Blue Shield
in 2003. If they do not move to a more economical comprehensive plan,
their costs will rise sharply. But all of the rest of the 4400 plus
graduate students with University insurance coverage face cost
increases that are $300 a year or less, with the vast majority much

I hope that this is helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you
want more information.

The University remains committed to providing excellent insurance
coverage for graduate student employees and fellowship holders, and to
providing the lion's share of the cost of such coverage. I trust that
we can work together to continue to make this commitment as effective
as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Paul N. Courant
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340

THIS JUST IN.... here is a response to Courant's message from Aaron Boros:
Hello DeAunderia and RSG,

I want to point out that Provost Courant's projected figures for the future
are extremely unlikely. Using the same figures the Provost is available here among
other places, you see that in 2004, the actual contributions for GSIs,
GSRAs, and GSSAs will be:

Univ: $226 Emp: $12 Total: $238

The projections he refers to are for 2004, and show these figures:

Univ: $220 Emp: $5 Total: $225

Somehow, this includes a 7.5% drop in premiums for the same coverage in the
same year (they both are based on 2004 premium charges).

Now, consider that (by the University's hypothesis), premiums are rising at
15% per year. That means that the total in 2005 will actually be around
$274. The University will likely pay a larger portion (due to the 5%
formula they are using), but the cost to students will undoubtedly be more
than the $5 he suggests -- probably more in the range of $21/mo. or nearly

If you are interested in hearing more about these figures, I would be happy
to discuss them, as I am very familiar with the University's plans. Also,
see the attached spreadsheet.

Finally, I would like to point out that the changes for _2004_ were made by
executive fiat in the Provost's office. There was no committee that
designed this premium charge, and there was no representation in the
decision-making process of *any* employee, let alone graduate students.
The changes for 2005 were made by a committee that had no graduate student
representation whatsoever, and no employee representation below the level
of associate professor.

As secretary of GEO, I look forward to working together in the future with
RSG to make sure that we share our information and to best represent the
interest of graduate students at the University.


Aron Boros
GEO Secretary
MPP/JD Candidate 2006

Ah, gotta love drawing lines in the sand. So who is gonna ask Courant when the premiums will be levyed on other groups of grad students?

Speaking of lines in the sand, there are a couple of great events happening tonight.
HEADS, SIS2SIS, and SAPAC, and other orgs are sponsoring a film entitled, "NO!" by Aishah Shahidah Simmons. The film explores the silence around domestic violence in the Black community. Ms. Simmons will be in attendance to discuss the film afterwards.
Tuesday November 11th, 2003
7-9pm, East Hall Auditorium, Room 1324

Aché! Drums and Women in the African Diaspora
Tue, Nov 11, 4-6 pm
Michigan League, Vandenberg Room, 2nd Floor, 911 N. University Ave.

A public symposium featuring famed members of Les Rosettes, an all-female
drumming troupe from Dakar, Senegal. Panelists include Detroit-based
drummers Kahemba Kitwana and Jahra McKinney-Hakamma, U-M Chair of Music
Education Carol Richardson, U-M Professor Kelly Askew, moderated by
Elizabeth James, Program Associate, U-M Center for AfroAmerican and African
Studies and translated by Mame-Khady Diouf, U-M student.

DouDou N'Diaye Rose and Les Rosette will be performing Tuesday, November
11, 8pm, Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor. For tickets, please call 734-764-2538
or visit the UMS webpage at

Also, tonight there will be a Power Moves meeting, unfortunately, I can't find the time and place, but I'll put it up when I find it!

I recently recieved this email from a friend who is the president of the Black Graduate Student Association at Northwestern University about hate crimes that have been occuring. Here is an article about the demonstrations.
Attention Northwestern Community:

As you may or may not know, Northwestern University has experienced a
plague of hate crimes specifically targeted towards members of minority
communities, including Asians, Muslims, African Americans, Jews, and the
Latino community. One of the most recent incidents was directed towards a
freshman named Xander Saide, who is a resident of Chapin Hall. Last
Tuesday night he discovered the words "Die Spic" on his poster and the
wall near his room door. On Friday night he was physically attacked with a
knife and once again referred to with racially derogatory words. As the
Latino community we cannot stand aside and allow racially targeted or
violent actions occur against anyone in the Northwestern community.

Tonight, the Coalition of Colors, along with other cultural organizations,
and concerned NU students, decided that we must unite as a community and
take immediate action in response to the hate crimes on our campus. Our
first action will unite the minority students on campus --- students of
color, cultural and religious backgrounds, or anyone who feels they have
faced discrimination or marginalization--- by wearing black from head to
toe. In addition, through a vow of silence for the entire day, we will
show what the NU campus would be like if there were no minorities
here. We strongly encourage and request that you participate in this
peaceful demonstration against the recent threats against our various
cultural, religious and NU communities. We also suggest that you wear tape
across your mouth to emphasize your silence as well as wear a label
indicating your specific identity/minority. Our second action will be on
Wednesday that will unite the entire NU community in a similar method.
Everyone will be invited to wear black during the day and in the evening,
we will trade in our black attire and replace it with NU gear, symbolizing
the solidarity of the NU community. We will rally at the rock on Wednesday
night and voice our concerns. This is only the beginning of a long
struggle and we ask that you show your support through participation.
Thank You,
Alianza Executive Board

Remember all of our struggles are connected by necessity, not by choice!

And speaking of our struggle. I thought that Halloween had passed for the first time in a number of year without huge Blackface issues. It seems blackface is one of the most common Halloween costumes ...honestly. A Louisiana judge managed to piss on my overt racism free parade when his story of dressing up in black face, an afro, and an orange prison jumpsuit made the news.

Okay, onto the national political scene! Wesley Clark... yeah he scares me, but he is engaging the hip-hop generation like no one else ......... Get yourself to a computer with quicktime or video viewer and look at this!!! Thanks CH for this link!!!!!

From hip-hop to Rock and politics. Last night, the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Detroit opened up. The article here does clown Kwame Kilpatrick for having a 5XL leather jacket! And what is with Kwame and the word dynamic?

Okay, back to hip hop, I mean rap. Now 50 cent may not be the anti-Christ, but I'm still skeptical. 50 has agreed to meet with Farrakhan to discuss his beef with Ja Rule. The interview hasn't been scheduled.

Aight, that's all I'm gonna write on my blog for right now!!!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

So there are a couple things that made me scratch my head today:

"Speaking Hispanic?" a judge in September in Nebraska ordered a father to speak English and not "that hispanic langauge to his child. The case has recently received national attention because of this Washington Post article. Ah, ignorance is so pervasive!

Another head scracther would have to Al Sharpton's decision to host SNL in December! Well that is one way to get visibility, but will it really garner political support or make Sharpton more of a joke to America's mainstream? Who is managing his campaign ... oops never mind I know that's a soar spot!

Lastly, Africana has posted a CBC report card. Look at the scores. Is that Michigan's own John Conyer's tied for last place?

Here is an interesting article on the American Indian community and the California recall election. Never even heard about the casino issues before I read this piece!

On a separate note, I realized today that the comments are not working on the page. I'll try to get to the bottom of that.

Monday, November 03, 2003

I'm back...

If you didn't hear, a company in Livonia has been manufacturing Razanne, a Muslim alternative to Barbie. No jokes! I definitely prefer this to Mattel's attempt at Flavas, the "hip-hop" Barbie crew (Mattel is rumored to have flattened their chests and made their butts bigger!). But I'm too grown to be concerned with toys ;)

Onto more pressing issues, this past week was full of issues in the Sharpton campaign, mainly his bout with Jesse Jackson Jr which resulted in an "outing" of Howard Dean's earlier support for economic, not race based, affirmative action policies. Despite all this, still seems that Dean's super-human front-runner armor remains unblemished. Oh, also Danny Glover officially endorsed Kucinich... okay.

Reason #213 50 cent is the anti-christ: He refused to meet with Louis Farrakhan to squash the beef between him and Ja Rule. Boo you 50, don't you care about anyone but your self and your supersize ego?

On the local tip, a great U of M graduate student Sharon Smith, and Associate Producer, has worked on a documentary entitled Anomaly on multi-racial and multi-ethnic folks. The webpage has just launched at Check the site and see what's good!

And here is a little information from the MSA:
*****Go Vote Tuesday!*****

If you are registered to vote in the City of Ann Arbor, you can
vote in the City elections being held Tuesday, November 4! You
can still vote even if you have not received a voter registration
card! You can vote on several city council seats and two proposals.

For more information or to find your voting location please visit

Make sure your voice gets heard!

That's it for right now.