By Elizabeth Kassab Michigan Daily

(U-WIRE) ANN ARBOR, Mich – In the past decade a number of public universities have been ordered to change their admissions policies to be completely race-blind, often resulting in drastic declines in minority enrollment.

“The classroom became a whole lot whiter,” said Douglas Laycock, a law professor at University of Texas, which was forced to abandon affirmative action admissions policies after losing a lawsuit in 1997.

“The minorities tended to blame us even though we had fought this about as hard as we could,” Laycock said. “Part of our problem has been to assure minority students who can come to Texas that they are still welcome.”

As University of Michigan prepares to defend its use of race as one factor in admissions before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals next Tuesday, schools in other states are beginning to see the results of their alternative efforts to attract minorities.

Many schools are reporting increases in the number of minorities who enroll, but most are still below the levels they achieved under affirmative action.

“The policy we have now is the one that best promotes the university’s interests in excellence and diversity,” said Jeffrey Lehman, dean of University of Michigan Law School, which along with the College of Literature, Science and the Arts is a defendant in the cases. “I fully expect that we are going to prevail.”

“If they were we would have adopted them a long time ago,” he said.

The university has been very careful to follow the guidelines established by the 1978 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case, which allowed the use of race as one factor in higher education admissions, Lehman said.

Lawsuits challenging the interpretation of the Bakke decision in Texas and Washington state resulted in split decisions at the appeals court level.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 1997 the use of race as a factor in admissions is unconstitutional, and the University of Texas system was required to alter its admissions policies. The decision stood after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The effect of the 1997 Hopwood ruling varied across University of Texas undergraduate and professional schools. Minority enrollment throughout the system plummeted after the ruling.

Texas’ Law School enrolled four black students into a first-year class of hundreds for the year after the Hopwood case was decided. Enrollment for Hispanic students also dropped drastically that year.

Laycock said the university is recovering “by virtue of intense recruiting efforts:” individual phone calls, alumni efforts, private scholarships and bringing students to the campus.

Citing Unease, 12 Muslims Decide To Leave Boston U.

By Genevieve Abraham The Daily Free Press

(U-WIRE) BOSTON – Twelve Muslim students from the Middle East have taken leaves of absence from Boston University since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, university officials said Tuesday.

Of the 12 students, four are from the United Arab Emirates, while the majority of others are from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

“Some students were advised by their countries to return,” said Dean of Students Norman Johnson. “We hope they do return.”

Although the students told administrators they were not afraid for their safety on the BU campus, they expressed concern about what could happen in the rest of the country, said Denise Mooney, director of the University Resource Center. Some of the students’ families also urged them to return.

“Most students left on the prompting of parents,” said College of Arts and Sciences senior Atizaz Monsoor, president of the Islamic Society. “Parents of international students are rightly concerned with their students’ safety. To a parent, a child is always the prime concern.”

Students’ home governments have also helped students return home. Kuwait’s government offered to provide students with one-way airplane tickets back, Mooney said. Once the offer was extended, Kuwaiti officials let students “think about it themselves,” Mooney said.

Mooney said she did not expect more students to leave and that the 12 who have already departed are “all we’ve seen at this time.”

“Lots of people stayed here,” Monsoor agreed.

Johnson sent a letter addressed to BU Islamic students in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks. He advised students to call him with any concerns they had in the wake of the violence.

The terrorist attacks have also changed the sentiment of Muslim students who chose to remain on campus.

“We’ve had discussions about what’s going on,” Monsoor said. “Most students feel it’s something we need to make the best of. The only thing you hear about Islam is [regarding terrorism], not the sheer, intellectual pursuit.”

“These events have brought the Muslim community closer together,” he said.

The Islamic Society has held roundtable discussions about Islam and plans to bring in Islamic scholars such as Abdallah Adriz for lectures on the social and historical culture of the Middle East.

Even Muslims who are U.S. citizens have experienced change.

“It’s a lot easier for us,” Monsoor said. “We have a different feel as U.S.-born Muslims. We tend to have more American friends,” he said.

Anthrax Fears Lead to Mail Handling Policy at TCU

By James Zwilling Daily Skiff

(U-WIRE) FORT WORTH, Texas – Recent anthrax scares across the United States prompted Texas Christian University Mailing Services to send an E-mail to faculty and staff Tuesday outlining procedures for handling suspicious mail.

Mailing Services Manager Glen Hulme said the decision to write new guidelines came after more than seven or eight calls from concerned TCU staff members who open mail in their departments.

Sarah DeSouza, a junior nursing major, sorts envelopes Tuesday in the mail room in Sadler Hall.

Mary Nell Kirk, executive assistant to the chancellor, said working closely with someone who is high-profile like Chancellor ichael Ferrari is cause for some concern.

“I don’t think TCU or the chancellor would be a target, but it’s obvious that we have to be more cautious,” she said.

Kirk said she is glad that Mailing Services issued new mail handling guidelines.

“If nothing else, [the policy] certainly reminds you of what to do if something was suspicious,” she said.

Hulme said he believes this policy will help calm some of the fears that faculty and staff may have.

“[The policy] makes everyone aware of the risks they may face and what to do if an incident was to occur,” Hulme said.

Creating the policy entitled “Handling Suspicious Mail Suspected of Containing Threatening Chemical or Biological Agents” was a joint effort between the departments of Mailing Services, Safety and Environmental Health and the TCU Police, Hulme said.

According to the E-mail, the policy centers on suggestions from the United States Postal Service, the FBIand the Centers for Disease Control.

Hulme said a similar policy instituted at Cornell University was also referenced while writing the policy.

In addition to the E-mail, Hulme addressed the concerns of postal workers in a meeting Tuesday morning, he said.

Mail Distribution Supervisor Deborah Smith said Hulme helped calm some of the fears they were having.

“At first, we weren’t really concerned,” she said. “But as more and more cases came forward, there were a few concerns about what our procedures should be.”

For Smith and her co-workers, the examination of post office policies in a time of crisis is familiar, Hulme said.

Lack of Sleep Hurts Students

By Kristin Falls The Crimson White

(U-WIRE) TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Although society generally assumes college students are lazy, many of them actually are suffering from sleep deprivation because their intense commitments to daily activities.

Their worn-out appearances and tired expressions in class imply most college students do not get as much sleep as they would like. Between extracurricular activities, academics and social lives, sleep seems to be last on the list of college students’ priorities.

Clay Dodson, a senior in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, said he gets approximately seven hours of sleep a night, but he is still tired during the day.

“I have trouble paying attention to class lectures most days because I haven’t gotten enough sleep,” Dodson said.

Research shows sleep is crucial for good health. Eight hours per night is recommended for college-age students and older adults. Unfortunately for many young adults, constant lack of sleep is becoming a way of college life.

“I would love to get nine or 10 hours of sleep a night,” said Lindsey Sexton, a C&BA senior.

Jonathan Adams, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the amount of sleep he gets affects his performance in everyday activities.

“I thought that sleep didn’t affect me very much until I fell asleep while I was driving and had a wreck,” Adams said.

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