Page 1







U prof mulls Senate run Richard Painter announced a committee to determine if he should run for U.S. Senate. BY RYAN FAIRCLOTH


Forward Taylor Williamson battles with Badgers defender Melissa Channell for the puck during the WCHA Final Faceoff at Ridder Arena on March 6, 2016.

‘1 in 300,000’

Taylor Williamson was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in September. Now, she’s playing in the NCAA Tournament.

New name for Coffman voted by student gov. The resolution will now go to President Eric Kaler for review and then possibly to Regents. BY MAX CHAO


Forward Taylor Williamson, center, watches the 2018 WCHA Final on March 4.

NCAA tournament quarterfinals. Minnesota would have likely missed the tournament had they not defeated their rival. “To be back here playing the NCAA tournament is so humbling and I am just so blessed to even have this chance because at one point, u See WILLIAMSON Page 4

NCAA QUARTERFINALS 2 p.m. Saturday Madison, Wisconsin

vs Minnesota



‘This is not over’: A look at the recently-failed faculty union effort A 2014 faculty union effort led to a costly legal battle with U admins before losing support. BY RILYN EISCHENS

A r c h it e c t u r a l p h o t o g r a p h e r a n d University of Minnesota adjunct faculty Christian Korab was in the middle of construction at his Twin Cities-area home studio in 2015 when he heard a knock at the door. Hammer in hand, he found two faculty union organizers on his doorstep. They asked if he would be interested in talking

u See PAINTER Page 3



Three minutes into Sunday’s WCHA championship game, the Gophers were gridlocked with the top-ranked Badgers at one goal apiece. No. 7 Minnesota was the underdog. Wisconsin had previously won the last four games against the Gophers by a goal each. More than a minute into the second period, freshman Olivia Knowles received a pass off a faceoff, and saw junior Taylor Williamson streaking toward the front of the net. Knowles hit a slapshot from the blue line and Williamson redirected it past the goaltender for the go-ahead goal. When the buzzer sounded, the Gophers took home the WCHA trophy with a 3-1 victory, which set up a rematch next Saturday against the Badgers in the

Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor and longtime critic of President Donald Trump, announced Wednesday that he is mulling a run for Minnesota’s U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Tina Smith. Painter said at a State Capitol press conference that he has formed an exploratory committee to examine the prospects of a Senate bid, but refused to align with a specific party. If he decides to run, Painter will aim to unseat Smith, D-Minnesota, in the 2018 midterm election in November. Smith assumed her role on Jan. 3 after former Sen. Al Franken resigned in December amid sexual misconduct allegations. Republican state Sen. Karin Housley is currently the only Republican to announce a run against Smith. “If I choose to enter this race, it will be to fix the problem of corruption in our government at the federal level, where it is the worst, and reaching into the states where we have seen campaign finance corrupt state government across the country,” Painter said.

about unionization, and the conversation lasted an hour. “They didn’t need much to get me going,” he said. “I was quite receptive to the idea.” Professors, lecturers, teaching specialists and instructors, among other employees, joined the most recent University faculty unionization effort following conversations like these. Many hoped a union would force the University to address frustrations with working conditions and worries about higher education’s future. After that, Korab dedicated several hours each week to the unionization effort. He attended meetings and testified at a government hearing about the movement’s value.

But the effort’s manpower and energy dwindled quickly when the University raised a series of legal objections to the organizers’ efforts, spending at least $500,000 in the process. Supporters viewed the administration’s actions as a war of attrition on the union movement. Even some of the most enthusiastic faculty dropped out as the movement stalled during the months-long legal battle. In spring 2017, Korab distanced himself from the effort in part because he didn’t have sufficient time to keep up with union activities and because of the tangible loss of momentum. u See UNION Page 8

The Minnesota Student Association unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday proposing a new name for Coffman Union — an effort started last fall. The resolution recommends that Coffman be renamed “Memorial Union,” intended as a neutral name while memorializing students who were discriminated against in the past, said Emma Dunn, co-author and MSA representative from Minnesota Hillel. “To us, not naming it after one individual or one donor or one administrator [reflects] ... who the building was for, and that’s for the students,” she said. Along with Coffman, the resolution calls for review of other campus buildings. Although there are no formal plans, buildings that could be reviewed in the future include Nicholson Hall, Middlebrook Hall and Coffey Hall. “[We] believe that this is a critical first step for these future conversations,” Dunn said. The resolution will go to University President Eric Kaler for review, and, if approved, will go to the Board of Regents for a final decision, said Natasha Sohni, co-author of the bill. The vote is the culmination of a monthslong debate surrounding campus building naming practices after an exhibit last fall — “A Campus Divided” — exposed racially biased practices by University personnel, including former President Lotus D. Coffman, “In the end, we were all happy with the way everything resulted. I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Sohni said of the passed resolution.


‘Twin Peaks’ inspires Minneapolis cafe The elaborate Lynchian hangout in south Minneapolis is proof of a lasting and active fandom. BY SOPHIE VILENSKY


Artist and owner Nancy Waller poses for portraits at the Black Lodge gift shop on Tuesday, March 6. The shop is themed after David Lynch’s television show “Twin Peaks.”

Local artist Nancy Waller started watching “Twin Peaks” when it came out in 1990. In early December, she unveiled a pop-up inspired by the show in her South Minneapolis storefront — the “Black Lodge Gift Shop.” Startling window shoppers with a bluelipped and gold-eyed Laura Palmer mannequin in the window, “Black Lodge Gift Shop” features a number of Lynchian favorites. The floors are a hand-painted black and white chevron, the walls are covered in red fabric and the “Fire Walk With Me” soundtrack is on repeat. Waller mans the store in costume (she’s done 11 characters so far). Besides posing for

photo-ops and reciting scenes from a handcopied script, she sells homemade plush logs, donuts (with sequin sprinkles) and cherry pie slices to visitors. They fly off the shelf. Anything Lynchian is bound to spark questions, but the success of this pop-up carries a big one. Why, decades after its inspiration originally premiered and months after the reboot, is this little shop bustling? It may have something to do with the shop offering a “real-world experience.” It’s something live tweets and fan message boards can’t afford us. Add to that the connection people feel to the show — a deep rooted affinity for all those weirdo Pacific Northwest residents — and you have yourself a hit. Alex Arnold, a recent University of Minnesota graduate, started watching the show during the winter of his senior year … so, in 2016. u See BLACK LODGE Page 5






Daily Review


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Thursday, March 8, 2018 Vol. 118 No. 45

An Independent Student Newspaper, Founded in 1900. 2221 University Ave. SE, Suite 450 Minneapolis, MN 55414 Phone: (612) 627-4080 Fax: (612) 435-5865 Copyright © 2018 The Minnesota Daily This newspaper, its design and its contents are copyrighted.

1950 The Volkswagen bus, icon of counterculture movement, goes into production. HISTORYCHANNEL.COM/TDIH

Regent Patricia Simmons resigns

OFFICE OF THE PUBLISHER Mike Hendrickson Editor-in-Chief (612) 435-1575 Kathryn Chlystek Business Operations Officer (612) 435-2761 NEWS STAFF Nick Wicker Managing Editor Cedar Thomas Managing Production Editor Jack White Sports Editor Gunthar Reising A&E Editor Alex Tuthill-Preus Multimedia Editor Maddy Fox Assistant Multimedia Editor Sheridan Swee Copy Desk Chief Molly Tynjala Assistant Copy Desk Chief Harry Steffenhagen Visuals Editor Jane Borstad Visuals Editor Desmond Kamas Chief Page Designer Rilyn Eischens Campus Editor Olivia Johnson Campus Editor Ryan Faircloth City Editor David Clarey Features Editor =









Regent Patricia Simmons speaks during a Board of Regents meeting on July 8, 2015. Simmons announced her resignation from the Board on Wednesday.

Simmons is the University Board of Regents longest tenured regent. BY MICHELLE GRIFFITH

Patricia Simmons announced her resignation from the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents Wednesday morning.

She plans to leave the board this spring, and either Gov. Mark Dayton or the Minnesota Legislature will appoint someone to fill her seat, said Regent Darrin Rosha. In a press release Wednesday, the University said it anticipates a joint convention of the state Legislature to elect Simmons’ replacement. Simmons was first elect-

MyU to allow gender, pronoun identification The new tools will be implemented in June across all UMN campuses. BY JONATHAN CUKLA

Students and employees at the University of Minnesota will soon be able to add a gender identity and preferred pronouns to their records on MyU. PeopleSoft — the University’s human records database — will add the new functions in June, among other changes in a planned upgrade. The new tools are in response to students, faculty and staff working toward a more inclusive climate for people of varying gender identities, said Julie Selander, director of One Stop Student Services and leader of the project. Selander said she and her team surveyed students, met with on-campus organizations and spoke at forums to understand what was needed in the coming upgrade. She added that responses to the project have been “overwhelmingly” positive. She said the upgrade will include open-ended text boxes that will allow people to type in their own gender identity if it is not already available to choose. The team did not want to limit students’ options since the concept of gender identity is constantly evolving, Selander said. Ahmad Qais Munhazim, the interim director of the

Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life, said he has seen many cases of students being repeatedly misgendered across campus, which shows signs of transphobia and can be emotionally triggering for them. M un h a z i m s a id t h e database change is needed, as students learn about inclusivity and issues like transphobia in their classes. “This upgrade is a great move towards making the campus more inclusive and respectful of all identities,” he said. “It’s a move that celebrates inclusivity and diversity.” Munhazim said he hopes to see the upgrade inspire other universities to do the same for their students, faculty and staff. With the upgrade, students’ indicated pronouns will be shared with their instructors on class rosters and seen by their academic advisers. Jasper Craft, a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Individualized Studies, said he uses pronouns that differ from the gender that appears on his University records. Craft said he expects the upgrade to help communication with professors. “At the beginning of this semester, I emailed all of my professors to let them know of my pronouns ahead of time so I didn’t have to have that awkward moment on the first day of class,” he said. “I like that they’re going to be listed on the rosters. I think that’ll help people who get misgendered .”

ed in 2003. She is the longest tenured regent to hold a seat on the board, and served 15 years — an unprecedented commitment in this modern time, Rosha said. The remaining longest-tenured regents are Linda Cohen and Dean Johnson, who were both elected in 2007. “I think losing Pat will be a real loss. ... She was a very very wonderful board member and will be a great loss

to the [University],” Regent Steven Sviggum said. “She will be missed.” Simmons is a retired physician, executive and professor. She was the founding chair of the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic. She has served in multiple leadership roles, including Chair of the Board of Regents for two years. Simmons currently serves

as the vice chair of the Mission Fulfillment Committee. “Serving the University of Minnesota has been a great privilege,” Simmons said in a news release Wednesday morning. “The University is an extraordinary institution of inestimable value to the people of Minnesota, and in fact is a great asset to the nation and the world.”

New counseling service hopes to lower barriers to treatment Counselors host open hours in Appleby Hall two times every week. BY MAX CHAO

A new counseling program hopes to engage University of Minnesota students who may be uncomfortable with seeking treatment for mental health struggles. In late February, Student Counseling Services expanded a pilot version of Let’s Talk, an informal counseling program present on the University’s Duluth and Morris coordinate campuses and other schools nationwide. The service emphasizes breaking down barriers to counseling treatment through informal meetings away from medical clinics, said Glenn Hirsch, director of SCS. “Some students, for a number of reasons, may not feel comfortable coming to a mental health center to get treatment,” Hirsch said. Historically under-represented students are often hesitant to seek out mental health treatment, he said. “One of the interesting challenges we face is, ‘how do we offer support to those students in a different way than traditional services?’” Hirsch said. Currently, the program is run by two counselors who hold open drop-in sessions in Appleby Hall. SCS plans to expand sessions to Coffman Union on March 21 and the Recreation and

Wellness Center in the future. While the program is administered by trained counselors, it is not a replacement for therapy, said Let’s Talk Counselor Gina Liddell-Westefeld. “I think Let’s Talk can … be a place where you can literally just talk since it is little-to-no paperwork, it’s free, it’s confidential and it is open-door,” Liddell-Westefeld said. The program comes after a slew of mental health and training programs were implemented over the past year, including Effective U and Learn to Live. Hirsch said these programs are part of a greater effort to reach all students. “We’re really making a lot of efforts to be as broadbased as possible in the amount of mental health resources we offer to students,” Hirsch said. According to past Minnesota Daily coverage, mental health visits to Boynton Health this semester are up 18 percent compared to spring 2017. Hirsch said in an email that the creation of new programs is in part due to this increase. He added that funding for Let’s Talk comes from the SCS budget and additional funding for more counselors comes from the President’s Office. Let’s Talk was developed at Cornell University, and has since spread to over 50 universities around the country, such as the University of Washington, University of Wisconsin-Madison and St. Olaf College. Although the program

“One of the interesting challenges we face is, ‘how do we offer support to those students in a different way than traditional services?’” GLENN HIRSCH Director of SCS

had a slow start, the Duluth campus has seen growth in interest since launching the program four years ago and is planning on adding an additional weekly session later this month, said Jean Baribeau-Thoennes, counseling director of health services at the Duluth campus. SCS hopes to expand the program to include greater staffing, more drop-in availability and new locations by fall 2018, Hirsch said. Let’s Talk counselors host open hours at Appleby Hall 135 on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“I think Let’s Talk can … be a place where you can literally just talk since it is little-to-no paperwork, it’s free, it’s confidential and it is open-door.” GINA LIDDELL-WESTEFELD Let’s Talk Counselor

EDITORIAL BOARD Anant Naik Editorials & Opinions Editor Aleezeh Hasan Editorial Board Member Ray Weishan Editorial Board Member Mike Hendrickson Editor-in-Chief BUSINESS Genevieve Locke Sales Manager David Keane Controller The Minnesota Daily strives for complete accuracy and corrects its errors immediately. Corrections and clarifications will always be printed in this space. If you believe the Daily has printed a factual error, please call the readers’ representative at (612) 627–4070, extension 3057, or email immediately. THE MINNESOTA DAILY is a legally independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and is a student-written and student-managed newspaper for the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. The Daily’s mission is: 1) to provide coverage of news and events affecting the University community; 2) to provide a forum for the communication and exchange of ideas for the University community; 3) to provide educational training and experience to University students in all areas of newspaper operations; and 4) to operate a fiscally responsible organization to ensure its ability to serve the University in the future. The Daily is a member of the Minnesota News Council, the Minnesota Associated Press, the Associated Collegiate Press, The Minnesota Newspaper Association and other organizations. The Daily is published Monday and Thursday during the regular school year and weekly during the summer, and it is printed by ECM Publishers in Princeton, Minn. Midwest News Service distributes the 10,000 issues biweekly. All Minnesota Daily inserts are recyclable within the University of Minnesota program and are at least 6 percent consumer waste. U.S. Postal Service: 351–480.w

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Loiterers a headache for local businesses MPD has responded to groups of juveniles trespassing near campus. BY ISABELLA MURRAY

Dining and dashing at Applebee’s. Getting kicked out of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. Using amenities at various student apartments. The Minneapolis Police Department has noticed a trend of juveniles loitering on and around campus since September, and are preparing for increased activity this spring. When the University of Minnesota’s academic year began in September, bands of teen boys began roaming the areas around campus. They started near WaHu Apartments and in Stadium Village. More recently, they’ve moved to fraternity row, house parties in the Marcy-Holmes area and several Dinkytown apartments and restaurants. “These boys are local. Since the fall and up until winter break, we had seen incidents almost every weekend,” said Nicholas Juarez, MPD crime prevention specialist. Because they are juvenile, police haven’t released their identities. Apartments have been a common location for loitering. Juveniles have been caught smoking tobacco and marijuana in the hallways and common rooms, using building amenities and harassing residents, Juarez said.

At WaHu, management and staff have noticed juveniles trespassing to use the building’s indoor pool and smoke in the parking garage. WaHu staff have created a trespassing list where images of the boys are flagged for night security. “If they enter our property, we call the police,” leasing agent Kelli Clostermery said. “Since we’ve upped security, we haven’t seen them.” Staff at The Marshall apartments in Dinkytown have also dealt with juvenile trespassers, who most often enter the property to use its basketball courts. “When that happens, our CAs that are staffed will either go to the basketball courts and escort them out or we will contact security. In the event that we have to, we will call the police,” said property manager Renee Reynolds. “Since August, I’d say this has happened maybe five or six times.” More groups of juveniles have also been crashing fraternity and house parties on campus. Interfraternity Council President Billy Langer said in an email that there have been multiple instances of non-University students attempting to gain entry to fraternity parties. “Due to their names not being registered on the event list, they are al-


Pedestrians pass by Stadium Village Flats on March 5. Recently, the Minneapolis Police Department has responded to many incidents of nonresident juveniles entering campus apartments and using their amenities.

ways denied access to our parties by security monitors at the door,” Langer said. Juarez said MPD alerts the fraternities about these occurrences and how to prevent them. R e s t a u r a n t s a ro u n d campus have sighted the groups as well. McDonald’s is a common spot for the loitering in Dinkytown. In Stadium Village, the groups

have dined and dashed at Applebee’s and disrupted service at Raising Cane’s. Kerry Kramp owns both the Stadium Village Raising Cane’s and the new Dinkytown location, which will reportedly open next month. He said a regular group of adolescents cause problems for the restaurant. They won’t order food, are loud in the lobby and

are not respectful of the establishment’s requests. “They’ve been pretty disrespectful to police officers,” Kramp said. Raising Cane’s will likely add private security on Friday and Saturday nights to control such situations, he said. “In the new Dinkytown location, we will open with that security. We’ll be phas-

ing in a security plan in our Stadium Village location this summer,” Kramp said. “This will be off-duty police officers or private security.” MPD is preparing for an increase in juvenile loitering on campus this spring. “Spring Jam is probably going to be our first big event down in that area,” he said. “We’ll see if we see that trend ramp up.”

U leads schools to adopt affirmative consent policies The University implemented an affirmative consent policy in 2015. BY HELEN SABROWSKY

More than 50 Minnesota college campuses now follow “yes means yes” consent policies as a result of student advocacy. In 2015, University of Minnesota students were among the first in the state to push for an affirmative consent policy, which requires clearly communicated willingness to participate in sexual activity. After the Minnesota State Board of Trustees approved a policy change to require affirmative consent last month, all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will also follow a similar policy. While the Minnesota State system already had a robust sexual assault policy, the addition of affirmative consent provides more clarity, said Clyde Pickett, Minnesota State’s chief diversity officer. The University de-

Painter u from Page 1

He cited “corrupted” government and “dark money” in politics as motivation for the potential Senate run, and pledged to run a campaign without Super PAC money if he chooses to enter the race. “I believe that this state is entitled to be represented by two senators who are responsible only to the people of the state of Minnesota who elected them, not to special interests,” he said. Painter said he will use the exploratory committee to consider which party he would run under — Republican, Democrat or Independent. Painter, a longtime Republican, served as the chief ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, and has been a University professor ever since. He said his reluctance to run as a Republican stems from the current direction of the party. “I think there are a lot of good things about the Republican party, but we’ve had some serious problems over the years. The Republican party in this state is no longer the Republican party of Governor

fines affirmative consent as “informed, freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in sexual activity that is expressed by clear and unambiguous words or actions.” Student advocacy and demand from stakeholders influenced the Minnesota State Board of Trustees’ decision, Pickett said. Students United, a Minnesota State University group, started advocating for an affirmative consent policy about a year ago, said Faical Rayani, state chair for Students United. Members of Students United met with every president, Title IX officer, chief diversity officer, student body president and other faculty members from all state universities and colleges, he said. “Affirmative consent is an important issue to students because … we live these situations [and] we are affected by sexual assault,” Rayani said. “Our advocacy is so important when it comes to pushing issues like consent that aren’t affecting faculty and higher-ups.” Going forward, Stu-

dents United will focus on implementing affirmative consent policy education and bystander intervention training at orientation for all universities and colleges in the state system, Rayani said. Other groups like It’s On Us, a student group aimed at stopping sexual assault on college campuses, also support affirmative consent. “We believe that it’s important to view consent as the presence of a yes rather than just the absence of a no,” said Maeve Sheridan, president of the University’s chapter of It’s On Us. While widespread adoption of this policy is a step in the right direction, addressing sexual misconduct on college campuses will require more work, Sheridan said. However, some worry affirmative consent policies could have negative implications for individuals accused of sexual assault. These policies could shift the burden of proof to the person accused, which infringes on the traditional presumption of innocence in criminal cases, said Samantha Harris, the vice

Arne Carlson. The Republican party is no longer the party of even Ronald Reagan. I need to think about whether there’s a place for me in the party that I’ve worked with for so long,” he said. Bryan Piligra, Housley’s U.S. Senate campaign spokesman, issued a statement Wednesday about Painter’s potential run. “Karin Housley has given a voice to the many Minnesotans who are fed up with the dysfunction, partisanship and obstruction in Washington. Having another extremist in the U.S. Senate will not end the plagued status-quo – they would make it even worse,” Piligra’s statement said. David Schultz, a Hamline University political science professor, said a run by Painter would do the most harm to Republicans. If Painter challenges Housley for the Republican nomination, Schultz said it could split the party base into two camps — Trump supporters and more moderate Republicans. This would ultimately lead to an easier path to victory for Smith, he added. “It’s almost like they can’t run a united ticket,” Schultz said, adding that if Painter ran independent, he

could steal votes from both parties and affect the outcome of the race. Last year, as the chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Painter filed a lawsuit against Trump for conflicts of business interest. The lawsuit was dismissed in December as it “lacked standing.” The University of Minnesota law professor has amassed a popular Twitter following, where he is often critical of Trump and his administration, claiming ethical violations. He makes frequent appearances on cable news networks, and often pens opinion pieces for the New York Times and Washington Post criticizing the Trump Administration. But Painter said on Wednesday that his decision to consider a U.S. Senate run wasn’t about the president, but about the government’s current course. “We need to clean up politics in this country, and it’s about a lot more than Donald Trump,” he said. Painter said he will remain at the University of Minnesota while exploring a potential Senate campaign. Michelle Griffith contributed to this report.

president of policy research for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group. When the University’s affirmative consent policy was under consideration, it was met with resistance from some students, faculty and staff who were concerned about legal con-

sequences and ambiguous language. Today, some hope to address affirmative consent policies at the state level. Minnesota gubernatorial candidate and state Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, is working on a bill that would seek to educate students about affirmative consent, among other provisions.

“I began working on policy in 2015, and what I encountered was students advocating for change,” Murphy said. “I was happy to join them on their campuses, and they have taught me a lot about the issue and why it’s important. They should have all the credit for the work they’ve done to pass this policy change.”








Forward Taylor Williamson, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 2018 WCHA Final on March 4.

Fighting through an autoimmune disease Williamson u from Page 1

that was all taken away,” Williamson said. Almost exactly a year ago, Williamson and the Gophers were in the same position. The team was on pace to make it to a 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament, but for Williamson, something was different. She had Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disease.

Discover y In 2017, the then-sophomore from Edina began to have trouble talking. Almost every night for about 10 minutes, Williamson said it felt like there was a spoonful of peanut butter in her mouth. She attributed it to the stress of being a student-athlete. She kept her difficulties private, only telling her mother. After the Gophers lost in the 2017 Frozen Four final to Clarkson University in March, Williamson went on vacation with her teammates to Arizona. The feeling continued on her trip and she realized it could be serious. Williamson returned home and went to see a doctor who performed an MRI and found something startling. A cyst the size of an avocado was on her brain. Less than 24 hours later, it was removed in emergency surgery.

“It was crazy. After the surgery, everything went back to normal. Two months later, I was back training and getting ready for the season,” Williamson said. However, by the time training camp started in August, the same symptoms returned and were getting worse. Now, the difficulty speaking was not the only issue. She began feeling weakness in her limbs. She struggled to lift her arms and could barely hold her stick. The season was fast approaching and Williamson went on as if everything were normal. In training camp, though, it became clear her symptoms were affecting her game. Coaches estimated her shot speed was down overall, and outside slapshots, she went from shooting 60 mph to 30 mph, and her skating stride was cut in half. But Williamson and the team prepared for the season as usual. She participated in practices and scrimmages. On Sept. 29 — the season opener against Merrimack College — Williamson was slated for the third line. “I’m kind of kicking myself for having her play in that game. As I look back at that, I don’t know if she was actually ready to play,” head coach Brad Frost said. Once Williamson was put in, she began to experience double vision, had trouble skating and could not talk.

She skated off to the bench and team doctors took her to the locker room. “That was probably the No. 1 scariest thing I have ever experienced in my life,” Williamson said. Later that night at the hospital, she was undergoing tests to find out what was wrong. Another MRI found nothing. It was 2 a.m. when a physician’s assistant proposed a theory that was later confirmed. Williamson had Myasthenia Gravis, or MG, an autoimmune disease. The name originates from Latin and Greek, meaning “grave or serious muscle weakness.”

One in 300,000 Peter Karachunski, a neuroscience professor at the University of Minnesota who specializes in MG, said the disease affects about one in 300,000 people a year. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the disease is marked by muscle weakness, troubles in facial expression, chewing, talking and swallowing — all matching Williamson’s symptoms. Karachunski said in normal communication between the muscle and the brain, nerves send chemicals that travel to muscles and then bind to specific receptors, which then activate and cause muscle movement.

MG disrupts the signal from nerve to muscle, he said, causing the muscles to weaken. The body’s own immune system produces antibodies, which normally protect the body from foreign organisms, but in MG, those antibodies mistakenly attack the transmitters. “Not all muscles are affected the same way,” Karachunski said. “They can come at different severities at different times.” Karachunski said Williamson will probably live with this disease for the rest of her life. He said some people go into remission, but it can also get worse. After diagnosis, Williamson started rehab. “Despite all these little things that were happening, I thought like ‘let’s just go,’” Williamson said. “It’s funny looking back on it now. I’ve had these battles my whole life and I just looked at it as another battle.” She was put on three medications, fell back on her faith and in December, she began training with Neil Sheehy, an NHL hockey agent and specialist in muscle strengthening. By January, she was ready to be back on the ice. Williamson credits Sheehy for her recovery. “He basically made the impossible, possible,” she said.

The first goal Williamson saw the

ice for the first time since September in the second game against Vermont on Jan. 13, more than three months after she was diagnosed. It was only for one shift, but Williamson had been waiting to return to the real thing. The team points to Williamson’s comeback as inspiration for finishing out the season. “Taylor is a warrior, and our whole team has watched her throughout the whole season deal with a lot of question marks and adversity and she has handled that uncertainty with so much strength and maturity,” senior goaltender Sidney Peters said. “When you watch your teammates go through something like that, it gives you no excuse.” Williamson was happy to be back. She physically felt okay, but didn’t feel comfortable until her third week back in February’s game against St. Cloud State. With 4:35 left in the first period, sophomore Lindsay Agnew passed the puck to Williamson and she flipped the puck into the net for her first goal since returning from MG. The game ended in a tie, but it was a milestone for Williamson. “To finally get that puck in the net was just an incredible moment,” she said. “Right now, it’s just about enjoying it and never taking a shift for

FIVE MAIN SYMPTOMS OF MYASTHENIA GRAVIS BRAIN -Cyst -Neurotransmitters get blocked by antibodies EYES -Double vision -Eyelid muscle weakness (droopy eye) FACE -Droopy, one side will look droopy MOUTH AREA -Unable to smile -Limited speech ARMS & LEGS -Weakness


granted. [I’m] just so blessed to come back from battling MG.” Williamson has scored three goals since her return. Frost said she looks better than before her diagnosis. The third line has blitzed opponents, scoring 16 points overall. “This past year has been indescribable,” Williamson said. “I have found things and discovered things about myself I didn’t even know, faced struggles I didn’t even know existed.”


Freshmen fill gaps in Minnesota’s depleted bullpen The Gophers lost eight pitchers from last season and six freshmen pitch now.




Gophers baseball head coach John Anderson knew before the season started that one big question mark ahead of his team was the pitching staff. “We’re going to need a lot of people to step up for us when you lose six pitchers like we did,” Anderson said in February. “I’m confident that the players that are returning are making the next step in their development.” Minnesota lost eight pitchers in total to graduation, the draft, injury or transfer for this year’s season. Those eight accounted for almost 60 percent of total innings pitched last year. Pitchers Brian Glowicki, Lucas Gilbreath and Tim Shannon led the team with lowest ERA, but left the program last year. Now that the Gophers have the first couple weeks’



WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Friday WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday WHEN: 12 p.m. Sunday WHERE: U.S. Bank Stadium SOURCE: GOPHERSPORTS.COM


Gophers pitcher Toby Anderson throws a pitch during a game against Iowa on Sunday, March 5 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

games under their belt, the bullpen is starting to solidify and a lot of freshmen pitchers are adapting to the college game. Through the first 13 regular season games, Minnesota’s true freshmen pitchers have

gone almost 39 percent of the innings, and six of 14 pitchers who have made appearances on the mound this year have been first-year players. There have been triumphs for the freshmen pitchers this year. Max

Meyer, who also plays designated hitter and had two hits in Tuesday’s win over Nebraska-Omaha, got his third save of the year when he pitched two strikeouts in the ninth inning. “It’s nice. You can throw

him in the DH, and then use him later to pitch,” catcher Eli Wilson said. “He’s just a great athlete. He can do a lot of things for you out on the field.” Meyer is batting .250 in addition to his 2.45 ERA through the first 13 games. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 34th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. “He’s quite composed for a freshman in college, in my opinion,” Anderson said. “Not too much bothers him, he’s able to move on pretty quickly to the next pitch, and he’s pretty solid mentally and emotionally.” Joshua Culliver, who has the most innings pitched by a freshman at this point, allowed two runs and three hits in the first inning against

the Mavericks, but he came back to pitch four scoreless innings. However, there have also been outings where the freshmen have struggled. Sam Thoresen, in his first game pitching in college baseball, hit four batters and allowed four runs before getting pulled in the loss to Georgia State. “[Thoresen] had a tough outing the first time of the year,” Anderson said. “Those [older] guys were awesome in picking him up, and letting him know that, ‘we’ve had outings like that in our careers when we started out.’” One of those more experienced pitchers, Jeff Fasching, a junior, had an 11.25 ERA on eight innings pitched when he was a freshman. Fasching said he remembers what the older guys would tell him when he struggled, which he still uses as advice today. “Failure was really good for me, and they told me that,” Fasching said. “I know it sucks right now, but in the end, later in your career, this failure that you’re experiencing ... is going to be huge for you.”







Artist and owner Nancy Waller poses for portraits at the Black Lodge gift shop on Tuesday, March 6. The shop serves as a hub for fans of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” to meet and analyze the show over coffee and cherry pie.

A place both wonderful and strange Black Lodge u from Page 1

“It was so good. The tone, story, imagery. It’s hard to overstate how good I thought it was,” Arnold said. He watched the whole thing. And then he watched the reboot. No matter how much he’s binged since then, Arnold is still eager to talk about the show — just like the other people who visit Waller’s Lodge every day. Last Friday, patrons included college students who first learned of the show as tweens reading Tavi Gevinson editorials, babies whose parents were searching for a good photo-op and Gary, a new grandfather and longtime fan who just happened to hear about the store during a quick visit to Minneapolis. Working the one-person operation day after day, Waller isn’t sure how long she’ll keep the pop-up open. As she says, constant cosplaying might be bad for your health.

“When I was a kid, I would’ve done this if I could. But I didn’t have the skill set.” NANCY WALLER “Black Lodge” owner

But it’s here for now. And it proves that David Lynch — though he is the inspiration for this one — isn’t the only person who can design a universe. “When I was a kid, I would’ve done this if I could,” Waller said. “But I didn’t have the skill set.” The shop does feel like a child’s game of pretend come true, a glass box in Manhattan or a less consumer-based Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But it’s better. It’s hard to explain, but there’s more dreaminess to it. “We make our world happen,” Waller said. “I wanted this in mine.”


A recreation of the fictional town of Twin Peaks’ welcome sign stands outside Nancy Waller’s Black Lodge, a shop dedicated to David Lynch’s series centered around the town.


Artist Meghan Murphy’s new rules Meghan Murphy paints giant women who eat men. There doesn’t need to be more to that. BY SOPHIE VILENSKY


hen she was an undergrad, a classmate told Meghan Murphy her work reminded him of middle school. She’d painted a bunch of Tim Burton-esque dolls floating in yellow and wearing lingerie — a study in tragedy and empowerment that come with being aware of sexuality at a young age. But the classmate just saw trivial little girl art. Today, Murphy works in Minneapolis and Portland. Her works are flat and full of childlike wonder, with palettes that would stir jealousy in an Anthropologie sales rack. Just like it was in college, her art is girlish. Really girlish, actually. She paints giant women who eat men. Murphy graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2009 with a triple-degree in visual art, art history and English. During her time at the University, she worked as

editor-in-chief of the Tower (previously the Ivory Tower). It was here she met her best friend, Jamie Millard. “I was intimidated,” Millard said of their first encounter. “She could do anything.” The two would go on to found the art and literary magazine, Paper Darts (Murphy runs it by herself now). They still work together at Pollen — a community based nonprofit in Minneapolis. Murphy grew up in a rural Wisconsin town — the kind of town where you’re “not supposed to like art.” As a child, her parents bought a dilapidated motel to fix up. As this fixing took place, Murphy would sit in the corner and draw her dog — “over and over and over.” She’d also draw her sister. And her sister’s friend, “over and over and over.” Eventually, Murphy’s teachers just allowed her to draw in class. She’d copy old pieces, like an unfinished Mary Cassatt study of a

little girl in a red dress with a big hat. “One of the first things I understood about art was [Cassatt’s] work,” Murphy said. Years later, University art history professor Jennifer Marshall would reintroduce Murphy to the prints of Cassatt: flat, intimate portraits of women in the domestic sphere. Marshall remembers Murphy’s attention to detail in class and her creative approach to writing about art history. As for the work Murphy’s creating today? Marshall has some thoughts about it too. “They’re beautiful,” Marshall said. “Unique [and] really complicated.” Ever the art history professor, Marshall connects Murphy’s pieces to a number of things: quilt-making and applique, thread work, medieval and devotional art, stained glass windows, goddess-like forms, Lisa Frank and Lynda Barry cartoons.

Among these semblances are pieces that have traditionally been looked down upon in the art world because of their female and folksy backgrounds. “There are loaded assumptions about how woman paint,” Murphy said. “You’re immediately put into a cliche. Therapeutic art is not considered high art.” But Murphy’s work is like therapy — for her, and for those who view it. It’s considered trivial by some, profound by others. It’s girlish and it belongs in a gallery no less because of this. So no, there’s no kicker about how Murphy proved the boy in class wrong by moving on to more “classic” subject matter. She wanted — and still wants — her work to feel like trivial little girl art. The colors, the poses, the flatness. “If you’re a person — especially a woman — who wants to feel powerful and to be reminded of your power, her work belongs on


your walls,” Millard said. “The women are so big, such giantesses, nothing can hurt them anymore,”

Murphy writes on her website. “They eat and they eat and they eat. They grow and they grow and they grow.”




Editorials & Opinions



Divest debates detract from the real issues

UMN Divest referendum should not pass

Some have argued that UMN Divest is discriminatory and targets Jewish communities.


ast week, a petition demanding the University of Minnesota divest from companies who support Israel received over 600 signatures. As a result, a referendum was placed on the allELLEN SCHNEIDER campus election ballot columnist for the election on March 5 through 7. It has attracted some heated discussions from students, and generated numerous complaints to the All Campus Election Committee, as some feel the initiative unfairly targets Israel. While divesting from companies that support Israel is certainly a component of the initiative, it’s certainly not the sole focus. It calls for divesting from private prisons and immigrant detention centers, companies that violate indigenous sovereignty. Despite what Minnesota Hillel and other groups who filed complaints imply, this initia-

tive is not a discriminatory one. The focus is not diminishing the voices of Jewish communities on campus, or belittling their cultural significance. It is on preventing our University from being involved in human rights violations. Insinuating anything else is frankly, a stretch. The argument that Minnesota Hillel is making simply doesn’t make sense. It is a futile attempt to distract this issue from its focus, which is to prevent this University from conniving with companies which break international laws. The notion that this somehow dispropotionately affects Israeli people is also moot. This is not the first time that the University has divested from corporations or nations that routinely commit violations to basic human rights, nor will it likely be the last. In fact, the University has previously divested from both South Africa and Sudan for their breach of international laws, and in those instances, there was little resistance from students. They were more concerned with the fact that there were people being stripped of their rights, and our University was financially involved in it. The University divested from Sudan in April of 2007, after a growing student-led movement demanded it. It was a widely held notion that being complacent in such atrocities didn’t

sit well with students, and action on the part of the University was required. I see no reason why it should vary in this instance. Advocating for the rights of some does not somehow diminish the rights of others. I don’t believe that the Jewish community is being discriminated against by this referendum, nor do I believe it makes the University a less inclusionary place. This issue is not one of antiSemitism or prejudice practices, it is striving for a University that is financially neutral and is not apathetic to the transgressions of human rights. While I do agree that this issue could benefit from increased awareness and open dialogue and debate, I think a more productive focus would be on the effects this decision would have on campus life and beyond. I realize that Israel is the only Jewish democratic nation in the world, but I don’t believe the intention behind promoting divestment stemmed from anything biased against the Jewish people. The emphasis should remain on whether we want our University rid of any ties to companies disposed to trampling the rights of people and the financial burden that may have. Ellen Schneider welcomes comments at


Why flip phones should make a comeback Smartphones may be sleek, but flip phones offer all the basics and aren’t distracting.


ometime last week, I was sitting around a conference table shooting the breeze with some officemates when one of them pulled out this sleek, blue, cameraincluded flip phone. I was floored. UMA VENKATA I had been babbling columnist to my friends about a collective return to flip phones for the few weeks before this meeting of my dreams. Ever since the iconic movie “Spotlight,” a part of me couldn’t forget about the unspoken cool of Mark Ruffalo, fulfilling moral integrity with what might just be a 2001 gem of a Nokia. I really think going back to the Motorola Razor as the apex of everyday tech would be a positive move, but most people are taken aback at the idea. Ever since the original iPhone, the gorilla-glass domino effect has produced faster, smarter technology that upends the way the en-

tire world does business — gets news, pays bills, finds directions, pursues romantic interests, hails cabs, for example. Smartphones instrumentally caused dynamic shifts in our social and economic modus operandi. That’s because a lot of things about smartphones are really, really convenient. I’ve never actually remembered to bring my insurance card to Boynton, but they’re perfectly fine with a photo on a camera roll. I can respond to email on the go, get headline updates, Google things as a hobby and beat my friend in our daily race to the New York Times mini-crossword. And now, we’ve even made it past UofM Secure. But there are disadvantages, too. Pediatricians report that children are now starting school without the basic motor skills to hold a pencil. Dating apps like Tinder tend to instill the idea that people and sex are a judgmental buffet. Concentration takes a surprisingly hurtful blow with every notification — University of California Irvine research found that it takes 23 minutes to pick it back up. I, too, have a smartphone. In high school, a friend gave me his old iPhone 5 — and if anyone tries to tell you that iPhones only last two years, don’t believe the hype. This thing works just fine (although the Snapchat update got bad reviews, so I’m pretty sure it’s not worth the Hail Mary.) The idea that we all need the newest

phone is, quite frankly, a social construct. And maybe even the newer it is — the faster and easier it is to use — the more it distracts us from eating our vegetables: fun phones can often interrupt focus on our work or even the people we’re standing in front of, talking to — not to mention the ease of access during meetings and lectures. Flip phones are already making a niche comeback. The market’s trying to phase them out completely, so it’s roughly the same price as to have a smartphone. Still, this kind of consumer base has spoken: Nokia has the 3310 “Brick,” which is the Zeus of a phone. It’s at Best Buy. If I can logistically afford the detachment, I want the flip-phone ethos. If you need to contact someone, call them. If they’re busy, they won’t pick up. Leave a message — the voicemail robot lady is our friend. Remember, we made it to the moon with the technology of the sixties. Texting won’t be gone — in middle school, you and I knew when to hit 3 like there was no tomorrow. Maybe the reason Mark Ruffalo’s character and all his colleagues did so much good work was because their jobs didn’t entail updating Twitter every half hour. And I’m sure new phones make great gifts.

Ken Marcus, a Trump nominee to the Department of Education, whose lack of commitment to civil rights and Title IX Hillel International overlooked in favor of his anti-divestment crusading. We can only imagine what Hillel might accomplish if it invested the same resources and dedication to social justice that it does to defending the state of Israel from student criticism. So, yes, Hillel, there are many ways to make positive change. We offer this referendum, a value statement by the students here who will vote on it March 5-7, to address the human rights and social justice issues which impact many campus communities. Our proposal that the University of Minnesota act on its stated values and “consider social responsibility” in its investment decisions is a proposal for such positive change. If Hillel wishes to actually show up for marginalized people and stand against the prison industrial complex, violations of Indigenous sovereignty, and oppressive military occupation, its leadership might propose their own referendum, rather than attacking this one. Until then, we invite Hillel and the entire campus community to read the text of our referendum one more time, and to ask themselves if they really want to try to justify the oppression of Palestinians again this year — or if it is time to prioritize human dignity by divesting from private prisons, treaty violations and the Israeli military occupation.

tion becomes impossible when the referendum question was only approved on the afternoon of Friday, March 2. Furthermore, contrary to the Daily article posted just this morning, 12,000 professional students were excluded from voting by the question’s BDS proponents. There is something fundamentally unfair about a process that allows the proponents to select their own voters and gives no notice or explanation to the 12,000 students who were denied their opportunity to be heard. Our friends in our Jewish community, which is slightly more than 1 percent of the University’s student population and is already under siege from a rise in bias crimes, resent being targeted because of their heritage and religion. Student leaders from Minnesota Hillel, the campus’ Jewish student center, have also been clear that they are strong supporters of the University’s socially responsible investment policy that they championed before the Minnesota Student Association two years ago. They, along with a broad coalition of allies, simply oppose discriminatory divestment that targets the world’s only Jewish state, which is the Middle East’s only true democracy, for boycott, divestment and sanction. This is not the first time the campus has been forced by the proponents of this referendum to engage in this divisive debate. In spring 2016, MSA’s Forum rejected a BDS resolution targeting companies specifically in relation to Israel. An amended resolution passed, which called for global socially responsible investment. Once Israel was removed from the resolution, the UMN Divest coalition quickly revoked their endorsement, exposing that their true intentions were not to call on the University to support socially responsible investment, but to target Israel. Strangely enough, UMN Divest still maintains that their campaign passed through MSA in 2016. We are not aware of any efforts between then and now for UMN Divest to follow up on their “success” of passing the socially responsible investment resolution, which leads us to believe that this is simply another attempt to attack Israel. We urge students to vote “no” on this divisive campaign because teaching hate will never lead to peace. We instead want all students to work together toward positive solutions that will benefit Israelis and Palestinians, but most of all, that will benefit everyone on our campus.

Uma Venkata welcomes comments at

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Why you should vote yes on the UMN Divest referendum Approximately 24 hours after the UMN Divest referendum was officially launched, a representative of the Minnesota Hillel wrote to us, saying that “the Jewish community feels targeted and marginalized by the one-sided attack on the Jewish state of Israel.” We recommend that Hillel read the highly publicized wording of this referendum again. We find it highly problematic that Minnesota Hillel claimed in this letter to speak for the entire Jewish community on campus, while taking a very particular stance on divestment from military arms companies due to their involvement in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Hillel cannot speak unequivocally for all Jewish students, many of whom oppose the Israeli government’s policies. In a statement Sunday, the organization’s director denied that Hillel claims to speak for all Jewish students — and then proceeded to tell students how to vote on the referendum. He also wrote that Hillel “unequivocally stands with the Vote United: Vote No campaign” — interesting wording given that this campaign is in fact an initiative of Hillel’s own board. Minnesota Hillel claims to be a “pluralistic, welcoming and inclusive” place for the Jewish community on campus that “advance[s] social justice.” Yet Hillel’s official Standards of Partnership, adopted in 2010, systematically and explicitly exclude Jews who are deemed too critical of Israeli government policies and the occupation. Palestinians live under Israeli military law in the West Bank while Israeli settlers in the same territory enjoy the rights of citizenship under civil law. Palestinians living in Israel and East Jerusalem also face discriminatory laws. While Hillel may object to divestment from arms companies that profit from this occupation, it should not presume to speak for the entire campus Jewish community. Members of that community are involved in our efforts for divestment, and in the composition of this letter. Minnesota Hillel does not represent their views on Palestine. The email continues that Hillel wishes to “explore how we could instead work for positive change on campus.” We are genuinely heartened to hear Hillel has an interest in showing up for marginalized communities, especially considering its inaction on other issues faced by its own members, as well as the campus at large. With the exception of leaping into action whenever a public statement in support of human rights for Palestinians under occupation is made on campus, Hillel has been remarkably silent on issues of social justice that impact other marginalized groups on campus, and has neglected issues that impact Jewish students as well. Minnesota Hillel has made no objection to Hillel International’s recent endorsement of

This letter was lightly edited for clarity and style. This letter was authored by members of Students for Justice in Palestine. Malak Shahin is president of the University student group.

Vote no on the UMN Divest referendum At 8 a.m. Monday morning, undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Minnesota received an email from Student Unions and Activities that linked to the all-campus election ballot. There, they found a political statement disguised as a question at the end of their ballot. This question attempts to co-opt students into supporting the divisive Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. This is a movement which has been discredited by leaders across the political spectrum as an obstacle to the mutual respect which comes from conversation, cooperation and compromise, and not continued conflict. Students are understandably confused why this question is even on the the all-campus election ballot with zero additional context or even one public forum to discuss this very complex issue before voting began. Of course, conversa-

This letter was lightly edited for clarity and style. This letter was authored by Theo Menon, a Minnesota Student Association government and legislative affairs coordinator, and Apostolos Kotsolis, president of the Hellenic Student Association and candidate for AtLarge Representative.


very year, the University of Minnesota and the All-Campus Elections Commission has a referendum mechanism where the student body may vote on a statement sponsored by student groups. If the majority of the student body approves the statement, the passage will petition the administration to act in favor of it. The ACEC recently placed a controversial referendum on the ballot that demanded the Board of Regents divest from companies “complicit in Israeli violation of Palestinian rights ... maintaining and establishing private prisons and immigrant detention centers … or violating indigenous sovereignty.” We understand the concerns the authors of the referendum have against the various human rights violations by many actors, including the state of Israel. However, the philosophy of divestment oversteps support against human rights violations into a far more nuanced and multifaceted discussion that necessitates further debate and discussion. For this reason, we do not support the passing of the UMN Divest referendum. First, this referendum was approved for the ACEC shortly before the ballot went live. The full text was not publicly available until closer to March 5. The election ends on Wednesday, with some students being able to vote on the referendum until Thursday morning. This presents an issue that all referendums or student body policies should avoid, regardless of the content. This referendum lacks discussion and debate. Whether one supports or opposes a policy, it is always better for discourse to occur in order to achieve a more well-rounded outcome. Discourse allows individuals affected by the policy to become more well informed and knowledgeable on the subject of the policy. This should be the case for all elections. The primary and general election process is extensive and exhaustive in state and federal elections for this very reason. The time granted for the student body to debate and review the referendum was not long enough. Now, we find ourselves in the midst of a vastly polarizing issue with no platform or venue to productively reconcile or address the differences in opinion. That should not be the case. Another challenge with the passage of the referendum is that the decision still relies on the Board of Regents. The passage of the referendum in no way ensures the advocacy will be implemented into policy. The efforts of various groups, including Students for Justice in Palestine, no matter how well-intentioned, may very well bear no fruit. We believe the better approach is to target education and knowledge about the issues facing Palestinian human rights, proposing tangible actions that have a far greater likelihood of success. Human rights isn’t a zero-sum game. It isn’t necessary to administer a policy that makes a group on campus feel marginalized for the slight possibility of holding a moral high-ground that will, in reality, not affect change in a highly complex issue. Divesting from Israel is a difficult process. The interconnectedness of our world makes it nearly impossible for us to stop investing in the state completely. Companies like Coca-Cola are known for supporting Israel. Boycotting such a substantial corporation, especially considering the vast funding they provide to the University of Minnesota, should warrant a greater debate than this referendum has received. If the goal is to support the rights of the various groups mentioned in the referendum, there are far more impactful things that students can and should do to help them, rather than simply drawing a line in the sand.

CONTACT THE EDITOR Anant Naik EDITORIALS & OPINIONS DEPARTMENT Editorials represent the voice of the Minnesota Daily as an institution and are prepared by the editorial board. SHARE YOUR VIEWS The Minnesota Daily welcomes letters and guest columns from readers. All letters must include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification. The Daily reserves the right to edit all letters for style, space, libel and grammar. Letters to the editor should be no more than 500 words in length. Guest columns should be approximately 350 words. The Daily reserves the right to print any submission as a letter or guest column. Submission does not guarantee publication. Fax: (612) 435-5865 Phone: (612) 435-1578 Letters and columns to the editor 2221 University Ave. SE Suite 450 Minneapolis, MN 55414






HOROSCOPES Today’s Birthday (3/8): Your educational journey flourishes this year. Visit friends and strengthen bonds. The funding arises unexpectedly. Fall in love again this summer and rest before the tempo picks up and energy rises.

Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle CROSSWORD Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis

To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging. Written by Nancy Black

Aries (3/21 - 4/19): Today is a 6 — Avoid traffic or roadblocks. Take time to process recent events and changes. Dip into a sidewalk cafe or roadside attraction.

Libra (9/23 - 10/22): Today is an 8 — Follow through on what you said. Resolution and solutions arise in conversation. Communications reveal unconsidered opportunities.

Taurus (4/20 - 5/20): Today is a 7 — Teamwork with your partner makes a difference to your shared finances. Your collaboration directly affects your bottom line.

Scorpio (10/23 - 11/21): Today is an 8 — Watch the budget. An idea that seems profitable may cost more than it makes. Do the numbers before committing.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): Today is an 8 — Listen to your partner generously. Invest time and effort in your shared goals. Postpone travel or nebulous pursuits.

Sagittarius (11/22 - 12/21): Today is a 9 — When you’re hot, you’re hot. Relax and enjoy it. Invest in work you love. Make changes as necessary. Stick to a practical path.

Cancer (6/22 - 7/22): Today is an 8 — Your work and physical actions seem energized with high-profit potential. Arrange connections ahead of time. Study a secret system.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): Today is a 6 — Envision and plan for an inspiring future. Schedule actions for later. Find a quiet space for private meditation.

Leo (7/23 - 8/22): Today is a 7 — Consider all possibilities that include fun. Avoid impractical or expensive options. The next two days favor love, romance and passion.

Aquarius (1/20 - 2/18): Today is an 8 — Community connections make a difference. Share news, resources and tricks. Inspire others by your example.

Virgo (8/23 - 9/22): Today is a 7 — Home comforts draw you in. Beautify your surroundings. You can find what you need. Evaluate quality and value. Use creativity and imagination.

Pisces (2/19 - 3/20): Today is a 9 — Crazy dreams seem possible. A career prize lies within sight. Prepare for inspection, and polish your presentation.

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ACROSS 1 Vaccine pioneer Salk 6 Biblical verb 10 Sever, with “off” 13 “The Good Wife” wife 15 Irrawaddy River locale 16 Hubbub 17 Grilled sandwich 18 *Hobbyist’s broadcasting equipment 20 Checked out 21 Gather 23 Domestic sock eater? 24 Storied climber 26 Little limb 27 *Drama in the Nielsen top 10 four times during the ’70s 32 Special __ 35 Mets modifier of 1969 36 Noggin 37 Case in Lat. grammar 38 Twit 39 Cuts and pastes, say 41 Trellis climber 42 Corner PC key 43 Expert 44 Mysterious girl on “Stranger Things” 46 “Zip it!” 47 *Ball of fire 49 “No __!”: “Sure!” 51 Lose one’s coat 52 Moves to the melody 54 “__ Encounter”: SeaWorld show 56 Shakespearean “You as well?” 60 *“Oh boy, it’s starting!” 62 First words 64 Muffin grain 65 Believe 66 Wind farm blades 67 Like some grins 68 People 69 Liquid whose chemical formula is a homophonic hint to the answers to starred clues


By Brian Thomas

DOWN 1 Zinger 2 Body wash brand 3 Largest singledigit square 4 Genre incorporating elements of funk and hip-hop 5 Transgression 6 “LOL” 7 “Right away!” 8 Dickens boy 9 Taxing and successful 10 Coventry rider 11 Dog that licks Garfield 12 Low-quality 14 Where many missed connections occur 19 MLB’s D-backs 22 2003 holiday film 25 IV lead? 26 Bouffant feature 27 Flame-haired villain in Disney’s “Hercules” 28 Mennonite sect 29 Super Bowl gathering, e.g.

Last Issue’s Puzzle Wednesday’s PuzzleSolved Solved

©2018 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

30 Mediterranean vacation island 31 Zoo doc 33 “The Hunger Games” land 34 __ pad 40 Barely lit 41 Blood feud 43 List of notables 45 Soap chemical 48 Defense advisory gp. 50 __ whiskey


52 Thing to put on 53 Put on 54 Look bad? 55 Slender cylinders 57 Budweiser Clydesdales’ pace 58 Shredded 59 TASS country 61 Many years 63 “Spring the trap!”


Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit 1 to 9. For strategies on how to solve sudoku, visit 3/8/2018

Last issue’s solution

© 2018 Michael Mepham. Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

A look at the failed faculty union effort Union u from Page 1

“I’m disappointed to not see the force of vision … emerge from this process because this has been going on for quite a few years now,” he said. First contacted by Service Employees International Union Local 284 representatives in 2014, supporters spent years organizing faculty in hopes of one day holding a union vote that would never happen. About six months after a court decision effectively ended the effort, union organizers are working to redefine the movement. On Feb. 21, movement leaders announced that faculty voted to cut ties with SEIU. The effort will undergo a “transformation and period of rebuilding” to “continue to fight … for all faculty,” according to the statement. The group’s next steps will likely take the form of a workers’ association, though many details remain unclear. The organization would function within the University’s existing faculty governance system and lack the legal clout of a union, leaving some organizers disillusioned. A University spokesperson did not make administrators and representatives from the University’s Office of Human Resources available for comment. Representatives from SEIU did not respond to interview requests or declined to comment. SEIU Local 284 Executive Director Carol Neiters did not agree to an interview after repeated requests, writing in an email, “The history of the campaign and where it goes from here is a story to be told by the faculty involved in the organizing campaign. It’s their story to tell.”

A faculty voice Union supporters said they hoped to gain a voice at the University. However, diverging opinions on what issues should take center stage complicated the process. Some, like lecturer Marta Shore, said they wanted to first address working conditions, like unfair teaching assignments, inadequate teaching spaces and job insecurity, since many teaching staff are hired on nine- or twelve-month contracts that union supporters said can be nonrenewed for almost any reason with little notice. Shore joined the union effort around 2015, when teaching four classes, advising more than 200 statistics undergraduates and working between 60 and 70 hours most weeks made her exhausted and stressed. When she tried to advocate for better conditions, Shore said she received insufficient support and soon left the University for a unionized job. While Shore, who has since returned to the University, is no longer active in the organizing movement, she maintained that unionization would help instructors who are overworked, overwhelmed and feeling powerless in the workplace. “[Adjunct faculty] are not valued by the University to the extent that they’re adding value,” said Jason McGrath, a tenured Asian Languages and Literatures professor who supports unionization. “That’s unfair to them, and bad for the University in the long run.” Others hoped to bring less tangible concerns to the forefront, like perceived power imbalances. Through the University’s faculty governance


Lecturer Marta Shore addresses false negatives in her graduate level biostatistics course on Monday, Feb. 26 in Bruininks Hall.


1,279 1,290 1,238 1,258 1,268 1,161 1,100 1,113 1,137

at the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services. Under Minnesota law, at least 30 percent of a bargaining unit’s eligible individuals must indicate they want a union vote before organizers can schedule one. Before they left, McGrath and the group took a picture together outside the building to commemorate the occasion. “It was probably the highlight of the campaign because we felt like all our organizing was paying off finally,” he said.

A legal battle 2007 2008

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

2016 2017

Note: Data includes staff from all campuses who belong to the professional and administrative job classification. SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH

system, educators can advise the administration on policies related to working conditions. Still, the administration can make some decisions with unilateral authority. If faculty unionized, the administration would be legally required to bargain over working conditions. Faculty have tried and failed to address issues like professors’ increasing workloads and the growing reliance on adjunct faculty with the current administration, said tenured horticulture professor Jerry Cohen, who was involved in the union effort. “We’re not co-equal. We can advise, and [the administration] can ignore,” Cohen said. After discussions with supporters, some University educators were not convinced a union would solve the school’s woes. “My experience is that the union organizers are right that we don’t have the structural protections around our [faculty] voice,” said Joseph Konstan, a computer science and engineering professor. “But I think they’re wrong in saying it would be substantially better with union organization.” Some were skeptical that Minnesota’s SEIU – which represents about 58,300 Minnesota and Wisconsin workers in industries including manufacturing and health care – could adequately represent faculty, partly because of its limited experience with higher education. “Why bring in people who actually don’t know how the University is running?” said chemistry professor Philippe Buhlmann. “I was

worried that we would actually make things worse by adding to an existing administration … and make things even slower than they are.” Nearly 550 University educators, Konstan and Buhlmann included, signed a statement of opposition written by Faculty Excellence, a University faculty union opposition group.

The start of a movement SEIU’s search for union supporters spanned University hallways, offices and — for some like Christian Korab — homes. After SEIU identified a core group of supporters, those individuals connected with department coworkers in hopes of building support. SEIU organizers probed lessinvolved departments for potential leadership. “It starts with talking to people in your department — finding out what their concerns are … [and] what things would they like a union to address,” McGrath said. Union representatives held one-on-one meetings in professors’ offices and energetic, optimistic group gatherings at places like Bordertown Coffee and Folwell Hall. These early meetings aimed to define faculty concerns and typically attracted around 20 to 25 supporters that some described as ideologically predisposed to unionization: liberal, motivated and involved in University affairs. These efforts culminated on a bright January 2016 day. McGrath and a group of teaching staff gathered boxes holding hundreds of signed union cards and dropped them off

Progress soon reached a standstill. SEIU submitted a petition to the BMS requesting that it allow faculty from two state-defined bargaining units to vote in the same election. Minnesota law divides University employees into distinct bargaining units. Unit 8 includes professors as well as associate and assistant professors. Unit 11 “consists of all professional and administrative staff positions” not included in other units defined by state law, like teaching specialists and lecturers, along with dentists, librarians and athletic trainers. SEIU contended that the BMS should let some Unit 11 instructors vote with Unit 8 because they share similar job functions. The BMS moved forward with SEIU’s request and held a hearing that spring, featuring testimony from stakeholders who argued for or against the idea that the two groups shared sufficient interest to vote together. The University disagreed with the BMS’s decision to hold the hearing. “By taking this step, the BMS ignores the law as it has been written since 1991 and as it has been applied for decades,” University Director of Employee Relations Patti Dion wrote in an April 2016 email to faculty. Throughout 2016, three of the University’s top administrators released letters about the unionization effort. Of those letters, only President Eric Kaler’s expresses explicit opposition to the effort, citing concerns about a union’s impact on the University’s reputation as a research institution and its ability to recruit faculty. Then, in September, the University came under fire from some faculty and legislators when it became

known that between March and mid-July 2016 the institution used state taxpayer and tuition money to pay for $500,000 in legal fees in the fight against the union effort. Later, the University reversed course and used money from a different fund. That same month, the BMS announced a decision to let instructional staff vote as one bargaining unit. The University brought the case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals in December 2016, after the BMS affirmed its decision when the school asked it to reconsider. To many, the University’s actions did not come as a surprise. “Unfortunately, our administration … took that ‘evil people want a union’ [stance] in our community,” Jerry Cohen said. The administration stated in multiple communications to faculty that it supported employees’ rights to determine whether they want union representation. While the groups waited for an appeals court decision, Faculty Excellence questioned the legality of SEIU’s filings with the BMS. According to court documents, the group sued the BMS in June 2017, after requests for information related to the union cards were not filled. The two parties later reached an agreement, and Faculty Excellence received some of the information, said Jessica Roe, the lawyer representing Faculty Excellence. Roe declined to comment further. Meanwhile, the appeals court process took six months to reach a decision. During that wait, the unionization movement lost energy and supporters, organizers said.

‘This is not over’ The court’s decision came in September 2017: the BMS did not have the authority to reassign certain employees to another bargaining unit. Staff like lecturers and teaching specialists could not vote with professors. The decision was a significant blow to the organizing effort, but some remained hopeful a potential appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court would end in a more favorable decision. The end of the movement came a month later, in a gathering of fewer than 30 people in Folwell Hall. SEIU representatives put the organization’s next steps to a vote


UNIT 8 Twin Cities Instructional Unit Adjunct professors, adjunct instructors, assistant professors, associate professors, instructors, professors, research professors

UNIT 11 Academic Professional and Administrative Staff Unit

Athletic trainers, curators, dentists, lecturers, librarians, optometrists, physicians, senior lecturers, senior teaching specialists, teaching specialists NOTE: These lists do not include all job titles that belong to each unit. There are a total of 23 job titles in Unit 8 and 191 job titles in Unit 11.


among supporters, who voted down the option to appeal. “I suggested that [SEIU organizers] put it to a vote of people who had signed cards because it was a big decision, and they dismissed that,” Cohen said. Soon after, Minnesota Academics United, the group behind the union push, announced it was dropping the official union drive and moving forward with a workers’ association. While some faculty, like Konstan, were relieved, the announcement of the workers’ association — which lacks the legal weight of a union — came as a painful disappointment to others, who doubted a workers’ association could have significant impact at the University. Last month, several leaders of the union effort announced in an email that faculty voted to “sever official ties with SEIU Local 284” and thanked the organization for its work. “We will now undergo a longer term transformation and period of rebuilding,” the email reads. Little detail about the workers’ association has been made public since the September announcement. “I don’t know what will happen, but I do know this is not over,” McGrath said. “The conditions faculty face are not going away, and the broader forces at work threatening higher education are not going away. … This is a long-term thing, and we’re not going away.”

A TIMELINE OF THE UNIVERSITY’S MOST RECENT FACULTY UNION EFFORT Fall 2014 Service Employees International Union reps begin contacting University faculty.

2015 SEIU and faculty organizers host meetings aimed at establishing a direction for the movement.

January 2016 Faculty organizers file cards for a union vote.

February and March 2016 SEIU submits a petition to the state Bureau of Mediation Services requesting that University adjuncts and faculty be allowed to vote in a single election. The University opposes the request.

April and May 2016 BMS hosts a community of interest hearing with testimony from University faculty and adjuncts.

September 2016 The University is criticized for using tuition and state funds to pay for legal fees to oppose the union effort. BMS upholds SEIU’s petition for a single union vote.

November 2016 The University asks BMS to reconsider its decision.

December 2016 After BMS reiterates its stance, the University brings the case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

September 2017 The Court of Appeals rules that adjuncts and tenure-line faculty can’t vote in a single election. Faculty organizers announce that they won’t appeal the decision and will pursue a workers’ association instead of a union vote.

February 2018 Faculty organizers announce that faculty voted to cut official ties with SEIU.


March 8, 2018  
March 8, 2018