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Vol. 94, Issue 7

The student newspaper of the University of Detroit Mercy



TOWER Iconic campus clock tower evolved from smokestack disguise to soldier training site BY COLIN BENNETT VN STAFF WRITER

Rising through a shroud of mist on an unusually warm day, one pinnacle of stone dominates its surroundings: a sandstone tower with ringing bells that keeps us connected to time and past. It stands as a reminder to the evils of mankind, as well as the courage and sacrifice of individuals. In a way, the campus clock tower is a voice to the history of the university, marking a time of change and expansion in the story of the institution it represents. Over the last 85 years the tower has remained an enduring and iconic figure of the campus. The story of the clock tower begins in the mid-1920s, when the University of Detroit was embarking on a plan of great expansion. Originally the structure was designed solely as a smokestack for the university heating plant located at its base. But according to Fr. Hermon J. Muller’s book “The University of Detroit 1877-1977 A Centennial History,” Fr. John McNichols, the university president who was leading development of the new campus, envisioned a place with a look and feel similar to those found overseas. “He was unwilling to see the aesthetic effect of $10 million worth of buildings marred by an enormous chimney,” Fr. Muller wrote. “The tower idea was quite coincidental.” Construction of the 203-foot tower and its adjoined heating unit cost approximately $200,000 of the $10 million expansion program budget. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Stressed? Busy Persons Retreat starts next week



Is your semester starting to pick up as you are starting to feel overwhelmed? Do you need some extra guidance? If so, University Ministry is offering a Busy Persons Retreat starting on Jan. 27. The week-long retreat happens every term and is shaped by the traditions of Catherine McAuley and Ignatius of Loyola. Students meet with a spiritual guide for 30 minutes a day to help them with the stresses of the semester as well as to help them grow in their prayer lives. To make things easier, the guides will meet when and where it is convenient for you. For more information or if you would like to register, contact University Ministry.


Homecoming spirit, celebration

Basketball, contests and gambling were all part of the festivities. For VN coverage, see stories and photos inside this issue.

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013

Many not wearing IDs, but badges still required BY IAN THIBODEAU VN CO-EDITOR

Despite an almost universal lack of student compliance, the new policy requiring students and staff to wear their ID badges will remain in effect, according to a UDM official. “I knew that it was a cultural change,” said Tamara Batcheller, associate vice president for facilities management. “I knew that it wasn’t going to be a smooth start obviously… But I think it’s up to the faculty, staff and administrators to set an example.” Batcheller has been wearing her ID badge since the policy went in place last semester. Although it was a minor inconvenience at first, she said that putting on her lanyard has become just as much a part of her routine as tying her shoes. Batcheller said that she didn’t have any expectations for how students would react to the policy. But after the feedback she and other administrators have received, she believes students need to try to understand the importance of the policy. The badges are a small change to add some security to campus, she said. “I do believe that the policy has helped with the (entrance) gates,” she said. “It would help a lot more if more students were to wear them. I understand that it’s a minor inconvenience, but that’s what security is.” Some students have argued that because they are paying UDM to attend classes, they are customers and that customers should never be inconvenienced by having to wear their IDs. Batcheller has an answer for those students. “When I’m on an airplane, I’m a paying customer,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to go through all of the things that I have to go through to get on a plane, but that’s just part of security.” A recent look around campus revealed that few students were displaying their ID badges. James Emon, a sophomore, said he doesn’t wear the ID badge but does carry one. “I carry mine in my wallet – like a regular person,” he said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Senate mulls proposal

to revamp size of student government BY IAN THIBODEAU VN CO-EDITOR

UDM’s Student Government Association might get an extreme makeover in the next two months, if Vice President of Public Relations Michael Soviak and other members have their way. Soviak’s plan, which he compiled with the help of other members of the SGA, could potentially expand the organization from around 40 members to close to 100 by reforming and redistributing responsibilities and stimulating student involvement. “We’ve been having some discussions lately about how to make the student government more of a useful force on campus for students,” Soviak said. He said the discussions spurred his plan, which is scheduled to be voted on next month. According to Soviak, the SGA isn’t on par Mike Soviak with student governments at other area universities. He said the plan mirrors much of what is done at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, and would aim to give SGA a larger presence on campus. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

9 ian tower pic  
9 ian tower pic