EMU sued over handling of sexual assault reports. According to a Sunday article in the Detroit Free Press, “Eleven women say they were touched without consent, raped while they sobbed, and assaulted while they pleaded ’no.’ And they say Eastern Michigan University's response was to cover it up, block their transcripts, ignore a Title IX report, and advise them not to go to police.” The lawsuit mentions current prosecutions against three EMU grads for rapes allegedly committed while they were students.
The Free Press quoted EMU spokesperson Geoff Larcom’s statement that "The accusation in the lawsuit the University covered up any such crimes is false.” It also noted that “the university previously told the Free Press that no complainant wanted a formal investigation, and in one case a complaint could not be followed up on because it was submitted anonymously.”
All twenty U-M deans signed a letter condemning regent Ron Weiser’s “misogynistic and violent” comments made during a March 26 North Oakland Republican Club meeting, characterizing governor Gretchen Whitmer, secretary of state Jocelyn Benson, and attorney general Dana Nesse as “witches” who should face “burning at the stake.” The comments also drew criticism from President Schlissel, and four fellow U-M regents called on Weiser to resign. Michigan Daily. Weiser conceded that he should have chosen his words more carefully, but declined to resign, saying that he wasn’t advocating violence—the “burning” would be done by Republican opponents in the 2022 elections. The Board of Regents has called a special meeting tomorrow to “address recent events.”
Downtown high-rise construction has resumed after the pandemic had investors questioning the future of student housing in Ann Arbor. But the developers of two major buildings say that a 2019 affordable housing ordinance will make these the last of the downtown high-rises. The Observer’s Trilby MacDonald and John Hilton have our story.
U-M commission calls for achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. The report’s recommendations stretch across the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses, including converting heating and cooling infrastructure to an electrified system centered on geothermal heat exchange, and transitioning U-M’s entire vehicle fleet to decarbonized vehicles. Michigan Today
The University of Michigan Depression Center is now the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg and Family Depression Center, in honor of the family’s $30 million commitment to bringing “depression and bipolar illnesses out of the shadows and into the sunlight of advanced scientific research,” said President Schlissel in a statement.
U-M and Ford Motor Co. partner to build a $75 million, 134,000-square-foot robotics complex for the U-M Robotics Institute. The buildings on North Campus will hold research labs as well as classrooms, offices, and makerspaces. The top floor of the central building will house a robotics and mobility research lab where 100 Ford researchers and engineers will develop robots for Ford Motor Co. Michigan Today
Clonlara School student Shannon Germaine won second prize in the CSPAN StudentCam 2021 student documentary competition. Her documentary ”Plastic Crisis: Our Oceans in Peril” will air on C-SPAN at 6:50 a.m. ET and throughout the day on April 7. C-SPAN is available locally through Comcast.
Pandemic birding is a thing, and more than twice the usual number of parties turned out for December’s Audubon annual count day. Notable results include a steady increase in sandhill cranes, the proliferation of wild turkeys after nearing local extinction a century ago, and shifts in the ranges of familiar species like chickadees and robins due to climate change. The “bird of the count” was the surf scoter–not seen locally since 1979. Washtenaw Audubon
Burton Tower singing again. Last summer, reader Susan Wineberg asked a2view why the bells were no longer chiming the hours; we learned that the mechanisms had not worked since undergoing repair months earlier. Now Wineberg reports that “the bells are finally chiming and the Winchester chimes for time are working again. Just in time for spring when I'm out in my garden!”