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South Quad residence hall at University of Michigan
University of Michigan

Resident advisors at the University of Michigan are ending their strike after nearly two weeks.

Members voted late Monday night to accept an offer from U of M's housing department.

Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Members of the Graduate Employees' Organization at the University of Michigan, along with other student groups, gathered last night to express their disappointment in the university's administration. They held a candlelight vigil outside of President Mark Schlissel's house, which they say was to mourn their lost faith in the administration.

Lucy Peterson is a graduate student in political science and a member of GEO. She says the evening was a great way for GEO members to affirm their support for their cause, even if they were no longer on strike.

Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

Update: Friday, September 18, 6:40 p.m.: The faculty Senate at the University of Michigan has voted "no confidence" in President Mark Schlissel's administration.  

That announcement, however, comes two days after the vote itself took place. That's because the "no confidence" motion was initially ruled to have failed during the September 16 meeting, when 957 faculty members voted in support of the motion, 953 voted in opposition, and 184 said they were abstaining. A majority of all votes cast is required for a motion to pass, and the Senate's interim secretary incorrectly counted those abstentions as part of the total votes. 

"Abstentions should not have been counted as votes, and Motion 6 should have passed," faculty Senate chair Colleen Conway said in an email addressed to all faculty Friday afternoon. "We ask for your patience and understanding while we not only discussed how abstentions should be handled, but we also discussed in depth our concerns about the lack of accessibility to voting experienced by some of our colleagues."

a sign for GEO that says UM works because we do
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

The Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan voted to end their strike late Wednesday night.

An overwhelming majority of members voted to accept U of M's second offer to the union, which included COVID relief options such as expanded options for childcare, support for international graduate students, and increased transparency in the university's COVID-19 testing protocols.

The offer also included incremental movement on GEO's anti-policing demands.

Unsplash

On Stateside, the state Senate passed a bill this week that allows local and county clerks to begin preparing absentee ballots a day ahead of the election. We check in with two clerks on whether the state's election system is ready for a potential wave of absentee ballots as November approaches. Also, a Detroit Free Press reporter updates on the Big Ten’s decision to resume football this fall. Plus, a look at the legacy of the first Black faculty member at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN / BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY

New legislation would make it easier for former University of Michigan athletes to file civil lawsuits against U of M alleging sexual abuse by a now-deceased university physician.

Dr. Robert Anderson spent more than 30 years at U of M. More than a hundred former students suing the university say he abused them under the guise of medical treatment.

EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

The Big Ten has reversed course. There will be college football this fall.

The Big Ten announced Wednesday that the fall football season will begin October 23. The conference has not said when or if other fall sports will also get the go ahead. 

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel at podium
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The president of the University of Michigan, Mark Schlissel, held a livestreamed conversation on Tuesday to address what he described as an “erosion of trust” on a campus, both in him and the administration as a whole, regarding the school’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“If we said [before the start of this semester] ‘Let's not teach in-person at all, too many people are concerned, and people don't feel free to tell us that they're concerned, so let's just not do it,’ there are many, many, many of our students that are disadvantaged,” Schlissel said of the University’s decision to re-open dorms and teach about 22% of the school’s courses in-person, as opposed to almost entirely remote.

geo members on strike
Catherine Nouhan / Michigan Radio

Members of the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan have voted to continue their strike for another week. The university has called the strike a "profound disruption" to students' education, and has asked the Washtenaw County Circuit Court to order striking GEO members to return to work.

U of M filed a restraining order and preliminary injunction against GEO with the Wastenaw County Circuit Court. GEO leadership assured members that no individual is at risk because U of M filed an injunction, and promised to update its members as it has more information.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
michigan.gov

Today on Stateside, a petition aiming to curb the governor's executive powers is nearing the number of signatures it needs. And, graduate students at the University of Michigan are continuing their strike against the school over concerns about COVID-19 regulations and precautions. Plus, a conversation with the director of Michigan Opera Theatre about how he plans to add to Detroit’s illustrious musical legacy.

Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Members of the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan voted to renew their strike in protest of the school's COVID-19 reopening plans. The union has been on strike since Tuesday of last week, and that strike expired on Friday. The renewed strike will last five more days, and expire on Friday, September 18, unless an offer is put forward by the university and approved by union members.

Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the union representing graduate student employees on campus. The Graduate Employees' Organization, or GEO, has been on strike since Tuesday, protesting the university's COVID-19 reopening plans. The union's list of demands include the universal right to work remotely and greater transparency from U of M in terms of the models it used to create reopening plans.

Courtesty of Cate Sullivan

Cate Sullivan wasn’t expecting the Ritz - this was student housing, after all. And the on-campus apartment the University of Michigan sophomore was assigned for quarantine “was not like in bad shape or anything. It was certainly livable,” she says. “[But] I’m really lucky I got to leave after [I tested negative.]”

Robert E. Anderson pictured in 1967.
University of Michigan / Bentley Historical Library

A retired University of Michigan administrator told lawyers that he was "furious" to learn in the late 1970s that a doctor was sexually abusing students. But Tom Easthope also acknowledges that he failed to ensure that Robert Anderson was kicked off campus.

Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

The Graduate Employees' Organization overwhelmingly voted to reject an offer from the University of Michigan late Wednesday night. 

GEO has been on strike since Tuesday, canceling classes for thousands of undergraduate students. The strike is set to end Friday, but could be extended.

a sign for GEO that says UM works because we do
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Undeterred by heavy rain Tuesday morning, protesters gathered around the University of Michigan’s campus, chanting and marching in protest of the school’s COVID-19 reopening plans. Today was the first day of a strike organized by the Graduate Employees’ Organization, or GEO, the union that represents graduate student employees at U of M.

The University of Michigan campus, normally packed with students, is now empty.
Katie Raymond

Members of the graduate student employee union at the University of Michigan have voted to approve a strike in response to the school’s COVID-19 re-opening plan. According to the Graduate Employees’ Organization, or GEO, 79% of its membership voted to approve the work stoppage.

University of Michigan
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Faculty members at the University of Michigan are considering a vote of no confidence in response to the university’s plan to reopen.

This comes after a memo from the school’s Ethics and Privacy Committee circulated online. The memo expresses concern that the school’s reopening plan does not meet a reasonable safety standard and notes that vulnerable populations would be the most hurt by the current plan. 

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Dr. Robert E. Anderson was a physician at the University of Michigan from the late 1960s to early 2000s. Hundreds have accused him of sexually abusing them in the time period. The doctor is not here to answer for his actions. Most—but not all—of the people accused of enabling him are gone too. What, then, does justice look like?

The following interview is featured in this story by Anna Clark about those survivors, his enablers, and the institution that is finally facing a reckoning.

he University of Michigan has received nearly 400 complaints against Dr. Robert E. Anderson.
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Let’s begin with the people whose names we don’t know.

The hockey player on scholarship who picked the University of Michigan over other Division I programs because it was his favorite and first choice.

The wrestler who grew up in a large family in a blue-collar neighborhood, where a university coach sat on the couch of his parents’ home and promised the team would take care of their son.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

Even as some colleges and universities blame students for hosting off-campus parties and contributing to the risk of COVID-19 spreading on campus, Dr. Preeti Malani believes administrators can rely on students to follow public health advice to prevent outbreaks that could lead to the cancellation of in-person classes.

University of Michigan

There were 12 graduate students living in the co-op house this spring, all sharing two-and-a-half bathrooms, when one student’s boyfriend (a doctor in Detroit) tested positive for COVID. That meant everyone in the house could have been exposed to the virus. 

They all needed to self-isolate. But in a house with so many people, the question was: how?  

“It was pretty hard trying to kind of organize any kind of quarantine in the house,” says Steven Mace, one of the residents. “The University [of Michigan] stepped in and gave housing to, I think, four or five of us. So they put us up in Northwood housing, because they had empty units. So they did two weeks of quarantine up there for a bit, and provided food.”

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, on Tuesday, Michigan State University announced it was transitioning to remote learning for undergraduates and urged students to stay home. Meanwhile, faculty at the University of Michigan are protesting the university’s decision to continue with in-person classes. Conversations with professors from both universities tell a tale of two schools. Plus, how the pandemic highlights racial inequality in college access.

a protester at the university of michigan holds a sign that says leaders and best should test
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Some faculty and staff at the University of Michigan are worried about the influx of students returning to campus. Around 40 faculty, staff, and graduate student employees gathered in front of the administration building on Tuesday. It was the first of a planned three days of protests, asking for the administration to let faculty opt out of in-person instruction and demanding a more robust testing infrastructure for COVID-19.

Dr. Robert E. Anderson in 1973.
UM Bentley Historical Library

Ten former student athletes are suing the University of Michigan for damages related to abuse by the late Dr. Robert Anderson.

One named plaintiff, Mike Robinson, is a former basketball play for U of M and the other nine have chosen to remain anonymous.

 

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

University of Michigan faculty and staff will soon be asked to use an app to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

Dr. Robert Ernst is the executive director of the University Health Service.

He says the app, called ResponsiBLUE, will be available in the app store in the coming days. 

Bentley Historical Library

With plaintiff attorneys calling this perhaps the “most appalling sexual assault against a group of African-Americans in this country's history,” two Black former student athletes - including former San Francisco 49rs Super Bowl champion Dwight Hicks - described the agonizing process of coming to terms with their sexual abuse by Dr. Robert Anderson during their time at the University of Michigan.

As stressful as it always is for students applying to college, this year it's all that — and then some — for the admissions officials trying to decide whether to admit them. Because of the pandemic, many students will be applying without standardized test scores and several other metrics admissions officers at selective schools have long relied on, leaving colleges scrambling to figure out what else they might consider instead.

A wastewater treatment facility
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, what a primary election looks like in the midst of a pandemic. Also, a deep dive into how leftover human feces and other waste from water treatment plants ends up on our farm fields. Plus, what back to school might look like for the University of Michigan. 

Dr. Martin Philbert speaking at a 2016 University of Michigan graduation ceremony.
University of Michigan School of Dentistry

Several University of Michigan top officials, including former President Mary Sue Coleman, were alerted to sexual misconduct allegations against former Provost Martin Philbert, but ultimately failed to prevent him from sexually harassing and intimidating subordinates and student-employees for more than a decade.

That’s the damning conclusion of a report released Friday by WilmerHale, the firm hired by the U of M in January to conduct an investigation into complaints against Philbert.

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