Students gathered to eat Nicaraguan food and listen to Latin music Wednesday night to raise money for the Tucker Foundation's Cross Culture Education and Service Program. The program will host its sixth annual trip during winter break to Siuna, one of the poorest regions of Nicaragua. Nica Night aimed to raise awareness about problems in Latin America and in Nicaragua in particular. Students viewed presentations in a "science fair" format on a variety of topics including upcoming elections, freshwater sharks in Lake Nicaragua and public health issues. Donations were requested at the door and an anonymous donor agreed to give $1 to the program for every attendee.
As winter approaches, doctors encourage flu vaccinations for children and high-risk persons in addition to normal precautions like washing hands. "No question about it. It's a slam-dunk," said Harry Bernstein, a pediatrics professor at Dartmouth Medical School and a member of the Committee on Infectious Diseases for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children are prime candidates for the vaccination because they come in contact with large numbers of people at school. According to Bernstein, children between six and 23 months are at a high risk for complications and those between 24 and 59 months are "great transmitters for the disease to other family members and others in the community and end up having more visits to the doctor."
A proposition known as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative passed on Tuesday banning affirmative action in public colleges and government contracting in the state. Though opposition sensed a glimmer of hope nearing the election, the proposal passed with 58 percent of the vote. The ban won high support among college graduates, but support declined substantially among people with postgraduate education, according to a CNN exit poll. The poll also showed 60 percent of men in favor of the ban as well as 59 percent of white voters. Michigan played a pivotal role in the Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action in 2003. In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court upheld the University of Michigan Law School's affirmative action program in admissions as a "tailored use" of affirmative action. In Gratz v. Bollinger, however, the Court overturned the affirmative action program at the University of Michigan College of Letters, Arts and Sciences because it called for an automatic 20 point bonus for minorities on a 150 point scale.