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THE DAILY FREE PRESS

The Independent Student Newspaper at Boston University

Y XXXVII. Volume LXXIV. Issue LII. ear

Thursday, April 5, 2007

www.dailyfreepress.com

BUs fire-safety efforts reach 118 residences


By Angela Marie Latona Daily Free Press Staff

TAKE ME OUT TO THE CROWD

Boston University officials have inspected 118 residential buildings in a multi-part process to improve fire prevention and personal safety following two recent deadly fires, said Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore. The university decided to ensure its firesafety policies were up-to-date after President Robert Browns March 18 letter recalling the recent fires near South Campus that killed three students, two of them from BU. Facilities and Maintenance, along with the Environmental Health and Safety Office, will help check campus residences for problems, Elmore said. Weve tested 100 percent of those 118 buildings, he said. So far, the only problems have been routine issues such as recharging emergency lights and replacing smoke detectors, Elmore said. BU is in the process of creating presentations for new-student orientation over the summer and wallet-sized cards with fireprevention and personal-safety tips, Elmore said. Off-campus students will also be presented with information sessions specifically geared toward apartment living, Elmore said. Elmore said he hopes students living on campus will talk to their resident assistants about safety and fire prevention. We are also working with our Residence Hall Association, and several have

BU ranked 3rd in movies downloaded illegally


By Bobby Cummings Daily Free Press Staff

DOMINICK REUTER / DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

A Fenway Park employee hoses down empty bleachers, clearing dust from recent construction, to prepare for the Boston Red Sox home opener April 10. The Sox will play the Seattle Mariners for their first home game.

The amount of movies illegally downloaded at Boston University ranked third in the country among college campuses, according to a list complied by the Motion Picture Association of America, but organization representatives said the rankings are designed to inform authorities rather than target individuals for legal action. Unlike similar lists recently assembled by the Recording Industry Association of Amer-

MPAA, see page 2

Renovations complete Activists ask BU to cut ties to Sudan investors for Fenway opener
By Marty Meterko Daily Free Press Contributing Reporter

FIRE SAFETY, see page 9

With the Red Sox home opener just days away, team representatives showed off Fenway Parks offseason improvements yesterday to city officials, including Mayor Thomas Menino, in what has become an official rite of spring in the city in recent years. During the past six offseasons, team owners John Henry and Tom Werner have invested more than $100

million to various improvements to the Red Sox hallowed ground, the oldest active Major League Baseball stadium, which opened in 1912. Menino told reporters the renovations, despite their high costs, are worth it. The strength of our economy is the Red Sox, Menino said. For 90 games a year, they fill this ballpark,

By Margaret DeJesus Daily Free Press Staff

FENWAY, see page 10

Panel against affirmative action wins Great Debate


By Andrew Benjamin Daily Free Press Staff

An all-white panel of two professors and a student persuaded the majority of an audience that affirmative action does not truly benefit minorities at last nights Great Debate in the Tsai Performance Center at Boston University. The negative team faced off against the all-black affirmative team,

debating the question, Does Affirmative Action in Higher Education Really Benefit Minorities? before a crowd of about 200 at the 23rd biannual debate. University of California, Los Angeles law professor Richard Sander, who led the negative side, called the racial make-up of the teams unfortunate because it appeared to make affirmative action a black-versus-white issue.

Sander argued that the effects of affirmative action extend beyond those who directly benefit from it. Affirmative action involves massive preferences which have massive consequences . . . in the students academic standards, he said. The panelists on the affirmative side included Duke University law pro-

DEBATE, see page 9

Student activists are calling on Boston University to sever business ties with Fidelity Investments, an investment company accused of indirectly helping to fund violence in the Darfur region of Sudan. The university has already ended agreements with several companies conducting business in Sudan, but some students say officials have not done enough. Fidelity, which invests in some Sudanese companies, offers mutual funds and retirement plans to BU faculty. Activists say employees who invest with the company are contributing to violence in the Darfur region. School of Public Health graduate students Jirair Ratevosian and Emily Church said they have asked university officials to stop doing business with Fidelity. They said they hope pressuring Fidelity customers to boycott the company will force Fidelity to invest in more socially responsible ventures. We want to raise awareness on a lot of levels and initiate some conversation with Fidelity, Church said. In May 2006, BU discontinued its direct investments in companies with substantial business dealings in Sudan. The move followed a May 2006 speech by President Robert Brown, in which he said the university would consider divesting funds in the face of human atrocities . . . [that are] completely inconsistent with the moral and ethical values of [BU], including the Darfur conflict, which the U.S. government has called a genocide. In a March 14, 2007 letter sent to Brown, Church and Ratevosian said BU has done a decent job in its direct divestment, but needs to do more. They said they have not received a university response. BU spokesman Colin Riley said investing in Fidelitys retirement plan is not the same thing as condoning genocide.

SUDAN, see page 5

Inside This Issue

Snowed in at Agganis
Snow Patrol proved it can still rock by performing songs off its latest release at Agganis Arena last Wednesday. : p. 4

We Just Want to Play


Both the Boston University lacrosse and softball teams were forced to postpone their games because of an unusual Sports : p. 12 April snow shower.

Taste Test
KAT LAFATA / DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Stephan Thernstrom, a Harvard University history professor, argues that affirmative action is not the best solution for minorities in college. Thernstroms negative side persuaded the majority of the audience at the Tsai Performance Center.

The Taste of Quincy sampling at Faneuil Hall drew a sparse crowd in the midst of poor weather. CAMPUS & CITY : p. 3

Today P. Cloudy, High 44 Tonight P. Cloudy, Low 29 Tomorrow High 46, Low 31

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