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February 26, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-02-26

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Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Wednesday, February 26, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104
Air bag: Through the nose

have been for a long time a sub-
ject of much controversy. In response
to those safety-minded people who
are concerned with stopping the an-
nual carnage on our highways, auto-
motive engineers have come up with
many exotic devices. Starting with
the simple seat belt, they have grown
in size and variety.
The problem for many people is
that they do not use these restraint
machines, for a number of reasons.
They are confining, or uncomfort-
able, or they mess up one's clothes.
All of these excuses seem stupid in
the face of the some fifty thousand
deaths in cars each year, but people
seldom learn.
In recent years the "air bag" has
become popular. Auto companies like
the idea because they are expensive
(and raise the cost of buying a car).
Insurance companies like them be-
cause they save lives (and money: if
there are no injuries, they do not
have to pay). Many consumer advo-
cates like them because they sup-
posedly save lives, while taking the
choice away from the people. The
question is whether they are really
The air bags, because of their na-
ture, are subject to malfunctioning,
at a rate of ten per cent. This is un-
der high quality control. But when
the bags are installed at the auto

plants, this rate will increase.
Imagine that you are driving down
the freeway, at a speed of fifty-five
m.p.h. during rush hour. There are
many other cars on the road. Sud-
denly the air bag in your car mal-
functions, and pushes you away from
the steering wheel, and you lose con-
trol of your car for less than a sec-
ond. This is enough time for you to
careen into another car, or an em-
bankment. But by this time your pas-
sive restraint system has fired, and
you have no protection. The air bag
doesn't sound so great any more.
Two years ago the Volkswagon peo-
ple came up with a cheaper, and
more efficient passive restraint sys-
tem for their cars, but the American
proponents of the air bag have been
able to block its introduction here.
It involves an inertia reel connected
to the door. You don't have to con-
nect them, because they are always
connected. And they are always
there. It would involve a simple in-
stallation, and it works.
Many people feel that air bags are
unsafe. More importantly, they are
expensive. The auto companiesare
facing a crisis now, and yet they
want air bags. Consumer advocates
must concern themselves with both
the costs and the effectiveness of
such as the air bag before endors-
ing their introduction on the market.
Ford should have a better idea.

Dear li
THIS IS THE time of the year when
people start thinking about where to
live for the fall. For a sizeable num-
ber of students, off-campus housing of
some sort is the answer.
Finding a suitable place to live is a
hassle. For the lucky ones, the hassle
ends when a place is found. But for all
too many people, the hassle only begins
when the downpayment for an apart-
ment is made.
For example, my friend Terri Ten-
ant thought she had found an ideal
place to live last summer. After several
weeks of searching, Terri and her
friends found an old house with lots
of bedrooms, a yard, a sunny southern
exposure, and a short walk to the diag.
The landlord had a mediocre reputa-
tion. However, Terri reasoned, what
could happen in a summer? Terri and
her roommates signed the lease, but not
before getting the landlord to promise
that certain repairs would be made be-
fore they moved in. When Terri moved
in, however, the place was filthy, and
a few of the promised repairs had not
yet been made. It took several days
for Terri and her roommates to prepare
the place to live in. Some furnishings
specified in the lease were not provided,
and it wasn't until the end of June and
after several hassles with the landlord
did they get all the furnishings specified
in the lease.
WHEN IT came time to move out, the
landlord assured one roommate that the
whole damage deposit would be return-
ed. However, the damage deposit check
was $300 short of expectations. The dis-
"If the place is furnish-
ed, make sure you know
what things go with it, and
try to get it in writing."
pute is now being wrangled in court. The
enjoyment the house provided was bal-
anced against hassles with the landlord.
Could Teri have eliminated all of her
problems? Unfortunately, the answer is
no. However, if the tenant is aware of
some of the pits and snares in his or
her path, the problems can be minimiz-
You shauld not consider this a shop-
ping list, only a reminder of some of
the problems facing a tenant in Ann
Around campus, the situation is bleak
for the apartment, house, or room hunt-
er. To oversimplify, most students want
to live close to campus, and the Uni-
versity calendar dictates when people
will live in the area.
FEW UNITS have entered the market
in recent years. This adds up to a
strong demand and expensive apart-
Houses seem to be the most popular
of accommodations. Two bedroom apart-
ments, priced for four to live in, seem
to be the most abundant around campus.
Except for houses, most units are furn-
A tenant's expectation is to be provid-
ed with a place to live at a commen-
surate price. The rent is paid not mere-
ly to keep the wind out, but also for pri-
vacy and the services of maintaining the

Much of landlord-tenant law, however,
dates to an age when people walked
around in armor. Then, the tenant rent-
ed the land to grow crops; shelter was
of secondary importance. Times have
changed, but courts are just starting
to pay closer attention to modern ex-
pectations of tenants.
ON THE OTHER hand, a landlord
is generally interested in profit and tax
deductions. Money is the name of the
game. Unfortunately, some landlords
feel that providing shelter and collect-
ing rent are all they are obligated to do.
One landlord in this category remarked
about a leaky room, "all I have to do
is put a sponge on the roof tostop the
A landlord has the right to expect that
the property being rented will not be
abused. However, some landlords have
used this excuse to overcompensate
themselves when damage deposits are
From a legal perspective, law has al-
ways favored the landowner, and a ten-
ant has had an uphill struggle for the
few rights they have.
Landlords range from the large man-
agement companies to the small "ma
and pa" landlord who rents out the up
stairs. No strong relationship seems to
exist between management size and
There are a few key points to look for
in finding a suitable place to live. I will
mention a few.
AS FAR AS rent is concerned, the ten-
ant should keep in mind that often hidden
expenses exist. For example, if one place
has a one and a half month damage
deposit, and another only one month,
then less of an investment is required to
live in the latter. Furthermore, the
more money allocated to the damage
deposit, the more money you risk at the
end of the rental period.
Another hidden cost is who pays for
utilities. A tenant who must pay for
her or his own hot water will pay a
high utility bill, for example. Clean-
ing fees are another cost sometimes
required in addition to the rent; how-
ever, the legality of such charges is
being challenged in court cases.
The rent should be interpreted in
terms of value. It may be worth $10
more a month in rent from a landlord
that has a better reputation, as the $10
a month saved by renting from the
former may be lost through poorer re-
pairs, more grief, and perhaps loss of
more of the damage deposit.
MOST PEOPLE know the importance
of compatable roommates. In addition
to the usual things potential roommates
discuss, I suggest that they should also
discuss before they rent a place, what
they would do if a problem arises. Of-
ten tenants bicker among themselves in-
stead of working together to correct a
problem. The landlord wins by "divide
and conquer."
Of course, the prospective apartment
must be seen. Shop around as much as
you can. If the place is furnished, make
sure you know what things go with the
place, and try to get it in writing. Many
a tenant assumes that a particular furn-
ishing belongs with the place, only to
be disappointed in the fall because the
current tenant really owned it or that the
landlord moved it to another apart-
Just as an apartment is scrutinized, so

andlord: Gimmie shelter

Daily Photo by STEVE KAGAN
Out of the frying pan . .. ?

should the landlord be. One good source
is the current tenant of the building.
Another is friends who have rented from
that landlord. Ask what the landlord is
like, how suitable the place is, whether
any problems developed while living
there, and anything else that particularly
concerns you, like availability of park-
HOWEVER, if you are looking for an
apartment to sublet for the summer,
don't rely on the current tenant too
heavily, as it is in his or her interest
to sublet the place.
Some groups on campus may assist
you. The tenants union is trying to reor-
ganize, and they plan a counseling serv-
ice for prospective tenants.
The off-campus housing office has a
list of "registered landlords." This means
that the apartment has an occupation
certificate, and the landlord does not
discriminate, has an "acceptable lease,"
and agrees to use the mediation service
if a dispute arises.
These standards do not guarantee that
the landlord or the particular apart-
ment will be acceptable to the tenant.
Only the tenant can make that decision
for himself or herself.
An occupation certificate is issued,
theoretically, to an apartment when it
is deemed habitable. The standards for
habitability are minimum standards. For
example, one electrical outlet and one
overhead light are considered adequate
for a livingroom.
ALTHOUGH apartments are supposed
to be inspected every two years, this
does not always occur. Furthermore, it
is possible for a place to be issued a
temporary certificate even though cer-
tain things are not up to code at the
time. Thus, an apartment not up to code
is probably bad, but one up to code still
may not meet your standards of ac-
Are you better off with or without
a lease? The advantage ofta lease (oral
r~r written) is that the rent will remain
the same throughout the term of the
lease, but that the tenant must pay the
rent for the whole period.
Not having a lease means that the rent
can be raised at any time (with a notice
equal to the period of rent, usually a
month). However, not having a lease
gives one the freedom to leave whenever
he or she wishes (with a period of no-
Generally, the provisions in a lease are
for the landlord's benefit. You promise
the landlord to do or not to do some-

thing. Beneficial
mentioned in the
ed by statute, so
the same legal

provisions whether
lease or not are back-
a tenant has many of
protections without a

Asian-Americans neglected

FURTHERMORE, since it is difficult
to rent out an apartment between school
terms, the responsible tenant who does
not have a lease need not overly fear
being thrown out between terms.
Understanding lease provisions is com-
plicated. Legal Aid suggests that if you
like the apartment, you should sign
the lease and move in, as the most bene-
ficial laws from the tenants' perspective
are in force after you move it.
The off-campus Housing Office pro-
vides a form lease which some landlords
use. Although the form is not perfect,
some of the trickier provisions of other
forms do not exist in this one. However,
two cautions: First, some landlords add
appendicies to the form which create
more provisions. Second, who the land-
lord is and his or her reputation is more
important than the lease that he or she
us es.
If you do ask for interpretations of
yo-r lease: be careful who you do ask.
Asking the landlord about a term in
the lease is asking someone whose inter-
est is generally opposite of yours. Ask-
ing the landlord's secretary may be
meaningless, as the secretary may not
really know the correct response, or may
be unauthorized to give interpretations.
YOU SHOULD not assume any speci-
fic agreement that is not written in the
lease. An oral oromise followed by writ-
ten agreements is in an area of legal
trickery. The oral promise may or may
not mean anything. In any event, you
shoild have witnesses whenever an oral
promise is made, and try to get it in
writing in the lease.
The moral - ask a lawyer.
Some landlords require an agreement
to sign a lease, often when a downpay-
ment is made. An agreement to sign a
lease is just that; it is not a lease. If
you sign an agreement, and then change
your mind, you should see a lawyer -
if, for example, the landlord tries to hold
you to lease or makes you responsible
to find another tenant. Usually, once
money is given to the landlord, and the
tenant changes his or her mind, not all
of the money will be returned, Y o u
should consult a lawyer if you feel the
amount witheld is unreasonable.
Morris Klein is a first year law stu-
dent and in the Institute for Public

ity affairs has always been one
of the sorest points in the adminis-
tration's policy. The University has
made patronizing concessions to the
minority students before, and the
recent confrontation at the Adminis-
tration Building promised the same
long term results, nothing.
One of the six principle demands
of The Third World Coalition Coun-
cil encompassed the immediate
creation of an Asian-American ad-
vocate. Neglect of the Asian-Ameri-
can community's needs is standard
policy of the Administration. Advo-
cates represent the voice of the mi-
norities, and only they can provide
the direct link to the Administra-
tion that the Asian-American stu-
dents here need for response to their
problems in academic, counseling,
and financial affairs.
At this point, East Wind, the son-
sor of last week's Asian-American
awareness workshons, has carried the
burden of unofficial representative
of Asian-Americans on campus.
Their real influence as minority rep-
resentative to the University is mini-
mal. Their only source of funding is
private contributions and Students
Government Council. Asian-Ameri-
cans receive nothing from the Uni-
versity in the way of recruitment,
counseling, and job placement serv-
ices. The University does not advo-
cate discrimination, but there must
be a change in the offices that deal
with Asian-American students. The
first step: the immediate annoint-
ment of a full-time Asian - Ameri-
can advocate.
RIGHT NOW THE only place where
Asian - Americans can go for
help, or where anyone will listen if
they yell loud enough, is the Minority
Affairs Office. Its responsibilities lie
in minority counseling, and suner-
vising the Opportunity Awards Schol-
arshim. This is awarded strictly on
the basis of financial need, which
no one within the Administration
has seemed to be able to define. Over
sixty per cent of minority graduate
students are receiving Onportunitv
Awards. but only about ten percent
of Asian - American graduate stu-
~eint are. The amount of the schol-
arship, to belin with. Is very small
compared to other eradnate fellow-
shins: $2100 over eleht months, and

a no-work clause for over $100 per
month. Compounded by the fact that
next year the number of students re-
ceiving the scholarship will go up,
while the total amount of money
going to the fund will stay the same,
this will further tighten the small
budget that all the students must
live on.
receive little or next to nothing
in their pursuit of job placement
back into their communities upon
graduation, or recruitment of these
students into the University.
In retrospect, the general attitude
of the Administration is one of
"legal" recognition and tokenism in
meeting the individual and unique
needs of Asian - American students.
In sheer numbers alone, the Asian-
American student body is the second
largest minority on campus. But be-;
cause they carry no weight in num-
bers throughout our state, assistance
for them here at the University has
been slow in coming.
Asian - American students will be
meeting with the Administration
this week in pursuit of an advocate
appointment. If they are thwarted
again, the Affirmative Action Office
should enter into a fact finding in-
vestigation into this problem. The
facts will be clear.
TN TODAY'S LETTERS, column is a
special note from United States
Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii in
support of the Asian - American ad-
vocate, addressed to University
President Robben Fleming.
Editorial Staff
LAURA BERMAN........Sunday Magazine Editor
DAVID BLOMQUST. ... Arts Editor
DAN BORUS........Sunday Magazine Editor
BARBARA CORNELL ... Special Projects Editor
PAUL HASKINS..... .....Editorial Director
JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY ....... eatures Editor
SARA RIMER ................Executive Editor
STEPHEN SELBST................City Editor
JEFF SORENSEN.............Managing Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Glen A~lerhand, Peter Blais-
den, Dan Blugerman, Clifford Brown, David
Burhenn, Mary Harris. Stephen Hersh,
Debra Hurwitz, Ann Marie Lipinski, Andrea
Lily, Mary Long, Rob Meachum, Alan Resnick,
Jeff Ristine, Steve Ross, Tim Schick, Kate
Speiman, Jim Tobin, David whiting, Susan
Wilhelm, Margaret Yao.
Sports Staff


Syrian Jews

being ignored

To The Daily:
WITH ALL the attention these
days being given to the situation
of the Arab Palestinians, I feel
another group is totally ignor-
ed. That group is the Jewish
who dwell in Arab lands, espec-
ially those in the coutnry of
Syria. In Syria gun slinging Fe-
cret police thunder on do rs at
midnight and pull back the
blankets from sleeping child-
ren to make sure they are there.
Men barred from most occupa-
tions are shamed into feeding
their families with handouts.
Communications by mail, tele-
phone, and radio are forbidden,
and anyone caught without his
identification card is locked in-
to jail as a spy. This is the
reality of daily life for the 3,500
Jews of Damascus, Aleppo, and
Qamishli - a tragic remnant
of a once thriving community in
They live in tumbledown
gettoes, their doors opening in-
to large interior courtyards
where they are kept under 24
hour surveillance. To stray
more than 4 kilometers from
home is forbidden, and their
identity cards, m a r k e d
"Mouswi"; meaning follower 'of
Moses, are checked vigilantly
wherever they go. No one with
special permission may leave
the house after the 6 p.m. cur-
few. Assemblies of more than

To The Daily:
I were in Ann Arbor this past
week where Nancy au l-ioned
for music school.
We wanted to express our ap-
preciation for all the friendli-
ness and kindness we encounter-
ed the two days we were in,
Ann Arbor. The bus driveis
were most helpful; one made an
extra stop for us. A junior pre-
med student walked us to he
Union and told us with pride,
about the buildings anI events
which were on campus. At 6:30
a.m. an electronics engineer
took the time to h-lp us get
to the airport when a limousine
failed to show.
People in Ann Arbor should,
be very proud of this kind of
attitude in their city and do
their part to increase this kind
of atmosphere. Finding court-
eous, friendly, helpful people
within a community is a far-
tastic selling point for any place.
Thank you to all those who
made our stay in Ann Arbo: so
-Mrs. Willard Snustad
Fergus Falls, Minn.
February 17
To The Daily:
WHY DO THE people of this
University who support the

The main point of the strike is
that the Big 'U' cares tot a
whit for students.
.But (!) It may pay attention
to broken windows.
My proposition:Form a radi-
cal faction of the strike sup-
port committee which employs
guerilla warfare (sic) and is
called the meteorologists (this
is a prestigious Univer, y, or
so they tell us, so the vernac-
ular, such as weatherman, is .
to be abhorred). (Let's hear
it for 35c words!)'
HOW ABOUT a load of heavr,
concrete-like projectiles with
the inscription: dear Rthbin
Fleming, you deserve a brick
How about some aclion?
Maybe then this 3trike will
--Tim Prentiss
February 17
To The Daily:
article on the wildlife situa'ion:
when considering the paradox of
man actively destroying his en-
vironment, we tend to forgr t
our own humble postion ana
origins. As a species we've
adapted by making the least ef-
fort go as far as possible. Tris
limitation allowed us to pick
a resource clean, moviag on to
the next.

consume irreplaceabl- raw ma- state's five outstanding young
terials at a geom;. :i,:alty i- men of the year, it generated a
creasing rate. Econ imic con- tempest of controversy. A l-
venience decrees th it we sim- though I don't wish to comment
ply ignore the consequences and on that nomination per e,
think of our sagging GNP'. egregious as it was, it shouldn't
VIABLE alternatives to a de- have come as any stunner to
pleted environment include those familiar with the values
world wide economic and politi- espoused by the Jaycees' hier-
cal collapse or respansib:ility archy.
and integrity in allocating re- By way of example, for
sources. Considering I nat o u r about a decade the Jaycees and
future is manipulated oy shal- the Daisy Air Rifle Co. have co-
low-minded politicians and husi- sponsored an annual nationwide
nessmen for personal gain, the Shooting Education Program. In
possibility of responsible plan- this program, boys and girls
ning and action becoancs more from 7 to 14 are given a 101es-
remote daily. son course that allegedly Ls in-
-Tom Emery tended to teach them the prin-
February 6 ciples of "proper gtm h'ndling
and marksmanship." Indeed,
this year Karen Petergen, Miss
iTeen-ageAmerica 1975, has
To The Daily: been recruited to help promote
I AM writing on behalf of a the 10th Annual International
number of my constituents who BB Gun Championship Matches,
are presently students at t h e to be held July 4 - 6, at Clarks-
University of Michigan and who ville, Tenn. Obviously the Jay-
are active in the Asian-Amer- cees and Daisy Air Rifle are
ican organization, East Wind, going all-out to convilce t 1t e
Within applicable rules and skeptics that beauty and BB
regulations, I wish to inform shot are a combination no less
you of my full personal support natural than apple pie topped
for their efforts to obtain an with vanilla ice-cream!
Asian-American Advocate sim- ". . . in the ten years since
ilar to that currently in exist- its founding, the Dais/1U.S.
ence for your Black, Chicano, Jaycee Shooting Education Pro-
and native American students. gram has introduced over 7>-
I would further appreciate your 000,000 boys and girls to the jife-
most serious consideration of time sport of recread.ial air
specifically including A s i a n - gun shooting," is one of the
Americans in your Minority Op- boasts from a feature story on

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