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September 21, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-21

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Page 4 Sunday, September 21, 1980 The Michigan Dily

- I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCI, No. 16

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of The Daily's Editorial Board

Housing foreign students

7 I ~ CAE OF MRG~tl
H ' t


curve .

the first time in India, or Japan,
or France, prepared to begin a year of
foreign, study. You don't speak much
Hindi, or Japanese, or French, and you
haven't arranged for any place to
stay-but you're not worried. Several
weeks before you left the United
States, you received a flyer from your
foreign university indicating that
"temporary low-cost, on-campus
housing will be available during the
arrival period."
Try to imagine the shock you would
feel if you found out, just hours after.
debarking from your plane, that you
would have only a one-in-five chance of
getting that low-cost, on-campus
housing-housing which actually con-
sisted of 20 bunk beds crammed into a
converted study lounge.
You would probably be confused,
frustrated, and perhaps even a little
You would be in the position of
several hundred foreign students who
came to the University of Michigan for
the first time this term.
Of the 354 foreign students who came
to the University this year, only 70
were provided with the low-cost, tem-
porary housing they had thought they
were assured-and those 70 lived in a
South Quad lounge, for which privilege
they paid $5 per night.
Most of -the rest had to rent hotel
rooms until they could find a place to
live in the impossibly tight Ann Arbor
housing market..
All the foreign students are now set-
tled. But the issue is not. The problem
of finding ,temporary housing for
foreign students seems to recur each
It is difficult to assess blame for the

situation. The Housing office simply
does not have enough space to tem-
porarily house several hundred foreign
students each year. As Housing Direc-
tor Robert Hughes warned recently,
guaranteed housing for the foreign
students would mean further cutbacks
in . dormitory space for returning
But the foreign students would ap-
pear to deserve special consideration
from the University. Often, they are
the sons and daughters of foreign
dignitaries-if not foreign envoys
themselves. Further, and more impor-
tant, foreigners experience special ad-
justment problems in a strange coun-
try; to compound that culture shock
with the trauma of searching for
housing seems particularly cruel.
The answer, then, lies precisely in
Hughes' observation. Guarantee
enough spaces in University housing
for the foreign students and cut back
on space for returning (American)
It is of course nice that there is often
space in the dorms for those
sophomores and juniors who choose to
live there. But at a University where
the vast majority of students must live
off-campus because University
housing is in short supply, those
sophomores and (especially) juniors
care enjoying a privilege that can be
sacrificed for the foreign students.
The University ought to set aside
space-at least on a temporary
basis-for new foreign students each
fall. It may mean inconveniencing
some returning students. But it is cer-
tainly easier for them to search for off-
campus housing than it is for an Indian
or a Japanese.

WkM R=
Rxt ' , r o

Repairing the 'U' campus,
whether it needs it or not

Something very mysterious is going on at
the University. Bits and pieces of the campus'
physical plant are being torn up, left in their'
newly-primitive condition for weeks or even
months, and then put back in very much the
same condition.
Other areas are being ravaged by
bulldozers and jackhammers through no fault
of their own and then transmogrified into
something altogether different and far less
I FIRST NOTICED the Sisyphean effort
when 12 square feet of sidewalk leading up to
the rear of the Student Publications Building

By Joshua Peck




VIDENTLY NOT content with his
recent merger agreement with
Libya, President Hafaz al-Assad of
Syria has now joined hands with the
Palestine Liberation Organization in a
"holy war" planned against the United
States and Israel.
In a communique issued to a
gathering of ministers of Islamic
nations, Syria and the PLO urged the
other leaders to impose an oil embargo
on the U.S. and to establish branch
recruiting offices for the PLO in their
respective homelands. That way, the
PLO can more quickly go about its
business of exterminating Jewish
f , - -

ries press on
residents of Israel.
Islamic news sources at the
ministers' conference have indicated
there is little chance the suggestion
will be heeded; most of the oil-
producing countries rely on American
purchases to keep their economies
But the radical forces in the Mideast
can bring pressure in more sublte
ways, and that pressure must be
resisted as long as the destruction of
the Zionist state remains on the PLO's
agenda. Until then, U.S. concessions to
the terrorists ought to be kept few and
far between.

vanished during the summer, which forced us*
aspiring Woodsteins to march bravely;
through yards of sodden muck to reach our
workplace. I naturally assumed that some
important renovation was about to be worked
on our precious pavement, perhaps the in-
clusion of a ramp for the handicapped, or a
canopy for clandestine meetings of star-
crossed lovers.
Nope. The sidewalk returned in good time,
looking very much as it had before, except for
a few new handprints impressed by posterity-
hungry artisans.
Next to be attacked by the University's
secretive laborers were the front steps of the
Union. I had big hopes when they first
vanished. I walked past the moonscape left in
their stead through June and July, an-
ticipating a moat perhaps, with a covered
bridge. Or maybe a large retaining wall
behind which the most obnoxious members of
Sigma Waffle Moo could be kept until they
had mastered, the rudiments of civilized
behavior. Or-yes, yes, this would have been
perfect-a bed of steel spikes to satisfy the
suicidal whims of the recently-expelled.
NO DICE. FROM steps she came, unto
steps the Union did return. I cursed quietly to
myself *hen I first saw the finished product.
The University had lost yet another chance at
fame for its architectural innovation.
Ingalls Street, a central artery of the Main
Campus, was the next to come under the per-
fidious moles' attack. In deference to the

stately Michigan League, the east half of the
street was left alone. But the western half was
mercilessly stripped, replaced with bricks
and grass, and left to sit sublimely in the sun,
unaffected by the traffic congestion its con-
version had caused.
The construction mystery was compounded
by the economic hardships that all could ob-
serve in virtually every facet of campus life:
Dormitory room closets appropriated as
sleeping space; North Campus residents
stranded on Geddes Ave. for lack of a late
bus; bushy-tailed freshpersons torn from
their studies of The Peloponnesian Wars to
accommodate the UGLI's earlier closing
hours; vastly overcrowded lectures and
recitations; football players forced to survive
on but a singlemeasly pound of filet mignon
per day. The situation grew increasingly
inhuman, and yet the construction projects
went on.
bed through my brain and burned behind my
eyes. The heated blood coursed through my
capillaries and reddened my retinas. I could
tolerate my ignorance no more.
And then the mystery was revealed.
The devil pulling the purse strings tight for
needed improvements while squandering
shekels on cosmetics resides not in the un-
derworld below, but above us-northwest
of us, in fact, in Lansing.
You see,'the state government is willing to
give the University money, but doesn't want it
going just anywhere. If tax moneys were
simply handed over carte blanche to Harold
and his merry men, who knows what foolish
expenditures they would make? You know
how impetuous those Regents are.
THE CLEVER SAGES in the State House
save us from regental blunders by ear-
marking various funds for specific purposes.
And thus, we end up with a pittance for
professors' salaries, a farthing for facilities,
and a fortune for physical improvements-if
indeed what's happening to Ingalls Street can
be classified as an improvement.
Yet the University administrators dare not
complain; to do so would mean risking being
labelled ingrates. Nor do they dare to leave
the funds for capital "improvements" un-
touched; to do so would persuade some mean-
spirited Republican in Lansing that the "U"
must be rolling in money. Our budget would
almost certainly be cut.
So on we squander, righting rights when
we run out of wrongs, like miscreants giving
Mona Lisa a facelift or Hamlet a sixth act.

Yet still a danger lurks.
AS EVIDENCED BY the absurd construc-
tion projects and renovations (rean-
tiquations?) already cited, the University
may be'running out of ideas for tossing about
its wealth. If Michigan is to survive, studen-
ts may have to join the effort to find problem*
areas on which the University could
justifiably waste a grand or two.
Squads of scholars could take to the streets
and to the Diag, finding shurbs in need of
assistance, sidewalks in need of repair, and
benches in need of masonry. With a long list of
capital improvement projects, we who love
the University could rest assured in the
knowledge that no bank account will be left
with so much as an unspent penny.
Unless.... . 0
Supposing every hole in every University-
owned sidewalk has been mended, every
cement-paved street been restored to cob-
blestone and re-restored back again, and still
tens of thousands of dollars, sit in tax coffers,
dangerously neglected.
AGAIN, A GRAVE responsibility would fall,
upon the student body. Where no site existed-
for construction or renovation, students
would have to create one.' Under cloak of
night, quaddies and Greeks alike would
emerge from the steam tunnels, implements,
of destruction in hand. Flower gardens could
be ravaged, pavement cracked, buildings
The, civil engineering department could
hold clandestine seminars in instantaneous
pothole generation.
'Poor teenagers from New York could apply
their graffiti skills to the UGLI,.
simultaneously rendering the building's
reputation. obsolete and earning their wqy
through school on a work-study grant.
ministrators would publicly issue statements
of anger, while privately rubbing their hands
in glee at the expenditures the "hoodlums"
were necessitating.
Creative vandalism would replace football
as the University's favorite outdoor sport.
A spirit of unity never before seen would
emerge among the students, and a call to ar-
ms would rise among those who had already
seen the light, beckoning those whose
superegos dictated outmoded lawful
behavior: "Every little chip helps."
Joshua Peck is the co-editor of The
Daily 's Opinion page. His column
appears every Sunday.



L, \
' w1

.A 6.

The Grad swallowed me


'fir f e o
' i .1
. ',
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.:. 3 )
' .Y r


C ' ' 4

The Graduate Library swal-
lowed me whole the other day,
books and all. For the numerous
hours I have spent in the
Reference Room, or bent over the
microfilm reader, or flipped
through the card catalog only to
be cross-referenced to another
drawer; as a senior who opts for
the choice of a term paper over
taking the final, the Graduate
Library had to be my friend. But
no longer.
I was suspicious and annoyed
from the beginning of my jour-
ney. Only the elevator on-the left
could take me to the North
Building stacks. After waiting
several minutes, I boarded it on
the second floor.
4A, but the elevator was going
down. After a stop on the first

would elevators: Angie Dickin-
son proved that in Dressed to Kill
which, unfortunately, I saw. With
these thoughts, I boarded the
empty elevator.
The ride lasted only a few
seconds before the elevator stop-
ped on the fourth floor, which is
below 4A. Neither the front nor
rear doors opened.
I PUSHED ALL the buttons but
nothing moved. The emergency
telephone in the box above the
control panel was missing. As I
was new to such predicaments, I
stood for a few minutes doing
nothing, thinking. "So this is
what it's like to be trapped in an
elevator." Then the adrenaline
started flowing and I pushed the
red button marked "emergency
alarm." It rang loudly

second set of doors, I saw two
people. The elevator had stopped
about eight feet above floor 3A,
where a woman was attempting
to pry the doors open with a black
metal tool.
"Look for a lever at the top of
the doors," she told me, as a man
looked on. I put the Harper's
volume between the elevator
doors to keep them apart while I
checked the outside doors, but
could find no lever.
stuck often?" I asked, as the
woman seemed quite accustomed
to prying open the doors. Her af-
firmative answer didn't lighten
my spirits.
If the outside doors could be
opened part way, I would be able
to iumn through the 1 x 3 font

By Nancy Rucker

swering that I was indeed stil*
I imagined being trapped for
days with my volumes of Har-
per's and Motion Picture Classic
from 1923. I formed a checklist:
My stomach was full from lunch,
I had written to my Mom-that af-
ternoon and had been home the
previous weekend, I had seen all
my friends recently, and no
assignments were due until
Tuesday. My absence could go
unnoticed, I thought.
Sweating more as my ner-
vousness increased, I turned my
efforts to getting out on my own.
The instructing voices were
silent; I heard no one working for
my rescue. In desperation' I
clawed at the front doors, and
pushed them apart. I did the
same with the outside doors, and


- ML

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