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September 04, 1980 - Image 105

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-04

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 4, 1980--Page 5-D
NEW ADMINIS TRA TION PR OMISES REFORM
MSA strives for student acceptance

, By MITCH STUART
The Michigan Student Assembly
(MSA) is the official campus student
government. Established in 1976 by the
"All-Campus Constitution," its mem-
bers strive to represent students in the
confusing maze of University
bureacracy.
But while MSA has been described as
"the only voice students have" in
University policy-making, the Assem-
bly has just as often been denounced in
recent years for its inability to bring
about student-oriented changes within
the University.
MOST MSA MEMBERS see their
chief responsibility as addressing con-
cerns and problems that students run
across in their everyday lives.
President Marc Breakstone advocates
an active role for the Assembly. One of
his pet projects is the establishment of
a University-wide course evaluation
pproject. (See story, Section A.)
FBreakstone also advocates MSA in-

volvement in inner-city recruitment of
minorities, alternative education, and a
state-wide student lobby.
The MSA president, however, is quick
to point out that "We've got a service
function as well as an activist function.
The service function includes funding
educationally-oriented activities that
aren't available in the University
mainstream."
Breakstone's attitude is a common
one. Many MSA members feel their
time and money should be divided bet-
ween allocations to other student
groups and backing of MSA-initiated
projects such as the course evaluation
program.
MSA RECEIVES $3.50 per term from
each student: $1.02 of that fee goes to
the Assembly's discretionary general
fund, where it can be used for
allocations to student groups or to fund
other projects. Student Legal Services
receives $2.25, the Course Evaluation
project receives 15 cents, and the

Tenants Union receives 8 cents of the
$3.50.
There are dozens of issues that can be
addressed by a student government.
What follows is an attempt to review
some of the major issues which have
been foremost in the minds of many
MSA representatives in the past year.
SCOPE
A perennial problem confronting the
Assembly is determining the proper
scope of a student government. Many
members differ on whether MSA should
limit its funding to campus-related
groups or allocate funds for lobbying ef-
forts and conference attendance in
Lansing and Washington.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
The question of whether to allocate
student funds for capital improvements
to University property recently became
an issue when MSA members discussed
a plan to allocate funds for a proposed
renovation of the Fishbowl (the lobby of

Mason-Haven halls). Those who sup-
ported the investment of student money
said students will benefit most from the
improvements and thus should be

awareness and participation as a high
priority for the Assembly. Some
Assembly members also say that MSA
must get more student input into their

Established in 1976 by the "All-Campus Constitu-
tion, " MSA members strive to represent students in the
confusing maze of University bureaucracy.

willing to pay for a portion of them. Op-
ponents, on the other hand, say the
University will benefit most since the
investment is on University-owned
property.
STUDENT APATHY
Some MSA members cite student
apathy and ignorance about MSA as
one of the Assembly's major failings.
Many envision increased student

key decisions-primarily those on how
to spend student funds.
MINORITIES
Current University minority
recruitment and retention rates are the
subject of widespread criticism despite
the fact that minority programs receive
thousands of University dollars. In
short, a viable and effective program to
bring minority students to the Univer-

sity-and encourage them to stay-has
not been developed. Vice-president
Virna Hobbs, a member of the Black
Students Union, proposes that MSA
send University students into inner city
Detroit high schools to sell the Univer-
sity to them.
PARTY SYSTEM
Some MSA members fault the
current party system, in which mem-
bers of campus political parties make
up a large proportion of the Assembly,
for MSA's inability to deal with some
questions. Some members say that all
too often, members of the Student
Alliance for Better Representation
(SABRE) or the People's Action
Coalition (PAC) vote with other mem-
bers of their parties simply for the par-
ty's sake.
ARTWORLDSs..
specialized workshops in
ART
DANCE
PHOTOGRAPHY
and more
for information & brochure
ARTWORLDS
213 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI
48104 994-8400

THIS SPACE CONTRIBUTED BY THE PUBLISHER

One of the popular activities in Ann
Arbor is a hike through "the Arb," a
secluded neck of woods just east of
campus off Geddes Rd. For academia-
ridden students and faculty, or those
simply needing a breath of fresh air, a
walk through the Arb is a precious
retreat.

OLD TON

Restaurant 5 Pub
FINE QUALITY FOOD RELAXED
SERVED TIL 9 P.M. ATMOSP
Suitable for Conversation
FOODS DRINKS REASONOBL
Open til 2AM 12

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2 W. Liberty

end of the line for the shuttlebus

Daily Photo
PIRGIM defends the
public interest in A2

By BONNIE JURAN
President Carter calls for draft
registration. Legislation is introduced
.requiring higher safety standards for
nuclear power plants. In Michigan,
Detroit Edison issues a rate increase
for utilities.
, These issues and others are a concern
to PIRGIM, a group dedicated to
organizing and informing University
students on matters of public interest.
PIRGIM, WHICH is an acronym for
the Public Interest Research Group in
Michigan, has been at the University
for the past eight years, according to
PIRGIM Campus Programs Co-
ordinator Richard Levick. There are a
total of five PIRGIM's in Michigan and
175 PIRG's throughout the country,
Levick said.
According to Levick, the broad-based
' goals of his organization are three-fold:
" to provide services to students;
e to educate students about pressing
issues; and
" to play the activist role.
PIRGIM is involved with "interests
that concern students as consumers,"
the program co-ordinator said.
MOST PEOPLE associate PIRGIM
with one specific issue, observed
Levick. He-said a few years ago, his
organization was chiefly associated
} with alternative energy resources while
-this past winter PIRGIM was primarily
connected with the anti-draft
movement.
He added although his organization is
concerned with these issues, PIRGIM is
also involved with approximately two
dozen other projects each year.
Last year for example, PIRGIM took
on the task of evaluating the impact of
the bottle bill. This recent and con-
21vrca nip f 1pkatin itnp t2121I1~~2 he

ference on housing, the program co-
ordinator said. Topics of discussion will
include ways to weatherize homes and
the legal rights of tenants.
Although student status is not a
prerequisite for becoming involved
with PIRGIM, Levick said that 90 per
cent of all volunteers are enrolled at the
University. He added that University
faculty often participate in the con-
sumer organization as sponsors of
programs.
ACCORDING TO Levick, students
can pick up many valuable skills by

volunteering to work with PIRGIM. He
said students can gain experience in
public speaking, formulating a newslet-
ter, and organizing a conference.
Students can also learn about group
dynamics and leadership, he said.
PIRGIM is funded solely by the
positive check-off system, said Levick.
When registering, he explained, studen-
ts have the option of contributing $2 to
PIRGIM and detaching a perforated
section of their student verification
form: Twenty-five to 30 per cent of the
students opt to sponsor PIRGIM,
Levick noted.

SC
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