MSA's members often
work behind the scenes
By BETH ALLEN
Every student at the University paid
$4.25 per term last year to support the
Michigan Student Assembly, the cam-
pus-wide student government.
But most students probably did not
even notice the charge, and those who
did probably never bothered to wonder
where their money went.
THE STUDENT ASSEMBLY faces a
problem. Because of the notorious
apathy among students, and the fact
that most of MSA's representatives
work behind the scenes, many students
do not even know what MSA is, much
less care what it does.
MSA serves two functions for studen-
ts on campus. First, it selects which
student groups should receive funds
from the $4.25 fee.
And second, the assembly is the of-
ficial student voice in University ac-
tions and policy decisions that affect
IN THE PAST assembly members
have protested the University holding
stocks in multi-national corporations
that own subsidiaries in apartheid
South Africa. MSA has also lobbied to
change the University's research
guidelines, which some members say
allow projects designed to kill humans.
This year the emphasis will be on
stopping the University's budget cut-
ting process, said Mary Rowland,'this
year's MSA president.
Many assembly members feel the
University is beefing up marketable
fields such as engineering and business
administration at the expense of
humanistic programs like art and
MSA WILL MAKE a stronger effort
to link students in the fight against this
redirection process, Rowland said. In
the past, student reaction and protest
against the process "received only
sporadic turnout," she said.
Rowland said she will work to
organize monthly meetings between
student leaders in colleges and
organizations across campus to share
information and strategies.
Also as part of its political role on
campus, the assembly appoints studen-
ts to serve on MSA and University
VOLUNTEERS ON MSA'S internal
committees work in areas such as
financial aid, campus security,
minority affairs, and state and federal
Students also serve on University
committees ranging from varsity
athletics, housing, and food service, all
the way up to the University's top
budget committee. All students are
eligible to sit on University commit-
MSA committees are usually chaired
by an elected member of the assembly,
but members stress that work cannot
be done without volunteers.
"SOME OF THE most important
people are the ones behind the scenes,
not the elected officials," said Amy
Moore, last year's MSA president.
Finding those volunteers, however,
has been a pressing problem. Many
students don't know that the commit-
tees exist, or feel MSA does not
represent their interests.
MSA representatives are elected
every spring from the schools and
colleges they represent. The number of
representatives in each school is based
Michigan Student Assembly members meet in their chambers in the Union. The representatives, elected in each school
and college, are the official student voice on campus. Mary Rowland, lower right, is this year's president.
PIRGIM's role changing
By JACKIE YOUNG
Born in the era of Ralph Nader's con-
sumer activism, Ann Arbor's chapter of
the Public Interest Research Group In.
Michigan is facing some new and
pressing problems in the eighties.
Group members say that tighter
budgets and the national wave of con-
servatism since the late seventies have
begun to change the group's role on
-The Public Interest Research Group
In Michigan, commonly called
PIRGIM, is a statewide consumer lob-
bying and research group. The group is
controlled and funded by students
throughout Michigan. PIRGIM has
researched and taken stands on such
issues as the state's returnable bottle
bill, toxic wastes, state support for
.public schools, and financial aid. The
group has also published price surveys
or grocery stores, banks, and tex-
LAST YEAR THE organization felt
the pressure of a student body much
,offerent than the one that formed
PIRGIM in 1972.
; Sixteen thousand students signed a
petition in 1972 supporting PIRGIM.
The University Regents allowed the
group to solicit funds in class
registration lines and attach a billing
form to University registration slips.
PIRGIM is the only student group given
SINCE IT WAS founded, however,
PIRGIM's support among students has
gradually slipped. The Regents
originally required that 30 percent of
the students support the group by
donating. When support dropped below
30 percent, the Regents lowered the
requirement, and eventually waved it
Last year a group of students calling
themselves SCRAP attacked PIRGIM's
right to raise funds through the Univer-
sity registration system.
SCRAP said that PIRGIM solicitors
were harassing students, and that the
Regents were unfairly denying other
groups access to registration forms.
The group gathered 7000 petition
signatures in its drive to ban PIRGIM
from the lines.
AT THE SAME time, PIRGIM mem-
bers were pressing the Regents to adopt
a new refusable/refundable collection
system for the group. Under the
refusable/refundable system, students
would 'have a $2 fee automatically
assessed to their University bill. Those
students who did not want to pay would
have had the fee refunded later in the
term upon request.
PIRGIM members argued that the
new system would raise funds which
are seriously needed to keep the group
The Regents were unconvinced by
both SCRAP and PIRGIM's arguments.
- They retained the old fee collection
system, but warned PIRGIM that their
privileges would be denied if student
support for the group continued to drop.
ALTHOUGH REGENT Nellie Varner
voted to keep PIRGIM in the
registration lines, the Detroit
Democrat called it a "failing
organization" at the meeting.
The petition drive against PIRGIM
upset members, said Wendy Rampson,
coordinator for the Ann Arbor chapter.
SCRAP's complaints were hard to deal
with because they were unwilling to
work them out. Their tactics of pitting
one student group against another had
mass appeal, she said. "Negative cam-
paigns are easier to run now than
What has come out of the battle bet-
ween the two groups is a new definition
of PIRGIM, Rampson said.
"THE PETITION drive helped us to
define ourselves and pull together. In
the long run we will be stronger for it,"
Rampson said. "This fall we will be
seriously' re-evaluating our role on
c, doctor says
bulimic can understand why she turns
With counseling, it usually takes a
bulimic about a year to learn to control
the illness, Castagna said. The length of
therapy depends on how long the person
has been bulimic. Many patients have
thrown up habitually for more than five
years and are more difficult to treat
than a bulimic who binges and vomits a
few times a week, he said.
IN MANY CASES, the bulimic makes
a "cry for help" by leaving the door
open while throwing up or leaving bags
of vomit in the hall, Castagna said.
Prolonged vomiting can destroy tooth
enamel from stomach acid, rupture the
esophagaus or cause the stomach to
bleed, Castagna said adding that severe
cases can cause chemical imbalances
and lead to a cardiac arrest.
"A bulimic is not a freak. There's a
person behind the symptom who is
desperate and scared. The kinds of
problems they have are ones we all
have," he said.
BULIMICS CAN be treated -at
Castagna's clinic for "sliding fees,"
which means the cost is adjusted if a
student can't afford the price.
campus. We will be taking a look at our
The group has been looking for ways
to gain student support on an in-
creasingly conservative campus.
Perhaps the best example of the more
conservative awareness in PIRGIM is a
survey members are conducting of
happy hour drink prices at local bars.
"THE FOUNDERS (of PIRGIM)
would probably roll over in their graves
if they knew we were doing something
like this," said Dave Meyer, a former
The group has had to take a less
radical role when working on service
issues, he said. Students seem to need
something to show future employers.
They are more concerned with resumes
and vocational skills than student lob-
byists were fifteen years ago, he said.
Rampson, however, said that the new
trend has not necessarily made the
group less effective. The less vocal
members of today may be just as active
in PIRGIM projects but just much less
visible, she said.
EMILY ROSENBERG, A work-study
PIRGIM member, said that today's
students favor a "quite activism" that
can be just as effective as more vocal
In addition to the changes in student
mood, PIRGIM has had to deal with survive bee
ever-shrinking revenues, and find ways new source
to supplement its student fees. In Ann)
Financial problems have torn apart soliciting c
many of the state's PIRGIM chapters, for the chap
and damaged the groups effectiveness, the $30,000
Rampson said. students las
AT ONE TIME, seven Michigan BUT TI
schools were active in PIRGIM, but method con
several of the smaller school's tached.
programs have been shut down, she The grou
said. swering to1
Only Michigan State University, as well ast
Wayne State University, and The, may pull t
University of Michigan have been able the origina
to retain full fledged programs. student-fun
These chapters have been able to said.
Word Processing for " term papers a dissertations
. resumes " technical papers
,raphic Design " flyers " brochures a logos," menus " posters
cause they have developed
s of funds.
Arbor a new door-to-door
ampaign has raised $75,000.'
pter, considerably more than
0 PIRGIM received from
st year, Rampson said.
'HE SUCCESSFUL new
rmes with some strings at-
up will have to start an-
the citizens who contribute
the students, she said. That
he group even further from
al plan for a student-run,
ded organization, Rampson
Bulimia is car
(Continued from Page 4)
Recent media attention on the two
eating disorders has oversimplified the
problem by describing specific causes
for the illness, Castagna said.
Bulimics can't be stereotyped, because
the disease is nearing "epidemic
levels," said Catagna.
THERE ARE too many different
cases to arrive .at one formula for the.
illness, he explained. For example,
some bulimic women cannot eat a salad
without forcing themselves to throw up,
while others binge on up to 30,000
calories of junk food such as ice cream,
cookies, or pizza and then vomit to
prevent "poisonous" calories from
muaking them fat.
Bulimics are experts at keeping the
disease hidden, Castagna said. Many
lead double lives, acting competent and
assertive during the day, but at night
they are bulimic, said Castagna.
."This makes the bulimic more com-
plex to understand. They are so good at
looking better than they feel," he said.
*BULIMICS DENY the problem
because they fear the consequences of
being caught. They are usually very
secretive, hiding food and carefully
cleaning up after they vomit.
'Unlike anorexia, which usually
strikes adolescent girls from upper
middle class backgrounds, the average
bulimic is 27, according to Castagna.
Bulimia is prevalent among women
' only 3 to 4 percent of bulimics are
men - because they are so highly
dissatisfied with their bodies which
Castagna attributes, in part, to the in-
creased emphasis on being thin.
"WHETHER IT is societal pressure
to be thin or negative attitudes toward
women, it is shocking to hear the
disgust these women feel about their
femininity," Castagna said.
Anorexics show similar ambivalence
about femininity, but in response to
stress they turn away from food
whereas a bulimic relies on food to cope
with anxiety, Castangna said.
Over-eating and purging becomes a
release and an escape, he said. Similar
to alcoholics compulsion to drink,
bulimics have an addiction to food they
"THE BULIMIC might say he or she
can stop (the disease), but usually the
food obsession is in control of their
lives," Castagna said.
Many cases of bulimia occur in group
living situations such as dormitories
and sororities, he said. Last February,
for example, a woman with bulimia was
expelled from her sorority. Although
many people were critical of the
sorority's decision, Castagna said that
getting a bulimic into a new living
situation is key for recovery.
"Expelling a bulimic isn't a rejection
or cruel, but usually a necessary step,"
CURING bulimia requires interven-
tion - stopping the behavior so the
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