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November 06, 1983 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-06

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, November 6, 1983

The Michigan Daily

14

Dear 'U':

Why have the blacks

left?

DEAR TOP University officials,

Promises, promises.
Remember about 13 years ago when you
vowed to boost black enrollment levels at the
University to 10 percent?
Sure, you remember. It was during the
height of the Black Action Movement strike.
You set the goal of making black enrollment 10
percent by 1973. Well, statistics you released
last week show that you still haven't accom-
plished your goal.
The figures that came out last week show
that black enrollment levels are fitting nicely
into their yearly trend of declining. Yes, this
year, 4.9 percent of the U.S. citizens on campus
are black. Last year 5.2 percent were.

view your past record with black enrollment as
a sure indication of this.
It's funny, though that you can't seem to
figure out why this problem exists; after all, it's
not a new one.
Love ya, your conscience.
P.T. Barnum's show
If you live on campus this year you are part
of one of the greatest phenomenon in the annals
of the University and the city of Ann Arbor. It's
incredible, it's astounding, and nobody can of-
fer a solid explanation: This year housing ren-
tal rates off campus have tended to stablilze or
decrease from last year, and because of that,
more apartments are being rented!
It's a challenge to all you economic majors to
figure that one out and explain to the landlords
in this fair college town why ridiculously high
rental rates may be less profitable than or-
dinary high rental costs.
One of the explanations that has surfaced,
however, is that a greater proportion of the
student population is rich because the less
wealthy potential students haven't weathered
the tuition increases. The new, more wealthy
student population is better able to afford
costly single apartment situations: sleeping
rooms, efficiencies, and one-bedroom apar-
tments as opposed to the cost-cutting tradition
of "doubling up" in apartments.
Another explanation given over the week was
that this year students have been able to rely on
their student loans with more confidence than
last year and so are more willing to sign the
dotted line on housing leases.
Landlords say that the decrease of vacancies
this year will not mean major rent increases in
the future, but let's face it guys-we know
about the fleece and demand relationship in
Ann Arbor housing.

officials, but the process can get a little tricky
when the debtor has its own air force.
It seems a group of Nigerian students, most
supported by scholarships from the Nigerian
government, owe the University somewhere
around $116,000 in unpaid tuition bills - money
the University plans to cash in on.
According to the University registrar, the 32
Nigerian students currently enrolled at the Ann
Arbor campus owe from $30,000 to $40,000; the
remainder of the $116,000 if owed by former
Nigerian students.
The problem affects nearly 5,000 Nigerian
students studying at American universities
who cannot pay their bills because their gover-
nment has not delivered over $10 million in
scholarship awards.
Also, private sponsors in Nigeria are finding
it difficult to pay the students. Officials on both
sides of the Atlantic say the falling price of oil
(Nigeria's principle export), and restrictions
on, the flow of American currency out of
Nigeria caused the difficulties.
The University this week responded to the
problem in typical fashion; it set up a commit-
tee.
The informal panel, composed of officials
from the admissions office, student accounts,
the International Center, and other departmen-
ts, will try to formulate a policy for dealing with
delinquent payments of all foreign students -
not just Nigerians.
In addition, the Rackham graduate school
now demands that students backed by "high
risk" (read: Nigerian) sponsors pay tuition
before they are admitted.
The University panel suggested hold credits
and suspending CRISP priviledges for the
Premier of Nigeria, but no action has been
taken.

Low vacancy rates have sent many students pedalling away from once-available off-
campus housing units.

But when students from other countries are
added into the figures, total black enrollment
at the University stands at 4.5 percent.
The most baffling part of this problem is that
none of you seem to be able to pinpoint the
reason for the continual decline. It's dropped
every year since 1977.
Some of you say the general atmosphere of
the University is discouraging black students
from coming here. Some of you say other
universities are stealing away our prospective
black students by luring them to their college
campuses with tremendous financial aid and
scholarship packages.
But many black students, on the other hand
feel that University recruitment and renention
brograms aren't up to par and that they are
being lost in the administrative shuffle. They

Petty (cash) arguments
Students voted last spring to give the Ann
Arbor Tenants Union $7300 for whatever it is
they do. Now this other organization, the
Tenant Landlord Resource Center, claims that
the union doesn't do any work-the work-
shops promised haven't materialized, and office
hours supposedly aren't being kept.
But where did these resource center people
who want student money come from? Doug
Weiner and Lincoln Ashida, who are leading
the fight for the money, are defecters from the
tenants union. They claim they can do all of
the duties of the tenants' union and more and do
them better.
But the tenants union counters their argument
saying that these two men are not doing work
either and that they are only interested -in
working with tenants so they can write it on
their resumes.

The Michigan Student Assembly thinks all of
the people up on the fourth floor of the Union
who want to work with tenants rights should
stop bickering-this is all a personality con-
flict. Frankly, MSA wants the tenants union to
be revitalized and do a whole lot, like it used to
do in the 60s.
Instead, MSA's efforts to help the tenants
union through budget replanning and volunteer
recruitment, have been sidelined by childish,
silly arguments.
MSA doesn't have the time to be bothered
with this petty argument, and until the two
sides resolve their differences, no one is going
to get that $7300.
Airborne tuition
Collecting delinquent tuition payments is a
pretty standard ritual for University finance

J

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The Week in Review was compiled by
Daily staff writers Georgea Kovanis,
Jonathan Stewart, and Karen Tensa and
Daily editor George A dams.

i I

Edie am d tganesty i
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Stewart

r. ~j8

Vol. XCIV-No. 53

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

.

What if.. .

?
0

LET'S PLAY a game of What If . . .
What if someone were sick
enough to make one of those dormitory
bomb threats more than a threat?
What would happen?
Until this week, when the University
received a bomb threat targeting a
dormitory or other buildings, officials
would evacuate the place just in case.
But this week University officials
received a rash of crank phone calls
about Mosher Jordan and Stockwell
dormitories. They got tired of
evacuating the residents of the dorms,
so next time someone calls in a bomb'
threat leaving the building will become
optional.
What if one of those "crank" calls

comes in at four in the morning and
turns out not to be a crank? Name one
student who'll leave unless there's a
policy that tells them to.
Almost every year one dorm or
another experiences a rash of false fire
alarms. Yet the policy is still to
evacuate-just in case. Sure, it's a
pain in the ass, but the remote alter-
native is a lot worse.
It's understandable that University
officials and students are upset about
and tired of sick jokes. It takes a
deranged mind to get a kick out of
causing that much inconvenience.
But is the University willing to take
the risk that an even more deranged
person isn't out there waiting to pull off
an even sicker joke?

/

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IU/ENRnOLLMENT GOAL
197

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4996 BLACK k
FNRQLLMENT REALITY
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Utopia

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Language majors: No native speakers

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To the Daily:
Karin Lindgren's letter
("Native speakers shunned,"
Daily, October 22) supporting far
eastern language and literature
department's decision of not
allowing native speakers to
major in Japanese or Chinese
deserves a hearty touche. As for
myself, I would like to add a few
additional comments.
As an undergraduate French
major, I encountered several
native speakers majoring in
French. As Karin Lindgren
carefully points out, these
students were not only at an ad-
vantage in speaking and listening
ability, but also were able to ex-
press themselves much more
easily and clearly when writing
term papers. While those of us
who were not native speakers
were struggling to write one
clear, grammatically correct
paragraph in French for our term
paper on Marcel Proust or
Rndelaire. the native sneakers

are similar because they are.
members of one common
linguistic stock. It is grossly
erroneous to allow -a French
speaker to major in French
because it so happens that Fren-
ch and English are members of
the Indo-European family of
languages. From a contrastive
analysis point of view, often
times the differences between
two languages of one family may
outweigh, the similarities. For
example, both Persian (Farsi)
Defending
To the Daily:
I am writing to contest the let-
ter, "Why require Foreign
language?" in Letters to the
Daily, of Oct. 5. Having gone
through four terms of Spanish at
the University, I am glad to have
done so, and I feel that every
on11Pg shnuld renuire foreign

and English belong to the Indo-
European family of languages.
Although, there are some syntac-
tic similarities, Persian
phonological and phonetic struc-
ture is quite different from
English. Having studied some
Persian at Michigan, I am very
much convinced that a native
speaker of Persian would always
speak better than a junior or
senior who had only studied the
language for a few years at the
University.

Finally, I question the basic
notion of why a person who goes
abroad to study would want to
major in his or her native
language. I am very leery of
these types of students. If I were
to attend a French university, I
certainly would not choose
English or American literature
as my major field of study. Af-
terall, there are many fine
American universities where I
could study English literature.
-Anthony Lewis
October 24

language requirements

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BEEP Bg-=F-P
BeEP BEEP..

WHlOA? NINE OZCLQG'!
- ALMOST SLEPT
HtROUGH-1MY S7TUvy
AREA K.

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3

traveling the continent, the
writer didn't feel compelled to
study a foreign language?
Having spent much of the past
summer in Europe, I know it is a
great asset to speak another
language.
Of course one can, as they say,
"get by" in continental Europe.

other cultures, through the lear-
ning of another language.
Noticing the inherent cultural
arrogance of this writer, I hope
more people come to realize this
overweening pride, so apparent
among Americans. . Then the
American people and culture
could act as part of the world,

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