The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 6, 1984 - Page 11
The Daily is more
than just a newspaper
Daily Photo by DEBORAH LEWIS
A typical session of the MSA taking place around the large oval table situated in the MSA chambers in the Michigan Union.
MSA pursues student inerests
By DAVID SPAK
Few people ever see Joe Daily repor-
ter in action. To most readers, the Daily
is a newspaper that seems to magically
appear in mailboxes and on front door-
steps six days a week. To them, the
Daily seems to write itself.
But of course it doesn't.
MORE THAN 100 students work from
four to 60 hours a week - and
sometimes even more - on the Daily's
news, photography, business, sports
and arts staffs. And while most studen-
ts are taking lecture notes or spending
late nights in the library sweating over
term papers, Daily staffers are
cranking out news stories, selling ad-
vertisements, and interviewing Marcel
Compared to most college
newspapers, the Daily is unique.
Here, students have done nearly
everything since 1890 - except the ac-
tual printing which is done by
professionals at a plant in Northville
THE DAILY supports itself through
advertising and subscription sales.
Unlike most college newspapers, the
Daily does not receive any money from
Students decide the paper's editorial
policy, write and edit stories, and sell
and design all the advertisements.
And because students run the paper,
there are a substantial number of jqbs
available to University students.
ONLY ONE staff, the photography
staff requires any previous experience
to join. Each term, the Daily holds
mass meetings for students who want to
work on any of the staffs - news, arts,
photography, sports, or business.
Even though the hours are long, the
pay is lousy. Reporters get about $50 a
month. But the Daily gives students a
unique opportunity to gain experience
- not generally available to un-
The experience students gain at the
Daily often leads to jobs in the
world of journalism. A number of for-
mer Daily staff members now work for
major metropolitan newspapers, in-
cluding The New York Times, the Los
Angeles Times, The Wall Street Jour-
nal, The Chicago Tribune and The
HOWEVER, THE experience studen-
ts gain at the Daily leads to other fields
besides journalism. Former Daily staf-
fers are now in top-notch law and
business schools across the country.
The Daily was founded in 1890 by a
group of University students as the "U
of M Daily" published out of a small
printshop in downtown Ann Arbor.
The paper was originally owned by
the students who wrote for it, but in the
early 1900s all the stock was purchased
by the University.
The University purchase of the stock,
however, didn't mean the University
controled the Daily. After the purchase,
the regents created a special semi-
autonomous board now called the
Board for Student Publications - to
manage the Daily's finances. Editorial
control was left with the students.
Through the years, this principle has
remained strong at the Daily. Students
- not University administrators or
faculty members - are responsible for
every word that appears in print. The
staff elect editors and dictate the
paper's editorial policy.
Editorial offices are in the Student
Publications Building at 420 Maynard.
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
By DAVID VANKER
The Michigan Student Assembly is
struggling to make itself stronger. So
far, they haven't had a lot of luck.
Some cite raging student apathy-a
symptom present in the diagnosis of an
apolitical society. And they seem to
have a point.
SOME SAY STUDENTS at the
University are too interested in mid-
terms, research papers, dorm dances
and Thursday night at the bar to find
time to participate in student gover-
But whatever the reason-or the ex-
cuse-indifference once again ruled
during last year's MSA elections.
Slightly fewer than 4,000 of the Univer-
sity's 35,000 students turned out to cast
the ballots which elect officers and
representatives from the University's
17 schools and colleges.
To some, these dismal figures
represent a lack of student interest in
"I DON'T THINK (participation in
student government) is at an all-time
low, but I don't think it's very high,"
said Scott Page, MSA president. "We'd
like to make MSA stronger," the LSA
But building a stronger student
government is not an easy task. "It's
difficult to get motivated to set aside
time to think about campus issues after
you're through with classes," Page
According to Page, MSA's job "is to
evaluate the student impression (of an
issue), to decide what issues to lobby
for with the administration, and then to
work for or against the ad-
But students aren'
interested in MSA
THE ADMINISTRATION'S view is of
particular importance to Page, who
stressed his desire to work with the
administration, not against it, during
"MSA brings ideas to the ad-
ministration, because if we work with
them, we have access to their resour-
ces," Page said. "Like the minority
recruitment program the University is
starting-MSA could never have had
the resources for that."
been slipped through the ad-
ministraion," Page said. "It's MSA's
job to go out to the students and create
Part of our job is to get everyone in-
volved in student groups, not just cam-
pus politics," Page said.
And in order to get students involved
in campus groups and organizations,
MSA allocates about $20,000 a year to
officially recognized student
'I don't think (participation
government) is at an all time
don't think it's very high.'
low, but I
Of the $4.75, $3.25 goes to Student
Legal Services, 11 cents goes to the Ann
Arbor Tenants Union, 17 cents covers
the cost of publishing Advice, a com-
prehensive survey of students' opinions
of their classes and teachers which is
distributed free each term, and the
remaining $1.24 is reserved for the MSA
general fund, which supports various
student groups and covers ad-
IN THE PAST, MSA has contributed
to activist groups, public service
fraternities, and minority groups.
For the most part however, students
aren't impressed with MSA. And ad-
ministrators don't regard the
organization as anything special either.
"They're no different from the body
politic in the real world," said Thomas
Easthope, associate vice president for
student services. "If they're an astute
group, they can do some very impor-
tant things on this campus that could
not be done by the administration," he
Page's administration is currently
working to secure $10 million from the
University's fund-raising campaign for
a revolving student loan and en-
However, because MSA terms are'
only a year in office, Page admits that
there are some problems with trying to
get a lot accomplished in a year.
"It's frustrating because there is so
much to do," he said. "As you're
working on projects you find out one
year is anawfully short time," he said.
"You have to take pride in any small
accomplishment you can make," Page
added. "Working in something like
MSA, a lot of times your work ends in
five words not being in a piece of
Welcomes you to the University
and to Ann Arbor
JOIN US FOR MASS
Saturday Evening 5:00 PM
Sunday 8:30 10:30
Daily (in the Center)
Mon., Tues., Wed. 12:10
Thurs., Fri. 5:10
But even though Page stresses MSA's
need to work with the administration,
he doesn't hesitate to clash with it. On
last March's ballot, for example, the
assembly asked students whether or
not they favored the proposed Code of
Non-Academic conduct. Nearly 80 per-
cent of the students who voted were op-
posed to the code in its current form.
"Something like the code would have
"WE TRY NOT to be one-sided in our
ramifications,"Page said. "It's dif-
ficult to say how effective it's been in
the past, but we've given money for
programs which we felt were useful."
For 1984-85, the assembly will control
at least $325,000 collected from students
through a fee assessment of $4.75 per
student each term. High enrollment in
the spring/summer term could
significantly add to that amount.
(At Corner of E. William)
PIRGIM funding hurts its image
By THOMAS HRACH
Seemingly lost in the battles waged
over the special funding status granted
to it by the University, The Public In-
terest Research Group In Michigan
here on campus hopes this will be the
year students realize PIRGIM is the
unique resource for student activism
for which it was originally intended.
Formed by a referendum of Univer-
sity students at the height of student ac-
tivism 13 years ago, PIRGIM's original
purpose has become clouded in the con-
troversies surrounding its privileged
fee collection status at CRISP.
PIRGIM IS A statewide consumer ac-
tion group which is controlled and fun-
ded solely by students at several state
schools. It is one of the many PIRGs
(Public Interest Research Group)
throughout the country.
Within the past year, PIRGIM's local
chapter has coordinated voter
registration drives, lobbied for
legislation to clean up Michigan's water
and pushed for funds to clean up
hazardous waste sites around the state.
Yet PIRGIM made the biggest
headlines eighteen months ago when an
ad hoc group of students started a
petition drive to bar volunteers from
the CRISP lines. PIRGIM countered
several times with its own proposals for
an improved collection method, but
remains stuck with its outdated system.
"PIRGIM IS just another aspect of
campus live," said Amy Gibbons, cam-
pus coordinator. "It provides a unique
resource for student activism on cam-
The University provides
organizations for students interested in
playing athletics, so why shouldn't the
school also provide opportunity for
those wanting to serve the public in-
terest," Gibbons said.
The original referendum which
established PIRGIM contained a
negative check off system where
students had to indicate if they didn't
want to donate to the group. Yet
student opinion forced the regents to
establish the present system where
students must sign their PIRGIM slip
only if they do wish to donate.
BECAUSE THERE ARE no specific
guidelines for organizations wishing to
raise money at CRISP, the regents
have set a dangerous precedent with
the PIRGIM decision.
"If another group came up with
enough signatures from the student
community to place fee collection at
CRISP, the University would then be
forced to stop all fee collection at
registration," said Tom Karunes,
assistant registrar. "I personally
would favor any proposal to get groups
seeking donations out of CRISP lines."
Because of the entire fee colection
fiasco, PIRGIM has an acute image
problem among the student com-
munity. Consequently the group suf-
fers from a lack of funds and according
to Gibbons the students at the Univer-
sity have become the real losers.
THIS COMING March, the funding
agreement must once again be renewed
with the University. PIRGIM will push
this year to settle its fee collection
problems and get down to the business
of providing students with the oppor-
tunity of serving the public interest.
PIRGIM here on campus has only one
paid staff member who aids the seven
members of the Student Board of Direc-
tors in the various projects. The entire
funding problem has hurt the group in
its efforts to recruit volunteers into the
"CRISP IS not a place for fun-
draising," said Gibbons. "We're really
wasting the time of our volunteers who
stand in CRISP lines when they could
be working on one of the various projec-
Throughout the past year PIRGIM
volunteers have lobbied state agencies
for money to clean up the 15-year-old
problem of toxic waste sites in Macomb
County. Pirgim has also lobbied the
federal government for superfund
clean-up dollars for the 26 other sites
around the county which have been
labled dangerous health risks.
Student volunteers have also resear-
See FUNDING, Page 14
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