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November 15, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-11-15

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Friday, November 15, 1985

The Michigan Daily

U'U

defends minority enrollment spurt

The University's Associate Vice
President for Academic Affairs Niara
Sudarkasa this week defended the slight in-
creases in minority enrollment at the
University this fall.
"A small success is better than a small
failure," she told a sparse audience at
Campus Meet the Press. Sudarkasa said
Th Week
in Review
that small increases in minority enrollment
at the Universtiy should be taken in the con-
text of declining minority representation in
colleges across the country.
Although the largest number of black
freshmen since 1978 entered the University
this fall, black enrollment increased by only
24 students to 5.2 percent, up .1 percent from
last year. Hispanic enrollment also rose by
24 students, while American Indian

representation grew by 16 students. Asian
American students, the only minority group
not considered underrepresented by the
University, saw the largest increase, clim -
bing to 4.5 percent, which is up 168 students
from last year.
Sudarkasa said the latest increases
resulted from "a lot of hard work and was
not inconsequential," and credited ad-
missions officers with the success.
Sudarkasa also defended her stance on
the creation of several task forces which
would address minority student retention.
The Michigan Student Assembly opposes
the task forces in favor of a university-wide
commission that was recommended by the
regents in 1983.
One committee could not address all the
complex issues involved in retention,
Sudarkasa said, adding that a group of task
forces would tackle the problem more effec-
tively.
Although Sudarkasa has offered MSA
members places on the task forces, they
have turned her down, she said, adding
that she will not waste time arguing with
students who oppose her and will fill the
spots with students willing to work within
her system.

Actions speak ...
While University administrators have
been dragging their feet towards the
establishment of a rape prevention center, a
group of concerned students has coor-
dinated a program focussing on rape
awareness.
Seventeen student facilitators have been
holding workshops in dorms and for campus
groups, and requests are "pouring in" for
more, according to David Lovinger, a
senior in the School of. Art and one of the
program coordinators.
The workshop includes two videos
representing two hypothetical scenarios on
date and acquaintance rape, the most
common form of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, the University has not yet
selected a director for the proposed rape
prevention center and it is anticipated that
a choice will not be made until the end of the
semester.
Tongue test
Many LSA students groan about the two-
year foreign language requirement, but the
chorus of grumblers may grow if the LSA
Curriculum Committee's latest idea
becomes policy.

The committee is considering instituting
a proficiency test for those students who en-
ter the University having studied a foreign
language for four years in high school. At
present, such students are exempt from any
foreign language requirement and
proficiency examinations.
According to Jean Carduner, chairman of
the Department of Romance Languages,
"The fact that you can complete the
requirement by taking four years in high
school without anybody checking what you
have learned isn't fair."
Quelle dommage.
Buckatitis
i ne Game. The Fever.
You couldn't see it in Ann Arbor this
week, but you could feel it. Scalpers could
feel it. Journalists could feel it.
It's Buckeye Fever.
Buckeye Fever, according to Dr. William
Eulbog of the Center for Disease Control in
Atlanta, is a combination of disgust and
curiosity.
Every two years, a few busloads of
agriculture students from Columbus Far-
ming College migrate north on Route 23 in a
quest for intelligent life. They pass through
Bowling Green and Toledo, before finally

arriving at a sign that says -Welcome to
Ann Arbor."
And when those busloads of degenerates
arrive in Ann Arbor, they touch off the
biannual outbreak of Buckeye Fever.
People do silly things under the influence
of Buckeye Fever. They stand on street cor-
ners and sell football tickets at grossly in-
flated prices to senior basket-weaving
majors wearing overalls and red hats. They
watch with amusement as the OSU band
director drills his squad on the correct
spelling of Ohio. And journalists get so
swept up in it that they cast aside the week's
hottest issues and devote ever-increasing
column inches to descriptions of Buckeye
Fever.
When asked about a cure for this amusing
disease, Dr. Eulbog said the antidote had
been developed by an Ann Arbor researcher
named Schembechler. "Just beat the hell
out of them as usual," Eulbog said.
It sounds so simple. Even a Buckeye
could figure it out.
The Week in Review was compiled by
Daily editors Neil Chase and Jody
Becker and staff writer Christy Riedel.

I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Improving MSA's efficiency

Vol. XCVI, No. 52

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

LSA-
While it is a disturbingly small
number of students who even know
of the Michigan Student Assem-
bly's existence, even fewer seem to
know about LSA Student Gover-
nment.
LSA-SG is the government of the
college of LSA. MSA is the full
campus governing body composed
of representatives from LSA,
Engineering, Business, Art and all
of the other colleges in the Univer-
sity. Most of those colleges also
have individual school governmen-

What?
ts.
LSA-SG operates on a much
smaller budget than MSA-it
collects 50 cents from each student
in LSA while MSA collects over $5
from each student at the Univer-
sity - but it nevertheless has
significant financial resources.
There are 46 students running for
the 17 LSA-SG positions. Those
candidates are aligned with either
the Action, Said, Cause or Students
for a Democratic School (SDS)
parties.

By Bruce Belcher
The Michigan Student Assembly exists to
improve the quality of life and education for
University students and to involve students
in decisions which affect their quality of life
and education. Yet MSA cannot be effective
in working for students if it does not operate
efficiently. A student government does not
have any inherent power, it is merely a lob-
bying group for students. Whatever power
the student government has exists because
it has the support of students. To exercise
that power, the student government also
needs to communicate with students to
determine what students want. MSA has
recently started an outreach program with
the above thoughts in mind.
There are structural problems within
MSA which prevent MSA from becoming as
effective as it should be. To solve these
structural problems, MSA has proposed
changes in the MSA Constitution. All
students will be asked to vote on the
proposed changes on Monday, November
18, and Tuesday, November 19. The purpose
of this article is to explain and justify the
proposed changes.
MSA's most glaring structural problem is
a lack of continuity. Each year about 90
percent of the representatives are new. It
takes several months for the new members
to learn about MSA. In the meantime, MSA
is not able to accomplish very much,
especially in committees. The committees
tend to be ineffective because most or all of
the committee members are new to MSA.
The discontinuity problem is intensified
by a poor committee structure. Committees
have been added to MSA each year without
any consideration of how they fit into the
overall structure. No major distinction is
made among the different types of commit-
tees. Another problem exists within each of
Belcher is a Rackham Graduate
School representative to MSA.

the committees. The committee chairper-
son is usually new to both the committee
and to MSA. It is difficult enough for the
chairperson to learn about the committee
without teaching the other committee
members as well. The usual result is that
the committee chairperson makes most of
the decisions. The chairperson usually
becomes overworked while the other com-
mittee members have difficulty fitting in.
MSA thus does not use the human resources
it has effectively because of structural
problems. However, MSA has no long range
planning program so it reacts to problems
rather than acting to prevent the problems
from occurring.
The proposed amendments to the MSA
Constitution address these and other
problems. The problem of lack of continuity
is being met by the introduction of
staggered terms. One half of the Assembly
would be elected in the fall term and the
other half in the winter term. Each group
would serve a one year term so their terms
would overlap. The advantage of this is that
there would never be acomplete turnover of
membership. At least one half of the
Assembly would always be around to train
the new members so that there would not be
a long start-up period after each election.
The cost of elections will be reduced with
staggered terms. The main reason for this
is that the members of MSA whose seats
are not up for re-election, will be required to
help run the election. Costs will also be
reduced by running the elections jointly
with LSA Student Government in the fall
and Rackham Student Government in the
winter.
The committee structure will be
reorganized. Committees will be arranged
in three types: internal committees, con-
cerned with internal MSA matters, com-
missions which are issue oriented, and
select committees which are created to
work on particular projects. The Rules and
Elections Committee is an example of an in-

ternal committee; the Student Rights
Committee, which is concerned with the
proposed code of non-academic conduct, is
an example of a commission; and an ad'hoc
committee created to produce Festifall
would be an example of a select committee.
The membership of internal committees
will be limited. The membership of com-
missions and select committees will be
unlimited so that non-MSA students can
become involved with student issues which
concern them. Changes within committees
have also been proposed. Each committee
will have a vice-chairperson as well as a
chairperson to reduce the hierarchy which
exists on most committees.
We have considered ways that MSA can
use its resources more effectively, and it
would of course be helpful if MSA had more
resources. Therefore, an increase in size of
25 percent has also been proposed. This will
enable MSA to staff its committees more
fully as well as increasing direct contact
with constituents.
Lastly, the proposed amendment con-
siders the problem of long range planning.
The MSA Steering Committee, which is '
composed of the executive officers and the
chairs of each internal committee and each
commission, will be charged with long
range planning. Long range planning will
also be more likely if the Assembly and the
committees are made more effective by the
changes suggested above.
The changes being proposed for MSA are
major ones, but it is necessary to make
these changes so that MSA can become ef-
fective. In order to show its committment to
student interests, MSA is also asking
students to vote on two referenda. One asks
whether students support a $100 computer
fee and the other asks whether students
should have a formal role in determining
the University's computer policy. MSA has
taken a stand against the computer fee, and
we want to see if we have the support of
students on this issue.

Say it again

HE VOICE of experience would
T reason that the logical choice
for president in Monday and
Tuesday's LSA-SG elections is in-
cumbent president Michelle Tear,
who heads up the SAID party.
Tear is running on her record
:from last year, and while that
,record may be a bit spotty, she
remains the strongest candidate in
the field.
Tear's reelection bid is being op-
posed by Steve Herz of the Action
party and Keith Titen of the
CAUSE party. While both of the
challengers have presented some
interesting ideas for increasing the
effectiveness of the student gover-
nment, such as establishing TA
English proficiency standards and
publishing the LSA Journal more
regularly, neither of the candidates
has the degree of familiarity with
LSA administrators that Tear has.
Unfortunately, the single
greatest consumer of time and
energy in a student government is
the task of learning the intricacies
of the University administration.
While Herz gained some
familiarity with LSA bureaucracy
as a Daily reporter last year, he is
not as familiar as Tear with the
ann - 1.. nfl ml .nn a.. .-1. -- n nr

such a position because the Com-
mittee deals with tenure issues. As
a compromise, Tear has been
working to get a guarantee from
Steiner that students will be
guaranteed a spot on any policy-
making committee not dealing with
tenure.
Although Tear headed up the
drive that forced Steiner to take a
stand on the Executive Committee,
it doesn't seem that she has been
able to make much progress since
then.
On the other hand, both Herz and
Titen argue that the more students
can be involved in LSA-SG the
more effective it will be. They are
right, to an extent, that increased
involvement results in increased
credibility with the administration,
but not even additional student
weight can compensate for a lack
of intimate knowledge of the
bureaucracy.
Herz and Titen's point is well
taken, however, and no matter who
wins the election, he or she should
consider making LSA-SG more
visible.
The opportunity to have a student
government president run for a
- L._ . - _ _2 -

LETTERS:

Take Romper Room' off

To the Daily:
Whatever happened to the
movement to defund MSA?
After reading the latest issue of
the MSA Campus Report, any
reservations I had about the idea
were dispelled. One would think
that after being the target of

severe criticism for the past
month, MSA would attempt a
low-key profile for at least a mon-
th. Not so. Just the title "America
the Ugly" was offensive, not to
mention the article.
The Michigan Student Assem-
bly did not even report on any of

the issues it should be covering.
Remember campus security?
That issue should be paramount,
not SDI or apartheid. On what
issues did MSA actually report?
The SDI conference, apartheid,
divestment, and a rebirth of
paisley. Very impressive.

Racism alarms Asian community

the air
Allow me to set the record
straight. I elect a federal gover-
nment to take care of the nation
and foreign policy. I elect a state
government to run the Great
State of Michigan. And finally, I
elected (which I have come to
regret more and more with each
passing day) the Michigan
Student Assembly.hMSA constan-
tly oversteps its bounds. When
this group steals my five dollars
every semester, I can only expect
it to give a little attention to
issues that directly affect me as a
student. I cringe when I see the
funds squandered on the kinds of
indulgences in which MSA has
been floundering. I firmly believe
that MSA should be defunded,
allowing this session of Romper
Room to finally end.
-Steve Childs
November 4
hsr Rence Rreahiad A

To the Daily:
On Tuesday, October 29, a
member of the University's Asian
American Association was a vic-
tim of blatant racism. When he
went to study in his assigned (and
locked) carrel in the Graduate
Library, he noticed that his
Chinese-English dictionaries
were missing. Looking around
the carrel, he found written on
the wall above the desk, "You Die
Chinaman!" He then went down-
stairs to report the theft and the
racist threat. The dictionaries
were found in the library's Lost &

Vincent Chin in Detroit in 1982.
We do not expect the guilty party
to come forward, as racists are
usually cowards as well. We do,
however, intend to continue to
bring these incidents to light, as
they are not merely isolated
cases. As the University is
currently patting itself on the
back for increased minority
enrollment, the administration
and the student body alike should
realize that the stain of racism
continues to leave its mark on our
campus. Furthermore, we hope
R L(VbM "CO UNJTY

that 'American"a society will
finally realize that we too are
Americans, as the term
"American" is not a matter of
skin color but simply one of
citizenship, a status we achieved
generations ago.
-Theresa iHlaing
Linda Wan
Scott Wong
Paul Kim
This letter was cosigned by
fifteen members of the Asian
American Association.

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