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February 09, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-09

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Monday, February 9, 1987

The Michigan Daily j

-1

I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII,.No. 92 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Consider foreign policy

LETTERS:
Where are the computers?

THE CURRENT PETITION AFOOT
To prevent the Michigan Student
Assembly from passing resolutions
regarding foreign affairs is
misguided. Opponents argue that
Assembly members are unable to
represent the students on foreign
policy because these issues are not
considered during the campaign
process. In this case it is the
campaigns, not the agenda of MSA
meetings, that should change.
It would be irresponsible of
MSA to eliminate the discussion of
international issues to focus solely
on University or students' rights
issues. Matters of foreign policy
are often areas of University
involvement and of concern to
students.
Students have the right to ask the
Assembly to pass resolutions
against University investment in
South Africa or the United States
involvement in Vietnam. The
students need to articulate their
views on the war in Afghanistan,
the Arab-Israeli conflict, and aid to
the contras just to name a few.
These are issues of student
concern, to which active

individuals will want to use all
means at their disposal.
The core of the problem is the
representativeness of the members
of the Assembly. Along with
student rights, foreign policy must
become an issue during the
campaigns.
MSA's legitimacy comes into
question because only 15 percent
or less of students vote in MSA
elections. If candidates to the
Assembly add issues to their
campaign platforms and voter turn
out increases, the legitimacy of its
actions will increase. Simply
barring international concerns from
the agenda solves nothing.
MSA needs to return to its roots
through more widely publicized
(perhaps more frequent) elections,
publication of its proposals before
the meetings, and open forum
events such as a table in the
Fishbowl and meetings in dorms.
Rather than limiting the forum to
the contentions of its members, the,
Assembly needs to remain open to
discuss all issues of student
concern.

Don't egg him on

LAST WEDNESDAY, STUDENTS
protested outside the Lawyers Club
in response to Edwin Meese's
prejudicial actions as Attorney
General. At the protest, students
threw eggs and snow balls at the
government officials. If the protest
had remained more peaceful, the
message would have been clearer.
While hitting Meese with eggs
does not give him credence, it does
make people laugh at the protestors
and forget that Meese is trying to
deprive everyone of his or her
rights.
Holding a defendant guilty
before proven innocent, Meese
desires to overturn the Miranda
ruling. This would relieve police
of the duty to inform the accused of
his or her rights which Meese
claims allows criminals to go free.
The media capitalized on eggs
and snowballs rather than on the
hypocrisy of Meese serving as an
expert on the Constitution. The
danger the snow balls and eggs

presented, however, is
meaningless, in -relation- to the
greater harms Meese inflicts on
society.
Judging by the heterogeneous
crowd Wednesday, it is clear that
Meese has offended a broad
cross-section of the University
community.
The actions of the few people
who threw eggs and snowballs
prevented the students of the
University from adequately
conveying their message to the
nation. The media covered the
more sensational side of the protest
rather than presenting the students
with a forum for political
expression.
Some degree of control -
avoiding violence - is necessary if
the nation is going to hear the voice
of the students. Students should
promote understanding of their
position rather than give the
sensational media a chance to
misrepresent them.

To The Daily:
This letter is query about
the cost of the student-access
microcomputers at U of M. I
am not a student here (I go to
school at Michigan Tech), but
the charges made to students
for computer usage seem so
outrageous that I felt compelled
to write.
It has come to my attention
that each student attending U of
M must pay a $100 computer
fee. If we are to assume a
student body of 30,000, that
gives the University
$3,000,000 each term to use
for student-access micros.
What does this amount cover?
Let's assume that each of the
twelve computer centers around
campus must be staffed twenty-
four hours a day by two
employees, each of whom is
paid $5.00 an hour. Each week
this comes to $10,080 in
labor. Assuming 15 weeks to
a school term, the University
must pay $151,200 to
computer center supervisors.
This leaves $2,848,800 for
maintenance and expansion of
the facilities each term.
Where are these machines?
Obviously they're needed; I just
read (Daily 11/25) that students
are standing in line for hours to
use the micros they're paying
so much to have access to.
Granted, the University is
consideringorderingaanother
350 machines for Fall of '87.
In the mean tinme, students are
being charged outrageously for
very little service.
Consider, also, the charges
being made to the students. If
a student saved the $100 fee
each tem, he or she could buy
a passable computer system
within 2-4 terms. Although it
wouldn't be state-of-the-art, it
sould be perfectly functional
for must student uses
(especially word-processing).
As an added attraction, the
computer would belong to the
studentand would be available
for use at any time. The
student would get much better
service for less money in the
long run.
Another concern is students
who for some reason or other
don't use the micros. Perhaps
a student already owns a
computer, or perhaps he or she
doesn't care to learn how to use
one. Why are students in this
situation forced to pay the fees
along with students who make
heavy use of the machines?
Universities often complain
about budget concerns; surely
they must realize that money is
at least as tight for students as
it is for Administration! A
better solution to student-
access micros might be similar
to what Michigan Tech has
done: offer microcomputers for
sale to student at reduced
prices, and have modest
student-access facilities
available for those who don't
care to own a computer.
Charge a modest fee (MTU
charges $10 per term) for use
of the public facilities, and
only charge this to students
who actually use the
University-owned equipement.

This works out better for the
students who only have to pay
for as much as they actually
use.
A final problem is that of
the line-drivers installed lin
every dorm room. These
devices are wonderful; I wish
Michigan Tech would install
some for its students. The
problem lies in the cost. I can
almost see the $15 monthly
service charge. It seems a bit
much to ask for such a system
($5 seems much more
reasonable), but I can
understand the need for a

maintendance charge. The $35
installation fee is utterly
preposterous, though! What
does the student get for the
$35? The privelege of walking
to the Nortlh University
Building and picking up a
connecting cable, then
installing it himself. The data
lines are already installed in the
rooms; why can' t the students
use them without paying
additional money for the
privilege? I agree that the
University is entitled to make
up its investment in the lines
somehow, but it seems that
that amount should be much
less than $35 per student each
year. Are you trying to
completely pay off the
University's investment in one
year? A better way, it seems,
would be to have a single
charge: a rental fee each
month on the line drivers.
Build
To The Daily:
February is here, and that
means quiate a few different
things. Unfortunately, one is
hunting for a place to live. As
I have been traveling from one
realty "management" company
to another, I am continually
astounded by the outlandish
rents. $1500 for a four
bedroom house on Greenwood.
$680 for a two bedroom
basement ("garden view" she
said) apartment. But then my
amazement turned slowly to
realization as my knowledge of
economics returned to my
brain.
The landlords (slumlords)
have aemonopoly! I have to
live here as I am a student.
Sure, the rent's low in Dexter,
but it's kindpof a long walk. I
have no choice but to bend
over and take it from these
profiteering twits. They get
the gold mine and I/we get the
shaft.
Yes Officer, I
know I did
To The Daily:
First, let me state that I am
guilty. I " ride my bicycle
through the stop sign at the
corner of 'East & South
University Streets at 9:40 am 2
February 1987. And just as
Officer Dave Feeley (Badge No.
023) of the Ann Arbor Police
Department assured me, I was
in strict disobedience of civil
code chapter 127 10:173 (5).
These facts I do not dispute.
I am simply writing this
letter because as a member of
the University of Michigan
community I wish to warn any
or all bicycle riders: run a stop
sign ,and it will cost you $30.
Officer Feeley didn't actually
know the amount of the ticket
when he gave it to me. Maybe
he would have let me off with
a warning, since this was my
first offense. I must admit I
was a little terrified, being
forced over by Ann Arbor's
finest, in a squad car replete
with flashing lights and
honking horn.

Let me assure anyone who
chuckles at Ann Arbor's five
dollar marijuana five: these
guys are serious about bicycle
infractions! Those who
commit any of the 48 offenses
listed in chapter 127 can be
fined up to $100.
Finally, I must state that
after four years of driving and
riding in Boston, Ann Arbor is
a cyclist's and motorist's
paradise. I can't blame Officer
Feeley if he has no real crimes
to subvert.
James R. Klaiber
February 3

This fee (which should be low
to encourage the use of
computers) can include
maintenance on the lines and
charges to eventually pay off
the cost of the line drivers over
the course of several years.
The student who owns his
or her own computer is really
in a financial delemma. The
line drivers are wonderful high-
speed communication devices
that make working with
outside computers a real
pleasure. The cost, although
high, can almost be justified
by theusefulness of the
network. But can it be
justified on top of the
mandatory computer fee that all
students must pay? After all,
isn't one of the services offered
by the student-access micros
access to UMnet? Paying
$195 each term for computer
usage seems ridiculous,

-Steven P. King
November 26

A

student housing

What can we do?? Nothing
alone, and even a well
organized student group may be
unable to affect any change!
(Superman, where are you??)
"Blasphemy!" you say, "well
organized students can do
anything (i.e. stop the war in
Central America)." The
problem here is that the
landlords were organized first
and have institutionalized their
interest, i.e. they sit on the
city council and hence
determine the zoning laws.
And, as far as my limited
understanding goes, these laws
prohibit the building of any
apartment building over three
stories.

Obviously, rent control is
one solution, but an easier,
simpler one is the construction
of one or two more high rise
student dwellings. By 4
repealing these restrictive
ordinances, and promoting
construction, we could make
more housing available and
lower all our rents. If
Dunderstadt and the University
really wish to improve student
life, this would be the most
well defined issue that affects
the most students, and
therefore, the logical place to
start.
-John Tinberg
February 6

considering that one can almost
buy a low-end computer
system for that price. Besides,
a modem will work, albeit
slowly, over the voice lines for
no additonal cost. With all
this in mind, the line-driver fee
can hardly be justified by the
student.

In conclusion, I would like
to say that computers (both
micros and networks like
UMnet) can be invaluable aids
for students. However, the
amount U of M charges for
their use seems to outweigh
the benefits most students
would recieve. Computers and
computer access should be
priced as low as possible to
allow all students to reap the
full benefis of such systems.

I

Allow CDLA circulation

To The Daily:
Your page two article (Daily
1/30/87) on the destruction of
the Coalition for Democracy in
Latin America's (CDLA)
newsletter was interesting
reading for many people who
have worked with the Latin
Amnerican Solidarity Com-
mittee (LASC) over the last
several years. While we regret
than anyone would destroy the
CDLA newsletter, we find it
difficult to see this incident as
newsworthy, in light of other
events taking place on campus.
LASC has been forced to
accept vandalism of our
material as a matter of course.
Our posters are usually torn
down as fast as we can put
them up (in fact one prominent
CDLA member once
proclaimed that tearing down
our posters was part of his
right to free expression).
Furthermore, as a group and as
private individuals we have
been subjected to a constant
barrage of harassing, obscene,
Borowsk
To The Daily:
In response to Gillion
Goldsmith (Daily, 2/27/87)
I'm usually not one to continue
a fight
But to all you New Yorkers:
Borowsky is right!
Or at least let's allow him his
given opinion
As he slanders your "noisy
obnoxious" dominion.
While "The City" is part of my
vacation plans
I think I'll steer clear of your
noted sports fans.
The Giant's and Met's fans

and threatening phone calls, the
participant of one being the
CDLA president.
We certainly hope that the
CDLA is not hindered in its
efforts- to distribute its
material. After all, there istno
better way to expose the
abusrdity of their arguments
than to have people read them.
It's hard, for example, to take a
paper seriously that discusses
the Salvadorian government 4
without mentioning that its
military has killed 60,000 of
its own poeople and forced
1.25 million to flee their
homes. This is the equivalent
in scale of 2.9 million U.$.
citizens killed and 60 million
made refugees. We do find it
odd, however, that petty
harassment of a right-wing
group should be a major
concern to the Michigan Daily
or to campus, while the
harassment of progressive
groups is accepted as the norm.
-Bonnie Nevel
January 31

Fight racism in housing

O N JANUARY 27, WHILE A
GROUP of black women were
having a meeting in a Couzens
residence hall lounge, a racist, flier
was slipped under the door. It
announced the beginning of a hunt
against blacks and used a variety of
pejorative terms.
The flier reveals the prevalence
of racism and prejudice in our
society. Apathy and prejudice
prevail on the corridors of the
dorms. Though housing attempts
to hire students sensitive to
minority concerns, the resident
advisors and resident directors
frequently fail to promote
compassion, understanding, and
respect. Student resident staff often
do not receive adequate training to
increase majority student sensitivity
to minority student struggles.
Incidents like the one at Couzens
have occurred before. A
wntrm-ln unc ce-,t-d nin ct n

this large, co-educational and
liberal arts institution are 'the
pits'..." according to the Detroit
Free Press.
Housing educates student staff
once or twice a year on
minority/majority interaction.
Clearly, this is not enough.
The black-white forum which
took place in Couzens after the
incident is not a solution to the
problem. Housing's professional
staff should work toward long term
educational goals rather than
expediently placating minority
students' outrage following
offensive, racist incidents.
Goals should include concrete
measures to increase majority
student sensitivity and to decrease
value judgements based on
differences. This will allow
minority students the opportunity
to revel in a common history and

y is right
Borowsky insulted
Have proven their nature in
threats that resulted.
His rude editorial shots were
unfounded,
But does he deserve to have his
skull pounded?
"The City," for me, is Denver
or San Fran.
Where one musn't carry a
gun in his hand.
'I love New York" (and I'm
pretty selective!)
But let Mark Borowsky express
his perspective.

4

I

-J. Brunberg
February 2

The Daily is looking for people with car-
toons, collages and other graphic works.
Call 747-2814.

.4

iw wv

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