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September 10, 1987 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-10

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Page 21 -The Michigan Daily, Thursday, September 10, 1987

MSA receives f

By MARTHA SEVETSON
A $7 student fee approved by the
University's Board of Regents this
summer to fund the Michigan
Student Assembly will allow MSA
to expand existing programs and -
for the first time - fund the Public
Interest Research Group i n
Michigan.
Although the new fee marks a 29
percent increase from last year's
budget, MSA officials were
disappointed that their initial $8.35
request was not approved.
The student body endorsed the 55
percent fee hike in the M S A
elections last March, but University
administrators recommended the
regents limit the increase to $7.
"WHEN (the Office of Student
Services) reviewed the various
programs and initiatives MSA had in
place and wished to bring into being,
we knew what they were requesting
was unrealistic," said Vice President
for Student Services Henry Johnson.
"We thought some of the programs
were duplications."
MSA President Ken Weine said
he was not surprised that the regents
supported the administration's
request. "That's indicative of the
University's decision-making
process," he said. "It's disappointing
that the administration and the board
will not recognize students' ability
to tax themselves."
In addition to establishing a
refundable fee system for PIRGIM,
the new MSA budget will include
funding for the internal MSA
budget, Student Legal Services, and
the Ann Arbor Tenants' Union.
"In terms of the services we
provided last year, (the fee) will not
hurt any of them," Weine said. "The
question is, to what extent can
services be improved and broadened?"
E A C H of the organizations

funded by MSA has asked for a
substantial increase, but the 300
percent increase requested by the
tenants' union and the new PIRGIM
fee will put the most pressure on
this year's budget.
Although the final budget
decisions cannot be made until the
full assembly returns in the fall,
Weine has asked each of the groups
MSA funds to resubmit funding
requests.
In the MSA election last March,
the student body approved a separate,
refundable fee of $1.25 for PIRGIM,
but that fee was strategically merged
with the assembly's own fee this
summer.
Although students may recover
the money if they do not want to
support the environmental group,
the amount will not appear as a
separate item on tuition bills.

0
inding 1
ACCORDING to Weine,
PIRGIM will receive between fifty
cents and $1 per student. He said the
fee will have to be high enough to
finance the refund system and prepare
PIRGIM for a probable lawsuit.
"We have to make sure the
contract with PIRGIM stipulates
that PIRGIM will pay for all of
MSA's legal services," Weine said.
Law students Steve Angelotti and
Randy LaVasseur - who spoke
against funding PIRGIM at the June
regents' meeting - confirmed
Weine's fears that a lawsuit is
imminent. They think the refundable
fee system is unconstitutional
because it forces students to pay the
fee even though they may not want
to.
After the board approved MSA's
See TENANTS, Page 14

ncrease

Weine
... disappointed by funding level

PIRGIM may face possible law suit

(Continued from Page 3)
Ken Weine estimates it will fall
between 50 cents and $1 per student.
This would provide between $12,000
and $25,000 for PIRGIM per term.
WEINE said that the fee system
must pay for the refund system as
well as legal assistance for the
expected lawsuit.
According to Hyslop, this
funding will be used to sponsor a
voter registration drive, to help the
NationalStudent CampaignAgainst
Hunger, and to tackle environmental
issues.
"We haven't set our agenda yet
for next year," Hyslop said. The
PIRGIM board of directors will meet
in September to propose issues for
the group to take up.
"We will pick a number of
(issues) depending on human

resources, funding, and time,"
Hyslop said. "We don't want to start
a huge project if we think we can't
go through with it."
The student-run group canvasses
the southeastern part of the state for
funds, conducts research on current
environmental issues such.as toxic
waste, and lobbies legislators to

bottle law.
Although Hyslop expects 10,000
students to ask for a refund when the
option appears on the SVF winter
term, she said the number will
shrink as PIRGIM refocuses on
environmental issues such as toxic
waste, and lobbies legislators to
change environmental law.

'Even under the refund mechanism, a student would be
forced to ask for his refund.'
- Randy LaVasseur, University law student.

Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Suspicious Fire
Ann Arbor Fire Department officials are still looking for the cause of a
blaze that gutted parts of the Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity last July.

change environmental law.
The group was one of several
lobbying organizations whose efforts
helped to initiate the Michigan

The group was one of several
lobbying organizations whose efforts
helped to initiate the Michigan
bottle law.
Awareness

FROM (
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Weth5 ago ad on Julbusy
10 for t~~l be
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lectures,
condoms
(Continued from Page 2S)
She also said instances of AIDS
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to rise.
Both Briefer and Paulson said
they have had had to contend with
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