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September 10, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-10

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Thursday, September 10, 1987'

Page 4

The Michigan Daily'


01re fdCtIgan 1tWI
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Keeping up with the Browns

Vol. XCVIII, No. 1

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.
Move in on tenant rights

of inexperienced tenants. Working knowledge
of city and state laws which govern landlord-
tenant relationships can prevent the majority of
potential abuses.
. Landlords are obligated to provide tenants
with a copy of the Tenants Right's handbook
published by the city. Failure is punishable by
a fine as large as $500 dollars, but it is
incumbent upon the tenant to complain to the
.city Housing Inspection Bureau.
" Many buildings in Ann Arbor do not meet
the housing code due to lack of maintenance or
fire code violations. If the landlord is un-
willing to improve the situation students can
call the Housing Inspection Bureau.
- Late fees.for overdue rent are considered
contract penalties which are illegal in the state
of Michigan. The courts typically allow a late
fee of 5 to 10 dollars, but tenants should
contest any larger amount.
. The security deposit cannot exceed 1 1/2
months rent including the last month's rent if it
is asked for in advance. If the landlord charges
too much deposit, either ask for it back or
move in and deduct it from the next rent
" As soon as possible after moving in the
tenant should compile a list of damages and
assess the condition of the premises.
Landlords are obligated to provide two copies
of an inventory checklist covering all the parts
of the building that the landlord owns. Many
lists are incomplete, so tenants should be sure
to write in anything not on the list and keep a
-Tenants have the obligation of reporting to
the landlord problems that require repair.
Tenants should write the request as soon as
possible and keep a copy.
. Landlords are obligated to present the
tenants with a clean, habitable residence at the
beginning of the lease. The landlord must pay
for the inital cleaning.
. If the tenants are responsible for paying the
heat, city law requires the landlord to caulk

and weather strip all doors and windows and
insulate the attic. Failure to weatherize is
grounds for withholding rent and a complaint
should be filed with the Housing Inspection
. Landlords do not have the right to enter a
tenants residence without reasonable advanced
notice, usually stipulated by the lease.
Landlords use a variety of tactics to
manipulate tenants into paying for repairs and
giving up their rights. Threats of eviction,
filing in court to sue without following
through, and lying about the content of the law
are common occurrences.
Tenants should not pay for anything that
improves or maintains the upkeep of property.
After all, it is the landlord who will enjoy the
benefits of painting, construction or repairs
after the lease is terminated.
This includes labor. Tenants need not agree
to improvements where the landlord pays for
materials, but does not compensate for tenants'
If a landlord does not perform required
repairs or agreed upon improvements, then the
tenants can withhold the rent. A letter
containing a complete list of grievences should
be sent by certified mail to the landlord in lieu
of the rent. The rent should either be put into
escrow at a bank or into a separate savings
account until the issue is resolved.
There are campus and community service
organizations tenants can turn to for aid.
Student Legal Services
3409 Michigan Union

ONCE AGAIN THE University regents have
increased tuition. This year, the hike will be
8.4 percent for in-state students and 9.7 percent
for non-Michigan residents. As this cost con-
tinually increases, two things are apparent -
little regard is given by the administration to the
plight of financially-strapped students, and in-
creased tuition merely exacerbates several al-
ready serious problems on campus.
Tuition has steadily increased during the
1980s, except in the few years when Governor
Blanchard forced the University to accept in-
state tuition freezes. The truth is that without
state pressure, tuition hikes are routinely
passed. This fact demonstrates that the
administration considers students to be an
inexhaustible supply of funds to fill budget
gaps, and little consideration is given to those
adversely affected by such hikes. Indeed, Vice
president of Academic Affairs James Duder-
stadt has even termed in-state tuition "almost a
non-entity." Such a position by the provost
reveals an attitude completely out of touch with
the financial realities of many students.
A major problem with the tuition increase is
the adverse effects it will have on minority
representation at the University. Minorities
have generally been a low-income group, and
thousands of dollars in tuition represent a
serious economic barrier to those whose finan-
cial resources are not what the Provost's are.
What good does it do to commit the University
to increasing the number of minority students
and then erect formidable economic obstacles
that prevent their attendance?
In addition to the problem high tuition creates
for minorities, tuition hikes facilitate the spirit

of elitism which now permeates the campus. A
survey conducted by the University's Office of
Academic Planning and Analysis revealed that
17 percent of first-year students in 1986 re;
ported their yearly income to be over'
$100,000. This is compared to 8 percent of
families making under $20,000 per year. This.4
year's tuition hike will only magnify the-
disparities amongst the student body, and may
force out the remaining "few" who have diffy
iculty affording the costs.
Another reality of the annual tuition increase"
is that many students who attend Michigan-
will, upon graduation, leave the University
burdened with debt. During the 1985-86
academic year, students borrowed $34.5
million to finance their Michigan education.
Such indebtedness will only increase as tuition
The American Council on Education has
shown that college tuition has not increased
proportionally with inflation, but in fact has'
surpassed it. Tuition is 250 percent higher than4
in 1972, with inflation controlled for.
The standard reason given by the,
administration for rising costs is that these are
necessary to compete with the Ivy League;
schools. The problem with this line of
reasoning is simply this: Ivy League school'
are private while Michigan is a public insti,
tution. As a public university, the primary
focus of the administration should be to educate
its constituents, not keep up with the Browns,
The constituents of Michigan are the citizens of.
the state, and it is wrong to finance "academic
competition" with the Ivy League via the
pocketbooks of Michigan students.

Struggle for a racist-free


The Ann Arbor
4001 Michigan

Tenants Union

Housing Inspection Bureau
city hall
Legal Services of Southeastern
(Washtenaw Countly Legal Aid)
420 N. Fourth Avenue

IN THE SPRING OF 1987, racism at th e
University of Michigan made national
headlines. Students were angered by a climate
of racism on campus. In addition to the
institutional racism practiced by the University,
a string of so-called "isolated" racist incidents
on campus fueled student unrest. These
incidents included threats of violence and
bodily harm against Black students, the
displaying of a Klu Klux Klan uniform in a
dormitory, physical and verbal abuse directed
against Black, Asian, and gay students; a racist
flier delivered to a group of Black women
students which used a variety of derogatory
expressions, declaring "open season" on
Blacks; and the airing of vulgar racist jokes
over a campus radio station by a student disc
The reluctance of the University ad-
ministration to deal in a credible way with the
issue of racism on campus, required that
students take the initiative and mount vigo-
rous, sustained demonstrations.
The United Coalition Against Racism
(UCAR), a multi-racial student umbrella
organization formed to combat racism on
campus in all its forms. UCAR was joind in
protest by the Black Action Movement III
(BAM). UCAR issued twelve demands to the
University to create a safe, diversified
environment for all students. BAM issued its
own set of 12 demands, one of them calling for
the University to accept the UCAR demands.
After several weeks of insufficient response
from University President Harold Shapiro, the
Reverend Jesse Jackson stepped in as a
mediator and managed to commit the
administration to a partial implementation of the
UCAR demands.

The University pledged to increase Black
enrollment to 10 percent, which accuretely
reflects the proportion of Blacks in the
population. Shapiro agreed to commit the
University to a series of reforms. The creation
of a Vice provost for minority affairs is one of
them. However, there are significant UCARl
demands which have yet to be satisfactorily
addressed. These demands include tuition wai-
vers for all under-represented minorities until
equitable representation is achieved; the ful
observance - with cancellation of classes
of Dr. Martin Luther King Day; a mandatory
workshop on racism and "diversity; and a re
quired course on bigotry, diversity, an;1
cultural differences.
It is important that the University fulfill its
commitments. Its record of minority
enrollment, minority attrition, and the hiring of
minority faculty is shameful. The UCAR ani1
BAM III protests demonstrated that students
are unwilling to support an institution which
closes its eyes and turns its back to the needs
and aspirations of minorities. If the
administration is entertaining the thought that
concern over minority issues is a passing fad, it
is in for a rude awakening. Returning students
must stand ready to take up the battle again,
and welcome the strength of numbers incoming
students will provide.
If you can't say anything nice, write for the
Opinion page.. Seriously folks, the Opinion
page is looking for writers who are interested
in the latest national and local news issues.
Call 747-2814 or drop by the Daily and ask for
Henry or Peter.

Fight for your rights:
explode the code

THE ADMINISTRATION wants to-impose a
code of nonacademic conduct on the student
body despite consistent and overwhelming
objection from both students and faculty.
Under a code, the University will be able to
punish students for their nonacademic actions.
The code will establish academic sanctions
against students for actions that are either illegal
or simply not condoned by the University.
Accused students could be subjected to
prosecution and possible punishment from both
University and civil courts. This violates the
legal protection against "double jeopardy,"
which insures against having to prove one's
innocence twice. Students acquited in civil
court could still be pronounced guilty by the
University's kangaroo court. The code also
violates a basic tenant of U. S. law, "innocent
until proven guilty," since students could be
punished before or without legal proceedings.
Already, the University has tried to punish
students and faculty for their conduct. During
the summer the regents attempted to withhold
emeritus status from a professor because of
offensive political remarks he had made thirteen
years ago; they had to reverse their actions.
under vehement protests from faculty and the
American Civil Liberties Union. Similarly,

Recently, the University attempted to have a
"trial" for certain students who admitted to
perpetrating various racist attacks. These
persons should have been criminally charged.
Instead, the University chose to usurp the
county judicial system by acting as judge and
jury. In the "trial" the students were to have
been stripped of their constitutional rights.
Essentially, the University had already found
them guilty. Extensive student protest last
April forced the University to postpone the trial
indefinitely, though it will probably occur this
fall. Further protest is needed to make the
University realize that their power is not
absolute and that all people, including students,
deserve a fair and just trial. And it is protest,
just like what occured last April, that may be
punishable under a code of nonacademic
conduct. Once such a code is enacted, student
will be caught in a catch-22 where any op-
position to the code will be punishable under it.
Aside from protest, and certain illegal
activities, the University officials do not
condone activities which are legal. For
example, premarital sex, homosexual behavior,
having candles and hot plates, and eating three
meals a day are now prohibitted in the housing
and meal contracts, or in public pro-


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