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December 06, 1988 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-06
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l A-l A doIL

i Ah i AM

2 U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER

News Features NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1988

s. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1988 Student Body

U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPEF

Credit
Continued From Page 1
taurants than she could afford, Jennifer
found herself $1,000 in debt and with-
out means to pay her bills.
As bills piled up, the pressures took
their toll. She avoided phone calls and
bill notices. She stopped attending clas-
ses, and her grades. slipped. "It affected
me to the point where I stopped caring
about everything," she said.
Jennifer finally broke down and told
her parents, who were empathetic and
helped lift some of the financial burden.
But Jennifer is still paying the price for
her prodigal spending by sitting out a
semester and working at a local res-
taurant to set her finances straight.
Students often wait until it's too late
to tell their parents, said Kathleen Hen-
nessey, an associate professor of busi-
ness at Texas Tech U. who counsels stu-
dents in debt and negotiates with their
creditors.
"They're away from home for the first
time and trying to prove their independ-
ence," Hennessey said. "Students some-
times feel like failures when they be-
come snowed-under in debt, but only
end up making things worse."
Although there can be many reasons,
some say lack of discipline is the most
prevalent cause for runaway debt.
Gary Carman, an SWT finance pro-
fessor, said it all comes down to budget-
ing. "You've just got to discipline your-
self when you're on a limited budget," he
said. "It's hard to do when people are
shoving plastic at you."
Carman said unless students are
financing their education with credit,
which is an investment, those with a
limited income should "just say no" to
credit cards.
But credit card companies don't make
saying no easy.
Eager to latch onto customers who
will continue to use their cards after
graduation and usually have much big-
ger incomes, credit card issuers see col-
lege students as their future.

Crime pays off for death row researcher

Student's documentary
captures personal side
of capital punishment
By April Eubanks
The Daily Texan
U. of Texas, Austin
"Is it justice or vengeance?" - a fun-
damental question regarding capital
punishment - is the topic of Eye for an
Eye, an hour-long documentary by a U.
of Texas, Austin (UT) student.
The video, which was shown on cam-
pus this fall, is the master's thesis of
Craig Duff, a radio-television-film
graduate student.
Duff said the title represents "an in-
quiry into the line of scripture brought
up and used as the predominant argu-
ment for capital punishment."
"Is it really an eye for an eye - is it
justice or vengeance?" he asked.
Although both sides of the issue are
represented, the video focuses on four
families of Texas death row inmates
and the efforts of people working toward
the abolishment of capital punishment.
"We know and understand the grief of
the families of murder victims - we
understand the tragic loss," he said.
But many people do not realize "the
inmates' families are experiencing simi-
lar grief," he said. "They're not execut-

Craig Duff interviewed families of death row inmates for his documentary.

ing animals - there is a group of people
who love them, and if there isn't then
it's even more of a shame."
Duff said he first began thinking ab-
out capital punishment after listening
to a minister at the funeral of one of his
friends who was raped, strangled to
death and thrown into a river.
The minister compared the murder-
er, who was never apprehended, to a

wild animal and said he should be put to
death, Duff said. "I began to look into it,
to see if it really is equitable - are they
really no better than animals?"
Duff said he does not expect the
documentary to change people's posi-
tion on the issue.
"If people watch the documentary and
still believe in capital punishment, fine,
but I want people to think," he said.

Posting grades
creates debate on
privacy invasion
By Kendra Brown
The Alligator
U. of Florida
Many professors, who for years
have posted grades by Social
Security numbers, may be break-
ing a 14-year-old law that pro-
tects student privacy.
Administrators say the law
isn't clearly defined. Many stu-
dents don't know the law exists,
and many professors and stu-
dents agree that when given a
choice, posting grades using So-
cial Security numbers is the most
convenient method.
But the government can cut
federal funds to universities that
fail to enforce the 1974 Buckley
Amendment that prohibits in-
stitutions from publicizing a stu-
dent's personal information - in-
cluding grades - without student
consent.
"It is so risky for an institution
to violate (the Buckley Amend-
ment)," said attorney Harry
Lewis, of Holland and Knight law
firm in Miami. "I'm surprised
they're even venturing into a gray
area."
The confusion arises over
whether or not posting Social
Security numbers with grades
violates student privacy. Lewis
said the law is not broken if the
student is the only one who knows
his or her Social Security number
- but that can't be guaranteed.
Gene Hemp, U. of Florida
academic affairs associate vice
president, said he doesn't think
there's a problem here.
"I don't think the university is
in any danger of losing any fund-
ing," Hemp said. "When we find
someone doing it, it is corrected.
"Most people do it for conveni-
ence. It's done well-intentioned,
but wrong," he said.

4

Plus-minus
Continued From Page 2

rt

"Then when you do have a system
that is finely divided, the typical com-
plaint is that the numbers suggest a
fine gradation that doesn't really exist."
In a letter to liberal arts faculty last
fall, College of Liberal Arts Associate
Dean James Lindberg highlighted spe-
cific policies governing the new system,
including the following:
The use of the plus-minus system is
optional. Departments and individual
faculty are free to use the old system or
the new system, but must apply the
same system to all students in a given
class.
The grading system used by an in-
structor must be the same for all sec-
tions of multi-section courses.
An instructor should announce at
the beginning of the semester the grad-
ing system to be used.
Grades of'D-' will be counted as pas-
sing grades toward collegiate require-
ments. For courses taken pass/nonpass,
grades of'C-' or better will count as pas-
sing.
Recommended grade distributions
for larger courses in the College of
Liberal Arts will remain the same.

According to UI Collegiate Associa-
tions Council President Gordon Fis-
cher, student leaders are concerned the
new system will lead to a deflation of
grades and an overall decrease in stu-
dents' grade point averages.
"I'm really concerned about the
effects that plus-minus grading will
have," Fischer said. "I think that both
top students and students who are bare-
ly scraping by will be hurt.
"Even with the 'A +,' I felt top stu-
dents' GPAs will gradually decrease,"
Fischer said. "And the implementation
of the new system will really hurt those
who are barely getting by. They will
probably have trouble graduating be-
cause they're usually the ones getting
the minuses."
The major negative aspect noted at
other universities (which recently
added the plus-minus marks to their
grading systems) was a tendency for
students at the very top to have slightly
lower GPAs, said James Lindberg,
associate dean for academic programs
of the UI College of Liberal Arts.
However, the UI's system "explicitly
includes an 'A+±'to guard against any
tendency to lower the GPAs of students
at the very top," he said.
Hilery Livengood contributed to this
story.

Grad thesis explores personalities of sex offenders

Grading system
rates a 'minus'
at U. of Kansas
Students and faculty at the U.
of Kansas aredebating the use of
plus-minus grading in the College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
"There hasn'tabeen enough re-
searchdoneson a national level,
and the college hasn't done any-
thing to add to that," said William
Bayne, president of Students
Against the Plus-Minus Grading
System.
Bayne also said he was dis-.
turbed that many students we-
ren't aware of the grading policy
change.
Lloyd Sponholtz, director of
undergraduate studies in history,
said he was against the plus-
minus system because of the lack
of uniformity.
"Ah'B ±'in one class is a B in
another," Sponholtz said. "Also, it
will make it hard for students
competing for scholarships with
students from other schools that
don't have the system."
Grace Hobson, The University Daily
Kansan, U. of Kansas

"It's a big moneymaker overall," Car-
man said. "That kind of money is expen-
sive."
American Express and most other
card issuers allow students to get
around income and employment re-
quirements by counting other sources of
money, such as financial aid, student
loans or allowances from parents. The
card issuers usually don't impose any
extra restrictions - such as lower
spending limits - on cards to students.
"We try to sign up as many as we can,"
said Susan Weeks, a spokeswoman for
Citibank, which issues both Visa and
MasterCard accounts to students. In
the past two years, Citibank has
attracted 1.3 million students as credit
card customers.
Card issuers say students default at
about the same rate and some are even
more responsible than other adult card
holders. "I think they view (credit cards)
as a symbol of adulthood and are reluc-
tant to shirk that responsibility," said
Betsy Ludlow, vice president for new
accounts at American Express.
Though no specific financial counsel-
ing service exists at SWT, a personal

\C
w-
C'
finance course is being offered for the
first time this semester. And other cam-
puses are trying new ways to help stu-
dents in debt. Financial aid counselors
at Indiana U., Bloomington, give
budget-planning workshops in dormi-
tories, while Iowa State U.'s student
government funds a financial-planning
clinic in Ames, Iowa, run by trained stu-
dent counselors.
All too often, though, the counseling
comes too late. At the U. of California,
Los Angeles, about 35 percent of stu-
dents asking for additional financial aid
over the past two years said they needed
it to cover credit card bills, said counsel-
ing supervisor John Hoyt.
Counselors said part of the problem
begins at home. Students see their pa-
rents use credit cards but don't see the
bills they pay, said Jerry W. Lewis,
president of Consumer Credit Counsel-
ing Service of suburban Chicago.
In the end, many students learn the
hard way and are wiser as a result. Jen-
nifer said learning to live within a
budget has made her less materialistic.
"It's changed my attitude about things,"
she said.

College students
should establish
good credit early
By Grace Hobson
The University Daily Kansan
U. of Kansas .
Establishing a healthy credit rat
is necessary for students if they wan
get loans or jobs after graduation,
with the deluge of credit card off
students may feel a bit overwhelme
There are several ways to estabf
credit, according to Arnold Feinbe
general manager of the Credit Bur
of Lawrence Inc. He suggests the
lowing:
Have a parent co-sign on a cre
card or a loan application.
Take out a student loan.
Work for a year, then apply
credit.
Open a checking or savings acco
to prove money manageability.
Terri Pippert, assistant vice pr
dent in the consumer loan office of F
National Bank of Lawrence, Kan., s
students should be careful when ch(
ing a credit card.
Some things to look for when sort
out credit card applications, accord
to Pippert:
Cards that don't have transact
fees, which are charges for every pu
ase made.
Cards offering 18 percent or lov
annual interest rates.
Cards that allow a grace period
which interest is charged on purcha
when they are not paid for in full at
end of the month.
The best type of credit card is
proprietary credit card, which is a c,
usable only in one store, said Ha
Paper, vice president of KBC Card
vice in Wichita, Kan. These cards li
the temptation to overspend to
store.

Reject
Continued From Page 1
tions are shocked to receive letters
rejection, even after a seemingly s
cessful interview.
"Most of the time, it just comes d(
to numbers and how many positions
available," said Linda Weiss, associ
director of the placement center.
recommends getting feedback from
company.
Student rejection is also felt at
social level. The Greek system's r
process is the ultimate form of stud
marketing and perhaps the harsh
form of rejection. But social reject
can be the best way to learn to sell c
self better.
"When you get your heart set
something and then it is taken awa:
is an emotional blow. To some, it i
crisis," said Counselor-in-Reside
(CIR) Julie Reighter.
"Turn to a person you know will
ten," Reighter suggested. "A resid
adviser, a CIR, or even a close friend
be helpful."
The most important thing stude
should remember is to talk about tl
feelings, she said, because later in 1
the rejection felt in college can be a vE
able experience.

By Kym Smith
The Gamecock
U. of South Carolina
Seth Kalichman doesn't look like a
person in the habit of locking himself
in a room with 30 convicted sex offen-
ders. But this U. of South Carolina
(USC) graduate student does it for his
psychology dissertation.
Kalichman hopes that by teaching
in the Central Correctional Institute
(CCI) in Columbia, S.C., and by re-
searching the personalities of sex
offenders, he can find a way to stop
these criminals, who usually repeat

their crimes.
About 15 to 18 inmates take his
psychology courses as part of a bache-
lor of arts degree in interdisciplinary
studies offered by USC. He also runs
personality tests on sex offenders who
volunteer to be involved.
"The average rapist will rape 12
times before he is caught and will
probably not be incarcerated. Studies
also show that the common child
molester will get between 80 to 90
children before being caught," Kalich-
man said. "They repeat these crimes
once released."

Kalichman is testing a theory that
makes a distinction between rapists
who rape because they are angry and
those who rape because of a compul-
sion to overpower another person.
Kalichman said his dissertation
will be the first to provide evidence for
this categorization. His research also
helps social workers administer
treatment in S.C. prisons.
Because program participation is
voluntary, there is no way to reach all
offenders, Kalichman said. Funding
problems also affect the program's
effectiveness, he said.

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