m U. THE NATIONAL COL =GE NEWSPAPER
Dollars and Se a SEPTEMBER 1989
SEPTEMBER 1989 Life aArt
0 U. THE NATIONAL CC#EGE NEWSPAPER 13
Low-income student starts support group
By Cynthia Beckwith
U Daily Maine Campus
U. of Maine
Something strange happens to
students when they reach their
junior year. All at once upperclass-
men become fair game for every
bank, gas company and department
store that exists (or subsists).
Soon your mailbox overflows with
credit card offers: sign on the dotted
line and you get the credit card, plus
a free trip to anywhere in the conti-
nental United States! Or return the
detachable portion and receive 10
free gallons of gas (void where pro-
Of course, they also send you a
wonderful letter that tells you how
this offer is good for only the next
two days and how you must estab-
lish your credit NOW! before you
graduate. Heaven knows that you
don't want to graduate without own-
ing at least 10 or 15 pieces of plastic.
So, you take their offer because
you definitely want to establish that
credit before it's too late and this is
the easiest way so far, despite what
Mom tries to tell you. You sign on
the dotted line - without actually
reading the extremely fine print
that explains the 22 percent stuff
and how they have the right to your
first born child or your new couch if
you get behind in your payments -
and send the detached card back to
the company. How simple!
In approximately four weeks, dur-
ing whichyou realize justhow many
things you absolutely can't live
without and will have to put on your
new VISA when it arrives, you go to
the mailbox and there it is. It is so
beautiful, all shiny, crisp and just
yearning for you to sign the back of
it, which you do within 25 seconds.
I don't need to describe what hap-
pens next since it is normally quite
ugly, but it involves a great number
of moments of weakness, two weeks
of contentment, followed by a gross
feeling in the pit of your stomach
when the first bill arrives.
You vow that you will never do it
again. Then you go to the mailbox
and there is a great offer from Mobil.
But this is different, you think to
yourself. This I'll only use in emer-
gency situations when I'm running
out of gas and money and have no
choice. Once again you succumb.
See CREDIT, Page 18
By Fran Davey
For some students at Smith College,
daily concerns extend far beyond classes
and house meetings. They must find free
food and clothing, and apply for rent sub-
sidies. "A lot of us are living on the edge,"
says one student.
Low-income students who enroll at the
Northampton, Mass., school are "mak-
ing a giant leap into darkness," says
Cora-Jean Robinson. In order to help
them with the transition, Robinson has
By Kim Horner
The Daily Texan
U. of Texas, Austin
Eating Salvation Army meals and
selling blood for textbooks is not the
image of a typical college student.
However, this is the lifestyle of U. of
Texas senior Ronnie North.
North says he is just one of many U. of
Texas homeless students. A great deal
more are hanging by a thread, lucky if
they have aroom and bare-minimumliv-
ing standards. North says the primary
problem for these students is food, and
the awkwardness of having the
Salvation Army as an address.
A typical day for North includes wak-
ing up at 5:30 a.m. in a Salvation Army
bed, eating as much as he can at break-
fast to keep him going for as long as pos-
sible, andliningup at 4p.m. after classes
to get a bed for the night.
North earns $80 to $90 each month
selling blood. A student loan covers his
"Yesterday was a big day for me," he
said. "I sold a pint of blood, got $10,
bought a textbook and ate a couple of
North said he could try to get food
stamps, but then he would have to live
outdoors because receiving Salvation
Army service renders him ineligible. In
addition, he dislikes the red tape
involved. Food stamps are "too much of
a trauma," he says, "because the system
is deliberately designed to make it a big
hassle to get them."
Although getting a job seems like it
would solve some of his problems, North
says it is not that easy. "You need a home
to get a job, but to get a home you need
Lack of a phone and transportation
also make it hard on homeless job-seek-
ers. North can't drive his car because he
can't afford the inspection sticker. Police
threaten to tow his car and bombard him
with tickets as it sits in the Salvation
The social work major keeps busy in
other ways. As a member of the Street
People's Advisory Council, he helps
advise the city government on homeless
issues. An activist who knows the prob-
lems firsthand, he participated in a
protest last year and ended up in jail.
North wasn't always homeless. In
1982 he worked in the oil industry mak-
ing about $26,000 each year. "When the
oil industry crashed, Ilostmy job and my
dog and my cat." It didn't take long for
his money to run out, putting him on the
street. North's daily struggle to stay in
school without a real home to return to
will continue for at least one more year,
founded the Association of Low-Income
ALIS was formed last year at the wom-
en's school to help low-income students
get the information and assistance they
need by making them aware of resources
available to them, Robinson says. The
group recently compiled a directory of
Finding agencies that provide help can
be easier than actually receiving the
help, Robinson says. "Social services are
all huge bureaucra-
cies. Everything "Tere's someth
depends onhowyou a"t 's o u
phrase a question about saying yol
and what worker lot of people hav
you get" assistance to got
you get. - Cora
support each other
and other low-
income students by providing trans-
portation and day care. Robinson says
sharing the responsibility of these day-
to-day services helps to ease some of the
worries of these women, many of whom
are also mothers and struggling home-
The women say the emotional support
is a key function of the group. One of
ALlS's goals is to identify and confront
hidden costs members face, such as
anger, frustration, guilt and stigma.
Robinson says, "There's something sort
of tacky about saying you need help. But
a lot of people have to go on public assis-
tance to go to school."
Senior member Diane Rowe says,
"Coming into an upper middle class
school, I didn't know how to act in some
cases. When I first got here, I didn't know
what a debutante ball was, and every-
body assumed you knew."
In fact, many activities other students
take for granted present problems for
group members. "A
main activity of
ng sort of tacky maacvto
need help. But a scializing is going
to goeonp.ulic out to eat which is
school." expensive," Rowe
Jean Robinson, says.
ALIS founder "Some low-income
people often dress in
jeans, so some peo-
ple say they 'dress comfortably,' and don't
acknowledge that not everybody can
choose their wardrobe."
Robinson says faculty and administra-
tors can help alleviate these problems by
"becoming more aware of the issues in
these women's lives and making them
feel they have something to contribute."
Robinson organized ALIS because no
one in the administration was able to
help her find the free food and clothing
she needed when she entered Smith.
Girl You Know It's Ruie
If you've just broken up with
your loved one, this romantic
dance record might soothe your
soul. There are few departures
from the subject of love - the group
uses the term "baby" 40 times and
"girl" 79 times on the album. The
first two singles - the title track
and "Baby Don't Forget My
Number," both utilize a rap-like
beat behind soulful melodies.
Although somewhat derivative,
Milli Vanilli's debut is an effective
package of dance grooves and love
lyrics. m Len Anderson, The
Argonaut, U. of Idaho.
Flowers in the Dirt
This strong collection of songs
should bring back the ex-Beatle
from a protracted musical and lyri-
cal slump. McCartney uses a myr-
iad of talents, sounds and innova-
tions on the record, including the
songwriting ability of Elvis
Costello. "My Brave Face," the
Costello co-penned rocker which
opens the album, is the perfect
track to open a record containing
better, more developed tracks than
McCartney's recent records.
Perhaps the most interesting song
on Flowers is "Ou Est Le Soleil,"
which appears as a bonus track on
CD and cassette. Marc Freeman,
The Daily Collegian, Pennsylvania
If you consider yourself a die
hard Cure fan, this album will
grow on you. It's a melancholy
record which explores the psyche
of Cure vocalist and ringleader
Robert Smith, and many of the
songs are dreamy numbers with
repetitive guitar and synthethized
textures. Those who aren't fans of
the band are likely to find
Disintegration overly depressing.
However, those who truly enjoy the
Cure can save this album for a
rainy day. u Stacey Taylor, The
Daily Vidette, Illinois State U.
COURTESY OF JIVE/RCA
Slave Raider, a Minneapolis group, is one of the bands on the Miller band network. The network
pays bands to endorse its products
Band endorsements questioned
By Burl Gilyard
The Minnesota Daily
U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
For many rock bands, a shot at corpo-
rate sponsorship is a dream come true.
Endorsement of a major product can
result in increased profits, new contacts,
and valuable exposure.
Problems arise, though, when sponsor-
ship conflicts with musical integrity.
Several bands have found themselves in
a quandary after becoming part of the
Miller Genuine Draft Band Network,
which has served as home to groups such
as the Del Fuegos and the Long Ryders.
"I don't think in this situation there's
any conflict at all, because they don't ask
the bands to be anything other than what
they are," says Steve Knill of Good Music
Management, which handles Network
member Slave Raider and other local
Minneapolis groups. "It's a promotional
association and that's all it is. They sup-
port the bands through promotional
materials and in return the bands hang
a banner and the name Miller is on the
promo. They don't have to like the prod-
uct, they don't have to use the product,
but it's certainly understood that they're
not gonna go up there and drink Corona."
Knill concedes, however, that the prod-
uct-music association can go awry, and
cites the Del Fuegos as an example.
"Their audience didn't accept them doing
a TV commercial for Miller. And the
record they had out at that time didn't
expand enough on that audience that
they could afford to lose the hardcore peo-
ple who are totally against corporate
sponsorship of any kind, so I think it was
a bad timing mistake on their behalf."
Tom Mason, a member of the
Minneapolis group Dream Diesel, says he
would turn down any beer sponsorship.
"There's a certain amount of slutting I
won't do!" he says. "If you're going to put
a beer label on your music, you're just
See ENDORSEMENTS, Page 14
By Brian Thomas Cake
r The Review
U. of Delaware
and Tom Ason
r The Purdue Exponent
And ... pop ... she's ... tick ... buying
a stairway... tick-tick-crackle ... to heav-
en - heaven.. . ssccraatch.
That's the sound of music coming from
the granddaddy of reproduced music -
the LP. Once the industry leader, the
long-playing record is now viewed by
record industry executives, recording
artists, retailers and fans alike as a for-
mat whose days are numbered.
The ascendancy of the compact disc in
recent years has led to a decreasein sales
of both new and "classic" LPs. And as if
the situation for vinyl records wasn't bad
enough, the cassette single is taking an
ever-increasing chunk of the vinyl 45's
According to the Recording Industry
Association of America, LP sales
dropped 33 percent in 1988, while CD
and cassette sales rose 31 percent and 14
percent respectively. An even sharper
contrast was recorded in the singles
department, with vinyl singles dropping
11 percent and sales for the cassette sin-
"I get a great deal of satisfac-
tion seeing a record spin on
the turntable, but I listen to
CDs now. - Owen Thorne,
gle skyrocketing 341 percent.
Why is the LP following in the steps of
the eight-track tape? Industry experts
say consumers are opting for the dura-
bilty and mobility of the CD and cassette
"The main deterrent of the vinyl LP is
that it is not mobile," says Joe Maxwell,
owner of Rainbow Records in Delaware.
"People can pop a cassette or CD in a car
or Walkman and take their music with
them. They can't do that with an album."
Nationally, LPs are expected to com-
prise only about 5 percent of the indus-
try's total revenue by 1990. Leading
record companies are beginning to phase
out older LP titles, as more consumers
are replacing classic LPs with CDs.
"Research shows that people who have
bought CD players and have a large
record collection are buying CDs of
things like the Beatles that they have on
LP, but want a permanent, almost inde-
structable copy of," says Bob Miller,
music director for WAZY radio in
Because of the decline in LP sales,
major labels are putting stringent return
policies into effect, making it risky for
retailers to maintain large stocks of LPs.
A&M Records, for example, has adopted
a one-way sales policy concerning the 45.
The label, while charging retailers 80
cents less for vinyl 45s, is also accepting
no returns on 45s.
Before long, such policies may lead to
vinyl being phased out altogether. "Once
Columbia or WEA or one of the other
major labels offers no new releases on
See VINYL, Page 14
JOHN FOUNTAIN, WESTERN HERALD, WESTERN MICHIGAN U.
Frosh used to the good life
By Jennifer Delves
The Auburn Plainsman
Times they are a' changing.
The bare-walled dorm room that
housed students comfortably for
years atAuburnU. now boasts mauve
balloon curtains, matching mauve
comforters, and framed sorority pic-
tures. An answering machine hooked
up to the princess phone, a stereo com-
ponent system, and a 21-inch televi-
sion complete with VCR have
replaced the clock radios and popcorn
poppers of yesterday.
Senior Cathy O'Brien says, "When
I was a freshman I had the basics -
a television and a cubicle refrigerator.
I thought I was a big deal with those
Four years ago, freshmen were con-
tent with their suitemate answering
the phone or with missing an occa-
sional television show, O'Brien says.
Not so for today's freshmen.
"We couldn't live without our
answering machine," says Angie
Davis, owner of the mauve room.
Her roommate, Kristi Long, agrees,
"Maybe we could do without the VCR,
but it would be tough. Everyone on
our hall has an answering machine
and a fair amount have VCRs." Other
freshmen tote microwave ovens on
move-in day, she says.
"It is amazing what freshmen have.
They are all spoiled brats," O'Brien
jokes. "I just can't believe how things
have changed in the past four years."
Doris Sexton, a head resident at
See DECORATING, Page 17