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November 06, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-06

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"

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OPINION
Monday, November 6, 1989

The Michigan Daily

+be £irbigan71aiI3
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C, No 44 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tUnsigned 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.
Alice in budget land

Support

Student Radio

r,

Two WEEKS ago the Board of Re-
gents approved the University's budget
request for an 8.5 percent increase in
state appropriations to the University.
In presenting this request to the Re-
gents, University Provost Charles Vest
stated there would probably be a 6.5
percent rise in tuition. Vest justified the
increase by saying the state could not
meet all the University's needs and
stuidents would have to contribute more
to maintain the quality of education.
Maintaining the quality of education
is of the upmost importance, but the
University cannot continually expect
students to fill in the gap between
lower state appropriations and the cost
of operating the school. To find better
ways of funding and sustaining the
quality of education, the University
must reform its confused and politi-
cized budget process.
The University's budget process is
built on a system of verbal communi-
cation. Discussions between the Uni-
versity's provost and departmental
deans, and between the provost and his
staff, are meant to create a budget that
promotes academic expansion at a rea-
sonable cost. But, in practice, the sys-
tem is so decentralized that reaching
this goal is virtually impossible.
Supposedly, the University's budget
request represents the needs of individ-
ul,departments. Yet the Provost, and
not the deans, makes the initial deter-
mination of what that need is. Except
fog informal discussions in the fall,
deans are not officially consulted until
mic-winter when they submit their
Wpften departmental budget requests to
tle provost. Because the provost has
no formal idea of each departmental
nepd, any budget request to the state
caj) not accurately reflect real needs.
The University counters this argu-
ment by pointing to the Budget Priori-
ties'Committee (BPC) - a committee
es ablished to advise the provost on the
budget. The BPC, which consists of
K-

24 people - including administrators,
faculty, and one student - supposedly
represents a "broad spectrum" of the
University community. But the BPC
has little real input. Before making its
recommendation on the 1990-91 bud-
get request, the BPC met only once for
two hours. Furthermore, recommenda-
tions by the BPC are not item specific.
Finally, the BPC makes no recom-
mendation on how the University can
cut its costs. It only advises where
money the University has should be
spent.
There is a separate committee on
cost-cutting chaired by Business
School Dean Gilbert Whitaker, but this
committee has only existed for one year
and has not yet made any recommen-
dations. The effectiveness of this
committee is restricted because
Whitaker is also a member of the BPC.
As a dean, he also faces a conflict of
interest since he is not likely to
proscribe cost-cutting measures
without considering the financial
'interests of his own department. This
compounds the politics in the budget
process without solving any of its
problems.
Even if the budget were formulated
with more input, the Regents still give
it little scrutiny. Regents are provided
with the request only one or two days
before they vote on its approval. Their
concern about their own public image
leads to watered-down, ineffective dis-
cussions of the already vague requests
in the budget.
If the University is sincere in its
goals to maintain the quality of educa-
tion and keep its cost affordable, re-
forms are imperative. More people
must be involved in the process. Those
who are involved must have more
specific information on where the de-
partments allocate their money. Finally,
the cost cutting process must be de-
politicized.

by Brad Heavner
Last Thursday, The Michigan Daily
printed an article entitled, "Survey says:
students rock to WCSX." (Daily,
11/2/89). The article talked about the three
University-affiliated stations, WJJX,
WCBN, and WUOM, and their low show-
ing in this survey. The survey was inex-
cusably unscientific and the article con-
tained blatant misinformation.
I am surprised that an article as misrep-
resentative as this would be printed, even
by the Michigan Daily. This astonishing
piece of "journalism" brings up the old
adage, "Figures never lie, but liars figure."
What the figures say is that 4.4 percent of
those polled picked University stations as
their favorite. Let's take a closer look at
this. The survey was conducted by a first-
year student living in South Quad, who
polled 45 people in South Quad and the
Undergraduate Library. This is not even
close to a decent representation of U-M
students, which it claims to be. The mar-
gin of error of a survey polling 45 out of
35,000 people is surely great enough to
put student radio at the top in this case.
Perhaps most of the people interviewed
were friends of the author, who are also
new to Ann Arbor and in their first
semester of college. This group, more-
over, is too small to be considered repre-
sentative even of that. 4.4 percent of this
group, a biased sub-sample of South Quad
and Ugli folks, picked WCBN as their fa-
vorite.
This being the case, is the author's
claim that WCBN is directed mainly to the
non-student population of Ann Arbor and

is not listened to by students justifiable? I
think not. WCBN is a unique radio station
unlike any witl which most students first
coming to the University are familiar. Our
programming goal is to expose people to
a wide variety of music and ideas which
they don't hear elsewhere. It will surely
take a while for anyone first exposed to

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i
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4.

'Our programming goal is to expose people to a wide variety of
music and ideas which they don't hear elsewhere.'

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students who haven't experienced this type;
of programming before. Overall, WCBN'
is comprised of 84 percent students, and'
the entire Campus Broadcasting Network
is 89 percent students.
Indeed, if any students are interested in
getting involved with WCBN, please-

i

a

".4

this concept of radio programming to em-
brace it. If 4.4 percent of those in this poll
already have, I would say that it is not a
terrible showing, based on other profes-
sional rating services.
Another issue is the slanderous misin-
formation in the article about WCBN. It
stated, "WCBN hires non-students," and
gave the impression that the station is
mostly, if not entirely, run by non-stu-
dents. The only people WCBN hires are
one engineer and two secretaries. The
engineer is a professional audio technician
responsible for keeping the station's
equipment in working order. He is, of
course, a non-student. Our secretaries are
work/study students. Everyone else at the
network is a volunteer, and goes through
no hiring process. There are non-student
DJs, but they account for only 21 percent
of our air-time. Their primary role is to
provide guidance to the students, who are
generally new to broadcasting. They also
provide some of the best radio programs
available anywhere, which is clearly a
benefit to all listeners, and especially to

come down any time and we will be more
than happy to get you going. Our facili-
ties are located in the basement of the Stu-
dent Activities Building. We encourage
anyone in the community to visit the sta-
tion and become informed about exactly
what it is that we do at WCBN-FM.
We do need to increase WCBN's listen-
ership, especially with students at the
University of Michigan. We do need to re
cruit more students to work at the net-
work, and we do need to make the stations
grow as a whole, but we don't deserve a
bad rap from our student newspaper.
WCBN is a unique organization which:
should have the full support of all well-
minded people, whether they care to listen
or not. I would like to see some truthful
media coverage of student broadcasting at
the University of Michigan, and that is the':
responsibility of The Michigan Daily.
Brad leavner is an LSA Senior, and is-
General Manager of the Campus Broad- ;
casting Network, which includes WCBN
88.3-FM and WJJX 640-AM.

The delegation to Palestine:

Don't call it MSA'

trip

Change in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICAN President F.W. de
KIerk has said that before his
government will consider lifting the
state of emergency and legalizing
batned trade unions and anti-apartheid
groups, those groups - principally the
Congress of South African Trade
Ulions (COSATU) and the African
National Congress (ANC) - must
renounce violence.
1ut it is the government and its
police force - not the protesters --
w~io cause blood to be spilled. Recent
demonstrations in which the govern-
ment did not interfere have been
peaceful. If the police do not throw tear
gds, swing clubs, or shoot runner bul-
les, violence will not erupt.
MVuch has been made of the govern-
mtnt's decision to release eight Black
leaders from prison. The eight were
trade union activists who worked to
enjd legalized apartheid in South Africa.
In an infamous 1964 show-trial, the
court sentenced them to life in prison.
U.S. politicians and columnists
apparently forget the original injustice.
of the prison sentence when they praise

de Klerk's "measured" steps towards
peace. Likewise, they ignore the im-
possibility of negotiating towards jus-
tice in a nation where 90 per cent of the
population has no vote. In South Africa
there are not two sides with two legiti-
mate points of view, one white, and
one Black. There are the racist beliefs
and practices that must end, and the
struggle for democracy that will con-
tinue.
Economic resistance - from both
Black workers and foreign trading
partners - has pressured the South
African government to concede what it
had sworn it never would. The strength
of the democratic movements will
eventually force South Africa to its
knees unless the government -
accepting the inevitable - recognizes
that peace will come only when
apartheid falls. The social, political and
economic situation in South Africa will
improve only when every member of
that country has the right to
government representation. Until there
is one person, one vote, South Africa
will not see peace.

By Ori Lev
Last year, the Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA) agreed to pay for two
people to go on a "fact-finding" mission
to the Occupied Territories. The trip was
to be arranged through the Palestine Soli-
darity Committee (PSC). The two people
were to be chosen by a selection commit-
tee made up of two Michigan Student
Assembly (MSA) representatives and two
PSC members.
I was one of the MSA members of the
selection committee. As a member of this
committee I feel it is my responsibility to
clear up some of the confusion regarding
the trip, and at the same time bring up
some disturbing questions for which I
have no answers.
MSA specifically funded two students to
go on the trip; two students whom the
MSA/PSC selection committee would se-
lect. One of those students was to be an
MSA representative, the other a student at
large. The students chosen were Mike
Peterson, an MSA representative at the
time and the only MSA representative to
apply, and Don Blome. Don was selected
by a process of reviewing applications
which had no names on them.
When "Applicant B" was chosen, I
asked Hilary Shadrui, one of the PSC
members on the committee, to tell me the
name of the individual selected. She told
me that she would not, citing security rea-
sons. I objected several times, yet she re-
fused to reveal the identity of the person
we had selected. She did eventually
promise to contact MSA President Aaron
Williams and give him the name of the
individual selected. Though I called her
several times to remind her to do this,
Aaron was never contacted.
I wanted to know the name of the indi-
vidual selected so that I could verify the

iniormation on the application and so that
I could be assured that the person being
sent was really the one selected. I was
never able to do either thing. Why wasn't
MSA, through either Aaron or myself, no-
tified of the name of the individual whom
MSA had funded? Why wasn't the promise
to notify Aaron kept? Why did PSC keep
MSA in the dark as to the name of the in-
dividual for whom MSA paid $1,750?
These questions are yet to be answered.
I was surprised to learn, according to
Don Blome's letter (Daily 10/27/89), that
Don was interviewed by two PSC mem-
bers before he was selected to go on the
trip. This was not part of the selection
process, and neither myself nor the other
MSA member of the selection committee
were told of or invited to take part in the
interviews. This leads me to wonder what
PSC would have done had they not been
satisfied with Mr. Blome as a delegate.
Were they planning on sending someone
else? Were they planning on telling MSA?
Why wasn't I notified of the interview?
Why was Mr. Blome even interviewed be-
fore he was selected, or at least before he
was notified of his selection? These ques-
tions, too, are yet to be answered.

sources. There is nothing wrong with this.
What is wrong is that those members of
the delegation which PSC sponsored and
selected have been giving presentations,
both in classrooms and in other public fo-
rums, using the name "MSA delegation to
the Occupied Territories."
Blome claims that "we should not let
semantic games overshadow the [issue]."
These are not semantic games. A delega-
tion whose members were selected by
PSC are prone to have some initial per-
sonal bias about the situation before being
sent. They should let their audiences know
which organization sponsored their trip.
When they state that they are part of the
MSA delegation, they are implying that
they were chosen by MSA to be Univer-
sity of Michigan student representatives
on the trip. This is not true and is a mis-
representation of MSA.
These students should make it clear to
their audience that they were selected and
sent by PSC. This is the reason MSA
President Aaron Williams has requested
that the Central Student Judiciary file a re-
straining order which would bar the PSC
delegation from using the name "MSA
delegation to the Occupied Territories."

MSA funded two, and only two people to be sent. PSC sent a
larger delegation... There is nothing wrong with this. What is
wrong is that those members of the delegation which PSC spongy
sored and selected have been.. .using the name "MSA delegation
to the Occupied Territories."

Before I continue I would like to make
it clear that all of this is in no way
Blome's fault. He was obviously, accord-
ing to his letter to the Daily, not aware of
the way the trip was set up. This brings
us to the next point. MSA funded two,
and only two people to be sent. PSC sent
a larger delegation, receiving funding from
Rackham Student Government and other

Mike Peterson and Don Blome were the
only individuals selected and funded by
MSA. The rest of the delegation was sent
by PSC and should present themselves as
such.
Ori Lev is a sophomore in LS&A, and a
Representative on MSA.

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Letters to the Edito~~..............
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U U

The Opinion page is actively recruiting women,
people of color, lesbians and gay men. Staff
requirements usually incude researching and
writing editorials, attending editorial board
meetings, and working on production. If you have
questions or are interested in becoming a staff
member, please contact Opinion Page editors Betsy
Esch or Amy Ijarmon, at 764-0552.

America's
problems
To the Daily:
Where is America heading
under George Bush's non-lead-
ership and Congress' special
interest politics? Ronald Rea-
gan's hands-off approach has
certainly taken the government
off our backs, but it now

confront pressing issues and
George Bush's honeymoon
will quickly come to an end.
America has problems. Drug
abuse is rising despite past
presidents' wars against that
scourge. Too many high
school teenagers are not being
prepared to function in a com-
plex adult world. About one
third of all Americans can un-
necessarily die because they
cannot receive adequate health

tions? Why does the Adminis-
tration advocate a capital gains
tax cut which will further con-
strain the budget in the long
run, rather than revenue-in-
creasing taxes? The White
House answers these questions
by having us look at Bush's 75
percent favorability rating.
America likes Bush, they say,
so America must be doing
well. Congress' answers can be
found among powerful special
interests because they deter-

ployed next election if America
watches tax breaks for the'
wealthy result in further in:
come disparities without help-
ing the less fortunate.
A recent poll in Tim e
shows that a significant major-
ity of Americans favor tax in-
creases if the money would be
used to help fight the drug war,
feed and provide health care for
the poor, improve our schools
and reduce our budget deficit. If 0

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