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April 22, 1992 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-22

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0 4 KIATI/\AA /\iPI" " A f"" 4

(continued from page 1)
Georgia, said he has a great relationship with his landlord, Bess
Delaperriere.When one of Butler's roommates moved out and
stuck him and his roommates with a larger share of the rent
than they could afford, Delaperriere reduced the rent by $100.
But most situations aren't resolved so easily.
Greg Grachen's situation is a good example of the growing
rift between students and landlords across the country. The U.
of Delaware senior and his roommates have had several run-ins
with their landlord, mostly concerning damages to the house.
"The condition of the house when we moved in was horrible,"
Grachen said. There was grease, dirt and blood on the walls, he
said, as well as cat urine in the carpets.
Grachen said the situation hasn't gotten much better. When
repairs are made, he added, the workmanship is often shoddy.
Debbie Stromwasser, Grachen's landlord, echos the feelings
of landlords who are forced to make repairs year after year
because they rent to students. She said students often are quick
to complain but don't do their part in keeping up the home.
"Some tenants leave the houses looking like 'Animal
House'," she said.
Most of the problems, Stromwasser said, stem from the
maturity level of the students. She contends that they simply
don't understand the responsibility of renting.
Students also tend to be disrespectful, she said, adding that
some have written nasty comments on their rent checks.
Students in Grachen's house have addressed their checks to
"The Slumlord."
Todd Marshall and David Johnson, seniors at Western Ken-
tucky U., also refer to their landlord as a slumlord. Living with
gas leaks, cockroaches, doors without locks, a hole in the wall
and a scum-encrusted bathroom isjust the beginning for them.
They claim their biggest problem is their landlord, Wahn
Raymer, whom they asked for five months to make repairs.
Raymer, who owns 200 units, responded, "I have other
tenants to tend to also."
While Raymer acknowledges hissapartments aren't
magnificent, he balks at heing called a slumlotrd. "(Students)

News teatures/t'L0099
court, an avenue she said is usually more beneficial for them.
Tom Taylor and Dan Brennan, seniors at Georgetown U.,
said they threatened to stop paying rent until their landlord
fixed the heat, which they said had been off for four months.
Taylor and Brennan, who admit they are "not the best
tenants," live in a house with four others. They say their
landlord, Henry McGovern, overcharges and exploits students.
Brennan said McGovern charged $110 to replace the front of
a kitchen drawer and $250 to clean beer cans off the roof.
McGovern said he could have charged them much more than
he did and that the long-term damages will be expensive. The
charges for the roof stemmed from a party being held there.
Repairs had to be made in addition to cleaning up the cans.
McGovern did not have a record of the $110 charge for the
kitchen drawer, though he did note a $185 bill for replacing a
broken door.
Yet McGovern, who manages 34 units, said he enjoys renting ,
to students. Although they tend to inflict more damage on the
units, he said, often they are willing to fix the damage and are
more understandingwhen it takes time to make repairs.
So why do these students and many more like them put up
with all the hassle? Location is one reason students at the U. of
Delaware live on "Skid Row," a row of mustard-yellow houses
located less than a block from campus.
Chris Cronis, a UD senior who has lived in two houses on the
row, described his first as "an absolute pit." He said the kitchen
floor was covered with a layer of scum. Previous tenants, he said,
used the dirt-floor basement as a dumping ground for trash.
"When I first heard students call (the street) Skid Row I was
appalled," owner Carroll Izard said. "I think the name sticks
because students get a kick out of calling it that. It's part of the
student culture."
Other parts of the student culture on any campus are parties,
noise and general neglect of the houses. Yet landlords and
students alike admit it is simply a way of life for students.
Jim Kenny, Taylor and Brennan's roommate at Georgetown
U., concedes, "We have to be treated differently because we're
not the mature adults other tenants might be. We have parties
and we do damage."
Chris Ptynter, The College Heights Herald, Western Kentucky U.
contributed to this story.

News Features/APRIL1992U.IH UNUL t rAr E

There's no place like home. There's no place like home.
call anybody who rents to them a slumlord," he said.
Junior Brent Fisk did more than complain about Raymer's
policies. When Fisk received a notice last spring announcing a
$77.50 hike in utility rates for the semester, he refused to pay.
Raymer took his security deposit. Fisk took Raymer to court -
and won.
Fisk is an exception. Suing a landlord is time-consuming and
expensive, and most students won't take such drastic action.
More often it is the landlords who take students to court, usually
for breaking a lease or doing extensive damage.
Wendy Krakauer, staff attorney and program director for the
U. of Washington Student Legal Services, said landlord/tenant
disputes comprise about 13 percent of the cases her office
Krakatter negotiates for students who wish to settle out otf

ft News
I swear we don'tjust make these
things up:
A bright Idea
A student at Cal Poly disenrolled his
ex-girlfriend from classes by using her
Personal Identification Number,
according to the Mustang Daily, Cal
Poly's studentnewspaper.
Apparently the jilted student
thought it would be a great way to get
back at his ex. He called an automated
registration line and dropped all of
her courses. Now the student faces
disciplinary action and possible
charges. In the words of some long-
forgotten "Gunsmoke" hero, "It just
goes to show... Crime doesn't pay."
Man's best friend? Yeah, right
Wire services at Arizona State U.
reported the story of a woman trying to
feed a chicken to her "pet" python.
Instead of chowing down on the bird,
the "pet" started chomping down on
the woman. It took four firefighters to
pry the pet off Susan Inherst's hand
and body. She suffered puncture
wounds as a result of the attack.
"When he struck, I knew he thought I
was the chicken," she said. Maybe the
fact that the six-foot snake hadn't
eaten in a week had something to do
with it.
Letters and more letters
When Mary Jane Ryals wrote a
commentary for the Florida Flambeau,
Florida State U.'s student newspaper,
she probably didn't bet on all of the
letters she would be getting. Ryals said
the contestants in a local beauty
pageant didn't need to think. Ouch.
The Flambeau seemed to predict the
onslaught of letters. The headline on
the letters page read "Readers
respond to Ryals' wrath (Part 1)."
Don't forget your rubbers
A safe sex campaign prompted the
Vermont Cynic to tease readers with the
caption, "These are condoms. You are
supposed to wear them. Stupid people
don't. Obnoxious self-infatuated
males don't think it is their
responsibility. We all know better.
Happy safe sex week." And with this
piece of advice, I will leave you. Happy
hunting and feed your pets.
One more thing. In February we
failed to give credit where credit was
due. Paula Mathieu, a reporter for The
Chicago Flame, pulled together the
original story on the "skull sculptor,"
which we used in News and Notes.
Thanks, Paula.
-J.S. Newton,
Editor on Fellowship, Eastern Kentucky

Long haul
Students at public universities
takhe longer to earn diplomas
TheDaily Tar Heel, U. of North Carolina
While many students shudder at the thought of an "extra" hour of
class, more students at public universities are opting to stay in school an
extra year.
Statistics show that students at public universities take longer to
graduate than their private school counterparts.
Fifty-four percent of students who entered private schools in 1980 had
graduated by 1986, compared to 43 percent of public school students,
said Frank Balz, executive director of the National Institute of
Independent Colleges and Universities.
In the past several years, many public universities have seen a decline
in graduation rates, due in part to state cutbacks in education spending.
Kelly Cox, statistical information officer for Kansas State U., said some
students at K-State faced difficulties in registering for courses.
"It's been a problem to some degree," Cox said. "Some students at this
university can't get into required courses. They end up having to wait
until their senioryear to take their core classes."
K-State students also are taking fewer classes per semester - some by
choice, some out of necessit.
"When you're not taking 18 hours a semester you have a lot more time
to go out and earn money for living expenses," said Craig Raborn, a
senior at K-State.
Lighter class loads and registration difficulties add up to only 18.6
percent of K-State students graduating in four years.
Lack of available classes also is slowing down the graduation rate at the
U. of North Carolina.
"We believe that it is taking students progressively longer to

Taking longer to get there
Percentage of 1984 Freshmen
who graduated in 1989
Arizona State 37.6
Florida State 47.4
Louisiana State 25.9
u. of California
at Berkley 65o
American u. 66.7
Columbia U. 85.4
Cornell U. 84.6
Duke U. 92.3
graduate," said Ray Dawson, UNC's vice president for academic affairs.
"Availability of required classes obviously is a major factor. If you can't
get the courses, you can't graduate."
Dena Hart, a senior at the U. of Colorado, which has a four-year rate of
32 percent, said graduating in four years hasn't been easy.
"Basically I worked my ass off," she said. "I took 18 hours or 15 hours
each semester. I did everything I could to get out. I stuck to the core and
didn't take any classes I wanted."
RussellJones, a junior at Emory U., said taking extra classes is one
reason he chose to take five years to earn his degree. "A lot of people (stay
in school longer than four years) because they feel they can't get everything
they want to get out of college in four years. With distribution and major
requirements, it allows you to take a much wider variety of courses and also
helps if you're trying to double major."

Colleges hop on 'Buy American' bandwagon


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The State News, Michigan State U.
College students are unknowingly being
drafted into an economic war withJapan.
America's ongoing recession has been
blamed on Japanese competition by everyone
from President Bush to the factory worker, with
"Buy American" as their battle cry.
And some universities are signing up for the
fight, ordering their purchasing depart-ments
to buy mostlyAmerican products.
At Michigan State U., "Buy American" is an
unwritten policy. All purchases are expected to
be American made.
Forrest Kelsey, head purchasing agent for
MSU, said about 90 percent of the 50,000
orders his department fills every year are made
in the United States. That translates into $115
million pumped into the American economy
by one university.
"We supply MSU with everything from
fertilizers to footballs," Kelsey said. "And in
doing so, our intent and theme is to buy
While he tries to buy American, Kelsey said
the volume of orders makes it impossible to
investigate every purchase.
"The 'Buy American' thing is first and
foremost, but it is tough to deal with because of
the international integration factor," he said.
What becomes frustrating is when the parts
of a so-called American product are manu-
factured overseas, Kelsey said. The uncertainty
of a product's origin may force MSU to buy a
mostlyforeign-made product.
But this doesn't hold true for automobiles.
Where vehicles are concerned, MSU refuses to
accept bids from a foreign company.

Forrest Kelsey (above) says 90 percent of his
orders are filled with American products.
The practice of blindly buying American for
the sake of the country's economy is one that
Judie O'Leary, senior purchaser for the U. of
New Hampshire, finds limiting.
"It's a double-edged sword," O'Leary said. "I
want the university to support its country, butI
also want the university to support itself by
getting the best buy. That's what a purchasing
agent is supposed to do."
"The American economy needs the boost,"
said Derek Smith, a freshman at the U. of
Massachusetts. "But universities should buy
American only to the extent that they don't
deprive us of the education we could get if they
At the U. of Utah, the "Buy American"
theme is secondary to a Utah law which
mandates that universities make as many
purchases from Utah businesses as possible,
foreign or domestic.
James Parker, director of purchasing at
Utah, said that of the more than $100 million

worth of purchases he makes each year, more
than 60 percent are made within Utah.
Parker said although the majority of his
purchases are done in Utah, the products are
often foreign. This isn't done purposely, he
said, but in some cases he has fewoptions.
"Ever try buying a non-Japanese calculator
lately? There's no option," Parker said. "And
you couldn't even buy a truly American TV or
VCR if you wanted to anymore."
Parker also is wary of strict "Buy American"
policies because they could infringe on the
rights of the faculty he serves.
"If I have to tell an English professor that he
can't buy a computer made in Japan, then I
think that is outside my authority as a pur-
chasing agent," he said.
Both Parker and Mike McPherson, manager
of MSU's engineering school computer system,
said university efforts to boost the American
economywill only make a short-term difference.
The $115 million MSU puts into the
economy each year is merely a "drop in the
bucket" when compared to the private sector,
McPherson said.
IndividualAmericans have notcommitted to
American products yet, and until they do, the
"Buy American" theme will not provide a
solution, he added.
Universities are part of a "public relations
act" to spur the economy, he said. "Right now,
state and federal government feels obligated to
support its country. If MSU bought only
Toyotas, it would look embarrassing."
But Parker said the American public respects
universities and will follow their example.
"Reviving the American economy is going to
take more than just universities," he said. "But
this is a good place to start."

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