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October 21, 1993 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-21

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2- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 21, 1993

Continued from page 1
"Interaction with other students is
different because your opinions are
deemed invalid," he continued.
Cornell Cosby, a fifth-year Elec-
trical Engineering major and African
American student, agreed. "People
don't want-to study with you until
they see your grades."
The feeling of exclusion for mi-
nority engineers often continues
through the professional level. Henry
Rideout, a senior engineer with Ar-
kansas Nuclear One said in an article

in Minority Engineer, "In terms of
being a minority, it's been more of a
challenge, because you're not treated
the same until you've proven your-
self. It takes a lot longer to establish
yourself, and until you do, you're
viewed as an outsider."
But MEPO and SMES are trying
to alleviate these problems at the
Another goal of the organizations
has been to significantly increase the
number of minorities in the College
of Engineering through various pro-
grams. During the last 20 years, the
number of minority students has more
than tripled.

In 1973 there were 2,664 under-
graduate engineering students at the
University. Combined, African
Americans, Asian Americans, Native
Americans and Hispanics accounted
for 226 of these students.
This year, there are 949 minority
engineering students, who comprise
22.7 percent of the 4,362 undergradu-
ate engineers.
Although this indicates a large
improvement for minorities, the num-
bers are still low enough to elicit
disturbing reactions. For graduate stu-
dents the figures are even lower.Out
of 941 engineering graduate students,
16.2 percent are minorities.
MEPO coordinates experience and
support programs during the school
year and the summer.
One MEPO program is the Profes-

sionals-in-Training Program, which
gives incoming students an introduc-
tion to the engineering curriculum.
Another program is the Freshman
Forum. SMES President Christa
Wyatt said it was established to spe-
cifically meet the needs of first-year
minority engineers, including aca-
demic, professional, personal and cul-
tural issues.
"This is your opportunity to net-
work and be with about 100 other
minority students who serve as a sup-
port group for each other.... We try to
make it feel like a family," Wyatt
It happens to be quite a large fam-
ily. SMES is the largest student orga-
nization in the College of Engineer-
ing, with the Society of Women Engi-
neers running a close second.

Continued from page 12
"A plan that would be mandatory
would probably be beneficial to people
with a pre-existing problem or are
covered under their parents," Turner
said. "It may be viable, but I know
many students were resentful (with
the idea that) they have to pay for
other people's treatment."
MSA Public Health Rep. Meg
Whittaker said she was still debating
the plan's merits, even if students had
complete control over its implemen-
tation or extinction.
"(Briefer) made some pretty big
promises. I'm kind of skeptical of the
plan," Whittaker said. "I don't think it
will make a big difference because
people will still want to drink on Fri-
day nights."
Interfraternity Council President

Polk Wagner said he supports the
idea. "I think it's great the adminis- *
tration is coming to the students,"
Wagner said. "It's important to get
this done in the middle of the semes-
ter so all students can give their in-
However, students said they are
still unsure what to think about the
proposal, especially because of the
increase to their tuition bill.
"Alcoholism is a big problem here
(so the new policy) would give stu-
dents something to fall back on," said
LSA junior Tina Ing. "Being an out-
of-state student, the additional money
wouldn't make that much of a differ-
ence to me."
LSA sophomore Brandon Cuadra
wondered if the alcohol or substance
abuse on campus was a problem wor-
thy of such a major change.
"I don'tthink every student should
have to be charged $15 on their tu-
ition," Cuadra said. "We already pay
enough on our health insurance."


Struggle for the State
Post-Soviet Central Asia
Friday, October 22, 1993, 1-6 pm
Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union
University of Michigan
Roza Otunbayeva, Ambassador to the US from
the Kyrgyz Republic
William Fierman, Indiana University
Martha Olcott, Colgate University
Muriel Atkin, George Washington University
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Global Internships and
Language/Liberal Arts
a representative will be on campus:
October 21th
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Representative at MUG
11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Information Session
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
International Center, Room #9
For program details please write or call:
Boston University International Programs
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Continued from page 1
"The day I see a landlord not in-
clined to raise rent is the day that Ann
Arbor would cease to exist," laughed
Councilmember Larry Hunter (D-1st
The city does have some leverage
on rental fees, however. By raising
the minimum taxable income rate, the
city could shield low-income renters
from higher taxes.
Mayor Ingrid Sheldon said this
option would "probably help students
a lot" byexempting them from double
Ann Arbor also could pressure
landlords not to raise rents by threat-
ening to jack up the property's tax-
able value, erasing any windfalls the
landlord would get from a lower tax
"It would be perfectly legitimate
for the city to raise the assessed value
(of rental property) to recoup the ben-
efit of property tax," said Daniel
Fusfeld, alUniversity professoremeri-
tus in economics."Just the threat of
doing so would get landlords to re-
duce their rent and keep it down."
The city also could issue rebates
to renters, Fusfeld said. "There are a
lot of possibilities for dealing with
rental problems."
Winners undertheincome-taxpro-
posal include low-income
homeowners and senior citizens on
fixed incomes. Businesses also would
benefit "substantially" from a prop-
erty-tax cut, Fusfeld added.
Citing his 1990 study of income.
tax in Ann Arbor, Fusfeld said 50
percent of Ann Arbor residents would
realize a net tax reduction under the
proposal, 30 percent would see little
change and 20 percent would pay
higher taxes.
Ann Arbor's business climate
"could be improved with the shifting
of tax incidence that would accom-
pany the local option income tax,"
Gatta said in his July 1993 report.
City Councilmember Jane Lumm
(R-2nd Ward) disagreed.
"From what I've seen, cities that
adoptan income tax havenot thrived,"
said Lumm, a member of the city's
budget committee. "In fact, we see
the 'doughnut effect': nothing on the
inside and everything on the outside.
The income tax tends to drive busi-
nesses and people out of the city and
into the suburbs."
To be voted into law, the income-
tax proposal would have to overcome

substantial resistance from both
councilmembers and the general pub-
lic. Fewer than 20 Michigan munici-
palities have a local income tax, de-
spite numerous ballot proposals over
the past two decades.
"It takes a lot to get an income tax
passed, no question," said Shirley
Smith of the Michigan Municipal
League. "There has to be public mo-
mentum in favor of it."
Ann Arbor's proposal will likely
remain stalled until at least the end of
the year, Gatta and Sheldon agreed.
Dec.31 is the Michigan Legislature's
deadline for drafting a new public
school financing plan, the implica-
tionsof which will spill over into Ann
Arbor's budget.
The school finance shake-up could
cost Ann Arbor up to $10.7 million
next year. Or it could cost nothing,
depending on the final shape of the
Legislature's plan.
School funding reform is creating
a "real trauma or revenue gap on a
local municipal level," Gatta said.
"What (lawmakers) are doing is say-
ing, 'We're going to take money away
from cities and give it to school sys-
tems because the school operating
millage is going to be drastically re-
Gatta said he sees the income tax
as a way of extracting taxes from the
University, which is exempt from
property taxes. The exemption -
codified in the Michigan Constitution
- deprives the city of up to 40 per-
cent of potential tax revenues, Gatta
University employees and students
wouldpay income tax, funnelingmore
than $1 million into city coffers, ac-
cording to the 1993 study. The Uni-
versity has shunned suggestions that
it contribute to Ann Arbor's tax base,
Sheldon said.
"It's a strange quandary we're in.
We have very little leverage on the
University," the mayor said. "If the
University were not as arrogant in
how they approach these issues, I
think people in the community would
feel better about living here."
While the University is exempt
from Ann Arbor taxes, it does benefit
from city services, Gatta pointed out.
The city has sent building and zoning
inspectors onto University property,
provided fire protection services in
exchange for a state grant and sent
police officers in such cases as down-
town riots and the "University presi-
dent having a noisy party," Gatta








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Director of the Center for the.
Study of Urban Inequality
University of Chicago
Friday, October 22
Rackham Auditorium
4:00 pm

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