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March 08, 1994 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-08

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 8, 1994 - 3

City Council votes to oppose Proposal A


City Councilmembers Larry T.
Hunter (D-lst Ward) and Peter Fink
(R-2nd Ward) - ideological oppo-
sites in Ann Arbor politics - found
common ground last night on Pro-
posal A, the school financing mea-
sure up for a statewide vote next Tues-
Both city leaders dislike the mea-
sure. And they don't care much for
the backup plan that would take effect
if Proposal A fails.
Fink and Hunter reached this rare
moment of agreement during an in-
tensely partisan, hour-long debate last
night on whether the council should
urge Ann Arbor voters to reject Pro-
posal A.
The ballot proposal would raise
the state sales tax from 4 to 6 percent
and cut flat-rate income tax from 4.6
to 4.4 percent. Proposal A has the
support of Gov. John M. Engler.
The backup plan would not change
the sales tax rate. It would boost in-
come tax to 6 percent. The plan is

supported by most Michigan Demo-
crats, including Hunter. The veteran
council member last night proposed a
resolution to oppose Proposal A,
claiming the plan would hurt the local
economy and adversely affect low-
income residents.
Hunter's proposal drew the ire of
all council Republicans and 4th Ward
Democrat Peter Nicolas, but passed
in a 6-4 vote. Nicolas, despite speak-
ing out against Hunter's proposal and
offering a contradictory resolution,
did not vote on the proposal.
He dismissed the 63-minute de-
bate as a waste of time and said the
council has no business telling citi-
zens how to vote. Nicolas' resolution
asked the council not to take a posi-
tion on Proposal A, but to provide
"unbiased" information instead.
But Councilmember Robert C.
Grady (D-3rd Ward) said dispensing
unbiased information is impossible
because Proposal A is wrapped up in
partisan politics.
Councilmember Julie Creal (R-
4th Ward) cited a few of Proposal A's

merits, which she said would help
small businesses thrive. She roundly
disputed Hunter's claim that the plan
would "adversely affect employers in
the city of Ann Arbor, especially small
And Creal said Proposal A is a
matter of individual choice. "There
really is a philosophical question on
whether the City Council should take
positions like this," Creal said. "That's
really a question for each voter."
Fink seethed at Hunter's remark
that he favored Proposal A over the
backup plan because the governor
also supports it. "I couldn't care less
if John Engler is supporting this. I
don't want you telling me why I'm
voting," Fink told Hunter.
The effects of either school fi-
nancing plan on Ann Arbor's budget
are unclear, City Administrator Alfred
A. Gatta said before the meeting. He
said the impact of the proposal won't
be clear until after the March 15 elec-
tion. Gatta, however, said Proposal A
appears more harmful to the city bud-
get than its alternative.

Grad student Leland Cseke throws Law student Jason Factor to the ground in Niniitsu Clubhveterdav

2 professors criticize media for lack of objectivity

Hartford outlines plany
to reform dormitories

Annual William Cook
Lecture continues
today with lecture
and a roundtable
Politics and the media - so often
debated in classes by students and
University professors - are being
scrutinized this week at the Law
School by professors from across the
This year, the annual William W.
Cook Lectures on American Institu-
tions offers insights on politics and
the media from some of the country's
leading communication professors.
The lecture series began yester-
day in Hutchins Hall with Roger

Wilkins, professor of history and
American culture at George Mason
University and graduate of the Uni-
versity Law School, reflecting on his
career as an African American jour-
nalist with The Washington Post dur-
ing Watergate and later with The New
York Times.
"I come back (to the University)
40 years later with a heavy heart to
tell you that the media contributes
substantially to our political failures,"
Wilkins said.
Wilkins' passionate lecture
touched on what he sees as the biggest
faults in American journalism. He
believes that true objectivity cannot
exist in journalism as long as report-
ers view stories selectively, choose
who they interview and what infor-
mation they use. It is then that jour-
nalism begins to operate with com-

mercial value.
He cited the coverage of the Nancy
Kerrigan-Tonya Harding scandal as
an example of commercial sensation-
alism occurring in American journal-
ism. Kerrigan and Harding received
more coverage before they even skated
the same day Bonnie Blair won her
unprecedented fifth gold medal, he
said. "Is celebrity superior to disci-
plined achievement?"
Wilkins strongly believes that the
Black community is being incorrectly
covered by the media. "The media
sees crime, welfare and teen sex as
the biggest Black problems ... while
the biggest concern in the Black com-
munity is the need for jobs," he said.
The second lecture of the after-
noon was by Kathleen Hall Jamieson,
professor of communication at the
University of Pennsylvania. She dis-

cussed the effects of the 1992 presi-
dential campaign on the media.
She discussed the impact that MTV
and rapidly paced visuals had on the
campaign advertisements, which she
has studied. The Democrats' video-
style anti-Bush ads on MTV greatly
affected the younger vote, she said.
This campaign proved that there
is a whole new way to communicate
to a younger audience and that opens
whole new communication possibili-
ties. "It is a legitimate form of com-
munication," she said.
The lecture series continues today
at 3:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in room
250 of Hutchins Hall. Todd Gitlin,
professor of sociology at the Univer-
sity of California-Berkley, will dis-
cuss the campaign "against the me-
dia," which will be followed by a
roundtable discussion.

Vice President for Student Affairs
Maureen A. Hartford came to the LSA
staff meeting yesterday to address
questions about the future of resi-
dence halls.
She responded to claims that the
halls were both "anti-intellectual" and
Two years ago when Hartford was
first appointed to the office of student
affairs, she moved into South Quad
for one week in order to experience
life in the residence halls.
"I decided two years ago that I
should look into this personally,"
Hartford said.
"There was a lot of learning going
on, but unfortunately a lot of the learn-
ing was going on after midnight."
After her experience in South
Quad, Hartford joined a task force on
the first-year experience to develop
ways to make dorms more conducive
to learning.
Its report will be officially released
next week, but Hartford highlighted
the report's recommendations.
The task force calls for a "living/
learning" environment in which dorms
would offer educational programs
geared toward specific student inter-
Hartford promoted a number of
changes including an overhaul of the
current residential hall library sys-
tem, better use of the cable television
system and increased staff training.
On libraries: "It is a wonderful

concept but a lot of the use is not what
we had in mind when creating them."
She said the libraries have be-
come primarily music and video tape
The task force suggests that the
University integrates the libraries with
computer technology.
0 On cable television: "We would
like to think that having cable in our
halls means more than 24 hours of
Four University stations would be
added to the residence hall cable sys-
tems under the plan. These stations
would be devoted to LSA, athletics,
School of Music performances and
the Office of Student Affairs.
On staff training: '"We ask a
tremendous amount of these people
without being sure that they have
enough base training."
Courses through the psychology
department would help initiate stu-
dents into their roles as paraprofes-
sionals within the residence halls.
The Office of Student Affairs will
appoint another task force to imple-
ment the changes suggested. The
office's goal is to have all students
living in "learning communities" by
Fall 1996.
Hartford asked for the LSA
faculty's help in bringing about the
changes suggested.
"We currently have 5,703 LSA
students in the residence halls... This
can not be just a student affairs issue.
It needs to be a whole University
issue. It needs faculty input."

Faculty to start evaluating school deans next week

Faculty members will have the
chance to criticize their superiors
when the evaluation process for five
deans begins next week.
- Yesterday afternoon, the Senate.
Advisory Commitee on University
Affairs (SACUA) unanimously ap-
proved a motion to advise the Aca-
demic Affairs Committee (AAC) to
proceed with the evaluations of the
heads of five colleges by the end of
the month.
5 The motion encourages AAC to
proceed with the evaluation process

during the week of March 14 as
The process was stalled by differ-
ences between SACUA and AAC over
the proposed time schedules for the
"What does it take to get it done?
Do we have to picket the SACUA
office to get this done?" said Charles
Smith, a SACUA member.
The evaluation process was ap-
proved by the Senate Assembly in
February. The deans of the schools of
Business Administration, Engineer-
ing, LSA, Music, and Pharmacy are
the first to be evaluated by the new

The results of the survey will be
available only to the dean and execu-
tive committee of the school. A sub-
committee of AAC will compile sta-
tistics on the effectiveness of the
evaluation process and report its find-
ings to SACUA, AAC and the Senate
There will be no public disclosure
of the survey results.
Louise Stein, a SACUA member
said she worried that the process will
not be effective because it distributes
a uniform questionaire to all of the

"Each dean is different. The ideal
is to come up with a unit-based pro-
cess. I do not think our faculty will
participate in a general process," she
Henry Griffin, chair of SACUA,
acknowledged Stein's concerns but
said that there is not time to revise the
questionaire and still proceed with
the March 14 target date.
Members worried if the process
was not initiated on time, then it would
be delayed indefinitely.
"If it doesn't happen soon, its not
going to happen," George Brewer, a
SACUA member said.

As next year's RAs get the good news, some alternates still wait to hear

When the University offers to
house and feed students at no charge,
many jump at the chance.
Although this offer may seem un-
realistic, it is indeed real for many
students who applied for residence
hall staff positions last month. Two
weeks ago, after a complicated appli-
cation process, a select few were of-
fered a position.
According to resident staff guide-
lines, these responsibilities require
RAs to advise and counsel residents,
assist in conflict resolution, maintain
conditions conducive to academic and
personal development, and many
other tasks.

Although these requirements are
challenging, the job is one of the most
popular on campus, attracting many
more applicants than there are posi-
tions to fill each year. Although there
is no monetary salary for most, the
position provides free room and board
for the Fall and Winter terms.
Most new applicants are currently
sophomores, because the University
requires that applicants have com-
pleted four academic terms, have 48
credits, and a minimum 2.50 cumula-
tive grade point average for most po-
Christopher French, a Music
sophomore, was happy to be offered
an RA position at Couzens Hall, and
is among the majority who have cho-

'I was ecstatic about getting an RA position at
Couzens, because it was my first choice.'
- Christopher French
Music sophomore

sen to accept. French said, "I was
ecstatic about getting an RA position
at Couzens, because it was my first
French said he felt his experience
in leadership and counseling were his
strongest assets, and said he referred
to his past experiences extensively in
his interviews.
There are other residence staff
positions that students fervently pur-
sue, including the following: academic

peer advisor, head librarian, minority
peer advisor, minority peer advisor
assistant, resident computer systems
consultant (RCSC), resident director,
or Trotter House staff.
One of the positions with a smaller
number of applicants is RCSC. For
this job, the interview process is less
complex, but applicants must pass a

screening test to be considered. Kellie
Ralph, an Engineering sophomore,
said 1.2applicants made it through this
difficult step. Ralph was offered an
RCSC position in Barbour/Newberry
for next year. "I thought (the test) was
very challenging," said Ralph, who
accepted the position.
Franz Schmelzer, an LSA sopho-
more who lives in Mosher-Jordan
Hall, did not get the RA position he
applied for.
Schmelzer expressed his feelings
about the application process, saying,
"I thought it was very rushed, and
very pseudo-professional." He said

he felt the best assets a candidate
could have were outgoingness and a
good first impression, combined with
the ability to act responsibly in a group
Some students still do not know
whether they will be a part of a resi-
dent staff yet.
Although most applicants were
either offered a position or turned
down, a minority of applicants are
still unsure. These students have re-
ceived alternate status, and may be
placed in a position soon if applicants
who were offered positions choose to

Group Meetings
" Amnesty International, Michi-
gan Union, Welker Room, 7:30
J Arab-American Students' As-
sociation, Arabic conversation
hour, Amer's on State, 8:30 p.m.
" Asian Pacific Lesbian-Gay-Bi-
sexual Support Group, Michi-
gan Union, Room 3116, 5:30{
" Association for Computing
Machinery, EECS Building,
Room 1500, 7 p.m.

Undergraduate Law Club,
Michigan Union, Room 4121,
10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Women's Rugby Practice,
Oosterbaan Building, 9:30-11

tional Center, 7:30-9 p.m.
Student services
Q 76-GUIDE, peer counseling
phone line, call 76-GUIDE, 7
p.m.-8 a.m.
Q Alternative Career Center, ca-
reers in the nonprofit sector,
Michigan Union, Room 2213,
10 a.m.-5 a.m.
Q Campus Information Center,
Michigan Union, 763-INFO;
events info., 76-EVENT; film
info., 763-FILM.

U "Fetal Neurodevelopmental
Development, Janet DiPietro,
sponsored by the Center for
Human Growth, Room 1000,
300 N. Ingalls, noon.



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