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March 15, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-15

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 15, 1995

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Tales of adventurefrom

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan


Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors



Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Stealing the spotlight
FLandefeld's words on racism harm his goals

ast week, Pharmacology assistant Prof.
omas Landefeld asked the state House
appropriations subcommittee on higher edu-
cation to tie state funding for the University to
a study on racism. This action was clearly
Itis true that racism exists at the University.
Within a community of more than 60,000, a
certain amountofprejudice is inevitable. How-
ever, by every indication, the University itself
'does not sanction official racism. In fact, the
University has made many worthy efforts to
recruit and retain minorities and to foster a
hospitable climate for minority groups. The
idea that at the same time it is undertaking a
massive effort to subjugate minorities, as
Landefeld asserts, makes little sense.
Despite the fact that Landefeld's vision of
the University is, at best, incomplete, he may
have some valid points. However, these griev-
ances should be addressed within the Univer-
sity, not taken to Lansing. Instead of heading
to the state House, Landefeld should have
pushed his specific concerns harder to the
regents or the administration. Since the Uni-
versity is, already dealing with issues of race
and has been for some time, it is not unrea-
sonable to believe that it would at least have
given Landefeld a fair hearing - and it
probably would have been more responsive
than state officials were.
However, addressing these grievances in
Ann Arbor would not have garnered the media
attention that taking them to Lansing did.
Appearing before a House subcommittee was
a chance to grandstand - a chance for
Student loans must be
Although the Republican congressional
attack on social programs has been re-
lentless, no legislation has threatened to harm
university students as much as the bill sched-
uled for a House Appropriations Committee
vote next week. Funding that subsidizes stu-
dent loans by offering interest exemptions
for students in higher education is in danger
as the recent proposal threatens to eliminate
the subsidy program. These recent attempts
to cut education spending are both misguided
and alarming.
By terminating a program that pays the
interest for student loans, this new bill threat-
ens to cost some University students up to
$4,000 annually. This bill would directly af-
fect about 8,000 students at the University
alone. Students across the country would
face similar problems. Presently, many stu-
dents leave college and graduate school with
tremendous debts and this act would only add
to their burdens. As educational debts reach
astronomical proportions, many youths will
be discouraged from furthering their educa-
Not only do today's young people need to
attend college to succeed in the present eco-
nomic climate, but graduate school is becom-
ing increasingly important. This can amount to
tip to a decade of schooling. Under current
procedures, students are exempt from paying
interest on their loans as long as they remain in

school - they are only responsible for that
which accrues after they graduate. But if this
proposal passes and subsidies are cut, com-
pound interest could cost as much as $35,000

Landefeld to criticize the University while
giving himself good publicity. This is not
inconsistent with Landefeld's history at the
University. Last May, he threw himself into
the midst of a procedural debate with the
provost over a racial issue - and this was not
the first such incident. He seems to be fight-
ing a one-man war against the administra-
tion. Faculty activism can be beneficial. But
Landefeld's actions border on destructive.
Disturbing as Landefeld's grandstanding
is, perhaps most troubling is the fact that he
asked for a cut in funding for the University if
his request for a study was not heeded. This
action was illogical at best, deliberately harm-
ful at worst. Why would a faculty member
want a cut in funding for his institution? There
are far more effective ways to combat racism
than to undermine the entire University. In
fact, if state funding were to be cut, as
Landefeld has proposed, minorities would
be the biggest losers. With less money, the
first programs to go would be student ser-
vices and funding for student organizations.
This would mean that services designed for
minorities, as well as minority student groups,
would feel the blade of the ax - in other
words, the University would be forced to cut
its programs designed to combat racism, all
in the name of "fighting racism."
Landefeld was out of line in his statements
in Lansing last week. His representation of the
University was incorrect, and his remedy for
the University's racial problems was
wrongheaded. Next time, Dr. Landefeld, please
stay home.
ng debt
spared from budget ax
in accrued interest to a student enrolled in a
doctoral program. That is $35,000 in interest
alone, in addition to a much larger initial cost.
By making it more difficult for middle- and
lower-class youth to attend college and gradu-
ate school, this bill threatens to tilt an already
slanted playing field. For much of America's
lower and middle class struggling to obtain the
disappearing American dream, this legislation
will jeopardize their decreasing chances. Of-
ten referred to as "the great equalizer," educa-
tion is an integral part of providing equal
opportunity in a free-market system. Children
from low-income families are already at a
significant disadvantage in educational oppor-
tunities, but subsidized loans are one way of
overcoming the disadvantage. By eliminating
the subsidies that help make it possible for
some students to attend institutions of higher
education, the government will be cutting off
the equalizer.
In general, cutting funding for education is
a large step in the wrong direction. Thin-
skinned lawmakers do not hesitate to sacrifice
programs for college-age Americans, while
they are loath to even discuss cutting programs
for older Americans. Why? Because while
over 20 percent of those who voted in 1992
were age 60 or over, college-age students
were the most under-represented among eli-
gible voters at the polls.
The logic is clear: Politicians know which
side their bread is buttered on. College stu-

dents must awaken from their slumber of po-
litical passivity before programs like subsi-
dized student loans fall under the budget ax.

f you enter through the door in the
lobby of the Graduate Library, and
scamper down the steps to Basement A,
you may be able to find a book by Gandhi
in the economics section. It is a good read.
Up on the second floor, somewhere in
the 820s, used to be another book, bound
in old leather, called Varsity Stories. It
was written by a bunch of students here
back in 1900. The last person to check it
out did so last year. That was me. The last
person before that checked it out in 1987.
Not well-read, but this book's a gem. I
don't know how I ran across it, but Varsity
Stories is one of the most interesting bits
I've gotten my hands on in those stacks;
the book gave me a feeling I had found a
lost treasure, a piece of history.
Who knows what's still out there?
The stacks are a jungle. With my bag
and my coat, I always sweat as I race
between the towering shelves, avoiding
other adventurers who navigate the vast
untamed territories of the Grad. Way in
the HG's of the basement, I'll find some-
one searching for a book. Is there any-
where people don't go?

Grad library
But more often, there is nobody. Some-
times, as I seek my book in the stacks, I
find parts of the Grad where I bet no one
has ever been; surely some books have
never been touched since the first time
they were places on their shelves. This is
amazing. To me, it spells out only one
thing: A-D-V-E-N-T-U-R-E.
This is adventure of the Indiana Jones
genre. When I hunt for book in there, I feel
like I'm tracking down archaic tablets. Or
something like an idol. When I'm in the
stacks, I feel like I'm taking stuff that has
been sitting for years, untouched. I am the
perpetrator. I am the adventurer. I find a
book. I have succeeded. Call me Indy.
The stacks offer much more excite-
ment than the chance to search for histori-
cal documents as you role-play your fa-
vorite screen character. The library's stacks
are an adventure in every sense of the word.
People have sex in there, they sleep in
there, they pick their noses. They study. I
saw a prof. scratch his ass there once.
People always think they're alone. But
they're not, because of people like you and
me looking for adventure.

The stacks are a place where you can be
alone, but there's always the chance some-
one will come along. It's like having a
quickie in the elevator. For some reason, it
exhilarates the experience, if that's your
thing. It's not mine, so I look for books.
I invite you to give it a try yourself -
even if you didn't like Raiders of the Lost
Ark -look for some old books, do people-
watching, or if you'd rather be adventur-
ous in another way, have sex or simply
pick your nose, but do it in the stacks.
Do it where there's the slight possibil-
ity that someone may see you. Or be the
one who is seeing the other. In either case,
be adventurous. Be your dream. Be Indy.
Be some other favorite character, but hell,
I'm telling you: Do it in the stacks.
With the temperature this warm, what
are you going to do anyway? Study?
Many more gems are waiting to be
discovered: Lost treasure lurk among the
books. A book from 1872? They allow
that to be kept here? This should be in a
museum! But it's not. It's right here on
campus in the library, accessible to us all.






17 S,tA'Y S Tfi N.Ft E

Or-AL i..

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"I love Ann
Arbor. I love
the Diag. I love
free speech."
-street performer
Stoney Burke





Party fiscally
To the Dally:
What is financial responsibil-
ity? According to the current
MSA leadership, financial re-
sponsibility is setting money
aside for frills for the MSA office
and spending an exorbitantly high
amount of the students' money
on operational expenses, even
for a high-end nonprofit organi-
zation. The Students' Party, on
the other hand, believes that fi-
nancial responsibility is using the
student fee money for projects
and events that the students want
to see occur, not spending thou-
sands of dollars on computer and
ethernet connections so that as-
sembly members can more con-
veniently use electronic mail.
The Michigan Student As-
sembly must exist solely to serve
the interests of the students, not
the interests of its members and
employees. Additionally, the rep-
resentatives' actions must also
be geared toward the students.
To ask the representatives to serve
roughly three hours a month
working the front desk of the
MSA offices would not only save
the assembly most of its part-
time employee costs, but would
also make the representatives
more knowledgeable about all of
the behind-the-scenes services
that the assembly provides. Such
a service should not be consid-
ered an undue burden by any
assembly members committed to
serving their constituency.
Financial responsibility in-
volves giving the committees,
commissions and select com-
mtoPCte. 2mnno thev nai-ed t

putting ADVICE on-line is en-
tirely feasible. It can be made as
easy as clicking an ADVICE icon
that could be part of the Univer-
sity auto-load set, and selecting
the courses, professors, or de-
partments that you would like to
view or compare. All of this can
be accomplished with software
the University already supports.
ADVICE is one of the most
valuable and visible services that
MSA provides and the Students'
Party has no intention of reduc-
ing its effectiveness.
The Students' Party's pro-
posed budget is no "campaign
stunt" as some would have you
believe. On the contrary, it is a
commitment that we take very
Brian Elliott
Students' Party presidential
Fiona Rose
Students' Party vice-
presidential candidate
Daily neglects
LSA-SG race
To the Daily:
With elections fast approach-
ing, I have been disturbed by the
general lack of coverage for the
LSA Student Government elec-
tion. Of the three articles pub-
lished by the Daily, not one has
focused its 'attention alone on
LSA-SG. There were more ref-
erences to MSA than to LSA-SG
in the articles. I feel this is wrong.
LSA Student Government is an
important organization that de-
serves its own feature article.
By focusing on the potential
impacts for MSA, the Daily has
provided LSA students a dis-
service.-Specifically, the Daily
has nnt nrnvideda denate in-

the LSA Students' Party have
been instrumental in restructur-
ing LSA-SG, revising the Con-
stitution and bylaws, and estab-
lishing the academic focus of
the government.
The LSA Students' Party is
determined to keep LSA-SG non-
political, service-oriented, and
accountable to students. We wish
to focus even more on academic
concerns of the College of LSA
such as the pass/fail deadline,
foreign language instruction and
the ROE requirement. We want
to increase student awareness and
involvement in LSA-SG. We will
continue the student outreach
program, establish the Student
Incorporation plan to increase
outside participation in LSA-SG
and maintain the money-back
guarantee program. Finally, we
understand that some restructur-
ing of the government is needed.
We have proposed to eliminate
overlapping committees and cre-
ate a new member orientation
program. This is a more accurate
depiction of our goals.
In the future, I hope to see
more articles that examine just
the LSA Student Government. I
also encourage those individuals
not planning to vote in the MSA
elections to definitely vote in the
LSA-SG election. It is an organi-
zation worthy of your effort.
James Kovacs
LSA Students' Party presi-
dential candidate and LSA-
SG treasurer
Parties help
To the Daily:
The recent trend toward po-
litical parties is ultimately ben-
eficial tonnr sident overnment.

ture a healthy conflict so that
constructive ideas and solutions
arise to student issues. Parties
propose alternative government
programs. Through the plat-
forms of each party, a stude*
can see how a particular party
may help their views become
reality in student government.
Furthermore, if a student identi-
fies with a party, that student
may wish to become more ac-
tively involved.
The focus of this election
needs to center on how to in-
crease incentive for student pare
ticipation in University student
government. The party is just a
tool for the student to use to
achieve the ultimate goal of par-
ticipatory government. The po-
litical party is meant to mobilize
each student to help lead the stu-
dent government forward into a
new prosperity forUniversity stu-
dents in which every student i
involved in each decision that
affects their lives.
Scott Buser
LSA first-year student
SAC above
MSA politics
To the Daily:
In response to a statement in
"Parties differ on Leadership
2017 funding, purpose" (3/13/
The Student Alumni Coun-
cil has neither in the past nor
does it have any intention of in-
volving itself in the MSA poli-
tics. We do not now, and we will
continue to refrain, from en*
dorsing or rejecting any party.
SAC both invites and seeks
cooperative ties with MSA as
with all student organizations on
cmmniin hNit will not wnrkrexclu..

For information on lobbying Congress
about student loan funding, e-mail:

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