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March 22, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-22

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 22, 1995
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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Students vs. meter maids:
unite in the ticket fight

_ ._.
. f:

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.
Budget crunch
State, U' must cooperate on funding issues


he Michigan House appropriation sub-
committee rashly decided last week to
withhold $8.4 million of the University's pro-
posed $280 million budget for 1995-1996. The
committee cited Michigan's current 32 per-
cent out-of-state attendance. By slashing
funds without warning to the University and
offering no chance to remedy its error, the
Legislature unjustly penalized the Univer-
sity and, more importantly, its students.
Although the state has the inherent right
to request levels of enrollment for in-state
students, the decision to withhold funds came
as the entering class for 1995 has already
been determined. The 70-30 ratio was a
"gentleman's agreement" between the state
and the University in 1987 - under much
different circumstances. The shift from 70-
30 to 68-32 does not seem significant enough
to warrant the steep tuition hikes that in-state
students would shoulder if the measure passes.
The University has not been blameless in
this conflict. The institution needs to face
reality: The appropriations subcommittee has
made it clear that it will not act as "Daddy" on
every financial request the University brings
to the table. The administration has been
deemed arrogant by legislators in part due to its
unwillingness to respect the state's concerns
about the split between in-state and out-of-
state students. This action follows a clear pat-
tern of finding convenient ways to punish
University students for the actions of their

representatives in Lansing. Not following
Michigan State in vowing not to raise tuition
above the inflation rate brought many jeers
from legislators. While this plan may not be
appropriate for the University, the administra-
tion has failed to provide any viable alterna-
tives or goals for keeping tuition under control.
Moreover, the debate itself over the 70-30
ratio is narrow-minded. Placing a cap on out-
of-state attendance will hurt the competitive-
ness of the University, one of the premier
public institutions in the country. The state of
Michigan suffers no financial loss from the 68-
32 margin: Out-of-state students do not re-
ceive state dollars and contribute significantly
to the state economy. Forcing the University to
admit more in-state students will hurt both the
University and other state schools, many of
which already have excess capacity for in-
state students.
Rather than spark a bitter debate on the
merits of in-state vs. out-of-state students, the
Legislature and the University must try to
understand each other and define their respec-
tive positions without irrational financial de-
mands. Legislators are free to request enroll-
ment levels for in-state students. But they must
realize that by cutting off funds, students, not
the University, will pay the price in the form of
tuition increases. This will make the cost of a
Michigan education prohibitively expensive
for the very students the Legislature wants the
University to include.

first used the term meter maid just
recently, after months of frustrating
parking tickets, but was reminded that
meter maid is a derogatory term that should
be replaced by something more "appropri-
ate" like enforcement officer.
That is true, if I am to pay these people
any respect.
But I don't care much for meter maids.
They gain pleasure from catching vic-
tims who left their car to do a quick errand.
They can catch cars that have been stand-
ing 61 minutes in a one-hour spot. They
enjoy the painful expression on the face of
a man or woman who has just realized that
his or her vehicle has been ticketed.
Meter maids roam relentlessly around
Ann Arbor, waiting. Preying. Five min-
utes is all they need. There is no grace
period, no compassion.
Victims unite.
Because we can't shoot meter maids,
students must find another way to deal
with them.
The ticket to stopping these mean
people who carry out the desires of a mean
city is banding together.
Every man, woman and car-driving
child in Ann Arbor should carry coins.
Nickels are good.
The concept is simple: Always be on the
lookout for a meter maid.
If you see a meter maid approaching,
put nickels in all the meters that need
money. For only a few nickels, you'll be
helping a lot of people.

One by one, go down the line dropping
the coins and turning the dials as the smile
of the meter maid fades in realization That
there will be no tickets today - not where
there are coin holders around.
This band, this group of concerned and
angry students, should be called the Coin
Holding Association of Metered Parking
Security (CHAMPS).
If everybody joins this campaign, there
will be no more tickets, only frustrated
meter maids. Imagine the joy of seeing the
ticket issuer who is frustrated, instead of
you, the ticket receiver.
U ..
I called the city of Ann Arbor's Park-
ing Enforcement Division (which, by the
way, is a division of the Public Service
Department. Oh, what a fantastic service.
If they ever start randomly beating people
with large clubs, I hope the city will put
that under Public Service, too).
According to the division officials, it is
illegal to feed the meter of a vehicle that is
not yours.
Where's the sense in this?
"I don't know," an enforcement officer
(meter maid) said.
I don't know, either.
In other words, giving a nickel to some-
body is unlawful. Perhaps next we should
outlaw telling people the time and giving
directions to a stranger.
The point is, however, that no such law
is going to stop CHAMPS. Although an
obstacle, it is not a very big one.

Gut instincts tell me that the maids,
albeit well-trained, will not know enough
to realize:
a) what is going on
b) that there might be a law against this
c) that the car(s) you are paying for are
not yours.
On the chance that a maid is able to
catch you feeding someone else's meter
and (I really doubt) questions you about it,
diverting the uniformed villain would not
be difficult:
Maid: Is that your car?
You: No, but it's my brother's. I ran out
here to put in some money for him.
Maid: And all the other cars you just
paid for are your brother's, too?
You: Yes. All of them.
Maid: OK. Just checking.
By putting a coin in someone else's
meter, you are doing a good deed. That joy
alone should make you give coins to strang-
ers. Plus you are hurting a profession that
you dislike. This should push you even
And the good feelings will come back
to you. Someone will put a coin in your
meter some day, save you a ticket, and you
will be happy. CHAMPS is about hurting
the city by helping ourselves.
If you like helping others, if like saving
money, if you like screwing the city of Ann 4
Arbor after they have screwed you for too
long, then be a CHAMP. It's just the right
thing to do.




Sanctioning murder
Death penalty laws should rest in peace

Employment Office


rime is a multidimensional problem
that cannot be treated with a solution as
simplistic and inhumane as execution. Capi-
tal punishment does not stop crime. It serves
only to burden already-overwhelmed state
appellate courts.
Yet the current national trend leans toward
the death penalty as the answer to an escalating
crime rate. On March 30, David Ronald Chan-
dler - charged with hiring a hitman to kill a
police informant - will be the first criminal to
be executed by the federal government in 32
years. And now, following the aggressive lead
of New York Gov. George Pataki, the Michi-
gan Legislature is reviewing a proposal to
reinstate the death penalty in Michigan.
David Chandler was indeed wrong to have
had someone killed. But in killing him, soci-
ety becomes guilty of the very crime it is
attempting to punish. It is impossible to take
an honest and effective stand against murder
when the state is performing the same act.
Some argue that executing murderers is justi-
fied by the criminals' actions - but the fact
remains that in utilizing the death penalty, the
state gives itself the right to decide who should
live and who should die.
Those who argue that capital punishment
is an effective crime deterrent are similarly
misguided. Passion, anger and chaos over-
ride any rational thought about the repercus-
sions of a murderer's criminal actions. A jail
term forces the criminal to confront the act
and live with the knowledge of guilt, while a
sentence of death frees the convict of the
torturous self-examination of isolation. In
addition, when government is empowered to
make decisions about life and death, there is

the intolerable risk of sentencing an innocent
person to death. To ensure against wrongful
murder, multiple hearings and appeals are
filed, causing the expense of killing a crimi-
nal to exceed the cost of a life sentence.
The anti-crime focus is misdirected. In-
stead of reacting to the shock and horror of
crime with quick, ineffective responses, soci-
ety must work to prevent the perpetuation of
murder. As citizens clamor for easy solutions
to the rising crime rate and politicians eagerly
capitalize on public fears and offer sound-bite
answers, the causes of crime are overlooked.
The conservative trend overrunning much of
the nation has seized upon crime as a divisive
and easily manipulated issue - and the death
penalty becomes another shell in the conserva-
tive artillery. However, what most Republi-
cans and even many Democrats fail to realize
is that the death penalty cannot be treated like
any other anti-crime measure. Unlike other
measures, it is irreversible.
By executing Chandler, society no longer
has to face his deed. Instead of confronting
the act, through execution society chooses a
rash solution in an effort to seek retribution
for an unforgivable crime. Counseling, reha-
bilitation, jail time and life sentencing are
better ways of dealing with criminals. Using
execution as the solution to crime implicitly
condones murder, thereby undermining capi-
tal punishment's initial goal of deterrence.
By reinstating such an archaic method of
punishment, the government lowers itself to
the level of the criminal. A civilized society
will not respond to crime with hysterical, reac-
tionary, revengeful zeal. A modern nation is
not an executioner.


Vote United
To the Daily:
COALITION is the only all-
people-of-color party running for
election for MSA. We are run-
ning because we believe that our
"representatives" have ignored
or tokenized us for far too long,
left us under-funded and claimed
to speak for us while instead pro-
moting their own agendas.
If elected, we will address
issues affecting us at this Uni-
versity - issues related to di-
versity (or lack thereof), tuition
rates, campus safety, recruit-
ment, retention, under-funding
of U.S. minority organizations,
instead of devoting our time and
energy to ego trips and squab-
bling over petty issues while
ignoring the larger picture.
Our posters are all over cam-
pus. But we feel that, as people of
color, we should rely on our com-
munities to get elected instead of
littering Angell Hall for a few
votes from passersby. We are
depending on word-of-mouth and
direct solicitations to our com-
munities. Our obstacles are nu-
merous, but still we persist, de-
spite things like the Daily's re-
fusal to cover our party.,
If anyone reads the Daily on a
regular basis, you would have
noticed the front-page treatment

say they don't need to cover us,
since we aren't running a presi-
dential slate. We say that those
are only figurehead positions,
that it's better to let the candi-
dates speak for themselves, that
we have a spokesperson, that
we are not about power tripping
and that we meet the require-
ments for party candidacy. Ob-
viously, there's more at stake
here than simple election poli-
tics. How can other candidates
lay the claim to speak for us
when they won't even speak to
us? How can the Daily deter-
mine what is important news and
not include us in the political (or
general) dialogue? How long can
we continue to let this happen?
Vote United People's Coalition
on March 22 and 23, and con-
tinue the struggle for racial
equality at the University.
United People's Coalition
degrade MSA
with claims
To the Daily:
Over the past few weeks, the,
campus has been blitzed by the
annual campaign rush for candi-
dates seeking election to the
Michigan Student Assembly.
Aside from the interchangeable
faces and witty campaign slo-
gans, this season is traditionally

beyond the bounds of good-na-
tured campaigning and incorpo-
rated the daily business of the
Michigan Student Assembly into
their election rhetoric. Unfortu-
nately, both parties have taken
what should be non-partisan suc-
cesses for the assembly and
turned them into seemingly im-
portant campaign issues. The
Michigan Party used the work
done by Rep. Mike Christie to
lower textbook prices and Rep.
Jeffrey Brown to make campus
safer as major portions of their
"Students' Bill of Rights." Simi-
larly, the Students' Party has an-
nounced plans to revamp the fi-
nancial structure of MSA, using
the work accomplished by the
Operations Task Force, an inter-
nal portion of the assembly. Each
of these examples should serve
as examples of the effectiveness
of MSA, but instead have be-
come the basis of political fight-
ing and can only harm the cred-
ibility of the assembly.
This type of campaigning
demonstrates that each of these
two parties have lost touch with
the general student population.
Because they have become so
concerned with beating the other
party, the Michigan and Students'
Parties have lent further support
to the belief that MSA does noth-
ing for the students on this cam-
pus. I only hope that the last
portion of the campaign can fo-
cus on issues affecting the entire
campus, like the code, and stay

seem to have
shorter horizons
than the faculty."
-Engineering Prof
and newly elected
SACUA member
Robert L. Smith
Daily editorial
To the Daily:
The "Consumer Paradigm"
which I continually referred to
("LSA-SG: Vote Students'," 3/
21/95) implies the notion that
the University should be more
open to student concerns. Stu-
dents pay high tuition costs, and
are entitled to excellent service.
The Daily deliberately miss
represented our position on for-
eign language. "It is not the stu-
dents' duty to reform the foreign
language requirement," states
that students paying top dollar,
should not be blamed for the ills
of a failing department.
The Michigan Party is vehe-
mently opposed to the proposed
measure of removing the foreigi,
language pass/fail option for the
fourth semester. This was
clearly stated both in our plat-
form and at the editorial board
The Daily gave a strong en-
dorsement to the Students' Party
presidential and vice-presiden-
tial candidates based on experi-
ence. It should be noted that mosO
students never even knew that
LSA-SG even existed, before the
entrance of the Michigan Party in
this year's election.
The Daily editorial board

Michigan Student Assembly
Wolverine Party
Mike Christie, president
Brooke Holley, vie p|resident

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