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April 05, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-05

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 5, 1995
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by JULIE BECKER
students at the JAMES NASH
University of Michigan 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.
Budget imbalance
'U' should look into funding discrepancies
ithin the mechanical process of con- and state officials - and, importantly, the
structing a budget for the University, public - know just where the tax dollars are
startling discrepancies have emerged. The going. What is clear is that the money is not
School of Dentistry, for example, receives supporting undergraduate education. The
1,300 percent more per credit hour in state largest undergraduate school, LSA, suffers
allocations than the College of LSA. This from financial disfavor, while graduate
figure does not necessarily reflect a budget schools like Dentistry and Education are
process gone awry, but it raises significant enriched at LSA's expense. The University
questions about just where the University's has long proclaimed its commitment to un-
priorities lie. Despite University assurances dergraduate education, even while other en-
to the contrary, those priorities are clearly not deavors, like research and graduate educa-
with undergraduate education. tion, consume a larger share of the budget. If
A new budgeting procedure known as the University is serious about its under-
Value-Centered Management exposed vast graduates, it should put the state's money
inequities in the amount of state aid the where its mouth is.
University - through Provost and Chief Value-Centered Management is no cure-
Academic Officer Gilbert R. Whitaker Jr. - all for the University's misdirected spending
hands out to its academic units. The schools priorities, as it does nothing to change insti-
of Dentistry and Education receive the most tutional attitudes. Although state lawmakers
state funding while LSA and Kinesiology have expressed concerns about University
receive the least. The allocations are loosely spending priorities, they rightly avoid micro-
based on each unit's financial needs. Until managing the institution's finances. For the
this year, Whitaker and other University of- foreseeable future, managing the University
ficials had only a sketchy conception of the budget will be the responsibility of the pro-
flow of state funds - no precise figures were vost. Whitaker needs to look beyond fiscal
available. Operating in fiscal darkness, bud- tradition - a dubious precedent - when
.get officers could not be expected to correct realigning the University's budget priorities.
all but the most glaring of inequities. A sweeping overhaul may or may not be
While it sounds like another buzzword needed. But when examining where state
tossed around in academic circles, Value- funds are allocated, University administra-
Centered Management is a big step in the tors must not overlook their primary con-
right direction. For the first time, University stituents: undergraduate students.
Bad neighbor poicy
D'Amato's plan is an economic menace


Looking back oi
from the center

Standing on the 'M' in the middle of
campus, in the middle of the night,
being the only one of 36,000 students to
behold the view makes this large Univer-
sity small. I remember the first time I did
that freshman year.
I stood against a cool breeze, thinking
back to that night when my dad and I first
came here. Neither of us knew anything
about this place. But we looked around,
while most of campus slept, hoping we
could at least find the Union; this campus
would soon be my home. I thought about
spending my "college years" here. I'm sure
my dad was thinking the same, at the time
realizing, before I did, that this was the place
where I'd grow up. I'd leave home, become
When I stood freshman year on the 'M,'
the breeze was as cool as it had been the
night with my dad. But there was no dad. I
was in my college years. And in the middle
of campus, it was the first time that I stepped
back to admire where I was and what I was
doing. It was the first time I felt happy in
being alone. I smiled.
Last week, I stood alone on the 'M'
with my girlfriend and I told her my theory
of owning the Diag: If you stand on the 'M,'
you're in the center of all campus, by your-
self, and it feels like you own the place.
Look in every direction, when no one is
there, and you gain a sense of serenity and
awe. A new look at the University. Sud-
denly the whole place is yours. A powerful
feeling for a little freshman. Still is for a big
She laughed. She thought the idea was
cute, but certainly not a stroke of poetic
So I'm no poet.
But I enjoy the 'M.' I stand there late
nights in reflection sometimes to think how

much I've changed, and how much I
haven't. I recall how I felt that first night
coming in on State Street; I compare it to
I think of all the events that have taken
place on the 'M' - the demonstrations,
Hash Bash days, bucket drives, band audi-
ences, the Naked Mile. BAM protested
campus racism right on this spot, Presi-
dent Kennedy once spoke just down the
way (I bet the crowd stretched to the 'M').
Up the other way is Ashley's, where
I've spent many good times. The other
way is South University where we cel-
ebrated and we mourned outcomes of the
Final Four games. Smack in front of the 'M'
is the Graduate Library, symbolizing a
massive amount of studying - and social-
izing. Some distance behind is the
Rackham graduate school, standing as a
symbol of the future: life after graduation,
which has always seemed so far away.
Now it's in three weeks.
I suppose in some way it's rebellious if
you believe in blue-book fairy tales, but
mostly I think it's novel. Standing on the
'M.' In the middle of the night. Owning for
yourself what everyone else owns, too, if
just for that moment.
And the simple act of standing on the
'M' has taught me simple rules:
1) Step out of boundaries;
2) Think for its own sake, even if there is
no answer;
3) Being alone is OK, often even needed;
4) A new perspective is the only way I
have learned anything; and
5) Finding oneself in this whole big
place is tangibly possible.
These were difficult to realize three years
ago. And how a faded class gift from 1953
taught me such things, I'm not sure. But it
did. It got me to take perspective.

a college
of it all
w I still find time to stop at the 'M' every
once in a while - like on the way to
Touchdown from Ashley's -- and have 4
look around. The Grad. Rackham. The Bell
Tower. A big flag. That damn crowded
computing center where you always know
too many people to write a paper. A bunch
of grass matted down from Hash Bash,
Frisbee throwers and people who are too
hurried to use the sidewalk. There is a lot
you can see from the 'M.' And it brings back
When I stood there freshman year, therd
weren't many memories -there were ques-
tions and doubts. But it was the same 'M.'
Every once in a while, I go back to the
'M' to think. I like to go late at night,
hoping that no one will be there. I look
around. I still smile. Thoughts get run-
ning. I realize that I like this place, a lot.
I've stood there intoxicated, depressed,
overjoyed and solemnly in awe. It's good.
for all occasions.
And it puts everything into perspective.
A break from the routine, standing on the
'M' gets you to think about everything
around you, literally, and how it has
changed you. How it has changed every-
one else. I don't know what the conclusion
is, or if there is one, but it can sure get you
College will be done soon. I'm not goin
to be able to run out my door and within I
minutes be at the center of the University of
Michigan. Other students will be owning
the Diag. They will stand on the 'M ' Others
will keep avoiding it.
I suggest you try it. Stop,just foracouple
of moments, and look around you with a
cold breeze hitting your face and no one to
judge you. Look around you and pause.
Sometimes thoughts are best in the cen
ter of it all.



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..,,. PS1 OA XM aR-ONLR( pkI Eog

"We hope our fans
never again have
to go through the'
heartache we've
endured the last
eight months."

L ast Thursday, Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-
N.Y.) proposed a bill that would hinder
the U.S. aid effort to Mexico. This action was
a wrongheaded political ploy that, if passed,
would mean dire consequences for both econo-
The proposal, actually an amendment to a
budget-cutting bill, would force any president
to receive congressional approval before spend-
ing more than $5 billion from the currency
stabilization fund. President Clinton is pres-
ently taking $20 billion from the fund, created
under Franklin D. Roosevelt to be used at
presidential discretion, for loans to stave off
economic catastrophe in Mexico. D'Amato's
proposal, which has nine Republican cospon-
sors, would be retroactive to Jan. 1, before the
plan was instituted. Since Clinton bypassed
Congress on the loan package only after Con-
gress refused to support an earlier version,
D'Amato's plan would doom the Mexican
Clearly, the irascible senator is hoping for
political gain with this proposal. It is no secret
that foreign aid, even in the form of loans, is
unpopular. D'Amato has never shied away
from a bold gesture to win him political points
back home - last summer, he burst into song
during a critical Senate debate. But this is a
new low, because the stakes are so high.
The notion that canceling the loan package
would save money for the United States is
wrong. The currency stabilization fund is not
part of the budget. Ending the loans would
not cut the deficit. It would, however, have
drastic economic consequences for both the
United States and its neighbor to the south.
Mexico's economic survival is contingent on
the U.S. loan deal. Before the plan was an-
nounced, the peso was in a free fall in inter-
national currency markets, and the country's
economy and financial system were near

There is unprecedented consensus among
economists about the merit of the loan package
and the risks of abandoning it. In today's
integrated global economy, disaster in the
Mexican market would spell doom for the
United States. Nearly all major American firms
have some stake in the Mexican market, and
they would be hurt badly if the loans were
canceled. The United States would lose thou-
sands of jobs and see its overall economic
performance decline. Also, the already high
number of illegal immigrants crossing U.S.
borders would skyrocket. In a worst-case sce-
nario, which many economists consider pos-
sible, financial collapse in Mexico could bring
financial disaster across the developing world
and trigger a rash of currency collapses. This
would be devastating for the American
economy. What heads off these scenarios is
the U.S. loan package to Mexico.
Even though the D'Amato plan is far from
passage, the very fact that it was brought to the
Senate floor will damage the Mexican finan-
cial situation. Investors know Mexico's eco-
nomic health is contingent on the loan pack-
age. This new threat to the loans will slow the
inflow of capital into the Mexican economy -
capital that is sorely needed to augment the
U.S. loans and stabilize the economy. One of
the loan package's goals is to increase confi-
dence in the Mexican financial situation.
D'Amato is undermining this confidence.
Of course, many voters are not interested in
the details of international financial markets
and world trade. That is why irresponsible
politicians such as D'Amato can peddle their
nonsense on the floor of Congress - some
people who do not have as much information
as the senator will buy into his naive nativism.
And the Mexican economy - as well as the
U.S. system - will suffer as a result.


1995: IF YOU BUILD IT,....

- Acting Major League
Baseball Commissioner
Bud Selig


box offensive
to readers
To the Daily:
After reading the Weekend
section of Thursday's paper (3/
30/95), we are disturbed to find
on page seven you have a 2 x 2
"box" ad stating "Practice Ran-
dom Acts of Violence." We are
truly offended by this and find
nothing "cute" or "funny" about
promoting violence (there are
people out there who act on such
We are also disturbed by the
fact that this is offensive and
cruel to people who have been
victimized by violence and there
is no journalistic value in print-
ing such statements.
We feel an apology of some
type to victims of violence
should be one of your priorities.
Margaret Goebel
Luann Musser
Department of Film and
Video Studies
Violence is
not a joke
To the fluIv:

item I have to ask, does this
reflect the opinion of the Daily?
In a town already traumatized
by many seemingly random vio-
lent acts, I should hope that the
Daily or its editors would not
encourage even more.
Sven Blien
Rackham student
'Jeans Day' a
cheap trick
To the Daily:
March 21. The first day of
spring. Finally, the sun begins to
muscle its way through the thick
cover of gray that envelops this
campus. It is a day of rejuvena-
tion. Students shed their winter
apparrel and flock to the Diag to
relax with friends in the warmth
of the season. Oh by the way, if
you were wearing jeans while
you were enjoying the sun, then
you were supporting the gay and
lesbian movement at the Univer-
sity of Michigan.
March 21. A day known to a
small minority of students at this
University as "Blue Jean Day."
The only problem is, the major-
ity of students were not aware
that March 21 was not only the
firs~t day of snrin~, hbut a day vto

"Blue Jean Day" was a self-
defeating and pointless form of
expression. I guarantee that the
large majority of students wear-
ing jeans on March 21 were not
in support of the gay and lesbian
movement. The large majority of
students at this university wear
blue jeans every day. They sim-
ply didn't know that by wearing
them on this day they were mak-
ing a statement. It is the sheer use
of chicanery in the attempt to
open people's eyes that makes
"Blue Jean Day" such a feeble
effort in expression.
The organizers of "Blue Jean
Day" claimed that the pointeof
this day was to make people talk
about the gay and lesbian move-
ment. They say that it is a sub-
ject many students would rather
ignore than talk about. It is defi-
nitely a subject that should be
discussed and thought out be-
fore any conclusions are drawn,
and there are too many students
who dismiss it simply on the
connotation that different is
wrong. Their intentions were
good, however their method was
all wrong. The only conversa-
tion it sparked with most of my
peers was in a negative sense. It

MSA not to
blame for
voter ballots
To the Daily:
I was not surprised to find the
Daily had no more than a passin
mention of the fact that the rec
MSA elections saw the highest
voter turnout in MSA history;
and I was not surprised that the
next day the Daily saw fit to
screamaheadline across the front
page about the MSA election staff
temporarily misplacing 200 bal-
But I must admit to bei
taken aback by the naivet6 of t
Daily's March 30 editorial,
"Lost ballots, lostfaith." Clearly,
there are electoral reforms that
MSA needs to institute. But to
suggest that MSA is "institution-
ally flawed" because of a mis-
take made by the election staff
(not MSA representatives) is ab-
Moreover, the suggestion that
MSA is in the dark ages because
its elections aren't computerized
simply stems from ignorance.
MSA has been contemplating

University President James J. Duderstadt
Office of the President
2068 Fleming Administration Building

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