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February 21, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-21

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 21, 1996

$fe £kbit &dUl g

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

i t

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.
Take a hike
Residence hall rate increase will hurt students

I got much more out of this experience than drinking
with my friends in Daytona Beach.'
- LSA junior Tito Pando explains why he
participated in Project SERVE's
Alternative Spring Break program.
- ~
New Hampshire lke alitleextansomthig he lp my standng
MUD. inth plls Beids dmagngmyoppoent, ud ligin isth
What a Surprise wen yugeads perat. fo oe a e ta ust ht h
p P doctor ordered.


N ext year, students will have to pay more
for the privilege of sharing closet-size
rooms with one or more other students, eat-
ing sub-quality meals at dictated times and
fighting for showers before class.
The University Board of Regents voted
Friday to increase residence hall fees for the
1996-97 school year. Because Alice Lloyd
and Couzens halls are in line for renovations
- $10 million worth - and the residence
halls' contractual costs are increasing, the
housing planning committee called for a price
hike. But the fee increase for traditional resi-
dence halls exceeds the University's calcu-
lated inflation rate by 1.4 percent. With cur-
rent residence hall fees bordering on absurd,
the fee increase will push it over the edge.
The housing planning committees-con-
sisting of staff and undergraduate students -
calculated a general rate of 3.5 percent. It
reached this number by taking a weighted
average of expected increases in contractual
costs such as food service, insurance, phone
and other utilities, equipment and mainte-
nance. The fee will increase by 4.9 percent
for traditional residence halls and by 4.7
percent for family housing. The cost-pad-
ding - passed directly on to students - is
insensitive and increases students' financial
burden. University housing may no longer be
an option for students who cannot afford to
pay so much for so little. Many first-year
students may now opt for off-campus hous-
ing. The switch would cheat these students
out of the traditionally valuable residence
hall experience.
By pushing up the cost of University
housing, the regents may have unwittingly

own momiz line

hurt most students who live in off-campus
housing as well. Ann Arbor's landlords now
will have an increased margin for rent hikes
- making the situation worse for off-cam-
pus residents who already deal with skyrock-
eting rent and added fees. Students are run-
ning out of affordable options.
The regents spent an insignificant amount
of time at last week's meeting discussing the
increase - an issue of this magnitude, con-
cerning such an important facet of student
life, clearly deserved more attention. Regent
Andrea Fischer Newman (R-Ann Arbor)
voiced the sole opposition to the fee increase,
suggesting instead that the housing commis-
sion investigate cost-cutting options. The
other regents failed to heed Newman's voice
of reason, passing the increase 6 to 1.
The housing committee would have been
wiser and more responsible to follow
Newman's suggestion - the board should
have examined cost-reduction plans before
jumping to increase student fees. Anyone
who lives in the residence halls can attest to
the inefficiency and waste that occurs on a
daily basis. Instead of automatically passing
the costs on to students, the committee should
have investigated ways to reduce waste, thus
cutting utility and food service costs. At the
very least, if the regents had to raise fees they
should have limited it to the rate of inflation
- certainly not above it. If this trend contin-
ues - the housing committee is predicting
similar fee hikes next year - students will
weigh the substantial costs of University
housing against its limited benefits, and resi-
dence hall life could become not only im-
practical but obsolete.

'U' needs
Studies for
I am writing in response
to a letter printed Feb. 1
("Men's right are ignored"),
in which Christopher
Godwin questions the vast
amount of programs on
women and women's health.
Throughout the history of
academia, studies of history,
literature, human biology,
health and psychological
development have been
based on studies and
experiences of men. Just as
the pronoun "he" is often
used as generic, referring to
both women and men,
theories based on the study
of men are often assumed to
represent the generic human,
reflecting the experiences of
both men and women.
Slowly, we have realized
that this is not the case. The
women's health movement
has grownpartly out of this
Godwin suggests that
women's health spending is
inflated since women live
longer than men. I would
argue that women live
longer not because of their
treatment by the medical
community but in spite of it,

as health concerns particular
to women have until
recently been largely
Godwin also notes that
there is no mens studies
department at the Univer-
sity. To have a men's
studies program is as
redundant as having a
Caucasian studies program.
What sort of curriculum
would a men's program
entail? One could make an
argument for calling almost
anything not labeled
"women's studies," men's
In our patriarchal
society, when oppressed
groups try to change their
positions there is often great
resistance (or "backlash").
Godwin's letter is an
example of a backlash
against the gains of the
women's health movement.
It shouldn't be a movement
that threatens people like
Godwin, as it does not call
for inattention to issues that
effect men's health, but
simply calls for the alloca-
tion of time, money and
resources to study women's
health to attempt to make up
for past inattention.
Sadly, notions of
women's health programs
are threatening to many, as
this is the nature of sexism
and oppression.

Uproar over
law fliers
In the Feb. 9th edition of
The Michigan Daily, the
article titled "Fliers protest
law school publication" was
quite interesting. First off,
the publication is the" res
gestac," not "rae gestae"
(first rule of journalism -
get the spelling right).
Secondly, the article seems
to report the apparent lack of
approval of the material
contained in the r.g.
This is fine, and my
response to what should be
knowing, adult law students
is: Grow up!
You don't have to read it
if you don't like it. And if
you have any problems with
that, maybe you should
study the Bill of Rights in
your next Constitutional law
class - the First Amend-
ment therein seems to say
something about being able
to have freedom of press.
Addtionally, (with no slam
to the r.g. staffers intended)
it is a student publication,
what are you expecting -
The New York Times?

B eethoven said, "Like the state,
every man must have his own
constitution." Since Beethoven
wasn't a political philosopher, he
didn't have to say whether one's
personal "constitution" could over-
ride the state's, although we can
assume he would have said that it
could. The idea is that each indi-
vidual should
know what he or
she would and
would not do
under given cir-
This implies two'
things. One is
that the indi-
vidual is em-
powered, not
just limited, by
his or her "own ORDAN
This is because STANCIL
a constitution,
written or otherwise, does not just
limit power, but is in fact the source
of power. Further, the proposition
implies that the individual should
use reason when making choices
and will apply already-determined
"constitutional" principles to new
ethical dilemmas. In this view, it is
wrong for an individual, just as for a
government, to act capriciously and-
to make decisions that might risk-
violating one's own principles..
Beethoven might have said, "Ev-
eryone must have a moral line, they
have to recognize the linetas such,
and they can never cross it."
How we would love it if every
politician had his or her "own con-
stitution" - and we could read it.
Of course, in reality, too heavy a
reliance on the prudish Beethoven's
dictum might lead us to vote for Pat
Buchanan. Most people understand
that politicians who are completely
uncompromising are dangerous. But
surely we expect leaders to stand up
for something. There has to be some
core principle that the leader won't
betray. We don't want fanatics run-
ning our country, but neither did we
want George ("I'll do anything to
get re-elected") Bush. At the same
time, more and more people seem to
believe that the "system" makes
corruption inevitable and that all
politicians lie all ofthe time. It seems
that to be a leader in America, you
have to have no constitution, or at
least a very vague one.
In the recent movie "The Ameri-
can President," the president has to
determine exactly what it is he stands
for. In other words he has to write
his own constitution, albeit while in
office. At first, he is willing to obey
the conventional wisdom that it
would be better ifhe were to support
crime legislation that he doesn't re-
ally like while distancing himself
from a proposed environmental bill
that he supports in his heart. He
wants to do this in order to co-opt
his conservative rival who attacks
him as being soft on crime.
Finally, after much suspense, the
president goes on TV and stands up
for himself. He says that he will not
support the crime bill because he
knows it won't really stop crime.
And he will support the environ-4
mental bill because it's the right
thing to do. At the end of his speech,
in response to his opponent's slo
gan, "I'm running for president," he
says, "I'm Andrew Sheppard, and I
am the president." His moral stand
makes him worthy ofhis title and-
surprise, surprise - brings big po-
litical benefits.
Besides appearing to have been
made for the edification of our cur-

rent president, the movie is also a
liberal voter's fantasy. Wouldn't it
be nice if there were a real leader
who had his own constitution like
the fictional president?
In the new movie "City Hall," the
mayor of New York has a bit of a
problem. His rhetoric shows that his
heart is in the right place, but he is
up against a system that requires
corruption merely to function.
As Dr. Johnson remarked, the road
to hell is paved with good inten-
tions. (Most people attribute this
comment to Bernard Shaw. I used to
do so myself until I was gently cor-
rected by Prof. Roy Cowen.) The
mayor may be in favor of the right
things. He may even be a pretty
good mayor, able to deliver on his
promises. But what sinks him is that
he goes over the line. The mayor
makes one deal too many with a
party boss, agreeing to use his influ-
ence to spring a drug dealer con-
nected to a mob family to whom one
of his lieutenants owes a favor. The
result is that the drug dealer kills a
child and the mayor falls.







Prescription for pain
Governors' proposal leaves young uninsured

H ailed as a miracle cure to the mounting
national headache over health care re-
form, the Governors Commission's biparti-
san solution is actually a dangerous mistake.
It gives power and responsibility for health
care over to the states. Until an inclusive set
of national guidelines is established, these
block grants serve only as incentive for states
to deliver the minimum in health care.
Under the current proposal, which was
drafted earlier this month, Medicaid recipi-
ents would retain continued access to hospi-
tal services including waivers for medical
and nursing fees, lab charges and family
planning services. But the scope ofcare Med-
icaid patients will receive remains question-
able -states would be granted the authority
to determine the length ofhospital stay, depth
of coverage, hospital reimbursement and
definition of disability.
Loose guidelines and unchecked latitude
provide for creative interpretations of states'
legal responsibility. The ability to redefine
illness and prescribe medical protocols from
the state capital -not the doctor's office -
will effectively demolish the support system
currently in place without substituting a vi-
able alternative. State-controlled health care
plans will be vulnerable to the whims of each
newly elected governor - consistency, con-
tent and accountability will shift with each
Only prenatal care and general care for
children under age 6 would be guaranteed

nationally for all citizens living 33 percent
above the poverty line, leaving many with-
out coverage. States also would be required
to provide health care to children between
the ages of 6 and 12 if they are living at or
below the poverty line; this leaves the lower-
working class stranded and teen-agers with-
out care.
Current national guidelines dictate that
once children reach the age of 13 the state is
no longer required to provide them with
health care coverage -unless they become
pregnant, which the Government prefers teens
not do. Preventative medicine is most effec-
tive when introduced at an early age. Screen-
ings, monitoring, violence prevention, con-
traceptive counseling and nutritional educa-
tion can drastically reduce health costs and
save lives. Since teens cannot vote in guber-
natorial elections, teens will be the first to be
Block grants will offer communities the
independence to tailor programs to their
needs, but they will not provide the neces-
sary organization or funding to launch fully
effective, comprehensive initiatives. Care
will be unevenly dispersed. Correcting the
inadequacy in state plans will be virtually
impossible because of the ambiguity of state
responsibility for care. Many will be ne-
glected without means of recourse. Crafty
budgetary maneuvers drafted to deflate the
deficit for the sake of the next generation
should not be made at its expense.

BPC funding not irresponsible

The Michigan Daily has
recently made several errone-
ous statements about the fi-
nancial affairs of the Budget
Priorities Committee of the
Michigan Student Assembly.
I would like to point out the
actual facts of the situation
and address the statements of
members ofthe assembly who
claim that BPC is "in crisis."
There are three major asser-
tions about BPC which I would
like to address: the fact that
BPC was "irresponsible" in
its allocation, the nature of the
assembly's involvement in the
process and finally the pro-
posal I brought forth last week
to increase the amount of
money available to student
groups through BPC.
For groups who go through
the BPC process, which in-
cludes completion of a five-
page form, a 10-minute indi-
vidual meeting with a com-
mittee member, a 15-minute
presentation to the full com-
mittee and finally rigorous
debate before the entire as-
sembly. I am sure they would
challenge the notion that their
requests are irresponsibly al-
located. In BPC, all requests
are seriously and impartially
vaadand airly oaed.oa

President for Student Affairs
and other "administration"
sources. BPC is one of a few
remaining funding sources
that allow student groups to
determine, and fund, theirown
programming. BPC alloca-
tions this year have not been
irresponsible and I firmly
stand behind the recommen-
dations of my committee.
Secondly, whether we like
it or not, the assembly by its
nature is a political body. For
this reason, and with elections
about a month away, it is now
the time for certain members
of the assembly to begin to
relegate serious, important and
Through voting,
Students should
decide whether
to raise BPC
funding levels.
worthwhile decisions to the
background discussions and
allow theirownpolitical agen-
das to take the spotlight. Mem-
bers of the assembly consis-
tently "override" the recom-
mendations of BPC. In fact,
many ofthe most vocal critics
of the co-called "crisis" have

stantly monitored by the Trea-
surer of the assembly and indi-
vidual members. It is difficult
for me to understand how the
assembly wants to be in com-
plete review of the committee
on a weekly basis now, when
early in the year no one in-
quired about the rate we were
allocating money. I take my
share of the responsibility for
these actions, it is only appro-
priate for the assembly to do
the same.
Finally, my proposal to in-
crease the amount available to
groups was not designed to
"bail out" BPC this year. The
proposal was rather meant to
address the continuously rais-
ing rates of requests from BPC
for next year. While we al-
ways have groups who ask for
more funds than we can pro-
vide, the committee attempts
to be equitable to all the groups
who come before it. It is my
feeling that the ballot question
would increase the amount of
funding to a more appropriate
Also, it is important to re-
member that almost any stu-
dent who is a member of any
group which comes before
BPC will receive much more
back than they actually pay to
fund the Budget Priorities







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