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February 28, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-28

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4=- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 28, 1996

able idighn aUg

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

RONNIE GLASSBERG
Editor in Chief

Edited and managed by ADRIENNE JANNEY
students at the *"ZACHARY M. RAIMI
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.
FOM THE DAILY
Keep it clean
MSA candidates should act professionally
, Jiththe announcements ofthe Wolver- time around they really are something new.
;Yine and Students' Parties presidential While several students ran on solid platforms
tickets, MSA's winter term election season - advocating student health care reform and
began early. The premature start could sig- lower student textbook prices - the issues
malthe beginning ofa long and nasty election usually get lost in the dust of battle. MSA
withcandidates flinging inflamatoryaccusa- representatives need to convey how they
tions. Last November's election saw plenty will deal with the Code of Student Conduct
ofmudslinging. Othertroubles included can- or the ongoing presidential search. Stu-
didates allegedly pulling down the dents want to know what MSA can do for
opposition's posters, an abun- them besides sit around a
dance of letters to campus pub- table and argue.
lications accusing candidates of :+When elections are over,

NOTABLE QUOTABLE,,
'As we look at the last 30 years, there has been
a very dramatic and disappointing decline in
citizen participation.'
- State Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Twp.)
explains why she proposed a bill that would allow
Michigan voters to mail in their election ballots.
JM LASSER SHwAR As TOAsT
'TM 15CAMPA16N I S .. AND N ONE CE TS
A$u Wpcr T%. E S I
- oft
LETTERS TO THE EDiTOR

4
1
l
C
i

wrong-doing and a feistier, more >.
divisive atmosphere than usual w
during MSA meetings.
Politics are involved in any
election. Candidates must prove
to voters why they would make(
better representatives than their
opponents. Onlythe naive could AL
expect a political race not to<
spark tempers - from time to
time.
Despite the charged environ-
ment, candidates can't lose scope of what
MSA is - students' elected representation.
Intheory, it is the official voice of the student
body to the administration, Board of Re-
gents, Michigan Legislature and beyond. But
having a clear voice depends upon credibility
-something MSA often lacks, as a result of
immature campaigning.
Many students feel MSA poorly repre-
sents them. One of the most telling signs is
election season antics. Students get blitzed
with messages about personalities, candi-
dates' detractions and past mistakes. There
are also self-promoters who promise that this

.the problems continue. In what
should have been orderly and
R ly relatively easy procedure last
March, MSA botched elec-
( tions ballot counts. In recent
years, rumors of chaos, heavy
indulgence of alcohol and re-
. peated "mistakes" (such as
"losing" several boxes of bal-
lots) have circulated around
the University. Through
MSA's sloppiness, its image
suffers.
MSA's image problem detracts from its
credibility. If the student government wants
to recapture the confidence of the students
and the respect of the administration and
regents, it must run a cleaner, more profes-
sional election. MSA candidates must run on
issues, not personalities. Moreover, assem-
bly members should work to ensure the cam-
paign is planned and structured appropri-
ately. A clean campaign with proper ballot
counting could translate to a more effective
student assembly. University students de-
serve nothing less.

Downsizing doubts
Government should trim fat with caution

n his State of the Union Address last
onth President Clinton said the "era of
big government is over." The question of the
90s, is not whether to downsize - it's how
much to cut. Staff reductions, in some in-
stances, recklessly endanger the stability of
federal loan and insurance programs. While
trimming government spending is essential,
officials must make the cuts strategically to
ensure that efficiency of agencies is not sac-
rificed.
Federal liabilities--such as student loans,
mortgage guarantees and loans to foreign
countries - are increasing at an enormous
rate. By 1998, loan guarantees alone will
surpass $1 trillion, almost a 50-percent in-
crease from 1992. Although governmental
responsibilities have expanded, major cuts in
oversight have occurred since the Reagan
administration. Several General Accounting
Office studies have shown many agencies
unable to build modern computerized sys-
temsto offset the decrease in personnel. With
more liabilities and less oversight, the gov-
ernment placed itself in a precarious posi-
tion.
Clinton has eliminated more than 200,000
federal positions since taking office. His plan
to reinvent government targeted accountants,
auditors, budget analysts and supervisory
personnel. During the 1980s, the govern-
ment issued more loans and loan guarantees,
without paying as much attention to over-
sight. As a result, the savings-and-loans in-

dustry collapsed, and loan programs suf-
fered large defaults. The bailout cost taxpay-
ers hundreds of billions of dollars. The gov-
erment must take care to avoid the same
path.
The Small Business Administration is a
good example of what happens when too
much strain is put on a government agency.
Loan volume has doubled during the Clinton
administration, largely as a result of the
Lowdoc program. Lowdoc allows applicants
to receive loans of up to $100,000 in only a
few days. However, SBA staff has been
reduced by 40 percent. SBA has been
forced to rely more on private lenders, but
some SBA officials have been lax in their
review of borrowers. To compensate for
increased risk, the government has reduced
its guarantees on Lowdoc loans from 90
percent to 80 percent. Nevertheless, James
Hoobler, the inspector general of SBA,
warns that increasing loan guarantees and
reducing oversight "is a formula for disaster
over time.',
The Comptroller General of the United
States, Charles Bowsher, warns that the gov-
ernment currently has insufficient account-
ing systems and managers to properly over-
see liabilities. SBA's difficulties are not an
exception - many agencies are suffering
from similar problems. Clinton should exer-
cise caution while trimming the government
- otherwise downsizing might become the
buzzword to forget.

Editorials
skew M SA's
positions
and policies
TO THE DAILY:
Every time I open the
Daily, I'm increasingly
amazed by the ineptness of
the editorial staff.
Two weeks ago, the
Daily suggested that MSA's
budget committee hold only
four hearings per year ("The
BPC 'non-crisis': MSA's
poor planning causes a
budget crunch," 2/15/96).
Whoever wrote that editorial
obviously did no research
into the subject. As a
member of the committee,'
can attest to the difficulty of
objectively comparing 16
groups at once, as we
presently do. The Daily
would have us compare 48
groups. over a 12 hour time-
span. This proposition would
seem to show the author
ignorant at best, and
incompetent at worst.
Then, in last Friday's
Daily, an editorial attacked
Andy Schor and Olga Savic
for their testimony before a
State Advisory committee
("70% representation: MSA
reps. slight out-of-state
students," 2/23/96). As an
out-of-state student, I can
sympathize with the Daily's
arguments. However, as a
representative on the
assembly, I wonder why you
lash out at the students who
did come to testify.
If the Daily felt so
strongly about this issue,
why couldn't they be
troubled to get out of bed
and testify themselves? How
can we ever expect to have
leaders in MSA if the Daily
attacks anyone who tries to
make a difference for
students on this campus?
Please, if your apathy
towards student issues will
continue to lead you to write
such poorly researched
editorials, save the space for
the professional journalists
on your staff.
DAVID C. BURDEN
ENGINEERING SOPHOMORE
M(SA REPRESENTATIVE
'U' athletes
need more
discipline
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing to exploit a
problem at the University
and in society, which I
believe needs to be ad-
dressed immediately.
Recently, five Michigan
basketball players and a
recruit were in a serious
accident on their way home
from a party in Detroit at

taken, or is this the middle
of a basketball season in
which a traditional power-
house is fighting to stay out
of the NIT tournament?
What were four starters
doing out until 5 a.m.? Steve
Fisher commented that there
probably isn't a program in
the nation in which its
players are required to have
a curfew. So, this is how
you back up your policy?
Even if we were the first
program in history to
implement such an "outra-
geous" rule, and I doubt we
would be, don't you think it
might be a good idea?
When Steve Fisher
arrived at this University he
was hailed as a great coach
and recruiter, but a rather
weak disciplinarian. Even
when he created the best
recruiting class in the
history of the game, he was
criticized for his lack of
discipline. But these guys
were the best ever, and they
didn't need discipline, right?
Almost. Their abilities took
them within eight points of
being the greatest ever.
Maybe the aspectyof
discipline, which they
lacked, would have put them
over the top, who knows?
This year, Fisher produced
yet another great freshmen
class, nowhere near that of
the Fab Five, but still
spectacular. Obviously he
believes that the methods
which he used (and didn't
use) with the Fab Five will
lead to success with the
Almost Fab Five. I don't
think so. I don't think this
squadsdeserves to represent
our school in the NCAA
tourny. I watched Willie
Mitchell laugh and wave his
hands in the air while being
down 20 points to Iowa. It
was an embarrassment, but
that's OK. "These boys are
19 years old, they are
responsible young men,"
right Fisher?
What is happening in
sports, and society, when a
coach states that curfews are
too much to ask of his
players. When the Athletic
Department has to come up
with a reason to override a
coach's decision so the
school isn't totally embar-
rassed. (The AD is going to
bust these players for taking
a recruit farther than 30
miles.) It's already too late.
If it takes the firing of
public figures like Fisher,
please do, immediately. I
worry that if something
drastic doesn't happen soon,
there will come a day in the
near future when the
sheltered people who
thought the movie "Kids"
was just some warped
filmmaker's view of society
will be forced to experience
it first hand - with their
own children.
JORDAN BERKE
1 CA

to then Sen. Dan Quayle:
"Senator, I knew John F.
Kennedy and you are no
John F. Kennedy."
The University's
"powers-that-be" need to
take quick action on this
incident unless the wrong
message is sent. I was
mysteriously questioned by a
security guard about three
weeks ago, while standing in
front of my office at 5 p.m.,
conversing with two faculty
colleagues, who were asked
no questions at all.
The Matlock incident,
along with some other things
that I have heard about the
way security is sometimes
handled, communicates that
something may be sadly
wrong in the University
environment. I had a
nightmare last night that I
read a national news
headline in July: "Mistaken
Identity: Charges dropped
against University's interim
president for breaking and
entering the president's
office."
DON K. HARRISON
PROF. OF EDUCATION
WCBN has
featured
local music
for years
TO THE DAILY:
I read your Weekend
feature on area radio support
for local music with some
interest ("Radio, radio: Area
stations and disc jockeys
support local bands," 2/15/
96). I generally agree that
the recent upsurge in local
musicians' exposure on the
radio is a good thing, but
feel compelled to correct
some misunderstandings.
First, WCBN's exposure
and support of Detroit/Ann
Arbor-area musicians has
been constant and unwaver-
ing for the past 20 years, and
in fact predates both the
Local Music Show on
WCBN and commercial
radio's recent attempt to
boost listenership through its
carefully selected, token
support of (mostly radio-
ready, marketable) area
musicians. Groups such as
Charm Farm and Sponge are
ready fodder for audiences
already saturated with the
likes of Bush and
Silverchair. Rumor notwith-
standing, the four are not the
same band, but in a blind
test, one might be forgiven
for thinking so.
Second, contrary to what
the article implies, WCBN
has never been interested in
"turn(ing) local bands into
nationwide sensations ... and
set(ting) in motion phenom-
ena like 'grunge.'" WCBN
has shown a supreme

LAST-DrrCII AWAL
A beginner's
guide tofinding
ajob in the
great Nowhere
N ow is the time when I have o
try to find a job and there are
several problems with this. Foremos'
among them is the fact that I have no
skills and no de-
sire to work in
Cleveland. r
Cleveland is one
of the cities you
havetogoto
when you didn't,
get good enough
grades or take the
right classes to
go to a cool city.
Whether a city
is cool or not is JORDAN
determined by STANCIL
the reaction you
would get if you told someone you
were moving there.
Imagine telling your friends, "So.
Looks like I'll take that banking job
in New York." Now imagine telling
them, "So. Look likes I'll take that
banking job in Peoria."
See? One is the capital of the world,
the other is a metaphor for Nowhere.
And how can you be cool if you live
in a metaphor for Nowhere?
The people ofthe uncool cities suf-
fer for living in Nowhere. They suf-
fer from the perpetual mediocrity
caused by the constant flood of me-
diocre college graduates who can only
find work in their mediocre cities.
This leads to (and is caused by) the
fact that all of their institutions are
simply worse than those of the cool
cities. Their colleges are worse, their
companies are less competitive, when
you go to the bank the service is
slower and, worst of all, their doctors
went to med school in the Caribbean.
The biggest problem is that these
Nowhere cities can never break out
of this pattern. No one wants to move
there, so the only people who do are
those who can't go anywhere else.
Cities that are boring now will stay
boring forever. A vicious cycle in-
deed! If there were any justice in this
world, mediocre students would go
to the cool cities and the good stu-
dents would be consigned to No-
where.
I have a friend who thinks that the
culturally imperialistic "cool cities"
run a masterful propaganda campaign
that leads to certain widely-held, if
vague, beliefs among college stu-
dents regarding the lifestyle of the
people in the cool cities. These be-
liefs are really just dreamlike images
of good-looking, upwardly mobile
professionals (with your face) wear-
ingexpensive suits, living in hip apart
ments, sipping wine at the opening of
an art exhibition and Rollerblading
through a park with a famous skyline
spread out magnificently behind"
them.
Everyone associates these things
with the cool cities. When we say
"Shakespeare in the Park," we thik
of Central, not Grand Circus in De-
troit. When we think of a fulfilling
lifestyle, we think ofa life surrounded
by Museums and Culture and Mone
and Power, and we know that thee
things are not in Cleveland.

The image creates its own reality.
Everyone believes it and so all the
Museums and Culture and Money'
and Power go to the same places. And
which good student would risk mov-
ing to Akron to try to start up a bunch
of Museums and Culture and Money
and Power-type things there? And so
the cycle perpetuates itself.
The worst part is that even if you're
destined for mediocrity, for a life in
Fort Wayne, you still have to get ajob
in Fort Wayne just to have any life at
all. And this requires a resume.
Most seniors probably have re-
sumes all made up, ready to go. But
you see, my Greatness got in the way
of such mundane concerns and I real-
ized only recently that even I am not
famous enough to "conduct a jol
search" without a resume.
After staring at a computer for five
hours, I remembered that I had in fact
never seen a resume but only heard
about them. After considering the
possibility that no one actually has a
resume but everyone says they do, I
decided to take a walk to Borders.
I had no intention of looking at the
vast collection of resume how-t
books, and wouldn't admit it (eve
privately) if I had. I meant only to
browse through a few magazines as a
diversion.
But, I confess, I did wander into the
"career" section where an earnest
looking young fellow was asking a
clerk to recommend a resume help

How TO CONTACT THEM
PRESIDENT CUNTON
THE WHITE HOUSE
1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20502

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