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March 21, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-21

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- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 21, 1996
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by4
students at the
University of Michigan
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily refle

Ru ltailg

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

fa majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
'ct the opinion of The Michigan Daily.



'I urge you to support this - everyone who's been beaten up.
as a kid, everyone who's been beaten up in kindergarten.'
'That's a large portion of this room.'
- Dialogue between LSA Rep. Probir Mehta and MSA
President Flint Wainess at Tuesday's MSA meeting.;
Meita was urging members to fund the sailing club.
/ --1
C -1

IL a
lum b
say in
plan b
rtie di
he ha
g ised f

Wainess develops plan to involve students
st Friday, Michigan Student Assembly define curriculum. Studets on curriculum
President Flint Wainess addressed the committees at both the School of Natural
nt Relations Committee about the pos- Resources and Environment and the College
y of student representatives on curricu- of Engineering said their input affected some
oards. His plan would give students a curriculum decisions. If it works in Engi-
n what classes the University offers neering and SNRE, it should work in the rest
While Wainess will not complete the of the University's schools and colleges.
efore his term ends, he deserves com- However, since SNRE and Engineering
ation for setting this plan in motion. are both small schools, it might be easier for
e premise of Wainess's proposal is that students to impact the curriculum. In a larger
ents could actually affect curriculum school, such as LSA, it might be difficult to
ions at this University." The proposal is generate a solid united front on issues involv-
y, considering the recent debate over ing the curriculum. To remedy this, Wainess
rection of the School of Art and Design and his successor need to explore more spe-
:ulum. Art School Dean Allen Samuels cialized concepts of the idea for it to work.
have made better curriculum choices if Although Wainess developed a good idea,
d to take students' opinions into ac- it is important that MSA sees it through to
. implementation. MSA's new president must
A's curriculum committee has prom- take Wainess' lead in this area. Wainess is
or some time to look into credit-hour correctly concerned with the amount of stu-
pancies. One hundred-level classes with dent input in curriculum decisions - and
ral work are worth four credits, while student input will be necessary no matter
evel classes with a heavy workload who is leading MSA.
receive three credits. The committee The idea of a student representative on
d rework the credit-hour formula to executive committees of all 19 schools at the
porate workload as well as hours spent University is a promising idea. Students,
classroom. However, no plan to change with a newfound voice, would be willing to
edit-hour formula has hit the horizon. If sit down with faculty to make the University
lent were on the committee, the issue a better learning environment. As the needs
d most likely be at the top of the agenda. and wants of the students change, so should
addition, students in some smaller the curriculum - that is why curriculum
)s currently cooperate with faculty to committees need students.


in the
the cr
a stud

Standing in line
Alternative school enrollment process unfair

T he scene is one of disorder. There is a
long line of scattered tents, sleeping
bags and restless people wracked with fa-
tigue and frustration. Basketball tickets on
sale? Impending Pearl Jam concert?
No, Ann Arbor's annual alternative school
student selection process has begun again.
Each year, families compete for accep-
tance into the city's two alternative educa-

bility for quality education wholly on the
parent. Through the lotteries and lines, the
Ann Arbor school system has magically re-
moved itself from the selection process. De-
spite paying property taxes to support Ann
Arbor's public schools, parents who prefer
the alternative schools are forced to take time
off work to secure spots.
Some parents may not be able to afford

tion programs at Bach Open
School and Community
High School. While the pro-
cess is more equitable than
merit-based application, the
current method favors those
with the substantial re-
sources to withstand its fi-
nancial strains.
There are 100 spots
available this year for in-
coming students at Com-
munity, and a mere 51 spots
at the Middle Years Alter-
native School, within Bach.
To attain these coveted
spots, families camp out-

e- -
l~ nI

time off, or may lose their
jobs in the process. Single
parents have an added di-
lemma as the only source of
income and childcare in their
Whether they can stand
in line, these parents pay the
same property taxes other
Ann Arbor residents do.
Public education was de-
signed to benefit all citizens,
not just those citizens with
free time.
The school board needs

Wainess and
are effective
Contrary to the assertions
in your March 18 editorial
("Without representation;
Wainess lax in important
duty"), my administration
has taken the lead in
representing students to the
Board of Regents. True, we
have not yet been able to
secure a full ex-officio
member of the board; but
through our monthly reports
and consistent communica-
tion with the board, we have
developed an unprecedented
working relationship with
the board and other members
of the administration. As a
result, Sam Goodstein and I
were the first MSA execu-
tive officers to ever deliver a
full address to the board at a
regular regents meeting and
we secured this as a biannual
right for future executive
Moreover, our success
with the board in moving
our agenda (from the student
fee to preserving Student
Legal Services to getting
students appointed to the
Presidential Search Advisory
Committee) has been and
will continue to be quite
If the editorial board is
concerned that I have not
been present for regental
discussion of zoning
regulations for arcane
buildings, my apologies. I,
for some silly reason,
thought it was more
important to spend those
hours attending meetings
about the presidential search,
student representation and
campus-based health care
LSA-SG and
MSA should
get equal
As representatives of
LSA Student Government,
we are extremely appalled at
the Daily's inability to cover
the activities of this legisla-
tive body. Over the last two
terms, the Michigan Student
Assembly and LSA-SG have
both handled a number of
important issues. Unfortu-
nately, the Daily only chose
to report and publicize the
day-to-day operations of
MSA, ignoring LSA-SG

about the changes that affect
them in LSA-SG because
they are never reported on in
the Daily.
In a March 14th article
("Future of LSA-SG in
limbo; MSA calls meet-
ing"), we were very
surprised to see our
government's name in the
Daily only to find that it was
tangled in a web of childish,
political conflicts. It is
unfortunate that the Daily
has chosen to follow a
cowardly path of sensation-
alist journalism, ignoring the
fundamental academic
issues affecting the LSA
constituents. It appears that
(MSA President Flint)
Wainess is under the
misguided impression that
he can somehow exploit his
position and threaten LSA-
SG without justification in
order to benefit his Michi-
gan Party in the upcoming
The LSA-SG candidates
represent half of the political
hopefuls in the upcoming
elections, yet not a single
article has been devoted to
any of the LSA-SG candi-
dates. By neglecting us, the
Daily is not only ignoring
LSA-SG, but also its 15,000
students. We are very
disappointed to see such
carelessness and prejudice
directed toward LSA-SG.
We challenge the Daily to
be more objective and
comprehensive in its future
reporting of LSA-SG.
Rose lacks
Fiona Rose has much to
learn in the way of responsi-
bility. Period. The more of
Fiona's work that I see the
more I desperately hope that
she is not elected to the
student body's highest
position. Her continued
malicious neglect of
positions that she has held in
the past two years only
strengthens my strong
opposition to her candidacy.
Examples? Take the Ann
Arbor Tenants' Union. Last
spring when she was
running with the Students'
Party she took an active role
in learning about various
campus organizations,
including the AATU. She
ran into the moderator of
this program and became
very excited about the
prospect of helping them out
in any way she could. The
moderator then appointed
her to a high housing
commission. All the
moderator asked of her was
that she gave the AATU
reports every so often about
what was going down. She

never did. She never
contacted the AATU about
that or anything else.
Recently she just stepped
down from that position
without notifying the AATU.
Responsibility? Integrity?
I think not.tDo not expect
the AATU to be around
much longer if she is elected.
Another prominent
example of this behavior is
her leadership of the
External Relations Commit-
tee of MSA. She did her best
not to include anybody else
if they didn't see things the
way that she did. Ask
anyone on the committee.
And people say that Stalin
was a political opportunist.
I, for one, do not want to
see the AATU go up in
flames. I do not want to see
her controlling and manipu-
lating the entire process.
This letter is going out to
everybody that she has
already convinced that she is
the best candidate. Maybe in
her mind.
I'm curious as to why the
Tuesday Keniston Lecture
sponsored by the Department
of Romance Languages and
Literature was mentioned
only in the Daily's Calendar,
and even there it did not
even identify the speaker for
this prestigious lecture
series. The speaker was the
social critic Stanley Crouch,
a MacArthur Award winner
and also candidate for last
year's National Book Award
for his "The All-American
Skin Game," a stimulating
collection of essays on
Amerian racial issues.
Crouch was also on campus
for several weeks last year as
a visiting fellow of the
Institute for the Humanities.
Did the Keniston people
omit identifying their
speaker when they submitted
their publicity material to the
Daily's Calendar? Was/is
the Daily unaware that a
nationally prominent speaker
was coming to campus?
Someone dropped the ball,
and as a result the many
students, faculty and staff
who count on the Daily to
inform them about notewor-
thy campus events were
poorly served by the
publicity for this year's
Keniston Lecture. Perhaps,
however, you can make
some amends by covering
the lecture at length and
interviewing Crouch.

Gmwingp and
losing touch
L astweekend'sInternational Sym-
posium on Third World Devel-
opment, at the Law School, welcomed
more than 30 speakers from across
the globe. It was filled with success
stories, regrets and overwhelming op-
timism. People from all sectors of aid
and development spoke, from the U.S.
Agency for International Develop-
ment to the
Chiapas minority
to the University
What most peo-
ple had in common
was passion. The .
majority of panel- is
ists spoke of their t e
commitment to de-
veloping the Third s n Th.
World forthe good ' b.
of the people. E - KATIE
eryone had their HUTCHINS
own motives, but
the desire to im-
prove people's lives was a basic as-
These people are not the norm.
Everyone's done their share of com-
munity service, but this kind of pas-
sion is not prevalent in the average
American population.
Take James Grant, whose memory
wasthe focus of the symposium. This
guy went to Harvard Law School and
had the chance to make big bucks at
some law firm, but instead dedicated
his life to international development.
As executive director of the United
Nations Children's Fund, Grant de-
veloped a way to reduce infant and
child mortality through mass use of
immunizations and oral rehydration
therapy. His contributions helped in-
crease immunization in the Third
World from 20 percent in the B980s
to nearly 80 percent today. And he
didn't make much money doing this.
We all know the Third World is in
poverty. Maybe we don't know the
exact numbers(morethan bllion'in
extreme poverty, by the way), but
we've seen enough Sally Struthers
commercials to know there's a prob-
lem. But not that many people care.
One of the panelists, World Bank
Vice President Mark Malloch Brown,
seems to be one of those people. His
arrogant response to protesters hand-
ing out anti-World Bank flyers out-
side Hutchins Hall: "Development's
doingvery well, thank you."
This statement is particularly heart,
less in the face of extreme poverty in
all the countries subjected to the
World Bank and International Mon-
etary Fund's structural adjustment
programs. When - many because of
American influence-several coun-
tries needed help, they were forced to
borrow cash from these agencies to
get back on their feet. But the cash
brought with it a requirement to ad-4
heeto stringent World Bank poli-
cies that often cripple developing
governments andicreate a decades-
long dependency. Paradoxically,
structural adjustment policies that put
a squeeze on government expendi-
ture prevent the implementation of
the same social programs that might
do some good for the economy.
Brown proudly said Korea just
graduated from its structural adjust-
ment program-meaning itno longer,
as ifthis was some indication of struc-
tural adjustment's success. Many oth-

ers have no way out.
It seems as though everyone has
their own self-interest when it comes
to helping the poor. It could be re-
sume-building, it could be a ticket to
heaven, it could be glory or guilt. But
the bottom line isspure altruism
doesn't seem to exist.
Except when you see bursts of it at
events like the symposium. Wayne
Meisel, president of the anti-poverty
Bonner Foundation and founder of
the Campus Opportunity Outreach
League, enlisted audience members
to write on post-it paper what they
planned to do to help. And they actu-
ally did it. And they posted their
commitments on the board as a con-
firmation, should they ever forget.
Wayne asked us to do this because
he knows that something happens to
a lot of us when we grow up. We get
practical, we lose our passion, and
we focus more and more inward to-
ward developing our own families
and futures. You can see it in people
like Brown, who used to do develop-
ment work at the grass roots level,
But you can see the passion still alive
in people like Wayne and panelist
Muhammad Yunus -founder of the
Grameen Bank, which microlends to
poor women in Bangladesh.
If we can find some way to hold
onto this passion long enough to re-
memberthat working at a soup kitchen
or going on Proiect Serve's Alterna-


side the application centers for many days
before, waiting for the chance to enter their
children's names: Often students stand in
line - forgoing school activities - to en-
sure themselves a spot for the coming school
year. Success is not guaranteed to those in
line - half of the available openings go into
a lottery drawing. This year, the MYA appli-
cation process became less fair; officials
announced that all available openings would
be offered to students from Bach, its elemen-
tary level equivalent. The change reduces the
already small number of spots available to
the public.
The selection system places the responsi-

to redesign the application
MATWIMSATT/Daily process. One possible solu-
tion is a lottery. This type of system would
allow all applicants an equal chance for ac-
ceptance, regardless of their financial or aca-
demic status.
Moreover, Ann Arbor must restructure its
school system to meet the needs of its stu-
dents. Schools like Community are in great
demand because they afford students educa-
tional opportunities not available in tradi-
tional classrooms. While such institutions
deserve recognition for their excellence, the
opportunities the schools provide should be
made available to any student who applies,
not just those with a sleeping bag and time to
stand in line.


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