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December 05, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-05

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 5, 1996

bE rbCuigjun tti~g

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
A place to calh
City Council should approve sale for shelter

'This Is not a University of Michigan vs. the newspapers
issue. The issue has to do solely with what is the best
public policy for the people of the state of Michigan.'
- University Regent Philip Power (D-Ann Arbor), on the state Legislature's
plans to amend the Open Meetings Act
- /
kEH rf A A4 I MC'
Minority enrollment must be higher

Ann Arbor's homeless population may
soon have a new shelter where it can
escape the harsh elements. The Shelter
Association and the Homeless Action
Committee want to procure a former
National Guard armory that sits vacant in
downtown Ann Arbor and convert it into an
additional shelter.
The armory is a large building that has
rested in a state of disuse on the corner of
Ann and Fifth Streets for the past six years.
Converting it into a homeless shelter is an
innovative solution. It would help solve the
homeless problem - and it would revive
the now-lifeless but historic building in the
center of the city.
The committees must win approval from
the Ann Arbor City Council, which is still
entertaining one other offer for the space.
Developer Ed Shaffran intends to purchase
the property, demolish part of the structures
and turn the rest into 10 high-end condo-
miniums. But to build the condos, the city
must approve rezoning.
Shaffran would also have to win the
approval of the Historic District
Commission, which protects the armory -
and deems sites historic so that they may
remain intact. The city administration
should bar Shaffran at every request -
turning a profit should not take priority over
preserving history or especially helping
Ann Arbor's homeless population.-
And the locals concur. At a City Council
meeting Monday, the board was going to
vote on the rezoning proposal - but post-
poned it after 15 city residents urged the
Council to save the building for a homeless
shelter. Homeless advocates have two
weeks to design a feasible plan, or the

Council will reconsider the rezoning
request at the Dec. 16 meeting.
The city has a significant homeless pop-
ulation. As recent welfare cuts may soon
impoverish hundreds in Washtenaw County,
the numbers will likely grow. And it's not
getting any warmer; area shelters are trying
to set up women's shelters and provide tem-
porary additional accommodations for the
winter months to come.
Need for precious space is great. Those
that can pay for condos will have a warm
bed elsewhere all winter. The homeless can
only afford to sleep in shelters - or the
streets and park benches. Moreover, hang-
ing the armory into a homeless shelter
would improve the entire community by
reducing the number of people living on the
street. By sharp contrast, the condos would
benefit Shaffran, and maybe some select
members of the community - the upper-
middle class.
No matter who gets the building, it will
not come without a price. The Michigan
Department of Military Affairs, which
presently owns the armory, marked the tag
at about $1 million - not the kind of cash
raised at bake sales and car washes. Over
the past six years, several city departments
have considered buying it, but the purchase
and ensuing renovation are expensive. To
obtain the building, the Shelter Association
must produce a large sum of money. It must
also convince the City Council to refuse
Shaffran's rezoning request, which would
be justifiable under the circumstances.
The homeless problem will not go away
if ignored - the city must deal with it.
Securing the armory for the Shelter
Association is an expedient means to do so.

While it is important to
take full advantage of the
opportunities that have been
created here at the University
in the name of diversity, it is
equally, if not more impor-
tant, to recognize the histori-
cal struggles and current con-
ditions that are necessary to
support such diversity.
In a recent Daily editorial
("Mofongo, anyone?,"
11/27/96), the benefits of
exploring events such as
Puerto Rican Week were high-
lighted, while the less positive
and more difficult task of
exploring the impending cri-
sis in Latino/a enrollment has
not been given the attention it
The Michigan Daily show-
cased the University's superfi-
cial commitment to diversity
with the headline "Minority
Enrollment Tops 25%"
(11/19/96). While the enroll-
ment of people of color as a
whole has increased, for the
second year the enrollment
rate of Latinos/as has
dropped. While the Office of
Academic Multicultural
Initiatives and the Office of
Admissions attempt to dimin-
ish the significance of this
Salas is the co-chair of
public opinion for Alianza
and an LSA senior.

and last year's decline, a close
look at the numbers demon-
strates that a genuine problem
is being denied.
From 1986 to 1993, the
last year for which there was
significant growth in Latino/a
enrollment, the Latino/a
enrollment on campus grew
by an average of 118 individ-
uals. In contrast, according to
the figures obtained from the
Office of the Registrar, in
'U' must pay
attention to the
Latino/a enroll-
ment crisis.
1994 enrollment grew by only
35 persons, while in 1995 and
1996, it dropped by 35 and 27
persons, respectively.
While 30 or so people may
not appear significant, the
University's inability to con-
tinue the rate of growth of
1986-1993 beyond 1993 has
compounded year after year.
In fact, if Latino/a enrollment
had grown in the last three
years at rates comparable to
the six years preceding 1993,
we would currently have
1,851 Latinos/as on campus,
instead of only 1,471. It is
appalling that due to the dis-
mal Latino/a enrollment rates

of the last three years, we are
now missing 380 Latinos/as.
The University must con-
sider the 380 Latino/a deficit
significant enough to merit
new initiatives, such as a
Latino/a Cultural Center,
increased recruitment and
financial aid, and efforts to
foster a more supportive cam-
pus environment in order to
recruit and retain more
Latino/a Students.
If the Daily seeks to truly
support diversity, it must do
more than simply celebrate
the aspects of diversity that
enrich the campus communi-
ty. It must also critically con-
front the aspects of the
University that negatively
affect diversity. It must accept
the challenge that many
Latinos/as on this campus are
forced to accept every day -
the challenge of maintaining
one's identity while constantly
insuring that what opportuni-
ties we do have to express our
identity and succeed are not
taken away.
Those of us in Alianza,
and many others, are eager to
see an investigative report and
editorial concerning the issue
of Latino/a enrollment that
will more completely reflect
the high value the Daily
places on diversity.

'Twas the night
I3 oy, the holidays are rough,"
Billy Crystal says to Meg
Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally."
"Every year, I just try to make it from
Thanksgiving to New Year's."
"A lot of suicides," she grimly
So, you survived
Great, wasn't it? A
happy preview of
the three-week
spree of guilt trips,
petty arguments
and recrimination,
coming soon to a
homestead near
The holiday sea-ERIN
son is once again MARH
upon us, bringing M SH
with it burdens the
weight of fruitcakes. Tidings of com-
fort and joy? Whatever.
Before we haul out the tinsel, stu-
dents must deal with the definitive
naughty-or-nice list. That's right
final exams are just around the corner.
Finals (read: a gorging and purging
of the brain, to try the tests of physics
- no pun intended -- and determine
just how much useless information
you can cram into your head in a one-
week period) start in a week, when
your skin will assume that lovely,
pasty, library-fluorescent-light sheen,
as your days and nights are spent in the
UGLI or the Grad or the computer lab
It's really a very unattractive time.
Don't plan on meeting future spouses
during finals week. Likewise, don't
form study groups with anyone you
find even mildly attractive. Besides
the obvious disadvantage of sharing
quantum physics with your beloved
when you really look like a quark,
there are the potentially dangerous lev-
els of caffeine to consider. You could
become temporarily possessed by th
insane amount of coffee in your sys-
tem, suddenly look up into your study
partner's eyes, and attack him or her,
right there in Bruegger's - and
wouldn't that be unpleasant? (There
are bagels watching, for heaven's
The just-before-exam hour is a very
special time of introversion and, well,
despair. If they weren't before, stu-
dents tend to become very religious
during this hour. Dinner, for exampl
can take on the morbid culinary feel of
the Last Supper. I distinctly recall the
phrase "I am going to meet my maker"
escaping my lips last December before
a Stats 402 final. And then of course,
there's "Please, God, ohpleasegodoh-
pleasegodohpleasegod" - a favorite
mantra on the long walk to Examland
(i.e., Armageddon).
The exam-taking experience is on
of those rare, precious moments wher
you can witness 600 of your class-
mates sacrificing themselves to the
gods of academia on the steps of
Angell Hall. It's not a pretty sight.
Scantrons, mechanical pencils and
high blood pressure. That's about what
it amounts to. It elicits different reac-
tions, though; during the aforemen-
tioned Stats 402 exam, the guy behind
me laughed and the girl next to me
sniffled - both lost in the big sea Oi
"I'm screwed" hopelessness.
So you resign yourself to academic
mediocrity, sell your books back for
17 cents and chalk it up as another
semester survived.

Now for the fun part!
Home awaits you, my friends. Too
many relatives, too much food, too
much stress and not nearly enough
narcotic action to dull the pain. Your
father will expect you to adhere t
your high school curfew (although you
were an adult then, and you are an
adult old enough to buy beer, now).
Uncle Pete and Auntie Gertrude will
condemn your social habits ("What do
you do there at college, anyway? Do
you watch that 'America's Funniest
Home Videos' show?"). Grandpa
George will be kind enough to inform
you that you will "never, never, ever
get a job. Not with that stinking us
less degree."
You'll collapse in the kitchen, beg-
ging your mother to tell you that you
were adopted. (No such luck.) When
Bing Crosby croons "There's no place
like home for the holidays," you may
experience some particularly unkind
thoughts. (Please - do not kill the
You'll manage to stay sane by
pounding eggnog and spending quali t
time in the linen closet (hey, it worked
when you were five and your parents
wouldn't get you a dog ... ). You may
call up the old high school buddies -
and discover all you have to talk about
are old high school stories.





World AIDS Day
Day of remembrance urges global unity
Sunday marked the 9th annual World continued - education and protection are
AIDS Day. The theme for this year's the key factors in reducing rates of infec-
event was "One World, One Hope," empha- tion.
sizing that people all over the world must University students are constantly
unite and work together to halt the AIDS reminded of the AIDS threat. Most of them
epidemic and support those affected by realize the need for safe sex. However, the
AIDS. It is a reminder that AIDS can affect "it will never happen to me" feeling also
anyone. The global approach to solving the endures. World AIDS Day is a reminder to
crisis must continue - AIDS has become students that they are not immune from the
everyone's problem. tragic epidemic.
World AIDS Day came on the heels of a Before society can work out the AIDS
United Nations' agency report that nearly a tragedy on a global scale, individuals must
quarter of the 6.4 million AIDS deaths to act responsibly. Students must take action
date have occurred in the past year. In 1996, to protect themselves by learning the facts
3.1 million people were infected with HIV, and applying them to their everyday lives.
the virus that causes AIDS. This startling They must also fight stereotypes and mis-
statistic brings the total number of people conceptions about the disease; AIDS is not
living with HIV or AIDS to 22.6 million an illness that affects isolated factions of
worldwide. the University or global community.
The alarming statistics revived energy Misinformation must end.
throughout this year's World AIDS Day. A striking demonstration of AIDS' glob-
Across the globe, activists put up posters, al effects will come to the University later
distributed condoms, joined AIDS walks, this winter. Feb. 6-9, 1997, the University
wore red ribbons and added patches to community will have the privilege of view-
memorial quilts. All of their admirable ing a portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
actions serve as a reminder that AIDS will The Quilt has more than 32,000 panels,
not simply go away. The people of the world each of which were made to remember the
need to come together to support, remem- life of a person lost to AIDS. Every week,
ber and prevent. more than 50 new panels are added to the
Prevention took on a significant role this quilt, exemplifying the vast number of peo-
year as World AIDS Day recognized the ple whose lives are claimed by the AIDS
AIDS explosion in Asia. By the year 2000, virus. Every student should take the time in
more than 1 million Chinese may be infect- February to view the quilt. It reminds us of
ed with HIV - 10 times the current num- the reality of the AIDS virus - that AIDS
ber of people infected. In Thailand, 800,000 has no survivors.
people have HIV, while 50,000 have died of "One World, One Hope" is a strong
AIDS. Activists took on strong preventative reminder to all that AIDS is indeed the
measures in Asia by passing out condoms in world's problem. It can affect anyone from




'U' buses do
not serve
So I'm walking to the bus
stop by Angelo's to get to my
9 o'clock class on North
Campus. Of course, like most
mornings, the commuter gets
there before I do, so I help-
lessly watch it drive off.
Right behind the good ole'
commuter (which is the only
bus that will take me to the
Xavier Building, in the far
corner of North Campus) is
the Northwood. I can take the
Northwood also; it just
means I have to walk a little
further. No biggie.
By now, I'm dashing for
the Northwood bus. When I
get to the corner, the bus dri-
ver won't let me in the bus
because he has driven exactly
20 feet past the bus stop
while he waits for the light to
turn green. Apparently, let-
ting me in would be a viola-
tion of federal law or some-
thing. So I'm asking myself,
"What good does it do any-
one to have two buses arrive
at the same time?"
fni nnw I'm ct.ndincr

gods, but the answer to the
second question is five! Yes,
five. One, two, three, four,
five Bursley-Baits buses went
by until the next commuter
came along at exactly 9:17
a.m. I would write this off
as a coincidence, but this is
the second time in two weeks
that this has happened to me
at this bus stop. What the hell
is going on?! Who needs five
buses to one place in 14 min-
utes? It seems that yet anoth-
er University department has
lost touch with its most
important customer: the stu-
dent. Just as the Information
Technology Division can't
seem to keep printers or com-
puters running in the Media
Union, and Transportation
Services can't seem to work
out a bus schedule that makes
sense. The saddest thing is
that these buses to Bursley
always seem to be empty, but
every single time I get on a
Commuter, I end up standing.
Wake up, Transportation
Services! You've got another
dissatisfied customer!
I'm late for class.

("Four years and out,"
12/4/96). As a four-and-a-half
year senior in Engineering
who's graduating on Dec. 15,
the idea came too late to help
me. However, after reading
about how Curriculum 2000
is planning to achieve this
goal, I cheered up, because
this farce won't help anybody
graduate on time.
The College of
Engineering is asking us to
believe that combining
Engineering 103-5 and EECS
100 into one class and
increasing the number of
electives will help students
graduate in four years.
Right. For now, ignore the
fact that most Engineering
majors only require a student
to take one of the aforemen-
tioned courses - not all four.
Speaking from personal
experience, it didn't take me
four and a half years to grad-
uate because Engineering 103
was a three-credit class. Like
most majors, engineers take a
long time to graduate because
most upper-level courses fea-
ture low credits and high
workloads. Most 300 and 400
level Engineering courses
require three hours in the lec-
ture hall and 15 hours in the
computer lab. The Curriculum
Task Force wants to "enable
the student to have a more

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