I - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 25, 1996
(TIle £irigan Da4 flg
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan
N Y '
Editor in Chief
ZACHARY M. RAII
Editorial Page Editors
'Ann Arbor, come on downs Go
right down that aisle and registe nw
You cannot impact this system unr
- The Rev. Jesse Jac kson, i arc / siens die zisle
andout the door ofHill uditorUmyesierday
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion oflthe majority ofthe Dailv s editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion oThe Michigan Dailr
FROM THE DAILY
Th wright to p ~y
Registrar must tighten office security
p ersonal information is an individual's Education, Rights and Privacy Act. The
to keep and only reveal to someone else punishment for violating this act could
when absolutely necessary. So, when credit mean a severe reduction of the
card companies solicit students all over $350,000,000 of federal funds the
campus offering free T-shirts in exchange University receives each year. The possibil-
for social security numbers, students should ity could be a reality if Latocha decides to
think twice. Students must give their per- file suit and brings more attention to the
sonal information to the University when registrar's office faux-pas.
they register - they do not In light of the incident, the
have a choice. University stu- office should take precautions
dents have to trust that the the to tighten the security in the
registrar will secure the infor- Office of the Registrar and
Currently, the registrar's ' First, the office must
office has a serious problem. include background checks in
Any worker at the registrar can the application process. Those
obtain information - private convicted of crimes - such as
information - about any stealing and fraud - should
University student. And this not work in the registrar's
problem has consequences. office.
This is exactly what hap- MATT WiMSAT/Daily Second, the supervisors
pened to Stacey Latocha, a must watch their employees
recent University alum who lives in more closely so that the incident rate falls to
Virginia. A registrar's office employee used zero. Moreover, if students work in the
Latocha's birth date, social security number office, they must be restricted from access
and mother's maiden name to receive credit to student information. Officials believe
and phone cards. Once Latocha graduated, that a student lifted Latocha's information
she discovered that she had a mysteriously for profit.
poor credit rating - because the University The investigation showed that Latocha's
was careless. misfortune was not the only incident of
For the University, the ramifications informational theft.The University must
could be more dire. The results of the care- tighten its security immediately to ensure
less action is a violation of the Family, students' rights under FERPA are protected.
'U must review its pet financial project
N TL.LTDEBATES$! r. -V
ARZE 2T T -ti 'K H~~
POLI TICA CQONI ,
F M v A!
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
T he University introduced the M-Card
last fall with the promise of simplicity,
convenience and a new way of doing busi-
ness. One year later, it's time to review this
M-Card has turned out to be a web of
complexity and restrictions - which makes
it useless to students. Many do not under-
stand fully the M-Card regulations and
functions, despite the University's advertis-
ing campaign on Ann Arbor buses and the
marketing of T-shirts, squeeze bottles and
hats. Several campus-area businesses do
not accept M-Card. They say that accepting
M-Card is "a little expensive" and does not
compare with major credit cards in terms of
volume. Businesses that accept M-Card
establish minimum transaction amounts for
M-Card purchases - recouping some of
their M-Card-related expenses, such as
equipment and training.
Similar to the University agreement with
Nike, M-Card is another commercialized
initiative. First of America and AT&T are
two of the University's M-Card partners.
Despite claims that students are not com-
fortable using M-Card, there are significant
problems the Office of Financial
Operations should address. M-Card leaves
many students frustrated, disinterested and
distrustful of merchants and the University.
Students usually welcome innovations
that help them manage money better. One
of the benefits of M-Card is that it offers an
additional payment option.
Still, many students find M-Card more
hassle than help. Among the businesses that
accept M-Card, the training of some store
clerks to use M-Card is below average.
Some are uncomfortable operating M-Card
machines - effectively causing delays at
the cash register.
More problems arise when the M-Card's
cash chip feature malfunctions -- leaving
students fending for themselves and their
money in temporary limbo.
Although students conclude that M-
Card is more annoying than helpful, thank-
fully the University is considering ways to
improve M-Card. The card could be stu-
dent-friendly if it provided students with a
larger selection of retail outlets, allows stu-
dents to add more than $50 at one time, and
not set a maximum limit on transactions.
The CashStripe on M-Card allows stu-
dents up to $50 per transaction in case the
student loses possession of the card. The
low amount is an inconvenience to students
who spend more than $50 at a time when
purchasing books, clothing and other items.
But, the bigger problem is that students
cannot recover money from a lost card.
The Office of Financial Operations
needs to do more than host student focus
groups and a merchant feedback meeting.
Financial operations should revamp the M-
Card program with the interests of students
as their primary concern.
Financial operations is in a state of
denial. M-Card has failed to prove its sup-
posed benefits. The debit card has the
unfortunate task of competing with cash,
checks, better debit cards and credit cards.
The University admitted M-Card transac-
tion volumes are 20 percent below expecta-
tions and dollars are 30 to 35 percent below.
Businesses cannot continue to support a
fledgling initiative if they cannot attain spe-
cific financial targets.
M-Card places more constraints on stu-
dents without significant benefits. Despite
its weaknesses, students were better off in
the days of Entr6 Plus, when food plans
could turn magically into book money.
The right won
TO THE DAILY:
I just read Katie Hutchins'
(column) "Vote for Bill: A
Democrat's better than a Dole"
(9/19/96) and I must admit that
I was a little startled by her
premise. She says that we need
to vote for Clinton because if
you take the long view, he'll be
best for the country, and hope-
fully he'll return welfare to
what it was.
The problem with this is
that welfare as it was is cer-
tainly not the best thing for
the country in the long run.
The welfare system as it
was created and perpetuated
a culture of poverty and
dependence on the govern-
There were a lot of prob-
lems with welfare, but since
Hutchins' main problem is
with the cuts in aid to chil-
dren, let's look at that.
To start off with, much of
that money doesn't even go
to the kids. It goes for mom's
beer and cable. Now, before
you brand me as just another
mean, mean, mean
Republican who makes up
stories to make you think
people on welfare are awful,
let me tell you where I got
that information from. This
fact, and others I will use,
comes from various acquain-
tances who are teachers that
work with welfare kids.
Now, like I was saying before
I was distracted these kids
come to class in tatters, with-
out coats in freezing weather,
because their parents are
spending the kids' money on
themselves. It's a cinch that
these kids won't be any
worse off with less welfare
Now I'm not saying this
is true in every case, but
according to the people that
told me of it, it's true in the
majority of cases. If you want
to dispute this, go talk to
some of these people first so
you know what you're talking
Another major problem is
that the welfare system, as it
was, encourages people on
welfare to have more kids.
My mom once asked a pair
of 10 year old girls what age
they wanted to be. Most kids
I know would have said 18 or
21. These kids said 14. Why?
Because once they were 14
they could have babies and
get more welfare money for
.That's really what they
said - I'm not making this
up. Where did they get this
idea? From their mother, and
from their social worker.
What's the problem with
this? This way we get more
and more neole on welfare.
then increased by larry
Truman, JFK and Lyndon
Johnson. all Democrats. It's
time to give the Republican:
control. Maybe then we can
get a system that solves prob-
lems rather than throwing a
little money at them to make
us feel better for a little
while. And as for voting for
Clinton, no way. I wouldn't
vote for the man even if I
were a liberal. Why? le's a
weenie: He wouldn't stand up
for his convictions and veto
the welfare bill because it
might cut into his 20 percent
lead over Dole. A real leader
stands up for what he
believes, even if it makes him
Also, I believe that you
can judge a man by the peo-
ple he surrounds himself
with. Just look at all the peo-
ple Clinton surrounded him-
self with that are now in jail
or facing criminal charges.
And think of the various
< -gate" scandals. You may
say that he's only human.
(all me old fashioned, but I
believe that the leaders of the
country should be the ones
setting the example. flow can
you expect the people of the
nation to follow the laws
when the people that make
the laws don't?
And lastly, I have a
response to Bakopoulos' vac-
uous article ("The right revo-
lution is dead," 9 1996). The
right revolution is not dead.
With the limit on welfare,
and the current debate on
whether to balance the bud-
get in five or seven years.
rather than whether to bal-
ance the budget at all, the
most important battles are
There are other important
issues still coming, and we'll
win those too. Viva la revolu-
To THE DAILY:
I w~ould like to take this
Opportutnity to stress my sup-
porn fr cong ressional candi-
date .oe Fizsimnmons (R- Ainn
Arbor) Fitzsimn] s is run-
n ing fr the k.ngresionao
seat in Mi ch igan0s 13 th di s-
Unl~ike his chaibenger
U.S. Rep. lnn Rivers (I-
Ann Arbor). Fitzsnions
emphasizes passing the bal-
anced budget amendment and
cutini~ icncme taxes to help
rev italizwe our eeonomyl\.
Fitz'Nimmfons believes in
assistin se.>udeknts by protect-
maing~ saude ~m nons more
affo rdaiLe and wireating~ more
opportuniie fo higher edu-
dent An rb i the
past four y ears. I have h ad
the chance to wvit ness the
mneffectiv e representation ofl
I am frustrated by her
inc'ompetence in protecting
education 1undine as w~ell as
her \ Oes ageatmst tax cuts for
Spra< is Fi/SiimmlOns5 [or
recuegniing the needs of our
communl~lity and oIfering a
comn -sense naendla.
It ruly bel iev cthat -
Fitzsimmrons, a suceessfil
businessman and activ e conmi
muinity leader can prov ide
his commtuity with produc-
tinc repre.seati i and real
leaders.hip an C.ongness-
JUL T Cox
MILER ON TAP
The turn of
Alcoholics call it "a moment of
clarity" I think I had one last
night. This entire campus pays tens of
thousands of dollars every year to
attend our hallowed University. That's
a lot of damn money. That kind
dough could buy every student on
hell of a used con-
vertible and a
week in Vegas
(and frankly, a
w hole lot of the K
dents could use it).
So it got me to
what does that
kind of money
buy us'? Brace ,PE
yourself: squat. JAMES
My parents MILLER
bought a new
washer and dryer from Sears a few
years ago. After a few months the
washer started making bunny noises,
as if it were about to give birth to sev-
eral tiny washers. In a matter of hours,
the trusty Sears repairman was at o
house fixing and apologizing, like
broken washer was an insult to our
family and if it wasn't fixed immedi-
ately and obsequiously, he'd wake up
the next morning with Bob Villa's
head in bed next to him. All that fuss
for a few hundred bucks a month.
Lease a car and some dealerships
will tow your car to the shop and give
you a loaner if you have engine trou-
ble. That will only run you a couple or
three hundred a month. 1
The average tuition payment is sig-
nificantly more than this, especially
for you poor out-of-staters. Now think
about the amenities we get.
One: annoying, desultory book ser-
vice. Everybody gets screwed at book
time. Now, I realize that the textbook
publishers claim that since hey can
only sell these books to college stu-
dents (who the hell else would want a
history of economic systems in pro
Bolshevik Russia?) they have to
charge higher prices to turn a profit.
B~ut $80 for an orgo book'? Since the
University bookstores are the only
game in town, they can get away with
charging prices that would make a
Moscow black marketeer wince.
My solution'? A little socialist collec-
tivism (attention paranoid, humorless
libertarians, the address is jame-
pnif&umich.edu.). From now on,
recommend never buying anoth
book from the University bookstores
(except Shaman Drum, they seem like
a good bunch of guys, as far as price
gouging goes). Sell all of your old
books to your friends that need them.
Swap and trade among your compatri-
ots. Use all the book exchanges to
their fullest. I want a book system so
incestuous that it makes the British
royal family look like a nunnery.
them charge whatever they want foT
books. I refuse to have my intelligence
insulted any more.
Second: the damn dorm cable sys-
tem. For those of you not familiar with
this piece of accounting chicanery, the
University housing system graciously
hooks up each room with cable. But
here's the really neat part. The cable is
already hooked up and running when
you get to your room. If you don't
want it, you have to fill out a form a
have them turn it off, or you'll be
charged for it.
Isn't that sweet? What a great way to
make a little extra money. Break into
people's houses, repaint, and then wait
on the front porch for payment.
Guerrilla capitalism at its finest.
I don't mind tuition hikes and the
like. People have to get paid and the
school needs money to keep thin
rolling. But this is too much. TIW
makes me think that certain adminis-
tration members don't see us as the
customers we are, but as a bunch of
doltish ripe-sucks with checkbooks.
"~Hey, why not'? They'll pay for any-
thing. Let's put hot tubs and satellite
hook-ups in each room, without ask-
ing. Oh wait! Even better, let's make
them pay to have them removed if they
don't want them! These kids are great,
we'll be shipping the money out
here in boxcars! Wheeeeeeee!"
My solution: If you don't have a TV
or don't want a cable hook up, the
University shouldn't charge you for it.
What are they going to do? Turn it off?
If they are under the impression that
they can squeeze every penny out of
us, they can squeeze this.
It's time to remember that this is a
business. The folks that run this place
will try to get the most bang outO0
your buck every time. Whether it's
making lasagna with last week's triple
crown loser or using underpaid over-
worked GSI's to allow professors more
time for ... whatever it is they do when
they're not airing their intellects. If
..r . - , A - t'tln- ..it r- ntrrnt - nn
IAN CUMMINGS It urch,
TO THE DAILY:
Because of the power
accompanying a government
office, few politicians have
the character and courage to
keep their promises and to
place the needs of the com-
munity above political gain.
Joe Fitzsimmons has charac-
ter. Lynn Rivers has a person-
al, political agenda.
Fitzsimmons believes that
we can cut taxes and balance
the budget. Rivers, by her
position against decreasing
the tax burden of the
American family, is against
economic growth. Rivser: ha
forgotten that money
To THE DAILY: .
As I was glaac eg Overi
Noun ''Q&A' feature on for-
trer Michigan standout
Derrick Alexander (9 23/96),
I couldn't help but notice
buther one of the
tnotbail history: A'Ifie
As one of Michigan s
priz DB3's. Alfie was the
spiritual leader of the
Wolverine sqjuad tha went on
to capture a convteng victo-
ry in the 1993 Rose Bowl.
Moreover, :7 was ohten
instrumental in getting the
crowd in the Big H-ouse into
the game, whether by his
stellar defensive play, or by
his animated celebrations fol-
Iowxing strong stands by~ the
Sn Ny :an imagne how
disappoinecd was to see his
name nmsspceled "Birch"
instead of the aroner "B~urch."
How TO CONTACT THEM
VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER