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April 22, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-22

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4- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 22, 1997__

hje 9 [icl igttn 143tol

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'He's an excellent speaker -
I'm just happy to be graduating.'
-- LSA senior and soon-to-be University alonna Jill
Greenlee. voicing her approval of University President
Lee Bollinger as this year s commencement speaker

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion ofthe majoritr ofithe Dails editorial board. .11/
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michig an Dai/y
In ' huSqueezed
IT'hous ing students pay more. foTess

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ven in Ann Arbor's bloated real estate
.. market, $667 per month could rent a
nice-sized, one-bedroom apartment.
However, giving the University this amount
entitles students to squeeze into painfully
small residence hall rooms - with another
In February, the University Board of
Regents voted 6-2 to increase next year's
room-and-board rates by 4 percent. At the
same time, they asked Vice President of
Student Affairs Maureen Hartford for a
detailed report of where the surplus resi-
dence hall dollars will go. At Thursday's
regents meeting, Hartford delivered the first
of three presentations addressing University
housing issues. In it, she reviewed many of
the problems facing the University's resi-
dence hall system but failed to state a defin-
itive plan of action to help resolve the prob-
lems. Students deserve to get more bang for
their room-and-board buck - a compre-
hensive plan for improving the residence
halls is necessary to ensure that students
live in an environment that is conducive to
academic and social growth.
Hartford stated that "we are falling a lit-
tle behind" in the residence hall area. Her
report covered many possible solutions, but
failed to give a clear demonstration of how
the University Housing Division ensures
that residence halls are as efficient as possi-
ble or how it plans to deal with overcrowd-
ing. With room-and-board rates increasing
every year, the housing office's lack of
focus is disconcerting. The University
should develop a comprehensive plan to
ensure that room-and-board fees go to help
students the most.
Residence halls play a significant role in
students' academic development. They are
more than just a place to sleep - they
should foster an environment that promotes

learning. With a lack of hall space placing
three students into a room designed for two,
overcrowding could hinder students' acade-
mic success.
Hartford said the University contacted
other schools to seek possible solutions to
overcrowding problems. External advice is
beneficial, but the University must do more
than discuss. The University should take
action to decrease residence hall over-
crowding and provide an environment more
in line with educational goals.
In the past several years, room-and-
board rates increased by leaps and bounds.
Since 1991, the rate for a double room
increased by 20 percent. While students
should expect some increase, the University
should work to prevent rate hikes from
exceeding inflation. It should search for
creative ways to reduce costs and increase
the quality of residence hall life. The
regents' demand for more information
regarding the residence hall budget shows
that they do not want to blindly tack on an
increased percentage every year. They
should ensure that the housing division
does everything possible to keep costs at a
manageable level.
Students often feel they get a raw deal
when they pay their residence hall room and
board fees. The University should give stu-
dents more for what they pay. Hartford
should work with the housing division to
make sure that housing operations work as
efficiently as possible.
In addition, the housing division should
develop a comprehensive plan to solve res-
idence hall problems. Increasing student
fees every year does not solve the inherent
problems of the residence hall systems -
the University must find creative solutions
to improve conditions in the residence halls
and make living space conducive to learn-


N LEI)( S-~d s~h'


Pulling pue strings
Hood wages latest attack on 'U' funding

Too often in recent years, the issue of
state appropriations for the University
has turned into a political game, as Lansing
attempts to impose its values upon Ann
Last year, the state legislature tried to
penalize the University for extending health
benefits to domestic partners of employees.
This punitive measure was declared illegal
by state Attorney General Frank Kelley ear-
lier this month.
A few years ago, the problem was the
University's ratio of in-state to out-of-state
students. When the percentage of out-of-
state students climbed higher than 30 percent,
the legislature withheld millions of appropri-
ated dollars. Although the money was later
restored, it began a disturbing trend of
Lansing's efforts to dictate the University's
admissions and internal policies.
The admissions issue resurfaced last
week, as Rep. Morris Hood (D-Detroit),
criticized the University for failing to main-
tain a 70:30 in-state to out-of-state ratio.
Given recent history, Hood's words -
accusing the University of arrogance in
breaking the agreement - are troublesome.
Some view Hood's comments as a thinly
veiled threat: Bring the ratio in line with our
demands, or lose the appropriations.
The statements demonstrate the hold
state legislature have over public universi-
ties. With a few tugs on state purse strings,
lawmakers can do great damage. The ulti-
mate victims of their machinations are stu-
dents. On one level, students might be
called upon to replace lost state money, in
the form of higher tuition and fees.

Furthermore, the University is a world-
class institution, capable of attracting the
best and brightest students to Ann Arbor.
The presence of a 30-percent out-of-state
admissions cap could prevent valuable and
diverse non-resident voices from being
heard in the community.
The issue may have played a part in the
funding recommendations released by the
House of Representatives Higher Education
Appropriations (HEA) Subcommittee last
week. Chaired by Hood, the subcommittee
called for an average 5.5-percent increase in
state funding for Michigan's public colleges
and universities. However, the University's
recommended share amounts to only a 4.8-
percent increase.
Even the smaller increase is not guaran-
teed. The House HEA's Senate counterpart
has yet to release its recommendations, but
subcommittee chairman John Schwarz (R-
Battle Creek) indicated a recommended
increase of about 3.5 percent. If the two
chambers approve different funding
increases, they must reconcile the two-ver-
sions before final passage.
The likely outcome for the University is
a funding increase far below the 5.5-percent
average proposed by the House HEA.
While the University can survive a tempo-
rary decrease in state appropriations - the
campus receives ample funds from federal
and research grants - it deserves more
support. For the money and prestige the
University brings the state, it deserves an
end to value judgments from Lansing and
state appropriations proportionate to other

with choice
of speaker
When we picked up the
Daily and saw the headline
about this year's keynote
speaker ("Commencement
speaker named." 418/97), we
thought that we had picked
up the Aprtl Fool's Day issue
Throughout the article, we
looked for the words just
joktng, the actual speaker is
,'When they never came,
we decided we had to write a
letter to the editor expressing
our disappotntment i the
Untversity of Michigan. We
don't mean to be disrespect-
ful or rude to University
President Bollinger, however
we Just don't understand how
a university as "prestigious"
as ours did not brie mi an
outside speaker.
Regardless of tradiiion.
Bollinger has only been here
sinee February and therefore,
as stated in the article, we are
not his first graduating class
With thousands of students
graduating, many with family
coming from far-away places
within this state, the country
and all over the world. the
least the University could do
is get a memorable speaker.
If it is a question of
money, this Uniersity shile
beig one of the most expen.
sive public schools i the
country, is the stingiest place
on Earth. It's bad enough that
students are made to pay for
bluebooks and scantrons, but
to cut back on graduation is
lower than we ever thought
the University could go.
Close to $100,000 spent
and four years later, we look
back on the University and
think about how little stu-
dents' wishes are taken ito
influenced 'U'
Wednesday sDaily
("Former provost to serve as
Rice dean," 41697) quotes
Prof. Thomas Dunn, outgoing
chair of SACUA, to the effect
that former University
Provost Gil Whitaker took an
excessively business-oriented
view of the University, and
that Whitaker "was not quite
aware of the rest of the
Np provost can please all
of the people all of the time.
The provost is the chief bud-
get officer of the University,
and it often falls upon the
provost to remind the rest of
the University that not every-
thing worth doing is afford-
able. That's a regrettable fact

about the world, one that
makes being a provost a dif-
ficult line of swork.
Whitaker's proposed
reforms of the University's
budgeting systems remain
controversial, and continue to
be revised (appropriately, in
our view) as their implica-
tions are better understood.
But it should be remembered
that his institution of changes

in budgeting procedures was
motivated by his wish to
i"crease the resources avail-
able to pursue the university's
academic missions, missions
that are part of the provost's
portfolio as chief academic
officer It is precisely because
of his awareness, of the "rest
of the University" that
Whitaker's tenure as provost
was so much focused on bud-
As Whitaker leaves
Michigan, we hope that he
will be remembered as a
leader who worked tirelessly
and effectively for academic
quality and for academic
freedom. Under his leader
ship, the School of Busitess
Admnistration was trans-
formed into a first-rate
school with dramatic
improvement m the quality of
faculty, students and curricu-
lum. As provost, he was a
consistent supporter of the
Uiversity's strongest faculty
and programs and of count-
less intiatives aimed at
improving the quality of the
undergraduate experience.
Rice is lucky to have tim,
and so was Michigan.
Column was
I am wnting n response
to Brian Gnatt's rather igno-
rant and closed-minded col-
umn published in Thursday's
Weekend etc. ("Goodbye.
Michigan. Love. Brian."
the question I have for
East Coasters like Gnatt is:
Why do you stay around and
pay a ridiculous amount of
tuition, just to leave with an
experience like the one
described in Gnatt's column?
Being from a suburb of
Washington D C., I'm sure
that you could ve picked a less
"backwoods" place to fulfill
your higher education needs.
As for the classroom-edu-
cated Michigatders preach-
ing diversity, some people are
not fortunate enough to live
in a cosmopolitan setting and
experience diversity. I com-
mend the people that are try-
ing to apply their new knowl-
edge in real life situations.
As for the person in one
of Gnatt's classes that has
never visited any other state
besides Ohio, do you suppose
that was by choice? Wouldn't
any person like to visit places
other than where they live?
Not everyone is privileged.
Another question: Why do
you keep mentioning the fact
that you have Latino, Asian,
and black friends? Good for
you - you have made your
point that you are truly a
multiculturally influenced

person. Clap clap.
As for the parking issue, I
doubt that being a dumbass
driver is something regionally
learned. I have never actually
examined the plates of these
drivers, butI guess I have bet-
ter things to do with my time.
Gnatt could've done a lot
more with his last column as
the arts editor of the Daily.
What a poor reflection on the

paper and on himself. The sad
thng is, he enjoys being
called a snob. ie should be
proud of the fact that his par-
ets happened to settle down
m'a place where he has
learned to judge people based
on such small issues as their
word choice for a soft drink,
and their financial situations
leading to isolation from a
suburb like his, where they
too could've made Asian.
black. Latino and Indian
Daily stories
Greek system
I'm wniting in response tos
Kyle Wolfe's letter about the
Daily's lack of positive cover-
age on the Greek system's
events ("Greek events are wor-
thy of front page," 4/16/97).
fie has a point. The Daily
seems to cover only the'
alleged wrongdoings of van-
ous Greek houses and/or
things related thereof, such as
Thursday's article on two
Greek houses changing their
alcohol policies ("Two 'U' fra-
ternities plan to become alco-
hol-free by 2000, 4,17/97).
The article itself was sup-
posed to show that fraternity
life is not synonymous with
major alcohol consumption,
that fraternities can change
things to improve risk man-
agement. It focuses on the
eftects of the change in the
fraternities, but only the ones
itvolving safety.
The change in alcohol
policies is significant and rep-
resents not only a change in
the Greek system but a change
it values of studetis. To
become alcohol-free, people
must be willing to embrace
the change, otherwise the
effort is futile. By going'
through the stages of imple-
menting the alcohol-free poli-
cy, the members of the two
fraternities will become closer,
and that is the point of Greek
life. Those two houses may
not have alcohol in their hous-
es. buit their brotherhood will
definitely be present. The
Daily seems to forget that, and
though some negative evetts
may occur, the members in
each Greek house stick togeth-
er, which is whats important.
Together, the members in
each house perform philan-
thropic events that never get
even a one-liner in the Daily.
Together, they work to
achieve major goals, and
together they stand when
wrongdoings do occur. That
is much of-what Greek life is
about and I recommend that
the Daily look into what pos-
itive things Greeks do before
being so quick to stereotype
them. Call the Office of
Greek Life, ask them for
information about the sys-
tem, get names of the frater-
nities and sororities on cam-

pus, and get in touch with
them about their chapters. Or,
at the very least, upon writ-
ing the name of a specific
Greek chapter on campus,.
spell their name correctly.
- Please see page 16 for
more letters to the editor

here we come
Tames Joyce wrote that he expected
his readers to spend their entire
lives trying to fully understand his
work. Oh, readers! I seek but a few
minutes each week. In this, my final
column, I ask for nothing.
It is a long-standing tradition for
columnists at this necespaper to
their final piece as
a combination of
thank-you sote
and parting shot.
would loveto fol
low this tradition
only Ihave too
many people t "
thank, and too
maty shots to part
with - as a con
promise, I leav
youtb a notiot SAMUEL
and a few words GOODSTEIN
of thanks. GRAND
First, the notioni r IUSiON
Wo rd s w o r t h
wrote: "The eye - it cannot choose but
see; we cannot bid the ear be still; our
bodies feel, whereer they be, against or
with our will." This, I think, beautifully
makes the point that the senses ares
mately beyond our control. But if we
cannot control the senses, can't we
manipulate them? Of course we can.
Michael Brooks - a great thinker d
a great person - shared the fol ing
story wills me. There are thr umpies
talkig about calling balls and strikes.
The first says, "I call 'em as I see '"
The second,'"I call 'em as they are."the
third, and most important, s,
"They're nothng until I call 'em.
point: We may not be able to contro
senses, but we can control our intere-
tatton of what our senses tell us.
The greatest challenge for those
committed to bettering the world isto
interpret the senses as carefully aspos-
sible. As we forge further and further
ahead in the information age, techol-
ogy threatens our control over our
senses - it a digital world. can we
maintait the human core' Can"
maintan the senses? .
Ultimately, I think the answer is yes.
Let me share a passage from Marshal
Mcluhan's and Quentin Fiore's time-
less (and never more timely) master-
piece, "The Medium is the Message."
"An astronomer looking through a
200-inch telescope exclaimed that it
was going to rai.His assistant asked,
'How can you tell?
'Because my corns hurt."'
Our age may be threatened by de
manization, but every arthritic per-
son's corns will hurt whenever it is
about to ram -- no matter what the
telescope says.
Now, the thanks.
The prophet Samuel was born to
Hannah: the columnist Samuel was
born to Hanna. Many are the differ-
ences between the prophet and tk
columnist: many, many. Since' id
know anythtng about the biblical
Hanna, I cannot compare her to 'the
contemporary one The comparison
isn't important; what is important is
that Hanna the Younger met Peter
(sorry, no biblical reference) and set-
tled in Flint. In Flint, our Hiannaset
out to be the consummate parent'the
results are in: She succeeded.
My father likes to boast that he is a
descendant of the Bilgorai Rabbi,
of the great Polish rabbis of the I
century. While I don't know very much
about the Bilgorat, I understand that he

was a great thinker, a man of compas-
sion and a man who enjoyed nothing
more than time with his faiily.
Whether these were characteristics of
the famous Rabbi I really do not know;
I do know that they characterize my
It doesn't surprise me at all that Ifi
it so easy to write these words aboutmy
parents: they themselves had parents
who perfected the art of grandparenting.
Raphyl To heap praise on one's
brother is generally not considered
acceptable material for a column; it is
for this one. I could probably use
months worth of columns for this task.
Suffice it to say that my brother has
been, and continues to be, a great
example to me of what is good -n
great - about li fe.W
And the friends! For four years, Flint
Wainess was my partner at this news-
paper, at MSA 'and in countless won-
derful discussions, debates and drinks.
I consider him to be a great mind and
a great friend. Remember his name.
No less a mind, and no less a friend,
is Jordan Stancil. My partner in many
of the same discussions as the above
mentioned Flint, Jordan is the pq
summate friend: Always willing to lis-
ten. always ready to tell you when-you
are wrong, always willing to go to the
Jug. Jordan is currently in Europe
emulating the main characters it) La
Boheme - don't forget his name
And Michael Flamenbaum. My
closest friend since kindergarter, he
remains the funniest, best-hearted per-
son I know. Few are the people on can
call loyal to the end: Mike is su4'*
Finally, there is Trisha. Sometimes
words are inadequate: sometimes writ-
ers are inadequate. Whichever be the
case here, I can only say that Trisha
Beth Miller has served as a great
example to me: She represents every-
thing that is truly wonderful about
Some things words cannot express.
Sant Goodstein can be reac4
over e-mail atfagoalunmich edu.

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