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September 03, 1997 - Image 28

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-03

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2B - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 3, 1997

COMMENTARY

U' should be more willing
to meet parking needs

ly Partha Mukhopadhyay
)aily Editorial Page Writer
Ann Arbor parking?
It's an oxymoron, if not fantasy.
Finding a convenient spot near your
lestination is all but impossible in this
own. And if you're a student driving to
lass, trying to park somewhere legal
hat will allow you to reach class on
ime, forget it. Shut the motor off where
'ou stand, and start praying the meter
vatchers don't come by during your
.lass. For a city of this magnitude, park-
ag spaces are extremely precious, and
%br the student motorist, next to impos-
ible to find.
Newcomers driving around may
notice the eight parking structures
round Central Campus, and may be
- red into thinking the city has plenty
f parking spaces. Closer scrutiny
.hatters that illusion, as many are
-evealed as "staff-paid parking" units.
-eserved for University employees
villing to pay up to $400 for non-

guaranteed space, the garages are off-
limits to students - the non-staff
paid sticker holder who tries to rest a
vehicle risks $17 fines.
The three city-owned parking
structures located on campus aren't
much help to students, either. Built in
proximity to shopping areas, these
are filled with customers visiting
famous Ann Arbor landmarks like
Borders, Good Time Charley's and
Red Hawk. In addition, at least one
faces major renovations, and will
close soon for necessary repairs.
This leaves the streets as students'
only real options. Meters line Ann
Arbor's streets, but finding room to
park along the sidewalks is often a pipe
dream. Arriving short of change, or
short of time, the penalty is steep if an
ever-vigilant parking-enforcement offi-
cer happen to stroll past - $7, if you
can't reach City Hall within an hour to
pay a mere $5.
Given the rising number of students

bringing automobiles to school every
year, it is unfortunate the University
and city do not move to help them. The
city's hands may be tied - Ann Arbor
Mayor Ingrid Sheldon once all but
admitted the city's budget would be
seriously constrained if parking fines
were removed from revenues. Counting
on residents and visitors - and espe-
cially students - to break the law
sounds suspiciously like poor budget
planning.
And the University will soon be
guilty of ignoring students' needs in
favor an already well-serviced popu-
lation. An empty lot on the corner of
State Street and Hill Street is slated
for use as another staff-paid parking
lot. Even though it is a small area,
allowing student access could help
the larger parking crisis. The
University is wasting a great chance
to show student motorists that it is
serious about their problems in this
matter.

MARGAREI MYERS/Daily
Strict enforcement of local parking ordinances leaves many students in the lurch.
The University and city leaders should work to improve parking near campus.*

ACTIVISM
Continued from Page lB
activists agree on a position, the ensuing protests are
directed at one small portion of the nation.
This scenario presented itself with California's
controversial Proposition 209, a ballot issue asking
the state's residents' permission to end affirmative-
action programs. The proposition attracted wide-
spread attention and numerous protests, often orga-
nized by student activists. For all the national inter-
est in affirmative action, Proposition 209 affected
only California. Ultimately, the "global" protest
against the local issue proved unsuccessful - it
passed overwhelmingly in spite of much student
opposition.
Nevertheless, that protest represented a step
above the more common form of student activism
currently in vogue: the local protest for local results.
Unfortunately, even the most successful local
activist actions often escape notice by the nation at
large. In 1992, students at the University of
Massachusetts-Amherst protested against the
atmosphere for minority students on campus, and
were rewarded with a set of promises, including an
increase in minority representation among both fac-
ulty and the student population. Last March, feeling
the administration broke their promises, Asian,
Latino/a, African and Native American students at
UMass staged a successful - and peaceful - six-

day takeover of their campus' main administration
building. During the course of the protest, students
came from around Massachusetts and New England
to support ALANA's cause, but general awareness
of the action was limited, at best.
On the other hand, when activism draws atten-
tion, it is usually for the wrong reasons. Over the
past few years, campus publications have increas-
ingly become targets for theft by students in dis-
agreement with certain content. The Michigan
Daily was victimized in this fashion early last
year. The impressions left by these incidents is
one of selfishness - tainting legitimate activist
actions that continue unnoticed.
The mistake made by most observers is assuming
a lack of overt action equates to a general lack of
activism, or worse, to apathy. While students no
longer continuously protest. they remain active, and
they do care about their futures and their communi-
ties. Student activism has not died, but rather
evolved. In the absence of a great moral beacon -
like the role occupied by the Vietnam War 25-30
years ago - activism's focus has shifted towards the
local, rather than the national. To say activism is
dead ignores the many students passionately
involved in causes that don't involve marching out
in the streets, and belittles those who do.
While it isn't the same creature that erupted dur-
ing the 1960s, activism remains a potent force on
university campuses.

FILE PHOTO
LUCha members crashed a reception between President Lee Bollinger and student leaders last
spring, in an attempt to assert the importance of Latino/a rights on campus.

Basketbalh
allegations
tarnish 'U'
image f
*Right or wrong, fans
may lose enthusiasm
amidst press reports
By Erin Marsh
Daily Editorial Page Editor
The Michigan men's basketball team
has had quite a year. One NIT cham
onship, one departed assistant coach
and one bundle of trouble from pur-
ported interactions with booster Ed
Martin.
By now, everyone has heard of the
reports that came out in early spring:
Seemingly sordid tales of cash gifts
smuggled to players in birthday
cakes; flashy cars with questionable
leases; tickets and gifts to woo poten-
tial recruits; drugs, alcohol, stripp
and wild parties; much of th,
allegedly, subsidized by boosters and
friends of the Michigan basketball
program.
How much is true? How much is
speculation and sensationalism? The
University's most
visible and high-
profile facet - its
A t h l e t i c
Department --
faces the une*
able task of dig-
ging deep and
coming clean.
A few anony-
mous sources
Fisher who spoke to a
few newspapers
have effectively stirred up a mael-
strom of doubt and disgust in some
students and fans, and inspired fie
loyalty in others. When the sta
rose, some verifiable dirty deals
popped up. In March, Jessie Carter,
grandmother and legal guardian of
junior center Robert Traylor, told
reporters she would release. tie
names of boosters who promised her
cash and a cushy job to influence
Traylor to attend their schools - if
reporters or the NCAA would release
the names of the sources who
accused her grandson of taking P
in such shady dealings.
The University launched its own
investigation after the early allega-
tions arose. A brief search uncovered
no new information. So why did
Detroit newspapers find support for
some of the allegations just a few
months after the University conclud-
ed its investigation?
Coach Steve Fisher offered a blai-
ket "no comment." Athletic Direc
Joe Roberson said only, gravely, that
answers must be found. Senior
Associate Athletic Director Keith
Molin complained that the
University's investigation could not
operate on the same level as the
newspapers' investigations, suppos-
edly as a result of Freedom of
Information Act laws. "We have., to
bear our soul under freedom of infor-
mation," Molin said. "We have
reveal absolutely everything
have."

FOIA laws may be the only saving
grace in this situation. Keeping
-secrets may have started the public
relations mess. If the department has
nothing to hide, FOIA requests
should be as simple as releasing- a
few documents. If, for some reason, it
isn't that simple, the departnent
should be concerned.
In late March, fearing a ruthlet
NCAA investigation, the University
hired the independent, private inves-
tigative firm Bond, Schoeneck & King
to investigate all allegations pertaining
to the basketball program.
The University has probably had all
the chances it will get to seek out some
answers; to see if there is any truth to
the reports of cash in cakes, or lying
around players' apartments, or offeired
to recruits' families. "
But in the meantime, something
has been lost. Students might not'be
too excited to pile into Crisler if they
suspect the team they cheer on is col-
lecting favors for each basket. Once
upon a time, kids watched and played
basketball because it was fun -and
exciting. They loved it. They should
still.
If there is any kind of temptati
threatening the Michigan men's ~
ketball program, perhaps the ultimate
responsibility lies with the, players.
As high-profile representatives of the
University, student-athletes should
enjoy the University with no motiva-
tion but pride in wearing the maize
and blue. Like any student, student-

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DIVERSITY
Continued from Page 1B
programs from within.
As part of efforts to help maintain
campus diversity, the University relies
on high minority application rates. Last
year's applicant pool, however, consist-
ed of 15 percent fewer min9rities than,
in the previous year.
Last year's mistake must not be
repeated with another last-ditch effort
by administrators attempting to run
for cover. The University was forced
to allow minorities considering apply-
ing to delay their application essays, a
move that drew much criticism. This
year, administrators should think

ahead and develop a plan to keep
minority applications rolling in and
prevent emergency plans that become
public-relations nightmares.
But the underlying problem was not a
lack of minority interest, but a lack of
properly focused recruiting methods by
the University. Instead of focusing on
minority students who may not view the
University as an option, recruiters spent
much time at high schools that typically
send large numbers of students to the
Ann Arbor campus anyway. The
University should redirect recruiting
efforts to areas that do not presently get
adequate coverage, and in so doing
enhance the minority application figures.
University President Lee Bollinger

has already extended support for the
University's affirmative-action admis-
sions policies. Bollinger, along with
representatives of more than 60 other
higher-education institutions signed a
resolution supporting the use of affir-
mative action. They also took out a full-
page ad in The New York Times to pub-
licly declare their support of the contro-
versial policies.
The University's future is heavily
dependent on its ability to recruit a
qualified, diverse student body. The
University must fare the affirmative
action storm and maintain work on
keeping campus a diverse place in
order to maintain its unique learning
environment.

U

volun eer.
to re ad
university
services for students with disabilities office
haven hall G-625 phone 763-3000
call or stop by for information

the office of

Lesian

B isexual

City of Ann Arbor
RecyclePlus
Call the 24-Hour Hotline, 99-GREEN
PAPER Place these loose products in the tan bin.
Newspaper, Magazines, Mixed Paper & "Junk Mail"
Phonebooks, Paperback Books, Brown Paper Bags,
Corrugated Cardboard. No hardcover books or plastics.
CONTAINERS Place clean items in the green bin.
Glass & Ceramics, Plastic Bottles #1, #2, #3, Metal
Cans, Aerosols & Scrap Metal, Milk & Juice Cartons
AJ Vnnam nrnductf nastic hagsor light hulhs.

ay

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