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November 17, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-17

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4A - The Micnigan Daily - Monday, November 17, 1997

,I Dauitg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

University of Michigan-
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board.AII
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
New 1.TD policy takes away student choice

'if our offense and defense are clicking, we
should beat them by two or three touchdowns.
We're going to go up there and upset Michigan.
I think we're better than Michigan.'
- Ohio State University wide receiver David Boston
OH ' -..'

Traditions can


enhance the 'U,"
but they do not

n an effort to ease its computer billing
methods, the University's Information
Technology Division decided to sacrifice
student choice. Starting in January, ITD
will give all students a comprehensive com-
puting package that provides certain limits
to basic computing services per term, the
package provides 120 pages of printing, 80
hours of dial-in access and five megabytes
of IFS storage space. These rigid standards
are not acceptable - students should be
able to prioritize their computing funds'
allocation to reflect their individual needs.
Presently, ITD gives users $10 per
month to spend on computing services.
English concentrators, for example, often
print hundreds of pages per term and may
opt to use the majority of their allocation
for printing. Students with computers at
home who wish to dial-in to University
servers have the opportunity to use most of
their funds for this service. Under the new
plan, these choices will be eliminated -
users will be given services they may not
use and will have to pay extra for printing or
dial-in services that they now get for free.
Currently, ITD cuts off computing priv-
ileges for students whose account balance
drops below zero. Users may need to print a
few extra pages at the end of the month and
must add money to their account to do so.
But it is abominable to charge a $25 mini-
mum to open a self-funded account for what
may amount to less than a dollar of addi-
tional services. ITD's new policy addresses
this concern by billing student accounts for
all services that exceed the service package.
It is imperative for ITD to inform students
of the changes in their billing policy. The
University bills residence housing and


tuition costs on student accounts, and unex-
pected ITD charges could be an undue finan-
cial burden for many students. ITD has plans
to inform students via e-mail or personal let-
ter before their account will be charged. But
currently, many computer users do not even
know what an account balance is until they
get a message that they have run out of
funds. ITD must do a better job of informing
computing users of the cost of services -
and should make it simple for users to regu-
larly check their account balance.
The Michigan Student Assembly, at the
urging of LSA Rep. Barry Rosenberg and
Engineering Rep. Mark Dub, recently
formed an ITD student issues committee. As
students increasingly rely on computers, the
University should give ITD more money to
provide their much-needed services. Under
this premise, the committee plans to urge the
University to include a larger package of
computing services free with tuition.
Moreover, Dub and Rosenberg are incensed
that the new package will include only 120
pages of printing per term, a scant 30 pages
per month. Many students exceed this
amount regularly, and the committee will
push to raise the allocation. MSA must make
sure the committee fills its intended role as a
liaison between the student body and ITD.
ITD's new computing package simpli-
fies billing practices, but at the same time it
eliminates student's flexibility. ITD should
consider offering a number of packages that
address students with different needs. They
must also do a better job informing users of
their computing privileges. Computing
access is essential to student life on campus
- ITD must make sure their services
remain available to all students.

Caring hand
MIChild gives health care to state's children

n the 1992 presidential campaign,
Democratic candidate Bill Clinton
brought the problem of the uninsured to the
nation's attention. After Hillary Rodham
Clinton's appointment as head of a task
force to implement health care reforms,
she failed to convince Congress to institute
significant changes in the nation's health
care system. Since then, the issue has
diminished significantly from the political
spotlight. The state of Michigan is now
bringing it back and making significant
efforts to address children's health care
problems that continue to persist today.
The state Department of Community
Health is.designing a health insurance pro-
gram called "MIChild" to insure almost
156,000 of the state's uninsured children.
These children are not currently insured
because their families earn too much
money to qualify for Medicaid but have an
annual income close to the federal poverty
level - which is $16,000 for a family of
four. Under the new program, families will
pay no more than $8 per month for one
child and no more than $16 per month for
two or more children. These children will
have health coverage provided by a man-
aged care company. Services covered
include doctor's visits, in- and outpatient
care, prescription drug coverage, mental
health services, dental services, diagnostic
tests and vision screenings.
The federal government deserves com-
mendation for the funding of this benefi-
cial program as it is a part of the bi-parti-
san budget passed last summer. Democrats
and Republicans in Congress, under the
leadership of President Bill Clinton,
passed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
The act requires the federal government to

five years to pay for programs like the
state's across the country. Under the new
bill, programs like MIChild will be paid
for by both the states and the federal gov-
ernment -- a new trend in the implemen-
tation of major legislation that requires
greater cooperation between the levels of
government. MIChild will receive $40
million from the state and almost $92 mil-
lion from Washington.
Michigan's elected officials also deserve
credit. Gov. John Engler and the state legis-
lators are putting forth a genuine effort to
protect the state's uninsured children. In
addition to providing financial support, the
state organized a series of suggestive
forums in which citizens can give their
input on the program. The state Department
of Community Health also deserves equal
praise. Before the program goes into effect,
it needs approval by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human services. The depart-
ment should quickly approve it to allow for
the program's expected implementation this
State officials should pay special atten-
tion to getting the word out about the pro-
gram's services. In order to prevent the fed-
eral funds from going to waste, the state
must ensure that poor families know how to
go about obtaining MIChild's coverage.
MIChild is a good example of govern-
ment working to aid its citizens - design-
ing public policy on a nationwide level and
seeing to its enforcement on state and local
levels. The federal government depends on
the states to implement its policies just as
the states depend on the federal govern-
ment for financial support. This positive
display of bi-partisan governing is needed
to help overcome more of the nation's

MSA forum
will educate
We want to thank the
Michigan Student Assembly
and especially the Minority
Affairs Commission for
beginning what we hope will
be a fruitful community-wide
discussion on diversity within
higher education. This week's
symposium, organized entire-
ly by students, should help to
bring a variety of perspectives
on the issues of affirmative
action and admissions policy.
We have begun to plan
other fora during the academ-
ic year with various speakers
who will continue to inform
us for our own on-campus
discussions. We are delighted
that University students have
come together independent of
our efforts.
The lawsuit brought by
the Center for Individual
Rights against the University
challenges our undergraduate
admissions policy as uncon-
stitutional. We firmly believe
that this suit is without merit
and that we will win it.
We do not know how long
this matter will take to
resolve but during this time,
there must be opportunities
for all parts of our communi-
ty to continue an enlightened
and energetic discourse about
the important issues it raises.
Even though we are in litiga-
tion vigorously defending a
University policy, we must
remember always that we are
a University committed to
full and open discussion and
analysis of important social
questions within an environ-
ment that is respectful of dif-
ferent points of view - that
is what the University is
We wish MSA every suc-
cess with this week's sympo-
action is a
form of
I know I stand opposed to
most people at the University
in regard to affirmative
action, but I just had to add
my two cents. I am against
affirmative action at the
University as well as prefer-
ence given to relatives of
alumni or other special privi-
leges. When I applied, I gave
little thought to such things
and happily filled in the
appropriate places that

only on that basis. I do not
deny that there is racism.
One can take affirmative
action too far. What if the
same logic were applied to
professional sports? At 5.
foot-6, I am one of the tallest
people on the Maltese side of
my family. You know what? I
don't know of many Maltese
women playing professional
football - hey, I'm an
underrepresented minority!
Let's kick a well-qualified
player off the field so I can
play! I couldn't play profes-
sional football to save my
life, but my team would be
more diverse.
My point is that I love
everyone regardless of age,
sex, race, religion or sexual
orientation. If this school's
most qualified individuals for
next years' class were all
black, white, Asian, hispanic,
Native American or multira-
cial, I wouldn't love them any
more or less. Let's not sup-
port discrimination in any
offer unique
I am both an Intergroup
Dialogue facilitator and also a
staff member at the Intergroup
Relations, Conflict and
Community office. I want to
thank the Daily for the editori-
al on the program ("Fostering
diversity," 1/ 12/97). As a
facilitator, I feel that the dia-
logues offer an excellent
opportunity for students to
learn more about the different
groups of people that share the
campus and the many issues
facing a diverse, multi-cultural
community. I was excited and
honored to learn of President
Clintons recognition of the
program and some of the pub-
licity that has been the result
of being associated with the
"One America" initiative.
On a personal level I
appreciate the Daily's encour-
aging students to consider
taking a dialogue or other cul-
tural exploration class as I
believe that the issues brought
up in these classes are impor-
tant to everyone and may
impact students lives more
then they might think (e.g.,
the affirmative action suit
against the University). From
a facilitator's perspective, I
think that the classes offer a
unique experience for stu-
dents in a non-traditional
atmosphere and really gets
them to think about topics
from other points of view. In
both the dialogue I facilitated
in the past between people of
color and white people and

ing one they have taken while
at the University.
Article on
Prof. Faller
was 'biased'
I am responding to the
article written by Stephanie
Hepburn regarding Prof.
Kathleen Faller ('"U' prof.
faces trial for improperly
interviewing a child,"
I am currently a doctoral-
level student in the joint pro-
gram of Social Work and
Psychology. I am also a thera-
pist and forensic evaluator
who has specialized in work-
ing with sexually abused chil-
dren for the past 20 years. I
am writing to challenge the
tone and impression left by the
very biased article you print-
ed. First, it is not clear that
this is a civil matter rather
than something criminal.
Second, it should be clear that
defendants in such a case are
generally unable to respond to
media smears in their own
defense because of the trial.
Finally, the real issues of this
case were obscured by profes-
sional slams against Faller that
are misleading, if not untrue.
What Dr. Elissa Benedek,
who does not specialize in
this type of work, said about
her opinion of a case in 1990
does nothing to.shed light on
this case. The issues of this
trial do not even focus on
whether or not abuse
occurred, which may never be
clearly ascertained, but on
whether professionals operat-
ing within the standards of
their profession should be
penalized for making difficult
judgment calls or for fulfilling
their legal obligation to make
reports when they suspect
child abuse. In the difficult
cases Faller's clinic handles,
referrals frequently come
there because of complicated
factors which make others
unwilling or unqualified to
make a call regarding whether
abuse was likely to have
occurred. Should we stop
evaluating cases with young
children since it is unlikely
that we will get 8- by 10-inch
glossies to confirm our deci-
sions? In fact, many profes-
sionals with years of experi-
ence have left the field of
child abuse because of its dif-
ficulty, exacerbated by attacks
or threats of lawsuits.
I am proud to be affiliated
with Faller and the work of the
clinic, having been a social
work consultant there for the
past seven years. Before the
Daily becomes a mouthpiece
for an attorney who has stated
wishes to close down the clin-
ic, or for a parent unhappy
with a decision made by this

define it
O 0 ne afternoon last week, about 30
cute junior high kids came into
the Daily to look around and ask some
"Is working here fun? What do you
do? Where do you _______
make the papers?
Where's the bath-
room? How come
Michigan?" I
could answer all "
their questions -
except that last
It's the same
question I've tried ERIN
to answer for a lot MARSH
of people: first- TINKINC
year students, o 'y
friends visiting
from other schools, some misguided
family members who decided to attend
Michigan State, and kids who just
want to figureout what they're doing
after they leave high school.
My 16-year-old sister, for exam-
ple, visited me two weekends ago
and just wanted to see some "good
college stuff." Fortunately, she was
here for thepost-PenndState bash on
South University and at President
Bollinger's house (I have a feeling
that story went over pretty well in
her high school halls on Monday
morning). She definitely saw some
"good college stuff." And there's no
way I could have explained that
occasion to her if she hadn't lived it
I counseled some incoming first-
year students when I worked as an ori-
entation leader a few summers ago.
Without fail, all those students wanted
some answers. They cane here full of
questions:. "How easy is it to drink
underage? Is there a curfew? What if I
hate my roommate?"
But the real questions lay someu
where beneath the cheesy nametags -
and those were the ones that they
wanted most badly for me to answer:
"Did I make the right decision by
enrolling at Michigan? What if I don't
meet anyone? What if I get lost -
really lost - in the middle of all these
people?" And then the most important
one of all: "Can you tell me why I'll
like it here?"
I would like nothing more than to
adequately express to everyone who
asks me why I love it here, and why
they probably would, too. But I
What I could tell them is all the stuff
that's printed in the Student Life
Handbook or the literature that comes
with admissions applications. And
don't get me wrong - it's all terrific
stuff. Despite the differences that mark
us as a student body, everybody knows
a tradition. Every Michigan hockey
fan knows what to say when a player
from the opposing team lands in the
penalty box. No one wonders what's
going on when, on a chilly night in
April, hundreds of people run through
Ann Arbor in the buff People here are
loathe to step on the 'M.' Everyone
pumps their fists when they hear "The
Traditions are the rock of cultures,
religions and people. They are ageless
and timeless. They bridge our lives
and allow us to forge bonds that might
otherwise never come to be. But they
cannot explain anyone's individual
experience - and if you try to explain
the University solely in terms of its
traditions, the explanation will come
up woefully short.
So try as I might, I couldn't explain
to those junior high students, my sis-
ter, those (then) first-year students or

anyone else who asks why exactly it is
I like it here. My reasons, are, well,
mine. Like how terrific it is to wake up
on Saturday mornings in autumn and
hear the marching band practicing
"The Victors" over on Elbel Field. Or
that rush of working incredibly hard
and then really acing the exam. Or
how it feels to watch another winter
slowly, quietly settle on the Diag.
My reasons might not be everybody
else's. And those who ask might not
really know until they live their own
University experience.
Students have a tendency to imagine
that no one has ever experienced the
University quite this way before. Many
will argue that they have had the best
time anyone has ever had at the
University of Michigan.
They're all right.4
But the University's history is full of
unique stories - grab a University
alumnus the next time you see one and
ask her or him for a story - a real
story, not a repeated tradition - from
their college days. Odds are they'll
have a good one.
The University has the largest living









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