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February 12, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-12

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 12, 1998

G1ie ffiidlitwn BitaiIg

The 'U'has some

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'Students are a lot more likely to actually vote
if they can walk down in their pajamas
in their dorm to cast a vote.'
- LSA junior Ryan Friedrichs, on a new program that will allow first-year
students to register to vote when they send in their residence hall leases

problems that


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.
In the money
Large allocations are good for state's economy

T oday, Gov. John Engler will propose an
annual budget to the Michigan state
Legislature, outlining his plans to fund
Michigan's state-supported programs and
institutions. This budget must emphasize
higher education, appropriating a substantial
amount of money to maintain the high stan-
dard set by Michigan's public universities.
The conspicuous absence of higher edu-
cation from Engler's State of the State
address last month raised concerns that this
year's appropriation to the University would
not be on par with those of recent years.
Associate Provost for Academic and
Budgetary Affairs Paul Courant recently
said, "We don't expect to do nearly as well
as we did last year."
That the University would receive less
funding seems baffling given the prosperity
Michigan currently enjoys. Engler reported
in the opening of last month's address that
the state's economy is at a level not equaled
since World War II. The governor must rec-
ognize that Michigan's financial success
stands in large part on the shoulders of res-
idents' ability to pursue higher education. If
the Legislature cuts state-supported univer-
sity's appropriations, fewer students will
have access to a college degree. State resi-
dents with such degrees generally pay high-
er taxes once they enter the workforce - in
the long run, the state's coffers will suffer as
a result of smaller allocations now.
In order to preserve the thriving status of
which Engler spoke, the state must produce
highly educated members of society to
carry the torch. Cutbacks in state funding
restrict the growth of Michigan's public uni-
versities and in turn, the growth of the stu-
dents at those institutions.
At the University, the large appropria-
tions of previous years resulted in keeping
tuition increases at a minimum - a key fac-

tor in the ability of many students to contin-
ue their education past high school. Another
important correlation to increased funding
is the ability to maintain a faculty whose
members stand at the forefront of their
respective fields. Without this money, key
members of the University's academic com-
munity may take their talent elsewhere.
Such a loss could be devastating to the
University's academic programs.
Michigan's public universities also play
key roles in the economic health of the
cities that surround them - this is evi-
denced nowhere better than it is in Ann
Arbor. University students provide a great
influx of cash to Ann Arbor's businesses.
Without large numbers of student con-
sumers, many businesses would be unable
to turn a profit.
Also important in regard to the budget is
how the University will use the money that
it receives from the state. The University's
budget request for this year concentrates on
expanding its many programs, with an
emphasis on living-learning programs.
While expanding programs is an important
part of the University's growth, the
University should not favor any particular
academic enclave. Such bias may result in
an uneven degree of quality among the
many different sectors of the University.
The main goal should be to promote a uni-
versal excellence throughout every depart-
ment and program.
With a large appropriation from the state
government, the University and the state's
other public institutions can continue to
provide students with the best education
available. Engler must provide the funds to
keep the University at a high level, and the
University must use these funds in a fair,
logical way to maintain its tradition of



Double jeopardy
Criminals should have access to financial aid

nyone who wants to get ahead in the
AUnited States usually needs to pursue
education past high school. Entrepreneurs
may improve their position in society and
pull themselves out of poverty, but school-
ing is often the only viable route available
to many people. Thus, the state should not
use a person's criminal record against them
when they apply for financial aid to attend
college. In fact, allowing ex-felons to
access student assistance provides a critical
opportunity for them to rehabilitate and
genuinely adapt to a law-abiding society.
Although the Michigan State Senate has
repeatedly encouraged rehabilitation in
penal institutions, state Sen. Bill Bullard
(R-Milford) proposed 11 bills on Tuesday
that would deny financial aid to former
criminals who violated anti-drug laws.
Announced as an implementation of a larg-
er anti-drug campaign, the bills deny tax
dollars to those who participate in drug traf-
ficking by either possessing or dealing ille-
gal controlled substances. The bills' spon-
sors claim that the proposals will further
deter drug use; they also insist that funds
for student loans must not reach those who
violate the law. Essentially, lawmakers want
to augment federal legislation that gives
judges discretion to revoke federal student
aid to offenders of narcotics laws. The
eleven bills now in the state Senate auto-
matically deny any state scholarships or aid
to these same offenders, potentially leaving
the convicted felon without any sort of pub-
lic assistance for college.
This, however, is an extremely problem-
atic strategy for law enforcement. After all,
nnmmittinva -,mall nrimp An- not nane_-

rights as a citizen - for first-time drug
offenses, significant jail time is rarely
imposed. The judicial system must enforce
the law and punish those who violate it, but
this does not mean that society should figu-
ratively mark the criminal for the rest of his
or her life. After paying their dues to soci-
ety, offenders ought to have their full rights
restored and respected. A drug offense is
certainly not sufficient reason to ignore cit-
izens' right to seek a higher education with
the state's support. Additionally, a journey
through the legal and, perhaps, corrections
systems might change a criminal's direction
- turning an offender into an ambitious
student whose future career would improve
rather than harm society.
Supporters of the bills want to help the
federal government and local communities
fight drug-related crime. But the state
should not use a person's past criminal
record when deciding whether or not to
grant money for a college education.
While the state uses a person's criminal
record when considering granting gun per-
mits, admitting candidates to police acad-
emies and inducting lawyers into the Bar,
these specific cases are strictly for the
public's safely, not to further punish
offenders. Chastisement and revenge seem
to imbue the reasons offered for the 11
bills. Although drugs are certainly a prob-
lem in modern society, the state ought to
carefully guard citizens' rights, even over
efforts to fight crime, if necessary. The
Senate should not pass the bills so that all
state residents may have a chance to recti-
fy grave mistakes in their past by earning a
cnllae decaree anti crentinu a hetter f;inre

should defend
free speech
Since 1973, the
Community Television
Network has operated as a
forum for free speech with-
out government-imposed cen-
sorship as to content or time
of broadcast. Under a new
policy imposed by the City
Administrator in August, four
types of content must be
identified by the producer.
Programs that are self-identi-
fied as having restricted con-
tent may only be broadcast
after 9 p.m. Failure to accu-
rately fill out the form makes
the producer legally liable
and subject to penalties
according to the contract that
must now be signed.
In practice, this policy
could ban or discourage from
daytime hours material such
as Mark Twain's
"Huckleberry Finn" for "lan-
guage unsuitable for chil-
dren," Michelangelo's David
for nudity and Shakespeare's
Hamlet for violence.
Programs already on the
air such as "Get Curious with
Safety Girl" and School of
Public Health Prof. Sylvia
Hacker's "Sexy Minutes"
have already been self-cen-
sored to meet the restrictions
on freedom of speech.
At public hearings in
November before the Cable
Commission 19 of 22 citi-
zens who spoke opposed any
restrictions on content. In
December, the commission
unanimously voted to recom-
mendthat the new regula-
tions be rescinded.
Not withstanding the clear
expression of public opposi-
tion to the new restrictions,
they have been kept in place
by the City Administrator
with the support of Ann
Arbor Mayor Ingrid Sheldon
and The Ann Arbor News.
The Ann Arbor City
Council will meet on Feb. 17
to consider a Democrat-spon-
sored resolution that would
undo the City Administrator's
restrictions on the network.
People who are interested in
this issue can get in touch
with the mayor and the coun-
cil people prior to the meet-
ing as well as coming and
attending the meeting or
speaking and writing on the
The Website
http//wwwocean.ic.net/ car-
ries information for people
opposed to the new regula-
tions. The city's Website is
http://www ci. ann-arbormi. us/
People who are concerned
with these regulations on
CTN are encouraged to con-
tact their council members at
994-3313 or over e-mail at
council@ci. ann-arbor.mi. us.

ardent vocals of Elizabeth
Callahan but also with the
incredibly talented musicians.
Iliev is right on when she
writes that the "band's music
doesn't sound mainstream" I
have to disagree with her,
though, when she said that
"SafeHaven should be among
the Christian Rock Top 40
charts." After the show, I pur-
chased one of the band's CDs.
No where in the record is
there a mention of anything
that connotes a religious
theme or tone. The lyrics,
combined with Callahan's
vehement presentation, gave
me the impression that the
band's story is sincere. Iliev's
article seems to be primarily a
reprint of the lyrics without
any reference to the band's
music. I have to wonder
whether Marquina actually lis-
tened to the CD. Taken out of
context without sound, lyrics
like "Tryin' to get to heaven
before they close the door"
sung Bob Dylan could be
considered "sappy" or
"clich." It could even be
characterized as Christian
Column and
editorial were
In Josh White's column
"Violence does not offer res-
olution to abortion debate"
(2/3/98), he says that abor-
tion is life threatening to
women. In fact, a pregnant
woman is more likely to die
if she givesabirth than if she
has a legal abortion.
White, as well as the edi-
torial on the same page, also
consider the Alabama abor-
tion clinic bombing illogical.
If someone bombed a
World War II death camp gas
chamber, would that be illog-
ical? No. Clinic bombers
may see abortion as murder
similarly sanctioned by an
evil government.
Pro-choice supporters
need to be logical them-
selves, and they need to
explain their logic. A pro-
choice supporter who does
not condone murder can only
be logical by believing that a
fetus is not a person.The
U.S. Supreme Court has not
condoned the killing of per-
sons by women and their
doctors, but rather it repeat-
edly has rejected the notion
that a fetus is a person.
In Roe v Wade and subse-
quent cases the court
received several "friend of
the court" briefs dealing with
the question of whether the
fetus is a person. To me, the
most relevant are those deal-
ing with neurological devel-
opment. As a biologist, I see

that distinguish humans from
other animals have not devel-
'U' should
take part in
the National
Day of Action
Jesse Jackson has initiated
a call for a National Day of
Action on Feb. 24 for the
defense of affirmative action.
On Jan. 29, a meeting
called to coordinate the strug-
gle on the campus with repre-
sentatives from 17 student
organizations voted over-
whelmingly for this day of
action and to support a class
boycott and strike on that day.
Instead of attending classes,
students and GSs are encour-
aged to attend an all day
teach-in on affirmative action
that is being organized for the
National Day of Action.
Before affirmative action,
universities in the United
States were segregated. Even
with affirmative action, the
University is only 8.9 percent
black while the population of
the state of Michigan is 14
percent black. Only one third
of the Law School is female.
Similar inequities can be
found throughout our school
and society at large. We have
a long way to go before full
social equality is achieved.
The attack on affirmative
action is an attempt to roll
back the partial progress
made by the Civil Rights
Movement. If we can build a
successful national move-
ment to defeat the attack on
affirmative action, this can
also be the first step in
renewing the fight for real
and full equality.
The lawsuits against U of
M have given students here
the possibility of playing a
leading role in the national
struggle over the future of
affirmative action. On Feb.
24, U of M can be the turn-
ing point in this struggle.
While in and of itself, a
one-day strike here would not
single-handedly defeat the
attack on affirmative action,
the spread of such strikes
nationally could. The
University community should
act as a leader for other uni-
versities under threat of
resegregation and inspire
them to take their stand and
become part of a growing
student movement for the
defense of affirmative action
and for social equality.
A successful rally and
march on the National Day of
Action will be helpful and
extremely important. But only
a boycott of classes or a strike
will do the two key things that
are necessary now: capture
the attention of the nation and

even the Master
Plan can 'tfix
I t was sunny this week - in February,
even - and even the rain is revolu-
tionary for the sludgy dregs of winter.
Surely the groundhog was just jittery
when he predicted six more weeks o
Fine -- mustv
be El Ninlo.
Someone invent-
ed El Nino to
explain some-
thing quirky - it
sounds flashier
than "global
warming" - and
now it takes theMEGAN
blame or praise SCHIMPF
for anything PR ESC IPTIONS
labeled as a phe-
nomenon. So it must be responsible.
Wrong again.
Like everything else that will now
happen on campus, the weather is now
regulated by Venturi, Scott Brown &
Associates, the architecture firm con-
tracted by the University to design its
future. University President Lee
Bollinger, who is said to be worried
about the lack of cohesion of the
University's physical appearance in the
wake of a massive building spree in the
last decade, has charged the company
with charting the next 100 years of con-
It's the Master Plan. Get ready. It's
The masters of the plan are currently
in what they call the "once-over-lightly"
stage, which in English means "when
we shudder at the color of the LSA
Building and generally wince at the
Frieze Building."
Wait until they see the Lurie Bell
After recovering from that trauma,
the Committee to Master Plan the
Universe known as Ann Arbor will face
an unenviable task: Creating unity on
campus. Look at East Quad, right acros
the street from the School of Business
Administration, of all things, and you
begin to appreciate the magnitude of the
committee's importance.
In fact, several recent proposals have
been tabled or await Master Plan
approval, including the construction of
a Hill-area cafeteria and the addition of
high-tech scoreboards in Michigan
Stadium. One might ask how score-
boards in the footballastadium coul
possibly impact the appearance of the
Matthaei Botanical Gardens, another
area of the University under considera
tion. Worry not - the Master Plan
One could also ask why this is a crit-
ical question, considering the buildings
are already built and there's not a free
square inch to build anything more.
Never fear - the Master Plan is here!
It will resolve the question of wher*
all the officials who "return to the fac-
ulty" actually go. Why burned-out
buildings apparently need to age before
they can be torn down. Why each newly
constructed or renovated building has
an atrium. Why Dennison, the physics
building, is rumored to be sinking.
The Master Plan will call for the
planting of grass.aFor not putting con-
struction fences smack in the middle of
the busiest walkways. For finding some-
thing to do near North Campus that
not Bursley or the Commons. For con-
necting every other building around the
Diag into the Tisch-Haven-Angell-
Mason complex.
To improve unity on the athletic cam-
pus, the plan will call for the construc-

tion of the Fisher-Moeller Building. It
will house anyone upset with the
Athletic Department, from Peyton
Manning to anti-Nike groups to the M-
14 highway patrol.
But if they can find affordable, easy-
to-arrange housing off campus, it's all
worth it. Maybe someone could even
find some windows for the Fleming
Administration Building. In the spirit of
the School of Dentistry, it would be
really neat to design buildings in the
shape of what goes on inside. And actu-
ally putting fish in the Law Library
would validate that Orientation tale and
unify the Law School with Angell Hall
But why stop at physical appearance?
The Master Plan promises to usher in an
era where major exams and due dates
will never overlap. Vacations will actu-
ally be long enough to appreciate the
time off. The CRISP lady will give
every student the schedule they want
without hanging up, denying the selec-
tion or forgetting to e-mail. Classes will
end on time. E-mail will always work.
SU 0
Speaking of "cohesion," the Plan
People could look into this whole in-
state vs. out-of-state feud, and the grad-
uate vs. undergraduate student division.
Talk about an ugly scene.
What exactly is cohesion? And why is

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