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September 08, 1998 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-08

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WA - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 8, 1998 LocA/STATE
Regents approve 3.9 percent tuition increase

4
4

By Mike Spahn
Daily Staff Reporter
After months of discussion, debate and speculation about
the financial state of the University, the University Board of
Regents approved a 3.9 percent tuition increase as part of the
$890 million budget for the 1998-99 academic year.
The board also approved a $30 technology fee for students
in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
-'The board cited a need to compete with both Ivy Lague
and other private institutions as the main reason behind the
tuition increase. Several regents also expressed a hope that
the University could stay on the cutting edge, of technology
and academics with the increase.
University President Lee Bollinger said the current state of
higher education mandated the increase, adding that this will
help the public institution compete with other schools in all
areas, from faculty retention to technology.
"We live in a very competitive environment in higher edu-
cation," Bollinger said. "In order to have the resources, we
really need a 3.9-percent increase."
Although most of the board voted for the increase as part
of the budget, Regent Andrea Fischer Newman (R-Ann
Arbor) voted against the raise. She said the University needs
to explore other avenues for increasing revenue, not just con-
tinue to burden students.
"Michigan is a great institution and I want it to remain that
'way" Newman said. "I want it to be affordable. Therefore, I agree

with the mission. I do not agree with the way it's being funded."
Regent Lawrence Deitch (D-Bloomfield Hills), said the
University must face the fact that it has to compete on a very
large field, and the increase will best help them to do so.
"We live in a real world," Deitch said. "We are competing
with private institutions. I think it's our responsibility to
ensure our continued excellence."
The discussion of a tuition raise began in February after
(ov. Engler's proposed budget included only a 1.5-percent
increase for the state public institutions. Under that proposal,
the University would have received $319 million.
Administration officials said the increase would be fair based
upon the high funding schools have received in the recent past.
This budget immediately drew fire from University offi-
cials and legislators alike.
Rep. Morris lood (D-Detroit), who chairs the House
Appropriations Committee, called the proposal "totally inad-
equate" after the budget was presented.
Chair of the Senate Colleges and Universities Committee
John Schwarz (R-Battle Creek) said the initial recommenda-
tion could cause a 5.5 to 8 percent tuition increase after the
proposal was unveiled.
'"This won't work', I thought," Schwarz later said.
It was the Senate that had the first opportunity to change the
budget, and they did. After meetings were held in various loca-
tions, including Ann Arbor, the committee recommended a 3-
percent increase in funding. That was later passed by both the

full appropriations committee and the full Senate. Only one
member voted against the proposal in any of the three votes.
But Engler spokesperson John Truscott warned that any
money above the governor's proposal would have to be pulled
directly out of a different program.
"We have always said that if they're going to add money in
one place, they have to tell us where they're going to cut,'
Truscott said.
But the House did not heed this warning, raising even the
Senate's recommendation by passing a 4-percent increase.
"Ihis increase is a much better deal for all state universities,
including the University of Michigan," said Rep. Lingg Brewer
(D-I Holt).
Associate Vice President for Government Affairs Cynthia
Wilbanks said "many of the House members reacted similar-
ly to the Senate members when the budget was proposed.
They were similarly concerned with the 1 .5 percent."
Even though the final appropriation has not yet been final-
ized, the board of regents believes that this tuition increase
will best help the University maintain its standing among
prominent universities.
But some students question the process. Michigan Student
Assembly President Trent Thompson said he "strongly
believes students should be involved in the budget process."
Others students concur, saying they do not believe the admin-
istration allows enough time for student involvement.
The $41 million budget increase will also help fund an

1998 Fall Undergraduate Tution Increase of 3.9%

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1997 1998 1997 199

increase in faculty salaries by 4-5 percent, something th
University Provost Nancy Cantor said she believes is very ne
essary. University professors earn $10,000 less than teachers
other schools.
- Daily StaffReporters Erin Holmes and Susan I P
contributed to this ixpo.

Board of regents says no to MSA
student regent campaign fee

By Erin Holmes
Daily StalReporter
After a negative response from University
administrators, the Michigan Student Assembly's
quest for a student regent took a new and unex-
pected blow. But MSA said the decision merely
marks a turning point in its fight.
At the University Board of Regents monthly
meeting this past June, the board failed to
approve the proposed increase in MSA fees that
would go toward changing the state constitution
to allow a student regent seat at the University.
This proposal, which MSA promoted through
the Yes! Yes! Yes! campaign, was approved by
students during the March election.
MSA proposed the regents add a $4 fee for
three 'semesters to help place a question on
Michigan's state ballot asking citizens to vote to
change the state constitution to allow for a stu-
dent regent.
In a draft letter submitted in July, the Secretary
.f State found that the assembly's strategy of try-
ing to collect funds via the University would vio-
late the Michigan Campaign Finance Act if sanc-
tioned by the regents. The MCDA prohibits pub-
lip bodies - including the University from
using funds for a ballot question committee.
"What we are looking at here is an interpret5-
.ion. What was earlier suggested by the students
could not be done," said Elizabeth Boyd, a
spokesperson for the Secretary of State.
' University spokesperson Julie Peterson said

the fees were not recommended by Vice
President for Student Affairs Maureen I lartford
because of the question of legality overusing stu-
dent fees in this manner.
In the proposal, MSA also urged the regents to
"be open to and to consider" a student regent
who would be elected by the student body.
MSA President Trent Thompson said the
assembly will continue to push for full represen-
tation on the board, but added that the Secretary
of State's decision puts a damper on the cam-
paign.
"It cuts down our options," Thompson said.
"We can't use money from students through the
University anymore. We have not yet decided
which strategy to use in the future."
One option is to, compose a compromise pro-
posal which would avoid changing the constitu-
tion.
"This new proposal will allow for a student
regent without costing students money," Elias said.
Another possible strategy is an ongoing
attempt by MSA to convince the state legislature
to pass a bill amending the state constitution and
creating a student seat on the board. The assem-
bly's efforts in the legislature had been pushed
aside by the more promising prospect of the
statewide ballot, "Thompson said.
MSA is also considering raising funds inde-
pendently, rather than through the University, to
pay for the signature gathering. Another option is
to have students gather signatures for the

statewide ballot.
MSA Rep. Jessica Foster said the Student
Regent Task Force will meet later this week to
discuss a more concrete plan.
"We spent the summer getting more contacts.,"
Foster said. "We still need to see what direction
we'll more in."
Regent S. Martin Taylor (D-Grosse Pointe
Farms) said he is pleased with the decision to not
incorporate a student regent at this time.
"This is a classic case of Pandora's Box,"
Taylor said. "There would just be a lot of mis-
chief" if the constitution were to be changed.
Taylor said that although the fees were not
approved, it does not mean the administration is
against having open and improved communica-
tion with the student body.
"'There are ways to improve the process,"
Taylor said. "Obviously, it is important to know
what student requests and problems are."
Taylor said having a student regent would not
necessarily accomplish this.
"Think how diverse the student body is,"
Taylor said. "Who would that one student regent
be? Students are not a homogenous group of one
mind or one priority"
Taylor added that student organizations on
campus could offer better communication with
administration.
"Requests and concerns that come from stu-
dent organizations would be seriously considered
by the regents and (University President Lee

II

" I- ..

The University Board of Regents oppose MSA's attempt to create a student seat on the board.

Bollinger). All the regents are ready to help"
Regent Shirley McFee (R-Battle Creek) cited
another reason for not approving the fee.
"This is all coming forth far too rapidly,"
McFee said. "Students may think it's a snail's
pace, but in reality, it's ... far too sweeping, too
soon. "
But Elias said MSA has been working for five
years to establish a student seat on the board.
Currently, any student of voting age can run.
for a seat on the board. The process entails a
statewide elecion and an eight-term commit-
ment, and is different from the proposed student
regent seat.
"Students, I think expected (the student regent
proposal) would be more positively received than

it was," McFee said. "The regents on the board'
the present time have emphasized that a consti
tional change should not be done."
McFee and Taylor said the lack of clarity as I
exactly what a student regent would involve wa
subpar.
"I have yet to see a full-fledge discussion
expectations, term length or responsibilities
McFee said.
"If they are not willing to do this on a vo
tary basis, they shouldn't be forced to pay,
McFee said.
Elias said the decision was based on misinfo
mation.
- Daily StaffReporter Gerard Cohen- Vrigna
contributed to this repo

LSA senior Curtin..
faces rioting charges

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By Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud
Daily Staff Reporter
Longtime student activist Jessica
Curtin, an LSA senior, will face a
preliminary trial later this month on
charges of riot and malicious
destruction of property, stemming
from her activities during a Ku Klux
Klan rally last May.
On Aug. 12, a court found there
was probable cause for a trial on
both charges. A pre-trial date has
been set for Sept. 25.
Last May, a city sanctioned KKK
rally was met with a violent demon-
stration, as about 300 protesters tore
down fences and attacked Ann Arbor
City Hall with rocks and bottles. The
police used
tear gas and
pepper spray firtf8 patet
to restrain the
c ouner- ridiculous
demonstra-
tors. Curtin riot becau
was among ro
those demon- broken Wi
s t r a t i n g
against the KKK proteste
Klan.
The prose-
cution alleges Curtin "did, while act-
ing in concert with five or more
other persons, wrongfully engage in
violent conduct and thereby inten-
tionally or recklessly cause or create
a serious risk of causing public ter-
ror or alarm," according to court
documents.
The felony charge of riot carries a
maximum penalty of 10 years in
prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Exactly what the charge means for
Curtin as a University student is not
yet clear, said University spokesper-
'son Julie Peterson. While students

the (Code of Student Conduct) thi
says if you're charged with a crinM
or convicted of a charge, a certaj
result will occur," Peterson sai
"We have to decide whether the st
dent poses a threat to the commun
ty."
Curtin could not be reached t
comment yesterday.
Curtin and her co-defendants as
fighting the charges actively, claiy
ing the city is acting in a concerte
effort to punish the KKK protester
for their political views. Amand
Shoester, assistant prosecutor - fc
Washtenaw County, said the city i
not responsible for the charges.
"It's the state of Michigan t 1t
proceedin
again~s
y them, . n
the city .
ro call it a Ann Arbor
;e of a few said,
ff If Curti
UWWf is convicte

t
d

6r;

- Luke Massie of :1
and NWROC organizer c h a r
chances :
she wdtt
not face jail time,, Shoester s1
adding that courts rarely mete 61
the maximum penalty.
Curtin's defense team will try t
argue that no riot was committed,sai
KKK protester Luke Massie, an org
nizer for the National Women's Rigb
Organizing Coalition. Massie,
also facing a misdemeanor chl
said the police's own account of t
protest reveal that no riot took place
"It's patently ridiculous to callit
riot because of a few broken: wi:
dows," Massie said, adding th
according to the police there w

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