The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 23, 1998 -5
c -AAMM, IMS& u s
eme semester to
Iloping to receive a variety of suggestions
from university students, planning commit-
tees will hold meetings today and tomorrow
to prepare lhr next term's theme semester,
"Diversity: Theories and Practices."
W he choice for the theme semester, cou-
pled with the recent lawsuits filed against the
University for its use of race as a factor in
admissions, provides an opportunity for dia-
logue and a series of educational events, said
Charles Behling, chair of the semester's
"My personal view is that this is an
attempt to seize the moment of the suit to
discuss diversity and social justice," said
Behling, co-director of Intergroup Relations
Programming in the psychology department.
"It hasn't been neglected in the past. It is just
a powerful moment when our attention is
turned to it."
While racial diversity will be explored
through classes and events during the semes-
ter, it is not the only focus.
"Diversity is social identity," Behling said.
"It is race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gen-
der, age, religion or physical ability."
Pat McCune is the program coordinator for
the Dialogues on Divers'ty Initiative at the
University, which is co-sponsoring the effort
with the College of Literature Science and
McCune said the ear that ension sur
rounding the lawsuits mihi shut down dis-
cussion of diversity issues in thc classroom
made this theme very important w the
"We set up a situation to continue talkin.
We don't learn unless we ar exposed to oth-
ers' ideas," McCune said.
McCune said she hopcs students will use
the semester to gain knowledge from all
sides of these issues.
"The goal is for a heightened awareness ol
what diversity means to different people and
why it is valuable and why it isn't,) Mc'une
said. "This is a chance for everyone to
expLore the way they feel and why they feel
that way '
Although plans r next semester include
ott classes with a diversity theme, many co-
curricutar events that still remain unplanned.
Students can have a direct part in design-
ing the semester
"We want people who have definite ideas
to realizc their projects through this,"
Mce( une said
lBehhing said the course the semester takes
depends on the activities students suggest.
"The sky's the limit," he said. "We are
actively seeking student input, ideas and
Michigan Student Assembly President
Trent Thompson said l e has been pleased
with the success of theme semesters in the
past and hopes MSA will be involved in the
"MSA would love to create a realization
that this camnpus is unique in that we have a
diverse student body where students of
totally different lifestyles can live and work
on one campus," said Thompson, an LSA
Those who are interested in sharing, ideas
or planning can attend the Events Committee
meeting today at 4 p.m. on the fourth floor
terrace in last I lall or tomorrow's mass
meeting at 5 p.m. at the Kuenzel Room in the
Auto prices plummet; rebates rise
as new '99 vehicles make debut
Democratic candidate for governor Geoffrey Fleger addresses members of the
Booker T. Washington Business Association luncheon in Detroit yesterday.
FiCgSer, E Cer
DETROIT'l(AP) Democratic can-
didate for governor Geoffrey Fieger
unveiled his education plan yesterday,
saying it would lead to more funds for
public schools, expand preschools and
impose tough standards.
Fieger attacked some of Republican
Gov. John Engler's education propos-
als as "the product of a deranged
*mind," and said Engler "has declared
war on public school education, public
school teachers and public school
For his part, .Engler proposed
expanding college a dvanced place-
ment exams statewide through com-
puters and television.
- The two made their pronouncements
a day after a poll found education to be
among top concerns of Michigan vot-
ers. Among the 600 voters surveyed by
EPJC/MRA, 20 percent said education
was the issue they were concerned
about the most.
Fieger's comments yesterday came
at a Booker T. Washington Business
Association luncheon, a group Engler
addressed two weeks ago. While the
crowd was larger for Engler, it
appeared more responsive to Fieger,
inrrupting his speech several times
Some points of Fieger's plan melud-
Expanding preschool programs.
1 Expanding the Michigan Educa-
tion Trust, the state's pre-paid college
' Adopting strict state education
st. ndards that schools would be free to
meet with their own material.
Changing school funding to be
more equitable, smoothing out the dis-
parities between districts.
Repealing laws that bar collective
bargaining by teachers and school
"My commitment to education is
genetic," Fieger said, citing the work
his parents did for teachers' unions.
"Education will be the cornerstone of
Fieger loudly derided Engler's plan
for "Freedom Schools," which would
allow Detroit parents to take over indi-
vidual schools and run them separately
from the school district.
"Where is one educator, one promi-
nent educator, in this entire country,
that backs up and supports such a pre-
posterous and devious idea?" Fieger
said. "What parents' group do you
know of today that are qualified today
to run a public school?"
Engler, speaking yesterday at the
fourth Governor's Education Summit
in Lansing, said education spending
has increased 50 percent since he has
been in office. Engler said the increase
reflects his priority on education.
"I believe passionately that if we get
our schools right, Michigan is going to
be right;" he said.
Engler said developing an advanced
placement distance learning program
is among his goals for his next term.
The program would allow students
from all over the state take as many
advanced placement courses as they
would like through computers and
interactive television. High scores on
advanced placement tests often allow
students to save money by placing out
of college courses, Engler said.
Engler also urged collaboration
between government and teachers
unions, telling them to focus on stu-
DETROIT (AP) - Fall typically isn't the best
time of year to get a good deal on a new car or
truck. As the new model year begins, automakers
usually boost prices and reserve discounts for the
previous year's few leftovers.
Not this year.
Automakers are in an all-out price war. 'Thcy're
luring customers into showrooms with lower stick-
er prices, rebates up to 55,000 and financug rates
below 1 percent -- even on some '99s.
Deflation has come to the auto industry and
it may be here for a long while.
"Consumers are getting more for their money
than they ever have before," analyst I inc d n
Merrihew of J.D. Power and Associates said. "It
doesn't look like it will change soon.
What makes this fall unusual is that discounts
are on the rise while the economy's running on all
cylinders, gasoline's cheap and summer sales were
"The market is unbelievably competitive,"
Chrysler Corp. Chairperson Robert Eaton said.
"There's never been a period when incentives were
this high and the economy and the market were as
good as they are now."
The primary reason for the intense competion
is the industry has more capacity to build vehicles
than worldwide demand warrants.
"It's overcapacity," said economist Bill Wilson
of Comerica Bank. "The Big Three almost resem-
ble OPEC now - they just keep cutting prices.
Automakers' efforts to cut manufacturin costs
over the past few years have paid off in billions of
dollars in savings, allowing most companies to
pass on some of that windlaill without sacri ficie
In the first 20 days of September, dealer aid
manufacturer incentives averaged S3,664 per vehi-
cle sold, according to CNW Marketing Research.
That's up 21 percent from S3,022 a year ago
Continued from Page 1
the American people."
Behind the scenes, his staf and legal
team were indeed maneuvering to bol-
ster Clinton's position. Their main
complaint Tuesday came in the form of
a letter from Clinton's private attorney
and the White House counsel's office,
charging that Starr had excluded from
his 445-page report evidence beneficial
In a letter to Hyde, they complained
that Lewinsky's testimony that "no one
ever asked me to lie and I was never
promised a job for my silence" was left
out of Starr's report.
Although that statement does appear
in Lcwinsky's written proftfer made
public Monday, White House Counsel
Charles Ruff and David Kendall, the
president's personal attorney, said that
not including it "raises grave questions
about the fundamental fairness of the
"I tfink their strategy is to look for
arguments," Hyde said. "My strategy is
share the company lost after
two d atatin strikes that all
but halted its North American
producioii in June and July. Its
S market share pmhmeted
S10 pereentoge points to about
2I percent in July and August.
'Ihe world's biggest
ant omaker needs to cet its
share back above 3(1 percent,
or it may be forced to slow pro-
duct ion, close plants and order
getting more for
"Where we're seeing the lower
floor traffic is in the upper-mid-
dle and upper income groups,
which for the most part have
dominated the new car market,
layot's to adjust to a smaller market.
"We're going to be lighting l'or every sale we can
'he GM C'hairperson Jack Smith said last week,
latest rebates coincide with price cuts on
some 99 models.
'o'd Motor Co. is offering its flagship Taurus
X sedani at S I#,Ot less than the sticker for a com-
parably equipped '98. The SE wagon version is
Similar discounts arc' offered on the laurtis'
twin, the Mereciry Sable.
topof lord's offlering 550)0 rebates or
discount (inanci1u rates on the 'urus and Sable.
"Not only have the sticker prices come down,
htit the incentives are still there as well,'
Merrihew said. "in the old days, you might have
Strong incentives that the Big
lhree automakers offered last spring also may have
caused some consumers to buy sooner than they had
planned, pulling sales ahead from the fall.
'Ihe drop in floor traffic varies from city to city;
some dealers say sales remain strong, while others
confirm Spinella's statistics.
"It's really rough," said Alan llelfman, general
manager of River Oaks Chrysler-Plymouth-Jeep-
Eagle in Ilouston. "There's hardly anyone coming
into the showroom. It's not normal "
Ilelfman said many of his customers are waiting
to see what happens to the stock market.
I' sales fall, that will only guarantee more
"The only way to maintain the demand is to
offer incentives," Spinella said Monday.
(icneral Motors ('orp. fired off another round of
brebtes t week on '98s and '99s, ranging
oon sever cars and vans to S5,000 on
the 5 ( 'adila eVile ( oncours. As an alterna-
mve ( oers discount finaicing as low is 0.9
he discounts are good through the end of the
year. If successful, they'll spur competitors to
increase their incentives, too.
iltimately, we have to meet the competition
out IticJ," Eaton said. a
CM's rebates are aimed at recovering market
one or the other, but not both.
Other automakers have kept prices unchanged,
but added more standard equipment. The base
sticker price of the popular Audi A4 sedan, for
example, remains at S23,790 for '99, but the car
now includes keyless entry, lockable headrests
and a first-aid kit as standard equipment.
Though sales through August were robust, there
are some recent signs that the market may be soft-
ening despite the rebates and price cuts.
CNW's Art Spinella said dealer floor traffic was
down an average of nearly 18 percent nationwide
for the month through Sunday
an unusually sharp drop.
The recent gyrations in the
auto stock market may be partly to
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