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October 02, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-02

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 2, 1998

Ur £tbiripign 3 aitg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dailys editorial board.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Financing the future
Lower interest rate will benefit 'U' students
E ducation is supposed to be an investment But for many University students, the
in the future. Many students are forced to financial outlook is still grim. The lower
finance their education through loans that will interest rates will help students who are
follow them into the "adult" world. In an forced to take out loans and the increase in
effort to make investing in education possible Pell grant money will help students who will
for more students and ease the financial bur- qualify for the grant. But Congress did not
den of loans for them, Congress passed a bill provide enough money to increase the num-
this week that will lower the interest rate on ber of grants available. Many students are
student loans. This will drop the student loan forced to take out loans that will financially
interest rate to a 17-year low of 7.43 percent. burden them for years after graduation.
The bill also increased the amount of money Lower interest rates are a step in the right
for Pell grants, although many students will direction, but they are not enough to sub-
not be able to benefit from these funds. stantially ease the burden on many students.
The interest rate - which dropped from Financial institutions are not making
8.23 percent - will not only help those stu- University students' situation easier. That
dents taking out new loans, but students and the commercial banks are interested in stu-
former students who wish to consolidate dent loans for profit made from interest. To
loans. University students should consoli- prevent these banks from bailing on the
date their loans before the window of student loan industry, Congress was forced
opportunity close at the end of January. to subsidize the institutions. The money
Congress did face opposition in lower- that was used in the additional subsidy
ing interest rates from banks who claimed should instead be used to form additional
that the new rates could financially hinder grants.
them and drive them from the student loan By lowering the interest rate and increas-
business. Although it is doubtful that the ing the amount of money offered in grants,
interest rate would break the banks, Congress is definitely heading in the right
Congress is providing the lenders with sub- direction. The increase in the value of Pell
sides that are expected to total hundreds of grants is good for students who are eligible,
millions of dollars. but for the many students who are not the
It is not only students that use loans that solution to the problem of paying for col-
are benefiting from this bill, though. Those lege is still the same - loans. And for those
students who will be awarded a Pell grant in students the option to consolidate or take
the future will also be able to reap the benefits out loans at a fixed lower interest rate is
of the bill. The current grant of $2,800 will be helpful but loans will still financially bur-
raised to $4,500 in the 1999-2000 academic den students for much of their adult life.
year and will continue to increase until 2003, Financial institutions should not be so
when the maximum grant size will top out at greedy as to require subsidies from
$5,800. But students not eligible for a Pell Congress. Congress and the private banks
grant will not benefit from the increase in should put the interests of educating stu-
grant money because the number of grants dents above the profit margins of commer-
will not increase -just their individual value. cial corporations.
State employee drug policy is irrational
A s of this past Sunday, non-union state under the feet of people suffering from drug
employees could lose their jobs for addictions, the state government should be
having one beer over lunch. At the request setting an example for employers in the pri-
of Gov. John Engler, Michigan has joined vate sector by addressing employee chemical
the ranks of 25 other states with the adop- dependency through counseling, Alcoholics
tion of its new "zero-tolerance" policy Anonymous or a similar treatment regimen.
toward drugs and alcohol. The policy man- This approach would benefit both the state
dates that any non-union worker found to and the troubled worker. Fired employees,
have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 unable to afford effective treatment for them-
percent will be subject to disciplinary selves, will only see their problems get worse
action that could include termination. until they end up becoming even more of a
Additionally, any state employee under the burden on the state than they originally were
policy's umbrella will be fired if they are as drug-plagued state employees.
found with any detectable illegal drugs. Through the adoption of the "zero toler-
While the principle of taking measures to ance" policy, Michigan has forced itself to
create a drug-free workplace is commend- draw unfair and unnecessary distinctions
able, the new policy, which affects 16,000 between its employees. Another drug-test-
state workers, considerably oversteps the ing policy has been languishing in court for
boundary between the rational and the two years, and the state is in the midst of
absurd. The Engler administration has main- negotiations with unions to establish a poli-

tained that the policy is fair because it gives cy for all of its 58,000 employees. Instead
state employees two times in their career to of implementing an even-handed policy
self-report any substance abuse problems that applies to all of its employees, the state
before they are caught. How can such a poli- has singled out those workers not protected
cy be justified when a state worker can be by the aegis of a union.
fired for having a blood alcohol concentra- The state should be applauded for wanting
tion of just one fifth of the state's drunken dri- to create a positive work environment for its
ving limit of 0.1 percent? Certainly, drunken- employees, but the logic behind the new zero-
ness and drug abuse on the job should not be tolerance policy is unsound. Not only is a 0.02
tolerated. But the consumption of the equiva- percent blood-alcohol concentration a ridicu-
lent of one alcoholic beverage would hardly lous standard by which to define drunken-
impair the average adult to anywhere near the ness, but the state dodges the obligation it has
point where they could not properly perform to maintain the health of its employees and
a job, let alone to the point where it would ultimately puts more of a burden on itself by
warrant termination. firing workers with chemical dependencies.
The blood alcohol concentration limits the Furthermore, if Michigan is to adopt an anti-
new policy imposes are not its only flaw drug policy, it must apply it universally, not
Supposing that only workers who had gen- just to workers who aren't backed-up by a
uine substance abuse problems were fired, union. There are better ways to discourage
the state would still be neglecting the respon- drug and alcohol abuse than through the
sibility it has to address employees' health implementation of intrusive, selective and
issues. Rather than pulling the rug out from irrational policies.

'An adult student for better or worse is still an
adult. ... This amendment would basically be
turning the university into a babysitter for them.'
- David Banisa the policy director of the Electronic Privacy
Information Center on a federal law that would allow
universities to disclose students'alcohol-related offenses
I ell
-i t -
of going for black humor, he their lives depended on in. I
St d n sgives us another resentful was at Joe Louis Arena in
attitude is anti-upper-middle-class-East- 1991 when your boys came
Coast rant that is just ludi- back from a three-goal deficit
ch ildish crous and has nothing to do to beat Ferris State, screaming
with the issue at hand. Are myself hoarse as Steve Shields
we supposed to believe that (then an anonymous freshman
To THE DAILY: the only people who suffer sub) put on an unbelievable
My husband and I have from this allergy are east show and you walked away
been Michigan football sea- coast WASPs, as the column victorious. I even defended
son ticket holders for some implies? your character when I heard
25 years now. We are now Miller, your "Poverty that you had been charged
retired and drive to all the Pat" column was rambling, with a crime more typical of a
home games from Higgins self-contradictory, and unin- binging 21-year-old than an
Lake, Mich. I have been very telligent. And why don't you established coach at the top of
disappointed in the attitude lay off East Coasters for a his profession.
of the University students week or two? You're making However disillusioned I
when the players from the Midwesterners like us look may have been by this last
away teams are introduced as petty and confused as your example, nothing compared
before the games. It shows a recent columns. to the disillusionment I feel
lack of class on their part and having read your statements
does not paint a very good JAC0B KART in the Daily, trivializing the
picture of the University. It LSA SENIOR financial burden the Athletic
seems to me that more Dprmn a lcdo
respect should be given to Department has placed on
our uest onfootallstudent hockey fans. Perhaps
our guests on football yuhv otsgto h
Saturdays. I have always An openyoualod'standmsig tfwit.
thought that a great universi- letter n y Red ed fans are.I am one of the
ty such as ours should be lte.o R d edfn r.I moeo h
above such childish behavior. fortunate 1,600 who had
Berenson enough saved up from the
ANNETTE WHITE summer to be able to afford
UNIVERSITY ALUMNA the near doubling of ticket
To THE DAILY: prices, but none of the seven
I am writing in response friends I purchased tickets
to Daily Oct. I article with last year were able to do
M iller's "Despite doubles prices, so, and I spent the money I
hockey tickets sell out," more had saved to attend your
colum n was specifically to the comments games at Joe Louis Arena on
uninte g ent' made by Coach Red the price increase (may I
u n inte ige t Berenson. He states that remind you that Michigan
"nothing has changed." always has a shameful
To THE DAILY: However, the ticket prices turnout at "The Joe," general-
I've been one of the silent have changed. They were ly outdone by those who trav-
majority who has looked for- raised a significant amount elled all the way from
ward to James Miller's col- (87.5 percent, to be exact). Houghton and Sault St.
umn in the Wednesday Daily Another thing has changed as Marie and don't even get me
over the last few years. His well. For years, Yost Ice started on how embarrassing
"I'm going to say what Arena has been dreaded by we are in comparison to
everyone else is thinking but opposing teams as the loud- State). You, sir, may choose
won't say" style has been est, rowdiest and most diffi- to look at it as simply another
good for a few laughs. But cult arena to play in. Now, $2.50 out of my pocket, but
I'm beginning to wonder if with almost 1,000 fewer of please keep in mind that
Miller hasn't just run out of the rowdiest of the rowdy, the those $70 kept a lot of very
targets and insight. rafters of Yost may never enthusiastic fans from sup-
Take Wednesday's again shake and shimmy the porting your team in person
"Poverty Pat." He goes after way they used to. and kept the likes of me from

the peanut allergy issue, a Red, I have been a big fan supporting your team at some
perfect column controversy of your hockey team ever of it's most important games
topic: The issue is absurd on since I first came to Ann of the year.
the one hand, deadly serious Arbor in 1987. I defended
on the other. But Miller com- your team members when they ERIC DYER
pletely drops the ball. Instead couldn't put a puck in a net if RC SENIOR
Gov Bush should stay out of tmn-s' ptts

After 108 years,
the Daily is still
going strong
"The staff of the Daily proposed to
set the ball rolling by establishing a
paper which should attempt to do but
one thing - give the news - promptly
and accurately. The Daily pretends to do
nothing else."
- Daily editorial, Thursday, Oct. 2
L ast year's Daily
editor in chief
ended his birthday
comments with the
above sentiment,
and so Ifind it fit-
ting to begin mine
with it. It's the kind
of thing we pass
down around here.
Like many student LAURIE
organizations, we
have our crazy tradi-
tions and silly mem-
ories. But they fade
after a while. What remains (yellowed, but
still there) are the pages and pages of
Dailys and the impact that 108 years of
editorial freedom has had on the members
of the University community.
The Daily has changed just as college
campuses have over the years.
In the 1920s and 30s, when the coun
try's attention was focused on national
and international affairs, so was the
Daily's. In 1925, the paper published a
personal interview with Gandhi.
In the turbulent '60s, the Daily was a
radical vehicle for political speech and
expression. It published editorials criti-
cizing the draft, covered the volatile
1968 Democratic National Convention
in Chicago and braved tear gas during
In the 1980s, the Daily shed its liber-
al skinand took up a more conservative
attitude, editorially.
Today, the Daily retains a classic
approach to journalism that, sadly, many
papers have abandoned in favor of USA
Today-style graphics and MBA-style
journalism. In some ways, of course, it's
a little easier for us to resist these trends.
We're a need-to-know newspaper,
and we don't apologize for that in th
least. We have plenty of graphics and
illustrations on hand, but they're there to
make the news more easily digested, not
to attract attention. Granted, we don't
have to sell our newspaper.
We don't need -focus groups because
our readers are our roommates, class-
mates and neighbors. We live just down
the street at 420 Maynard St.; if readers
don't like what they see in the Daily, they
can tell us. Or they can join the staff.
Providing news to the Ann Arbo
community has sometimes required a
little legwork - and an occasional trip
overseas. Ambitious Daily staffers got
down and dirty with the rest of the
reporters - sometimes scooping papers
that would later hire them or their Daily
colleagues. Their escapades resulted in
personal and lively accounts of events
that may otherwise have seemed far and
irrelevant to the University community
In 1958, an editor's note read: "Daily
reporters Huthwaite and Elsman spent
their Spring vacation in Cuba attempting
to get an interview with rebel leader Fidel
Castro. Before they could travel to con-
tact Castro in the Seirra Maestra moun-
tains they were the first reporters arrested
by the Cuban government as it attempted
to deny privileges to all newspapermen in
The Michigan Daily was the only
college paper credentialed by Judge
Julius Hoffman to cover the Chicag
Seven trial in 1970.

In "Special to the Daily," a compila-
tion of Daily article excerpts from the
newspaper's first 100 years of publishing,
an editor wrote next to a 1975 story: "I
haven't a clue how this story came about,
or what a Daily reporter was doing in
Vietnam. Sometimes it seemed as though
the Daily was everywhere."
iMost of the time,however, the Dail#
is right here in Ann Arbor.
Although we take great pride in the
fact that we have brought the University
community news from all corners of the
world, we are most proud of the work
we do right here on campus.
Several years ago, someone asked what
I thought life on campus would be like
without The Michigan Daily. Life, class-
es and sporting events would go on, I sup-
pose. It's the knowledge and perspective
of their participants that would change. 0.
I remembered a day a few years ago
when there was no Daily for most of us.
We awoke one morning in March to find
most of the press run had been removed
from campus as a political statement.
The mood was somber inside 420
Maynard St. that day and several days
later when editors and staffers gathered
at the window to watch a crowd of stu-
dents chant and burn a Daily in fronto
building where it was created.
"Well, honey, in journalism, you
won't always make everybody happy,"
my father said to me over the phone as I
watched the scene outside.
No, we don't always make everybody
happy. That's not our job.

Republican presidential hopefuls are push-
ing abstinence high on their platforms. So it's
not likely that Texas Governor George W Bush
will slide into the White House as easily as a
bowling ball rolling down a lane lubed with
Astroglide come November 2000.
Bush's initiative, the Lone Star Leaders
program, is aimed at high-school students,
telling them to abstain from premarital sex,
drugs, crime, tobacco and critical thinking.
Other Republican presidential hopefuls on the
abstinence bandwagon include Sen. John D.
Ashcroft(R-Mo.), Family Research Council
President Gary L. Bauer, publisher Steve
Forbes and former Vice President Dan Quayle
("seksual abstinanse is a priaurity").
Premarital sex is an abominable act - if
one happens to be of the Victorian-era mindset.
The aim of lowering teen-pregnancy rates is
noble, but the advice offered by opportunistic
politicians is hopeless. Instead of handing out
condoms and birth-control pills - distributive
measures that could really help - the Lone
Star Leaders program is dishing up outdated

chastity ticket any time in the future. His rat-
ings are going through the roof - his spin
doctors should be cheering, "Viva adultery!"
Come on, no one wants a chaste leader.
The sexual revolution was won in the '60s,
but backward-thinking Republicans appear to
be completely anal about sex. As unmarried
college students, we should be allowed to place
whatever appendages of ours we want in any
orifice we want, as long as the bearer of that
orifice agrees.
Teenagers should take necessary precau-
tions, not be inhibited by slippery politicians'
Biblical "morals."
Abstinence is something that should not be
forced on a population. Premarital sex is not
going to make the world spin off its axis (see-
ing as Republican desires for an armed-to-the-
teeth military will knock us out of orbit first).
Abstinence is honorable, and kudos to
those who choose to wait until they're married.
But premarital sex is not immoral and should
not be used by dunces like George W. Bush,
whose goal is not to save Texan teenage girls
from pregnancy but to inject his own seed into
the White House.


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