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October 07, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-07

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 7, 1998

altE fit"trilluan ttilg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'Heroin Is an attractive drug because
the rush has been likened to orgasm.'
- Deb Kraus, a clinical psychologist at the
University's Counseling and Psychological Services

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.
Counting the hours
Immigration laws harm international students

I n the wake of the Asian economic crisis,
many U.S. universities are experiencing
a decline in student enrollment from Asia.
Contrary to this trend, the University has
experienced an increase in the number of
Asian undergraduate students. But there are
a number of currently enrolled internation-
al undergraduate students who are experi-
encing financial difficulties. While the
University is taking some action to aid
international students, it should do more.
In addressing this issue, the University
has lobbied with the U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service to relax the interna-
tional student laws. As a result, the
University has introduced a new policy,
allowing international students to take
fewer credits and find employment in order
to ease their financial problems.
This is a good move on the University's
part in trying to assist students facing finan-
cial difficulties. But international students
should evaluate the long-term educational
and financial benefits of this policy before
deciding whether to exercise this option.
Currently, all international undergraduate
students are required by immigration laws to
take a minimum of 12 credit hours. But as a
iesult of taking fewer credits, there is a
greater chance that a student will need more
than four years to graduate. Assuming that
the average tuition rate for international
undergraduate students is approximately
$10,000 per semester and that this figure
remains the same for the next 10 years (which
it highly unlikely), a student graduating in
four years - eight semesters - will have to
pay roughly $80,000. Students who take
fewer credits each semester because of finan-
cial difficulties will have lower tuition rates,
but if a student continues to enroll as a part
time student, they will require more than four
years to graduate. For these students there
miay be-no financial benefit, because the total
sioney, needed to graduate wilt be greater
than that of a student graduating in four years
paying the higher tuition each semester.

Other than the problem of taking the
required credits, international students must
deal with immigration laws limiting their
employment. International students can only
seek employment through the University and
can only work a maximum of 20 hours per
week-a limit that the policy change will not
affect. This simply means that international
students can only hold jobs such as working in
residence halls or in the library. While this
requirement is not likely to change, perhaps
the number of hours an international student
should be increased. Increasing the maximum
working hours could help students earn an
extra $200 per week - assuming they can
manage the extra workload while still devot-
ing the necessary time to their studies.
The University, rather than trying to assist
students in such a passive method, should take
a more active approach toward assisting inter-
national undergraduate students. Currently,
many international students have to pay full
fees with the only source of financial support
through parents - and not all international
parents are wealthy, especially with the Asian
economic crisis creating such financial
tumult. Scholarships for international gradu-
ate students are plentiful, but undergraduate
scholarships are not abundant. The University
should begin by providing more scholarship
opportunities for international undergraduate
students to ease their financial problems. The
University treasures its diverse campus, and if
current trends continue unchecked, but cam-
pus may lose its international influences strict-
ly because attending the University is too
financially taxing.
Many students - regardless of their back-
ground - need some sort of financial help to
attent the University. But international under-
graduate students, due in no small part to eco-
nomic crises around the globe, likely face an
even greater financial challenge than some of
their peers. Adding scholarships can allow
international students an opportunity to ease
their financial problems and at the same time
concentrate on their studies.


The butcher's bill
U.S. should make reparations for discrimination

Ticket price
hike is not
I just wanted to respond
to the Berenson bashers out
there. While nobody likes the
hockey ticket increase, it sure
as hell isn't Red's fault.
Decisions like that are above
him, and it is his job to work
within those parameters.
What's a shame is that his
true sentiments on the han-
dling of the situation didn't
come through in the Daily's
story. In his letter to Dekers
club members, he comment-
ed on how it's a shame that
the Athletic Department
decided to do the price
increase all at once. It would
have been much less infuriat-
ing if they had increased the
price incrementally over a
few years. What's true is that
we're payingaan average price
now. Michigan State hockey
tickets cost as much as $12 a
game, and they can't even
win a championship, let
alone two in recent years!
I'm not happy about this
any more than the next guy,
but I will definitely say that
this program is worth it and
am proud to have my seats
for this season.
A proposal to
make GEO fair
Eric Dirnbach's attack on
me and defense of the GEO
("GEO Stands for GSIs'
rights," 10/5/98) requires
immediate correction.
Dirbach assumes that I have
no understanding of the ben-
efits that I get "from the
My two children were
born here, so I am very
familiar with the health and
other benefits that GSIs have.
But I dispute his claim that
the GEO is responsible for
those benefits. Four of five
graduate programs I was
accepted at had the same or
similar benefits without
unions. That is a factortof the
program I chose, not the uni-
versity or union. GEO cannot
claim credit for getting me
benefits I would get anyway.
I acknowledge that the
union is my negotiating agent
with the University and am
not asking for a free ride. My
complaint is that the remu-
neration is unfair and exces-
sive. I don't know the actual
percentages that the union
spends on various activities.
It is certainly spending a lot
of my money on things I
don't want to be a part of,

percent) of the union dues. If
you want to be in the union,
with all that includes, you
can join the union. If all you
want is to be represented in
negotiations with the
University, you can pay the
reduced representation fee.
That is fair.
I think my proposal could
actually lead to a stronger
union. If everyone who
joined the union actually
wanted to be in the union, the
union is in a better a position
for their strikes and days of
action. But most importantly
my proposal gives GSIs the
freedom to choose if they
want to be involved or not.
Cash should
be punished
for his
In reading the viewpoint
of Sept. 30, "Berkeley wants
student to get out of town," I.
was utterly shocked and
appalled that David Cash had
apparently no conscience to
stop what he was witnessing.
What is wrong with people
today when a 7-year-old girl
is being raped to death by a
college student, and his
friend does nothing? When
this little girl is dead, and
Cash is only concerned about
his reputation and enrollment
at Berkeley, I think that
something needs to be done.
Expulsion isnot enough. Not
only did Cash not say any-
thing, but he watched it hap-
pen and didn't even try to
stop his friend. I cannot
believe that he even has the
gall to brag about making
money off of this incident, or
that he feels the need to call a
local radio station and com-
pare this incident with the
plight of starving children in
Panama. Hopefully, we can
all try to realize when our
fellow man is in danger and
was damaging
to efforts for
I am writing in response
to the viewpoint printed on
Oct. 5, "Daily ignores Israeli
violations." I am dismayed
that the Daily would print an
article containing language
that seems to call for vio-
lence. A newspaper's editorial
page should serve as a public
arena to exchange views

terms is like yelling fire in a
crowded building.
Specifically, I object to
the use of terms that refer to
the Israeli army as "machine-
gun-toting racists" and the
comparison of the Holocaust
with the conflict between
Israeleand the Palestinians.
While I recognize the legiti-
macy of the Palestinian strug-
gle for justice, it is historical-
ly inaccurate and an affront
to morality to compare
Palestinian hardships to the
Holocaust. For the Daily to
permit its esteemed pages to
be used for such propaganda
defies understanding. Hitler
presided over the systematic
destruction of six million
Jews. Nothing that the gov-
ernment of Israel has done to
the Palestinians remotely
approaches the Holocaust.
The issue addressed in
this viewpoint - the Daily's
lack of coverage of this
group's recent event - may
be a valid complaint. But
coupling that complaint with
a cacophony of unfounded
allegations stated in fighting
language only makes the situ-
ation worse. I am not saying
that the Palestinian people
have not suffered, they surely
have. But no good will come
out of situation until the
name-calling ends and fair
and honest dialogue begins.
It is time to stop the
name-calling and start deal-
ing with the challenging
issues that divide each side. I
call on both sides to stop
using the Daily's editorial
page as a forumto file griev-
ances against one another.
Instead, let us sit down,
examine the facts, and draw
informed conclusions about
the situation.
Daily should
not use the
word 'victim'
Daily staff reporter Katie
Plona uses the word "victim"
19 times in her Oct. 2 article
("Brooks sanctioned under
Code"). Although this term
may be Daily policy, it is
degrading and unacceptable
and perpetuates violence
against women.
The woman mentioned is
not a victim, she is a sur-
vivor. "Victim" implies pas-
sivity, and although the defi-
nition of "one who is
injured" may apply, the 19
repetitions bombard the read-
er with images of helpless-
ness and lack of action.
The Daily should not
affirm this message; by rein-
forcing the notion of the .
weak "victim," all women are
hurt. Clearly this survivor is
neither passive nor lacking
strength - she is coura-
geously seeking adequate
punishment for her assailant,

Music the
people enjoy
see them resenting me. In class. In
the Diag. Everywhere. The White
Girls are ticked off.
I have seen the hurt in the eyes of a
"few earnest sophomores who were
wounded that I so coldly dissected an
illuminated their idiosyncratic and bril-
liantly eclectic
camp mix tape
pathology (thank
you, Lawrence.)
They accuse me.
"Okay, Mr. Too-
C o o l- F o r-
Everything. If
you're better than
all us people who
listen to the Violent
Femmes, what do1 AME
you think is good? MILLER
Huh, smartypants?" M 1 R
I'm glad you ON I'A
1) Sam Cooke. Everyone knows a
few of his songs. "Chain Gang" is very
popular, as is "Cupid" and "Twistin' the
Night Away." If these songs were the
whole of his recorded output, he would
have a comfortable place in the po
pantheon. As it happens, Sam is one or
the greatest singers ever to draw a
breath. Keith Richards once said that for
a period of two years, he listened to
nothing but Sam Cooke. Jerry Wexler,
the legendary Atlantic producer of
Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, said
that Cooke was the "the best singer ever.
He may be right. In the history of pop
and R&B singing, there has not been a
single person who has been able to cop*
him. People of surpassing talent love
him; but they cannot imitate him. Sam
Cooke is one those singers who doesn't
just make you think about Her, he
makes you want Her back.
2) B.B. King. It's more than a little
unfortunate that his most famous song,
"The Thrill Is Gone," is his most over-
produced and most hokey. Not that
there's anything wrong with it. But typ
ing Riley B. King by the sound of thaw
one song is ridiculous.
Every year since 1954, King has
played at least 300 dates a year. He
began his career filling in for Sonny
Boy Williamson on Memphis radio and
at last count has seven Grammys, not
including the lifetime achievement
award. He has been inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the
Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. He aso
holds honorary doctorates from Ya
and the Berkeley College of Music.
More colloquially, everybody who
has started playing guitar since the mid-
sixties would play differently if King
had never lived. Everybody. In the
realm of singing, only one or two other
bluesmen can be mentioned in the same
sentence with him. On the landscape of
American music, B.B. King is, in the
words of his biographer David Ritz,"
grandfather, calling to his children."
3) Stevie Wonder. The 20th-Century
American answer to Mozart. From
Saginaw. You get the idea.
Stevie Wonder is one of those artists
whose scope of talent and influence is
almost too huge to discuss. From Little
Stevie Wonder and "Fingertips, part 2"
through the inspired "Songs in the Key
of Life" and beyond, few musicians
have been able to be so creative and
original with each album and still main-
~tain such a large base of popularit*
Wonder's music can make it impossible
not to dance, impossible not to sing
along, impossible not to remember and

impossible not to cry.
He, along with Marvin Gaye and the
Temptations, was responsible for creat-
ing a sense of social conscience and
activism in music that rivaled-that ofthe
hippie movement occurring concurrent-
ly. He can generate pure, caustic funk;
seamless ballad, an R&B tone poem
a protest song, put it all on a record and
make it sound like it would be foolish to
have it sound any other way.
And why is all this necessary? All this
hipster, doofus idol worship in which I
am indulging. Because, in the words of
a great philosopher, "People put any-
thing in their earhole." In the modern
rush not to make anyone not feel bad
about themselves, not to make any value
judgments, we are losing +somethin
This is not to say that music made ao
1975 is automatically meritless; witness
my shameless crush on Lauryn Hill.
New music is not, by definition, bad
music. But, just for a minute, think
about the music press and television that
called the 17-year-old Fiona Apple "the
next Queen of Soul" on the basis of one
album and a Calvin Klein underwear
model physique.
It's not passion anymore. It's no
love and it's not soul. It's focus groups
and marketing. It's Ani DeFranco's
hackish, adolescent whining passing
for ... I'm not sure what the hell it's
supposed to be.
It's that in our time, music is a cultur-
al weapon. Something to put on your

Since 1863, when Abraham Lincoln
signed the Emancipation Proclamation,
this country has made great strides in civil
rights and racial equality. Encouraged by
strides over the years, the Harlem
Renaissance to the Civil Rights Acts of the
1960s, most African Americans are now
closer to achieving equality - but thou-
sands have been left behind.
From the mid-1800s until the early 1990s,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture in particu-
lar partook in outright racist actions toward the
black community. As a result, the number of
black farmers has decreased from one million
in 1900 to less than 10,000 today. Though they
once owned 15 million acres of land and pro-
duced 10 percent of the annual gross domestic
product, African Americans now farm only 2
million acres and produce less than 1 percent
of the total commodities product.
What is most absurd about this whole
situation is that the problem persists until
the present day. While the rest of the nation
tried to alleviate racism from the United
States the 1960s, the USDA continued its
horrendous practices up until the end of the
Bush administration. In fact, the most
prevalent occurrences happened after
President Reagan dismantled the USDA's
civil rights office in the early 1980s.
In response to the department's long-
standing racist discrimination in farm loans,
almost a 1,000 African American farmers
have filed a class action suit against the
USDA. Their claim includes the delays and

sures, accelerated payment schedules and
significant differences in the amount of loans
and grants to blacks compared to whites. The
suit also states that the government ignored
hundreds of their discrimination complaints
about this treatment outright. Meanwhile,
hundreds of black farms are still being fore-
closed on every year. The USDA itself has
admitted to the racism they practiced, but no
one has been punished and no actions have
yet been taken to remedy the damage they
caused. President Clinton promised the black
community a variety of remedies, including
settlement of the suit, participation in agri-
culture programs and loans where they have
previously been barred. To date, Clinton's
legislation has not been passed.
If the USDA wishes to be known as a
non-discriminatory organization, then it can
no longer ignore the racist actions performed
by its employees. Although steps have been
taken by Secretary of Agriculture Dan
Glickman to ensure that racist practices have
ceased, more must be done. Investigations
should be conducted to punish those
involved and remove them from their posi-
tions. Each individual grievance must be
dealt with on the merits of the case and full
reparations made to those who have been
hurt by decades of discrimination. The
November elections present the perfect
opportunity to make the plight of black
farmers an issue. If this is a country that truly
believes in civil rights and equality, the
decades of USDA discrimination can no

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