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October 09, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 9, 1998

W £it tailg

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

.' 'q

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

I was not going to say I was Superfan before I
sought his (Jeff Holzhausen) grace, his blessing.'
- New Superfan LSA first-year student Reza Breakstone

Uni(ess otherw ise 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
Parking pennies
Ann Arbor should stop preying on student dollars



T he word "extra" is usually not associated
with money, especially at the University.
The high cost of a University education has
left students not only with little spending
money, but also with distressing amounts of
money owed in student loans. The city of Ann
Arbor, however, seems to consider the
University student body an endless source of
excess revenue for the city's coffers. The lat-
est extortion Ann Arbor has imposed upon
students is the hike in parking meter rates and
fines, which came into effect during the sum-
mer months.
Ann Arbor's city council approved a 20-
cent price increase in parking meter rates last
spring, an increase unlinked to any sort of
increased maintenance or personnel cost.
Rather, the price hike was approved to expand
services, according to Ann Arbor Mayor
Ingrid Sheldon. The Ann Arbor City Council
voted to fines for an expired meter as well.
Although students now have an additional day
to pay their fine - the first tier of payment
has been extended to the next business day,
rather than the same day - that is the only
benefit from the price hikes. But drivers are
now charged $2 more for this extra grace peri-
od. The fine, when paid within 14 days, has
doubled from $5 to $10, and remains at $15
when paid after 14 days. This may seem min-
imal to Ann Arbor residents and working
adults, but to cash-strapped college students,
it is a serious blow to the pocketbook.
Ann Arbor residents are not as affected by
this as students; they have driveways in which
to park and University faculty members have
their own parking lots. It is University stu-
dents who are forced to search frantically for
parking to get to class on time, and who are

penalized when professors let class out late.
With the insufficient parking available on
campus, student drivers should be prepared to
pay for their parking meters and the inevitable
fines, but only within reason. Such steep price
increases are well out of students' inflexible
price ranges.
Ann Arbor cannot justify this price hike
through increased cost of meters and main-
tenance. The 60-cent meter revenue was
sufficient to maintain its meter system.
Sheldon cited plans to expand parking ser-
vices and alleviate the parking crisis so
obvious in the small metropolitan area of
Ann Arbor. But William Wheeler, public
services director for Ann Arbor, reported no
spending plan for the additional revenue.
Ann Arbor is merely hoarding its new rev-
enue, trying to decide how to spend its new
windfall. The city of Ann Arbor should
reserve increasing the financial burden of
the University student body for real neces-
sities. The members of the city council are
undoubtedly college graduates; they should
empathize with the struggles of students
and their families instead of adding to their
It is not as if University students have
been exempted from sharing the parking
costs with the rest of Ann Arbor. Students
have always paid their fair share. Meter
monitors are a common sight on campus;
unquestionably, University students are
responsible for a great many of the nearly
200,000 parking tickets issued in Ann
Arbor during the last fiscal year. This
money should be ample for the city of
Ann Arbor; they should not try to extort
any more.


Pop quiz
Supre me Court should rule on random drug tests

The U.S. Supreme Court opened a new
session last week, deciding which
appeals it will hear in the upcoming year.
As important as the cases that will go to
trial are, there are countless others on which
the court will not pass judgment, thereby
upholding the rulings of various appellate
courts throughout the nation. One such
case, an appeal brought by the teenagers
and parents of an Indiana school district,
raises a key issue in the debate over the pri-
vacy rights of minors. The school in ques-
tion has been conducting random drug tests
on students involved in extracurricular
activities, which it defines as anything from
athletic teams to the library club. While the
court's silence on the matter does not con-
stitute a decision and does not set a nation-
al precedent, it amounts to a tacit approval
of random drug testing in public schools,
and allows three existing state laws that pro-
tect the practice to remain binding.
While the Court has traditionally left
matters regarding public education to the
discretion of the states, the right to priva-
cy is a constitutional issue and therefore
falls within the jurisdiction of the high
court. The Fourth Amendment protects the
rights of people against "unreasonable
searches" of their "persons, houses,
papers, and effects." The Indiana school's
policy does not require a student to be sus-
pected of drug use before he or she is test-
ed. Random demands for urine samples -
not supported by any specific evidence of
drug use - seems to be an unreasonable
search of one's person. The policy, as well
as similar ones in Illinois and Wisconsin,
implies that simply being a teenager is
sufficient cause for suspicion of drug use.
This creates an atmosphere of mistrust
and antagonism between students and
teachers that is damaging to a public insti-
tution of learning.

The Indiana case is not the first to chal-
lenge drug testing in public schools. In
June of 1995, the Supreme Court ruled
that an Oregon school's testing of its stu-
dent athletes was not a violation of priva-
cy. The justices' decision stated that stu-
dents who dress and shower before games
together have no "expectation of privacy."
While school athletic departments have
long enjoyed the right to subject their stu-
dents to drug testing, the school district in
Indiana has extended that policy to
include all extracurricular activities. One
would be hard-pressed to determine why
the library club does not have an expecta-
tion of privacy.
By not hearing the case brought by stu-
dents and parents in Indiana, the Supreme
Court has allowed its 1995 Oregon school
district decision to be the sole national prece-
dent on this issue. The message here is clear:
by upholding one school's drug-testing poli-
cy, the court has allowed another school to
imitate and expand that policy without risk
of censure. This could lead to a potentially
frightening decrease in the privacy rights of
students and citizens everywhere. It is not
because of the age of the students that the
court has denied them their rights to privacy.
In 1979, it ruled that a minor could have an
abortion without parental consent - granti-
ng them a Fourth Amendment right similar
to the one that is in question here.
Perhaps the high court is trying to pre-
pare students for a future in the workplace
where employee drug testing in private
companies is protected by several states.
The right to privacy is essential in a free,
democratic society, and even if private
institutions violate it more than they
should, the highest court in the land ought
to make sure that its public schools respect
the rights of its students as well as the

Out of context
quote implied
of heroin use
I was very surprised and
quite disappointed to open the
Daily on Wednesday only to
find myself quoted onthe edi-
torial page in the notable
quotable seemingly lauding the
positive effects of heroin. It's
not that I was misquoted or
that the information in the
quote was untrue. However, I
was disappointed that such a
quote would be used out of
context, especially given recent
Ideaths from heroin overdose.
Heroin use and abuse is a
serious issue, both on this
campus and beyond. Lives get
ruined as users become addicts
in their attempts to replicate
the first few highs they experi-
ence. Lives get ruined when
someone tried heroin because
it "sounds so good" and over-
doses, sometimes from a sin-
gle use. I am in the business of
preventing such tragedies, not
promoting them.
If anyone on this campus
is abusing alcohol or other
drugs or knows someone who
is, I'd like you to please con-
sider getting help. The
University's Counseling and
Psychological Services pro-
vides free and confidential
services to all students and
we have several counselors
with expertise in the area of
substance abuse. We are
located on the third floor of
the Michigan Union and our
phone number is 764-8312.
Let's all work together to
prevent further tragedies.
Prof. Fine is
worthy of all
Why is it that whenever a
man or women in our society
or University who is truly
deserving of praise, there is
always someone eager to
attack and tear them down?
In the Oct. 6 letter "Prof.
Fine is a 'product of hype,"'
a University alumnus
attacked Prof. Sidney Fine,
suggesting that he is not a
good teacher and noting that
"Fine's personal experiences
and emotions have clearly
hampered his ability to be an
objective historian."
This attack is unwarrant-
ed. In fact, it's quite simply
Last year I was enrolled
in both History 466, which
was taught by Fine, and
History 467, which was
taught by David Fitzpatrick
in Prof Fine's illness-induced
absence. Fitzpatrick, himself
a former graduate student of

ing of our modern society. I
would definitely rank these
two courses as among the
best I have ever taken.
As an aspiring historian, I
picture a professional histori-
an as a person who has a
comprehensive grasp of the
facts surrounding a particular
historical event, who uses
those facts to develop reason-
able theories about that event.
Whenever I went to Fine's
lectures, I always felt that he
was objectively presenting us
with the facts, and that he
was then using those facts to
explain the events in ques-
tion. During his lectures, Fine
repeatedly referred to the his-
toricaletheories of numerous
reputable historians, from
both sides of every issue. Did
his personal opinions ever
become clear? Of course
that's what being a historian
is all about. What is a histori-
an who simply reels off facts
without seeking to make
them understood as part of a
greater whole? Certainly not
someone I want as a teacher.
I do not remember Fine ever
dismissing a theory without
backing up his argument with
strong factual evidence, and I
do not remember him ever
failing to consider - and
forcing us to consider -
many different sides of every
I can only imagine how
painful these accusations from
a former student must be to
Prof. Fine, whom I believe still
holds more office hours than
most other professors at this
institution, and whose desk,
aside from paperwork, is
marked primarily by the
Golden Apple award, which is
given to outstanding professors
by the students of the
University. Prof. Fine did not
receive recognition from the
state Legislature because he
provides good publicity. He
was recognized because he is a
fantastic teacher, and because
he has devoted half a century
to teaching history to thou-
sands of students. Any praise
he receives as a result is most
assuredly deserved.
Students do
have financial
After having recently grad-
uated from the University, I
can understand the financial
constraints that can bog down
the average student. Because
of this, I offered to purchase
hockey tickets for my cousin
who just started his freshman
year. Imagine my surprise
when he informed me that
instead of writing an $85
check, I would be writing a
$155 check.
I reluctantly honored my
pledge to him, although it
puzzled me why an immense-

cerns. Apparently if a student
has a problem with paying
"$2.50 more for a game..
then he's worrying about the
wrong things." What are the
right things Berenson?
Should a student sacrifice
that calculus study guide
because he wants to enjoy a
few amateur hockey games
while away at college?
must gather
the 'whole
I am writing in response
to the Oct. 6 letter from
Micah Peltz ("Viewpoint was
damaging to efforts for
peace") and the Oct. 4 view-
point ("Daily ignores Israeli
violations"). Students inter-
ested in debating the ongoing
Middle East conflict need to
understand one key element:
They are never getting the
whole truth. Whether from
Dr. Edward Said's movie,
newspaper articles or CNN,
one only receives the view-
point of that entity.
I could very easily use
this space to make my own
counterargument to Monday's
viewpoint (which I feel con-
tained a lot of embellished
and questionable evidence). I
would cite the fact that years
ago King Hussein of Jordan
exiled Palestinians in fear
that they would stake claim
to his land, while Israel has
allowed them to remain.
Furthermore, efforts are
being made by the govern-
ment and private citizens to
promote peace. The Israeli
government has increased
funding to East Jerusalem,
and while I visited there this
past May, I also had the
opportunity to meet the hosts
of an combined
Israeli/Palestinian talk show.
They address callers objec-
tively with both viewpoints
on the air. But I'm not mak-
ing that argument.
I just feel the need to cau-
tion those who would write
or respond to a "call for vio-
lence," as Peltz describes it,
and support his suggestion to
discuss together these issues.
The real truth lies thousands
of miles away and we only
get a filtered portion of the
information. Which brings
me to one final point, already
made in a previous letter: If
these types of discussions are
to be encouraged, as Said's
movie was supposed to be
followed by such a conversa-
tion, then do some research
and plan accordingly. Many
of the Jews I know who saw
advertisements for it were
disappointed and frankly dis-
gusted that it took place on
Rosh Hashannah. Based on
that fact alone, I would have

Loan rates are
not the only key
to real college
G eneral pats on the back and gratu-
itous comments about improving
the future for children emanatedfrom
the White House on Wednesday as
President Clinton and lawmak4
announced an
education pack-
age that included
a reduction in:.
loan interest
members stood
for applause
three times, and
Clinton pro-
claimed that MEGA
every high SCHIMPF
school graduate, SC T' N
regardless of
income, could now afford college.
We should be concerned when the
applause for making college education
affordable goes only for lowering the
interest rate on loans.
The new rate is 7.46 percent, down
from recent numbers higher than 8
cent. The news came on the same
that the College Board -- of beloved
SAT fame - released a study that put
the average tuition increase for public
universities last year at 4 percent.
Tuition at private universities increased
5 percent. Room and board will increase
3-5 percent for all students. Incidentally,
inflation rose 2 percent last year.
A second College Board study said
that the amount of money available for
student aid has climbed to an all-tin
high of $60 billion.
A message to those who set tuition
rates: Increasing loan money and
decreasing interest rates does not make
higher education more affordable. It
might make it possible, which is unde-
niably valuable. But nothing that experi-
enced a 4-percent increase last year can
be more affordable.
For those who say it will be, I chal-
lenge you to graduate with the load
tens of thousands of dollars attached to
every paycheck, tax payment or credit
check. I challenge you to pursuethe
higher creative thinking that should
come with a liberal arts educationwith-
out the lurking shadow of job hunting. I
challenge you to follow every dream
and take a few risks, unfettered by a
weighty reality at 22 or 25 or 26.
I challenge you to not think about the
thousands of future dollars signed away
every year by students often too naive@
grasp the effect this will have in four or
10 years.
Those students who are awarded these
extra dollars still have a road as haz-
ardous as any Michigan freeway before
them. Loans are a temporary solution.
The newrates will simply decrease
repayments - saving only an estimated
$700 for a four-year graduate $13,000 in
debt. They will not shorten the ti
needed to repay the loans or - this is
shocking idea - decrease the principal.
Incredulously, Donald Stewart, the
president of the College Board, said in a
Washington Post article that a majority
of students pay less than $4,000 per year
and that "the truth is that the majority of
Americans often overestimate the price
of attending college."
Rather, Mr. Stewart, it is easy to over-
estimate the impact of these changes..
This issue hits harder for students he
than at most public universities, w
tuition prices far higher than the nation-
al average for public institutions.

Nevertheless, "overestimating" the
price of college still seems difficult:
A undergraduate year at any Ivy
League school now rings up at more than
$30,000, including living expenses.
The numbers quoted do not seem
to include out-of-state tuition.
Doctorate programs cost more aO
take longer than undergraduate pro-
grams. And almost every graduate stu-
dent takes a loan at some point. Think
about this: My doctor, who is probably
in her late 30s, is still paying off her
medical school loans.
With any degree, it is difficult to gauge
employability. Some master's degrees and
doctorate degrees that required thousands
per year do not command salaries to rec-
ompense that amount.
At what point did taking loan
become as commonplace as registering
for classes?
The test of affordability should not
come during an education, it should
start after graduation, when students
face a reality made harsher by heavy
loan payments.
To truly make college and graduate
education more affordable, tuition rates
must be tied to inflation - tuitio
increases over the past 20 years ha&
outpaced inflation twice. For families
whose salaries are linked to inflation,
the chance of paying for school races
beyond reach.
Schools have discussed guaranteeing
tuition rates for students throughout
their four years. Others have programs


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