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October 22, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-22

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 22, 1998

(7tie £idt41gaun DMatigl

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
U niversity of M icdhi gan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'Last week the chapter members broke their
commitment to keep their house alcohol-free. In failing
to keep that commitment, they also separated them-
selves from the core values of this fraternity.'
- Robert Bigg, e'xccutive vice president for Phi Delta Theta national headquarters
Z P T L - T ST S u i t A AW WY o r k g R E VR O GI c o9oA'

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
Tuxng decision
State should give 'U' students tax credit

L.AST N161AeJD ALL. r,
OF our.FILESS 1,'$6tovS4

T he prohibitive cost of the University
forces many students and their families
to search for many alternative means to pro-
vide the funds: scholarships, grants, student
loans, parent loans, etc. But one avenue that
seems logical is reducing other financial bur-
dens on families so they can allocate more
money to their child's education. One avenue
through which this method is implemented is
a tuition tax credit. This state provision is a
$500 income-tax credit given to a family
whose child attends an institution where the
tuition increases fall within the rate of infla-
tion. But students at the University - the
most expensive public school in the state -
are ineligible for this easing of their financial
burden due to the stipulation regarding
tuition increases.
It is illogical for the state to deny its most
financially taxed students the same credit as
their peers at less-expensive schools.
University students are not responsible for the
tuition increases; indeed, they are forced to
search for means with which to meet the addi-
tional financial burden each year. In effect,
University students are struck by a double
blow evaded by the students of most other
state universities - the higher tuition rate
implemented by the University Board of
Regents and the denial of the tuition tax cred-
it. Instead of working together to make the
University affordable to all, the regents and
the state Legislature are battling each other
and harming only the students.
The state is unwilling to remove the stip-
ulation regarding inflation rate in an
attempt to coerce the state's universities into
controlling the inflation of their tuition.
And as University students well know, exor-
bitant tuition increases are certainly a prob-
leni that must be addressed. But by denying
students the tax credit, the state is striking at
the wrong sector of the University commu-

nity. Emptying student pocketbooks will
not decrease the rate of tuition increase -
it is not the student body that the
Legislature should be trying to coerce.
Further, the state's methodology for
determining what universities' students get
the tuition tax credit is flawed. It is based on
the Consumer Price Index, which calculates
inflation by comparing prices of goods and
services that a nuclear family of four com-
monly use from year to year. But the
University is not a family of four, and its
rate of inflation should not be calculated as
such. The heavy costs of supporting the
University's many programs and depart-
ments make CPI an unreasonable measure.
Coercion should not be the method
employed by the state. The regents should
recognize the necessity to keep tuition
increases near the rate of inflation, not only to
obtain the tuition tax credit for the student
body, but to keep a University education
available for all. The cost of an education at
the University is already prohibitive - the
regents should recognize that an increase
greater than the CPI - which more closely
mirrors average income increases - is a sig-
nificant hardship on students and their fami-
lies as their financial resources do not grow
by the same extraordinary percentages as the
regents' tuition increases.
The regents and legislators must work
together on this issue in order to reach a
suitable compromise. But until such a
compromise is reached, the state must
eliminate its stipulation regarding tuition
increases and aid University students in
their battle against the increasing cost of a
University education. The administration
and the state have an obligation to contin-
ue to work together to ensure that the
University offers an education available to
all, not just the elite.



Cast a ballot
on Nov. 3
Election Day is Nov. 3
and I want to encourage all
of you that are registered to
Do the activities of the
Congress distress you as they
do me? Does it bother you
that this Congress has been
more interested in politics
then in service to the people
who put them in office? If
you are of this mind and you
do not feel that your voice is
being heard, send it in the
only way that those who hold
an office understand. Send it
through the ballot box. If
your Congressional represen-
tative is not representing you,
vote against him/her.
I would like to take this
time to encourage you support
and vote for Phil Power (D-
Ann Arbor), who has served
us well on the University
Board of Regents, and give
him a team to work with by
voting the entire ticket.
Most importantly, no mat-
ter what your political lean-
ings are, exercise your privi-
lege and your right. Vote.
vote, vote!
Miller is the
Daily's No. I
In response to James
Miller's Wednesday column
("James Joyce is 15 percent
better than Ernest
Hemingway"), all I have to
say is that Miller is, without
question, the No. I columnist
at the Daily.

Microsoft threatens innovation in the market

ew nations in the world have fewer
government regulations of the econo-
my than the United States. In order to
remain the business capital of the world,
cotporations are left to do almost any-
thing they want in the name of competi-
tion. But every once in a while, a John D.
Rockefeller, a Jay Gould or a Bill Gates
takes advantage of this loose system.
Although the first two have passed on and
their wealth has been dispersed, the latter
of, these magnates is still using unfair
business practices to put his competition
on the street.
:In a suit brought up by the federal gov-
ergment and joined by the attorneys gener-
al of 20 states and the District of Columbia,
Gates's company, Microsoft, has been
accused of using its monopoly of the com-
puter software market to put Netscape
Communications Corp. out of business as
well as engaging in many other monopolis-
tic practices. Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale
claims Gates has done everything he can to
dispose of his stiffest competition in the
Wpb browser market. There have allegedly
been meetings when Microsoft threatened
to choke Netscape to death unless the com-
pany stopped making Windows-based Web
browsers. To make good on these threats,
Microsoft took advantage of its domination
of operating systems by including its Web
browser, Internet Explorer, in the Windows
98 package. Apparently, if everyone who
had Windows received Internet Explorer
for free, there would be no reason to go out
and purchase Netscape's competing soft-
,Thr.,n ,a'. +I.r- t i al Mie-rrncn'rci' f - £

has and likely will continue to center
around the assumption that its practices
were simply competitive. But what Gates
does to put his software on top does not fit
the usual style of competition.
Traditionally, a company competes by pro-
ducing a better product. But such is not the
case with Microsoft and Gates. Microsoft's
Internet browser isn't as popular as
Netscape. Rather, the reason for
Microsoft's software staying prominent in
the market is because often users don't
have a choice. By purchasing Windows 98
- which runs 90 percent of personal com-
puters, users receive the program for free.
What this means is that as long as
Microsoft is allowed to remain in both the
software and operating system markets,
innovation will be stifled. What's the point
of coming up with new and better software
when Microsoft already gives out a pro-
gram for free? Soon these companies will
be forced out of business and Microsoft
software will not only remain low quality
but rise in price due to the lack of any com-
The current lawsuit has the chance to
help fix all of that. It is apparent that Gates
has violated the anti-trust laws and
Microsoft should be punished for these
practices. But the problem goes deeper than
that. Back when Gates began to control
both software and operating systems, the
Federal Trade Commission could have
stopped him. Now after letting the problem
persist, they're going to have to do it the
hard way. Through the lawsuit, perhaps the
government will be able to restore the mar-

one says something like that I
am not going to let it go
unnoticed. I am not going to
get violent, but I am also not
going to walk away dizzy and
frustrated. I know that I am
emotional now, but it goes to
show that ignorance is not a
problem that only exists in
Wyoming. It is here in Ann
Arbor. All I can say is educate
yourself, educate others.
Don't let things go unsaid.
studies are
not flourishing
While it is satisfying to
note that last Monday's cele-
bration of Indigenous
People's Day has prompted
dialogue about Native
People's concerns as well as
the current state of the Native
American Studies Program, it
is equally important to note
the obvious misconceptions
presented in the Oct. 15 edi-
torial entitled "Mending the
It is true that the needs of
the Native American Studies
Program are most desperate
and measures to strengthen
the program must occur
immediately. But it is detri-
mental to suggest that the
other ethnic studies "depart-
ments" are flourishing when
exactly the opposite is true.
How can we use the term
"flourish" when the depar-
ture of one or two key fac-
ulty members can immedi-
ately eliminate an entire
program, and thus, an entire
field of study at the
University? This has already
happened to one of our eth-
nic studies programs, and
with the absence of a single
faculty members, could
very well happen to another.
How can we use the term
"flourish" when the
University systematically
loses important ethnic stud-
ies faculty members due to
a lack of respect and under-
standing for ethnic studies
as a discipline of study?
The birth of ethnic studies
in the midst of the Civil
Rights Movement and the
Third World Strikes of the
late 1960s and early 1970s
arose from tremendous strug-
gles. These struggles contin-
ue today on this campus and
nationwide. To suggest that
the struggles and demands to
institutionalize ethnic studies
have been met is both dan-
gerous and lacking of respect
to those who continue to
While we as students of
color are constantly bom-
barded with notions of diver-
sity and multiculturalism,

U should
not dedicate
room to
On Oct. 15, 1995, I was
headed to the Million Man
March in Washington, D.C.,
prepared to unite with other
African American men who
were tired of the injustices
that they constantly seen
within their communities,
within their homes and with-
in the society at large.
It was out of this inspira-
tion that many of us left the
National Mall on that next
night prepared to fight
against all of the ills evident
within our society.
From these ideas and the
tactics I learned, I decided
to commit myself to fight
any social injustices that
were not beneficial to the
society in which I was
brought up. When I hear
University administration
attempting or even enter-
taming the thought of dedi-
cating a reading room to
Prof. Carl Cohen of the
Residential College, I real-
ize that I must take immedi-
ate actions to have this ven-
tured haulted by the
University community.
For all of you who do not
know Cohen, I ask you to
research his beliefs. And then,
I urge you to research the cli-
mate that he has created for
some of the students of color
in his classes. Ju Juan Buford
of the University's Black
Student Union describes him
best: "Carl Cohen is a white
philosophy teacher who hap-
pens to be one of the oppo-
nents of affirmative action and
has expressed blatantly racist
views concerning African
American students on this
campus and around the nation.
He has published articles (that
can be expunged from various
databases on the Web) and
appeared on C-SPAN explicit-
ly denouncing the presence of
African Americans in institu-
tions of higher learning"
What person deserves a
room dedicated to him who
constantly tries to segregate
our University community
through his "doctrines?" What
person deserves a room named
after them that has not benefit-
ed the overall community, yet
alone the University, or even
more so, the society at large.
I urge you to call Tom
Weisskopf or Sheila Wilder at
763-0176 and request imme-
diate answers. Call University
President Lee Bollinger and
attempt to get an answer.
Before we continue to
quote Martin Luther King, Jr.,
I ask each person reading this
letter to evaluate the conversa-
tions that are taking place
around this subject of dedicat-
ing the East Quad Residential
College Reading Room after

Pondering the
realization of a
l k ot of people on this campus.
I spent the past week contemplat-
ing the unsettling fate of someone I
never met and someone I'll never know.
Courtney Cantor's fatal fall from a
sixth-floor Markley
window was a
flashbulb going off
in the eyes. It was
almost impossible
not to have an .
immediate reaction
turning away just ""
leaves lingering
This was a stroke
of bad luck with JEFF
tragic conse- ELDRIDGE
quences. It should-
In't have happened.
and itcould have
been anyone.
Her death is the realization of a com-
mon nightmare, one that begins with the
question "What if?" Parting ways at the
end of a long night, watching friends
walk away behind me, there are moments
when I ask myself these questions. I
know other people ask them, too.
What if they don't make it home
What if something happens when
they get there?
What if there's been an accident?
I heard of the death at 10:30 on
Friday night, a casual phone call carry-
ing the news. At the time, a friend and I
were drinking some beers and hurling a
frisbee around his cramped living room,
an activity that annoyed his girlfriend
and damaged innocent houseplants.
We watched the local news as it
showed a grieving father and friends,
old photos, Markley's commonplace
facade attaining a grim significance, the
reporter declaring Ann Arbor unusuallyt
quiet for a Friday.
The evening's light atmosphere wilt-
ed. Conversation that followed didn't
begin with lofty intentions, but invari-
ably returned to the grim and profound,
puzzling over a lost life that seemed to
indicate something gone terribly wrong.
The University is a big place - think
of it as a small city of 40,000 people. In
a small city of 40,000 people. it's
inevitable that tragedies transpire. Large
and small, ugly incidents probably
occur more often than we know, passing
under the radar without gaining notice
But when they are acknowledged, the*
impact is significant.
Because we're so young, it's alarming to
hear that someone our own age has died.
Because this is a place full of thinking peo-
ple, we try to find meaning. The murder of
Tamara Williams last fall prompted dis-
cussion about domestic violence. The
death of Chris Giacherio last month illus-
trated the dangers of heroin use.
The case of Courtney Cantor is dif-
ferent. There's no obvious meaning to@
infer, no explicit social message con-
This has been held up as an example
of the perils of underage drinking. A
network news broadcast included
Cantor as the most recent victim in a
string of alcohol-related deaths on col-
lege campuses.
There also has been subtle finger-
pointing at the Greek system. Phi Delta
Theta fraternity faces serious sanctions
for hosting a party at which Cantor con-9
sumed alcohol. Just about every account
of the incident makes sure to mention
that Cantor recently was accepted to Chi

Omega sorority.
Such facts are important, but they
don't allow us to draw clear conclu-
sions. By Tuesday, it was announced
that Cantor's blood-alcohol level was
.059 percent, much below the legal dri-
ving limit of .1 percent: Her level of
intoxication is under debate. There has
not yet been a coherent narrative of
what preceded Cantor's death. We may
never know how this ahappened, or
whether alcohol was a factor.
Using the incident to make negative
inferences about the Greek system is
just plain wrong. It strikes me as a sort
of finger-pointing intended to bring clo-
sure to the incident, as though punish-
ment will bring cleansing.
But disciplinary measures and blame
won't soften the impact of this tragedy.
It certainly won't prevent it from hap-
pening again
It shouldn't have happened, and it
could have been anyone.
She could have been at any party on
campus. She could have been any of us
when we were freshmen, coming home to
the dorm, getting ready for bed, when, for
whatever reason, subtle disaster struck.
Using Cantor's death to condemn
underage drinking or punish a fraternity
house demotes a puzzling and affecting
tragedy to a platitude.
The best resolution we can find in
this is perhaps the most generic one:
Appreciate what we have. Look at what
happened, and be that much more grate-

present in


I just got out of a class
today and I cannot sit. I was
sitting in class, minding my
own business, trying not to
fall asleep. When a person in
the front of class I have never
met, raised his hand to ask a
question, then it came. I heard
from behind me someone
whisper under their breath
"queer." Now all of a sudden,
I am awake. What did I hear?
Who said it? Did that just
happen? I can't think what to
do, I want to turn around and
shake this person, I want to
yell at him and tell him off.'
How did this happen here in
liberal Ann Arbor, here at U
of M, here in my class? I
thought that the University
was supposed to be a liberal,
politically correct campus. I

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