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February 18, 1999 - Image 1

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-18

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today: Partly sunny. High 33. Low 22.
Tomorrow: Cloudy. High 30.

One hundred eght yews of editorlfredom

Thursday
February 18, 1999

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Clinton
addresses
Social
Security
Clinton talks to
college students about
budget surplus
By Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud
Daily Staff Reporter
Following his acquittal last week
P two impeachment charges,
sident Clinton took his campaign
to bolster Social Security with bud-
get surpluses to college campuses
yesterday.
At 41 college campuses across the
nation, Clinton addressed students
via satellite proposing that 62 percent
of the budget surpluses during the
next 15 years be used to ensure
Social Security still operates when
students retire and to pay the national
Will our first priority be spend-
ing the budget surpluses we have
worked so hard to create on a terrif-
ically appealing tax cut in the
moment, or will our first priority be
investing whatever the necessary
amount of the surplus is for at least
the net 15 years to strengthen and
Medicare?" Clinton asked his audi-
ence.
*n a conference call with college
newspapers yesterday, a White
House official
emphasized the
importance to
students of the
president's pro-
posal for bol-
stering the
Social Security
fund.
"This is the
number one pri-
Clinton ority for the gov-
ernment," said
Sylvia Mathews, deputy director of the
White House's office of management
and budget. "There's an obligation that
exists."
Outlined in his State of the Union
address last month and finally being.-
addressed with the impeachment
I completed, the proposal also
cals for reserving 15 percent of the
surplus for Medicare, 12 percent for
the Universal Savings Account -
which would offer students high
rates of returns on their savings -
and I1 percent on discretionary
spending.
Sixty-two percent of this year's
surplus comes from Social Security,
with more money coming in than
going out. But by 2014, the White
use projects the Baby Boom gen-
t~tion will pull more money out of
the Social Security fund than is paid
to it by workers.
Most observers say reserving 62 per-
cent of the budget surplus for Social
Security this year will obtain bi-parti-
san support.
Trent Wisecup, senior adviser for
Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield
Township), said most members of
Wgress support the reinvestment of
approximately two-thirds of the surplus
into social security. The real debate, he
said, will hinge on what to do with the
rest of the surplus, with most
Republicans supporting an income tax

cut.
"We need a tax cut;' Wisecup said.
"Taxes are at an all-time high. In a time
of peace and prosperity, it's outra-
geous."
Wisecup added that Republicans
Old rather see the remaining 38
percent returned to tax payers than
spent on more government pro-
grams.
Specifically, the 15 percent pro-
posal for Medicare and 12 percent
for USAs could face an uphill bat-
tle.
Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor)
said she opposes the president's
n to spend the estimated $4 tril-
in budget surpluses during the
next 15 years before they are real-
ized.
"I don't think we should spend pro-
jected surpluses," Rivers said. "The
surplus that has yet to materialize
should not be spent until it has materi-

Tax

on

textbooks could bec

By Nick Bunkley
Daily Staff Reporter
Buying textbooks may soon be less taxing
for students if the Michigan Legislature passes
a bill proposed last week by Sen. Leon Stille
(R-Spring Lake).
Senate Bill 289 would make textbooks
required for college classes exempt from the
state's 6 percent sales tax, saving students an
estimated $400-$500 over the course of their
educational careers, Stille said.
"It's a small way of saying higher education
is expensive enough as it is," Stille said.
Similar bills have been introduced in
recent years but have never garnered
enough support from lawmakers to enact
them. The House passed a nearly identical
bill last year by a vote of 90-17 but it died
in the Senate Finance Committee. The new
bill's sponsors said they believe this could
be the year that the proposal finally

becomes a reality.
"It didn't get a hearing in the Senate last
year," said Sen. Dianne Byrum (D-
Onondaga), who is a co-sponsor of the
Senate proposal. "There are Republican
co-sponsors this year. I'm hopeful that
since it's bipartisan that it could get
through that roadblock."
Support from both sides of the aisle may be
enough to push the proposal through the
Senate Finance Committee to the full Senate.
"I think it will have strong Democratic sup-
port," said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield
Twp.), the committee's minority vice-chair.
"I'm very hopeful that it will pass."
Rep. Kwame Kilpatrick (D-Detroit) voted
against the House bill last year and said he
would not support this bill if it passed the
Senate because sales tax is an important source
of revenue for the school aid fund.
"That would be a very big hit to our school

aid funding," Kilpatrick said. "We shouldn't
even touch any of the money that goes to that
fund."
Although many legislators back the propos-
al, Peters said students can help speed up the
process and ensure its passage.
"I believe the students need to continue to be
active in supporting this issue," Peters said,
urging University students to contact their leg-
islators about the bill.
Peters said the state would record an esti-
mated $12 million loss in revenue from the
bill, but added that Michigan's booming econ-
omy is strong enough to compensate for that
amount.
"Even though it is lost revenue, it will be
more than made up for with economic
growth," Peters said.
Kilpatrick said he would like to reduce
expenses for college students, but he feels this
See TEXTBOOKS, Page 7A

T
rEl.ApW CSON N
Ashes mark
new season
By Alan Kahn
For the Daily
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat
bread, till thou return unto the ground,
for out of it wast thou taken; fordust
thou art, and unto dust shall thou
return." - Genesis 3:19.
A large portion of the world celebrat-
ed Ash Wednesday yesterday. For those
who observe the day, these words, taken
from the Old Testament, are considered
by many as the source of its existence.
The name "Ash Wednesday" takes its
meaning from the significance of ashes
as a sign of penitence, said Reverend
Robert Livingston, who leads the First
Congregational Church on State Street.
He added that for many it is a day of
reflection - and for some, a chance for
renewal.
But as important as it is for some fol-
lowers, the day is equally unimportant
for others. After moving away from
home, many University students find
that life - religious and otherwise -
often takes on a new meaning.
"Being confronted with a lot of differ-
ent religions makes me think of my
own," said Jennifer McCaffrey, an LSA
sophomore. McCaffrey added that "it's
interesting to see how religion plays into
what people do around campus and on
the weekends."
Livingston said, "Students are looking
in a number of ways at how to find their
spiritual side."
He noted that he sees students active-
ly involved in religion. His State Street
church was filled with many students
yesterday.
"The only way I ever remember Ash
Wednesday is that it comes the day after
Fat Tuesday," said Nicholas Stancil, an
LSA senior who said he does not consid-
er himself very religious.
Student feelings about religion range
from passionate to disassociated. There
are a myriad of churches and other reli-

DHANI JONES/Daily
LSA sophomore Roopak Chakravarty studies in the Michigan
Union for midterm exams yesterday.
be ass -w
By Sarah Lewis
Daily Staff Reporter
For LSA first-year student Peter Susalla, living on North
Campus was not his top choice when he applied for housing
in a University residence hall last year.
"I kinda just got stuck here," Susalla said, although he
admits he now likes his room in Bursley Residence Hall and
the area surrounding it.
Luckily, students like Susalla who didn't get to live
in the place of their choice during their first year in
college will have the option of choosing a specific
room in any of the University residence halls for next
fall.
Starting Monday, returning students who wish to live in a
residence hall again may register for the campus-wide
drawing at the Housing Information Office in the Student
Activities Building.
Marlene Mantyk, assistant director for l o.ing, said stu-
dents must pick up their re-application cd at the front
desk of their current residence hall and bring them to the
Housing office by March 9 to enter the computer-selected
lottery.
Housing officials plan to post the drawing results on the
Internet and in residence halls on March i . Fmaie stu-
dents may sign leases March 16 and male students March
17.
Since many returning students will sign up for their same
hall again, Mantyk said, she assumes that "about 300-500
people of each gender will register for the campus-wide
drawing."
Dana Fair, public affairs and marketing adviser for
Housing, explained that "first-priority" students who wish
to return to the same room next year signed their leases on
Monday.
Students who want to live in the same residence hall, but
in a different room, participated in a drawing the first week
of February, Fair said.
"The exception is with the displaced students," he said,
who are students who cannot reapply for their current
room because of a change in the assigned gender of the
room or because the space is set aside for living-learning
programs.
"They get an opportunity to select a space one step ahead
of the other students returning to their halls," Fair said.
Fair said University residence halls can accommodate
about 9,300 people, including both incoming and returning
students.
"There's enough room for the two," he said.
University spokesperson Julie Peterson said the enroll-
ment target for first year students is about 5,200 people.
Peterson added that although the 1999-2000 admissions
process is not yet complete, the housing situation probably
"will be a similar profile to last year."
Mantyk also said she does not foresee any problems with
See HOUSING, Page 7A

Philadelphia resident Ben Rzepskl sits In an Ash Wednesday service at the Cathedral of
Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul yesterday.

gious organizations on campus, each
offering a range of sustenance for stu-
dents.
Music senior Bradley Josephs leads a
campus ministry at the University. Josephs
said he asks himself the question, "Do I
want to be a religious hypocrite?"
Although many churches were full
yesterday, some students said they are
blissfully ignorant of Ash Wednesday's
meaning.
"If you claim to be religious and your
lifestyle does not represent that, you are
not," Josephs said.
But some University students said

they do not necessarily adhere to the
beliefs and traditions they brought to
campus as first-year students.
LSA junior Mikkia Smitha said she
has become more religious as her time at
the University has progressed as a result
of her college experiences.
"A lot of people feel religion has to be
institutionalized and practiced in a
church, but I feel it can be done spiritu-
ally wherever you are," Smith said.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of
Lent, Christ's 40 days and six Sundays of
fasting in the desert to find his ministry's
meaning, Livingston said.

Century
program=1
to cag
By Michael Grass
Daily Staff Reporter
With the coming of the next millen-
nium, the University's 21st Century
Program will change not only its focus
but also its name.
The living-learning program, created
in 1991 and housed in Mary Markley
Residence Hall, will be renamed the
Michigan Community Scholars

Heanngs on
From staff and wire reports Gov. John Engler has proposed
LANSING - Leaders of public uni- increasing state spending on universi-
versities are unsure ties in the fiscal year start-
about how a new funding gan ing Oct. 1 by 4 percent, or
formula proposed in the $68 million. At the same
state's fiscal 2000 budget jl time, he wants to divide
will affect them. the 15 schools into four
The House tiers based on average
Appropriations Higher instructional costs and
E d u c a t i o n . give those near the bottom
Subcommittee heard tes- B p of each tier bigger increas-
timony yesterday from Budget propoes.
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