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January 11, 1999 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-11

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 11, 1999

ix4je atichtoun !Dtfl11

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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
BaoM course
Professors should use MSA coursepack store

Today marks the long-anticipated grand
opening of the Michigan Student
Assembly's Coursepack Store in the
Michigan Union. Motivated by the exorbi-
tant prices of coursepack royalties, the
Students' Party proposed the idea as part of
its campaign platform in the March 1997
MSA presidential election, planning to pro-
duce 30 coursepacks for Winter Term 1998
in conjunction with the Michigan Union
Bookstore. But as a result of numerous
delays and legal snags, the assembly's plans
haven't materialized until now. Professors
should take advantage of the student-run
store, which has the sole intent of helping
students save money.
MSA allocated $10,000 to get the store
on its feet and cover the overhead costs,
which will be reimbursed with this semes-
ter's earnings. When MSA failed to follow
through with its plans last January, many stu-
dents were disappointed and skeptical. But
MSA has finally come through and made
good on its promise of providing students
with a royalty-free alternative to commercial
copy services. The assembly is able to do this
because of an exception to U.S. copyright
laws allowing for royalty-free use of copy-
righted materials for educational purposes.
Up and running at last, the experimental
non-profit store produces coursepacks at a
mere two to three cents per page, aiding in
savings and convenience with prices rang-
ing from $6.75 to $26.96, a welcome
change from the all-too-familiar $30 to
$100 coursepacks. The store eliminates the
high costs tacked on by other distributors

'He was like a player on our team for three years.'
-- Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson, on former Sports Information Director
Brian Fishman, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning this past Thursday
0~t TF)~oM a ft t "?.
HOW o & ~ A % T''r MOW~

because students only pay for the cost of the
paper and the individual copies instead of
overhead fees, which are funded by MSA
student fees each semester.
But are the days of overpriced coursepacks
over? Deemed a pilot program, the store sub-
stantially reduces the cost of some coursepa-
cks, but will only accommodate a total of
about 130 students in five classes this semes-
ter, a far cry from the 30 classes previously
projected by the assembly. After Jan. 29 or
when all the coursepacks are sold, organizers
plan to evaluate the store's success and make
improvements for following semesters.
The store also represents something of a
legal risk for the assembly to take. Michigan
Document Service, a commercial coursepack
store, once tried to use the "fair use" excep-
tion of the copyright laws to produce cheap
coursepacks, but faced a lawsuit and eventual
closure as a result. Since the student-run store
is operating under the guise of a non-profit
organization, the "fair use" claim should be
more legitimate, but only time will tell
whether or not the store finds itself in court.
Fed up with the current system and high
prices of coursepacks, many professors
have foregone the various commercial
copying services and encourage their stu-
dents to access course materials on the
World Wide Web or from the
Undergraduate Library Reserves. The
coursepack store will prevent students from
these inconveniences and should be sup-
ported fully by all professors, as it is a con-
venient and inexpensive alternative to high
prices at commercial outlets.

Planting a seed
State would benefit from GM plant

n. an unlikely and promising turn of
events, General Motors Corp. is plan-
ning to build two new auto plants in
Michigan and Ohio, two states that have
seen manufacturing industries desert them
in past decades. GM has already drawn up
blueprints for the plants and hopes to begin
construction in April. The two new factories
that will spring forth in Lordsville, Ohio,
and Lansing, Mich., are designed to cut
production costs of compact cars. If GM
realizes its plan and constructs a new facto-
ry in Michigan, the state will undoubtedly
benefit in many ways.
The state of Michigan is well-known as
the place in which Henry Ford invented the
moving assembly line and his Model T auto-
mobile. Detroit subsequently became
America's industrial capitol during World
War II. But since the mid-1970s, workers in
the auto industry have seen their jobs down-
sized and their factories shipped to southern
states and abroad. Cities such as Flint, whose
workforce and general population dwindled
to less than half of what it was in the early
1980s, have been crippled by deindustrial-
ization. The Big Three have relocated their
industry over time to locations where labor is
cheap and unions are weak - if even in exis-
tence. When workers retired, GM refused to
replace them with a new crop of workers,
favoring machines over men. When factories
became outdated, GM invested capital else-
where. Although unemployment is a mere
4.3 percent in the United States, manufactur-
ing jobs are being lost as the service sector
grows. Far fewer well-paying manufacturing
jobs exist for Michigan residents and all
Americans than a generation ago.
By building these two new plants, GM
will be going against the trend of past
decades. Even though the old plants in
Lordsville and Lansing will be scrapped for
the newer, more efficient ones, GM is mak-
ing a statement by investing capital in the

efficient production, the Big Three do not
have to turn their backs on the United States
to realize long term profits. GM can save
- and even expand - jobs in the United
States by developing technology that
reduces capital costs, making cuts in labor
costs unnecessary. These new factories,
which have already tested well in Brazil,
will cut costs up to $2,000 per car. By
investing in Michigan and avoiding the loss
of jobs, the auto industry can ensure that
related industries stay strong and that the
state's economy provides job opportunities
for its citizens.
Following a 54-day strike by the United
Auto Workers this past summer, GM
promised to .spend a greater amount of
money on capital investment in Michigan
plants. With the introduction of the new plant,
GM appears to be fulfilling its promise. "We
recognized finally after this strike that after
three years and $4 billion worth of losses, this
head butting wasn't going to work," GM Vice
President Mark Hogan told the Detroit Free
Press last week. The key issue of contention
in the strike was the belief that GM did not
intend to keep industrial jobs in Michigan or
any of the other states that comprise
America's rust belt.
As GM has increasingly depended on
independent part producers, the UAW has
answered back by asking for union repre-
sentation in these plants, which it has not
gained in most cases. GM should guaran-
tee UAW representation in the new plants
as well as in independent plants that pro-
vide them with parts. The success of GM's
new plants will only come to fruition if no
jobs are lost and if the UAW is allowed to
represent its workers. Both GM and the
UAW should work in harmony to improve
their relationship, but more importantly,
they should collaborate in improving
Michigan's economy. Michigan cannot
afford to lose the industry that helped put

Shopping for
books can be
Once again, I embark on
my quest for knowledge at this
fine University, irritated by the
prevalent disorganization and
frustration inherent in book
buying. Honestly, if given a
choice between playing ice
sculpture outside of Shaman
Drum Bookshop for an hour or
having my bicuspids extracted
sans novocaine, I would
embrace the pliers, purchase
some Polident Partials, and call
it a day. And if my classmates'
shivering bodies are any indi-
cation, I speak for the
Thinsulate-clad majority here,
May I gently remind those
geniuses who have decided to
spread the texts around 15 sep-
arate locations that this is not a
scavenger hunt. I do not need a
can of lima beans or some
scissors from the lady down
the street. I just need my books
without the games. Let me
reiterate that it is cold. Crazy
things happen in cold weather.
If you don't believe me, rent
As I write this, I cannot
wait to get my mitts on my
required Spanish 231 supple-
ment. Yet when I inquire about
it, workers at Ulrich's
Bookstore, the Michigan
Union Bookstore and
Michigan Book & Supply give
me that down-trodden look of
resignation, knowing that sim-
ple words of encouragement
will not appease the beast.
They have seen it, they assure
me. It exists. In fact, everyone
has seen it except me. This text
is mythic. In fact I have come
to the conclusion that I have a
better chance of spotting a uni-
corn on the Diag than I do of
purchasing it in a timely man-
ner. But I will find that book. I
will prevail. And when I do,
watch out world.
But I digress. I am encour-
aged by the involvement of
students in and the growth of
the Student Book Exchange. I
hope such proactive measures
continue to combat what has
become a menace. Perhaps we
could put our collective brain
power and surplus tuition
money together to erect a
giant, one-stop Super Kmart
for books. Forget the Great
Pyramids or the Eiffel Tower,
this would be an awe-inspiring
sight. Perhaps then, true to
'60s idealism, students could
protest issues with widespread
relevance rather than be forced
to regulate a system that
should be regulated for them.
While standing outside of
Accu-Copy in the negative
five-degree weather, the very
thought brought a tear to my
eye. It promptly froze.
'U' has

University's efforts to deal
with potential Year 2000 com-
puter problems - often
referred to as the Y2K
Millennium Bug ("Campus
readies for Y2K," 1/8/99). I'd
like to offer a little more detail
about our Y2K efforts because,
although a casual reader of
Winkler's article last Friday
might infer that the University
has just began to deal with the
problem, we have actually
been addressing anticipated
Y2K issues since 1985 and
have accomplished a great deal
here at the University in the
past 12 months. We believe we
are on track to minimize any
potential impact this problem
might have at the University
on Jan. 1, 2000.
People who would like to
know what the University has
done in this area should start
with our Y2K Website,
umich.edu. Here are just a few
of the University's Y2K
accomplishments in 1998:
The University's central
systems are well on their way
to being compliant; some
have already been tested and
others are scheduled for test-
ing in 1999.
U All units appointed Y2K
representatives to spearhead
assessments of departmental
systems. An assessment tool
was developed and unit repre-
sentative training was provid-
ed. Almost all of the unit
assessments were completed
by last September.
Three workgroups com-
prised of unit Y2K representa-
tives reviewed the assessments
and identified areas requiring
additional investigation and
Contingency plans are
being prepared and will be in
place by June 30, 1999, to
provide backup and recovery
procedures to ensure that key
services are not disrupted for
the entire University.
A focused communica-
tions effort was begun in early
1998 to help the campus
understand what was being
done about the year 2000
problem. We set up the Y2K
Website, numerous articles
have been written, and we
published a full-page ad in the
University Record in April to
help promote the University's
Y2K information campaign.
Y The University hosted a
forum last November where
municipal leaders across
Michigan spent an afternoon
discussing their communities'
approaches to the Y2K prob-
were poor

think I was one of the few
people in the country who
actually thought, no knew,
that Purdue would beat
Kansas State.
review was
Q: What's the difference
between a doctor and God?
A: God doesn 't sit around
all day thinking he's a doctor
This joke, while by no
means a classic, speaks vol-
umes about the medical pro-
fession and is a key point of
the new Robin Williams film
"Patch Adams." But this
point seems to have eluded
Aaron Rich entirely ("'Patch'
can't find funny bone,"
1/6199). Rich calls the film
another "unadulterated show-
case of (Williams's) comedic
skill." Apparently, Rich was
so busy looking for "Mork
and Mindy" that he failed to
notice the beautiful, well-
written film playing out on
the screen before him.
Rich seems to feel that
Adams never heals the inner
demons from which he suf-
fers in a mental institution.
The fact of the matter is that
it is here that he makes the
largest character leap, realiz-
ing that every person/patient
is a unique individual with
hopes, dreams, fears, and yes,
even demons. It is this
growth that causes Adams to
conclude that doctors should
"treat the patient, not the dis-
ease,' and this "mantra," as
Rich calls it, sets up the char-
acter dynamic of Adams and
is the foundation on which all
of the action builds.
Rich also blindly asserts
that Adams never makes the
slightest growth or develop-
ment, even after the death of
a friend caused by his uncon-
ventional methods.
In actuality, Adams, in the
grave-side scene that is no
less moving or powerful than
the similar scene at the end
of "Forrest Gump," begins to
feel that his methods are per-
haps unnecessary, unappreci-
ated and unwelcome, and
goes through a tremendous
period of self-doubt.
It is only after deep
reflection and mending of
rifts with his foes that he
becomes sure of what he is
doing again, and his determi-
nation shines through like
never before.
Perhaps Rich was too
busy waiting for Williams to
holler "Good morning
Vietnam!" to be aware of the
complexity of Williams's
"Patch Adams" was a
wonderfully moving film; in
terms of Williams's serious
films, it ranks right alongside

Forget the
trai ional0
Graminys, this is
the real thing
have great taste in music. Just ask the
woman who sold me a copy of "'80s
Dance Party." Even she will tell you that
I have an ear for only the very finesti
song. This is why I listened with atten0
tive ears as nommna-
tions for the
upcoming Grammy
Awards were
announced last
Each year these
sorts of music <
awards shows give
us an opportunity
to see what distn-
guished critics - ScoTT
people supposedly HUNTER
much more dis- RitI I ttOU6
cerning than all of THE U'0()I
us -consider
high-quality tunes. But truthfully, all
of these awards shows have very little
value in my eyes. Often the judges for
these events ignore the truly talented
acts in favor of the more politically
favorable choices. In addition, the*
awards don't seem to stay in step with
the continuing evolution of the 1990s
music scene. There are many people
who play important roles in contem-
porary music but who are neverthe-
less ignored and neglected by selec-
tion committees. And with 1998
being one of the worst years for music
since, well - 1997, there is a true
need to revamp the awards shows to
recognize contemporary acts for what
they really are.
That is why, for all you people out
there who long to see justice served, I
have developed a handy-dandy supple-
ment to the Grammy Awards, one that
really sizes up the contributions of our
favorite acts of 1998. These are the
awards that should be passed out.
Most Shameless Abuse of Sampling
In A Rap Song - Will Smith for "Just
The Two Of Us." In an upsetting defeat,
Smith snatched this award from then
hands of powerhouse Sean "Puffy"
Combs. Ever since he dropped DJ Jazzy
Jeff like a lead weight, the boy's been
sampling up a storm: Sister Sledge, the
Whispers, Patrice Rushen - no one's
safe. And for this, the talented star of
television, film and vinyl takes home
another award. In all honesty, though,
who can blame Will for all his sam-
pling? Hell, for $10 million in record
sales, I would become the next Puff
Best Use Of Swooping Cleavage
To Boost A Musical Career - Janet
Jackson. Anyone who has followed
Janet's career will note the important
role that sex has played in her suc-
cess. The thoroughly talented per-
former has used it to supplement her
mass appeal, flashing body parts on
magazine covers and in music videos.
This year, Janet was even able to beat*
out heavyweights Foxy Brown, Lil'
Kim and Toni Braxton with her capti-
vating use of cleavage. Janet dedi-
cates this award to her talented team
of surgeons.
. Best New Kids On The Block
Facsimilie - The Backstreet Boys. It
was pure deja vu this year when these
guys tore up the charts. Their mere exis-
tence conjures up dusty memories of
mousse-laden suburban girls darting
around malls in 1987, looking ford
copies of "Step By Step"' (Just a side

note: You might also recognize the
Backstreet Boys by their other name, N'
C Most Overplayed Song, Female -
Celine Dion for "My Heart Will Go On. "
Who can deny Celine this award? In the
tradition of previous winners like the
"Macarena," this song was in your face
at every turn.
No one was ever safe. If only Celine
would use her powers for good instead
of evil.
Best Supporting Tramp In A Rap
Video - Mariah Carey for
"Sweetheart. " Rap videos have always
been notorious for their gratuitous
exposure of female flesh, and this year
was no exception.
Typically, this award goes to a
young, unknown, aspiring trollop, but
Carey blew the competition away this
year with her performance in JD's
Wearing a couple of strategically
placed rubber bands and frolicking
with a cat in one of the most sublimi-
nally suggestive video scenes this
year,hhersperformance was nothing
less than spectacular.
And, ladies and gentlemen, the
moment you've all been waiting for:
The Recipient of the 1999 MC
Hammer Award for Outstanding
Achievement in the Ruining of Popular
Music - The Spice Girls. Though they
fell apart this year because of "artistic
differences," they have left an indelible
impression on contemporary music. But
then again, how much can you expect

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