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March 20, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-20

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 20, 2000

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'U' students two parts bread crumbs, one part meat

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. Al other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily
reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

love this University. I do. I really, really do.
But sometimes, the things that people on
this campus do make me want to fly into a fit
of rage and start yanking at my hair.
No offense.
Every year, students cast their ballots in
the Best of Ann Arbor and select "the people"
as their favorite thing
in this town. I can see
that. It can be interest-
ing to stare at the peo-
ple in Ann Arbor for
the same reason that a
lot of people stare at
traffic accidents when
they drive by. It's like
some sort of morbid
fascination, almost.
There's something
about the people in this
city. In college, many Jack
of us are still develop- Schillaci
ing our self-concepts,
deciding how we feel SlaM It to
about what, and learn- the Left
ing to look past the
ideas that have been
force fed to us by our parents and society.
Everyone, everywhere in the world does
this at some point, but we Michigan students
end up taking an odd tack. We're all desperate
to get noticed, self-starved for attention to the
point that we'll do anything to make someone
do a double take.
How else do you explain purple hair, fio-
rescent coats, lip piercings and wearing plat-
form shoes to lecture? Yes, yes, the expression
of individuality. But can't you write a poem or
something? I mean, it is possible to express

oneself without becoming an eyesore or
annoying everyone around you. I'm lead to
believe that most such "expressions" have
more to do with attention-seeking than with
some sort of organic desire to let one's spirit
free.
It goes beyond how we dress and make
ourselves look, though. For instance, last
week, Graduate Action Alliance stormed the
UGLi and - gasp - checked out 3,000
books in protest of the University's handling
of the Michigamua juggernaut. They returned
them the next day. Ah yes, wield the power of
library protest in your hands, folks, and you,
too, could change the world. I'm sure those
inside the Fleming Building were just reeling
with confusion as to what to do next.
I may be missing some overarching soci-
etal significance, but what exactly was the
point? To annoy people, to get a Daily head-
line, or was there something larger and more
important somewhere in there?
And how many people on this campus are
really actually important enough that they
need to be available for contact every minute
of the day? Probably not many, but when was
the last time someone walked by you yam-
mering into a cell phone? Five minutes, ten? I
realize it's an exercise in let's-see-how-much-
money-I-can-spend trendiness, but the next
time I see someone walking across the Diag
on their way to Mr. Greek's, talking to their
friends who are already at Mr. Greek's, so
help me.
Ever notice the disproportionate number
or amount of sport utility vehicles, a capella
singing groups, bagel shops, ugly hoop ear-
ings (yeah, yeah, I know, but I never claimed
to be immune), sidewalk chalkings, Birken-

U' needs new residence hall

stocks, brown lipstick, megaphones, pointless
rhetorical "guest speakers" or the righteously
indignant we have? I mean, comparing it with
other cities on a per capita basis, you'd think
Ann Arbor was a city of one million.
And what the hell is the deal with Hideki?
Some of this has to do with the arrogant
pretension that typifies the gathering of a
bunch of largely upper-middle class young
adults. But some of it is more than that. Our
fine administrators don't help - they grant
honorary doctorates in journalism even
though we haven't had a J-School in years.
They buy iMacs by the gross even though
they're ugly, more or less useless, and five
minutes after we graduate, none of us will
ever see a Mac again. They talk about the
importance of substance over appearance in
campus dialogue but rarely support it, and
damn, they are some good lookin' people who
can write some damn good press releases.
Things like this don't happen in most
places. When I go home, I'm alarmed at how,
well, normal everything is. No one is running
around screaming, there aren't fashion victims
on every corner, and everything is just, well, a
little more Norman Rockwell and a little less
Andy Warhol.
That's probably what makes Ann Arbor
unique, but the city's fagade of "Hey look at
me, I'm cool too" has begun to wear thin after
almost four years. Just four weeks, left, I keep
telling myself. Oh, god, there goes someone
with green hair and bell bottoms.
-Jack Schillaci thanks you for helping
him with his catharsis, as you have likely
saved him thousands of dollars in therapy
bills. He can be reached via e-mail at
jschilla@umich.edu.
TENTATIVEIY SPEAKING

0

The University Board of Regents
will be hearing a proposal today
that could potentially have a dramatic
impact on residence hall life. The
regents are considering selling Oxford
housing and building a new Central
Campus residence hall - a great idea.
Additionally, the regents will consider
creating one central dining hall for the
Hill area and improving the quality
Ethernet access across the residence
halls. For the small projected 0.5 per-
cent housing cost increase, superior
technology upgrades are a must. But
the Hill area dining hall is unnecessary.
A new housing structure on central
campus is clearly needed - first-year
students, guaranteed housing, have
been finding themselves living in over-
flow triples and lounges for the past
several years. Furthermore, many
upperclassmen who may desire to live
in a residence hall for financial reasons
find themselves competing for space.
A new residence hall would only
improve the central campus atmos-
phere. Because of space requirements,
many students never get the chance to
live on central campus. While there are
advantages to living off-campus, stu-
dents should have the choice to live on
central campus.
Oxford housing is not an ideal alter-
native for people who want to live in
the general central campus area but not
right on central campus itself. It is too
small and a prime Central Campus
location would undisputedly be better.

Although the new residence hall
will be a positive addition to the Uni-
versity, a new dining hall is not need-
ed. The idea of a central dining hall
may sound good in theory: More food
options could be available and the
quality of food would be uniform. Still,
servicing the large number of students
that a central dining hall would entail
is not feasible.
Thousands of students live in the Hill
area - far too many to share a dining
hall. What about the living-learning
community feeling several dining halls
are supposed to foster? Additionally,
students want to eat where they live.
Requiring them to leave their residence
hall is unnecessary, especially consider-
ing that most residence halls already
offer food service.
The final part of the regents propo-
sition would upgrade the technology
system. With a significant portion of
undergraduates living in the residence
halls - all of which, as University stu-
dents, are dependent on computers -
top-notch technology is crucial.
The only drawback for the entire
proposal is the fact that room and
board costs for on-campus housing will
rise about 3.5 percent. But this
increase is marginal when considering
that the funds will go to a large cen-
tral-campus dorm and increased ether-
net access. As long as the regents leave
the new dining hall off the list of addi-
tions, the proposal will improve Uni-
versity life.

THOMAS KULJURGIS

SMART GUNS

.n~ ~ZO0b

No amendments
Current budget proposals good for higher ed

GAA protest was
'worst in history'
TO THE DAILY:
And the winner is the Graduate Action
Alliance for worst protest ever conducted in
the history of the University! Hold your
applause please.
I have deep respect for those who have
strong beliefs about important issues. I have
even more respect for those who demonstrate
those beliefs in a meaningful, effective and
intelligent way. The GAA's protest of the
administration's handling of the Michigamua
issue was both inappropriate and downright
asinine. The GAA probably thought they
were being clever by doing this, but their
actions symbolically work to defeat every
ideal that this country was founded on. The
book is a symbol in itself of free speech and a
University is a place where books can be read
and ideas can be exchanged in a free and
unrestricted environment. The GAA symboli-
cally took that right away from the student
when they checked out a. superfluous amount
of books from the UGLI. They carted them
away in U-Hauls more or less forbidding stu-
dents of the University to be enlightened by
reading them. The protest was more akin to a
book burning than an event that would
demonstrate a certain view of an issue. They
might as well have Grafito-tagged the 'M' on
the Diag or yanked the bells right out of the
bell tower. Why tamper with the education of
the undergraduate student?
I'm very confused as to why there are
supposedly educated people out there who
thought this book hijacking would be remote-
ly effective. If anything, this "protest" showed
the University that they should take a hard,
honest look at who they give the privilege to
study at the graduate level. Perhaps they
should think about implementing more strin-
gent admission requirements.
ZACHARY BECK
BUSINESS JUNIOR

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is

II

T he United States House of Repre-
sentatives and the Michigan state
Senate are seeking to pass budgets for
the 2001 Fiscal Year. Most students
don't care about this issue, but they
should.
If the House of Representatives
budget passes the United States Senate
and is signed by President Bill Clinton,
it would mean an increase in funding
for University research projects. If the
state Senate's budget passes and Gov.
John Engler enacts it, the rate of
tuition increase will remain below 2.8
percent, a rate closer to inflation.
The University has a worldwide
reputation for being an excellent
research institution. Forty percent of
the University's research funding
comes from $200 million in funds
awarded by the National Institutes of
Health. A further 8 percent, or $42
million, comes from the National Sci-
ence Foundation.
Under the 2001 Budget, recently
passed by the U.S. House, the NIH
would receive a $1 billion increase and
the NSF a $500 million boost. The
trickle-down effect on University
spending is considerable. Assuming
the University continues to receive 1.5
percent to 2 percent of federal research
funds, the University stands to earn
$20 million more just from the NIH's
increased budget.
Originally, Republicans only wished
to give the NSF $400 million more.
But Democratic calls for a $675 mil-
lion increase on top of the Republi-
can's suggested number led to a
compromise.
Although the state Senate's bill does
not involve as much money, it has a
more significant effect on the lives of
students. One major complaint among
students is the ever-increasing rate of
tuition increases.

In order to compete with inflation
and other needs, the University contin-
ues to raise tuition yearly. But if the
Fiscal Budget gets past the Senate and
Congress and appeases Engler, it will
be good news for cash-strapped stu-
dents.
Education-friendly state Sen. John
Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), the chair-
man of the Higher Education subcom-
mittee, led the fight for a 6.9 percent
increase in University funds. Sen.
Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Twp.),
fought for a seven percent hike. This
occurred even after University Presi-
dent Lee Bollinger requested a five to
six percent funding increase. Engler,
hoping for a 2.5 percent increase, has
vowed to veto the Senate budget pro-
posal in their current form.
Neither budget proposal is perfect.
Certainly both the state and federal
budget proposals have problems. For
example, the federal budget does not
provide adequate funds for financial
aid. It is critical that lawmakers boost
funding for education in other areas.
But increasing federal dollars for other
student concerns, like financial aid,
should not come at the expense of cur-
rent allocations for research.
During the course of budget negoti-
ations, lawmakers friendly to higher
education should remain steadfast in
their support for colleges and universi-
ties. It is essential that the University
maintains its current status as a top-
notch research institution; it is equally
essential that tuition remains reason-
able.
The University stands to gain a lot
from the federal and state budget pro-
posals as they are now. Policy makers
should recognize the broad social ben-
efits of research at colleges and uni-
versities and look elsewhere for budget
cuts.

0

Celebrate the Great
American Meatout
TO THE DAILY:
Today, the first day of spring, is the 16th
annual Great American Meatout. Although
March 20th has not been recognized as an
"official" holiday, millions of people around
the world will be going meatless t6 celebrate
the beginning of a new season of renewal and
life. Some will only observe the "day," then
go back to eating meat. Many will become
vegetarians beginning today and many other
celebraters are already vegetarian and will
celebrate by encouraging others to "kick the
meat habit." Among those are celebrated veg-
etarian experts like John Robbins and
Howard Lyman, both of whom will be visit-
ing this campus in the very near future.
Here on campus today, venture over to
Angell Hall, where Michigan Animal Rights
Society will be tabling from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet the cow! Get some free meatless, deli-
cious food! See how easy and worth while it
is to switch to a vegetarian diet with all the
information we can give you. Find out why

environmentalists, leading health authorities
and compassionate activists from Gandhi to
Alice Walker all advocate a plant-based diet.
The meat industry is the number one
environmental disaster and the number one
water-consuming industry in America, kills
three times as many Americans as tobacco,
and treats helpless sentient beings as products
to be consumed and not protected. Isn't it
time to make a change? It is not ethical, in
fact not even necessary, for human beings to
consume the flesh of other animals. Come
find out what we know, tell us what you think,
and go veg for the day. We've got recipes,
pictures, nutrition information, and lots of
encouragement. Not to mention free food!
Just try it! If we can't convince you, come see
Howard Lyman, of Oprah Winfrey food dis-
paragement lawsuit fame, on Thursday at
7:30 p.m. in Angell Hall Auditorium B or
John Robbins, Sunday, April 2 at 2 p.m. in
the Union Ballroom. They will convince you.
So, how are you spending the first day of
spring? A time of renewal and rebirth, or a
continuation of old, dead habits?

9,t

KRISTIE STOICK
LSA JUNIOR

Don't call it a comeback ...

I had this whole big thing planned out for
this column. I found a W.E.B Dubois
essay about the patriot's duty to boycott
elections he feels are between "the lesser of
two evils." I had an entire rap about civil
disobedience and the rights of the governed
and blah blah blah.
Then I remembered
a simple little math
problem Ronald Rea-
gan gave Walter Mon-
dale in the 1984
presidential electionr
that jacked him up so
bad he never really
recovered.
"Are you better off
than you were four M
years ago?" When James
Reagan posed the
question it was sleazy Miller
and disingenuous. He Mlr
had spent four years
boning the middle Tap
class straight in the
ass and making it so they wouldn't notice.
Not fair.
But I accidentally asked myself the ques-
tion about our student assembly. Are we as
students better off than we were last year?
But that's the wrong question, isn't it?

the Daily and stay current. When we had the
various permutations of the
Wolverine/Blue/Students/Douche Bag party,
there was no student parking, tuition rose
faster than the cost of living or inflation,
coursepack fees were too high, minority
enrollment was stagnant (as was minority
tenure) and every student on campus lived
under an onerous, comedically Fascist Code
of Student Conduct.
Since I've been here there have been four
iterations of the old parties and one year of
the DAAP. All that has changed is that there
are more noisy groups and the extra money
they stole from us to try and get a student
regent got pissed away. Those magnificent
affirmative action radicals didn't even get
the most superficial of racial issues solved
or addressed. Every election cycle the same
bunch of humps leave MSA and go on to
kiss bigger and better dressed asses and
nothing ever changes around here.
Why is this? Is it incompetence? Stupidi-
ty? Unfortunately, it's neither; just garden
variety naivete. MSA candidates and mem-
bers are under the impression that the
assembly is a place where student concerns
can be heard and where they can exert pres-
sure on the administration and faculty to
change things for the better. In the mean-
time, they just, oh I don't know, work on

MSA rep: "Oh okay, that's cool. Never.
mind. Sorry. Could you fill this out and send
it to Stanford by the end of the month?"
In spite of the fact that they are powerless
MSA candidates have to make promises that
are beyond their authority to get elected, or
get attention.They have to promise us park-
ing relief and tuition warfare; because no
one can win on a "vote for me and I'll allo-
cate money to student groups in a fair and
efficient manner" platform. So they promise
us things like more minority enrollment and
professorship despite the fact that every-
body, them included; knows that the average
administrator, provost and reagent would
rather let a leper lick their furniture than let
students horse around with admissions, hir-
ing and other policy decisions.
So I propose one little thing, one small
act of rebellion that might do some good.
Stay home for MSA elections. Don't vote
and don't support. Do not continue to feed
this lie that the Michigan Suggestion
Assembly has anything to do with your life.
It doesn't and it never will. The only good
they will ever do anyone is in giving student
groups money. And no, passing non-binding
resolutions about sad things that happen in
other places doesn't count as useful, no
matter what any of them say. All important
decisions regarding your life here will be

... r r r. r r r w r .ra

i

[ rVI. 7Um a ihi

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