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October 28, 1999 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-28

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 28, 1999


Law denies financial
aid to substance users

Time out

By Travis Reed
Minnesota Daily
MINNEAPOLIS (U-WIRE) - Students plan-
ning to apply for federal financial aid should pre-
pare to divulge more than just their social security
number, university and address.
The U.S. Department of Education published
final rulings last Thursday on a law prohibiting stu-
dents convicted of drug-related crimes from
receiving federal financial aid.
The regulation makes students who have been
convicted of drug charges ineligible to receive Pell
Grants, student loans and other.common types of
federal aid.
The Education Department regulation, slated to
take effect on July 1, would withhold funds
depending on the severity and number of offenses.
With one conviction of drug posses ion, a stu-
dent is barred from financial aid for one year. A
second conviction bars a student for two years, and
a student with three offenses will be indefinitely
Those convicted of selling drugs once will be
denied eligibility for two years. With more than
one conviction, eligibility for financial assistance
would be indefinitely denied.
If recent University Police reports are any indi-
cation, the new standards could spell trouble for an
increasing number of Minnesota students.
Drug-related offenses have quadrupled during
the past four years, according to campus police
reports. From 1997 to 1998 alone, offenses jumped
26 percent.
Despite this trend, as well as vocal advocation of
more stringent punitive measures for drug offenders,
the bill has received a share of opposition - includ-
ing skepticism from some university officials.
"I don't necessarily think that it will keep people
from using drugs, but I think it might keep people
from completing their education," said Dave
Hayden, university coordinator of student behav-

ior. "In substance-abuse prevention, we've found
that scare tactics don't work"
A student's eligibility for aid would be reinstat-
ed if the student completes a rehabilitation pro-
gram, but critics charge that such a policy is use-
less to most.
"The law includes even simple possession of
marijuana, and there is nothing out there to reha-
bilitate people from marijuana because many pro-
fessionals don't believe that you can be addicted to
it," said Jason Fizell, a member of the Department
of Education committee that devised the regula-
tions and staff person for the University of
Wisconsin at Madison student government.
Additionally, critics say the law might hurt peo-
ple already socially and economically disadvan-
"People who use drugs are most likely to need
financial aid," Hayden said. "Not everyone who
uses drugs is economically disadvantaged, but it
will affect people without money more than it will
affect people with it."
Fizell referred to the bill as a "farce," and said
strong opposition exists among student groups,
police officials and many members of the
Education Department's committee.
Even those within the department say the bill
lacks credibility because students must self-report
convictions on their aid application.
Currently, no database of criminal records can
be cross-referenced by the department.
"We won't know whether or not students are
guilty unless they put it on the applications or
someone gives us evidence of the crime," said Jane
Glickman, Education Department spokesperson.
"We hope people will follow the law and report
honestly, but we don't expect schools to check their
students, either"
Department officials said students caught mis-
representing information on federal financial aid
forms would face felony charges.

studies in
By Sean Mussenden
The Diamondback
- University of Maryland junior Jim
Brown is loving life. He enjoys a warm
sunny beach everyday, even in the dead
of winter. Stepping off the sand, he
snorkels through transparent blue water
over fields of coral. Minutes later, he
strolls through a lush tropical rain for-
est, past a grassy savannah into a
scorching desert. All without leaving a
single building.
Brown is the most recent campus
student to spend a semester studying
in Biosphere 2, the well-known envi-
ronmental research center in the
Arizona desert.
The building is a massive three-
acre enclosed structure that houses
seven separate "ecosystems," includ-
ing a simulated rainforest, desert and
As part of a study abroad program
run by Columbia University called the
"Earth Semester," Brown takes classes
this fall inside Biosphere 2. He works
with scientists studying how environ-
mental changes - such as an increase
in carbon dioxide levels in the atmos-
phere - affect life on Earth.
Both inside the classroom and out,
Brown said he is enjoying the experi-
ence. About 100 college students from
across the country are enrolled in the
"Earth Semester."

Parking Enforcement Officer Anne Howard issues a ticket to a car parked at an expired meter on
South State Street yesterday.


JFK film found in Texas school archives

By Kris Gutierrez
Daily Skiff
FORT WORTH, Texas (U-WIRE) -On Nov. 22,
1963, President John F. Kennedy spoke to a crowd of
supporters at a breakfast at the Hotel Texas in Fort
Worth. As he joked with the crowd, laughter and joy
spread throughout the ballroom.
But hours later, sadness and grief spread across the
nation as Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
Those few hours in Fort Worth, captured on 8mm
film, were discovered in the Mary Couts Burnett
Library at Texas Christian University among material
donated to the university.
In 1990, former Speaker of the House and current
TCU professor Jim Wright donated the collection of
material he compiled during his 34 years in Congress.
The 8mm film was found among the material, and it
has left TCU archivist Glenda Stevens wondering who
owns the film.
Most work comes to the library with an identi-

fied creator, Stevens said. Books have authors and
letters have signatures, but this film is different
because no one knows who shot the footage, she
"In the case of a piece of film like this, it could have
been from someone who was in the district and at the
breakfast," Stevens said. "Since Jim Wright was in the
film, and it's significant, they could have just passed it
along to him"
Wright could not be reached for comment.
Norma Ritchson, Wright's assistant, said Wright
felt the issue was over-hyped.
"We have a lot of stuff here on Kennedy," Ritchson
said. "We have an entire film of the speech that day,
but (the film in dispute) was filmed with a home
movie camera."
Stevens said the film, which is in color and runs
about three minutes in length, was first noticed when
inventory was done a year or two after the material
was donated.

"It needed preservation, so it wasn't until two or
three years ago that we took it to someone who coul
reproduce it for us,"
Stevens said. "We did it in case people wanted to
use it, but there is a copyright problem."
Stevens was reluctant to say who, but someone
wants to make a documentary film out of home
movies about Jackie Kennedy and events surrounding
the Kennedy assassination.
"I thought this was something they could make use
of if I had felt free to let them use it,' Stevens said, "So
that's what prompted us to go ahead and clear up the
matter of who had done the filming."
TCU gained ownership of the actual piece of pror
erty, but not the copyright of the footage, when it was
donated from Wright.
"We're free to use it for any educational use,
Stevens said. "But if anyone wants to use it commer-
cially, then you have to get permission from the copy-
right holder."


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