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November 19, 1999 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-19

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OF - The Michigan Daily - FootbaR Saturday - November 20,1999 ( 4Mpxs NEwS

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November 20, 1999 - F



Ballot proposal would fund club sports

y eanie Baumann
DailyStaff Reporter
A ballot initiative on this week's Michigan Student
Assembly fall election ballot could change the assem-
bly's funding process for club sports.
The initiative calls for each student to pay an addi-
tional $0.25 for the winter semester and the fall
semester of the next academic year. The collected total
of $18,000 would be the first step in creating an
endowment for club sports.
w.. Students currently pay a $5.69 student fee per
semester to the assembly.
"MSA currently funds out of the (Budget Priorities
Committee) to club sports," BPC Chair Glen Roe
explained. "But we noticed a greater need for funds
than what we could provide.'

Roe said club sports teams made requests this term
totaling $71,339, but the committee could only allo-
cate $8,750. He said this amount is an inefficient use
of funds. Since that money does not come close to
meeting club sports' needs, putting that money toward
other students groups with lower allocation requests
would be a better use of the money.
MSA President Bram Elias said he hopes establish-.
ing a club sports endowment will expand athletic
opportunities to more students.
"Our hope is that no student is denied the oppor-
tunity to participate in club sports merely because
they cannot afford it. The goal here is: If you're able
to play, and you want to play, then you get to play,"
he said.
If students vote to support the ballot initiative, Roe

explained that the University Board of Regents must
still approve the use of a separate fund for club sports.
"It's contingent upon a number of people in the
University approving it," he said.
Although the $0.25 increase in student fees would
last for only two semesters, the endowment is intend-
ed to be a self-supporting permanent source of funds.
But Roe said "targeted fundraising efforts" will add
to the endowment.
Engineering junior Anne Kiedrowksi, a member of
the water-ski team, supports the ballot initiative.
"I think it's a good idea. In order to stay competi-
tive, we have to buy a new boat every year. Without
the support of MSA and club sports, we wouldn't be
able to fund the activities that we do," she said. "Any
help we can get is really appreciated."

Continued from Page 6F
Once that damage was done, that
area was more vulnerable and still isn't
completely healed.
The sod squad:
Fouty's cast of supporting characters
has an agenda of their own in mind.
The grounds crew hired a stadium main-
tenance group to do several odds and ends
such as untarp the field, set up the markers,
help with stadium maintenance and help
fill in those divots during the game.
One of the members of the self-pro-
claimed "sod squad," Tom, joked that part
of the reason they are able to be on the field
during the game is because these divot
fillers have to do the dirty work on Sundays.
On Sunday, the four members of the
stadium maintenance crew spend five
hours handling the trash and clean-up
on the outside of the stadium.
"By letting us stay on the field dur-
ing the game it seals the fact that we
will show up on Sunday," Tom said.
Today will be more of the same.
Fouty and the "sod squad" will take
their places on the field again in
front of a 100,000-plus screaming
fans, just hoping not to see a repeat
of 1997. And if there's one thing
Fouty wants fans to understand about
her job, it's that it is much more then
just watching the football game from
arguably the best spot in the Big
"People don't know how much time
and effort it takes to maintain a football
field," Fouty said. "It's not like your

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI


Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

U lij e I t I tam ~

Editor in
Unless otherwise
majorityof the L
cartoons do not n,

City to install 58 new meters

W hen University students glance at
their tuition bills, they notice a charge
for the Michigan Student Assembly. While
the $5.69 semesterly fee pales in compari-
son to the rest of the bill, an important rea-
son supports the separate charge. It repre-
sents the student body's ability to elect stu-
dent representatives to allocate funding to
student groups. The U.S. Supreme Court
heard a case two weeks ago challenging the
legality of such fees and potentially threat-
ening this crucial element of a diverse
learning experience. Activity fees are fair,
and more importantly, they provide students
owith different and often entertaining learn-
ingtopportunities, which are a critical part
of he academic experience.
In Board of Regents o the University of
Wisconsin v Scott South worth, three
Wisconsin students sued the university
because theytdidn't want their mandatory
activity fees to support political and ideo-
logical organizations. Their claim com-
pletely ignores a university's core mission
- education. And if their logic were
applied to every aspect of the University,
tuition could not support teaching and
Every cent of tuition supports ideologi-
cal causes, either directly or indirectly. That
defines academia and sets it apart from all
other professions. Every research experi-
ment has a conclusion, and every lesson has

a point. Some students who pay tuition may
disagree with certain points and conclu-
sions. But does that entitle them to a pro-
rated refund on tuition?
No. Divergent views drive academia. If
every student agreed with all opinions set
forth within the University, nobody would
learn much. Disagreements fuel education.
Student activity fees are vital to continuing
debates outside the classroom.
The plaintiffs cited high court rulings
that allow union members to request
refunds for any portion of their dues used
for political contributions. They claim
mandatory student activity fees are another
form of compelled speech, thus violating
their First Amendment rights. Student fees,
however, differ from union dues because
they support more than one ideology. If you
disagree with a group that receives
University funding, you can form your own
group to espouse your views.
"Nobody would identify a student at a
university with all the diverse views bein
espou se' said law Prof. Sheldon Nahm
of the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

The true violation of the First
Amendment would occur if the Supreme
Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. If the
courts barred universities from funding ide-
ological and political organizations, they
would stifle the voices of thousands of stu-
At the University of Michigan, the $5.69
fee translated into funding for more than
218 student groups this semester, ranging
from the College Democrats to the intervar-
sity Christian fellowship to Students for
Life. If at least five students are interested
in forming a group, they can apply for MSA
Furthermore, student activity fees are
fair because MSA's funding process is
democratic. While the vast majority of the
student body does not vote in MSA elec-
tions, it's designed as a representati e
democracy. Members of MSA elected to
represent the University's schools apd col-
leges make the final appropriations deci-
If the Supreme Court upholds the 7th
Circuit Appellate Court's decision in favor

Is freedom wo ?
Student fees increase academic debate


By Robert Gold
Daily Staff Reporter
Fifty-eight parking meters lining
whurch and Hill streets will convert
previously unavailable street space into
parking spots under a resolution
approved by the Ann Arbor City
Council on Monday.
Councilmembers unanimously called
for the installation of the meters, in
anticipation of the parking shortage that
will result from the closing of the South
Forest Avenue parking structure.
The city plans to begin installing the

meters in January -- the same time the
parking structure closes for demolition.
The South Forest Avenue parking
structure currently has more than 250
parking spaces available. The comple-
tion of a new structure on the same plot
of land is expected to house 875 vehi-
cles and is projected for completion in
18 to 24 months, said Ann Arbor
Director of Public Services William
Downtown Development Authority
Board Member Maria Harshe said the
board attempted to lease privately

owned land for a temporary site but was
"We're in the horns of a dilemma.
There isn't a whole lot of land available
for temporary parking," Harshe said.
City Councilmember Tobi Hanna-
Davies (D-Ward I) said the city was
unable to lease private land for parking.
She said the parking meter solution will
not eliminate the parking shortage but
will "help that part of town keep going.
"No other good option has worked
out for customers ... who need short
term spaces, Hanna-Davies said.

The newly-renovated parking structure at
Washington Street and Fourth Avenue
reopened last month.

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No show
Blackouts keep fans from supporting teams

N ort Airline competition)

TThile trick-or-treaters in Ann Arbor
experienced an enjoyable Halloween,
fans of the Detroit Lions felt disappointed
Sunday evening. After ESPN advertised the
event all week, the National Football League
barred the cable sports network from ainng a
match-up between NFC Central rivals the
Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
within a 75-mile radius of the Pontiac
Silverdome. The NFL's policy of blacking out
competitions is unfair to its fans.
The NFL instituted blackouts early in its
existence to boost stadium attendance, the
major source of the league's income. In
September 1973, Congress -passed a law
forcing professional football to air games that
have sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff. Since
then, team owners and league officials main-
tain that blackout policies preserve'profes-
sional football from becoming a salon"
sport. But denying fans access to competi-
tions does little to protect the game's appeal.
Televised broadcasts generate much of the
attention local fans give to the sport. Instead
of procuring an audience by fostering a gen-
uine interest in the game, the NFL's blackout
policy forces fans to attend or have no other
opportunity to view the game.
Blackouts are. particularly harsh on cer-
tain fan groups. Hundreds of sports bars in
the Buffalo metropolitan area were targeted
in 1997 for using satellite TV to provide
patrons with illegal broadcasts of home
games. Although the NFL lost more in legal
fees than it received in settlements, league
officials considered the clamp-down a neces-
sary course of action as Buffalo Bills atten-
dance remained low. The Buffalo bar lawsuits
are a prime example of how the NFL works
against its fans in enforcing blackout policies.
Aside from hurting local businesses, the
FL's policy affects other fan groups as well.

In May of 1996, a group of hearing-impaired
football fans filed a class action lawsuit
against the NFL for denying them access to
game coverage through their inherent inabil-
ity to use radio broadcasting. The Supreme
Court eventually threw out the case at the end
of the month.
Ticket prices collaborate with blackout
policies to keep some fans from watching
home games. Most stadiums charge at least
$40 for admission, making attendance too
expensive for many families. Fans who can-
not afford such high prices are secluded from
NFL home games altogether.
Congress passed the 1973 law primarily
based upon the local Washington Redskins s
success in repeatedly selling out RFK stadi-
um. But this has led to a major disparity
between various local teams. Detroit Lions
fans are a solid example of the blackout's
inequity. The Pontiac Silverdome hosts the
largest capacity of any stadium in the NFL.
Having space for more than 20,000 more
fans than the national attendance average last
year, Detroit continues having trouble Tilling
the extra seats. While smaller venues in New
York, Green Bay and Washington, D.C. rarely
experience blackouts, fans in and around
Detroit or Buffalo are often denied the oppor-
tunity to watch their team play at home.
The NFL should reconsider its policy on
blacking out home games. League officials
claim that fans want to see a full stadium but
the aesthetic of a large crowd is not as impor-
tant to viewers as the events taking place on
the field. NFL owners want to secure a sell-
out crowd simply because money from ticket
sales goes directly to the organization. The
practice is bad business, alienating fans from
their teams. Blackouts are unfair to marry
fans and have no place in professional foot-

What's your greatest fear? Death?
Taxes? Flying Northwest?
Unfortunately for many University stu-
dents going home for the holidays, travel-
ing on Northwest Airlines has been raised
to this standard of universal certainty.
Fewer than one in four flights out of Metro
are on another airline, leaving many pas-
sengers with the dubious choice of pur-
chasing a Northwest ticket or wearing out
their walking shoes. The Wayne County
Executive's Office and Wayne County
Commission should open up the airport to
other airlines and foster the kind of compe-
tition that we believe it so desperately
Northwest's recent tenure at Detroit
Metro has been dogged by disaster. A
pilot's strike last year shut do%,m the airline
I for 15 days, disrupting vacations, stranding
passengers and mauling the state economy.
As many as 560,000 passengers 'were
unable to complete their travel plans, cost-
ing the state an estimated $323 million in
lost worker wages, tourism and business
activity. Comerica Inc. put the costs even
higher, at $350 nullion for metropolitan
Detroit alone. And in January, as many as
5,000 Northwest passengers were stranded
on the tarmac for anvwhere from two to
eight hours, lacking food, water and ade-
quate bathroom facilities. A number of
University students, including members of
the Michigan Marching Band, were among
those passengers trapped against their will.
In contrast, passengers traveling from
competitive markets are more likely to
enjoy a comfortable flight. They experience
less congestion when traveling than do
their fellows at hub airports, typically


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