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December 02, 1999 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-02

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 2, 1999

Southworth questions use of student fees

WISCONSI N
Continued from Page 1A
we need our group to have a voice," she said.
Patricia Brady, senior system legal counsel for the
University of Wisconsin System, said the university
has considered two alternatives to its current student
fees system if the court rules against the school.
In April 1996, three students at the University of
Wisconsin at Madison, including Scott Southworth, then
a law student, filed a lawsuit against the University of
Wisconsin with the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Wisconsin. After that court ruled in favor of
the plaintiffs in November 1996, the regents appealed to
the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in
August 1998 to uphold the district court decision.
According to the circuit court's opinion, "Regents
and amici rely on thc First Amendment's guarantee of
free speech as support for their position. But the First
Amendment does not guarantee that the government
will subsidize speech," the opinion stated.
The regents then appealed to the Supreme Court,
which heard the case last month and is expected to
release a decision early next year.
ASM collects students fees and disperses them to
student groups, pending regental approval. This year,
Wisconsin charged each student a total of $445 in stu-

"The case is a direct attack on diversity groups."
Associated Students of Madison chair

dent fees. ASM has a two-part allocation system:
$86.68 is designated for allocable funds to various stu-
dent groups, and $358.32 is for non-allocable funds.
Non-allocable funds pay for Wisconsin's student
union and health services center.
Allocable funds are funneled to general student
organizations and student services. Student service
organizations must prove that they provide a service
on campus, while, student groups seeking general
funding can request funding for events, general oper-
ations and travel expenses.
Brady said the university could define which campus
groups are political and ideological and allow students
to decide individually which ones to fund. The univer-
sity also could let students choose which organizations
they want to fund, without determining their political
affiliations - essentially a "check off" system.
While Klaus said both options probably would neg-
atively affect minority groups, ASM has endorsed the
use of a check-off system, which would allow ASM to
avoid assessing the political or ideological stances of

student groups.
Nikihil Joglekar, an ASM representative, said he
agrees with Southworth's perspective but is interested
in maintaining student funding for minority groups.
"Student fees should be determined by the students
individually," he said.
Joglekar added that while the university awaits the
Supreme Court's decision, ASM is considering the
suggestion that students choose which organizations
they don't want to fund through a "check-on" system.
Joglekar said this system would not necessarily end
funding for most minority groups but would allow stu-
dents to opt out of funding certain groups:
As the two sides argued their cases before the
Supreme Court on Nov. 9, University of Michigan Vice
President of Student Affairs E. Royster Harper decided
to form a committee, consisting of students, faculty,
administrators and General Counsel members, to exam-
ine options similar to ones Wisconsin is exploring.
As of last week, Harper said the committee "has

HOUSING
Continued from Page IA
could do and she said What do you
want me to do - come over with my
hammer and my nails?"'
Katz said, "There was a lot of dam-
age - my roommate lost a lot of his
personal letters and my Discman was
ruined.
"We found out later that the tenant
before us had the same problem and
(Oppenheimer) tried to evict," them
Katz added.
Katz said that the roof was not
fixed until three months later, when
she and her roommates began with-
holding rent.
Once the roof was fixed,
Oppenheimer "immediately sent us
an eviction notice for not paying our
rent."
Oppenheimer also sued Katz and
her roommates for the back rent.
"Finally we settled out of court,"
Katz said. As for the amount of time
it took to get the roof fixed, Katz said
"I think that a lot of the time man-
agers will skimp on large mainte-
nance jobs because owners hesitate to
give them the money," Katz said. "I
think that withholding the rent is what
really got them."
Oppenheimer Properties Manager
Judy Paron, who oversees the proper-
ty Katz was living in, said "There was
a new roof scheduled from the time
that they moved in - the problem
was getting a roofer to do it."
She also said that she felt her deci-
sion to bring a lawyer into the inci-
dent was a correct one.
"If I thought (Katz's) allegations
were right, I wouldn't have hired an
attorney," Paron said, defending the
company's decision to seek legal
action. She added that situations
which result in litigation are rare.
Ed Chusid, a tenant advocate with
the Ann Arbor Tenants Union, said
that the most common problems he
sees involve repairs and security
deposits.
"The larger corporations seem to
withhold security deposits more
often, and it seems it's the smaller
companies that only have a few prop-
erties that have the repair problems,"
he said.

/ Live3E.65. com
] This is not you ather s rad
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LSA senior Amy Duffv is still try-
ing to get her security deposit
returned by PMSI properties, the
company who managed the 12-room
house she rented from last year.
"PMSI said the furniture was
stolen," she said.
She added that her company wa
unresponsive to problems that she and
her housemates had, including an
occasional lack of hot water and hea
"They didn't seem to care about my
problems or want to deal with it. W
had to walk (to the offices) in a group
of ten of us to get anything across tq
them," she said. "They wouldn't call
back."
Chris, a PMSI property manager
who did not want her last name used
said only that PMSI is, "still checking
- it's a long, involved situation."
Doug Lewis, director for studen
legal services, which provideW
lawyers and litigation help to stu-
dents free of charge, agreed that "A
lot of landlords make security
deposit claims that are debatable."
He cited incidents of tenants being
charged $500 to replace an entire
carpet because of a single cigarette
burn.
"They should be charging to repair
the burn, not to replace the whole car
pet," he said.
Alice Ehn, the executive officer of
the Ann Arbor Apartments
Association - which is an associa-
tion of landlords - said that her
office provides conflict resolution
services for disputes between resi-
dents and landlords.
She said that they have only had to
send "six or seven" cases to court in
the last year.
"Most of the problems concer9
interpretation of the lease," she said
But problems with rental housing
don't always concern landlords -
Paron offered what she thought was
the worst experience one of her ten-
ants had - when they decided t
sublet their apartment for the sum-
mer.
The tenants "had an S8,000 phone
bill because they left the phone in
their name when they sublet - or*
of the sublets made some 1-900 sex
calls while the tenants were gone"
EGYPTAIR
Continued from Page 1A
fact that two individuals aboard a recent
American West flight, who were
detained and questioned for "suspicious"
acts, were off Middle Eastern decent.
"My goals here are multiple one.'"
Youmans said. "For those who do ne
know much about Arab-American
stereotypes, I hope that recognize this
issue that we consider prevalent.
"Most people take these stereotypes
as facts. People like us who are subject
to these stereotypes - who are viewed
as terrorists, should be able to defend
themselves. We are trying to have our
own media," he said.
Some students also questioned t
media's use of words like "disturbing
to describe a Muslim prayer that one of
the EgyptAir Flight 990 pilots recited
repeatedly before the plane crashe
into the ocean.
"There's a kind of double standard
here," Youmans said. "If it were a
Christian prayer that was recited, woul
it still be considered disturbing?"
SNRE junior Norah Rabiah, an Arab-
American, countered some of the media
attacks given by the other students
arguing that Western culture tends
crave descriptive details like race.
"We can't fully blame the media
because it is their job to give the public
the news they want to hear," he said.
"I think the public likes media and

mystery and drama that is like the
movies," he added. "I think we should
look at ourselves and what we want to
hear -just news, or drama?"
LSA senior Aiman Mackie co*
pared the caliber of media dramatiza-
tion of Arab and Muslim involvement
in the EgyptAir crash to that of
Princess Diana's death in 1997. "It's
very similar so the death of Diana -
It's fine if the media plays on public
desire, but there are victims here.
People get hurt by this:'
The Arab-American students
involved in last night's debate agreed
that it is important for Arab-America
to reach out to other minorities a
counteract the media's allegedly recur-
ring use of stereotypes.
"I think a very important aspect of
educating othera is targeting other
minorities so that they can smpathize
with us. It is important that we join with
other minorities because they are also
faced with similar stereotypes, though in
different contexts," Rabiah said.
In addition, some students said th
feel they should proactively educa
others by demonstrating that they are
not the same Arab-Americans illustrat-
ed by stereotypes.
LSA junior Zain Bengal stressed the
importance of showing that Arab-
American stereotypes are not valid.
"It is important for us to realize that
our daily interactions with other people
are important in forming other people's
views of us. I think that you should be
able to goto your neighbor's home and
able to ask for milk, whether or not th
are white or Arab-Amencan," he said.
Students who are critical of the
EgyptAir coverage and the media
scrutiny of other incidents involving
Arab-Americans said they hope to raise
consciousness that stereotypes are per-
sonal attacks and degrading to their
humanity.
"Our responsibility is not to decide
what happened (in the air crash), butO
understand how the media is projecting
us as people," Youmans said.
JI

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V ~ q

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