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September 08, 1999 - Image 26

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-08

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2B - New Student Edition - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 8, 1999

INFORMATION 'U' CAN USE
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD - WRITE A LETTER
TO THE EDITOR
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
daily.letters@umich.edu
THE ANN ARBOR NEWS
LetternewsCaol.com
DETROIT FREE PRESS
editpg@freepress.com
THE DETROIT NEWS
lettersadetnews .com

'U' may risk alienating international studentsi

By Paul Wong
Daty Wt'toual Page Wntcr
Other than the pressures of academic
success or from peers. the University's
constant increases in tuition are scrv
often concerning, especially for parents.
Being an international student does not
ease such worries, though there is often a
perception that intemational undergradu-
ate students are affluent.
Such perceptions are wrong, but unin-
tentional.
Most of us rely solely on our parents
for financial support. In some cases, stu-
dents are supported by their government,
though usually conditions are attached to
the receipt of such aid. It is extremely dif-
ficult for international undergraduate
students to receive financial support
either by means of scholarships or stu-
dent loans - unlike their US.-born
counterparts.

Stringent conditions are led down to
receise financial support or in many
cases international studenits are ineligible
to apply lu0t such liitecd finaiceial aid.
There are dcfinitty roups of intertia-
tional students sho deserse scholairships
to ease their finattcial burden oftheirpar-
ents, butt they oftn ate left ssith none.
Last year. ditring the beight of the
Asian economirc cilsis, mail-, Asian stu-
dents were directly affected. The
Uniersity stepped in and assisted stu-
dents that were in difficulty. by cooperat-
Ig with the Immigration and
Naturalization Service to relax the inter-
national student laws - which allowed
students to work in order to ease their
financial situation.
But in reality, this move did little to aid
students. In the long run, this move by
the Universitv means that international
undergraduate students ssill have to pay

more in tutinon because it will take longer
to complete their undergraduate studies.
We hase decided for oursclves to
come to study at the University. But the
Unisersity has done little to 'id us Vie
could use a more les el playing ficld. The
University should pros ide even greater
support for international undergraduate
students than it currently does.
The University prides itself on its
diverse campus. As an international stu-
dent. I have been grateful to have the
opportunity to introduce my culture to
my peers. Such opportunities are very
limited in this world and very often, the
misunderstandings of cultures or reli-
gions are the causes of conflicts around
the world.
Over the years, the Univsersity has built
its international influences that hase
enriched both international students and
local students in terms of knowledge and

the appreCIatIun of different culture$
arsUTInd the s Iorld these inIlences arp
what attract students to study at ihe
Unisersity. If curret trends of limited
aid to iternational undergmduate stu
dents cottinue, the Canmpus will es\eitual,
IN lose this fo m of tiractiveness ;
Many studetits- especially wih
ever-increasintg tuitioit costs reg
less of their background need some sort
of help to attend the University. But interI-
national undergraduate students, due in
no small part to economic crtses around
the globe, are likely to face an even
greater financial challenges than some of
you.
It is better to provide the support to
international undergraduate students
now. before international students choose
to avoid studying at the University .
Pai nlisg canhi teachid vin e-n
at onghgiusmich.i'du

Pre-approve
your money
managing
haits now
H y kids, freestuff You might
have bent warned, you're
probably a little leery, and
ou definitely don't want to go
broke.
So sign up at all those booths
vhere they offer T-shirts to coffee
yups and everything else just for
pplying for a credit card.
Yes, credit
cards are dan- Rick
gerous in 18- Freeman
year-old hands
4lready full of
Independence
fnd freedom.
Yes, debt is not
a fun thing. But
sign up.
So cut up the
cards when they FREEMAN OF
come, but sign THE PRESS
up. As Navin R.
Johnson once
said "Step right up and win some
crap."
Face your fears
But crap isn't why you should
sign up. You shouldn't shy away
from the prospect of possible debt.
Fven if you have no loans to worry
about - you'll still go into debt,
,pven if it's just for one credit cycle.
Let the cards come to you, and
keep only the best ones - usually
ones with no annual fee. You don't
need a Discover, you don't need an
American Express (although if you
get one, soon you can say you've
been a "cardmember" since the last
millennium). Visa and Mastercard
will do nicely, so get them, and
practice dancing with them - it's a
skill best learned now. As is money
management.,
Look out the window, to your east,
See that? It's Europe.
Don't see it yet, huh? You proba-
bly never will unless you have well-
heeled and generous parents.
Whatever money you make, put a
small part of it in a savings accounti
that you won't touch - even if it's
just $50 a month, do it. Trust me, no
matter how hard a B-school charger
you are, or how inert an English
major, you'll want some time for a
vacation right around the time you
graduate - or even before. If you
have a grand or two cooling its heels
in the bank, you can do whatever
you want with it.
Which, of course, means you
could get into even fancier options
- Certificates of Deposit are feder-
ally insured, guaranteed moneymak-
prs. Even though the interest is low,
if you know you won't need the
money for six months or a year, you
can park it in a CD, and make twice
the interest you would in a savings

You can leani
from your

roommate
# 0
give ita
Christian, a Jew and a
Hindu..." Sure it sounds
like the beginning to a
knee-slapper, but when I found out
my 12-foot by 19-foot South Quad
room housed three of the world's
major religions, the room seemed
even smaller.
I cursed University Housing for
placing me in an overflow triple and
making my first year here some
pseudo-United
Nations diversi- Nika
ty training. Schulte
I thought I
would get over
the fact that my
roommates both
felt Jesus was a , i
fraud, but I 2
never realized
how much reli-
gion and culur- THE
al background NATURAL
affect every-
thing from
friend choices to food choices.
My roommates never understood
why I knew that Ann Arbor does have
daylight before noon on Sundays and
I didn't know who this "Bubby" per-
son was I kept taking phone mes-
sages from.
Throughout this time, not one of us
bothered to acknowledge that we did
things differently. So for two months
we lived that way - ignoring.
Sometimes I sought comfort in
friends' rooms. But soon I discovered
that their situations weren't so good
either.
One of my friends lived with the
"partier." We watched him day after
day as he had a beer for breakfast, a
beer for lunch and sensible three
foot-long sub dinner. He never went
to his Stats class but he spent his
time reciting the height and weight of
every girl in Markley.
Another friend shared a room with
the "sexually repressed." Whenever
any girls entered the room, the room-
mate left immediately. Sometimes he
would grab a book before he left, but
other times he high-tailed it so fast
he would leave and sit in the hall in
his skivvies just waiting for the ladies
to leave.
Then, there's always the "sexually
liberal." Whether their partner is their
significant other or their catch of the
day, the person will get it on any
chance they get,
Perhaps my friend who was the
most annoyed was the one that shared
the room with the "eager." Her room-
mate dropped a full courseload so
they could be in the same classes.
The "eager" started buying clothes
just like hers. While my friend
thought it was great for the first three
days, it got old.
The last common types I've wit-
nessed are the "studier" and the
"sloth". Although the motivation for
the two are at completely different
levels, the behavior is the same: they

s, 1/ yu
?kaflce
will never leave the room. Sure, th s
is great because if you forget youn.,
keys, you aren't locked out, but it
does cut into your use of the room -
your four square feet of it, anyway.-
Although, I desired different room'
mates, my fear of changing to a
scarier setting kept me safe at home.
Yeah, my roommates and I did ogr
own thing,.but we didn't hate each
other. We just didn't like each other
Then in mid-November I received
one of the thin white package slips
all you dorm-dwellers will come ito
live and die by. As I signed for the
large box, I wondered what great sur-
prise my sister sent me. When I got
to the rootm I opened it quickly began
to remove the contents.
I stopped when I saw it was a box
full of Christmas lights. I looked
around to see if my roommates ha$
seen me. They did and-I tried to play
it off by just pushing the box under
my desk.
I thought I should save the
Christmas lights for another year.
There was no way I was going to be
responsible for some sort of reigiqts
bloodshed.
The roommates went to my desk
anyway and took out the Christma
lights.
"Cool. You should put these up,"
one said as she walked out the door
with her friends to go to dinner.
Later that night, I decided I should.
At least they would maybe be an
excuse to not have to use the over-
head fluorescent light of Hades.
When I was about half way
through putting them up, my room-
mates returned. They helped me
crawl around the lofts and handed
tape.
That night, we decided to do our
homework using only the Christmas
lights. And as we laid on our beds,
with blue light floating all around us,
one of us began to talk. To tell you
the truth I don't know who. I know it
didn't delve any deeper than who en
our floor we thought was the biggest
slut, but we talked.
With the talking, came understar
ing. I learned that Bubby is a Yiddi
term for grandmother and they
learned that I was baptized and oy,-
ing it.
As you enter into that bare room
that first day and busily unpack your
Sony PlayStation while your room"
mate arranges boxes, don't panic.
Don't call the lovely staff at
Housing and moan that you can't live
with this person because while you'
are unpacking your desk lamp, yog
roommate is hanging a neon "LIVE
NUDES" sign.
Don't groan, don't ignore, don't
whine, just talk.
You don't have to become best'
friends, but become friends. It's pos-
sible. No joke.
- Nika Schulte is a staff reporter of
the Daily, and can be reached via
e-mail at nschulte@umich.edu.

Look familiar? There's no way to escape spending money In college - the reel challenge Is holding on to enough to be able
to graduate with some savings.

account.
Either way, though, you should
look at money management as an
ongoing, low-workload class.
Boring, stuff, to be sure, but if
you want excitement, try calling
home one day when you're all inde-
pendent at the ripe age of 20.
"Um, dad .... uh, how about a no-
interest loan? You know I'm good
for the money, but these credit cards,
see
Silence.
"Dad?"
"Oh, I'm listening ....".
If that's the excitement you like,
then go for it. Or if you prefer the
romantic image of a broke college
student, you can try signing your
paychecks directly over to Pizza
House.
Otherwise, take charge, do some-
thing boring.
Don't go off the deep end, and
turn into a cheapskate. No one likes

a cheapskate.
Worry in private
The whole point of having enough
money, is to be able to act like you
never have to worry about it.
I never worried about it. I had
great summer jobs - I even worked
a little bit during the year - "going'
out" money.
Then, my lifestyle changed a little
bit. I joined the Daily, turned 21,
and, well, bars are less socially cost-
effective than keg parties. (And I'll
leave the implied connection
between journalism and soaring bar
tabs to you, thanks.)
To make a long story short, I had
less time to work, and more expens-
es to worry about. I'd always been
fine with money, so I wasn't particu-
larly vulnerable, but this was where
my lacu of savingscame to hurt me.
Money was now tight. I'd go out
with friends, and look twice at the
price. I'm far too stubborn to let it

adversely affect my social life, and I
wouldn't be so gauche as to com-
plain about cash in a social setting.
But, then again, maybe if I had
planned better, I would,'t even have
had to worry.
Who knows, Michigan's class of
2003 might be full of fiscally-adept
young students, for whom balancing
a checkbook is as natural as a night-
ly facial scrub.
The credit card companies, who
pay to hire people to sign up as
many new students as possible -
without knowing a thing about them
in advance - don't seem to think
so'
- Rick Freeman is the Editor of the
New Student Edition, and would
very much like to be a new student
again himself E-mail him at
rickfreelluinich.edu. Ifyou can tell
him who Navin R. Johnson is, he'll
give you a free travel mug
anda low APR.

'7©O THE DALY.
MASS MEETINGS.
TUEs. SEPT. 14 7:30 P.M.
TKUR. SEPT. 16 7:30 P.M.
MON. SEPT. 20 7:30 P.M.
AT THE STUDENT PUBLICAT1ONS BUILDING
420 MAYNARD ST., NEXT TO THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE.

I

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