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February 09, 2001 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-09

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One hundred ten years ofeditorialfredom



February 9, 2001

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By John Polley
For the Daily
In an annual report on incoming
college freshman, the Higher Educa-
tion Research Institute revealed this
week that political interest among
dents has hit an all-time low.
[he report was based on HERI's
survey of incoming students at 434
American colleges and universities
and indicated that only 28.1 percent
of students polled were inclined to
keep up with political affairs. This
number is down from 28.6 percent in
1999 and represents a continued
trend of declining political interest.
"Although the 2000 results reflect a



By Louie Meizlish
Daily Staff Reportet

OWe have
nothing to
unite us."
- Kara Guminski
LSA junior

1 o n g - t e r m
decline in stu-
dents' political
interest, this
year is signifi-
cant since
freshman inter-
est in politics
increases dur-

\4{treceive an increase of
state funding next ye
John Engler's propose
than $17 million less th
The increase
translates into a
1.5 percent
increase over this
year's funding,
bringing per-stu-
dent appropria-
tions up to $9,939 MUk
from $9,646. The A
proposal, which was pr
day by State Budget I
' Lannoye, would give
$363.7 million in total f
The University could;
al $5.4 million on top o
the Legislature goes alor
proposal to repeal the st
ABBY ROSENBAUM/Daily credit. The tax credit rev
LSA junior Sunil Sajnanl lifts weights at the Central Campus Recreation Building yesterday. At this time of year most students attending unive
students find themselves in the gym for physical activity until the weather gets warmer. tuition increases under t
tion, although it has not

because of low inflation rates.
A repeal of the tax credit, Lannoye
said, would allow the state to increase
niversity would funding to state universities another
$5.4 million in 1.5 percent, bringing the total across-
ar under Gov. the-b'oard increase to 3 percent.
d budget, more "We'd always like more, but we've
an it requested. got to recognize that there's less revenue
this year because of an economic slow-
down," said Rep. Michael Switalski (D-
Roseville), a member of the House
Appropriations Committee. "Hopefully
there will be a pick up in revenue that
' .. will allow us to increase the funding."
Glenn Stevens, executive director of
Presidents Council of the State Univer-
ue sities of Michigan, said the proposal is a
esented yester- good starting point, considering that
Director Mary economic forecasts remain unclear.
the University "It's quite clear that education fared
unding. very well. It's a very good beginning in
get an addition- the budget," Stevens said.
f that amount if Engler's proposal calls for a total
ng with Engler's increase of 2 percent in higher educa-
ate's tuition tax tion spending if the tax credit is not
wards parents of repealed. The University of Michigan
rsities that keep would not see the remaining 0.5 per-
he level of infla- cent, which is distributed based on the
been successful See BUDGET, Page 7

ing an election year," said Linda Sax,
- director of the study.
lIiregory Markus, a senior research
scientist at the University of Michi-
gan's Center for Political Studies,
noted that the survey results were
largely dependent upon what students
considered "political:'
"The expressed interest is at a
record low but at the same time com-
munity service and volunteerism is at
or near a record high," Markus said.
"It's not that students don't care, it's
't they've made a choice to act on
at interest in the particular realm of
community service."
Shari Katz, who chairs the Michi-
gan Student Assembly's Voice Your
Vote Commission, also stressed the
negative connotation of "political"
"When you bring in the word poli-
tics,' (students) often get turned off
hause of the stigma. I think often
sy're not interested in politics
because they're not making the prac-
tical connection between politics and
their everyday lives," Katz said.
Many students also point to the rel-
ative stability of American govern-
ment in recent years as a reason for
declining interest.
"We have nothing to unite us," said
LSA junior Kara Guminski. "I don't
think people feel that there's anything
out there that's really pressing that
Oy can put their time and energy
LSA junior Sarah Telfer expressed
a similar opinion, saying that she
doesn't consider herself politically
"If there was something I really felt
strongly on, I'd go after it," Telfer
Markus acknowledged the contri-
*ion of perceived political stability
to declining political interest but
noted that many pressing issues have
not drawn public attention.
"I think the perception of a lack of
big issues has been part of it. The
economy has been great, but for the
typical working class family, it was
only last year that they saw any bene-
fit from this 10-year economic boom
at all," Markus said.
The HERI study also recorded all-
e lows in the percentage of
incoming students who "discuss pol-
itics frequently" as well as those vot-
ing in student government elections.

Witness: UC becoming resegregated

By Anna Clark
Daily Staff Reporter
DETROIT - Offering a perspective of what a
public university looks
like without affirma-
tive action policies, DMISSIONS
Eugene Garcia, dean ON TRIAL
of education at the
University of Califor-
nia's Berkeley campus,
testified in court yes-
terday about the resegregation of the UC system.

Garcia, who also spoke about the covert biases
affecting Latinos in education, is an expert wit-
ness for the intervening defendants in the lawsuit
challenging the University of Michigan's Law
School's use of race in admissions.
Garcia told U.S. District Judge Bernard Fried-
man that Proposition 209, which ended affirma-
tive action programs in California, has resulted in
a significant drop in underrepresented minorities
on the UC campuses, despite outreach programs.
"We are highly frustrated," Garcia said. "V
do not see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Garcia added that the number of minorities has

dropped at both the most selective UC schools
and in the system overall. Because minorities are
moving towards the less selective Riverside and
Santa Cruz campuses, Garcia said, the UC sys-
tem is becoming segregated. "In the future, we'll
see three to four universities that are primarily
white and Asian and four universities that are pri-
marily brown and black," he said.
Garcia noted that biases in standardized tests
have had a detrimental affect on minorities, par-
ticularly Latinos, who largely grew up-in Span-
ish-speaking homes in California and haven't
been exposed to "academic English" the way

white test-takers may have been.
"The better you are at academic English, the bet-
ter you'll do," Garcia said, noting that Latinos in
particular score low on the verbal section of the test.
Cross-examination of Garcia was postponed to
accommodate Columbia University Prof. Eric
Foner, a witness for the intervenors who special-
izes in American history.
Foner went into a detailed history of how race
became "a fundamental dividing line" in the Unit-
ed States. He said today's society cannot separate
itself from a history of dramatic racial separation.
See TRIAL, Page 7

ETS tO remove flags
from tests of disabled


E Handicapped man claimed he
was denied admissions because
of special accommodations
By Hanna LoPatin
Daily Staff Reporter
The Educational Testing Service announced
this week that it will discontinue the practice of
flagging the results of disabled students who
receive special accommodations, such as extra
time, on many of their standardized tests.
The change, which will apply to the Graduate
Record Examinations, the Graduate Manage-
ment Admission Test, the Test of English as a
Foreign Language and Praxis, a test for teach-
ers, is viewed as a victory by many in the dis-
abled community.
The new policy becomes effective Oct. I and
came as part of a settlement in a lawsuit filed
two years ago by Mark Breimhorst, a man with
no hands who believed he was denied admission
into business schools because his test results
indicated that he had received special accom-
modations on the management test.
Breimhorst charged ETS with violating state
and federal anti-discrimination laws. The Inter-
national Dyslexia Association and Californians

for Disability Rights joined his suit.
"This is absolutely a step in the right direc-
tion," said ETS spokesman Tom Ewing. "We are
very pleased that we were able to respond to our
disabled community."
ETS maintains that the flagging policy did
not break any laws.
But Ewing said, "It was never our intention to
be stigmatizing for our disabled students."
Virginia Grubaugh, assistant coordinator of
Services for Students with Learning Disabilities
at the University of Michigan, said the removal
of flagging will be beneficial to the students
with whom she works.
"Students who really need accommodations,
it allows them to use those without feeling that
someone is discriminating," she said. "The
accommodations that we afford to students are
ones that are only meant to level the playing
Jeanne Wilt, assistant dean of admissions and
career development at the University's Business
School, said the new policy won't make a differ-
ence in their admissions.
"It has no effect," she said. "If you were to
look at all the things we ask for on our applica-
tion - GMAT's just one piece of all that."
Having a disability "certainly doesn't mean
See TESTING, Page 7

LSA sophomore Aarti Aurora uses her PalmPilot in the Michigan Union yesterday. The hand-held
computers have replaced paper planners for many students.
Say groodbye to day planiners

By Kelly Trahan
For the Daily

Dot-com industry continues slump

By Tovin Lapan
fly Staff Reporter
Earlier this week e-business giant Ama-
zon.com announced it would close two opera-
tion centers and lay off 15 percent of its
employees, a sign of the drastic turnaround
within the last year for dot-com companies.
Internet business at one time was charac-

Internet business at one
time was characterized
by limitless potential.
in their expectations for the performance of e-
business. They had fantasy-like expectations

rush. "The idea and software behind eToys
was good, but they went bankrupt when
shipping problems forced them to miss
Christmas deadlines. E-businesses can have
a solid plan, but still fail due to infrastruc-
ture problems," Dominguez said.
Students who once took comfort in the
booming economy - especially the rapid
growth of employment opportunities with e-

They range in price from $150 to $500,
but many students who have invested in
handheld computers - most commonly
referred to as "PalmPilots," - admit the.
machines' organizational capabilities are
worth much more than the cost.
The two leading manufacturers of handheld
computers, Pilot and Handspring, both run on
the same operating system - a program called
Palm. And both are eagerly targeting universi-
ties across the country in hopes that students
will have an interest in Palm's organizational
Julie Staska, Public Relations manager of
Handspring Inc., said handheld computers

fun and easy to use,' Staska said.
"Handheld computers are primarily orga-
nizers. The Palm operating system usually
includes a date book, to-do list, address book
and memo pad. Handspring computers,
called Visors, can be expanded to include
cameras, modems, a translation dictionary
and mp3 players,' Staska added.
In fact, both PalmPilots and Visors have
expansion capabilities - but at a price. The
electronics chain Best Buy sells the most pop-
ular PalmPilot, the 3C, for about $329, and the
most popular Visor for about $250. As more
and more handheld computers are being used
across campus, it appears students are willing
to pay these prices for technologically
advanced convenience.
LSA sophomore John Schoolmeester said

. [


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