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March 06, 2003 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-06

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4B - The Michigan Daily - Perspectives - Thursday, March 6, 2003
Searching for a more 'equitable relationship'

The Michigan Daily - Perspectives -
Ghettlounlahulous:A glance at student

By Charles Paradis
Daily Staff Writer
An Ann Arbor native, Mayor John
Hieftje walked in the shadow of
University buildings as a child and
now runs City Hall. The Michigan Daily
caught up with the mayor over break and
asked him about the relationship between the
campus and the community.
From fire protection to Hash Bash,
Mayor Hieftje shared his views about
Ann Arbor. One prevailing theme perme-
ated the entire interview. Overall Hieftje
wants to see a fair relationship between
the city and the University.

The Michigan Daily: How do you see the
campus and the community interacting?
John Hieftje: We have a symbiotic relation-
ship what works for the University, works for the
city, and it goes back and forth. We share the same
space. I think we have a wonderful partnership
and I hope it continues as we go down the road.
But like any partner-
ship it is like a mar-
riage except that we
can't get a divorce. So
it is really good if we
can continue to getY
along well. But from
the city's point of
view we need to make
that relationship with
the Univer a little
more equitable.
TMD: What.
needs to happen to
make the relation-
ship more equitable?
JAI: One of the
things that has hap-
pened recently is that
the state govern-
ment's budget is real-
ly a mess. The new
governor (Jennifer
Granholm) was left
with a real mess, and
so. there's been some
cuts that have come down to both the cities and
the universities. For instance, one of the biggest
problems is the city is mandated by the state to
provide fire protection for the University, but
we're not fully reimbursed for that. We are only
reimbursed for about a quarter of it. So that's
one of the issues between us right now.
TMD: What are your goals for the students
and the community?
JH: Making Ann Arbor a welcoming envi-
ronment for everybody - people come here
from all over the world - is really important to
me. We need to continue to do that. I love hav-
ing the University in town, I love the interac-
tion. I grew up in Ann Arbor, so in some ways
I feel like I've been a student my whole life,
because I'm walking around campus and walk-
ing around the same places as I did as a kid. In
some ways it has changed a lot and in other
ways it hasn't changed a bit.
I think that the students who are here,

sometimes getting in the trap of thinking that
they are going to be here just for few years,
but you also represent the students that will be
here after you. I think that there is also a
responsibility, because this is a community. It
is not just some place you go and go to school
and go to a party. It is a place where people
live and live year
around, and a lot of
people who live here
came here as stu-
dents. From the stu-
dent's side of it there
needs to be a greater
recognition that this
is a community and
we all live together
and they are part of
the community.
}? Being part of the
community has ben-
efits and responsibil-
x ities and those go
hand in hand.
TMD: Do you
want students to get
more active in the
JH: Definitely, I
have tried to appoint
students to appropri-
ate places in the city
board and commis-
sions, but one of the problems is that because of
a student's schedule - and I understand com-
pletely - things come up and there is summer
and these boards that go on year round. So it is
a little more difficult to get students to work.
When I get a call for people to come in I get a
few replies and then people tend to find out that
this meets year round.
TMD: How do events like Hash Bash and the
Arts Fair effect the campus and the community?
JH: Well, the Art Fair happens when a lot
of the student population is gone but is a long
Ann Arbor tradition. Hash Bash is something
that I think that the citizens of Ann Arbor has
tolerated pretty well. While certainly many of
us aren't going to celebrate the name of Hash
Bash or what it originally started as, it is impor-
tant for us to allow room for expression. If
that's the expression a particular group wants to
make, then that's the expression they want to
make. That's a political move now.

By Sravya Chirumamilla
and Neil Patel
Daily Staff Writers
T he most important location
for students is undoubtedly
their homes. The high den-
sity of living areas provides ample
opportunities to make new friends.
Students must carefully consider
their housing options in order to
enjoy a fruitful year.
University Housing:
Incoming freshmen have very
few choices for their first-year col-
lege residences and are usually
stuck on the Hill, a decent distance
from anywhere worth visiting.
These students, however, are about
two miles closer than those stuck
on North Campus. While the sereni-
ty and famed dining halls of the
Burlodge are worth a visit, the rape
trail and engineers are best when
Besides the location of the dor-
mitories, University Housing also
dishes out other problems. While
most universities pair students up
according to numerous preferences,
University Housing assigns stu-
dents based on very few factors,
which can, and often does, lead to
tensions and unnecessary angst
between roommates.
The limited space in a dorm room
also creates issues as roommates
bicker over that extra square foot of
space in the corner. A loft proves to
be a worthwhile investment as it
aids in dealing with the limited
space and adds to one's content-
ment when the roommate sidesteps
and falls off the six-foot ladder.
If a student were to choose to
weather out another year in a dor-
mitory, the sophomore status can
help land them a better home. Some
gain access to the creme de la
creme of University housing that
are sure to present a large bill:
either the "graduate student hous-
ing" - in reality, those lucky juniors
or seniors - such as the Cambridge
House attached to the Michigan
Union or the exclusive female resi-
dence hall legendary for its tea
time, Martha Cook. Those eager to
join co-ed floors reserved to the top
floors of Bursley and Squad will be
sorely disappointed, since the illu-
sion of hot, eager, soon-to-be-
sorostitute freshmen in skimpy
towels is simply that, a myth.
Most students are unaware of the
benefits of living in a co-op since
there are very few. Beside being
allowed to have caged pets and the
lower rent, a co-op environment can
easily be acquired by throwing 20
random people into a single house.
And yes, people do start getting
real and kick people out of the
homes if the deviant resident fails
to do the 4 hours of chores.
The initial excitement for the
vegetarian and vegan dining options
soon fade when residents realize
they have kitchen duty (read: clean-

ing the puke), yet another Saturday
night. Co-ops offer students a rela-
tively liberal environment and boast
the beer vending machines and
numerous parties. Since most stu-
dents suffer from social loafing,
they tend not to complete their
chores, leaving the residences com-
pletely filthy.
Probably the most liberating of all
college residences is the apartment,
since it tends to be relatively small
so as to limit the chores necessary
for their upkeep. For those students
that are culinarily challenged, how-
ever, the apartment lifestyle may
leave a hole in the wallet due to fre-
quent NYPD carry-out.
An option for apartment inhabitants
who miss the dorm buffets is buying a
meal plan or entree plus in order to
purchase meals. Not only are meal
options unappetizing and expensive at
an apartment, but the rent for these
dwellings appear to be exorbitant;
however, the rent tends to include the
water and electricity bills that can add
up at other residences.
If students are able to gather a
group that is willing to live in a
house, many aspects must be consid-
ered. While houses tend to be slight-
ly cheaper than apartments, most
utilities are not included in the rent.
Since houses are older and less
equipped, they might not be properly
insulated, causing very high gas and
heating bills. They do offer larger
living areas and more storage areas
in the attic and basement, which are
known as "Michigan basements"
and are musty and uninhabitable.
Most Ann Arbor area student
houses are in the student ghettos,
which are neighborhoods the land-
lords andsresidents seem to disre-
gard. These dilapidated homes are
known for the littered front yards
and grimy living spaces that should
not be treaded on by bear feet.
The Hunt:
The search for a residence usual-
ly starts in September of the previ-
ous year as students decide with

whom and where they would like to
board. Primarily, students should
choose people who will best adapt
to their lifestyles. Studentsshould
proceed with caution as many land-
lords may be deceiving you into
renting a less-than-homely abode.
The Ann Arbor Tenants Union
offers students information ranging
from cleaning tips to deceptive land-
lord's tricks. A greatly beneficial
tool in the house hunt, the AATU
will examine a lease to ensure that
tenants rights are met. The most nec-
essary booklet, the Tenants' Rights
Booklet, must be presented to all
signing tenants, even those that are
subletting. Landlords withholding
these rights should be immediately
reported to the AATU, while homes
suspect of violation of city codes,
such as a lack of proper heating and
electrical systems, and security fea-
tures, should be brought to the atten-
tion of the Housing Inspection
Department of Ann Arbor.
Vehicle ownership in Ann Arbor
is very expensive because of high
parking fees and the rarity of free
residential parking. If none of the
roommates have a car on campus,
students should bargain for lower
rent in lieu of a parking spot;
demands which are most likely to be
met by private landlords rather than
leasing companies.
The rich are able to segregate them-
selves in the overpriced condomini-
ums equipped with doormen and
closed circuit cameras, while those
unable to afford the high rent associat-
ed with the close proximity of classes
are forced to live farther from campus.
Most students end up in the run-down
ghettos that breed diminished upkeep.
The cyclical process that leaves more
areas dirty and unkempt affects a neg-
ative friction between the students and
the community.

Students often get stuck living in houses with

Students living in these ghettos
also face security issues for the
streets are dimly lit and hazardous.
University Housing offers the secu-
rity of resident advisors and the
Department of Public Safety guards
frequently patrolling the halls. This
same protection is not available for
most tenants in houses, which usu-
ally have faulty front doors that can
either be pulled open without much
effort or are left propped open by
the residents. With the increased
crime in the city over the past few
years, safety measures should be
followed in order to protect students
and their property.
The housing search is an arduous
process, as some students' wishes

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